Dr. Ben Lynch On The Importance Of Your Epigenetics And How To Leverage It
Today we are joined by Dr. Ben Lynch, the best-selling author of Dirty Genes and a leader in the field of nutrigenomics. He’s also president of Seeking Health, an innovative company providing supplements, courses, and tools designed to help people overcome genetic dysfunction and optimize health.
After earning his Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington, he then obtained a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. Dr. Lynch lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and three sons.
Now, I wanted to have Dr. Lynch on the show, not because we haven't talked about genetics recently, as I've actually been talking and I've been trying to talk a lot about genetics and the fact that we can influence how our genes are expressed…
The reason that I wanted to have him on was that he has a very contrarian approach and a lot of really, really new and fresh, exciting advice that I think you're all going to enjoy very much.
I really enjoyed this episode, it actually ran over the amount of time that I said I would, and that doesn't always happen. Enjoy!
In this episode, we discuss:
- Who is Dr. Ben Lynch, what does he do, and how did he get here? [4:15]
- How did Dr. Lynch integrate Eastern and Western medicine? [8:40]
- What does Dr. Lynch focus on right now? [15:25]
- Coaching consumers on genes and other health topics [19:40]
- What do you want to look for in your genetics? [25:10]
- What are some of the things that you can do to improve your genetics? [30:15]
- Are there any fundamentals everyone should do? [38:40]
- Where can you learn more about Dr. Ben Lynch and his book? [46:55]
- Dr. Ben Lynch's final takeaway message [48:50]
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
Favorite Quotes from Dr. Ben Lynch:
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Greetings, super friends and welcome. Welcome to this week's episode where we are joined by Dr. Ben Lynch, bestselling author of Dirty Genes and a leader in the field of Nutrogenomix.
He's also president of seeking health, an innovative company, providing supplements, courses, and tools designed to help people overcome genetic dysfunction and optimize health. After earning his bachelor's of science in cell and molecular biology. He then obtained a doctorate of naturopathic medicine and he now serves on the board of trustees at Bastia university.
He also lives in Seattle, Washington with his three sons. Now, I wanted to have Dr. Lynch on the show. Not because we haven't talked about genetics a lot recently. We actually have been talking and I've been trying to talk a lot about genetics and the fact that we can influence how our genes are expressed.
No, the reason that I wanted to have him on was he has a very contrarian approach and a lot of really, really new and fresh. Exciting advice that I think you're all going to enjoy it very much. I really enjoyed this episode. I actually ran over the amount of time that I said I would, and that doesn't always happen.
So please enjoy this episode with Dr. Ben Lynch.
Dr. Ben Lynch, welcome to the show, my friend. How
Dr. Ben Lynch: are ya? Great. Jonathan,
Jonathan Levi: I'm really happy to finally connect it. I think you and I connected through genius network, if I'm not mistaken.
Dr. Ben Lynch: It was either genius network or it was a Michael Fishman at a consumer health summit.
Jonathan Levi: Yup. Yup. So shout out to Michael Fishman, our fellow genius network member, and really looking forward to learning more about Nutrogenomix.
Lately I've been really interested in epigenetics and just understanding. How much control we have. I mean, my word, if you remember that the words that they had us were at a genius network on the, on the bracelets, my word is empowerment, and I believe it is probably one of the most empowering things. A person can learn to discover genetics is not fate.
And rather that we can influence our health and our life's outcomes through simple stuff. So I'm really looking forward to talking to you today.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Beautiful man. You making me feel guilty here. It's like, ah, what is my word? And a, I love empowerment. A bunch of words came through my head and strategic as one.
Empowerment is another grateful another. Um, you know, cause they do switch on. You. Yeah. For the sake of this interview, let's say strategic is my word.
Jonathan Levi: I love it. I love it. So I tried to cover your background, your illustrious background at that, a little bit in the intro, but I always like to give guests an opportunity to tell it in their words, especially folks who do as many different things as the average guest on this show does.
So when people ask, what do you do, uh, what do you answer? And how did you get to a point that that was the answer.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Uh, I love being able to dive down and help people understand the unexplainable. And to me that is, uh. Very empowering because people see that and experience it. And then they, they get excited about learning because they applied it to their own life and they, they experience success.
And then they, once you experienced success, you become, you know, Dr.iven to go for more. So that's, that's what I really enjoy. How I got into all this. Boy, you know, I grew up, uh, in a cow town, uh, literally I grew up in a town of population. The poorest town in Oregon. Uh, it's called Prineville. Um, and uh, and on that horse ranch, we had 40 some horses and a hunDr.ed acres.
And I learned a work ethic. Um, you know, I'd be tending to the horses and shoveling horse crap for, for hours on end and bucking hay and so on. So I, there, I learned a work ethic, and then I. Um, went to college and joined the rowing team. And when I remember what I was trying out for the rowing team, but you had to get a physical, and I was 19 years old and they took my blood pressure and it was like, no kidding, John.
It was like one 60 over 90 and I'm 19, you know, and it should be like one 20 over 61 20 or 78 that age and one 20 over 60. Ideally. S um, and they, they looked at me or like, well, this isn't good. And so that, that was kind of a strike one. Uh, I was 19 and unhealthy, and then I had chronic nosebleeds as a kid, uh, all the time.
Um, I had horrible acne. Uh, I would have, I was brilliant at homework and typical, uh, learning stuff. Um, but when it came to test taking, I would freak out and panic and do horribly on tests. Um, and I, I just kind of had failure after failure and chronic issues that were nagging at me. And then when I was India, that kind of wrapped all this up when I was in India, I.
Got really sick in Jaipur. And, uh, I went to this guy in a white coat, in a concrete hole in off the street. Uh, that was directed to me by, uh, uh, a guy that I met off the street, a local East Indian. And, um, the guy took my pulse in a weird way, and then you had me stick out my tongue and look at that. And then he started writing in, in Hindi a bunch of words.
Um, that I couldn't understand and, and told me to go the store next, uh, next to him and buy a bunch of herbs and crap. Um, how does he know what's wrong with me by doing just that? And that interests introduced me to IRB, ADA, and natural medicine. And the rest is history. Here I am focused in it need, eat.
Jonathan Levi: And so how, yeah. And so how have you balanced, because it sounds like you were exposed, was that you were relatively young when you were in India.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. I was, uh, at the end of my junior year at the university of Washington, I pulled myself out of school cause I changed my major, like, no kidding, like six times.
And I didn't want to be in school forever. I just didn't know what I wanted. And I was frustrated and I just kind of was lost. And I was working with a landscape construction firm here in Seattle and. All the guys on the team were basically internationals. And they all talked about traveling the world at different places and their different experiences at lunchtime.
And I just kept hearing this for months after months, you know, for months. And, uh. They inspired me to be brave and go and I did
Jonathan Levi: so. Cool. So when you came back, you decided to study medicine and, and study cell and molecular biology. So tell me a little bit about that process of integrating the experience that you had of the Eastern medicine and what you were learning in the classroom.
Uh, with Western medicine or, or I should say Western science.
Dr. Ben Lynch: When I came back, I, I knew I wanted to do something with natural health, but I didn't know how to do it. And so I, I looked, I went to the counselor and I said, okay, here are the classes I've taken so far. How do I get out of here the fastest? And they say, well, you do sell them molecular biology and you'll get outta here.
Uh, as you know, the fastest. And I was like, okay. Done. Um, and, uh, I was focused on premed because I, I wanted to do some type of medicine, but I didn't want to do conventional, traditional medicine. I didn't want the medications cause those failed me. I left a lot of stories out on those. Um, and, uh, I didn't want to go that route.
I didn't want surgery because I was scared of, uh, high pressure situations. Um, and I didn't want to hurt anybody or kill anyone. I knew I couldn't handle the stress of surgery. Um, so I, I was kind of lost. So I did the cell and molecular biology. I absolutely deep spiced my last year, um, because I realized that college is just you sitting in a chair and being lectured at and told what to study and what to do.
And it Dr.ove me crazy. I, I literally couldn't stand it where I was on the road traveling for a year in Southeast Asian and South Pacific. And you had to constantly think, uh, and, and get yourself out of sticky situations constantly. But in university, you're not taught to think. You're taught to memorize and regurgitate.
And, um, that's what most doctors do. They just, they're told what to do to, uh, to memorize. And if they're good at regurgitating, uh, they become a doctor. Um, and that's scary. Doctors need to think. So after graduating, I walked out the door. And I, I literally said, okay, I'm done. Not what, um, and I just kept landscaping for another six years, um, because I did not know what to specialize in.
I didn't want to do Iyer Veda, um, because it, I wanted to be some type of primary care health professional and I, or Veda was not gonna allow me to do that. Um, eventually I discovered naturopathic medicine and Basti your university was literally 15 minutes from my house. And, uh, I applied there, got in and, and, uh, you know, now I'm an MD.
Jonathan Levi: How old were you at that point?
Dr. Ben Lynch: I was 29 I believe that's
Jonathan Levi: very inspiring too. I think a lot of people who think that you have to have it all figured out when you're 22 years old.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Oh, in my landscape company, Jonathan was quite successful. Uh. We were doing very high end jobs. Um, you know, I had my own business.
I was already making a well into six figures in my early twenties. Uh, I could take the entire winter off and travel. Um, I had, you know, big equipment, dump trucks and other trucks and great crew. Um, and I, I remember when I stepped off the excavator one day. Uh, I couldn't breathe. I literally was standing vertically and I could not inhale at it felt like I had a, uh, elephant on the front of my chest.
And, and behind me, I was pinned between two elephants and I just stood there and my, my employees were talking to me and I just looked at him. And I couldn't do anything. And I was like, Oh my God. So that, that was a strike, you know, high stress situation for me. That's for my energy farm probably kicked in.
Um, and then, uh, I said, okay. Uh, I started. I'm not enjoying what I was doing. I would take shortcuts. Um, if I made a bad cut with the wood, or, you know, I didn't plant the tree quite right, or I didn't use the, you know, dig the hole deep enough. I was just like, Oh, it's good enough. And once I started noticing that, I knew I wasn't happy and I had to get out, and my dad was pissed at me when I told him I was going to get out of landscaping.
He goes, you're making a great living. You're making good money. I said, but I'm not happy. He goes, so what? I'll say, uh, no. That's the most important thing to me is being happy.
Jonathan Levi: Good for you. So tell me a bit about this journey, because naturopathic medicine I think, uh, is a lot more open. I would say fully open to Eastern medicine and I, or Veta and I actually work with a functional MD, uh, as well.
Uh, through genius network, shout out to Hooli LA Rocha, uh, who is my functional MD kind of health coach. And tell me a bit about that process of, of mixing the two and, and finding a middle ground that works for you.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Well, the cool thing about naturopathic medicine is it's just the, it's the style of medicine that's been around for, even before medical doctors.
In fact, the medicine that was practiced, the United States and the rest of the world was naturopathic medicine. Uh, and prior to that it was, you know, iron Aveda in, in Chinese medicine. And, um, so, and then the discovery of the antibiotic occurred and then it created, uh, you know, the standard medical system that we have now.
Because now we have a pill for an ill versus lifestyle changes and people prefer to swallow pills versus making lifestyle changes. So the business took off and antibiotics were effective and are effective. So, you know, but we can't use a pill for everything. Um, that's the problem. That's what we keep trying to do.
I'm just like this stupid coronavirus. We think that we're going to attack it with a. With the vaccine versus just natural health approaches and common sense. Um, so I would say that naturopathic medicine. Uh, you take from it what you want, um, is so, like you said, it's so diverse, so broad, so all encompassing that it's, you're really kind of lost as a student, um, because you don't really know what you want to study until you kind of immersed yourself and get excited about something.
Um, we learned, I Aveda, I learned I Chinese medicine, I learned nutrition. I learned pharmacology. I learned. Um, you know, histology and anatomy is, and biochem and, you know, minor surgery and emergency medicine, and I mean, you, you learn everything. Um, and it's solid training is, it was the hardest five years of my life.
Um, in terms of academia. Um, and then I, I eventually learned that I really, really enjoyed a nutritional biochemistry. I just got it. It just made sense to me and then, uh, utilize that with environmental medicine. And it just was it a powerful combination.
Jonathan Levi: So tell us a bit about your practice today, uh, the business that you are currently in.
Uh, just as a jumping off point for the rest of the conversation, what do you do for the patients that you treat.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Well, I no longer see patients, Jonathan, because what I've, when I was working with people, um, in the beginning, I help them get better and it was great. Uh, it felt very rewarding. And, um, you know, and then your, your patients get harder and harder and harder.
And then as you, as you take harder patients on and you get them better, then all their friends are also really sick, right? So then you, you start getting the patients who are almost impossible to, to treat. And I, I realized I was taking their money. But I wasn't uh, gaining success and helping them and they were compliant is all get out.
They were super compliant. You know, compliance can be an issue. That's why there a lot of people don't get better. Um, but these individuals were compliant. They were doing everything as directed. They were researching on their own. They were coming to me with possible solutions. They were motivated and I just couldn't help them.
Um, so I just closed shop. Um, cause basically everyone I worked with was this way. And so I, I dove back into the research and I tried to figuring out why would, uh, this particular supplement like glutathione, help this person and make these types of people worse. Why would NADH really gives some types of people a ton of energy and make these people super fatigued.
So I would look at the nutritional biochemistry and dive down into figuring out. Why some people do this and why people do that. And then it led to, uh, me understanding genetics, uh, more because I had to, because genes perform work and jobs in the body. And if some of these genes aren't functioning properly, um, or they're born a bit faster or slower at various tasks, that's important to know.
So that's what I do nowadays, is I, I, I learn what. Uh, jobs, genes do what tools they need to form them. What inhibits them from performing those jobs. And what other genes do they need to help support, um, each other. So, cause genes are a team. You know, the one gene doesn't do everything. They, there's about 18,000 of them.
So then I come up with pathways and diagrams and maps and, and, uh, I discuss how the environment influences genes. And I don't look at genes that are. Deadly. I don't look at gene genetic defects that if you have this gene, you're going to die in five years. Um, those are not empowering. So your word is empowering.
Uh, that is actually what my job is every single day. I look at genetic variations that are, uh, very common in the population across most populations. Uh, you know, East Asians, uh, Chinese, Hispanics, Caucasians, um, you know, African Americans, it's, they're, they're prevalent across multiple gender, uh, ancestries, uh, ethnicity groups, ethnic groups, and, um, then they make an impact on how the gene functions.
And then I, um. Look at how the gene wants to function. And then I give insights to people how they can optimize their specific genetic function and its works. First it was all theory. Um, you know, cause you read the research saying, Oh, you know, Micheal toxins inhibit a glutathione production or, uh, when you take too much school to found, it can lead to sulfites and, and wheezing and asthma issues and irritability and anxiety.
And you start talking about these things and teaching doctors and giving solutions like, well, use molybdenum to, uh, take the sulfites out and you should be able to tolerate the glutathione. Better. People start applying that and give you feedback. It's like, Oh, that really worked. So what I do is I come up with a lot of theories.
People apply them. Either they work or they don't work, and, uh, I make notes. And, uh, I just keep getting success, uh, building upon success. Uh, even if there's failure after failure and beginning, you know, at the end they will be a success.
Jonathan Levi: That's really interesting. And, and before we hit record, you told me how your business, you first started out training and teaching and informing doctors, and then you kind of pivoted towards training.
End consumers. Tell me a bit about that because you know, it would seem as though the stuff you're talking about would be way over the average consumer's head.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yes, you're right. Um, and genetics is, you know, not to use words stupidly, but it is a new frontier. It is. Um, honestly, nobody knows how to properly utilize genetics in practice.
I mean, I just read an article yesterday. That the number one, I'll get your question in a second. The number one, a boon in genetics right now is, uh, ordered by women who are pregnant, uh, because they, they want to look at the genetics of their baby before it's even born. And they look for, they basically just kind of want to know the sex right away.
Uh, and you can do that with the genetics, uh, test quickly, um, versus waiting for the ultrasound. Um, you can save like two months off. Um, you know, that's kind of what they're doing, but at the end of the day, you, you get the results back and then you're looking at a genetic counselor and they're, they're staring at you with this straight stone cold face.
And you're like, Oh, crap. Uh, did you find something else? What's the gender of my baby? Oh, well, you know, your baby might have Huntington's Korea or your baby might be, um, you know, 30 times more likely to have uterine cancer, or your baby might, um, you know, have, uh, you know, decreased stature and, and, and very short.
And so here you walk away disempowered, fearful. Um, and the baby meanwhile is getting reduced blood flow because the mom is stressed. The mom is also creating huge amounts of stress neurotransmitters, which the baby is being bathed in, which is informing the baby that, Oh, uh, the environment that I'm going to born into as a stressful environment.
I better be ready for that and amp up my ability to be, uh, acutely aware and responsive to stress. So it's programming the baby in a, in a negative way. So I think, um, women who are doing these preconception tests, um, or not preconception tests, but pregnancy tests, looking at genetics, the baby should stop.
Um, but I, the reason I did pivot. Um, because when I was studying this, um, I felt that it was complicated. It is complicated, and I felt that the best approach would be if I would teach 350 year or more doctors at once in a room that would blossom out and work with. You know, say let's, you know, 300 doctors, times eight, we could do two and a half thousand patients a day.
Um, I could get, you know, help with, you know, average of eight patients a day. 300 patients, you know, 300 doctors. I could help, you know, 3000 people a day. That's, that's pretty cool. Um, so I, I wanted to amplify and be efficient. Uh, the problem is, um, when you're a naturopathic doctor. You kind of have an inferiority complex where you have to prove yourself that you know your crap.
And so I walked in there and half the room was medical doctors. Um, and the other half was a blend. It was, you know, DC's, Andy's dos, um, acupuncturists aggravated. I mean, it was the whole gamut, but a ton of MDs. And I'm standing in the front of the room as the main lecturer for two and a half days. Um, and the only lecture, and I was throwing fastballs at 105 miles an hour to people who knew the sport of baseball, but couldn't swing and hit any type of ball.
I blew him away with the difficulty about chemistry and nutrigenomics. And then after years of gradually toning it down, I realized I was teaching the health professionals at the exact same level as the general public. So I figured I could actually help, uh, health professionals by teaching the general public more about the importance of daily fundamentals, why you should be Dr.inking filtered water, why you should be eating organic foods, why you should not be using Roundup in your yard, why you should go to bed at a time on time and not use utilize blue light.
Why these particular genes can increase your susceptibility to infection or D, you know, detox issues or irritability, anxiety. So then they go to the health professionals who also have this training. They're more compliant, they're more educated, and they're ready and willing to get better.
Jonathan Levi: So your ideal client is someone who really wants to learn this for themselves.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yes. And that's it. And I'm very clear, in fact, we have, we're coming out with a genetic test, uh, at the end of this month, and I have right in a top five frequently asked questions. Is strategy right for me. And, um, and I basically say a strategy is not for those who are looking for easy answers. It's looking for the people who want to be able to think and reason and, and, and work hard at improving themselves and optimizing their, their life.
Um, if you are looking for. A genetic test that's just going to spit out a supplement bottle that's unique to your genetics. A, that's a bunch of hogwash and nonsense. It doesn't work. Uh, you'll just be frustrated. A or B. It'll just tell you exactly what you need to do in life. That's also nonsense. Um, so it is only for people who, uh, are committed to wanting to learn.
Jonathan Levi: What are the types of things that someone might be looking to learn? I mean, I think the very basic DNA tests at this point or genetic tests will kind of tell you, you know what? You're, what you
Dr. Ben Lynch: are
Jonathan Levi: a, I'm blanking on the word in English, like what's you're a carrier for and
Dr. Ben Lynch: what you're
Jonathan Levi: not a carrier for what, what are some of these like nitty-gritty things that, that your ideal customer
Dr. Ben Lynch: would want to look for.
Um, I want them to see a more whole picture. So a lot of genetic reports, a report back, jeans, like you have MTHFR, uh, you have these variants on it. Uh, it's reduced in function. You could have high homocysteine. Okay. Uh, here's another genetic variant. You have COMT. It's, uh, you have this variant. Uh, it might lead to irritability, insomnia, um, high estrogen and estrogen related cancers.
Uh, crap. Okay. Um, and you know, it's. They report it back as homozygous or, um, you don't have a normal variance. Or if you do have a normal variant, let's say you get your genetic test back. Let's, let's put this around that. You do have an MTHFR variant and your, it's normal, or your MTHFR gene. It's tested in, it's normal, a quote unquote normal.
And then you have your COMT gene. There is no genetic variations there either. It's also quote unquote normal. And you look at genetic tests and you think immediately. Oh, I'm fine. And that's wrong. You have to understand that genes are constantly responding to the environment. And you can have a MTHFR gene not working where very well if you're hyperthyroid or you're hyperthyroid, or your vitamin B, a, B, two riboflavin deficient, um, your COMT gene could not have any variants at all.
Um, as well. But you could be deficient magnesium. You could be having high estrogen from, uh, plastics in the environment. So you could be obese and Dr.iving a lot more estrogen as well. So there's, there's all these things that you have to know. And I want people to know that you don't just have a genetic variation or you don't, it's nothing.
It genetic testing should not just be. Here's a variation that you have or you don't have, and by the way, these are bad, these are good, and these are, eh, not so much you need to worry about. I don't think genetic testing should do that. I think genetic testing should say, Hey, here's some genes that you have.
These ones that you have are commonly found among people in your population. Here's some genes that you have that are not so common to vary in the population. They're not bad. They're different. And this, these how they function. And by the way, these are the environmental influences on these particular genes.
And Oh, these genes also communicate with all these other genes at the same time. So it's important for you to understand how these 20 genes work together, and we map that out for you versus a one shot gene approach. Wow.
Jonathan Levi: So really nitty-gritty in the weeds, uh, for people who really want to take it to the next level of their understanding.
I definitely understand what you're saying by throwing a hunDr.ed mile an hour festivals.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah, and let me, let me put it this way. I hear that skiing is easier to learn, but harder to get really good at. I hear that snowboarding is a learn, but a lot easier to get good at. So I would equate that standard genetic reports that are on the market are for skiers.
Strategy is for people who want to learn how to snowboard. I'm a skier. Okay. I'm a skier. Um, so, but I, I want people. To really, really want to do it. They really want to do the sport. They know it's going to suck in the beginning, but once they get the basics, when they can stand up and they learn how to get on their edge and do all the basic stuff, it's just, it's going to be smooth ride and right through, uh, after that, the rest of their life.
But it's going to suck in the beginning. You're going to hit your butt. You're going to have lots of bruises. I'm going to be frustrated. You're going to be, why am I doing this? And then one of these days you just going to get it. It's going to click and you're like, God, I glad I stuck with it.
Jonathan Levi: Hey, listen up and don't skip over this.
Before we get started, I want to let you know that I am giving away completely free copies of my latest bestselling book. The only skill that matters. This book is going to teach you how to upgrade your memory, read faster, learn more, and conquer your Dr.eams, and it contains all new content written for 20.
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Dr. Ben Lynch: giving away completely free
Jonathan Levi: copies of this book. All you need to do is pay shipping and handling. So to pick up your free copy as a listener of this podcast, visit free learning book.com that's free learning book.com now you did mention, you know, you talked about making the changes in that it is not so simple that there is really quite a lot going on in changing.
Our genetic expression, and I would be remiss if I didn't ask, you know, where the rubber meets the road? What are some of the things when you're doing all this research that you, that you've done and that you continue to do, what are some of the things that stand out for you. Again, what you know, we're talking to an audience of many thousands of people across different genetic populations in different geographies, in different age groups, in different everythings, but what are some of the things that stand out to you that are impactful changes people can practically make to improve their genetic expression and therefore their health outcomes?
Dr. Ben Lynch: Well, let me, let me lead with this. When I discussed what I was doing to they, the top researcher in the world on in this area. Uh, Dr. Robert NAVIO who studied , Richard's just at university of San Diego. Um. And he also wrote the first prescription for the whole, uh, genome, uh, testing for the, uh, first president and CEO of Illumina, who was the largest, a genetic testing company in the world.
So this guy knows this stuff. And when he told me, he goes, Ben, a, I love what you're doing. And B, uh, what you are reporting back to people, uh, are what we call eco illegals. And I was like, ah. It's interesting. My landscape company was called eco integration. Uh, I just thought of that. I'd never put the two together.
Um, so in eco ilial is a genetic variation that has been selected for, it's been selected for, to enhance the life of that particular individual in that particular environment. At that particular time. Makes sense. Perfect sense. Jonathan, are you living where your ancestors, uh, came from? Right now?
Jonathan Levi: 50% of my ancestors, yes.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Okay.
Jonathan Levi: The other half were in Europe, but but I am the rare case that my ancestors were here many thousands of years ago in the Lavant, which is now modern day Israel.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. And how are you doing in that environment? I'm
Jonathan Levi: happier here than I am in other environments. 50% of me is really happy. The other 50% of me is sunburned.
The European half is sunburned.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. So hence my point, you know, I, my parents are, are, my ancestors are, and we have to look at ancestors because genes do not evolve quickly. Right? We're not bacteria. So, you know, we're not changing very, very fast. Um, so my ancestors came from, uh. England, Ireland, and Bavaria, and I'm in Seattle.
It's somewhat similar. Um, so, but I, I thrive when I'm in Russia for some reason. Um, so who knows. Um, but, uh, we're, the bottom line is we're not typically in the environment that we've been selected for, uh, that our genes have been selected for. So then we're constantly fighting against our genes. So if you know what your genes are in what it takes to nourish them and what it takes to piss them off, and you have that sitting in front of you.
Then you can make lifestyle decisions that can really cater to your genes. Let me give you a concrete example cause you want to know what people could do about this. So there was a individual, um, who posted on my strategy and Facebook group a really good question. I've been anxious my entire life. I ordered strategy because I want to wait and see if my jeans are predisposing me, increasing my susceptibility anxiety, or is this a bunch of nonsense?
I looked at her jeans cause she, she posted them in the group and I looked at that. I was like, Oh my God, I didn't say this, but. Wow. Yeah. You, you definitely, uh, have huge increased risk to anxiety. Um, and then I private messaged messenger. I wrote her back and we had a community. We had communication going back and forth, and so she had huge amounts, uh, potential for dopamine, norepinephrine epinephrin to stay at high levels in her brain.
Um, and her ability to, uh, get rid of them was, was not. Very good at all. So if she had a stressful situation, she would stay strung out. She had constant panic attacks and what have you. And then I, I worked on, uh, worked with her and you know, for free, just back and forth to see if I could help her. And it turned out that her husband worked in the oil fields, um, and she was constantly, constantly exposed, uh, to environmental exposures.
Um, and I forget what the particular exposure was, Eileen, I believe. Um, xylene and xylene can increase anxiety and a lot of people. Um, so I told her that, and I looked up her zip code, um, on a website. Um, God, what's it called? I've been wanting to remember. But anyway, I typed in her zip code in this one website to see who the top polluters were in her environment.
And everywhere she lived, she was, uh, exposed to huge amounts as Eileen. In fact, her current location, she was the number one, a zip code in, in the nation for xylene exposure. And I told her the solution was to move. And to get his Eileen blood test and to take glycine because glycine helps pull out xylene.
Um, so, but what I want people to hear from this is that while she was predisposed to anxiety with her genetic variations, I did not. Just say you have these genetic variations. Take these supplements. You have these generic variations. Eat this food. You have to use genetic variations. Do this, do that, do that.
I did a, you know, a pretty thorough history via a Facebook messenger. Um, privately. And, uh, I discovered, uh, you know, these environmental exposure. So I want people to understand that history comes first. Um, and environment is a major, major role for this. So I want people, people's environment to be, uh, is healthy as they can make it.
So, Jonathan, when you and I were, before we got on air here. Um, I noticed that you were in a, uh, amazingly, uh, beautifully set up a sound room, but it was like you're in a black box with padding. And, uh, I was like, dude, that's got to suck for vitamin D and all that. You're like, yes, but I have a huge window that you cannot see the sunlight shining in on my face.
And, uh, I've got blue light screens and blue light blocking glasses. So there you go.
Jonathan Levi: Well done. That's what I get for 265 episodes. Right? At least I learned a thing or two. Right?
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. And it's, it's, that's, that's what life is. You're constantly learning. And the problem is with all these podcasts and social media, and in Google, you can learn the wrong things and you have to be willing to unlearn.
And learn again. So I love how Jim quick, uh, says that the first step to learning anything is to unlearn everything. And, you know, he said it better than I did, and I probably botched that a little bit, and he's going to want to correct me. Um, but I, I just really thought that was a really, um, prudent point.
Um, so a lot of people get defensive. They, they, you know, there's like, Oh, I learned it this way. That's fine. Um, but I, I, you know, there's so much misinformation on the internet in most of my time is, is spent, uh, reversing that misinformation around genetics. Um, and it's, it's, uh, it sucks, um, because I, what I really try to do is to provide accurate information.
The stuff that I, um, look at is all sighted strategy and has thousands of. Um, citations. We don't make claims just randomly. It's, it comes from published research. Are there
Jonathan Levi: within that, I mean, it sounds to me what I'm hearing is people really need to listen to their genes and figure out what specifically works for them in their genetic makeup.
But within that, the contrarian me wants to ask, are there things that you found in your work that just about everyone should be doing.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. The fundamentals across the board. Uh, I would say the number one thing, take a vacation.
Jonathan Levi: No one will say that on this show.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Number one, watch the movie. What about Bob?
What was the prescription? Bill Murray was like, no, no, no, no. I don't need more. You know, this medication. I don't need more medication. And the psychiatrist say, no, no, no, no, no, no. I know, I know. I know. Just got it. And he wrote out a script. Patty goes, well, I don't need this man. I don't honestly just quiet.
And he handed a Bob bill Murray the prescription, and bill Murray held it in both hands, looked at it, and I said, take a vacation. Yeah. And Bob was like, Oh my God. This is the best. This is the best prescription I've ever had since Prozac since whatever. Right? And he just, it was hilarious. Uh, amazing movie.
Um, got to watch it. But you got to take a vacation because if you don't take it, and I mean a vacation, I mean, I don't, I'm not talking about flying to your in-laws or your sisters or your cousins or your kid's place. I mean, a vacation, something that you really want to do. Not something that. You feel compelled or that you need to be committed to do that?
You really want to, do you want to go jet skiing in The Bahamas? Do you want to go skydiving? Do you want to just go sit on the beach and do nothing and just burn, um, you know, whatever it is. Uh, you know, do you want to go to Las Vegas and gamble and Dr.ink? You know, that's not ideal, but, you know, get it out of your system.
Go for it. Um. So, you know, I, I just really want people to, to live how they want to live. And you have to find out what that is and you have to tune into it and you have to identify what your core values are. Um, but taking vacation, I think is, is, is key. And I did not do that enough. And even if, if you don't have any money at all, you're like totally busted.
Um, and you don't, if you're too sick to move or too sick to do something, pull yourself out of your routine and do something outside of your routine. Bingo. That's it.
Jonathan Levi: Parks are free people. There's a park in your city or neighborhood and it is free and you can go and the sunshine is free too, and they're both really good for you.
Dr. Ben Lynch: You know? Yup. And just watching animals is, I love watching the squirrels and the ducks and you know, sometimes I'll just sit and I'll watch an animal or even an insect. Yeah. I would do this as a kid and I just sit there and it felt like hours. And I would try to learn how they're communicating, learn what they're trying to do.
And it was so peaceful and relaxing, just sitting there trying to, you know, understand them more. I
Jonathan Levi: liked that a lot. That was a really good one. So I'm going to ask the question again. Do you have any other surprising things that, uh, that everyone should be doing to, to eh, and what I love about it is you come at that, it sounds so casual, so nonchalant, but you come at it from the perspective of like, your jeans will bring out the worst in you if you do not take a vacation.
It is literally scientifically proven advice. So do you have any more of those?
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. Breathe through your nose. Not your mouth,
Jonathan Levi: really.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Tell me. Um, so air is needed everywhere in your body. Oxygenation is needed, and you also have this compound chitin called nitric oxide. And nitric oxide helps your blood vessels relax and get bigger, uh, in, in allow more blood to flow or your hands and feet cold right now.
Okay? Why? As you're listening to this tune into yourself. It's like, Oh yeah, my hands are always freezing. Or at this moment, usually my hands are warm, but at this moment they're cold. My hands right now are warm, my feet are warm, and but if I'm, if I'm not doing things right, my hands and feet will be cold.
And that means you're nitric oxide synthase gene, your not three gene is not producing enough nitric oxide. When you breathe through your nose. For some reason the air passage through your nose stimulates nitric oxide to be produced. So the Nasry gene is, is, is working, and it's performing its job. When you breathe through your mouth, for some reason, the nitric oxide does not get made.
It does not stimulate the Nasry gene. Very weird. I don't know why that's just. Power built. So if you're not making nitric nitric oxide, you are not delivering vitamins and minerals to your cells, which they need. You're not delivering oxygen, which they need, and you are not eliminating the garbage that your cells are making, which they do theirs.
They're taking out the recycle and the trash. Uh, on a second by second basis. Um, like ammonia and formaldehyde and hyDr.ogen peroxide and what have you. All that needs to be flushed out. So breathing through your nose is very important and I'm
Jonathan Levi: really good one.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah,
Jonathan Levi: that's a good one that I might just go for broke and see if we can pull off a hat trick.
Do you have a third one?
Dr. Ben Lynch: I
Jonathan Levi: did. Oh, okay.
Dr. Ben Lynch: All right. I would say that a cool. Avoid. So avoidance is way more powerful than dealing with the aftermath. And that can be avoidance of so many different things. It could be avoidance of watching the news about the Corona virus. Oh my God, what's that doing to people? Um, imagine the fear and paranoia that is.
Triggering their genes to produce more anxiety neurotransmitters in the compounds that are all associated with that. So avoidance of negativity, avoidance of. Extra work, avoidance of chemicals. Cause what happens when you are not avoiding things is all that input, whether it's visual, auditory, touch, smell, taste, doesn't matter.
All that, uh, input requires your genes to work. So Jane's have jobs to do in any simulates you put in requires them to work and your genes are not on vacation. They become overworked. And as genes work, they need vitamins and minerals and they needed other things as well. And you're going to wear them out.
And as you wear them out, they're going to call on their coworker Jean and say, Hey man. I'm slammed here. Um, you know, you know, Ben is just slamming me with this stupid news here, and I'm just freaking out. Can you take up the Slack? And they're like, sure, I'll take up the Slack and now they get overworked.
The body has numerous, uh, alternative routes and supportive routes. There's not just one pathway for, for things to get done in the human body. There is numerous routes that have backup plans and, and another backup and another backup. But eventually these backup routes all get plugged. It's like trying to Dr.ive during rush hour.
Um, you just can't get through no matter what street you take. But if you take a different, uh, go to a different time, you know, this street might be blocked, but you can get around and Siri can find you a better route. Um, but just remember, I just always want people to remember that genes do work. And you're the one who's giving them the work to do.
Jonathan Levi: That's really, really sound advice. I'm really glad I've never asked a question three times in a row, but, uh, you know, it's like the, the exercise Ben Hardy always talks about,
Dr. Ben Lynch: uh,
Jonathan Levi: it's like if you ask why five times you, the answer you get is so profound,
Dr. Ben Lynch: you know?
Jonathan Levi: I know we've pretty much come up on time here.
In fact, we've gone over the time I said we would take, I do want to give you an opportunity. You have a new book coming out. Tell us a little bit about
Dr. Ben Lynch: that. Well, my publisher would love to have that. True. They've been hounding me for our next book. Um, but the, the book that I wrote, um, dirty genes, uh, the paperback got published so that, that's new.
Um, and it's, it's killing it. Um, uh, it's in multiple languages and, and, uh, you can find it on Amazon or bookstores everywhere, or even airports if you are so brave to fly right now. Right. That's, I
Jonathan Levi: really hope that by the time this airs, Corona virus is not a thing, but on the other hand, it could be that by the time this airs, there's no one out there listening.
Dr. Ben Lynch: That would be, that would be good. And Dr.. Lynch,
Jonathan Levi: where can people reach out and learn more about all this stuff that you're doing and check out this awesome new genetic test strategy and that you've been working on.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah. Well I'm been really, really, um, loving social media lately because what I do when I, what I love about social media is, is I get feedback from people a real time.
Cause I do a lot of live things right? And I actually respond to people's comments. I don't post and go. Um, so people ask really good questions, which helps direct my research and learn where people are stuck and where I haven't done a good job in explaining things. Um, so finding me on Instagram, uh, at Dr. Ben Lynch or Facebook.
Um, same thing. Um, you're going to learn a lot and people love following me. Like you'd say, my feed sucks, dad, your Instagram feed is so hideous. Um, but I don't care. The information is good. Um, so yeah, go ahead.
Jonathan Levi: Nice. Now that is fantastic. So we will put all those links into the blog post. And before I let you go, I asked a little bit about your word at the beginning, but I do want to ask if people take one big message.
We covered so much in this episode, but if they take one big message from having been exposed to you here today, what would you hope for that message to be?
Dr. Ben Lynch: Remember the, the power of the fundamentals and the fundamentals are, are, you know, like in any sport, you got to know how to pass the ball, Dr.ibble the ball, and basketball.
You got to know how to hold the bat. In baseball. You got to know how to put the lid on and catch a ball and baseball. Um. You know, don't, don't try to learn plays in basketball. Don't try to go for broke. You got to learn that the fundamentals of breeding, um, chewing your food, avoiding chemicals, avoiding negativity.
Um, bringing in positivity, uh, taking your vacations. The fundamentals are key. And when I, I'll, I'll leave with this. So I, I presented, uh, at a conference in Canada and. The guy was, you know, they, they were all listening. And at the end of my talk, this doctor, this older gentleman, um, probably in his late seventies, came, stood up, walked over to me, and he goes, thank you.
I said, you're welcome. And he goes, no, really, thank you. I said, okay. And he goes, uh, what I want to share with you is that you are really demonstrating scientifically the importance of naturopathic medicine and the importance of everyday fundamentals on genetic expression. And it's beautiful because you are reinforcing how powerful the basics are in life.
It's such a high scientific level that it cannot be refuted. So thank you. And I was like, wow. Yeah, that's kinda what I'm doing. I, I'm, I'm learning that the basics really, really matter. Jonathan, and
Jonathan Levi: I feel like it's just worth clarifying. The basics are sleep, nutrition, exercise, sunlight, social bonds.
Anything else I missed there?
Dr. Ben Lynch: Everything that people already knew. They, I know that they're not doing. Yup.
Jonathan Levi: You were in the room with me when, uh, the gentleman, uh, VC said, the hack is that there is no hack. I think English in the last 270. Or so episodes of this show. There are lots of hacks, but the big hack is that, and some of them are great hacks, by the way, breathing through your nose.
That is a great hack that I just learned today, but some of them, the hack is that there's no hack. Like go to bed an hour early tonight, wake up tomorrow, have a kickass breakfast without sugar. You will just feel so much better.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yeah, you will. I just, I have such a hard time with that word hack because if you're a hack skier, you get down the mountain, but you just suck.
You know, you, you make it, you don't fall, but you're just not, it's not graceful. Um, and you know, it's, I could just be having a negative connotation with this word. But breathing through your nose is how we're designed to breathe. Um, you know, really, so the mouth is, is to input food and water, and, and, and, uh, you know, spit and vomit.
And so. Yeah. And kiss after I said vomit. That's nice. Right.
Jonathan Levi: Dr.. Lynch, this has been such a pleasure. I appreciate your generosity of spirit and time, and I look forward to seeing you, hopefully a a, one of the genius network meetings if people don't stop traveling.
Yeah, seriously. Yeah. My conference has got canceled, so, Oh, no, that's cool.
I mean, I was speaking at a conference here in Seattle and it looks like it's going to be. Canceled, but yeah. Anyway, it's a great question. Jonathan has a lot of fun. All right. Talk soon.
Dr. Ben Lynch: Yup.