John Bradshaw - Life and Longevity
This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. Don't you just love it when you find a simple way of solving a big problem? Today they call them "lifestyle hacks". You're doing something around the house, but if you just do this little simple thing, there it is; you've got it fixed. Well, let's think about a serious problem, more serious than a clogged drain, or, or dust accumulating some place. What if we were to talk about health problems? And what if you were to learn that there are simple ways to turn around, to reverse seriously challenging health problems? We're going to talk about that today. And it's important we do so because the Bible says that our body is the temple of the Spirit. We were constructed to be an habitation for God Himself. Well, my guest today is the president of CompassHealth Consulting. His name is Dr. David DeRose. Dr. DeRose, welcome back to It Is Written. Thanks for joining me.
Dr. David DeRose: Great to be with you, John.
John Bradshaw: You've written a book called "The Methuselah Factor". I'm going to guess, Methuselah lived long, this is about living long. Why'd you write the book? What, how did you perceive the need to be there?
Dr. David DeRose: John, over the years I've seen people dramatically change their lifestyles. And one of the amazing things to me is over the years I've seen this connection between some of the progress I saw people make in their lives, or not make, if they refused to make some of those simple changes, and a connection with blood fluidity. So I was sensitized to this years ago by a genius neuroscientist by the name of Dr. Bernell Baldwin. But, just seeing it play out and then seeing the medical research say you improve your blood fluidity; you're going to lower your risk of stroke. You improve your blood fluidity; your mind will work clearer. Just amazing connection.
John Bradshaw: Now, my leaning is that the majority of us have never heard a, a medical professional refer to blood fluidity. What's blood fluidity?
Dr. David DeRose: Well, the technical term for it is hemorheology. And basically it's the science that looks at how blood flows through your blood vessels. So, blood is a complex fluid. It's not just like water. It's got the liquid elements, it does have water in it, but it also has cellular elements, the red blood cells, the white blood cells. It has fats and clotting proteins. So it's a very complex fluid, and the science that studies how well that blood flows, particularly in the most constricted places, the little capillaries, it is so important. Here's an amazing insight. You would never think of driving a vehicle into a passageway that is narrower than the width of your vehicle, would you?
John Bradshaw: Right, sure. No, you wouldn't do that.
Dr. David DeRose: But what's amazing is your red blood cells are about eight microns in diameter. Your smallest blood vessels are only three microns. In other words, the red blood cell is twice as wide as the smallest passageways.
John Bradshaw: But that sounds like then the blood can't flow through those little...
Dr. David DeRose: That's what you would think. But the Creator designed our red blood cells to be able to fold over on themselves and squeeze through the blood vessels, provided those red blood cells were healthy. And so a lot of this has to do with the health of the blood cell, the health of the circulatory medium, the blood, and it makes a profound difference.
John Bradshaw: So let me ask you a very fundamental, very basic, uh, foundational question. What does blood do? What are the things that blood does for, uh, us human beings?
Dr. David DeRose: Blood basically allows us to transport things through our bodies. It allows us to get oxygen to our tissues. It takes away the waste products, like carbon dioxide and other byproducts of metabolism, brings them to the kidneys; in the case of, of urea, for example, brings the carbon dioxide to the lungs, where it's exhaled. So the blood is moving all these things, and then it's transporting nutrients and micronutrients, fuels, and enzymes. It is the medium by which life really is conducted.
John Bradshaw: So it's clear to say, then, that if you compromise your circulation, you're compromising your health all the way around?
Dr. David DeRose: I love what one author said, and this was not a, a highly schooled medical scientist, but expressed it this way: "Perfect health depends on perfect circulation". Scientists couldn't have described it better today.
John Bradshaw: So how do we improve our circulation? Or how do we improve our blood fluidity? The book deals with this in, in great detail, but I'm just going to ask you; you can now sift through this entire book in a moment and, uh, pull out for me a couple of ways that we can improve our circulation, and keeping in mind this will improve our overall health and lengthen our lives. So, it's important.
Dr. David DeRose: Most definitely. So, like you crystalized, John, I mean, it's a 30-day program. The last 30 chapters of the book walk people through simple tasks that help them optimize their blood fluidity. One of the recurring themes that you'll see in several sections is the whole topic of fats.
John Bradshaw: But I hear, I don't believe, but I hear that fats are good; fat doesn't make you fat. So, what's your take on fats in the book?
Dr. David DeRose: Well, here's the ironic thing: We do need fats. We need certain fats because we have to have certain essential fatty acids. Our body can't make them.
John Bradshaw: So the ones we need would be...?
Dr. David DeRose: The ones we need and the ones that optimize circulatory health are fats generally that come from plant sources.
John Bradshaw: Avocado?
Dr. David DeRose: Great.
John Bradshaw: Anything else? Nuts?
Dr. David DeRose: Olives, nuts, seeds. Here's the interesting thing. Those animal fats generally are saturated. So the lard, the beef fat, the dairy fats, those saturated fats make membranes more rigid. I mean, this isn't, you know, complex science. You ask someone, "The butter that's sitting on your table at room, room temperature, has it just turned into liquid"?
John Bradshaw: No, it doesn't.
Dr. David DeRose: No, it's still basically solid. It might be soft at room temperature.
John Bradshaw: Sure, but it's a solid.
Dr. David DeRose: But what about those plant fats? What about the, uh, omega-3 fats? You got some flaxseed oil. That's going to be liquid.
John Bradshaw: Right.
Dr. David DeRose: Well, those fats that you eat actually become the fats that make up your cell membranes.
John Bradshaw: So, so let me ask you this, then. So you're using a lot of animal fats, and they become the membranes in your blood cells?
Dr. David DeRose: Your blood cells, your other cells of your body, your neurons, your brain cells.
John Bradshaw: So what does that do, then, if saturated fats start to compose your, the cells within your body?
Dr. David DeRose: So one thing that happens to the red cell, going along with our earlier description, the red cell membrane, if you're eating more saturated fat, becomes more rigid. It's less able to squeeze through those tiny blood vessels, and your blood fluidity suffers.
John Bradshaw: And so what happens then if you've got blood vessels that are not getting good blood flow through them?
Dr. David DeRose: If your blood is not flowing well, your blood pressure will tend to go up. You'll have to exert more pressure; the heart will have to exert more pressure to get the blood to flow. So one of the consequences: high blood pressure. When those membranes get more rigid, insulin can't work as well. Insulin interacts with the cell membrane. When that happens, you become insulin-resistant, setting the stage for diabetes, and that, too, worsens your blood fluidity.
John Bradshaw: If you're looking for simple ways to address some of life's most challenging problems, you have found them today. We're talking about the Methuselah factor. We're going to discuss caffeine. We'll talk about Botox. And we'll talk about forgiveness. All that and more straight ahead.
John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. My guest is Dr. David DeRose, and he has written a new book called "The Methuselah Factor". Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years of age. Clearly we're talking about longevity, but who simply wants to live longer in this world? We want to live forever. So we'll discuss that today. Dr. DeRose, in this book you've got a 30-day program, a very simple 30-day program for people to follow, uh, through which people will almost certainly improve their health. You talk about caffeine in here. I read where caffeine was referred to as "the world's most widely used mind-altering drug". But from time to time we hear about caffeine being a good thing for you; it's a positive. Drink more; you're going to be okay. Tell me about caffeine, how it reacts with the blood.
Dr. David DeRose: Some really interesting things, John. One of the ways that caffeine works is it interferes with a compound in your body called adenosine, and adenosine has many helpful functions. It helps blood vessels relax. It helps your platelets become less sticky. Problem is, you block that, the platelets, the clotting cells, will become stickier; that impairs your blood fluidity. Your blood vessels will be less relaxed. That will raise your blood pressure, also interfering with optimal blood flow. But more than that, adenosine interference, if you will, caused by caffeine, raises stress hormone levels. Now, a lot of people perceive that as good. You ramp up the stress hormones, and you feel a surge of energy just like you would if a lion showed up in your bedroom.
John Bradshaw: Right, right. So that's good or bad?
Dr. David DeRose: Well, actually it's great if there really is a lion there. But when you're sitting behind the wheel of your car, raising those stress hormones is not going to help you. When you're sitting at the, at the desk at the work place, it's not going to help you. Here's the bigger concern, John, and you, you kind of alluded to this already, and that is caffeine also interferes with our will power and our ability to change behaviors. Years ago, Dr. Bernell Baldwin told me and, and other, uh, medical students with me that caffeine was dubbed by the famous Russian scientist Pavlov as "bad habit glue". And we're finding evidence today that that is really true.
John Bradshaw: So why is it, well, actually, I think I know why, but why is it, in your opinion, that we continue to get bombarded with studies that say caffeine is good? Why?
Dr. David DeRose: Let me tell you about a study we quoted in the book. This is a big study. Over 500 thousand, uh, men and women here in the United States, they looked at them, they looked at their lifestyle habits, and when the research was published, the Associated Press and other news wires carried the headline, "Want to Live Longer? Drink Coffee".
John Bradshaw: Okay. See, this is the very thing I'm talking about. People who, you know, they, they don't read medical literature, so they believe the headlines. Caffeine is profoundly bad for you, and yet here's, you said this was in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. David DeRose: Yes.
John Bradshaw: Okay. So, tell me about the study. How did they possibly come to the conclusion?
Dr. David DeRose: No, it was an amazing study. It actually really proved what Baldwin and Pavlov had said. Because what they did, I, let me just, let me read for you...
John Bradshaw: Sure.
Dr. David DeRose: ...actually what these researchers, uh, said. I was shocked, because I went to the New England Journal after I heard the, the headlines. I had not seen the study before it, and I start reading through it, and I'm just amazed, because here's what the researchers wrote. They said, "In age-adjusted analyses, coffee consumption was associated with increased mortality among both men and women".
John Bradshaw: Well, wait, they said, "live longer," but this is exactly the opposite of that.
Dr. David DeRose: It's exactly the opposite. I go, wait a minute! I'm, so I'm reading through the, the results and the discussion of the researchers. It says, drink more coffee, basically die sooner. I said, how did they, how did they come up with this headline? I start reading further, and they found that coffee consumption was associated with just about every bad habit that the researchers study. I mean, here's the list. People were more likely to smoke cigarettes the more coffee they drink. They drank more than three alcoholic beverages a day; they were more likely to do that. More likely to eat more red meat, have lower educational attainments, neglect to engage in vigorous physical activity, and consume fewer fruits and vegetables. So it's exactly what you would predict if you'd say, if you want to take something to keep you in your bad habits, that's what the coffee was doing. We said, well, how then did they come to that conclusion?
John Bradshaw: Yes, I'd like to know how, how you can have all of that in the study, and they say you live longer if you drink it.
Dr. David DeRose: Now, the researchers were not being dishonest.
John Bradshaw: Uh-oh?
Dr. David DeRose: They, they were, I mean, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, John. They were saying, let's try to undo the effect of all the bad things that caffeine is associated with to just know what the coffee itself does. Now, I know this, I can see you're struggling.
John Bradshaw: How do you do that?
Dr. David DeRose: There's all these advanced statistics that you can do, and at the end of the day, after they ran all these statistical, uh, programs, they said, you know what, yes, if you just look at the raw data, drink more coffee, you die sooner. When you correct for all the bad things that coffee's associated with, you actually live longer the more coffee you drink.
John Bradshaw: So if you drink alcohol, but you account for taking out the road accidents and the cirrhosis of the liver and so forth, you may even be able to say, drink alcohol, live longer?
Dr. David DeRose: You're catching the fallacy of basically drawing a conclusion that's the opposite of what you really see in life.
John Bradshaw: You have to be careful, then, don't you? What does a person like me, what does a person like me, the average Joe, do when you read about a study that says fat is good; caffeine makes you live longer; red wine is good for the heart, contrary to common sense and contrary to the Bible, uh, how do we sift through that?
Dr. David DeRose: Well, you know, John, you filtered it pretty good. Once you actually read what was in the study, and I, you know, put it there in the book for you, so a lot of times it is just going back to the study, even if there's a lot of technical language, if you're just a thinking person, you can often pick up on gaps in the logic. Or you can look at who sponsored the study.
John Bradshaw: Right.
Dr. David DeRose: Have you ever done that?
John Bradshaw: Yes, I have. I, I've, I've done that, and when you connect the dots, it can be pretty stunning. Okay, in here you talk about forgiveness, uh, not merely as a biblical principle, but forgiveness as having a positive benefit to your health. Even, even it positively reacts with your, your blood fluidity, which is quite remarkable. How does it do that?
Dr. David DeRose: Maybe we need to step back a minute, because we've talked about stress hormones in relation to caffeine. We've got to talk about them again when we speak about forgiveness. But let me explain it this way. I mentioned a tiger in your midst. Sure, it would be great, if there was a tiger here, now, I know you've posed with these, uh, you know, large felines...
John Bradshaw: I, I have, and you can be sure that the stress hormones went right up.
Dr. David DeRose: Now, this was useful. Because if somehow that cat got out of line and took a swipe at you, you'd want your blood to be more coagulable, wouldn't you?
John Bradshaw: You bet I would.
Dr. David DeRose: So, so this serves a useful function in a real life-or-death situation. But the problem is most of us carry these stress hormones around with us like they're our friends. You know, we're going to hold this grudge. Every time I see that fellow in the workplace, I'm going to scowl at him because he got the position that I should have had, and, and it was because he circulated some malicious emails about me. But when we exercise forgiveness, that basically has the opposite effect on those stress hormones.
John Bradshaw: I'll be back with more from Dr. DeRose in a moment, including...Botox. What do you think we have to say about that? I'll have more straight ahead.
John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written. I'm talking to Dr. David DeRose. He's written a phenomenal book. It's called "The Methuselah Factor". Uh, David, it's not simply that it's a great book, but it deals with eternal principles. This is what I like: eternal principles. Blood fluidity, take a moment to recap: What's blood fluidity?
Dr. David DeRose: Basically, it's just trying to optimize circulatory flow, getting nourishment to all the tissues of your body, getting the wastes away from the, where they don't belong.
John Bradshaw: And I notice in here sometimes you've got to add a little. What about vitamins? What is it with multivitamins that they're not always so great, and what are the good ones you might want to add?
Dr. David DeRose: I'm not an advocate of multivitamin, multi-mineral preparations. Uh, there is things in them that actually can increase a risk of cancer. That's the case of beta carotene in some of the research. There's things that can worsen our blood fluidity for many of us. If you're not iron-deficient, taking iron can not only worsen your blood fluidity, but in some of the research, may be putting you at higher risk for Parkinson's and dementia.
John Bradshaw: I think what people do is they say, "Well, this will cover all of the bases," but it covers some of the bases that don't need to be covered.
Dr. David DeRose: No, I recommend that people take specific nutrients, if they need them. And one that we commonly see people being deficient in is vitamin B12.
John Bradshaw: Why are people deficient in that?
Dr. David DeRose: Real, real interesting connections today. I mean, one is, as we get older, we can have problems absorbing B12, but even more fascinating are connections with common medications. More and more people being put on the diabetes drug, Metformin, even before they have diabetes. It's a diabetes-preventive drug, but Metformin lowers vitamin B12 levels.
John Bradshaw: Wouldn't you, before you take a diabetes prevention or preventive drug, certainly it's going to be said some people must have it, aren't there other natural, more healthy things you can do?
Dr. David DeRose: This was actually looked at by the Diabetes Prevention Program. They found, as good as Metformin was, it wasn't as powerful as just diet and exercise. Lose a little bit of weight, get more regular exercise, more powerful than even the best drug.
John Bradshaw: So B12 does what, if you add it into your diet?
Dr. David DeRose: Well, I'll tell you the story of Armell. We, we share her story in the book. A 28-year-old woman from Africa having problems with tingling on her chest, her back, numbness in her arms and legs. Weakness in her hands and feet. No one could figure it out until they checked her B12 level. B12, very important for blood health, very important for nerve health, and if your B12 level is low, it will worsen your blood fluidity.
John Bradshaw: I've heard people say, "Eat meat; eat dairy. That's where you get it". True or not true?
Dr. David DeRose: That is really not the best strategy. As we look at overall health, those are not the winning foods. Uh, many people like Armell have to take high-dose vitamin B12. She was taking 2,000 micrograms. Once she was diagnosed, only had it accessible orally there in Africa where she was living, couldn't get injections that I would give a patient like her, and within a month's time, symptoms dramatically improved. The worst part of it, she was taking a common drug that we use here in the States, a common drug family, an acid-blocking drug. If you've got reflux esophagitis, you know, heartburn problems, if you've got ulcer tendencies, and you're taking one of these pills, you're likely decreasing your B12 levels, you're impairing your absorption, and you're at high risk for B12 problems.
John Bradshaw: Undoubtedly, and I'm sure you'd agree, sometimes medication is absolutely essential, but until it is, man, you want to stay away from it as best you can, right?
Dr. David DeRose: Yeah, and especially these over-the-counter things, I mean, people can get so many things over the counter. "Don't self-medicate" is my message.
John Bradshaw: Okay, I've said a couple of times that we're going to talk about Botox. Now, you mentioned Botox in "The Methuselah Factor". Uh, by now I think we're familiar with what Botox is. You get the Botox injections; the wrinkles miraculously disappear. Explain what it is, why and how it does what it does, and then tell us what the book says about Botox.
Dr. David DeRose: During the course of the 30-day program, optimizing circulation, optimizing the Methuselah factor, my synonym for blood fluidity, we have a section dealing with stress. And when we get to a section where we talk about harnessing your stressors, we talk about the power of smiling in the face of stressors. Actual research shows that if you smile in a stressful situation, it lowers your stress hormones.
John Bradshaw: I'm trying not to smile. Just talking about smiling and seeing your smile is making me smile. Okay.
Dr. David DeRose: Okay. But now here's the amazing part. If you go and get those Botox injections, and they inject your smiling muscles, like the, uh, the muscles here by your eyes that cause the so-called crow's feet.
John Bradshaw: Sure.
Dr. David DeRose: Inject those with Botox; it affects your ability to fully smile.
John Bradshaw: Right.
Dr. David DeRose: And you will tend to be more depressed.
John Bradshaw: Oh, is that so?
Dr. David DeRose: But here's what's interesting. If they give you the Botox injections in muscles that are used to frown, your mood will tend to come up.
John Bradshaw: So, that's not such a bad thing?
Dr. David DeRose: Not such a bad thing. Basically, your facial expression has a reflex action on your brain.
John Bradshaw: So, so that means that you can coach yourself to be more positive simply through the actions you choose to commit?
Dr. David DeRose: You know, the Bible talks about being more joyful. And the Bible talks about praise. Think about those connections, John, and how powerful that is.
John Bradshaw: In here now, "The Methuselah Factor," it's not simply a book of medical advice, uh, because what you do is you connect a person with God and the power of God. "Seek spirituality," you say. Now, spirituality can be practically anything. What are you really saying?
Dr. David DeRose: Really, you and I know the most powerful spiritual connection is with our Creator. But, John, I wrote this book to take people right where they were at. And I'm happy for someone just to start reflecting more on what's really important to them, to start thinking about the bigger picture. Because I realize that just like Paul said in Romans 1, that everyone, if they really stop and look at it, will see evidence of a loving Creator.
John Bradshaw: How have you seen faith in God react upon a person's health?
Dr. David DeRose: It's amazing. I see it react in two primary ways. One, it helps us re-perceive everything. When we realize that we're the child of the King, it just changes the whole outlook of life. But more than that, when I realize that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I start caring for myself differently, I can have a more vital, more vibrant communion with my loving Savior.
John Bradshaw: Best way for a person to connect with God, someone's saying, "You know what, I got to do something about my health, and I've got to do something about my relationship with God". Where do you recommend that person begin?
Dr. David DeRose: I recommend you take time to just be with the Creator. I love reading the Bible, taking time in meditation and prayer about those great themes in Scripture.
John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm. You talk about forgiveness in the book. How does a person begin to exercise that?
Dr. David DeRose: We actually go through steps to forgiveness.
John Bradshaw: Okay.
Dr. David DeRose: We remind people it's a process. And I think there's no better model for forgiveness than our Savior as He was there at Calvary.
John Bradshaw: And one other thing I, I find really fascinating, "Be humble" is something you're saying here. Talk about that for a moment.
Dr. David DeRose: You know, our culture today, we are so focused on our rights and what's important for me in defining my turf and protecting it that we've forgotten the value of humility. So many times in the Bible, it calls us back to be humble, to be meek, to be submissive.
John Bradshaw: "The Methuselah Factor". Methuselah was somebody who in the Bible lived to be 969 years of age. And yet if you adopt the principles of "The Methuselah Factor," you'll live far longer than Methuselah. You can live forever.