Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Biohacking and Your Personal Genetics

Podcast Episode #306: Biohacking and Your Personal Genetics

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Biohacking and Your Personal GeneticsTopics

  1. Introducing our guests, Joe Cohen and Nattha Wannissorn [2:32]
  2. About Joe and Nattha [5:57]
  3. Genetics and SNPs [12:05]
  4. Our genes are not our destiny [17:30]
  5. MTHFR gene and methylation [26:43]
  6. The cannabinoid system [36:31]
  7. Genetic testing for biohacking [42:58]
  8. About the websites; SelfHacked and SelfDecode [50:10]
  9. Personal favorite biohack tips [1:02:58]

 

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Biohacking and Your Personal Genetics Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Biohacking and Your Personal Genetics Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Biohacking and Your Personal Genetics

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 306.

Liz Wolfe: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

My usual cohost, who has given me the reigns today to do an awesome interview, is Diane Sanfilippo. A certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and fur kids.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for nearly 6 years. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://balancedbites.com. Or, watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: This episode of the Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored by our friends at Primally Pure Skincare. Primally Pure makes 100% natural and nontoxic skincare products that support radiant skin, a healthy body, and a happy self. They use ingredients like tallow from grass-fed cows, organic and fair trade coconut oil, and organic oils, herbs, and extracts to formulate effective products that also smell amazing and look beautiful sitting on your bathroom counter. At www.primallypure.com, you’ll find their bestselling natural deodorant that actually works; face mists made from locally sourced and organic rose and orange blossom hydrosols, and their brand new baby line. You’ll also find Diane’s favorite Primally Pure product, dry shampoo, and Liz’s favorite, the Everything Spray with magnesium.

As a special bonus for you, Primally Pure is offering a free lip balm with your first purchase of one item or more. I love the creamsicle lip balm. Simply add a lip balm to your cart along with any one item, and use the code “balancedbites”, one word no caps, during checkout to receive one of their lip balms for free with your order. Head to www.primallypure.com and check out their range of safe and effective all natural skincare products.

1. Introducing our guests, Joe Cohen and Nattha Wannissorn [2:32]

Liz Wolfe: Hey friends! It’s me Liz, and I’m thrilled to be bringing you an interview today that introduces two amazing people in the genetic research field to the Balanced Bites community. These two are bringing us information on how our genes, or more accurately, our SNPs, might be affecting us. They’re offering a personalized way to handle our individual health. And they’ve offered us Balanced Bites listeners a discount code at the end. So listen for that.

My guests are Joseph Cohen and Nattha Wannissorn. Joseph is the founder of SelfHacked, and co-founder and CEO of SelfDecode. Which is your personal digital health coach that combines data from genetics, blood tests, and symptoms to render personalized health recommendations. This is cutting edge. This is the future, you guys.

Joe grew up with a lot of health issues, including brain fog, OCD, anxiety, IBS, and many more that had kept him from success in all aspects of his life. At the age of 25, when he hit rock bottom, he went about digging deep into the literature and biohacking himself out of his health problems. As he hit the breakthroughs in his health, he started SelfHacked, which rapidly grew in popularity. Because it provides a great resource for many people with tough health problems. And he started SelfDecode to help people be informed and take control of their health. And he aspires to make it the best and most informative genetic analyzer on the planet.

Nattha Wannissorn is a cancer researcher turned biohacker and health detective. She is awesome, you guys. After spending a decade in biomedical research, her health meltdown has led her to question everything in conventional medicine. Now she serves as the chief editor of SelfHacked. She functions as the benevolent connector between science and the holistic health world. Her mission is to educate the general public on health topics in ways that are the most scientifically accurate, and empowering as possible. She’s an advocate of self-experimentation, and science literacy. And she says her calling is to be an educator.

Joe and Nattha, thank you so much for being with us today on the podcast. I’m so excited.

Joe Cohen: Glad to be here. It’s great to be speaking with you.

Nattha Wannissorn: Thank you, Liz. I’ve been a fan of the podcast a long time, so this is a pleasure.

Liz Wolfe: Well, it’s definitely a pleasure for me, as well. I’ve learned so much just from looking at the SelfHacked and the SelfDecode websites. And from you personally, as well. I’d like folks to know that I have basically bombarded Nattha with questions about genetics, and MTHFR, and methylation. And she has graciously answered them for me. She is absolutely a genius, and I have learned so much, and so many surprising things about, for example, single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, which we’re going to be talking about a little bit today. And how they’re not necessarily our destiny. I think we have a lot of folks who are really interested in the genetic testing. And the SNPs, the one that most people are most familiar with is MTHFR. But what I learned from you, Nattha, is that our body has a lot of really cool compensatory mechanisms, and we can kind of harness those through lifestyle. And I think we’ll probably tackle that, as well, as we talk today.

2. About Joe and Nattha [5:57]

Liz Wolfe: Before we do that, I want to just talk a little bit about both of your, Joe and Nattha, your paths to where you are today and what you're doing. Something that fascinated me about you, Nattha, is that you are truly; you are a scientist. {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You are a cancer researcher turned biohacker, as I said in your bios initially. But you're also a registered holistic nutritionist, a certified personal trainer, precision nutrition level 1 cert, certified functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner. And I would love to hear how you went from the just really science world as we know it, I guess the conventional science world, to incorporating all of these holistic modalities into what you do.

Nattha Wannissorn: Mm-hmm. So, I started as an 18-year-old, like freshman year, in undergrad. So I was pre-med. I considered myself perfectly healthy. But I was a person who, when I go into Taco Bell and they give me two spicy chicken crunch wraps. And I thought that was perfectly healthy. And every time when CVS would have a sale, I would go in and collect all the antihistamines, and pain killers, and acne medications. And at the time, I considered myself perfectly healthy. Drinking a lot of coffee, not sleeping. Studying really hard, partying really hard, and working really hard in the lab. Because I wanted to be a cancer researcher.

And it was fine and dandy for a few years until eventually my system broke down. So 5 years ago, when I had a lot of disappointments in the lab. My experiments were not working, and I would slowly stress out. And eventually I got really depressed, and I woke up one day completely covered in eczema. So pretty much my entire life before that, I thought things could be controlled with over-the-counter medications and steroid creams. But when I thought about it more deeply, it was like when scientists look at animals or cells, and when something would go wrong, we would always assume that the animals or the cells were doing the right thing in order to survive. So I thought the eczema and the depression that I was feeling, were probably the right thing that my body was doing in order to survive. And it was me who lived my life the wrong way. Which is why I got that health downturn in the first place.

So, I got so sick that I had to take a semester off. Because the eczema and the depression were really debilitating. And I spent a few months figuring out my life. And I realized that it really was my calling to be the health detective. To understand why people have these health problems. And they were using their medications to suppress the symptoms, and they don’t understand any deeper. Because I had the science background to figure this out. And that was about the same time I landed on SelfHacked, trying to understand everything. It kind of led to a journey, like drinking from the firehose. Where I went to nutrition school, I got a bunch of certifications, and tried to understand why people have certain things and how to help them. So I graduated PhD, I just landed on SelfHacked, and I found out this was the perfect job for me. It made me use all the backgrounds that I have at the same time to help other people.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. Ok. Great. So I’ll just go into my background a bit.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Please do, Joe.

Joe Cohen: So, as an adolescent I just had a host of health issues going on for quite a few years. Issues like insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, gut problems, and other issues. I went to a lot of doctors, both natural and mainstream. And none of them were able to help me or give me insights. So what I realized was that I had to figure out the body in a very nuts and bolts way. The basic biochemistry, so that I can understand what my biochemistry is, and how it’s different from other people.

So let’s say I would read other websites. They would have a certain diet, or a certain protocol that they would do. And many times it didn’t work for me. So what I wanted to figure out was, why am I different, and how can I predict what someone else’s biology is and what would work for them? So I spent the last four years trying to understand the body and be able to predict who is going to do well with what treatments. I started SelfHacked as, once I made very significant health improvements and I started SelfHacked. I was just documenting what I learned. I was able to cure myself completely.

So just what we do at SelfHacked is we’re breaking down the body into components. And we go very in depth into various topics that are way more in-depth than you’re get on other websites. And I also founded SelfDecode in order to be able to give people software to help kind of decode themselves, and figure out what the issue that they’re having is. Maybe try to predict what substances might be beneficial for them. So I think software is going to be a key component in helping people figure out and optimize their biology.

3. Genetics and SNPs [12:05]

Liz Wolfe: So, we’ll back up a little bit. What we’re really talking about today is genetics, or am I correct in saying more particularly, we’re talking about SNPs? Which are single nucleotide polymorphisms. Is that right?

Joe Cohen: Mm-hmm.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Can you give folks; because I will stumble all over myself if I try to explain this. Can you explain genetics, and SNPs, and what the difference is, and how this applies to people that might come to SelfHacked or SelfDecode to understand more about how their body is programmed?

Joe Cohen: Sure. So, obviously Nattha has a PhD in genetics. She’s quite qualified to answer this. But I’ll just give a quick answer for that. Genetics is just a general term for genes. The single nucleotide polymorphisms are specific; within every gene, you have a bunch of these regions. It’s kind of like within a block on a street, you have a specific number of addresses. So a single nucleotide polymorphism is kind of like an address on a street. And that street, that block, is like, let’s say, a gene.

So MTHFR would be a gene. And then within that gene, you have these different kinds of sequences that they call them RSIDs. They give them a number to identify them. But it’s just a sequence of nucleotides, which are just these molecules of DNA. And what the single nucleotide polymorphism is is just a single nucleotide, is a single piece of component of DNA that is switched.

Nattha Wannissorn: Variance.

Joe Cohen: It’s a polymorphism. It’s switched around with something. It’s a variation from the normal population when it happened. So these variations kind of get; if there’s a survival advantage at some point in history, for example. They can propagate within the general population, and become a little more common.

So these variations often can change different things about the gene as a whole. The processing of the protein, or things like that. So these variations have an important role in some aspect of gene function, often. The ones that you're hearing about, or the ones that they publish a lot of scientific studies on, those are going to be the ones that do play a role. Whereas most of them are not even very relevant, but some of them are quite relevant.

Liz Wolfe: And some of us can have SNPs. We’re going to call them SNPs. A lot of times, I think, just in the vernacular, people call them mutations. But we’re actually not technically talking about mutations. We’re talking about little morphisms. Little polymorphisms that are a part of our genes. Right? Would that be?

Nattha Wannissorn: Yeah. So, humans have like 10 million SNPs. And 99% of them have absolutely no effect on gene function whatsoever. So the SNPs that we know of are the few examples that actually have an impact on genes, or have been associated with some kind of health problems.

Liz Wolfe: And those are the ones that we obviously want to center our focus on. Because you can get really overwhelmed when you kind of know how {laughs}. It’s overwhelming how many genes we have. It can be a little bit scary. But we want to focus on the ones that are actually known to affect human health.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. And the main difference between mutations and variations. A variation connotes something within a population as a variation. A mutation is a lot more rare in the population. A variation, you know, 10% of the population could have this variation. Whereas a mutation is generally referring to something like a genetic disease that’s rare, 1 in 100,000 or something.

Liz Wolfe: Like sickle cell anemia.

Joe Cohen: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: That would be a mutation.

Nattha Wannissorn: Right.

Liz Wolfe: And when we talk about variations, or variance, we are talking about SNPs.

Nattha Wannissorn: There are other kinds of mutations. But for the purpose of this podcast, we can consider the SNPs for now. And another reason why a lot of us biohackers and paleo people talk mostly about SNPs is that is the most affordable one to test for.

Liz Wolfe: Ah.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yeah. Because you can do 23andMe for $99, and upload this data to different databases. Versus if you want to do other forms of testing, for things like copy number variations, or deletions. So there are bigger mutations in the genome. That usually costs a few thousand dollars to get these tested.

Liz Wolfe: Wow.

Nattha Wannissorn: But they are also valuable data.

Liz Wolfe: Gotcha. So we will, just to set the language here, we are going to use the word SNPs as we’re talking, just to keep things uniform if we can. And of course, you can point out any distinctions that we need to talk about as we go.

Nattha Wannissorn: Totally.

4. Our genes are not our destiny [17:30]

Liz Wolfe: So, I guess the idea here is learning more about yourself so that you can optimize the way you function every day.

Nattha Wannissorn: Exactly.

Joe Cohen: Yeah, exactly.

Liz Wolfe: Perfect. And the cool thing about this is, Joe, part of your story is that you; this is the way I think it was put on the website. Or that Nattha had sent to me. You won a genetic lottery for a combination of bad genes.

Joe Cohen: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Joe Cohen: You could say that, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, perfect. That’s helpful. And in particular; is it ok if I share this personal health information about you?

Joe Cohen: Yeah, yeah, it’s all public.

Liz Wolfe: It’s all public. Ok.

Joe Cohen: Yeah, my personal health information is all public information.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh. Terrifying. You know that that’s going to be used against you? Just kidding.

Joe Cohen: No worries.

Liz Wolfe: We’re good. Alright, so you're homozygous with the “bad” C677T MTHFR SNP. And a lot of folks listening have no idea what that is. A lot of folks listening do. A lot of folks listening are familiar with this MTHFR SNP, which is basically an issue or a potential issue with the methylation of the nutrient folate. And we talk about, the reason I got involved in chatting with Nattha about this topic, is because I wanted to really understand in particular how this SNP affects pregnancy and things like that. But what was really cool to learn was that our body is able, under the right circumstances, to compensate for our SNPs.

So Joe, can you talk a little bit about that? In particular, how it relates to this double bad C677T MTHFR SNP, and why our genes are not our destiny? Because a lot of folks are really, really spun up about MTHFR right now.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. So I think this is a very important question. People often get caught up in a SNP, and they think they’re doomed or something like that. Even just getting caught up in one SNP; you have to realize that we have 14 million SNPs.

But the MTHFR is an important SNP, so it shouldn’t be white-washed. But the important thing to know. You're not converting one type of folate into a more active type of folate when you have this kind of variation. That enzyme is not working as well. So that’s what the MTHFR variation; my MTHFR variation, that’s what it does.

Now, not everybody; if people have health issues, and they have this, it’s not necessarily because of this. Right? But it could be somewhat of a contributing factor if they have the less common variety of it. I have one from each parent that’s less common. So I’m homozygous for the less common version. So that makes me produce less of the active methyl folate. Especially if I’m taking in synthetic folate, that they often give in supplements, then I’m not going to be getting as much folate. I’m not going to be converting it as much.

But I think the important thing to realize is that, for most or maybe the vast majority of them, you can do things that kind of help support your body in a way. So I had quite a few bad SNPs that I was able to see what was going on. And by the way, that’s something that you should take a lot of information to kind of see to get an idea with other things. Let’s say blood tests, or your symptoms. What might be going on under the hood. And then there are things to do about it. So with the MTHFR, you could take methyl folate. Or you could just make sure you're eating a lot of vegetables, which have a lot of folate in them.

And something like this, a lot of people ask, “Why would this variation be passed down?” It’s not too uncommon, so why is it being passed down? It could be that it got passed down in an age where people were eating an abundance of vegetables. And there’s some kind of benefit with not having too much folate, right? So folate is one of those things where you want to have a balance of it. So some people will have negative effects if they take too much. And some people will have very good effects by taking a lot more. So it’s something that you want to have balanced rather than just; “Oh, let me take a bunch of methyl folate.”

Like, for example. There are some studies that show higher level of folate could maybe increase the risk of some types of cancers. So you definitely want to have balance. And the approach that I take; let’s say you have these genes. You can try folate out and see how you feel from it. You could try it in higher or lower dosages. And if you feel good from it, then that means you need it more. And if you don’t really notice an effect, then it’s probably not really the underlying cause of your issues.

Nattha Wannissorn: I would add that, for Joe, the combination of the MTHFR mutation and the other mutations that he has, turn out to make him more susceptible to certain food sensitivities. And maybe mental health problems, and things like brain fog, than other people. But the solution to the SNPs was not just adding methyl folate. Because on its own, it wouldn’t be enough. But he had to figure out what were his sensitivities and avoid them. He has to work his circadian rhythm properly, and make sure he gets enough sun and sleep and the whole nine yards. So it’s a lot more than just taking the methyl folate to fix the methylation problems. And that might explain why a lot of people who have the MTHFR mutations.

And I do believe the people who have the MTHFR stuff are people dealing with some kind of mental health problems, or inflammatory health issues. Right? So no healthy person is going to look that up, unless they’re trying to get pregnant, and they’re worried about their kids. And there is some motivating factor there. Usually the main problems are the other 80/20 things they could do were not done already before they add the methyl folate to their program.

Joe Cohen: And I just want to quickly touch on what methylation is, and some general ideas surrounding that. Methylation comes from the word methyl, which is this chemical structure that is found in certain substances. It’s just a chemical structure that’s attached to something. Basically this group, this methyl group or structure, gets donated. When you increase these methyl groups, it can shut down gene production.

So it’s not always; let’s say if you do have my version of MTHFR, which is the less common version, it’s not always better if you increase methylation. Because methylation will shut down a lot of genes. So some of them will be good, some of them will be bad.

Liz Wolfe: For example, a tumor suppressive gene can be silenced by methylation.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yes.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. And that’s’ a great example. Another example would be; so for me, more important than methylation is actually the cannabinoid system, which is a system that has a lot of different components. It gets its name from cannabis, right? Basically, we have these internal cannabinoids that act like cannabis in some ways. And for me, that’s a more important system. And for example, methylation can theoretically reduce the receptors, and have it function less well. So there’s kind of this balance. You don’t want to methylate all genes. So some people are going to do better with methylation, and some people are going to do worse. It’s not only going to depend on what variation you have for MTHFR. Which is a big misconception in the health world.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice seafood and organics. Purveyor of premium sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Vital choice offers a wide range of fish, shellfish, humanely raised meat, protein rich bone broths, and paleo friendly snacks like organic dark chocolate, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. As the days get longer and the grilling season heats up, www.vitalchoice.com is your source for real food.

5. MTHFR gene and methylation [26:43]

Liz Wolfe: So two of the things that I’ve learned from you guys, and my discussions with Nattha in particular, surrounding this issue. And you just touched on it, and I want to expand on it. Because I think this is really important. What folks know right now. And I think part of this has to do with the fact that there are not a lot of people just talking about MTHFR. When you type something like this into Google, one or two sources pop up that are basically like the MTHFR soothsayers.

Joe Cohen: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Joe Cohen: Nicely put. Nicely put.

Liz Wolfe: So I’ve been watching a lot of Hobbit fiction, so soothsayer sounded a little bit like it would make sense. So you see these websites, and it’s like a billboard. It’s like flashing lights in your face. It’s like, “MTHFR – bad. Must take methyl folate.” Etc. Etc.

But to kind of back away from that a little bit, not only do we need to think about how much we’re actually driving the methylation process in our bodies. And whether or not we are bringing our bodies to a natural state of balance. Or, hammering our bodies with something because somehow, we forget that more is not always better. So we want to watch out for which buttons we’re pushing, I guess. And which levers we’re moving around in taking something isolated, like methyl folate, to try and compensate for a SNP that we don’t even know is affecting us negatively or not negatively. There are a lot of people that get tested that find out they have MTHFR, that have absolutely no symptoms.

And with that said, what I learned from Nattha was that our bodies can actually; if an enzyme is not functioning at full capacity, our body can crank out more enzymes to kind of bridge that gap. So that’s why not everyone that has an MTHFR SNP necessarily shows symptoms, or needs to take methyl folate. Would that be accurate?

Nattha Wannissorn: Yes.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. And also for example, let’s say if they’re consuming a lot of vegetables and a lot of folate.

Nattha Wannissorn: In the foods.

Joe Cohen: In the foods. Then, yeah. I mean, you’ve got to understand that there’s definitely a certain amount of natural foods that you can eat that you will get enough folate. But it becomes more of a problem if you're just eating a Standard American Diet. So yeah that’s when you might get issues from that SNP.

Liz Wolfe: Ok. This is a complete random question. It’s very possible your answers are going to be; I’ll just ask it. I’ve been looking a lot into folic acid, and folic acid fortification. And one of the things that I’ve wondered about it is not so much that folic acid itself is inherently bad. Because it can be converted in our bodies. Right? It’s one extra step. Even before the conversion stuff that involves methyl folate. I probably butchered that.

But the fact that we are, on a Standard American Diet, as Joe was just talking about. The Standard American Diet is flooded with folic acid. From the time we are teeny-tiny, until we are adults. We’re eating foods that are fortified with folic acid. And yeah, certainly there were benefits to that public health intervention. And it’s a relatively new one, so I’m not sure we really know the consequences of it yet. But could it be that people are converting folic acid effectively. But we are giving our bodies way, way, way too much over our lifetime?

Nattha Wannissorn: Possibly. So say they detect the unconverted folic acid in the blood stream. And there are association studies that show that these are associated with increased risk of cancer. And then they say that in people with MTHFR mutations, high doses of folic acid could make the symptoms worse. But these are almost always in the presence of other predisposing factors. Like stress in their life that could trigger the health problems. Usually it’s not that on its own.

So what was your question? Whether the high doses of folate is bad or good, is that right?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Really my question was; is folic acid bad in and of itself. This is kind of more; less a question and more of a, “Let’s talk about this.” But whether the bigger issue surrounding folic acid is not so much that it is toxic, but that from the time we are little and eating, say, a Standard American Diet, we would be eating food; bread fortified with folic acid, flour fortified with folic acid; almost everything a normal kid eats, all the way up through adulthood, is fortified with this nutrient that possibly would make us get way too much of it.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yes. And it gets absorbed, right? It gets absorbed into your blood stream. And the reason the fortified stuff is because they want to prevent the birth defects from the lack of folic acid or folate. But that actually makes no sense, because in reality, the B vitamin functions with other B vitamins together. So it would probably be less dangerous to take it as a B complex and take it in a more natural form, like folate. So I guess your audience would probably know to choose the better brands of B vitamins and supplements already.

Liz Wolfe: Really, really interesting. Did you have something else to add, there?

Joe Cohen: Yeah, I agree with what Nattha is saying. It could be; we’re not controlling the dose for each individual. And each individual would require a different dose. I mean, the conversion might be a problem for some people, as well, like we discussed. But there are some studies showing that getting too much folic acid can be problematic. But it’s not really that conclusive. It’s just kind of, maybe let’s say I’ve seen the study that shows it lowers a certain kind of immune cell. It does different things in the body, but there’s a tradeoff. There are benefits to certain people getting more folate, because they wouldn’t have been getting it otherwise. And there are negatives, if someone is getting too much. Again, you're not going to be able to control the exact dosage that you get.

Liz Wolfe: So on that note, really, one of the huge flaws in the way. And it’s not just modern medicine, but also the way we supplement today. Is this one size fits all approach. Which I’m guessing is why, at SelfDecode, you have folks input symptoms and their genes to generate lifestyle recommendations. Is that true?

Joe Cohen: Yeah. Yeah. We want to take a comprehensive approach, not just based on one gene or SNP. But based on many SNPs. And also taking into account symptoms. We’re also going to be adding in blood tests. We want to kind of get a very comprehensive and full view, so that we can then recommend a tailored substance that somebody might want to try out or speak to their doctor about.

Liz Wolfe: So, I’ll throw out an example. And this has to do with folate, as well. But just to kind of paint a bigger picture. When we’re talking about, for example, my passion right now is pregnancy and pre-pregnancy wellness. And what my ideal would be is not only finding out whether a parent to be has an MTHFR SNP, but also what their red blood cell folate levels were. So we would kind of know how a potential SNP was interacting with their ability to convert and use nutrients. So that information taken together would be much more useful than just finding out someone had a SNP, and hammering them with methyl folate supplements without even knowing whether their body had already compensated for it in and of itself. Does that make sense?

Nattha Wannissorn: Yeah.

Joe Cohen: Yes. I agree with that, definitely.

Nattha Wannissorn: And to add to that. Usually, in most genetic studies are association studies. And so for a lot of popular topics that people seem to associate with MTHFR, show relatively weaker association. That means that there could be other environmental factors or other genes that contribute to the problem. And in pretty much all cases where MTHFR was a problem, these people have high homocysteine. So it’s more like their high homocysteine is a real marker that you have the methylation problems, than their mutations itself. But the homocysteine mutation and blood folate level both are really good markers for methylation.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

6. The cannabinoid system [36:31]

Liz Wolfe: So fascinating. And I know I glazed over what you were talking about, Joe, with the cannabinoid system. I would love to hear a little bit more about that, if you’d like.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. So the cannabinoid system has many, many different roles in the body. For example, it played a role in all of my symptoms. It can play a role in fatigue. It can play a role; in counteracting these, right? So fatigue, insomnia, gut problems, anxiety, mood issues. Things like that.

So the cannabinoid system plays a very instrumental role. And if you think about it. Let’s say somebody smokes cannabis. Now, the misconception, just before I get into that, is if you have a cannabinoid system problem, let’s try to smoke cannabis. But that’s not the solution, because that’s basically like taking a sledgehammer.

Liz Wolfe: I’m sure a lot of people would love to that that though. {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Joe Cohen: Yeah. Generally, people have negative effects from…

Nattha Wannissorn: THC.

Joe Cohen: Yeah, THC and taking too much of it. It can be anxiety producing. It can cause; yeah. And it can harm cognitive function in different ways. But, there is a dose dependency. Lower levels, much, much lower levels, and over a sustained period, has a very different effect than higher levels; just smoking it in one shot.

So, what I do is I microdose 1 mg of THC, and I combine it with CBD oil. I consume the THC. So it basically goes through my GI tract and all that. While it’s going through, it’s having the anti-inflammatory effects along the whole GI tract. And then it also takes a while to metabolize. So it’s like a very low, and sustained effect. It doesn’t make me high or anything. I don’t notice any high, but I do notice some anti-inflammatory effects. So these kinds of receptors are very rich in the gut, and also the parts of the brain where anxiety plays a big role. Or mood issues. Or fatigue. Sleep. The part of the brain is called the limbic system in general. And the cannabinoid system is very, very integrated in the limbic system.

And when I say a system, what that means is there is a variety of components to this thing. These receptors, these enzymes that break down internal cannabinoids. There are like four different internal cannabinoids, natural cannabinoids, that we naturally produce. So I don’t want to use any single term. But it’s like there are these internal molecules that activate these receptors. There are different kinds of receptors. And then there are different enzymes that break down these molecules, as well. So there are quite a lot of things going on.

And then there are some epigenetic regulation of these receptors, as well. So for example, methylation can shut down the gene production for these receptors. So that might be a negative thing. But obviously, if you need methylation for other purposes, it can be more good than bad. So I happen to think that the cannabinoid system is something that is not appreciated. It’s underappreciated in the alternative and mainstream health communities for different kinds of things.

For me, let’s say food sensitivities. The thing that helps; if I had to pick one or two things that helps with the food sensitivities the most, it would be the very low dose of THC plus CBD oil. It takes away my food sensitivities quite a bit. So this way I have more tolerance to eat more foods, if I wanted to.

Liz Wolfe: That’s fascinating. I think probably the reason it’s underappreciated is because people literally don’t know what to do with themselves when they hear the word “cannabis.”

Joe Cohen: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It’s like, ok but not ok. I think I threw away my pipe in college. I don’t know where it went.

Joe Cohen: Right. So, the smoking. I tried smoking, and it didn’t work out for me.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Joe Cohen: You can’t regulate the dosage. You don’t know how much you're getting. You're getting it all in one shot. It’s going in the brain very quickly because you're inhaling it. What you need is a low steady dosage. It’s also going to hit your gut more if you ingest it rather than smoke it. It’s going to just stay in your gut, your small intestine, your large intestine.

Nattha Wannissorn: And just to backtrack. Joe is homozygous for a rare mutation in the cannabinoid receptor gene. We have a blog post for that. And it’s associated with many mental health problems. Anxiety, maybe anorexia. And things like irritable bowel disease or IBD. So he presumably this is one of the SNPs that were really informative, and gave him a key piece of the puzzle to fix his health problems. Including the food sensitivities. But for everyone else, CBD and THC are not to get for eating whatever you want. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Darn it!

Joe Cohen: Yeah. It’s not necessarily the fix for everyone. Because everyone has slightly different issues. But for me, what I did was; you look at your symptoms, you say, Ok. All these symptoms have to do with this cannabinoid system. And then I saw a gene there. And there were some blood tests that also correlated with an underactive cannabinoid system. And then I saw this relatively rare gene, and I said, “Ok, this makes sense.” Because the SNP was also correlated with very similar issues. And for me, it made sense. It was just about, “How do I take it? Which forms? What dosage?” Things like that.

7. Genetic testing for biohacking [42:58]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So we’re talking about health issues, and figuring out what to do about them with the knowledge that genetic testing provides for you. But I would like you to maybe sell me on why someone who feels generally healthy might want to learn about their SNPs?

Joe Cohen: Yeah. So the way I see it is, you have this blueprint in the body. And these SNPs are a very significant component of your biological blueprint. And they basically just give you information about yourself. Looking at a house blueprint, sometimes people can get confused. Or like a very large building, because there are a lot of different parts to it. It’s similar with the body that it could be overwhelming for some people. Because there’s too many SNPs. But, it is the blueprint of your body. It does have a very significant role. Your genes are going to have a very significant role in whatever issue you have. Or whatever issue you might get in the future.

I think of it as, it’s good to kind of read a book about yourself, let’s say. And understand what you might be susceptible to, what genes might be problematic, and maybe have some recommendations or things that you can try out and see if you do well on them, or let’s say maybe you don’t notice an effect. Or just research it more. Basically I think it is beneficial to have knowledge. Even if you don’t have anything now, you want to be able to play to your strengths and against your weaknesses.

Liz Wolfe: So, not to say that it would be burying your head in the sand to not find out these things about yourself. But in a way, we have this tool. And I haven’t done full genetic testing. It’s been on my mind for a while. But I’ve kind of been scared to find out, if there are things that I’m not sure I want to know. But at the same time, we have this tool to maybe live our lives better. Kind of know what to look out for. And target our health approach a little bit more efficiently. I just don’t think that can be anything but a good thing. So, I think this is pretty cool stuff. And I’m definitely thinking about it now a lot more than I was before when I felt like I was just going to find out that I was doomed and then feel sad for the rest of my life.

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Joe Cohen: Yeah. I mean, you’ve got to treat the information in a certain way. You can’t; if you are going to be someone who is going to be depressed if you see something bad. Because everybody’s got thousands of stuff that you could look at and say, “This is not great.” Or whatever. But the thing is, you want to kind of look at it in the way that, you're not doomed. Whatever you find, it’s not going to doom you. It’s just going to help you just be aware of how to maybe live your life in a better way, that’s slightly more catered to your genes. I wouldn’t say whatever you were seeing, I don’t think it would be, you know.

Everybody feels differently. Some people will feel empowered, some people will feel scared. But I don’t think the genes are going to doom you, whatever genes you have. I had quite a lot of bad genes, and I was able to get around them and fix them, and live much better because of it.

Nattha Wannissorn: So, what I would say is that we have 14 million SNPs. And in humans, you can’t delete genes and make a whole new human with a gene deleted. That’s not legal or ethical. So most of the human genetic studies are association studies. So that means when you observe a lot of these same SNPs in a population with a high frequency of a health problem or a trait, it’s an association. It doesn’t prove the causation.

And Liz, we have other forms of evidence. For example, animal studies, where they delete the gene, and show that it recapitulates what they suspect in humans. Or some kind of cell studies. So just take it with a grain of salt. There are definitely examples, the fun ones, that are quite informative in other ways that are not doom. For example, the majority of oxytocin SNPs and how that causes males to be monogamous. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: And how open they are to other people’s expression.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, wow.

Nattha Wannissorn: Very fascinating.

Liz Wolfe: They should integrate this into eHarmony or one of those dating sites.

Joe Cohen: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: Totally.

Joe Cohen: Exactly.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yeah. So there are BDNF SNPs and how your brain works. Maybe there are SNPs that influence how your body breaks down dopamine, and how well you respond to stress. So these can give some advice for how you can improve your life, and improve your performance. Even if you are perfectly healthy.

But, if you say you have a SNP that is associated with a disease, most of these diseases, the reason they’re studying the genetics is because we don’t completely understand them. Years ago, before we had the human genome sequence or the first draft of it, they thought by the time we finished the sequence, we would completely understand diseases. Like Parkinson’s disease, or schizophrenia. And in terms of women, we finished the genome sequence, it turns out that we barely know anything about these diseases, because there’s a lot in terms of multiple genes that work together, and how the genes interact with the environment.

So there is usually a lot that we can do to prevent these diseases. And it’s perhaps a good thing if you know that you have some tendency for certain things, so you can change your lifestyle, and sleep better and things like that to prevent them.

Liz Wolfe: That’s fascinating. And if anybody is listening to this, and they’re totally new to this topic. SNPs, epigenetics, methylation, genetic testing, all of that stuff. You guys have all of this at SelfHacked and SelfDecode. I mean, you can learn a ton at these websites about what we’re even talking about, if it sounds interesting to you. But I think the point of it is, your websites would not exist if our genes were our destiny.

Joe Cohen: Yes. That’s true. Exactly. That’s very well put. The point of these websites is to help you learn more about yourself so that you can then take actions that compensate any weaknesses.

8. About the websites; SelfHacked and SelfDecode [50:10]

Liz Wolfe: It’s so brilliant. Ok. So there are many reasons to test your genes. And you all do; tell us a little bit about how you all do your interpretive work, and how SelfHacked and SelfDecode work.

Joe Cohen: Ok. So SelfHacked is mainly a content website where we’ll dive deep into a certain something, like let’s say a substance. So a supplement, or a blood test, or sometimes a gene. Things like that. We’re starting to get into conditions and things like that. And also some drugs. But mainly supplements and things like that. And what your blood test will mean. So that’s SelfHacked, mainly as a content website.

SelfDecode is the software component of it. Where we’re basically looking for the weaknesses and trying to present them in a way that’s as simple as possible. So we keep on trying to make it more and more simple, and we’re also trying to improve our algorithm. What we do is we try to flag what genes might be problematic, and then try to match a substance with those genes. So for specific conditions, let’s say if you look at a specific condition as well. We have it in general. We also have specific conditions where you can look at it and see which substance matches with the genes that might be problematic.

So we have a database of a million substances. And we categorize them in different ways. Natural, beneficial, things like that. And you can see how they’re interacting with different genes.

And then you have various kinds of health reports that you can look at that give you different grades. It’s a very powerful tool to just look through different SNPs, and just see how you're doing overall for something. And our goal is, with SelfDecode, to keep on getting more and more sophisticated, including more data to help either doctors. We plan on building; what we have now is used by doctors and consumers. But what we plan on building is something more specific to consumers, like a very, very simplified coach that coaches them through the process, step by step, so they know what they need to do. They give feedback, and they tell us, “I tried this, and this is what I felt. Now what do I do?” So we’re going to be their coach in a good UIR format. And doctors can also use the tool as well, or other professionals, to help them understand what their patients might do well with. Or what genes might be causing their problems.

Nattha Wannissorn: So SelfHacked and SelfDecode, where my PhD comes in, is that we bring designs. The stuff behind the pay walls. To a format that people can understand, like on a blog. And it makes it relevant to the people. So what are the things that you could consider to have certain health issues, or what’s everything that has been researched about certain substance if they want to start the hacking with the substance.

And SelfDecode is really like a database. More like a Swiss Army Knife for biohackers that want to look at everything in the genome, and try to understand what’s going on, and what are the opportunities to either fix the health problems, or improve the performance. Because we have a lot of readers who are dealing with health problems that nobody seems to understand. So things like fibromyalgia. Chronic fatigue. IBS. Anxiety and depression. Stuff like that.

Because it’s fascinating to see the research that are way beyond what most doctors are aware of at the moment, and you never heard of the phrase that it takes 17 years for something being discovered in the lab or in a study to when it’s taught in medical school. So there’s a lot more.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that trickle down is slow.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yeah. There’s a lot more information than what the public is aware of. And it’s our goal to make this available to the general public, both through SelfHacked and SelfDecode, to empower people to get healthy.

Joe Cohen: And I just want to make one point here. Some people might not understand the difference between what SelfDecode is and what else is out there. And what else is out there is usually; I’ve looked at everything that I can get my hands on. And it’s usually very, very simplified. They’re giving you just 10 SNPs or something. And then they give you a PDF that’s static. So they give you a one-time PDF, and you're done. Here’s your PDF, I found some of the information is not very accurate, either, sometimes. But that’s beside the point. Basically, you get a very limited number of SNPs and a static PDF, and that’s pretty much it. They often don’t give recommendations or anything like that. Or things to try.

I think what we have is something that’s very dynamic. We actually have software, instead of just sending someone a PDF, that changes all the time. Every two weeks, we do a new release and we update it. So we give people; the regular rate is $59 per year. And during that year, we’re constantly doing updates on the analysis, the algorithm to suggest substances. Also we’re constantly adding information and making it simpler, and adding different tools within there. For example, within a few months, we’re going to add that coach. We’re going to add the blood test. We’re going to add a bunch of different things. And what people are getting is something that’s very, very dynamic that they can go back to and see the most updated information, the most recent program. Whereas the other stuff is just a PDF that is pretty low quality, and then you're done.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. What’s really gotten me more interested in actually taking the plunge and doing this is because; before I knew about you guys, I was like, I don’t want to just get a readout of all of these “issues” I might have, or all of these scary SNPs that I might have that I don’t really understand. And then go on this wild goose chase, like this scary Google quest.

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: More worry and feeling less informed than was beforehand. But having this dynamic system that you guys are creating, and constantly adding to, that takes into account genetics as well as symptoms, is really, really exciting. So I’m thrilled that this resource is available for folks, and that it is affordable.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. And having a whole platform allows us to constantly iterate and add new stuff, and cater to a lot of different people’s interests. We have a whole bunch of different areas on the site. Some people want one area more; some people like a different area more, on SelfDecode. And you can basically choose which part of the site you like the most.

Liz Wolfe: I love that. And before we wrap up, and before I give you guys just a chance to say whatever you want to say. I want to kind of pose a question, kind of get your feel on this. In the real food/holistic health community, we have people, as Nattha mentioned, dealing with things like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, I don’t know, mitochondrial dysfunction. And then there are hormonal issues. There’s autoimmunity. There are gut issues. And for each of these things, it seems that there’s some kind of protocol that someone has developed to tackle it with food and lifestyle.

However, we know that not everyone responds to these protocols in the same way. Some people find healing, some people don’t. Some people kind of get stuck. And that’s why I think; and I want to know if you would agree with me. I think that perhaps anyone that was dealing with those things should consider investing in this kind of genetic testing, so that they can further breakdown their healing protocol, and understand why some things work and some things don’t.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. I think that’s very correct. I think the human body is very complex, and often when you go to a physician or even sometimes looking at it yourself, you’ll try to identify one thing, and you’ll go to one protocol that is generally working for maybe a very specific subset of people, but it’s not taking into account everything under the hood. It’s kind of like trying to treat a car based on what’s wrong with it, instead of doing a detailed analysis under the hood of what’s wrong. Looking under the hood and seeing, “Oh, it looks like this part is not working.”

So I think the general approach is flawed, and I think technology in general is going to make a lot of progress in finding out what will work for different people instead of just giving this one-fits all approach. Here’s the protocol that you need to do.

You go to a Lyme doctor, they’re going to diagnosis you with Lyme disease, and they’re going to give you things for Lyme disease, right? You go to a mold doctor, they’re going to diagnosis you with a mold issue and then give you things for that. Whoever you're going to go to. If you go to somebody who specializes in leaky gut, they’re going to tell you have leaky gut and Candida.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Joe Cohen: Exactly. When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And I think that approach is a bit outdated. And what we need to be doing is looking under the hood, and really seeing each individual as they are, and trying to predict beforehand what they are most likely to respond to. And that’s our big mission. To try to get as much data as we can so we can try to predict what someone might do well with, and we’re expanding a lot as well because it is a big project. We’re hiring a bunch more developers. For both companies, we have 15 full-time people.

Liz Wolfe: Wow.

Joe Cohen: And we also have some freelance writers. But we’re actually expanding now, because it is a big project to be able to take all the data into account and build all these tools. So we’re going to hire a bunch more developers. We really are trying to push the envelope with trying to predict what someone might do well with, and coach them through that process in a very linear and simple way. So we’re constantly at work trying to do that.

Liz Wolfe: That’s fascinating. And I know you’ve got Nattha on board. She’s a PhD. She’s a scientist. You’ve got all kinds of scientists on your team, as well. And biohackers, and people.

Joe Cohen: Yeah, we actually three PhDs with a background in genetics, and one PhD in general. So we have four PhDs working for both companies, helping to produce content and manage SelfDecode and things like that. We have a full team of developers, and other people in order to… And most people on the team are biohackers, as well. We also understand, from a personal level, how to approach these things.

Liz Wolfe: Biohacker doesn’t have to mean somebody who climbs Mt. Everest with one nostril.

Joe Cohen: Right.

Liz Wolfe: Like, yeah.

Joe Cohen: It’s just anyone trying to improve themselves. Yeah, it’s just anyone trying to improve their physiology in some way. And doing it with a broader means than is available rather than just necessarily taking the standard drug for something and then calling it quits if it doesn’t work out. It’s more like somebody who is interesting in tinkering; whether it’s diet, or lifestyle, or something like that. And just trying to improve their physiology in some way.

9. Personal favorite biohack tips [1:02:58]

Liz Wolfe: Well, on that note, before we close out. Can you all give me a few of your personal favorite biohacks?

Joe Cohen: Yeah. So I can give you a few of mine. And again, what works for me is not necessarily going to work for other people. And so we need to keep that in mind. Things that strengthen the cannabinoid system for me, like CBD oil. Very, very low doses of edible THC is very important to me. It happens to be pregnenolone works very well for me. Which is a supplement. And when it comes to lifestyle, I find that sun and circadian rhythms are very important to optimizing my physiology. And circadian rhythms is a big can of worms. So I would just suggest Googling self-hack circadian rhythm. That’s personally what works for me. And I also find that fiber, such as resistant starch. Which produce butyrate. I think they have a profound impact on physiology, and I do very well with it in general. So I’ll take the extracted fiber. But just eating a lot of vegetables could be beneficial, as well. What about you, Nattha?

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs} For me, I grew up a Buddhist, and I also happen to be a very type A person. So meditation is number one. Massages {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: I love that these count as biohacks. It’s not just like coconut oil in your coffee. You know?

Joe Cohen: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs} Yeah. Massage and cuddling. So I think it has to do with stress management.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. Everybody’s got something else that they do well with. And it could be pretty simple, you know. Just getting good sleep or just like Nattha says; massages or cuddling. {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Cuddling? I love that. I think in New York there are people you can pay to come over and cuddle with you. I’ve heard this.

Joe Cohen: Oh that’s interesting.

Nattha Wannissorn: Oh, I might prefer a dog.

Joe Cohen: {laughs}

Nattha Wannissorn: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Maybe a good biohack is getting a dog!

Joe Cohen: It could be. It could be, right.

Liz Wolfe: I love that.

Joe Cohen: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: That is so cool. Well is there anything else y’all would like to let the Balanced Bites audience know before we wrap up?

Joe Cohen: Yeah. So we’re going to be giving the Balanced Bites audience a 20% discount code.

Liz Wolfe: Thank you!

Joe Cohen: So if they sign up for www.SelfDecode.com let’s say you get your information from 23andMe. We accept a few others, like Ancestry. So just go to www.SelfDecode.com, and you could type in BALANCEDBITES and you’ll get 20% off. And yeah.

Liz Wolfe: That’s great. Thank you so much for that. That’s a great discount. And I might just use it myself, actually. It might make me get moving on this stuff. Anything you’d like for the audience to know, Nattha?

Nattha Wannissorn: No, I think that’s great.

Joe Cohen: Yeah. So you just want to get your 23andMe sequenced. The $99 version is fine. There’s a $199 version; they’re basically giving you, for another $100, a very, very limited analysis. But for less than half the price, you can get a more complete analysis and a constantly updating tool that you can keep on checking back on and seeing all of our updates. So we think that’s a much better deal for you.

Nattha Wannissorn: If I have to add, I would say women should biohack. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Women should biohack?

Nattha Wannissorn: Yes. Especially, it sounds like a very masculine thing.

Liz Wolfe: it does, yeah. It really does.

Nattha Wannissorn: The female body has a lot more bells and whistles, I would say. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Nattha Wannissorn: That we should learn about collectively, when women collect the data and seek to understand it together. It gives a new level of information that pretty much makes the whole world better.

Joe Cohen: Yeah, I agree. And if you do figure out things that improve yourself, the impact could be tremendous. For me, for example. My brain wasn’t working at all. I couldn’t get a job. I couldn’t do anything. Now I have to run two companies, and I have to be very stress tolerant, of course. Any time you're running a business, there’s going to be stress. So figuring out the ways to upgrade myself has produced tremendous benefits over the long run. Both companies are doing very well in terms of a bunch of different metrics. And the only way that would have been possible is obviously having a great team, such as Nattha. But also being able to biohack myself was really important. And it’s certainly not gender specific.

Liz Wolfe: That’s really fascinating. And I’m so glad that that popped up before we stopped recording. Because I’ve always thought; I have thought of biohacking as a masculine thing. In part because of the relatively fewer bells and whistles that men have. It’s like, it seemed a little less dangerous. A little less scary for a man to do that. But what you're saying is not, “Just go and start fasting for 48 hours straight and then taking a little bit of THC.” You're saying, get all of the information about yourself as a woman, so you can start gradually incorporating different things that are going to have a profound impact. You're not saying, “Go into it blind.” You're saying, “Go in with all of the information. Because there are so many amazing things that we can do to optimize our bells and whistles.”

Joe Cohen: Exactly.

Nattha Wannissorn: Exactly.

Joe Cohen: Well put.

Liz Wolfe: Perfect. I love that. Well thank you both so much for coming on the podcast today. I’m thrilled about the discount code, and thrilled that you guys could come on and share some of your knowledge with us.

Joe Cohen: That’s great. It was great speaking to you. We appreciate everting you’re doing.

Nattha Wannissorn: Yeah, thank you so much, Liz.

Joe Cohen: Thank you so much.

Liz Wolfe: Thanks guys.

Joe Cohen: Have a great day.

Liz Wolfe: That’s it for this week. Thanks again to my guests, Joe and Nattha, who you can find at www.selfhacked.com and www.selfdecode.com. Don’t forget that discount code that Joe mentioned. You can find me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/ and you Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com. Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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