Dr. Matt Bergeson on Protein, NASA Training and Recovery

Dr. Matt Bergeson on Protein, NASA Training and Recovery

Dr. Matt Bergeson joins us for Episode 13 of the Optimal Performance Podcast.

From helping astronauts prepare for and recover from space travel, to eating an optimal diet, Dr. Matt has helped hundreds of people like you and me bridge the gap from healthy to optimal. 

Dr. Matt is a chiropractor, message therapist, and Natural Stacks team-member.

He's about to drop some knowledge bombs on natural care, the best type of protein, healthy cooking methods and even deer antler sprays.

Dr Matt is also going to be a regular guest on the Optimal Performance Podcast, so if you've got questions for him, drop them in the comments & we'll get them answered on the show.

OPP #13


What You'll Hear From Dr. Matt Bergeson in this Episode:

  • Fact Of The Day: Lactoferrin, a component of whey protein, improves bone healing & prevents bone mass loss. It also has anti-cancer effects! When combined with increased glutathione synthesis (another benefit of quality whey protein supplementation) lactoferrin kills and prevents future growth of cancer cells.
  • Understanding natural care, treating and healing the body for optimal health.
  • What training for zero gravity in outer space can teach YOU about muscle mass, bone density and recovery.
  • How stress and gravity actually prevent aging and Dr. Matt's tips to avoid radiation and other aging accelerants.
  • What you don't know about cooking your meats, protein manufacturing and protecting the nutrients in your foods.
  • What is colostrum - and how can it boost both your immune system AND muscle mass?
  • The benefits of beta-alanine for weight loss, improved work capacity, and better performance!
  • Deer Antler Spray... is it a scam or is it legit?
  • Where to get more of Dr. Matt - and submit your questions for future podcast episodes.
  • Dr. Matt's Top 3 Tips to #liveoptimal


Whey + Collagen Protein to support healthy skin, muscle mass, immunity and recovery

BCAAs for supercharged recovery

Dopamine Brain Food to improve creativity and assertiveness

Krill Oil for its protective anti-inflammatory properties

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or YouTube so you never miss an episode!


Dr. Matt Bergeson on Protein, NASA Training and Recovery

Ryan: You're listening to the Optimal Performance podcast sponsored by Natural Stacks. If you're into biohacking, performance and getting more out of your life, this is the show for you! If you want more on building optimal performance, check out

Alright, happy Thursday all you optimal performers, and welcome to another episode of the Optimal Performance podcast. I'm your host, Ryan Munsey, and today we have a special co-host, Natural Stack's own Dr. Matt Bergeson! Matt, thanks for hanging out with us today.

Matt: Hey thanks! It's nice to be here, I'm excited, you know. I'm just here and excited to talk about nutrition and Natural Stacks, you know, it's one of my passions and I really get excited about it so I'm looking forward to it.

Ryan: So for our listeners, Dr. Matt is a chiropractor who has worked with NASA; you've trained some people to go into space, you know, you have an incredible knowledge, as you just mentioned, on protein and lots of recovery stuff, so we're gonna talk about a lot of really cool stuff today. But going forward, Dr. Matt is going to be an authority that we have come on the show every month or so, to help us dig into the science a little bit more. So if you guys, as you listen, if you have questions for Dr. Matt, send them in, post them as comments on the blog version with the show notes or you can email them to us. And now's a great time to remind you that with every episode, show notes will be available at And as always, we love your 5* reviews, so head on over to iTunes, leave us some 5* love and let us know how much you like the show.

Alright, so. For today, before we get rolling, we've gotta do our Fact of the Day. So, we're gonna talk a little bit about some of the benefits of whey protein. One of the ingredients or compounds that is in whey protein is lactoferrin, and lactoferrin actually improves bone healing and prevents bone loss, so when you hear whey protein being associated with improving bone healing and preventing bone loss, then that is the lactoferrin that's doing that. Lactoferrin also has been shown, along with the glutathione synthesis that whey protein promotes, to have anti-cancer effects. Lactoferrin has also shown potential to prevent cancer that has yet to occur, and to induce cell death in existing cancer cells. So we're not saying that our protein cures cancer, but one of the compounds in it has been shown to help with that in the lab. So there's yet another reason to supplement with whey protein if you are struggling to get enough protein in your diet.

Alright, Dr. Matt, let's get right into this! We're calling you Dr. Matt, you're a chiropractor, how did you get into chiropractic medicine?

Matt: So I basically have been in it pretty much my whole life, my dad's been a chiropractor for about 25 years and now there's about 8 in our family. You know I even have a brother who's attending chiropractic school, so it's almost in the genetics at this point. So, hopefully it will continue that way. I have a family of my own so I'm always educating them on how to stay healthy, what we can do nutritionally as a family, you know, because it is a lifestyle.

Ryan: Right

Matt: But yeah, I mean, that's where I established a good understanding of natural care. You know, so I would say my father brought me into that but then I wanted to experience that on my own. Before becoming a chiropractor or a doctor, I decided that I wanted to attend massage therapy school, you know and I did a quick summer course and I became a massage therapist. I've been one for 10 years now. So that's how I originally got into natural care, okay. So I started, I built a business, I had a good clientele, and I continued managing a spa along with my massage business and it grew and I was able to continue that throughout chiropractic school. Which was nice, you know. I was able to keep a job on the weekends while I was in chiropractic school so I was really applying what I was learning. But with that being said, I opened the door for other things.

I was able to take on a job over at the Gilruth Center, that's the NASA fitness center. That's where all the engineers will go for fitness training, all astronauts, the whole staff. Um, and that's how I began working with NASA. So I worked there for about 3 years, all through chiropractic school as well. And I got to see a lot of different things that you might not see in a normal practice, you know? If you're working on like astronauts or engineers, I mean they're highly intelligent to say the least, so you better know your science! Because they'll outsmart you for sure. But yeah, you know a lot of them are going to need care more, and they have a different care program than your normal patient.

You know, they've been to space, you'll see that a lot of them will have bone or muscle wasting; that's just because the proprioception of the body, when you go into space, is lost. So the natural ability for your body to recognize where your arm is right now, you don't have that capability in space. So that nerve transmission in the nervous system and how it recognizes it through the vestibular system is lost. So that has to be re-educated, and we know that you know, the only way to build bone is by stressing it. And so you lose that ability when you go to space, or the same thing with muscles. You know, you start wasting your muscles because you won't be able to stress them like you can here. I mean, they try to do things there, you've seen them probably running on the treadmill, but it's just not the same, you know, whenever you take out gravity.

Ryan: So when they come back, what have you found to be the most effective way to quickly regain what has been lost in terms of muscle or bone wasting?

Matt: So, it's a good question that you have there. Um, you can't just say that there's like one over ball, I guess, that would resolve that, because there really isn't, you know. Its a dynamic where we have to include a lot of nutrition, you know, when you're dealing with muscle wasting then we know that proteins are going to be one of the most satisfactory things. Same thing with branched chain amino acids, that's going to be another really important thing, but you're also going to have to.. You can't just go in the gym and start lifting all these heavy weights, you know, it's starting as if you were a toddler, using your body weight. Do you see what I'm saying? Because if you get taken out of this gravity and you don't have that force holding against you then that's enough whenever you come back.

Ryan: So how much strength, muscle mass, bone density are we talking about being lost? Is it that significant?

Matt: It can be a significant amount, you know. There was a Russian astronaut who was in space, I think the longest, for about 453 days or so, [unclear 07:08] and after about a year you re-educate the nervous system and the muscles back to just a normal state of strength, you see. So that's a long time, and you might see like in movies or something they'll talk about how space will age you and like things like that, so it really does, you know, and not having that stress to build that bone or that stress to build those muscles, it can really be damaging in the long term.

Ryan: So I guess what I'm kinda digging for is.. If going to space is almost like an ageing effect, sped up, and then if they return, if we're able to either turn back to the clock or reverse those effects. What are these astronauts doing that the everyday person here, you know, on earth, can replicate or implement in our lives to either slow down ageing or to reverse that process?

Matt: That's a good question. So, yeah, the ageing factor is going to be sped up with them for sure, you know.

Ryan: And is that simply because of less gravity? Or is it, you know, greater exposure to radiation? Or not being protected by the Ozone?

Matt: All that would be a combination. It's the same thing here, you know, we are going to be.. We're put in an environment where we're exposed to radiation as well, you know, the constant use of cell phones, TVs, you know, you always have a wireless feed coming through your body. You know, so finding ways to protect that from happening are very important. So whatever we do here on earth, whatever we may do, they take on a more abundance of that in space obviously, you know, because it's just like living.. Imagine if you lived in a satellite, you know, imagine what that would do to your hormones or like, you know, the imaging, a lot of the vestibular system, and that's what happens.

So, I think for us it's important to recognize that, to take that downtime and be away from those things as well. But then, what can we do here other than just staying away from that? Well, nutrition is going to be an absolute must, you know. Antioxidants are very important for the body, the type of proteins we're taking in, ones that haven't been damaged or manufactured in a way that would do more harm to the body than benefit. Um, but antioxidants are a big thing for ageing, the diet, how we are keeping our gut biologies, you know, if we are using the prebiotics or a probiotic, how are we feeding these bacteria so the body is not ageing? I mean, not to mention a lot of the foods that we consume, the higher they're cooked, it can be damaging long term as well.

Ryan: So, let's talk about that. What's going on with high heat cooking that's going to make what would be an otherwise healthy food damaging?

Matt: So, if you take like a vegetable for example, it's a living form, and a lot of people will say well, I'm going to boil my vegetables, or I'm going to cook them, you know that certain things can only withstand a certain temperature. Certain vegetables or fruits or oils, and so something that was once living, you're killing it basically by eating it. It's the same thing with any nutritional product that you take, yeah, anything that you cook.

So I try to eat raw, you know like as much as I can, just because damaging a nutrient and then consuming it, it'll have some benefit but you really want the full benefit of that nutrient. Try not to heat it, use more of a warming plate you know, or a fermenting.. You can ferment it and then warm it, you know. So those are kind of what I use to get around high-heating my food, stuff like that if it makes sense?

Ryan: So I think when most people hear a recommendation like that then we're automatically going to think about vegetables, but what do you do for meat? So if you had a beautiful steak in front of you, how would you cook that?

Matt: Well, that's a good question. So there's... Well, I would keep it.. I mean some people will just turn it once for 2 minutes on each side, and they say that would be the best way to consume it because.. Let me bring up an example. So, I know somebody that really likes to charcoal their meat, yeah? And so by the end of the that, you're consuming things that are more damaging and can cause ageing because after a build up of that you're basically just taking in cancerous nutrients, do you see what I'm saying?

Ryan: Right, right

Matt: So if you were to undercook it, more of like searing steak, then you're gonna have more benefit. And it's hard for people to understand that, I mean I get into this argument with my Dad every day, and he's a doctor! So I think certain meats I'll just stay away from, you know, some of the cleaner ones are gonna be like young lambs and stuff, so...

Ryan: Okay. So I think, general rule of thumb is, if you're going to cook your food, cook it as gently as you can get away with.

Matt: Yeah, yeah

Ryan: There are a lot of herbs and seasonings that we can use that will actually mitigate some of those carcinogenic effects. So if you are going to grill or expose your meat to really high temperatures, then rosemary is a great flavoring, but it also absorbs a lot of those carcinogens so it's going to reduce that negative impact if you are putting a char on your meat. But you definitely wanna stay away from you know, cooking it until it's a hockey puck.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. Doesn't taste as good either!

Ryan: No, no. So now, that's if we're eating animal flesh. So what about like protein products? You mentioned, you know, if you don't wanna heat things to the point of killing bio availability. Let's use our protein for example, the Natural Stacks protein is a 2 to 1 blend of whey and collagen and there's also colostrum in there. Now that colostrum is something that we.. It's incredibly sensitive. So, let's talk about, I guess, 2 ends of this. As the products.. As protein powders are manufactured, what are some things that we wanna make sure happen or don't happen. But also, you know, can you cook? There's a lot of recipes out there where people are making baked goods with protein powders. Is that going to negatively impact a high quality protein?

Matt: Yeah. That's a good question. So I always have the general rule of thumb when it comes to any type of supplements, you know. I try to focus on.. We can diagram all the different proteins but manufacturing is one of the key things, when you're looking at purchasing a new supplement. Okay? And so the way things are manufactured and what is actually on the back of the label can kind of show you how they were manufactured. So if you see, like with the protein for example, a lot of times you'll see a protein label that will list like 15 different other ingredients and a lot of them you can barely pronounce if you're never going to study them, you know.

So you're kinda like, well they're not going to put anything in here that would be damaging to me and.. You would wanna be educated on this. But a lot of those ingredients we call excipients, you know, and you want to know that if you're taking protein long term, the same protein with a lot of those ingredients, it can create chronic illness in the body and chronic inflammation. And that's where you'll see a lot of these irritable bowel kind of disease, ulcerative colitis, a lot of these things that will cause inflammation in the gut, because it's protein it's hard for the body to digest. It's either been so.. It's either been highly heated or it's been over manufactured and it'll actually sit there in the gut, so then you'll have to take some type of magnesium or something that will help clear that back out, okay?

Ryan: Right

Matt: So yeah. I mean the way supplements are being manufactured is a concern, you know, and it's kinda bringing a bad taste into the supplement industry, you know. And so you definitely want to know that whenever you see that long list of 12 different excipients, or it has all these magnesium.. You know, magnesium this or magnesium that, whatever it may be, make sure you're educated on those. You know, you can call us, you can send us an email, and we'll be able to help you through those.

But like, the collagen combination with colostrum is going to be.. It's a unique product, you know. Usually with most products, you'll have to go out and buy those individually. I don't know of another product that contains the whey, the collagen and the colostrum, those three. And so here you have the building blocks of the immune system with the colostrum, so you get those really good amino globulins, and the only way you can get that is from cows that have conceived within the first 3 days, you know. And so the good thing is that these are grass fed cows, so we're talking about cows that live in a good environment, they're feeding on clean soils, and they're able to produce young livestock that shows you the high density of these amino globulins that will begin the colostrum. Okay?

And now secondly collagen, now collagen we know is a connective tissue, so if we can supplement the body with the protein which builds the muscles and then we have the tendons and the ligaments that actually attach to the bone from the muscle, that we can get in all one product, which is the collagen that will make up those tendons and ligaments. I mean, we're building an immune system, we're building the muscular system, we're building all the connective tissue, all in one product, I mean there's really... I would say, try and find something better than that! So but, they talk to clients, you know. And that's why I really love the protein by Natural Stacks. I really hammer it home with a lot of the physicians that I'm working with, with the practitioners, and it really makes sense to them.

You know, colostrum in the '70s, became really big as a really good post-workout supplement. And so then, it kind of went sideways. But now there's a lot of research coming forward on the benefits of colostrum on recovery and how it can be really, not only really build the muscle but also build the immune system at the same time. So, you ever have those tough workouts where you're just exhausted? Or if you're doing that consistently, you know, you're putting a dampener on the immune system. So you can combine the colostrum with the protein and you can get a really great recovery.

Ryan: Yeah. I know a lot of our listeners are interested in optimal performance, you know, on a holistic approach, that the entire body is a system, but even for somebody who is purely interested in muscle, you know somebody more towards that body builder end of the spectrum. You have to realize that your body is smart, you know, it's not dumb and it's not just going to force on muscle, if your body isn't functioning optimally, if you're not healthy, if your immune system is compromised, your body is not going to lay down new tissue. You are not going to put on mass for size you know, if you're not functioning the way you should.

Matt: Absolutely, yeah.

Ryan: So even if you're purely interested in muscle mass, you need to make sure that you're healthy and that you have the foundation in place for your body to want to, or be able to, put on more muscle mass.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I agree.

Ryan: So let's go back a minute, and you were talking about a couple of different processing types. So if somebody was looking at the labels and trying to figure out what is the best way for protein to be processed? You know I think off the top of my head I can think of seeing like ion exchange or cold filtered or even if we got into like whey concentrate versus whey isolate, what are those differences?

Matt: Yeah, I mean I'll get questions about like including whey with a casein or whey with a.. I mean whatever it may be. I think whey, it won't work as well by itself from what I've seen. Because it will remain stagnant in the gut and it won't move very well through the peristalsis process because it'll be really heavy. It'll be more dense. So you'll get a better absorption rate when you combine with the collagen or the colostrum, once you recognize that it's more of a food. And when you're taking it at these high doses, where I'll see.. I've seen brands that say they're 60 grams per serving, well your body can't absorb all that. You're probably only gonna absorb a third of that. And so, a lower dose protein is better to take, just because the body can slowly absorb it, you know. And so that's some of the best things that I can recommend. And as far as the manufacturing process. My main concern with anything is heat, you know. Because heat kills anything. So if you're putting your supplements even on your windowsill where the sun can hit them, you're killing them.

Ryan: Or leaving them in the back of your car!

Matt: Same thing, yeah! And people will do that, you know, they think it's more convenient. I'll take my pre workout or whatever right before I walk into the gym. Well who knows where that powder even is now. Heat changes the structure of anything, and so if something's been highly heated, as a protein, it will damage it, you know. And so damaged proteins in the body can be harmful over time. Being like micro filtered and having all those aspects as well. Well sometimes you do get concerned about that. But, in some processes it is necessary because where they're getting that protein is probably not a very good source.

Ryan: Right

Matt: If you're getting it from a good source then you don't have to do that as much.

Ryan: Well, and I wanna go back to the very first part of your answer there where you were talking about how you don't necessarily need the high quantities of protein. We've had expert after expert who've come on our show and said that in terms of protein needs, it's going to be on the low end, about 0.5 grams per pound of body weight, and on the high end we've had anywhere from 0.7 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. And, you know, that's much lower than the bodybuilding niche or crowd would say.

And I think most of those products that you've mentioned where they have 60 grams of protein per serving, I think most of those come from that bodybuilding world, where they're just trying to pound in tons and tons of low quality protein. And this is truly one of those things where quality is more important than quantity, and if you're getting high quality protein; grass fed, pasture raised, wild caught animal flesh and supplementing with, you know, really high quality protein powders when needed, then yeah, that lower amount is fine as long as it's high quality and you're going to hit those needs that, like we said, our experts are telling us that that's all we need.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I would agree. A good point too, you know, people will ask about taking branched chain amino acids along with their protein. So a little bit about branched chain amino acids, so these are essential amino acids, and so there's always a debate, especially in the bodybuilding world like you were bringing up, are branched chain amino acids useful? Should I be taking those if I'm already taking the protein, you know. And I have different recommendations on how to take branched chain amino acids. So that's leucine, one of the branched chain amino acids, is the most abundant in the muscle, and yeah, it's absolutely necessary if you're doing high intensity workouts. Okay.

And there are a lot of different benefits, but the thing that I've noticed- and this is why Natural Stacks, for example, has blended the branched chain amino acids with beta-alanine, okay. So beta-alanine is a precursor for carnosine, and carnosine has the effect of glycation in the body. Glycation is when proteins will attach to carbohydrates, or they can attach to glucose, okay? And so what happens when one of these proteins will attach to glucose for example, if we're taking a branched chain amino acid and it attaches to a glucose it can become really.. It will lose it's capability of being really strong in the body. Okay, it becomes weak. And there's different ways to kind of take that, some people use it as a weight loss aid because you're attaching glucose to the branched chain amino acids which will help you metabolize glucose and you can lose weight that way.

But if you're trying to build muscle, then you're going to want attached proteins, and to get your protein right you're gonna wanna attach them to carbs so you have a strong protein in the body. And so carnosine, or in this case, beta-alanine, has the ability to help those proteins attach where they need to, okay? So that's where in my opinion, the branched chain amino acids can get a bad rep, because they don't have the synergist that makes them available in the body. So I think it's very important, you know, a lot of research will talk about timing your protein and how to take it, and I would suggest.. Yeah it is shown to take it during a workout, you don't always want to drink a heavy protein drink but just taking the branched chain amino acids by themselves during a workout is my recommendation.

Ryan: Okay. That was going to be my question because you had mentioned that your use was a little bit different than other people's, so I was gonna ask you that.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. Just cause it's the same effect with.. When you have those proteins available in the body right away when you need them, you'll be able to make better use of them and you'll have a better recovery. So essentially, in a catabolic state, if you're working out and the body is tearing muscle fibers to make more, well it has to work at a molecular level to grab on the proteins. So if you can do that while you're working out then you get better results.

Ryan: Right. Now, well this is something that we actually discussed previously, but it ties in here, where you talked about with supplements, specifically pills, that a capsule like the BCAAs from Natural Stacks is a little bit better, I guess compared to like a pressed pill, instead of a capsule. So we're using less heat to have to process it, less pressure to have to form that pill.

Matt: So yeah, you know I'm not a tablet person because tablets.. You have to use thousands of pounds of pressure to be able to create a tablet, and the only way to create that tablet is by heating those nutrients to soften it to make it. Okay, so when you heat the nutrients, you damage them and then imagine if I was to use thousands of pounds of pressure on a vegetable, like, what would be left of it? So, same effect to create those tablets. And so by the end of it, you take in that tablet and it's a hard tablet, how is it going to be absorbed? Is it going to absorb too quickly? Is it going to take too long to absorb until it just flushes out of the system?

You know, it's really hard to gauge that and I just.. I always recommend vegetable capsules, so you know, your body can break down the vegetable capsules slowly in the GI and then you get full absorption of the nutrients that are in there. So you don't have to heat the nutrient, you don't have to pound the nutrient, you just encapsulate it, if that makes sense?

Ryan: Yeah, okay. Well we're going to shift gears a little bit and before we do that, I wanna throw in a question for you personally. You mentioned growing up in a house with, you know, you now have 8 chiropractors in the family, your father was a chiropractor, I'm presuming you grew up in a pretty healthy house! What was it like to grow up eating healthily?

Matt: Well..

Ryan: I guess like, you know, as a kid were you drinking all the sodas or you guys probably didn't eat out like the average family?

Matt: Yeah, you know, if we did we were always taking a vitamin to kinda counteract what we had eaten if we ever ate out, but you know I was blessed in that way. You know, my Dad actually grew up on a farm so he was used to getting really good fresh grown vegetables, you know, they grew a lot of potatoes, corn, things like that. And he was the only one who actually left the farm, we still have it, and he became a doctor. But yeah, it was always a debate on.. We had different conversations at the dinner table than probably any other family, well you know, you're not supposed to eat this because it does this.. Or you know, so it was one of those things. Being educated.

Ryan: Being exposed to that and growing up in that environment, you know, it definitely set you up to be a healthy adult and instilled some habits in you and that's cool! And I guess that's something..

Matt: Yeah, yeah. And now, you know, I'm married with a family and now it's my wife that's stricter than me! And I'm like.. I helped make her that way, I'm like, what did I do?! But it's been good, you know, and the way that the American diet has changed so much, we really need people out there preaching and educating those that just don't know. You know, it's not that they don't wanna do good, but they just need educating.

Ryan: Well, we're not taught how to feed ourselves. That's not in our education program here and most of the correct and best information is coming from sources like us and sources outside of, you know, mainstream education and mainstream media, unfortunately.

Matt: Yeah, no exactly. I mean, they're being hammered pretty hard with advertisement, you know, and it's what they see in front of them, but the effects of what will happen later in their life can be chronically damaging and it can cause you to age. And I think that's one of the biggest safety factors, is the food that we're consuming. So, as the food that is available to us isn't always at the highest quality that we would like, supplementation is very important. You know, and so getting in all of your protein like you would, like in the early 1900s, is not the same today as we would like it to be.

Ryan: You certainly have to look a whole lot harder and put a whole lot more effort into acquiring that than you did back then.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. Let's say, I was talking to somebody this week about a study from the 1940s on how you'd have to eat spinach.. To get one roll of spinach in the 40s you'd have to eat like 60 or something crazy, so it's an idea.

Ryan: So for people listening who may not be familiar with that, explain why that is now.

Matt: There's different factors, you know, the way things are harvested is one of them. How are they treating the crops, you know? Over time it's the same thing with us as we adapt with our environment, how are humans adapting to that environment? How are the crops and the nutrients that are available to us, how are they adapting? And some of them cannot adapt to the environment, and the way these are processed, whether it's using pesticides or they're genetically modified, whatever it may be, you know or the way the crops are rotated on the land, it might not have the soil density that we want to create a really nutritious energy. Because that's what we're feeding our bodies, is the energy. But that's my opinion.

Ryan: And you're absolutely right, I mean, the science is out there and there's a lot of people talking about changing our farming structure and systems so, like you said, I mean, the whole, the thing that makes the vegetables and produce so beneficial is all the nutrients, you know, from the soil. And if we're getting them from low quality soil and we're covering them in chemicals and pesticides, well great! You know, you're eating produce but you're getting more chemicals, more hormone disruptors and fewer nutrients than ever before so is it really that good? And I think that's why, again, the quality of what you put in your body is of the up most importance and you definitely wanna pay attention to that, whether it's protein, protein powder, animal flesh, or produce. Where's it coming from? How is it grown or produced?

Matt: Exactly, and I agree with you right there. You know, you're taking in these pesticides, things like that, well these aflatoxins are created, you know, and these micro toxins in the body, and so when you've been consuming the same thing that contains where you're picking up these aflatoxins and micro toxins in the body then in my opinion, that's what creates a lot of these other immune responses. You know, because your cell receptors cannot work at a high capacity when they're constantly being damaged. So really changing the way we eat, changing the nutrients we're consuming and being educated on supplements can really change your life.

Ryan: Well yeah, and as you were speaking this analogy just came into my head, I mean, for our listeners, and it's like we mentioned it earlier, if you wanna put on muscle mass you have to make sure your immune system is functioning correctly. If you wanna function optimally, if you wanna be at your best, you can't constantly be putting out fires. If you think about like yourself and your to-do list and your productivity, if you constantly have to, you know, change a diaper or put out some fire, answer a phone call, do this, then it's really hard to do those high value activities or whatever it is that you actually wanna get accomplished, and it's the same thing for your body. If you're constantly fending off, you know, chemicals, toxins, pesticides, whatever, then you know, how can you expect your body to be concerned with burning fat or building muscle or, you know, setting PRs, whatever it may be?

Matt: Yeah, exactly. You know, changing your lifestyle and focusing it on your health, I mean it's a big responsibility but you can do it and you'll see a great benefit in doing that.

Ryan: Alright, so before we wrap this up we've gotta talk one more anti-ageing thing and I know this is something that you also have a lot of knowledge on. This is sort of a hot topic in anti-ageing or recovery, so I want to talk a little bit about deer antler velvet. Does it work? Is it a scam? Talk to our listeners about it.

Matt: I knew I'd get this question! So, I mean, deer antler, it became really popular a few years back when a football player had used it and he had claimed that that's how he recovered from a major injury, you know. And he was able to return to playing. And so, from there, everybody gravitated to making a product really quickly, of the deer antler. So the way deer antler works is it works a lot with growth factors. So it has the insulin micro factor which can help in recovery of the cells, it also is beneficial for cartilage chondrocytes, you know those are cartilage building cells, the muscle building cells; and so with all that being said, you understand if you can activate those cells then you can have a smooth recovery and you can have muscle mass built.

Ryan: You know, if chondrocytes build the cartilage; that's ligaments and connective tissue, well that can speed the recovery. So this product really can do that, deer antler can really do that, then why aren't we all taking it? But my opinion, so you know, the cleanest source of deer antler comes from New Zealand; the New Zealand Red Deer antler, and the way it's harveste- there's different ways- they'll use anesthetic to put the deer down and then they'll collect the antler that way. They can use a shocking method, actually knocking the deer out, and then cutting and clipping the antlers that way as well. You know, either way the antlers are shed annually, naturally, but now it's become a harvesting thing in the supplement industry where people actually harvest the deers just for this benefit. So my main concern is when you look at these deer antler sprays or capsules or liquids, sometimes deer antler's not even on the bottle, you know.

Or if it is on there it's at like a really low dose. Maybe a milligram or two. For the body to actually benefit from the use of deer antler, you need to take almost 500 times that amount. So the majority ingredient will be something else, you know like a tribulus, [unclear 34:10], something like that, to where you actually feel the effects, like oh this is working! It's not the deer antler usually, so you could be taking something that does not benefit you. It could be doing you more harm. It also has a claim of helping growth hormone levels. Though it can, at a certain dose, but I honestly think that this is a fad that people aren't educated on and it's almost... I don't recommend it.

Ryan: Gotcha. Well I know, just to clarify a couple of points on that, this is not a future Natural Stacks product, it was just a conversation that came up in passing and we wanted to make sure we put it on the podcast cause it is something that a lot of people are asking about, a lot of people are interested in. And as you mentioned, deer do shed their antlers annually. When they begin to grow back they are covered in a soft, fuzzy outer coating and that's actually the velvet and that's what's harvested. That velvet is the fastest growing tissue on the planet. So in theory, as you said, it is very rich and very dense in those insulin micro-factors, growth hormones, and all those other things that can benefit regeneration and tissue growth; because that's exactly what they're doing for the deer. So I think, like you said, in theory, if we could.. It's the epitome of trying to catch lightning in a bottle, right?

Matt: Basically. I mean the thing is too, whenever it's manufactured it has to be brought.. Usually across the world, if we're getting it here in the US and you have to maintain the activity of the velvet, you know. The way it's kept and within that process, you have about 30 days from the time they're clipped and the velvet remains active. So we'll use like freeze drying techniques to keep it active, but by that time how much of it is really active in the body when it's sitting in a bottle in the store or wherever you know you purchased it. It's not going to be that much in my opinion.

Ryan: Yeah, and so again it's kind of a cautionary tale, if you're going to take a supplement let's really look into it and make sure that whatever you think you're taking, let's make sure that is in fact what's in there, that it's in an amount that's going to be beneficial, that it's you know, been processed in a way that you're getting what you think you're getting.

Matt: Exactly, yeah. And that should be a concern with anything you take. And some of us have to learn that the hard way, you know, like I do. But if you can understand it, not everything is presented how it should be.

Ryan: And that's.. I tell everybody that I come into contact with, if they're asking me about a supplement it's you know, don't read the front of the package, don't read the hype, turn right around to the back and read the ingredients. And you know, if you can educate yourself on how the body works, what you're trying to accomplish, then simply reading the ingredient list will tell you whether or not this is something that's going to help you.

Matt: Exactly, yeah. So that's a major concern. Nowadays they are hammering down on the labels of what things say, they're testing products, just to make sure everything that is listed in the ingredients is actually in the product, so just make sure that you know you're working with a trusted supplier, you know.

Ryan: Alright, so Dr. Matt, before we let you go, if people have questions for you on a future episode or just any othe questions, if they wanna get more from you, where can they find you?

Matt: So you can call me, my number's 737 704 1983, but you can always email me: it's just, and I'll be willing to.. I'll get to you really quick, that same day or within a couple hours for sure.

Ryan: Awesome, awesome.

Matt: Yeah, I look forward to speaking with everybody. I mean, call and we'll talk about anything, you know. If you've got a thing you need any help with or a friend, or whatever it may be.

Ryan: Right, so now it's time for your top 3 tips. So we wanna know what a chiropractor who has worked with astronauts and NASA, if you could tell our listeners your top 3 tips for them to live optimal, what have you got?

Matt: So, my number 1 is to stay active, you know. The body has to move, it was built to move and I always tell people you need to stay active. Of course, not just stay active, move, just move! Number 2 would be evaluate what you're eating. You know. Because this is the energy that feeds your body, this is what makes you who you are physically, you know. So I want you to be healthy, I want you to be able to perform, I want your brain to work at it's highest capacity, and your heart to function, for you to be able to exercise. So evaluate what you're eating, don't just eat something to keep you full, okay.

And number 3, well I will just say.. You got me on that one. Let me think about it.. I mean I would just recommend that you continue your education. You know, educate yourself on things that interest you, but mainly about your body. So be educated! You know and the best advice I ever got was the day I graduated chiropractic school, and I was told by the professor that was speaking, that: 'you're a doctor now, so now is when the real learning begins'. So I don't put myself on a pedestal, that's why I'm open to talking to anybody, you know, and doctor actually means teacher. So I'm learning all the time, you know, I'm being educated, but if I can teach you something I'll try to do my best, but if you can teach me something and educate me then please do it! So that would be my third recommendation, stay educated.

Ryan: I like that one a lot. Nobody's said anything like that yet.

Matt: Alright, good!

Ryan: Alright, Dr. Matt, thanks for hanging out with us today! Listeners, thank you guys for hanging out. That's it for this episode, as always you can catch the show notes and the video version at and make sure you head on over to iTunes, leave us a 5* review, show us some love, tell us how much you like the podcast, and until next Thursday! Talk to you then.

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