Patrick Arnold Interview (Full Episode) | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast) | Transcription
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Greetings, my little maguire. This is Tim Ferriss, and I'm going to read you a legal disclaimer for this episode. I don't do many of these, but at the behest of my ever-so-competent legal counsel, allow me to read the following. I am not recommending, endorsing, or supporting any of the substances or compounds discussed or described in this interview, particularly when this applies to illegal, illicit, or dangerous compounds or substances. I'm interviewing Patrick Furthermore, as a journalist seeking additional information regarding matters of public interest and concern. And you shall also notice that we have removed a number of names of different folks to protect the innocent, guilty, or otherwise. And with all of that said, since I've covered my little white ass, please enjoy. At this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Can I answer your personal question? No, I would have seen it in a perfect time. What if I did the other? I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue over metal endoskeleton. The Tim Ferriss Show. Hello, all you freaks out there, and aren't we all freaks at the end of the day? This is Tim Ferriss, and welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. If you liked my episode with Dom DeAgostino, the incredible scientist who fasted six, seven days, whatever it was, deadlifted 500 pounds for 10 reps and continues to do amazing work for the Department of Defense with exogenous ketones, et cetera, et cetera, you might love this one. So here we go. Patrick Arnold is widely considered the father of prohormones. He's also an organic chemist known for introducing androstenedione, remember Mark McGuire, one androstenediol, marketed as 1AD, and methylhexanamine, if I'm getting that correct, into the dietary supplement market. And I'm going to mangle quite a few of these types of words. Now, you may recognize the name and say, why do I know that name, Patrick Arnold? He also created the designer steroid tetrahydrogestronone, best known as THG or the clear. THG, along with two other anabolic steroids that Patrick manufactured, perhaps the best known of the two being norbolothone, not banned at the time of their creation. This is very important. We're hard to detect drugs at the heart of the Balco professional sports doping scandal, which thrust Barry Bonds and others into the spotlight. I was in the Bay Area when this happened. Balco distributed these worldwide world-class athletes in a whole slew of sports ranging from track and field to professional baseball and football. More recently, Patrick has been innovating in the legal world of ketone supplementation, and that's actually how he connected with Dom, including breakthroughs in performance and taste with products like KetoForce, like KetoKana. And both of those ended up coming up, I believe, in my conversation with Dom because they have some very, very, very interesting applications. If you'd like to meet Patrick in person, the infamous Patrick Arnold in person, you can find him at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio from March 3rd to 6th, 2016. So that's coming up very soon for those of you who are listening to this when it first comes out at booth 328. So I believe that will be the Keto Sports booth at 328. Otherwise, you can check out his current concoctions for athletes at ketosports.com as well as Prototypenutrition.com. In this Science Dense Conversation, we cover a ton, most of it's related to better performance through chemistry. We also discuss Patrick's biggest successes and mistakes, his path to science, exogenous ketone supplementation for sports, of course, as well as nonsense in the media about antibiotics and performance-enhancing drugs. For example, the Delta II scandal that came out not too long ago and lots of misinformation related to that. So I will, with one more caveat, let us get into it. This is a dense conversation. And as always with my podcast, with my blog posts, I don't try to put out an episode that everyone will love. There's no such thing. I try to put out episodes that a fraction of my listenership in this case will love and really get into because there's tons of detail in the weeds. If this episode isn't for you, that's okay. You can try something else like Jamie Foxx or Josh Waitzkin, the Chess Prodigy. My goal is with every, say, five episodes or so to hit everybody in my audience. But this is a very cool episode. It's highly specific and I do hope you enjoy it. So here is Patrick Arnold.
Beginning Of Passion And Addiction Awareness
Dropping the science (04:25)
Patrick, welcome to the show. Thank you very much. I have been looking forward to this and hoping that we might cross paths for such a long time. I've had many requests. And when I look back at the supplements, for instance, that have had an impact on me and I look at the common thread in retrospect, you've had a hand in pretty much all of them. It's an area where I have a very high degree of insecurity. I've never studied, say, organic chemistry to any extent. It's like Latin in so much as I've read a lot of these words, but I'm sure I will mispronounce a lot. So feel free to correct me. But I wanted to begin at the beginning, I guess, and just to ask you if you could talk about how you developed a passion for chemistry because it's not a hot subject in the same way that, say, computer science is very in, right? How did that start?
The beginning of quite a passion. (05:32)
Well, I would say that to tell my story, I'd have to talk about how I gained a passion for weightlifting, bodybuilding, at the same time that I grew a passion for chemistry. I'll start with the weightlifting part because that happened earlier. That happened when my grandfather had an old set of York weights in his basement and we brought them all down to our basement. We ended up buying benches and whatnot from this guy in Wallingford, Connecticut that had his forgery there and he made this really cool, hardcore stuff and everything. We set up our own little gym. So I was around 12, 13 years old. So we were one of the first people in our neighborhood to start lifting weights and just really got into it and all that. So later on, I've always was very science-oriented. My father always had encyclopedias, science books, and I used to read about the universe and astronomy and be fascinated by that. Later I got fascinated by nutrition. Part of that had to do with the fitness stuff. I was getting into all the weightlifting and all that. I got into what do I eat to gain muscle, to be healthy so I can run farther and all that. Later on, I remember the first time I ever heard about anabolic steroids was a book that I bought. It's one of those standard, whatever, I don't know what publisher it was, but one of those standard books about weightlifting and everything. There was this one little page or paragraph that said, "Anabolic steroids." I said, "What is this?" They said, "Do not take these. They are bad and some athletes resort to this, but you know, I'm like, okay, this means that there's something good about it." Then I got kind of curious and I'm thinking, "Well, maybe there's a drug aspect to fitness too, not only nutrition and whatnot." I wasn't the most perfect youngster either. I would go out with some friends and we would smoke pot or whatever and occasionally experiment with other things. I just became very interested in pharmacology, pharmacology of the building muscle, pharmacology of mood enhancements, whether it be nootropics or psychoactives or recreational or whatever. The whole thing fascinated me. I originally wanted to be a pharmacy major. I couldn't get into the pharmacy school so I got out to the chemistry department, which I'm very happy that I did because I think I'm much happier learning how to make stuff than though you could be a pharmacologist or whatever working research. Studying chemistry and specifically organic chemistry, organic synthesis, you learn how to make stuff. If I never learned how to do that, I never would have done all the crazy stuff I've done and we wouldn't be talking right now. The performance enhancement side of things, a mutual friend of ours, we have quite a few mutual friends, is telling me that you used to go down to the library stacks and try to find molecules or patented molecules that you could tweak or look at variations of.
The library stacks. (08:53)
Is that true or is that an aspect of the same time frame? You're confusing two time frames but I'll clarify. I do that a lot. It started when I got my first job out of undergrad and I went to work for a chemical company in New Jersey called ISP, formerly GAF. I don't know what it's called now. But I had a boring job. I did organic synthesis. I mostly did polymers. I did some other stuff. My boss was absent most of the time. My day consisted of setting up a reaction and then every half hour or so injecting a catalyst in there and checking the temperature and whatnot. There was a chemistry library, quite significant, well kept, well stacked chemistry library on that floor. I started thinking, "I got a chemistry lab here and I would like to fool around and make some stuff." I would like to make some stuff, bodybuilding stuff. I also was thinking about making other stuff, recreational stuff, which turned out to be a learning experience. We'll definitely come back to that. So what I would do is, I started off very naïve. First thing I wanted to do was make testosterone. I started off really stupid thinking that I should make it the way it's made from scratch, which is actually from a plant. It's a yam, a diascoria yam. I was able to get an extract or chopped up. I just made a completely huge mess. It was the stupidest thing to do. Later on I realized, if you're a chemist, if you're a synthetic chemist, you find the raw material that's commercially available that's closest to the molecule you're trying to make. It's like if you want to build a car, you don't make your own rubber, you make your own steel. You buy whatever things that are as pre-made as possible and then put it together and you assemble it. So I found out that DHEA was easily available and cheap at the time. It was actually sold to a lot of AIDS-baring clubs and anti-aging people. So I was able to get a good supply. From DHEA you can make testosterone, dianabol, you can make a lot of things from it. So I was able to make several steroids from that. There were other classes of steroids I could make too. It took a long time for me to really get my feet wet, but I learned a lot of techniques and I learned how to purify things. More so than if I ever just done my job that I was supposed to do there because I was learning nothing pretty much. So you were tinkering when left unsupervised. When left unsupervised. I would come back at night many times and stay late. People must have been thinking, "Boy, that guy's working hard." He was just not on the things you were assigned, right? Yeah. I always wondered if they're talking to my boss saying, "You're kind of sitting here all the time." After a while my boss caught on. How did you choose the molecules to create? You mentioned Boldanone, which I associate that with Sprint Cyclists for some reason. I'm not sure if that was in the news in the last few years. But how did you choose which molecules to go after? Well, first and foremost, it has to do with the availability of the raw material. There was a precursor that was commercially available and it wasn't controlled that I could buy and in one step I could make Boldanone from. I was able to buy an interesting dione. It wasn't controlled. I was able to make testosterone from that. I was able to buy something called epiindrosterone, which I was able to make some DHT derivatives from. I also fooled around with some 19-nor stuff as well. There's several things. I've always called it, and this is again getting back to this, I've only read it, never had to say it, the androstenedione. How do you pronounce that properly? I like to think I'm the one that pronounces it properly, but I've never… androstenedione, I would say. Okay. So that, correct me if I'm wrong, came to the media limelight with… Is that correct?
The start of the ANDRO/DS game, 1-AD, 4-AD, etc. (14:43)
Am I thinking of the same thing? Yeah. Well, yeah. The connection there, which is interesting, is that when I was looking up androstenedione, looking up the best way to make testosterone from androstenedione, I came across a German patent from the former GDR, East Germany. It had to do with the use of androstenedione as an acute performance enhancer, mostly nasally but also orally. It said that it elevated testosterone for 90 minutes or so and that people would have an acute central nervous system effect and whatnot. God knows why East Germany would publish a patent telling the world how they cheat is beyond me. I don't really understand. But I took note of that and I said, "Well, I found that interesting," and then I just sort of forgot about it. Later on, I left that job and I ended up out here in Illinois. And this guy that I was partners with at the time, his name was Stan Antosh, and he had a company called Osmo out in San Francisco. He and I were with this lock in my current partner. We're trying to make some stuff. We're trying to make CLA. I came up with a process for that. But anyway, he said to me one day, "I want to put together a kitchen sink creatine product. It has every best thing in the world. Can you think of any ingredients?"
How 1-AD (1-androstenediol) differs from ANDRO (androstenedione). (16:28)
And I'm like, "Well, it's something called androstenedione. If DHEA is illegal, I mean, if DHEA is legal, this stuff should be legal. I mean, it's not controlled and it's one step away. It's two hydrogens away." And he said, "What is it?" And I told him what it was. He says, "How do you know that that's not illegal?" And I say, "It shouldn't be." And I say, "It should be very widely available in China too because it is an intermediate in the manufacture of contraceptives and all sorts of steroid drugs." And since China at the time had a one-child policy, I'm sure contraceptives were a huge market there. So lo and behold, there was a ton of vanircidion at a very cheap price. So he started to bottle it and that took off. And that, just for people who are listening who might not be familiar with this world, that would be referred to as a prohormone, correct? And I mean, I've heard you refer to as the father of prohormones, but these compounds that are one step away, like you said, or two steps away, like two hydrogens away from testosterone. And so it's not controlled when you consume it, but it's converted into something like testosterone that if you consumed directly or injected directly would have legal restrictions associated with it. Well, the whole concept of prohormones was sort of something I came up with. I mean, it was a term, but to me, actually DHEA was the first prohormone, but nobody really marketed as that. They just said, "DHEA does all this stuff, blah, blah, blah." And I knew that it turned into testosterone, but negligibly. But when I came up with the interesting dione, the whole marketing scheme with that is that it converts to testosterone. It is a prohormone or prosteroid. And that became a genre, a whole genre of supplements. And there were subsequent products. Then I came up with 4AD, which was ingesting diol, and eventually I came up with something called 1AD, which was the first one that actually really worked like a real steroid. And that's when things went crazy. That's when the money really started pouring in. But as far as your analysis of the technology saying that if it is an active hormone, it's illegal, that's not necessarily true because it's at least as far as illegal as controlled substance goes because there's a lot of active steroids that are not controlled substances. Now, in 2003 or 2004, I think, or maybe 2002, people started selling the active versions of these. They started selling instead of 1AD, which was converted to one testosterone, people started selling one testosterone itself. And I got very upset because I was working with Rick Collins, the attorney. You're probably familiar with Rick. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And we actually had a lobby... Specializes in this type of case or this... Steroid law. Exactly. Steroid law, supplement law, and all that. So our whole defense of these... These products was predicated on the fact that these are not active hormones and that your body has to convert them and your body has a finite capacity to convert them. So they have a... It's sort of a built-in abuse or proof potential to them. Now, when people started selling the... And we were actually... Rick and I were actually going to see lobbyists in Congress and whatnot because there was rumblings that, you know, there can be bills and they want to get rid of these andros and all that, all that stuff. And people started selling these things and they wanted in on all this, you know, let's keep all this stuff legal. And I said, "Guys, we can't... You're going to ruin our whole argument." And then they got angry and said, "Oh, you just want the market for yourself." And well, it ended up being a... It was a fail. But I tell you, our efforts did keep the pro hormones and those other active ones on the market for maybe two, three, four years longer than they may not have been if we'd done nothing. So actually going out there and making some noise and helps. So, 1AD is one of those supplements that I used after seeing a friend of mine. I mean, seemingly of course, this isn't literally true, but sort of double in size. He was a jujitsu competitor and I was just like... And everybody just was like, "What are you using?" Because we don't believe it's broccoli and ended up being 1AD. Can you describe for folks the advantages of 1AD or I guess before that it was 4AD, if I'm mixing things up, correct me, compared to androstenedione? Because I want people who are say unfamiliar with some of the basic chemistry here to gain just the basic vocab. Because is there an aromatase component or I'd look for you just to describe what the advantages are compared to plain Jane and... Okay. Well, I can make a progression from androstenedione, which is like the Model T and to 4AD, which was better and then 1AD, which was quite different. Anyway, androstenedione is... It circulates in your blood with testosterone. It's constantly interconverting. It's pretty widely... Its concentration in your blood is significant. It does aromatize easily, which means that it'll turn into estrone, which can then turn into estradiol. And at the dosages people were taken, they would get a disproportionate increase in estrogen compared to testosterone and that would lead to estrogenic problems such as gynecomastia or whatnot. So just for people who don't know, gynecomastia, I mean, it's a terrible nickname, but nickname is bitch tits, right? Because you develop fatty deposits in your breast tissue or pectoralis tissue, which is why a lot of bodybuilders have that type of surgery. I just want to provide a little bit of context for people. Please continue. Okay. So then I came up with 4-Angerstein-Diol, which I knew about because back when I would make the testosterone in New Jersey, I always had these 4AD contaminants and they're basically over reduced. You don't need to know that's a synthetic term, over reduced, angerstein-diol. And I thought to myself, let me look at this stuff. And I went to the library and I saw that yeah, it's natural metabolite and everything. And then I found some articles to say that it actually converts the testosterone a lot better than angerstein-diol. And not only that, but it can't directly aromatize. So, and it was easy for us to make. I mean, it was a very simple reaction, just get the angerstein-diol and just use this reagent called sodium borohydride methanol and dilute, wash, and it's the simplest kind of reaction. So that had a great advantage.
Marine muscle and anabolic neuroscience. (24:45)
And that superseded the angerstein-diol. But still, people would not get like what you happen to your jujitsu friend. You said it was jujitsu or? Yeah, it was jujitsu. Jujitsu, okay. And so when I came up with the 1AD and that was kind of a feat at the time, I probably would be able to figure it out a lot quicker now. It's been 10, 15 years or so. But I took a long time trying to figure out how to make this stuff because I looked it up. I went to the library and I was looking up, okay, what other natural metabolites of antigens are there in the body that could be very anabolic? And I found this one German book on steroids and I saw this one metabolite that had the double bond. I don't know if you know enough about organic chemistry that there's single bonds, there's double bonds. I mean, that's about as simple as that. As far as I go. Alright, steroid molecule has four rings. And the first ring in testosterone, angerstein-diol and 4AD, it's in the lower part which is a four carbon four to carbon five which this one stuff was carbon one to carbon two. So it was in a weird position. But that had a tremendous amount of ramifications as far as bioavailability or more so conversion and receptor affinity. And it also would not aromatize. So I looked it up and I'm like, man, this stuff looks like it's going to be strong. So I made some of the dione and for some reason the compound intrinsically burns like you're putting wasabi on your tongue. And you were ingesting it orally? Or how are you taking it? Or orally. Orally, yeah. Yeah. But the thing is it would also burn as it went to your system and everything. And as pure as you could get it, it wouldn't matter. It was not an impurity. It was a property of the compound itself. So I said, man, I can't be selling this stuff. The few people that tried it just blew up. But they're like, man, I don't know. I'm like, all right, I'm not going to put this on the market. So I quickly came up with a die-all version which was a little more complicated than I thought when I found some catalyst that allowed it to do what I had to do. And then that didn't have that problem. And then we came out with that and it quickly became extremely popular. And I remember going to one Arnold, the Arnold classic. Yeah, the Arnold classic. It's like the Coachella of muscle heads. I mean, it's gigantic. I mean, what is it?
The Arnold Classic. (27:57)
It must be like 100,000 plus people easily in Columbus, right? I mean, it's just gigantic. It's an entire city of people. It's like the Burning Man for people in tight pants with big muscles. What is that motorcycle thing up in North Dakota? Oh, yeah. I mean, it's that type of sort of draw. But it's more than that now. It has like 30, 35 different sports. It's gigantic. Yeah. Yeah. So it's just not even just bodybuilding. But back then, it was mostly bodybuilding. And I don't know if you've heard of the distribution company called Europa Sports. I have, yeah. Definitely. Well, back then, all the Europa guys were 350 pounds and monsters. And I remember them coming around and say, "Patrick, what's up with that 180? I love it. I take it 20 a day." And I'm like, "20 a day? Are you insane?" You're only supposed to take like three to six a day. But these guys, they do what they want to. They weigh 400 pounds.
Hearing on the cutting edge can lead to getting cut (29:02)
Yeah. So just to touch on that for a second, I mean, there's so many different questions I want to ask here. But I guess where I'd love to steer this for a second is when you're on the cutting edge, sometimes you get cut, right? So if we rewind, and I can think of a lot of examples as a consumer, not a creator of these things, but as a consumer where I'm like, "Oops, took too much Yohimbi and hydrochloride and took it too close to ephedrine. And now I really feel like I'm going to have dive heat stroke." And really, in retrospect for me, I think I was really haphazard and just felt like I was immortal, which is not the case. Let's rewind back to the, you mentioned the recreational drugs. And I don't know if this was in terms of placing it in time when you were in college or otherwise. But I mean, did you have, you said there was a learning experience there. Do you want to elaborate on that? Yeah, that would be back in New Jersey. So at the time, well, I guess just to kind of preface it, I actually, the whole thing kind of started in high school in that I was on the wrestling team and wrestling practice was really hard. And I looked at my mother's medicine cabinet and I saw there was an old prescription for Percodan. It said for pain. I didn't even know what it was. And I said, "I got a lot of pain during my wrestling practice, so I'm going to take one of these before my wrestling practice." And I did.
Staying cautious with addictive substances (30:38)
And I had the best wrestling practice ever. People were bending my arm behind my neck in all kinds of positions. I'm just staring ahead. I don't care. And I kind of grew to an affinity for that sort of drug or whatnot. But I never did anything about it or whatnot. But then when I moved to New Jersey and I had all that free time, I thought to myself, "Well, wouldn't it be nice if I could synthesize something like a Percodan or something along those lines?" So I looked into all the different derivatives that were, you know, that exist. And I looked into Damorol. You know, the morphine derivatives are kind of out of the question because they all start with a morphine type substructure, which is all controlled. And I found out that methadone was something that all the raw materials were not controlled, were cheap and available. It was a three-step synthesis. It wasn't that easy, but I was able to figure out how to do it. Now, I didn't know what I was getting into. And I made my first tiny amount and I took 40 milligrams. And because I looked up, it said 10 milligrams is a regular dose. And I said, "Well, a regular dose is nothing. I'll take four times that."
Uncontrollable euphoria (32:16)
And I took it. And then at work, I weighed it out on an analytical scale. And then I walked to the lunchroom and I was feeling kind of giddy and I ate my lunch. And the way back from the lunchroom, I started spinning really bad and I just made it to the nurse's office. I just started throwing up and my face was itching, my nose was itching. I just lay there. And every time I would move, I would throw up. And I lay there for like an hour or two. I made it up to my lab and continued throwing up the whole afternoon, throwing up. Everyone laughed. I made it to my car, throwing up all the way to my car. Drove home 10 miles, pulling over every mile of stuff, throwing up, throwing up, throwing up. And I didn't get back to work for like three days. I was just throwing up. And I said, "I'm never going to touch that stuff again. This stuff is horrible." And then I had a skiing injury a couple of months later. And I was prescribed painkillers and whatnot. And I thought to myself, "Well, I got that methadone. Maybe I'll try it again. I'll be more careful with the dose. Maybe I'll take it intramuscularly. That way I don't have to wait."
The first signs of addiction (33:35)
And I'll start with a little amount. I won't have to wait an hour to see whether it's going to hit me or not. So I took it and I was like, "This is pretty good. It's pretty good." And it would last sometimes 36 hours at first. That's a long time. Yeah. It is a very long half-life. But time went by and I guess it was about a year that I was taking it. And it took months before I realized I had an addiction. And I realized – because one time I just sort of stopped and I was just like, "Oh my God, I feel terrible. What is wrong with me? Oh, geez, I feel terrible." And I wasn't even thinking. And I went to work and I'm like, "That's going to take a little methadone." And all of a sudden, "Wow, I feel good." And I'm like, "Oh no. Oh no, I'm an idiot. Why did I not realize that this was – " And then from there I was like, "Well, you're going to have to deal with this, man." How did you get yourself off of it? Well, I was sort of thinking – and it was really stupid thinking. There was a book back then. I think that guy Andrew Weil and someone else wrote it. It was called From Chocolate to Morphine. I don't know if you remember it. But it was a very candid book about drugs, an honest book saying which ones are harmful, how they're harmful, how they're not harmful. And in there, they said, "Opiates are very addictive. They can kill you with the overdose very easily. But people can take them controlled for decades and not suffer serious health consequences other than maybe being fatigued or whatnot." And I said, "Well, Mo Patrick, you could just hang on until maybe medical science will find some way for you to magically get off this stuff without discomfort or whatnot." But what ended up happening is they ended up finding out – because I had a big mouth and I was very reckless. They ended up finding out what I was doing at work and they drug tested me and they laid me off. And so I was stuck with nothing.
Demanding detox (35:56)
And by that time, my tolerance had grown considerably and I was taking a lot. And it was a horrible, horrible experience. I didn't know what to do. I went to methadone clinics where the heroin addicts go and they just looked at me and said, "Get the hell out of here. You don't belong here." I'm like trying to explain my story but it didn't fit their paradigm. So eventually, I went to my doctor. He took one look at me and he said, "You need to go." They made some calls. He said, "You need to drive 75 miles south to Summit, New Jersey. They got a place for you down there and they'll take care of you." And I drove and I got there and they didn't believe me either because who comes in saying, "Well, I'm a chemist. I made my own methadone and now I ran out." You don't hear that story. That's not the usual story. It sounds like someone that's coming in for free drugs or something. But I was just like, "Please, you've got to help me." So they did their best to detox me. I spent the first three or four days on the couch shivering with a blanket over my head. It's even hard for me to remember but it's just the worst, worst thing in the world. And it went on and on and on. I didn't feel normal again for two or three months. But that taught me to respect drugs, especially drugs that are of addiction and don't think that you're immune or somehow you're unique and that it won't bite you, especially something serious like that. I shouldn't say always. I mean, back when I was in my younger, even dumber years, not always the case.
Dangerous Substances And Wastes In Bodybuilding
Reconstructive pandemonium (37:58)
But I try to stay away from anything really fast acting in terms of no intravenous, etc. I was very fortunate and I was really happy in a way when I had my first reconstructive surgery. They gave me Vicodin and all sorts of different opiates and they made me viciously sick. I couldn't take them. They made me extremely nauseous and I was really grateful. It's funny, Tim, because I've had some situations where I've had to be prescribed opiates recently and also had to have them in a hospital itself, intravenously and whatnot. And they don't make me feel good like they did back then. I mean, if I'm in a lot of pain, yes, they will numb the pain but they just make me feel kind of yucky and moody and nauseous. I lost the affinity for them. There's no recreational value with them anymore. Thank God. Tim Cynova Yeah, I remember. And so the follow-up question I wanted to ask was what other drugs that athletes take you think have a high abuse potential or are dangerous? And the example that comes to mind, so when I was in – I must have been in college because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it, had to have been working, was a newsletter.
The most dangerous substance in bodybuilding (39:20)
I can't remember the name of it but by Dan Duchene. Tim Cynova Oh, Dirty Dieting? Tim Cynova That was probably it. And I remember when he started talking about DNP. Am I getting that right? Tim Cynova Yeah. Tim Cynova And the stories, I mean, they were told to be entertaining. I was like, "Jesus Christ." I mean, it just seems like rolling the dice and waiting for the reaper on like snake eyes to come and to take you out because it seemed so, so dangerous. But what – are there any particular drugs or classes of drugs that come to mind that you think are dangerous or have a high abuse potential that athletes use? Tim Cynova Well, DNP is probably the most dangerous one. I do not think it has a high abuse potential because it doesn't make you feel good. There's no reinforcing effect of it. But you mentioned Dan Duchene. He's actually the guy that sort of propelled me into this industry and he was my mentor sort of. And I knew him quite well and discussed DNP with him and I knew his fiancé also. And she used to call me all the time. It was a very strange situation. But she had told me how – well, Dan's gone and everything. But Dan was reckless and didn't always have his – I have a lot of good things to say about Dan but I ought to be honest. Dan was reckless and he used a lot of clients. His clients were almost all women as skinny pigs and did some things that could kill him. And he had this girl taking DNP and insulin at the same time. And she said that she almost died. Now, coincidentally, later on, Dan convinced her to go get calf implants in Mexico. They ended up becoming infected and she ended up getting her legs amputated. And she was a very depressed, almost suicidal woman to begin with. And I remember when that happened, I was just like, "This is just – " Well, we're going off on a tangent. You could tell. I mean, just in the writing, you could tell he was very conflicted. He's very smart but very conflicted. He could be a very nice person but he could be a very selfish person and he could just not care about people sometimes. I think the way he was towards women sometimes, he was just – I wouldn't call him not physically seductive but psychologically seductive, sadistic. So, aside from the, say, methadone, right? And this is related to the other question we're using for extended periods of time. I have no evidence that taking insulin in a fashion where your blood sugar does not – it stays under control is particularly dangerous. A lot of people saying that taking exogenous insulin will lead to insulin insensitivity. But I don't think that insulin itself leads to that. I'm not so sure. So, I'm not convinced of that argument. Certainly, insulin, if taken without the right amount of food or the wrong dosage, could lead to hypoglycemia and if not addressed appropriately, could lead to coma, possibly death. But insulin is one of these things that I don't think is – if used judiciously, it's not necessarily going to hurt you. Now, it could lead to – probably would lead to adipose or visceral fat deposition. Yeah, specifically visceral fat which is the fat between your organs which is the fat that's associated with metabolic syndrome, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and – All things you generally don't want. Yeah, exactly. But in the context of bodybuilding in a diet that's of a certain type, I don't know if that's necessarily going to happen. But I'm sure if you just eat like crap and take a lot of insulin, that will happen. Yeah. Well, if we took a slightly different tack on it, what are some of the biggest wastes of money that if you look at just the world of competitive athletes and trainers and so on?
The biggest wastes of money (44:44)
I think the biggest waste of money is this IGF-LR3. Can you explain what that is? Well, IGF – It's something like growth factor with LR3. I've actually never heard of or I've never heard that – those three. Okay. Well, I'll make it brief. IGF-1 is the most – it's a big antibiotic hormone in your body. When you take growth hormone, pretty much all the antibiotic activity that growth hormone manifests itself through is IGF-1 that's made in the liver. You take growth hormone, there's growth hormone receptors in the liver. They get turned on. The liver pumps out IGF-1. IGF-1 goes out. That's what makes your bones grow, your ligaments grow and whatnot. If you're young enough, maybe your muscles too. Now back in the '90s, there was no IGF-1, regular IGF-1 available. But what was available was this derivative or this analog of IGF-1 that had an amino acid taken off to allow it to not bind to what are known as IGF-1 binding proteins. The reason why they did that is because it was meant for Petri dish in vitro studies. They wanted the IGF-1 to be free to do exactly what it had to do and not worry about these binding to stuff and then it would throw the experiment off or whatever. So this stuff was never meant for humans but it was available. So people were like, "Oh, it's the best IGF-1 because it doesn't bind to binding proteins." And people were taking it. But the whole thing is the fact that it doesn't bind to these binding proteins means that when you shoot it in your body, your body breaks it down almost immediately because the way your body uses IGF-1 is actually it has to bind to something called IGF-1 binding protein 3, which titrates it, extends its half-life, delivers it to the tissues at the right time and whatnot. So people are still stuck under this illusion that this in vitro version of IGF-1, which is cheap, still works. And by now, people are not really talking about it because enough people have tried it and seen it doesn't do anything. But it's still in people's arsenal for some reason. The IGF-LR3.
The story of "6-OXO". (47:39)
If you look at the various compounds that you've either created or resurrected, which you're proudest of, just from a creativity problem-solving standpoint, what fills you with the most pride? I think something I made called 6-oxo. You know, I was going to bring up 6-oxo because that was another one on my list that I've encountered over the years. So please, yeah, explain 6-oxo to folks. Well, there's no other compound that my company spent as much money on to show efficacy, to show safety, and also to show that it had no anabolic activity. It was purely an aromatase inhibitor, an aromatase inhibitor being a compound which prevents testosterone or certain endogenous androgens from converting to estrogens. And that's all it did. It was trying to learn how to make it was quite an experience because it's a very violent reaction. And you kind of keep it really cold and you've got to learn to add one thing to the other. Violent meaning it could explode in your face or how violent? Well, not actually fire-violent, but actually go out of control and boil and just spray solvent and reagent all over the place. I mean, it's called Nexotherm. So I had to do this in my lab and then we had to scale up to production level and we got it down to where we were able to make reproducible batches, great purity. I remember that was the first aromatase inhibitor product on the market that actually worked. I mean, there was Chryson. Actually, Chryson was something that I originally came up with and offered to Bill Phillips. I actually worked at EAS for two weeks. It didn't work out very well. Your employment record kind of sounds like mine. I went from place to place until I found my little home in Illinois and I've been here since '96. I have a great business partner. We are very synergistic. I'm the guy in the lab and he's the guy that knows business and he's the guy that puts together the huge reactors and all the manufacturing stuff. But I digress. I got a little bit of a shock. I put it on the market and everything and we paid Thomas Ingladon. He did a study and I remember I went to a show in New Orleans and I was sent the results and I was like, "Wow, this stuff works." I was showing everyone, "Look, it works. It works." It was really great results. That made me very happy. We had the results presented at a poster presentation and whatnot. I was able to tell people about it and do an ad on it. It became a very good product. The thing about it is that I knew that the prohormones, the 1AD, 4AD and all that, that they were going to be gone. They were – It was just a matter of time. Yeah. The whole industry had become polluted. People were selling methyl-1-testosterone. People were selling synthetic liver toxic versions. In 2005, they all went off the market. This was a product which was not an anagenic, anabolic steroid. It basically reduced your estrogen which then prompted your pituitary to make LH which then caused you testicles. Luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone. Yeah. It would cause an upregulation of your testosterone production and natural testosterone production. Your testicles would not shrink. They'd actually probably grow a little and whatnot. The product became quite popular. I remember at the time, my brother who had been an investor in our business, an unhappy investor, after a while because things didn't move fast enough for him, he got out. Then he met some people and he actually started the company. The supplement company. Yeah. So he was the CEO of – and one of their biggest products had 6-oxo in it. I remember – actually, I hope I'm not breaking any HIPAA laws here but I saw blood work on the 6-oxo and he got a very good effect from it. So he was a big believer in it. His company didn't last too long. There was a lot of – I don't know, infighting and whatnot. But it was a great product. But in 2009, a pitcher named Bob had read it and people were calling me and I was just pissed off.
Patrick's run-in with the DEA. (54:07)
I'm like, "Don't blame it on that. That's stupid." I mean, there were all kinds of theories I had that it's possible that the 6-oxo itself could be used as a – because the androstenedione can metabolize the 6-oxo or whatnot or he could have been taking something else or whatnot. But I say, "I know my product. I know it's not contaminated with androstenedione." We certainly didn't spike it. I remember talking to my attorneys and they're like, "Patrick, they're taking this stuff very seriously. You're not supposed to tell anyone this but they are hearing about this." They had some big expert saying that he believes that androstenedione was deliberately put in the product. I'm like, "What?" Yeah, he's talking to important people. I'm like, "So you guys should be ready for anything." I'm like, "This is BS." I'm just like – Then a couple of days later, I'm getting ready for the gym. I get a call on my phone. It's like 5.15 a.m. "So this is Patrick – Bob, such and such from the drug enforcement agency. We need to be let into your plant." I thought it was one of my friends screwing with me. I said, "Fuck you." I can't swear. You can swear on the show. All right, all right. So I hung up and then I was like, "Uh." Then it rang again. I'm like, "Uh, hello?" It is a raging snowstorm out. At the time, I didn't have my license and everything. I'm just like, "Oh, no." I'm thinking, "What could it be?" I thought to myself, "It's not the 6-oxo because there's nothing wrong with the 6-oxo." So I went to think, "What do they think I'm doing?" I was just so confused. My partner had to bring me up, go through the raging snowstorm. We get there. Lo and behold, they're there for the 6-oxo. They have a search warrant and they believe that we are spiking it or something. I just remember getting very angry and frustrated. That whole situation turned into a huge nightmare because they were determined to not let it go. They did not understand the technology at all. They did find a trace of the stuff in there. The interesting name. Yes, it was below the detectability of the instrumentation that we used for quality control. They were never able to prove that we knew it was in there. It's in the parts per million range and it's physiologically insignificant. Yet, they were determined to somehow make me pay. My attorneys, Rick and at the time Mike Maggio, went up there and gave a presentation that I helped them with. There were like 15 people there from the DEA, FDA, and they completely knocked them down. I remember that the investigator slammed his fist on the table and ran out of the room. He was so pissed off. Not only that, but they came to town and they visited all my workers. Then they dragged them to New Hampshire for grand jury hearings. They read my secretary, the Herbert Randall writes on the stand because he thought she was lying. It was insane. After five years, no charges, but the damage was done. It took away our biggest moneymaker. It was a big blow. Sounds like an exhausting five years. The thing about the government is that they can accuse you of something and ruin your life and you could be completely innocent and you do not get compensated. Now, I'm not saying my life was completely ruined, but I'm saying that it was significantly downgraded. I don't want to go into detail, but it was not good. What was your first contact with Victor Conti? How did you come in contact with Victor?
Bodybuildings Jimmy Carter. (58:41)
Well, I used to argue with him all the time. For people who don't recognize the name, could you provide some color? Who is Victor Conti or who was he at the time? Well, he has his little slimy used car sales and mustache. I don't know. You don't mean to describe him physically. No, no, no. We can back into that though. You used to argue with him. What did you guys argue about and roughly what time, what year was this? This would have been around 1999 to 2000. There was something called Usenet. They were very cumbersome, but that's how people would chat back then in groups. There was one called Miscellaneous Fitness Weights. Victor was on there, a guy named Lyle McDonald, Bruce Neller. Lyle McDonald of the Ketogenic Diet? Yes. Many other people, Will Brink, you name it, anyone back in the time, and Dan, of course, was there too. Victor came on and would push his CMA all the time. Yeah. That's zinc, magnesium, aspartate, or what? I don't remember. Yes. Yep, yep. Which I still take. I think it's a decent product only because I think that a lot of people are deficient in zinc and magnesium. I think it's as good as any. He would talk about his product and the studies he did, which were structured to give the results that he wanted, I guess, when it was hard to believe and whatnot. People like Lyle, who tends to be pretty negative, and if he sees anything that he thinks is BS, he's going to lay into you. So he really went late into Victor. I kind of laid into Victor a little bit too, but not so much because I would read it and think, "Well, at least he did a study. Let's see if there could be something here." Don't just assume that it was fake or whatnot. The benefit of the doubt or whatnot. So he saw me as someone that was not necessarily an ally, but at least had a degree of objectivity. Semi-neutral party. Yeah. But he also used to make fun of my program. "Oh, your program was doing anything. Oh, they suck. They suck." And then one day I get a private message from him. They say, "Tell me about your pro-harm on sheets. Do they beat drug tests?" And I'm like, "Well, no, but I know something that does." Now, if you want to go down that path, I'll tell you what I sold him at the time was this stuff called Norbolaphone. That's an anabolic steroid that was never marketed or if it was, it was marketed very briefly, but it's mentioned in a lot of the original literature. For instance, there's certain famous books, one by a guy named Charles Kochakian and another by Julius Vida, who wrote like sort of research compilation books on anabolic steroids. And they talk about all the ones that are made and what their properties are toxicity wise, you know, anabolic and energetic ratio potency. And a bowl of phone always was a standout and it's very odd chemical, but I always knew that it was closely related to a very popular or very widely available progestin used in birth control pills. And that progestin is known as Levonorgestrel. And it's also, it's found in something called Norplant. It's also found in a wide variety of well-known birth control pills. So I knew that I could make this Norbolaphone from Levonorgestrel by a simple selective hydrogenation, which is simply adding hydrogen molecules to one part of the molecule, which is done with catalyst and hydrogen gas, whatnot. So I always wanted to do that. And at one time our company had a partnership with Metrex and partly because Connelly was Scott Connelly and his deceased, God bless his soul, partner, or he was like his Smithers. I don't know if you remember. The Simpsons? Yeah, Billy was like Connelly's Smithers. I love Billy. Billy was a great guy. He put up a lot of crap. But they really liked me and they wanted to pick my brain. I think that was one of the reasons why they partnered up with me. So we would have our meetings and then they'd say, "Hey, Patrick, you meet Billy.
Anabolic Steroids And Health Concerns
Making "The Clear". (01:04:40)
Let's go into your office." And I was like, "All right, what can you make?" And we go, "What can you do?" It's funny. But I was like, "You know something? There's this stuff called Norbolaphone I've always wanted to make and I just needed some raw material and I know it could be gotten from China." And they're like, "Yeah, we work with TCI, one of the biggest distributors of chemicals out of China. We get you whatever you want." I say, "Well, you can get me one of this Levelyn and Jestrel." And I gave them the CAS number, which is a number that is associated with chemicals just to make sure that you don't screw up. Yeah, it's important to get that right. Yeah, it is. You get the wrong thing and you die. So they said, "Yeah, okay, some Levelyn and Jestrel." And I'm thinking, "Well, maybe they'll get me like a gram or something." I get 200 grams shipped to my lab and I'm like, "Oh my God." So I'm like, "Look, I could –" I was just thinking to myself, "Wow, I could probably do a lot of things for this." And I thought to myself, "I could probably get into a lot of trouble." If you had to buy that yourself. Oh my God. If you were to buy a gram or so through a research chemical company, it would be like $300. Wow, okay. Yeah. Yeah, you just don't – That's a serious payload right there. And that's for free. Just said, "Yeah, here you go. Make some." So I made some. I gave it to Scott and Billy and they loved it. I gave – I had a friend over in Greece. He's interested in things like this. I gave some to him, several other people. And then I had already entered a sprint cyclist. Actually, several, many grade B athletes used to contact me back then and I shook them up. I have too many stories to tell you, really screwed up stories like that. We would just go on forever. But eventually – there was this – who came into the picture later who was a sprint cyclist girl and she took a lot of it and everything. She was not very careful what she did. But this was all before I even met Victor. So I met Victor. He emailed me saying, "Hey, did your pro-war loans beat the drug test?" And I say, "No, they don't. But I have this stuff, this stuff from the bolothone." So I say, "Can you send me something?" I sent it to him. I didn't really know who – I knew who Victor was, Mr. ZMA guy, Mr. blah, blah, blah. But I didn't know he was connected with a lot of the high-profile athletes like he was. So he comes back and he says that he loves the stuff. So he was one of the guinea pigs and he said – Victor says he loves it too and whatnot. They passed it through their inside guy at the UCA lab who I found out his name was Victor Uralitz. It's very funny, the whole Balco story that people don't know is how many people worked both sides and just got away with – never died or chastised in the media or whatnot. That facilitated this whole thing. Now Victor had this guy, Victor Uralitz that worked in Don Catlin's lab. He would send urine to him and he would put it through the rigmarole and say, "Hey, come out clear." So that's how the name Clear came about because Victor Uralitz would say, "Your urine is clear." So the Clear is the norbolithone. The first Clear was the norbolithone. Then back to – like a man. He was a wonderful woman. She looks like a woman now by the way. She's not competing anymore. It's amazing sometimes how women can become virilized and then stop and for the most part, revert though the voice sometimes retains some of the – because the larynx doesn't totally shrink. Yeah. I think this is just to pause for a second. So for those people who are wondering what androgenic versus anabolic means, do you want to just quickly define the difference?
Anabolic vs. androgenic influences. (01:09:39)
Because people think of steroids but then you also hear like AAS, right? So when you're looking at the profile of these things, just since we brought up the voice and the vocal cords and stuff, can you distinguish between anabolic and androgenic? Well, anabolic precisely means growth of muscle tissue. That is the goal when people were developing anabolic steroids was to develop a compound which only grew lean muscle mass, muscle primarily. Now testosterone also brings with it secondary sexual characteristics such as growth of pubic hair, growth of the prostate, seminal vesicles and beyond that, you have androgenic alopecia which is male pattern baldness. You have growth of the larynx, acne, body hair. Anything that's outside of the realm of muscle building and that's something that obviously a woman would not want to have happen to them, that's androgenic. Got it. So that's why it's important for people – well, people look at the relative sort of anabolic strength versus androgenic effects when looking at which of these drugs to use potentially. Yes, they do. But people also make a vital mistake, a fatal mistake in thinking that just because a drug has a good anabolic androgenic ratio means that they could take that drug at any dose and it won't be androgenic. The thing is that these drugs that are low androgenic, they are low androgenic at a minimally anabolic dose basically. So there's a selectivity there that's dose-dependent. So if you take five or ten times that dose, you're going to get the full androgenic effect. Oh, got it. So yes, if you're popping oxyandrelone like PEZ or whatever, you're still going to end up with a good amount of androgenicity or whatever. So when that girl comes up to you, "I don't understand. They told me it was Anavar." Right. That's because you're taking mega doses. Got it. I took you off track a little bit though. You were talking about nurbolithone. She was so obviously on something and she just became a target. Don Catlin's lab was out to find out what the hell she was on. So they were examined. Just for context for folks, who's Don Catlin? Don Catlin is retired right now, but he was the head of the largest drug testing laboratory for the Olympics and Olympic drug testing in the United States back in late '90s, early 2000s and whatnot. So he had his UCLA laboratory and they made a project out of finding out what was taken. So they determined by looking at her urine that she was taking nurbolithone. I forgot how they – they may have actually looked at metabolites and then made some and matched it up. But the funny thing is that that guy, Victor Uralitz, who I mentioned before had told Victor that way back when they conceived the antibiotic testing protocol, he wanted to include nurbolithone in the list of drugs to be tested. But Don Catlin and his other people said, "No, no. Let's not bother with that. That stuff's not – no one can get that. It's not commercially available." So Don kind of was proved wrong on that. So they found out that she was taking it. The thing is that I was told – actually I got my timeline a little wrong. But even before that, Victor Uralitz had told Victor Conti that their aunt had nurbolithone and everyone has to stop taking it now. And I told Victor, "Don't take nurbolithone anymore. Do not. Do not take it anymore." I got some new stuff. It's called – well, I called it trend stuff. But it became known as THG or the clear or whatnot. But she – oh, I liked the nurbolithone. So she kept taking it. So she got caught. She's connected to me. And then that really screwed things up. And then the Balko thing came down as a result of an investigation that an IRS agent was doing. But that's another story. Well, I just – for just some personal context, the reason that when Balko just exploded in the media, I followed it so closely. I moved to the Bay Area in '99 and I lived in Mountain View originally but also San Jose and traveled to San Francisco. And I guess Balko was what in Burlingame and it's like Bay Area lab cooperative. Is that what it stood for? Yeah. But I remember seeing the sign. And so it kind of got incepted, right? And it's like, "Oh, like the red doorknob in the – what the hell was it? The – not Sixth Sense, the main character ends up being dead the entire time. I'm completely blanking on the movie." But the point being, I followed it really closely and also at the time was involved with sports nutrition and met athletes who had some ties to Balko but it didn't mean anything to me at the time. Sure.
Bookmark: "The clear" (THG): DOS and development. (01:16:17)
When we talk about say Catlin and the cat and mouse game of drug testing, you mentioned the THG. I'd look for you to just describe how that came to be and that's what, tetrahydrogestronone? Am I getting that right? Tetrahydrogestronone. Oh, yeah. Close. So this is a rare chance to actually correct it on this stuff. So how did THG come about? Well, I told you before that norbolithone was made from a progestin. That's right. That's a drug that's found in birth control pills. Well, there are other progestins out there too, lots of weird ones. And there's one called gestronone which is actually not used for birth control pills but used for a disease called endometriosis which is a female disease of the inflammation of the uterus. Uterine lining. Yeah, uterine lining. So I was just looking through the Merck index. I look at structures. What is the Merck index? I mean that's M-E-R-C-K, right? M-E-R-C-K. Yeah, the Merck index is a compilation of compounds. It's not every compound in the world. The compounds that are natural ones or drugs or ones that have significant use in the industry and there's maybe about 10,000 in there and they add ones. They take ones away. So I go in there and I look up, you know, they have an index for progestin. So I find this one called gestronone. I look at it and it is a hybrid of tremolone which you've heard of. I have. Yeah, it's a favorite among powerlifters, among other people. Yes, and among cattle too. Among cattle, yes. Another thing that I do not advise kids to try at home is to take these pellets and turn it into something you can inject in yourself necessarily. But yeah, tremolone. Tremolone. So it was a hybrid between tremolone and nurbolothone. It had the triene, the three double bond structure of tremolone and it also had this weird extra carbon coming off the ring structure that nurbolothone had. And I say, "This has got…" If I turn this, add the four hydrogens, turn it into acetylene, into an ethyl which basically makes it less progestational and way more anabolic androgenic, I can do the same reaction that I did with nurbolothone and come up with something that no one's ever seen before and probably is a lot stronger. And that's exactly what happened. So the really cool thing about it is that I made a molecule that no one's ever made before. But the thing that I didn't know, which I found out later, which I'm reluctant to admit because if I just don't admit it, it would make me look so much more brilliant than I am. But I'm an honest person. But I did an interview with Bob Costas and part of that interview, he interviewed Don Catlin. And Don Catlin said, "This molecule, it just disappeared in our instrumentation and we were amazed. We were like, 'Whoever's doing this must be brilliant.'" And I thought to myself, "Well, I didn't know it would disappear." Though it kind of makes sense because of the way they test it, they have to add these… They have to derivatize it from gas chromatography and it would be very unstable so it makes sense. But I didn't think that at the time. So they actually had to change their whole means of testing steroids. They had to use different instruments because of that. But all I know is that it worked and it worked at a very low dose. Victor was using it at extremely low dosages and getting very good results from people. But I tell you, that stuff was weird.
Compounds and medications that contraindicate the use of anabolic steroids (01:20:45)
I mean, I had tried it. It made you feel angry. It made you feel… It dried you out and made you feel really hard and strong. It had an anti-mineral corticoid effect which is anti-aldosterone, basically sort of like a spironolactone. I think you know what I'm talking about. But to put it simpler, basically your kidneys make a… Or your adrenal makes a hormone called aldosterone which causes you to retain sodium and water in excrete potassium. And this blocked that. So basically you would excrete water and sodium and you would have a diuretic effect and you would look shredded. But you would… So was the anger a result of just feeling like you were cutting weight for wrestling? So you're just in that type of dehydrated sort of high heart rate rage state or was it something else that caused that? It wasn't anger. It just made you feel irritable. Irritable, yeah. Yeah, certain steroids do that. I mean, another one that does it is halitestin or fluoxymesterone. And there's no… No one really knows why certain steroids have effects on the brain. And there's ones like Diana Ball which supposedly make you feel good and whatnot. But no one has a valid explanation for that. I've heard, maybe you can speak to this, and I know Chris Bell and Mark Bell and they did the documentary, I always get the order wrong.
What are some natural ways to increase IGF-1, HGH, etc.? (01:22:42)
I think it's bigger, faster, stronger. What types of other drugs are contraindicated to take with anabolic? Because it seems, and I might be pulling this from hearsay, but that many of the cases of say people committing suicide or committing a homicide say when they're on anabolic is often while they're simultaneously taking say SSRIs or anti-anxiety medication. It's hard to say if it's correlation or causation. But are there any particular drugs that you think are contraindicated for athletes? Let's just use that example who are taking anabolic. As far as psych drugs go, I don't know of any. But certainly with orals, you do not want to be on a blood thinner like Coumadin or anything like that. In fact, I had a friend who was taking Supadrol. Supadrol was one of those over-the-counter designer steroids that was quite potent. They actually thin your blood themselves. They're anti-thrombolytic. So if you combine them with these blood thinners, let's say if your doctor thinks you have blood clots in your legs or whatnot, and you're also taking steroids, especially an oral steroid, you can easily have excessive bleeding. My friend ended up having bleeding ulcers in his stomach and had to go to the hospital. He's like, "Why does this happen?" I was like, "What are you taking?" I'm like, "I'm taking Supadrol in my blood thinners." He's like, "Well, you shouldn't do that." "Well, you didn't tell me." "Well, you didn't ask me." Yeah, never take a blood thinner. I don't know if you know this, but with a lot of anabox stories, people get bloody noses. That's exactly why. I did not know that. That makes perfect sense. There's a lot more to it, but the image that came to mind was people doing power lift, just competing in meets and getting bloody noses. But then again, they also have like 1,200 pounds on their backs. So it could be a combination of factors. The transient blood pressure that they experience during a lift is phenomenal. If you could measure it, I don't know why the blood vessels just don't split and explode. Now, you've been involved with a number of different companies. I have to ask because a friend wanted me to ask you. Is it Urosolic or Ursolic acid? I have no idea. But he wanted to know when is he going to be able to get more Urosolic acid. And maybe you could explain for people what it is. So we… And this is prototype nutrition that we're talking about. Okay. So this is the spray. So I first heard about Ursolic acid when a study came out in a journal called Cell Metabolism. And it was written by a guy from University of Iowa. He was a researcher. He used some technique to identify genes that were turned on or off in muscle genes that had to do with catabolism or anabolism. And they were basically looking for catabolic genes that were turned off and anabolic genes that were turned on. And they used something called some sort of a library, database of genes, mRNA expression signatures or something. And they used 1300 chemicals, just natural chemicals, drugs, whatnot and whatever. And they put them through this algorithm or whatever and it came out that Urosolic acid just seemed to do everything. The second one which was a far second was Metformin. Very interesting. Okay. Which does… is a very interesting molecule in itself. However, it didn't really have the anabolic effects. So they ended up giving the Urosolic acid to mice and rats and they found that the muscle fibers grew bigger, they got stronger grip and they didn't gain any weight but they had a proportional decrease in fat mass. And they also looked at what's going on with hormones or the mechanisms in the muscle and gene expression. And one of the big things they found was a large increase in muscle-derived IGF-1. We talked about that earlier. Earlier we were talking about IGF-1 producing the liver but there's also localized IGF-1 producing the muscle which is more relevant to muscle growth. So the Urosolic acid had an effect on that. And then there was a second study done by the same group which found that it increased the amount of brown fat quite significantly which caused the mice to have higher levels of energy expenditure because they would eat a lot and not gain any weight and run around and the brown fat would just burn off all the calories. So I originally came out with a product which was just Urosolic acid extract from rosemary and I realized quickly that the stuff had no solubility in water or oil. It basically put it in water and it won't even wet. You mix it up and it floats and it's completely dry. Dave Asprey Sounds fun to drink. Dave Asprey Yeah, you can't. That's why you put it in castle but still it's in your stomach and it's just going to sit there. Unless it somehow solubilizes you're not going to absorb it.
Could BSP be a cause of ALS? (01:29:30)
Dave Asprey I tried to do some stuff with I think it was Lucien recently and I got this industrial packet of Lucien and the same thing happened. It was just like I could shake it until my arm fell off and it would just sit there on top of the water. It was horrible. Dave Asprey Now the thing with Lucien is that it will eventually wet and go into solution. You got to be very patient. Dave Asprey You just have to keep going. Dave Asprey You have to keep going and they have ways to instantize it but Urosolic acid just will never. In a hundred years you can stir it and it will come to the top. So I went about trying to find derivatives and I first made an acetate out of it which is basically taking a hydroxyl group and make an ester out of it. An acetate ester. And then there was another functional group which is a set of atoms that are attached to the molecule that was a carboxylate group which I could then make a salt out of. So I ended up making an arginine salt acetate and I found out that the solubility properties of that, it wouldn't be soluble in water. It would wet in water. However, it would be soluble in solvents like methanol and what not which are good indicators of something that could absorb through your intestines or through your skin.
Chemistry And Self Testing
Specifics on what piss tests seek out (01:30:48)
And I decided to make a spray because I thought that, well first of all, the manufacturing method required a solvent to begin with so I figured I would use a transdermal type solvent and sell it that way. And it ended up becoming a very popular product and it worked quite well. People could really feel something from it. They would get a, within a week or so, greater vascularity, greater muscle volume. So that has been one of our best selling products. One of my friends gets ridiculed by a significant other because it's just like, "ch, ch, ch, ch," like 40 times at night. When will people be able to get that again? It seems like it's been sold out for a while. Well I just made two kilos of the stuff so next week. Soon, alright. Well by the time this airs, it will have been two weeks in the past. So yeah, people who are listening, if you're listening to this first, I would not dattle if you're interested in getting this stuff because it will sell out.
Doses on the market of ursolic acid are under-dosed by a power of 10 (01:32:26)
If it's increasing hypothetically and this is just a question that I get a lot so I'd like to bounce it to you. If it's increasing IGF-1 production or IGF production in any number of ways, at what point does that increase the risk of cancer or cancerous growth? It's muscle specific. So I don't think it, I think it kind of does this activity in the muscle and sort of decomposes and doesn't really affect systemic circulation. So if you have, unless you have some kind of a tumor in a muscle or something, I can't see it really having an effect because it's not going to reach systemic circulation and then say go to your prostate and stimulate a tumor there or anything. Right. What, here's, this is a totally selfish question but I'd imagine there are some people listening who would be asking themselves the same thing.
Learning organic chemistry. (01:33:20)
If you were, and you're probably so sick again in this question but I have to ask it, if I would like to get better at chemistry and understanding organic chemistry, clearly out of school, what would you recommend I do? I mean like I have the cognitive apparatus I think to learn it. I just have never approached it in any type of systematic or interesting way. I mean are there any resources, any approaches that you would suggest if I want to become basically just very rudimentary, in a rudimentary way fluent in more of the language of chemistry so that I can just be more informed? Well you're absolutely correct. I do get that question a lot. And to be honest with you, I don't have an answer because the way I learned organic chemistry and all this was a very laborious process of taking courses and being frustrated and not knowing what the hell anything meant and working and studying and taking exams until it clicked. So to say that you're going to pick up some book and you know read it for an hour a night or something and then suddenly start to understand all this, you know unless you're some sort of genius, you know, amazing person. Yeah like you learn Chinese in two days type of person. I don't know. That's a good question. Here's maybe a slightly different question because I think what I might do honestly is just reach out to one of these extension schools in the Bay Area like UC Berkeley or whatnot and see if they have some type of introduction to organic chemistry that isn't going to want to make me slam my head in the car door that has some type of decent teacher instruction to it. You've taken general chemistry? I have not. I don't know. That's embarrassing to say but I don't recall if I have or not partially because in a very undirected myopic way, I mean most of what I've learned, I feel like most of what I've learned from chemistry, I have taken basic, I'm almost 100% sure I've taken basic chemistry and then also some neurochemistry in first few years of college but most of what I've ended up learning is through self-experimentation and then wondering what could go right, could go wrong, did go right, did go wrong. I mean very from an athletic standpoint as a consumer, I think it just came down to similar to yourself. It's like, "Oh, well that's very curious but I'm not sure the journalist is getting it right. Let me go to the library. Let me go to PubMed. Let me try to figure out like is there even a plausible mechanism?" I remember reading a story about you early on with I think it was Yohimbe and like the testosterone and that whole experience where you're like, "Wait a second." Yeah, that was actually before the diastrogen. They said that the advertisements used to say that Yohimbe contained testosterone so I bought a bunch of Yohimbe capsules, broke them open and extracted them with a solvent and got this green yuck. I'm like, "Distosterone is not supposed to be green." And then did an NMR which is a nuclear magnetic resonance test on it and I'm like, "This is a bunch of crap." And I realized once I started looking through the Chemab abstracts which was in the library that was on the floor I worked on and cross-referencing Yohimbe with testosterone, there was zero connection there. So I realized that the whole thing was a lie. Right. Yeah. No, no. I was just going to say like that's so – looking at it from a slightly different perspective what happened with me is Yohimbe and Yohimbean were popular at a point for – or they kind of made the rounds, right? I mean they're fads and supplements for fat loss and it was thought like, "Well, because of these particular receptors that might be effective for reducing body fat in say the legs or wherever it might be." And took this Yohimbean and my body does not agree with that stuff. I just get extremely overstimulated and I feel like I'm on the verge of vomiting the entire time that it's I guess peaking. And that made me interested in looking at – so you read Beta Agonist and then you realize there are different types of Beta Agonists like, "What the hell is an agonist?" And okay, well then by learning what an agonist is, you start hearing about antagonist and then down the rabbit hole we go, right? So that's a long answer to a short question. But I don't – I really – if I have taken chemistry courses, I need a significant brush up. But the – where do you think – what were the biggest wastes of time for you in the classes that you took? The things that you're like, "This actually had no application to the practical side of what I'm interested in." Is there anything that comes to mind? Well, one graduate course really pissed me off because it was – it had to do with analytical chemistry, advanced analytical chemistry, instrumentation and whatnot. And it was very interesting and we didn't really deal with the instruments directly very much at all. But I studied my ass off and I wrote one of the best reports, the guy – the best papers and the guy complimented me on it. And I learned a theory and all that. And the exam ended up being, "What is the inner diameter of a column that we put into a GS390?" And I'm like, "What the hell?" He looked this stuff up in a manual and everything is like stuff. If you're a tech or something, it was almost no theory. And I was just like, "What is wrong with this teacher?" I just was so frustrated and I ended up not passing the course. So, I mean, the course was useful but the exam and the way the guy approached it, the students should come away with was completely out of whack. But I also hated physical chemistry, thermodynamics. It's good stuff if you want to be an engineer or whatnot. But I wanted to be a synthetic organic chemist. So that stuff – and I involved a lot of math. I hate calculus and all that.
When can we measure our own beta-hydroxybutyrate levels without blood? (01:40:22)
So I'd love to ask a couple of fan questions that have come in and then we can segue to some of the stuff that you're working on right now. The first is and I would love to know the answer to this too. This is from Michael Taphouse. "When will we be able to measure our own BHB levels without blood?" BHB for those people who don't know is beta hydroxybutyrate. So currently, if you're experimenting as I have been often with ketogenic diets, exogenous ketones which we're going to get into, I'm using the Precision Extra device from Abbott Labs to measure my ketone concentration in millimolars. So when will we be able to measure our own BHB levels without blood? I'll just modify that and say or in some easier way. You know that's a dominant question, right? That's a dominant question. Okay. Yeah, yeah. No, but – and I'm sorry. I didn't listen to the entire Dominic interview but I listened to most of it. But I imagine you probably brought that up and what his answer would have been would be the acetone breathalyzer. I don't know how accurate that is. Dom seems to think it's relatively accurate. The ketonics or something like it. Yeah, this is the ketonics. So the Dominic we're talking about for people who haven't heard, I did an interview with Dominic D'Agostino.
He was a fascinating researcher and scientist who also dead lifts like a freaking monster but is really, really savvy with this stuff. The ketonics – so I have a ketonics device. Side note because I was doing this – the whole series of strange experiments where I was getting 100 grams of vitamin C intravenously and doing all of this stuff. I wanted to monitor my ketone levels while getting this infusion because you can't use a glucometer I realized because I scared the living hell out of myself while I was getting one of these IVs because I started to feel a little funny and I was wondering if I was hypoglycemic because I'd been scared by some horror stories that had been told by folks. So I used a glucometer and it came out 385 and I was like, "Uh-oh, that's not good." Because it came out 385 and my millimolar concentration was probably about six at the time it was high. I was like, "Well, that sounds like ketoacidosis if the device is accurate." The doctor who was supervising me said, "There's no way that's accurate. It has to be broken." He tested it himself, 80. Just to place this for people, this was around 5 p.m. right over the Golden Gate Bridge gridlock outside, not immediately close to a hospital. I had a doctor supervising me but if I required some type of sophisticated operation, I was not in a good place. It turned out because – then I tested it again, 389 and I was just like, "Wow." As is usual for me and which is why people should always do their own homework and get a tattoo that says, "Don't try this at home." Don't do that folks, actually. The people that like one in a thousand will probably go and get it. When I feel like I might have actually done it, meaning like, "Oh, I think this might be it." I finally statistically just gotten to the point where one of my self-experiments backfires to the extent that I'm going to die. I looked at it and I was like, just kind of laughed and looked at the doctor. I was like, "Well, that's not very good." It turned out that the vitamin C causes the strips that are used for reading the blood drop in these glucometers to malfunction. It messes with the electrical conductivity or something like that. So, I wanted to track my ketones but I knew that I would get an error with the BHB through the finger pricks which always happened after these IV infusions. So, I was playing with the catonics, the downside of the catonics and maybe there are more advanced versions now, but it's basically like keto sticks and it will for the EP on and it says if you're light, moderate or heavy, but it's no more specific than that. So, I was like, "I know I'm high. I want to see how it varies over time." But sorry for… No, I understand that and I'm working on improved versions of exogenous ketones. I'm actually ready to file a patent. I can't give away what I'm doing or whatnot, but we have a whole bunch of strips here and we've been doing our own blood tests and they're vital. I mean, you need an exact number to make a graph.
Ketosport and ketocana. How did Patrick get involved? (01:45:00)
So, let's talk about the exogenous ketones because it's come up in a few other interviews including in Dominic's interview. So, keto cana or keto cana…no, tropicana, tropicana. I'm remembering it. Keto cana and keto sports. So, when I'm flashing back to this conversation that I had with Peter Attia and he was talking about drinking jet fuel in his kitchen at one point, just like dry heaving for an hour and trying not to wake his family up and that was like Model T version of ketone salts that I think Dom had shipped him in some nondescript container. But you've made a lot of advancements. So, I guess the questions are how did you get introduced to the exogenous ketone world? And just like this is because I've heard it from so many people, so this is long, but it's not androgynous ketones. I don't know what it is on the internet, but so many people refer to them as androgynous ketones. I know they're not androgynous, exogenous like exoskeleton from outside the body. That's it. Yeah, exogenous. So, how did you get introduced to all of that? Well, I'm so glad that I did because at the time, I was kind of stuck in the whole bodybuilding supplement world, which is very limiting, not very rewarding. And for someone like me, it's, I mean, it's, you know, I love the sport and, you know, there are a lot of great people in it, but it's just dead. It's all, you know, how am I going to get a pump or what is the best stimulant I could take to make me insane before I work out or, you know, what's going to be anabolic and you can't sell anything that works anymore. So, Dominic D'Agostino called me or sent me an email saying, you know, I'm looking for contract, some contract synthesis work. And, you know, I know, Patrick, you know, I saw you on the boards. I know you're a chemist, you know, people have mentioned you and I haven't had any success with anyone. And what I'm looking for is to make a, what's known as a ketone diastere. It is a pro drug to acetoacetate, which is a ketone. And yeah, I said, yeah, I know what ketones are, you know, I know all about that. And I thought to myself, this sounds like some really cool stuff because I, you know, I'd known about the ketogenic diet and everything and I knew about ketones and that they are a fuel that your body uses. And I started, you know, doing some searches and said, okay, there's a big opportunity here. So let me, let me make the ketone ester for him. He could do with studies and it took a few months and whatnot. I was able to make some good stuff. And he ended up this first study, which was the CNS toxicity study on the rats. Yeah. Yeah. Which was supposed to be, had applications for the Navy seals and their lead breathers and whatnot. And he had tremendous success with that. And then it went on that he got a grant or approval to do cancer stuff and he got tremendous results with that. And as you know, he's continued to have to do research and show phenomenal things with these, these, um, exhaustion, this ketones. Well, um, you know, we started off with the diastere and, and I thought to myself, well, you know, um, I would like to get in on this, on this gig. So I want, I, I wonder if I can come up with some kind of a supplement version. So I said, well, I know that you can make salts out of these. You know, I know that this sodium beta hydroxy butyrate out there cause I've seen it before, but I know it's like a million dollars. And I said, I got to find out a way to make this cheaper. And you know, I did a lot of research and stuff and, and I did find a way to make it a price that your people could actually, you know, afford to take it in effective dosages. And I made potassium sodium, which was the original stuff. I don't know if that's what Peter took or if Peter took the stuff from Oxford or it may have been the, uh, it may have been my, my stuff, the original Keto for us, which by the way is not meant to be drinking straight. You have to mix it with an acidic beverage.
Health Routines And Life Advice
Exogenous Ketone Performances Benefits (01:50:09)
I think what he, I think what he took at the time was just, uh, some equivalent, but I think it was, I mean, I remember at some point, uh, I got these ketone salts from, uh, from Dom and I was like, they just sat in my refrigerator for months. I was like, I cannot build up the courage to take this stuff down. He wasn't given, you know, he wasn't given appropriate directions. If I drank that stuff straight, it'd be like drinking saltwater out of the ocean. Kind of. Yeah. You throw up. So, um, yeah, I mean, uh, and then Tom did some research and found, yeah, racist blood ketones and whatnot. And, um, and we did a patent together. You know, I had an idea, you know, how we patent this, how we patent this. You can't just patent assaults and whatnot. And I saw this combined with MCTs. See what happens. And you know, we found some results that, uh, you know, that looked like there were some significant changes there. And then there was a patent, um, applied for with that. And that's a, that's a whole nother rabbit hole. I just, that's a mess. I don't want to go down. Yeah, yeah, no worries. The, what are the most interesting applications of exogenous ketones because I've used it while fasting. I've used it while just making the transition to ketosis to make it a little easier as you're going through that very grumpy gray zone. Uh, and, uh, you know, it effectively alleviates any of what people might call keto flu for me. Uh, I know a lot of endurance athletes use it, uh, or take it prior to aerobic workouts. Like what are the most interesting applications in your mind of, uh, of these exogenous ketones? Well, first and foremost, endurance athletes and the many teams at the Tour de France, Tour de France, sorry, um, we're, uh, utilizing these ketones, whether they be salts or the stuff, the, uh, the mono Esther, the Clark, uh, Karen and Clark, uh, Richard Veech. I don't know if you know their VHB Esther. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I know that the one, the team that won was, they had actually a exclusive contract. They denied taking it, but there were, you know, I had the writings on a wall. I have all this messages everywhere, but, um, but there are also people that were, uh, that, uh, that were on ketogenic diets and also taken exhaustion as ketones. I mean, keeping their levels up in the range of five, no multiple leader that's up there. And they had, you know, they obviously that's not an easy thing to do, so they wouldn't be putting themselves through all that suffering if they weren't getting the results and they were getting the results. And I, I've also had Ironman people, uh, uh, MMA people that, that love it, that use it. Um, certainly if I'm sorry, go ahead. Certainly if you are avoiding carbs, if you are on a ketogenic diet and you want to go to the gym and you know, normally people that are, that are on regular diets, you know, they'll drink some carbs before or during their workout, you know, because your body's going to burn up carbs and you need to be planus to keep your blood sugar up or whatnot. But if you're on a ketogenic diet, your body's not using carbs really. It's using ketones. So you're going to go in that gym and you're just going to start working out and your ketones going to be used up really quickly and you're going to tank. So, so if you are in ketosis and you need something during your workout, you drink a, uh, exogenous ketones and you're in a little be like drinking carbs. I mean, you will feel your brain will be energized. Your body be energized. You won't tank. Um, it's, it's pretty amazing. I mean, people that, I mean, I've given it to people that, you know, are like, God, I'm on the ketogenic diet and I worked out. I feel like crap to try this. And they're like, wow, you know, I didn't get tired. I, you know, I thought, you know, had all the fuel that needed. Yeah. And for, for me also just on day one or two of converting from carbohydrate dependent to fat adapted, trying to get to at least say before I hit about 1.5 millimolars, uh, if I'm, if I have to do an interview or something like that, then I'll just take a serving of the keto kind of 15, 20 minutes before I'm set to start the interview. And, uh, I've been really impressed. The other, other particular types of people who should not take it or who should get some type of supervision or permission from, uh, their, uh, you know, GP or whatever to, to consume it as a contraindicated with anything. Um, the BHB part, uh, I, I don't, I don't think so. Um, I mean, there are people that are diabetics can go into diabetic ketoacidosis, but that's a special condition. And I don't think this little bit of ketones is going to like exacerbate that or anything. Uh, but if you are, uh, some of these products, the, the, uh, sodium load is, it's not really, really high. I mean, you can have a pizza and have, you know, five or 10 times amount of sodium, but, but if you're on a sodium restricted diet, you have to take that into consideration. But other than, but other than that, I don't think there's any problem. What, uh, what makes you different in the world that you've inhabited up to this point? I mean, in the creation of these different things in the creative problem solving, uh, coming up with THG, et cetera. If you, if you kind of look back, why are, what are the things that make you as good at it as you are? Because there are a lot of, I mean, a lot of folks trying to do these things, but you've had an incredible amount of, of creative success. Well, when I got started in this whole thing would be the early nineties. There was no internet back then. There was, like I said, there was chem abstracts, which are this endless volume of, of large books with extremely small writing that you'd have to cross reference. And there were very, very hard to understand. And I learned to understand these things and then look up articles. And I had the patience to drive to a library here to there, find these things. And I learned how to research in a very primitive way. And I learned the patience of researching and I got a headstart, um, before anyone else started to be, you know, to kind of start to do what I was already doing. And, um, there's a lot of researchers out there that, yeah, sure. They, they could research and they can find, Oh, study that this does that, that does this, but can't, do they actually have a lab? Can they actually make this stuff? Can they actually test the product to see if it's really is what it is? Um, I've also developed a, a certain intuition that tells me if something is worth exploring more or not. And that, that depends upon a lot of things. It depends upon the journal. Well, it's not really intuition. It's probably, it's actually logical, you know, it depends upon the impact factor of the journal it's published in, you know, are there other publications by, you know, unrelated authors or whatnot? Is there a plausible mechanism? Um, I don't know. I mean, I think it's just a lot of experience and just an affinity for, for this kind of thing.
Pattern of Best Ideas (01:58:45)
When do your best ideas tend to come to you? Is there any pattern to it? Yeah, that's interesting because a lot of times, um, I'm sort of a, I'm not a consistent producer. My mind tends to go through periods of where I just am not creative. I'm frustrated. Um, I, I, I don't feel as though anything's going to happen and whatnot. And then I'll come across something and then I'll get a spurt of energy and creativity and all these things will come out. Sometimes, you know, I'm laying in bed trying to go to sleep and I'm like, I think of four or five different things. And I'm like, wow, wow, wow. And then I, um, try to remember what they were and I should write them down. But, um, and then I work on them, you know, it's, I guess that's not unheard of. Do you, uh, do you have any particular morning routines that you find helpful? I mean, aside from the usual, I mean, do you wake up, it sounds like you wake up on the early side.
Morning routines (02:00:06)
What is it? When do you, what time do you wake up and what does the first say hour and a half of your day look like? Well, if I go to the gym, I'll wake up at five. Um, first thing I do is I make my coffee. How do you make your coffee? I just make it with a coffee maker. I don't drink black coffee. No, I put cream in it and some Splenda. I don't put any butter in it or anything like that because I do it before I work out and then, and then nothing against bulletproof coffee and everything, but I find it to be a little heavy on my stomach. If I go into a gym, you might also have higher disaster pants potential. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know MCTs before the gym for sure. Okay. And then, uh, what is your, what is your workout routine look like? Well, on a week or whatever you happen to be doing now? Well, as far as let me start with, I prepare my workout drink, which is, um, I have this stuff. My friend, um, is a trainer. His name is Ian Danny. He has a product called amino matrix. This company is called optimum effects. It's very expensive, but since we have worked with him, we make some of his products. I get it for free, but it's basically a full spectrum essential amino acids that's enriched in branch, branch chain amino acids with some other things thrown in there, uh, full of public acid, uh, citrulline malate and a few other things. And I mix that with about 45 mils of keto force, which is the stuff you're not supposed to drink straight like Peter did. So if you mix it with amino matrix, which is very tarp, it, it, um, it buffers the alkalinity of the keto force and it ends up tasting quite, quite good. So I drink a little bit of that. I take it to the gym. Um, lately I work out maybe three to four times a week. Uh, sometimes, you know, if I feel I'm motivated to really get into, you know, extra good shape, I'll work out more. Um, however, I usually combine, uh, I do legs and arms and the same day a lot and, um, chest and back and then shoulders, abs, uh, and I mix it up sometimes. Uh, and I do cardio. I don't, I haven't gotten into a lot of the, um, the kettlebell or, or some of the, the, uh, athletic type of, you know, different kinds of things. Soterios Johnson Well, yeah, well, some of those, um, yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. The, uh, David Erickson Which I would like to do, but you know, I just, um, I just don't have the time to learn at all. I just, I just don't, I'm, I'm an old dog.
On healthspan (02:03:29)
It can't teach me. Soterios Johnson Speaking of old dogs, uh, do you have any, uh, how are you thinking about longevity or, or extending lifespan? Is that a, is that a high priority or do you not spend a lot of your brain cycles on it? And if you do think about it, what do you think are promising? David Erickson Well, I worry about my health over the next year or five or 10 years. Um, you know, I go to the doctor and sometimes I have abnormal blood values or whatnot and I don't know what's going on there. And I worry about that, um, because I don't want to come down with any sort of condition that's, that's going to knock me out or anything like that. I worry about, you know, cancer and all that stuff. I'm not worrying about whether I live to be 85 or 105. That's, that's not, why worry about that at this point? Um, I'm worried about quality of life in the immediate future. Um, I've been thinking about taking, I was taking metformin for a while. I stopped, you know, once it upsets my stomach, but I've read a lot of research on it and it seems to be maybe the most promising of the anti-aging drugs out there. And, well, Jeff Sarris Yeah, it does seem to have a fair amount of interesting data behind it. Um, yeah, rapamycin is interesting too. I had, or I mean that entire kind of class, but, um, I haven't, I haven't taken either at this point. I don't know for whatever reason, I don't know why it makes me so, I have so much trepidation about it. I guess it's because I feel like once you're on it, you probably, if you're taking it with the explicit purpose of extending longevity, um, it seems like once, once you're signed up, you're signed up, uh, unless some type of contradictory data comes out against it against the efficacy or indicating side effects. I'm going to switch things up just a little bit because I know that, um, you are in a different time zone.
People, books, and misconceptions (02:05:38)
I want to be respectful of your time, but, uh, I have a couple of what I would call rapid fire questions. Answers don't have to be short. They can be short or long, but when you think of the word successful, who's the first person who comes to mind and why? Hmm. Successful. I guess Bill Gates. Um, not so much. I mean, he's financially successful, but he's also become a, uh, you know, uh, quite a philanthropist. Uh, you know, he's done a lot of good things. He, he's not just made a lot of money, but he's also, um, put a lot of effort into making the world a better place. And I think he seems to be, uh, psychologically in it, you know, feels good about himself. Is there any particular book or books that you've given a lot as a gift? As a gift? I've, I've received books as gifts. Um, I don't know if I've, I've given my, I gave my mother, uh, the book, Kennedy book by, uh, I think it was Chris Matthews, the guy from MSNBC. Cause I know she loved Kennedy. She met Kennedy at his inauguration. There's a weird story, but, uh, so, uh, but one of my favorite books is, um, is by a author named Jared diamond and it's called guns, germs and steel guns, germs and still. Yup. Yeah. I read that. That really gave it a big eye opening on, on, um, why certain people of the world are more advanced than others and why, you know, people behave a certain way and, and as opposed to just genetics and, Oh, this person's smarter because they're this or that. It, this is so many aspects to it. It was quite, it got to be quite a scholarly feat though. And at the end, the book was, uh, you know, he was quite detailed. Uh, what are the most common misconceptions about you or is there anything that you would like to clear up in any, in any way? Oh, well, I used to have a persona on the internet as being short tempered and arrogant and, and, uh, I have a sarcasm that doesn't always come across in the written word so well. And I've kind of toned that down, but there's still a lot of people that, uh, maybe they just want to believe that I'm a jerk. Um, I, I'm not, I'm not sure. I don't get, I don't get out and travel and go to shows, go to conferences nearly as much as I should. And I know I really should cause I'm kind of a recluse when it comes to that. Cause I know, uh, you know, a lot of my colleagues are, they're here or there and everywhere and everyone's meeting each other and I feel as though everything's happening. I'm being left behind. Um, so I'm going to this year, I'm going to try to change all that. But, but, but I'm going to, you know, I run a business here or one of the people that run a business here that we do production, we have to be testing every batch and whatnot. And, and, and I have to be here, so it makes it kind of hard. I think you and I have a lot of shared DNA in that department where I can pretend for very brief periods of time to be an extrovert, but I find it very exhausting. So I, that's part of the reason that I'm cutting back significantly on all of the shows and conferences and whatnot that I attend this year because I just find it extremely draining. Oh yeah. Uh, but you also end up being reactive, right? In the sense that when you're in the, in the, in the cave working on production, I mean, you can, I would imagine it's easier to set your priorities and get less distracted by shiny objects than if you're out and about being bombarded by all of these inputs at a conference. I mean, I, I, it's been a long time since I've been in that world, but that's what I would imagine to be the case.
Advice Stan would offer to his 30-year-old self. (02:10:26)
What, uh, what advice would you give your 30 year old self? And maybe you could place where you were, what you were doing at the time. Thirty years old is when I moved out here. I would say, don't listen to that Stan Antos guy. Stay the hell away from him. Cause, cause he really, you know, there was like two or three years where I could have jumped ahead a lot quicker if it weren't, wouldn't been for him. Um, it's hard to say. I, I would, uh, I mean if I knew all this stuff, I knew right now I would just say, Hey, I know how to make this. I'd make it. You can't say that. You know, buying Apple. Yeah. Right. It's like, well, if I knew then what I knew now. Right. It's just an unfair question. It's just, uh, you mean like philosophically as far as demeanor and all that goes, anything. It's just, it's a wide open question, but, uh, but we can, we can also, uh, table that one for now. I would, I would be, I would, um, be more patient with people and, and not, um, you know, on the internet and whatnot. It's an in person, I, you know, I was always good and everything, but, but, um, you know, I kind of grew my reputation on the internet and I would become impatient and belittle people and sort of if they, and whatnot. And some people thought it was really funny, but, but it caused it, it did turn a lot of people off and, and I don't, you know, I, I'm ashamed of that. It's not who I am. So there's a, and this is just because it's, it's a topical. I thought I want to at least bring it up and we don't have to discuss it, but there's a current scandal that's been discussed pretty widely about, uh, Delta two. Do you want, do you have any interest in commenting on that or would you prefer to just leave that bay for the moment? No, that's, that's interesting. They, um, that all came about with, um, yeah.
Gene Therapy And Marketing Products
And if you could catch people up who are not, just give people some context for those who don't aren't familiar. I wish I had that guy's name. Um, well, the whole thing came about with the doctor in Indianapolis that, um, was prescribing growth hormone to his wife. And I guess a couple of years after someone went to work for that organization and he heard that about that and, um, I don't know, I can't really remember, but Al Jazeera did a undercover thing and they found about this guy, but part of what this guy was also doing was selling this stuff called Delta two, which was a, um, a, uh, anabox steroid that was never marketed. Um, and I heard a lot of people talking about it. For instance, they asked Victor Conte about it and Victor, uh, that doesn't know what it is. And obviously, you know, he said it was no good, it was weak or whatnot. And it's actually something that I made, uh, back in the early two thousands and tried it out. It's very difficult. It's weird stuff to make because it turns into like fiberglass and expands. You can't filter it and you have to make it into an acetate, but whatever, that's all chemistry stuff. But I made it into a spray and, um, I was thinking about selling this as a supplement. I never gave this to athletes as undetectable type doing or anything like that. It's actually a pheromone that, uh, elephants, female Asian elephants tend to, tend to excrete in their pee and very large amounts at certain times of the month. It's strange. And it's also found in human sweat, believe it or not. I think the bacteria in your human sweat take some of your endogenous hormones like endrosterone, which are metabolites and they convert it into this Delta 2. But, uh, I ended up, uh, making it into just for a couple of people to try and not athletes or anything like that, but into a, uh, uh, oil based injectable, the a hundred milligrams per milliliter. And that was based upon, uh, um, some studies that were done that showed that the stuff actually was quite potent. It was pretty much equal, equal, equal potent to testosterone milligram per milligram, but not as androgenic. And the people that tried it, they liked it, you know, very much and whatnot. And, um, that kind of came and went and, and never bothered with that. But, um, my guess is that, you know, some of the people that tried it, word got around and someone else got it made and did the same thing and then started, this guy was one of them, started giving it to athletes years after. And I, in retrospect, I think I heard about this stuff being given to athletes a few years back, but didn't believe it because I didn't think that the drug testing organizations would not be able to find it. I thought it would be way too easy, but maybe not. But, um, it was just interesting because I read about it and I said, oh man, that's that stuff I fooled around with. To old news from 2001. And then I see Victor saying it's no good. And like, and Victor's saying it's a pro-hormone, it's oral, he doesn't even know what he's talking about. It's by injection as the acetate, it's very effective. It is. What are other drugs that, or molecules that you think we'll be hearing more about in the next few years in the media? Maybe they've been around for a long time, maybe they're new. What types of, maybe I'll rephrase it, just like performance enhancing drugs or therapies do you think we'll be hearing more about in the next few years? Well, a lot of the most promising ones are, have to do with gene therapy. And those have been around for a long time and they don't seem to go anywhere. There's a lot of safety concerns. I can't think of any actual small molecule or peptide drugs that are, you just inject that, that, um, that do a heck of a lot.
Gene therapy. (02:17:39)
Um, that's a good question. But, but one, I did talk to someone from ESPN not too long ago and he asked me a question about what do you, what do you, what do I think is going on? You know, what is the most advanced thing that's going on that you think? And I say, well, I always had a suspicion that the Chinese may be using gene therapy. And what, what they could do is that they could actually probably engineer, um, embryos, um, probably in certain, certain genes to that express certain growth factors, uh, or repress certain other genes or whatnot. And these kids can grow up to be super humans. And that, and that could have happened as far back as, you know, mid to late nineties. And those super kids could be coming of age right now and competing. And I've seen some, some of these, these Chinese athletes that, that, uh, that just kind of, uh, you know, they don't make any sense. They look like the bully whippets that have the myostatin inhibition. Right. Right. And at the same time, they have completely smooth skin and you know, they just don't have antigens going on. You know what I mean? This is sort of.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs). (02:19:20)
Yeah. Puzzling combination of characteristics. Do you have any opinion? Uh, and I don't, I'm getting pretty deep in the, uh, my ignorance pool here, but, uh, SARMs, uh, you know, like this selective androgen receptor modulators, uh, is there, is there any there there or is this, is that, that's just a, I mean, it's an acronym that I've heard kind of thrown around a bit recently. Is there, do you have any, any familiarity with those or thoughts on those? I have a funny anecdote about those and then I'll, I'll, um, tell you my, my thoughts, but the guy that shares my lab right now, he used to work, be a salesman for another chemical company in town that we had done some work with and they would make, they would make a drugs, um, small amounts for research, for, uh, research for other drug companies. They were basically a contract synthesis place and they made thousands of SARMs, SARM candidates. And there was one that was, looked amazing on paper and I gave it to the rats and within a day all the rats were dead. So that just shows you that something that works in vitro you don't know what's going to happen. But, but as far as SARMs go, um, they're, they're basically a, uh, they're basically trying to do the same thing that androgenic anabolic steroids do. Uh, they know a lot more about the mechanisms from the receptor to the nucleus and everything that happens in between. And there's a lot of, uh, a lot of events, um, chemical molecular events that, that happen there that, that can determine whether a compound is, is potent or whether it's selective in a, in a certain cell or not. And so they know a lot more and they have molecular modeling where they're able to, you know, come up with theoretical compounds to say, well, this attaches to that well, not that. And then they find a, uh, like it's a custom synthesis place to make the molecule. And then, you know, they try it on the rats and whatnot. So it is, um, they're basically trying to, plus they're not confined to the steroid structure because these structures are, are so divergent that they're completely different looking. We get, they all will combine some way to the androgen receptor, so they're not confined by any one structure. And so there's thousands and thousands of possibilities out there. However, they still have yet to, to eliminate the androgenic anabolic, um, separation there. I've yet to eliminate the hepatotoxicity, uh, basically the, uh, the, um, cholesterol and yeah, the ASTL, ALT enzymes. What do you mean by the, uh, the, the anabolic androgenic separation? Oh, just, just reducing the androgenic effect. Yeah. Yeah. They'll never, you'll never get zero androgenic, a hundred percent anabolic at any dose. They are, they've gotten very good separation. Uh, I don't know how much better, I mean, if it's that much better than say a primabolin or whatnot, but they do find that at higher dosages, like I said before, the androgenic effects do start creeping up. However, but they, um, I think they are doing better and whatnot, but then they, and they certainly haven't done anything about the, um, uh, uh, HPTA shutdown, which basically means shutting down your body's own testosterone production. They, that these compounds still, still will do that. So there's no, there's no great improvement there. It's, it's sort of like, you know, and, you know, better anabolic steroids, but they're not, they're still in the same thing pretty much. Yeah. They're not, not the breakthrough that at least at this point that a lot of people would, would hope them to be. Uh, do you have, are there any molecules and I'll ask just a few more questions. Are there any particular molecules to you that you think are exceptionally beautiful or elegant? Are there any that just really stick out to you as far as how they look on paper? Yeah, whatever. I mean, just like I, there are, and I, the reason I ask, it seems like a weird question and it might not, might be a bad question, but there are, I know mathematicians for instance, who find certain equations just to be very elegant to them. They're like, wow. All right. Like that does so much with so little, I would call that beautiful. Right. So I don't know if that exists in, in your world of chemistry. Uh, but if it's, if it's not something you think about, then it's not, uh, there doesn't have to be an answer to that question. I was just curious. Well, I wouldn't say a specific chemical structure, but there are certain certain compounds which crystallize beautifully. Um, I don't remember what it was. I was working with something and by crystallize, I mean a lot of times you pur, purify things by, um, heating them up in a solvent or solvent mixture until you reach, um, the point where it goes clear.
I mean it's cloudy and it gets hot enough, you know, things are more soluble when they get hot, it goes clear and then you let it sit and it cools down and then the pure chemical tends to sometimes crystallize and some things crystallize into these big long needles and the needles get bigger and bigger that you have to. And that's what I find beautiful because that means that I have a pure compound and that makes me very happy. Now when things don't crystallize and sometimes they'll sit there and they'll turn into this nasty oil. That pisses me off. I don't like that. So I love nice crystals. Nothing makes me happier than nice crystals. Well, on that note, Patrick, this has been a blast. I enjoy getting into the weeds and you're constantly selling out of everything. So the best place for people to find the Keto Kana, if they want to experiment with that, is ketosports.com or is there a different place you would suggest they check out? Well, ketosports.com has the information. We have to have the ability to sell off that page.
Sale of ketoCaNa. (02:26:08)
So go to Prototype Nutrition, one word, PrototypeNutrition.com. That's where you can get the Keto Kana or the… Or salic acid. Or U.R. spray. And we also have other products under the Keto Sports brand. They're all sold under the Prototype site. We have a C8 caprylic acid product, which is an MCT. That's only the C8, which is the best MCT. We have a combination coconut and ghee product that's good for cooking. It's keto-friendly. We're about to introduce a product that reduces blood glucose by inhibiting absorption from intestine and speeding up elimination of glucose through the urine, which will cause your blood sugar to drop and will help you reach ketosis a lot quicker. That's very interesting. I will go check that out right now. That's very, very interesting. Well, there's been studies on it. There's enough safety down there. I don't want to give away exactly what it is. We have the material here. We're just having trouble tabulating it. We have to do some granulation work. But by the time this interview comes out, the product will probably be available. Fantastic. Well, then people can check it out, PrototypeNutrition.com. Of course, as always, everybody, you will be able to check out plenty in the show notes, all the links, everything else at 4hourworkweek.com/podcast. Are there any other sites? Of course, I'll put these in the show notes as well. Any place that you would encourage people to see what you're up to or find you online?
Patrick'S Online Presence And Products
Patrick's blog, Facebook, and ePharm Nutrition. (02:28:15)
I have PatrickArnoldblog.com. I don't keep it updated much lately, but I probably have about 30, 40 articles from the past, a lot of them pretty unique stuff that you wouldn't find anywhere else. Perfect. I have a Facebook page, but that's mostly for just being a wise ass. All right. So people can find you on the Facebook, and I'll get that from you as well. Is it a fan page or is it just a personal page? It's just a personal page. But we also have a company called eFarm Nutrition, which has not been a big priority lately, but they have a Facebook page. And Prototype Nutrition has a Facebook page. I think that's about it. That's great. Well, I'll list everything out. And Patrick, there are lots of rabbit holes we could go down, of course. I know. And we'll do a round two with some additional rabbit holes. But thank you so much for taking the time. This was a lot of fun. Yeah, I agree, Tim. Thanks. And everybody listening, as always, thank you. And until next time, work smart, play often and experiment well. Hey, guys, this is Tim again. Just a few more things before you take off. Number one, this is Five Bullet Friday. Do you want to get a short email from me? Would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little morsel of fun before the weekend? And Five Bullet Friday is a very short email where I share the coolest things I've found or that I've been pondering over the week. That could include favorite new albums that I've discovered. It could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up in the world of the esoteric as I do. It could include favorite articles that I've read and that I've shared with my close friends, for instance. And it's very short. It's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend. So if you want to receive that, check it out. Just go to 4hourworkweek.com. That's 4hourworkweek.com all spelled out and just drop in your email and you will get the very next one. And if you sign up, I hope you enjoy it. And until next time, thank you for listening.