What follows is a transcript for the podcast Longevity - Nathalie Niddam - Biohacking.
Topics within the interview include the following:
- Accurately defining biohacking
- How and why Nathalie Niddam started biohacking
- Epigenetics as part of our bio-individuality
- Continuous glucose monitors to optimize health and longevity
- The latest biohacking trends
- What are peptide bioregulators and how do they work?
- HRV as feedback, not a judgment
Dr. Dan Stickler: All right. Welcome to the Collective Insights Podcast. I'm Dr. Dan Stickler, the medical director here at Neurohacker. And I've got a very special guest today, somebody who I have known for quite some time. I've watched her personal growth in the health and wellness industry. It's Natalie Niddham, and she's a self-proclaimed science geek, and I can attest to that from my interactions with her, with a passion for human health. She is a certified holistic nutritionist, an epigenetic coach, and a member of the first graduating class of the Human Potential Training Institute. Natalie is also the host of Biohacking Superhuman Performance podcast, which you definitely should be listening to. And she features cutting edge guests in the field of longevity, health optimization, and of course, biohacking. Welcome to the show, Natalie.
Nathalie Niddam: Thank you so much, Dan. It's a pleasure to be here. And of course I have great guests, I've had you on.
Dr. Dan Stickler: That's right.
Nathalie Niddam: When was that? Was it January of this year or something? We're overdue to do a follow-up, but definitely, thank you. Thank you for having me. It's an honor.
Dr. Dan Stickler: We end up running into each other all the time, so I would never remember exactly what it was that we were doing. But yeah, I'm excited to talk about biohacking in general. And can you give us, there's so many definitions of biohacking, and really give us your definition. What do you consider biohacking?
Accurately Defining Biohacking
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah. It's a great question and I think as time goes on, it's an evolving space, right? To me, biohacking is really when an individual decides to take ownership of whatever outcome it is that they're looking to achieve in their health and their growth journey. And so I think back in the day when biohacking maybe first came out, people had images of people having implants and doing all these crazy things to their bodies, whereas biohacking has now, it's kind of come full circle, right? We are often trying to reclaim our connection to nature. We're trying to restore that relationship we have with the natural world, kind of get the best of the natural world, but then turning our attention to what's new in the health technology or regenerative space or supplementation and say, okay, if I have this foundation of connection to nature in the natural world and I can reclaim access to that in the way that it feeds my body and my physiology, and now what's next?
The biohackers out there right now, we are willing, and nevermind willing, we are driven to look outside of the conventional space of what health and wellness is and see what's next. What else can we do? But I think where biohacking has really come is the big difference between biohacking now and maybe 10 years ago is this new recognition and this rekindling of our relationship with the natural world.
Dr. Dan Stickler: I love that. It's true. A lot of people consider biohacking doing experimental interventions or the implants, I think they're called grinders, the ones that put in the implants.
Nathalie Niddam: Okay.
Dr. Dan Stickler: That's the term.
Nathalie Niddam: That sounds distinctly unappealing.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. I don't know how that term came about, but the thing that a lot of people don't realize that aren't familiar with biohacking is that it could be something as simple as a lifestyle. I mean, you're doing an intervention of some sort that you're measuring how your body responds to it, how your physiology responds. I love that definition. How did you get into biohacking in the first place?
Nathalie Niddam: That's a good question. I think I officially got into biohacking, curiosity, right? I think it's curiosity. And it was before I went back to school and became a holistic nutritionist. It was before I started listening to, back in the day, I started listening to Dave Asbury's podcast. I started listening to Ben Greenfield's, those big guys who are kind of the giants in our space right now. It was even before that. It was when I came across this thing called the Paleo Diet. I was like, wow, what's that, right? And going back to my definition, I think it's a little bit when I started to realize that we are not just a leaf floating down this river waiting to be taken somewhere by the current. It's when I looked around me, I looked at my family, I looked at the chronic health issues that run rampant in my family, and I started to say to myself, well, wait a minute. Does this have to happen?
Is this the way things have to go? And when I started to question that and I started looking for answers and I started to realize, wait, what you do, how you do things, what you eat, all of those things actually can really massively change our outcome. That was my entrance into the world of biohacking without even really knowing it at the time.
Dr. Dan Stickler: It sounds similar to mine. Mine started with the caveman diet, Robert Crayon, I don't know if you know him. A long time ago. And then it went into paleo, and of course CrossFit, those all kind of play together.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah.
Dr. Dan Stickler: But yeah, I mean, most people who have been into biohacking have been in it for quite a while, but you also have a lot of people that have resolved health issues. And that can be good and bad. I mean, they talk about their experience, but a lot of them try to take people on their personal journey rather than helping the people discover their own journey, which I think like you do, is really just being very individualized with your approach to your clients.
Nathalie Niddam: 100%. And I think that's the diet industry books, right? How many books or influencers on Instagram are like, Hey, and well, I guess they're still out there probably. I don't follow them as much, but I did this and I achieved this, therefore I'm going to write a book about it. I'm going to start an Instagram channel. And the next thing you know, they've got tens of thousands of followers. But just to take one example, the reality of the diet book industry is that most of that stuff doesn't work.
And it's really what you're talking about. The keto diet will hit it for a percentage of the population and be a disaster for probably more people than it hits. But the people who make the most noise are like, look at me, check me out. And the algorithm feeds on that. You don't have too many people writing a book about how the keto diet destroyed my insulin sensitivity and backfired and drove inflammation in my body and the whole nine yards. It's definitely, I think as a consumer who might be just getting into this space, whether we want to call it biohacking or health optimization or whatever we want to call it, be careful that you do a little bit of homework on the people that you choose to follow, that you look a little bit behind the curtain and make sure that they've done some work and some people, to their credit, they got the big results. They're so inspired, they go get educated, they get into the research and they come back to present their information in a more holistic, balanced way.
But unfortunately, that's more often than not, it's not the way. I mean, there's a post actually waiting to be approved in my Facebook community, and it's classic. It's his before and after picture. I used to look like this, I look like this now. I used all these different peptides and this is how I did it. I feel amazing and I just want to share my story. And I can smell a dude who's like, follow me, do what I did. I'm your guy, right? And I'm sitting there going, and it's interesting, we were actually talking about this before. When you manage these large online communities, the responsibility of trying to curate and protect the community while at the same time allowing people to have their voice is such a delicate balance. Because the last thing I want people to think is, oh, just go buy this stuff. Give yourself a bunch of shots and here's what's going to happen.
Epigenetics as Part of Our Bio-Individuality
Dr. Dan Stickler: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And that's pretty common theme with a lot of people, because everybody's looking for that magic bullet, that one thing that is going to change the outcome for them. And hey, it worked for so-and-so, so why wouldn't it work for me? And you know differently, especially since you're versed in epigenetics-
Nathalie Niddam: Thanks to you.
Dr. Dan Stickler: [Inaudible 00:09:26] that's how you're using that.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah. I mean, look, I think that epigenetics is part of our bioindividuality. It's not the whole story. Obviously, it gives us insight into some of the switches in your body, some of the channels that maybe are going to work well for you. Some of the channels where we talk about pathways of detoxification, just because your one pathway of detoxification may be not fully fired up. It's asking the question, okay, that pathway doesn't look great, but is that what's showing up in the person, right? It's possible that their lifestyle or something that they're doing is compensating or it's also possible there's another 27 pathways that are redundant that we don't even know about yet that are covering up. I mean, I love epigenetics in terms of what are the things we can bring in from the outside to help to positively influence the expression of our genes so that we get a better outcome.
But I also, and this is one of the things that you taught us so well, was that just because the genetic report says this, don't make the mistake of thinking that that's what's sitting in front of you. There's also the reality of number one, what I just said, but the person's entire life until they sat in front of you, if they've been eating a very high carb diet or a very high fat diet, that will have created a scenario in that system that is no longer expressing what the genes say. And so we now have to kind of unpack that, work our way back, and then always maybe referring back to the genes to say, could they be playing a role, but not taking it for granted that that's the full driver or expression that's sitting in front of us.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah.
Nathalie Niddam: It's always a little more complex.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, I mean, it is. You can collect all this data. We collect genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics, proteomics. I mean, the list goes on, but you can't silo each of those and say, oh, I've got this, so this is what I have to do. You have to look at them and how they relate to each other. And it's a much more complex picture than a lot of the health gurus are painting for people.
Especially, I mean, if somebody's telling you it's one thing that's going to change everything, run away. I mean, that's just not going to happen.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah.
Continuous Glucose Monitors to Optimize Health and Longevity
Dr. Dan Stickler: One of the greatest things that I've found lately is I'm on my eighth week of CGM, continuous glucose monitor.
Nathalie Niddam: I just took mine off.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. We all do that. I mean, but it is the best diet plan that I have ever been on. I mean, it is clearly showing me exactly how my body reacts to certain foods, and it's very different than what Mike or my wife, how she reacts to certain foods. One client, he loves pizza like me, and he switched to cauliflower crust to get to the lower glycemic response, and his glycemic response was higher with the cauliflower crust than with normal white flour.
Nathalie Niddam: And why? Is that because the cauliflower crust is mixed with rice and all kinds of other crap?
Dr. Dan Stickler: Who knows? I mean, it's just starches in general for me also spiked my blood sugars. I mean sushi, I mean [inaudible 00:13:08] 140 with sushi just because of the rice in it. And I try to keep my glucose in a 12% variability. We have a new favorite biometric device called the Ultra Human Ring. You definitely need to get one of these because they link directly with CGM.
Nathalie Niddam: No.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah.
Nathalie Niddam: Get out. I'm writing it down.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, I tell you-
Nathalie Niddam: That's next level.
Dr. Dan Stickler: The AI insights of it are better than Nutrisense and levels.
Nathalie Niddam: Really?
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah.
Nathalie Niddam: Okay. The Ultra Human Ring, I'm all in.
Dr. Dan Stickler: And I do have a 10% off code if you want it at some point.
Nathalie Niddam: I'm in.
Dr. Dan Stickler: They're out of India, but they're just starting to enter the US market. But it's the only thing that ever got me away from my Garmin. I'm still wearing my Garmin, but I don't at night now. I just wear [inaudible 00:13:59].
Nathalie Niddam: No, no, that's amazing. That's really interesting.
Dr. Dan Stickler: And no subscription either, which is really cool.
Nathalie Niddam: Well, what's interesting about the starches and blood glucose to me is, because if you think about it, sushi, the rice shouldn't spike your blood sugar in theory because it's resistant starch. This is cooked and cooled rice, which we are told we don't metabolize as starch. But there's two underlying things here. Number one, maybe it's not all that true. Number two is most sushi restaurants add some kind of sugar or wheat to that rice to, I guess, I mean the rice itself would be glutenous, but they do something to maybe make it sweet or whatever the case may be. And so that takes us to a place of, what's really in what I'm eating? And now you have to go home and cook yourself up some plain rice, cool it off and eat it and see, is it true this narrative that resistance starch, it's not going to affect your blood sugar because I know for me, I'm like you, it 100% sends me to the moon.
It just sends me to the moon. I can sit there and tell myself a little story about, oh, it's all fine. It's just feeding my gut bacteria. But it may also indicate maybe your microbiome is a little deficient in those bacteria that you need to break down the resistant starch. It starts to open a conversation versus a black and white good, bad, because it should lead to more questions. What's really in the rice? Is it my microbiome that's lacking in certain things that I need to nurture, feed and seed? All of these different questions start to come up.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, for sure. I mean, that's the thing. If we're not continually testing and challenging the system, we don't know what we're doing to it. I mean, it's guesswork otherwise.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah, yeah. And the system we learn, I mean, I know I'm learning every minute of every hour of every day. I mean, and very often what we thought was true last year has now been shown to be either not always untrue, but more nuanced. There's always another layer of nuance underneath the things that we take for truth when it comes to human physiology and the way our bodies work. And I think this is the challenge with people who write these books that are so definitive in that to me, I mean, as long as you're framing it with this is what we know today and based on what we know today, here's my book. As opposed to, this is the way it is, right? And I can think of a couple of books that have been written from that perspective, and I'm finding it, and I guess it goes back to people who, for whatever reason, put their stake in the sand about one position and refuse to believe that they can move off that position.
And those are the people we need to run away from because they become so invested in this identity and in this one position that they stop being open to the possibility that maybe they're wrong. And at the end of the day, I don't care who you are, I don't care how smart you are, I don't care how accomplished you even are. You have to be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. Not even that you might be wrong, just that there's something you didn't know, that you didn't have access to and didn't take into account.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, for sure. I love that. Yeah. People do not want to be perceived as being lacking in knowledge or wrong about stuff. And it's a common pitfall with people, especially in the diet industry. I mean, people are, hey, I'm carnivore, I'm paleo, I'm vegan. We work with every one of those diets in our practice.
It's not going to do any good for me to take somebody who's vegetarian and say, hey, you really need to eat some meat. They're not going to comply with that. And so you got to figure out ways to get around that. There's ways that you can supplement around it. Like somebody who's on carnivore, you've got to supplement some plant-based stuff in some way into that diet. But people have this assumption that they can be on this long-term, and it's that long-term piece that tends to create the flaws in the outcome.
Nathalie Niddam: For sure. And maybe there's outliers that can, I don't know. And I think we don't know. I think in the history of humankind, I don't think you'll find a society or a tribe or whatever that only ever ate meat. Because at the end of the day, I don't care who you're talking about, we are opportunistic feeders. We are the weakest animal on the planet. And when it comes down to survival, we will eat anything to survive. And it makes me laugh, all this stuff about, well, I don't know, 100,000 years ago, humans only ate this. I'm like, bullshit. Who says, said who? And as a matter of fact, I just read a paper recently that showed, somehow they found a skull from way, way back and the grinding pattern on the teeth, and they found some DNA evidence that even then they were eating some kind of grains, which completely blows the whole paleo diet theory out the window.
Now, does that mean the paleo diet's invalid? Not a chance. There's lots about the paleo diet that I think is great. At the end of the day, if you take it down to what the paleo diet really is, it's eating foods that are in their natural state. It's prioritizing vegetables that grow above ground, probably over the tubers underneath the ground. It's eating good quality meat, fish, chicken, eggs, healthy fats. Frankly, if most people went to that, they'd be doing pretty well. Now, is it necessary for human health to exclude all grains, all legumes, all whatever? Probably not. But to your point, if you do it right, there's always a way to work a different diet, right?
The Latest Biohacking Trends
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yep. What's your favorite biohack right now, whether it's a test or an intervention, what are you big on right now?
Nathalie Niddam: Somebody recently asked me that and I said sleep, which I think is a bit of a cop out. I mean, if we were going to talk about foundational, probably it is sleep, right? It's leaning into what sleep really is and how we cultivate good quality sleep and the whole nine yards. But in terms of the stuff that's out there, like the kooky kind of out there stuff, I mean, definitely I'm fascinated and continue to be fascinating by this world of these tiny little peptides that are called bio regulators. Because what it would appear is that they, and even certain longer chain peptides seem to have this ability to influence our genetic expression to a more favorable expression. And what I love about it is, again, it's coming from our bodies. This is something that is innate to us, and can we leverage the wisdom of the human body that we barely understand ourselves to help us to achieve an outcome that is beyond what we would normally be able to expect?
And I think we're already seeing that. And I think we're seeing that, a 60-year-old, and not even through bio regulators, but we're seeing that a 60-year-old today, if we look at our grandparents, that 60-year-old was a different person. They had different expectations. They even expressed themselves differently in the world than we do now. A 60-year-old today is much more youthful than your 60-year-old was a couple of generations ago. And how much of that is in our heads? How much of that is the technology we have access to? Because on paper, our grandparents probably lived in a much healthier world than we do from an environmental perspective. We're being assaulted by all this technology. And one of the things you've said, which I always laugh about, but I think is so interesting, is all this talk about EMFs being so toxic and thinking about it. Well, could it be that we will eventually adapt?
Could it be that it could eventually be a hormetic stressor that our physiology ends up adapting to? What I think remains to be seen is maybe it's going to take a little bit more time than we have because the technology's ramping up so much faster than our bodies are having a chance to adapt. Maybe that's where the mitigation comes in, right? Anyway, that's a complete sidetrack from the question you asked me. But going back to the bio regulators, I think that's-
What Are Peptide Bioregulators and How Do They Work?
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. Let's go back to that because I think a lot of people aren't familiar with bio regulators, and it'd be good to give them an idea of what these bio regulators are.
Nathalie Niddam: Sure. Basically to people who've heard of peptides beyond collagen peptides, that stuff you put in your water that probably doesn't do much, but that's a different conversation for another day, beyond the peptides that are the longer chain peptides. People may have heard about things like BPC 157 or thymosin beta four, thymosin alpha one, let's say. These are signaling molecules that in some cases do signal genes, but in other cases, bind to a receptor and affect different signaling cascades in the body at a cellular level. The bio regulators are a subset of those. I call them a subset. Other people would say, look, it's just another peptide, but it's a little bit like champagne, right? You have to be producing your fizzy white wine in a particular region in France for it to be called champagne. Bio regulator peptides are probably like that in the sense that there's a very high profile in Russia, individual who did the seminal work and did all the research over decades in developing the science behind these very small peptides.
A peptide is an amino acid chain. The bio regulators, by definition, are no more than four amino acids long. The smallest one is two amino acids long, the biggest one is four. They always will cross the cellular membrane. They will cross the nucle membrane and they will actually bind to DNA and influence the expression of genes inside your cells. They are specific, I mean, they're not 100% specific, but they are pretty specific to the tissues, glands, and organs that they have influence, and they come from those tissues, glands, and organs. These peptides are naturally occurring in nature, they're naturally occurring in our bodies. We, like so many other things, just make less of them as we age. The bio regulator peptides that I'm talking about have been made available either because they've been extracted from animal tissue glands and organs, purified and put into capsules, or once they've been identified, they can be re-synthesize by labs synthetically, and then they could be reintroduced into the body. Typically, I would say five years ago, mostly by subcutaneous injection.
But increasingly now, you've got labs that are producing sublingual sprays, drops, different ways of reintroducing them, partially because they're so tiny that they can get across mucus membranes. They're very easy to absorb into the body.
Dr. Dan Stickler: And if they're short amino acid chains, I mean, we're going to be absorbing di and tripeptides without breaking them down.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah.
Dr. Dan Stickler: It's like, I guess new pep would be considered a bio regulator in that sense because it's only two amino acids and you can take it orally and it absorbs nicely.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah, 100%. You've got the copper peptide that gets a lot of attention because it can be applied topically. That's a three amino acid peptide that needs copper as a co-factor, right? But that one, I mean, it is a bio regulator by any stretch, because I think it was Stanford University did research on GHK and found what is it that affects over 1,000 genes. It is nutty, and I think we've only scratched the surface to trying and understand what this peptide is capable of doing. But we know that our levels drop as we age. If we're in this world of increasing our health span and lifespan, then is it possible that keeping that molecule available to the body can just keep us repairing and rejuvenating at a cellular level?
Dr. Dan Stickler: Mm-hmm. When you get people to do some form of biohack, are you pretty specific with how you're going to measure whether it's doing what it's being taken for?
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah. I mean, look, it depends on the desired outcome, right? I mean, with the bio regulators, a lot of people look to bio regulators as something that can influence their biological age, for example. And so whether it's their telomere length, you've got a bio regulator, I heard it first from you at Paleo FX years ago called epitalon, which of the many things that it does, seems to have a positive impact on an enzyme called telomerase, which can help to restore the telomeres on the end of our DNA. And so it goes to follow that is it possible that if we use epitalon appropriately over the course of a year or two years, that we can help to restore those telomere ends on the ends of our DNA? But this is what we were talking about before the podcast is now let's think about what are all the things that we could be exposed to we're doing that is actually causing shortening of our telomeres?
What else could we be doing to also support it? And so on the one hand, doing biological age tests when we're leveraging bio regulators to help to improve our biological age, it can be a useful tool. But I also think we have to be looking at everything else, right? I think that if you're living a psychotically stressed life without doing anything to help your body manage and buffer that stress, you can be drinking epitalon day in, day out. At some level, maybe you can hold the line, but I think the jury's out on that one. But the interesting thing about the bio regulators is as much as we often look at them as a long play for longevity, they do have applications sometimes even in trying to influence more immediate things. The best example of that that I can give you is I've seen a number of women who were still cycling who had lost their cycle for whatever reason. And they did all the things, they tried to optimize their hormones, they did all the things, couldn't get the cycle back.
And it would appear that after using a couple of different bio regulators, namely the pineal gland bio regulator and the ovarian bio regulator, in a number of cases, we saw that cycle come back. Sometimes you're just looking for concrete evidence. Sometimes I've also seen people with a thyroid bio regulator, and I would say this is not common, but if the thyroid gland isn't super damaged, if it hasn't been like 50 years that they've been on thyroid meds or whatever the case may be, sometimes we find people who do all the right things. They bring in the thyroid bio regulator and they find themselves needing to titrate their thyroid meds down.
I will say that that's not the norm, right? We have to be very, I don't know what the term is. I think we need to be honest with ourselves to say that these bio regulators are doing something. Very often people use them and they're like, I feel nothing, right? Because it's a lot of under the hood work, if you will. But definitely I think that whatever outcome it is you're looking for, find the test, find the metric that you're going to work with. And if the liver bio regulator is said to be helpful for managing blood lipids, it's said to be helpful for even helping with blood sugar management, stuff like that. Then do your end of one experiment. Look at your lab work before you start, apply your intervention, in this case, it could be the liver bio regulator with blood vessel with a pancreas bio regulator. We want to look at the whole system. And now let's remeasure in three months, in six months. Short answer is it depends on what we're trying to achieve with them.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Well, I think what you're overall saying is what we've been repeating here is that every response is going to be individualized to the person. I mean, even though we're 99.9 something percent identical in our genetic code, I mean that little 10th of a percent or three tenths of a percent, I mean, that is huge when it comes to how we respond to things. And most people don't pay attention to that. They're like, well, it's just look at medication. We have all these blood pressure medications and the doctor puts you on a blood pressure medication, you just assume it's going to work for you. And why is it that it doesn't work at all on some people and other people, it's like they're hyper responders to it? People will focus on that when it comes to medications, but supplements and things that they can buy outside of the physician office, they tend to have a false sense of security, I think, with what they're going on. And you really need somebody to help guide you on that.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah, no, 100%. And I think that one of the things I've been talking about a bit lately and when I'm working with someone one-on-one that we talk about is we always say, well, what can I add? What can I take? What's the next bio regulator I should try? What's the next peptide supplement? What's the tech I could buy? And I'm like, okay, let's stop the bus for a minute. Let's talk about what we need to take away, right?
Let's talk about is there a toxic load in your body that needs to be lightened so that the things that you're adding to the body can actually take hold? Whether it's heavy metals, whether it's underlying infections, whether it's excess stress, whatever it is, what is it that's bogging down your system to the point where now it's not functioning anymore that we can relieve? Even cellular senescence, this is a big buzz thing right now. Can we reduce the senescent cell load in the body so that the body has the ability and the space and the initiative to renew at a cellular level? I think this idea of what can I take away is a concept that's not leaned into nearly enough by individuals and even by practitioners. And certainly it's tough because in a world where we rely on influencers, and even me, I'm at the point now where I could be seen as an influencer, be careful that you don't just take all the pushes, all the information I'm pushing out there as the things to do.
Because remember, always remember that you need to pull back, you need to look at what needs to be cleared so that all of these other things can do their thing.
Dr. Dan Stickler: You need to do the thing that I do when people come in and they have their list of supplements, and you go through them and you're like, okay, what are you taking this one for? They're like, oh, I read that that was really good for this. And I'm like, well, are you monitoring it to see if it's doing that for you? No, but I read about it.
Nathalie Niddam: Well, I feel for people.
Dr. Dan Stickler: It's very common.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah. I feel for them, because they're being bombarded day in, day out with this is the thing, this is the thing. Look at this research, look at this paper. And to something that you said earlier, our bioindividuality, which isn't just the fact that we're different, but it's the fact that the influences on our body will vary in infinitesimal ways depending on our lifestyle, depending on our history, depending on our early childhood adverse events. Like anything, right? That is a big piece of what makes us unique. We just want answers, right? I just want my cholesterol to go down so I don't have to take a statin. I'm going to take the red yeast rice, I'm going to take all the different things and pray that it works for me.
And this is where curation, the nuance, the peeling back the layers of the onion really becomes critical for every person. And I'm sure you get people coming into your office as much as they come with a long list of supplements, they come to you and they say, you know what? I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know what diet to follow. I don't know who to listen to. I don't know what to take. I'm taking 75 different things, because to your point, they all sounded like a really good idea. And just help me to figure this out and to simplify. And I do think that more people are coming to that place where they're saying, because it becomes unaffordable, right? And they're saying, help me to understand what do I need to be doing.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. Let's transition into kind of longevity and age rejuvenation because I know this is a popular topic for a lot of people. There's a lot of people just getting into the industry. People like you and I have been in it for decades. But what is it that you would say is the advantage to looking into a longevity or age rejuvenation program for people?
Nathalie Niddam: Well, I mean the advantage ultimately is that if you're looking at longevity and rejuvenation, you're looking at being the healthiest version of yourself, right? I think there's different pieces to the puzzle here. I mean, there's the fundamental reality that we don't want to die. Our entire existence is predicated on I don't want to die. And really deep down inside, we don't even believe we're going to die. If you get philosophical about it, we're like, yeah, yeah, I know everybody dies. I know everybody dies. But really deep down inside we're like, but I'm not going to die because I can't not be here. I mean, I'm only here. I can't not be here. From an existential perspective, we sort of can't fathom it, right? Nobody wants to die, but I think what's happened over the last number of years, and I think because the rejuvenation space and the age reversal space has exploded, and it is exploding.
And I think we are at such an incredible point in time where what's available to people is finally catching up to the theory in many ways. We now are saying, not only do I not want to die, but I want to live well. I want to look good. I want to have my head together. I want to be able to go hiking, and I want to be doing that when I'm 80, and then I want to be doing that when I'm 90. We've really upped the ante. If that's something in your mind that you're sitting there saying, I want to live a long time and I want to have all of these other things, then you have to be looking at the longevity and age rejuvenation programs, because those are the people that are in the space of not fixing what's wrong with you.
I mean, they're going to want to look to help to overcome whatever is ailing you, as it were. But they're actually taking it a step further and saying, what can we do now to prevent the decline? Because it's always easier to prevent something than it is to reverse it, which isn't to say we can't, because now with stem cells and exosomes and V cells and all the other cells out there, all these incredible technologies that are being made available and that are coming online, we're starting to see the hint that we can maybe undo some of the damage that's been done, but the good programs are sitting there saying, yeah, let's undo what we can, but let's also slow down the decline, or flatten the curve.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Most people don't realize that 75% of your longevity is determined by lifestyle factors.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah.
Dr. Dan Stickler: And frustrating [inaudible 00:39:47] because we have people coming all the time. They're coming in to do exosomes or plasma apheresis or young plasma infusions, and they're not making any effort to alter their lifestyle. Without that foundation, and you mentioned this earlier, without that foundation, you're going to be building a house on quicksand. I mean, it's just not going to hold.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah. Yeah. You go celebrate that infusion with a bottle of wine.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, right. Yeah. I mean, these things aren't going to do much of anything without the efforts being made on the lifestyle front. And you talked about sleep, and that's probably the number one thing that I see that either people don't really prioritize sleep or they're just inconvenienced by it.
And by far, I mean, that's one of my number one interventions is getting the sleep dialed in.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah. No, look, poor sleep is going to affect your metabolism, it's going to affect your ability to function cognitively, it's going to affect your body's ability to recover, your brain. Literally, it's the root, right? And I think a close second to that or maybe aligned with it, but it's also affected by sleep, is your ability to manage stress.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Absolutely.
Nathalie Niddam: Right? And they go hand in hand, because if you're super stressed, you can't sleep. And if you can't sleep, you're super stressed. It is absolutely a chicken or the egg thing.
Hrv as Feedback, Not a Judgment
Dr. Dan Stickler: And that's where the biometric monitors can help you. I mean, they may not be exact on sleep stages, but you can see changes in your sleep stages with the biometric monitors. That's been super valuable. The stress score or HRV to kind of see where you are from a stress standpoint, I mean, invaluable for sure.
Nathalie Niddam: Yeah, for sure. And it's funny because I've spoken to people who are like, yeah, it stresses me out to look at that stuff. The invitation is to reframe the information that you're getting. It's not a judgment, it's not a report card every morning, oh, you did a bad job. It's if you can approach it as just feedback and data and an ability to learn, and for most clients, it concretizes to them the value of the things we're asking them to change and to do so that they can see, wow, when I finish eating three hours before going to bed, check it out. I got an A.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah.
Nathalie Niddam: But helping them to kind of take a little bit of a step back and not take it as a judgment sometimes is the first hurdle we have to overcome. But to your point, and as these devices become more sophisticated, I mean this, what is it called? The Ultra Human Ring. I mean, we're getting to the point where we have the ability to have a lab on board at all times to give us feedback on what we're doing.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah.
Nathalie Niddam: That's amazing to someone who's willing to make the changes and willing to step through that door. What a gift.
Dr. Dan Stickler: I always imagined something like in the movie The Island, do you remember that movie?
Nathalie Niddam: No.
Dr. Dan Stickler: They had clones that were being grown on this island, and they were just being grown for organ replacements of the real people. And thought they were winning the lottery when they got called out. And it turns out they were getting harvested.
Nathalie Niddam: Oh. But so they had consciousness on top of everything.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Absolutely. It was crazy. But they would pee in the toilet in the morning and the toilet would analyze their urinary metabolites and alter their dietary supplementation for the day. I mean, I imagined that a couple of years ago, I was like, that would be so cool to have something. And we're getting very close to it.
Nathalie Niddam: Oh my God. Yeah. I just spoke to a guy recently, he's developing, I'm sure you've heard of this, a little home device where with a drop of blood, you can get feedback on your inflammatory status that day. And I mean, it's not perfect. It's not looking at all the inflammatory cytokines, but it's very interesting insight. How cool would it be if you implemented whatever intervention and you were able to, in the comfort of your own home for almost no money, take a prick of blood, put it on a little thing, stick it in a machine and get feedback that says, hey, your inflammation dropped or uh-oh, your inflammation's gone up. And I think that the toilet giving you information, it's actually probably possible today if somebody was motivated enough.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. I agree. Well, we are coming to a close here and we touched on about 10% of the topics that I had wanted to touch on. We will definitely need to have you back and go a little bit deeper into some of these areas, for sure. I always love our conversations.
Nathalie Niddam: Likewise. I think it's always a pleasure. I always learn something when I talk to you, Dan. It's anytime would be a pleasure.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Same here. I mean, yeah, thanks for joining us and we'll have you on again.
Nathalie Niddam: Thank you so much.