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Dr. Tommy Wood - Ancestral Health, Resilience, Sleep, Nutrition, Social Connections

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Dr. Tommy Wood - Ancestral Health, Resilience, Sleep, Nutrition, Social Connections

Episode 53: Dr. Tommy Wood - Ancestral Health, Resilience, Sleep, Nutrition, Social Connections

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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)

In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg Bennett welcomes back Dr. Tommy Wood.

If you missed episode 29 back in July when Dr. Wood was on, you're encouraged to check it out … so many great takeaways.

A quick recap of Dr. Wood’s background - He received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, a medical degree from the University f Oxford, and a Ph.D. in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Oslo. He’s worked with the world’s greatest athletes from Formula 1 motorsport to the world’s best endurance athletes. He’s currently on Research faculty at the University of Washington in the Department of Pediatrics. His research focusing on ways to increase resilience, and treat the injury of, the developing brain.

His depth of knowledge and ability to communicate detailed scientific literature for the rest of us is truly outstanding and very much appreciated.

In this episode, we discuss Ancestral Health, the benefits of stress, physiologic headroom aka resilience, sleep and circadian rhythm, Nutrition, and Social connections.

Dr. Wood shares his thoughts on DNA and genetics, you may be surprised with where he thinks we're at. Plus so much more in this one.

See the timestamps below for more detail.


0.0 - Introduction to show

1.26 - Sponsors

4.57 - Start to show – Introduction

5.58 - General chit-chat

6.30 - Ancestral Health - Physicians for ancestral health - - Stressors or exposures in our environment are necessary - Lifestyle medicine

11.50 - Metabolic Health - Risk factors for all chronic illnesses - Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Hypertension, Dementia, Cancers - Diet, sleep, and movement influences

16.20 - Outliving ourselves - Over-reliance on modern medicine - People died of infectious disease 100 years ago - Modern medicine and anti-biotics - Quick fix but not a chronic disease treatment

21.10 - Stress - Hormetic stress (physical training, hot-cold therapy, etc) compared to novel stressors like cognitive social stressors - psychologist-depression - Never rebooting

27.30 - Autonomic nervous system- Chronic Sympathetic nervous (fight or flight) verse the parasympathetic nervous (rest and recovery)

30.30 - Resilience aka Physiologic headroom - Art Devany - what do you need to do in any given day and what are you actually capable of - not just physical applies to the immune system and psychology stressors - we've removed movement, hot-cold, and fasting - The language we use is also an issue "we constantly talk from the negative side" - we constantly pursuing perfection - Genetics is the worst offender for telling people they aren't as good as they good be - We shouldn't overstate one thing - "realism and acceptance are the most important things"

44.40 - Nutrition - Ancestral - "where did your ancestors come from and what would they have eaten?"

49.40 - DNA and Genetics - Highlighting negative talk - Vitamin D when to measure - DMinder app - HRV for trainer app - DNA companies and the future, is there a place for them? Collecting more data is key - it's a data science problem - If we use it so people pull the right levers

1.03.20 - Circadian rhythms (24hrs predictable cycle) - Sleep - Melotonine increases as it gets dark, peaks late in the night, and then decrease as it comes time for you to get up. Cortisol increases as the melatonin go down and then goes down during the day. Melatonin also influences insulin. At different times of day, our body produces insulin. Every important part of your body and all your hormones have a daily rhythm.

1.08.30 - Eating the right foods at the right time of day - The body is most insulin sensitive in the morning - Start with protein in the morning then carbs at lunch then a mix at dinner - but the magnitude is of the effect is small. "I don't worry about macronutrient placement through the day"

1.10.40 - Timing of meats and carbs - depending on supply - No hunter-gathering tribe eats raw leaves - Our ancestors would lose weight in the winter and then put on weight in the summer for northern latitudes

1.15.30 - Nutrition for endurance athletes - It's almost impossible to eat enough - The amount of the human body is used to is 2000-3000 calories a day - Efficiency - If you're a 6000 calorie a day athlete that can add enormous stress to your gut and GI issues - Tim Noakes study the best lost the most weight and got most dehydration

1.28.30 - Socialization and social connections - Social isolation and health outcomes - One study suggested that "Being socially isolated is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day" - We're becoming more socially isolated it's not all covid - In the beginning, we all became more socially connected but now it's starting - Serving each other has an effect on your health and your immune system -

1.38.40 - Conclusion


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