Episode 15 | Dr. Joe Mercola | Why Are GMOs So Dangerous?
Why you should listen –
A few years ago, I was at a wedding in LA. I was with a group, and there was a wide variety of people, including Lisa Kudrow…who is Phoebe from the TV show, Friends. We were telling each other about the happenings our life…personally and professionally. She was talking about her new TV show at the time, called Who Do You Think You Are?
I was telling her about how I just flew back from Chicago where I was shooting a video with Dr. Mercola, and seeing and hearing his latest passions…including a new type of stretching.
As soon as I mentioned his name, everybody’s ears perked up and they had question after question about Joe Mercola, who’s today’s podcast, and some of his philosophies.
There’s few people on the planet who are known by a single name, and everybody knows who they are, because they are phonemes. There’s Madonna and Prince. There’s Gates, Jobs, Zucherburg…and in the world of health and wellness, there’s Mercola. Everybody wants to know what Mercola has to say, and what Mercola has to talk about.
Dr. Mercola is a three-time New York Times Bestselling author. He likes to push boundaries, and he’s been at the forefront of waking up the nation to the dangers of GMOs in our food. He has rockstar appeal, considerable influence, and is one of the most popular people in natural health, leading the charge with the #1 most visited health website mercola.com with almost 10 million unique visitors every month. When Dr. Oz calls him the most controversial person that’s ever been on the show, he embraced the title. Simply put, he is timeless and fearless. Joe walks the talk. He’s the real deal, and authentic through and through.
Listen to this 30-minute episode while you’re working out, getting ready for the day, or while cooking dinner. It’s definitely a must-listen, because Dr. Mercola shows you how you can be your own health advocate. In this episode, you’ll learn…
- EXTREME impacts of sitting too much
- PRACTICAL ways to stand more each day
- IMPORTANCE of improving mitochondrial dysfunctions (which creates energy!)
- DANGERS of not getting enough sun…and how much sunlight is too much?
Follow Along With The Highlights
True or False: you like to sit only 30 minutes/day.
My goal is to sit less than 30 minutes. The key is to integrate movement into your lifestyle. Most of us have serious movement deficiency which can lead to all sorts of complications.
It’s so much more than just burning calories. It’s fascinating the impact standing has on your body.
Personally, I was sitting 12-14 hours/day as a result of my work and not understanding the importance of non-exercise movement. Every minute you sit takes more minutes off your life than smoking. I read between 100-150 books a year while I’m walking 2-3 hours/day on the beach, so I have a large opportunity to read books on health. The best book I’ve read this year is Deskbound by Kelly Starrett: He covers the reasoning and rationale of why sitting is dangerous and also focuses on mobility training and improving mobility through stretches and mechanical interventions.
If you’re in an office, how do you start the process of standing more?
It’s really wise to convert all desks to stand-up desks for employees. Companies who make this transition find that their profit levels increase significantly when employees have access to standing desks. If that’s not an option, I would present data to your employer (you can find this data on mercola.com) to encourage the company make this transition. If it’s still not an option, there are other simple ways to incorporate standing into your routine. For example, when I travel I will stand the wastebasket in my hotel room upside-down and put my notebook on that for an improvised stand-up desk. You have to be creative and improvise. Standing works so well because you’re much more likely to move when you are standing. There is no reason you should be sitting down when you are on a phone call! Sitting makes it harder to move, but if you are standing, you’re more likely to move.
Last night I went to a documentary screening that was sold out with standing-room only space. The five people in front of me left because they didn’t want to stand! It was so much more comfortable to stand, and I moved/shifted my weight now and then, and I was giggling to myself knowing I’d be talking with you today about this very subject.
When I go to conferences, I don’t sit down anymore. I stand in the back and move around. The biggest crime is we’re forcing our kids to sit down every day, and I believe that’s a major factor in the massive epidemic we’re currently experiencing of ADHD. You cannot force kids to sit down – they are not designed to sit down all day!
It’s not natural. When I was a kid I couldn’t just stand and be still – I liked to move. What people don’t realize is that even your colon begins to get compressed when you sit, and in that compressed state you don’t think as well. When you feel more alert, you get more things done.
There’s a hormone called BDNF – brain-derived neurotrophic factor – which is increased when you’re moving around. It decreases to very low levels when you’re sitting.
Do you have any mantras?
My main one is take control of your health and take responsibility so you don’t have to rely on conventional wisdom, or public health authorities, or what your physician is telling you – you can learn the truth about your health and you don’t have to be misinformed or duped into following the tradition pharmacological paradigm.
As we age, that becomes more and more important. We talked about standing and movement, but switching over to food: why is it so important that we know where our food is coming from?
It’s a big issue because so much of our food is grown commercially in factory-farming conditions. It’s not only important to your health personally, but to the environment, as we are destroying the topsoil of the planet at an alarming rate. If this continues there won’t be enough soil to grow food. Plants are designed to extract CO2 from the air and put it back in the soil where it belongs. But we are using fertilizers which are further exacerbating the problem because they are extracted from carbon-based sources like fossil fuels, and they are put in the ground, but the soil ground cannot absorb them and the runoff in turn goes into our water sources. For example, in Florida where I live, we have a big problem with fertilizer pollution causing massive algae blooms in our lakes. The personal consequence is that most crops are genetically modified, and these GMOs are not designed to decrease world hunger or improve the nutrition content of the food, but to increase profits to people who sell seeds and herbicides like RoundUp. RoundUp is a pernicious toxin, and the studies supporting how dangerous it is have been thwarted because companies have made any scientific testing on these GMOs essentially illegal. The studies that are done are funded by the GMO industry. Unfortunately there are a high percentage of regulatory officials who are former employees or executives of these large chemical companies. I recently learned that Monsanto, who is one of the primary culprits in this issue, was one of the lead players in the development of the atomic bomb in the 1940s! They’ve been working hand-in-hand with the government for generations. The bottom line is: grow your own food and do it well.
I interviewed Dr. Bush recently and we talked about how GMOs impact your gut and how when you have a leaky gut, so many side effects occur. The food you eat impacts every system in your body! Everything is connected. It’s so important that you start your kids at a very young age eating organic foods, and growing food in your own backyard if you can, and understanding the relationship from the earth to the plate.
A study was published recently that two-thirds of the calories people eat come from ultra-processed food (food you can buy at the gas station!) They key is to eat real foods. DHA, the essential omega-3 fat in many seafoods, is one of the most profoundly important macro-nutrients you can put in your body. You don’t get it from eating plant-based omega-3 fats like flax seeds or chia seeds (which I love and eat every day), you need seafood DHA from real food. I put lots of these details on my site, and you’ve got to know the specifics.
So give us a snapshot of a day in the life of Joe Mercola.
On July 31, we celebrated our 19th anniversary of our website. In celebration I had a film crew film me for a whole day, so if you’re interested you can see what I’m doing from the time I wake up, through exercising and working in my garden, walking on the beach and preparing meals – it’s all there on mercola.com.
Sunshine exposure on your skin without wearing sunglasses is another powerful component that can circumvent almost any disease. Getting good healthy DHA through sunshine in your eyes and avoiding blue light – artificial light – especially at night is essential. Too much blue light can interrupt a lot of important biological cycles and rhythms within your body and can decimate mitochondrial function.
What about too much exposure to sunlight? Where do you draw the line between getting a healthy amount and too much?
This is an area of massive fraud and deception which dermatologists and public health authorities have gotten away with for many years, this idea to avoid sunlight. All the current research is indicating the exact opposite. That does not mean you should go out and get sunburned! Lack of healthy light exposure is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your health. You need sunlight – it just makes sense! We were designed to have sunlight on our bodies and in our eyes. Yes, you can get skin cancers, but almost all the skin cancers that increase with sun exposure, like squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, are not the dangerous ones and if caught early, can sometimes be 100% treatable. The dangerous ones like melanoma actually increase when you have less sun exposure – that’s the paradox. The small number of people who die from skin cancer are dwarfed by people who die from vitamin-D deficient diseases related to lack of sun exposure. The intention of sunscreen was to lower the danger from sun exposure but almost all the initial sunscreens lowered UVB radiation, which is important to make vitamin D, and not UVA, which causes cancer.
Any thoughts on where and what we should be drinking?
Ideally you get spring water. You want to avoid drinking municipal tap water, mainly because our municipal water supplies are loaded with chlorine and disinfection byproducts. Sure, this keeps us safe from diseases that used to kill people, which is a good thing. But the downside is that chlorine kills your microbiome, and fluoride is a toxin. There is no way you need to put a systemic drug like fluoride in the water supply. Fortunately not all water supplies are contaminated. Portland, OR, for example, was able to successfully prevent fluoride from being put in the water supply. Make sure the water your drink is fluoride- and chlorine-free.
What are your go-to drinks throughout the day?
Water and more water. That’s all I drink! I also integrate pau d’arco tea into my smoothie. My real passion is mitochondrial disfunction and improving it through a variety of mechanisms. One of the ways you can do that is through pau d’arco, which improves NAD, which is important for improving cell signaling in the mitochondria and nucleus. Almost every one of our cells has 100-100,000 mitochondria and as we engage in unhealthy lifestyles these decrease. Gram per gram, we generate 10,000 times more energy than the sun, and we are able to do this through the magic of the mitochondria.
Certain things we’re doing are starting to compromise the mitochondria.
Eating GMO foods, drinking fluoridated and chlorinated water, too many sugars and carbohydrates…if you have an excess of carbohydrates, that’s a dirty fuel and you will generate large amounts of ROS (reactive oxygen species) which cause free radicals and decimate mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA.
Knowledge is power! If one or two or six of these topics have peaked your interest, go to mercola.com and start reading, downloading, and finding more information.