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Bulletproof Radio

812 EpisodesProduced by Dave AspreyWebsite

Welcome to being Bulletproof, the State of High Performance where you take control and improve your biochemistry, your body, and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or just acting like a stressed-out a-hole.… read more

1:20:45

What the Godfather of IF Eats - Mark Mattson, Ph.D. : 634

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest is one of the world’s top experts on the health benefits of intermittent fasting on the brain and body.

Decades before intermittent fasting diets became popular, Mark began studying mouse models to understand how the brain adapts to challenges like fasting and exercise. He and his research teams have shown that fasting can improve cognitive function and metabolic health. Early studies in humans now are underway.

“Intermittent fasting and exercise can reverse diabetes, and obesity in humans if a person can switch their eating pattern, and get on an exercise program,” Mark says.

His work on intermittent fasting has been featured on national media and he has given a TED Talk, “Why Fasting Bolsters Brain Power”. Our conversation in this episode covers a lot of ground, such as:

  • What happens during a fasted ketogenic state;
  • How to choose an intermittent fasting time period;
  • What and when Mark eats to obtain maximum intermittent fasting brain and body benefits;
  • How the mTor pathway is inhibited;
  • How autophagy acts as both a garbage disposal and a recycling bin; 
  • How the Nrf2-ARE antioxidant defense pathway is activated; and
  • How important nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are to brain health.


Mark currently is a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. He’s one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Previously, he was chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institutes of Health since 2000.

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