How Detoxifying Can Help You Drop Inflammation and Protect Your Health

Do you really know what it’s like to feel great?

Dr. Tom O'Bryan is betting you don’t—and that could be a result of toxic exposure. In this conversation, he explains how your body accumulates toxins like microplastics over a lifetime and how they cause low-grade inflammation, odd symptoms, and ultimately, illness. We cover how this phenomenon can potentially affect your thyroid, hormones, and quality of life; what you can do about it; and why even those who eat organic foods and use clean products need to pay attention.

If you want to understand the science of toxicity and get clear, actionable advice on lowering your toxic burden, tune in to this episode!

Freebies From Today’s Episode
Watch The Inflammation Equation


00:03:45 – Why should we care about toxins?
00:06:17 – Does eating organic and using clean products matter?
00:11:44 – How to know your toxic burden and if it’s impacting you
00:15:21 – What markers of inflammation do lab tests reveal?
00:18:26 – Effects inflammation can have on people
00:23:14 – Knowing this, what can you do about it now?
00:25:05 – How did Dr. O’Bryan get his toxic load to zero?
00:29:01 – Is using heat and cold helpful? How should you do it?

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Subscribe to my podcast

Read my book, Sugar Impact Diet

Learn more about Dr. Tom O’Bryan

Read You Can Fix Your Brain

Take The Total Tox Burden Test

Take The Wheat Zoomer

Take The Neural Zoomer Plus

Take The Gut Zoomer

Read which houseplant absorbs toxins

Read Early-Onset Dementia and Alzheimer's Rates Grow for Younger American Adults

Read Combining the Mediterranean Diet and the Gluten-Free Diet

Learn more about Swiss Mountain Clinic – New: INUSpheresis® Treatment

Sunlighten Saunas: Use promo code JJVIRGIN when requesting pricing information for $600 off

Therasage Saunas: Use code VIRGIN20 for 20% off

Read JAMA Internal Medicine: Association Between Pesticide Residue Intake From Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment With Assisted Reproductive Technology

Read Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Rapid single-particle chemical imaging of nanoplastics by SRS microscopy

Kooru Cold plunge: Use code JJVIP500 for $500 off

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 641_How to Break Free from the Grip of Toxicity with Dr. Tom O'Bryan

[00:00:00] JJ Virgin: I'm JJ Virgin, Ph.D. dropout. Sorry, Mom. Turned four time New York Times bestselling author. Yes, I'm a certified nutrition specialist, fitness hall of famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe. But I'm driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing the information I uncover with as many people as I can.

And that's why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast to synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode, we'll talk about what's working in the world of wellness, from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness.

Join me on the journey to better health, so you can love how you look and feel right now and have the energy to play full out at 100.

[00:01:00] So one of the things I always think about is, you know, when people say they feel fine, I go, “Fine. All right.” What does fine mean? And do we really know what feeling really great feels like? Now, today on the podcast, I've got a repeat guest because he's so fabulous, Dr. Tom O'Bryan, and he is going to be talking about toxins and low grade inflammation and the fact that most people think they feel fine, but it's because they don't know what feeling great really feels like and that quite often this low-grade inflammation, you're just not even aware of it.

And you're not aware of what these toxins are doing until they show up as something like cancer or autoimmune disease. So he is going to be connecting the dots between those, talking about all the different places we get exposure from. How toxins create this low-grade inflammation. And also, more importantly, how you can know, how you can test for it.

And I remember when you wanted to do a real big tox screen and it was thousands of dollars and now it's something that you can do relatively inexpensively from your house. And also, you know, once you know that you have these toxins, which unless you've been actively detoxifying for a while, likely do what you can do about it, which I would say is something we need to be doing every single day, starting now. So I'm going to put my resources for some of my favorite saunas. I actually have two saunas. And I think in looking at some of these other countries and that are happiest and healthiest countries, one of the things I noticed they all have in common is they sauna.

So, we are going to be talking saunas. We're going to be talking toxins. We're talking about ways to detoxify. We're going to talk cold plunges and how to do that. And all with Dr. Tom O'Bryan, who's really deep diving now. You probably know him from my shows before talking about gluten. We're talking about autoimmune disease and we will kind of talk about the connection of toxins of course and inflammation and autoimmune disease, but we're really going to be diving into toxins and why this is an issue for everybody.

We're also going to be talking about his new docu-series, The Inflammation Equation that you will have free access to as well. And I'm going to put all of this cool stuff at and I will be right back with Dr. Tom O'Bryan. So stay with me.

[00:03:17] Dr. Tom O'Bryan, welcome back for the gazillionth time to the podcast.

Tom O'Bryan: Thank you so much. It's always a pleasure.

JJ Virgin: We just can't get enough of you.

Dr. Tom O'Bryan: Nor I you. So it's a win-win.

JJ Virgin: Well, what's super awesome is every time I talk to you, I learn something new, which means everybody gets to learn something new. And now we are going to be digging into toxins because you have a new docu-series out, The Inflammation Equation. Very exciting. So, you know, we've talked in the past about autoimmunity. We've talked about gluten. Why did you decide to go dig in deep into toxins?

[00:03:54] Tom O'Bryan: That's a bottom-line question. Why are we doing this? And it's because our doctors. As great as our holistic doctors and our functional medicine doctors are applying recommendations to help people feel better and function better, they're not addressing the basics. And the basics are that the Center for Disease Control tells us 14 of the 15 top causes of death in the world today are chronic inflammatory diseases. That it's always inflammation.

We aren't guiding our patients in identifying where is this inflammation coming from? We are guiding our patients and identifying where are your symptoms coming from. What is it about Hashimoto's for you? You know, here's a little pearl. Shoenfeld, the godfather of autoimmunity, published a paper in March of 2022, identifying that 87 percent of Hashimoto's patients get better on a gluten-free diet.

[00:04:54] Non-celiac Hashimoto's patients—that's the most common autoimmune disease. So that's a trigger, and so you eliminate gluten in this example, your thyroid starts functioning better, and you think you're healthy. No, you're not! You still have all the toxic crap that's accumulated in your body over the last 40 years, causing more inflammation that just hasn't killed off enough cells to have tissue dysfunction, which then gives you tissue disease. And so then now you have symptoms of something else that, you know, instead of just chasing the symptom that is right in front of us right now, which is important to deal with, let's go back and address where it all comes from. So that you're a little more assured of higher quality of life in your senior years.

[00:05:43] JJ Virgin: I'm not middle age anymore. And I was having trouble even embracing the middle-aged thing. And now I'm like, “Wait a minute. I'm not technically considered to be middle age.” I know. But you know what, Tom, if we, as long as we move the needle in our life span along with our health span, then we still middle-aged.

It's all cool. So then, when we look at inflammation, are you saying that the root of inflammation is all this toxicity?

[00:06:09] Tom O'Bryan: Yeah, yeah, it is.

[00:06:10] JJ Virgin: Now, what would you say to someone like, you—you mentioned gluten, and I always go, is it gluten or the glyphosate? And it's like both, you know, for someone that kind of goes, all right, you know, I've been eating organic.

I've been using clean skincare products, mostly, so I must not have that much toxic exposure. What would you say to that?

[00:06:32] Tom O'Bryan: A dear friend of mine who has been teaching functional medicine for many years, world-renowned, was just diagnosed with stage four aggressive breast cancer. She eats organic. She lives a healthy life—a really vibrant life.

And in my series, The Inflammation Equation, I interviewed Patrick Hanaway, the co-founder of the Functional Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and many accolades to him. So one of the questions I asked him, I said, “Patrick, you've been a pioneer in educating physicians on functional medicine for many, many years.”

You eat well, you've got a very healthy relationship and a healthy family life. You're really careful about what you put in your body. “What did you miss?”

[00:07:17] Because Patrick was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. “What did you miss?” And he just looked at me and said, “No one's ever asked that before.” And then he went into the emotional or the spiritual side of what happens when we think that we are stronger than life's demands on us, that we allow ourselves to be so stressed and be so productive in all that we do. And so it really comes down to bottom line: you need to test. “Am I inflamed right now?” When I interviewed David Furman, who is at the Buck Institute of Aging, and he's got the contract with NASA, he and his team. Now, David Furman was a senior graduate student on the outside of there, taking care of all logistics for them.

So his entire career has been on LPAG and lifespan. NASA doesn't tell you this. The astronauts were going loopy in space that astronauts were not at the top of their game. Their brains weren't working properly. And they found out it was the phthalates in the air. Oh my goodness. Everything in there is plastic.

[00:08:30] So, you know, I'm looking in my, around my office, and my glasses are plastic. The stand for the lights that are shining on my face right now is plastic. If your bedroom knife stand is press board, not solid wood. It's soaked in formaldehyde that outgases into the air for years. “Well, I don't smell anything.”

Well, of course not. It's minute amounts that you can't identify, but they accumulate in your body. You know, I asked Jill Carnahan, “How often do you get a negative back on a total talk spurt?” And she was like, “Never, never.” And never that we all have high levels of toxins in our body that are activating our immune system right now to fight this stuff.

So we've got this low-grade chronic inflammation that David Furman has identified. It is the bottom-line mechanism in every degenerative disease.

[00:09:31] It is this undiagnosed, low-grade inflammation that we don't feel right now. We feel fine, but it's under the surface. Killing off tissue. Killing off tissue.

Let me give you an example of the accumulative nature of this stuff. This is Chicago, 2016, 326 pregnant women in the eighth month of pregnancy. They took urine analysis, and they measured five phthalates, chemicals used to mold plastic. There are many more, but they may including BPA; they measured BPA and four others.

They put the results into quartiles: the lowest amount, the next, the third, and the highest amount. They followed the offspring of those pregnancies for seven years. When the children turned seven years old, they did Wechsler IQ tests on them, the official IQ test. Every child whose mother was in the highest category of phthalates and urine in pregnancy, compared to the children in the lowest category, whose mothers were in the lowest category of phthalates, Every child in the highest category, their IQ was seven points lower. Every single one of them.

[00:10:36] JJ Virgin: Do you remember Robert Kranz sharing that picture that he showed with the kids—the drawings of kids that had been subjected to toxins and kids who hadn't? It was incredible. And then I started to think about like. If a woman who would know this knows to really detoxify before getting pregnant, they're going to offload those toxins into that first child.

[00:11:00] Tom O'Bryan: Right into the baby. Here come the studies of the higher level of phthalates, the more inhibition of brain cell growth. So these babies, whose moms were in the highest category, they don't have a chance in hell of ever excelling in school. They just don't have a chance because their brains never developed properly.

[00:11:18] JJ Virgin: You know, it's interesting way back when I was asked to write a course, do a talk about prenatal nutrition. And as I started to dig into it, I realized it wasn't prenatal nutrition. It was preconception. And then I got into this whole rabbit hole. I'm like, this little like hour talk became 900 slides later.

I'm like, and this was 20 years ago. And I'm like, “Where, why is this information not out?” So someone listening now, because this is the Well Beyond 40 Podcast, and you know, someone listening now, I always say your body is a chemistry lab and a history book. And, you know, so we've been accumulating things over the years.

First of all, how would someone know when you talked about low-grade inflammation, you talked about this total toxic burden, and then you said they got a test? How would someone know how toxic they are, what kind of toxic burden they have, and then, you know, what it is doing to them in terms of inflammation?

[00:12:15] Tom O'Bryan: There are many different tests out there. The one that we are using now that we find so helpful and it's extremely accurate is called the Total Tox Burden by Vibrant Wellness, and they look at volatile organic compounds. They look at mold metabolites. They look at different yeast accumulations. They look at bacterial infections, viral infections, and heavy metals, all in one test.

[00:12:40] JJ Virgin: Wow. Can someone, or like, does someone have to go through a doctor to order that? Can they order it through, like any lab tests? What's it cost?

[00:12:48] Tom O'Bryan: Right. They have to go through a doctor that's not open to the general public. That lab does not cater to the general public, but you go to my website and order the test.

[00:12:57] JJ Virgin: I was just going to say, so they can order it through you?

[00:12:59] Tom O'Bryan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The doctor.

[00:13:00] JJ Virgin: All of this will be in the show notes. We're going to do So we'll put all the resources there that they can get this. Now, when you do this testing, do you have to do some kind of a provocation?

[00:13:13] Tom O'Bryan: No. No. It's urine. It's urine. Just simple. It's simple. But it's so good. It's just, I'm, it's one of the prerequisites to see me or on a first visit. The recommendation is always the Wheat Zoomer because I'm the gluten guy, but also because it's the most accurate measure of intestinal permeability.

The Wheat Zoomer, the Neuro Zoomer Plus, because it looks at 53 different markers of inflammation in your brain, and the Total Tox Burden, and the Gut Zoomer. Those four tests give us enough to get started on the big picture of what's going on in your body. And the results are always shocking. People are always blown away by what they see.

And this lab is the only lab in the world that I have found where the sensitivity and specificity is 97 to a hundred percent. And they're very happy to put it right on the website. No other labs.

[00:14:10] JJ Virgin: Someone listening, though, who's not a medical professional won't know what that means.

[00:14:13] Tom O'Bryan: How accurate is the test? And we think our blood tests are accurate. Turns out that most of the blood tests that our doctors do in their offices. The sensitivity and the specificity, meaning the accuracy, is somewhere between 74 and 84 percent. Meaning it's wrong 2 or 3 out of 10 times, completely wrong, 2 or 3 out of 10 times. So I challenge doctors all the time to do double blinds.

And they look at me. You know, and I do this on stage. I say, if you want to know if what you're doing is accurate or not, do five double blinds. Pick five patients, and when you draw blood, draw a second tube of blood out of the same venipuncture. Label the second tube, Joe Smith, and send it to the lab, ordering the same test.

[00:15:00] Now you have to pay for that second test; you can't charge the patient, and you can't charge insurance, but now when the test results come back, you're gonna see. Are they the same? Or how much variation is there? And sometimes you don't know whether to talk to the patient about the normal or the one that's really bad. It's that different.

[00:15:17] JJ Virgin: Holy smokes. That’s important. So, yeah. So beyond that, where, where are you seeing the inflammation component. When you're doing the testing, how are you finding it?

[00:15:30] Tom O'Bryan: Oh, the inflammation. Yeah, you look for elevated antibodies. That's the easiest one to use. People say, Well, I look at Hs-CRP, which is a good marker of general inflammation, but it's a way up there, meaning it's been around for a long time before your CRP gets elevated.

So it's not sensitive enough to identify this low-grade level of inflammation under the surface. That's really killing all of us. So, you have to look for more sensitive tests. So anytime you have elevated antibodies to your own tissue, that means, by definition, they're elevated, meaning there's too many of them.

[00:16:08] It means you're killing off the thyroid, or you're killing off your joint surfaces, or your saran wrap around your nerves called myelin. And when enough of that occurs, you get MS, you start getting numbness and tingling, and you eventually get diagnosed with MS. So, looking for elevated antibodies is a good test.

In the Inflammation Equation, you'll hear Dr. Isaac Elias talk about the most, the first marker of inflammation in the body, from which it all trickles down, is called Galectin-3. And that's an inexpensive test that any doctor can do because LabCorp does it. Quest does it. It's about, it's less than a hundred bucks, I believe, to do that test. And you see, if Galectin-3 is elevated, you're inflamed.

[00:16:57] JJ Virgin: Why isn't that test being done? Why are you doing Hs-CRP instead of this? This is like, because obviously by the time Hs-CRP is elevated, this has been elevated for a while, so I'm always looking at like. By the time blood sugar is elevated, you've been insulin-resistant for a while. What's the precursor? What do you look at first?

[00:17:54] Tom O'Bryan: That's right. That's where Galactin-3 comes in. It's the precursor. It’s the upstream effect that trickles down into all of the follow-up inflammatory cytokines. So, in the innate immune system, in the automatic response system we have in our bodies, that's at the top.

And then it trickles down from there. So looking at that, looking at elevated antibodies, is such a good measure, and it's not expensive at all. You know, you can do, Cyrex has a rate number of 5 that looks at 24 different antibodies to your own tissue. Well, why is that important? Because Blue Cross Blue Shield published in March of 2020 that in the previous four years, there was a 407 percent increase in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's in 30 to 44 year olds.

[00:18:09] JJ Virgin: This is an issue for everybody. That's bottom line. It's just how much of an issue is it at this point. You know, what's it, how's it affecting you? So now that we know it's an issue and we know how to test for it, just in case you need the validation or you're already at that point where you need to get very targeted, but someone listening to this, what are some of the things that it can do?

[00:16:06] I remember I had a woman, Tom, who went and got bariatric surgery behind my back. She didn't tell me. And I go, but your issue is you've got a huge toxic burden, like your body shut down. You can, and it didn't do a thing. Like, nothing happened when she went and got this bariatric surgery. And the other thing, funny enough, tonight I'm doing a masterclass for my community about when you want to drop body fat, your first thing is to make sure your detox pathways are working well because you're about to free up toxins.

If you burn fat, toxins get liberated, and you get better be able to get them out. So what do they do?

[00:19:06] Tom O'Bryan: Well, the first thing you know, there's a new paper out, came out last year from Italy, the Mediterranean gluten-free diet, and they revise the food pyramid. And what's at the very bottom and so critically important for all of us is water that we, most of us are dehydrated.

You have to first have the system to escort the toxins out. That's really important. And you ask, “What are the effects of this?” I mean, how would that be affecting us if I'm toxic? Let me tell you this study. And now, first, I'll tell you, this is my opinion. And it is only my opinion. I think that the most sensitive tissue in the body. The very most sensitive tissue is a fertilized egg in a woman's womb because it has no immune system of its own. It's completely dependent on mom.

[00:19:56] So here's a study that came from the Journal of the American Medical Association from Harvard, and the editors of the journal wrote a comment saying, This is an elegant study using sophisticated biomarkers to demonstrate their point.

So what did they look at? They look at couples going to assisted fertility centers, and they ruled out all of the known risk factors, tobacco. Alcohol, exercise, no exercise, foods, socioeconomic class, race. They ruled out all that out and just looked at one concept. How many servings of fruits and vegetables is the woman eating a day?

And they did this in such an elegant way that the editors complimented them on it. And it was shocking. They divided the women into fourths, the lowest, the next, the third, and the highest. Those in the highest category of servings of fruits and vegetables per day had an 18 percent less likelihood of successful implantation. And if they did get pregnant, it was a 26 percent less likelihood of a live birth.

[00:21:05] JJ Virgin: Wait a minute, wait. The people eating the most fruits and vegetables.

[00:21:08] Tom O'Bryan: That's correct. More servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the worse the success rate for implantation. These people are spending tens of thousands of dollars of their own money. And if they got pregnant, they had more miscarriages and still births. They lost the baby. But there was a subgroup in that group that they were looking at who were eating organic. And in that category, it was the exact opposite. The more fruits and vegetables you ate, the better the outcome. And for everyone out there, organic is so hard. They qualified people in the organic category. If they had three servings a week of organic, not three servings a day, but the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the worse the outcome because of the insecticides.

[00:22:00] Tom O'Bryan: Exactly, exactly. Insecticides, pesticides, the fungicides, rodenticide, antibiotics… that accumulate in your body over the years. Now mom has a uterus, and the amniotic fluid is toxic soup. And that fertilized egg doesn't have an immune system yet. And so it's all dependent on mom's immune system to protect it. But wait, it's a toxic environment in there. 18 percent less likelihood of successful implantation and 26 percent less likelihood of a live birth with conventional fruits and vegetables, the highest category. Yeah, that's a game changer.

[00:22:38] JJ Virgin: Let's jump age groups from, you know, babies, fetuses, babies, moms, to now Harry and Postman, a puzzle. Accumulation of toxins all these years. I mean, I think back to, you know, when we were growing up and there was no, like, there wasn't really organic even discussed. And maybe at that point we didn't need, like, I don't know when all the really crappy farming started to hit. Was it the fifties and sixties? When did all the chemicals started to hit?

[00:23:08] Tom O'Bryan: They started to hit in the 60s and glyphosate came on the market in the mid-90s.

[00:23:13] JJ Virgin: Okay. So, you know, someone who's just accumulated a bunch of stuff and what do they do now?

[00:23:22] Tom O'Bryan: Well, first, is to do the proper testing to identify, “Do I have a toxic load? And am I inflamed?” That's what we're talking about in the inflammation equation. It is all about this and all these studies. So the first thing to do is to just recognize. I” need to find out what my current status is.” That's most important because people feel fine until they're diagnosed with stage four cancer.

[00:23:48] JJ Virgin: Well, I think honestly, looking at a tox test and seeing all of those levels can give you the same thing without having to have that horrible diagnosis. So maybe we could just avoid that piece. So the first part, and we'll put that in the show notes again, that'll be at, is to get tested. And so to see where you're at, because depending on the toxins, you do different things.

[00:24:14] Tom O'Bryan: There's different levels of detoxing, and it depends on what your levels are.

[00:24:21] JJ Virgin: So it is possible to do this. And I would assume two things: Number one, one of the things I always tell people about this is, you know, people will come and do it. “I'm going to do a three-day detox.” Things that you need to put into your life. This is level one of detoxification. It is not going to go deep. Like then you're going to need to go. All right let's test. Let's go work with a practitioner. We may need to put more things on board. But to me, level one is what you eat and how you avoid things. Right. The water, the fiber, the polyphenols and the antioxidants, the amino acids, and sweating, especially heat and infrared.

But what else beyond that are you recommending? And then, what are some of the therapeutic things that you do? Like, how did you get to zero? You show off.

[00:25:06] Tom O'Bryan: The Swiss Mountain clinic. Marzi and I go to the Swiss Mountain Clinic a couple times a year; every year, they're the best in the world, the very best. And they're not the most expensive. They're extremely reasonably priced for this. But they, there's only 10 centers in all of Europe that have INUSpheresis; that's I N U S, INUSpheresis. And it's a type of pheresis where you sit in a lazy boy chair and they put a needle in; it's taking blood out; it goes through a machine and comes back in the other arm.

But it's so much more sophisticated than anything that's out there now. And you see this bag of toxins accumulating that's being filtered out of the blood. And in mine, the first time I did it, she says, “Oh my goodness.” And I said, “What?” And she said, “Can you see how there's almost like these layers that are stacked on top of each other, almost like these waves of thicker material or something?” I said, “Yes, that's plastic.”

[00:26:03] JJ Vigin: Oh my goodness.

[00:26:04] Tom O'Bryan: Really? Really? I said, “Yes.” Now, just before I went to India last week, I downloaded four studies on this. Just three or four weeks ago, a paper came out, new technology using this laser type of evaluation of water. And they checked the three popular types of bottled water, and they didn't say the names, but they said the most popular types that we could find.

Three liters. So a liter of three different types. The average, and they're measuring nanoparticles of plastic, not microplastics, nanoplastics. And it was 246, 000 nanoplastics in a liter of water. Now, one of the reasons that I don't have a lot of toxicities is because I drink a lot of water. So I just took this trip, flying longer than I've ever flown before.

[00:27:00] I didn't drink any water. I didn't buy water in the airport because I couldn't find bottled water and I could glass bottles of water, and I couldn't bring my glass bottle through security, right?

[00:27:14] JJ Virgin: No one paid attention to water. Then, all of a sudden we had water bottles. And I think of how many bottles of plastic, you know, water bottles, we have consumed.

[00:27:26] Tom O'Bryan: You start with the basics. You do JJ's 10-day course, and you learn about hydration and how important it is. You develop the lifestyle habits of the foods that help your liver function better and break down these chemicals. You learned that there are two phases to liver detoxification, and different nutrients or different foods support each phase.

You just learned this stuff. You know, in my book, You Can Fix Your Brain, which was number one in seven categories on Amazon, under brain function. The subtitle of the book says it all, and it's the secret to success. The subtitle is just one hour a week to the best memory, productivity, and sleep you've ever had. Just one hour a week. And that's the only way to be successful and not be overwhelmed, right? Will you poison your family? With toxins, these minute amounts of toxins. And then next week you learn that houseplants absorb 74 percent of the toxins in the air, and so you get houseplants and go to my website, And there's the handout from NASA on which houseplants absorb the toxins.

[00:28:42] JJ Virgin: Wow, how cool. I will make sure you put all that in the show notes. And so what it sounds like to me, and this is kind of how I thought this through is, and I love, you know, testing. So you really understand where you're at, but even while you're waiting for the test to come, water is super important, but not water and plastic bottles. How about saunas or hot baths? What do you exercise for? Like, what are you doing on the sweating front?

[00:29:06] Tom O'Bryan: Yeah, there's nothing as effective as infrared saunas that I've seen on a, you know, you do it two, three times a week, you invest in an infrared sauna if you can.

[00:29:18] JJ Virgin: We have both. We have that one because we turned our old gym into a biohacking lab, and we got it. We have a big sauna, and that's where we watch Netflix, but then we have a small heat-up sauna so that we can go and do heat and then jump in the cold plunge that we have right next to it. Then I go over and stand in front of the red light for my mitochondria. I was listening to something Dr. Stacey Sims shared was that women, and it makes sense, smaller capillaries, et cetera, because we're just trying to evoke the shiver response, right? You're trying to trigger hormesis. So. She said four minutes at 50 degrees for a woman. So that's way more manageable for me than, because every degree under 50, I'm like, Oh my gosh, it's like, it feels like knives, right?

[00:30:00] Tom O'Bryan: Well, here's something for your listeners. And how do you do this? How do you do a cold plunge? And I started teaching this part of it when I opened my practice in 1980. It's called “Hot, cold, or Hot.” You get in the shower, and you let the hot water beat down on your adrenal glands or your kidneys. So lower part of your back, right down back there, and nice hot water. It feels great, and you focus on your breathing and take some deep breaths. And so you've really got your breathing down. You're calm; focus on your breathing. And while you're focusing on your breathing, you reach around behind you and turn it all the way to cold. Focus on your breathing. Oh my, that's cold. Focus on your breathing. And when you're ready to, when you're going to go like this, you turn it back to hot.

[00:30:47] JJ Virgin: Now, don't you want to turn around and hit your chest? I always thought the cold you wanted to get on your chest.

[00:30:51] Tom O'Bryan: Well, but at first, just to get acclimated and to teach your body to stay focused on breathing. Just, uh, and we did the adrenal glands because it was part of a hypoadrenia profile to get more blood flow into your adrenal glands. And, but you just do it for two seconds, any, as soon as you're about to lose your breath, your calm breathing.

[00:31:15] JJ Virgin: I thought you had said, “lose your mind.”

[00:31:17] Tom O'Bryan: You turn it, you turn it back to hot. And what happens after about a week? It's staying on cold for five seconds and then maybe 10 seconds and then 15 seconds and then, and eventually you get to where you turn it on cold and it's on cold for a minute or so and you're fine and you turn around, you know, you're getting your whole body like the chest and, but you transition, you just take your time, focus on your breathing, and then the temperature will allow your body to acclimate to this startle effect, and then you're ready for cold plunge.

And I tell people that when you can stay in the shower for 60 seconds on cold, you're ready for a cold plunge. And when you go into the cold plunge, you do it for five seconds. You just put your feet in, sit down, and focus on your breathing. Maybe you get one or two breaths and get back up and out. Whatever, you know, as soon as you lose your breath, it's time to get out. This is not to be stressful, to make more stressful remotes.

[00:32:11] JJ Virgin: So I love that, because that is something anyone can do. We all have showers, so you can do a hot, a cold. I know that when you get the cold on your chest, it's even better. So you can do hot, then flip it. So that's fantastic. And you know, you've given some really actionable things too, because I always want to make sure if we're giving all this alarming data, of which there's so much of it, that there's something you can do to start to handle it. And the fact that you've been able to eliminate all your toxins—I've never heard of anyone being able to do that. That's quite something.

[00:32:41] Tom O'Bryan: I'm really surprised too by that.

[00:32:42] JJ Virgin: That's very cool. So we're going to, we'll link to everything in the show notes. We'll put everything at Now, I know you have a docu-series. And we'll have the information on that there. And you said it's, it's 7 days, 10 days. What, how did someone digest this?

[00:33:00] Tom O'Bryan: It's going to be about an hour a day, give or take a few minutes, an hour a day for probably eight days. Right now it's at seven, but there's so much information. I want so many wonderful points that came out from the scientists that, you know, I want to include, so it'll probably be eight days for an hour a day.

[00:33:20] JJ Virgin: Very cool. All right. We'll have all that info too. And thank you. Thank you. You are always a wealth of information, and I'm excited to do those, like that testing. I was making notes, okay? Families get tested.

[00:33:34] Tom O'Bryan: Yeah. Total tox burden. Yeah. For everyone. Thank you, JJ.

[00:33:36] JJ Virgin: Thank you, honey. Appreciate you.

[00:33:41] JJ Virgin: Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great. And more importantly, that you're built to laugh. And check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and my website, And make sure to follow my podcast so you don't miss a single episode at See you next time!

[00:34:11] Hey, JJ here, and just a reminder that the Well Beyond 40 Podcast offers health, wellness, fitness, and nutritional information that's designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health. You should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Make sure that you do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have heard on this show or read in our show notes. The use of any information provided on this show is solely at your own risk.
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