Ancestral Supplements: game changers for sleep, energy and overall health

I recently stumbled upon Ancestral Supplements while shopping on Amazon, and the more I read their website and product reviews, I felt compelled to try them to see if they would help with energy, sleep, and overall health, and they have not disappointed. As a long time health enthusiast and biohacker, I am always on the lookout for what can help take me to the next level. And the great news after starting with Beef Liver in early feb, and expanding to Beef Brains, Organs, and Marrow, and then adding Thyroid and Adrenal over the past week, I am sleeping way better and my energy is up. Game changers.

A connection to our “ancestral past” with the best of old and new

A connection to our “ancestral past” with the best of old and new

However, I like them for not only their health effects, but for the philosophy, approach, and customer service. Let me explain.

Philosophy: it may seem a little weird to review the mindset of a supplement company, but there was something about this firm that hooked me right in the heart from the first time I saw their products and started to read their website. First, this quote resonated to my core: “the human organism is superbly adapted to an environment that no longer exists”

Folks, we are “long ways from Kansas” to borrow a popular phrase. Not only Kansas, but imagine in your mind what life was like just 300 years ago in terms of our environment. I totally get life back then was harsh and no picnic. And while we have many modern conveniences, they come at a super steep price in that we are bombarded with thousands chemicals, pesticides, polluted air, factory farmed food, and now EMFs - environmental inputs our ancestors knew nothing of or were prepared for. And if you have not noticed, we are not adapting well to all these un natural inputs.

“the human organism is superbly adapted to an environment that no longer exists” - Brian Johnson, Founder, Ancestral Supplements

And all of this has resulted in an explosion in auto immune diseases, diabetes, and now crazy things like SIBO, IBS, multiple chemical sensitivities, and more. It seems everyone has gut, adrenal, thyroid, or fatigue issues these days. Bottom line, if you step back and look at the explosion in health conditions, it has to a combination of environment and diet. My .02.

And while I don’t want to lament everything “modern,” imagining a more pristine time relative today is the contrast I want to highlight. For me, this concept is an inspiration to me to connect to my roots, nature, earth, mountains, the wild, my tribe. And since these products are sourced from a more pristine environment (New Zealand) than my current semi urban living environment, it gives me hope. And a connection to what has been so lost due to greed and a rush to make money with no thought on the impact of human health.

So in addition to giving Ancestral Supplements a try, get out there. Walk bare foot, get early morning sun exposure, turn off your cell phone a few hours before bed, etc. You get it. Let the contrast be an inspiration to be different and to do the little and free things that can add up to make a real difference in your health.

Muscle vs Nose to Tail Organ Meats: The other mindset or reframe that I love about the company and their approach is that ancient cultures always valued the organs vs the muscle meat. In working with my health coach, one of the topics that has come up several times is the importance of eating organ meets for health and vitality. However, I found them really hard to find. Try finding Beef Liver or Marrow at your local grocery or health food store. Chicken breasts and steak along with processed meat products have taken over store shelves. Even the more organic and health oriented places.

Famous dentist Weston Price traveled the world and consistently found that native cultures ate “nose to tail” diets which meant they ate organ meats not just muscle; see here for a list of Weston Price Foundation ways to prepare organ meets: https://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/meat-and-organ-meats/

And while we need protein, per above, we need the intense nutrients from Liver and other organs to thrive. So don’t ditch your free range beef or chicken, but try adding in some of these amazing organ meats via Ancestral Supplements or if you can, find organ meets locally. Another option is US Wellness Meats; see: https://grasslandbeef.com/sale-items

“I believe that for millions of years, robust strength and exceptional health was central to our existence. We were once strong, lean, healthy and fit. I believe this because for most of human history, we effortlessly consumed (nose-to-tail) the things we needed for health and happiness.” - Brian Johnson, Founder, Ancestral Supplements

Sourcing: per above, all of their products are sourced from New Zealand which is a lot closer to the purity of our ancestors vs where I live today surrounded by urban centers and bustling traffic. Where food/supplements are from matters and I take great comfort in that their products come from humanely raised cattle in one of the few pristine habitats left on the planet. To be fair, NZ has its challenges; just Google Pollution in New Zealand, but the cleanest areas are still amazing.

Effects: Do they work as advertised?: I am only in a little over a month but the results so far are impressive. My sleep has improved dramatically - and to date - I have tried “every sleep supplement known to man”: Sleep Remedy, Yogi Bedtime Tea, melatonin, CBD, 5-HTP, Tryptophan, GABA, L-Theanine, Cortisol Health, Phosphydatyl Serine, Glycine, and many more. And I have tracked my sleep for years with the Oura Ring so I have a great trail of data. And when I mean dramatic, my scores are up from the mid 70s to the mid 80s (out of 100%). My sleep hacking efforts are sure to be a topic in another article.

Now to be fair, I have made other changes to my health stack since starting the Ancestral products. I had a Mercola Whole House water filter installed along with a Greenfield Naturals Quad Flow CMB whole house water structuring unit and both of those are amazing in their own right. Drinking the clean and energizing water feels super awesome and energizing in their own way. And taking a shower with clean and energizing water is just plain amazing. Imagine having clean and invigorating water coming out of every faucet in your home? It has been a game changer.

And I also put several Greenfield Naturals personal harmonizers around the house to connect me to earth frequencies. Woo woo yes, but I it has been my experience that all these things help.

So net net, I made a significant changes about the same time I started the Beef Liver in early February including a whole house water filter and structuring unit. The additional of earths minerals in and around my home and by my bed stand (Greenfield Personal Harmonizers).

However, what I noticed as I added Beef Morrow, Brain, and Organs, I continued to see even further improvements in energy. And when I started on Beef Thyroid, my energy really started to take off. And on some days, I no longer needed a nap. For years, its been my habit to take a quick 20 to 30 min nap around 3 or 4 pm. However, after taking (2) Beef Thyroid, I worked flat out all day and then went to a board meeting that night and I was fine. And that never every happens. Never. Even with all the water filtration and energizing. And this is how I know the Ancestral supplements are working.

And regardless if it was the enhance water or ancestral supplements, both are more closer to nature and that is the whole point. I find the more “ancestral” I get, the better I feel - and that is the bigger point.

Stress: The other thing that I am noticing is how much calmer I am during stressful situations. I am not perfect and I can get wound up, but on average, I feel increasingly Zen. And it just seems to be so much easier. Yes, I do Wim Hoff breathing, workout, and meditate, but I am noticing a shift that its simpler easier to respond calmly. And my job in particular, can be super stressful so this unexpected benefit has been super helpful.. And appreciated.

Overall, I am super jazzed about how I am feeling on the Ancestral Supplements. My sleep and energy are better. And I just feel calmer and at ease in my own body. And they are reasonable priced enough on Amazon to start with their Beef Liver. Or if you are feeling more adventuresome, try Beef Liver, Organs, and Morrow. Those would be my picks to start.

How to take them: Follow the instructions on their website! Especially with Beef Thyroid and Adrenals. I can be a bit on the sensitive side of things so I started with (2) Beef Liver and worked up to (6) per day - taken (2) each 3x per day - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner. Then I added Beef Organs, Beef Brains and Marrow in similar fashion.

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Grassfed Power

Beef Thyroid and Adrenal are super powerful so the key is start “slowly” and follow the instructions! Listen to your body!

Beef Thyroid is another matter and I would suggest you start slow and FOLLOW the instructions. Too much Thyroid support can make you feel un well really quickly as I have found in past experiments. And I am only in a couple couple weeks on this one and am still figuring our what works for me.

Adrenal; start with 1/2 or 1 and see how you do. Powerful stuff and you don’t want to over do it.

Where to Start: Beef Liver, Beef Organs, Marrow, and Brains are a great place to start. If you have to pick 1 or 2, Liver and Organs can’t be beat.

My go to top 4 Ancestral favorites

Where to Buy: Most things are readily available on Amazon with the exception of Beef Thyroid and Adrenal - which I ordered directly from their website but used Amazon Pay for the transaction. They also have a Shopify portal.

Pay it Forward: if you end up trying the products, please be sure to write a review on Amazon. They are a small company and every review helps get the word out. And from my correspondence with co founder, they are pretty cool and worthy of support.

To bring this in for a landing: I am super jazzed about the company and products because a) they really serve as an inspiration to be more ancestral and in touch with nature. Bare foot walking, early sun exposure, getting out in nature, eating a clean diet including organ meats, and being with friends and family who all care about each other is what we should all strive to be doing. And b) their products really do work. Don’t just take my word for it; look at their Amazon reviews which are typically 4.5 stars and above. Enjoy the journey! And please leave any comments below.

100: Hacking your gut w/o Probiotics & Enzymes

Gut health is making front page news as science begins to connect the dots between our microbiome, brain health, & immunity. For the un-initiated, the microbiome refers to the makeup or balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria throughout your GI system, from your mouth to your anus. Top to bottom.

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And there is good reason for all the coverage regarding the connection between our guts and our overall health. Gluten sensitivity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Crohns, and a whole host of conditions associated with gut health, are exploding. And a recent book by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, the "Brain Maker", suggests that a whole host of conditions like Alzheimer's, diabetes, MS, and more can be improved by rebalancing our overall gut bacteria. And it is estimated that up to 70% of our immune system is connected to our gut health.

 

So is there really something to the gut/brain/body connection? And is there a new way to rebalance the gut that works better than traditional approaches such as oral or rectal probiotics, fermented foods, digestive enzymes, and the new interest around fecal implants? Dr Zach Bush and his team at Biomic Sciences think so. They suggest that the product they have developed called "RestoreFor Gut Health" can not only help rebalance the gut microbiome, but also seal "tight junctions", and create a virtual firewall in the gut sealing off the rest of the body from the effects of gluten & other toxins present in the foods we eat. The explosion in the companies growth as well as the experience myself and a few close friends suggest there might be something to the claims.

 

To me, this is all very personal. And tremendously exciting. For years, I have struggled with oral thrush (candida) and abdominal pain that arose from dental infections, antibiotics, and a poor diet. Shortly after leaving my "junior" front teeth under my pillow for the tooth fairy and growing in my adult teeth, I attempted to take a bite out of the side of a concrete swimming pool during summer camp. And the pool won. No contest. I remember running about the camp, crying, lots of blood & tears. No fun. My two front teach were badly damaged. Think fangs. Later in life, adjacent teeth died due to dental trauma that I endured many years earlier.

 

And while my dental journey is a "another story" and blog post, the short version is that I had countless surgeries, re-infections, root canals, amalgam fillings, caps, crowns, and rounds of antibiotics well into my 30s, etc. And it was another infection and course of antibiotics that broke what energy I had left in 2001. I had just moved to Boston to complete another degree, and within a ~week of arriving there as a new student and RA, I awoke one morning once again with all the pain and swelling indicating yet "another infection" had surfaced which was followed by a tooth extraction and weeks of antibiotics. And after the surgery and antibiotics, I was exhausted no matter what diet I followed or probiotic I took.

 

And while I am pleased to report that I had all of my systemic dental issues fixed by late 2002, the gut restoration process was much more of process that continues to this day. 

 

Along the way in rehabilitating my gut, I clearly remember being at parties trying to sneak a peak at other peoples tongues to see if they had the same white coating I did. Thanks to the antibiotics and dietary mistakes, I had a rather thick white coating on the sides of my tongue. Oral thrush or Candida is super hard to get rid of once you have it. And I tried everything.

 

And my gut was a mess. It hurt. Sometimes it just throbbed with pulsing in and around my entire abdomen. And so I tried everything to deal with the gut & oral flora imbalances. Some of the Probiotics I have tried include Primal Defense, Primal Defense Ultra, PB-8, Three-Lac, Prescript Assist, stuff from Japan whose name escapes me, and Baseline Nutritional’s Probiotic Formula. And it would not surprise me if there are a few that I am missing here in my list.

 

And I should add I tried colon hydrotherapy, colon cleansing herbal formulas, oregano oil, liver cleansing, and of course cleaning up my diet. And while many of these things helped improve my energy and stamina, the same thrush and abdominal upsets have persisted for years to varying degrees of intensity.

 

And this is why all of this is so intensely personal and of interest to me. While I have lived a normal life on the exterior and have been very successful in my career, I have always felt there was more in the tank than my biology was letting me express. And then comes along Restore and upends my thinking and approach to solving this problem. And its so exciting and positive, that I've shared it with upwards of 30 friends & acquaintances. And this brings us back to the present regarding the claims and benefits of Restore.

 

My functional medicine doctor mentioned Restore in passing during a recent routine consult and it peaked my interest. So much so that I devoured everything I could find on the web about it. I read all the articles and watched every video of the formulator, Dr. Zach Bush discussing the development & benefits of Restore. All the research was followed by placing an internet order over one weekend in August. Then I could not wait for my order to arrive early the next week, so I drove into DC and purchased a large bottle at a health food store. Then I had to explain to my wife why I had placed an order for 2 bottles and drove into DC and bought a 3rd "because I was so hopeful and anxious to try it". Perhaps I am just a hairs width shy of crazy. My wife thinks so :)

 

However, its this intensity & drive that enabled me to persevere during some dark days of frustration in solving this problem. The gut dysbiosis would leave me incredibly fatigued some days. And feeling foggy headed much of time which drove me crazy because I found it hard to be the animated soul I am naturally inclined to be. But thankfully, those days are mostly behind me now. Phew. So lets discuss Restore for Gut Health in terms of what it does, how it works, ingredients, scientific evidence, costs, and where to get it. And why probiotics and digestive enzymes are no longer required - another huge plus both in terms of the number of things to take and on the budget.

 

Restore; how it works. Restore does two principle things really well according to Dr. Bush; 1) seal up tight junctions which prevents toxins like gluten & herbicides from crossing over into your body. And 2), providing the content & communication network for healthy bacteria and enzymes to thrive.

 

Tight junctions are "closely associated areas between cells whose membranes join together forming a virtually impenetrable barrier". As Dr Bush describes, think of a great defensive football team whose lineman stand firmly shoulder to shoulder not letting anyone from the opposing team through their barrier. Same idea. However, our tight junctions are under constant assault from a dirty waterfall of "toxins" such antibiotics, gluten, the herbicide glyphosate, GMOs, our poor diets, and a host of modern threats. This leads to a lack of gut bacterial diversity and enzyme production that leaves the gut tight junctions vulnerable. And many of these offending substances also produce something called Zonulin which then breaks down our tight junctions leading to a condition called leaky gut. While there are varying degrees of leaky gut, the outcome is the same. Toxins pass from the GI into the blood stream landing in our tissues and organs (including the brain) causing inflammation. And if left unchecked, causing brain fog, fatigue, and a whole host of health challenges.

 

Thankfully, Restore brings our tight junctions "back online" and in active duty within 18 hours of taking it. According to Bush, "Restore is the first dietary supplement that delivers a balanced family of these bacterial metabolites to promote a healthy firewall of tight junctions in the gut wall and blood brain barrier." Many users, myself included, have noticed less sensitivity to offending foods, improved mental clarity, and a renewed sense of calm within days of taking Restore.  And not only does Restore help seal the tight junctions in the gut, but it also does it throughout the body including the blood brain barrier. This is huge.

 

One of the challenges with typical detoxification protocols, is that you risk moving toxins around from one tissue/organ to the next. With your Tight Junctions back online, toxins can now be safely excreted through normal channels such as sweat, stool, and urine. Game changer. And if you add in additional carbon bound nutrients to your health protocol, you can take your detox and nutrient efficiency to a whole new level. Look for a future post on Carbon Bound nutrition and its role in helping reestablish micro nutrients and removing toxins at the cellular level.

 

And with respect to reestablishing gut bacteria and enzymes, the above mentioned bacterial metabolites also stimulate the reestablishment of gut bacterial diversity. While the mechanism of action is not entirely clear, it appears to be a mix of content and communication. Bacteria feed on the metabolites found in restore which also provides the instructions for the right balance of bacteria & enzymes. While the latter communication aspect of Restore may seem a bit woo woo, the recent explosion in soil base probiotics suggest there is an intricate link between our health and soil. And since water has been confirmed to carry information via homeopathic remedies and structured water, its not unreasonable to think that soil & minerals can too.

 

And this leads us to what Restore is made of.  Think Carbon. Ancient Carbon from really old soils which have largely disappeared due to our modern petro based agricultural practices. On the way to becoming coal, plant matter breaks down into peat, then humate, lignite, leonardite - then coal. Restore is made from lignite extract and then re-activated at the companies plant in southern VA by mixing it with "deionized reverse osmosis water, stable carbon organics with a full spectrum of trace soil minerals, mineral salts, platinum group elements, and castor oil". Mixing these ingredients with the ancient but inert lignite extract reactivates it by balancing its redox potential. 

 

Does it work? As of this writing, I have been taking Restore for 2.5 months. And I have 2 close friends who having been taking it for almost as long (2 months) and who have gone on to recommend it too others. And while Restore is not the only thing those folks are taking and diets are sure to vary, the universal consensus is a very positive thumbs up. Across the board, folks are reporting improved digestion, elimination, mental clarity, less sensitivity to suspect foods, and overall calm. And while these reports are clearly anecdotal, they do align with what one would expect based on the claims. And all the buzz in natural health circles about Restore indicate the products has generated a lot of merited interest and enthusiasm.

 

Thankfully, science confirms the companies claims and users experiences. In 2 separate studies, Restore demonstrated the ability to Protect large bowel cells from gluten & glyphosate insult . And in a third study, Restore was found to Repair large bowel cells from glyphosate insult. This is huge news and could stand to transform the health of many individuals. With much of the commercial wheat around the world now being sprayed with glyphosate which is reported to be even more injurious to the gut than gluten, protecting & repairing the gut is massively important. You are what you eat. But if what you eat contains toxins that are getting into your bloodstream and into your tissues and organs triggering inflammation, your health will suffer. And we have all been exposed to these toxins so Restore stands to be a universal game changer in helping each of us reclaim the level of vitality nature intended. Both in terms of healing the gut but also enabling the body to detoxify at a systemic level. 

 

Key Question: do we still need to take over the counter probiotics & digestive enzymes? Since Restore is such a potential game changer in terms of healing the guts tight junctions and reestablishing gut bacterial balance, a logical question is what is the role of probiotics & enzymes going forward? Do we need to take them on a long term basis along with Restore? According to Bush and the company, the answer is No with a few possible caveats.

 

Ideally, our guts are teaming with upwards of 30,000 healthybacteria in a symbiotic balance. However, due to the dietary & environmental challenges mentioned above, our guts are often a hot mess of bacterial, enzymatic, and tight junction dysfunction. And while probiotics can be immensely helpful as a stop gap as my own health journey would support, they may not be the panacea they are currently touted as being. The key is in the numbers. Or better stated, the contrast between the ideal state of 30,000 bacteria in symbiotic balance in your gut and the 30 or less strains of bacteria in the best probiotic. If you measure bacterial diversity by the numbers, the best probiotics on the market don't even come close. The best of breed in my fridge has 6 strains. The soil based one in my cabinet has 29.  With the best probiotics having ~30 strains, vs the ideal 30,000 - you can quickly see why over the counter probiotics can't get us to the promised land.

 

Think of your gut as a tennis court size garden and your goal is 30,000 different plants and flowers; can you achieve your goal by planting the same 30 seeds over and over? The math just doesn't work. And while probiotics can be an important stop gap as my own experience bears out - and even a game changer for some when used rectally as David Perlmutter has suggested in his most recent book; "Brain Maker", the best long term strategy according to Bush is to cultivate a diverse bowel ecology as much as possible using the bacterial metabolites found in Restore. They provide the content & communication network to facilitate that level of diversity. Bush suggests only using probiotics after a round of antibiotics or viral illness - and then for a short time frame - such as 2 weeks - is a reasonable exception and use of probiotics & digestive enzymes.

 

Additionally, in cases of severe digestive imbalance, candida, or parasitic infection, it's my judgement that probiotics, digestive enzymes, and even anti parasitic products can be an important stop gap - all while using Restore.

 

For me and my friends, we have all seen improved digestion, elimination, mental clarity, less sensitivity to suspect foods, and an increase overall calm. And all these improvements are very much welcome since all other supplements that we have tried to date have not been able to achieve similar results. Game changer. We all love the product and plan to keep using it indefinitely. 

 

Costs and where to get it. A 32 oz. bottle of Restore retails for $69.95 online at the companies website and lasts for 2 months or 60 days taking 1 tsp 3x per day. With a subscription, customers get a 20% discount bringing the price to $55.96 and that included shipping when I ordered. Since I live in Virginia, I also had to pay state and local taxes. But at roughly $30 per month, that is a "steal". I have spent a fortune on probiotics & digestive over the years and I now have several bottles of each sitting un used. A welcome improvement to not only my wellbeing but also my wallet. Thank you Dr Bush and Biomic Sciences.

 

You can also purchase Restore through local health food stores listed on the companies site; http://restore4life.com

 

In conclusion, my experience and those of a few close friends along with a growing chorus of enthusiastic users suggest Restore is a game changer for gut health and over all wellbeing. And so far 3 studies support the products claims of protecting & healing the gut from gluten and glyphosate exposure. With an every increasing avalanche of toxins being found in our food supply, this is a welcome reprieve from the onslaught. If you are at all inclined to improve your health, digestion, and ability to safely detoxify your body, clear your brain fog, and be more fully who you were meant to be, I strongly encourage you to give Restore a try. And share it with everyone you know. We are all in this together and the more of us that are truly vibrant, vital, and alive, the more we can collectively affect positive change in the world. And hopefully shift us away for the commercial greed and madness that put us needing a product like Restore in the first place.