Get a Grip on Your Blood Pressure – Zona Health – #601

(intense music) – [Announcer] Bulletproof Radio, a state of high performance. – [Dave] You're listening
to Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. Today's cool fact of the day is that as your blood pressure rises, so do all sorts of different risks. Some new blood pressure guidelines announced at the end of 2017 just pushed half of US adults
into the unhealthy range. Basically, 130 over 80
is the new 140 over 90. And if you don't know what that means, you're gonna learn on today's show. What it means in terms of risk is that now there's 103 million people, up from 72 million people
under the old definition of high blood pressure that
need to make some changes in their diet and exercise,
look into devices, or anything else they can do to lower your risk of
heart attack and stroke, and all the other bad things that happen when your blood pressure's too high. These new guidelines are the
first major update since 2003. They were just announced at the
American Heart Association's annual scientific sessions. The researchers said, "It's very clear "that lower is better," and that came out of the Tulane University
School of Public Health. I'm gonna put a little asterisk on that. Almost everything in your body, it's not true that lower is better. Just because cholesterol is bad, well, if you have
cholesterol that's too low, your risk of all sorts of diseases go up. Just because cortisol
is the stress hormone, if your cortisol is too low,
you will hate your life. Did you know that insulin that's too low increases your risk of death
more than high insulin? It does, so what's going on? You want your blood pressure
and every other hormone level and biomarker to be in the correct zone for living a very long time
and having tons of energy. So I'm gonna put a little asterisk there that says it's not clear
that lower is better. It's clear that lower than
where most people are is better, but if you have low blood
pressure, don't lower it anymore, because your brain kinda likes oxygen. Now, in my master's
degree in foreshadowing that I've been working
on here in the show, you probably have guessed
that we'll be talking about blood pressure, but
you probably haven't guessed that we're gonna be
talking about something that has nothing to do with what you eat or how you exercise or even medication. So if that has peaked your interest, what's left, you might ask yourself. Well, what's left is technology that you might be able to use that changes your blood
pressure and improves it. This is something that if
you're a longtime listener or if you've been following
the blog for many years, in the very early days I
talked about this technology, and I just haven't really
talked about it much since then. It's called Zona Plus, and this
is just a really cool tech, because instead of using drugs, instead of going out and
making lifestyle changes that you probably really
should make anyway, what they're doing is they're using data and realtime feedback in
order to teach your body to control its own blood pressure in a way that's really
profoundly effective very quickly with tons of science behind it. So the guest on the show
today is Mark Young, the CEO of Zona Health. Mark, actually his background
is in clinical psychology and he's worked with a variety
of medical tech companies and in education for a long time, and he's really passionate and motivated about showing people, hey,
here's what a small amount of training of your blood
vessels can do for you. Mark, welcome to the show. – [Mark] Yeah, I appreciate that, Dave. – [Dave] All right, give me the lowdown. Given that you're working
with this new technology, what exactly is hypertension? What's going on with it? Just for people listening, going, "Yeah, I never thought about
my blood pressure too much," what's the deal with it? – [Mark] Yeah, well, I appreciate
the intro that you gave because you talked about these statistics of a number of Americans
that are suffering with high blood pressure. We make the claim on our website that one out of three Americans, and statistically that's accurate, and that includes most countries, in fact. It's not that America is specific– – [Dave] We just have good data. – [Mark] It's good data,
I like your research. But the reality is, is that
one out of three people are dealing with it, and
of the one out of three, they say that one out of five people don't even know they have it. So a lot of people are
oblivious to the fact that they even have high
blood pressure problems. As you alluded to, the most recent update by the American Heart Association
asked the average person what their ideal blood pressure is and they come back and
say, "120 over 80, right?" That's been the number
that we all grew up knowing was the perfect blood pressure. The American Heart
Association recently came out and said, "No, actually,
it's better at 110 over 70." 120 over 80, which used
to be the perfect score is now actually verging
on pre-hypertension. So people who thought they
had perfect blood pressure in fact are elevated by
the current standards, and as you pointed out, now
we've got a lot more people who are in risk and didn't even know it. – [Dave] Can you talk about
the two different numbers in the score and just kind
of give people grounding in what systolic and diastolic are? – [Mark] Yeah, I mean, systolic
is obviously the top number of the blood pressure reading, diastolic on the bottom number, both, I don't know how much science you wanna go into on that. – [Dave] With blood pressure,
there's two numbers. One is when your heart beats, how much pressure is there
when you're actually pushing, and the other one is how
much pressure is there when you're not pushing, right? What's the problem with high
blood pressure in general? Why should people care if it's high? What are the risks, how does it work? – [Mark] Well, high blood pressure itself is obviously a problem, and what happens is it
puts a strain on the heart because imagine the case, like I always give people the example of a kink in a garden hose. You put a kink in a garden hose, and all of a sudden the
pressure builds up so much that it starts to force it
like a backwash, if you will. Too high blood pressure
causes all sorts of issues throughout the entire body. WebMD would tell you that
you're dying of everything if you looked up high blood pressure. But the idea that the heart needs to pump even harder and harder
and harder, weakens it, leading to cardiovascular
disease, leading to strokes, leading to any number
of medical indications, simply just based on those numbers seeming to be off, obviously. – [Dave] Some of the other things that have intrigued me about this are that if you have high pressure, clearly the heart has to push harder, but you also then have an increased chance of fluids leaking out, and
this is something that happens when you get puffiness in your legs, you get inflammation throughout the body, so-called water weight can happen. Of course, things like an aneurysm, where you have a
weakening of blood vessel, well, if you have more pressure in there, it's more likely to be a problem. The microtubules in your
kidneys really are most at risk from high blood pressure, which
a lot of people don't know. One in five people listening, at least the ones who
haven't ever measured this, probably don't know they have it, and if you go to the doctor to measure it, you probably don't know either because a lot of people
get high blood pressure from the white lab coat syndrome and just being in a doctor's office, which is usually not the
place you feel relaxed. – [Mark] You mentioned
kidney failure in there, and blood pressure has
been recently linked as the number one cause of kidney failure. We don't think of that as being a concern, but it's like blood pressure is affecting so many different functions
throughout the body that it's almost too extensive to list. – [Dave] Now, I've put up a
few videos over the years, sort of eviscerating this idea that, oh, eat less salt to
lower your blood pressure. Do you have a perspective
on sodium and blood pressure that you wanna talk about versus the way of just training your body
to do what you want it to do? – [Mark] I'll tell you
that as you said before, too little is not always better. With salt intake, certainly too much salt does lead to increased water retention, increased blood pressure. Too little salt has
adverse effects as well. It's all things in moderation,
Dave, you know that. – [Dave] It's about
getting the right level. It drives me nuts,
because unless you're one of the 3% to 5% of people
who are salt sensitive hypertensives, the amount
that your blood pressure will go up from eating more sodium is within the error margin
of a blood pressure cuff at the doctor's office.
– Right. – [Dave] It's a very small effect, so a lot of people have blood pressure not because they have too much sodium, but because they don't have
enough potassium or magnesium. It's about ratios of these. People who have low sodium levels have a serious problem
dealing with stress. In fact, if you lower your sodium really even to the levels
that are recommended today in the recommended dietary guidelines, it increases your heart attack risk, because low sodium increases your renin.
– Stress level. – [Dave] Renin then
increases your cardiac risk very dramatically. So the same thing, you
gotta be in that right zone. Of course, you're named
Zona, which is funny. (chuckles) You have to get it there. So for me, I was on a low-sodium, it was a raw vegan thing for a
long time, and you know what? I feel a lot better on six to
eight grams of sodium a day, and that's because it helps my body manage the stress load in my life. It keeps my blood pressure
where I want it to be. If I eat not enough salt, I
actually get low blood pressure, which is annoying. A lot of people though, they
eat extra salt, they get puffy, but they take magnesium
or they do other things and they don't get puffy. So it's a complex thing,
but the idea that, oh, I'm not at risk because
I eat a low-sodium diet, the data does not support that. – Correct.
– In fact, the head of the American Society of Hypertensive, okay, I'm misquoting the name of it. – [Mark] Are you talking about the American Hypertension Society? – [Dave] Thank you, that's the one. This is going back a while, but he did a study of 3,000 people looking at urinary sodium excretion instead of all the data that we look at comes from self-reported salt intake. Can you tell me how many
grams of salt you had today? – [Mark] Not a clue. (laughs) – [Dave] Neither can anyone
listening to the show, right? It's all garbage data and
they do all these things that are just not even cool
with our recommendations. But at the end of the
study with real data, a direct quote from the lead study guy, he says, "If you wanna live
longer, eat more salt." Now, clearly there's an upper
limit, but we're in there. So I just want you if you're
listening to this to be like, okay, this isn't a conversation about salt and blood pressure, because salt isn't going
to be that big of a factor in your blood pressure unless
you're in that tiny 3% to 5%. So given that 20% of people don't know that they have high blood pressure and about 33% or whatever percentage– – Have it.
– Have it, this is a big deal. If you look to your left and your right, you look at your mom or your
dad or your kids or whatever, you know people all around you have this. This is a fundamental thing. Traditionally, we use
medications for this, right? So you go to the doctor and they say, "Oh, you need to be on this medication. "It has some weird side effects, "and it's expensive,"
et cetera, et cetera. What's the Zona approach? – [Mark] Well, the Zona approach, and you bring up the medications, and my personal passion behind
being involved with Zona and getting the word out to the public, to be honest with you, is
it's medication-free living. I think that speaks to most
of your audience as well, is the idea behind
there's a lot of solutions to a lot of life's
ailments and better living that not related to medication, obviously. Zona is, you mentioned the
isometrics I believe earlier, and Zona is actually, we call
it an isometric exerciser, and what that means is
it's a medical device that uses isometric exercise to ultimately lower blood pressure. – [Dave] I think most people
don't know what isometric exercise is.
– I would agree. You beat me to it. – [Dave] It sounds like a flavor of malt. – [Mark] It's good, right? So isometrics, literally
meaning iso meaning equal, metrics meaning measurements,
means that isometric exercise is the exact opposite of
what most people think of when they think of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise, lifting weights, take heavy things, pick
'em up, put 'em back down. Isometric exercise is the idea that you're holding a muscle
group and holding your body at a very static resistance
level, like a plank. A person doing a plank is
holding all of the muscles associated with holding that position in an equal measurement. So the body is not lifting anything and putting it back down. It's not turning in
circles, like a bicycle, it's doing none of that. What's happening with that
isometrics is it's the difference between aerobic exercise versus anaerobic. What's happening with anaerobic exercise is it's triggering the
parasympathetic nervous system and that has multiple
different outcomes for it, which is what the Zona helps. What the Zona Plus is doing, Dave, is it's actually working to help the body use its own healing
properties to heal itself. The Zona's not doing anything to someone. It's not doing anything
other than helping you do exactly what your body is
naturally programmed to do. – [Dave] It's really
cool how it came about. This is what got my attention years ago when I first heard about this.
– Great story. – [Dave] I was so excited about, and I actually gave one to my dad, who has high blood pressure, and he uses it on a regular basis. It looks like a little joystick. – [Mark] Like a Star Trek phaser, yeah. – [Dave] In fact, that's even
better, like a little phaser. – [Mark] A grocery store
scanner is what we get a lot. – [Dave] Yeah, or a bar code scanner. (laughing) That's the most likely descriptor for it. The idea though is that
fighter pilots used to pass out when they'd do high G maneuvers. The reason they'd pass out is
blood pressure control issues. The blood drains out of their head when they're spinning their jet and then it crashes.
– Correct. – [Dave] In fact, I lost a great uncle to a jet fighter pilot thing
like that before I was alive, but family lore. The point of it though is
that we learned with pilots how to not pass out. So one of the things that they do is they wear a pressure suit, which actually compresses the body so that the blood won't go
where it's not supposed to go, but then they learned this cool hack that if they squeeze the control
stick really, really hard, that that pressure was
allowing them to maintain their blood pressure
the way they wanted to. So, the Zona Plus used that knowledge and that original research
where they noticed, hey, some of these guys
who had high blood pressure don't anymore, what's up with that? They realized, oh, you can squeeze this little joystick-like device, not too hard, not too soft,
just in that Goldilocks zone, just like you don't want your
cortisol too high or too low, or your blood pressure
too high or too low, you want your grip
strength not to be as hard as you can squeeze, because
you can do that with a spring, you don't want it to be too soft, and you do this for two
minutes per hand twice a day, essentially eight minutes a day. What kind of results do you guys see? You have like a dozen clinical studies behind this thing now, which is why I wanted to have you back on. What do people see from that? – [Mark] I'm actually gonna
go back to your first point and I will get back to that one. But you mentioned the story
behind how Zona even came about, and we get a lotta questions. Probably one of the biggest questions that we hear from people is, why haven't I ever heard of this before?` Is this brand new, is this real? So on and so forth, and it's
fun that we can take the story all the way back to 1969,
which is when Dr. Ronald Wiley, who is actually a well-renowned actually cardiopulmonary physiologist who was commissioned by the US Air Force to start this research, and the reason was they
wanted to test the effects of isometric exercise on G-force blackout when planes were doing it. Dr. Wiley became intrigued,
and for decades ended up continuing this research to find out. To your point, Dave, you
talk about that sweet spot, that Goldilocks, not too hot,
not too cold, but just right, and the reality is that's
exactly the beauty behind Zona, is that you can squeeze
as hard as you want, but that's not going
to get you the effect. You can not squeeze at all, and obviously, that's not going to get you the effect. But Zona, speaking to your second point, is that what Zona does is
it actually holds your grip in exactly the same position. One of the stories we tell people is they think they can just
hold something at a static rate and it's going to be
okay, but the problem is, is most people if you tell them to squeeze to their maximum pressure, if you cover up any kind of display that lets them know what
pressure they're squeezing, eventually they completely let go because they get distracted. – [Dave] I will say that
when I use my Zona Plus, if you try to watch Netflix or something when you're doing it, it doesn't work. You actually have to look at the screen. – [Mark] You have to pay attention. – [Dave] Because we're talking
really realtime feedback. – [Mark] Correct. – [Dave] The things that have
changed my life the most, aside from just not eating garbage, is things like heart rate
variability training, where in realtime, oh,
that's what the space between my heartbeat looks
like on neurofeedback, that's what my brain
waves are doing right now. I love my Oura ring and all, but waking up in the morning and seeing here's how I slept over
the last eight hours, that's valuable data, but it doesn't allow me to
correct my sleep in realtime. – [Mark] Correct. – [Dave] What this is though
is it is eight minutes of concentration where
you're looking at a number and it goes up a little
bit, down a little bit, and I also have little grip strength like the pommel trainers that they use for the world grip champion stuff. – [Mark] You'd make an arm wrestler. – [Dave] Yeah, and my grip strength, I have a digital one, too, and it says that it's off the
charts for an 18-year-old, and I'm 46, so I know
I have a strong grip, but it doesn't matter
when you use the Zona. It's not a strength issue,
it's a control issue, like, how tightly can
I vary the window of it and can I do it for two minutes? I find it to be challenging,
but not muscle challenging. It's like developing a skill. It's fascinating. – [Mark] It's kind of
cool, and when you see that Wiley spent literally
two decades almost perfecting the calibration, and then what happens is with
using a device like this, it's not the maximum grip strength that gives you the benefit. It's not the minimum grip strength that gives you the benefit. It's that sweet spot right in the middle, and it also really depends
on the rest periods, it depends on the
precision of the pressure, and it depends on the
intervals that you're doing it. All three of those factors play into how effective it's going to be. Wiley spent decades trying to come up with the exact measurement. For instance, you mentioned
two minutes of therapy. Two minutes is perfect, more than that doesn't have the effect because you need the rest
in between the two minutes. Move to the other hand,
you're two minutes doing that. To your point, you're talking about the pressure of the device, it must be held at the same pressure. You talk about biofeedback, the Zona's beeping and it's
giving you a visual aid to tell you squeeze less, squeeze less, squeeze more, squeeze more, and it's counterintuitive
when using the device, because seldom do you use something that tells you to squeeze less, because you usually use something telling you to do more, do more, but to tell you to slow
down or to grip less is counterintuitive,
but it has to hold you in that exact range in order for you to get the benefit of the exercise. – [Dave] Is there a correlation between controlling your blood pressure
and having a good memory? No, I'm kidding. (laughing) – [Mark] Probably not, you kill me, but yes, actually there is. Actually, what's one of the things that's being studied right
now is the connection between proper blood flusher
and brain oxygenation. Because many people have
been diagnosed with, I don't wanna get into the
claiming of medical things, but people who are
showing signs of dementia, are in fact poorly oxygenated brains. – [Dave] Well, this is legit,
because this actually happened to a family member, and
it happens to huge numbers of older people who are
diagnosed with Alzheimer's and senile cognitive dementia. You know what they have? They have medication
for high blood pressure that pushed their blood pressure too low so there's no oxygen in their brain. – [Mark] Correct. – Daniel Amen's been on
the show a couple of times. He looks at blood flow,
hemodynamics they call it, in the brain, and even
though I recovered my brain from all the toxic mold
stuff that I had going on, it was actually
chemically-induced brain damage, I still have lower blood flow
in the brain than average, but I have none of the
damage remaining from that, so I do things to make sure my
blood pressure is high enough because I don't have high
blood pressure problems at all and I do track it, I measure it. It's really fascinating that
if we took all these people who are over-medicated and
don't have enough blood pressure and said, "Hey, let's get
you off the medication, "let's train you on how to
control your own blood pressure, "do this biofeedback for a while "so that you learn how to do this, "you won't need medication, "but you'll have enough blood pressure "that your body can regulate
it the way you're supposed to," and then it's like your
brain just wakes up. – [Mark] Yeah, well, one of the things, you talk about the juxtaposition between using a medical
device, like a Zona, as opposed to to using
blood pressure medication, blood pressure medication in no way helps your body regulate itself. Blood pressure medication is
doing the regulation itself. It's actually doing it. It's forcing the number lower, which means too much
blood pressure medication can actually put you into
even more dangerous territory than the blood pressure that you started the medication to treat. Using something like the Zona Plus, your body's not naturally
going to push itself too low, and what Zona's doing is
it's training your body to get itself to a
standard so that it knows how to regulate itself. We get people who ask regularly, what are the side effects? Is there a side effect to using it? Can it be dangerous to use it? The real only side effect that we have ever been able to determine, which is in fact not a side effect at all, is people who are currently taking blood pressure medication, and then they decide to use the device to get a more natural solution to get away from pharmacology,
they use the device, they don't adjust their
blood pressure medication or they use it without
their physician's knowledge, and the problem is they end up, because their body is,
I'll use the word, healing, they don't need the blood
pressure medication anymore, but they're still taking it, potentially at levels
that are now dangerous. So people using the device
that are on medication should keep that regulated, they should make sure that they're taking their blood pressure regularly and consulting their physician, because they will likely have to stop or reduce the amount of
medication they're taking. – [Dave] Now, this isn't
an infomercial kinda thing, but I'm sure people who are
listening to this right now are saying, "What does this thing cost?" We're talking a few hundred bucks? I don't actually remember
what the cost is. – [Mark] The cost of the device is $599. It's available on our website. – No prescription required.
– No prescription required. It's available to the consumer. We actually have a 90-day
money-back guarantee, not to sound like an infomercial, but I say that because in
all of our clinical studies, the device actually was
effective for over 90% of the people who used it. – [Dave] I have recommended this dozens and dozens and
dozens of times to friends and people consulting with
me about their health, people I run into, I'm
like, you know what? If you've been battling
this blood pressure problem, this is going to cost less
than medication for a year. – [Mark] For sure. – [Dave] That 90% number in
the studies that you shared with me before the
show, it's a real thing. Does it fully solve it
or does it just help with 90% of the people? – [Mark] It depends on the person. Like anybody, again, the device
is not solving a problem, the device is training your
body to solve its own problem. In so doing, as I said, 90% effectiveness of people getting that
reduction that they need. Some people are completely
medication-free, some people will go right
back into normal ranges, but the device itself
is going to definitely increase a reduction. A statistic that you may
find interesting, Dave, is the biggest thing
for most people's health is diet and exercise, right? It's not a secret, most people feel like whatever's happening,
and for a lot of conditions, diet and exercise fixes things. Giving you an example,
doing aerobic exercise, aerobic exercise which
is you're bicycling, you're running, you're
doing something like that, it's the first line of defense that most doctors will give somebody. You've been diagnosed
with high blood pressure. It feels like a death sentence. Cut salt out, as you said, and
start going to the gym more. That will probably change
your blood pressure if you're doing it regularly by about 5%. – [Dave] Oops, not enough. – [Mark] 5% reduction,
so if you're at a 140, a 5% reduction you're probably now somewhere around a 133, 132. You're still in the danger zone. You pulled yourself down,
but not clearly enough to make that big of a difference. That's not a lifestyle difference. Doing anaerobic exercise, as
we mentioned, that the Zona, if you just gripped
something at maximum strength or just did a squat, went
halfway down and held it, planks, so on and so forth, probably a 2% to 3% change
in blood pressure reduction. Using the Zona, because
of the exact prescription, again Wiley's beautiful science, that exact prescription actually we find that most people using it, in about, it can be as little as four,
but can be as high as eight, so somewhere in that
six-week sweet spot average, they notice an average
of 10% to 15% reduction. It's incredible. – [Dave] So that's more
than diet and exercise, about three times more? – [Mark] Potentially, two to three times. – [Dave] Two to three times
more than diet and exercise. What do blood pressure medications do? – [Mark] Blood pressure medications can take it down further. The problem is again as
you mentioned earlier, you're setting up all
these questions here, with diet and exercise, you
can take it down that 5%, medication can take it down even further, the problem is now you're
living on synthetic medication that comes with it often the side effects worse than the blood pressure itself. That's what we deal with all the time, is people that are on
blood pressure medication and can't stand being on it
because it's chronic cough, it's dry mouth, it's dizziness, it's all of the other
things that are coming along with the blood pressure medication. For some elderly people,
it's often just the fear of leaving the house without it. – [Dave] Do you have a price on your head from any big pharmaceutical companies? – [Mark] For like a year's worth of blood pressure medication? – [Dave] No, just a price on your head, like these guys are selling a
device that could potentially disrupt a multi-billion
dollar market for drugs that people have to take
for the rest of their lives? Do you sleep with a handgun under your bed and a tinfoil hat or anything? (laughing) Are you worried? Are there black helicopters following you? – [Mark] I totally
misunderstood that question. I'm listening to the question, did you have a price in your head? Why, are you buying the company? I'll talk. (laughing) Got it, do that again. – [Dave] The deal is, are you worried? Seriously, anytime a
device company comes along, and you're FDA cleared and
all that sort of stuff, it's a real medical device.
– True. – [Dave] But even so,
you're going up against the multi-billion dollar
pharmaceutical giants in one of their sweet
spot cash cow things, like, oh yeah, we've
got some huge percentage of the population on
blood pressure medications that don't work very well,
because half the population still doesn't have their
blood pressure controlled, and you're saying I have this buy it once, and last I checked anyway, it's been a couple of
years since I looked, there's no subscription
monthly cloud-based fee or any of that.
– No, no, not at all. – [Dave] You buy the thing and you use it as long as you want forever, and it's all just included, right? – It is.
– Okay, good deal. So that's not the monthly subscription, go to the pharmacy, flow
through your insurance company, and all that kind of stuff. Are they just pissed at you? – [Mark] High blood pressure
of $46.8 billion a year is what high blood pressure
costs Americans alone. Not talking worldwide, just the US, $46.8 billion is considered the
cost of high blood pressure, and that's copays on medications, that's missed days at
work, that's strokes, that's heart attacks, and so on. Is there a price on my head? No one's actually showed
me a wanted poster yet, but I can't imagine that there will be pharmaceutical companies
not happy with this. To that point, I will say
that Zona has recently, and you know this, you've been affiliated with the company for years,
you've known about us, we've been on your show before. – [Dave] And just a full disclosure there, I used to carry in the
very, very early days of Bulletproof, back when
it was called Upgraded Self on the website, I used to carry Zona. This is one of those pieces of biohacking no one's ever heard of that's based on jet fighter pilot medical
stuff, it's just cool. I don't think we carry it anymore. – [Mark] No, I remember. – [Dave] Still it's a cool thing, so that's a little bit of
affiliation we're talking about, but other than that,
when we say affiliation, there's no other
commercial stuff going on. – Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I
just meant you obviously know the company, you've known
the brand for a long time. But we've actually forced
mainstream as of last year, and I'm super excited about it. Then Zona's been like
this off-the-radar science that no one's "heard" of,
and then all of a sudden we've really taken the juices
and gone full strength. We started actually advertising national television last year. I'm sure you've seen that around. Full disclosure, we're all over the place. We've got tons of physician backgrounds. In fact, we just had an
endorsement by Dr. Phil recently. – [Dave] Beautiful. – [Mark] Who got involved, which was fun, and Phil learned about
us because Travis Stork, who is actually the host
of the TV show The Doctors. I'm sure you've heard
of The Doctors before, worldwide syndication on that show. Travis Stork who's the host there, he's actually the face of our brand. He's our spokesperson for the brand. So you're talking some pretty big names willing to put themselves out there to promote this type of science, because their goal is that
they want their patients, they want the people in general, to live healthier lives,
to live longer lives. That's not a medication ridden life. – [Dave] It's hard for
people to really understand what it takes for
someone like Travis Stork or Dr. Phil to be able
to step up to do this. I mean, I've been on
a few shows like that, even on Dr. Oz, I interviewed
Dr. Oz on Bulletproof Radio about the incredibly high standard that's required for any doctor, but specifically someone who's on TV to be able to stand up
and endorse something, how people actually misuse
doctor's names and all that. But you actually have
a fully legal, vetted, signed, sealed, delivered
proper agreement in place, which means that it's subject
to a level of scrutiny that most people would not even believe. – [Mark] And doctors like that, because they're in the public light, it's not some doctor at
a clinic down the road who's willing to recommend it. I mean, these are people
that have their careers potentially at stake for
making these types of things. Not that there's any legal
implication behind it, but you're talking about… I remember talking with Travis initially when we first went through getting him to be a spokesperson for the product. He went through this
with a fine-toothed comb because his name was going on nothing that had not already been vetted, and went through the research, read all of the studies himself. In fact, his mom has high blood pressure, and the first thing we did
was sent a unit to his mom, and he waited the entire period just to see if it had impact on his mom before he was willing to do anything. For him, the idea that here's a doctor whose mother suffers with a condition, and he could prescribe
her anything he wanted by writing the prescription himself, and he sends her a medical
device to try to find a solution. To me, he was our kind of people. – [Dave] Exactly, I sent it to my dad, and I definitely will talk about things and say I don't know if this works, but generally if I'm gonna
put something on the website, I wanna have a good degree of rigor there, so I read all the studies and said this is based on
fundamental real science and observed effects,
someone did the work. It's amazing, 'cause a lot of the stuff that we do at Upgrade Labs, I'm pretty sure we have this
at Upgrade Labs at retail. If you're listening to this,
Upgrade Labs is a company that I spun out of Bulletproof
that has this experience. You go in LA today, the Beverly
Hilton, and in Santa Monica, and we have a whole variety of devices that are based on this idea that you can have more
control of your biology. We have the Zona Plus there because I wanted people to understand you can get two and a
half hours worth of cardio in about 21 minutes, if
the pressure, the timing, the speed, the cadence, the recovery are all carefully designed based on data to give you much bigger results. This is exactly the same line of thinking. – [Mark] Exactly the same. – [Dave] And it's hugely
disruptive though. The thing that gives me the most pleasure is disrupting things, like
breaking big dumb things. When I hear that there's
tens of billions of dollars getting poured away on
blood pressure medication, and there is a use for
blood pressure medication. _ [Mark] For sure, for sure. – [Dave] For some people, no problem, but it's just way over prescribed. Even the latest numbers
I opened the show with, about this new low number,
part of me wonders, is that real or is that a
marketing ploy to sell more drugs? Because they did that with
cholesterol numbers a while back. They keep lowering the safe
upper limit for cholesterol even though probably two dozen people that have been on the show
have gone through hard science as well as in two of my books, saying total cholesterol
is not a useful number. Inflammation's a useful number. All right, let's talk a little
bit more about what happens when you do this type of
training of your vascular system. One of the things that a lot
of more experienced biohackers or the doctors who listen to the show will know about is nitric oxide. This is a signaling molecule
that we really didn't know mattered very much until recently, and it has to do with vasodilation. Does training your vascular system with biofeedback the way Zona does, does it have any effect on
your nitric oxide level? – [Mark] I love that, nitric oxide levels, interesting that people
take supplements nonstop to try to increase nitric oxide levels. – [Dave] Like beet is the most common one. – [Mark] Right, personally I
take Pycnogenol and L-arginine and other stuff, but everything
that you're taking for that is actually triggering the
production of nitric oxide. It's not actually delivering
nitric oxide to your body. Using the Zona to use
that isometric exercise, and I know I use that phrase a lot, the isometric exercise found in the Zona actually triggers the production
of nitric oxide levels even beyond what supplements and stuff do. Nitric oxide is linked to
so many different benefits in the body when it's at
higher levels obviously. People want this elevated, and it's everything from workout recovery, it actually helps, and
again I'll say them, speaking to the claims of
nitric oxide, not Zona, but actually helps reverse
symptoms of diabetes, it actually lowers blood pressure, decreased overall body pain. It's ridiculous what
nitric oxide overcomes. One of the things that's really fun about one of the claims that
we don't make about Zona, but I would love to, but no
clinical studies are there, Zona increases nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide production
actually has the ability to cure erectile dysfunction, it actually has the ability
to stop migraine headaches. – [Dave] You know what's
not a medical claim? Morning wood. – [Mark] Morning wood, there you go. – [Dave] Zona can create morning wood, there you go, regulate that. – [Mark] There you go, put
that on a FDA clearance. No, but what I'm saying, to
not be too crass about things is that when you do things
to increase nitric oxide, whether it's supplements,
whether it's exercise, all the things that do that. When I say increase it, you
can measure it with saliva on the little saliva test
strip for nitric oxide, so this is a real data point. When you do that, when you
wake up in the morning, and you're a guy, you wake
up more like a teenager and less like an older person. And that's pretty darn predictable. There, I said that
without being too crass. – [Dave] That's good, that's good. By the way, if you guys
are looking for crass, just listen to my
episode about gains wave. Because sometimes you just
have to talk about your junk in some certain way. – [Mark] Amazing, to quote
one of our board members, I want to make the claim Zona
makes your woody woodier. (laughing) That was our research proposition. – [Dave] Well, you could
do clinical trials on it if it increases your nitric oxide. What about for women though? What effect does it have on women? – [Mark] All of the exact same issues, 'cause you're talking about nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator, so
it increases blood flow. So any place you want
blood flow to be positive, obviously that's going to affect that. – [Dave] It's a vascular health
issue at the end of the day. – [Mark] Well, it's vascular health, but I'm gonna add to that and say that the nitric oxide
levels increase vasodilation, which obviously blood
flow is nonrestricted in an environment of vasodilation, but it also acts like a muscle
relaxer in that area as well. So not only as the veins opening wider, particularly resistance vessels, which haven't been given
a lot of credibility, or not credibility, but a
lot of notoriety if you will, in medical research, and we're now finding that even that's a big deal. It's not just the veins,
it's not just the arteries, but it's actually the resistance vessels that connect them together
are even more important. But nevertheless, it's
not just blood flow, it's also letting the muscle
relax around the blood flow, so it's kinda like a
double whammy in there, less muscle constriction. – [Dave] What else
happens with nitric oxide? So there's sexual side effects, there's more pump if you're exercising, you're gonna see your veins pump out, you're gonna get better
blood flow in the muscles. What else does the research you've seen suggest nitric oxide can do? Not necessarily Zona, even though you may
influence nitric oxide, you're not claiming that
those effects are yours until there are clinical trials, but what other things do nitric oxide do that might be useful? – [Mark] My recommendation
is a quick web search would find all of that for you, because every site says
something different. The reality is, is that
nitric oxide is, as I said, it's obviously muscle pump,
it's obviously vasodilation, which leads to cardiovascular health. It's as I mentioned the upset and reversal of the symptoms of diabetes. It's any number of things related to that. My favorite one, as I was saying, is that increased vasodilation and decreased muscle constriction actually resolves migraines. That's actually a proven effect, which is absolutely amazing to me that there's something that you can do to interrupt migraines. Now, of course, we don't make that claim because we don't have the
clinical study to support it, but all of the evidence that
we have in our clinical studies actually leads to the same place. – [Dave] Very interesting. For people who suffer from migraines or have loved ones who
do, they pretty much know that it has to do with
changes in blood flow in the brain that's triggering it, so it would follow that if you could train basically your blood vessel
system, your circulation system, to be more tightly controlled, maybe it would have an effect. Could be worse, could be better, but certainly it's a plausible hypothesis until it's tested, all right? I like that thought, and I do know people whose migraines are
made worse by increases in nitric oxide as well as better, and that's probably because
they have too much blood flow 'cause it's not regulated
well, so in that case, probably if they had sustained
increases, they'd be fine. But I think that's a really
interesting aspect there. What about just cognitive
fitness in general? Is my brain gonna work better if I have better control
of my circulatory system? – [Mark] Well, I think
we were talking earlier about people who have
actually misdiagnosed with early-onset dementia
and stuff like that. The overregulation of
blood pressure medication, people who are on too much
blood pressure medication, are getting side effects from it, and one of the side
effects is memory loss, one of the side effects is just a decreased cognitive ability, and when we end up in a situation where we're able to get people off of those types of medications, you notice that people are being like personality's almost restored. People are coming back
to life in some ways, not literally coming back to life, but the fact is that
the cognitive function has been restored where it
hasn't been in a long time. Increased nitric oxide,
as you're well aware being a bulletproof guy,
increases brain operation. You end up with higher
cognitive functioning simply because it increased
nitric oxide levels in the brain. It almost becomes a rabbit
trail of conversations when you're talking about the benefits of this type of thing. – [Dave] Do you notice anything happen? You mentioned that you take L-arginine, which is an amino acid
that increases vasodilation and nitric oxide, and you take Pycnogenol, which is an extract of mostly pine bark that also can increase
nitric oxide levels. In fact, I think we have Pycnogenol in one of the bulletproof formulas, either it made it in the
final list or it didn't, but I put it on the first list, anyway. – [Mark] (chuckles) It was a contender. – [Dave] Yeah, it was a contender if it didn't make it in the final one. So these are useful
well-studied supplements. You take those personally. Do you notice an additive difference, whether or not you've done
trials, just like personally? If you're doing training
of your vascular system, and then you add things that
improve vascular health, is there a synergistic effect
or would you predict one? – [Mark] Oh my gosh, yeah, if I get off of doing supplements, let's say I travel and I don't take them with me, I will notice brain fog
by the time I return home. – [Dave] Even if you're training, your Zona Plus along the way. – [Mark] If I'm using the Zona,
no, because the same thing, but bear in mind, I will
say Zona has effects, as I'm mentioned earlier, that
four to eight-week window. So taking a supplement is gonna have a relatively rapid effect. Using the Zona takes a little bit of time because you're building your health. It's like jumping on a treadmill once and expecting to lose
weight, not the case. It needs the buildup of that. And using the Zona's much the same way, so all of the effects, the
lowered blood pressure, the increased nitric oxide levels, all of that stuff does come over time. The good news is, is
because all of those effects are long-lasting, so you take that, and then when you don't take it for, say you don't use the
Zona, you got outta town and you don't take it with you, your blood pressure's not gonna spike while you're out of town, because your body's
already been retrained. So if you don't jump on the
treadmill this afternoon, you're not gonna gain 10 pounds. Over time, you're going
to end up going back to that same entropic
state that your body was in before you started using it, but nevertheless it's
not an overnight solution nor is it an overnight
detriment if you don't. – [Dave] Okay, so it's
a slow response curve. You said you use it
for six to eight weeks. Do people stop after that? Or do they see the results
in their blood pressure if they're going to see results? Then how often do you have to retrain or how often do you continue using it? – [Mark] So again, I'll
use the treadmill example and say that that's
probably the most common one that I use, and that is
if you're on a treadmill six to eight weeks, you start
noticing a change in your body and it's not the same change
that you'll notice with Zona, but you try to lose weight,
great, you go out, you exercise. Six to eight weeks, you start noticing that your endurance levels are up, you start noticing that much
like that same treadmill, if you stepped off of it, you don't fall out of shape tomorrow, but if you stopped using
it for the next six months, you're going to notice
physiological deterioration. Same thing with the Zona. So you're going to use it
for that four to eight weeks until you get your real initial big push, that 10% to 15% reduction is usually, I'll say four weeks is the
earliest that we normally find, eight weeks is the very latest, so that six-week window
is usually the sweet spot, people are gonna see that reduction. Sometimes it literally
happens overnight, Dave, it's the craziest thing. People can use it for
four weeks, five weeks, they call us, they say, "I'm
just not noticing the results," and we beg them, "Stick with it. "We'll extend your
money-back guarantee period, "so that you'll feel better about using it "for another two weeks," and
we'll get a return phone call saying, "Oh my gosh, my
blood pressure literally "just dropped 20 points last week." – Wow.
"I'm back in the normal zone," and it just happens overnight like that, because the body makes the change, and again I use weight loss as an example, 'cause a lot of people can relate to that, and it's like hitting that plateau, and you can't lose a pound
no matter what you do, and then all of a sudden
you lose three pounds one morning when you jump on the scale. It's that same kind of
feeling when you notice that reduction go down. But much like that treadmill, you're not going to stop using the Zona. So throughout your entire life, using the Zona as I'll say a supplement to a healthy life over
time, don't stop using it. – [Dave] If it takes about
eight minutes a day to do this, I'm assuming that, in fact I already know, because it has different user levels, but multiple people can share one of these in a household or something like that. – [Mark] It's 12 minutes per day. – [Dave] Oh, it's 12 minutes, okay. – [Mark] Along with the device, the device actually stores
all of the data for two users. The same thing goes, we
actually have a website where people can actually plug the device into their computer and via USB, it actually uploads all of their results, so two users can use the device, two users can use the website portal. It's fantastic for people
that are going to their doctor and showing their doctor the results and that they're tracking
all their numbers, but knowing your numbers
is the first issue for most people to overcome. It's figure out what they
are and now start tracking, 'cause what gets measured
gets accomplished. – [Dave] All right, so that
basically cuts the cost in half. If you were to share it
with more than two people, which you're probably not supposed to do, it would be even less. So I think this falls within the realm of affordable biohacking technology. I'm just looking at how
would you make this happen in millions of households. – [Mark] Oh my gosh, just the idea that blood pressure medications themselves average $1,000 a year. – [Dave] Oh, okay, so
you're doing all right. – [Mark] Yeah, someone
taking blood pressure, one person taking blood
pressure medication spends on average $1,100 per year just paying for the medication. – [Dave] Unbelievable. – [Mark] That's copays with
insurance and everything, $1,000 versus a one-time purchase, and the $1,000 never comes back. – [Dave] All right, I've got
one more question for you, and this has to do with
my new book on anti-aging that I just finished the draft of, that's coming out in a little while. Given that you have your Zona Plus, your hacking your blood
pressure, you take supplements, you're clearly a healthy
guy, you're in shape, how long do you think you're gonna live? – [Mark] Personally, I'm shooting for 120, and I laugh because when
I turned 40 years old, people say, "Ooh, what's
it feel like being 40?" and I would say, "It's just weird to think "that a third of my life is over already." – [Dave] Nice. – [Mark] (chuckles) I would
get some math-challenged people would actually
take a while to get that. But personally, I see no reason
why people can't be living well beyond what people
expect life expectancy to be. You know that better than
anybody, right, Dave? – [Dave] Yeah, I tell people that 45 is my 25th percent birthday. – [Mark] That's amazing. – [Dave] Like you said,
you get some pushback. It's okay to push back because
some things can happen. One of them is that you'll die before me and I won't make it to
180, and that's okay. Or you'll die before me and
and I'll make it to 180, and that's okay, too. (chuckles) – [Mark] Because you're not
taking care of yourself. (laughing) Maybe we could talk about–
– Whatever. – [Mark] Let's do what we can
to feel really good right now and live a long time,
and then we'll both live as long as we're going to. – [Dave] That seems like good table stakes with people who don't
believe that's possible. – [Mark] I'll drink to that, Dave. – [Dave] There you go. (laughing) All right, what is the
website for your magic device? – [Mark] The magic device, I like that. (laughing) Well, we're easily
found at, Dave, and that's for here in the United States, 'cause we're here in the US right now, but I know you're a resident in Canada. Canadian listeners can
find at On either of those sites, our team has actually put together a coupon code for any of your listeners. You talk about the affordability factor, and although we've already proven that it's a affordable biohack, anyone using coupon code DAVE immediately gets a $75 coupon anyways, so 75 bucks off the
price of the priced unit. – [Dave], coupon
code DAVE saves you $75. – [Mark] True enough. – [Dave] Which is a
nice give for listeners, thank you for that.
– Oh, sure. – [Dave] This is really good science. I looked at the dozen research
pieces that exist around this that we talked about ahead of the show, and I think if you're listening to this and you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor, but
this is a cool device, and it's one that gives you
a little bit more control without needing any chemicals at all. So I think this totally meets the bar as an epic and amazing biohack, plus it came out of the Air
Force, how cool is that? – [Mark] It is really cool. The other thing, too, Dave,
is we mentioned earlier if someone wants to try it, try it. We talked about so many
different things that it does. – [Dave] 90-day money-back guarantee, too. – [Mark] Absolutely, you've got a 90-day money-back guarantee,
and what's the sad part, I'll tell you this is the saddest thing, when we get returns back, I
see a box come down our hallway and it just makes me
cringe because the majority of the returns that come to us are people who never even tried it. – [Dave] It's still shrink-wrapped. – [Mark] Because the
device actually keeps track of all the usage, so
when a return comes back, we go look, and I'm like, oh my gosh, the people who are returning it are the people who didn't even try it. They got it and decided, buyer's
remorse or whatever set in. It's like, what do you have to lose? – [Dave] It comes down to
this, Zona Plus, jelly donut, Zona Plus, jelly donut.
– Seriously. – [Dave] You know, some
people are gonna choose the jelly donut, they really are. – [Mark] They really are, they really are. – [Dave] That's a mindset
thing, an energetic thing, but if you're gonna do the work, it's eight minutes of actual work and four minutes of rest,
so 12 minutes a day. – [Mark] 12 minutes total, right. – [Dave] It seems like
a good investment to me, so that's why I've been
a supporter of this tech, this idea, this type of biohacking for I think going on seven years now. – [Mark] It's been a long time, yeah. Your audience is just such
a perfectly primed audience for a product like this though. To me, it's the ultimate biohack. It's absolutely crazy. – [Dave] Yeah, if this is something that someone's looking
to hack, I fully agree. If you have no issues
with your blood pressure, this probably isn't the one for you. But so many people have
this or it's in your family, so that's why I got one for my dad. It has my full endorsement
here because it's real. So thanks for bringing it
out, fighting the good fight, and just talking about this. It is a true disrupter. – [Mark] I appreciate the time, Dave, and I'm hoping that price
on my head's not accurate. (laughing) – [Dave] If you liked today's
episode, you know what to do. Go to, use code
DAVE, save yourself 75 bucks, you have a 90-day money-back guarantee, and consider this device for yourself if you're dealing with hacking
your own blood pressure or for a family member if not. This show's meant to give back. It's a beautiful gift that
Zona's providing there for you, but mostly I just want you to have control over your biology, and high
blood pressure just sucks on so many different
levels, let's stop it. (intense music)


  1. I purchased the Zona device, followed the instructions, and experienced no change in blood pressure.  Think about it, your high blood pressure is due to narrowing and/or loss of flexibility of the blood vessels.  There may be ways to clear (clean) the blood vessels and make them more flexible, however, I sadly do not believe this is one of them.

  2. great info. thanks!

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