Geranylgeraniol, the Latest Anti-Aging Molecule, with Dr. Barrie Tan: Rational Wellness Podcast 291

Dr. Barrie Tan discusses Geranylgeraniol, the Latest Anti-Aging Molecule, with Dr. Ben Weitz.

[If you enjoy this podcast, please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, so more people will find The Rational Wellness Podcast. Also check out the video version on my WeitzChiro YouTube page.] 


Podcast Highlights

6:25  Geranylgeraniol (GG).  GG is part of the mevalonate pathway, which is the pathway by which the body produces cholesterol and which is inhibited by statin medications.  But statins also inhibit the production of GG, which is required in the synthesis of CoQ10 and also in the synthesis of skeletal muscle protein, which is why statins can lead to myopathy.  Therefore, if you are taking a statin you should consider taking at least 100-200 mg CoQ10 and also 150-300 mg of GG.

14:45  Statin drugs like Lipitor have been shown to reduce the severity of COVID-19 by inhibiting the entry of the COVID virus into the cell.

16:15  GG is found in small amounts in food, but the foods that it is found in the largest quantity are castor oil, flax seeds, carrots, tomatoes, and olive oil.

18:30  GG can help us to build muscle.  GG is required for the synthesis of skeletal muscle and as we grow older, don’t make enough GG and if we take statin drugs, we will inhibit GG further.  Dr. Tan is planning a study to test the use of GG to build muscle and muscular power and performance.

25:55  GG can also increase testosterone levels, which was discovered by Japanese scientists.  Dr. Tan noted that they have a clinical trial in Florida to see if GG improves sexual health in men and women.



Dr. Barrie Tan is a PhD in chemistry and he is world’s foremost expert on vitamin E.  He is credited with discovering tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E, in palm, rice, and annatto, with annatto being the most efficient source, since palm and rice also contain substantial amounts of tocopherols and alpha tocopherol inhibits tocotrienols. He produces an Annatto Tocotrienols and a Geranylgeraniol product through his American River Nutrition company.  He is also the Chief Science Officer for Designs For Health.  Designs For Health supplements are professional supplements sold through licensed doctors and practitioners like myself.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss and also athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111. Dr. Weitz is also available for video or phone consultations.



Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:            Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting-edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates and to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me and let’s jump into the podcast. Hello, Rational Wellness podcasters. Today, I’m very excited to be having another discussion with one of our favorite guests, Dr. Barrie Tan, and today we will be talking about geranylgeraniol, I hope I pronounced that right. We had Dr. Tan on a recent podcast, in episode 284, and we planned to discuss both tocotrienols and geranylgeraniol, or GG, but we only had time for tocotrienols because the research and data on tocotrienols are so fascinating and complex. But I really want to learn more about this interesting new compound geranylgeraniol and what implications there are for our health, so Dr. Tan is back.

Dr. Tan:                Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. I’ve always enjoyed being at your show and able to explain things that are mutually helpful for our wellbeing and health, so this is very exciting. Looking forward to the GG discussion we didn’t get to have in the first round.

Dr. Weitz:            Exactly. Hey, Dr. Tan, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us what the listeners should know about you.

Dr. Tan:                Oh, thank you for asking. I started my career 40 years ago as a chemistry professor at the University of Massachusetts, right here in Amherst, and I’m still here in the next town over where our factory is in Hadley, Massachusetts. It’s about two hours inland from Boston and an hour north of Hartford, so cold New England, classic New England place, so here’s where we are. In the time that I’ve taught chemistry, I noticed that there’s a tug in my heart to take me to the area of nutritional health, as opposed to other chemical aspects that other people start study. Then, somewhere in the passage of time, I already had gotten to study tocotrienol at the time, this special Vitamin E. I went to South America to look for a plant called marigold for lutein and zeaxanthin, good for macular degeneration, everybody know that. And then fate has it, literally 30 feet away from me, I found this beautiful plant called Annatto. You can see that if I pretend to scratch it, it stains the finger. Those red color is for coloring cheese, if you ever go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  It’s not a strange plant, it’s just not grown in the US that we are familiar with it. However, I should qualify, not grown in the US, correct. If you go to a botanical garden on the warmer side of the US like Southern California, Florida, you’ll probably see this Annatto plant and it’s popularly nicknamed the lipstick plant like that. If you, however, have the chance to vacation in Hawaii and you just ask anybody, “Where can I find Annatto plant?” They’ll show you. But most of our Annatto, we got from South America, which was my fateful trip that I found this plant. That was 25 years ago and ever since then, I’m lockstep into committed to study the tocotrienol. Now, how is that connected to GG? This is actually true. Yes, I am a scientist, very passionate, but sometimes, luck travels the path of those who are conscious studier. I extracted from this thing here, first, I removed the color and then I found out that the antioxidant that protects the color is tocotrienol.   Sure enough, I got it, then I thought, oh, this is good enough for me to have discovered something in the Amazonia like that, but at the bottom of the pot, I still see about 1% to 2% something else. I’m a chemist, I’m curious, hey, that 1% or 2% is not the color, is not the carotene, then by golly. It’s an oil, light yellow-orangey color, I need to know what it is. And then I did and I said, “What is this compound called geranylgeraniol?” It was really not like somebody said, “I have always, from day one, studied GG,” it’s not like that. It was in the bottom of my pot and I said, “GG, geranylgeraniol, what in the goodness is this?” Then I found out that GG, it is the last common step between the plant and the animal, which means the mammal. This is really cool, in the plant kingdom, now, we are careful-

Dr. Weitz:            Dr. Tan, not only are you brilliant, but you are the most enthusiastic scientist I have ever met.

Dr. Tan:                Thank you. Let me finish up and then we’ll get to the [inaudible 00:05:30] side. In the plant kingdom, every day, you eat your vegetables, that orangey-yellowish color, the fall foliage in New England, the color in carrot and the color in tomato, those are carotene. Every carotene needs two GG molecule to start making it, in the plant kingdom. Chlorophyll, what plant is it without green color?  Chlorophyll has GG in it, so it is essential for GG in the entire plant kingdom.  Now, you’re going to say, “Okay, Dr. Tan, I got it, so tell me something about human beings.”  How about this?  You’re going to ask me questions, then I say, “Why is GG essential in the human body?” I just told you about the plant.  I don’t want to steal your question, as you ask me, I’ll try to answer them.

Dr. Weitz:            Well, GG is a part of the mevalonate pathway and a lot of people talk about GG in this context, so I thought it would be important for you to explain what is the mevalonate pathway, which, by the way, is the pathway by which human beings produce cholesterol in the liver and it’s also the pathway that is inhibited by statin medications.

Dr. Tan:                Yes, I like to explain this this way, Dr. Weitz, if you think of the mevalonate pathway as Interstate 95, I purposely do that. I know we have a lot of interstates, but no interstate in United States is more traveled than 95 from Maine to Florida, because most of American lives on the East Coast, so it’s obvious like that. But cholesterol synthesis is ultra important. The only hypercholesterolemia we are dealing with that because of arteriosclerosis, otherwise, every cell in a body requires cholesterol to live and to survive, enough that about 9 to 12 Nobel Prizes were given to cholesterol and how cholesterol worked. Now, come inhibiting cholesterol, because of arteriosclerosis and plaque, you think of using statin. I purposely use Interstate 95, statin inhibit cholesterol in Boston, that juncture. If you inhibit it in Boston, cholesterol synthesis is in New York, so downstream from Boston and then at New York, you pluck it up in Boston and then the cholesterol synthesis is not able to mix so much in New York City and hands the cholesterol drop. That is what you desire, you block it in Boston like this.   Now, that is what statin does. Few people ask the question, “If you block it like that, what about in Washington DC?” Now, in Washington DC, it’s a unassuming compound called geranylgeraniol, or GG, it is part of the mevalonate acid pathway on the Interstate 95. It’s not going to change, it is there, so then the audience asks, “What’s the big deal if it inhibit GG on the Interstate 95 in Washington, DC is like that? What is a big deal if you inhibit in Boston and cholesterol drop?” Well, let me tell you the big deal. As alternative as we are as a health professional, we have heard many a time when you inhibit cholesterol synthesis using statin, CoQ10 drop. You can even buy a CoQ10 in Costco that say, “CoQ10 drop as you take statin, it go up.” The public even directly know that.

                                Why do I say that? Because GG is required in the synthesis of CoQ10, so if you inhibit GG with statin, CoQ10 drop, that is known. Next, the doctor who gave you statin, he or she cares. He said, “Mrs. Jones or Mr. Jones, do you have any back pain, muscle problem?” They’re fishing for myopathy, some muscle problem. That is because GG is required in the synthesis of skeletal muscle protein and they’re fishing for any muscle problem like that. There you have it, so if you use statin to inhibit at Boston, then cholesterol reduction in New York City and GG is reduced in Washington DC and for GG, it bifurcate in different direction. In this direction, CoQ10 drop, because it’s needed and in this direction, myopathy on muscle drop, so there you have it. That’s the reason why people who take statin drug should consider taking CoQ10 and in addition, should consider taking GG, CoQ10 because it directly inhibit CoQ10 drop and GG so that they will block any possibility of muscle problems.

Dr. Weitz:            This is a little bit off-course, but I sometimes think of things. Wouldn’t it be better, and I know this is not part of the GG, necessarily, to come up with a way to block cholesterol synthesis more downstream, because the statin is so upstream that it affects all these other things? Right now, statins are enjoying this huge increase in usage and people are saying they’re the answer to everything from heart disease to cancer, but because it’s so far upstream, it has all these negative effects. You mentioned myopathy, we’ve got blocking CoQ10, we’ve got blocking Vitamin K, we’ve got possibly interfering with Vitamin D, we’ve got all these other negative effects affecting mitochondrial function, et cetera, et cetera. Ideally, when you look at that pathway, wouldn’t it be better to have a more downstream compound that blocked cholesterol?

Dr. Tan:                Yes, people have explored it. That’s a very good question. For example, probably 20 years ago, Bristol Myers Squibb had a project they inhibit… Here is Boston and here is New York City and here is Washington DC. Actually, it is like that. Between Boston and New York City is New Haven, so they decided that how about we block New Haven? They tried that and that’s called squalene synthase inhibitor. Squalene is required for the synthesis of cholesterol, but it is not quite yet a cholesterol, so they inhibit squalene. It did work, however, it did not work as dramatically and as powerfully as a statin drug, even though the statin drug was much higher.  That means the ability of statin drug to inhibit something so far up and so far down, you still experience cholesterol to drop, GG to drop, and as a consequence, CoQ10 and muscle problem happen, it’s because they could not find a drug that is as effective as statin enough that now, all the statin drugs are out of patent, so they’re kind of inexpensive. Now, the fancier drug doesn’t work on the mevalonate acid pathway, instead it works on the receptor, how to receive the cholesterol. If you nail down the receptor and therefore, the cholesterol is not accepted well and then the cholesterol drops precipitously and one of them, I’ve forgotten them what the name is, you directly inject into your intramuscular and then it drop and it is applied once a month or something.

Dr. Weitz:            The PCSK9 inhibitors.

Dr. Tan:                Yes. That is not directly working on a mevalonate acid pathway and you have to endure injection rather than a pill and it’s quite expensive like that, so still, people stay with the statin usage. You mentioned statin is used pleiotropically. Besides cholesterol lowering, you can go to the American Diabetes Association, they ask that it would be beneficial on all diabetic to take it, not necessarily addressing sugar, to take it so that they’ll reduce cardiovascular event in diabetics, so you have another subset of people.

Dr. Weitz:            Unfortunately, it increases diabetes.

Dr. Tan:                Right. I agree, it increases diabetes, which is just an oxymoron. And then, now, I’m not pushing any agenda, but I encourage the health professional listener to do this, after 20 or so small molecules are tested to help reduce the severity of COVID-19, the one that is head and shoulders above all else is statin drug. You will be surprised, the ability of statin drug to inhibit cholesterol synthesis is inhibiting the entry of the COVID virus to go into the cell. I’m not putting any funny monkey business on this. You should go online… In other words, for every 20 papers published on COVID and statin, they are probably all the other 19 small molecules published, so it is head and shoulders. Right now, they have shown that those who take statin drug reduce in-hospital severity, reduce in-hospital death. All that to say the amount of possibility of people taking statin drug would even grow much higher and balloon more, which means a way to address the cause of myopathy is not there, and it’s a simple endogenous molecule called GG that would help to reduce the severe muscle symptoms.

Dr. Weitz:            We’re going to get into all the different potential benefits of GG, but anytime we have a discussion about nutritional compound, some people are always asking, “How can I get it in food?” Now, I’m already sold, I’ve already added GG to my nutritional regimen as far as supplementation, but maybe you can talk about what foods GG are found in.

Dr. Tan:                The good news is GG is found in most food, the amount is very small. Why is it small? Because GG in the plant is well-conserved. There are very few plant where GG, you can find it. One is not really a food amount, it’s called castor oil. You use castor oil as a replacement for mineral oil in the car, so you can’t consume it, it is found there. And then, of course, I stumbled onto this Annatto-

Dr. Weitz:            Don’t eat castor oil because that’s where they make ricin from, which is one of the most toxic poisons.

Dr. Tan:                Yes. You asked me so that… I think that in other foods, foods where you see the natural color, like carrots and-

Dr. Weitz:            I think flax is reasonably high in GG.

Dr. Tan:                Yes, flaxseed. Carrots and tomato, where you see color-

Dr. Weitz:            I think olive oil, also.

Dr. Tan:                Yes, thank you, olive oil, flaxseed oil. If you look at South American fare, they use Annatto, you pound them, you can see it. Usually, vegetable oil will contain a small amount. How small is small? Probably one to three, at most, five milligram, like that. Most of the activity that we have seen that would work would be approximately 115 milligrams.

Dr. Weitz:            Let’s go into all the various potential health benefits of GG.

Dr. Tan:                The first one, let me just reiterate it and then we go to the other two, and that would be that GG is required for the synthesis of skeletal muscle protein, just leave it like that. In other words, approximately 30-40% of a human weight is skeletal muscle like that. Sometimes I like to say this, in order to make it clear, people take heap full of amino acid and heap full of protein so that we can gain muscle. There is a place in it, but it’s kind of naive to say that if you take this protein and amino acid, it magically will become the protein in your body. Protein in a body is very specific.  Let me give you some simple illustrations. The average molecular weight of an amino acid is 120. The average molecular weight of a protein is 120,000. Of course, I purposely do that so therefore, if your average molecular weight of a protein is 120,000 and amino acid is 120, so every protein will have 1,000 amino acid, that’s a average one. We’re not going to do that big average. Let’s say a very small protein, insulin, insulin has a molecular weight of 6,000, it is considered a very small protein. If you think of the amino acid in the body in a tick… I’m dragging you back to biochemistry.  We have 20 essential amino acids, so if you have a tiny, tiny amino acid that have 20 amino acids stitched together to make a protein, the way in which that 20 amino acid will be stitched together, the probability of it is 1:20 to the power of 20.  20 to the power of.  20 is much larger than the number on Google, if you Google the number like that.  Therefore, when we make protein, the body uses our nucleic acid DNA and RNA to make those nucleic acids. As this big protein albatross is being made, an unassuming compound, it’s called GG, which is not even an amino acidic, it hooked onto the protein until the protein is fully made and then the protein is delivered. That kind of protein, typically a GG, is used for a skeletal muscle protein.  As we grow older, we don’t make enough GG and therefore, we are unable to make adequately skeletal muscle and that is called sarcopenia.  If we further take statin drugs, that will induce even more muscle problems like that, so that would be the muscle piece. Another one-

Dr. Weitz:            Wait a minute, Doc, this could potentially be huge for sports medicine, for so many benefits in terms of skeletal muscle synthesis. GG could be the next big sports supplement taken by people who work out, right?

Dr. Tan:                Yeah. We are trying now how to design a study on sports medicine? We are not yet started on that, we are trying to design how to do this. We hope that in the next year, 2023, we might be able to engage in something like that, the second half. This kind of thing takes approval, time, and these procedures to do, so we’re working on that. The reason we are this excited, Dr. Weitz, is because American River, an R&D company right here in Massachusetts, we are the first company in the world making GG, so right now I’m trying to figure out how can we prove what GG is used for an advantage in the human body?   That is a very powerful one to help the elderly in retaining muscle mass loss. Of course, exercise is still important to do that and if they take drugs like statin and then it’s a double whammo, they will do more. Can you imagine if you’re 60, 65 years old and then you’re losing muscle mass and you’re taking statin to mitigate cholesterol, you have Type 2 diabetes and the doctor asks you to take, then this will be a special case in which this is good. On the other extreme, if you are a 20-year-old exercise sports medicine and that can also increase muscle, power, and performance.

Dr. Weitz:            Do we know what the mechanism is, how GG leads to skeletal muscle synthesis?

Dr. Tan:                GG helps skeletal muscle synthesis in that as the DNA is putting one amino acid onto the protein, one amino acid at a time, it is specific. If you think of a protein having 20 amino acids and we have 20 essential amino acids, you put them one at a time, so when the protein is half-made, it is already about 50,000 molecular weight. It is already looking like an albatross. When the protein is half-made, something is hooked on to the entire half-made protein. That hook that holds it to is GG, so it’s actually holding the partially synthesized protein until it’s fully made, it detaches, and then it’s shipped to the site of activity. It is actually like that. There are no other thing there, it’s just a hook that is holding onto the protein as it is being synthesized in the DNA.

Dr. Weitz:            I know we were going to get into this later, but right now, just for the sake of skeletal muscle synthesis, what would be your best guess for a good recommendation for the amount of GG that could be taken in supplemental form for that purpose?

Dr. Tan:                I think that for that purpose, it is somewhere in the range of 150 to 300 milligram, no more than that. Currently, two of our current trials that we have, one group is 150, the other group is 300, it did not include exercise signs. We don’t see a reason higher than 300 currently. It looked like, from all the animal studies that I have gathered and then if I translate the human study, they all [inaudible 00:25:43] to somewhere between 150 to 200 milligrams, so I deemed that somewhere 150 is a good starter and 300 is the higher ones that I can imagine.

Dr. Weitz:            Since we’re talking about sports medicine and GG helping with skeletal muscle synthesis, GG could be a double whammy because it also plays a role in testosterone synthesis, isn’t that correct?

Dr. Tan:                Yes. That finding was first disclosed by Japanese scientists probably about three to five years ago and then they are helping the elderly population to have thrived. As you know, when the testosterone is high, they’re able to retain muscle mass in the elderly, so they have thrived, as they were, because of the elderly population there. Encouraged by that, we have a clinical trial in Florida where we have given one group 150 and the other group 300 milligrams to see if this would increase in the men’s sexual health and in the women’s sexual health. When do we expect that result to come out? Probably in the new year, in the first quarter of 2023, so it will be coming soon. Keep in touch with me and send me an email, I’ll let you know what the outcome is. But we have waited and designed that study all of 2022. A lot of these studies takes time. It is a three-month study, but it took us a while to put it all together.

Dr. Weitz:            Wow, very exciting.

Dr. Tan:                Thank you.

Dr. Weitz:            Let’s talk about how GG can be a good adjunct to somebody who’s taking a statin medication by preventing the decrease in CoQ10 and the decrease in the other factors that can result from statins, like a depression of cellular energy and impaired mitochondrial function.

Dr. Tan:                Let’s touch the CoQ10 piece. I’m going to just step aside so that the audience can see the video. When I step aside, if I’m fading, let me know, on the voice. In the front molecule, that’s the molecule of GG. The red color on that place, that is the oxygen and OH group, so the black color is the carbon backbone and the white color is the hydrogen, so therefore, that’s GG the body makes. On the backdrop, that is a large albatross molecule of CoQ10. See that? If I put this forward, that’s CoQ10 in the background and the antioxidant is way on the other end there, there’s antioxidant here. You see the long background here? That entire background-

Dr. Weitz:            Doc, when you go too far to that side, we stop being able to hear yet. There you go.

Dr. Tan:                Sorry. The entire tail of CoQ10 is from GG, like that here, so therefore, GG is used in the human body for the biosynthesis of CoQ10. Now, as the audience listening, we all know the famous CoQ10, we probably never heard until now that GG is required for the synthesis of CoQ10 in the human body. Now, remember, before you take CoQ10, CoQ10 is made in the body. If our body does not make CoQ10, we cannot live because it’s required for the ATP conversion. Magic didn’t happen because we have CoQ10 in the business world to sell, magic happened because our body makes CoQ10. The piece that I want to add for the audience to know is GG is required for the synthesis of CoQ10. This is a first-time GG molecule and that’s to show you that. If you take GG, then understandably, whatever you know about CoQ10, then GG is good because GG makes CoQ10 for the mitochondrial function, also helpful in people with dementia, because GG is in the brain and have good CoQ10 and CoQ10 is able to support brain health.

                                But there’s another piece that I’ll put on now that also touches on the brain health and bone health. I’ll use another metaphor here. When you take green leafy vegetable, we get Vitamin K. That’s the Vitamin K that would go in the body and seals the tear so that it would clot, say if we have a tear inside our artery, then it would clot, you need Vitamin K. The two scientists that discovered them got the Nobel Prize in the 1940s. Later in the 1970s, another Nobel Prize was also given to Vitamin K because those scientists were further able to explain the way that Vitamin K worked was it had to go to a certain process and then it create a protein, so it’s Vitamin K-related protein synthesis, and that is able to nail it to make the clot. In the same passage, that Vitamin K that makes the protein also traps the calcium and takes the calcium to the bone, so therefore Vitamin K is also connected to strong bone health.   Now, the audience is probably saying, “Wait, wait, wait a minute, Dr. Tan, isn’t that supposed to be Vitamin D?” Yes, Vitamin D is related to increased bone health, but Vitamin D does not have the power, the charm, or the explanation and the beauty of the Vitamin K explanation. Man, without the protein made that is caused by Vitamin K, that protein is not made and the calcium is not moved to the bone, so that’s a Nobel Prize, the Vitamin D help like that. Let me go back-

Dr. Weitz:            Moving the calcium to the bone also is removing it from the artery, so it reduces arterial calcification.

Dr. Tan:                Amen to that, but let me say how that is done. You take dark green vegetables like kale, like spinach, like broccoli, intentionally, I’m going to do it, that is Vitamin K1, green color [inaudible 00:32:22]. Now, if all the Vitamin K we take is consumed, let’s say the person is a vegan, completely eating food like rabbit food, you would think that they would probably clot to death. Vegans do not clot to death because they will consume so much Vitamin K, when they don’t. The reason is because at the gut, we have hemostasis, a fixed amount of Vitamin K goes in, so where does the other Vitamin K go? Just follow me through with this, this will be really beautiful. You look at this, right at the gut is hydrolysis, hydrolases enzyme, they cut that off, this is both from the plant and the tail, which is saturated from K1 which flushed away.  This is not from human being, it’s too green color. This ring goes inside the body and it locates 25 to 30 organs, this is really magical. It look for this molecule, intentionally red because it’s in human body. It’s the same length as the tail, exactly the same as the tail, but it is partly unsaturated, that is GG in 25 to 30 organs. This was from Vitamin K and they stitched together, they’re called transferase enzyme. I purposely make the sound, that’s it. This is MK-4. This is MK-4 and this is not going to change. It is not molecular biology, not nutrition, it is pure biochemistry and it should be in the textbook. This Vitamin K2, ladies and gentlemen, is MK-4. This MK-4 is supposed to be in a body to sweep the calcium away from soft tissue, like in the artery that Dr. Weitz talked about, and sweep this to the bone. Approximately 90-95% of calcium is found in the bone. Yes, the soft tissue needs calcium, but only a small amount, the balance is 95 to 5.   It’s very easy to go out of kilter and then you will have arteriosclerosis, kidney stone, or gallbladder stone like that, we need this to go there. How do you sweep the calcium to go to the bone where you can have strong bone, particularly when you grow older? This is the molecule, MK-4, it makes the protein and sweeps it to the bone and a lot of study on this. Where do you get this compound? You get this compound by this guy here, that GG. Without the GG, it cannot step onto the ring, you cannot make MK-4. However, truth be told, the ring, the human body cannot make. That’s why this is a very unusual compound, the half piece is from the plant and the other half piece is from the human body. But as we grow old, we don’t make enough this guy and this guy, we will forever be thankful to the plant, our human body cannot make it, this guy. I hope that this is a take-home message, MK-4 is synthesized in the body.

                                Now, the audience is now drawing a little bit and say, “Dr. Tan, are you telling me that menaquinone is made the human body? I thought I was told all menaquinones are made the gut by fermentation? I can tell all kinds of things, Japanese nattō, cheese, blah, blah blah, kimchi, this and that. Yes and no. Yes and no. When you think of fermentation in the gut, they make much longer tail like MK-7, MK-9, MK-11 and 13, that is good for the gut health like that. There is an MK-7 supplemented in our body to shuttle the calcium to the bone, yes, but keep in mind the only menaquinone made inside your body not because of fermentation, exclusively, I may say, is MK-4. Because the human body make MK-4, I implore the audience, please find out why the human body makes MK-4 exclusively, that is never going to change. Yes, in the gut, MK-4, 7, 9, 11 and 13.  Agree, no argument, but the body, in at least 25 to 30 organs, makes MK-4. Because of that, I think that there is a unique place for GG that is made and once we grow older, we simply don’t make enough GG, so if I may say so, I would say GG is, until now I’m going to purport, is a true anti-aging endogenous nutrient. If I will have one take-home message for this holiday season it’s I’m going to walk away with the understanding GG is a true biological and biochemical anti-aging endogenous nutrient.

Dr. Weitz:            We need a new song, Deck the Halls With GG. It sounds like we have a marriage between Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and GG, and it sounds like it makes sense for all of those to be taken together.

Dr. Tan:                Yes, I take them together. Designs for Health sells a product for the GG and the tocotrienol, I think they call it Annatto-E GG because they’re both from Annatto. For the piece, if somebody is taking statin drug, you know they inhibit GG and you know that when you take statin drug, CoQ10 drop. Designs for Health has a product called CoQnol, where you have ubiquinol plus GG, so that combination would be particularly and specific for someone that’s taking statin. Then, say, for example, Ben, my parents are elderly and then they have sarcopenia. They don’t otherwise taking statin, then if they’re sarcopenia, they simply have loss of muscle mass, then taking GG would help them improve and thrive and maintain any muscle mass loss, so it will be that piece.  On the MK-4 one, if any of us have calcification of the artery, kidney stone, gallstone like that, if we take GG to induce the making of MK-4, then more calcium will be swept to the bone, or taking a combination. I believe they are companies out there, Designs for Health have a product called Tri-K, which is a menaquinone product with some GG in it and Vitamin D in it. If you look online, you’ll see it, and other companies do. Or if they don’t have it, take a combination of menaquinone plus GG and then that will be able to ensure that the calcium is going to the bone and not [inaudible 00:40:13] in other parts of your body, like the artery.

Dr. Weitz:            Cool. For preventing statin-induced myopathy, what would be the best dosage for GG?

Dr. Tan:                I would say that if a person is taking a statin drug probably and have no complaints of muscle problem, then 150 milligram would suffice.  If a person that takes statin drug and the cardiologist’s imploring them that they have to stay with it and then they’re experiencing muscle pain or myopathy… By the way, you can Google online and study this, it’s called SAMS. S-A-M-S. It simply means statin-associated muscle symptom. If you just type in statin-associated muscle symptom, the audience can go online and look and see all this cluster, sometimes the cardiologist downplay it, but the patients themselves know. If you have SAMS, then consider taking 300 milligram. When you do take the GG, just take it with a meal, it’s oil-soluble, as is with the tocotrienol and as is with the CoQ10, these are lipid-soluble. If you take it with a meal, it emulsifies and absorption is increased.

Dr. Weitz:            Now, not only can GG reduce some of the negative effects of taking statins, but I understand that GG can also reduce some of the side effects of bisphosphonates, which are medications taken for osteoporosis, including reducing osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is a horrible side effect where you lose the bone in your jaw as a result of trying to increase your bone density by taking Fosamax and other bisphosphonates.

Dr. Tan:                Thank you, Dr. Weitz, for bringing this up, I nearly forgot it. Now, of course, in the class of people taking statin compared to the class of people that take bisphosphonates, there’s a big difference. A lot more people, men and women, take statin and largely women take bisphosphonates. Also, bisphosphonate is used for tumor metastasis, for people who the cancer have metastasized to the bone, they take bisphosphonate to kill the tumor inside the bone. When people take this bisphosphonate, it is true, bisphosphonate, again, go back to the mevalonate acid pathway, bisphosphonate inhibits precisely at New Haven. Now, statin inhibits in Boston, bisphosphanate specifically inhibits at New Haven. When bisphosphonate inhibit at New Haven, then, once again, in Washington DC, then GG is inhibited. It really is like that, I know I say it cartoonically. When you inhibit in New Haven, it’s inescapable that it inhibit in Washington DC and once again, when it inhibit there…  But then this is very specific, it happened in the jawbone. In other words, when the bisphosphonate entered to the bone thing in the jawbone, it actually inhibits the GG synthesis in the jawbone. The GG is required for the protein synthesis of the jawbone, so if you inhibit the GG there, then there’s no available GG for making the protein in the jawbone. What’s the consequence? The jawbone begins to die, necrosis means death, so therefore is BRONJ, bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. If the audience are taking bisphosphonate, please go online to read for yourself, BRONJ, and then you study and read how often this is happening to people. How about you assume that you don’t take anything Dr. Tan said? I’m not offended. You will Google online, please do that, you go BRONJ and GG, or geranylgeraniol, and you will be surprised, you’ll come to your own conclusion on how GG has been decimated by bisphosphonate that causes BRONJ.

                                Full disclosure, everybody that has studied BRONJ with GG, I don’t know them. I only know them after they published their work, so they have zero influence for me. Since then, they have come to know about me and they asked me for GG to continue their research. But yes, to the subset of people who are taking bisphosphonate, there is a chance of this BRONJ. It was first discovered by a dentist in 2003, it was not so long ago when this was discovered. For people who have a bone metastasis, they have to take much higher amount of bisphosphonate to kill the tumor in the bone, because you can’t operate on the bone like that, and for them who take a high dose, then this will be much higher incidents of BRONJ. The solution is the use of GG to mitigate the destruction in the jawbone. It’s a very peculiar and unusual and dangerous type of side effect. Thank you for bringing it up, Ben, I had forgotten about this.

Dr. Weitz:            Now, I read about another potential benefit of GG in increasing insulin sensitivity, especially in cases of statin-induced diabetes.

Dr. Tan:                Yes. It is now known and it is established that when people take long-term use of statin drug and then increasingly, they have a side effects of Type 2 diabetes. Which is ironic for the statement because about 15 years ago, American Diabetes Association said, “All Type 2 diabetic should be taking statin.” Now, I don’t think that they intended harm. The reason they asked all Type 2 diabetics to take statin is because it reduced cardiovascular events, that was the reason, but right now-

Dr. Weitz:            Especially since some of the drugs for diabetes increase your risk of heart disease.

Dr. Tan:                I know, this is just such a oxymoron. Now, if you fast forward today, for people, whether they are diabetic or not, if they take statin drug to lower cholesterol, then the sugar is slowly creeping up like that of a Type 2 diabetic. They’re now able to explain the reason being this statin drug got to the mitochondria and is making the mitochondria dysfunctional. When the mitochondria become dysfunctional, the ability to handle sugar and energy making will also become uncontrolled. When they become uncontrolled, the sugar begin to go up. We actually have animal study where GG is added back and they make the mitochondria improve its mitochondrial function.

                                That has been shown by a study in China, it has been shown by study somewhere in the middle of our country in Detroit, and more recently, we have given our GG to a university in Texas and they just published it a month or two ago, where they are more like Type 2 diabetic, high carb, high fat diet, and then they gave them GG. GG is able to in increase the respiration of the mitochondria. And then the second one, I was quite impressed they have to harvest the mitochondria from the muscle to do this. You know what they found? They found that when they increased the GG, this is the mechanism, when they put in the GG to the muscle where they harvest the mitochondria from the animal that have Type 2 diabetes, two things.

                                One, they improved the function of the mitochondria to do respiration for ATP conversion, which you expect because that’s what the mitochondria is doing. One, they weren’t able to connect if that has to do with the CoQ10, but they can connect that is able to improve the mitochondrial function, and two, in Type 2 diabetes, some of the mitochondria is already damaged, it’s already dysfunctional. You know what the GG does? The GG is helping to remove damaged mitochondria. Man, that is as good as can… Let me finish it. If you have damaged mitochondria, you cannot refix the mitochondria, you have to get rid of it. If the mitochondria is not get rid of, then now, you have bad problem in the whole muscle. In 2019, a Japanese scientist was given the Nobel Prize for autophagy. That means that to remove damaged organelles like that.

Dr. Weitz:            Yes, that’s where I was trying to go.

Dr. Tan:                This one here, if you want a special word, it’s called mitophagy. It’s just a clever thing, it is removing the mitochondria for autophagy, like that. And then I said. “Wow-“

Dr. Weitz:            So, GG is a new anti-aging compound.

Dr. Tan:                Amen to that. We have already shown the delta-tocotrienol, which is a tocotrienol to remove autophagy. Now, that one is the in the cancer cell.

Dr. Weitz:            We need the NR with GG longevity supplement now.

Dr. Tan:                Yes, yes, yes. I think that as a simple anti-aging thing, for no other cause of any disease thing, people should take Annatto-E GG, because the Annatto-E has already been shown to increase the telomere to increase the lifespan of worms. We have studied that. We have also studied in cancer cells, the mitochondria in the cell is growing like mad, so when you give them tocotrienol, it actually caused autophagy of the mitochondria of the cancer cell. For the cancer cell, you want it to die, but in the diabetic cell, you wanted the GG to help to remove the damaged mitochondria, which is what it’s doing, and then grow new mitochondria. I think that for that, that have a strong implication for muscle health. We hoping that the second half of 2023, we might be able to engage in a study on exercise and performance power on younger people.

Dr. Weitz:            One more topic, because GG is so fascinating, what about GG and cancer? I started looking into some of the research and most of the research seems to show that GG seems to be beneficial. There was a study that it may have activity against prostate cancer, it was an in vitro study. There was data showing that GG may induce apoptosis of several forms of cancer, including leukemia and colon cancer. But there was one paper where they were saying that it may block the activity of certain statins, such pitavastatin, which is used to fight ovarian cancer.

Dr. Tan:                You said two things there, I will say the first one. Yes, that first study shows, if you look carefully at the study, they used GG and then they compared with tocotrienol. Hands down, if it is cancer, tocotrienol is probably the best. We have six clinical trials in Denmark and in Florida and we can definitively, unequivocally saw tocotrienol work to bring death of the cancer cell and to be anti-angiogenesis, we don’t see the power of GG to do it on the cancer piece. That in the vitro study, we saw that the tocotrienol is approximately 5 to 10 times more potent than GG in the anti-cancer piece. On the pitavastatin thing, it is a very strange study and we have written to the professor, that study was using pitavastatin to kill the cancer. My general take is that to use statin to kill cancer is a long shot and it’s probably never going to go there, because the amount of statin you need to use to kill cancer is about 10 to 20 times higher than for using for cholesterol reduction.

                                At that level, it is going to emaciate the cancer patient, because the loss of muscle mass will be severe. But yes, there was that study. In that study, they show that GG is helping the animal to revive the tumor. What is the offshoot of that? If you were to take that study seriously, the offshoot of that would be if you are taking pitavastatin to kill cancer, you essentially have to commit the rest of your life to eat entirely synthetic food, entirely, you’ve got to listen to me careful, synthetic food. The moment you eat natural food, you’re going to get GG, because I said at the beginning of your talk, all plants must have GG. Without GG, they cannot make carotenoid, cannot make chlorophyll, so if you were to take that seriously, you have to quit eating all things natural. I think that that is ludicrous. I personally think that’s ludicrous like that. But GG is not strong enough, vis-a-vis tocotrienol, to kill cancer.

                                Let me add this piece that you may not chance to ask. I believe GG have a strong component in cognitive and behavioral health of the brain, that I want to say strongly. Let me tell you how this is shown. In Texas, and you should Google that, Dr. Weitz, GG and brain health. I have to figure out how to think about it. First, in the learning animal, when they gave them GG, that GG is able to learn better, so that piece published and then it stopped. We have another professor, another 20 years after, she is continuing to study in Texas also, she found that you can train and cognitively improve the rest how to figure out the spatial arrangement so that they can recognize things better if they are given T3, the tocotrienol acid group, or GG acid group. Then, separately, in Japan and also in Tufts University, they found that, first, let me state in the brain, the only Vitamin K in the brain is MK-4. There is no phylloquinone, Vitamin K1, there is none other menaquinone except MK-4.

                                And then they studied elderly people, centenarians, that pass away that have given consent, so their brain tissue. For those that died that have no dementia, higher MK-4 in the brain. For those that died and they had dementia, they have lower MK-4, so that’s a strong smoking gun. In another study, this is all published this year, another study of living elderly people, the blood level of MK-4 are higher for those that have normal cognition and the intermediate for mild dementia and for those that have Alzheimer’s disease have the lowest amount of MK-4, so MK-4 have a place inversely proportional to dementia and mental and cognitive health. I’ve just explained to you earlier how GG is the VPs in the synthesis of MK-4, so I’m trying to figure out how to design a study to do it. I am not yet there, I’m trying to design a study how that can be. We have animal data, though, when we have GG and tocotrienol, it is able to help in the synaptic communication and therefore, able to explain this, so it is still relatively new. Having said all of this-

Dr. Weitz:            If you were going to speculate right now, if you were treating a patient with dementia or early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, what would you think would be the best recommendation for supplementation for Vitamin K, Vitamin E, and GG?

Dr. Tan:                I would say that the person should take a combination of tocotrienol and GG, they are not, though, E GG, that would be maintain mental health. Separately because they may not have all of these in one fell swoop, that you can separately take Vitamin K, a combination of K, sometimes phylloquinone, sometimes some of the menaquinone, and many company add Vitamin D in it and then I know Designs for Health add GG in it. If you already have GG in it, then you just take separately tocotrienol. If you have a company that don’t have GG in it, then you take the Annatto-E GG, so you have this combination of product to maintain a healthy brain function and cognitive thing. I’m pretty confident that this is a strong thing. If you send me an email-

Dr. Weitz:            What about dosage for this particular purpose, for brain function?

Dr. Tan:                For GG, 150 milligrams, for tocotrienol, 300 milligrams, and for Vitamin K2, MK-4, probably more like 10 to 20 milligrams, they are rather expensive, and Vitamin MK-7, they are even lower dose, I saw out there about 400 micrograms. MK-7, 400 micrograms, MK-4, 10 to 20 milligrams, Vitamin D, probably about 2,000 IU, like that, and then tocotrienol, 300 milligrams, and then GG, 150 milligram, so some combination thereof. I’m sure, Dr. Weitz, you can advise many people, you can use this combination, they should be able to help to a very strong, healthy mind.  I am grateful, I’m probably the only one standing alive that have taken tocotrienol longer than anybody standing. I started taking it about 30, 35 years ago, because I was doing this. For GG, until we succeeded in making the product, I’ve been taking GG roughly for the last two years or so, before that, there were no GG. I was working on GG, but I couldn’t make the product and now I have, so I’m personally taking it. I will be 70 years old come next year, so all grateful. I know that nutritional supplement is not God, I have other things, but I’m very grateful that I found this. And then I’m trying to say good things and help other people to be blessed by this, so that as we grow older we also have the quality of life to age with it. Wouldn’t that be a benefit? That would be a great new year of 2023.

Dr. Weitz:            Absolutely. Interesting, so you’re still recommending MK-7 as part of the mix?

Dr. Tan:                I would say less of MK-7.  I only mentioned MK-7 to this, currently, they have a dozen of MK-7 studies out there, clinical trials, say that they improve mental health, they improve the bone calcification, if you look, you can find them.  They are approximately about 400 micrograms per day, so it’s very small amount, 0.4, probably because this compound, MK-7, is very expensive to make, so 0.4 milligrams.  I sometimes struggle with how so small an amount would work, MK-4, however… Now, truth be told, in Japan, I didn’t say this, in Japan, 45 milligrams MK-4 is a pharmaceutical drug, but isn’t that curious?   Nattō, which is this Japanese, a thing that we eat, make MK-7, everybody mumble that, but MK-7 is not a drug. MK-4 is a pharmaceutical drug in Japan for anti-osteoporosis. Now, you go figure, you go figure, you can Google 45 milligram. I think that there is a strong suit, how in the US, MK-4 is not an anti-osteoporotic drug as in Japan, it is a supplement, so we recommend people to take GG because GG converts in the human body. Why did I say MK-7? Only because of the half a dozen clinical trials out there at 0.4 milligrams or something like that.

Dr. Weitz:            Excellent. Thank you so much, Dr. Tan. For those who want to know more about GG or who want to purchase GG, where should they go?

Dr. Tan:                If you go online, probably the best known company to do that, we are very proud to partner with them, is Designs for Health. Of course, Dr. Weitz already highly recommends their product. They’re really sincere and try to put the kinds of products out there. I told them, “You’ve got to make this denomination,” they go make it. Sometimes they have bite the bullet to do it, because I didn’t want them to come up with something and it ain’t working for people, that’s not good. Or if you want to buy from other sources, if you come to our website, American River Nutrition, or my name Barrie Tan, spelled B-A-R-R-I-E, Tan, T-A-N, and then you come to a place that buying a supplement, we don’t sell finished product and it will list all the companies selling this product.  If you wanted to be sure that the product is actually made by our factory here in Hadley, for the GG, we simply call GG-Gold, that means it’s made here, right here in Hadley.  If it is tocotrienol from our tocotrienol from Annatto, then it would be DeltaGold because of delta-tocotrienol, like Delta Airline, DeltaGold.  And then if it is the CoQ10, ubiquinol plus GG, for people who take statin, we call it DuoQuinol, D-U-O, because it duo, ubiquinol and GG, DuoQuinol.  I think Designs for Health simply call it CoQnol. If you look at the bottle, it will say, “DuoQuinol,” it came from us.  GG-Gold, DeltaGold, and DuoQuinol, so like that.  If you further have any question, send us an email, my website has an email, to the extent possible, I will try to answer.

Dr. Weitz:            What’s your website, Dr. Tan?

Dr. Tan:                Oh sorry. Americanrivernutrition.com, just a continuous word, www.americanrivernutrition.com. Once you go there, you can also download all the white papers that we have there. If you want to follow through with us, every time when we publish a paper, we announce them. Currently, we have about 15 to 20 published papers on clinical trials on tocotrienol. Hands down, man, everybody should be taking tocotrienol. GG, the research is coming, the testosterone one will be the next one, the myopathy will be following, and probably the exercise one will be following in the years to come. And then you can also download a white paper on DuoQuinol, why the combination of GG and ubiquinol, so you can come on the website. Until we talk again, have a wonderful holiday, be blessed, and we can start the new year with good health and do good things.

Dr. Weitz:            Thank you so much for your contributions to humanity.

Dr. Tan:                Thank you, Dr. Weitz.



Dr. Weitz:            Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. For those of you who enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, I would certainly appreciate it if you could go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and give us a five star ratings and review, that way more people will be able to discover the Rational Wellness Podcast. I wanted to say thank you to all the patients that we’ve been working with at our Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition Clinic, most of whom we’ve been able to help with a range of various health conditions, from various types of gut disorders to thyroid and hormonal issues, autoimmune diseases, and various other cardiometabolic conditions.   I very much appreciate you and I’m excited about going forwards helping you to improve your health on your journey towards optimal health. I wanted to let everybody know that I do have a few openings now for new clients. You can take advantage of that by calling my Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition Santa Monica office at 310-395-3111 and we can set you up for a new consultation for functional medicine and nutrition. We can get that going as early as the new year, so give us a call, and I’ll talk to you next week.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *