Have you seen the sun today?
According to the EPA, Americans spend about 90% of their lives indoors.
How does that look for you?
If you’re looking to improve your energy, sleep, mood and much, much more, getting sun exposure is critical.
I do my best to hop outside when weather permits, just about every day to catch the sunrise. Since I started this practice years ago, I have not stopped. And you’re about to learn why.
Today we’re here with Matt Maruca, a researcher, entrepreneur and educator in the fields of photobiology, mitochondria and optimal human health.
Matt is the founder of Ra Optics, a company that teaches people about the risks of the indoor, sun-deficient tech-based lifestyle, and provides blue light protection lenses to mitigate the risks associated with spending so much time indoors.
On today’s show we’re talking about:
- How to reset your circadian rhythm with light
- The dangers of EMF pollution
- Why the sun is like a free multivitamin in the sky
- How light, especially red and infrared light, impacts your mitochondria
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Matt.
Matt Maruca: Let The Sun Shine On You
Abel: Welcome back, folks.
Matt Maruca is a researcher, educator and entrepreneur in the field of photobiology, the study of how light affects health.
After suffering from debilitating headaches, allergies, and gut issues as a kid, Matt researched the root cause of his poor health and healed himself by minimizing the negative effects of modern technologies and lifestyle.
Matt, thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you for having me.
Abel: I love that you’re outside, that rarely happens in interviews.
And also those of you who are just listening, you can’t see that I’m wearing these awesome specs that Matt sent over from Ra Optics, the company that you started.
So, today we’re mostly going to be talking about how light relates to health and the mitochondria.
But Matt, let’s talk a little bit just about the world where it stands, because I can see you’re in a beautiful place and it seems like you’re coping pretty well, you know, from the outside looking in.
Yeah, I’m doing alright. It’s obviously a very interesting situation. I’m not sure what to make of it.
I’ve heard, obviously, plenty of the standard narrative and plenty of more what you would consider conspiracy theories about how this whole situation is being sort of manipulated to suit some agendas, whether it’s vaccination or some other thing like that.
I’m really not sure what to believe, but it definitely seems to me that things are not what they seem at the moment, so I’m just kind of riding with it.
Yeah, that’s kind of my take right now.
Abel: And I’ve been realizing more and more lately that things have been not what they seem for a long time.
It’s not like this just started a few months ago.
It’s more like it was going steadily downhill or off a cliff, depending on how you look at it, for a while.
I would be interested, though, since you’re 20 years old, I’m 15 years older, we’re different generations, but you’re getting into this young, doing really professional things, and doing really well.
I’m interested in your take on the direction of where things are going, because to me it was like in the early 2010’s when I was getting my start doing this stuff, things were going up. People were getting better.
Jack Kruse is out there, Wim Hof is out there climbing mountains almost naked, breathing, huffing and puffing.
And a lot of people are hearing about cold thermogenesis for the first time, losing all this weight, and getting into the healing with light and the holistic aspects of all this.
And then 2016 – 2017, everything just fell straight down to me, but you kind of got into this more recently, so what’s your experience like in terms of the health community?
Yeah, as far as the health community goes, I don’t obviously have the hindsight that you have on the whole situation.
Abel: Or bitterness. It’s not necessarily that, that’s why I’m curious.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I feel like it’s still moving in a decent direction.
I mean from just maybe trying to observe from an outside perspective, it seems like there is a lot of ego and a lot of sort of just complications that don’t necessarily need to be involved.
But I feel like that’s in the optical industry that I’m now part of with my glasses business, that’s also kind of the case in that business.
People are very secretive and it’s like this whole thing, and they all talk about it, and I feel like in many ways maybe that’s sort of what’s happening in the health community.
I’ve heard of some specific folks who are super into getting back into nature sort of, being in the scene, and then bailing out because it was getting just too over the top.
But no, for me, it seems like there’s really good people with good intentions.
There’s lots of people who are getting sick and are looking for answers.
I actually believe that the world is kind of in the process of a conscious awakening.
So, I think it’s actually going to continue to explode, but as long as people are focusing on the right things.
Abel: Right. Yeah. Now, let’s talk about light, just because it’s something I talk about sometimes on this show, but I do it every day, I practice light intake and minimizing light as well of various kinds.
So, why don’t we just have you riff about the importance after I just say that when I put these blue blockers on, proper blue blockers, I’ve got this big light in front of me for recording because it actually looks pretty grim and dark if I try to record with these lights off.
So, especially playing music on stage, I’m used to this, been doing this for a long time.
When I did the TV show, lights are always blasting, literally spotlights in your face, and it’s terrible.
It makes you feel freaked out, more anxious than usual.
It makes me jittery, and it makes me want to squint, but then I fight to open my eyes, so it gives me this freaked-out-deer-in-the-headlights look.
When I put these blue blockers on, I can feel my head start to relax, my eyes relax, and physiologically things are happening.
So, why don’t you just walk us through a little bit about maybe what bad light does to us first then we can talk about healing light.
Light: The Bad and The Good
Yeah, absolutely, so well, there’s a lot of ways to go with this, a lot of roads to travel.
I’d say that the best way to talk about it is that living organisms are these, you could say, ongoing physiochemical reactions on earth that are powered by energy or utilize energy available in the environment to basically catalyze reactions and then make energy and then be able to continue the reaction.
And we can only do it for a certain period of time, like a hundred years for a human or something, but that’s kind of what we do.
And so given the whole talk of energy, light, obviously sunlight is one of the main drivers of life on earth, and I think everyone intuitively knows that in a way because we grow up and you know in first grade we know that the sunlight makes the plants grow and the animals eat the plants and we ate the animals or we eat the plants directly.
So, just from a really foundational 30,000-foot view, light is really essential to all of the life on Earth, and it turns out that it isn’t just essential to us in the sense that it produces food for us.
It’s also essential because as we evolved under the sun for so long, there’s a lot of processes in our body that evolve directly to the light.
So, food is sort of like a secondary source of energy because it goes, sun, food and then us, but we actually have many systems that are directly from light to us.
So, for example, this involves vitamin D synthesis, this involves our circadian rhythm set by blue light.
Mitochondrial function is optimized by red and infrared light, and a whole host of other things, many of which are researched, many of which probably haven’t been researched or discovered yet because there’s not a lot of funding going to this.
Anyway, we could think of the sun the way I like to think of it is like a full multivitamin in the sky that powers a ton of stuff for us, right?Think of the sun like a full multivitamin in the sky that powers a ton of stuff for us. @thelightdiet Click To Tweet
There’s all those little frequencies and wavelengths like the red, the ultraviolet, the blue that do different things, so when we’re in that light…
The biggest thing is that we’re just deficient in certain key vitamins from that full spectrum multivitamin in the sky.
We’re just deficient in certain key vitamins from that full spectrum multivitamin in the sky.
So, really the biggest issue, one is the deficiency of a lot of stuff that we need, but then getting more specifically your point like that light above you.
I would guess it’s LED. If it’s not, it might be fluorescent, but probably LED just given what you described.
Abel: I’ve tried both, and they both kind of do a similar thing to me.
Yeah, so exactly, but nonetheless.
So, for example, a LED light has a really kind of, you could say distorted spectrum, whereas if you look at the sun, I have a little spectrophotometer.
Are you recording the video, as well, so people could see the video?
Okay, then I might actually have to grab that thing because if you basically shine this little spectrophotometer at the sun, it’ll show a full spectrum of light.
And then If I shine it at my phone, it’ll show there’s just a big spike of blue, a big spike of green, and a big spike red, which tries to combine to mimic the sun and the light.
But biologically, It’s very deficient. It doesn’t contain the full spectrum.
And there’s an imbalanced ratio in addition of blue, I should say, of blue to red, which is sort of the more healing wavelength and there’s no infrared and there’s no ultraviolet, which are two of the really essential components for a healthy metabolism and a lot of other processes.
So, that’s really the gist of it. We’re deficient in wavelengths that really optimize our biology.We're deficient in wavelengths that really optimize our biology. @thelightdiet Click To Tweet
And we’re getting extra of certain wavelengths that are okay in the sun, especially the blue, but when it’s isolated and not properly balanced, it can be really disruptive essentially to our hormones and our sleep and what not.
Abel: So, it gives a whole new meaning to artificial light as in artificial food, right?
You have fake sweeteners that give you cancer that are missing the actual nutrients that would normally come from something like honey or maple syrup or one of the more traditional sweeteners compared to this chemical concoction.
And when we’re looking at a screen, this is one of the reasons I wear blue blockers pretty much whenever I’m not recording and Irlens as well.
I’ve tried many different kinds. I actually don’t need corrective lenses for the way that I see, but it helps blocking certain color spectrums.
Abel: And I can tell, it makes me feel so differently. I perform differently.
And when you look at the screens, it’s amazing if people aren’t familiar with kind of stage lighting and what you were talking about combining those different colors to artificially create other colors, it’s really magnificent.
It’s a wonderful science to learn about, but the point you were making—and feel free to go grab that thing, we can always edit it in post production, no problem.
I’m going to.
Alright, so, yeah, it’s really cool.
Alright, cool. So this is called a spectrophotometer. It might be hard to see.
Abel: Yep, there we go.
Can you see the color spectrum on there?
Alright. So if I shine it at the sun, and it goes beep, beep. Now it’s going to show us a full spectrum of light.
Do you see that?
Abel: Like the rainbow, yeah.
Yeah, it shows the whole rainbow.
So now, if I were to shine it at my iPhone, which is going to be an interesting process, I won’t do that right now, but what I will do is I’ll show you if I shine my blue blockers in front of the spectrophotometer, it’s going to remove all of this spectrum of light that’s present in the lens.
So I’ll just do, here’s a pair of nighttime lenses, and then if I shine them and get the light through here, so now you’re not going to see the whole rainbow.
You’re only going to see that orange, yellow, and red spectrum.
And so that’s really the sort of powerful thing about blue blockers, yeah.
Because I’m outside it wouldn’t work anyway, but if I were to shine that light or this spectrophotometer on my phone instead of having that continuous spectrum, it’s just one spike in the blue, one spike in the red, and one in the green.
And what we can do is we can put a link in the show notes to just show there’s pictures of this so people can visually see.
But it’s a real issue, to your question.
Abel: And I studied perception and cognition as an undergrad and was just fascinated by that and you start to understand when you study things like that, that our whole perceptive system is constructive.
We’re creating the illusion of blue or red.
That’s right, yeah.
Abel: When you see blue or red, they may not be equivalent even though it appears to be equivalent to your eyes, right?
So that’s, I guess, what I’m trying to get to.
While we can see most people anyway without disabilities or handicaps can see screens and it looks like I’m looking in the background, I’m looking at you, you look like a TV or kind of an image of a person, I’m looking at beautiful mountains in the background of my iMac, but it’s the matrix.
It’s not the real thing. Whereas the sun comes as this whole package like you were saying.
That’s kind of what we were built for, but at the same time as if you’re trying to get a whole bunch of nutrients and you can overdo it, you can get too much, and so you don’t want to get too much of the UV ray specifically from the sun.
The interesting thing now though is that people like you who are blocking light and other people who are creating healing light can now target specific spectrums to achieve.
So, let’s talk more about the red spectrum and how you can use that.
When I first got a Joovv sent to me, I’m just like, really guys?
Does it really do these things that you’re saying that it does?
And I’ve been using it pretty much weekly, if not daily ever since because I feel a massive difference in the way that I feel, and it’s very much related to light in general, how your mitochondria function.
So let’s go right there.
Yeah, it’s very interesting.
So for me, when I use a red light panel because I’m out in the sun so much, I don’t really notice too much of an effect.
Simply because my red light stores is my tank and you could say it’s pretty topped off.
But if I were living this indoor lifestyle like most people do, I imagine I would feel a huge benefit.
And also I think it’s a great time to use a red light any time you’re indoors actually, and I actually have one that’s not here with me that I’d like to get sent to me like a massive Joovv they sent and because when we’re inside basically, I don’t know if we mentioned this earlier, but windows also subtract out some of the red and infrared light.
So, just by being inside behind windows, you’re not getting the full spectrum of light.
It’s right off the bat, it’s distorted, and it’s not optimal.
It’s not as bad as having artificial lighting above, but it’s nowhere near as good as having a window open or just being outside.
So, using a Joovv or a red light panel could actually be good to re-add some of the red light and infrared light that’s subtracted, but so, yeah, all the stuff that they talk about is pretty accurate and based on really good science.
So, red light is known to improve the mitochondrial function, which in particular improves the production of ATP.Red light is known to improve the mitochondrial function. @thelightdiet Click To Tweet
And when we improve this, pretty much everything works better because as you know, everything is powered by energy and all the energy in our cells, or the vast majority of it at least, is generated in our mitochondria.
So, when we can do something as simple and foundational as improving our energy generation by being in red light, like I am right now, although this is a mix.
There’s a ton of red and infrared, I can feel it. It’s nice and warm. This just improves everything across the body.
So, all of the stuff they’ve spoken about improvements in skin health and even potentially in eyesight, improvements in your cognition, improvements in your energy, improvements in your mood, your sex drive, and sexual health, testosterone levels, from red light.
I mean the list goes on for a long time, but it’s really amazing, and, yeah, I wouldn’t put, based on what I know, I wouldn’t say that any of it’s beyond what’s possible because again when we have better energy production system, then things just work better generally.
Abel: Yeah. And then I’ve heard you talk about, right before we started recording and also watching one of your talks, how this gets a little blue too with the light body and the soul and what is the body and what exactly are you powering?
Where do we all come from? And light is very much involved in all of that.
Yeah, that’s a totally fun place to go. I really got interested in, more into spirituality and stuff after learning about this.
In particular, you mentioned Jack Kruse, he’s been someone who opened my eyes to a lot of these concepts literally and I guess figuratively, and basically, there were a few books, there’s one called Light in Shaping Life: Biophotons in Biology and Medicine and then there’s another that’s called The Body Electric.
Light in Shaping Life is more focused on light in our cells and The Body Electric is focused on electricity.
But ultimately it’s kind of very similar and interrelated, the electromagnetic phenomenon in living organisms.
And both of these researchers in different decades, one was compiling research from the last 100 years old, the 1900s, and one was kind of doing his own research.
But the conclusions were ultimately very similar.
That the body is, contrary to common belief, and the mechanistic models wherein basic biology the mechanistic model is where the body is just a bunch of chemicals and if you have a disease you just take a drug, and that’s basically the way it works.
They were kind of advocating for more of what they call a vitalist model where there’s some energy, although we didn’t quite know what it was for a lot of history, and that this energy is what we really are and is really relevant and important for life.
Abel: That point of this as it relates to spirituality was they both, in these books, spoke about the ability to measure an aura around the body or electromagnetic field essentially, and that they theorized even that, for example, the idea that someone would be able to communicate telepathically with someone else wouldn’t necessarily be impossible based on this understanding of how subtle perturbations in the electromagnetic field of the world could potentially be sensed by a very sensitive system.
Now, it hasn’t been proven or even deeply studied, but that was something that fascinated me and got me interested in maybe all the discussion of God and Christianity and Buddhism and Hinduism that is actually something that’s based on some serious deeper knowledge, and so that kind of got me super interested in all that.
And when you start to look at Eastern and Western ways of thinking, it’s like, well, what is the body?
What is the energy running through it?
You can call it all sorts of different words—chi, mana, prana, electricity, light.
But when you die, I heard you say in your talk, your body is still there, but the light kind of goes away, the energy goes away.
Abel: And I think it’s important that people start to think more that way because at least for me, it helps me think in a more holistic way about health where you can’t have a magic solution, and you can’t have this binary system where it’s yes or no.
It’s much more about integrating all of these different systems, so the energy can flow effectively and getting out of your own way.
And the modern world is, in so many ways from light to diet to pollutants and everything else living indoors especially working indoors, this is all robbing us from our natural rights and our natural energy or natural health.
The natural flow of energy that comes from the world or the Earth or wherever and then flows through you, that’s being disrupted.
Light is one of the ways that it’s happening, but it’s happening all over the place.
What are some of the other weird things that you do that other people might not do in your own lifestyle to mitigate some of those risks?
There are a lot of things. Before we get into that, I want to mention something.
You brought up mitochondria, and I’d like to kinda just dive into that a little bit more.
Abel: Yeah, please.
So, I was super fascinated again when I started learning about mitochondria from Dr. Jack Kruse.
He introduced me to the work of this guy Dr. Douglas Wallace out of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and another guy named Nick Lane out of the University College of London, and so both of them tied together really nicely.
Nick Lane is studying how life originated, and he sort of has some of the leading theories on that.
And he basically, between all the available options, he’s come to believe fairly strongly that life began in these alkaline hydrothermal vents they’re called at the bottom of the ocean where there’s basically this constant meeting of this alkaline fluid that’s alkaline because it’s basically mixed with certain particles and elements and molecules from within the earth, and then the ocean water, which would be relatively acidic.
And when you have alkaline something and something that’s acidic meeting, there’s just a gradient essentially in the amount of protons and that ultimately is potential energy because they want to equalize, so there’s a potential energy there.
So, in these vents… because there’s millions or billions of tiny little pores, there’s all these little areas, based on again his theorizing and then researching and experimenting on benchtop reactors in the lab where these alkaline and acidic fluids could be meeting and there’s basically potential energy there where they meet, and what that energy was doing was ultimately, again according to their research, causing the first reaction of organic molecules.
So, carbon and hydrogen started to actually be reacted together to make things like methane, just like the first organic molecules, which again based on their mathematics and the physics and what not, these started to actually form into structures that eventually became primitive cells that were dependent on this gradient and events, but eventually sort of you could say “innovated systems” to be able to actually leave the vents and go on to take the energy…
In a way we could say that that energy from that gradient that was initially in the vent was like a spark that started a reaction that was able to go out and basically go on to continue to catalyze more reactions.
So, like I mentioned earlier, life is just catalyzing reactions.
Really all that life is doing, at least based on the chemistry and the physics of it, we are taking molecules that have a potential energy gradient between them and reacting them together.
And then as long as that reaction releases more energy than it took to make it happen in the first place, we can continue to cycle.
So obviously, at a much higher level, humans, we use hydrogen that we consume from food and we react it with oxygen that we breathe from the air, and that energy gradient allows us to release a lot more than it took to take it in, essentially, and that’s how we’re able to continue to power our life.
And sunlight assists that process significantly. That’s why it’s so significant for our health.
But when it comes to mitochondria, the reason they’re so important is because… I know you know this, but a lot of people might not.
The mitochondria used to be its own bacteria that sort of made a treaty with another type of organism where all the organisms before this would be taking care of their genetic production and maintenance, their scavenging for nutrients, energy production, all of it was kind of done by a single cell.
In this case, basically the deal was, the mitochondria who are very efficient at energy production are going to focus just on energy production and then the host cell, which is a different type of bacteria, is going to focus on structure, and function, and whatnot.
And because of this merger, this new cell was now able to have hundreds of these energy-producing mitochondria and house all of their genomes, that they each would have had to separately maintain, individually, which takes the majority of their energy.
They can house it all in one common repository, which we call the nucleus.
And that energy savings by doing that is extremely substantial.
And so the mitochondria became able to specialize, just like someone in a company was specialized just on accounting or just on this… Just on energy production and the host cell handles the rest.
And so really, the amount of energy that was freed up by that, allowed all of complex life to occur and again, I’m sure you know these things, but a lot of people wouldn’t.
Plants, animals, fungus anything that we can actually see, it’s a big organism, is complex life, and that was all powered by this super colony of cells because they made this treaty.
So anyway, the point is that, we still need energy just as much as we did when we were bacteria and the mitochondria make that happen.
And if the mitochondria stopped working for any reason, people are familiar with cyanide, the poison, that makes the mitochondria stop working immediately, so we’ll die and if the mitochondria don’t stop working entirely, but there’s any reduction in their function, this is where this guy, Dr. Douglas Wallace comes in.
He’s been studying mitochondria for decades, and while his colleagues were trying to look into nuclear genes for all the modern diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, he was looking at the mitochondrial genes where he started researching in the ’60s.
And as they failed to find the causes of these diseases in the nuclear genes, he was seeing that, you know what?
In all of these diseases, there’s issues with energy and energy production, in particular, mitochondrial damages accruing in these tissues.
Like in the brain, Alzheimer’s disease, there’s mitochondrial damage going on in the brain and heart disease, two of the most energy-demanding tissues are the two places we see some of the most disease today.
Heart disease and Alzheimer’s are some of the biggest killers.Heart disease and Alzheimer's are some of the biggest killers. @thelightdiet Click To Tweet
So when I learned about this, I was just like, “Whoa, this is really fascinating, this energy-focused paradigm.”
And so he is really shifting Western medicine.
The only issue with Dr. Wallace’s work is that they’re still looking for drug solutions, they’re not really…
That’s why I like Dr. Kruse, because he comes in and says, “You know what? There’s all of this research about how light impacts the mitochondria, maybe this is the missing link.”
And so, that’s what leads to ultimately what do I do, because that’s what I learned is some things that can actually improve the mitochondrial function.
But I’m curious, what do you think of all that?
Abel: Well, it’s interesting when you look around and some people seem to not really be aging or defying aging, and everyone’s just like, “Oh, they’ve got great genetics.”
And then other people are falling apart pretty quickly, and even younger.
You had your health struggles quite young, and I did as well. It seems like no one is immune, at this point.
But one way to think of aging or aging that way is a loss of function, and it makes a lot of sense that that would start in the mitochondria and some of the ways that you view yourself are by just focusing on that.
And I’ve had Terry Wahls on my podcast many times. That’s been a focus of her work.
Mark Sisson has been talking about that for a long time. Many people have to talk about this.
But it can be difficult to think about the mitochondria, because these tiny little things, do they really matter that much?
How do we really target and focus on them?
But there are many ways to do it, and the good news is that we’re doing a lot of these things already, but you have to do it as a whole lifestyle choice, and you can’t really do it half way, don’t you think?
That’s the way that I see it, anyway.
Looking around the people who are defying aging or reversing MS, for example.These people aren’t messing around.
Yeah, it takes… It’s definitely, at least it seems to me, that if we’re living in the modern world, in particular, it’s sort of like an uphill battle.
Once you get sick, it can be a bit of a challenge.
Again, unless you literally do what like Daniel Vitalis does, going out literally just being in the wild.
I think Tristan Haggard, he moved to Ecuador. People like these who are literally in nature.
Then it’s less of an uphill battle, I think, but for anyone who’s really…
Abel: It’s worth saying that that’s a luxury. Even if it doesn’t supposedly cost money, I think it’s worth thinking of it that way.
You really need to set that up.
Yes. Exactly. You really have to make it work and sacrifice a lot of the conveniences of today. Totally. So I’m with you on that end.
But ultimately, it’s good to recognize that that is a construct of our modern world.
Like the people you’re referring to are just ridiculously healthy from a young age or for their whole life, into their old age.
These are a lot of the times, people living, for example, in the Mediterranean, they’re just in the ocean a lot or they’re just by the sea.
Jeanne Calment, the oldest woman ever.
She just was with her family and her loved ones, and she smoked cigarettes and drank till she was 110, but still was the oldest woman ever to live.
So, it’s very interesting.
One thing that when you bring up aging, Dr. Wallace specifically describes how he believes that the reason we age is, because every decade, there’s an increase in mitochondrial heteroplasmy, which is what they use…
The term they used for, basically the mutation of the mitochondrial genes and it’s essentially synonym for how well or not well the mitochondria can generate energy.
And again, based on the sort of more forward thinking work of someone like Dr. Kruse, it is possible to reduce that but only to a certain extent, and to keep it at bay.
It’s not necessarily possible to reverse it super significantly, but you could do a lot of things to affect it.
For example, like you or me, either we came into the world with damaged mitochondria from our mothers, because we inherit that mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondria from our moms.
So, I’m pretty confident that that was part of the reason I started struggling with issues from such a young age.
I can look at my mom and see where she is now, she’s had cancer, autoimmune diseases, two autoimmune diseases.
So clearly, she has all these mitochondrial diseases, so clearly, she has that disruption and it’s almost like it’s being accelerated generationally, in my case.
Abel: Like Pottenger’s cats, yeah.
Abel: There’s research that says that happens.
The Light Diet
I’m not going to be passing my mitochondria on because I’m a man, only women do, that’s why they’re the ones who birth the baby.
And that’s why there are two separate sexes, which is another fascinating concept.
Purely, the reason there are two sexes is because we needed one sex to exclusively manage the passing on of the energetic process of life.
Otherwise, we could all just be the same sex and just mix our genome and it’d be fine.
But specifically, there needs to be one that was passing on the energetic side of things, and the mitochondria are the reason for sex, basically.
It’s really fascinating. I love all this kind of high level of conversation, but obviously people want to know.
So what can you actually do?
And that was the fascinating stuff that I now call The Light Diet—that’s going to be the name of the podcast I’m working on.
Because it’s a lot more than a food diet, it’s a diet of our light environment and exposure.
So really, it was as simple as resetting the circadian rhythm and getting outside more to really put it down.
But when it gets to the details in the modern life, you need a little more nuance than that.
And so really, it’s like go out in the morning, setting an alarm if you have to in the beginning, to watch the sunrise as consistently as possible, or at least be out in the morning light for between 15 minutes minimum.
I’d say like an hour or two is great, the more you can do the better.
And then in the evening, the other side of the coin or the other side of the equation, just letting the sun go down and then putting on blue light-blocking glasses, or just not using a bunch of bright lights around the house at night to let the brain know it’s night time.
Abel: Yeah, yeah. And you brought up the sea or the idea of living in the Mediterranean, all of that.
And when you think of what that would encompass, you’d be walking barefoot mostly on the beach grounding.
You’re getting sunlight presumably because the beach is so awesome and you’re getting out there and soaking up the race.
You’re being exposed to cold from the air as well as when you get into, especially if it’s the ocean, when you get in there.
I mean, I grew up in New Hampshire and that was cold water even in the summer.
And so each one of those things or what supposedly a lot of bio-hackers do with all this high tech equipment or whatever, or you could just live by the beach and hang out like those surfers in California.
Yeah, we have them.
Abel: Who also live through 110 and they may be smoking and boozing the whole time.
But there’s something to be said for that, because I think a lot of people are rewarded for the traditional idea of type A success, where you just keep going and you keep going. But you die of a heart attack if you’re overstressed, you die young, it’s bad for you.
It’s the idea that maybe the French or the Italians or European cultures built it in, with pleasures like wine and really enjoying your meals and social connections.
Things that are being taken away from us by the way, that we need to fight for now.
But these things keep us alive.
And it’s just one more way of saying you can bio-hack your way to this or you can do just kind of the laid back way that people used to, and you don’t have to be overly obsessive about tracking or quantifying everything, but you can still build these things into your life.
Yeah. I mean, look, I’m a sleep guy, but my hands are clean.
So, it’s not that I’m opposed to the use of things like the Oura Ring.
Abel: Is that because of bluetooth? I want to ask you about that, too.
Yeah. They actually have an airplane mode feature on their devices, so there you go.
It’s not something I would recommend against if someone wants to track.
But personally, it’s not something that I feel is completely necessary.
Again, the point is to your question, yes, you can turn around airplane mode apparently and keep it off until you put it back on the thing then it’ll turn back on, and then you just have to turn it off again.
Most people don’t know that, which I think is a bit disappointing, but isn’t sort of built in and prioritized.
But I kind of get why, because they’re trying to hit a mass market and most people aren’t concerned about that.
I’m really glad you brought that up though, the EMF side of the equation, because when we’re talking about this European lifestyle and this and that, where if you try to live an outdoor lifestyle and you do this stuff and you eat healthy.
Okay, there’s actually other things, there’s the chemicals and pollution in the air, there’s actually quite a few.
But you can do your best to avoid a lot of these.
And I believe, truly based on what I’ve learned from this mitochondria perspective, we can actually detox a lot of pollution, a lot of things that aren’t optimal for us.
It’s not necessarily easy or ideal and it’s not, that it’s not affecting us in taxing our system beit is, but we have systems to detox these things.
Whereas EMF, which is electromagnetic field, which isn’t a toxin in the sense of a chemical that comes into our body like chemicals in food or GMOs or pollutants again, it is something that alters the physics of ourselves essentially.
The Dangers of EMF’s
It alters the voltage-gated calcium channels. And our body doesn’t even know it’s there, it just responds to it.
So that’s something that as far as I know, I don’t believe we can develop or at present, we don’t have any protective mechanisms to it.
I’m sure people are developing, for example, a lot of people have developed electro hypersensitivity which you could argue is a protective mechanism.
Because their body’s telling them like, “Get out. Get out of here.”
But beyond those few, it is something that you could try to do everything right, but if you live in a high rise in any major city today or any major city today, really, where they’re rolling out 5G technology, which we could do a whole podcast just about the EMF, because I can talk all day, and it’s funny.
I’m very knowledgeable on light, but the EMF whole history, it’s like…
Abel: It’s related.
It’s totally related. Do you mind if I give the brief background, do we have some time?
Abel: Please do. I love talking about EMFs. Yeah.
Yeah. So, basically there’s a book I recommend everyone read called Going Somewhere: Truth About A Life In Science by a guy named Andrew Marino.
The guy I mentioned earlier, Becker, Dr. Robert O. Becker, who sort of documented, The Body Electric that was the name of his main book, and this electrical system in the body.
And basically he was a guy to prove and discover that our bones regenerate definitively using electricity and semi-conduction in particular.
His protege, his student Andrew Marino, a couple of decades younger than him, began studying in his lab during, even though he was studying physics ended up studying and doing his work in his PhD in a biophysics lab.
So, he was actually looking more at biology at the physics of the regeneration in these organisms, and Marino when Becker had documented all these systems, Marino didn’t really know what to do, and he didn’t get a lot of guidance.
But basically he ended up studying how could these new high voltage transmission lines that they’re starting to build, for example, to bring electric power from this hydroelectric dam in Quebec to New York City, that was one of the first high voltage lines that was built.
And they were using this eminent domain laws or something to put the line directly over people’s property in the shortest path it could travel.
And there were people starting to sue the companies and saying, “My cow’s milking patterns are irregular. I was on top of my barn and the line was going over it, and even though it wasn’t touching at all.”
The guy touched the top of his metal barn and got thrown off on his ladder, because there’s so much electricity in the air, he got shocked and injured.
And so, people were starting to sue the company, and based on Marino’s research, there was surely an effect from these high voltage transmission lines, the fields that they put off, even though the standard at the time (and believe it or not still the standard today) is that there’s different types of radiation.
There is what they call ionizing, non-ionizing, and in the middle is the visible light spectrum.
So ionizing radiation is radiation, electromagnetic light, and whatnot.
Some we can see and some we can’t, that directly breaks apart DNA and breaks apart molecules, and that’s like x-rays, gamma rays, things that come from Chernobyl, right?
That’s ionizing radiation, and that’ll kill you quickly. No one can deny that.
But non-ionizing radiation, like most of the visible light spectrum, and then radio waves, microwaves, and low level electric and magnetic fields, which are emitted by these power lines they can’t directly…
They don’t ionize and break apart our molecules in our cells.
So basically the industry was able to say, because these don’t directly break apart molecules and cells and stuff as far as they believe then, there’s research that they actually can at the levels we’re using them today, but they were able to say, unless it’s hot enough where it’s actually heating your tissue, which would be called a thermal effect, like thermal mean heating obviously, it couldn’t have an effect.
That was their stance. It couldn’t affect the body, and that still is the official stance today. If your phone…
Abel: You can’t prove that. That’s impossible to prove. You know what I mean?
In order to prove that you need to have people sitting in front of these wires for 100 years, you need thousands of them, and you need to be sitting them in an unbiased way.
So trying to prove that something doesn’t hurt you is almost impossible.
And they’re… I think that that’s disingenuous, when that stuff is out there. You know what I mean?
It’s terrifying how they did this. I’m giving a lot of detail, but basically, the way to sum it up was that Marino went to court.
He had done tons of research to show that this was harmful, right?
And every court case, even though there were some where they got an initial favorable ruling due to the higher ups, the powers that be…
They ended up losing these court cases, because the industry, the power industry at the time (because cell phones didn’t exist yet) would basically hire any lawyer who needed extra money, and then pay him the equivalent of thousands of dollars an hour in today’s money back in the ’60s and 70s, and they would end up doing science, cherry picking the data to find with the power company wanted.
And back then there was this legal standard that said that scientific evidence can only be admitted into a court of law if it’s generally accepted by the scientific community.
So that’s basically saying that if people agree on something, it’s true, because they agree on it, not because of the science or the proof or anything just because if it’s not generally accepted, then we wouldn’t admit it into court…
Which is complete BS, because usually there’s one person who does ground-breaking research, and everyone thinks they’re cooky until eventually they realize they’re right, alright.
So, that was the standard, and that’s why they lost.
But the standard was changed with a non-EMF related lawsuit related to a woman who had birth defects for a morning sickness drug she was taking.
This was in the 90s, the Supreme Court actually changed that standard with Marino’s guidance, because the lawyers went to him because he was the one fighting the most corporations on the specific science legal combination there.
Anyway, so the actual application though didn’t change at all.
There is a company, organization, called ICNIRP. It’s the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, entirely funded just to be clear by the electric power companies and then the telecom companies.
And the ICNIRP, it’s shortened for sets the standards for what safe, and all governments, and UN, and the World Health Organization follow these standards.
And they say that again, like I said earlier, if it’s not enough like a microwave to cook your tissues, then it doesn’t have any biologic effects.
Even though in the last 40 years, there have been 4000, 4000 peer-reviewed studies not funded by the industry that have shown all kinds of effects from EMF that is are non-thermal effects like cataract generation, cancer, the effects on the calcium, metabolism in the body, it’s crazy.
And so, even just a few more little things just to get people riled up is that there was a guy named Tom Wheeler who’s the head man of the telecommunications lobbying group called the CTIA, that basically represents all the companies in Congress.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, whatever.
And he was working with a guy named George Carlo, a scientist who they hired to do studies because a woman sued because she got brain cancer, and she sued Motorola.
And he conducted studies and basically in the beginning, had fudged the data, he worked with them on this.
But eventually he literally came out and said, “What we’re doing, what they’re doing is wrong. Like this is horrible.”
And apparently he had his house burned down and he was completely discredited.
People can look this guy up, George Carlo on YouTube.
So anyway, that kind of went away. They were able to cover that up enough.
And then Tom Wheeler after about 10 plus years working with the telecom industry, Obama appointed him to be the Chief Regulator in the FCC, which is the regulatory body supposed to regulate.
This is the head lobbyist for the industry supposed to regulate. He used his power without any scientific research at all, not a…
Even when a congressman investigated them on this just a few months ago, they literally admitted that not a single dollar was spent on any research to find if 5G technology was safe.
But he used his power as Chairman of the FCC to open up the frontiers for the use of 5G bandwidths, which are much higher and potentially much more damaging based on the evidence.
And now, of course, he went out after he did his deeds. He’s filthy rich.
And now we have Ajit Pai, who’s the head of the FCC, who’s a Verizon lawyer.
So, and Trump’s kind of not aware of what’s going on, it seems.
Or maybe he is, but it’s a nightmare dude. And they’re rolling out 5G and there’s no studying on whether it’s safe and there’s tons of evidence that it’s damaging.
So, it’s very terrifying and that’s something that I think people should be aware of.
Abel: Well, we don’t get to vote for that. I would vote against that every single time.
I would vote against so many things that are put in our water, in the air.
We’re being attacked from pretty much all directions.
And even 10, 15 years ago, it’s not like we needed 5G or 4G or 3G.
We had cell phones that were giving us cancer back then, too.
And I’ve literally had people on my show, doctors on this show, who have gotten brain cancer.
Abel: From using their phones too much, and have written books about it. And this information is out there, but it’s covered up.
You really have to look for it, but mostly you have to pay attention to your own life and try to protect yourself.
One of the reasons, and this surprises a lot of people, one of the reasons we left Austin, Texas, one of our favorite cities in the world where I lived for almost 10 years was because of all of the WiFi just in downtown where I was living was…
Jeez, I think I did the drop-down list and there were hundreds of WiFi networks.
And not to mention the Bluetooth and all of the towers that they’re putting in and all the traffic and all the sounds and I’m someone who’s really sensitive to sound and light and especially growing up in the middle of nowhere, and appreciate the value of that and the space it creates in your own mind and spirit and psyche.
And you don’t realize, to your point, that it’s being taken away from you when you’re in that over…
My problem was, I started tracking sleeping, ’cause I knew my sleep was really bad in Austin.
And you can tell. Like, if I’m sleeping in a place that’s full of WiFi, I don’t sleep as well.
If I’m sleeping in a place that’s way out in the woods, I do, and it’s completely different, trackable, quantifiable and I think people would be surprised by how much that’s true for everyone out there, not just the highly sensitive folks like us.
Yeah, of course, I am totally with you. So I think it’s definitely something.
In addition to working to reset the circadian rhythm, getting as much time outdoors as possible, not wearing sunglasses and contacts, we didn’t really mention that.
But those too distort the spectrum, they reduced the…
Abel: People who can’t see, you’re not wearing anything over your eyes and you’ve been outside this whole interview.
Yeah, yeah, it’s just ridiculous to say the least.
Based on what we’ve spoken about people that understand, the sun has huge benefits.
And wearing sunglasses, there’s almost no context in which they would be advisable.
And even if they were, it would be best to use one that equally reduces the whole spectrum, just reduces the overall light intensity.
These are like gray lens sunglasses, and they’re not very commonly used because all of them, they want them to block all the ultraviolet so…
And that just distorts the spectrum, reduces the benefits we’re getting from UV.
And something else is that, when we get too much sun in the summer on a sunny day, I realized this because I was in Mexico over the winter a lot.
Everyone’s wearing their sunglasses on the beach and just cooking out and I’m like, “Huh, wait, I have a good tan and even now, I’m feeling like this is too much sun.”
I’m thinking, “Why is it that these people are still able to stay out?”
And I look at them all and I’m like, “Oh my eyes are open without sunglasses and my body is getting the natural stress signal.”
Okay, the light’s really bright, that’s enough.
Come 11am or 12pm or 1pm in the afternoon, all these folks are just out there roasting themselves. And I’m thinking, this is how they cause skin cancer because they’re literally able to completely turn off their bodies protective mechanism.
Abel: I didn’t even think about that, but that’s an interesting take.
I realized it, is well known, it’s obvious, it’s just 101 that when you get too much light, your eyes will be getting a bit of a stress signal, you’ll get a little overwhelmed.
Although the thing to keep in mind is a lot of people say, “Oh I squint when I’m out in the summer, I can’t handle the light.”
And that was me too, until I started building up my healthy exposure to light starting in the early morning with the less strong intense sun, which is what I recommend people get out in.
I don’t advocate for people to go bathe in the mid-day sun ’cause it’s much more potentially damaging, unless you do really short intervals.
So, it’s just a really interesting thing to realize. But we could go on the whole tangent.
I don’t think we have the time necessarily.
But just to sum that side of things up, there’s good research to show that people who work indoors have much higher rates of skin cancer than people who work outdoors.
And since we’ve moved to the indoor lifestyle, back 100 years ago or more, most people used to work outdoors, 100 plus years ago.
Now it’s most people working indoors and skin cancer rates, cataracts, and macular degeneration, the things they say the sun causes, are all exploding.
So until they can explain that it doesn’t make sense.
The real explanation is that, you’re not getting sun and the body is not building up it’s natural protective systems.
Because the sun can be damaging. Obviously, like you said, if you get too much at the middle of the day, too much ultraviolet.
But if you are indoors all the time and then you go to Jamaica for your winter break, and then you fry yourself every day, sure, you’re going to cause a lot of damage.
Abel: Yeah, yeah.
Abel: You need to keep it all in balance. It’s a lot to keep track of, but it’s so worth it, it really is.
Yeah. It’s really important stuff. And I think the ultimate thing that really was valuable for me.
We didn’t really touch too much on my own background and story but when I had tried different diets and whatnot, to heal myself, I had actually some great benefits from the Paleo diet, cutting out all of these refined processed foods.
But, I sort of hit a bit of a blockade, that I couldn’t advance beyond with certain symptoms I was having, in my gut and my allergies and whatnot.
And when I learned about this, the mitochondria, the light, how there was this whole other universe, beyond just the diet and exercise, it opened my eyes.
And the analogy that I like to make is that our body is like a car and our mitochondria are like the car’s engine.
If you had an engine in a car, where the spark plugs were old and worn out…
The ignition system of the engine was old and worn out, and not taken care of, and you put premium gas into the engine, you are going to probably still have…
For example, mis-firing, the car won’t accelerate properly, or it might just not even start at all.
And that’s, again, that’s even if you’re putting in a clean diet, or premium gas in that case.
Even if you put in fuel additives, which would be the equivalent maybe to our body of vitamins and supplements, that still isn’t going to fix the engine, right?
You have to go in and actually fix the spark plugs and fix the ignition system and so in our body, it’s the same thing like we have these issues that are mitochondrial issues in our engine based on the research now.
And good diet is going to definitely improve a lot of things throughout the body and not also make the problem worse let’s say, but to fix a lot of these issues, we need to fix the ignition system in our engine, which are not controlled by the food we’re taking in, but actually by the light.
We have to fix the structure of the engine, not necessarily the fuel going in.
And it can help to a certain extent, but if you’re eating refined crap all day, refined sugar, flour, all that stuff, then you’re going to clog the engine up.
But we need light essentially to heal the engines and optimize them.
So that’s why this became such a thing that I felt people need to know about.
And I’m actually shocked more people aren’t talking about it right now, but I guess it works out for me.
Abel: Yeah, well, it’s hard to talk about things that you don’t necessarily know about or specialize in.
And in today’s world, as you know, especially bumping shoulders and elbows with a lot of other people in the health community up top.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are only there if they have skin in the game, you know what I mean?
If they have a lot of money to make or a lot of power to get or something like that and we need a lot of people who are there for the passion, and because they believe that this is the answer that can actually help save the people who are left to be saved in this crazy world that we’re up against.
Because the profiteers and the people who are just out there for power, I’m not sure that they’re going to be lasting a whole lot longer in this future that we’re up against, because the stakes are just are too high.
But anyway, Matt, I really appreciate your work and what you’re doing.
I understand you have a podcast coming up, of course, you have these wonderful glasses and I will say I really like RA Optics.
All the different frames that my wife and I have tried, you guys are doing a great job.
So tell folks what you’re working on, where they can find you, Matt.
Yeah, thank you so much.
Where to Find Matt Maruca
So with RA Optics, my mission in general, personally and with the business, is to really just educate people and to try to make people aware of the risks of what I call the modern indoor technology-based lifestyle that’s deficient in sunlight.
And so that’s really the goal.
And then the glasses, I started the business just because I was wearing the blue blockers for a long time.
And I think you probably know the Uvex, the really, the cheap safety goggles from Amazon.
I was using those for a good while and they benefited me a lot, but I was going to parties in high school, for example, like hanging out with friends and girls or whatever, and I was wearing these totally wonky goggles.
And it’s kind of like a little bit of a statement, but I wanted to just have something that looked like a normal pair of glasses.
It already has a colored lens anyway, which isn’t that usual.
So it’s like, at least let’s make the frames look normal, and attractive.
My goal was to combine the right lenses that blocked the right wave lengths and have all the most desirable features.
And we’re always looking here, we’re always working to improve them. We have some really, really cool kind of upgrades coming out in the next few months and whatnot, and so that’ll be really fun.
So yeah, that’s RA Optics, that’s just RAOptics.com.
And then personally, for The Light Diet podcast, as well. My Instagram is @thelightdiet. So if anyone wants to just check that out.
I don’t really post a lot there right now but once the podcast begins we’ll start getting updates there.
So yeah, that’s pretty much it.
There’s a lot of podcasts I’ve done with Ben Greenfield and whatnot, that maybe go even deeper in certain areas.
But here today I think we really covered a lot of really great ground for people to have a good intro.
So yeah, I really appreciate it. I appreciate what you’re doing, too.
You’re one of the first people who I saw when I first was looking into Paleo, this was like 2015, 2016.
And it’s just funny that we’re doing a podcast now, it’s pretty cool.
Abel: Life is surreal like that. Well, if you do good work, eventually we’ll run into each other. That’s my hope, anyway.
So, I’m glad that we have and hopefully we’ll get to hang out in person.
Abel: When we’re allowed out of our houses again.
Yeah, right. When house arrest is over.
Abel: Yeah. Alright man, thank you so much.
Before You Go…
Here’s a note that came in from Jenny. She says…
Hi Abel and Alyson
I lost you for a while as my focus shifted and lots of life and work pressures mounted.
So glad to have you guys back in my life.
You both ooze positivity and health. Will look to join the coffee club soon.
Lots of love and Kindness
Thank you for this sweet note, Jenny.
And I’ll have you know, you spelled Alyson‘s name correctly. That’s bonus points. I’d say 9 out of 10 people spell that wrong.
I know that she really appreciated that, because we write these together and we always appreciate hearing from you.
We do our best to keep this positive. Not that we’re positive 100% of the time—that’s impossible and ridiculous—but we do the best we can to have some optimism around the world of health and find some path forward that’s not completely dystopian.
Because we can do it. We just have to build our way out of this one.
So the Coffee Club, you brought that up. It’s going well. I’ve started up group coaching on a number of different platforms, including some one-on-one virtual coaching with folks.
And the Coffee Club is kind of the easiest way to get in there—it’s only $3 bucks a month. It helps keep me caffeinated. So, cheers to you.
And also, we can all kind of get to know each other in our group community.
So there are many ways to do that, but if you’d like to check it all out, please sign up for a newsletter, and I’ll send you meal plans and some freebies.
You can also, if you want to check out the Coffee Club directly, look up Abel James on Patreon. We’ve got a Patreon channel there, which hooks into our Wild Guild chat community.
You can also join the Fat-Burning Tribe, if you’re looking for more ways to get support, and also get to know us a little better.
Because I think the way we’re going to get through this is by banding together as people and communities, open sourcing some of our knowledge and experience and resources, and that way we can help simplify this process a little bit.
Because once you know what to do and you’re willing to put it into action, you have that discipline, the resources around you, you can be healthy.
We have to stick out and be weird, but you can do it.
Matt is one of the weird ones here today, I’m happy to be talking to him. I hope you enjoyed this one.
And one more quick thing, if you are in the United States and you’re interested in the best supplementation out there, please visit WildSuperfoods.com.
This is our project. It’s going really well.
We have Collagen Cocoa, which is an extremely good tasting grass-fed collagen, which can be mixed in water and enjoyed as hot chocolate or cold chocolate cocoa.
Fun side note: Alyson actually did all our Wild Superfoods product photography as well as website design over at WildSuperfoods.com.
We work with our all time favorite GMP Compliant supplement manufacturer to source the highest quality nutraceuticals and nutrients.
Our products are lab-tested for purity and potency and formulated according to cutting-edge developments in research, science, and medicine. And I can’t wait to hear how you like them.
Please check that out over at WildSuperfoods.com.
What did you think of this interview with Matt Maruca? Drop a comment below!