Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick

Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, PhD has worked alongside notables including Dr. Bruce Ames, the inventor of the Ames mutagenicity test and the 23rd most-cited scientist across *all* fields between 1973 and 1984.

Dr. Patrick also conducts clinical trials, performed aging research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and did graduate research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she focused on cancer, mitochondrial metabolism, and apoptosis.

More recently, Dr. Patrick has published papers on a mechanism by which vitamin D is able to regulate the production of serotonin in the brain and the various implications this may have for early-life deficiency and relevance for neuropsychiatric disorders.


Dr. Patrick introduced me to using teeth for stem-cell banking. If you are having your wisdom teeth removed, or if your kids are losing their baby teeth (which have a particularly high concentration of dental pulp stem cells), consider using a company like StemSave or National Dental Pulp Laboratory to preserve them for later use. These companies will send your oral surgeon a kit, and then freeze the biological matter using liquid nitrogen. Costs vary, but are roughly $625 for setup and then $125 per year for storage and maintenance.

Mesenchymal stem cells can later be harvested from the dental pulp of teeth for useful (e.g., bone, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels, etc.), life-changing (e.g., motor neurons for repairing damaged spinal cord), or potentially life-saving (e.g., traumatic brain injury) treatment using your own biological raw materials.


“Hyperthermic Conditioning” (calculated heat exposure) can help you to increase growth hormone (GH) levels and substantially improve endurance. I now take ~20 minute sauna sessions post-workout or post-stretching at least four times per week, typically at rought 160 to 150 *F (71-76*C). If nothing else, it seems to dramatically decrease DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness).

Focusing on endurance and growth hormone, here are some observations from Dr. Patrick:

  • “One study has demonstrated that a 30-minute sauna session twice a week for 3 weeks post-workout increased the time it took for study participants to run until exhaustion by 32% compared to baseline. That 32% increase in running endurance found in this particular study was accompanied by a 7.1% increase in plasma volume and 3.5% increase in red blood cell count.”


  • “Two 20-minute sauna sessions at 176*F (80*C) separated by 30-minute cooling period elevated growth hormone levels two-fold over baseline. Whereas, two 15-minute dry-heat sessions at 212*F (100*C) separated by a 30-minute cooling period resulted in a five-fold increase in growth hormone… The growth hormone effects generally persist for a couple of hours post-sauna.”


TF: Hot baths can also significantly increase GH over baseline, and both sauna and hot baths have been shown to cause a massive release in prolactin, which plays a role in wound healing. I usually stay in a hot bath or sauna for about 20 minutes, which is long enough to significantly elevate my heart rate. I push a few minutes past dynorphin release, which usually makes one feel dysphoric and want to get out (but *not* to dizziness or lightheadedness).

Generally, I’ll listen to an audiobook like The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman during the heat, then cool off for 5 to 10 minutes using an ice bath (I put 40 pounds of ice in a large bath to get it to roughly 45*F (7*C); and/or by drinking ice water. I’ll repeat this cycle to 2 to 4 times.

  • Three people Dr. Patrick has learned from or followed closely in the last year

Dr. Bruce Ames, Dr. Satchin Panda (professor at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California), Dr. Jennifer Doudna (professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley).

ALSO READ: Amelia Boone

Credits: Tim Ferris

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