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By: Stephan Spencer

Introduction

Stephan Spencer
“Our intuition about our body is very powerful, except we don’t tune in to it often. One way to improve this is by testing.”
Barton Scott

Do you have questions about sleep, gut health, mental health, chronic fatigue, or hormones and metabolism? If so, you’re in luck, because this episode I bet will answer a lot of them!

Barton Scott is a biochemist and founder of Upgraded Formulas. Barton developed a test that identifies your deficiencies and shows what your body needs using your hair. Blood and urine typically indicate a short-term result, while hair is the best identifier of tissue mineral status and heavy metal toxicity. This important data provides metrics crucial to understanding your baseline health.

Barton is passionate about helping people address the stressors of daily life—poor sleep, hormone issues, low energy, the toxicity of the modern world, the extreme lack of nutrients in our food and soil, and the nutrient absorption issues that we all face.

In this episode, Barton shares his amazing story of how he came to start Upgraded Formulas. He also talks about how he discovered that particle size is important for the supplements you take, why minerals are important in the body, and why you need to prioritize hair testing when you want to optimize your health. In addition, Barton explains the implications of a high level of zinc in the body, megadosing vitamin C, and magnesium supplements. Lastly, he shares the advantages of keeping a dream journal and lucid dreams.

And now, on with the show!

In this Episode

  • [00:28]A biochemist and founder of Upgraded Formulas, Barton Scott, joined Stephan to tackle his passion for helping people address sleep issues, gut health, mental health issues, chronic fatigue, and hormonal imbalances.
  • [02:19]Barton narrates how he turned into a supplement company founder and some of the key insights he came to realize in that process.
  • [07:56]As Barton explains the importance of particle size in supplements, Stephan initiates a discussion about hair testing with him.
  • [12:42]When it comes to checking an individual’s mineral levels, how important is it to do so?
  • [21:46]Stephan mentions a fun fact about strawberries he watched from a YouTube video and shares a tip on how his wife, Orion, cleans the strawberries they bought.
  • [23:56]What is Barton’s goal, and how do nutritionists in Upgraded Formula communicate with patients after a hair test?
  • [26:38]Among the essential minerals and elements, Stephan wants to know what Barton can tell him from a diet perspective. To improve our intuition, Barton emphasizes the phrase, Test, Don’t Guess.
  • [28:42]Are there any side effects of megadosing vitamin C, as well as indications of mineral deficiency that may be associated with brain fog?
  • [34:28]Barton discusses the process by which their magnesium supplements become optimal.
  • [44:06]Stephan asks Barton about his epiphany in a lucid dream and whether he keeps a dream journal.
  • [47:28]Interested in learning more about Upgraded Formulas and purchasing their supplements? Visit upgradedformulas.com and use the code: OPTIMIZED to save 15%. Also, check out Barton’s Instagram account, @askbarton.

Jump to Links and Resources

Barton, it’s so great to have you on the show.

Thank you, Stephan. It’s great to be here. I’m glad we had time to make this happen.

We chatted briefly at the Biohacking Conference. I’d love to just maybe start this episode with your origin story, how you ended up running a supplement company when you probably have many different options in front of you of where you could take your life, and you ended up here. How did this all come about?

It’s a really interesting story. I had always been interested in nutrition, but I was forced into this area because my mom started to get sick. I was close with my parents. They had me later in life. Kudos to them. They really did a great job. They had my sisters and then had me.

I say that because we were really close and it’s almost like losing a best friend and a parent at the same time. That really scared me, more so than dying, even myself. I was always interested in optimization, too, but I started to have some really (at first) frustrating, and then debilitating, and then just scary levels of my brain not really working.

I’m done through chemical engineering. I was finishing the last part of it, and I just couldn’t really believe that I was feeling this way, and still eating a good diet. I was young and it just didn’t add up. I did a bunch of functional medicine tests. It was just so many, like all the ones I could find, really, and had some good consultations.

Our intuition about our body is very powerful, except we don't tune in to it often. One way to improve this is by testing. Click To Tweet

I stumbled upon this hair analysis. Luckily, because it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t this way, I had a great consultation with this guy that’s now retired. It was just phenomenal. I learned so much. One of the things I learned was, for me, for her, my girlfriend, my girlfriend’s dad, who had all done this test at the same time, we were taking some things that were showing chronically deficient on our tests.

Imagine looking at a bar graph, and you see some really short bars where there should be tall long bars. Those represent some of the things you’re taking. I was taking quite a bit of magnesium in this multi-mineral product I had. I was taking chromium, I was taking selenium, and I was just really, really low on all these things. I’ve been taking them for something like a year-and-a-half at least.

In their case, probably three months before or something like that, I’ve really been changing everyone’s supplement program for them. I’ve been a sort of nutritionist all through college, because I started supplementing around 12 or 13, because I was in different sports like wrestling where you can’t eat as much and you have to really supplement. 

All of this comes together. You can see the lens. One lens is knowing the energy value of food from being in athletics, and then being a nutritionist, and then understanding the process side as a chemical engineer and going, I think we can improve this. I know there’s this field of technology called nanotechnology. There are some products out there that I think we can borrow some of that equipment and make some changes.

I grew up around a lot of successful entrepreneurs. So I had confidence in being able to go and raise money and figure out the science part of it.

I grew up around a lot of successful entrepreneurs. Not to say we’re rich because that wasn’t the case. But I had confidence in being able to go and raise money and being able to certainly figure out the science part of it. I felt like that’s the kind of thing that I would just get paid, solve as a chemy, and improve a process. So really just making it happen.

That’s ultimately what I did. I realized a couple of key insights. Our products today, when you take them, particularly when you take our magnesium, you really do feel relaxed. You feel less anxious and you really do sleep well.

We have people saying things like, it feels like I slept on the cloud, I had the best night’s sleep this whole year or in a long time, and I’m starting to remember my dreams for the first time. All of these are signs of deep sleep, particularly dreaming because you really remember your dreams on the way out. You have to go pretty deep to remember them. I just found that was fascinating to understand. I actually learned that in the first consultation a long time ago, like 12 years ago. It’s been a long way since then.

You mentioned you learned some key insights. What were those insights?

The main one was particle size, and then the other one was stability. How to make some atomic particles really stable, how to get them in that size reliably, how to be able to test, just really those things primarily.

It’s funny you mentioned particle size, because I just had a conversation earlier this week or maybe it was late last week with somebody. I forget the context of it. Maybe it was a podcast episode or just a conversation with a friend, I don’t remember. 

We have people saying things like, it feels like I slept on the cloud, I had the best night’s sleep this whole year or in a long time, and I’m starting to remember my dreams for the first time.

We were talking about the particle size of LDL, and how that means much more of a difference versus just the number. Your bad cholesterol number is this and your good cholesterol number is that.

They’re like bullets versus if they’re big and buoyant, they just bounce off like a beach ball, so there’s no problem there. That’s so much more important than just knowing a number.

Certainly. That’s a good example, a thought experiment.

Particle size is important for the supplements you take as well. Tell us why that is the case.

What I realized was the red blood cell, if you measure it in nanometers, it would be about 10,000 nanometers. All the mineral supplements I could find were about either five or even up to eight times larger, which is okay if your digestive system is really ideal and nearly perfect. But it’s not optimal, even then.

Of course, most people have gut dysfunction. I think that’s obvious and this crowd knows that for sure. You can have leaky gut, even if you’re eating a perfect diet, and you’re avoiding glyphosate and all these things, just from stress, just from working yourself too hard or overtraining, and a lot of different things. I heard a long-hidden history of viral or bacterial infections and things like that.

There are just so many ways to not meet your nutrient requirements. The most important I realized with those were minerals, because if you have really all the vitamins you need, but you don’t have minerals, you don’t activate those vitamins. You don’t turn them on, and they’re essentially useless. It’s like having firewood with no spark.

It’s really fascinating to study in this area. I continue learning more and more every year. Now we have consultations and we teach people a lot of this because it is dents, for sure. I think that’s why a lot of people stay away from it and a lot of people don’t understand hair testing, which is the other aspect of what we do, or one of several other aspects of what we do.

Let’s actually talk about that, because most people (I would guess) if you talk to them and ask, have you ever gotten your hair tested, they’d probably tell you no. Whereas at least in a biohacking community, if you ask somebody, have you ever done a biome test, like a microbiome test or have you ever done a genetics test like 23andMe, ancestry.com, or something a little more sophisticated like Simplified Genetics or The DNA Company, they’d probably say yes or at least a decent size percentage would say yes. But a hair test? That’s kind of a stretch.

Usually, only those folks who feel like they have heavy metal poisoning are like, all right, I need to find out how bad the damage is, how much mercury is in my body so I’m going to get the hair test.

We do look at heavy metals as well. Our tests show that. We do ship internationally across the world. The thing that we focus primarily on is minerals, because really, it’s the key to balancing other minerals. Minerals are the key to balancing themselves throughout the body. It really is the best way to say it.

Imagine you have a bunch of heavy metals. How are you planning to remove them out of the body? Really, the best way that I found that’s gentle is by doing mineral balancing. But you have to have products that really absorb. 

That’s what I’m saying earlier with this approach. You can’t really overlook this area to the extent that you do. You don’t really have the foundation that you could have. That could be bone health, that could be endocrine function.

If you’re trying to make thyroid hormone and not eating iodine, the thyroid will never be what it could be.

We tend to forget that in this huge world of hormone talk lately, which rightly so, that minerals are the building blocks of hormones along with fats and amino acids. If you’re trying to make thyroid hormone and you’re not eating iodine, the thyroid will never be what it could be. You’ll have hair loss, your skin won’t look as good, your brain won’t function as well, your metabolism won’t be as good, you’ll have cold hands and feet.

It’s just kind of miserable, like not into the world, but pretty bad. You’ll be constipated more often than not, or you’re alternating between diarrhea and constipation. And then your body will reabsorb all those toxic things that you’re trying to excrete through your bowels. 

Unfortunately, your body has to process all that again. If you have leaky gut on top of that and you don’t have good gut motility, it’s not good. We need minerals that are really key in this area as well. It’s fascinating, right?

Yeah, it’s really important. If someone was maybe under a budget and they need to decide what kind of tests they’re going to do, do they do the GI-MAP, The DNA Company, Viome? Who knows whatever else? Then there’s the hair test as well. Why would they need to prioritize that? Why can’t they get mineral data on what their deficiencies are from a blood test or from a stool sample?

Stool won’t show minerals. I know you’re just asking for the audience to hear, but stool doesn’t show minerals. Blood doesn’t show minerals very accurately. The reason why is you really want to see the ratios. You don’t want to just see an individual value. You want to see a value spread.

Stool and blood tests don’t show minerals very accurately.

For example, if we’re trying to understand a community, we want to understand the whole group. We don’t want to understand an individual within the group, because that individual could be an outlier. But we really understand, just like in life, relationships are what really matters. 

It just kind of blows my mind. I don’t know why. Nobody seems to check their mineral levels until they actually have to, until things are really going wrong. Then they’re like, all right, give me all the tests. I have pity for that, too, because I’ve been there. I’ve been there trying to help my mom. That didn’t work out fast enough.

We improved a lot. She improved her metabolism. I think she could have gotten off her medication and things like that. My brain fog improved some, for sure. But when you have real extreme deficiencies, and you have some level of gut dysfunction, and the supplements you’re taking aren’t being absorbed very well, if you’re really, really lucky, 30%. But more often, somewhere between 2% and 20%.

Something like chromium doesn’t absorb very well in any form, which is just a quick side note for all of our products. The form is such that it doesn’t matter due to the process that we put our minerals through. I’ll stabilize, for example, our magnesium with chloride. 

This is probably shocking news. People might want to listen to this part twice. What I’m about to say is form doesn’t matter for us. I know we’ve been taught that for the last eight or 10 years. It’s been repeated and repeated, and people don’t know why.

What I always tell people is what I realized was when you get magnesium from food, the body doesn’t go, you know what, Stephan, I’m sorry, I can’t send this, magnesium to your brain and help your brain continue to operate, or your heart continue to operate or your digestive or endocrine system, or just like a cell in your leg that will otherwise cramp if it doesn’t have magnesium. 

People think it’s potassium. It’s usually magnesium. The body doesn’t go, oh, it’s not in the threonate form or the glycinate form. We could take all those forms and put them into our process, or we could take just one and bind it.

The other thing I wanted to add was with blood testing, it’s really us on our best behavior. What I mean by that is that our body fortunately for us, but unfortunately for testing, really pulls from our bone marrow and our organs or tissues anything it needs to do to maintain blood pH, because that is just the most vital in our body.

When we test that most vital area, it will be much longer before that area shows deficiencies. It’s not that it won’t show deficiency, it truly will be much later down the road. I believe a lot of diseases can be prevented. I believe there are a lot of health concerns and symptoms.

Certainly, an optimum lifestyle can be really hard just to ascertain. If you’re looking at blood only, particularly, I’m not saying don’t do a thyroid blood panel or things like that, like do a full panel on, and I’m also not saying never do blood work, I think it’s valuable, but you really need hair as another data point.

That’s the reason why we lead with that and it’s the only test we do with upgraded formulas. I don’t want to overwhelm people. I want to give them what I think is the most actionable test. I like some of the other ones you mentioned. I really do. I find the most important area. If you don’t get your minerals right, you start to accumulate heavy metals faster and faster.

Chelation therapy is disruptive to the body, so we do just natural mineral therapy through supplements, consultations, foods, and eating more of certain foods.

If we want to talk about the hardest thing to get rid of in a detox, it’s heavy metals. It will take years even if you do it well. I know that sounds daunting for some people, but at least you know. Chelation therapy is not the way. Chelation therapy is really costly, really expensive.

I just wanted to come up with a more affordable and also safer route. Chelation is really disruptive on the body, so we do just natural mineral therapy through supplements, through consultations, through foods, through eating more of certain foods. The soil is depleted too, so you’re always guessing how much potassium a banana has, for example. Maybe you don’t eat fruit.

That’s true for red meat too. Let’s say it’s cattle that your burger or grass-fed beef that you’re eating. That’s still going to be raised and pastured at best on soil that most likely hasn’t been rotated and isn’t as nutritious as it was 10–20 years ago. When we look back 60–80 years ago, we see that across the board, whether we’re talking about a steak or a salad, the nutrient content is about 40% less, and we’re not eating 40% more.

We need to be working on top soil for sure. In the meantime, we need to be supplementing and we need to be testing instead of guessing. We actually own the trademark. I know a lot of people use it. We do actually own the trademark, Test Don’t Guess. It’s really core to what we do. I’m glad for other people to use it, but it’s just so essential to think about things that way.

You also factor in pesticides and other kinds of poisons that are sprayed on crops. This is really a strange thing. At least to me, it was strange to find out. I have a friend who is allergic to bananas, but by accident, he discovered he was not allergic to organic bananas. How weird is that?

Yeah, that’s interesting. You can kind of surmise what he was probably allergic to, which was actually the glyphosate or something that the crop was sprayed with. We think of bananas as, oh, well, we’re peeling the skin. But if the soil has been soaked for a decade or more, or even a couple of years, and then the rain waters washing that into the soil and the plants up-taking that, then there’s going to be some sort of negative consequences there.

Although I firmly believe we should all be voting with our dollars and eating organic or biodynamic foods because we’re investing in longevity and better farming practices, they’re still industrial organic, which is non-crop rotated, where they’re playing the same strawberries in the same field as last year and the year before, and the year before, and the year before.

We have to be giving birth to innovators. We need to stop having children that are nutrient deficient.

We need to move away from that. I think the only way we can do that is to collectively invest a little more in what we’re doing food-wise, and we take care of ourselves in the short term with supplements. I wish there’s another way. I don’t see another way.

I also love Elon’s mission to go to Mars, but until we get our own planet right, which this compared to Mars as incredibly more hospitable, it should be great practice for us to figure out how to improve our soils here instead of trying to go somewhere else and leave problems behind.

I love the mission, I think a lot of people do, but you get what I’m saying. It has to be solved. We have to be giving birth to innovators. We need to stop having children that are nutrient deficient. The only way that happens is if the mothers and fathers—men do contribute to it as well through sperm—just are healthier. If we’re healthier, we have less gaps in our nutrition.

You mentioned strawberries. I just found out a fun fact from a YouTube video that strawberries have been grown with flame retardant and tear gas to help them grow. That just kind of floored me a bit. I learned about that from the How Does it Grow YouTube video. Anyways, have you heard about this?

No, I’m not surprised, but I’m disappointed.

Another thing too about strawberries is, my wife, Orion—also a podcaster—soaks the strawberries now every time that we buy them in apple cider vinegar. Then you see all these tiny little things that have been killed or expelled out of the strawberry. What the heck was growing in there? It’s pretty much across the board. Any strawberries that you soak, you’ll get all these super tiny little insects that are floating in the apple cider vinegar water.

That is interesting. I think everyone got a tip right there, for sure.

Those are organic strawberries, too. I’m all about being more mindful about what you put in your mouth and into your system, and also being aware that the nutrient density of these foods is much, much lower than they were in decades past. We have to supplement. We’re not getting enough of the nutrients.

Yeah. To the extent that we push really hard, whether you’re pushing in athletics, you’re pushing in your day-to-day life, at work—whatever your work is—or you’re just running a family and making sure everyone else is healthy, then there are just energy demands on all of that. You could be having a great life.

We get healthy to lose weight, not lose the weight to be healthy. Click To Tweet

I’m venturing really hard on vacation in Costa Rica just recently and I remember thinking like, wow, we are all just kind of burnt out after this week of just nonstop adventure. Did it with a big group of friends. It was great, and yet I could tell, people were depleted. They’re cramping, just all the signs of, hey, your body has been put through some stuff. Even fun.

Where were you in Costa Rica?

We’re in Guanacaste, the Pacific side.

Yup, been there. I got married in the Osa Peninsula.

Oh, so cool. Yeah, it was an interesting area. I heard that even in paradise, they spray their fruits pretty heavily. I’ve heard and it’s a lot to be mindful of. I get it. I get that there probably seems to be a lot of rules in health.

My goal really is to simplify as much as possible for people. When someone does a consultation with one of our nutritionists after they’ve done a hair test, they’re not being told, hey, you use this certain diet. They’re just saying, hey, you’re low in XYZ. here are some foods that should have those nutrients. Try to incorporate more of those in your diet, or search foods high in and choose the foods that you’re really lacking.

We don’t get enough nutrients from the food we eat, so adding this to our routine is important.

It goes back to that relationship and that ratio thing that I think gets overlooked in a lot of testing. Frankly, people just don’t understand that test very well. That’s one of the areas where I’ve really just become a subject matter expert in the last 10–12 years for myself initially, and then also for the company, and to be able to help people understand on shows like this that health can be easier.

I know it is tough. I think the first step isn’t acknowledging that it’s not easy. You can do a lot of things and you can still feel so-so. I know that’s disappointing. I empathize with that, I really do. I felt that (I guess) more than a few years ago now when I first started a keto diet. I remember trying it in 2013 or so.

I’m really doing a bad job of it. I retested my minerals, and sure enough, salt was really low. Potassium, magnesium, all of them were really low. We haven’t come out with our products yet. We’re still in the research phase and stuff.

I remember thinking, God, this is just tough to do. Low carb diets? Especially, if they’re a fast metabolizer, they’re going to burn through their minerals even faster. That’s the disadvantage of it. This is something we test for metabolism too on the test and show people how they can improve it, because it’s not just about having a six pack, it’s about getting rid of heavy metals faster, too.

If you have all the vitamins you need but you don't have minerals, you don't activate those vitamins. Click To Tweet

The problem with a slower metabolism, something you won’t check on an increase, is that you could picture a river and the deposits in that river. If the river is not moving very fast and it’s full of dirt, the deposits start to drop out a solution. They start to fall out and you get deposition. In the same way you get heavy metals depositing more easily and you’re not as quick to remove them from the body.

Okay. I’m curious to hear what the different minerals and elements that are most important from a diet perspective and most overlooked. For example, I understand that people are loading up heavily on zinc, because that’s part of Coronavirus protocol to stave away the Covid-19 infection. But then there are implications on copper because of high levels of zinc, right?

Right. It’s a great point. A friend of mine got a bacterial infection in his mouth. I told him and he had just done his first hair analysis. He and his fiance were coming over to cook at my place. I told Brent, I was like, be careful with that. You’re likely to get a copper infection. He went, oh, man, you got to be kidding me.

He said, I spent three days last week finding a biological dentist and this could have been avoided. I said, yeah, that is what I’m saying. It’s also what I said six weeks ago when we talked. But hey, I’m glad you found out now. And sure enough, we looked at his hair test, his copper was low, his zinc was elevated. That sets you up for a bacterial infection.

If your zinc’s really low, then you can have a viral infection, so it’s a balance. This is what I mean when I say Test Don’t Guess, and just admitting to ourselves that our intuition is powerful. We can improve our intuition by testing. You can get to a point where you know all the symptoms and you have a good feeling. Testing often really helps with that, so we recommend testing quarterly. That’s why our hair testing is affordable. It really does make a difference when you have a map.

Vitamin C is tied to iron and antagonistic to copper. You can set yourself up for bacterial infection by pushing copper out.

“What gets measured gets managed,” which is a quote misattributed to Peter Drucker.

Yeah, I like that quote.

What about megadosing vitamin C? Some people are doing that.

Vitamin C is tied to iron and antagonistic to copper, so similar things there. You can actually set yourself up for a bacterial infection by pushing copper out. You’ll make iron absorb even more. If you’re on that level, I think a lot of guys out there, if they’re eating a lot of meat—I said guys, but women too—but guys are not bleeding every month like women that are having their period.

Women also in older age, as well, that don’t have a period anymore, especially if they have strong-enough stomach acid to really digest the need or any source where they’re getting a lot of iron. You can get that from plants, too, but I think it’s pretty widely known now that iron from plant sources is not going to be as readily absorbed. Don’t shoot the messenger.

It’s imperative that you give blood twice a year. But again, you want to test your level so you know. Blood will give you a good idea on iron, but it won’t. You almost will never test for copper.

The dangerous thing is when someone comes in and it looks like they have anemia, they may also have really low copper too. They might have copper anemia. Then if they start supplementing or they start really ratcheting up their iron intake or their vitamin C intake, as you asked, then what happens? What happens then? They set themselves up for a really severe level of copper anemia that could kill them or could make life, at the very least very, very just unsavory. Low energy, hair falling out, and all sorts of issues, pain, numbness, and stuff like that.

Brain fog isn’t one of the symptoms of low copper, right?

To a certain extent, it can be related. It’s not necessarily going to be your leading indicator. There are probably other things that will be low like your magnesium, your sodium, and even manganese. Your boron might be low and things like that.

Copper influences thyroid function and estrogen.

Copper does influence thyroid function. It also influences estrogen. We do indirect tests for estrogen and for other hormones through hair as well. You get a really good indication of, does someone have really depleted progesterone, testosterone, or estrogen levels as well?

It’s about a seven in one test for the things you’re looking at. Not to keep coming back to this, but with each one of these questions, I just want people to know whether they choose to test with this or not, that this is available just so you know, because it’s important to know you need to be testing somehow and it needs to be accurate. Hopefully, it’s not going to be too expensive, and hopefully, it won’t be too invasive.

Ours is an at-home kit that ships around the world. I really believe that we can make this process a little bit less filled with friction, i.e., drive across town, go see your doctor, get blood drawn, get an analysis. I just gave blood today, actually, to get rid of iron overload. Some heavy metals will come out of that naturally too if they’re floating around in the blood.

One of the reasons why hair is pretty good for picking up heavy metals on that side of things, as you mentioned earlier, is that after an acute exposure of at least lead—there’s study on lead for sure—around the 30-day mark, you no longer see lead in the blood. The study actually cited 32 days, but at that point, you could have had an acute, so a huge exposure that could be crippling.

You won’t see it if you test blood. Why? It goes back to that same idea of your blood really is you on your best behavior. Your blood is trying to nourish you. If your body is already in fight or flight often or not that healthy, then it’s going to shuttle those heavy metals into your tissues or fat stores, or both, and deal with it later when you’re healthier. It is common as we see people get healthier, that their heavy metals will actually increase. Again, consultations will help people understand why is that?

If you lose 20 pounds and a lot of it is visceral fat, which is really good for you to get rid of and that chokes your organs, that fat store is a big repository for heavy metals. Now you’ve freed all that heavy metal.

Right, which is why we say, we get healthy to lose the weight. We don’t lose the weight and therefore, get healthy. Your body really won’t stubbornly hold on the fat because it’s so innately intelligent. We’re going to overwhelm your detoxification organs if we dump all these heavy metals.

You mentioned earlier, magnesium. You guys have a magnesium supplement. There are so many magnesium supplements out there and different types of magnesium that you can take—magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, or whatever. I don’t even know them all. What are the variants that you want to take in? What are the ones that are not really that helpful to you? Why is yours the optimal version?

It comes down to particle size through our process. We take a form of magnesium, and then we put it through our process. Then we bind it with chloride at the end, which is a totally different end product than just getting magnesium chloride somewhere. By doing that, by making it really bioavailable, magic really happens. People will write in saying they’re falling asleep. As they’re falling asleep, they’re dreaming already, somehow.

I probably went five years or more without really remembering any of my dreams. That’s a sign that you are deficient.

I’ve experienced that. I’ve experienced a lot of lucid dreams, which is really cool. I’m just getting used to dreaming a lot more than I used to. I probably went five years or more without really remembering any of my dreams. That’s a sign that you are deficient. You should remember most (obviously) nights of the week you should be having dreams.

We used to think a lot of things that if you did that, that wasn’t great, but it’s just not true. You want that and you can tell from things like Oura scores, Oura Ring, the sleep tracker said, hey, deep sleep, whatever it was before has improved 3X in the last week since I started taking this. That’s a pretty common result. We’ve had some people increase more than that, but 30%–40% is pretty expected. Even, someone’s doing pretty well.

*Embed Video

I know Jimmy Moore posted this online so I can share this. He sent me a bunch of screenshots because he and I met the same day you and I met. Jimmy obviously knows a lot about nutrition. He’s written a book. It’s been a really popular one, the first good keto books out there years ago.

I remember reading his book years ago. He improved his deep sleep consistently 30%–40% over baseline each night. If you’re already at an hour-and-a-half and you’re improving 30%–40%, that’s pretty phenomenal. We’ve had some people that are at 16 minutes, and then they improve to almost 2 hours in 4 or 5 nights. I know that seems crazy, but we keep seeing it.

We’re doing a sleep study right now. We’re working with a bunch of doctors in the US and Canada to demonstrate that in a way that’s really irrefutable. Right now, it’s irrefutable. It’s spread out, and we need a better way to visualize that for people.

I know that BiOptimizers have this magnesium product. I take it every night. It has seven different types of magnesium.

The forms don’t matter for us, because we have a totally different approach to the industrial process.

You’re saying that your magnesium product is superior in terms of getting sleep benefits, because they’re probably not dealing with the particle size and the way that you are, although I have no idea what their process is.

If you've never tested yourself, you can still have a leaky gut or experience chronic pain even with a healthy diet. Click To Tweet

I don’t know what their process is. Of course, I can’t speak to that. I like their enzymes, I will say that. I’ve met Katrine and she’s great. She told me she actually recommends our high dose iodine to her patients. She’s one of the founders.

I think they have some really good products. What they’re using, as far as I can tell, is just the traditional processes, and they’re putting in different forms. I think if you’re comparing that to a traditional supplement, then it’s probably better. I’m not sure if it confuses the body with a bunch of different forms all at once. I don’t know one way or another. I have heard that, but I don’t know that to be empirically true. 

What I do know is that you can test it side by side for yourself. Try and you’ll really see the difference if you’re tracking your sleep. If you’re not tracking your sleep, then you don’t know, really. You get a felt sense.

I know people do say like, wow, I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud, I got the best night of sleep in years, things like that. Some of those people are already taking that product or other magnesium products. I think it’s a felt thing that you need to experience for yourself, and then you can make your own decision.

We don’t need a bunch of forms. Like I said, I think this is a key relearning piece for people. With food, your body doesn’t go and say, hey, you only got magnesium from this one source and I can’t use it for all the things in the body. The body figures out how to use it.

The whole business of this one’s good for muscles, this one’s good for brain tissue, and it crosses the blood brain barrier. I always get all of our mineral products that you can get into the blood in the blood cells without digestion. It’s stable too, so you don’t even have to shake our products.

Sometimes whatever is happening in our system may not reflect right away externally.

Our new upgraded charge, we have an electrolyte product coming out, that has a flavor in it, some lime oil. You have to shake that and just because that’s the flavor. Hopefully that answers your question.

I’m curious to hear what your Oura sleep scores are, typically.

Usually around low 90s is like kind of a baseline for me.

That’s great. I’d love to have that.

I sleep pretty well, but I think there are other stressors. I’m always pushing hard. I seem to have as much energy as I have. I seem to go, okay well, today is the day where I do everything, and just crush that to-do list, and then maybe stay up later than I should. It’s everything. Supplements, it’s nighttime routine, it’s morning routine. It’s all the things as you know.

My sleep hygiene is not great. I don’t wear blue blocking glasses. We’ve got red lights in the bedroom. I don’t turn them on. We’re blasting blue light through the house at 9PM. I know it’s bad. I need to clean up my act. I guess it hasn’t been painful enough for me to make that change.

Changing some of the bulbs and things like that really help.

Yeah. By the way, you’re wearing UV glasses right now, right? UV blocking glasses. What brand are you wearing?

These were gifts, so I don’t even remember.

Okay. All right, cool. Do you wear UV blocking glasses most of the time?

After about 5PM, yeah. If I’m looking at a screen, usually I will, too. I have something called Irlens as well.

Yes. I’ve had Helen Irlen on this podcast. I have Irlen glasses as well.

She’s a very smart woman. In fact, I just gave my pair away to my friend, Shawn Wells, who you met. He put them on and he was like, wow, this is like my brain. Yeah, he’s like, this is great. Can I buy these from you? I was like, aah.

He’s a really good friend. He’s like, I’m going to be traveling for the next several months. I don’t have time to go get an appointment. I was like, oh, man. Yeah, I guess. He’s a really good friend. I think if the roles were reversed, can you do that for me too?

If you don't get your minerals right, you start to accumulate heavy metals faster and faster. Click To Tweet

Yeah. I’ll be interviewing Shawn in about a month.

Cool.

Awesome. Can you be taking too many supplements?

Yeah. I think about that, often. You can certainly be taking the wrong supplements. This goes back to testing. I think a great example is calcium. People might go, oh, well, I’m not supplementing calcium. It turns out that if you’re taking vitamin D, what does that cause? It’s funny, a lot of people still can’t answer this question. If you’re megadosing anything, there’s going to be an effect in the body that you don’t want. 

I’m not a fan of orthomolecular approaches anymore. I know, years ago, I used to experiment with them. Drastically trying to quickly raise your vitamin D level through supplementation, I’m not a fan either. There are other things that are missing.

I would take our boron with it. I would take our magnesium with it. I would take some B6. We don’t make any B6 products. All that is really important to take with vitamin D, and of course, K too as well. If your test comes back and has really high calcium, you’re going to be breaking that shell down.

One of the ways our nutritionist can go over this with someone if they’re interested is iodine. That’s really important and often overlooked. It’s one of the ways we look at thyroid functions, too. There are a couple of different ratios there as well.

I don’t take iodine, I don’t take vitamin K. I take a multivitamin. I take a bunch of other supplements. I’m probably missing some important ones. I just don’t know which one.

Totally. Have you done blood work on vitamin D recently?

Not very recent, but the scores are usually quite high because I supplement really well my vitamin D. Maybe I have too much vitamin D because I was on the upper end.

That’s possible. More importantly, it’s causing calcium to be more readily absorbed in the body, and that really is problematic. That’s one of the big areas. I’m glad you asked that, because people do really need to understand that. It’s very important.

I know we’re about out of time, but I’ve been wanting to ask this since you started bringing up dreams earlier in the conversation. You’re talking about how you had some lucid dreaming and you remember your dreams a lot more now. My questions are, do you keep a dream journal and what kind of big epiphany or amazing experience have you gotten out of lucid dreaming?

To answer your first question, I journal some of the time. If I can’t figure out what the dream meant, then I’ll journal about it, especially if it feels emotionally conflicting in some way. I’ll journal about it. If you ever wake up aggravated or something, then you should put pen to paper. It really will help.

If your subconscious is trying to spit something out at you so you can deal with it so you can have this learning, it’s what I’ve heard and what seems to make a lot of sense. We hear all the time the subconscious mind is much more present and more powerful than the conscious mind. I don’t think there’s any other way that couldn’t be true with everything I’ve learned.

And then there’s also the superconscious mind. We don’t have time to go into that one, but yeah.

Yeah, superconscious and all the connectivity. The thinking about, like I should call that person. Then I pick up the phone, call him, and like, I was just thinking about you. Things like that are really hard to explain.

Honestly, too, what’s interesting is I’ve gotten better at those sorts of things just naturally as I’ve gotten healthier. There are a lot of supplementation. I think it’s because our bodies are these electrical fields. All the things we’re talking about with minerals are boosting your voltage.

Side note, if you’re doing things like PEMF and different things like that, those can be great healing modalities. They are also going to deplete your mineral stores faster. You want to be on top of it, you want to be testing.

Most vitamins don’t contain minerals, and lacking some of these minerals may lead to certain cases, such as iron or copper deficiency.

I just did a great podcast on The Beautifully Broken podcast about that. Freddie, who you probably know, knows a ton about EMF and PEMF. They’re totally different. We talked a lot about that there if people will check that out. It’s just a fascinating area.

The other thing with dreams to know is if a certain person that you know is in the dream, it’s actually not about that person. That’s probably one of the more important things to know that I’ve been able to learn recently through a friend who’s incredibly knowledgeable in this area.

In dreaming, here in the US and a lot of parts or some parts of the world, we kind of go, oh, dreaming. It’s dreaming, whatever. I know the Vedic tradition looked at dreaming as a third of life. If you’re not getting any value or any improvement every time you’re sleeping, versus you’re getting some amount of extra clarity, problem solving, putting pieces together, imagine how that compounds throughout your life, your awakening, awakened life. It’s fascinating to think about it at the least. Those are my thoughts there.

Great. I wish we had more time, but we don’t. If our listener can buy your supplements, get the hair test, and all that, where should they go? How do they follow you and all your brilliance on social media?

Thank you for that. Upgraded Formulas is the website upgradedformulas.com. If you want, we can give them a code too. I can make sure that the team are live by the time this airs.

That’d be great.

And people can check me out, @askbarton on IG and @upgradedformulas on IG as well. We have a YouTube channel if you’d like to see more videos while you’re hanging out in your living room with your dog or cat, and you’re just like, I kind of want to learn something, but I also am really tired and I’m not going to read.

Awesome. The code for getting a discount, do you want to make one up on the fly? This episode will air in a while as you’ve got plenty of time, but if you want to make something up.

Sure. We can do OPTIMIZED at checkout for 15% off.

Awesome. Perfect. Thank you, Barton. This was really fun, stimulating, and thought-provoking. Definitely, we got to apply this stuff and not just get entertained, like nudging my listeners to apply this stuff. Hopefully they do.

Yup.

All right. Thank you so much, Barton. Thank you, listener. We’ll catch you on the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.

Important Links

Checklist of Actionable Takeaways


?Take my daily dose of supplements and determine which types are necessary for my optimum health. We don’t get enough nutrients from the food we eat; that’s why adding this to our routine is important.


?Don’t forget about mineral intake as well. Most vitamins don’t contain minerals, and lacking some of these minerals may lead to certain cases, such as iron or copper deficiency.


?Test, don’t guess. There are different ways to get myself medically tested to know what’s happening in my body. Sometimes whatever is happening in our system may not reflect right away externally.


?Be more mindful of where my food comes from. As much as possible, eat organic, ethically sourced produce that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.


?Clean my food thoroughly before eating them. Ensure they are properly washed before slicing, cooking, or placing them inside the fridge.


?When planting my seeds for fruits and vegetables, be meticulous with the topsoil quality. This is a huge factor in how nutritious the fruits and vegetables can grow.


?Don’t succumb so easily to diet trends. Learn more about the implications of these diets so I have better knowledge of how they can affect my body in the long run. To be safe, a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise are still superior.


?Track my sleeping pattern. Stephan and Barton recommend using an Oura Ring to measure my sleep quality. Even if I live a healthy and active life, it won’t matter if I have poor sleep habits.


?Make a habit out of living a well-balanced life. Like a well-oiled machine, we need to check ourselves regularly and implement ways that can optimize our longevity.


?Visit www.upgradedformulas.com to find out if I have deficiencies, and access their products, training, and consultations. 15% off discount for Get Yourself Optimized listeners when using the code, OPTIMIZED.

About Barton Scott

Barton Scott, is a biochemist and founder. And for the last 6 years Barton has been the Founder and process developer behind Upgraded Formulas.

Barton is passionate about helping people address the stressors of daily life, poor sleep, hormone issues, low energy, the toxicity of the modern world, the extreme lack of nutrients in our food and soil, and the nutrient absorption issues that we all face through education of the human body’s interrelationships. Upgraded Formulas also supports Charitywater.org in the great work they do through every sale.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments, or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Stephan Spencer, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.
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