By Grace Alano

Grace Alano

It's unbelievable how the brain works. There are definitely things that we can do from a nutritional point of view to help support that brain. It's been said that as goes the brain, so goes our body.

Welcome to the Flip the Switch Podcast with LifeVantage Cheif Marketing Officer, Ryan Goodwin, VP of Research and Development, Dr. Brian Dixon, and VP of Marketing and Communications, Jesse Allen. In this episode, we find out how to break down the nutrients in AXIO® into three general categories: nutritional support, nutrigenomic or stimulant ingredients, and direct and indirect antioxidants. Learn more about this Nootropic and how to get the most out of it for the Ultimate Brain Biohack!

Flip the “Nootropic” Switch: Fully Loaded AXIO® Transcript:

Jesse Allen:

Welcome to Flip The Switch. My name is Jesse Allen. I’m Vice President Of Marketing here at LifeVantage. I am with Dr. Brian Dixon, our Senior Vice President of Research And Development and Ryan Goodwin our Chief Marketing Officer. Welcome guys.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Hey, thanks for having me.

Jesse Allen:

This is fun.

Ryan Goodwin:

Stoked.

Jesse Allen:

So, and it’s awkward. I always just start an episode like this in the conversation because this is us talking about this. This is going to be fun. So maybe just a little introduction, because at the end of the day this is primarily a podcast. We’ve got the video, but most people are going to be listening to this but just an introduction.

Jesse Allen:

Most everybody knows who you guys are and what you do, but for maybe those that are new that don’t, just a little bit about who you are and your background. So Senior Vice President Of Research And Development. You’ve been with LifeVantage for what, six, eight months now?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

I think we’re eight months.

Jesse Allen:

At eight months.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

I can’t believe it’s just flown by. It’s been great.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. Flying. Okay. PhD in, I want to say molecular biology, but I don’t think that’s right.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

No. Try molecular and cellular biology.

Jesse Allen:

Okay, and you studied at Oregon State?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Oregon State University, yeah, in conjunction with the Linus Pauling Institute.

Jesse Allen:

Okay. I hear that all the time, but what is the Linus Pauling Institute?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

The Linus Pauling Institute is this amazing research institute that was founded by its namesake, Professor Linus Pauling. Linus Pauling is an incredibly interesting man. Definitely if you’re a nerd, definitely one of the world’s leading chemists and biologists in the world. I mean, he’s quite often equated to Einstein. What Einstein did for mathematics, he really did for biology and chemistry.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

He was the only individual to ever win two unshared Nobel Prizes. A lot of people argue he could have won as many as 21 Nobel Prizes for all of the different arms of research that he was into. For example, he described the first molecular disease in sickle cell anemia. So how your blood cells take on this sickle shape and have a hard time getting through, especially the small capillaries in our bloodstream. Invented probably the first synthetic blood that was out there to help support the war effort. I mean, et cetera, et cetera.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

But as Linus Pauling was winding down his career, he got really interested in the role that nutrition was playing in health and even disease. And so to fund that curiosity, he spun out of his academic endeavors and started a private research institution, so that he could study this love of his and that’s the role of nutrition and health.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

And he’s really who I consider the father of modern nutrition. If it wasn’t for Dr. Pauling and a lot of the work that he put into nutrition and especially around vitamin C and its role in health and wellness, fighting the FDA to keep the FDA from regulating nutritional supplements as a pharmaceutical drug, I don’t think we would be where we are today without him. So it was an honor to do my graduate work there for sure.

Jesse Allen:

This is just ignorance on my part. Was he still there when you were studying or-

Dr. Brian Dixon:

No. He passed away in 1993 or 1994 at the age of 93.

Jesse Allen:

Oh my gosh. Wow.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

So just before I had gotten there.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. But that’s cool. And then your PhD from Oregon State, and then you’ve really been in the industry both on the product development side, the research side as well as a little bit of marketing as well for the past what, about 15 years?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Yeah. Just about. Stayed on in postdoc for a short stay at the Linus Pauling Institute, and then got recruited away to this nutritional industry and it’s just, it’s been perfect. To be in research and development, reading the scientific literature and then being able to design the products that are ultimately going to help improve the human condition, it’s just been a wonderful ride and I’ve loved every second of it.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. Awesome. Cool. So Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer for LifeVantage. That’s one of your many, many things. Your background is pretty, well, it’s impressive for sure. A number of things you’ve done. You’ve been a business owner more than once, right?

Ryan Goodwin:

Yes.

Jesse Allen:

Brand Developer created brands. You’re a creative, avant garde, and and also identify yourself as a professional biohacker.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. That’s my favorite title.

Jesse Allen:

Tell us a little bit though. Just give us the nutshell of your work history because it really is very impressive. And some of the brands that you’ve worked with in the past is really, really impressive and I don’t think people know or are aware of. And then tell us this favorite title of biohacker what that means.

Ryan Goodwin:

Sure. I’d be happy to. So I started my career after graduating in graphic design from Brigham Young University. Just a few months later, one of my classmates from school actually approached me about starting a design studio together. And he had a client that wanted him to be doing all their visual brand work they were getting ready to launch.

Ryan Goodwin:

It was a network marketing company and I had never been exposed to a network marketing company, but the founders of this company told us that they wanted to look like a consumer brand like Coke. And considering we’d just gotten out of school, of course we wanted to work on Coke, but the next best thing is make something brand new-

Jesse Allen:

Make somebody else look like Coke?

Ryan Goodwin:

… look as good as Coke. And so we were in total designer have-in. We did their first project, their start kit, and they liked it so much they called us their Visual Brand Managers and then they grew really quickly. And here in Utah, Utah is a lot like Silicon Valley is to network marketing. So network marketing here is really a problem. There’s a lot of network marketing companies here. I guess the business climate here is perfect for that.

Ryan Goodwin:

So with the rise of this company, most people were looking at what they were doing and thought that their secret sauce must be the work that we were doing. I don’t know if it was the secret sauce. I’m sure it was the rest of, one of the ingredients in that recipe for sure. But we ended up building three different network marketing brands and if you were to combine the revenue that those three brands did in their first three years is in between 3 and $4 billion. [crosstalk 00:00:06:30].

Jesse Allen:

Wow. Congratulations.

Ryan Goodwin:

But at the same time, my agency was making an international name for itself doing digital work for Fortune 500 brands. So we were doing websites for pretty much every fun brand right out of Salt Lake City here for BMW and Nike and Adidas and Hasbro and Nintendo and the list goes on and-

Jesse Allen:

That’s incredible.

Ryan Goodwin:

… on and on and on. Yeah. So since then I’ve started a number of different agencies. I’ve started a number of different normal companies and it actually never worked for another, for anyone else until LifeVantage.

Jesse Allen:

And you’ve been helming the marketing at LifeVantage for four years?

Ryan Goodwin:

It’s already been five, which is pretty crazy. I also feel I just got here finally. May not be wet behind the ears any longer but just barely. But to answer your second question, a professional biohacker. First, I identify as a biohacker, meaning I look to take control of my own biology. I want to look at my entire environment that I create inside my body and try to optimize it as far as I possibly can. Mostly because I’m trying to get best my best brain performance because I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to accomplish, right? And then in order to do any of those things, I need full brain capacity, baby.

Ryan Goodwin:

The professional part of it is around expanding my experiments, if you will. I try to basically try everything that I can do that I can afford, so I can assimilate it and share it with thousands of biohackers around the world as a conduit of this biohacking message. That’s what a professional biohacker does.

Jesse Allen:

Got it. Okay. So we’ll never have to do that again. Right. We’re going to be doing this, these podcasts on a regular basis. We’ll never have to do the introduction again, which feels awkward but thanks for humoring me.

Jesse Allen:

Professional biohacker and always looking to optimize that brain potential. I guess you probably don’t ever focus on a specific hack, right? I know in our weekly meetings we talk about who’s got a hack to share that they’re working on or they’re doing, but what’s a hack that you’re focused on right now?

Ryan Goodwin:

One hack that I’m focused on right now, is spending the right amount of time on in my infrared sauna. So I’m in there 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. How about you?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

My hack? I’m obsessed with sleep. Sleep, just as you assume, sets up your entire day. I’ve had trouble sleeping my entire life, so I’m obsessed with sleep. Going to bed at the same time. Making sure that it’s comfortable. Blackout curtains on the windows. I love to wake up to a light alarm, so using just a slowly brightening light to wake up. I just, I’m obsessed with sleep and it’s just so important for so many aspects of health.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. So you got a whole host of things you’ve thrown in there, right?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

It’s that constant experimentation.

Jesse Allen:

The blackout curtains. So one thing that I’ve been doing a lot, and I know Ryan, you do cryotherapy. Not cryotherapy maybe in the traditional sense, but I’m just doing hot-cold showers right now.

Ryan Goodwin:

Cold thermogenesis.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. Post-workout, right. So a hot shower and then I’ll fill my tub with ice cold water, dump the ice into it. And so I’ve been doing that every morning and I’ll jump in and I try to sit in it for 30 seconds, right? This morning, the first time I jumped in I couldn’t freaking catch my breath, so I was in for 15 seconds. Then I had to get out back in the hot shower and then back in but-

Ryan Goodwin:

I think that feels so good.

Jesse Allen:

No, it feels so good. It was actually really cool how I felt when I got out this morning and just anyways 

Ryan Goodwin:

Tell me you didn’t want to conquer the world right after-

Jesse Allen:

Bro-

Ryan Goodwin:

I mean, you probably did.

Jesse Allen:

I’m taking on the world, taking it on. All right, so let’s get into the topic of the day. We’re talking nootropics and specifically our product AXIO as a nootropic. But help us understand what that actually means, as far as the term nootropic give us a working definition and why we should care about it.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Well, nootropic is a big word with the really small definition, and it’s really anything that’s going to help cognitive performance. So it can literally be a healthy diet, right? Just feeding the brain with healthy nutrients.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

It can be those brain exercises that you probably hear about. Doing things crossword puzzles, journaling, reading, really trying to exercise your brain just like you would any muscle in your body. And then I think more of the traditional sense of nootropics are what are those specific nutrients that we can target to help all that cognitive performance?

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. Okay. So perfect topic, especially where Ryan’s primary focus is brain health and cognition. Help us understand that a little bit about AXIO, what it’s doing and how it functions is as a nootropic because we typically with AXIO, it’s both caffeinated. We have two versions caffeinated in decaf.

Jesse Allen:

Quite often we want to think of it because I would assume because of the caffeine, we think of it as an energy product or an energy drink. And some people are using it that way and that’s great, that’s totally fine but it’s so much more than just a substitute for an energy drink. Help us understand what’s really going on with this product and how it’s impacting our brain health and cognitive function.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Yeah. Are you okay if we talk a little bit about the biology of the brain and the physiology that’s going on there?

Jesse Allen:

Yeah, I think we need to.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Yeah. So our brain, believe it or not, only weighs about three pounds.

Jesse Allen:

So when you were telling us that earlier, Ryan said, “Well, maybe yours does but-

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Pound per pound it’s yeah.

Ryan Goodwin:

Speak for yourself.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

It’s a big brain pound for pound. I’m just a little guy, so unfortunately I’m a three pounder. But really if you think about it, it’s only three pounds and if you just want to throw out there, if you’re 300 pounds that’s 1% of your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds that’s 2% of your body weight, but yet it consumes 20% of the blood flow and oxygen that we’re taking in.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

So pound for pound, your brain is consuming a tremendous amount of resources, even more than your heart, more than your muscles. It’s consuming so many resources. And we know what’s happening in other parts of our bodies like our heart, like our muscle. When there’s these massive energy requirements, it’s going to stress that particular organ or tissue. And because your brain is utilizing so much oxygen, so many calories, so much blood flow, it’s also prone to oxidative stress and potentially oxidative damage as well.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

So what I love about our AXIO product is really you can break the nutrients down into three general categories. So I talk about nutritional support. I talk about this nutrigenomic or stimulant ingredients that are in there, and then also a number of antioxidants, whether they’re working direct or indirect. So we’re talking about all the demands that the brain has to make energy, so that’s why those B vitamins and magnesium are in there, to try to help support that energy production. And then also help support through nutrition, proper neuronal communication inside of the brain.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Then we get into some of these nutrigenomic ingredients or things that we know work more specifically on neurons, things like caffeine, the DMAE that’s in there, and also the L-theanine, so we can specifically target the neuronal aspects of brain health.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

And then we have direct and indirect antioxidants, so they can be working nutrigenomics traditional, so a traditional nutrigenomics. So we’ve got things quercetin, green tea extract, pine bark, those are known to activate NRF too, so working as a direct antioxidant. But then you’re also utilizing those compounds as antioxidants as well inside of the brain, to try to keep that oxidative stress in balance and in check.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

And then just to focus a little bit more on quercetin, there’s great data out there where quercetin can also help support healthy blood flow as well. And so we want to keep that 20% of that blood flow getting to the brain.

Jesse Allen:

Okay. Right. So that’s a lot different than an energy drink.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

A lot

Jesse Allen:

Everything that you just explained, walk through those three. Just tell me those three things, again just so I can keep them in my-

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Nutritional support. then we’ve got the those nutrigenomic ingredients that are working specifically on neuronal targets, and then we’ve got antioxidants, so those direct and indirect antioxidants.

Jesse Allen:

This may not be a fair question to ask, but someone that’s brand new that hasn’t been taking AXIO and they start using the product, clearly they’re going to feel the effects of caffeine, right? Just alert and everything that comes with caffeine, but what else would they expect or anticipate to feel and experience as they start using the product?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Yeah. I think most people like you say, are going to be familiar with that caffeine response. I mean caffeine is the most utilized psychoactive drug on the planet by far. So it’s probably rare that someone hasn’t at least once in their life tried a little bit of caffeine, so people are pretty familiar with that. It can get you pretty amped up and revved up and going. The world anti-doping agency has actually been looking at potentially banning caffeine as a sports-enhancing drug.

Ryan Goodwin:

Wow. I didn’t know that. Altogether.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Yes. There’s great sports performance enhancements that can come from caffeine.

Jesse Allen:

I didn’t know it could actually do that.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Yeah. They go back and forth and that’s where they probably haven’t been able to do it, but you get clear benefits. And a lot of that’s coming from a lot of the physical exertion through the muscle, but where a lot of athletes see the best benefit is through mental clarity as well. So it’s almost like they can almost see into the future about what’s coming and be just a little bit sharper.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

So you can get that wirey, jittery effect but then we have those two other ingredients, so the DMAE and the L-theanine that’s in there. And those tend to be more body calming, but I like to refer to it as an opening or an awakening and things just seem to get much more clear. So we’ve got that balance of the caffeine and then the L-theanine and then the DMAE in there as well.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. That’s when you turn into Bradley Cooper from Limitless.

Jesse Allen:

Limitless. The mental clarity, that resonated with you when he mentioned mental clarity. Is that what you love about the product?

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s definitely one of the main arrows that I have in my quiver, to build that mental clarity that I have to rely on on a day-to-day basis.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. In my mind, I keep coming back to just what you were talking about, “That it consumes 20% of the oxygen and blood flow of the body.” I think most of us think, we think about our muscular health, right? We want to work out or cardio, whatever, but how much time do we really spend thinking about our brain?

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. Not enough. Not enough at all.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

Isn’t that ironic? The thing that gives us the thought we’re not even thinking about, and I’m not sure why that is and maybe it’s just the great mystery that we understand very little with how the brain’s actually working. I mean, think about memory storage, for example. How do we form memories with molecules inside of neurons?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

I mean it’s mind blowing when you really start to drill down and how are those molecules stored and then reaccessed? Long-term, short-term memories, turning, light cues that come in through the eye into pictures that we can see. Turning hairs vibrating inside of our ears into sound that we hear.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

It’s unbelievable how the brain works and maybe it’s that mystery that’s kept us away and we’re afraid of it a little bit. But the research is coming out that there are definitely things that we can do from a nutritional point of view to help support that brain, and we need to be thinking about our brain. It’s been said that as goes the brain, so goes our body.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. Interesting. That is fascinating. Okay. I’m resolving to spend more time on understanding brain health and how to support my brain. That’s fascinating. That’s cool. You’ve got an approach with AXIO, something that powers your morning. It’s the way you get started. It’s a certain recipe that you make and that you like. Tell us about it.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. I to call it fully loaded AXIO. It’s a little bit of a recipe inspired by David Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee.

Jesse Allen:

Which I think everybody’s, probably most everybody’s heard about Bulletproof Coffee.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. Most people have heard of a Bulletproof Coffee, but they haven’t, they’ve probably heard of healthy fat coffee or fat coffee. All of those are derivatives of Dave’s idea here. But the basis is getting healthy fats in with for him, for his coffee but coffee upsets my stomach a lot of times.

Jesse Allen:

Maybe we should just, our typical directions with AXIO are mix with 12 to 16 ounces of water and drink. Right.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah.

Jesse Allen:

That’s on the package. That’s what we’re saying how to use it.

Ryan Goodwin:

And that works great.

Jesse Allen:

But you’ve got something that’s completely, well not completely different, but it’s different. Okay. Sorry for interrupting.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. I’m using about 12 ounces of hot water and I’m making it into a hot drink like it was coffee, but it’s literally a substitute for coffee and then I’m putting in the healthy fat. So I’ve got grass fed butter that I put in there, a tablespoon of grass fed butter and then about a tablespoon of of C-8 caprylic acid MCT oil.

Ryan Goodwin:

Now when it comes to caprylic acid and MCT oil, you’ve got a ramp up. So if you’re new to MCT oil, I wouldn’t just dump in a full tablespoon into this because it may give you disaster pants and by may, I mean most likely will. So you’d want to probably start, if you’re new to MCT oil, you probably want to start with a teaspoon and do that for a few days, and then gradually put in more until you’re about a tablespoon.

Ryan Goodwin:

I actually would like to put in even a little bit more. And the reason why I really love getting these healthy fats in the morning is that your brain needs a lot of fat. I forgot exactly how much of the brain is fat?

Jesse Allen:

60% of our brain is fat and of that, about 75% is specifically DHA.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah, exactly. And so your brain really loves fat in order to work. And that oxygen consumption is happening with all the mitochondria. I mean, behind your heart and your eyes, I mean for most people and then there’s women that also have their ovaries but in the brain is right there with how many mitochondria you have per cell.

Ryan Goodwin:

So you have the tons of mitochondria in there that are all creating energy. And if that energy ever gets diverted elsewhere, then you’re going to have a hard time creating the energy that you need in order to have the mental clarity and that cognitive performance that you need to have.

Ryan Goodwin:

So I’m also restricting my eating window, so it’s like a fasting-like diet. I’m obviously not fasting because I’m doing this fully loaded AXIO in the morning.

Jesse Allen:

Yeah. Because there’s calories in those.

Ryan Goodwin:

There’s fat. Yeah. There’s a significant amount of calories in that fat.

Dr. Brian Dixon:

But I think importantly leaving the carbohydrates out of there, so you’re not going to be getting red insulin spikes.

Ryan Goodwin:

I’m getting all the healthy benefits of AXIO, all the polyphenols, NRF2 ingredients. the stimulants in the caffeine mixed with the healthy fats, and then you blend it all together for about 30 seconds.

Ryan Goodwin:

Now once it’s all done, I like sour cherry. That’s my flavor. That’s my jam. And it literally tastes like jam and butter toast, but without the carbs and NSA shapes me and then I start eating around 1:00.

Jesse Allen:

Okay. So first thing in the morning, right?

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah.

Jesse Allen:

Right out of bed in the morning.

Ryan Goodwin:

I’m usually having it, probably somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning.

Jesse Allen:

That’s a ton of energy in the true sense of the word, with all the calories associated. I mean a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of MCT oil. I’m not sure the total calorie count there, but that’s quite a bit of pure energy.

Ryan Goodwin:

It’s substantial. It’s a real breakfast. It’s a breakfast substitute without the carbs.

Jesse Allen:

And it’s going to help you feel full and just ready to go for the rest of the day.

Ryan Goodwin:

Absolutely. You’re satiated. You’ve got all the energy. Your brain has the energy that it needs. And so on any given day, this and the other strategies that I’m doing, I have somewhere in between 0.5 and 0.8 ketones in my blood. I think that’s parts per thousand, right, that measurement? Do who I’m talking about?

Dr. Brian Dixon:

No. I know the measurement but I’m not sure of the units. Apologies.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. I’m not sure if the units either. Full nutritional ketosis is going to be a lot higher than that. But I find that when I have just a few ketones in my blood right there, I don’t have to be super crazy dogmatic about everything that I’m eating and totally avoiding carbs. And I’m still going to feel phenomenal and really get that brain performance that I’m looking for.

Jesse Allen:

Cool. Perfect. That’s a perfect use of AXIO. This product that is clearly something much more than just an energy drink. I love it. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to create a graphic and maybe a video of just the recipe that you’re talking about and how you make it, and share that so everybody can see exactly how to do it.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. Killer. Fully loaded AXIO.

Jesse Allen:

Fully loaded. Now, if I understand correctly, this actually came from one of our members, one of our distributors.

Ryan Goodwin:

Yeah. They told me that they had been trying it instead of coffee. I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got to try that out.”

Jesse Allen:

Yeah, I love it. I love it. Perfect use of the product. So anyways, you guys, great conversation. I love the recipe. I love the different ideas and I know we’re going to try to share some other recipes and other ideas out there. I love the education. Thank you.

Jesse Allen:

Understanding the nature of this product and what it’s really doing. One, I mean I don’t need to be convinced to use any of our products, but feeling very confident that I’m doing the right thing and using them with this understanding is very helpful. And I’m still just so fascinated by this 20% and what the brain is actually doing.

Jesse Allen:

So I am going to figure out how to improve my brain health. Maybe we’ll share some of those things on future podcasts. I know coming up in the next little bit, we’re going to be talking Protandim NAD Synergizer. We’ve got that slated for the next week and then we’ve got some other great topics over the next couple of weeks.

Jesse Allen:

So I’m excited about this. I’m excited about this conversation that we’re going to be able to have. I’ve said it before, I love learning from you, Dr. Dixon, on a regular basis. And obviously I love learning from you and just being with you, Ryan. So I’m excited about this and as the opportunities arise, we’ll bring other people subject matter experts in on topics when it makes sense and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with this. So first episode’s down. I had fun. I hope you guys enjoyed it and this was beneficial.

If you have questions about whether or not (LifeVantage Product) is a product you can take, consult with your healthcare provider.

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LifeVantage or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

The employee product experiences shared in this podcast are unique to the individual sharing his or her experience and are not a guarantee that any consumer will experience the same product results or benefits.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.