Over the past year, we’ve featured several supplement ingredients developed by Shawn Wells, the “Ingredientologist” who serves as Chief Science Officer for NNB Nutrition, an elite novel ingredient manufacturer. Shawn is a biochemist, sports nutritionist, dietitian, and formulation scientist, skills that he joined to coin the name “Ingredientologist”.
Most of Shawn’s work is based upon his quest for “clean energy,” focusing on mitochondrial health. As the powerhouses of our cells, mitochondria play a critical role in our bodies’ energy production, but modern environments and processed foods have significantly damaged our abilities to look and feel good. With NNB Nutrition’s manufacturing expertise and a forward-looking mantra that “‘Mito’ is the new ‘Keto'”, Shawn is fighting back.
Much of this has been explained in our articles titled The NNB Nutrition Story: Supplement Ingredient Solutions for the New Decade and The Power of “Mito”: Optimizing the Mitochondria to Unlock Clean Energy!, but an even better way to get a clear picture is to listen to Shawn’s recent interview on the Ben Greenfield Podcast:
“Exercise In A Bottle” and Fringe Supplement Stacks? Shawn’s second appearance on Ben Greenfield
On February 25, 2021, Ben Greenfield published an incredible episode of his Ben Greenfield Fitness with the catchy title of “Fringe Supplement Stacks You’ve Never Heard Of, The Best Nootropic Combinations, The Latest Keto Support Compounds, Supplements That Act Like “Exercise In A Bottle” & Much More With Shawn Wells”.
In this episode, you get a great sampling of the things that Shawn is working on with NNB Nutrition in an attempt to rescue our mitochondria from conditions such as insufficient cellular energy and mitochondrial dysfunction. He also hypes his new book, The ENERGY Formula: Six Life Changing Ingredients to Unleash Your Limitless Potential Kindle Edition, a center point for the entire conversation. You can consider the episode a look into the future of weight loss, anti-aging, and cell supplements.
You can listen to it by going to BenGreenfieldFitness.com, subscribing with your favorite podcast app (ours is OverCast), or listening below on this page:
Topics covered by Shawn in this podcast
The podcast kicks off with what Shawn had for breakfast the day of the interview (7:10), and he discusses being 40 hours into his current fasting challenge, which is right where things start feeling really good. They then get into discussion on salt / electrolytes, as hyponatremia (low sodium) can severely hurt performance.
Protecting the mitochondria with glutathione via NAC
Next comes the discussion on mitochondria, where master antioxidant glutathione defends against cell death and prevents damage to the electron transport chain. Unfortunately, it isn’t very orally bioavailable, so some options are liposomal glutathione or simply boosting levels with NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine).
“Exercise in a bottle”?! Ben Greenfield Meets MitoBurn (L-BAIBA)
The show really heats up when Ben mentions a topic in Shawn’s book that almost sounds like the “holy grail” – L-BAIBA. Shawn describes how the BCAA, valine, gets broken down into L-BAIBA during exercise, and that it’s used as a “signaling molecule” to tell other parts of the body that strong exercise is happening.
It turns out that if you supplement more BAIBA, you can get even more profound exercise-based effects. This is where NNB Nutrition’s patent-pending MitoBurn comes in, as the first stable, trusted, and tested form of L-BAIBA.
One great thing (discussed in detail in the articles linked above) is that L-BAIBA assists with the browning — or “beiging” — of fat. Brown fat is more thermogenic, and contains more mitochondria. We have it because as babies, we can’t shiver until roughly 6-9 months of age, so it’s used to create thermogenesis until we have that ability.
This leads right to the next topic, another brown fat activator:
Grains of paradise: Not just for cooking anymore!
Grains of paradise is a pepper in the ginger family that is often used as a black pepper alternative. When extracted properly, its effects are like a more powerful combination of capsaicin and ginger.
Grains of paradise can enhance metabolism without any central nervous system stimulation, and studies have shown that 40 milligrams per day of a proper extract can increase thermogenesis and boost caloric expenditure by about 100 calories per day.
Ben alludes to the simplicity of Shawn’s grains of paradise extract developed at NNB Nutrition, CaloriBurn. CaloriBurn not only has the 6-paradol that’s clinically backed, but also the 6-gingerol, 6-gingerdione, and 6-shogaol that bring additional benefits that may be missing from other grains of paradise extracts.
A better berberine: dihydroberberine
The conversation moves towards blood sugar control. A popular blood sugar control (or glucose disposal agent) is berberine, but Shawn explains that when taking berberine, your gut ends up converting it to dihydroberberine, and then at the plasma level, it is converted back to berberine. So simply taking dihydroberberine directly leads to better results since it is five times more bioavailable and lasts about twice as long as regular berberine. In addition, there is less GI distress, especially since doses are much smaller.
Dihydroberberine’s patented tradename is GlucoVantage, and of everything discussed, this is Shawn’s top anti-aging supplement. Before doing all of the other unique things that Ben does, simply keeping blood sugars and glycation under control are top priority.
The future of MCTs and Ketones
The conversation shifts towards ketone production, which of course brings up MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) and ketones.
MCTs come in different carbon chain lengths, and each have their own unique effects. In terms of ketone generation, Shawn is biggest on caprylic acid, or C8. It acts faster and requires less processing by the liver. Shawn has helped develop C8Vantage, a powdered form of C8.
When it comes to exogenous ketones, there are many issues with the mineral-bound BHB (beta hydroxybutyrate) on the market. For instance, half of “standard” BHB ingredients are inactive – it’s the R-isomer that is biologically active. In addition, you simply get too many minerals like calcium. Shawn has developed the R-BHB form under the trade name KetoVantage with NNB Nutrition.
However, there are more ingredients they’re working on, such as free acid BHB and amino acid bound BHB. Leucine and lysine are both ketogenic amino acids – if you can bind them to BHB and keep them stable, you may have a big winner, and Shawn seems to be working on it.
Boosting NAD+ with NMN
NAD+ is a critical molecule used for energy production in the body, and our NAD+ levels decline as we age. As opposed to many who use supplements such as NR, Shawn is a big proponent of using NMN to boost NAD+ levels. There’s less human research (at the time of recording), but there’s a more direct pathway. Shawn’s NMN developed by NNB Nutrition is named BioNMN.
Finally, the duo get into CD38 inhibition, which will also boost NAD+ levels. There are several ingredients that can do this, and we’ll cover them in more detail in the NMN article linked above, since we believe we can build a better NMN stack.
Shawn’s first two compounds: Dynamine and Theacrine
The above all comes after Shawn’s take on two ingredients he co-patented, Dynamine (methylliberine) and theacrine. These are methylxanthines related to caffeine, with theacrine lasting longer than methylliberine, so you’ll see them in different applications.
As a nootropic, Shawn enjoys a stack of the two with Alpha GPC, his favorite choline source.
An overall fantastic conversation.
A bit more on The Energy Formula
Shawn’s new book, The ENERGY Formula: Six Life Changing Ingredients to Unleash Your Limitless Potential Kindle Edition, covers various topics across the diet, nutrition, supplementation, and mind/body biohacking space. Some examples include keto/paleo diets, nootropics, CBD, MCTs, sleep, stoicism, sleep, and more.
There are 60 full-color diagrams and more than 100 scientific citations. Shawn also includes a “Formulator’s Corner” in every chapter to talk about different supplement stacks.
Shawn’s Previous Episode on Ben Greenfield Fitness is also a must-listen!
Shawn was also with Ben on the podcast episode titled “The Nitty-Gritty Underground World of Supplement Ingredients, Sports Nutrition Frankenfuels, Illegally Laced Compounds & More.”, where Shawn talked about formulating a quality supplement.
In that episode, he discussed various scams in the industry, warned against proprietary blends and “fairy dusting”, explained how supplements degrade, and informed listeners on how important (and legal) proper product/ingredient testing is.
In short, Shawn’s first episode on Ben Greenfield Fitness covers many of the things we discuss here on the PricePlow Blog, all wrapped up in one great introductory episode.
Shawn’s previous episodes on The PricePlow Podcast
You can also listen to Shawn’s previous episodes on The PricePlow Podcast. Episode #002 is an incredible introduction to Shawn’s beginnings and backstory, as well has his take on boosting brain performance. We also have discussions specific to L-BAIBA (#024), Berberine (#028), MCT Oil (#032), and overall mitochondrial health (#034).
To get notified on more ingredients Shawn is working on, subscribe to our NNB Nutrition News alerts below: