The Lowdown on Beta Blockers

In this video, I describe the protective value of beta blockers and discuss the elements that should be considered when choosing one.

Hello friends welcome to another day of q and a’s joined by my lovely and helpful wife lucy hi should be asking one of your questions from instagram so the next question is their flow four would it make sense to strategically strategically implement days or periods using a better blocker like ateno atenoro for health purpose taking stress of the hearts uh in

Regard to an athlete for example on rest days or deload periods thank you lucy very interesting question um so let’s make this the beta blocker video because we’ve talked a lot about beta blockers indirectly you know about them because of my fondness for them before we get into a specific question about rest days or strategic use or athletes stuff like that

Let me just talk about beta blockers in general so what beta blockers do is that they block the uh the agonism of the beta adrenergic receptors that means that adrenaline has receptors in the body the most well-known ones are the alpha and beta receptors and within the beta receptors there’s a beta 1 receptor beta 2 receptor and a beta 3 receptor now i’ve

Talked a little bit about these receptors before because we did a video on the power of the cold to affect brown fat thermogenesis which means the increasing the the thermogenesis which means the metabolism of brown fat as well as also turning white fat into brown fat check that video out i’ll probably link that here somewhere but we discovered in research

It was originally thought that the beta-3 receptor was doing this it turns out later that it seems that the beta-1 receptor is the one that when it’s agonized by adrenaline or noradrenaline that it causes the browning of fat and the thermogenesis of fat but leave that aside for a second let’s talk about them in general so the beta 1 receptor is the one that’s

Most involved with the deleterious effects of the sympathetic nervous tone so it increases heart rate so beta 2 receptors are found in a lot of places in the body including in the lungs places like that so when you block the beta-2 receptor you come across more issues with asthmatics people have asthma or problems breathing they have more issues breathing and it

Also has some it seems that adrenaline’s effect on the beta-2 receptors may be beneficial in some other ways okay um on the other hand the beta-1 receptor that mostly affects heart rate and seems to be uh it seems to be crucial for the deleterious effects of the sympathetic nervous storm now in general uh beta blockers will reduce the heart rate so well before

I get into that uh let me talk about what the benefits of what’s been shown about the benefits of beta blockers so beta blockers have been used for people who have arrhythmias which means that they have a heart rate that can become unstable and go very high which could lead at the high rate to become giving them a heart attack so giving someone a beta blocker

That blocks one or two or three of the beta adrenaline receptors reduces their potential their heart rate to go to a very high level so it protects them in that way but beta blocker use in the last 10 years or so has also been shown and this is really interesting i discovered these papers a while ago and this is why i was very interested in so so remember the

Sympathetic nervous stone is very much affected by adrenaline when you have a short-term boost of the sympathetic nervous stone like we discussed in the sauna or something like this it may be helpful but when you have a chronic hyperinflammatory state that results of a sympathetic nervous stone it can impede your body’s healing ability and things like that this

Is why it is known that stress kills when someone tells you stress kills what they mean is stress increases the sympathetic nervous tone which involves adrenaline and the beta receptors and that ages and kills you so it’s been shown that prophylactic not prophylactic but preoperative use of beta blockers and people that don’t use beta blockers in operations

That are not cardiovascular have nothing to do with the heart decreases their mortality the just because some operations can kill people right it’s much less likely that people die from operations that are not cardiovascular if they’re given beta blockers beforehand also people will have wounds from burns they recover much faster if they’re given beta blockers

Beforehand or not beforehand after the wound yes and also the same exists for uh traumatic brain injury so if you’re like getting a concussion if you’re playing football or if you’re a boxer if you’re taking beta blockers you have a much better outcome from the injury than if you’re not taking them the reason for this seems to be and they’re also using other

Things like a spinal cord damage and things like that it seems to be because it reduces the inflammatory state in the body and that causes the body to be better able to heal after the injury because operation you can think of like an injury so that’s one thing now it’s known that in the long term beta blocker use reduces at least interleukin-6 il-6 which is

One of the main pro-inflammatory cytokines um so it reduces the state the amount that your body is in a pro-inflammatory state now the other side of the reason people use beta-blockers is to calm themselves down so beta blockers will reduce um and i’ll get into the way the way they do this in a little bit but they reduce for example a tremor if your hand has

A tremor so snipers for example use beta blockers public speakers use beta blockers um and people who have angry um like personality disorders of some kind they have different names for them but basically people get angry a lot often use beta blockers to reduce the amount that their stress will affect them and anger will affect them now the effects that beta

Blockers will have on the mind really depend on so beta blockers have two factors that are important the one i’m going to talk about first is the hydrophilicity or lipophilicity of the beta blocker which means whether the beta blocker is is a fat soluble basic or whether it can stick to fat because it’s important for for for something to be able to enter the

Brain it has to be lipophilic lipids are fats so if a beta blocker is lipophilic it can enter the brain at a higher rate so for example the very old beta blockers like propranolol something like that by the way all beta blockers the names and with all but i will butcher their names because i only take one of them i haven’t memorized their names or anything

Like that so i may refer to them with the first letter so the one that starts with p which may be propanol something like that that one is an original beta blocker it is very hydrophilic enters the brain the blood passes the blood-brain barrier at a very strong rate and stays in the brain longer so this may have more effects on brain function than one that is

Lipophilic uh or sorry that one that is hydrophilic like ethanol which is the one he mentioned which is the one i take so a tendenol doesn’t go past the blood-brain barrier very actively at all so now what’s the positives and negatives of this something that goes past the blood-brain barrier more like propranolol which is more often prescribed for people that have

This intermittent explosive disorder that’s one of the ones that that’s affected it’ll have more effects on brain neurotransmitters and receptors and this has a downstream effect so it’s not just the adrenaline receptors but when you take a adrenaline receptor blocker you also affect serotonin it has a downstream effect on serotonin so it is believed actually

By psychiatrists or psychiatric researchers that the beta blockers effect on these people with intermittent explosive disorder may be due not directly to the beta blockade which in the literature by the way is called beta blockade but rather due to the effects downstream on serotonin serotonin is something that makes people much less aggressive and much less

Impulsive for sure so that’s one thing the hydrophilicity or the lipophilicity the second thing is how specific is the beta blocker does it so over time beta blockers have been improved upon by making them more selective at the beta 1 receptor so the one i just mentioned propranolol is not very selective at all it really agonizes that all three beta receptors

Quite a lot and specifically beta 1 and beta 2 quite a lot the problem with that is if you’re an asthmatic you know asthma people who have asthma they take bronchodilators to dilate their but that that’s that’s that’s working through the beta two adrenaline receptors so if you’re if you’re blocking them you may have problems breathing so that’s why that’s one

Of the main reasons that they’ve tried to make them more specific so antenna lol which i use is more specific at the beta 1 receptor than a propranolol what’s even more specific than that is one that starts with m is some something m it’s the only one that’s well known that starts with them you guys can look it up it’s more specific at the beta one and it is

More lipophilic so it goes to the brain more i didn’t mention by the way one of the concerns with the going to the brain more is that there are some reports although they are conflicting that people who take lipophilic beta blockers have more of an effect of experiencing nightmares but they’re conflicting reports because others have shown that antenna law had

Caused the nightmares as much other people don’t ever experience these things and the ones that have shown to reduce to affect mortality for cardiovascular patients are usually the ones that are lipophilic so that’s an interesting situation so now i want to bring your you guys attention to something somebody commented on one of my uh instagram posts a few

Months ago with a wonderful comment i didn’t really know about so i don’t want to take credit for this at all he mentioned the uh beta blocker nebula and i wouldn’t mention his name i just don’t remember which post it was on but this gentleman astute gentleman mentioned the the beta blocker nebula now naviful which i looked into later he said it may be better

For athletes and there is good reason to think so nabivolol is a very unusual beta blocker it blocks the beta 1 receptor with a much higher capacity than than it that blocks the beta2 receptor but it also agonizes which means the opposite of blocking the beta-3 receptor due to its agonism of the beta-3 receptor it seems to increase nitric oxide synthase which

Produces more nitric oxide in the body which leads to vasodilation nitric oxide is the main vasodilator of the body when people have serious cardiac problems in later life they give them a nitric oxide boosters of some kind to vasodilate their blood vessels particularly the ones near the heart so this uh beta blocker causes vasodilation which is interesting

Because it has um and it’s also very lipophilic by the way so it enters the brain very readily or the blood passes the blood-brain barrier very readily so the interesting thing about this molecule is that it will reduce your resting heart rate but it actually doesn’t reduce your exercise heart rate as much oh wow because the side effect of some of these beta

Blocks is the problem you have to keep in mind is when you exercise you want your heart rate to go up the heart rate variability is one of the main biomarkers for cardiovascular health so if you’re taking a beta blocker while you’re exercising your heart can’t get exercise as much as it can normally now nobody wants their heart rate to be up all the time because

That tires the heart over time or at least that’s what we assume there is a theory a very old theory actually in medicine that the more your heart beats the less it can live in the long term this is an old theory and i subscribe somewhat to that which is one of the reasons i take a beta blocker but when you exercise you don’t want to put that limit there so

Nebivolol does not do that because of this increase in nitric oxide synthase the problem with nitric oxide synthase and this is also a problem for people with heart conditions is that nitric oxide specifically nitric oxide in general increases uh nitric oxide can form pro-oxidant molecules like superoxide if nitric oxide synthase uncouples from producing

Nitric oxide it can produce things like superoxide and it can lead to more oxidation in the body which can lead to dna damage so this is one of the concerns this is one of the reasons that i recall reading some medical review a while ago that physicians were thinking that one of the the dangers with giving older people with heart problems these nitric oxide

Boosting supplements is that they can experience more dna damage and this could be causing them to experience less benefits from the vasodilation so that’s the reason why i’m personally not taking this because although i would love to have more vasodilation in general i’m concerned about having more nitric oxide synthesis specifically but for a weightlifter

Who’s very concerned about their in their you know car their uh basically their uh because if your heart rate can’t go as high you’re also gonna be less strong you’re gonna be a lot of other things although this is controversial because if you have more vasodilation you also may be less strong so i’ve experienced this myself when i took vasodilators i found that

My strength decreased and it’s true you get hypertension when you’re pulling extremely high weights you get extreme hypertension like really extreme four times the normal um uh systolic blood pressure so i don’t know the overall effect on strength but for sure in terms of like endurance and things like that and it will all be better so that’s a good that’s

A review there’s a couple of other beta blockers i haven’t mentioned ones that start once that one that starts with c that also have a vasodilatory effect but they do this by blocking the alpha one adrenaline receptor as well i haven’t used these or looked into them too much but there’s a couple of them that do that also so remember the the take take away

From this is the lipophilicity or the hydrophilicity of the molecule is what you want to pay attention to and you want to pay attention to how selective it is add the beta 1 to beta 2 receptor the less selective on the beta 2 receptor the more you may get cardiac symptoms i’ve never gotten these and i have asthma but i’ve never gotten this but if someone’s

Very sensitive they may notice it and a couple of other things i want to mention the the beta blockers do cause a reduction in insulin sensitivity they do cause a decrease in fatty acid fatty acid oxidation and an increase in glucose utilization which means that you will burn a little bit less fat so some people that take a high dose beta blocker will notice

Weight gain which makes sense i mean your heart is beating less frequently so you generally your metabolism will change but they also change the fat utility utilization um that’s really the only warning i would offer now do you have any questions before i answer this question oh i was like well yeah let’s go back to school yeah so to go back to this question so

Personally i began using beta blockers i used beta blockers a long time ago when i was dealing with a couple of things so i have a tremor naturally i’ve had a tremor since i was a child and i it always bothered me but sometimes the tremor would get worse than at other times and so i found out that beta blockers could help to reduce my tremor so i took the lipo

The hydrophilic antenna lol at a very low dose originally twice a day now i take it only once a day uh it by the way most of the beta blockers have a very short half-life nebula has a longer one so usually you have to take it twice a day so i only take it once a day so it’s not in my system all day but i take it originally i took it to deal with the tremor now

I take it because i want to reduce my heart rate for periods of the time during the day when i’m not exercising i take it prophylactically and i’m not a medical doctor and i’m not giving you medical advice but the reason i take it is i feel like having a lower resting heart rate even if it’s pharmacologically induced should be better in the long term now we

Know that beta 1 agonism causes um the hypertrophy of the heart in the long term it does cause the heart to grow larger so to reduce the heart enlarging from that agonism from a higher heart rate the heart can enlarge either through it beating more often or it can enlarge because the vascular structure is narrower so the pressure that the heart has to be that

Is higher we do know then blocking the beta 1 the beta 1 receptor will reduce the heart’s growth so this is so basically i continued using it because i thought having less heart rates per minute would be better for me in the long term even if it’s pharmacologically induced and also because i had a feeling that my years of weightlifting would have increased

The heart size and i wanted to preserve my heart in some way but i also think that the effect on the sympathetic nervous tone as you can see i described its long-term effect on interleukin-6 and its effect on on traumatic injury would be overall beneficial for somebody like me that has a naturally high inflammatory state now somebody that’s using steroids has

A high inflammatory state for sure and they have an overactive sympathetic nervous tone for sure so somebody like that if i was taking steroids right now i would be taking my beta blocker twice a day and i wouldn’t be worrying too much i may take nebulou i may take it and take some antioxidants with it you know there’s a lot of antioxidants you can take you

Know i mentioned them all the time but there’s a lot of antioxidants if you can spend enough money to get a lot of them you will reduce your oxidative state in your body a lot but if you can take those antioxidants i would use the one that has the nibival because um it would you would still have your heart rate be able to go high in the gym but reduce it overall

Exactly and it definitely you need that reduction in sympathetic nervous tone for sure so that that’s what i would do personally this is not medical advice but it’s definitely something you could use prophylactically i wouldn’t think about it using it on just days off although sure on days off if you take it you’ll reduce your inflammatory cytokines so you know

That’ll that will have a positive benefit but generally i would if i was using anabolic androgenic steroids if i was in the risk of getting a large heart i would be using these things for sure so anyway thank you for the question we’ll see you next time guys you

Transcribed from video
The Lowdown on Beta Blockers By Leo and Longevity