This episode features a discussion with MedCram co-founder Kyle Allred on the effects of sauna. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kyle on all things sauna science and we're posting that discussion for you here. As an exercise mimetic, sauna use has anti-inflammatory, mood-elevating, and detoxifying properties that research increasingly shows may deliver cardiovascular and brain benefits.

The science of sauna use has been a research interest of mine for many years and this discussion is by far one of the most well-rounded discussions I've had on the subject. Thanks to Kyle and MedCram for having me for his interview.

In this episode, we'll discuss:

  • 00:00:00 - Introduction
  • 00:02:46 - Summary of sauna benefits
  • 00:10:47 - Heat as an aerobic exercise mimetic
  • 00:14:45 - Effects of heat acclimation on endurance
  • 00:17:37 - Why heat shock proteins may protect against dementia
  • 00:23:20 - The stress-relieving effects of sauna use (personal anecdote)
  • 00:27:43 - Investigating sauna for depression
  • 00:30:32 - Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and endorphins response
  • 00:34:51 - Cellular repair mechanisms elicited by sauna use
  • 00:40:05 - Prevention of muscle atrophy
  • 00:42:45 - Detoxification of heavy metals 
  • 00:44:50 - Heart rate variability, a measure of stress resilience
  • 00:46:40 - The synergy of sauna use and exercise
  • 00:52:13 - Cross-cultural and historical prevalence of heat therapy
  • 00:56:12 - Infrared sauna vs. traditional saunas
  • 00:58:31 - Rhonda's personal sauna protocol: duration, temperature, humidity, and frequency
  • 01:03:22 - How jacuzzi, hot baths, and hot showers compare to sauna use
  • 01:06:19 - Hydration, cold therapy, and sauna safety 
  • 01:11:18 - Who should not use saunas?
  • 01:15:21 - Does sauna use increase blood sugar levels?
  • 01:17:16 - Limitations of current sauna research and hopes for future research

MedCram is a YouTube channel created by Kyle Allred, PA-C and Roger Sehuelt, MD, master educators of health and medical science. Their videos cover important topics such as immunity, metabolism, and vitamin D in an authoritative, but approachable way. Visit the MedCram YouTube channel for more efficient, engaging, fun, and lasting way to learn and review medical topics.

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Direct download: medcram_sauna_rhonda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EDT