episode #13

Shawn Wells – On Mitochondrial Health, Supplements, & Tribe



Dietician and sports nutritionist, Shawn Wells joins the podcast the share his experience working with mitochondrial health. Widely considered the world’s greatest formulator, Shawn has an eclectic background and understands the important roles energy, recovery and supplements play in maintaining strong health and wellness. Dr. Stephanie and Shawn expound on glycation, oxidation, and inflammation and their effect on our mitochondria and the ability to create energy within our bodies. Shawn shares a comprehensive list of supplements he recommends along with their benefits and side effects. Finally, Dr. Stephanie and Shawn speak to the importance of sleep, happiness, and community.



  • 00:57 – Introducing today’s guest, Shawn Wells
  • 05:53 – Shawn breaks down the role of mitochondria its impact on energy
  • 07:14 – Insufficient Cellular Energy (ICE) states
  • 09:38 – Glycation, explained
  • 12:17 – Signs of accelerated glycation
  • 14:10 – The benefits of the supplement, Berberine
  • 16:22 – The value of context
  • 17:53 – The importance of checking and modulating your blood sugar
  • 20:23 – How Barberry works
  • 22:09 – How chronic low-grade inflammation can affect our mitochondria
  • 25:06 – Dr. Stephanie and Shawn discuss why it’s not ideal to rely on caffeine and other energy boosters that have negative side effects
  • 28:39 – Dr. Stephanie explains oxidative phosphorylation
  • 29:25 – How keto works
  • 30:49 – Key differences between ketogenic diets and Standard American Diet
  • 39:41 – Digestive resistant starches
  • 45:39 – Benefits of being metabolically flexible
  • 51:22 – Shawn’s favorite foundational supplements
  • 55:11 – Dr. Stephanie and Shawn talk about the supplement NAD
  • 59:02 – The power of mitochondrial pathways
  • 1:02:21 – The value of recovery
  • 1:03:44 – Happiness
  • 1:06:50 – Sleep deprivation and social jetlag
  • 1:09:19 – Community and sex
  • 1:11:47 – Shawn answers a series of rapid-fire questions
  • 1:18:21 – Where listeners can follow Shawn
  • 1:18:59 – Dr. Stephanie thanks Shawn for joining the show
  • 1:19:23 – Where listeners can follow Dr. Stephanie and subscribe to her newsletter


“What happens though, that’s so important that we’re finding out, why I say, ‘mito is the new keto,’ is that we are often in insufficient cellular energy states, which is an acronym called ICE. And, there’s something else that’s in neurological diseases, it’s a very similar idea called brain energy gap.” (07:14)

“It’s [Berberine] been shown in studies to be as effective, if not more effective, than Metformin, which is known as an incredible glucose disposal agent.” (14:47)

“One of the ways that keto works is that you’re not creating as much oxidation and you are using an alternate fuel source – ketones – and you are insulin-resistant, and you are in this insufficient cellular energy state, and you don’t have enough glucose readily available for substrate. That’s why keto is a miracle.” (29:34)

“It’s a beautiful thing in terms of evolution that we could be by the ocean, we could be in the trees, we could be in a barren winter wasteland, we could be in whatever climate all over the world and find a food source. That’s incredible.” (46:53)

“When we’re in an optimized state, when our mitochondria are functioning optimally, we’re not only anti-aging, anti-disease, pro-energy, but we’re able to deal with stress better.” (1:01:08)

“I think happiness is a choice. Every day you can choose whether you’re happy or not, whether you’re positive or not.” (1:04:24)

“I have amazing people like you [Dr. Stephanie] in my life because of the energy I’m putting out is coming back to me. And, it’s so important that yes you’ve been burned, yes you’ve been hurt, but don’t let that change what’s going out because that’s what’s going to come back.” (1:12:44)

“Whatever you’re thinking right now is your weakness is actually probably your superpower. You’re hiding it away and it’s the thing you’re so blessed for that makes you unique. And, once you let it out, you’ll become so powerful.” (1:15:28)


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  • Dr. Stephanie Estima
  • Shawn Wells

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!