Get to know the ATP Lab supplement brand and the athletes who represent our lifestyle through our new exclusive interviews.
ABOUT THE ATHLETE
Dwayne N. Jackson is an active Medical School Professor and Medical Scientist in the Department of Medical Biophysics at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. He has over 12 years of university education in exercise physiology and nutrition, and has attended the University of Ottawa, the University of Western Ontario, and Yale University School of Medicine. His medical research has led to numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and innovations in vascular control and disease, and he has received awards for his innovations in research and university education.Currently one of the top authorities on supplementation and health sciences, Dr. Jackson has devoted his life to fitness, physical performance, and life extension. He has worked in the fitness industry for over a decade as a scientific consultant, scientific director, and formulator for several major supplement brands. Dr. Jackson is a regular writer for mass media and has published hundreds of articles for some of the world’s most popular magazines and websites (e.g., Muscle & Fitness, MuscleMag, Flex, Oxygen, Muscle & Performance, Bodybuilding.com). His athletic accolades include a past career in pro motocross and over 25 years as a competitive bodybuilder.
WHAT IS THE ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES YOU BEST?Dwayne: ENERGETIC
WHAT IS YOUR TOP-3 FAVORITE ATP LAB SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS?Dwayne: This is always tough to answer because I have about 10 favorites (for different reasons). This answer might be different at another time, but currently, I am really focused on cognitive health — So here they are:
What prompted you to become a scientist?Dwayne: My love for education and thoughtful inquiry led me to my career as a professor and scientist. I have always excelled in problem-solving, so I guess I went with my strength. The nice part about health science / medical research is that your findings, directly and indirectly, contribute to helping others live healthier and longer lives. Research is a wonderful outlet for creativity and good science requires integrity, logic, and rigor. I live by these tenets, so science has become my way of life.
You already have a pretty impressive and diverse resume, but If you could choose another career or sport what would it be?Dwayne: Thanks! Academic CV’s can get pretty bulky ;)
I wouldn’t change anything! I live fully and I absolutely love what I do. It has been VERY challenging… But, it is the challenges and tough times that I am most grateful for. Living through challenges enables continuous growth, which has helped me attain the positive and happy life that I am grateful for. I definitely wouldn’t trade anything (good or bad) to risk not having what I have today. I live for my family’s happiness, my health and to help others live happy and healthy lives. My work in research and my role at ATP Lab are part of my life’s mission, which makes me feel like the luckiest guy on earth.
What has been the greatest achievement of your professional career?Dwayne: I hope my greatest achievements are yet to be realized. I am a goal setter, so once I have achieved a goal I generally move on quickly to the next one.
I would say that my greatest professional achievement is being able to live out my true passion and be rewarded for it. I feel that the stars aligned for me when I became part of the ATP Lab family. My “WHY” is “To improve the quality and longevity of human life worldwide” and it fits perfectly with ATP Lab’s vision. Talk about serendipity! That is why, after a few decades in the fitness industry, I am totally confident to put my name and my brand behind ATP Lab’s vision. I think this is a match made in heaven and I am grateful!
WHEN IT COMES TO OUR PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT FLAVOURS, WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER?
Vanilla, Chocolate, Raspberry or Salted Caramel?Dwayne: Vanilla, because you can add any flavour you want to it. But I do love raspberry.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE USE OF ILLEGAL OR UNCONTROLLED DRUGS IN CERTAIN SPORTS SUCH AS THE FITNESS WORLD?Dwayne: Oooooh… Controversy! First, let me make a disclaimer for my broader audience. If you choose to use drugs for your sport, that’s your choice, I will still love you. However, since I am 46 years old and certain of my mortality, I think the off-label use of Rx drugs in the fitness industry is a complete “oxymoron”. In my view, fitness infers health; aesthetics should be a side effect of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, with the focus on aesthetics (especially in sports like bodybuilding, physique, and even bikini), many tend to forget about health. So, these athletes (male and female) spend a lot of their time in the gym for years on end but turn to unhealthy drugs — which only detracts from their quality of life in the long term and longevity. Imagine if the same effort was put in without drugs and the same athletes were motivated to live healthier and longer. Not only would this person look great, but also feel great and be thankful for decades! Performance enhancing drugs are available like never before and our young athletes are the biggest consumers. I hope I am wrong, but if you think too many young aesthetically motivated athletes died in the past few years, wait another decade… the future looks bleak.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?Dwayne: I wouldn’t change a thing from my past — that’s for sure! I am VERY happy with my life and take full responsibility of my strengths and shortcomings, successes and mistakes. I take chaos theory and the butterfly effect seriously. After all, the only thing we really know of ourselves is who we were in the past and who we are in the present moment. No one can predict who or what their “present self” will be, especially if they had special powers to change something in the past. I’m continuously educating myself, which elevates me personally and professionally. If I need change, I never ruminate on what I should have done, instead I create an action plan that moves me forward and I execute it daily, until it becomes a habit.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS HERO?Dwayne: I have always admired Ricky Johnson (Motocross). He was the hardest working racer of his era, a real champion. He has since retired from biking, but he now races trophy trucks for Red Bull.
Can you tell us about specific projects or products you are currently developing?Dwayne: All my work has centered around the role of the autonomic nervous system (i.e. sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves) in regulating cellular processes in health and disease. The autonomic nervous system provides an important link between the brain and the body, it also regulates our physiology (like blood flow, blood pressure, immunity, etc.) in response to stressors (physical, environmental, psychological, etc.). So, my work is generally focused on the impact of good stress (e.g. exercise) on making us healthier and bad stress (psychological) pathological conditions like obesity, hypertension, systemic inflammation, depression and cancer. We currently carry out preclinical research in these areas and my ultimate goal is to develop another lab to conduct human clinical trials based on our preclinical findings. A human clinical trials lab will enable us to study our novel ATP Lab formulations under conditions of systemic inflammation, concussion symptoms, gut health, performance, etc.
What is your favorite song to listen to while training at the gym?Dwayne: I have an eclectic mix… from Punk (NOFX, Pennywise, No Use for a Name, etc.) to Speed Metal (Pantera, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, etc.) to EDM, Hip Hop (Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem, etc.) and even classical! I am very affected by music, so my mood changes from day to day. I am a percussionist, so I like anything with rhythm! If I were to pick one of my all-time favorite training tunes, it would have to be, “A New Level” by Pantera, it always been on the playlist. I even posed to it when I competed in the 90’s.
IF YOU HAD SUPERPOWERS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR SUPERHERO NAME?Dwayne: I would have the power to speak to people who have died, seeking knowledge/truth, and gain perspective from their past lives. My job would be to spread truth and knowledge to help mankind. My name would be NecroMan.
WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE OR FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL?Dwayne: I have always struggled with cheat meals, I have an interesting relationship with food. But I think a good homemade 10oz sirloin burger on a nice white bun fits the bill any time.
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH GOALS FOR THIS YEAR?Dwayne: My main health goal never changes: to be healthier than I was yesterday. I would like to teach my little girl (4 years old) to ski. My wife and I love to snowboard, so it will be a nice way to connect with the family in nature. I’ve also decided to do a natural bodybuilding show (fall 2019), so that will keep me physically busy. Finally, I will continue to educate myself and others on the importance of presence through mindful meditation — I think the concept of “Being” (as described by Eckhart Tolle) should be everyone’s ongoing personal health goal, the world needs more people who are present.
What inspires you most about being a medical school professor?Dwayne: Seeing young bright minds develop. I’ve been a Med School Prof for 11 years, so I have had the opportunity to positively influence thousands of young bright minds, who are on the front lines helping humans. It’s inspiring to see all the great things my students have accomplished and to know that I have a part in their contributions to society.
How did science change your diet and the way you train?Dwayne: The science of Diet/Training and performance is ongoing. I have always followed science, but my original “science” resource as a teen was Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding (in the late 1980’s). As I became educated, my research resources became more robust and here’s what I Iearned: 1) Don’t get fat when bulking (1990’s mentality); 2) If you weigh 200 lbs, you don’t need 400 grams of protein per day to grow; 3) Learn to train intensively without stimulants.
The world of science is making so much progress in the mad quest to prolong life and, in some cases, reach eternal life. Do you think this is a possible and necessary achievement for the future of humanity? What is your position on this subject?Dwayne: As wonderful as eternal life may seem our planet’s ecosystem would not be able to support the endless growth of an immortal human population. Based on our current rates of consumption and the 2nd law of thermodynamics we cannot live in a constant state of consumption. So, essentially, the earth is self-regulating — no matter how advanced we become as a species. I think our efforts should be put on optimizing the life we have, instead of extending it any longer than 100 years. I think we all have the fortitude to reach 100, but our lifestyles and environment cannot currently support this. My take: The whole world will need to balance consumption with Mother Nature. We need to work more efficiently, decrease stress, care for the environment, eat organic fresh food and live in the present before science can responsibly provide the means to an eternal life on earth.
As you probably know, there is an opioid epidemic across North America. Some believe it's partly due to prescription medications (painkillers). In your opinion, what should be done to better inform patients and health professionals about alternative and natural medicines?Dwayne: The current opioid crisis highlights a significant deficit in the state of mental health and mental health care among North Americans. One of the big problems with pain management is the fact that perception of pain is subjective, and this subjectivity depends on a plethora of factors, including the patient’s history of physical and mental pain and behaviours. Beyond malignant cancer pain, opioid use for more than a few days can deplete “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain, which develops dependence on higher dosing. The problem is, opioids provide relief from all pain (mental and physical) but these effects diminish as the body becomes reliant on the opioid to feel good or just normal. So, a typical example, a law-abiding citizen with an underlying mental health issue limps into his physician with debilitating back pain. He is in obvious pain and cannot simply “stretch this injury out”. The doctor first tells him to try Robaxacet or prescribes a muscle relaxant and tells him to come back if it doesn’t work. Two days later, the patient is back in more pain. So, the doc escalates the treatment and gives a prescription for an opioid pain reliever. The patient goes home and takes his opioids, he not only feels physically better, but also mentally better. Here’s where the troubles begin: They see their physician for a refill on their prescription and the physician either: 1) Refills without question. Or 2) Declines a refill and recommends an alternative (e.g. Tylenol and Advil). If the Doc refills the prescription, the addiction prevails, if not, then the patient seeks opioids from the street — Fentanyl, Oxy, Heroin, etc.
Are there natural alternatives to treat terminal cancer pain? There are (e.g. medicinal marijuana, THC, CBD) but none as powerful as opioids. This is the same with back pain. I’m not saying that we cannot treat pain naturally, but there are legitimate conditions (like terminal cancer) that opioids are an effective and humane treatment. My view, musculoskeletal pain caused by injury is manageable with NSAIDs, diet/supplements and systematic physical rehabilitation. Those seeking opioids for idiopathic musculoskeletal pain or pain from injury should also undergo a comprehensive medical assessment by their primary health care provider to address any potential, underlying physical or mental health challenges that may exacerbate their pain condition.
So, the big question is: how do we assess for and appropriately treat mental health issues of those who require opioids for pain management?
Why ATP Lab?Dwayne: Alignment of ATP’s vision and values with my personal ‘WHY’. I have been working in the industry for almost 20 years and ATP Lab is the first brand I am willing to put my name and signature behind. We are a real lab, doing real honest science, with integrity. The whole ATP Lab family lives with integrity and that impressed the hell out of me from day 1. I am proud to say I am part of the ATP Family!
IN A FEW WORDS, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FANS WHO SEEK A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?Dwayne: EDUCATE YOURSELF AND TRUST THE PROCESS, CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
Let us know in the comment section if you have a special question for one of our athletes?