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The Nutritionally Deficient Diet Guru & The Problem with Multivitamins (INFOGRAPHIC)

supplements diet mitochondria health myths infographic podcast multivitamiins nootropic stacks

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#1 jroseland

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:54 PM

There's an inconvenient misconception about nutrition, specifically that...

You don't need to supplement vitamins and nutrients as long as you are eating a healthy diet.

While eating a healthy diet is really crucial - it's one of the first steps of Biohacking, if you're sick, depressed or unproductive you should optimize your diet first - it's not enough.

  • You could spend two thousand dollars a month eating the finest organic food you could find.
  •  You could only eat at the best health food restaurants in your town.
  •  You could spend hours in the kitchen every week meticulously prepping your meals.
  •  You could never cheat on your diet.

 And despite your best efforts and accruing significant expense you would still be nutrient deficient and in none-optimal health.

A critical thinker may reply to this
But that doesn't make sense! Our evolutionary ancestors were healthier than us and definitely didn't take fancy supplements. As long as you're eating a natural healthy "paleo" diet shouldn't that give your body everything you need?


Here's why this isn't so...

Our evolutionarily novel toxic environment poisons and kills us ever so slowly with nasty chemicals that our ancestors never had to worry about.

The unfortunate side effect of the past 150 years of tremendous industrial innovation has been thousands of radically unnatural chemicals seeping into every aspect of modern life.

Many of these chemicals undermine our foundational Mitochondrial energy generation process From Dave Asprey's manifesto on Mitochondria

These toxins are behind a lot of our diseases of modernity; cancer, obesity, depression, autoimmune diseases, etc

Environmental toxins are a leading cause of mitochondrial dysfunction. We are now exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals and pollutants that simply didn’t exist a mere hundred years ago. These chemicals have made their way into our bodies, and our mitochondria have not evolved to thrive among them. (p. 37)

To properly address the significant threat these toxins pose you could live like a paranoid monk isolated from civilization...

  • Only eat food that you had cultivated yourself
  •  Bath in forest streams
  •  Never use shampoo
  •  Never use a public restroom
  •  Wipe your ass with organic banana peels

...And you would significantly improve your health. But you would also be a total hermit and miss out on really vigorously living and enjoying the life that you're optimizing your health for.

A much more reasonable (and cost effective) option is to optimize your Mitochondria and neurobiology with supplementation.


Dr. Frank Shallenberger (who discovered and named EOMD) estimates that we actually need 50– 100 percent more energy now than we did a hundred years ago to get rid of all of the toxins that are inside our bodies, slowing down our energy production and making us weak. (p. 37)



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The Problem with Multivitamins

A savvy consumer might be thinking around now...
OK I understand why it's important to supplement these different vitamins, nutrients and Nootropics but can't I save myself money and inconvenience by just taking these as a multivitamin?
No, you want to take supplements in the same dosages that are demonstrated as beneficial in placebo controlled human studies. If you are taking them in dosages a lot lower than that there's no good reason to think that they will actually do you any good.


To which the consumer may respond...
Ok I understand that these different supplements all have different beneficial effects on my body and mind, if I take them ALL daily in smaller amounts (like in a multivitamin) won't the cumulative positive effect add up to the same benefit as taking greater dosages of them individually?
If there's 10 health supplements I want to take daily and I'm supposed to take 1000 milligrams of each daily won't I get the same (or even greater) benefit from just taking a 2000 milligram multivitamin daily that contains 20 different health supplements?
I realize that the dosage is lower but if I combine a bunch of different things isn't there a synchronicity of effects that exponentially is better than just taking them individually?
NoTaking small amounts of Nootropics or anti-aging supplements daily is, in general one of the best ways to minimize the benefit from them. If you want to waste your money this the supplementation strategy for you! Here's why...

You'll remember in the classic movie Princess Bride the hero defeats the villain by poisoning him with Iocane in a game of wits, they both drink the same amount of poison but the villain drops dead and the hero rescues the princess because the hero has gradually built up his tolerance to the poison by taking it daily for a while. Nootropics work the same way. If you give your body a little of them every day you'll build up a tolerance to them.


To hop to another metaphor, imagine that you had a girl friend (or a boy friend) that you gave a $100 a day, everyday. They would soon become spoiled and entitled and would likely grow to despise you and start sleeping the pool boy. But what if a couple of times a year you totally surprised them with extravagant $1000 gifts, they would likely be a very well behaved and loyal lover as they hoped for another intermittent reward and they would really appreciate it when they got it because they never knew when they were getting the next one.


Similarly, the economics of supply and demand underlie our evolutionary response to abundance or scarcity of resources needed by our neurobiology. This is why we have such an epidemic of obesity in developed countries.


Ergo, the smart supplementation strategy is cycling; get as many different high quality health supplements as you can reasonably afford and take them in the dosages that are recommended in the double blind, placebo controlled human studies. Take them as needed for the different demands of a given day or task;

  • If it's winter and I feel like I maybe getting sick, I'll stack all my immune supplements and take them for a few days.
  •  If I have a crucial web development project to knock out and need to be super productive and focused for 8-12 hours I'll combine high dosages of 2 - 5 different cognitive enhancers and re-dose every 4 -6 hours.
  •  If I have a buddy's bachelor party coming up and am going to be doing some drinking; I'll Biohack my boozing with a bunch of different liver detoxifying vitamins.
  •  If I'm operating on only 2 hours of sleep I'll do a mega-dose of wakefulness promoting Nootropics that day to stay alert.
  •  If I'm taking a weekend vacation with my girlfriend and am going to be having a lot of sex, I'll double up on my libido promoting herbs.

You get the idea... What I would NOT do is take all of these everyday, unless I was using them in a specific protocol to address a certain health concern.

You'll notice that in the studies done they give the Nootropic in question to the human subjects for a period in between several weeks to several months. The better or longer term studies will often note a tolerance or plateau of improvement being reached after several weeks or months of usage. So there is good reason to cycle daily, weekly and monthly.

Perhaps there's a Nootropic that really works well for me. I'll take it 4-6 times weekly for a month and then I'll go off it for a month or two so that my tolerance resets. Once I run out of a supply of a particular Nootropic ingredient I like instead of just reordering it I will look for another Nootropic that has the same effects or a similar a mechanism and I'll try that.

My medicine cabinet is a bit more stuffed with well over 40 different bottles, vials and packages of different things but my pharmacological promiscuity is ultimately a more economical, fun and effective neurobiological performance enhancement strategy.

This article originally appeared on FocusSupplements.co.uk
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