Nootropics are an important biohacking supplement. These smart drugs have been thought to be controversial by some as is it harmful to your brain or beneficial? Find out more about these supplements that help to boost your brains performance.
History of Nootropics
Origins of the word nootropic: Greek root noos for mind and trepein for toward
Drugs along this line aim selectively at the noetic functions (relating to neocortical mental activity, cognition or the intellect)
Listen to Dave talk with the inventor of CILTEP, Abelard Lindsay on Bulletproof Radio episode #82 about what is nootropic stacking and what all the different brain supplement substances in CILTEP can do for: your memory, sleep and focus.
If you’d like to try biohack your brain function a memory supplement recommended by Dave is called Alpha BRAIN™.
This supplement falls under the nootropic category, which basically means it could improve mental functions such as:
Alpha BRAIN™ from Onnit is not a pharmaceutical drug, but rather a combination of neurological specific vitamins, herbs and the registered propriety AC-11® which is a powerful DNA repair antioxidant.
Those giving positive testimonials and reviews of its brain enhancing abilities include medical professional like: Dr Dan Engle, MD (Psychiatrist) and Dr Martin Lazar, MD (Neurosurgeon); and celebrities like Whitney Miller (Miss USA 2012), Michelle Waterson (MMA 105lb champion).
Dave has a selection of four brain enhancing supplements for us to take:
Dave Asprey on Modafinil
Why The Bulletproof Exec Uses Provigil. If you haven’t heard of the Low Carb Cruise before it is organised and hosted by the famous low carbohydrate diet advocate, Jimmy Moore. On the sea cruise around the Caribbean islands this year in 2013, Howard Harkness interviewed Dave about his early life and his various biohacking tools.
Some major topics discussed where why he fired his doctor, and in particular why Dave regularly used and uses a eugeroic class of psychoactive drug, called Modafinil. It is also known as Provigil.
The eugeroic class of medications help improves wakefulness and alertness, and reduces tiredness, drowsiness, and the need for sleep. Dave has always been open about his use of both natural and pharmaceutical drugs to enhance brain performance and cognitive thinking to better control stress levels.
For the best results when making a cup of Bulletproof Coffee, or in fact any speciality coffee, you will want to store any coffee beans correctly to keep them fresh. When you grind fresh coffee beans you get the maximum flavor from your coffee bean investment.
So say you have just received delivery of your new 5lb Upgraded Coffee bean bag, how should you keep all those beans as fresh as possible in your house? Thankfully, Dave Asprey has provide his official answer as to how he stores his coffee beans at home.
If you ever want there is a large community of fellow biohacking fans over at the Bulletproof Forum. One of the best tips was this comment from Pizzabagel:
Keep 1-2lbs in the canister for daily use. Vacu-Seal and freeze the rest in the BPA-free bags around 1lb at a time. 1 day before running out of the beans in the canister, let one of your frozen bags thaw in a dark cabinet for a day (you don’t want to open the bag if the beans are still frozen) – then throw those beans in your canister and enjoy.
You probably have heard how Dave recommends that you should be improving your heart rate variability for better mental and physical performance. The one HRV tool that he has used for years is from a company called HeartMath® which Dave is also on one of the HeartMath advisory boards.
Now get another look into why you would want to train coherence of your heart from HeartMath:
Coherence: A State of Optimal Function
An in depth article from HeartMath explains the science of coherence here.
The coherent mode is reflected by a smooth, sine wave-like pattern in the heart rhythms (heart rhythm coherence) and a narrow-band, high-amplitude peak in the low frequency range of the HRV power spectrum, at a frequency of about 0.1 hertz.
It is a state where the emotional and physical systems are in harmony, which produces a psychophysiological coherence that is measurable through heart rate variability.
In Summary: What is Coherence Training
Basically HeartMath coherence training is the ability to optimize the heart and brain connection. Through conscious tools like breathing techniques and feeling positive emotions you can see live changes on the biofeedback machine. This puts your nervous system into a better less stress state that has a positive effect on multiple other body systems. This is a brain biohacking tool that Dave recommends to his private executive coaching clients to help them control and reduce anxiety and negative feelings through using this easy to use biofeedback device.
Brain octane is a pure C8 oil (caprylic acid) compared to XCT oil, which is a blend of both C8 and C10 (capric acid). Both Bulletproof products are MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oils.
If you follow the advice in the Bulletproof diet book you know how many recipes you can use it in. If you like making Bulletproof coffee, or even tea, then you will know how important a using an upgraded MCT oil is in your daily caffeine routine. MCTs are not just normal coconut oil. Oh no, they are a super special byproduct that has a ton of health benefits.
However, you need to know there are big when reviewing the differences between regular MCT oil and the Bulletproof options. Then there are also the unique features for Brain Octane and XCT that make them different from each other. Don’t worry, we got loads of great answers to the common questions when looking at which one to buy. Ready? Here we go.
MCT Oil Review
Let’s start by going over some basics like “what is a medium chain triglyceride?”
It is also known as a medium chain fatty acid which is a form of saturated fat. Saturated fats can be sub-classified into short-chain (SCFAs), medium-chain (MCTs), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs).
There are four kinds of MCTs:
C6 a.k.a caproic acid or hexanoic acid or C6:0
C8 a.k.a caprylic acid or octanoic acid or C8:0
C10 a.k.a capric acid or decanoic acid or C10:0
C12 a.k.a lauric acid or dodecanoic acid or C12:0
The numbers after the “C” are used to define the length of the carbon chains in each molecular formula from chemistry. The fourth one, C12, is controversial as some would say it should be classified as a long-chain fatty acid.
How Is MCT Made
There are two primary sources where medium chain triglycerides comes from:
Palm kernel oil.
Coconut oil is made from pressing the dried coconut kernel (meat), which is called the copra.
Palm kernel oil is made from processing kernel from the fruit of palm tree. This is not to be confused with palm oil which is made from the reddish pulp of the fruit of a palm tree.
You do get medium chain fatty acids in other food sources like diary which includes butter and ghee. However, they contain much smaller quantities and have more short chain fatty acids like butyrate.
This type of dietary oil is used extensively in the ketogenic diet. The reason being is this type of ketosis oil is fantastic for raising blood ketone levels (beta-hydroxybutyrate) to put you in a state of nutritional ketosis.
There are two easy and reliable ways to know if you are in a state of nutritional ketosis. One way is to use a beta-hydroxybutyrate measurement device like this one, to test if your blood levels are 0.5 mM and above. The second way is to use a Ketonix breath analyzer to measure breath acetone levels.
If you do the intermittent fasting then you will be naturally cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis from the fasting effect.
Improving appetite by decreasing food cravings & increasing satiety
Improving energy levels & oxygen capacity which equals better athletic performance
Enhancing vasodilation for better blood flow in the arteries
Treatment for migraine headaches
Neuroprotective benefits for disorders that cause seizure
Autism and improved behavior
Mood stabilization in bipolar disorder (type II)
Stroke prevention management
Metabolic syndrome management
Improving cholesterol levels
Like most things there can be potential unwanted effects when consuming this type of keto oil in some people:
Diarrhea a.k.a disaster pants
Nausea or vomiting
What causes disaster pants is something called C17, which is a byproduct of other MCT oil production processes. You will read below that the best way to avoid gastro distress is to use Brain Octane oil.
MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the byproduct from pressing the flesh of a coconut. MCT oil is the byproduct from refining coconut oil. Therefore, MCT oil is actually a refined version of coconut oil.
To be able to isolate the desired medium chain fatty acids mentioned above, like capric and caprylic acid, the oil from a coconut needs to be fractionated into a food grade form.
Coconut oil contains lots of lauric acid, which is a great anti-microbial used as a treatment for candida and yeast infections. When lauric acid is digested in our gastrointestinal system, it then forms a substance called, monolaurin. Both monolaurin plus lauric acid can kill harmful pathogens like fungi, bacteria & viruses.
There are substantially more C8 and C10 fatty acids in MCT oil compared to coconut oil. You would need six tablespoons of plain coconut oil to match one tablespoon of normal MCT oil levels.
MCT Oil vs Bulletproof Oils
Hopefully, you will have read so far how where the oil is sourced and how it is refined makes all the difference when comparing products.
Both Bulletproof Brain Octane and XCT oils do not contain the C17 byproduct that can cause major gastro distress.
Looking at getting the purest form of C8 and C10 medium chain fatty acids on the market? Then the Bulletproof options are much better for you.
Dave has chosen to use 100% coconut oil to get the best MCT oil he could manufacture. So there is no palm kernel oil in either Bulletproof oil. It says so on the label.
This means the Bulletproof products are orangutan friendly so you are helping to support the protection of orangutans in Southeast Asia from the palm oil crisis by not buying a product that causes any of them harm.
You also might not be able to trust the nutrition label with some no-name brands. Watch out, as some other products on the market might use filler oils, like olive oil, or other omega 6 oils.
You can trust that either Bulletproof MCT oil has gone through rigorous testing to guarantee that you are getting what you are paying for.
This is the original Bulletproof MCT product and was previously called Upgraded™ MCT oil. It was the first refined coconut oil developed to be used in the official Bulletproof® Coffee recipe.
This bottle is definitely not just a simple concentrated organic virgin coconut oil. Dave’s version of MCT oil is 6x stronger than regular coconut oil when it comes to providing medium chain fatty acids.
It is made using a Bulletproof process to refine premium coconut oil made from coconuts to give you a proprietary blend of both capric acid (C10) and caprylic acid (C8). It is free from lauric acid and other long chain fatty acids that are more difficult to metabolize.
It can be used in making coffee as it improves mouth feel. It can also be used with food like sushi, smoothies, “Get Some” Bulletproof ice cream, paleo soups, bone broths and vegetables on the green side of the Bulletproof diet.
MCT oil is great in helping with energy levels for the brain and aids in weight loss.
Beginners Tip: The best way to try XCT oil for the first time is to take it slow. Try adding 1 tablespoon to your food or coffee and then increase the amount as your body gets better at metabolizing fat again.
Ketogenic Diet Approved Oil
Assists in Weight Management
Helps Mental Performance
You can get a bottle of XCT oil in two different sizes:
To recap, the biggest difference is that you are getting 100% caprylic acid with Brain Octane. This is used mainly for cognitive function and easier digestion. You will get an even better brain boost compared to XCT oil. Dave has also mentioned that he feels less gastrointestinal disturbances with Brain Octane versus other MCT oils. Remember too that he can take a lot as he does free pour the stuff into his Bulletproof coffee.
XCT oil is great for helping your metabolism with some brain boosting at a more economical pricing.
Overall you can’t go wrong going with either oil. You can substitute a little of one in with the other in a mix if needs. Either one is a great alternative for the other and can complement each other too.
The type of coffee bean you use in your cup of Bulletproof® coffee makes a world of a difference in the way it will taste and how it will make you feel. For a long time Dave mentioned how he didn’t likedecaffeinated coffee, because normal “poor quality” coffee beans, through the non-Bulletproof decaf process, could be prone to even more mycotoxin problems and your losing some of the health benefits that he enjoys in his morning cup of Bulletproof® coffee.
That all changed when the best way to make decaf coffee was blended with the best coffee beans to make Upgraded™ Decaffeinated coffee beans. The best way to make decaf coffee be able to achieve the strict Bulletproof standards is to make it without harsh chemicals via the Swiss Water® Process. Some recent research from Mount Sinai Medical Center showed how decaf coffee has health benefits. The paper was titled “Decaffeinated coffee may help improve memory function and reduce risk of diabetes.” and published in ScienceDaily, 1 Feb. 2012.
Some interesting facts about the SWISS WATER® Process are:
The method was discovered in Switzerland in the 1930’s, but is made in and uses cold filtered water from British Colombia, Canada.
Uses a mountain water decaffeination process not a chemical decaffeination process so you don’t get exposed to methylene chloride or ethyl acetate that are typically used to strip caffeine molecules from the green coffee bean.
Is audited to produce 99.9% caffeine-free coffee beans.
In the US, decaffeinated coffee has a guideline that requires 97% of the caffeine to be removed from a green coffee bean, however, in Canada 99.9% is the recognized standard for decaffeinated coffee.
Ben Greenfield Coffee
Learn why Ben Greenfield cycles between drinking decaf and caffeinated coffee.
Can you drink Bulletproof coffee everyday or should you take a day or two off every week? This was the question that was posed towards self-confessed biohacker and regular Bulletproof® coffee drinker, Ben Greenfield in his podcast episode 258 on iTunes. It is probably a common question that most biohackers starting out on the Bulletproof® diet would ask themselves.
Dave has said that his Bulletproof diet is a guide how to improve your brain and body performance you are free to play around, experiment and test your own data to see what works best for you. Ben gave a list of great answers to the listener of his show. In the mp3 audio clip below you will need to fast forward to 00:52:12 to hear Ben’s full answer. Ben’s final verdict is that YES You can drink a cup of Bulletproof® coffee everyday 🙂
Key Points Ben Mentioned:
Technically you can do Bulletproof® coffee everyday,
Competing athletes will want to keep sensitive to effects of caffeine,
Ready to star biohacking your circadian rhythm and sleep?
So hopefully you know can now understand that it is definitely a good thing to filter out certain spectral wavelengths.
Now you get to see biohacking products that can help protect your eyes if you are at work, home or even travelling for business or going on holiday anywhere in the world.
Best Bulletproof Blue Blocking Glasses
People wear normal sunglasses to help avoid excessive exposure to UV (ultraviolet) light and glare during the day. This is especially true in places with lots of natural sunlight, just like California 🙂
However, it is probably the artificial blue light spectrum being emitted from your work laptop , cellphone screen or the bright energy efficient LED lightbulbs inside your house at night that need more of your attention.
Wearing a comfortable pair of frames designed to filter harmful light, by using a dark yellow or amber tinted lens, is such an easy and convenient way to protect your eyes and pineal gland from the detrimental effects of digital devices glare.
If you watch Bulletproof radio episodes or you were at the Bulletproof Conference in 2017 then you would have seen Dave wearing blue light blocking glasses from a Biohacked called TrueDark™ Daywalker andTrueDark™ Twilight.
There are two pairs of glasses – one for the day called Daywalker and one for night time called Twilight
You would use the TrueDark Daywalker glasses during the day in junk light environments & places like an office cubicle or walking around an expo hall.
Remember though you aren’t limited to only wearing these at night time. You can even wear them during the daytime too. There were thousands of biohackers at the annual biohacking conference in Pasadena, CA doing exactly this. In the expo hall people were under the artificial fluorescent lighting for prolonged periods. This was a suitable time when biohackers felt the benefit of using them when walking around the tech expo hall. So if you need to go to conferences or are an exhibitor at expos/conventions then get a pair for then.
Do remember you would take them off at times when going outside into the daylight so that your eyes can get some exposure the full light spectrum of the sun. They are UV rated so they can be used when outside as sunglasses too.
When Should You Wear these Amber Glasses?
You would want to wear a pair of glasses that filter out blue light mainly at night before going to bed. This is so you can produce adequate amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin in your brain to help you fall asleep more easily and avoid insomnia.
However, you can use them during the day too. Are you a gamer then you’ll know these are a must and help reduce eye fatigue. If you like to watch TV shows or movies, play video games, surf the internet, check emails or do any work on a computer then you need a pair of these glasses. Looking at LED screens, or LCD screens, from a tablet PC, laptop or mobile phone is a big problem for your eye health. Again, this is not only the effect of eye strain, but also what staring at our technologies screens might be doing to your melatonin production abilities.
Did you know that there is an awesome biohackers home piece of kit that is recommended by Dave Asprey? These are the low blue light lightbulbs that you can see in the images to the right.
When you purchase these for your house what you will get is a 120 VAC nightlight fixture and one 120 VAC LED amber bulb. These light bulbs are for use in electrical sockets in the United States and Canada. Sorry for those Bulletproof fans in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, but you can try use an adapter to have them work in your electrical outlets.
One of the great benefits with these bulbs is that they block all blue light and only emit the amber range with a peak up to 598nm. They are also LED bulbs so will last a long-time and are energy efficient for your electrical billing.
Suggested Uses For Low Blue Light Bulbs
For babies and nursing mothers. These light bulbs are also great for mothers who are breast feeding or bottle feeding their newborn baby at night. New mums who have just had a baby need to get up in the middle of the night to take care of their child. However, you don’t want to disrupt the mum’s or even the dad’s melatonin hormone cycle when they get up in the early hours of the morning or in the middle of the night. It also means the babies melatonin is protected as they too are not exposed to the same blue spectrum if they are crying or fussing for a food.
For young children and toddlers. Use them in your childs’ bedroom as a night light if they are afraid of the dark. These bulbs are great for background lighting to help break the darkness for a child.
For adults especially the older adult. These types of light bulbs are perfect for adults (especially the elderly) who do need to get up most nights to go to the toilet. Many people need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate (pee). Using one of these low blue light bulbs in the hallway or near your bathroom door would be a much better choice of light to help someone see a bit better on their way to the bathroom. Even worst would be turning on the bright light in the toilet so use one of these in the loo to if needs.
Best Bulletproof Blue Blocking Screen Protectors
Dave has a range of blue blocking screen protector films called Zen Tech™. You can stick these on your different tech screens to help filter out some blue and UV light out.
There are different screen size options available in the Zen Tech™ product range. You can use this film these on one of the following Apple devices:
iPad Air or Mini,
iPhone 5, 5s, SE, 6, 6 plus, 6s, 6s plus 7, 7 plus
MacBook Laptop (pro or air) 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes
The way it works is you apply it on your device like you would any other screen protector. However, this film not only helps to protect your devices screen from scratches and markings, but also filters different spectrums of visible and invisible light being emitted from the LED’s lightening up the devices screen. So you get the benefit of 24/7 filtering without needing to do anything more than applying the film.
Some other benefits are:
It is a clear film that does not make your screen look yellow, amber or crimson. So this might be better for those of you that do not want to make your screen look different to others. This might also be important for digital photographers, website designers, graphic designers and film or video editors that need to see all the original colors without the distorting original images colors.
The material in the film is designed to filter out a minimum of 28% blue light and 84% ultraviolet light.
You can peel it off, clean it and reapply it again on the same screen or another devices screen. So it is transferable between an old iPhone and if you get a new upgrade when a newer version comes out from Apple each year.
It is surprising how few people might not think about this great biohack. If your sleep environment is not pitch black then you are getting disturbed sleep from an external source of light somewhere. This might be light coming from street lamps outside, smoke alarm led lights, passage way lighting, neighbours who don’t turn outside security lights off etc…
If you cannot control these sources of light with black out curtains then wearing a sleep mask is such a quick and easy way to create pitch blackness. Sleeping in complete darkness will give you the best chance to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Air travel just sucks as excess lights are shinning in from other passengers screens and lots of other places on the plane.
Get yourself one of these silk sleep masks from Swanwick Sleep. Not only is it oversized to block out light leaking in from around the mask, it is very comfortable to wear over your eyes and bridge of the nose, and the strap will keep the mask on, but not feeling tight that it is constricting on your scalp. The soft silk feeling will help you drift of to sleep in comfort.
There are other sleep masks available on Amazon, but we think you can’t go wrong with this one. Makes sense when you get a pair of the glasses just invest in the mask too to biohack your sleep.
Get Blue Blocking Software
This is a Bonus Tip: For a free simple way to improve either your Windows PC or Apple Mac computer you should consider installing and using free software called f.lux®.
GetFlux is a free download that was developed by people who use their computers all the time, like software developers, and know about the harmful effects artificial light exposure from computer screens can have on our brains.
This is such a handy way to auto filter out some of the harmful light waves being emitted from your laptop or computer screen when working on it, especially after dark at night. The software will automatically adjust its settings, according to your geolocation. It will change your screen color seen by you from normal bright full color resolution to various shades of light to dark amber levels according to your preference. It uses your wifi connection to determine the GPS co-ordinates where in the world or you manually type in your zip code or physical location in the search function. You are then able to change your screens color as your natural sunlight day moves into the darkness of night.
If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad then please use the Night shift function in the new iOS versions. To find out how to set it up if you haven’t done so already then use this link.
For Android users there are free or paid for apps in the Google play store which you can download from here.
Another very good overview of the known scientific research and findings is the paper published by Tosini, G et al. in the Molecular Vision, a peer-reviewed journal.
It showed how illuminating devices like smartphones have a bad effect on keeping optimal sleeping habits plus our eye physiology health.
So minimising exposure to blue spectral light range (450-495nM) is both good for the sleep-wake cycle plus protection from the possible deterioration of our retinas and eyesight.1
This is just some research why you should consider helping to improve your nervous systems function and correct hormone secretion levels by wearing blue light filter glasses at night. Especially when you are relaxing at home watching TV, using a computer to read emails or a cellphone to catch up on social media or play games.
You might think you need to avoid all blue wavelengths.
However, that is not the case and definitely not healthy biohacking. We need to expose our eyes to natural blue light waves that come from sunlight. Doing this daily habit first thing in the morning when we wake up helps to set, or reset, our circadian rhythm to our latitude and longitude.
Natural light from the sun is the best form of light for so many more reasons.
We are talking about mainly using it to biohack our brains to stay in sync with the day/night cycle where we live. This is how we set out body clocks.
Jet lag is a common problem when your body clock is out of sync from travelling long-distance across time-zones.
If you have ever experienced a bad case of jet lag you know just how horrible it can make you feel!
It just sucks waking up in the middle of the night and then being tired all day when you are meant to be enjoying your beach holiday or trying to be alert for a business meeting or conference when you are struggling to keep your eyes open.
Learning how to beat jet lag and avoid disturbing your circadian rhythm when moving through time zones is a great biohacking skill to have.
Using the recommended glasses below is one way to avoid the problem from happening when traveling on planes, trains and buses.
There are a whole bunch of other good reasons for actively protecting your eyeballs from bad light. Obesity, cancer, depression, seasonal affected disorder (SADs) etc… These are just some more conditions that can be associated with those suffering from poor sleep patterns, not getting enough natural light at the right time of day and too much man-made fake light when the sun goes down at night.
An easy to read link for you on the medical research about why blocking the blue light spectrum is good for your overall health could be this one from Harvard Health. The article discusses the dangers of blue light spectrum on human health and physiology.
For some even more heavy scientific reading there is the Brain Gut 11 post from neurosurgeon, Dr Jack Kruse.
What Color of Light is Best for Sleeping?
Amber or red colored light bulbs. These lights that do not emit blue light spectrum. You can use colored LED bulbs or products like a Himalayan salt lamp to create the red hue room lighting.
Activated charcoal is a very old and very potent medicinal detox remedy. It is still widely used today because it just works so well. This is why so many people still use this incredible natural detox treatment option in loads of situations where too many toxins are major health and beauty issue. This will all be explained in more detail below.
Choosing the right one will make sure you get all the positive health reasons someone would take it in the first place. Just watch out, as something this powerful for helping a health issue, can also cause certain problems in specific situations, which we will highlight for you. At the end of the day this is a such a powerful biohacking supplement that every biohacker who wants to feel Bulletproof needs to have a bottle in stock easy to use in their medicine cupboard.
What is Activated Charcoal Made From?
It can be made from many different sources, but the one you need to buy are the products that are made from natural substances like coconut shell and husks.
You need to know how it is made, since, where or what it comes from can make a big difference to your results. The goal is – just like most supplements – being able to absorb quality ingredients from your product in order to achieve the optimal and desired results.
Don’t confuse activated charcoal with normal charcoal that is used for heating purposes or burning on a BBQ. This latter type of charcoal is made using wood, peat, coal, or even petroleum. Hopefully you can see that you definitely do not want to ingest this type of charcoal. You need to look out for the word “activated”. That is the version you want to put into your body. However, don’t worry, you want make the mistake when you are looking where to buy some, as the Bulletproof store capsules are 100% the right stuff to take.
Here is a little bit of chemistry that you first need to know: charcoal is activated carbon. Activated carbon is also known as activated charcoal. To create it something called char has to be heated up to very high temperatures in order to help “activate” it. Activating it means opening up, millions of internal tiny pores between the carbon atoms. Manufacturers achieve this by burning the coconut shells, without the presence of oxygen, into what is called char. They then can either use steam activation or chemical activation methods to then convert the char into the next stage. The end result of that process will have produced activated charcoal. However, is it not quite ready yet and it then needs to be “water-washed” or “acid-washed” to get rid of the soluble ash and be ready for commercial use.(1)
This now highly porous charcoal has a massive surface area of 300 – 2000 square metres per gram. The large surface area available means there are loads of activated carbons ready to be used to absorb either smelly odors or any chemical substances that they come in contact with. This is the reason why you will find activated charcoal water filters help to purify water of unwanted toxic chemicals.
These open pores mean there are air gaps and chemical bonds ready in the charcoal that will be used later when you take it to help soak up the toxic substances you are trying to get rid of.
Some people might be thinking: “hey this stuff is burnt that means it can cause cancer, right?” Nope, not to worry, it is definitely not a carcinogen and has no carcinogenic properties. It is completely safe for human consumption.
What is Activated Charcoal Used For?
Really the number one, and main reason, why someone would think about taking activated charcoal tablets is to help detox fast! For example this could be after being exposed to some type of deadly toxins and/or poisonous substances. It is commonly used in emergency rooms in hospitals across the world for this reason.(2)
It is very helpful in emergency treatments from an acute poisoning event. For example: like when kids eat something off the floor they shouldn’t have, or an adult has taken an accidental overdose of some kind of medication pills or alcohol.
Other Reported Beneficial Effects
1. Help lower LDL cholesterol1,2 (this was in treatment of hypercholesterolaemia, but is cholesterol a problem?)
2. Help bile flow issues during pregnancy3 (medically called cholestasis)
3. Try prevent hangovers or be a natural hangover cure4 (wines, beers or spirits included)
4. Reduce a runny tummy, abdominal bloating, burping, intestinal gas and excessive flatulence5 (a.k.a farting)
5. Water Filtration6 (tip: clean water is also important when brewing coffee)
6. Treat Mold Mycotoxin Exposure7 (damp or water damaged housing situation)
7. Teeth Whitening8(no dentist bleaching option)
8. Anti-Aging 9(adding to the ability to live longer maybe)
9. Colonic Cleanse10(great as regular colon detoxification option)
10. Skin and Body Care11(help reduce acne, spots and oily skin problems to look good on the outside too. Great to use in a detox mask and definitely try this recommended clay mask as well)
As you can see there many good reasons to consider taking a dose. Many people take it at home and is used by the whole family. However, there are some things to watch out for.
It is important to understand there are many benefits, however, as with any healing substance, be they natural or artificially made, there are also possible side-effects that can happen at certain times.
A very important side-effect to be aware of is do not take it at the same time as taking any other supplement or medication. Remember supplemental charcoal is a powerful absorbent and it absorbs anything it comes in contact within your gut. Please wait at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after a charcoal dose before taking any other prescribed or natural medicine.(3)
Other Potential Side-Effects
4. Temporary darkening of the stool (N.B. this black poo is not a melena situation from GI bleeding)
On rare occasions if you develop any severe allergic reactions like a rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue then seek immediate medical treatment.
Recommended Dosage & Timing
Of course it is important to know, how much to take and when is the best time to take any supplement or medicine. Some drugs or chemicals work best when taken with food or on an empty stomach, some need to be tiered up in quantities & others should be taken in large bolus type doses all at once to give the clinical effect you are looking for.
The recommended activated charcoal dose depends on the situation. A medical emergency situation is very different to treating a bad hangover problem. Adults and children also need different dosage amounts when prescribed by a trauma doctor or physician.(4) For example, it appears that you need to take it within 1 hour of ingestion of the unwanted substance otherwise it is not as effective if taken many hours later.(5)
For our purposes we will look at some common biohacking situations. If you take the recommended Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coconut Charcoal then you will want to take 1 gram as a minimum. This would be two capsules. You can take more as required to get results.
Did you know that just 2 grams of Upgraded™ Coconut Charcoal capsules have the same surface area as a football field! That means it provides a lot of tiny pores that can capture and bind with unwanted chemicals to help you excrete them out your body.
Recommended Activated Charcoal Products
So hopefully you can now understand why it is a good thing to use activated charcoal to absorb unwanted chemicals. You have some biohacking detox products that can help protect you no matter if you are at work, home or even travelling for business or going on holiday anywhere in the world.
Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coconut Charcoal
We know how Dave has found that using charcoal capsules when eating somewhere you aren’t quite sure about food quality or ingredients helps. Also in long-term treatment mycotoxin illness.
Finer grade particles in the powder compared to other brands available
Washed to remove heavy metal contaminations common with other activated charcoal products
Easy transportable bottle for travelling or putting in a hand bag on nights out
90 Capsules with a Shelf Life of 4-6 Years
The large surface area available in the ultra fine powder in each capsule allows many bonding sites for chemical interactions. This means better chance of bonding bad chemicals on the charcoals carbon surface so they can become trapped an released from your body. This is important when trying to lower mycotoxin load. It is also helps reduce the risk from exposure to food items that can have high levels of mold growth (coffee, spices, fruit berries…) which in turn can create an unwanted histamine reaction in the body. Click here to get a bottle.
Soma Water Filter
These kitchen counter top Soma Water Filter Pitchers and Jugs not only look elegant & beautiful to display in your home, but more importantly they do a decent job of filtering out the bad stuff in tap water. The Soma Filters are designed to help get rid of the heavy metals like: mercury, zinc and copper, in addition to chlorine and bad odors found in water out the tap. The company is on a mission to provide clean drinking water to everyone – I hope they succeed.
What is good about them is:
They made from 65% plant based materials meaning a lower carbon footprint,
Free from BPA’s & Phthalates
Soma gives back by donating clean drinking water to those in need through charity
These are easily replaceable water filters that can be used many times in a month to give you many ounces or litres of clean filtered water.
You have a selection of Soma Water Filter products to choose from:
If you are looking to upgrade your drinking water when at home, filling up a water bottle to take to work or the gym then this is a sustainable options instead of buying bottled water. Click here for current pricing on Amazon.
During the filming of the “The Bulletproof Life” on Creative Live, which was a very informative 3-day live TV broadcast in San Francisco, he did explain to the audience and viewers watching the actual reason why after been asked the question live on-air.
Some people initially thought it was for blocking the artificial blue light spectrum from lightbulbs and digital screens like a computer or phone. Very good guess, but they were wrong in this case.
These particular glasses may look just like these recommended blue blocking glasses; since they also have an amber or dark yellow tint. Those tinted glasses are designed to help you produce melatonin to sleep at night; this is to do with circadian rhythm.
However, the type of eyewear Dave was wearing at Creative Live was for a whole other reason that very few people think about or or know of. The real reason Dave Asprey wears orange tinted eyeglasses is because they are Irlen Method Lenses.
What is Irlen Syndrome?
Irlen syndrome (a.k.a. Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, Meares-Irlen Syndrome or Visual Stress) is defined as a visual perceptual processing disorder. It is not an optical disorder of sight that requires corrective lenses to improve the ability to see clearly. It is a problem within the brain centers ability to process visual information correctly. This means words on a page can appear distorted such as moving, blurry, zig zagging or the user could miss them and not see a word. It can run in the family.
The syndrome, method and institute are named after the founder, Helen L. Irlen, MA, LMFT. She is a trained psychologist who has been working on informing parents, school teachers and the general public on this overlooked condition, especially in children with ADHD and dyslexia. Through here perseverance and passion there is now over 30 years of medical research looking why and what happens, how to diagnose it and how to treat it.2
Credit is also given to a teacher in New Zealand, Olive Meares, who described the classical symptoms back in the 1980’s around the same time when Helen also published her findings. Both described how spatial distortions affecting reading text by some individuals could be positively helped by covering the words with see through colored overlays or filters.3
Irlen syndrome can be caused by a defect in one of the visual pathways that carries messages from the eye to the brain. This defect causes a timing fault in processing visual information. Filtering out specific wave lengths of light helps the pathway to function normally.
This is not an anatomical pathology in the brain that needs surgery. It is more of how the neurones in the brain are functioning and working to understand what it is your eyes are seeing along the optic nerve.
Described below are some classic symptoms that can be used an indication you may have the issue:
Eye Strain – easily develop fatigued or tired eyes which reduces time spent reading, or helps to causes headache or watery, red eyes.
Reading Problems – problems tracking sentences from line to line, misreading words or reading slowly or with hesitation.
Photophobia – sensitivity to bright light like indoor fluorescent light bulbs or even natural sunlight.
Letters Move on a Page – struggle to keep letters still and see them as moving, flashing or getting lighter/darker. Struggle with busy patterns, particularly stripes.
Poor Focus – maintaining attention and normal concentration levels are a problem. Struggle to keep letters in focus independent of normal poor eyesight issues like being hyperopia (far sighted) or myoptic (near sighted).
Trouble Writing – poor written skills like spelling, spacing and unequal letter sizing
Poor Depth Perception – appear clumsy and have difficulty judging distances or playing sports like catching a ball.
Here is an example of what someone might see who is struggling with the condition.
Testing and Diagnosis
You can do a quick self-test on the irlen.com website. You can see in the example how changing the background color on the website page might make reading the wording easier, more comfortable to read or even the opposite depending on the chosen color.
There are officially two types of accredited Irlen testers:
Irlen Screener – this is someone trained in using the initial testing with the colored filters they overlay on a books page. They will help determine if you need to go to the next stage.
Irlen Diagnostician – this a person who has been trained by the institute who can both do stage 1 screening and stage 2 diagnosis testing. They can officially recommend and order the correct color combination for your Irlen spectral filter (a.k.a Irlen lenses) that will go into your desired style of frames. So yes you can even wear them in fashionable eyewear brands frames like Oakley, which is what Dave is wearing.
If you are searching for how to find a certified screener or diagnostician near you Then there are two options. You can find practitioners in different US states by using this link. If you want to find a certified person in an international test center around the world like the UK, Europe, Asia or Australia you can use this directory here.
Who Should Wear Irlen Glasses?
Lets look at Daves’ case first. As he said in a tweet back in May 2013 after being spotted wearing his tinted sunglasses indoors during this London Real TV interview, he wears them for improved mental performance during the day.
@BenDixonUK irlen lenses! Custom tint for mental performance
What did he mean by custom tint for mental performance? This means is if your central nervous system (a.k.a your brain processing centers) is struggling to make optimal sense of wording and how you perceive the environment around you then you are basically wasting mental energy. You may feel physical fatigue as one of the indicators, but it could just feeling brain fog or mentally not how you want to feel.
The goal is to add lots of different positive factors that help your personal physiology. This is biohacking. So seeing the world through a colored filter tint that relaxes your brain and helps you see your surroundings as they should be seen creates less effort and bad stress on your nervous system.
Here are some common situations people could benefit from being tested and wearing lenses:
ADHD children or adults
Autism spectrum or Asperger Syndrome sufferers
Brain injuries like concussion syndrome from accidents
War veterans and those with post-traumatic stress disorder
Underachievers at school on their reports or in physical education classes
Medical conditions that are related to sensory overload or light sensitivity like:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Auto Immune Diseases
So it is quite a list of people with named health conditions that might benefit. This is why getting screened is so easy to do. Not everyone should wear a pair of these special type of glasses as not everyone has the disorder.
However, even if you feel normal, but you are biohacker looking to find any extra ounce of free energy to power up your brain and body then get yourself screened for Irlen Syndrome and see if you too need custom tinted glasses.
Irlen Products Available
If you want to find out even more or try out some of the color filters you are in luck below are some more official products that you can have shipped to your door by Amazon.
“The Irlen Revolution: A Guide to Changing your Perception and Your Life” is a book written by Helen herself. If you are a mum or dad worried about your child – this is for you. If you are a educator and want to know more about the issue – this is for you. If you are a educational psychologist and need more detail then this is for you. The book is about Helens journey and what she has discovered with some stories to bring the concepts to life. It begins with an summary of different learning disabilities and the standard treatments on offer for those afflicted. The next chapters then explain the Irlen Method and explore the scientific basis of it. Then to tie it all together Helen discusses the individual disorders: what they are, and how the Irlen approach may be used to treat them successfully. The book is available in either kindle or paperback
These are official Irlen colored overlays used by both screeners and diagnosticians during testing. However, you can use them too at home. In this sample pack you will get one of each color so 10 color overlays in total. These are colors determined to be scientifically useful from all the years of testing and research at the institute. You can put these over study books, textbooks or any other fiction or non-fiction books. Use the overlays to see if you can read the font better and see the graphs, pictures and images without distortions. If you know your colors you can use these for yourself or see if your kids benefit. Reading some of the five star Amazon reviews you will see how people use them for helping headaches and discovering they have a case if visual stress. You can get a pack from Amazon
The short answer is no – Bulletproof Coffee is not a scam. This high fat coffee is the real deal and many people make their coffee this way for lots of different health benefit reasons.
Are you wondering if putting unsalted grass-fed butter and MCT oil into your cup of joe is good for you? Are you maybe skeptical that drinking something with high saturated fat content is actually beneficial for your overall health? Making butter coffee is a real concept and is something loads of biohackers do everyday.
In this comedy skit you can check out these two guys doing a unique n=1 biohacking experiment. It is funny to watch them showing you their results of just exactly how bullet proof you will feel when you try drinking this type of ketogenic coffee 🙂 Again this is a joke and not what really happens.
Who Recommends Butter Coffee
Here is just a small sample of the thousands of people who make coffee with butter and MCT oil and recommend others do so too.
Medical Professionals Testimonials
Some people might be worried or skeptical about this type of advise and think Dave is a con2. Well it isn’t and he is not. Tons of medical doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals are promoting the low carbohydrate high-fat diet movement to reduce daily refined sugar intake.
There was even a Fat Summit hosted by functional medicine doctor, Dr Mark Hyman, who interviewed Dave and many others experts in the LCHF diet field. The goal is to lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other lifestyle diseases that can be fixed by eating the correct foods3.
Then there are numerous celebrity endorsements from Hollywood actors and actresses, famous singers, professional cross-fit athletes, motivational speakers and more. Some examples would be Ed Sheernan, Jeremy Piven (a.k.a Ari Gold), Kelly Starrett and many more.
At the 2014 Grammy Awards Ed Sheeran was filmed during an interview with a red carpet reporter saying how much he loved Bulletproof® Coffee. In the video below you’ll hear a positive endorsement from Ed about how he gets excited about drinking a cup of coffee mixed with real butter and ketone producing MCT oil.
He explains how he has sustained energy levels because he was able to drink it at 3am and stay awake easily for 24 hours.
Hopefully more celebrities will be swopping out their milk and cream in their coffee’s with some healthy grassfed butter and C8 oils.
Recommended by Biohackers
A great place to hear all the testimonials and stories from others who have followed Daves’ advise is at the annual Bulletproof Conference. This is a time of year when thousands of people from countries across the world come together to network, try out new health devices and listen to some world-class speakers on many different aspects of optimal health.
Over the three days the biohacking event you wouldn’t believe how much butter and different types of Bulletproof coffee are consumed. If you were ever worried about even having just one cup per day then you got to come see people drinking 3-5 cups per day and no problems.
Fake Bulletproof Coffee Scam Review
I hope you agree the guys did a good job. This is one of the funniest comedy review videos out there about what happens when you drink Bulletproof® coffee which of course was invented by famous biohacker, Dave Asprey.
So what was the ultimate point of that making this scam video? The ultimate message is that blending real butter with medium chain triglyceride oils, like C8 oil – brain octane oil, into freshly brewed coffee or tea is positive for overall physiology and is not a con. That is, of course, as long as you don’t take the terminology of the word literally and think you can stop bullets 😉
Dave Asprey Answers Back
Here is a personal message reply from the Dave, the Bulletproof Executive himself. This was Daves answer back on the scam question. Of course he is having some fun back with his response to the makers of the comedy clip above.
Dave is the person who trademarked the phrase Bulletproof® Coffee. He is the man who coined the term and started the original recipe. He is responsible for this new popular up and coming health trend to eat more fats like butter, olive oil and coconut oil in your diet.
He uses his version of a high fat diet coffee with added refined coconut oil to help produce a state nutritional ketosis1. The goal is to help raise blood ketones, like β-hydroxybutyrate, so your brain can function better and you manage your weight more efficiently.
Bulletproof Coffee is Legit Conclusion
Again this is a real thing and many people do this everyday and have so for many years now and so should you. Please go ahead and try it out for the first time if you haven’t already.
Use some of the links on this site to help guide you on how to get started and pro tips for making it taste amazing and different ways to make it. When you are choosing one of the official products available if you would like some savings too we would suggest using a Bulletproof coupon code to save 10% here when you get some of the real products.