Dave Asprey's New Book "Super Human"

The founder of Bulletproof has released another book. Should you read it?

Posted Oct 30, 2019

Healthy functioning of the mitochondria is, according to Dave Asprey, incredibly important for preventing cognitive dysfunction, diabetes, pain, inflammation, and aging, and achieved by reducing reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, which destroy your body if detoxifying defenses are weak.

The most prominent methods of protecting your body from mitochondrial degradation and as a consequence boost the probability of living longer are, according to Asprey:

  • Exercise, especially High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Cyclical ketosis, intermittent fasting and/or ketogenic diet
  • Anti-oxidants, especially glutathione
  • A good gut microbiome, use prebiotics and eat as few fast carbs as possible
  • Good sleep, achieved with the help of the Oura Ring and Blue Light Blocking glasses

This book is very similar to Asprey’s previous book, Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster — in Just Two Weeks, so if you’ve read it: You could use your time better. Asprey starts the book telling the story of how biohacking helped him rid himself of his obesity and cognitive dysfunction. He attributes almost all of his personal transformation to various methods of improving mitochondrial functioning. There are many mitochondria in each of your cells. He says that mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the root causes of diabetes, pain, inflammation, and aging. The book is focused on how to slow aging, which Asprey thinks he does when he increases, improves and protects his mitochondria. 

The variables in your body that you don’t want to increase, in order to achieve optimal mitochondrial functioning, are insulin resistance and reactive oxygen species (oxidative stress). The most prominent methods of protecting your body from mitochondrial degradation, thereby boosting the probabilities of living longer are, according to Asprey:

  • Ketosis, whether induced by intermittent fasting, the Caprylic Acid he sells and claims gets you into ketosis even when eating carbs, or the ketogenic diet.
  • Exercise, especially HIIT.
  • Anti-oxidants, especially glutathione and activated charcoal.
  • A good gut microbiome, use prebiotics and eat as few fast carbs as possible.
  • Good sleep, achieved with the help of the Oura Ring and Blue Light Blocking glasses.
  • Red Light Therapy.

He also gives many other esoteric biohacking-tips (which, in my opinion, sometimes aren’t backed by enough research) such as hormone-manipulating interventions (especially SARMs), stem cell therapy, peptides (especially BPC-157), laser treatment for your teeth, and yellow light therapy. Interestingly, he covers nootropics with very little research such as Aniracetam. He reasons that the blood-sugar- and mitochondria-related mechanisms of the racetam group of nootropics will improve cognitive function and slow aging. I find it a bit odd, with his goal of living to 180 in mind, that he uses so many underresearched biohacks. In my assessment, there is a significant risk that at least one of all the things he does to his body will have lethal consequences mediated by currently unknown mechanisms before he accomplishes his goal of becoming 180 years old.

In my opinion, there is too little in-depth science behind the mechanisms by which the biohacks work. Maybe the short snippets on any one single biohacking-intervention was only meant to spark inspiration. I wish he would’ve explicitly told the readers that they should do their own research because the few studies he referred to for some of the interventions shouldn’t be enough to act, for anyone.

Image copyrights owned by Dave Asprey
Dave Asprey's new book was released 8/10/2019
Source: Image copyrights owned by Dave Asprey

The book provided little value for me because I was already familiar with the mechanisms and philosophy behind the biohacks he uses. The interventions suggested for getting ”Super Human" were almost identical to those for getting ”Head Strong,” the topic of his last book.

It is unclear to me whether he endorsed these biochemical interventions because he wants you to live longer or because he wants you to buy his coffee, collagen, and keto supplements. The majority of the book covers products his company, Bulletproof, sells. I think the book can provide a lot of value for someone who is new to biohacking because he covers many useful basic biohacks (e.g. IF, BLB, HIIT), and introduces the reader to the mechanisms of why they work.

This blog post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

This post was originally published at nootralize.com.

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