Experts are still debating whether such medicine works or is wasting your money.
Biohacking has divided modern doctors into two camps. Some argue that this is a revolution in anti-aging medicine, while others are skeptical about the new trend and consider it dangerous to health. So who should you believe? We will tell you how an innovative treatment direction works and whether it can really harm the body.
What is biohacking?
Biohacking is a new term and is not familiar to most people. It means a systematic approach to human biology, the purpose of which is to concentrate on all aspects of life. It is a medical and wellness practice aimed at improving the quality of life and slowing the aging process by optimizing nutrition, sleep, and avoiding bad habits and exercise. Put simply, anti-aging medicine.
Dermatologist and cosmetologist Irina Arbatskaya believes that sometimes people misunderstand the concept of biohacking and even slightly exaggerate when they describe the essence of this practice.
Irina: The concept of biohacking is now hypertrophied. Everyone thinks that you need to consume a huge amount of dietary supplements and constantly measure your blood pressure. In fact, you need to start with simple things: sleep well, eat well, take care of your body, and be mindful about life.
They started talking about biohacking after the publication of an article by Sergei Fage, the creator of Ostrovka. The article was titled “I am 32 years old, and I spent $ 200 thousand on biohacking”. In it, the entrepreneur described how a careful study of vital signs helped him become healthier and happier.
How does biohacking work?
The main thing in biohacking is a systematic approach, drawing up a lifestyle program, physical activity strictly for yourself. The practice is based on diagnostics: laboratory, functional and others. The approach consists of two main stages:
First of all, biohacking includes nutritional correction and diet selection. Next - monitoring physical activity and scheduling classes. As well as normalization of sleep, regulation and activation of thinking, correction of the emotional response to stressful conditions.
Who can engage in biohacking and does it have any contraindications?
According to doctors, there are no special contraindications. It is only important to soberly assess your own well-being.
Irina: The main thing is not to harm yourself. If you neglect your physical condition and go to the 42 km marathon, you can earn cardiovascular disease. Or, if you gorge on dietary supplements for liver and gallbladder diseases, you can cause drug-induced hepatitis. Everything should be reasonable and dosed. A healthy lifestyle is mindfulness. Do not deny yourself some products, just know how much to use them. For example, people with iron deficiency anemia cannot do without meat, since proteins are involved in the construction of cells and the functioning of the brain, and the absence of animal proteins can lead to a breakdown of the nervous system. Plant proteins, unfortunately, will not replace them. Many female patients unreasonably refuse some products, disrupt hormonal levels and, in the worst case, begin to be treated for infertility.
Thus, it is important to understand that if you have a negative heredity or disorders in the body, it is necessary, with the help of a doctor and genetic tests, to determine how to adjust your diet.
The first steps of biohacking: where to start?
Of course, from going to the doctor, consultations and tests to get an overall picture of your health.
Irina: You need to pass a number of basic tests, see the general condition of the body and start taking care of health. If there are pathological processes and somatic diseases, it is necessary to correct them. In case of an imbalance of vitamins, it is important to pass tests for their background and understand which ones to replenish. And all this is under the supervision of a specialist. After the consultation, you can start doing morning exercises, jogging, walking, balancing food, combining work and rest, and most importantly, managing stress and emotions. After all, diseases of the nervous system, which provoke all the others, come to the fore. For example, many people worry that they will grow old, are addicted to biohacking and, as a result, earn neurosis.
Is it possible to prolong youth and life by following the rules of biohacking?
Modern experts believe that it is possible, but only with a rational approach and without fanaticism. After all, according to them, the same Sergei Fage, who first mentioned biohacking, looks younger than his 34 years old.
However, not all experts can say with complete confidence that biohacking can prolong youth. And although some studies still show that the biological age of a biohacker is decreasing, it is important to remember that the main goal of the practice is to reduce the risk of serious diseases and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Why is biohacking dangerous?
The body can be harmed by taking a large number of drugs. In the list of drugs that biohackers take, there are also quite serious ones. For example, the blood sugar-lowering metformin. Usually it is prescribed for diabetics, and practitioners drink it for weight loss, prevention of cancer and heart disease, slowing down the aging of the body. Despite the fact that metformin is recognized by WHO as one of the safest drugs, it is not complete without side effects: it can cause digestive problems and addiction.
In addition, prolonged fasting and dieting can adversely affect health. Many biohackers refuse food not for 14–20 hours, but for seven days in a row! They believe it will help you lose weight, increase your body's performance, and stabilize your mood. Doctors warn that fasting can lead to indigestion if not carefully monitored. It is also fraught with increased susceptibility to infections and heart failure.
Injections of untested drugs are also dangerous. Former NASA employee Josiah Zayner, head of start-up Odin, gave himself an injection to add superpower genes to DNA. The biohacker said that in six months or more, he will gain incredible muscle mass. Previously, he tried to insert the jellyfish gene so that his body glowed green in the dark. After that, the man did not begin to fluoresce. But he began to say that such injections are safe, since his health has not deteriorated.
Experts have a negative view of such risky gene injection experiments. In this way, an infection can also be brought into the body. A year ago, biohacker Aaron Treyvik was found dead in Washington. A 28-year-old man has experienced experimental drugs on himself. He injected an uncertified herpes medicine into the body. Treivik was found unconscious in a sensory deprivation chamber used for relaxation.
Psychologists believe that biohacking also changes a person's thinking. The idea of improving yourself and achieving mega-results can become obsessive. And an attempt to establish complete total control over the processes occurring in the body can lead to serious physical and psychological problems.