Episode 2: Biohackers Unite in Helsinki...Sarah's list of what's trending in biohacking.
Sarah Turner traveled north to frigid Finland for her fifth and most rewarding Biohacker Summit. Hundreds of Biohackers made their way to Helsinki during a very small window of COVID shutdowns to share their love for health hacks and new trends in alternative health. Our Rebel Scientist shares her experience in this week's episode
Foraged kick-off dinner
Some of the leading Finnish engineers and doctors asked their favorite biohacking chefs to kick-off the summit with a very special dinner of local foraged food. Her dinner consisted of local wild reindeer, blueberries, wild garlic and mushrooms...even an orange wine.
Why foraged foods?
Foraged foods allow you to get the maximum nutrition from the diet without supplements
Foraging is a term that refers to collecting wild plants from the nature around you - wild areas, parks and seashores. It is a great way to find nutrient-dense, healthy herbs and plants to support health, as well as to connect with the light environment around you. Foraged foods will be seasonal and will contain the light (photons) from your immediate environment - so they will provide not only more nutrients but also valuable light information to signal to your body where it is on the planet and harmonize your circadian biology.
Dark leafy greens are an integral part of a diet that supports optimal brain function and overall health. Usually the darker the color the more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants the leafy green contains. Wild greens are hardier than cultivated plants. It means that they can survive better in adverse growing conditions and contain more antioxidants, vitamins and trace elements. They are also free from pesticides. For example, wild nettle contains five times more iron than cultivated spinach.
You will need to upgrade your knowledge to do this- there are risks! (Sarah once ate a bunch of toxic ‘lords and ladies’ thinking it was ‘wild sorrel’ and nearly poisoned herself and her mum she had roped into the foraging expedition) - so get a book - and never pick too much of one thing at the start. This advice is especially important for mushrooms. However - with a little learning (also good for the brain) - the benefits can be huge.
Greater nutrition density
Set circadian biology
Gets you outside in the weather
Reduces carbon emissions to fly food all over the world
Learn about your environment
Greater connection with nature
Some foraged mushrooms to have on your list:
Chaga: Chaga mushroom has the highest ORAC value (measure of antioxidant capacity) of any other food. It lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation and oxidative stress. Polysaccharides from the chaga mushroom’s fruiting body (PFIO) have been shown to effectively promote macrophage activation through the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways, which regulate the immune system function.
Reishi: Reishi’s ingredients affect the cells that regulate the immune system. Reishi can either stimulate or silence the immune system – thus balancing and teaching cells to adapt to the responses produced by the environment. Because of these properties, Reishi acts as an immunomodulator. Based on studies, Reishi increases overall well-being, raises HDL-cholesterol, activates the immune system (CD3 and CD4 lymphocytes, NK cells), decreases TNF-alpha and reduces fatigue.
Turkey Tail: Turkey tail has been shown to fight against leukemia cells in vitro and improve the immune system of people getting chemotherapy. It contains 35 different phenolic compounds and flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and baicalein, which are strong antioxidants. Turkey tail also contains other substances, such as Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP), which activate macrophages and modulate immune response. Turkey tail extract has been found to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica in vitro.
Recent evidence demonstrates that Lion's Mane may possibly be helpful for various diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, immunoregulation, and many types of cancer, through mechanisms in the nervous system, digestive system, circulatory system, and immune system
Sarah drank dirt! This is the product Sarah drank in Finland. The active ingredients of Black Stuff are slowly formed in nature, some over millions of years in the humus layer of the soil and in deeper sediments as organic matter decomposes and deforms as a result of bacterial and enzymatic activity.
Needs to be a product (there are some clays out there too) - there are risks to just eating dirt ‘neat’ - parasites and detrimental bacteria.
Some ancient cultures eat just a tiny amount of dirt when moving locations to get used to the new bacteria.
It’s all about connecting to the place you are in and exposing yourself to the bugs. Just simply getting your hands in the dirt by gardening and foraging will do the same thing - you don’t have to eat it!
The Saddle Chair:
The saddle chair allows men free their testicles and align the pelvic with correct posture for sitting at desk all day. Special outfits are designed for optimal comfort and healthy living, while sitting all day. Here are some trips to biohacking your genital area for longevity and health with sitting health specialist Vessi Jalkanen. Ditch you tight pants (trousers) and bra and pants, you are restricting lymph and causing cellulite.
The concept of the holobiont is a collection of the host (human) and many other species living in and around it (colonies such as the microbiome, fungiome and virome), which together form a discrete well-functioning ecological unit
A holobiont perspective is an interesting way to look at health, it is essentially looking at your body as a collection of organisms. There are viruses existing throughout our body, or our virome. We have fungi existing all throughout our body, probably the most popular one there is Candida, but also that’s called the mycobiome.
A team of biologists led by Ron Milo from the Weizmann Institute of Science found that for a man between 20 and 30 years old, with a weight of about 154 pounds and a height of 5'7 - they call him the 'reference man' - has about 39 trillion bacterial cells living among 30 trillion human cells. So we are more bacteria than human.
The bacteria, viruses and fungi that make up as a being have their own needs and wants - so we need to recognize we are not in control of our bodies as they are not ours. The bacteria we live with have a huge effect on our lives. Choose wisely. Recommended reading
How to prepare the body to be resistant to infection:
Here is the guide that Sarah received at the event
Regular exercise: stimulates the body’s defense mechanisms and strengthens immunity by activating Nrf2
Red light therapy: Charges the mitochondria and triggers healing
Regular sauna bathing (traditional and infrared): Flushes the body from toxins and infections by improving lymphatic drainage and blood circulation, and strengthening the immune system
Mild cold exposure: Increases resilience against infections. Make sure the exposure time to cold or wind does not last too long.
Intermittent fasting: Can up regulate glutathione and autophagy to protect against sickness
Regular sunlight: The most bioavailable source of vitamin D is the sun
Reduce stress: Stress is one of the major contributors to an unbalanced immune system and predisposition to diseases
Sleep: Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant that modulates autophagy and deep cell repair during sleep. Deep sleep drives brain fluid oscillations which may facilitate communication between fluid compartments and clearance of waste products in the brain.
Mindset needed in a pandemic and how to embrace the opportunity it brings:
Jack Kruse has started saying "embrace the suck"
Yogis says "be comfortable in your discomfort"
Direct Quote from Kruse: "Life is not about the labs any doctor orders or any tests or surgeries they perform. Life is about the friction light creates with electrons and protons inside the playground of photons inside each and every cell you own. Labs tell you very little. Your environment is what you react to. Most people looking for help never even consider this perspective, much less mentioned it to their docs. You come with no defects. You acquire them from poor decisions you make in your environment you choose to inhabit"
Movement - yoga - bouncing to circulate lymph
Bouncing (rebounding) causes the valves in the lymphatic system to open and close simultaneously, increasing lymph flow as much as 15x. This boosts immunity, removes toxins, and helps slow down the aging process. 10-20mins a day - 3 time a week.