Are you keen to keep your body fit? Do you do some form of sports, yoga, pilates or fitness training so that your body and mind work optimally? Or are you on a specific diet or consume food supplements to support your body’s functions? Well, then you are a biohacker!
What is biohacking?
Biohacking refers to a method of body modification by understanding the biology of how those changes can be made and what their consequences are.
Thus, making incremental diet or lifestyle changes to make small improvements in your health and well-being, fall under biohacking.
What are the forms of biohacking?
There are 3 major types of biohacking (1):
1. Citizen science
Also known as do-it-yourself biology (DIY biology), most biohackers under this category usually gain knowledge on the subject by reading scientific articles or blogs and then implement these changes themselves. It is akin to conducting a structured experiment on oneself, outside of a controlled experimental environment, like a lab or medical office.
DIY biohacking is often criticised for having no official oversight. In turn, it is believed that this can harm health and break international bioterrorism laws (2).
This form of biohacking explores the way nutrition affects one’s genes. As a consequence, nutrigenomics looks at how different nutrients affect how you feel, think, and behave.
Consuming supplements that are appropriate for you, thus, fall under this category of biohacking.
As a biohacking sub-culture, grinder biohacking seeks to use technological gadgets, implants and chemical modification. By using technology, it is believed that the human body can be pushed to its limits and do what is wanted of it.
Since grinder biohacking involves invasive techniques, it is not highly recommended.
How do I choose biohacking supplements?
In our LinkedIn article on World Patient Safety Day, we provided guidelines on how one can “Know.Check.Ask” about their supplements even before consumption.
Additionally, we encourage you to
- Check the quality of the product and the reliability of the brand you are buying from.
If your liposomal supplement was produced by PlantaCorp, you can be assured of its quality.
- Check the concentration of active ingredients and inactive ingredients.
Also check if the active ingredient is actually bioavailable when consumed as a pill, syrup, liposomal or powder form.
- Check if the product has additives such as flour, dairy, gluten, allergens etc.
The liquid liposomal supplements that we produce are allergen-free. We also aim to use as few synthetic additives as possible.
Finally, the most important aspect of biohacking is self-awareness or mindfulness. Therefore, we ask you to be aware of your experience with a supplement and how it made you feel. A supplement that is good for you may not necessarily be good for a second person or vice-versa.
Foundation versus block supplements
In some biohacking circles, the term base or foundation supplements and block supplements is used (3). If supplements were a house, foundation supplements are those supplements that help build the base of your supplementation regime (4). Depending on what aspect of your body you are trying to biohack, the base foundation can differ.
For example, if you are trying to improve your muscle performance, magnesium and vitamin D, would be great foundation supplements because both these nutrients are involved in several aspects of muscle function, muscle health and muscle metabolism.
Once the base is strong, it is advised to add building block supplements that can further optimise the biohacking process. In the example above, Ashwagandha and L-carnitine would be recommended as block supplements.
How can biohacking be done using liposomal supplements?
As mentioned above, dietary supplementation may fall under the category of nutrigenomics. This is because when used properly, supplements can (5)
- decrease the risk of developing a disease that one is genetically predisposed to
- help achieve physical, mental, or emotional changes. This can include weight loss or reducing depression symptoms
- help optimize a bodily function, such as blood pressure or gut bacteria.
As explained in our blog post on the differences between traditional supplements and liposomal supplements, several vitamins, minerals and plant extracts have a great potential to support our body’s optimal functioning. However, traditional supplement forms are unable to harness this potential because of overloading, destruction by the digestive system and poor water solubility.
Liposomal supplements encapsulate these promising active ingredients and make them more bioavailable to the body. They do this by
- protecting the ingredients from digestion by the enzymes and acids in the mouth and stomach
- helping the ingredients cross the intestinal barrier and enter the bloodstream
- helping the ingredients avoid further metabolism by the liver
- increasing the “solubility” of fat-soluble ingredients such as quercetin
By making nutrients available in the bloodstream, liposomal supplements ensure that the nutrients are delivered to their sites of action in our cells and tissues. When the nutrients are able to deliver on their promised biological action, the body responds accordingly and can be said to be biohacked.
Are liposomal supplements a safe method of biohacking?
There are no known disadvantages of plant-based liposomes as supplement delivery vehicles. They are biocompatible, non-toxic and are easily eliminated from our body (6). PlantaCorp’s liposomal supplements are made with GMO-free sunflower lecithins. Therefore, in addition to being plant based, they are also allergen-free.
However, as with any experiment or modification of the human body, not everyone’s body responds in the same way to changes in diet or habits. We ask you therefore, to always consult your primary healthcare physician or a registered nutritionist before you take any sort of supplementation. They will also be able to advice you on what might work best for your body and genetic makeup.
We’d also like to remind you that consuming food supplements is only one aspect of biohacking. Other factors like exercise, stress levels, and weight all play a role in your body’s response (1). We advise you, therefore, to take a holistic view of biohacking: work on your mind, body and environment to feel the true effects of biohacking your body with liposomal supplements.
- Biohacking refers to modifying or optimising the body’s function through changes in nutrition, lifestyle or even through the use of technological gadgets, implants and chemical modification.
- The three kinds of biohacking are do-it-yourself biology, nutrigenomics and grinder. Food supplements, when taken with a purpose, can fall under the category of nutrigenomics.
- Liposomal supplements can greatly help the biohacking process because they are able to truly deliver nutrients into the bloodstream and thus to their intended site(s) of action.
- Every body is different and hence a personalised approach to biohacking must be made in accordance to professional medical advice.
- [Online] Guide to biohacking: Types, safety and how to. Healthline.com. Accessed on 27.09.2022
- Ikemoto LC. DIY Bio: Hacking Life in Biotech’s Backyard. UC Davis Law Review. 2017; 51:539-568.
- [Online] What Are The Best Biohacking Supplements? HackBiohacking. Accessed on 28.09.2022
- [Online] Building a Supplement Program: The Importance of a Foundation. Doctor Murray.com Accessed on 28.09.2022
- Pavlidis C, Patrinos GP & Katsila T. Nutrigenomics: A controversy. Applied & Translational Genomics. 2015; 4:50-53.
- Porter CJH, Trevaskis NL and Charman WN. Lipids and lipid-based formulations: optimizing the oral delivery of lipophilic drugs. Nature Reviews. 2007; 6:231–248.