Biohacking may sound like a term straight out of a sci-fi film and that’s not totally incorrect. Biohacking became a popular term in the 1960s when the general public was having a hard time trusting scientists and professionals and since it has truly taken off in the last 15 years. Taking your biology into your own hands can be effective, but it can also have serious negative results if done incorrectly.
What Is Biohacking?
Biohacking is a way for people to hack their own biology. Also known as do-it-yourself or citizen biology, biohacking is a way for people to slightly alter and control the brain and body to allow for them to work at peak performances.
These tweaks can be done through minor changes, such as changes in diet or sleep patterns, but they can be as futuristic as microchip technologies. No matter how extreme, biohacking claims to accomplish a number of things, such as weight loss, better brain function, increased energy, and more.
3 Types of Biohacking
Although there are many more ways to biohack than the three that we are listing in this article, these biohacking routes are the most popular.
Nutrigenomics is one of the most popular ways to biohack. It focuses on how different foods and nutrients affect our bodies, feelings, the way we think, and how we may behave.
This practice can range from taking dietary supplements to undergoing an elimination diet to see what foods work best with your system. The science behind nutrigenomic biohacking claims that it can increase weight loss, decrease your risk of disease even if you are predisposed, reduce depression symptoms, as well as improve your gut health and blood pressure.
Nutrigenomics is definitely a controversial form of biohacking. Many specialists and doctors claim that encouraging people to change their lifestyles and diets as a result of their genetics without understanding each individual’s biomarkers, lifestyles, and overall health can be a serious risk.
Does It Work?
Practicing nutrigenomics is controversial because although food does impact your genetics, different foods and nutrients have an array of effects from person to person.
In fact, some studies have shown that though nutrigenomics can be beneficial, it's only one part of the larger picture of each person’s personal health and nutrition. Other internal and external factors, such as stress levels, relationship to exercise, and overall health can impact the relationship that food and nutrition have with our bodies.
DIY biology, also called DIYbio, is a form of biohacking that is mostly performed by bio enthusiasts with backgrounds and education in scientific fields. DIY biology focuses on modifying DNA without having to have a professional scientific background.
Some common DIYbio experiments that can be done from your own home are fermenting food, extracting your own DNA, preparing cultures of bacteria, and modifying the DNA of certain organisms to create genetically modified versions.
In the past, these types of DIY biology experiments could only be performed by trained professionals, however this all changed after the 2008 market crash which caused a plethora of scientific labs to close. The result? An immense amount of lab equipment being sold for extremely cheap prices.
Like nutrigenomics, DIY biology is also very controversial, although the reasons behind its controversy are a bit more grim. Practicing DIYbio without the proper scientific or ethical knowledge can be dangerous and could potentially lead to biological weapons and warfare.
Does It Work?
There have been people who have (sort of) given themselves night-vision due to at-home bio projects, while famous people in the biohacking world, like Aaron Traywick, have died mysteriously and with as much controversy as the name of DIY biology itself.
The subculture of biohacking called grinder is best described as people who want to be and create a community of cyborgs. A cyborg is a person who is interested in optimizing every part of the human body by using controversial technology, such as implants and robotics.
By hacking every part of the human body using implants, injections, and technology, people who experiment with grinder biohacking believe they can alter their body to achieve the unthinkable.
Does It Work?
There have been pieces written on people who have successfully inserted RFID chips into their bodies in order to access otherwise secured locations in private buildings, as well as a hacker who’s chest vibrates when they face due north as a sort of internal compass. However, these success stories are not without serious risk.
This radical, more dangerous, version of biohacking is likely the most controversial of all three. Inserting forign objects into the body can cause serious inflammatory responses within the body which can lead to dealthy infections and cancer.
How Safe Is Biohacking?
Biohacking can be safe, depending on the approach. Taking supplements, slightly altering your diet and nutrition, trying new approaches to sleeping, and fermenting food can be totally safe and even effective. However, many ways of biohacking are incredibly unsafe and actually illegal.
Most DIYbio and grinder biohacking would be considered dangerous and unethical by most professionals.
While biohacking allows science to be available to the greater population, it also introduces a whole new set of safety concerns and potential negative outcomes. Without the proper care and oversight it can lead to serious personal injury and greater humanitarian risks in the future.
Taking Mushrooms as a Form of Nutrigenomic Biohacking
Taking an everyday mushroom supplement that combines the magic of functional and medicinal mushrooms with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies crave can be a safe and easy way to experiment with biohacking from home.
At Alchemi Mushrooms, we cultivate premium mushrooms to use in our everyday supplements and powders that can help with sleep, anxiety and depression, energy levels, and more. Try our products today and see how biohacking with functional mushrooms can positively impact your everyday life.