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Interview: Dave Asprey is the Biofather

Updated: May 27

Dave Asprey is the founder of the biohacking movement
Dave Asprey, the spark that ignited the Biohacking movement

Dave Asprey defines "Biohacking" as the art and science of changing the environment both in and around you, so you have more control over your own biology. His definition is probably the best one considering the bestselling author and founder of Bulletproof, coined the term. He also kickstarted the billion-dollar collagen and MCT oil industries with his evangelizing.

The charismatic entrepreneur got his start as a tech innovator and executive in Silicon Valley before pivoting to biohacking as a business. Asprey’s desire to heal himself of mold illness and reverse early signs of aging was the catalyst, but his location shaped that quest. Dubbed the “Father of Biohacking,” his origin story began when he was served a local yak butter tea on a Tibetan mountaintop. It brought him back from the brink of collapse and gave rise to Bulletproof Coffee (coffee with butter or MCT oil.)

His latest ventures include a new company, Danger Coffee, a mycotoxin-free, mineral-rich coffee; 40 Years of Zen, a meditation-based brain upgrade for those who want to be at peak brain performance; and Upgrade Labs, a franchise of biohacking gyms that promise ultra-efficient precision workouts.

His teachings are readily available via his popular podcast, The Human Upgrade (formerly Bulletproof Radio), and best-selling books like The Bulletproof Diet and Super Human. Asprey also hosts an annual Biohacking Conference, where hundreds of biohackers convene to hear inspiring speakers and see the latest in anti-aging devices and supplements.

So we jumped at the chance to interview Dave and ask him some of the most pressing questions of our time, Goldilocks style.

HH: You have spoken about how sick you were as a young person, eventually turning your health around. How much harder is that for someone who is already over 50?

DA: You can biohack at any level and at any age. The sooner you start, the better, but I have proven that it’s possible to reverse your biological age, even if you’re over 50. If you’re dedicated to the process, you can absolutely slow and even reverse aging, regardless of your chronological age. Plus, if you’re living to 180 and you’re 50, you are only 28% there, which sounds pretty young to me!

HH: Our readers are no strangers to Botox and fillers or a nip and a tuck. Does these treatments run contrary to biohacking?

DA: I have been relatively hesitant about Botox for years because it is a toxin (it even says it in the name!) and that doesn't sound good in and of itself. [But] I have tried Botox before and didn’t like the way my brain felt afterwards.

That being said, most of the research on Botox shows that it is relatively safe and it does increase collagen synthesis. Keep in mind that Botox can have some side effects that aren't always discussed, especially if it's overdone or done incorrectly. So, it doesn’t come without risks. In fact, no medical cosmetic procedure, including fillers and plastic surgery comes without risk, so I’d recommend you weigh your risk to reward ratio. Is the small risk worth you looking a little better? You decide. The whole purpose of biohacking is having control over YOUR biology so you can do what you want to do and be who you want to be.

HH: What fancy gadgets would you suggest for a kitchen that has it all?

DA: The nerdy part of me wants to suggest an atomic absorption spectrophotometer for testing food samples for heavy metals. I talk a lot in my books about how heavy metals are toxic to your brain and other organs. But, the realistic part of me doesn’t want to need a lab tech to run my kitchen!

Dave Asprey pours Danger Coffee a mycotoxin mineral-rich coffee
Dave serves up his Danger Coffee at the Biohacking Conference

High cooking temperatures cause harmful compounds such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form. You can avoid a lot of those inflammatory substances by using the right cooking methods.

Luckily, you can now buy “smart ovens” that use infrared light to cook your food in a very specific way and control temperature so you don’t overheat or overcook your food. A good steam oven and sous vide setup are helpful too. Last but not least, I'd also recommend a high-end espresso machine to make a nice cup of Danger Coffee.

HH: If you were a billionaire how would you spend your time?

DA: There was a time - before some venture capital trickery – that it looked like I was well on my way to being a billionaire! It still might happen, so I have pondered this question.

I love what I do so I’d continue biohacking, learning, and spending time with my kids. But, I would spend more on hiring the right people so I can get more done while spending less time working.

HH: What is your favorite philanthropic endeavor?

DA: Angel investing (no, seriously!) Investing in a young entrepreneur has a very small chance of paying off, but it changes someone’s life. I am also a supporter of the X-Prize Foundation, Dr. Daniel Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Foundation, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.

HH: What is the ideal vacation for longevity?

DA: The ideal vacation for longevity would be visiting one or more of the Blue Zones (like Sardinia, Italy), which are locations where people live longer than average. While I was there I'd focus on spending some time in the sun (but not too much) to get adequate vitamin D and out in nature which helps reduce inflammation and improves your immune system. I’d immerse myself in the local culture to enrich and stimulate my brain. Stress is one of the major contributing factors to accelerated aging so I’d also take a break from social media and my phone.

the immortal chamber is a luxury red light bed with near infrared
The Ammortal Catalyst at Asprey's annual Biohacking Conference

HH: Your focus is biohacking for longevity. Women live longer than men. Does biohacking level the playing field or will they still live longer - i.e. maybe 190?!

DA: As we learn more about why women tend to live longer and we get more advanced in our anti-aging treatments, I have a feeling that the playing field will level, with both men and women living to 180 and beyond. This is going to be awesome!

HH: What is the most effective treatment if money is no object?

DA: If you have unlimited funds, I’d recommend getting stem cell treatments. The human body’s ability to heal on its own is impressive, but with a little help from stem cell therapy, it goes from impressive to almost unbelievable. Stem cells also play a huge part in maintaining the youthfulness of our tissues, so you can bet stem cell therapy is part of my plan to help me live to 180+.

HH: If someone is already sleeping well and eating a healthy, organic diet, which a lot of our readers do, what is the next most important thing?

DA: The next most important thing is working on your inner-self, dealing with past trauma and experiencing emotional healing. I describe this as “Spiritual Resilience” in my new book, Smarter Not Harder, and it’s one of the most important aspects of biohacking. You’ll never be fully in charge of your body unless you improve yourself at this higher spiritual level. You can achieve spiritual resilience by embarking on a path of gratitude and forgiveness like the one I teach in my book and with the more advanced techniques implemented at my neurofeedback clinic, 40 Years of Zen. You can also do breathwork, neurofeedback, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and even go on a retreat to hack your spirituality.

HH: What is the single most important supplement?

DA: The most important supplement is vitamin “DAKE” which consists of the fat-soluble vitamins D, A, K, and E. You must take these vitamins together because they work together to move minerals around your body so you can build proteins, generate energy, and move electrical signals, all of which are crucial if you want to be running at full power. You not only want to get enough vitamin DAKE, but you also want to get enough minerals. Your body carefully allocates dozens of minerals throughout your tissues to build cellular components and—even more important—to activate enzymes, proteins that allow chemical reactions to take place. All the biochemistry that drives your metabolism depends on enzymes.

Unfortunately, due to modern farming practices, our soil (and therefore our food) just doesn’t have enough minerals which is one of the reasons most people are deficient in one or more of them. They simply aren’t optional if you want to be a high performing human.

Dave Asprey fans at biohacking conference
Dave Asprey Fans Dressed for a party at the Biohacking Conference

End of interview

A Goldilocks Wellness Interview


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