The first thing many think of when the word 'biohacking' comes up is 'those crazy people popping tons of useless pills.' The real difference between a biohacker and a layperson in the supplement aisle of a pharmacy is that we study how to do it right.
Nutrition Comes First
Supplements should be just that: supplementary. In an ideal world we would get everything our body needs from our diets, in the form that it is best able to be absorbed. While there may be a few exceptions–compounds that seem to be healthy when taken in quantities beyond what would be possible from even a perfect diet–the first step towards optimizing ones health should come via proper food intake. Nutrition is the foundation of health.
Reasons to Take Supplements
It is a sad fact that the food we eat now is not as nutritious as it was hundreds of years ago. The biggest reason for this is the depletion of our soil. A landmark study on the topic by researchers from the University of Texas (UT) was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They compared U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from 1950 and 1999 for 43 different fruits and vegetables, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of calcium, protein, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2), iron, and vitamin C over the past 50 years. The team attributes this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (growth rate, size, pest resistance) other than nutrition.  We can try to partially circumvent this by purchasing organic, locally grown, seasonal crops, but oftentimes it is still necessary to supplement our diets with more concentrated encapsulations of nutrients.
The expression of our genes has many diverse impacts on the way that we absorb and process nutrients. This field is still in its infancy, but we already know a large number of genetic SNP's that reduce the efficiency of different nutrient pathways. A proper supplementation plan can help to balance out these issues.
The best reason to take a supplement is because you have shown via properly done lab work that your body is in need of it. In an ideal world, everyone would be receiving a full micronutrient panel, organic acids test, and a slew of other important labs on at least a yearly basis.
Pages in category "Supplements"
The following 26 pages are in this category, out of 26 total.