Joe Cohen, CEO of SelfDecode, believes you can biohack yourself to live your best.
“After I fixed all my health issues, I realized that I was still having a mood issue,” Cohen told me.
Six to nine months later, after testing what could be the root cause, he now feels like he’s in a good mood every day!
I couldn’t help but wonder what the world might be like if we were all always in a good mood.
The idea seemed like a dreamworld to me. But according to Cohen it is not impossible to achieve.
Cohen explains how moods fluctuate for a variety of reasons and that they have a strong correlation to individuals’ environment and genetics.
After trying many different things and taking care of his mood as a priority, he was able to resolve many of his personal health issues.
Like many today, Cohen suffered from insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, motivation, and gut problems.
The only remedy he would hear from doctors was to get more sleep.
For Cohen this wasn’t enough of a treatment.
He was still suffering and couldn’t enjoy his life.
Cohen decided to take matters into his own hands and learn how to improve himself through gene testing.
“It’s the best investment I’ve ever made, because for a small amount of money, you can get all this data about yourself. And then you could use that data to help with biohacking yourself by just improving your health and one issue at a time.”
How does one biohack themselves? What does biohacking even mean?
There are a lot of different definitions to biohacking.
Healthline describes biohacking as “citizen or do-it-yourself” biology in which biohackers make adjustments to their lifestyle and diets to improve their health and overall well-being.
It could be inserting genes into a body, similarly to genetic engineering. Or a device could be inserted into a body for a certain function.
Cohen describes biohacking as a way an individual can improve their body, health, performance, and longevity.
A comprehensive gene test can serve as a biohacking tool to show where an individual may be at high or low risk of a disease.
A gene test can also show sensitivities and tolerances, for instance, to foods or amounts of exercise or sleep.
With the findings anyone can map out a lifestyle plan and adjust or include supplements to help whatever their goals are.
What Cohen underlines is that everyone is different and that through trial-and-error each person can figure out what works best for them.
Gene testing helps you find individual paths to improvement and prevention.
Cohen wanted to take it another step further by creating his own AI-based gene testing company.
SelfDecode gives you results with a genetic risk score.
It also includes specific recommendations most suited for your genes to incorporate into your life for what you want to improve on. Cohen explains:
“If you’re high risk for whatever issue, usually those things are more likely to come as you get older. So, what we do with these recommendations are, we change them based on whether you have genes for a given topic.”
SelfDecode creates a lifestyle plan with supplements to help with any health goals.
All the data from SelfDecode is private as many gene testing companies sell data to third party firms.
The biohacking industry is fairly unregulated.
There is a wide grey zone area that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) frowns upon yet it does not deem outright illegal.
Cohen believes that gene testing companies give a “bad name” to the biohacking industry because they take “crappy risk predictors” and use them to generate generic recommendations.
When choosing a gene testing company, Cohen suggests paying detailed attention to their business model. How does the company make money? Is their main business model selling to pharmaceutical companies? Where’s your data going to?
Some will market your genetic data to China or Hong Kong, meaning that your data can be accessed by the Chinese government.
Another important factor to look out for is how many gene variants are being analyzed. If its five, ten or fifty, according to Cohen, they aren’t legitimate since they predict less than 1 percent of your health status.
Finally look at the topics you want to work on. Is the company actually giving you precision health recommendations based on the genomics?
Even though the industry seems like a hazard and full of safety precautions to look out for, Cohen is of the belief that it is in its beginning days of gaining traction.
Cohen likens gene testing to test tube babies, which were once deemed as a strange concept before becoming normalized.
He predicts that biohacking and turning to your genes for health purposes will become the norm in the near future.
“Suffocate Yourself with Goodness”
What a young man with a rare disease learned about fighting adversity.
Is there a way to measure the success factors of optimism? Anyone facing adversity has most likely been told it’s all about outlook. Many may question whether or not optimism is as effective as society has led us to believe. Thankfully, Elijah Stacy is here to prove the power of optimism.
At a young age, Elijah Stacy was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne. Duchenne is a a muscle wasting disease effecting under 200,00 Americans every year. Historically, nearly all young men hosting the disease did not survive into their 20s.
Now at the age of 20, Stacy has become an advocate for combating the disease and has published a book about his story, A Small If: The Inspiring Story of a 17-Year-Old with a Fatal Disease—and a Mission to Cure It.
Stacy did not write the book only for those fighting rare diseases.
He wrote the book for anyone facing adversity, from teenagers struggling through adolescence to those being bullied for being different to anyone interested in medicine, motivation and hope.
At the center of A Small If are 13 lessons Stacy believes are imperative for anyone looking for a new sense of empowerment.
Some of the lessons are relatively straightforward— “adapt” and “stay ambitious.”
Others are more complex, such as “connect the dots later” and the “dichotomy of control.”
Stacy points to lesson 13—“prioritize your character”—as one of the more difficult to learn.
“The only way to really build your character is to go through challenges. That’s how you exercise your virtue. What I argue is that character is the sum total of all your virtues. That’s hard to learn.”
Stacy’s life has been filled to the brim with challenges.
Stacy was diagnosed with Duchenne around the age of five. A decade later, he faced the difficult decision either to undergo spinal surgery or attempt to correct his resulting scoliosis through physical therapy. When asked if physical therapy could solve his spinal issues, his doctor gave him “a small if.” That moment is where his book’s title comes from.
Since his wise decision to pursue physical therapy rather than surgery, optimism has played a vital role in Stacy’s journey.
“Suffocate yourself with goodness,” he advises.
It’s a phrase that leaves me nodding my head, impressed with the young man’s dedication to pursuing the fullest life possible.
It would have been easy for Stacy to give up at multiple points in his journey. Both of his brothers also carry the disease, one of whom recently passed away. Like most forms of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne takes a tremendous toll on one’s body and has resulted in years of physical trauma for the author, who moves through life in a wheelchair. He is unafraid to discuss the disabilities caused by his disease but is quick to remind that he is never defined by it.
Most importantly, he believes a cure is imminent and that one day he will be free of Duchenne. Until then, A Small If and his daily life are proof of optimism’s power.
France is Banning Plastic Packaging for Fruits and Vegtables
This law could help eliminate over one billion single-use plastic items per year.
France will ban the use of plastic packaging for numerous fruits and vegetables starting January of 2022.
The French Ministry of Environment says this new law is an effort to reduce the country’s plastic waste.
The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food reports that 37 percent of the country’s fruits and vegetables are currently sold with plastic packaging and this law could help get rid of around one billion single-use plastic packaging items per year.
This new law is one part of the government’s multi-year program to phase out plastics. The plan also includes efforts to reduce the use of plastic straws, cups, cutlery, Styrofoam to-go boxes, and even plastic toys children receive from fast food restaurants.
The phaseout is expected to be completed by 2026.
See my TikTok video here
Delta 8 THC- What’s Behind the Suddenly Very Available but Questionable Products?
“It is a significant, real world public health risk for patients who think these products are as safe and effective as natural cannabis”
The hemp boom is over, and now we’re seeing the results of an industry chasing profit margins.
“The industry is rolling into a green rush derivative,” explains pharmacologist and neuroscientist, Dr. Greg Gerdeman. He wants to educate the public on cannabis, especially when it comes to the latest fads. For instance, products containing Delta-8 THC have become popular, especially in states where cannabis is still prohibited. Delta-8′ s legality is a bit murky because its a synthetic compound, something Dr. Gerdeman says is a misdirection from the promises of both cannabis flower and industrial hemp.
In our recent conversation on the Erupt app, Gerdeman talked about Delta-8, reminding us that “D-8” is not a specific strain.
“Delta-8 flower is hemp flower that’s been sprayed with synthetic D-8, that’s what D-8 flower is.”
“D-8 occurs in very low concentrations in cannabis plants, as far as has been discovered to date,” says Gerdeman. None of it is being extracted directly, it’s being converted from something else in a synthetic process, and there’s no D-8 producing strains. Any flower you get that’s sold as D-8 flower is hemp that was sprayed with D-8 that was made in somebody’s lab.”
Gerdeman compared the current D-8 craze to the CBD boom of the past few years. There was a massive amount of CBD produced in 2019 after the farming of hemp became legal.
“Farmers were promised the moon as though they were gonna make tens of thousands of dollars per acre growing CBD, and it was a false premise,” Gerdeman says.
Due to a skyrocketing hemp supply, with little infrastructure to turn the newly-legal crop around, the industry took a nose-dive, and experts say it could take years for the hemp market to mature.
In the meantime, all the extra hemp that was produced without a market to buy it, is being cooked and boiled into CBD products.
“It is a significant, real world public health risk for patients who think these products are as safe and effective as natural cannabis,” said Dr. Gerdeman.
You can watch our full conversation below and on the Erupt app.