Bulletproof Supplements by Dave Asprey
The Unfair Advantage Offered by Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Supplements
If you’re like most people, you do not eat perfectly all the time. And even if you do, modern foods have lost many of the nutritional qualities of foods in decades and centuries past. On top of that, all foods are not created equal – conventionally raised beef, for example, is a far cry from organic grass-fed beef nutritionally speaking. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are not even close to being as beneficial as their organic cousins.
All that being said, there’s still one simple truth that is the first rule of nutrition:
Food Is the Best Place to Get Nutrients. Period.
Whole foods are the absolute best way to get the nutrition you need, hands down. You cannot get all the nutrients from a pill that you can get from a piece of (grass fed) meat or a plate of broccoli. Furthermore, while the antioxidants in food are typically highly beneficial, synthetic antioxidants can be harmful in large doses.
However, as mentioned, most people cannot or do not get all the nutrition they need from their diets. Can’t they just take
The Problem with Multivitamins
Many people take multivitamins and assume they’re covered. Contrary to popular belief, multivitamins are not the end all be all of nutrition and disease prevention. For starters, multivitamins often contain ineffective or downright unsafe amounts of nutrients. Too much vitamin A and too little magnesium are common shortcomings of multivitamins.
Multivitamin manufacturers commonly use
Multivitamins Often Contain
Let’s forget for a moment that many multivitamins contain fillers and other additives that do your body no good at all (and could possibly be harmful).
Folic acid, by contrast, is a synthetic version of folate and is not nearly as beneficial. The body utilizes folate in its natural forms much more readily than it can use folic acid. And folate is not the only problem, either – in almost every case, your body uses nutrients in their natural food forms better than the forms found in cheap multivitamins. Regardless of what the label says, there’s no guarantee that the nutrients in your multivitamin are ever reaching your cells, where they are needed.
Finally, not everyone needs exactly the same mix of supplemental nutrition. Multivitamins are the antithesis of biohacking. They are, most of the time, a cookie-cutter approach that results in expensive urine rather than revitalized cells. For these reasons, targeted dietary supplements are a much better choice than multivitamins.
Choosing Effective Supplements
As previously mentioned, nutrients should come first and foremost from their most natural sources: food. And some supplements supply you with too much of something you don’t need, which can be harmful. Dave Asprey made a Bulletproof selection of vitamins & supplements that just about everyone can benefit from:
Particularly if you don’t eat organ meats (which you should, but they aren’t for everyone), vitamin A is an important supplement. Beta-carotene is the most potent precursor to vitamin A, but its conversion to vitamin A in the body is limited by a feedback system. It is an important antioxidant in its own right and one that can only build up to toxic levels in rare circumstances. Beta-carotene helps support immune health by enhancing the function of the thymus gland. Vitamin A is beneficial for your eyes, bone growth, immune system health, and more.
Because it assists in building collagen and connective tissue, vitamin C is essential for healing. The body also needs it to manufacture glutathione, which is a very powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, too. But because the body can’t store it, it can be hard to maintain adequate levels through diet alone. Those healing from injury or with chronic infections
Think of vitamin D as a sort of crazy powerhouse of health benefits. It is arguably the most important supplement you should take. Vitamin D reduces inflammation and moderates immune function. It helps the body metabolize calcium and form bone. It also acts as a substrate for sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone, and human growth hormone.
You can, of course, get vitamin D from the sun, but most people don’t get enough sun exposure for this. This applies to all people, but especially dark-skinned individuals, who cannot convert sunlight into vitamin D as efficiently.
Vitamin K2 assists with calcium metabolism. This matters because excess calcium gets deposited in the arteries – a cause of decreased vascular function and calcification. So one of the most important benefits of vitamin K2 is heart disease prevention.
Unfortunately, most people are deficient in vitamin K2. That’s because it is found primarily in grass-fed animal products. For example, cows that eat grass convert vitamin K1 from the grass into vitamin K2 in their stomachs. They can’t get vitamin K1 from grains – another reason why it’s so important to choose grass-fed meat.
Nearly as important as vitamin D, magnesium is used in a huge number of enzymatic processes. Magnesium deficiency can cause lots of health problems, including (but not limited to) headaches, nausea, metabolic syndrome, tachycardia, and migraines. Magnesium deficiency is also linked to diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and anxiety disorders.
Iodine promotes good metabolism and thyroid function; it also protects against brain damage and enhances immune function. It’s hard to take too much iodine, and easy to become deficient when not supplementing.
Krill oil is easier for your body to use than fish oil, but offers similar benefits. These benefits include better brain function, reduced inflammation, and even increased muscle growth.
Selenium has quite an impressive resume with a long list of qualifications. This heavy metal boosts immune function and protects against thyroid dysfunction, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. It is possible to get enough selenium from wild caught fish and animal products, but most people don’t. Just make sure to get the dose right: too much is harmful. Try 200 micrograms a day (not milligrams).
You need copper for optimal heart and vascular function. Almost everyone can benefit from this supplement since it’s difficult to get from diet alone (unless you eat a lot of beef, which the Bulletproof Diet encourages). Copper is one of the casualties of modern farming practices; most fruits and vegetables now contain very little. You can also get copper from sources like Bulletproof Chocolate Powder, beef, lobster, and cashews.
B12 & Folate
B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. B12 lowers homocysteine and protects against atherosclerosis. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. One of the most crucial areas for B12 is the brain.
Folate deficiency can also cause mental symptoms, although B12 is more likely to be a problem. Folate and B12 are both required for mental function, and a deficiency in one produces a deficiency in the other, but folate will not correct a B12 deficiency in the brain. If you make the mistake of treating B12 deficiency with folate, you can get permanent brain damage. Likewise, high amounts of folate without adequate B12 can cause neurological conditions. That’s why we take them together.