For nearly 10 years, Dave Asprey, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of “The Bulletproof Diet” and “Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster – in Just Two Weeks,” has been using an infrared LED emitter in the 810 to 850 nanometer range that can be placed on an injury or on the head to improve his brain health.
“Most think that light is just light,” Asprey said. “Can I see or not see? What we’re discovering is that light is a drug. You can have the corn syrup of lighting, which are basically blue LED light bulbs. We’ve allowed these into our environment the same way we allowed corn syrup into our food supply. (Blue light from LED light bulbs) makes your mitochondria weak. It causes macular degeneration over time, which is a mitochondrial disorder. What I’m talking about here is the LEDs that replace your incandescent light fixtures so you can read, so you can watch TV and cook. You don’t want those (light bulbs) in your environment.
“But red and infrared in targeted spectrum LEDs are actually game-changing. One of the reasons this works is because your mitochondria are semi-conductors. This was not well-established until maybe eight years ago. (A semi-conductor) conducts electricity at a lower speed than it would normally go. What this means is that one of the functions of mitochondria is to create photons.
“They’re called biophotons. One of the primary functions of mitochondria is to receive photons. They’re actually able to communicate, we believe, with each other using photons. But certainly, they listen to the light around you, the same as they listen to what you put in your mouth.
“Having these quadrillion little sensors in your body that are light sensitive means what you expose them to is going to change the state of your body. The recommendation in ‘Head Strong’ is have less of these LED lights for vision and to use LED therapeutically with red and infrared or even ultraviolet. There are ultraviolet LEDs now. Go back to more natural spectrums.”
Asprey also promotes mental clarity through ketosis.
Reduced hunger and food cravings and significantly increased mental clarity are all welcomed side effects of nutritional ketosis. To understand the reasons for these side effects, you need to understand the interplay of cholecystokinin, a satiety hormone, and ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
Once you’re in ketosis, where you’re burning fat as your primary fuel, the ketones created go a long way toward warding off hunger.
Not only is fat a more slow-burning fuel than sugar, allowing you to feel energized longer, once your ketone level goes up, ghrelin, the hunger hormone, will reset itself. As your ketone level rises, CCK, a satiety hormone, is also activated. As a result, food cravings and hunger pangs vanish. Ketones are also a preferred fuel for your brain to obtain improved mental clarity.
“If you don’t have ketones, you’ll always have the ghrelin, the hunger level, of whatever your maximum weight was,” Asprey said. “When I weighed 300 pounds, I had the hunger of a 300-pounder. If I went on a low-calorie diet and got down to 250 pounds, I still had the hunger of a 300-pound person … Resetting ghrelin (and CCK) with ketosis matters.”
An intriguing mitochondrial supplement is good old-fashioned apple cider vinegar. It’s actually chock-full of acetic acid, which is a short-chained fat.
“This acetic acid is used in the mitochondria,” Asprey said. “There is a class of people (with) mitochondrial inefficiencies (in whom) acetic acid … turns their mitochondria back on. These people will take some apple cider vinegar … (and) it’s like the lights come back on. There are other people who have different inefficiencies in their mitochondria. They’ll take apple cider vinegar (and) don’t feel any energy difference whatsoever.”
Asprey promotes intermittent fasting and also touches on other simple ways to boost mitochondrial function.
First, he suggested cold thermogenesis. Exposure to cold temperatures, 65 degrees F or lower, triggers fat burning and raises mitochondrial density. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which can have a mood-boosting effect and stimulates collagen production and tissue healing. A simple way to incorporate cold thermogenesis is to take a cold shower in the morning. You can cycle hot and cold in the shower, ending with cold.
Next, high-impact, high-intensity and resistance exercises and whole body vibration is recommended. Certain materials make electricity when bent or otherwise stressed. This reaction is known as the piezoelectric effect.
It turns out your bones are piezoelectric, which means when your bone is flexed or stressed, an electrical signal is created, triggering the creation of bone morphogenic protein. This reaction is why strength training and other high impact exercises are so good for strengthening and healing your bones.
Walking can create this reaction as well. Your cell membranes are also piezoelectric. Every time you take a step, the shock reverberates throughout your body. In addition to being light sensitive, your mitochondria are also vibration and pressure sensitive. So anytime you flex your cell membranes, you’re making a little bit of extra electricity that your body can harness.
He also suggests neurofeedback. According to Asprey, you can actually train the mitochondria in your brain to maintain a higher voltage than normal, and you can do it through neurofeedback. You can also train the neurons in your brain to fire faster.
“We know the mitochondria in the brain can be trained,” Asprey said. “The neurons can be trained. Anytime you’re increasing voltage, you’re making the mitochondria stronger, and you’re exercising the mitochondria just by thinking and focusing on what matters.”
Lastly, use a radiant barrier to block cell phone radiation. Cell phone radiation has a range of adverse effects and can be reduced by using a radiant barrier between the phone and your body when carrying the phone on your body. A radiant barrier is simply a thick piece of aluminum foil, which you can cut to the size of your pocket. Place the face of the phone toward your body with the radiant barrier in between them; it will further minimize your radiation exposure.