Welcome Aboard, New Biohacker
If you're new to this whole "biohacking" thing and want to make sense of a few terms you've probably heard on this website and maybe others then what could be more apt than a Biohacking Dictionary to help you through it all.
Hopefully having some of the most popular Biohacker terms and phrases in an easy-access page, can help demystify some of the more obscure terms and possibly shed a little light on the most frequently used biohacks.
If you frequent corners of the biohacking community, this could help you understand some of the nomenclatures used that might seem a little "out there".
Let's jump right on into the Biohacking Dictionary:
This is the theory based on the observations that throughout history, technology has improved at an accelerating rate.
The conclusion is that in the future, technological leaps could be far more significant (possibly exponentially so) leading to both an unpredictability in estimated outcomes but uncertainty in the role of technology and an apparent concomitant effect of culture.
Also known as precessed garbage. Acellular carbs are the ultra-refined, low fiber carbohydrates that are prone to causing significant insulin spikes. (1)
The majority of carbs in a healthy diet should not be these, although refined carbohydrates can serve a purpose in conjunction with intense training sessions.
Anti-nutrients are compounds that prevent the absorption of nutritional elements in the diet.
They may include:
Glucosinolates (found in cruciferous vegetables) prevent the absorption of iodine.
Lectins (found in legumes & whole grains) prevent the absorption of calcium, iron, and zinc.
Oxalates (found in leafy greens, tea, & beans) prevent calcium absorption.
Phytates (found in grains, seeds, nuts, & legumes) lower calcium, iron, magnesium, & zinc absorption
Saponins (found in grains and legumes) lower some normal potential nutrient absorption.
Tannins (Found mostly in tea, wine, some beers, & coffee) lowers iron absorption.
Some anti-nutrients may actually have positive nutritional characteristics. An example of this is phytates which have antioxidant properties.
Is a propensity to derive incorrect conclusions by assuming correlative connections between ideas & objects.
An example would be seeing an unusual cloud formation and making the assumption that an alien UFO must be the logical reason said clouds are shaped so strangely.
Apophenia can also be responsible for people making unscientific evaluations based on incorrect correlations.
Is the body consuming its own cells. Biohackers tend to refer to autophagy in the state of fasting where the acceleration of the autophagy of senescent (dead) cells may lead to a host of health benefits. (2)
A portmanteau of biological technology. Some biohackers assume that in the future, many parts of human biology may be replaced with inorganic technology, although, there is also a movement against this preferring the idea if organic, biologically grown replacements.
Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT)
BFRT is a training technique that requires compression and restriction of blood flow in order to improve the response to exercise. Blood flow restricted training has become a very recently popular exercise biohack among the biohacking community.
Chemophobia refers to the misplaced assumption that chemicals are bad. Many people have the belief that all that is natural is good and all that is created in a laboratory is inherently bad.
Chemophobia is seriously fallacious thinking as evidenced by the DMP (Dihydrogen Monoxide Parody) which petitions people to ban the chemical dihydrogen monoxide which can be found in many foods, drinks, and beauty products. The reveal is that DMP (Dihydrogen Monoxide) is actually water.
Cold Exposure Therapy
This is the very simple exposure to cold temperatures either environmentally or using devices that localize the cool contact. Health benefits are purported to be anti-inflammation, cellular function improvement, and mental clarity. (3) (4)
This is where humans have a tendency to seek information that conforms to their biases whilst disbelieving evidence that directly contradicts their biases, beliefs, and preferences.
This is the use of commercial devices to target fat stores in humans with extremely cold fluid, air, or gas.
The use of cryolipolysis to eliminate fat has become a very popular biohack for people who find it hard to remove stubborn fat deposits even with the aid of diet and exercise.
These small proteins play a role in fighting infections in the body's immunity defense but can become dysregulated, leading to very negative health effects like inflammation, stroke, and many others. (5)
This refers to having direct contact with the ground (also known as grounding). Some biohackers enjoy walking barefoot in order to enjoy the benefits of this phenomenon.
Although to many it may seem like mystical nonsense, there's a real scientific hypothesis replete with studies and promising results that show earthing to improve and stabilize the bioelectrical environment in human body systems. (6)
These are chemicals that have a negative effect on hormones. Pollution, plastics, and pesticides may all have significant levels of endocrine disruptors which many scientists, biohackers, and researchers believe to be critical contributors to the downward trend in endocrinological health being experienced in the West.
The elimination diet is the literal elimination of specific foods in order to understand which given food components may be the cause of allergies and inflammation. It is often necessary among people for whom medicine doesn't appear to fix their malady.
This is your biological age as opposed to your chronological age. It's basically how young you really are at a cellular level versus what your actual birthday implies.
People in poor health often have an epigenetic age much higher than their chronological age.
This is a form of stress that is almost entirely positive resulting from enjoyable activities such as vacationing, playing a sport, or even being wholely productive,
Eustress has considerable physical benefits and might be somewhat of an anti-stress facilitator.
This is the state of purposely controlling food consumption for religious, medical, or biohacking reasons.
Fasting can improve many areas of cellular function including the all-important autophagy that may help clear senescent (dead) cells from the body.
This is the fallacious belief that because someone's ideas are ridiculed, they are in fact correct and the fact that they are being mocked (possibly by established experts) further proves their ideas are accurate.
The Galileo Gambit is based on the observation that the astronomer Galileo was belittled for his observations by his peers but was actually correct. The logical fallacy here is just because it happened to Galileo that it means anyone being discredited must be correct.
This is the complete total of genetic characteristics that comprise a species. Some biological entities such as human beings have a far more complex genetic diversity than other species, thus requiring an immense amount of study to develop a critical understanding of functional mechanisms.
This is the active biohacking of carbohydrates in order to control the glycemic (effect on blood sugar) response of said carbs.
Glycemic manipulation includes supplementing with compounds that may reduce gastric emptying of carbohydrates and ensuring slower digestion times or taking substances that may break down carbohydrates quickly in order to release energy and reduce the time it takes to process the aforementioned carbs.
The Goldilocks formula is the "just right" amount of food, nutrition, or exercise for optimal health function
There are many elements to good health that require a more exact specification of how much is effective and often more than this is too much.
An example could be nutrients like selenium, Vitamin A, and Iodine where too little is malnutritious (another biohacking term) and bad for your health but too much of these nutritional compounds can lead to negative health outcomes, therefore, it's important to get the amount "just right".
In case you've completely missed the reference, it's from the story "Goldilocks & The Three Bears" where there were three bowls of porridge that were too cold, too hot, and just right.
This is the process of biological replacement. Many biohacking transhumanists believe in the idea of replacing human biological elements with manufactured technology.
As the science is not particularly advanced, many grinding advocates have started off with small experimentations such as microchips under the skin that may turn electrical devices on or off.
High-intensity interval training is the use of small bursts of extremely intense training in between rest or far lower-intensity activity over a very short exercise session.
HIIT training is implemented for its benefits such as improved fitness, fat burning, and possible telomere dilatation.
This is the steady, optimal functioning of a given biological entity. Reaching homeostatic perfection may be a goal for biohackers seeking longevity. (7)
Hormesis is the theory that something that may do substantial damage in large doses may be exceptionally healthy in small doses. Placing cells under a micro-stress may result in said cells adapting and becoming stronger or more efficient.
An example would be cold exposure which may have considerable health benefits at a cellular level but when performed for too long would cause cell damage and eventual death.
The noun and verb for a product that enhances human biology or the action taken to achieve the desired outcome, respectively.
Many biohacks could be considered human enhancement.
Training in an oxygen-depleted state for a very short term, usually intermittently, in order to gain improvements in muscle tissue function and possible adaptations in gene expression efficiency. (8)
Most notable as a particular obsession in an otherwise healthy mind, an idée fixe can be both positive and negative.
The idea is that normal people can have extremely linear preoccupations and these fixations can result in more pathological obsessions.
"A single pathology of the intellect" Jan E Goldstein.
An illusory correlation is an experience of misobserving a correlation between variables even when no such correlation exists.
A portmanteau of the words malnutrition and nutritious, malnutritious is a biohacking term used to distinguish food that has a low nutritional value from more nutrient-dense healthy foods.
An example of malnutritious food would be hard candy which is little more than sugar and food coloring with scant nutritional value outside of the macronutrient carbohydrate in the form of sugar.
Regular consumption of solely malnutritious foods would lead to serious nutritional deficits and subsequent malnutrition.
(MED) Minimum Effective Dose
A MED (minimum effective dose) is considered to be the least amount of something efficacious that you can consume in order to it to still be effective.
In experimental biohacking it is prudent when supplementing with many various compounds, to aim for the MED in order to ensure the risk of side effects or negative interactions are minimized.
Medicus Curat, Natura Sanat
This is a Latin aphorism meaning "the physician cures while nature heals".
It could be seen as a critique of modern medicine where the role of curing ailments may observationally (at least semantically) diverge from healing.
Usually used in reference to the gut microbiome which many biohackers and health professionals believe, citing much evidence, to be the center of human biological health.
The gut microbiome is a contained habitat full of microorganisms that when functioning most efficiently, may play a key role in health, mood, and possibly even longevity. Great interest is shown in biohacking circles towards activities, supplements, and nutrition that may improve gut microbiome health. (9)
This is the autophagic degradation of compromised mitochondria.
See Autophagy above under A.
These are tiny fragments of plastic under 5mm (usually considerably smaller nano-plastics) that are created environmentally from the long-term use of plastic products.
These micro-plastics may pose not only a threat to the environment but also to the health of many living creatures. There are many estimates as to how much nano-plastics humans may have exposure to that reside in their systems.
Many speculations exist as to the negative health impacts of long-term exposure to micro-plastics (including nano-plastics) may have, including hormone disruption, cancer, and impeded brain chemistry.
Micro-Plastics occupy a large area of concern for many in the biohacking community with the removal of plastic from day-to-day living and reduced exposure being of paramount importance in many discussions.
As referenced in the section on Hormesis, a micro-stress is a ver small stress placed upon the body which may result in a reaction creating a cellular improvement by strengthening the affected cells through adaptation.
The broad spectrum of neurological diversity in thought, expression, and intellectual capability.
The word neurodiversity is seen as an encapsulating term to reduce judgment and encourage the recognition that there is a wide range of neurodiverse people. (10)
This is a type of mental self-programming where in order to develop an attitude or positive habit, actions are taken repetitively until the desired result of changes is accomplished,
This is a measure of genetic diversity in a population that was conceptualized in molecular genetics. (11)
DNA and RNA nucleotides vary among the population and studying measurable differences may help scientists to build a more detailed roadmap of all human biological markers which could in turn lead to breakthroughs in advanced biology.
This is the scientific discipline of observing the relationship between the human genome and the effects of nutritional compounds.
In understanding the effects of every genomic reaction to all nutritional components, there may be the opportunity to increase health potential by creating specific nutrition adapted to a given genomic requirement, maximizing the efficiency of functions.
This refers to foods that have not been exposed to inorganic pesticides and hormones, although, the definition may change depending on the rules and legislation of the country of origin.
This is also known as the 80/20 rule whereby it is commonly observed that 20% of actions and efforts frequently result in 80% of successes.
These are small protein, amino-chains that are espoused for their healthful values. One of the most popular commercially available peptides is collagen peptides which are sold for their potential anti-aging benefits.
Collagen protein is exposed to a manufacturing process that breaks down the more complex protein strands into more absorbable peptides.
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA's) were hailed as a massive health boon as industries that clamored to sell their seed and plant oils that were high in PUFA, needed a point of sales provision.
Unfortunately, the truth about polyunsaturated fats is that they might be highly inflammatory under certain conditions, and in others, they may be downright dangerous and unhealthy. (12)
Dietary fats such as polyunsaturated fatty acids have more molecular bonds and are susceptible to breaking down faster and becoming rancid at a rate that may cause concern.
Mastication (chewing) food is extremely important to digestion. Under chewed food might not digest thoroughly and nutrients may be lost, worse yet, stomach discomfort and associated issues may follow.
Regulated mastication is the concentrated effort to make sure each mouthful of food is chewed 25-30 times to ensure maximal digestion and absorption.
Resistant Starch (RS)
Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that is unable to be processed in the digestion process, bypassing calorie availability and increasing fibrous bulk.
Resistant starches may help facilitate the production of short-chain fatty acids in the intestines which have several heath-improving qualities. (13)
Sarms is an acronym for “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators,” These are androgen receptor ligands that are used often in place of anabolic steroids.
Many of the dangers of steroid compounds are eliminated in SARMS, making them a popular alternative. There is still the danger of not having long-term studies to prove efficacy-without-harm, but a lot of research is promising in the area of androgen therapy. (14)
Also known as SNM, self neuro-manipulation is the process in which a person deliberately takes actions that result in a temporary or in some cases permanently changed brain chemistry through the process of neuroplasticity.
This is specifically related to cognitive dissonance where evidence is rejected that does not fit within the comforts of one's beliefs.
In the case of the Semmelweis Reflex, it refers to a reflexive tendency to reject new information. Dr Semmelwies was the person who discovered the correlation between washing one's hands and potential infection, which was soundly rejected by his peers (before being later proven completely correct).
SITNS (Sitting Is The New Smoking)
This is in reference to the increasingly disturbing studies that appear to show that excessive time sitting on the couch can have extremely adverse health effects.
There's a growing movement to push sedentary people into short bursts of activity even while watching TV as well as moving away from sitting in an office towards standing desks.
The improvement to circulation may have a significant effect on disease prevention
This refers to having a controlled sleeping pattern in order to maximize rest. Discipline is required to go to bed at the same time regularly in lew of the many distractions available. A lack of sleep can have serious health implications.
In sleep biohacking, sleep discipline is considered to be extremely important.
This is the theory that any action you take will make you either stronger or weaker with zero middle ground. It's a strong dichotomy that requires the belief that stagnation is in fact, regression.
Telomeres are a cluster of repeating nucleotide sequences located at the ends of linear chromosomes.
These nucleotide clusters (telomeres) protect DNA from progressive degradation.
In the anti-aging biohacking community, the protection of telomeres is considered to be one of the most significant facts in increasing lifespans and countering the effects of aging.
The basis of transhumanism is the acceptance of technology that may replace some or all biological parts of human biology, thus, transforming from a natural biological human being to cybernetic or possibly non-biological entity (in the most extreme examples). Some also refer to it as post-humanism or being post-human.
There is an overlap in the biohacking community with transhumanists, but the diaspora of biohackers is large and diverse with many more spiritual adherents refuting inorganic replacements believing them to not be biohacks and instead techohacks.
Vis Medicatrix Naturae
This is Latin for "minister to the mind" with the meaning of supporting the body's self-healing capabilities, especially in relation to nature and products of a natural environment. (15)
Many biohacking enthusiasts prefer natural remedies. Some biohackers cite research that exposure to nature has considerable and measurable critical effects on health. (16)
So, that's the Biohacking Dictionary full of regular biohacker's terms.
Please be sure to bookmark the page and be sure to come back and check out our ever-evolving Biohacker's Glossary as new terms and phrases are added in time.
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The information contained in this article is offered for informational purposes only. This information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or treating ailments and should you wish to seek such advice, please contact an appropriate medical professional.
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