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Pickle Supplements, Longevity and Health Maxing
For several years I’ve been experimenting with various supplements to optimise my health. Recently I’ve become more serious about it and generally about improving my health not neccessarily to live much longer, but to live healthier for longer. I don’t want to be that 70 year old diabetic unable to get up off the floor after falling due to not feeling my feet because I have diabetes.
Being in crypto (mostly full time for the past 2-3 years) can be extremely stressful and all consuming, such that health tends to fall to the side (especially during bullmarkets), anxiety peaks between periods of elation and dopamine hits and sleep goes out the window. Many of the things discussed below are aimed to try and offset some of the consequences of being a crypto degen.
I’ve compiled some useful supplements majority of which have at least some evidence base for them.
Supplements for Everyone
Omega 3 - 1g daily
Proven to reduce Mycocardial Infarction risk and thus morbidity as a result in numerous trials. Especially important in those with a strong family history of heart diease and/or low intake of oily fish.
Vitamin D3 - 1,000-5,000 iu (lower end if white/lots of sun exposure, higher end if darker skin/less sun exposure)
Excellent for bone and muscle health, but most importantly for me, reduces the frequency and severity of viral infections. This should have been the thing governments pushed the hardest during the Covid pandemic but didn’t.
Think most are aware of the benefits here. Beyond that, there’s ongoing research into the positive effects on cognition.
Taken for over 10 years, initially for the mostly debunked claims that it will improve sports performance or strength/muscle mass. Take it mostly now for a general sense of wellbeing and to keep Zinc levels topped up.
Magnesium Glycinate (Glycine)
It’s difficult to get enough Mg through just diet, partly due to soil erosion through hundreds of years of farming the same land. Various benefits to normal physiology but I primarily take for reduced stress levels and improving sleep quality. Some bound types have a laxative effect, the type bound to glycinate doesn’t and Glycine itself also helps with sleep. I take it before bed.
I use this on a cycled basis, typically 2-3 times a week. In combination with caffeine it gives a more consistent ‘focus’ effect and makes my morning coffee ‘last’ more, without the potential side effects of being jittery. Good for work days. It can also provide a sense of calm by acting on GABA receptors.
Leucine 4-5g powder
I ensure I have at least a 12 hour fast every day to enable important body functions to occur which don’t happen in a fed state, including autophagy (body breaking down and recycling unnecessary cells). After this period, you want to put your body into a state to start building again, Leucine does this (more than any other amino acid) by stimulating the mTOR pathway. You can find it in animal proteins but to ensure I’m getting the minimum required, I supplement it.
Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides - 10-15g daily
Studies done have shown improved hair, nail and skin quality, reduced signs of aging, reduced joint and muscle related pain, improved immune function and a general sense of improved wellbeing, as well as a good protein source. There are several types of collagens but the main types we need are I and III, which are both highly available in Bovine (cow) collagen supplements. I ensure that the sources I use regularly test their product via third parties and use grass fed organic raised cows.
Hyaluronic Acid (oral, 1g daily)
HA is often hyped as a topical lotion/cream for skin quality and improvement, but it simply doesn’t absorb to the deeper dermal layers to have an effect. Oral HA supplements will reach these areas. Taken for improvements to skin and joint health.
Taken alongside vitamin D, scant evidence that it prevents calcium deposits in arteries, but proven to improve bone health. Take it or leave.
NMN or NR or Niacin
Lots of noise from David Sinclair over the past few years about NMN in longevity science, which he’s now patented via a company and made illegal to buy in the USA. This is the man who hyped Reservatrol (which is absolutely a waste of money and reduces Testosterone levels too) before and did a similar thing with it.
NMN has been associated with increasing NAD+ levels. NAD+ levels falling are associated with a general decline in physiological processes and results in aging, therefore the theory goes that boosting NAD+ levels will slow the ageing process.
NMN (expensive) and NR (cheaper) supplements are therefore promoted as being the best thing to improve these levels. However, recent research is showing that both are converted to Niacin (vitamin B3) in the body before being absorbed, therefore simply supplementing B3 is likely sufficient and 20x cheaper.
Saying all this, I use NMN, mainly because I have a huge supply, but I’ll probably convert to Niacin in the future.
Improves muscle performance (Strength and endurance gains) and some association with reducing cognitive decline as you age.
These are supplements often derived directly from nature which are mostly collquially known to help in some form or another, but without concrete evidence to explain the pathways, nevertheless I take several, many of which have been used around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years in some form or aonther, so I’m relying on the collective wisdom of generations of people.
Reduce stress, reduce cortisol, reduce anxiety, improve muscle strength. Been using this for about 6 years.
Improve cognition/reduce cognitive decline, reduce stress, generalised cardiovascular benefits.
Tumeric with Bioprene
Anti-inflammatory - for everything. That’s it.
Mood booster, hormonal homeostasis. Always find sources that use third party testing frequently as it can easily be faked or have heavy metals in the mix. I reccommend gelatanised forms only as the none-gelatanised forms can upset your stomach easily. I use black gelatanised powder.
I’ve always had some gut health problems since my early teens when I think about, effectively some mild IBS, so in the past few years I’ve tried to rectify this by eating more prebiotic foods (fermented products like kimchi, sauerkraut daily), having a high-ish fibre intake, taking Bimuno before bed (also helps sleep) and having about 250-300ml of kefir daily.
That’s a lot of stuff, how do?
I use a weekly pill box organiser, once a week I add in all my morning supplements to it and it makes life easy. I take most things in the morning. Night time is just Bimuno and Magnesium Glycinate.
I break my fast with a protein shake in which I chuck all the powders - typically made up of:
bit of water
teaspoon of maca powder
heaped tablespoon of collagen
General Lifestyle and Dietary changes
I previously was big into intermittent fasting and easily can skip breakfast, however it’s led me over the years to eat more in the evenings including near bedtime, and ideally you need a three hour gap before sleeping of no food for various health reasons, so I have no reintroduced morning eating and fast only 12-13 hours in total.
The studies done on IF are largely on mice and human trials haven’t shown many benefits to short term fasting beyond the 12 hour window. After that, you really need to be considering 24-48 hour water fasts every few weeks, which have been proven to be of benefit, but that’s not for me.
I have very recently made the push to broadly clean up my diet. I’ve largely cut out processed sugars, whey in all forms and have been trying to switch over to ‘raw’ (i.e. not pasturised products such as honey and milk) where possible, alongside trying to ensure meat sources are pasture raised/grass fed and organic where possible. Gut health has improved but I’m hoping to make this a long-term change.
Most of these things I’ve added and removed in a step-wise fashion over years to try and understand their impact, unfortunately with some it will simply not be obvious for years. Reality of the matter is that the best thing for your health is to eat a diet low in processed foods and refined sugars, get 20-30 minutes of cardio exercise a couple of times a week, lift weights 2-3 times a week, get good sleep and maintain good relationships. The supplements may add some benefits but they’re just the cherry on top. Find me on twitter if you have any questions.