Emerging Biohacking & Wellness Trends in 2020

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Move over green juice, yoga and collagen creams – the best functional and science-backed wellness trends are yet to come. 

In the last five years wellness products have become a fast booming sector among mainstream categories and retail stores. Take Sephora, for example, which now sells mushroom skin creams, tongue scrapers & collagen-enhancing beauty supplements. It’s hard to know what to trust these days when it comes to health (ex. all the influencers pushing flat tummy tea) – however, there is an abundance of exciting, and more importantly, science-backed, health and wellness innovations emerging each day. 

For one, the next five years are going to truly progressive for remote digital healthcare. I’m grateful that my practice is so unique in that we  implement osteopathic manipulation, sports, functional and anti-aging medicine synergistically – allowing patients to get a combination of treatments they can’t find elsewhere. In using a multi-modality approach to healthcare seeing incredible healing and optimization results with emerging technology, supplements & treatments. I want to prepare my community for the times ahead so I put together this round-up of tech, wearables and treatments I see taking off in 2020 and beyond. . 

Mitochondrial Support 

Massage for Mitochondria 

Researchers at McMaster University found that massage following an intense workout actually causes muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria. If you remember from eighth grade science – mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells and thus responsible for converting nutrients into useful energy. For you athletes and performance optimizers – you know that energy is everything. 

With deep-tissue massage increasing the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without massage one could consider this in an effort to improve their overall energy. Increasing mitochondria can improve endurance performance by increasing the rate that muscles utilize oxygen. And, to the body, oxygen is everything. So if you’re seeking to optimize your mito – consider a massage. 

Mitochondrial support supplements

Clinical trials have shown the utility of using supplements such as l-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid (α-lipoic acid), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 [ubiquinone]), reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), NAD, ribose, phospholipids and others. The combination of these supplements can reduce significantly the fatigue and other symptoms associated with chronic disease and can naturally restore mitochondrial function. I also really like MitoQ for my patients, which as clinical studies demonstrating its ingredients to pass through the mitochondria’s double membrane and in turn be able to neutralize free radicals and improve its function. 

The mitochondrial peptide; Mots-C

Mitochondrial support peptides

Mots- C is truly profound for what it does within the mitochondria. It’s naturally expressed during exercise in our bodies and a peptide I use often in human optimization, weight loss & longevity protocols. Mots-C is a mitochondrial-derived protein that at a high level helps regulate muscle and fat metabolism. On a deeper level, Mots-C helps increase AMPk, elevates cellular NAD+, enhances lipid beta-oxidation, increase thermogenic brown fat, decreases fat gain on high fat diet and increases glucose uptake during glycolysis. It also has strong therapeutic implications for obesity, diabetes, exercise, longevity, lung and heart disease.

Fitness Trackers & Wearables Move Beyond the Wrist 

VR for mindset: TRIPP is a product I have in the office and try to use with everyone at least once so they can experience it. The experience compounds visual stimulation, soothing narration and binaural beats helping your mind give into a feeling of relaxation. I’ve spoken with their team of “mood architects” whose mission is to continually adapt the tech to adapt using machine learning and a neural network. Book a session today. 

UV sensors: new wearables to help you learn more about your personal sun exposure come in several forms: bandaids, wristbands, patches & even bathing suits. Some change color when you need to apply a natural sunscreen or get in the shade. 

Clothing: The options are endless here based on your goals but smart clothing is taking wearables a step further given they can detect things you don’t yet. There are compression sleeves that uses electrocardiogram (ECG) technology to monitor heart rate activity. Shifts. Smart shirts like HexoSkin, that capture information such as  intensity and recovery, calories burned, fatigue level and sleep quality in real time and sends it all to the companion app. Optimized training shifts like Athos which were designed around expensive medical tech but made for the gym-go-er. It’s fabric is woven with micro-EMG sensors that detect which of your muscles are working and transfer this workout data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. For those who are looking to monitor their glucose there are even smart socks. Siren socks have microsensors to continuously monitor the wearers temperature, and when they detect a rise in heat (which is associated with inflammation) they’ll alert the user with a smartphone notification or text message.

Sleep optimization: From sleep retreats, recovery tracking rings like Oura , smart pillows & sleep optimizing tools like Chilipad if your goal is to improve your sleep quality then you have options. 

Improved cognition: A new product out of the UK has me really excited as it’s using information we now know about the connection between the vagus nerve and our brain to optimize performance. I’ll release more information once I’ve used it consistently for a couple months. Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is another efficacious avenue for cognitive improvement. It was developed by neuroscientists at some of the world’s leading medical and research institutions and is a science supported way to improve decision making and cognitive function. Humm is a product I have in the office for you to try. 

The Free Style Libre Continuous Glucose Monitor

Glucose Regulation: In line with David Sinclair’s research into longevity – blood glucose is an anti-aging marker we should monitor. My favorite are continuous blood glucose monitors because they collect data continuously and you can cross-correlate the data over a two week time period. These wearables became FDA approved in June 2018, so the science behind the devices is relatively new but worthwhile if you’re concerned about your metabolism. For those who want to have something longer term then the Glucose monitor and associated app from iHealth labs is a great solution. I also like Keto Mojo for those looking to track their ketones. 

Peptide Therapy 

I’ve written extensively around the benefits of peptide therapy. Check out my other articles about Peptides for Brain Health & Peptides for Fat Loss to start.

Peptides can be administered orally, subcutaneously, intra-muscularly & via IV in the office

Quantified Wellness 

Using science and technology, we’re better able to analyze our wellbeing and biohack our progress using data as a feedback loop. If you haven’t noticed, biohacking is more accessible on a mass scale than ever before. We can use information collected from biology-based labs, genetics, hormones, gut microbiome, urine, saliva and psychology. And, as mentioned above, more wearables are also giving us real-time insights into heart rate variability, breathing rate, glucose and more. 

I’ve seen it and I predict that with the consistent monitoring of our body functions via smart devices, we will foster predictive maintenance and prevention the new healthcare model. At my practice I’ve brought on an integration with Heads Up Health which allows us to make real time modifications based on your wearables and data input. I believe well-organized and actionable data is a key component to optimal health. 

Brain Boosting Neutraceuticals & Nootropics 

Cognitive improvement, or “neurohacking”, as dubbed by the biohacking community, is the act of using supplementation, technology, and/or physical activity in order to manipulate the structure or function of your neurons. 

Nootropics and supplements are extremely personal based on your genetics and brain chemistry. The goal is to find a stack that will boost your neural performance so you can think better, clearer and improve your memory. My favorite brain boosting stack for entrepreneurs and executives who work long hours (and for whom brain fog is not an option) is a combination of peptides, nootropics & supplements. This includes: Semax peptide, l-theanine, NAD, phosphatidylserine & monitoring lab markers such as testosterone. 

Cellular Healing 

PEMF: Pulsed Electronic Magnetic Frequency is used to promote something that has been dubbed “cellular exercise”. PEMF’s are essentially magnetic fields that promote motion of ions and electrolytes, stimulating cellular actions. These magnetic fields are systemic and penetrate our bodies to encourage normal cell function among a myriad of other things. Some of the benefits include: restoration and optimization of healthy cellular metabolism; decreased viability of pathologic microorganisms; improved lymphatic flow and drainage from inflamed and congested tissue; and, structural reorganization of cell-membrane lipids resulting in better cell membrane integrity and function.

The Biomat: The BioMat generates far infrared, which can penetrate several inches into the body to enhance micro circulation from within via the heat. This boost in blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients to injury sites, reducing inflammation and promoting the body’s natural healing process. It’s actually FDA approved for the temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain and thus used in part of multi-modality healing therapies to reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, and deeply relaxes the body and increases mobility. 

Photobiomodulation: Although it may not feel like anything is happening, these specific wavelengths of red light penetrate cells and create significant and positive changes in the body. Photobiomodulation is FDA approved for conditions such as wound healing and joint pain, but it’s benefits are vast. Benefits include increased blood flow, improved natural production of collagen and fibroblasts, enhanced muscle recovery, improved skin tone, reduced inflammation, new capillary formation, lymphatic system activation and more. 

The leading hypothesis as to the science behind the effects  is that the photons dissociate inhibitory nitric oxide from the enzyme, leading to an increase in electron transport, mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production. I use it in my practice for skin care, in tandem with other treatments for the alleviation of pain or inflammation, immunomodulation, and promotion of wound healing and tissue regeneration. 

Longevity Promoting Compounds 

Epitalon (Epithalamin): This peptide has been studied found to have a handful of anti-aging effects. As a potent antioxidant, comparable to melatonin, it supports the reset of ones circadian rhythm. It also reduces oxidative damage that is correlated with the process of aging. 

Metformin: The drug is thought to mimic some of the positive effects of calorie restriction by lessening the amount of sugar the body produces and absorbs. Calorie restriction is a challenge for people to maintain, as it involves eating a lot less over a long period of time, but some studies have shown that it can help to extend the human lifespan. 

Quercetin and Resveratrol: These compounds support the reduction of inflammatory markers associated with aging. Taken together at a personalized dose, multiple times a day can be extremely beneficial, although timing is important and one should work a regenerative medicine practitioner to make sure that timing does not interfere with lifestyle efforts – such as working out. 

NAD – NAD can be taken directly via patch, injection or IV or via its precursors (NR or NMN). Each is effective in its own way. It’s suggested that the route of administration should be personalized to your goals and bioindividuality through lab work and genetics.  Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme found in all living cells and it  plays an essential role in hundreds of metabolic processes in the cell. It declines with age and is associated with age-related diseases – thus elevating it later in life can be beneficial for longevity

Nrf2: Inflammation is a key contributor to disease throughout the body and NrF2 has been shown to be a potent modulator of antioxidant response and can rapidly target oxidative stressors. . Mice who have been genetically engineered to lack Nrf2 protein were found to be significantly more sensitive to chemical carcinogens, and also chemical toxins leading to increased inflammation in lung and brain tissue – all major markers of oxidative stress. To activate the Nrf2 pathways you can take compounds such as sulforaphane , resveratrol, curcumin as well as introduce more fasting. 

Telemedicine Expands 

Telemedicine will expand even more in the coming years with the advancement in technology, remote health opportunities and the continued expansion of remote work. For patients living in rural communities or even dealing with mobility issues, telemedicine allows a more convenient option than having to book an appointment and get to the doctor’s office. In-home physician visits alongside remote care will also expand for the later population. In 2020 I’ve expanded my practice to NY, NJ, CT, CA, CO, FL, NC. Follow this link to book a telemedicine appointment. 

Medical Disclaimer:

The Information in this guide is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician and is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you saw or read on my website. 

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