Why a Risk Seeking Biohacker is an Antifragile Biohacker

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Recently I’ve been researching some Nootropics that you may not have heard of before; Bromantane, Cerebroslyn, Cortexin, Ladastan, Mildronate…

These are from an interesting new vendor that I’ve vetted, NootropicSpot.com. Check out their site and you’ll see a number of Nootropics and performance enhancers that are maybe a bit foreign to you. To me at least these are European exotics, they are all branded and manufactured in either Russia or different European countries. I’ll explain a little later why this is appealing to me as a veteran Nootropics user.

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Full disclosure: I have a mutually beneficial relationship with NootropicSpot.com. Almost weekly I am solicited by vendors, manufacturers and marketers of various Biohacking products and 80% of them don’t exhibit the basic indicators of credibility of someone I’d like to buy things from that may alter my brain chemistry.

As Biohackers we have a bit of a weak spot for novelty, especially pharmacological novelty, smart drugs that might work a little different than the things we’ve tried before.

However, pharmacological novelty is not always good and it is not for everyone, amongst Biohackers there’s a spectrum of risk tolerance. Similarly, amongst Nootropics and performance enhancers there’s a spectrum of risk profiles. Not all Nootropics are equally safe and benign.

In this article I’m going to grade some of NootropicSpots.com products by what I assess is their risk profile from A+ to F. As a smart consumer you (should!) know that when you go to an eCommerce store, they are just going to tell you the good things about whatever is being sold. In this article, I’m going to assess the potential risks.

My Risk Philosophy

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Some Biohackers are VERY risk-averse, like Justin who I interviewed, he’s the Mind behind the very popular anti-aging forum Longecity.
However, I’m more of a risk seeking or Antifragile Biohacker. Which is not just because I’m reckless and want to treat my neurobiology like an amusement park. I have some quiet rational reasons for seeking risk.

To philosopher, practitioner extraordinaire Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his manifesto on risk Antifragile

The first step toward antifragility consists in first decreasing downside , rather than increasing upside ; that is , by lowering exposure to negative Black Swans and letting natural antifragility work by itself (2886–2887)

For antifragility is the combination aggressiveness plus paranoia — clip your downside , protect yourself from extreme harm , and let the upside , the positive Black Swans , take care of itself . (2929–2931)

When it comes to Nootropics the upside is so great and the downside is relatively minimal. The sky is the limit with the potential upside of Nootropics. Whereas the downside risk is very minimal.

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For example; one of my favorite smart drugs is Nicotine, but I can’t really say that Nicotine is a risk-free drug. Some studies have indicated a very weak carcinogenic effect, this is debated though, some researchers say that Nicotine, alone is none-carcinogenic and as safe as say caffeine. However, I’ll continue to use Nicotine because the upside of Nicotine is tremendous, I get paid to do creative work and Nicotine is the best stimulator of this that I’ve found out of the +80 smart drugs I’ve used.

As an entrepreneur, Nicotine is like an employee that appreciably increases the productivity of my company who I don’t have to train or manage who only demands a salary of less than $10 a month. To me, at least, that minimal cancer risk it may have is offset by its upside. Since I make more money, I can afford other good supplements, good food, and good lifestyle habits that significantly mitigate overall cancer risk. Since I make quite a bit more money, if I get sick, I’ll be all the more able to afford it.

Conversely, much of our other lifestyle and consumption habits have very limited upside with either limited downsides or significant downsides.

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For example, my avocado salad is not exactly a performance enhancer, it’s a relatively healthy meal that’s just going to power me through my day. Or perhaps someone eats a more average diet of carbs, sugary snack foods and fried meat along with GMO fruits & veggies. There’s barely any upside to this diet, it just barely assuages hunger and the downside is that it causes spikes in blood sugar that drive you to eat every few hours. The long term downsides are heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and ultimately death.

Every day we are swimming in a sea of biological risk. Last night my girlfriend surprised me by buying me dinner at a restaurant I’ve never visited before and we tried a delicacy from her culture whose name I could not properly pronounce. I went hiking in the mountains last weekend and then spent about 45 minutes in a packed bus riding through a pretty impoverished part of the country. Who the hell knows what kind of pathogens I’m exposing myself too? We consume things all day, every day that may be toxic so I consume Nootropics every day that feed my Mitochondria to fight those toxins. Maybe a very small proportion of those Nootropics have minimal toxicity or negative side effects but the upside benefit drastically outweighs this.

I’ll also suggest that amongst Biohackers there’s something of a barbell of Biohacking risk tolerance; like a barbell, the majority of the Biohackers with higher risk tolerance will be on the far right and far left side of the barbell.

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On the far left is Biohackers like me, who are younger, eat a healthy diet, we have quiet resilient biology thanks to our good habits and generally healthy lifestyle. We have more disposable income to spend on our health. If we do something that hurts our health we have the time and resources to correct it.
On the far right is (mostly elderly) people who have chronic diseases that desperately need Nootropics or anti-aging drugs. Without them, their minds will deteriorate and their quality of life will decline badly. When the alternative is quite literally losing your mind, just being a burden to those around you or death no side effect of Nootropic drugs could be worse.
In the middle of the barbell is the lay-Biohackers, people who have just a little time and money to spend on their health. They can’t do a lot of experimenting, they need to devote their limited time and resources to Biohacks that work very consistently. They should be exercising, meditating, eating a disciplined diet, sleep hacking and supplementing fish oil, vitamins, and Adaptogens.

Since I started using Nootropics 5 years ago, I really have made progress towards being the best version of myself. I’ve done lot’s of Nootropics and experienced very few incidences of negative side effects. I, for one, have experienced tremendous upside and virtually no downside.

I’ve also spent a lot of time doing sentiment analysis of thousands of different Biohacker reports and anecdotes about smart drugs. I know that anecdotes are less important than scientific data but if trends show up frequently in Biohacker reports about a given drug, I note that and include it in my risk analysis. A few months ago I researched a number of drugs and products by Bayer Pharmaceuticals and came across numerous anecdotes of really ghastly side effects, in stark contrast to relatively very tame side effects of Nootropics that are reported commonly.

So those are my reasons for being a risk seeking or Antifragile Biohacker, perhaps they’ll change how you manage risk as a Biohacker. Next, I’ll rank the risk of various exotic European Nootropics…

Risk Grade: A

Piracetam

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Grade: A
Number of Clinical Trials: 235

Phenylpiracetam

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Grade: A-
Number of Clinical Trials: 6

Risk Grade: B

Noopept

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Grade: B
Number of Clinical Trials: 3

Semax

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Grade: B-
Number of Clinical Trials: 3

Fabomotizole
Grade: B-
Number of Clinical Trials: 5

Selank

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Grade: B-
Number of Clinical Trials: 3

Mildronate

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Grade: B
Number of Clinical Trials: 25

Bromantane

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Grade: B
Number of Clinical Trials: 8

Cerebroslyn

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Grade: B
Number of Clinical Trials: 64

Ultimately I feel the risk is small with Cerebroslyn because it’s produced and patented by a major Austrian pharmaceutical company. If they produced a drug that passed a pig pathogen to their customers they would face titanic lawsuits and a deluge of brand-sinking negative press. They would be out of business fast! I did a bit more research on this and Google searched:
“Ever Pharma” “Cerebrolysin” “Lawsuit”
Which produced no lawsuits involving either Ever Pharma or Cerebrolysin. Then I thought, well this is an Austrian company so I searched:

“Ever Pharma” “Cerebrolysin” “Klage” (German for lawsuit)

Nothing interesting. I even Google Translated a few articles.

Finally, I searched:
“Cerebrolysin” “Lawsuit”
Which similarly yielded no lawsuits involving the drug. So, it’s a +60-year-old drug with no lawsuits serious enough to have made it onto the Internet. Not bad! Compare this to Piracetam which is unpatented and produced by hundreds of anonymous laboratories all over the world. The financial incentives are really stacked for EVER Pharma to produce a safe product.

Risk Grade: C

Cortexin

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Grade: C
Number of Clinical Trials: 19

Risk Grade: D

Phenibut

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Grade: D+
Number of Clinical Trials: 4

Free Biohacking Consultation

Because NootropicSpot.com has the indicators of credibility that I look for and I’ve spent some time now researching their products and getting familiar with them. I’ll do a free 25-minute biohacking consultation with anyone that purchases $100 or more worth of their products. More details here about the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

In the comments below

Let me know what kinds of Biohacking risks you’ve taken. What was really worth it? What hasn’t?

Originally published at www.limitlessmindset.com.

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸

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