Avoiding Sickness: Biohackers Handbook on Hacking the Immune System

Biohacker’s Handbook project started in 2014 by 3 Finns – technology specialist Teemu Arina, nutrition specialist Jaakko Halmetoja and MD Olli Sovijärvi. Three friends with combined knowledge of health, nutrition and technology came together to explore what needs to be done to optimize the human condition. Biohackers Handbook answers the question of what are the 20 % of the causes that determine in 80 % of results in health and wellbeing. It started as a search for fixing health issues for good, which later became the most sold electronic knowledge book in Finland.

Biohacker's Handbook

The book consists of 5 chapters: Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition, Work and Mind. Each part dives deep into the systems that are relevant for each, the interventions and finally self quantification to figure out what works best for each individual. Immunity chapter came along as an extra chapter since good quality of life boils down to health, and good health can only be achieved by maintaining a strong immune system.

  • “Living life as a serial entrepreneur and speaker can be extremely stressful. I eventually found myself in a trap of my own body working 25 hours a day 8 days a week. I was trying to fix my own health and ended up at Olli’s office in the process” tells Teemu Arina.
  • “Teemu was not my average patient. He came to me with his own measurement data that he collected from his wearables, and the research that he has done trying to understand the way how his body can be cured” reflects Olli on the first encounter. “We started to talk about biohacking and quantified self, and found that we have a lot to share. Teemu’s background in technology, good understanding on how to utilize data from different trackers and deep system thinking brought fresh ideas on how patients can better understand physical processes in the body.”
  • To dive deeper into the field of nutrition, Teemu reached out to Jaakko Halmetoja, a leading nutrition expert. Jaakko’s knowledge on real foods, mushrooms and herbs became extremely useful to the projects aim to reconnect humans again with their true nature.
  • Olli quoted Hippocrates that all disease begins in the gut. Indeed, if we look at our body as a complex system, it works according to the IPO (Input-Process-Output) model – what we put in our body influences the way we perform. A recent study from the University Sapienza in Rome was able to confirm the gut-brain axis.
  • “There’s plenty of good information available but scattered all over the Internet. However, we were not able to find one particular book which would have everything we need to know about health. So we decided to write our own manual, where we summarize our knowledge and share the latest scientific discoveries.”

You don’t have to be sick.

The authors are strong supporters of preventive approach to health. Prevention usually takes place before a person falls sick. It all comes down to maintaining healthy lifestyle, supporting the immune system as a well functioning system, making small regular decisions and taking positive action on health, diet, exercise, relationships and work.

So what do we do to make our immune system stronger?

  1. Get enough sleep. The lack of sleep increases inflammation, impairs immune function and significantly reduces mental & physical performance.
  2. Exercise regularly. Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which significantly lowers the risk of heart disease. Plus, physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
  3. Eat real food. Remember saying “You are what you eat”? The foods we choose to consume have a profound effect on our body. Pick the high quality nutrient-dense food to boost your immune system and tune up your mitochondria.
  4. Medicinal mushrooms – reishi, chaga, cordyceps are among the world’s most studied superfoods. More than 1600 scientific research studies on chaga mushroom have proven it to be one of nature’s most potent cancer-fighting agents.
  5. Cold thermogenesis. Cold exposure done in a right way increases hormone levels, lowers blood sugar and reduces inflammation. It also strengthens the immune system, primarily by increase levels of immune system cells that help fight disease and infection.
  6. DYI blood tests. Understanding the physiological markers in your blood is the best way to measure the quality of the lifestyle you’re living. The more you know about your body from the inside, the more you can fine-tune your performance strategy.

Biohacker’s Handbook weaves together novel perspectives on technology, nature and self-development. You can order the Special Feature on Invincible Immunity here and the Nutrition chapter consisting of 170+ pages and 450+ references from here.

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