The opinions on this blog and the references cited are for information purposes only, and are not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe for any illness or condition. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult with your doctor or health care provider.
For real, though, I don’t diagnose, treat or cure diseases. That’s for your doctor.
My role is solely to give over the most cutting-edge scientific information. Therefore, this site is purely for informational purposes.
The best way to diagnose a disease is by going to highly competent specialists (not alternative doctors). Sometimes these specialists can offer adequate treatments, but most of the time they aren’t informed about the full range of options available.
I inform people of the full gamut of options and what I would do for myself if I were faced with the same set of circumstances.
You can then take this new information to your health care professional and choose the best course of action.
Is Selfhacked For You?
If you want recommendations based solely on hard clinical science, this is not the blog you should be reading. Selfhacked is not about rigorous clinical science, although that’s certainly a plus.
Selfhacked is about using information produced by the body of science, including animal studies, but that’s only the start.
I’m making more of an effort to specify what kind of study I am citing, and I mostly do – so that people can determine the usefulness for themselves.
Selfhacked is about taking the best information we have and self-experimenting.
If an animal study doesn’t make you curious enough to experiment on yourself, that’s your prerogative.
At Selfhacked, we realize animal studies are weak, but if the product or modification is safe and reasonable in cost, then we experiment and see if it works for us.
Otherwise, Selfhacked should be viewed as a collection of interesting ideas, some of which are more supported than others.
I try to differentiate what’s highly supported and what’s less so, but my critics don’t seem to agree. Not all the ideas that I bring down are equally supported by science – some are supported more and some less.
The Language of the Site
Sometimes I’ll use the word cure or other words that shouldn’t be taken literally. Such language, if used, is there for style alone.
It’s important to mention that in all my articles, the quality of studies vary and how substances work in one context doesn’t translate to how they work in another.
The body is extremely complex and by writing every caveat in every article is tedious and very difficult to read, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
If you want more details, then I suggest you click on the references and read the cited studies.
Many of the studies speak about the herbs having increased cytokine levels in response to some antigen or toxin. However, this doesn’t mean that without the stimulus, cytokines would be elevated.
So in response to an antigen, the immune system might increase, but the resting or inactive state may not be elevated.
Sometimes a supplement will have an effect at one dose, but a different effect at another.
The studies cited are often done in certain cells, in response to various stimuli, in animals – and sometimes in genetically engineered animals. The required dosages also differ.
Even though I categorize herbs, they mostly don’t work in a targeted fashion. They have hundreds of compounds in them that work differently, so placing them in a box isn’t entirely accurate.
The fact is that the body is highly complex and how any substance work in our body is also complex. Any description then will surely be simplistic, but it’s the best we’ve got.
All because I cite studies, it doesn’t mean said substance will work in said way. I encourage people to click on the referenced studies and draw your own conclusions.
No one knows exactly how much a test tube or animal study translates into the effects that humans will get and more importantly, the effects YOU will feel. It all depends.
Some will argue that the value is close to zero, such as the religious group called “Science Based Medicine“, but I obviously disagree with this position.
I feel getting a basic idea of how lifestyle, diet and supplements interact with our body can help guide us in doing experiments and seeing if these things work for us in practice. That’s the point of these posts on inflammation.
We Should Be Self Experimenting
The scientific information is only useful in allowing you to know what to experiment with first.
Realize that ‘science’ itself can be wrong. The scientific method is the best investigation tool we have, but science is performed by people.
The majority of medical science can’t be replicated. (R)
For example, over the past decade Amgen’s oncology and haematology researchers could not replicate 47 of 53 highly promising results they examined. (R) Let that sit with you for a bit…
In the modern fast-paced world, the normal self-correcting process of science is too slow and too inefficient.
At the end of the day, the only way to ‘know’ if something works is to try it.
Any drug you take should be judged by how it affects YOU, no matter what clinical trials or any other bit of information says.
Even the best clinical trials, publicly funded, with no bias (possible?), published in the top journal, by the best researchers will only tell you something very specific, that’s probably not applicable to you.
For example, it will tell you that we are 99% confident that the studied intervention has an effect on some people. Often the people studied are a specific group such as American women who are between 50-65, who are white, healthy, etc…
What would that study tell you about YOU if you are a male with chronic inflammation, about 30 years old and black? Even if you fit the profile of the study, it’s almost never the case that a drug has helped everyone in that group. It’s only helping more people than the placebo.
Science is a good way to give you direction, but it doesn’t tell you what will work for you.
Whether those directions are written well or scribbled down, we will use whatever we’ve got to figure it out. Good quality clinical trials are well written directions and animal studies are more like scribble.
We should be experimenting with one change at a time and be aware as to how this is affecting our brain and body.
If you’re one of those people that just isn’t aware of your body, then I recommend taking a battery of cognitive tests.
Many times the experiments won’t work, but that’s ok as long as the risk of harm is extremely low. This is the case for most of the things I recommend.
If we have the money, we can also test our blood and see if it’s working more objectively.
This self-hacking approach I advocate has worked for me. Over time, I’ve learnt what works for me, at what dosages and in various combinations.
I generally earn a small commission from linked items. This helps support the blog, my research and experiments. I only recommend items that I myself use or that I would use if a situation called for it.
I also try to link to the cheapest item possible (combined with shipping costs), when there’s no or a negligible difference between the quality of cheaper and more expensive items. Sometimes, though, quality is extremely important and price reflects this- longvida curcumin is a good example. Sometimes I post links to products without affiliate commission such as C60 and any other product that Amazon doesn’t offer.
I also link to single ingredient items, since they’re cheaper and just as effective (also to know how each supplement affects you). Single ingredient products aren’t marketed as heavily. Every other site that I know of links to the most marketed and expensive products because they get the most money from them.