Biohacking 101: Wellness expert Dr Frank Lipman shares all you need to know

Is biohacking a breakthrough or a buzzword?

The quest for longevity and living a better life are getting a lot of airtime in the wellness space. Those who are in the know are turning into biohacking, also known as do-it-yourself biology, to optimise their physical and mental health through technology, medicine and science.

The term itself may seem like a daunting subject if you’re getting started so have asked the expert: Dr Frank Lipman, functional and integrative medicine specialist at Wellth, a Dubai-based holistic wellness hub on Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2, to share all we need to know about biohacking, how it works and what it could do for you.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine and non-negotiable practices?

I try to meditate for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. I then exercise most days, either weight training, riding the bike or going for a long walk. I usually have a cup of black coffee only throughout the day and I have my first meal around noon.

Biohacking is using science, technology, nutrition and lifestyle to optimise one’s health. It’s such a loose term – what does it exactly mean and is it a good idea?

Do-it-yourself biology is also referred to as “biohacking.” Biohacking, is basically about finding clever solutions and shortcuts that focus on smarter strategies to improve health, wellness and, ultimately, longevity. When I talk about biohacking it’s about applying safe and sensible practices – drawn from the latest discoveries from the worlds of biology, nutrition, and neuroscience – to support and enhance your physical and mental performance now, and for decades to come. And, depending on your needs and goals, there may occasionally be a device involved. The kind worn on the body (think smart watches and step trackers) – not in it.

“for the rest of us, bio-hacking is really about taking a multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach to health and longevity, as efficiently and safely as possible.”

What have been the driving factors that played a pivotal role in the growth of the biohacking movement?

The basic idea of biohacking has been simmering since the early 2000s when hard-charging Silicon Valley types and amateur DIY biologists began exploring ways to more actively control their biology, their energy levels, physical and mental performance. And while some on the fringes of the biohacking culture have taken the philosophy far beyond what most of us would consider reasonable – take for example the California biohacker who currently holds the world record for most implanted technological devices – for the rest of us, biohacking is really about taking a multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach to health and longevity, as efficiently and safely as possible. It’s also worth mentioning that you’re probably already doing a good bit of biohacking whether you realise it or not, like, eating better, getting more sleep, staying hydrated, and taking supplements. However, as technology has advanced, biohacking has expanded to include the use of many tools and gadgets. Continuous blood glucose monitors, fitness wearables and rings to measure sleep enable people to track their health and make data-driven decisions. Since last year, biohacking has grown from a niche interest to a mainstream trend. Regular individuals have become more focused on optimising both their cognitive and physical performance through biohacking techniques, and while customisation comes with its own set of risks and unknowns, it is safe to say that it is preferable to a one-size-fits-all or one product solution-based strategy. Those who are most interested in biohacking have significant disposable incomes. While some people would pay a premium to prevent their biological clock from aging, others would spend hundreds of thousands to implement biohacking devices and principles throughout their homes, such as smart beds that monitor sleep patterns and air purification systems designed to improve indoor air quality. Even individuals who cannot afford to spend a million bucks on anti-aging therapies are joining the bandwagon. Dietary supplements, blue light blocking glasses, and eyewear designed to relieve eye strain from screen time have all become biohacking staples since their WFH-inspired surge.

“…you’re probably already doing a good bit of bio-hacking whether you realise it or not, like, eating better, getting more sleep, staying hydrated, and taking supplements.”

What are some of the biggest misconceptions that surround it or any precautions to be aware of?

There are several misconceptions and misinformation surrounding the biohacking wellness craze, including:

• In general, biohacking can have a direct impact on your body, albeit in different manners. So just because a bio-hack works for your peers doesn’t guarantee that it will work for you. Keep in mind that biohacking is very personal and unique.

• Though the Internet is one of the best sources of information available to everyone nowadays, it is not always wise to believe everything you read or see on it and take the information with a grain of salt. You may need to consult a variety of sources to obtain the required information to begin your biohacking journey.

Biohacking offers multiple benefits. Certain forms can be easily followed at home and, in the event that something goes wrong, reversed. Experimenting with oneself without taking the proper precautions may lead to unanticipated difficulties and negative consequences. If you stick to research-validated lifestyle changes, particularly those tailored to your specific geno-metabolic mix, you should be fine. The same is true for the majority of wearables, as long as their readings are accurate and cross-verified with professional equipment. However, implants of all types can be detrimental, particularly when performed without proper medical supervision. Therefore, before engaging in any biohacking methods, it is imperative that you consult with your physician.

What are the top accessible biohacking practices and its benefits – and which ones have you implemented in your life?

Some of the accessible biohacking practices that I do and actually work include:

• : Nootropics, often known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers, are a group of substances that can improve learning and memory. These substances include caffeine, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, peptides and sometimes prescription medications.

Image: Instagram @thenueco_

• : Biohackers may practice various types of meditation in the aim of relaxing their minds or improving their general health. Therapeutic techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, and transcendental meditation have been shown to improve health. These health benefits include better sleep, less fatigue, and a more positive mood.

• : Time restricted eating, or TRE, is a simple, highly effective, metabolism-boosting hack that just about anyone can do. By extending the natural fast between dinner and breakfast you’ll prompt your body to make the most of what you consume, resulting in decreased blood sugar and insulin levels, less fat accumulation, and reduced inflammation – all of which does wonders for your life-and-health span. Three or four days a week, start with 12 hours between your last and first meal of the day, and work your way up to a 16-hour window.

Image: Supplied by Wellth

What are the most common issues in men (in the region and beyond) you are seeing with your clients today that can be solved with biohacking treatments available at Wellth?

One of the commonest issues I see with men is a low testosterone and the level of consequences from it- low energy, decreased libido, mild depression, losing muscle and gaining fat around the abdomen. So, getting a comprehensive blood analysis (probably one of the most important biohacks to be done), which we do at Wellth, offers evidence about your present health and uncovers factors and deficiencies which may be contributing to someone not feeling as good as they would like to. I have seen too many men in their late 40’s and early 50’s who after doing a consultation, getting their blood results, and then changing their diets accordingly and giving them a few supplements and often testosterone replacement, feel like “new” men.

Tell us more about the Dr. Frank Lipman method.

The Dr Frank Lipman method is– listen, measure, intervene and monitor.

That means I take a good history and do extensive testing of biomarkers to get an in depth analysis of someone’s health. I then design personalised action plans to support longevity, using dietary and lifestyle interventions, supplements, peptides, hormones and medications if necessary, and sometimes more innovative longevity tools. I then closely monitor the effects of someone’s program, making upgrades and adjustments as needed, to guide the client towards their longevity goals.

What does “a better you” mean to you?

A “better you” is a happy, optimised and well-functioning you, full of energy and optimism, with few aches and pains and dysfunction whatever your age. Your weight is stable, you exercise frequently, sleep well, deal with your stress, have good healthy relationships at home and at work and are kind to yourself and others.

– For more on how to look smart and live smarter, follow Emirates Man on Facebook and Instagram



Who is Yung Filly and what is his real name?

Kourtney Kardashian flaunts her tiny figure in risqué bikini photo before star changed her style with Travis Barker