Archive for April, 2012
tl;dr. I figured out a way to hack the speed of my caffeine metabolism with Sulforaphane which induces the enzyme cytochrome. This means I should be albe to drink caffeine again!
I’ve had a problem with caffeine since I was about 25. My body would have problems sleeping after consuming caffine in the morning.
I ended up needing to sleep up to 9 hours per night – which is no fun.
Fast forward to 2011 when I paid 23andme to sequence my genenome.
I find out that I have Genotype CC for SNP rs762551 which means I’m a slow caffeine metabolizer. (AKA CPY1A2)
This changed everything! I suddently realized WHY I was having such hard problem sleeping.
The problem is that Caffeine has a lot of advantages and I wanted to added it back into my diet in moderation.
If only I could find a way to metabolize it faster.
Then it dawned on me that I should research how it is metabolized and the gene that was involved in creating the enzyme.
If I can induce gene expression maybe I can get the caffeine out of my system by the time I go to sleep.
Further, this gene has a number of other medical benefits including anti-cancer properties as it creates enzymes to metabolize carcinogens.
Interesting enough it also metabolizes melatonin, nicotine, and other interesting compounds.
So I Google for CPY1A2 and caffeine and how to induce this gene and I find this:
Tracking it down I found this study regarding Brocolli impacting caffeine metabolism:
Induction or inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme activities, enzymes that activate or detoxify xenobiotics, is one mechanism by which vegetables may alter cancer risk. As the effect of food on CYP enzyme activities have not been studied in the Jordanian population, we examined the effect of supplementing the diet with broccoli on CYP1A2 and CYP2A6 activities.
Five men and five women, non-smokers, consumed a standard diet of broccoli (500 g) for 6 days. Enzyme activities were determined by measuring urinary metabolite ratios after a 100 mg caffeine tablet on the seventh day.
The mean CYP1A2 activity for men (21.1+/-3.2) was significantly lower than that for women (27.6+/-1.6) before the consumption of broccoli (P<0.05). These activities were significantly induced in both men (52.5+/-6.6) and women (36.6+/-8.4) after a standard diet of broccoli (P<0.005). Similarly, the mean value of CYP2A6 activity for men was 0.061+/-0.040 and for women, 0.144+/-0.039 before consumption of broccoli, which were significantly different (P<0.05). The activity of CYP2A6 was induced in both groups significantly after broccoli consumption (P<0.05). The mean value for men was 0.193+/-0.02 and for women, 0.214+/-0.064.
Our study on a group of Jordanians confirmed the well-established observation that broccoli induces CYP1A2 activity. This study also demonstrates the effect of gender and broccoli consumption on CYP2A6 activity in Jordanians.
So this is pretty sweet.
It looks like I can add broccoli to my diet and help improve my caffeine metabolism. Win.
Here’s the full list of known inducers:
But why broccoli ? And how much broccoli do I need to eat?
So I search Amazon for broccoli supplements and then I find this.
Win. It looks like others have found that broccoli supplements are valuable. In this case it looks like they’re used for sulforaphane.
What’s sulforaphane? And can it help with caffeine metabolism?
Sulforaphane and dietary consumption of cruciferous vegetables are known to affect the action of drug-metabolizing enzymes in vitro and in preliminary human studies. Although no side effects or direct drug interactions have been reported as of 2008, people taking prescription drugs are advised to consult a doctor before taking sulforaphane or broccoli-sprout extracts.
The possible anticancer activity of sulforaphane may be related to the induction of phase-II enzymes of xenobiotic transformation (such as quinone reductase and glutathione S-transferase), and enhancing the transcription of tumor suppressor proteins, possibly via inhibitory effects on histone deacetylase.
It’s still unclear to me but my plan is to test with broccoli and broccoli supplements for 2-6 days and then try caffeine in the morning to see how it impacts my sleep.
Hopefully it works as I’m looking forward to being able to add caffeine to my lifestyle again.
Woke up at 8AM and had 1g of green tea steeped for about 5 minutes. This was combined with about 30g of MCT oil, 20g of grass fed butter, and 10g of coconut oil.
Tasted fine. More green tea would be better and maybe salt free butter. But for an early experiment it is fine.
Noticed NO problems of foggy brain today in fact I was very productive.
Worked out at the gym and got in a good workout without feeling tired. I think this is primarily due to focusing on recovery though as I haven’t been lifting for the last two days.
No sign of over performance. I didn’t feel over stimulated.
The real issue will come tonight when I try to get some sleep. If I’m able to go to sleep fast and still get a good 7 hours and feel relaxed I would say it’s a good experiment.
One potential screw up is that I did NOT have my supplements after the coffee which I think was a failure. I had them during lunch.
This might impact my circadian rhythm though as the Vitamin D could screw me up.
It’s enough that if there are any weird/unusual sleep activities tonight that I can’t rule multi-variable change.
I’m going to be making two major changes to my fitness regime tomorrow.
The first is that I’m going to try a cup of mild green tea in the morning.
This will include mct oil, butter, and coconut oil … I think the fats and the caffeine + theanine combo will REALLY kick ass as it will wake me up but also since it’s a MILD amount of caffeine won’t really impact my sleep at night.
I’m going to measure my dosage of the green tea so it isn’t variable.
The next is orthostatic heart rate monitoring to detect if I’m overtraining. My resting heart rate should be reasonable on days I’m expecting full recovery.
Basically you wake up and sit in bed still for 5 minutes and then measure your heart rate. You compare these values over the next few days. The higher the heart rate the more your body is trying to recover.
In my experience this really holds true so I’m excited to put this into practice.
When I was in Yosemite last year I was at about 10k feet and was having problems with acclimatization. My heart rate was WAY elevated. About 90 bpm… My normal RMR is about 55-60 so my body was clearly overwhelmed.
A lot of this is due to hypoxia of course but the body is in a similar state of stress when trying to recover from training.
There is a new product out called restwise which looks awesome in theory.
This article on the quantified self has me realizing that we need better ways for medical professionals to access self tracking data (especially in light of the death of Google Health).
I have tons of information now locked up that my doctor can’t get to.
All of this data is very valuable and it should be broadcast to applications that can help doctors advise their patients.
Most of it isn’t too sensitive.
I might not want friends to see my current weight but if the data gets out there it isn’t a huge violation of my privacy.
Wifi digital scale… you had me at Wifi!
The Withigns scale rocks. It automatically uploads your weight to your website.
But even better, it supports OAUTH so you can authorize 3rd party applications to read your data.
I have it sync’d up with Runkeepr and now MyNetDiary… Now I just stand on it and it saves me 2-5 minutes having to enter data on two websites.
It sounds like a small change BUT the problem is that when you have to track hundreds of variables EACH ONE becomes a pain and you can keep forgetting.
This way I just step on the scale and my weight is broadcast to anyone who wants to read the values.
In the past I’ve been critical of the Zeo. I found it was an expensive toy with no REAL use in the real world.
The problem is that the previous device required you to manually upload the data EVERY NIGHT and in my mind for biohacking this type of recurring manual intervention becomes annoying VERY quickly.
The Zeo Mobile does away with this though. You just start it on your phone and off it goes.
All your data is on your smart phone and in the cloud.
The cool thing is that I can wake up the next morning and determine if I need to go back asleep or not based on how much REM and deep sleep I’ve had the night before.
In my experience if I do not train the night before I need 1 hour of deep and 2 hours of REM.
If train the day before I usually need about 1:20 of deep and 2:30 of REM. Which translate to about 9 hours of sleep.
The problem is that I CAN accidentally wake up too soon and FEEL fine in the AM … but come around 2-3 PM I can crash hard.
The new Zeo has been a real win in this regard for me and I’m sticking to it religiously now.
Check out this awesome polyphasic sleep info graphic from the guys at trypolyphasic.
After I get done this cut and get down to about 165, I am going to try to maintain my weight and bulk up for about another month and get a new baseline on my health.
Then I’m going to try polyphasic.
I think I can do the “biphasic siesta” method pretty easily. In past experiments it seems that my body NATURALLY wants to do this but I wasn’t very good at napping.
I think if I practice napping I can get better at it … but right now it takes me a long time to nap.
Also now that I have the Zeo mobile I can take it into work or just have two versions.
Having the data is valuable.
The weird thing is that sometimes when I lay down I find that the Zeo SAYS I was in REM briefly but I don’t feel like I actually slept.
The Adderall seems to cause me to become startled just as I’m about to fall asleep.
I’m going to try to phase off the Adderall as not being able to nap is causing problems and less efficiency which is counterproductive.
Wow. So this is day 2 post anemia.
WHAT AN AMAZING RIDE I just had.. I feel like a million bucks!
Just a massive amount of power coming out of a stop. I’m able to maintain a cadence MUCH longer.
It seriously feels like I am 40% stronger than I was 2 weeks ago.
It’s interesting to note that I’ve been riding without my heart rate monitor because I keep forgetting to put it on.
So RunKeeper has a funny habit of picking up OTHER people’s Ant+ HRMs and logging points of data in my graph.
Comparing apples to apples. It seems that on the same stretch of road 2 weeks ago I was riding at 15MPH where now I’m riding at 20MPH. That’s a 33% improvement!
I love cows!
The MOTOACTV seems super awesome.
Specs are off the hook. 600MHZ processor. 256MB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage
And for connectivity it includes GPS, 802.11B/G/N, Bluetooth 4.0, Ant+, FM tuner.
It MAY include some sort of cellular connection but I can’t figure this part out.
It’s been a dream of mine for a while now to have 24/7 sensor data for my biohacking activities.
Heart rate, body temperature, would be two good applications.
I can record the data on my phone and either spool it to the SD card or stream it right to the cloud.
NOT having to ever sync is VERY important.
The one downside is that this data wouldn’t necessarily work with applications like Runkeeper, Fitocracy, etc.
But having a device like this running Linux which is nearly ALMOST part of your body and connected 24/7 is pretty darn cool.
If I can get a good device like this that I can hack that has topomaps I won’t need to by a Garmin GPS for backpacking.
I also think it would be a major leap technologically for me personally.
I would essentially become a practical self-hackable cyborg. Having a Linux device physically attached to me and monitoring my data would have a lot of interesting applications.