The title of this post is something many of you realize. The supplement industry within the health and fitness world preys on gullible and oftentimes desperate people who will quickly part with their money in search for optimal health and vitality.
The nutrition world is still in the wild west stages of is infancy. You have people from so many segments of dietary regimens who believe their particular dietary lifestyle is superior to others. Vegans, Ray Peat-ers, keto, Paleo, ‘fruitarians’, even the ‘carnivore diet’ crowd.
I’m jaded. I’ve been around and have independently researched much of these ‘diets’ in my spare time for more than a decade. The bottom line is that the shills of every dietary clique will cherrypick any scientific, peer-reviewed studies that support their opinions and biased beliefs that are often passed off as stone cold facts while shunning opposing studies by convoluting the words to provide a faulty counterargument.
While I stay current with news in this side of things whenever I have the time, I became jaded back in 2014. June 2014 to be specific. Over the course of 2013 onwards, there was a troll who resided in the backdrop of TSTOS who would find posts I’ve written that are similar to others around the web and accuse me of plagiarism. After my first reply to this person, diplomatically asking them to knock it off, they continued to troll and pester me. That is the internet, though. Give somebody the chance for anonymity and they will take full advantage to reveal their true selves.
In June 2014, however, after I wrote a post involving bashing the paleo diet, this same troll instigated a feud between myself and this fairly popular health/fitness writer from Canada named James Fail by telling Fail that I was stealing his ideas. We had written about similar topics, but I had never heard of his James Fail character. However, I woke up one day to TSTOS being brigaded by the mindless cronies of Fail. I even received hateful emails from his followers — grown adults, I discovered after I looked them up, who had spouses and children! — many of which said to me, “I hope you get cancer, bro.” If you want to understand why people claim the world is in such shit shape where common courtesy is lacking among fellow humans, it may have something to do with people like that. I reached out to Fail to ask him to call off the brigade, but he double-downed. I had to shut TSTOS down for a week due to this inane madness. Afterwards, I swore off writing about anything health and fitness related to a while and stuck to mediocrely posting about MMA. I never heard from the troll again — maybe he finally got off to his ultimate fetish of watching my site falter for a temporary amount of time, but at the end of the day I won: TSTOS is still standing, whether it is on life support or not, a relic in the guise of a blog from the days of old or not, almost thirteen years after creating it. The troll ultimately [James] ‘FAILed’.
I have never considered myself a health and fitness writer. I simply do not have the credentials. I’m just a guy who tries to be neutral and observe all sides of an argument before holding an opinion. We live in an age now where it is popular to be reactionary to any kind of news and impulsively deliver snap opinions and judgments on something before allowing it to sit and bake.
I struggle with taking the charlatans of the health world seriously. One example: I don’t consider Ray Peat to be a charlatan, but many of his dietary followers could be considered legally insane in some states.
Dave Asprey is someone I believe to be a charlatan, though. Y’know, the creator of Bulletproof Coffee — the coffee that you put unsalted butter and MCT (the type of dietary fat found in coconut oil) oil into. I love butter and coconut oil, but Asprey and the Bulletproof bunch concocted outrageous claims that the coffee may as well be the real life version of NZT-48.
I enjoy reading stories about successful people. They are inspiring to me. I would much rather read an old fashioned American success story than one about someone’s life falling apart. Even better, though, is a story about somebody becoming a success after their life has fallen apart (comeback stories are the best). However, sometimes what you are presented with, passed off as facts and truths, is not the full story. This is relevant to Davey boy.
From a marketing standpoint, Asprey attributes his energy, alertness and overall ability to stay in shape to Bulletproof Coffee and supplements that you can just pick up at your local Vitamin Shoppe. The thing is, he takes daily metformin and modafinil. Yes, I said metformin – the diabetes treatment drug; I haven’t delved too deep into the research, but apparently one of its alleged side effects is somehow improved cognition and another is related to anti-aging. Whatever. Modafinil is prescribed for folks who deal with narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Modafinil acts as a secondary nootropic.
Furthermore, Asprey is on a TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) program, from hCG, anastrozole (an aromatase inhibitor) and finasteride to halt balding. A lot of this is left off his website. I could keep going, but meh. It is irritating to watch people who don’t know any better accept his marketed methods at face value rather than look deeper. His appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast are my least favorite.
You wanna be ‘BuLlEtPrOoF’ like Mr. Asprey? Better adopt the real protocol (testosterone, finasteride, anastrozole, metformin and modafinil), because it overpowers his public, oft-marketed protocol (butter, MCT oil, caffeine and OTC supplements). Give me a break.
Y’know the little advertisements from the 1980s (I wasn’t around back then, but thank goodness for YouTube) featuring Hulk Hogan advising people to say their prayers, eat vegetables and take vitamins, extolling the virtues of such things as to why he was as big and jacked as he was? That was stated all the while he was behind the scenes juicing up with anabolic steroids and cracking jokes to his pals about all the ‘vitamins’ he actually takes. That reminds me of Asprey, here in the tail end of the 2010s.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever forget that people in the health and fitness world are in the money making business, and on one hand I don’t blame them because there is a career to be had. That said, do not let it slip from your mind’s grasp that Asprey got his start in the nootropics arena of things by emitting exaggerated claims about raising his IQ by 20 points and curing his own health issues. When he started selling coffee, he did so by making people believe that any other coffee is basically poisonous (I remember when every one of his articles featured the word, ‘mycotoxins’). This man attempts to brand anything he teaches, and whatever he doesn’t he touts things as horrid. What a classic money making trick.. er, tactic. If people find out that his coffee isn’t a special cure-all panacea/elixir, he might as well be a pot roast that has been in the crockpot for eight hours, because he would be done.
Dig deeper. Do the research. Be wary of accepting truths from somebody who is making money off of what they tell you in case they are selling something on the side. What they write is quite genuinely existing for the purpose to extract money from you. You only have yourself to rely on for searching for the truths you want to latch onto when it comes to your health. It is the wild west, baby.