This blog is a wordhack on Dr. Jack Kruse the neurosurgeon, biohacker, Paleo blogger, who is a proponent of cold shock therapy, sunlight, and high dose vitamin D.
Kruse runs his findings through the lens of endocrine hormones, which he says control everything in the body. But what makes and controls hormones – what are their building blocks? Protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals with the most important mineral being magnesium.
What kind of attention does Kruse pay to magnesium? Not so much! Of course he says people should take magnesium but he adds that since it causes diarrhea you can’t take too much. He does not mention that it’s required for making energy, for vitamin D metabolism, hormone production, and supporting the thyroid and adrenals, which are among magnesium’s 800 different enzyme processes in the body.
According to his book outline on Amazon, Kruse is “A champion of ‘biohacking’ the art of tinkering with one’s own biology.” Of course when you use faulty data to perform your hack you are just going to get faulty results. Most biohackers put down the ineptness of medicine when it comes to chronic disease but they somehow think that ineptness doesn’t translate into the laboratory. They recommend all manner of lab testing so you can manipulate your diet, detox, supplements, and drugs – as if you actually know what you are doing!
First of all – labs are not foolproof and never offer the optimum values for a healthy body. And in the case of serum magnesium testing, they are just plain inaccurate. So why would you take Krause’s advice and spend a few thousand dollars every 3 months to run tests that aren’t accurate?
Step back a moment and look where biohacking to control “nature” has gotten us. Environmental pollution, rainforest devastation, fracking, nuclear meltdown to name a few. We’ve already biohacked our bodies to near death with antibiotics and magnesium depleting drugs. What makes a person think they can know enough to biohack their health by tinkering with their biology?
Krause makes the statement that “sunlight on our skin has our mitochondria create water in our cells” but he leaves out all the biochemical steps – such as performed by magnesium and other important vitamin and mineral cofactors. Biochemically it is actually well-absorbed minerals getting into cells that ultimately pulls in water? He’s big on mitochondria creating energy but that only happens if the Krebs cycle has enough magnesium for 6 of its 8 steps. It seems that Krause is missing the biochemical steps and just focusing on what he imagines to be the driving force of cellular quantum physics.
Energy medicine, including energy from the sun, to properly work in the body, needs minerals – especially magnesium. Minerals function as electron donors and acceptors in all biochemical reactions.
I’m probably being a bit too rough on Krause but I guess I’m just frustrated with all the “breakthrough” theories that the population has suffered over the past 50 years! Look at a short list of what we have endured with alternative medicine constantly turning up new theories and writing the definitive health book.
- Wheat intolerance, Gluten intolerance, Grain intolerance – Dozens of books
- Histamine intolerance – Over a dozen books
- Oxalate intolerance – A half dozen books
- Lectin intolerance: The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in Healthy Food
- Leptin resistance: Kruse’s book Epi-Paleo Rx
- MTHFR – Over a dozen books
In his book, Epi-Paleo Rx, Kraus enthuses about his personal cure for obesity and chronic disease and says it can be yours. But it comes with the price of wading through a few hundred pages of complicated hormone biochemistry and alternative medicine knowledge that Kruse has acquired in the last 7 years. It ends with him telling you that the cure is to pack your body with 40 pounds of ice to drop your temperature to 55 degrees and all will be well.
I am concerned that Kruse is offering an unattainable “cure” and his cold shock therapy will attract people who are too sick and toxic to take on such extreme therapies. After all, the means by which cold shock, heat shock, and extreme exercise work is to “damage” the body enough that it creates body-wide emergency survival reactions that stimulate various hormones and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Researchers get all excited when they measure these chemical reactions, but at what cost to the individual? What other chemicals are being depleted. In order to produce these hormones and chemicals how much have they dipped into their reserves of nutrients? These are unanswered questions.
After all, even simple sauna therapy depletes magnesium that most people don’t even realize and certainly don’t replace. The day after I did a number of ice water plunges going in and out of a sauna and Jacuzzi I developed a cold sore on my lip, which I hadn’t experienced in years. I presume the cold shock woke up my dormant herpes simplex virus and brought it to the surface. Such things happen under stress. Such stress under the guise of a health therapy will not be good for everyone.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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