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Discussion in 'My Optimal Journal' started by TheKid, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Chew on This: Better Living Through Chemistry (Part 1)

    What if I told you there was a drug out there that was essentially a magic pill, a silver bullet, a panacea of all panaceas? What if I told you that this drug, among other things, could do the following: reverse diabetes, cure chronic fatigue syndrome, improve and possibly cure sleep apnea, heal leaky gut, reverse neuro-degeneration, treat Parkinson’s, spur weigh loss, improve athletic performance, eliminate heart palpitations? If I told you all that was true, you would probably believe any other claims I made about the drug. So I’m tempted to tell you that said drug would make you rich, pretty and the life of the party, but that would be a stretch; although in some cases, said drug will indeed improve your disposition in such a dramatic way that people will consider you both rich and pretty because of the newfound reality distortion field you give off.

    So how much would you pay for a week’s supply of such a fantastic substance? A thousand dollars through some sleazy dealer in a back alley? Five hundred bucks with a prescription from a doctor, though not covered by insurance? Two hundred and fifty dollars from an unreliable Mexican pharmacy?

    I think a lot of people would pay those types of prices if they knew this drug would give them their lives back. But thanks to economies of scale and the power of addiction, I am happy to tell you that this wonder drug can be yours for the low, low price of just $0.30 per dose and that you shouldn’t need more than 4 doses per day to experience much of what I have listed above. Oh, and you can buy it off Amazon.

    By now I’m sure you’re on to me and you’ve figured out that I am talking about none other than our good friend nicotine. My apologies for the long-winded intro, but I’ve been so happy with my personal results, that I felt the unveil deserved some build up.

    Indeed, I have experienced many of the aforementioned improvements, and then some. In fact, I found my use of nicotine to be utterly transformative. It didn’t fix everything, and any drug will only take you so far; but given what I have been facing, I consider nicotine to be nothing short of wonder drug and I cannot understand why it isn’t actually being used more widely in the medical community to address some serious health issues that undoubtedly improve in the presence of nicotine.

    What follows is an account of a 6-month biohack I have just completed. In actuality, the hack continues, but now that I’ve done a full half year, I think it’s time I shared my experiences as a thank you to Jack, as a source of information for others and as a call for comments and advice as I continue my health journey. So let’s dig in, shall we?

    Yet Another Health Scare
    As many of you know, I live in the Middle East where I face a range of environmental challenges that tend to scuttle many of health improvement efforts. One big issue for me is air travel. Jack has spoke about the how and why of the inherent problems with flying, and if you’ve been on this forum for long enough, you may be aquatinted with my previous back and forth discussions with Jack on the issue. This year, was particularly bad for me in the travel department.

    Typically, long haul flights to the states are worst for me. But this year, just after the longest day of the year, I had a scare that really shook me to my core. After a short 1.5 hour flight to Dubai I was certain I was having a heart attack. In flight, things were fine. But upon descent, I started to have some chest tightness that grew as we prepared for landing. Stepping off the plane I could barely focus. I broke out in a cold sweat, started feeling that I couldn’t breath, felt dizzy and had really troubling chest pain and tightness. Walking to baggage claim, I was looking for a first aid station; but then something strange happened. The symptoms started to ease and clear, and by the time I picked up my luggage, I was back to my preflight self, leading me to believe this was essentially yet another instance of sympathetic nervous system overload with insufficient parasympathetic tone to compensate.

    Now mind you, my preflight health status was not good. I have really struggled to maintain consistent application of the protocols that would hopefully reverse the diseases I have. I have more co-morbidities than you can count and am stuck geographically. So there I was at the time year when I should have been feeling better (long light cycles are my sweet spot) and was unfortunately feeling worse. The flight was just the icing on the cake.

    I had seen mention of nicotine on the Quantum Biohackers Facebook group and read Ubi 17 where I believe Jack introduced the topic. I had been using nicotine, as per some folks’ recommendations, in very small amounts in the AM in order to give me that extra vagus nerve stimulation that I hoped might tip the scales in my favor when I came to reestablishing my circadian cycle. Unfortunately, I had none of the improvements that were touted by some using the 1mg and 2mg doses. So when I boarded my plane, I was feeling virtually no noticeable benefit from the nicotine.

    Once settled in Dubai, I got on Facebook and started asking around regarding how to effectively hack my return flight so as to not have a repeat of that scare. Jack noted that I probably had not chewed enough nicotine to give me a protective effect on the flight. He also reminded me of the importance of CoQ10, DHA and sunlight. So I spent a week in Dubai in the sun, eating fish, and when I prepped for my return flight, I loaded up on the CoQ10 (ate them like candy, as Jack might say) and swung for the fences on the nicotine: 4mg at takeoff, 4mg mid-flight. It did the trick. Easy-peasy. Oh, and it felt goooooooooooooooood.

    So what was happening? Well, to quote Jack from the forum: “Nicotine slightly increases glucose levels to give a small superoxide pulse to make new mitochondria and dig yourself out of the hole called mitochondria senescence. You cannot get the superoxide pulse without the O2 or the UV exposure.”

    Translation: better mitochondrial function. And since I had just spent a week at the beach and in the fish market, I was well positioned to benefit from the nicotine I consumed.

    A Little History
    As I alluded to earlier, I am a bit of mess from a health perspective. Here is just a sampling of what’s been going on since 2003: A massive, life-threatening DVT --- Antiphospholipid Syndrome (an autoimmune condition) --- Hashimoto’s --- Sleep Apnea --- High Blood Pressure --- A Non-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma --- Disc Compression and Degeneration (especially in the cervical spine) --- Heart Palpitations --- Extreme Exercise Intolerance --- Generalized Fatigue --- Sympathetic Nervous System Overexpression --- SNPs leading to issues with receptors & transporters related to Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine and BDNF --- Prediabetes --- Obesity --- Shall I go on? (Or to quote Starship Troopers: “Would you like to know more?)

    If I dig further back in my life, I realize that I have always had troubling health indicators. Despite being a competitive athlete, I always had trouble climbing stairs. Friends would be shocked that I would get winded doing so. I had seasonal mood declines from a young age and would begin to feel a bit emotional starting in October, peaking around Christmas, with the clouds clearing somewhere around the first of the new year. Add to that a non-ideal family life and tons of stress, and I wasn’t gearing up for a healthy adulthood.

    Exercise was my drug of choice. Exercise made me feel great. And I would dose it early and often. Thanks to being a competitive athlete, I was given as much of this drug as I liked. Once adult life started, food was substituted for exercise.

    If you think this is just another sob story, don’t. I’m not one to feel sorry for myself and I am a relentless hacker. I put in the work. I am only mentioning all this because nicotine fixed a bunch of that stuff – quick fast and in a hurry.

    Go Big or Go Home
    In recent years, I’ve taken to listening to Terrance McKenna lectures on YouTube from time to time. The heir to Timothy Leary, McKenna was a self-professed “psycho-naut” who experimented with just about every mind altering substance you can think of. He was a biohacker of the first order and his research was quite extensive.

    One of his favorite quotes brings into focus the importance of dose. As he used to say, “Sometimes you have to take HEROIC doses.” In other words, if you really want to know what’s on the other side of the looking glass, timidity isn’t going to be your friend. You will probably have to drop a frightening amount of acid or DMT or shrooms or whatever. Then, and only then do you get to talk to the gnomes.

    Armed with this knowledge and rather impressed by the effects of the 8mg of nicotine I had taken on the plane on the way back from Dubai, I resolved to swing for the fences. I kept dosing the 8mg for a while (4mg upon waking and 4mg at noon). However, it soon became apparent to me that it was going to take more in order to get wherever nicotine has the power to take you. Soon I was up 12mg by adding an evening dose. This was probably August.

    It was about this time I began reading, in earnest, any an all information I could gather on nicotine. It was then that I came across this gem: “It was concluded that nicotine reduces apneas during the early hours of sleep, and this effect may be caused by its stimulating action on upper airway muscles.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3965253)

    I probably should have continued reading all the other studies that discuss ways in which nicotine can be problematic with regard to breathing and airway patency; but since I was already all in on the nicotine, I threw caution to the wind and began placing a 2mg lozenge under my tongue right before falling asleep, letting it dissolve slowly over the course of the entire night in order to get past the early 2-hour effect noted in the study.

    [TIP: When you encounter new information, take the time to cross-reference it on Google with all that ails you. You’d be surprised what pops up. This is a go-to move in my personal biohacking. And with nicotine, I ran checks against all my diagnoses, and was fortunate to find the link with airway patency.]

    With that, I was up to 14mg daily. But I wasn’t done yet. Heading into October when I traditionally have an absolute cratering of my health, I began to worry that 14mg might not be enough. And based on the poor health I had experienced back in the summer when I should have felt better, I chose not to role the dice this year and run the risk of having palpitations and chest pain just coming down from my office in the elevator. Nope. Nope. Nope. No thanks.

    So in addition to the 14mg I was already taking, I added a late night 4mg chew just for good measure and resolved to hold at that level until the days started to become noticeably longer.

    So there it is: 18mg of nicotine daily for probably at least 3 months. I doubt most of you have gone that deep on the nicotine, and I understand that. Minimum effective dose is key when using any supplement or medicine. Everyone will tell you that beyond that level, you won’t get any better effect, and you may start to see more negatives popping up. But what is not as often stressed is the notion of TITRATION. You have to find YOUR minimum effective dose; and that may be much higher than you expected. Only through titration will you find out where you stand. Clearly 2mg in the AM wasn’t getting the job done for me. So I hacked my way to 18mg and then stopped cold turkey.

    So what happened? Did I get addicted? Did I become LIMITLESS? (Hat tip to Bradley Cooper and Ruben Salinas?). Let’s get into it.

    Not Limitless, But Damn Near Bulletproof (pardon the reference)
    Up until about mid-November, nicotine made me feel Iike I was walking around with a suit of armor on. It literally brought me back from the brink and swung me to the opposite end of the spectrum entirely. That effect faded the 3rd week of November, which is the earliest sunset for my latitude, and traditionally the start of a month of terrible struggle for me in terms of heart health, mood and overall wellbeing. But because I refused to go beyond 18mg, I had live with a little less armor for that month, but still feeling the most important protective effects on my heart.

    Exercise: Normally, I simply cannot tolerate much more than walking or very slow exercise machine workouts. No more than 20-30 minutes. With nicotine, I almost immediately felt the desire to do more and could tolerate it. Whereas before, I could only do low end cardio, suddenly I could that 20 minutes as a warm up for a subsequent kettle bell workout or heavy weightlifting. The increase in capacity for exercise shocked me. Because if you know my history and have followed my conversations with Jack in the past, then you know exercise WIPES ME OUT. One bout of hard workout, and I’m usually out for at least a week even longer. And that hard workout begins a cratering that results in awful mood, cravings, fatigue, sleep disruption, palpitations, etc. Nictotine immediately resolved all of that making it possible for me to do the aforementioned workout 3-4 times a week rather comfortably. It was night and day.

    Soreness: Exercise, especially weights or kettlebells or squats, usually leave me with crippling soreness. In fact, in the past, my legs would be so sore that I would have intense pain just stepping up onto a sidewalk curb from the street. Nicotine literally erased that soreness. I could do squats, I could lift super heavy, I could do weight bearing exercises I hadn’t tried in over a year and suddenly there was no extreme post workout soreness. In fact, I kept expecting it, and it just never came. Whatever soreness was there was very minimal. It was unreal.

    Joint Problems and Inflammation: I have real problems with systemic inflammation, and joint pain is a big issue for me. Knees and shoulders especially. My years as an athlete really did a number on me, and I’ve been told I need surgery on both shoulders. One shoulder in particular was always flaring up and I basically in constant pain. Not with nicotine though. Nicotine made it possible for me to exercise and not have my shoulders get worse. In fact, they got better. The one shoulder that had been in constant pain totally reversed course. I was able to work on it (albeit carefully) and within a month the pain was just gone.

    Mood: It’s hard to feel well when you’re sick. For me, I was always either fully irritable or teetering on the brink of irritability. In sufficient doses, nicotine improves that significantly for me. I’ve known smokers before; and the type of irritation they go through when they try to quit was basically my everyday normal for the past several years. And I’ve never smoked. Thank you nicotine!

    Sleep: Apnea sucks. CPAPs are uncomfortable and compliance can be problematic. I found it impossible to use that damn machine. I switched to an oral appliance that hurt my jaw and ruined my gums and tooth alignment. So I didn’t get much good sleep using that either. I was basically at my wits end and with each morning becoming more and more of a struggle. Nicotine really improved my sleep. If I had those 2mg under my tongue, I could forgo the oral appliance and still wake up feeling better than I normally would. Once I got a tongue stabilizing device (TSD), sleep began to be much better. Things didn’t resolve completely, but if you know what it’s like to suffer the torture of a night of hypoxia, any uptick in morning feel will be most welcomed.

    Cramps: I cramp badly. It’s worst during the fatigue period after exercise. But even without exercise, I cramp badly. It’s mostly the legs and torso. Costal muscles around the upper torso are the worst. And after exercise, I would sometimes be awakened at night by these severe cramps in my upper thigh close to the hip that would be so painful that I would nearly pass out. Once they set in, those cramps require me to suffer for about 15-20 minutes as I try to stand and straighten the leg out. Pure hell. With nicotine, those disappeared immediately.

    Neuromuscular Coordination: Over the past few years, I have noticed a decline in my dexterity and my coordination. I type more than I write, but even taking that into account, my handwriting has declined in quality. And I noticed that trying to toss a crumpled piece of paper accurately into the trash from a reasonable distance became impossible. In fact, I was often no where near the basket. With nicotine, I became friggin Stephen Curry. Now some of that could be a knock-on effect of the exercise I was doing. I recognize that. Because part of my exercise routine would be to wrap up my session shooting some hoops, dribbling with my eyes closed and doing some balance drills. These will increase BDNF. But I wouldn’t have even been in the gym if it weren’t for the nicotine.

    Sex Drive: At one point, my non-existent sex drive suddenly came back. It didn’t improve dramatically, but I saw an uptick, which was encouraging.

    Stress Response: Normally I cannot handle even the slightest stressor. This is one of the reasons you may not see me in many internet discussions, either on Jack’s forum or on Facebook. Just watching argumentation messes with me. If I get cut off in traffic, I’m sent into palpitations. I have to avoid confrontation in order to keep myself calm. Lots of things that most people would consider just normal little irritants, if even that, cause me serious problems. With nicotine, it felt like I had a suit of armor on and a force field around me. I was suddenly nonplused over even the bigger stressors. It was night and day. I could flip a dude off in traffic and say something rude about his Momma, and then get on with my day, thank you very much. Not that I suggest you do that sort of thing. And not that I did that much. But you get the picture. Thank you nicotine.

    Blood Glucose: In June before I started the hack, I was beginning to see some troubling fasting blood glucose levels. Over the past year, I had climbed from the mid to high 90s into the low 100s. But by June I was seeing 118. No bueno. However, without really doing much more than nicotine (I didn't exercise at all during the 3 weeks leading up to my lab draw), I clocked in at 97 with an HbA1C of 4.9. I'm not out of the woods by far, because my C-peptide is now out of range. But I'll take it for now.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    Jude, Jason Spy and Lahelada like this.
  2. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Chew on This: Better Living Through Chemistry (Part 2)

    The Come Down
    I saw my doctor in early December and informed him of my experiment with nicotine and we ran labs without any interruption in my dosing schedule (see attached labs - I had 4mg in my system at the time of the draw). He is the doctor who discovered my neurotransmitter SNPs and had previously been working to help me with parasympathetic tone. He was encouraged by my results and personally noticed a difference, noting simply: “You probably needed it.” His advice was to cycle as needed. And along with titration, cycling is terribly important when supplementing just about anything.

    So I resolved to stop using nicotine on the first of year. With the concerns that exist over nicotine and addiction, I resolved to go cold turkey to see just how hooked I might have become. So just before the New Year, I dropped it completely. Boy was that eye-opening.

    I felt like hell the first day. It was just awful. But day 2 saw me return to my normal self, which isn't saying much since I feel generally unwell most of the time. My better half noticed immediately. Reflecting on things, she told me “it was like you were just gone or just disappeared.”

    I didn’t crave the nicotine. I didn’t once stare longingly at the box of gum sitting in my closet. I just became Tony Stark without the suit. Which brings me to maybe my most important takeaway from the entire experience:


    If I were to run this hack again, I would make sure I was making a full shift in lifestyle so that I could make headway in terms of addressing underlying issues. Instead, I was like those body builders who hit the “juice” but don’t bother to eat, sleep or live well. I wasn’t hitting the DHA, I wasn’t getting sun, I wasn’t avoiding foods that trigger my immune responses, I wasn’t doing anything at all other than riding the wave of good feeling. But alas, it was only prophylaxis.

    By the third week in January, I was well into DHA loading, and improving things. Interestingly, I also noticed that some impacts of nicotine seem to linger. In specific, my ability to climb stairs remains and my cramping has not really returned. It could be the DHA, and I’m hoping that’s the case. Unfortunately though, some of the palpitations and chest pain has returned along with mood decline; and I am wondering if I still need to let the photoperiod lengthen a bit more before I can be in the clear. For this reason I will be doing another nicotine cycle through February in the hope that March will bring enough light combined with the other things I’m doing, to let me be nicotine free.

    There’s much more detail, but this is already too long. So I am happy to discuss my experiences in the comments; ask me anything. In the meantime, have a look at the labs. Happy hacking.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  3. nicld

    nicld Gold

    Thanks for sharing this. I have someone very close to me that I will be sharing this with.
    TheKid likes this.
  4. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    You are very welcome. Sharing is caring. And this year I'm back to sharing more. So stay tuned.
    nicld likes this.
  5. nicld

    nicld Gold

    I have been on nicotine for about the past 6 months too and am amazed at how much better I feel, brain fog GONE!!!!

    I think I found my sweet spot at 8 mg during the week (less on the weekends). I break a large 4mg lozenge into two and slowly take it in the morning and then again after lunch. Been under a great deal of stress lately and I truly believe that this has helped me remain rational.
    Starfish Prime likes this.
  6. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest


    Awesome HAck. so glad you found something that worked. excellent details! glad to see things are progressing forward, even if you had a slight bounce after dropping. I find it interesting that some of the issues you had prior to your hack - have not returned. Its like you've topped off your NADH/FADH cycle - so its now functioning..

    Great job. interested in hearing how this continues for you.

    I will say Nicotine has been a very helpful hack for my migraines, though I'm not dosing at your level. I'm definitely going to look into more of the affects of nicotine on OSA - of which I have a mild case of.
    nicld likes this.
  7. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Yes, thanks for the encouragement, @Shijin13. I also wonder if I've topped off important mitchondrial compounds. I'm not sure if the labs I attached bear that out though. In particular I was concerned about the T-cell energy profile. Not sure why that would dip when other markers (LDHs) were in range.

    I think there is still a neurtransmitter profile coming in. So I need to see what those numbers look like. But my DHEA was high, which isn't usual for me. And a super important takeaway for me is that many of my labs are still not opitmal. Lots of work to do.
  8. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Oh, one big thing I forgot to mention in the aritcle: your initial reaction to a substance may not be indicative of your reaction to habitual use. I too found it more stimulatory in the first few days of use. It also had a very sedative effect about 30min in. But that quickly went away as toelrance built up. So you don't get the same feeling and response after about month, in my experience. And please consider CYCLING. When you play around with dopamine, I believe you grow new receptors that ask you for more of the subtance. You have to let those things downregulate. And @Jack has warned about this. Playing with dopamine is a touchy thing. And that is why I emphasized hack with a plan.

    I may indeed personally have some SNP problems related to dopamine and there is research out there that suggests that substance users and abusers may indeed be self-medicating to make up for a deficiency. But many of you may not be in that boat. I have some actual testing that suggests I may have a real deficiency. Nevertheless, I am working on light as we speak. I've got the nigth covered, but I only recently got a pair of Gunnars to address the day. Not as good as BluTechs, but what I could quicly get my hands on. And I admittedly have not been doing the work with regard to DHA. So it may be that getting those things right will overcome whatever SNP issues I may have. And the same might apply to others.
  9. AliJaBa

    AliJaBa New Member

    Quite a few of your symptoms are suggestive of magnesium deficiency. Is it worth experimentng with different types of magnesium to see if that helps? Mg is the anti-stress 'relaxer' mineral. It, along with its co-factors boron, bicarbonate and B6 can solve a lot of issues, especially as many of us are very deficient in it.

    Maybe you could get the benefits without the 'wire'.......
    TheKid likes this.
  10. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Thanks for the input. In fact Mg was my first go to a whole back, and I supplemented many of the compounds for their varying applications (threonate, malate, citrate, orotate, etc. ) mostly to little effect.

    I also spent about 3 years going only the supplemental route as indicated by testing. In fact, activated B6 was a specifically prescribed along with a host of other things carefully designed to bring me back to health.

    I actually continue to address these issues in that way. It was just that I felt that I couldn't afford another catastrophic collapse during the fall.

    Again, I recognize my own role in ticking more boxes on the optimal prescription. My seafood intake was no where near where it needed to be. And my environment requires much greater attention to light and emf than I had been giving it.

    So I am hopeful that getting those things back in line will make the Mg and other supps all the more effective.
  11. jenaf

    jenaf Silver

    This is awesome!!! I'm goi g to change up my 6 week hack that I'm currently doing. I'll get labs mid/late March post hack.
    TheKid likes this.
  12. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    By the way, let me be clear on something: I am not as cavalier as my write up might suggest. I don't want folks who don't know me to get the impression that I am just out here sampling from the medicine cabinet.

    I've been knee deep in this for years now. And I test quarterly and I test damn near everything. That's because I have a doctor who follows me closely and another doc doing a second set of follow up with a fresh pair of eyes.

    So always walk into a hack well informed.
  13. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    I've been taking similar amounts of nicotine, Kid. My body works better with it.
    But I've also been getting sunshine and seafood and cold. Hopefully I'm getting a much better crop of mitos. My old ones sure sucked.
    Shijin13, nicld and fitness@home like this.
  14. nicld

    nicld Gold

    CT, nicotine and light therapy........awesome combo. That is what I try to do every weekend.
    Shijin13 likes this.
  15. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Read Time 8 and you'll know why.........Mg is divalent like calcium
  16. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Below is what is happening on Earth under blue lights and 24/7 microwave.

    What happens when you create an alien environment on Earth? What happens when you are a mammal and go underground and hibernate and miss the sun for 6 months? This is why mammals have so much mitochondrial capacity.


    Might hibernation be an extreme form of hypothyroidism in mammals when they they are in a den without any sunlight? Another epigenetic situation that manifests when we inhabit a bad lit environment?
    Hypothyroidism = low quantum yield..........means your cells cannot sort light energy well and are losing light as a result = Stress response = lack of proper coupling of cycles in cells = all connected to light frequencies as water as its molecular adapter = all cycles must be local states (time9) of perpetual return so chaos or randomness of inflammation does not show up to stop the flow of energy. For when energy stops flowing in either the positive and negative feedback side of a coupled cycle extinction occurs = extinction of energy = heteroplasmy = geometric changes on mitochondria = higher % heteroplasmy = disease = too high % of heterosplasmy = death = equilibrium = life equals keep energy flows coming into an energy store house = water and sunlight = EZ.

    For all intent and purposes life is simple.........A collection of small closed spaces full of stored energy constantly fed by an open circuit of electrons = sun in the day = magnetic flux at night = In the day our cells are designed to die little deaths (ROS) and under go little re births (melatonin an dopamine) as we metabolize biochemicals all connected to a water sea fed by sunlight. Life is an exotic flower powered by a water fuse box connect to the sun and Earth
    TheKid likes this.

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