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Monkeys Can Be Smarter Than Humans: They Aren’t Fooled by Price Tags

I don’t cease to be amazed at how irrational humans are.  One area of irrationality has to do with signaling factors such as price and marketing.

Put on a white coat and call yourself a doctor and all of sudden our minds go through a transformation, and we let down our critical thinking.

Throw some hope and we go blind to reality.   All we can see is the possibility of a better future.  Critical thinking goes out of the window.

Through building awareness I’ve learnt to spot my own patterns and not get caught into falling for BS.

If you don’t fall for BS you will save yourself a lot of money.

People wonder how I support myself and also seem to spend a lot of money on supplements, etc… The answer is that I don’t spend money on STUPID SH*T.

Rule #1 for not spending money on stupid sh*t is to realize that price doesn’t equal quality.

Rule#2 is to not believe anything you hear or read from people too much.  Be skeptical.

In the past few months I put down a grand on a Molecular hydrogen machine, an Oxygen concentrator, 1415 for a macbook and 200 for a router.

I’m happy with those purchases because all increase my performance and health and pay for themselves in time.   They’ve got a good Return On Investment (ROI).

I’m more efficient with the Macbook and I realize that the router is the most important aspect to your internet connection.  I’ve been through 2 cheaper ones and they don’t work well.   My internet connection is also pretty quick (130mb down, 40mb up).

What I don’t spend on is hyped products that have nice packaging and lots of marketing attached to it.

Some products like  (Longvida) curcumin are indeed better, as it’s the only one I’m aware of that reaches the brain. But when I found it about 4 years ago in a scientific study, almost no one knew about it.  Only in the past 6 months have more companies started carrying it and it still doesn’t have much marketing attached to it.

The point is sometimes products can be qualitatively different.

I buy 90% of my cloths in Target and I find the quality is almost the same as stuff 5X the price.  Some products are better to get higher quality, such as a good coat.

If you spend smartly, you won’t regret purchases.  Buy quality, not marketing.  

You should be aware that the more marketing, the nicer the packaging, the more money that was spent for this purpose.

Anyway, here’s the study with Monkeys.

“In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans — they don’t assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new study.

People consistently tend to confuse the price of a good with its quality. For instance, one study showed that people think a wine labeled with an expensive price tag tastes better than the same wine labeled with a cheaper price tag. In other studies, people thought a painkiller worked better when they paid a higher price for it.

The Yale study shows that monkeys don’t buy that premise, although they share other irrational behaviors with their human relatives.” (R)

Don’t Be Circle Jerked By Alternative Health Practitioners

I’ve seen some good and caring alternative health practitioners, so I’m not criticizing everyone.

But most of the time I see good ol’ circle jerking.

Some alternative health practitioners claim to be skeptical, but are not skeptical of their own BS.

What I am constantly amazed at is you don’t have to actually do a good job to charge a shit load of money.   You just need to be popular and market yourself well.  See these reviews of Chris Kresser: 1, 2, 3.

Conventional medicine is loaded with problems, but alternative medicine is oftentimes even worse in other ways. You are often taken for a ride and pay a shitload of money for advice that doesn’t work.

Conventional medicine thinks you’re making your problems up if they can’t detect your issues with their extremely limited testing.

Alternative medicine thinks that all of your issues are because of leaky gut/dysbiosis, gluten, your thyroid or adrenal fatigue (which is a fake condition).

Doctors can’t see beyond drugs and alternative health people can’t see beyond your gut, thyroid, etc…

The word for this is called myopia, and it’s an epidemic that affects all homo sapiens, including myself.  We need to be more aware of this phenomenon.

How Curcumin Inhibits Inflammation

Use 2-4g of LONGVIDA Curcumin daily if you’ve got inflammation issues…

I take ~250mg daily.

See a compilation of curcumin research.

Probiotics: My Experiment Ingesting 1/4 of Trillion Bacteria

I’ve never really noticed much of an effect from probiotics.  About a year ago I started to take them in higher dosages and I started noticing some benefits for the gut, but not much else.

As I study the immune system more and these species that I’m ingesting, I started thinking that there is a gap between what I’m reading and what I’m experiencing.

Probiotics are good, but not as good as I would think if I just read the research.

The reason I wanted to do this was because I was getting some gas from my experiments with NAG, Sialic acid and Mannose.  I also couldn’t take NAC because I’d get gas from that, too.

I also wanted to do some experiments for inducing oral tolerance more.

My recent lectin meltdown has fired up a dormant passion to cure this lectin shit.  Some strides have been made.

SO, I decided to do a little experiment and ingest 280 billion probiotic bacteria in one shot, containing 15 different strains.  This is equivalent to two bottles of your run of the mill probiotics.

My result?  I felt high and blissful.  The effect was as strong as any drug I’ve taken.  I think this was because these bacteria produce lots of short chain fatty acids like butyrate and also lactic acid. I also got a bitch itchy  and red in some places, but nothing serious.

Kind of felt like a massive dosage of high-maize.

Results were confounded by taking 40X the dosage of Mannose earlier.  Normally they come in pills of 500mg.  I took 20g yesterday.  But I’ve taken 10g before this without such an effect, so I’m going with the probiotic being the causal factor.  I will do more experiments to tease it out.

Anyway, the takeaway is that you need to hit things hard.  Don’t think you will be cured by taking 1 puny pill of probiotics.  Don’t be timid.  Start small, but work your way up, in a safe way.  I experimented with lower dosages first.

My general approach is to keep increasing the dose until you feel something acutely.  This approach isn’t risk free, but if done in a careful way, it’s relatively safe.

The only potential problem I see is imbalancing your immune system more.  So make sure you take probiotics that balance your immune system the way you want it.

See the species you should take to lower Th1 dominance or Th2 dominance.

Increasing Intelligence By Increasing Myelin: N-acetylaspartate

Props go to a fellow named Alan who put this together.  This will be an area of research that I’d like to get into.

Lithium increases NAA. NAA may also be a marker of creativity.[5] It has also been demonstrated that high NAA level in hippocampus is related to better working memory performance in humans.[6]NAA may function as a neurotransmitter in the brain by acting on metabotropic glutamate receptors.[7]

“extract of H. erinaceus promoted normal development of cultivated cerebellar cells and demonstrated a regulatory effect on the process of myelin genesis process in vitro”

Melatonin promotes myelination by decreasing white matter inflammation after neonatal stroke.

“PROG also promotes myelination in the brain, as shown in vitro in explant cultures of cerebellar slices and in vivo in the cerebellar peduncle of aged rats after toxin-induced demyelination”

“New research suggests that the layer of insulation coating neural wiring in the brain plays a critical role in determining intelligence.”

“These results… point to NAA as a neuronal constituent that is essential for the formation and/or maintenance ofmyelin”

N-acetylaspartate is “A source of acetate for lipid and myelin synthesis in oligodendrocytes, the glial cells that myelinate neuronal axons”

“Our results highlight a biochemical substrate of normal intellectual performance, mediated by sex, within white matter association fibers linking posterior to frontal brain regions.”

“the NAA concentration in the isthmus/splenium region was positively correlated with the performance IQ and full-scale IQ scores”

“The positive correlation of the IQ scores with the NAA concentrations in the isthmus/splenium region indicates that more efficient inter-hemispheric data transfer between parieto-occipital cortices may enhance intellectual performance.”

“Of the three white matter regions studied (i.e., left frontal, right frontal, left occipito-parietal), we found that a model including only left occipito-parietal white matter predicted intellectual performance [F(1,25) = 8.65, P = .007; r2 = .26], providing regional specificity to our previous findings of NAA-IQ relationships.”

“It is detected in the adult brains only in neurons”

“synthesized in the mitochondria of neurons from the amino acid aspartic acid and acetyl-coenzyme A.”
“aerobic fitness is associated with neuronal viability in the frontal cortex of older adults.”

“NAA mediated an association between fitness and backward digit span performance, suggesting that neuronal viability as measured by NAA is important in understanding fitness-related cognitive enhancement.”

“if aerobic fitness influences the number or viability of neurons, then higher aerobic fitness levels might be associated with greater concentrations of NAA”

“In a high temperature environment, Green Tea Catechins is not stable: an epimerization change is likely to occur, because heating results in the conversion from EGCG to GCG.[7] Thus it is considered inappropriate to infuse green tea or its extracts with overheated water.”

“Treatment with EGCG resulted in an increase of 13% [95%,CI(1%-23%) p<0.001] in average NAA levels. Free plasma levels of EGCG at 8 hours predicted changes in NAA; an increase in 10ng/ml in free EGCG levels resulted in a 6% [95%,CI(2%-10%)] increase in NAA.”

“There were no safety concerns for treating MS patients with Polyphenon E. Our futility endpoint was rejected, as NAA levels increased. This and the correlated changes in NAA and EGCG levels support a potential neuroprotective effect…”

16 Things That Will Enhance Your Performance: Even if You’re Healthy…

I would recommend EVERYONE experiment incorporating these into your life.  It doesn’t mean everyone will benefit, but I think over 90% of the population will.

  1. Lighting device upon awakening.  Critical if you aren’t getting sunshine.
  2. LLLT.  See my review of LLLT.  In summary, it builds mitochondria and reduces inflammation.
  3. PQQ
  4. Niagen NAD+ 
  5. C60
  6. Oxaloacetate
  7. 2g Gotu Kola
  8. Suma
  9. Gynostemma
  10. Hi-Maize resistant starch
  11. Pregnenolone
  12. Cod liver
  13. Black Cumin Seed Oil
  14. Red Glasses before bed
  15. THIS yoga before bed: uploaded the video to Youtube.
  16. Listen to “Mindfulness for beginners”

How I Incorporate Bright Light Into My Life

Bright light is one of my best hacks.  I recommend everyone incorporate the Bright light device  into their regimen.

My Top 7 Anti-Lectin Agents

All fire, no smoke…Also realize that all of this stuff is cutting edge.  I Googled Lectin-sensitivity and it turns out that I coined the term, lol.  I don’t know why this is not spoken about more.  I have lots of more material to post on this but for now read this post.

The best subjective anti lectin agents I’ve found so far are:

1) Sialic Acid

2) NAG

3) Mannose

4) Kombucha


6) HCL with pepsin

7) Fructose – I seem to be less affected by lectins when I consume fructose.  Kombucha has fructose, so I get my fructose load from that.

You can take these all together – they don’t really interact.  I’ve taken them altogether.

If you take them altogether I think it will deactivate the lectins pretty well.

Interesting Experiment: EDTA Blocks Lectin Activity

So lectins produce an immune response by increasing cellular calcium release.

Various immune cells are stimulated by increased calcium release in cells, including T Cells.

SO I tried to use a calcium binder called EDTA. 3g of it seems to make a difference when taken before lectin consumption. Be ware that EDTA binds to beneficial minerals as well, so it’s not like you want to do this daily.

On my second experiment, I tried 4g of EDTA and it worked again like a charm, so I’m really liking it.

EDTA is also known to block lectin activity

Because lectins often need calcium to bind to cells

The best subjective anti lectin agents I’ve found so far are Sialic acid, NAG, Mannose, HCL+Pepsin, kombucha and now EDTA.

I think kombucha is working by lactate, EGCG and gluconic acid, which is also a calcium binder.

These aren’t complete fixes, but more like bandaids when what you really need is stitches.

Other people’s experiences are welcome.What Happens When I Break My Diet

Yesterday I broke my diet big time again for my sister’s B day, but I’m done breaking it…. I started getting symptoms again.

My OCD has come back to a degree,
I’m experiencing a worse mood and emotional instability,
More on the edge,
Various cognitive issues – attention, memory, processing, etc..
Motivation is down,
I’m sleeping more,
My ears are clogged,
Pains in places that I’ve got injured in the past,
Slower healing – felt sore after a 2 hour walk (wouldn’t normally happen)
Itching in back of neck,
Mild Flushing,
Mild Headaches…
More hypersensitivity in general.

I’m starting to remember what life was like after a period of forgetting.

Note that I am not taking many supplements to heal it so that I can remember and get a clear picture of how my body gets wrecked by lectins.

I guess I went through a period of trying to see if I could be a little normal. I think this is the thing that scares people the most. Everyone wants to fit in…

Well life is nothing but trade-offs. If I’m more ‘normal’ then my life quality goes down, but if I’m less normal then I’m happier, healthier and more productive.

I’m going to choose my health…But I certainly understand those who can’t plunge in fully; it’s isolating…

Lectins Can Cause Low Libido

A lot of clients complain of low libido. My libido was raging as I got stricter with lectins.

As I reintroduced some seed lectins and straying from my strict diet, my libido has noticeably gone down.

Most people think if you just eat healthy whole foods, you will be healthy. Over 95% of my clients eat healthier than anyone I know and still have problems.

I bought into this whole food paradigm for a while, which hindered my progress for a good bit.

‘Paleo’ says we need to eat the RIGHT whole foods. If you have autoimmune issues, this is a step in the right direction and enough for some, but not for others.

I think science has progressed enough that we have a pretty good idea of what we need to fuel our body and how to use drugs/supplements to manipulate various chemicals and proteins for better health. We don’t need whole foods for this.

If you are eating whole foods and have no issues, then I suggest you keep it up!

For myself, the less whole foods I eat the better I feel.

Sorry if I Come Off As Preaching or Strict

Sometimes I come off as preaching, judging, rigid or extreme, but I’m not.

When people have serious issues, I tend to lean on them hard, at least until they get better. But if you’ve got things under control, you’ve got way more leeway.

I’m a believer that YOU NEED TO MAKE BIG MOVES to get better. BE BOLD. Hit whatever you’re dealing with HARD. Once you figure out what the significant factors are for you, then you can take it easy and be more moderate. But you need that period where you take things to the extreme to figure out what works for you.

A few examples to show you I’m not extreme or a health nut:

I’ve smoked about 6 packs of cigarettes in the last few months (I know it’s bad, so I’ve stopped.)

Last weekend I had massive amounts of lectins and crap, as I was with my fam.

There was one week about a month ago where 90% of my calories came from ice cream and junk food (6 cartons of ice cream in a .week). I was just ‘experimenting’, or so I told myself

A week before that I drank 10 cans of soda.

And two days ago I had a whopping piece of aged and mouldy goat cheese. Another so called ‘experiment’. Brain fog ensued, but 2 kombuchas got rid of most of it.

In the past few months, I’ve gone a couple weeks with almost no exercise and I’ve been staying up late and messing up my circadian rhythm…And I’ve gone many days with 5 hours of sleep, even though I like to get 8…..I went two different days partying from the night till the afternoon. I’ve stopped this, but I’m not afraid to break things, as long as they’re very infrequent.

However, I try to structure my life so that I keep to what works for me 90-95% of the time and I make sure things are stable before indulging. The rest of the time I dabble

I structure my life as a germophobe because I know viruses and bacteria can cause health issues. I don’t touch handles with my hands generally (unless I wash them well after), but then I’ll go out and smoke a cigarette that has been passed around by random club people, because I know I don’t do this often.

The bottom line: Structure your life in a healthy way, but don’t be afraid to stray from your own principles here and there.

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  • Clemens Lode

    You mentioned MBTI at some other place, aren’t “Se excesses” part of what happens if you suppress Se? Like being on a zero calorie diet followed with binge eating?

  • IntestinalIQ

    C60 seems to be of those things you didn’t know you needed until you try it. I’ve been taking it for a couple of weeks now, and the increase in my mental clarity is dramatic. (63-year-old male, TH-2 dominant, I think). I didn’t notice anything at first, but the cumulative effect is very noticeable.

  • Yellowsubmarine

    What strain and brand of probiotics should you take if you want to suppress both TH1 and 2 dominance?

  • Joanna.B

    “But after she thought she had adrenal fatigue when she had hypothalamic fatigue (I coined this), I lost all respect. Just one more blogger that went into the respect toilet bowl.”
    That really pissed me off. I really like the blog, but disrespecting people just because they might be wrong (and not be able to this point to correct themselves) is just ridiculous. As more and more research is being done, it may (or may not) turned out that you are wrong about certain stuff – it doesn’t however make your blog less worth reading (as long as you admit when you realized you were mistaken). The fact that people think a certain concept is right (which is kind of confirmed by available evidence) when it’s slightly wrong but they are unable to see it due to lack of huge amount of evidence is (probably only in my opinion) not a reason to not respect them…
    Ok. I will stop complaining now, and go on to the second thing I wanted to ask you about.
    I am a student, and want to go to a graduate school, investigating something biochemistry related. However, I cannot find an interesting problem to focus on. I am also really into biohacking yourself, and so I was thinking – if you were do bench work, would be the problem you would like to tackle? A question you would like to answer? I would like to find a substantial unanswered question, which you could at least try to answer. As you are one of the smartest people in this arena, I thought that you may some good advice. Would really appreciate it!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Should I not say I lost respect for someone, if I have? Is that’s what’s bothering you? Or is the fact that I lost respect for someone based on a difference of opinion?

      If it’s the latter, then I’ll admit that I wasn’t clear. I didn’t lose respect solely because of a difference of opinion; I lost respect because of the whole way she approached the issue. Based on the post I read, it was clear to me that there was several things she was missing.

      If some shallow blogger missed these things, I wouldn’t care. But she has a PhD in medical biophysics, studies immunology and wrote a book on the subject. And then she analyzes her own condition in an unsophisticated way. Heck, if I myself made these errors, it would be much more understandable.

      Note that there’s not a single person that I don’t disagree with in some way, yet I can still respect their future opinions. I don’t agree with the authors Sam Harris, John Gray or Taleb on all issues, but I nevertheless respect their opinions. I don’t agree with Aubrey De Gray or some researchers on everything they say either, but I still respect their opinions.

      Another thing is that I commented and questioned where the evidence of adrenal fatigue was and she wasn’t willing to engage; there was no response.

      So of course I can be wrong. I can do some research and find some studies I didn’t see or maybe missed something. But she should’ve posted some studies to back up her claim. Perhaps I asked it too aggressively, but I also apologized in another comment.

      Having previously praised her, I felt like I had to set the record straight. If would’ve never praised her, then I wouldn’t mention her.

      And when I say she went down the respect toilet boil, that only means respect for her opinions, not respect for her as a person. I’m sure she’s a great mom and loving person.

      But maybe I shouldn’t put anyone down? Maybe I should only present my opinions and research, but not call others out. If my readers don’t want this then I will stop. I took that section out.

      Anyway, I encourage people to present evidence that goes counter to my opinions. I’m only human and I surely have made many mistakes and will continue to make mistakes.

    2. Joseph M. Cohen

      As far as your question…That’s a tough one.

      1) In general biology, I would get into the stem cell field. I think it will have the most relevance for the future. Cliche, but true.

      2) If not stem cell related, I’d study subjects regarding immunology or the hypothalamus. The immune system affects everything.

      3) Within the immune system, I’d study how the immune system creates tolerance. I’m writing a post on this, but there are significant gaps in our understanding.

      I’d have a better answer for you in 6 months.

    3. Joseph M. Cohen

      I thought about it…

      My new policy for now on is that I won’t criticize people…only ideas.

      Thanks for goading me in this direction.

      1. Joanna B.

        that sounds much better – I can’t see a reason why you shouldn’t explain why an idea may be wrong, but I honestly hate when people judge others for their opinions (but well I generally hate when people judge other people in general). So criticizing ideas instead of people sounds good.
        About paleomom – well, the fact that someone had a phd doesn’t really mean much. I mean the science of biochemistry, immunology, and nutrition is so complicated there is not a single person on Earth who would be right in all their ideas… She is still doing a relatively good job for lay people – trying to explain the science in simple words. But yeah – she may be wrong is some aspects.
        About my second question – thanks very much for the answer. Really appreciate it. I was thinking myself about SCs but the field is so crowded nowadays, that I may pass on this.
        I guess I will head more in the direction of immunology. I like the idea on dwelling on the subject of tolerance. I am actually interested in autoimmunity, so I guess it could be a good direction to go into. Now only have to find a research group which is actually going in the right direction…
        Anyway, thanks a lot!

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          You make good points. I wish you the best of luck.

  • Fritz.Harber

    Really like your research on gut and lectin sensitivity.

    I started getting BF and many other symptoms after going Weston Price and eating tons of red meat daily.

    Most of my issues are resolved by now – many by following advice from this blog- but I did feel like I am still experiencing some really low-grae inflammation despite going extreme lectin free and I did not want to take supplements forever.

    I noticed that my symptoms exacerbated whenever I consumed beef, liver AND… pea protein – all Lectin free.

    I was unable to understand why and then I came with the hypothesis that high- iron foods -beef, pea, some vegetables, spices, etc- might be problematic for people with gut issues because iron feeds bad pathogenic bacteria that could cause problems. I thought that whenever I was eating those foods I was feeding some infection.

    Also thing that helped me (egcg, lactic acid, inositol) are known to bind to iron.

    I figured that I got some infection awhile ago and was feeding it with paleo foods. Iron is accumulating in the liver over the course of time and I might have had really high levels by then.

    I did an experiment: took iron supplement in isolation for three days – felt like shit. Terrible. All symptoms came back – low libido, OCD, anxiety, dark poop, grey skin, fatigue, etc.

    Then, for the next period of time I decided to go really low on iron – ate only rice protein + chicken as a source of protein and the rest of the foods I replaces by chemicals.

    Additionally, to get rid of iron I was still getting in chicken and rice, took:
    Lactoferrin, milk thistle, inositol, EGCG/kombucha, tea, ACV, apple extract, MCP almost with every meal ( all for iron chelation)

    Finally, got around 500ml blood drawn from me almost every month to really reduce iron levels to zero.

    Results, in short, extreme improvement on all subjective parameters. Got rid of low grade inflammation.

    Maybe pea protein therefore is not the best course of action.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Thanks! Very interesting. It could be the case by you that iron is feeding a bacterial infection. I don’t think it’s the case by me, but I don’t do well on red meat. I do decent on liver, but not amazing.

      I don’t notice significant effects from lactoferrin and that’s the only one that you mentioned would actually have any significance to it, since the rest do a lot of other things than just chelate iron. (do you have a reference on myoinositol and iron?)

      My question is how do you know it’s not from oxidative stress, which iron is known to cause. So while it could be an infection, I’m not sure how you’d be able to differentiate it from OS.

      What I would suggest is getting your blood iron markers and ferritin levels checked. My level was 45 or something for ferritin, which is on the low side, so it’s unlikely many of my past issues were from iron. Get your levels checked. If it’s high then I’d be more likely to have your interpretation, but still can’t know.

      Pea protein is certainly not for you. I’d stick with rice protein. The reason I recommend pea over rice is because I can’t find info on rice protein and lectins. However, I seem to do well on rice protein…

  • Daniel

    Hey Joe here is my suggestion.
    what do you think about HRV and stuff like that.

    Would you be interested in making a blog post about HR and HRV and how to improve health and lengevity by improving your heart?

    I would.

  • Fritz.Harber

    I am not sure that I understood the bit about EGCG – what is the best way to make jasmine tea (that you recommend) if not by overheating the tea?

  • dan

    I just got the kombucha kit you recommend. How do you make your kombucha these days to get the best results?

  • Kris Lewis

    Amprodelight? Sucky name. Not that I have a better one….I just took the liberty of assuming the question mark means I get to chime in.
    Excited about the new offerings.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      lol, I’ll worry about the name after you help me perfect the product 🙂

  • Phil

    Good luck with this venture Joe 🙂 I look forward to trying this product one day.

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