By Alvin Danenberg, DDS, contributing writer

May 30, 2018 -- Today, so much has been researched and written about how to bioheack our human body and its myriad of functions. When I hear people at conferences talking about biohacking, they generally mean a process of making lifestyle changes to improve the body's biology and feel better.

On its own, that's a reasonable goal.

Biohacking can also include learning more about how genetics affect the body's processes. Many blood, urine, stool, and saliva tests are designed to give more and more detail of what is going on in a body. There are genetic tests that can go as far as to identify specific variations in individual genes.


Alvin Danenberg, DDS
Alvin Danenberg, DDS.

In 1966, a movie called "Blowup" came to the big screen. Maybe you've seen it on Turner Classic Movies or through a streaming service, but I am old enough to have seen it as a young adult when it came out. In essence, the plot developed after a photographer took a photograph that might have captured a murder in the park. Many subplots surrounded the major story of deciphering the image in the photograph.

My point is this: As the photographer continued to enlarge the original image over and over again, the resulting prints from the negative became more and more obscure. Eventually, it was practically impossible to make out any detail because the printed image was too big to see anything other than random splotches of black and white.

Now, fast forward to today. I wonder if the same thing can happen with these detailed reports.

While detailed reports may provide some very important information, some of these tests could provide false positives or false negatives. In other words, they may imply that there's a problem that actually doesn't exist (a false positive).

Of course, the test results may also imply that you don't have a problem, which you actually do have (a false negative). In addition, they may create conflicting details, confusing the original purpose of having all these tests done. Is it possible that too much information can make the facts somewhat obscure? How much is too much?

Other steps?

I'm always curious when my patients tell me they are considering having any of these tests done. After a conversation about what they hope to achieve or find out, I ask them another question: Are there practical actions you could consider before subjecting yourself to all these tests?

“The simplest thing to do first would be to give your body what it needs naturally.”

And then I ask them if the results of any of these tests would fundamentally change their treatment?

In my opinion, the simplest thing to do first would be to give your body what it needs naturally and remove from your body whatever it does not need. I recommend eating a nutrient-dense diet and incorporating a primal lifestyle. Both efforts would go a long way to improve the health of your body before resorting to all these tests.

I encourage my patients to think about the four pillars of health:

  • Sleep seven to eight hours every night to allow your body to restore itself.
  • Consider eating a paleo-type diet that will nourish every cell in your body with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Begin an exercise program at home in your own time that takes the least amount of effort and provides you with the most bang for your buck.
  • Try to reduce the stress that your body endures daily.

I suggest that if any health issues persist, then they should consider specific and necessary tests to further delve into what might be the underlying problems.

A version of this column first ran on Dr. Danenberg's blog. appreciates the opportunity to reprint it. His book Crazy-Good Living from Elektra Press is available here.

Alvin Danenberg, DDS, practices at the Bluffton Center for Dentistry in Bluffton, SC. He is also on the faculty of the College of Integrative Medicine and created its integrative periodontal teaching module. He also spent two years as chief of periodontics at Charleston Air Force Base earlier in his career. His website is

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2018

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