#34: Dr. Ted Achacoso – How to Get the Benefits of Cognitive Enhancers (Nootropics) Without Harming Yourself

health & fitness performance podcast Jul 30, 2019

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 Cognitive enhancers, smart drugs, also called nootropics are getting more and more traction these days. The promise of being more focused and being able to achieve more in less time is fantastic for many of us. However, cognitive enhancers can really cause harm if your fundamental health is not in order. I, therefore, got one of the pioneers of the field with me on the Podcast. Dr. Ted Achacoso became a medical doctor at the age of 22. Ben Greenfield called him the smartest physician on the planet. Luke Storey calls him the Cosmic MD. He is the founding pioneer of the clinical practice of Health Optimization Medicine and Practice (HOMe/HOPe), which is the detection and correction of imbalances at the level of the metabolome. And he also formulated Blue Cannatine which is one of the most sought-after nootropics in the biohacking world. Despite formulating a nootropic himself, Dr. Ted is also a spokesperson for taking nootropics with care. 


Dr. Ted is also one of the pioneers of machine learning. And he’s just extremely cool and fun, someone who makes you laugh, and who exudes a good attitude towards life. He has also been advising heads of states, CEOs, world-class athletes, and so on. 

Dr. Ted was very generous with his time, which means that I divided the episodes into two episodes. One is a full-length episode and another one is a shortened version. Both of them are really informative. 

In the shortened version, we look at topics such as how you make sure that your body’s really ready for a nootropic. In the full version, we go further into Health Optimization Medicine and Practice (HOMe/HOPe) and also chat about machine learning and a lot of other cool experiences from Dr. Ted’s life.

This episode is the shortened episode. 


“If you are not going to optimize your brain first — your neurons first, with proper neurotransmitters and having no brain inflammation and so forth — then you cannot overclock it. You cannot ask for performance from it.” 

– Dr. Ted Achacoso


During our discussion, you’ll discover:


Why you cannot have any performance optimization unless you have health optimization. (01:23)

  • “…that’s fundamental because a lot of people and many health gurus out there are always teaching about performance optimization. Well, how can you have performance optimization when your basic cell isn’t healthy?”, as Dr. Ted points out.


All about his Blue Cannatine, how he tested it to himself first? (02:12)

  • “When I formulated that, I actually was making sure that before trying it on myself, my neurons or at least my neurotransmitters were optimized. And how do you do that? You do that by metabolomics. You check the neurotransmitter metabolites.“, Dr. Ted explains to address the stir around his supplement.


Why Dr. Ted disagrees with many people on how they define a nootropic (05:41)

  • “For me, the first characteristic of a nootropic is that it should be neuroprotective. 
  • First, it should protect your brain. Before it overclocks performance, it should first protect your brain. 
  • So okay, so you guys are going to insist on taking loads and loads of nicotine and all of these things, you know, then why don’t we do health optimization as a neuroprotective and then we could give you these things to overclock your performance.”, Dr. Ted shares.


The evolutionary imperative of the cell, a mechanism of cancer cell formation described  (11:05)

  • “Some doctors are now looking at cancer differently, and the way they’re studying it is that it’s a mechanism of the cells to want to survive. So a cell breaks away from the ranks of cooperation because the rest are dying and he says no, I want to survive.”, as Dr. Ted reveals.



Dr. Ted’s goal for his patients (sick) and clients (not sick) (09:21)  

  • My goal for you is to get you addicted to the feeling of wellness. So that when you get away from that feeling — let’s say, you ate a piece of cake — you will feel so rotten that you say ‘Argh, I’m never going to do that again!”  as Dr. Ted explains.


Your gut bacteria’s role  (17:54)

  • “Your gut bacteria pre-process everything that you eat. Everything that you put into your mouth and swallow, they will pre-process that.” as Dr. Ted shares.



Dr. Ted’s take on IgG4 food panel testing  (21:39)

  • “People who are saying, well, it doesn’t work, etc. Yeah, but do they practice? What’s your experience with it? For me, it was the best test available at the time and it has worked for my clients. 
  • And I’ve developed a very simple way of actually dealing with this because knocking out the foods that you’re sensitive to — that’s a very involved process. 
  • So I just have a very simple guideline on how to go about it. And essentially, all of my clients and patients have gotten better by just eliminating things that are in there and then reintroducing them systematically.” as Dr. Ted shares.


 What’s a high-quality life means for Dr. Ted?  (29:31)

  •  “A high-quality life is a life without pain. When you wake up in the morning, and you feel no physical pain, there is quality right there. But then we expand that to a life with no emotional pain and a life with no mental anguish, you know, and so quality escalates that way.” as Dr. Ted shares.


Looking at a person as an ecosystem (holobiont) (21:51)

  • “If you stop looking at the person with eyes, nose, mouth, etc, and just look at them as an ecosystem of cells, it’s easier to get them healthy.” as Dr. Ted shares.



  1. Sleep well. 
  2. Hydrate well. 
  3. Eat well.
  4. Ground well. Walk barefoot in the sand.
  5. Sun well.
  6. Move well.
  7. Relate well.
  8. Love well.



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