Matt Dippl: We need to get away from thinking that only one thing will help.

Matt, first of all: What are you doing for a living right now?

I founded an agency called and I call it a biohacking think tank for digital companies who want to know more about health trends, and also a company health management BGM 2.0 with the goal to raise the health in companies to a higher level under the current challenges of digitalization through biohacking knowhow in the work culture. I also love to share my knowledge and I am therefore writing a newsletter on the topic: biological upgrades for lateral thinkers, head workers, and digital athletes in the 21st century. Fact: Deep knowledge work is the lifeblood of the digital economy. When brain workers and creatives truly understand how their brain function is so closely linked to physical health, they will also become concerned with investing more time, money, and energy into their own health. In concrete terms, this means a better quality of life, less illness and better performance at work, and of course more connectedness among people and in teams working on important products.

A little clarification of terms for our readers: What exactly is biohacking? Where does it start for you and where does it end?

Biohackers have been around for thousands of years. In the past, it was shamans, alchemists, healers, and later scientists who were able to generate new knowledge related to the body. Today, doctors, as well as biochemists, would be called elite-level biohackers. They just don't use that term for themselves, and of course it's also a trendy term that has now emerged from digitalization. For me, a biohacker is someone who is able to optimize their physiology and influence it in such a way that they can cope well with the challenges in daily life and do so with joy, with surplus, and at the same time with flow. It starts with conscious nutrition, with more time in the sun and in nature to ground oneself, to have an optimal supply of fluid and minerals to the cells, it can go deep into the topic of sleep and hormone regulation to be able to regenerate better, and becomes a little more high-end with intravenous vitamin cocktails for faster tissue regeneration after surgery, or the rehabilitation of one's own oral cavity because of a chronic infection of the tooth root by a biological dentist. At the moment it stops with me with implants of digital devices in the body, there I draw the line. Also what you do here, for example, at Agrilution with the Plantcube is for me biohacking at elite level.

Biohacking is often accused of being esoteric, but that's not exactly what it is. How exactly does it differentiate itself from that and to what extent is there data that proves its success? Could you briefly comment on this?

I would say the results speak for themselves. You only have to look at what people achieve. The majority of biohackers are achievement-oriented people. They have goals in life, goals in society, they want to make a difference, make a real impact – and that's why they often got there. You say there's esotericism involved, yes, but that's because biohacking is preceded by eclectic thinking. Many of the biohackers who are also in the media are, in my eyes, the Michelangelos of medicine today. They are interested in shamanism, reading the evolutionary history of mankind, learning about nutrigenomics, and then maybe going to an Ecstatic Dance event to really dance it off, or going to Burma and going to a monastery for four weeks, or studying Shaolin Kungfu in China. It's the people who expose themselves to different influences of the environment and consciously watch how you react to it in general, but especially emotionally, to then decide if it interests you, if it brings you into the flow. Therefore, this is then talked down and rejected by very rigid scientists, who are perhaps also controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, or let's better say 'have a different agenda'. For me, it's important to look at people yourself, listen to their story, and then form your own opinion.

"Many of the biohackers who are also in the media are, in my eyes, the Michelangelos of medicine today."

Fasting has recently come back into the medical spotlight, especially for cancer patients. Is that also part of biohacking for you?

I'm careful about that. But it's always something individual. It totally depends on where people stand. I would not recommend it for chronic diseases, but as I said, it always depends on the exact clinical picture and the physical condition of the person. However, fasting is without question a healing strategy. Siim Land from Finland, for example, specializes in autophagy through fasting in the biohacking niche. Autophagy is a process in which cells in the body called macrophages clean up certain junk in the body and eat up and break down dead cellular components. This is a process that only occurs when the body is currently in a fasting state. There are different fasting states, such as intermittent fasting, in which one does this perhaps only for 16 hours, with 2 meals within 8 hours, or also times only one meal per day, which is then called "one meal a day" OMAD. Nevertheless, fasting always has something to do with stress, because the body goes into a state of stress. Which is why it is so important to have certain parameters in mind.

So people who do not enter this fasting state cannot break down these waste products at all?

Yes, exactly. You can think of it like this: We have a "poison pot" in our body. The speed with which this poison pot is filled up depends on the environment in which we live. What kind of toxins are we exposed to? But also the physical ability to empty this poison pot depends individually on genetics. It has something to do with certain detoxification enzymes that we have in the liver, but also from very specific plant inputs that are turned on through diet, such as broccoli, which triggers certain detoxifying processes in the liver. There are certain detoxification phases in the liver. First, toxins are released from the body tissues by certain enzymes so that they can be transported to the liver. There they are decontaminated so that they cannot harm the liver. They are then excreted through the urine, sweating or the digestive tract. The interesting thing is that in each of these detoxification phases, you can use different interventions to improve this process. For example, infrared sauna to stimulate sweating. Or by intravenous intake of chelates, which bind the toxins in the blood and are then excreted through the urine. Detoxification is a huge topic in biohacking, it is very individual and it also always depends on what environment we are exposed to on a daily basis.

How has your diet changed since you started biohacking?

The first point is: I put a focus on quality. I do my best in daily life, but especially when you're on the road a lot, it's difficult. Otherwise, you can also very quickly become neurotic in the sense of "I can only eat this; I can't eat that; that's a problem, I can't." For me, water quality is very important. As a "hack," I recommend drinking good quality spring water from glass bottles, not plastic bottles. When it comes to hydration, minerals are also very important. Another good "hack" is to add a small pinch of mountain salt to the glass of water to mineralize it. Furthermore, I put a lot of emphasis on freshness. So fresh vegetables, fresh salads, and an organic piece of meat every now and then. So it walks between paleo, vegan and vegetarian. Then, of course, there is intermittent fasting.

How has your diet change affected you monetarily?

So if you fast intermittently and reduce to two meals a day, nutrition becomes cheaper. Of course, there are also expert-level biohackers, like Siim Land, who eat only once a day, but then also eat larger portions. But of course it also depends on the lifestyle. A performance athlete biohacker has a different diet than an entrepreneur or head digital athlete, such as your founder Maximilian Loessl.

How can Agrilution's plant portfolio support you in your nutrition?

I find it super exciting to test your product and this new technology. What fascinates me most are the possibilities it still offers. I studied Chinese medicine in Sydney, Australia and there are insanely awesome botanicals in wolfberries, angelica root or ginseng. Since you are also talking about Agrilution, you should think about bringing forth an agricultural revolution, where you can also cultivate such medicinal plants in an artificial environment in a high quality someday.

These are very specific suggestions you are making. What makes up our plant portfolio so far are Salad, Herbs and Microgreens species, some of which are rather rare to find in a western supermarket and are characterized by a high and divergent nutrient richness. Nevertheless, we continuously want to expand our portfolio to get the widest possible range of plants.

This is exactly what is exciting for me, because I want to give my microbiome a range of different inputs. The more diverse your own microbiome is triggered, the more it adapts. That's why I find it super interesting to try something like this and look at it. I also think it's great to see how something grows at home. My son is now turning one year old and the thought of showing him these experiments and seeing how he reacts to them is just exciting to me. Plus, Greens are super important to me too, just because of the "detox" theme. I love cooking with Basil, I also use limes a lot – especially in terms of liver health. I hope I can give you some input with this in terms of your plant portfolio, about what people in the biohacking community want as well.

Of course, your feedback is very interesting for us and we are happy to take it on board, especially because the biohacking community is also very open-minded about "personalized nutrition". The Plantcube is a product for people who want to eat consciously and also consciously deal with the food they consume. As an active member of this community, you can better assess which Greens appeal to this community. If I may ask you the question: How has biohacking and your dietary changes affected your personal medical condition?

This is of course a very personal story. I unfortunately had a lot to do with illness in the past, which was genetic and ran in the family. There was a time when I had suboptimal health. There was also a time when I couldn't work properly because I had so many different health issues. But then I tackled them aggressively with the help of innovative doctors and health coaches, and I also studied the subject matter of Dr. Jeffrey Bland, the founder of Functional Medicine, very deeply.

That sounds like a very drastic clinical picture and yet you are sitting here in front of me and I perceive you as a healthy and vital man. Do you attribute all this to your change of diet and biohacking?

There are an insane number of factors that have played a role in this. Light, air, grounding, breathing, dental health, oral hygiene, digestive health, detoxification, exercise, sports, but also for example self-love, perspective, so a vision for the future. It's about getting away from silo thinking. We need to get away from thinking that only one thing helps, it's about synergy. Systemic thinking is a hot topic right now, and functional medicine, for example, is pioneering this on the medical level. They have it all on the screen: biochemical, physiological, genetic, electromagnetic, psychological, spiritual. Functional medicine comes from the USA and was founded by Dr. Jeffrey Bland. He has trained an armada of doctors at his institute who are now taking their message to society via digital means, knowing well that if we don't address societal diseases like type 2 diabetes, and chronic autoimmune diseases before they get really bad, the cost to our healthcare system will become an exponential problem. It is also worth taking a look at doctors like Dr. Simone Koch or Bastian Hölscher, who are leading the medical field in such innovations through Functional Medicine in Germany. Also, exactly what you are tackling with the Plantcube, population nutrition, is also an exponential problem, and there it simply needs innovative solutions that are also scalable.

It's our goal to make Vertical Farming economically feasible, even for home use.

I give you the following tip: Have a party once a month and dance to celebrate the opportunity you have to bring such a meaningful project into the world. For example, for team building, Ecstatic Dance events are absolutely brilliant; Gabrielle Roth has done a very good job on this. It's absolutely conducive to getting people out of thinking, into emotion, into spirituality, which is also experienced a lot through movement via the body. Just celebrate as a team and say "Hey, what we're doing is awesome. We are alive, we feel each other, we have an emotional connection, we do something meaningful with perspective in the world. And even if it doesn't work out, at least we fucking tried!"

You sometimes have to put thedoubts to the back of your mind to create something innovative. Do you feel that through biohacking you have been able to inspire other people to do the same?

That's what I'm doing at right now. Because I'm living this, a lot of things are happening for me right now. I'm networking with entrepreneurs who are doing new interesting things, for example Max Gotzler, the founder of Flowgrade and Flowfest here in Munich, the first biohacking festival in Germany. Great work he is doing there with a very good podcast about biohacking, the Flowgrade Show. Or Fabian Fölsch from myBraineffect in Berlin, who has launched very innovative products in the field of biohacking. Now there's another big conference coming up this year in London, the Health Optimation Summit founded by Tim Grey. And then there is another annual event in Finland, the Biohacker Summit, with Teemu Arina as curator.

You talked before about the body's own toxin pot. We don't use pesticides. Would that also be an aspect for you to use the Plantcube?

Yes, of course, definitely! There is simply a lot of potential there. But I also have questions about water quality, for example: What's in it, where does it come from? That's an experiment for me and only through experiments do you generate knowledge. Tim Ferriss was also a huge inspiration for me in this direction as a biohacker.

Of course, it depends on which water you fill in by yourself. In Munich, we are lucky to have very good tap water. You have already dealt a bit with Agrilution: How do you see our contribution in this movement and what hopes do you have for us?

Personalized nutrition is one of your main concerns. Of course, this also plays a very important role in biohacking. My hope is that you might also establish links with a think tank in the USA, such as the Personalized Lifestyle Madison Institute, which was also founded by Dr. Jeffrey Bland. So that you also get the scientific know-how from people who are already deeper in the matter. That's exhausting, of course, but it's entrepreneurship at the forefront, just like you guys are already doing. Give me one of those Plantcubes and I'll pull out everything it's got. That's a promise! I can't wait...

Matt, we thank you for the insightful interview.

Want to learn more about Matt Dippl?

Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin.

More articles: