Superhuman book summary and pdf

Super Human by Dave Asprey [Book Summary & PDF]

Do you want to dramatically extend your lifespan, get more energy and brainpower than ever, or even… age backwards? This book is written with you in mind.




Who is this book for?

Do you want to dramatically extend your lifespan, get more energy and brainpower than ever, or even… age backwards? This book is written with you in mind.

About the author

Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley investor, computer security expert, and entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $250,000 to hack his own biology. The Financial Times calls him a “bio-hacker who takes self-quantification to the extreme of self-experimentation.” His writing has been published by the New York Times and Fortune, and he's presented at Wharton, Kellogg, the University of California, and Singularity University. (less)

In this summary

Despite being an experienced biohacker, Asprey’s interventions in Super Human are simple and accessible to all of us: healthy diet, quality sleep, harmful light avoidance, regular exercise, and more. In this summary, we’ll also explore little-known but powerful hacks, from ozone therapy to proper jaw alignment, that can decelerate cellular aging and supercharge your body’s ability to heal and rejuvenate.

Let’s go!



What is the first thing you would do if you ever gained control of our own biology? Not die, probably.

The author wants to take things further, aiming to age backward and, finally, heal like a deity, so he can keep getting better with age instead of suffering an inevitable decline.

He wants to go from a mere mortal to a 180-year-old Super Human:

“Someone with the wisdom of age but who heals and regenerates like a teenager.”

Let’s see how he plans to achieve that.

(Disclaimer: before you try any experiment or unlicensed medical approach suggested in the book, first consult with a doctor.)


The Four Killers

“Aging is death by a thousand cuts”, the author says.

These are the four diseases most likely to leave the deepest cuts as you age:

  1. Heart disease (23% risk dying from it),
  2. Diabetes (25% risk dying from it),
  3. Alzheimer’s (10% risk developing it), and
  4. Cancer (40% risk getting it and 20% risk dying from it).

As you age, your mitochondria (responsible for producing lots of energy from the food you eat) become damaged and begin producing an excess of free radicals, which leak into the surrounding cells and lay the groundwork for the Four Killers.

To stop damaging your own body with thousands of (big or small) cuts, focus on the basics:

  1. Good nutrition,
  2. Quality sleep, and
  3. A healthy environment free of toxins that cause more cuts.

Take action now to stop this damage before it stacks up. It’s a lot easier to avoid damage to your mitochondria than it is to reverse it later.

What if you made better choices throughout your life, so you took fewer hits over the course of decades? This is the premise of this book.


PILLAR 1 – Shrinking tissues

Loose skin… no muscle tone… shaky hands… foggy memory… that’s what you think when you picture an old person, right? This is what happens as we age when cells die and are not replaced. Brainwise, this causes cognitive decline and dementia. To avoid a lot of unnecessary cell loss, keep your mitochondria healthy.

PILLAR 2 – Mitochondrial mutations

Your mitochondrial DNA is a lot more susceptible to mutations than your human DNA because mitochondrial DNA has a limited ability to repair itself when it is damaged. Again, you’re going to want to take fewer hits to your mitochondria.

PILLAR 3 – Zombie cells

Some cells eventually no longer divide or function properly, yet they persist and secrete inflammatory proteins, causing all the problems that stem from chronic inflammation. Over time, the accumulation of the damage they create is a major cause of aging and disease.

PILLAR 4 – Cellular strait jackets

The extracellular matrix holds your cells together and gives your tissues their elasticity. When these tissues lose their elasticity, they become stiff and your body has to work harder to push blood throughout your circulatory system.

This can lead to aging, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

PILLAR 5 – Extracellular junk

As you age, waste products build up both inside and outside your cells, they stick together and form plaques that cause aging and disease by getting in the way of healthy cellular interaction.

PILLAR 6 – Junk buildup inside cells

Each cell’s own built-in waste disposal system incinerates unwanted materials of all kinds, keeping your cells free of junk and able to function optimally. When the system malfunctions, the waste products end up just sitting there, clogging up the cell until it can no longer function.

PILLAR 7 – Telomere shortening

Just like your shoelaces, there are endcaps for your DNA to protect your chromosomes from fraying with wear and tear (aka age). These caps naturally deteriorate over time, until they can no longer protect the cell.

The simple interventions to avoid the Four Killers – good food (no fried, grilled, or charred meat!!!), the right environment, moderate exercise, stress control (do you meditate?), and quality sleep – are also the best and most effective ways of slowing down or reversing many of the Seven Pillars of Aging.


When it comes to aging, grains are bad, sugar is bad, charred or fried stuff is bad, and too much or too little protein is bad.

Instead, opt for tons of organic vegetables, limited organic fruit, and meat only from pastured animals.

When you eat enough of the right fats without excess carbs or protein, your body learns to efficiently burn fat for fuel. If you eat excess carbs or protein, your body burns those first.

Ideally, get your protein from gently-cooked grass-fed animals, wild fish, or plants like hemp. Limiting how much protein you eat or intermittent fasting are two of the most painless high-impact ways to live longer.


A lack of good sleep directly increases your risk of dying from one of the Four Killers, while good quality sleep promotes skin health and youthful appearance, and healthy cell division.

To improve your sleep, get a sleep tracker. Did it take you a long time to fall asleep? Are you wasting your night with light sleep? Did you snore (sign of inflammation)?

The more time you spend in either REM or deep sleep, the more restorative your sleep will be.

You can increase your sleep quality by meditating, taking a hot bath before sleep, eating better, consuming fewer toxins (including alcohol), reducing blue light exposure at night, or taking the right supplements for your biology.


To harness the power of light, first reduce junk light at home by installing dimmers and wearing glasses that filter out blue light.

To look better and have more energy, make sure you are exposed to some red or infrared light every day, or aim for fifteen to twenty minutes of natural sun exposure a day.

For the brave ones, consider trying an infrared sauna to aid in detoxification and boost your mitochondrial function.

For help with wound healing, muscle fatigue, or tissue repair, look into red and infrared light therapy. And if your concerns are primarily skin-deep, yellow light therapy may be an easy fix.


Turn Your Brain Back On

It’s pretty hard to concentrate or improve your decision-making skills if your brain is constantly and easily panicked – even if the source of panic is a simple text message.

An hour of neurofeedback can help you learn to self-regulate so your fight-or-flight response isn’t activated quite so easily.

Also shining the invisible LED light down your brain for two minutes a day can dramatically improve your brain function, focus, and mood.

When it comes to food, start a diet that consistently keeps your blood sugar low, avoids spikes, and keeps ketones present in your blood.

There are also plenty of pharmaceuticals and supplements that can help you enhance cognitive function as you age, such as:

  1. Piracetam: Reduces cognitive decline with age
  2. CoQ10: Helps your mitochondria produce energy
  3. PQQ: A powerful antioxidant for anti-aging
  4. Curcumin: Improves memory and attention while acting as an antioxidant


Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are the most toxic and present metals in our environment. Although the EPA has classified each of them as carcinogens, today we are consuming them in considerable quantities.

Toxic metals, such as lead, thallium, and mercury, have a direct impact on mitochondrial cellular function, leading to premature aging and decline.

  1. It is essential to periodically see a functional medicine doctor, get your urine levels tested for heavy metals, and then purge them from our system:Get an IV of glutathione,
  2. Talk to your doctor about activated charcoal treatment,
  3. Eat chlorella tablets along with fish (a common source of mercury),
  4. Consistently use digestive fiber (15 grams every other day for a year),
  5. Sweat it out in an infrared sauna or by exercising.


Ozone therapy can strengthen your immune system and your mitochondrial function.

Weak cells that are vulnerable to invasion from bacteria or viruses are more susceptible to oxidation. Ozone therapy kills off these weak and damaged cells, while it destroys harmful bacteria, yeast, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.

However, please don’t try ozone gas before consulting a doctor! Accidentally inhaling it can cause permanent lung damage or even kill you.


Before getting any hormone replacement, get a lab test to learn your current hormone levels. The author has supplemented many of his hormones, i.e.:

  1. Testosterone – necessary for muscles and sexual function
  2. DHEA – a pre-hormone
  3. Oxytocin – best known for its role in making you feel good and bond with others

There are many simple ways to hack your hormones besides hormone replacement therapy:

  1. Get good quality sleep consistently,
  2. Eat the right foods (stop eating sugar, soy, excess omega-6 fats, and refined carbs, and replace these foods with additional healthy saturated fat from grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and energy fats.),
  3. Go through your toiletries and personal care products and get rid of everything containing phthalates and parabens, which mimic hormones in the body and disrupt your natural hormone function,
  4. Exercise regularly, and
  5. Avoid junk light and other environmental toxins.


When your bite is misaligned, your jaw is always on guard, trying to keep you from banging your teeth into one another.

This causes the trigeminal nerve to send a threat message to your autonomic nervous system, triggering a fight-or-flight response and releasing cortisol, the stress hormone which is highly inflammatory and has its own profound aging effects.

A corrected bite through something as simple as a plastic bite guard can allow your lower jaw to relax, making a big difference in your nervous system.

In other words, proper jaw alignment can help your entire body feel better and become younger.


There are approximately 39 trillion bacterial cells in the human body. If our balance of microorganisms is off (especially in our gut), we age rapidly, develop disease, and die.

The trick is to focus on eating the foods that help good bacteria grow and reproduce: prebiotic fiber and resistant starch.

You can get prebiotics from vegetables that are rich in soluble fiber like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. There is a little prebiotic fiber in coffee and chocolate, too.

The best way for anyone to starve the bad bacteria and feed the good ones is by cleaning up your diet:

  1. Don’t eat grains, legumes, or nightshade vegetables, all of which lay the groundwork for leaky gut syndrome.
    1. Quit eating sugar – bad bacteria love sugar and feed off it.
    2. Never eat industrially-raised animals again, because the antibiotics they receive and the glyphosate in their food will end up in your gut and harm your gut bacteria.Part III. Heal Like A Deity

Finally, although many of the techniques the author mentions in the last part of the book are unregulated and often untested by him, here’s a few ways to practically and realistically heal like a deity:

  1. Spend more time in nature to boost your own natural killer cells and enhance your immune system. Bonus points for frequently visiting a forest with lots of evergreen trees.
  2. Get your hormone levels checked and look at any prescription meds that may be causing a problem. To improve sexual function, simply practice Kegel exercises on a daily basis.
  3. For your skin to look younger than ever:a. Supplement with grass-fed or pastured collagen protein – at least 10 grams per day. You can also make bone broth if you don’t like collagen protein. b. Eat more foods containing polyphenols and antioxidants: vegetables, coffee, tea, and chocolate.
  4. For your hair to look shinier than ever:a. Stop using chemical-laden personal care products and switch to all-natural versions. Throw out anything containing phthalates, parabens, and benzophenones. For women, consider alternatives to hormonal birth control. b. Deal with your stress, already! c. To stimulate blood flow to the scalp, get a head massage or purchase an at-home massager.


Key takeaways

  • As a general rule, always aim for good nutrition, quality sleep, and a healthy environment free of toxins.
  • Quit eating grains & sugar, and never eat industrially-raised animals again.
  • The health and diversity of your gut bacteria is the most important part of your system.
  • Before trying any advanced biohacking technique or drug, always consult with a doctor.

Further reading

Metahuman by Deepak Chopra. New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities.

Lifespan by David A. Sinclair. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. David Sinclair, leading world authority on genetics and longevity, reveals a bold new theory for why we age.

For Small Creatures Such as We by Sasha Sagan. Part memoir, part guidebook, and part social history, this is a luminous exploration of Earth's marvels that require no faith in order to be believed.

Action steps

  1. Clean up your diet for your good gut bacteria to thrive.
  2. Invest in a sleep tracker and improve your quality of sleep.
  3. Listen to the author’s podcast for advanced biohacking techniques:
  4. Download the complete book on Amazon.