Bullet Proof Coffee: SCAM

I kept hearing about this Bullet Proof Coffee, and apparently there’s a “Bullet Proof Diet” that goes along with it too. I was intrigued and so asked my esteemed colleague Austin Lawrence if he could explain it all to me.

I first heard about Bullet Proof Coffee on face Book when I saw Personal Trainer colleagues posting about making their coffee “bullet proof”.

Straight away the needle on my bullshit detector started twitching!!

A quick Google search got me to the Bullet Proof Coffee site where straight away I was met with some pretty wild claims

  • Lose 100 pounds of fat with minimal exercise”
  • Upgrade your IQ by more than 20 points”
  • Get healthier-by sleeping LESS than 5 hours per night”
  • My BS detector needle started twitching some more!!

Bullet Proof Coffee

Bullett Proof Coffee is the brain child of Dave Asprey; a Silicon Valley computer security expert and entrepreneur who allegedly spent 15 years and $300,000 to “hack” his own biology and upgrade his brain by more than 20 IQ points, lowered his biological age and lost 100lbs without using calories or exercise.

Talk about major bullshittery, this is up there with Charles Poliquin’s anabolic Dominican Republic food fable!!

Now, let’s say we give him the benefit of the doubt and what he claims actually happened?! I know it’s hard but let’s pretend for a moment it is true, then fine, but I want proof. He’s making some spectacular claims so I want some God damn proof, but I can’t seem to find any.

To quote Carl SaganExtraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

I want before and after IQ tests. I want before and after photos and a DEXA scan before and afters to accurately measure the body fat he lost and muscle he gained! I want before and after reports of blood work; hormones, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol etc to prove he lowered his biological age

However he offers no proof we just have to take his word for it???

The needle on my BS detector is going fucking nuts now!!

So how did he allegedly do it, how did he lose over 100lbs, improve his IQ score by 20 point and knock years off of his biological age?

By drinking his “upgraded” coffee. You see this aint no regular coffee, it’s better than any other honest to God, organic, Fairtrade, coffee, this is upgraded coffee free from mycotoxins, mould and other such toxic nasties .

Asprey quotes this study to “prove” his case even though the study actually disproves his claims as most of the mycotoxins and mould etc in coffee are destroyed in the roasting process. Also check out the date and the conclusion of the study!!

When the coffee is brewed you add in a couple of tablespoons of grass fed butter and a tablespoon of MCT oil. This all adds up to around 450 calories from fat!!

It’s also ridiculously expensive at $18.95 for a regular 12 Oz bag of coffee and the MCT oil cost $45.95 for 32 fluid ounces!!!

He also has a whole bunch of overpriced “upgraded” products such as glutathione and whey protein.

Adding butter to tea or coffee is nothing new. People in Tibet have been adding yak butter to their tea for centuries. The difference is they live at high altitude and in sub zero temperatures and travel great distances over the mountains with little or no food for hours on end, they need high calorie food/drinks to survive in those harsh conditions

Users report being full until lunch time and not needing to eat breakfast. No shit!! You consumed 450 calories from fat in your coffee, of course you felt full for hours!!

Users also report having more energy and feeling more alert. Err, yeah, coffee does that to you!!

If you actually enjoy putting butter in your coffee then go ahead, by all means do it, each to their own, but there’s nothing magical about Bullet proof Coffee. It won’t reverse aging, it’s not going to make you more intelligent and super human and you won’t magically melt away copious fat unless you’re in a calorie deficit!! Drinking just one Bullet Proof Coffee a day can add 450 calories a day to your diet and that could tip you over your daily calorific needs and lead to fat gain!!

Asprey is simply a marketing genius appealing mostly to the “primal/paleo” folk who thinks it’s cool to vilify carbs and eat a ton of saturated fats in the belief they won’t cause any harm!! Whilst saturated fats have been wrongly vilified you can still have too much of a good thing. Interestingly I recently listened to an episode of Evil Sugar Radio with Dr Spencer Nadolksy where he had done advanced blood lipid work on clients who were drinking Bullet Proof Coffee. Their blood work was terrible and returned to normal after they eliminated Bullet Proof Coffee!!

I’m always super sceptical of anyone that makes sensationalistic claims about how bad something is for you (in this case mycotoxins in coffee) then just so happens to have the solution (Bullet Proof Coffee)!!

There’s no need to spend a fortune on Bullet proof coffee, just buy a decent organic coffee you like the taste of and if you like butter added to coffee go ahead and drink it, but you don’t add without adjusting your current diet and don’t expect miracles from it!!

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Author: davehpt

I'm DaveHPT, Maybe you've heard of me? Musician, rock star and recording artist. Published author. Former security industry professional. Personal Trainer and Weight Management Architect Of Awesomeness. Problem Solver.

22 thoughts on “Bullet Proof Coffee: SCAM”

  1. Mycotoxins are destroyed. Yes this is true however the toxins left by the mold require temperatures at about 1000 degree F. Coffee is roasted 400 max for the darkest roast. Look up Ochratoxin A.

  2. Oh and you know it has to be grass fed right? Also blood lipids being high is fine as long as its good fats there’s different types of cholesterol, but you knew that right?

    1. grass fed coffee? I’m sorry I don’t understand what you’re getting at here.

      edit: oh wait… the butter has to be from grass fed cows? Yeah I could see how that would matter.
      (note the sarcasm)
      This was a guest post though so I will invite the author back to respond for himself.

      1. Let me answer that question with a question.

        Are YOU saying I can’t get into lean, athletic shape if I consume butter that comes from a cow that was not in lean and athletic shape?

      2. That wasn`t the point. The point is that cow fed like crap with have off ratios of omega 6 to 3, and with have more trans fats, which would not be healthy. And its a fact that the body will naturally burn more calories on a high fat diet, as well as store less fat, so you get lean. Have you never heard of paleo?

  3. Oh and missed your last point, no shit you have to adjust your diet with the coffee to see results! Thats why he made a diet too! Its a variation of paleo (aka low toxin, high nutrient diet).

    1. I’m late to the party, but I just can’t let some of these absurd claims go. Aaron, sorry to explain physiology 101 to you but your body DOES NOT burn more fat or “naturally burn more calories on a high fat diet.” This is total garbage.

      Carbs don’t make you fat and neither does insulin. Insulin actually works as an anabolic hormone, specifically post workout.

      Macros are important but caloric intake is the major factor in association to weight gain/weight loss.

      And let’s not even get into mycotoxins. Trace levels aren’t even found in majority of coffee as roasting it destroys these toxins. Not to mention, even if it did, research has shown that you’d have to drink 20+ cups of coffee per day to get to a toxic level. And if you’re drinking 20 cups of coffee per day, you probably have bigger issues.

      Do science a favor and stop supporting these flawed claims.

  4. Aaron, a few quick questions, are you actually supporting Bulletproof coffee or discussing the health benefits of grass fed vs non grass fed beef.

    You’re right to say that grass fed beef will have a better composition of Omega 3 to 6 fatty acids, however, the inability to afford/attain said meats will not make or break your diet, and if it does, then it’s likely your eating habits are too stringent to begin with.

    Re: using the paleo diet to support your answer, this ‘diet’ has been thoroughly debunked by everyone from nutritional Gods (re: Alan Aragon/Brad Schoenfield) to anthropology professors. Whilst the premise and some nutritional premises (eat more whole foods, less processed crap) is sound, the issue comes with the whole “well we aren’t meant to eat these types of food because our ancestors didn’t” argument.

    And if you want to see how stupid the paleo diet is, simply listen to a Crossfitter discuss using it. The thought that using fat as a dominant source of energy, as opposed to carbs, during high intensity exercise is preposterous as the process for oxidising and utilising fats as energy is much more time consuming and harder for the body than simply drawing on carbs. Similarly, gorging on fats is unhealthy as they are so calorie dense and, whilst you are right to say that, yes, there are different types of fats, too much of anything is bad, and the same goes for fats.

    Which ties us into the whole butter in your coffee Bulletproof thing- under Asprey’s diet, you would be consuming approximately 28g of fat in your coffee alone (200 kcals), which, for most people, would amount to 1/2 if not 1/3 of their RDI, and Alan Aragon, in his June 2013 Research Review nicely summed up the fact that, when tested, most people who were drinking Bulletproof Jo, and following Asprey’s advice, then struggled with an increase in LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B levels, which are a precursor to heart disease, because once again, too much of a good thing can still kill you.

    Also, his diet, or pillars, are guruisms for things that everyone should be doing anyway.

    Lastly, the whole mycotoxin thing. Asprey largely inflates the dangers of mycotoxins in coffee. Under the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and World Health Organisation guidelines, a 80kg male could safely ingest 8000ng per week of Ochratoxin A, or 1142ng/day, before worrying about adverse health problems- that’s the equivalent of 36.8 cups of coffee, or 129.7 espresso shots.

    Under the European Union’s guidelines, a 80kg person could safely digest 14 cups of coffee per day.

    Oh, one more thing, one of the key doctors that Asprey loves and references is a guy called Joseph Mercola, a man who claims gluten causes schizophrenia, sunscreen lotion causes skin cancer, is against baby vaccinations and has been issues with official FDA warning letters 4 times.

    Not reliable in the least.

    1. K well your body can process MCT oil just as fast as carbs for energy and with less toxins created. And Paleo means eating how YOU evolved to eat not mankinds ancestors. It means eating what affects you best, having low toxins and other foods you might be sensitive to, and high nutrient dense foods. LOL you trust the WHO and FDA?!

      1. “Paleo means eating how YOU evolved to eat”

        No it doesn’t.

        Explain the toxins thing though I’m genuinely interested although highly dubious.

      2. So humans, over 10,000 years ago drank roasted coffee beans with butter and coconut oil in it? Wow I had no idea they had such organised food processing and exporting systems back then.

        Trust an internationally respected organisation dedicated to the safety of the consumer? God no! No I trust a millionaire businessman internet marketer selling coffee for $20 a bag who isn’t qualified in biology or nutrition at all. Obviously.

  5. Oh and an increase in LDL b means that, as I said, they were getting the wrong kinds of fats, fats that have been oxidized. And did that research look at HDL levels as well?

    1. you seem to be attempting to argue / debate on things that you assume I / my “supporters” (if you will) believe rather than what this entry is actually about. Saturated fats do play an important role in a balanced diet, I’ve certainly never claimed otherwise on this site or elsewhere and unless I’ve missed it neither has anyone else.

      Now just because we accept “saturated fats are not bad for you in the context of a balanced diet” does not by any stretch of the imagination imply “you must base your diet on the consumption of a higher ratio of saturated fats and restrict other energy sources”. All of which is irrelevant to this post anyway. The post is about whether or not “bulletproof coffee” is a scam and whether or not the claims made regarding regular coffee are bullshit or not.

  6. Yea and most of what I said was countering you saying the coffee is a scam. People had problems cause of bad butter. Dave even says if you live somewhere like Canada and can’t get grass fed unpasteurized butter, then you should just use coconut oil, mct oil, or even egg yolks.

  7. Wow. A couple of posts with links to other posts, none of which have actual facts in them. If it’s on the internet it must be true huh? I did not find one article above that had any links to actual science. Only hear say, oh and one archaeologist that “says” a few things. Again no facts. I though this was a no bullshit site. All I see is bullshit. Here’s an article with links to real studies on Paleo. As for Bulletproof coffee, your free to sling bullshit because I didn’t find and bullshit on that bullshit.

    authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet

    1. I would actually say the first study described in that article supports my position that an appropriate total calorie intake is what’s imporant, and that succumbing to alarmism over different food choices (or restricting to a very low total intake) is not necessary.

      Both groups lost weight, and even though the paleo group were on significantly less calories there was a statistically insignificant difference in the amount of weight loss. Take home point for me is “just eat a suitable amount of the foods you like, there’s no need to starve or limit your choices”.

      The other stuff… it’s beyond my scope of practice to argue on those points. I’m a trainer and this is a site about what is or is not necessary to lose weight and get into shape successfully.

      To be clear though I have no issue with people following a paleo diet if they decide it’s a suitable option for them. I only have an issue with people being told “it is the ONLY option that will work” when it is not a suitable option for them, and with people making up their own versions of science and history to support such a claim.

  8. This is what happens when people buys into a ‘person’ and trusts them unreservedly and is seduced by an ideology instead of judging the person’s ideas on their individual merit. If his claims are made on the back of ‘scientific’ method, how robust (and transparent) are those methods?

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