Under Fire: The Huberman Lab Podcast’s Supplements

— By Dr. Sandip Roy.

What’s up with the supplements promoted by Andrew Huberman on his podcast? Is his audience too naive, or are his claims credibly convincing?

Andrew Huberman is a genuine neuroscientist. He teaches as an associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Huberman is well-regarded for his work in vision neuroscience. He was the first to use virtual reality to stimulate nerve cell regrowth in the retina.

In 2021, he launched the Huberman Lab podcast, which quickly became popular worldwide. His audience swears by his expertise-backed tips for optimizing human biology (biohacking).

However, his podcast has recently come under fire for pushing pseudoscientific health claims and unproven dietary supplements.

This is a bit of a shock, considering his pristine academic credentials. We wonder loudly, why the Huberman Lab podcast mentions these supplements.

Closer Look At The Huberman Lab Podcast

The Huberman Lab podcast has an alpha male minimalist approach.

We see a calm, authoritative, and convincing Andrew Huberman, dressed in black, sitting against a black background.

Andrew Huberman on X

He discusses the hackable aspects of human biology in a clear-headed way. Everything on his podcast seems fine.

His credentials and list of publications are highly impressive (see the publications his Huberman Lab at Stanford produced).

He always emphasizes his podcast The Huberman Lab is separate from his academic role at Stanford University.

The World of Andrew Huberman Podcast Supplements

From an early time, The Huberman Lab has been sponsored by companies offering products that raise questions from science-based modern medicine practitioners.

These companies sell products ranging from daily supplement powders and personalized “smart drugs” to blood and DNA testing services.

Huberman’s Recommendations

Some of the most known Huberman-recommended supplements are:

Foundational Supplements

  • Whey Protein (Grass-Fed)
  • Creatine
  • Vitamin D

Longevity Supplements

  • NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide)

Focus & Cognition Supplements

  • Alpha-GPC
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA)
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine

Hormone Support Supplements

  • Tongkat Ali
  • Fadogia Agrestis
  • Zinc (as Zinc Picolinate)

Sleep Supplements

  • Magnesium Threonate
  • L-Theanine
  • Apigenin
  • Inositol
Andrew Huberman Podcast Supplements
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich, Pexels

Misconceptions and Risks

Huberman has been seen recommending supplements like inositol and herbs like ashwagandha, turmeric, and tongkat ali.

However, there is no solid scientific evidence to support these recommendations. Many of the dietary supplements he mentions have not been thoroughly researched, leaving users at risk of potential side effects, and even harm.

The fact is:

Dietary supplements are often marketed as a form of health insurance, yet most people do not need them.

I repeat: Most of us do not require nutritional supplements or vitamins.

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends against taking certain vitamin supplements without a tested deficiency.

Plus, the study of probiotics, which are included in some supplements, is still riddled with questions.

Impact of Podcasts On Health and Wellness Enthusiasts

A Podcast’s Unspoken Rules of Success

Podcasts in the health and wellness space often follow a specific formula for success:

Long episodes, experts who know their field, and people who can talk well.

Huberman’s regular episodes are 1–2 hours long, though we also get to see some Shorts and Reels.

When podcasts reach millions of people, they draw sponsors ready to spend considerable sums of money.

The financial incentive can often lead many podcasters to promote poorly researched, controversial, and sometimes “New Kid On The Block” products.

Indulgences of The “YouTube” Scientists

The world of podcasts has less regulation than academia, so it allows for the promotion of hype and pseudoscience.

Podcasts are typically “echo chambers” and the guests are more buoyed by fans and followers than peers and fellow academics.

Now, when Andrew Huberman endorses any supplement, his credibility as a neuroscientist inadvertently lends authority to the endorsed products. As a result, many of his audience rush to check out or buy the products he mentions on The Huberman Lab.

One viewer of the ADHD & How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus episode interprets his words as “rapid blinking increases dopamine.”

But looking through PubMed, you find this 24-year-old study: “Spontaneous blink rates correlate with dopamine levels in the caudate nucleus of MPTP-treated monkeys” (Taylor, Elsworth, & Lawrence, 1999).

ADHD & How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus

Andrew D. Huberman is a bona fide scholar and gifted educator. One of his latest publications is Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal, 2023.

His tweet on April 8, 2023, which received over 190k views, reads as:

“Where a study is published matters. But also who did the work. And the prior and long arc of the lead authors, and a lot more. Gauging the value of a paper almost always requires reading a lot of other papers in that field. No one factor prevails. They all matter. Lineage too.”

Final Words

What may strike as odd is how his influencer position has given credibility to some suspect supplements and weakly backed “bio-hack science” concepts.

To be fair, his podcasts carry a disclaimer:

“The Huberman Lab Podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk.

That said, Andre Huberman has helped thousands understand and improve their health conditions. Without a question, his legacy as a well-loved educator will outlive him, and justifiably so.

However, his listeners may be better off critically evaluating the information and checking the effects/side-effects of his recommendations rather than rushing to place their orders.

Huberman is not a bad influencer, I wouldn’t say that.

My advice to my patients is to eat a balanced diet, exercise daily, and get enough sleep before considering taking any dietary supplement.

• • •


When it comes to mental well-being, you don't have to do it alone. Going to therapy to feel better is a positive choice. Therapists can help you work through your trauma triggers and emotional patterns.