Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Month: November 2006

The Sisson Spoof

Jests With a Twist of Apple

[tags] whole grain cereal, Lucky Charms, General Mills, breakfast [/tags]

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The Buckler Brief



WHAT IT DOES: Vanadium, a trace mineral, was only recently discovered to be essential to human growth. Vanadium plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and well as cholesterol and lipids. Vanadium is often useful for diabetics wishing to help regulate their blood sugar. Vanadium is derived from seafood, grains, beans and mushrooms, though it is present in other foods in very small amounts.

STUDIES SHOW: Studies of vanadium supplementation have shown that vanadium offers the potential to regulate blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. A recent study found that vanadium supplementation was helpful for patients with diabetes mellitus (type-2 diabetes). With adult-onset, or type 2, diabetes rapidly spreading in this country, supplementing with vanadium may become increasingly important.

WHY WE LIKE IT: An essential mineral, vanadium offers potential blood sugar regulatory support. Vanadium appears to be an important part of fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and it is thought to be supportive to the metabolism, blood, muscles, and pancreas.

For these reasons, vanadium may be useful for those wishing to lower their cholesterol or maintain healthier insulin and blood sugar levels. Diabetics and those with hypoglycemia may derive additional benefit from vanadium. Athletes have used vanadium for years to improve glycogen metabolism, boost circulation, and support the muscles.

[tags] vanadium, cholesterol, insulin, blood sugar, diabetes, hypoglycemia, minerals [/tags]

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An MP3-Player for the GYM-Goer

In light of the holiday season this week’s Aaron’s Additions brings you a cool health gadget that could be the perfect gift for the health-conscious loved one in your life. Sony’s new MP3 player, created with workout-wonders in mind, packs tons of features into a distinct shape.

Sony geared their new S2 Sports Walkman MP3 Player (NW-S200) toward exercise buffs by including a stopwatch, pedometer, and a calorie counter so that you can track your workout progress. It is also designed with a water-resistant build so that you never have to worry about handling it with your inevitably sweaty hands.

Apart from these functions Sony has added some innovative elements as well. The Shuffle Shake feature allows you to listen to your music in shuffle mode simply by shaking the player three times. When you are tired of listening in shuffle mode just shake it three more times to return to your normal playlist.

The next inventive design component is the Music Pacer feature. This adjusts the rhythm of your music to match your pace. When you speed up so will the music, and when it is cool-down time the music will revert to your slow playlist.

An additional feature that sets this music device apart is its Quick Battery Charge feature. With only a 3-minute charge you can be listening to your favorite tunes for up to 3 hours! And if you can wait for the full 45-minute charge, you can expect a generous 18 hours’ worth of playback time.

The player comes in a 1 GB model that holds about 675 songs, and a 2 GB model that holds about 1350 songs. The player also comes equipped with an FM tuner with programmable preset stations.

How Sony managed to pack all these features into a package that weighs less than an ounce is hard to fathom. And this mp3 player is light, not only in weight, but on your wallet, as well – coming in at $119.99 and $149.99, respectively. Check out Sony’s S2 Sports Walkman MP3 Player. It could be the ideal workout companion.

[tags] gadget, MP3 player, gym equipment, GB, music pacer, shuffle, Sony S2 Sports Walkman MP3 Player, best portable music player [/tags]

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Sunscreen, Take 2


Junior Apple Anna asks:

“I saw your post about U.S. sunblock not preventing the bad kind of rays (UVA) but I have heard about L’Oreal coming out with something similar to what is available in Europe. Is this true?”

Anna, yes. The FDA did recently approve OTC use of Anthelios SX (produced by L’Oreal). Similar to the overwhelmingly popular European Mexoryl SX, Anthelios contains ingredients that block all rays.

However, it’s worth remembering that even with the admission of a (finally) more effective sunblock, we may want to rethink the entire sunblock argument, regardless.

The body comes complete with a natural sun defense system: sunburn. Do we need to slather on (supposedly safe) chemicals on a daily basis, or simply be judicious in our sun exposure?

Moreover, even the safest sunblock is going to prevent our bodies from absorbing critical vitamin D. Sure, D is added to milk, but the better source is from the sun.

[tags] Anthelios SX, L’Oreal, sunscreen, OTC, Mexoryl, FDA, sunblock, vitamin D [/tags]

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Semantic Salmon

Remember the bread-is-to-crumb logic section on the SAT’s? Or how about the interminable hours spent in Mr. Johnson’s English Lit class deconstructing the deeper meaning of that tree in that poem by that guy? The latest and greatest fish debate is worse.

Environmentalists, food lobbyists, and fishermen and women everywhere are in a big huff over whether we should label certain fish as organic or not.

Take a wild salmon and a farm-raised, sea-lice-infested, sick salmon. Which one is organic?

It’s not a trick question. The fish furor (as reported in the New York Times today) is because the government is likely to permit only farm-raised fish to be called organic. That means pristine, wild, icy-water Alaskan salmon cannot be labeled organic.

This is not a joke.

The reason wild, and ostensibly healthier, fish cannot be labeled organic is because we don’t know where their food comes from. And the official requirements of organic food include strict feeding rules. That’s great for a chicken, clucking around in a cage in Omaha. By all means, feed that darn chicken some organic seeds! But the day a wild, clean, natural Alaskan salmon cannot be labeled organic is the day I officially conclude our government employees did not sit through Mr. Johnson’s English Lit class.

The debate gets more complicated (as if we care). Evidently, because salmon are not vegetarian fish, said fish fishers cannot prove that the fish these salmon eat in their natural habitats are also organic. (It’s okay if you have to read that a few times.)

However, a farmed fish, infected with sea-lice, raised so quickly it doesn’t have adequate Omega-3 levels, and crowded in with other fish like, oh, I don’t know…sardines… can be labeled organic. Because we know where its food comes from.

On the other side of the net, one organic-fish-scandal expert says that to allow wild salmon organic status is just really disrespectful to the meaning of organic. Organic, by definition, means organic feed. In other words, we’re following the rules because those are the rules, rather than remembering that rules exist to serve our needs. If a rule doesn’t serve a need or reflect a situation accurately, it needs to be modified. End of story. No deeper meaning, no semantic salmon. Let’s remember the entire reason for starting this organic craze: the realization that we need to go back to natural, healthy foods.

[tags] organic, wild salmon, farmed fish, sea lice, omega-3, Alaska, New York Times, fishermen, regulation, red tape [/tags]

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A Reader Rants

Junior Apple Sarah writes:

“I just saw something on the news for an e. coli antidote and how it will revolutionize not only the food industry but also healthcare. What ever happened to just making sure that the food and facilities are clean? It’s my understanding that e. coli comes from fecal matter. Is it too much to ask to keep poop off my food? Why do we have to put another chemical in something / everything we eat?”

A recent article in the New York Times entitled “The Vegetable-Industrial Complex” deals with this issue at length. Writer Michael Pollan explores how modern food production yields more than bumper crops – it also yields very high potential for significant public health hazards. It’s the law of unintended consequences put to play on the dinner table.

I really recommend that you check out the article. In a nutshell:

Modern food production has created two problems out of what was once a single solution. Animals fertilized crops, and crops fed animals. Pull them apart, mass produce them in factories and feedlots, and you have two problems:

1) As it collects in feedlots, manure becomes pollution, full of antibiotics, chemicals and e. coli, leading to the second problem:

2) Crops are now at risk for contamination, which invariably means crops get fertilized artificially. Great for the chemical industry, not so great for small farms, public health, economic efficiency, animals, or the earth.

– Calling for local, organic, small-time food production isn’t about being a dread-locked tree-hugger. It’s actually far more logical and economically viable to return to the way we used to do things. Small-scale food production is healthier. It’s easier to trace if something goes wrong, and fewer people are likely to be affected. Small-scale food production benefits small businesses instead of huge single food conglomerates. That means a freer market, more competition, better choice.

Everyone wins: small-scale farming is better for the environment and creates a solution whereas now we have two big problems.

Small-scale farming also avoids the current obvious threat of terrorism. The article points out that our meat comes from but a few slaughterhouses. All the bagged spinach in the country passes through just four locations. How easy would it be for a terrorist to contaminate our food? That’s what Homeland Security is wondering.

Unfortunately, industrial food production looks to short-term, engineered fixes. When e. coli was found in the beef supply during the whole Jack in the Stomach fiasco of the 90s, producers just blasted the meat. (Pollan writes: Rather than clean up the kill floor and the feedlot diet, some meat processors simply started nuking the meat — sterilizing the manure, in other words, rather than removing it from our food.)

Why bother cleaning up the waste? It’s only our health on the line. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if our government starts requiring that our entire food supply be irradiated.

– Finally, well-meaning though it may be, calling for even more regulation

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