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: April 2008

The Heparin Controversy

This morning’s New York Times reports that the FDA is now echoing what many scientists and industry experts have been saying for weeks: the contaminated stores of heparin that have been associated with 81 deaths and 785 severe allergic reactions in the U.S. was likely adulterated on purpose. In March, the FDA issued a major recall of heparin following increasing reports of adverse reactions and deaths connected with the drug.

Tests have shown that heparin components made by a company in China (Changzhou SPL) were contaminated by a manipulated form of a dietary supplement, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate. Because the cheaper additive resembles heparin, routine screening didn’t reveal the contamination. Contaminants comprised up to a third of some heparin samples that were tested. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s drug center explained, “[I]t does strain one’s credulity to suggest that might have been done accidentally.”

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News on the Seedling Front

A report out this week offered some of the latest news on children’s health in the United States. Researchers from Duke University and the Foundation for Child Development studied trends in the health of children up to eleven years of age. We always want the good news first, right?

Researchers found some (very) positive trends, including “dramatic improvements” in mortality rates. The mortality rate for children one to four years of age in 2005 was 29.4 per 100,000 births compared with 42.9 per 100,000 just eleven years earlier in 1994. Death rates in middle childhood fell by 27% during the same time period. Finally, lead poisoning levels have fallen by 84%. Now that’s news worth celebrating.

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10 Ways to “Get Primal”

Here at Mark’s Daily Apple, we advocate the Primal Blueprint Lifestyle, that is, a health philosophy that in large part acts to mimic the diet and physical activity of our pre-agricultural ancestors.

And, while we’ve explained in the past what it means to “Get Primal,” we figured what’s not to love about a bulleted list that reminds us how to incorporate these methods into our everyday lives.

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Dear Mark: Gene Expression

I received tons of emails from last week’s Gene Expression: Location, Location, Location post. Thanks to everybody for their feedback and questions. In the comment section of last week’s post, Ed was interested in other concrete examples of gene expression (the ability of a gene to produce a biologically active protein). In personal emails, others asked for more explanation of the difference between genes and gene expression. Still others wanted to hear more about the interaction between their gene expression and lifestyle choices. Given the range of reader questions this week, I thought I’d reframe this week’s Dear Mark to include more of an overview of this recurring MDA theme. There’s a lot to be said on the subject, and I promise this post won’t be the last word on it. Nonetheless, there’s no time like the present to give a proper introduction and dive right in.

Let me just say that gene expression is one of my favorite areas of interest, and it’s truly at the heart of the Primal Blueprint. In fact, it’s the real beauty of it as well. It confirms that the day-to-day choices we make have incredible impact. And we can influence gene expression to a far greater degree than anyone ever thought possible.

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Urban Areas Becoming Supermarket “Deserts”

A study published in the International Journal of Health Geographics suggests that as more and more supermarkets leave cities to set up shop (literally!) in the suburbs, urban areas are increasingly at risk of becoming “food deserts.”

For the study, researchers at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, used geographic mapping techniques to map the locations of supermarkets in 1961 and 2005 and then analyzed the results based on neighborhood location, socioeconomic characteristics and access to public transportation.

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Household Cleaners and Health Risks

We’ve talked a couple times this week about compromises of circumstances, which included environmental toxins. Although we can’t control everything around us, one simple (and economical) step we can take is to replace standard household cleaners with less toxic, naturally based products.

For now, check out this newscast feature from BostonChannel.com. Environmental and public health advocates in Massachusetts are lobbying the state to pass the Safe Alternatives Bill, which would require cleaners used in public buildings, schools and hospitals to be part of a safe product list already established by the State.

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