Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Big Pharma ’ Category

29 Jul

The Evidence Continues to Mount Against Statins

Although statins get a lot of flak in the Primal health community, you have to hand it to them. They may not cure cancer, or single-handedly save the economy and bring back all the jobs, or render entire populations totally immune to cardiovascular disease, but they do exactly what they’re meant to do: lower cholesterol. […]

10 Jul

How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Your Health?

It’s a common refrain that living healthily costs an arm and a leg. The food bills, in particular, garner the biggest sighs and frustration: the price of pastured meats, eggs (and dairy for those who partake), of wild-caught fish, of organic this and that, of healthier nuts and nut butters, of just about any whole […]

3 Jul

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth…?

It’s official: 1 out of every 2 Americans has a chronic health condition. Additionally, twenty-five percent have more than one chronic condition. In a new series initiated by the Centers for Disease Control (the first paper recently published in The Lancet), researchers note that chronic diseases have, in fact, overtaken the human health scene, with noncommunicable […]

21 Oct

Dear Mark: Calorie Intake While Nursing, Tom Hanks and Type 2 Diabetes, and DHA Bad for Adults?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three question roundup. First, I hear from a nursing, weight-lifting, child-chasing mother of four who’s concerned about the amount of food she’s craving – even though she’s already at her pre-baby weight. I (hopefully) allay her concerns in my response. Next, I discuss the ridiculous nature […]

11 Jul

An Open Letter to Doctors

I realized recently I’ve never written this kind of open letter. I figure if kids and Taco Bell got the benefit, maybe primary care physicians could as well. Kidding aside, there’s a genuine mismatch these days between standard medical advice and effective lifestyle practices. I think we can all do better. I’m not letting patients […]

26 Jun

Is Obesity a Disease?

You’ve probably heard that the American Medical Association recently classified obesity as an official disease. I’m still mulling the whole deal over, and I’m not quite sure what to think about the decision. First, what exactly is a disease? A disease is defined thusly: A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or […]

21 Dec

How to Interpret Cholesterol Test Results

Before we get into the big job of interpreting cholesterol numbers, let’s review what cholesterol actually is. Cholesterol is cholesterol: a waxy steroid of fat that serves as an essential structural component of cellular membranes and in the production of steroid hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids. Contrary to what the terminology indicates, there’s actually […]

10 Nov

The Problems with Antibiotics: Antibiotic Resistance

Allow me to preface this post series with a wholehearted acknowledgment of the beneficial role antibiotics have played, and continue to play, in fighting infections that might otherwise take limbs or lives. Before formal antibiotics, ancient and traditional cultures employed antibacterial herbs, tinctures, and even moldy bread, but regardless of the various methods’ efficacies, they […]

10 May

Primal Minded Practitioners?

I know what many of you are already thinking: where do I sign up? Let’s face it: we organize much of our lifestyles contrary to CW specifically to live healthier and feel better. When it’s check up time, however, we find ourselves back in foreign territory. If it’s just an annual ritual, we can grit […]

7 Feb

Do Statins Reduce Small, Dense LDL? Fasting Sure Does

I came across an interesting statin study the other day. It’s from last year, but I hadn’t seen it until recently. The study, entitled “Statins Do Not Decrease Small, Dense Low Density-Lipoprotein,” sought to understand the effect of statin therapy on small, dense LDL, the truly “bad” kind of “bad” cholesterol, the stuff that’s strongly […]

18 Jan

Doctors as Middlemen?: Direct-to-Consumer Online Testing Services and Other Consumer Health Trends

An alarming new health trend has medical professionals scurrying around issuing dire warnings of impending doom and death. As a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal relays, consumers are taking their health into their own hands by foregoing expensive, redundant doctor’s visits in favor of mail order lab tests. Blood lipids, A1C, vitamin D, […]

27 Dec

Monday Musings: Dairy Fat Good and Placebos Win (with a twist)

Dairy resides in a murky area for some of you guys, but I think most of us can appreciate a good slab of grass-fed butter, maybe a bit of raw cheese, and some fermented dairy, either kefir or yogurt. A select few may not. If dairy makes you feel bad, don’t use it – it’s […]

22 Nov

Monday Musings: Torcetrapib Part Deux? and Keto Diets Seize the Day

Overburdened doctors sure do love tangible targets, like lipid numbers. They’re easy to hit with drugs. There’s no guesswork – statins and the like actually do lower cholesterol (whether that’s helpful or harmful is the question) – and that makes a physician’s life simpler. Oh, sure, lifestyle changes work, but most patients won’t bother trying […]

29 Oct

Should You Trust Medical Studies?

Last week I shared news from the Pharma front, specifically the latest on questionable business practices and undisclosed alliances that continue to dog the industry’s public image. Pharma, however, isn’t the only part of the health field cast in doubt these days. What would you say to a person who claimed that some 90% of […]

20 Oct

Is Your Doctor Getting Cash Payouts from Big Pharma? (plus More Findings from the Drug Biz)

There’s been a lot of news from the Pharma realm these last few weeks. As you all know, I make a point of passing this kind of thing along…. Given the massive role pharmaceutical drugs play in our society’s conventional health care, I like to keep on top of the developments. Speaking of “massive,” first […]

1 Apr

9 Overlooked Stipulations in the Health Care Reform Bill

While preexisting conditions and required coverage have taken the main stage on the health care reform bill, many of the smaller changes hold just as much weight in the future of America’s health. These changes and additions have been largely ignored by mainstream media despite several billion dollars allocated to new preventative care initiatives. Additionally, […]

23 Dec

The Value of Lab Values

Yesterday I challenged you to estimate my body fat percentage by looking at a recent picture. To be scientific about this little exercise I chose to reference as the correct answer the results of the “gold standard” hydrostatic weighing I had subjected myself to at the Malibu gym (it was actually a specialized truck that […]

3 Dec

In Vitro Meat

When Winston Churchill, in the 1932 essay “Fifty Years Hence,” mused that “we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium,” he may have been more prescient than credited. Alexis Carrel had already been keeping a cultured […]

23 Nov

Dear Mark: Insurance and Alternative Therapies

One benefit of the national debate over health insurance is the spotlight on health care itself. I don’t pretend to have the answer to the political quagmires, but I have to say I’ve enjoyed the deliberation (most of it anyway). Most of all, I appreciate seeing health care issues hashed out in a wide public […]

11 Sep

The Age of Antidepressants?

Now that we’ve turned the page on August’s Primal Challenge, we’re digging into some of our “regular programming,” including news highlights. We like keeping a finger on what’s new and novel – and occasionally outrageous. This one definitely fits the latter. (Hint: Are you sitting?) A few weeks ago the Archives of General Psychiatry reported […]

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