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

Archive for the ‘ Gut Health ’ Category

19 Nov

How to Support Healthy Skin Bacteria

Last week, I introduced the concept of the skin biome: the vast communities of microbes living on and in our skin. For some, it was unsettling. Gut microbes are out of sight, out of mind. But skin microbes are on us. They’re crawling, reproducing, digesting, and secreting various fluids and lipids all over the surface […]

12 Nov

What’s Living on Your Skin?

The average human body has about 1.2 square meters of skin. Scattered across and nestled in its myriad crevasses and canyons would lie trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mites. Before you shudder and reach for the bleach and a stiff scouring brush, remember the importance of cultivating and supporting the billions of bacteria living in […]

23 Sep

Artificial Sweeteners May Leave You Absolutely Gutted

Several years ago, I covered the popular artificial sweeteners sucralose, acesulfame-k, aspartame, and saccharin, finding mixed results and little to confirm the widely-held view that they provoke an insulin response. I also wrote about diet soda in general, coming out generally against them while acknowledging the lack of hard evidence either way. But artificial sweeteners […]

12 Aug

How to Safely Expose Your Kids to Dirt

If you’ve been reading this blog for any reasonable stretch of time, you know that I’m a big proponent of getting dirty. By overvaluing sterility and fearing dirt – in our homes, our guts, even our hospitals – we’ve impaired our immune systems, our gut and digestive health, and even our mental health. The world is […]

23 Jul

The “Dangers” of Going Gluten-Free

In just about every article discussing the growing popularity of gluten-free diets, an expert or two appears three quarters of the way down warning about the “dangers” of attempting a gluten-free diet without medical supervision. The first reaction – from people like you and me who have experienced real benefits giving up gluten-containing foods – […]

25 Jun

16 Things That Affect Your Gut Bacteria

A couple months ago, we explored many of the ways our gut bacteria affect us, focusing on the lesser known effects like anti-nutrient nullification, vitamin manufacture, and neurotransmitter production. Today, we’re going to discuss all of the ways (that we know) we can affect our gut bacteria. It turns out that the food we eat, the […]

16 Jun

Dear Mark: Exercise and Gut Diversity; Pregnancy and Calories

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a two-parter. First up is a discussion of the latest (and only) exercise and gut flora study. It’s been making the rounds and even I gave it a brief mention in yesterday’s Link Love, but today I dig a little deeper. Find out what we can take […]

2 Jun

Dear Mark: Young Guy, Low Testosterone; RS for Babies; and Sprints vs Tempo Runs

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I answer three questions. First up is a young guy with low testosterone. He eats the right foods, does the right exercises, and has lived the right number of years, but he’s saddled with the testosterone of a much older man and wants to know why. Next, I discuss […]

20 May

Self-Experiment: No Alcohol for 45 Days and Counting

I’ve always had gut issues – IBS and related challenges. In fact, the diarrhea, bloating, gut pain, gas, and the assorted other embarrassing IBS symptoms that make life truly difficult are what led me to this lifestyle. Getting rid of grains at age 47 was life-changing, and even as gluten deniers are becoming more vocal […]

9 May

Food Is My Medicine

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep […]

7 May

How to Establish a Healthy Gut in Your Primal Baby

Yes, folks: it’s another post about the gut. But today’s advice is geared toward all the Primal babies out there in preconception, in utero, and in diapers. Because for the first few years, they’re pretty helpless and ignorant in matters of the gut. They need your help to establish and maintain a healthy intestinal environment. They need […]

6 May

A Primal Primer: Leaky Gut

After I mentioned it in last week’s 10 Principles of Primal Living (Finally) Getting Mainstream Media Coverage post, several readers emailed asking about leaky gut. What is it? How do I know if I have it? Why should I care if I have it? What do I do if I have it? And so on. Turns out […]

30 Apr

10 Principles of Primal Living That Are (Finally) Getting Mainstream Media Coverage

We don’t take credit for everything, of course, but the fact remains that the Primal/ancestral health community has been championing principles that directly oppose the conventional wisdom for nearly a decade. And while serious researchers have been paying attention to and studying these issues individually for years, no one had really synthesized them under the evolutionary […]

28 Apr

Dear Mark: Leg Fatigue, Too Much Muscle Meat, Starch Persorption, and Hadza Study Author Responds

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions. First is a question from a reader who exemplifies the “between a rock and a hard place” situation inherent to chronic cardio. Second, I address a reader who worries that I’m not worried enough about exclusive muscle meat consumption. Third, I give my thoughts on whether […]

23 Apr

7 Things You Had No Idea Gut Bacteria Could Do

If you’re a regular Mark’s Daily Apple reader, you probably have at least a generally accurate if somewhat vague notion of the important functions performed by our gut bacteria. They’re a “big part” of our immune systems. They “improve digestion” and “eat the fibers and resistant starches” that our host enzymes cannot digest. Yeah, gut […]

14 Apr

Dear Mark: Vegetable Powders, Pro/Prebiotic Timing, RS Questions, and Routine Eating

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions and four answers. First, I explain the merits and drawbacks of vegetable powders in the event of low produce availability. Next, I discuss whether there’s a perfect time to take your probiotics and prebiotics, or whether it doesn’t matter at all. After that, I answer […]

8 Apr

How to Conduct a Self Experiment: Resistant Starch

It’s been well over a year since we last did a self experimentation post, and I think it’s time for one on that current sensation: resistant starch. Whether you’re an ardent low-carber, a carnivore, or a safe starch fanatic with dried up rice stuck to your lapel, the allure of improved sleep, better glucose tolerance, […]

2 Apr

Resistant Starch: Your Questions Answered

Last week’s Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch garnered a lot of attention. While the article covered a lot of ground, many of you had lingering questions and concerns about the topic: What is and isn’t resistant starch? How much resistant starch should I be eating? Why is resistant starch good for me? What is resistant […]

26 Mar

The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch

A few years back, I briefly covered a throwaway Yahoo! article about how “carbs will make you lose weight” because so many readers had emailed about it. It turned out that the “carbs” in the article were resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that our digestive enzymes cannot break down. I’ll admit now, with regret, […]

24 Mar

Dear Mark: Aloe Vera for Leaky Gut, One Meal a Day, and Glyphosate and Celiac Disease

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First I discuss the effect of aloe vera on gut function. Is there evidence that it’s a panacea for intestinal permeability, as so often is claimed? Next, I help an extremely active reader who’s considering switching to one meal a day to lose the last […]

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