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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Category: Supplements

Adaptogens: Maca Root, Sea Buckthorn Oil, and Schisandra

I’ve covered a number of adaptogens over the past few months including American and Asian ginseng, ashwagandha, astragalus, and holy basil—and for good reason. They offer an effective means to combat stress as well as boost health and performance from a number of angles. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with many of them and even use some on a regular basis

I thought I’d continue the series with a look at 3 additional adaptogens: maca, sea buckthorn, and schisandra. See what you think.

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Hair Loss: Looking beyond Genetics

Conventional wisdom teaches us to accept our fate when it comes to hair loss. “Runs in the family,” we’re often told—and sometimes it does (but that’s usually not the full story). “It’s just part of getting older,” people say, too—and there we again find only partial truth at best.

But the Primal path is one of thoughtful scrutiny, not blind acceptance. While most people would file hair loss under aesthetic concerns (ranging from neutral to negative depending on social norms and personal views), it’s not always that innocuous. Let’s look today the bigger picture behind hair loss and the situations in which it signifies a genuine health concern.

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More on Adaptogens: Ashwagandha, Astragalus, and Holy Basil

Last week I waded into the adaptogen theme, examining the many ins and not-so-many outs of American and Asian ginseng. It got me thinking—why not keep the ball rolling? The ginseng varieties I mentioned are only two among many adaptogens after all.

Let’s dive right in and take up three additional adaptogen choices—along with some additional suggestions for discerning the safest and most potent formulations. 

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Adaptogen Effects: American and Asian Ginseng

I’ve been using adaptogens for quite some time, but in the last year I’ve been experimenting a little more with them. You may have caught my mention of a few adaptogenic varieties in one version of my daily big ass salad (not for a flavor hit). I’ve also briefly highlighted ashwagandha and holy basil, and I’ve always been a big believer (and user) of Rhodiola rosea for normalizing stress response.

All well and good. But what’s the backstory on adaptogens? What is there to gain? And what about the other options? 

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10 Tips to Boost Your Serotonin

Serotonin is a major regulator of mood and depression risk. These are important, vital roles, to be sure. Your mood describes how you experience and interpret the world. If it’s consistently bad, you’regoing to have a rough time. Yet, serotonin is much more than the “feel-good hormone.” It also influences sexual desire and helps us remember. It’s the precursor to melatonin, the neurotransmitter that allows us to sleep.

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Oral Health: What You Eat (and Don’t Eat) Counts

With conventional wisdom’s take on oral care, we’re left with a pretty superficial understanding of oral health. What if, for instance, cavities imply more than bad brushing habits? What if we changed the entire template from one focused on cosmetic and sensory criteria to an understanding founded on whole health principles? Answer: we’d be much closer to the truth.

Consider this. A recent study involving over 37,000 dental patients found that “patient-reported general health and risk factors were negatively associated with an overall composite oral health score,” with study authors noting their results supporting a “growing body of evidence linking oral and systemic health.” As for the particular health connections, you’d be surprised at the span of influence: cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes, even pregnancy issues.

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