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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Tag: dear mark

Dear Mark: Diet for Alzheimer’s, and the Role of Competitiveness in Modern Life

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got just two questions, but they’re meaty ones. The first concerns a new study seeming to claim that all the foods we hold dear on the Primal eating plan — or at least a big portion of them — cause Alzheimer’s disease. Could it be true, or is the study, which is an epidemiological massage of existing data, maybe not quite so definitive as that? Also, what if we had a study showing that exact opposite: that following a Primal lifestyle (not just diet) could actually reverse Alzheimer’s-associated cognitive decline? Then, I discuss the role of competitiveness in life. Having been a top endurance athlete, I know a little bit about the subject. What does it mean these days, though?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Moonlight and Melatonin, Exercise Non-Responders, and Is Weight Loss Impossible and Unhealthy?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got three questions and three answers. First, the full moon sure is pretty and big and bright at night, but can it produce (or reflect, rather) enough light to disrupt our melatonin production? Should we be blocking out moonlight, too? Next, do exercise non-responders exist? If not, what else can explain the curious case of a lifelong heavy lifter who has nothing – physique-wise – to show for it? And finally, a recent article in Slate makes the claim that weight loss is basically impossible and not even all that good for you. Is the author right? Is the author wrong? See my thoughts on the matter down below.

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Dear Mark: A New Whole Grain Study, Advice for a Teen, Broken Leg Sprints, and The 3 Mules

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions and four answers. First up, there’s a new whole grain study, and some people are claiming it demonstrates that low-carb diets will lead to early mortality. Does it do anything of the sort, or is this yet another flawed observational paper? Next, a teen on top of his diet game who hopes he’s doing it right writes in with a list of questions. I answer them. Next, what can a person recovering from a broken leg do in the way of sprinting? Or should she just focus on recovery? Finally, a wild and free man is roaming California with three pack mules, flouting convention and leading a nomadic existence. Police are occasionally called and media attention is often attracted. What are my thoughts?

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Dear Mark: Preventing Age-Related Muscle Loss, Sprouted Barley-Fed Meat, and a Pistachio Downside

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got three questions and three answers. First up is a question from Casey, whose father is losing strength and muscle despite maintaining an active lifestyle. What can he do — dietarily and otherwise — to staunch and reverse the losses? Next, Australian cattle farmers are increasingly turning to sprouted grain as a replacement for standard grain feed. How does it compare to pasture feeding? Are there nutritional differences between sprouted and regular grain fodder? And finally, what do we make of the recent study showing negative effects in cyclists who ate a high-pistachio diet for two weeks? Should we rethink our stance on pistachios — and nuts in general?

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Dear Mark: Vegetables on a Budget, Low Ozone Sun Exposure, Eating Breakfast, and PrimalCon 2015

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions. First up is from Chris, who wonders whether vegetables are worth buying on a limited food budget. He’s finding it difficult to justify spending money on low-calorie vegetation when fatty meats, avocados, coconut oil, and other calorie-dense foods are available. Is he right? Next, how do low atmospheric ozone levels modify my recommendations for sun exposure? Then, is there actually any justification for the oft-heard claim that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? For some people, maybe. Find out if you’re one of them. Finally, rumors that PrimalCon 2015 has been canceled have been circulating. Could it be true?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: French Press Coffee, Mid-Oleic Sunflower Oil, Peanuts, and a Keto Success Story

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions and sharing a quick, but awesome story from a reader. First, are French press, Turkish, and other unfiltered boiled coffee preparations unhealthy due to the presence of coffee oils in the finished product? They may raise LDL, which gets the conventional health experts hot and bothered, but there are other effects, too. Second, high-oleic sunflower oil was given the go-ahead in a previous post. What’s the story with mid-oleic sunflower oil? Third, with the recent study indicating that peanut/tree nut eaters enjoy improved mortality from all causes, should we take peanuts and most importantly peanut butter off the “no-go” list? And finally, a long term keto success story briefly mentioned in last week’s post writes in.

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Dear Mark: Peripheral Neuropathy, Primal Compromises for Love, and Carbs in Ketosis

For this week’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First up, what could be causing a reader’s peripheral neuropathy? Could it be gluten, B12 and/or B6 deficiency, diabetes, or inadequate vitamin D? The second question concerns homemade pasta, a beautiful woman, and a dilemma: do you indulge in the former to make the latter happy? My answer may surprise you, or it may not. I’m not sure. But I think you’ll find it helpful regardless. And finally, can carbs and ketosis co-exist? They certainly can, but there’s a little trick to make it work.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Kid Skipping Breakfast, Rinsing Meat, Glutamate, and the Snooze Button

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four reader questions. First we have a question about an inadvertently fasting 11 year-old girl whose mom is concerned. Should she force the issue and convince her to eat breakfast, or let her do her thing? Second, what’s the real story behind rinsing raw meat? Does it actually remove bacteria and reduce the chances of food-borne illness? Third, is glutamic acid, or glutamate, really a health concern for everyone? MSG is one thing, but what about glutamate found in real, otherwise healthy foods like meat, sardines, and aged cheeses? And finally, I discuss whether or not hitting the snooze button is good for you.

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Dear Mark: Low Carb Powerlifting, Why We Store Fat, Houseplant Bathing, and Elk Tallow

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions from readers. The first one comes from Mike, a powerlifter who’s looking to drop carbs and eat healthier without sacrificing his performance. Can he do it? Find out below. Next, what does the fact that we store fat in almost unlimited quantities tell us about the role it plays in our health? After that, I discuss how someone might incorporate “forest bathing” principles in their home. Last, I explore the nutritional benefits of wild elk fat and include its basic nutritional profile.

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Dear Mark: Ornish on Paleo, CrossFit Workout Recovery, Nightshades, and Dry Heels

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a four-parter. First, Dean Ornish rears his head once again, this time making the claim that even paleo eaters with stellar lipid numbers invariably have clogged arteries. Should we listen? Next, what’s a good strategy for improving recovery from CrossFit workouts? More carbs, more protein, pre workout, post workout — what’s the deal here? Third, are nightshades responsible for hidden inflammation in everyone who eats them? Or is it just the folks who get joint pain and other confirmed symptoms who have to worry? And finally, I give a few tips for a frequent barefooter suffering from dry, cracked heels.

Let’s go:

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