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: immune health

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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How Your Oral Biome Influences Your Overall Health

In response to my post on oral health a few weeks ago, one reader offered a comment about the oral biome, and it’s a worthy follow-up, I’d say.

The human oral cavity is home to hundreds of microorganisms. Latest estimates place the number of bacterial species in your mouth at close to 700, with the odd fungus, protozoa and even virus thrown in for good measure. This oral microbiome isn’t a whole lot different than that of our gut, but where things get interesting is when we consider the diverse range of habitats within the mouth: teeth, tongue, cheeks, gums, tonsils. All provide different living conditions for those microorganisms that colonize them, but that diversity of habitats also encourages a diversity of species.

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The Language of Microbial Culture: Explaining Prebiotics, Probiotics, Synbiotics and Postbiotics

It’s no secret that it’s one of my favorite subjects—the burgeoning field of human gastrointestinal microbiology. I know…it’s easy to get caught up in the comparative excitement of it all.

The microbiota is familiar territory to most Primal types, but with time and research, we come to understand the nuances of the terrain a little better. New terms pop up. Novel discoveries grab our attention. Promising connections become apparent. It feels like a good day to go over a bit of the latest—to provide a little refresher for those who’ve joined us recently and most of all to offer some additional perspective on what we’re learning as studies branch into new depths. 

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5 Unconventional Ways to Extend Your Life

I’ve written about extending your life by slowing down the apparent passage of time. I’ve written about some interesting predictors—but not necessarily causes—of longevity, and the common characteristics of centenarians. Today, I’m going to describe several unconventional causal means of extending your life.

I’m talking about cold, hard days, weeks, and months. Ticks on a clock. Objective measurements of time. Not just the perception of time, although that matters too.

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How to Exercise with An Autoimmune Condition

Autoimmune diseases really throw the body for a loop. You’re attacking your own tissues. Your inflammation is sky high. What’s usually good for you—like boosting the immune system—can make it worse. You’ll often restrict eating certain foods that, on paper, appear healthy and nutrient-dense. You take nothing for granted, measure and consider everything before eating or doing it. Sometimes it feels like almost everything has the potential to be a trigger.

Is it true for exercise, too? Must people with autoimmune diseases also change how they train?

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Can Exposure to Non-Primal Foods Actually Help?

Are we shortchanging ourselves by complete elimination of potentially allergenic or sensitizing foods like wheat, peanuts, or dairy? Do we become even more sensitive to “bad” foods by avoiding them entirely? This question stems from two things I recently encountered. The first was a recent rewatcing of The Princess Bride. The second was the recent peanut allergy study.

If you haven’t watched The Princess Bride yet, go do it (the book is also good) because a small spoiler is coming. The hero Wesley spikes the wine he and the villain Vizzini are sharing with iocane powder, a fictitious ultra-lethal poison that kills instantly. But because Wesley has spent the last several years ingesting incrementally-larger doses of the poison, he has complete resistance to its effects. Both men drink. Only Vizzini dies. What else can this apply to? I wondered.

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Dear Mark: Drinking Breast Milk and Supplemental Foods For Dogs

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. First, what’s the deal with adult humans drinking human breast milk? It appears to be a bit of a “movement,” but does it make nutritional sense? Does breast milk offer any unique benefits to grown humans? Then, I answer a reader question about giving coconut oil to dogs and followup with a wider discussion of potentially beneficial supplemental foods for our furry best friends.

Let’s go:

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8 Common Cold Cures That Actually Seem to Work

Winter is nearly here, and it’s getting cold out there. We’re staying inside, cloistered together, sharing bodily fluids, and trading germs. The sun is weak, if it’s out at all, our vitamin D levels are shot, and our immune system is suffering. Many of us are traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles tightly packed with other people in the same immune predicament. It’s the perfect breeding ground for the dozens of viruses responsible for upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold and flu.

What can we do?

People have been catching the common cold for millennia. Hop in your Delorean and travel to any time or place and you’ll hear people complaining about runny noses, sore throats, and persistent coughs and see others hawking cures and treatments. Some remedies are pure hogwash. Some aren’t. Today, I’m going to look at a few of the ones that work.

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Dear Mark: Histamine Intolerance

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering one question. But it’s a doozy: histamine intolerance and what to do about it. Now, this is a huge question. As you’ll read below, there are numerous causes, many overlapping. There’s no easy fix. There may not even be a hard fix. However, we can almost certainly improve the situation. In today’s post, I offer Laura my take on what to do about histamine intolerance based on my reading of the available literature. It’s not perfect, mind you. It’s complex and often seemingly contradictory. But that’s how it is with the human body, isn’t it?

Let’s go:

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