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

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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7 Old Wives’ Tales That Aren’t Utter Nonsense

“Oh, that’s just an old wives’ tale” is an easy way to disarm and disregard someone else’s claims about health. But it’s also lazy and, sometimes, just plain misleading. So what if a particular claim comes from folk wisdom? Is it all nonsense? Are all old wives’ tales necessarily incorrect? As you’ll see down below, folk wisdom is sometimes just plain old wisdom. Many of these “stories” have a basis in fact. And many of us would be better off heeding some of these old wives’ tales.

So, which ones are actually couched in real wisdom? Which tales are being borne out by modern research? Let’s find out:

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The Autoimmune Protocol: What to Do When Nothing Else Has Worked

Today’s guest post is from my good friend Tara Grant, truly a superstar in the Primal/paleo/ancestral health movement. Tara started out as a success story: “Tons of Doctors and No Solution” – one of the most visited stories in our entire archive. She’s had a change of attitude since that article was published. As she says in this article, “Luckily, none of the doctors I saw over the years had any idea what was going on.”

In 2013, I published her remarkable book called The Hidden Plague, which details the painful and poorly understood skin condition of Hidradenitis supprativa (HS). (The Hidden Plague is on sale for just $3.99 this month. See the details below.) Enter Tara…

People by the thousands are reclaiming their health and shedding diseases as well as excess pounds. Their shouts from the rooftops are giving credence to our movement: eating and moving naturally works. Our bodies are designed to be healthy, fit and lean. If we just give our genes the right input, everything will magically fall into place.

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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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10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel

According to AAA, nearly 100 million Americans will be traveling during what they call the “year-end holiday season” (Dec. 23-Jan. 4). On the positive side, this means possibly spending quality time with family and friends, experiencing new destinations or enjoying a break from the routine of work and (at least some) domestic duties. On the other hand, it can mean a lot of sedentary time, roadside food, poor sleep, collective stress and airport crowds (with their accompanying germs). When the hoopla ends, some of us will greet the New Year relatively unscathed with little more than mild fatigue and gratitude for some peace and quiet. Others, however, will succumb to the added pressures on physical and mental health and spend a portion of their travel time (or what was supposed to be travel time) nursing an illness. It’s little wonder, given the holidays offer the perfect set-up with their intersection of extra-everything when we probably do better with less of, well, just about all of it. It’s a practical Primal question: how can we keep ourselves healthy (and sane) when the best intentions of the season turn on us?

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Dear Mark: Unraveling a Stress Ball, Fiber for Plant-Hating Tot, Offal with Grains, and Exercising with a Cold

For today’s Dear Mark, we’ve got a four-parter. First up is one from a woman in her mid-30s trying to recover from a three-year bout of chronic stress — and all the metabolic fallout that entails. Are there any supplements to help with her situation? Second, what do you feed a picky kid who hates vegetables, hates fruit with peels, and needs more prebiotic fiber? I give a quick list of ideas for getting things moving again. Third, are traditional foods like haggis and liver pâté worth eating if they contain non-Primal ingredients you’d usually avoid? Are the nutrients found in offal really that important? And finally, I help a reader figure out whether she should be exercising while sick.

Let’s go:

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