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

The New Evolution Diet: An Excerpt (plus Art De Vany Answers Your Questions)

Art DevanyIf you’ve been lurking in the Primal/Paleo community for any length of time, you already know who Art De Vany is. If not, here’s your chance to get a quick glimpse of the man who is billed as the grandfather of the modern Paleo movement. He’s been living this way for a quarter century, and his personal results speak to the long term benefits that come from emulating a hunter-gatherer existence. All of us who dabble in the Evolutionary realm owe Art a debt of gratitude for his early and continuous exploration of this lifestyle and philosophy that we all hold so dear. In fact, my own first few essays in the blogosphere were actually guest posts on Art’s site. And it was the enthusiastic response to those posts that helped convince me to try my own hand at this “blogging thing” back in 2006. Thanks, Art.

His long awaited book The New Evolution Diet goes on sale next week, and he has graciously provided an excerpt for you here today. I think you’ll find it thought-provoking on several levels (the math, the historical and personal perspectives, and especially that last line). While Art normally confines his comments and answers to his paid site (arthurdevany.com), he has agreed to lurk on MDA for a few days and answer as many of your questions in the comments section as he can. Make ‘em good, people. You can pre-order his book on Amazon right now (affiliate link), and it goes on sale officially December 21.

Chapter 7: The Metaphysics Behind the Diet

NewEvoDietCov 1First came my boyhood passion for sports and strength. Next was my immersion in the world of nutritional science and metabolism because of my wife’s and son’s diabetes. The third and final element that connects all the dots and accounts for my fascination with the subject of this book: The ways in which the New Evolution Diet has intersected with my intellectual life.

A little background: A great deal of my work as an economist has been in the study of complex systems, such as how natural gas prices are determined by the marketplace. Not surprisingly, given that I had grown up in Southern California and taught at a university there, I eventually turned my attention to a notoriously murky, seemingly impossible-to-forecast industry: Hollywood.

Since its inception, the people running the motion picture business have tried to unlock the mystery of which decisions lead to financial success and which to failure. At some point, all the wisdom had been boiled down to this rueful admission by screenwriter William Goldman: “Nobody knows anything.” That’s exactly the kind of axiom that an economist cannot let stand untested. So in 1995 David Walls and I gathered box office revenue data on 300 Hollywood films and began to investigate what separated the winners from the losers.

This research produced a book, Hollywood Economics, and several scholarly papers, but the gist is this: Goldman was right. There is no way at the outset to plan a movie’s success. Neither the choice of stars or directors or writers nor the genre of movie nor the subject matter were found to make a reliable difference in how the films performed.

Meanwhile, my ad hoc study of health, nutrition, and fitness continued to deepen. I had already begun to discover that our ancestors’ lifestyle from 40,000 years ago could teach us how to live today. Now I was also beginning to perceive the full complexity of the systems and dynamics that determine whether or not we will be healthy.

At some point I realized that a human being is just another economic system. Indeed, your body contains an entire economy. There is the allocation of assets according to a hierarchy of needs. There are competing interests that sometimes struggle over resources and other times cooperate for the common good. There are surpluses. There are shortages. Like economies–like the movie industry–your body is a complex, decentralized system poised between chaos and order.

In the movie business, word-of-mouth reviews, more than anything, were what prompted fans to see one film instead of another. It is a powerful feedback loop made up of millions of small parts, each acting independently. This system has grown exponentially since the advent of the Internet. Where once millions of moviegoers chattered, now there are billions, perpetually in contact with one another, weighing in, arguing, linking, connecting and disconnecting, uploading and downloading.

It mimics perfectly what goes on inside our bodies. Billions of cells, all connected but working autonomously, with no central authority to guide them, take in information. react, then talk back and forth at the speed of electrons, each one responding in small ways that collectively add up to a powerful force.

“Information cascade” is an economics term to describe how even a small piece of knowledge can be amplified as it spreads from one decision maker to another. Your body is also controlled by cascades of information–your bloodstream is hit with a dose of carbohydrate, which is the signal for your pancreas to release insulin, which turns off fat burning and silences the signal from leptin, the hormone that would ordinarily tell your body that it has adequate reserves of energy and need not store any more.

Likewise, in the aging cascade, we lose metabolic fitness. And as a result, insulin rises and we grow more acidic, which further decreases metabolic health, and each event amplifies the momentum of what preceded it.

Hollywood wanted to believe that there was some stable, easy-to-predict dynamic that ruled the movie business. If there were, decisions could be made and investments taken with confidence in their outcome. Similarly, health experts use oversimplified analogies to predict how metabolism manages nutrition and weight. All you have to do is burn more fuel than you take in, we were instructed, and you will reliably lose weight. Burn precisely as much as you consume and you will maintain. Burn less and you’ll gain. Simple arithmetic that doesn’t add up.

We tend to simplify what otherwise seems overwhelmingly complicated. But as we now know, our metabolic function is infinitely complex. I found myself using concepts from other scientific disciplines to help me understand and explain the human body’s inner workings.

According to chaos theory, certain systems that seem to be random in fact are not–it’s just difficult for us to perceive, at the outset, all the subtle factors that set the course and determine the outcome. One landmark of chaos theory is the “butterfly effect.” This says that even a very small, unseen occurrence in a far-off place can have a large eventual impact–that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Hong Kong, the resulting breeze can trigger a cascade of atmospheric events and cause a hurricane in Brazil.

This can be used to explain many of our bodies’ inner workings. Here’s a simple one: If you go to the gym several hours after your last meal (so that you’re on a relatively empty stomach), your body will quickly burn through whatever glycogen is in your muscles and then move on to burning fat, which is the desirable state. But if on your way to the gym you have a sports drink, one with lots of carbs, you’ll need to burn off the glucose first. And depending on your workout, you might never get around to burning fat at all. Same exact exercise routine, very different outcomes, all because of your choice of pre-exercise beverage.

Another scientific concept, the power law, also comes up often in my discussions of health and fitness. It is based on the Pareto principle, named for Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. In essence, it describes the relationship between how common a factor is and how much influence it exerts. It says that the most unusual events will have the greatest impact. Pareto’s study determined that 80 percent of privately held land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population.

Similar power laws exist all around us. This relationship between low frequency and high impact is found again and again, in various fields of science, business, and elsewhere.

There is a power law of exercise, too: Your least frequent, most extreme exertions will have the greatest influence on your fitness. The peak moments of a workout count far more than the amount of time you spend working out. This is why a series of 40-yard sprints at full speed benefits you more than half an hour of jogging. It’s also the reason why lifting a weight heavy enough to make your heart pound and your muscles burn counts more than spending hours at the gym. When a work-out becomes an unvarying, monotonous routine, it loses its effectiveness.

My average output of energy per week may look fairly modest. But the stretches of relaxation are offset by two or three sessions of extremely intense activity, which do most to determine my well-being. Ancient hunter-gatherers spent much of their time doing little or nothing. And then, every so often, they took action that would exhaust any 21st-century gym rat. Overall, they burned twice as much energy as we do.

A few of the personal trainers at my gym laugh at “cardio queens,” people who waste hours on the treadmill and Stair-Master, trudging away but never really pushing themselves to intensity. But many more trainers recommend the unproductive exercise of “doing cardio” because they still subscribe to the energy-in, energy-out model of body weight. By doing the same cardio workout day after day, their bodies adapt to that exact level of energy demand but nothing greater. The internal message these people send is that they don’t need much fast-twitch muscle fiber, and so it atrophies, and as a result, they lose bone mass, too.

I use other terms and concepts that are not normally found in fitness books. Stochasticity, for instance, means “randomness” or “chance.” A living human leaves a “trail” of events and accomplishments that is so complex that it appears to be random. That means there is no model that can compress the information that is required to describe a lifetime. The appearance of randomness is an acknowledgment of the limits of our knowledge. So it is in markets and in life.

My particular form of engagement with the subject of health and fitness has even proven to have a metaphysical side. Each of us has what I call an ensemble of stochastic life paths–the choices we make. You make each choice in life based on your understanding of the possibility that it will take you where you want to be. But you don’t determine the outcome, only the probabilities. Each path leads to more choices: a cascade to echo all the other cascades that rule our lives. Choosing the path is the extent of your control–beyond that, it’s out of your hands. You choose, and then life rolls the dice.

For example, you can determine what you eat and drink and how you will exercise. But then your genes express themselves as they will. They are beyond your control. You can’t even completely determine your genes’ environment, since outside factors (such as air and water quality) and internal ones (like emotional stress) also have a say. I learned about the limits of control when caring for my first wife, Bonnie, through her terminal illness. I learned it again in my studies of the movie industry, and now in the course of my ongoing education in health.

It has even allowed me to recognize, in this thought, the Zen of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle: There is no failure, only feedback.

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I absolutely cannot believe that I spent the last 4 years at UC Irvine and never once took a class or even talked to Professor De Vany. Not to mention, I just so happened to have majored in economics from UCI. I would have loved to have humored the topic with him.

    Soup Sandwich wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • I left UCI in 2003 when I retired at 65. My classes got too large. It was time to move to other things.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 17th, 2010
  2. Hi Art

    Thank you for the excerpt, from your new book, became so engrossed that I can’t help but buy it now, to find out more.

    Thanks

    Kim

    kim wrote on December 15th, 2010
  3. That ninja can write, count me in as a future reader of this tome. Nicely done.

    Doug wrote on December 15th, 2010
  4. “Likewise, in the aging cascade, we lose metabolic fitness. And as a result, insulin rises and we grow more acidic, which further decreases metabolic health, and each event amplifies the momentum of what preceded it.” Interested in this qoute Art. I’ve been doing Paleo for a couple years now but have but a water filter that makes alkaline water. Was curious of your thoughts on alkaline water and it’s effects on reducing acidity in the body.

    Great book can’t wait to buy it!!

    Tab

    Tab wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • Alkaline water may be fine. Alkaline foods such as vegetables are too. I take a bit of potassium bicarbonate now and then.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
  5. Thank you for “legitimizing” complexity- really looking forward to reading your book.

    Samantha Moore wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • There are lots of references in the endnotes to complexity and fitness. Fractal physiology is a growing field that takes up that theme.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
      • In that case, definitely count me in! I read a post not too long ago on John Durant’s blog that alluded to your “fractal theory of fitness” (if I may call it that) and I’ve been transfixed ever since.

        Really looking forward to it.

        Alhaddadin wrote on December 20th, 2010
  6. Dr. De Vany,
    what do you think making the workout more skill based and gainig strength thru those skill requiring moves. Such as instead of doing pushup, climbing a tree up and down. Instead too many jumps on a box, jumping from one target to another without loosing balance (from rock to rock). Is this kind of approach more usefull or do we also have to do both; just strength workouts and also skill development ones ?

    salim wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • To some extent skill and strength are separate modalities. I think it is slightly better to train them separately.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
    • thkns for the repsonse. i ordered the book. cant wait to read :) . you also mentioned the strength to weight ratio. how do you balance not increasing the weight by gaining muscle ? i did not too much fat ans 99% paleo when i first heard about paleo. when i started eating more protein & fat, i gained more muscle and i am heavier now. For me the best way to understand is rock climbing or climbing in general, it shows you if you are gaining more weight (even it is muscle) than strength. is there a practical approach to balance or trial and error ?

      salim wrote on December 17th, 2010
  7. Adding this to our Amazon.com wish list!

    The Primal Palette wrote on December 15th, 2010
  8. Can you comment on tubers, specifically potatoes? In the context of a complete meal (and its associated GI), can potatoes complement your diet? Any issues other than the glycemic spike (which is mitigated with a complete meal high in fat and protein)? Having trouble eliminating all grains, rice, and potatoes.

    JB wrote on December 15th, 2010
  9. No potatoes. Several children die each year from eating raw ones. Pretty toxic plants, which you would be too if you lived on or near the ground and had pests eating you all day.

    Art De Vany wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • For me it isn’t the combining of macros within meals to ‘mitigate’ insulin spikes, look at the total carb load … Mark covers this in his book. You might avoid a spike but the insulin response over the whole digestion of the meal is the same, it just takes longer at a lower level.

      I found once I got my head around eating lots of good fats and protein I felt no need of ‘fillers’ like potatoes or grains. I think a lot of people struggle with giving up those things because they aren’t eating enough calories overall. It takes a lot to override all the years of ‘low fat is best’ messages.

      Kelda wrote on December 16th, 2010
  10. I have been eagerly awaiting the publishing of your book for a few years and preordered it on Amazon. I’m fine with the dietary and physical activity principles of EF but wonder about appropriate sun exposure for someone like me with very fair skin inherited from my Irish ancestors. You, Mark, and other EF/Paleos sport visible tans. I couldn’t get that brown if I lay in the sun for two hours every day nor do I want to. My ancestors evolved very light skin in response to limited UVB rays at 45 degrees latitude and frequently overcast skies. Can I infer that modest and somewhat intermittent sun exposure is okay? The only supplements I take are cod liver oil or krill oil and 400 IUs of D3 on alternate days.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

    Sonagi wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • Very light skin is an adaptation that is only about 10,000 years old. It is only partly explained by latitude and the major element is likely to be the lack of vitamin D in the diet of the first farmers. Skin color adapted to impove the production of D via the skin.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
      • I’ve found (as many PBers have) that since becoming Primal I burn far less easily and actually sported a healthy light tan this year for the first time in 43 years! I am very fairskinned with freckles and my ancestors are all from southern England back 500 years at least (a mere blink in the eye of evolution of course). Interesting point about the potential lack of Vit D in diet in early farming times. I suspect this is yet another area that will prove to be more complicated that once thought.

        Kelda wrote on December 17th, 2010
        • This is the experience of my readers as well. I guess part of it is the greater resistance of the skin to free radical damage. Increased stress resistance is also likely a factor. Well nourished skin is bound to do better than oxidized under-nourished skin.

          Art De Vany wrote on December 17th, 2010
  11. As a graduate student in economics/health nut I’m absolutely tickled pink to read an economist’s take on the human body! Just ordered the book because he is quite literally speaking my language.

    Jillian wrote on December 15th, 2010
  12. “But if on your way to the gym you have a sports drink, one with lots of carbs, you’ll need to burn off the glucose first. And depending on your workout, you might never get around to burning fat at all. Same exact exercise routine, very different outcomes, all because of your choice of pre-exercise beverage.”

    I have a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and I disagree with parts of this. YES, if you eat some CHO before exercise you will need to burn that first. However, we are ALWAYS burning some combination of fat and CHO. As intensity increases, we burn more CHO.

    AlyieCat wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • Or course we are always burning some combination. The CHO we burn with increasing intensity is inside the muscle. This is desirable and the clearing of glycogen is a big factor in enhancing insulin sensitivity.

      Glycogen can be restored without consuming CHO.

      Exercise in a fasted state.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
  13. What are your thoughts on supplements for muscle growth. Thanks for replying to my post regarding dairy to stay away due to an allergenic. For a protein powder would one want Hemp Protein over Whey or try to get protein from whole foods
    Thankyou

    shoreline wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • I don’t think everyone needs to stay away from dairy. Factors for deciding one way or the other should include genetic ancestry, age, goals, and how it affects you. I just recently re-evaluated my dairy consumption based on those factors and decided to eliminate dairy from my own diet. But if I were much younger, I probably would keep cheese, butter, and the occasional heavy creme and kefir.

      Why not eat red meat and starchy veggies for muscle growth? Paleolithic whole foods should always trump processed Neolithic ones.

      I ordered some Primal Fuel whey a while back to see what the big fuss was all about. I should have followed my gut instinct (pun intended) because that stuff was nasty and it came out just as watery and nasty as it went in. I ended up throwing away the 80% or so that was left after trying it a few days.

      Eat REAL food!

      Asturian wrote on December 16th, 2010
      • Good thing you dropped dairy. Even if you are lactose tolerant dairy promotes inflammation.

        One of my readers tested this by measuring CRP and found that it declined after he gave up dairy; it was a good test because that was the only change he mad.

        Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
        • I had a baseline CRP done April 2110. I was eating/drinking 99% MDA primal diet at the time including dairy. I quit dairy a couple of weeks ago and I’m scheduled for follow up testing in April 2011.

          I have made myself a note to do the same comparison and let you know how it went.

          Asturian wrote on December 17th, 2010
        • That was April 2010 not 2110. lol

          Asturian wrote on December 17th, 2010
  14. How do you monitor your basal insulin levels.you mentioned yours was 2. could you please explain this a bit

    jeff wrote on December 16th, 2010
    • A simple blood test for fasting insulin is all you need. Not expensive and most other things in the metabolic panel can be predicted from your insulin reading. A test for glucose tolerance is not as informative because you can still be tolerant up to the point that your pancreas becomes stressed.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 16th, 2010
  15. Art,

    You speak a lot about symmetry and grace in your approach to fitness. Personally, I have issues with symmetry (some of this is due to injury). My right side is significantly stronger than the left and slightly visually different. Do you have thoughts on regaining symmetry in strength and appearance?

    PS
    I’ve been anticipating your book for some time now, can’t wait to read it over the holidays!

    Michael wrote on December 16th, 2010
    • Use DBs to train so each side carries its load. Work your weakest side and let the strongest glide along. Front to back, side to side, top to bottom symmetry is desired.

      I call it the X-look. A woman should have a rounded X. A man wants more edges with true angles.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 17th, 2010
  16. Hi Prof,

    Is it possible to get all the benefits of meat eating by taking eggs / milk? What should be the quantities that an average adult should take to get the benefits if it is possible?

    You have also mentioned that taking fish oil tablets are also good. Is there any restriction on the dosage?

    Anand wrote on December 16th, 2010
    • No.

      You will get fat and inflammed on milk. Eggs are not enough and do induce allergy issues. I eat few yolks and a fair number of egg white omelettes.

      Are you trying to do vega-lite? Go with seafood, particularly mussels and clams unless they provoke allergies.

      Art De Vany wrote on December 17th, 2010
  17. I am very new to PB eating, 1 week in to be precise. I have a question about exercising.I have Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.I can hardly walk 30 yards let alone try all the sort of exercise you recommend. I am hoping that with time as my health improves I will be able to do more., At present I go swimming once a week.I find the walk from the carpark to changing room to pool too far so I have a carer who takes me in my wheel chair. I usually manage 4-6 lenghts. I was given some gentle exercises by a physio last yera and have just started doing them again this week so I’m hoping to build up.
    What would you recommend for someone like me? Its going to be real baby steps so no 6 pack by next week!!!

    Cinders wrote on December 17th, 2010
  18. Chronic fatigue now seems to indicate declining mitochondrial function and density. There should be thousands of those protobacteria in each cell.

    ROS damage is a prime factor. You probably want an antioxidant formulation such as what Mark offers and glucose restriction to spare the mitochondria that ROS damage. They will increase with exercise, but not aerobic. Do some weight lifting; as much as you can tolerate. Make it brief but challenging.

    Art De Vany wrote on December 17th, 2010
  19. Dr. De Vany,

    I remember listening to you on Econtalk, you were so interesting I listened to the program twice. You should go back on there.

    I live in Tokyo were the words for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are “asa-gohan” (morning rice), “hiru-gohan” (noon rice), and ban-gohan (night rice). The idea of going a full day without eating rice is enough to make most locals here chuckle. They even drink rice here (sake).

    Other foods that are popular include soy bean products like shoyu, tofu and natto.

    They do have a lot of seafood here, I love to eat salmon sashimi.

    There are some foods that I want to know your take on, what do you think of green tea, wasabi, nori (dried seaweed), daikon (Japanese radish), kimchi*, and konnyaku (konjac). The Japanese also love to eat a lot of pickled vegetables on the side.

    Also why do you think Japanese have such a long life span? With the amount of smoking, heavy drinking, and pollution here it makes me wonder it they are fixing the books. Maybe it is just they eat so much fish. They are second only to Singapore.

    I will get your book sometime after Christmas, it takes a week after the release date in the US for Amazon Japan to get it.

    *I know Kimchi is Korean, but the Japanese like to eat it too.

    Richard wrote on December 17th, 2010
  20. Hi. 3 Questns:

    1. What is the MAX amt of fat we can eat daily? My problem is I LOVE eating nuts & seeds & it’s hard to eat one serving of 1/4 cup, that’s hardly NOTHING :)
    ————————————
    2. I am 5′ 2″ and my goal wt is around 117, its what I’m used to. When I started this, I weighed 125, my max recently was 129. I lost 3 lbs and many inches quickly, but, I’ve been doing this approx. a month and I seem to still have only lost the 3 lbs. But, I look & feel like I have lost way more-I have lost many more inches. Yes, I know, muscle weighs more than fat, I probl. gained muscle, BUT I only exercise very minimal- 2-3 25 min cardio wrkts on a mini stair-stepper. Yes, I know what the plan recommends regarding exercise. So I don’t understand that.
    ————————————
    3. Regarding daily carb intake – I know what you say about you should stay at 50-100 grams daily, the sweet spot. However, I stay right around 50 or less ever since I started. It isn’t really really on purpose, I just do NOT eat ANY processed white flour, it is just that way. The only carbs I get are from meats, nuts, seeds, veggies, cheese, yogurt (Kroger Carbmaster yogurt is THE BOMB) juice, etc.

    I had a MAJOR MAJOR sleepy issue, for the last few years. I was getting severly lethargic every day, even DRIVING! I do take meds that have a sleepy side effect, but I could tell that the meds only contributed slighty. After I started eating primal, zero flour products, starches, etc., it has been a tremendous difference. The lethargy is completely gone. I may have a few moments of fluttered eyes, sometimes but very minimal; no sleepy driving any more. If I need I take one of those 5 hrs energy drinks and I am ok.

    So, I am afraid to eat any ‘flour’ foods, any high carb foods just to reach the sweet spot. I don’t want to eat any more carbs.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Michele wrote on December 17th, 2010
  21. I don’t know that a Max limit on fat is known. I don’t keep track of my intake of any of the macronutrients. I have had many readers tell me that they no longer fall asleep at the wheel. At the same time they find they sleep better. High insulin steals energy from the brain and induces mild sleep apnea.

    Cut cheese, yogurt, and juice and watch what happens.

    Thanks everybody for those questions and to Mark for the post and the visit here.

    Art De Vany wrote on December 17th, 2010
  22. Great Stuff Art! Thanks for the information and I just got your new book, love it.

    Question; Are you against whey protein and whey protein post workout? If so are egg wights, perhaps out of the carton a good source of post workout protein?

    Dan wrote on December 19th, 2010
  23. Mr. Devany, I heard that you were thinking about competing in a master’s bodybuilding competition. Are you still considering this or have you decided against it? If you do compete do you plan on changing you training?

    Brandon wrote on December 20th, 2010
  24. After looking at the posing I would have to do I decided body building is not for me.

    Whey protein works, but maybe because it has bovine GH in it and bovine insulin which is cross-reactive with human insulin. You don’t really want that going on inside your body I think.

    This really is my sign out. I did enjoy the excellent questions and discussions. As to the Amish being vegans, I think it may be some oher group but I am not interested enough to check. It is a dead end. Don’t do it.

    Art De Vany wrote on December 21st, 2010
  25. A copy of The New Evolution Diet just arrived today from Amazon. Can’t wait to dig in over the holiday break. Hope Art will follow up with a book on evolutionary fitness.

    Sonagi wrote on December 23rd, 2010
  26. I love how you explamied our body’s sytem with that of an economy. It made understanding it in a new light more entertaining.

    James wrote on December 28th, 2010
  27. Art said:
    “But then your genes express themselves as they will. They are beyond your control.”

    Really? Then how do you explain epigenetics?

    Outside influences such as diet, behavior (as you mentioned), exercise, toxins, stress (self and non-self induced), and other factors activate genetic switches (transcription factors TF) that tell your genes to turn on or turn off. A good example is how all mammals have lactase when young, then lose this enzyme when older…the lactase gene is still in the chromosome, but is inhibited by a TF repressor…that keeps the gene from being read by the cellular gene-reading machinery=”lactose intolerance”…and GI upset. Some adults have mutations allowing them to still read the lactase gene, and thus can digest milk.

    Other examples would be how our eye and hair color (grey) change as we age. Even identical twins change their phenotype as they age and diverge from their “identical” appearance.

    What told the TFs to tell the genes what to do?
    The environment you choose to live in…diet, exercise, physical location, mental status, etc.

    Genes are not self-emergent…they just don’t turn on/off by themselves. We are not at their mercy. If we were, then there would be no reason what so ever to eat/exercise properly and live in the primal design. We “tell” (TF) our genes what to do and which ones to express by the environment we create for ourselves.

    Genes just don’t switch on and off on their own volition . The environment (what, where, and how you live) tells them what to do.
    Dr. John

    Dr. John wrote on December 29th, 2010
  28. I have really enjoyed reading and learning from these posts. Since learning that fat, a.k.a. adipose tissue
    is not just added weight, but a complex, diseased organ in and of itself, I have wanted to limit excess fat as much as possible. However, I realize certain fats are desirable and even necessary. What role do seeds and nuts play for example?

    Mike Karns wrote on January 13th, 2011

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