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

Weekend Link Love – Edition 180

Next time you make creamy turmeric tea, add some black pepper to the mix. The piperine in pepper enhances the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric.

Did cooking make us human?

If you’re still curious about or a little shaky on epigenetics, this nine and a half minute video is a fantastic and approachable introduction to the subject that doesn’t skimp on details. Watch it, and understand it.

Speaking of epigenetics, researchers have found another couple pathways through which broccoli might prevent cancer, and they’re both epigenetic in nature.

Neanderthals may have been the earliest seafarers, scooting around the Mediterranean in wooden crafts over 100,000 years ago, beating us by around 50,000. Either that or they put Michael Phelps to shame.

More reasons to get a little dirty from time to time.

Looks like voting with your dollar actually works!

The FDA recently added diabetes and memory loss warnings to labels on statins. It’s about time.

We’re like sharks. We need to keep moving.

Bestselling author Tom Woods explains how he lost all the weight here and here.

Okay, sometimes you need flexibility.

Brad Kearns pictured with the staff at Shawsu Workout Studio in Los Altos, CA, site of the Primal Transformation Seminar on Feb 29. Brad will be in Sacramento on Tuesday, March 6th – just two days from now! Tickets available here: Catch an upcoming seminar in a city near you!

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Feb 27 – March 4)

Comment of the Week

QUESTION: Even if tomorrow all scientists and doctors agreed that paleo was a “cure all,” how many people would adopt it?

ANSWER: About the same number of people who quit smoking when the scientists and doctors all agreed on tobacco starting in the 1960s.

Dan makes a very good point.

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. Back when you originally posted the recipe for Creamy Turmeric Tea, I was inspired to adapt it and post this recipe, with black pepper, based on the same research: I’ve been enjoying it ever since!

    Debra wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • I had heard about black pepper helping with turmeric absorption before. Glad to see it confirmed. At least one authority says a little olive oil would also help; but I think not too tasty in the tea.

      GaryM wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • My understanding, such as it is, leads me to believe it’s fat you’re after. In India they make a turmeric drink with milk, for instance. I figure there’s enough coconut oil in coconut milk…plus it’s yummy!

        Sue wrote on March 4th, 2012
  2. Just move. Not too much. But if you are sitting on your ass all day then realize that just a little movement is huge and can give you some momentum…

    Flexibility needed indeed… love the picture…

    Primal Toad wrote on March 4th, 2012
  3. Strangely a few months after Lipitor comes off patent and is no longer an enormously profitable drug these sudden health warnings start appearing. Weird.

    David wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • None too soon for my mother who’s experiencing memory loss. It was all I could do to get her to take CoQ10.

      Moshen wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • My Dad is the same, and it still hasn’t recovered after being on Lipitor for three years and off them nearly a year. This is a good site for info

        David wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • My ex was forced on statins by his cardiologist and not 4 months later his rotator cuff was mysteriously destroyed by reaching up for his winter clothes from the top of the closet! He had that repaired and not 6 months later, his other one went. For years we never understood why!!!

        greensleeves wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • Yeah, my dad suffered those memory loss problems. Luckily, I did a lot of research that convinced him to go off them. Thankfully, since he only took them for a year, he’s now back to normal.

        Wafaa wrote on March 5th, 2012
  4. I’m all for moving, but what if you have a desk job? I’m tied to my desk for about 6-7 hours a day. I try to walk every time I have a break, but I fear that’s not quite enough. And honestly…when I come home, I cook, eat, sometimes take a walk for half an hour or an hour, but that’s it really.

    I’m more active on weekends, but I would really like to know how people with similar jobs get their “move” in.

    Fair Flavors wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • Maybe get a standing desk? Not ideal but it could help.

      David wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • I sit on a swiss ball instead of a chair. I notice I roll around or bounce on it even while typing.

      Eating is 85% of it all, so I don’t put much worry into movement, but I still do my best.

      Moshen wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • According to that study about movement that Mark posted above, it may be more important than we think.

        Just by walking less each day, you lose the ability to control your blood sugar levels.

        Chris Pine wrote on March 4th, 2012
        • Yes, and I wouldn’t have much of an argument against those conclusions – on principle or practice,

          Now that I’m monitoring blood sugar frequently/regularly/daily, I notice that activity levels do seem to affect my waking fasting blood sugar. Lower on days following a period of more activity and higher on days following periods of less activity.

          I’m motivated now to get a small pedometer that I can wear all day around the house to see if/when I do get 10,000 steps. I use an iPhone pedo app when I walk outside for exercise but that isn’t practical for the house, IMO.

          Those of us who maintain a fat burning metabolism also have an added advantage. The study focused on blood sugar spikes/swings as there is reason to believe that its the lack of stability that causes so much damage.

          Ever since making the conversion to fat burning metabolism, I don’t have postprandial spikes or drops of blog sugar. My readings stay very tightly clustered around the pre prandial reading.

          Add sufficient regular movement to a low carb/high fat diet and the ultimate result should be an average normal blood sugar and a small range of blood sugar readings around that normal average.

          rarebird wrote on March 5th, 2012
    • When I worked in an office, I made a rule not to call or email anybody. Go talk to them.

      Take advantage of your lunch hour for movement.

      Maybe ask for a standing desk?

      Karen P. wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • I was able to work with my employer to setup a ‘stand up’ desk. My entire desk and computer are high enough for me to stand and work at comfortably. I’ve been told I burn several hundred more calories a day just by shuffling around my desk while standing each day.

      I have the option to sit, as needed, but I rarely choose to. I’ve had joint issues since I was young, so I was concerned about it being hard on my joints but I have been standing at my desk for about 2 years and I have not had any joint issues.

      Mysterious back/muscle pains disappeared after about 2 months after the change. I will never go back.

      RedBear wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • Biking works too – being Dutch, can’t you bike everywhere?

      greensleeves wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • Haha, yes I can. I bike to and from work actually (when there’s no rain or snow), about 40 minutes a day total. But that still leaves me with mandatory sitting for 7 hours.

        I like the standing desk idea. We’re about to move to a new office, so they’re probably going to buy some new stuff. I think I’m going to ask for one. Thank you all, for your ideas!

        Fair Flavors wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • I work as a computer programmer in a big company. My day could easily be 100% sedentary, sessile even, if I let it. However, I don’t do that and I have two strategies for making sure I get up and walk around often.

      The first and most important one is that I drink tea. Sometimes it’s green tea but most often it’s a nice japanese black tea flavored with anise. Because I am constantly slowly drinking this tea I often need to get up and when I do I make sure to take the long way to the lavatory. The other thing I do is pay attention to my body. When my back or my backside begins to feel tight or I’m feeling the need to shift, I just get up and take a short jaunt around the office. Sometimes I slip into the stairwell and go up or down for a bit before coming back.

      The funniest part about all this is that, unlike a lot of the people I’ve met or observed to consider themselves some flavor of ‘paleo’, I am not a natural exerciser. I have never worked out seriously in any consistent way, nor have I ever participated in ‘chronic cardio’ or any other kind of cardio other than my Aikido. I’ve just found that since I’ve been paleo/primal/ancestral/awesome my body wants to get up more, it wants to move more, and who am I to argue?


      Tim wrote on March 5th, 2012
    • Can you do more on your break? I used to do a few flights of stairs or jumping jacks to get some blood flowing back into my legs and arms. It sucks when you’re chained to a desk. :(

      Dtnmommy wrote on March 5th, 2012
    • There are many options that can be done in very little space that take less than 20 seconds each round. I have adopted the practice of doing one pushup and 10 air squats every 30 minutes in my cube. Of course, I sometimes get funny looks from people who have noticed my head popping up above the cube wall as I do the squats but I am not so sure that I care.

      As it gets easier to do the 15 plus pushups a day I will increase the reps or start working on one arm pushups. Same with the squats– there are are so many variations to make them more difficult as the 150 get easier.

      Doing these simple movements throughout the day has made the quality of my life in and out of work so much better.

      907Paleo wrote on March 6th, 2012
    • I’ve had a kneeler chair in my home office for many years because of a bad back. It’s great, not only for your back, but because you can’t slump into it and get comfortable, you tend to get up and move around more than you would with a chair.

      Once, I had an urgent job in another office and my back was out. I made a point of, every couple of pages of figures checked, I’d stand up for a moment, tense and relax my back muscles, wiggle a bit, then sit down and continue work. It was so unobtrusive no one commented, and after three days of doing this many times a day, my back was much improved despite the badly-designed office chair I was forced to work with.

      Martin_B wrote on March 8th, 2012
  5. This week’s UK BBC Horizon programme told us about High Intensity Training, something the primal folks already know: “Can 3 mins of exercise a week help make you fit?”
    If you’re able to watch it on the BBC iPlayer, they talk about the science behind increasing your walking and general moving more during the day, with just 3 mins of high intensity activity a week. No gym work required. Sounds pretty primal to me

    I think they did 3x20seconds 3 times a week of high intensity training. So what’s the difference in doing it all just once a week as we tend to do, as opposed to doing it 3 times a week?

    Sian wrote on March 4th, 2012
  6. that’s great about the statin labels. now if they would only add… “does not reduce all-cause death outcomes in 95% of the population”

    Burn wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • I’m confused about this- I thought I’d read that statins don’t reduce deaths overall even though they reduce cholesterol levels. Or I may have read that they reduce deaths in those with heart disease, but not anyone else. Do they reduce death rates from heart disease?

      spincycle wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • I’ve written a few blog posts about this, you can click on my name and check them out if you’d like. Basically, they do lower cholesterol and they do reduce deaths from heart disease but they increase overall deaths. The only population which they actually lower all-cause death is for men who already have heart disease.

        Burn wrote on March 4th, 2012
  7. Oh yeah, BC stepping up the egg production , Langley what!

    Alex wrote on March 4th, 2012
  8. That doesn’t surprise me about dirt. It’s good for you on many levels, especially digestive health. And when you consider that 90% of your serotonin is found in the gut? Well yeah, it makes perfect sense. I’m happiest when I have plenty of garden/dirt time.

    Sandy wrote on March 4th, 2012
  9. What kind of coconut milk do you recommend for the tea? I use Goya canned for cooking, but should I look for something in a carton to drink?

    spincycle wrote on March 4th, 2012
  10. Sailing around the world must be Paleo!

    Dan wrote on March 4th, 2012
  11. Those “free range” chickens don’t have much “free range”!

    Derek wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • Good observation! Better than living in a tiny cage but still no access to the outdoors means they are not free range at all. Poor things.

      alicat wrote on March 4th, 2012
  12. Happy the FDA put info out there about poss side affects. I have 3 siblings with major side affects from statins. One with memory loss and two with muscle weakness to the point where they can hardly get out of bed. Both with muscle weakness noticed symptoms w/in a couple weeks of a change in statin rx. They are both now off statins.

    Bev wrote on March 4th, 2012
  13. Mark, pepper (or piperine) may *not* be the most primal/paleo safe & friendly thing, looking at things from an intestinal permeability (leaky gut) standpoint. Functionally useful, perhaps, but it may admit extra things into the bloodstream that we don’t want. However, this paper seems to indicate that black pepper, at least, doesn’t mess with zonulin, like gluten and the other perpetrators do:


    Basil Gravanis wrote on March 4th, 2012
  14. That “sometimes you need to be flexible” pic floored me (^^) I had just posted about indoor climbing in Japan on my blog when I saw that, too.

    And I found the video on epigenetics fascinating! I’m amazed at how that fella can make such a scientific topic so interesting and funny.

    TokyoJarrett wrote on March 4th, 2012
  15. I would have liked to see the video on epigenetics but evidently YouTube is running some sort of player trial. Even downloading their recommended browser/player combo didn’t work. Oh, well.

    rarebird wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • Finally got to see the video. Cute. Approachable science – hopefully people will “Watch it and understand it”.

      rarebird wrote on March 6th, 2012
  16. Hey, that “comment of the week” would have been my choice, too! Too true.

    rarebird wrote on March 4th, 2012
    • Years ago I was going to a naturopath for dietary issues, and he told me that a lot of the local GIs would send him patients with IBS, Chrons, etc. And that an incredible number of these patients would opt to continue to feel awful, continue to take tons of medications, and in some cases need major surgery, rather than give up wheat. They would rather die or be permanently disabled than give up their pasta or sandwiches.

      Nancy wrote on March 5th, 2012
      • Jack Kruse says:

        “Conversely, we seem to be a prisoner to our paleo-cortex (older less evolved brain), and resist change even when we know it must occur. Many times we will subjugate the best interests of our survival to suit our emotional needs or desires.”

        A downside of our paleo ancestry.

        rarebird wrote on March 6th, 2012
  17. The epigenetics video was fascinating! As someone with an autoimmune disease, I can’t help but think epigenetics will be another piece to the puzzle of it all. I found another video that is just as interesting, as they show in mice how traits of your epigenome are passed down through generations, in their case, obesity and nonobesity.

    Hannah wrote on March 4th, 2012
  18. About the kidney thing (last thing on the list)–if too much protein consumption supposedly CAUSES it, then how does one go about saving a cat, an obligate carnivore? Wouldn’t you think ALL cats got kidney disease and died of it, never even existing long enough to evolve?

    Answer: you save an obligate carnivore by serving it RAW meat–cooking it can as much as triple the protein in the same piece of meat that, when raw, may only contain low single-digit protein count per ounce.

    Lamb has the lowest protein count per ounce when raw, but one of the highest when cooked. It also answers food allergy problems in pets, and is an animal rarely exploited by Big Farm industrial practices–apparently they haven’t found anything that works on sheep, and possibly goats too.

    As for the waste products produced, won’t good old FIBER take care of that? I’m awaiting a call back from my vet about that.

    Wenchypoo wrote on March 5th, 2012
    • Sounds like you are dealing with a cat with compromised kidneys. I have an older cat that has just started showing signs of kidney issues – the first one in my personal experience.

      Of course his vet wants us to consider commercial food that provides kidney support – and the issue is more than protein. Most vets are current with the research and know that high protein doesn’t cause kidney disorders. But, when a kidney disorder exists, high protein can put a heavy load on already compromised kidneys.

      Beyond protein, evidently the always important ratio of minerals becomes even more critical – especially the need to reduce phosphorus. A kidney support food is supposed to reduce the incidence of nausea and refusal to eat. Studies show that this type of food improves the quality of life and can double the projected life span of a cat thus diagnosed.

      Even so, I would much prefer not to start feeding one of the available commercial foods since none of them that I can find are free of other objectionable attributes.

      So, I would like to know more about the approach that you’re taking. We’re working with an alternative medicine vet as a consultant but I am always looking for as much information as possible. Would you consider discussing this topic at the forum?

      rarebird wrote on March 5th, 2012
  19. I live in BC and i’m slowly seeing more organics on the shelves. I even found coconut flour on a major supermarket shelf, which pleased me immensely!

    Nion wrote on March 5th, 2012
  20. If only more people knew the benefits of going natural…

    Amanda Russell

    Amanda Russell wrote on March 5th, 2012
  21. The article on Neanderthals and boating was interesting, but upon a thought, I realized they did not swim or paddle, but that they walked to islands of Greece.

    Around 100,000 years ago the earth was in an “ice age” and during the winter it wouldn’t surprise me if the water froze over that close to the mainland of Greece. I think this is the most likely scenario and one that should have been fairly obvious to these researchers.

    Scientific authorities are often wrong, and in this case they completely missed the mark. In fact I would say this article makes them look like buffoons.

    This is just one of the many thousands of balls that have been dropped by the scientific community. This should emphasize the necessity for critical thought and more importantly critical questions.

    Every reader of this blog is just as much as an authority on any topic as an “expert” researcher. Do you know why? Because you have a brain. You can see the holes in every argument and you need to ask the critical questions. New knowledge is only ever achieved by asking new questions. New questions bring to light new frontiers, and new frontiers don’t have “experts”.

    You be the judge, you be the authority, you ask the questions, and you ask to see the evidence.

    Matthew Caton

    Matthew Caton wrote on March 6th, 2012

      The above peer reviewed paper suggests that while glaciation did occur in the Mediterranean, the period that included ice fields predated 350,000 yr B.P. The notation “yr B.P.” refers to Before Present – established as prior to 1950 for carbon dating purposes. Much earlier than the most likely interglacial period under discussion in the Neanderthal “mariners” article. So, while proto-Neanderthals may have indeed “walked there”, later (relevant tool-artifact using) Neanderthals most likely did not.

      rarebird wrote on March 6th, 2012
      • And, btw, the earth is still in an “Ice Age” – begun in the Pleistocene epoch – based on the presence of glacial masses in Greenland and Antarctica. However, much of the earth is also in an interglacial period.

        rarebird wrote on March 6th, 2012
  22. LOL!!!BINGO!!! At least about the “scientists make mistakes” and “critical thinking” and “ask questions” and “you be the expert”!

    Will have to check a few facts myself before getting on board with your “they walked” hypothesis – although on first glance it does have merit.

    And, I am speaking as a former research scientist and -hopefully – a perennial critical thinker.

    rarebird wrote on March 6th, 2012
  23. I am still traumatized by the “sometimes you need flexibility” pic!. It is my desktop background now

    WildGrok wrote on March 7th, 2012
  24. Epigenetics guy seems like his video is epigenetically influenced by “Ask A Ninja”! Anyone else feel like that might be the case? 😉

    gilliebean wrote on March 7th, 2012
  25. My doctor prescribed statins for me some years ago. I researched them on the internet and discovered they lower your cholestrol, but not your death rate. So what’s the use of taking them? I threw the script away.

    With this latest info, I’m so glad I never took them.

    Martin_B wrote on March 7th, 2012
  26. very interesting read about protein and kidneys. And statins definitely sound not so good. Best medicine is prevention and living a healthy lifestyle

    Sarah @ The Healthy Diva wrote on March 9th, 2012

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