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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April 21, 2013

Weekend Link Love – Edition 239

By Mark Sisson
34 Comments

Weekend Link LoveWe’ve got a few openings for next month’s Primal Luxury Retreat in Malibu. Sign up for the weekend of your lifetime!

If you happen to be near Houston on May 3 and find yourself getting a little hungry (for food and good convo), consider attending the Primal supper with Mira and Jason Calton, as well as Keith and Michelle Norris of PaleoFX fame.

Research of the Week

Looks like grandmothers were actually crucial for human evolution. But, wait – how could that be if we all used to die at age 30?

A new, highly ironic study (PDF) concludes that “Compared with placebo or control, L-carnitine is associated with a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality, a 65% reduction in VAs, and a 40% reduction in anginal symptoms in patients experiencing an acute myocardial infarction.” See this related article if the irony is lost on you.

The occasional drink during pregnancy may not be that bad. Betty Draper redeemed, apparently. (But that doesn’t mean you should drink while pregnant, of course.)

Interesting Blog Posts

Why we eat whatever’s in front of us. Unless it’s cellulose that has yet to be converted into glucose, of course (see below).

Jeff Leach, of the Human Food Project, gives his take on the red meat scare study from last week, suggesting that the TMAO-producing gut flora profile “appears some how specific to the starch in grains or the dietary fiber in grains.”

Media, Schmedia

The news is bad for us, reports the news.

How scientists are looking to convert cellulose into starch to feed the world. Or, “Mmm, wood!”

A look at the world of Russ Kremer, who almost became a priest but ultimately chose sustainable pig farming.

Everything Else

No wonder humans seem to have a genetic proclivity toward fear of snakes: zombie rattlesnakes.

Lifehacker shows you how to invert your browser’s colors for easier reading at night. What also eases the eyes: sleep.

The gourmet cupcake market is crashing. I’d say this is evidence of people getting clued in to good health, but I wholly expect the personal pie market to soar in response.

Sleep is becoming lucrative, but probably not the way you’re thinking.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Apr 21 – Apr 27)

Comment of the Week

Looks so unbelievably wonderful! I hope I can attend one day. But…60F, cold? Sheesh, I would be perpetually drenched in perspiration!

Okay, okay. We may be a bit spoiled out here. I’ll admit that.

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32 Comments on "Weekend Link Love – Edition 239"

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Zach rusk
Zach rusk
3 years 7 months ago

Was the l-carnitine supplement? I thought you had said the supplement doesn’t actually have any positive effects?

Harry Mossman
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah, I should stop reading the news. Too stressful. My reaction to most stories is either EFing nazis or hang the SOB. Not healthy. But a 50+ year habit is hard to break.

Howard Lee Harkness
3 years 7 months ago
About 13 years ago, I stopped watching TV. Well, almost… I have managed to watch about 30 hours total of the idiot box since 2000. Mostly FarScape, which, being probably the best SciFi series ever done on TV, didn’t make it very long. I also quit reading the Newspaper. I started sleeping better. My blood pressure went down. There are some other confounders there (like giving up the SAD), but I still believe that cutting off the noise from those two sources didn’t hurt any. TV news and newspaper articles seem to be mostly about somebody doing something really awful… Read more »
OliveOyle
OliveOyle
3 years 7 months ago
That is the most self centred article ever. Heaven forbid if we read/watch the news we might learn about something outside of our own little lives and see how the world around us works! Ignorant populations are open to manipulation and easily led astray (think War in Iraq for WMDs that don’t exist). The problem with news is that there are too many bad journalists and too many bad publications. You should never be able to tell which party a journalist votes for. Too may members of the public are unable to filter out what is sensationalism, propaganda, human interest… Read more »
Amy
Amy
3 years 7 months ago

Just…wow.

How do you hold this much cognitive dissonance in your head?

Nancy
Nancy
3 years 7 months ago

I agree. I also stopped watching most television. I occasionally watch something my husband has recorded, mostly to spend some time with hubby. However, I prefer to get my news from the internet. I can read in depth about what interests me, and I am not as likely to be influenced by the “spin doctors”.
I have time to do many other things. TV is a gigantic time waster and it does give us a seriously negative outlook.

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 7 months ago

Some of my exploits have tainted the local news sources: at least a few websites and one paper. They didn’t have any suspects for what really would have mattered. There was a nice destructive picture to accompany one article.

Shannon
Shannon
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for linking to the Plantain Beef Pie recipe! I cannot wait to try it.

Harry Mossman
3 years 7 months ago

+1 I eat plantains rather than bananas. But it’s great to be able to do something else with them.

Cat
Cat
3 years 7 months ago

Hey, what about Leptin? Some say it works much better than L-carnitine?

TokyoJarrett
3 years 7 months ago

Leptin for what? Something besides fat loss?

Diane
Diane
3 years 7 months ago

Oh man that article on how to invert your browser colors is a godsend. I cannot stand websites with black backgrounds and white text. Dazzles and hurts my eyes. I never have to suffer again.

Graham
Graham
3 years 7 months ago

Don’t think the drop in cupcake business is due to health awareness, alas…It was an ironic and mildly pointless novelty to begin with, and it’s taking its natural course, IMO.

Beccolina
Beccolina
3 years 7 months ago

My 6-yr old will be so disappointed. Her favorite show is Cupcake Wars.

Kit
Kit
3 years 7 months ago

I may or may not have nightmares about that rattlesnake thing. Or dreams about Cuban pork burgers. “Flips a coin…”

BPT
BPT
3 years 7 months ago
It is true that we have it all backwards at the moment, Our health system is not encouraging health, Legal System is not encouraging Justice Education System is not encouraging knowledge. which leads to sites like this that encourage your own self directed investigation of what is really going on out there.. However turning off mainstream news is quite a radical tactic, and may blindside the otherwise savy hunter gatherer..I need to know what is being espoused by conventional wisdom as it usually has a grain of worth and can actually point to what not to do ( ie the… Read more »
GingerYeti
GingerYeti
3 years 7 months ago

I like your idea of keeping vigilant, but I would suggest you try going newsless for a while (1-4 weeks) and see if you feel you missed out on anything. I don’t watch news, and have found that the important stuff still manages to get to me. Meanwhile, I devote that extra time to reading MDA. 🙂

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 7 months ago

I mostly get my news from Signs of the Times. There you will regularly find new links about current events, history, science and technology, events in space, opinion pieces, some satires, and some downright conspiratorial stuff (i.e. Bigfoot sighted!), which I think is meant to draw overly gullible or willing-to-believe people in.

Sandra McCall
3 years 7 months ago

I agree! I think that the best thing to do is to obtain your news from a wide variety of sources- never stay too long with one in a sitting. and don’t let yourself feel scared. Easier said than done, but we cannot live out our entire lives in fear, no matter how much we may want to.

Noelle
Noelle
3 years 7 months ago

‘Looks like grandmothers were actually crucial for human evolution. But, wait – how could that be if we all used to die at age 30?’

Really slutty teenagers?!

Borogroves
Borogroves
3 years 7 months ago
Correct. Women had babies as soon as they hit puberty. No sex ed, waiting for marriage or putting your career first. And forget contraception. Just an instinct to reproduce and a strategy to continue the species. Children were an asset and an extra source of labour, not economic liabilities like they are in developed countries today and the likelihood of young children dying from injury in early childhood would be high, so you needed more for insurance. Plus you never knew when you were going to fall down a hole or be bitten by a snake. So the sooner you… Read more »
fitmom
fitmom
3 years 7 months ago

Actually, I doubt anyone got that adam smithian about it. Done right, sex feels, like, totally amaaaaazing. Oh, what? It makes babies, too? I’ll think about that later!! voila, teenage hormones + stone age science= teen pregnancy epidemic.

Amy
Amy
3 years 7 months ago
Really slutty teenagers?! Umm…yes and no. I was wondering if Mark was going to explain that reference. Yes, teenagers would have reproducing. The other issue is that anthropologists can only really report the average age of Paleos. Infant mortality was extremely during that era. 0 + 60 averages out to 30. We know very little about if you made it to 20 how long you might have continued to live. I doubt there were a ton of 80 year olds either, but a guaranteed early death if you made it beyond puberty seems a more mythical than real. If the… Read more »
George
George
3 years 7 months ago

The research done by The Cleveland Clinic regarding l-carnitine was in conjunction with red meat converting it in a way that produced toxins in the digestive tract (my crude summary of their claim), but yeah, interesting abstract on the positive benefits of this amino acid. Sleep industry starting to take off, good deal, the weakest link of my health program. Watching news, yeah, I’m a bit of a news / politics (and sports news) junkie, not good, not good at all.

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 7 months ago

Reading the article about sleep is going to give me nightmares…

John Parker
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for those great links.

I’m always interested in articles about sleep.

For myself, once I made it a real habit to get sevens hours much of my life seems better.

Deanna
Deanna
3 years 7 months ago

Personal pies? Nah, somebody has to jump on the gourmet cake-pops variation. The three they offer at Starbucks doesn’t even begin to tap their creative potential!

Besides, cupcakes are SOOOOO 2010. Duh.

GingerYeti
GingerYeti
3 years 7 months ago

Re: “News is bad for you”

See that bit about links in an article? Weekend Link Love aside, MDA is quite link happy. I wonder if the links could be placed at the end of the articles so they don’t cause that distracting effect they mention in that post about “news”.

Thanks for all the great information.

Gydle
3 years 7 months ago

Great you included the analysis of the TMAO hoopla by Jeff Leach of the Human Food Project. I find all the posts over there fascinating.

TokyoJarrett
3 years 7 months ago
I found the article on Why We Eat Whatever’s In Front of Us very interesting. When I cook for myself, I feel like I have a good amount of self control. What kills me is when I go to a house party and there’s crappy snacky cakes and cheese doodles everywhere and I see everyone else eating them and I can’t help but join in until it’s all gone. Now, I would never buy this stuff for myself, as I know it’s not good for me, is empty of nutrition and will make me feel worse than if I had… Read more »
Valerie
3 years 7 months ago

The article on how to invert your browser’s color for easier reading at night is great. I have that on a couple of apps on my iPhone where I invert the background/text color and it makes it so much easier to read.

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 7 months ago
I’ve seen snakes do that since I was about 8 years old. My dad took my brother and I outside for an educational session about snake pests, what to do with them, and what they do after, since snakes regularly took up residence in our basement and cellar. There was a snake outside the front of the house so he chopped its head off with an axe and my brother and I watched it opening and closing its maw for a good long while.. I think it lasted about 25 minutes. After that I dealt with my share of snakes… Read more »
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