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

Weekend Link Love – Edition 242

Weekend Link LoveResearch of the Week

Kids whose parents sucked their pacifiers to clean them ended up with fewer allergies, lower rates of eczema and asthma, and lower levels of a blood marker that indicates the presence of allergies. I figure the squeamish among us can still give the same benefits by sucking it after it’s been cleaned by hand.

Up to 40% of all chronic back pain may be caused by a bacterial infection – and could be cured by antibiotics.

Interesting Blog Posts

What causes elevated LDL particle number? Chris Kresser weighs in.

An Amsterdam woman has pledged to document her attempt to live like a cavewoman for 100 days (except for the blogging, photos, and videos, of course). Here are her rules. They’re pretty strict.

Media, Schmedia

“Among endocrinologists, Brown stands almost alone in believing that endurance athletics can induce early onset of a hormonal imbalance called hypothyroidism.”

In some respects, this heeding-the-health-lessons-of-those-who-came-before-us stuff isn’t so new.

Everything Else

Plants are, like, talking to each other, man.

The secret to one 105 year-old woman’s long life? Bacon.

Why parents might want to just leave their kids alone.

Researches have identified 23 “ultraconserved words,” or words that have remained largely unchanged for 15,000 years. One – “thou” – even has cognates that appear in all seven Euroasiatic language families.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 12 – May 18)

Comment of the Week

“In chickens, L-proline induced amnesia, while D-proline did not.”

I’d like to know just how you can tell whether an animal as stupid as a chicken has amnesia.

– Ha! Fair question.

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. A vegan friend of mine posted the story about veggies talking to each other and moaned “What can I eat now!” And, yes, I have mentioned to her several times that Lierre Keith went down that road and eventually abandoned veganism.

    Harry Mossman wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • Oysters. I’m relatively sure they don’t talk much. :) I COULD be wrong though.

      Aria wrote on May 15th, 2013
  2. Moms cleaning pacifiers: Mom spit is the best thing in the universe, the universal solvent. It cleans your cheek, provides lifetime immunity. What can’t it do? Happy Mothers Day to our mothers and all our ancestors!

    Paul in CT wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • That should be mom’s *healthy* spit. I hope people are using the ol’ noggin when thinking about applying this and other spit-sharing methods. If a caregiver has high levels of bacteria implicated in tooth decay/active tooth decay, for example, that microbial balance can be passed along to the kid with some unfortunate consequences.

      mister worms wrote on May 12th, 2013
  3. Great article on “Just leave the kids alone”. I also think I’m in love with the cavewoman from Amsterdam. And Bob, not sure about your true inner greatness, but it looks like you did wake up earlier than the rest of us. Congrats!

    Nocona wrote on May 12th, 2013
  4. Bernarr Macfadden, editor of Physical Culture magazine for several decades, was a fascinating guy. Most days, he walked the 25 miles from his house to work, and he did it barefoot. He would interrupt staff meetings for an impromptu wrestling match. He called white bread the staff of death, loved weight lifting, and thought fasting was a cure for everything. Look up his biography, it is well worth reading.

    John wrote on May 12th, 2013
  5. Not to rain on her parade but half of the things she listed are so far from any cavewoman or man. Most people following 100% paleo do this stuff anyways. Nothing new there

    Ray wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • At least her publication of her efforts attracts some attention to the paleo diet.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 14th, 2013
  6. Bacon, and some bacon, and, what the heck, more bacon.

    jack wrote on May 12th, 2013
  7. I wonder how many people have suffered and underwent back surgery that was unecessay.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on May 12th, 2013
  8. Notice the 105 year old bacon eater is eating what we here would consider junk. I think mark posted this article to show us it’s the nitrates that extend life, not the bacon. Might as well “cure” our internal organs for longevity. Does anybody know where I can get straight nitrates without the side of pork.

    Jeremy creed wrote on May 12th, 2013
  9. Aww man, the Amsterdam article is in English. How dull (I speak Dutch and was hoping for a second it would be in Dutch)

    Allison wrote on May 12th, 2013
  10. I don’t buy that “40% of back pain” is caused by bacterial reasons. Poor posture and sitting at computers all day with the worst case of a posterior-rotated hip and tight hip flexors and going to the be primary reason. Doctors want to blame bacteria because people need them to fix that. Fixing posture doesn’t take a doctor, just a concerted effort on anyone’s part.

    George wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • I don’t know if it causes 40% of back pain, or even how they could come up with that number.

      I agree how bad sitting for long periods of time is bad for your back. I’d also add that inflammatory foods probably induce some back pain. I know that when I removed wheat from my diet that my chronic back pain subsided. My back still feels stiff from time to time, however, I sit for long periods of time at my job, and commute 2 hrs/day. Steve Maxwell’s joint mobility exercises have been immensely helpful for me. I used to have to sort of roll my self up to standing up straight after sitting. I no longer have to do that anymore.

      Brian wrote on May 12th, 2013
  11. I think controlled crying is so cruel and unnatural- that article confirms my thoughts and known child development psychology! Children need to feel loved and secure so they can then feel confident to be more independent- it also insures they develop the resources to later as children to self soothe and rationalise! I am a child psychiatrist who finds the controlled crying phenomen despicable- if you can tell 😉 But alas many of societies parenting behaviours- some also raised in that article are disturbing.

    Sophia wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • For my kids sleep training/crying was maybe 3-4 hours total (not in a row) over the course of a few nights, and after that they pretty much slept through the night except to nurse. For the few nights of sleep training, my husband slept in their room with them. Before it they would wake me every 90-120 minutes each night, all night, sometimes to eat, often just to fuss. Until sleep training we co-slept until six/eight months, and nobody in the family got adequate sleep. Among the many new mothers I knew at the time, our babies’ sleeping patterns were pretty typical, both among families who co-slept and those who did not.

      Being that sleep deprived for months and months on end left me pretty deranged and nonfunctional. It wasn’t good for caring for an infant during the day, and not good for later caring for an infant and a toddler (who didn’t nap.) Perhaps in traditional cultures that don’t sleep train there are many other people who may take the infant during the night, and also care for it during the day. In my house it was just my husband and me at night, and just me during the day. And yes, one of us did have to go to a job and make a living during the day.

      Another advantage of sleep training was that the babies were much happier and less fussy during their waking hours. Today the boys are five and eight, and really lovely and well-adjusted.

      Allison wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • I was literally strapped down in my crib as a baby so I wouldn’t climb over the railing and fall out (which I did before I could walk, apparently). As a kid I was shut up in my room a lot, even in the evening for bedtime while the sun was still shining brightly and I could hear other kids around my age playing on the street. I was spanked, had my ears and hair pulled, remember being sat on once and getting hit in the bottom with a wooden spoon at least once, was lied to and mocked by my parents and extended family.
      At five years old my mom caught me wiping myself after defecation and pretty much freaked out, shrilly asking, “What are you doing?” and then took over even though I didn’t want her to. She also dressed me when I didn’t want her to. I think some of the ways she treated my body were border-line illegal. I was touched in inappropriate ways, often.
      I was sheltered, restricted in my activities and outings, and monitored closely until I was an adult. The “punishing” violence got rougher as I got older, sometimes including punches or similarly rough treatment. I was commanded angrily to do chores and lectured and punished for not doing them fast or well enough, even though I always did what errand work I was asked to do. As the middle child I was almost always considered or treated like the guilty party after any dispute with my younger sister or older brother (reasoning: the youngest wouldn’t do it, she’s young and innocent; the oldest wouldn’t do it; he’s the oldest so he knows better).
      I’m not going to talk your ears off. That’s some of the basic stuff I hated about my upbringing.
      As for the psychological and psychosomatic issues I developed, I suspect largely due to such maltreatment, that would take pages to even summarize.
      Something that disturbs me is that I was encouraged to swallow my toothpaste, which I did for years.
      Yeah, wah-wah!
      Just a note.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • Explains a lot Animanarchy. (Changed yer name slightly I see.) I think it’s curious I like people with messy upbringings- I seem to be attracted to them well before I learn any details.
        We had the wild and raw all-day-out in the countryside routine up the mountain on holidays, up to a month at a time. But we also had the mean bullying bossing, strict, irrational and inapt. business back in the city which I despised beyond endurance. I’d run away up to the town belt and hide in the forest, I’d sit on the pine needles and look at the harbour for hours or walk between dark whispering trees until I was sure the rest of the family had gone to bed.
        I’m craving to live back in the relative wild of the country for my children’s sake- I like who I am better. I think I’m a better human out of the city. I think we all are. It’s such a sick and damaging environment IMHO.

        Madama Butterfry wrote on May 13th, 2013
  12. “How Bad is Peanut Butter, Really? – Is one of the most addictive foods on the planet really as bad as some people say?”

    An oldie but goodie. Seems like the most addictive food available just so happens to be bad for you.. like everything else that is addictive? Ugh, we can never win.

    Mark P wrote on May 12th, 2013
    • I dunno….I’m pretty addicted to pistachios and almonds….they’re pretty good for you. :)

      Jacob wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • Salted pistachios would go extinct if I could get them and was large enough to eat them all.
        A somewhat addictive food I’ve been making lately as a cheat meal is pudding made with raw egg, cocoa, and some sugar. I’m not proud about the sugar part but I’m basically broke, it was free sugar from a jar that I’ve been using and to eat the pudding like a delight rather than a nourishing slime to be slopped down or swallowed with minimal repulsion I require a sweetener.

        Animanarchy wrote on May 13th, 2013
  13. A few days ago, I came across a vegetarian doctor that is telling other vegetarians to eat “medicinal red meat” (as in, not as a lifestyle but for health reasons) for a few weeks in order to recover from long-standing conditions brought about by their vegetarian diet. I wish I had kept the link. You cannot make this up.

    Txomin wrote on May 13th, 2013
      Faboulous. It´s so healthy not eating animals that you have to eat animals “midicinally” sometimes not to get sick.
      On the other hand, she´s got a point: there are vegetarian cultures who do fine but they eat traditional fodd and use an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen. It´t just a lot more work and more hassle to be a healthy vegetarian than it is to chow down on animal protein. But to each his own, right?

      I´m lazy so I eat my animal protein with a smile and get on with other things outside the kitchen. 😉

      Elena wrote on May 13th, 2013
  14. I find it ridiculous that a substantial number of us humans treat ourselves (and sometimes our pets) like the only species that can’t survive in the face of minor or harsh but common and regularly non-lethal pathogens and infections without medical intervention.
    Maybe we can’t if we’re born with a bad immune system or not looked after properly but if you live enough like a real animal and not a product of industry for a while, you appropriate an immune system of similar impeccability as those animals that have lived for time beyond history (including us naturally).

    Animanarchy wrote on May 13th, 2013
  15. (re: Paleo echoes physical culture movement of the past) So…who’s going to open the first 21st century Paleo resort? I would so vacation there.

    Karen P. wrote on May 15th, 2013
  16. Woohoo! Thanks for sharing What About WIlma. I’m stalking her around Amsterdam :)

    Yummy Gatherer wrote on May 16th, 2013
  17. Update on What about Wilma, the amsterdam cavewoman: she has completed her 100 day experiment and wants to extend it into a one-year project. She’s started a crouwdfunding campain to support it (see ) Funds will be used to make a book and documentary, for help from experts and for before-and-after medical tests. If you want to contribute, you could get the e-book for just 15 euro’s, for example.
    To clarify: I’m not involved in the project, I just like what’s she’s doing.

    Feather wrote on August 21st, 2013

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