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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March 23, 2014

Weekend Link Love – Edition 288

By Mark Sisson
47 Comments

Weekend Link LoveBoth The Primal Connection (Amazon, Audible, iTunes) and The Primal Blueprint (Amazon, Audible, iTunes) are now available in audiobook form. If you’ve been reading MDA for awhile but have yet to read the definitive texts that expand upon the message, these audiobooks are a great way to get caught up in a few hours.

Episode #11 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast is now live. I answer your questions and give a quick recap of PrimalCon Vacation Tulum. If you haven’t already subscribed on iTunes, do so now and you’ll never miss an episode.

Research of the Week

In addition to being a source of healthy fats and polyphenols, dark chocolate also provides benefits by acting as a prebiotic, feeding good gut bacteria, and spurring the creation of anti-inflammatory fermentation products.

Three all-nighters a week may cause brain damage (in rodents).

A low-starch, low-sugar diet supplemented with resistant starch improved metabolic health in zoo gorillas.

The ubiquity of “extreme skeletal structures” and lower limb “robusticity” among Neandertal and homo sapiens fossil remains indicate a daily activity load for our ancestors that exceeded the habits of modern elite athletes.

Eating lots of animal protein appears to be protective against cognitive, physical, and social decline in the elderly.

Oh, and the more muscle you have, the longer you’ll live.

Archaeologists recently found the earliest known case of cancer in humans – an Egyptian from 3000 years ago.

Interesting Blog Posts

Suppversity breaks down the anti-arthritic effects of small amounts of virgin coconut oil, plus other benefits.

Is mineral water an underrated supplement?

Media, Schmedia

Wireless power is coming soon. You have to wonder if it will cause any health issues, though.

Saturated fat has been exonerated (again), but you wouldn’t know it from reading this garbled “article” full of contradictory statements and misplaced value judgments. Did a robot write this?

Everything Else

Worried about inhibition of your melatonin production at night due to light? A biotech firm has just released a new “Melatonin Production Factor” for eyewear that promises to predict how long you can safely use electronics at night without seriously compromising your sleep.

Is (certain) farmed salmon getting healthier and more sustainable?

A fascinating interview with a cancer researcher about sugar, fructose, and cancer.

It’s a story as old as time. We engineer corn to poison a predatory worm. The predatory worm evolves to resist the poison and thrive on the engineered corn.

I’m not sure I trust this.

How a playground that resembles a hobo encampment is changing kids’ lives for the better in Wales, and what it says about the prevailing parenting methods.

Recipe Corner

  • This orange chicken is way better – and healthier – than the stuff you’re probably used to eating out of so-greasy-they’re-translucent Chinese food containers.
  • If you’ve been searching for a way to eat more “alternative” cuts, start with oxtail slow cooker soup.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Mar 24 – Mar 30)

Comment of the Week

I think I’ll sign my next question to MDA as “Marque” and see if it gets answered… :D

– You shouldn’t have said anything and just done it!

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47 Comments on "Weekend Link Love – Edition 288"

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Dr. Anthony Gustin
2 years 6 months ago

More muscle generally just provides you with a bigger engine to get things done with. In later years, more muscle = more function. Looking forward to the bodyweight exercise article 😉

Kat
Kat
2 years 6 months ago

Someone should also mention that this is a study that found an ASSOCIATION with longer life and, as we all (should) know, correlation is not causation.

That doesn’t mean that maintaining muscle mass isn’t important (even if it ultimately doesn’t prove to extend life) nor even that one doesn’t cause the other, but one can’t determine cause from this study (as Mark’s short blurb implies).

That said, I’m off to swing some kettle bells. Later!

Olivia Lively
2 years 6 months ago

Re. the farmed salmon, it may be getting ‘leaner and greener’, but I’m sure they put dye on (or in?!) farmed salmon to make it pinker, sometimes you can see it in the packets. Poor frankenfish. Puts me off eating it.

JB
JB
2 years 6 months ago

I wonder if it is healthier, it isn’t as fatty as some of the other farmed junk but I didn’t get a strong health message from that article. It is too bad Monterrey Bay doesn’t address the health of people in their analysis or that there is not a web site that aggregates their info with human health concerns.

Scott UK
Scott UK
2 years 6 months ago

By ignoring the results of their own research, the British Heart Foundation proves that their guidelines are not evidence-based. End of.

Karl
Karl
2 years 6 months ago
I don`t think it`s quite that simple. True, the meta-analysis by Chowdhury et al. found that saturated fat was unrelated to cardiovascular risk – but so were all fats except for trans fat; so, if this “exonerates” saturated fat, it also exonerates omega-6 PUFAs with regard to their (alleged) pro-inflammatory effects in the context of CHD. I´m willing to bet, though, that if the latter were the headline, everyone in the Paleosphere would be quick to point out that the inclusion criteria were very lax, and a meta-analysis is only ever as good as the studies it is based on… Read more »
Whitefox
Whitefox
2 years 6 months ago

Great comment.

On the other hand, there are many studies indicating that replacing SFA with O6 PUFAs leads to increased risk of CHD rather than decreased (as only a few studies have suggested). So at the very least, they should be balanced with respect to eating both omega-6s and >10% of calories as SFA. In the end, though, I bet there is a large range of acceptable PUFA/MUFA/SFA intake in terms of fat breakdown, just as there is a large range of acceptable carb/fat/protein intakes for health/longevity.

Karl
Karl
2 years 6 months ago

Exactly.
(I didn`t mean to imply that omega-6s are actually (completely) off the hook; I just meant to communicate that this meta-analysis doesn`t tell us much either way, and we shouldn`t pretend that it does.)

Scott UK
Scott UK
2 years 6 months ago
Well, this research, and the BBC article, shows that conventional wisdom is in disarray, and has been reduced to incoherence. The spokesman continues to take it for granted that “we know” that saturated fat is bad, even though his own research says that we don’t know. It also sounds ridiculous to say “more research is needed” — how much more than the 600,000 people in this (and all the other) meta-analyses do we need? Would they be saying that if the meta-analysis had implicated saturated fat after all? It also illustrates what a hard time the media has making sense… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago

Blame politics.

Karl
Karl
2 years 6 months ago
By and large, I agree with your “bottom line,” but I have to say that the bashing of the strawman construct dubbed “conventional wisdom” around these parts gets on my nerves: Of course “conventional wisdom is in disarray” in the face of conflicting data (and conflicting they are – make no mistake), because “conventional wisdom” is actually no more a monolithic bloc than, for example, the “Paleosphere” – which also battles severe difficulties with regard to coalescing around “core recommendations,” and could thus justifiably be described as just as “incoherent” as CW (just look at all the drama over moderate… Read more »
Scott UK
Scott UK
2 years 6 months ago
Karl, we agree that the underlying science is uncertain, and unreliable. I see the debate and discussion in the paleosphere as reflecting that — it’s an honest attempt to cope with that uncertainty, and try to make sense of it. By contrast, ‘conventional wisdom’ does indeed continue to present a monolithic bloc of certainty, in the form of the USDA Guidelines, and the reports of the various major health charities. As a result, they are becoming increasingly out of date. The ‘Dietary Guidelines for America’ is not a straw man. And of course I think more research is needed. What… Read more »
Karl
Karl
2 years 6 months ago
Scott, I would agree that we seem to agree more than we disagree (this is getting complicated), but I have to insist that “CW” is not getting a fair trial around here: The monolithic “USDA Guidelines” are not all there is to/synonymous with “CW,” just as monolithic “Cordain Paleo” is not all there is to/synonymous with “Evolutionary Nutrition,” and both “CW” and “EN” comprise both profiteers who gloss over scientific uncertainties in order to make a quick buck as well as basically honest, well-meaning people who are just trying to figure things out to the best of their ability. As… Read more »
Scott UK
Scott UK
2 years 6 months ago

The plot thickens… corrections to the paper indicate that omega-3s good, and omega-6s bad after all:

http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/03/scientists-fix-errors-controversial-paper-about-saturated-fats

Karl
Karl
2 years 5 months ago

Scott,

the “corrections to the paper” do indeed “indicate that omega-3s good,” but where did you get the “omega-6s bad” part from? As far as I can tell, the two studies on omega-6 fatty acids the authors left out didn`t change the overall conclusions on omega-6s.

Scott UK
Scott UK
2 years 5 months ago
Hi Karl, You’re right. I was presuming that they were referring to Ramsden’s meta-analyses: Ramsden, C. E., Hibbeln, J. R., Majchrzak, S. F., & Davis, J. M. (2010). n-6 Fatty acid-specific and mixed polyunsaturate dietary interventions have different effects on CHD risk: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 104(11), 1586-1600. doi: Doi 10.1017/S0007114510004010 Ramsden, C. E., Zamora, D., Leelarthaepin, B., Majchrzak-Hong, S. F., Faurot, K. R., Suchindran, C. M., . . . Hibbeln, J. R. (2013). Use of dietary linoleic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: evaluation of recovered data from the… Read more »
Kat
Kat
2 years 6 months ago

Bacon and butter diet? Blech. Even LCHF advocates like Volek and Phinney don’t advocate anything like a butter and bacon diet. More mono-unsaturated fats, some PUFA (but avoid the oil versions in favour of olive oil, high-oleic safflower and canola. You don’t need much PUFA to meet your body’s needs) and don’t actively avoid saturated fats. Watch calories. Over-eating will still make you fat.

Personally, I like both butter and bacon as compliments. I just can’t sit down to a giant plate of bacon even though I like bacon.

Karl
Karl
2 years 6 months ago

Kat,

granted. The problem is that this is not how many people endorse/apply LCHF (Jimmy Moore is a prominent example).

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago

Nope. Like ours, they’re politics-based.

Adam
Adam
2 years 6 months ago

The article about the playground in Wales has brought a tear to my eye! In fact, it’s reminded me to encourage my kids to get out and do more on their own. Like I did. Luckily we live on the coast in a spectacularly beautiful part of Wales so its easy enough to do…mun.

WelshGrok
WelshGrok
2 years 6 months ago

Inni’ like!

Tom
Tom
2 years 6 months ago

Dw i’n hoffi hyn. I think I’ll head to the park behind my house in a minute now.

Grokesque
Grokesque
2 years 6 months ago

I love the idea of rodents going out on a bender – I’ll be sensible now and read the article!

George
George
2 years 6 months ago

“I’m not sure I trust this.”

Very funny Mark. 🙂

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago

Aren’t intelligent people supposed to be more skeptical? Most of us can certainly see a scam a mile away!

Camille
2 years 6 months ago

The wired article isn’t surprising. As an engineer, for every predictable consequence (the worms) there are also unpredictable consequences to advances in technology

Shary
Shary
2 years 6 months ago

With regard to the recipe for oxtail soup with “swede mash”, for those who didn’t know, a swede is a rutabaga (Swedish turnip). If you’ve never tried it, rutabagas are good baked. Peel and cut into chunks, along with onions and carrots or sweet potatoes; sprinkle with EVOO and your choice of seasoning; then bake until tender. Makes an easy side dish that goes with any kind of meat.

Lyn
Lyn
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you. I had always vaguely wondered what a rutabaga was, assuming it must be disgusting since you can’t buy it in the shops. It’s just an ordinary common swede, like I use all the time in winter soups.

His Dudeness
His Dudeness
2 years 6 months ago

Neat. I just bought a couple of cases of San Pellegrino mineral water from Costco because my pregnant wifey has been craving it and buying it by the bottle at the grocery store. They’re ~$2 per bottle individually, but a case of 12 was about $11 on sale. Nice.
I had hoped there was a good reason for the cravings, and now I can tell her maybe there is. You need lots of minerals to build a baby.

Diane
Diane
2 years 6 months ago
That’s the kind of childhood I had. At age 3 I could roam up to 3 houses away unsupervised. At age 5 I had free range of the neighborhood unsupervised. My mom walked me to school first day of kindergarten and after that said I knew the way there and was on my own. Our moms would kick us out of the house, tell us to go play, lock the door and don’t come back until supper time. We built secret hideaways in the open space behind my house. We walked in the sewer storm drains under the streets. We… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago

No thanks to pedophiles.

Stephen
2 years 6 months ago

Loving the new podcast and I’m definitely interested in the Audio Books. Did you do the voice narration yourself? I’m glad to hear that saturated fat is exonerated…I’m going to go eat some buttery cheese eggs now…

Brian Kozmo
Brian Kozmo
2 years 6 months ago

Stefani from Paleo for Women had a book just come out recently and it’s not in the Weekend Link Love yet??

Jenna
Jenna
2 years 6 months ago

I get my mineral water from Manitou Springs. Fill up several gallons once a week and enjoy. Really good stuff and high mineral content if you know which springs to go to. Some of them are really disgusting and are just reserved for grossing out the tourists. 😉

chris
chris
2 years 6 months ago

“Extreme skeletal structures” compared against “elite athletes”?

Is this a joke? They compared it to cross country runners and swimmers. Of course the Neanderthals et al had more developed structures. How about comparing against elite sprinters or elite athletes of power based sports (rugby, football, hockey, etc)?

That study should’ve been tossed.

thinker
thinker
2 years 6 months ago
it is a fact that the term sustainably wild caught is a nice lie people tell themselves so they can feel like they are helping the environment. I can only think of one thing that is sustainably wild caught that actually fits the bill , that is stone crabs and the reason for this is that you don’t kill the crab you just take one of its claws and even then it is not a cheap product.Like it or not the future of sustainable seafood is farming it and even though the environmental nuts don’t like it , it will… Read more »
Rick
Rick
2 years 6 months ago

Well, if the future of ocean fish is farmed fish then we are indeed running out of something: wild fish. Maybe someday we’ll rely on Soylent Green. If that’s “resources aplenty” I’d rather starve. 😀

There are too many of us.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago

No, the fishing industry’s too sloppy with by-catch. They waste up to 66% of their haul in unintended catch that dies tangled up in their big drag nets. The dead fish/sea life doesn’t even get ground up and used as farmed fish food!

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago
Steph
Steph
2 years 6 months ago

Does that mean chronic cardio isn’t so bad? Or were the Neanderthals doing some kind of advanced antelope-transportation runs?

Pamela Bruesehoff
2 years 6 months ago

My husband was telling me about the sleep deprivation and brain damage… he’s a merchant marine and can go days with just a handful of naps… very scary!

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 6 months ago

Re: the wireless electricity and magnetic field–will this affect people with implanted machines, such as defibrillators, pacemakers, and such? As it is, they cannot use or be around microwave ovens.

Hobertah
Hobertah
2 years 5 months ago

Patients with pacemakers and/or ICDs can use microwaves. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/implantable-cardioverter-defibrillator/basics/results/prc-20015079
When microwave ovens were first introduced there was concern about interaction between the devices and microwaves. Those days have passed in the intervening decades with both newer ovens and devices.

Franklin Mason
Franklin Mason
2 years 6 months ago
I hope that the BMC Biology interview with Lewis Cantley on cancer and carbohydrate is widely read. A few quotes: “[A]ll the fructose you eat is cleared on its first pass through the liver. In other words, the liver scarfs up all the fructose and immediately converts it to fat, while glucose stays in the bloodstream for some period of time. That’s why we call starches hyperglycemic molecules; they keep glucose levels in your bloodstream high for a long time. That is good for the brain – the brain loves to eat glucose. It’s good for the muscle. But fructose… Read more »
Brian Stanton
2 years 6 months ago

Good to hear the gorillas are thriving over in Ohio. It makes sense that resistant starch improves their health markers because… high fiber is what gorillas eat in the wild. I don’t think these findings necessarily vindicate resistant starch and/or fiber for humans though, as the gorilla gut is FAR better adapted at converting fiber to fatty acids than ours. Just wanted to throw that out there – thanks!

thinker
thinker
2 years 6 months ago
@Rick the population problem is another made up crisis.The truth is that real population dynamics are pointing to a population bust as in the worlds population will actually decrease in future decades, we and by we I mean the people of the world are not reproducing at high enough levels to keep current population levels, and this is without accounting for things like wars , accidental deaths and disease. On the Soylent Green front what I am talking about is farmed fish being fed a diet that is actually what they are supposed to eat, instead of what they eat… Read more »
Nicole
Nicole
2 years 6 months ago

I’m skeptical at the number of articles regarding improvements in salmon farming that have popped up over the last six months. I’m wondering if this is an industry effort to drive to farmed salmon because we can’t be too sure about the impact to Pacific salmon following the Fukushima disaster in Japan?

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