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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Category: Resistant Starch

Dear Mark: Can’t Afford Good Meat, Allergy or Preference, Cold Pasta, and Protein in Pregnancy

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a four-parter. First up, how does a person hope to maintain a Primal lifestyle if they can’t afford pastured meats and eggs and are unwilling to eat factory-farmed meat? Is it possible? Yes; read on. Next, what’s the deal with waiters asking if we’re avoiding bread because of “preference” or “allergy”? What’s it to ’em? Third, should Primal people care about the recent study showing a reduced blood glucose response after eating leftover pasta? We should, and I’ll explain why. Finally, how should a husband counsel a pregnant wife who wants nothing to do with mammal meat? I give a few tips.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Does Resistant Starch Cause Colon Cancer?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m handling just one question. I originally planned to answer more reader questions, but it turned into a complex answer that really made me dig deeper into something – butyric acid – I’d assumed was completely benign. I still do, mind you, for the most part. The position has just become more nuanced. Anyway, the question is from a reader who’s just seen a study that seems to implicate butyric acid, the primary short chain fatty acid that resistant starch-eating gut bacteria produce, in colon cancer. Was my ringing endorsement of resistant starch a mistake after all?

Let’s go:

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16 Things That Affect Your Gut Bacteria

A couple months ago, we explored many of the ways our gut bacteria affect us, focusing on the lesser known effects like anti-nutrient nullification, vitamin manufacture, and neurotransmitter production. Today, we’re going to discuss all of the ways (that we know) we can affect our gut bacteria. It turns out that the food we eat, the amount of sun we get, whether we eat organic or not, the supplements we take, and even the kind of nuts or chocolate we decide to eat – just to name a few factors – can change the composition and function of our gut microbiota for the good or for the bad. We may still have a lot to learn about this gut stuff, but the bulk of the evidence says that we do have the power (and responsibility if you care to be healthy) to affect the health of our gut microbiota.

Here are 16 things to do, eat, avoid, and/or heed:

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Dear Mark: Young Guy, Low Testosterone; RS for Babies; and Sprints vs Tempo Runs

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I answer three questions. First up is a young guy with low testosterone. He eats the right foods, does the right exercises, and has lived the right number of years, but he’s saddled with the testosterone of a much older man and wants to know why. Next, I discuss whether resistant starch is suitable or important for infants. The parents are benefiting from it, but does that mean an infant needs it, too? And finally, I explore the value of tempo runs – tough but doable runs maintained at the anaerobic threshold pace – for fat loss. How do they compare to my favorite fat burning exercise – sprints?

Let’s go:

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A Primal Primer: Leaky Gut

After I mentioned it in last week’s 10 Principles of Primal Living (Finally) Getting Mainstream Media Coverage post, several readers emailed asking about leaky gut. What is it? How do I know if I have it? Why should I care if I have it? What do I do if I have it? And so on. Turns out many and maybe most people have but a vague idea of what leaky gut actually means.

Today, I’m going to fix that.

In most popular conceptions of human physiology, the gut exists primarily as a passive conduit along which food travels and breaks down for digestion and absorption. It’s where bacteria hang out and digestive enzymes go to work. It’s a “place,” an inert tunnel made of flesh and mucus. Lots of things happen there but the gut itself isn’t doing much.

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Dear Mark: Leg Fatigue, Too Much Muscle Meat, Starch Persorption, and Hadza Study Author Responds

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions. First is a question from a reader who exemplifies the “between a rock and a hard place” situation inherent to chronic cardio. Second, I address a reader who worries that I’m not worried enough about exclusive muscle meat consumption. Third, I give my thoughts on whether starch persorption into the blood stream is a real problem for most people and a black mark against resistant starch. And finally, one of the lead authors of the fascinating Hadza gut biome study mentioned in a recent Weekend Link Love clarifies the precision of their sample preservation methods.

Let’s go:

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