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: Supplements

How I Supplement For Training…And a Contest

This morning I shared how I’ve changed my approach to stress over the last couple of decades. For me, this meant first addressing the toll of my training. It’s how the Primal Blueprint, in fact, was born. In today’s feature and in this video (with my long-time friend and co-author, Brad Kearns), I talked about how adaptogenic herbs made a difference for my recovery. I formulated my own supplement to literally help myself first. Fellow athlete friends wanted to try it, and that’s how Primal Calm (now called Adaptogenic Calm) came into being. The fact is, like everything I’ve chosen to sell, my interest in the product sprung from my own story.

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Supplements For Brain Health: What Nutrients and Supplemental Foods Make the Most Difference

As humans, our most important bodily endowment isn’t our claws, sharp teeth, powerful haunches, iron grips, prehensile tails, venomous secretions, or aerosolized musk. It’s the brain. We use it to shape the world around us, to bend physical reality to our will, to manipulate matter and create powerful technological terrors. These days, the human brain is more important than ever. If you want to enjoy life, pursue and succeed at your passions, to conquer your little corner of reality—you need a healthy brain. Brain health is key to total health—and quality of life.

By some analysis at least, however, neurogenerative diseases remain on the rise and take an ever more extreme emotional and economic toll. So, how do we keep our brain health intact? While much of it comes down to doing the things that keep your brain healthy and avoiding the things that harm it—exercising instead of sitting on the couch, breathing exclusively fresh air instead of tobacco smoke, sleeping instead of staying up—another big variable is the food we eat.

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Dear Mark: Tick Red Meat Allergy, Seventh-day Adventists, Magnesium and Carnivory

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions and comments from last week’s post on the carnivore diet. First, Dawn gives us the unfortunate but necessary information that it’s not just the lone star tick who causes red meat allergy. Great. Second, what are 7-Day Adventists so healthy? Is it all because of their tendency to avoid meat, or is there something else? And third, I give some more thoughts on magnesium requirements on a carnivorous diet.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Folate Follow-up

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions taken from last week’s folate post comment board. Does folic acid increase cancer risk? It’s an open question, but I think we have a pretty good idea of where the research points. Next, what other nutrients can help people with MTHFR mutations? Is there anything else someone with a deleterious variant should focus on eating? Third, is folate good enough, or should you look specifically for 5-methyltetrahydrofolate? Fourth, how do I know if I have a MTHFR variant that increases the need for folate? And finally, what specific form of folate am I using in Master Formula?

Let’s go:

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Why the Type of Folate You Take Matters

We have a problem. When discussing vitamin B9, common parlance is to use “folic acid” and “folate” interchangeably, as if the two are different terms for the same thing. Talk to most OB-GYNs about the type of vitamin B9 in your prenatal, and they’ll say the difference doesn’t matter. Look at the average nutrition label, and it’ll list folic acid rather than folate, even though it’s naturally occurring. They are not the same. The difference is meaningful. 

Our bodies don’t actually use “folic acid” or “folate”; they convert them into 5-methyltetrahydrofolate—the useable form of folate. Folic acid must go to the liver for conversion into 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, but there’s an issue here: The liver doesn’t always make enough of the enzyme necessary to convert folic acid into tetrahydrofolate.

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Primal Starter: 10 Nutritional Actions To Enhance Insulin Sensitivity

What if a person secretes too much insulin in response to a glucose load? What if, for whatever reason (and there are dozens of possible culprits), a person’s cells are resistant to the effects of insulin? What if, to remove the same amount of glucose from the blood, a person secretes twice or thrice the amount of insulin? What happens when insulin stays elevated? Lipolysis is inhibited to an even greater degree. Body fat becomes even harder to burn. Susceptible brain, artery, and pancreatic cells are exposed to higher levels of blood sugar for longer. Muscle protein synthesis falls off a cliff. Glycogen is replenished at a diminished rate. And if cells are already full of glycogen and there’s nowhere else to put the glucose, it converts to fat for storage.

Obviously, we don’t want to be insulin resistant. We want to be insulin sensitive. Here are 10 nutrition-based actions.

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