Category: Sun Exposure

Dear Mark: Hiking and Body Composition, Hiding Liver, Unconventional Testosterone Boosters, Cooked/Cooled/Reheated Potatoes, and Sirtuins

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions from readers. First up, why isn’t hiking giving one reader the shifts in body comp they expected? Two, is there actually a way to mask the flavor of liver? Then I discuss a few unconventional testosterone boosters, followed by a brief treatment of the cooked, then cooled, then reheated potato. And finally, are there any dietary activators of sirtuin proteins?

Let’s go:

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A Primal Look at Skin Care

By next year, Americans are expected to spend nearly 11 billion dollars on skin care annually. By some estimates anyway, the biggest share of this market goes to “anti-aging” products. Anti-aging… As I noted in an offhand way a few years back, there’s a certain enjoyment in looking good naked (or just looking good), and there’s nothing wrong with that. Looking “good” is largely a reflection of optimum inner health—nothing un-Primal about that. Great health is what we’re all here for. The “extra” rewards that come with it aren’t anything to shake a stick at—or to be sheepish about.

But the health ambition isn’t really what’s behind the statistics above. At their best, anti-aging products boost the body’s natural processes (or at least don’t undermine them with toxins). At their worst, these products promise a way to cheat effort as well as time. While taking care of your skin is part of basic hygiene, too often the claims have more in common with a hat trick than genuine wellness. But which is which?

Let’s discuss….

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Dear Mark: Primal Sun Protection and Stigmasterol Stability

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. First up concerns the effect going Primal has on your skin’s resistance to sun damage. While there isn’t any specific research examining ancestral eating and sun damage, several lines of evidence suggest a protective effect. Second, what’s the deal with stigmasterol, AKA Wulzen anti-stiffness factor? The WAPF says butter and cheese and milk are the best place to get it, but that pasteurization destroys it. Is this really true? And how does fermentation affect stigmasterol?

Let’s go:

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10 Common Primal Mistakes You Might Be Making

Most of us go Primal to solve problems created by Conventional Wisdom. The importance of whole grains and daily cardio, the dangers of dietary fat and animal protein, the primacy of carbohydrates for “energy,”—these untruths are promulgated so widely and fail so conclusively that you can’t help but look to the people saying the opposite for direction. That’s where we come in. Most of us go Primal to solve problems created by conventional dietary and lifestyle recommendations. Often these solutions involve doing the opposite of what the authorities are telling us. For the most part, it works.

Sometimes eschewing conventional advice goes too far, though. Sometimes we make serious blunders in our pursuit of Primal perfection.

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Winter Blues: How Cold, Dark Days Can Take a Mental Toll

After last week’s look at what winter does in terms of physical symptoms, I’d be lax to not address the obvious elephant in the living room: mental health in the colder, darker season. I’ll admit I don’t know too many people who look forward to this time of year past the holidays. The adventure of winter sports aside (for those who love them) and the chance for a little social hibernation (for those who prefer that), winter can take an exponential toll on people past the New Year. That said, just how much is relative inconvenience versus clinical reality? Do our moods collectively change? Why do some people experience more significant effects? What are the real hormonal influences this time of year, and what (if anything) can or should we do about them?

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4 Ways Winter Affects Your Physical Health

With winter all but officially upon us, we might already be feeling the season, maybe even planning warm weather vacations. I venture most of us have wondered if we’re not somehow healthier during the summer months. Is it just a mental vitality from the additional daylight hours and relative ease of outdoor time, or is there something more at work? Does our health really take a hit in winter? For those who enjoy this brand of trivia, there’s an actual field of study devoted to this called biometeorology. And with the minutely detailed research into epigenetic activity, we’re getting a fuller picture all the time of astonishing nuances as well as big picture shifts. To a Primal mind, it all makes sense. Humans evolved within a seasonal context—without any of the modern accommodations that would buffer climate or weather influences. Why would our bodies not have adapted with responsive wiring?

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