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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December 04 2011

Weekend Link Love – Edition 167

By Mark Sisson
74 Comments

A PBS Science Bytes video describes a ketone-rich “life-saving diet” for diabetics that ends up sounding eerily familiar, and halfway through I was pretty jazzed. By the end, though, it was clear that their ultimate goal is to put the effects of having a fat-burning metabolism into a pill so as to avoid all that dangerous meat and fat.

I like this video better: Dr. Terry Wahls gives a TEDx talk on how a Paleo diet cured her MS.

Christmas is coming, parents. From Wired’s Geek Dad, here are the top five toys of all time.

It’s winter in Malibu, but summer in New Zealand. That Paleo Guy Jamie breaks down a recent study showing that endogenous defense against UV damage corresponds with circadian rhythm, and he makes some recommendations about when to tan for the best – and safest – results.

42,000 years ago, humans were deep sea fishing for tuna, a particularly large and crafty fish that requires complex maritime technology, quality hooks, and lots of planning. How awesome were our ancestors?

It’s been a good week for fish. Eating baked or broiled (but not fried) fish once a week was linked to a reduction in Alzheimer’s in a study with well-controlled variables. Another study found that infants who eat fish early may enjoy better immune systems (while both infants who took broad spectrum antibiotics in the first of week life and whose mothers took paracetamol while pregnant had worse immune systems).

How food flavor scientists literally engineer processed food to be addictive, in their own words.

Soft (read: agriculturally-derived, industrial, processed) foods lead to poor lower jaw development, crowded teeth, and trips to the dentist for wisdom teeth removal.

If you wanted to feel weak and puny today, look no further than this video of a guy busting out one-arm, one-finger pullups.

Recipe Corner

  • Try to bite just a handful of these sweet potato bacon bites.
  • If there’s one traditional, down-home classic American dish I miss from my childhood, it’s aloo gobi. Well, PaleoMe just posted a great looking recipe for Paleo aloo gobi. I’m on it.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 29 – Dec 4)

Comment of the Week

“try to avoid excessive gasping.”

There are some situations where that just isn’t possible or desirable.

– Too true, oxide, too true.

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74 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 167”

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      1. Yeah, that guy blows my mind. I would love to see what his regular training regimen looks like. It’s the same with Tony Jaa – I’d love to look like that, but I can’t devote 8 hours/day to training.

  1. Aloo gobi is that cauliflower curry stuff? AMAZING. Can’t wait to read that article about circadian rhythms. Fantastic science stuff. LOVE it 🙂

  2. “We don’t want to put anyone on the diet itself. We just want to figure out how the diet works, so that we can replicate the effects of the diet IN A DRUG.”

    Wow. Wake up dude.

    1. Yeah, that’s what I zeroed in on too. How lame is that?
      Time to go cook up some bacon and eggs.

    2. One of the ketones activates the niacin receptor in the liver to increase HDL-C and decrease LDL-C. So according to CW ketogenic diets are pretty damn good. (Not to mention the massive drop in triglycerides.)

    3. Yeah, we don’t want to treat something that you already have because you might get something else that you don’t have yet. Brilliant.

    4. Ha. Yep, that made me larf. But then if everyone went primal drug companies would see profits nose dive and we can’t have that!
      I’ve been a type1 diabetic for 23 years and since going primal 3-4 months ago my blood sugars have stabilised completely, which i’ve not experienced since i became diabetic. So i’d say from personal experience don’t wait for the pill…

    5. Yeah that line was horrifying, I mean – the diet already WORKS! What do you have to figure out still??

    6. unfortunately people turn to pills before they stop to think about changing their lifestyle. i’m sure the drug companies played a part in this.

    1. I had already guessed Dr. Wahl’s theories about the effects of the paleo diet on MS. How awesome to hear her tell the medical establishment the real path to health.

  3. I know primal readers are generally pretty smart, but does everybody really know that paracetamol is acetaminophen (aka Tylenol)?

    1. Woohoo, I knew that one. But only because I was raised in Germany.

  4. I’m getting my cousin a stick for christmas. Tired of seeing her on that itouch >:( shes 6!

  5. LOL

    We know how to cure all these diseases through diet, but we don’t actually want to change people’s diets.

    We want to make a pill instead.

    Classic.

  6. That guy doing the pullups should wear different pants. The sparkly thing isn’t flattering to his shaved head. 😉

    Looking forward to the TED talk.

    1. I want to buy those pants and go do some pull-ups in the playground here in Chicago!

      I’d be scared to death to do it but doing things you are scared to death to do if you aren’t going to die is… cool 🙂

  7. I had a chat once with a dental hygenist about wisdom teeth. His idea (which I thought completely relevant) was that humans’ teeth were like animal teeth – those wisdom teeth were there to move down into position when the front ones wore down and fell out. Seems to make sense. We wouldn’t have them if we hadn’t needed them at one time.

  8. The TED talk was wonderful, I shared it with my parents and they loved it.

  9. Thank you for posting the TEDx talk. I just sent it to my parents and siblings, and then called them to ensure they watch it. They’re sick of me talking about primal, but I think I’m just not explaining it well enough for it to catch… If seeing the dramatic changes in my health and well being in 6 months since going primal is not enough to convince them, then maybe seeing someone who was cured of MS will! I like how the video fuses such a great explanation of why paleo/primal eating works and is the ideal way for humans to eat, with an undeniable real-life example of the effects of the diet.

    Hopefully this video can also serve as a wake-up call for everyone to stop putting so much credence in modern medical “experts”. If a modern medical doctor acknowledged the failings of her profession and ended up back at the beginning (ancestral health models) then hopefully it will be easier for us lay people to do the same.

    1. Yes, Dr. Wahls’ TEDx talk is extraordinary. I emailed the link around today as well, to people who just haven’t quite caught onto what I’m doing. I hope that talk goes completely viral – that and a few others like it just might help push the PB into the mainstream (and the bread off the table!).

  10. Ahhhh, bummer, I’m sure I took Tylenol at some point in my pregnancy. Well, at least my 10 month old has eaten fish!

  11. When I was a kid we had an unofficial grapevine — whenever anyone in the neighborhood got a new appliance, we knew. We immediately went over and commandeered the BOX. We once used a washing machine box for an entire summer — as a fort, as a house, as a boat or just as a place to hide from our parents.

  12. The bacon wrapped sweet potatoes leave me drooling. Those look amazing.

  13. That food flavour scientist piece was very interesting – and damn scary. Dr Kessler (“Dr No”) wrote a fascinating book called “The End of Overeating” in which he revealed how all kinds of food products are engineered to be literally addictive – hitting the same centres in the brain as opioids – and it is just jaw dropping stuff. I don’t agree with all his concluding recommendations, but it’s definitely worth a read.

  14. Wow, quote of the week. Thank you Mark!

    I’m on Week 5 of Primal and the classic skinny fat appears to be going away…

  15. Argh!!! That PBS Video was promising and then became very frustrating at the end. Heaven forbid you put anyone on a high fat diet….just make a pill for it….these doctors are very smart people, but seriously misguided and ignorant. I can’t believe they know know the science behind low-carbs, good fats!

  16. Dr. Wahls mentions planning to present the findings from her research at the neuroscience conference. Has that been presented yet? Does anyone have a link to that info as well?

    1. Post it if you find it… Would love to see the results… I forwarded this post to a “CW” friend with MS…

  17. So typical of scientists, wanting to understand the mechanism of something so they can make a drug out of it. What’s wrong with implementing the ketogenic diet to reverse diabetes in the patience? Oh thats right, its too easy and you can’t make money that way.

    1. exactly right. its pretty hard to make money off a fairly easy diet change to Primal.

      $50 bucks a pill or so and then billed to your insurance provider sounds much better to the pharmaceutical companies.

  18. Dr. Wahls’ lecture is amazing. I’m a PT and I plan to share this video with all of my MS and Parkinson’s patients. I’ve recommended the Primal/Paleo lifestyle and given them book titles and blogs (MDA of course!), but maybe it will be easier to convince then to just watch a video!

  19. Well, I am up late again. I can’t stop following all these fantastic and fascinating links. So much for the stress reduction factor of health and my circadian rhythm! At least the diet aspects are going well.

  20. I can’t wait till the Paleo/Primal crowd gets big enough to make those processed food manufacturers start losing money…and go bankrupt! I know this sounds evil but seriously, it just makes me so annoyed to see them make it harder and harder to find clean, normal food.

    And I love the silver disco pants!

  21. Whoa, I’m impressed by Terry Wahles and her TEDx…
    Everyone around me is mainly fueled by grains and is “very healthy and active”. Apparently. The problem is that the negative side-effects aren’t felt or visible today.

  22. Thank you for posting the video by Terry Wahles. It’s very inspirational. It’s great to see more people coming to this knowledge. I’ve lost 145 pounds in the past 21 months and gained my health back thanks to this lifestyle. What FREEDOM I have now. I’ve put my story down in a blog. I enjoy your web site, keep up the good work.

  23. Inspiring video. Every time I hear a story of recovery or triumph, I am struck at how it is often the result of an unwillingness to give in. Never give up…NEVER!

  24. the “toy” video reminds of the book The Secret Garden, where the housekeeper gives a girl a jump rope…jump ropes are great for sprints- just try it for a few minutes and you’ll see how intense it is!

  25. I just made the aloo gobi recipe for lunch… it is ridiculously, lick-the-bowl, awesome. Thanks!

  26. That CBS story about food flavorists is eye-opening. It is going to make me even more careful about eating processed foods.

  27. Feeding diabetic mice less sugar improved their blood sugar? Shocker.

  28. Science Bytes: “We don’t want to put people on a high-fat diet…” Geez–why don’t they just talk to everybody on this site! There wouldn’t even be any liability and they’d have all the data they need. Sometimes these researchers really work in a vacuum…

  29. The TED talk was great, but there is no way my digestive system could handle the fiber from 9 cups of veggies per day. I also found it off that she didn’t include possibly the most nutrient-dense food in existence–eggs!

  30. I have heard the theory that eating softer foods leads to smaller jaws before. It’s in the Weston Price book. But I think people are leaping to conclusions. Not about jaws getting smaller–clearly that is happening, but about the reason why. First of all, I’m not sure why chewing more would lead to a wider or longer jaw. Is there any evidence of this? Is there any evidence that talking a lot when young leads to a larger jaw, or that walking early leads to longer legs? I don’t see that there is a correlation between use of a muscles and the length or width of the underlying bone.

    Also, my impression is that in pre-agricultural societies (and in agricultural societies without access to formula), children breastfeed much longer than they do in modern societies, typically for the first two years or more. If that’s so, then their jaws are not getting bigger from chewing hard foods.

    It seems more likely to me that smaller jaws are being caused by the nutrients in the foods we eat, or, I should say, the lack of certain nutrients. Comparing the jaw size and maxilla/mandible width of different babied at birth or in utero would be an interesting way to see if the change takes place before foods are introduced. I suspect it does.

  31. Loved Dr. Wahl’s video and proceeded to poke around her website. Her diet seems to be low fat of the Loren Cordain type. I do primal / paleo because I have an autoimmune condition. I was just about persuaded on the whole fat thing, slather my veg in duck fat have just located a marrow bone supplier but when someone like Dr. Wahl is advocating a low fat paleo version it has me questioning again. Anyone any thoughts on this?

  32. I am an MD, the remark at the end where that guy says “we are looking for a drug” after the recommendation to stay away from that “dangerous fat”(that doesn’t cause diabetic complications, GLUCOSE DOES), made me laugh hysterically. I can’t believe how pervasive this low fat dogma is in the medical profession, the solution is so simple, if your overweight and insulin resistant stop eating CARBS, its that simple. All animals evolved two fuel systems, one fuel is fat(in ketone and FFA form) and carbs. The ketone/fat fuel is not purely for “starvation mode”, most species of mammals are burning Glucose vs Ketones depending on the season and availability of nutrients in the environment. Are modern predicament is a Fructose/Glucose/Polyunsaturated fat/insulin resistance problem not a saturated fat/protein ketogenic problem. I just hope more doctors in my generation wake up to this lunacy and actually treat the etiology of a preventative disease.

    1. Great point on the fact that there is no known cure for MS. I’m dealing with this disease myself and it is very individual – what works for some does not for others, and it it very difficult to predict. While I don’t doubt following Dr. Wahl’s diet plan will make people healthier and may very well improve symptoms, it doesn’t mean the disease is cured or necessarily even slowed. Symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg – I’ve linked an interesting article on MS for any interested – and it talks a lot about inflammation, so no wonder her diet helped her 🙂

      http://www.mscenter.org/images/stories/InformsSummer09lowres.pdf