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 01 2015

Weekend Link Love – Edition 337

By Mark Sisson
24 Comments

Weekend Link LoveThe LA Times profiled some guy named “Mark Sisson” and something called “Primal living”.

Research of the Week

The more tofu they eat, the worse community-dwelling elderly Chinese perform on tests of cognitive function.

In addition to killing gut bacteria, antibiotics also have the potential to destroy intestinal cells and damage mitochondria.

Among Finnish men, frequent sauna usage (4-7 times per week) is associated with greater longevity than infrequent sauna usage (once per week).

Exercise makes junk food less appealing.

Oh, look. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is real, after all.

Mindfulness meditation improves sleep quality in older adults with sleep problems.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 56: Andrew Steele of DNAFit: Host Brad Kearns talks with Andrew Steele, British Olympic 400 m runner and Athletics Specialist for DNAFit. Loaded with PhD biochemists, molecular geneticists, and nutrigenomists, DNAFit is helping pro athletes, weekend warriors, regular folks, and even me optimize our diet and training.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Interesting Blog Posts

A summary of Tim Noakes’ recent talk at the Cape Town LCHF convention.

Disrupting animals’ circadian rhythms makes them more likely to be preyed upon in the wild. Could the same happen to humans?

Media, Schmedia

Fridge contents around the world.

Sugar sales are down in the UK.

Cholesterol (and coffee) is back on the menu.

Everything Else

Technology is great and all, but we’re really missing out on some serious stargazing as a result.

Luckily, an increasing number of “dark sky advocates” are speaking out.

Your dog knows when you’re lying.

Are you the parent of a “free-range kid” who has no one to play with? Find a free-range friend by registering here.

Bans on tiny plastic beads in soaps, scrubs, cosmetics, and even toothpaste are spreading nationwide. Good.

There’s a small Russian village where every able-bodied inhabitant is an accomplished tight-rope walker.

When you look closely, tree bark is really quite breathtaking.

Recipe Corner

  • Shredded beef ragu: serve it up with some zucchini noodles, over some spinach, or in a big bowl all by itself.
  • If it’s anything like her slow cooker kalua pig, you guys need to make NomNomPaleo’s pressure cooker kalua pig.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Mar 2 – Mar 8)

Email of the Week

Dear Mark,

The exact moment that I fell for my now wife was during Primal Blueprint inspired sprints on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. As a recent convert she had read about the unique benefits of sprinting on the Mark’s Daily Apple website.

Prior to sprinting on Ocean Beach we ate brunch at San Francisco’s famous Cliff House. She was wearing a stylish Sunday brunch dress; I was probably wearing something equally semi-formal. The original plan was to walk along the beach and enjoy the family-friendly weather, which is saying a lot because San Francisco beaches are not the fun-in-the-sun type deals that I envision with Malibu beaches. The beach was packed. On our walk we were dodging dogs, kids, waves, and frisbees. Somewhere along the way she suggested that we get some sprints in. I was like okay… expecting some smooth striding. But on ready-set-go her elbows were hammering back and I was looking at them from behind. On the third or fourth sprint she unexpectedly pulled up. When I circled back I learned that a bee stung her on the foot. In a matter-of-fact tone she explained what happened with no whining, or language that couldn’t be used in a Disney movie. As per usual, she was so cool about things. And though she isn’t a pedigreed (former) athlete like myself, I appreciated that she had initiated the sprints in the first place, nevermind that she was wearing a dress!

We had a term when I played college rugby, “pin your ears back;” it applied when you were running with abandon to score, or chasing someone down at full tilt. To get the picture just imagine the aerodynamics of a floppy-eared Golden Retriever recklessly chasing down a tennis ball. Right then I knew how lucky I was to find someone so cool, different and special. So I pinned my ears back on our relationship, later proposing at Ocean Beach over a bonfire. Since getting married in July 2014 much has transpired. We are expecting our first kid in September 2015. The woman who didn’t wince at a bee sting to the foot cannot escape the discomfort of first trimester nausea, and the real challenges of a Paleo pregnancy.

The main reason that I am writing is that I believe her pregnancy story will resonate with some of your Daily Applers. She created a blog found at paleoob.wordpress.com to document her experience. As the blog’s name suggests she is an OBGYN. Her blog offers a unique point of view from a Paleo medical professional who knows quite a bit about this pregnancy stuff from the other side of the exam table.

On a side note, she has been named the Healthy Weight Advocate for her OBGYN department, and she is a member of the Physician Health and Wellness Committee within her medical group. On your website I read that one of your goals is help 10 million people get healthier. I would like to think of my wife as one of the ripples in your pond.

Thanks for allowing me to share. And we are profoundly grateful for being exposed to a lifestyle that has changed our lives.

Jacques & Paleo OB

– What a great story, huh?

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24 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 337”

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  1. Just made the mistake of clicking the paleo pressure cooker kalua pig link and wound up ordering an Instant Pot. MDA is good for the economy.

  2. Was I the only one who winced at the sad lack of vegetables in those fridge pics? Open those bottom drawers and show them off, people!

    1. I don’t eat any foods from the plant kingdom. I was in need of shoulder surgery, and had read that nightshades could be the source of my arthritis. Apparently they were. I didn’t need shoulder surgery, I needed to quit eating nightshades. Long story short I eventually quit eating all foods of plant origin, which cleared up a chronic skin condition, and some other health issues. So I wince when I see vegetables.

      1. @Dave, can I ask what you do eat then? Do you not eat any nuts or plant-based oils like coconut oil or olive oil? Do you eat dairy? I’m interested because I’m also pretty sure I have significant problems with nightshades with skin and joint problems, but I often seem to have problems with other fruits and vegetables that should be okay. This is on top of a definite gluten/wheat intolerance (aside from pretty much all of the symptoms that you can get from wheat, it very definitely throws my thyroid out of whack). But I’m also lactose intolerant and possibly allergic to milk protein as well, so cutting out all plant-based foods would pretty much leave me with meat and eggs, I think – and I may be allergic to eggs, too.

      2. There’s more to the vegetable kingdom than nightshades. Certain vegetables may not agree with everyone – and nightshades definitely have a bad reputation – but that’s no reason to give up all veggies! I’m glad to hear that your current diet has helped cleared up your health issues, but can I ask how you get the full spectrum of nutrients without vegetables? I just can’t imagine a life without veggies…

        1. I’m not sure that even the best and brightest food scientist can determine if anyone is getting their full spectrum of nutrients. I hope you never experience enough discomfort, and pain to choose a life without veggies.

  3. Thanks for the link about the night sky. There’s so much emphasis in ancestral health circles on getting enough sunlight and natural daylight, but not a lot of talk about the therapeutic value of stargazing. Even if you don’t know the constellations, and have no idea what you’re looking at, a good, clear night sky is just so damn beautiful it really doesn’t matter. I was born and raised in NYC and was 30 years old before I ever saw the Milky Way stretching out across the sky. (From the vantage point of a farm in Central Pennsylvania, with minimal light pollution.) Sleeping in a dark room with no phones/tablets/digital clocks shining in one’s eyes is important, but it doesn’t quite restore the *soul* the way stargazing does.

    I recommend the documentary, The City Dark.
    http://www.pbs.org/pov/citydark/
    Preview/trailer available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-Q_fWil-1E

  4. Thanks for the clinical evidence for gluten sensitivity. Perhaps Jamie Oliver’s TED talk featuring the dangers of sugar consumption may have influenced UK consumers?

  5. The celiac link initially caught my eye, but when you read the abstract, basically what they found is that people who thought they had sensitivity to gluten probably were sensitive to gluten. They chose people who suspected gluten caused them issues, and they found statistical evidence that it did. I don’t really see what is so ground breaking about this, but am I missing something?

    1. In summary the study took people who had a perceived but not confirmed gluten sensitivity. Every subject received either a gluten capsule or a rice capsule without knowing which it was. A significant number of subjects experienced gluten sensitivity symptoms when taking the gluten capsule over the rice capsule. Conclusion: gluten sensitivity is in the gut not the mind.

      1. Many thanks for clearing that up, I wasn’t aware of the previous studies that suggested gluten sensitivity was “only in the mind”. This link makes much, much more sense now, lol.

    2. There was a very similar study last year proclaiming gluten sensitivity was only in the minds of non-celiacs, because it found that subjects complained of symptoms even when on the placebo. However, the placebo used was whey protein, which has been implicated in digestive tracts issues before. This recent study used potato starch, which is much less likely to cause any issues

    3. I think the part of the study that warrants attention is non-celiac gluten sensitive individuals are often told it’s in their head. A double blind, placebo controlled study eliminates the “in their head” theory. Not groundbreaking but definitely helpful.

  6. I knew they would put manzanita bark in the bark book. Every time I lead hikes with visitors they are always amazed by manzanita. As for stargazing, a friend of mine lives in Wyoming at 9000ft and periodically sends astronomy photographs that he takes. I’m amazed by them sometimes. Did you know that there is a nebula in Orion’s sword and that those pictures you see of colorful nebulae are not color-enhanced? That color is real. And my friend can just snap a photo of it.

  7. I saw a morning glory flower on TV this morning when watching a show about being outdoors in the county I live in on a local channel.
    This may indicate that I can harvest some.

  8. When I go to make a rap I don’t simply take a stab at it,
    I savour the flavour, slice it into little bits.
    But normally I keep my spits corked like fine wine
    So that’s why I’m going to end with this line.

  9. Inspired by the piece on the podcast on DNAfit I ordered their report. What a huge waste of money! The cost was over $150 and the report contained very little, very shallow and sometimes incorrect information/ advice. E.g vitamin D supplementation recommendations for people with VDR snp’s is only 800IUs, and the report and the people behind it ( even in their response to my request to be refunded) make no distinction between folic acid and folate, and folic acid supplementation is recommended for people with MTHFR snp’s.

    I was very excited about what sounded like a very in-depth and personalized report ( it’s based on your individual DNA, after all) but received nothing but a brief summary containing much less actionable information than nutrahacker does, at a fraction of the cost of DNAfit.

    Perhaps even more troublesome, after researching DNAfit reviews on the net, I’ve come across comments from many people of varying ethnic groups receiving exactly the same recommendations. The same recommendations I received!

    Whether incompetent or actually fraudulent, this is definitely a service I would advice against. And you probably guessed it, I have not been refunded.

    1. Sorry to hear you had trouble, my experience was definitely different. Here’s a link to their advisory board which is stacked with PhD’s. http://www.dnafit.com/us/leadership-team/

      Andrew mentioned on the podcast that anything that makes the chart has to have around 100 different studies on humans – eg a proven connection between this gene and vitamin D – for them to mention it. They seem to have rigorous standards for the conclusions they offer.

      At any rate, I’ll pass along your comment and make sure they follow up with you directly!

      1. Thanks, Mark, I appreciate your taking the time to do that. They did get back to me, this time saying they would make a distinction between folic acid and folate in future reports aimed at the American market. No change in the low recommendation for vitamin D (400-800 IUs).

        Another thing I found very disappointing was that on an important topic such as detoxification, their only advice is avoiding charred meat. Dare I say “duh”.

        I’ve noticed that they have sent offers for free reports to various health writers and bloggers around the internet. Not a bad, and definitely not an expensive, way to advertise. If I got this, albeit limited, information for free I might be receptive to it. However, at over $150 it is definitely not worth the money and making it out to be so is misleading at best. Having used livewello ($20), genetic genie (accepting donations) and nutrahacker ($28 and lots of bang for the buck) DNAfit’s report told me nothing I didn’t already know.

        At their high price point one would also expect a more gracious customer satisfaction policy, but (as a European myself) I suspect that this can largely be explained by the difference in culture (DNAfit appears to be based in England) – the customer is definitely not right over there and DNAfit would do well to learn that the American market demands more than that, and ignoring that fact is a big PR mistake. As a healthcare practitioner I was eager to try this service in order to share and use it with my patients. Now I find myself in a position where I’d be remiss not to caution against it.

        Thanks again for your comment and for your willingness to relay my comment!

  10. I’m an African, my wife and I were talking about getting a different taste today. We just want to get away from our usual African delicacy… so i came online to search for men’s blog (i’m a blogger in the men niche – new).

    Here I am killing two birds with one stone. I’m going to try the Shredded beef ragu: this morning and pr’lly give the outcome if I didn’t po* all day long.

    Mark, you rock and I love your site!