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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May 10 2015

Weekend Link Love – Edition 347

By Mark Sisson
17 Comments

Weekend Link LoveThe 2015 Primal Life Kit is available right now. It’s 55+ eBooks, 25+ discounts, and more paleo/Primal goodies, including my latest publication, The Primal Blueprint Definitive Guide to Sun Exposure and Vitamin D Health, all valued at more than $1,000 being offered for less than $40 through May 14th. Learn all the details here.

If you’re looking for a job and would rather avoid those awkward “donuts in the break room, jar of coconut oil on your desk” moments from the last one, Paleo f(x) is hiring.

Research of the Week

Indulging your creativity can fight stress (and help you get more work done).

According to a recent meta-analysis of controlled trials, exercise is really effective against depression.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 66: Annie Botticelli: Annie is a paleo life coach with a unique vision of the universe that informs her practice. Host Elle Russ sits down with her for a chat about guilt, meat eating morality, spirituality, and Primal nutrition. If the incorporation of holistic spirituality with health and wellness interests you, tune in to the episode.

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

Let’s stop this in North Carolina before it spreads.

Is it really necessary to stop eating meat to optimize methylation, or is it a bit more complicated than that?

Media, Schmedia

Wired’s guide to buying drought-friendly California produce.

An alarming number of patients receive completely unnecessary and potentially harmful medical procedures, writes Atul Gawande in The New Yorker.

Everything Else

How to become gluten-intolerant.

Urban gardening (in traffic medians and other unused public spaces) is now legal in Los Angeles.

The story of Tibetan (yak) butter tea.

The best way to cook a frozen steak (without thawing it first).

Kid’s got good form.

Panera Bread (and a ton of other companies) plan to banish a long list of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavorings, and colors from their products by 2016. Guess companies are listening, eh?

I’m not so quick to throw “natural” under the bus, but what do you all think about this article?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 11 – May 17)

Comment of the Week

I’m still shocked that I was raised on margarine and tv dinners and bread and pasta and vegetable oils, but I’m now healthier, faster and stronger in my late 50’s thanks to Primal. 5 years and counting. I’m figuring every cell in the body is different after 7 years, so in 2 years I’ll be 100% certified caveman.

I’m always amazed at how it’s never too late for anyone to improve their life, no matter the circumstances. That’s probably why I keep doing this every day.

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17 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 347”

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    1. Just because something is genetically modified doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for you. Some, golden rice for example, provide much needed nutrients and more abundant harvests to less favoured parts of the world. This current wave of generalization that if it’s GMO it’s bad is just irresponsible — as most generalizations are.

      1. I also wish people would stop vilifying all GMOs! The technology can be useful (albeit almost always unneccary) to lower requirements for pesticides. The issue I have is that there is too much of an incentive for companies to push for more spray of the chemicals they sell along with their seeds while suggesting that their mission is to “feed the world” and reduce pesticide use.
        Golden rice currently falls into this category of BS because the system is set up so that the access to adequate nutrition (animal protein and fats) isn’t even high enough to allow for the vitamin A absorption. It seems the motivation is purely based upon capital gains of a select few, while providing very little, if any, societal benefits

      2. Not all plants are genetically modified so less pesticide is needed. Many, such as corn, are genetically modified to be resistant to pesticides. That way the fields can be thoroughly, heavily, and frequently sprayed to eliminate weeds without killing or visibly damaging the crops being grown. Others are modified so they can sit on the grocery store shelf indefinitely without rotting.

        Nobody really knows, long range, what ingesting so much pesticide derived from the food we eat does to the human body since we ourselves haven’t been genetically modified to be able to tolerate that stuff. And what about those supposed “nutrients”? How many of them get outright destroyed or corrupted into some sort of Frankenstein “nutrient” that can do harm to our bodies and our DNA?

        I’m not paranoid about it like some people are, but I do try to stick to non-GMO foods whenever possible. I think it’s just plain healthier. Bringing more food through lab technology to people who are starving to death is one thing, but let’s not mix apples and oranges. You’ll never convince me that food as Mother Nature intended it to be isn’t better when one is NOT starving.

        1. Sorry, I got interrupted and failed to finish my thought. Correct that to say: “…the fields can be thoroughly, heavily, and frequently sprayed to eliminate both weeds AND destructive insects.” The resulting GMO crop will be gorgeous. So what if it’s less than healthy?

  1. Regarding “Let’s stop this before it happens, ” I think the blog writer Robb Wolf misread the proposed act, and therefore his concerns are unfounded.

    If one reads the last portion of the bill as Mr. Wolff recommends we do, it lists persons and practices NOT affected, the operative word being “Not.” And therefore the act would not pertain to anyone unless they tried to call themselves a registered dietician or registered nutritionist.

    Please reread the blog and corresponding Section 13 of the proposed act to confirm my observation.

    1. Hi and thanks for reading. Appreciate your thoughts, but the deal is that paragraph 12 of section 13 prevents anyone from providing medical nutrition therapy. Medical nutrition therapy is defined as: “Medical nutrition therapy. – The provision of nutrition care services for the purpose of managing or treating a medical condition.”

      Actually, if you read these three definitions from the bill and apply to Section 13 you will get the big picture… regular people and professionals such as Naturopathic Physicians and some credentialed nutritional professionals will be breaking the law if they advise a food treatment for a medical condition.

      Medical nutrition therapy. – The provision of nutrition care services for the
      36 purpose of managing or treating a medical condition.
      General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2015

      (3b) Nutrition. – The integration and application of principles derived from thescience of nutrition, biochemistry, metabolism, and pathophysiology to
      achieve and maintain a healthy status. The primary function of nutrition
      practice is the provision of medical nutrition therapy.
      (4) “Nutrition care services” means any, Nutrition care services. – Any part or all of the following:
      a. Assessing and evaluating the nutritional needs of individuals and
      groups, and determining resources and constraints in the practice
      setting.
      b. Establishing priorities, goals, and objectives that meet nutritional
      needs and are consistent with available resources and constraints.
      c. Providing nutrition counseling in health and disease.
      d. Developing, implementing, and managing nutrition care
      systems.systems and ordering therapeutic diets.
      e. Evaluating, making changes in, and maintaining appropriate
      standards of quality in food and nutrition services.
      “Nutrition care services” The term does not include the retail sale of food
      products or vitamins

  2. Hey, is Ron Finley (the guerrilla gardener) wearing Vibrams in that photo? I see toes.

  3. Great article on “Overkill” by our industrial medical complex. Really liked these lines:

    “Virtually every family in the country, the research indicates, has been subject to overtesting and overtreatment in one form or another. The costs appear to take thousands of dollars out of the paychecks of every household each year. Researchers have come to refer to financial as well as physical “toxicities” of inappropriate care—including reduced spending on food, clothing, education, and shelter. Millions of people are receiving drugs that aren’t helping them, operations that aren’t going to make them better, and scans and tests that do nothing beneficial for them, and often cause harm…

    The medical system had done what it so often does: performed tests, unnecessarily, to reveal problems that aren’t quite problems to then be fixed, unnecessarily, at great expense and no little risk. Meanwhile, we avoid taking adequate care of the biggest problems that people face—problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, or any number of less technologically intensive conditions. An entire health-care system has been devoted to this game.”

  4. I read the meat-and-methylation article. Chris Masterjohn did a nice job on the interaction between methionine, B12, and folate, but surprisingly didn’t note that vegetarians and vegans tend to have higher homocysteine levels than omnivores. Simply avoiding meat and other animal products does not seem to confer any methylation benefits. Here’s Jack Norris’s take on homocysteine meta-analysis:
    http://jacknorrisrd.com/meta-analysis-of-vegans-homocysteine/

    “The average homocysteine levels in the studies were (µmol/l):
    omnivore – 11.0
    lacto-ovo vegetarian – 13.9
    vegan – 16.4”

    Masterjohn claimed three algal sources for B12, which Norris claims are B12 analogues not proven to be active in humans. Indeed, a study in which the subjects ate chlorella and nori saw a decrease in their B12 levels and an increase in their homocysteine levels. http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/plant

    Another quibble I had with Masterjohn: foragers don’t normally eat animal skin. They flay the carcass and use the hide to make clothing, blankets, and equipment. Even birds may be skinned rather than plucked, or wrapped in wet clay and roasted under coals. The skin and feathers come off when the clay is removed. I think it’s only the Inuit who eat the skin of some species, and I’m pretty sure they only eat the skin of some whales. They don’t eat caribou or seal skin.

  5. The New Yorker link on unnecessary healthcare is just scratching the surface of an alarming public health issue. Not too long ago a gallbadder was an innocuous organ assisting the digestive process. Now everyone and their aunt Bessie needs to have it removed? I know several people, some young and healthy, that have had the procedure but can’t seem to describe why it was medically necessary. Q:Did you have a stone? A:What’s a stone? All I can think of there is some new less invasive procedure that surgeons want to practice or the reimbursement rate doubled? MDA readers know to stay away from grain battered food deep fried in industrial seed oils and will live long and drop dead with their bile reservoir apparatus intact.

  6. “A food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.” Just eat meat and vegetables and skip the faux food.

  7. The North Carolina HB 796 is repugnant and in my mind appears to violate the constitution and the basic tenants of democracy.

  8. Loved to hear the news that Panera Bread (ate there a lot when I was visiting) and others are ditching all the crap in the food, though I have very little hope such measures will reach my neck of the woods anytime soon.

  9. Can you please comment on the study mentioned in this article?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/science/african-diet-may-lead-away-from-colon-cancer.html?ref=health
    Mostly it says “resistant starch is good for you.” We knew that. Also, even though the study only measured the effect of changing fat and fiber, it throws in some “meat is bad for you” stuff as if it’s an established fact that doesn’t require substantiation. Harrumph. It also asserts that South African Blacks eat “very little” meat, and implies that there is a meaningful genetic relationship between American Blacks and South Africans, neither of which have much relationship to reality, so far as I understand.
    I read the actual studies, and noticed that they didn’t actually switch the two population’s diets, they put each group on a parody of the other’s diet. Also, even the study they claim they are referencing to get the pre-existing diets from doesn’t mention any food diaries or any other source they would have gotten the respective population’s intake from. Very strange. I did note that they were “surprised” to discover that eating meat had a beneficial effect on the gut flora, but they skitter past that inconvenient fact very quickly!
    But there is an allegation that a high fat diet increases some kind of gut flora that they allege are bad news. Do you know anything about that? Is it actually associated with fat, or just with fat in the absence of fiber? Is it actually bad for you?
    Thanks!