April 02 2017

Weekend Link Love – Edition 446

By Mark Sisson
12 Comments

weekend_linklove in-lineRESEARCH OF THE WEEK

Marathons are hard on the kidneys.

Chimps hear music but they don’t hear it, man.

Heart disease patients who were intolerant to statins had more cardiovascular events than those taking statins, but they also lived longer.

The house mouse is at least 15,000 years old.

Daily tea may protect against cognitive decline.

NEW PRIMAL BLUEPRINT PODCASTS

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Episode 162: Dave Asprey: Host Elle Russ chats with The Bulletproof Exec himself, Dave Asprey, about his new book, Head Strong, which helps people boost cognitive function, optimize brain health, and eliminate the dietary and environmental triggers bringing us down.

INTERESTING BLOG POSTS

What’s unsafe for your pets to eat? Here’s the real list.

Genetic links between Indians and Latin Americans.

Suicide risk assessments might increase the risk of suicide.

MEDIA, SCHMEDIA

Here’s what happened when three people measured their individual glucose responses to different foods.

McDonald’s switches to fresh beef in their quarter pounders.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Next time you’re in Istanbul, you may be able to work off some of that doner kebab by trampolining and rope-swining your way through a city park.

A descent into India’s strange, beautiful step-wells.

How shame retards personal development, plus other notes on mindfulness and self-judgment.

Prince George is attending a nursery school where having a best friend—an essential aspect of human development—is banned.

Patients are increasingly opting to stay awake during surgery.

Ice skating, meet hiking.

THINGS I’M UP TO AND INTERESTED IN

True crime story I liked: How the Iceman was killed.

Study I found interesting: Physicians who spend more money on patient care do not produce better outcomes.

Article I’m pondering: Where Zika is most likely to hit the continental United States.

Product I want to try but probably shouldn’t: Black Insomnia Coffee, sporting the highest caffeine levels ever recorded.

Miscellaneous news I enjoyed: Dinosaur descendent attacks New Jersey family, plunging headfirst through the windshield.

RECIPE CORNER

TIME CAPSULE

One year ago (Apr 2– Apr 8)

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

I have worked in pharmaceutical safety for six years, and am involved in clinical trials every day. The following is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer.

I’d just like to clarify the point about study discontinuation, since Mark points this out as a key smoking gun here. Many drugs are now tested for so called MACE (major adverse cardiac events) events – this is particularly true with diabetes drugs but is often seen with other classes including CV drugs. This really became more common after Avandia and the discovery of unintended CV events. Cardiovascular outcomes trials are almost always results-based and do not have well-defined timelines. That is, they go until they reach enough MACE events to draw statistical significance, then stop. Drug companies will have some idea of how long this should take, based on their knowledge of patients with this disease. Without seeing the protocol I don’t know about the timelines here, but I would expect that they reached their endpoints early. Clinical trials are massively expensive and companies aren’t going to keep running a trial once they get to a level where data is statistically significant.

Ending a study early doesn’t necessarily indicate poor outcomes related to study drug. It could mean that they have reached the designated number of endpoints in the control group. More importantly, it could actually indicate that their treatment is so effective that it’s unethical to keep giving patients a placebo or comparator. This happened with a cancer drug that I was working on – it was so clear that the drug was extending lives that FDA didn’t feel it was ethical to withhold the treatment from the other group. I doubt that’s what happened here, but it does happen and ending a study early isn’t damning on its own. In fact, Amgen is about to enroll on a long term, open label extension of this study to examine potential adverse events, so I highly doubt that this was stopped early due to safety concerns.

Otherwise, I agree with you that it didn’t improve mortality and therefore is not a huge deal. Wall Street also agreed, and Amgen stock took a hit, even with positive results.

– Important insight from an insider. Thank, wildrover.

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12 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 446”

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  1. Thanks for the article on suicide. One of the more challenging situations I face is when a child states they feel suicidal. It’s scary for just about everyone – child, parents and me. I make decisions based on clinical reasoning, not legal ones, but I certainly understand why someone would place a 48 hour hold to show that they made the best efforts to protect a client (and avoid getting sued or losing their license). My reasoning for not doing so is that forcing someone into a psych unit when they are feeling vulnerable likely feels horrific and increases negative feelings about themselves. As I tell parents, that will keep them alive for that period, but we all have to deal with what life is life afterward. Hardest part of my job, without any close second.

  2. I had a perma-grin watching the Duluth video. What fun.

    Thank you McDonald’s for now giving us fresh poisoned CAFO beef instead of the frozen CAFO poisoned beef.

    The new Robb Wolf book is nice. We’re getting closer and closer to knowing that each and every one of us can fine tune our own eating habits. I’m still a little confused about how whole cultures (Kitavans/Eskimo) all handled pretty much the same diets without much problem.

  3. Tried modafinil and armodafinil, they’re ace. Was hoping there would be no effect and I could forget about them. Now that I like then I want to know if there are any side effects that I should be aware of. The Internet in general seems to have nothing alarming to say other than you can build up a tolerance. Has anyone heard of our had any negative experiences with these things? Thanks for any help

    1. I took armodafinil (Nuvigil) for about a year and a half. While it is awesome while taking it, coming off of it was a nightmare – low energy and a huge depression for at least a month, maybe two. I would be very wary of recommending it.

  4. “Ending a study early doesn’t necessarily indicate poor outcomes related to study drug”

    But I suspect it USUALLY does.

    Going to keep drinking my three cups of tea daily, good to read some confirmation that I’m doin’ somethin’ good. 🙂

  5. Enough with the Zika! The last time I checked, the World Health Organization found no causal link between ZIka and birth defects. ZIka was first found back in the 1940’s and has never been an issue before. Why suddenly now? The chances seem very good that Zika and birth defects is a mere correlation, not causation.

  6. Just a few comments here…totally skipping the Black Insomnia Coffee! The instant pot recipe made me chuckle…back in the 70’s my mom used to make a recipe called “Lamb Curry in a Hurry.” And loving Elle’s interview with Dave Asprey…I was listening to it while climbing stairs today and will finish up on my walk tomorrow. It’s a great interview because Elle clearly read the book and knows what she is talking about so they are able to have a real conversation.

  7. Glad to see the ‘safe pet food’ list allow for garlic in appropriate quantities – we’ve been feeding our dogs Garlic for years in lieu of worming tablets/tick treatments, and have never had issues with either.

  8. I recently bought some lamb stew meat from a local farm here in North Carolina, and I’ve been using my Instant Pot to whip up different stews/curries on busy weeknights. The “hurried lamb curry” is definitely in the same spirit!

  9. Physical Fitness can be attained with two parameters one is effective and regular work outs and the second one is taking the appropriate and adequate amount of nutrition.

  10. Can’t talk now – mind has been blown by pictures of those stepwells in India