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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 10 2017

Weekend Link Love — Edition 481

By Mark Sisson
10 Comments

weekend_linklove in-lineResearch of the Week

Canola oil worsens memory and learning in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.

When the Inuit began “markedly increas[ing]” their sugar and refined carb intake, diabetes and heart disease shot up.

Keto without exercise beats standard American diet with exercise.

In only 24 hours, just by playing games against itself, a new AI learned chess, go, and Japanese chess from scratch and destroyed world-champion expert computer programs in each game.

Playing Super Mario 64 increases grey matter in the brains of older adults.

The Tsimané people of Boliva are definitely not helicopter parents.

Cheese consumption linked to lower death rates.

Kids born during the temperance movement ended up with greater educational attainment.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts


Episode 199: Dr. Ken Berry: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Ken Berry about his new book, Lies My Doctor Told Me. Turns out the medical industry is rife with myths and falsehoods, even though most doctors mean well.

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

People shouldn’t “just accept” that loss of neurons is an inevitable part of aging.

Why “not even wrong” pseudoscience gets published.

Media, Schmedia

Are fitness classes the new religions?

NPR covers light therapy for bipolar.

Everything Else

Alaskan wood frogs take cold exposure extremely seriously.

The Asian restaurant chain PF Chang’s is coming to China… as an American bistro.

Art isn’t optional.

How a low-carb/high-fat diet might actually be lower in fat than a standard American diet.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I’m not surprised: Nootropic supplement loses to caffeine.

Study that I found very interesting: Among Filipino hunter-gatherers, the best storytellers have the most children.

Question I’m pondering: Should authors of nutritional studies declare their personal dietary beliefs?

I’m wondering the same thing: Is it time to retire conventional cholesterol tests?

Always a good read: Richard Lehman’s reviews of the BMJ.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 10– Dec 16)

Comment of the Week

I choose not to believe the this thing about the yetis.

– I’m of the same mind, wildgrok. The kid in me really wants to believe.

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10 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love — Edition 481”

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  1. Lots of great ones in there this week! Especially the comparisons with a SAD diet and the discussion on retiring cholesterol tests. (But let’s be honest, you had me at Cheese.)

  2. Thank you for these. I always look forward to this. It’s a part of my Sundays.

  3. About those frogs, impressive. Means it’s better to have enough glucose in the blood to better endure freezing conditions ?

  4. Always look forward to these! The canola oil study at Temple was interesting…makes you wonder if it’s affecting brain function in everyone who’s consuming it in large quantities. Yet another reason to stay away from it! And regarding the loss of neurons as we age (which was shown not to be the case) I’ve come to believe that nothing needs to be a “normal” part of aging. I’ve been Primal for years now and gradually transitioned to keto…at 51 I have more energy than ever and pass for much younger. So much of it boils down to what you are putting in your body and the stories you tell yourself.

  5. I had to laugh at the idea that eating cheese every day is linked to lower death rates. Sounds to me like a classic case of correlation rather than causation since a lot of healthy people do eat cheese. My guess is that it can be either good or bad, depending on various factors, and, like many foods, what it’s combined with can make a big difference. For instance, Alfredo-style pasta has long been jokingly referred to as a heart attack on a plate, maybe for good reason.

  6. Aren’t we going to discuss that an AI playing with himself for 24h got to the point of beating world champion computer programs in 3 strategic games?

    I hope our new overlords will be just, and will provide us with a free world, that we desire, but continuously fail to provide for our race.

    1. I saw how this ends in a movie. We just have to convince the AI that it’s best just to play a nice game of chess and leave it at that.

  7. Something I have never seen as a conflict of interest is:

    “What are the personal preferences of the researchers?”

    For Instance, my husband is a physician and prediabetic but he will not stop eating a lot of sugar, pastry & breads simply because he loves them. Does he know better? Yes. Does he have a bias? Yes. Could that bias influence how he might do research on sugar, diet etc? Yes! How many researchers DO NOT really want to find out that X, which they love, is bad for their health?

  8. For another perspective on that particular Canola Oil paper:

    https://medium.com/@kevinfolta/science-illiteracy-strikes-again-canola-oil-is-not-causing-alzheimers-and-dementia-c5694fd536b

    The GMO haters will never be convinced. The above is for those who remain skeptical about such claims regardless of whether they appear to support our prejudices or not.

    As a commentor to that article says:

    “I would like to know what is the story behind the Wanda Simone endowment for neuroscience that paid for this research as well as a several studies done by the same group at Temple on the neurological benefits of olive oil consumption. Back in the seventies, I was working at an agricultural college of a major university and I clearly recall the fight over the health impacts between butter and margarine waged between the animal science and plant science types and how the results they got seemed to support the sectors their grants were coming from. Then too sweeping conclusions were being drawn on findings that were clearly below the noise floor of the experiments.”