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 31 2017

Weekend Link Love — Edition 484

By Mark Sisson
24 Comments

weekend_linklove in-lineResearch of the Week

Increasing cholesterol synthesis gene expression restores the walking ability of mice with multiple sclerosis. Too bad they’ll all keel over from heart attacks, no doubt.

In terms of cancer risk, nicotine inhalers are way safer than e-cigarettes, e-cigarettes are way safer than tobacco vaporizers, and tobacco vaporizers are way safer than cigarettes.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts


Episode 205: Jason Leapai and Jason Sakorsi: Host Elle Russ hangs out with Jason and Jason, hosts of The Savage Podcast. The Jasons are big nature-lovers, true outdoorsmen, lifelong martial artists, and committed Primal eaters.

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

What could have been an interesting discussion—should you cook with olive oil or coconut oil?—ends up a one-sided screed against saturated fat.

For the second straight year, U.S. life expectancy has dropped.

Media, Schmedia

I admire Rahul Verma’s efforts to fight the Westernization of the Indian diet, but he should really read Dr. Ron Sinha’s South Asian Health Solution.

A 63-year-old British man found himself enmeshed in a months-long battle with uncontrollable prostate orgasms after buying a special butt plug to nurse his infected prostate back to health and taking Cialis to heal a UTI. I’m sure those were the reasons.

Everything Else

An artificial pancreas that metes out insulin as-needed, even during HIIT.

Knowing back pain’s mostly in the head is often the only way chronic back pain sufferers can improve.

When to start collecting social security benefits.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Pretty incredible study result: In treatment-resistant depression, psilocybin increases the amygdala response to emotional faces, the opposite of what SSRIs do. SSRIs blunt negative emotions; psilocybin (with psychological support) help patients face and work through them.

Blog post that got me thinking: Excessive heavy lifting is unnatural!

Concept I’m pondering: Do schizophrenics have a better grasp on objective reality?

Podcast I enjoyed: Nina Teicholz on Joe Rogan.

Miscellaneous news I found interesting: Flight crews are exposed to more radiation than anyone else.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 31– Jan 6)

Comment of the Week

Sounds like you have some skin in the game.

– Nicely done, Nocona.

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24 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love — Edition 484”

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  1. I was disappointed in the back pain article. I was expecting mention of John E. Sarno’s work on psychogenic pain and didn’t see it mentioned. (Though I admit I only scanned this article once I saw where it was going.)

    The article seems to still take a machine logic view of pain, just a more complex one. The idea that the mind sometimes produces physical pain as a distraction and that treating the pain just reinforces it is maybe too hard for people to grasp?

    For those who find themselves playing whack-a-mole with physical symptoms, I suggest checking out Sarno’s work. It’s helped me a lot.

    1. wow I was typing my reply and you were touching the same topic (much better)

  2. I am surprised that the article about back pain does not cite Dr. Sarno

  3. AHA president had heart attack at age 52 – I’ll stick with Mark’s advice about healthy fats!!

  4. Reading the whole olive vs. coconut oil debate felt like I was reading something straight from the AHA itself. It’s a shame that the AHA is only fixated on LDL Not to mention in elders it’s been clearly shown the ones with the highest cholesterol live the longest. Olive oil is much higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids (pufa). In fact pufa is where most diets tend to fail simply because there’s too much of it in the diet, including most paleo diets. Haven’t used olive oil in over 4 years now. Just coconut oil, butter, and tallow. Occasionally macadamia as well. Fully hydrogenated coconut oil is probably the best of all. A 100 gram serving of fully hydrogenated coconut oil has 100 grams of saturated fat, no pufa at all. It’s hard to find though considering everyone is in demand for virgin coconut oil.

    1. Do you mean refined coconut oil? Because hydrogenation is a process to render oils solid and coconut oil is already solid so I don’t follow.

      1. Agreed, you definitely don’t want to buy hydrogenated oils. All the top Extra Virgin Coconut Oil brands out there are old pressed with assurances they do NOT hydrogenate their product. And why one would assert it’s hard to find is a “head scratcher” also, there are many stores and sites that sell it and it’s easily obtained.

      2. No, I mean fully hydrogenated coconut oil. Partially hydrogenated is bad, not fully hydrogenated.

    2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is high in polyphenols, which is one reason for its life extension properties as confirmed by many studies and why Mediterranean folks are among the longest living people on the planet (along with other lifestyle reasons, but even allowing for those factors).

      1. Well it’s never been proven that oilve oil was the cause of their life extending qualities. In fact it’s more likely their avoidance of pufa was the cause. While the west was using soybean oil they used olive oil which had drastically lower amounts of pufa. I don’t think there’s anything special about olive oil. The Asians were living just as long as the Mediterranean people and they used tallow. They also ate high carb diets.

      2. Coconut oil is currently the darling of the Paleo crowd, but not everyone loves it. Actually, it’s quite possible to be allergic to all things coconut, including the oil. The good news is that you can be just as healthy without it. I much prefer EVOO, butter, avocado oil, or bacon fat for cooking.

      3. Never discount sunshine effects on health. Malcolm Kendrick had a good post or two on the benefits of Vitamin D production and heart health (and likely other protective factors, which would possibly explain the high incidence of MS in Northern climes).

  5. The blog post about heavy lifting was cringe worthy. It jumped from one unsupported claim to contradiction with a bit of bragging mixed in.

    1. Double cringe worthy. Like any significant stress that produces a measurable adaptation, resistance training has risks. However, that just means the means of producing this adaptation should be as safe as possible and properly coached and supervised weight training produces an extremely low injury rate.

      I go occasionally to big box gym and I clearly see how there are injuries from lifting with gym bros.

      Substantial benefits accrue from proper weight training, well coached and motion pattern efficient, incremental weight increases, proper rest , nutrition, sleep.

      1. +2. He made it seem like everyone is squatting 600 and benching 350. Those select few who are have built up to that after many years. The one take away I did think was valuable in that post was the advice to carry weight on walks and over distance more, a practice I’ve engaged more in the last few months.

      2. He claims that locking out with weights is bad – it’s not. He claims that resistance training “destroys” joints – they don’t. He thinks that people resistance train because of weak egos, and spends the entire post criticizing others. It’s really a joke. And then there’s this incoherent mess of a sentence:

        “I do train indoors sometimes mostly in an freezing or hot box no fans or heat, but even indoors in freezing and hot conditions are brutal conditions, when inside reaches above 100 degrees that is fucking tough, but I train mostly it’s outdoors!”

  6. It was a great sign to see alot of the comments on the NYTimes article about coconut and olive oil. Looks like it’s starting to sink into the masses slowly but surely that healthy fats are not the bogeyman, and to not let the misinformed experts get away with their nonsense.

  7. From the link on the 63-year-old: “Why, for an obvious example, have we still not had any brain imaging of prostate-stimulated orgasms so that we can compare them with penile orgasms?” Levin writes. “Who will lead the challenge?”

    Who would sign up for that study? Well, I guess if it’s for science….

  8. Hard to believe the article on lifting heavy was posted here. Standards slipping a bit, yeah? Or maybe the curation of Weekend Link Love is being outsourced..

    1. If you read it as parody, it’s pretty awesome. My favorite bit was about bare-knuckle fighting. (Because sustaining concussions is awesome for health!)

      “But, I do think knowing how to box is one of the best thing any man can learn, it’s more valuable in the street, in crowded environment where falling to the ground and grappling in a mob will end in getting stomped!”

      1. Yeah.It’s hard to express sardonic context in text, but I think Mark uses an exclamation point generally, as he does here. “[V]ery little in the gym is natural to man, the body was NOT made to get strong in doors, it was made for strength outdoors, in harsh conditions, not the safe space in the gym” sounds Primal Blue to me except for maybe the word ‘harsh’, but dude leaves the reservation pretty quickly