Weekly Link Love — Edition 114

Research of the Week

TG/HDL ratio is the best predictor of heart disease in women.

Low cholesterol, higher mortality.

More fluoride in drinking water, lower vitamin D, calcium, and parathyroid hormone.

Adult neural stem cell activation requires a healthy circadian rhythm (in mice, but probably in people).

Alcohol consumption studies might be inaccurate.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 465: Max Lugavere: Host Elle Russ chats with author and speaker Max Lugavere.

Primal Health Coach Radio: Yours truly appears on the podcast.

Media, Schmedia

More meat, longer life (in Japan).

Interesting Blog Posts

Finding THE one decision.

About that new study

Social Notes

Lovely stuff.

Everything Else

New WHO diagnosis guidelines mean to qualify as COVID-positive, you need two positive tests and symptoms.

Interesting paper on conflict and human development in the “anarcho-capitalist” society of medieval Iceland.

They’re really coming out hard against meat.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Sadly not surprising: The “autoantibodies” of severe COVID.

Who could have guessed?: Measures against COVID are likely adversely affecting our innate immunity via excessive sterility (the hygiene hypothesis).

I had no idea this even existed: Korean “artificial sun” reaches a higher temperature than the real sun.

If I were 18 and living in Britain…: Who wants to be a bison ranger?

Interesting piece: How food engineers engineer everything about processed food, not just flavor.

Question I’m Asking

Is this a good idea?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jan 15 – Jan 21)

Comment of the Week

“Never got in to the whole Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter thing. The internet is, for me, a tool to research and learn about things that interest me. I’ve seen nothing to change my mind. For the last decade what I’ve seen and heard about the goings on on social media makes me think it drives people further apart rather than bringing them together. Some of that is probably driven by the lack of cues, such as tone of voice and facial micro-expressions, that text communication lacks.”

KLL makes an interesting point about the lack of cues.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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66 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 114”

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  1. *pop* Yaaay! More booze! On your question: No, it is not a good idea. While I’d love to have a chat with Abraham Lincoln or a deceased loved one, it would not be real. Aren’t current communication methods sufficiently lacking in reality already?

    1. Plus, they deceased will be used to sell products. Think about it, great grandma trying to sell you condoms during a “chat.”

  2. Ah, but the idea is that “perception is reality”. Reality doesn’t matter (they think). But belief in this idea is growing..

  3. Hi Mark,

    I’ve always been a huge fan of your work and greatly respect the amount of scientific study you put into your posts. In the nutrition world a lot of Bro Science can eclipse what’s been proven through study.

    I was wondering if you had heard the (possible) myth that eating white fish makes your skin thinner. It is something spread in body building during their cut phase and was wondering if there was any proven truth to that.

    I noticed that on a per calorie base the minerals such as Phosphorous and Selenium are higher and the Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance obviously weighs in the cod’s favor.

    If you have any insights they would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for everything you do!!!

  4. Wonder if those who want to alter plants to have a higher protein content have ever considered the potential negative consequences of genetic engineering, both to people and to the planet?

    1. They never seem to imagine the unintended consequences if their idea goes sideways, or worse.

      Jurassic Park anyone?

  5. Censored comment from last week: I’m positive about the future. It’s a weird state for me, as I’m not particularly prone to a positive viewpoint (say that, three times fast), but I’m genuinely hopeful…

    1. Don’t get me wrong, things do seem dire in certain light: The social divide in the US and world-at-large seems to be growing; the social compact and the principles behind the Great American Experiment appear to be undermined by a partisan admixture of fear and virtue signaling, people we disagree with aren’t simply entitled to their opinions and ignored but are actively cancelled, and science is only acceptable when it supports a particular viewpoint.

    2. The environment is ugly. People are sick. Despite the optics, I’m sanguine. The world still turns, and will do so long after we’ve exterminated ourselves. Evidence of plastic-fagic bacteria demonstrates how we too readily dismiss nature’s ability to balance disruption in her systems. COVID-19 sucks, even for those who will never catch it, but any sense of a “new normal” is short-sighted and ignorant of the impermanence of all things. The Black Death lasted for three years and paved the way for the Renaissance in Europe.

      1. The Antonine Plague during Marcus Aurelius’ reign lasted 20 years. It ended up killing him. The disease?…measles virus.

    3. There are different ways to see the recent US election and the chaos surrounding it – the collapse of classic liberalism, the rise of social justice, the death of America, or the birth of a better version. Who knows? There have been dark ages before, and we tend to thrive in chaos. We human beings have outlasted totalitarian rule, many times. Hell, we survived an evolutionary journey against genuine monsters with razor claws and sabre teeth. Stupid disagreements and existential threats are no more perennial than the seasons, and we’ll see another Spring.

      1. My explanation for why I posted a response to last week’s comment was moderated. I don’t know why.

  6. It sounds to me as though you are reintroducing the idea of Buffalo Commons. I think it’s a great idea but then I’m not a farmer or a rancher who lives and works in the area that would be affected.

  7. I use to think Global Warming was a scare tactic. Now I see past the fog. If we do not change the way of the world, eventually over much time we will be rendering ourselves extinct. I never thought I’d get sick, but then here we are. I personally am trying to help others understand food has everything to do with our health. Their are causes for illness it’s not this big unknown we are being told by the medical community. I want to plant a green house and be more self sufficient on a small scale. I really want to help others to see that inflammation has a huge part to do with what we are eating and the quality of our food. We the people need to demand better! I want to see in the future a trust and relationship built with the farmers. I live in the country where I can go pick my own seasonal fruits and vegetables. Buy organic so it can grow. It is such a small part of any grocery store. Even the bugs have purpose I’m witnessing. Their should be a balance and that balance should be protected.

    1. I’m old enough to remember how we were all told by these same people that a Coming Ice Age would wipe out the planet and mankind, untold calamity would befall us, if we didn’t take drastic action then. All kook science fraud. Now those same folks are telling us the Earth will burn up, wiping out the planet and mankind, untold calamity will befall us, if we don’t take drastic action now.

      “EVERYONE KNOWS that eggs are bad for you, meat is bad for you, butter is bad for you (be smart – eat margarine), esteemed experts have declared these things to be true.”. And we are bombarded with the same junk science with climate change, pushed by those with bad motives and hidden agendas.

      “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

      1. You are 100% correct. Was just thinking the same thing- still waiting for that calamitous ice age they were predicting when I was in high school. Folks who say the science is settled are doing harm to science. All science is theory and saying it’s settled spells the end of questions. Much like evolution is pushed as settled science in schools- it is only a theory and to say otherwise is to discourage critical thinking.

  8. Hi, Mark,
    Yes Siree ! the way forward is to look again at our interconnectedness with all of nature. You might like to check out Zac Bush on this.
    Also when the 88 million bison roamed freely, it was the native Americans who used their meat , their hides, and probably did a lot to manage the health of the herds. While we cant go back to that wild roaming, still the native americans have the skills to lead us into sustainability.

  9. Regenerative agriculture is the ony way forward. I am from Sweden and here the farmers circulate between crops and livestock all the time, I grew up seeing this. They know that if they dont they deplete the soil and its game over. Now, however, there is a hard push away from animal agriculture here too. Without animals the farmers will have to rely on industrial fertiliser and will inevitably deplete the soil, this is how you make deserts. Regenerative agriculture is how you reverse it.

  10. I absolutely think you are correct and if you get the money can you possibly get this group organized!!! I follow many people including doctors, scientists etc and I always think if we organized somehow we would be a force and we need to be a force!
    Most people who believe this low carb, keto, paleo, ancestral eating all believe the same thing with a few changes here and there!!!

  11. Land conservation and the reintroduction of keystone species is a good start. Wolves are an integral part of the equation (Yellowstone) as are beavers and the the whole plant and animal/insect web. As humans, we would have to educate and tolerate the less “desirable” wildlife in our effort to sequester carbon and feed ourselves in a Paleo framework.

  12. In response to Mark’s question about Musk’s challenge – check out the book “the soil will save us” by Kristen Ohlson. In short, it’s already being done, we just need more of it!

  13. Hi Mark, great thought this morning! And quite feasible and relevant. I live in Ottawa, Canada where, about 80 years ago the then prime minister William Mackenzie-King created Gatineau Park, just north of Ottawa. Its mandate is split between wildlife and nature protection (no bison though, but some wolves, coyotes and black bears) and recreational activity, managed by a government agency. Just south of Ottawa, the city created the “Greenbelt” for much the same purpose, though allowing some agricultural use. So the solutions exist and we only need to connect all such nature conservancy spaces and get land donors and idea financers engaged. Plus, during covid times in Canadian winter, having 250km (160miles) of cross-country ski, snow shoe and fat bike trails in the Gatineau Park is saving our mental sanity.

  14. I’m in. We stand to take over 14 acres one day, and while it’s small, I’m already talking to my husband about the possibility of raising cattle on a larger scale than they already do.

    May it be.

  15. Seriously, plant trees and natural grasslands including the animals upon it (bison etc). Where’s my $100 million, Elon?

  16. Sounds great – idealistic. Trouble is there are simply waaaaay too many humans on this planet. That and our associated waste will lead to our demise. The planet will survive though! Thats a relief!

  17. Great idea!!! AND wolves and predatory animals need to be included to help with the bison and elk populations and to help keep the herds heathy.

    1. Yes! A very important part of nature’s balance is the *complete* cycle. This includes predators ?

      1. Yes! A very important part of nature’s balance is the *complete* cycle. This includes predators!

  18. Yes–and that is being done in some areas but I would also add that this should be an initiative led by Native American tribes. This is an area where a reclamation of the former ways of benefitting from herds would also help to revitalize and strengthen the economics of reservations. Tanka company in South Dakota has started this work, but there’s great potential for it to be further developed. It should definitely be a government program that infuses tribes with the resources to restore ancient herds, seems like the kind of thing the Biden administration would be interested in developing.

  19. The article on longevity in Japan says that a study shows that they seem to have extended their lifespans by introducing more meat to their diets even though other studies have noted that processed red meat reduces lifespans. There it is again: because *processed* red meat is problematic, all red meat is bad. I wish nutritionists were more precise about that. “Processed” means what? Processed, like hamburger being ground? Or specifically that sodium nitrate/nitrite have been added? (I’ll bet the Japanese aren’t pigging out on preserved sausages.) If consumption of sodium nitrate/nitrite leads to poor health outcomes, isn’t the advice of “Red meat bad! Avoid red meat!” throwing out the baby with the bathwater? If scientists can’t be more precise, how are people supposed to make smart dietary decisions?

  20. The future is the past. This is so true. That being said, there is nothing we as human beings can do to completely stop global warming. When you look back at history climate changes are a natural occurrence of Earth’s existence. Turning the entire state of Iowa into a Bison ranch is not going to change anything, although I think that is a cool idea. Even if we all become vegetarian and quit driving cars, climate change will continue to occur. All we can do is be responsible for ourselves and thoughtful of our local environment. If everyone did that at their local level, I believe positive impacts would occur. I think local climate control within your community is how to truly combat some climate changes. What is needed in Los Angeles to improve climate is not necessarily needed in a small town in Iowa. One size does not fit all and having that mind set makes goals too hard. Start small based on local needs. If we all take responsibility for ourselves and strive to be independent the world will be a better place. America was founded on this idea, maybe climate change can be, too.

    1. I agree! One size fits all will not work. Starting at the local level will also have a smaller ripple effect on surrounding areas.
      So will acknowledging that the climate is going to change and that most changes in nature occur slowly. We are not necessarily going to see the results in our lifetime.

  21. Calling it how the West was “won” made me cringe. We could say instead some sort of summary including: “before colonizers wiped out the majority of the bison and created what would eventually be the dust bowl while displacing /native civilizations” would be more accurate.

    1. Yes besides killing everythng nature has to offer, white settlers wiped out indigenous civilization.

  22. I’m afraid the past is too often contrived and people are only trained to look to the future. That’s how we always get lost in our evolving and resetting civilization. Lessons need to be learned before the end result wipes us out. It’s happened before and will happen again. Frak!

  23. Genuine question regarding alcohol. Does anyone, in an n=1 primal self-experiment, ever regret NOT drinking?

    Does anyone, after drinking, actually feel BETTER the next day? Or, for that matter, at 3-4am?

    1. For me, alcohol is entirely about context. There are a great many times where I would have regretted not drinking, like in social situations, with friends around a campfire or at a holiday gathering, or if I made a really terrific batch of mead or wine and was happy about it. Or celebrating something that went well. Or having a conversation with someone and it went later on into the night than we expected. So if I had not been drinking when it made sense to do so, I’d have probably regretted sticking to an absolute rule. I feel great about that the next day.

      Pointless drinking out of routine or habit probably wouldn’t have the same effect.

    2. The answer to your first question is no. The second question doesn’t really apply since I don’t drink enough alcohol to become inebriated or hung over. It doesn’t affect the way I feel the next day. My alcohol consumption is an occasional glass of wine with dinner. I’ll have a gin & tonic once in a blue moon but don’t really care for the hard stuff. Hope this helps your survey.

  24. I did watch the “directors cut” of the movie Sacred Cow. They are saying much the same as you. I think you are also on the right track. Thank you.

  25. We need visionary “Big Thinkers” who write pieces like yours about bison. The problem is that the narrative about climate change is dysfunctional. It boils the issue down to people creating carbon. No, no. Big problems don’t work like that. Climate is more complicated than any of us can can imagine, and huge changes happened before people had anything to do with it. The whole premise is false. Perhaps the Sun has something to do with it?

    1. I agree, Jeff. The sun has a LOT to do with climate change, in fact maybe everything.
      Specifically, it has to do with the angle of the earth’s orbit around the sun. Our orbit isn’t carved in stone; neither is the planet’s rotational axis. They both tend to shift a bit from time to time. This can create huge variances in our climate, and there’s not a thing we can do about it.
      Going backward to an earlier era probably isn’t the answer. There are too many people on the planet and too little cooperation between countries for that. Cockamamy ideas like the Green New Deal aren’t the answer either. They would only bankrupt us without solving much. The climate will change regardless…just as it has done throughout its entire existence.
      A better idea than trying to stop climate change–which is going to prove impossible–would be to stop denying its inevitability and figure out ways to effectively deal with it.

  26. Yes, speaking as a grassfed regenerative rancher myself: what evolution has wrought over 100’s of millions of years IS the answer. There is no better one that we puny, outsized-ego humans could come up with.
    Plants, animals and microbes, along with climatic and topographic features have co-evolved TOGETHER, mutually beneficially, for eons.
    The only thing to consider, is that while nearly 100 million wild herbivores certainly was the number existing before the 1700’s, it was that number on ALL of the USA. That would involve taking down ALL fences and removing ALL domestic herbivores, in order to keep the rangeland healthy and not overgrazed and allow migratory movement.
    That will not likely happen in the land of private property and “individual freedoms”.

    However a good combination of domestic and wild herbivore herds and flocks can be worked out. Starting with ending CAFOs and industrial agriculture (BOTH plant AND animal industrial Ag contribute significantly to climate change) , instituting grassfed regenerative grazing /browsing practices according to animal type and location, and putting in place enforceable policies that benefit BOTH nature AND ranchers and farmers.

  27. I love the variety of valuable content in these “Weekly Link Love” editions, however, there are times when I wish there was more info provided in front of the paywall that exists on some of the sites linked. In particular for this week, the very first link that says, “TG/HDL ratio is the best predictor of heart disease in women.” The link goes to the abstract form, but nowhere in the abstract does it speak to the result that TG/HDL ratio is the best predictor of heart disease! It does give other valuable info, but I wanted to read specifically about the TG/HDL ratio results. If that’s the come-on in the title you gave for the link, it seems to me that you ought to summarize that info on this page, since it exists behind a paywall. Disappointed.

  28. Re: Mark’s Sunday with Sisson on bison and the future of farming and climate reversal:
    Have you seen the new documentary “Kiss the Ground”? It depicts how sustainable farming practices remove tilling and allow the soil to regenerate, helping the earth the livestock, and…man. Clearly explained with fascinating images. Without this change we are doomed to repeat the Depression of the 1930s, and this with all our “technology and know-how”. Watch with your kids: I did!

  29. I loved seeing your email today about carbon sequestration via grasslands with herbivores.

    There is so much potential to sequester carbon with regenerative agriculture, building soil that will help us be healthy in the process.

    For anyone interested, good resources include Joel Salatin, Sir Albert Howard, and Dr. Zach Bush’s Farmer’s Footprint.

    To health!

  30. This is getting some attention…this week’s Science Friday 1/22 on NPR featured guests talking about the soil. I was heartened.

  31. Absolutely love this. Thank you, Mark, for the time you put into your Sunday articles. This is Dr. Jodi from The Keto Prescription medical clinic in Honolulu, HI. Aloha!

  32. Enjoyed Sunday with Sisson (as always).
    Agree that the sustainable way forward is retracing our steps backwards. Perhaps Elon Musk, and all of us, should read The Overstory, for more on this to learn.

    Best to you!

  33. “The future is the past.” Thank you for smacking me upside the head with that one sentence. My day has become instantly more positive. This is at the very heart of the homesteading and self-sufficiency movement, which is really just a reincarnation of farm life from the old days. We should all hope that we can voluntarily move toward such a lifestyle rather than having our modern conveniences yanked away from us (Via, EMP or other monstrous event).

  34. We sold most of our farm off and are on 12 acres now. We got rid of most of the lifestock over 20 years ago and just kept a few chickens until 3 years ago. We have an orchard and are filling our former hay area into a wooded area. Planned it out and doing things in sections each year. Growing tree’s, bushes, vines and flowers. Growing perennials, food crops scattered around tree’s and lots of milk weed and herbs. It’s amazing on how much wildlife are flourishing for us here and each expansion is changing our piece of the world. The guy that bought our property has leased out a 12 acre crop area and is letting the rest go back to nature.

  35. My original comment had gotten eaten by some moderation system, so here goes again.

    The wild farming ideas that Mark is talking about already exists and more people should know about it. It’s a real thing, not turning Iowa into a national bison park. It’s also not about reliving the past, it’s about inventing the future.

    The best thing about it is that it doesn’t require $100M. You don’t need Elon Musk (who wants to move to Mars, remember) or any legislation. If you really do believe that we have an environmental and health and social crisis of existential proportions, wait for nothing and noone. They are the same problems. We are part of the environment. It can be solved cheaply and rapidly. It does not require any new technology at all. We can have it almost now.

    The “human positive” environmental movements are the most exciting and a great antidote to the juvenile “humans are a disease” crowd. Humans are part of the environment, not aliens to it. The negative people have few practical solutions. The positive thinkers, however, say “this is my job, personally” and live by example. It’s powerful in a way the doomsayers can’t hope to achieve.

    Let me give some examples that I hope people will check out:

    Functional, real world example of a wild farm:
    “Wilding” by Isabella Tree

    What can be done about the suburbs?
    “Bringing Nature Home” by Doug Tallamy

    What does a sustainable home, town, city look like? 1800s Japan.
    “Just Enough” by Azby Brown

    What can I do on small acreage?
    “The Resilient Farm and Homestead” by Ben Falk

    No, I mean my home and tiny yard:
    “Paradise Lot” by Eric Toensmeier

    The 100M should instead go to Naoki Shiomi for his concept of “Half Farmer, Half X.” How to have time, a fulfilling personal mission, your health, your sanity, a restored environment, and a daily connection to nature and to others. Google it and see what you think.

  36. The proposal to return some of the upper great plains (especially the Dakotas) to free range of bison, etc. has been mentioned since the 1970’s as a self sustaining, profitable use. The introduction of traditional farming and later industrialized farming was sub-optimal transfer replacing a natural match that utilized be the plains people. Slowly patchwork adaptations returning to this more optimal cooperation may take hold as healthy meat gains market share, but will likely take decades.

  37. Yes Mark! Absolutely put the bison back on the land and herd the sheep, goats and cows until livestock herds of Bison can grow. Regenerative agriculture is the way to go. Dr. Zac Bush says it is the only way to get the healthy of our body back as if the soil does not contain healthy bacteria, neither does our body. We must have healthy soils and the poop and pee of these animals, along with eating the tall grass down to prevent wild fires and so new grass can grow is vital. I encourage all to listen to his podcast on his website on this. Thank you for bringing this up Mark. You are right on! In Health and love of our earth, Lucretia

  38. You are correct.
    Isaiah says, “The way out is the way back.”
    Jeremiah says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient path, and walk in it.”
    Wisdom from the ages is what will help us be humans with respect for life, each other, and the land.

  39. If you can acquire land, it would be even better to grow forests with variety of big trees that have more foliage. Grass too would grow among the trees. Animals will be there too. The difference here is the quantity of green leaves per acre of land. More green foliage amounts to more photosynthesis and that is more carbon dioxide drawn from the environment. This should help fight climate change.

  40. I totally agree with you. All the development and technology improves our lives, but if you don’t retain the core values your life and those of your kids will be diminished. Just look at the drug addiction and suicide rates in young people.

  41. Dr. Savory of Zimbabwe has the best vision of this, and it totally supports the Primal Diet. Go to TED Talks and search: How to Reverse Desertification..This is a 22- minute life-changing talk on the only real answer to Climate Change.

  42. Hi
    Thanks for sharing your valuable information with us,I ll keep in my mind It will help me in my comming future, Regarding doing this type of work,

  43. Mark this is great idea with bison. Ted Turner could answer questions about this subject. I think he could be of help. He has great experience.

  44. Ruminants evolved to eat green growing grass, filter out toxins and deuterium, (what makes sugar bad for us). They trampled their waste into the soil, alive with microbes. healthy soil sequester carbon. Man cant outsmart mother nature with technology, she already figured this all out, we just have to listen to her, and play by her rules. Mother nature represents the laws of physics, and dictates how energy in this universe behaves. And ultimately, you cant fool mother nature!