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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February 15 2019

Weekly Link Love—Edition 16

By Mark Sisson
41 Comments

Research of the Week

Stimulating the vagus nerve helps PTSD.

Exercise has a stronger effect on cognitive function in older men than older women (who already had better function at baseline).

Estrogen controls type 2 diabetes.

Small teams of scientists disrupt ideas, larger teams develop ideas.

AIs are great at colluding.

If you have a family history of obesity, eat fish. Habitual intake of fatty fish limits genetically-associated weight gain.

Activated charcoal may protect your microbiome from antibiotics.

Mice who took nicotinamide riboside while nursing had smarter offspring.

To reduce liver fat, reduce ferritin. Neither red meat nor fiber have any effect.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 311: Drew Manning: Host Elle Russ chats with Drew Manning, best-selling author of Fit2Fat2Fit.

Episode 312: Keto: William Shewfelt: Power Ranger and Carnivore Shredder: Host Brad Kearns chats with William Shewfelt, who plays a Power Ranger on TV and a carnivore at meal-time.

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.

Media, Schmedia

The FDA recommends approval of club drug ketamine for treating depression.

Are insects disappearing?

Interesting Blog Posts

Maybe insects aren’t quite disappearing.

The Israeli paradox.

Social Notes

I gave a talk on metabolic flexibility and the Keto Reset at Natural Grocers in Colorado late last year. Here’s the video.

I’ve been playing around on Twitter lately. It’s fun. Go follow me.

Everything Else

Exercise may not be the best way to lose weight in general, but it’s great against visceral fat.

Don’t lick your chickens, like the kid in the photo.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I’d watch this episode of Scooby Doo: Where the man dressed as a spooky stick of butter says, “And I would have induced autophagy too if it weren’t for you meddling trans-fatty acids!”

I’m not surprised: R0undup linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

I am surprised: “This suggests that the majority of the lean mass lost with dieting may be the fat-free component of adipose tissue.”

Article I’m pondering: Should we play God, actually?

This is a powerful story: The first C-section.

Question I’m Asking

Read that Israeli Paradox post up above. What other paradoxes can you name?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Feb 10 – Feb 16)

Comment of the Week

“By the way, Mark, the title image for all of the Weekly Link Love posts kinda looks like you’re listening to some Fats Domino–in the middle of “doin’ the Twist!” Right?? ?

– Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” actually!

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41 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love—Edition 16”

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  1. Did you purposely misspell Roundup so Monsanto won’t find out and sue you? Smart move.

  2. The fat, distance-runner paradox. The CICO paradox. The “people are trying to follow dietary advice and getting more unhealthy” paradox. The “screens make us more connected” paradox.

  3. I posed the same question a few weeks ago as this weeks comment of the week. What exactly are you doing in the love link photo?

  4. I was thinking something similar about the WLL title image. When I look at it I imagine Mark swinging his head back and forth as he gallivants along in a meadow or something in slow motion. It’s an amusing image.
    If mosquitoes go extinct I’ll be happier. In fact, even if all the bugs are going to be in decline I’ll probably enjoy having fewer around. It gets annoying when you’re often outdoors and camp a lot (as I do) and have even harmless bugs crawling all over you constantly, and flying in your face at night when you’re wearing a headlamp. The future looks light it may turn out bleak but I’m thinking if mass bug extinctions and global warming happen, as well as other apocalyptic-type events, the worst of it probably won’t be until after I’m dead, so I’m not too worried.
    That reminds me of the possible cacao extinction scenario. Have you built your stadium-sized warehouse on Antarctica and stocked it with a several lifetime’s supply of chocolate yet?
    I’d like a prescription to ketamine. It’s fun stuff. Apparently DXM (which is fairly similar) is being studied in the US for treating depression. I used to be on DXM all the time and it does tend to increase happiness if you don’t go too overboard (in which case it can really mess with your brain chemistry in unpleasant ways, leave you feeling strung out, in psychosis etc), though I haven’t used much of it in a long time nor had any for months – mainly because the only decent sources around here are way overpriced. It’s from Big Pharma so I wouldn’t feel guilty about helping myself to it but that is not worth the risk. Been there…caught like 5 times (but overall, that’s minuscule compared to the times I walked out, though I’ve still reformed). I’ve had DXM and ketamine together, also both with some codeine because I had a prescription for some from crashing my bicycle on ketamine (I thought it had all kicked in and then I went into the “k-hole” just starting to bomb down a hill, don’t remember running into the guard rail of a bridge) and hitting my head, getting a bit of a concussion I think, and those combinations made me feel pretty good. Apparently ketamine somehow can help prevent brain damage caused by knocks to the head. I think whoever wrote that said it had something to do with calming nerve impulses. Anyways be careful if you decide to use ketamine as it can really inebriate you. DXM can too but if you take lower amounts or you’re used to it then it can be more of an upper and help you do more physical work. Some of that is probably due to it’s anesthetic effects preventing you from noticing that you’re putting in more effort than usual. I used to exercise on it and find it useful for long hikes or bike rides that I make between towns. I hope it can make it onto the list of medications that the government will cover for me. Psychiatrists try to give me Seroquel and other zombie junk like that, which I decline.

  5. The other Israeli Paradox is that circumcision is universal there and cancer of the penis rate very high. In Sweden circumcision is non-existent and cancer of the penis very rare.

    1. This is highly misleading. Not only did you choose selective countries, you implied that the sole difference between the two was the circumcision rate.

      Quoting from the American Cancer Society: “Penile cancer is rare in North America and Europe. It’s diagnosed in less than 1 man in 100,000 each year and accounts for less than 1% of cancers in men in the United States. Penile cancer is much more common in some parts of Asia, Africa, and South America.”

      Wikipedia gives more detail: “The annual incidence is approximately 1 in 100,000 men in the United States, 1 in 250,000 in Australia, and 0.82 per 100,000 in Denmark. … However, in the developing world penile cancer is much more common. For instance, in Paraguay, Uruguay, Uganda and Brazil the incidence is 4.2, 4.4, 2.8 and 1.5–3.7 per 100,000, respectively. In some South American countries, Africa, and Asia, this cancer type constitutes up to 10% of malignant diseases in men.”

      Since the circumcision rate in countries like Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil is vanishingly low (see http://chartsbin.com/view/33702), yet the rate of penile cancer there is high, it should be apparent that circumcision is not any kind of “cause” of penile cancer.

      1. Very good. Thanks for that MEF. So much for Tuba’s “Two Countries Study” of penis cancer!

        Epidemiology. It’ll bite you in the ass every time.

  6. Hi Mark, I know exactly what you mean.
    I am questioning everything! And that is good.
    Questioning not always admonishing.
    That in, my book, is living with the blinkers off
    And learning other ways that serve me better, perhaps.
    Questioning old belief systems is a must in a fast moving world we live in. Taking control of your health is what we all can do. The internet is so informative- I use it to learn more about everything!! That is how I came across Paleo.
    and so many other topics that fascinate me.
    Never stop learning and questioning its only human.
    Cheers, Mara from Sydney

  7. Highly recommend book by Dr Malcom Kendrick called ‘Doctoring Data’ . Well researched and providing information to assist people to make up their own minds. An eye opener ! Showing how to look deeper and assess sound research findings versus crappy/dishonest ones – it assists you to assess information in a rational balanced way..

  8. The Sunday comment struck a chord with me as a historian. So much of the conventional history and archeology is being turned on it’s head and being proven wrong.. And yet the history being taught remains unchanged and generation after generations gets the old line and conventional historical perspective. Without going into details, as there are way too many, this is a huge problem because knowing who we were helps us understand who we are… the Primal Blueprint saved my life and I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. I lost 185 lbs and resturned to a physicality I hadn’t enjoyed since my 20-30’s and at 62 that’s pretty cool. I even got recertified as a PT. But then your rule to not evangelize the PB manifested itself and people didn’t react the way I thought. Bottom line most people like the status quo and very comfortable with the life and world they live in however “wrong” it may or may not be… it’s like quitting smoking; they won’t do it til it’s their own choice no matter how much information they are flooded with… thanks for everything Mark.

  9. It’s good to question things. It’s not good to question things that have been proven to be true, but you don’t trust the ‘authorities’ that say so.
    . Ex. flat earthers, moon hoaxers, anti-vaxxers. Almost any conspiracy theory in general.

    We live in a specialist civilization. Every one of us (including expert specialists) rely on & trust, oter expertise to help with things we don’t understand. You mechanic, professor, lawyer,coach, doctor etc. We need specialists in our lives to help us get by.

    Science has NEVER claimed to have all of the answers. It’s a continual work in progress. And especially the science of nutrition.
    And of course, there are those with money with special interests out to promote a certain agenda for profit.
    But now we have the proof we need for a better way to live. Keto & co. is not exact science, yet. But there is now very good evidence this is the way to go.
    However, this does not mean I should not think when they tell me the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that evolution is a fact of life, I should doubt that. All the current evidence says ‘yes, this is true’.
    I don’t think for a second modern biology & the current medical field that is dependant on it, are wrong, incorrect or misleading.
    Millions upon millions of live have been saved, or made better through the discovery of vaccines & antibiotics. Biology is also a ‘work in progress’.

    Mark is right on about the baby & the bathwater. Nutrition never was an exact science, and who knows the exact reasons why the past 50 years of diet advice turned out to be so very wrong for so many people? It SEEMED like good advice to lower fat & eat more fruits & vegetables for better health. A lot of people DID get healthier this way– some tolerate carbs very well.
    Science always had benefactors since day one. The time of kings & queens & rich gentleman backers are long gone and now gov’t & big business fund the research. It has to be so because of the huge expenses involved.
    So, be careful when you start saying ‘they’ are wrong.
    On cutting edge science, there will always be debates. But no one is arguing about whether the sun will rise tomorrow or not. Always investigate both sides of anything.
    I’m glad for people like Mark who pioneer the way for the rest of us. Been keto for almost 4 weeks now and no going back to my sugar burning ways.

    Just because they got my diet wrong all my life, does not mean I’m tossing out all of science now. I love our modern world and never want to go back to the days of shovelling horse manure off the streets.

    1. Hal,
      I chuckled when I read that we should be careful when we start saying ‘they’ are wrong, right after you said science is paid for by big business and big government. I’d say that is exactly WHY we should be questioning scientific research.
      We need to know who ALL the stakeholders are in any research that leads to a reccommendation that affects us. First follow the money.
      Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that why you are here? You questioned the nutritional advice that wasn’t working,
      correct? You discovered what you’d been told was not true, am I right?

      Question everything, man. Even what ‘they’ say is true. We are lucky to live now when all the world’s knowledge is available in the biggest library in the world : the www. Use it.

  10. I used to be Paleo all the way, even met Mark in Austin at the annual conference (a very nice guy) and totally agree that there’s too much info to confuse the heck out of people. So I just did which makes things effortless, switching to a WFPB lifestyle. For me w/o having to be concerned about calories, carbs, protein etc. life was meant to be easy and fun. And weighing, measuring tweaking, and fasting is not sustainable, at least not for me. There are some challenges, especially in social circles, so I’m not going to lie, but there’s always a flip side and my flip side is the numbers and numbers don’t lie. My total cholesterol in three years has gone from 170 to 144 to 132. Anyway I wish you all the best of health!

  11. Mark, I had hoped like crazy that ancestral diets would help my migraines. Three months of paleo, one of “zero carb,” one of carnivore, and all along the headaches only got worse. Finally someone gave me a copy of “Proteinaholic,” I went starch-based, and gradually the migraines eased up. I wish I knew what the definitive answer was, but there might not be one.

  12. Mark is right about scepticism following the fads we take on. I’m skeptical about my doctors advice on statins, cholesterol, and her anti- meat stance, and skeptical about the many diets I’ve tried, and now I’m so skeptical that I listen only to myself. And I’m no authority..

  13. With regard to 2/17 Sunday’s with Sisson. I recently went to my functional medicine Dr. After having blood work done there, he recommended a Keto diet and cutting back on saturated fat. Due to a high small particle LDL. I am already doing a Keto diet but I questioned whether he was right about the saturated fats. I am going to follow his advice for now but re-introduce some high saturated fat foods after the next set of tests come back if the results are good. I suspect that one of the culprits is eating bacon on a daily basis. He also recommended cutting back on the fermented milk products I was consuming. I disagree with this last one but am going to follow it just to test the theory.

  14. Mark, truer words were never spoken. When my oldest son was diagnosed with ASD, we were eating what we thought was a healthy SAD diet. Mainstream medicine has very few answers to the various challenges of an autism diagnosis. I first became aware of the paleo lifestyle when my brother in law successfully lost a lot of weight, but as I started reading into ancestral health, I saw a lot of commonality between the arguments supporting various ASD dietary strategies and those supporting a nutrient dense paleo lifestyle. I began to look to the broader set of ancestral health literature for answers.

    After years of frustrating doctors appointments (including one in which a doctor audibly scoffed at the idea of trying dietery intervention before trying pharmaceuticals), we finally teamed up with a competent functional medicine doctor who helped us figure out that dairy was driving our most challenging behaviors. Food, not medication, cured my son’s aggression and irritability issues.

    Of course, my research woke me to the broader public health debacle caused by decades of public policy being based on weak science. This has caused me to take a second glance at just about all conventional wisdom. I even attribute my political evolution to this effect – Libertarianism is basically the ancestral health corrollary when it comes to economics and monetary policy.

    So much to unlearn, so little time! Have a great weekend!

    Ryan

  15. Questioning everything can be a good and bad thing. I’ve been questioning my cardiologists for 15 years. I had a massive heart attack that destroyed 2/3 of my heart muscle. I do take the medicines prescribed to me but always start with half recommended standard dose to see if it works (more often than not it’s sufficient). Everyone wants me to go on fat free whole grain vegetarian diet. I try todo more of a Whole30 type. I’ve been proving the doctors “wrong “ since 2003 when they first started talking about a transplant. My numbers never change they always meet or borderline toqualify for a transplant yet I’m able to do a lot more than many people my age. I try and read up on different things listen to my body and put conventional medical wisdom under a microscope. If I didn’t I would have either died had LVAD placed-or a transplant. I hold the belief that I can heal myself and so far it’s worked better than any of the medical experts can believe

  16. Despite how many books there are now that support Keto lifestyle and refute the past studies that say fat , meat , cholesterol etc do NO harm, there are still an equal number of books and articles that still argue the same bile food plant based eating is the healthiest way to go to beat all diseases. I just finished “ what to eat not to die” . I find the continual controversy very frustrating and conclude at this point that veggies are the only non debated food . Someone must have their research confused and hard to know which is wisdom to embrace and which to throw out …..

  17. Just got started on changing up my life-style after watching “The Skinny on Fat” …it made sense to me and I found myself intrigued (as I always am when it comes to food as nutrition). Have been wanting to cut out sugar and lower carbs for some time, and naturally started bringing this in while incorporating “window fasting”, homemade broths, MCT oil and your wonderful words of advise and experience. I have been at it since January 21st and for the past 4 to 5 days have turned a corner – feeling pretty good and loving the clarity and joint pain that have both lifted! My husband is at it too!! Just thought I would share and let you know how much I enjoy your website! Best is Health, Laurie

  18. Just scanned your email for the first time and I’m liking it.
    Yes I certainly relate to questioning another prescription and questioning hand surgery for a old break which causes me zer complaints.
    I benefit from TM and that plus a nice long walk is keeping me happy and peaceful at 68. Just want to loose some pounds. I look forward to reading more.

  19. Hi Mark,
    Our ancestors seem to have treasured the facts and ideas that showed evidence of working over the course of many, many years. They called this Wisdom. It was probably the result of questioning everything, and holding fast to the few things that were solid. Maybe questioning everything is not just a consequence of living in a world full of false information, but is also what it means to be primal. Survival depends on questioning a lot of things, smelling stuff before eating it, questioning strangers from another village, tracking animals to see what they’re up to (and if they have a pack) before going for them. . .
    Thanks for your wisdom!
    Warren, Quebec

  20. I started following the paleo diet three years ago, and currently in ketosis and enjoying the feeling! You are so correct — learning the food industry has lied all these years has changed my outlook. I no longer trust Big Pharma or the food industry and question anything I hear from either!! Thanks to you and other Paleo/Keto leaders for your life’s work ??

  21. Hi Mark!
    Just wanted to jump on comment on how changing/saving my life has changed me. Yes, I had like 5 yrs to live like 5 yrs ago w/15 different conditions/symptoms & reversed it all. I unlearned all the diet lies I was taught in my BS Nutrition degree! Taking back my health & questioning everything has change my perspectives & perceptions of life no longer living in the box I put myself in & releasing me to re-create my entire life to move forward & live on purpose.

  22. In the movie, “dark hour “,Winston Churchill bemoans his frustration to the king about the breakdown in the war room.He says, “I do not have many friends with your intellect that I can talk to”.To which the king of England replies,”You scare them Winston”.
    Mark ,you scare to many people with conventional wisdom!WE do not have too many people to talk to.Even amongst us doctors, at forefront of medical science -you do not realize how much dogma and pervasive ignorance there is.
    Recently,some of the shinning scientific lights persecuted Professor Tim Noakes for his “unscientific”medical advise.

  23. Great roundup,

    In regards to the oily fish article (and more indirectly given the omega 6 concern- the Israeli Paradox) What do you think of NZ farmed salmon? I’m in Australia, & occasionally like a fresh piece of salmon- there are no wild caught available here sadly, but I am wondering how it measures up as an alternative?

  24. ok can someone tell me how to reduce ferritin? Is is just by giving blood?

    1. I have the same problem.
      Giving blood, yes,

      Don’t use cast iron pans

      Don’t take supplements that have iron

  25. In response to Mark’s “Sunday” article, thinking about questioning everything when much conventional wisdom around nutrition is wrong. Ever see the “Nutritional Confusion” episode on Portlandia?! It cracks me up EVERY time because I see myself in that episode, following the nutrition trends and recent research findings. “Drink more water. (Says one ghost.) “No! Too much water is bad!” (Says a different ghost). I have ghosts haunting me about coconut oil bs olive oil now! “Olive oil is good again!” “No! Olive oil is bad for cooking! Coconut oil is better!” “No! Coconut oil is worse for cooling and doesn’t have antioxidants!” Oooooohhhhhh!!! Spooky! ? But the struggle is real.

  26. Is nicotinamide riboside a supplement that people are familiar with? I’ve never heard of it until now. Are there natural food sources for this or is it better taken as a supplement?

  27. PUFA Paranoia- it’s not a “Plague”. As always, moderation is the key – combined with adequate consumption of Omega 3.