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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November 05 2018

Weekly Link Love — Edition 2

By Mark Sisson
21 Comments

Research of the Week

The latest MDMA trial finds it’s 76% effective at treating PTSD. Full FDA approval expected by 2021.

As many as 500,000 years ago, Arabia was green, and hominids were living and traveling through there.

Scare yourself to recalibrate your emotions.

Increased frequency of global travel may actually reduce the danger of global pandemics.

CoQ10 is good for type 2 diabetics.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 287: Victoria Field: Host Elle Russ chats with Victoria Field, a world-renowned expert in high-performance and cancer-centered keto nutrition for people and dogs.

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

New surgery students haven’t the manual dexterity necessary to succeed.

Reader Question of the Week

Marek asked:

Hi Mark
This article hit home for me as I’m 57 and living with a slightly enlarged prostate. One of my favourite activities is getting out on my road bike for a good 50 to 75 km ride. I’m wondering if you would know if that is aggravating my prostate? I’ve read so many conflicting reports I’m hoping you may have some insight. Thanks !

Great question.

There may be short-term increases in prostate stress. In men 50 or over, a long bike ride (55-160 km) transiently increases PSA levels by an average of 9.5% when measured 5 minutes post-riding. The longer the ride and the older the rider, the larger the increase. In a sample of 129 riders, just two men had elevated PSA levels before the ride. After the ride, six men had elevated PSA levels. All told, it isn’t very significant, and the authors suggest 48 hours is enough for PSA to return to baseline.

But there probably isn’t any chronic effect. A 2015 meta-analysis of the available research suggested “that there is no effect of cycling on PSA.”

Large observational studies have found road cycling to be linked to increased genital numbness, urethral stricture (where the urethra is blocked or obstructed), but not to any actual sexual problems or impaired urinary function. Oddly enough, cycling-related numbness of the butt was linked to worse sexual function. Padded seats, raising the handlebars to be even with the seat, and using padded shorts seem to improve the symptoms.

I wouldn’t worry. Exercise itself is good for prostate health, as I explained in the prostate post a couple weeks ago. So my gut feeling is that cycling is probably a net plus for the prostate.

Interesting Blog Posts

Paleobiologists attempt to debunk the paleo diet, fail miserably.

Ketosis and arthritis (or the lack thereof).

Social Notes

Went to the doctor.

Halloween has passed, but these NomNomPaleo Halloweenies we made are a great way to get kids involved in the cooking (and eating) process.

Brad Kearns’ last couple podcasts have been great. First, his interview with Vinnie Tortorich and then a “breather” episode where Brad chats about Deepak Chopra insights, longevity, and high-jumping.

Everything Else

AI-created painting fetches hefty price.

Why did thousands of usually-solitary deep sea octopuses gather in the waters outside of Monterey?

I’d vote for him based off this alone.

Wristbands to predict and eventually regulate mood.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was causal: More screen time, less psychological well-being (among teens).

You know what they say: “Lie with Neanderthals, wake up with HPV.”

Article I’m loving: “Why Forests Give You Awe.”

Result you might not have expected: Those who are struggling benefit more from giving advice than receiving it.

Miscellaneous topic I enjoyed: The smell artist.

Question I’m Asking

Will AI-created art—paintings, books, music, etc—ever replace or surpass human art? Or will “something” always be missing?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 28– Nov 3)

Comment of the Week

“Imagine if our ancestors had internet news and smart phones. All day long, they’d be getting alerts. ‘Ging of Siberia was mauled by a polar bear.’ ‘Huge attack by Comanches kills 100s. Slaves captured.’ ‘Viking ruler overthrown by brother. Bloodiest battle in Katagut.’ ‘Child goes missing in the bush. Feared eaten by dingos.’ ‘Mayan leader Xocolatte accused of once throwing a cup of coffee at ex-girlfriend.’ ”

Becky imagines if our ancestors had access to the global news cycle.

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21 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 2”

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  1. Seems likely to me that “screen time” is a proxy for parental/caregiver neglect (for whatever reason–for some, working two jobs means not having much time for one’s kids, etc.) I’m never surprised when it correlates with poor psychological health in studies like this.

    “Screen time” is also just as ridiculous a conglomeration of things as “meat consumption.” Enjoying playing a complex RPG, sharing a favorite show with a friend or family member, watching youtube videos about politics while standing/squatting/moving in some way–none of those things fit the kid-with-her-nose-in-the-phone-playing-Candy-Crush image that pops to mind when someone says “screen time.”

    Reporting on “screen time” lacks nuance in the same way that reporting on saturated-fat consumption does.

    1. My savage boys, wife and I went out to dinner this past weekend… we had the best time laughing, learning, and storytelling — real connections that deepen our tribal bonds.

      The saddest part was that we saw several families spending time with their phones and tablets instead of each other. We even witnessed one family that took it to a whole nother level… they even had their earbuds in so that they could be totally isolated. It was heartbreaking to see.

  2. The article about surgery students not having good manual dexterity doesn’t surprise me. I learned how to suture very quickly and credit my mom teaching me to sew, knit and crochet as a kid. I know surgeons who took up knitting in medical school as a way to improve their dexterity.
    I was just thinking the other day about the lacing cards we had as kids. I had to search to find some for my kids. I’ve found perler beads, legos, letting the kids help fold clothes (yes the clothes need to be refolded afterwards but eventually they will get it), and just letting kids help with jobs around the house are all a good way to work on dexterity – and keep them busy

  3. Turkmenistan Prez, tain’t nothing. POTUS lifted a solid gold toilet seat single handedly (I think) every morning for years!

  4. I though that the content of daily updates was being shuffled around, but it appears that there actually will no longer be daily blog posts? Nothing all weekend. Kind of bummed. It was one of my coffee-in-the-morning go-to activities.

    1. Yeah, I enjoyed my Sunday reading with coffee. Being on Monday, I am a bit rushed getting through the article.

  5. COQ10 good for diabetics, that is at least one part of why satins cause and worsen diabetes.

    Studies are good, but knowing mechanisms is also additional support about why satins are awful.

  6. After I started keto last spring, I noticed that my knee pain (arthritis) had diminished to the point where going downhill while hiking was no longer painful. After a six week period where I wasn’t taking the glucosamine supplement and wasn’t eating keto, the pain came back with a vengeance along with some extra pounds. So reading that article about arthritis and realizing that my lifestyle change really did reduce my pain has me back on track

  7. Was there not a Sunday email sent out? I am signed up but didn’t receive a Sunday’s with Sisson.

    1. I received it. I am bummed that there were no sat or sun blog posts though.

    2. Matt K., if you haven’t opened something from MDA recently, you email address might have been categorized as inactive. One of the bees is on it. If you signed up with a different email, that will trickier. She’ll be in touch.

  8. As a trained artist, designer, and architect, I sincerely believe (and hope) that human artists will remain necessary collaborators and foils to AI-rtists for the foreseeable future. Notice that it’s not an either/or, but a both/and.
    “Good” art is defined by effective, evocative communication of the creator’s subjective experience, not by technical perfection- if anything, the “perfect” tends to be incredibly boring, though perhaps impressive. There are many human artists working today who use computational design tools to great effect, specifically by leveraging the iterative flexibility of automated processes combined with consideration of lived experience and subjective aesthetic preference.
    Another consideration is the simple enjoyment of making. Perhaps AIs will be able to “enjoy,” eventually, but even that won’t take away from humans’ ability to continue to have fun making stuff, playing with materials both physical and virtual.

  9. Marek should consider a recumbent bike. He will be faster and his prostate (and all the surrounding are) will thank him.

  10. I also did not get “Sundays with Sisson” even though I signed up for it. Will keep an eye out but have not seen anything about it in my inbox yet. Hope to get that since so much content is now missing on the weekends. Thanks

  11. The question regarding AI-created artwork is a compelling one, but I believe it is built on a flawed premise – that the value of any work of art is built solely on the effort and skill of the artist.

    The viewer(s) of a work of art contributes a large element to the quality of an artwork; some would argue it is one corner of a triumvirate: The artist’s original intent behind the work, that artist’s skill in portraying that concept (“art” remains a synonym for “technique” or “craftsmanship”), and the audience’s reception of the piece (often from a point of ignorance of the artist’s initial intent). If you would credit the program as the artist, I would argue that it is merely an adjunct to the artistic body of the programmer. If that is too many degrees removed to consider a human element in its creation, there remains the human element in the reception of that piece… at least, until Skynet wins and, if AI is ever demonstrated to be able to not just create but respect art in-and-of itself, then we may have to question a great many more premises about both art and what it means to be human.

  12. Dear Mark,
    PSA is used to test for prostate cancer because it tends to rise when someone has cancer. But it is not cancer. It also rises for all sorts of other reasons e.g. infection, inflammation and now exercise. That doesn’t mean you have cancer, just that PSA is a very non-specific marker.
    My guess is that the exercise is resulting in a higher number of immune cells being pushed down there and that this is causing the rise (I’m guessing because I’m too lazy to read the paper). But if that’s the case, the temporary PSA rise is probably a very good sign:)
    Keep cycling.

  13. iRobot!
    Something like “maybe this is not a masterpiece; I’m just a machine.”
    Well a human (or more than one) made it for the movie, I think at least. 😯

  14. If anyone tries the squash tots posts your results 🙂 Are they really just squash and cauliflower – no egg or anything?