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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March 29 2019

Weekly Link Love — Edition 22

By Mark Sisson
44 Comments

Research of the Week

GMO soybean oil (made to have less PUFA and more MUFA) causes less obesity than conventional soybean oil

12 weeks of keto improve cognitive function, eating behavior, physical performance, and metabolic health in obese people.

Older adults are still capable of growing new neurons, except if they have Alzheimer’s.

More inflammation, more impulsivity.

Want to bulk up your pet mouse’s colon tumors? Give him American cola, not Mexican.

A combo of EGCG and ferulic acid reverses cognitive deficits in mice with Alzheimer’s.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 322: Dr. Robert Glover: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Health Coach Radio Episode 5: Ste Lane: Hosts Laura Rupsis and Erin Power chat with Ste Lane, a Primal health coach highlighting the importance and vitality of mindset in the pursuit of health and fitness.

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 plaintiffs in an ongoing trial against Monsanto allege that the agrochemical company planted a mole in an independent lab to fake safety data for Roundup.

Primatologist Frans de Waal on human exceptionalism.

Interesting Blog Posts

How the timing of your training affects circadian rhythm.

These forest monks have it figured out.

Social Notes

Another “vegan” Youtuber got caught eating animal foods. You’ll never guess what happened next.

In last week’s SWS, I mentioned a product Kickstarter for Thin Ice, a wearable cold vest that claims to trigger thermogenesis. I want to make clear that I wasn’t recommending it, just expressing interest in the concept. I have no connection to the brand and no clue if the product actually does what it claims.

Everything Else

Look for a coffee-related giveaway this coming Monday on the blog. Has nothing to do with April Fool’s. (I never joke about coffee.)

Why are we “still waiting” for a male birth control pill? Maybe because the only viable one they’re trying to push lowers (an already historically low) testosterone.

Workism isn’t working.

Shmita, the ancient Jewish practice of agriculture.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

We can do epidemiology, too: A new study on carb consumption and heart disease finds that “strong and probably causal” links between coronary heart disease and glycemic load/index “exist within populations.”

Concept I found interesting: Sex differences in pain sensations.

This is worrisome: A “sex recession.”

I’m intrigued: “In order to reveal how ‘peculiar a creature we are,’ Stewart-Williams offers an alien scientist’s perspective on modern human civilization, studying us as we would study animals in the wild.”

I’d send my kids here (if I had anymore of the right age): The first USDA-certified organic high school where learning to farm is a graduation requirement.

Question I’m Asking

Men: Would you take a birth control pill that lowers testosterone? Women: Would you want your men to take a birth control that lowers testosterone? And I guess this follows, too…how do you feel about women’s birth control pills’ effect on your own hormonal picture?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Mar 24– Mar 30)

Comment of the Week

“‘Physiological Functions and Metabolism of Endogenous Ethanol and Acetaldehyde in the Reindeer’ is a bit of light reading that pairs well with a smokey single malt from Islay on a cold winter night.”

– I’m waiting for someone to bottle endogenous reindeer moonshine, Aaron.

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44 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 22”

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  1. So veganism is great for stopping your period! Or to put it another way… Your body saying: You are not having a baby when you are this malnourished.

  2. Sex recession is not worrisome to me if it helps stabilize the world’s population.

          1. LOL, this has nothing to do with over-population but our stupid addiction to screens. Not only are people spending less quality time with each other, screens have changed our brain chemistry…..The brain is the most important sex organ.

  3. Funnily enough, some of the best new candidates for male BC are actually insanely strong androgens a lot of bodybuilders and strength athletes would absolutely love to get their hands on. They crash testosterone, yeah, but replace it with something much stronger (if they make it past phase I trials, I’d expect them to fail phase II/III trials because of androgenic side effects if they don’t try lowering the dose)

  4. Answering birth control for my man…heck no! Call it primal, but I am a millenial and the men in my age group don’t have enough testosterone! I have also never taken birth control because of the negative effects I’ve seen it have on the women in my life. I wouldn’t want this to affect the men either, assuming, like most drugs, there will be side effects.

  5. There is a male birth control in India that my husband heard about. It’s basically a reversible vasectomy so shouldn’t affect hormones. It’s a type of gel that seals things up and is apparently easy to remove. But of course it will never be available here because there’s not much money in it. It’s an easy one time procedure. Pharma makes too much money off of hormonal birth control and the ensuing health problems it creates (increased chances of breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression, fatigue, etc.)

  6. Stewart-Williams’ idea seems like an interesting application of the concept of emic and etic viewpoints. Hardly a novel concept in the social sciences (particularly anthropology) but, given how cliquish those fields can be, I can understand if a psychologist doesn’t immediately recognize or accept that interpretation. Either way, anything that further enables people to consider their own bias and try to view the world from a different angle is a good thing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  7. It’s quite possible that men and women experience pain differently–that is HUMAN men and women. But I’m always skeptical of research that’s done on lab mice and then applied to human beings, written up with words like, “suggests”, “could”, “might”, etc. It’s no wonder that “scientific” research so often falls short.

  8. Is regards to women’s birth control… I tried depo Provera before when I was 15, it is a shot that lasts 3 months. I can tell you, do not get it unless you want to hate life for 3 months. I LITERALLY cried, balled my eyes out every night and didn’t have any known reason to do so. I got extremely angry at EVERYTHING my partner did at the time and cussed at him a lot over seriously nothing. I was a jealous, angry, depressed, reactive, emotional wreck for those 3 months, and also got a yeast infection in those 3 months (which has never happened since being off of birth control).
    I can say from the bottom of my heart that I would not wish that experience on anyone, not even for a day. I endured 90 days of it and I have not used hormonal birth control ever since. It was a nightmare and they really should give women warnings about this. They only tell you trivial things like you might no longer have a period, or you may have lowered libido. They don’t tell you that you may hate every second of life for no apparent reason…

    So in short, my take is: stay away from that shit.

  9. The vegan youtuber is the ultimate proof of veganism is killing you very slowly, foeremost your brain cells, although in her case she accomplished to think twice before it was too late.

  10. The one thing I regret in life is using hormonal contraceptives for so many years. I don’t think my body knows what a normal cycle is and has not recovered even though I am off it for about 3 years now. I think it’s understated how important a natural cycle is for women’s health even if they don’t want to become pregnant.
    So based on my experience why would I want my man to mess with his hormones!? Hell no…

    1. Check out Dr. Jolene Brighten’s work. She specifically works with women who are wanting to get off the pill/have had issues getting off the pill. Because of her info, I had normal cycles after getting off the Mirena (had it for almost 10 years).

      https://drbrighten.com/

  11. Funny how Liberals didn’t write about “worshipping political identities “ when they were getting the vapors over their racist, imbecilic, stammering, poser, man-god Obama, isn’t it? And no, I am no fan of Trump, who has proven to be just another lying BS artist. This is just another obvious example of our MSM propaganda and blatant bias.

  12. It seems to me that the basic problem with a male contraceptive is social. Both parties to sex have to trust in the presence of a contraceptive. That’s easy to do if the method is visible (a condom). If it’s not visible, then one party must trust the person claiming to be using a contraceptive. Men are willing to do this with women because of the disproportionate impact of unwanted pregnancies (though even with that I’ve seen claims by men that a woman lied about using a contraceptive). But I can’t see any woman, other than a spouse or other long term partner, trusting a man’s say-so when it comes to an invisible contraceptive.

  13. So, the Alzheimer’s mice study: One of the compounds, ferulic acid, is primarily found in grains and legumes. aka, not Primal.

    I would never trust a man with our joint birth control … it sucks that women have to bear this burden, but we’re the ones who risk getting pregnant. He gets lazy and misses day here and there, I’m the one knocked up.

    1. “Ferulic acid is most commonly found in whole grains, spinach, parsley, grapes, rhubarb, and cereal seeds, mainly wheat, oats, rye, and barley” from: Antioxidant Properties of Ferulic Acid and Its Possible Application Authors: Zdu?ska K. · Dana A. · Kolodziejczak A. · Rotsztejn H.

      EGCG is of course touted as being in every green tea, but there may be other sources. I’m pretty sure spinach, parsley, grapes, rhubarb are all Primal friendly. I’ve seen longer lists too. What we need is a ranking of which foods have the most – to the least.

  14. What do you call someone who’s scared of being in a farm field? An agrophobe.
    (agoraphobia – fear of open spaces)

  15. We don’t need to fall into the epidemiological trap, too. Let’s take the high road. In fact, I eat a pretty high carb diet compared to most people here, I assume. My carbohydrate primarily comes from potatoes, lentils, rice and sweet potatoes.

    I’m willing to bet carbohydrate in these studies has tons of refined carb/grain and sugar. Add on top likely high PUFA consumption like soybean oil, and you’ve got a nutrient-lacking unstable situation going on.

  16. As far as the vegan sufferer goes, her inability to procreate with a crashing thyroid just shows plant based has never been sustainable. If you can’t procreate, humans become instinct. It’s just not healthy logic. I wish her well. Lying probably goes along with the sickness/addiction/cult-like beliefs. Let her go through the stages of recovery. (And along with the other reproduction question: denying your physiology is nonsense. But if you don’t want to bring a child in the world, then just abstain. But don’t mess up your physiology for an orgasm with a partner you probably don’t want to spend your life with. Primal doesn’t mean self indulgence and sexual exploitation of others. We also have brains that serve a higher purpose.

  17. They could put magic pixie dust into it, and pay me a million dollars a chew, and I still wouldn’t eat a GMO if I can help it.

  18. So the wearable cold vest… people with Multiple Sclerosis already use such a thing and have done for a long time. It’s really not surprising or new. Just a new market. I use one myself when I go to an outdoor event in the summer because heat can trigger migraines for me.

  19. I think test-reducing bc pills are a waste of effort since a reversible vasectomy is outpatient. All birth control pills are a waste of effort for that same reason.

  20. I don’t know what a hero is? I fought in Vietnam more so for each other than God & country? We wanted to live & did what we needed to do to keep each other alive. When I got back I worked as a Paramedic for 20 years, trying to save the lives of everyone even those who chose and kept choosing death. Saving suicide patients never made sense to me but we did it. I am now 71 y/o fighting Alzheimer’s with exercise, diet, and every thing else I can. I have successfully reversed my type II, Diabetes and off insulin in a very successful attempt to fight Alzheimer’s. I never thought of my self as a hero. Just trying to stay alive & help others stay alive! I consider it just being a good human!

  21. Don’t want to sound whiny but I just have to say that (from the Sundays with Sisson email) “the exhausted mom or dad a newborn who goes out to the garage to swing kettlebells” may be doing something heroic, but please let’s also allow that *taking a nap* instead of feeling the cultural pressure to work out is also, perhaps more, heroic. There’s a time and a place for working out, and also for listening to your body and resting; a depleted mom of a newborn probably shouldn’t be pushed to work hard when she’s exhausted, and calling that “heroic” is undermining our ability to heal, rest, restore, and be honest about what’s truly beneficial for us in a given moment. I appreciate the sentiment of the statement; I need to call out the vulnerability of that population (particularly the ones who’s bodies are a little fragile postpartum).

    1. Hope these moms aren’t rushing back to work either. Workers are easily replaced, nurturing mothers are not. When I had my one and only child, the rest of the world did not exist. I was delirious with happiness as a new mom for probably the next four years. Nothing else mattered.

      1. Of course the moms are rushing back to work. Paid leave for a newborn is not common. Now families need the money of more than one income to make it. You know that. If they can do it, take time. This country sucks period on this subject.
        Please Don’t give me back the blah blah of if they didn’t need cable tv, cars, iPhones etc. families could do it. economic health in this country is in danger and cutting cable isn’t going to help. How can young millennials afford babies if they can’t even afford rent a house or a car. Pay has stagnated for decades. I know many in this situation with good educations taking 2 jobs and can’t even afford to get out of parents house and I live in a two bit town on the last stop of the commuter train into Chicago. Rents are HORRENDOUS.

    2. Glad you pointed this out. Those newborn days are ROUGH and I can say with no regrets that I exercised ZERO during that time…

  22. Heroism is my autistic making his way through life. How he struggles with other people yet he can see beauty in things that we seem to never notice. He has taught me so much about the world. He has been my greatest teacher. My hero.

    1. Oh man, you are talking into my soul right now, Barbara. My son is also autistic and taking care of him and guiding him to being able to take care of himself is a driving force for me, big time.

  23. In regards to the Sunday with Sisson, I absolutely loved the email today. You referenced two things I love: LOTR and health, and that made the message very inspirational for me. Frodo would have been dead times 20 if not for Samwise, that or he would have pulled a Smeagle and strangled Sam to death over the ring. Sam was the real hero of the story. (I seriously hate Frodo if you can’t tell) anyway, there are many quotes from LOTR I love. I think my favorite is one from Gandalf, in response to Frodo proclaiming “I wish none of this had ever happened”:
    “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
    *inspired sigh* oh, Gandalf.
    Oh another good one: “Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!”

  24. No chemicals or hormones in my or my wife’s body, please. Unless it’s to save us from dying. I’d rather have more kids, and work on willpower and other non-sexual forms of intimacy, than mess with our minds and body. Wife is on the same page and has been after years of hormonal birth control when she was younger. We are millenials, by the way.

  25. Awesome Sunday with Sisson mail. One book that I’ve read a number of times since it came out is Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall (the author of Born to Run). It’s all about the cultivation of heroism in a number of awesome ways, many of which will resonate with the Primal audience. But the quote from the book which I literally have on my wall is:

    Heroes are protectors, and being a protector means having strength enough for two. Being strong enough to save yourself isn’t good enough; you have to be better, always, than you’d be on your own.

    To me, heroism is just this: you have to take the rest of the world into consideration in all things you do. My wife is a swim coach, and her assistant coach is leaving the team to join the Air Force. Just yesterday, I was chatting with him and he was saying how the experience of coaching kids had changed him – he’d gone from being selfish to understanding that his actions always had an impact on the team and the kids he was coaching. He had learned that his life had to be about more than just pleasing himself.

    There’s a lot of talk about how we need to take care of ourselves and not put other people ahead of us all the time. But as Mark said in this week’s Sunday email, self-care can take the form of taking care of ourselves so that we CAN take care of the others around us.

    Another mentor of mine, Paul Kyriazi, likes to say about relationships: “I’ll take care of myself for you, and you take care of yourself for me.” That pretty much sums it up. I want to be around for a long time to take care of my kids and be the example for them. That’s what makes me strong and want to be consistently better.

  26. I’ve tried hormonal birth control (pill form) a couple times over the last 20 years and it has always left me an emotional wreck. Most recently I tried a progesterone only pill to help with a medical issue and after five days on it I was easily agitated, quick to blow-up, and felt like I was constantly on the brink of an anxiety attack. I stopped the pills and within a couple days was back to myself. I’m not sure how women function on hormonal birth control and I’m really concerned about teenage girls getting on this stuff when life is already so challenging at that age.

  27. I’ve done a few (to me!) heroic things in my time, and a few not so heroic. The inspiration to do the right thing has always been a line from Rudyard Kipling:
    “To stand and be still to the BIrkenhead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew…”.

    I thought u might be interested in view of yr remarks on William Blake.

  28. Heroism is setting the exact example for the people in your community and outward. And more importantly, Heroism is BEING the example you want for your children, not to be left for somebody else to lead. That means not letting yourself squat down behind the common excuses that allow people to avoid accountability. Doing the right things no matter who’s looking. Constantly learning and educating yourself, while educating your kids. Eating well and exercising consistently, no matter how busy your life is. Not using your kids as a reason to others YOU don’t get things done that need doing (like taking better care of yourself. Remember, kids absorb EVERYTHING. Don’t blame them for your shortcomings). Being kind to people around you. Never speaking ill of people and their situation. In other words, be the hero that your kids need, not only now, but when they are adults with lives of their own and they can look back and remember what a great role model you were. That is a REAL definition of heroism, as you are preserving great lives… not only saving them. I love your articles Mark! Keep getting after it!

  29. Regarding SWS:
    The other afternoon I was just laying down to rest behind a plaza because I’d stayed up all night (some insomnia + too much coffee) and two paramedics walked up with a stretcher. They wanted to take the basic tests before leaving. My blood sugar was 4.6. When I asked, “That’s pretty good, eh?” and they agreed I amused them by saying “Ketogenic paleo for the win!”
    Earlier that day in the morning I had the police and an ambulance called on me just for sitting behind a different plaza with a water based filtration device and one of the officers offered me a ride, drove me to the LCBO where a staff refused to serve me ( ~”You’re under the influence” “No I’m not and and do you realize who just dropped me off here?”) then drove me near the Beer Store instead. He also arrived there a bit after the paramedics the second time and didn’t care if I just rested there.
    I got mangled a while ago by a nurse with a needle when less heroic police caught me with the bong and brought me to the hospital and told me to cooperate and then maybe I’d be allowed to go back to my campsite. That was a lie and when I cooperated when they wanted to take a vial of blood I was like, “Sure, I hear it’s good for ferritin levels” but the nurse with the needle was sadistic and wrenched it before pulling it out. (You may be surprised how evil some people who work in hospitals are). Within a few seconds the inside of my elbow swelled up like there was most of half an egg in it and the next day I had some internal bleeding down my arm though that cleared up fairly soon. Inside my elbow still hurts often and is a bit swollen. One of the nice paramedics that showed up behind the second plaza asked how it was doing. Anyway there’s a bit of my experience with different ends of the moral spectrum recently.

  30. Have never used hormonal birth control in my life (female). I had the copper IUD for 3 years, and it was absolute misery and the worst pain I have ever experience. When I was 25 I had my Fallopian tubes removed (have never wanted children), and it was the best decision I’ve ever made <3