May 24 2019

Weekly Link Love — Edition 30

By Mark Sisson
46 Comments

Research of the Week

Fasting may help pancreatic beta cells regenerate.

Intelligence predicts preference for instrumental music.

Women’s cognitive performance increases at higher ambient temperatures.

Lithium reduces suicidal ideation in depression.

Regulating your gut biome may be an effective way to treat anxiety.

Hunter-gatherers have more leisure time than farmers.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 341: Endurance: Debbie Potts on a Holistic Approach to Lifestyle Change: Host Brad Kearns chats with Ironman triathlete Debbie Potts.

Episode 342: Justin Perry: Host Elle Russ chats with the founder and CEO of the world’s largest Law of Attraction Youtube channel.

Episode 343: Brad and Elle Recap Paleo(fx) 2019: Brad and Elle recap the paleo event of the year.

Health Coach Radio, Episode 12: Ketogains: Erin and Laura talk with Luis & Tyler of Ketogains about their educate, empower and achieve approach to keto and community.

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

Don’t forget about trans-fats, the “tobacco of nutrition.”

The field of psychiatry could use a therapist.

Interesting Blog Posts

Could ketones fix overtraining?

Microdosing psychedelics offers both benefits and drawbacks, none of which were expected.

Social Notes

It’s good enough for the Apollo 11 crew…

I have a few questions for you.

Everything Else

AirBNB teams with 23andMe to offer heritage travel.

An AI achieves “state of the art” accuracy in diagnosing lung cancer.

Having grandma close by increases family size.

The mango was independently domesticated in India and Southeast Asia.

Scientists reconstruct the face of a Swiss man who lived in 700 A.D.

Male trees are spewing their “tree sperm” all over the place, and it’s causing tons of allergies.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Some might find this counterintuitive: Exercise prevents, not hastens, the damage caused by arthritis.

Study I found interesting: “Therapeutic potential of exogenous ketone supplement-induced ketosis in the treatment of psychiatric disorders: A review of current literature.”

I was surprised: Whole milk and skim milk are equally effective at cooling the burn of hot chilis.

I’m not surprised: Glucosamine is good for the heart.

Expect to see a lot more of this: Biohacker accused of practicing medicine without a license.

Question I’m Asking

Do you think biohackers (including those who publish info on how to do it yourself) should be held accountable by the law?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 19 – May 25)

Comment of the Week

“Chiggers after picking berries in the woods.”

– Ticks on hikes, Angelica.

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46 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 30”

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  1. Can’t help but face-palm at the concluding paragraph of the arthritis article..

    “The researchers suggest the results may lead to a whole new therapeutic approach known as mechano-medicine in which drugs simulate the effect of mechanical forces to prevent the damaging effects of inflammation and treat conditions such as arthritis.”

    1. My reaction exactly. Just take a walk and lift a few heavy things already, geez.

  2. To answer the question of what I’d like to see more of, I enjoy reading your dissection of the various studies that come out often with a “healthy whole grain” or “low fat is best” skew to them. Thx.

  3. “Regulating your gut biome may be an effective way to treat anxiety.”

    I believe it. I hadn’t seen my family (who lives several states away) for about 8 years. And they’d all started making kefir at home a few years ago. They were amazingly calm and my cousin in particular used to be very anxious. Another cousin has had a “movie worthy” life and he’s obviously calm now, not just stoically controlled. Even my aunt had actually lost some weight, which she’d never been able to do all her life.

    They all attributed it to the kefir change. They don’t even eat organic, they think it’s a “scam” but they do buy from local farmers. On the organic point, I disagree. But there’s no denying the homemade kefir has made a change when nothing else could. I’m really happy for them.

  4. Elle’s interview with Tyler Perry was amazing…I listened twice.

    Yes to Chinese Chicken Salad, no to anything involving Moose Nose. I am adventurous, just not that adventurous.

  5. I have a question about Autophagy. Does it only happen during fasting? If I take Super Aminos is it going to help or hinder getting into Ketosis. I am doing research before “I earn the right to begin my Keto journey.” I heard you with Naomi on The Real Skinny On Fat The Keto Revolution and you really resonated with me. I am going to be 70 years old in Sept and am about 90 lbs overweight and know if I am going to have any longevity I need to do something now!

    1. Chris perhaps you will get an answer from The Master … but in general authophagy happens on a low carb diet, during fasting, when sleeping, by doing aerobic exercising, and via certain supplements. Taking BCAA’s if you are on a Keto diet may be a good idea according to articles I’ve read. – George

  6. on Sunday with Sisson – the question why we neglect so many of the easy wins. my own take is that we’re too addicted to thinking, whereas what’s needed for these easy wins is always action, usually very simple action. the more we think, the less we do. thinking is not knowing: we already know how to be healthy, we don’t need to think more about it, but thinking is more addictive than action, so engage in compulsive thinking much more than we need to, and this takes away time from the necessary action for those ‘easy’ wins.

    1. Totally agree with Chris…sometimes we’re “too smart for our own good”.

    2. My take is that people make time for the things that are most important to them. Talk is dirt cheap. Action is everything. Somebody says they want to quit smoking and there is always a cig in their mouth…I call BS. Same with exercise or anything else.

  7. I agree with the commenter about thinking too much. That is exactly what I do. I’m always thinking about ways to be healthy and hardly ever doing them.
    But I have to disagree with the notion that avoiding sugar is an easy win. I’m sure many others who have been emotionally addicted to sugar will agree with me. I simultaneously knew the sugar was bad for me and knew what was a healthier choice, and also still consumed the sugar time and time again, because when you’re addicted you don’t think about your options, you just get what you know will temporarily fill the emptiness. I simply didn’t think about it in that moment. Always after the fact. Pretty sure I put on 10lbs of liver fat from this cycle of events (I’m talking giant bags of Starburst, xl or giant hersheys bars [for those who don’t know, an xl is 600 calories worth of milk chocolate, giant one is 7oz & 950 calories/100g sugar]) I’m goddamn lucky i didn’t gain a ton of weight from this.

  8. Loved your Easy Wins Post. You make it sound pretty simple. I guess we are tuned to believe something easy doesn’t work as well as something complex and difficult. I’m going to meditate on this all week. Thanks

    1. Instead of “meditating on this”, how about you offer to help a single mom with whatever errands or housework or childcare she needs done? That will give you more insight than days of meditation .

  9. “Why doesn’t everyone (who’s aware/has the correct information/etc.) do the simple things that take little to no effort and give major returns?”

    Often it’s a form of perfectionism that gets in the way. “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” All-or-nothing thinking. It’s the same kind of mindset that leads you to binge all day just because you had one piece of chocolate at lunch. “What’s the use of being careful, I already blew my plan for the day.”

    I started eating better and exercising a tiny bit every day 8 years ago, and I am still not anywhere near my goal weight or desired fitness level. However, I shudder to thing what my condition would have been if I hadn’t done at least that minimum level of work and commitment!

    Progress, not perfection!

  10. RE Sunday/Sisson- 10 o’clock bed time doesn’t work well for us late chronotypes…

    1. No it doesn’t. Tried the whole “go to bed earlier “ thing for years. Didn’t work. What did work was changing shifts, but that’s not an option for everyone

  11. The easy wins mentioned are not super easy for some, ie no sugar or starches is hugely difficult for many. Single Moms with kids and a job may not find it easy to “throw some food in the crockpot” before work in the morning” let alone shower, feed kids and self, drop kids off at school. Etc. those easy wins could be huge wins for many!

    1. Right on, Lisa. men who are commenting on this topic blame the individuals for not taking the easy actions… And women describe the responsibilities that prevent them from taking these actions.

      All of these self righteous men who think people are just lazy or weak for not taking the “easy actions” should try being a single mom or having a chronic health condition or working two jobs.

    2. If the kids are old enough, why not have them help out around the house? My mom was a single mom and expected us to help out. If we wanted our allowance that week , it had to be done right too. Kids are going to need to know how to do those things eventually anyway

  12. Regarding adoptions of “easy wins” discussed in your Sunday with Sisson letter — I think it mostly comes down to habits. It’s difficult to establish a new habit. Even an easy one, such as daily push ups takes effort to establish. Also, and here’s what’s often not appreciated, our current habits usually kick in automatically and interfere with the development of a new one. What’s the solution? The most effective way to establish a new habit is to remove yourself from your typical situation. Why? Because our habits are triggered by the cues in our environment. Change the environment, even by moving your morning routine or ritual from one room of your home to another, can remove these powerful triggers and allow you to more easily focus on your new habit.

    1. You are assuming people have some freedom to change their habits. Maybe you do; many people don’t have much freedom at all.

      1. As the title of one of Skinner’s book says, we can get “beyond freedom and dignity” and utilize the insights gleaned from behavioral scientists to effect personal change.

    2. Very very good
      Things get much easier when you wrap them into habits. And most of the times you can create them or modify them with very simple changes (like the example of moving the morning routine to another room)

    3. fixing typo 🙂

      Very very good
      Things get much easier when you wrap them into habits. And most of the times you can create them or modify them with very simple changes (like the example of moving the morning routine to another room)

  13. “Do you think biohackers (including those who publish info on how to do it yourself) should be held accountable by the law?”

    By “held accountable by the law,” do you mean “punished”? But providing information to others isn’t a crime. Who is the victim?

    The biohacker Josiah Zayner did some experimental treatments on his own body, not on others.

    So, if people are self-owners, then they have a right to do to or with themselves whatever they wish. If the government owns them, then of course the government may harass, punish and tyrannize them to its heart’s content. (There’s no in-between, or a little of both, I believe.)

  14. Why? I’ve stacked things up to high. There is so much to do that sometimes things slip. I’m getting better all the time. I prioritize my play time and workouts. I eat the best I can. Try for eight a night. And game plan to do better next time.

    I try not to make excuses. Years ago when I was trying to learn different mouse tracks my coach told me the people who don’t learn the tracks just don’t want it bad enough. That was pretty good life lesson.

  15. I really don’t think anymore about easy wins maybe in the beginning,but now it’s a lifestyle. But you need a good support system to make anything successful . Mine is my wife. Little wins for me is to make the bed first thing in the morning to get the day started, make sure the house is in order, make breakfast, and then the day can be made up of easy or hard earned wins. Don’t get the blower pick up those leaves.

    1. Thank you for acknowledging the support that your wife provides. Most of the men commenting here don’t acknowledge their privilege.

  16. I think you underestimate the challenges involved in some of those “easy wins “. Mark, you are a wealthy partnered man with no children, no chronic health problems, no caregiver responsibilities and stable, flexible work. Most of us don’t have those advantages. There are a lot more constraints on our time.

    The decision isn’t crockpot versus watching tv; it’s crockpot versus meditation versus exercise versus sleep versus reading to our kids versus versus financial security.

    Your question comes off as distain for for those who don’t have your advantages. I suggest building empathy by reading some memoirs or cultural anthropology about people with less privilege than you. Consider hillbilly elegy, Evicted, hunger by Roxanne gay, amity & prosperity, etc.

    Better yet, ask some of your economically disadvantaged readers if you can shadow them for a day. Maybe you can read to the kids to give them time to put the meat in the crockpot.

    1. LOL. Yeah Mark … you’ve dedicated your life to helping people improve their lives … but during that journey you’ve become financially successful … which automatically makes me have DISDAIN for you. SMH.

      1. Everybody should get a blue ribbon, there are no losers and everyone should win in Ben’s world. And to top it off, everyone is a victim and needs help. Just stop!

  17. Great array this week mark biohackers are only the guys on YouTube its only reasonable to assume there are far more out there not publicising their work. what’s far scarier is companies like 23andme why is no one asking what are these guys doing with peoples data that people pay them to process a joke on humankind

    1. Love the weekly link it’s my favourite. Sometimes I’m frustrated when you say the obvious take a chill pill go out into nature yada yada when most of us during the week are trapped into hours of commuting then into a corporate box with no windows get out for 10mins to walk around a concrete building surrounded by buildings, carparks and traffic,. Can we discuss how to cope with this when there is no other way for those of us with no alternative, how about housing and getting involved in designing better cities, coping with stress when commuting and working some sap has to do it seems its me in this life anyways. Loneliness and health or lackof the mental struggle when finances are rock bottom

  18. I think a lot of us are our worst enemies! Like you said, we have all the information as to what we should be doing, and then don’t do it!
    Love your Sunday blog! It is very informative and inspirational!! Thank you!!

  19. Hey Mark, I think I know why we don’t always do what is best for ourselves. 57 years young and I finally found the solution to a lot of our problems. ANTs! Automatic Negative Thoughts (and feelings). Sometimes our brains get faulty programming during our younger years and it stays with us. But it can be fixed. I found out how in an audio & ebook package called ‘Overcoming Social Anxiety disorder step by step’, by a Dr. Thomas A. Richards. I think you would find it interesting. Often when reading your books or blogs you’ll say something along the same lines as the good Dr. Tar.
    Anyway, let’s just call this suggested reading materials.
    PS, Thank you for all you’ve done, and continue to do, for us all. ??

    1. I love it John! We have to debug our brain’s software to get rid of those ANTs!

  20. Sugar and starchy junk gives me short term pleasure. That is my why

  21. I appreciate your blog and all your helpful examples and observations. Your EASY WINS suggestions are sensible. But I wonder if you recognize that many aging Boomers, like myself, after years of being able to do all kinds of exercise now find our bodies are no longer cooperating. Achy joints, knees, tendency toward injury including broken bones–all take their toll. Yes, gentle walking, yoga, etc are often possible, but not always. Even someone as seemingly fit as Jane Fonda admitted in a recent interview that she literally HURTS all over due to loss of cartilage. I realize your average reader is not facing aging issues—YET. But I challenge you to devote a future blog to this very real issue.

    1. Cynthia do you have access to a pool and / or a sauna perchance? You may not and I totally get that. If you can spare the time and expense those two mechanisms might be perfect for your situation. As I’m sure you are aware the pool is a great way to exercise with a minimum of stress to joints (although if possible you should try to do some weight bearing exercises to help with bone density). Saunas … they have some pretty amazing benefits, if you already are not aware do some research. Sitting in a sauna will give you a kind of cardio workout without the joint stress, and if you do it at least three times a week for about 20 minutes each time, gives you great ongoing benefits … heart attack, stroke and cancer reduction and increases the size and quantity of your mitochondria (hormesis) giving you more energy. Someone once said if you could put the benefits of a sauna in a pill it would be the greatest medicine in history.

  22. Hmm. I seem to only occasionally get the Sunday with Sisson emails. I’m definitely subscribed. Nothing in spam folders. Help!

  23. biohackers should not be held responsible for anything unless they are impersonating a doctor.

  24. As the late success coach Jim Rohn used to ask “if its
    Easy to do then what’s the problem? It’s easy NOT to do.
    Success is a few disciplines practiced every day.
    Failure is a few errors in judgment…practiced every day..