Weekly Link Love — Edition 35

Research of the Week

In a study paid for by Impossible Foods, a novel yeast product used in the meat-less Impossible Burger was found to trigger weight gain and raise blood markers related to kidney disease in rats.

Researchers discover DMT-making neurons.

Smoking cigarettes is associated with negative changes in personality.

Antidepressant usage linked to an increase in suicide.

Giving elite runners’ gut microbes to mice made the mice more athletic.

Type 2 diabetics who lower their cholesterol may suffer more diabetic polyneuropathy.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 350: Endurance: Dr. Craig Marker: Host Brad Kearns talks with Dr. Craig Marker about the right way to do high intensity interval training.

Episode 351: Palmer Kippola: Host Elle Russ chats with Palmer Kippola about treating and overcoming autoimmunity.

Episode 352: Keto Q&A: Host Brad Kearns answers listener questions.

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

Bad dog food brands.

Certain anticholinergic drugs linked to dementia.

Interesting Blog Posts

Do LDL particles cross the endothelium?

A look inside the sports fan’s brain.

Social Notes

How I coffee.

Everything Else

First steps for a baby gorilla. Brings me back.

Which creatures do we find scariest and most disgusting?

Everest as mountain of human fecal matter. Sad to see.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Podcast I enjoyed: Dr. Jason Fung talks fasting on Dr. Peter Attia’s podcast.

Article I found interesting: LDL and the Immune System.

I found another reason to avoid hospitals unless necessary: Hospital flies that carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Another good podcast: George Henderson on Human Performance Outliers.

Great point: Why are we subsidizing our own disease burden?

Question I’m Asking

If there’s a problem with GMO, is it something inherent to the “GMO-ness” or is it whatever trait they’re inserting?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jun 23 – Jun 29)

Comment of the Week

“New, Limited Release from Primal Kitchen: Collagen with Ground Placenta

New Recipe: Collagen Cord Blood Smoothie
Chock full of essential amino acids and stem cells, this tasty smoothie can …”

– Way ahead of you, Paleo Bon Rurgundy.

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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45 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 35”

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  1. Regarding the article on “bad dog food”, Susan Thixton from http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com has a more detailed and more accurate analysis of the FDA’s report. Here’s one quote from her article:
    “Pet owners have – previous to this June 2019 FDA update – been told far too many times that the cases of DCM were directly linked to boutique brands of pet food. Thanks to this FDA update we know that information wasn’t very accurate. The U.S. leaders in pet food sales are Mars, Purina, General Mills, Smuckers and Diamond; all listed with high numbers of FDA DCM reports.

    Her article can be found here: https://truthaboutpetfood.com/fda-update-to-dcm-investigation-clarifies-a-few-things/)

  2. My theory on depression meds and suicides: medicine can make severely depressed people functional enough to follow through on their suicidal thoughts. I’d like to see someone do a study on that theory.

    1. Sadly, we will never know how many people are kept from committing suicide by successful medical interventions

    2. Or it’s just that depressed people are more likely to commit suicide and more likely to be on antidepressants as well.

    3. Linda, I’m late to the game but that was a working theory introduced to me in some of my classes before practicing medicine.
      That being said, there are distinct side-effects with many SSRIs that lead to dysphoria/agitation/akathisia (the last one being a fancy way of saying you want to jump out of your own skin). I’ve had a patient with exceptional self-awareness that was having a bad response to an SSRI: after reassuring me he was not planning to harm himself, he said, “I could see why people would want to kill themselves on this thing.” Obviously, that drug was discontinued as quickly as possible.

      I do think the link-share mischaracterized the study – the authors were reevaluating data under the assertion that the time frame for suicide risk was too long, since most of the increased suicide risk associated with antidepressants occur shortly after initiating therapy. All this letter to the editor did was zoom in on the time frame and quantified something we already knew. While I think this adds to the body of knowledge, as a prescribing clinician, I think this has little real world utility. On the longer timeline, AD treatment reduce suicide risk in individuals greater than 24. We know there’s a short term risk increase – a good clinician assesses patient preference for treatment, assesses baseline risk of self-harm, sets up plans for frequent followup. This increased short term risk needs to be managed, but withholding AD treatment increases a person’s overall risk.

  3. GMO – yes, they’ve shown that much more changes in a GMO corn plant than the one gene they inserted to make it “Roundup Ready.” Antioxidants were inadvertently lowered, many enzymes were changed. In effect, the plants are not “substantially equivalent” as they claim. https://www.gmoscience.org/gmo-corn-non-gmo-parent-not-substantially-equivalent-part1/

    Here’s a particularly scary passage from that:

    “Polyamines found in increased amounts in GMO NK603 corn include putrescine and cadaverine, which can produce toxic effects. For example, they enhance the effects of histamine, thus potentially heightening allergic reactions, and play a role in forming carcinogenic substances called nitrosamines.”

    Until the side effects of CRISPR or gene drives or anything else is known and carefully tested, I won’t touch them. But I don’t see much enthusiasm to look into the other plants and look for these changes. So we can only confirm that this is true of one form of corn.

    The other thing wrong with GMO that’s about the GMO itself, is that it’s often designed to be sprayed with a poison. Most of the first GMOs were designed to sell Roundup/glyphosate which is being litigated right now by a large group of people with evidence that their cancer was caused by the pesticide.

    Roundup has a much bigger history than that, it changed the way farmers farm. A lot of the background story is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JszHrMZ7dx4 From Australian ABC News.

    CRISPR is not inherently bad, but the way it’s being used is causing a lot of controversy and for good reason. To illustrate, see this humorous Last Week Tonight about, mainly its possible use in curing illness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJm8PeWkiEU

    I think some of the confusion is intentional. If they can convince you that you don’t know enough science to have an informed opinion, then they’ve won, because while you’re being blinded with science, they can go ahead and do anything. But it’s simple enough to see that there are risks that haven’t been fully tested, because if they had, they never would’ve been declared “substantially equivalent.”

    And the narrative that people can’t keep up with the “huge scientific changes” is belied by the demand that GMO foods shouldn’t be labeled. How are people going to even think about something they’re not aware of? How can there be a discussion on something that’s deliberately hidden? How many people go… nah I think I’ll get the organic zucchini because that’s almost always a GMO if it’s conventional? How many even have the list memorized? How many are now saying, conventional vegetables are grown on fields that were cleared with Roundup, and not tilled, so I’ll go with organic? How many are even aware that that’s happening? That’s all down to the way GMOs and Roundup changed farming. So yeah, it’s the GMO itself and not the inserted allergen that’s a problem. Although the allergen could be a problem too.

    1. Well said, Angelica.

      There’s a huge assumption that goes along with genetically modifying organisms: Life came into existence ex nihilo, developing by random, undirected, purposeless mutations and natural selection over billions of years into the plants and animals we have today. Therefore, even though man can’t create even the simplest single-celled life form in the lab, and we’ve only recently mapped the human genome, we somehow believe that there will be no (or only minor) unintended side effects from modifying a gene here or there.

      The articles with the Impossible Burger study and survey also made a couple of key points: The GMO soy leghemoglobin hasn’t been adequately studied before adding it to the food supply, and there may be unexpected effects that we won’t be aware of until there’s higher uptake of that GMO protein. The articles say it better than I can:

      “To accommodate the FDA, Impossible Foods conducted two feeding studies on rats. One was a 14 day study, the other 28 days. The Industry minimum for safety studies is generally 90 days, which is not even long enough to detect any long-term toxic effects.”

      “Peer reviewed studies now indicate that genetic engineering techniques have off target effects that may result in major changes to the genome with the genetic engineering of a single trait.”

      We see side effects even in the selective breeding of animals to obtain a desired trait, which has been done for thousands of years. Racehorses bred for speed and power have more mass, without enough lower-extremity bone strength and structure to handle it, so a misstep at speed can easily cause a racehorse to break its leg. Dachshunds, bred for their long backs and short legs, are prone to back problems.

      And this is when we have “the whole package,” as it were, of genes working together. How much more, then, when we tinker with a specific gene? Especially when we take a gene from one species and insert it into a completely different one?

      We saw this same hubris as certain surgical procedures were developed. “What do the tonsils do? We can’t see a purpose for them. They must be an evolutionary leftover. Tonsillectomy should be a routine procedure for anyone whose tonsils get infected.” After a few decades of that…”oh, wait, they’re part of the immune system in children. Never mind.” And routine tonsillectomy was quietly dropped in favor of removing the tonsils in cases of recurrent or chronic infection, or severe enlargement causing breathing problems.

      Or take the menisci in the knee. “Oh, they’re just evolutionary remnants. No apparent function. If someone tears a meniscus, we’ll just remove the whole thing. No problem.” Except that, 10 to 20 years after surgery, people who had had total meniscectomy were turning up with osteoarthritis in that compartment of the knee, articular cartilage worn away from not having even a partial meniscus there for shock absorption. “Oops, sorry about that. Guess we’d better leave what meniscus we can from now on.”

      We would be wise to slow down on the whole GMO thing, and do more long-term testing.

  4. I’ve been asking the same question about why the US is subsidizing the very industries that are killing us. It all comes down to the Agricultural Industrial Complexes and
    Pharmaceutical Advertising In Network Syndicates — that is, our AICS and PAINS.

  5. The article about Mount Everest is disturbing. Switching to pemmican (or subbing)instead of all the dehydrated food used and mandating the use of biodegradable bags, may cut down on the amount of crap produced by the climbers. Do you know of any climbers who do it in a ketogenic state?

  6. Procrastination is a label to me. I think of perculating incubating, forming, gestation, and then…..when “it’s” ready/time you just go. Thanks for all you do Mark.

    1. In finance, the Black Scholes equation shows that options are more valuable the longer you keep them open.

      I’m not procrastinating… I am evaluating my options in order to maximize my return. The longer I wait, the more information I have to make my decision.

  7. Good morning All!
    I felt compelled to offer an insight into Mark’s Sunday July 30, post about “procrastination”…..This term is certainly a heavy in our society, and I agree that it can carry a ton of self judgement and shaming, and can seem to lead to further boughts of depression, anxiety and other self sabotaging behaviors if allowed to go unchecked or unacknowledged for what it is….To look at it as just an irrational behavior is an example of linear thinking patterns that our society can be very determined to “rationalize” and “prove”….but let’s be careful here, especially women….we are cyclical in nature and when procrastination comes knocking, we need to be aware of ourselves asking us for a pause of some type…where are we feeling the resistance? Where are we feeling unsure or fearful?….this pause certainly may be a call for some type of physical motion, but it also can be a call for a cup of tea, a few moments of meditation or contemplation…or even a nap or a rest….women have been powering through for years and I invite you to take the pause, whatever that may be for you, and this may be different every time….I usually opt for what feels right at the time, a cup of tea, some time spent in contemplation, a walk, some yoga or stretching, or some light exercise even, it completely depends on how I am feeling at the time…..but whatever is unique to you…engage this part….It is when procrastination becomes avoidance that we need to be aware of our underlying trouble….what are we resisting and why?

    K. Makeda

  8. Mark,
    Thanks for your HONESTY! It’s very refreshing. I’m the “King of Procrastination.” Your 6/30/19 Daily Apple about procrastination is great.
    I’m new to the Daily Apple. Your 5/19/19 post, which I thought was a “look below the waterline,” was my 1st one. And I appreciate your response to Sam. I’d read his post and was surprised you answered him. A great response to honest questions.
    Congratulations to being a Grandpa!

  9. I love your weekly talks, thoughts and feel that they are affirming, positive and insightful. I agree with you totally on your comments regarding procrastination. We sometimes have to distance ourselves a bit from what we see as “have to’s”, to let our inner self take over. I find some of my most creative thoughts, ideas and inspirations in the shower, or on a walk, or working in the garden amongst nature. I heal through nature and learned that very early in my life. Nature has always brought me back to my center and has grounded me over my 74 yrs. I always save your Sunday talks to read later if I don’t have time when I first see them. They are always something I look forward to. Thank you. First time I’ve ever written, but this morning you connected with something I needed—to not immediately blame or chastise myself when I’ve needed to take some time off to allow my inner self to rest a bit and rejuvenate. I expect a lot of myself and sometimes have a difficult time just letting go to heal/rest/refill!

  10. Thanks, Mark…

    The quote “procrastination is the soul rebelling against entrapment” resonates with me; that was certainly me in the college all-nighters. I think that a healthy slice of rebellion is a good thing in general. A couple of other quotes that I have found helpful is “If you don’t know what to do, wait until you do” (unknown) and “Slow with God and guidance” (me, lately). I’m a fan of quantum physics and I think that procrastination can sometimes just be about gathering the right information and wisdom for what we’re looking to tackle or untangle.

  11. Regarding your Sunday with Sisson on procrastination. I am a chronic procrastinator! I find that it motivates me to produce quality work in a short amount of time. I know I have deadlines and won’t start the work until the deadline is approaching. I’m sure I have ideas rolling around my brain long before it’s on paper but the paper part is always started approaching deadlines.

  12. Thank you so much for the blog about procrastination. I am probably the worst procrastinator and truly appreciate your suggestions for breaking through the stuff that is blocking me from productivity with home chores. I am going to start today by focusing on trying something new for myself. Happy Sunday ?

  13. Mark, Thank you and the Worker Bees for these weekly articles! I do appreciate the work!

  14. Mark I will provide you feedback about your most recent “Sunday with Sisson” newsletter … eventually.

  15. Mark-am so grateful for your Sunday morning missives. I am not a follower of Paleo a’tall..( What?!!) I primarily follow a healthy whole foods eating program sans processed and sugared products, non-GMO and organic, etc. and maintain a healthy, albeit, low key fitness program. And, dear Mark, I so appreciate all aspects of your insight and research and am more informed and educated by reading your wise words and integrating much of it into my lifestyle. Just so’ s ya know. We ain’t all Paleo Warriors but are committed to our own well-being and you contribute to mine mightily. Thank you for that.

  16. I love love love Peter from Hyperlipid. On reading the comments to the linked post, it was interesting to see the general ribbing/roasting of Jason Fung and Peter Attia as LC advocates at once opposed to, yet totally committed to, the lipid hypothesis. And then they appear here together in another following link. I’m a bit whiplashed…

  17. Sundays with Sisson have become my version of going to church. Mark, you strike chords and soothe my soul. I am not a procrastinator (quite the opposite) and figured this week’s post wouldn’t speak to me as much as others. Well, people I love do suffer from procrastination and your post brought tears to my eyes, as usual. Thank you.

  18. Regarding your Sunday email about procrastination: I had been wondering about this recently holding off on some specific things. I like Nassim Taleb’s take on giving it some space. Being a type A personality this was hard for me, and not something I generally like to do. I normally feel a sense of urgency even when things aren’t time sensitive. Yet sitting with this email for a while allowed me to put my position in perspective before responding. Thank you for the great content as always Mark!

  19. Sometimes I say “procrastination” but really I mean ‘meditation’. And it can be as refreshing as good long nature walk. Babbling in my diary when I’m not quite ready to “start the day”…Taking the scenic route or the long way. I think procrastination is a good thing. Kind of like smelling the roses. 🙂
    ps: I can’t imagine anyone not benefiting from having a listen to Eckhart Tolle’s Awakening in the Now. How about, Life is procrastinating death, so enjoy it! Lol.

  20. Re: Lazy … A wise person once told me there is no such thing as lazy! Just people whose motivation had been taken away. So, perhaps In the moment – examine whether it’s emotional, spiritual, physical or intellectual then
    without self judgement apply a possible remedy.

  21. I started a Bicentennial quilt in 1976 but ran into serious construction problems when I started quilting it and couldn’t figure out a solution. 30 years later I figured out a great and as it turns out, humorous solution and finished the quilt. That may be my longest and most positive procrastination outcome..

    Presently I mostly procrastinate about sorting piles of papers. The thing I hate most. I decided to make it a goal of mine. So far 3 weeks have passed and all I have done is move the pile from one place to another. Guilt abounds. I don’t think I have 30 more years to get this done.

  22. I’m procrastinating on whether or not I should comment.

  23. Sometimes I find that when I procrastinate it means that something inside is saying “slow down”, even if only long enough to think about what I am planning on doing. Taking that little bit of time has kept me from making or doing some really stupid things. Skipping that exercise session has also kept me from overuse injuries.

    Really enjoy Sunday’s With Sisson

  24. I think you’re on to something about procrastination possibly being the mind/body trying to tell us something. I just read this book, “Good to Go” by Christie Aschwanden about the science of recovery. Basically, listen to your body and you’re good to go. As an endurance athlete, it’s hard to not be doing something and easy to go down a shame spiral during time off. I think we all need to be a little better about listening to and trusting our bodies and giving ourselves grace.

  25. Amen! I feel I have to decompress one day during the weekend but my husband thinks I’m lazy or depressed! I sent him your article to try and explain me to him better than I ever could communicate.

  26. I was shocked to see the topic for this Sunday, I have been procrastinating this past week, and I have seen it as a negative.
    As a child I was taught that procrastination meant you were lazy, yet I don’t feel lazy just overwhelmed. Your thoughts were very insightful and welcomed. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.

  27. In the first phase of my professional life, many moons ago, we had a principle in our corporate culture — don’t do anything until it needs to be done. When I have stuck to this principle, although others have judged it as procrastination, I have found that I’ve saved an enormous amount of time and wasted effort. You’d be amazed at how many things actually were not the thing to do.

  28. I’m not sure ? if I am procrastinating or forgetting..the two have merged as I age.

  29. Mark thank you for today’s Sunday post. Your share on procrastination helped me forgive some of my shame with it. My struggle has been “if I do this”, what now? Instead of me being excited with the accomplishment, I don’t complete the task because of what I perceive “could” be negative feedback. I’ve discounted how I think of myself and blamed it on what I thought someone else might think of me. It is such a vicious cycle! But post like the one you shared today helps to shine the light and if nothing else shake up that focus! Thanks again! Have an awesome week!

    1. Thank you for the link, looks very interesting and of course I’m reading it while procrastinating.

      I don’t know why everyone in the comments is talking about procrastination, it’s not mentioned in the links at all?

        1. Would anyone care to make it available somehow, or forward it to me? I only (finally!) signed up for the emails today so too late… There’s my lesson again.

  30. Mark,

    Very much appreciated your straightforwardness with the procrastination thing. Writer’s block, of course, is the conventionl paradigm, but artist’s block generally is also highly relevant to this intriguing discussion (any kind of “block” really). The “blank page” syndrome has significant emotional implications (fear, anger, depression, frustration, etc.). We aren’t robots (not yet anyway). We need to learn to forgive ourselves, show self compassion when functionality appears limited. That appears to be at the core of your message, a very profound one. Thank you for your good work!

  31. Thanks so much! Bored at work this afternoon, plenty to do, just tired of doing it. I work from home so I went out and weeded my garden for a few minutes, was feeling guilty until I read your article! Thank you!
    No more guilt and brain is refreshed and ready to go.

  32. Like most of us, I sometimes procrastinate for what seems to be no good reason. However, I’ve found two categories of procrastination that actually make me more productive.

    With the first type of deliberate procrastination, I will put something off to allow for “subconscious fermentation.” I find this very useful for certain tasks that involve problem solving that I am highly motivated to get done right away, but backing off for a day or two improves my effectiveness at tackling the task. For example, I had very large limb from a tree on my property break in a wind storm and get hung up in another tree with both ends suspended ten-plus feet off the ground. My first instinct was to deal with it right away. That meant either calling a professional and paying several hundred dollars or climbing up a tall ladder and wielding a chainsaw at a height that seemed precarious—neither of these options was particularly attractive to me, but something had to be done. I so badly wanted to get moving on this the day it happened, but I forced myself to procrastinate to allow my mind to work on the problem in the background. Two days later inspiration struck: I threw a rope over the limb, tied a large trash can to the rope and hoisted it several feet in the air, tied it off, put a garden hose in the trash can, turned it on, stepped back, and let the gradually increasing weight of the water-filled can safely pull the limb out of the trees and to the ground. Thank you, procrastination!

    The second type of planned procrastination I use is for completing simple tasks I don’t care for that I have a tendency to do inefficiently and/or lament over if I give myself plenty of time. Put another way, some tasks become less unpleasant when I use procrastination to force a sense of urgency. For me, packing for a trip is a good example. I find if I decide to wait almost until the last minute (critical to this is giving myself a reasonable window of time), I’m forced to be highly focused in getting all my stuff together and the work becomes much more enjoyable and I spend my time more effectively.

    With both of the above types of procrastination, I find I need to make a deliberate decision to delay. For the first type, it allows for more effective solutions to complex tasks. For the second type, it helps me to be more efficient and avoid the unease of anticipating doing a task I otherwise find monotonous or distasteful.

  33. I definitely feel that procrastination is a mechanism of self-defense. After a long day of “mental work”, when I come home it’s not that “I’m tired” is more “I need to decompress”. One of my go-to phrases: “I’ll do it in the morning”. I still haven’t gotten myself one of those slacklines… is there a particular one you recommend?

  34. “the meat-less Impossible Burger was found to trigger weight gain”

    Not quite, but I can see how you made that mistake because I did too. In the article’s At A Glance section, it says that there were “unexplained changes in weight gain” which is an unwieldy statement, that makes it look like they meant “unexplained weight gain.” But then when I got deeper into the article, it says “unexplained transient decrease in body weight gain” and “increase in food consumption without weight gain.” This is troubling, especially when coupled with “decreased reticulocyte (immature red blood cell) count (this can be a sign of anemia and/or damage to the bone marrow where red blood cells are produced)” and “decreased blood levels of alkaline phosphatase (can indicate malnutrition and/or celiac disease).”