Weekly Link Love — Edition 41

Research of the Week

Even without weight loss, a high-protein, low-carb diet improves glucose tolerance and lowers liver fat in type 2 diabetics.

As fasting glucose ticks upward, so does pancreatic cancer incidence.

Just 12.2% of American adults have optimal (biologically appropriate) metabolic health.

Kids take it all in.

Stress interferes with the mother-child bond.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 362: Andre Obradovic: Host Brad Kearns chats with Andre Obradovic about the importance of not being a muppet.

Episode 363: Luis Villasenor and Tyler Cartwright: Host Elle Russ chats with KETOGAINS founders Luis and Tyler.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 21: Hosts Erin and Laura chat with Todd McCullough about using pain to reflect and progress.

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

From vegetarians to butchers.

More pharmaceutical data shenanigans.

Interesting Blog Posts

The core is the healthiest part of the apple. Just make sure it’s organic.

Ten findings that contradict (and appear to disprove) medical wisdom.

Social Notes

Interesting thread on making sourdough with ancient Egyptian yeast.

Everything Else

Is society scapegoating meat, particularly red meat?

Sure, let’s just slap on a robotic tail for “balance.” What harm could it do?

Another reason to pay attention to your surroundings when hiking.

“…one Instagramer named Uxía told Publico that her rash was a little bad, yes, but the picture was worth it.”

Incentivizing organ donation by giving registered donors priority if they need a new organ increases organ pool but lowers organ quality.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

News I’m pleased to announce: Primal Kitchen® took first place in several categories of Paleo Magazine’s annual “Best of” awards, including Best New Product (our ketchup and mustard), Best Paleo Food Company, and Best Paleo Lifestyle Company. Thanks, everybody!

Podcast I enjoyed: The story of the man who survived incurable brain cancer.

Phrase I found clever: “Benevolent pseudo-diabetes.”

I’m impressed: 89-year-old Joe Stockinger deadlifts 405 pounds. Twice.

I have to add the “correlation is not necessarily causation” caveat: Countries with more butter have happier people.

Question I’m Asking

How many unintended physiological consequences would a robotic tail trigger in the human body?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Aug 4– Aug 10)

Comment of the Week

“The parking lot at Target is on a slight hill so I park at the bottom, and then I can ride the shopping cart like a scooter all the way back down to my car. I’m going to be 61 soon.
Joy and delight!”

– That’s the spirit, Jen!

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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58 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 41”

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  1. The 89 yr old deadlifting was super inspiring! Seriously defies the “expected” aging process that so many people have given in to believing. I remember stopping by my grandfather’s house 10 years ago when he was 90 (he turns 100 next month) and he was standing on a limb up in a tree sawing off another limb. These stories encourage me to continue to refuse to settle for the “status quo” and to fight conventional wisdom and to live awesome!

  2. We all know the importance of a good core workout, but now I’m gonna start eating the whole apple, including the core.

  3. Vegans are really starting to control the debate over diet, and it seems that they have a fair amount of institutional support behind them. That’s pretty amazing considering how few of them there are and the well-documented failure of most people to adhere to the diet over the long term. As Nassim Taleb has demonstrated, the “most intolerant minority wins.”

    1. Ah, and they are using the environment now as proof to why veganism should be the only way of eating for humans. I keep hearing how the only way to slow down climate change is to stop eating meat – cows in particular. I’m so very tired of the vegan agenda, and how manipulative it is.

  4. Butter certainly makes me happier.

    Loved the 10 myths article too. Very interested to hear your current thoughts on fish oil and it’s benefit of any.

    Thanks for the awesome round up Mark 🙂

  5. I’d like to know which varieties of apples were studied. I stopped buying Fuji apples for my babies because I was worried about how the core is always moldy, same with red delicious I believe. I assume it would not be okay to eat these cores. Pink lady are my favorites, I eat the seeds sometimes.

  6. Hey Mark. Love your posts, but would you be open to some criticism? I work as a medical communicator, and current good practice is to use “person-first” language. For example, you often say “type 2 diabetics” or “schizophrenics” instead of “people with type 2 diabetes” or “people with schizophrenia.”

    I know this may seem silly to you. But people with a disease are people, not just their disease. I think this would be a fairly easy fix for you to make in your blog. I hope you’ll consider it.

    1. Well, it seems people are snowflakes…

      Mark is not responsible for how people take what he writes.

      1. As a writer he most certainly is responsible for the language he uses. Margaret’s point seems reasonable to me, and if you have a valid counter opinion feel free to share it rather than engaging in an ad hominem attack.

      2. People are snowflakes? Really? I think people coping with disease or disability are typically pretty tough people, considering what they face. I think they should get to decide how people refer to them. As my friend with autism, who is also a scientist, likes to say, “If you call me autistic, you are telling me that’s all you see of me. If you say I’m a person with autism, you see that autism is just one thing about me.” And she’s right. Fun side note, some of her work has actually been referenced on this site.
        But, lets call her a snowflake because it is too hard for you to make the effort to change your language around others. It is quite an entitled attitude to think people don’t have to care how their words impact others. BTW, name calling is not a very mature way to handle things in life.

    2. Margaret, most people probably are not aware of that convention. Good to know, thanks.

      However, in writing it is a general best practice to be as minimal as possible with the words one uses – “why use 10 words when three will do?” (That said, please forgive the length of this reply). Also, consistently referring to those suffering from whatever ailment as “people with ~” would become repetitive very quickly and simply does not have the same rhythm or literary panache as a less-restrictive approach.

      When a disease is the aspect in focus, it’s no more dismissive to refer to a sufferer as “~ic” than it is to refer to someone by occupation or a physical attribute. Few are going to assume that a doctor, lawyer, soldier, African-American, Jew, etc is nothing more than that one characteristic, and no reasonable reader is going to assume that the whole of a person suffering from diabetes or schizophrenia is encapsulated in that title alone.

      1. I appreciate this counterpoint. While it could be implemented in oral communication, consistently reading a re-worded, drawn out description of a sub-population can be cumbersome in practice.

      2. Great points. I agree, in verbal communication I’d see how using “people with ___” would be more appropriate and kinder, but yes writing a lengthy article in such a way is much less practical.

    3. You’re on to something Margaret. Labels do tend to bring on victim mentality and it’s own set of issues.

    4. Thanks for the comment, Margaret. I work in medical/nursing publishing also and we’ve followed your suggested practice for 20 years. It’s respectful and it supports the fact that the individual is not the disease. It’s considered. basic good practice.

    5. I’m a type 1 diabetic, and I didn’t take offense. So what are we really talking about? I usually say, “I have type 1 diabetes.” I never say, “I’m a person with type 1 diabetes.” Nor do I say, “people with type 1 diabetes.” The institutional language can stuff it.

    6. However “Celiacs” is not correct usage right now. People with Celiac Disease is more respectful. Defining people by their illness is never a good idea.

      1. Describing one by their illness is not necessarily the same as defining one by it, whether that be “a person with celiac disease” or “a celiac.” Logically speaking, both terms are equally inclusive/exclusive/definitive. I realize that taking offense is an emotional, rather than a reasoned, reaction; this site, on the other hand, is largely built around grounded science and logical thought.

        While most people do not try to intentionally offend others, the pains taken to avoid such have reached the point of absurdity… they have, themselves, become an offense to the English language.

        While we can try to avoid offending others, the reality is that it is the reaction of the recipient and not the intent of the speaker that defines any offense – unless it is done intentionally, it is largely out of the speaker’s control. Someone can always find offense if they wish to, no matter what steps are taken to avoid it.

        1. There’s nothing absurd about doing one’s best to be nice to others.

  7. Nice read about the vegetarian butchers, saved it for reference.
    I will do my part:
    Today in the beach (Miami Beach) I saw a big big fish (like two feet long) in the shallow water.
    Later in the day I am coming back to the beach with my net, to see it I get it. If I am lucky I will train my killing pray abilities (highly atrophied, I must say) with it.
    Note: catching sardines with the net does not count in my book 🙂

  8. Adding a tail would most assuredly reduce the need for such an inconvenient and abhorrent piece of musculature known colloquially as “The Glutes.” Finally, we as a species have outsmarted natural selection and can be rid of this vestigial, ornamental piece of our machinery that we have tried so hard in recent history to atrophy and be rid of.

  9. Mark, regarding your piece on centenarians, have you looked at the work of Dr Jack Kruse? Absolutely fascinating – strongly recommended. Those 100 year old Italians are ALL getting plenty of sun and always have!
    Keep up the great work.

  10. Having grown up in a family with long living relatives and very little instance of any serious illness’s I have always kept a close eye on the supercentenarian articles and studies. I do laugh when the “Did you know this group actually eat XYZ on a regular basis, but it was excluded from the study”. Or these old Italians never ate meat, in a village where the local specialty is wild rabbit stew (more a point of translation than actual facts). The people who I have known who’ve lived well into their 90’s and beyond have been a complete mix of, smokers, drinker’s, healthy diet, poor diet, happy outlook and miserable. They all seemed to keep going, I don’t know any of them who performed any real weight bearing exercise, besides pottering around the garden, cleaning the house or taking the dog for a walk. And they where all OLD People from about the age of 55 or 60. It seems like we are now seeing the 1st generation of lifelong exercisers hitting their 80’s and 90’s. Their Physical age’s seems to be 20, 30+ years different from their chronological age. This gap seems to widen the older they get. Surely studies should be looking for groups of people who fit this category.

  11. Okinawans eat lots of seaweed, algae, and never stop working or being active! The seaweed they eat, daily, is a major part of their diet, and thought to promote stem cell activity.

  12. “Just 12.2% of American adults have optimal (biologically appropriate) metabolic health.”

    Good lord that is sad. But, I’m definitely the minority in my family as well, although slowly but surely gently and non-judgementally convincing them to eat less and less simple carbs and exercise more.

  13. I should think that, blue zones included, anywhere there’s birth certificates there is “medical ” intervention as well, correlation???

  14. Good morning Mark and the Primal team! Thank you for your work and passion for healthy living! Regarding this Sunday with Sisson and the Blue Zones; “statistics” and reports in general most often have to be consumed carefully. As you have pointed out in this article, this “new research” changes the way that past research on the Blue Zone theory and supercentenarians has to be considered. I believe we would agree that statistics and the interpretation thereof, can be used to promote a particular view even if not totally accurate. We are in an age of “over load” of information from so many sources that it is difficult to process it all. I so appreciate your work in providing great content and the fact that you have proven to be a trusted resource. As this relates to my daily living and wellness, I really appreciate your “down to earth”, common sense philosophy which includes; play, good tasting food, movement, rest, lift some heavy stuff, run fast once in a while and pay attention to how you feel…your body will tell you a lot when it comes to your health.

  15. I’ve noticed a few of these “Blue Zones” recently myself. There are an overabundance of the elderly at a number of churches as well as retirement and assisted living communities. I see them out playing bocci ball, golf, tennis, walking, swimming, etc. I have yet to see a single person over the age of 70 who has spent more than a minute playing a video game.

  16. Mark, your citation on the high number of long lived people from areas without birth certificates is funny. Since it was Ancel Keyes who first brought the Mediterranean “miracle” to prominence in his much flawed research to prove his lipid- heart disease hypothesis, it is amusing the the obsolete research that modern day vegans use to attack keto and paleo diets is also dependent on these questionable blue zone birth records that may be fraudulent too. It made a nice story.

  17. What about Loma Linda, CA, where we can assume the birth records are more complete?

  18. One of the prevalent factors in those regions is that they eat fermented foods. Natto in Japan and milk kefir in the rural mountains.

    1. Fermented honey used to be a thing too. I’m thinking of the Tartar areas of Russia which are also known for longevity.

  19. Interesting about the “latest” Blue Zone kerfuffle! No the areas may not be “magical”, but i have to feel like lack of the SAD diet, more movement, more sense of community, more shared meals, smaller, perhaps less frequent and higher quality because they stem from back yard gardens, (and critters) as well as foraging. I’m going to take whole real food, friends and community as my “take away” for happier healthier life!!

    1. I’m also assuming that these same people do not go to a doctor and get antibiotics every time they have a sore throat stuffed nose or a tickle in the ear! They use home remedies that have been around for thousands of years.

  20. Great article about the blue zones. I always appreciate when real data gets in the way of perceived reality and someone has the courage to actually state the discrepancy. I listened to an audiobook a while back about people on a Mediterranean island during WWII Nazi occupation. One of my takeaways was how strong and resilient the locals were in spite of the occupation. Which was partly attributed to their diet and the rough and hilly terrain. A lot of their diet came from plants that they foraged from the area and all edible parts of the sheep and goats they kept. I sometimes wonder if I should be eating more local foraged plants, e.g. dandelions, nettles.

    1. My mother in law is from a small village in Lebanon, she doesn’t drink tea or coffee but has herbal tea from sage mint chamomile daily. She makes dandelion pies and back home they eat all sorts of foraged herbs and greens. So too do the people of Ikaria and Crete! I’m beginning to think that we should be eating these wild edibles Daily! My mother in law is 89 still walks everyday and has her wits about her!

  21. Thoughts on blue zones possible bad investigative work….all the old people in those films look old! Importantly, I am 65, my grandpa died in 1958, He was probably 66, he looked like he was 107. My dad died at 80 he looked younger maybe 70. I look younger then both of them!

    1. Right!
      These blue zone people only look like they are over 100. Their sun drenched days of drinking red wine and smoking have caused premature aging, memory loss and made believe that they are older than they really are.

  22. It is assumed that all the components of the Mediterranean lifestyle/diet contribute equally to the longevity benefit. I read a paper where they questioned that assumption: People exercise everywhere, eat fish everywhere, socialize everywhere, eat vegetables and wine everywhere. The one component unique to the Mediterranean diet was olive oil. A statistical analysis confirmed that olive oil provided the majority of the benefit. I wish there were more researchers who use this approach of sifting big data to tease out hidden patterns instead of just making blanket assumptions based on broad observations.

  23. In SwS you mentioned supercentenarians (gee did I spell that right?). And that they’re often held up as examples of why Primal and Paleo aren’t good diets. Yes, I agree that this is a distortion. Also a distortion, the “paradox” of France, they eat rich food yet stay healthy.

    Are you aware of Dr. Malhotra and the Pioppi diet? He revisited Ancel Keys’ locations on which were based the Mediterranean diet assumptions and showed that they had been filtered through a lens of expectation, and didn’t reflect the reality. https://www.dietdoctor.com/authors/dr-aseem-malhotra I haven’t actually read that one (I’ve read and followed so many diets, enough, already, right?), but I’m aware of it because I follow him and similar doctors who are objecting tot he misinformation about fats in the diet and who debate the assumed causes of heart disease.

    A whole group of doctors who simply disagree with the cholesterol-HD theory have been attacked online by something as seemingly innocuous as Wikipedia. https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2018/12/18/wikipedia-a-parable-for-our-times/

    It’s dangerous out there to suggest that the DASH diet isn’t perfect in every way and that perhaps we’d be better off taking fewer wonder drugs.

    I’m sorry to hear that some of these healthy blue zones were not as healthy as we thought, or maybe… are we assuming that, based on our modern filters and assumptions?

  24. Hi Mark you mentioned the Blue Zones. Last year we went to Ikaria and stayed for a week. I do believe the data is now old. The longevity is not so good. Because the all have cars, drink raki and still many smoke. The woman live the longest as it is the men that do this. Not so much of the manual labour and exercise. They also said they had a lot of stomach cancer. I have also just been to Japan. I spoke to a man that is a Radical Remission survivor. He said it is also not so true now with the Western influence in Okinawa of the American Base and their diet. Costa Rica is also under threat for longevity with the big companies taking over their land. We did enjoy Ikaria for the peaceful and happy people.

  25. Hi Mark,I got more than a chuckle out of this sharing ~ thanks for the beginnnings of a more in-depth conversation! Best, Gloria

  26. the difference between “benevolent pseudo-diabetes” and real diabetes (of either type), is that in the former, blood sugar stays low and doesn’t cause the glycation effects that damage nerves, blood vessels, the retina, etc. I can’t say I’ve ever been able to follow the logic behind the claim that ketoacidosis can’t occur if blood sugar is low (I mean, why, exactly?), but this difference between diabetes and ketosis is perfectly clear to me.

  27. As a person with chronic/acute pain I can tell you they are lying about opioids. They are the only thing that works other than steroids sometimes so they promote lies to keep people in pain rather than use them.

    1. What are the lies you are referring to? Opioid addiction is a real problem.

      1. That they don’t work any better than NSAIDs and that they don’t work long term have proven to be lies from my own experience. I have been on the same dose for years and it not only continues to help, it is the only thing other than decadron that does. They don’t like to use decadron either. Sometimes the benefit us well worth the risk.

        1. James – I think your experience is the same as many people with chronic pain. The furor over overdoses always sounds to me like the person wasn’t getting proper medical care and that’s why they were buying street drugs. Every person in my family and friends who needs some pain control beyond OTC drugs would agree with what you’re saying. Leaving people without medical care is the cause of this, it makes a big market for criminals. Nobody has ever died from taking prescribed drugs properly, as far as I know. Whenever a person overdoses, it’s always because of misuse. I’ve never heard of a single person who overdosed on a 5 mg oxycodone pill given to them for arthritis. Surely the news would’ve been all over it.

          I think the fear is due to the cutting of street drugs with fentanyl, but the response is, not to attack the global drug trade at its roots (money laundering), but to put up new barriers to proper medical care, which just increase the market for more street drugs in the US. What will it take to properly respond to the crisis? We might have to actually shut the doors of some banks to do that. It’s easier to label arthritic people, and their doctors, as possible criminals and use it as an excuse to drug test them. That’s a 100% ineffective tactic for stopping overdoses.

          There’s so much dogma in the “opioid crisis” and it causes such fear that people are afraid to speak up. Thanks for your courage in speaking up.

  28. Praised be. I doubted the claim that the supposed longevity of those living in the blue zone for a number of years, A claimed that attributed their longevity in question, to the above than average consumption of vegetables and low consumption of animals. But as was later discovered,, the Okinawa survey took place at the end of the war and after the pigs livestock was decimated by USA bombing; it was later replenished by shipping over a shipload of pigs. 1st came the story that punched a whole in the supposed health and longevity of Seventh Adventist’s (low sperm count and disease) and now this. It’s like a shot water bucked that’s draining (or a breached dame).and it’s about time. Who is left?

    Thank for pointing to this article.

  29. Thank you Mark for the Blue Zone research report! Science–even Social Science–(I’m a social science grad, so I can say that!) is SO much more interesting than speculation, rumor, and fear-mongering–true? True!

  30. Given that link up there, I’m thinking Mark may need to change the name of the site, to “Mark’s Daily Apple Core”…

  31. I’ve done some epic hill-bombing on shopping carts. Once a cop let me. He stopped me with a shopping cart and asked what I was doing with it. I said I found it off the store property and would return it later but for the time being was going to ride it down a big hill to save time. He said have a good night or whatever and drove away.
    If I had a robotic tail I’d be worried about knocking stuff over, like Neo with that vase in the first Matrix.