Weekly Link Love – Edition 72

Research of the Week

High blood pressure makes the coronavirus more dangerous.

How maternal obesity affects the offspring.

In women with PCOS, those going low-carb have better insulin sensitivity.

Homo erectus was probably really good at persistence hunting without water.

Dietary salt mitigates the damaging metabolic effects of a high-rice diet in rodents.

Low-calorie keto is safe for obese patients with mild kidney failure who want to lose weight.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Primal Blueprint podcast

Episode 385: The Primal Endurance Revolution: Host Brad Kearns and I chat about how Primal Endurance principles have changed the endurance game—and how they can revolutionize your health and performance.

Primal Blueprint podcast

Episode 386: Catharine Arnston: Host Elle Russ chats with Catharine Arnston, CEO and founder of ENERGYbits—a company making nutrient-dense algae tablets.

Primal Health Coach Institute podcast

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 51: Laura and Erin chat with Brad Kearns about the long-term and sustainable benefits of the keto diet.

Media, Schmedia

Fecal transplants aren’t risk-free.

Plant-based activist group sues California for failing to list processed meat as a carcinogen.

Interesting Blog Posts

What’s it like to have a “mild” case of the novel coronavirus?

Digital stillface.

Social Notes

Natalie Grasso’s Primal Health Coach success story: “it helped me get out of my own way.”

On countering oxalate overload.

Everything Else

The fatality rate may be overestimated.

When analyzing the “healthiness” of a food, consumers are more likely to worry about sugar than other components like saturated fat or salt. Next up: seed oils!

It’s a good time to buy lobster.

This is funny.

Things I’m Up to and Interested in

Improvement in efficiency I found amazing: Using different grazing methods to go from each cow needing 250 acres to each cow needing just 20 in the desert of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Argument I found counterintuitive at first: How the coronavirus may have saved Chinese lives.

Article I found interesting: Why are children (seemingly) spared?

Twitter thread I found helpful: Reassuring facts about the coronavirus.

Old research I haven’t seen addressed much: Animal studies show that taking antipyretics (fever-reducers) during influenza increases mortality. Are fevers adaptive?

Question I’m Asking

You probably noticed a lot of coronavirus content today. Sorry about that. There wasn’t a whole lot else to share. Pretty much everyone and everything was focused on that singular topic.

Next week I’ll be doing a Dear Mark. Do you have any questions related to the coronavirus? I’m quite limited in what I can answer with any amount of expertise, but I can certainly offer my perspective.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Mar 8–Mar 14)

Comment of the Week

“The coronavirus article seems an impressive case of willful ignorance for a man with PhD after his name. Experts have been at pains to emphasize the imperative to slow the spread because it will rapidly and completely overwhelm our medical system. Basically, very ill people will go essentially untreated, the virus will rage throughout our hospitals, which are full of especially vulnerable people, and countless senior living facilities of all kinds will become scenes of shocking carnage, at least by standards moderns are accustom to. I think a reasonable people can conclude this is a scenario worth trying to head off.”

– Good point, DBW.

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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79 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love – Edition 72”

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  1. I have a question for dearcmark, what are your thoughts on freshwater fish, like walley, catfish, trout, crawfish, etc? Are they as healthy as their saltwater cousins? Are they loaded with any benefits? Thanks.

  2. Just a comment about taking fever-reducers during illness.

    The “old research” sited used to be common knowledge, at least in some parts of the U.S. Growing up I was told (by my mom and grandmothers) that fever is the way the body kills the infecting invader and that taking aspirin or some such, will just allow the virus to linger around longer.

    We were instructed instead to wrap up in blankets to help the “fever” do its job, killing the microbe responsible for the sickness. Seemed to work and I still practice this on the rare occasion that I have a higher than normal temp.

    It seems that health care professionals currently fear a high temperature more than the invader itself. Not sure if they are on the right track about this.

    1. I always tell patients that fever is our friend, our body’s way of fighting the infection.
      A normal nervous system will not raise the temp over 106, a higher temp than that indicates a problem with the nervous system, such as meningitis, and is a whole other problem.

      1. I too, was raised by a mother and grandmother who to,d me to let “fever” do it’s job. And that’s logic, to me as well, knowing how amazingly our bodies heal themselves.

        Thank you for this confirmation!

  3. Mark, I have a question for you for next week.
    Can you give us your recommendations on how to stay healthy while in quarantine/emergency situations? Forget the obvious harm of social isolation. Just talk to me about what and how to eat! Is it all beef jerky and olive oil from here on out? What do I stock in my pantry for the apocalypse?

  4. Social isolation when already alone how to promote mental health. Ways to boost your immunity I’ve started doing blasts of cold water in the shower but it’s cold and damp here living in the northern hemisphere in Europe is quiet depressing now. Anything else I should do. How to stay healthy when you can’t go yo the gym walking during the week is my only outdoor alternative on busy roads in the dark. Actually how to mitigate the overwhelming feeling of panic the media are feeding when alone

    1. Don’t read the media. And eat as you normally would. Grocery stores, pharmacies are and will stay open. Relax. Panic does more harm than the virus itself.

  5. Low calorie Keto with mild kidney failure article:

    “Total caloric intake was between 450 and 800/day”

    I’ve actually done that. For 8 months. Lost 80 lbs. Then I gained it back. I’d like to see a 5 year follow up and then a 10 year. What’s the exit strategy?

    They’re also way way way under-reporting the side effects, especially extreme fatigue. Nothing will focus you on your next meal time like starving yourself.

    The article is strongly against red meat, even after the diet is complete. I guess that’s because of the kidney involvement. But it still seems extreme as it’s not only red meat they are warning against.

  6. I just shared this poem with my family:
    “The Peace of Wild Things”

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
    – Wendell Berry

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is exactly what I did yesterday—sat in the grass and soaked up the sunshine, and enjoyed the trees and flowers and dirt. It really does do wonders to sit in the peace of wild things.

    2. Thank you. I am not far from a conservation site. I am walking or just sitting and watching for signs of spring. Beautiful reflection of peace from Berry. I am sending this around.

      I am on an almost 100% news blackout because of my anxiety issues. Doing what is recommended and if there is anything I need to know my husband who is still plugged in will tell me.

  7. Thanks Mark, as I read your weekly email , I realized that I can be the storm or the calm. Having adult children and a teenager I am the one they look at most for reaction. So I have sat myself in front of my red light therapy, gone on my peloton bike and am making paleo chicken pot pie and we are all going to have a nice meal together. Conversation will be about mom and her sneaking in veggies to the casserole. Breath, exhale , love and be at peace.

  8. Stress is only going to make your immune system worse. Take simple precautions and then go on with your life. From what we see so far, if you are under retirement age and have a decent immune system, you will get sick for 3-4 days and then recover like nothing happened.

    I already live a healthy lifestyle with very little processed food, and the only change I am making is that I am cutting down on my training volume a little so I don’t hinder my immune system.

  9. “what are you doing to promote serenity in yourself and your environment? You don’t even have to be worried yourself, just recognize that others are worried and, maybe, you can do something about it.”

    What a great reminder that we can help others be less stressed by being steady and proactive ourselves.

    My wife, who helps people with trauma and stress, seems to absorb the anxiety of her clients.

    Hopefully, by me being more proactive instead of avoiding the situation she can also benefit.

    1. Your wife needs to ground herself after working with clients.

  10. As I shopped at the grocery store yesterday, which was way quiet for a Saturday, I noticed myself giving calm, serene smiles to other shoppers, who mostly returned them. Perhaps by virtue of being “out,” we were the naturally calm ones. I have volunteered to help the elderly and otherwise at risk from my church, as needed. In our home, my roommate seems to have diminished her anxiety. We both have elderly mothers living in retirement homes. I think knowing that not visiting them is the most loving thing we can do right now and keeping up with them by phone makes us both feel better.

  11. Getting out into nature for #VitaminN #getsometoday
    Thanks for your newsletters, Mark

  12. Sunday Sesh at it’s best!
    Good onya Mark for this Sunday with Sisson!
    A bit of calm is necessary. I live and work in Hong Kong. I have two young children so I decided to move them back to my homeland of Australia in late January. We thought we were all good but it has started to get drastic here with travel restrictions and panic buying. I now wanna move them back to HK but that would be way too disruptive to my little sweethearts. HK seems to have the virus under wraps whereas Australia is just starting to realise an outbreak. Difficult times indeed.
    I think the best advice to is hunker down for a few months, eat well, take supplements and do as much as we can from home. The hard times will pass; as they always do. We have to remain positive (hopefully not CV-19 positive) and work together as family/friends/community to wade through this pandemic. Good luck and much love to all in the Primal community, and others. xxxx

  13. You Asked what we’re doing to promote serenity. Deep breathing and diffusing essential oils are my two main destressing tools.

  14. Coronavirus? Pretty easy to chill a little just by crunching a few numbers. In Italy, where it is “horrible”, they have 15,000 confirmed cases in a country of 60 million people. That comes to a quarter of 1 percent….China is even much smaller. So, big whoop.

  15. I am taking long walks outside daily, no matter the weather…this helps calm my nerves and makes me feel connected to nature…it reminds me that God is perfect and nothing is a mistake:)

  16. Re: Sunday with Sisson
    Over here in Europe many people do worry about the virus. I don’t. I managed to triple fracture my ankle on 29th of February, so bed bound, schools closed for next 5 weeks, pantry, fridge and freezer stocked as always, no contact delivery is still available for the fresh produce. All good. As for social contacts: I have four lively children keeping me busy and as long as the internet works we should all be able to sustain some degree of mental health. Stay healthy!

  17. Regarding the tension in the air – a healthy dose of common sense is useful. Given that viruses tend to be opportunistic, it makes no good sense for the beastie to kill off all its hosts. Look at the statistics we KNOW about, like the flu stats, which of course are inaccurate as many cases are labeled flu without testing. Computer projections make certain (perhaps unwarranted) assumptions that a trajectory will remain steady. We do all we can to maintain good health. After watching online summits for the past five and a half years, whatever the problem discussed, it boils down to the usual remedies: take your supplements, good sleep, get outside/exercise, eat clean foods, be mindful in all you do, contribute, be thankful, etc. The idea of being the calm one in the center of the storm is no bad thing either: you can only die once. Good idea to stand in the gap and serve until then, but not take foolish risks. Those with underlying health issues should of course be more vigilant than the average bear, but the greatest problem is likely fear.

  18. I listen to Scripture. I particularly enjoy listening to Psalms when I feel any anxiety of worry. I am reminded by listening to, and reading the Word that God is our Fortress and our Salvation and our Protector. Praise God. Try reading Psalms 100 every day.

  19. I’m not worried about the virus, I am worried about the world economy in the after math of this Insanity. We are using this time to take store of our supplies. We have a few gaps but nothing critical. Our stores are still stocked. But I am hearing from our kids spread out across this great land so I know folks are going crazy. My youngest ran to the store to pick up a loaf of bread and backed out the door and went home and made her own bread. They are no longer taking their kids out in public. Take a big breath everyone and think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. There is nothing special about this virus unless you are elderly or sick. Most who get it think they have a cold. Nothing to worry about.

  20. I went grocery shopping this morning and people were panic buying. I did my best to look everyone I walked past in the eye and smile at them. Hopefully it helped others to relax. It made me feel better too.

  21. Hello! I am currently in The Hunan province of China. The last few months here have been extremely dour. A few things I did to stay positive and use this as an opportunity to become better; I opened my studio everyday. I kept to my normal routine, I trained hard, I fasted 22 hours everyday, and I’ve read over 20 books since the new year. I researched and made new recipes, I created a new format for my training, and started to write a book about how I started my healthy lifestyle journey. I don’t think it’s something I’ll publish, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do and now I’m doing it. The point is, I had to change my goals and my perception coming out of the Chinese New Year. Instead of seeing my financial goals crushed, I saw opportunity to better myself, instead of complaining I got creative.. and I only checked the news once every few weeks.. I didn’t want the negativity messing with my flow. We are now at the end of this thing, stores are starting to open, people are out again. My advice is, don’t fret.. it does no good.. look at it as a time to master yourself. Anyway, hold strong and it will be over before you know it.

    1. Excellent perspective, and it helped me just reading this. Thank you.

      Calm heads will prevail, and there is opportunity to grow in times of turmoil, that is for certain.

  22. Best advice and post I have read all week! Thank you Mark!!

  23. This morning my tennis club is having an “antivirus” party. It’s for 4 hours, on the outdoor courts, with healthy snacks and good music blasting on the courts!! Sounds like a great way to de-stress and spread good vibes!

  24. Staying sane/healthy comment: “Great ideas” had while running yesterday: Nightly driveway “Happy Hour,” in neighborhoods where it’s feasible (suburbs….) People pull chairs into their driveway, and we all stay over 6 feet apart. We’ll have fresh air, and we could grow some community. I ran it by an infectious disease doc, who said it would be okay, and posted it to Nextdoor. Let’s see how much hate I get back; hoping that some people will play. Maybe not an option in apartment buildings or rural areas, but could work in some neighborhoods.

  25. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for Sunday with Sisson and Mark’s Daily Apple. As a licensed psychotherapist and Integrative Health Counselor I am offering online stress management to my community and clients. Hoping for all of us to come together to aid in our recovery as a whole. Also, as a mother and wife I too am taking deep breaths to model behavior to be kind, not panic and spread love not germs. As we know diaphragmatic breathing “trips” the Vagus nerve and drops us into the parasympathetic nervous system. Let’s all get out of fight or flight and into the relaxation response of rest and restore. With gratitude, Colleen Burns

  26. Mark,

    Wise words.

    If you don’t mind I might share with friends and family

  27. Great comments Mark, and timely as well. While we always live with a degree of uncertainty it’s presence has now risen to unfamiliar heights. So your suggestions are mature and thought provoking. So thanks and keep providing the inspiration.

  28. One of the greatest, and unexpected, compliments I’ve ever received was after my mother’s difficult death from dementia. The hospice person quietly noted how my family was civil to each other. He said “Most families fight with each other at times like this”.

  29. Steve. I’m a 1982 Iron Man finisher and presently I’m one of the Rangers that guards the Alamo in San Antonio Texas. You’re right, we need a leader ship and calmness at this time and we try to provide that here at The Alamo. We might be closing in a few days as every day brings more news and more tension but everyone needs to stay calm and take care of the people they love around them. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your column!

  30. Thank you Mark for “Sundays” : reminding us of the power of quiet calm. Sanity — it’s contagious!

  31. Another good Sunday With Sisson post.

    I’m not making light of the situation at all when I say the following. It’s good to take steps that will keep the system from being overwhelmed.

    But a little perspective is helpful. As my wife and I drove away from Costco Thursday evening, I said, tongue-in-cheek, “This must be what WWII was like. Empty shelves where toilet paper used to be and 15 minutes in the check-out line.”

    A stiff upper lip and a bulldog spirit are not even required when the worst that will happen for the few who get it is mild cold/flu symptoms. I’ve felt worse when my Netflix buffers.

    Also, it’s worth looking at the decline in new cases in China and South Korea. Factories are re-opening and life is getting back to normal.

  32. The Stoic philosophers said and acted best know those things you can control and those things you cannot control. They also like many of us know, but forget is the be ready to die. Meaning live each day as if it is your last day on earth, so with that put on that smile be that Stoic serenity, calm, measured, decisive leader. Peace out!

    1. David, I am a big fan of Stoicism too. I am sure you receive it but you should check out the “Daily Stoic” blog if you don’t already

      1. Thanks for that Erich! I just signed up for the daily email.

      2. Thanks for that Erich! I just signed up for the daily email

  33. Hope the Keto diet helps with my Sec Pro MS. I can let you all know. Hoping to see Quality of Life improvement. Godspeed???? DC Uherek. Please let me know of any good information ! Thanks

  34. Adding a bit more…I would be fantastic if the world would come together today during this CoVid 19 crisis as the world did during World War II. The GREATEST GENERATION!

  35. I have found listening to and reading the news increases my anxiety so for the last two years I have shut it off. I get the important information from the people around me that know me and know I need a filtered addition.
    Second, I have made time for the things that bring me pure joy, especially keeping my hands busy with my fiber art and fine art. I am a huge advocate of the healing power of creativity and if you think you aren’t creative than you either have a narrow definition of what being creative is or you haven’t allowed yourself to get creative. It can be as simple as drawing with a stick in the dirt like many of us used to do as kids, or making scribbles and doodles on paper….no electronics allowed though. Engage with your environment in 3D and be mindful of the small or large amount of time you spend being creative and maybe having fun getting messy.
    Wishing everyone great physical and mental health.

  36. I’m baffled: Can anyone explain to me why TP and water is being hoarded?

  37. Humor is essential in times like these. Be sensible, be prepared, but don’t get so stressed out that you forget to laugh.

    Humans are great at adapting to anything – that made us so successful on this planet.

    “Always look on the bright side of life!” 🙂

    Greetings from the epicenter (writing from Germany)!

    1. Yes, we can take a hint from military, emergency response staff, doctors/nurses, and even mountain climbers who come up with gallows humor in grim situations.

  38. Doing a heart practice meditation, such as loving-kindness, compassion, or equanimity has helped me stay at ease. May all beings be happy, healthy, and be at peace. ?

  39. Being the calm in the storm is great advice, for myself and my immediate circle we are calm, just scratching our heads at the overreaction of so many. The stampede of the herd if you will. Stay the course, take care of who and what we can and hope that this storm blows over soon.
    We take extra Vitamin D3, get out in the sun as much as possible and have Baking Soda on hand should anyone get sick.

    1. Might I ask what the baking soda is used for in that situation?

      1. I believe because it is used as a non toxic cleaner. I clean the inside of my fridge with baking soda and water. Countertops etc. or use white vinegar.

  40. Question for Dear Mark: For a woman in perimenopause who needs to establish a sustained and regular exercise habit (lest she becomes a decrepit old lady), is there a hierarchy of exercise types, or is the best exercise the one that she will actually do?

  41. As a Chinese Medicine doctor, I’m stocking up on specific herbal formulas.

    Also: cat food and bulk quinoa. If I get sick, I need to make sure we three have SOMETHING to eat (the cat food is for them; I don’t normally eat quinoa but if quarantined, it’ll do).

    It’s not like I can leave the cats – if I’m down for the count, no one will come take care of them for fear of catching it! Anyone else strategizing this scenario? How’s it going to work? Can you break it down for me?

  42. Thank you for the Sunday emails, they are most welcome. Focusing on reducing my own anxiety so I can help others and keep working productively. Getting out in nature on a sunny day has helped. So many others were out too – keeping respectful distance of course but otherwise being friendly and calm. I am also prioritizing my thoughts of gratitude for this community. I feel much more resilient now having adopted the primal eating approach and doing the keto reset in Jan/Feb.

  43. Where do u live? What kind of water is the best? Do I need to filter my well water. I don’t do bottled water. What filter is best

  44. I go to the beach to promote serenity in myself. It calms me, relieves anxiety & stress, it’s meditative, I’m in nature…I search for agates and other sea treasures while I’m there…it’s a complete win for me. And I know I’m lucky to be one of those people who live near the beach. But honestly, any time I’m in nature I feel better.

  45. Hi Mark and all at Primal! I respect the serenity post today! It’s critical to remain calm in difficult times…keep your head about you when all those around you are losing theirs! I meditate every morning first thing! I practice deep breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth as if blowing through a straw. Also, I focus on faith! God is for us not against us! He is good…He may not be safe but He is good! We can trust in Him and the gifts He has placed in us to help the people around us! Have a great Sunday!

  46. I live here in Ireland, Dublin and I work in a shopping mall in a health shop. We are the busiest ever with people looking to us for help and advising them with the right supplements to combat the coronavirus, it’s mental, people are so anxious and worried, most haven’t a clue how to help themselves because they never thought anything like this could happen so all of a sudden it’s like wow maybe I’ll take some C or D I’ll be grand, I want to scream at them but I can’t, gotta help as much as I can. Situation here is about 8 days behind Italy so I’m trying to be proactive giving out as much nutritional advise as I can but in essence it’s up to the individual, we are going into lockdown, dont know how it’s going to play out….

  47. Prayer and time in The Word alleviates stress and worry every time.

  48. Thank you to all of the folks who posted positive comments regarding the current situation. We do really need to stay calm and stay smart. I recently came across a documentary on YouTube that everyone should watch. I now understand why there is such a great emphasis on Social Distancing, it really is the only way to flatten the curve. Things could have been much worse in Wuhan if they did not shut down the city. As for me, I will stay calm and smart and I will protect myself and my family. If you have time, you should watch the documentary on YouTube, search for -1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary | Swine Flu Pandemic | Deadly plague of 1918
    Stay Safe and Healthy!

  49. Regarding the Coronavirus; I have been spending time on You Tube educating myself. I feel I can now cope better & it has made me realise the severity of the problem!

  50. Oh. To add to my previous email on the Coronavirus; I have watched a lot of You Tube videos on the importance of Vitamin D in it’s healing properties.

  51. I am “stuck” working from home. Fortunately I work for a state agency so money during this time isn’t a worry, but I am home and have my kids home with me.

    We’ve just set up a schedule for making sure schoolwork is getting done (the schools are slowly evolving remote teaching exercises and programs) and tried to create structure for them. My wife still has to go into the office, but it’s fortunately a small office. We have talked to the kids about what’s going on and they’re older (15 and 12) so there’s less fear and more simply being pissed off about being cut off. But the same goes for mom and I, so it is what it is.

  52. I contacted his email and asked him for solution about my Type 2 herpes and he started the preparation to my cure,to my greatest surprise after two weeks, i was totally cured by his powerful herbal medicine,i never believe that i could be cured from this wicked disease until i met Robinson Buckler i’m very grateful to you and i know your herbal medicine will save more millions of lives. you can get his email Address on the internet, {{ Robinson.buckler @ yahoo }}. com ………[…]…..

  53. I contacted his email and asked him for solution about my Type 2 herpes and he started the preparation to my cure,to my greatest surprise after two weeks, i was totally cured by his powerful herbal medicine,i never believe that i could be cured from this wicked disease until i met Robinson Buckler i’m very grateful to you and i know your herbal medicine will save more millions of lives. you can get his email Address on the internet, {{ Robinson.buckler @ yahoo }}. com ………..

  54. I contacted him for solution about my Type 2 herpes and he started the preparation to my cure,to my greatest surprise after two weeks, i was totally cured by his powerful herbal medicine,i never believe that i could be cured from this wicked disease until i met Robinson Buckler i’m very grateful to you and i know your herbal medicine will save more millions of lives. you can get his email Address on the internet, ____________________{{ Robinson.buckler @yahoo }. com

  55. Hi Mark. Thank you for all your amazing insights and for sharing them with us. I question everything the hysterical, mainstream media puts out and I feel like we have been completely hoodwinked by this world wide pandemic or should I say plandemic. In alternative media I have come across a lot of people drawing a correlation between 5G technology being implemented and a corresponding flare up of illness and immune disorders, specifically respiratory disorders. Do you know more and could you guide us in terms of how to combat and protect ourselves from electromagnetic radiation whether 5G or other? Any insight from a man of wisdom like you will be appreciated.