Weekly Link Love — Episode 43

Research of the Week

Endogenous opioids facilitate social closeness.

Researchers identify 14 independent biomarkers of early mortality.

Antibiotics may raise the risk of bowel cancer.

The link between air pollution and bipolar disorder.

Rituals help relationships.

90 days of keto helps type 2 diabetics.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 367: Dr. Robert Glover: Host Elle Russ welcomes Dr. Robert Glover back to the podcast.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 23: Our very own Erin Power tells her tale.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

The case against using “war on cancer” metaphors.

Parents who malnourished their kid with vegan diet avoid jail time.

Interesting Blog Posts

Why African chickens have longer, meatier legs (for now).

“I heard that, up until 5 or 6 years ago, they weren’t even cooking their food…simply eating it raw right where it fell.”

Social Notes

Listen to the Sisson (and do your microworkouts).

My guess on why dogs are so fat and sick.

Everything Else

When ancient hunter-gatherers met ancient farmers, they produced some weird art.

Good article about the danger of artificial light with decent recommendations for kids who use devices. I just don’t like how they seem resigned to the trend of kids being glued to these things.

Animal Rebellion activists plan to blockade the UK’s largest wholesale meat market in October.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Tinfoil hats off to the people who warned about this for years: Higher maternal fluoride levels during pregnancy predict lower IQ in boys (but not girls).

Stuff gets older and older: Humans made it to Mongolia much earlier than we thought.

Very interesting idea: Did parasites select for increased human variability?

I’m not surprised: After Maryanne Demasi produced two great T.V. specials questioning the conventional wisdom on statins and heart disease, she and her entire time got fired.

When one of the most powerful vegans isn’t buying it…: Whole Foods CEO John Mackay questions the health effects of eating plant-based “meats.”

Question I’m Asking

Is the backlash to fake meat fake?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Aug 18 – Aug 24)

Comment of the Week

“Back in the 1950s or so you could order tapeworm pills for weightloss.”

DC, that’s the next big Primal Kitchen product: mayo with wriggling, writhing tapeworms.

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 — Episode 43”

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  1. I don’t think the “backlash” to fake meat is fake or even particularly overstated, though it seems excessively vitriolic.

    The article glosses over some legitimate concerns, while completely overlooking other factors. For example, the author takes for granted that every form of “real meat” is the product of industrial husbandry techniques while ignoring the environmental concerns of industrial agriculture as it pertains to the cash-cropping on which these products rely.

    Of course, people adopt vegetarian and vegan diets for a plethora of reasons (often built on imperfect science, but all science is imperfect and that’s beside the point). This diversity is forgotten, especially by the vegetarian/vegan critics of these foods, when they assume their own reasons (health/fitness, morality, environment, etc) are the only reasons for doing so. The backlash is always excessive when a community decides to eat its own.

    I, personally, have never quite understood why someone committed to not eating meat would have any desire to make their food look and taste like meat – but I’m happy eating meat and maybe haven’t tried my hardest to understand. I will try a side-by-side taste test between one of these “fake” meats and its meat equivalent as soon as I find that option.

  2. I’d love to hear your take on the 14 biomarkers study—how the various metabolic markers may be driven by diet and exercise choices. Seems that comprehending the significance of the study takes more physiological knowledge than I have!

    1. Yes. There’s a ton to unpack there, and I’d love your take too.

  3. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

  4. Wow, two stories about featured on my favorite
    health website. One about vegans who essential
    got away with abusing their child and one about
    the firing of some of my favorite TV presenters.
    Thats it, im moving to the country to grow my own,
    animals then to eat them.

  5. I enjoyed your Sunday post on dogs. We have two small Yorkies and try to feed them decent food that fits our budget. We settled on The Honest Kitchen grain free “Love” formula. What do you feed your dog and have you done any research in this space?

  6. An interesting thing about dogs, within Human Design, my speciality, there is an area that looks at dogs charts as well as their human owners. The vast majority are the reflector type. Only 1 per cent of their human owners are this type. They are literally wired to be a barometer of their environment.

    Likely as not your canine family member is a reflector, if they aren’t doing so well it’s a sure sign your environment/lifestyle isn’t doing you any favours either.

  7. Our dog is almost 3 and already about 10 lbs overweight. He gets about 45-75 min walk in the morning and another 60-120 walk in the evening, and sometimes 20-30 in the middle of the day. We take him off-leash at least once a day to get his own HIIT if he wants to. He does everything you described almost to a T regarding following me during the day and evening. He gets plenty of sleep. So, my take is – just like humans, dogs can’t exercise their way out of a bad diet. He doesn’t feed himself. Why is he so fat? Too many calories in. Full stop.

  8. It was nice to see the post about dog health. Our dogs have been on a homemade primal diet for 6 years with a quality probiotic, krill oil for joints and a couple other supplements. And exercise is key in their lives. We did lose one at 12-1:2 and one at 11, but we still have our 13YO. And now we have 2 puppies so we started them on the right path from the time we adopted.

    Dogs shouldn’t get the short end of the stick because they’re dogs. I don’t live off the equivalent of boxed Mac and cheese and Doritos so my dogs don’t either.

  9. I agree with your thoughts about dogs. Mine must be one of the luckiest dogs in the world. Almost a 3 hour walk everyday and BARF diet with no kibble. And a big garden as his living room. So he has no reasons to complain.

    1. Lucky? No reason to complain? I’ll assume you took away his ability to reproduce, but even if you didn’t, you’re denying him the opportunity to have a family of his own; and by ‘family’ I mean one where the members have 4 legs. If your dog could choose to spend its life with either dogs or humans, which do you think it would choose?

      1. This comment seems kind of rude. But it does make me wonder. Mark, wouldn’t neutering dogs cause some long term negative health effects in them, as I assume it would in humans?

  10. Mark, we have been making our dog food for 4-5 years now. They get cooked chicken, raw greens, root veggies and things like berries, calcium, flax. Their coats are incredibly brilliant and their overall health is perfect. They are active and allowed to run at will inside and outside but we keep them from public spaces because we stopped vaccinating 2 years ago. (yes I work with a Vet on this)

    Their Diest is also supplemented with a bit of egg in the morning and some broccoli and a few good dog treats we buy locally. I’m a big fan of a good dog diet and it’s worth the work (it may also be less expensive than the 75.00 per bag of kibble I used to feed them)

    1. I’m interested in what you the recipe is for the food you feed your dog also.

  11. As a veterinary oncologist and devoted pet owner, I wanted to express my gratitude for this week’s Sundays With Sisson e-mail. So commonly I cringe at what is written on the internet about dog health and fitness, but your musings were refreshingly accurate and thoughtful. So … thank you. ?

  12. The plant based “meats” taste like the real thing, or so articles claim. But do they have the same nutrition value? I haven’t read anything to say whether plant based red “meat” offers vitamin B12 for example, or a comparable amount of protein. I keep wondering if in order to deal with the issues of climate change and overpopulation we’re accepting lower quality diets but hiding that fact in “tastes just the same” formulations, because we don’t want to face the difficult changes we really need to make.

  13. Hi Mark–
    We have always fed our dog Kipper meat: Chicken, Beef, and some Pork –all leftovers or part of our original meals. She’s a healthy 13 year old Schnauzer mix with the energy of a pup and the nose of a bloodhound. And a great watchdog. We tried traditional dog food. Kipper would eat it maybe once and never again, so we decided that what we eat is good enough for her too, and the results are amazing. The vet says she’s in perfect condition, no fat – runs like the wind and plays like she’s still a youngster. I think for her we’ve found the right amount of activity and interaction. We eat mostly paleo/keto and I’m the carnivore in the family. My wife even bakes Kipper’s dog biscuits with all natural ingredients (carob,oats. and natural peanut butter). I work near a factory that makes dog food–and the smell can be overwhelming some days. I’d rather share my food with Kipper than lug home a 50 lb bag which contains lots of grains which tend to fatten animals.

  14. Re: exercising the dogs. I injured my left foot, and have been staying off of it for the last few weeks. The dogs are not happy about it. I toss them their toys, and play with them, but they’re not getting the walks we used to go on, and they’re a bit grumpy because of it. I hadn’t thought about the effects on the dogs from staying up late. Although a couple of my dogs do start barking when it gets late, and wont’ stop until I turn off the computer. They’re actually forcing me to live a healthier lifestyle.

  15. Just read your piece on dogs and their food and exercise.
    I was feeding my 3 Bouviers grain free food, but a Veterinarian said that the lack of grain has caused a higher incidence of heart problems. I looked into fresh dog food but for 3 big dogs, the cost was prohibitive, so back to regular kibble.
    For exercise, we are fortunate to live on 15 acres, so I open the door and they are off to run and chase the squirrels and try to herd the horses. Fun exercise for them. Life without our fur babies would be very lonely.

    1. FYI, these are about $2-3 and organic whole food: https://www.amazon.com/Valley-Fresh-Organic-Canned-Chicken/dp/B01IVKNLKQ/ In some cases, it’s cheaper than dog food. https://www.amazon.com/Castor-Pollux-Organix-Organic-Vegetable/dp/B005FC74RK/

      Not saying that it’s a total solution, you’ll need to round it out with leftovers (or intentionally make some extra whenever you cook). However, I don’t really see how it’s prohibitive. Sure raw might be, if you’re buying it instead of making it yourself. But you don’t need to make it perfect in order to improve it. Just a thought.

  16. Thank you for introducing the concept of dogs’ environments as a consequence of our (as owners/companions) choices.

    Something for us to keep in mind: dogs are MADE for running. Watch how and what they stretch when they get up. A 40-minute sedate stroll around a suburban block, while better than no exercise at all, is no better for them than mild housework is for humans.

    We need to figure out some way to give our fur pals the opportunity to have their own sprint or marathon (depending on breed and condition) workouts. A bike ride, a trail run, frisbee or ball game, tug of war, dog park…all excellent outlets for canine energy. And have fun!

  17. I miss my boyfriend’s dog.
    We walked several times a day.
    Especially nice when walking
    in a new place. Being with a dog
    gives you a new perspective
    on the world. You see more, hear more,
    wonder about more, think thoughts
    that are different. & that dog
    really needs you to do that,
    so you can feel a little virtuous.
    I recommend it.

  18. Just this morning I was considering skipping my daily walk, but there stood my five (yes, five) dogs waiting for me expectantly. Needless to say, I didn’t skip my walk!

  19. Thank you for the “War on cancer” link! I immediately passed it along to one of my clients who had breast cancer – and, like me, has NEVER been okay with the war metaphors. We need to nourish and support our body-mind-spirit – not treat it like a battleground. We also need to allow space for all of us – including the parts that don’t feel upbeat or brave. The reframing has a tremendous impact on treatment outcomes – no question.

  20. We seem to have a very smart dog. By 9PM she barks to be put to bed. Not to comply is not worth it? Maybe that’s her way of taking care of us since we make her dog food for her. It’s a good trade off!!!

  21. My dog, Destiny, and I are couch potatoes. She’s a tiny 4 lbs, and likes to be carried alot. I feed her those imitation human food meals and some of my leftovers. She’s very slim but your article makes me wonder if my laziness is why she is lazy. So I encouraged her to run circles around me during our walk, then inside she crashed and slept soundly. Maybe its good for her but she had asked to be picked up. If she hates it she’ll let me know. Maybe this will get me moving too.

  22. Interesting SwS post about dogs. I would caution people to make assumptions canines need the same diet as people. Recently, many folks are discovering that dogs on a grain free diet seem to have a higher likelihood of developing hart issues. My house is kind of an n=14 experiment and I would guess that our dogs get on the active side in terms of exercise. We also have three dozen sheep, two dozen ducks, and a bunch of chickens. My wife is a dog trainer so in addition to our dogs she works with a bunch more. Too much info to post here but look up diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy and some of the recent studies. The research is not yet to the stage where they know what causes DCM but it appears that dogs that are on “boutique exotic grain free (BEG) diets seem to be much more likely to develop DCM.

    Careful what you feed your dog… but any opportunity to get off the couch and go outside to do some chores, walk, run, etc is probably time well spent.

  23. I’m thrilled to see you, Mark, addressing our dog companions health issues! You make some very good points indeed- but I have one quibble: dogs are not the only animals we hang out with who understand our non-verbal communication. Cats, horses and parrots, and likely many more of our pets, are very, very good at understanding our facial expressions, body language, our “energy,” tone of voice, even our actual words. Dogs are very good at this for sure, and even get the idea of the pointing finger, but every animal I’ve ever hung out with has been much better at understanding me than I was of understanding them.

  24. My 5.5 year old Drahthaar is an athlete, he runs faster than I can bike. I have to fire up the Honda Rubicon ATV, to truly give him a workout. He swims (retrieves), ski-jors & is always hunting with his nose and ears. I stay in shape just trying to keep up with him. Dogs are good for humans, they complement our instincts & abilities. Our ancestors realized this early on…

  25. Copy edit: “she and her entire time got fired.” should read “she and her entire team got fired.”

    1. Oh, really? We had NO idea that was what he was trying to convey…

  26. Love your Sunday blurb about dogs. QuestionS:
    -In your opinion what should we feed our dogs?
    -Do you feed your dogs whole foods, and if so what, and do you subscribe to raw food for them?

    Any supplementation?

    The other interesting thing about walking with your dogs is that they are ancestrally migratory, so it is also key to their ancestral health. Walking with them, especially on leash (unless they never leave your side), is also one of the best ways to truly bond with them. Of course, it is also incredibly beneficial for us, not just due to the physical exercise, but also because animal contact is a magic stress reducer. And it can also be a great way to work more socialization (for both us and our dogs) into our daily routine through formal or unplanned meet ups and walks with other dog owners.
    Dogs are the BEST!!!

    1. I’m looking for a good and healthy easy to make homemade dog food recipe. Please let me know of any suggestions. Thanks.

  27. I so enjoy reading your Sunday posts. I no longer have a dog but dogs are just like us. If we are going to lay around and watch the boob tube and eat junk, we are going to get fat and die. As I approach 70 I set a goal to move more and I limit computer time to a half hour in the mornings and tv to an hour at night. Cleaned up our diet to cut out animal fats and eat more fruits and veggies. Feel better and slimming down. We can sit around and die earlier or we can take control of our life and live it instead of sitting around.

  28. Give me a canis lupus familiaris over a homo sapien any day of the week. 🙂

    1. In all but one series of activities, I agree… those teeth are sharp!

  29. Lots of good comments about dog diets, we feed ours a mix of raw meat/bones/organs and some frozen raw dog food. But I often wonder about her chew toys with that plastic and coloured dyes. Any thoughts on the health implications? Any healthier suggestions (for a mostly indoor dog)?

  30. I live in Australia so I have no excuses for not walking my 11.5 year old GSP every single day. He’s been on a raw foods diet his whole life, supplemented by human left overs and, just this morning, a banana. He is uncut and unvaccinated except for those shots given by the breeder. The raw food is a formula endorsed by the state guide dogs association after experimenting with BARF in the hopes of growing healthier dogs free from skin issues, aggression, skeleton issues, lethargy and general poor health.
    My dog also gets raw, meaty bones. At the dog park, folks marvel at how sprightly he is while their overweight dogs on pain meds for chronic inflammation and skin issues mope around picking fights. It is sad.
    Australia hasn’t grown up enough to confront the status quo on dietary advice and was shocked at what Dr. DeMasi reported on ABC tv. Of course, many of us get it but as a whole, Australians are afraid to change, we follow the USA in just about everything. I have lived here nearly 30 years now. I can go into CostCo and in a deja vu moment I am back in Clovis at CC with my dad.

    How’s that for depressing.

  31. Dogs can certainly understand human non-verbal communication. However they are not the only animals domesticated or not, who can do that. Horses are just one other example of animals that can read human facial expression and body language.

  32. We are fortunate to have an over abundance of wild game meat that Franca, Cash and Sage share with us.

  33. Love this post about dogs. Glad to say that I watch very little TV, and often exercise WITH my dog. Here in San Diego we have one of the best dog parks anywhere, the leash free area is so big I can mountain bike in it and have my dog run with me. Thanks!

  34. I worry about my cats’ diet as well. Spent an hour reading ingredients on dry cat food and was horrified at what was in the brands that are supposed to be healthy for them.

  35. Happy Sunday. Thank you for this Sunday Missive.

    I am a RVT and CCRP (Registered Veterinary Technician and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner) and I’ve dedicated my entire adult life to Veterinary Medicine.

    I support a Neurology Service in 24 Hour Speciality and Emergency Practice in Northern California. The majority of the pathology that we address are associated with genetic anomalies. I would estimate that 85% of the patients we treat are purebred. The majority of orthopedic, spinal disorders, cardiac disease, cancers and to a certain extent, diabetic cases that present to our speciality services are strongly associated with breed predisposition.

    I believe that we need to consider irresponsible breeding practices/lack of hybrid vigor as contributing factors for disease in our companion animals. The continued exploitation of popular breeds needs to be addressed along with nutritional and environmental factors in order for us to do right by them.

    Thanks For Listening

  36. I have feral cats. They are pack creatures, not solitary like domestic cats. Sometimes a person will go to the SPCA and pick up a kitten and not realize it is a feral. Then the kitten freaks out and becomes a surly nasty cat because basically you’ve isolated it from its own kind. It’s cruel I think that they don’t tell you that certain kittens were caught “wild” and others were from domestic cat families. Until I understood this, it made no sense why some cats were just nasty.

    The way you described dogs is how I’d describe my feral cats. I make sure to avoid any kibble type food, though they love that kind of food. So if they find a bug, they get a bit of it as a treat for being good hunters. Sunday is human quality tuna day. One day a week, they get sardines. If we cook chicken, they get some. Otherwise it’s “the stare.”

    My legs go numb and ache alternately, when I sleep, so they’ve learned not to sleep on my legs at night. Nevertheless if I’m not feeling well, they take up residence near me in an endearing vigil.

    I’ve read that in Egypt cats were used for hunting. That the reason your kitty brings you a dead mouse is because it’s a vestige of that behavior. I love dogs too, I’m not one of those cats vs dogs people, but these are my first feral cats and I really believe it that cats and humans used to hunt together. They seem like a little human in a cat suit to me.

    1. Just a side note: Domestic cats aren’t solitary by nature either, just look at the number of households with multiple domestic cats.

  37. I think the backlash against Impossible is about the GMOs. I think Beyond Meat is a better choice long term because it can theoretically be made Organic. But to be honest, I never had a problem with the old reliable lentil burgers of hippie history. They’re just a different food. When properly prepared (with rinsing, soaking, etc), the antinutrient content is very much reduced. If a person likes that flavor, then there’s no reason to panic over it being a legume. I feel like fake burgers are a solution in search of a problem. And with parents damaging their kids with vegan diets, it’s potentially dangerous to have these “options” that could be inundated with a real threat: glyphosate. An organic homemade lentil burger is safer and cheaper, for those who insist on vegan.

  38. I’m extremely lucky to be able to run my dogs off-leash almost daily. I’m also fortunate that I have access to meat, fat, and bones to supplement their grain-free kibble. I notice a big difference in their scat and their coat when they are living more on fat than when they are made to eat their kibble. The only advice I can give is get up very early and get somewhere they can be off-leash so they can burn up their energy.

  39. Would like to share our experience re our dog & cancer; it might help others.
    Sami, our much loved rescued corgi/husky cross had 4 tumors in late 2016. She was given 2 months to live. We put her on a Keto diet. No meds. Coconut waffles + organic chicken. She bounced back within weeks. She is now 11, same diet, Vet says tumors gone. If anyone wants the recipe, etc., I am happy to have my emailed shared.
    I went Keto 3 yrs. ago. Reversed pre-diabetes. I like your site, thanks for all your insight.

    1. Yes Lee, please share your recipe that healed your dog Sami’s cancer! Amazing! Thank you 🙂

  40. Hi Mark,
    Would you please give us a similar post about the care and feeding of cats? I know they are true carnivores, but beyond that I’d like to know more. That would be very helpful.

  41. Dog Diets… Learned a valuable, albeit sad, lesson when my two babies died at 8 and 9 yrs of age due to lymphoma and kidney failure. After years of research and countless experts’ assistance I now am a homemade raw feeder. My dogs eat MEAT, also finely minced vegetables (for better digestion). They eat a diet of 65% meat, 25% organs & glands and 10% bone. All of which I make myself and costs on average $1.50/lb. MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE than “good kibble” which as you stated, Mark … is not good. Any kibble is BAD …. sorry to all those people thinking they’re feeding good kibble, you’re not. Kibble has all the nutrients cooked out of it so synthetic (from China) vitamins are added back in as a glue/coating on the dried chunks. To avoid grains (which is a good thing) they add legumes and potatoe… again not great choices. Taurine deficiency is not based on lack of grain, Grain doesn’t even have taurine. High taurine is found in shellfish and scallops, mussels, clams etc… and in the dark meat of turkey and chicken. Remember… follow the $$$. Huge corporations own all the franchised vet clinics, dog feed (not called food because it isn’t) companies and pharmaceuticals. (Bayer, Merck, Smuckers) They want your dog on kibble so it is immunocompromised, and needs allergy meds that further compromise their systems, along with Heartworm, Flea/Tick poisons…yes POISONS… we put these IN OUR DOGS at the behest of our trusted veterinarians. Find a truly holistic vet. Feed REAL food. Stop the poisons and do titer tests on your dogs. They do not NEED vaccinations every year. Once and done and certainly NOT at 6 weeks of age when maternal antibodies stop the vaccine from being effective. We’re doing the same thing to our children, but our dogs are the ‘canary in the coalmine.’ They are dying at increasingly young ages from cancers that are death sentences (lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma) because we feed kibble that is made from 4D meats (dead dying diseased & disabled)…yes folks they use road kill… they take euthanized pets from shelters, grind them up and put in their foods… how do you think Gravy Train and other foods manufactured in the same facility got that pentobarbital in the food… fyi… manufacturer owned by Smuckers. Long Story Short: Feed real food, as clean as you can get it. Glyphosate is going to kill us all… let’s slow the process down.