Weekly Link Love—Edition 9

Research of the Week

Having the genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes also predisposes men to erectile dysfunction. Preventing the former could prevent the latter.

Trypsin inhibitors found in wheat worsen non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Why our sense of smell declines with age.

The average Facebook user would need $1000 to deactivate their account for a year.

Women are more likely than men to punish promiscuous women.

Italian scientists are developing technology to regrow foreskins.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 301: Dr. Lindsay Taylor: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Lindsay Taylor about all things keto. Dr. Taylor is the Senior Writer and Researcher at Primal Blueprint, and her upcoming Keto Passport cookbook is going to be incredible.

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 placebo effect of DNA test results.

Before the “Impossible burger” can come to market, the FDA must first approve heme as a color additive.

Interesting Blog Posts

An unconventional but effective path to happiness.

It’s only a matter of time until we can use gut bacteria to diagnose (and perhaps prevent) IBS and IBD.

Social Notes

How the Keto Reset is different.

Everything Else

Watch a spider spin its web.

The plague was already in Europe much earlier than previously thought, almost 5000 years ago.

Ireland has great dirt.

What can’t gelatin do?

An American just crossed Antarctica on his own, on foot.

Small producers fight to save the Mexican tortilla.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Development I applaud: Office managers begin mapping business hours to employee chronotype.

Article I found inspiring: “Running Up Mountains at Age 97.”

Image I found both unsettling and beautiful: The one of the blood clot in the shape of a lung passage.

This is a Mediterranean diet I could get behind: Check it out.

The march against red meat proceeds: Cambridge University will only serve red meat once a week.

Question I’m Asking

There are a ton of food products incorporating CBD—the non-psychoactive marijuana cannabinoid that has anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic properties—geared toward athletes for recovery. Has anyone tried using it, and if so, what was your experience?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 23 – Dec 29)

Comment of the Week

“Mark, I’ll be on the lookout for the Primal Kitchen duck egg with barberry extract mayo … coming soon to a store near you. ?

– The metformin mayo was actually what got us over the hump with Kraft-Heinz, Smay.

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Instant Pot Short Ribs With Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Short ribs are an underappreciated cut of meat. Slow cooking brings out their full potential, but the added time is worth the wait. Juicy, succulent and flavorful, short ribs can be paired with any number of vegetables for stews (often a more fork-tender choice than traditional stew meat) or served separately with salads or sides. We’ve got two recipes highlighting the versatility of short ribs. (Check back next week for the second….)

For this recipe, the ribs are paired with sweet potatoes and spinach for nutrient-rich one-pot meal. And we’ve sized the recipe for a double batch of short ribs with instructions for when and how to set them aside. The result? The ease of two delicious dinners with less time and prep.

Servings: 4 (plus extra 4 servings of ribs alone)

Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes (plus 25 minutes cook time)

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (about 2 inches thick) (1.5 kg)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (7.4 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil (15 ml)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (15 ml) (save the rest for recipe #3)
  • 2 cups beef bone broth (475 ml)
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach (230 g)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (2.5 cm)

Instructions:

Season ribs with salt.

Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil and sear the ribs for about 2 minutes per side, so they are lightly browned. This will have to be done in batches since all the ribs won’t fit in the pot at once.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and bone broth.

Set all the browned short ribs aside on a plate and pour the bone broth and tomato paste into the pot. Add the garlic cloves. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits of meat that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Add the short ribs.

Secure the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.” Select the “manual” setting and set the cooking time for 25 minutes on high pressure.

After 25 minutes, quick release by moving the pressure release valve to “venting” (watch out for the release of hot steam)

Remove half of the ribs and liquid from the pot. Put this half of the ribs and liquid in a food storage container. Store it in the refrigerator for another meal (check back next week for that recipe!).

Add the spinach and sweet potatoes to the Instant Pot with the remaining short ribs and liquid. Mix well so the meat, potatoes and spinach are mostly covered with liquid.

Secure the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.” Select the “manual” setting and set the cooking time for 5 minutes on high pressure. After the cooking time, do a quick release by moving the pressure release valve to “venting.”

Remove the meat. Use a knife to slice/shred the meat from the bones.

Serve the short rib meat in bowls with the sweet potatoes and spinach. Add sea salt to taste.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories—372
  • Net Carbs—14 grams
  • Fat—21 grams
  • Protein—28 grams

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My Evening Routine: How I Manufacture a Great Night Sleep

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Mark’s Daily Apple readers about how I do my day. What do I eat each day? What are my favorite snacks? What do I do for exercise? How do I work out when I’m on the road? What supplements do I take (and how often)? Even what personal products I use… I feel like I’ve covered about everything there is, but then I’ll get something new. In this case, some readers over the last year have asked me about my bedtime. Do I have a routine? Just what do I do to get a good night sleep?

Quality sleep isn’t in any way optional for good health. In fact, it’s a Primal Blueprint Law. That means I consider the hour or two leading up to bedtime as important as my workout time.

Here’s my nightly ritual rundown. As you’ll see in the video, it takes advantage of the relaxing effect of heat along with the Grok Tip of finishing cold—a theme I continue with attention to the ambient temperature of my room. Check out how I wind down my day (and even what I’m reading before bed) below.

Thanks for stopping in today, everybody. Do you have a question for me to answer in a future video? Shoot me a line below. Otherwise, be sure to share your favorite tips for enjoying a great night sleep. Have a great week, everyone.

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Happy Holidays!

Good morning, everyone. The staff and I are taking a day off to be with friends and family, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to wish you all Happy Holidays—wherever and however you might be celebrating today.

I put together a video message below (from my new home in Miami) to give you a sneak peek at what 2019 holds for Mark’s Daily Apple.

I’m grateful to each of you for being here and for making this great community what it is. Health and happiness to you and yours this holiday, and the very best for the coming new year!

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I’m Able To Train Harder and Recover Better

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My Primal Story begins with myself being an athlete most of my life. I am 37-years-old, have had 4 back surgeries, and currently consider myself an endurance runner. I only began running in 2012. As I have increased my mileage and ability, my body has changed. I never used to think about my diet and how it affects my health.

Recently, I mean this past November 2016, I knew I needed to make a change. I was always in GI distress during and after my longer races or harder efforts of training runs or shorter races. I was referred to the Primal Diet by a friend and it all began making sense.

After implementing these methods, the change was remarkable. After three weeks, my body responded very well. I was able to recover sooner (zero ibuprofen when I used to take it a few times a week) after my long runs or races. My GI distress disappeared…I mean gone! My skin cleared up where I used to have minor blemishes on my face and back. I dropped 8 lbs—173 to 165. That doesn’t seem like much, but I didn’t have a lot to lose and my goal was not to lose weight. It was mainly, in my opinion, bloating, water retention, and a general cleansing of my system that lost me the 8 lbs.

I am able to train harder, recover better, and my energy levels are through the roof. I am so pleased with my transformation that I find it very hard to even think about “cheating” with my diet and really do not have an urge to anyway. I don’t take a lot of photos or use social media that much, but attached are a couple of photos. Again, my transformation is not that much in the physical appearance category, but overall health in general. I am the guy in the green shirt in the picture on the bridge. The other picture is of my daughter and myself before our daddy daughter dance.

Thank you,

Jason G.

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Weekly Link Love—Edition 8

Research of the Week

Preliminary evidence shows that restricting calories prunes weak gut cells, thereby improving overall gut barrier function.

Prediabetes (shockingly common) impairs fertility.

It’s never too late to lift and make gains.

Great apes are great problem solvers.

GMO houseplants remove air-borne toxins.

THC alters the genetic profile of sperm cells.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 300: Melanie Avalon: Host Elle Russ chats with Melanie Avalon, an actress and author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals and Intermittent Fasting (and some wine).

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.

Reader Question

Mark, what’s your take on this study (https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/108/6/1264/5239906)? Do whole grains reduce liver fat after all?

This is a sneaky one.

They pitted refined grains against whole grains. Eating 98 grams of refined wheat each day led to a 49% increase in liver fat over 12 weeks, while eating 98 grams of whole wheat “prevented a substantial increase in liver fat.” What’s that saying, exactly? Did the whole grains prevent all increases in liver fat, or just substantial increases?

As it turns out, the whole wheat also increased liver fat, albeit “only” by 11%. That the whole wheat mitigated the catastrophic rise precipitated by the same portion of refined grains is something, I guess. Or you could just not eat any wheat at all.

And 98 grams of anything isn’t much. That’s a couple of slices of bread. Be careful!

Media, Schmedia

I can relate.

I agree with this cancer researcher.

How far will you go, citizen?

Interesting Blog Posts

How customer service reps for DNA analysis companies end up playing therapist to customers shocked by results.

An extremely important post by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who was recently removed from Wikipedia for questioning the cholesterol orthodoxy. Is Fathead next?

How the carnivore diet might work.

Social Notes

Enter this contest to win our three new sauces: Steak Sauce, Classic BBQ Sauce, and Golden BBQ Sauce.

Everything Else

Extinct red wolf DNA appears in wild canines living on Texas island.

The kids are all right.

Don’t do it, Harry.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Speculation I found interesting: Carnivore Mikhaila Peterson’s cholesterol will rise as she gets healthier.

Article I found interesting: “Iron is the new cholesterol.”

Paper I enjoyed: The mundanity of excellence: an ethnographic report on stratification and Olympic swimmers.

In case anyone has forgotten, here’s a reminder: The case against salt remains weak.

Blog post I’m reading: Can Ketogenic Diets Work for Bodybuilding or Athletics?

Question I’m Asking

I recently read a quote—“It is incorrect to believe that top athletes suffer great sacrifices to achieve their goals. Often, they don’t see what they do as sacrificial at all. They like it.”

Do you agree with this regarding top athletes and top performers in other fields?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 16 – Dec 22)

Comment of the Week

“Focusing on neurotransmitters when it comes to happiness is the same trap we’ve been falling in for decades: Treating symptoms instead of the cause.”

– Nice and succinct, Colin.

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Keto Meatloaf

It’s comfort food season, and it doesn’t get more quintessential than meatloaf. The goodness of grass-fed beef with the rich flavor of onions and Primal Kitchen Steak Sauce (yes!), topped with our Unsweetened Ketchup—it’s just like Mom would’ve made (but without the added sugar and bread crumbs). Serve up a slice with your favorite low-carb comfort sides tonight! This keto-friendly recipe offers all the nutrition and taste with none of the grains and extra carbs.

Servings: 6

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes (plus 90 minutes cook time)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 ºF.

Saute onions in avocado oil until translucent, about 15 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, thyme, Primal Kitchen Steak Sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Ketchup. Mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine ground beef, ground pine nuts, egg and onion mixture together in a large bowl. Mix well and fit into bread pan.

Spread remaining 3/4 cup ketchup evenly on top.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 ºF and the meatloaf is cooked through. Let rest 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed cauliflower or your favorite mashed root vegetables and green beans for the ultimate classic comfort food dinner.

Nutritional Info (per serving—6 servings total):

  • Calories: 662
  • Net Carbs: 12 grams
  • Fat: 48 grams
  • Protein: 44.5 grams

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How Does Alcohol Affect a Workout?

Winter is here. It’s cold outside—often cold and snowy and/or rainy enough to dissuade most people from extensive outdoor activities—and extremely warm indoors. Families are getting together, companies are throwing holiday parties, we’re eating, drinking and merry-making. Alcohol is everywhere, and many of us will be drinking more than we usually do. In fact, this time of year presides over a sharp spike in alcohol consumption.

What’s it mean for your workout?

After looking at the research, at first glance, I’m going to be honest with you: It doesn’t sound good.

But it’s also not the end of the world.

The Bad News: Alcohol’s Impact On Exercise

Alcohol Dehydrates You

Alcohol is one of the worst diuretics, impairing the body’s ability to reabsorb water and increasing the amount we urinate.

Going into a workout with suboptimal hydration levels is a serious handicap.

It increases your cortisol:testosterone ratio after a session, reducing your gains and making the workout more stressful than it should be. A big part of the “workout afterglow” is the rush of testosterone; with that effect blunted and stress heightened, you’ll miss out on the sense of well-being a good workout provides.

It reduces performance during a cycling time trial, making the workout feel harder and increasing the amount of glycogen you burn.  The same thing happens when you lift; dehydration reduces performance, impairs heart rate recovery, decreases the number of reps, and makes the lifts feel harder than normal.

Dehydration also increases injury risk. Your tendons, ligaments, and other bits of connective tissue require optimal hydration to stay supple and strong. Demand too much from a dehydrated Achilles’ tendon and you may regret it.

These things are likely to happen if you fail to rehydrate after drinking and before you train. They are avoidable, provided you rehydrate with some water, salt and lime.

Alcohol Can Impair Your Body Control

Postural control degrades rapidly under the influence of alcohol. Even low-dose alcohol has an immediately negative effect on your ability to control your body through space and time. This has major ramifications for training, particularly full-body, compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, or complex skill-based training. Just as driving after drinking is dangerous, so is lifting (even the day after in many cases).

Alcohol Can Be Bad For Sleep

Alcohol might “knock you out” at the end of the night, but it does not give a restful, restorative sleep.

Alcohol starts by inhibiting melatonin secretion. Yes, when you fall asleep after alcohol, it’s not because of your usual melatonin release. It’s because alcohol is a good old fashioned muscle relaxant and sedative. With alcohol, you’re “forcing the issue,” rather than allowing your circadian clock to gently lull you off to peaceful slumber. This inhibits the growth hormone release that normally follows melatonin-induced sleep onset, so you miss out on the muscle-building, fat-burning effects of a good GH session.

Then, once your body clears the alcohol, you get the “rebound effect”—which throws your sleep cycle into immediate disarray, waking you up, leaving you scrambled and confused, and further disrupting the muscle recovery process.

To top things off, the next day you’ll often feel trashed, hungover, and exhausted. If you were planning on getting in another workout, you’ll have a more difficult time convincing yourself after a night of drinking (and, given the previous point, a more difficult time performing certain workouts as safely).

Alcohol Can Potentiate Fat Storage

If you’re exercising as part of a larger strategy to lose body fat and improve body composition, alcohol can “affect your workout” by impairing fat oxidation. When you drink alcohol, it gets precedent over the other macronutrients. Fat, carb, and protein metabolism all take a back seat to alcohol metabolism. Too many carbs and fatty acids floating around your blood might cause problems in the long term, but ethanol is truly toxic—its removal gets top priority.

This is good for your acute health, but it also means that fat and carb oxidation are suppressed, and any food you consume alongside the alcohol is more likely to be stored as body fat.

The Big Picture: Choosing Wisely

So, never drink? No.

But be smart about it.

Don’t Drink and Then Train

Almost no one is doing this, except rats in studies and guys doing pushup competitions in the alley outside the bar at 2:15 A.M. All the studies indicate that you’ll lose power, strength, endurance, and performance while increasing your risk of injury and getting subpar training effects.

Don’t Drink Every Day

Especially don’t drink to excess every day. Chronic intakes of alcohol mean you’re never quite off the sauce, and studies in alcoholics indicate that chronic drinking does impair hormonal health and reduce muscle protein synthesis.

Keep It Moderate

When you binge on alcohol (1.5 g alcohol per kg of bodyweight or more, about 9 drinks), muscle protein synthesis and the hormonal cascade related to it are blunted for several days. When you drink smaller amounts of alcohol (under 1.5 grams per kg), testosterone actually goes up.

If You’re Going To Drink, Make Sure You’ve Already Worked Out

A hard workout before you drink alcohol improves your ability to metabolize that alcohol, reduces its negative effects, and gives a psychological boost (“I earned this glass of wine”) that improves the subjective experience of drinking. However, your strength may take longer to recover if you decide to drink after a workout, especially if you’re a man. Post-workout alcohol consumption doesn’t seem to affect women’s muscle performance recovery.

If Alcohol Ruins Your Sleep, Know It Will Limit Your Training Adaptation

Either avoid drinking—that’s what I did when I found alcohol had terrible effects on my sleep—or take a few steps to improve your alcohol clearance. Start and finish drinking earlier to give your body more time to clear it out before bed. Try some or all of the hangover prevention methods I outlined here. At the very least, drink water alongside alcohol and (before bed) take some supplemental melatonin and drink salty sparkling mineral water with the juice from a couple limes.

Alcohol has the potential to destroy your gains, impair your sleep, increase your risk of injury, and dehydrate you—but only if you overdo it. Figure out what “overdo it” means for you, and avoid stepping over that line.

How do you handle exercise and alcohol? Does alcohol hurt your training? Have you changed your drinking habits for the sake of training?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care.

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References:

Judelson DA, Maresh CM, Yamamoto LM, et al. Effect of hydration state on resistance exercise-induced endocrine markers of anabolism, catabolism, and metabolism. J Appl Physiol. 2008;105(3):816-24.

Logan-sprenger HM, Heigenhauser GJ, Jones GL, Spriet LL. The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males. Physiol Rep. 2015;3(8)

Logan-sprenger HM, Heigenhauser GJ, Jones GL, Spriet LL. Increase in skeletal-muscle glycogenolysis and perceived exertion with progressive dehydration during cycling in hydrated men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2013;23(3):220-9.

Kraft JA, Green JM, Bishop PA, Richardson MT, Neggers YH, Leeper JD. Impact of dehydration on a full body resistance exercise protocol. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;109(2):259-67.

Modig F, Patel M, Magnusson M, Fransson PA. Study I: effects of 0.06% and 0.10% blood alcohol concentration on human postural control. Gait Posture. 2012;35(3):410-8.

Kakarla P, Kesireddy S, Christiaan L. Exercise training with ageing protects against ethanol induced myocardial glutathione homeostasis. Free Radic Res. 2008;42(5):428-34.

Barnes MJ, Mündel T, Stannard SR. Acute alcohol consumption aggravates the decline in muscle performance following strenuous eccentric exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2010;13(1):189-93.

Preedy VR, Paice A, Mantle D, Dhillon AS, Palmer TN, Peters TJ. Alcoholic myopathy: biochemical mechanisms. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001;63(3):199-205.

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Dear Mark: Broth, Fasting, Coffee, and Metformin (and More)

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a bunch of questions from comment sections. First, did I get AMPK and mTOR mixed up in a recent post? Yes. Second, I give a warning for those who wish to add ginger to their broth. Third, is it a problem that we can’t accurately measure autophagy? Fourth, how does coffee with coconut oil affect a fast? Fifth, is there a way to make mayonnaise with extra B12 and metformin? Actually, kinda. Sixth, should you feel awkward about proposing hypotheses or presenting scientific evidence to your doctor? No.

Let’s go:

Great article, but a couple of amends are required with regards to mTOR. Firstly, you mention in the last paragraph that curcumin activates autophagy by activating mTOR. Reading the actual article abstract though, it states the opposite, ie the effect of curcumin “downregulating AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in human melanoma cells”.

Great catch. I’m not sure how I flipped that around. AMPK triggers autophagy, mTOR inhibits it.

What you say about curcumin goes for all the other broth ingredients I mentioned. Ginger, green tea, and curcumin all contain phytonutrients which trigger AMPK, which should induce autophagy, or at least get out of its way. What remains to be seen is whether the amino acids in broth are sufficient to inhibit fasting-and-phytonutrient-induced autophagy. I lean toward “yes,” but is it an on-off switch, or is autophagy a spectrum? Does inhibition imply complete nullification? I doubt it.

Regarding autophagy and health and longevity, it’s important to note the manner in which glycine, the primary amino acid found in broth and gelatin, opposes the effects of methionine, the primary amino acid found in muscle meat and a great stimulator of mTOR.

One notable study found that while restricting dietary methionine increased the lifespan of lab rodents, if you added dietary glycine, you could keep methionine in the diet and maintain the longevity benefits. That doesn’t necessarily speak to the effect of broth on autophagy during a fast, but it’s a good reminder that broth is a general good guy in the fight for healthy longevity.

Funny you mentioned ginger and turmeric as I add both, along with a whole lemon and/or lime, to my list of ingredients when cooking my broth. Here’s another great tip: I juice turmeric root, ginger & lemon together in my Omega juicer and freeze in ice cube trays. I add a cube to curries and other dishes.

That’s a great idea. One cautionary note about the raw ginger: it will destroy your gelatin.

Raw ginger has a powerful protease, an enzyme that breaks down protein. If you grate a bunch of ginger into a batch of finished broth, or juice a few inches and dump it in, there’s a good chance you’ll lose the gel. The amino acids will remain, but you’ll miss out on the texture, the mouthfeel, the culinary benefits of a good strong gelatinous bone broth.

Heating the ginger with the broth as it cooks, or even just reducing the amount of raw ginger you add, should reduce the protease activity.

“Bone broth with turmeric, green tea, and ginger might actually combine to form a decent autophagy-preserving drink during a fast. Only one way to find out!” You say this as if there is a way for us to try this and see. Since we cannot measure autophagy, this statement makes no sense.

Touché.

Although it will all shake out in the end, or towards it. If things seem to be “going good” for you as you get older, if your doctor is always pleasantly surprised at your test results, if you maintain your vim and vigor as your peers degenerate, maybe it worked. Maybe it’ll add a few months or years to your life, and you’ll never quite know because you don’t have an alternate life in which you didn’t add the turmeric, green tea, and ginger to your broth for comparison.

At any rate, the mix tastes really, really good. That’s reason enough to drink the stuff.

What about drinking a cup of black coffee with one tablespoon of coconut oil blended in? What effect does that have on fasting?

You’ll burn less body fat (because you’re eating 14 grams of it).

Autophagy will be maintained (because fat has little to no effect on autophagy).

You may have better adherence. The fast might “feel” easier, although you might not be “fasting as hard.”

I often have cream in my coffee during a “fast,” and I see no ill effects. Although as I alluded to in the previous answer, these things are hard to definitively measure. Much of it is a mix of speculation, hope, intuition, and faith that our health practices are helping us and improving our outcomes.

Read my post on coffee during a fast for more information.

Can you make a Mayo with metformin and increased B12? Thanks

You know what? Let’s try to make this happen.

Start with your favorite mayo recipe. Then, swap out the chicken egg yolks for two duck egg yolks. Each duck egg contains almost 4 micrograms of B12—more than the daily requirement. For comparison’s sake, the average chicken egg has about 0.5 micrograms.

At the end, add in a few drops of barberry extract—barberry is a good natural source of berberine, an alkaloid whose effects are similar to metformin’s. I don’t know if the extract will affect the emulsion of the mayo, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance. Barberry is said to be bitter, so perhaps add a few pinches of a natural sweetener like stevia or monk fruit to counteract it.

I recently read a PubMed article that possibly ties Metformin use in diabetic patients with MTHFR mutation (in particular C677T) causing Vitamin B12 deficiency leading to Hyperhomocysteinemia which then may increase risk of vascular thrombosis. I have also read many articles/opinions that convey there is nothing to worry about with MTHFR mutations. My Mom is a Metformin treated (several years) diabetic who has the C677T mutation and has had one blood clot in her leg and, now while on blood thinners, has been experiencing severe swelling in lower extremities. I’m trying to figure out if we should be looking into this combination of Metformin and MTHFR mutation as the cause behind this or if the docs will think I’m just another wack-a-doo who diagnoses things via the internet, especially since I’ve already self-diagnosed Hereditary Hemochromatosis in myself earlier this year! Genes are fascinating! ?

Wack a doos make the world go round. Some of the greatest thinkers, creators, and doers throughout human history were considered by many to be insane.

And hey, this is your mother. There’s no shame in helping your kin.

A wack a doo would ask her doc about the potential for crystals to heal her tumor. A wack a doo would bring a printout of a random Reddit post to the appointment and use it as proof of her hypothesis. A wack a doo would ask the staff dietitian for a Breatharianism protocol. Bringing a legitimate medical article discussing a specific mutation that has been shown to induce B12 deficiencies in people taking the very same medication your mother is taking along with genetic results showing she has the mutation is far from crazy. Do it.

Besides, you’re totally right. A vitamin B12 deficiency (and the resultant elevated homocysteine levels) is a known risk factor for blood clots.

That’s it for today, folks. Take care and be sure to leave your comments and questions down below. Thanks for reading!

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References:

Joel BrindVirginia MalloyInes AugieNicholas CaliendoJoseph H VogelmanJay A. Zimmerman, and Norman Orentreich Dietary glycine supplementation mimics lifespan extension by dietary methionine restriction in Fisher 344 ratsThe FASEB Journal 2011 25:1_supplement528.2-528.2 

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Focusing On My Gut Health Has Transformed My Life

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I am so excited to share my story with you, and I hope you enjoy reading it! I have always been the health researcher, fitness enthusiast and nutrition-focused one in my family. My whole life I followed the “healthy diet”—low fat, whole grain, lots of fruit, etc. I did research in nutrition as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, and published a paper in dental school on the dangers of BPA. I have always been investigative and wanting to know the truth behind what is told.

It was during my second year in dental school when my good friend and colleague, Jake, introduced me to CrossFit and the paleo lifestyle. After a workout he said, “OK I’m off to eat half a dozen eggs!” He recalls the look I shot him was one of disbelief and disgust. Shocked was an understatement. “EAT SIX EGG YOLKS!?!?! Have you lost your mind, Jake, seriously, all that cholesterol!” I am sure he tried to reason with me, but I was so skeptical. So that night, I’m sitting in my apartment studying, and Jake sends me a link to www.marksdailyapple.com. It was the first paleo blog I ever read, and is still my go-to today. I remember that I got so caught up reading that I got less studying done, but it was one of those monumental life shifts for which I will always be grateful.

However, I did not immediately jump to 100% strict paleo in 2010. I chose to eat mostly whole foods, but would eat gluten and wheat a few times a week, which I considered balanced. I had graduated from dental school, and I was practicing dentistry in a small boutique, traditional dental office. I was placing and removing significant amounts of amalgam fillings. I had also gotten married, moved in with my husband, and we had bought a house. The emotional, financial, and physical stress I could handle had surpassed my threshold, and in 2015 I became very sick.

After months of bloody stools, running to the bathroom for the tenth time in one day, I finally got over my denial and went to a GI doctor. A colonoscopy confirmed that at age 27, I had ulcerative colitis. My doctor proceeded to recommend that I start six medications. One of them had a chance of landing me in the hospital for months from internal organ swelling. He also said that I had an 80% chance of needing surgery in my lifetime. I looked at him, and said, “Well, wait, what if I change my diet?” His response, “No, changing your diet won’t do anything. All your large intestine does is reabsorb water.” I just stared at him in disbelief. I worked at the opposite end of the body, but even I knew that your gut housed your immune system, and did WAY more than just absorb water!

I refused to let a bunch of drugs and surgery be my fate. I was not going to let anybody put me in a box. I was determined to find another way. And I did. I went 100% paleo, even focused on AIP for a few months. Within 2 weeks of transitioning to a whole-food, gluten-free diet, I came out of my terrible flare and have not had one since.

Getting a grip on my UC symptoms was a miracle, but I still had a long way to go with my healing. I was still sick, malnourished, fatigued all the time, had amenorrhea, couldn’t exercise, always wanted to rest, became socially anxious, etc. I saw multiple doctors from 2015-2016, even getting into National Institute for Health in Bethesda, MD. The top endocrinologists and fertility specialists in the world looked at tens of thousands of dollars of tests, and told me I was the “healthiest unhealthy person we have ever met” and “they didn’t know what was wrong with me” and to “just go back on birth control to make sure you don’t develop osteoporosis.” I refused. I was determined to get to the root cause of my health problems.

I finally found Jessica Flanigan. I did not understand why my Candida antibodies were so high, since I was not eating sugar. I asked Jessica this during one of our appointments, and she said, “Well you know, Mercury feeds off of Candida.” The lectures at dental school had reported that amalgam was safe, and that the mercury becomes “inactivated” once you burnish it. Jessica proceeded to give me information on biologic dentistry through the IAOMT and IABDM. I felt like a precious secret had just been revealed to me, one that I knew was going to change my life forever. I discovered that conventional dentistry was not safe. In fact, mercury is one of the most dangerous neurotoxins on this planet. I still wonder if mercury was the environmental trigger for the UC diagnosis. On Mark’s Daily Apple, you talk about the dangers of amalgam fillings. My functional medicine doctor, as well as Chris Shade from Quicksilver Scientific, confirmed my mercury poisoning. In addition, my functional doctor diagnosed hypothyroidism, HPA-axis dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies, chronic infection, certain genetic snps, and more.

I felt terribly guilty that I had placed amalgam and unsafely removed amalgam fillings in patients. As a doctor you take an oath to do no harm. It was impossible for me to continue working in a conventional office after seeing how damaging mercury was to my health and to my patients’ health. As quickly as possible, I moved from a conventional office to a biologic dental office. In 2016 I pursued additional degrees, graduating from American College of Integrative Medicine and Dentistry with certifications in Integrative Biologic Dental Medicine (IBDM), and as a naturopathic physician (NMD) in 2017. Since working with my functional practitioners, and getting into a safer working environment I am well on my way to being healed from a long list of diagnoses.

I have been so moved and transformed by my journey, that I am launching my business as a functional dental and holistic health practitioner consulting with patients who have not been able to find healing through conventional medicine. I focus on using the latest research and scientific protocols to help my clients heal autoimmune conditions, adrenal dysfunction, diving in deep to the microbiome, and the oral-systemic connection at www.beyondpearlywhites.com. The gut is the largest organ with multiple common insults that can lead to dysfunction. Normalization of the gut results in the most effective clinical outcomes across all disease states, which is why I am focusing on the gut, head to tail. Focusing on my gut health has transformed my life, and I am back to my energetic bubbly self, sharing my knowledge, helping my friends and family, exercising, socializing, and enjoying every moment of our beautiful world.

I often think back to that day that Jake introduced me to paleo, and how God blessed me with information on where to go for the truth. My sickness and my journey have been an absolute gift, for I would not be where I am without these difficult experiences. My mission is to help as many people as possible overcome what appears to be impossible, as I have overcome it. Thank you, Mark and Mark’s Daily Apple for being a cornerstone in my journey, providing life-saving information, and for creating delicious whole food products that keep us all living, loving, and enjoying life. I am so hopeful and excited to see what our futures hold in shaping the lives of our readers!

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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