Around the Web; Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

[1] Paleo Summit: Sean Croxton is about to launch his “Paleo Summit”. It features multimedia interviews with 23 speakers, including myself. It’s a mini-Ancestral Health Symposium, but without the travel. Check it out!

[2] Dan’s Plan: I’ve agreed to become a scientific advisor to Dan’s Plan.

Dan’s Plan is a promising young startup founded by Dan Pardi, one of the rising stars of the ancestral health community. Dan’s Plan is pioneering “Quantified Paleo,” the use of Quantified Self tools to help members adopt an ancestral lifestyle and to support self-experimentation and group experimentation that can solve health problems.

Dan’s Plan provides content modules in three areas: Eat, Sleep, Move. “Eat” is about diet, of course; “Move” about fitness; and “Sleep” about lifestyle generally – how do you support healthy circadian rhythms?  We’ll be contributing Perfect Health Diet-based content, such as meal plans, to the “Eat” section.

One of the things that has me excited about Dan’s Plan is the potential for us to do science together as a community. Quantified Self tools make it easy to record data and upload them to a database. Suppose Dan’s Plan ends up with content modules for a half dozen different diets. The Dan’s Plan database may be able to track results for every diet, charting out weight loss results, quit rates, and other data for the community. Is it normal to gain a few pounds at the start of the diet? All kinds of questions can be answered with this kind of data, and we can more effectively find out what really works.

I’ll have more to say about Dan’s Plan and what we’ll be doing with them later. For now, I’d just like to encourage anyone who’s curious to become a member. Membership in Dan’s Plan is free.

[3] Other news: I had a very fun interview last week with Andy Oudman and Pam Killeen of 1290 AM CJBK, London, Ontario. Pam is associated with the Weston A Price Foundation and will be speaking at this year’s Wise Traditions conference; Andy is the most popular radio host in London and extremely entertaining. Thanks, Pam and Andy!

Also, Constantin Gonzalez has published a German language review of our book. (English-language translation)  Constantin also produced a German-language version of our food plate. Thanks Constantin!

[4] Music to Read By: These are the Valentine’s dreams you will savor:

[5] Cute Animals:

Via Jasmyn Campbell.

[6] Interesting recent items:

Steph is ready for a bright, shining world.

The Atlantic has a great story on a topic we’ve discussed previously: Toxoplasma gondii infections alter behavior. One claim: Toxo may kill as many people as malaria, a million people per year, when you account for its induction of reckless behavior.

Via John Hawks, malaria kills twice as many people as previously thought. They were only counting deaths from acute infection, but chronic infection kills too.

But it’s not all bad news: T. gondii makes you have car accidents, but soil bacteria puts you in a good mood.

Did biological warfare win the Stalingrad campaign?

Mark Sisson discusses the “Asian Paradox”: how can Asians eat rice in the “insidious weight gain” calorie region, and not gain weight?

Ann Marie Michaels, aka Cheeseslave, explains why she ditched low carb. Barry Cripps of Paleo Diet News also benefited from increasing carbs. Julianne Taylor disputes the “carbs can kill” meme.

Matt Metzgar reviews our book; he wants us to go higher carb. Joanne Eglash gives us a mention in

Speaking of reviews, I reviewed Richard Nikoley’s new book on Amazon. I think it’s an excellent introduction to “Paleo 1.0”.

New research may explain why the zebra got its stripes. Revisions may be necessary to this book.

Monsanto is coming out with genetically engineered omega-3 producing soybeans.

FoodSnipps has recipes for Perfect Health Dieters. Mike Skiff is starting a 30-day experiment. JD Moyer discusses the benefits of intermittent fasting, with a link to us.

Dennis Mangan wonders: What’s behind the obesity epidemic in pets?

Bruce Charlton argues for electroconvulsive therapy, nicotine patches, and caffeine against Parkinson’s.

Congratulations, Razib!

The Flavorists have triumphed: the many flavors of Chinese potato chip.

Mayonnaise is even more dangerous than I thought. (Via Rantburg.)

Stephan Guyenet wonders if smoking delayed the obesity epidemic by keeping people in the 1950s and 1960s lean. I wonder if smoking epigenetically modified the children, promoting obesity in the next generation.

J Stanton sends me a link: pork is good for – stanching nosebleeds?

Visiting social web sites relaxes the heart.

Dr Briffa shares a picture of a man who injected insulin in his belly repeatedly.

Finally, Chicago magazine has an article on Dr Mercola. I thought his history was interesting:

At first, he was a traditional drug-prescribing doctor…. “I thought drugs were the answer,” he says with a shrug.

That changed in the early 1990s, when conventional treatments failed to help a young patient with recalcitrant diarrhea. Flummoxed, Mercola found a possible answer in a book called The Yeast Connection. After he tried the all-natural protocol the book recommended, he says, “the kid had a miraculous recovery.”

Over the next several years, Mercola began networking with a number of like-minded physicians “who were getting pretty good results with nontraditional therapies.” He grew increasingly skeptical of traditional medicine and interested in treatments designed, he says, to “treat the whole person” rather than just symptoms….

In 1997, as a way to share what he had found that would be “useful and helpful,” he started It proved a hit.

[7] Bonus animal: We all need a hug now and then:


[8] Comments:

Sofie recommends fasting for avoidance of jet lag.

Connie Warner tells about an unexpected food contaminant: “I remember hearing from an FDA food safety chemist that he wouldn’t eat shrimp because the rat urine from the ship rats wouldn’t wash out of the shrimp.”

Josh Almanza on Facebook presents evidence white rice is better than brown rice.

[9] Honorable mention: An article about us appeared in the February edition of Healthy Cells magazine: “What’s For Dinner?” by Sandra Bender, BSN, PhD, on pp 8-9:

My husband and I chose the Perfect Health Diet after cancer treatment because we feel healthier than on the plant-based diet, we enjoy the food – and my long-lived grandparents ate this. Daily, we eat about four ounces meat, four ounces fish, ¾ cup cooked rice or potatoes, eggs, cheese, and whole fermented milk (kefir), lots of vegetables, and fruit for dessert, all organic. We eat fat with meat and dairy, butter, gravy, or coconut sauces on everything. Once a day we have a half-ounce dark chocolate, an anti-cancer antioxidant. Yummy! After eating this way for two years, my cholesterol and triglycerides are excellent and inflammation markers and insulin are low. My omega 3:6 is balanced.

[10] Not the Weekly Video: Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata”:

Desiderata from R Smittenaar on Vimeo.

[11] Shou-Ching’s Photo Art:

[12] Weekly video: Dr Thomas Tartaron lectures on Ötzi the Iceman. Interesting aspects: Ötzi had Lyme disease and intestinal whipworm parasites; he had atherosclerosis and calcified coronary arteries despite a “healthy” (but grain-rich) diet and plenty of exercise.

Via Dienikes.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hi Paul –

    There are a lot of debates in the blog-sphere about wheat/gluten not being so dangerous after all. That the issue is the leaky gut, not the gluten itself. There are others that say wheat has been changed radically and therefore it can’t be compared to wheat from a generation ago and traditionally preparing it doesn’t impact the changes.

    Below is a reply I got from someone debating this issue. I think it is both problems w/leaking gut and issues stemming from the changes in wheat/gluten and that it isn’t so black and white. I would love your opinion.

    best, Pam

    The basis of this argument is that hybridization and gluten are fundamentally bad, and responsible for modern health problems. I don’t buy that. Hybridization is standard practice with vegetables and fruits and has been employed for millenia.

    To say that wheat is causing celiac disease is a ridiculous argument. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, founder of the GAPS Diet does not believe that wheat causes this disease. If you read her book she believes that it is caused by antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, other drugs, and chlorinated water. To isolate wheat and say that it is responsible is short-sighted. There are too many other issues at play here.

    Case in point — many people can’t drink pasteurized milk due to lactose intolerance or an allergy to casein. Does this mean that casein is fundamentally bad and at fault for the allergy? Of course not.

    Does this mean that certain forms of processing dairy that produce higher-casein products are worse than lower-casein foods and cause allergies?

    “A cup of cow’s milk contains about six grams of casein. Skim milk contains a bit more, and casein is concentrated in the production of cheese. A one-ounce slice of cheese holds about 5 grams of casein, and each of those grams holds millions of individual casein molecules.” [Google Books]

    Therefore, one ounce of milk = .75 grams of casein, whereas one ounce of cheese = 5 grams of casein.

    Is it therefore worse to eat cheese because it contains more casein due to the way it is processed? (Comparing this with the argument that we should eat grains that are lower in gluten OR avoid all gluten grains completely.) Should we not make cheese, just like we, according to the modern wheat argument, should not hybridize wheat to contain more gluten?

    Cambell McBride maintains that the casein allergy is almost always caused by a leaky gut — a gut that has been damaged by drugs and chemicals. She says we need to heal the gut with probiotics (supplements and/or fermented foods) and gelatin (bone broth). As we heal the gut, we will regrow the villi in the intestinal lining. When we regrow this villi, we will then secrete the enzymes that will allow us to digest gluten and casein.

    So the answer is heal the gut. People have been eating cheese and wheat for millenia. It is immaterial how much gluten or casein there is in any given product. While I do believe we should properly prepare our grains and ideally we should eat raw dairy, a healthy gut can digest these foods with no problems. I used to be gluten intolerant and would react if I ate a few crumbs of wheat — and I haven’t had any trouble digesting modern wheat for over 15 years now. I am very careful to avoid ALL antibiotics though, don’t take the pill, avoid chlorinated water as much as possible, and I take a probiotic and eat fermented foods.

  2. Paul,

    You link to Dennis Mangan alot. You do realize that he is a white nationalist racialist conservative? If you read the comments of the linked to post (or any Mangan post) you will see that it is racialist PaleoCons that comment there. His argument for the increase of both human and pet obesity is the birth control pill and women’s careerism combined with no-fault divorce; ie women’s liberation from social conservative pre-1960s traditionalist norms.

    I’m a libertarian and not a Leftist so I don’t want anyone’s views banned from the public sphere. But I just wanted to know if you are aware of the total philosophy of the person you are linking to. Mangan is not a mainstream figure. Racialist, white ethno-state PaleoConservatism, what Mangan stands for, is well outside of the mainstream spectrum. This goes double for the more Left-leaning Paleo-communinty that by and large wants to replace our pro-grains welfare state with a pro-Paleo welfare state.

    Just wanted to question you on that and whether you agree with Mangan that it is women’s liberation that is responsible for the obesity epidemic. That is his argument after all.

  3. “You link to Dennis Mangan alot.”

    If you realized this, have you never also noticed that Paul’s had to answer your issue each time he’s linked to Mangan?

  4. Hi Jack,

    First of all, I find most political talk tiresome and I don’t want politicization to infect other areas of life, or prevent us from having discussions over diet. I link to all kinds of people with all kinds of views, such as the Huffington Post and others on left, libertarian, and right, and none of those links should be considered endorsements of the political views of the person linked.

    As for whether Dennis is “outside of the mainstream,” at one time I would have agreed with you, but no longer. “Mainstream” politics now includes so much that is idiotic, vicious, oppressive, and dishonest that I think it’s quite arbitrary to rule any peaceable perspective out of bounds. I recently linked to the “mainstream” effort to deprive Steve Cooksey of his freedom of speech. Recently MF Global failed due to the theft of $1.6 billion of client funds that were supposed to be segregated and reserved for the benefit of the clients. Far from prosecuting the thieves, federal regulators, the bankruptcy trustee, and the bankruptcy judge seem to have abetted a coverup. It appears that no one will be prosecuted and the truth of where the money went and who took it will never be known. And “mainstream” media and politicians act like this is normal and unworthy of comment.

    In a corrupt age, I have to consider anyone with the courage to present unpopular views and the integrity to be honest and forthright to be worthy of being part of mainstream discussion, regardless of the content of his views. Only the dishonest and corrupt should be excluded from discussion. The rest of us should look for common ground and work together to achieve something valuable, whether or not we have points of disagreement.

    Edmund Burke said, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

    Finally, I’ve never heard an argument linking women’s liberation to the obesity epidemic. I don’t believe it’s true. Unless the mechanism is that people have stopped cooking at home – then I would agree, the end of home cooking certainly promoted obesity.

  5. I’m going to change the tone of the commenting here… 🙂

    Paul, my husband thanks you for linking to the photo of the diabetic injecting only into his stomach (he’s been warning me about rotating my shots since I only do my stomach too!). Oh no! I’m only 11 years into this, but I sure don’t want to look like that in 19 years! I consider myself warned. Poor guy though… I understand his plight though… the stomach is easiest access unless it’s summer and you have shorts or tshirt on.

    I really did need to see that though. I will start rotating my shots.

  6. Dans plan sounds awesome

  7. Paul,

    We feel great that you’re willing to spend time helping Dan’s Plan reach our five primary aims:

    Through a daily-to-weekly health practice, help people:
    1) reduce the risk of chronic disease;
    2) maintain physical function throughout life;
    3) optimize life/work performance;
    4) optimize quality of life;
    5) optimize lifespan.

    I’m very eager to continue to develop our tools to meet our above-stated aims.

    And Holly, thanks! We’ll continue to listen to member feedback while we build new tools for our community.

    Best, Dan

  8. Dan Pardi,

    Congrats on your program! It’s awesome!!

    Here are some citations I mentioned when we met at AHS (on the treadmill at the hotel. Yes we walk the walk. I jog. Haaaaa)

    Weight loss, particularly for some reason > 15%, is associated with higher all cause mortality, in obese. Personally if this is the case I would suspect the liberation of lipid soluble toxins related to industry and food contamination eg pthalates, omega 6 pufa!!!, plastics, bpa, organic solvents and other endocrine disrupters and xenoestrogens (without adequate attention to support liver and other excretion processes).

    Kind regards,

  9. Previous posts h/t Perfect Health Diet « Thor Falk's Reading List - pingback on February 16, 2012 at 4:00 am
  10. Hi Dr. BG!

    Of course I remember our treadmill encounter. Typing from my standing desk now, too (walking the walk, or standing the stand?).

    Thanks for forwarding the citations. It’s a bit depressing, really. Weight loss is hard enough, it would be great to think that weight loss in general would be a healthy endeavor without much qualification, but you bring up some interesting points (PUFA, toxins, etc).

    We also know that weight loss between 10-20% body weight results in significant neuroendocrine adaptations, mediated through a variety of signals, leptin being the most important perhaps. While I don’t think it’s the absolute level of leptin that is most important, but the relative level of leptin to the relative sensitivity of leptin sites of action and transport barriers (e.g. blood brain) in the central nervous system. Once this signal efficiency is decreased, an entire neuroendocrine cascade takes place to get adiposity back up.

    Interesting, the trajectories of weight regain differ widely with those in my program. Many people gain weight back, but a lot of them only gain a fraction of their total weight loss back. In other words, it appears that most people can maintain (at least for some time) a weight that is reduced from their high BMI. This of course, depends on the starting degree of adiposity, but I’m referring to people who used our program to lose 30 lbs or more.
    Others, I must mention, have been able to successfully maintain 100% of their weight loss, including myself. So many question but roughly arrange around 1) what was the condition of the person before they lost the weight, 2) how was the weight lost, 3) and what was the lifestyle like after the weight loss.

    I’m hopeful that a combination of newer strategies will allow for real weight loss and the expected health benefits one might expect to accompany reduced adiposity – with techniques like PHD, modified palatability diets and perhaps a higher percentage of protein intake + intermittent fasting. As Paul alluded to, once we get: 1) more programs into our system, 2) sufficient quantity of data, we’ll be able to do a results analysis. This kind of real world data, despite it’s limitations, can be useful to help people make sound lifestyle choices (including weight loss strategies). I hope to see you at AHS next year or around the bay area before then (even better!).

    All my best,

  11. Hey Dan,

    Good luck!! The progress sounds compelling!

    I hope you put a focus on hormones and the hpa-gonadal axis. I loved your story of your 30lb (permanent) wt loss and the one of your handsome male friend’s 100 lb loss. As you I lost 50 but a few yrs ago I developed an iatrogenic progestin/iud reaction and learned about the role of adrenals/cortisol and the sex hormones in fat gain that is refractory to ALL methods of wt loss…

    Only integrative practitioners appear to me to be aware of how hormones, insulin and cortisol/adrenaline interplay to produce a unique formula for each different person to invoke healthy fat loss. I love qs and both at PHD and paleohacks there are a lot of self reported data and outcomes. It’s hard not to dismiss the significant number of failures at each site. Granted there are tons of successes(!!!! Congrats PHD) but the failures are where we interface with true knowledge, perception and learning.

    What are there thoughts on Ludwig et al JAMA 2007 study?

    Researchers used two hypo caloric, equicaloric, and equipalatable diets and compared wt loss betw lowfat (~55% carbs ~20% fat) v LCD (40% carbs ~35% fat). The shocker was that high insulin secreters (thicker trunk circumference and increased TGs) only loss wt on the LCD. The low insulin secreters (I suspect high cortisol secretion) however lost wt on both diets but regained half on lowfat by 18 mos. the funny thing to me was that at the end of 18 mos the diets were more similar with a GL of 75g carbs and 100g carbs on LCD and lowfat, respectively! Sounds like PHD’s prescription (carbs in the lowfat arm) …

    A lot of people are in some chronic state of spurty high surges cortisol/adrenaline… You need these to burn fat and when these are inappropriately timed and/or elevated excessively, these block the fat burning and Muscle building effects of testosterone and HGH.

    Signs of high or chronic cortisol are:
    Fat mapping on belly, lower body, face, arms (incl the skinny extremity, protruding belly ‘look’ incl athletes too)
    Nausea or lack of appetite in the morning
    Sleep disturbances
    Low body temps/thyroid dysfunction
    Gut dysbiosis
    Hair/skin thinning and male pattern baldness
    Up/down surges of BG (blood sugars)
    Weak immunity freq infections
    Sarcopenia (muscles/amino acids preferentially burned over fat to continue BG levels)

    I think your program is great because it’s inclusive of all the neolethal factors affecting our health, inflammatory stated, and fat gain/loss. The f.lux and REM sleep metrics cannot be overrated compared to diet!! IMHO that is such a strength!

    Personally I like to assess the ASI (adrenal stress index), thyroid panel, vitamin D and salivary gonad hormones (Testost P E1 E2 E3 DHEA) to grasp the whole fat burning equation. We’re both young but you’d be entirely shocked how dysfunctional hormonal signatures are in a great majority of peeps (fat and skinny)!

    Really complex interplay and nested networked feedback regulation, but the failures can be explained….Keep up ur scientific hawewewtness and inquiries!!! I’ll catch you at the gym! 😉


  12. Re: Dan’s Plan

    Sounds like a great idea and I enjoyed reading some of their content. The optional, automatic tracking is appealing to me … though I’m sort of a technology fan as it is …

    Noting the high-fiber, high-protein Quest Bar “healthy snack” doesn’t strike me as PHD compatible …


  13. In a corrupt age, I have to consider anyone with the courage to present unpopular views and the integrity to be honest and forthright to be worthy of being part of mainstream discussion, regardless of the content of his views. Only the dishonest and corrupt should be excluded from discussion.

    Would you say the same thing about David Duke? Mangan is not that far from Duke.

    The rest of us should look for common ground and work together to achieve something valuable, whether or not we have points of disagreement.

    Find common ground with someone who wants a state enforced white-ethnic state? And state-enforced patriarchy?

    I am nowhere near as tolerant as you.

  14. Hi Paul,

    I haven’t read The PHD yet; I’d like to suggest some modifications, relative to what I’ve read on your site:

    > workout at least two days per week, but never two days in a row

    > concentrate carbs pre-workout

    > significantly increase protein in the 4 hours post-w/o (recovery’s where you make your gains)

    > low carb and low pro the rest of the time

    Eating the exact same macronutrient division every meal every day is actually kinda stupid. (NOT calling YOU stupid, of course; it’s the conventional way diet is talked about.)

  15. Thanks, Jeffrey. Recommendations for athletes have to be tailored a bit differently. What’s the rationale for eating carbs before rather than after the workout?

  16. @Paul

    Carbs before to fuel the w/o.

    For “hard-gainers” – people who find it difficult to add either fat or muscle – carbs post w/o is fine, as the insulin spike will drive nutrients into muscle.

    However, as an “easy-gainer” – I gain both muscle and fat easily – I find I recover just fine with pro + fat; carbs post-w/o makes me fat.

  17. Thanks Jeffrey. Interesting point on the individual variability.

  18. Jack,

    Agree completely.


    Supporting Dennis Mangan is disgusting and your reason for doing so is weak.

  19. My 11th grade English teacher had us memorize Desiderata …. thanks for rekindling the memory.

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