Highlights from the Ancestral Health Symposium 2013 (AHS13) - Aspire Natural Health

Highlights from the Ancestral Health Symposium 2013 (AHS13)

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I was lucky enough to attend and present at this years Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Atlanta Georgia.

Although I wasn’t able to attend all the talks, here are some highlights from the notes I took at the conference

The Journal of Evolution & Health will begin publishing very soon. It will be the first peer-reviewed scientific publication dealing with the Ancestral Health paradigm (“Paleo”)


From Melvin Konner, MD, PhD & Boyd Eation, PhD – The Paleolithic Prescription

There was a decline in health with the advent of agriculture, but as significant as that was, there was a much more dramatic decline with the advent of Industrialization

What did our Paleo ancestors eat? Some of the better estimates suggest that their diets were composed of: gathered items 53%, hunted items 26%, fished items 21%. So the ancestral human diet is estimated to be approximately 50/50 plant/animal with much more fish/seafood than previously thought

Of course, there is no single Paleo diet and the percentage of animal/fish/shellfish in diet seems to range from 20% in arid lands, to 50% in tropical grasslands to 95% in arctic regions

Carnivory (meat eating) changed the hominid diet, but against the background of plant foods

Studies of Egyptian mummies do show coronary calcium (indicating atherosclerosis or “clogging” of the arteries). But, even if you accept these are representative of the population (and not just the wealthiest members of the society who have access to the most refined foods) they are still 1/2 – 1/3 lower than current estimates of atherosclerosis in modern populations. Also most groups in this study were NOT hunter-gatherers but were agricultural societies. The only hunter-gatherer group in this study, the “Eskimos”, had been contacted at that time by the Russians and were trading for modern foodstuffs (including tobacco) so they were no longer a pre-modern group

We are omnivores adapted for a range of diets, but that range is not limitless and excludes much of the industrial diet. We are not adapted for a sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use and high alcohol consumption

Refutation of basic premise of Cambell’s China study. Campbell claims that we should eat less than 10% of our diet as protein, but all primate species get more than 10% protein in their diets.

Use of grains goes back a long way (grindstones have been found that are 280,000 years old) but only becomes a significant part of the diet shortly before the agricultural revolution. It takes a substantial amount of effort to transform grains into edible food (especially with primitive tools). So grains were primarily a starvation food (used when other more easily used foods weren’t available)

Argument against significant genetic changes since the Paleolithic rendering a Paleo lifestyle irrelevant to modern people: “People today are more genetically different from people living 5000 years ago than those humans were different form the Neanderthals who vanished 30,000 years ago” –John Hawks

The genes involved in diabetes and obesity go back at least 50 million years


From Nicholas Taleb, PhD – Loving Randomness

Because randomness can harm us, we are adverse to it. Today we can control the environment which we never could before, so we are able to reduce randomness to reduce harm, but we’ve reduced randomness too much, which now causes us harm

It’s much better to have values that are not the average. It’s much better to have fluctuating levels than the exact same amount every day – 4000 calories one day, and 0 the next are better for the system than to have exactly 2000 calories every day

Living at a standard temperature is not healthy. We are not made to live at 70F all the time

Going hungry is good for you. Diabetes is caused by not going hungry some of the time

Periodic protein deprivation is good for you. “We are not made to eat protein 6x per day” We are one part cow – “Cows eat salad without dressing all day long” and one part lion – Lions eat meat – large quantities infrequently

Consequences, not truth – It is about what it helps you do, not whether it is right or wrong. It should not be judged in truth space (true or false) but in consequence space. Theories come and go, results stay

Stay away from medicine – If you are healthy and you take medicine, the odds are it will hurt you.

If you are a little more than 1 standard deviation away from health you have a 1 in 67 chances of being helped and close to 100% of getting some harm somewhere from your interaction with the medical system. If you are 6 standard deviations from health you have a 90% chance of getting help from medicines. So, “never see a doctor, but if you have cancer, see 5 doctors!”

You know you’re on track based on how much hate mail you get

You need a little “sickness” every once in a while for health. Too much sickness is bad


From Gad Saad, PhD – The Consuming Instinct

Beauty is both a cultural concept and a genetic one (symmetry, etc). Current thoughts are that beauty is just a cultural concept, but this simply isn’t true.

Similarly there is a sex specific preferences for toys, it’s not just cultural. Girls who suffer from a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (which masculinizes them) shift toy preference toward male preferred toys

The central tenet of evolutionary psychology is that the mind is a product of natural and sexual selection just as the body is

We have four key Darwinian meta-drives
1. Survival (natural selection) – avoid predators & find food
2. Reproduction (sex selection)
3. Kin selection – help our relatives
4. Reciprocity – help others who’ve helped us

Variety increases our odds of gorging. If you give two identical bowls of M&Ms to people and one bowl is full of M&Ms that are all the same color, while the other bowl is full of multi-colored M&Ms, despite all other things being the same, people eat more of the multi-colored M&Ms than the single colored M&Ms

Men are viewed as more attractive when associated with high status items such as cars. The exact same man in the exact same outfit is rated as more attractive and taller by women when he is in a Porsche then when he is in a Kia

A sugary drink increases peoples’ ability to delay gratification – it allows people to be more future oriented. So when faced with an impulse buy, consider having some sugar

Photos of sexy women make men less likely to delay gratification and more prone to fulfill immediate gratification. Photos of sexy men do not do this to women

Babies decrease men’s testosterone levels

Acceptance passes through 4 stages:
1. This is worthless nonsense
2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view
3. This is true, but quite unimportant
4. I always said so


From Geoffrey Miller, PhD – Sexual Fitness & Women’s Fertility Cycles

Sex evolved about 1.2 billion years ago in bacteria – making it easier to spread good mutations and purge bad mutations from offspring. It was a pretty random process, there was no actively choosing a “mate”, and the exchange of genes was haphazard

Eyes evolved about 543 million years ago which allowed mate choice at a distance – “you do or don’t look symmetrical and healthy”. This allowed for the Cambrian explosion in diversity of lifeforms and also began the trend to display visual indicators of health (ultimate example is the peacocks tail which doesn’t help, but in fact hurts his chances for survival. If he can survive with such a big tail (handicap) then it shows how “good” he is)

Ever since the Cambrian explosion evolution has operated by two principles, not just one. Natural selection for efficient survival AND social & sexual selection for conspicuous signals (coloring, body changes, behaviors)

Each species is NOT just a survival machine, but has been shaped by sexual selection

The human body is a record of what our ancestors found sexually attractive

Physical fitness / health indicators:
-Muscles (upper body) – for men
-Fat deposits – for women

The human brain is a fitness/health indicator. It is wonderfully vulnerable to mutations. Most harmful mutations affect the brain and thus things like intelligence and mental health

Women in high fertility phases (when they are highly fertile) seek to poach better genes from the highest quality males they can find (i.e. – one night stands). Women are less satisfied with their long-term partner if he’s of lower fitness. Hormonal contraception eliminates all of this behavior

Women give about equal importance to male height and penile length (size DOES matter!), but even more important is shoulder to waist ratio

Humor is a very sensitive indicator of mental health. It is also a pretty good marker for intelligence

Explaining rape fantasies – women don’t fantasize about low status males raping them. They have fantasies about having a high status alpha male who “can’t control themselves around her” and “she doesn’t have the willpower to resist him”


From J Michael Hayes, JD – Making the World a Better Place

How do we get ‘the word out’ about the the positive benefits an Ancestral approach can bring? Beyond writing books and blogs, to make real changes we have to do something that affects the bottom line. Hays, as a lawyer, believes that one way we can do that is through the use of targeted lawsuits

He has filed a suit on behalf of a young girl who developed Type 2 diabetes, against the manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup (HCFS). If these type of lawsuits gain traction they will “hit them where they care” and cause big business to begin changing their practices


From Grayson Wheatley, MD – What is Optimal Health?

The human mind has a trusty device for simplifying a complex world: reduce to averages and identify trends — Stephen Jay Gould

Because of this averaging pattern, we have a tendency to ignore variation, which gets us in a lot of trouble, and is a major problem with conventional medicine


From Will Lassek, MD – Why Women Need Fat

Waist hip ratios in women of around 70% (or 0.7) are considered ideal by men

Where do men look first when looking at a woman? It’s not what most people think! When eye movements are tracked, it’s shown that men instinctually overwhelmingly first look at the waist

The qualities that men admire in women (evolutionarily) have to do with woman’s reproductive success. So how is a woman’s waist fat related to this?

It requires a low BMI (body mass index, a height to weight ratio) to have a small waist. Men find women with BMI between 15-19 to be maximally attractive

Before the obesity epidemic (in the mid-1970s) about half of young women had BMIs less than 20

How does a mother’s small waist & low BMI affect her children? Women with a BMI of less 21 have a harder time getting pregnant. Thinner women have fewer children. Lower BMI results in low birth weight children. The most significant issue is that the lower the BMI the more infant deaths (this data is from modern day England so this occurs currently with all of modern medicine, not just in the distant past)

This is a puzzle. Why do men prefer women who will have lower fertility and less healthy infants? Evolutionarily this does not make sense! The answer? Death in childbirth is a very serious problem for women

The evolution of the pelvis to allow bipedalism (walking on two feet) shrunk the pelvic outlet (where the baby has to pass to get from the uterus to outside the body). The smallest point of the pelvic outlet is (on average) 9cm. The average largest point of a babies head is 9.5cm and to make the head this small “we” are already suppressing in utero brain growth

How common was death in childbirth before modern medicine? Currently, women live about 7 years longer than men. In the Paleolithic period, men lived about 7 years longer than women. This was due to complications of childbirth. Medical records from Sweden from the years 1800-1899 revealed that 1 in 14 mothers died in childbirth

The highest risk of blocked labor is with the first birth

So what is the benefit of a small waist and low BMI in first time mothers. The lower the BMI the smaller the babies head, the less risk of blocked labor

What happens to a woman’s waist fat and weight after having a child? Women typically add 25-30 pounds of new fat in the waist over the course of her reproductive years. More waist fat = bigger babies = better survival of the baby. For each child a woman has the birth canal expands, so bigger babies have less risk of creating a blocked labor

Where women don’t gain waist fat, their babies suffer. Income controlled studies show that infant/child death rate is higher in women with lower waist fat

Female baboons average 2% body fat. An average low BMI undergrad (non-overweight young lady) has 32% body fat with 2/3rds of that fat in the hips & legs

Lower body fat is locked away until late in pregnancy. Mothers eat less in late pregnancy & while nursing. In the 9th month of pregnancy 30% of fetal growth occurs, and calorie intake decreases. The lower body fat is saved and then mobilized in late pregnancy & nursing (used at a rate of about 1oz per day)

In the first year of life, the infant brain triples in size, and adds the most fat of any organ. 1/3 of that fat is DHA (a long chain omega-3 fat). Studies have shown that having higher levels of DHA in pregnancy & mothers milk leads to higher math scores and higher verbal acuity

Where does DHA come from? 80% comes from the mothers body fat. So women need their lower body fat to store DHA for the babies brain. If a woman has little DHA in her fat, she will store more fat. Women in Japan where the diet supplies more DHA have lower rates of obesity. Women in America where there is low dietary DHA have greater rates of obesity

Why are our babies so fat themselves? For the DHA stored in their body fat


From Chris Masterjohn, PhD – Fat Soluble Vitamin Interactions

I found Chris’ talk on Vitamin D so interesting, I’l be writing it up as a separate blog post of it’s own in the near future


From Scott Hall, MD & Robb Wolf – Evaluation of the Impact of a Paleo Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Together they undertook a small pilot program with the city of Reno to work with fire fighters & policeman at high risk of cardiovascular disease. They gave these high risk individuals a more comprehensive evaluation, then put them on a Paleo/low carb diet and exercise and gave them counseling to help them stick to the changes.

The program was very successful, and the estimated ROI (return on investment) was $20 saved for every $1 spent. This is another way to change our society, by demonstrating the significant cost savings the changes we are proposing can make, and currently many cities, police and fire departments around the nation are looking into this program


From the panel on ketogenic diets and athletic performance

A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, low(ish) protein, high fat diet. Current wisdom is that it’s next to impossible to perform any athletic activity on this kind of diet because to able to perform athletically you must have carbohydrates.

Robb Wolf makes the big distinction between the use of a ketogenic diet for medical & health purposes versus a ketogenic diet for athletic performance

Ultimate question as to whether ketogenic diets are appropriate for athletes is – What are the energy demands of the sport? What fueling pattern does the athlete need to be successful ?

Ketogenic diets seem to be very effective for longer, slower “aerobic” demands, and ineffective for fast, hard anaerobic activities. In other words, if you’re a marathoner than a ketogenic diet may be a very good protocol for you. If you are a sprinter, it is very unlikely to be a good protocol for you


From Katy Bowman – Paleo Parenting

All of our cells possess mechanoreceptors (sensors that sense pressure) and cells alter their gene expression to reflect the mechanical load they are under

We need to experience variability in our mechanical loads to keep our cells healthy. In other words, we need to move.

Eliminate items that interfere with natural loading of our cells / body (to whatever extent possible) – if it didn’t grow on a tree or if it wasn’t cut off an animal it probably is interfering with natural loading

Many traditional societies have practices of infant exercises which are done in the first 5 months, such as: daily stretching, supported sitting, supported walking, suspension (from 2 weeks, hanging them by their arms to ‘uncurl’ them), and on the back holding. In addition, infants are more informally handled such as being carried and kept in a vertical position most of the day. Traditionally babies are hardly ever on their back or stomach

General guideline: Whenever possible, opt to carry in arms. There are no “harmful” carrying devices, only less-than-optimal frequencies of device use

Footwear – can be necessary for protection on modern surfaces, but strive for the most minimal footwear, and prioritize barefoot time and exploring varying terrain as is necessary for sensory nerve health

But how in the world would you have time to do this? Who has time to carry your baby all over the place and do formal and informal exercises? Traditional societies use alloparents (allo means other) – relatives and other members of the tribe, to help. There is no easy answer for most of us, but as a society we need to think about how we can develop more community support for ourselves

Movement is as necessary as food

We exercise because we don’t move


From Georgia Ede, MD – Brain Food; The Vital Connection Between Nutrition and Mental Health

3 food factors that contribute to mental health disorders: Post-agricultural diet (grains, legumes, dairy), refined carbohydrates, and food sensitivities

Issues with high refined carb intake: Oxidation, Inflammation, and Hormonal Havoc

Internal antioxidants – Glutathione, Uric acid, cholesterol

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is a potent pro-oxidant (creating free radicals). Hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) is pro-inflammatory

EPA (from fish oil) has been found to be useful for depression, but not mania

Depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia have all been linked to inflammation

There are better links between ADHD and diet than any other mental illness. Teens who reported eating a “Western” diet were found to be twice as likely to have ADHD

The sugar hypothesis of ADHD – Eat sugar –> dopamine release –> dopamine receptor down regulate –> more sugar necessary –> ultimately end up with low baseline dopamine levels = ADHD

Georgia talks about flaws in studies that have been done on removing sugar from kids diet and not seeing any improvement in hyperactivity. The control diets in the studies were very high in refined carbs and the only change was removal of sugar. Is it any wonder they didn’t seen any significant change? Since that time the bottom-line has been that sugar has no effect, and therefore any further studies have not been done.

Any diet beats the Western diet


From Alyssa Rhoden, PhD – Give them Grains – Analyzing Approach to World Hunger

The problem of world hunger: 850 million people are starving worldwide, and 2 billion suffer from malnutrition which kills 2.6 million children each year

The leading solution proposed is to produce more calories. And the way to do that is to, one expand grain production and two, to divert grains from animal feed (which is primarily corn and soy) to be used as people food instead

But, can we feed the world by eating more corn? 83 million acres of corn was grown in the US in 2011, but it wasn’t sweet, edible corn. It was non-edible industrial corn (industrial corn has been bred to maximize yield but it is too hard to eat off the cob and does not taste good). What were the food uses of the 2011 corn crop? 37% was used to make high fructose corn syrup (HCFS), 20% was used to make glucose & dextrose, 19% was used to make starch, 10% Alcohol, and 14% to make breakfast cereals and corn oil

The bottom line is that industrial corn is not readily edible, it is raw material for food processing, to make corn sugar, corn oil, and starch

The other issues is that the micronutrient (vitamin & mineral) content of industrial corn is low. It’s not JUST about the calories, its about the calories and the micronutrients if we want people to have enough food to be healthy.

So, no, planting more corn or diverting it away from animal feed will not make a healthier world. At best it will provide more processed food to the world. Instead we would be better served by producing less industrial corn and more vegetable crops

Corn vs vegetables
-Corn produces more calories but in a form that is not independent food
-Organic agriculture has about half the calories of corn but has prodigious micronutrients and is a directly edible food

Worldwide we produce about 2700 calories per person per day. Even in the countries with the highest percentages of hunger, all but two have enough calories. Chronic hunger is caused by inequality and poverty, political instability, and lack of infrastructure not lack of calories to feed people


From Jamie Scott – Are Your Sprint Intervals HIITing you in the ANS?

Chronic cardio – traditional “aerobic” activities like distance running
-Frequency (how often) – high
-Intensity – moderate to high
-Time – long duration
-Type – highly specific (single activity)

HIIT (in theory) – activities like sprinting
-Frequency – low
-Intensity – high
-Time – short duration
-Type – multi-modal (variety of activities)

HIIT as often practiced in the Ancestral Health/Paleo/Crossfit communities
-Frequency – HIGH
-Intensity – high
-Time – MODERATE duration
-Type – multi-modal

Even though many in the “Paleo”/Crossfit communities are anti-chronic cardio, the high frequency, high intensity longer-timed workouts they are doing, while not marathon running are still “chronic cardio”

Short burst, high intensity activities mimic fight or flight situations like running from a lion. Can you imagine doing this 2x day 6 days/week?

Following an acute bout of high-intensity activity the nervous system is disturbed. Nervous system recovery takes SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER than muscle recovery. Some nervous system markers remain depressed for 48 hours after a high intensity session

The dose of exercise matters. We need to get the dose right to drive the signal for adaptation. Driving too hard gives a diminishing signal and driving even harder causes harm

Signs of nervous system overstimulation – digestive stress, metabolic dysfunction, lowered immunity, anxiety

Your training should be ‘polarized’. 75-90% of training volume should be low intensity training below the first ventilatory threshold (where you begin to huff and puff). 10-25% of your training should be high intensity training

Given that 48-72 hours are required for nervous system recovery, this indicates that most people can handle a maximum of 2-3 high-intensity sessions per week, along with relatively frequent deload weeks


From Emily Deans, MD – Disordered Eating in the Modern World

Orthorexia is not an official diagnosis, but is a proposed diagnosis where healthy eating becomes an obsession. When eating causes a functional impairment in peoples lives, like anxiety. Seeking a purity of body. Fasting, restriction. Chasing that ‘light, airy feeling’

In a recent study 65% of American women aged 25-45 surveyed reported eating disordered behavior. An additional 10% reported serious eating disorder symptoms. However, very broad definitions were used.

There are two types of eating disorders – primarily restricting (anorexia), and binging & purging (bulimia, binging disorder)

Binge eaters tend to eat more when stressed, most other people tend to eat less when stressed

Just because something lights up your reward pathways does not make it addictive. Things that promote a supernormal stimulus to the reward pathways are addictive. Sugar is not cocaine!

While addiction researchers/practitioners get very irritated by comparing food addiction to drug addiction, if we look at the definition of substance abuse (below), we definitely see some people truly seem to be addicted to food

Substance abuse – loss of control, preoccupation with abused substance, use of substance to control negative feelings, use of substance despite negative consequences, use despite harm

Deans believes the biggest issue is modern, processed food. It is designed by the food industry to be “addictive”. Example: A baked potato + salt + 6 T butter = 1 sleeve of Pringles. It’s hard to eat more than 1 potato, but easy to eat more than 1 sleeve of Pringles

When does being particular about food become an eating disorder? When it becomes a problem is where it really disturbs your functioning in life.


From Todd Becker – The Case Against Nutritional Supplements

Oxidative stress (free radicals) isn’t always bad. They are essential for cell signaling, exercise regulation, and fighting infection. High ROS (reactive oxygen species = free radicals) is bad, but moderate ROS plays a hormetic (strengthening) role

DRI’s (recommended daily amounts of nutrients) came from studies of people eating Western diets. Those diets oxidize nutrients, impair absorption and recycling and down regulate endogenous defenses. A low insulinogenic, low-inflammatory, whole food diet greatly improves micronutrient utilization.


From Dallas Hartwig & Jamie Scott – The Whole9 Seasonal Model of Health

I found Dallas & Jamie’s talk on a seasonal model so interesting, I’l be writing it up as a separate blog post of it’s own in the near future


From Paul Jaminet, PhD – Circadian Rhythms: Their Significance in Human Health

The long term consequences of sleep loss & physical activity are the same, a reduced life expectancy by 6 years due to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cancers, premature aging, musculoskeletal disease, neurological disorders, and immune dysfunction

Are these phenomena tied together? Might they be due to the same underlying process?

Circadian hormones are like prices in an economy. When cortisol is high it is saying the price of some activities are high and you should avoid doing them (to cells) and there is a big reward to performing certain other functions, so you should perform those functions. Circadian hormones are encouraging and discouraging certain activities

If you disturb circadian rhythms then the signals to cells to perform and not perform certain activities become disrupted

Why is light the primary time giver? The solar clock is free (having to maintain an internal clock is metabolically expensive) and dependable (it rises and sets every day without fail)

We need to keep giving our internal clocks these external stimuli in order to maintain their rhythms, as after about 7 days without any cues the clock becomes extremely disordered. Zeitgebers are external cues that drive circadian rhythms (sunlight, temperature, food, social interaction, exercise and others)

The light-dark zeitgeber is driven by blue and ultraviolet light. Red & yellow light have no effect, green light has minimal effect. So the take away is to seek bright sunlight often and at least seek bright and blue indoor lighting (750 lux blue light can be as effective as 10,000 lux cool white light) during the day

“Cool” bulbs are the worst – they have enough blue in them to disrupt the rhythm at night but are not bright enough to simulate the day (not enough stimulation in the day, but too much at night). Ideally at night use red/amber lights and use “natural” bulbs during the day

Ambient temperature should match the circadian rhythm. Higher temperature (>72 F) during the day, cooler temperature (<65F) during the night

Food zeitgeber – meal timing. Eat only during daylight hours and have an extended overnight fast

Social interactions – more during the day, less at night. This can help explain the paradox that some studies have found that for every hour that you watch TV, it takes 22 mins off your life, and that looking at an office computer does not seems to have the same effect. What’s the difference? TV viewing occurs at night (blue light) and TV viewing is very social – faces & voices

Timing of exercise matters: Best time for exercise: afternoon, worst time: night


From Ron Rosedale, MD – Paleo Myths and the Other Metabolic Hormones – Leptin and mTor

Rosedale’s basic premise: Nature wants to ensure our survival through the reproductive years to raise our children then, “Nature doesn’t care about us, we’ve ensured our genes will pass on” Our goal is different, to survive well as long as possible. Because that is not natural we can’t rely on Nature to help us do this. “This is very unnatural. We are doing very unnatural medicine.”

Type 2 diabetes is a model of accelerated aging – if you could treat diabetes what you are really doing is treating the aging process. If you could tease out the secrets, what you are really digging into is treating the process of aging and the chronic diseases of aging

Diabetes is not a problem with sugar, but a disease of the instructions being given to sugar. The orders are being given by insulin and by leptin. Leptin controls blood sugar much more than insulin does. Insulin is a storage hormone. Diabetes is resistance to the proper signals. When those signals become corrupted, we get sick.

Nobody walking the Earth today is totally healthy when it comes to nutrient-hormone signaling. This corruption will eventually lead to disease/dysfunction. The degree to which this happens and how soon it happens depends on how significantly corrupted these systems are

Rosedale turns the table on the Kitivans saying, “they have all these protective factors in their lives (low stress, coconut oil, intermittent fasting, protein restriction, short stature), why don’t they live longer than they do?” Discussion of correlation vs causation. It doesn’t mean that the high carb diet is good for them

If you’re going to do low carb there is a huge difference between eating low protein and high protein. If you keep mTOR low you’ve got a very different physiology. If mTOR is raised you will see an elevated morning glucose, and you are in a state that is not conducive to long-life

Insulin and IGF1 cross-pollinate each others receptors. High insulin hits the IGF1 receptors (growth hormone) which is why it increases cancer

Centenarians have low IGF1. People with Laron syndrome (dwarfism) are almost completely protected from cancer and diabetes

Protein increase IGF1. Reduced protein intake decreases IGF1

How much protein should we eat? Rosedale says high protein is above 1gm/kg/day LBM. According to Rosedale 0.75gms/kg LBM/day is better, and for those with diabetes or cancer 0.6gms/kg lean mass/day – which up regulates autophagy (cell repair)

Centenarians show an age-related decline in TSH and a significant increase in reverse T3 concentrations. This is a physiologic adaptation to the body wanting to run “smoother and cooler, so it can be healthier and live longer.” Reverse T3 is a healthy thing, a way to tone down the thyroid. Downregulation of thyroid hormones, due to either genetic predisposition or resetting of thyroid function favors longevity

Fat is supposed to be our primary fuel. “Fat is like a free fuel – it doesn’t raise insulin, leptin, or mTOR” If you eat primarily fat then you mimic the benefits of caloric restriction


From Anastasia Boulais, MD – Is Sun Worshiping Increasing Your Risk of Melanoma? 

‘Does sunlight cause melanoma?’ is the equivalent question of asking ‘Does food cause heart disease?’ Context matters

Damning statistic for the sunlight causes melanoma argument – the incidence of melanoma is much lower in outdoor workers. But we have data on both sides and the statistic above is considered a paradox. A paradox means we need to look more broadly at the situation

Understanding Ultraviolet (UV) radiation:

UVA (Ultraviolet A)
-Is the longest wavelength of UV light, which means it completely penetrates the ozone layer. So most of what the UV light we get in sunlight is UVA
-Has much deeper skin penetration
-It has a low erythema potential so takes a long time to burn
-A UVA tan is caused by oxidation of melanin (melanin is what makes our skin darker) precursors in the basal cell layer, not an increase in melanin content. This fake-tan can start minutes to hours after UVA exposure and last days to weeks.
-UVA can cause indirect DNA damage via reactive oxygen species (free radicals)
-Because it does not tan you it does not provide significant photo protection
-UVA breaks down Vitamin D that is bound to the vitamin D receptor
-Induces nitric oxide formation which lowers the blood pressure
-Inhibits UVB-induced immunosuppression

-UVB is a shorter wavelength, so some of it is absorbed by the ozone layer and also through glass or clothing
-Poorer skin penetration
-High erythema (burning) potential
-Causes a tan by increasing melanin production – the color appears 3-7 days later and is long lasting -UVB does cause direct DNA damage
-UVB causes hyperkeratosis and thickening of stratum corneum (thickening of the skin)
-Responsible for vitamin D production

-UVC is the shortest wavelength of UV radiation and is completely blocked by the ozone layer

Tanning beds give off 5-10x more UVA than experienced at solar noon in Southern Europe. They give off more UVA because it causes that immediate “tanning” and is unlikely to burn the customer

The amount of UVB you’ll get in the sun depends on: ozone concentration, elevation and the solar zenith angle (which depends on the latitude, time of year and time of day)

A rule of thumb: If your shadow is longer than your height than the solar zenith angle is quite low and you are not making any vitamin D

So UVA can cause indirect DNA damage, while UVB can cause direct DNA damage. We still don’t know what causes melanoma formation, but it seems to be more about UVA

Increased UVA to B ratio = less erythema (burning), increased oxidative stress, less melanin production, less vit D production and more vit D breakdown, and no protective skin adaptation

The majority of sunscreens are geared to protect against burning so they primarily protect against UVB

Another important factor that impacts melanoma risk is an individual’s intake of antioxidants, such as from fruits & vegetables, as well as tea, coffee and chocolate, and pro-oxidants such as polyunsaturated oils (PUFAs) from vegetable oils (corn, soy, cottonseed, canola, and “vegetable”)

Takeaway; The sun is not going to cause melanoma per se. But within context we see that high PUFAs, low antioxidant intake, circadian rhythm disruption, high UVA/B ratios, low vitamin D status, and high physiologic stress all increase our risk of developing melanoma


From Kevin Boyd, DDS – Sleep Apnea, ADD, and Small Jaws

Sleep apnea & ADD are due to small jaws making it difficult for children to breathe. Without sufficient oxygen, they can’t sleep properly. When they can’t sleep properly their brain does not develop properly


The normal action of the muscles of the face is to “crush” the face together. It is primarily the proper action of the tongue pushing up against the palate that works to resist this action and keep the palate nice and broad and flat until it “sets” in place

Breastfeeding is the most important factor in making this happen.

Crooked teeth and impacted wisdom teeth began when breastfeeding stopped. It pretty much started about 300 years ago

Boyd recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months. Then with baby-led weaning use timely and appropriate complementary foods and continue to breastfeed into their third year

All air is not the same. The air you get through your mouth “is junk air, it’s McDonald’s air.” Air needs to hit the lungs at 98.6F degrees and sufficient humidity. Nitric oxide resides in an inactive state on the turbinates of the nose. When air hits the turbinates it speeds up and activates the NO which sterilizes the air. It also vasodilates (or opens up) the lungs and eases the work of breathing

The mouths of zoo raised chips show cramped mouths vs those of wild-raised chimps which show wide, broad palates with big nasal airways

There isn’t one good bottle on the market, they all “suck in the face”. Boyd recommends using a cup instead of a bottle. He speaks strongly against using bottles. “We have babies in the NICU using cups. It’s messier, but they can lap it up.”

Tongue ties should be taken care of at birth

If a child snores, grinds their teeth, wets the bed, sleeps in bed with butt up they are struggling to breathe, and this should be corrected



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Photo attribution – https://bit.ly/2LQP1Gi

Another Interesting post:

What New Zealand taught me – Lessons from the Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand (AHSNZ) 2017

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