Been wanting one of these for a long, long time.
March 19, 2013
If you haven’t seen the new TED talk featuring anthropologist Christina Warinner where she “debunks” the Paleo diet, it’s worth watching.
I think the “debunking” rhetoric here is somewhat oversold and that the introduction to the talk in particular attacks a number of straw men. Many in the Paleo community have long recognized that it would be impossible, and perhaps not very enjoyable, to eat an authentically paleo diet. There was no one paleo diet in history, just as there are variants of modern approaches to diet and fitness that come under the umbrella of paleo or ancestral health.
To me, it’s never been about re-enactment, but asking how evolution and anthropology can better inform approaches to diet, health, and lifestyle in the modern world. For some, “paleo” is just shorthand for this kind of thinking and experimentation. For others, I suppose it’s a catchy label used to package and sell stuff.
All of that said, the takeaway from Christina Warinner’s talk is eminently sensible, and the journey she takes to get there is interesting as well. In the end, the more anthropologists, nutritionists, doctors, etc, that get involved in asking how evolution and anthropology can better inform approaches to diet, health, and lifestyle in the modern world, the better. So no need to get your panties in a bunch, just watch and enjoy!
February 26, 2013
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Back in the late 80s and early 90s when I was in high school and college, my understanding of genetics was a pretty simple and mechanistic one. Maybe this is not so surprising–I’m a layperson, and sometimes a bit of a simpleton. But heck, even for my wife, a Harvard-trained physician, what they learned about genetics 10 years ago is already somewhat dated. Anyway, when I first started to read about “gene expression” several years ago, it was enough of a paradigm shift in thinking about genes that I had a hard time getting my head around it.
A new study on sleep by researchers at the University of Surrey helps to illustrate just how dynamic genes are, responding in incredibly complex ways to our diet and lifestyle:
Researchers at the University of Surrey analysed the blood of 26 people after they had had plenty of sleep, up to 10 hours each night for a week, and compared the results with samples after a week of fewer than six hours a night. More than 700 genes were altered by the shift. Each contains the instructions for building a protein, so those that became more active produced more proteins – changing the chemistry of the body.
As noted by the study authors, “The affected genes are involved in chromatin remodeling, regulation of gene expression, and immune and stress responses.” In case Mark Sisson and others haven’t convinced you, try to get some sleep! That means powering down electronic devices a couple of hours before bedtime so that melatonin production isn’t suppressed.
It all sure adds an interesting twist to the ancient nature v. nurture debate.
February 17, 2013
. . . and get outside and play! Can’t say it any better than this:
Hat tip to Jill Homer for the Calvin and Hobbes.
February 15, 2013
Well, there’s lots of it, but mostly it comes down to being the real deal:
February 1, 2013
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January 30, 2013