7 Extra-Dietary Ways to Improve Your Microbiota

The importance of maintaining a healthy gut-microbe ecosystem cannot be understated. From regulating mood to boosting our immune system, the balance of this internal flora is a cornerstone of good health—a fact which prompts us to always be on the hunt for foods and supplements that nourish and protect our precious insides. Unsurprisingly, during discussions about improving gut health, items like fermented foods, resistant starch, and probiotics often come to…

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Episode 74: House of Experiments

In this episode we’ll talk about many of the dietary and fitness experiments of Richard Nikoley with the man himself. Also, I have a new food documentary to bring to your attention, and After the Bell it’s an excellent TED presentation by Dr. Peter Attia that may change the way you think about obesity and the solutions to obesity. Topics covered in the Nikoley interview include eating crickets, resistant starch, milk and kefir, Leangains, and much more.

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Episode 75: Perfect Health Diet with Paul Jaminet

Today’s guest is Dr. Paul Jaminet, co-author of Perfect Health Diet. We talk about traditional versus modern diets, weekly versus daily nutrition, the importance of circadian rhythms, the new Perfect Health Retreat in Austin, TX, the real-world results of people applying the Perfect Health Diet approach, and much more. Additional segments include Dr. Loren Cordain in a roundtable discussion with T. Colin Campbell and Jo Robinson discussing her new book ‘Eating on the Wild Side’ in an NPR interview.

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USDA Announces Investments in Pollinator Health Research

This news is about a month old, but it just came across our radar this week and we thought it worth sharing: The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced $10 million dollars worth of grants intended to support research to help sustain healthy populations of pollinators. Why is this important? Well, from the USDA’s press release: “One-third of all U.S. crop production requires pollination by animals—primarily honey…

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Episode 76: Yoga of Eating with Charles Eisenstein

Today’s guest is Charles Eisenstein. He is the author of Yoga of Eating and several other books. We talk about how to properly use willpower; why diets don’t work; sacred foods; why it is essential for us to learn to trust ourselves when it comes to making food choices; how bringing our diets and our food into alignment with our needs can lead to even bigger changes in our lives. After the Bell, Alan Watts continues the discussion by talking about Man in Nature.

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Gene-Testing Company 23andMe Partnering with “Big Pharma”

Last Wednesday, July 25, genetics-testing company 23andMe announced that they’re partnering with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. From 23andMe’s blog (emphasis mine):

I hear regularly from customers that they want to be part of a solution that is improving health care. We all have some disease or health issue that we care about. 23andMe has created a research platform to enable customers to actively participate in research — to not wait for solutions to appear, but for people to come together and make discoveries happen.  By working with GSK, we believe we will accelerate the development of breakthroughs. Our genetic research — powered by millions of customers who have agreed to contribute — combined with GSK’s expertise in drug discovery and development, gives us the best chance for success.

Note the bolded phrase: “powered by millions of customers who have agreed to contribute.” This is technically true. Agreeing to 23andMe’s (typically murky) privacy policy does mean consenting to the company’s use of your genetic data however they see fit, but thus far that usage has been limited to, effectively, pattern analysis. Surely, few, if any, 23andMe customers realized they would be paying a company to then sell their data with the goal of developing new pharmaceutical drugs.

Genetics-testing companies like 23andMe are fairly popular in the Paleo world. In fact, this magazine has been considering publishing a roundup of such companies and services for some time. And while a great deal of good has undeniably come from these services (who doesn’t want to know their genetic heritage, for example, or whether they’re at increased risk for certain cancers, or even their body’s particular rate of caffeine metabolism?), and even from their sharing of genetic data (the recent use of data from GEDMatch to catch the Golden State Killer, for example), something tells me Paleo folks aren’t going to be too happy knowing their genetic data is actively being used to give Big Pharma an edge. Not to mention that, if you’re genetic data is being used in drug testing, you should be being paid for it, not the other way around.

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