Today’s newsletter includes a list of things I’ve recently been watching, reading, and thinking about that I think you’ll enjoy.
Let’s jump in!
P.S.: Don’t miss the sweet deal that my favorite tea brand, Pique Tea, is offering my Try This subscribers.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Valter Longo came on my podcast and talked about why he recommends avoiding a high-protein diet. Dr. Longo’s core argument is that a high-protein diet from animal protein is linked to an increased risk of cancer through the pathway of elevating IGF1. (By the way, Dr. Longo isn’t the only longevity expert who holds this view.)
While I found Dr. Longo’s argument and research compelling, I also know from my conversations with Dr. Mark Hyman and a recent podcast episode with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon (which went viral) that not having adequate protein is linked to sarcopenia, increased hip fractures, and lower grip strength, which is one of the top predictors of mortality.
That’s why I was pretty excited/curious to come across this 10-minute clip from a podcast conversation between Layne Norton, PhD, and Dr. Peter Attia. In the clip, Lanye and Peter review the research on IGF1 and cancer and talk about how most of the concerns are misguided when you look at all of the literature.
Lanye’s nuanced view is that yes, IGF1 is elevated after eating animal protein, but just acutely (short-term), not chronically (long-term). Additionally, he talks about the fact that exercise itself increases IGF1, but that doesn’t mean we view it as “un-beneficial.” Layne’s concluding thought is that a high-protein diet from processed animal foods is completely different than a high-protein diet from high-quality animal foods with an ample amount of vegetables and a low amount of refined carbohydrates.Lanye’s nuanced view is that yes, IGF1 is elevated after eating animal protein, but just acutely (short-term), not chronically (long-term). Additionally, he talks about the fact that exercise itself increases IGF1, but that doesn’t mean we view it as “un-beneficial.” Layne’s concluding thought is that a high-protein diet from processed animal foods is completely different than a high-protein diet from high-quality animal foods with an ample amount of vegetables and a low amount of refined carbohydrates.
Here’s the link to the full episode if you want to hear more on this subject. You can also check out my interviews with both Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on the power of protein and Dr. Valter Longo on the challenges of a high-protein diet.
When I’m on one of my week-long coffee breaks and have a hankering for a little caffeine boost, I’ll drink matcha green tea. Matcha tea is rich in polyphenols that are amazing for gut health, immune health, brain health, and longevity. Just one cup has the benefits of drinking 10 cups of regular green tea!
It can be hard to find super high-quality matcha that isn’t loaded with contaminants. That’s why Pique’s Sun Goddess Matcha is my go-to for delicious, high-quality matcha tea. Pique’s Matcha is 100% organic, ceremonial grade, and quadruple-screened for toxins.
Thanks to their extended shading process, it contains extra l-theanine and chlorophyll, which gives it a rich, savory, even slightly sweet umami flavor that’s perfect for a matcha latte.
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Paul Stamets is one of the world’s foremost experts on fungi, and in this 11-minute animated video he not only talks about the deep intelligence that fungi have, but he also explains what the Stoned Ape Hypothesis is all about.
The Stoned Ape Hypothesis is the theory that “magic mushrooms”—i.e., fungi with psychoactive compounds—were instrumental in doubling the size of the human brain in a very short period of time.
Who knows if it’s true, but Paul sure paints an interesting and entertaining picture. Shout-out to the YouTube account AfterSkool, which has a bunch of these great clips from all sorts of top podcasts!
Back in March of this year the head of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, went on 60 Minutes and said that one of her top priorities was gaining back trust from the American public through more open and honest communication. Unfortunately, polling data shows that the opposite is happening. More and more Americans are distrusting of the CDC, which is a big problem in the long term.
But the million-dollar question is, why?
Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has some ideas in this opinion piece. His core thesis is that the CDC says it wants to gain trust, but the organization keeps pushing questionable and low-grade research to push policy.
Here’s a key example of a CDC misstep that’s worth highlighting from the article:
“Two weeks ago, with no outcomes data on COVID-19 booster shots for 5-to-11-year-olds, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vigorously recommended the booster for all 24 million American children in that age group. The CDC cited a small Pfizer study of 140 children that showed boosters elevated their antibody levels—an outcome known to be transitory.”
But here’s the crazy thing that happened next…
“When that study concluded, a Pfizer spokesperson said it did not determine the efficacy of the booster in the 5-to-11-year-olds. But that didn’t matter to the CDC. Seemingly hoping for a different answer, the agency put the matter before its own kangaroo court of curated experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).”
Dr. Makary goes on to share that the ACIP Committee moved forward after some discussion to approve the boosters for kids by an 11-1 vote with only one dissenting voice, even though kids are at an extremely low risk and 75% of them have natural immunity, according to the CDC itself:
“The one dissenting vote came from Dr. Keipp Talbot of Vanderbilt University, who courageously said vaccines, while extremely effective, ‘are not without their potential side effects.’ She questioned the sustainability of vaccinating the population every six months.”
So how did it all shake out? Dr. Makary continues:
“When the CDC voted, director Dr. Rochelle Walensky declared that the booster dose is safe for kids ages 5-11. Yes, the complication rate is very low, and we think it’s safe, but how can anyone know from only a short-term follow-up of 140 children? The more appropriate assessment is that we believe it’s safe but we can’t be sure yet from the data we have so far. Unfortunately, the strength of the CDC recommendation to boost all children 5 and up will trigger some schools and summer camps to blindly mandate a third dose for healthy children who don’t need it.”
Why I think it’s so important for everyone to read this article is that it highlights the reality that the CDC, whether they intend to or not, is itself participating in a form of misinformation that eats away at their credibility. And it’s important that we, as concerned global citizens, be aware of these missteps, not out of malice but rather to help compassionately call them out and demand that they do better.
The full article is worth the read. Dr. Makary (Twitter) is one of the top open-minded Covid moderates, whose voice of reason I have appreciated all throughout this crazy pandemic.
I’m sure many of you saw news or social media clips of actor Matthew McConaughey’s artful and moving speech at the White House on the topic of gun violence and the horrific school shooting that took place in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.
But if you haven’t seen the full speech, I would highly recommend watching it in its 20-minute entirety.
First and foremost, McConaughey does his best to help tell the stories of the beautiful children and teachers who were brutally slain that terrible day. Hearing these stories is painful and often gut wrenching, but it’s an important part of understanding the magnitude of what took place.
Second, the reason I’m highlighting the full speech is that it is an example of how artful and moving communication can rise above limited thinking and help people on different sides of the aisle see hope for a common ground.
Now, I’m under no false illusions that one speech by a celebrity is somehow the fix for a complicated topic, but I’m going on record to say that we need more of this style of communication in the world: honest, compassionate, nondefensive, clear, and direct.
Note: If you want to hear a little bit more about McConaughey’s upbringing and why he considers himself to be a nuanced thinker, check out these interviews he did with my friends Dr. Rangan Chatterjee and Dr. Mark Hyman.
That’s it for today’s Try This recommendations!
Sorry it was delayed—I was traveling last week—but this week we’ll be back on schedule!
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