Study shows children are still being prescribed opioid pain relievers despite federal warnings against the practice

(Natural News) A new study shows that at least one in 20 children are still receiving codeine for pain management following tonsil and adenoid removal procedures, three years after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had restricted its use on kids. The team, composed of members from the University of Chicago Medicine, the University of Michigan, and Harvard…

Exercise CAN save your life, especially when it comes to brain health

(Natural News) You don’t need to witness someone you love deteriorate right before your eyes to prepare for Alzheimer’s disease: Scientists from the UT Southwestern Medical Center found that regular exercise is linked to increased brain health – which lowers your chances of getting this debilitating condition. In the study, which was published in the Journal for Alzheimer’s…

12-Year-Old Girl Becomes Paralyzed After Being Injected with Gardasil — Doctors Say it’s All in Her Mind

Vaccines are heralded as “life-saving” medicine, but for Mia Blesky, that’s anything but true. The preteen from England was given the first round of the Gardasil shot at school when she was just 12 years old, and life has never been the same ever since.

by Vicki Batts

Within just 24 hours, Mia’s Gardasil nightmare was already unfolding. The family says that the morning after getting jabbed, Mia was unable to walk and had a burning sensation running down her spine. Within a matter of weeks, the paralysis spread to all four limbs.

But that’s not the worst part: Doctors refuse to acknowledge the fact that Mia’s symptoms began after her vaccination. Instead, health officials say that Mia’s paralysis is in her head — and they are even recommending she be institutionalized.

Read Entire Article »

How to Cook Asparagus

Asparagus can make any meal feel a little more special, since it’s considered a delicacy in the vegetable world. It’s among the most nutritionally balanced vegetables, as it’s low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, but packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
One of the most notable health benefits of asparagus is its high B vitamin content, particularly folate, a vitamin that promotes the production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine — this is why asparagus is known as the “feel-good” vegetable. It’s also an excellent source of:

Vitamin K

Choline

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

Iron

Phosphorus

Potassium

Magnesium

Calcium

For most people, the go-to method for cooking asparagus is steaming, but there are many other ways to cook this versatile vegetable — it can be simmered, roasted, grilled, sautéed and more. You can even eat it raw in a salad. Asparagus also complements a variety of seasonings, from simple salt and pepper to boldly flavored spicy sauces.

Asparagus Nutrition Facts

If you want to know more about the nutritional value of asparagus, take a look at the nutrition facts table below:

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 cup, cut pieces — 134g

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value*

Calories

27 kcal

1 %

 

Total Fat

0.16 g

0 %

 

Saturated Fat

0.054g

0 %

 

Trans Fat

0 g

 

Cholesterol

0 mg

0 %

 

Sodium

3 mg

0 %

 

Total Carbohydrate

5.2 g

2 %

 

Dietary Fiber

2.8 g

11%

 

Sugars

2.52 g

 

Protein

2.95 g

6 %

 

Choline

21.4 g

Vitamin C

0.2 mg

Calcium

32 mg

Iron

2.87 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Asparagus?

The cooking time for asparagus depends on its thickness, as well as on the cooking method. It can be cooked as quickly as five minutes or as long as 15 minutes. Whichever cooking method you choose, make sure that you don’t cook asparagus for too long to keep it from becoming soggy.

How to Prepare Asparagus for Cooking

Some people don’t like eating asparagus because of its distinctly woody taste, but this could be avoided by simply taking the time to prepare asparagus properly before cooking. Follow these tips to ensure that you don’t end up with an unsavory dish: ,

  • Rinse and pat dry — Asparagus is harvested from the ground, so make sure you rinse it well to get rid of any dirt, then pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Break off the bottom end — Hold the asparagus spear firmly on its bottom end then bend it until it snaps off. The spear naturally snaps at the point where the tough, woody portion ends and the softer part of the stalk begins. If you want the spears to have even lengths, you can trim the bottom end with a knife. 

 

  • Peel the skin — If you want your asparagus to be more tender, edible and presentable, you should peel off its skin. Place the asparagus spear on a flat surface to prevent it from bending while you’re peeling. Using a sharp peeler or paring knife, carefully peel off the skin until the lighter green or white part of the spear is exposed.

How to Bake Asparagus

Did you know that there’s a difference between baking and roasting, despite these terms being used interchangeably in today’s kitchens? The primary difference between these two cooking methods lies in the temperature setting.
Roasting usually occurs at a temperature of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the surface of the asparagus to caramelize, whereas baking involves an oven temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Now that you know the difference between baking and roasting, follow this method from Genius Kitchen to bake your asparagus perfectly:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)
Procedure:

  • Put the prepped asparagus spears in a baking pan or dish.
  • Drizzle coconut oil over the spears, and then add other seasonings like sesame seeds, salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until fork tender.

A Guide to Roasting Asparagus

Aside from steaming, another popular method for cooking asparagus is roasting. Keep in mind that the key to roasting is high heat. Here’s how to roast your asparagus spears to perfection, according to The Spruce Eats:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)
Procedure:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread the asparagus spears on a baking pan, drizzle coconut oil on top and then place the pan in the oven.
  • Cook for around 10 minutes, or until the spears are brown and tender.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lemon juice before serving to add flavor.

Broiling: Another Great Way to Cook Asparagus in the Oven

Whether you’re tired of the usual oven-roasted asparagus or simply looking for other ideas on how to cook asparagus in the oven, broiling is a cooking method that you should give a try. It requires shorter cooking times than roasting or baking, so it’s perfect if you want to cook a quick meal. Follow these steps from Epicurious:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)
Procedure:

  • Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the asparagus on a roasting pan, drizzle with a bit coconut oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place in the oven, under the broiler, and cook for around five to 10 minutes.

How to Cook Asparagus on the Grill

Grilling not only adds a smoky taste to asparagus, but it also helps enhance its grassy flavor. Follow this method from Huffington Post when grilling asparagus spears:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Coconut oil
Salt
Procedure:

  • Brush the asparagus spears with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • On a heated grill, lay the asparagus spears perpendicular to the wires on the rack. Cook for seven to 10 minutes.

How to Cook Asparagus in a Pan or Skillet

Sautéing or stir-frying is recommended for thinner asparagus spears or stalks that have been cut into 1- to 2-inch lengths. Follow this method from The Spruce Eats when making a sautéed or fried asparagus dish:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Coconut oil
Procedure:

  • In a large frying pan or skillet, heat a bit of coconut oil over high heat.
  • Toss in the asparagus and then cook until the stalks are tender and browned, stirring constantly, around three to five minutes.

Tip: If you plan to add seasoning and aromatics like ginger, garlic and onion, put them in the pan and allow them to cook for a minute before adding in the asparagus spears.

How to Cook Steamed Asparagus

Steamed asparagus makes for a versatile ingredient, since you can season it however you like: with butter, lemon juice or hollandaise sauce. Steaming is also a very easy cooking method that will work on any asparagus size. Follow these steps from The New York Times to steam asparagus spears properly:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Salt
Water
Procedure:

  • In a pot with a steamer insert, boil up to an inch of salted water.
  • Place a single layer of asparagus spears on the steamer insert. Be careful not to cook too many asparagus spears at a time. Cover the pot and then cook the asparagus for about three minutes.
  • Remove the spears from the steamer insert using a slotted spoon or tongs, and then blot away the excess water with a towel.

Boiling Asparagus the Proper Way

If you don’t have a steamer, you can simply cook asparagus in boiling water. Follow this method from All Recipes:
Ingredients:
Asparagus, trimmed
Salt
Water
Procedure:

  • Boil a few inches of salted water in a wide pot. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the entire surface of the asparagus stalks.
  • Add in the asparagus stalks, and allow them to cook for two to four minutes, depending on their size. Avoid piling up the asparagus to allow them to cook evenly.
  • Remove the spears from the pot and then blot off the excess water with a paper towel.

Other Ways to Cook Asparagus on Stove Top

Aside from sautéing, steaming and boiling, you may also blanch and pan-roast asparagus on a stove top. Blanched asparagus complements a variety of dishes, while pan-roasted asparagus gives you the caramelized texture of roasted vegetable, without the hassle of using an oven or grill. Here’s how to do these two methods:

  • Blanching — Simply submerge the asparagus spears in a large pot of boiling salted water, remove them from the pot after three minutes, and then immediately spread them out or place them in ice water to cool.
  • Pan-roasting — Using a large frying pan, cook the asparagus spears in a bit of coconut oil over high heat. Cover the pan and allow the asparagus to cook until browned and tender, shaking the pan every now and then.

Asparagus Recipes You Can Try at Home

Now that you know the proper way to prepare asparagus spears and the different methods to cook them, put your new culinary skills to the test by recreating these delicious and nutrient-packed asparagus recipes:
Hearty Asparagus Soup With Crispy Bacon Recipe
Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1/2 pound cauliflower, chopped into florets
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices of rindless bacon
Procedure:

  • Melt the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, or until translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute, or until softened.
  • Add the asparagus and cauliflower and stir for one minute, then pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for two minutes. Remove four asparagus spears and reserve.
  • Continue to cook the soup for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
  • Add the parsley and blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the bacon on a baking tray and roast for five minutes, flip the bacon over and roast for another five minutes or until golden and crisp. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside, keeping warm.
  • Ladle the soup into warm bowls and add some crispy bacon. Cut the reserved asparagus spears in half lengthwise, then cut into one-half-inch lengths and add a few pieces to each bowl to finish.

Delectable Asparagus With Soft-Boiled Eggs, Capers and Bone Marrow Broth
Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients:
2 pounds of beef marrowbones, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 1/4 cups of organic beef stock
1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 bunches of asparagus, trimmed
4 organic free-range eggs
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, plus extra as needed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of baby capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons of pine nuts, toasted
Sorrel (preferably red-vein)
Procedure:

  • To make the bone marrow broth, remove the marrow from the bones, slice the marrow into one-half inch-thick pieces and set aside.
  • Heat the beef stock in a saucepan for 15 to 30 minutes over medium heat and reduce by just over half, or until 1 1/2 cups remain. Add the vinegar, thyme, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste; set aside and keep warm.
  • Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender but still slightly crisp, about one minute, then drain. Plunge in cold water to stop the asparagus from cooking further, and then set aside.
  • To prepare the eggs, bring a pot filled with water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the whole eggs with shells to the pot. Cook for five minutes (for soft-boiled), or adjust the cooking time to your liking. Remove with a slotted spoon and then peel off the shells.
  • Warm a frying pan over medium heat, gently heat the oil and then add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown, about one minute. Add the asparagus, capers, salt and pepper, then cook, tossing the spears in the pan until the asparagus turns slightly golden all over, for about 30 seconds.
  • To finish the bone marrow broth: In another frying pan over medium heat, add a little oil and pan-fry the bone marrow for 30 seconds on each side, or until lightly browned. Add the reduced broth to the bone marrow and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.

To serve, divide the asparagus among four serving plates and spoon over the caper dressing from the pan. Cut the eggs in half and top the asparagus with the egg halves. Garnish with pine nuts and sorrel, spoon over a generous portion of the bone marrow reduction and finish with freshly cracked black pepper to serve.
Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Recipe
Serving size: 12 bundles
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:
36 pieces fresh asparagus spears
12 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Procedure:

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees, and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wrap three asparagus spears with a single slice of bacon in one even spiral layer, and then place them on the baking sheet.  Repeat this step with the remaining ingredients.
  • Drizzle with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before cooking for 20 to 25 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from Perfect Keto )

What to Keep in Mind When Selecting and Storing Asparagus

To create a delicious asparagus dish, you have to choose the freshest asparagus stalks. Look for stalks that are firm and straight, not limp. They should also be rich green, with a smooth texture — avoid asparagus stalks with wrinkled stems and soft and mushy tips.
If you have an abundance of asparagus that you’d like to preserve for later, be sure to keep their bottom ends moist and the rest of their stalks dry. Stand them upright in a glass of water and cover them with a paper towel. You can store asparagus in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Asparagus

Q. How do you cook fresh or frozen asparagus to make it perfectly crispy and succulent?
A. There are many ways to turn fresh or frozen asparagus into a delicious meal. Some of the popular cooking methods include steaming, boiling, roasting, grilling and sautéing. Whichever method you choose, the key to keeping the stalks crunchy is by cooking them for a short amount of time.
The cooking time for asparagus is usually between five and 15 minutes, depending on the stalk’s size and the cooking method. Avoid cooking the stalks for longer than 15 minutes, since they may turn mushy and gray.
Q. How many calories are there in asparagus cooked in olive oil?
A. According to MyFitnessPal, a pound of grilled asparagus in olive oil contains 53 calories.
Q. How do you clean and cook asparagus?
A. Give the asparagus stalks a quick rinse before cooking to get rid of any dirt, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Don’t forget to remove their tough and fibrous bottom ends. You may also opt to peel their outer skin, especially if the stalks are thick. After you’ve cleaned and prepared the asparagus stalks, they’re now ready for cooking. You can follow any of the cooking methods mentioned above. ,
Q. Can you boil asparagus in water?
A. Yes, boiling is one of the most common ways to cook asparagus.
Q. Do you have to peel asparagus before cooking?
A. No, you don’t need to peel asparagus, although adding this step in the preparation process is a good idea, as it makes the asparagus stalks more tender, edible and presentable.
Q. Can you eat the tips of asparagus?
A. Yes, asparagus tips are edible. It’s the bottom ends of the asparagus that are usually discarded, since they taste woody and lack moisture.
Q. Can you eat raw asparagus?
A. Yes, you can eat asparagus raw. This nutritious vegetable actually makes for a great fresh salad.
Q. Can asparagus go bad?
A. Just like every other vegetable, asparagus can go bad if not properly stored. If you want to prolong its shelf life, place it upright in a glass of water and store it inside the refrigerator.
how to cook perfect asparagus

Collagen for Soft Tissue Injury and Repair

Mark Sisson, a former elite endurance athlete that qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic marathon trials, founder of the popular website Mark’s Daily Apple and a leader in the paleo movement, was one of the first to help me understand the importance of burning fat for fuel.

Here — after we cover some of the basic benefits of high-intensity interval training and strength training, previously discussed in “Primal Fitness Tips” — we segue to the topic at hand, namely the use of collagen for soft tissue injuries and repair, along with a few other useful fitness tips.

“How I came to [learn about collagen] was how I arrived at a lot of my epiphanies — I had a life crisis. I play ultimate Frisbee once a week, every week for the last 15 years now. But about five or six years ago, I started to develop severe Achilles’ heel tendinosis.

Ultimate Frisbee is a very fast-paced game … There’s lots of running … [and it] requires a lot of agility, a lot of side-to-side quick movement, as well as raw speed …

I found over a couple of years, in my late 50s, that I was starting to get these real severe Achilles’ problems. I couldn’t sprint. My Achilles’ were really tender. They were getting thick. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon [who] said, ‘You have severe Achilles’ tendinosis.’ I go, ‘What does that mean?’ ‘Well, you’re screwed, basically. You can’t play sports again’ …

An orthopedist in Southern California said, ‘Well, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take the back of your heel, slit it open and scrape the Achilles’ down to the raw meat. We’re going to pack it up in a cast for three months, then you’ll do nine months of rehab and you’ll be 85 percent of where you were.’ I’m like, ‘No. That’s not going to happen, Doc … ‘

I went back to my house and said, ‘You know, there’s something I was doing wrong here.’ I started to do the analysis and I thought, ‘Here I am stressing my Achilles’, which is attached to the calves, so I’m really stressing the calves, the plantar fascia and everything around it, on a regular basis. I’m not giving my body the raw materials it needs to recover from that stress. It is that simple.'”

Collagen for Soft Tissue Repair

Collagen-based tissue includes tendons, ligaments, cartilage and fascia — basically connective tissue — all of which tend to get weaker and less elastic with age. Injuries are also worsened by the fact that there’s very little blood supply in connective tissue, which slows down recovery.

While a muscle injury is fairly easy to fix and recover from, connective tissue require very specific raw materials, namely animal-based collagen such as gelatin and bone broth. This collagen material is amino acids that get incorporated into your body to become this matrix of connective tissue. Sisson adds:

“Even if you say, ‘Well, I can get all of these raw materials from the amino acids in the meat that I’m eating, or in the protein drinks that I’m drinking,’ the reality is you can get some of those, but not in the quantities that you probably need, particularly as you get older and particularly if you start stressing these tendons, ligaments, cartilage and other connective tissue and fascia.

Having done the analysis, I started supplementing 40 grams of collagen a day. Within four months, my Achilles’ were better. I could have two scars on the back of my leg and be all pissed off about the surgery that I had that didn’t quite come out the way I was promised.

But I’m here telling you that I just got off the track, where I ran 32 seconds for a 200 at age 65. And that’s the first time I’ve been to the track in probably six months …

If you talk about gelatin, collagen peptide or collagen bone broth, we’re talking about the same peptide. We’re talking about glycine, proline, hydroxyprolines — some of these really specific amino acids — dipeptide, tripeptide that actually cross into the bloodstream as a unit and get incorporated into the body.”

Your Body Selectively Takes Collagen Into Stressed Areas

The Achilles’ tendon can be envisioned as a coiled spongy spring, full of fluid. Each time you stress it, the tendon tightens, pushing the fluid out. As the tendon relaxes, fluid flows back in. Sisson cites research showing that when subjects were given a collagen drink 15 minutes before performing a jump rope exercise, collagen peptides in the bloodstream surrounding the tissue were incorporated at over two times the normal speed.

“That was a fascinating study to me, which indicated that it’s really happening the way I envisioned it — that the body will selectively take in these collagen peptides into the area being stressed, particularly if you don’t have any other source of raw material in your diet,” Sisson says.

“Even in the paleo world … you’re eating choice cuts of meat, but you’re not gnawing on the bones or the skin or the tendons or other nether parts of the animal … Most of us don’t make bone broth anymore. We’ve had decades of not having any access to collagen.

I see it in pro-sports, where athletes are tearing anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs), medial collateral ligaments (MCLs), tendons and all kinds of stuff. I’m going to have to say that a lot of this is because their diet is so horrible to begin with, and then they don’t take in supplemental collagen that I think would be probably wise on their part.”

The Difference Between Collagen and Other Protein

As mentioned, the collagen Sisson recommends for soft tissue repair is high in glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, and relatively low in branched-chain amino acids, which are the primary ones that stimulate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), muscle anabolism and muscle building.

For that reason, while 40 grams sounds like a lot, it does not count toward your daily protein intake, which I typically recommend keeping around 0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass. Above that, you start running the risk of overstimulating mTOR, which speeds aging and raises your risk for chronic disease, including cancer.

For more on this, see “The Very Real Risks of Consuming Too Much Protein.” However, since mTOR is not stimulated by collagen peptides, you don’t have to worry about exceeding your protein intake when taking a collagen supplement.

“Twenty grams a day is for my maintenance level of collagen,” Sisson says. “But you hit the nail on the head. Collagen is such a unique protein blend of amino acids and it’s so specific to collagenous material in the body that it does not sustain life.

When you buy a collagen product and it says 10 grams per serving or 20 grams per serving of protein, because it is protein and it has to say protein on it, when you look at the supplement facts panel on the back, it’s zero percent of the daily value. In other words, it cannot sustain life.”

Back in the ’80s, a 500-calorie-a-day liquid protein diet was all the rage. Medifast and OPTIFAST were two of the big brand names. This liquid protein was in fact collagen. People believed they were getting 500 calories in the form of protein on a daily basis, but because it was collagen, it was not enough to live on. People actually died on this diet.

I actually had a number of patients on this program in the mid-’80s before I understood nutrition. Now I realize that a 500-calorie partial fast can actually be very healthy but should only be done a few times a week, and must be cycled in with a high-protein, high-carb diet in a really specific sequence. Also, there are better proteins than collagen for a partial fast. I go into great details on this in my new book, “Keto Fast,” that comes out next spring.

“They had congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and things like that, because it was not the right kind of protein to build muscle,” Sisson says. On the other hand, as long as you didn’t pursue it for too long or too exclusively, you could significantly improve health as it maximized autophagy.

“That’s the good news-bad news … A lot of people wound up having great skin, hair and nails and lost some weight. That was the upshot of that. Anyway, it was such an interesting concept that even the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration say, ‘You can’t live on collagen protein.’

They’re basically acknowledging that if you eat collagen protein, you’re doing it for skin, hair, nails, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, bones and fascia — a lot of structural components in our body that are well-served by doing a daily dose of some form of collagen.

That’s also why bone broth has become all the rage in the health food circles in the last five years … Here’s my shameless plug. I had such a great experience with supplementary collagen, I created a collagen product line within my Primal Kitchen food line, as I am so clear on people needing to supplement with collagen on a regular basis.”

Types of Collagen

While 28 different types of collagen have been scientifically identified, most supplements will contain one or more of just three of these, which are known simply as:1,2,3

  • Type 1 — collagen found in skin/hide, tendon, scales and bones of cows, pigs, chicken and fish
  • Type 2 — formed in cartilage and typically derived from poultry
  • Type 3 — fibrous protein found in bone, tendon, cartilage and connective tissues of cows, pigs, chicken and fish

Types 1, 2 and 3 comprise 90 percent of the collagen in your body.4 When talking about collagen supplements, you also need to know the difference between unhydrolyzed (undenatured) or hydrolyzed (denatured) collagen. In their natural, hydrolyzed state, collagen molecules are poorly absorbed due to their large size.

Hydrolyzation refers to a processing technique that breaks the molecules down into smaller fragments, thereby enhancing intestinal absorption. For this reason, most collagen products are hydrolyzed. As for the difference between collagen and gelatin: Collagen is the raw material and gelatin is what you get when you cook the collagen.5

“Bovine-sourced collagen are the basic element, probably covering 80 percent of the bases,” Sisson says. “There are different sources of different blends of collagen peptides. Some are higher in proline. Some are higher in glycine. Some are higher in hydroxyproline.

But they all have kind of the same sorts of dietary peptides, just at relatively different levels and different amounts … And then we have hyaluronic acid, which is another factor in some of these products.

I’m basically saying that [you can] cover 80 percent of your needs with a 100-percent grass fed, naturally derived bovine source of Type 1 and a little bit of Type 2 collagen … As for the rest, you’re just splitting hairs. That’s how I feel about the Type 1 and Type 2 stuff.”

Beware — Nonorganic Collagen and Bone Broth Products Are Likely CAFO-Derived

Keep in mind that many collagen supplements are made from animal parts derived from animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and may contain unwanted contaminants, including heavy metals,6 chemicals such as butylparaben, and drugs,7,8 including antibiotics.

If you do not consume factory-farmed/CAFO meats, you likely should not be consuming CAFO collagen and bone broth products. While CAFO-derived collagen, bone meal or bone broth may not be acutely toxic, purchasing food products from factory farms is a problematic practice.

I recommend eating mostly organic and grass fed foods — and that includes collagen from these sources — as each and every source will add to your overall toxic load. To avoid exposure to CAFO-related contaminants, make sure the product is “100% USDA Organic” and/or certified grass fed by the AGA.

On Dosage

When it comes to dosage, there are no hard and fast rules. Sisson, being willing to experiment on himself, decided for a larger-than-normal dose and took 20 grams of collagen twice a day to start. After a few months, he cut down to a maintenance dose of 20 grams a day.

“I thought, I’m just going to bathe my Achilles’ in this raw material,” he says. “I think there’s a rate limiter on how much your body can absorb … It’s not like you’re going to hurt yourself … [But] you still have to deaminate the excess.

Some of it might be converted into glucose, because there’s that whole gluconeogenic aspect of excess protein. I used to think I had high protein requirements but all of a sudden I was like, ‘Geez, my daily protein requirements might be 50 to 75 grams a day.’

I feel great doing that. Anything I eat beyond that isn’t building more muscle, isn’t causing me to burn more fat. It’s just extra calories that the body has to figure out what to do with.

Again, do I convert it to glucose and burn it? Do I convert it to glucose and store it as fat? Do I deaminate it and pee it out? Do I keep it temporarily in the nebulous amino acid pool or sink that’s in the body?

In the last couple of years as I look more into this whole protein thing, I don’t even think in terms of meal-to-meal or even day-to-day. I sort of look at protein intake in three and four day clumps.

If I get 180 grams of protein over three days, I don’t care how it came in or when it came in. That’s enough to keep me going, because the body is so efficient at recycling, particularly when you’re fat-adapted and keto-adapted. It’s so efficient at not feeling like it needs to dispose of that protein.”

The Importance of Pulsing Your Protein and Carb Intake

Personally, I’ve found I need to pulse my protein intake. I’ll restrict it below 15 to 40 grams a day a few days a week, then increase it to 70 to 100 grams on my strength training days or post partial fast. While you don’t want to chronically stimulate mTOR, you also don’t want to chronically suppress it. So, pulsing or cycling seems to be the best way to go about it.

The same can be said for carbohydrates. While nutritional ketosis requires you to severely restrict net carbs while increasing dietary fats, chronic carb restriction is inadvisable. This is why I recommend cycling in and out of ketosis once you’ve established that your body can efficiently burn fat. As explained by Sisson:

“I don’t like the word ‘ketogenesis’ because it connotes an excess of ketones in the bloodstream. To think that you’re going to have an excess of ketones in the bloodstream all the time for the rest of your life is ridiculous. I talk about keto in the same breath that I talk about fat-adapted and keto-adapted. The term I use is ‘metabolic flexibility.’

We want to be able to burn fat when it’s available on our plate. We want to burn fat when there’s no food available. We want to burn glycogen when it’s in our muscles and there’s none available.

We want to burn carbohydrate on our plates, and when it’s available [as] glucose in the bloodstream. We want to burn ketones when there’s no glucose. And, as the very last resort, we want to burn amino acids because it is a substrate in the absence of other substrates.

But metabolic flexibility means we’ve developed this internal combustion system that is equally adapted, extracting calories from all these substrates, not just dependent on carbohydrate every three or four hours, which was the old paradigm. But certainly, also not just adhering to a keto diet for the rest of your life with no more than 20 or 30 grams of carbs a day.”

Living Your Best Life

While I believe wearable fitness trackers, like an Oura ring that has no EMF when it is airplane mode, can be valuable, Sisson is a self-proclaimed “anti-wearable tech person.” Instead, he believes it’s important to become more intuitive in your approach to lifestyle choices.

“How do you look, feel and perform? When you wake up in the morning and you do a workout, are you ready for that workout? Do you feel like doing that workout? Are you excited about the workout? Do you have enough energy when you wake up in the morning?

If you’re not hungry, do you still have to eat? No. If you’re not hungry, why are you going to eat in the first place? A lot of this is just developing an intuitive sense so that even if you eat the wrong thing, you don’t beat yourself up …

I’m trying to take this high-tech movement and swing it back to using the information to get you to identify when you are ready to do something you’re not yet ready to do. A good example would be a heart rate monitor. I train with a heart rate monitor …

Now, after years of using one, I know what my heart rate is at different levels. In fact, the only reason I ever used a heart rate monitor after the first couple of years was to keep me below a certain level [of exertion], because I knew if I went above a certain level, I was in that black hole of [over]training.”

How a Heart Monitor Can Improve Your Endurance

Sisson has a counterintuitive recommendation and approach to endurance training. While 220 minus your age is your theoretical max heart rate, Sisson recommends using 180 minus your age. This formula gives you your maximum aerobic function. What this means is that that’s the heart rate at which enough oxygen is being put through your body to fuel fat burning, and to not put you into glycogen or sugar burning.

“A lot of people say, ‘I’m 40 years old. That means I have a max training heartrate of 140. But Mark, I can train at 160 and 165 all day long. I could run six-minute miles. And when I do what you say, and I train at 140 as a max heartrate, I’m doing nine-and-a-half- to 10-minute miles. I’m almost walking. That can’t be accurate.’

My response is, ‘It’s entirely accurate. Here’s the issue. You perform well as a sugar burner. You’re a great sugar burner. When you are training at 165 or 170 heart rate and you feel pretty good about it, you’re great at burning sugar. But you suck at burning fat. The fact that you suck at burning fat is demonstrated by the fact that you can’t do much work at 140 beats a minute.’

How Mark Allen became the premiere Ironman in the world is because Dr.[Phil] Maffetone coached him … [to keep] that metric. They go for long periods of time, never exceeding that heart rate … They don’t use speed or miles per hour to dictate how fast they’re going.

Over time, what they find is they become more and more efficient at that heartrate. All of a sudden, those nine-and-a-half-minute miles become eight-and-a-half-minute miles, and then eight-minute miles, and then seven-minute miles.

The next thing you know, this guy who’s 40 years old complaining about how slow he’s going, if he’s done it for several weeks, he’s all of a sudden going, ‘Mark, I’m running six-minute miles at 140 beats a minute. Imagine what I can do when I get in a race and then I’m throttling it up at 160 or 165 beats a minute.’

At six-minute miles at 140 beats a minute, we know based on how hard the heart is not working, that he’s burning fat, because he would not be able to supply that much oxygen to fuel that amount of work on sugar.

You have to understand the science. But when you do, and you realize as long as you’re willing to spend time in this zone, you become more and more efficient. That is what endurance is all about. It’s about how efficient you are.”

More Information

For more fitness, diet and health tips, check out Sisson’s blog on marksdailyapple.com. There you can also find his books, which include “The Primal Blueprint,” “The Primal Connection,” Primal Endurance” and “The 21-Day Total Body Transformation.” If you subscribe to his newsletter you get a free copy of his fitness e-book.

His latest book, “The Keto Reset Diet,” is available on Amazon and ketoreset.com. Sisson also sells whey, collagen protein, unsweetened organic ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressings made with avocado oil on primalkitchen.com.

Hemorrhoids: An Introduction

Your body’s rectum and anus play major roles in temporarily storing and fully eliminating feces and other waste material from your body.1 Maintaining the health of these body parts is important; otherwise you may experience health problems that not only will hinder proper function, but cause pain and discomfort as well.

One such condition is hemorrhoids, which are enlarged and swollen blood vessels that develop in the lower portion of your rectum and anus.2

While health experts have not determined the exact cause of hemorrhoids, the Mayo Clinic notes that they may form because of an increased pressure in the lower rectum. Other risk factors linked to hemorrhoids include prolonged sitting, obesity, a low-fiber diet and constipation or diarrhea.3

How Many People Are Affected by Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids usually affect adults aged 45 to 65 years old, but young people and children may experience them as well. Men are more prone to having hemorrhoids, but women may also develop them, especially during pregnancy.4

According to a 2016 Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery article, at least 10 million Americans (4.4 percent of the population) report a case of hemorrhoids annually.5 Harvard Health Publications notes that around half of people aged 50 years and above have already experienced at least one or more of the usual symptoms of hemorrhoids, or have required treatment.6

You May Lower Your Hemorrhoids Risk by Employing Proper Preventive Measures

While most hemorrhoids are not life-threatening,7 they are literally a pain in the backside. However, there are pain-relieving protocols that are effective, inexpensive and can be done in the comfort of your own home. There are also surgical procedures for hemorrhoids, but these are advisable only if natural remedies haven’t worked.

Apart from addressing hemorrhoids once they appear, prevention is key. You can lower your risk for hemorrhoids (even if you don’t have them) by following a healthy and fiber-rich diet, incorporating more physical movement and even by changing the way you relieve yourself while on the toilet.

These articles will provide you with the information you need to know about this condition. Not only will you learn more about what hemorrhoids are, how they can affect you and the different types that you might notice, but you’ll also learn how to effectively get rid of hemorrhoids for good and prevent them from affecting you again.

MORE ABOUT HEMORRHOIDS

Hemorrhoids: Introduction

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids Causes

Hemorrhoids Types

Hemorrhoids Symptoms

Hemorrhoids In Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids Treatment

Hemorrhoids Surgery

Hemorrhoids Prevention

Essential Oils for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids Diet

Hemorrhoids FAQ

Next >

What Are Hemorrhoids?