The Digest - March 12

A shorter second digest this week, seems like a slower week in the world of functional medicine, sport science and productivity:  

  • Earlier this week, I wrote a piece about protein requirements for endurance athletes for UAE Triathlon. While the target audience for this piece is primarily endurance athletes, the contents and recommendations apply to the vast majority of people looking to live healthier lifestyles. In this piece I discuss the functions of protein in the human body, protein requirements for various people (sedentary, active, and athletes), different types of protein from whole foods, and supplementation (protein shakes etc.).^


  • A new metastudy (study of multiple studies) was published last week and which looked at the relationship between various biomarkers for coronary heart disease (CHD). The study analyzed data from 294 studies involving almost 1.2 million CHD patients. The typical biomarkers typically associated with CHD are the likes of Triglycerides and LDL Cholesterol, despite all recent evidence that absolves the latter from being a cause of CHD. In this study, they looked at all possible biomarkers and their prediction of CHD risk. The top 5 were in order of prediction power were: Urinary ACR, Insulin Resistance, HbA1c (3-month glucose average), BNP, ApoB, following by virtually every single inflammation biomarker, from hsCRP to IL-6 and so on. If interested, go straight to Table 3. Note the they don't distinguish between LDLa and LDLb though.^


  • This article in the BBC discusses 2 "new promising weight loss drugs" which were unveiled at a recent conference. I'm not bringing this up because of the drugs themselves, but to point out that these drugs, and virtually all weight-loss drugs and pills, are designed to manipulate hormones in your body to trigger weight loss. I bring this up as further evidence of what I keep repeating: weight gain/loss is NOT a question of calories in calories out: it's about the hormonal changes the "type" of calorie you eat/drink triggers. I for one lost weight consistently over the past year even though I'm eating more (calories) and training less (burning less calories). However I changed "what" I ate to trigger fat loss. ^