The Digest - May 13

  • Cholesterol drugs may help slow down prostate cancer. Is that a point for or against these drugs?
  • Do you spend your nights naked?
  • Read this before you ever talk to me again!
  • Quick and easy breakfast recipes.
  • Roasted, grilled, or braised, with rosemary, thyme, and roasted potatoes. Yum!
  • Full-fat dairy vindicated once again. Sorry vegans, low-fat people, Paleo people!
  • If you answered yes to question 2 above, read this


  • Recent observations in the medical community, as reported in this study, reveal that statins may help reduce some cancer risks, particularly prostate cancer progression. For those who don’t know, statins are the highly controversial cholesterol drugs prescribed by doctors left right and center for almost 30 years. Statins have been shown to lower cholesterol (in particular LDL), which is why doctors never hesitate to prescribe them. The problem is that studies have shown that they don’t actually reduce risk of cardiovascular events / death (so they lower cholesterol but not risk of death from heart disease, shocking!). Of course, what most doctors don’t tell patients is that statins have major side-effects on other parts of the human physiology, especially the nervous system. In fact, recent studies have linked statins to increased risk of degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Dementia and Alzheimer. They do so partially because they lower cholesterol, which itself is a key component of the nervous system, and also because they rob cells (including heart muscle cells) of ATP, the unit of energy needed for healthy cellular function. I won’t get into it here but if it’s something you want to know about, please ask. In fact, the signs that statin drugs may help with cancer are actually not that surprising: it is believed by many in the science community that the reason statins are able to lower cholesterol is because they act as an anti-inflammatory, and by shutting down inflammation, they lower cholesterol (another anti-inflammatory molecule) and also help manage diseases such as cancer (with major side-effects of course).^


  • Don’t knock it till you try it! But don’t blame me for any undesired consequences either! Multiple studies over the years have reveals a wide range of psychological and physiological benefits of sleeping naked (yes, increased sexual activity is one of them but not the most important one!). Read this article for the full list of benefits, which includes (i) helping with insomnia by cooling core temperature, (ii) better cortisol (stress hormone) cycle, which helps in stress management and weight loss, (iii) increased release of growth hormone and melatonin, both strong anti-aging hormones, (iv) improved blood flow, and yes, obviously, (v) sex!^


  • Ok I’m not a scientist in real life, but I am one at heart (and potentially a nerd as a friend reminded me). This drives people close to me crazy sometimes, because of my constant drive to fact-check everything (I’m always right!) and my compulsion to correct every misguided piece of advice/knowledge/belief I encounter. It can get pretty annoying. So when I came across this article titled “10 Things to Remember If Your Loved Ones Are Scientists”, I just had to read it, and share it (because, well, you just need to know!).^


  • I rarely have carbs for breakfast: partly because I’m trying to drop to a target body composition, but more so because I want to maintain strong and clear mental function during the work-day. However, sometimes I do indulge (especially after a hard workout), and I used to struggle to find healthy grain-free ideas. If anyone is in the same boat, here are some interesting ideas.^


  • You know how I keep repeating that “eating fat won’t make you fat” and that “replacing carbs with fat will help you lose weight far more efficiently” (see point 3 above)? Well yet another study, this time from Spain, provides further evidence in support of that. In short: 2 groups, 1 eating chicken, 1 eating lamb (same calories, same side dishes, etc.). Bottom line: the “lamb” group achieved more fat loss and lower insulin and triglycerides. Lamb… yum!^


  • Oh this is turning out to be a great day for the “high fat” crowd: a study coming out of the University of Sydney compared the effects of high-fat vs. low-fat dairy on metabolic health, fat gain/loss, metabolic diseases, etc. In this longitudinal study, they followed people over a period of 10 years, matching their dairy diet preferences (low fat vs high fat) to metabolic syndrome (obesity, Type II diabetes). The results indicated that:“high-fat” consumers had 61% lower rates of metabolic syndrome, while “low-fat” consumers had 101% HIGHER rates of metabolic syndrome. I’ll continue with my full-fat Greek Yoghurt then. (vegans, low-fat people, Paleo people: don’t shoot the messenger!).^


  • So if you follow the device I talked about in point 2 above about sleeping naked, you might experience higher levels of Oxytocin, commonly known as the “orgasm hormone”. And in case you were wondering, higher levels of Oxytocin are beneficial, as this study shows. Suggested benefits highlighted from the study include: higher base metabolism, drop in total and visceral fat, reduced appetite, preservation of bone and muscle mass.^


As usual, any questions / comments, hit reply.