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Latest Articles

Stephan Guyenet vs Gary Taubes on the Joe Rogan Experience – Post-Debate Podcast

Nutrition is perhaps the most emotionally charged of all of the applied sciences. It’s not hard to see why. For one thing, all of us eat, meaning that every single one of us is personally invested in this topic, and we interact with it all the time. We all develop a sense of expertise, in a way that we might not for something a bit more removed from our daily life, like robotics or civil engineering.

In addition, food is arguably the most powerful and primal motivator for animals, ourselves included. And every single one of us has cultivated deep-seated dietary preferences, often established in our formative years. In other words, we are all biased, to varying degrees. It’s hard for us to view our favorite foods in an entirely objective way – even when they are slowly making us sick. To further complicate matters, nutrition is very difficult to research rigorously, and studies are often rife with confounders and apparently contradictory results.

The controversial nature of nutrition science was on full display this Tuesday, when Stephan Guyenet and Gary Taubes appeared together on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to debate the causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Gary and Stephan have very different points of view on this subject, informed by rather different approaches to scientific literature. But as is often the case in debates, there was much that Stephan wanted to say but didn’t get an opportunity to address. That’s why we have welcomed him back to humanOS Radio, to reflect upon his experience on Joe Rogan’s podcast and to further elucidate the causes of obesity and insulin resistance. Click below to check out the interview!


Supplement Industry Trends: Natural Products Expo West 2019

Natural Products Expo West is an annual event in Anaheim in which nearly 3,000 food, drink, and supplement exhibitors come together to showcase their latest products. With the colossal number of exhibitors and more than 86,000 attendees, it can be tough to navigate an expo of this size. Fortunately, however, several members of the humanOS dream team came together to make sense of the bedlam, and in this blog we share the trends that were on show, also highlighting some products that piqued our interests.


Men Who Can Do More Push-ups Have Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

You probably knew somebody who passed away from coronary heart disease or stroke. Such cardiovascular diseases account for 31% of deaths worldwide – more than anything else – and the frustrating thing is that most of these deaths are preventable by sticking to the fundamental tenets of a healthy lifestyle.

To prevent cardiovascular diseases, it’s useful to have tests that identify people who are at high risk of them. And while assessments of health are becoming ever more sophisticated, we simply don’t know much about how to interpret and act on the outputs of many of the novel tests that have emerged recently.

As I’m often on the lookout for new ways of assessing health, I’m always pleased when people identify effective, simple, and affordable health tests. New research by Professor Stefanos Kales’ team from Harvard School of Public Health shows that the humble push-up may be one such test.

Read on to find out more!


The Fast Track to the Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

If you’re an experienced meditator, you’ve probably found that your practice has markedly improved your ability to regulate your responses to your emotions. You may have also benefited from improved mood, resilience, and focus. Perhaps you’ve noticed effects on your behaviors – how you eat, how well you sleep, and your ability to abstain from addictive substances. Or maybe you find that aches, pains, and infections simply don’t bother you quite so much now.

My guess is that most of you reading this are interested in whether you can sharpen your minds by using one of the dozens of mindfulness meditation apps that are now available. Honestly, we still know little about the effects of mindfulness training delivered in this way though. My curiosity was therefore piqued when Wendy Suzuki, a prominent neuroscientist from New York University, recently published an experiment on the effects of online mindfulness training in meditation newbies.

Read on to find out more about the remarkable results of Suzuki’s study!


What Is the Best Time of Day to Exercise to Improve Blood Sugar Levels?

Maintaining relatively stable blood sugar levels is relevant to all of us who wish to feel and perform at our best.

Physical activity is a key determinant of how blood sugar fluctuates each day. So far, scientists exploring whether physical activity influences blood sugar control have mostly fixated on the contributions of exercise modality and workload. Meanwhile, research on the importance of time of day of physical activity has largely been neglected.

Fortunately, this is changing. Timing’s time has come, and some of the best scientists are starting to identify how critical when we exercise might be for our health.

A group of scientists led by Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm published work on this topic recently. Their findings are especially relevant to those of us who wish to improve our blood sugar regulation.

Read on to find out more!


An Orderly Way to Better Blood Sugar Regulation

Picture this:

You’ve spent time and effort trying to lead a healthy life. In doing so, you’ve dodged the chronic diseases that many of your friends succumbed to in later life.

One day you go to your doctor because you haven’t been feeling as well as usual. After some testing, it’s clear that your blood vessels aren’t functioning as well as they used to, leading to problems with your eyes and your kidneys. Additional checks reveal that your troubles arise from poor blood sugar regulation.

This problem is all too common, for about 33% of US adults have prediabetes. Yet less than 12% of these people know they have it!

Historically, dietary advice aimed at improving blood sugar regulation has focused on optimizing the types and quantities of foods and drinks consumed.

But not everyone can stick to restrictive diets.

So, other than restricting dietary choices, are there things people can do to more tightly manage their blood sugar?

New research shows that a very simple strategy may dramatically improve your blood sugar responses to meals.

Read on to find out more!


Microdosing Psychedelics for Creativity and Intelligence: Hope or Hype?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have noticed that in the last few years there has been a remarkable resurgence of interest in psychedelics, “mind-revealing” drugs such as DMT, LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin.
Sufficient doses of psychedelics reliably induce non-ordinary states of consciousness, and users frequently describe the ineffably transcendental trips they experience after moderate-to-high doses of psychedelics as among the most meaningful of their lives. However, psychedelic trips can also be profoundly destabilizing, so people don’t exactly run back for more.
While healthcare practitioners are keen to use psychedelics therapeutically, the self-experimental among us are more intrigued by whether psychedelics have performance-enhancing effects. After taking psychedelics, adults often report feeling greater wellbeing, optimism, creativity, and openness, characteristics somewhat predictive of success in the workplace.
So, is there a way to regularly gain some of these benefits without the perceptual distortions produced by higher doses of psychedelics?
“Microdosing” psychedelics has become relatively routine in some places, including Silicon Valley. Unpublished online surveys reportedly show that microdosing improves focus and motivation and reduces distractibility and procrastination.
The problem is that there haven’t really been any published scientific studies of microdosing psychedelics.
Until very recently, that is.
Read on to find out more about what two of the first studies of microdosing psychedelics show.


Considering Genetic Testing? Here Are Some Things to Think About

Have you had your genetics tested?
If you have, you’re not alone, for interest in genetic testing has risen remarkably of late: In 2017, suppliers sold more to-consumer genetic testing kits than in all previous years combined.
People purchasing the tests probably felt that knowledge of their DNA could help them tailor their lifestyles to their genetic code, thereby optimizing their health and performance. But does genetic testing actually help people feel and function better?
If you collate the results of relevant studies, it seems that receiving information about genetics scarcely affects the health decisions people make. And because some believe that their genetic blueprint strongly determines their lives’ trajectories, numerous studies have shown that many individuals feel disempowered and distressed on learning their genetic dispositions to disease.
Until recently we knew nothing about an important question related to this though: What are the effects of an individual learning whether he or she has a beneficial or detrimental variant of a gene on the person’s subsequent physiology?
A team of researchers set out to answer this question, and their results are fascinating.
Read on to find out more!


How to Perform Better at Work. Podcast with James Hewitt

Many of our jobs are changing rapidly. As technological progress continues with little restraint, numerous workplace tasks are likely to become automated, and economists from the University of Oxford recently estimated that nearly 50% of jobs in the US are at high risk of computerization in the near future.
To consistently be at our best in the workplace, we need to recognize the complex array of factors that affects our performance. But we also need to understand ourselves.
At what times of day are we best suited to particular tasks?
In the attention economy, how can we shape our environments to make it easier to stay focused?
And how can we balance work with recovery so that we consistently perform well at work in the long term?
In the latest episode of humanOS Radio I speak James Hewitt about what we can do to be great at your job and ensure you thrive in the workplace for years to come.


humanOS Year in Review (Part 3 of 3): Circadian Rhythms, Sleep, and the Brain

In the third and final instalment of this series, we look back on what we learned about circadian rhythms, light exposure, sleep, and the brain in the last 12 months. We review:
The preeminent roles of our bodies’ clocks in our health.
The importance of light exposure to blood pressure, brain function, and perhaps even metabolism.
Numerous things we can do to sleep better.
Interesting ways to durably affect brain health and function.
To end, we look to 2019 as we peer into the pipeline of humanOS.
Happy New Year, and here’s to a terrific 2019!