Yesterday, I shared information from one of the most discussed presentations at AHS 2013.  Today I am going to offer up some quotable quotes from the various sessions I attended.

Let me know if any of them really piques your interest and I can delve into it more.

(If I put quotation marks around it, it is as direct a quote as I could get.  Otherwise, I’ve paraphrased the speaker.  I was taking notes as fast as I could!)

How to Love Randomness : Antifragile Responses In the Human Body and Their Consequences – Nassim Taleb, M.B.A., Ph.D. and author of[amazon_link id=”1400067820″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] Antifragile[/amazon_link]

There is nothing we humans have ever introduced into the body that hasn’t caused some side effect.

If you are healthy, medication will likely cause you harm.  If you are one standard deviation away from being healthy, you have a 1/67th chance that medication will help you.  If you are six standard deviations away from healthy, you have a 90% chance that medication will help you.

“Pharma tries to cure the healthy.”

When someone is very ill, that’s who should be taking advantage of modernity.

Robb Wolf, author of [amazon_link id=”0982565844″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Paleo Solution[/amazon_link], observed that elite athletes have zero variability and Taleb agreed adding, “Never hire an A student.”  Elite athletes and A students give up on something to get that zero variability.

The Consuming Instinct : What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature – Gad Saad, Ph.D. and author of [amazon_link id=”1616144297″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]a book by the same title.[/amazon_link]

He changes the famous E.O. Wilson quote to say: “The genes hold ‘consumer behavior’ on a leash.”

He used images of women from across the globe to drive home his point that symmetry is considered more beautiful than asymmetry in women in every culture of the world.

When shown pictures of the same man in a clunker and in a sports car, women deem the man in the sports car to be better looking.

Men experience a surge in testosterone from driving a Porsche.

Men see other men with a perceived higher social status as shorter than they actually are while women see men with a high social status as taller than they actually are.

Men whose partners are expecting experience a drop in testosterone levels.

Sexual Fitness and Women’s Fertility Cycles – Geoffrey Miller, Ph.D. and author of [amazon_link id=”038549517X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Mating Mind : How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature[/amazon_link]

At higher peak fertility phases, a woman in a long-term relationship is less satisfied with her mate if he is lower fitness than at other times.

Erectile dysfunction is a sensitive early indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Strippers make more money in tips when they are ovulating than when they are not.  Strippers who take the birth control pill do not experience this rise in income and that can mean a loss of as much as $15,000 over a year.

(Incidentally, Miller is not without controversy.  Read one blogger’s thoughts on his invitation to speak at AHS 2013.)

What is Optimal Health? Complexity Science, Chaos Theory and Its Impact on Ancestral Health – Grayson Wheatley, M.D.

Books he recommends: [amazon_link id=”9812568832″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Where Medicine Went Wrong[/amazon_link] and [amazon_link id=”1907284567″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Complexity and Medicine : The Elephant in the Waiting Room[/amazon_link] and [amazon_link id=”0465061834″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Creative Destruction of Medicine[/amazon_link].

A decreased heart rate variability (HRV) and a totally wild heart rate are both signs of illness or disease.

Exercise is a driver of heart rate variability.

We experience a natural decline of HRV as we age.

Omega 3 seems to increase HRV.

Poor sleep seems to decrease HRV and a day of decreased HRV predicts a night of poor sleep.

He discussed the idea of “anticipatory” medicine as opposed to preventative medicine using tools and diagnostics such as: HRV, sleep apnea, brain waves, gait patterns.

Liberation from the Industrial Food System – Diana Rodgers, N.T.P. and Robb Wolf, B.S. and author of [amazon_link id=”0982565844″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Paleo Solution[/amazon_link]

I was reminded why I really have a lot of respect for Robb Wolf during this presentation.  The man has conviction, coupled with a lot of smarts and street smarts.  He’s also unapologetic.  I mean, it takes some gall to include a slide of a one-finger salute in the midst of a serious health conference.  But, yes, he did.

He’s also sending Diana Rodgers to Africa.  Read all about that project, his presentation and the Farm-to-Gym Challenge here.

Fat-Soluble Vitamin Interactions : An Ancestral Perspective – Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D.

Masterjohn’s presentation coincided with that of Chris Kresser on “Parasites are Paleo : The Hidden Costs of Modern Hygiene” which I would have loved to hear.  But I needed to hear Masterjohn’s presentation on Vitamin D and the other fat-solubles more.

Masterjohn systematically deconstructs the evidence for the current 25(OH)D recommendations of 40-60 ng/mL.  Essentially his question is whether current-day subjects (lifeguards in Israel and St. Louis, Missouri) are good proxies by which we can judge what our ancestors needed in the way of Vitamin D.

The two takeaways:

  • “If an optimal 25(OH)D level exists, it likely varies according to ancestry.”
  • It’s not about an optimal Vitamin D level, but about the optimal balance in the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K1 and K2.)

Evaluation of the Impact of a Paleolithic Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Lipoproteins in a Law Enforcement Population – Scott Hall, M.D. and Robb Wolf, B.S.

If you listen to The Paleo Solution podcast, you’ve likely heard Robb talk about his work with the Reno police department and first responders.

Instead of me sharing the info presented, take a peek at what the Reno police department has to say about the program here.  Notably, that early iterations of the program utilized the traditional ADA definitions of a healthful diet but they have since migrated to a Paleo-style approach:


“… which has consistently improved markers of systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and body composition.”

Cool, indeed.

* * * * * * *

Tomorrow, Quotable Quotes from AHS 2013, Part II.

2 Responses to “Quotable Quotes from AHS 2013, Part I”

  1. on 21 Aug 2013 at 9:36 amhot Nai Nai

    All of it sounds so very interesting….wish I could have been there

  2. […] Yesterday I offered up quotable quotes and info from some of the sessions I attended at the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium.  Today, I finish off with more notes from the conference. […]

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