Only two months away~!!
The venue has returned to my old haunting grounds, UCB campus, where I did my undergrad in Nutrition and Food Science and worked for two years in Plant Biology as a lab technician. Hope to see and meet many ancestral health fans! My family and I are re-patriating back to California from Shanghai, so it is a homecoming on many fronts.
AHS 2014: Aug 7-9th
Location: U. C. Berkeley Campus
Theme: WOODSTOCK lol
AHS11 Rockstar edition ~ AHS11 was the inaugural Woodstock. Nothing is like the first time but hopefully some of magic and mystery will be re-created this year with an amazing collection of events, topics, speakers, and eye-opening panels this year. I hope for lots of casual hanging out as well.
Ode to Seth Roberts ~ We will be missing and honoring our friend and AHS co-founder. His contributions to our community, his fairness and attention to science will never be forgotten.
Topics I’m Attending For Certain
Since this blog is called Animal Pharm, the opening speaker has got my undivided attention.
Zoobiquity: Species-Spanning Medicine
Speaker: Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D., M.A., B.A.
Scheduled at: August 7, 2014, 10:10 am
Animals and humans get the same diseases, yet physicians and veterinarians do not often consult one another. Spontaneously-occurring diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, and infection as well as psychiatric conditions including self-injury, compulsive grooming, sexual dysfunction and substance-seeking affect not only people but a broad range of animal species. An integrated, interdisciplinary approach using the latest in medical and veterinary science to understand physical and behavioral health can lead to novel insights, hypotheses, and innovative therapies. This species-spanning approach challenges academic institutions, clinical practitioners, pharmaceutical companies, and biotech firms to recognize comparative medicine as a translational science, bringing knowledge from the veterinary medicine to the human hospital bedside.
My talk is @11:50
Re-Savaging the Gut: Solution to the Identity Crisis of the Ancestral Gut
Scheduled at: August 7, 2014, 11:50 am
The gut microbiota has undergone radical changes. Human gut anatomy are unaltered but the microbial ecosystems have degraded. Health may mirror these changes and how we acquire our microbiota including the ways we procure our food — shifting at the neolithic from tedious hand foraging to village crops to (now) massive, post-industrial farming operations and livestock production. Our distance from the dirt is immeasurable. New technology allows characterization of the ancestral gut. Comparatively, species in ancestral and non-industrialized guts are robust in diversity and less fragile in balance. Ways to resolve this ‘gut identity’ crisis involve re-wilding and revisiting the ancestral, soil-connected gut.
My brilliant co-speaker from AHS11. Ancestral genetic polymorphisms determine many things. My family and I did 23andme (fyi, they’re still open and analyzing ancestry). We don’t have the main MTHFR SNP but we own one of the COMT variants that affect carbon methylation; it explains why the ancestral diet suits us and our DNA very well. We have also 2 of the main FUT2 variants for non-secretors in the Asian population which might explain a few of our gut vulnerabilities to MTHFR, COMT and the gut toxins which are related to methylation. FUT2 secretion is related to the capacity the mucosa membranes to secrete fucose on the surface, which feeds the grazing beneficial gut symbionts like a grassy lawn. The absence of fucose affects both pathogen adherence (non-secretion confers protection against norovirus, HIV and campylobacter infections) and susceptibilities to gut conditions (T1D, celiac, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, autoimmunity, etc). Lack of beneficial gut flora when fiber/fuel is missing or due to antibiotics are strong factors affecting gut health depending on individuality. Check out Tim’s solutions.
It’s Your Parents Fault! Methylation: How 1 Carbon Affects Your Brain, Your DNA and Everything in Between
Speaker: Tim Gerstmar, N.D.
Scheduled at: August 9, 2014, 3:35 pm
Why is it that some people don’t get better in spite of a good diet and lifestyle? One recently identified issue is defects in methylation, the epigenetic process by which the body turns on and off almost every process in the body. While normally methylation works seamlessly and without any need for conscious control, mutations in the methylation genes can ‘gum up the works’ and lead to chronic health issues. Our ability to identify genes has recently allowed us to peer inside this process, identify dysfunctional methylation genes, and provide help for suffering people.
Researcher and professor, Blaisdell bridges technical brain science and research for advocating the role of play. Only the smartest animals evolved to ‘play’. My playground is this blog, lol. Often I try tell my kids don’t fear screwing up because it’s an awesome way to explore, learn and play.
Functional Frivolity: Human Brain Evolution and Play as an Adaptation for Childhood Learning and Education
Speaker: Aaron Blaisdell, Ph.D.
Scheduled at: August 7, 2014, 11:00 am
Despite appearing frivolous, play is a special adaptation for normal human brain development. I review human brain evolution, and describe how play is an adaptation to teach children how to be a successful hunter gatherer. The modern educational system, by contrast, arose during industrial period and is maladapted for brain and cognitive development. The result is an epidemic of developmental and mood disorders. Recent movements in developmental and educational psychology advocate a return to the natural conditions that foster development of a child into an intelligent, creative, and happy individual.
Stanton is one of my favorite mountain men and authors (The Gnoll Credo). “We are born and we die.
No one cares, no one remembers, and it doesn’t matter. This is why we laugh.”
How We Got Fat (and Sick): Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Leptin Dynamics, and the Ratchet Effect
Speaker: J. Stanton, B.A.
Scheduled at: August 8, 2014, 2:45 pm
The question “Why are we gaining weight?” neglects an equally important question: “Why can’t we lose the weight we gain?” The multiplicity of competing hypotheses, and the overwhelming failure rate of current interventions, suggests that current top-down paradigms, in which the brain controls fat mass, are incorrect. Based on current peer-reviewed research, a new, bottom-up paradigm is proposed, in which the energy requirements of individual cells both cause and predict fat gain, metabolic dysfunction, and the failure of fat loss. It will be shown that this bottom-up paradigm has both explanatory and predictive power lacking in current top-down models.
Keith and his gorgeous wife live and breathe health and ancestral fitness. He’s the modern LaLanne minus the juicer.
From Teflon to Tang – Proposed Effective Training Methods for In-Mission Astronauts, with Take-Aways for the Earthbound Mortal
Speaker: Keith Norris, B.A.
Scheduled at: August 8, 2014, 11:00 am
Contrary to popular belief, neither Tang nor Teflon were created for or by NASA. Rather, these technologies existed previously, and were co opted by space agency to satisfy mission-specific needs. The success of Tang and Teflon’s association with the space program then propelled their representative “brands” in the public’s consciousness. In much the same way, the technology and know-how now exists to prevent one of the most limiting obstacles to prolonged spaceflight — muscle-wasting and bone deterioration (sarcopenia and osteoporosis). What can be done to curtail in-flight muscle-wasting and bone loss, and how might this knowledge transform training protocols on earth?
Unfortunately HPA deficits are widespread for both men and women. Good news is that it’s all fixable. Grrrrrrls, this is very important. Multitasking and being wanna-be-perfect-Martha’s are just a few parts of the problem. Truly it’s a cortisol conundrum. And VLC and IF just make it worse. Thank you Stacy for highlighting this at AHS. If you want long telomeres, keep the adrenals and HPA strong and resilient. Adrenals are the vital foundation of health, even bigger than the gut.
Ancestral Health for Women in the Modern World: the HPA Axis Meets the HPT and the HPG Axes
Speaker: Stacy Toth, B.A.
Scheduled at: August 8, 2014, 11:25 am
The evolutionary biology perspective has proven to be an invaluable tool in creating dietary guidelines for the optimal human diet. However, we are learning that there may be stark differences between optimal nutrition for women versus men. In particular, the female body responds differently to changes in macronutrient ratio as well as meal timing due to links between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and both the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal and the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axes, in part due to the combined roles of leptin and cortisol. Women may experience adverse health effects, including hypothyroidism and hypothalamic amenorrhea, in response to low carbohydrate diets and intermittent fasting.
I can’t wait to hear about why breastmilk is alive (!!probiotics!!) and secures a mammal’s future.
The First Paleo Food: It’s Breastmilk and It’s Alive!
Speaker: Philip Goscienski, M.D., F.A.A.P.
August 9, 2014, 2:40 pm
Before the Agricultural Revolution a human’s first culinary experience consisted of breastmilk. A biological system that evolved from a modification of sweat glands took more than five million years to become an extremely complex form of sustenance for newborn mammals. The most obvious benefit of breastfeeding is that it provides a complete nutritional system that will sustain an individual until it can forage for food. That is only part of the story. Breastfeeding has a major influence on immunity, brain development, future chronic diseases and the health of the breastfeeding mother.
I didn’t know myopia was reversible and am eager to learn some tricks and science. Obviously paleo is not enuf, both my children have this.
Myopia: A Modern Yet Reversible Disease
Speaker: Todd Becker, M.S.
Scheduled at: August 9, 2014, 10:30 am
Myopia, or near-sightedness, is generally assumed to be an irreversible, genetically determined condition that can only be ameliorated with corrective lenses or surgery. Its prevalence is 30-40% in the U.S. and Europe, and more than 50% in some Asian countries, but it is rare in Africa and in pre-industrial cultures. The incidence of myopia correlates with IQ, school achievement, and industrialization, suggesting that an environmental factor is at work—namely, near-work. This talk will review the biology and epidemiology of myopia and present experimental evidence that myopia can be reversed naturally by specific focusing techniques and practices.
The Naughty Nutritionist, I love this lady~!!
Bone Broth and Health: A Look at the Science
Speaker: Kaayla Daniel, Ph.D., CCN
Scheduled at: August 9, 2014, 1:50 pm
A South American proverb claims “Good broth will resurrect the dead.” While that’s clearly an exaggeration, chicken soup has enjoyed a reputation as “Jewish penicillin” and bone broths are served to convalescents all over the world. In this presentation, Dr. Daniel will review the science that supports consuming bone broth for healthy bones, joints, skin, digestion, immunity and emotional stability. She will discuss 19th and early 20th century studies on gelatin, as well as recent investigations into the “conditionally essential” amino acids proline, glycine and glutamine and “the essential sugars” N-Acetylglucosamine and N-Acetylgalactosamine. Finally, she will report on Dr. John F. Prudden’s clinical trials healing osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, and even cancer with cartilage. In short, much science supports the ancestral wisdom of consuming bone broth.
Telomeres are amazing. I hope he bridges the latest info on the gut microbiota’s influence on telomere’s and longevity. The Three Genetics (Nuclear DNA, Mitochondrial DNA, and Gut Microbiome) of Longevity in Humans Considered as Metaorganisms (hat tip, Gemma).
Approaching Immortality – Maintaining Youthful Physiology as We Age
Speaker: Daniel Stickler, M.D.
Scheduled at: August 9, 2014, 11:50 am
Aging is a disease that kills over 100,000 people each day. We age because;1.) We gradually build up byproducts of metabolism in our cells that will outpace our ability to get rid of them,
2.) We have a biologic hourglass called telomeres, and3.) We accumulate toxic and damaging waste products in our extracellular compartments.
We can alter these responses through many lifestyle mechanisms; nutrition, exercise, stress, and environmental exposures and if we stave off frailty long enough, we may be alive long enough to take advantage of major life extension technology.