4MV #227 The link between fatty diet, gut health, chronic inflammation, and age-related diseases ✔ research

⭑ High-calorie low-fibre diet rapidly impairs immune response ✔ research
⭑ Interested in kettlebells but don’t know what to buy ✔ trustworthy report
⭑ Is dietary collagen necessary ✔ I don’t agree "no" with this doctor
⭑ The most fundamental kettlebell move to get right ✔ it's not the swing

All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦


Heatwave here in Melbourne tomorrow.

I inadvertently ran my fastest-ever 10 km this morning! My plan was simply interval training - 100m sprint every 500m. It wasn't until some time after that I noticed Apple had awarded me a new badge - Best 10 KM at 58 min 27 secs. Good timing as I won’t be venturing out on the trail tomorrow in the heatwave.

Lately, I've been walking our dachshund extra miles because the vet says he needs to lose 1 kg. I've lost 2 kg, and the dog hasn't budged even after I cut his food by 30%!!

Don't you hate it when you buy a piece of exercise gear and it doesn't live up to your expectations? Let's face it, kettlebells can be confusing. This article clears the fog and makes well-considered recommendations - see item #2 below.

Scientists were surprised by just how quickly a fatty low-fibre diet impaired gut health and immune response. As we age, this is exactly what we do not want to happen. It's reversible - item #1.


01 Fatty feasts may come at an immune cost - a problem as we age

A study published in Nature Immunology investigated the effects of short-term dietary changes on the immune system. The researchers found that just a few days of consuming a high-calorie, low-fibre diet led to alterations in immune responses.

For example, when mice on the high-calorie diet were infected with Salmonella, they exhibited reduced immune responses and increased bacterial presence in the intestines compared to mice on a regular diet.

The study found that the fatty diet decreased the presence of short-chain fatty acids, such as acetate and butyrate, in the intestines. This led to decreased cytokine production by T cells. This is significant for we older adults.

⇒ Thankfully, supplementation with acetate and butyrate, or returning to a regular diet, was found to rapidly restore T cell activity and improve Salmonella clearance.

What this means for you: Our immune system weakens as we age, this is called immunosenescence. This makes us more susceptible to various age-related diseases, including infections, autoimmune diseases, and malignancies (cancers).

Immunosenescence also reduces our response to vaccinations, increases systemic inflammation resulting in chronic low-grade inflammation, and significantly degrades our gut microbiome. The latter plays out beyond the gut through the gut-brain axis leading to an increased risk of brain inflammation, cognitive frailty, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia.

Finally, a weakened gut biome and chronic low-grade inflammation make you more susceptible to severe forms of COVID-19 and its complications.

Try to wean yourself off high-calorie, low-fibre eating in order to rebalance and strengthen your immune system. For longevity, you need more food with fibre, good fats, and short-chain fatty acids. Good sources include:

  • Whole Grains: Such as barley, oats, and whole wheat products.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of fibre.
  • Vegetables: Particularly those rich in inulin and oligofructose, like onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, and Jerusalem artichokes.
  • Fruits: Especially those with edible skins or seeds, like apples, pears, berries, and kiwis; and avocados.

As we age, we need to do everything possible to support our immune system naturally, and this starts with our diet.

Related: Forget Beetroot Juice, Eat More Vegetables For Nitrate Potency And Longer Life​


02 The best 2 kettlebells of 2023 (New York Times)

This "Wirecutter" report in the NYT is a really good assessment of the best kettlebells to buy.

Regular readers will know that I'm a fan of kettlebells. I've been using them for 25 years - until Covid, always at the gym. Now I have my own at home.

Kettlebells are the best single tool for maintaining your physicality into old age. because, for just one reason, they fire up the neuromuscular connections throughout your body - from your brain to your toes.

Contrast this with sitting on a gym machine which closes down your brain and all but a subset of your neuromuscular connections (which is why they call them isolation exercise machines). There are many other reasons kettlebells keep you alive.

⇒ But buying them for yourself can be confusing, that's for sure.

The article sorts everything out and resolves to a first-choice and a second-choice which are well-designed and affordable

What does this mean for you? If you have considered or are considering buying kettlebells, then first read the article. (I checked the link, and it did not seem to be behind a firewall, but if you have trouble, drop me an email, and I will send you a copy).

Personally, I prefer competition-size kettlebells - these are all the same size regardless of weight. This means that the flow of the bell around your body and through your legs, and where they rest on your forearm, remains consistent for all weights.

The article recommends two brands which come in different sizes for different weights. Many expert kettlebell practitioners also recommend this style, e.g. Strongfirst.com, and they are also excellent.

Tip 1: Don't let your ego decide on the weight you buy. In 25 years, I have never seen a gym bro who underestimated the weight of a kettlebell that he thought he could master. They go heavy and, in the face of humiliation, go on to injure themselves.

If you are over 50, for women, think of 6 to 8 kg to start, and for men, 8 to 10 kg. It is a good idea to buy 2 as you will get better, and you can still always use the lighter one for many exercises. Choose a 2nd one 4 kg heavier than the first one.

Tip 2: Save up and take lessons from a kettlebell specialist trainer. Not the PT at the gym, not the person running a group kettlebell class, but a highly qualified kettlebell instructor. This will not only save injury but will provide you with the knowledge to successfully power through the next ten years (then get a refresher).

If you have any questions, shoot me an email. I'll be glad to help out.

Related: ​The Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Exercise - Easier Than You Think​​

@Medium - Follow me on Medium ↗, covering ⭑food, ⭑brain, ⭑body, ⭑life


03 Collagen supplements - a waste of money or not?

I enjoy making collagen broth - simmering the bones, filtering the broth, pulling off the meat into the broth, adding fibrous vegetables and grains, and eating.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, accounting for about 30% of our body's total protein. The question is, do we need more?

This article says that, nutritionally, I might be wasting my time making my soup, especially in regard to maintaining healthier, more elastic skin.

Apparently, topical collagen creams don’t penetrate to the deeper layer of the skin where collagen is needed; dietary collagen is broken down by digestion and then used for whatever purpose our body sees fit at the time.

⇒ The doctor behind the article does not recommend any extra dietary collagen - says it is not necessary and a waste of money.

I disagree.

What this means for you: As we age, our body's ability to produce collagen decreases - dramatically for women after menopause. This impairs our ability to maintain the structure and strength of various vital tissues, including skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

Despite the article's claim to the contrary, many systematic studies support the beneficial outcomes of supplementary dietary collagen as we age.

⇒ In fact, studies show that collagen consumed as a dietary supplement can stimulate the body's own collagen production processes. This is exactly what we need to counter the natural decline.

I look at it this way: if you are making a collagen broth, there is no downside if it does not help, and a lot of upside if it does improve your collagen health and volume.

Pro Tip: Vitamin C is a cofactor in the production of metabolic collagen, so be sure to eat fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli. Copper and zinc are also needed: found in nuts, seeds, seafood, and whole grains.

Related: The Secret to Finding Your Personal Best Diet is Not What Dieticians Tell You


04 Three fitness band exercises that will make a difference

Our exercise of the week is... the correct kettlebell deadlift.

While I recommend professional instruction if you are new to kettlebells, you can do this foundation exercise without risk of injury by following the precise instructions.

There is an immense benefit in getting this movement right. Most people don’t, and that leads to chronic problems in swinging kettlebells. If you check Youtube, you will see 9/10 kettlebell demonstrations fail the fundamental movement which this exercise teaches.

⇒ The technique of a barbell deadlift and a kettlebell deadlift are notably different.

What this means for you: Firstly, let's understand the difference. The difference is in how you move your hips and knees.

Kettlebell deadlift movement: Imagine you're trying to close a car door with your hips because your hands are full. You stick your buttocks out behind you while keeping your back straight. This movement is called a "hip hinge." Your knees bend slightly, but the movement mainly comes from your hips going back and then forward. In a kettlebell deadlift, you use this hip hinge to lower down and pick up the kettlebell, keeping it close to your body.

Barbell deadlift movement: Now, think about sitting down in a small chair. You lower your body by bending your knees and dropping your buttocks down and back, while keeping your chest up. This is more of a squat movement. In a barbell deadlift, although there is still a hip hinge component, you also lower yourself more by bending your knees, like sitting back into a chair, especially as you start the lift. This helps you keep the barbell close to your legs and lift with more leg power.

Watch this video for 3 minutes of expert instruction on how to do a kettlebell squat correctly.

  1. Begin by positioning your feet in a deadlift stance.
  2. Place the kettlebell on the floor with the handle aligned with the back of your arch.
  3. Let your arms hang down by your sides.
  4. Engage your shoulders, hips, and core by pre-tensing them.
  5. Hinge your hips back, maintaining tension and control.
  6. Grip the kettlebell off the floor and lift it, driving your hips forward.
  7. From the top, control the hinge as you lower the kettlebell back down.
  8. Return your body to the starting position, without the kettlebell.
  9. Repeat the sequence.


  • Kettlebell Deadlift: Focus on sticking your buttocks out with a slight bend in the knees (hip hinge).
  • Barbell Deadlift: Lower your buttocks more towards the ground, like sitting in a chair, with a more significant bend in the knees (squat component).

Perfect the kettlebell squat and you will be ready to move naturally to swings.

Related: ​I Started Trail Running At 70. Besides Being Bitten By A Dog I Love It​

Thanks for reading!

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​"I empower mid-life men and women to make the choice to live as actively and as independently as they can, for as long as they can", Walter Adamson Get access to my weekly research that I don’t share elsewhere. “My wife and I both read your articles each week, and I have to say there is so much confusing data out there, but yours is a great source, well researched, scientific and always relevant.” — Steve Ridgway, subscriber.

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