What do you want to see?

I started this blog as an outlet for my searching through PubMed and similar places for interesting information on health and fitness, mainly with an emphasis on actionable info, for instance what supplements might ameliorate certain conditions. It’s also been my “learning diary”, to use a phrase of another blogger, where I post information so that I might better remember it. But the fact is this blog gets few readers, so I’m unsure as to whether to continue. If you, the reader, feel that certain topics might be more useful or interesting, please leave a comment to that effect. The blog has been fun for me, but my time may be better spent than writing for a few score readers daily.

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24 comments
Lenny Birch says July 30, 2014

I greatly enjoy this blog and thank you for your efforts. I’ve learned a great deal from reading your writings. I’d prefer, if you’re going to continue, that you keep on doing what you’re doing. (esp the focus on aging, exercise, supplements and T)

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Anonymous says July 30, 2014

hi Mangan,
I just found this blog a few weeks ago and I had been a skimmer of your other blog and twitter feed for a few months prior.
I really like the topical coverage of the blog and would like to see it continue if you can. Nice work!

frogmallet

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Mangan says July 30, 2014

OK, Lenny, thanks.

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Mangan says July 30, 2014

Thanks Anon

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spoonman says July 30, 2014

Just want to chime in — I also follow this blog with great interest and would love to see it continue. I would say keep doing what you’re doing(esp, for me, exercise and T). If you are looking to add topics, I would be very interested to see more of the research on sleep — how to improve sleep quality and how it interacts with some of the other topics you cover such as supplementation/nutrition(esp this), recovery, aging, T, cognitive function, etc.

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Anonymous says July 30, 2014

+1 this blog is a gem. I wouldn’t change a thing. Please keep on, if you can, especially if you are following the research literature anyway. Much appreciated. – Max

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Valence says July 30, 2014

I remember when this was “notes on medicine and investing” or something like that. It’s good and bad that you switched it over, on the good side your medicine notes have only gotten more interesting. I will not presume to say which way is better or you can perform more efficiently. I missed your old posts when you took them down (your prerogative) (may have been your other blog). I was interested in seeing how your thinking developed over time. For example, you can see that in Jim Donald’s blog, not to make comparisons, but seeing his stance change and develop is interesting.

More is better than less, so this reader would like Breviary up, as there might always be something here you don’t put there. But whether it’ll really work that way depends on your inclinations and methods, which again, I won’t presume.

So as a reader I can’t ask for anything specific. My druthers would be you restore ancient posts on any blog and if you go inactive, keep the blog up unlike Vanishing American, who vanished. Beyond that, your writing is interesting enough I would leave its subject choices up to you.

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J says July 30, 2014

I have no access nor deep understanding of medical research. The blog is of interest and I’m a reader of it, but your time is yours.

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James says July 30, 2014

I’m a long-time reader and appreciate the blog. I particularly enjoy your discussion of supplements that are off the beaten path, e.g., glucosamine, resveratrol, and n-acetylcysteine.

To echo the previous commenter, if you’re going to follow the literature anyway, I hope you’ll continue sharing your thoughts about it.

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Mangan says July 30, 2014

OK, thanks all. You’ve given me a few ideas as to what works. I’ll see what I can do.

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Wolf says July 30, 2014

Please continue posting new content on this blog. Much appreciate you breaking down fairly complicated literature. Especially on supplements and exercise for men. Saludos desde Bogotá.

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Allan Folz says July 30, 2014

FWIW, I’ve always liked your curated review of health research. It seems to be an under-covered bit of the blogosphere.

Also, this might be selection bias on my part that I’ve been to lazy to seriously address, but most of the good health blogs I’m aware of are Paleo in some form or fashion. I’ve always liked that you aren’t boxed into that paradigm.

If I were to make some humble requests/recommendations, I think it would be to add more of your own commentary on the posts so as to give more substance for readers to add comments of our own. I’m also curious how many of the results you publish warrant following on a personal level. Akin to your growth-death trade-off, I often wonder about the long-term effects of many of these diet studies. Which ones warrant changing one’s diet for. What n=1 effects do you and readers have to personally share? Seth Roberts was really interesting in this regard and sadly his passing has opened up a not so small corner of the internet.

Speaking of Seth, he is a good, albeit inconclusive example of long-term effect sometimes being in conflict with short-term gains. He was taking a fairly high dose of O3. We know too much O3 is not a good thing, was his O3 supplementation the cause of his heart attack? In a more extreme case, we know amphetamines make kids do better in school and adults do better at their jobs. Obviously, that doesn’t mean we want everyone on Ritalin. Well, I reckon there are some out there that do, but I digress.

I suppose if nothing else, I’ll add my voice to the “if you’re going to follow the literature anyway, [please] continue sharing your [findings] and thoughts” camp.

Thanks for all you’ve done thus far. I’ve enjoyed it. Warmest regards.

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Mangan says July 30, 2014

Thanks, Wolf.

Allan, thanks also, glad you’re still around. It does seem that many paleo types have too narrow a focus, and also are a bit too wary of supplements. NAC, for instance, is just a delivery vehicle for an amino acid, is not that out of the ordinary, and has a vast literature on its uses. Yet most people have never heard of it, and you can’t consider using something you’ve never heard of.

As for my own commentary, sometimes it’s a tad difficult to find something of substance to say, but usually I can at least put it into context.

Thanks again to all the commenters above.

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Anonymous says July 30, 2014

I enjoy your POV. Exercise, diet, cognitive enhancement, mental health. I was told I have Morton’s neuroma. Trying to figure a way to make it better. Foot doc didn’t offer much. I love hiking and hope I will be able to do it well into the future…

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Anonymous says July 31, 2014

What are your thoughts on adderall/concerta for 46 yo for cognitive enhancement?

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SimianOutcast says July 31, 2014

I have learned a great deal from your informative posts. The one on 10 best supplements for men was a life-changer. I started feeling much more motivation and increased libido within 2 weeks of supplementing zinc, magnesium and vitamin D.

I understand if you don’t have time to maintain this blog, but I would be very sad to see it go.

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Mangan says July 31, 2014

Adderall / Concerta definitely work, but there are some obvious downsides, like agitation, anxiety, loss of dopamine neurons. In practice, those may not be that significant, especially if you use it for a limited time. Some people who have a doctoral dissertation or similar to finish might take one of those. YMMV. As for long term, such as in ADHD, I would rather try to find the source of the trouble (diet, exercise, etc) rather than go on those.

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Sam says August 4, 2014

I hope you don’t stop. I found this blog when your other one went down a long time ago and had to hunt for a Mangan fix. It’s very informative and I appreciate it and your insights. I like your focus as it is. I haven’t seen much that interest you that doesn’t seem interesting to me.

I’m going to start fasting for health, any day now……….but don’t hold your breath.

A data point of one. I had a friend who said the best he ever felt in his life was when he lived on very little food. Carrots, celery, etc. He stopped because he was getting so skinny everyone worried him to death. Of course Steve Jobs did this a lot and died of liver cancer. Six of one, half-dozen of the other.

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Anonymous says August 9, 2014

Maybe a few more blog posts re specific workouts would be worthwhile?

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Joshua says January 20, 2015

Just found this blog recently, and it’s great! Learning about life extension strategies, IF, benefits of lifting weights, and supplements to help with all this meshes with my interests perfectly. I’d say keep on keepin’ on!

One thing that I’d be interested to see you address is the benefits of a low carb diet vs. intermittent fasting. It seems to me that both of these may have similar effects, but I’m wondering if one is better than the other, or if (gulp) you have to do both to maximize benefits.

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    P. D. Mangan says January 20, 2015

    Joshua, thanks very much. I think you’re right that low carb and IF have similar benefits, and depending on what one’s goals are, it may be necessary to do both, e.g. to maximize anti-aging benefits. If going for hypertrophy as primary goal, possibly other strategies should be considered, e.g. do IF but load up on carbs when eating. As usual in things like this, the science may be unclear and I’m speculating, not trying to pose as an expert.

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      Joshua says January 21, 2015

      “If going for hypertrophy as primary goal, possibly other strategies should be considered, e.g. do IF but load up on carbs when eating.” Yes, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing. I note with interest that we had both settled on a similar IF strategy as well — do a 16-20 hour fast on the *second* day after a workout. I have read Martin Berkhan’s (LeanGains) site extensively, and I think there’s no doubt it can work, but for gaining muscle, I have a hard time seeing how it could be optimal to fast the day after a hard workout. I’ve read elsewhere that muscle protein synthesis is elevated 24-48 hours after a workout, so I try to avoid fasting at least during that first 24 hours. In practice, ends up being about 36 hours post-workout that most of my fasts start.

      Another thing I’d like to learn more about is: what’s the ideal fast length? Would it be best to do many short (16, maybe 18 or 20 hour) fasts, or do an occasional hardcore fast (like maybe 24 or 36 hours)? I imagine shorter fasts might be better for aesthetic purposes, but wonder if the longer fasts — which I’ve never tried — would be superior for health and life extension.

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        P. D. Mangan says January 21, 2015

        Joshua, the data aren’t as clear as we would like, but it appears that other things equal, longer fasts are better for health – obviously hypertrophy will suffer under longer ones though. I know of people who do 3 to 4 day fasts, and repeat that once every 6 months or so. Thomas Seyfried, the scientist who’s done lots of research into the ketogenic diet and cancer, recommends longer fasts I think once a month for health purposes. I’ve never done anything like that myself, 18 hours being about the longest I’ve gone.

        BTW, you’re right about workouts and fasting. You need to eat to get them gainz and to recover, and fasting too soon will hamper both.

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ProudDaddy says July 28, 2015

We seem to have a common goal: a healthy and long old age. Most of the research you’ve highlighted, I was familiar with. However, your take on what it means is extremely valuable to me. So, please don’t stop, and, if anything, increase your commentary on each subject.

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