Protein Limit & Toxicity – Episode 137
- [5:23] Protein Limit and Toxicity
- [10:12] Breakfast and Neurotransmitters
- [16:31] Monoamine Oxidase – MAO
- [19:58] Histamine Intolerance
- [28:05] Low Cortisol and Seriphos
- [31:53] Training For A 5K Obstacle Course Zombie Race
- [38:07] Smart Body Building
- [45:21] Too Few Calories For Weight Loss
- [49:53] Poison Ivy and Autoimmunity
1. Loren Cordain and Protein Toxicity
In Loren Cordain’s new book, he states that “protein is toxic above 35 percent of a person’s daily calories.” (bottom line of page 18). In previous podcasts you’ve said that high protein intake is a generally a non-issue so long as you don’t already have kidney problems, but this is the first time I’ve heard anything regarding a specific macronutrient ratio being dangerous. I currently get roughly 40-45% of my calories from protein, which seems to be working quite well for me. I’m staying lean, I’m getting stronger in the gym, and I feel great. Should I be concerned?
2. Breakfast and Neurotransmitters
I was hoping you could talk a little bit about the pros and cons of breakfast.
I recently came across a couple of articles touting the benefits of breakfast for brain health, and I think I remember you mentioning in a previous podcast that a friend of yours (I forget who) refuses to skip breakfast because of its importance for neurotransmitter regulation.
I tend to wake up around 9am, and I’m usually not hungry. With the help of some coffee, I tend to put off eating until around 3pm, after a workout. I know Martin Berkhan has plenty of success in terms of body composition with this general routine. But I was wondering if their might be some overlooked benefits of breakfast in terms of mental health.
I ask mainly because I’m a teacher/graduate student, and I spend most of my day studying. I tend to get a little wound up by the afternoon and find it hard to focus. I’m wondering if there’s reason to think that a protein rich breakfast might help me focus longer (as opposed to just making me feel groggy, which sometimes breakfast does). Obviously, I won’t know until I try, but I was hoping you could talk a little about the science behind eating when one first wakes up. Thank you!
3. monoamine oxidase
What a crazy, confusing world I’ve descended into by trying to sort out my health issues! On the other hand, I feel like shit way less often these days, so it’s been well worth it. I’ve had really bad cystic acne for over a decade, as well as problems with depression and anxiety. Since going autoimmune paleo I’ve had the best results yet, but still a long way to go.
My question is about amine metabolism. I suspect that I have low MAO activity. Evidence for this includes sensitivity to tyramine-containing foods and low urine levels of the organic acids that are produced by MAO – homovanillate, vanilmandelate, and hydroxyindoleacetate (sorry, Greg). I actually suspect a deficiency in diamineoxidase for similar reasons.
My question: Is MAO activity a lever that I can try to move? Is it something that I am stuck with because of a genetic polymorphism, or is it an indicator of a functional problem that can be corrected? Gut health has been my focus for the past eight months that I’ve been paleo, but following the MAO trail might lead me to focus on mitochondrial health, something I haven’t heard much about in the paleo scene except recently from Dr. Terry Wahls.
Thanks guys. You are fucking rock stars.
4. Histamine intolerance
My name is Roberto, I am a great fan, read your book and started my paleo lifestyle the day after (literally) I bought it (about 6 months ago).
I have been practicing and competing in Jiu Jitsu in Italy for about 6 years ago, I’m 29 years old and paleo lifestyle has strongly stabilized my energy level and improved my life. I have also lived in the US and in Australia, so I also have a direct experience with SAD, besides the Mediterranean diet. Nevertheless paleo was not a solution to all my problems (bloating, random “quick runs” to the toilet, random anxious feelings, random hypotension, random itching) which I had a very hard time tracing it to my food as I’ve been quite strict on the paleo side. Also my blood work after 2 months in paleo revealed a not ideal blood lipid profile:
TC 6.5 mmol/l = 251 mg/dl
Triglycerides 0.7 mmol/l = 62 mg/dl
HDL 1.4 mmol/l = 54 mg/dl
LDL 4.8 mmol/l = 185 mg/dl
I have recently linked my weird problems to Histamine Intolerance, as I was diagnosed with this when I was a kid after having severe urticaria. As a kid I followed a low-histamine diet but without removing many problematic foods (read gluten). After about two years the problem seemed to be solved, but in the last years I have had continuous problems with food so apparently it was never really solved for good. My question is: do you think the high LDL cholesterol levels could be caused by consumption of high histamine foods in paleo (avocados, smoked salmon, nuts etc) which I have only now eliminated? And more importantly, do you think this problem could be solved with careful supplementation? I started taking Vit C (2gr a day) as it is a natural antihistaminic, but what do you think about Vit C mega dosing (as proposed by some people as in tens of grams)? Could that help? Or what about copper deficiency? I know copper is involved with diamine oxidase and I am now thinking of supplementing it. I know there are also some DAO supplements but I’d rather trace the cause. Besides it seems that DAO supplementation is not really working for most people. Also could HIT be linked with helicobapter?
I would love to hear your take on HIT and also some diet advise, following a low-histamine diet is extremely hard and histamine intolerance is highly underdiagnosed: many people with IBS could actually have HIT!
Thank you very much in advance, keep up the good work.
5. Low Cortisol – Seriphos
I have been following a strict paleo diet since the beginning of February. My workouts are yoga four days a week and strength training 3 days a week for about 45 minutes. My health has improved a lot, but I still have issues with adrenal fatigue and insomnia. I go to bed at about 8:30 and sleep great until about 2:00 am. I have a really hard time getting back to sleep. I get up for the day at about 4:15 am. I thought that my cortisol levels were high, but was surprised when I had them tested. My cortisol levels are extremely low. I bought some Seriphos and started taking it – 1 cap in the morning and 1 cap at lunchtime. I love how calm it made me, but I am concerned that it should only be taken if cortisol levels are high. My levels are: 6.47 (early AM), 6.19, 2.65, and 1.92 (before bed). Is it okay to take Seriphos with cortisol levels this low? Also, what do recommend to raise cortisol levels? I love all that you do and thanks for your time.
6. Training for the Zombie Apacolypse
Robb and Greg-
Hi there! First of all, let me get the obligatory compliment out of the way: your podcast is wicked awesome and your shenanigans keep me entertained on my Tuesday commute. So thanks for that!!
As a former long distance runner, I usually keep away from anything that involves chronic cardio, but I came across a sweet 5K run that I couldn’t pass up. It is a Run For Your Life 5k obstacle course with Zombies that are trying to get you. You are given a flag belt and your goal ‘survive’ with at least one flag remaining. I think this race is a great Paleo endeavor, as this will be a trial run for the inevitable collapse of the western world and we Paleo people are the only ones that can survive without the Golden Arches. (kind of only half kidding)
Since I’m now officially a Paleo badass, I need to show those Zombies the business. I have the important stuff taken care of (watched Zombieland no less than a dozen times, picked out a cute Zombie slaying outfit), but am stuck on how to train?
So what would you guys recommend for a training regimen? I was thinking plyometrics, some tempo runs, and keeping up with my current power lifting regime. On track, off track? The other wrench in this whole plan is that the race is August 18th in St. Louis, which will be hot, hot, HOT. I have MS and have a heat sensitivity if not properly adapted. Any ideas?
I’m pretty pumped and think this will be one of the most fun things I’ll do all year. Any ideas would be great! I’ve included the link to their website for your viewing pleasure.
7. Smart Body Building
Ben (StaffAction) says:
Hi Robb and Andy,
First, thanks so much for what you do. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from you – I’ve listened to the first 50 podcasts so far. The book is superb, by the way. I plan to write a review soon for it over at ThePrimalChallenge.wordpress.com. Ok, my question. In a recent podcast (49 maybe) you talked about “Smart bodybuilding” being the best route to go for health and longevity. Ok, so my question is what does that look like or where can you point me to learn more about that etc.?
I’m very lean at 147 lbs. After starting a crossfit-esque program in January I’ve gained 8 pounds (presumably of mostly muscle). But I can’t do this program for life mainly because it’s expensive and reliant on an instructor 3 days a week. I want to get strong and be strong (especially in my upperbody, I can run half marathons no problem…). So what do you recommend, what is smart body building?
Thank! By the way, I went to a recent Paleo/Primal meet up in Atlanta and was surprised when some folks I was talking to had not heard of you. ”WHAT?!?! you haven’t heard of Robb Wolf?!” I had to contain the surprise. Keep up the great week and I really enjoy the rapport you and Andy have on the air.
8. Too few calories?
Dear Robb & Greg,
This is my second round with Paleo, as my husband says, the first time I fell off the Paleo wagon I got ran over by the back tires. I had lost about 20 pounds and gained 15 back. Anyways, I love being on the Paleo diet. I have asthma, eczema and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. And the first two issues are almost nonexistent now. As for the Hashimoto’s I’m on Synthroid and my dosage keeps going up. I expected it to go down. Any thought?
I’m trying to lose some fat! I track what I eat with myfitnesspal.com and I average around 500 calories a day. I’ll eat about 3-5 ounces of protein and some veggies and I’m satisfied. I’m just wondering if this is too few calories for weight loss? (sounds like the dumbest question in the world)
Additional info: I walk or hike half an hour to an hour a day. I weight 178 right now (I’ve lost 17 pounds since January 7, 2012…thanks to Paleo), height 5’6″, and I drive a computer for most of my days and chase my three little girls the rest of the time. I’ve been strictly Paleo since the first of the year, and for February and March of 2011.
Thanks for your wisdom & humor.
9. poison ivy and autoimmune
Read the gluten = poison ivy analogy in the book, just heard it also on podcast #6 (working backwards – almost done!) and it got me thinking about how the immune response to poison ivy might affect auto-immunity — basically, the inverse of your analogy. [If this question were to be read I'd just assume let you explain the analogy rather than me giving my probably-way-off interpretation of it]
I think I can get right to the point and ask: in the same way that chronic passing of bad proteins through a leaky gut leads to auto-immunity, could getting a really bad case of poison ivy re-ignite a dormant auto-immune condition? I have Crohn’s and after months of getting better from going Paleo, I’ve taken a downturn despite cleaning up my diet even further (mostly in terms of dairy, I never eat grains). This has coincided perfectly with a downright nasty case of poison ivy I got while looking for ramps in the woods. I also got attacked by ticks, so while the ramps are downright delicious, I’m seriously re-considering my move back to New England last year at this point.
If this sounds plausible, I’d love a little advice on what to do: tighten up the diet to auto-immune protocol til it subsides? Anti-inflammatory supplementation? Keep training or take a break? Any way to get rid of whatever that nasty stuff in the poison ivy is?
Thanks so much for everything, I owe so much to this change and am stoked to pay it all back/forward. Last podcast was hilarious BTW, they just keep getting better even though the message stays the same.