DHEA – Episode 149

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [6:06] Liposuction Effect On Fat Cells
  2. [10:54] Animal Studies And Relevancy To Humans
  3. [17:54] Tonic And Phasic Muscles
  4. [25:48] Low Vitamin B12
  5. [28:18] Female Hardgainers
  6. [34:43] Nutrition And Training For A Carpenter
  7. [40:11] DHEA
  8. [45:11] Dupuytren’s Contracture
  9. [49:12] Ketogenic Diet Effect On Thyroid


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1. Hyperplasia obesity

Darius says:
Hey robb,

I am a medical student. And in my lecture, a plastic surgeon was saying that if they perform liposuction on a person’s visceral fat, those adipocytes will no longer be there so if that person gains weight it will be elsewhere in the body.

I find it hard to believe…but are you aware of this phenomenon? Would love to hear your thoughts on whether this is a good/bad procedure.

Thanks so much for all you guys do


2. deciphering research articles

Marit says:
I’m sure you wont get to this but I thought I would throw it out there-
When I am reading research articles that use pigs/ rats/ cows etc as their subjects, how do I know if their digestive system is set up the same as humans. For example, one argues the humans have not adapted to eating grains and were never meant to thrive off them, but is the same for these animals? Are rats “supposed” to eat meat? are the results possibly skewed bc we are feeding these subject a food they are not meant to have and maybe we are/ aren’t? Hope this makes sense! Thanks so much :)As always, your podcasts are a pleasure and have helped me with my dietetics practice immensely


3. Tonic and Phasic Muscles and Paul Chek

Jason says:

What are your thoughts on tonic and phasic muscles? Paul Chek says important. Poliquin says stoopy.

Quotes & links:

Chek: “A knowledge of tonic and phasic muscle systems and the needs imposed by each individual’s work, recreation or sporting environment, as well as their current and past history of injury, and a current work-up on their joint range of motion will lead to optimal results.” http://www.trainingdimensions.net/BPWC_Resource/WC_Resource_Documents/Fitness_elements/intelligent_stretching.pdf?ArticleID=2401

Poliquin: “What all this means is that although they are convenient terms, the words phasic and tonic cannot adequately describe the function of muscles and should not be used as a tool to help you with program design.” http://www.charlespoliquin.com/AskCharles/Question.aspx?ID=357

Sneaky question: What are your thoughts on Paul Chek in general?


4. Low in Vitamin B12

Kimberly says:
I just had a blood draw as part of a routine physical. My doctor said I’m too low in Vit B12. Everything I’ve read says that the best sources of B12 include eggs and beef. I’m confused as to why my levels are so low because those are staples of my paleo diet. Any thoughts or recommendations? She’s recommending a supplement.


5. female hardgainers

Erica says guys,

I’d like to hear a step guide for the skinny (or skinny-fat) woman on how to add muscle with minimal fat gain.

Stephani Ruper of the Paleo for Women blog points out that women’s bodies hang on to fat more tenaciously than men’s, and that as such, IF isn’t necessarily a great thing for the ladies.

I also understand that because of our relatively lower levels of testosterone and HGH, we put on muscle slowly and add fat more readily when bulking, if you want to put it that way.

I’m no biochemist, but I’d like to know what I should do to put on muscle and why I should do it.

Thanks, love the podcast. Pardon me if this has been covered elsewhere in your show. I have not listened to all of your podcasts just yet.


6. paleo and training for a carpenter

Marc says:
Hi  Robb and Big Greazy. I have a question about being a carpenter and also loving the paleo living.

So stats; I’m 27, 180 (gained 20lbs of lean muscle after being paleo for the last 2 years), crossfit 3 times a week, climb twice a week, and run every once and a while. My occupation makes me lift extreamly heavy and be totally gassed. Other days I’m doing something very intricate with little effort.

My question is two fold. firstly, what should I tweak in my diet to keep me where I should be (goals: be strong, fast, explosive and hoping to gain another 5 lbs of muscle).
Second, during the summer when heat and fatigue keep me from reaching my goals for exercise per week (comma here? greg help me) what should my training look like to help me keep the gains I get during the other 8 months of the year.

I was so stoked to hear you liked to boulder by the way. thanks to both of you for all your hard work. You bring lots of laughs and great knowledge into many lives.

Anna says:
Hi Robb and Greg
First thanks so much for your podcasts; I have become much smarter whilst training for my first season of ultrarunning !
My question is; what do you think about DHEA OTC supplementation ? It has been suggested that athletes over 40 have low testosterone ( male and female ) and often benefit from taking DHEA 25 to 50 mg. It has been implicated in improving bone density, preserving muscle and protecting female athletes from the deleterious effects of low estrogen. I am interested in the ability DHEA has in protection against connective tissue wear and tear as well – Fact or Fallacy ??


8. Dupuytren (in the beginner, but very irritate)

Iva says:
I’m Bacharel in Physical Education from Såo Paulo University i Brazil,
and work as wellness coaching and fitness consulting. The last 10 years I’ve follow the greatest experts in nutrition and sports.  I’m also Chek HLC level 3.

Robb I have read many books in my life, but never gave me a book like this so much information. I can not stop reading. It is WONDERFUL and easy to understand. I’m simply fascinated by these information and “passionate” about you. Very many thanks for writing a book as fascinating as this.

About a year ago, began to appear a few nodules in the palm of my left hand. This condition is called Dupuytren and can be very irritate some times.

I’m wondering if you perhaps know something about it and if yes, could you give me some advices to avoid a surgery, thanks.

I have seen a few doctors and a physioterapeut. It is very in the beginning. According to them there is no other alternative and surgery later on. I do not want to wait long to do something.

Please let me know if you know something about it.
I’ve eating only organic foods in the past 15 years and I do not eat foods that contain gluten and after start to reed your book I alsa stop eat kinoa and rice.

Warm regards

By the way where your Jiu Jtsu coach came from in Brazil?


9. Ketogenic diets bad for thyroid?

Paleoyogini says:
Hello Robb and Greg,

First let me say that I love your podcast. I find excuses to spend drive time every Tuesday just so I can listen to it as soon as it is released. I have five kids and the DVD player in the van keeps them quiet so I can focus on your nuggets of wisdom. :)
On to my question. About four years ago I had to have half of my thyroid removed and the other half still has a benign tumor on it. This came after following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s dietary advice for more than two years. :-( We have been working on healing the kids physical issues as well as mine from that time period for over two years now and slowly finding improvement following a 100% paleo approach (no 80/20 for us).
My youngest daughter Zoe was born three months ago and I have been following a cyclic ketogenic protocol for a few weeks in an effort to drop the added baby weight. I am having hypothyroid symptoms flare up however and came across this article http://www.cheeseslave.com/why-i-ditched-low-carb/ . Although she doesn’t reference any scientific evidence that low carb can suppress thyroid function, it has me freaked out enough to add a bit of fruit/ tubers back in daily. Is there any truth to this and also do you have any advice for regulating my thyroid function without drug intervention? I have hesitated to have the doc check my levels because I know she’ll want to give me drugs. I would like to avoid that if at all possible. I am strictly breast feeding and even pumping extra to feed my 3 and 6 year olds a bit each day, if that makes any difference. Thanks so much in advance. – Paleoyogini

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  1. Jason says

    I’m really glad that you hit on the hypothyroid issue. I feel like it’s been the one concern for me under paleo so I’ve been increasing my carb intake. I need to work on reducing my protein intake. The pile of paleo cookbooks should help with that.

    With these recent changes I have seen a major improvement in the building of muscle and performance in the gym/track. The weight loss also seemed to jump forward when I started increasing the carbs.

    An article by Scott Hagnas was mentioned but I couldn’t find it on his site. Can you please provide a link?

  2. Sonya says

    Could I just point out that the woman who is interested in ketogenic diet is still breast feeding, and it souds like effectively with good milk production at this point while eating Paleo. Although the thyroid stuff is important, and maybe she should seek a Naruropathic Doctor to help sort that out, I feel that her primary focus should be her ability to keep up milk production rather than “dropping baby weight.” At least for
    the duration that she plans on breast feeding. It makes me really nervous when women want to fiddle with a diet that’s obviously working well enough to provide nourishment for her infant. The thyroid symptoms are very important too and not to be ignored but also cannot be “cured” with only a ketogenic diet. I hope she does find a good ND or thyroid guru to help her out.

  3. Ronin says

    Robb,your podcast today leads me to a technical question on the need for dietary fat when in ketosis.

    Pre-Paleo, I lost 82 pounds in 10 months on a ketogenic, calorie restricted protein modified fast. Pretty much following the writing Dr. Eades and Lyle McDonnell.

    It is my understanding (and experience, I think?) then when in ketosis and one is metabolizing fat; the body will make use of dietary fat preferentially over stored fat. Thus, if you want to loose stored fat one must restrict dietary fat.

    In your podcast today, you mentioned a variety of problems associated with inadequate fat intake while in ketosis. Would not this only be a problem is stored fat was exhausted?

    Or, is a slight bit of dietary fat required to avoid these issues while getting the bulk of ones fuel from stored fat? If so, any idea on how much?

    Thanks for all your great work!


  4. Pam says

    Love the podcast – – 1st time listening – – brand new Paleo and loving it – – but this is a co-ed show, right? I mean, “Twatter?” “Slapdick?”

    Anyway, will keep listening, even so. Info is too good to turn away because of a couple words. There’s always room for improvement, though …

        • Tim says

          Darius didnt claim it was his. He just reminded pam its not hers. And it’s not.

          Pam – is it stressful being the representative of the opinions of every female in the w

          • Marisa H says

            I agree that it is their show and they can say whatever they want. However, I also feel that it is important that women (and men) who are offended by the sexist remarks speak up, so that if Robb knows he is losing so many potential interested listeners due to obscenity, he can eliminate the remarks and gain many new listeners. If we do not speak up, Robb would never know people chose to stop listening based on that fact.

            After all, it is his show. Why wouldn’t he want more listeners?

  5. Martin says

    According to Dr. Phinney, thyroid disregulation on a ketogenic diet might be due to reduced calories intake, rather then the diet composition or ketone generation themselves.

    • Martin says

      Robb, is it true, that deep ketosis supresses cortisol release?

      I wonder if this effect would also hold in ultra-endurance disciplines, which are notorious for high cortisol production.

      Could it be that Tim Olson won the latest Western States 100 not only due to his ‘unlimited’ energy stores but also because simply speaking the total amount of ‘stress’ his body had to endure was lower than in other high-carb athletes? If we believe Tim Noake, this stress would have to impact the ‘central governor’, the brain, sooner or later, resulting in greater fatigue.

  6. Tess says

    Re: Iva and Dupuytren’s contracture
    My 83 year old mother had this condition for years (gradually worsening) and was told by her doctor that she needed steroid injections or if these failed, surgery. The condition caused her fingers to bend in on themselves (periodically) and she would have to put down anything she was holding and wait for it to subside. Since going Paleo in April (also started taking Vit D)she has had no attacks at all and we are very encouraged by this – thanks Rob as ever! So Iva – stick with the diet and Vit D and see how you go before thinking about surgery. Good luck and best wishes. Tess.

  7. Kris says

    I have concerns about a breastfeeding mom being on a ketogenic diet. Any info on whether that’s advisable at all?

    Also, on the B12 issue, I believe that green tea can impact the absorption of B vitamins including B12. Not sure if that is something Kimberly consumes, but if so it may be worth eliminating and retesting.

  8. Jill T. says

    I heard your recent podcast where Dupetryn’s Contracture was mentioned.

    You might find the following useful:

    Dr Bernstein refers to Dupetryn’s on page 25 of this paper on Diabetic Complications. He uses a finger extension splint, namely the Dynamic Digit Extension Tube, sold by AliMed, Inc. of Dedham, Massachusetts, USA to treat his patients who have it.

    I have had Dupetryn’s for 9 years (luckily a mild version affecting only one finger) and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes earlier this year, so it seems this was a very early manifestation of the glycosylation process. I also had two frozen shoulders about the same time I first got the Dupretryn’s and that is another complication of diabetes he mentions. Interesting stuff!

    Hope this helps the person who wrote to you with the question about Dupetryn’s.

    I’m having considerable success controlling my blood sugar levels with a low carb/Paleo type of diet.

    Jill T.

  9. Liane says

    Kinda slow on this comment because I got behind on my podcast listening. So when I got to the thyroid issue and heard the name Cheeseslave, an alarm bell went off. Nothing someone says who follows Matt Stone and whose face is firmly planted in grains ala the dad in Where’s Papa (a hysterical side splitter movie from ages ago) can be even considered as relevant. I’m a lot like Greg in that I take what I like and reject the rest even if the source is considered reliable. But when the source is just freaking batty I toss the whole bunch of info. I really liked Robb’s answer probably since he is right, but also because I was miserable stuck in that lowish carb sugar burning purgatory place and I dropped carbs and protein and upped the fat. Feel better, more energy, better mood, achy joints not so achy, clearer head.

    Not sure if I got all the commas in so here are a few more, just in case :D. , , , ,

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