Casein – Episode 164

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

Download Episode Here

Download a transcript of this episode here


  1. [6:08] Phosphatidic Acid
  2. [9:20] L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate MTHF
  3. [13:22] The Problem with Casein
  4. [21:32] Natural Anabolics and Colostrum
  5. [26:08] Seasonal Affective Disorder
  6. [29:59] Accidental Calorie Restriction
  7. [34:01] Alcohol and Autoimmunity
  8. [40:28] Black Strap Molasses
  9. [45:21] Kava Kava

New Catalyst Athletics Mobile Website –

Olympic Weightlifting: A DVD Guide to Learning & Teaching the Olympic Lifts – Now Available as a Download



1. Phosphatidic Acid

Nick says:
Dear Robb and Greg,

I recently read an article on, as well as, the study it was originated from in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition about Phosphatidic Acid supplementation increasing strength and lean body mass.  Here is a copy of the link
( I am just curious about the efficacy of this study and what it would mean for people in the weightlifting community as this being a possible dietary supplement that would be beneficial.  I respect the knowledge and the advice that the both of you bring to the fitness community and really appreciate everything that you do. Thanks.


2. L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate [MTHF]

Phaedra says:
Hey Rob, I’ve been listening to your podcasts for years now and I never heard anything about L-methylfolate (known formally as (6(S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate [MTHF].

I’ve struggled with depression for years now and none of the antidepressants work for me. So at doctor recommended I try MTHF at and oh my god the next day I felt fine, happy, normal, and not depressed. What happened! Like I said I’ve listened to your podcast for so long and Jimmy Moore and every other Paleo healthy related podcast and never heard anything about this. Can you give me some insight. I feel like I found the magic answer. But I’ve been eating so healthy I don’t understand what happened.  I’d like to know more information about this. But apparently it seems to be hard to find info about. Is there a diagnosis or name of this problem?  What are some keywords I can search for? Any help is appreciated! Thanks.  Here’s a detailed link I found.  Thx!


3. Why is casein an anti-nutrient?

Luke says:
Hey Robb and Greg,

First: You two are fabulous. Don’t ever forget that.

Now to my question: I get that grains have anti-nutrients for the reason that they don’t want to be eaten. Same deal with legumes, nuts and seeds. Similar deal with eggs: They need to be protected from micro-organisms. So, it’s understandable that these foods are problematic for certain people, especially those with damaged guts and/or autoimmune diseases.
The issue with the lactose is also understandable: Pasteurized Dairy lacks Lactase, so most adults are intolerant to it.
However, I do not understand why casein is a problem. Matt Lalonde says that it is (like gluten) high in the amino acid proline which supposedly makes it hard to digest. Well, that might be interesting to a biochemist, but what does the evolutionary biologist say? Isn’t milk supposed to be easily digestible, as it is designed for baby’s not-yet-fully-developed digestive system?
I’ve heard that, again, pasteurization is the problem as it damages the casein. But then, why is raw dairy still not recommended for autoimmune-folks? Is it the fact (I don’t believe it) that the milk comes from a different species? Would human milk, if an adult drinks it, theoretically not have the same issues?
Or is it the fact that it is “slowly digestible”, which is why body-builders drink it before going to sleep?
Is it a gluten cross-reaction? But then, shouldn’t the problem go away after leaving out gluten?

Cheers! 😉


4. Natural Anabolics

Anthony says:
Hey, Greg. Love your work. Robb, you’re kind of cool too. To my question, what are your opinions of natural anabolics like Ecdysterone and Methoxyisoflavone? What about some of the products that use these natural anabolics like Universal Animal M-Stak? Also, what do you think about the use of colostrum for muscle growth? I’ve found a supplement called Total Body Research Labs Flex Complex that uses colostrum as a main ingredient. Thanks for your input, you guys are doing a fantastic job. Cheers.



Paul from Toronto/Twitter:
Hey guys – sent this question in a few weeks ago, and you encouraged me to send it in again over twitter, so here’s the Coles notes version.

I’ve done some googling around, but haven’t found any links between Seasonal Affective Disorder and Adrenal Fatigue, but sometimes I feel like I get hit with a double whallop when I’m low on sleep on a particularly on a overcast/rainy day. Is this common?

Since I last sent in that Question I’ve been googling and testing. I tried melatonin, but I just couldn’t get any good quality sleep on it and it made me even more miserable. Then tried vitamin D in the mornings and magnesium in the evenings and it’s been helping, though I feel like there’s still room for improvement.

My room is pitch black at night, and I try to get as close to the standard 8hrs as often as I can. I’m also trying to get more sunlight, but it’s the beginning of fall/winter up here and there’s not much I can do to change the weather.

I was wondering if there’s anything else I can do short of hopping on a one-way plane to some greek islands.

6. Accidental Calorie Restriction

Mary says:
HELLO Robb and Greg,
I have been paleo for about a year and have never measured food or counted calories. I try to base my meals around quality protein and eat until I’m full. Recently, just out of curiosity, I measured and recorded my food intake for a week to see how my macros added up. Everything seemed pretty legit. I’m averaging about 1g protein per pound of body weight and about 100g of carbs per day. However, I was totally surprised to discover that my total calories were often under 1500 per day. I eat a wide variety of meat and fish, about 6 oz per meal, and it would be hard for me to stomach more than that. For vegetables, I lean toward the starchy carbs and soluble fiber, because too many fibrous veggies tend to jack up my insides. I eat more carbs on training days, and more good fats on rest days, and never feel hungry or restricted. So, here’s the question! Should I be worried about some sort of metabolic downturn or other deleterious effect from caloric restriction? Or should the ample protein be sufficient for my needs? Here are some stats, if that would help. I’m 5’8″, 135, relatively lean with decent muscle tone. My problem area is a little bit of fat on stomach and love handles. I lift weights 3x per week and do a lot of walking. I realize that this question could be the result of my overactive brain, but I’d appreciate any insight you can provide.
Cheers, Mary
P.S. I forced my boyfriend to listen to the podcast on a recent road trip, and after a few days he started requesting episodes. He was quite delighted with the dropping of F bombs. So there’s one vote in favor of using too much “language.”


7. Boozy Neuropathy

Sarah says:
Hi Robb and Greg, my question is in regards to alcohol and it’s effects on pissed off nerves and autoimmunity.

I’m 35 years old and have been Paleo for 2 years now, thanks to your book. I’ve put on 15 pounds of muscle, lost maybe 5 or 10 pounds of body fat, and I consistently get the “glowing” compliment. Prior to that, I was a fine wine specialist for a major booze distributor, smoked a pack a day and my optimum foraging strategy looked like bagels, pasta, cheese, beer, wine…and more beer. Not glowing… but somehow I wasn’t sick or overweight thanks to what you may have to officially call the John Fragoso phenotype. Nevertheless, I finally decided to put a little effort into it, curtail my wiley ways, and see how good I could feel if I actually tried before I got too far on the wrong side of 30.

Using the elimination/reintroduction protocol, I’ve learned that gluten bothers me A LOT. I get the belly-full-of-squirrels feeling, accompanied by a few days of terribly low stomach acid, a lovely itchy rash on my scalp, and set new speed records for fecal matter coming close to breaking the sound barrier. Soooo aside from potentially being celiac, I have Reynaud’s pop up maybe twice a year and I have had keratosis pilaris all my life. Those don’t really bother me, but I’m including them as part of the overall picture. What DOES bother me, however, is this pesky carpal tunnel that popped up a year ago after two days of tiling a floor, followed up with some mandatory post-construction beer drinking. Being able to pick stuff up and hold on to it is kind of one of the coolest parts of having thumbs. Carpal tunnel makes training a bitch, as grip/ flexor overuse sets in way too fast and recovers way too slow. One can only sprint, back squat, lunge, and hollow-rock so often. I’m not a fitness addict, I have no trouble backing off as needed, but it gets frustrating as often as I have to. I’ve tried all the exercises, seen this guy and that guy, all to no avail.

I have used the Google and read up on the various contributions to carpal tunnel from hyperinsulinism and the links to autoimmune conditions such as RA and MS. I did follow the autoimmune protocol (plus coffee) for 4 months and while I did feel generally less inflamed, the Reynaud’s still showed up, and the carpal tunnel didn’t go away. Conversely I’ve noticed that I can however, make the carpal tunnel really bad with alcohol. Initially I just chalked this up to inflammation, but I’m wondering: how bad of an idea is alcohol consumption for people with damaged or compressed nerves, or MS, or even just general autoimmunity? How bad are any neurotoxins for that matter, in those situations? Caffeine? Nicotine gum? I don’t really understand this bit. I was hoping that the months at a time off of booze and following the autoimmune schtick would allow it to heal enough that I could have a few drinks once in a while and not poke the Kracken. Nope. Then I had the smart idea of seeing if a few drinks a few nights a week would lessen the response. Nope. So am I playing howitzer roulette with these nerve issues every time I have a few adult beverages? How damaging is alcohol in regards to other issues or autoimmune conditions affected by damaged guts or damaged nerves, like MS? I could give a damn about bread and beans, but it would be truly sad if I had to completely give up the drinkies.

Thanks for all you do, guys! And Greg, if this has been too long or you were unable to figure out what the hell I was trying to say, let me know and I will mail you some instant espresso and a pack of smokes. By the way, your wife is my hero!

8. Black Strap Molasses

Ian says:
Matt Stone is a blithering idiot. Alright then, now that that’s out of the way, he did rave about an interesting item: Black Strap Molasses. He claims that it’s the ideal way to sweeten something, and as such, everyone should be using it. Though he also believes everyone should attempt icecream-icide on a daily basis to “boost their metabolism,” I’m inclined to agree with him on this particular subject. After a quick nutrition data search, Black Strap Molasses is a dense source of both potassium and magnesium, the ‘Yin’s to sodium and calcium that it seems so many people lack. A single table spoon has 48.4mg magnesium and 293mg potassium– not bad. So, with the knowledge in mind that I’m not just searching for the ever-elusive ‘paleo sweetener,’ what do you think of this stuff?

9. Is kava kava safe?

Bryan says:
Robb and Greg,

First, thanks for all of your hard work with the podcast.  It is always entertaining, and heck, sometimes I learn something.  The podcast (and website and books) have been great resources for myself and my wife as we go through this Paleo journey.

Is kava kava safe to drink?  I have switched from a drink of 100% agave tequila, seltzer water and lime to kava kava after work (I teach high school math… yeah, some days can be tough).  It has been a nice substitute from alcohol, and it really can be a nice reward at the end of the day.  But is it safe?  Am I damaging my liver?  Some kava sites show studies which show it is safe, but there are studies out there that can show anything is safe.  I like my after work drink.  If not tequila and not kava, then what?  Thanks!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Categories: Podcasts


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Chuck Finley says

    Great episode. One comment on colostrum. I have had some success in using it during punctuated periods of heavy drinking. Seems to eliminate the stomach issues and headaches associated with a weekend of debauchery.

  2. Dont Tread on Me says

    Robb, Have you tried the Crispin Artisanal Reserve Honey Crisp Hard cider? Its unfiltered and reminds me of wheat beers, pre-celiac diagnosis. It comes in 22oz bottle w/ an orange label. I’m toasting your podcast with one right now.

  3. Melanie says


    I know you’ve got one or two other things on your mind these days with the Great Carbohydrate Discussion and all-I remain a loyal listener of yours because of your ability to refine your stance based on the latest information, keep fighting the good fight, please- but could you share your thoughts on the “regular alcohol consumption lowers insulin resistance” findings of several studies, such as the following:

    Basically, if you google “alcohol and insulin sensitivity” you get all kinds of things saying that regular moderate alcohol consumption improves insulin sensitivity. Especially in women. Which is of interest to me, being an insulin-insensitive woman and all. I’ve also never drunk very much, ever, but recently started having a glass of wine after work and noticing it brings my blood glucose from the low 100’s, where it likes to hover, down into the 80’s.

    Be curious to know if you’ve ever thought this one through much.
    Thanks. And cheers. You’re one of the good ones.

  4. Tim says

    I was laughing so hard at the end of your last response I almost peed myself. My first experience with Kava was on an overnight layover in Fiji where I ended up in a local village after hearing hand drums just over the hill outside the resort. Long story short, I was invited to play drums with a large group of LARGE Fijian men and drink Kava. Now this was cool and all but I thought it rude not to offer up my own addition to the evening so I returned to the resort to grab a sleeve of Tequila. And just like you recommend in the pod cast we were taking dips with the coconut shell into the big bowl of herpes and following it up with a shot of antiseptic. Very long and mostly memorable night.

Join the Discussion