Calcium Binding and Excreting Fat – Episode 168

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence


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  1. [5:20] Epsom Salts
  2. [9:45] Calcium Binding and Excreting Fat
  3. [22:46] Metabolism Slowing With Age
  4. [35:10] GABA Supplementation For Diabetics
  5. [37:28] Toxins in Animal Fats
  6. [44:18] Gastric Ulcers
  7. [46:51] Good Source for Getting Started with Weight Training
  8. [52:49] Genetic Strength Potential or Just Doing It Wrong
  9. [1:00:18] Managing Workouts for Different Number of Days a Week



1. Epsom Salts

Guy says:
Hi Robb and Greg,

I was just wondering, what do you think of Epsom Salts? From my very brief research it looks pretty good, but would like to hear what you think. Thanks for the amazing work!


2. Calcium & fecal lipid excretion for weight loss

Collin says:
Hey guys!
I had a friend send me a youtube video on the science behind weight loss.  (Here is the link to the silly video):
While my opinion on the video itself is a whole different story they do mention the effects of increasing calcium (via low-fat diary) as a means of increasing weight loss as calcium binds to intestinal fats, preventing absorption and increasing their fecal excretion.  Upon further research I did find that calcium can bind to dietary fats creating calcium soaps.  Obviously the percent intake and type of fats in the diet would effect calcium absorption in this case (along with Vitamin D status) but isn’t this calcium-fat interaction a negetaive effect as people wouldn’t be absorbing their precious Ca2+? And would you expect to see this level of calcium-fat interaction in a Paleo diet considering calcium intake is usually lower?  Just want to hear your thoughts on this because I know people freak out when you say those two words: “no dairy”
Thanks for all you guys do!

Here are some resources:


3. I am going to punch the next person who says their metabolism is slowing down…

Chris says:
…Seriously, I’ll do it. Even if it’s a little old lady.
In order to pull me back from the edge though – Robb and/or Greg – would either of you care to explain this notion that one’s metabolism “slows down” as they age. I am assuming this is referring to the basal metabolic rate, and perhaps their is some truth to it, but the idea that it is inevitable that this will happen to some material degree is frankly absurd. I mean look at Mark Sisson or Art Devany. Those two have bodies of Greek gods well into old age and from what I can tell they aren’t eating any less because their metabolism is slowing down.
So, what’s the deal? What is actually happening when one’s basal rate does actually slow down? What can cause it? Is it an inevitability, or can we avoid such a fate by following a strict 40-30-30 Zone diet? Is five fries really I’ll need? Thanks guys.

P.S. Robb, I’m coming to Reno in a few months. Want to hang out???


4. GABA Supplementation for Type1 Diabetic

Matt says:
Hi Robb and Greg,
You gentlemen have completely re-purposed my energies in life with this Paleo/Primal lifestyle. I am 38, 187 lbs and approx. 5’7. I am a type 1 diabetic and was recently reading up on GABA. If my pancreatic beta cells are torched, does that mean in addition to insulin, I am no longer producing GABA. If so, what mental implications does this have? Does there exist and, if so, should I take – a GABA supplement? Thanks again.


5. Toxins in animal fat?

Andy says:
Hey there!  I was wondering if there was any truth to the argument spun by the vegan community about toxins accumulating in animal fat.  I was a vegetarian/close-to-vegan for a little over a decade until I bumped into The Vegetarian Myth at my local library, which turned my assumptions on nutrition inside out.  After adopting a high fat paleo diet (with some grass-fed dairy thrown in)I look, feel and perform better than ever. But despite these amazing results, I can’t help but wonder if these vegans are onto something with this arguement.  It has been known for a while now that industrial pollution has caused mercury to show up in fatty fish and dioxins are found in human breast milk all over the globe.  So is it true that industrial pollution is causing the fat tissue of fish, boobies and even grass-fed cows to be toxic sponges?  Are the fat tissues of tasty animals a playground for civilizations toxic biproducts? If so, then a high-fat diet would probably not be optimal, even if it’s from a healthy grass-fed animal.  Please prove me wrong, I’m begging you!


6. gastric ulcer

Matt Lorig says:
Hi Robb.  For two months now, I have had pain below my left rib cage.  I guessed that this was a gastric ulcer.  And, yesterday, this guess was confirmed (via an endoscopic exam).

I’m not sure how I got the ulcer.  I tested negative for the H Pylori bacteria.  I eat a strict lo-carb paleo diet (meat, veggies, eggs only for the past 10 years).  Though, I do drink a LOT of coffee and have been under a lot of stress.

Anyway, the ulcer seems to be getting worse.  I starting taking Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) a few days ago.  The jury is still out on its usefuleness.  But, if you have any other suggestions on how to help heal this ulcer, that would be greatly appreciated.  I’m sure my doctor is going to suggest I start taking an H2-blocker or propton pump inhibitor and pepto-bismol.  And, I’d like to avoid going that route if possible.


7. Good source for beginner weight training

Marcus says:

Greg and Robb,

I’ve been following, with varying degrees of strictness, a low-carb, paleo style diet for about 4 years now. I’ve experienced very good results including my weight having dropping from 205 to 165 (I am 5’8″), diminished eczema and my sleep apnea has disappeared. In general, I’m a lot healther now than when I started.

Robb, thank you for your contribution in presenting the benefits of this lifestyle in a research-based manner. Purchasing and reading your book helped me turn the corner from starting an Atkins-inspired low-carb diet to a whole-health approach and fueled my desire to continue increasing knowledge on this topic ever since. I have always really appreciated the science-based approach you have taken and cannot thank you enough. I’m 36 with 3 year-old and 1 year-old daughters and you probably have played a key role in both those girls having their dad be alive during their wedding or graduation. Thank you.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot more about exercise, something that has been nearly non-existent for me since I was 18. I’ve started exercising, lately modeling my workouts on an article I found on Crossfit Journal that emphasizes HIIT as an ideal way to get lean.

However, I don’t want to be super skinny. I would like to become both muscular and lean.

With this in mind, I am currently in a planned 6-week cycle with the above-mentioned HIIT focus. I’m keeping my diet relatively low-carb right now.

At the end of this period I would like to begin a 6-week cycle focusing on building strength and muscle-mass. I have been reading and will continue to read resources such as those found on the CF Journal, Catalyst Athletics and others. My only problem is often these articles assume a level of familiarity with respect to lifts and technique, as well as diet and supplements, which I do not generally possess.

Can you guys recommend a “single source” (or two) of comprehensive knowledge (and maybe protocol?) that will get me started on a solid weight-training approach (including specific dietary guidelines/goals)?

In high school I played football and was moderately successful in our off-season weight-training program and so I do have some familiarity with certain lifts like squat, bench and power clean, but it has been years and even in those areas I could probably benefit from “starting over.”

Thank you in advance.


8.. Reaching genetic strength potential or just not doing it right?

Paul says:
Hello Robb and Greg,

I love the show.

I’m trying to find some kind of explanation of why I suck at lifting weights. I sure the first thing you think is that I’m probably not approaching it right or I’m just not dedicated enough. I don’t think this is the case. I started lifting in college while playing baseball at a big Division I school and went through the initial linear progression of strength gains (the NOvice effect I suppose). I pretty much maintained that strength during my twenties but didn’t gain any. After turning 30 last year and listening to your podcast, I started doing Wendler 5/3/1 in an effort to get stronger. I’ve been doing Wendler very consistently for the past 14 months (proud of myself for not program hopping). I made some initial progress but have really plateaued for the past 6 months or so. I’m 6’2” and around 210lbs with around 12% body fat. 1RM’s: Squat – 275. Deadlift – 365. Press – 145. Bench – 245. I eat all paleo with 1 gram of protein/lb of bodyweight and plenty of carb in the post workout window and a nice cheat day on Saturdays. I sleep enough and have a low stress job.

According to Level 4 crossfit Seattle and Dave Werner, (and I believe, Robb, you have said something similar on the show) a 2x bodyweight deadlift, 1.5x bodyweight squat, 0.75x bodyweight press, and 1.25x bodyweight bench should be achievable for most folks provided they put in the effort and use a reasonably smart program.

In your experience in running gyms etc., have you run across people who are doing all the right things but they are relatively weak and just can’t get any stronger? If so, to what do you attribute their lack of progress (no dangling prepositions here, Greg!)? Have you ever heard of wrist size being correlated with strength? I have thin, dainty wrists; can I blame that? I also have long limbs (great for throwing baseballs, not so much for squatting?). I guess what it boils down to is that I want you guys to either say “with good programming, dedication, nutrition, sleep, and stress management, everyone with whom we’ve worked has been able to achieve those benchmark strength numbers and here’s something new you should try” or “Yeah, some people just can’t get that strong (due to muscle fiber type, anthropometry, etc.) so just be happy with where you are.”

I live in a small city in the south with a miserable CrossFit™  gym that specializes in “white-buffalo-in-the-sky-style” training so I don’t have access to any good face to face coaching. As if you haven’t done enough for me already just by making this show, your thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.


9. Volume Management

Brian says:
Hey folks.  I have a training question regarding the general sport athlete.  What is your theory for managing the volume for a 3-day per week program?  How would you direct the emphasis each day? I feel like 2-day/week and 4-day/week programs are a piece of steak, but 3-day/week programs are always a little funky.  I know there are a lot of variables like what sport they play and if they are coming in Monday Wednesday Friday or Monday Tuesday Thursday.   But just in general, how would you divide up the week?

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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.


    • Marcus says

      Will do, thanks.

      I’ve also been looking at John Kiefer’s stuff on DangerouslyHardcore. I really like his take on a weekly carb cycle thing. I’ve actually worked up a lifting routine that I think is working well. My concern at this point is about improving technique, making effective decisions on how to grow muscle mass and staying safe while lifting.

      • Steven says


        If those are your goals I think you will find Dan Johns book right up your alley on both fronts. It hits technical, volume and nutritional tweaks over the course of the program.


  1. kem says

    Magnesium chloride is the soak. NZ$14 for a 25kg bag, about 50 baths. It’s a dairy cow supplement. The girls need a lot of Mg making 50 litres of milk a day. I reckon it works (on humans as well); just don’t think you can do much else when you get out other than sleep.

  2. Barb, RHN says

    On the topic of metabolism slowing down. YES. It does happen, and I don’t think it’s just due to aging. I think ill advised diets can cause it as well.

    I myself noted that my efforts with calorie control and all modalities of training are no longer effective at keeping my weight down. I suspected a slowed metabolism so I went in for an indirect calorimetry test. This test revealed that my metabolism was functioning at only 79% of expected capacity for my age, gender, etc. This was at age 38 (no, not a little old lady). I suspect that this decline is due to a few years in my early 30’s when I decided to do a few bodybuilding shows. The calorie restriction and overtraining were insane to say the least. Literally… The Minnesota Study.

    I do think that most often when people claim that they have a sluggish metabolism, they are actually just eating too much. However, metabolic depression is very real. I share your pain tho’… When I am training hard 6 days a week (Crossfit and O lifting) on 1100 calories a day (not a lot for a 5’6″ female), and am still quite overweight, I too get the urge to punch out people who think I just need to eat less.

  3. Ty Fyter says

    When talking about toxins in meat it’s also necessary to point out concentration, a good example I think oxygen and/or iron; which at low levels is vital to health but at high concentrations is very toxic. I don’t think people can talk/worry about toxicity without quantifying it first because otherwise it doesn’t actually mean anything
    Great podcast guys!

  4. Brian Klein says

    Hey Robb, regarding all the tabs needing to be open… have you tried Evernote? Or Instapaper? One of those solutions might help collect a bunch of data from Web sites without having to keep all the tabs open? Otherwise, whatever, you keep giving us great free content, so thanks!

    • says

      Brian! i’ll look into that. it;s just a matter of getting bombarded with links, opening them and then needing to actually READ them to see if i need to keep’m.

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