Gluten & Gut Flora – Episode 185

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [6:47] Beef Protein Isolate Revisited
  2. [11:03] Balancing Upper And Lower Body Disparity
  3. [20:59] Firefighter Protocol
  4. [28:11] Effects Of Having No Tonsils
  5. [33:13] Excessive Sweating And Gluten
  6. [39:38] Thyroid Antibodies With Hashimoto’s
  7. [46:02] Gluten And Gut Flora
  8. [50:37] Drinking Salt Water In The Morning
  9. [56:25] UV Tattoo Ink


1. Beef protein isolate revisited

RJ says:
Good morning the both of you, my question is on beef protein isolate(if you want the specific brand I am looking at then the link is touched on it in episode 12 but a lot of time has passed and I was wondering if you have learned anymore about this or maybe Greg knows something about it that Andy did not. When compared to whey isolate how does it stack up post workout. Could it also possibly be better for folk that cannot handle whey but still would like the advantages of liquid nutrition. thank you for your time.


2. Upper body vs lower body disparity

Keerthi says:
Hi Robb and Greg

I’m a fan and needless to say I love your show. I will try to make this quick and short. I’m 29 yrs old, been lifting for a little over a year now and I currently weigh 170 lbs at a height of 5’9″. I lift 4 times a week with one HIIT (sprints) session and may be a long run of 5-8 miles on some weeks. I follow carb back loading for diet.

I’ve had pretty good gains in my strength, I can do 230lbs for 4 sets of 6 reps on box squats, 265lbs 4 sets of 5 reps on deadlifts but my upper body has always been weak. I can only bench 160lbs for 5 sets of 3 reps each. No matter how much I eat or sleep or vary my workouts: high reps low weights, low reps high weights, unilateral dumbbell routines etc my upper body never keeps up with the strength gains I see in squats and deadlifts. My trainer says the form on my bench is really good too. I have a theory that my lower body is stealing all the nutrition  and I should be decreasing the volume on my Leg workouts and increasing the volume on my upper body workouts but my trainer doesn’t really buy into this. The fact remains that I just cannot gain strength or size on my chest, biceps or triceps but I have really strong and muscular legs. My trainer says I have to be able to bench 175 lbs and gain even more strength before starting a body building style of program which is what I really want to do.

Do you have any suggestions on how to balance out this disparity and actually look jacked. Hope you answer this question. Thanks a lot.


3. firefighter protocol

Amory says:
I’m a firefighter for a busy Bay Area fire dept and was interested in your thoughts about my career in regards to how it may affect my strength and conditioning? I suffer from two straight days of little to no sleep. Then I have 4 days rest in which I try and train all 4 days. I use my two days at work as my days off. I follow a pretty strict paleo diet, sleep a lot of my days off, supplement with whey, fish oil, and VitD. Have you worked with any firefighters before? And what sorts of recommendations do you make for there diets and training?
6’3 205 11%bf
Bench 315
Squat  345
Dead   365
P. clean 240
Looking to really improve on these numbers.

Thanks! And your podcast is amazing!


4. Oh shit, I have no tonsils!!

Stable Steve says:
Dear Robb and Greg,

Greetings from Ontario, Canada! Let me get right down to business.  As a child I suffered from many painful / annoying throat infections. I even had 2 nasty abscesses on my tonsils and after clearing those up I took my doctors advice and had my tonsils removed. I was left with two big craters in the back of my throat which have now healed over.

SO, my question is as follows: are there any negative effects to having no tonsils? Am I one day going to spontaneously combust / spontaneously explode??I’ve always wanted to go out with a bang, but not in a  literal sense…

If having no tonsils leaves me vulnerable to diseases and or exploding, then what foods / supplements do you recommend? I know you’re going to recommend a Paleo approach with lots of sleep and adequate vitamin D, which I’m already all over…but I was just curious to hear BOTH of your thoughts on the no tonsils gig.

Keep up the awesome work guys.


5. Excessive sweating and gluten

Matthew says:
Hello Robb and Greg.  I love the podcast!
I am 33 and a double amputee, ak and bk, from birth defects.  I have worn prosthesis since I was 6 months old.  I have been very active for most of my life with periods of sedimentary-ism.  I did all sports as a kid, constantly destroying my prosthesis. weekly trips for repairs to the shop.   I wrestled from 6 years old to freshman year in college(fracture my  patella in 4 places, 3 surgeries). I coached wrestling at all levels since college, part of my weight gain(ever been to a coach’s hospitality room?).  My whole life i have had excessive sweating, I could cut 8-10 lbs of water weight in a 2 hour practice consistently.  When I say excessive sweating I mean walking up stairs, cleaning the house, sitting in the car with the AC going I would sweat to the point of dripping onto my glasses, even as a 17 year old 140lb state qualifying wrestler.  I started crossfit and paleo about 2 years ago and “actually” with consistency for about a year.   I have lost 60lbs over last 2 years, started around 315.
I assume that carrying prob 80-100lbs more than I should has had an effect on the excessive sweating and I have seen improvement but it seems that the removal of gluten has had more of an effect.  Not total elimination of the sweating but to the point its not running down my face or the, not embarrassing at all, swamp ass mark down middle of khakis(which is less ass sweat and more of just a collection point for my back). If I have a burger and fries  out or a meal with gluten I return to the dripping in sweat from daily activities for a couple of days.  I have found little research or literature on excessive sweating.  I have read one or two papers that propose that a over active pituitary gland could be the cause.  What are your guys thoughts on gluten, pituitary gland, wearing prosthesis(heat contained on my thigh and calf) or other factors that could be causing this really fun bullshit.  Thank you for all you guys do.


6. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Elaine says:
My name is Elaine, and I’ve been eating Paleo for about a year and a half now. At first I was eating a 100 percent strict autoimmune protocol with great improvement in my symptoms. Then, eventually I relaxed a bit and ate healthy 90 percent of the time, but always avoiding gluten (except for instances of cross contamination). I eventually allowed for nuts, eggs, tomatoes, alcohol, etc., and cheated occasionally with white rice, ice cream, and corn. Almost the entire time I took magnesium, selenium, probiotic, and raw adrenal and raw thyroid extract. I added turmeric water and bone broth later on. After some life changes in the last few months, I’ve probably been eating 80 percent Paleo. Most of my symptoms have remained nonexistent and others have greatly improved and I pretty much feel better than I have since I was 10 years old (I’m 24 now). So, I went to the doctor recently just to see where I am at with my thyroid antibodies. I was actually excited because I expected that after a year and a half they would have significantly decreased. When i was first diagnosed when I was 14, my antibodies were greater than 3000 for one type of antibody, but they could not give me an exact number. Well now that same antibody is at 2995, which is very discouraging to me, (even though greater than 3000 could have meant 6000 for all I know, and my antibodies could have greatly decreased) and so I have a few questions to ask. Does occasional cheating really cause that severe of an immune reaction to most people with hashimotos even though they completely avoid gluten? And why are my symptoms so much better and my thyroid softer if my antibodies are so high? I am at a point where I am so discouraged and disappointed that I’m not sure whether I should just accept things the way they are or put my all into it and be 100 percent strict, not knowing if it will even bring down my antibody levels. And if so, would i have to completely cut out alcohol for life?


7. Gluten & gut flora

Peter says:
Hi Rob & Greg,

What do you think of the recent discoveries about the connection between gluten intolerance and gut flora?

When you google the phrase “gluten bacteria”, a bunch of interesting studies pop out. Some of the researches claim that the gluten-free diet is detrimental to gut flora and it actually reduces the amount of beneficial bacteria. The other part of all this is the theory that all gluten-related health issues are caused by insufficient amount of microorganisms that would normally break down the bad stuff.

I’m curious what’s your take on it?
8. Salt Water Flush in the Morning

Adam says:
Hey Robb & Greg, you two are awesome. Thanks for pumping out this amazing podcast every week.

Recently my mother-in-law started drinking a glass of salt water in the morning. I have no idea where she heard of this, but she likes to meander around the internet at work & she believes everything she reads online — a dangerous combination for sure.

A little Dr. Google only came up with questionable sites discussing colon cleansing & so forth. Dave Asprey’s followers seem to be adopting it based on some comment he made on a podcast once. Me, I like to have some more evidence before I start doing something. Apparently Mr. Asprey said that “when [y]ou wake up your reptile part brain tells your adrenal[ ]glands that they need to change the potassium/natrium [read: sodium] level, so to up the natrium they draw salt from the blood(?) so to help that process you can take a tablespoon of salt in the morning and save the adrenals some work.” (Paraphrasing someone from Dave’s forum.

Is there anything to this? No one there seems to be able to provide any more evidence. Thanks in advance for any info you can share!


9. UV Tattoo Ink

Barrett says:
Greg and Robb,

Good day Sirs!  I wanted to ask you all about UV Tattoo ink, and its effects on Melatonin, and circadian rhythms.  Basically, there is a new form of tattoo ink that glows in the dark, links provided.  Knowing that low level blue light can throw off your circadian rhythms at night, I wanted to see if you had any concern or thoughts about this new kind of ink.  Will it contribute to my long term demise (quicker) if I get this done to me?  Is it toxic?  Is normal tattoo ink toxic?

THinking about getting a UV tattoo, anyone have one, comments?

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  1. Micky E says

    Hey Peter, I switched to gluten free about 18 months ago bro, I’m a Personal Trainer from Sydney and I actually suffer from Ulcerated Colitis, (similar to irritable bowel syndrome) studies through Jonny Bowden and Charles Poliquin are similar to Robb’s opinions which I love. Inflammation of the digestive tract, inhibition of repair/resynthesis or tissue when inured, inflammation of the joins, and there’s also an article of how gluten even creates a layer of Plaque over part or parts of the brain. there’s some backing to say that there’s relation to ADHD in children and even some types of autism, eg: Aspergers syndrome. Getting off gluten was the best thing I ever did. I’m new to this site and I love and agree with a lot of the theories here. You definitely have a new fan in me. haha stay healthy

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