The Healthy Skeptic Podcast – Episode 12

June 21, 2011 in Podcasts | 84 comments


ths podcast logoEpisode 12 is a grab-bag super special! Topics covered include:

  • Thyroid glandulars
  • Raw milk vs. colostrum
  • Testosterone and other hormone replacement
  • Magnesium & potassium for constipation
  • Hair thinning and decreased libido in men
  • Iodine, thyroid meds and hypothyroidism
  • Protein shakes. Good or bad?
Play

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Druh June 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hello, I very much enjoy reading your column. However, I need transcripts of your podcasts, as I do not listen to recordings or watch videos. Much too slow, I have to read things instead.

Thanks,

Druh

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Chris Kresser June 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

You’re welcome to get transcripts made if you want. They usually cost about $75-$100/hr.

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Anonymous July 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I have to second the suggestion. Listening podcasts just takes too long, and it can’t be that hard to write out the answers to the questions in a “hodge podge” session like this.

Your info is excellent, but delivery needs work to match the great quality.

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Chris Kresser July 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Really? Not that hard? You’re welcome to volunteer your time to do it for me if it’s so easy. This podcast is free. Take it or leave it.

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Rob Is July 7, 2011 at 8:58 am

Easy there Chris, you are hanging out with Robb Wolf too much!
;-)

But seriously people, you don’t have time to listen to a podcast but you think Chris has time to transcribe it for you? Can he get you some tea and massage your feet while you read it?

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Anonymous July 8, 2011 at 1:58 am

Okay, here’s an example:

“Q: What is your opinion on testosterone and hormone replacement?

“A: I think it’s a bad idea because it leads the body to lower its natural hormone levels to reestablish equilibrium. Just like a dopamine releasing drug causes the body to reduce the natural levels of dopamine from regular rewards, so testosterone creams and other HRT cause the body to produce less of its own testosterone. As the result, you’re back to the levels you started with, but now you need to keep taking the drug and increasing the dosage to get the same high.”

That took me no time at all to write out, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss any part of your answer. I’m not trying to be nit-picky or demanding. I simply don’t see the efficiency gains, to either the listener or the talker, from leaving the information in podcast form only.

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rich July 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

No good deed goes unpunished… it just amazes me the sense of entitlement that some people have.

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Robby July 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Why not just appreciate the free service Chris provides? It shouldn’t be about the convenience to you, but that he is generous enough to spend time helping others.

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Robby June 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for addressing my question about sudden hair loss while on Paleo.

A few updates. I did just get labs back last week. Thyroid seems fine. Vitamin D (which was 15.8 in 2008) is now 53.3. I’ve been taking 10,000 IU/day (Carlson’s drops) for about 5 months.

Carb restriction: Though I was doing low carb, I made sure I was eating 1800-2100 calories per day. Also, I wasn’t restricting salt. Though, I have for some reason been eating lower calories lately; I seem to be satisfied eating two meals a day. However, the sudden hair loss started before that happened.

It could very well be the stress, as my blood pressure also continues to be an issue. During the same period, I went from borderline to now in the 160s/99 range.

Robby

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Robby June 25, 2011 at 9:26 am

UPDATE: Added more carbs. About 80g/day. And making sure I am eating around 2000 calories. Went from 150.1 lbs to 153.7 as of today. Not too happy about that. I need to experiment with carbs vs calories. I know calories supposedly don’t matter (in and out), but it does seem when I eat around 1500/day, I do lose weight.

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Rodney June 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I have just recently learned about bromides and their link with thyroid disease, so I enjoyed your nice summary. I know there are brominated vegetable oils in many citrus flavored sodas. I am a FORMER heavy drinker of Diet Mt Dew and am wondering if you have any idea of the relative amount of bromine I might have been exposed to from that vs the environmental exposures in plastics, flame retardants, etc. I tend to confuse this issue with the Bisphenol-A you recently covered, but as long as I know what to minimize my exposure to I am fine with that. Heat sensitive receipt paper is on top of that list thanks to you!

Keep it coming!

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Mario Iwakura June 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Chris,

This podcast only remind’s me why I like you very much! Besides been a very smart guy, you are not afraid to change opinion when faced with evidence (in the case of iodine for hashimoto’s).

Take care!
Mario

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Chris Kresser June 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I always remind myself why what I do is called it a “health care practice“. A practice implies lifelong learning, experimentation and self-inquiry. If I didn’t give myself that permission, my work would be incredibly boring and stale. Thanks for organizing all of the research on selenium and posting it at Paul’s blog.

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Barbara June 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

Mario,

It just occured to me who you were. I loved your artilces on the perfect healt diet on hypothyroidism. The info combined with Chris input gave me the courage to take Iodoral again this time with zinc, selenium and vit C. I am sooooo grateful for the info it was very helpful to me.

I can tell the difference already in my Vo2 output with cycling after < a week on Iodoral 12.5 /day.

Thank you …Barbara

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Erica June 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hi Chris,

Great podcast! If I’m not too crazy about grains, are sweet potatoes and yams great staple foods to obtain enough carbs along with fruit and other starchy vegetables?

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Chris Kresser June 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Absolutely. I’m not crazy about grains either.

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Erica June 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Hi again Chris,

Thanks for your reply! I also would like to know if grass-fed ground beef from my local coop is fine to purchase. I have heard that ground beef comes from more than one cow, and am not for sure if it is ok to consume. Do they usually contain fillers if it comes a small, sustainable farm?

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Ali June 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

All I could find was magnesium bis-glycinate. Is that the same as you mentioned in the podcast?

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Chris Kresser June 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

http://www.purecaps.com/itemdy00.asp?t1=mg3

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Robby June 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

There are several on Amazon.com.

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Monte Diaz June 21, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Aside from being overly processed and better sources of protein being available, is there anything inherently dangerous from consuming protein powders? I know we are not rats but what if someone consumed 20 percent of their calories as casein protein? With all the stomach stapling going on and the correspondent liquid diet, I imagine this is actually common. Would whey be better or is this all still part of the same sinking ship?

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Alex June 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

If the product is just whey or just casein with no other ingredients (not likely), then I don’t see anything inherently wrong. It will produce an insulin spike and is a potent growth promoter, so probably not the best thing if you’re trying to lean out.

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Alex June 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Regarding protein powders, not to mention the artificial colors, flavors, preservatives in these products, plus the cows are likely grain-fed and treated with rBGH.

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kangax June 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Artifical flavors and colorings is one of the reasons I’m considering switching to natural whey protein powder. There are few on the market, like this Optimum Nutrition one (http://www.amazon.com/Optimum-Nutrition-Standard-Natural-Chocolate/dp/B000GIQT06)

I understand Chris’ argument for choosing raw, not processed.

In practice, however, it’s hard to get a necessary amount of protein without substituting with powder. Glass of milk is 8g of protein; egg yolk is ~3g. Even if you do manage to get used to gulping mixture of milk and few egg yolks, it would be pretty hard to get recommended 1-1.5g protein per 1lb body weight a day (when involved in heavy resistance training, and/or trying to gain muscle mass).

If we’re talking about pre-workout supplementation, you also can’t get the fast absorption effect from milk/eggs/meat that you would get from whey isolate (taken shortly before training session). But you can certainly substitute taking casein powder before bedtime with something more wholesome, like cottage cheese (which is high in casein).

I think making natural, nutritious food a staple of your diet, while substituting with whey concentrate/isolate around the training sessions (once a day at most, likely) wouldn’t hurt.

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Rob Is June 23, 2011 at 5:43 am

I found grass-fed whey from all-pro science but it’s a bit sweet:
http://allproscience.com/complete-100-grass-fed-whey-protein.html

Protein factory let’s you concoct your blend, omitting sweeteners and flavors entirely. Consider it may be undrinkable though!
http://proteinfactory.com/shop/product.php?productid=43&cat=1&page=1#tabs

Robb Wolf insists that whey drinks and liquid calories in general will stop you from leaning, but body builders do it and I think this may be up to individual variation. While there may be an insulin spike, you can get a massive amount of protein down with relTively few calories and post-workout that spike is actually desired…

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kangax June 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

Thanks for the links. Good to see grass-fed option exists.

I’m not sure why Robb Wolf thinks whey drinks will stop you from leaning. What’s his explanation? Protein shakes are usually a low-calorie liquid, and protein in general has a higher thermic effect (so more calories are burnt during digestion/absorption process).

Given enough physical activity, I don’t see how whey drinks can stop you from leaning (especially when consumed before/after workout, in which case they stimulate protein synthesis and result in certain hormonal response, which further induces muscle growth, which further results in even more calories burnt :) ).

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Rob Is June 24, 2011 at 5:13 am

I don’t remember Robb actually explaining it in any of the podcasts I’ve heard…. But have heard him say it repeatedly and he definitely does not like liquid calories in any form for leaning out. Post-workout, it seems like a free-for-all anyway, so I’m pretty convinced it doesn’t interfere then. I’m doing a 1/2 shake before and full after, but I’m on a mass gain, not leaning out!

I double-checked the All-Pro Science label and looks pretty good: all natural, (even the chocolate which is rare!), no artificial anything and the sweetener is Stevia. I don’t know much about that, but it’s gotta be better than aspartame, right?

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Monte Diaz June 25, 2011 at 9:51 am

Stevia is awesome. It has a slight licorice aftertaste though. It isn’t a sugar but merely an herb that taste sweet. There was some controversy about it, but I really believe it was made up hysteria. The herb has been safely consumed for thousands of years.

As far as consuming liquid calories, what about Stephan Guyenet’s food reward series that detailed a liquid diet study where participants lost a profound amount of weight? There are lots of liquid calorie diets where individuals lean out considerably. This is the post op standard in many weight loss surgeries. I’ve personally witnessed a body builder who got to 6 percent body fat employing this method.

On the other hand liquid calories are probably not good for a lot of reasons. The main one being it is a processed food. And processed foods are obviously not good for long term health and longevity.

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Erik Cisler June 26, 2011 at 11:07 am

I bet Robb is just drawing on his experiences with clients. It might be difficult or impossible to pull literature supporting the idea that whey shakes inhibit leanness (especially when it seems to promote insulin sensitivity and lean mass retention), but I feel first-hand experience with real life subjects trumps all that.

I’ve never found whey to inhibit leaning out, for what it’s worth.

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Dan B June 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

http://strongerfasterhealthier.com/product/6

Enter CFE and get a discount

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Wes June 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

Any thoughts on the MegaFoods Thyroid Strength? I saw it in a store the other day and was curious if it might help. I’m currently on the smallest dose of Levo (25mcg) with a slightly elevated TSH, normal T3 and T4 as well as normal freeT3 and freeT4. Been “paleo” for about 6 months and was hoping that might fix things, but latest blood work showed no real change. Thanks for any feedback.

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Tim June 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Regarding the caller who mentioned having apnea: I would JUMP on that: fix the sleep apnea! As someone who’s just now dealing with my apnea of more than a decade – and who’s been dealing with and trying solutions to fatigue, brain fog, leaky gut, and gluten intolerance, I can tell you that fixing the apnea can have HUGE effects. Do not look for underlying problems that might be causing the apnea – you can do that AFTER the apnea is under control. To someone starved for oxygen and for the restorative psychological effects of dreaming, that should be the #1 advice.

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Robby June 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Tim: Thanks for the response. I’ve been dealing with apnea for about a decade as well. For many years, my primary doctors said I was “too skinny” to have apnea. Finally found a good doc. She doubted it as well, but wrote me the script for a sleep study. What I learned is that weight isn’t always an issue. The guys at the Sleep Center told me their WORST patient was a rail-thin Indonesian guy, and that their heaviest patient (500 pounds!) snored, but had no apnea at all.

I’ve been sleeping off and on with a CPAP. Somethings the mask is difficult to get comfortable. So, I use it whenever I can.

Not looking for underlying causes of the apnea. I have an abnormal pharynx that causes narrower airways.

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Erin June 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I listened to an interview with a sleep dentist and he said his worst apnea patients were all small boned women with underdeveloped upper and lower jaws/dental arches. There is a way to help open up the airways through maxilla development using special functional orthodontic devices that are worn at night and gently widen the palate and correct the airways.
Homeoblock is one such device and the creator, Br. Theodore Belfor ,has extensive experience with sleep apnea (and the imaging to show the marked improvement in patient’s airways- check out his newsletter archives): http://www.facialdevelopment.com/

For more info on functional orthodontic appliances, I list a bunch of resources here: http://prettyinprimal.blogspot.com/2011/05/epigenetic-orthodontics-building-better.html

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Tim July 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Thanks but I have a device and, though it helps, it does about 20% of what CPAP does. And my apnea is weight-related.

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Barbara June 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Chris, thank you for answering my question on hypothyroid and Iodoral. I stopped taking it several months ago due to my response to it.. I thought it was a bromide reaction but really need to get confirmation which you provided along with the refrence to the article on selenium. When I took Iodoral i had amazing positive changes in my heartrate when cycling and since stopping it my max heart rate has gone down again, can you describe why this happens? Better oxyget up take or what?

I love the blog and podcast and have turned many friends on to your site. Thanks again.

Barbara in Boston

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Mario Iwakura June 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

Barbara, one well know cause for slow heart rate is hypothyroidism.

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Cara Zaller June 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

First, just want to say I love your podcast. I wish you lived in the Maryland area.

What do you recommend to someone who is trying to increase their estrogen level naturally?
42 yr old female, 5’2″ 108, eats a Paleo diet (minimal fruit aside from avocados)
Had been on the pill for 13 years, but has been off for 12 years. Had 2 successful pregnancies thanks to one round of injectible drugs each time to get pregnant. FSH= 8.2. Estradial < 5.0 Not trying to get pregnant, just maintain bone health and overall health.

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Chris Kresser June 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Hi Cara,

My colleague Bryan Walsh is in Maryland, and I highly recommend him. http://drbryanpwalsh.com

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Joss Delage June 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Chris,

What do you think of pure glucose (commercially available from baking specialty shops, I believe), as a replacement for sucrose, in exceptional desserts and sweets (i.e., in the context of a reasonably low sugar diet), or in one cup of coffee a day?

Thanks,

Joss Delage

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Chris Kresser June 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Absolutely.

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michele bird June 22, 2011 at 11:56 pm

HI DID CHRIS answer your question? i would benefit if i could share his response if you could, i will be grateful
thanks
michele

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Ali June 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Hi Chris,

Again, all I couild find in store is Magnesium Bis-Glycinate. I suffer from constipation on a cyclical basis and I am in that cycle now. I regularly take natural calm, vi ct , fish oil, lots of fat and drink 2-3L of water daily. However, my stools are still very dry, small, and difficult to pass. I have no idea what to do. I get extremely bloated during this time as well and this makes me incredibly moody.Any other suggestions? I am on HMF powder, sauerkraut, experimented with what seems like everything.

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Ron June 23, 2011 at 4:35 am

Ali: I also suffered with stools that were dry and hard to pass. At the end of Chris’ answer, he talks about gut flora and integrity. I read at article by Dr. Art Ayers at Cooling Inflammation, and shortly thereafter listened to a Jimmy Moore podcast with Dr. Ayers where Dr. Ayers points out the importance of healthy gut flora, and as Chris said, that fecal matter is a high percentage of bacteria. I began taking probiotics (3 different brands that had different bacteria strains), consuming raw milk yogurt and kefir, and increasing my consumption of sauerkraut and kimche. Within 3 days, my stools went from hard and dry to soft and fully formed.

I see that you take Natural Calm as a magnesium supplement. I am a subscriber to Consumerlab which does independent testing of vitamin and mineral supplements. They have found high levels of lead in NC and put the brand on its unapproved list. I have provided a link below, but if you are unable to get to it, let me know and I will post the text in a reply. Best of luck.

http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2011/06/contagious-health.html

http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/4162/476-dr-art-ayers-says-low-carb-fights-inflammation/

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Magnesium_Supplement_Review/magnesium/

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Ali June 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

Hey Ron,

Thanks for the response, good links. However, I am currently taking in quite a bit of probiotic. HMF powder is a probiotic, stored in the fridge, powder form which I mix with room temp water in the morning and at night on an empty stomach. I also eat about 1-1.5c of sauerkraut a day. Seems like that should do the trick but no urge or anything.

Cut the NC out as I saw the flavour I have has stevia. NC has worked in the past but not anymore. Switched to mag bis-glycinate, all I could find in the store here and was desperate. Still nothing. I also react negatively to dairy. Thanks for your suggestions, but I am thinking it may be low bile production? I am currently taking herbatox but after 2 weeks, doesnt seem to be working.

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Monte Diaz June 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

I don’t know if there is one close to you but The Vitamin Shoppe caries pure Magnesium Glycinate in the store from the KAL brand. It is likely that other stores who carry the KAL brand will have it or can order it.

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smgj June 23, 2011 at 6:05 am

I’d just tell you that this was an awesome podcast. I really like the q/a-style and your willingness to go in depth in answering.

And it was a very good clarification on the hashimotos/iodine/selenium-connection.

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Nick June 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

Chris…
A good dear friend of mine has been struggling with Low T.. He was tested, retested and tested again and consistlenty scored low on all T levels and very little to no LH production.. I think he said his androgen scores were 261..

So he has been on a low does TRT program now for 7 weeks and has never felt better.. He is sleeping and recoverying better, has a better attitude and says he has never looked better….

He has actually told me that since starting the TRT he has been able to handle more carbs than in the past..

He has had a very stressful job – SWAT – has 4 kids, a business on the side etc..

Whenever I hear stuff like you are discussing here I start worrying about him and wonder if this is something for him that just could not be avoided? It sounds like he was on his way to producing no T whatsoever.

So my questions is.. in this case, is there no other solution than a proper TRT program? and if no what options does he have? and Two Is it proven that Carb intolerance causes low T or are folks carb intolerant because of low T?

Thanks Chris! Love listening to your podcasts! You and Robb make my work days go by so much faster!!

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Alex June 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

Hi Chris,

I think that’s awesome you are avoiding the traditional medical system with the birth of your child. Do you plan on getting him or her vaccinated? If it’s a boy would you get him circumcised?

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Chris Kresser June 24, 2011 at 10:38 am

No circumcision and no vaccination (100% certain on the former and 99% certain on the latter).

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Erik Cisler June 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hi, Chris.

Do you think you might ever go into your reasons for not vaccinating? It’s hard to wade through all the different viewpoints, and I think your readers would be much obliged to hear your take on it. As someone who wants kids soon, I know I would.

Thanks.

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Chris Kresser June 26, 2011 at 11:35 am

Someday I will. It will be the most difficult, time-consuming, polarizing and controversial series I’ll ever write – which is probably why it hasn’t been written yet. Here’s the other thing: I don’t believe it’s possible to reach a place of “certainty”, or anything near it, by reading the literature. Thus the decision whether to vaccinate or not, or which vaccinations to use, is highly personal and subjective and dependent on factors well outside of scientific evidence. For us, the crucial question is this: would we rather take the exceedingly small chance of our child dying from an acute infection, or the much larger chance of permanently impairing our child’s immune system and predisposing him/her to autoimmune disease? Since both my wife and I have autoimmune diseases and can track their onset to soon after we received vaccinations as adults (for third-world travel in my case, for emigration to the U.S. in Elanne’s case), we’re admittedly biased toward the former.

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Sue June 24, 2011 at 2:21 am

Just to confirm I heard you correctly – you said the yolk contains most of the protein and nutrients. Is this correct? Yes it contains most of the nutrients but I was under the impression that the whites contained most of the protein.

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Jim June 24, 2011 at 6:10 am

Sue, it’s about 50-50 for the protein.

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Sue June 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thanks!

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Chris Kresser June 24, 2011 at 10:38 am

What Jim said.

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Miguel June 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

Question regarding about selenium. Do I supplement selenium or do I eat the food that contains a lot of selenium?

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Chris Kresser June 24, 2011 at 10:37 am

Either way. But it’s hard to get enough unless you’re eating fish regularly and/or 2-3 brazil nuts every day.

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Mario Iwakura June 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

Unfortunatly, most selenium you get from fish is sequestred by mercury, as a recent study done in Tokyo residents (pubmed 21671085) has show:

“However, as ocean fish provide a significant percentage of the Se in the Japanese
diet, much of the Se in these foods is present in the form of complexes with mercury (Hg),
causing the hair Se values of the present subjects to be directly and significantly correlated
with those of Hg, with P<0.0001. The mean hair Hg level of 3.891±0.415 μg/g of the men
was higher than that of the women of 2.905±0.294 μg/g. From the observed Hg/Se slope of
the least squares fitted line of 2,105 in the males, it is estimated that 82% hair Se is bound
to Hg. In the females, the corresponding percentage was estimated to 45%, suggesting that
the women obtained more of their dietary Se from food sources with lower mercury
contents than the men."

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park yui June 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

On TRT. you say TRT will shut down LH (hpa axis)
What about using TRT with HCG which is becomming a standard protocol, HCG keeps LH and hpa going?

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Chris Kresser June 24, 2011 at 11:19 am

Not a standard protocol for me. See my other reply. HcG supplementation will further dysregulate the negative feedback system.

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park yui June 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

Do you usually recommend raw milk for people with autoimmune disease (hashis)?

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Vlad June 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

Hi Chris,

I was so anxiously waiting your response on Nick’s question regarding the TRT ). I have similar story: I am 44, I eat paleo and exercise smart but before TRT I felt really miserable in many ways. Should I try to discontinue it ?

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park yui June 24, 2011 at 11:16 am

A final question, what about using OTC hormones like DHEA,pregnenolone as an alternative to using testosterone?

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Chris Kresser June 24, 2011 at 11:18 am

The whole point is that I don’t recommend supplemental hormones except in cases of primary glandular failure or as a last resort. That applies to all hormone supplementation, except thyroid hormone with Hashimoto’s or Graves’ (where the thyroid has been ablated).

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Mary June 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Hi,

I saw on a blog asking for questions for this podcast that someone asked about apoe4/4 genotypes, and how much saturated fat they should eat. Do you have thoughts on this? Data seems to conflict — saying both eat a lot of fat, or conversely, eat only a little. I know paleo in general is good for this genotype (high-carb is especially detrimental to apoe4/4s), but the fat component is very confusing.

Thanks in advance!
Mary

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Nick June 25, 2011 at 8:09 am

Chris…
A good dear friend of mine has been struggling with Low T.. He was tested, retested and tested again and consistlenty scored low on all T levels and very little to no LH production.. I think he said his androgen scores were 261.. His diet is on point, training is solid (not over training) and is very aware of his life style situations.

So he has been on a low does TRT program now for 7 weeks and has never felt better.. He is sleeping and recoverying better, has a better attitude and says he has never looked better….

He has actually told me that since starting the TRT he has been able to handle more carbs than in the past..

He has had a very stressful job – SWAT – has 4 kids, a business on the side etc..

Whenever I hear stuff like you are discussing here I start worrying about him and wonder if this is something for him that just could not be avoided? It sounds like he was on his way to producing no T whatsoever.

So my questions is.. in this case, is there no other solution than a proper TRT program? and if no what options does he have? and Two Is it proven that Carb intolerance causes low T or are folks carb intolerant because of low T?

Thanks Chris! Love listening to your podcasts! You and Robb make my work days go by so much faster!!

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Mario Iwakura June 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

Three conditions that can lead to low testosterone are hypothyroidism (pubmed 3403362, 10671947, 2128402), diabetes (21683825, 21679181, 21676855) and iron overload or thalassaemia (21234716, 19912219, 19552099, 18779644, 18423706).

Carb intolerance is also seen on thalassaemia (19373585, 19337177, 16822284).

As Chris said TRT is not a solution, best is to find the cause of his low testosterone.

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Chris Kresser June 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

Balancing hormones naturally depends on proper blood sugar regulation, oxygen deliverability, gut function, adrenal function, fatty acid balance and liver/gall bladder function. Those are the foundational elements of proper hormone synthesis, metabolism and clearance. TRT will work for a short period of time, but as the cells become resistant and the body’s endogenous production shuts down over time, higher and higher doses will be required until the TRT stops having an effect at all. At least that’s the typical progression.

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Tom July 9, 2011 at 9:23 am

TRT has worked for me for 5 years so far and I have stable levels with no increase in dosage. Though TRT may not be the first solution, I respectfully disagree that it is not a solution at all. Ideally one wants to find the reason for the low T, but how many years do you look and what is the cost to the body of waiting?

The 261 number mentioned above, if it is a Total T value and measured in ng/dl is much less that average 85-100 year old man who as a value of 400 or so+/-.

One can take the testosterone and get on with life, of instead have a warped sense of moral superiority and say, “I’m on all these other drugs for blood pressure, cholesterol, anti-depressents, am overweight by 50lb, impotent, and have greater risk of disease, but am morally-superior because I refuse to take the number 1 male hormone in my body because it might be dangerous long-term.

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Chris Kresser July 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

I never said it wasn’t a solution at all. I said I don’t recommend it as a first line of treatment, especially if the underlying mechanisms which lead to low testosterone haven’t been addressed.

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Tom July 9, 2011 at 10:55 am

I apologize for putting words in your mouth and implying you said something you didn’t – that was not my intent. I was referring to more of the “societal you” than a specific person.

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Marie June 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

Awesome choice of birth for you and your wife, my children have also been homebirth, no dr’s, ultrasounds, bloodwork, circs, vaccs, etc. It’s by far the most wonderful, healthy, natural way to have a baby. We also milk a couple Jerseys and enjoy all that raw milk and fresh colostrum!

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Tim Moon June 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

For some reason your podcast is not available through Zune…

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hggh June 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

How does he explain genetically-bred-to-be-obese Zucker rats (insulin resistant) eating less than the genetically bred lean Zucker rats:
http://is.gd/HBlSKc (watch until ’4 of 7′ 9min mark and keep watching until ’5 of 7′ 3min30s) in GCBC?:

GCBC Ch 16. Line 107, 118 on Zucker Rats genetically obese and normal lean:
http://paste2.org/p/1477260

“Jean Mayer began studying a strain of obese mice in 1950, he observed that if he starved them sufficiently
he could reduce their weight beneath that of normal rats, but they’d “still contain more fat than the normal ones, while
their muscles have melted away

Mayer’s obese mice. “These mice will make fat out of their food
under the most unlikely circumstances,” he wrote, “even when half starved.””

They will die cannibalizing their organ tissue (like heart muscle) before burning fat.
-
And line 146 about problem with calorie model:
“He [Rubner] also demonstrated, in 1878, what he originally called the isodynamic law, which has since been distilled by
nutritionists to the phrase “a calorie is a calorie.” A calorie of protein provides the same amount of energy to the
body as a calorie of fat or carbohydrate. Lost in this distillation is the fact that the effects of these different nutrients on
metabolism and hormone secretion are so radically different”
-
Ch 21. Line 460 on Wade’s experiments with rats without estrogen:
http://paste2.org/p/1477308
“Wade in the 1970s, “but they are overeating because they’re socking all the calories away into adipose tissue and they can’t get to those calories. They’re not getting fat because they’re overeating; they’re overeating because they’re getting fat. It’s not a trivial difference. The causality is quite different.”

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Miranda June 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I just had a baby in April and being in full ‘baby mode’, I am anxiously awaiting more news about you and your wife’s soon to be arrival! It is such an epic, life changing experience. I too really wanted to go the natural route, but unforeseen complications can and do arise despite the best planning and intentions, so in our case it was good that the medical options were available so she could arrive safely.

However your birth story ends up being told, it will be an awesome day for your little family!

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Chris Kresser June 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Of course. We’re glad there’s a hospital nearby in case we need one.

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Marley June 29, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Hi Chris,
Just read an article in a popular new zealand magazine which had a “specialist” saying a gluten free diet is a bad idea for anyone that doesnt have coeliac because they are missing out on minerals and iron that they get from grains and bread. WTF?
All the best for the birth, my partner is 10 days overdue at the mo- was planning on a homebirth but she has polyhydramnios and our great midwife has had to leave so hospital might be on the cards if it stays in any longer. Its a hard call when to try and induce giving that complications seem to be correlated to inductions- especially with oxytocin.
Thanks for all the info, currently doing the FDN course so learning heaps

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Chris Kresser July 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Typical mainstream propaganda without a shred of truth to it. If grains are necessary for human health, how did we possibly manage to survive for the 77,700 generations we didn’t eat grains. People don’t think. Drives me crazy.

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Cara Zaller July 9, 2011 at 11:52 am

Can you help me interpret my lab numbers please?

TSH = .545
T3 Uptake = 32
Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum 1.9
T4, Free .96
Testosterone, Serum <3 (it didn't show a number since it was below 3)
Free Testosterone (Direct) < 0.2 (same as above – too low to show a number)
LH = .3
DHEA = 126.3
Progesterone = .3
FSH = 8.2
Estradiol < 5.1 (same as above – too low to show a number)
Vitamin D = 31.8

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Davie July 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Hey Chris, great podcast man, thank you.

I was hoping you could clear up some confusion I have. In this episode, when the guy was asking about the hair loss issue, you pointed to a potential issue that some people may have when going very low carb, I know elsewhere you have mentioned potential issues with going very low carb also. But In the episode with Robb and Mat, Mat was talking about a meat and water only diet for those with autoimmune problems, as short duration thing to for maybe a month or so. I know you are also a fan of the GAPS diet, but the Gaps introduction, by its nature of meat broths and veggies would also be very low carb.
Is it a case here of different things being required for different circumstances and different people?
I also dont really understand the mechanism that could potentially lead to hair loss in some from a very low carb diet, is it to do with the stress such a diet may place on the body? Obviously there are many folks and some cultures who do very well on very low carb diets without running into there problems, but also I can see for some people problems arise.

Thank you so much for the great work you do.

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Chris Kresser July 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

The GAPS intro is a therapeutic protocol meant to be done only for a short period of time. The full GAPS diet is not necessarily low-carb. So yes, it always depends on the circumstances and the individual.

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Davie July 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Thank you for the reply Chris.

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STG July 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Chris,

Another incredibly informative podcast! Good for you for not medicalizing your pre-born child. Your blog and podcasts provide intelligent discussion, education and wisdom on health topics. Thank you.

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