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Thread: Ask a biochemist. page 28

  1. #271
    Molecular Grokologist's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    Alright, time to get started. Incidentally, your questions that I've let backlog run to about 11 pages in word.

    @ Fit4lifegal

    Iodine will in fact help with thyroid function, but too much can cause dysfunction not quite as easily as too little can, and your dose tolerance is going to be impaired by your partial loss of the thyroid, so be careful. Vitamin D sufficiency will help as well. Zinc supplementation helps some people, as do any of the variety of supplements which fight inflammation. That said, my understanding is that you will require some means of thyroid supplementation for the rest of your life. In general, more broad spectrum thyroid supplements seem to perform better in many respects, and I've seen some rumblings that natural thyroid derivatives appear to be be better than synthetic ones, but that may be holistic medicine hocus pocus.

    @ Serialsinner

    The best hangover cure is plain old water, preferably the night before. If you want to get fancy about it, a bit of salt and fat in your breakfast has been shown to help (hooray!), and a B-complex to replace the cofactors your liver used up in processing the alcohol wouldn't hurt either.

    @ Pie

    Low body temperature is rarely a problem in and of itself, but as people have alluded, it can be a sign of a depressed metabolism. It could be tons of stuff, of course, but looking after your thyroid, liver, pancreas, etc. is all going to help. Coconut oil helps to elevate body temperature for many people because of the magical MCTs, and things like capsaicin which improve circulation may make you more comfortable. In fact, I've been reading recently about how improved posture improves circulation as well, so you might give that a try as well.

    As for Matt Stone, he could be onto something with elevated caloric intake being good for some people, but I'm thoroughly unconvinced by body temperature as a proxy for metabolic health. He also seems like a jerk.

    @ Claude 512

    Well, there are enough chemicals and chemical reactions from smoking to fill a book, but the gist of it is that it pumps your system full of free radicals which promote heart disease and a wide variety of toxins and carcinogens which tax damned near every organ in the body.

    Nicotine has a neuro-stimulatory effect on an inverse-U curve, waking people up in small amounts but calming them down in larger amounts. It helps keep people thin by dulling taste buds and by stimulating lipases in adipocytes which put fat into circulation instead of storage.

    @ Eva

    See above.

    @ Malpaz

    It will take some time to completely replenish your gut flora, since most of the bugs which make it past the stomach still don't actually adhere to the gut lining.

    While diversity in your gut flora is crucial to your eventual health, you should be cautious about bacterial exposure from e.g. raw meat until your gut gets better populated and your stomach acid improves.

    If I were you, I would focus on lactobaccili from fermented veggies if you can't tolerate yogurt and take a probiotic. Foods with soluble fiber may help because of their ability to provide food for your bugs. HCl tablets might indeed be a good idea, but you should also do things like avoid COX inhibitors (like most NSAIDs) and make sure to get sufficient minerals in your diet.
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  2. #272
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    @ Allbeef Patty

    Your creatinine is fine as far as I'm aware. I wouldn't worry about your protein intake either. It's not that big a determinant of muscle building capacity, and creatinine isn't a great indicator of how beneficial additional protein would be for you anyways.

    @ Stabby

    PUFA that get incorporated into membranes and other structures tend to make them less stable. I'm actually not certain if oxidized lipids get incorporated into structures all that much (their shape and charge change might prevent enzymes from having much of an affinity for them).

    The net effect, whether they are oxidized or not, is that they tend to start chain reactions in places we'd rather not have them.

    Additionally, I'm uncertain, but I'd bet that oxidized PUFA don't get made into cytokines well and thus disrupt signalling too.

    @ PDL

    Yes, I'm afraid, but if you are fat-adapted, you also have a decent amount of fat turnover which will decrease the toxin load of any fat you lose on a more permanent basis.

    @ Darthfriendly

    No, some of the benefits from eating veg will be there just from tea, like the reduction of oxidized lipids in your stomach, but the effects of phytochemical compounds are many and varied, and there just isn't enough variety in green tea.

    Better than nothing, though.

    @ Darienx19

    Yes, some peptides resulting from partial digestion of casein have opoid effects.

    @ Pandadude

    It's actually not entirely clear which aspects of a fast are necessary to achieve the various gene expression changes which are the main thing we're shooting for with a fast.

    Protein restriction will upregulate autophagy (protein turnover), and will also improve your ability to utilize protein effectively once you get more again.

    If I were you, however, I would just do a 15-20 hour full fast and be done with it for the sake of caution.

    @ Ontherun

    Yeah, the aluminium in particular is a nasty one. Looks like a significant causal/exacerbating factor in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegeneration.

    There are aluminium-free antiperspirants that are perfectly effective. Many gel deodorants are free of heavy metals even if they aren't ideal. I presume those don't do the trick for you, though.

    However, there are also surgical (yikes!) alternatives which alter axillary nerves to solve the problem on a more permanent basis. My brother had such an operation for his pits and hands and has been quite pleased with the result.

    Incidentally, I used to have the same problem in my hands, and improved circulation and nervous system health has largely eliminated it.

    Improved gut flora and b6 intake have both been suggested to help with asthma, as has mustard, but I'm a bit more skeptical of that.

    I wouldn't worry about the timing of your mineral supplements too much. Just take them with food and some fat.
    Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

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  3. #273
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    @jk19

    Take them with food, consider spreading them out.

    @rphlslv

    The calcium and citrate separate as they combine to make more stable salts with other acids and bases in your stomach and gut. The citrate gets absorbed and digested, while the calcium gets absorbed through receptors in the gut lining and put into the bloodstream.

    I've never really followed the whole "acid/base food" thing since up until recently I was pretty sure it was more or less irrelevant. I would anticipate just based on their standard chemical properties that calcium is a strong base and citrate is a mild acid, making it a net base former, but our bodies can be weird, so I wouldn't quote me on that.

    Large amounts of calcium can adversely affect fat absorption in the gut.

    @ Gathwh

    Yes, you can always lose your newfound sensitivity to insulin and leptin. It might take longer than a week, though.

    @ Djcollin

    Multivitamins can cause some issues in some people, so I would probably just take a mineral supplement like a Ca Mg Zn. It's not that those minerals are deficient in a paleo diet, it's that they're depleted in the soil in general, so supplementation is beneficial. There are certainly paleo sources of them, but you can't always get them in the quantities one might wish.

    @ PDL again

    Plenty of the right kinds of fat and minerals will help, B-vitamins in particular, and especially B-12. Incidentally, benfotiamine will also improve your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar.

    If you really want to get crazy, phosphatidyl-choline, phosphatidyl-serine, taurine, N-acetyl-cysteine, inositol, vinpocetine and gingko may help as well.

    Nobody really knows how aswagandha works, but it's good for you anyways, so you might give it a shot.

    @ KestrelSF

    http://www.style.org/unladenswallow/

    @ Stabby



    Basically, we take very short-chain fatty acids attached to CoA and assemble them together in what I like to think of as bizarro-beta-oxidation until we get palmitate.

    From there, we use various enzymes to lengthen or desaturate as necessary. We're not spectacularly good at most of those reactions, so it helps to get them from the diet, but as you mention, we're really good at making oleate from stearate. We only rarely shorten fatty acids from palmitate, in cases like the manufacture of breast milk. Only the EFAs have to be assembled elsewhere entirely.

    @ Bushrat

    I'd hate to steer you away from any path in the sciences you might choose, but I'll tell you what I love about biochemistry.

    Inside of each of us, trillions of times over, are bustling metropoli in which factories constantly churn out infinitely varied chains of chemicals to manipulate the laws of physics on a stupendously tiny level to make chemical reactions flow in entirely the wrong direction. They constantly react to their environment through incredibly clever chains of feedback mechanisms and solve the most daunting engineering problems with elegance human engineers lust after.

    By learning about how these microcosmic miracles occur and how we can manipulate them, you can (directly or indirectly) better the lot of billions of people, present and future in a way that few scientific disciplines will enable you to do.

    I, for example, am working on the understanding of aging and developing means by which we can reverse the damage associated with it. My work, and the work of others in my field, has the potential to add untold numbers of healthy years to the lives of my fellow human beings. Think about that: as a biochemist, I'm actually working on the problem of conquering death. Ask a physicist what he does for a living.
    Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

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  4. #274
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    @ Malpaz

    Translation: insulin drives fat, which we would expect to drive leptin, but insulin and leptin aren't directly related. Glucose drives insulin but also drives leptin (at least partially, there's lots of other stuff, of course). When we give people an insulin-sensitizing drug, all three go down, but only when their insulin sensitivity was really, really bad.

    @ Ollie

    Fasting helps keep the gained weight lean, and it's also very healthy. Furthermore, it improves levels of growth hormone, which helps to make my workouts more effective in stimulating muscle growth. It's counterintuitive, but I can assure you it's working.

    To gain weight healthily, I would lift heavy twice a week, eat lots (and lots) but only good stuff, get plenty of sleep, walk (lots) and sprint (every now and then). Fast as you see fit, but it's not a huge deal for stimulating muscle growth as compared to just eating a proper diet and working out the right way. Try to keep stress low. Get extra protein, iron, A, D, and zinc. Hell, get extra everything. If you aren't gaining weight, workout harder and eat more carbs to drive your hunger.

    @ cerebelumsdayoff

    TONS of stuff goes on when you fast. I won't reproduce here what's been excellently covered here: http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2008...gy-production/.

    Yes, some people find it harder to lean out or get big because of their genes.

    How is your muscle mass right now? Paradoxically, it can sometimes be hard to lean out without muscle and hard to gain muscle until you lose fat.

    You can probably get big and lean if you want, but you might really have to work for it.
    Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

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  5. #275
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    Thanks, MG!

  6. #276
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    Glad you're back MG!
    Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!

    Yr 42

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    February Whole 30-ish

    start. stop. start.stop...now ramping up to cruising speed!

  7. #277
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    wow youre amazing thank you!!!

  8. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular Grokologist View Post
    @ Ollie

    Fasting helps keep the gained weight lean, and it's also very healthy. Furthermore, it improves levels of growth hormone, which helps to make my workouts more effective in stimulating muscle growth. It's counterintuitive, but I can assure you it's working.

    To gain weight healthily, I would lift heavy twice a week, eat lots (and lots) but only good stuff, get plenty of sleep, walk (lots) and sprint (every now and then). Fast as you see fit, but it's not a huge deal for stimulating muscle growth as compared to just eating a proper diet and working out the right way. Try to keep stress low. Get extra protein, iron, A, D, and zinc. Hell, get extra everything. If you aren't gaining weight, workout harder and eat more carbs to drive your hunger.
    OK so basically in terms of weight gaining IF isn't a huge deal in achieving that goal, but certainly doesn't have the opposite effect (i.e. weight loss) and since IF is HALTHY it might as well be done anyway? Am I getting that right...

  9. #279
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    MG, awesome thread

    Question - I'm back in school clearing out pre-reqs for a bound-to-be CW laden MS program for Clinical Nutrition on the road to becoming a Registered Dietician. My real goal is to get the basis needed to understand the science beneath the effects of diet on health prior to hitting the MS trac. Pre-reqs are basic Bio & Chem 1&2 in both, O-Chem 1&2, anat & physiology 1&2, genetics, microbiology, and 1 course of biochem.
    One of the things I'm considering doing above and beyond the pre-reqs is acquiring a full second BS in either Biology or Biochemistry and I'm trying to gauge the value of the additional required chemistry courses for the Biochem degree above the "plain" biology one (at the University I'd be able to attend here). Those being: Quantitative Analysis (Analyitical Chem), Multivar Calc (ew), and then Physical Chemistry I & II plus Instrumental Analysis. I'm not sure if or how the additional chem courses would help in my goal - maybe you can shed some light on this?

    Question 2 - Read an interesting article on Hyperlipid suggesting that there isn't much correlation between fruit & veggie intake and improved health; that is, they may actually be harmful and damaging to DNA. Links here:
    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.c...29%20re%20post
    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.c...udy%20headline
    ...and there's additional ones (I think a total of 10 or so). Thoughts?

  10. #280
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    PrimalCon New York
    OK I have an actual question. I've been reading over the USDA 2010 guidelines, specifically the parts associated with saturated fats and cholesterol. ( See http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publication...holesterol.pdf

    Reading the section: "Question 1. What is the Effect of Saturated Fat Intake on Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease or Type 2 Diabetes, Including Effects on Intermediate Markers such as Serum Lipid and Lipoprotein Levels?"

    They come to the conclusion:

    "Strong evidence indicates that intake of dietary SFA is positively associated with intermediate markers and end point health outcomes for two distinct metabolic pathways: 1) increased serum total and LDL cholesterol and increased risk of CVD and 2) increased markers of insulin resistance and increased risk of T2D. Conversely, decreased SFA intake improves measures of both CVD and T2D risk. The evidence shows that 5 percent energy decrease in SFA, replaced by MUFA or PUFA, decreases risk of CVD and T2D in healthy adults and improves insulin responsiveness in insulin resistant and T2D individuals."

    They go on to cite various studies to show proof for this:

    "Of the 12 studies, eight were methodologically strong (Azadbakht, 2007; Berglund, 2007; Chen, 2009; Furtado, 2008; Jakobsen, 2009; Kralova, 2008; Lefevre, 2005; Lichtenstein, 2005), and four were methodologically neutral (Buenacorso, 2007; Bourque, 2007; Chung, 2004; Dabadie, 2005). Most methodologically strong studies were feeding trials with an ―average American‖ diet at baseline, which involved a reduction in SFA through replacement with MUFA, PUFA, or, to a lesser extent, carbohydrates. Dietary SFA replacement (5-7% of energy) with either MUFA (Berglund, 2007; Lichtenstein, 2005) or PUFA (Chung, 2004; Kralova, 2008; Lichtenstein, 2005) significantly decreased total and LDL cholesterol. Replacement of SFA with carbohydrates decreased plasma total and LDL cholesterol. However, compared to MUFA or PUFA, carbohydrate decreased HDL cholesterol and increased serum triglycerides (Berglund, 2007). A study by Lefevre et al. (2005) included two levels of total fat (30% and 25%) and SFA (9% and 6%) in the Step I and Step II diets, respectively, and demonstrated a dose-response effect in lowering LDL cholesterol."

    I subsequent sections, they go on to say "Strong evidence indicates that dietary MUFA are associated with improved blood lipids related to both CVD and T2D, when MUFA is a replacement for dietary SFA. "

    I wanted to see how you would respond to these conclusions based on the validity (or not) of the studies cited.

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