Info

Mastering Nutrition

Hi, I'm Chris Masterjohn and I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences. I am an entrepreneur in all things fitness, health, and nutrition. In this show I combine my scientific expertise with my out-of-the-box thinking to translate complex science into new, practical ideas that you can use to help yourself on your journey to vibrant health. This show will allow you to master the science of nutrition and apply it to your own life like a pro.
RSS Feed
Mastering Nutrition
2020
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
August
July
June
May
April


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Category: fitness & nutrition
Mar 18, 2020

Question: Nutrients important for neuroregeneration.

Iron, phosphorus, and sulfate are very important for regenerating nerves. Magnesium. Acetylcholine is a major factor in regeneration of nerves, and so choline is important. If you were to use a supplement, alpha-GPC would be the ideal choline supplement to use because it's superior at generating acetylcholine. Vitamin A and zinc are very important for nerve regeneration. DHA, which is one of the omega-3 fatty acids that you find in fish is very important. Vitamin B6. Possibly GABA supplementation can help.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/09/06/ask-anything-nutrition-march-8-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 17, 2020

Question: Advice for what to do after suffering a transient ischemic attack.

A TIA, a transient ischemic attack, is like a mini stroke, but they all kind of fall into the same category where the development of plaque is a very significant part, is the major thing disposing you to having an event like that.

Nutritionally, the major factors in blood pressure are potassium is the biggest one, the salt-to-potassium ratio, not eating too much. Some people are salt-sensitive, some aren't. But the major factor is really the salt-to-potassium ratio. Some of the other minerals like magnesium and calcium are important. But then stress and physical activity are huge in blood pressure as well. Assuming that's under control, the main nutritional factors that you want to pay attention to are things that get the blood lipids under control and then things that get the process of calcification and inflammation under control.

The reason that the lipids are problematic is because they're getting damaged by free radicals and other damaging molecules, so things like vitamin C and E, glutathione, fruits and vegetables supplying polyphenols, all the minerals like zinc, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, all those things are important.

Figuring out whatever the limiting factor is and managing the details is a really big project. There are some simple rules of thumb like getting regular exercise, provided that the doctor okays it. Obviously, with cardiovascular issues, you have to do that, but whatever is safe for him to engage in. If needed, meditation or stress reduction on the blood pressure. And then just cut the junk food out and include a well-balanced diet.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/09/06/ask-anything-nutrition-march-8-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 16, 2020

Question: When on a ketogenic diet, it is a problem if ketones are going up to 5 to 6 millimoles per liter?

One of the popular ketogenic advocates was saying that if the ketones are getting above 3, then it's from not eating enough protein. I don't really see it that way. I think that protein will suppress ketogenesis, and so will carbs. Five to 6 millimoles per liter is what you see in therapeutic ketogenic diets.

In terms of how you could bring the ketones down, more carbs or more protein are going to bring them down. Between the two of those, probably protein would be the most important thing to increase as a means of protection against lean mass loss and as a means of keeping neurotransmitters and all the other things that you do with protein healthy. But you could raise the carbs a little bit too. Because remember that your carb demand even on a ketogenic diet is definitely not down to 20 grams of carbs. That's not even feeding your brain on the ketogenic diet.

If you have room to increase carbs, then I think would be great to get the carbs up to at least 30 and then maybe use protein going up to supply the rest of that. Then also pay attention to micronutrients. Do a dietary analysis. If there are certain nutrients that this person is not really getting in that more vegetables would help those micronutrients, then increase the vegetables and the carbs along with them for that purpose. But just on macros alone, I would say go up at least 10 grams on the carbs and go up to, if you can get there, a gram of protein per pound of body weight on the protein, and that will bring the ketones down.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/09/06/ask-anything-nutrition-march-8-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 13, 2020

Question: Are there any solutions to getting nauseated from zinc supplements even at low doses and even when the zinc comes as oysters?

With the zinc, my general recommendation is to take zinc on an empty stomach. The thing that is not controversial is that phytate is the principal inhibitor of zinc absorption. Phytate is found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. I think there's a very broad agreement across the zinc research community that taking zinc not with a meal that contains whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes is going to lead to higher zinc absorption.

Then there's some controversy. Does it matter whether the zinc is on an empty stomach compared to a phytate-free meal, which would be a meal that doesn't have any whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes? Because there's a gray area there, I say if you can, take it on an empty stomach. If you can't, take it with a phytate-free meal.

Generally, it's the case that if someone takes 15 milligrams of zinc with a full glass of water, they are very unlikely to get nauseated from it. Whereas if almost anyone takes 50 milligrams of zinc with a full glass of water on an empty stomach, they're almost definitely going to get nauseated from it. I would get nauseated from it.

Taking the low dose should allow you to take it on an empty stomach, but for some people, they do get nauseated even taking only 15 milligrams on an empty stomach. Well, you have two options. The ideal thing would be figure out the lowest amount of food that it takes to.

If you eat the oyster at the end of a phytate-free meal, is it still making you sick? If so, I don't think that's the zinc. I think it's something else. And your digestive system might not be up to the task of eating oysters right now at this moment. But if at the end of a phytate-free meal if you can fit in one or two oysters and it doesn't make you nauseated at all, then I think that's great. Oysters are probably the ideal zinc supplement if you can get them in. A couple of oysters a day goes a long way to getting your zinc in.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/09/06/ask-anything-nutrition-march-8-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 12, 2020

Question: Could low LDL hurt female fertility?

I haven't seen evidence of it, but that would not surprise me at all given that cholesterol is what you make sex hormones from. If you see levels that low, I don't know that it's intrinsically a problem. You kind of want to start looking at what are the reasonable things you could expect to happen from that that affect female fertility? Fat-soluble vitamins could be relevant. Sex hormones could be relevant. I'd start looking at those things.

I doubt that the LDL being that low itself in and of itself is going to be the thing that compromises fertility. This is the thing. Is the LDL low because of really good clearance from the blood, or is it low because of really low production? If it's low because of really low production, then you definitely have problems with fat-soluble vitamin transport. Because if the liver is not making lipoproteins as much, the fat-soluble vitamins are staying trapped in the liver and they're not getting to other tissues that need them.

While there's no evidence for it, it makes perfect sense that dietary cholesterol would help that because dietary cholesterol is very helpful in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, where the exact same defect is 1,000X to produce a devastating result. It makes total sense that in someone who is a carrier for SLOS, Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, who has defective cholesterol synthesis in their gonadal tissues and therefore has defective sex hormone synthesis, it makes total sense of eating cholesterol would help those people. So, I would try it.

Egg yolks. That's what most people are going to eat for cholesterol. But this all hinges on the question of the LDL is low, so what? Is it because it's being cleared rapidly or because it's not entering the blood due to lack of synthesis? Whether that person is going to have infertility as a result of it and whether that's going to be helped by dietary cholesterol, it's all going to get a hinge on that. But the good news is for both people, it's probably completely harmless to eat some eggs. Eating eggs might just be the thing that helps.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 11, 2020

Question: Is it safe to take creatine when nursing?

If you felt fatigued and you took the creatine and all of a sudden that started reversing, then you either felt fatigued because you had low creatine synthesis, or you felt fatigued because you had a methylation problem. Those aren't mutually exclusive. If you're not methylating well, the most sensitive thing that will happen is you'll synthesize less creatine. But I mean it could have gone beyond creatine. It could have been that you're synthesizing less creatine, and you're not regulating your dopamine properly and things like that.

But certainly, you're addressing a methylation issue/a creatine deficiency issue. I don't know the exact cause and effect scenario that would lead to ovulation, but it makes sense that you ovulate. Think about the regulation of fertility, the whole thought process of the body's regulation of fertility. All of it comes down to energy. It comes down to the fact that when you get pregnant, you're investing -- I don't remember what the numbers are off the top of my head -- something like 50,000 kilocalories in the pregnancy. Then in lactation, you're investing another I think thousand kilocalories a day or something like that. The whole hypothalamic regulation of sex hormones and thyroid hormone is all regulated by leptin and insulin as signals of long-term and short-term energy status.

Insulin and leptin are hormones. Endocrine hormones are between tissues. But what happens at the cellular level is I think it's very plausible that something that's happening at the cellular level and the recognition of what those hormones mean to communicate that energy is present, sufficient for fertility is going to be ATP dependent. If you're missing creatine, then you're going to have a drop in the power of the ATP signal and the recycling of the ATP. This is the basis for why creatine is used for muscular power, but it's also the basis for why creatine is used to use energy in producing stomach acid or to communicate or to transmit light and dark signals through your eye to your brain to make vision. All over the place, creatine is super important to the cellular utilization of energy. My guess is it's correcting a response inside the cell to the leptin and insulin.

In terms of safety in breastfeeding, I don't think there's any evidence one way or another. It's probably safe because you could get this from meat, and there's no evidence of harm. But if you wanted to be hyper careful, I don't think you need to do this, but if you wanted to be like super, super careful, what I would do is divide the 5 grams over three or four meals evenly on the basis that there are very, very trace amounts of byproducts of high-dose creatine. Five grams will cause extraordinarily tiny amounts of toxins that appear in the urine. I mean, not toxins at the level that we're talking about, but I doubt it's a risk. But if you wanted to be hyper careful, divide the dose up evenly. 

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 10, 2020

Question: Can you explain plant polyphenols and hormesis?

In brief, our detoxification system didn't evolve to handle the toxins of modern society. Modern society invents a new chemical. Our body knows it's a toxin, but it doesn't know it because we were exposed to it for millions of years. It knows it because it has similarity to other toxins. That similarity may be weaker or stronger depending on the toxin.

Our bodies do evolve to be bad at detoxifying. They evolve to be good at detoxifying. Our system is not designed to get sick when we encounter toxins. It's designed to get healthy when we encounter toxins. The way that works is throughout most of our evolutionary history, the toxins we were exposed to were the toxins in plants. Most of them are polyphenols. Most of them are the things that we ascribe health benefits to. A lot of those health benefits come from the fact that these are the toxins that our bodies are designed to work with.

Xenobiotic defense -- xenobiotic is something foreign -- this defense system is this giant umbrella system that in a very general level assesses the likelihood of how much energy should we invest in keeping that system running based on how much toxins are we exposed to and uses that metric to invest the energy in that entire machinery. We're not investing in getting rid of a specific toxin. We're just taking the collective toxin and investing in the collective detoxification machinery, the collective antioxidant glycation-defense machinery. Because fruit and vegetable polyphenols were the major toxins, our system is designed to be very highly responsive to them, to use them as that metric.

Now, in the modern society, what do we do? We invented new toxins. By the way, the fruit and vegetable polyphenols, what happens if you just take a bunch of them and you dump them on cells? You kill the cells. What happens when we eat them? Ninety-nine percent of them don't get absorbed. Why? Because the intestinal cells have a detoxification pathway that's just like the liver's.

I think where you cross the line is, what you don't want to do is isolate those things into a pill and megadose them. That's why people, when they ask me about sulforaphane and milk thistle, my view of that is that that's what you do when you can't eat a high volume of unrefined plant foods with five to nine fruits and vegetables. But what you don't want to do is say, "Well, if the bottle says one capsule milk thistle a day is good for me, then ten capsules of milk thistle on top of ten servings of fruits and vegetables is good for me." Then you're in the zone of who knows what that's doing to you.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 8, 2020

Question: What to do when serum magnesium is high but RBC magnesium is low?

The magnesium in the blood and the hair is high. When you say blood, I'm assuming this is serum or plasma because the RBC magnesium is low. I'm hoping that's not whole blood magnesium in which case it would be hard to separate from the RBC magnesium. But I mean even for whole blood, if the RBC magnesium is low and the blood magnesium is high, then the magnesium that's in the blood that's high is in the serum or plasma, not in the RBCs obviously.

Clearly this means that you're deficient in magnesium transport. You're not deficient in magnesium. So, the last thing that you should do is start blasting high-dose magnesium at that. Because not only is it not going to help, but you basically have two or three times the risk of harm from supplementing high-dose magnesium, because the harm of high-dose magnesium comes when your serum levels go to double the upper limit of the reference range. If your serum level is high, and your RBC is low, and you start blasting.

B6, even if it's adequate, maybe try 10 milligrams. Work your way slowly up to 100 milligrams of P5P. See if that helps. If it doesn't, you probably have a more serious issue with magnesium transport. You might have a rare genetic defect in a magnesium transporter. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure how to manage that. There's probably things you can't do. It might come down to just maximizing all the different possible ways that you can get magnesium into your system and cells. That might mean that you want a modest hypermagnesemia.

In other words, you want your serum magnesium to be a little over the top of the upper reference range in order to try to drive magnesium into the red blood cells. But you still need to measure it regularly so that you know that you're not anywhere near twice the top of the upper reference range. Then just do what you can to maximize the other factors. Insulin, salt, and B6 is what I think there.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 6, 2020

Question: Is there a potential for adverse effects of 5-10 mg of folate for heterozygous MTHFR?

Is there a potential? Yeah. The tolerable upper intake level for folate was set at 1 milligram on the basis that there are rare hypersensitivity syndromes that have caused reactions to 1 milligram or higher. On the basis that in numerous case reports, supplementation of more folate than that has been the factor that appears to precipitate the neurological degeneration in B12 deficient patients. It seems like if you're B12-deficient and you add a megadose of folate, there might be something causal about adding the folate precipitating the B12 deficiency. That makes sense.

Folate and B12 participate together in methylation. The neurological degeneration specific to B12 deficiency is probably mostly due to the non-methylation functions of B12. That's why it doesn't happen in folate deficiency. If you add folate, you're going to probably redirect some of the B12 into the methylation pathway, rob it from the other pathway, which is metabolizing methylmalonic acid into the citric acid cycle. You do that and you provoke the specific neurological degeneration of B12 deficiency.

The flipside of this is someone could say, well, there's no evidence that outside of these rare things that 50 milligrams of folate causes harm. That's true. There isn't a well-characterized harm from it. But I still think that it's stupid, it's stupid. Why would someone with a heterozygous MTHFR SNP need 10 milligrams of folic acid or methylfolate? That makes no sense biochemically at all. It makes no sense. First of all, are they compound heterozygous or are they just heterozygous for the SNP?

I don't know if it's harmful, but it's irrational to take high-dose methylfolate for this purpose or high-dose folic acid is irrational. It's on the basis that it's not effective. It is five to ten times the Institute of Medicine's tolerable upper intake level. It's not that I know it will cause harm. It's just that it's way into the territory of what has the possibility of harm in some people. Why for no benefit would you take yourself deep into the territory of possible harm?

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 5, 2020

Question: Is folate unstable in frozen liver or just in frozen veggies?

The answer is folate is stable in frozen liver. It is not stable in frozen greens. 

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 4, 2020

Question: How much vitamin C should I take with collagen?

There's no evidence that you need to take vitamin C with collagen. There is a study by Keith Baar, who showed that 15 grams of gelatin, not collagen, but I suspect the collagen is exactly the same, 15 grams of gelatin but not 5 grams, the dose is important, with 50 milligrams of vitamin C taken before exercise improved collagen synthesis in the tendons. They included 50 milligrams of vitamin C because it's made for collagen synthesis, but they don't show that you needed the vitamin C. They just had the vitamin C in there. I don't know if it even matters in that context whether you need the vitamin C. I also have no reason to think that you need 50 milligrams instead of 10 or that 100 milligrams wouldn't work better because they didn't test the different doses. They tested the different doses of gelatin. I see no reason to think a high dose of collagen is any different in this respect.

Let's assume that it's the same. What that means that I'm very confident that you need 15 grams instead of 5 grams when you take it before exercise to increase synthesis of collagen in tendons if that's what you care about. I have no confidence about how much vitamin C you need if you need any. But if you want to do what they did, then I do feel confident that 50 milligrams is enough to get some effect. I just don't know if it's enough to get maximal effect and I don't know if it's necessary at all or in that dose to get that effect.

If it's for joint health and if it's taken before exercise, the timing is important because what you're trying to do is leverage the exercise to get more blood flow of the nutrients to the joints. That's why the timing matters. In that case, you take the vitamin C with the collagen, 50 milligrams is the dose we know works. We don't know if it's necessary, and we don't know if it's optimal. We just know that it works. If you're not taking it for joint health and you're not taking it specifically before exercise, you still need vitamin C. But the timing doesn't matter and pairing it to the collagen doesn't matter.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 3, 2020

Question: Are liver capsules as good as eating liver?

Liver pills are mainly for people who are not going to eat liver. That's the first thing. The second thing is, there are advantages to taking the dosing schedule of a little bit of liver every day. 

Probably the ideal thing would be to have 10 to 20 grams of fresh liver every day. But the number of people who are going to do that are even smaller than the number of people who are going to eat the fresh liver. What the liver pills do is, number one, they give people who don't eat liver that frequently to get the nutrients that have absorption caps that are better off gotten in small doses at a time to get those every day. It gives people who are not going to eat liver at all a way to get liver in. I don't know. I mean, it's a tradeoff. Probably almost no one is going to eat 10 to 20 grams of liver every day. If you don't, are you better off taking the capsules or are you better off taking liver once a week? You're probably better off taking half and half, like take three capsules every day and still eat liver once a week. It's probably the best thing to do in that case.

I don't recommend anyone who would otherwise eat liver stop eating liver and take the capsules, but I do recommend the people who won't eat liver take the capsules. I think it's a nice thing to do. If you eat liver but take the capsules anyway, then take that in a lower dose because you eat liver. Like I said, eat one serving of liver once a week or twice a month and take two, three, or four of the capsules instead of six; two, three or four capsules every day. I think that's a happy medium that can have best approximates the best thing which is the 10 to 20 grams of liver a day.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Mar 2, 2020

Question: Should I take 3 grams of leucine per meal?

Leucine is metabolized into a leucine metabolite that is the signal of protein synthesis. It's the thing that tells your muscles whether they should be synthesizing protein. But do you synthesize more protein when you upregulate all the factors of muscle protein synthesis? Well, that is entirely dependent on the amount of amino acids you have supplied. Think about it this way. Why is leucine used as the marker to determine how much muscle protein to make? Because usually when you get leucine, it's with high-quality protein that has all the other amino acids that you need to make muscle protein.

Now, the question is, is meat better than isolated protein? The research is pointing in the direction that at least some whole foods are just better than protein supplements, number one. Perhaps as a general principle, perhaps whole protein foods are better than protein supplements, number two. Number three, taking leucine or the leucine metabolite that regulates muscle protein synthesis is not going to be better than getting whole proteins even from protein supplements when you get enough protein to provide that leucine because the leucine and its metabolite don't actually achieve peak muscle protein synthesis unless you supply the protein with it. If you supply the protein with it, you do get the leucine.

There probably are questions that can still be worked out about this, but it's probably going to wind up being that it's a waste of time to take the leucine if you're getting enough protein, and it's stupid to take the leucine and not get enough protein. You should just eat a lot of protein is where I think this is going. 

 

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 28, 2020

Question: What are your thoughts on root canals?

Before Weston Price embarked on his journeys that led to the publication of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, which is an epic pioneering work in nutritional anthropology, before he did that, he spent 25 years as the first research director for what became the American Dental Association, researching in laboratory science and clinical science what were the causes of tooth decay and the consequences of tooth decay.

Price's argument was that no matter what you do to get the infection out of the main areas of the teeth, you are never going to get it out of the nooks and crannies of the dental tubules. If you basically try to get rid of the infection and then you stuff something in there and make sure it never comes out, you create a hypoxic environment that basically causes whatever is in there to mutate in worse possible form. 

George Meinig wrote a book called Root Canal Cover-Up. He was a root canal guy, an endodontist. Now, the endodontists say that Price's work was discredited a long time ago and that this is complete BS. 

Now, the problem is I have no idea to what degree modern science has adjusted to this. Now, I can't even ask Meinig to what degree has the evolution of endodontal techniques since you wrote the book, to what degree had they changed how we should view this, because he's not alive anymore, and I don't know anyone who can fill his shoes. Look, if you want a personal story on how conflicted I feel about this, I literally have two root canals in the same teeth on each side of my mouth that were the legacy of my veganism.

My suspicion is I wish I could give you a black and white answer. I know that it's not that useful to have an answer that's just nothing but gray zones. But I'm very skeptical of how good root canals are. I'm not so terrified that I'm highly motivated to get the other one taken out even though it probably is the last thing in my life that I should do more research on what to do about. I'm sorry, I can't give you a better answer than that. All I can say is yes, it is justified to be worried about the risks of root canals. I can say this totally unambiguously. What you should absolutely definitely not ever do is make your decisions about something that has any potential to be a root canal situation without a dentist.

The whole point of Price's work was they're serious from whole body health. Price was a pioneer in so many things. This is another one. Now, there's increasing evidence that inflammation in your mouth and decay in your mouth is tied to other diseases. Like periodontitis is tied to heart disease for example. Price was the pioneer of saying that the infections in your mouth are causing other diseases in the rest of your body.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 27, 2020

Question: What does it mean when histamine intolerance and blood sugar dysregulation occur together?

Well, if his blood sugar is no longer as stable and he has histamine intolerance, then that drug probably interferes with vitamin B6 metabolism. Let me try to take one minute to see if I can find quick information on this. I can't. I can't find it quickly.

My instinct is to say that the drug is affecting vitamin B6 metabolism on the basis that 80% of the vitamin B6 in the body is used for glycogen metabolism in liver, which is the thing that stabilizes your blood sugar between meals. If your blood sugar is not stable between meals any longer, then yeah, it could be a hormonal thing. What it really probably means is that there's something wrong with the liver's ability to store glycogen or to access the glycogen when it's stored because your blood sugar is stabilized between meals exclusively by the liver's glycogen metabolism.

How does that relate to histamine intolerance? They're both caused by B6 deficiency. That's my take. I'd measure his blood levels of pyridoxal 5’-phosphate. Off the top my head, I believe LabCorp has a test for that. It would be helpful to look at his excretion of xanthurenate, kynurenate, and quinolinate in organic acids test. The Genova ION has all three of those. I don't think the other one is available to have all three. But every urinary organic acids test has some of those. I would go from there.

I mean, if you want to save money, just trial a pyridoxal 5’-phosphate, which is the active form of B6. Trial a supplement of that to see if it helps. I would do that at, maybe start with 10 milligrams, but feel free to work up slowly over a few weeks to 100 milligrams. If a few weeks at 100 milligrams doesn't treat that and he's off the drug, then there's something else going on and I don't know what it is. But that would definitely be first line thinking for me. Thank you, Jennifer, for your question. I'm glad that was helpful.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/08/ask-anything-nutrition-feb-23-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 26, 2020

Question: If PTH is mid-normal, do I need a calcium supplement?

I'm assuming that by midrange you mean it's 30. If you mean it's 40, then no, you're deficient or you're probably deficient. You need to test how you respond. But what I would say is, it would still be good for you to try increasing that and see if the PTH goes down anymore. Because my baseline for where I suspect that someone's PTH is maximally suppressed is 30. But the evidence that it's maximally suppressed is that it doesn't get suppressed by more calcium and vitamin D. If it goes down in response to calcium and vitamin D, then it wasn't maximally suppressed. Where you want to be is not 30 to 20. It's the point of maximal suppression.

Then the final thing is magnesium deficiency can compromise your ability to make PTH. I don't think that the average person in our society is deficient enough in magnesium for that to be relevant on the basis that population-wide most people have too much PTH. That contributes osteopenia and osteoporosis. But the big caveat here is if you are magnesium-deficient, then that might invalidate most of what I said if you're deficient enough to affect PTH.
If your PTH is around 30 and not higher than that, you're probably fine. But it's good to know your magnesium status because if it's really bad, that could change that interpretation. It's also good to know if adding more calcium suppresses your PTH further, because if it does, that's probably calcium that you need.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 25, 2020

Question: What to do about sky-high pyroglutamate?

Pyroglutamate, its other name is 5-oxoproline. It is something that is primarily produced when you are synthesizing glutathione, but you do not have enough of the second step in glutathione synthesis to keep up with the first step.

Maybe you need more glycine, but your glycine isn't low enough to cause orders of magnitude higher pyroglutamate. It's almost certainly the case that you have a glutathione synthetase deficiency, unless you have extraordinary levels of oxidative stress. I think that would be easy to test for because I just can't imagine that your glutathione levels -- I guess it's not that easy to test for because if you have a glutathione synthetase defect, you're going to have bad glutathione levels. If you have a tremendous amount of oxidative stress, you're also going to have low glutathione levels. If you have low glutathione levels, that's going to cause a tremendous amount of oxidative stress.
I think if it's not a glutathione synthetase defect, then it becomes a lot harder to figure out what it is because it probably means you have massive oxidative stress from somewhere and there's a lot of things that could cause that. That would be a potential Pandora's box of questions that would come out of that. But definitely the first step would be to look at glutathione synthetase.
This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 24, 2020

Question: In hemochromatosis, why would ferritin be low but transferrin saturation high?

Ferritin is your long-term iron storage. Transferrin is your short-term iron storage. The problem with hemochromatosis is that usually in a normal functioning system, there is a hormonal regulatory system that prevents you from absorbing iron from food when you have enough iron that when you have too much iron, shuttle the iron into ferritin which is protective both against pathogens eating the iron to grow and against oxidative stress, which free iron causes, which if you don't know the details about can be thought of as wear and tear on your tissues over time.

In hemochromatosis, normally the way you judge how much iron you have is in the circulating transferrin pool, which is your short-term storage. How full is it? The defect in hemochromatosis is that when the short-term storage, transferrin, starts getting fuller than usual, you don't notice it, so you don't stop absorbing iron from food that makes the transferrin saturation go up even further. But you don't shuttle the iron into ferritin. That makes ferritin lower.

What people get confused by is that historically, we have only paid attention to hemochromatosis when it's too late, when the person has been suffering for it from 30 or 40 years and they need organ transplants. What happens at that point is that the ferritin is very, very high. Why is the ferritin high? Not because you had too much iron. The person without hemochromatosis has the ferritin go up when they have too much iron. The defect in hemochromatosis is that you do not stop absorbing from food when you have enough, and you do not put the iron into ferritin when you have too much.

The reason that ferritin is high in someone who's had hemochromatosis for 30 or 40 years is not because they have too much iron. It is because they have oxidative stress and damage caused by that iron. Oxidative stress and damage cause ferritin to go up no matter how much iron you have. So does infection, no matter how much iron you have. Essentially, what you have is ferritin is not the fireman that he should be to put out the fire as it starts, and the smoke detectors go off. Ferritin hemochromatosis is the cleanup crew who got to the fire after the house burned down.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 21, 2020

Question: Does folic acid act differently in the body than natural folate? | Masterjohn Q&A Files #68

They don't really. Everything that is said bad about folic acid is sort of true to an extent but has been completely exaggerated in some circles. What happens is you have an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase, or DHFR. Its purpose is not to metabolize synthetic folic acid obviously because that folic acid molecule doesn't exist in the food supply. Its normal purpose is that every time that you use folate to participate in processes outside of methylation, such as DNA synthesis, you wind up producing dihydrofolate as a byproduct. DHFR recycles that and turns it into tetrahydrofolate, or THF. Tetrahydrofolate is what has the methyl group added to make methylfolate.

The question is, does that synthetic folic acid, we call that unmetabolized folic acid, does that cause harm? There are scientific hypotheses that it might, and it might, but there's no conclusive evidence of that. That's one side of the argument against synthetic folic acid. The other side of the argument is now that you are giving the DHFR enzyme more work, that means that might be detracting from the work that it has in recycling dihydrofolate that came out of the DNA synthesis reactions to make tetrahydrofolate.

People think that they just cut out white flour and therefore they're better off. No. You cut out white flour, now you need to do more work to make sure that you are actually getting your nutrients from whole foods because if you were eating six pieces of white toast that you didn't have to worry about getting nutrients from whole foods and now you do.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 20, 2020

Question: Can frozen vegetables be trusted for folate?

You absolutely cannot trust frozen vegetables as a source of folate ever. That's because folate is extremely unstable in the freezer, and you have no idea how old the vegetables are. If they were fresh-frozen yesterday, they'd probably have plenty of folate. But if they were fresh-frozen three months ago, they may seem completely fresh and yet they don't have any folate in them.

I'm not a fan of frozen vegetables mainly on the folate issue, on the basis that many people believe they are getting folate from their vegetables. If they're eating frozen vegetables, they may not be. I'm very worried that there are a lot of people out there who believe that they are doing something good by cutting out refined flour from their diet and starting to eat lots of vegetables. But when they come as frozen vegetables, you may be cutting out a lot of folate from the form of synthetic folic acid added to the enriched flour that you had been eating and cut out of your diet and then not getting anything from the frozen vegetables, and that's a recipe for folate deficiency.

There are a lot of people out there who think folic acid is some kind of toxin. It's not a toxin. It's effective at treating folate deficiency. It is effective at preventing neural tube defects. That's why it's added to flour. It is not the ideal form of folate. There's no question about that. But this is like calcium. People are saying that calcium supplements are bad. Well, not as bad as not getting any calcium. It's the same thing with folic acid. Folic acid is not the ideal form of folate, but it's a lot better than a folate deficiency.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 19, 2020

Question: How much spinach, broccoli, and kale is too much?

Cruciferous vegetables have an issue with potential goitrogens. At serving sizes like this, the only issue with cruciferous vegetables is that they increase your iodine requirement. In theory, if you are juicing cruciferous vegetables to have like ten servings a day, in theory, you might get to the point where you cannot overcome the goitrogenic effect with iodine. That is based entirely on animal experiments that were done a long time ago, and we have no human data on where you cross that threshold. But in this case, I think two or three servings of cruciferous vegetables basically just means you need to pay a little bit more attention to your iodine status.

In particular, you want to make sure that you're eating some seafood. If you're eating some seaweed in your diet, you're getting plenty of iodine in most cases. If you're not sure if you're getting enough iodine, then I would say 200 to 400 micrograms of iodine from a kelp powder-based supplement would be fine. Also, as a seasoning, you can get Maine Coast Sea Seasonings where you can just sprinkle seaweed onto your dishes as a flavor. It's like a salt shaker so it's really easy to use. Using that if you don't mind the taste is a great way to get iodine. I think that's really only the main concern there.

The spinach is not a cruciferous vegetable, so it's not really contributing to this problem. It is high in oxalates and so it has its own problem. As long as you're getting calcium with the oxalate, for most people, there are exceptions to this. But if you don't personally have an oxalate issue, meaning a high risk of kidney stones driven by high oxalate levels in your urine or potentially behavioral issues in children some people are tying to oxalates. But if you don't have a specific issue with that, then I think really the only issue with oxalate is you want to make sure that you're consuming calcium in the meal that you're getting it in.

The spinach has calcium, but it's only about 5% bioavailable so you should basically discount the calcium in the spinach. The kale and broccoli have bioavailable calcium. If you're mixing them together, that's probably a great way to do that, but you might not be hitting 300 milligrams of calcium in a meal. I think if you have a lot of oxalate in a meal, you probably really want to make sure you hit 300 milligrams of calcium in that meal.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 17, 2020

Question: Can you give any suggestions for increasing delta-6 desaturase activity?

There's a bunch of nutrients involved in that, so many that you basically just need to do a comprehensive nutritional screening for whether something is missing there. You might just have low activity by genetics. It's probably not worth solving that problem.

The big governor though is if you have if you have insulin resistance or you have low insulin levels from chronic carbohydrate restriction, that might increase it. But you also look at your inflammation because you might have some of the higher fatty acids being depleted from inflammation or oxidative stress. I mean, more nutrient-dense diet across the board, more carbohydrate, if that doesn't do it, then just maybe take a supplement or increase the liver and egg yolks to the point where the arachidonic acid is normal. Measure your CRP. If that's high, address inflammation.

In the Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet, I have a big section on oxidative stress. I go through that testing. A starting point might be Genova's Oxidative Stress 2.0 blood panel. But if inflammation and oxidative stress are the things, work on those. If those aren't issues, then more nutrient density across the board, fix any nutrient deficiencies you find, increase carbohydrate if you're on low-carb. If none of those things work, then just increase your arachidonic acid level in your diet.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/08/ask-anything-nutrition-feb-23-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 14, 2020

Question: What are the pros and cons of boosting sulforaphane?

Sulforaphane, the nice thing is it promotes detoxification. The bad thing is it raises the need for iodine. I don't know what ratio to take, but you definitely want to make sure that you're getting some kind of iodine into your diet, whether it's through like 200 micrograms of iodine from a kelp powder supplement or you experiment with milligram amounts from a broken up Iodoral tab or whatever. Because I don't know the dose, I'm just going to say work slowly and work your way up. Certainly, if you have any signs of hypothyroidism or you have any brain fog, increase the iodine or decrease the sulforaphane would be my opinion.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/08/ask-anything-nutrition-feb-23-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 13, 2020

Question: Is it true that we can’t absorb more than 1.5 grams of creatine at one time?

I don't think that's true. From what I looked at, it looked like the absorption of creatine was really, really good. I don't know if someone was arguing maybe that we don't retain more than that. But I think the retention of your muscles is going to be best with creatine if you take it post-workout and if you take it with carbohydrate to stimulate insulin. But on the whole, I think that the absorption and retention is good enough that it's more a matter of how fast will you get to peak muscular creatine than it is about where you get in the long-term.

Maybe if you follow all the best procedures to absorb and retain creatine, you'll get to the 30% increase in muscular creatine in two weeks taking 5 grams a day instead of four weeks. Maybe someone who doesn't follow any best practices takes six weeks. But ten weeks later, you're probably going to be at peak effect if you just take 5 grams of creatine at a time without paying attention to all the details around absorption.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/08/ask-anything-nutrition-feb-23-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

Feb 12, 2020

Question: NMN vs. NR: What’s better? And is TMG necessary?

Yeah. There are no human studies looking at NMN and how it's metabolized. There are studies of NR. No one has showed any positive benefits of supplementing NR in humans yet, but they haven't really done any long-term studies or looked at many things, and they really haven't looked at anything that I would really want to see for NR. They've looked at things like glucose and lipids and other metrics of metabolic health doesn't really do anything for that.

This is what I would say. My strong suspicion is that NMN is not absorbed intact. It's broken down into NR and it's absorbed intact as NR, while NR is just absorbed intact in NR. I believe that both of those supplements are going to lead to NR getting into the liver. I mean, I would use NR because there's more data on NR, and I wouldn't use NMN because there isn't any data on it. But it probably makes no difference at all because they're probably both absorbed as NR.

Maybe if your digestion is weaker, you're going to do better within NR than NMN because you probably almost certainly are not absorbing NMN intact. If you're not digesting it, then you're absorbing less of it. But probably for most people, it makes no difference. I believe that both of these are going to generate NAD levels in the liver much more effectively than nicotinic acid or niacinamide would, the two common niacin supplements that are available on the market now and have been taken for ages. I think it will be better at boosting NAD levels in the liver. I think that will allow the liver to nourish many other tissues in the body to get a better NAD response in those tissues.

My suspicion is that this is going to have a positive effect for anti-aging, for cellular repair. I think it's probably going to have a lot of promise for mental effects in the brain where there's high NAD turnover for neurotransmitter release. I think it's going to have probably really good effects in the gut where there's high NAD turnover because the gut faces so much damage by just being forced to deal with everything that you put into your body, unlike everything after the gut, after absorption, which has really high quality control. I think it's going to be great for skin issues.

I think that in order to get the best NAD response and to tax the methylation system the least, you want to take a smaller dose with every meal rather than taking a higher dose once. I would take like 150 milligrams max at a meal. If you're going to take 450 milligrams, I'd take 150 at each of three meals. If you want to take less than that, you either use the powder or empty half of it out in a capsule. Like take half the capsule, empty it out into your mouth with a meal, 150-milligram capsule to do that. It will give you 75 milligrams. Take that three times a day.

Then there's no good test to really see whether it's doing anything for you. You really have to judge it by your response. Are you getting tangible benefits from it? If so, then I think it's fine to keep it up. But yeah, I would take 100 milligrams of TMG for every 200 milligrams of nicotinamide riboside or nicotinamide mononucleotide. Personally, I wouldn't use the NMN and use the NR because there's more data on it. 

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/08/ask-anything-nutrition-feb-23-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

1 « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 15