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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.
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Now displaying: Page 4
Apr 15, 2020

Question: What to do about low libido after a LEEP procedure?

Carrie: With the LEEP procedure, so like I was saying, basically it's kind of like a hot knife through butter. They cut away a portion of the cervix. And it depends. Sometimes it's a little portion and sometimes they do what they call like a full big slider right across the face of the cervix. If you remember, for those of you who maybe never seen a cervix, it's shaped like a doughnut. Literally, your cervix is this tiny little pink doughnut and has a hole in the middle and the hole leads up into your uterus.

For a lot of women, there's a lot of nerve sensation there so it does greatly affect orgasms. Other women don't have it. There's probably women listening who were like, "Mine is not sensitive at all. Is that normal?" Yup, totally normal. Every woman is different. For her though in particular, she did have a lot of nerve sensation there on the cervix.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

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DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 14, 2020

Question: Would a seasonally low vitamin D intake and high calcium intake cause soft tissue calcification?

Chris: Yeah, okay. The end of this question is would the calcium simply be excreted due to the low vitamin D levels. Your vitamin D level being low, the first thing that's going to do and the major thing that's going to do is it's going to lower your calcium absorption. You would have more calcium excreted in the feces as a result of not absorbing it if your vitamin D level is low. However, a high enough calcium intake is going to more than compensate for that. It depends how low it is. If you live in northern Michigan and you're not supplementing with vitamin D in the winter, but you're outdoors a lot, your vitamin D is probably not going like rickets level low. It's probably dipping a bit. A calcium intake of 2,000 milligrams is so high that you're probably absorbing at least enough calcium.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 13, 2020

Question: Question on Iodine, Fatigue, and Detox Reaction.

Carrie: Remember, iodine belongs to the halogen family and other halogens can bind onto your PT or tyrosine. I have had this before where patients would take iodine and the iodine will push off the fluoride and the chloride and the bromide off of the tyrosine, and so it binds on and now you have essentially a detox reaction. People will say, "I get headaches. I've broken out in rashes. I'm really tired." Because the other halogens have come off the tyrosine and are now floating around your system.

I believe in iodine. I'm not sold yet on iodine testing. I feel like there are so many rules of thoughts. But if I use iodine, I warn people of that, of the detox reaction.

Chris: What are all the normal things you do for a Herxheimer reaction?

Carrie: Wait a minute. Obviously lots of water, exercise, binders, so like fiber and charcoal or zeolite or whatever you're doing to bind this stuff up, clay, those supplements with that sort of stuff in it. Saunas are really good, sweating, dry skin brushing to try to help move it through your body while staying on the iodine. You want the iodine to bind to the tyrosine and not the halogen to rebind because you stopped taking it, which is going to rebind to your tyrosine. I've seen it take up to a couple weeks, depending how halogen toxic that you are.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 10, 2020

Question: How to lower Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG)?

Carrie: SHBG is like bane of my existence. I have no idea how to get SBHG down once it's up. Boy, I actually talk to practitioners about this all the time to figure that out. I would agree that supplements that for SHBG, it's very hit or miss, Tongkat being one of them, DHEA being the other. There are two other ones, stinging nettles and Avena oats. There's like very mild, very weak research about lowering SHBG with nettles and then with Avena. Again, it's like hit or miss. How to get that SHBG down? Well, also remember, SHBG binds estrogen as well. Although he said his estrogen is low. Actually low, but relative.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 9, 2020

Question: Why does estrogen regulate tryptophan metabolism?

Chris: I think that it's basically the body trying to make sure that the baby has enough niacin because chronic estrogen exposure would occur during pregnancy. When I was doing my niacin research, one thing that I found is that women seem to need more total niacin than men, but they seem to be better at making niacin from protein. What's really interesting is that the studies that were done that were used to make the RDA, there weren't comparisons in men and women, but two of the studies were men and two studies were in women. The standard deviations, meaning how much variation there was person to person, in how much niacin that they needed to normalize what they were looking at was way bigger in men than it was in women.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 8, 2020

Question: Insomnia is different between people who are and aren't on HRT?

Carrie: Yes, sort of. If it's strictly a hormone issue, if she says, "I've never had insomnia. I turned 45 and I got insomnia. And, oh, by the way, I'm also having irregular periods and hot flashes and night sweats and all this stuff," I find that going on HRT generally resolves their insomnia.

If they've had insomnia their whole life and, by the way, they're having hormonal issues as well or they're perimenopausal, going on HRT may or may not help their insomnia because their insomnia may be induced by, of course, other things; cortisol, blood sugar, parasites, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism. Then I find that it's much more systemic as opposed to just the women who say to me, "I turned 40 and can't sleep," or "I turned 56 and I can't sleep." I'm like, "Oh, perimenopause."

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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&ahttps://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 7, 2020

Question: The use of pregnenolone to manage perimenopausal symptoms, particularly insomnia.

Carrie: Well, so here's the thing about pregnenolone. Oral or sublingual, so if you've got drops or little tables you suck on. Pregnenolone and progesterone, when they go through first pass, so you swallow them and then you go through first pass, they turn into other metabolites. One is called allo, which is short for allopregnanolone. Allo binds to your GABA receptors in your brain. Allo can cross the blood-brain barrier, binds to GABA. GABA, of course, is your calming, relaxing, everything is going to be okay hormone. Pregnenolone, oral pregnenolone and oral progesterone actually work on the anxiety and on the insomnia from a GABA point of view.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

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Apr 6, 2020

Question: Guidance on what time of day it is best to take T4 and/or T3?

Carrie: It actually depends if you're taking immediate release T4 or T3 especially or sustained release because T4 has a much longer half-life which is why we traditionally say to take it in the morning since it helps with energy and metabolism and all those things. Although I do know some people choose to take their T4 at night before bed. But T3 has a very short half-life, and so what I'm finding is some practitioners are now doing what's called a sustained release T3. They take their T3 and it helps sustain longer throughout the day, or they will take their T3 twice. They'll take it in the morning and then they'll sort of take it again in the mid-afternoon.

Now, if you're taking a combination T4/T3 such as Armour or Nature-Throid, you can't get the sustained part. I do know some people who will take their Armour or their Nature-Throid in the morning, and then they will take in additional dose of T3 in the early afternoon like an extra, whatever it is, 2.5 or 5 micrograms of T3.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:
https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/10/19/ask-us-anything-hormones-dr-carrie-jones-may-10-2019

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

======

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the time I am committing to staying on top of relevant research, as well as the high volume of questions I receive, it may take me extra time to respond to questions here. For an up-to-date list of where I respond to questions most quickly, please see the contact page on chrismasterjohnphd.com.

======

Apr 3, 2020

Question: A rant on why many people use “MTHFR” to slap a label on their health problems.

I put MTHFR in quotes because I meant it the way that people mean when they say, "I have MTHFR." Everyone has MTHFR. What people mean by that is they have these MTHFR polymorphisms. What I meant by that title is that there's a very compelling—It's not totally airtight. It's not completely proven. There's a very compelling argument that the low activity of the C677T polymorphism in MTHFR is exclusively a result of mediocre riboflavin concentrations. That's what I meant by just your MTHFR in quotes means the polymorphism, the result of the polymorphism. Just riboflavin means that the enzyme activity is only lower as a result of that polymorphism because of the mediocre riboflavin concentrations.

To them, MTHFR doesn't mean the rate of the MTHFR enzyme. It's a general label for all their health problems that they put Band-Aid solutions on like these tedious distinctions between these different forms of B vitamins and stuff like that that in a healthy well-balanced system don't matter.

If people are hypersensitive to little distinctions in the type of B vitamins they’re taking like this, their problem is not just MTHFR. Their problem might be related to methylation. They probably have mineral deficiencies, or other genetic polymorphisms, or other health problems, thyroid-adrenal stuff that are causing that. The reason that MTHFR isn't simply about riboflavin for those people versus the well-controlled studies of showing that riboflavin supplementation specifically lowers homocysteine 40%, specifically in people with MTHFR C677T homozygous, specifically with poor riboflavin status.

When you're out there saying that overmethylators can't tolerate methylcobalamin or they get terrible reactions to this, you're slapping overmethylator label on someone whose problem is that they just don't have a rational strategy for dealing with their MTHFR. Because no one is an overmethylator or an undermethylator, unless it's a collection of symptoms of a poorly managed methylation system.

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

Apr 2, 2020

Question: Are there safety concerns in supplementing cyanocobalamin rather methylcobalamin in those with MTHFR polymorphisms?

If you're concerned about methylation-related issues, you would want to be careful with methylcobalamin supplementation in a way that you would not need to be careful about hydroxocobalamin supplementation. If you don't have a specific methylation-related goal, then I think hydroxocobalamin is the default because that's the sort of like metabolically neutral B12 in that it's not predisposed to any particular system, and it's not going to affect any system in a specific way apart from just being nutritional B12.

Then the second thing is “if you had MTHFR, is it dangerous to supplement with cyanocobalamin?” It doesn't matter. I don't think MTHFR has anything to do with methylcobalamin really.

If you don't have malabsorption of everything else, you should look at the specific causes of B12 malabsorption, which are pernicious anemia and gastritis, including subclinical gastritis driven by H. pylori in the stomach.

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

Apr 1, 2020

Question: What about pyroluria and measuring kryptopyrroles?

I think it's fairly harmless to increase zinc and B6 as a test of whether that's true and see if you get results from it. But I wouldn't treat it like a diagnostic value because no one has followed up any science on that disorder in the decades since it's been proposed. Kryptopyrroles are very similar to porphyrins, that LabCorp has a whole series of tests on. I would go to LabCorp's site, go to Test Menu and then search it for porphyrin, and you'll see a bunch of things that come up.

Some of the concerns are relatively similar in terms of zinc and B6 that come up with those. But in my view, the pyroluria thing is to the extent it has merits probably has some relation to the porphyrin disorders and maybe is one. I'm not sure. But I would definitely, like if you're going to investigate the issue, I would investigate it with those.

I can say that from the porphyrin disorders, some of them will cause various things to happen in the skin ranging from the skin turning brown when exposed to sun, to pain in response to sun exposure, to the skin turning red in response to the sun. Not a usual red, but a weird red. Some of them will cause red to brown discoloration of the urine, but some of them don't cause any colors because there's a whole category of porphyrin disorders that are all in the same pathway and some of them are sun sensitive, some aren't; some accumulate in the skin, some don't; some of them try to change color; some of them cause pain, some don't; you can't really go exclusively on those symptoms.

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 31, 2020

Question: How to manage blood levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

I don't specifically want to look at the omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio. The AA/EPA ratio, I do not believe in wanting to get it low enough to prevent inflammation. I don't believe in using it that way. But I do believe that if it were too low, it could cause problems. I don't know what the cutoff would be. But if you're on the low end of normal, then I would think about cutting back your intake of EPA.

But my main concern would be if you're in the low or even middle end of the normal range for either arachidonic acid or DHA, I think you want to increase your intake of those. Particularly if your intake is already high, look for the cause of low levels. Especially if both of them are low, that could be caused by inflammation or oxidative stress.

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 30, 2020

Question: Can PEMT genetics cause fat malabsorption, mineral deficiencies, and oxalate problems?

First of all, saponification of minerals, the point here is that if you have malabsorption of fat, the fatty acids are going to bind to any positively charged minerals in your diet. This has been particularly well studied in preterm infants where the poor absorption of fatty acids causes the fatty acids to bind to the calcium that have lower bioavailability. Yeah. If you surpass your ability to absorb the fat, the fatty acids can bind minerals and induce mineral deficiencies. I agree with this.

PEMT polymorphism is a marker of poor synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. That will impair export of fat from the liver. Low phosphatidylcholine synthesis due to PEMT. I was thinking of it as a direct marker. It's not a direct marker, but it could theoretically impact. This is probably especially true if you have a low phosphatidylcholine intake. Probably eating phosphatidylcholine protects against this. But yeah, low phosphatidylcholine levels in the liver partly as an interaction between low activity in the PEMT enzyme and low intake of phosphatidylcholine from food could cause bile acid issues, which could in turn cause fat malabsorption.

If you have fat malabsorption and you have enough digestion of the fat to release the free fatty acids from triglycerides, but you don't have enough absorption of those fatty acids, the fatty acids will bind calcium. They won't bind oxalate, they can't. Binding the calcium will lower the calcium absorption, and it will also prevent the calcium from binding oxalate. Calcium binding oxalate is what prevents oxalate absorption, so yes, I would think that would increase oxalate absorption.

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 27, 2020

Question: Could an elevated BUN indicate protein malabsorption and low stomach acid?

I get the Heidelberg test. That's the only accurate way to assess stomach acid. If you want to do something else, it would be better to use the kitchen techniques, like take half a teaspoon of baking soda and see how long you take to burp, or take HCl with your meal and keep adding capsules and see how many capsules you can take without reflux. That's probably both more accurate than using BUN.

I find it almost certainly the case that a slightly high BUN would never be a useful marker of low stomach acid and would never be a good marker of poor protein digestion. If you want to know if you have poor protein digestion, measure the protein in your stool. Get a GI stool test that looks at what you're not absorbing. That's how you test that.

The reason that this sounds nuts to me is maybe you are allowing the protein to ferment in your gut and generate urea from the microbes that you're absorbing, like maybe. But where does most of the urea come from that's in your blood? It comes from the urea cycle, which is how you get rid of ammonia. How do you get ammonia in your body that goes into the urea cycle? You digest protein into amino acids, you absorb the amino acids, and then you break them down so that you can either burn them for energy or turn them into glucose or turn them into certain neurotransmitters or whatever, and then you lose ammonia that you put into the urea cycle.

Why wouldn't the urea be a marker of having good digestion? I'm not even sure that we could say it could be an equally useful test of good digestion and bad digestion of protein. I don't know if it's as good a marker of bad digestion of protein as it is of good digestion of protein. But even if it were just as good a marker of bad digestion of protein as it is of good digestion of protein, something that's an equally good marker of two opposites is not a good marker of anything.

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 26, 2020

Question: Are bilirubin and uric acid useful markers of antioxidant defense and oxidative stress? What are better markers?

I think intracellularly where most of antioxidant support is highly relevant, then they're not that big a deal. In the plasma, they can be a big deal. It's quite possible that uric acid is one of the most important antioxidants in plasma. But I would say it's highly debatable whether we put uric acid into the blood specifically to achieve that versus that happens to be an accidental sort of just incidental to making uric acid during the excretion of purines, which make up the building blocks of DNA and ATP and things like that.

I think the best marker of oxidative stress in plasma is the cysteine to cystine ratio. Cysteine is the reduced form of the amino acid cysteine. Cystine is the oxidized form. There are good studies at a general population level showing that that is the major specific indicator of oxidative stress that takes place in the plasma.

The glutathione couple, glutathione reduced versus oxidized, is probably the best marker in the blood of what's happening with oxidative stress intracellularly. Unfortunately, the only test that looks at this is HDRI. I feel very, very torn about whether we should be working with HDRI because I know a lot about measuring glutathione. I've had some clients who got their glutathione test. What you need to do to accurately measure glutathione to preserve the sample, according to my client who did the test, is not at all part of the instructions or process that they use, so I am very skeptical of using them. No one else offers the reduced to oxidized version of glutathione.

So, what I would recommend to assess oxidative stress would be Genova's Oxidative Stress 2.0 panel. It does give you the cysteine to cystine ratio. I'll put a note to put a link to that in the show notes. I think that's the best marker. They do have glutathione on there, and they do have a bunch of other things that can be useful in assessing oxidative stress. I would use that. 

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 25, 2020

Question: Does it matter what form of B12 you take?

Cyanocobalamin is cheap and there's not really any clear evidence that it's harmful, but I just don't like the idea that it is cobalamin bound to cyanide. It's not found in the food supply. Forming cyanocobalamin and peeing it out is actually one of the main ways you detoxify cyanide.

Hydroxocobalamin is also relatively inexpensive. It's relatively easy to get as injections. It is not an end product of detoxification. It is found in very high concentrations in the food supply. The normal forms of vitamin B12 that you find in the diet from food are hydroxocobalamin and methylcobalamin in milk, and hydroxocobalamin and adenosylcobalamin in meat. Hydroxocobalamin is the most universal food form of cobalamin, and it is always a substantial part of the food supply. I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than methylcobalamin, so I would use intramuscular injections of hydroxocobalamin.

Most B vitamins start their absorption in the stomach and then mostly absorb in the small intestine. In the case of B12, when you're dealing with food, you're absorbing it in the small intestine almost exclusively with intrinsic factor that's produced in your stomach.

Start with a milligram of oral hydroxocobalamin. Test that against your serum B12. If it's not moving your serum B12, see if 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 milligrams do. Because if they do, then taking that every day is going to be probably easier. Well, I mean, it depends on what you like. But you're probably going to like taking oral B12 more than you're going to like getting intramuscular injections. I would see if raising the dose works first. I'd use oral hydroxocobalamin. Then if you have to use intramuscular, I will use hydroxocobalamin.

I guess you just have to judge it against from a medical perspective they're always worried about compliance, because unlike the people who are showing up to this AMA, the general population has very low motivation compared to us. Injection is preferable from that standpoint because there are fewer things to do. Plus, you have an accountability buddy because someone's got to inject you. You get an accountability buddy to do something once a month versus you have the personal responsibility to do something every day. From a compliance perspective, it's vastly superior, the getting injected. But if you're already taking 15 supplements every morning, then it's probably way easier for you to just add megadose of B12 in with those oral supplements than to get intramuscular injection. I'd prefer it.

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

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Mar 24, 2020

Question: Is it useful to measure urine pH?

The urine pH is telling you the acid burden that your body has been subjected to. It's telling you, you can make an inference about the compensations that your body has had to engage in. You can also make an inference about the limitations of your body in compensating for that because even your urine pH should be buffered. It's not the case that you put a little bit of acid in the urine and then boom your pH is going to go down. It's the case that your body has a whole bunch of systems to buffer even the urine pH as you excrete acids from your body.

The system is, like in your blood, the tiniest, tiniest change in your pH is immediately going to set in motion a change in your breathing rate that is going to cause you to either increase or decrease the exhalation of carbon dioxide in order to adjust the pH of the blood. Then there's going to be a longer-term compensation where you're going to take some of those acids and pee them out. When you pee them out, your kidney is going to buffer those acids in the way of preserving the urine pH.

If your urine pH goes down from 6.5 to 5.5, it tells you that your urine pH is like ten times more acidic, but it doesn't tell you that your blood is ten times more acidic. The critics of using urine pH will point that out. But what it does tell you is that your body has been subjected to a rather enormous acid burden, number one; and number two, that you're even starting to overwhelm your kidney's ability to buffer the urine and prevent the pH of the urine from changing. And so it does tell you about the stress put on the system.

A high potassium intake would be the number one thing that would acutely affect it apart from taking the bicarbonate. By the way, always take bicarbonate on an empty stomach away from food.

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

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Mar 23, 2020

Question: Why AGEs and deficient insulin signaling are the main problem in diabetes.

The reason that methylglyoxal, which I did my doctoral dissertation on, the reason that methylglyoxal, which is quantitatively the most important form of advanced glycation end products in diabetics, the reason that it is elevated is not because of hyperglycemia. It's because of deficient insulin signaling.

That is for two reasons. One is that you can derive methylglyoxal from glycolysis. You can derive methylglyoxal from ketogenesis. You can derive methylglyoxal from protein, specifically from the amino acid threonine. Insulin prevents you from making methylglyoxal in the glycolytic pathway no matter how high the glucose level is. Insulin, what it does in glycolysis is at the step where the intermediates spill out to generate methylglyoxal, insulin stimulates that enzyme that sucks the intermediates down.

Diabetes, you have lower expression of that enzyme, and you have greater spillover out of glycolysis into forming methylglyoxal. In untreated diabetes, you can have blood glucose that goes up five times normal. That will be a factor that is influencing you to make not just five, maybe ten or far more times methylglyoxal on glycolysis. But the reason the glucose is elevated is because of deficient insulin signaling. No matter how much glucose you have or don't have, once the glucose gets into the glycolytic pathway, insulin is protecting against methylglyoxal by clearing the glucose down.

The role of methylglyoxal starts at the first instance of hyperglycemia to cause the development from an acute first ever instance of hyperglycemia through the pathway of developing diabetes. Then in diabetes, methylglyoxal is overwhelmingly responsible for causing the cardiovascular complications, the complications in the eyes, and the neurological complications of diabetes, cataracts, all of these things. And so I think it's a huge mistake to think that the spiking glucose is the thing going on rather than the deficient insulin signaling.

Now, if you want to use a rule of thumb that is not individually tailored to you, then the answer is use the 140 limit. But you follow that up with, is there evidence to support this? No, I think the evidence says that this is a mediocre approximation of how to identify whether there's a problem. But a good way to try to identify whether you're having a problem with glucose spikes is the GlycoMark test.

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

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Mar 20, 2020

Question: Nutritional recommendations for MTR and MTRR polymorphisms.

In the methylation cycle, I've talked a lot about MTHFR, which helps finalize the methyl group of methyfolate. But then folate has to donate that methyl group to vitamin B12 in order for vitamin B12 to donate it to homocysteine. In that process, that's how you clear homocysteine primarily in the fasting state rather than the fed state. It's also how you recycle homocysteine to methionine to use for methylation, again, primarily in the fasting state rather than the fed state.

If your MTHFR is working fine, then the creatine is much less relevant, and the glycine really isn't that relevant. Glycine is still important for everyone, but it's not specifically relevant because of the genetic variations. With that said, I do think that because some tissues rely more on folate and B12 than they do on choline that there might be some tissues that would benefit from supplementing creatine, so you could play around with it. I supplement creatine, and I don't have any problems. I mean, there's no harm in trying out the creatine.

In my view, there's no blanket recommendation for someone with MTRR polymorphisms. What I say is because in theory you will be bad at repairing B12 when your B12 gets very damaged, you should thoroughly look at your B12 status at least once. Then every time you enter a new health era, you should monitor your B12 status again.

What I mean by health era is your health changes or your developmental stage changes in a way that could impact your health. So, change in health eras, and I'm making this term up, this is not a medical term, but the change in health eras means you get sick with a sickness you never had before. That's a change in your health era. Or you go through puberty. That's a change in your health era. You go through menopause. That's a change in your health era. Or you go on birth control. That's a change in your health era.

Look, my MTRR, as I said before, looks terrible on paper. I measured everything I could think of about my B12 status, and everything looked fine. I'm not talking about just serum B12. I'm talking about all the functional markers too. They looked just fine. That just reinforced my belief and the observational data that these things are so common.

If these things dramatically impacted your B12 status in a very negative way most of the time, not many people would have the polymorphisms. And yet, they're very common. Those are huge reductions in activity. They're very, very common. So, I think it's ridiculous to make a generalized nutritional protocol around either of those. MTR, it gives you a couple ideas you can experiment with. MTRR, be proactive about monitoring your B12 status.

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

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Mar 19, 2020

Question: Nutrition for children with ADHD.

In adults 100 to 800 milligrams per day has been used in a couple studies showing effects in the brain. One of the things that's going wrong in ADHD is that the brain is not getting dopamine's signal that something is valuable enough to keep paying attention to it.

I think the drugs that are used to treat ADHD are increasing the tonic level of dopamine in the frontal cortex, and they're increasing the tonic level of dopamine in the basal ganglia. In the frontal cortex, the increased dopamine is basically making more stable mental states. If you focus on something, you will hold on to that better. In the basal ganglia, increasing the tonic dopamine is making it harder for a new thing to grab your attention, which reinforces the fact that you are more focused. Anything that increases dopamine is going to be good. There's that.

Should we just use the glycine to promote sleep, or should I also use it in the morning? I would say, ultimately, you have to judge it based on the results you get, but you should try it at other times during the day because one of the roles of glycine would be to provide the buffer against excess methylation.

For dopamine to make you pay attention to something that has value, you must have GABA suppressing attention to everything else. Dopamine cannot be a meaningful signal of the value of placing attention on something unless you have adequate GABA to suppress your attention paid to everything else. Because if you're paying attention to your schoolwork while you are also paying attention to your video games and to the mosquito in the corner equally as much, then you're not actually paying attention to your schoolwork. So, I think that anything that would boost GABA would be helpful.

So, yes to the glycine during the day. Yes, you do want to keep choline levels up. But remember that choline is a methyl donor. Choline is a double-edged sword here. First of all, the choline is needed for acetylcholine. When dopamine tells you to pay attention to something, once you're paying attention, you need acetylcholine to sustain your attention on that thing and get results. Dopamine is the signal that that thing has value to pay attention to. Acetylcholine is what you actually use to pay attention to it and get results.

You do want to help his acetylcholine levels, but you have to remember that choline is a methyl donor and that the more choline you have, the more important it becomes that the glycine is kept high enough to buffer excess methylation. Otherwise, choline could act as a double-edged sword and potentially wind up reducing dopamine levels.

The other thing that I would add is the GABA. Maybe start at 100 milligrams a day and work your way up to 800 and just be careful with the low dose. See what results you get. If it seems promising, try increasing the dose.

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

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Mar 18, 2020

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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

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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

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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

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