Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Dear Mark: Collagen or Glycine, Keto and Gallstones, Raw Liver, Stevia Itching, and Gaining Muscle, Losing Fat

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions taken from this Twitter thread. First, does collagen offer anything special above and beyond glycine? Second, what’s the relationship between keto and gallstones? Third, do I recommend eating raw liver, and why or why not? Fourth, why does one reader’s scalp itch when eating stevia? And finally, what’s the best way to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?

Let’s go:

If collagen is broken down into amino acids in the gut before being absorbed, is it just the amino acid profile (i.e. high glycine) that makes it so beneficial? Anything else?

Glycine is a major reason why we need collagen in our diets, but it’s not the only one.

When you feed people collagen derived from pork skin, chicken feet, and cartilage, many different collagenous peptides appear in the blood. You don’t get any of these from isolated glycine:

Proline-hydroxyproline, a peptide with protective effects on osteoarthritic cartilage degradation.

Glycine-proline-hydroxyproline, a peptide that makes it into the blood and turns into proline-hydroxyproline, which makes it into the skin.

Collagen peptides have beneficial effects above and beyond glycine alone—although glycine is great for balancing out methionine intake from muscle meat consumption. It’s also been used in several studies to improve multiple markers of sleep quality.

A family member has a complicated health history including cancer and wants to eat keto. But, now she finds she has gallstones. Any thoughts on a good way to attack this complicated issue?

Has your family member already gone keto? Did going keto come before the gallstone reveal?

If so, that’s actually normal.

The primary role of the gallbladder is to collect bile from the liver, concentrate it into potent super-bile (my term), and release the concentrated bile to break up incoming dietary fat into smaller molecules that lipase can attack and digest. Dietary fat is the biggest driver of gallbladder emptying.

If the gallbladder isn’t regularly emptied, gallstones can form. Usually made of hardened cholesterol, gallstones are quite common and often produce no symptoms. Problems arise when normal gallbladder emptying flushes out a stone small enough to make it into but too large to pass through the bile duct and a blockage occurs. Gallstones can also directly damage the walls of the gallbladder, leading to cholecystis, or gallbladder inflammation.

A high-fat diet can exacerbate or even uncover gallstone issues by increasing gallbladder emptying. Remember: the more fat you eat, the more often you empty your gallbladder—and everything in it.

But high-fat diets don’t generally cause gallstones to form. They only reveal pre-existing ones. The biggest risk factors for gallstone formation are:

  • high intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates.
  • High estrogen levels, which concentrate cholesterol deposition in the gallbladder. This is why women, especially pregnant women and/or those taking hormonal birth control, are more likely to have gallstones.
  • Obesity, which also increases cholesterol levels in the gallbladder.
  • Weight loss, with a caveat: high-fat weight loss diets reduce and even prevent gallstone formation. In fact, when you compare people who lose weight on a low-fat diet to those who lose it on a high-fat diet, research shows that 45% of the low-fatters develop gallstones while none of the high-fatters develop them.

Once the gallstones are all clear, keep up with the keto eating, as eating more fat will keep your gallbladder regularly flushed and clear of stones.

Is Raw Liver safe to eat?

I’ve eaten raw liver before. I know people who eat raw liver. I can’t recommend it, however, because I don’t know what kind of liver you have access to. Who raised the animal? What did it eat? What were the processing conditions?

But because I know people are going to try this…

Freeze it first for several days.

Buy from a trusted source.

Buy only liver from well-raised, grass-fed, organic animals.

If it looks unhealthy, it probably is. I would never eat a pale, flaccid liver with ugly spots, cooked or raw.

Don’t eat raw (or even medium) pork liver. A huge percentage of pigs carry the Hepatitis E virus, which is transmittable to humans and concentrates in the liver.

Why does stevia make my scalp itch?

Stevia can be an allergen actually. It’s not very common, but as more and more people use stevia, more will be revealed to have an allergic reaction.

I’d just skip it.

Is it possible to gain muscle and lose weight with properly timed IF around workouts?

It is possible, although you may not actually lose weight, but rather body fat (which is better).

The best way I’ve seen people do it is the classic Leangains method.

Fast from 8 p.m. to 12-1 noon.

Fasted workout in the afternoon, perhaps with a little BCAA or whey isolate before the workout. Lift heavy, compound movements.

After the workout, walk for 20 minutes. Brisk pace to utilize all the free fatty acids swimming around.

Then eat. If you’re going to eat carbs, do it in this meal and keep the fat low-to-moderate. Load up on protein.

Eat as much as you like until 8 p.m.—the end of your eating window. Favor protein and, again, if you’re eating carbs keep fat lower than usual.

Maintain the fasting period every day. On rest days, eat low/no carb and higher fat. Protein always high. Go for walks on rest days.

That’s it. That usually works really well, but it presupposes you have a flexible schedule and can actually train in the afternoon whenever you want. Your mileage may vary—though it will work at any time.

Muscle gain won’t be as rapid as it would drinking a gallon of milk a day, eating pizza smoothies, and cramming ice cream made with whey protein at night, but it will minimize fat gain and perhaps even help you lose fat as you gain muscle. No guarantees, but it’s the best method I’ve seen.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading, take care, and be sure to leave a comment down below if you have any questions.


The post Dear Mark: Collagen or Glycine, Keto and Gallstones, Raw Liver, Stevia Itching, and Gaining Muscle, Losing Fat appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Weekend in Maine, Big Boy Bed, Primally Pure Giveaway & Local Halloween Events

Hi friends! Happy Monday Tuesday! 🙂

It totally feels like a Monday today. The boys had yesterday off from school, so we did some typically Sunday errands and family adventures. I woke up today 100% thinking it was Monday. Woahhh. It’s actually a “Quinn and Mumma” day because he’s off again today. Quinn’s school closes for professional development days a few times a year and today is one of those days. I’m actually really looking forward to an old school Quinn and Mumma day. Now that we don’t have them nearly as much, I really miss them!

We had such a nice time with Dave and Marie and their girls in Maine over the weekend. We drove up on Saturday morning, spent the night, and then headed home late on Sunday afternoon. #puglife

We mostly just hung out at their house, but it was great catching up and letting the little ones play together. It was just like old times with Dave and Marie, and we always pick up right where we left off with our friendship, but now there’s 4 crazy kids (+ 3 dogs) running around, so times have definitely changed! 🙂

Yesterday, Quinn got to cash in his marbles from his “new food” reward jar. This time, he picked Operation! He’s allowed to pick any toy he wants with in reason! 😉

After that, we headed to lunch at Rivershed. I looked over the menu for quite awhile and then decided I was sick of eating meat + veggies. I totally could have ordered a salad with chicken or fish, but I just needed a break. Not forever, but definitely for lunch yesterday, so I ordered dry rub wings. The wings obviously weren’t “the best” choice, but not the worst either. I know myself and being “perfect” all the time with my diet just sets me up for disaster. Personally, I strive to be a little less perfect so it keeps me consistent for the long run. The wings totally hit the spot, and I’m back on track today with the anti-candida diet!

Then, we bought Quinn a big boy bed! He was still sleeping in his toddler bed and finally out grew it.

His toddler bed was actually his crib, so it was a bit emotional taking it apart last night. I still remember putting it together! Oh, my Mumma heart!

Local Halloween Events at the Derby Street Shops

Just wanted to share a couple of local Halloween events at the Derby Street Shops!

Pumpkin Patch

Halloween Boo Bash

Question of the Day

How long did your little one sleep in their toddler bed? 


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A Great Entry Table

I did a little furniture shopping lately to find a great entry table for our house. Luckily I was able to find the right piece in our bathroom! Above is the after – a clean line to walk by. The previous table (below) had a decorative edge that jutted out just a bit making one feel a bit claustrophobic walking by. In addition to improving the walk-through, the drawers and aesthetics look better with the pieces swapped. I LOVE an easy little home project like this, so once I made the decision to switch them I couldn’t wait to get started. So excited that I forgot to take a before pic of the downstairs room.

Before: Old Entry Table

Here’s the original entry piece after I removed the drawers:

Old Entryways

Remember when it looked like this?

I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint years ago. I mixed teal and white to create an ombre effect. (You know, when ombre what SO COOL back in like 2012?!)

ombre drawers with chalk paint

Before: Master Bath

Here’s what our bathroom looked like before! FYI, I bought this entry table at Homegoods years ago.

After: Master Bath

Our bathroom is quite bland in color, so I thought the pop of color would look better in here. I was right! (The little chest, which was my grandmothers, is now on the other side of our bedroom.)

ombre drawers with chalk paint

The drawers have been organized and hold extra bathroom things like Q-tips and toothbrushes.

After: A Great Entry Table

And here’s the after downstairs. What makes it better? The drawer organization is so much easier with seven options for hats, gloves, scarves, sunglasses, and little purses. The colors match our downstairs much better, and the cleaner edge means it’s easier to pass by.

I might note that I carried both pieces of furniture up and down the stairs by myself! This girl don’t need no man 😉

Similar home posts you might like:

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Japanese Tempeh Skillet Recipe

This Japanese Tempeh Skillet recipe is hearty, filling and downright delicious!

Not too long ago, I signed up for a six-month, online, plant-based culinary program. It was truly the most wonderful … Read more →

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