Pooping Rocks and Acid Reflux, HCL Supplementation, Baobab Fruit | THRR125

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Podcast Questions:

1. Pooping Rocks and Acid Reflux [12:46]
Brian says:
As of the last 8-10 weeks I have experienced constipation. Pooping daily but basically a bunch of rocks. I’ve also been getting acid reflux more often. BOTH of which seem random and cannot figure out what it is dietwise, as my diet is relatively consistent. Curious what may cause this and perhaps recommended remedies? Much appreciated

2. HCL Supplementation [17:04]
Alex says:
I’ve been treating some gut dysbiosis, which among other things includes HCL supplementation, and I feel like the dosage recommendation protocols on HCL are really missing a big piece of the picture. I eat nearly carnivore and prefer 2 large meals a day. I’ve increased my HCL dosage up to 10 capsules (650mg each) to beneficial effect and still don’t experience any discomfort. Based on almost every protocol out there I’m way past the upper end of the dosage. It seems rational to me that the combination of 60-80g+ protein meals and gut dysbiosis would necessarily call for such large dosages, thoughts?

3. Why hasn’t the paleo/ancestral health community embraced baobab fruit as a staple food? [19:44]
David says:
Hey Robb,

I recently found out about baobab fruit, and decided to try it. It’s apparently native to Africa, and a favorite staple food of the Hadza. anyway, it tastes good, and seems to have helped a lot in fixing most (maybe all?) of my gut issues.

I’ve known about the paleo diet for 10ish years now, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard about this fruit for whatever reason.

This seems like an easy win food-wise, given the amount of fiber/prebiotics it contains, it’s one of the most nutrient dense fruits one could eat, and I didn’t have too much trouble buying it on the Internet at a reasonable price. And, given how long Baobab plants/trees live, this is about as “paleo” as it gets today.

What gives? Why hasn’t the paleo/ancestral health community embraced baobab fruit? Is there some potential downside to eating this all the time that I have yet to discover? Will I die from some weird African parasite hiding in the pulp or something?


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Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with the bold aim to help 1 million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to the Healthy Rebellion Radio. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary or fitness change. Warning, when Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your britches in a bunch, well, there’s always Disney+.

Robb: Welcome back everybody.

Nicki: Hello. Hello. Welcome to another episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio. We’re at episode 125 today.

Robb: We’re all grown up.

Nicki: We’re all grown up. Yep. What is that like, I guess there’s no term for them for… I was going to say one and a quarter, 100 and a quarter, there’s no…

Robb: It is a hundred and a quarter I guess. Yeah.

Nicki: Yeah. Okay. I was thinking there might be some more specialer term.

Robb: Well, we are kind of like the Blue Collar Dark Horse podcast, so Brett and Heather will talk about prime numbers and stuff like that, but it’s outside my scope currently.

Nicki: Yes.

Robb: We’re just dealing with area and perimeter currently with our kids.

Nicki: Perimeter and multiplication facts. Yeah. Okay. Let’s see, what do we have going on this week? We’re just wrapping up sleep week in the 30 day Rebel Reset inside the Healthy Rebellion community and kicking off movement week here with the movement call Friday, which is September 30th, the day this episode releases, and then all next week is Movement Week inside the rebellion. What else hubs? What else is going on?

Robb: Pipelines getting blown up and all kinds of interesting things. It’s just fascinating to look out at the world and know that we’re possibly closer to nuclear Armageddon than we’ve ever been.

Nicki: It’s been kind of a week.

Robb: Since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Yeah, it’s just kind of fascinating.

Nicki: But we’re not getting get into all of that right now.

Robb: We won’t get much into that, but it’s just kind of like, “Huh, that’s interesting.”

Nicki: A lot going on in the world, but we can only control what we can control, which is our daily habits and our actions and loving the people we love and doing the things.

Robb: So I guess I’ll love the one I’m with.

Nicki: I guess so.

Robb: Does that apply if I travel or not really?

Nicki: You’re not traveling.

Robb: Okay. Fair enough, fair enough.

Nicki: All right. Let’s see, moving on. I guess news topic. I don’t know that we have any other stuff up front to chit chat. The dogs all healed up. No more stinky butt.

Robb: Thank God.

Nicki: No other animal issues thankfully.

Robb: I’m still looking around to get my anal glands expressed, but have found no takers on that, so don’t know what to say.

Nicki: I don’t even think you have anal glands.

Robb: Have we looked?

Nicki: I mean, humans don’t go around sniffing other human stool to identify.

Robb: Do you know this as a quantifiable fact?

Nicki: I do, yes I do. Yes, this is a 100% fact. Okay, we’re getting derailed here. What do we have for a news topic?

Robb: So this may be super low brow for some of you, but it’s two links to Phil Maffetone who is a exercise physiologist and he popularized the math pace formula, which is a great way of finding a benchmark for your heart rate to be purely fat fueled. And man, there’s so many benefits to this building a legit aerobic base recovery, balancing out parasympathetic sympathetic nervous system kind of response. CrossFits awesome, but it is just all sympathetic overload all the time, and that can create problems. And so high intensity training is cool, it’s very effective, but it’s pretty potent medicine. And the funny thing is I keep feeling like I’m… Well you know it’s funny, our coach, Travis Davison, our jujitsu coach, he will say, “I feel like what I’m showing you guys is just super basic,” whatever it is he’s going over, and I always get something out of it. And what I’m discovering in life is that I don’t usually need more, I just need a better understanding of what I’ve oftentimes have on my plate.

Robb: And we were having a discussion the other day in one of the chats within the Rebellion, and there were a bunch of people that had never heard of the Maffetone paced stuff, the zone two cardio and all that type of thing. And so I shared these links in the Rebellion, and so I felt like it was important to share it more broadly. I would really like to get Joel Jameson on a Salty Talk sometime soon. I’ve been using the Morpheus platform, which he’s the developer of, to monitor HRV and also to monitor most of my training. I don’t wear it during jujitsu, you can, it works well enough doing that, but it’s been really valuable. But I have a few questions around that like some of the recommended heart rates that come out of the Morpheus platform are significantly higher than what most of the Maffetone paced stuff suggests, so looking forward to chatting with him and circling up on that and really encourage folks to dig into this Maffetone formula and get some of your zone two cardio going. It definitely is of benefit. I fought and kicked and screamed against this stuff for ages and it really is the bees knees.

Nicki: And I’m still fighting and kicking because-

Robb: Well, so maybe this is-

Nicki: …. I loathe all things cardio. I like doing sprints, but just the steady state cardio stuff, it’s like nails on a chalkboard, pulling teeth to get me to do it.

Robb: And a lot of that I don’t enjoy, the main thing that I enjoy about it is I feel better later. The other activities that I do are improved and it is literally the only time that I get to watch any TV. And so that’s my care currently. And I think the big problem we have with you is that we haven’t found the right modality. I use an Assault bike and jump rope combo and sometimes I’ll do a little bit of a circuit, but it’s mainly a Assault bike.

Nicki: I don’t like stationary bike riding. It’s just not my thing, like the spinning of the legs and sitting on the butt. It’s not my thing.

Robb: The thing that gets most worked out is you’re taint and not in a pleasant way, so yeah.

Nicki: Okay. Here we go onto our sponsor. Heller Belling Radio, as you all know by now, is sponsored by our salty af electrolyte company LMNT. And we had an question that came in this week regarding LMNT, regarding our chocolate salt flavor. And so I was just going to weave this question into the ad to have an extra question and tackle two birds with one stone.

Nicki: So we’ve got one from Ivy on the chocolate salt and caffeine sensitivity. She says, “Hi, you two. Let me start off by professing my undying love to you guys. I love your message and your unapologetic perseverance to the truth. I’m a huge LMNT fan as a former POTS sufferer and an aerialist, it’s been a total game changer for me. My question is about the chocolate salt flavor containing caffeine. The reason I’m asking is because when I take it pre-workout early morning, I get a huge kick from it. The other flavors do not do this to me. I avoid caffeine at all costs, even though I adore cacoa, because I have a history of POTS and HPA dysregulation and have hypothyroidism. I’m a petite 100 pound 39 year old female. When I take the chocolate salt pre-workout, my workout is amazing, but seems to be followed by an afternoon of lethargy and feeling like I am tired, but wired. That feeling you get when you are under recovered, it’s by far my absolute favorite flavor, but it seems to trigger this caffeine response in me. And I’ve started to mix it with half raw and half chocolate salt, and I’ve noticed improvement.”

Nicki: So her question is, “Do you know how much caffeine is in it? And better yet, why the f so sensitive? I’m also sensitive to vitamin D, both supplemental and from too much light exposure. Could I have a genetic mutation or am I just a small sensitive female canary in the coal mine? Any thoughts? Greatly appreciated.”

Robb: So working backwards, there could certainly be a genetic component to this. This is one of the things that I’ve mentioned when folks talk about diet and all kinds of other things, the average halflife of clearing caffeine out of one’s system across a whole population is about eight hours. But there are people like our friend Luis, who has the polymorphism and he likely clears it in about four hours. And halflife is basically, if you’ve got a hundred milligrams of caffeine, which is about how much caffeine you would get out of a good stout cup of coffee, how long before you only have 50 milligrams of caffeine, and then how long before that 50 becomes 25 and on and on and on. So average population is about eight hours. There are fast metabolizers that only take four hours, and then there are people that take as long as 36 hours.

Robb: And so when somebody says, “I drink a cup of coffee and I can’t sleep for two days,” it’s foolish to dismiss that because there’s this massive variation there. And this is one of the other parts of maybe the evidence based medicine, evidence based nutrition crowd that live and die by randomized controlled trials. When you aggregate data, like you would with, “How long does it take on average to clear caffeine?” That may be completely meaningless depending on who you are. If you are that fast metabolizer, you literally could have a double espresso with dinner and you’re probably going to be fine, you’re probably going to sleep just fine. And then other people, not so much. With me, like the essential tremor syndrome, caffeine dramatically worsens it, and interestingly, there’s something about coffee specifically that seems to worsen it above and beyond just the caffeine content because I get less severe tremor worsening from say, like caffeinated black tea than I do from decaf coffee, ironically, so. For whatever it is, but the long and short within our product, the amount of cocoa powder that’s in there, on average, you would expect it be about 10 to 15 milligrams of caffeine to be in there, which is a non-trivial amount. And then cocoa has other stimulants in it too. So this may be part of the reason why she’s getting such a profound response with this.

Nicki: She notices it so much, yeah.

Robb: Yeah, yeah.

Nicki: Okay. Ivy, maybe figuring out what your ratio of raw and half chocolate salt is so that you can enjoy the flavor you love, but it doesn’t affect your-

Robb: If anything, what this tells you, we use really good cocoa powder in the product. It’s not shite cocoa powder, it’s actually very high quality stuff. So just as an aside.

Nicki: All right, we also had a question on how to make the LMNT home brew, and so I’m going to be adding a link to that in the show notes. This person couldn’t find that and she wanted to make her own. And we have a lot of great recipes on how to do that in a PDF that we’ll link in the show notes. If you want to buy your LMNT, of course, you can go to drinklmnt.com/robb, drinklmnt.com/robb, and you can grab any of our LMNT flavors. If you do the value bundle, buy three and get the fourth box free. Again, that’s drinklmnt.com/robb.

Robb: That was probably technically the longest commercial-

Nicki: That we’ve ever done, because-

Robb: … in all of podcast history.

Nicki: … we put a nice question in there.

Robb: Sneaky.

Nicki: Okay, we have three other questions today. The first one is from Brian on pooping rocks and acid reflux. He says, “As of the last 8 to 10 weeks, I have experienced constipation. Pooping daily, but basically a bunch of rocks. I’ve also been getting acid reflux more often, both of which seem random, and I cannot figure out what it is diet-wise, as my diet is relatively consistent, curious what may cause this and perhaps recommended remedies. Much appreciated.”

Robb: Man. Brian, when you dig into what causes constipation versus, say like loose stools, usually there’s a ratio of some of the sulfuric acid producing bacteria versus… Man, I’m blanking on the other one. The funny thing about that is I tend to be on the loose side, but whenever I’ve had gut testing, I should in theory be constipated. So that stuff you have to take with a little bit of a grain of salt. The fact that this kind of came on all at once, it makes me wonder, was there a bacterial infection, a viral infection, some other kind of health situation that has changed? That kind of makes me think about the acid reflux also. I got to say whenever I hear acid reflux, like if you do a little bit of poking around on acid reflux and gluten acid reflux and insulin resistance, there’s a lot there. So I don’t know-

Nicki: He says his diet’s consistent, but he doesn’t say what it is that he’s actually eating. So we don’t know if he’s, is he paleo? Is he keto? Is he just kind of eating standard American diet but maybe trying to cut some of the sugar out? We just have no idea where his starting point is.

Robb: So this is where the call in show would’ve been helpful. And we’re probably not going to help Brian a ton here, but I guess look back 8 to 10 weeks previously and maybe look at your calendar even, as did you go to a party? Did you do something different?

Nicki: Even a really stressful event can cause constipation. I don’t know that it would go on for 8 to 10 weeks, but.

Robb: Well, it can change things and then it’s hard sometimes to get that back. And the more that I dig into the get, the more it just becomes this thing where you do the best you can to do some sort of differential diagnosis and then get a plan for what you’re going to do to try to address this stuff and then do it and see if it improves the outcomes. The interesting thing is, short of adding more fruit and fiber and things like that, that should speed things up. But going more keto or paleo usually kind of slows things down to some degree, depending on how people eat because they may eat a little bit less fiber, certainly going more like carnivore is going to worsen that side of things, even though it might improve the acid reflux.

Robb: If the acid reflux goes on for a while, I would definitely get it checked out. Like esophageal cancer from acid reflux is no joke and it is a real spectern, a real problem. And I would take that seriously if this continues for another 8 or 10 weeks. It sucks going to a standard GI doctor because, God bless them, but I feel like most of them just really, they’re operating at such a superficial level that it’s hard to… It’s just tough, but at least you could see, are you getting any type of damage to the esophagus? And although the constipation stinks, damage to your esophagus can kill you. So that’s a really important thing to address and look into. And this might be where you need to link up with someone like a Dr. Russo or Lily Nickels or someone like that, that is just good at going deep on this, but you might need to do kind of a conventional survey, figure out where you’re at, and then look at some of these more alternative interventions, alternative people.

Nicki: Sounds good. Our next question is from Alex on HCL supplementation. He says, “I have been treating some gut dysbiosis, which among other things includes HCL supplementation and I feel like the dosage recommendation protocols on HCL are really missing a big piece of the picture. I eat nearly carnivore and prefer two large meals a day. I’ve increased my HCL dosage up to 10 capsules, 650 milligrams each to beneficial effect and still don’t experience any discomfort. Based on almost every protocol out there, I’m way past the upper end of the dosage. It seems rational to me that the combination of 60 to 80 grams plus of protein meals and gut dysbiosis would necessarily call for such large dosages. Thoughts?”

Robb: Yeah, I would agree. And this is kind of interesting. This is maybe a case, Alex though, for maybe do two main meals and a snack, just breaking things up, it’s not bad from… We don’t want to eat all day long. That’s not great for the gut, just eating serially, it’s not great for the body. There have been some really interesting studies where they had animals that were caloric restricted and also they fed the animals like serially. They basically once an hour they were allowed to eat. And most of the benefits that you would usually see with caloric restriction, you guys know that I’ve got kind of a contrarian view of caloric restriction, but most of the benefits went away because there’s this low level systemic inflammation that happens each time we eat. It’s not the end of the world, but it also kind of makes the case that grazing, we are not grazers, humans are not grazers.

Robb: So there’s kind of that thing. But also the flip side of this is that unless you have a really robust digestive process, a huge meal can also negatively impact the digestive system. So there’s maybe a little bit of a break even in there. Two meals and a snack, making each one of the meals a little bit smaller, doesn’t really address the thing around the HCL supplementation other than, so long as you’re seeing beneficial clinical outcomes, I would say just full steam ahead and it may take 3, 4, 5 months and then all of a sudden you start noticing that heat in the epigastric region after eating a meal. And then you may end up dialing the HCL down, which is usually the protocol that people use to dial the betaine hydrochloride down when they’re using that to improve digestion.

Nicki: Okay. And next question is from David on Baobab as a staple food, “Hey Robb, I recently found out about Baobab fruit and decided to try it. It’s apparently native to Africa and a favorite staple food of the Hudsa. Anyway, it tastes good and seems to have helped a lot in fixing most, maybe all, of my gut issues. I’ve known about the paleo diet for 10 years or so now, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard about this fruit, for whatever reason. This seems like an easy win food-wise, given the amount of fiber and prebiotics it contains. It’s one of the most nutrient dense fruits one could eat, and I didn’t have too much trouble buying it on the internet at a reasonable price. And given how long baobab plants and trees live, this is about as paleo as it gets today. So what gives, why hasn’t the paleo and ancestral health community embraced baobab fruit? Is there some potential downside to eating this all the time that I have yet to discover? Will I die from some weird African parasite hiding in the pulp or something?”

Robb: I’ll put that last part at probably a very low likelihood. We had a friend of ours in someone I worked with Ursula, who’s from South Africa, and she actually sent me some baobab fruit. Gosh-

Nicki: This was a long time ago.

Robb: … I want to say it was like 2008, 2009. It was a long time ago. And I liked it, I enjoyed it. I think it’s one of those things that it could be, who knows, maybe this will be the next super food trend. It is pretty good stuff. It does have a lot of fermentable fiber in it, which for some people is great, for other people, not so wonderful. Thinking back about it, I actually did pretty well with it and I don’t always do well with, I don’t do well with onions and some of these FOD maps and whatnot. So it’s a good call out, David, it’s interesting stuff. When I was kind of noodling on my, what do I do when I grow up, the whole coconut farm thing and all that. I was looking at baobab fruit cultivation and where you can do it and all that type of stuff. Funny enough, they won’t grow particularly well in Montana. So that ship is kind of sailed for me. But it is cool. And if folks want to check it out, it is like mentioned pretty nutrient dense, has some interesting fermentable carbohydrates in it, so yeah.

Nicki: Awesome. And that is our three questions for this week. We kind of blew through this episode.

Robb: I was less chatty this time than last time.

Nicki: A little less chatty. Well, I do want to make a call out on the liver question from last week’s episode. Jack Rustin, who was one of our moderators inside the Healthy Rebellion, he commented after that episode was released, and this is something I didn’t know and I wanted to share it with everybody because… So the question was, why does liver taste so bad if it’s so good for us? If it’s so nutritionally dense and it’s so good for us, shouldn’t it taste better? And Jack’s comment was, “Regarding the liver question, liver can be unbelievably tasty, sweet, tender, and mild. If you take the liver out of a freshly slaughtered animal, it’s completely different to some old ox liver that’s sat on the meat counter for two days. Totally different. That’s why they eat it immediately.” So, makes perfect sense. In the past, people would’ve eaten it right away.

Robb: When we did the elk kill on I caveman, we ate the liver right there in the field. Now this can get you parasites under certain circumstances, so do keep that in mind. But yeah, that’s a great point.

Nicki: So most of the stuff that people are getting from the store is weeks old, and even if you’re getting a half of a cow or something and you’re getting the liver, I mean, then it’s frozen. I wonder if that also probably, I’m sure impacts it because it’s not fresh and right, that immediate… So anyway as I was-

Robb: As usual, Jack Rustin with the good answer. Yeah.

Nicki: Jack Rustin. Yeah. So I wanted to share that because I know that’s important.

Robb: Yeah, yeah.

Nicki: Okay folks, I think that’s a wrap for this week’s episode. Please check out our show sponsor if you need any electrolytes LMNT is the place to grab them. You can get them at drinklmnt.com/robb.

Robb: Take care everybody. Hopefully we’ll see you next week.

Nicki: We’ll see you all next week.

Robb: Bye.

Nicki: Great. Bye.

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