Groovenstein

Improved personal hygiene

40 posts in this topic

Another thing, men, you can look into for nail health is clear nail polish with a strengthener. If your nails are already healthy, then it's probably not necessary. Apparently it helps me because I don't have enough calcium in my diet (which supposedly was indicated by the small ridges I used to have on my nails). And it's really not noticeable at all. Makes your nails slightly shinier, but that's about it.
Define "ridges." I ask because when I look at my nails with the light at a certain angle, I can see fine "lines" running lengthwise (relative to my finger), though from other angles and in different light they're not visible. What exactly would indicate a lack of calcium?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[...] I don't have enough calcium in my diet [...]

I have been told by a doctor I generally trust that the amount of calcium in the body is due to several factors. Only one of those factors is calcium intake, that is, calcium in the food we eat. Other factors mentioned in affecting the level of calcium in the body are the amount of protein consumed (high protein diets tend to use up calcium, apparently) and the amount of salt consumed (salt tends to remove calcium, apparently).

I can't vouch for any of that. (I am not a physiologist; I may have misunderstood.) I offer it only as a caution. It might be a mistake to rush out to buy calcium tablets even if there really is a calcium deficiency. More study would be appropriate.

Further, I too have prominent ridges in my nails. No general lab tests have ever indicated an insufficient level of calcium. So, I would question using the presence of ridge lines as an indicator of calcium deficiency. Once again, further study might be appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I would question using the presence of ridge lines as an indicator of calcium deficiency. Once again, further study might be appropriate.

Agreed. This makes me wonder if my memory is faulty in this instance, that is, whether I am remembering the wrong mineral.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been told by a doctor I generally trust that the amount of calcium in the body is due to several factors. Only one of those factors is calcium intake, that is, calcium in the food we eat.

To Burgess and Groovenstein:

I have done plenty of research on this. Burgess is right that high calcium intake does not necessarily mean net calcium retention. North Americans eat the most calcium in their diets but also suffer from the highest rates of osteoperosis; although that could be due to several factors, nutrition effecting calcium balance is a significant one.

Just to clear something up, a high protein diet does not necessarily cause higher calcium excretion, but protein like meats and cheeses can contribute to calcium loss in one's diet. A high protein diet balanced with net alkaline producing foods (as rated by the potential renal acid load scale) could cause calcium retention. Grains will also contribute toward calcium excretion like meats do. Ca+ are taken from different areas of the body including the bones to lower acidity levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[...] but protein like meats and cheeses [...]

Do you mean "proteins as they appear in meats and cheeses"?

[...] can contribute to calcium loss in one's diet. A high protein diet balanced with net alkaline producing foods (as rated by the potential renal acid load scale) could cause calcium retention.

Again, I want to make sure I understand what you are saying. I think you are saying this: It is okay to eat a lot of protein as long as you eat proportionately even greater amounts of alkaline-producing foods in order to make the body somewhat alkaline overall.

Is that a correct interpretation of what you are saying?

In other words, if a man eats a lot of protein (say, more than 100 grams/day), he should eat an even higher proportion of fruit and vegetables (which are all alkaline-producing, according to the PRAL listing) as a way of overcoming the acidifying effects of the protein (especially proteins in the form of meats and cheeses).

Grains will also contribute toward calcium excretion like meats do. Ca+ are taken from different areas of the body including the bones to lower acidity levels.

If you look closely at the PRAL listing, for example on John Berardi's website (halfway down the article, "Covering Nutritional Bases," at this link), you will see that not just grains, but nearly all seeds (nuts, beans, peas, as well as grains) are acidifying.

On a personal, not a scientific level, I am very familiar with the issue of acidifying foods. Finding the PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) listing, among other items, helped me end 42 years of sometimes crippling inflammation problems: dermatitis (eczema and rosacea), conjunctivitis, iritis, gingivitis, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and colitis. These "-itis" problems ("-itis" means "inflammation" in Greek) are all part of a condition called "leaky-gut syndrome."

My diet now consists of only plant foods, but excluding all seeds (all grains; all nuts except filberts; all beans except green; all peas). When I say "excluding all seeds," I don't mean I pick the seeds out of figs or tomatoes. Instead, I mean that I avoid eating seeds as whole "dishes."

Thanks to this radical diet change, I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life, including childhood. The one thing missing from my diet is B12, for which I am now taking a supplement and for which I may soon test small quantities of liver. (Apparently one heaping tablespoon of beef liver contains about 15 or more micrograms of B12.)

What I have learned personally, not scientifically, has been a life-saver for me. I welcome any comments on this subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the above link:

Negative nitrogen balance (high concentrations of nitrogen in urine). Glutamine is responsible for binding hydrogen ions to form ammonium. Since hydrogen ions are acidic, glutamine acts much like calcium to neutralize the body's acidosis. Since skeletal muscle contains the body's largest glutamine store, metabolic acidosis causes muscle breakdown to liberate glutamine from the muscle. The amino acids from this muscle breakdown are then excreted, causing a net loss of muscle protein. (2,7)

It says here that the largest store of glutamine (which neutralises acids) is in skeletal muscle. But I think that would mean that when you eat red meat (which is mainly muscle) then you should also be getting a lot of this amino-acid. Perhaps the other components of the meat outweigh this component making the net balance from eating meat negative? It's a little confusing to me..

I assume that it's mainly due to organic acids being present in the meat that apparently outweigh the amount of this amino-acid that is present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the above link:

For the record, my link was only for the table, which I personally have found to be perfectly predictive: acid-producing foods, when individually tested, cause inflammation flare-ups, particularly in my skin, which is my "litmus paper," so to speak. I am not endorsing the article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, raisins look like a really good option for reducing your acid load. They've got the most negative value in the whole table and you can generally eat a lot of them because they're yummy :blink:

4 ounces of raisins will counteract almost 12 ounces of meat, for example. And I doubt it will be a problem if you occasionally eat too much food containing bases given that our average consumption is quite acidic.

I wonder what the effects of a continuously basic diet are... Not sure if it is something to worry about but I wonder what the effects on your body are if you go too much to the other side of the balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, I want to make sure I understand what you are saying. I think you are saying this: It is okay to eat a lot of protein as long as you eat proportionately even greater amounts of alkaline-producing foods in order to make the body somewhat alkaline overall.

Is that a correct interpretation of what you are saying?

Yes. The important thing is having an acid base balance, which you are familiar with. The issue is that net acidity will cause calcium to be leeched from the bones in order to balance the acid base ratio.

I am glad to hear you have fixed your medical problem, Burgess. I wish I had been around to suggest adjusting your diet years ago. If you're interested in learning a little more about PRAL and other causes of inflammation, there is a great researcher Dr Loren Cordain who operates the site www.thepaleodiet.com . The diet itself may not be appropriate to you but parts of it might provide you good information. Berardi learned what he knows about the PRAL from Cordain who has worked to spread awareness of it.

Maarten, meat and dairy cause a net acidic load, but the glutamine in them can be used once the amino acids from the food reach the blood stream. In most cases there is no "outweighing" and there is no muscle breakdown, except for that 'muscle' that you just ate :blink: Meat is commonly known to help muscle anabolism for a reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But isn't the table a little misleading then? If it lists meat as having a high acidity, but meat actually does not cause any problems then shouldn't it be classified as neutral?

One would assume that a negative value there means that your body gets more acidic, but in this case that doesn't seem to be true...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One would assume that a negative value there means that your body gets more acidic, but in this case that doesn't seem to be true...

My nonscientific understanding -- which I hope will be corrected -- is that the numbers indicate a predicted acidity (positive number) or alkalinity (negative number) produced by the food (consumed in a certain quantity under specified conditions) in the kidneys.

Why the kidneys? Because, I assume, that is the place through which blood passes for cleaning, so it is a good place for testing for the presence of something in the body and presumably transported by the circulatory system. Isn't this the rationale behind urine tests for drugs, for example?

I want to reiterate that (1) for my particular problem, I found the list to be 100% predictive (acidity-producing foods cause inflammation flare-ups), for the foods I tested using a standard testing procedure (1 serving/meal, six meals in a row); and (2) my understanding of these things is strictly black-box: I know what works for me for my particular issues, but not why it works.

I want to note also that I have long been suspicious of the PRAL list. Why suspicious? Because I don't understand how it was created. At the same time, I know it works for me in solving the problems I faced. This, for me, seems to be a common situation: I must work with the knowledge I have, as shaky as it is, because it works. The question "Does it work?" is, I hold, one valid test for nonscientists who are very busy dealing with a lot of issues in their lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anabolism actually means the building up of larger molecules from smaller molecules which includes more than just muscle.

But, it seems to me Bryan that you are trying to state that if we are eating just protein then we will stimulate muscle growth, if so this is wrong. Also, anabolism can happen with any macro-nutrient as carbs, protein and fat can be part of the smaller molecules that turn into larger molecules, the liver can do amazing things. Muscle is made up of 70% water, not protein, protein only makes up about 20% of the muscle, with the other 10% coming from other nutrients. But, even so, so what, you cannot enhance your muscle mass beyond what your genetic make-up will allow.

There is a DNA enzyme called myostatin (85-95% of us carry large amounts of it), that regulates the totality of lean body tissue that one person can genetically have and no amount of protein intake nor exercsie will ever change this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, it seems to me Bryan that you are trying to state that if we are eating just protein then we will stimulate muscle growth, if so this is wrong.

No, you must have understood me.

But isn't the table a little misleading then? If it lists meat as having a high acidity, but meat actually does not cause any problems then shouldn't it be classified as neutral?

Burgess is right about his kidney comment. Meat, or anything listed as net acidity producing, will be balanced by the body eventually. Like I mentioned earlier, one of the ways to do this is to use glutamine or calcium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meat is commonly known to help muscle anabolism for a reason.

I might have misunderstood, but from your quote and it's context from above I do not think so. You state "meat" which is primarily protein and you did not include the fact that all macro-nutrients can be used for anabolism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might have misunderstood, but from your quote and it's context from above I do not think so. You state "meat" which is primarily protein and you did not include the fact that all macro-nutrients can be used for anabolism.

Sorry for the typo in my above post.

Anyway, I think you're digging for something that's not there, Ray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites