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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor
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Experience:  Ten years practicing as a licensed family physician.
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Question for Certified Nutritionist: I need help gaining

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Question for Certified Nutritionist:
I need help gaining weight (muscle), because nothing I try seems to work. I've tried too many routines, diets, and supplements to list them all here, so anything you want to know, just ask. I know when you eat certain things matters, like not eating certain foods (sugars) before bed as the insulin robs your night-time muscle gains, etc. I've been working out hard for over 20 years but can’t gain weight, I'm still only 125. It's very discouraging not to see results from hard work, and I hate the way I look. I had to stop consuming Whey powder because now I have an allergy to dairy (maybe because I was eating so much of it). To boost calories, I try to include oils in meals, like olive, sunflower, fish, etc.
Dr. David :

Hello. Thank you for your question. I would be happy to help you any way that I can. Besides dietary food choices and certain disease processes, inability to gain weight can be caused by poor absorption of nutrients. If you would be happy to answer a few questions, I could perhaps offer some advice that way be helpfully for you. Are you having any health symptoms besides the inability to gain weight? Do you have any digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion? Specifically, how many pounds of beef do you eat per week? How many eggs per week? How many pounds of chicken per week? Thanks. *****

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had my colon removed (colitis), but they said no nutrient absorption happens there anyway. Because of this, I can't answer whether or not I have diarrhea. I don't keep track anymore of my intake, but the meats are usually chicken or fish because I don't like steak that much, and I have rice protein powder every day. What can I do to increase nutrient and calorie absorption?

I see. Thank you for the additional information. It is important to eat as much quality animal proteins, fats, and nutrient dense foods as possible. In order to build muscle, it can take eating a few pounds of meat per day, plus a half dozen eggs, and a half-a-stick of butter. There is a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon which provides abundant information and numerous recipes for a truly nutritious diet, and I highly recommend it. There is a recipe in the book for something called "Bone Broth" soup. It is made by boiling down several pounds of chicken bones and several pounds of chicken feet for 18 hours. The resulting broth is highly nutritious and can help to repair the lining of the intestines so that nutrients can be properly absorbed. I can send you the recipe if you like.
In order to improve your absorption of nutrients, it will be necessary to take a few different supplements with each meal. Taking a supplement called "Betaine/Pepsin" can be helpful for breaking down properly so that it can be absorbed. Taking a "Digestive Enzyme" supplement such as "Pancreatin" can also help to increase absorption by breaking down the food to its smallest components. I can send you suggestions on specific products, if you wish.
Additionally, taking a high potency multivitamin as well as amino acid supplements can be helpful.
Hello. I will be stepping away from the computer for a while. Please let me know if you would like any additional information, and I will send a response in about 6 to 8 hours. Sorry for the delay. After a time, the question will be re-opened to other Experts who may offer their opinions as well.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** what another Dr. can chime in as well.

I have to scratch off the dairy you mentioned because of allergy and eggs don't agree with my stomach.

I already have all the supplements you mentioned, but willing to give them yet another try.

I don't even know where I would get that many chicken feet and bones, so I may not be able to do that one.

I really need help!

The "Bone Broth" chicken soup is extremely nourishing and healing to the digestive tract. If you we're going to pick one method to try, definitely the chicken soup made with chicken feet, chicken necks, and chicken backs is the one to choose. Humans have traditionally eaten soups made with bones for thousands of years. It is only in our modern era that this extremely nourishing staple has been replaced with watered down "soup" out of a can. Many of my patients who have tried this recipe has noticed improved health and weight gain.
It can take a bit of effort to coordinate obtaining the ingredients and supplies necessary to make the broth. However, when the broth is finally complete it is worth it's weight in gold! Besides being truly delicious it is healing. I can't emphasize enough how many benefits this kind if food can bring.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, if you can send the recipe I will try it.

Which amino acid were you suggesting?

There are a few Amino Acid formulas which contain a variety of compounds, and I would recommend one of those. For example, "21 Blend" from JoMar Labs is a good product. Here is a link:!81/Pure+Form+Amino+Acid+21+Blend++125+Capsules
Another product that is easy to find is the "Amino Acid Capsules" from Bluebonnet. Here is a link:
Amino acids should be taken by themselves between meals.
Here is the Bone Broth recipe. Depending on where you live, it will be easier or harder to obtain the chicken parts. They can often be found at farmer's markets, smaller grocery stores, butcher shops, and can also be ordered online directly from a small farm.
There are three or four different variations of the bone broth recipe that can be used with bones from different animals.
For Chicken Bone Broth, you will need the following supplies:
-Large stock pot (15 to 20 quarts is ideal)
-5 to 15 pounds of assorted chicken bones including Chicken Necks and Chicken Backs
-2 to 5 pounds of Chicken Feet
-1 to 2 pounds of Chicken Heads, if you can find them
-Organic and Free-Range Chicken Parts are preferable
-One or two cups of White Vinegar
Fill the stock pot with all of the bones; the pot should be half to three-quarters filled with bones, feet, and heads. Add filtered or bottled water to the pot so that it is nearly full. Add the vinegar. Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmering boil. Cover the pot to reduce evaporation. As the broth cooks, there is going to be fat and debris that floats to the top, skim all of this off as it appears. Add more water to the pot to replace the lost volume. Cook for about 18 hours, and then let the covered pot cool for about 4 to 6 hours. This can be done in one day by starting at 6am, boiling until about mid-night, and then letting the pot cool until the next morning, or some variation of this. Strain off the broth into one or several large bowls. The broth can be strained through cheese cloth to make it clearer. Package the broth in 1 quart freezer bags, and then freeze them; you should end up with 10 to 30 bags of broth depending on the starting volume and the amount put in each freezer bag. Re-heat and eat one bag per day, add some butter, salt, and vegetables if you like.
For Fish Bone Broth, the process is similar except you will be boiling for only 6 to 8 hours and will be using fish heads, and bony fish parts. Oily fish like salmon should be avoided.
For Sheep Bone Broth, use sheep bones and boil for a longer time, 18 to 24 hours.
For Beef Bone Broth, use beef bones and boil for 18 to 24 hours. The bones and be roasted slightly before boiling to add more taste.
There is an excellent food book that contains different recipes for bone broth. It is called "Nourishing Traditions" by Fallon and Enig. Here is a link:
A lot of the same information can be found on the Weston A. Price website. Here is a link to some broth recipes from this site:
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. I can't do the Bluebonnet since I'm IgG and IgE to whey. Does that mean I can't do the Jo Mar either? Am I already getting these ok from my use of rice protein powder?

The Amino Acids are a bit different than the actual protein. In order to make the Amino Acid formula, the protein is completely digested down to its individual components so that there is actually no complete proteins left remaining. Since an IgG and IgE allergic response depends on the presence of the whole or partial protein, then it seems extremely unlikely that the Amino Acid formula will trigger a reaction. I suppose that it is possible there could be some traces of dairy remaining in the Bluebonnet product. Though I believe that the Jo Mar product is much cleaner and unlikely to contain any trace of dairy proteins. The Jo Mar web site states that the 21 Blend product is "hypoallergenic because there are no whole proteins or peptides (small chains of amino acids) present." A rice protein powder will not contain these pre-digested amino acids in the same amounts or ratios. The benefit of using the Amino Acids is that they are easily absorbed and do not depend on the body's ability to digest foods in order to be utilized.
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