Ask Rogue Health and Fitness

blood donors live longer

I get asked lots of questions in the comments section and elsewhere, and both questions and answers often go unnoticed by readers. So I’m going to boost them up here, as lots of them are interesting and probably reflect similar questions that many readers have. I’ll also include some interesting comments that aren’t necessarily questions

Does casein interfere with autophagy?

Q. One of the things that has recently been swirling in my head is the speed with which different proteins are absorbed by our digestive system. Let’s take Whey and Casein as an example – as far as I have read Whey is absorbed within 2 hours (1.5 hours is the usual time given by people) and Casein within up to 7. This to me seems quite important. If one fasts for 16 hours per day ( last meal 8 pm / first meal noon next day), it seems to me, that eating dairy protein (usually 80% casein) is a bad idea for increasing autophagy as it seems to cut the time without protein and keep you in the fed state longer. Since I do like hard cheese and many other dairy products (they are a staple here), I have moved them mainly to my lunch/breakfast meal. Any thoughts on that?

A. I agree with you. Some studies have shown that taking casein at night before bed leads to greater muscle growth when training. The reason it does this is because casein stays in the system virtually throughout the night, preventing muscle protein breakdown. It will also prevent autophagy, so I won’t be doing that. As far as amounts and timing, that could make for different results; for instance, having a piece of cheese with or after dinner may not have much of an effect – or it might, I don’t think we know.

Methylene blue against Alzheimer’s – is its mechanism antifungal?

Q.  It’s odd how you’re writing about fungus and I just read today about how people are using methylene-blue for life extension and to treat Alzheimers. Also helps mitochondrial dysfunction or so some say. And dirt cheap at the small rates it’s taken.

A. He may be on to something. References:

Methylene blue and Alzheimer’s disease

Antifungal action of methylene blue

Does fungal infection cause Alzheimer’s?

Arimidex

Q. I’ve read that you take Arimidex twice a week. Why don’t you take it daily? What’s possible downsides of taking it everyday? Thanks.

A. Possible downside is too low estradiol. Estradiol and other estrogens are important even in men, so you don’t want to drive them to zero. Aside from that, 0.5 mg anastrozole (Arimidex) two to three times a week is the normal dose to raise testosterone and lower estradiol.

Did blood donation make her skin healthier and more attractive?

Q. Attesting from the field, I’m a 56 yr old female that started menopause 3 years ago. Coincidentally began noticing huge increase in skin aging (wrinkles, elasticity, etc.) and big decrease in eyesight. I’m physically athletic, have excellent diet, regular CR, coffee & herbal tea drinker, aspirin user, consistent 115 lbs, occasional red meat eater, never need doctor for anything person. Had become obsessed with anti-aging research in last couple years after noticing this huge skin aging dilemma, yet out of reading 100s of articles never read anything about the detrimental effects of iron! That is until recently a girlfriend told me she had hemochromatosis (with prescribed weekly phlebotomy), and I found your incredible iron articles. {Thanks! – PDM]

I haven’t had my ferritin level checked yet, but it all seemed to make sense especially having lived in Florida for 15 yrs with lots of sun exposure. First thing I did was schedule a blood donation. Encountered first problem too in that I did not pass the hemoglobin test level of 12.5 at the donation site. Sorry I was only 12.1. Crap! So I immediately made another appt. two weeks later. The 2nd time donating the admission nurse told told me to slap my hands together and rub hard with my fingers pointing up in praying position right before the finger prick for the hemoglobin test. Sure enough, tested 13.1 this 2nd time so I could continue with the donation.

Now here’s the amazing part (maybe psychosomatic, I don’t care) a few days after donating I noticed huge improvement in my skin and my eyesight! Will definitely become regular donor in future for all the other major health benefits as well.

Can’t thank you enough Mr. Mangan for all your research and well-written articles. Looking forward to buying the print version of Dumping Iron. This whole iron issue may finally become mainstream knowledge thanks in part to your efforts.

A. Thanks. I have hopes that iron will indeed become a mainstream issue with my book. As for skin health and appearance, I don’t doubt that blood donation, which lowers ferritin levels quite a bit – 30 to 50 points per donation – could result in an almost immediate improvement in the skin. This commenter is actually not the first person who’s told me this. Wrinkles are another matter; most of the science points to wrinkles being permanent, but that could be wrong. Blood donors anecdotally look much healthier than others, which may be due in part to effects on the skin.

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11 comments
Paloma says March 23, 2016

Most curious! I donated blood three weeks ago and last week some relative that hadn’t see me in a while told me that my skin looked like porcelaine. I have also noticed that my complexion looks fresher, but I thought it was because of the melatonin I am having to help me sleep (and that before I was reluctant to use because I thought it might be bad). Thanks!

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says March 23, 2016

    Hi Paloma, so, we can add another report to the list.

    Reply
Paloma says March 23, 2016

Sure!

Reply
evan says March 23, 2016

Dennis,
How do you feel about adaptogens, like ginseng and schisandra?

I want to try adding these to my green tea. I’ve read they can boost energy and reduce oxidative stress, but I guess there’s not a lot of scientific support either way?

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says March 24, 2016

    I believe ginseng has some support, but it’s rather far down the list. As far as I know, that green tea itself is more powerful for health than ginseng. Schisandra I know nothing about.

    Reply
Dexter says March 24, 2016

Dennis, you’re not injecting testosterone, are you? What is the best book you have read on the subject of testosterone?

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says March 24, 2016

    No, I don’t do TRT. My friend Jay Campbell wrote the definitive book on TRT. As for plain old T (without the RT), most of my knowldege comes from scientific reports.

    Reply
Robert17 says March 24, 2016

I’m a middle aged, obese man and just got my ferritin results back….196. The plan is to donate 4-5 times, then retest with possibly more donations every 9-12 months. Sound about right?

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says March 24, 2016

    Robert, detailed discussion of that in my book.

    Reply
Matt says March 24, 2016

Hi Dennis,

I’m curious if you have any thoughts on allergy shots. The idea of progressively building tolerance to environmental allergens definitely works (I’ve been getting them for over a year now and my rather extreme seasonal allergies have virtually disappeared), but I’m sure its causing an inflammation response that never quite gets to die down (shots are monthly and the redness/heat/itching at the injection site can last for up to two weeks). I wonder if I’m taking years off my life in exchange for better allergen tolerance.

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says March 25, 2016

    Matt, I don’t have a strong opinion on allergy shots, but I doubt if you’re taking years off of your life. Allergies are symptoms of overactive immune systems; there’s some evidence that allergy sufferers have lower rates of cancer, precisely because of the heightened surveillance of their immune systems. My other thought was whether you’ve tried probiotic treatments, which seem to help lots allergy sufferers. Kombucha also.

    Reply
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