I’m excited to announce the new release of a protein supplement that I’ve been waiting for for a long time. When I first started practicing functional medicine 15 years ago, most patients could easily tolerate whey protein which was the best quality protein powder at that time. As the years went by more and more patients were reporting sensitivity to whey so I had to try and use alternate solutions like rice, hemp, and pea protein.
But after a few years of using these alternate protein sources I started to get more and more reports of sensitivities to these forms of protein just as I had with whey. All of my colleagues practicing functional medicine were confirming the same issues with protein powders leaving us with little to nothing to choose from.
This brings us to today and the excitement around the new AminoMeal Select by Moss Nutrition which isn’t based on any foods for it’s protein content but rather being a purely amino acid based formula. I’ll get into the specifics of this product shortly but first let’s answer a few questions about why a product like this is necessary.
Why are so many people sensitive to whey, pea, rice, hemp protein etc.?
Our immune systems haven’t changed in just 15 years but what has changed is our environment, microbiota, and our stress levels. Stress drives immune intolerance to foods and we couldn’t be more stressed in today’s modern world. I’ll lay out a few of the main causes of this shift in how our body’s are responding to foods.
1. Blue light exposure
Blue light from cell phones, tablets, and computers is zapping our melatonin levels thus diminishing the quality of our sleep. The loss of quality sleep is the quickest way to stress the body and drive immune system intolerance. I have a “no screens after 6pm” policy so I never look at a device after six. If I’m watching TV then I wear blue light filtering glasses to minimize exposure. I’ve also changed all the light bulbs in my house to blue light filtering bulbs.
2. Social Media
Social media has been shown to cause anxiety, depression, and depressed mood after using it. Additionally, many of the conversations are heated debates about various political and religious issues that create stress. Social media also has lead to more social isolation since everyone already knows what their friends are up to. What is there to talk about or catch up on when you put your entire life on the internet?
3. Social Isolation
This ties into the issue with social media as social isolation is a major stress to the body. Feeling isolated or lonely increases inflammation and stress hormones in the body. This is a recipe for gut problems and immune intolerance. Our society is becoming more isolated with a diminishing sense of community.
4. Gut Microbiota
Our gut bacteria are changing as the use of antibiotics, cleaning products, sanitizers, medications, pesticides, herbicides, and stress all negatively affect our microbiota. When your microbiota is out of balance you become more sensitive to foods.
5. Low HCL
Stress really knocks out stomach acid production which means that the food you eat doesn’t enter the small intestine properly digested. This puts more strain on the pancreas, gall bladder, and the upper GI leading to abnormal immune responses to food. Low HCL also leads to dysbiosis and SIBO which can increase immune intolerance as well.
People are eating way to fast and stressed while they eat due to watching the news, texting, checking social media etc. This keeps you in a sympathetic dominant state of mind which lowers stomach acid production. I always try to get patients to eat in a quiet and comfortable place so they can enjoy their food, chew slowly and thoroughly, and without distractions.
6. Alternative Medicine
This one may surprise you since I am an “alternative medicine” practitioner but many practitioners are doing more harm than good by recommending long-term restrictive diets to patients. Small exposures to a variety of foods over time keeps the immune system healthy and non-reactive. This is the new strategy for many children who have peanut and other allergies for example.
Kids are now instructed to have very small amounts of foods they’re allergic to in moderation until eventually the immune system no longer overreacts to each one. Forcing patients on restrictive diets for many months and even years can do more harm than good in some cases.
Additionally, we know from the psychoneuroimmunology research that what we believe affects how our body reacts to foods and other substances. Once someone develops a belief that they are sensitive to a certain food, there is an increased chance that their immune system will negatively react to it. It’s quite an amazing phenomenon but overlooked by many. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people overcome developed phobias and beliefs about foods that are “bad” for them.
The above are just a few examples of what is stressing our immune system and our gut microbiota which are important regulators of how we react to foods.
Why are protein powders so important?
As we age, our protein requirement actually increases and we can absorb more protein per meal the older we get. The “Fountain of Youth” is not a mystery at this point as science has shown us that muscle mass is the single best indicator of health and longevity.
There’s nothing sexy or exciting about this concept which is why it isn’t more popular. Maintaining healthy lean muscle mass as we age is the single best way to reduce your chance of disease and live to your maximum lifespan.
If you can’t seem to get enough protein from food due to a gut or psychological issue, then protein powders can really come in handy. Additionally, if you’re an athlete or avid exerciser, protein powders can enhance your recovery from exercise and increase lean muscle mass.
I have many patients with low stomach acid levels, compromised digestion, low pancreatic enzyme output, and sluggish or removed gall bladders all of which can inhibit protein digestion and absorption. Additionally, I have many patients with dysbiosis, malabsorption due to celiac disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, chronic stress, and a host of other issues that contribute to poor protein digestion and absorption.
How much protein do you need?
Most people need about 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. So divide your body weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your body weight in kilograms. Then multiply that number by 1.5 to get the total required grams of protein for each day.
If you’re over the age of 50 then shoot for 25-35 grams of protein with each meal which is about one palm-sized portion of meat such as a chicken breast.
What’s so special about AminoMeal Select?
As noted above, AminoMeal Select is pure amino acids so it isn’t a food-based protein powder. You’re just strictly getting all of the necessary free form amino acids to build muscle and for proper body function. The amino acid profile is actually a proprietary blend called “Reginator” which has some excellent research behind it for building lean muscle mass. There are currently 24 studies on Reginator and I won’t get into the details of all these studies since there is so much information. Reginator was actually developed for NASA’s astronauts on deep space missions to preserve muscle mass.
The important thing to know about Reginator is that studies have shown it can increase muscle mass, improve recovery from exercise, and it can even build muscle without exercise. Additionally, if someone is sedentary and can’t exercise due to a recent surgery, it can help prevent the loss of muscle.
There are a total of 20 amino acids used by humans including 11 non-essential amino acids and 9 essential amino acids. You can make all of the 11 non-essential amino acids but we can’t make the 9 essential amino acids so we have to get those from food. Reginator contains all 9 essential amino acids in the right proportion plus some arginine which is a highly anabolic amino acid for muscle growth and strength.
Here are some key points about this product:
- Methylated B-vitamins
- Chelated minerals
- Balances blood sugar
- Enhances fat-burning
One scoop of AminoMeal Select has an MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis) factor equivalent to 15-20 grams of whey or pea protein.
Additional special ingredients:
- MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) from coconut oil
- Omega-3 fatty acids from flax
- Prebiotic fiber from inulin to fuel healthy bacteria
- Flax fiber for healthy elimination
- Guar gum to lower blood sugar
- Green tea extract to burn fat
- High gamma vitamin E
- Chromium and vanadium to balance blood sugar
- White kidney bean extract to lower blood sugar and promote weight loss
What if you have SIBO?
Some of you will take note of the prebiotics in this product and wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea if one has small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). There is no definitive answer to this question as it will work just fine for some with SIBO and not so well with others. SIBO is so individualized that no one can predict how someone will respond. I won’t be hesitating to use it in my SIBO patients if there are issues with gut absorption and protein deficiency signs and symptoms.
Can it help heal your gut?
When your body is under stress or if you aren’t getting enough protein, your body will actually strip your gut lining of amino acids to use them for repair in other parts of the body. This breaks down the gut barrier leading to leaky gut and impaired immune function.
I have worked with many patients who were struggling to heal their gut and we figured out that they were not getting enough protein to recover from the exercise they were doing. Once we got their protein levels up with an additional protein shake on workout days, their guts would heal just fine.
This can be a great supplement for a gut healing protocol to ensure that your body won’t use valuable amino acids taken from your gut barrier.
How can you take AminoMeal Select?
It can function as a meal replacement or a pre or post-workout recovery shake. The research shows you’ll get the greatest muscle-building results taking it prior to exercise. Blend one scoop just as you would any other protein powder. AminoMeal Select is available in chocolate or orange-pineapple flavors.
It’s also useful if you are recovering from surgery to prevent further muscle loss. If you’re unable to exercise you can take this product to build muscle.
I’ll be using this product myself and with many patients who haven’t been able to tolerate any of the usual protein powders. Remember that muscle tissue is an organ itself with powerful anti-inflammatory properties so one of the most straightforward ways to reduce inflammation and reduce your risk of disease is by building muscle.