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mccoy

Exercise optimization

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On 5/12/2019 at 8:32 PM, Second said:

My guess is, my hope is, although CR wouldn’t allow me to gain additional muscle, it would maintain the muscle I already put on if I continue exercising. I’ve read quite a few NCBI articles about this - though those were mostly directed at the benefits of CR and if exercise provides additional benefits (which doesn’t/hardly seems to be the case) - and it seems muscle can be spared in a state of CR! 

Sibiriak, as far as I've seen anedoctally, some people are able to eat relatively few calories without loosing much muscle mass, although as we have discussed so many times eating abundantly is necessary to give the muscles the proper anabolic signal, together with exercise. I believe that's worth a try, CR + the mechanical signal of resistance training seems to have the result that the system sacrifices preferentially adipose tissue rather than skeletal muscles.

 

On 5/12/2019 at 8:32 PM, Second said:

Since you seem to be well read on the subject, even though you aren’t on a CR diet, I wonder if you have a say about my little scheme: “get ripped, go CR, don’t disappear”. Will it work? I feel this part, upping calories and protein and growing a lot of muscle, will be a lot harder than CR thinking I normally enjoy about 1500-2000 calories a day if I’d just do my unforced vegan routine. So I’d hate to lose my hardgained effort. I’d happily return in 6 to 12 months and pick your brain on muscle sparing CR diet and caloric-sparse muscle maintenance!

Your scheme of CR +exercise is basically the same followed by bodybuilders when they shred before contests. AFAIK, that ensures a very low adiposity, but some muscle mass is sacrified just the same, it's inevitable. It happens even to those who take drugs and more so to the naturals. I haven't had a chance to try that scheme since I've not been able to gain a decent mass so far.  Theoretically lots of proteins should be needed on a muscle sparing CR diet, although it's possible to optimize the amount of protein in such a way that the growth signal acts prevalently on the muscles and less so on the liver and other organs (this concept has been outlined by professor Keith Baar in one of his podcasts).

practice is different though, I'll be happy to suggest anything to support you in your experiment if  I'm able to. In the first, bulking phase, I can suggest to start very cautiously with weights, giving time to connective tissue to get accustomed to loading progressively. Also, I would only train occasionally with high loads and few reps ,  unless you can tolerate it easily. Creatine seems to be a good supplements which boosts strength and a little muscle hydration, in reasonable dosages (4-5 grams daily for one month until muscles are hydrated, 2-3 grams /d afterwards). The anabolic window concept is also worth a try, we've discussed that, drinking proteins just after a workout with pumped muscles whenever possible, also eating more protein until 24 hours after the workout. Longo's suggestions are probably to be meant as 30 grams of additional protein after workout, unless you have your meal just after, but than more protein should be taken during the 24 successive hours.

If I remember right, Clinton is eating 1600 calories per day, and that sure constitutes a CR regimen, we should ask him if he's continuing with that regimen and how muscle mass is behaving. But he eats a good amount of animal protein, besides exercising pretty heavily.

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This is a very interesting interview with dr. Mike Israetel, cofounder of a coaching business for fitness and weightloss. A specialist on muscular hypertrophy and proponent of a scientific regimen of volume training.

Dr Mike Israetel - Hypertrophy Training As You Age Ep. 87 of UTB

First of all, the guy walks the talk. He's 240 pounds at 5'6" height.

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In the linked podcast, he talks about hypertrophy and aging, and that's where I'm favourably impressed by his logic viewpoint, based on the thresholds he calls MV (minimum maintenance volume), MVR (maximum recovery volume), which is the range within which there can be muscular hypertrophy.

His conclusions is that it's usually futile to want to gain weight at all costs from 50-60 years of age, since the MV shifts beyond the MRV and hence there is no way to gain since the recovery time becomes too long to grant muscular growth.

Also, even though he's all out for growth now, he affirms that he's going to shift back to 65 kg, a lean weight which he believes  will provide moree longevity benefits.

According to him for aged people the abundance of food and exercise is not sustainable. The only way to reamain or be very muscular is to take steroids, which will anyway grant a premature death.

Those things resonate to me, since I'm having difficulties in increasing muscular mass and that may be just due to a very physiological effect of long muscle recovery. Also, the possibility to eat without much restraint is something which sometimes comes back biting at my a$$, increasing my heartrate and constituting a detrimental factor to longevity.

Of course the above applies specifically to guys who are big, whereas absolute beginners may enjoy gains even at some later age. But the basic concepts remain true.

Edited by mccoy

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My present scheme is the following attempt at optimization:

  • Practice a personalized volume training with most sets in the lower load range of 50 to 60% RM
  • Lower or increase the number of weekly sets per muscles according to the suggested figures (Dr. Israetel's articles)
  • Train preferentially closer to the MV (minimum volume) or MAV (minimum adaptive volume) , which is similar to point 1, that is, never surpass and only occasionally reach MRV (maximum recovery volume)
  • Leverage the effects of workouts by taking full advantage of the anabolic window.

The last point implies the following strategy:

  • Drinking 25 to 30 gr of hi-quality, digestible whey protein concentrate just after a training session, when the trained muscles are fully irrorated by blood
  • Eating a relatively high amount of protein in the 24 hours successive to the training session
  • Decrease protein after 24 hours of training sessions, eating more vegetables and carbs.

It all goes hand in hand with frequent walks and low level cardio, especially after meals which will prevent excessive glycemic peaks.

The above may all be a futile exercise, but I'm happy experimenting it anyway. It will sure constitute a valid regimen against age related  myiopenia and an undeniable advantage is that the appetite and gastric function are definitely improved.

Edited by mccoy

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At 5'-6" and 240lbs I can promise you the Doc is p1ssing out more d-bol than most people could afford to pay for; as a result unfortunately he isn't exactly 'walking the talk' (at least any more than any other juiced-up personal trainer (even with a PhD) or bodybuilder), however it sounds like his logic is sound.

McCoy, you might find this interesting - 

This is an excellent summary of how much mass is possible for natural bodybuilders with some proven formulas that take into account many variables including height, wrist and ankle size ... and it isn't 240lbs for 5'-6" ... at 5'-6" maximum lean body mass is 140lbs which puts a guy at approx 149lbs at 5-6% bodyfat.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/bodybuilding-genetics

Edited by Clinton

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On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 4:57 PM, mccoy said:

If I remember right, Clinton is eating 1600 calories per day, and that sure constitutes a CR regimen, we should ask him if he's continuing with that regimen and how muscle mass is behaving. But he eats a good amount of animal protein, besides exercising pretty heavily.

McCoy - I'm aiming for 1600kCals but lately I've been all-over the map due to family/kids schedule and being on the road a bit - so certainly not an average caloric deficit, but I've managed to still get all of my workouts in - lots of heavy training.  I'm trying to get my calories back to CR levels of say 1600ish starting today.  I was on track yesterday for CR but had a weak moment with my kids at Dairy Queen - lol.

I still maintain fairly decent strength levels - still doing 6 chins and 6 dips with bodyweight + 90lbs, dumbell bench press with 90lb db's for 12 reps for example,

I'll update you with any results in a few weeks - my goal is to stay in a CR state with very low bodyfat, yet attempt to maintain as much muscle & strength as possible.

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Clinton, yes, the probability that the guy is using didn't escape me, his legs are huge and traps as well, these ones being packed with androgen-receptors makes them an indicator of steroids use. But I didn't listen to many of hsi interviews, so I cannot say for sure. You know there are total freaks out there, like Doug Miller, Jim cordova, Layne Norton, who as reported by other bodybuilders are known to be natty. doug Miller is especially muscular. No gynecomastia is evident, no monster traps, although delts are pretty big (but not the pecs).

image.png.60065cc727736140664e8a55f7eaca70.png

Anyway,  Dr. Israetel is very articulate and provides some very logical and novel concepts as I exposed before, treating training volume similarly to dosages of a pharmaceutical drug, minimum dosage for bare muscular manteinance, minimum dosage for slow growth, optimal effective dosage, max effective dosage. All statistically related  to number of sets per muscle groups, number of reps, % MR, reps to failure. Never heard about such concise and clear conceptualization on muscular hypertrophy.

And he's pretty much aware of the wear and tear in the pursue of max hypertrophy and how it impinges deleteriously on longevity. Very objective views coming from a bodybuilder.

This is why I give him a thumb up 👍, I may try to follow his tips on hypertrophy optimization, choosing something close to his MEV, minimum effective volume/dosage to grow. Slowly and safely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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1 hour ago, Clinton said:

McCoy - I'm aiming for 1600kCals but lately I've been all-over the map due to family/kids schedule and being on the road a bit - so certainly not an average caloric deficit, but I've managed to still get all of my workouts in - lots of heavy training.  I'm trying to get my calories back to CR levels of say 1600ish starting today.  I was on track yesterday for CR but had a weak moment with my kids at Dairy Queen - lol.

I still maintain fairly decent strength levels - still doing 6 chins and 6 dips with bodyweight + 90lbs, dumbell bench press with 90lb db's for 12 reps for example,

I'll update you with any results in a few weeks - my goal is to stay in a CR state with very low bodyfat, yet attempt to maintain as much muscle & strength as possible.

Yes, please keep us updated, even 1800-2000 kCals if training pretty heavily as you're doing would definitely constitute CR. If you are able to track your foods into cronometer, that would also be a very interesting case study.

On my side, even if I train much more mildly than you, it's hard to me to mantain muscle if I fall below 2300 kcals. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:57 PM, mccoy said:

I believe that's worth a try, CR + the mechanical signal of resistance training seems to have the result that the system sacrifices preferentially adipose tissue rather than skeletal muscles

Thank you for your thorough reply! Very motivational to hear my efforts might not be futile!

On 5/13/2019 at 9:57 PM, mccoy said:

Theoretically lots of proteins should be needed on a muscle sparing CR diet, although it's possible to optimize the amount of protein in such a way that the growth signal acts prevalently on the muscles and less so on the liver and other organs (this concept has been outlined by professor Keith Baar in one of his podcasts).

I don’t want to clutter your thread but soon I’ll open one which you might be interested in. There has been research implying the benefits of CR are mostly based on macronutrient balancing (low protein high carb) instead of CR itself. For now i’ll accept the “necessary evil” but after sufficient growth I hope to return to low maintenance protein intake. Since I turned vegan about 3 years ago (very low protein) I noticed my efforts in the gym didn’t pack me much if any muscle, nor did my strength improve much but that might just have been my “lackluster” protocol. Yet I didn’t lose muscle too! A sidenote is this could change should I have much more muscle to maintain, or when overal calories are restricted further. One clear benefit from my experience, from low protein intake or the vegan diet in itself, which might point to something neat beyond my current comprehension, is that muscle ache was greatly reduced.

Anyhow, thank you once again for your insights and advice! I’ll follow your progress and experiments while I set up the stage for my own scheme in the oncoming months. 

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Second, I'm aware of the research on mice from Solon-biot et al., on the geometry of nutrients , if I recall well. It was on lab mice and rats and there was some detail which didn't square up perfectly, there is a thread dedicated to it.

Clearly, if you want to trigger muscle protein synthesis (MPS) you need, beyond the mechanical signal, the chemical signal given by an abundance of amminoacids and especially so leucine.

A low-protein diet will usually not grant that. And the amount of protein needed may strongly depend on age as well .

How long had you been training for before you switched to vegan-low protein? Also, mantaining muscle implies a so called Minimum Volume threshold, or minimum maintenance dosage, which may be pretty low. Pure manteinance is usually not a big problem, whereas growing is. But the amminoacids needed to replace the muscle tissue destroyed by exercise are needed, so a delta+basic need seems to be mandatory (something like the 30 grams protein advocated by Valter Longo after a training session).

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 5:18 PM, mccoy said:

Clinton, yes, the probability that the guy is using didn't escape me.

McCoy,

Arnie was approx 235lbs and 6’-2”ish on stage to take the title.  He was the best of the best using only steroids (until IFBB modern champs use that plus HGH and insulin).  I personally think Arnie still looks better since he didn’t have any stomach bloat like the modern druggies.

The doc above is not only taking injectable testosterone but probably HGH and insulin as well.

 I know a 5’-5” bodybuilder in New Brunswick that went on stage at lean 200lbs (I know him personally and he runs 2-3 injectable 12 week cycles per year) and at about 4% body fat the crowd gasped when he walked out on stage because he was so unbelievably huge.  He won provincials and it was not even close.  

No disrespect to you McCoy whatsoever.  I am simply letting you know I have been in this game for 20 years and anything over 160lbs LEAN at 5’-6” requires steroid use.  Not any question at all at 180lbs.  But 240??? As I said his toilet water would be anabolic.

 

Edited by Clinton

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Clinton, no problem whatsoever and thanks for reminding to me the details about natty-non natty. I believe you are basically right, except maybe for the very few outliers, really very few, genetic freaks who may well exhibit polymorphism of the genes expressing myiostatin or some other genetic variation which allows for amplified muscular anabolism.

To tell the truth Dr Israetel is not even a supporter of natural bodybuilding, he' s just right now pursuing hypertrophy but with an unusually unbiased view on health, so we cannot say he claims to be a natty. Also, he's well aware of the longevity aspect versus the anabolic aspect.

When he speaks he usually underlines the differences between natural and enhanced training, since his clients are or have been in both camps I believe.

Quite a few things impress me favourably about the guy: he's an immigrant from Russia with an unbelievable fluency in American, no accent whatsoever. Think about Arnold who still carries an heavy German accent or Dr. Longo whose English is very heavly influenced by Italian.  

He's unusually articulate and to the point.

 All the above IMO belies an efficient mantal process. He's very well learned in the science of nutrition and sport physiology.

Bottom line, I assign a good degree of credibility to what he says, of course filtering what must be filtered.

Edited by mccoy

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On 5/19/2019 at 1:35 AM, Clinton said:

The doc above is not only taking injectable testosterone but probably HGH and insulin as well.

I'm coming back to this issue because I've been listening more podcasts, from other people and himself. He appears to be probably 'on juice', part of his experimentations, even though he's careful to underline the tradeoffs with health and longevity of such a choice. As to the details of his PEDs regimen, I have no clue, other than it's  possibly coming from Broderick Chavez who is apparently a renowned coach in this camp.

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Yesterday evening I posted something which I'm not finding now. I hope it's not the beginning of another bout of missing posts.

 

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I retrieved the missing post (maybe it wasn't uploaded):

 

For all those who want to fight or prevent age related myopenia, or like to experiment as myself,  this is the single best reference I ever saw on Youtube.

Dr. Brad Schoenfield, who runs his own lab and is actively involved in research is probably the number one authority on muscle hypertrophy.

In this video he summarizes in a clear way the state of the art on muscle hypertrophy: nutrition, exercise and other factors.

Basic points are that there is a dose response relationship  (which is not linear) where volume within a certain loading constitutes the dose. Hypertrophy is simply a function of volume. mainly. This is good news for the not so young ones, since intensity= larger loads= likely injury or joints/connective tissue pain. Whereas volume means executing a high number of reps and sets with relatively low loadings.

Nutrition: hypertrophy is mainly driven by energy and protein. The numbers here are pretty high, 2.2 g/kg/d is the average protein requirement for hypertrophy, whereas the average energy requirement is 40 g/kg/d. Protein are complete, usually of animal origin (whey is usually used in studies).

Hypertrophy is driven mainly by energy and protein and fat is best kept pretty low (10 to 25% range). Carbs are the king, whereas keto diets are usually catabolic, since the depletion of glycogen provides an amplified AMPK signal which inhibits mTOR signaling. But he also cites the recent articles with even gains with keto and standard (discussed in the thread on ketogenic diet).

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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I've started following the volume training suggestions by Dr Schoenfeld and Dr. Israetel.

Volume is the dose which drives the growth signal of skeletal muscles: hypertrophy.

The dose-response relationship here is non linear. Above a certain dose threshold (MRV), there is no more response or negative response. Below  another threshold (MEV) there is no significant growth.

This pic is after today's workout, carried out with modest loadings but enough volume. A lot of pump (sarcoplastic dilation) which makes me seem  almost big. Also, the light and angle contribute.

I'm having some fun with this, evidently, thanks for humoring me!

image.png.c484586bb3befcd763a812ffd9be356c.png

 

Edited by mccoy

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6 hours ago, Clinton said:

Lifting IS fun ... mixing things up keeps it fun for years- looking good McCoy!!

Yeah, lifting (and exercise in general) is fun and provides an undeniable feeling of physical and mental well being.

Longevity and health-wise, we know that muscle hypertrophy basically is the opposite of sarcopenia/myiopenia, a common and deleterious affliction of aging.

Now, what's very interesting about all this recent research that I just started to delve into,  is that, being volume the prime driver of muscle hypertrophy, intensity/loading is not a necessary factor. In a few words, optimizing lifting strategy in such a way to adopt modest weights and employ the right volume= dose of exercise, with the suggested cycles of volume increase and deloading, is just what is needed to older guys and gals whose energies, joints, connective tissue and recovery capability are usually limited and who cannot lift heavier weights.

I myself had to revise totally my strategies in comparison to what I did up to my thirties. Back then, I had to interrupt and restart lifting various times and everytime it was enough to exercise, progressively increasing the weight. The musculature just adapted, no pains, no serious drawbacks.

After a very long pause of 20+ years, I was aghast that everything changed. When I started back I felt really like an old frail man, full of nagging aches and pains and could not just increase loads, so I had to fall back on small weight with many sets of about 10 reps.

The strategy worked to some extent, even though I often did not employ the correct dosage and overtrained. 

The takehome lesson for many 50+ people, is that a smart lifting strategy can effectively and easily prevent and reverse sarcopenia/myiopenia without any significant risk of injury. It's enough to apply the dosage principles of volume training like for example explained by Brad Shoenfeld and start with very small weights, with a very, very slow progression, listening to the body signals and resting when necessary. After all, old men are known to be more patient that their younger counterpart.

In the cases where people have been more active and make it pretty fit to their 50s-60s, probably it's more a case of being able to shed the heavier loads and mantaining a degree of hypertrophy simply by employing the principles of Minimum Effective dosage or minimum maintenance dosage.

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This is a very interesting article which has been hinted at in the Schoenfeld podcasts.

GVT, or German Volume Training, is a volume protocol which requires lifting 10 sets of 10 reps of 60% our personal maximum lift for that exercise. The intersets rest is only 60 to 90 seconds. In the study, they deviated a little from the original GVT protocol, restricting the eccentric (descending) phase to 2 second, the concentric or upward directed movement to one second (originally it was a 4 second eccentric phase). Only the first 2 main exercises (compound exercises) have been manipulated (from 10 to 5 sets).

The unexpected result, at least for upperr body exercises, is that there has been no hypertrophy or strength advantage to execute the usual 10 sets instead of 5 sets of the same exercises.

The explanation is that, for the studied cohort (recreational lifters form at least one year no interruptions) 5 sets was the maximum dose (MRV) above which muscle recovery was impeded and there were no more improvements (wasted effort) or negative improvements.

I've sinned myself of such excessive efforts, doing full GVT with 10 sets and moreover employing 4 seconds for the eccentric phase and 2 seconds for the concentric. So peraphs it is no mistery that I did not progress much in pursuing hypertrophy.

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Edited by mccoy

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Summertime. Cold smoothies. Protein smoothies. I'm making this experiment, since I enjoy refreshing smoothies and muscular hypertrophy requires some extra protein.

I just wanted to compare the amminoacid profiles of some of the most popular protein sourcers: whey, pea, soy. Easily done with cronometer.

From the left: pea, soy, whey protein, in isoproteic amounts (equal total protein=28 grams).

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There is really no inordinately high difference among the 2 plant based sources and the milk based source, although leucine is obviously higher by about 30-40% in whey and methionine is higher by 50-100%. Arginine though is lower in whey, much lower then in pea and soy , whereas tryptophan is obviously much higher.in whey

So, since arginine is believed to be a promoter of muscle hypertrophy signals, maybe it's good to alternate. Also, since leucine is the foremost trigger of mTor activity, whey is theoretically more efficient to this regard, and methionine also promotes the secretion of growth factors, which contribute to the anabolic signal.

What I'm trying to do is to take whey just after the workout, when I can, and pea the day after or whenever I feel like a cold smoothie.

I find whey is much more digestible (but more expensive, especially grass-fed). Both are really convenient and pleasant, blended with water or soymilk, honey, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon and orange rinds. As a biochemical and monetary  optimization, I try to reserve whey for post-workout meal.

Most of my protein are 'unprocessed ' foods though.

Edited by mccoy

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There may be benefits to undenatured whey concentrate cold filtered from unpasteurized milk if you can find it.  Supposedly is more effective in raising glutathione, has a better ratio of L-glutamic acid to D-glutamic acid and retains more immunoglobulins.  One downside is it doesn't dissolve well in water especially if you get a pure form without added lecithin.  I combine mine with other things like cacao (myostatin inhibitor?) and creatine monohydrate which also dissolve poorly and mix with raw egg making a paste before thinning with water or other liquids.  Making a paste with seed or nut butters and/or mashed fruit also works fairly well.  Lately instead of thinning to drinkable I keep it fairly thick, sprinkle on raw sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, shredded coconut and a few crushed nuts and eat with a spoon as a meal.  I'll sometimes flavor with cinnamon or ginger.  Strong flavors help make less palatable things I try such as ashwaghanda and peony root ingestible.

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Todd, this products reads on the label, among otehr things, undenatured. I don't know if it belongs to the products you know.

It's pretty expensive here.

 

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Amazon also sells some goat and sheep whey concentrate, which is less costly than the above.

image.png.f04d732b1927d666efb401bb62405516.png

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Right now I read the details: undenatured, cold-processed by ultrafiltration. I think I'm goign to order the goat+sheep whey, I'm very curious about the taste.

Again, whey smothiees seem to be much more digestible than pea protein smoothies, although these can be equally exquisite.

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I found the EAAs profile of goat's whey, and it is per serving (30 g). Since protein in a serving is 0.8*30= 24 g, it should be increased by about 18% to be compared to the above amounts.

It's more or less comparable to cow's whey, with minor differences perhaps.

 

image.png.4ac2eda1fc929e007782c38b49704cbc.png

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What about the BSE proteins that are in abundance in almost all tissues in goat and sheep, and also in their milk,  once they are infected with BSE / and prone to cause Creudzfeldt Jacob disease. I don't take the risk and stick to cow milk, due to my allergic reactions . Maybe in Europe a bigger issue but still...

 

Ruud

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