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Lactose intolerant - pls advise me on an alternative to whey protein
Sep 3, 2008

Dear Nelson,

I am on atripla and I am slowly getting back into weightlifting. I used to take whey protein 3 x day but since being diagnosed I have become lactose intolerant and suffer from very bad diarreha. Can you recommend a good and well studied and well used protein supplement as an alternative to whey. Also, as I'm on atripla, is it ok to use protein supplements because of the increased processing my kidneys and liver will have to go through?

Thanking you in advance and hope to hear back from you.

Thanks

Response from Mr. Vergel

Most people can handle increased protein intake of up to 1 gram per pound of body weight per day without any changes in kidney function, so I would not worry as long as you are hydrating well to handle the extra amounts. Your doctor will watch your creatinine and creatinine clearance every three months as part of standard of care, anyway. Viread (part of Atripla) has shown little to no effect on kidney function in naive patients starting treatment (treatment experienced patients on Norvir with kidney dysfunction or risk factors may have some creatinine increases, though).

I am also lactose intolerant and cannot tolerate any form of whey protein. For me, egg white powders or even liquid egg beaters (processed for safety) mixed with fruits, soluble fiber powder and three table spoons of flaxseed oil can provide additional protein in a creamy shake. Sometimes I take some digestive enzymes prior to shakes to improve digestion and ensure that I am absorbing all nutrients.

In general, I think you get more bang for your money spending your money on real food sources. I hate to cook complex meals, so I particularly like easy foods like tuna in olive oil plus wild rice, egg salad with whole wheat crakers, almonds/walnuts, yogurt (yeah lactose intolerant people can handle yogurt since bacteria have already processed lactose for us) with almonds, aged cheeses with apple slices, sauteed chicken with vegatables, oatmeal plus egg white powder and yogurt, peanut or almond butter on rye bread, lean meats in any way, etc. I tell people: think "snacks" not "meals" when you want to increase lean body mass. And do not forget to exercise since extra protein means extra calories that can deposit as fat if you sit on your butt.

I hope this helped some. The key is to make food your friend and not something that you have to rush to do while you are too busy to eat well.

Nelson



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