Week 6. Protein for Regeneration of Muscle, Immune Function, and Healing

by | Lessons

Ice Breaker:

It’s generally a great idea to read a variety of sources on a topic especially when the sources’ covers, titles, or packaging ostensibly appear to not cover the same topic – but underneath the veneer – they do cover the same principles or topic.

Relevant to this presentation, this means I’m having you study a topic – protein and the mechanisms of nutritional healing and health – through an unconventional line of inquiry, i.e. look at the burn victim. The true object of study is not the burn victim; the object is understanding what’s happening underneath.

  • I repeat this technique later by looking at a full intestinal transplant survivor – for studying other elements of health and nutrition.

Thus, If I want you to see food (specifically protein, but also fat) in a different light, I’ll ‘change your mind’s eye’ and lines of perspective by presenting a different view of the object. This is akin to the way an art teacher seats a group of students in a circle to draw an object placed in the center. Different sight lines reveal greater understanding of the object; single lines restrict more complete understanding.

Each person sees differently too of course. The point here is to change YOUR perspective.

Different methods of questioning and investigating that reveal the same mechanisms of a phenomenon or confirm the same set of conclusions are said to corroborate with one another. Corroborative evidence among different lines of inquiry strengthens the structure of a theory, destroys falsehoods, and challenges thinking associated with dogma and incorrect theories believed to be held true.


Burn surgeons at Harvard once posted the nutritional regimen for promoting anabolic growth of muscles, which is critical for burn victims who must fend off infections and sometimes must regenerate lost muscle from burns before healing of wounds can occur!

The past few lectures centered on fueling the body – via glucose and fatty acids. This lecture provides a unique way to understand the metabolic role protein plays in health, performance, and healing – through the viewpoint of an extreme injury to the body and intense stress.

Burn victims require a dietary regimen aimed to promote anabolism and prevent catabolizing muscle. It is no coincidence burn surgeons adjust intake of carbs, protein, and fat according to the same principles followed by body builders, athletes, or people interested in eating food for health keeping and superior exercise performance.

  • As a general rule athletes, burn victims, and people suffering from certain illness require high quality protein for building muscle tissue, immune function, and healing.

This information, here – is no longer available anywhere. The website no longer exists, not even in the internet archives. I only have it because I printed copies of it in 1996 and now have it as a PDF for students read.








Highlight Points:

  • 15% of the body’s protein is in connective tissue. This protein is a different amino acid profile from muscle protein. This difference refers to the key for reducing inflammation and preventing degeneration of cartilage. The key itself is cooking certain foods to create gelatin.

Ray Peat: Gelatin, Stress, Longevity


Different amino acid profile in cartilage protein than muscle protein:

Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen: 35% of the amino acids in gelatin are glycine, 11% alanine, and 21% proline and hydroxyproline.

Concept: Compare to burn victims

In the industrialized societies, the consumption of gelatin has decreased, relative to the foods that contain an inappropriately high proportion of the antimetabolic amino acids, especially tryptophan and cysteine.

The degenerative and inflammatory diseases can often be corrected by the use of gelatin-rich foods.

  • Biological value of protein is paramount. Soy and vegetable proteins are low quality. Here is why.
  • Most weight gained (after losing weight during an illness) is fat and ‘water retention’ where you do not want it. (in extracellular fluid). “Inadequate anabolic stimulation is the cause.”
  • “The primary stimuli for human growth hormone (HGH) are hunger and resistance exercise”
  • “Certain fatty acids are immunosupressive”   (PUFAs)
  • Preferred fat is coconut oil (MCTs). This mean short and medium chained saturated fat specifically – even though they do not state it specifically.
  • Knowing your lean mass is a key for calculating the amount of carbs, protein, and fat. We may also calculate all three based on glycogen storage in muscles and your lean mass.