Synthesis of opposing views: a syncretic view of the many contradictions re vitamin C

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A model that makes sense of opposing views about vitamin C has the following “tenets” (by definition, tenets are tentatively held ideas, modifiable with every piece of data that does not fit the model):

  1. Pauling focused on the high rate of synthesis of vitamin C in animals that make it. He focused on the fact that if we ingest grams of vitamin C, we absorb grams of vitamin C. He noted that we absorb even more vitamin C when we are ill. Pauling focused on the proven utility of high dose vitamin C in the work of Dr. Frederick Klenner. He more or less ignored the high rate of urinary excretion of vitamin C.
  2. The US government focused on the high rate of urinary excretion and the fact that total body pools of vitamin C cannot be increased stably beyond about 1500-3000 mg. The government scientists ignored the fact that animals of our size make 200 times our RDA and that we absorb grams of vitamin C before we excrete all but about 100 mg of it per day and that we absorb more vitamin C when we are sick.
  3. As a rule, animals make about what they need of various nutrients. Exception: we make less choline than we need. As a consequence, animals do not make 200 times what they need.
  4. Both Pauling and the government scientists are making valid points. What is the explanation of these contradictory viewpoints?
  5. A possible explanation of the paradox is that vitamin C is accidentally absorbed (for example, oxidized vitamin C is absorbed by a glucose receptor) and deliberately excreted. This fails to explain why vitamin C is absorbed better when we are ill.
  6. Optimal tissue levels of vitamin C are at or near SL (saturating or near saturating levels). This explains why goats make 13 grams of vitamin C a day and why we absorb grams per day even though we need but 100 mg or so to replace losses of vitamin C (at 2-4% loss per day with a total body pool size of 1500-3000 mg).
  7. Supersaturating levels in serum and tissues occur for a short period of time following injection with high levels of sodium ascorbate.
  8. Chosen properly, an injection that achieves a therapeutic window of proper supersaturating levels of serum and tissue vitamin C, which I will call SSL1 (supersaturating level 1), avoids most of the toxicity and allows some antitumor, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal action, as well as some high level chelating of heavy metals. This explains the effectiveness of the use of injectable vitamin C as an adjunct cancer therapy and the many anecdotal results (more than 30 diseases treated) of Dr. Frederick Klenner re injection of high doses of vitamin C followed by high oral doses. Before even getting a diagnosis, Dr. Klenner treated everyone prophylactically with a high dose of injectable vitamin C, followed by multiple oral high dose vitamin C. When they came back for their diagnosis and treatment, they were in many cases on the road to recovery.
  9. Chosen improperly, there is a level of serum and tissue super-saturation, SSL2 (supersaturating level 2), at which there could be heavy damage to normal cells, especially if the kidneys are compromised. Possible mechanism: a catalytic cycle in which vitamin C binds regions in the genome in which copper is bound to cellular DNA, and creates single and double stand breaks. Vitamin C can be regenerated by various cellular antioxidants like glutathione (at 5-10 mM, glutathione is many times higher in concentration than cellular vitamin C), making this a highly destructive catalytic event.
  10. This toxic reaction or something like it or both explains why evolution has favored those animals whose kidneys excrete vitamin C so well and so rapidly, and this rapid excretion explains why vitamin C cannot ordinarily be driven to still higher concentrations in tissues (>=SSL2), given reasonably healthy kidney function.
  11. This explains the US government’s position – why take more than about 100 mg a day if it is all going to be excreted? Well yes, after tissue saturation has been achieved. I doubt that 100 mg a day can always maintain saturation in all tissues. When we are sick we absorb more vitamin C (as evidenced by higher bowel tolerance) and we consume more vitamin C when we are sick. When goats are sick they make twice as much vitamin C as when they are healthy.
  12. Nature’s program is to overdose the vitamin, thus achieving tissue saturation, and then excrete the excess as rapidly as possible to sidestep the toxic side reaction(s).
  13. Because of the toxic reaction(s) at SSL2, at inappropriately high supersaturating concentrations of vitamin C, no one with impaired kidney function should take Pauling type doses (18 grams a day).
  14. Re the government’s position: I would argue that vitamin C passing through the bowel may be doing us a world of good in keeping stools somewhat looser rather than too hard. I would also argue that vitamin C in urine is definitely doing us a world of good. First, in solubilizing substances like calcium (calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones are much less likely in someone taking high dose vitamin C). Second, and this is more speculative, in reducing the likelihood of UTI – the acidity of urine with lots of vitamin C likely makes it very uncomfortable for fimbriated bacteria trying to colonize the urinary tract.
  15. Also, re the government’s position: the total requirement for vitamin C cannot be deduced merely from mass balance studies. Two reasons – vitamin C is likely a member in a number of other nutrients’ ADME networks, and it will have an optimal dose for functioning there that is in addition to its own optimal dose (since a vitamin C molecule cannot be in two places at once). In addition, we need to write the total requirement of any nutrient as the sum of at least 4 independent parts: 1. the requirements of the entire gut. 2. the requirements of the blood stream and lymphatic systems. 3. the sum of the requirements of all tissues. 4. the requirements of the urinary system.

How general is this model? Might the same not be true of selenium and other nutrients in which the therapeutic window is rather narrow?

Nature plays with fire – it has to; life would never have come to be without doing so – and avoids getting burned most of the time thanks to many rounds of selective pressure that was at times so great that scientists estimate that ~90% of all species were extinguished. That is how nature comes up with such nearly flawless solutions to working with substances that can be as beneficial at one set of doses, between SL and SSL1, and so harmful at another set of doses, that is, >=SSL2.

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Possible problems with determining nutrient requirements by mass balance studies

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Determining the minimum daily requirement of a nutrient seems simple enough – just determine the mass balance, that is, how much of a nutrient is needed to replace obligatory daily losses, and do the experiment over a sufficiently long period of time to have confidence in the results.

However, this assumes that all nutrients in that particular nutrient’s ADME network are in place at optimal levels – highly unlikely in modern America.

Consider the absurdity of trying to define the minimum daily calcium requirement in a person with a clear deficiency of magnesium. Such a person inappropriately excretes calcium in his urine because magnesium is a nutrient in calcium’s ADME network.

The iron requirement in a person who is copper deficient cannot be defined, so important is copper in iron’s distribution (copper puts the D in iron’s ADME network; at least 3 copper-requiring proteins are involved in moving iron around the body).

In addition, it may be that some, many, or even all nutrients need to circulate throughout the body to grease the body’s gears so to speak – for these nutrients, the minimum daily amount needed is that amount necessary to maintain its balance, given optimal levels of all ADME nutrients, PLUS the amount needed to circulate through the body each and every day to keep everything running smoothly and everything else in balance.

Sodium, chloride, and vitamin C are almost certainly nutrients that need to pass throughout the body each and every day for optimal health. Is this true of all other nutrients?

Notice that my idea that the vitamin C requirement is the sum of the amount needed to maintain vitamin C balance PLUS the requirement that must circulate through the body comes close to Pauling’s idea that very high doses (multiple grams) of vitamin C are useful in preventing atherosclerosis – circulating high levels of C throughout the body hour by hour each day would keep the serum level consistently high and consistently protective against oxidative damage to key structures, provided that nothing untoward is making the vitamin C act like a pro-oxidant, in which case the vitamin C is likely attacking the culprit by bleaching it.

Why do I think that sodium chloride needs to cycle throughout our bodies?

Reason 1: Because our craving for salt is so much higher than what is needed to replace losses. This craving, present even in reasonably well nourished people, suggests the body has needs for salt that are greatly in excess of replacing insensible losses of sodium and chloride. So important is salt that it must even be added to sweets to make them taste better – first and foremost, if our taste for salt is not satisfied, we cannot thoroughly enjoy the sweetness of a sweet treat.

Reason 2: we absorb so much more sodium chloride than we need to maintain mass balance. Reasonable explanation: sodium chloride needs to circulate throughout the body. To maintain optimal health, we need more sodium chloride per day than what merely replaces daily losses.

Speculation: every essential nutrient is an essential nutrient in at least one other essential nutrient’s ADME network. If true, then sodium and chloride, each of which are essential nutrients, are essential nutrients in other essential nutrients’ ADME networks, and they may need to be temporarily at higher activities at particular locations for optimal bodily function. The same goes for vitamin C and who knows how many other essential and conditionally essential nutrients.

What evidence is there that vitamin C needs to circulate?

The evidence is a bit speculative:

Consider the goat, which is about our size. The goat makes about 13 grams of vitamin C a day. If its total body pools are like ours, about 1.5-3.0 grams, and its rate of turnover of vitamin C is about the same as ours, about 2%-4% per day, then as little as 4% of 1500-3000 mg (60-120 mg) is all that is needed to maintain homeostasis under the worst of conditions. Clearly the goat is making more than it “needs” Biological systems do not in general make 100 times more of something than they need to. So why make so much? Probably because something comparable to this amount of vitamin C, 13 grams, which is roughly 200 times the human RDA (60 mg/day, which is based on balance studies with a generous overage for safety), in all likelihood needs to circulate through the goat’s body each and every day. Is it not likely the same is true for us?

In addition, why does even a person with good vitamin C status still absorb grams of supplemental vitamin C only to excrete nearly all or all but what he/she needs to replace losses? Reasonable explanation: vitamin C needs to circulate throughout our bodies. Replacing losses is not enough. The assumptions behind mass balance studies are or may well be false.

Also, why does the body absorb so much more than it needs of supplemental B vitamins only to excrete what it does not need? Is there something not accounted for in current models of nutrition?

Could atherosclerosis be all but non-existent in us, as Pauling and Rath suggested, if we circulated many grams of vitamin C a day in proper and multiple doses throughout our bodies?

Has the US government misconstrued nutritional science, even when it is interpreting a “simple” balance study?

Does this apply even to cholesterol? Why does the body absorb up to a gram a day of additional cholesterol while remaining fully committed to making a gram a day?

Re poisons: In cases of accidental poisoning, why do we absorb so much more arsenic than we need (we need perhaps just 12 micrograms/day out of just 48 micrograms/day in our food supply)? I assume because mechanisms did not evolve to protect us from arsenic, which is not abundant in food, and so many other poisons. But mechanisms did evolve to protect us from iron poisoning, and food (10-20 mgs/day ingested) does contain enough iron to poison us, if we did not exclude all but 1-2 mg/day, although no known mechanism evolved to protect us from iron overload if the former mechanisms failed, as they do in hereditary hemochromatosis. Is the same true of salt, vitamin C, and the B vitamins? Mechanisms did not evolve to protect us from over-absorption of the minerals and the vitamins, and the over-absorption did not prove to be anywhere near as harmful as over-absorption of arsenic does, and iron would, if mechanisms did not exist to protect us from iron overload due to over-absorption?

The bull’s-eye diet: Not high fat, but sufficient fat

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By definition, high fat is too high and low fat is too low. What we want is just the right amount of each type of fat and thus the right amount of total fat.

The bull’s-eye diet is not high in fat, but it is higher in fat than most experts believe is healthy. It is way higher in fat than the low-fat vegan diet many believe is optimal, at least for heart health.

Because most people are under-nourished, they cannot find the optimal level of fat in their food using as guides either their taste buds or the meal’s ability to suppress their appetite for at least 6 hours. Any meal that can suppress appetite for at least 6 hours must have sufficient calories, sufficient protein and sufficient fat. Sufficient calories alone does not remove the sufficient protein and sufficient fat requirements. Low fat, low protein vegan dieting is running uphill when it comes to suppressing the appetite.

F, The amount of fat we need per meal, is that amount that will accomplish at least all of the following:

1. Form a good micellar emulsion with water and bile and other emulsifiers (like choline) and all of the useful and absorbable fat soluble substances and amphipathic substances (essential nutrients like linoleic acid and linolenic acid and vitamins D, E, A, and K), conditionally essential nutrients, and accessory nutrients like carotenoids and the amphipathic substance vitamin P [and biotin?]) in foods and supplements, resulting in sufficient absorption of these nutrients. Call this F1.

2. Satisfy our well-nourished appetite suppression system for many hours so that we are not gaining weight by giving in to hunger frequently. One meal a day is ideal, as in the Fast-5 approach. Two meals are better than three. So we are talking about satisfying the appetite for 6 hours (for three meals) or 12 hours (two meals) to 19 hours (1 meal per day). Call this F2.

3. Completely empty our gall bladders, so important because our gall bladders store 10-20 concentrated organic toxins and amphipathic toxins from the liver. Call this amount F3.

4. Provide sufficient antimicrobial activity in the lumen of the stomach in the presence of stomach acid – 6 log killing can be achieved with 1 mM free fatty acid at pH 3, while 10 mM free fatty acid can achieve almost the same at pH 4.5 (C.Q. Sun et al. / FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 36 (2003) 9-17). Call this amount of fat F4. Salivary serous gland lipase (the principle products of this enzyme are free fatty acids and diacylglycerols) is able to penetrate fat globules and is thus active without the need for bile and in the presence of acid, down to at least pH 4.5 – so considerable digestion can occur right after eating a meal with sufficient fat before the stomach contents are acidified down to where pepsin is optimal.

5. Provide a well-nourished taste bud system with good taste – not too little fat, which does not taste good, and not too much, which tastes greasy. This satisfaction of the taste requirements also contributes in a virtuous circle to appetite suppression and mood stabilization later on. Call this amount F5.

6. Provide sufficient fat for mood stabilization (helps prevent depression, likely taste bud satisfaction contributes to a better overall mood). Call this F6.

7. Provide sufficient fat for lubrication in enteric and non-enteric tissues. Call this F7.

Is F=F1=F2=F3=F4=F5=F6=F7? Don’t know, but it would be fascinating if it worked out that way or even approximately the same. Would be fascinating if F is also the amount of fat that we can digest by salivary lipase and gastric lipases, and absorb without making either new enzymes (salivary, gastric, or pancreatic lipases) or more bile. This amount of fat may decrease as we age. We may need to supplement digestive enzymes as we age and stimulate our digestive process (with all natural digestive bitters, e.g.) in any way we can.

Note that our well-nourished bodies also tell us when we consume too much fat. Too much fat not only tastes greasy, but it makes stool float and at an even greater excess too much fat in the diet results in smelly diarrhea. Too much fat may also promote feelings ranging from mild anxiety to outright panic attack, and from mild nausea to vomiting.

How could any reasonably intelligent person fail to read these signals? The body is clearly saying that too much fat is not good for the body.

Stating the obvious once more: an undernourished person may have such reactions to too low a level of fat in his diet. Only a properly nourished body has properly functioning taste buds, appetite satiation, and appropriate responses to too little fat and protein, and too much fat and protein.

The antioxidant network is a relay system for removing free radicals from sites of major harmfulness

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In cell membranes, vitamin E is oxidized by free radicals. This is reduced by CoQ10, which itself is regenerated by the respiratory chain, to the degree that respiration is not “impaired.”

Or: diffusible vitamin C, or more optimally vitamin C held near the membrane by something (possibly including vitamin E), reduces vitamin E, glutathione reduces vitamin C, glutathione reductase reduces oxidized glutathione, and ultimately NADPH is regenerated by the oxidation of foodstuffs (pentose phosphate pathway oxidative cycle in which two glucose-6-phosphate are oxidized twice to produce four NADPH, two carbon dioxides, and two ribulose-5-P, which are non-oxidatively recycled back to one four carbon sugar plus one glucose-6-P, using transketolase, transaldolase, and phosphoglucose isomerase; in this way NADPH can be ramped up to appropriate levels for reduction of oxidized glutathione, keeping the antioxidant network [as noted above, involving minimally vitamin E, vitamin C, glutathione, glutathione reductase, and NADPH from the pentose phosphate pathway, but likely many more participants, including antioxidant enzymes and other small molecule antioxidants.] running smoothly, and reductive biosynthesis. When NADPH is sufficiently high, ribulose-5-phosphate can be used to make ribose-5-phosphate and its derivatives). NADPH is the ultimate or ground zero antioxidant in the body. NADH and FADH2, also regenerated from the oxidation of foodstuffs, serve as additional reservoirs of reducing power in the cell.

The above description is that of a relay shuttle, which carries away harmful molecules from the site where they would otherwise do the most damage.

The body uses the network principle, not the pharmaceutical principle, and thus achieves higher signal/noise ratios. The highest signal/noise ratio is never seen in any natural process near the maximum signal, as the pharmaceutical model presupposes. Rather the highest overall signal/noise ratio is achieved using concentrations of each component of a large network well off their maximal effective dose.

A shuttle network makes it obvious why it is not useful to overdose on any one component of the network. Optimal -not maximal- doses of ALL components (including the cofactors in the antioxidant enzymes) and precursors (in the case of making the enzymes and glutathione) make more sense in supplements.

Square Meal Poll #1

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A commercial square meal would be certified to contain 100% of all of our nutritional requirements, thus taking away all worries and concerns about nutrition and health-related nutrition issues (except of course those due to genetic problems). Square Meals are only about 670 calories, leaving the vast majority of our calories for our favorite foods.

50 grams of protein

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Below is a Table that helps one select sources to obtain the 50 grams of protein the average adult needs per day.

8 “servings” of protein is approximately 50 grams.

Foods

One Serving Equals

Meat, Fish, Cheese

One ounce

Eggs

One large egg

Milk or Yogurt

Six ounces

Cooked Legumes

One half cup

From the Table above, 50 grams of protein would be about 8 ounces of beef or chicken, 8 ounces of shrimp or salmon. 8 ounces of blue cheese used to top the salad. 8 large eggs. 2 large eggs, one quarter pound burger, and four ounces of cheese.

One caveat: When the sole protein source is legumes, be sure to supplement the amino acid methionine (at least one half a gram, 500 mg.) and vitamin B12.

How to create a Square Meal

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You need three things: (1) 50 grams of protein, (2) a pound of one or more dark green leafy vegetables, (3) a pound of other vegetables.

For example: Let’s make a shrimp spinach salad: (1) 8 ounces of cooked shrimp, (2) one pound of washed baby spinach leaves, (3) a pound of vegetables consisting of carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, celery, and cucumber. That is two and one half pounds of food, filling by design. That is the Square Meal. Easy. Square Meals average about 700 calories. If you are maintaining your weight on 2,000 calories, that leaves 1,300 calories in the “calorie bank” to enjoy any way you want.

Now to make the salad taste great, add your favorite dressing and toppings. These are borrowed from the “calorie bank.”

The Square Meal Diet Fundamentals

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1. Enjoy one square meal a day to satisfy all of your nutritional requirements for optimal health. Obtaining sufficient nutrition during dieting is extremely important, but it is overshadowed by all of the emphasis on the importance of weight loss. It is assumed that weight loss “outweighs” any damage done to the body by nutrient deprivation on “denial diets.” I assume the opposite. Weight loss without assuring proper nutrition is dangerous to health.

2. Enjoy your favorite foods.

3. To lose weight, gradually increase physical activity and gradually reduce the portion sizes of your favorite foods, but never give them up.

Welcome to the Square Meal Diet Blog

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I’m  Dr. Mark Collins, author of The Square Meal Diet: The Revolutionary Diet That Features Comfort Foods. This blog is to discuss technical issues relating to this diet.

A companion blog is devoted to recipes, The Square Meal Diet Recipe Blog. http://thesquaremealdietrecipe.wordpress.com/

Thanks for participating!      © 2011 Mark L. Collins

Rules and Exceptions

Rule: Non cogito, ergo – non sum.

Exception: Cogito, ergo sum.

Out of a mere exception, Descartes made a rule and then audaciously “derived” god’s existence out of this mere exception, and the world followed his lead, as it usually does, and, as a rule, the world will continue to do so, as long as it derives pleasure from perpetually confusing exceptions, flashes in the pan, with rules.

“Empty” space = rule, matter and radiation = exceptional by-products of the rule.

Death = rule; life = exception.

For species, extinction = rule; survival = exception. Evolution is the story of extinction, punctuated by occasional survival. The odds against survival of any species are great. The odds against survival of any individual of a species are overwhelming. The odds against the existence of a being who has already lived forever are astronomical.

And so on, ad infinitum. It is an understatement to say that true knowledge is that of the rules and their exceptions.

How we look at things backwards

Until 1998, the US government scientists argued that choline was not an essential nutrient because we can make it from the essential nutrient methionine.

True enough, but irrelevant – the very definition of the red herring.

What utter rubbish scientists speak! The body was telling them that they were wrong and they did not listen.

When given choline supplements, people readily absorbed the choline. Was the body making choline receptors for fun? Was it a ruse to fool scientists into thinking that the body is a right idiot and does everything wrong?

Or maybe the body was telling us that we do not make enough of it to meet our needs?

A reasonable person would guess that the body is investing materials, time, and energy making receptors for choline, and maintaining them – and hundreds of other such substances – because it needs more of them than it can make from its raw materials.

A reasonable person would guess that we must suffer some ill consequences if we do not give the body what it is trying to absorb.

A reasonable person would guess that when a person adopts an extreme diet like low fat vegan diets that he will suffer health consequences from the many substances his body is trying to absorb that are not found in such a diet or are too low in concentration. Substances like cholesterol, choline, taurine, carnitine, carnosine. The first three are needed to make the strongest bile acids, the taurocholates and their derivatives.

A reasonable person would guess that essential nutrients are markers of food quality, not the definition of it.

A reasonable person would guess that proper nutrition is so much more than roughly four dozen essential nutrients plus water and oxygen.

Which is easier to believe?

1. Scientists have it wrong, when we see how wrong-headed they have been, and how specious their arguments were and continue to be.

2. Four billion years of selective pressures has it all wrong. The body is a right idiot that never gets it right.

The penalties that must be paid

When we do not give our bodies enough of everything that they are trying to absorb, by rule we must suffer the consequences when our boides are forced to “make do,” generally with what it can make. Something has to give, not necessarily the most direct thing, thanks to evolution.

For example, a person consuming a half gram of cholesterol a day might reduce his cholesterol production by some 5-20%, allowing some other process, perhaps net beneficial, to take place in lieu of more cholesterol production. A person restricting dietary cholesterol may increase his cholesterol production some 5-20%, and the cost is not primarily digestive shortfalls from too little bile (to whose production dietary cholesterol is earmarked), it is what was not done to produce this extra cholesterol. That penalty may in turn be deflected by another compromise, thus diluting the overall penalty that must be paid. Evolution is amazing, reducing the severity of the penalties that must be paid when we are terrible stewards of our own bodies’ health.

Because evolution has already had so many rounds of survival optimization, and there are so many competing processes to exploit, these penalties are less severe than we would see in a man-designed system. This may make the penalties harder to see, but they must be there. The body does not spend energy and materials to absorb substances for fun. When its needs are not being met, penalties must still be paid.

Because so many rounds of evolutionary selective pressure have already occurred, by rule, in the beginning, the least important functions suffer the brunt of the punishment. As deficiencies get worse, eventually more critical functions begin to be compromised. Finally, the most critical functions become compromised.

As we age, nearly every important function declines, including of course both digestion and absorption of nutrients, and thus our bodies’ needs increase as we age, both in the amounts of materials and in the number of such materials, and eventually we cannot meet those needs. We nutrient-starve to death, where “nutrient” is broadly defined as nearly everything our bodies are to absorb, including cholesterol, no matter how much we eat and how many supplements we take.

The ultimate penalty for under-nutrition is death. But death would be coming anyway because our genome has never been evolutionarily optimized for maintenance and repair, and thus for longevity. What optimization has occurred for maintenance and repair has been in the service of growth and reproductive capacity. Nature’s choice; not mine.

Another problem with soft drinks?

Summary: sucrose in soft drinks and foods does at least two bad things: 1. promotes tooth decay. 2. overstimulates the production of insulin and amylin, the latter being potentially the bigger problem in view of the poor solubility of its precursors.

Possibly a third bad thing: the sucrose may turn our guts into fermenters.

Because they are sweetened with sucrose, these soft drinks not only produce an overly vigorous insulin response, they may also over-feed gut yeast, and thus heavy users of these soft drinks may suffer some of the same consequences of those who drink too much. Basically, if this model is true, they are turning their guts into fermenters.

Not a smart thing to do. Milk was selected to have lactose for a good reason – lactose is not a good sugar for mouth bacteria (sucrose or even glucose in milk would have lead to extinction – the secondary teeth would have been destroyed before puberty)  or gut yeast. It is a good substrate for beneficial bacteria and for our system, when our system works properly. Our guts bind the lactose molecule, digest it and immediately absorb the contents, thus successfully keeping the sugars away from gut yeast.

Those lactose molecules that escape our digestion/absorption are mostly used by beneficial bacteria, not Candida. In addition to living within our guts, under certain conditions Candida can change its morphology, enter the circulation, and set up in locations distant from the gut, wherever conditions are “right” for it.

Lactase treated milk misses this vital point – that is making glucose and galactose, prior to ingestion, and the glucose over-feeds gut yeast.

A full wash basin that cannot be stoppered

Suppose you are a lauderer who owns a wash basin that must run continually, and the drain is of such a shape that it cannot be stoppered properly or repaired.

How would you keep the basin in operation?

You would run the water vigorously. A costly solution, to be sure.

This allegory is a story of certain nutrients. The wash basin is the body, the drain is the excretory system, and the water is the nutrient in question.

It is, for example, the vitamin C story.

For a lot of reasons, for peak health and performance, the body needs to be replete with vitamin C. However, if we successfully stoppered our excretion of vitamin C, the body would have too much of vitamin C – and that would have toxic consequences (perhaps even the degradation of DNA). Hence the body eliminates the excess vitamin C as fast as it is taking it in: equilibrium is established at near the full level.

Seems Sisyphean, does it not? However, two very important things happen during this Sisyphean process: the body always has what it needs of vitamin C and it never has too much of it.

I doubt that polio would have ever been the scourge that it was, before the development of vaccines, if we had done just two things:

1. Take doses of vitamin C that are closer to bowel tolerance than to USDA underestimates of requirements.

2. Put no food or drink in our mouths that does not have proper fat content (enough to produce about 1 mM free fatty acid in the stomach after gastric lipase action). For example, drink no water that does not have proper fat content – i.e. drink whole milk instead of water. Whole milk offers protection from the polio virus in supplying the fat to increase the germ-killing power of stomach acid by orders of magnitude.

If the whole milk were pasteurized, the vast majority of any polio virus in it would have been killed. If the milk were raw, it might have contained some polio virus, but it would have supplied fat to augment the germ killing power of stomach acid, vitamin C for greater immune system potency, and enzymes to more efficiently digest the contents of milk. Lipases, specifically? I am not sure. Acid lipases, pH optimum around 3.5, might have needed to be added to whole unpasteurized milk. Since we would not want to destroy the taste of milk, ideally, acid lipase proenzymes, activated by gastric acid or gastic acid-activated pepsin.

 

Consistent with some surprising evidence

If I am correct in saying that the nutritional value of food is better measured by the amounts of all substances per calorie that it contains that are absorbed by the body than solely by their “essential” nutrient content per calorie, as USDA contends, then we see why those on total parenteral nutrition cannot possibly fare as well as those on whole, nutritious foods. The body of a person on total parenteral nutrition is forced to “make do” with what it can make. There must be penalties for this. Must. Otherwise, the body would not make so much effort to absorb hundreds of substances from foods that are not “essential.”

If my model of nutritional quality is better, we might also understand why supplements as a whole offer so little value. If for example we need dietary cholesterol to make more bile to more efficiently absorb hundreds of fat soluble nutrients that the body needs, what good does supplementing just four of those fat-soluble substances do, especially in a body whose bile concentration and bile activity (lower taurine-derivitized bile salts) are low due to dietary restriction of foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats, like eggs and meat?

Scary question: In our world of nonsense and myths, am I beginning to make sense? Or have I joined those promulgating the nonsense with a new kind of nonsense of my own?

Why eggs are probably more nutritious than milk

Milk has always been under selective pressure to taste good. One reason there is so little vitamin C in raw milk.

Eggs are almost certainly not under ANY selective pressure to taste good to the developing chick embryo. They have everything that organism needs to become a viable hatchling, and its nutritional adequacy affects even the eventual fertility of the chickens, and what that organism needs, save for vitamin C and a few other things, is what we humans need as well.

Eggs are nutritional powerhouses and even their cholesterol and saturated fats are valuable to us. Our digestive system, the product of four billion years of selective pressures, tells us that this is so. Arrogant dumb-ass experts are arrogant and dumb as bricks.