Let’s go back to 1989

The government just published the 10th edition of its RDAs – the list of 40 or so nutrients with the exact amount that meet the needs of 97.5% of us (RDA = EAR [Estimated Average Requirement] + 2 std. dev., assuming 10% coefficient of variation).

All we need to do to be healthy is supplement these nutrients to these levels and consume sufficient calories to maintain a healthy weight, and we will be healthy.

According to the government, cholesterol, choline, taurine – not needed at all, because the body can make them from other substances,.

But the government filtered the data set. They ignored the facts of physiology – namely, that the human body aggressively tries to absorb these three substances from its diet. The government paid no attention to what the body was doing; it was busy arrogantly telling us what the body needs.

Isolated, indigenous cultures have a huge advantage over us.

They have no government health agencies, no AMA, no ADA, no armies of trained doctors and dentists.

I am jealous of them – they just follow their instincts and get it right. We listen to  arrogant idiots, the experts, and we get it wrong time and again.

Worse, in 1989, the government was telling us to limit egg consumption, eggs being the best single source of all body-building nutrients per calorie, and one of the best sources of both cholesterol and choline, which the body is trying to aggressively absorb from its diet.

Based on mass balance and the absence of definitive evidence for greater need, the government said that vitamin C is needed, but only roughly 100 mg, though the human body is trying to absorb grams of vitamin C per day, every day, and many more grams when it is sick, and many more grams than that when it is in critical condition, such as cancer cachexia. Is it not amazing that massive vitamin C doses (and injections) are not standard of care in cancer. When a cancer patient consumes vitamin C all day long, gram after gram, and fails to ingest a dose of vitamin C that gives him diarrhea, could the body be any more direct in communicating its needs?

The government made many errors, including the fact that mass balance is necessary, but not sufficient for optimal health. The government ignored the optimal level of nutrients question as unknowable.

A person of sense begins with the hypothesis that the optimal level of a nutrient is approximately what a healthy, well-nourished body is trying to absorb each and every day from its diet.

I could go on and on – citing the government’s red herrings and other logical errors, their erroneous assumptions, their naïve and underpowered models, and all of their ideas that are too narrowly conceived.

Will the US government officials ever get sense?

Now let’s “go back to the future” – time present. The government has changed its mind, but only on choline, which it has considered essential since 1998, but to this day, the government still does not know how it erred. It erred because government officials lack sense. We can teach any lame brain how to do science, but we cannot teach a lame brain sense.

The government erred by dictating the human body’s needs to the human body. A person of sense learns from the body by watching its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of substances.

The body tells us what is nutritive and what is toxic, and how much so. When the human body absorbs roughly 2% of the cadmium and fluoride it ingests, and lets 98% pass through its digestive tract, the human body is telling us one of three things. A priori we do not know which is right, but until proven otherwise a person of sense would assume #3 is right.

(1) either or both of these substances is/are insufficiently soluble and thus hard to absorb, and if they were ingested in a more soluble form, the body would indeed absorb more of them.

(2) a scary possibility: these two substances are micronutrients, and the diet contains nearly 50 times more than we need.

(3) what a person of sense would hypothesize: these two substances are toxins, and we need none or next to none of them, in spite of the fact that ingested fluoride can help with tooth decay. By itself, that does not make fluoride an essential nutrient, not when we can avoid tooth decay much better if we just eat what our bodies are trying to absorb and avoid eating man-made junk food.

How strangely inconsistent our government is. Cadmium is a recognized bone and kidney toxin, and the human body’s failure to absorb more than about 2% of the ingested dose of cadmium is consistent with that. But the body treats fluoride the same way as it treats cadmium, and the government ignores what the body does with it, and some officials even recommend adding fluoride to municipal water supplies. Obviously these people believe wholeheartedly that fluoride is a micronutrient and that the body would absorb a whole lot more of it if it could, if the salts were delivered in a highly soluble form. And it might at that, based on mimicry. After all, the body will absorb and distribute throughout the body prodigious quantities of cysteine-derivatized dimethyl mercury because it looks enough like methionine.

When the body tries to absorb grams of vitamin C, believe that that is what it needs. When a goat, roughly our size, makes 13 grams of vitamin C a day, and two to three times that when it is sick, believe that that is what it needs. As a rule, biological systems tend to make less than what they need and they look for the balance in their diets. Biological systems do not make 130 times what they need (13,000 mg vs 100). The government would guess that a goat needs 100 mg of vitamin C a day, if the goat has roughly the same turnover of vitamin C as we do, 2%-4% per day, and a bodily pool roughly equivalent to ours, a pool of between 1,500 milligrams and 3,000 milligrams.

Advertisements

Hypertension, Type II Diabetes, Hypercholesterolemia and the like are not diseases

Hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol can have dire consequences.

Dire consequences are necessary but not sufficient to define a disease. A disease is something worse.

In the earliest stages: A natural, evolutionarily-selected, readily reversible, appropriate, measured, and normal response of the human body to poor stewardship is not and cannot possibly be labeled a “disease.” Especially while it is still readily reversible, as it is in the early stages. That defines a “medical condition,” not a disease. The readily reversible is something one reverses with aggressive lifestyle changes. One does not “manage” a medical condition, as doctors claim. One reverses it.

In these so-called diseases, the body has done nothing wrong, and is in fact acting appropriately, given its lamentable internal conditions, and it suffers as a consequence of our poor stewardship.

The level of tension, and the level of sugar, cholesterol, and many other substances in the blood are complex, normally well-balanced functions of competing push-pull mechanisms, that is, push-them-higher and pull-them-down mechanisms.

The balance of these forces has been selected by evolution to favor short-term survival, which is first and foremost, survival long enough to breed, and given that, survival through the reproductive years, allowing an individual and his mate to have more offspring for evolution to test.

This means that the pull-them-down mechanisms that lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and lower blood cholesterol have been selected to be more fragile than the push-them-higher mechanisms, those that promote higher values. Better put, the push mechanisms have been selected by evolutionary pressures to be more robust than the pull mechanisms.

Lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and lower blood cholesterol are considerably more dangerous than equal deviations the other way.

With proper stewardship of the body, the body can maintain these three levels, and no doubt others, in balance for its entire natural lifespan (roughly 78 years, somewhere between 65 and 91 years, which are 5-7 times [the factor values of primates and mammals, respectively, if my memory is correct], using an estimated natural human reproductive age of 13). Witness the KUNA Indians’ ~100 systole throughout their entire life, in their isolated culture, consuming their natural diet and living their natural lifestyle, despite excessive salt consumption similar to those of modern Americans).

However, given poor stewardship of the body’s needs, including not giving it what the body is trying to absorb (which includes cholesterol and non-essential fats; sorry vegans, you are also poor stewards of your own bodies, though at least you are trying), the body responds appropriately, and the pull-them-down mechanisms keeping blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and the like, in check, are more compromised, and sooner compromised, than the push mechanisms, selected to be more robust, that push them higher. This is exactly as it should be. If the reverse were true, we might among the extinct species.

Doctors worry about hypertension, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Wrong, wrong, wrong emphasis. And while doctors also worry about excessive blood clotting, failure to clot the blood is far more dangerous. What evolution came up with to favor blood clotting, with its amplification cascade mechanism, over failure to clot the blood and over the ability to resolve clots is positively amazing, and the entirely correct way to go. In general, look to doctors to find out what NOT to worry about. Nature has it right or we would not be here. And given poor stewardship of the body’s needs, look to the direction of the dysregulation to tell you what is more dangerous.

Cholesterol in bile is not a waste product

  1. If the body was trying to get rid of cholesterol, it would make it more water soluble, and excrete it in urine. Further derivatization of  cholesterol sulfate would be a good start. Failing this, the body would metabolize the cholesterol into a product the body could not reabsorb in the gut.
  2. The body would not excrete in bile unaltered cholesterol upstream of its absorption/reabsorption site.
  3. If the body were trying to get rid of excess cholesterol, the body would not absorb up to one gram of dietary cholesterol.
  4. The body would not reabsorb nearly all of its bile (~95% on average), as excreting bile would be an excellent way to reduce bodily cholesterol.
  5. The body’s efficient absorption of cholesterol precursors like squalene is not consistent with the medical hypothesis that biliary cholesterol is a waste product.

These basic facts of physiology argue for a different role for cholesterol and other lipids in bile: that of the seed lipid, that allows us to absorb more of fat soluble substances when the ingestate has very little lipid.

A contributor to poorer quality sleep?

Eating too often. Not too much (which is also a problem, and may be as relevant to sleep quality, especially in the extremely obese via sleep apnea).

Eating too often. The point is that one can eat the right amount of food, but eating too often will still lead to unexpected problems.

Many Americans eat 3 meals a day and some eat 3 meals plus snacks.

This is too often – it does not allow time for important repair processes, particularly those dependent on autophagy, which is stimulated by glucagon, and inhibited by insulin (and hence by every episode of feeding).

My guess is 1-2 meals per day is optimal for overall health and for optimal repair processing.

There are other problems that arise from eating too often. For example, because those who eat 3 meals plus snacks suffer the inevitable post-prandial slump, they consume more caffeinated beverages than they would if they ate just once per day, and this has the effect of reducing overall quantity and quality of sleep.

The Fast-5 diet format recommended by Dr. Bert Herring suggests having one meal a day of about 5 hour duration just before bedtime, followed by a 19 hour fast. As long as there is no reflux, this seems to me to be the best time for the single meal (and I am trying it out now). Because no caffeinated beverages need be consumed to combat the slump just before retiring, less caffeine is needed during the productive waking hours (I’m trying 100 mg every few hours in the AM – 400 mg MAX), meaning that all other things being equal, sleep will tend to be of better quality and longer in duration.

I wonder if there are data to support this. Probably very little, since the Fast-5 is not a particularly popular diet format – and who would study such a topic? I would – if only I could.

Nature puts low dose poisons to good use

Selective pressures drive this process.

Another example: alcohol.

Yeast is one of the microbial components in our digestive tract. The optimal level of this microbe is debatable.

Yeasts turn some of the abundant sugar in our digestive tract into alcohol.

Even teetotalers have to deal with alcohol – endogenously produced.

Long before man came on the scene, nature found a good use for moderate amounts of this poison.

Thus, it is not surprizing that there is some optimal level of alcohol in the diet – the exact optimum should depend on a lot of factors, including the amount of endogenous production, something scientists pay no mind to.

The fact that additional alcohol in the diet is still net beneficial suggests that the overall level of yeast in the gut may in fact be suboptimal for most people. What if we consumed more raw buttermilk (how much alcohol do these yeasts produce?) and less yogurt?

 

Causation is a fine one dimensional representation

in which every other important factor is abstracted or filtered out.

Triggers and aggravators are hardly causes, but they are not non-factors.

Ameliorators are not anti-causes, but are hardly irrelevant.

Necessary conditions are always relevant as well.

Put it together and the one causal dimensional representation of the problem becomes a three dimensional realistic representation that does not violate Ockham’s razor – it has no more than sufficient complexity to describe the phenomenon within scientifically accurate bounds.

A six foot line is a perfectly adequate one dimensional representation of my physical being. It is certainly not wrong, but it is utterly inadequate to characterize even my physical being, let alone me.

Defining cancer as being caused by nuclear mutations is a perfectly adequate one dimensional characterization of the disease.

Defining type II diabetes by insulin resistance is a perfectly adequate one dimensional picture of the medical condition/disease.

Defining hypertension as caused by too much salt consumption is a perfectly adequate one dimensional representation of the medical condition/disease.

Defining human longevity in terms of total calories consumed is a perfectly adequate and perfectly quantitative one dimensional representation of a problem that has certain dimensions that are difficult even to quantify.

Etc., etc.

An adjunct cancer therapy?

In addition to limiting the growth rate of tumors by safe mechanisms (limiting glucose, but probably not glutamine, which immune cells need to fight tumors), and killing tumor cells, try to create conditions within the body that make it inhospitable to tumor growth.

Develop a real time method of measuring tumor growth and study every change in internal bodily condition that limits the growth of tumors. By combining a lot of these little nothing internal changes, one can make the environment inside a body a downright rude host to tumor growth, thus aiding and abetting the other methods of fighting cancer.

Analogy: one can make one’s whole body anything from being a good host for the growth of yeast to being an environment downright inimical to the growth of yeast.