Maximum irony in action: in critical care a non-essential nutrient becomes supercritical

Glutamine is considered a non-essential nutrient since it can be synthesized from other materials. Normal demand for the amino acid is about 10 grams per day, which is what about 80 grams of mixed protein contains, although the daily requirement for protein for the average person is generally set at only about 50 grams. Perhaps the daily requirement should be set to 80 grams so that other amino acids are not being used to make additional glutamine.

In the normal course of things, the intestinal epithelium absorbs glutamine and uses some as fuel and converts some glutamine to proline for connective tissue repair and some to citrulline, which the kidneys convert to arginine (for NO synthesis and vasodilation; blood pressure control) and creatine (for muscle energy). The liver also uses glutamine to make glucose when blood sugar is falling below the threshold and of course also to make proline for connective tissue repair.

In critical care, the person is generally not consuming anywhere near enough protein to meet the needs, but the glutamine shortfall can be enormous because glutamine daily requirements can reach as high as 30 grams (240 grams of total mixed protein would contain about 30 grams of glutamine).

So right away the intestines are not getting enough glutamine to fuel themselves and one would predict a drop off in their two most basic functions, absorption and initial distribution of nutrients to the liver and synthesis of additional proline and citrulline. This is going to run the entire body down, the last thing one needs in critical care.

Consider metastatic cancer as an example of critical care: as cancer cells absorb glutamine at prodigious rates and convert it to glutamate and free fatty acids, and export both, the total demand for glutamine increases, and immune cells, which also use glutamine to fuel themselves, are weakened, and are weakened further by both glutamate and free fatty acids, and are less able to fight the cancer.

The free fatty acids excreted tend to increase insulin resistance, raising glucose baseline levels, which helps the cancer, as a prodigious consumer of glucose for fuel.

Is it possible that as proline levels fall off, connective tissue repair drops off, and it becomes easier for metastatic tumor cells to dissociate from the extracellular matrix and invade other tissues?

As creatine levels fall in response to low glutamine, does muscle wasting, already high, because they are being cannibalized to meet the body’s increased demands for protein, increase?

Do the conditions of cachexia not also decrease appetite, making the muscle wasting still more severe?

Weighing the relative truth

  1. As a group, doctors are inbred, they filter data with abandon, and consequently, they have the wrong model of health, longevity and disease, and are wrong about most things of medical importance.
  2. As a medical outsider, who abhors filtering data, I have the right model of health, longevity, and disease and am at least heading in the right direction about most things of medical importance.

I have more confidence in statement #1 than in statement #2 – I have a lot to learn, but doctors are incorrigible – they will never learn, and without a miraculous transformation, they are going to screw up our health with abandon in the coming centuries.

Maximum irony in action: Why animal results may be more reliable for healthy humans than clinical trial results

  1. A healthy human is well-nourished, just like laboratory animals, and unlike humans who are enrolled in clinical trials, who have been sick for years before enrollment. Most are past the point of reversibility of the illness. How can doctors hope to normalize the health of a diabetic who has had extensive kidney damage and damage to his circulatory system from the high sugar and the numerous nutrient deficiencies due to over-diuresis coupled with poor reabsorption of nutrients? Surgeons can some cure the diabetes even in long-term sufferers with Roux-N-Y gastric bypass, but doctors cannot subsequently normalize their health. The bodily injuries are too great. Laboratory animals are given diabetes and then immediately treated to try to reverse the diabetes and to prevent the harmful effects of diabetes.
  2. When a clinical trial shows that a high dose of some essential nutrient is useless, when it worked well in laboratory animals (for example high dose vitamin C in guinea pigs prevented atherosclerosis even on a 55% fat diet), take the clinical trial with a grain of salt, because despite huge genetic differences, healthy, well-nourished humans are more like healthy, well-nourished laboratory animals.
  3. One more similarity between lab animals and healthy humans: they have the discipline to do what needs to be done in spite of pain and discomfort. The lab animals have no choice but to follow tough regimens imposed by tough-minded, focused researchers; healthy humans are already tough on themselves. Those who are unhealthy – when it is not genetic – have mollycoddled themselves to greater weakness. Clinical trial results on these weaklings mean little: if there is the slightest discomfort to the procedure, you can be sure they are cheating to avoid discomfort.

I’m a dabster

I’m an expert at seeing the flaws in other people’s reasoning and a bungler in seeing my own flaws.

Although considered a contranym, “dabster” means both expert (UK) and bungler (US) – is not every expert also a bungler? Is the specialist not an over-specialist who is downright incompetent at many an everyday task and all-too-often blind to the basic truths of even his own field of expertise?

At the risk of becoming like Heidegger and considering words to be oracles or founts of secret, deep, and arcane wisdom, I’ll stop.

Maximum irony in action

A firm believer in religion once told me, a confirmed skeptic, to be more skeptical of my own wisdom, (which a true skeptic is by definition, as fitting data to a more comprehensive model is all-important) so that eventually I would lose all of my skepticism, and become a firm believer.

If all of the data that contradict the religious models were disproven and all existing data were shown to fit one of the religious models, then I would entertain belief, but I would always wonder if the god hypothesis is actually necessary.

Three little words that could have improved the world forever


  1. Thou shalt not kill [another human being].
  2. Thou shalt not kill [another human being] except in self-defense.

It is maximum irony that statement 1 appears stronger than statement 2.

In reality, because statement 1 was weakened by so many exceptions listed in the bible, such as self-defense, revenge killings (justified loosely by the “an eye for an eye” logic, as “a life for a life”; not sure if there is a direct justification for revenge killing in the bible), killing those guilty of capital crimes (including adultery), and killings claimed to be ordered by god, as for example, the killings of the Midianites, where according to the story, god ordered the Israelites to slaughter everyone except for the young girls, who were taken into slavery.

Statement number 2 has but one exception and is so stated – it is more intellectually honest, and it is the proper form for a law, consistent with my overarching principle of intrinsic complexity: strong rule + sole exception.

Statement number 2 prohibits for ALL TIME ALL offensive warfare, ALL revenge killings, ALL capital punishment, and ALL terrorist attacks.

Too bad we are such short-sighted simpletons that we cannot see what is coming at us and frame laws appropriately.

Imagine history without any crusades.

Imagine if a country began an offensive war against another, and every other country warned them of the violation of the commandment, “thou shalt not kill except in self-defense.” If the country persisted with its offensive warfare, every other country would gang up against them, reasoning that an attack on one country is an attack on all countries, in self-defense of the victimized country. Only a lunatic would persist in such offensive warfare. Warfare as we know it would be obsolete because Jews, Christians, and Muslims (over 3 billion people), and many other people agree that the commandments should be obeyed. Unfortunately, the biblical commandments were weakened by being badly worded and directly contradicted by too many exceptions.

If terrorist attacks and revenge killings were prohibited by a commandment from god, the entire history of the world would have been different.

If capital punishment had been outlawed, the history of law would have been much different, and much improved.

That was just a theory – perhaps things would have been worse; perhaps every offensive war becomes a world war and annihilation. The bible would have to make clear -and it helps to use god as the ultimate paradigm- that one must never act hastily, that diplomacy must be tried and retried and retried before engaging in war.


Weakening terrorists to irrelevance

1. Stop helping their recruiting efforts by NOT doing the following:

A. Sensationalist coverage that glamorizes terrorist attacks by the media – got to fill the hearts of terrorists with pride.

B. Sensationalist coverage of military attacks by us infidels on terrorists and their camps – great, allow their leaders to show first hand the harm the infidels are doing in their country and to boast to raw recruits about their heroes happily willing to die for Allah’s cause and receive their eternal reward of 72 virgins.

C. The killing of terrorists – they all have families.
2. Reduce their funding – fund a Manhattan project with a single leader, tight budgets, and an aggressive timeline (don’t repeat the mistakes of the war on cancer) to research and develop something superior to the gasoline powered engine.