The GULO mutation

Individual nutrients matter little. It is the network that matters. It is possible that the loss of the GULO gene has been adequately compensated by network changes, and thus the requirements for vitamin C may be less than in those animals of roughly our size who make grams of C per day. Metabolism is the most sensitive and specific way to decide the question – not external or internal symptoms.

Based on data from animals about our size that make their own vitamin C, the mutation in the GULO gene has left us probably about 10 grams short of the vitamin C per day we would have made if we still had this gene. Fortunately, we can make up for this by dosing about 1/2 gram every waking hour.

One hundred milligrams of vitamin C per day may be enough to maintain body pools of vitamin C, but it does not provide the regular over-dosing that the circulatory system may need to be fit and healthy, scavenging heavy metals, and keeping lipoprotein(a) from acting as a pesky surrogate. At least Rath’s and Pauling’s view makes biological sense.

The government’s view is that the amount of vitamin C that is needed is merely enough to maintain pools.

But some functions of C require circulation and are not complete without excretion. An example is heavy metal chelation. To see this going on in ordinary individuals, we may need mass spec with attogram sensitivities. To see this in those suffering from lead, mercury, or cadmium intoxication, we probably do not need such sensitive tools.

One hundred milligrams of vitamin C a day does not provide the large amount needed during severe stress (vitamin C must be titrated up to meet the severity of the stresses the body is under), as during wound healing (amazingly high dose vitamin C is not even a part of the medical establishment’s wound healing protocol and neither is acidification of the wound), as during infections (and our overly stressful reaction to them) in the blood stream, and the large amount that the urinary system may need to keep everything as soluble as possible, particularly when some people, due to numerous nutrient deficiencies (magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin K, among others), are excreting their calcium-rich liquified bone extract, along with copious quantities of phosphate from bone, and oxalate, the latter a product of oxidized vitamin C, a sign of poor antioxidant status inside cells (of which low vitamin C is but an example).

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What is the cause of aging and death?

A mistaken materialistic question.

There is no cause. There are many contributors and at most there is one driver. The driver may be DNA damage, but it probably is just another contributor. We die with our genomes largely intact. We die with DNA damage, not because of it. Yet, little as this damage may be, it may be enough to make it a driver, because DNA damage is nearly always destructive, and its effects are fundamental and far-reaching.. Not so with so many other ills.

Mathematical nihilism: a whole lot of little nothings add up to something.

The whole lot of little nothings are contributors. A driver is a whole lot of little nothings that appears to act concertedly.

“Numbers 31” among the namians

A man comes to them, saying something like this:

“I talked with god last night and he told me to put all of the Midianites to the sword, except the young girls, whom we are ordered to take into slavery.”

As hard-nosed empiricists, the namians would assume that in all likelihood, a man who says he talked with god is insane, and with gentleness and kindness, they would try to get him to seek help. Further, they would observe that what he is saying is consistent with their assumption, and that would impel them to redouble their efforts.

What do we humans do? We listen to the madman and do precisely what he says.

Fast forward about two millennia, and we did humans do when Hitler came up with an equally insane set of ideas and plans? They did precisely what he said to do.

Fast forward any number of years and we will do the same. Until we evolve into kind, hard-nosed empiricists, like the namians.

How ridiculous this will sound

“The fire caused extensive damage to the house.”

Really, all by itself, fire did this, according to the strictures of causality. The destruction has nothing to do with the fact that we build houses out of flammable things, populate them with flammable things, and do not protect them properly.

Someday when we get sense to build houses and really our world out of inflammable substances, this statement, which seems obvious in 2017, would truly puzzle the enlightened.

How ridiculous all causal claims sound to me now!

On the unlikelihood of the single nutrient deficiency

I have given many reasons why this widely held myth is false. Here is another:

one nutrient deficiency inevitably leads to other deficiencies as the body tries to cope.

Consider a deficiency in niacin due to either dietary insufficiency or an absorption problem (with either any of various NAD+ precursors or specifically to NAD+ precursor tryptophan) or a metabolic problem or an excretion problem. In the case of excretion: if the intestines absorb tryptophan poorly, for example, in Hartnup disease, the kidneys tend to reabsorb tryptophan poorly.

This niacin deficiency leads directly to a measurable deficiency in tryptophan, as tryptophan must be diverted to make NAD+. This leads to a major deficiency in tryptophan if dietary tryptophan is limiting or if tryptophan absorption is also compromised. Tryptophan is only about 1% of all protein; so in a sense it is seriously limited except in what I would call high protein diets: more than 100 grams of protein per day. 1 gram of tryptophan in 100 grams of protein is only enough to make 16 mg of niacin – a little more than 1xRDA – if that is all that tryptophan had to supply. Not even close – the demands on tryptophan are stringent.

Tryptophan deficiency leads to serotonin and melatonin deficiencies for the same reason.

[I need to look into the possibility of inchoate protein deficiencies; seems unlikely, generally the most important use for every amino acid found in proteins is for protein synthesis.]

Tryptophan deficiency leads to measurable zinc deficiency because less picolinic acid is made because more of the tryptophan has to be diverted to making NAD+.

[Also needs investigation: There may also be a local B6 deficiency in the circulatory system, as more B6 is diverted to making NAD+ – of the 140+ reactions requiring vitamin B6, I doubt there is one more important than the manufacture of NAD+ when niacin is deficient in the diet or is insufficiently absorbed.]

A better test of analytical intelligence

An intelligence test in which someone is telling you perfectly believable lies, appealing to your vanity and your prejudices, and in spite of all of that, you answer all of the questions correctly in less time than anyone else in the world – if you can do that, then you are #1 in analytical intelligence, even if others score higher on the Stanford Binet IQ Test.

If you have the emotional intelligence to match that analytical intelligence, then have your species checked. You are not human.

In fact, your species was in doubt when you aced the real test of analytical intelligence, one not invented yet, except in fiction – Sherlock Holmes was repeatedly lied to, flattered, and appeals were made to his prejudices. In spite of that, he figured out who was lying, who was telling the truth, and “who done it” faster than any of the rest of us. Time and again, with a real test of analytical intelligence, Sherlock Holmes proved his analytical intelligence was second to none – in the pages of fiction. In a world of maximum irony, where else would an intelligent person expect to find real life intelligence?

A flaw in genetics

Before the flaw, what is more important: the application – finding the hidden functions of genes/proteins by searching every part of the gene sequence, every which way it could be arranged or rearranged to code for a new or existing function.

Now for the flaw in the current system:

As a rule, genes are more pleiotropic than is believed.

Consequently, mutations are more pleiotropic than is believed.

Consequently, even when a geneticist has exhaustively defined the consequences of a mutation, misunderstandings of the consequences of mutations are more common than is believed. The genetics database is corrupted with all kinds of errors of misinterpretation.

Add that source of misunderstanding to another prolific source of misinterpretations – the underestimation of the effects of nutrient deficiencies -always plural, as there are thousands of possible conditionally essential nutrients – on enzymes with some redundancy or partial functionality.

Add that to an evolutionary fact: nature optimizes growth and reproduction better than it optimizes maintenance and repair. Consequently, even when we make our own nutrients (part of routine maintenance), it is highly unlikely that we ever make the optimal amount of any of them. Thus, even when we eat properly, we are suffering the consequences of nutritional shortfalls, and we really suffer whenever we consume empty calories, and as a group, Americans are consuming lots of empty calories, as anyone walking the aisles of a supermarket can attest.

Note on chemically defined animal nutrition and human total parenteral nutrition: by definition, these lack the accessory nutrients in good food, and the victims of these treatments cannot possibly be at the optimal level for all of the thousands of accessory nutrients. However, they can be in the acceptable range for a very long time before outright conditional deficiencies develop in some of these accessory nutrients.