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.

Standard medical practice is baffling

Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic in surgery and it irreversibly oxidizes vitamin B12, the product of which is excreted in urine. One would think that screening for B12 deficiency (most common in the elderly who have most of the operations) pre-operatively would be routine as well as the oral supplementation of prophylactic doses before surgery and after surgery. None of this is standard medical practice. Amazing. Where is the oversight?

Keeping stress in the hormetic range

The right amount of stress -in the hormetic range- increases resistance to stress and improves health and possibly longevity. Too much stress overwhelms defenses and harms health. The most studied example is oxidative stressors, but this applies equally to all types of stressors, including important psychological stressors.

An agent that inhibits stress when it is too high and increases it when stress is too low is needed. An example would be a bispecific drug or combination of drugs that regulates the amount of stress, increasing it when it falls below the hormetic level, and decreasing it, as the level increases above the hormetic levels.

With oxidative stressors in particular, what is needed is a bispecific drug that increases oxidative stress when it is too low to have a hormetic effect, or more preferably, a bispecific drug that allows oxidative stress to naturally increase to hormetic levels, and a second drug activity, optionally connected by a linker to the first drug, that decreases oxidative stress when it is too high to have or to maintain a hormetic effect, and in fact is overwhelming the defenses induced during the hormetic period.

Why meat eaters need sufficient plant food

  1. Because meat concentrates only certain nutrients from plants.
  2. The whole animal concentrates almost everything we need – if we ate the whole animal, we would be short only the things humans concentrate but other animals do not.
  3. Someone who eats the whole animal would need either little or no plant food – example the Masai tribe Weston Price studied in some detail.