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Anti-Peat Grant Genereux's Theory Of Vitamin A Toxicity

Discussion in 'Debate - Anti-Peat' started by franko, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    I would advise everyone: Don't eat another bite of liver (or cod liver oil) until you have read Genereux's books. If you read his material, and you still want to eat liver, fine, go ahead — but I'd be surprised if you do. Most people (myself included just 6 months ago) have no idea about even the mainstream, established toxicity of excess Vitamin A.

    So yeah, I'm not super keen on poisoning myself for anecdotal evidence, but lucky for you (but not me), I have accidentally performed this experiment you suggest of adding retinol or carotenes back into my diet (Genereux has too, he reports it in Ch. 11 of PFP). But it did not require a megadose like you get from liver.

    Side Note: In fact, based on the experiences reported so far, it seem to be the case that when you go on the Vitamin A (VA) elimination diet, your body becomes more "sensitive" to VA consumption. Possibly it's because when you're not consuming it the body has an opportunity to process and eliminate stored retinol (including in fat tissue) and so it may be present in the bloodstream even though you are not consuming large amounts of it.

    So I do have a couple anecdotes for you:

    • About a month in, I gave myself a "cheat day" and ate a whole Little Caesar's cheese pizza which has 2729 IUs of VA. The next day I had a relatively significant acne breakout and a spontaneous mouth ulcer (usually I only got these after accidentally biting the inside of my mouth). Not a big deal, but still.

    Side Note: I haven't had a mouth ulcer since. And recently I did bite my inner cheek enough to pierce the tissue, and unlike what usually happened in the past, I did not get a mouth ulcer from it. Which I consider evidence that A) my body is depleting retinol from mucous membrane tissue and B) retinol stored in MM tissue is indeed the cause of mouth ulcers aka canker sores.) IMO, Genereux found "the cure" (not technically a cure though is it? because it's just a cessation of unknowingly poisoning yourself) to mouth ulcers but that is insignificant compared to everything else this will "cure". Btw, Genereux explains that its the same substance causing ulcers in the inner mouth tissue, ulcers in the intestine, ulcers in the colon (hence ulcerative colitis). It's all the same cause, the same mechanism in the same kind of tissue: mucous membrane epithelial tissue.

    • I have had minor episodes wherein I eat something with a decent amount of carotenes, and I experience within about 30 minutes typical sinus congestion, clogged nasal passages (can't breath through either nostril), runny nose, etc which lasts a several hours or even a couple days I just had one of these recently where I ate (estimating based on this picture) around 500 grams of watermelon (~ 3000 IU of VA in the form of carotenes). Once I knew what could be causing these sinus congestion episodes early on, I started connecting episodes of sinus congestion (my most immediate indicator of inflammation) to lots of retinol foods (even low VA meats like chicken) and carotene in foods (even just normal amounts of herbs and spices — which actually have very high VA per gram).

    • And the most telling accidental experiment: About two months in, I tried adding in Fage nonfat greek yogurt — because the label says it has 0% VA. I probably consumed one of the 500g tubs within a couple days. And yet somehow* I had a severe reaction. I felt bad in general and had an episode of dry eyes in the middle of the night (not uncommon for me previously) where my eyes got so dry that the cornea sticks to the eyelid and then a movement of the eye causes a painful pulling/tearing. The pain wakes you up and lasts several hours or all day, you have to keep your eye closed and try not to move it too much. And vision in that eye is blurry for a few days afterward. I used to have these once every couple of months. It had been a regular thing for me for years — never knew why (haven't had one in the 2 months since).

    *But how did this happen when there's no VA in the yogurt?

    This is one of the keys in Genereux's research that unlocks the mystery. In short, I think the explanation is that foods with no detectable VA can still have Retinoic Acid. I did not come up with this idea (I just theorize that it applies to Fage nonfat yogurt).

    Here is a summary of this from Genereux:

    "We are also going to gain the all-critical understanding that retinol is normally, and automatically converted into retinoic acid. From there we are going to gain the amazing bit of understanding that retinoic acid causes cells to call the immune system in to destroy themselves. This is not only retinol-induced inflammation, but it is the key process by which the autoimmune diseases cause the body to self-destruct." - Genereux, ETFOH, p. 115




    "Retinoic acid has about ten times the toxicity of vitamin-A (retinol). That is not to say that vitamin-A is not toxic. It is just not immediately toxic because it takes time to convert into retinoic acid. To better understand the relative toxicity between these two molecules, retinoic acid is by far the more toxic one. But, the conversion from vitamin-A (retinol) to retinoic acid is just a simple oxidation reaction. All that’s needed for the reaction to take place is a little activation energy and oxygen." - Genereux, PFP, p 31

    At the core of Genereux's theory is the debunking of the original research which declared VA to be a vitamin. Generuex references a hallmark study by Wolbach and Howe in 1925 where they fed rats a diet intended to be VA deplete (and it was deplete of VA) but they unknowingly designed a diet which was likely high in Retinoic Acid, which was a substance unknown and undetectable to them at the time.

    "More importantly, remember, retinol is easily converted into retinoic acid via oxidation. All that’s needed to create the oxidation reaction is heat and oxygen. Ample amounts of both are present in the “rendering” process used to produce lards. Therefore, the lard in these experiments contained retinoic acid. This is not just a theory of mine. We have hard evidence for it. We just need to skip ahead a few decades to another vitamin-A deficiency experiment done in 1953." - Genereux, PFP, p. 96

    So this is one of Genereux key discoveries, and he walks through this in detail in Chapter 5 of Poisoning for Profits which is titled "The Botched Deficiency Experiments":

    The research which supposedly demonstrated the damage of a VA deficiency was, in reality, demonstrating the toxicity of Retinoic Acid because of flawed diet design.

    That is what explains the odd phenomenon that supposed "VA deficiency" (VAD) somehow results in the same destructive symptoms as VA excess. Because the entire theory of VAD was botched from the beginning.

    Essentially, retinoic acid ≈ tretinoin (Retin-A™) ≈ isotretinoin (Accutane™). The latter two are isomers of the first. For our purposes, they're basically the same chemical because they have the same effects in the body.

    And the toxicity of retinoic acid is an established, documented fact. Just look at the documented "side effects" of tretinoin (when used as a chemotherapy drug) — which is an isomer of retinoic acid.

    Genereux's theory says that it's not just "connected" but directly causal. That retinol and retinoic acid are the direct cause of all the autoimmune diseases, including Celiac. They are, in reality, just one disease (more accurately: a poisoning) with one cause and one mechanism — just manifesting in different tissues and organs (where it manifests first and worst might be due to a person's genetic "weakest link in the chain" so to speak).

    Accutane has already been implicated in connection to autoimmune diseases:

    "Isotretinoin was first marketed as Accutane by Hoffmann-La Roche. It sold well for many years, but in 2009, Roche decided to remove Accutane from the US market after juries had awarded millions of dollars in damages to former Accutane users over inflammatory bowel disease claims."​

    Also, in Ch. 20 of ETFOH, Genereux gives his theory about the Celiac / gluten connection. In short, his theory is that gluten is not true cause, but that in some people it does act as a facilitator of the root cause, retinol.

    Personally, I did not have to eliminate wheat / gluten from my diet in order to get the benefits of VA depletion — but Genereux did eliminate it, and some people — probably the ones who know they have gluten sensitivity / Celiac — will be better off if they do eliminate it.
     
  2. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    Yes, accidentally. See my previous post.
     
  3. dbh25

    dbh25 Member

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    Are you saying eating liver is equivalent to Little Caesars? (Cheap take out pizza, made with loads of additives, chemicals and inferior ingredients)
     
  4. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    @dbh25 Firstly, I said "Don't eat another bite of liver until you read Genereux's books."
    You cut that part out, but it's important (makes me sound less melodramatic :wink:) .

    > "Inferior ingredients"
    What are you a Papa John's shill? :tongueout::grinning:

    But seriously, I'm not picking these foods out as ideal representatives of VA toxicity — I was just asked whether I had tested this theory by reintroducing VA to my diet — and these are the experiences I happened to have which, in effect, did happen to test "VA reintroduction".

    But the point here is to notice which foods cause a bad reaction and then ask: What substances do those foods have in common? Which narrows it down a bit. And then ask: Ok, among these common substances, which ones are known to be inflammatory or to cause bad reactions? That eliminates most of them, and VA becomes the likely culprit.

    Genereux walks through this process in Ch. 9 of ETFOH:

    "We are going to analyze the chemical compounds in fish (cod), orange juice, milk, and eggs. There are hundreds of compounds in these foods, but we are only interested in the ones that are common to all four of these well-known trigger foods
    [...]
    Next, let’s exclude minerals, fats, and proteins because the minerals are found in water and the fats and proteins in beef. The fats and proteins are also at extremely low concentrations in the orange juice. Additionally, nobody reports flare-ups being caused by drinking water or eating beef.
    [...]
    Next, we can reduce the list a bit more by removing most of the B- vitamins for several reasons. One is they are less than 0.1 mg per 100g in at least one of the trigger foods. Additionally, the B-vitamins are water- soluble and are quickly removed from the body, and therefore rarely produce toxicity. [...] Therefore, our finalist is vitamin A.
    [...]
    Once again, vitamin A is clinically proven, and documented, to produce skin inflammation, as well as all the other symptoms of all the autoimmune diseases combined. Could it be this straight forward to get to the root cause? I think it just might be. Now, if there is a root cause, it sure isn’t spontaneously AUTO."

    Could there still be some other substance common to trigger foods which causes this inflammation / flare-ups? Maybe, but what? And the more you learn about retinol and its effects, the more silly it becomes to keep looking for a mystery chemical with unproven effects rather than focus on the pile of research proving that VA directly causes many of the symptoms of many autoimmune diseases.
     
  5. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    If the sweet potatoes they consumed were orange (Westside, 2015), they would be in trouble in a matter of weeks.
     
  6. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    Cyanide is bad.
    Poisons and toxins are bad by definition.
    Genereux's theory is: Vitamin A is a toxin.
    VA is less toxic than cyanide, sure, but if it's truly a toxin, then it's just a matter of degree (of dosage and our "immunity" to the toxin).

    All animals seem to have some "immunity" to it — some more than others:

    "Ruminants are more tolerant of high dietary VA than omnivores and nonruminant herbivores, because rumen microbes can destroy 40–70% of dietary VA. [...]

    Carnivores appear to be the class of animals most tolerant to high dietary VA. Work in the domestic cat indicates increased VA tolerance compared with other species due to the ability to increase metabolism and excretion of VA and maintain higher concentrations of circulating retinyl esters in blood [16, 17]. Cats increase urinary and fecal excretion of VA when consuming large quantities, as evidenced by the increased excretion of retinol, retinyl esters, and more polar retinol conjugates in cats dosed orally with 3H-retinol [16]. Retinol and retinyl esters have also been measured in the urine of the dog, silver fox, blue fox, and raccoon dog, while no VA was detected in the urine of cows, sheep, horses, rabbits, and rats [18, 19]. No more than trace amounts of VA have been observed in human urine with the exception of cases of pneumonia, kidney disease [20], or infections causing diarrhea or proteinuria [21], when retinol appears to be excreted in urine associated with RBP. [...]

    Carnivores also store tremendous amounts of VA in the liver at much higher concentrations than have been found in livers of noncarnivores. This fact is well-known among northern native people and polar explorers, who have found that consumption of polar bear and seal liver causes acute toxicity. [...]

    Vitamin A tolerance is likely protective for wild carnivores, which may sporadically consume large amounts of VA from the liver of prey species." - Source
     
  7. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Vitamin A: β-Carotene
    "The long chain of alternating double bonds (conjugated) is responsible for the orange color of beta-carotene. The conjugated chain in carotenoids means that they absorb in the visible region - green/blue part of the spectrum. So β-carotene appears orange, because the red/yellow colors are reflected back to us."
     
  8. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    Not demanding you "poison" yourself by "megadosing" retinol via liver... Just saying this isn't a very difficult experiment to do in order to get some real data. The answer should not be "liver is too toxic to eat to run an experiment" - if you discovered that is was by poisoning a few people with it, then you'd save a whole lot more ;)
     
  9. raypeatclips

    raypeatclips Member

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    @franko I asked before but guess you missed it. Have you had vitamin D tested in the past/ recently, what were your levels? Why is the vitamin A problem not simply an exacerbation of a vitamin D (or K?) deficiency?
     
  10. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    Did you read my post? I did effectively do experiments of reintroducing small amounts of VA, carotenes and retinoic acid — and even small amounts were destructive. Grant did it too (accidentally) with a lutein supplement.

    But don't worry, I'll point you to something better than n=1 "ancedata".

    Here's just one of many. It's called the CARET study:

    "The Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) tested the effect of daily beta-carotene (30 mg) and retinyl palmitate (25,000 IU) on the incidence of lung cancer, other cancers, and death in 18,314 participants who were at high risk for lung cancer because of a history of smoking or asbestos exposure. CARET was stopped ahead of schedule in January 1996 because participants who were randomly assigned to receive the active intervention [daily beta-carotene (30 mg) and retinyl palmitate (25,000 IU) supplements] were found to have a 28% increase in incidence of lung cancer, a 17% increase in incidence of death and a higher rate of cardiovascular disease mortality compared with participants in the placebo group."

    The Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial: incidence of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality during 6-year follow-up after stopping ... - PubMed - NCBI
     
  11. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    In the past I did get a Vit D test and it was on the low end of normal ( 30 ng/mL ).
    I haven't gotten any blood tests recently. But I may get some in the future because I'm expecting to see some improvements and I do have past blood tests to compare it with.

    Well, I've been doing a VA elimination diet, and I have not supplemented Vitamin D. And it's been so hot this summer that I have been getting very little direct sun exposure. So there's no reason to think that my Vitamin D inputs have changed, and therefore no reason to think it has any causal relationship with the benefits I'm experiencing.

    I think you need to do more research on the direct effects of retinol and retinoic acid in the body, because the damage they do has nothing to do with Vitamin D. Read up on cases of hypervitaminosis A or the side effects of tretinoin (retinoic acid) and you can see for yourself all the damage it can do by itself. Grant's theory is basically of "subclinical" VA toxicity where the gradual accumulation over time results in chronic manifestations of those acute symptoms.

    I'm glad you asked him that question, but as Genereux said on his blog, sunlight exposure may play a role for some people because sunlight helps breakdown retinol and therefore it would help deplete retinol stores:

    "Yes, getting reasonable amounts of sunlight exposure on the skin would help breakdown the store retinoids therein. Obviously, you’d want to be very careful and not over do it too. And as I’ve documented you’d most certainly not want to use sunscreens either.

    Yes, agreed, getting relatively frequent exposure to sunlight would help prevent the over-accumulation of the retinoids too."
     
  12. cyclops

    cyclops Member

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    Cant take health advice from guy eating Little Caesar's Pizza lol.
     
  13. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    I think this is interesting, but I'm not sure your examples are the best. Pizza and yogurt, both loaded with dairy (and other stuff) that are known to cause issues in some people, plus watermelon, which is very high in FODMAPs and has a very lopsided amount of fructose to glucose which can lead to fructose malabsorption. Straight retinol or liver (which shouldn't cause digestive issues) would really be a better test. I'd say the same thing for Grant Genereux's diet. Maybe his theory is correct, but he basically eliminated every potentially problematic food product, so we don't know if it's oxalates, FODMAPs, histamines, retinol, or something else causing the problems. Restrictive, easily digestible diets (low carb, paleo autoimmune protocol, specific carbohydrate diet/GAPS) can do wonders for people, at least in the short term. I've heard of success stories overcoming acne, arthritis, and other ailments, and some of those people were still consuming ample amounts of Vitamin A.

    They oppose each other. A significant reduction in Vitamin A would be expected to decrease your Vitamin D requirements. Low Vitamin D is also a risk factor for autoimmune disease. It's possible that simply getting adequate D would offer the same benefits as restricting A (not that you would agree since you believe Vitamin A is poison, but from the standpoint of treating symptoms, simply upping Vitamin D should help).
     
  14. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    I struggled in the past to find adequate nutrition facts for the Okinawan Sweet Potato. Many just seem to state the nutrition facts for the common sweet potato, assuming they're all the same. I bought some under the Frieda's label, and the Vitamin A percentage listed on the bag was low, only 2% per serving. There's also the micronutrient intake of the Okinawans in the 1950's, which stated they were around 100% of the RDA in Retinol Equivalent, still significantly more than their rice eating counterparts, but far less than would be expected considering how much of their diet was based around the sweet potato. A single orange sweet potato can provide 5x the RDA in Vit-A RE. I think the Okinawan variety is likely low in beta carotene and high in anthocyanin.
     
  15. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    Even if this claim of Okinawans eating so much sweet potato is true (and I'm skeptical about that), this is one of the great things about Genereux's lucid research: he shows that we don't have to get bogged down in these endless debates and speculations about Inuits or Okinawans or Maasai and their diet and their health.

    Why? Because we can just experiment with VA today — or do research and investigation on the experiments others have done and the many case studies that have been reported. There's nothing special to learn from Okinawans that cannot be learned from experiments today. (It probably helped that Genereux was an outsider to health, nutrition and medicine — he was just an engineer who was highly motivated to find the cure for his own suffering.)

    And there has been a ton of experimentation done with VA — both in deficiency and in excess (though most of the deficiency studies are flawed in design which you learn from reading Genereux). So there's tons of material out there to sift through and interpret.

    Genereux has lead by example in this spirit. He details in chapter 13 of PFP how he bought some gerbils and fed them a VA deplete diet to see how long they'd live and how healthy they'd be. He even documented it on video on youtube. According to the mainstream theory, his gerbils should have been severely sick or dead within about 10 weeks. But his gerbils lived healthily for 30 weeks until they accidentally died of heat exposure.

    His gerbil experiment, by itself, debunks the mainstream VA theory:

    "Remember from the early experiments that supposedly proved the vitamin-A deficiency theory, the animals quickly became very sick and died from all kinds of horrible self-destructing tissues. Very basically, the progression and sequence of events were:

    1. After 8 weeks, all the animals were very sick – often too weak to eat, and often developed infections
    2. Animals were force-fed for the remaining two-week duration
    3. At the 10-week mark, nearly all the animals were dead, or very close to death
    4. Most animals exhibited disease of the eyes and even blindness
    5. All animals had many internal organs and tissues disintegrating, and correspondingly had their related organ named diseases"
    - Genereux, PFP, p. 320

    The very foundation of the concept that retinol is an essential nutrient (i.e. a vitamin) is based on supposed "deficiency" experiments that produced sickness and death as in the above description. But this can easily be disproven (and it has).

    I myself have been on a VA deplete diet for about 3.5 months right now and it hasn't killed me or made me sicker — it's done the opposite, I'm healthier and feeling better than I have in a decade (and that's with no thyroid, no meds, no hormones, no supplements — I'm not even on coffee!). That's right folks, I haven't had coffee in like 3 months (I don't need it) and I have the best energy levels I've had in years.
     
  16. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    LOL, don't take it from me then — take it from the source, and just READ THE BOOK.

    In my defense, it was a cheat day... and I was traveling... and taking a break from years of strict dieting. :grinning:
     
  17. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    I know they're not. Those anecdotes were not intended to prove the theory. They are nothing compared to the evidence and theory in Genereux's books.

    I said in my original post that I don't consider my personal experience to be adequate proof (to anyone but me).

    I just want to urge people to read Genereux's material for themselves, but I'm willing to answer questions about my experience if people ask (hence my pizza and yogurt and watermelon anecdotes).
     
  18. OP
    franko

    franko Member

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    By the way, the videos from this thread about Jordan Peterson and his carnivore diet are a perfect match for Genereux's VA toxicity theory.

    Jordan and his daughter are unwittingly eating a zero VA diet by consuming an all-beef diet. Both have been cured of chronic fatigue and depression and autoimmune symptoms – including her autoimmune arthritis which was so severe it lead to hip and ankle replacements at 16 years old (which is way better explained by a theory of poisoning than a theory of "genetics").

    They admit they can't really explain how it has given them "miraculous" results. They think it's the elimination of the gluten or the carbs, but I bet they would be doing just as well (or better) even if they had rice and potatoes and coconut oil (no VA) in their diet.

    Genereux's theory gives a simple, logical, well-evidenced explanation as to why it their diet has worked for them. They were unknowingly consuming a toxin which has been proven to cause severe autoimmune symptoms. They stopped consuming the toxin and they naturally healed.

    These serve as inadvertently testimonials for the success of a VA elimination diet.





    And there are more testimonials on his daughter's blog.
     
  19. sugarbabe

    sugarbabe Member

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    So what do you think about the autoimmune Paleo diet? They eliminate dairy, grains, soy, legumes, nightshades, nuts, seeds, and eggs. Basically all allergens. Many have gone into remission on the diet. Some still need drugs to calm the overactive immune system. So you would probably say the missing link is vitamin A?

    About refuting poor countries and blindness, does the study on the starvation diet of rice-only take into account that children may need way more vitamin A as they are in rapid growth? I mean I don't want to take the risk of serious stuff for my kids. Anecdotally I took cod liver oil and ate tons of butter when I got pregnant with my second and he has great vision and is very healthy, at least at age 6 He also enjoys liver once in a while (he's picky on what he likes). My first I was more on the vegetarian side and he has poor vision and stunted growth (I didn't take much of any supplements either).
     
  20. sugarbabe

    sugarbabe Member

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    Also, if anyone understands Jack Kruse he has some things to say about retinol, the eyes and blue light. (We happen to be in a world full of blue light 24/7 and it isn't good)
     
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