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

ursidae

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Feb 12, 2020
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I guess I just have to wait that I get rid of all the oxalates and carotenes from my tissues. I have insane amounts of carotenes stored in my body, just think about the amounts you get from eating 2.2 lbs of sweet potatoes and broccoli every single day for two years.
It’s not just the carotene Broccoli is a known goitrogen but sweet potato is also a goitrogen. which means even the rare white flesh ones are not suitable as a starchy staple. The search for the perfect tuber continues
 
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Blossom

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For me personally I think there were a few reasons the low A diet helped me which this thread, time and experimenting helped me figure out. I want to thank @Amazoniac, @charlie, @md_a in particular for their input but also a huge thanks goes to everyone who was willing to be part of this controversial topic.
I don’t convert carotenes well.
I took too many vitamin A supplements over the years while eating liver and fortified dairy regularly.
I suspect other deficiencies (mainly zinc and b vitamins) from long term celiac related gut damage.
These are the main things I think for me personally although there may have been others contributing factors. I still eat low to moderate A most days and virtually no carotenes. I’m leaning toward the idea that a good metabolism does help people handle higher amounts of A which I did not having coming to Peat.
 

AnnaVR

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I don't have time to read the book or this whole thread, but just want to add my own experience.
About one and a half years ago I went on the carnivore diet, eating a mix of various organ meats every day, along with two eggs and some high fat dairy. Eventually I found that the pork liver was my favourite and I was including about 125g per day. I heard about the possibility of overdosing on retinol, but didn't have any of the typical overdose symptoms so I figured it was all about balance and I was getting enough of all the other nutrients to process it. However, now I realise that I wasn't getting out into the sun often enough to make enough vitamin D, and maybe the amount of A was too much. The overdose symptoms started slowly and subtly. Instead of being able to read and write stuff through the whole day and until late, I would reach a point in the late evening where my brain power would suddenly tank. With time this point would come ever earlier, reaching 9pm or even before. I ended up spending the late evenings playing a computer game because I couldn't do anything productive anyway. I also felt like I had less and less general clarity in my head, and began feeling a strange weakness. It was about one year into the diet when I went on a little holiday, which helped me to notice that retinol containing foods would worsen my astigmatism. Later I realised that my poor eyesight was from the eyedrops I was using, which contain many lipids, so this may not happen to everyone. So then I began avoiding retinol and over the course of several weeks the symptoms went away. When I got back home I had a blood test done which showed A levels normal (0.5mg/l), but this was one month into the no A diet so who knows where they were before. I tried reintroducing those foods a few times, but would notice that they would inflame my skin. Finally four months later I realised that they actually don't inflame my skin if I make sure to get enough sunshine exposure or vitamin D from food or supplements. In this way I figured out that I need to sit in the direct sun for a while at least every two days, if not possible then start supplementing on the second cloudy day. I also noticed that I can get very weak if I sit in the sun or take a D supplement without including liver that day. Now I just add a small piece of pork liver, much less than before, and seem to do ok like that.
So, A and D really do work together and need each other, and probably the other two fat soluble vitamins too. I fry my food in organic beef tallow, sometimes adding a little duck fat, hoping that I'm getting enough vitamin K2 this way though it's hard to be sure. The blood test showed my vitamin E level to be right at the top of the range. So it's clear to me that vitamin A is not a toxin, but a necessary vitamin. It's just that all the fat soluble vitamins can have a toxic effect if another is deficient. Few people these days get enough K2, and most are metabolically unhealthy so their vitamin E gets used up too easily to quench oxidative stress. So it's not surprising to me that many can't handle vitamin A, but avoiding it is not the answer.
Additional details to add: After getting rid of the excess vitamin A, I noticed that I can now handle garlic and some other plant foods again that would previously disrupt my digestion. Another subtle effect of the excess A was that it was using up B2, so I had to eat organ meat at every meal to get enough of it for my MTHFR enzyme to work well enough. Now I can go for longer periods without it, still have to observe exactly how long.
 

Blossom

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@AnnaVR, thank you for sharing your interesting experience and insight.
 
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I don't have time to read the book or this whole thread, but just want to add my own experience.
About one and a half years ago I went on the carnivore diet, eating a mix of various organ meats every day, along with two eggs and some high fat dairy. Eventually I found that the pork liver was my favourite and I was including about 125g per day. I heard about the possibility of overdosing on retinol, but didn't have any of the typical overdose symptoms so I figured it was all about balance and I was getting enough of all the other nutrients to process it. However, now I realise that I wasn't getting out into the sun often enough to make enough vitamin D, and maybe the amount of A was too much. The overdose symptoms started slowly and subtly. Instead of being able to read and write stuff through the whole day and until late, I would reach a point in the late evening where my brain power would suddenly tank. With time this point would come ever earlier, reaching 9pm or even before. I ended up spending the late evenings playing a computer game because I couldn't do anything productive anyway. I also felt like I had less and less general clarity in my head, and began feeling a strange weakness. It was about one year into the diet when I went on a little holiday, which helped me to notice that retinol containing foods would worsen my astigmatism. Later I realised that my poor eyesight was from the eyedrops I was using, which contain many lipids, so this may not happen to everyone. So then I began avoiding retinol and over the course of several weeks the symptoms went away. When I got back home I had a blood test done which showed A levels normal (0.5mg/l), but this was one month into the no A diet so who knows where they were before. I tried reintroducing those foods a few times, but would notice that they would inflame my skin. Finally four months later I realised that they actually don't inflame my skin if I make sure to get enough sunshine exposure or vitamin D from food or supplements. In this way I figured out that I need to sit in the direct sun for a while at least every two days, if not possible then start supplementing on the second cloudy day. I also noticed that I can get very weak if I sit in the sun or take a D supplement without including liver that day. Now I just add a small piece of pork liver, much less than before, and seem to do ok like that.
So, A and D really do work together and need each other, and probably the other two fat soluble vitamins too. I fry my food in organic beef tallow, sometimes adding a little duck fat, hoping that I'm getting enough vitamin K2 this way though it's hard to be sure. The blood test showed my vitamin E level to be right at the top of the range. So it's clear to me that vitamin A is not a toxin, but a necessary vitamin. It's just that all the fat soluble vitamins can have a toxic effect if another is deficient. Few people these days get enough K2, and most are metabolically unhealthy so their vitamin E gets used up too easily to quench oxidative stress. So it's not surprising to me that many can't handle vitamin A, but avoiding it is not the answer.
Additional details to add: After getting rid of the excess vitamin A, I noticed that I can now handle garlic and some other plant foods again that would previously disrupt my digestion. Another subtle effect of the excess A was that it was using up B2, so I had to eat organ meat at every meal to get enough of it for my MTHFR enzyme to work well enough. Now I can go for longer periods without it, still have to observe exactly how long.
I don't have time to read the book or this whole thread, but just want to add my own experience.
About one and a half years ago I went on the carnivore diet, eating a mix of various organ meats every day, along with two eggs and some high fat dairy. Eventually I found that the pork liver was my favourite and I was including about 125g per day. I heard about the possibility of overdosing on retinol, but didn't have any of the typical overdose symptoms so I figured it was all about balance and I was getting enough of all the other nutrients to process it. However, now I realise that I wasn't getting out into the sun often enough to make enough vitamin D, and maybe the amount of A was too much. The overdose symptoms started slowly and subtly. Instead of being able to read and write stuff through the whole day and until late, I would reach a point in the late evening where my brain power would suddenly tank. With time this point would come ever earlier, reaching 9pm or even before. I ended up spending the late evenings playing a computer game because I couldn't do anything productive anyway. I also felt like I had less and less general clarity in my head, and began feeling a strange weakness. It was about one year into the diet when I went on a little holiday, which helped me to notice that retinol containing foods would worsen my astigmatism. Later I realised that my poor eyesight was from the eyedrops I was using, which contain many lipids, so this may not happen to everyone. So then I began avoiding retinol and over the course of several weeks the symptoms went away. When I got back home I had a blood test done which showed A levels normal (0.5mg/l), but this was one month into the no A diet so who knows where they were before. I tried reintroducing those foods a few times, but would notice that they would inflame my skin. Finally four months later I realised that they actually don't inflame my skin if I make sure to get enough sunshine exposure or vitamin D from food or supplements. In this way I figured out that I need to sit in the direct sun for a while at least every two days, if not possible then start supplementing on the second cloudy day. I also noticed that I can get very weak if I sit in the sun or take a D supplement without including liver that day. Now I just add a small piece of pork liver, much less than before, and seem to do ok like that.
So, A and D really do work together and need each other, and probably the other two fat soluble vitamins too. I fry my food in organic beef tallow, sometimes adding a little duck fat, hoping that I'm getting enough vitamin K2 this way though it's hard to be sure. The blood test showed my vitamin E level to be right at the top of the range. So it's clear to me that vitamin A is not a toxin, but a necessary vitamin. It's just that all the fat soluble vitamins can have a toxic effect if another is deficient. Few people these days get enough K2, and most are metabolically unhealthy so their vitamin E gets used up too easily to quench oxidative stress. So it's not surprising to me that many can't handle vitamin A, but avoiding it is not the answer.
Additional details to add: After getting rid of the excess vitamin A, I noticed that I can now handle garlic and some other plant foods again that would previously disrupt my digestion. Another subtle effect of the excess A was that it was using up B2, so I had to eat organ meat at every meal to get enough of it for my MTHFR enzyme to work well enough. Now I can go for longer periods without it, still have to observe exactly how long.
Wow! Thanks for sharing. My experience was similar, especially with sunshine - too much made me tired and fatigued, even messed with my sleep. Supplemental vitamin D - same.
 

Tarmander

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I just had my blood retinol levels tested for the first time.

I did low/no vitamin A for a year or so 2019-2020, then low vitamin A 2020-21 (no large vitamin A sources, but butter daily, as well as eating out occasionally)

1609869193380.png
So uhh...really don't imagine I will be needing any vitamin A in my diet for years to come.
 

Blossom

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I just had my blood retinol levels tested for the first time.

I did low/no vitamin A for a year or so 2019-2020, then low vitamin A 2020-21 (no large vitamin A sources, but butter daily, as well as eating out occasionally)

View attachment 21044
So uhh...really don't imagine I will be needing any vitamin A in my diet for years to come.
Wow!
 

Orion

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Oct 23, 2015
Messages
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I just had my blood retinol levels tested for the first time.

I did low/no vitamin A for a year or so 2019-2020, then low vitamin A 2020-21 (no large vitamin A sources, but butter daily, as well as eating out occasionally)

View attachment 21044
So uhh...really don't imagine I will be needing any vitamin A in my diet for years to come.

Thanks for sharing, I think from the liver biopsy/serum studies posted and anecdotal test results, it could be 3-5yrs low VA for most to hit the bottom range, just from the normal SAD diet. But those of us who over did CLO, VA supps, liver, eggs, dairy, and accutane... hoping it is similar. 2yrs low VA has done great things for me.
 

Blossom

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Thanks for sharing, I think from the liver biopsy/serum studies posted and anecdotal test results, it could be 3-5yrs low VA for most to hit the bottom range, just from the normal SAD diet. But those of us who over did CLO, VA supps, liver, eggs, dairy, and accutane... hoping it is similar. 2yrs low VA has done great things for me.
It just surprises me because my levels dropped much quicker. Perhaps I wasn’t as overloaded to start. They rise pretty fast as well.
 

Orion

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It just surprises me because my levels dropped much quicker. Perhaps I wasn’t as overloaded to start. They rise pretty fast as well.

I thought of you, I think you got down to ~35ug/dL within a year? So that has me thinking the average to get below 20ug/dL might approach that 3 to 5yrs for some, lots of people posting in the 50s ug/dl after 2yrs. To be honest the lowest value I have seen so far is yours, from all the shared testing.
 

Tarmander

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Thanks for sharing, I think from the liver biopsy/serum studies posted and anecdotal test results, it could be 3-5yrs low VA for most to hit the bottom range, just from the normal SAD diet. But those of us who over did CLO, VA supps, liver, eggs, dairy, and accutane... hoping it is similar. 2yrs low VA has done great things for me.
I ate liver weekly for years, even before I discovered Peat. Maybe 4 years total? as well as eggs were a big part of my diet. So going to be a long haul
 

Blossom

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It just surprises me because my levels dropped much quicker. Perhaps I wasn’t as overloaded to start. They rise pretty fast as well.
Yes definitely within a year. I was losing weight during that time so perhaps that played a role.
 

sugarbabe

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Sep 13, 2012
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I just had my blood retinol levels tested for the first time.

I did low/no vitamin A for a year or so 2019-2020, then low vitamin A 2020-21 (no large vitamin A sources, but butter daily, as well as eating out occasionally)

View attachment 21044
So uhh...really don't imagine I will be needing any vitamin A in my diet for years to come.
:-o that makes me want to get tested.
 

LLight

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May 30, 2018
Messages
675
Normalizing your liver retinol level is one of the most important things you can do for your health. We are pioneers. Serum retinol testing and a low vA diet will become very big in the future.

Do you think coffee could play a role in the accumulation of retinol in the liver (or elsewhere) or it's mainly a function of your vitamin A consumption level?

Reading feedbacks of people stopping coffee/cafeine really makes me consider that they could be involved. People stopping cafeine can have "flu-like symptoms" (while we know that retinol is no stranger to flu) and their withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be quite long, like it's not only the effect of the substance in the organism but a long-tailed deloading of something. When withdrawal symptoms last very long, people are saying that "it's not just the coffee, there should have been another issue hidden when it was consumed".
 

tim333

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Feb 27, 2020
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@LLight You may have made a perceptive observation there. My understanding is that caffeine inhibits xanthine oxidase. Xanthine oxidase catalyses the conversion of retinol to retinoic acid. So what you are saying makes a lot of sense. Caffeine may ameliorate some of the effects of Hypervitaminosis A, when vA levels are normalized caffeine dependence may be reduced.
 

redsun

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Dec 17, 2018
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Do you think coffee could play a role in the accumulation of retinol in the liver (or elsewhere) or it's mainly a function of your vitamin A consumption level?

Reading feedbacks of people stopping coffee/cafeine really makes me consider that they could be involved. People stopping cafeine can have "flu-like symptoms" (while we know that retinol is no stranger to flu) and their withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be quite long, like it's not only the effect of the substance in the organism but a long-tailed deloading of something. When withdrawal symptoms last very long, people are saying that "it's not just the coffee, there should have been another issue hidden when it was consumed".

Low beta adrenergic receptor activation during caffeine withdrawal causes histamine to leak from mast cells more than usual causing flu-like symptoms.
 
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