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

Blossom

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Hi! I have some triggers, but it definitely developed with vitamin A overload. I had ZERO health issue before that, and now I have what seems to be an infinite number of them.
It was a very gradual process as I was not recognizing that I was hurting myself eating large quantities of liver, canned cod liver, eggs, dairy, carrots and other vegetables on a daily basis (the livers were several times a week, though, which is still a huge amount of vitamin A). I developed intolerance to cod liver first (I remember having massive tachycardia and a severe panic attach after having a single bite of sandwich with cod liver one morning, which lasted for an hour or so), then chicken/beef liver were out of my menu (started to get very fatigued and anxious after them), but I continued to eat eggs, dairy and lots of greens and carrots before my skin finally turned very yellow and docs started to ask if I had hepatitis (which I never had). By then I felt freezing cold every day with very low free T3 (did I say I also was a huge fan of raw bok choy, which is a potent goitrogen), had very sluggish bowel (having dolichosigma from birth only added fuel to the fire), terrible mood swings, anxiety and brain fog.
Luckily, people here helped me figure out that it was beta-carotene and vitamin A that were causing all that, and I stopped eating carrots, all greens, pumpkins, etc.
However, it seems that I may have a long road ahead of me.
I’m truly sorry you have gone through all of that but I’m glad you’re starting to make headway. I’m doing low ‘a’ as well but I also have to be mindful of oxalate due to interstitial cystitis and vulvodynia. I only realized the connection after going low ‘a’ the first time in 2018 and inadvertently increasing my oxalate. That’s certainly not the case for everyone but figured I’d mention it just in case it might apply to you as well.
 

Ippodrom47

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I’m truly sorry you have gone through all of that but I’m glad you’re starting to make headway. I’m doing low ‘a’ as well but I also have to be mindful of oxalate due to interstitial cystitis and vulvodynia. I only realized the connection after going low ‘a’ the first time in 2018 and inadvertently increasing my oxalate. That’s certainly not the case for everyone but figured I’d mention it just in case it might apply to you as well.
Thanks heaps for your help and kind words! I'm a male with the occasional interstitial cystitis symptoms, which is pretty rare, as I understand :)
 

Blossom

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Thanks heaps for your help and kind words! I'm a male with the occasional interstitial cystitis symptoms, which is pretty rare, as I understand :)
Yes, definitely far less common.
 

GreekDemiGod

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Hi! I have some triggers, but it definitely developed with vitamin A overload. I had ZERO health issue before that, and now I have what seems to be an infinite number of them.
You people who have been healthy before a big change in diet are so lucky, because you could easily identify the problem and address it.
 

Jib

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Very interesting stuff. Similar to how Ray believes 'essential' fatty acids are not essential at all and has been avoiding them for decades, perhaps Vitamin A is not essential either. At the very least, Garrett and Grant are willing to experiment on themselves and commit to going on a diet as low in A as possible. Hopefully Garrett continues with his labs and reporting back. It's very interesting.

It does beg the question of how essential vitamin A is, with his levels being well in the normal range after 4 years of going as vitamin-A deficient as possible. Or begs the question of how much vitamin A does the liver really store. It would appear to be a gargantuan amount. I'd be curious to see if their current health maintains or improves as their vitamin A levels get lower and lower over the years, ideally down to undetectable levels to really put this to the test. From what it appears, they're still running on stored vitamin A -- assuming vitamin A is essential. You can't really say one way or the other without a true depletion, a true deficiency. I'm all for experimentation as long as results are documented so we all can learn more. I'm always more than happy to see modern thinking proved wrong. I hesitate to say "modern science" because that's an oxymoron. Science is a method, not something attached to a period of time.
 

Ippodrom47

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It does beg the question of how essential vitamin A is, with his levels being well in the normal range after 4 years of going as vitamin-A deficient as possible.
Really? Well, that's disheartening af. Grant, however, had almost zero vitamin A blood levels after the same time period on a low-A diet.
 

Jib

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Really? Well, that's disheartening af. Grant, however, had almost zero vitamin A blood levels after the same time period on a low-A diet.

I've only recently delved a bit deeper into all of this, though I worked with Garrett many years ago when he was still recommending liver capsules as part of the hair mineral analysis program. Live and learn. Way before even that though, I was on this forum and have gone through at least a couple bottles of Nutrisorb A, and was also eating a minimum of 1 pound of liver a week for a long time.

But on one of his most recent YouTube videos, he says in probably the best case scenarios it will take 3 years, and probably for most people the best case scenario is probably 5 years minimum, and it can easily be many more. He seems to emphasize the "marathon, not a race" thing over and over again, as well as it being a lifestyle change. But he also has plenty of stories of people improving significantly within months.

However, I've been through the ringer over and over *and over* again. Many, many times with my health. I was there back in the days of RBTI, the many twists and turns the 180 Degree Health blog went through, which ultimately led me here when the user JT started commenting "sugar is not bad" and got a ton of flack...then Peat came into the picture, Challen from RBTI, Garrett and Matt collabbed on a book, all other crazy topics discovered, but Peat and RBTI were big ones.

I don't see it as a mess though, and I appreciate changing opinions. Garrett's current recommendations for purified/distilled/RO water remind me heavily of RBTI, which exclusively promoted distilled water for drinking. And his getting deep into hair mineral analysis reminds me of the RBTI fixation on mineral status, though they mostly limited their supplementation to various forms of calcium (lactate, hydroxide, gluconate etc.) depending on urine tests, as well as the proprietary colloidal mineral supplement, Min-Col. What a trip this has been.

Anyway, I could keep going on and on. I personally like Garrett, though I always keep everyone's theories at arm's length and listen to my body first above anything else. The most immediately actionable advice from him I've seen is filter or purify your drinking water as much as possible (he uses a countertop reverse osmosis filter), and start getting essential minerals in. According to his new supplement, zinc, selenium, and molybdenum are the three most common mineral deficiencies. And he's a big fan of transdermal magnesium instead of oral, and I've also heard him recommend 50/50 potassium chloride and sodium chloride for 'salt' instead of just sodium chloride.

Stop "intoxing" before "detoxing." Personally I've been drinking distilled water for now, but I don't like that they're in plastic jugs and are certainly contaminated with plastic. But I will say the taste of the water has me practically gagging on my tap water or Brita filtered water now. That alone has sold me on the idea of getting either a countertop Reverse Osmosis filter or a more efficient gravity filter.

Anyway, marathon, not a race, and it is interesting that most of what Garrett talks about on YouTube isn't outlandish at all. Take a few minerals, filter your water, use soluble fiber to your advantage to bind to toxic bile and take it out of the body, get enough protein, don't have too much fat, get a lot of carbs from beans and whole grains. That's what a lot of it boils down to. The fine points on vitamin A toxicity get more complicated but it's almost like music theory to explain a simple song. The theory makes it sound way more intimidating than it actually is.

Mostly I've added beans and corn tortillas to my diet, added some minerals, and am looking for a water filter. I'm doing well on beans and it's a food I wrote off because I was afraid they were horrible for my health. So that's one neuroticism checked off the list. I'm hesitant to really try low vitamin A by eliminating dairy, but I'm naturally craving less dairy as I've upped my bean intake, as they're so satiating.

Easy. I'm wary of any new neuroticisms. I don't want to be panicking about consuming vitamin A. I was one of the subjects in the first published official study on Orthorexia that came out last year. Been there done that. It's a fine line when you have chronic illness and want to get better but you don't want to give yourself a new complex either by panicking about everything you eat. It ain't worth it.
 

Jib

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I'll add one more thing: fruit juice felt like it was making me sick. Just naturally I started consuming *exclusively* whole, fresh fruit, and started feeling much better.
But that was at odds with some of Peats' theories, and I've never seen him recommend whole, fresh fruit over juice, and many people on here have advised against whole fruit because of the fiber/pectin/etc. potentially contributing to endotoxin.

It's important to pay attention to what our bodies tell us and not get stuck in neuroticism. Regular fruit juice consumption was making me fatter and it was making me feel awful. When I stopped doing it completely, my weight started steadily coming down and I started feeling better. Simple. Fruit juice was not agreeing with me, so I stopped doing it.

Neuroticism comes in when you start thinking "But I SHOULD be able to handle fruit juice, and it shouldn't be making me fat," and then you start chasing your tail taking all kinds of supplements and reading theories about fructose tolerance and metabolism or whatever, then it's 1 year later, you're still drinking juice, and you've wasted a ton of time, you're fatter and even more tired, and the cycle continues.

Things get more complicated the sicker someone is and the more foods they have reactions to, with worse health meaning you can handle less and less and practically don't feel good no matter what you eat or what you do. Unfortunately that's how most people end up in the neurotic health rut -- because they're trying to help themselves and are desperate to find a framework to follow, because admittedly chronic illness is exhausting.

But we have to remember, Peat, Grant, or whoever else, they are all *theories* and without specific testing with a specific aim, we're all guessing.
At the very least I do appreciate Garrett's "test, don't guess" approach -- even if he's incorrect or his theories are wrong. Let's play devil's advocate and say he is wrong. He is still 100% right about that much. If you really want to know what's going on with your body, you have to test. The question is what tests are actually meaningful, and what interpretations of those results are meaningful. And that is an extremely open ended question.

You can give the same blood, urine and hair tests to several health professionals and they will all have different answers about what the numbers mean and what to do about them. There currently is no real consensus about much of anything, as far as I'm aware, with biological human testing. Mainstream Pharma has drugs to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure if they're high, and a cocktail of other drugs to bring numbers down if they're high, or bring them up if they're low. Symptomatic treatment. And it stops there.

Completely arbitrary. And to be fair, the alternative community is not much better. Everyone has their own interpretation of what the numbers mean, and might as well be arbitrarily suggesting supplements and dietary changes to move these numbers up or down. There's a lot of disagreement about who's right and who's wrong. So on one hand we want to avoid neuroticism, but neuroticism is unavoidable when you legitimately don't have solid answers to the questions you're asking and no one can do anything but scramble around and come up with theories to the best of their ability. And then test them to the best of their ability.

At the very least, Garrett is providing a solid theory that can be contested. It's good he's doing what he's doing, and testing, and it's good people are disagreeing with him. I personally am far more interested in the logic and actual debate as opposed to character assassination or emotional arguments. People need to understand what is involved in refuting an argument. Period. Emotional talk about people being charlatans or whatever -- on both sides -- has to stop. We need to be more science minded, and debate theories with actual arguments, not emotion.

Low vitamin A is a hot topic. Let's not get lost in appeal to authority on EITHER side of the argument, or other logical fallacies.


This can't be ignored. So we have someone over seven years on a vitamin A (and even vitamin C) deficient diet, with no apparent ill effects. I find this very exciting -- perhaps most people would be too scared to even attempt a diet like this for fear that they'd get scurvy, go blind, or develop other issues, or just die.
He says another update is coming in August. Excited to see that as well. Unless Garrett and Grant and the people working with them are straight up lying, and secretly consuming dairy, eggs, liver, leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits en masse to restore their depleted vitamin A and C levels -- this smacks, once again, of Peat's theory of "essential fatty acids" not being essential at all. I do find it funny that "vitamin A" being labeled a poison is immediately dismissed as insanity, yet no one is discussing how a near 0 vitamin A diet for 7 years is possible, if it is in fact as essential as experts say it is.

If they're not lying, and are truly on these diets, well, how do we explain that with conventional nutritional biology?
 

Blossom

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Really? Well, that's a bit encouraging, then :)
Also, I have a question - is it possible that the lab where I did my beta-carotene tests was doing it incorrectly and returning wrong results?
I know the vitamin A blood test is light sensitive so if the tube isn’t protected from light after it’s drawn it can impact the results but I’m not sure if it’s the same for beta carotene.
 

GreekDemiGod

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I find it curious how VA toxicity is only a hot topic on RPF and Grant’s blog and G. Smith community/ channels.
If I do a search on Google for it, I get few results.
 

Ippodrom47

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I find it curious how VA toxicity is only a hot topic on RPF and Grant’s blog and G. Smith community/ channels.
If I do a search on Google for it, I get few results.
You may find the following blog post very interesting:
Lots of comments there with people's experience on vit A toxicity.
 

Deadpool

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Mar 5, 2017
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The thing is... If Grant and did functional patterns to fix his mechanics he would have to give up the starch
Do you care to elaborate? I was looking into functional patterns a couple years ago and it always comes back into my mind because I see the connectedness to other health issues. My only problem was I wasn't disciplined enough to get through the 10 week course and after 3 weeks or so of foam rolling an hour or so a day I always gave up before moving on to the higher weeks.
 

Ippodrom47

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I've got another question - after having carotenemia and going low-A low carotene several months ago, I stopped eating eggs, seaweed, etc, thus making my current diet almost zero iodine (I don't tolerate iodized salt any longer). Prior to that, I'd been taking very high amounts of iodine in the form of kelp pills, which turned out to contain 1000 mcg iodine each. My endocrinologist told me to stop them immediately as I was going to make myself hypothyroid (I indeed had low free t4/t3 at that time).
Long story short, after several months on an unintentionally low iodine diet, my thyroid started to hurt one evening. Knowing that was a sing of iodine deficiency and leading to goiter, I freaked out and bought two small cod baby formulas 80 grams each (45% cod, other water, rice flower, and oil). I felt great, and my neck tightness was resolved the very next day. Also, my thyroid is now larger compared to the previous year's ultrasound, and has more intense vascularization, which indicates a period of iodine deficiency. T3/T4/TSH are perfectly fine, though.
However, now I've been noticing that even tiny amounts of foods with iodine (cod, haddock, even turkey breast) cause me vitamin A overload symptoms, especially fatigue, brain fog and dry eyes. I've tested it several times, and I also have no allergies.
I know that thyroid hormones are directly involved in carotene → retinol conversion, and hypothyroidism causes high blood carotene, lower retinol; hyperthyroidism causes lower carotene and higher retinol due to increased conversion.
Does it make sense that if I have high blood beta carotene levels as I do even on a low carotene diet, that whenever my thyroid receives iodine, it goes - wow! why don't I convert some more carotene to retinol!, which in turn causes those symptoms, given my previous retinol overload.
If so, shall I moderate my iodine intake to not let me become completely deficient, on the one hand, but at the same time don't let the thyroid go into overdrive and increase carotene→retinol conversion?
Thanks!
 

Jneet

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I had tried reintroducing Potatoes & Oats.
Bad results, felt fatigued & bloated as usual after any kind of starch or fiber.
I added Olive oil to Potatoes,
Maple Syrup & Macadamia Nut Butter to Oats
(Starch is unpalatable to me without Fats/Sugar)

I had watched an interview with Robert Lustig saying how Fructose is bad for the liver but starch is fine & how whole fruit protects from the sugar load.
Is it really true that fiber is necessary for good liver health? Lots of carnivore dieters seem fine, zero Carb does not work for me though.
I tried to experiment again with Low A, can anyone explain why my vision gets blurry until I drink Cream in my coffee which takes it away very quickly.
I'm just sticking to Coffee w/Cream, Grilled Steak & a glass of Lemonade right now.
 

Atman

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Dec 10, 2016
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This can't be ignored. So we have someone over seven years on a vitamin A (and even vitamin C) deficient diet, with no apparent ill effects. I find this very exciting -- perhaps most people would be too scared to even attempt a diet like this for fear that they'd get scurvy, go blind, or develop other issues, or just die.
He says another update is coming in August. Excited to see that as well. Unless Garrett and Grant and the people working with them are straight up lying, and secretly consuming dairy, eggs, liver, leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits en masse to restore their depleted vitamin A and C levels -- this smacks, once again, of Peat's theory of "essential fatty acids" not being essential at all. I do find it funny that "vitamin A" being labeled a poison is immediately dismissed as insanity, yet no one is discussing how a near 0 vitamin A diet for 7 years is possible, if it is in fact as essential as experts say it is.

If they're not lying, and are truly on these diets, well, how do we explain that with conventional nutritional biology?
"My daily amounts are usually:
  • Rice ~ ¾ cup (measured dry)
  • Black Beans ~ 250- 350 ml ~ ¾ of a can
  • Beef / Bisson ~ 300 – 400 grams "
"My daily food intake is usually about 1,500 calories. Some days it’s a bit more, some days it’s a bit less. Anyways, that’s probably about ½ of the daily calories that I was consuming before starting my low vA diet. Although 1,500 calories per day appears to be too low for an adult man, I find it perfectly adequate. Actually, I think that 1,500 calories per day is still a bit too much for me now."

"my resting heart rate is about 50-55 BPM."


I don't see the mystery here. That's all completely in line with Peat's statements in his books and articles.
With such a ridiculously low metabolic rate, even 5.000 IU Vitamin A will probably cause problems and inhibit the thyroid even more.
Of course he will then feel better with low vitamin A and an extremely simple diet with very little irritants.

About a hundred years ago the average male ate about 4.000-5.000 calories a day and they were eating dishes with liver regularly without any problems.
 
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