KMUD Herb Doctors - Altitude July 2013

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    Ray Peat Ph.D
    Altitude
    KMUD – Ask Your Herb Doctor – July 2013

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/221 ... d_100716_1 90000fritalk.mp3

    Transcribed by Moss
    Verified by Sheila

    HD: Sarah Johannesen Murray and Andrew Murray
    RP: Dr Ray Peat Ph.D
    SE: Sound Engineer

    HD: For those listeners who perhaps have never heard you speak Dr Peat, would you please give us an outline of your academic work before we start this month’s show?

    RP: I started out in literature and painting because I was aware that American biology, in particular, was pretty backward at the time I was in university. And it wasn’t until I got a Masters degree and taught linguistics, and tried being a professional painter and such that, finally, I decided to go back and study physiology, because I had been reading that all along. So, academically, I started fairly late in science but that was sort of an advantage because it kept me from having to conform to the dogmas that rule the scientific world.

    HD: OK, so you’ve extensively lectured and taught at universities and you have a few, if not many, specialties. Would you just briefly outline your particular interests?

    RP: Progesterone, thyroid, aging -­ and the last 10 or 20 years, I have been thinking a lot about CO2 and its physiology.

    HD: Excellent, OK well that is actually what we are going to talk about this month. So that’s good news. OK. I know that for some time now, I have been made aware like all things and most things we are slowly – for want of a better word -­ evolving and being re-­trained. My mind certainly, has been re‐trained Dr Peat, since I left university studying Herbal Medicine. In much the same way our physiology and pathology – clinical skills not so much -­ but pathology and physiology were very much dictated by the texts at the time and quite a lot of that seems to be erroneous. I know that you have really, gosh, opened our eyes to certain things that I thought were just the way they were -­ but actually they are very different, and I know perhaps during this evening’s talk when I am going to ask you to outline the benefits, say for example, of elevation and that I know we are going to come across a lot of different co-­factors which are all helpful and all have a part to play, if you like, in the restoration of health. So, perhaps let’s start with elevation ‐ as we are going to talk about the effects of high elevation -­ what does high elevation do for a person? How, 'cause I think the thing that strikes me most is that we all know about communities that are famous for having high populations of longevity, and how does elevation confer longevity to a human?

    RP: That’s actually the essence of the problem -­ is what is the outstanding feature that affects all of the high populations? A hundred years ago, insurance companies already knew that the actuaries were looking at the mortality figures for different diseases, and they saw that cancer, for example, was much less common in all of the high cities of the world. And as recently as the 1950s, Linus Pauling was sure that those figures must be wrong because he said he knows radiation causes cancer and the radiation in Denver is much higher than in New Orleans, for example. But the figures show that the cancer rate in New Orleans and San Francisco is much higher than in Denver. He said that just must be a mistake, but the insurance companies have had the figures for over a hundred years. And the part of the thing is, that the radiation that you get at high altitudes is less harmful because of its lower energy transfer. Its high energy cosmic rays basically go through you without causing much damage but the altitude causes the ‘Haldane Bohr Effect’. Everyone knows about that in physiology, that it explains what happens when you breathe and when the oxygenated haemoglobin reaches your tissues down in the capillaries, the Haldane Bohr Effect explains the fact that oxygen, when it sticks to haemoglobin, changes the haemoglobin molecule causing the CO2 to come loose, and when you have a high concentration of CO2 down in your capillaries, the CO2 sticking to the haemoglobin causes the oxygen to come loose and become available to the tissues. And, strangely, there has been almost no research, just maybe a couple of dozen papers applying that Haldane Effect to other proteins, but in the case of haemoglobin, the molecule just happens to be in the right position to transport oxygen and CO2 in the blood. But the few people who have tested other proteins find that’s a general effect, the Haldane Bohr Effect applies to proteins in general. When there is a lot of CO2, it basically changes the pH or the isoelectric point of the protein making it less accessible to oxygen and that in itself is a protection against the attack of oxygen against proteins. But more than that, the particular group that CO2 sticks to on a protein, such as haemoglobin, is an amino group and any amino group in your body whether it’s on your DNA or your enzymes, or the so-­‐called hormone receptors, these all contain amino groups, which when there’s enough CO2, it will stick to those groups, and in the absence of CO2 other stuff will stick to those, such as glycation; various free radical fragments of unsaturated fat will tend to stick to those and derange the hormones. Insulin, for example, is a different hormone in the presence of CO2 or in the absence of CO2. So, everything in your body is different when it’s well saturated with CO2, you can’t suffer the side effects of diabetes, for example, if your proteins are well-­‐protected.

    HD: 'Cause I find it very... as many other instances of this, yet another example, of re-­organising my mind to get to grips with the fundamentals of it. I think we all think about CO2 as being the bad guy. You see, I think that’s the problem. It’s a bit like a common misconception that sugar’s the bad guy, or common misconception that saturated fats are the bad guy. CO2, (carbon dioxide) how does that confer more benefits than oxygen when we all think that oxygen is the life-­‐giving molecule?

    RP: In 1940, someone did a survey of organisms, including a great variety of bacteria and amoebas and things that all require oxygen to live, but he found that they can’t live more than one generation if they aren’t exposed to adequate CO2. Even the obligate respiring oxygen-­‐dependent organisms need carbon dioxide. So he concluded that really it’s more important as a life supporting element than oxygen is, because all organisms require it and not all organisms require oxygen.

    HD: And also, Dr Peat, you explained to us just a few minutes ago how if you increase the amount of CO2 in the bloodstream, that tends to knock those oxygen molecules off the haemoglobin so that the tissues can pick up the oxygen.

    RP: Yeah, so if, for example, in the heart, when you increase the amount of CO2 in your blood, you increase the actual amount of oxygen in the heart; it delivers the oxygen to the heart but more important than that is that it delivers it in the optimum way. It makes the oxygen go to the right places in the heart because it’s having the same effect on the heart proteins that it has on the haemoglobin and it retracts the electrons so that the oxygen doesn’t stick – or it shouldn’t -­ the electrons go directly to the oxygen down the electron transport chain and the electrons are prevented from deviating and getting off and attacking the polyunsaturated fats, which is what causes the bad oxidation that people take antioxidants for.

    HD: That’s the free radical damage, isn’t it?

    RP: Yeah.

    HD: .....that people know about, so free radical damage is where the electrons are free to interact with things that cause harm, whereas the presence of an increased amount of CO2 actually prevents those electrons from becoming wild and reacting with harmful, or the good tissues.

    RP: Yeah, the essential electron moving co-‐factor NAD and NADH -­ which takes electrons from sugar or fats, and moves it to the respiratory system -­ in the presence of CO2, that is more oxidized, meaning that the oxygen is doing its work better in the presence of CO2.

    HD: So, basically just to try to re­‐cap for our listeners here ­‐ in case you haven’t heard it before ‐ CO2 is referring to carbon dioxide -­‐ so we breathe in oxygen rich air and our haemoglobin in our blood picks up that oxygen from our lungs, and carries it to our tissues and what is happening at higher elevations, is that you have an increased amount of CO2 in relation to the amount of oxygen, so the CO2 is higher at higher levels or higher altitudes than it is at lower altitudes.

    RP: In the body, yeah, there’s less oxygen pressure pushing the CO2 out of your body and so your body retains higher concentrations as you go higher in altitude because of the lower oxygen pressure. You can see that in the cornea becomes more compact at higher altitude, and people often notice that their near‐sightedness improves by 2 or 3 diopters.

    HD: Wow. OK, I read that there was an article that you ‐ I am pretty sure that you published it ‐ explaining how nocturnal cornea oedema can result in bulging or swollen eyes, because the cornea has to absorb oxygen from the air and when we’re awake and when our eyes are open, and that diffusion’s happening and the oxygen is getting into the cornea, but at nighttime our eyelids are closed over our corneas and our corneas swell because it’s not able to get oxygen.

    RP: And, they have done experiments putting goggles over people and infusing extra CO2 into the goggles and that makes the oxygen get used more efficiently in the cornea whereas it’s depending on the outside for its energy supply; the CO2 helps the oxygen get in and tightens up the energy structure of the cornea.

    HD: So why are hospitals so concerned, especially in emergency rooms, you know, they test your oxygen saturation by putting this meter over your fingertips and then they give you oxygen to breathe?
    RP: Well, for one thing, I’ve tested those things on my finger and everyone feels really good when they have a 99% saturation, but I’ve noticed that when I am feeling really the best I can get mine down to 89%. And I have thought about that a lot, and watched the different conditions that cause it, and hyperventilating will cause the saturation to go up and having just cold fingers will make the oxygen go up. If you are not using the oxygen, it doesn’t do you any good to have your haemoglobin saturated if you’re not using it. So those finger meters aren’t really very informative unless you know what temperature your fingers are at. And then I have talked to the doctors specializing in giving oxygen to stroke patients and way back in the 1930s, Yandell Henderson became famous for providing resuscitation equipment to fire departments which provided 7% CO2 with the oxygen. That was based on physiology and it worked. And the same for altitude sickness; I have friends now who take a bottle of CO2 with them when they go to Vale for high altitude skiing. When they start getting mountain sickness they take some CO2 and traditionally people have been using acetazolamide for altitude sickness. That causes you to retain your own CO2 at a higher level.

    HD: OK, so let’s go over the health benefits of increasing your CO2, either artificially, or when you live at high altitude, how that actually dampens down the inflammatory...'cause I understand it is the inflammatory reactions that happen inside the body that are controlled by an increase in CO2. So do you want to just cover how the inflammatory processes are quelled?

    RP: Yeah, if you imagine, if you have ever hyperventilated just for fun, sometimes it’ll make your hands draw up in a cramp, or make your toes curl up in a cramp. Losing CO2 when you hyperventilate is the same as living at a very low altitude. There is too much oxygen and too little CO2 and the cramping effect is just the first immediate thing. It also causes a cramping of your blood vessels, shutting down the diameter of your blood vessels and it can cause fainting by cutting off the blood supply to your brain. But it also causes the capillaries to leak -­ even though they’re tending to close down -­ they also become leaky and let water leak out because the CO2, at the proper concentration, holds your platelets, causes the platelets to retain their histamine, serotonin and other inflammatory substances. When you hyperventilate, your platelets leak these and make your blood vessels leak, causing oedema. And, if you have something else causing lactic acid to increase, other than hyperventilation, you get the same effect -­ the lactic acid displaces the CO2, makes your platelets and red blood cells leak, and starts the inflammation cycle. And one of the ways that CO2 is working – one of dozens of different beneficial effects -­ is it combines with the ammonia, which is produced by stress and protein metabolism, and in combining with the ammonia it stops the stimulation of the formation of lactic acid -­ ammonia accelerates the formation of lactic acid -­ so CO2 is directly turning off the production of lactic acid.

    HD: And, lactic acid is the thing we feel when we exercise and our muscles cramp?

    RP: Yeah, and it triggers release of a whole series of mediators of inflammation and also
    of fibrosis. HD: OK.

    RP: And so they’re now finding that when they are doing abdominal surgery if they blow in a fairly concentrated solution of CO2 solutions or gas, they’ll suppress the formation of fibrosis and adhesions.

    HD: Cause it decreases inflammation? RP: Yeah.

    HD: So, the common myth that when your muscles hurt it means they are growing bigger and that’s better, I mean the common belief, it’s a myth?

    RP: Yeah, well anything that injures your muscle, the lactic acid is probably long gone, but the damage persists and the damage involves the loss of CO2 and that causes the uptake of water swelling and so on and the swelling and the injury does cause the muscle to get bigger, but not healthier.

    HD: Another misconception again, athletes, you know we all look at people doing the Olympics -­ and we just imagine them to be the most supreme fit human beings that there are -­ and yet actually, they are in a very stressful state doing what they do.

    RP: Yeah, there have been studies that found that very well trained athletes typically go around with an elevated lactic acid in their blood, even days after their last exercise. They’ve suppressed their CO2 and become sort of habituated to increased lactic acid which has those long range harmful effects.

    HD: Let me just let people know that perhaps people who have just tuned in you are listening to Ask Your Herb Dr [radio announcement blurb]

    HD: I wanted to ask you Dr Peat, why people who go to oxygen clinics and have intravenous oxygen or oxygen therapy, why they feel the health effects that they do, the positive health effects that they do, and how that interacts with human physiology?

    RP: There are different treatments that are called ‘oxygen therapy.’ They range from simply injecting a solution of hydrogen peroxide or exposing the blood to ozone or to ultraviolet light. But, generally, the treatments are exciting the white blood cells and causing them to, um, some of the effects of excited white blood cells are beneficial. They become more aggressive when they are slightly injured, but they also release substances that trigger the stress hormone ACTH leading to activation of your adrenals and activated adrenals will combat other inflammations. So it’s a way of turning on your anti-­‐inflammatory anti-­‐stress hormones, but there are better ways to generally suppress your inflammatory responses. For example, things that increase progesterone will decrease cortisol causing, in the long run, much better consequences.

    HD: So, people might experience an increased immune system or decreased inflammation?

    RP: Yeah, the CO2 activates the phagocyte process of various cells in your blood, and that’s a part of normal repair and regeneration. A baby, for example, gestating in the uterus is completely free of germs normally, but it still has very active phagocytes, which their activity is supported in proportion to their CO2 tension, which is usually high in the uterus. And that activity of the phagocytes is part of the developmental process. When a tissue is changing from one form to another, the old form has to be digested and removed to make room for the new form.

    HD: So, the phagocytes will eat up the old cells and...

    RP: Yeah, and so the CO2, a high concentration of it, supports the developmental process of cleaning up the junk.

    HD: Would any of this phagocytosis be involved in destroying cancer cells or other...

    RP: Oh yeah, it’s essential and it’s probably one of the main things lacking. The cells enter the cancer but they are unable to produce the right results because the cancer is producing lactic acid which knocks out the functions supported by CO2. And scar formation too -­ the developing fetus is practically resistant to forming scars -­ only at a later stage when it’s being exposed to environmental fats, that the Mother eats, will it form a scar -­ but healing is ordinarily scarless in the early foetus and it’s the thing that’s causing loss of CO2 mostly that inhibit the phagocytes that should clean up the collagen excess.

    HD: Is it in part due to the decreased fibrosis which increased CO2 will also bring about, leading to less scars or....?

    RP: Yes, I think that’s a big part of it. Excess oxygen causes malfunction of a lot of things, displacing the CO2 it changes everything systematically, so it causes many derangements not just the lack of phagocyte activity.

    HD: It reminds me now of a spring that we have here in California called Vichy. It’s just down in Ukiah down on Highway 101. I know we’ve been there several times. We always enjoy going there because those mineral rich spring waters are highly carbonated. And you get this thing called a reactive hyperemia after you’ve been in the water for about five minutes where you get this flushing. Your skin turns pink and you feel warm even though the water is probably only 96 degrees. It actually doesn’t really feel that warm. You get in it first and it feels a little cool but when you are in it, you start warming up because you get this vasodilation going at your skin surface.

    RP: If you have a giant plastic bag, like a leaf bag or something, you can fill it with pure CO2 and it will be at room temperature or even colder if you just blew it out of a tank and when you step into that, you instantly feel warm and your skin turns pink. And when you are in a hot spring even though the water doesn’t dissolve a very high concentration of CO2, still you absorb it against a gradient; there can be many times higher concentrations of CO2 in your tissues, but it moves from a lower concentration into your body as if your body were pumping it in. But it’s really a matter of it being more soluble than your body.

    HD: Just for example, do you think you’re getting more benefits from CO2 by bathing in Vichy or sitting in a trash bag full of CO2? (laughs)

    RP: It’s more fun to bathe in a hot spring.

    HD: Yeah, I know it might be more fun to bathe but actually from a very standard point
    of view, do you think that you are probably going to get more CO2, doing a CO2 therapy in a sealed container than you would be ....

    RP: Yeah, I think so. Just don’t put it above your neck!

    HD: Yeah, it’s a lot cheaper. Don’t try to breathe it, OK, good, well you are listening to
    Ask Your Herb Doctor [radio blurb]

    SE: Someone is calling, but I have a question. How come it is when people have weakened lungs that high altitude bothers them?

    RP: Oh, well that’s really the only condition that is bad for high altitude. When they’ve done studies, for example, in New Mexico, mortality from heart disease as well as cancer decreases for every thousand feet of higher altitude. But asthma is the one condition which is a problem at higher altitude. But in Mexico City there have been surveys through Mexico in which actual incidence and suffering from asthma increases as you go down in altitude. So if you have asthma to start with, you don’t want to go to Leadville, right away, but as a matter of developing the problem living at a high altitude you’re much less likely to develop it than living at sea level.

    HD: OK, good, all right I think we’ve got some callers on the line, so let’s go. You’re on the air.

    Caller: Good evening. HD: Good evening.

    Caller: Great topic, I have a question and it has to do with mountaineering. In the, every 6 to maybe...
    SE: Caller -­ can you turn your radio off please?

    Caller: OK, sure, is that better? Mountaineering in the 6 to 8 thousand foot range maybe even up to 11,000 feet, normally we would use the technique of a big abdominal exhale when we’re feeling the effects of the altitude. But what you’re saying is you should breathe into a bag instead and breathe in your own CO2?

    RP: Yeah, on one of the Everest expeditions -­ I think it was on Everest -­ they were treating people by putting them in a big plastic bag with oxygen and that’s a fairly standard way to treat them and it works, but they found that it was the CO2 that they were breathing out that was accumulating in the bag which was the really therapeutic agent.

    Caller: So, that would be a good technique maybe to test, is to have, you know, a paper
    sack and exhale into it or a plastic bag and exhale into it and take maybe 30 seconds of deep breaths into it?

    RP: I think so. People with high blood pressure, I’ve seen several of them in a day or two bring their blood pressure down 30 points just by bag breathing repeatedly.

    Caller: OK, well thank you; we’ll try that this winter.

    HD: And also Dr Peat, you’ve mentioned before that you can breathe if you tightly seal the bag around your mouth, you can breathe in and out of that bag for a couple of minutes if it’s a big bag before you start to feel uncomfortable and just that small amount of bag breathing can increase your CO2, which means that a lot of your cells work better and you’re getting more oxygen into the cell.

    RP: Yeah, how the adaptation works is that each time you increase the CO2 to an uncomfortable level, it’s suppressing the lactate a little bit and lowering the adrenalin, and various other factors, free fatty acids and many things that cause you to hyperventilate and so you’re basically curing your tendency to breath too much by adapting through repeated exposures to extra CO2.

    HD: OK, now onto, this just kind of divulges a little bit but this is why I said at the beginning of the show to people that would be listening that there are many different factors influencing the healthful benefits of CO2. I just wanted to bring out a little bit about people with again, this is another topic that’s been opened up and we’ve seen it ourselves that people who may be totally normal on a blood test, their thyroid panel actually shows definite low thyroid status when they’re are tested with other methods that were traditionally used as markers of low thyroid. So for people with low thyroid, I understand that their CO2 or their carbon dioxide state is generally lower anyway because they have an increased adrenalin, and adrenalin depresses CO2. So having a better thyroid will increase your likelihood of retaining CO2 and decrease your adrenalin.

    RP: Yeah, and there are many side paths to that, For example, the thyroid helps to lower the oestrogen level and oestrogen and many of the related factors tend to cause you to hyperventilate, even to the point of having alkalosis. And diabetes, even though supposedly the diabetic isn’t using glucose, typically a diabetic has elevated lactic acid, and CO2 makes a big effect on the diabetic lactate.

    HD: OK, so another reason NOT to aerobically exercise like running and jogging and cycling and all those things that would increase your respiration, increase your oxygen, decrease your CO2, increase your adrenalin, all of those things are pointing out to be more negative than healthful.

    RP: Yeah.

    HD: OK, so the kind of exercise for people that do exercise a lot and do really think they get a lot of benefit for it -­ and I’m not saying they don’t. I mean psychologically, I know there’s a huge benefit in being active and in being fit and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. The actual exercises that would be more beneficial for a person would be?

    RP: I think mild muscle building activity as well as anything that’s fun, enjoyable activity that doesn’t cause discomfort. But there have been studies of old people where their muscle mitochondria apparently had genetic damage, loss of DNA but by several weeks of concentric exercise, just contracting a muscle against resistance, they repaired the mitochondrial DNA to have restored mitochondrial function. But the eccentric exercise, where your muscle is forced to lengthen while resisting -­ for example, when you are walking downhill -­ that’s the kind of exertion your muscle is having in eccentric stretching that damages the mitochondria.

    HD: So, this is why you suggest pushing the bicycle up the hill and riding the bicycle down the hill [RP: Yeah] or throwing weights or loading firewood. How about -­ I didn’t know this -­ that the effects of elevation, say if you go up to a high city for a couple of weeks and you come down -­ the effects of that, the positive effects of that increased altitude with the increased CO2 can actually linger for several months?

    RP: Yeah.

    HD: How does that work?

    RP: The Russians were the ones that really pioneered all of the [HD: Good ole Russians] after Yandell Henderson was forgotten, the Russians took up the study and they found that if an animal was kept at high altitude for a few months, when it went back to low altitude, it lived the rest of its life retaining about twice as many mitochondria as it had at lower altitude, meaning it was basically twice as efficient.

    HD: Wow, cause it produced twice as much energy. So for those people listening – the mitochondria is kind of the factory in the body, the powerhouse that utilizes fuel and produces energy and all the different things that..

    RP: Yeah and it’s failure of the mitochondrion that causes the degenerative diseases. Otto Warburg, 80, 90 years ago, was showing that mitochondria fail in cancer and the Russians, the same groups that were showing that high altitude causes increased mitochondria, produced cancers artificially in rats and the ones that were left at low altitude, 100% of them died and the others that were taken to 17,000 ft., 50% of them spontaneously threw off the cancers.

    HD: I just find it incredible, the more, the longer I am alive and the more I find out, I mean you know the beach and the seaside in Victorian, England was the place to go to. It was expensive, all the health benefits were well touted of breathing the sea air, and everything and it’s actually one of the worse things you can do. You need to go to a high elevation for some positive effects. So how come if insurance companies, startling fact that makes it pretty obvious for people to see what’s going on, insurance companies are losing money, if they hedge a bet badly, so insurance companies are usually pretty smart 'cause they don’t want to lose money. So for them to know a 100 years ago that the benefits of altitude were such, how come yet again, we on the streets, it doesn’t trickle down to us? It’s just another glaring example, and when you go into a hospital they want to CAT scan you, they want to x-­‐ray you, they want to give you drugs and they want to put an oxygen mask on you.....

    RP: Exactly the people who should be getting CO2. I’ve talked to some of the doctors who were doing it, and they said but wouldn’t that cause acidosis or various things that just don’t apply. They reason a certain way from the text books and they don’t look at enough of the actual studies like Yandell Henderson’s resuscitation studies.

    HD: Well, can you tell us Dr Peat about those people that live at very, very high altitude and their lifespans? You were telling me about some typical lifespans of about 130 to 150 years old.

    RP: Yeah, in I think it was about 1950, the first time I heard about it, was a Peruvian who was brought to tour the United States as an oddity. Newspapers had a picture of a little tiny guy. The church records showed him as being 187 years old, and after a couple of weeks visiting around the US, he was sent back to Peru and died shortly after that. And Old Parr in London, he was a guy in the country that was famous for being 150 something and the King had him brought to London to study and he died shortly after living the high life in London.

    HD: At sea level! [Laughs] Well, my mother and I just climbed the Michoacan mountains in Mexico, and we were staying in Pátzcuaro which is a town 7,200 feet in elevation and for the short 7 days we were there, the health benefits were very noticeable and I am looking forward to them lasting for more than one week. So, Dr Peat, you are suggesting if someone spends a week to a month at a higher elevation, then the health benefits will last for -­ how long will they last?

    RP: Oh, after a month, probably a year and a half, something like that. A friend of mine who was there at that altitude last winter for, I guess, almost 2 months lost 20 pounds whilst he was there.

    HD: Oh yeah that was the other thing, their food is so delicious. Their wonderful corn tamales, the chepos and corundas. And I ate probably 2-­‐3 times more than I normally eat and I came back weighing the same weight, and my mother did the same because we were so hungry, it sped up our metabolism, we were so much more hungry and we ate so much more food and it was so delicious and we went out for meals here or we were invited there and she came back and she’d lost weight!

    RP: The Indian Army noticed that their soldiers, when they were sent to Kashmir or other very high altitude places lost weight very quickly and so they’ve done a lot of studies on how to keep the soldiers’ weight up at high altitude. (Laughs)

    HD: It’s quite incredible that even just down to the way your skin and your hair feels, it’s very different. You do feel different at a high altitude and, you know, a lot of people were concerned we would suffer breathing difficulties. We hiked up this old ancient volcano every morning, and it was a 2 hour hike, an hour up and an hour back, and we didn’t notice any change in our breathing as far as being at 7,200 ft., so.

    RP: The conventional physiologists for years have noticed what they call the ‘lactate paradox’ which is that you can work full force at a high altitude without producing lactic acid; and it’s not really a paradox. It’s that the oxygen is not at a high enough concentration to displace CO2 so the CO2 is taking care of the lactic acid.

    HD: OK, so in increased CO2 states, oxygen is utilized way more efficiently and way less of it, if any of it, is actually available to react in a free radical formation.

    RP: Yeah, it works; one of the ways is that carbo-­amino effect simply protecting any amino group from attack by oxygen.

    HD: But these are on proteins?

    RP: Yeah, but it also simply activates the enzymes that direct the electrons to move from glucose or fat down to oxygen. It creates a sort of a greased pathway for the electrons’ movement, and if you block the CO2, or oxygen, the NAD reflects the increased access to electrons, and those electrons tend to diffuse out through the cells causing attack of polyunsaturated fats and genetic material and so on.

    HD: Well, at least most people listening in would have probably heard of oxidation and the production of free radicals. This is why you want to eat your fresh fruits because they are rich in anti-­oxidants and they protect you, And so basically, the CO2 is acting like an anti-­‐oxidant, a very powerful anti-­oxidant preventing any of those electrons from forming free radicals and reacting with things they shouldn’t be......

    RP: Yeah, during surgery, hospitals have noticed that their patients often had severe lung damage from free radical oxidation from ventilating them too hard. So now they practice what they call permissive hypercapnia. They under-­respirate them, let the CO2 accumulate and it has an anti-­oxidant protective effect. In horses, there were studies in which they caused the blood by changing the atmosphere they raised the blood CO2 concentration to 3 times normal, from 30 to 100, and at that level there were no free radicals detectable in their blood stream -­ where normally there is a certain amount -­ so it is as though we’re designed to live with much more CO2 than is available at this altitude. And people studying the early embryo before implantation between the zygote and the blastocyst stage, traditionally they were culturing them in an atmosphere with 5% CO2 and maybe 15 or 20% oxygen and they were having poor results, but someone tried increasing the CO2 and found that at 10-­15% CO2 and 5% oxygen, much more CO2 than oxygen, that the blastocysts were more vigorous, more of them survived implanted better, so even at the crucial stage of early embryo development, CO2 is the crucial factor, much more than important than oxygen.

    HD: OK, now, I am always trying to promote people’s free access to good information and how they can best help themselves. Are there any good ways of increasing your CO2, the best ways of doing it?

    RP: Shifting your diet away from the polyunsaturated fats is, I think, the basic. HD: How does that help?

    RP: The PUFAs interfere with the enzymes that send electrons to oxygen, and shift away from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism, that you can show that when they give intravenous fat to people in hospitals to increase their calories, within a few minutes their ability to use glucose is suppressed. The fats simply block the enzymes that produce the oxidized glucose and when you burn glucose you get much more CO2 per unit of oxygen used for fuel use. And so, at high altitude, a person uses their oxygen more efficiently and they are more reluctant to burn their stored fats and anything you do to increase your CO2 will tend to protect you against mobilizing your fats and creating that diabetes-­‐like state.

    HD: So, just to explain for our listeners, PUFAs are those fats that are liquid, at room temperature, apart from olive oil, which is mainly mono-­unsaturated, and they include the long list of vegetable oils -­ soy, canola, safflower, and cottonseed, corn sunflower, hempseed, flaxseed, fish oils -­ those are all PUFAs.

    RP: Yeah, there is a big push now to sell fish oils in place of those seed oils, that were promoted for 50 years and now they are shifting over to fish oils because they don’t produce some of the toxic effects of the seed oils -­ but part of the reason they don’t do that is that they are so unstable that they break down even before they reach your bloodstream, and a very high proportion has become the free radical fragments that inhibit your immune system and even though in the long range they increase your infections and suppress immunity, in the short range they seem to be anti-­‐inflammatory just by their suppressive effects. But some of the people who are promoting those very oils, DHA and EPA, for example, they have been saying that your baby will be smarter if you put it in their baby food -­ but in the baby food these things are so unstable, they are about 20 times more broken down into toxic free radicals, than even when you get them in the normal food form. And some of these people believe that women who ate fish oil and the other highly unsaturated fats would have more intelligent foetuses, and so they presented sounds to the gestating baby to see how quickly they could habituate and respond as if they would recognized the sound, and they were predicting the women with highly unsaturated babies would have the smartest foetuses and they found just the opposite, that the women showing evidence of a deficiency of the fatty acids had the babies that behaved most adaptively.

    HD: So they had a deficiency of these toxic fatty acids .....

    RP: Yeah, when the baby was born, they found, they measured their head circumference, length and weight and they were growth retarded as well as behavior retarded.

    HD: The babies that were born to women who ate a lot of fish oils?

    RP: And 30 to 40 years ago, animal studies show the same effect, they fed one group of rats cocoa butter or I think it was safflower oil, and the ones that got safflower oil were stupid and had small brains, the babies, and the others were better learners with bigger brains that had the cocoa butter.

    HD: Well, there you go, so there is lots of research out there saying all of these things we have talked about tonight and thankfully to Dr Peat he digs up a lot of this research and brings it to our ears, so thank you very much Dr Peat for sharing all of this with us. We really appreciate your expertise. I think our engineer has a question for you Dr Peat.

    SE: I have a couple of questions and prior to 1920, I heard that when corn oil got out in the country, that there were more heart attacks and I don’t know if that is true or not -­ and the other is, butter and coconut oil, are those two the ones that I should be eating?

    RP: Yeah, if you eat lots of butter or cream it can make you fat but it is protective against the oxidative degenerative diseases but the coconut oil tends to stimulate your use of oxygen so fast that it protects against even obesity. And milk and milk fat, the milk contains other things that stimulate your safe use of oxygen and so if you are going to use the cream, it’s better with milk rather than just in the butter form.

    HD: OK, good, and also, I think your question about the heart attacks, was that prior to 1920s, there are studies that show that heart attacks were much, much, much less prevalent and so it was once people starting eating these PUFAs and the corn oils and the big Mazola corn oil push, that’s when the heat attack incidence was on the increase.

    RP: Yeah, and the age pigment is formed from the PUFAs of corn oil and soy oil and such, and this has been identified repeatedly in the atherosclerotic plaques that are involved in heart disease. So there are direct connections between the PUFAs and heart disease as well as cancer.

    HD: So, there is lots of this research out there and you can visit Dr Ray Peat’s website. It’s http://www.raypeat.com and there are lots of articles there and plenty of articles about subjects we talked about this evening and a lot of other articles that we haven’t covered that are well worth checking out, fully referenced and scientific articles, folks, not witch doctoring or heresy, but validated and scientific articles. Not that witchdoctors didn’t have some stuff right too, but we are talking to people who want facts. OK so go to Dr raypeat.com and get some facts and thank you for listening [radio blurb].
     

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  2. morgan#1

    morgan#1 Member

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    Thank you so much for posting. So many, for me, pertinent topics.
     
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