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Stevrd Labs/experiments: Improving Hormones And Health Through Diet, Lifestyle, Supplements

Discussion in 'Blood Work, Labs' started by stevrd, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I provided an update. I have been extremely busy at work as well as a project I have been working on at home. But I wanted to provide an update with some useful info that may help guys suffering from erection issues. I basically determine what's successful based off of morning erections. Over the summer I went hiking in new hampshire, staying at huts for 10 days. There was no internet and no cell service available. No EMF or anything. My wife and I would go hiking for 4-10 hours and then get to the hut, get fed by the staff there, and then usually relax and go to bed early. There were several nights where we slept a good 10-12 hours. And this is when I noticed something. I had some of the best, strongest nocturnal and morning erections I have had in years. The food we were eating was pretty nutritious, but I know it was cooked in a lot of PUFA and there were a lot of wheat products, but think of your typical steak or chicken with mashed potatoes and cornbread meals.

    What supplements was I taking? Just 1-2 grains of dessicated thyroid a day. Nothing else.

    A couple of takeaways: Improved libido/erections could be due to several things: (1) a lack of mental stress from being on vacation, (2) Low intensity exercise such as hiking is not stressful and can stimulate blood flow throughout the body, (3) Sleeping long hours when your body needs it is the best way to lower stress and improve recovery. Not getting enough sleep increases fasting cortisol levels.

    Since vacation I have been experimenting with different things, still getting decent sleep here and there but not as consistent. I have noticed that libido/function are still good but not as good as when I was hiking, sleeping well, and away from electronics. The moral of this story is maybe I don't need any supplements at all, maybe diet really isn't that important and it's simply sleep and stress reduction that I need.

    Since summer I have taken a stab at a few different things and have found success using pregnenolone, cyproheptadine, and methylene blue for various reasons. Cyproheptadine mostly for allergies and sleep, and pregnenolone/methylene blue mostly for mood/cognitive function. It's safe to say that I will be taking these things on and off forever, because I actually feel the benefits from them.

    So my supplements for now are the following:
    (1) 1-2 grains of NTD per day
    (2) Cyproheptadine as needed for sleep/stress/serotonin-lowering/cortisol lowering
    (3) Methylene blue as needed for stuffy nose
    (4) Pregnenolone as needed for a mental boost
    (5) Vitamin K2/D3 supplement taken once per week.

    I'm trying to narrow down my supplement use to a few things because I don't believe it's the best strategy for long-term health. I no longer am taking any vitamins other than K2/D3 and even those I don't take much. If I only had to choose 3 they would be: thyroid, cyproheptadine, and pregnenolone. For me these work well for what I need them for.

    Now I have been thinking about trying some tyromix from haidut instead of NDT because a lot of people say it works well for them. What I'm thinking of doing is trying it for a month and then getting some blood work done. I have not had blood work done in a while because it is costly, but I am due for some more soon. Will keep everyone updated.
     
  2. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    I agree dude. I feel like environmental factors are dramatically underplayed. In some ways I'd argue they're more important than nutrition now, and you witnessed this for yourself.

    Honestly I also feel like EMF's have a bigger impact than most people think.

    Example over last weekend I basically stayed indoors, almost completely sedentary, slept in, basically 0 exposure to emf (my house is 0 milligauss luckily), and managed to get my waking temperature on monday to be the highest I've achieved yet (98.3). Now that I'm back in the workweek I'm back down to 97.7-97.9.

    My biggest exposure to EMF now is my car and there is little I can do about it which is annoying. My car blasts me with upwards of 100x the recommended limit... sigh

    Luckily we're coming up on a long break. I plan to sleep in and do nothing productive the whole time and try to avoid any driving as much as i can lol
     
  3. Steene

    Steene Member

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    How much methylene blue are you taking?
     
  4. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    Good points. Yeah I have not had a chance to focus on EMF much. It's probably something that would drive me crazy if I started to because there's hardly any way to escape it. But I effortlessly sleep whenever I go camping or sleep in a hut far away from cell towers. The question is, is it the lack of EMF or the lack of distractions from electronics/stress of daily life. I think that using electronics before bed is an under-appreciated problem. When I get home from work, I usually eat dinner and do some computer work, but I have been making a point to cut that out by 9pm and relax before bed. This has certainly improved my sleep.

    The environmental thing is a big trigger for me. The lifestyle I have been living for the past few years is not conducive to health. Working nearly 7 days per week and hardly getting sunlight is akin to living in a never-ending winter. Light is important for fertility and when it hits the skin it activates the cytochrome oxidase enzymes. Ray Peat says the skin is a very hormonal organ and more so than people think.

    What I witnessed this summer basically showed me that supplements are not really needed outside of the context of improving symptoms momentarily. For example if I have hay fever or for some reason my stress is high I will take cypro before bed and it does help me get the sleep I need. If I wake up way too groggy and need an energy boost I will take pregnenolone. But I don't rely on them and don't take them every day. I am realizing that supplementation distracts us from focusing on our diet and environmental issues, which as you say is probably the most important.

    But yeah, temperature is one of the biggest factors in health. And Ray Peat has suggested this dozens of times. This is why I'm such a freak about keeping my body temperature high and avoiding things that lower it, especially excess fluids or cold liquids. Even just wearing warmer clothes or sleeping with socks and a cap on for example can bring benefits. I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but one of my next "experiments" is a gravity blanket. My wife suggested it the other day and I started doing some research. There is compelling research that having something heavy on top of you lowers epinepherine, which helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
     
  5. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    @Steene MB is the supplement I take the least. But since it does inhibit nitric oxide production, which is responsible for some of the effects of nasal congestion, I specifically take it when I am having nasal congestion. And it does work. I usually will take 800-1200mcg applied to the skin in several drops. I get the one from healthnatura.
     
  6. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    It's nearly impossible to escape EMF for sure, but many things you can easily reduce or eliminate exposure to like cell phones, electric appliances, microwave etc. I'm going all in myself, I even bought myself some EMF resistant clothing lol since this is the only way I can eliminate or reduce car exposure. The car is really the only nearly impossible thing to mitigate. I'd probably ride a bike to work if it was close enough.

    Light is another under-appreciated thing. We are exposed to too much blue light and not enough red/infrared in our technology obsessed culture. Most work places use flourescant lighting which is literally the WORST light you could use because it is completely lifeless, dead light. Not to mention flourescant lighting puts out a lot of EMF.


    Thanks for your post man. You have given me inspiration to start applying to some more jobs on the beach so I can get out of the dreary cold winters in the midwest.

    Another way to mitigate EMF's is a concept you've probably heard of, "grounding" and this would be yet another benefit to be in nature. Not only are you avoiding EMF's being in nature, you're attuning your body to the so called "Schumann Frequency" (aka, the frequency that the body likes to resonate with, the same as the earth) by walking outside.
     
  7. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    Thanks @Cirion. Let me know what your experiences are as you progress in your experiments with EMF. I too am convinced that people who live in sunny climates are healthier. I suppose that since the metabolic rate is higher in warmer climates, it results in more fat loss.

    What's interesting is some of my best health improvements have been during times where I have not focused on diet. When I go down the shore I eat restaurant foods, in the huts I ate home-cooked food that was (unfortunately) cooked in PUFA. I'm not saying that we shouldn't focus on lowering PUFA, because it's probably the most important thing we can do for long-term health. What I am saying is PUFA reduction will not result in any immediate "felt" improvements.
     
  8. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    I sunbathed naked yesterday in the Florida sun and it felt incredibly good. Waaay better than normal sunbathing, and way better than red light on the genitals. There’s something about that natural sun that just feels right. I wonder if tanning beds are equivalent to the sun, because sunbathing nude is not always feasible depending on location.

    My morning woods have been very strong as of late. But I’ve also been more in tune with not making as many mistakes on my diet and exercise regimen.
     
  9. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    I'm jealous man. Florida is in fact the place I have been trying to get a job at, specifically around the Melbourne area. Where in FL do you live?? Be cool if I could meet up with a fellow Peater if I do ever get to move there!

    Sunlight is indeed the "perfect" blend of all spectrums. I wonder if it would be possible to make a "smart" light that replicates sunlight nearly 100%? Incandescent, halogen, IR lamps are nice, but they're aren't a perfect replica...

    I dunno much about tanning beds but I have used them in the past. I sometimes have been tempted to buy one. One guy did a self-study that showed being something like a couple feet from a stand-up tanning bed was equivalent to the UV rays from the sun, and so he could maintain that position for 30+ minutes and replicate being in the sun for that amount of time. Tempting to try some time. Either way, nothing will ever fully replace the sun, because the benefit of tanning outside is you can attune yourself to the frequency of the earth (grounding) at the same time...
     
  10. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    Yea I’m just visiting for the week, unfortunately I’ll have to return further north at the end of the week to the colder climate :(

    One of my life goals is to live in a permanently sunny warm climate, because that is hands down healthiest for metabolic function.

    Yea even if tanning beds can replicate some wavelengths, there’s probably something more to the sun that we can’t entirely understand. Kind of like how a multivitamin isn’t the same as eating real food. But it could be a good substitute for those who live in northern climates and can’t get the fresh sun during the cold, depressing winter climates.

    The warmth I felt all over my body was a great experience, and I felt my sex drive and feelings of well-being sharply increase. It was also at the end of a very restorative stretch and movement session so I felt very, very good.

    I’m in the Sarasota area, and I’m not too sure about the people down here though, very unhealthy and sick. It’d be nice to find an area with more healthy, vibrant people as well as fresh produce. There’s also dead fish washing up on the shore, so hands down there’s some type of pollution that’s killing the sea life. Even the seagulls aren’t eating them.
     
  11. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    I get this same feeling when I get sunlight. There's actually some research that shows indirectly receiving sunshine through the eyes, as in light bouncing off of objects and entering the retina plays a role in the utilization and activation of certain vitamins. I can't remember which ones, but it's pretty interesting research and it may lead to some theories of how we are meant to receive sunlight, not only on our skin but actually being outside and allowing light to enter our retinas.

    But yeah when I get sunlight I have this feeling as if I were a solar panel and the sun is recharging me. The sexual feelings increase, and metabolic rate increases as well.
     
  12. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    Going back to the post about my hiking vacation this summer, there is one other notable thing to mention. I had virtually zero dairy the whole trip. You see, the crew that hikes 5miles with 50-100 pounds of food up on their backs to the huts does not bring any milk or dairy (other than butter) because it wouldn't make sense. It's too heavy. The only liquids we had available to us was water, and therefore also hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. No milk and hardly any of the meals had cheese.

    I do realize that my improved sex drive and erections probably had more to do with lower stress and 10+ hours of sleep per night, but something tells me that zero dairy had something to do with it as well. I've tried many things, but going a while without dairy has not been something I've tried. I always had milk or cheese in my diet because I am addicted to it. Maybe this is something I need to experiment with. I know Peat talks about it being so good for us, but there are cultures that do fine without it. I suppose they get calcium from bones or vegetables instead.

    Either way, I am beginning to believe in the idea that we should probably be eating foods that don't cause a stress response. We should pay close attention and listen to our bodies when we eat or omit certain foods. For example, chocolate is a food that brings about a heightened libido in me. Also, for some reason cola does this as well. Don't ask, your guess is as good as mine. In theory soda should be bad for health, but when I drink it it makes me feel better. Milk never really had a positive or negative effect on the way I felt, I just always drank it because I thought it was good for me. But maybe I should experiment with drinking less to start and then maybe none at all for a while.
     
  13. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Fascinating @stevrd. I've been mostly using eggshell for the last 4+ months and feel so much better. Do you live in the U.S.? I'm convinced that for me the added vitamins in most milk sold here is an issue. My finger prints had disappeared (indicating chronic inflammation) and within a few weeks of stopping the fortified dairy they came back! Soda works well for me too.
     
  14. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    Food quality matters more than food choices, in my opinion. I have seen many very healthful people saying X diet is best or Y diet is best, but what I see in common between people who are successful, and those who are not, are those who take the effort to ensure the food they eat is quality, no additives etc. I feel pretty strongly that pure unadulterated food is the best, whether it is raw milk, organic fruit, etc etc. Dairy gets a bad rap I feel like because most commercial milk is, in my opinion, junk food. It's not that the milk is bad, it's that the quality of the milk is bad. In my opinion the worst thing that commercialization does to milk is pasteurization because it kills the lactase enzymes which help you digest the lactose. Cold-pressed milk would be a better option than heating it. I still think PUFA is not ideal, but I think the effects of PUFA have been exaggerated and the effects of junk additives in foods (brominated vegetable oil, HFCS, food coloring, citric acid etc etc etc...) are not emphasized enough. Junk additives have at least as much negative impact as PUFA (i'd actually argue more, seeing as how plenty of healthy people eat nuts and eggs on a regular basis). I no longer believe you can properly get well until you eliminate most/all of these from your diet.
     
  15. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Yes, I agree. I've been doing better just keeping things very simple lately. The less processed the better. I'd rather eat a piece of whole fruit than have most of the juices I can buy at the store.
     
  16. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    @Blossom and @Cirion, I agree that most food should be in it's whole form. However we do need to be careful with how we use the word "processed," and I do think processed food has it's place. When I say "processed food," I'm not talking about junk additives, added synthetic vitamins, food coloring, etc... I think at this point everyone can agree that those things are harmful. Most food in it's raw state is unfit for human consumption. When food is processing from it's raw, indigestible state to create something that is not only more digestible, but improves the bioavailability of nutrients, it's safe to say that a certain level of processing is a good thing. And this is food specific. For example, milk, meat, and fruits in their raw states are perfectly digestible. I'd argue that raw meat is more digestible than cooked, but it does come with risks of parasites and bacteria. I did a raw meat diet for about a year and I can say I had some of the best digestion I ever had.

    When it comes to starches, food processing is essential to improve it's digestive ability. Processing raw starch to create mashed potatoes, fine wheat flour, or white rice for example, is highly desirable. Whole grains are actually not good, because they end up proving to have a poor net-nutrient ratio. Refined grains don't have this problem. This is why it's not a good idea to try and consume whole grains to obtain nutrients. Use grains for fuel and cooked veggies, fruits, and other foods for nutrients. Some food processing actually makes the food better and more appropriate for human consumption. The human body generally functions better when it consumes highly processed or broken down food.

    IMO a hugely underappreciated fact is that fast transit time is the best way to decrease endotoxin. This is not talked about much, but basically the faster we can digest something the less time there is for it to sit and allow bacteria to get at it. Cooking, boiling, and food processing helps facilitate this process similar to how a mother bird will predigest food for it's young chicks.

    Sorry I know I'm going off on a tangent. I think what we are talking about is minimal ingredients, keeping it simple. This is what I'm trying to do at the moment, which also includes trying to reduce the amount of supplements I'm taking.
     
  17. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Great tangent! Very well said.
     
  18. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    Blossom, if you don't mind, could you briefly outline your diet for me. I am thinking of trying a dairy-free diet at some point in the near future and would like to see how to do it successfully. I need at least 100g of protein per day. Where do you obtain your protein? Meat? Gelatin? Eggs? Thank you!
     
  19. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Certainly, meat and gelatin at the moment for protein. I’m going to try dairy and perhaps eggs again in a couple months. The truth is I was told I had an egg yolk allergy as a teen but I thought I had out grown it. I do feel better avoiding eggs but I’ve never had an anaphylactic response to them. In my early 40’s I was diagnosed with a milk protein sensitivity (even goat milk believe it or not) but for some reason I decided to abandon the idea that it could be true and continued to consume those things for years. When certain issues kept getting worse I decided maybe they could be an issue after all. I mistakenly thought it was all from celiac disease and low metabolism. Now I just stick with primarily fruit, rice, potatoes, meat and seafood, gelatin and gluten free white bread. I use white sugar and things that contain sugar so I guess the only Peaty thing I’ve abandoned is dairy and eggs for now. I use small amounts of butter, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
    My hair, skin and nails are visibly improved and it’s noticed by others. I feel tons better now -almost exactly like I did early on in my Peat journey before I started using numerous supplements. :)
     
  20. OP
    stevrd

    stevrd Member

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    @Blossom thank you for this. Just curious, if you have improved so much by avoiding dairy, why do you want to include it back into your diet?

    The diet you outlined is exactly what I had in mind to try. I am thinking of doing fruit, rice, well cooked potatoes, meat, seafood, eggs, well cooked greens. I may add a bone meal supplement. I may add gelatin but it can be rough on my digestion. I think it actually has to be melted down to digest it well. A lot of people seem to have problems with it in powdered form. Do you have any issues with digesting gelatin?

    I had a food allergy test performed years ago. It came up with mild wheat, walnut, and shrimp sensitivities. No milk allergy at all. I take blood allergy tests with a grain of salt because I think more information is needed and it should correspond to symptoms. I don't necessarily believe if a certain food shows up on a blood test it must be completely avoided. I also had elevated gliadin antibodies, which supposedly suggest issues with gluten, however I have read strong evidence that gliadin antibodies just means that wheat has been eaten, and not that you are actually allergic to it. To confirm a celiac diagnosis, unfortunately I would need an endoscopy. There is no other way. I personally don't feel anything negative from eating refined wheat bread/flour, but sometimes pasta upsets my stomach. Certainly different methods of preparation probably play a role.
     
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