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The Confounding Factors Of The Low A Diet

Discussion in 'Diet, Recipes' started by somuch4food, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    Since the original is a hot debate on the validity of the theory, I thought a more practical thread discussing the various factors that can make this diet for a large number of people.

    The basic diet generally relies on beef, with rice or potatoes with some low A fruits and vegetables. Beans can be included but usually are not by everyone. Other meats can be eaten as well.

    The first time I implemented this diet in November I saw many improvements and felt way better. With the holidays, I lost track and when I reimplemented it in January I never got the same level of improvements.

    This tells me that there is something else going on for me.

    Breakfast, one of the following with one fruit:

    Oatmeal: Regular quick oats, 2/3 cup of milk, brown sugar, a pinch of wheat bran and a bit of salt.
    Pancakes: Regular refined enriched white flour mixed with either rice krispies or oats, baking soda, vinegar, 2/3 cup of milk, pan fried with lard or vegetable oil, not set yet. Served with maple syrup.
    Toasts: White regular bread made with part oat flour with a Nutella-type spread.
    Cereals: Rice krispies with plain yogourt and honey

    Lunch is dinner leftovers

    Dinner:

    Proteins: Any meat, sometimes a bit of cheese
    Starches: Bread, pasta, rice (brown or basmati), potatoes, sometimes beans
    Vegetables: Peeled cucumber, onions, garlic, tomatoes

    Flavors:

    Maple syrup, honey, vinegars, salt, pepper, paprika, parsley

    Snacks:

    Fruit: pears, apples, bananas, golden raisins
    Salty, crunchy: sunflower seeds, almonds, various wheat crackers
    Sugary: oat cookies, marshmallow

    In January, what was different is mainly less dairy, less oats, less sunflower seeds and almonds, no maple syrup and more wheat.

    Some factors I've come up with:
    • No casein
    • No lactose
    • No gluten
    • Low retinol
    • Low carotenoids
    • Low oxalates
    • Low lectins (if no beans)
    • Low fat
    • Low fructose
    • More beef (heme iron, zinc)
    • Low calcium
    • No fortified foods
    For me, it might have had to do with deficiencies I created with small variations. The foods I ate less of all are good sources of B1 and B2 which I identified as possible deficiencies since I have trouble with yogourt and too much sugar, lactic acid and sugar needs B1 to be processed correctly and I saw many improvements when I added maple syrup back (B2 source).

    There's also the theory that was mentionned in the main thread about retinoic acid and blue light using up B2 and could affect light eyed people more.
     
  2. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    Good list. The Vitamin D to Vitamin A ratio is another thing that was mentioned early on in the thread. Also, B12 could also increase (possibly from eating more beef, or not getting used up in carotene conversion, or both). There could also be potential issues with free retinol or not producing enough retinol binding protein, although that mostly falls under the fortified foods.

    The carotenoids might have been one of the most eye opening things. I notice some yellow cheeses are colored with "Annatto," with Bixin being the main thing that imparts the color, and has nine double bonds. All the carotenoids look to be very unsaturated (and also a lot longer than Retinol).

    Eggs can be a bit of a problematic food as well. I found this article from Loren Cordain (a blast from the past for me), mentioning potential issues with egg whites-

    https://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Egg_Whites_and_AutoImmune_Disease-1.pdf
     
  3. postman

    postman Member

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    The diet you describe is not a low VA diet, you weren't on a low VA diet. The flavourings you used are the most eyebrow raising, but the rest of the diet is not low in VA either. Consider the fact that one teaspoon of paprika has over 1000 IU of beta carotene. Parsley also has an absolute ton. Lard and dairy do not belong either, and you didn't mention what beans you were eating, some of then are full of carotenoids as well.
     
  4. Andman

    Andman Member

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  5. OP
    somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    I started this thread to get away from the debate and have a more practical discussion.

    I had success with the diet described. It's not zero A, but all sources of A listed were highly limited.

    In January, I limited it more and didn't get results. I think that's because carotenoids/A only a part of my problem and other factors helped the first time around even with a higher intake.
     
  6. OP
    somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    Here a possible mechanism that could explain some successes from low fat and high starch.
     
  7. OP
    somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    I also have an anecdote of my toddler. After eating liver pate last week, he seemed to become more affectionate and to learn new words at a faster pace. The effect seems to have tappered off. I will try to give him some more to see if the effect is repeated.

    I went low A with him in November to try to get rid of his eczema. It worked, but with this experience I'm thinking it's more carotenoids that were a problem and that those were displacing vitamin A. He had a high carotenoids diet since he started to eat.
     
  8. TeaRex14

    TeaRex14 Member

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    It's obvious that the low A supporters never fully understood how vitamin A is processed in the body to begin with. Firstly it's fat soluble, meaning we build up stores of this vitamin. The toxicity threshold for fat soluble vitamins is much lower than the toxicity threshold of water soluble vitamins. Taking this into account, and the fact vitamin A is fortified in many different foods, it prevents an easy deficiency problem. People eating peaty style diets may be more prone to A toxicity, if they're eating liver, fortified dairy, and eggs frequently. However none of this means vitamin A is a poison. If we follow this logic then we might as well call vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K poisons as well. Secondly, low thyroid people can't handle as much vitamin A. Ray has stated that in many cases, when certain people supplemented thyroid and ate liver their skin problems would disappear quickly. When low thyroid people remove vitamin A from their diet it doesn't correct hypo metabolism, it prevents the exacerbation of symptoms due to thyroid and vitamin A using the same carrier pathways. Lastly, as you mentioned, this diet is an elimination diet. So no telling what else these people eliminated that could be causing these problems. This idea of poison A can be undeniably debunked. Probably the most important thing to keep in mind here is the fact Genereux is a quack. Literally, he has no medical or scientific credentials, he's a fraud peddling potentially harmful information. All of these low A supporters, won't be supporting this 5 years from now.
     
  9. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    Do you notice any yellow in your callouses? This is something Ray mentioned a while ago. I do have some yellow in my callouses, not much, but it's there. He recommended reducing Beta Carotene if you have this.
     
  10. Orion

    Orion Member

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    Task added to calendar, will confirm in 5yrs. :)
     
  11. Orion

    Orion Member

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    Mine went from light brownish orange, to light pale yellow currently, same happened to my feet, shins, and on my face around my eyes. It is definitely a good indicator of change.
     
  12. TeaRex14

    TeaRex14 Member

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    It was more figuratively then anything. Personally I don't think most will even last 5 years. Too restrictive, when you study human behavior for a living, you realize a few things along the way. One of the more notable things you realize is restriction and compartmentalization tend to go against some of our innate fundamentals. This is especially true when dealing with one's health and nutrition. Of course if either one of us is still around in 5 years from now, I guess I'll just have to take your word for it, lol. No way to confirm or deny your status over a 5 year period.
     
  13. Orion

    Orion Member

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    I hear you, done number of dumb and super restrictive things in the search for health, but I do like to stick to long experiments to prove to myself one way or the other if something is working. So will be reporting on RPF how things go pro or con with low VA, so far it has yielded the biggest positive changes. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of this...
     
  14. OP
    somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    My toddler did not look yellow at all. I have some spots on my knees and feet that look yellow especially visible after an Epsom Salt bath. They are better than this summer when I had a lot of carotenoids.
     
  15. Lynne

    Lynne Member

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    I mistakenly assumed this thread was going to be free of VA toxicity naysayers, for those of us without enough time to trawl through the cumbersome G thread, etc. Alas I was wrong. Build it and they will come... :depressed:
     
  16. OP
    somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    That was my wish too. I want this thread to be practical. Why was my first attempt successful and the second one not so much? There's more to it than eliminating A. Other factors are changed when implementing the diet like I mentioned in my first post. I'm not denying that reducing A is an important factor, but I'm interested in widening my understanding of why it can be so successful. Maybe, it's possible to be less strict and heal if other factors are present.

    I do not want to implement dietary guidelines from an Internet theory without understanding the mechanisms underlying it. I want to be able to troubleshoot myself and also I want to know what I need to do to get back on the right track when I slip.

    It doesn't matter whether you believe A is a poison or a vitamin. In either case, too much of it will make you sick.
     
  17. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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  18. Lynne

    Lynne Member

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    Maybe we need to start a thread called "only for people experimenting with a low VA diet " ...
     
  19. dwide

    dwide Member

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    Let me first say that I'm just starting with this low VA diet, so I may be talking out my ass here. :lol:

    I'll second that. Dairy, tomatoes, rice krispies (fortified with VA if in the US), spices -- still sounds pretty high in both retinol and carotenoids.

    Obviously, you saw improvements initially, and that counts for something. Do you think it's possible your initial improvements were because your VA intake was lower than whatever it had been previously?

    My observation is that people seem to become less tolerant of VA-containing foods as time goes by on this diet. If there's anything to this "detox" idea, maybe the initial lowering allowed VA stores to dump, thereby making you more sensitive to additional dietary VA during "Round 2"? Franko reported this in the original thread: needing to get more restrictive of VA intake as time went on. @Blossom 's blood test could also confirm this idea: She still has high serum retinol, despite eating low/no VA for several months. She also reports being able to tolerate small amounts of butter now, whereas she could not during her first 6 months -- leaving one hopeful that restriction isn't necessary forever.

    Some thoughts:
    • Maybe not enough fat? Cutting out dairy, sunflower seeds and almonds would remove a lot of fat.
    • Removing nuts and seeds would also remove a bunch of vitamin E.
    • How much of that additional wheat was enriched? I personally feel like crap eating enriched wheat products. I seem to be fine with unenriched though.
    Re: snacks (if you're in the US)
    • Kettle Brand chips are cooked in high-oleic oils.
    • Back to Nature makes a bunch of cookie varieties with unenriched flour.
    • A few brands of pretzels use unenriched flour.
     
  20. OP
    somuch4food

    somuch4food Member

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    I'm not doing much research on papers atm. I don't have enough time to dedicate to understanding it all.

    From what I understood skimming through is that beta carotene is cleaved as 2 retinaldehydes that can be converted to retinol or retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the molecule targeted as having all the bad effects by Grant. Maybe, there's actually a deficiency in retinol in many people and the conversion mainly happens as retinoic acid?

    Also, maybe the cleavage doesn't happen as often as it should and it's actually beta carotene molecules that interfere with many A related functions.
     
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