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Theory: Sugar Is A Metabolic 'activator', Works Well If Body Has Enough Nutrients

Discussion in 'Ray Peat Topics' started by AnonE, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. AnonE

    AnonE Member

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    Whenever there are two diametrically opposed ideas, and anecdotes on both sides, I find it interesting to try and come up with an underlying theory that unifies the seeming contradictions.

    And a big one is SUGAR!

    For a lot of people, sugar makes them fat, creates mental fog, and obviously is a popular mainstream punching bag. But it's not just some conspiracy or uninformed collective amnesia, I've seen sugar (and higher carbs) work terribly for people. And probably so have you.

    For some people (though it seems markedly less), sugar (and higher carb) is the missing piece of the puzzle. Temperatures go up, mood improves, and even weight loss happens.

    So what's with the big discrepancy?

    I believe it has to do with nutritional state. Here's my current rough model of the human body: we store micronutrients - minerals and vitamins, some for longer than others, while others need constant replenishment - and then different types of macronutrients are activated differently depending on micronutrient status (as well as genetic variations).

    Since sugar is so easily digested and turned into energy, I view it kind of like applying a gas pedal to the body. Energy is created, and uses up micronutrients. If we have sufficient micronutrients, then with the energy we can make the right hormones and things. If not, perhaps our bodies have mechanisms for 'not using' the sugar and they get stored into fat, and other poor responses.

    With this model, it makes sense how a lot of people could respond poorly to sugar, given our hypothesis that (Western/modern) societies are nutrient depleted. We have poor soils, the animals are fed garbage, pesticides and GMOs aren't helping, etc.

    What do you guys think of this theory?

    As a testing point for anyone who responds badly to sugar, maybe you could see if taking a few multivitamins along with any sugar helps out. I know not all multis are that great, so just as a short-term experiment it could be a good shotgun approach to testing this theory. Alternatively, see if Orange Juice (very nutritionally dense) does you better than just sugar water. I'm starting to really think micronutrients are a massive component of health and that the body has many mechanisms for adapting to their lack or excess.
     
  2. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    I definitely agree. Until I started taking high doses of thiamine my system could not handle much sugar, it would make me feel tired and sick.
     
  3. jamies33

    jamies33 Member

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    Exactly. I agree.
     
  4. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    Yes, the body needs nutrients to metabolize sugar this is well known.

    This is why I personally don't recommend or personally use added sugar anymore and why sugar in the form of fruit is generally superior - it keeps all of the nutrition that helps you actually use the sugar for energy production.

    The challenge is that everyone's current nutrient status and also maintenance level nutrient intake is different than the next person, so it is very hard to figure out just how much you need of everything. If this part were easy, there wouldn't be so many people like myself chronically struggling.
     
  5. OP
    AnonE

    AnonE Member

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    Also - what would be the key nutrients one needs to properly utilize sugar?

    I've been playing around and I find that higher dose B vitamins + minerals seem most important (Ca, Mg, Zn, probably Potassium would be good too).
     
  6. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    The engineer in me is inclined to want to put together a spreadsheet that can estimate your specific nutrient needs depending upon the following:

    Current macros
    Height, weight, gender, body fat %
    maybe some relevant genetic parameters like hemochromatosis
    current labs potentially? hair analysis, hormone test results...

    It would be nice to finally take some of the guesswork away from this so we can start to develop a standardized model for (most) people.

    We all know that most vitamins/minerals are interconnected, so a spreadsheet could easily recalculate everything else.
     
  7. OP
    AnonE

    AnonE Member

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    @Cirion one of my business ideas involves taking broad-spectrum nutrient+hormone measurements of people in order to find patterns in chronic diseases.

    The human body requires like... 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids, has maybe a dozen major hormones.

    We have a complex system with over 100 valuable measurements, and we do research studies that measure like 3 of them at a time? No wonder we haven't solved anything.

    My background is data science / machine learning so this has interested me for a while. I approach biology/health as an outsider, so to me it's a black box of sorts, with observable input/output patterns. A possibly useful perspective to have given that we have the technology to measure so much now.
     
  8. pinacolada

    pinacolada Member

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    I have experienced the same thing. I started taking a B complex and began getting most my carbs calories from jam and honey and am losing weight. 2 years ago when I first found peat I gained 20 lbs trying to eat simple sugars as a main carb source.
     
  9. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    That sounds interesting. I might be interested to work with you on it. I must confess part of my interest is because I'm tired of being sick myself, but getting better and then helping others sounds cool too.

    Yes I agree. We think we are so smart by doing a study on a few parameters and then declaring as if from Mount Sinai that we have the answer, only to find we are wrong again because of not considering all the other parameters. The body is such a black box that our current approach is "Take inputs A, B, C into the black box and observe outputs D, E, F" which is marginally useful at best and never applicable to all humans. All that we have discovered is that in a certain specific context with someone with specific genes and specific state of hormones, that inputs A, B, C results in outputs D, E, F and then attempt to extrapolate to "all" people with these results.

    I am an engineer myself and done my fair share of MDAO (multi disciplinary analysis and optimization) of upwards of 100-1000's variables at a time so I'm no stranger to this either.

    I myself am getting tired of going back and forth saying I think I'm low in X mineral, but maybe too high in Y vitamin. I want concrete answers...

    we could recruit the help of the whole forum. I'm not as smart as haidut and amazoniac and others so I at least would definitely need assistance putting something like that together..
     
  10. OP
    AnonE

    AnonE Member

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    @Cirion cool man, I'm working on a pitch deck to summarize these ideas and then later raise financing. I'm a young entrepreneur myself in another field. How about I PM you for feedback/interest when it's a bit more refined :)
     
  11. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    sounds good. The main thing is we need data, lots lots lots of it. More the better. "Subjective" information is also very useful to go alongside data. Like rating pain, fatigue on scale of 1 to 10. Sometimes hormone tests may come back fairly benign but people would still say "pain 7/10" and "fatigue 8/10" as an example.

    In order really come up with trends when we're talking 100 variables or so, may need 10-100,000+ data points to really start noticing the trends. That's going to be the hard part. I think at first you'll need to get "Free" reports from someone, like from these forums and elsewhere, people voluntarily giving detailed reports. Going to be very hard to fund a study that has 100,000+ volunteers. on the business model front you'd want to have a relatively "small" number maybe 100 people to start with, just to bring the idea forward, and from that maybe start getting a little funding started and go from there.
     
  12. TeaRex14

    TeaRex14 Member

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    In theory fruit would be the best way to get your sugar, that way you don't have to worry about getting excess nutrients. Fruits come packed with sugar, naturally balanced with the nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar. Due to our damaged digestive systems and exposure to inferior shelf ripened fruits now days this becomes difficult to do, in some geographical locations, probably impossible. Energin, shellfish, liver, and dairy seem to supply me with enough nutrition to metabolize refine added sugars. Probably one of the few things I actually disagree with Dr. Peat on is his avoidance of choline. I typically also take about 700mgs of added choline to help convert all that extra sucrose into cholesterol. Without it, it'll end up as liver fat. I never really understood his position on choline, not to mention, he sort of contradicts himself about choline if he's recommending eggs, liver, and dairy. All of which, have more choline in them than most other foods.
     
  13. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    RP rarely eats more than 1-2 eggs a day AFAIK, and maybe eats liver once a week? I think he's probably just saying don't over-do it. Then again, I haven't read his exact stance. Chris masterjohn did a good article on choline. Some people actually need more choline than others, depending on genetics, so that is important to consider.
     
  14. Memento

    Memento Member

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    How long have you been on high dose thiamine?
     
  15. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    Over a year now. I took a lot at the start of peating, about 1 gram a day for the first few weeks. Now I take around 1 gram every week.
     
  16. Memento

    Memento Member

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    Nice. I think thiamine is way undervalued in importance, especially if you are coming from keto or low carb background. But long term I think it isn't necessary or shouldn't be.
     
  17. TeaRex14

    TeaRex14 Member

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    Possibly, but I'm not sure what the exact reasoning for this is in the first place. I'm not sure what he thinks happens if you get too much. Choline, from everything I've seen, is not only important for cholesterol synthesis and liver health but also for the detoxification of estrogen as well. Due to it's anti-estrogen properties, one would think it's an extremely pro Peat nutrient. These benefits seem to be from dosages anywhere between 1 to 2 grams, so it's kind of hard to overdo choline, in my experience. Also it's worth noting, besides Masterjohn, Ali Kuoppala (Anabolic Men) is also very pro choline. So that's two respectable figures I know who support choline consumption. If you regularly take cyproheptadine, a Peaty supplement, it also makes you need more choline due to it's anticholinergic effects. So there's plenty of reasons for Peatarians to not avoid choline.
     
  18. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    My diet is still a little heavy on refined sugars and grains so I like to play it safe.
     
  19. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    For whatever reason I respond really well to trimethylglycine, which metabolizes to choline; where as supplementing choline or eating more high choline foods I do not notice anything.
     
  20. TeaRex14

    TeaRex14 Member

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    Interesting, I have not heard of this before, is it like a choline precursor? I think choline is imperative when eating a high sugar diet. Unless someone is eating 3-4 eggs a day or a couple ounces of liver everyday they probably need a choline supplement.
     
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