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Unpopular Opinion: I Think Some Of Ray's Ideas Are Just Not Helpful And Actually Make Matters Worse

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Health Discussions' started by jzeno, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. jzeno

    jzeno Member

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    Eating a liquid diet without things like starches seems like the craziest thing ever.

    It's ironic because Ray's all pro-thyroid and I'm almost positive some of the things he either practices or alludes to as pro-thyroid are actually harmful.

    I'm sure there are others who agree on this point with respect to other ideas, but those are the two that don't work for me and personally, I think are just insane to suggest to someone who is having thyroid issues.

    If you are cold (experiencing low-thyroid issues), why in the hell would you suggest a virtually liquid diet without substantial solid food to balance it?

    And no starches? Starches are like the only thing that make the human engine 'go' with ease. They are the most reliable food source for humans (grains, potatoes, corn, etc.). To say: Don't eat these but instead drink a bunch of this (explicitly or implicitly), to me seems crazy and the exact opposite of the thing which you would want to say to a person with low-thyroid.

    Don't get me wrong--I like Dr. Peat and some of his ideas are great such as his work on PUFA and pro-thyroid POV has probably helped hundreds if not thousands including myself, but he certainly misses the mark in a few areas.

    I totally suggest well-cooked potatoes for healthy and unhealthy people.

    Disagree or agree if you like, but that's just my opinion. I like some of his work and I'm grateful for it, but some of it is just the exact opposite of what I personally would suggest to a person suffering from low-thyroid issues. Call me crazy, but some things I tried and they were not helpful and were actually the opposite and made matters worse. Glad I stopped before I went too far.

    Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences. I know there are others who tried some of Peat's ideas and have had either no results or poor results.
     
  2. Goobz

    Goobz Member

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    I think he's a brilliant thinker and came up with loads of incredibly valuable stuff, but no one person is EVER going to have all the answers. I'm new ish to his work, and think he has valuable contributions, especially historically, but some of what he's said is way off the mark.

    In this day and age, with the massive amount of information freely available on the internet, thought leaders, experts, etc are all going to be proved wrong in the majority of cases. The amount of things he got right in a time when this knowledge WASN'T freely available, is rather amazing.

    But i think if anything the lesson is to think independently and challenge ideas, rather than to just parrot his own views.

    With that said - my major complaint is his views on estrogen.

    I think like anything, if it rises out of balance, the effect will be negative. But it's going to be a completely different story in females vs males, a completely different story with taking estrogenic compounds orally (WHI study) and transdermal bioidentical estradiol, completely different story of aromatisation of circulating testosterone to circulating estrogens vs aromatisation in the tissue... I could go on.

    I will disclose my bias - I was prescribed an aromatase inhibitor by an endo who didn't have a clue, and it basically ruined my life. Aged my appearance greatly, damaged my nervous system and vascular and skeletal system. Through years of health research almost ALL of my health problems can be traced to a lack of estrogen.

    Estradiol appears to be a hormone that circulates in youth to signal that the body is still young and reproducing. In women, supplemental transdermal estradiol at menopause lowers all cause mortality by 40%, decreases cardiovascular disease, increases mitochondrial function, increases telomere length, etc. Google Dr Anne Hathaway for her research on this.

    Recent data in older MEN shows that the ONLY sex steroid that is associated with lower biological age measured via telomeres... is estradiol. The higher the estradiol, the younger they appear to be. Many, many of the beneficial functions of circulating testosterone appear to be due to it being converted (aromatised) in the tissue.

    Individuals taking aromatase inhibitors experience cognitive decline, increased neurological problems, osteoporosis and arthritis, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, and more. W0men who lose their ovaries but don't supplement with estrogen have a more than double risk of alzheimers and dementia.

    Estradiol is a tryptophan dioxygenase (TDO) inhibitor. TDO inhibition is the new target for neurodegenerative and seems very promising.

    Many people, especially body builders, are ruining their health by blocking estrogen. It's a growing problem in the US. Google Dr Kominiarek talking about this, people coming in with osteoporosis and ruined metabolism and vascular function. All for what? An overly simplistic idea about it being only important for women.

    Hmm... sorry for the hijack! I should start my own thread on this probably. I would like to understand Rays views on estrogen more, but what I read of it was at least ten years old, and would seem pretty out of date considering the new research.
     
  3. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    I think it might be that the "problem" with what he suggests is that you have to be in a good place metabolically in the first place in order to sustain it. But if you are in a good place, then his suggestions will keep you functioning optimally. My guess is that that is why why he is so insistent on getting up to a 98.6 degree temperature and high pulse rate via thyroid supplement.
     
  4. AnonE

    AnonE Member

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    Nice thread, it's important to question whatever dogma surrounds you, even if you think it's mostly good and go along with it =)

    Agreed on too much liquid, I don't see how people are drinking that much OJ AND milk everyday. One or the other, fine, but both seems unrealistic. Too much liquid I find unsettling for the stomach, at least without starches like you said, or rice/bread, other 'solid' carbs to 'soak' it up.

    Also I'm still grappling with how people view weight loss here. There's this magical 'fixed metabolism' mode where you should eat as much sugar as you can handle and other good things and not count/track anything and apparently you'll lose weight and revert to man's natural 6 pack state or something... Totally unrealistic. What I actually read about here are people feeling better, which is great, but gaining e.g. 10-15 kilos in the process, switching over to more carb-heavy (though nutrient dense) foods.

    Also since we're questioning dogma and thinking aloud, and since we're evidence-based people, I think it's worth revisiting the keto-diet hate. Yes it goes against a lot of theories here. But guess what, I see way more people posting successful before/after pics and having life-changing results on keto forums than pretty much anywhere else on the net (including here). Just check out Keto: The Home for Ketogenic Diets Look at the results. A lot of these people are doing well, even if they're eating Peat-unfriendly foods, running on fat, have PUFA in the diet, etc. Are they all gonna magically drop dead or put 80+ lbs back on a year from now one day?

    I started revisiting the keto stuff as well after watching a talk on it halting and reversing tumor growth:

    I'm very open to the idea that something else is going on explaining why 'running on fat' is seemingly so good despite being anti-Peat. Maybe they're just eating more meats and veges and getting much better micronutrients or something. But the above talk for example showed over and over in studies that removing sugar helped with tumors, contradictory to e.g. Cancer Is NOT Addicted To Glucose, As Previously Thought Maybe I just don't understand, but it seems like this link and the above talk espouse very different conclusions.

    And fasting, there's another topic that's worth considering just like keto I think. A lot of people have amazing results with it, especially for sustained weight loss. Better than what I've read on these forums at least, with people drinking all that OJ and milk and eating cheese every few hours :D There are biological mechanisms that are supposedly very beneficial for fasting, and we definitely evolved to do fasting. Maybe RP never said to eat food every few hours but that seems like what people do here, and then complain they don't lose weight yet. 'But I'm fixing my metabolism'.

    Last topic I'd bring up is supplementation. I think people here are too dismissive of it. Oh no, silicon dioxide in the capsules, etc. After using cronometer for a while, I realized that to get good amounts of all the good nutrients, you just need so. much. damn. food. Plus in North America at least, we grow our foods on very nutrient-depleted soil, so there's a very good chance we're all getting less nutrients than we think anyways, even with good foods.

    EDIT - one more topic I forgot, taking thyroid hormone... for life? What's the plan here? If RP-inspired dietary tips are so good for the thyroid, why would we need to supplement the hormone for life? I just don't get that. Personally I've had great success, at least temperature- and energy-wise, with tyrosine + selenium (otc supps and occurring in many foods), and these aid my natural production rather than take it over.

    At the end of the day I go with a mostly Peat-inspired (i.e. high carb, pro-thyroid, anti-estrogen) diet because it optimizes my hormones and physical performance, and sex drive. I never lose weight on a Peat diet unless I do fasting, count calories, do extra exercise before bed, etc. In fact by default I gain weight so I really have to be consistent on maintaining high physical activity levels. I think Peat diets are great for athletic types and people that want to have lots of sex lol, at least that's what I've noticed. But for the average sedentary Westerner, I don't know how much sense it makes. There's a lot of 'promised land' theories around weight loss and metabolism and energy and being lean, if you could just ditch the PUFA for 4 years, but how practical/realistic is this?

    Anyways that's me trying to be as critical as I can, hopefully some good food for thought and discussion topics :)
     
  5. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    He won't even browse a forum exalting his own ideas... Not the most practical man! People often chose to read him in a more abstract way... It's like the bible, you can cite a passage to support the view if you "get it." For example, a Peater might pick out what Peat said about drinking too much water and apply that to the liquid/solid balance in the diet.
     
  6. Fractality

    Fractality Member

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    He's too busy enjoying the high altitude living, not stuck inside in front of a screen.
     
  7. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    if there's ever a forum with my name in it, i wouldn't be able to resist browsing it obsessively

    maybe that's why there'll never be a forum with my name in it :(

    unless i create one myself. ooh plot twist: charlie is ray peat
     
  8. Janelle525

    Janelle525 Member

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    I am interested in this, could you start a new thread? Although I am mainly interested in the woman side of things. I have been on progest-e for over 4 years and feel like it's not doing all the things I thought it would. I feel better when estrogen starts rising now, like I get some more kick in my step, mood is better, appetite is better, motivation is better then after the two weeks on progest-e I'm weepy, I have hot flashes, I have literally no energy, I'm bloated, Transit time slows. Oh and also a new symptom is TMJ at that time of my cycle! Peat fans would say take WAY MORE! You need more progesterone! Well no I have never ever been a fan of of going over 20 mg. It doesn't make me feel better the more I take. I actually get high cortisol the more I take.
     
  9. Fractality

    Fractality Member

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    That's essentially what RP says about estrogen though. That it is an issue when chronically elevated.
     
  10. Sugar Bun

    Sugar Bun Member

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  11. TripleOG

    TripleOG Member

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    Seems like an issue of confusing some of the ideas shared here versus what he actually says.
     
  12. postman

    postman Member

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    I think a lot of his dietary advice is awful, the only stuff I really fully agree with is the stuff he says about fat and PUFAs. His general advice seems to make a lot of people sicker, who then come to forums like this and are told by people, often people who have never dealt with chronic illness, that "there is no Ray Peat diet lolz!" which in a way is true but it's also a convenient trope to fall back on every time anyone runs into any problems while eating in a "peat-inspired" way. The peatosphere is just as cultish as every other diet community, just because it's dressed up with carefully handpicked studies doesn't change that fact.
     
  13. rei

    rei Member

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    I used to have kinda similar thoughts contrasting own experience and anecdotal testimony on the net to what he writes. Fasting and keto are wonderful ways to improve a majority of westerners condition. Because they are in borderline metabolic syndrome/diabetes largely due to cultural factors. Year's worth of disease, deficiencies, compensatory regulation and dysregulation won't cure in a reasonable time by simply improving the quality of the current diet. You must tear it all down and reset the system. Fasting achieves exactly this. And keto in a much slower way, mainly through extending the duration of fasting metabolism during sleeping.

    Once you are in a state where the body is capable to maintain homeostasis without sacrificing secondary goals then you can start optimizing things as they agree with your physiology and ultimately you will arrive at something very much resembling peat's prescription for health. I used to do low carb and IF/fasting and once my chronic condition healed i started to have intense sugar cravings and giving in to it really ramped up my metabolism to similar levels as when fasting, when previously consuming carbs in those amounts would put me in a "food coma".

    I'm sure that a couple generations back when Peat was practicing the metabolic health of society was so far removed from metabolic syndrome that simply optimizing things was enough to make a change for almost anybody, without the need to tear it all down first. If today's average is the one in a thousand back then you cannot really focus on that one.
     
  14. EtienneAmelie

    EtienneAmelie Member

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    I have nothing really clever to say about that, but 1 year and a half of upping sugars, eating fruits when available and starches when not, drinking milk, eating the carrot salad and adding gelatin when having muscle meat helped me a great deal regarding energy, mood, body composition and libido. My life changed for the better during this period.

    But I am young and was not extremely unhealthy to begin with.

    On a sidenote, living in Paris and being OK with spending a hefty sum on food gives me access of a wide range of organic, locally grown, high-quality and varied food supply - not the bland-tasting generic-looking greenhouse-grown tomato from spain or unripe mango from the South hemisphere kind of "varied", more like tasty and seasonal vegetables/herbs/starches which have kind of disappeared from today's crops for they are uneasy to grow on an agroindustrial scale. As an example, my fruits seller has 12 species of apples on display at the moment. My butcher also offers all kinds of "gourmet" pieces, ranging from tasty liver to "fromage de tête". Plus the fact that I love cooking, in a country with a nice cooking tradition, makes it quite entertaining to adopt Peat's ideas.

    Sorry if this sounds a bit too "bourgeois", but I have found that loving and cherishing your food was important for me.
     
  15. Goobz

    Goobz Member

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    Well as long as we're talking about estradiol, not any synthetic estrogen, or a form or oral estrogen that get converted in the liver to estrone etc... it still seems to be beneficial in many ways when chronically elevated, with supplementation around menopause for instance.

    High estradiol in women treats and protects against so many diseases that I think in general it's a broadly very positive hormone for women. Taking equine estrogen, synthetic forms, or taking it by mouth, to get converted in the liver to estrone, which causes clotting - all of these are a completely different story of course.

    For men it's more complicated, but still appears absolutely critical, and in my opinion is still broadly positive. And it appears that often the final fate of circulating testosterone is to get metabolised into estrogen in the target tissue and that when this is blocked, many of the benefits of testosterone don't materialise. However if you have high circulating estradiol, then you may produce less testosterone overall, and actually end up with less estrogenic effects in certain tissues, especially those tissue that are rich in aromatase. The hippocampus, for instance. But none of this changes the fact that the estrogenic action is still a positive one.

    Obviously a completely different story for estrogen-like substances, of which there are many.

    And yes, I'm hugely biased, as I have experienced first hand the horrible effects of blocking this hormone. I would like to learn more about the problems with high estrogen, but IMO estradiol at least, seems like a very healthy hormone.
     
  16. Goobz

    Goobz Member

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    Yep I'll start a new thread sometime soon!
     
  17. nwo2012

    nwo2012 Member

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    Since most synthetic AIs do more than just "blocking this hormone" you cant blame your experience simply on the lowering of aromatase.
    There are so many misconceptions attributed to RP in this thread that I wont even go any further.
     
  18. FinnRooney

    FinnRooney Member

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    You’re all way off. He doesn’t give food suggestions, yes he has talked about particular foods but he has never said ‘this should be your diet. EVERYTHING IN CONTEXT! Remember?

    Orange juice is anti estrogenic, that’s why he has talked about it. But he has also said too much water is not good... it doesn’t mean either of those facts are invalid! You need to look into it with more common sense!

    You can criticise him all you want, his work is about the ideas! You’re all trying to follow his words like the bible and are surprised that when you eat foods you don’t crave or drink fluids when you’re not thirsty that it makes you feel bad... is this not obvious enough?!

    I think all of you need to approach everything in balance. The reason why you are on a forum like this is usually because you’re being so critical of every decision in your life and trying to be perfect according to everyone else. Ray Peat would never tell you to eat something that makes you feel bad. He gives out recommendations to specific people with specific circumstances and you all take it as your own recommendation...

    If this doesn’t get you to think a little differently, I can’t help you
     
  19. Goobz

    Goobz Member

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    Fair enough, if there are other effects of AI drugs I don't know about they could well have played a part in my personal experience. (Though if you're referring to the natural downstream consequences of blocking aromatase on all the other hormonal signalling in the body, then I very much include those under "blaming my experience on blocking aromatase." It's a central and critical enzyme in the body, so of course blocking it is going to cause countless changes downstream).

    Anyway I included my personal experience simply for full disclosure, to acknowledge any biases I am likely to have. But the majority of my comments on estrogen are related to scientific studies, not my personal experience.

    And to reiterate to anyone reading this, I like many of RPs ideas. The fact that I disagree with him on certain things is completely normal. Science is always changing and updating. And it's changed and updated a lot recently in the area of hormones, specifically.
     
  20. Constatine

    Constatine Member

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    His ideas are often distorted in this forum (often due to people's natural tendency towards binary ways of thought: ie that estrogen must be good or bad because it does x), he is sometimes completely wrong (though it seems like his views on things are constantly shifting, which is a good thing as it emphasizes the search for truth over the ego and dogmas), and sometimes his advice is conditionally beneficial. Too many people see Ray Peat as a school of thought or a movement that must be either joined or opposed. He is an intelligent and anti-dogmatic biologist that specializes in female hormones. He is virtually absent from the public eye and is probably the last person who wants to be called a "guru". His ideas are not sacred, in fact the point of being anti-dogmatic is that ideas are not sacred. He is part of the discourse as we attempt to understand more about the human body, and I think he participates in very meaningful ways. The fact that there is often backlash when an idea of his doesn't work for an individual indicates that Ray Peat has unintentionally become an authority (and thus has the responsibility to be right in a broad sense).
    “Since the contextuality of communication is always in the foreground when I talk or write, you know that someone is confusing me with an authority when they talk about my ‘protocol’ for something. Context is everything, and it’s individual and empirical.” —Raymond Peat, PhD
     
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