Why is Peat so adamant about supplement use, but not food quality?

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Dec 4, 2020
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I have seen Peat mention in various interviews that particular supplements are safe / recommends their use, such as niacinamide, taurine, b6, etc. In other interviews he has mentioned that the only safe supplements are "aspirin, cascara, progesterone, cyproheptadine, penicillin, and some kinds of thyroid - vitamin a and dhea on the skin", which seems contradictory, and he himself has said that he takes the fat soluble vitamins on his skin (vitamin D and E). Even with relatively "pure" ingredients, Peat seems to think that contaminants from the manufacturing process pose a risk. Which supplements are truly safe, and why would aspirin for example be safer than niacinamide?

A lot of fruit he has recommended like grapes and cherries are perhaps the most pesticide-ridden fruits out there, but I am not sure if it goes without saying to be buying organic produce. Certainly where I am from most food is not available "organic", and the term "organic" has also become very misconstruing. What about the contaminants in food, don't they pose as much as a risk as the ones in supplements, I assume food and supplements are processed in similar factories. Is it just that this fact is unavoidable due to food supply, so not mentioned? I am generally just very confused on his seemingly unflinching opposition to supplement use, they seem to be useful tools for getting oneself out of a stress pattern (when diet and lifestyle alone don't suffice).
 
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James b

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I’ve not heard him say this, but definitely heard him say the complete oppposite on numerous occasions. One of the first things that I remember him saying to a lot of people is to ‘drop all supplements’.
 
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He is negative on bananas as an over-industrialized food.

I haven’t heard him being negative on grapes. I’m not sure that grapes are really as bad as what you were saying.

But I think the overall reason is that he is gearing himself to people without a lot of money who don’t have a lot of choices because they can’t afford really clean food.

I think one reason he recommends milk is that even in our industrial age, the cow has filtered out a lot of the toxins and it represents a clean and affordable food.
 

mostlylurking

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May 13, 2015
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I have seen Peat mention in various interviews that particular supplements are safe / recommends their use, such as niacinamide, taurine, b6, etc. In other interviews he has mentioned that the only safe supplements are "aspirin, cascara, progesterone, cyproheptadine, penicillin, and some kinds of thyroid - vitamin a and dhea on the skin", which seems contradictory, and he himself has said that he takes the fat soluble vitamins on his skin (vitamin D and E). Even with relatively "pure" ingredients, Peat seems to think that contaminants from the manufacturing process pose a risk. Which supplements are truly safe, and why would aspirin for example be safer than niacinamide?

A lot of fruit he has recommended like grapes and cherries are perhaps the most pesticide-ridden fruits out there, but I am not sure if it goes without saying to be buying organic produce. Certainly where I am from most food is not available "organic", and the term "organic" has also become very misconstruing. What about the contaminants in food, don't they pose as much as a risk as the ones in supplements, I assume food and supplements are processed in similar factories. Is it just that this fact is unavoidable due to food supply, so not mentioned? I am generally just very confused on his seemingly unflinching opposition to supplement use, they seem to be useful tools for getting oneself out of a stress pattern (when diet and lifestyle alone don't suffice).
I think you over exaggerate Ray Peat's recommendation of supplements. He tries to recommend a diet that is the most nutrient dense because ORGANIC clean real food is always better/safer than supplements that are manufactured (in China???). He warns about the excipients that are almost always added to vitamin pills and capsules because these are pretty dangerous. He explains why the excipients are dangerous in detail. They are added to make the manufacturing equipment run properly with the claim that they pass right through the human body without any side effects. Ground glass (silica) and raw powdered starch are not good things for your capillaries and they do pass right through the intestine wall into the bloodstream.

Liver is recommended weekly for the vitamins in it. A serving of shellfish is also recommended weekly for the minerals. The foods that Ray suggests are the cleanest available in today's food supply. You have to eat SOMETHING.

Ray is extremely consistent in what he recommends but he does occasionally change his mind about something. I remember that I read in one of his early books a suggestion to use B5. I have not found that advice repeated in any of his later articles, I suspect because he researched B5 further and decided against it. I have heard him suggest using B6, but always in very small doses (10-12 mg?) which is very hard to find in a prepared capsule. He consistently disagrees with supplementing things to increase methylation, I think because of the increased risk of cancer.

Ray has changed his mind about supplementing D3 transdermally and now suggests the oral route for it (recently to me by email), because it is imperative to get that D3 up to healthy levels as quickly as possible. It worked for me too, pretty quickly. He likes to take vitamin A transdermally because it makes him sick to take it orally. I've followed his advice on this and my vitamin A is now testing as in the middle of the normal range, a big improvement for me.

It's important to check with the source (Ray Peat) rather than other people to learn what Ray believes. It is easy to do. Here's a great search engine: PeatSearch: a Ray Peat-specific search engine - Toxinless . In order to actually learn what Ray Peat has to say on a topic, it is better to use the search cell on the left which only searches his work and interviews.

Ray is consistently concerned about the problems with excipients, whether they are in niacinamide or in an aspirin tablet. There are sources on line to get pure powders with no excipients. This does not guarantee that there aren't any manufacturing contaminates but it does solve the excipient problem.

Grapes aren't recommended because of the estrogen found on the skins from the yeast bloom, and the seeds should be avoided. Cherries are recommended because they are a "stone" fruit that has a big seed that is easy to avoid eating. Peaches, nectarines, and mangos are also "stone" fruit. Fruit seeds are to be avoided always. Bananas are high in serotonin and too high in starch, in addition to having the toxins from modern farming practices. Watermelon is great!

"Food" that comes from factories, aka "processed" food should be avoided. Exceptions are high quality marmalade, some canned fruit, canned bamboo shoots, canned mushrooms, milk, and orange juice (all ORGANIC). Read the labels.
 

Dave Clark

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Jun 2, 2017
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Peat is so much against estrogen, but doesn't seem to have a problem with recommending canned food, which has been proven in tests to be high in xenoestrogens.
i agree with the OP, Peat gets anal about supplements being pure, but doesn't stress organic food, etc. Notice I said 'stress', not that he is against organic or pure food, but he does not seem as concerned as he is about impurities in other things. Non-organic food is loaded with glyphosate, heavy metals like arsenic from pesticides, etc.
But, I also get that he is just bracketing what foods people should eat that has low or no PUFAs, etc. and is good for metabolism.
 

dukesbobby777

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Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
216
He’s always emphasized food over supplements because food is what keeps us alive, therefore we have no choice but to consume it. Supplements are man made things, often not found in that particular state in nature, and certainly aren’t a necessity to keep a person alive. They are just things that people use to try and biohack their physiology (often failing, because in those unnatural amounts, they often put the body in an unbalanced state).

I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that the food supply is tainted on every level. And he’d probably advise people just to do the best they can with whatever options we have available.

If he has ever recommended grapes, I’m sure he’d advise a person to go for a better source than your average store punnet of grapes (doused in pesticides). But I’m sure he’s also aware that not everyone can afford to buy organic produce.

Also, he’s got a scientific mind. So he’s spoken of protective compounds (niacinamide, aspirin, MB, etc) because that all threads together with what he teaches in trying to raise metabolism. Much in the way PUFA, SSRIs, arsenic and stress damage the metabolism. So he isn’t advising people to go out and take these things. From what I’ve come across from him, he might advise these things in very serious medical situations (if he is advising in an official capacity), or he will speak highly of something (like aspirin for instance) if asked about it directly.

There’s a huge supplement culture on this forum. Maybe that can alter a person’s views on Peat’s position on supplements/food. Or perhaps Peat has been misquoted and that can form incorrect impressions.
 
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