You are what you Eat, 2014 Herb doctors

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    [justify]
    Raymond Peat, Ph.D.​

    You are what you Eat​

    2014, Herb Doctors​

    (transcribed by Bskory)

    Q: So, you are what you eat. This phrase is come to us via quite a torturous route. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote in Physiologie du Goût, ou Méditations de Gastronomie Transcendante in 1826 saying "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." In an essay titled "Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism" 1863-1864 Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach wrote, "As man is what he eats." Neither meant in their quotations to be taken literally - they were stating that the food one eats has a bearing on the state of mind and/or health. The actual phrase didn't emerge in English until sometime later. In the 1920s and 30s, the nutritionist Victor Lindlahr was a strong believer in the idea that food controls health - developed the Catabolic Diet. That view gained some adherents at the time and the earliest known printed example is from an advert for beef in a 1923 edition of the Bridgeport Telegraph, for 'United Meat Markets.'

    In Australia as elsewhere nearly half of the population will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. This means even people who are not personally affected are likely to know someone who has experienced such an illness. Research now suggests that depression and dementia are affected by the quality of our diets across the life course. Indeed, studies from countries as diverse as Norway, Spain, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia show people whose diets are healthier are less likely to experience depression.

    The most recent evidence points to the importance of the mothers' diets for the physical health of their children, and I know Dr. Raymond Peat has been very keen to point out that mother's nutrition is extremely important setting up the child's future. The role of nutrition on development is an obvious one but mostly ignored or overlooked in the perspective of health and well being. And the concept of homeostasis, that is the constancy of the inner environment or internal milieu, was first originally formulated by the French physiologist Claude Bernard who was alive from 1813 to 1878, and he was a French physiologist.

    Well, Dr. Peat, thanks so much for joining us. For those who may not be familiar with you, can you introduce yourself?

    RP: After I had studied in the humanities and taught Art and English and various things, I decided to go back to graduate school in Biology, 1968, University of Oregan. I wrote my dissertation on the age related changes in oxidative metabolism in the hamster uterus, and how it affects fertility with aging. That involved hormones and nutrition among other things, and how the environment affects those factors, especially the efficiency of metabolism using oxygen. Since then I've been writing and doing consultations and trying to figure things out. Still working on some of those same themes - oxidative metabolism and aging. The whole idea of metabolic efficiency is one my current themes. Lindlahr, that you just mentioned, his idea of the Catabolic Diet was to choose foods where their metabolic inefficiency...because people eating to satisfy their appetite tend to get fat on the available foods...and he found that he could get people to loose fat very consistently and quickly by choosing certain foods that increased their metabolic rate so that they could burn calories faster than they were eating them. That was in the 1920s when he did that research - and just by chance, a few years later George Burr who was studying the effect of fats in the diet found that if he made his rats deficient in the unsaturated fatty acids, they burned calories at a terrific rate - as much as 50% faster than normal. He thought that was bad, and he became very popular with the agricultural industry because they found that feeding those polyunsaturated fats to pigs and chickens and such, they would gain weight quickly and cheaply without eating very much food - just the opposite of what Lindlahr wanted to do - is to find foods which would decrease [increase] the efficiency of the metabolism so that people would produce heat without gaining weight.

    Q: Do you know what kinds of food Lindlahr advocated?

    RP: Lots of fruits and vegetables including fruit juices. The standard nutritional education emphasizes the concept of specific dynamic action, or the thermogenic effect, of various foods. It's widely recognized that eating protein increases your body temperature and heat production by quite a bit - 15 or 20% , and sugar a little less than that, fat not quite so...

    Q: (interrupts Dr. Peat) I know you've mentioned quite a lot in the past about coconut [oil]being thermogenic.

    RP: I think there are many reasons for that. The coconut is a very highly saturated fat and it happens that the unsaturated fats interfere with the mitochondrial use of oxygen in several ways - by producing free radicals, inflammation, and by interfering in a variety of ways with thyroid hormone function. So, all along the line, the polyunsaturated fats slow down oxidative metabolism. So, if your body is soaked in these conventional seed oils, then when you eat coconut oil, especially the shorter, very mobile fatty acids that are only a third or a half as long as the standard fats, these move into cells very quickly and oxidize without that antithyroid effect that the seed oils mostly have.

    Q: Victor Lindlahr then came up with the paper on a catabolic diet - the opposite of anabolism, which is to build muscle, and catabolism is to break it down with the production of heat.

    RP: In the 50's and 60's people were experimenting with what kind of diet is efficient for losing fat and still maintain your health. They did experiments in which people would just have pure water for 10 days or 14 days, and then they would analyze what happened to their bodies, and they found that they lost pure protein during that time - very little fat. If they ate maybe 600-800 calories per day during that same 10-14 days, they would lose mostly fat and very little protein.

    Q: Interesting - because that's the muscle mass a person loses when they fast or, for example, if they are using that water for 10 days. That's the first thing you would lose is your muscle mass.

    RP: Yes, that's why so many women are dieting constantly and getting fatter because if they eat an extremely low calorie diet, creating stress, the hight cortisol - and those are stress hormones - cause them to break down their protein, and their big muscles shrink so that the typical dieter will...you can hardly see her calf muscles, it becomes so atrophied. The big skeletal muscles, even at rest, burn fat to maintain themselves - almost a pure fat diet when they are at rest. So the more dieting they do, if they do it extremely, the smaller their muscles get, and then the easier it is to get fat the next time they eat a normal diet.

    Q: And you say with the addition of...how much fat was the addition that caused the protein to be conserved in that diet?

    RP: They fed them different foods, like a mixed diet - a little protein, a little carbohydrate, and especially a low fat intake, just so they were able to get some of their calorie needs from the diet rather than from their tissues. In the first day on a fast, your body uses up the sugar that's stored as glycogen. As soon as your blood sugar falls, because you've used up your stores, then your cortisol rises - first the adrenalin, then the cortisol - and the cortisol having no food available, it starts converting your thymus gland and big skeletal muscles, mostly, to free amino acids - which then can be, some of them, converted to glucose to feed your blood cells and brain and eyes and so on - because those have an absolute requirement for glucose. So even a plain sugar diet to supply that minimal amount to your brain and blood cells require, that will greatly prevent the rising cortisol and loss of good tissue.

    Q: (with regard to recent "scientific" findings on the microbiome of a person's body) It's well established that your gut apparently is your second brain, providing more input to your brain than your brain provides to it. And this is why your gut health is largely related in your gut bacteria, including your mental health and emotional well being. There are quite a few journal articles that have come out in 2013 and 2014 about the microbiome and making links...specifically to disease processes and the microbiome, and I know that you advocate several dietary factors that, I think, inadvertently are modulating the microbiome, and I think the science bringing about the explanation of the microbiome is now justifying what you are saying about, for example, indigestible fibers like bamboo shoots, carrots, etc. as being healthful in terms of their modulating the microbial content of the gut, and along with things like Cascara - not just for bowel motility and improving bowel function and wast clearance, but also because the Cascara itself is a cyclic structure quite similar to tetracycline in terms of it being a similar antibiotic in the gut, and how this affects bacterial colonies in a positive way to remove bad bacteria - actually allows normal healthy bacteria to flourish and therefore modulate the gut as an organism.

    RP: It's interesting that both Emodin from Cascara and Chinese rhubarb and such and tetracycline and related minocycline and doxycycline - these are anti-inflammatory as well as antiseptic. Emodin and tetracyclines have surprising range of good effects - anti-inflammatory and probably mood improving - minocycline is being found to prevent, possibly improve, dementia, Alzheimer's disease...Emodin has - every year it seems like there are half a dozen functions that are found for Emodin including improving the flora of the intestine.

    Q: Emodin - am I right in thinking that Emodin is also present in Aloe Vera.

    RP: Yes, in lots of plants. Generally, they're a laxative plant, but it isn't the typical purging kind of a laxative. If the Cascara isn't properly aged, it does have an irritating purging effect, but aging makes it insoluble in water, comparatively, and it loses the irritating inflammatory property and becomes anti-inflammatory and sedative and it actually increases the production of energy while having a nerve calming sedative effect.

    Q: And this again is that red compound that you've mentioned in the past that is energetic favorable in terms of its...both, electron quenching activity and its anti-inflammatory activity.

    RP: As sort of a side-line to my research in graduate school on what causes oxidative metabolism to go down with aging, I would look for all kinds of plants and animals that were colored and do extracts and look for things that simulated oxidative metabolism. And I got the interest partly from Szent-Györgyi's work - he found that the color of cells is closely connected to the oxidative process. For example, the deep maroon or purple color of the liver and certain areas of the brain are deeply pigmented - he knew that it didn't have any of the usual functions of pigment, and he found that it was related to...well, he knew that semiconductors are generally black because of a peculiar electronic arrangement that causes them to absorb all the light that hits them, and he figured that the life process involves semi-conduction, and so pigments are especially relevant to the use of energy in living things.

    I think last month we were talking about Methylene Blue, that's an artificial electron transporter, and it can...like vitamin C, vitamin C in its normal form isn't a pigment but it has some of those same electronic behaviors. Both of those can pick up electrons from nutrients such as glucose and pass them into the mitochondrion even if the first two units of the mitochondrion are damaged - Methylene Blue and vitamin C and probably many other natural pigments can deliver energy electrons down to the third complex of the mitochondrion and allow it to keep functioning even after serious damage. So part that function is to stop producing free radicals which are mostly produced in the upper part of the electron transport chain as its being damaged.

    Q: Getting on to the wider topic of "You are what you eat," I think probably to bring out some of those things that you mention for many different conditions or processes that can be corrected by various...I mean, you prescribe a lot of dietary advice in terms of modulating the way people's physiology is working and therefore bringing people back to good health in a very natural way with no side effects - it's not a drug-oriented approach. It's very nutritional. I know, obviously, you are very keen on saturated fats as opposed to the poly's and the polyunsaturated fats as being very detrimental to health. Obviously sugar - I know you talk a lot about fruit juices and fructose in particular as an energy promoter. In terms of "You are what you eat," the gut bacteria and the bacteria within the bowel, what do you know from the studies that have been done on mood, for example, and/or autism in children that have shown some definite correlation between gut bacteria and their intestinal flora - and the intestinal flora in populations that are not suffering with autism. And how I think in the future, perhaps, the antibiotics that are very useful - and I know you are an advocate of antibiotics - and know most people unfortunately have a mistaken belief that antibiotics are bad - I think just from the cases where maybe females are getting thrush after using antibiotics, it conjures up this kind of popular myth or popular notion that antibiotics are bad, but actually we know that they are very positive influences on our physiology and especially on our gut for wiping out bad bacteria, but what's your thought about altering the so-called microbiome of the body so that specific bacteria that are known to be detrimental to health can be eradicated and leaving the positive bacteria behind to actually influence the populations within the digestive tract?

    RP: About 1990 I read an article from a fertility clinic in which a lot of the women were trying to conceive and the fertilized ovum just wouldn't implant. The doctors thought that it might indicate that there was an infection in the uturus, so they gave all of their patients a course of antibiotics. Besides improving their fertility, a lot of the patients said suddenly that their chronic headaches had disappeared. So they gave them hormone tests to see what was going on, causing both fertility to improve and headaches and other symptoms to disappear - they found that the antibiotics had lowered their cortisol and estrogen production, and increased progesterone in their serum, explaining the increased fertility but a whole range of other symptoms related to stress. Following reading about that, I knew that the estrogen, which is excreted by a healthy liver in the bile...much of it is reabsorbed and stays in the circulation if you have a sluggish intestine. So I suggested that they eat a carrot every day to stimulate the intestine...the carrot will bind the bile and lower the serum estrogen level. That's now a generally accepted that any fiber can slow your absorption of estrogen from the bile. And within 3 or 4 days, these people tested their estrogen, cortisol and progesterone, and it was doing the same thing the synthetic antibiotics had done. Knowing about carrots and that they can get very tiresome if you eat one a day for years, I looked around for other foods that were antiseptic and might have that same effect. And bamboo shoots are something that you don't get too tired of - they don't have much flavor so you can put them in a lot of different foods - and cooking bamboo shoots doesn't destroy the fiber the way a cooked carrot does. So you have to eat raw carrots or cooked bamboo shoots.

    Q: Do you know of any other fibers that have that effect?

    RP: Mushrooms, I think. Because they grow underground in a very decaying environment, they have to have powerful antibiotics.

    Q: You surprised me when you say mushrooms, because I wouldn't have though that would have been naturally one thing you would have said to somebody as something ok to eat...

    RP: (laughing) I don't know anything about mushrooms, actually, except that principle - they are antiseptic.They have a high-value protein, and the protein happens to be pretty low in methionine which is the most toxic of the amino acids. Lucine and methionine are the amino acids that most slow your metabolism, so you're getting two of the metabolic stimulants - lowering the estrogen, disinfecting your intestine.

    Q: (caller) Developed high blood pressure a month ago, doesn't run in the family, spiked very high. About 2 months ago increased her T3 and was getting heart palpitations, so was titrating that down over 6 weeks, but still getting palpitations even at zero T3. After hearing last month's show on Magnesium, took some and palpitations cleared up. But as well, in October temperatures were still low even with thyroid. So, increased salt quite a bit (wasn't worried because BP had always been medium-low). Over last month, BP has sky rocketed and is now on BP meds. Could getting back on T3 and increasing salt contribute to that?

    RP: Was TSH measured as part of the thyroid exam?

    (Caller): I was on T4 for six months and it was 3, and then it went down to below zero - like .03

    RP: TSH causes a lot of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, and so T3 will cause your T4 to go down, and if it goes too low, your TSH might come up. TSH does a lot of things that go with hypothyroidism including high blood pressure. It makes your red cells more rigid, your blood serum more viscous, and it tightens up small blood vessels - everything it does tends to create higher blood ??rate.?? So, if your TSH is currently extremely low, then you probably should have your other hormones such as adrenaline checked to see what might be causing that.

    AM: Dr. Peat, you always advocated a TSH as close to zero as possible, just because it's a fairly inflammatory chaperon molecule anyway, don't you.

    RP: Yes. If you had lowered your TSH by taking fairly large amounts of T4, thyroxine...

    Caller: It was 25 Mcg,

    RP: Oh, that isn't very much.

    Caller: ...but TSH had gotten really low (.3 or .4). And then several months later, they incorporated T3 at 25 Mcg, and I cut it in fourths and spread it out throughout the day, and I was doing really well, and that went on for a month, and then they increased it another 25, and then low and behold, I started having heart palpitations at night so I started titrating down. Doctor said thyroid was fine.

    RP: Were the other things like albumin and blood sugar OK?

    Caller: They said all my labs were fine.

    RP: Do you get a fairly balanced diet, with milk and cheese and eggs?

    Caller: I stopped doing that silly little thing with the high-dense (salt) diet. Since then, I drink milk - 1.5 qt, organic fresh squeezed OJ (1 quart plus), cheese and eggs and great lakes gelatin.

    RP: Is there anything that might be irritating your digestive system? Sometimes that can cause stress and increased pressure.

    Caller: No, but maybe there's something wrong with my numbers (even though doc's say they are fine)?

    RP: It's good to have albumin well above 40 and blood glucose anywhere from 70 to 110, and Potassium and Sodium should be around the middle of the scale.

    Caller: Well, they put me on medicine - it was up to 200 over 100 and then it would kind of go down.

    AM: It sounds a lot like some kind of a stress related alarm reaction of adrenaline producing that kind of blood pressure. What do you think about thyroid hormone, Dr. Peat, and blood pressure? It's actually a regulator of BP. When people get high BP generally, they are subject to adrenaline and the other sympathetic hormones that drive BP up. Thyroid hormone specifically antagonizes that and brings BP down into a...

    RP: Yes, especially when it comes on quickly like this...it's adrenaline or maybe serotonin. The reason I ask about any irritating food - if you don't dissolve the gelatin thoroughly, sometimes that can cause gas and irritation by feeding bacteria in the intestine.

    Caller: I don't dissolve it - I kind of put it in my orange juice and stir it and drink it, so I don't cook it or anything. But I thought if I started back up on the T3 - I have been on it for about 3 weeks now - that maybe eventually it would normalize the BP. Is that a possibility?

    RP: Is your pulse rate about where it was [prior to all of this]? Is it in the range of 70-90?

    Caller: Yes, it's always been around that. More toward 70.

    RP: Magnesium and Calcium are two nutrients that help to lower blood pressure, but potassium is probably the most powerful. Orange juice is a very good source of Potassium. So a quart of OJ spread throughout the day...

    Caller: I'm taking extra Magnesium, because that helps with the palpitation, and I drink lots of milk and orange juice.

    RP: One other nutrient that can powerfully lower blood pressure is Vitamin K. For example, the drops that deliver 1 mg of vitamin K per drop, I know a doctor who for several months had his BP 240/70, and within 2-3 weeks of using a lot of Vitamin K, his pressure came down to 140/70.

    AM: So, Vitamin K in terms of a daily trial, what would you think would be a reasonable...

    RP: Well, that doctor got extreme results taking 40-50 mg / day.

    AM: (wraps up call and moves on)

    Caller: Does listening to the news cause high BP? I quit listening to the news and my BP went down! My question: I've heard that coconut oil is an antibiotic, and also anti-fungal. Is that true? How would that work, if that's the case? I've also heard Dr. Peat talk about starch blocking capillaries and that fat helps to prevent that (coating the starch molecules?).

    RP: It slows digestion enough, keeps things in emulsion so that the enzymes have time to start breaking down the starch particles. It isn't known exactly why that happens, but Gerhardt Fulkheimer, the man who did the persorbtion research, showed that the starch without fat would immediately, in 15-20 minutes, show up in your blood stream. With fat, it didn't show up in the blood stream and it probably gives it time to break down a little bit. I think the most important effect of the fat is that...germicidal action suppressing bacteria...if your digestion is really working right, your whole small intestine should be sterile - free of bacteria. Sluggish digestion...low thyroid people often get bacteria growing all the way up close to their stomach. In that case, when you eat any starch, it feeds the bacteria, the bacteria produce endotoxin which causes your intestine to produce nitric oxide (NO) and serotonin and histamine. The NO is a very powerful poison of oxidative metabolism. So, the combination of bacteria, especially in the small intestine, and any kind of starch that isn't quickly absorbed into you blood stream, is going to feed the bacteria, increase the NO, and basically poison your respiratory metabolism all through your body. Many years ago, people experimenting with germ-free animals - their whole life they are isolated from bacteria. They have a very healthy life, low mortality until extreme old age. They eat about 20% or 30% more calories than the ordinary germ-bearing mice, but they are leaner, much smaller fat deposits, and they don't suffer from anxiety. How to explain that, it means that the bacteria are producing something that poisons your metabolism. George Burr's research with the polyunsaturated fats - he demonstrated that these fats have a similar poisoning effect on your oxidative metabolism, so that without them the animals burn 30%-50% more energy without getting fat. So, possibly the polyunsaturated fats are contributing to the NO production, but definitely the bacteria eating starch are a major source of this anti-metabolic material.

    Caller: So, is the coconut oil, because of the short-chain and medium-chain, possibly in that action that you just described, better than butter?

    RP: No, all of the saturated fats are pretty good anti-fungals and anti-bacterials, but I think the shorter chain... the athlete's foot remedy that kills fungus very efficiently is an 11 carbon saturated fat or a monounsaturated, and the shorter they are, the faster they diffuse, and apparently they are more active as toxin or antiseptic if they are a little shorter than the stearic acid of butter. Soap is traditionally as a good antiseptic, and that's usually made with a stearic acid.

    Caller: I grow different bamboos and I'm going to get the juice from potatoes and cook the bamboo sprouts in there, and NOW I'm also going to add mushrooms...and lots of butter and coconut oil and salt. Do you think that's a decent soup?

    RP: I think so, but it's really good to make sure you don't get toxic mushrooms. (Andrew mentions his several 4-week Shiitake mushroom full-body rashes.)

    Caller: (Mentions interview with Gerald Pollack regarding the subject of "grounding [electrons flowing up through the earth and into the body]" and "structured water," and how walking barefoot in the sun could be structuring the water in the body.) Does that make sense to you, Dr. Peat?

    RP: Definitely the flow of the electrons is the basic thing that structures water. When I talk about energy and structure, I'm thinking about, primarily - first of all - the fine layers of water adjoining proteins and fat in the cells, and that's created and maintained by the flow of electrons mostly from glucose to oxygen through the various catalysts. When that's interrupted, when oxygen isn't able to keep pulling the electrons - and its this flow of electrons that generates the structure just like if you stir a pot of spaghetti, all the strings line up in a certain direction - that sort of thing is what happens microscopically. The energy flow generates structure, and that has all of the consequences of cell differenti... [caller interrupts Dr. Peat]

    Caller: One of the things I didn't mention that he had talked about is the red wave lengths of light are what help structure the water.

    RP: Oh! A German researcher, a young guy named Andrei Sommer, has been doing extremely interesting research showing exactly that - that red light itself organizes the structure of water. Red light also desorbs NO from the cytochrome oxidase.

    Q: 64 year old woman was wondering about puffiness under her eyes.

    RP: Sometimes low thyroid or something missing in the diet can be a factor, but most often it's low thyroid - for example, if your thyroid is chronically low, your cholesterol is likely to be chronically above average as a compensation, because thyroid should turn cholesterol into the steroids - progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA - and those should regulate the water, and the inside/outside the cell balance of the water.

    Caller: What do you know about sulfites in wine, specifically to digestion?

    RP: It's potentially very pro-inflammatory, and it interferes with the handling of electrons. I think that's why it is so dangerously allergenic for so many people. I've had the experience of sulfited wines that gave me vertigo and extreme symptoms for several days, which I think were from causing inflammation of the intestine. Red wines contain their own histamine which can cause symptoms in a lot of people[/justify]
     
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