Cholesterol and Statins

An audio version of this post is available here.

Heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of North Americans. This disease accounts for over 600,000 deaths per year in the USA alone. And, like with the rest of the modern chronic disease epidemics we face, historically speaking, it is not a normal disease in the human population. Our extraordinary rate of heart disease is a relatively new phenomenon. It is considered to be just another disease of affluence and lifestyle. Obviously, we are somehow doing it to ourselves.

For decades now modern medicine has vilified cholesterol as being the primary culprit in causing heart disease and stroke. But, the exact mechanism behind why there’s a pandemic in increased cholesterol levels remains a mystery.  For a long time now the elevated cholesterol levels have been very simplistically blamed on consuming too much saturated fat as part of the regular diet. However, things don’t move fast in medical research, and now finally after about 50 years that theory is losing its plausibility. If we are going to be realistic about it, with the massive real-world experience with the wide-scale adoption of low-fat diets, it has proven to be just dead-wrong. Yet, many folks in medical science still cling to the ridiculous notion that fat in the diet is the cause of high cholesterol.  Not surprisingly, even with much of the population on long term low-fat diets the cholesterol levels for many people just remains way too high. And of course, the North American death rates due to heart disease and stroke are just as high as ever also. So, once again, the experts appear to have gotten it completely wrong. Regardless of what the experts claim, clearly, dietary fats are not the cause of high cholesterol.

Okay, but what about the very basic premise that high cholesterol is even the villain in causing coronary artery and heart disease in the first place? Surely, they can’t be wrong about that one too? After all, the arteries and the heart are being blocked up with plaque, and one of the main constituents of that plaque is cholesterol. I mean, just how much more evidence do they need to give us?  Cholesterol is always found at the scene of the crime. Therefore, it must be guilty, right?

Well, not so fast. Here’s the little glitch in that theory. Only about 50% of people diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD) have elevated levels of serum cholesterol. Whereas, the other 50% of people with CAD have normal, or even low, serum levels. So, that’s a clear indication that there’s something vastly wrong with that “it’s the cholesterol causing heart disease” theory too.

Okay, what else do we know about the artery plugging plaque? Well, the two really interesting ones are that it is chocked full of dead macrophages and often calcium too. Next, we need to know that the walls of the arteries are an endothelium. The cells that make up the internal walls of the blood vessel are really just a specialized version of the epithelial cells.  Then, the next critical detail to know is that the areas of the blood vessel walls where the plaque forms are almost always under distress from a non-healing lesion and chronic inflammation too. So much so, that many researchers now believe that the real root cause of the plaque formation is the inflammation. Their view is that the plaque is really the body’s internal band-aid trying to protect a chronic wound in the artery wall.  Thus, in their view, the causal sequence goes like this:

Chronic arterial lesion => Inflammation => elevated cholesterol + calcium => plaque

Naturally, we need to look upstream and ask what can cause chronic lesions and inflammation in the blood vessel walls like that in the first place?

Long term exposure to retinoic acid would sure do it. Remember that retinoic acid indiscriminately attacks the basal membrane of the epitheliums anywhere in the body. Next, what about all those dead macrophages? Yes, retinoic acid, and even vitamin A, have been proven to cause that to happen too. What about the calcium? Yes, that too is very well documented to occur in high vitamin A conditions. That calcium has been drawn-out from the bones to bring the local pH levels back in line. Finally, what about the cholesterol itself? Yes, cholesterol is documented to be one of the chemical breakdown pathways for vitamin A.

See: Organic Chemistry
Morrison and Boyd
3rd Edition
Pages 278-280

With all of that, I think we have a perfect fit as to who the real culprit is in causing coronary heart disease. It’s not cholesterol itself. Instead, cholesterol is just one of the by-products of the breakdown of vitamin A. It’s also very likely that elevated cholesterol is just a defensive measure in response to the inflammation.

Either way, the real culprit in heart disease is whatever’s causing the lesions to occur. Obviously, cholesterol is not the root cause of the plaque at all. Therefore, elevated cholesterol is just another symptom of the chronic disease.

But, the medical establishment does not want you to think like that, or to think too deeply about it. The thing is that they have a magic drug to take care of that elevated cholesterol for you. It does not matter to them one little bit if cholesterol is the real culprit or not. It’s the drug they have, and it’s the drug they are going to aggressively try to sell you.

Of course, I’m referring to the now famous “statins.” This class of drugs is a huge blockbuster seller. With about 40 million people taking them daily, it’s been the biggest money maker in the history of the pharmaceuticals. Annual sales are in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And, the worldwide revenue generated in treating heart disease is approaching one trillion dollars. Therefore, there’s no compelling reason for anyone who is in the business to look any deeper into the cholesterol question. But, we will.

The statins have been on the market for about 30 years now. Like with so many other pharmaceuticals, the statins don’t actually cure disease or even prevent disease. They only mask or suppress the symptoms. For the industry, that’s the great thing about the statins. It’s precisely what the industry wants. They can get people hooked on them and have repeat and life-long customers.

Moreover, the statins actually do a pretty good job in suppressing the liver’s production of cholesterol. Therefore, for the average GP overseeing the treatment, it appears that they are even “working.” Okay, so almost everyone involved should be happy with that, right?

Well, that’s not the case at all for a lot of statin users. Many of them aren’t at all happy because they experience serious socalled “side-effects.” So much so, that a lot of patients can’t bear the suffering, and are forced to stop taking their statins after just one year. The other thing with the statins that most people shouldn’t be at all pleased about is that there’s almost no evidence that anyone is going to live one day longer by taking them.

The most commonly reported “side-effect” is that of muscle pain and weakness, and it’s often severe. So, right away the math just does not add up on it. If you are not going to live one day longer by being on a statin, but yet you could suffer in serious pain for every day that you are on them, and that’s potentially for the rest of your life too, why would anyone take them? Very sadly, it’s usually because their doctors have told them “You will die if you don’t take them.” Yes, it’s the same sordid story. They need to resort to scare tactics and fearmongering to keep selling their magic beans. Like with most pharmaceutical drugs, the real clinical trials for them start well after it has been approved and when it goes into widespread use. So, in a way, the patients are just human guinea pigs in these long-running experiments. The results of that long-term experiment with the statins are now showing up.

Of course, over the years, more and more evidence is leaking out that not only are the statins not preventing heart disease and stroke at all, but they are causing a massive amount of pain, suffering, and often accelerating people into other serious diseases and even early death. There are a bunch of very credible researchers now sounding the alarm, and asking serious questions about the statins. The industry, of course, is fighting back feverishly with propaganda, and marching out their own paid-off pundits to keep pushing the statin drugs as aggressively as ever. What exactly are the more serious long term complications of statin usage? In no particular order, they are significantly increased risks (often by about 50%) of:

  • Serious Liver damage
  • Breast Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • IBD / IBS
  • Asthma
  • Debilitating muscle atrophy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Heart Failure
  • Auto-immune diseases

Now, with all those severe and increased risks, and no proven benefit or even a decreased risk of having a first heart attack, who in their right mind would take a statin? How is the industry getting away with this nonsense? Of course, it’s with slick marketing, propaganda, fake science, rigged studies, aggressive media censorship, and with what I view as very deceitful manipulations.  For example, seeing an increased risk of “Heart Failure” on the above list should have caught your attention. After all, aren’t the statins suppose to reduce the risk of Heart Attacks? Well, yes, they are. But, you see, technically speaking, catastrophic “heart failure,” due to the heart muscles being too weak to contract and pump blood, is not a “heart attack.” No, a “heart attack” is when a big slug of plaque peels off the artery wall and blocks it, or it gets lodged into the heart valve. Of course, to you and me, it’s just a bunch of weasel words to hide from the truth; there’s no material difference between dying from catastrophic “heart failure” or a “heart attack.”

The reason people on the statin so commonly experience debilitating muscle atrophy, muscle weakness, and sometimes catastrophic “heart failure” is because the drug does not just block the liver’s production of cholesterol. It also blocks the production of another critical enzyme called CoQ10, among other important processes. The CoQ10 enzyme is a key enzyme used by all cells, and especially so the muscle cells, to produce energy. So, the statins are just going to slowly drain the life force out of every cell in the human body. Remember too, that the liver is the body’s primary detoxification organ. Obviously “blocking” any aspect of its function is reckless if not just plain stupid. I don’t want to go more into that aspect of it here. But, please check out what other people are documenting on it. Here are a few good references.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra – Heart Stents, Cholesterol and Statin Smoking Guns?

Dr. Michael Eades  – Statin drugs and diabetes

Dr. Maryanne Demasi – ‘Statin Wars: Have we been misled by the evidence?’

Some of the propaganda statements from industry pundits are so egregious, it’s just obscene. It’s as if they are saying, don’t worry about the vastly increased risk of dementia/ Alzheimer’s, my god man, you could have a heart attack. Don’t worry about the vastly increased risk for diabetes. We, the experts in medicine, have new synthetic insulin we can sell you for the rest of your life, and at 10x the old price too. And when your diabetes gets worse, and you lose the ability to circulate blood in your lower limbs, don’t worry, we can just simply cut off your legs. And ladies, don’t worry about the 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer; we, the experts in medicine, can just simply cut off your breasts. We are really good at that too. Don’t worry that you can become too fatigued and weak even to move. Just trust us, we are the experts. Above all else, don’t stop taking your statins, or “YOU COULD DIE.

But, my purpose here is not to go bashing the statin drugs. Rather, it’s to highlight this list:

  • Serious Liver damage
  • Breast Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • IBD / IBS
  • Asthma
  • Debilitating muscle atrophy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Auto-immune diseases

Do you recognize that list?  It is, for the most part, the same list of the major diseases I’ve been attributing to chronic vitamin A poisoning. Here we now have substantial evidence showing that the statins are causing these same diseases. How can that be possible? Could they be caused by a deficiency in cholesterol? Well, no, because there are a lot of people with naturally low cholesterol levels, and we still have a massive epidemic in all of these diseases.

What about this little tiny detail of one of the breakdown pathways of vitamin A is to convert it into cholesterol? What if the statins are preventing this breakdown? On one hand that would sure lower the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver, as it indeed does. But, in doing so, what does that mean for serum vitamin A levels? They should be going up with statin use then too. Yes, they do.

Serum retinol levels throughout 2 years of cholesterol-lowering therapy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7885288

In the entire population (N = 102), serum retinol was 3.46 +/- 0.08 mumol/L before therapy and 3.76 +/- 0.07 after 2 years of therapy (P < .001). Serum retinol increased in diet- and statin-treated groups, but not in fibrate- and resin-treated groups.

Quite remarkably, here we have a drug with massive market adoption, that is inadvertently increasing serum vitamin A levels. Almost all of the other reported so-called “side-effects” documented for the statins are a perfect match for those of vitamin A toxicity too. But, most amazingly, its use is now proving to result in significantly increased rates of above listed chronic diseases.

The silver lining in this dark cloud of the on-going statin fiasco is that it has inadvertently given us a tremendous amount of more strong evidence that chronic vitamin A toxicity is actually causing all of the above-listed diseases.

Additionally, there’s the other bit of very bad, and yet almost global, advice dished out by the medical experts regarding heart disease. They have pretty much vilified salt, and said that everyone should be on a low salt diet. The experts have correspondingly set ridiculously low guidelines for its intake. But, once again, it looks like that advice is entirely wrong. Here’s an excellent video presentation using historical references and data to show that higher intakes of salt actually reduce the rates of coronary and other chronic diseases.

But, there’s one other super important and connecting detail you need to know about salt and cholesterol. Much of the body’s cholesterol is excreted and disposed of by the liver via the bile salts. Therefore, you need adequate dietary salts to facilitate that critical process.

Now, if I didn’t know better, it’s almost as if much of the advice from the medical establishment is rigged to manipulate us into a chronic disease.

Anyhow, if the advice from the experts is so often wrong, what’s a person to do when they are concerned about high blood pressure, or heart disease and stroke? All I can do is share what’s happened in my case. After four years on my vitamin A elimination diet, my cholesterol levels have dropped in half. The various cholesterol ratios are like perfect too. My blood pressure is excellent. And somewhat recently, my resting heart rate has fallen a bit more to now being usually around 50. That’s reported to be a standard heart rate for a well-trained athlete. But, I’m not a well-trained athlete and I’m now in my late fifties. Go figure?

Therefore, if I had a friend concerned with the long term risks of heart disease I would definitely encourage them to consider a low vitamin A diet. Lastly, there’s the concern for the potentially already built-up calcium deposits in the arteries. I think that a regular dose of apple cider or balsamic vinegar will quickly take care of that.

The human body was perfect and is perfect. We just have to be very careful in not poisoning it. Obviously, we should also never be taking any drug that “blocks” some critical function of it.

Protein synthesis and setbacks

An audio version of this post is available here.

I am occasionally getting asked about the recovery time frame people might expect for themselves. Since everyone’s situation is unique, there are no easy and straightforward answers. All I can do is share what’s happened to me and from that information let people set their own expectations as to how long the road ahead might be. The only thing I can do is try to reassure people that I firmly believe it is at least on the right road.

Even with my own certainty about it, there are still a lot of unknowns. Firstly, there is a question of just how much tissue damage has occurred and how widespread it might be throughout the body. In the little bit I was able to determine about this, it looks like there can be 20% or more of tissue or organ atrophy/dysfunction before there are any real noticeable symptoms. Regarding the liver, the extent of the hidden damage can be much more significant. It can be somewhere around 80% damaged before people notice symptoms. In the context of blockage of coronary arteries, it might be as high as 50-80% before people notice it. Therefore, there could be a lot of damage that the body needs to repair and heal itself of. That’s just going to take a long time. Of course, there’s much more to the repair story. This type of damage is not as simple and as straight forward to recover from as recovering from say a wound or trauma-induced severe injury. This is not like a broken bone that usually heals in six weeks. What makes the chronic diseases so much more complicated is deeply-rooted in protein synthesis. After all, the disease itself is really the manifestation of defective protein synthesis. That’s what has caused the tissue to become damaged and malformed in the first place. Medical experts like to call this condition “metaplasia.”  But, even though that’s a nice sophisticated sounding term, it does not mean that they understand even the first thing about the root cause of metaplasia.

Of course, I experienced this metaplasia often during my recovery period. It’s important to know that as time progressed, it became more and more localized, and then finally restricted to only a few small spots on my fingers. So, although I was making good and reasonably steady progress, it did take what seemed forever to fully redevelop well-formed, and regular and healthy skin again on my hands.

Okay, so let’s think about what’s really going on there. Why does it take so long to heal from the chronic diseases even after adopting a low vitamin A diet?  The answer is partially found in this statement regarding the use of Isotretinoin, a.k.a. Accutane.

From: https://www.acne.org/accutane.html

WARNING: Isotretinoin affects the entire body and can change not only the skin, but the entire body for the rest of a person’s life. This is why it is only approved for severe nodulocystic acne.

With a big warning label of: SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS

The critical point here is that Accutane can, and often does, damage a person’s body permanently. Of course, since “Side effects are numerous and widespread, and affect almost all patients,” that damage is not a ridiculously so-called “side-effect” at all. Obviously, they are direct effects. And no, Accutane is not a “medicine” either, rather it’s a direct poison. And, no, doctors are not prescribing it for only “severe nodulocystic acne” either. Many are often prescribing it for mild acne too. It’s completely ridiculous to give this “drug” to any teenager, for any reason, ever.

But, for now, let’s just gloss over the fact that thousands of doctors are still routinely prescribing a drug for acne that has the well known “side-effect” direct-effect of permanently damaging a teenager’s body and often even inflicts brain damage on them too. What we are interested in understanding at this time is why and how does retinoic acid permanently damage the body. Why do so many people not fully recover from it after stopping its use, whereas, some others do?

The critical understanding needed to answer that question is found in the knowledge that the primary mechanism of retinoic acid’s magic action is that it causes “gene expressions.” Back in 1992, it was documented to be about 300 different gene expressions. The science has moved ahead a bit on it, and more modern literature now places the number at about 500 different gene expressions caused by retinoic acid (RA).

Next, we need to ask what are these gene expressions really?  Of course, a major clue here is that RA is definitely documented as being a potentially deadly serious cytotoxin. And, since there are now more than 500 different gene expressions attributed to it, it should be self-evident. Has no one ever asked why are there so many different gene expressions? What’s the specific purpose of each one of them? It is also super critical to ask if RA is invoking these regulations of “gene expressions,” what molecule or enzyme is regulating that process? In other words, what governs and selects a particular one. For example, why does so-called gene expression #103 occur versus say gene expression #490? Of course, no one knows the answers to these questions. But, to any reasonably critical thinker, that number of 500 different gene expressions is the dead giveaway. They are not gene expressions at all. Rather clearly, they are merely random sites of where the RA molecule has bonded with the cell’s RNA and DNA and caused gene-damage. That’s right, they are indeed 500 different expressions of gene damage. Therefore, what we are really dealing with here are wide-spread RNA and DNA damage. So, for all the dermatologists who are still prescribing this wonder drug, that’s nice work guys, you are simply poisoning the RNA and DNA of your young patients.

Moving along here, and with that better understanding of the real mechanism of retinoic acid, we can ask what happens next? The short answer is metaplasia, inflammation and eventually so-called “autoimmunity” too. Of course, the body’s response is not always immediately noticeable. Retinoic acid picking off just a few cells at a time is not a big deal. In the development of the auto-immune diseases, it is usually a slow creeping process. It could take months, years, or even decades before someone has symptoms. But, we know that in the extreme case of Accutane use, it usually takes only about six months (depending on the dose and duration of the “treatment”).

There are at least two broad categories of the severity of the RNA and DNA damage going on. But, both manifest in defective protein synthesis. Cells are normally, and continuously, synthesizing proteins for cell repair, overall tissue maintenance, cellular replication, and for all kinds of other reasons.  This is just a fundamental and necessary function of life. But, the supercritical detail we need to know here is that that the RNA and DNA is the cell’s protein weaving machinery. It’s very much like a super sophisticated biological loom that the cell uses to weave together all needed proteins. The generated proteins are beautifully and intricately structured molecules too.

The triple helix collagen protein molecule is an excellent example of one.

collagen

But, now with the retinoic acid molecule randomly stuck in the middle of the weaving machinery, the cell is going to be continually assembling defective proteins. Although defective, the cell is going to be diligently doing it over, and over, and for the rest of the cell’s life too.  The cell is just doing the best it can manage. In one damage scenario, the generated proteins might be so severely malformed that it is just not usable at all.

In another scenario, the generated proteins may only be partially defective. Either way, the body is now trying to repair and maintain itself with faulty structured proteins. The tissue eventually develops metaplasia. And, that is the perverse and insidious mechanism as to how Accutane really “works.” It slowly wipes out the stem cells of the sebaceous glands of the skin, and many of them throughout the rest of the body too. So, that’s how it shrinks the sebaceous glands (and BTW often the testicles also, and sometimes it even results in the slow chemical castration of young men; that’s more real nice work guys).

For more information, please see: https://rxisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Citizen-petition-Sexual-side-effects-of-isotretinoin.pdf

And that’s how and why retinoic acid can permanently damage a person’s body for the rest of their life.

Therefore, even though we can adopt a low vitamin A diet, those DNA damaged cells still exist. How long they’ll last for depends on their host tissue and location. But, it could be going on for many years.

That’s probably not a very comforting thought. And, there’s even a bit more bad news here. Some of the defective proteins are going to be so malformed that they are going to appear to have come from a foreign species to the human body, or maybe even just foreign enough specifically to our own body. When that happens, the immune system is going to move in and attack the cells that are generating them, a.k.a. “auto-immunity.” I’ve already spent way too much time in ETFOH discussing this topic so I’ll just leave it at that.

With all of the above information, you can see why eliminating vitamin A from your diet is just the starting point in a recovery. It is not going to immediately, or even quickly, heal the body. All the existing RA damaged cells are still going to be perpetually assembling defective proteins. Thus, you could have on-going “metaplasia” in various tissues and organs for quite a long while.

But, I don’t want to paint too bleak of a picture here either. I have complete confidence in the human body and in its natural healing powers. I just want to set the expectation that it is going to take time to recover fully. In my personal experience, I was extremely sick too, and as about as sick as a person can be without dying, yet, I did recover from all of this mess. I made most of that recovery in about the first year. I was actually through the worst of it in about the first three or four months too. Of course, things rarely always work out in the first attempt. I foolishly thought that I should supplement with lutein and zeaxanthin. It didn’t hit me right away; instead it wasn’t until after six weeks into that supplementation I had realized my mistake. That little bit of carelessness was a huge setback, and it easily cost me at least another 6 months in more recovery time. I then more slowly made a complete recovery over the following three years. But, even just after the first year I was in pretty good shape and had nothing much to complain about. I expect younger people will recover faster.

Detox setbacks and symptoms

With that time expectation set, it would still be great if people just slowly yet progressively recover by adopting a vitamin A elimination diet. Although that is indeed sometimes happening, it is not happening for everyone. Some people have reported that they experienced an initial period of health improvement, and then they’ve moved into a phase where their condition and health gets far worse and even worse than before they started on the diet. Dr. Garrett Smith has called this a detox phase. I have a plausible hypothesis on why it’s happening. But, it’s just a hypothesis. So, please apply your own critical thinking to it.

I think what’s happening is that as the regular vitamin A serum levels start to decline, then just due to the mechanism of chemical equilibrium, more stored vitamin A is released from the liver. That’s just what we want to have happen right? Unfortunately, there’s a catch to it. There is a relative toxicity scale to the various forms of vitamin A. Obviously, retinol captured in the RBPs is not very toxic at all, next up is unwrapped retinol, and then it’s the retinyl esters, followed by retinoic acid. So, that storage form in the liver is actually quite toxic. And with it now being released faster than usual, people would experience its increased toxicity.

The following is from a 1981 report by Anthony R. Mawson and Gabriel I. Onor titled: Gout and Vitamin A Intoxication: Is There a Connection?

Retinyl esters react more randomly with the membranes of cells than the
physiologically sequestered retinol bound in holo-RBP; hence, they are a major form of vitamin A toxicity.

Other sources back up and confirm this information.

Additionally, much of the liver’s retinyl esters are in the retinyl palmitate form, and that’s a more water-soluble molecule. Thus, that might explain why some people are experiencing foamy urine after being on a low vitamin A diet for a while.

Foamy Urine and leaking kidneys

Of course, it’s not normal to have protein leaking into the urine. It is a key marker for kidney disease. So, I don’t want to at all minimize these reports of foamy urine. It is definitely a serious concern. But this is not an ordinary situation for people to be in either. Therefore, let’s not jump to conclusions on it.

With that, and somewhat reluctantly, I now want to share my own account of being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD). It started way back in 2006 with a routine screening check for an insurance policy. The test had detected protein in my urine. Repeated tests by my GP over the following year revealed that my situation was worsening. A more comprehensive analysis showed that I was in trouble and I was referred to a specialist. A nephrologist. That was the first time I had even heard the term. Later I learned that the nephrons are the delicate structures in the kidneys that are responsible for filtering the blood and extracting water-soluble waste products into urine. Up until that time I had pretty much zero exposure to the medical sector, and I held doctors in high regard. Like most people, I felt these folks were the best of the best in science. Therefore, before seeing the specialist, I was not too concerned. After all, there’s been about a hundred years of advancement in modern medical science, so I thought that surely they’d be able to take care of me.

My appointment with the nephrologist didn’t go as expected, to say the least. Basically, I was sent to the nephrologist to have “the talk.”  He was a nice young man, who appeared to be very knowledgeable.

He politely explained that actually, no, there was nothing he could do for me. He showed me the charts where they had plotted out my progressively increasing protein loss, with a nice regression curve fitted to it. He then told me that my condition had been detected early, and that I had about five years left, and that I should get my affairs in order. He told me to expect to be on dialysis in about the next two years. He went on to explain that dialysis is not a long term treatment, it just buys you some time. He also explained that things can get really ugly on dialysis and most patients just decide to stop it after two years, and they then die shortly after that. He went on and explained why I was not going to be a candidate for a transplant, and the odds of finding a donor were about the same as winning the lottery.

Very strangely, I was not too shocked by this information, and I wasn’t really upset by the news. I wasn’t being flippant about it either. I am just practical, and the news was what it was, and I would just have to deal with it. Yet, having two teenage boys, and knowing that I was not going to be around for them was really an unpleasant realization.

Next, here’s where the story gets really interesting, if not just wacky. Being the practical kind of guy that I am, and being very medically uninformed, I asked him, “What’s the big deal with losing protein anyways, why can’t I just eat an extra steak each week and make up for the loss?” He explained that the concern wasn’t that the protein was being lost, rather it was that the protein loss was a biomarker for the progressive breakdown and apparent self-destruction of the nephrons. He explained that medical science had suspected that additional protein in the diet might be stressing the kidneys, and it might actually be making the situation worse, or even accelerating the breakdown of the nephrons. He then went on and told me about a study he had just headed up to test this theory. It was a large study conducted between Canadian and UK researchers. They took 7,500 people with Chronic Kidney Disease and put them on a zero protein diet. He then said that it didn’t go very well, and I quote him: “we ended up killing most of them in three months.” Clearly, their “study” did not help these people at all; instead, it accelerated them into death.

I was stunned by what he had just told me. I could almost not believe what I had heard. I completely set aside my own grim diagnoses; it just didn’t matter to me after hearing that. I tried to remain calm, but my brain was racing ahead in trying to make sense of it. On the one hand, I thought good for him to be admitting this, but on the other hand, I had never met a self-confessed killer before, let alone a serial killer. I was really, and visibly, upset by this information. Maybe he thought the reality of my own diagnosis was starting to sink in, but that wasn’t at all the case. I was just getting angry about what he had told me.

Here’s the thing, I only have grade twelve biology, and maybe five undergraduate courses in chemistry, and a few in organic chemistry. But, what I do know is that there are about 50 trillion cells in the human body, and there are approximately 10 million cells that turn over every day. Every single one of those cells is built up by proteins. Protein is essential to their structure and functioning. Therefore, what they did was to take away the most basic building blocks of what these people really needed to maintain and potentially even heal their bodies.

How could modern medical doctors think that putting sick people on a zero protein diet was going to be viable? I mean, this is about as basic as it gets. I then thought about where do you get 7,500 study subjects from? Well, of course, it’s mostly from their GPs who refer them and enroll them in these studies. So, there would have been quite a few doctors involved in conducting and monitoring this study. How could all of these doctors have not raised serious concerns about their kidney patients being placed on a zero protein diet?

I then asked my nephrologist: “Why wouldn’t you have started with a 7 person, or even a 75 person, study just to be safe? Why start with such a large number of 7,500 people?” He went on and explained that I did not understand modern research, that it’s now all about “evidence-based medicine” and they needed to conduct these big studies to get a strong statistical significance in any finding. I retorted that even one dead person has a strong statistical significance to me.

I’ve subsequently learned that these “failed” studies are rarely published, even though they are usually taxpayer funded. They are quite often just swept under the rug and buried so to speak. However, I’ve never checked if this one was published or not.

I’m really not the type of person to jump to conclusions, but I had heard enough. I then asked him “Why do you even have a job?” What I really wanted to ask him was “Why aren’t you in jail?” I mean in any other field if you killed most of 7,500 people, you are going to be held accountable.  I went on and asked, “If you can’t do anything for people, and you have no effective treatments, no cures, what’s the point of your job?” He explained that it was to plan and schedule people’s dialysis program. I stood up, thanked him for his time and told him to cross my name off his patient list, and that I would not be coming back. I told him I had no interest in his dialysis treatment, and that I would just let nature take its course with me. And that’s exactly what I did. Over the next few years, my health did get progressively worse. Even though my wife often asked me to go back, I never did.

To this day, I am still really bothered at how foolish their zero protein experiment was. I am shocked that this could have happened in Canada. It is something I might expect to have occurred in some third world banana republic. I can only hope that there were no children among the 7,500 people enrolled in that study. Still, I think it’s a shameful debacle.  Even though I’ve subsequently learned that killing patients in studies like this is rather routine; there is no way I can accept it. There is something drastically wrong with medical science where this is allowed to go on. Killing people with gross incompetence is a crime. There is no way “doctors” should be getting a “pass” on it either. Not in the name of their pursuit of so-called “medical science,” or for any other reason.

By the end of 2013, my kidney function was severely declining. A few times I had blood in my urine, so I assumed that the end was near. Even with that, I wasn’t suffering too much. Ironically, learning about this nephrologist’s botched study was one of the best things to have happened to me. Because of that information, I had almost entirely checked out of the medical system. I had lost most of my trust in the system. And that was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

But, the point of me relaying this story is not to go doctor bashing. Instead, it is to highlight just how little medical science truly knows about the human body. It’s also about how something so unbelievably basic can be overlooked or ignored by the experts. But, there’s a bunch of good news here too. Although having leaking protein from the kidneys is not normal, it is also not necessarily CKD either. It is just the body’s response to an extreme condition.

Most importantly CKD does not need to be chronic either, and that should be very good news for the now 30,000,000 people in the USA alone with progressive kidney disease.  Additionally, being given a terminal diagnosis by the “experts” is not very meaningful either.  Sure, in my case n=1, but I don’t give a hoot about their claim of needing large studies to prove some statistical significance. On the contrary, I think their reliance on some big “statistical significance” is a lazy cop-out for not using critical and logical thinking. In a way, it also rigs the system to where only big and well funded clinical organizations can do medical research. How convenient is that, huh? So, no, I’m not buying their nonsense, and n=1 can be hugely significant. All indications are that I’ve now made a full recovery from my CKD. I no longer have leaking protein.

Vitamin C

If there’s going to be more of the retinyl esters back flowing from the liver into serum, is there something else people can do to mitigate the harm?  Unfortunately, I don’t have any great answers. But, I’ve since learned more about vitamin C. What’s interesting about vitamin C is that it appears to be only moderately beneficial when people are healthy. Conversely, where vitamin C really shines is when taken when people are sick. It is also reported to be very protective in the context of vitamin A toxicity. So much so, that I think, scurvy might just be misdiagnosed vitamin A toxicity. The reason that vitamin C plays such a critical role is that it facilitates the formation of collagen and bone rebuilding. These are two of the first tissues affected by vitamin A toxicity. Although vitamin C is not at all a direct antidote for vitamin A toxicity, it appears to play a critical role in accelerating the body’s repair process from it. Even though I had mentioned the need for vitamin C in my eBooks, I think I seriously underestimated its importance. Here’s a rather now famous news report about its powerful potential.

Ironically, the doctors in this case appear to do everything they can to not treat this guy with vitamin C. And, rather than being thrilled about having cured his cancer with vitamin C, it’s almost as if they were afraid to have anyone find out about it.

Salt

Likewise, a similar beneficial effect applies to salt intake. What I did not fully appreciate earlier was the importance of salt in the proper development of bile. Salt is needed to bind with the retinoids, and probably with other toxins too. In doing so, they can be more safely released from the liver into the bile. Without an ample salt supply, this process is going to be severely hampered. Here’s a snippet from the 1925 vitamin A research report that reflects the benefit of salt in reducing the severity of vitamin A toxicity.

TISSUE CHANGES FOLLOWING DEPRIVATION OF FAT SOLUBLE A VITAMIN.

BY S. BURT WOLBACH, M.D., AND PERCY R. HOWE, M.D. 
From the Department of Pathology, Harvard University Medical School, and the Forsyth Dental Infirmary, Boston.
Received for publication, September 4, 1925

This mixture of inorganic salts was found by McCollum, Simmonds, and Becker to be adequate in the prevention and cure of a form of ophthalmia described by them, and which develops in rats supplied with fat-soluble A. It is interesting to note that Mori regards this form of ophthalmia as identical with that produced by deprivation of fat-soluble A, but his very brief description of the pathology does not support this conclusion.

Ironically, our more modern medical advice has for a long time now vilified salt. The “experts” have been warning people about consuming too much of it for fear of the risk it might have in thickening the blood and subsequently causing high blood pressure. But, they’ve entirely ignored salt’s very long history of its beneficial role in the human diet. Go figure?

Protein

At the risk of being overly repetitive, I just want to make sure that anyone who adopts a low vitamin A diet includes an ample amount of protein. An all-rice diet, or an all-potato diet, is definitely not going to cut it. It would also be very dangerous too. Personally, I believe that animal sources of protein are going to be better when adopting a low vitamin A diet. But, that’s just my opinion. As always, please apply your own good judgment on it.

Obesity Causation

An audio version of this post is available here.

I previously discussed the obesity causation topic a bit in the Weight Gain and Obesity chapter of ETFOH. However, I didn’t go too in-depth and didn’t sufficiently connect it causally with vitamin A. I’ll now try to more solidly establish that connection here.

When I first started on my vitamin A elimination diet one of the very unexpected side-effects was the effortless weight loss. My experience was not a one-off either. I had a (non-diseased) colleague report the same result. Even though we had vastly simplified our diets, it was still providing ample calories (3,000 or more) and all the required nutritional elements. Although n=2 in this study, for two men in their late fifties, to quickly drop around 30 pounds each, and without trying at all to do so, that result was quite intriguing. There was indeed something very unexpected going on here. It’s especially so considering that we’ve both effortlessly kept that weight off for three years now too.

So, with that experience, I had theorized that the body was simply getting rid of fat it no longer needed. More specifically, I had theorized that the body had originally stored the additional fat as a protective measure against excess circulating retinol. Basically, the adipose tissues were taking on some of the load from the liver and thereby scrubbing excess retinol out of circulation. After all, for the liver to take on more retinol storage, it absolutely must get fatter to accomplish that task.

But, at the same time, I was not very satisfied with that simplistic explanation for the adipose cells either. The problem with it was: why were these adipose cells that were taking on the extra retinol not themselves adversely affected by it too? Why don’t they become inflamed and invoke an auto-immune reaction as do the stem cells of the epithelium’s? Well, it took a while for me to see the obvious. Quite obviously, they are indeed being affected in almost the same way. The important distinction is that the adipose stem cells are much simpler in structure and don’t generate the complex cell adhesion proteins needed to tightly stitch themselves to each other. Since they don’t generate these proteins, then they don’t generate the immune-alerting defective and foreign‑species looking proteins. But, the way that the adipose stem cells do behave similarly to the epithelium stem cells in response to vitamin A toxicity is that they too are forced into a perverse state of abnormal rapid replication. At least that was my sub-theory on the causal mechanism.

Of course, many people will quickly conclude that it was the sugar reduction that was responsible for the fat loss my colleague and I experienced. However, that’s simply not true. I tested that possibility by consuming quite a lot of sugar, and the weight did not come back. I also used the following charts in ETFOH to demonstrate the sugar alone is not to blame for the original weight gain. Here’s a copy of that section for easy reference.

Let’s consider the obesity trends that are going on in the USA, Canada, the UK, and chocolate-loving Switzerland. This trend pattern is quite revealing.

Figure 1 Average Daily Sugar Consumption for Selected Countries

AverageDailySugar

There are a few very important observations to make here. The first is to note that Switzerland’s average daily sugar consumption is higher than that of Canada’s, and has been consistently so for about the last five decades. The second observation is the significant and steady decline in consumption of sugar in the UK. Next, let’s look at the trend lines for obesity in these countries.

Figure 2 Average BMI for Selected Countries

AverageBMI

Even though Switzerland has higher average daily sugar consumption than that of Canada, they have significantly less obesity. More striking is the slope of the trend lines. Canada’s trend is dramatically higher. Next, consider the contradiction in the sugar consumption between the UK, and Canada. Even though the consumption in the UK has steadily dropped significantly over this time, and Canada’s has steadily increased over this same time, the average BMI trend lines for these two countries are nearly identical. Therefore, this completely contradicts the theory that sugar consumption is causing obesity. Additionally, many other people who do eliminate sugar from their diets do not experience much weight loss, and if they do, they can’t seem to keep it off.

Then whenever I traveled to the USA, I noticed that there is a significantly higher rate of obesity, and even moderately overweight people there than compared to Canada. This is no small detail. Statistically, about 70% of all Americans over the age of 20 are now overweight or obese. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm).

But, you don’t have to look a statistical data; it is easy to see it almost everywhere you go.  Just walk down a busy street, or go to a supermarket and scan the crowd. Just making a rough ballpark type guess, I’d put the USA at having about 30% more serious obesity than compared to Canada. How can that be possible? Both the USA and Canada have our dairy supply “supplemented” with vitamin A so that alone can’t account for the difference. But, it’s quite understandable when you learn that many of the breads, flours, and breakfast cereals in the USA are “supplemented” with vitamin A whereas in Canada they are typically not.

Some people might want to interject here and blame the differences in our national obesity rates just on lifestyle choices. But, that excuse does not cut it either because the lifestyle in the USA is very similar to that of Canadians too.

Then when I traveled in Mexico, the obesity epidemic there appeared to be even worse than that of the USA. There are a lot of poor people in Mexico who are clearly not living the high-life or sedentary lifestyles and are yet quite obese. What’s going on there? Doing just a trivial amount of investigation, this rate of obesity is completely and totally abnormal for the Mexican people too. Sure, there’s a lot more sugar being consumed in Mexico nowadays, but we know that sugar alone can’t be blamed. So then, what’s really going on? Well, when I learned that sugar in South America was being “supplemented” with vitamin A, it became rather clear. When I was in Mexico I went to a supermarket, picked up a pack of sugar, read the nutrition label, and sure enough pure table sugar was labeled to provide 10% RDA of vitamin A.  That’s correct, some of their sugar is laced with vitamin A. Then when you see just how much soda is consumed in Mexico, and that vitamin A supplemented sugar is likely in their soda also, we have a prime suspect.

Next, let’s now get back to what’s happening in the USA and consider some supporting scientific evidence to make the case against vitamin A. Firstly, let’s look for some correlations.

Figure 3 Serum Retinol level and BMI in USA

USASerumLevelByAge

Source: Serum retinol distributions in residents of the United States: third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–19941,2 Carol Ballew, Barbara A Bowman, Anne L Sowell, and Cathleen Gillespie

Isn’t that a remarkable correlation? As we get older, not only do our serum retinol levels creep up but so too does our BMI levels. Except, it’s not just the BMI levels that creep up with age, it’s also our incidence rates of the auto-immune diseases and cancers. Of course, as our obesity rates climb our life expectancy rates correspondingly decline. So, that drop off in BMI for the 80-90-year-olds shown in the chart is not because they are finally getting their weight under control. Rather, it’s because the more obese folks have died early and have thus statistically diluted the numbers.

Additionally, isn’t it peculiar that for young kids (when they have low vitamin A serum levels) they typically have tons of energy, nice thick hair, nice smooth skin, good vision, low cholesterol levels, and a normal BMI? Unfortunately, as we get older, we typically start to lose these indicators of good health. Next, let’s consider the vitamin A – BMI correlation in South Korea and see how it compares to that of the USA.

Figure 4 Serum Retinol level and BMI in the USA and South Korea

USAKoreaSerumLevelByAge

Source: Nutrition Research and Practice (Nutr Res Pract) 2012;6(1):45-50
http://dx.doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2012.6.1.45

pISSN 1976-1457 eISSN 2005-6168
Vitamin A status of 20- to 59-year-old adults living in Seoul and the metropolitan area, Korea.  Sungah Kim, Young-Nam Kim and Youn-Ok Cho

The average South Korean vitamin A serum levels of vitamin A are much lower than that of Americans of the same age. Correspondingly, so are their BMI levels. Maybe even more important is that the average BMI levels in South Korea are rather steady over a wide age range and only creep up slightly by age 60. So, it could be that serum levels above 1.5 µmol/L are dangerous, whereas those below are more safely manageable by the body’s regular defense mechanisms.

Of course, we all know that correlation alone does not determine causation. In the field of causation theory there is a fundamental premise that states that causation cannot be inferred without manipulation. What that means is that to claim a causal influence we need to prove that directly manipulating an input variable has a corresponding measured response (within some range of statistical significance).

Fortunately, we do indeed have that supporting evidence to claim a causal factor with the retinoids and obesity. Firstly, we have the somewhat inadvertent results from a study where dietary vitamin A (even in the form of beta-carotene) was increased resulting in obesity. I say inadvertent results, because neither the researchers, nor the subjects, were at all interested in, or even suspecting, to see a resulting change in body weight.

Source: Vitamin A and vitamin E in human blood 3
Levels in patients in psychiatric hospitals

BY 2. A. LEITNER
52 Welbeck Street, London, W I AND T. MOORE AND I. M. SHARMAN
Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, University of Cambridge and Medical Research Council

This study is from 1951 -1962, the researches were working with patients in a UK psychiatric hospital, often including people with schizophrenia.  What they noticed is that the serum levels of both vitamin A and the carotenoids in these patients was abnormally low. Somewhat surprising to me, the researchers did not appear to think that there may have been a possible connection between the patient’s mental health condition and their vitamin A status. Nonetheless, the researchers felt that it would just be in the best interests of the patient’s overall general health to bring their serum levels in line with what was deemed to be the more normal values as observed in the general public. With that, they added some higher concentration beta-carotene vegetables into the meal plan for the patients. The very surprising outcome of that diet manipulation was that many of the patients quite quickly became obese.

Our results have shown not only that mean values for carotenoids, and usually also for vitamin A, are low in mental patients, but that values approaching those for normal subjects may be induced by ensuring that large amounts of carotene are consumed, either in oily solution or in the form of vegetables.

Somewhat lower values were always found, for both carotenoids and vitamin A, in patients who had been resident in hospital for 2 years than in newly admitted patients. In certain groups of newly admitted patients the vitamin A levels were normal, but the carotenoid levels were always low.

Between the two stages of our work, begun in 1951 and in 1962, special attention has been given at Claybury Hospital to the provision of liberal supplies of vegetables. As in most other psychiatric hospitals, moreover, the use of tranquillizing drugs has improved the appetites of the patients, to such an extent that obesity has become a common problem. At the most these changes seemed to have caused only a slight increase in blood levels of carotenoids and vitamin A towards the normal range.

Yes, adding more vegetables, such as carrots to the diet (and the tranquilizing drugs) led to obesity.  And then regarding the tranquilizing drugs being to blame for the improved appetites, they contradict themselves with the following rationalization statement:

A likely hypothesis is that the appetite of mental patients for vegetables is poor, and that these are not eaten in amounts typical of normal subjects unless special measures are taken.
[…]
An alternative hypothesis, perhaps less probable, is that in mental patients the efficiency of the absorption and conversion of carotene is reduced. Increased quantities of carotene must therefore be given, above the requirements of normal subjects, in order to sustain levels of carotenoids and vitamin A equal to those in normal subjects.

Source: as above

Regardless, I like these types of inadvertent experiments because they are ideal double-blind studies. Neither the researchers nor the people in the studies realized or were even aware that the effect on obesity was being considered as an outcome. As a side note, many people with schizophrenia report a surge in weight gain just before their first encounter with the disease conditions. Also, very interestingly, the lower than normal level serum levels of vitamin A is observed in autism, IBD, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease too. Most surprisingly, it’s very significantly so in cystic fibrosis too. So, where is their serum retinol magically disappearing too? Could it be into retinoic acid? Isn’t it also interesting that the documented psychiatric side-effects of retinoic acid toxicity are a perfect match for the symptoms of schizophrenia, autism, and even Alzheimer’s?  I digress. Let’s get back on track with investigating obesity causation.

Next, we have the opposite effect demonstrated in another study where the vitamin A input variable is manipulated in the other direction.

Proc Nutr Soc. 1973 Dec;32(3):105A-106A.

Vitamin-A and epilepsy: a dietary contretemps.
Sharman IM, Stern G.

In this 1973 study researchers were considering the possible effect a low vitamin A diet may have had on epilepsy. Very surprisingly, and completely unexpectedly too, what they saw was a rapid loss in body fat. The study was terminated because they believed that the rapid drop in weight in their subjects was a sign of vitamin A deficiency.

And then in another experiment attempting to purposely induce vitamin A deficiency in volunteer adults we have:

From the sample menus he provided, one can estimate that on a typical day, a subject [person] would consume 80–160 IU of carotene. Thiamin was estimated to be adequate and ascorbic acid was given as a supplement. Energy density was kept high, to prevent weight loss due to lack of appetite and “for psychological reasons.” Indeed, for the first 3.5 mo, all subjects [persons] gained weight. After that time, for the following 2.5 mo, all 10 people simultaneously lost amazingly large amounts of weight, e.g., two persons lost 10 kg of their maximal weights (79 kg and 59 kg). The author interprets this weight loss to be a consequence of the exhaustion of the subjects’ vitamin A reserves, and compares it to the weight loss observable in vitamin A–deficient rats.

Source: The Experimental Induction of Vitamin A Deficiency in Humans
George Wolf  Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3104

By combining the results of these three studies, we’ve satisfied one of the key requirements of making a causal association claim. Therefore, we have both a solid correlation and required manipulation experiments supporting our general theory. But, what about that specific sub-theory that retinol overload is driving adipose stem cells into an abnormal state of more rapid replication? Surely this has been investigated. After all, the retinoids and more specifically vitamin A, and retinoic acid are some of the most studied molecules in all of medical science. It has indeed been studied. Here’s a 2016 report documenting the adipose genesis effect of retinoic acid: Circulating Retinoic Acid Levels and the Development of Metabolic Syndrome

Adipogenesis is a differentiation process regulated by the complex interaction of some RXR heterodimeric partners (18). In 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation assays, retinoic acid effects vary as a function of the stage of adipogenesis and relative retinoic acid receptor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and RXR expression (19). Inhibition of endogenous RA production by the inactivation of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (the primary retinaldehyde metabolizing enzyme) increased energy dissipation and reduced abdominal fat accumulation, thus preventing and ameliorating diet-induced obesity (20). Although the role of RA in adipogenesis has been generally proven in vitro, little information on the relationship between serum RA level and MetS (as well as its components) is available for the Chinese population..

Source: Yan Liu, Hongen Chen, Di Mu, Jiahua Fan, Jiayi Song, Yuan Zhong, Di Li, Min Xia; Circulating Retinoic Acid Levels and the Development of Metabolic Syndrome, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 101, Issue 4, 1 April 2016, Pages 1686–1692, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-4038

Even though the documented adipose genesis is being induced by retinoic acid, we need to remember that retinoic acid is readily produced just by a somewhat high dietary intake of vitamin A.

Retinoic acid is present in both the fasting and postprandial circulations where it is bound to albumin. Immediately following consumption of a retinol-rich meal (~1 mg/kg body weight), mean plasma concentration of retinoic acid was observed to reach 254 nmol/L but was quickly restored to fasting concentrations of 14 nmol/L in 10 male volunteers (Arnhold et al., 1996).

Source:
DRAFT SCIENTIFIC OPINION 1
Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for vitamin A1 2
EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA)2, 3 3
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

The oxidization of retinol into retinoic acid will happen even more so once a person ages and starts approaching their liver’s maximum storage capacity.  But, let’s not forget that in North America, much of our dairy is being directly supplemented with additional retinol too.

Vitamins A and/or D should be considered in the hazard analysis for plants fortifying milk products, as over-fortification could result in toxic levels (). The target level for vitamins A and D in milk manufactured in the US is 2000 IU/quart and 400 IU/quart, respectively. The US-FDA currently considers levels in excess of 6000 IU/quart vitamin A and 800 IU/quart vitamin D to be potential health concerns (Nichols, 1992). Vitamin fortification might be controlled under a CCP or a PP, depending on a firm’s hazard analysis. Preventing over-fortification is accomplished by careful monitoring of vitamin concentrate addition, proper measurement of pump feed rates, and determining whether the volume of concentrate used per product batch is in relative agreement with the theoretical value required to achieve the desired fortification level.

Source: Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and other food safety systems in milk processing
S.C. Murphy, in Improving the Safety and Quality of Milk: Milk Production and Processing, 2010

Therefore, the chances of surging one’s retinol intake are considerably higher with frequent milk and cheese consumption. And, yes, there has been a case in Canada where a dairy producer did not have the injection pumps set correctly, and some kids were subsequently killed by drinking the milk. Somewhat strangely, even though fortifying low-fat milk is a legislated requirement in Canada and the USA, it’s not in the UK. How can it be that all those people in the UK drinking low-fat dairy have managed to avoid vitamin A deficiency symptoms? Sorry, I digress again.

Pasteurized Milk Causes Scurvy

What about pasteurization? Could the heating of casein with its embedded retinol generate retinoic acid too? I think it probably does. Here’s why. Firstly, consider this report:

The Effect of Holder Pasteurization on Nutrients and Biologically-Active Components in Donor Human Milk: A Review
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997390/

From Table 4. Cont. on Page 10

A 34% reduction in vitamin A is reported after pasteurization, and categorized as being “significant.”

Okay, so what happened to the missing retinol post pasteurization? Where did it disappear to? Of course, it didn’t just disappear. It was oxidized and otherwise broken down. Then consider this interesting little ditty? Pasteurized milk is reported to cause “scurvy” too.

Most people are familiar with scurvy, a disease that results from vitamin‑C deficiency. Fortunately, scurvy is rare in Western societies. (It is still seen in infants who are fed a diet of boiled or pasteurized milk). Osteoporosis can be caused by vitamin C deficiency and is seen in both infants and adults who have scurvy. Vitamin C is important in the production of a material called collagen. Collagen is perhaps best described as a fibrous tissue into which mineral is deposited in bone. Together with mineral, collagen gives bone its strength. While it is clear that vitamin C is necessary for bone health, vitamin C deficiency is rare. Vitamin C supplementation as a general preventative measure for osteoporosis does not appear to be warranted. […]
Vitamin A is also popularly known today as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is actually a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is considered critical to normal growth of the skeleton, but excessive vitamin A poses real dangers. Vitamin intoxication causes weakness, fatigue, emotional disturbances, headache, aching in the muscles and bones. Unfortunately, vitamin A is also one of the vitamins often taken in excess in the United States because of recent reports suggesting its beta-carotene content may protect against cancer.

Source: The Osteoporosis Handbook
Sydney Lou Bonnick
Taylor Trade Publishing, Oct. 1, 2000 – Health & Fitness

How can it be possible that for infants drinking pasteurized or boiled milk instead of raw milk there’s an increased risk for scurvy? That does not appear to be logical because milk, pasteurized or not, contains only trace amounts of vitamin C at ~0 mg/100 g. But then consider the 1937 study, titled:

CONCERNING THE TOXICITY OF VITAMIN A
EDWABD B. VEDDEB AND CHABLES BOSENBEBG
Department of Experimental Medicine, George Washington University
Medical School (Received for publication December 17, 1937)

In this study, the researchers believed that they had induced “scurvy” in their animals just by having them on high vitamin A diets.

Since the rat is known to be capable of synthesizing vitamin C and is not susceptible to scurvy, it is difficult to explain this action of vitamin C. A possible explanation is that vitamin C destroys the toxic factor and that all the vitamin C synthesized by the rat is used up in this process, leaving it susceptible to scurvy. Scurvy of the rat has never been described, but the symptoms produced by fish liver oils are not unlike scurvy; they include failure to grow, hemorrhages, particularly from the eyes and nose but to some extent from other mucous membranes, and abnormal rarefaction and fragility of the bones.

In a few rats, the urine was collected and titrated with 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol. After administration of jewfish liver oil equivalent to 100,000 units of vitamin A for about 3 weeks, the excretion of vitamin C decreased to the vanishing point, but reappeared in the urine in considerable amounts after the daily administration of 5 mg. of crystalline ascorbic acid. While this is suggestive, since the physiological action of vitamin C is quite unknown, the correct explanation of its remedial action for jewfish liver oil must await further experimentation.

So, even though rats can produce their own vitamin C, that wasn’t enough to protect them. Whereas the added vitamin C in these experiments was rather effective in protecting the animals from dying due to the toxicity effects of the vitamin A. Of course, there’s more to it. These researchers knew it was not just simply vitamin A alone causing the disease conditions. They make this very interesting and astute statement in their conclusion:

In addition to vitamin A, fish liver oils contain a toxic principle, at present not identified.

Since retinoic acid was discovered around 1960, these researchers back in 1937 would not have known about it as being the hidden additional toxic principle that was causing the “scurvy” in addition to all the other diseases and ultimate death in their animals.

Next, consider this little ditty from the same study:

When the unitage of vitamin D exceeded that of vitamin A, the combination was far more toxic than the same amount of vitamin A alone.

Of course, many people in North America have been consuming fish oils thinking that it is good for us. And then remember that those injection pumps at the dairy producers are pumping both vitamin A and D directly into our low-fat milk supply. Therefore, in North America, there is no shortage of possibilities for people to be getting too much retinol in their daily diet. Of course, it’s not just retinol, as reported above.  It is also quite normal to have trace (nmol) amounts of retinoic acid in serum too.  Those facts combined with the 2016 report documenting that retinoic acid induces adipose genesis, that eliminates the theoretical aspect of our sub-theory. Therefore, very slowly, over the years, vitamin A and daily spikes in its downstream metabolite of retinoic acid are just going to make us fatter and fatter.

So, with this final detail established, we now have solid supporting correlations, manipulation experiments, and a direct documented causal mechanism. That should leave you with so little doubt as to one of the major forces driving the obesity epidemic. That’s all rather bad news. But, the good news is that our intake of retinol is under our control, and obesity caused by it is quite readily reversible too. I am now getting direct reports from people who are dropping amazing amounts of weight after adopting a vitamin A-free diet. Here are just a few examples:

John:

I have been losing a lot of weight – 50 pounds in the last 15 weeks – and expect to lose another 40 pounds in the months ahead.

Dan:

In 6 months, I lost 80 Lbs and my Skin Cleared up.

Dave:

After four months of being on a vitamin A elimination diet I’ve lost thirty pounds. It has just evaporated.

Albert:

Even though I’m now consuming about 5,000 calories per day, I’m not gaining weight.

Nonetheless, I don’t want to put the entire blame for obesity on vitamin A either. Like with so many other aspects of the autoimmune diseases and the psychiatric disorders, there is no single cause. The root-causes and mechanisms are more complicated and multi-factored. For example, let’s consider the combined effects of retinoic acid and sugar. As that retinoic acid drives up the rate of adipose genesis, those new cells will in turn demand more energy. That then drives up the appetite and the craving for sugar or other sources of glucose. It’s all very subtlely and yet directly interconnected. I’m also quite sure that there are vitamin A free diets that could still induce the obesity effect if regularly over-consumed. But, at least you now know the identity of one of the most significant hidden factors. It’s a poison “vitamin” that’s making many of us fat and sick.

Nothing. It’s worth fighting for.

Tags

An audio version of this post is available here.

I’ve had a number of people asking me to get a vitamin A test to see where my serum levels are now at. Of course, I was very curious about that too.  It sounds simple enough, but it’s not. Here in Alberta, vitamin A testing is lumped in with vitamin D testing and our socialized medical system has stopped providing discretionary testing for these vitamins. Too many people were requesting the vitamin D test and it was costing the Province millions of dollars. Thus, it appears that they took the position that since “we know” that almost everyone is vitamin D deficient anyways, there’s no need to continue testing for it.

Since we can’t get enough vitamin D from food to meet our body’s needs, Alberta Health Services recommends that all healthy Albertans take a vitamin D supplement.

Source: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/Vitamin-d-supplement-recommendations-for-healthy-albertans.aspx

Here, they’ve provided the blanket recommendation that nearly everyone should just supplement with vitamin D. Yes; our medical experts think that we all should supplement with a vitamin that can also become toxic. Doesn’t that sound familiar? In the context of vitamin A, it’s:

Practical, reliable, field­‑based techniques for assessing vitamin A status are increasingly in demand. Not so much to determine whether particular individuals need vitamin A – at 4¢ for 200,000 IU it will always easier, cheaper and safer to assume that they do – but as a way of identifying deficient populations that require community-based intervention.

Source: Vitamin-A Deficiency Health, Survival, and Vision
Alfred Sommer and Keith P. West

Yes, it’s the same sordid story, just a different potentially toxic vitamin. Anyways, it took a bit of wrangling, but I was finally able to get the tests. The Results:

Vitamin A:

(Below low normal)  0.1 µmoI/L

With the following advisory warning: Vitamin A levels less than 0.4 µmol/L correlate with severe deficiency. Supplementation is advised.”

Although it’s not the 0.0 µmoI/L value I was hoping for, it’s still extremely low. The average for men my age is more like 2.2 µmoI/L.

SerumLevelAug2018

Therefore, my level is about twenty times lower than normal. Also, compare my serum level to the 1969 case study of the young man in Britain I’d referenced along with the Vitamin-A and epilepsy: A dietary contretemps study by Sharman IM, Stern G. After 5 ½ years of eating a vitamin A free diet he succeeded in getting his serum levels down to about ~0.2 µmoI/L. In that report, he was said to have had the lowest serum levels of vitamin‑A ever recorded in Great Britain. Now, with my levels down to 0.1 µmoI/L, I just may have beaten his long-standing record. I’ll continue with my diet to see if I can achieve the 0.0 µmoI/L within the next year. Getting to absolute zero is obviously hard to achieve. It just might be an asymptotic drawdown function. Or maybe the test is not designed to be accurate in this abnormally low range?

Vitamin D

My vitamin D levels are at 72.0 nmol/L. Here in Alberta the – desired normal range is 80.0 – 200.0 nmol/L. I’m a bit on the low side, but not overly so. In US units that 72.0 nmol/L equates to 29 ng/ml. So, it’s still very close to being in the normal, or even in the optimal, range depending on whom you ask.

A few other people have suggested that my original health issues were due to a vitamin D deficiency. However, that assertion is completely nonsensical for a variety of reasons.

  1. I had lots of vitamin D in my diet leading up to my disease conditions. Vitamin D did not prevent me from getting the diseases.
  2. I then fully recovered from all my disease conditions by eliminating vitamin A, and not by adding vitamin D.
  3. There’s been a massive amount of vitamin D supplementation going on here in Canada, and in other western countries too and there is no corresponding massive improvement in our rates of the chronic diseases. And forget about seeing massive improvements in disease rates, there’s been no improvement. Sure, vitamin D is probably helping people cope with the diseases, but it is not completely curing them either. So, clearly, a vitamin D deficiency is not at the root cause of the disease. Maybe vitamin D is acting much like many of the pharmaceutical drugs, and is just abating or blocking the symptoms?

Most importantly, the very concept of a vitamin deficiency is what has gotten us into this giant mess in the first place. I really have no research interest in vitamin D either. All I know is that vitamin D has been used as a rat poison for decades, and that is an absolute fact. Next, consider that rats are the de facto model used to test the toxicology of drugs and other chemicals. Yet, somehow, we are supposed to be so credulous and believe that vitamin D magically gets a free pass on it, and supplementing with it is somehow good for us? Sorry, I not buying it. I’m going with that real-world evidence and calling it for what it is. No one can argue that it’s not a toxic substance at high doses. Obviously, it is far less toxic than vitamin A.  Since vitamin D binds to the same “cellular receptors” as does vitamin A then it’s possible that it just blunts the potential toxicity of vitamin A. It may be that vitamin D only appears to be so beneficial in bone growth and maintenance due to it obstructing the osteoporosis causing effects of vitamin A? I don’t know. I am not an expert on it. But, we should be careful with it. For now, I’ll stick with my single-minded focus on investigating vitamin A.

Breast Cancer

An audio version of this post is available here.

While doing the background investigation for my two earlier e-books, I often saw similarities between many of the aspects and characteristics of the chronic diseases and those of cancers. It was especially so for breast cancer. Thus, I’ve looked at the breast cancer topic a bit more.  It has by no means been an exhaustive investigation. However, it has led me to two conclusions.

  1. Breast Cancer is caused by a poisoning.
  2. The primary causal toxin responsible for that poisoning is vitamin A.

I’m presenting this theory in a new e-book.

I’ve tried to keep this e-book short. But, I think there is still ample amounts of evidence presented in it to sufficiently back up the above conclusions. As with my other e-books, this one is free. So, please download this e-book, and feel free to share it with anyone you want. All I ask for in return is that you comment on it as you see fit.

Thanks

The Four Year Update

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An audio version of this post is available here.

It’s been a bit over a year since my last update. I’ve been holding off on posting a new one because I wanted to get to the four-year point with my diet. The four-year anniversary date is Aug 11, 2018. But, things are starting to move along faster readership-wise. Last year I had five subscribers, and now I am up to ten. So, I’m clearly on a roll, and thus I am posting this a bit early to catch the wave.

An inexpensive fluoroscope

Dan from Chicago has shared a great tip. Rather than using a geology fluoroscope to inspect his skin for areas of high concentration of retinoids, he’s determined that you can use an automotive leak detection light. He’s used this ~ $15 kit.

UV flash light $15

He’s also shared some photos of his skin under this light.

RHandWrist

And then using the test light on that same area you can see the florescence.

RightWrist

The Eye Exam

I finally got around to getting a comprehensive eye exam done. The results were all good. No glaucoma, no macular degeneration. The vision tests, both near and far, were a clear pass. The pressure test was fine. No need for reading glasses, and no need for driving glasses. I do still have a trace remnant of a cataract in the left eye. So, overall, my eye health and vision are excellent and of course, vastly improved compared to four years ago. But, the kicker was, as I was finishing up with the exam, the eye doc sat back in his chair, looked a little perplexed, and said: “I don’t understand how you could have gotten to be this age (58) and still have such good eye health and vision”. That was a completely unprompted remark, and I did not say a word about my peculiar diet. Then I asked: “what about the vascularization?”. He replied, “that’s normal, don’t worry about it.”  Of course, I don’t think it’s really normal. Rather that it’s now just so common in people around my age that it appears to be normal.

Anyways, the claim that vitamin A is needed to maintain human vision is now officially debunked, at least as far as I am concerned. My night vision remains very good too. The one vision change I do notice now is that colour yellow is just richer. It’s like the difference between seeing a dull looking egg yolk and one that’s much deeper brighter yellow. It’s not a problem; it’s just different than before.

Oh, I know there will be the skeptics and the naysayers who’ll claim that I’ve just not waited long enough for the great vitamin A deficiency to swoop down and take me out. No worries, I plan on maintaining my zero vitamin A diet at least for another five years, and I’ll let them know the moment that it catches up to me.

Overall Health

Other areas of my health remain good too. I still have a good energy level and no concerns what-so-ever about my health. My weight has remained the same, and almost regardless of how many calories I take in. My BMI remains steady at 26.

bmi201882

But, there are a few areas that are still showing improvements. One is that my skin is progressively getting smoother, almost everywhere. It was also quite smooth a year ago too, but strangely it’s just getting smoother and nicer as time goes on. Even the skin on my heals is becoming smooth. Likewise, the same goes for my fingernails. They are now very nice and smooth too, and they no longer have the longitudinal ridges in them.

My bones and teeth are feeling stronger too. My blood pressure is at the “suggested optimal” values, usually at ~ 120/80, and my cholesterol levels are like perfect too.

mg/dl mmol/L
Cholesterol 126.6 3.28
HDL Cholesterol 57.5 1.49
LDL Cholesterol 56.4 1.46
NON-HDL Cholesterol 69.1 1.79
TRIGLYCERIDES 63.7 0.72

These cholesterol numbers are good even for children that are less than nine years of age. These low numbers are not surprising because one of the pathways for the breakdown of vitamin A is for it to convert into cholesterol. Additionally, my platelet count is down to 134 (the normal range is 150-400). I’m guessing that’s because I no longer need a bunch of sticky platelets constantly trying to repair damage to my blood vessels.

BloodPressure

I’m also finding that I need somewhat less sleep and food than I did a few years ago and I still maintain a good energy level throughout the day. However, regardless of whether I need it or not, I do try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a day.  Somewhat related, five years back, after waking up in the morning, I seriously needed my coffee. So much so, that anyone standing between me and my first coffee was in some danger. Then after the coffee, I needed a shower to fully wake up. I used to joke that I was not even human until after I had my coffee and morning shower. Now, that’s no longer the case. All joking aside, I am just much more alert and clear thinking upon first waking. I really don’t need coffee anymore at all, and I am finding it less appealing too.

The Diet

A few people have asked me how could I eat such a limited diet. I usually explain that it is super easy.  First, I put the rice in a bowl, and then I add some beans, then I add the cooked bison, add hot water and a pinch of salt to turn it into a soup, and then I eat it. But, seriously, it is super easy and fast. I just take the previously cooked rice, bison, and beans out of the fridge, add hot water, and I’m done. That’s it. I do the same for lunch. I just put it in a container and take it to work with me. The only downside is that it’s a bit boring. But, I’ll take boring over having my skin burn off again. There are other things you should know about this diet. Firstly, I probably get most of my calories from rice, not the bison. I have tons of energy on this diet, and I almost never feel hungry. Of course, it’s been well known in Asia for centuries now, but rice is an amazing energy super food. I can’t say enough good about it. The same somewhat categorization applies to the beans.  Of course, both rice and beans are very low cost too. But, do not for one second believe that you can live on rice and beans alone. I believe adequate animal meat is very important too. Even with the beef/bison added, this is still a very inexpensive diet, and that’s a bonus. After all, fruits and vegetables are quite expensive too. They also represent a huge amount of industrial waste because of spoilage.

Next, this brings up another question people are probably wondering about, and that is: do the beans increase gas and flatulence.  Firstly, here’s a little bit of trivia for you. Did you know that regular “healthy” people pass gas an average of 13 to 21 times per day? So, if you work in an office with say 50 people per floor that’s one heck of a lot of stinky methane seeping into the air that you are breathing.  Naturally, you sure don’t want to be over contributing to that with the added beans in your diet. Well, the surprising good news is that even with the beans, on this diet the number of times you’ll have flatulence in a day will be right around zero. At night, and while you sleep? Zero too. And, it’s probably around zero times per month too. That’s right, amazingly, nothing, perfect. Bowel movements are also perfect. My simple diet is just such a civilized one to adopt on that aspect of it alone. Additionally, just the amount of money you’ll save on toilet paper will somewhat offset for the amount of money you’ll spend on beef.

Kidney Disease

One of the topics I only touched on a bit in my e-books was my early diagnosis of kidney disease.  I was given this diagnosis in late 2006. My nephrologist told me that I still had a good amount of time left, but that I should get my affairs in order. He told me that there is no known definitive cause and no medication, and of course no cure, for CKD. The longer-term prognosis was that I’d be finished by 2013. Although my nephrologist was so incredibly accurate in that prediction, it did not turn out to be precisely correct. I just had a checkup done. My kidney function is now back to normal. I no longer have leaking protein, and my creatinine and GFR numbers are perfect too. Go figure?

Twisted Bones

Way back, a long, long time ago, when I had read Darwin’s Origin of the Species, I was quite surprised at just how confused and wrongly modern biology was interpreting his work. Darwin clearly knew that the concept of random mutations could only possibly account for just the tiniest little fraction of the forces driving evolution. What he stated, and he stated it over and over, if anyone bothered carefully reading his book, that it was natural breeding selection that was truly the biggest driving force behind the rate of evolutionary change. Just as importantly, it was that he fully understood, and he also stated it multiple times too, that the mother’s life experiences were somehow actually programming the outcome of the offspring. Yet, what’s taught in schools today is a grand distortion of what Darwin had discovered. Evolution is not the process of random mutations, but rather it is the process of purposefully built adaptations, both in real-time and over generations. Thus, Darwin had discovered epigenetics some 150 years ago. But, there is a secondary distortion that I want to highlight regarding Darwin’s story, and that is the shape of his own skull.

Upon Darwin’s return from his famous Beagle voyage, and having suffered from severe and chronic eczema during those years, Darwin’s father had noted that the shape of Darwin’s skull had changed! Yes, Darwin who was regularly eating organ meats, had the shape of his skull changed. Now, isn’t that fascinating?

Over the last few years, I’ve had quite a few people contact me who had taken Accutane as an acne treatment. One surprising consistent theme from their stories is the time-frame.  It’s usual to hear that they had taken the drug over ten years ago, and are still suffering from it.  The second surprising comment was that several of them reported that the “drug” had twisted their bones!

Then, about three years ago I had exchanged some messages with a woman, who’s about 40 years old. She had severe rosacea and a condition called TMJ. This condition is that of a twisted jaw bone. She had a very noticeable crooked smile and damaged teeth because of it. The rosacea was bad enough, but the twisted jaw was causing her a tremendous amount of chronic pain. She had shopped the nation for surgeons to treat the condition. What they offered sounded horrific, and none of them were guaranteeing any long-term successes either. Of course, the proposed surgeries came with substantial risks and guaranteed facial scarring too. The only thing that stopped her from going ahead with the surgeries was the cost. The needed surgery was quoted at between $50,000 and $100,000 US. When I talked to her, she told me that herself and her husband had added liver as an almost bi-weekly staple food in their diets a few years earlier. She had read in some fashion magazine that liver was the new health food. Her husband had developed severe gout at about the same time she had first developed rosacea. She had read my blog posts, and was extremely doubtful and very skeptical that the additional vitamin A consumption could have caused her conditions. Nonetheless, to be on the safe side, she stopped eating liver and very reluctantly adopted a low vitamin A diet too (but not totally zero).  Now, three years later, her jaw has straightened back out. Her rosacea is completely gone too. She’s also much happier and calmer now. But, I’m disappointed to say that she’s not fully convinced that the low vitamin‑A diet was responsible for the remarkable recovery. She cannot bring herself to believe that a “vitamin” could have caused it, or that medical “science” has gotten it wrong.

Well, there’s only so much I can say, other than that the highest authority in science is that which is demonstrated in nature.

Next, for my own twisted bone story. For well over a decade, and maybe more like for about the last two decades, I’ve had two bulging vertebrates in my lower back. They are about 2/3rds the way down. They never really bothered me too much. Even though I could only see them by using a mirror, I really needed two opposing mirrors to see them effectively. Thus, it was no big deal kind of thing, and I only had a single mirror in my bathroom, so I was fine. Then, a few months ago, I was in a washroom with multiple mirrors, and lo and behold, I noticed that those two bulging vertebrates are almost not visible anymore. They have straightened out, and are now almost completely back in alignment with the rest of my spine.  I never, not in a hundred years, could have imagined that to happen.

So, in addition to all the other horrible things this so-called vitamin can do to us, it’s even causing the twisting of our bones! How remarkable is that?

Breast Cancer

You might be surprised to learn how much more pain and misery, and death this so-called vitamin is inflicting on the women of the world. That’s the topic of my next e-book. It should be ready in the next few days.

Vitamin A…. oh no it’s not!

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Another year has gone by, and now I owe my loyal followers an update. In a nutshell, here it is: I am still very much alive, doing quite well, and remain eczema free. So, that’s nice. Oh, and yes, I am continuing to live on my vitamin A elimination diet. That’s nice too.

But, I’ve not been sitting idle regarding the vitamin A topic either. In addition to my day job, and other life responsibilities, I’ve spent more time investigating the history and nuances of the vitamin A story. This investigation has now led me to make a rather profound discovery. That discovery is that vitamin A is not a vitamin, at all. Nope; in no way is retinol, nor it’s precursors, a vitamin. That grand theory and the esteemed vitamin label given to this toxic molecule is rooted in nothing more than botched science.

Of course, that’s not just my opinion, and no, I am not delusional. Rather, you’ll soon see that it is simply a fact. So, if you are like me, and have been wondering why the symptoms of so-called vitamin A deficiency are a perfect match for those of vitamin A toxicity, you’ll get the answer to that little 100-year-old mystery.

I’ve documented this investigation in a new eBook. Like with my prior eBook, this one is completely free too. There are no hooks or gotchas to it, nor advertising associated with it. There’s no monetary gain in any of this for me, or anyone else. However, there’s a gigantic amount of money being made in attempting to treat the endless autoimmune diseases. Thus, the title: Poisoning For Profits.

Please download the eBook and share it with as many people as you like. All I ask in return is for you to please comment on it as you see fit. Therefore, please feel completely free to contact me with any feedback and questions.

Like always, you most certainly should not just take my word, or anyone else’s word, on any of this. Rather fantastically, you get to conduct a very simple in-home experiment and prove the science of it.  You’ll get to see the results of that experiment with your own eyes. In doing so, you’ll get to participate in one of the most important health science experiments ever conducted. Science just does not get to be any cooler than that.

Poisoning For Profits Why so many of us are sick and dying young.

Thank you

Ending the Mystery of Autoimmune

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About a year ago, I posted my initial theory that low dose chronic vitamin A poisoning was causing the epidemics of Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s/IBD, and eczema. That blog post was so long, and rambling, I doubt that many people even bothered to read it. Of course, there was a bit of a “just some wacko on the internet making absurd claims” sounding tone to it. After all, the entire gist of that theory was admittedly pretty crazy. Nonetheless, I was reasonably confident in making those assertions. Now, after a year of more investigation, I have no doubt whatsoever about it.

But, to have any credibility I needed to fully recover from my eczema condition before posting this update. It has taken a long time for me to make that complete recovery, and there have been a few setbacks along the way. The biggest challenge has been going through another cold, dry winter here in Alberta. Not only have I now fully recovered from my eczema, but I have also seen other significant improvements in my overall health too. More importantly, this extra time has allowed me to learn more, to put together more information, and to gain a much better understanding of the real mechanisms of these diseases. Lastly, I wanted to have gone on a near zero vitamin A diet for at least a year and a half too.

What I’ve learned is quite surprising, and will probably still be almost downright unbelievable for many people. Nevertheless, the truth is what the truth is. Therefore, this is mostly a good news story. It should be a majorly good news story for anyone afflicted with these diseases. It’s also a wee bit of a bad news story at the same time too. That’s because once you understand the mechanism of these diseases, you’ll see that it is going to take a long time to recover from them. The scope and magnitude of the devastation to the body’s cells and organs could be enormous, and it is simply going to take a long time to allow the body to recover and repair itself. Therefore, no magic pill is going to cure you. But, making a significant diet change probably will.

“If a sick person is fed, one feeds the disease.”

Hippocrates

The first stage in recovering from these diseases is that you need to immediately stop poisoning yourself. The second stage is to give your body the time it needs to heal itself. Even though you won’t experience a full recovery right away, you should experience at least some improvement by the first three to four weeks, assuming you take this very seriously.

With that, let’s move on to other goods news aspects of the story. The good news is that these diseases are not at all what we’ve been told they are. They are not some incurable, remainder of life disease condition. The human body is not some weak, feeble machine that is prone to self-destruction like this. These diseases, the autoimmune diseases, of Crohn’s, colitis, Lupus, eczema, MS, psoriasis, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, celiac, Sjögrens, vitiligo, and others are indeed rooted in vitamin A poisoning. These are not some spontaneously occurring, or just random bad luck, diseases. That ridiculous concept is entirely wrong.  They are completely not the result of a defective immune system either. They are auto-poisonings that cause the immune system to respond in the way it does. The only bad luck part here is that you probably live in a Western country that has fortified its national milk and dairy products with the very chemical that causes these diseases. Somehow, modern medicine has ignored what Hippocrates knew all too well some 2,500 years ago.

It is thus with regard to the disease called Sacred; it appears to me to be nowise more sacred than other diseases, but has a natural cause from which it originates like other affections. Men regard its nature and causes as divine from ignorance and wonder, because it is not at all like to other diseases. And this notion of its divinity is kept up by their inability to comprehend it, and the simplicity of the mode by which it is cured…

Hippocrates,  On the Sacred Disease

There’s more good news here too. Many of the chronic thought to be brain diseases are also manifestations of chronic vitamin A poisoning. These include Autism, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, many cases of anxiety, chronic depression, and very likely schizophrenia too. Additionally, this same poisoning is the very root cause of many incidences of kidney disease, and non-alcoholic liver disease too. It is also a very significant factor causing obesity. It is most certainly also the very root cause of cataracts.

Now any reasonable person should assume that claiming that this long list of diseases as being caused by one common poisoning is completely absurd. I fully understand how absurd sounding these claims must be. On the other hand, it is not at all absurd sounding after you learn that this one chemical is indeed capable of poisoning every single cell in the human body. Additionally, whatever is causing these diseases, it has to be something amazingly ubiquitous in our environment.  This is no ordinary poisoning either. This poisoning is a doozy, because it very slowly poisons the entire body, and thereby starts to destroy nearly every tissue in the body. Moreover, it coerces the ever powerful immune system into destroying the body too, the said to be “defective” auto-immune response.

The key to understanding all of this is the fact that all tissues associated with the chronic diseases, the thought to be diseases of aging, and the believed to be diseases of childhood, are all diseases of the stratified epithelial (and endothelial) tissues. Therefore, a gastroenterologist is dealing with the same tissue type (structure) as an ophthalmologist, and so is the dermatologist, the cardiologist, and the nephrologist, etc. The organ (the location of the disease, the gut, the eye, the skin or the kidneys, etc.) is irrelevant. The various named medical specialties are all attempting to treat the same tissue structure, it’s the stratified epithelium, with its all critical basal membrane. The subsequent downstream consequence of the body’s attempted defense of this endless destruction leads to bone loss, osteoporosis, and that directly leads to the long-term disruption in the balance of blood chemistry, resulting in chronic ischemic damage in the brain. Obesity is another defensive action taken by the body in trying to protect you from this self-destruction of the epithelium.

The takeaway here is that the chronic diseases of the inner ear, eyes, lungs, skin, GI tract, kidneys, pancreas (diabetes), liver, nose, throat, reproductive tissues, cardiovascular, myelin sheaths lining the nerves (MS), and all tissues with a cilia, such as of the ovaries, etc. are ALL epithelial diseases (it’s the slow and chronic apparent self-destruction of this TYPE of tissue).  But, it is not some mysterious self-destruction going on, it is a slow poisoning. Surprisingly, there is only ONE food based poison known to medical science that can even possibly be causing it. There is a ton of medical research proving this fact, and it has been proven beyond any doubt. Therefore, this is not just a theory.

Paradoxically, it is also believed to be proven that a shortage of vitamin A causes the very same destruction of the stratified epithelial (and endothelial) tissues. Would it not be fascinating to find out why we have this striking paradox? I’ll publish a follow-up post on how the early researchers completely botched it. The studies proving the consequences of vitamin A deficiency showed nothing other than the incredible toxicity of vitamin A. These early researchers made some tragic mistakes, and the resulting consequence of those mistakes is the outrageous rates of chronic disease we now face in the developed countries.

 Poisonings?

Using the term “poisonings” might be somewhat dramatic sounding too. However, I have no intention of being dramatic sounding. I am just calling it for what it is. Once you consider the geographic and national clustering of these diseases, there’s no question that they are poisonings. Nonetheless, to be less dramatic sounding, let’s just use the term “abnormal underlying conditions”.

Secondly, once you understand that these diseases are not normal in the human body, then it is easy to consider that it is some abnormal underlying conditions causing them. When these underlying conditions persist, the diseases develop. The only difficult aspect in understanding that these diseases are indeed poisonings is the extended time frames involved. We are usually talking about decades of time. Basically speaking, a toxin is very slowly accumulating in the body at various locations.  Yet, paradoxically, there is also a ton of complexity involved in the process.  As that toxin is accumulating the body is also mounting its standard defense measures against it. However, over time the body’s defensive measures are worn down and eventually exhausted. Once that happens, the body crosses a tipping point into diseases. You will never recover from the diseases unless you change the underlying conditions that are causing them.

I am completely, and one hundred percent sure about the above statements. However, it does not matter one little bit about what I am sure of. What only matters here, is what the evidence says about it. And over the last year, I’ve been spending my spare time on collecting that evidence. I’ve been gathering that evidence and making the connections between it all. I am publishing this in a free eBook. The eBook is available using the links below. I’ve put this information into an eBook form because it is now just way too long to include in a blog post. The book is entirely free. There are no hooks or catches to it. There is no advertising, or any monetary gain in this book for me, or anyone else. The only cost to you is your time in reading it. This book is intended for the people who have these diseases, and for their families. Here’s the download link: Extinguishing the Fires of Hell.pdf

You can freely share this eBook with anyone, including your doctor, and I highly encourage you to do that. However, I don’t expect much of a positive reaction from doctors on this topic for several reasons. Firstly, it would take an incredibly brave doctor to follow this evidence to its logical conclusions. Secondly, most doctors have more or less had their hands tied. For many physicians, they cannot be recommending a diet change to treat diseases. Thirdly, medical science has been completely over analyzing these conditions and have therefore missed the most obvious aspect to them. That is the fact, that they are poisonings. Ironically, the key to understanding these diseases is not found by looking down through a microscope, but rather by looking at world maps. Moreover, in the near term, we are far more interested in knowing what is poisoning us, rather than knowing the exact microbiology of how it is poisoning us. Of course, the microbiology aspects of this poisoning are of huge scientific and academic interest. It will give us a much better understanding of how the body really works, and importantly the information needed to develop the right treatment and antidotes. Therefore, a good chunk of my investigation was focused on proving that these diseases are poisonings and exactly what poison is responsible for them.

The critical information you need to know is that the rates for these diseases in North America, and selected other industrialized countries, are a staggering 50 to 400 times higher than compared to the non-industrialized ones. When you stop and really think about it, there is only one plausible explanation as to why and how this has happened. Quite simply, it is because these diseases are poisonings. From that basic understanding, then the next question you need to ask is what known potential toxins in our common foods even have the capability of causing these diseases? The rather shocking answer to that question is that there is only one substance known to medical science that can do so. That chemical is vitamin A.

On the one hand, it is just that straightforward. Yet, on the other hand, it is a very tricky, and almost devious poisoning that slowly sneaks up on us. For most adults it usually takes decades. Sadly, kids are not so lucky because they are far more susceptible.

Naturally, I welcome any and all feedback. More than that, I invite anyone to try to challenge this finding. But, please do it publicly, here on this blog, or anywhere else. All I’ll ask is that you use your real name, and job title when doing so. I am just asking you to please go on public record as having refuted this theory. Obviously, you’ll need to have very solid scientifically supportable evidence backing your position. This investigation is about science and the facts. It is not about opinions, nor is it about quotes from so-called experts.

When I refer to evidence here, most people might be expecting complicated chemical equations, detailed and complex biological processes, glossy pictures, and downright virtual fingerprints. I think that kind of evidence is going to be pretty hard to come by in disease research, and it would be difficult to prove the case absolutely, and conclusively in chronic diseases other than in infections.

However, I am indeed providing much of that level of evidence here. I am providing pictures, biological processes, and references to massive amounts of data, and (inadvertent) large-scale clinical studies to make the case.  But it is not to some extreme level of scientific sophistication, and rigor. Maybe a bit oddly, the answer to solving these diseases is not found so much in the minutia. Rather, the answer shows up and becomes entirely apparent when you take several steps back and look at all of the evidence collectively, and thereby see the bigger picture. There are some other surprising aspects of these diseases that have shown up in my investigation. Firstly, much of this information has been well known to medical science since about the 1940s. Secondly, you can literally see the large amounts of this toxin sitting in the skin, and you can see it with your own eyes. Thirdly, it is the very same, and the one chemical that is known to medical science that has been clinically proven, and proven millions of times over, to cause all of the symptoms of all the autoimmune diseases combined.  Additionally, there is only one toxin (from foods) known to medical science that can possibly be causing osteoporosis. It is also the one chemical known to medical science that will cause the depletion of your tissue’s stem cells, and thereby cause the corresponding sclerosis of your epithelial tissues. It is the one chemical, therefore, capable of causing the pigment loss occurring in vitiligo.  You can see this with your own eyes too. It is the one chemical that will cause the skin to shed and flake off as seen in eczema. It is the very same chemical that is scientifically proven to cause inflammation and the actual immune response we see in these diseases. Amazingly, it is the same chemical that has been proven to cause the head to toe destruction of the human body, and it has proven it millions of times over too. The points I’ve just made are a sampling of the details of the evidence you can dig into by reading the eBook.

Lastly, and rather incredibly, the very functional definition of vitamin A not only implicates it here but it also provides us with the unique virtual fingerprints on it. I could almost not even wish for more or stronger evidence. Everything I’ve found here is completely scientifically proven, and well-documented.

You’ll also see indisputable proof that these diseases are indeed poisonings. When you combine all of these facts, you should be left with no doubts. The bottom line here is that there is only one chemical known to medical science that can even possibly be causing these diseases. Very unfortunately, we’ve all been drinking it in our milk, eating it, and feeding it to our kids. The experts have seriously let us down and misled us. I believe that the vitamin A supplementation of our foods will go down in history as being one of the biggest scientific blunders of our time.

Don’t let the never-ending excuses thrown up by the naysayers and cynics distract you from pursuing the truth. The naysayers have not even begun to solve these diseases over the last fifty years, and they likely wouldn’t have solved a single one of them in the next fifty years either. Don’t let others with some financial interest try to talk you out of pursuing it either. Be strong, brave, and consider the evidence I am presenting on its own merits. This theory is not impossible. On the contrary, based upon the mountain of evidence here, it is highly probable. It is also not a difficult concept to understand either because this exact process is abundantly documented to be precisely what happens with this toxin in the human body. Additionally, and quite surprisingly, there is only one possible explanation as to why over 100,000,000 people in North America are now sick, and more are getting sick every single day.

To illustrate the point, imagine that you and your business partner have a company safe containing all your cash and valuables. There are only two people in the entire world that have a key to this safe: you and your partner. Your partner’s name is Joe Vital, and he is an unyielding type A personality. He has an immense influence on everyone he comes into contact with. With that, most people call him by his somewhat peculiar nickname “Vital A”.  Then one day you open the safe, and everything is gone. You confront “Vital A”, and he’s sitting there red-faced, sweating, and has a plane ticket to South America in his pocket, and denying any part of it. His financial supporters are also steadfastly backing him and are waving their hands trying to distract your attention to elsewhere. So, just who do you think emptied the safe? You might not want to admit that your old friend has betrayed your trust, but you just now have to go with the evidence on it. There is only one possibility here.  Of course, the cash and valuables in this analogy are your health; the calcium sucked out from your bones, and the all-important stem cells robbed from your skin, eyes, pancreas, kidneys, liver, other tissues, and even your brain.

Most importantly, regardless of what I say, or what anyone else has to say, the very final say, and evidence, on this is now up to you. You must now take action on it, and ultimately prove it one way or the other.

Thank you.

Connecting Eczema, Crohn’s and Alzheimer’s

The Subclinical saturation & Toxicity of retinol & retinoic acid

Introduction

This document investigates the root cause, and connection between the seemingly disparate diseases of Eczema, Crohn’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are a bunch of even more seemingly disparate pieces of evidence that I present to make this connection. These can be thought of as pieces of a puzzle if you like. Once connected, they reveal a pretty clear picture. Or, if you prefer, consider them to be clues that enable us to track down a notorious serial killer.

This document is not intended to be an scientific publication.  It is an mix of theory, evidence, and my own personal account and observations in dealing with one of these diseases.

Even though this is a very long, and rambling document, if you have an autoimmune disease, or you are genuinely interested in this topic, then I think it is worth your time to read all of this. If at any point while reading this you think something is wrong, or that this can’t be correct, please leave a comment as to why you think so. Also, please understand that I am presenting this as a theory.  It could be wrong, and completely wrong. It could be right, or only partially right.  I am completely, and totally open minded about this.  However, the preponderance of evidence that I have found is indeed pointing in this direction.

Autoimmune diseases and Alzheimer’s are not trivial topics.  This is complicated, and it requires a lot of evidence.

The evidence topics (in no particular order) include:

WHO and pregnant women in India Vitamin A
Food Japanese Skin Rejuvenation Therapy
Crohn’s Disease Eczema
Hair follicles Government Regulations
Autism Charles Darwin
Hashimoto’s and the ⅓ missing eyebrows National Institute of Health
Pickled Herring Socioeconomic status
Fatty Liver Disease Exponential decline curves
Winter Air Mucosal Calcinosis
A man named John An Acne Drug
Symmetry and randomness The Koebner phenomenon
The sebaceous gland Thresholds and tipping points
The closure of the Atlantic Cod fishery The border between Finland and Russia
Kids Chile
Steroid creams Anorexia
Spontaneous Bone fractures Retinal Neurodegeneration
Fluorescence Handwashing dishes
Canada North South ocean temperature gradients
An incredibly well known toxin Age 20ish
Band Aids Fortified Milk

I’ve highlighted what I think are the most important pieces of evidence. What are the connections between all of these? If we can answer this, then I think we can solve the mystery.

With all of these topics to discuss; this is going to be a very long read. Hopefully, there is a bit of intrigue raised here.

Although I am using intrigue, and puzzle metaphors; I do take this to be deadly serious. This is no game. Alzheimer’s and Autoimmune are the biggest diseases of our time. They are killing millions of people, and destroying the lives of 10’s of millions of others. Statistically speaking, every 60 seconds another person in North America is being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. That is effectively a death sentence. Consider this; right now in Canada 48% of men, and 67% of women by age 85 have Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you are lucky enough to live to be 105, then the probability of having Alzheimer’s is 95%.

Not too long ago, autoimmune diseases (all of them) were actually very rare. Alzheimer’s was a very rare disease too. Nearly all of a sudden; that has changed. We are in the midst of a raging epidemic of these diseases. We could actually even be at the early stages of that epidemic. Something is hugely wrong.

Approximately every 30 seconds another person is now being diagnosed with an Autoimmune disease. That is effectively a life sentence of future misery.

So, this is my attempt at cracking the code on this puzzle. I’ve also just recently joined the illustrious autoimmune club.  Last year I was diagnosed with Eczema. It was just a rash; but I did not like it. I did not like it one little bit.  That has put me on a bit of a mission to try to solve it.  I have no medical experience whatsoever.  I am just a guy with a rash. So, how does a guy trying to solve a rash stumble upon all of this? It was by conducting a very simple experiment.

OK, let’s dig in, and get started.

Here are some charts that I put together revealing what I think is an amazing connection. These charts are key pieces of evidence needed to solve this puzzle. Please do not gloss over it. Look at it very, very carefully. Not to overstate it; but these are incredibly important evidence. Please understand that these charts are revealing some major new clues as to the root cause of a major Autoimmune disease, and directly correlates that disease with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, these charts are original, they are not copied from anywhere. They are showing reliable; scientifically published data.

If we can understand what happened here; and fully understand what the connections are, then I think we will uncover the root cause(s) of these diseases. If we can solve one of these diseases; we may be able to solve the other. How hard can it be to crack the code on one of these? Click the chart to zoom in if you want a better view.

AlzheimersCrohns

This is data from Atlantic Canada from between 1996 and 2011.  The top line is Crohn’s disease incidence rates in Nova Scotia, and the others are Alzheimer’s mortality rates in the Atlantic provinces.

The Crohn’s Disease data is from a 2014 research paper, titled: Decreasing incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in Eastern Canada: a population database study.

The key observations here are:

  1. A remarkable ~35% drop in Crohn’s disease over this time period (1996-2009)
  2. A stunning ~50% drop in Alzheimer’s mortality over this time period ( 2000-2011)
  3. These two trend lines for Crohn’s and Alzheimer’s disease are nearly parallel
  4. Western Canada has no such decline (both are increasing in Alberta)
  5. Most of the rest of the world has no such decline in either of these diseases.

Here is the Canadian Alzheimer’s Data; from the East to West coast provinces. That east to west ordering is very important. Please look at these numbers very, very carefully. What do they tell us? You can maybe visualize a big arrow from the top left to the bottom right.

Alzheimer’s disease Age-standardized mortality rate per 100,000 population, Both sexes
Prov. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
NL 22.8 20.7 23.3 19.1 20.6 14.8 18.6 16.7 16.5 12.1 14.7 11.8
PEI 19.8 18.2 21.8 13 13.2 7.4 11.7 10.4 12.7 12.2 11.2 8.7
NS 17.6 20.4 17.1 14.4 14.5 16 12.7 16.2 17.2 16 17.5 15.4
NB 14.8 16.7 15.6 14.2 17.5 12.7 13.9 15.8 13.1 12.1 11.7 11.6
QC 16.4 18.4 19 17.8 17 18 16.5 17 17.2 16.4 16.3 15.8
ON 12.7 12.6 11.9 12.4 11.9 12.1 11 10.8 11.8 10.7 10.6 9.5
MB 8.7 10.8 7.4 7.8 8.9 9 8.5 7.9 7.9 7.3 6.9 7.3
SK 13 13 12.7 12.5 11.7 11.6 11.3 10.6 11.9 9.1 7.5 8.5
AB 12.4 10.6 12.5 10.3 9.7 9.2 9.9 8.6 10.8 9.3 8.5 7.8
BC 8.6 9.8 9.7 9.5 9 8.1 8.4 8.1 9.7 9.5 8.4 8.5
YK 0 0 8.2 7.4 8.7 20.4 19.7 10.2 17.8 14.8 11.9 16.5
NWT 6.8 7.4 17.3 7.9 7.5 0 7.4 5.7 18.5 0 0 4.9

Source: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a47

Table 102-05521

Alzheimer’s disease Age-standardized mortality rate per 100,000 population, Both sexes

Here is a chart showing the Alzheimer’s mortality rates in most of the other Canadian provinces.

Alzheimers Rates In Canada

The key observations here are:

  1. The decline rate in Canada’s western most provinces is nearly zero. In the year 2000, the Atlantic Provinces where at least 1.5 to 2 TIMES the rate of BC, and Alberta.
  2. ALL the Atlantic coast provinces are all at the top of the chart. All have clearly significantly higher rates than the rest of Canada.
  3. The significantly declining rates over this time period; but particularly so in the Atlantic Provinces.
  4. The slope of the regression lines on NL, NB are much steeper than that of BC, and AB. The BC regression line is almost flat.
  5. The Nova Scotia rate changes are a bit different than the other Atlantic Provinces.
  6. By the year 2011, the rate of most of the Atlantic provinces is cut in half, and is approaching the same rates for western Canada
  7. Once again, most of the rest of the world has no such dramatic decline in the rates of these two diseases.

What does this tell us? It tells us; with crystal clear clarity, that these are environmentally induced diseases. There has been a pervasive environmental change in Atlantic Canada to cause these significant declines. I suggest that there is no other logical conclusion.

The charts shown above include quite a few curves, and end up looking a bit cluttered. Here is a chart showing just the Alzheimer’s rates in Newfoundland and the Crohn’s rate in Nova Scotia.

AlzPEICrohns2029

I picked these two curves just to emphasize the significant trend here. But, no matter, all the Atlantic province curves are similar. The decline rates in these two seemingly completely disparate diseases are tracking each other very closely. I think that there is just no way that the underlying cause of these two diseases is not indeed related. For me, on one hand this is remarkable data. But, on the other hand, based upon my battle with Eczema, it is exactly what I suspected. After-all; I did not just randomly think to go and look for possible correlations between Crohn’s and Alzheimer’s. You might be asking yourself; “what the heck is this guy talking about; a connection between Crohn’s, Eczema and Alzheimer’s?”. Well, I believe that indeed there is. They are directly related. They share the same sinister parent. If you can take the time to read this entire document; I think the reasons why will become completely clear.

What happened in around 1996? Canada closed the Atlantic Cod fishery in 1993. So, there is something fishy about this story.  Here is something else that’s fishy. The Alzheimer’s rate directly across the Finland – Russian Border.

FinlandRussiaFinland is 22 TIMES higher. That is not a typo. Finland also has one of the highest rates of Eczema in the world. Sweden and Denmark have some of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease in the world. What does this tell us?  Once again, if we can understand why this difference is happening, we are well on our way to solving the mystery. A partial clue is the Finns eat lots of fish, and fish oils; whereas their Russian neighbors do not. But, this story is not about fish! It is about what is hidden inside the fish.

Here’s a bit of trivia. Consider the two cod fish shown below. They are the exact same species; the same age, size, taste, and smell. The only difference is one came from the West coast, and the other from the East coast of Canada.

CodFishWhat is different about these two fish? The difference is that the Atlantic Cod has 10 TIMES the level of vitamin A compared to the Pacific Cod. It appears to be the same fish; yet it’s 10 times higher in vitamin A. Why is that?

My journey, the other evidence, and connecting the puzzle pieces.

Okay, let’s dig into the science of all of this. The basic premise to this theory is that Eczema, Crohn’s and some other common autoimmune diseases are caused by being in a chronic state of elevated levels of retinol, retinoic acid, and possibly the carotenoid vitamin A precursors.

However, this is not the same as acute or chronic vitamin A toxicity as documented in the medical literature. No, almost not at all. Rather it is a sub-clinical poisoning that develops slowly over years; and possibly even over decades. There is a level of toxicity way below the documented acute or chronic vitamin A toxicity cases; yet the end results are far more devastating. Autoimmune diseases are actually auto-poisonings! So is Alzheimer’s.

The World Health Organization and pregnant women in India

A key piece of information for me was reading a report of a WHO program conducted in India; where they were pre-dosing pregnant women with 400,000 UI of vitamin A in one dose.

They were monitoring the blood serum in some of these women as they digested this dose. An incidental comment in the report was that they were amazed at just how fast the body removed the vitamin A dose from the serum. Of course this dose was quickly absorbed by the liver and stored away. The time between digestion and absorption was very brief (they did not numerically quantify it).

Okay, that’s fine. There is no comment in the report of a follow up study as to how many birth defects this program may have caused. Nevertheless, this was a critical point for me in understanding what might be going on. It means the body really does not want unbond Vitamin A in the serum; nearly not at all. Fine, and not surprising; since this is what is expected to happen in a normal healthy person. But, there is a limit on how much the body can physically store.

Exactly what happens when we consume too much Vitamin A

If you are a researcher; or a medical person, then the obvious question for you is what is going to happen once the body approaches or reaches this storage limit? We all need to know the exact and correct answer to this question. There can be no glossing over this. It is a critically important question; since vitamin A is in nearly all foods.

The food supply in North America is hugely supplemented with it too. It is also a critical question because most people in the Western / Industrialized world are going to eventually get into this state. It is more or less a mathematical certainty. What’s going to happen once the body nears storage saturation for vitamin A?

I think it is obvious that since the liver can no longer quickly absorb and store this intake; it is going to remain in the serum longer. This results in sporadic or chronic excessive vitamin A levels that surges and overwhelms the normal and dedicated storage function. Other systems and organs are now attempting to contain this overflow. It is also not quite this straight forward.

Consider yourself getting into this state. You’ve just gotten yourself into a vitamin A toxicity state. You are going to become sick, and very sick over time. All kinds of horrible things are going to start happening. There is no antidote as far as I know. You’ve now fallen through an almost one way trapdoor.

If your average daily intake is more than your body’s daily usage, then it is more or less inevitable. If you indulge just a little bit on too much milk, dairy, eggs, certain fish etc or any of the vitamin A precursors, then this is going to happen much sooner. If you supplement with cod liver oil, or a vitamin A supplement, or any vitamin A derivative; it is going to be much, much sooner. It could be in your twenties or teens or even at birth! It is also going to depend a bit on what you consume that vitamin A with.

Since your liver can no longer protect you; your other organs and immune system is going to go into action and attempt to deal with has now become a horrible toxin. Every mcg of consumption could now be toxic to us. You now have an autoimmune disease. You are now in the same group as about 30+ million other people in North America.  Welcome to the club.

These diseases are really the result of non liver accumulation of this potential toxin.

What is happening here is the other organs, such as the skin, lungs, kidneys, GI tract, joints are accumulating too much Vitamin A. Although these organs & tissues are capable of storing or accumulating vitamin A; this is an extraordinary defensive measure taken by the body to locally store excessive amounts. This should not normally be happening.  This would have rarely happened during the evolution of humans.

Of course, we actually don’t have to speculate what is going to happen when we reach elevated storage levels. It is incredibly well documented in the scientific and medical literature. More on that a bit later.

Eczema and making the initial Connection

When I made my initial recovery from eczema using my vitamin A elimination diet; some other remarkable things happened to me.  All kinds of other subtle, and not so subtle, negative health symptoms that I was experiencing quickly went away too. These were symptoms that had slowly developed over a 5-10 year period; so slowly that I had mistakenly assumed they were just a normal part of aging. So, that was a pleasant surprise to have them magically go away. Moreover, it became abundantly clear to me that I had more or less turned off what my doctor told me was an autoimmune disease. Most importantly, it was perfectly clear to me that eczema was just a symptom (a very nasty one) of the real underlying cause. Unfortunately, this underlying cause is hugely more serious than the eczema skin condition itself.

Therefore, the most important thing to really understand about eczema is that it is not just a rash.  It is much, much more than a rash. It can also be fatal in an indirect way.

It is actually the skin being dissolved from the inside out. You need to really understand and appreciate that last sentence. The word dissolved is a precise, and carefully chosen word. It is not an exaggeration or an analogy.

How do I know the skin is being dissolved?  Because I have watched it happen, in real time, on the backs of my own hands and fingers, under my microscope. I have done so at least six times.  An analogy would be to watch a sugar cube dissolve in water in real time.

Even at just 30x I can see what I am calling the matrix of the skin (the collagen?) more or less disintegrate. Depending upon the severity of the inflammation, this process can take less than 5 minutes to burn through to the top layer of the skin. It often burns the top layer right off.  It is super important to know that this is coming from inside the skin.  It is not from the surface in. If the top layer of the skin does not dissolve; it has hundreds of little craters burned into it. Paradoxically, with the inflammation the skin can subsequently become much thicker.

KEY EVIDENCE: Never let the Skin Air Dry: it will make your autoimmune disease get worse

Of course this is not just my observation. The very common recommendation from medical people and other people with eczema is to dry yourself off very carefully after a bath or shower. The advice is:

“Blot dry with a towel (rather than rubbing), and apply a moisturizing cream from head to toe (focusing on problem areas) within 3 minutes of getting out of the bath or shower, while the skin is still moist. If the skin is allowed to air-dry before the moisturizer is applied, the eczema could get worse.”

Source: http://allergies.about.com/od/skinallergies/a/atopicdermtx.htm

Why is this? Well for two reasons. Firstly, it is because the skin in affected areas is so incredibly thin, thinner than rice paper thin, or disintegrating, that if you rub it the least little bit you’ll rub it right off. The skin can be so thin, that it has no structural integrity left to it.  At this point it can be more like a thin layer of mush.

Of course, if you do rub it off; it is both a bit more painful, and you now expose yourself to the risk of bacterial infections.  Once again, this thinning of the skin has happened from the inside out. The top layer of the skin has been dissolved away.  I think for most people, if they were to look at eczema affected skin during a flare-up under a 30x microscope they would be shocked.  It is actually an amazing amount of destruction going on. There are hundreds of little pockets of skin per square centimeter that are completely burned out. The hair can be completely burned off at the skin surface level too. Unfortunately, I don’t have a camera attachment for my microscope; so I don’t have a 30x picture to share. I do have pictures from a regular camera share here.

The second, and other huge clue here is this : “If the skin is allowed to air-dry before the moisturizer is applied, the eczema could get worse.”

I can’t tell you how many different places I’ve seen this same statement. This is like a universal observation with eczema. Now, why does letting the skin air-dry cause an autoimmune disease to get worse? The short answer is that the last thing you want to happen is for the body’s natural mechanism for moisturizing the skin to go into effect. The longer answer is just a few pages below; and you are probably not going to like it.

So what about this dissolving, crumbling skin? What chemical is capable of doing this to the skin?  Retinoic acid of course.

Vitamin A acid peels

You can actually get prescription cosmetic applications to accomplish exactly this. They are called Vitamin A acid peels. There are various products on the market. They dissolve the top layer of dead skin cells to expose the newer deeper layers, and promote skin turnover. Similar products are available as an acne treatment. Nice for them I guess. But, people with eczema are effectively applying a similar acid peel from the inside out. This might sound like something out of a horror novel. But, it is not. It is exactly what is happening.

Although the reference to Vitamin A acid peels might be something that a lot of people are aware of, or can directly relate to, it is not very strong evidence scientifically speaking.

Key Evidence – Japanese Skin Rejuvenation Therapy

Let’s look at some more scientifically based evidence.  Here’s a great collection of recent research papers on the topic of Retinoic Acid.

Retinoic Acid: Structure, Mechanisms and Roles in Disease (Microbiology Research Advances: Cell Biology Research Progress)

Chapter 6: Tretinoin-cyclodextrin Complex in Skin Rejuvenation Therapy
Authors:Cheng, Li-Hong, Ito, Yuto; Osaka University, et al.
ISBN 978-1-62100-597-1

Tretinoin is all-trans-retinoic acid ( let’s use the ATRA abbreviation).
In a nutshell, what they are researching is the development of the topical application of ATRA (retinoic acid) to reduce the effects of chronological and or photo-aging of the skin.

They document that ATRA will induce improved skin turnover, and ultimately the thickening of the collagen.  However, when applied directly, and topically, they report that patients frequently experience inflammation, redness, scaling, itching, and burning, and desquamation. Okay, it appears that they are directly inducing the eczema skin condition we all consider to be an autoimmune disease.

But, if the patient can tolerate these conditions for a while, then after stopping treatment there is a subsequent thickening of the collagen.  This is exactly the same condition observed with eczema; after the skin becomes inflamed, it usually turns much thicker.  Overall, this now sounds like the textbook description of Eczema.

The authors describe the mechanism as: “The phenomena occur because Tretinoin releases heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF), which enhances the proliferation of basal cells”.

This little detail of the EGF-like growth factor being released is a very important one to remember.

ATRA works in thickening the collagen, but they need to directly deliver it deeper into the dermo skin layer, without first inflaming the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin.  They adopt some rather novel ways of bypassing the epidermis; and getting the ATRA deeper into the skin. I will try to contact the authors to see if they can provide photos of the inflamed skin they were inducing.

There are many more papers providing scientific evidence that retinoic acid may be the culprit here. Retinoic Acid has been used in dermatology since 1959.  It has been used to treat many skin related diseases such as acne, ichthyosis, psoriasis and others.  However, the complication of skin inflammation leads to the interruption of treatment by many users.

Here is another research paper on a similar topic:

Chapter 10: ALTERNATIVES TO REDUCE THE TOPICAL RETINOIC ACID-INDUCED SKIN IRRITATIONA.
Authors: Castro and L.A.M. Ferreria of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

The authors discuss several approaches for addressing the concerns of patients attempting to use Retinoic Acid treatments topically.

The key points in this paper are the documented side-effects of skin irritation that include: erythema (redness), dryness, peeling, and scaling and the breakdown of the skin’s barrier function.

Well; are these not very interesting side-effects? This is once again like the textbook description of Eczema.

What is really interesting about this paper is that they document the exact process at the cellular level as to why this happens. The retinoic acid causes the gene expression leading to the immune inflammatory response.  This is a fantastic paper in many ways. It documents the nuclear hormone receptors that bind to the RAL and the RAL isoforms, They also document that these same nuclear receptors accept steroid and vitamin D. That’s really, really interesting to me.

This paper also points out the the overload of retinoic acid is indeed the direct cause of the skin irritation, inflammation, erythema, dryness, peeling, and scaling condition. It is a bit odd to me that they call these conditions “side-effects” when they know the exact cause is the topical application of the RAL. Maybe they should have termed these the “direct skin response effects”. Fortunately, those documented side-effects are once again pretty clear evidence that RAL could be the culprit in at least causing the Eczema skin condition.

Now we have this solid scientific evidence that Retinoic Acid does directly cause the Eczema condition. It is completely, and easily, repeatable by anyone. This repeatability is the foundation of the scientific method. But, I am personally not volunteering.

Of course, in these papers the retinoic acid is being applied topically. So, is it possible that the eczema skin condition (the autoimmune one) is caused by retinoic acid internally building up in the skin?  Of course it is. This exact accumulation process is documented to happen in the adipose tissue, the sebaceous glands, and elsewhere.

But, where is that retinoic acid coming from? The vitamin A in our food is mostly in either the Retinol or the Retinal forms. Where and when does this conversion take place in the body?

This is abundantly documented too. It is well documented in this Retinoic Acid: Structure, Mechanisms and Roles in Disease (Microbiology Research Advances: Cell Biology Research Progress) book, both at the cellular and molecular levels. It is also documented in this 2006 report on The acute and chronic toxic effects of vitamin A.

From these two sources, it is clear to see that the body is going to convert excess Vitamin A (retinol) to Retinoic Acid. It is going to happen in the intestine, and at the cell levels in other tissues.

Retinol is metabolized to retinoic acid in normal cells.

At the cellular level, the normal pathway of delivery is for the liver to release retinol bound to, and contained within a retinol-binding protein (RBP). The retinol-binding protein facilitates the safe transport of the retinol within the blood plasma.

The cell has a surface receptor for this binding complex, and absorbs it via that receptor. From there the cell unbinds it, and metabolizes the retinol and converts it to retinoic acid. That retinoic acid then passes into the nucleus and is used for gene expressions, and subsequent generations of proteins. The gene expression can produce cytokines. The cytokines are signaling proteins, and are released by the cell.  Some particular cytokines will invoke an immune response.

However, the cell also has surface receptors for unbound retinol. Therefore, unbound retinol can also pass through the cell membrane into the cytoplasm.  From there; it probably follows the same path of conversion into retinoic acid, and the subsequent generation of cytokines.  To me, it appears that excess plasma retinol is going to bypass the cell’s self-regulation mechanism for the generation of retinoic acid.  Therefore, if I am understanding this correctly, it looks like this:

Excess retinol ⇒ absorbed into the cell ⇒ cell converts to retinoic acid ⇒ cell generates cytokines ⇒ immune cells respond ⇒ attacks the cell ⇒ inflammation  ⇒ cell’s destruction ⇒ growth hormone released.

Therefore, it is not quite auto-immune; since we are indeed inducing it to happen. But, if we look at it at just a point in time; it sure appears to be auto-immune. We could also be training the immune system to wrongly respond in the future too; and without the presence of excess retinol. I don’t know.

Nevertheless, it is not “auto” in the sense of it happening automatically, randomly, and defectively. No, it is not random, and there is indeed a reason it happens. People don’t get these diseases just because of bad luck. Physical events always happen for a reason. That is just a fundamental law of science.  So, I’d sure like to propose that we drop this silly notion of “Auto” immune diseases. We just do not understand the reason and process; but it is not magically “Auto”. What we are really seeing is Immune related diseases of “yet unknown” causes. If we all buy into this “Auto” thinking; then this may never get solved. Let’s see if we can get closer to understanding the real root cause(s).

The conversion from retinol to retinoic acid is going to happen a lot more in people with elevated tissue storage and even slightly elevated plasma levels of unbound retinol.

In normal healthy people, regular vitamin A consumption should mostly be stored, and stored very quickly, and efficiently by the liver.

The authors of the 2006 Toxic effects of Vitamin A report state:  “Hepatic storage of vitamin A will continue until a pathologic liver condition develops”.

But, clearly there is a physical limit to this storage. Therefore, I think we can safely say: “Pathologic conditions develop once the Hepatic storage is exceeded”. Of course, this is not some thin line, or single threshold, that is crossed over. It is variable; and a variable over time.

So, where the heck is all this vitamin A coming from, in what appears to be normal people, on what we think are normal diets? It’s in all of our food!

This same chemical, or its precursor, is literally in nearly every food on the planet; in one form or another.  Is eczema really an autoimmune disease?

What does this have to do with Crohn’s disease? Everything. I think Crohn’s / IBD is effectively eczema of the GI tract.

The suspected connection between Crohn’s / IBD and Eczema

When I first encountered Eczema; I had no understanding whatsoever about autoimmune diseases. However, it was not long before it came very clear that the common theme between all of them is inflammation. Depending on the body location of the worst of the inflammation, it gets a distinct medical name. To an outsider; it’s like why do we bother with all the separate names? Why don’t we just call them the same thing? Inflammation of tissue X. These diseases also share a large set of other amazingly common symptoms.

Would it not be truly amazing if most of them were being caused by the same thing? What’s causing all this inflammation?

Firstly, I think I’ve proven with my food experiment that Eczema is actually the result of a subclinical toxicity of vitamin A. This toxicity is clearly capable of not only burning holes in the skin, it is capable of literally burning the skin right off in extreme cases. This inflamed skin condition is occurring, to varying degrees, in at least 10 million people in North America at this very moment. And almost everyone controls it with steroid cream treatments.

There is no doubt in my mind that this same process is capable of burning holes (ulcers) in the GI tract, or anywhere else in the body for that matter.

Secondly, there are a bunch of other similarities. In both these diseases people experience periods of flare-ups.  In both these diseases there can be extended periods of remission.  In both diseases there is inflammation and tissue being destroyed.  At a certain age, both diseases are considered chronic, with no real known cause, and no cure; just treatment. Both are considered to be autoimmune diseases. Both diseases use steroids as a treatment. Both these diseases have seen a doubling in incidence rates over the last 15 years or so. Both diseases are not modern day diseases. Eczema was well documented 200 years ago. Crohn’s disease was first documented some 90 years ago. No doubt it was occurring before this time too.

Both diseases are considered chronic inflammatory disorders where the symptoms can range from mild to severe. In both diseases tissue can be turned thick and leather like with inflammation.

Both these diseases affect young, and what should otherwise be healthy, people. In both these diseases there is a significant jump in incidence rates starting at about age 50. With Crohn’s there is a big jump in incidence rates around age 20. This 20ish number is another super important clue.

I think the only really big difference between these two diseases is just the body location where the destruction takes place.  Eczema is on the external skin, and most often on the face and hands. Crohn’s / IBD is in the GI tract; the internal skin.

The Vitamin A Connection and the Subclinical Toxicity of it.

The official information from the National Institute of Health states that Vitamin A IS A DIRECT TOXIN at high doses.

We need to understand three very important facts:

  1. Vitamin A is a toxin
  2. The body stores this potential toxin
  3. The body has a fixed capacity for storing it, and therefore, a limited ability to protect you from this potential toxin.

It is no secret that Vitamin A can be a serious toxin.  This is well established, and abundantly documented.  But, if there was ever a case of too much of a good thing being a bad thing, this is it. What about this “at high doses” part? From an engineer’s point of view, since the body stores this substance:

High Doses EQUALS the SUM of many small doses

Now, let’s get to know this villain a little bit better.

source: http://livertox.nih.gov/VitaminARetinoids.htm

“Background”

“Vitamin A is a retinoid and a fat-soluble vitamin that is commonly found in eggs, milk and liver and in the form of provitamin A in carotenoids in fresh fruits and vegetables particularly those with red, orange or yellow color.  … and (cod liver oil)

Hepatotoxicity

Normal doses of vitamin A are not associated with liver injury or liver test abnormalities, but higher doses (generally more than 40,000 IU daily, ~12,000 μg) can be toxic. Acute toxicity is caused by a single or a few repeated very high doses (generally >100 times the RDA), arising within days to weeks with a typical symptom complex of severe headache, nausea, vertigo, blurred vision, muscle aches and lack of coordination, followed by skin desquamation and alopecia.

Chronic hypervitaminosis A usually arises 3 months to many years after starting moderately high levels of vitamin A (generally 10 times the RDA) and is marked by dry skin, cheilosis, gingivitis, muscle and joint pains, fatigue, mental dullness, depression and liver test abnormalities.

Mechanism of Injury

Vitamin A in high doses is a direct toxin. Excess vitamin A is stored in stellate cells in the liver and accumulation can lead to their activation and hypertrophy, excess collagen production, fibrosis and liver injury. The toxicity is dose-related and can be reproduced in animal models.”

How bad can this villain get?

High intake of the preformed types of Vitamin A are associated with toxicity, and can cause nausea, dizziness, elevated intracranial pressure (pressure around the brain), headaches, coma and death. High vitamin A levels during pregnancy are associated with birth defects.

The simple answer is; it can kill you! The more complex answer is it can first painfully destroy your body for decades, and then kill you.

Now, just like most villains; this one has a good side. At one level, it is not a villain at all. It is a critical substance for the human body. At the right level, it is not only harmless, it is essential for health.  So, it is a double edge sword. It is also very, very tricky balance. It is not just how much you consume; I think it is going to depend upon what foods you consume it with.

Basically, the liver is the body’s primary storage organ for vitamin A, and the storage capacity can become more or less saturated, or maxed out. The skin and fat are secondary storage locations. If we have one of these diseases, then effectively, the body can no longer protect us from what is now a toxin.  This substance is also in nearly all foods. Once we’ve maxed out our liver’s storage capacity; we are in serious danger. We’ve defeated our body’s primary defense mechanism from this potential toxin.  Our immune system, and the skin are now attempting to deal with it. What happens now? If we consume just a little bit of vitamin A, it keeps the inflammation going. If we consume a bit more vitamin A, we experience a flare up and that burns holes in our tissue / organs. But, this is not some instantaneous event. It is of course more complicated, and the declining rates of absorption are what is really important. Here is a sketch as to what I think is happening.

If you are thinking, OK, great to know, I’ll just go low on foods that contain vitamin A. No, sadly, it is not that easy. Your liver is now maxed out; and maybe so is your skin. That vitamin A in your liver is not going anywhere fast, or soon. It is more or less trapped there ( to protect you from it, and to use it when needed).  The vitamin A stuck in your skin, and other organs is trapped there for even longer; possibly much, much longer. Moreover, there are other artifacts from the immune response, such as cytokines and antibodies, stuck in your skin too.

Now, this is a very tricky, and delicate situation. If you surge your vitamin A intake even slightly beyond your body’s vastly diminished ability to safely absorb and store it; you are in big trouble. Moreover, my own experiment is also leading me to believe it is not just vitamin A, but maybe also carotenoids. Carotenoids are what are known as vitamin A precursors, and are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids are also used to make most foods colors. I think it is even more tricky, because it may depend upon what foods you consume vitamin A with. If you consume it with fats; it may bypass any attempt by the liver to store it. Rather, it may go directly to other storage locations.

If you have truly overwhelmed your liver’s storage capacity, then you probably need to go to near zero consumption of vitamin A for a while. The catch here is that nearly all foods contain at least some vitamin A, or carotenoids. Now every molecule counts. You also cannot consume any coconut oils either; based upon my own experimental evidence.  I think that the coconut oils act as emulsifiers for retinol and carry it around the body.

People from the medical community will probably quickly challenge this entire theory of sub-clinical toxicity with this vitamin.  They might take the position that there is no way millions of people are actually getting into a toxicity state. Well, let’s investigate this and see.

Matching Up Theory with The Facts

Now, let’s look at the symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity, and compare those with Crohn’s disease. But, just like with eczema, it is important to look at all the ancillary symptoms of Crohn’s disease, and not just the primary one of inflammation and tissue destruction. We need to take a step back from focusing on the primary symptom, and look at the bigger picture. Then the situation becomes clearer.

The symptoms of vitamin A toxicity.

source 1: http://www.healthline.com/health/hypervitaminosis-a#Symptoms3

Symptoms of acute vitamin A toxicity include:

  • drowsiness
  • irritability
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • increased pressure on the brain

Symptoms of chronic vitamin A toxicity include:

  • blurry vision or other visual changes
  • swelling of the bones
  • bone pain
  • poor appetite
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sensitivity to sunlight
  • oily skin and hair
  • itchy or peeling skin
  • cracked fingernails
  • skin cracks at the corners of your mouth
  • mouth ulcers
  • hair loss
  • respiratory infection
  • confusion

Source 2: NIH

  • severe headache
  • nausea
  • vertigo
  • blurred vision
  • muscle aches and lack of coordination
  • followed by skin desquamation and alopecia (hair loss)
  • dry skin
  • cheilosis (fissures in the corners of the mouth)
  • gingivitis
  • muscle and joint pains
  • fatigue, mental dullness
  • depression

Let’s match up some of these with those documented for Crohn’s

Vitamin A Toxicity (aka poisoning) Crohn’s Symptoms
skin desquamation skin rashes; and ulcers in the GI tract
cheilosis (fissures in the corners of the mouth) anal fissures ??
fatigue fatigue
abdominal pain abdominal pain
nausea Nausea
vomiting Vomiting in some cases
vertigo, mental dullness ?? (please help if you know)
severe headache headaches
bone pain Joint pain, symptoms of arthritis
alopecia (hair loss) alopecia (hair loss)
mouth ulcers mouth ulcers
gingivitis osteoporosis?
blurred vision blurred vision
respiratory infection no ??
confusion ??  (please help if you know)
sensitivity to sunlight no ??
depression Depression

It is not a perfect match; but there are quite a few shared symptoms. Some really key ones for me are mouth ulcers (canker sores), fatigue, and blurred vision.

I had these symptoms well before any sign of my eczema conditions. I had mouth ulcers (just small blisters on the insides of my cheeks) occurring off and on in the year or so before my first incidence with eczema. I had no idea what was causing them. They were not painful at all. Since I’ve been on my vitamin A elimination diet, I have not had a single recurrence, not one. They are completely gone.

Fatigue:

Severe fatigue is a documented symptom of Crohn’s, Lupus, and of course other autoimmune diseases.

I experienced severe fatigue too in the year leading up to my first eczema symptoms. I was needing 12 hours of sleep a day. Strangely, even that amount of sleep was not very helpful. I was still just barely dragging through the day. It was chronic; almost unrelenting fatigue that lasted close to a full year. I was also trying to get mid afternoon naps.  Three weeks after adopting a very low vitamin A diet; all of the fatigue completely vanished. I am not talking about just a significant improvement. It was more like a 100% improvement. I now have absolutely no fatigue at all. It is completely gone. I now need only about 6-7 hours of sleep; and am totally refreshed and alert in the mornings. I have no mid afternoon low points at all.  This in itself should be considered remarkable.  I can’t overstate just how completely resolved my fatigue symptoms are. Even when I went back into slight flare up states with the eczema skin condition; the fatigue remained completely resolved.

Joint Pain and Body Stiffness:

Like fatigue; I was experiencing some significant joint pain, and body stiffness leading up to my eczema symptoms.  This actually started back about 10 years earlier. It was very, very slowly getting worse.  I assumed that the joint pain and body stiffness were just a normal part of aging (who doesn’t think this?).  The body stiffness had become quite noticeably worse in the year prior to my eczema experiences.  Within four weeks of my vitamin A elimination diet, those symptoms completely vanished too.  I mean completely, totally gone.  When I get out of bed in the mornings, there is no stiffness whatsoever. However, unlike with the fatigue, when I went back into slight flare up states with the eczema skin condition; a very slight amount of stiffness returned.  That very slight regression only lasted for a day or two and has been gone ever since.

I have now been four months at a state of ZERO fatigue; and extremely close to zero with joint pain and stiffness.  Unfortunately; I can’t say the same about the eczema skin condition. It was completely resolved for more than a month; but I’ve now gone back into a smallish flare up state ( I think this regression was due to overexposure to sunlight; and eating coconut oil too?). Still, my eczema condition is hugely better than before my vitamin A elimination diet.

Thinking Clarity:

Quite similar to the resolution of fatigue, and joint pain; my thinking clarity has vastly improved too. In the 2-3 months leading up to my eczema skin condition; I found my ability to think clearly, and to focus was very limited. It was like I had Attention Deficit Disorder at age 54.  Charles Darwin described this as  his “swimming head”.  I find that a remarkably accurate description of what I was experiencing.  I now have no trouble at all with staying focused, and I believe my thinking skills are completely back to normal too. This improvement happened at about week three of my vitamin A elimination diet. It was very significant, and very noticeable. I’d like to say I now have perfect thinking clarity; and no A.D.D. whatsoever.

I think it is important to point out that the improvements with fatigue, joint pain, and thinking clarity did not happen at all gradually.  There was basically no noticeable improvement for the first 3-4 weeks. Then, almost abruptly, over a 3 day period, they completely resolved. So, that was a pretty amazing experience. It was also completely, and totally unexpected since my vitamin A elimination diet was attempting to resolve my skin rash.  Call me daft; but I had no idea that all these conditions were related.

Making this connection; I believe that at least some kids with severe eczema are going to have an extremely difficult time in doing well in school. It is not just because they have itchy skin either.

Skin Nodules

I had hundreds of little skin nodules show up on my elbows, knuckles and a few on my face; at least a year before I had any real signs of eczema. These nodules disappeared around week three of my elimination diet. They are completely, and totally gone. They have never returned.

Depression:

You might assume that of course people with these diseases experience depression; who wouldn’t be depressed? Well; that is not the case at all. It is a toxin induced depression, or apathy. I never once felt sorry for myself; or genuine depression. After-all, let’s be real, this was just a rash to me. But, I did experience this weird sense of indifference (the first time in my life).

vision

Vastly improved; no longer blurry or dull. Isn’t that ironic. Vitamin A is critical for vision; and I remove it from my diet, and my vision gets better.

NIGHT SWEATS

For a year or more I was experiencing some significant sweating at nights; mostly around my neck and head. That is now completely; totally gone. Not a trace of it.

Inflamed and Thick Scaly Skin

And of course, these two diseases share the lovely symptoms of having holes burned in our tissues. Or regions of tissue that is turned red, inflamed, thick and scaly.

That has been a much harder one to completely resolve (at least for me). It is of course the big symptom that everyone focuses on. But, it is only one of the symptoms of these two diseases. As I stated above, I think it is very important to look at all of the symptoms together, then it becomes a much clearer match as to what is really causing these two diseases. Let’s look at this differently. IBD has its documented primary symptoms, and a bunch of others categorized as Extra Intestinal Manifestations (or symptoms outside of the gut).

What is being termed Extra Intestinal Manifestations implies that these symptoms are somehow being caused by the IBD, or are somehow complications of the disease. I don’t think that is the case at all. What if we move the primary IBD symptoms down to the same level as the other ones, and just consider them to all be symptoms of some other underlying root cause?

I think this is highly more likely.  Now; what would happen if someone with one of these autoimmune diseases went on a vitamin A elimination diet? In my own personal case, it was diagnosed as severe eczema, and it now looks like this.

Let’s look at more connections with Vitamin A toxicity and Crohn’s

CRITICAL EVIDENCE: Accutane – a huge, and direct connection

Source:  http://www.drugwatch.com/accutane/

“Accutane (isotretinoin) is a popular drug for severe acne created by Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. The drug is linked to severe bowel disease and other side effects.”

“The medication is a derivative of vitamin A and works by controlling the oil in the sebaceous glands.”

“However, clear skin may be accompanied by serious side effects like Crohn’s disease.”

“Roche stopped manufacturing Accutane in 2009.”

Please read the source page for all the other horribleness this drug has caused, including birth defects. With this hugely important information; what have the medical community, and government agencies done to warn the general public about the dangers of too much vitamin A? Nothing; as far as I know.

This is bizarre to me since the official information from the National Institute of Health states that Vitamin A IS A DIRECT TOXIN at high doses.  Here, we have drug companies marketing a product that is exactly that.  What the heck did they expect to happen? Could this be worse? Well, here is an interesting bit of trivia about Accutane (isotretinoin).  It was first developed as a chemotherapy drug, and is still used as one today. It is used for this purpose due to its ability to kill rapidly dividing cells. Maybe it is just me, but does it not seem to be a bit extreme to consider this an appropriate drug for reducing acne in healthy teenagers?

Accutane (isotretinoin) – is an ISOmere of Tretinion. Tretinion is all-trans-retinoic acid. This is a direct derivative of Vitamin A.

Therefore; it is quite well established by this situation that high doses of Vitamin A, in the form of retinoic acid, can, and has caused Crohn’s disease. That’s no surprise to me. But, the key thing to understand, is that Vitamin A is not a direct toxin just at high doses; that is a myth. It can be a toxin at any dose. Once again, it just depends upon what storage state your body is in when you have that dose. Therefore, it is relative.  If you are in a saturated, or near saturated state; then any small, or even tiny dose is toxic!

So, what has happened with Accutane, and what can we learn from this? Firstly, what this drug has done is built up (saturated) the body’s store of Vitamin A. Secondly, this saturated state has very likely caused Crohn’s disease in multiple cases. This has been proven in courts. Thirdly, most of these people did not fully recover after getting off of the drug (but some did).

Why did they not recover? I think it is because they remained saturated with retinol and retinoic acid. What’s going to happen to it? Is it going to simply disappear? No, of course it is not.

It may also, and could very likely be that this high dose of retinoic acid had caused permanent liver damage. I don’t know; and have no idea really; I am just hopeful it is not the latter.

Did Accutane really cause IBD/Crohn’s?

I don’t know how much it is accepted within the medical community that Accutane actually caused Crohn’s disease or not.  I found this 2010 paper titled “A causal association between Accutane and IBD has yet to be established

The authors are questioning this cause effect relationship. They conclude that it is not really conclusive, and that the very slightly higher ratio in people who had taken Accutane and developed Crohn’s as opposed to the general population is not very convincing. Statistically speaking, the evidence is pretty weak. Just based upon the raw numbers I would agree. However, there are quite a few documented cases where people started on the drug, developed Crohn’s, stopped the drug and then recovered. So, I think that is pretty strong evidence that there is indeed an association. Also, if we were to do face-to-face interviews with these people; that might give us a better insight. Not everything is reflected in the numbers. My guess is that these were mostly perfectly healthy people before they took the drug. I think after talking face-to-face with say victim number 5,000 we might not care about the numbers, or ratios at all.

Now, let’s dig into this causal association question a little bit deeper.

I think the authors of this report should have taken a bit of a different perspective on investigating this question. In doing so they may have come to a different conclusion. Firstly, the basic question they are asking is: “Did Accutane Cause IBD / Crohn’s”; and that leads them down a certain path of thinking. The key starting point in the analysis is the understanding that Accutane is Vitamin A (retinoic acid). Yes, the retinoic acid molecule is slightly tweaked. But, it is an isomer, having the same chemical formula, and the same functional groups. Reading about the genesis of this drug, the LaRoche people were looking to develop an anti-acne drug, and started with the knowledge that this drug would move into the sebaceous glands of the skin, and reduce the amount of the oil feeding the acne causing bacteria. This is a documented fact. Regardless, Accutane and Vitamin A (retinoic acid) molecules are nearly identical, and effectively function the same in the human body. I don’t think there can be much debate about this point. The drug did work as expected, and did dry the skin, and did reduce acne. It also caused birth defects just like high doses of Vitamin A have proven to cause. These are facts.

We all know that the body stores retinol (a food form of Vitamin A). But, the most amazing fact about the Accutane experience is that the body stores retinoic acid too. We need to remember this fact.

Okay, so now let’s ask the “Did Accutane Cause IBD / Crohn’s” question just a little bit differently. Since Accutane is Vitamin A (retinoic acid), we can ask: “Did Vitamin A Cause IBD / Crohn’s” ?

In order to investigate this question; we need to first research the accounts of people who have authentically chronically poisoned themselves with genuine Vitamin A ( nothing to do with Accutane, or even retinoic acid, for now).

There are lots (1000s) of people who have done this for various reasons (for some reason they thought it was good for them). There are many well documented accounts; and it is still happening today. See the many cases documented on the NIH pages and elsewhere. So, let’s just take a bit of a hypothetical example (use a real case if you want) of someone taking reasonably high doses of Vitamin A, daily, for say 3 years. Here’s the sequence of events:

  • @ 6 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all
  • @ 12 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all
  • @ 18 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all
  • @ 24 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all
  • @ 30 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all, hair getting oily
  • @ 36 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms, but maybe the skin getting drier
  • @ 36 months+10 days ⇒ huge adverse symptoms; skin peeling; lips swollen and cracked, hair falling out etc, etc, seeks immediate medical attention

This similar sequence of events is repeated in all cases of chronic Vitamin A poisoning. So, what is really happening here? The body is safely absorbing and storing all the daily doses until it gets to a slightly saturated point. It is important to understand that all those stored doses have not suddenly become toxic. They are safely stored. It is the additional doses that cannot be absorbed, or absorbed fast enough, that are now becoming toxic. What these people are doing is filling up their storage capacity for this substance.

Okay, let’s get back to Accutane. Remember these are mostly young people dealing with an acne issue. So, what is the sequence of events? It is going to be something like this (depending upon dose):

  • @ 1 month ⇒ acne gets worse ( documented as a side effect )
  • @ 6 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all, skin drier, acne clearing
  • @ 12 months ⇒ no adverse symptoms at all, skin drier, acne clearing more / clear
  • @ 18 months ⇒ stops doses, or reduces to only when required

At this point in time; the vast majority of them have not yet induced Crohn’s; or any other disease.

Firstly, let’s analyze this documented common side effect of acne first getting worse. It is actually not a side effect at all. It is perfectly logical, and should be expected as a normal progression of taking the drug. When they start on the drug, since it is in the retinoic acid form, the body is going to quickly start moving this into the sebaceous glands. In order to do that, it must first wrap that retinoic acid in a lipid. Then, in order to move this new toxic lipid into the sebaceous glands, some of the current non-toxic lipids are going to have to be expelled.  This newly expelled (and non toxic) lipid now fuels and promotes the acne causing bacteria.

Next, and more importantly what these people have done is significantly elevated their body’s storage. Therefore, they have reduced their future storage capacity. These are generally young people, so they may have gone from hypothetically say 10% storage used to something like 30-60% storage used. What they have effectively done is removed say 2 or 3 decades of future storage capacity that would have been consumed by our normal North American diet. Once again, most of those Accutane molecules are not going to become toxic; they are safely stored by the liver.

Now let’s get back to this report questioning the causal association between Accutane and IBD / Crohn’s. What they are failing to consider is the time dimension. It is what is going to happen to these people in the future with regard to regular vitamin A consumption that needs to be considered. At some point they are going to reach an elevated storage level where newly consumed vitamin A molecules are going to become toxic. They are going to be toxic because the body has no place to store them. It is almost like a guy authentically poisoning himself with regular vitamin A; but it is just a bit worse actually.

There is a big time delay here; most likely in 2-5 decades for most people, between taking Accutane and getting disease. Therefore, rather than looking at a particular point in time (2010) to consider the ratio of people who took Accutane and developing Crohn’s they need to wait 2-3 more decades, and redo that ratio calculation. Just as importantly they need to expand the question to: “Did Accutane cause IBD / Crohn’s, Lupus, Eczema, Arthritis or any other autoimmune diseases?”.

There are more than 7,000 lawsuits filed over Accutane. I’ve read one report that it is projected that about 30% of the people who took Accutane will go on to develop Crohn’s / IBD. If that proves to be true, that will be more than 120,000 people. Now I think there should be little doubt about a causal association between Accutane and IBD.

At the very least we should be warning people who did take Accutane to start adopting a very low vitamin A diet. If anyone is wondering if I have a personal issue with Accutane; no I don’t. I did not take Accutane.

Therefore, the hugely important thing to learn from the Accutane disaster is that it is Vitamin A that caused the IBD / Crohn’s disease. Don’t just think “Accutane”; the product name, caused it.

Most importantly, we can now say: Vitamin A caused incidents of Autoimmune Disease. That should be a really interesting statement to stop and think about for a moment. Maybe for a very long moment.

Therefore, is it not highly likely that Vitamin A is still causing a lot more incidents of Autoimmune Disease? Could it be that it is causing most of these autoimmune diseases?

It does not matter at all if that vitamin A was obtained from an acne pill, or from eating fish, or tomatoes, or liver.  In the end, it is all just vitamin A. It is a direct toxin! This is a simple scientific fact. The other simple scientific fact is that this direct toxin will cause inflammation and destroy human tissue.

Is there other supporting evidence in the geographic, and demographic, data with regards to Crohn’s disease?  Of course there is. And like the Accutane disaster we have another man made disaster that adds significant evidence; the collapse of the Canadian East Coast cod fishery in 1992. More on this a bit later.  Firstly, let’s deal with some of the common theories regarding these diseases.

What is NOT causing Crohn’s disease and Eczema

KEY EVIDENCE – It is not a modern environmental toxin

It is not herbicides or pesticides, or modern day pollutants, or chlorine in the water etc,. This is clear because these diseases have been around for over a 100 years. Darwin had eczema 200 years ago. Please see my post on that: New Lessons from Charles Darwin. This is not just out of some historical interest; I consider it to be more strong evidence supporting this theory.

KEY EVIDENCE – It is not genetics

The incidence rates of these diseases are doubling at alarming rates; like every 10 or 20 years. Human genetics are not changing this fast. Moreover, 20% of kids now get eczema, and most “grow out of it”. Likewise, teenagers and young adults “get” Crohn’s; and they did not have it during early childhood. That is just not logical if these were genetic diseases.

Kids would not “grow out of” eczema, and magically pick up Crohn’s at 15-20 years old. No way. You don’t grow out of a genetic disorder. And you don’t grow into one either; at least not on a wide scale; like what we are seeing with these diseases. If you really have a genetic disorder, you are most likely going to have it at birth, and you’ll have it for life.

What is probably a genetic predisposition is just the location the body is going to manifest this toxicity. Undoubtedly, some people have both Eczema and Crohn’s. I believe that if Eczema patients use steroid creams long enough; they are just going to force this inflammation to go internal.

The higher prevalence among Ashkenazi Jews is probably also not genetic. It is more likely simply due to their diet. Some customary dishes include chopped liver (53,000 IU/100g) and pickled herring (1,300 IU/100g). Other geographic distributions for these diseases is going to closely match dietary patterns. World incidence rates are going to closely relate to those areas with high cumulative consumption of vitamin A. Additionally, it is going to closely correlate with countries that fortify milk and dairy, and those regions with high consumption of cold salt water fish.

If these diseases were genetic; then the severe symptoms would probably be much more consistent. There would not be this sporadic-chronic nature to these diseases. We would not see these periods of remissions and “flare-ups”. The genes are not going into remission, and recurrence. What is causing the “flare-ups” is far more simple; it is food. And no one stops eating vitamin A! It is nearly impossible; it is everywhere. What is sporadic; is just the amount of intake; and the current relative level of saturation. If these diseases were genetic disorders, they would not go into remission for months, and years.

Oddly, everyone in the eczema community agrees on the foods that cause the “flare-ups”. This includes the American and Canadian Eczema Associations. The cited trigger foods are like: eggs, milk, dairy, fish, tomatoes, red peppers, and citrus fruits. This is documented over an over. It is similarly documented for Crohn’s and Lupus, and other autoimmune diseases; just not so specifically. But, the key point is that we have a list of foods that “trigger” “autoimmune” disease flare-ups. But, are not “trigger” and “auto” kind of contradictory terms?  Why aren’t people considering that these are not just the “trigger” foods? Rather, are they not the actual root cause foods too?

All I did was to ask myself a simple question: what do these “trigger foods” all have in common? The “trigger foods” all share a common fact. They all have high levels of vitamin A.

Now, if you are not familiar with adult eczema; you would very reasonably conclude that; no problem, just stay away from the documented trigger foods and you’ll recover.

Well, this is the apparent paradox in this disease. The trigger foods can definitely make it worse; causing flare-ups. But stopping these trigger foods does not cure it for most people ( it has for some people). It just brings it down to kind of a baseline.

People don’t cure from it because they are in a saturated, or near saturated state. They can mostly avoid the big flare-ups. But, just the regular daily intake of vitamin A is enough to keep them in the perpetual state of subclinical toxicity. To even begin to recover; they need to adopt a zero vitamin A diet. This is almost impossible to randomly ever happen. Based upon my experience, once you do adopt a zero vitamin A diet; it takes at least a week to start to see results, and 5-6 weeks to see really big results. Foods that are labeled as 0% RDA are only really low in vitamin A. That is almost meaningless. I think you need foods with 0 molecules of vitamin A.

KEY EVIDENCE: It is not truly Autoimmune

This one is not so obvious. The immune system is definitely involved here. But, not in the defective way that it is believed and documented to be. The immune system is not randomly attacking the cells at all. It might just appear to be what is happening. No; the immune system is working just fine, and trying to deal with a toxin; or a toxic situation.  I don’t know the exact mechanism; but I do present some plausible explanations.

There are some really big clues here with the steroid creams used to treat eczema. For argument sake, let’s say the immune system is attacking the skin tissue (the assumption being that these are defective, or out of control, rogue immune cells). I am calling these rogue cells because the inflammation is not body wide; but quite localized.

Now we apply the steroid cream (immunosuppression) to the location of the inflammation. It works like a charm (firsthand experience). The immune cells back off, and the inflammation dies down quickly. Did we kill these rogue immune cells? No; we did not. What happens to them? Do they move on and immediately attack tissue elsewhere? No, they do not. Therefore, what we’ve really done is to introduce a immunosuppression agent to the site of the inflammation. These rogue white blood cells, and every other white blood cell in the body is now staying away from this location. What we’ve really done is to put an immune barrier around the site of a substance the immune system regards as a toxin. Technically speaking; we are blocking the production of cytokines that call the immune system into action. Therefore, logically, these rogue white blood cells are not rogue at all. The are normal. They are just getting the wrong messages.

Therefore, I think it is far more likely that the retinoic acid (or some other form of retinol) is building up in the tissue, and dissolving collagen, and this chemical is destroying cells. These tissue cells are under attack from this toxin and they are sending out some signal to the immune system for help. The immune cells are rushing in to the fight; but they are not equipped for this battle. The body has just not evolved for this. This is the liver’s job to protect the body from this potential toxin. But, the liver is maxed out; it is now sidelined, and of no help. Thus, free retinol is relentlessly entering the bloodstream with every meal. We are now in subclinical toxicity; it only appears to be an immune disease that is causing the destruction.

If the immune system leaves this potential toxin circulating in the blood, it will burn holes in the kidneys, brain, and other organs.

There are even more reasons that this is not “auto” immune. Why are these very localized inflammations we see in these diseases? I am not talking about all autoimmune diseases combined. I am talking about just in the context of one of them; such as eczema, or Crohn’s, or pick almost any other one of them. Even arthritis; it does not attack every joint in the body; only some of them. Eczema does not attack all the skin; only small parts of it.  Therefore, the immune system does not have an issue with these tissue types. Rather, it has an issue with these tissue types at only specific locations.

If the immune system had gone haywire; it would be far more widespread; if not everywhere. In the case of eczema; almost all of the skin should be under attack; and not just these limited little patches of it. That is just not logical.

Likewise, it is just not logical that the immune system would magically stop “auto-immuning” and start up again, in some random fashion that we see in these diseases.

Why does the immune system stop “flaring-up” and the disease go into remission? Does the immune system get tired of the fight, and give up for a while? Does it need time to rebuild resources before the next attack? Isn’t it far more logical that it has actually accomplished what was needed, and finished its job?

What is random is the amount of vitamin A we eat, and the relative states of the digestion and absorption rates our body can sustain. Amazingly, there is another tricky factor at play with eczema, and that is the weather.  Eczema, Lupus, and Arthritis sufferers commonly report that these conditions get worse in the winter. Here is an interesting study referencing this point on winter conditions affecting an autoimmune disease.

Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis (Eczema).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16019622
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kuopio, Finland.

This is important because skin dryness and subsequent itchiness often lead to the use of medication in atopic patients, especially during the dry winter conditions in Finland, where ambient indoor humidity can be <30% moisture for months on end.

What the heck does the weather have to do with an autoimmune disease? That should sound absurd, but it is not. It is perfectly logical. It’s not the temperature, or the air pressure at play here. It is the moisture level dropping, and, to maybe a lesser extent, the reduction in UV exposure. We’ll come back to this topic a bit later.

For what it is worth; I believe I am able to turn off and turn on my auto-immuning, as if by turning a switch off and on. Only, the switch is food with and without Vitamin A. I am able to do this because I’ve been on a near zero vitamin A diet for months now. Naturally, I am trying, very, very hard to keep it turned off. It is a struggle; it is tricky, and I am still dealing with it every day. There is still a huge amount of retinol, and or carotenoids stored in my body.

KEY EVIDENCE: Skin Fluorescence

To investigate this point I compared my brother (two years younger), and myself under a fluoroscope (a form of a black light). It is an old geology fluoroscope that I have, and I am not sure of the exact wavelength. Nevertheless, it worked great. It induced a huge amount of fluorescence in my skin; but not in my brother’s.

Wow! it was a shocking difference. I clearly have a large amount of carotenoids and /or retinol in my skin compared to him. Why is that? Well, consider what my brother’s diet looks like, Coffee and toast at breakfast; burgers at lunch, and steak and potatoes for dinner. He drinks beer, does not smoke, and does not drink milk. He is perfectly healthy. No sign whatsoever of inflammation, or skin diseases, or any other disease. How’s that for ironic? I’m the one that eats “healthy” and I get diseases; he doesn’t, and he’s just fine.

I’ll try to post some pictures of my face under florescence. However, my current camera does not pick up the emission wavelength very well. But, I do have a few pictures of my hand and skin florescence in my photo gallery.

Therefore, this fluoroscope test would be a simple, simple, noninvasive technique to quickly evaluate the levels of carotenoids and /or retinol in people. Note that retinoic acid is not florescent.

The wavelength used might need to be adjusted to pick out each compound (carotenoids and /or retinol). Nevertheless, it is more direct evidence. You can literally see it glow under / in the skin. If anyone is doubting this; well just check for yourself, and post a comment as to your observations.

KEY EVIDENCE: Randomness and symmetry

In addition to the intense immune response not being body wide; an even more important observation to make is that it is not in completely random locations either. For most people, eczema is much more common on the hands and face and the back of the scalp (in children).

What is common about the hands and face? Both are exposed to sunlight. Both retinol and carotenoids are light sensitive molecules. Sensitivity to sunlight is a well documented symptom of vitamin A toxicity, and of course of Lupus too.

However, eczema does indeed commonly show up in locations where there is no exposure to sunlight; such as the underarms, the elbows, behind the knees, and even the tops of the feet too. So, it is not just sunlight that is invoking the immune response. It is a toxin. How about a toxin that is also a light sensitive molecule?

Not only is it not completely random locations that eczema shows up at, it exhibits some symmetry on the hands. For me, this is the ring finger of both hands, and the space between the thumb and the index finger. Placing both hands face down on the table, index fingers and thumbs touching; the inflammation locations are actually symmetrical. These are not quite mirror images; but close enough to be very significant.

Now, how can the immune system mount a coordinated and symmetrical attack like this? That is just not at all logical for even a healthy immune system; never mind a defective one. No way is this the immune system choosing these locations to autoimmune at and attack my skin cells. It is far more logical that there is something common about the locations that makes the immune system want to attack here. I know it sounds like semantics; but there is of course a big and very critically important difference in who is initiating the immune response. Meaning; did the immune system itself; or did skin cells call the immune system into action. Since these are symmetrical locations; I think it should be clear that the immune system is responding to something at these locations; it is not the immune system randomly autoimmuning.

I have an old family medical textbook, that was published in 1964. It has a good chapter on Eczema. It documents that the most common place for eczema to first show up is on the ring finger. Exactly the same goes for me now; 50 years after that publication.  So, with the immune cells circulating in the blood; why do they prefer these locations to autoimmune at? We have this well documented, and common location for autoimmuning to take place. Isn’t that kind of amazing for a defective immune system to be this consistent?

Therefore, I think it is obvious it is not a defective immune system at all. Clearly, there is something at these locations that is invoking the immune response.

An analogy would be to notice that the police are commonly showing up at the houses of drug dealers; and causing altercations. Then, observing and being alarmed by these altercations, concluding that the police are defectively auto-policing, and are wrongly attacking the same citizens houses all the time. No; there is a reason the police are going to these same locations, just as there is a reason the immune system is attacking the skin at these preferred locations. It’s their job.

White Flaky Skin

A documented secondary symptom for eczema is white flaky skin. I’ve closely looked at the skin at the sites of inflammation under a 30x microscope. I have always seen white flaky skin on the top layer. This top layer of white flaky skin is always present both with the inflammation, but more so after the inflammation dies down. It might be a bit hard to see when the skin is highly inflamed, and turned red. But, if you look with a 10x-30x microscope you will see it clearly. Here’s a picture from wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatitis#mediaviewer/File:Eczema-arms.jpg

Please ignore the red, inflamed skin in this picture for now; just take notice of the significant white skin flaking off. Of course, white flaky skin is not only a well documented symptom of vitamin A toxicity; it is actually one of the key symptoms. So, the important question is how does the immune system cause this? Does it burn off the very top layer of skin? What’s really going on here? I think it is the overgrowth of the skin being induced by a growth hormone. This is exactly what is documented to happen in the presence of retinoic acid.

KEY EVIDENCE: Hair Burnt Off

There is another key observation to be made while examining the skin under a microscope (repeatable by anyone with severe eczema using a magnifying glass). The hair on the inflamed skin is often burned right off too; almost like it has been shaved off with a razor. This is not just a few hairs burnt off; it is 100s of them; all at the same depth. The exact location (depth) of this burn off on the hair is another very important clue. It is just a bit deeper than the top surface of the skin; maybe 0.5 mm below it. But, it is actually not burned out into the root of the hair follicle.

KEY EVIDENCE – The Sebaceous Gland

this is the most important image in this document

HairFollicle

Original image source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_follicle#mediaviewer/File:Hair_follicle-en.svg

It is burned off right above the sebaceous gland. The deeper hair follicle is intact.

Now, why would the immune system burn off the hair shaft right at this level, and not burn it off, or deeper, below the sebaceous glands? It is much more logical that whatever is coming out of the sebaceous glands has burned off the hair at this level. I think this depth that the hair shaft is being burnt off at is a very important clue; and we should not gloss over this. What exact chemical is capable of burning off the hair like this? What is the concentration of retinoic acid within these hair follicles?

It is interesting that Accutane is documented to work by controlling the oil in the sebaceous glands. Accutane is retinoic acid. It does not really control the amount of oil in the sebaceous glands; rather it toxifies it. The retinoic acid builds up in the lipids in the sebaceous glands.  Yes, this is documented, and well known; and Accutane clearly proves this. It has been proven like 400,000 times over. Now, with the retinoic acid within the lipids contained in the sebaceous glands; and at elevated levels, the sebaceous glands can no longer moisturize the skin. They do the exact opposite; they dry it out. It is a vicious cycle actually. As the skin gets drier; even more oil is released from the sebaceous glands; as that oil is consumed, even more retinoic acid is exposed, and the skin gets even drier. We now get inflammation; and if it is severe enough; eczema.

This is going to cycle until the sebaceous glands get temporarily depleted of their fat store. We are now in a “flare-up” mode. Of course we now have a direct toxin within the skin layer. The immune cells are going to respond, and try to contain and remove this toxin. Where to? Maybe back into the sebaceous glands?

This also completely fits with the widely accepted view that eczema, psoriasis, and lupus all get worse in the winter. And this is why you need to moisturize yourself within 3 minutes after the shower.

This also correlates with my other observations that more often than not there is slightly more inflammation right around the hair follicle as compared to the surrounding skin.  Secondarily, when the little burn craters show up, they are somewhat more prevalent just adjacent to the hair follicle too; usually say 1-3 mm away. But, the little burn craters are not at all exclusive to being adjacent to the hair follicle; they are indeed wide spread throughout the inflamed skin area.

There is another interesting observation in that 1964 family medical textbook of mine regarding eczema. They report that eczema on the hands is much more common in women who washed dishes; and recommended using gloves. Okay; after reading that sentence; does anyone seriously believe this is an autoimmune disease? How can the immune system know that someone is washing dishes; compared to some other activity such as typing, or playing the piano, or anything else? That is just so completely nonsensical. Of course what is happening is the dish washing is drying out the hands; and that has the same effect as the dry winter air. That causes sebaceous glands to release stored fat / oil with its contained retinoic acid. As the skin absorbs and uses that fat; it exposes the retinoic acid molecules. And clearly, eczema is much more than just dry skin. Let’s not get confused about that. Eczema is inflamed, burning, peeling, cratered, weeping skin. We have a vitamin A acid peel right inside the skin!

Lastly, I think we can more or less prove that Eczema is not “auto” immune with a trivial little experiment. Anyone with severe eczema can repeat this same experiment in just one minute.

Steps:

  1. Find a location that has some very slight swelling to it; but has no redness whatsoever. (For me I’ve commonly had this condition on the backs of my fingers just above the metacarpal bone.)
  2. Firmly (but not too hard) rub that area for 30 seconds; don’t scratch at all.

What happens? Within a minute, or less, that area will start to become inflamed; and red with the start of the eczema condition. I’ve now induced the autoimmune response at exactly this location. Yes, no question the eczema condition was going to happen in a few days anyway; I’ve just significantly sped up the process. How long does the red inflammation at this location persist for? About 4 to 6 weeks! (weeks is not a typo). It finally heals when the very top layer of white flaky skin forms, and flakes off.

Repeat this same experiment at another location where there is no prior swelling. For me; I’ve used my thigh. I can rub it for five minutes; no redness; no autoimmune response; no eczema. Rubbing the skin here does not cause an immune response.

So, the obvious question is: how can just firmly rubbing the skin for 30 seconds invoke an autoimmune response that lasts for over 4 weeks? It is just not logical that this action alone caused my white blood cells to attack the skin at this location; and to continue doing so for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

What is far more logical; is that this rubbing has put pressure on the sebaceous glands, or other fatty structures, and squeezed some of the contents to go in between the layers of the skin. I’ve just forced some toxin to be exposed. The immune system is responding to that toxin; or more correctly the immune system is reacting to the effect the toxin is having on the skin cells themselves.

Why does it take 4 to 6 weeks, or longer to heal? I have no idea. A few weeks ago, I scratched the back of my thumb on a nail; it was quite a deep scratch; with some bleeding. That scratch took 7 days to completely heal. So, I think the healing time for my skin, and my age, is about 1 week. Why does this eczema take so long to heal? It must be that this toxin is really hard for the immune system to deal with. Maybe it takes 4 weeks for the immune system to gather this up, and put it back into the sebaceous glands? More likely we are kicking off a nearly endless chain reaction.

critical EVIDENCE: The Koebner phenomenon

Once again, this is not just my observation. It is well documented; and of course has its own name.  It is called the Koebner phenomenon.  It is reported particularly within patients with psoriasis and to a somewhat lesser extent with eczema. It also occurs more often in the winter, than in the summer. The cause of Koebner phenomenon is documented to be unknown. Well, I don’t think it’s a phenomenon at all. I think it is a little yellow toxic molecule embedded in lipids in the skin layer, and in the sebaceous glands, that is being exposed when the skin is being pressured. And this is why Eczema is indeed the scratch that itches. The more you scratch, or rub, the more toxin you expose.

More thoughts on The Koebner phenomenon

When I first read about the Koebner phenomenon it was a bit surprise that this goes back well over 100 years ago and that it has not been solved. I think if the Koebner phenomenon were to be solved, the entire enigma of autoimmune diseases would be quickly unraveled.

To me, I think it is obvious now. There is a toxin already in the skin; and it has been sitting there for a long while. That toxin is now being exposed; or released as a result of the pressure on the skin.

For the medical researcher; that might sound absurd. They might logically ask why would there be a toxin stored directly within the skin? That’s nuts! But, it is not. It is completely logical. To a layman like myself; it is more like “what else could it be?”.

It is very interesting that the Koebner Phenomenon is documented to occur in people with psoriasis, eczema, systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, lichen planus, et al.  It is also documented to be All or Nothing like. Meaning that you can reproduce it in only people who have these skin disorders; but it is never reproducible in people who clearly don’t have these diseases. Since the Koebner Phenomenon is unique to people with these diseases; I think it is hugely likely that if we can determine its true underlying mechanism; then we can quickly get to the root cause of the disease itself. It is not at all surprising to me that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is on this list either.

I’ve personally reproduced the Koebner Phenomenon on myself multiple times, and have caused my eczema to spread. I am able to spread out my autoimmune disease area as if it were an infection. Of course, I am not spreading an infection. I am spreading a toxin with its corresponding complicated chain reaction.

The facts we know with certainty are:

  1. We know from Accutane that the body is going to move retinoic acid laden lipids into the sebaceous glands in the skin.
  2. We know from the Japanese and Brazilian researchers that retinoic acid applied to the skin does cause the Eczema rash, and rapid skin cell growth.
  3. We know from the global observations that eczema and psoriasis worsen, or flare-up, in dry weather. This is clearly happening when the skin is absorbing the oils from the sebaceous glands.

Therefore, I think the Koebner Phenomenon offers a huge and immediate opportunity to reveal the root cause of these diseases. It is a toxin sitting within the lipids in the sebaceous glands. We know the exact toxin we are looking for too; it is retinol, and / or retinoic acid. I suspect the retinol mostly; due to its fluorescence.

There is absolutely, 100% positively, something in my skin, and it is fluorescent. It is not slightly fluorescent either. It is hugely, and shockingly fluorescent. There is not a wide range of possibilities as to what this fluorescent substance is. You don’t need biopsies, or sophisticated equipment to see it either. I am seeing this with a $300 fluoroscope. Once again, retinoic acid is not florescent; so I may be seeing only a portion of the amount of the retinoids stored in my skin.

Since retinol and retinoic acid are a very light sensitive molecules; anyone wanting to test this theory needs to be very careful in obtaining and testing a sample. But, I think this could be proven in a matter of days.

Eczema is clearly not random autoimmune activity. It is due to a toxin found in the sebaceous glands, and elsewhere in the skin lipids. Maybe the high levels of vitamin A actually burn out and destroy the sebaceous glands too. I don’t know.

What does this mean for Crohn’s? Well, I highly suspect that we are going to see almost the same appearance in the tissue being surgically removed from people’s GI tract, and / or in anal fissures, etc.. What about inspecting this tissue under a fluoroscope too?

The question I was really curious about was: does the tissue in the GI tract also have sebaceous glands or similar lipid containing structures? Yes, it does. Not only that, the intestinal tissues store abundant amounts of vitamin A. Why is it here? It is used by the dentritic cells. The dentritic cells are part of the immune system. Dentritic cells in the lining of the intestine are always busy swimming around locating, engulfing and destroying the many pathogens that end up there. While doing this, they convert some of the retinol (vitamin A) stored there into retinoic acid.  Could it be that the dentritic cells use the retinoic acid as a form of chemical warfare against pathogens? This fits with the observation that infectious diseases depress circulating retinol and contribute to vitamin A depletion.

Additionally, these dentritic cells have some very cool little features and capabilities. They have tentacle like protrusions that penetrate the tight junctions between the epithelial cells, through to the other side, and use these tentacles to take external surface antigens back in for destruction. Just to clarify this; this is internal immune cells reaching to the outside environment to grab antigens. How cool is that? Moreover, and very importantly I think this might explain the intense itching people with eczema experience. It sure fits with the weird tingling feeling I often had on my face.

The insides of the cheeks have sebaceous glands too. So, I think I now know why I was getting the canker sores too.

Okay, let’s get back on track here. So why would anyone think that Accutane, or elevated levels of retinoic acid in general, is not going to dry out, and cause inflammation in this tissue too or anywhere else in the human body?

What is the real cause of these diseases is the relentless, and subclinical poisoning from vitamin A in our food. But, it is a subclinical poisoning only if you’ve reached a near saturation storage level.

Do you think this is too bizarre to be true? It is not. It is just assumed to be impossible, and not happening on a wide scale. Guess what? Charles Darwin got himself into exactly this state too, and remained there for his entire adult life. This was a missed lesson for us.

Is it a coincidence that some of the most common places for Lupus rashes, and eczema, and psoriasis to show up is on body locations that have the highest concentrations of sebaceous glands; such as the face an scalp? We now have lots of kids 2 & 3 years old that still have “cradle cap”. Oh, and now the same goes for lots of guys 50+ years old too.

After the Accutane disaster it should have been abundantly clear that people could get too much vitamin A, and directly cause serious, deadly diseases. This was another missed lesson for us.

Were there any general warnings issued to the public? Were cod liver oil, and vitamin A supplements pulled from the stores? Does liver at the meat counter have a toxic chemical warning sticker put on it? No; nothing as far as I know. Maybe just the opposite happened; via more regulation to supplement more foods with this potential toxin, and mandate the use of carotenoid based food coloring everywhere.

A more in-depth understanding of Eczema

There are like 20+ million people with this disease in North America. It varies from very mild to very severe, it varies from random occasional occurrences, to horrible unrelenting flare ups. It varies from the very young to the very old. Infants get it, and people 80 years old get it for the first time.

People with eczema more or less all know that it is food related. The eczema medical community recognizes this too. But it has just not been recognized yet as being a form of vitamin A toxicity that is the real cause. Nevertheless, since it is so visible, and people can more or less see responses due to diet changes, there is an opportunity here. But, like all of this; it is tricky. There are some big buffers between consumption and resulting skin changes. If you stop consuming vitamin A there maybe very little immediate improvement in the skin, or even for a very long time. This is because the skin has its own reservoir of internal storage.  Additionally, you can still experience a flare-up many months after adopting a low vitamin A diet. This is because you may not expose the embedded toxin until your skin is exposed to dry winter air, or some other drying condition.

Sadly, like Crohn’s disease; researchers have been looking for the cause and cure for eczema for well over fifty years, maybe even 200 years. As far as I can tell; no progress has been made at all; like zero.

Who “gets” Eczema?

Generally, there are two big age groups with Eczema. Young children, and adults starting around age 50. Most young children grow out of it. Some don’t, and have it all their lives. When adults get it, it is more or less chronic; comes and goes, but almost always comes back. It usually worsens as we get older. Why is that?

When someone “gets” Eczema; what exactly do they get? It is not a bacteria, it is not a virus, it is not a fungus.  Did they get a genetic mutation, like in Cancer? Not that either. It is a randomly defective immune system. An immune system that is randomly attacking the body itself. But, hold on, isn’t it the primary job of the immune system to protect the body? That just seems so peculiar to me. But, hey, I am open minded; anything is possible. But why do 20 million people in North America “get” eczema; and there is no where near this rate in India, or China, or Russia?

My theory is that young children are simply surging their vitamin A intake past their maximum absorption rate. Their available absorption rate is simply proportional to the size of their liver. The volume of the liver is increasing at a rate about exponent 2 of its cross sectional size. The absorption rate (the rate it can absorb and safely store vitamin A is going to be directly proportional to the remaining storage capacity) is generally going to decline with age; especially if you live in North America, due to accumulative consumption.

Why is this Age incidence pattern occurring in Eczema?

If children eat a reasonable diet, the growth rate of the liver, and its absorption rate will exceed their dietary intake. The absorption rate curve and digestion rate curve will diverge, and they will move out of the toxic state. If, on the other hand, kids eat lots of milk, dairy, pizza, tomatoes, fish, brightly colored fruits and vegetables; or horror of horrors, take cod liver oil, or eat liver, they are doomed to stay in this toxic zone for the rest of time. The absorption rate curve and digestion rate curve will converge. Oddly, even candy may be a contributor, since it is colored with carotenoid based food colors.

On the other end of the age spectrum, we have people my age; 50ish. We did not grow up in this insane childhood food environment we now have. So, we escaped childhood without Eczema, or Crohn’s. However, we’ve made (at least I have) the big mistake of listening to the current nutritional advice; taken fish oil, frequently ate fish, and lots of milk and dairy, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables too. Our healthy eating has caught up with us. We have slowly built up to the same saturated state. Unfortunately, unlike children, our liver is never going to grow larger to save us. It very well, and probably is, all swollen up, and fatty doing everything it can to try to save us. It may actually start to shrink in physical size as we age too. I don’t know. Whatever the mechanisms, we have this big U shaped curve with incidence rates; lots of kids, and a new up trend around age 50. This same U shape type curve applies to the incidence rates of other autoimmune diseases too.

Since vitamin A is a fat soluble molecule, the liver must then store it in a fatty chemical safety blanket. So, of course a fatty liver is now the norm for people over 50. Sadly, in Canada it is reported that a significant percentage of kids could have fatty livers. It is a somewhat of a hidden epidemic.

Let’s consider this in the most basic way possible. The liver stores vitamin A, but it first must be wrapped it in a fat to safely facilitate that storage.  With the consumption of vitamin A vastly out of control in North America, how could we possibly expect people to not have a fatty liver? Isn’t the body doing exactly what we should expect it to? What am I missing here?

Okay, so now at 50+, we are in big trouble with Eczema. The same applies to the 50+ folks getting Crohn’s and other autoimmune diseases. Now, let’s get back to the other end of the age spectrum.

KEY EVIDENCE: Crohn’s incidence rates kicking in at age 20ish

The really interesting question here is: what is this magic 20ish age thing with young people getting Crohn’s. What happens at that age in the human body? Take just one guess, you’ll probably be right.

The human liver becomes fully developed at age 20ish, boys are 1 or 2 years earlier. So, that is probably why there is this spike in Crohn’s at this age. The growth of the liver can no longer outpace the rate of dietary consumption of vitamin A. The race is lost. Of course, it is not this binary. This can, and clearly does happen at any age, between 10 and 50+. That 20ish age also corresponds to the post acne age too. How many of these young people took retinol based acne medications?

I have no doubt that kids younger than 10 surge their dietary intake of vitamin A, and cause a burn in their bowels. Unlike 10 year old kids with Eczema, they just can’t see it happen. They may just get an unexplainable abdominal pain that lasts for a few days, or more. The damage is painful, but silent and out of sight, The body heals, and they move on.

KEY EVIDENCE: The higher socioeconomic status factor

People with higher socioeconomic status have a higher prevalence. We need to ask the all important: why is that? question. I can guarantee that the immune cells cannot detect their bank account balance. But, there is a reason. It is because they are likely to be more educated, and have more money to spend on eating healthy with lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and maybe vitamin supplements too. There is the same higher socioeconomic connection with rates of Crohn’s, and Alzheimer’s too (in the USA). Is this true of Lupus too?

For me; this higher socioeconomic status connection is a super important key point.

It is not just an interesting anecdotal finding. What does this key point really tell us? It tells us; in perfect, indisputable clarity that these are not genetic diseases. They are also not environmental, in the terms of the air we all breathe; or the water we all drink, or exposure to farm toxins etc. They are also not from some gut bacteria, or lack thereof. What is different is the food people choose, and what they can afford to buy. It is the FOOD!

What food(s) exactly? Once we can answer that, then we need to ask an even more important and specific question. What exact chemical compound(s) in those foods is it?

KEY EVIDENCE: Nova Scotia, Canada

About 10 years ago, I listened to a news report about Halifax Nova Scotia having the unfortunate distinction of being the Alzheimer’s capital of Canada (in rates of incidence). I don’t remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 1.5x or even 2x the national rate.

Researchers were trying to understand why. Well, I think I now know. As I’ve stated above, I think Crohn’s, Eczema, Arthritis, probably Lupus, and Alzheimer’s all share the same sinister parent.

When I first started looking into Crohn’s; it was only a bit surprising to find out that Nova Scotia also has the highest rates of Crohn’s and Colitis disease in the world.

So why is it that both Crohn’s and Alzheimer’s rates are really high in this province? Well, it should by now be obvious to us.  It is that this province has been historically very high in fish consumption. It was actually a fish based economy, and a of course a staple in the diet, from like the beginning of time. But, the key, key point here is that it is not just any fish. This is Atlantic Fish.

Remembering the news story about Alzheimer’s being high in Halifax, and believing there is a connection between Eczema and Alzheimer’s, I told my wife that I’d expect that there would now start to be a significant drop in incidence rates in the province. Why?

It is because in 1992 the fish stock collapsed under the burden of overfishing by the industry. The government imposed a fishing moratorium, and all commercial cod fishing was stopped.

Although this temporarily had a big negative impact on the economy. It also had a very, very interesting, and positive side effect on regional health. In a recent 2014 study, titled: Decreasing incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in Eastern Canada: a population database study

it was observed that there has been a significant decline in the incidence rates of Crohn’s in the province starting around 1996, and continuing through to now. It is like a 25 to 35% drop. This is a really significant finding. The diet in Nova Scotia pre fishing collapse of course very much included cod. That changed almost abruptly, starting in 1993. A very important observation to make about this report is that the age group with the biggest decline in rates is the 20 to 29 age group. Since the Atlantic cod fishery had been closed for nearly their entire lives; this makes sense.

I was really curious what is happening with the incidence rates of Alzheimer’s since then.

Nevertheless, let’s get back on track here with Crohn’s and Eczema. What’s Atlantic cod fish high in? Surprisingly, Atlantic cod is significantly higher (10 x) in vitamin A than the same species on the Pacific West Coast.

Even though the meat of the Atlantic fish is 10 times higher; overall, it is not particularly high in itself. Once again, we need to factor in the TIME dimension here.  One cod fish meal is not going to do any harm. But, 3,000 or more of them will. Additionally, the cod oil is much, much higher in vitamin A.

There is no doubt that the decline in incidence rates of Crohn’s in the province is due to the abrupt reduction of Atlantic cod fish in the diet. So, in one man-made disaster (Accutane), we added vitamin A to people, and caused more Crohn’s. In the other, we removed a significant source of vitamin A from the diet, and subsequently hugely reduced the rates of Crohn’s. These are not coincidences. These are facts that cannot be ignored.

On one hand, we have just (inadvertently) conducted a ~20 year, ~5 million person field trial with the closure of the Atlantic Cod Fishery. This has led to a very significant result, specifically with regards to Crohn’s. But, on the other hand; there could be something wrong in my determination that cod (the meat) is the culprit here. Cod meat is actually not that high in vitamin A ~ 100 IU / fillet. However, a kid growing up in Halifax eating cod three times a week, compared to a kid in Alberta or Saskatchewan eating beef three times a week, will consume about 500,000 to 1,000,000 UI more of vitamin A over a 20 year period. These may look like big numbers; but they are not really in the context of Vitamin A consumption. Therefore, this should be a very clear indication that the truly safe range of consumption of Vitamin A is not very wide.

Now, as everyone knows; the cod oil is much higher in vitamin A. So, we need to know what happened to the oil (especially the liver oil) from these fish?

Did this go into the food chain somehow. Was it used for cooking; or supplements etc.? Basically, was it consumed by people in this Atlantic region, and the US Atlantic coast too? I am guessing; probably yes. But I don’t know the pathway. Please comment if you can. Also, please comment if you can on the rates of other diseases in the region over this same time frame. I know that Atlantic Canada has historically been somewhat higher in rates than compared to the rest of Canada. What about rates in Sydney Nova Scotia over this time frame? Sydney had some of the highest disease rates in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. In a news report from the Halifax Herald in 1998, they state: “Deaths caused by hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis occurred at twice the national average in Sydney.” The report cites the Sydney tar ponds as the suspected toxic source. But, I wonder, has that now changed too?

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America report in their 2014 Fact Book that the countries with the highest rates of Crohns, and ulcerative colitis are Canada, Denmark, Iceland, and the United States.  But, more precisely this list should be: Atlantic Canada, Denmark, Iceland, and the United States. What is common at least between Atlantic Canada, Denmark, Iceland? It is North Atlantic fish consumption.

I think the USA is supplementing more foods with Vitamin A than does Canada. I’ve noticed that some simple foods; such as those with flour list vitamin A in the nutrition label; whereas the same foods in Canada do not. For example, plain Cheerios in the USA list 10% RDA without milk and 15% with milk. Whereas the apparently same box of Cheerios in Canada list 0% RDA without milk, and 6% with milk.

There is more evidence that can be gleaned from the closure of the Atlantic Cod Fishery event. It was not only Canada’s fishing fleets off the east coast; other nations had fishing fleets here too. When the cod fish stock collapsed, then these other nations stopped fishing here too. Therefore, we might see a decline, or maybe just a leveling off, in the incidence rates of Crohn’s in their home nations. Please help with more data if you can; see Collapse of the Atlantic northwest cod fishery.

But; just like with Accutane the drug name, we can’t implicate Fish, the animal name in these diseases. It is a chemical that is both in the Accutane and the Fish that is the culprit here.

For example, if we try to correlate incidence rates between say families in both Halifax and Victoria BC, that eat cod fish three times a week, that won’t work. But if we consider that the family in Halifax may actually be consuming 10x the vitamin A of the family in Victoria; we might pick up the connection. The same goes for other countries, such as Sweden and Finland that eat a lot of cold salt water fish.

KEY EVIDENCE: Eczema and the East Coast

I don’t know of data for Eczema rates on the east coast of Canada. But, there is an excellent study, with all kinds of geographic data regarding the rates of Eczema in the United States. Eczema prevalence in the United States: data from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health.

Novel findings include the demonstration of higher eczema prevalence along the East Coast. The study correlates well with previous reports and may help point to environmental factors that contribute to the development of eczema.

Why? Once again, it is due to the higher east coast fish consumption. East coast cod fish is particularly high in vitamin A.

Other countries with high rates of fish consumption also have high rates of Eczema and Alzheimer’s, and I have no doubt Crohn’s and Colitis too. Here’s a world map showing Vitamin A deficiency.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_A_deficiency

Since it is a Vitamin A deficiency map, you just have to note that the dark green countries areas are getting at least enough Vitamin A. There are no surprises there for North America, the UK, Sweden, and Australia. But look at Chile. Chile now has the highest per capita consumption of fish in South America. It also has the highest rates of Alzheimer’s in South America. What are the rates of Crohn’s in Chile? What fish species do they eat? What about their tomato consumption too?

Here is another excellent study showing a global map of Crohn’s disease.

New global map of Crohn’s disease: Genetic, environmental, and socioeconomic correlations.

The comments regarding Chile are: Cases of 1996-2002 more than double compared to 1990-1995. Wow! More than doubled in just 5 years! What in their diet has changed? By chance, did they buy the unused Canadian fishing ships?

In the comments section of this report the authors ask:

“What unites Canterbury in New Zealand, Nova Scotia and Manitoba in Canada, Amiens in France, Maastricht in the Netherlands, Stockholm in Sweden, and Minnesota in the US (apart from the existence of scientists alert enough to reveal the evolving epidemiologic trends)? Unlocking this strange union would subsequently unlock the mystery of Crohn’s etiology, still speculated upon 75 years after its baptism.”

I think it is now obvious. It is fish consumption; but particularly fish that is high in vitamin A.

What’s with Manitoba and Minnesota? I don’t know. Maybe they have a higher rate of dairy, or beef liver consumption? They do have a large Native First Nations population in Manitoba. But, conversely, the incidence rates in First Nations people should be statistically lower. This is because most First Nations people are lactose intolerant. That would remove a big dietary source of vitamin A for this group. I don’t know if these are factors in the Manitoba data or not.

Amiens France? Maybe it’s a combination of pâté and coastal fish consumption.

Of course it is not just the fish. It is any source of vitamin A, and I think carotenoids too. The uptick in incidence rates we are seeing in India and China is simple to explain. They are adopting a new western food crop; big time. It is tomatoes. Check the stats; it is amazing, and alarming to see that these countries with huge populations are showing increases in these diseases.

Naturally, it is not just India and China that are eating more tomatoes. It is us here in Canada, and the US too. Business is booming for tomato growers worldwide. Consumption in North America has more than doubled in the last 15 years. What else has doubled in the last 15 years? Crohn’s and Eczema to name a few. The other food business that is booming is the carotenoid based food colors. This is shocking; it is more like exponential growth in production, its use is being mandated and legislated worldwide. Then of course, we have had supplemented milk and dairy since the 1970s. This all adds up to exponential consumption of Vitamin A, and the vitamin A precursors.

This report also points out that the Canadian province of Alberta is quite high in Crohn’s rates too. Why? Well, Alberta is a highly affluent province. It also has quite a high average level of education. So, there is not much of a shortage of money here for the family grocery budget. Therefore, people both listen to nutritional advice, and we have shopping carts that are full of the brightly colored fruits and vegetables; and lots of meat, eggs, dairy, etc.,  and undoubtedly multivitamins too.

I was at a Costco store here just a week ago, and there was a two pallet (1m x 2m x 1.5m) pile of guess what being sold? Cod Liver oil. There you have it right in the main aisle of the local Costco store. We don’t need an East Coast Fishery to catch the cod. We are supplementing with the worst part of it!

North South Gradient in the Geographic Data

The reports document an observation that there is a World North South gradient in the geographic distribution to the incidence rates of Crohn’s.

There are some really important points to be made about the North-South gradient observation. Firstly, it is not just the rates of Crohn’s disease that present this pattern. The incidence rates of Multiple Sclerosis and type 1 diabetes show up in the same pattern too. Secondly, it is not just a North American phenomenon either. It is present in Europe, Africa, and Australia too. This has nothing to do with genetics. It has to do with the latitude you live at. Is this for real? The more north or south you live at on the earth increases your chances of getting an autoimmune disease. How can this be? Less exposure to sunshine and vitamin D possibly?

No, I think this is going to correspond to the North-South temperature gradient in the Atlantic ocean; and the North Sea. In the case of Chile this is the cold Antarctic ocean. An interesting bit of historical trivia is that Charles Darwin’s condition significantly worsened as he sailed down the coast of Chile, some 200 years ago. We were warned.

The colder waters are going to require fish to have a higher oil content; and I think therefore, a higher level of Vitamin A.

In addition to the North South gradient, I think there is going to be a correlation between incidence rates and the proximity to coastal waters. There sure is in Canada.

I was in Denmark a number of years ago. Eel was popular in lunchtime sandwiches there. At 3,787 IU / 100g; Eel is also very high in Vitamin A. This animal lives in very cold waters. What are the rates for these diseases in Denmark, and the other Scandinavian countries?

Where in the world is the biggest disparity in the incidence rates of Alzheimer’s disease? It is between Finland and just across their border in Western Russia. This border would have been completely closed during the cold war era. The diet in Finland was, and probably still is very high in fish. Their Russian neighbors had next to none; as are their rates of Alzheimer’s disease. Today the Alzheimers/Dementia Death rate (age standardized) Finland / Russian ratio is 34.9 /1.6 per 100,000. But this border region in Russia is even lower than 1.6.  Here we have a population with high vitamin A consumption, and they are 22 TIMES higher in their rates of Alzheimers/Dementia compared to their immediate neighbors. Finland also has one of the highest rates of eczema in the world. A really interesting number to find out would be the actual ratio of vitamin A consumption between these two populations. I’m betting it’s going to be close to 22.

Autoimmune diseases are now one of the leading causes of death in North America. These are horrible, and unnatural deaths. If you don’t die from one of these diseases, you are probably going to have a family member that will. Die, or not, Crohn’s,  or chronic Eczema, or any other auto immune disease will destroy any young person’s quality of life. We have to stop the insanity.

Is this too simple, and too bizarre to be believable? Well I think not. Once you fully grasp those three simple facts;

  1. your body stores vitamin A
  2. it has a fixed capacity to do so
  3. vitamin A is scientifically documented as a direct toxin and to invoke the immune response that destroys tissue

Then the rest is not too hard to believe; I hope.

Let’s add more evidence.

key evidence: Osteoporosis

Of course Osteoporosis is a common symptom reported with IBD, Lupus, and other autoimmune diseases. Why is that? Well, blocked vitamin D, and therefore calcium absorption is now proven to be a factor in people with elevated levels of Vitamin A. But, I think that is only part of the story.  What about all the retinoic acid that is being generated? This will bring down the pH level, and the body’s pH regulation mechanisms need to kick in to counter this. Therefore, I think it is logical for the body to draw calcium from the bone stores to bring the pH level back to normal.

Here is some other great clinical evidence to support this.

Biopsy Interpretation of the Gastrointestinal Tract Mucosa, 2e

VOLUME 1: NON-NEOPLASTIC

https://books.google.ca/books?id=p19i7R6PdsEC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

See: Mucosal Calcinosis on Page 60,

“metastatic” calcium deposits that are typical in such patients…. also been associated with hypervitaminosis A …

They go on to state:

“Regardless, mucosal calcinosis itself seems to be of no immediate clinical significance except as an incidental finding in patients with renal failure.”

On the contrary, I think this should be considered to be of huge clinical significance. Where did all this calcium come from? Did it come from the bones, or from the diet? It’s the bones of course.

How long has this been known for? Since the 1940s.

Here is a study from 1947: The action of vitamin K in hypervitaminosis A

They report high rates of spontaneous bone fractures in rats that are given elevated levels of Vitamin A. It is so toxic that they inadvertently break bones just trying to handle the rats. These rats where fed moderately high levels of vitamin A for only 10 days! The bones were incredibly quickly depleted of calcium.

Here is a more recent study by Binkley and Krueger: Hypervitaminosis A and bone.

They noted the consistent occurrence of spontaneous bone fractures associated with hypervitaminosis A and they also noted that no compound other than vitamin A is known to be associated with such fractures in animals.

Let’s consider this report on Autism. Studies Link Autism to Low Bone Density and Increased Fractures

The highlights are: “The increased risk was greatest among girls and women affected by autism spectrum disorder:

  • Girls with autism had eight times the hip-fracture rate of other girls.
  • Women with the disorder had ten times the rate of spinal fracture of other women.
  • Boys with autism had double the hip-fracture rate of other boys.
  • Men and women with autism (ages 23 to 50) had nearly 12 times the hip fracture rate of other adults.
  • Women with autism also had double the rate of arm, wrist and hand fractures.”

Therefore, I think this:  “no compound other than vitamin A is known to be associated with such fractures in animals” finding is of huge significance.

Of course, it is not just me that thinks there are a lot of similarities between Autism and Alzheimer’s.  I’m going to add another crazy statement into the mix here. Remember that U shaped incidence rate curve I mentioned before; Lot’s of kids less than say 10, and lots of adults 50+ getting eczema. Well we now have lots of kids getting Autism, and a lot of adults getting Alzheimer’s. When combined these two, it presents almost this same incidence pattern.

The current rates of Autism spectrum are now an insane 1/128 kids in North America.  Some people claim this is partly due to better diagnosis, and a broader definition of the Autism spectrum. I think that is complete BS!. It is not just a definition that has changed; it is spontaneous bone fractures too!

Since osteoporosis is a universal symptom reported with autoimmune diseases; I think it is important to dig into this topic some more.  We really need to understand the mechanism here; or at least come up with a very plausible explanation for it.  To do so, firstly let’s revisit the case I cited earlier on in this document of a 6 year old boy being admitted to hospital for hypervitaminosis A. When I selected this as an example case; it was just by pure coincidence that this boy was autistic too. There are some important points about this case we need to consider. Firstly, someone is spreading very bad (criminally negligent IMO ) advice about giving Vitamin A to combat Autism. That is just purely, and simply, absolutely wrong advice; and it could have a devastating, if not fatal outcome.

Secondly, what is really interesting is that the emergency treatment for this boy is to try to get his serum calcium levels into a normal range.  This is well documented in the case report. So, why is his serum calcium level so high? We might say, oh well, that is just what is documented to happen with hypervitaminosis A. But why does it happen? I think it is because the excess vitamin A is being converted to retinoic acid. This retinoic acid is causing the huge amount of inflammation this kid experiences; the swollen lips etc.  Just as importantly, this abundant retinoic acid causes the serum pH levels be be significantly lowered too.  The body must combat this, and combat it fast to bring it back to a normal range.  It does this by rapidly drawing in calcium from the bones.

Even though this is a single case study; it completely matches with all the other studies in this regard.  What about some really convincing evidence from a broad geographic perspective to  support this claim? Well, it turns out we have a recent report from Sweden with just such data. Please watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXcMmclEO8c

Here we have indisputable evidence that elevated levels of Vitamin A are indeed causing osteoporosis.  But, the incredibly important point that I’ve been repeating over and over in this document, is the daily consumption is only half of the story.  The real risk is the long term elevated storage levels. Also, I want to comment on the statement made in the video that people in Sweden live long and healthy lives. That’s a nice statement, but someone needs to check the stats; since this is not exactly true. Sweden has high rates of autoimmune disease and Alzheimer’s.
Now, with most autoimmune diseases exhibiting this same osteoporosis symptom; hopefully it is not too much of a stretch to make the connection. You don’t have to be in a state of hypervitaminosis A. You just have to have some chronic inflammation. Maybe even just a little extra bit each day. It is going to have a cumulative effect on your calcium stores.  Taking more calcium is not the answer; and it could actually be harmful. It is getting the inflammation under control that counts. We need to get to the very basic root cause of the problem.

Weight Gain

Another common symptom reported with Autoimmune diseases is weight gain. Of course, obesity itself is its own epidemic. Therefore, we might easily dismiss that weight gain as just part of living in a developed country. However, for a lot of people with an autoimmune disease; it is beyond this new normal un-normal.  Once again; we need to know why. Or least come up with a very plausible explanation. One explanation would be to just say that most people experience fatigue, and therefore don’t exercise enough. Well; in my own personal case; that is not true. I did not experience fatigue for much of the time leading up to my eczema. But, I did have this weight gain creeping up on me. By age 54, I was about 20 lbs overweight. It was going up a few lbs per year, almost regardless of how much exercise I got. It was not too horrible; but still something out of my control was taking over, and causing this happen.

Here’s what I think the mechanism could be. It is a gut bacteria called Bacteroidetes. It is one of the most abundant organisms in the human large intestine.  It is observed that when these bacteroidetes populations decline; people become obese. Oddly, and conversely, when people go on a diet, the bacteroidetes populations come back to a normal proportion. The reason this happens is documented to be unknown.

Could it be that there is a common toxin in most of our food that is killing off some of these bacteroidetes? Of course; you know where I am headed with this. If high doses of Vitamin A are a toxin to a human; could very small doses in our regular diet be toxic to this tiny bacteria? Let’s remember that Accutane, and some other acne drugs, are retinoic acid and what it does to bacteria on the surface of the skin. Of course, this is hugely speculative; but I am curious.  Since adopting my low vitamin A diet I have lost about 20 lbs. My BMI is now “NORMAL”.  I was not fasting at all. I was eating lots, and lots of calories too. The extra weight just magically went away. Go figure?

The Toxicity of Vitamin A – how toxic is it really?

There are tons of scientific and medical publications on the toxicity of vitamin A. Retinoic Acid is documented to be extremely toxic when it is in the wrong place or wrong concentrations.  Here is a another really interesting 2012 paper: Retina, Retinol, Retinal and the Natural History of Vitamin A as a Light Sensor stating that “Excessive vitamin A uptake can lead to severe toxicity in humans”.

In the case of Accutane it is extreme. Women taking the drug were required to be on two forms of birth control; or completely abstain from sex. Moreover, they were to enter into a contract; the “I Declare” contract, agreeing that if they did become pregnant; they would immediately seek an abortion. Okay, this is retinoic acid. It is actually a chemo therapy drug! It works by killing rapidly reproducing cells. Did anyone stop to think that normal teenagers have rapidly reproducing cells too?  So, what about plain old retinol (regular vitamin A)?

There is a well known study done in the 1990s where pregnant women who were taking 10,000IU or more, resulted in a high rate of birth defects (1 in 57). This was not retinoic acid; it was retinol; plain old vitamin A.

Let’s dig into this a little bit more. What we know for sure is that 10,000 IUs was incredibly toxic. Now, even though 10,000 IUs sounds like a big number, it is actually not. This is only like around 3X the RDA. A person could quite easily achieve this with normal foods alone. But the point is that we don’t know if the 10,000 IUs was the dangerous high level mark or not. It could be 5000 IUs, it could be 3000 IUs. Who really knows for sure? Actually nobody does; because it depends.

Based upon my understanding of what’s happening here is that the real risk is the absorption rates and not the daily dose that matters so much. The absorption rate is going to be very dependent upon prior consumption history, and therefore be a very individual rate.

When you read the various studies on what the safe amount of vitamin A is during pregnancy, they are all considering a daily dose. It is like this is somehow the magic number that needs to be quantified.  But, since the body stores the daily dose; I think it is almost the completely wrong number to consider. What is far more important is cumulative storage, and what exactly happens with that daily dose. Additionally; exactly how fast does this process happen.  The daily dose number combined with storage level numbers are what are really critical.

Let’s dig into this a little bit more. What we know for sure is that 10,000 IUs was incredibly toxic.  Now, even though 10,000 IUs sounds like a big number, it is actually not. This is only like around 3X the RDA. A person could quite easily achieve this with normal foods alone.

But the critical point is that we don’t know if the 10,000 IUs was the dangerous high level mark or not. It could be 5000 IUs, it could be 3000 IUs. Who really knows for sure?

Moreover based upon my understanding of what’s happening here is that the real risk is the absorption rates and not really the daily dose that matters so much. The absorption rate is going to be very dependent upon prior consumption history, and therefore an individual rate.

Generally, older women are probably going to have lower absorption rates; so their risk level is going to be higher. Therefore, the safe amount for pregnant women is also going to be variable just based upon individual dietary habits, and possibly age too.

Let’s imagine what might happen with a well intentioned pregnant woman who wants to do everything she can to make sure her new baby gets all the nutrition it needs. She might eat a few eggs with cheese for breakfast, two glasses  of milk, take a multivitamin. She might take an Omega 3 fish oil tablet. Then for lunch a tuna salad. Maybe a salad with lots of brightly colored vegetables such as tomatoes, and bell peppers.  Maybe she juices a few carrots with that fancy juicer she has. Boom! Now she surged her vitamin A intake; and maybe way past her safe absorption rate too. Now what? Could some of that excess vitamin A convert to retinoic acid and endanger the fetus? You bet it could!

Fortunately, the medical community is now warning women about consuming too much vitamin A during pregnancy.  I don’t know how universally this message is being delivered. There is also the ongoing belief that elevated post delivery Vitamin A consumption is fine, if not being recommended. But, is this really true? Is there 100.00% completely water tight, irrefutable scientific evidence to support this? Or is it just being assumed too? Why on earth do we have this astounding epidemic of Autism in North America?

Okay, in the context of birth defects; someone might claim high doses are only a risk to a developing fetus. But, that is totally incorrect. As you’ve seen here, there is tons of research proving high doses are toxic to kids and adults too.  What makes a high dose? Anything that is not nearly immediately stored. Who does this apply to? Kids with small livers, and everyone with current elevated storage. Of course, I can’t just make this claim without strong supporting evidence. So, here it is published in the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association in a May 2010 commentary titled: The great vitamin A fiasco

The findings that high doses of vitamin A, especially in well nourished children, have adverse impacts on respiratory infections, should surely be grounds for serious concern.

I think the critically important point in this statement is the “especially in well nourished children“. Why is this? It is because their absorption rates are going to be slightly lower. This in itself should be hugely telling. There is indeed a very thin range of consumption rates that are safe. This is actually that same higher socioeconomic factor showing up here; but in the context of kids from villages in India etc.

Does anyone think for one second that children in North America are not well nourished too?  Does not our supplemented food now load them up with somewhat big doses almost every day?

There is something else about this “adverse impacts on respiratory infections” that needs a bit of investigation. Why exactly does giving a kid a shot of vitamin A cause higher rates of respiratory infections? Isn’t this an amazingly revealing bit of information? It is because surged vitamin A intake leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to opportunistic infections; especially in sensitive tissues like the lungs.

Yet, vitamin A is a very critical chemical to the human body; too much, or too little is extremely dangerous. In the paper: Retina, Retinol, Retinal and the Natural History of Vitamin A as a Light Sensor they also state:

“In adults, vitamin A deficiency can lead to profound impairment of hippocampal long-term potentiation and long-term depression and impairment in learning and memory. Vitamin A deficiency can also lead to pathological changes in the lung, the skin, the thyroid and the male and female reproductive systems.

This is very strange, and paradoxical, since this closely matches with some of the major symptoms of vitamin A toxicity.  Could, it be that saturated organ storage actually results in a vitamin A deficiency in the brain?  Or is the liver no longer able to deliver the vitamin A in the RBP? I have no idea.  Whatever the mechanism; vitamin A intake is indeed a double edge sword.

I’ve read another study from 1940 stating that they considered Vitamin A to be so toxic that they recommended that it be a controlled substance. So, this toxicity of vitamin A has been generally well known for a very long time.

Then, for some misguided reason, in the mid 1970s we began adding this well known toxin to nearly all milk and dairy in North America. Then, starting around the 1980s we start seeing this exponential growth rates in disease. We now have an epidemic in Eczema, Crohn’s & IBD, Arthritis, Lupus, Autism, Alzheimer’s, and more. Once again, and amazingly, all the combined symptoms of these diseases are like a perfect match for Vitamin A toxicity.  If you have any doubt about this connection; please read on to the Alzheimer’s data I present in the summary.

Does all this make sense, or is it too simple?

Let’s look at the data in the most obvious way. These diseases are doubling at alarming rates. What substance in our food is also doubling at similar alarming rates? It’s easy; just ask the tomato farmers, and the Cod Liver oil suppliers. Then consider that this very bad nutritional advice about eating lots of milk, dairy, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables has taken hold. As so has that horrible advice about supplementing with fish oils. The cited Eczema “trigger foods” are also most of the recommended foods on the Canada food guide.

No, it’s not sugar, or gluten (in itself), to blame here. Sugar will make you fat, but it will not directly dissolve and burn holes in your skin, and organs. Gluten can definitely be an antagonist; but it is not the root cause.

I think there is only one common substance in all of our foods that is scientifically proven to be capable of doing this. It is vitamin A (retinol, and or retinoic acid).

But, you might argue that this is a really simple theory; and there is no way the wider scientific, and medical community is missing this.

Well then please explain to me why alarms were not sent out regarding Accutane? That should have sent shock waves throughout the drug, food, medical communities, and government agencies. But, no, nothing but silence.

So don’t think that some people at drug companies can’t possibly miss the obvious. Not only did they miss the obvious; they completely, and conveniently, ignored over 50 years of scientific knowledge that vitamin A is a toxin at high doses!

Or maybe this vitamin A subclinical toxicity is not obvious? After all, this is a very subtle, and very tricky situation that develops slowly over a long period of time. It is more or less documented to be hugely unlikely to happen on a wide scale like it is. But it is indeed. It is happening, just with unexpected, and with mostly small or, subclinical amounts of this potential toxin being in the wrong place in the human body. Just to be clear here; once again, this is not at all classic Hypervitaminosis A.  No; this is a very slow build up to near saturation; and thereafter being in a state of chronic subtle overflow of this toxin.

Or maybe I am completely wrong too? But, everything I’ve presented in this document is not based upon opinion. There are a lot of documented facts; and my own firsthand experiences. I think it should be clear, logical, and compelling evidence.

BTW, I am also now pretty sure what caused the leaking of my kidneys. It is the same horrible yellow toxin that is dissolving, and burning holes in my skin. It is doing the same in the colon, and other internal organs of children, and young adults suffering from Crohn’s, and other autoimmune diseases.

It is time to stop the insanity. Why exactly is kid’s milk, and so many other foods, fortified with a direct toxin? Was this decided by some government bureaucrat decades ago? That may have been fine 40 years ago; but no longer. We have this huge over abundance of vitamin A in other foods. It is time to seriously rethink this. I think we are now seeing the unintended consequences of this; and it is called the auto-immune epidemic.

Why are we selling Cod Liver oil by the truck load to unsuspecting consumers? High doses of Vitamin A have been proven, over and over, to cause birth defects; if nothing else. What the hell is going on?

Is it a coincidence that vitamin A & D have been added to milk and all dairy products since the early 1970s, and the incidence rates for these diseases began skyrocketing in the 1980s? Is it a coincidence that milk and all dairy products are very commonly cited as being foods that “trigger” autoimmune disease flare-ups? Is it a coincidence that elevated levels of vitamin A are now proven to block vitamin D, and that osteoporosis is common in autoimmune diseases? Milk promoting strong bone health is now being proven to be a myth too. Here’s a recent article and a referenced study.

Study Suggests Milk May Actually Increase The Risk Of Bone Fracture

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/11/03/study-suggests-milk-may-actually-increase-the-risk-of-bone-fracture/

Despite what most people have heard their entire lives, milk may not be so good for bones or for longevity, according to a new study in the journal BMJ. The research found that consuming more milk was linked to greater risk of bone fractures and to earlier mortality. Meanwhile, cheese, yogurt, and other fermented products appeared to be “safe.” It’s not quite clear why, but the research suggests that milk alone may increase inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Of course, it is not just the milk and dairy sources. When in human history have we consumed so much of this potential toxin as a regular part of our diet?

Is it a coincidence that reducing a significant source of vitamin A from a million person population results in a 35% drop in the incidence rates of Crohn’s and inflammatory bowel disease?

Is it a coincidence that eczema is a commonly reported co-disease with Alzheimer’s and Autism. Of course spontaneous bone fractures have been documented in vitamin A toxicity since the 1940s. Once again, there is this amazing little bit of trivia : no compound other than vitamin A is known to be associated with such fractures in animals. Why would we think humans are going to be any different in this regard?

Is it a coincidence that the incidence rates of Alzheimer’s have recently dropped a bit in the USA, and Germany too, and both these countries stopped fishing cod off the east coast of Canada.

Is it a coincidence that the United States, Canada, Europe, and other industrialized nations get their vitamin A from multivitamins, fish liver oil, and the fortification of foods such as milk, butter, margarine, breakfast cereals, and some snack foods. Whereas, in the developing nations, 70–90% of vitamin A is obtained from carotenoids in plant based foods. We have an epidemic of autoimmune and other horrible diseases; and they don’t. Does anyone else think there’s a connection here?

The Alzheimer’s Connection

Let’s come back to where we started from in all of this. Alzheimer’s disease rates in Atlantic Canada.

For what it is worth; I actually have very little doubt that this is the root cause of Alzheimer’s too. I know that’s a pretty crazy statement to come from an older engineer / geologist who was just trying to cure a skin rash. And, Yes, I do know that vitamins (including A) have been officially ruled out as the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. So why do I make such an absurd sounding claim?

  1. It is hugely supported in the data; there are very significant correlations with the world geographic and demographic data; very similar to those of Crohn’s and Eczema.
  2. The significant East to West gradient in Canadian rates also means that this is an environmentally induced disease.
  3. Mental dullness, and confusion are well documented symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity. So is memory loss, mental dullness, and confusion with Lupus and a lot of other autoimmune diseases.
  4. People with Alzheimer’s have something like a 40% higher rate of Osteoporosis. Elevated levels of Vitamin A are proven to cause Osteoporosis, and to block Vitamin D; and therefore block calcium absorption.
  5. Vitamin A in the form of retinoic acid is clinically proven to burn holes in tissue.
  6. Once you get into this state of elevated Vitamin A toxicity; it is nearly impossible to randomly stumble upon a diet to get you out of it.
  7. The inflammation on my brain resolved with my vitamin A elimination diet.
  8. My personal cognitive experience with my vitamin A elimination diet.
  9. Recent findings on retinal degeneration in AD means this is not just a brain disease.
  10. People with Alzheimer’s commonly report having Eczema too.

I am duplicating that Canadian Alzheimer’s Mortality chart here just for easy reference.

Alzheimers Rates In Canada

I have no doubt whatsoever that this data is reflecting the closure of the Atlantic Cod fishery in 1993. Also, this data is for mortality rates and I think that the data for age adjusted incidence rates would be even more telling. Clearly the rate changes in NL, PEI, and NB are huge; like almost a 50% decline. Too huge to dismiss as being random, or an anomaly. This represents the entire Atlantic Region of Canada. This is a ~5 million person population with huge decreased rates. This decline is not at all the same in western Canada.

Look at the amazing change in PEI over this time. It has gone from one of the highest rates in Canada to the same rate as BC, and Alberta.  I think these Atlantic region numbers would tell a even more amazing story if I had the data going back to 1996, and through to 2014.

Once again here is the chart showing just the Atlantic provinces and with the Nova Scotia Crohn’s Incidence Rates included. Click on the chart to get a better view.

AlzPEICrohns2029

Clearly, something dramatic has changed in Atlantic Canada to cause this steep decline in disease rates. What bigger environmental change has taken place in the Atlantic region in this period of time other than the closure of the Atlantic Cod fishery in 1993? Of course all of that Atlantic cod fish catch was not consumed in the Atlantic Provinces. Some of it was exported across Canada, the USA, Germany and elsewhere. However, enough of it was being consumed in Atlantic Canada to now show up in this data. But, once again, it is not the fish to blame; it is the vitamin A in the fish.

The somewhat anomalous rate change in Nova Scotia as compared to the other Atlantic Provinces might be explainable based on people being diagnosed in the region moving to Halifax to get better access to health services, or long term care facilities. But, that explanation is pure speculation on my part; I have no idea.

Nevertheless, the decline in the Nova Scotia Alzheimer’s rate are pretty significant too. It would be fantastic to see the incidence rates of other big autoimmune diseases in Atlantic Canada being included on these charts. Please help if you can.

Additionally, I think this data from Atlantic Canada makes it perfectly clear that Alzheimer’s is an environmentally (specifically food) caused disease. Therefore, I think that the current research into linking this with genetics, and the various brain banks from victims are almost pointless.

I think that Alzheimer’s is actually going to be a much more subtle and lower level of saturation than what causes Eczema or Crohn’s. It is a subtle chronic little poisoning persisting over decades and decades; with devastating effects.

Is there really a vitamin A to Alzheimer’s causal association here? What we do know is that when we increased vitamin A consumption (via accutane) Crohn’s rates went significantly up. When we decreased vitamin A consumption (via cod) Crohn’s rates went significantly down. We also know that the full set of symptoms of IBD / Crohn’s is a near perfect match with those of vitamin A toxicity. Therefore, based upon the remarkable correlation between the declining trend lines for these two diseases in this one geographic region; in a multimillion person population, a causal relationship is a very strong probability.

Now, having the very important firsthand experience in having the inflammation on my brain vanish after elimination of this substance from my diet; I can move this probability even higher.

I still would not make the call if it were not for a very important, and another amazing connection here.  Sadly, this information has been literally staring doctors in the face for many decades now. It is on the faces of people suffering from this disease. It is also on their hands. It is called Eczema.  Once again, it is one of those incidental things commonly reported with Alzheimer’s, and Autism too. It is probably considered to be of no immediate clinical significance, not related, and just an annoyance.

If you read the Alzheimer’s caregiver forums, you will see lots of comments about people struggling to treat Eczema. I read one comment about a man caring for his ailing wife, and he could no longer afford all the band aids he was using on her hands. Now, why does a person with a brain disease need band aids on the hands?

I inquired about this Eczema connection with a prominent Alzheimer’s researcher. He simply stated that the observed skin lesions are not related. But, he cannot validly make that claim without first knowing the real root cause of Alzheimer’s.  I read another doctor’s rationalization about this observation of the skin problems seen in Alzheimer’s patients. He claimed that it is likely due to these patients not eating properly, and not getting enough nutrition. But, this too is completely not true. Most of these people are well cared for. And there are many incidences in people with early onset; who are still working, and looking after themselves. These people are eating just fine. Nevertheless, to test his hypothesis a bit, I looked at more than a thousand pictures online of anorexic people. Now, these people are indeed starving themselves, and clearly not getting enough nutrition.   I could not find a single photo, not one,  of an anorexic person showing signs of eczema or psoriasis. Oddly, in nearly all photos the skin looks perfectly clear (other than the skeleton poking through). No eczema, no psoriasis.

Two photos of people had what looked like acne; but they also looked extremely ill. And, no I am not at all recommending people use this as a form of treatment!

A man named John

Here is a video of a 49 year old man from Columbia, with Alzheimer’s. Before playing the video; please look at this first frame very carefully.

There are more close ups of the man’s face and fingernails in the first 60 seconds of the video . Look very closely.  What do you see? I see the thickened, and reddish brown skin on the sides of his forehead. I see the mottled fingernails. Does this look familiar? There are a lot of people with eczema who will not only recognize this condition; they will know exactly how it feels too.

Now, I think we can make a pretty good guess as to why the outer 1/3 of the  eyebrows go missing in Hashimoto’s disease.  Yes, yet another autoimmune disease, this one attacks the thyroid.  It has an odd, and incidental skin issue showing up on the face. Weird huh? The immune system is attacking the thyroid, yet burns off the eyebrows too? Does this not seem incredibly strange that the immune system, after millions and millions of years of evolution, would waste its energy and resources like this?

Autism and eczema

There is also a big connection here between eczema and Autism. There are exactly the same type of comments in the Autism support forums. You have all these mothers discussing and sharing tips on how to care for their Autistic kid’s Eczema.  Eczema goes hand in hand with Autism. And so does gut inflammation. Why is that?

It is because the root cause of these diseases is indeed hugely related. It is the sub-clinical saturation, and the elevated non-liver storage of retinol and / or retinoic acid. So, based upon that; and my own personal experience, and combined with this data; I am going to say; that there is an incredibly good chance of a causal association here. No, it is not conclusive, but some empirical evidence, that’s almost trivial to obtain, can solidify it.

Of course we should understand the mechanism of how elevated levels of this potential toxin is getting into, or affecting, the brain. My theory is that the process is nearly identical to what is happening with the fats in the sebaceous glands of the skin and GI tract. The excess retinoic acid is a fat soluble molecule. Therefore, it is going to be wrapped in a lipid. The brain is highly dependent upon lipids. Now we have lipids circulating in the blood that are effectively little toxic Trojan Horses. They contain the retinol or retinoic acid molecule. Just like with the skin, the fat is consumed, unwrapping and exposing the toxic molecule. Once exposed, this toxin is going to cause inflammation and destroy tissue, and possibly the build up of proteins.

Also, this same inflammatory process is going to happen anywhere in the body where these toxic lipids are consumed.

Regardless if this is even close to the correct mechanism or not, it does not really matter in the short term.  There are lots of times in science we can make use of information we don’t fully understand. For example, I am sure that there are lots of effective drugs in use where their exact mechanism is not fully understood. What is critical at this point is that we actually do something with this information.

There is another personal observation that I want to share. Around 2006 I had almost completely stopped dreaming at nights. I might of had dreams 2 or 3 times in a year. So, that is about 9 years of almost never dreaming at nights. I assumed this was due to drinking too much coffee; or just something that happens with aging.

Four weeks after being on my vitamin A elimination diet; I started to dream every night. That is every single night in about four months now. My coffee intake has remained the same. Of course it was not just dreaming that changed. As stated above, my thinking clarity significantly improved too with my vitamin A elimination diet. Okay, so that is subtle inflammation / pressure on my brain resolved, thinking clarity back to normal, and resumed dreaming at nights.

Do you think this toxin was having an adverse affect on my brain?

With everything I’ve documented here regarding Alzheimer’s; now these two world maps should be very interesting.

WHOVAD

AlzMapYellow

I’ve changed the default color coding in Alzheimer’s/Dementia map from red to yellow; just to make the visual correlation easier. Yellow regions in the upper WHO-VAD map are getting lots of vitamin A; and yellow regions in the second map are getting high rates of the Alzheimer’s/Dementia.

The source of the Alzheimer’s Mortality map is: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/alzheimers-dementia/by-country/

Naturally, we all know that correlation does not mean causation. But it does, nevertheless, add supporting evidence to this theory. At the very least, there should be zero doubt in anyone’s mind that Alzheimer’s/Dementia are environmentally induced.

A Thought Experiment

Let’s look at this logically, and go through a bit of a thought experiment together. Please point out where I am making mistakes in logic, or where I am making erroneous, or unreasonable extrapolations.

Okay, let’s start:

Epidemic rates of these diseases in the Industrialized world means they are not genetic.

People immigrating from non-industrialized countries; adopt the same rates of disease here; at least by their second generations. This means it is environmental; that should be perfectly, 100% clear. Therefore, it is probably one or more toxins in food and /or water we all consume.

The exponential rate of increase of Alzheimer’s disease in the USA.

ALZExp

There is something else critically important to be observed from the Alzheimer’s charts shown above. That is the age of onset is moving to the left on the timeline. Alzheimer’s in people less than 50 years of age was almost unheard of just a few generations ago. Now, in Canada, we have something like 50,000 people with early onset. Alarming as that new early onset may sound; that is not what I am pointing out. This shift to the left on the timeline tells more. This is clearly telling us that not only is Alzheimer’s an environmentally induced disease; but one that is related to exposure time! The more exposure, the younger the onset is possible. This means there is really nothing preventing this disease from happening to people in their 40’s, or 30’s etc. The same applies to the autoimmune diseases.

AutoImmuneExp

Big regional differences in these disease rates means the toxin is not being uniformly consumed. There is zero chance that this is not environmentally caused.

The dramatic increase in these disease rates started in around the 1970s. Therefore, more of the toxin(s) started to be introduced and/or consumed in the 70s and 80s.

These are not modern day diseases; though the epidemic rates are. Therefore, it is not a modern day toxin(s).

There is clearly a time delay (usually in decades) between consumption, and disease onset. Therefore; it is not a toxin at low doses.  The body therefore must be able to deal with a certain amount of this toxin; yet it probably accumulates. Therefore, additionally and oddly, the accumulated amount is not toxic.

The autoimmune diseases affect children and adults; therefore, they are not diseases that result from aging. However, for most adults, once acquired the diseases are chronic (usually remainder of life). Therefore, there is a tipping point or threshold to the level of toxin(s) the body can deal with.

These diseases are very widespread in the industrialized world; there is no geographic region in North America that is immune from these diseases. Therefore this toxin(s) must be very widespread, and very common in the food and/or water we all consume.  This is also supported by the fact that very few adults spontaneously fully cure from the disease; meaning that almost no one randomly stops consuming this toxin(s).

The incidence rates are higher in North America along the Atlantic Coast. Therefore, there must be more of this toxin consumed in this region. Other countries, such as the Scandinavian countries,  with high rates of saltwater fish consumption have high rates for these diseases too. Therefore, this toxin could likely be found in fish. The two most unanimously cited other trigger foods are milk, and tomatoes. Therefore, this toxin should be found in these two foods too.

Women get these diseases more than men, therefore, they are either consuming more of this toxin, or have a lower threshold for reaching a tipping point.

What is the Immune System telling us?

Nearly everyone in the medical community tells us; and 10’s of millions of people know first hand, that these are triggered autoimmune diseases. Let’s set-aside the apparent oxymoron for now, and note that the most commonly cited triggers are food.

Next; we need to know what functions the immune system provides us.  It protects us from viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and toxins. We know with a high degree of certainty that autoimmune diseases are not caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites.  So, that leaves us with toxins, or the medically accepted view that immune system has somehow become defective.  But, the flare-up nature of these diseases clearly indicates that it is not a permanently defective immune system.  It is almost randomly defective. Additionally, it is most actively defective when we eat trigger foods, and / or in the winter months.  So, it is highly likely that the immune system is actually responding to a toxin; or somehow the defective immune system now knows how to tell the weather.

There are something like 10 million kids with eczema in North America. Although most cases are mild; it is indeed this same autoimmune disease. Is not this in itself very strange? Why do so many kids have an autoimmune disease?

But, magically, most kids “grow out of it”. So, they have a defective immune system for a while, and then it self corrects? Or, more logically, their bodies are able to adapt to, or outpace the consumption of the toxin.  But, we know that they are probably not adapting, because for a quite a few of these kids their eczema returns in their 20s, or later in life.

So, I think that the immune system is telling us that we are still looking for a toxin, and most likely one found in food, and weirdly one that is more active, or consumed more, in the winter. Even more strangely, one that only kids routinely grow out of.

The autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s, Colitis, Lupus, Arthritis, and Eczema all involve the skin either as a secondary or primary symptom. Therefore, this toxin must be documented to affect the skin in the exact same manner.

The combined documented symptoms for these diseases is something like:

  • Abdominal pain, cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diminished appetite and weight loss
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Skin lesions, peeling, nodules
  • Swollen lips with fissures
  • Eye inflammation, blurred vision
  • Joint inflammation and pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Bone pain
  • Osteoporosis; spontaneous bone fractures
  • Mental Dullness, confusion
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Liver issues
  • Kidney issues

Therefore, the toxin(s) we are looking for should be documented to produce all of these very same symptoms and it must be very widely consumed. That is one hell of a list to match.

Yet, amazingly, there is such a toxin, and it is in nearly all of our foods. It is Vitamin A. It is also essential, and harmless at low doses. It also has a threshold, or tipping point when it becomes toxic. The normal function of the human body is to store and accumulate this substance. It is also high in certain fish. It is also added to all low fat milk, dairy, and margarine, and this policy started in the 1970s. More importantly, the fish oil craze started around the mid 1990s. Consumption of fish oils is exponential in growth in North America.

Omega3Imports

Why have we done this?  Have we now become like Finland in our consumption of fish oils? Is this really good for us? How much of this Omega 3 is from fish or krill oil? Has its vitamin A content been removed prior to packaging? I don’t know.

Health experts commonly tell people that oily fish have more health benefits than white fish. However, their recommendations have never been compellingly proven scientifically in large population studies.

source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/40253.php

The FDA limits the maximum amount of Vitamin A in multivitamins to 1000 IU??. This is to lower the risk of people accumulating too much of it. Could all this Omega 3 oil be another highly concentrated source of vitamin A that has snuck under the FDA’s vitamin A radar so to speak?

Countries with low vitamin A consumption, or have a vitamin A deficiency, have incredibly low rates of these diseases compared to North America.

If I am right about this; and nothing changes, then we as a society are in very big trouble. The doubling rates we now see for these autoimmune diseases are nothing yet. The doubling rates are not going to be linear.

The body’s absorption rate for retinol is going to follow an exponential decline curve; since it is going to be proportional to remaining storage.

Mathematically speaking; it is therefore going to be exponential, and not linear growth rates in these diseases. The vitamin A consumption rates are zooming too. Therefore, we are headed for a national disaster. It is going to be far more than doubling of rates over the next 10-20 years. It is more likely going to be 4x, and then 8x, etc. every 10, or 20 years.

What are we waiting for? We now have something like 30 or 60 million people with an autoimmune disease in North America. In 20 years, this will cripple our economy; in addition to the horrible pain and suffering. We have to solve this.

As I’ve stated above, this is also not just about Crohn’s and Eczema. I think it is about Alzheimer’s, and quite likely Lupus, Arthritis, Rosacea and probably Psoriasis too. I hope we can add Fatty Liver disease, and some forms of Kidney disease to this list too.

Summary

If the evidence I’ve presented here, and what is in the referenced studies is not enough to convince people that this is at least possible. No problem.

It is almost trivial to prove, or disprove, all of this.  We just need a few people with Eczema, and Crohn’s to adopt a zero vitamin A diet for 4 weeks; as a starting point. I believe the same is going to apply to Dementia / Alzheimer’s sufferers too.

The results will be stunningly clear to them. More immediately, people with these diseases just need to reevaluate themselves in the context of the wider list of symptoms documented for vitamin A toxicity. I think they will see the connection.

Of course, I’ve gone past this just being a theory. I think I’ve proven it on myself, with my vitamin A elimination food experiment. But, it’s still early. There is no way to prove a negative; so I cannot guarantee I won’t regress again.

Therefore, I don’t want to give people false hope. I am just one person with one result. Even though the result is very positive, and very compelling; I am not 100% cured either. I am not even going to think about calling myself cured until I am completely symptom free for at least a year; or maybe two years; and my skin no longer glows under my fluoroscope.

This is complicated. It is going to take much, much longer than 4 weeks to fully detox the skin and other organs of this toxin. I have no idea how long it will take; or if it is even truly possible at all to get back into a normal state. The only scientific documentation I can find regarding this elevated adipose tissue condition simply states vaguely: “it is going to take a long time”. However, there are some documented cases of chronic vitamin A toxicity where it had taken something like 7-8 months to fully recover.

Just for the record; I’ve been on a near zero vitamin A diet for nearly four months. I am still alive, and doing quite well. I’ve not used one speck of steroid cream, or any other drug, in that time. Of course, I am now back to consuming plant based foods with small amounts of vitamin A. You can’t be on zero vitamin A consumption for an extended period of time. I think three or four months should be the outer limit.

Therefore, do your own research too. Dig through the reports I’ve cited; and all the other material you can find. See the pictures in my personal account of my food experiment; and recovery from Eczema. Read about the light sensitivity, and fluorescence of retinol and carotenoids. Read about the carotenoids being used in food coloring; and understand that beta carotene is just a double ended retinol molecule. Research the surging growth of tomato production in India and China, and the diet changes in Chile etc. etc, etc. Let the evidence speak for itself.

My only advice is to get the heck off all even slightly high sources of vitamin A; at least until we get to the bottom of this. You might want to stay out of bright sunlight too.

My vitamin A elimination diet

Throughout this document I’ve referred to my vitamin A elimination diet. This was really just started as a very long-shot type of experiment, with the only goal of maybe reducing my eczema condition.  Have you ever heard of a person adopting a vitamin A elimination diet? Or a person with an autoimmune disease adopting such a diet? I’ve documented this diet, and my experiment with it, over on my eczema posting. The short version is shown below.

My vitamin A elimination diet:

  • Water
  • White or Brown Rice ( not yellow or golden! )
  • Egg Whites
  • Beef ( steak, roast, no sauces, or spices other than salt and black pepper if wanted)
  • Olive Oil ( 2 teaspoons per day )
  • Black Coffee if wanted ( no milk, no cream, no whiteners )
  • Vitamin C supplements ( recommended )
  • Cashews ( 5-10 per day, recommended)

NOTHING COOKED WITH BUTTER or COCONUT OIL. No sauces, no ketchup etc!

This is 3 meals a day, 7 days per week. Eat as much as you need to; but more is not better.

That’s it! Absolutely nothing else! No fish, fish oil, no fruits or vegetables. No cod liver oil, no omega 3/6 etc. from fish sources. No multivitamins, No coconut oil. NOTHING, Absolutely NOTHING else!. Not a single bite, not a speck, not a crumb of anything else. Yes, this is extreme. Admittedly maybe too extreme. However, until we get to the bottom of it; take no chances. If someone knows of a more sensible, and safe means of detoxing off this; I am all ears. Just to be clear, the maximum extent of my medical knowledge is putting on band aids. So, please apply your own good judgment to this.

But, here’s the kicker in all of this.  Let’s just say for argument sake that I am completely, and totally wrong about this theory of subclinical toxicity of retinol buildup.  Let’s say it is something else that I’ve removed from my diet; like sugar, or gluten. Let’s say that Vitamin A has nothing whatsoever to do with this. Flippantly, I might say who cares what it is?

What I do know with 100% certainty, that by adopting this diet I eliminated chronic fatigue and inflammation on my brain. I eliminated brain fog.  Does anyone think that sustained inflammation on the brain is a good thing?  We are not talking about resolving a case of foot fungus here.

I eliminated the inflammation on my brain in 3 weeks with a diet change. It is a completely harmless, and simple diet change that anyone should feel comfortable trying for say at least 4 – 8 weeks.

I hope that once we tip over one of these “autoimmune” diseases, the others will fall over like dominoes. Please help push the first one over. This can be done almost completely by the people suffering from these diseases; at least for the critical first stage, of just proving; or refuting this. It is a diet change we are talking about here. No drugs or medications are needed.

Please read my eczema, and other posts on this incredibly important topic. Please add more information, and evidence, pro or con of course, to this. Naturally, I am totally open to discussing this with anyone.

Thanks for reading. I hope this helps someone else.