It’s now been five years on my low vitamin A diet. My health continues to be good. However, I’ve only seen small improvements over the last year. But at least they are improvements, and my health continues to move in the right direction.

My spine has continued to straighten out more, and I am therefore standing slightly taller.

My teeth are feeling stronger, smoother, and are just more solid. My gums are in excellent health too. My teeth also remain cleaner throughout the day.

My energy levels and physical stamina remain good and slightly improved over last year. Likewise, I’m finding that I need to eat less food per day, and yet I still maintain a good energy level throughout the day. My weight has remained constant.

I’m now quite regularly sleeping through the night. That’s a huge improvement compared to five years ago where I needed to get up at least every hour. Likewise for sun exposure. Five years ago, my maximum tolerance for bright sun exposure was about 10 seconds. Anything more than that, and my skin would start to burn. I can now take 30 minutes or more, and my skin once again tans.

One other very surprising improvement over that last year is the quality of my handwriting. It has become noticeably nicer, more fluid, and stylish.

My skin, fingernails remain to be nice and smooth and my hair remains to be very soft. I’ve not gone blind, and my organs have not disintegrated. Unfortunately, the amount of vascularization in my eyes has only slightly improved over the last year. The net is that I’ve not seen any big improvements in my health over the last year. So, I think I’ve probably reached more of a steady-state condition of being in pretty good health.

Small Diet Change Experiments

I’ve only tried two small diet changes over the last year. One is that I changed out the rice for white bread (made without dairy or eggs). I tested this change for about two months. It was a sourdough bread made with non-organic white flour, so it no doubt contained glyphosate. I had no negative reaction health-wise to the white bread. But I felt that it didn’t provide quite the same long-lasting energy that I was getting from rice. Also, as I commented before that a diet of white rice and beef alone could quickly turn into gut concrete. Well, it turns out that white sourdough bread and beef alone can turn into gut concrete with a compressive strength of about 25 MPa. The black beans helped a lot in mitigating that condition. Nonetheless, I feel that white bread is just not for me. So, I’m back to the white and (occasionally) brown rice.

The other diet experiment I tried was adding Brazil nuts. In theory, these nuts should have been safe; providing zinc, selenium, vitamin E, etc. But, after about two weeks, I felt I was starting to have a bad reaction to them. Of course, that bad reaction could have been a complete coincidence too. But, stopping them also seemed to coincide with resolving the negative reaction too. The negative reaction was mostly just the development of dry skin on my outer earlobes. Obviously, this one little personal experiment is not very meaningful. So, I’m just trying to be complete in reporting what happened with my health over the last year.

My blood test for vitamin A & D

I’ve gotten another blood test for my vitamin A and D levels. The results are as shown in the report below. 

For some unexplained reason my first blood sample was rejected by the lab and I was asked to provide a second one. 

I was seriously disappointed with that 0.1 μmol/l result. It’s the same value that I had a year ago. I find it a little hard to believe that after another year maintaining a nearly zero vitamin A intake diet that my serum level wouldn’t have moved lower. Unfortunately, because of where I live, I don’t have access to another lab to get a second opinion.

Although my vitamin A research is just a side-project, I remain fully committed to it. Therefore, I will continue with my vitamin A free diet for the foreseeable future. My current plan is to keep with it for at least five more years.

Other Progress Reports

This citizen-driven research project has gained a lot more interest over the last year. With that, more people are trying this diet change and are starting to send me progress reports.

Although, I’ve received some good early progress reports, for most other people it’s a long slow crawl in recovering their health. And, as I’ve written about before, some people go into a “detox” phase and then get worse. Therefore, I think the “detox” phase could be a “more-tox” phase. I’ve discussed this phenomenon with an academic researcher. We both suspect that it is due to more retinol esters getting released from the liver. It is quite possibly due to the liver starting to normalize its size and is part of the recovery process from a fatty liver condition. Likewise, it could be due to the adipose tissues normalizing in size too. Except, and a bit oddly, going into the “detox” phase is not happening to everyone. I’d say the number of people reporting going into the “detox” phase has been around 20%. It also does not appear to be age or gender-related.

Some other general themes and patterns are showing up in the progress reports. One is that younger people are indeed recovering faster. The second one is that people are reporting that they are overcoming their anxiety, becoming more social, more outgoing, and developing a positive outlook. Some people are stating that they’re thinking more clearly, and just generally being happier too. I think related to that is that quite a few people are telling me that the quality of their sleep has improved, and they are experiencing a significant increase in dreaming and dream recall. So, it appears that one of the early improvements of being on this diet is an improvement in cognitive function.

As I stated before, for most adults, it probably took decades to build up into this condition. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect that it will take a long time to recover from it. Diet alone is clearly not a quick fix. But, if we can be happier while trying to apply that fix, then I hope it’s not so bad. 

Of course, for most people taking on this diet their goal is to improve their health. It would be great if more people can accomplish that. However, there is also the overarching goal of adding more evidence identifying the real culprit in what’s caused our chronic diseases to develop in the first place. So, I’m very grateful for all the people now participating in this investigation, and for everyone sharing information and their experiences. Thank you so much.

I also want to thank “Yi at LDT” for repeating the low vitamin A diet with his mice.