I’ve now reached the eight-year point on my ultra-low vitamin A diet experiment. Surprisingly, even after eight years I’m still seeing small incremental improvements in my overall health and well-being. But, much like with last year’s annual update I don’t have any major health improvements to report this year. So, on one hand, not much has changed for me. But, on the other hand, I do feel that I’ve turned a bit of a corner this year and my health is feeling really good. It’s hard to describe, but I’m just feeling more alive. Without a doubt my health is now the best it has been in decades. Contrary to what’s normal, as I’m getting older my health is still slowly improving. It’s also now clear to me that I was being adversely affected by vA toxicity since my mid 20s.
So, how long does it really take to fully recover from vA poisoning? Oh, it’s about say 3 to 5 to 10 years depending on your own personal situation.
One of the hallmarks of vA deficiency is xerophthalmia leading to poor vision, disintegration of the outer tissues of the eye and eventually blindness. Well, here I am eight years into a virtually 0 vA diet, and my daytime vision is now excellent. I’d rank my vision as being at least as good as it was in my 30s. I have no sign of xerophthalmia, nor any other related disease condition in the eye.
About seven or eight years ago I had reported the vascularization of the sclera that had developed in both eyes. Now, finally, after eight years, it has diminished. The vascularization is not completely gone, but it has very significantly improved.
One of the other hallmarks of vA deficiency is poor night vision or what’s been termed night blindness. I wrote about my experience with it in my 2022 Mid-Year update. After dropping the onions from my diet the condition has completely and totally resolved. My night vision is now once again excellent. If anyone wants to visit me here in Calgary we can go for a nice walk at night in the dark.
Body Weight and Strength
Last year I had reported that I felt I was still about 2-3 kg or 5 lbs overweight. Well, with no additional effort at all, I’ve lost 4 lbs this year. For the first time in my life I can see my abs.
I’ve been really busy with work, and some major home projects so I’ve not been able to exercise on a regular basis. I only exercise about once a week, if I’m lucky. Yet I’ve been able to at least maintain my strength in lifting weights. My single rep max on the bench press is 265 lbs. Although that’s nothing too exceptional for a 160 lb guy, that’s the heaviest I’ve lifted in my life. Now at age 62 I’m stronger than what I was at age 22.
Reversal of Colour Blindness
In a previous update I reported that some of the colours I was seeing were generally getting much brighter. It first started with yellows. Before I started on this experiment a yellow taxi cab, or a yellow traffic light, appeared to be a dull yellow to me. Now they are much brighter. They now appear almost a fluorescent yellow. Then, the same change slowly occurred with greens, and reds. What I didn’t appreciate was what I was really experiencing was the reversal of partial colour blindness.
About nine years ago I had a painter redo the trim around some interior doors in my house. When he painted the trim he told me that the colour match with the doors had turned out rather poorly and that he’d have to redo them. But, unlike him, I could not at all see the difference between the two colours. To me they were both the same off-white. So, I told him that since I can’t see the difference between them that he could just leave it as is. Well, now nine years later I can easily and clearly see the difference.
Could it be that my eyes are finally clearing the lifetime accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium?
Sparrow JR, Duncker T. Fundus Autofluorescence and RPE Lipofuscin in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. J Clin Med. 2014;3(4):1302-1321. doi:10.3390/jcm3041302
A few other people on my forum have also reported reversing their colour blindness. So, this is not just a one-off anomaly. I think this is a really interesting finding since millions of people have partial colour blindness.
Reversal of Varicose Veins
About 10 years ago I noticed that I was developing varicose veins down around my ankles. They didn’t bother me, and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it, so I ignored it. Well, today, those same varicose veins have completely recovered. That’s another nice long-term win for the low vA diet.
As with last year’s update my dental health is excellent. My teeth and gums are feeling really strong and solid. My teeth are also smoother, cleaner, and I think whiter too. Somehow I still haven’t developed scurvy.
Before starting this experiment I had a lot of pain in my knees and general joint stiffness. The pain in the knees was moderate but chronic. Fortunately, It was also one of the first issues that I fully recovered from and it has never regressed. Anyways, 10 years ago kneeling down on a hard floor was just unthinkable. Now, I can kneel down on a concrete floor without pain.
An Urgent Need to Pee
Okay, this section is not directly related to my vitamin A elimination diet. Rather, it is about an inadvertent side-effect of it. Last year I started to develop an urgent need to pee. It’s a good thing I was working from home with ready access to the washroom. A few weeks before that condition showed up I had started drinking coffee again. I had no big reason for adding the coffee back into my diet, other than I liked the extra jump start it gave to my morning routine. I was at the same time still taking in quite a bit of salt with my 2-3 meals a day of my rice and beans soup. The combination of these two strong diuretics turned out to be too much for me. So, once again, I completely stopped the coffee and also cut way back on the salt. Now I have maybe a small pinch of salt per day. Anyways, within 4 days those two changes completely solved the problem of having an urgent need to pee.
My sleep quality remains excellent. I dream every night. But, the intensity of the dreaming changes a bit from month to month.
Blood Lettings and Other Miraculous Cures
I continue to make regular blood donations and I’m now on my 28th donation. I have a preference for making plasma rather than whole blood donations. That’s mostly because I can make plasma donations more often and it also better matches my goals. However, I do mix it up from time to time. Although, I do think that these blood/plasma donations are helpful I can’t say I notice any effect from them. Except, I do think they would offset any trace amounts of vA I may still take in from my diet. Of course, there is the public benefit of making blood donations. There’s been a large increase this year in the need for blood and plasma products here in Canada so I’m making my small contribution.
Okay, what about the other miraculous cures? Sorry, there are none that I know of. So, for now, I think time is one of the biggest factors in recovering from vA toxicity. Given enough time the body is hopefully able to heal itself. That in itself is a miraculous process.
Sorry, I have no labs to report this year
A few months ago my doctor’s office sent out a notice that they are overwhelmed and are triaging patients on a most urgent care needed basis. That news wasn’t a big surprise because the same phenomenon is being reported all across the country. For some mysterious, and completely inexplicable, reason there’s been a huge increase in all kinds of serious health issues, and in all age groups too. It includes depression, anxiety, heart attacks and strokes in young adults, partial paralysis, cancers, all kinds of new viral infections, and on and on.
Oh, gee, I wonder what it could be that caused it? Was there some new and nearly universal environmental factor introduced (forced on us) last year?
I mean, seriously, even a child could figure it out. Of course, the medical establishment will never admit it.
Anyways, given that situation and the trouble I had last year in getting basic labs, and being one of the unwashed (unvaccinated) folks, I felt it wasn’t even worth trying to get some more lab work done this year. The only numbers I can provide are for my blood pressure. Three years ago it was usually about 110/70. Now it’s down to 100/60 and my resting heart rate is consistently ~ 50 bpm. That’s another nice long-term win for the low vA diet.
The Black Swan Rule of Science
It’s time to invoke the “Black Swan Rule of Science” on the ancient vA theory. I think many people probably know the “There are no Black Swans” analogy. But, for those that have not heard about it, in a nutshell, it goes like this:
Let’s say the currently accepted, and long established, science states that all swans are white. Or, just that the experts say “Swans are white”, and therefore it’s a fact. Okay, fine. We can somewhat provisionally accept that statement. But, then one day someone travels to some far away land, and lo and behold they see a black swan and they take pictures of it. That’s it. At that moment the accepted and long established science stating that all swans are white is now trash. The point is that you don’t need to find 1,000 black (or pink etc) swans to demolish the prior science. You only needed one. You also don’t need big complicated studies, and you don’t need to dissect the black swans to prove it. No, it’s done, and just with that one case the previously established scientific fact is completely toast.
So too is it with the crusty 100 year old vitamin A theory. It is now toast, trash, and junk science. I’m a human and I’ve had virtually no vA in my diet for eight years. But, the well established science on vA claims that by year 4 or 5 with no vA people will get horribly sick, have their eyes and skin disintegrate etc., then they’ll go blind and likely die soon after. Well, nope, sorry, it hasn’t happened in eight years; and it won’t happen in the next eight years either. Of course, I’m not alone. There are quite a few people on muscle meat only carnivore diets (very-low vA) diets who are at or beyond the ten-year point and are in excellent health.
Retinol, retinoic acid etc, are not a “vitamin”. Rather clearly they are a poison, and nothing but a poison. If you don’t like that statement, too bad, it is now just a fact. If you can’t accept that fact then I think you should go for a long quiet walk and THINK about it. Just really, really think about it.
What’s next for me?
I’ve not been very active on the vitamin A topic this year. That’s not because I’ve lost interest in it. It’s mostly because I’ve been too busy with my day job and some big home projects. With those projects now wrapping up, I hope to get back into the vitamin A topic more this fall. One thing we’ve talked about before was to officially redo the 1925 Wolback and Howe study. It’s the cornerstone study supporting the vA theory. I would really like to pull that cornerstone study out and toss it into the scientific trash pile where it belongs. But, due to the pandemic and the related bizarre cult-like pseudo science atmosphere it has promoted I felt the time just wasn’t right for it. I felt regardless of the results, and how important they could potentially be for human health, it would just be ignored. So, this year I’ll get back on it and try to find a university to conduct this study.
I’ll definitely continue with my ultra-low vA diet for at least the next two years. I want to eventually get a vA lab test that reports 0.0 µmol/L, or whatever amount is below the detection limits of the test. Beyond that, I will very likely continue with my ultra-low vA diet for the rest of my life too. After all, this highly toxic vitamin imposter very nearly killed me. Therefore, I think it would be almost insane to reintroduce any foods in my diet with anything more than trace amounts of vA.
Thank you for your continued interest and participation in this investigation.