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Grant's new Diabetes Blog Post

@rachel I think that most people who have type 2 diabetes have still low vit A diet.. They eat mostly low quality foods where the majority of calories comes from flour, sugar or some type of glucose/fructose syrups and refined vegetable oils.. They don't eat much vegetables, fruits high in vit A let alone animal sources like liver... So I think this "I see vit A behind every health issue there is" thinking is irrational. But I agree with you. I would say it is more related for people who are "trying to eat healthy" like us.. Not obese people with diabetes eating donuts, chips and coca cola...

@tim-2 great answer, and I agree, it is important to play the devil’s advocate:) I suspected you were doing this, but I was not sure, since you said it so strongly that it has not gone up. Personally, I’m not sure the reasoning provided in this thread that it has not gone up is sufficient evidence for this fact, and I recognize that the same is true for my own naive reasoning, so it would be interesting to see what Grant says about it 🙂

N=1

Vitamin A toxicity made me fat. I was always a slim girl & younger adult. 

When I became very toxic in summer 2018 my fasting blood sugar shot up. (It was a coincidence that I was doing a blood sugar experiment that coincided with me poisoning myself with vA supplements). 

My other very vA toxic time 2013-14 was when I was taking an SSRI & got stiff finger joints & decided to supplement with high strength cod liver oil (good plan - not). Put on a shed load of weight. Didn’t feel great. Thought it was the SSRI but probably the combination. Too much vA  in & not enough vA out. Don’t know my blood sugar level from this time. 

I also think that another thing that has changed is STRESS. I think that this has a massive effect on many things including vA metabolism. At the most basic level when we are in flight or fight our liver detoxification doesn’t work optimally. Many mechanisms going on. 

Therefore in conclusion for my N=1 vitamin A toxicity correlates with a move into prediabetes. I increased intake & decreased metabolism so I can’t separate these two factors. I think it’s probably a combination for everyone. A simple equation. We’ve definitely made it much harder to metabolise vitamin A & get it out of the body.

My 2 plans for improved health are reduce stress & reduce vA. I think that these are interlinked & fundamentals. Reducing vA includes reducing sugar, alcohol & increasing fibre. 

 

Quote from Arena on August 5, 2020, 1:31 am

@tim-2 great answer, and I agree, it is important to play the devil’s advocate:) I suspected you were doing this, but I was not sure, since you said it so strongly that it has not gone up. Personally, I’m not sure the reasoning provided in this thread that it has not gone up is sufficient evidence for this fact, and I recognize that the same is true for my own naive reasoning, so it would be interesting to see what Grant says about it 🙂

I didn’t intend to imply that vA is the ONLY driver behind the diabetes epidemic, Rather, just that it’s probably the major one. Of course, diabetes, as with so many other diseases, is multifactorial. But, clearly something has gone drastically wrong with human health. So, I was asking people to start tracking the A1C and blood glucose levels to see what happens to it on a low vA diet. Let’s see what happens in the real world.

Also, there’s no question that vA consumption has significantly gone up since the 1960s. It started going up even in the early 1950s.

In the US vA has been supplemented in low fat dairy since the 1970s, and is added to many bread flours and breakfast cereals.  In Canada, in addition to adding it to low fat dairy, we’ve fished the once great East Coast Cod fishery to near extinction, and sold the cod livers and cod liver oil to unsuspecting consumers as a “health food”. Fruits and vegetables are no longer seasonal, rather we eat them year round. Then, vA is added to sugar and MSG in many countries of South America, and SouthEast Asia. The WHO is running vA supplementation programs in ~ 100 countries, and promoting the hell out of sweet potato consumption too. 

Dr OZ is promoting red palm oil as healthy cooking oil, and telling his huge viewing audience to take a multivitamin daily. Somewhat likewise, for the WAPF and other health influencers. Hoffmann-La Roche has a big factory in China producing RA, obviously someone is consuming that product. So, there’s been a huge uptake in vA worldwide since the 1970s. 

People are not supposed to be this sick, and it is completely abnormal in our history for this many people to have chronic diseases. Something is causing it to happen. Then add in the pancreatic stem cell kill off, mitochondria damage and defective proteins vA causes, I think it’s a pretty good bet that vA is a major cause, if not the primary one, of diabetes.

But, we now have an opportunity to find out. If we get enough n=1s, it will add up.

 

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Thank you very much for chiming in!

Dr. Oz annoys me greatly. 😑 AHEM, MOVING ON—awesome post, thanks Grant! 😃 It’s super shareable, so hopefully it will inspire people with diabetes to give this a try.

I wish I had gotten a blood glucose monitor at the start of this process... All I can say anecdotally is that my PCOS symptoms (which apparently can be related to insulin issues) are reversing, and my obesity has already completely reversed at the 1.5 year mark.

In addition to depleting zinc, it’s possible vitamin A toxicity may negatively affect magnesium levels, which is a cofactor of thiamine: 

Garrett Smith on Magnesium Depletion by Vitamin A
https://nutritionrestored.com/2020/07/27/magnesium-depleted-by-vitamin-a/

Dr. Lonsdale on Thiamine and Epigenetics
https://www.hormonesmatter.com/thiamine-epigenetics-traveling-enzymes/

Elliot Overton on Diabetes and Thiamine Deficiency
https://youtu.be/m3DopqTz1Q4

 It does seem reasonable vitamin A toxicity could be the primary cause of diabetes.

Quote from Jiří on August 5, 2020, 1:17 am

@rachel I think that most people who have type 2 diabetes have still low vit A diet.. They eat mostly low quality foods where the majority of calories comes from flour, sugar or some type of glucose/fructose syrups and refined vegetable oils.. They don't eat much vegetables, fruits high in vit A let alone animal sources like liver... So I think this "I see vit A behind every health issue there is" thinking is irrational. But I agree with you. I would say it is more related for people who are "trying to eat healthy" like us.. Not obese people with diabetes eating donuts, chips and coca cola...

In America at least, the standard junk food diet contains vitamin A. Breakfast is almost always retinyl-palmitate-fortified boxed cereal and milk, sometimes with eggs and bacon and toast. Lunch usually contains dairy—a sandwich with cheese, a yogurt cup—and so does supper, which is typically cheap frozen pizza or lasagna, or an easy pasta dish involving cheese or tomato sauce, with ice cream for dessert.

Still, it is pretty telling that my health improved overall when I got obese from eating a no-vegetable, high-calorie diet containing donuts, chips, and soda after a decade of “healthy” whole food eating and strict sugar avoidance. Caloric restriction is harmful and makes it difficult for the body to detoxify itself regardless of the vitamin A intake in the diet, so there’s that factor, too.

But I still eat chips and drink sugared beverages, and have done so while reversing the warning signs of pre-diabetes. Not saying those sorts of junk foods are “good for you” (of course not—and they’re usually contaminated with glyphosate, too), but to me foods high in vitamin A seem way more dangerous.

@puddleduck even with the diet you just described it is not even close to the level of vit A you will get on something like paleo diet...

Quote from Arena on August 4, 2020, 12:19 pm

Such an interesting read!

In reference to the dogs and cancer patients that did streneous exercise post treatment and relapsed, I wonder if my training regime (I exercise every day, a lot of running and strength training) is a bad thing now. I suddenly got really bad 2 weeks ago, and I can’t figure out why...

That part stood out to me, too! Especially as periods of intense physical exertion (in sports typically) tend to be mentioned as a trigger that preceded the illness for teenagers who suddenly crash with what turns out to be CFS/ME. 

Quote from Jiří on August 5, 2020, 8:17 am

@puddleduck even with the diet you just described it is not even close to the level of vit A you will get on something like paleo diet...

Oh yeah, I agree. 👍

I think a lot about the stomachs of diabetics.  I've noticed something.

A loved one of mine is a type 1.  He is on a team of type 1's.  They are all slim. 

There is a competing team of type-2's.  They all have, at the very least, a small (what is often referred to as) a "beer gut" (even if it doesn't come from beer).  Which is a bit odd because they are ATHLETIC.  Now, I know you probably all know someone who is type 2 who doesn't have a gut, but everyone on this team does.   (I think it's actually more rare for type 2's NOT to have a gut).  I once knew an aerobics instructor with a beer gut.  You'd think that wouldn't be possible.  But I digress.

Gastric bypass surgery sometimes reverses diabetes (I hope I'm not talking anyone into this.  Please don't).  The following article said 7 out of 10.

quote "Madsen said other studies have suggested that weight loss is one factor. She added that calorie restriction and hormone changes also likely play a role.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin, director of bariatric surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., reviewed the findings.

"Patients with the best weight loss have the best resolution of type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms are much more complex than just weight loss," he said.

Roslin said change in the types of foods a person eats, and in how well the body uses insulin, along with changes in glucose (sugar) production in the liver all likely contribute to the improvement in type 2 diabetes." end quote  https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20190207/gastric-bypass-means-diabetes-remission-for-many

I knew a guy who basically became bulimic because of gastric bypass (always vomiting).  But I knew a woman who could stay on the diet and she did well.  It made me think that it was all about staying on the diet.  You don't have to get surgery to do the diet!

Here is one website's info about post-gastric-bypass diet:

quote "In general, you’ll want to choose foods that are high to moderate in protein, low in carbohydrates and moderate in good fats.

Foods with good (healthy) fats include:

  • avocados
  • salmon
  • nuts
  • sardines
  • nut butters
  • coconut oil

General guidelines include:

  • Choose lean meats.
  • Canned tuna and salmon.
  • Avoid greasy and spicy foods.
  • Avoid whole milk.
  • Eat nutrient dense foods (whole fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs).
  • Plan your meals.
  • Involve your family in healthy eating decisions.
  • Shop for healthy foods.
  • Limit or eliminate desserts.
  • Don’t tempt yourself with a pantry full of junk foods.
  • Eliminate fast food.
  • Eat out only on occasion.
  • Take quality nutritional supplements/vitamins.
  • Separate your water and food by at least 30 minutes.
  • Introduce new foods slowly.
  • Each meal should be no larger than your fist."  end quote

One idea that comes to mind is that perhaps this diet keeps you from binging VA foods.  The 8 scoop banana split.   Four ears of corn.  A whole brick of cheese.  Enough salad for a family of 4.

You know, someone this week said the words "addicted to VA foods" and it has stuck in my craw.   ARE VA foods addictive?

And it is called a "beer gut" after all.  I bet that the amounts of alcohol ingested are also smaller post-bypass because (from what I've seen) the gastric bypass stomach is delicate.  We know that alcohol moves VA around the body.

My guess is the type 2's bodies decide to create an extra- liver VA storage module right there next to the liver.    And those fat cells aren't listening to insulin any more.

My guess is that type 1's bodies decide to spread the VA around the body instead  (and they end up auto-immune).