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leap7's log

I'm 20 years old, and I've been on a low VA diet since January, so it's been about 4 months. 

I would like to say that being on a low VA diet has helped me think more clearly, lightened up my skin tone, (looking back at pictures from when I was months into a Ray Peat inspired diet, my skin had this very orange/yellow tone), and changed my nail growth. I started out the diet by mostly eating black beans, white rice, beef, chicken, lentils, apple juice, lemonade, ginger ale, peeled apples, sourdough bread, mushrooms, apple sauce, sunflower seeds and sunbutter. After the third month I started adding in celery, green beans, iceburg lettuce, occasional pineapple, grapes, berries, green tea - mostly I've been eating more vegetables. I've had a few "cheats" when I felt doubtful of the diet, or when eating out. Mostly on eggs and cheese, or spices. 

Some things that I have noticed from the diet:

Thinking clearer - because I can think clearer, I feel like my writing ability has improved. Sometimes, when I would eat dairy, I would get what I think was brain fog and not be able to concentrate on work. I also often got very sleepy and had to take a nap right away after consuming dairy. I asked Ray Peat about this and he said it might be because of the antistress effect of calcium, but I never felt this way after taking eggshell calcium... I actually just ate some string cheese, in a moment of doubting VA detox, right before writing this post. And I can feel how much more difficult it is to write and express myself... It's almost like there's a pressure in my head... and it's hard to focus on details. 

More emotional - more prone to crying. Also, as a result of being more emotional and thinking clearer, I think, I have been able to reevaluate my relationships and recognize relationships in which I don't really feel valued. Because of this, I've spoken to people close to me about things that they have done that has bothered me.... This has either led to strengthened friendships or caused me to become distant from people/realize someone is not such a great person after all. I'm also able to stand up for myself more, when I used to be someone who would always push emotions down. 

Delayed phase sleep disorder... - So when I first started the diet, my sleep patterns became quite normal for someone like me. I started sleeping around midnight and got up around 9 or 10 am I believe. This was really great for someone who would only fall asleep at 6 am and wake up around 5 pm, when allowed to sleep naturally. 

However, I've noticed that my sleep patterns have no longer stayed so ideal. I have started sleeping at 6 or 7 and getting up around 2 pm, when allowed to sleep naturally.  I want to get to a healthy sleep schedule. Is this a part of detox....?

I recently noticed a small spot of broken capillaries (I think?)that appeared on my thigh. I was a bit alarmed, but it went away/faded after a few days. 

I think, but am not sure, that the outer third of my eyebrows have filled in. My eyebrows are definitely not thick (I really wish they were) but I think there is less of a difference between the outer third and the rest of my eyebrow. 

My nails became a lot thinner. There is actually a discernable difference where the thickness of my nails just decreases. But, I don't think this is  a bad thing. I think it looks a bit healthier than the thicker parts of my nail, but not sure. Since adding in vegetables and more variety of foods I think my nails are getting a little thicker. As for toe nails, I was happy to see that it seemed like the new growth would be getting rid of an accessory nail that I have on my pinky toes. However, I'm not so sure if this is happening anymore and I guess time will tell. 

There have been periods where I have gotten extreme fatigue, and not felt motivated to do anything.... Sleeping maybe 10-12 hours a day and still taking two naps each day that were about two hours each. I think these coincided with times of PMS/menstruation and I also remember it happening after three hours of moderate exercise (not normal for me). 

Also I feel like I used to be someone who didn't really have much emotional change during PMS. But now I think I feel a definite change in motivation/energy/thoughts. 

About 3 months into the diet, there was this one really interesting time where my facial muscle (I think my right buccinator) just spasmed really hard for like maybe 10 seconds, and then it released. The spasm may have released other muscles in my face as well, because my jaw and face looked slimmer, and better after that. I think this effect only lasted that one evening, and after that I was back to normal. I have large masseters. They bulge out and give my jaw a square shape.  I distinctly remember eating sunflower seeds and apple sauce before my muscle released. I also started wearing a mouth guard before that happened. But I've never really gotten this to happen again. I do want to find out ways to get my jaw muscles to release, and hopefully permanently. I think it might have something to do with magnesium... I've started supplementing with magnesium citrate and occasional magnesium glycinate, but not consistently. I've also started using magnesium oil and taking magnesium baths, but the muscle relaxation never returned. 

Sorry if this post seems kind of crazy/rambly/tmi and long. I'd love to hear any thoughts. 

@leap7 I would be careful with fructose intake. Especially after Ray Peat diet that is really high in fructose. Fructose is good fuel ONLY when you exercise and burn a lot of glucose. If not you should stay away from juices and sugar which is 50% fructose. Apple juice has high % of fructose. I would stop drinking it. It has zero benefits. You can have fatty liver from all that fructose and have no idea.. 

Hi@leap7 Thank you for taking the time to express in detail what is happening to you. It will certainly help a lot of people now and in the future.

I think you are very lucky to have discovered  this Vitamin A problem when you are only 20. First of all it will help you avoid burdening your body with a poison that is quite difficult to eliminate. I am 68 years old and only understood the problem 6 months ago. Most of my life has been lived with a kind of handicap. When you don't know what is wrong, and you are sure something is wrong, a kind of insidious weakness permeates all your decisions and feelings.

The other good news is that it really seems that the younger you are, the faster you get rid of the problem. But I think this timeline extends to before our birth. All my brothers and sisters have the problem, and we lived in different places and circumstances from a tender age, it is clear that our mother was full of vitamin A and gave us a bad start in life.

 

About your face: the shape of the jaws and cheekbones is very dependent on vitamin K, which is lowered by too much vitamin A. So it seems normal that avoiding vitamin A will modify your face. Also this happened to me when I was on Vitamin K (MK') and I was already more than 50 years old. At 20 years of age, you are still growing, even if you do not notice it!

Crying: One of the signs I had of things going downhill was an impossibility to cry. The eyes were not dry, but I had to feelings. You have noticed something few people realize: a heart of stone, or also anhedonia, the impossibility of feeling happy, or a kind of detachment as Grant has noted, all these are a mark of  the destruction done by Vitamin A. Grant says it has gone away for him, you obviously are well on the way with your crying, I wish my heart was tender again and less detached (I am only at 5 1/2 months so there is hope yet).

The eyebrow growth is a very good sign!

Do keep us informed of your progress, please.

puddleduck, tim and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
puddleducktimrMarsh Marsh

@leap7 Detailed updates are great, thanks for sharing so many of your observations! 🙂 I relate to a lot of what you have written. 

“More emotional - more prone to crying. Also, as a result of being more emotional and thinking clearer, I think, I have been able to reevaluate my relationships and recognize relationships in which I don't really feel valued. Because of this, I've spoken to people close to me about things that they have done that has bothered me.... This has either led to strengthened friendships or caused me to become distant from people/realize someone is not such a great person after all. I'm also able to stand up for myself more, when I used to be someone who would always push emotions down.” 

^ This closely resembles my experience over the past few months. It’s pretty neat how having a bit more mental energy can improve our emotional health.

About the sleep issues—insomnia tends to come up for me more when my body is pulling out the vitamin A more heavily, and so far thiamin seems to help the most. I also take riboflavin, which might be helping also. Someone I spoke with a few months ago reported that B2 improved their sleep on the detox. So B1 and B2 could be worth looking into.

Hope you continue to see positive changes, and thanks again for your post! 😁

B1 and B2 seem to be the the deficiencies that the low vitamin A diet can bring about.  Getting the VA out uses them up quickly.

Meat and beans should help, but in the beginning supp'ing with B1 and B2 might be useful.    Allithiamine is also one to try, it gets into cells quicker then regular thiamine HCl.    A low dose Bcomplex could be helpful too.

puddleduck and r have reacted to this post.
puddleduckr
Quote from Orion on May 6, 2020, 12:19 pm

B1 and B2 seem to be the the deficiencies that the low vitamin A diet can bring about.  Getting the VA out uses them up quickly.

Meat and beans should help, but in the beginning supp'ing with B1 and B2 might be useful.    Allithiamine is also one to try, it gets into cells quicker then regular thiamine HCl.    A low dose Bcomplex could be helpful too.

I wonder if it's also the case for vit D?

Quote from Jiří on May 6, 2020, 12:22 pm
Quote from Orion on May 6, 2020, 12:19 pm

B1 and B2 seem to be the the deficiencies that the low vitamin A diet can bring about.  Getting the VA out uses them up quickly.

Meat and beans should help, but in the beginning supp'ing with B1 and B2 might be useful.    Allithiamine is also one to try, it gets into cells quicker then regular thiamine HCl.    A low dose Bcomplex could be helpful too.

I wonder if it's also the case for vit D?

 

Ya I think low vit D and K, and B12 are issues after high VA diet or accutane.

 

I’ve been wondering about biotin too. High biotin foods are often high vA & most of the main sources I was eating I have cut out/down on the low vA diet. I’ve wondered if this has been a problem for my finger nails.

Quote from JAJ on May 7, 2020, 1:47 pm

I’ve been wondering about biotin too. High biotin foods are often high vA & most of the main sources I was eating I have cut out/down on the low vA diet. I’ve wondered if this has been a problem for my finger nails.

I've started supplementing biotin and have noticed benefits from it.  Some persistent sores in my nose have healed.  They had been there for at least 18 months.  It's been a long term recurrent problem and I've been fine since adding the biotin.  I'm hoping I might see similar gut healing in time.

That’s interesting @rachel thanks as I had some sores in my nose for a while. Hadn’t thought of the biotin link. It’s so difficult separating what symptoms are caused by vA toxicity (& maybe different forms cause different problems depending on different bottlenecks) & what is caused by deficiencies (mostly B vitamins & some minerals). Within the deficiency category there are those deficiencies caused directly by vA toxicity - maybe B1 & B2 fall into this category? And those deficiencies caused directly by the vA detox diet limitations & I suspect biotin falls into this category. A complex picture. 

In the end it all amounts to the same thing - getting rid of excess vA & returning to a more normal diet (obviously never again a high vA one!) but while going through the process it is useful to know how to address irritating symptoms that we don’t really need to suffer with.