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puddleduck’s progress (CFS symptoms)

Quote from Guest on January 5, 2019, 10:27 am

Hi puddleduck,

The use of lemon juice as a source of vitamin C might be negatively affecting your progress. Because there was a study from 1963, titled:

The Effects of Vitamin A and Citral on Epithelial Differentiation in vitro. The Chick Tracheal Epithelium.

By Margaret Aydelotte

My interpretation of it was that citral was possibly acting as a surfactant and thereby making the effects of vitamin A more acute?

Also, there is some evidence that citral might lead to greater levels of retinaldehyde, and the aldehydes are documented to cause headaches and are the downstream metabolite of alcohol detoxification ( and thought to be a substance that causes hangovers).


Do you think that would apply to a commercial lemonade as well?

@bella No way, a fellow MMer! 😄 We must’ve been on the Your Eatopia Forums at the same time then, how neat! I also ate a lot of dairy on MM, specifically high-fat ice cream (that was 1/3 of my diet for the first months). I’m 29 years old, which is hard for me to believe sometimes since my memory of some of the worst years of my illness is quite foggy.

Yeah, some of the negative symptoms people were developing on MM seem to be explained by VA toxicity, which is the reason I initially decided to read ETFOH. It’s wonderful you’ve seen positive changes from making this dietary adjustment!

@doublecapricorn Thank you. 🙂 I hope this works for you, as well!

@hillcountry John, thank you for the information about photobiomodulation—sounds so wild! I’d never heard about it before your post, and all I know about it now is what you’ve written here and a bit from the NovoThor videos and website, so you may find it hard to believe that as I type this my parents are driving to a clinic to try out a NovoThor pod because of your recommendation.

What are the odds we’d have one in our small city? When I told my mom to about it, she immediately called the clinic and booked sessions for herself and my father this very afternoon. (My mom is a spontaneous and enthusiastic person haha. 🤣) My dad has celiac disease, as well as chronic pain and arthritis. I will report back with their results once they’ve done the suggested number of sessions.

What you’ve written about structured water sounds unbelievably miraculous, but you’ve gotten me curious so I’ll watch the clip and read more. I don’t have any medical training (haven’t even taken any university level science courses either) so it might be hard for me to understand, but if this infrared light treatment works I’d be so curious to know how! Thanks again for sharing this information, John, and I wish you sucess with your direct-from-manufacturer infrared booth. Will be looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!

@guest Oh dang! 😆 Well, it seems like lemon oil is is something to avoid then, for reasons beyond it’s phototoxicity. I wonder if there’s a lot of citral in the lemon juice itself though, or if it’s morso found in the oil/peel? I will stop putting lemon peel into the glass, for sure, and try to find out how much citral is actually in the flesh of the lemon... Thanks for sharing this with me, guest!

Quote from Guest on January 5, 2019, 9:31 am

Hi Guest - yes, it's Shenzhen SungrowLED Technology Co., Ltd

The site is sgrowled.com

My brother has their 900 Watt unit. He likes it. I'm probably going with the 1,000 Watt since it's a tad longer, almost 3 feet total.

These don't "gang" like Joovv panels, with one power source flowing through multiple units - basically in series. And they don't have a timer. But the price for those conveniences is quite high.

I've had rapid response to questions from Abby Lu - sales5@sgrowled.com

I don't like the rigamarole of Alibaba, so I contacted her directly and verified they take PayPal payments, which I prefer.

I think my brother got his within 10 days, not bad at all.

She did mention that orders above $800 face a tariff, but I've yet to clarify what that percentage added actually is.


This following PubMed review by Michael Hamblin has some amazing stuff in it.

Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders


This paragraph grabbed my attention.

It is quite clear that there must be some other type of photoacceptor, in addition to CCO, as is clearly demonstrated by the fact that wavelengths substantially longer than the red/NIR wavelengths discussed above, can also produce beneficial effects is some biological scenarios. Wavelengths such as 980 nm [14], [15], 1064 nm laser [16], and 1072 nm LED [17], and even broad band IR light [18] have all been reported to carry out PBM type effects. Although the photoacceptor for these wavelengths has by no means been conclusively identified, the leading hypothesis is that it is primarily water (perhaps nanostructured water) located in heat or light sensitive ion channels. Clear changes in intracellular calcium can be observed, that could be explained by light-mediated opening of calcium ion channels, such as members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) super-family [19]. TRP describes a large family of ion channels typified by TRPV1, recently identified as the biological receptor for capsaicin (the active ingredient in hot chili peppers) [20]. The biological roles of TRP channels are multifarious, but many TRP channels are involved in heat sensing and thermoregulation [21].

The thing that jumped out was the references to structured water AND a capsaicin receptor. It's a long story but suffice to say, there's a "structured", Catalyst Altered Water product called Willard Water that heals 3rd degree burns without pain, blister or scar. Nobody believes it until they see it or experience it. Harry Reasoner interviewed Doc Willard for 60 Minutes back in 1980 and got live video of a welder who had accidentally melted his polyesther pants to his inner thighs. This guy treated himself with bathtubs of diluted Willard Water. Harry Reasoner came back with his film crew awhile later and video'd this guys healed skin. You can see this 60 Minutes program on YouTube. I've had similar results with an 800 degree burn on my forearm due to sizzling it on an exhaust stack of a dump truck that was running with no mufflers.

Anyway, there was an interview that Mercola did with the guy involved in NovoThor and LumiThera - one James Carroll. He said in passing that NIR therapy was healing burns with no pain. So, I'm thinking the Willard Water effect is in play somehow. The main pathway identified for 850nm wavelength LED light is the Cytochrome C Oxidase releasing Nitric Oxide as I understand it so far. So that can explain many effects of NIR therapy. But it sounds like one of these other wavelengths is doing something different. Just knowing that the process of ATP production, resulting from mitochondrial stimulation due to NIR light, produces water as a byproduct, makes ya think that water might be "structured" and doing the same thing from the inside that old Doc Willard speculated his discovery was doing to nerve tissue from the outside - which was turning off the pain receptor (maybe the heat receptor?) so the body wouldn't respond with a massive inflammatory reaction, and thus allow the burned tissue to heal, one cell layer at a time. Doc called it "healing by first intention".

Who knows, the Capsaicin receptor part of it may fit with Grant's discoveries somehow too. Remember him talking about Hillary Clinton eating really hot peppers every day? And I've been lately wondering about the "burn" of Retinoic Acid and how is that any different than other kinds of burns from various heat sources. I have a friend in her 70's who just went to Florida for the winter and had shingles break out around her midriff - big blisters and all. Hit her threshold of Retinol? Triggered repositories in the skin tissues by exposure to sunlight? Sent her to Grant's site to get up to speed on the subject.

Anyway, hope you have great results if you pursue the NIR therapy. I'll check in occasionally with updates once I'm doing daily sessions. From what I've seen and heard, it takes awhile but the effects are cumulative, as long as you get rid of the source of the inflammation, which we're well aware of due to Grant's ground-breaking work. Thanks again, buddy!!



I think i'm going to try and get a 1000W or 900W one. I've been wanting to get a joovv, but they're super pricey. I only have a 25W 660 nm bulb i use currently, not even close to these large panels.

also @puddleduck, thanks for the great write up!

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I tried red light therapy about 3 or 4 years ago, well before I knew about vA toxicity probably being the root cause of my health problems.  After a few days, my insomnia got worse.  I also had some weird skin type things happen - a big boil or cyst on my gums, one on my leg or arm and I think I got a big pimple.   I stopped and haven't tried since.

Quote from John Fry on January 5, 2019, 9:38 am

Ooops, forgot to login on those two responses above.

Hi John, the information you have provided is very interesting, would you like to start an IR/NIR thread and update there? It would be helpful to have the information collected in one place. If it is not too much of a trouble 🙂

I did IR sauna a few times one week a few years back, when I was the sickest and thought I had CFS. I did not sweat. My brother and mom was soaked after 10 minutes and I was in there for 40 and not a drop on me. I think I had set the temp at 45 or 50 celsius. My brother also mentioned the towel he wiped his sweat with smelled way worse than any sweaty towel he'd ever used before. We had a regular sauna as well at that place and sweat did not smell the same. We tested. And no I barely broke a sweat in there either..

Sorry for hijacking your thread puddleduck 🙂 i have had same/similar symptoms as you, including the bipolar ones. I don't anymore, but it was not vit A diet who made me normal again because this was prior to that. However I believe vit A poisoning was the cause. Therefore I believe you too can beat this with time. I know what a shithole it is to be in and I will follow your journey cheering you on!!

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Hello Puddleduck,

Thank you for the very kind comments, and for being so brave.

Are you including some salt in your diet? I think salts are important for the development of bile.

Thanks again, and I hope your CFS lifts soon.



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Hi Liz, - Good idea! I'll get that done. Cool story, glad you're better!

Hey Pano200, - I'll let you know how the shipping and PayPal goes. I'll be ordering in the next few days. I wouldn't mind building a few of these 3-sided booths for family members. Rack up some data and anecdotes and maybe offer an order-the-panels and do-the-set-up service as a part-time business thing. I had a small Garden Tower organic gardening business in Austin a few years ago, that's the one with a worm-composting tube down the middle, and even though it was break-even, it was such a blast meeting all the organic folks from Boerne to Georgetown and San Marcos to Lakeway. I think this service-idea would be like that was.

@puddleduck - that's just too cool. It's down to one-degree of separation these days! The odds are actually quite small when you look at the NovoThor global map. There's not many in the USA and most of those are owned by individuals and sports teams. There's only one in Michigan owned by the Detroit Lions. Anyway, you know you're on the right track when synchronicity keeps popping up, eh? There's some good testimonial videos from Texas Laser Therapy in New Braunfels I've watched. They're easy to find using that name. The woman who runs ATP Therapy has some good ones too. Can't recall where she's at.

@Guest - I had a bit of an overdose using the small Joovv panel. I think I held it too close for too long. Most of the studies say a little bit at a time is better. It can be pretty stimulating. I've only done 3 sessions in a NovoThor, so I don't have more than a casual experience there. The woman who owns the clinic in Avon, Ohio says most of her customers really start feeling it in 5 - 10 sessions and she had some neat cases of good progress to report.

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@Guest at January 5, 2019, 10:27

I found a pdf of the study you posted and went over it for a couple hours today.

While checking for info on Citral, I ran across a chemistry site of the University of Liverpool.


After a stereoscopic rendering of the industrial synthesis of Citral via heat, they say this:

"Citral is a compound which can be used in the synthesis of vitamin A. This industrial synthesis is made up of two different [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangements done in sequence."

How's that for interesting? I'm not too adept at molecular forms and transformations, but I'd imagine they must be pretty similar. And we thought Retinoic Acid was Vitamin A's evil twin.

It took a bit of attention (and taking notes) to keep track of the twists and turns in that paper, but if I were to summarize what I think is going on there, it's that since she accepted retinol as a necessary molecule for cellular biology, she didn't have a clue in 1963, that she was actually studying the interaction of two antagonistic poisons, one promoting excessive mitosis and ciliated cells, the other, keratinization and mucous-forming cells; and each suppressing the effects of the other based on the ratio applied in vitro and in vivo. I might have the keratinization and mitosis mixed-up, but it's late. What really struck me was that she didn't ask the obvious question of why on the mucous and keratinization. It had to have crossed her mind that the tissue was trying to protect itself via thickening the outer layers, as well as creating mucous, prior to an attempt to expel the toxin. A quick search on vacuolization shows that it can be a response to a poison, and she found mucous cells vacuolated -  


Near the edge of the explant, no cilia developed, but the epithelium was composed of cuboidal mucous cells above two or three layers of low cuboidal cells. At the extreme edge of the culture, the superficial layer of cuboidal mucous cells was becoming vacuolated and being sloughed, leaving a thick, stratified, squamous and keratinizing epithelium underneath (Plate 4, Fig. K).

That sounds a lot like what Grant describes as the eczema process.

Thanks for the heads-up on that study.



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@Guest#14 Scary symptoms!! I would’ve stoped, too.

@liz How interesting about sweat smelling differently after the IR versus regular sauna! Strange stuff.

I was sorry to hear that you’ve also dealt with bipolar symptoms, among others. I’d forgotten about this until reading YH’s thread asking about birth order, but a woman I used to be acquainted with apparently recovered from bipolar disorder after having her first child. Perhaps that was enough to detox vitamin A to a less harmful level? I have no idea, but I hope more study is done on the bipolar connection someday. 

I’m rooting for you as well, Liz! 🙂 It’ll be exciting if our individual “case studies” have positive outcomes.

@ggeneroux2014 Thank you, Grant! 🙂 I tend to have a high appetite for salt and use it liberally, but I’m glad you mentioned it because I wasn’t adding any to my rice and porridge. I’ve now been doing that, so thanks for the tip. 

@hillcountry My husband’s city, which is a larger centre than where I live currently, doesn’t have a NovoThor pod clinic—so as you said, it seems improbable we’d have one! The owner of the pod here says it was a two-hundred thousand dollar investment, which seems pretty darn steep for something like that (from my quick internet search, regular tanning beds are usually under ten-thousand), but I expect once demand increases, more companies will produce them. I love your idea of assembling your own version as a business. I will follow your new thread with interest!

Month Two Update 

I hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

Its been a somewhat rough month for me, but I’m not discouraged yet! I caught a virus a few weeks ago, but I believe I’ve been experiencing detox/retracing symptoms as well.

There were four miserable months of “healing symptoms” on Minnie Maud before I started to feel better, so I kind of expected this would be difficult as well. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as MM so far, though. (On MM there was painful oedema, and I was bed ridden, neither of which is the case now!) So I’m feeling optimistic, despite the recurrent brain fog. 

This month, my average vitamin A intake has been just under 20 IU daily. Here are the changes I’ve noticed.


-Gums Healing (I’ve had some inflamed red areas on my gums for a couple of years, which are fading to a normal colour.)

-Deeper Sleep (Vivid dreams occur regularly.)

-Increase in Appetite (I’m enjoying/craving even the fairly bland legume-based meals, which honestly has surprised me a bit, haha. It was a bit of a struggle to meet my caloric goals during the first month of the diet, but it has gotten much easier, especially over the last two weeks.)

New Negative Symptoms (Detox?):

-Mild Acne (Have it on face and back again. My face had been clear for years prior to VA detox. This is definitely related to the next problem on the list.)

-Worsened Hormonal Imbalance (Basically PCOS symptoms in full force, including hirsutism, which means chin hairs I didn’t have before lol! I’ve never been diagnosed with PCOS. The same symptoms occur in people with anorexia fairly often, and I figured they’d eventually go away, as there’s improvement when I’m consistently eating enough calories. But anyway, there’s some research connecting PCOS and vitamin A, so that’s why I’ve elaborated on these symptoms. I’ll make another thread about that, though.)

-Red and Flaking Skin on Hands (I usually have this in wintertime, but it’s gotten a bit worse.)

-Bowl Irritation/Pain (It feels as though I keep getting food poisoning or something, which isn’t the case. I wonder if it’s the vitamin A leaving the system?)

-Pain at Old Injury Sites (I was surprised when I noticed this was happening.)

-Emotional Swings (Have felt patterns of old and unpleasant mind states come to visit, which is something I was prepared for, frankly. Luckily, they haven’t been horrifically awful. Just not fun, and not always recognized for what they were until after they’ve lessened.)

Dietary Changes:

-Lemonade is out, daily ginger iced herbal tea (ground ginger and sugar) with added vitamin C powder is in, at least for now (vitamin C has been at about 500 mg).

-Oatmeal and sun-dried raisins with sunflower seeds and flaxseed are on rotation for breakfast.

-Olives were being included for a while, but I wondered if they might contain hidden vitamin A, so I cut back on those.

Troubleshooting: Fat Intake Adjustment

My dietary fat intake has been lower than it was on my unrestricted diet (prior to low VA, I’d eat 1/8 to 1/3 cup of butter daily, along with many other high-fat foods like chocolate, chips, half ‘n half cream, cheese, and nuts). For the first while, I was limiting added oils, but now have decided I need to increase my intake for two reasons.

1) The only vitamin A-containing foods I’ve craved thus far have been high fat foods ( butter and brie, specifically). 😋

2) My brain’s white matter situation might not be the best. From what little I understand, there’s a connection between a few illnesses (depression, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s) and damaged/reduced white matter in the brain. Anorexia causes the body to catabolize myelin sheath apparently, and perhaps vitamin A toxicity contributes to white matter destruction as well (I’ll do another post on that, even though I don’t know how it does so 😝). The myelin sheath is made of mostly lipids.


That’s another reason I’m not discouraged at this point—I doubt this damage repairs itself instantly, eh? (Two months isn’t that long.)

It’s also so encouraging to read these forums! I haven’t responded to many threads this month, but I’ve been reading along and appreciating everyone’s questions and ideas and updates. 🙂

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And that last post was obviously from me... Forgot to log in. 😝