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Tackling the Detox setback by Grant Genereux

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The detox method used by Grant to improve his health has highlighted that to me that we dont need much vA at all. Some say it does, some say it doesnt. It's widely helpful to a large part of the population throughout the world suspected to have fatty livers. It's helped reversed decades of problems for me personally so I am very grateful for him doing the experiment. Excess vitamin A is at least a cause of significant health problems and aging. Grant has said not to use his restricted approach. 

I would never advise anyone to do this extremely low Vitamin A diet the way it is currently being suggested by Grant Genereux and Garrett Smith. It risks harming people. Garrett Smith is also still advising low vitamin A advising avoiding fish, eggs and dairy. At least 80% of the people I know doing this diet have suffered in some way now or previously before choline or eggs were re introduced. Yes, some benefits from removing the tip of the iceberg. But not doing liver detoxification properly has caused great harm. The people that have done best have also done a balanced varied diet. Activated charcoal is a sticking plaster in a stream that should never have been turned on so strongly in the first place. It's for heartburn at times but not meant to be taken every day for years like someone has been doing. It doesnt seem to solve any of the big problems: leakiness, gut microbiome or bile flow.

A detox does not have to be painful. The problem is being created by removing all the vitamin A right at the beginning. It's like drug withdrawal you taper off the drug or you find how to boost the person's health. Healthy people make the best detoxers. Triggering a detox in an ill person can seriously backfire. Backfire because of blocked detox pathways. Improve those first and improve bile flow before pushing detox. 

Choline and betaine are strong antidotes to the vitamin A. They are known to resolve fatty liver. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) helps mend the intestinal barrier leakiness. You dont need large amounts to resolve the vitamin A toxicity. 1, 2, 3 or 4 eggs a day acts medicinally. Choline can cope with large amounts of retinol. The retinol prick in eggs is easily coped with. You can supplement with choline but the eggs provide other nutrients like selenium, iodine, molybdenum, B vitamins and PC. Doing choline first prevents the detox setback whilst still maintaining  and dealing with vA. Once the choline is replenished (and in most the choline is likely low and/or the detox needs more) then you can begin reducing the vitamin A foods further. I'd be eliminating the highest sources plus high oxalate sources.

You'd also be looking at introducing foods that help detoxification: glucuronidation, sulfation, B1 for digestive motility (acetylcholine is part of that too), sufficient fats to help gallbladder contraction, hydration, taurine,  cholesterol production or supply through foods, electrolytes and bitter foods to stimulate bile flow.

Once you have replenished the choline you can begin increasing cruciferous vegetables and other foods with fibre like apples. There may be some benefit from a variety of fibre helping the gut microbiome, the intestinal barrier leakiness, bile flow, bile acid profile, short chain fatty acids and helping detoxification pathways. 

A bit more fat then hopefully brings bile flow to the correct level and enables the final healing of the leakiness.

There is no detox setback from a balanced varied diet with sufficient choline because the choline is sufficient to reduce intestinal barrier permeability. That's what PC does ! Oral Phosphatidylcholine Improves Intestinal Barrier Function in Drug-Induced Liver Injury in Rats (hindawi.com)

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Jennylil chickNavnHermesJavierJessica2

I'd just like to also add here that the functions of choline are many and the idea that it's sole function is to sequester poisons and VA specifically in the liver is misleading by omission. A few hours researching nutrition journals would reveal this.

So even if one does reduce VA the nutritional and metabolic need for choline (which is a B family compound) does not diminish.

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Jennypuddleducklil chickNavnHermesAndrew B

@jessica2 yes, it's likely with fatty liver or vitamin A toxicity there is already a choline deficiency. Poor bile flow could also be low choline. Cognitive problems could indicate low choline. Lack of regular bowel movements could indicate low choline (and/or low magnesium, potassium and B1). It's also the detox repairing and replacing cells which increase the need for choline (and fat in all likelihood). Why not do the choline at the start and then gradually reduce the vitamin A without triggering a huge vitamin A detox that causes the detox setback ?

I never got detox setback and I was eating 1-2 eggs a day with a balanced diet. And I've still healed countless conditions some from decades ago.  My n=1 experiment says eggs work even better at getting vA out the liver. Certainly from the symptoms resolved. How to prove it ? Liver biopsy 🙂


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I also want to make this point: I did a low to no vitamin a reduction diet for about six months. If vitamin a was the issue and poison that some people believe it is, I believe I would have experienced some health benefits but I didn't. Nothing. Nothing that couldn't be explained by the ceasing of the high omega threes I was eating in cod liver oil. I took my daughters homegrown chicken and duck eggs with orange yolks and gave them away. Going low VA for 6 months made me gain weight, and made my hair probably more thin than when I began, it also messed up my bowels so much so they're not even normal yet, gave me intense kidney/back pain, gave me disrupted sleep, and finally and ironically, it made my liver enzymes rise three times the level they were at before. I also took charcoal during this time. (And apples, and pectin and psyllium). No improvements on it to speak of. I was pretty strict for those 6 months.

Now if you've read my recent posts it's no secret that I now believe hypervitaminosis A was NOT my main issue (a main reason is cutting it out did NOTHING); BUT if you believe Vitamin A is the poison that it is, I should have experienced some health benefits but the only "benefit" I experienced was a lowering of my cholesterol. That could be explained by cutting out saturated fats not vitamin a reduction. The lowering of my blood pressure was immediately after I stopped CLO, too soon to be the results of VA reduction. I'm not a big believer in cutting out wide swaths of food (pork, fish, spices, greens, cheese and yogurt, onions and garlic...there's probably more) in the name of VA reduction anymore. In my case, it was useless and ineffective at best.

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Jennypuddleducklil chickAudreyNavnHermesAnon33PJAndrew BDonald

I agree with everything that @andrew-b and @jessica2 say. 

I cut out vA from my diet and ended up in a very nasty mess. One can call it a ‘detox setback cycle’ but I would call it ‘inducing a detox that my body couldn’t cope with, because I was low in choline and had sluggish detox pathways, the excess toxicity ruined my mitochondria, which upset my ability to recycle NAD, which slowed my ALDH enzyme even more, which led to aldehyde toxicity, which depleted B1 and B6 and other nutrients...’  - something like that anyway! 

We need to address the steps in the detox of vA BEFORE we start a detox. We need the exit route clear. We need to start at the end first...phase 3 (elimination - need acetylcholine for gut motility and also bile low in phosphatidylcholine damages the gut lining - causing leaky gut), phase 2.5 (liver to bile - need phosphatidylcholine), phase 2 (glucuronidation), phase 1 (CYP450 enzymes), ALDH, ADH...  Releasing a lot of vA into a system that can’t cope results in back-ups and toxic accumulations which induce serious deficiencies. 

Activated charcoal is a useful tool. I take some last thing before bed to bind toxins released overnight, but it’s not going to cure my choline deficiency or my B1/B6 deficiency. It’s a nice helper but it’s not the key player. 

After much experience, research and extensive conversations I must sadly conclude that the low vA diet is the wrong approach to this issue. Many other considerations must be made first. This is not to say that I think vA toxicity is incorrect. I think it’s a huge issue. VA can be so nasty that you cannot risk encouraging it out of the liver unless the exit route is cleared first. Low and slow is the only way with all the support nutrients on board. We are playing with fire here. I got burnt. 

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OrionpuddleduckRachellil chickAudreyNavnHermesJessica2Andrew B

@jessica2 Was just interested, for what health issues did you start the low Vit A diet for in the first place?

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@alexm sudden unexplained weight gain of 30 lbs put on in a month, especially around midsection where my gain pattern NEVER happened, diffuse hair loss, inability of hair to grow past shoulders, high cholesterol and blood pressure, fatigue, general achiness, inability to concentrate or focus, inability to tolerate exercise after a lifetime of using exercise for control of depression and resultant worsening depression. Since I had been mega dosing cod liver oil and using retinol face creams I thought for sure my issue was high vitamin a.

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puddleduckHermesAlexMAndrew B
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Jennypuddleducklil chickNavnAlexMJessica2Andrew B

In my opinion, there are both acute and long-term effects of VA in your system.  I would guess there might also be a "bucket" effect.  Somewhat like this:  you are on vacation and eating lots of VA foods, and drinking lots of booze and about once a week you end up on the toilet and everything must go.  Then you feel pretty good for a while until you overwhelm your system again.

It seems to me that my "bucket" was ever so slowly getting smaller as I got older and more VA toxic.   I went from having 1 migraine or chronic vomiting (considered a type of migraine) attack per year to having two per month.  Life was getting hard to bear.  But I've heard of people whose "migraine buckets" fill every DAY.

To me, those attacks were "acute".     A poisoning.  I used to say:  I feel like I've been poisoned.

Where I think, for example, my rosacea might be more of a chronic issue.

I think that it could be that some chronic problems are going to be pretty sticky to fix.  There could be permanent damage.  For instance, type 1 diabetes is the destruction of specialized cells.  Let's say they get damaged by VA, they might not grow back (There is ALWAYS hope, but who knows.).    Some of my remaining rosacea might be scar tissue, for example.  I think my husband might have something sticky going on.

So I think a person might be wrong if they say:   "I wasn't VA toxic because my condition X didn't go away".   Grant might just be very lucky that he intervened before anything was beyond fixing.   

It could be that we have still saved OTHER organs from future damage.  It does seem to me that people with these sort of mysterious problems keep accruing them over time.

I also want to say that it seems to me that one of the worst things to do might be to go hungry and that my snacky-ness might have been one of my saving graces.  This is something the vet told me when my cats were going through their VA toxicity (undiagnosed).   Let them eat what ever they will eat.  Keep them eating.  I also felt (this was just inuition) that they needed fiber.  I just wasn't sure how to give fiber to cats.  Perhaps they need indigestible mouse parts?

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puddleduckChrisJessica2Andrew B

@lil-chick I agree I might be wrong when I say VA is not my issue. Cod liver oil does have fabulous amounts of it. And I did also apply it topically and took a chewable of it if I didn't take CLO.

If, however, I have to go back to the kidney pain, liquid bowels, hair loss and weight gain, effing forget it. I will NOT suffer through that again hoping for the moment that I have to GUESS I might not be VA toxic anymore. "Detox is hard kiddo" isnt acceptable to me. And i believe isnt necessary for lengthy periods of time.

Since I think you're not on the fast train yourself, I know you're not suggesting that, and I don't eat fabulous amounts of VA and I never will again. I won't touch liver or carrots or cod liver oil again in my life. And that's enough for me right now. I'm focusing on nourishing myself with whatever agrees with me, not restricting such and such on a long laundry list because "it MIGHT impede THE DETOX".

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puddleducklil chickNavnPJAndrew BDonald
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