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Testing Liver After 8 months on diet.

Quote from YH on April 16, 2019, 6:05 pm

@bella I'm still alive! This is a little long winded, but I've been thinking a lot about this.

In my zeal, I ate some chopped beef liver salad over the weekend. Only about a tablespoon. I made sure to eat it with muscle meat. This is in addition to the chicken liver pate I had during the week. I responded decently well. What I found interesting was that I've been repulsed by dairy products since I tried the beef liver. Every time I was reaching for the milk or cheese, I'd even feel an itching sensation in my entire body, which I found to be very odd. Needless to say, I've been listening to my body, and avoiding dairy products  for the last few days. Also, after I tried the beef liver, my appetite was completely blunted for 18 hours. I even skipped dinner that night and went to sleep. I wasn't even that hungry for breakfast the following morning.

I honestly cannot say if the experiment was good or bad. My mood has thankfully remained the same. But I've been experiencing some dryness on my face and the bottom of my heels. I've been eating low vitamin A during this week. I feel like I still have a way to go in terms of improving my health. I've noticing some moles on my stomach are changing shapes. I don't know if I should be worried or not, but I remember my doctor told me to call him if they start becoming irregular. I don't know what the relationship between vitamin A and moles is yet, as so little research is done on moles. I've been losing color on a few moles, which has basically been my point of reference, as to whether this diet is an improvement or not, since I haven't experienced any rashes or mood changes.   Ray Peat wrote an interesting article about DHEA and moles. In the linked article, he referenced dhea as something which apparently removed one of his moles. DHEA has a strong influence on retinol status, and other cofactors.

For example:

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Sulfate Prevents Reduction in Tissue Vitamin E and Increased Lipid Peroxidation Due to Murine Retrovirus Infection of Aged Mice

 

Things that increase/stimulate DHEA production are exercise and calorie restriction.

This study was also very interesting with regards to DHEA:

Dehydroepiandrosterone Alters Retinol Status and Expression of the β-Carotene 15,15'-Monooxygenase and Lecithin:Retinol Acyltransferase Genes.

Abstract

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S) are the most abundant adrenal steroids in humans. DHEA has a critical role as a steroidal precursor of androgens and/or estrogens, and in human studies and animal experiments, both DHEA and DHEA-S have multiple beneficial effects. However, there are few reports regarding the relationship between DHEA and nutrient status, especially for vitamins. Therefore, we elucidated the effect of DHEA administration on retinol status. Wistar rats were fed with a standard diet containing 0.4% (wt/wt) DHEA for 2 wk. We assessed retinol status and the expression of retinol-related proteins, including metabolic enzymes, binding proteins, cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, and antioxidant enzymes. Retinol levels in the plasma and the liver of DHEA-fed rats were lower than those of controls. Expression of β-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase (BCMO) in the liver and intestine of DHEA-fed rats was lower, whereas BCMO expression in the testes of DHEA-fed rats was higher than that of controls. Expression of the retinol-metabolizing aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme ALDH1A2 was repressed in the liver of DHEA rats, whereas ALDH1A1 expression was unaltered. Hepatic expression of lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) and CYP26A1 was lower in DHEA-fed rats than in controls. Retinol status in DHEA-fed rats might be affected by altered BCMO expression in the liver and intestine and hepatic LRAT expression, whereas BCMO expression in peripheral tissues may be regulated in a tissue-specific manner. We have shown that DHEA administration may influence retinol status and the expression of retinol-related proteins.

 

Maybe retinol depletion modulates DHEA in the body, thus effecting moles. I'm beginning to think that skin tags and moles are actually a backup mechanism to store unwanted toxins in the body. I had a few skin tags that disappeared over the first few months, which makes me think they are also related.

Another interesting thing I observed-when I added in more vitamin A, it felt like my hormone production increased. I felt more calm, libido increased, and and my posture was straighter with little effort. There was a point while eating the liver, where i felt like you can push this too far, because I recalled my initial experience with a prothyroid and pro hormone diet.  Excessive hormone production actually will increase tension further. When I suffered from severe back pain, skin rashes, and depression, my testosterone levels were extremely high(without using any supplements. Just eating a dairy and egg based diet with no PUFAs). This lead to stiffening the muscles, skin rashes, and eventually things like unwanted body hair(which I never had before I started eating excessive amounts of dairy products), body odor, and even minor hair loss.

 

As of now, I plan to continue a high carb, moderate protein, lowish fat diet, while keeping beta carotene as low as possible. I will also keep an eye on Vitamin A. A little butter or some cheese seems to go a long way. It feels beneficial in small amounts, while higher amounts never translate to better effects. More is definitely not better with pure Vitamin A. If I crave Liver, milk, or any foods like that, I plan to have them as a one off meal, but not as a regular part of my diet. That one spoonful of chopped liver completely eliminated many cravings as well. Maybe these foods were only beneficial when they were sometimes consumed. It's easy to forget that sometimes even having a food once a month is all you need to get any benefit from it.

Thanks for the in-depth reply @YH. I agree that a little A goes a long way! It looks like I’m still better off avoiding carotenoids (and actually preformed A at this time too). I was hoping to be able to loosen up a little at the nine month mark but my 2 tbsp. chicken liver cooked in butter experiment was sadly a fail. You can’t blame a girl for trying though.

I’m active on the Ray Peat forum and tried dhea for my moles years ago and it never helped. I also tried a topical product called melanon and it didn’t work either. It would be nice to find something that helps and your theory is certainly intriguing. I have numerous moles that started developing in my teens so they may be permanent. I’m happy to report that I haven’t developed any new skin tags since going low A and I currently don’t have any so that’s nice.

I’m really grateful to have a place to discuss all of this openly and with out criticism.

Quote from Mokus on April 17, 2019, 12:37 am

Hi Yh, In regards to moles I had a mole on my forearm that was picked as suspect at a skin test a couple of years ago. I decided to try the black salve as per instructions, small dab and a bandaid for two days. Some part fell of within a week and I never did any more about it. Then in the first month of low VA I thin k the same mole simply fell away. One minute it was there and the next it was like the remnant of a blister.

When I think about what is effected by VA I recall my nutrition studies years ago, skin, internal linings, eyes etc. I suspect the moles are related. Although mine was exposed it may have shifted far quicker. Let me know how yours change

 

 

I'm curious to see how it responds to sunbathing since the weather is getting warmer. Quite a few moles that were once brown are now turning orange. I checked the one on my stomach today, and its shrinking. It honestly looks like my skin is reabsorbing the mole. The outer layers are breaking apart as the center is losing color.

I noticed the same phenomena on my feet where I had a few corns develop years ago. Rather than peeling away, it looks as though its being reabsorbed into my skin. The interesting thing is that the improvements are not really stopping despite eating some high vitamin A foods last week.

@bella

I agree, I'm definitely glad to experiment openly with this. This dietary intervention is probably the only thing that has really made a difference despite trying many diets over the last eight years(besides for low carb and veganism, thank god). I hope the exposure to Vitamin A, might have at least given you some insight to how Vitamin A effects your body, but I also hope the symptoms weren't too bad.

I'm thinking DHEA is one of the factors, and I definitely don't want to supplement with anything at this point. I'm thinking the whole push to increase testosterone, DHT, and other hormones might be actually what is provoking a lot of this mess. Going from a low carb diet to a ray peat diet without a transition would probably  be the worst thing you could do. The high carb in combination with high vitamin A would theoretically shock your body due to the sudden increase in hormone production.

@YH, I didn’t feel too bad but bad enough to remind me of why I’m doing this! I actually hate having to deal with celiac and I don’t like restrictions of any kind but staying low A is definitely worth the results for me.

@YH, I tested goat cheese and kefir equaling 25-50% of my RDA in the past week. I seem to tolerate that fine and I also had 1 tbsp of chicken liver which didn’t give me any noticeable effects positive or negative. The last couple days I’ve had some signs of an infection so I went to the doctor and got put on an antibiotic for a sinus infection. I’m not sure if it’s all connected to my food trials or if it is if it’s good or bad. The funny thing is when the doc walked in the exam room and saw me he blurted out “You look really healthy!” 🙂

I can’t quite decide if -

1. My immune system has been down and adding back some A stimulated it.

2. This is actually a negative reaction to having A.

or

3. I’m just a still a sickly person like I always have been no matter how much I’ve tried to change that!

I am sure it’s not normal to have a yeast infection and bleeding gums for months though so I’ll keep plugging along and hopefully get it all sorted out. It’s weird that everything else is better though.

I hope you are still doing well.

Quote from Bella on April 25, 2019, 3:48 pm

@YH, I tested goat cheese and kefir equaling 25-50% of my RDA in the past week. I seem to tolerate that fine and I also had 1 tbsp of chicken liver which didn’t give me any noticeable effects positive or negative. The last couple days I’ve had some signs of an infection so I went to the doctor and got put on an antibiotic for a sinus infection. I’m not sure if it’s all connected to my food trials or if it is if it’s good or bad. The funny thing is when the doc walked in the exam room and saw me he blurted out “You look really healthy!” 🙂

I can’t quite decide if -

1. My immune system has been down and adding back some A stimulated it.

2. This is actually a negative reaction to having A.

or

3. I’m just a still a sickly person like I always have been no matter how much I’ve tried to change that!

I am sure it’s not normal to have a yeast infection and bleeding gums for months though so I’ll keep plugging along and hopefully get it all sorted out. It’s weird that everything else is better though.

I hope you are still doing well.

Hey @bella

I think your body is up regulating how it uses Vitamin A. If you start ingesting more Vitamin A, it will start to use more and excrete more of it at the same time. The side effects of increased Vitamin A usage effects the immune system. This is probably one of the most confusing points about this theory. During defiency, why does the body seem to recycle and hold onto Vitamin A if it is a toxin. Last Jan I had an experience where I was adding in heavy cream to my diet, and basically it eliminated all the orange/yellowness on my feet within a few days. It seemed like the Vitamin A was preferentially replacing the beta carotene.

i definitely don't think you are meant to be a sickly person! Have some faith! I also had some bleeding gums, but some calcium seems to help me with that.  I have had fungal infections show up from time to time, but could never link it to diet. Stress and poor digestion seem to trigger it for me.

Has your appetite stayed the same since adding back liver? Also, are you feeling better now?

It could be that there is an adjustment period for Vitamin A, especially after not having it for so long. Maybe occasionally consuming high Vitamin A foods could be beneficial, but frequent consumption seems detrimental.  I tried chopped beef liver again this weekend, didn't notice anything in particular. I felt like I tolerated it better this time around though.

Thanks @YH for the helpful reply. I am feeling better. Basically after my 2nd dose of the antibiotic I felt significantly improved. I was probably catastrophizing because I felt so bad but I have a little residual PTSD from being sick with undiagnosed celiac for so long!

The day I went to the doctor I almost passed out at work and I dropped my lap top. They sent me home so I was a bit shaken from that experience. I slept 3 hours when I got home and woke up still feeling bad so I decided to go to the doctor. I think the infection has been brewing for 2-3 months. I still work at the hospital 1-2x every other week and I’m sure that environment doesn’t promote any type of wellness for me personally. Most of the patients are in isolation for various infections. Sorry for the long story!

I have averaged 25% of my RDI over the past week and that seems fine. Some days are 50% and some none. As long as I stay below 50% that seems like my personal sweet spot. There was an article I read back in 2012 that mentioned that people with the celiac disease genes are more susceptible to vitamin A overload (my understanding). I’m petite too so I might have a slightly smaller liver. Who knows really but I’m glad I’ve done the low A diet because I’m sure I was overloaded. For now I’m just going to have small amounts of A to craving. I’d like to redo the HTMA with Harry in the Fall just to make sure everything still looks good.

*To answer your question my appetite is up slightly but otherwise my diet is the same (except the goat cheese, kefir and small amounts of chicken liver twice).

I hope you have a great week.

thanks @bella, I'm glad you're feeling better.

I’m taking a break from experimenting with A. I’ve been feeling pretty bad the last couple days even though my infection is resolved. I have irritated  blood shot eyes and horrible mood issues I haven’t had to deal with since before I went on low A last summer.

Edit: and returning problems with memory. I suppose I’m somewhat fortunate that it took a couple weeks to build up to the point of causing problems.

I have learned the hard way with VA intake it's never a straight line. When I was overdosing A last summer if I you asked me I would say I am feeling good even thought looking back I was already exhibiting plenty of symptoms. But it's never immediate reactionn with A intake it's an accumulation I believe it depends how quickly your body detoxes so there are variables.

I am incorporating aryivedic cleansing technique now and they seem to be accelerating liver detox further getting rid of A. I get more joint pain during detox then vast improvements afterwards.

Ronnie,

Exactly what cleansing program are you doing? Is there a link to it?

Thank you!