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Testing Liver After 8 months on diet.

Quote from JAJ on May 19, 2019, 6:07 am

Just catching up with this interesting thread. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having health problems again Bella. One thing that came to mind was Garrett Smith likening restarting VA to going caffeine free for a while & then having a coffee. The body over reacts to start with as it’s adjusted to not having caffeine. I thought this could describe your experience Bella. Maybe liver not the best thing to try as it’s so high in VA. Just a thought.

Thanks for your input @JAJ- you do make a good point and I appreciate your reply.  I only had 1-2 tablespoons chicken liver so I tried not to be excessive.

Oxalate seems more and more like a factor in my situation. I hadn’t really eaten beans or nuts for about 5 years prior to starting low A and I had a high calcium diet so I think those changes alone could have eventually caused issues. I also started taking fairly high doses of C which can apparently exacerbate oxalate problems. For now I’m stopping nuts, beans, supplemental C and having some calcium before meals to see if that helps.

The problems I’ve been having are not vitamin A problems but I’m still going to stick with a low A diet for the time being because it has helped me immensely. I don’t think my immune system symptoms are related to eating low A but are mostly likely due to eating too much oxalate for someone (like me) with a history of intestinal permeability due to celiac.

Thanks @bludicka for expanding on your story. I think your English is fine.

edit: I also started eating more chocolate.

 

I read black eyed peas are low in oxalates but want to double check on that and if they are low in carotenoids.   What is the best source to check on oxalate content for a food?  I also have questions about  meat.   If it is 2 or 3 days after being thawed does that mean it will have significant amounts of oxalates because it isn't fresh enough?    Does it matter if it is grassfed or conventional as far as oxalates are concerned?  I like organic grassfed beef the best but don't think I've seen it frozen in my grocery stores.

Quote from romaine on May 19, 2019, 2:59 pm

I read black eyed peas are low in oxalates but want to double check on that and if they are low in carotenoids.   What is the best source to check on oxalate content for a food?  I also have questions about  meat.   If it is 2 or 3 days after being thawed does that mean it will have significant amounts of oxalates because it isn't fresh enough?    Does it matter if it is grassfed or conventional as far as oxalates are concerned?  I like organic grassfed beef the best but don't think I've seen it frozen in my grocery stores.

I’m far from an oxalate expert but from my understanding all meat and seafood in its natural form is very low. Only sardines didn’t make the low oxalate list  I saw from the trying_low_oxalates yahoo group.

Thank you Bella.

Quote from romaine on May 20, 2019, 3:52 am

Thank you Bella.

You’re welcome. I’m putting black eyed peas on my grocery list. Thanks for the suggestion.

Hey @Bella,

I've been thinking some more about what could be related to these detox problems. Caffeine and other stimulants might be more of an issue than oxalates. I don't want to discourage you from experimenting, especially if you start noticing benefits with reduced oxalates.

Oxalates shouldn't be a large problem if the food is cooked or processed(dutched cocoa, roasted nuts, soaked and boiled beans, boiled greens). Cooking greatly reduces or deactivates the oxalates. Additionally, if you have a source of calcium in your diet, the calcium should bind to the oxalates before it is absorbed. I also haven't really found any damning evidence relating dietary oxalates(assuming it is from food, and cooked) to Vitamin A. I did find some evidence suggesting that calcium oxalates can accumulate in the eye(worrying!). Vitamin C supplementation is actually a concern, because it promotes the synthesis of endogenous oxalates, which is more problematic given that some people on here are heavily supplementing with ascorbic acid. 

The reason I brought up caffeine, is that I get flare ups whenever I excessively consume coffee/tea(3-5 cups a day). Lately I've been having much less coffee, as I don't like the feeling anymore. Going without coffee makes me tired and reduces my mood somewhat, but it also seems to improve physical symptoms. My skin typically looks much better without caffeine, and my eyes are also much clearer. I also find my breathing is easier and more relaxed. I'm gonna include some evidence, which seems to suggest that Vitamin A and coffee do not go well together.

Effect of caffeine and retinoic acid on skeleton of mice embryos

Abstract

The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of caffeine and retinoic acid either separately or in combination on the skeleton of the developing embryos of mice. Pregnant females were treated with either caffeine or retinoic acid at the onset of organogenesis (7th day of gestation). At morphological level no abnormalities in either caffeine or retinoic acid in the developing embryos at 14th day of gestation whose mothers’ were administered caffeine (2 mg/100 g b.w.) or those of the mothers’ treated with retinoic acid up to 4 mg/kg b.w. during the onset of the second trimester of pregnancy were observed. However, dose-dependent retinoic acid treatment initiates chondrocyte vacuolation, depression of PAS+ve intracellular inclusions and depression of nuclear fluorescence that were concomitant with downregulation of TGFβ2 expression in the perichondrium of the developing vertebrae. Co-administration of caffeine was found to ameliorate the effects of 2 mg/kg b.w. rather than 4 mg/kg b.w. of retinoic acid treatment. At the 18th day of gestation the uterine horns appeared normal without any signs of fetoresorption in all treatments. However, the effect of both caffeine (2 mg/100 g b.w) and retinoic acid at both doses (2, 4 mg/kg b.w) in Alizarin Red stain of wholemount revealed minor phalange deformation of the developing limbs either separately or in combined treatments.


That study got me thinking that there is something more to caffeine with regard to Vitamin A. The specific effect on the bones suggest that caffeine has an effect on retinol metabolism, in addition to calcium metabolism.

Whenever I'd drink more coffee, I'd typically want to smoke. Even though I quit, I still get an urge to smoke after having coffee. The reason I bring this up is because smoking increases the clearance of caffeine by 56%.

One of the things that caffeine does is inhibit the activity of xanthine oxidase.   

Xanthine Oxidase is important for the oxidation of Retinol.  This inhibition may actually be detrimental long term, because it actually stops immune function. This enzyme is extremely important for keeping the immune system functioning, in addition to a few other things.

The problem as I see it, is that we want Vitamin A to be oxidized. By delaying the oxidation Vitamin A, there might be a build of Vitamin A until the caffeine is cleared. If someone is a slow metabolizer of caffeine(I am one), the caffeine will delay the activity of this enzyme for more time. Alcohol has a similar effects. There are many studies suggesting that caffeine, wine, and vegetables is associated with increased preformed Vitamin A like beta carotene in the serum. I don't believe the anti-oxidants are involved in the higher serum levels. Rather, I think the body is delaying the breakdown of the antioxidants until the alcohol and and caffeine is cleared. If you lean on caffeine and alcohol too much, while consuming a "healthy" diet, you might actually make things worse. Anecdotally, some friends that went on a high vegetable/fruit diet subsequently had to stop drinking coffee because it was adversely effecting their moods. They also typically go completely sober. I don't think this entirely due to their being healthy. Alcohol and coffee actually started to make them feel terrible, so they gave it up.

 

Theoretically, the detox symptoms would be prolonged because the body has to process the caffeine first before it could deal with the Vitamin A. By inhibiting the enzyme at first, there might also be a compensatory response once the caffeine is safely cleared. This could mean an excessive production of retinoic acid, beyond what the body needs. I still need evidence for this, but it sure feels like there is something interrupting the normal oxidation of Vitamin A.

I think it might be worthwhile to see if you're a slower processor of caffeine. I don't think fast metabolizers have to worry about this too much. Additionally, it could only be worthwhile to eliminate caffeine and other similar alkaloids during detox cycles(which seem to be monthly for me), in order to let the body oxidize the vitamin A without interference.

I am going to try to gradually reduce coffee intake, since I do have some dependency on caffeine. I'm also going to experiment with shorter brewing times(1-2 minutes in french press or espresso) to further reduce the caffeine content of the coffee I do drink.

The one time I did go caffeine free for a a few months, I experienced benefits that were very similar to reduced Vitamin A diet(improved skin, improved eyesight, lower body aches). I am curious to see if it benefit me now.

 

I also do want to explore the timing of coffee as it relates to serum Vitamin A levels.

Though this study was done on horses, I imagine it might be relevant as well. 

The graph suggests that Vitamin A content peaks at 3:20 PM, and starts to decrease after that, reaching the lower levels early in the morning(6-8) before it starts rising again. Having coffee in the late afternoon might actually be far better, as it is less likely to interfere with the processing of Vitamin A. I never experienced sleep issues from coffee, so it might be something I'll explore in the future. I normally delay coffee till later in the morning, as I never respond well to it first thing in the morning.

 

Apologies for the long winded post! I just wanted to share some ideas. If you're a fast metabolizer of caffeine, this is probably not even entirely relevant, unless you're drinking liters of the stuff.

PS: More studies  below that may be relevant. I found the relationship between caffeine and the eye to be particularly interesting, because my vision has been improving as my coffee intake went down( alongside a low Vitamin A diet). My myopia is still improving despite the liver and dairy that I had over the last few weeks. I am at a point where I only need glasses if I drive at night. Before that, I couldn't even step outside without wearing glasses(my prescription is/was -2.75).

Dietary caffeine and alcohol consumption by rats.

Caffeine-Sensitive Calcium Stores Regulate Synaptic Transmission from Retinal Rod Photoreceptors

The effect of caffeine on the human macular circulation.

Caffeine inhibition of ionotropic glycine receptors

Excess caffeine exposure impairs eye development during chick embryogenesis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@YH, that’s really interesting about the caffeine and nicotine connections. I’ve noticed I don’t really care for or crave either of those substances much since going low A. I still drink about 1 cup of coffee each day but haven’t had a serious desire for a cigarette in about 6 months.

I’m not going to go off into the weeds with oxalate avoidance but I am planning on keeping them lower for now. I also decided several days ago to stop high dose supplemental C and add back small amounts of calcium before meals.

Just lowering oxalate for the last 4-5 days has resulted in a draining of some edema that I didn’t know I had. It’s been enough of a change to be noticeable by my husband (who called me skinny) and in the fit of my clothes. My teeth also look more opaque. It seems strange that my teeth would change appearance so rapidly but maybe it’s been more of a problem than I realized. My gums have also stopped bleeding for now. It had started up again slightly after I finished the antibiotic so I’m going to *hope* it’s finally really resolved. Oxalate would explain a number of mysterious issues that have come and gone over the years and that came back recently despite the improvements I’ve had on low A. Only time will tell.

My best guess is that the reason I initially responded so positive to a “Peat” diet of dairy and fruits could be because it’s much lower in oxalate than what I had been eating. Too bad I over did it with A but I guess we live and learn.

Thanks for all the links. I haven’t read them all yet but plan too over the next couple days.

I greatly enjoy your posts and always learn from them so please don’t apologize. I’m so thrilled to read about you vision improving. -2.75 is a pretty significant prescription!

 

Vitamin C does not cause oxalate kidney stones and is not a major source of increased oxalate in the body, coffee and chocolate in the diet would generate more oxalate than using vitamin C. It can increase excretion of it too. Damaged gut can cause people to absorb more oxalate. Antibiotics can cause this very easily by wiping out the bacteria that handles some of our oxalate load and increasing candida overgrowth.

 

Vitamin B6 and magnesium are helpful for people who struggle with oxalates.

 

Lypo-C can be used for people who struggle with ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbate is also well tolerated.

 

Just some info for those reading and think they shouldn't take vitamin C! It has been super helpful for me. Along with eliminating coffee.

 

Thank you Janelle, that’s good to know. I’m still using some C just keeping it under 1000 mg per day for the time being.

Quote from Janelle525 on May 21, 2019, 1:34 pm

Vitamin C does not cause oxalate kidney stones and is not a major source of increased oxalate in the body, coffee and chocolate in the diet would generate more oxalate than using vitamin C. It can increase excretion of it too. Damaged gut can cause people to absorb more oxalate. Antibiotics can cause this very easily by wiping out the bacteria that handles some of our oxalate load and increasing candida overgrowth.

 

Vitamin B6 and magnesium are helpful for people who struggle with oxalates.

 

Lypo-C can be used for people who struggle with ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbate is also well tolerated.

 

Just some info for those reading and think they shouldn't take vitamin C! It has been super helpful for me. Along with eliminating coffee.

 

Do you know if decaf coffee has just as much oxalate?

I am undoubtably another victim of acne treatments.   I never took accutane but did use prescription retin A products and was prescribed antibiotics for 4 years for my acne.   Garrett Smith mentioned on a recent video cast that tetracycline inhibits vitamin A metabolism and now you and other saying how it can mess up oxalate in the body too.