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This book will change your life (100%, "overnight")

@jaj that makes sense, definitely. Now, I would not necessarily call my running and weight lifting vigorous, it is not intense at all, but maybe it still might produce the effects you and @naveen point to (detox). So, my wise and fellow traveler: how would one go about adressing and/or preventing aldehyde accumulation?

@are 😀 now that is the question!

1. Reduce agitators to a level that doesn’t produce symptoms. You only want the amount leaving storage that the various processing stages & excretion capabilities can cope with. If you overwhelm them you get accumulation. Accumulation = symptoms. 

2. Directly help aldehyde accumulation/slow ALDH (if this is the problem - there could be a bottleneck elsewhere). I’ll link a paper here shortly. There are also lots of suggestions on Garrett Smith’s mighty network. The idea is not to increase enzymes but to ‘not slow them down’ too much. One thing that I’ve been working on recently (still a theory) is gut dysbiosis causing increased hydrogen sulphide production which slows ALDH. ALDH is very susceptible to sulphur problems (the drug Antabuse uses this fact). 

3. Increase excretion to make sure the bottleneck isn’t here. Bile (soluble fibre, other binders), urine, sweat & breath. 

That’s the plan I go by! It’s all still work in progress. As you say we are all learning. Hth. 


One of my guesses is that the inside of my nose is very much like the outside:  prone to become all red and sore.   Non-resilient.

Five people walked in a stiff wind  by the coast of New England Sunday.  Only one got wind burn.   If I jog in the cold (mouth breathing) I can loose my voice.  I couldn't follow Tim's tooth protocol because my gums and mouth got sore.

My guess is that this "delicacy of tissues" is slowly, slowly resolving.  My surfaces are trying to become stronger.  But they aren't all the way there yet.

I think @JAJ did such a nice job with that aldehyde info, thanks for that.

I suspect there may just be some VA coming down in nose mucus.  It itches, it gets sore.  I swipe the area with a wet tissue sometimes, or clean the nostril with wet Q-tip.

We produce hundreds of milligrams of formaldehyde each day from fruit, vegetable and legume consumption.

pectin -> methanol -> formaldehyde -> formic acid

Even if we avoid alcoholic beverages, ADH enzymes need to detoxify hundreds of milligrams of ethanol, acetalaldehyde, methanol and formaldehyde each day.

If someone has Hypervitaminosis A they may have at most about 1 gram of retinol stored in their liver. This amount takes years to deplete. In other words very little enzymatic action is needed in comparison to alcohol metabolism and it is very unlikely that enzymatic action is the limiting factor in vA depletion.

retinol -> retinaldehyde -> retinoic acid

While ADHs and ALDHs with broad specificity can catalyse these reactions we have specific retinol dehydrogenases and retinaldehyde dehydrogenases to do so.

Scientists sometimes misuse the term "retinol dehydrogenase" when describing an ADH that has broad specificity that includes retinol oxidation but there are specific retinol dehydrogenases.

Occasionally, the literature refers to retinol dehydrogenase as an enzyme that oxidizes retinol in general, such as class IV alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH4), which reportedly is the most efficient retinol oxidation in the human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) family.[3][4]


All-trans-retinol dehydrogenase:



Alcohol dehydrogenase


(Acts on primary or secondary alcohols or hemi-acetals with very broad specificity; however the enzyme oxidizes methanol much more poorly than ethanol.)

Retinal dehydrogenase:



Formaldehyde dehydrogenase:



Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase:


The primary source of toxicity in Hypervitaminosis A is elevated levels of the hormone retinoic acid. The main benefit of depleting retinol stores is the lowering of retinoic acid levels. I'm skeptical but assuming we could significantly increase levels of ADH and assuming ADH levels had a significant affect on retinoic acid production it would actually be an undesirable outcome, especially for people that are detoxing from Accutane.

My understanding is that a significant amount of retinoic acid is produced locally through the body, some chemicals like caffeine may slow down enzymatic conversion but ultimately the only solution is depletion of liver retinol stores.

As @jaj has pointed out in (1) we don't want more retinoic acid being produced than necessary. However for the reasons above I see Smith's ADH theory as highly flawed.


Exercise stirs things up for sure, but not always for the bad.  I found that light exercise (and fresh air) helped with the hangover-type low-grade headaches that I was experiencing more often in the first year than lately.   (so nice to have a happy head!  yay!)

So important to work up to fitness very slowly.  So easy to let fitness slip each winter!  (right now!)

I recently did some sit-ups and that was a mistake.  A fitness guy in my neighborhood said they aren't really recommended any more.

Interesting @tim-2, I'm glad you and @JAJ are thinking about the science of it all. 

I feel like I'm releasing a steady amount of VA daily.  Although I don't get headaches, I sure do feel like it's a real challenge each day for my body to get this done.  (here at about 20 months)

@naveen,  Regarding the never-ending detox,  I think the time needed will be different for everyone, but for myself, I think I've been VA toxic for over 40 years.    I had my first migraine in 7th grade.   I'm sure it will take me longer than someone who only became toxic in the last couple of years.  I also find that some more recent problems clear up faster than many long-standing problems.

I suppose I'm a good example to show that VA isn't necessarily going to kill you, it may only make you very uncomfortable.

I was going to reply to the errors in some of what Tim said but I’ve changed my mind. I don’t like the negative exchange which it inevitably becomes. It disturbs my peace. ✌🏻 

I will just point out I was talking about ALDH not ADH. They are completely different enzyme sets. 

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Curious Observer

@ lil chick you are right , old problems will take longer 

@are I doing walking and running together and throw in some sprints.  I wonder if more walking than running would be better for you for now, and sprinkle in a few short jogs with the walking?

Smith discusses ADH and ALDH together so I just mentioned ADH and RDH, I wasn't directly responding to your ALDH comment @jaj but I've updated my post to accommodate your concern.

The ADH/RDH discussion was more of a sidenote to my post as well, the main point was that dehydrogenase activity is not a limiting factor in vA depletion and that less activity is probably more favourable than more.

With regard to negative exchanges, my only recollection is of explaining my point of view of how carotenoids contribute to vA toxicity and you shouting through your keyboard at me that I'm wrong without providing any rebuttal.

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