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A HEALTHY GUT: CANDIDA, SIBO, METABOLIC DISEASE, PROBIOTICS, ETC.
It appears to the ignorant and asinine that fast eaters eat more calories and so gain more weight, but the cause of the weight gain is not calories because fat deposition is a biochemical process and not one of statistics. For instance, groups of people who feel socially ostracized or economically vulnerable will naturally express higher levels of stress hormones which in turn promote panic eating and bacterial overgrowth. Unchewed food also allows greater processing by intestinal bacteria, to make more vitamins, short chain fatty acids, and store more fat but which leads to greater retention of calories and a slower metabolic rate.
Candida is another harmful gut pathogen which is found to produce the same harmful oxylipin products that alter our immune and metabolic function, and is a notorious contributor to the suffering of those with metabolic problems. Candida has long been known to cause ill-health in humans, but because it can also be found in the bodies of healthy individuals there has been some contention on whether candida is truly harmful or not. Clearly in cases of thrush and yeast infection candida is harmful, as many other yeasts native to the digestive system do not have such an effect, and the medical community’s general reluctance to aggressively address candida comes from a lack of understanding as well as effective treatment options. Candida is in fact quite harmful, and there are also more than a few candida species, each with their own morphology, which makes the contribution of candida to metabolic disease much more complicated than is usually characterized. Obvious signs of candida are a thick white or yellow coating on the tongue, yeast infections, cracks or splits and divisions in the tongue, angular cheilitis, dry mouth, dry eyes, chronic post-nasal drip (it may even be the primary culprit behind metabolic disease), leukoplakia, and is probably present in everyone with significant weight gain since, as I discussed in the chapter on fat, the body responds to infection by increasing the retention of nutrients while also slowing metabolism and candida is a persistent human pathogen which easily populates anyone with metabolic difficulties even if it does not cause an obvious clinical infection. By producing oxylipins candida actually destroy the metabolism on purpose in order to inactivate the immune system and raise blood sugar levels so it can feed directly from our tissues. It also produces the very same interleukins that our own body produces which tell the immune system to shut down. Normally saliva and other digestive secretions also contain the potent anti-fungal protein histatin, but during conditions of gut dysbiosis and levels of protective factors decline histatin is also not available in effective amounts to protect us against candida. Calcium also inhibits the fungicidal effects of histatin, and if you have visible candida infection in the mouth you might have noticed it becomes more white and thick after drinking milk. This is because fungus can actually harvest calcium from food and it uses calcium to buffer itself against things like histatin and stomach acid (and candida can also metabolize lactose). This is not, however, any evidence of the virulence of candida nor problems with milk in general but that of the state of health, and withholding milk will not eradicate infection. Also, this ability of candida to metabolize milk is an example of the root cause of dairy allergies, which is not really an allergy to dairy but to that of specific microbes which feed on dairy.
Advice form health professionals and laymen alike claim that candida is caused by sugar consumption or that a low-carb, low-sugar diet is part of the solution to curing candida, which is obviously bullshit since candida is an ancient pathogen which evolved to infect us long before modern dietary habits ever did and, while it is true that candida feeds on sugars, it is not true that you can starve it by withholding sugar. Candida is better at surviving than you are and you are more likely to kill yourself first than your candida infection using carbohydrate deprivation, especially because candida feeds through tissues and can get nutrients from your body even if you starve it of sugar, and candida will just lie dormant until the next time you eat something with carbohydrates. Although candida can be treated with anti-fungals, no precise common pharmacological cure exists because the behavior and occurrence of fungi in the intestinal tract is pretty much a mystery, and drugs used to treat candida are broad and also also kill good strains of yeast, and there are in fact good strains of probiotic yeast as one study in those with HIV found reduced species of Pichia yeasts in the mouth and increased species of candida. Similarly to bacteria, yeasts live all around us but also on and within our bodies, and the yeasts and bacteria which live in us also live on plants and soil.
Because it is not directly uncomfortable or problematic, white tongue is usually dismissed by healthcare professionals as harmless even though anyone who has it recognizes it as one of the first manifestations of declines in health. It is not quite the same as infectious candidiasis conditions such as thrush, where the candida burrows deeply into the tissues, but that does not mean the appearance of the coating is benign or harmless as is often suggested, as it is representative of and concomitant to the systemic decline of the person and contains many species of microbes and is a very worrying symptom of deeper, more troubling developments. Technically what is occurring in white tongue is that the papilla of the surface are chronically inflamed due to the presence of microbes like candida which produce those factors which destroy tissues and facilitate their adhesion. The coating may include yeasts and bacteria which are not candida, but this does not mean it won’t include candida or that it shouldn’t be addressed. There is also evidence that all these conditions may originate with other pathogenic bacteria such as h. pylori, which infects a very large margin of people and can proliferate through life-long conditions. H. pylori also produces the same fatty acid metabolites which trick the immune system into down-regulation while increasing metabolic derangements as candida and other pathogens. These inflammatory products also stimulate weight gain and adiposity, which is why the consumption of sugars can appear to cause weight gain when in fact the responsible culprit is the clandestine and devastating activities of pathogenic microbes like candida and H. pylori, which produce these compounds to stimulate elevations in blood sugar and other changes directly for their benefit but at the expense of the host. When H. pylori infects the gut it also alters the acidity of the stomach and the small intestine which then disrupts our ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients, which can set the stage for SIBO and make it more difficult to fix simply through dietary improvements. Although candida can infect tissues without the assistance of other microbes, by altering the metabolic state H. pylori just makes it easier. Both candida and H. pylori are also high-ammonia producing pathogens and will catabolize amino acids or urea and use the resultant ammonia to raise the pH of their environment to facilitate their survival, and an alkaline pH triggers candida’s virulent form which grows filaments that penetrate into the body to siphon nutrients and wreck further chaos on the body. But again, the presence of one or the other of these pathogens, SIBO, metabolic disease, or general gut dysbiosis is not indicative of the virulence of pathogens, nor even their persistent nature, but rather the impairment of the overall state of health which has thus set fertile conditions for the ingress of microbes which would otherwise be unable to survive. In fact, the entirety of anti-candida, H. pylori, and other pathogenic microbe treatments both medical and alternative focus on the killing of them by various means, either through antibiotics, antacids, or herbal and dietary approaches, as if the pathogen itself is the problem and not the initializing conditions. Being prolific, these microbes easily outlast assault from temporary treatments because the conditions which allow them to flourish continue to persist regardless of the medication or therapy.
Although they contribute to and promote concomitant bacterial issues like SIBO, the root of proliferation by pathogenic, opportunistic microbes such as candida and H. pylori originate in the way our body handles and utilizes sulfur. Sulfur is of vital importance to immune function, and though sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in our body we cannot easily metabolize raw sulfur, nor many forms in which it occurs. In spite of this limitation we have a shortcut for obtaining the right form of sulfur, which is normally not difficult in the diet in the form of sulfur-containing amino acids such as methionine and cysteine. These can come from plant and animal sources alike, and with a minimum intake of around 1-2 grams daily for these amino acids a good diet easily supplies the necessary amount. But we have a serious weakness when it comes to metabolizing these sulfur-containing amino acids, and that is the enzyme methionine synthase, whose purpose it is to recycle methionine within the body, and this ability to recycle methionine is precisely why such relatively little is needed in the diet. Methionine is vigorously broken down into many necessary sulfur-related metabolites which regulate and run not only the immune system but others as well, metabolites such as cysteine, glutathione, sulfides, and taurine. When methionine synthase is working properly it recycles homocysteine, which is toxic in excess, back into methionine, which in turn sustains proper levels of methionine pools in cells and thus the other downstream products that regulate inflammation and immune function. Any deficiency in methionine synthase immediately slows or halts the recycling of methionine from homocysteine, methionine is then conserved within cells which in turn slows or stops the downstream production of vital sulfur metabolites, disables our metabolic rate, immune system, and increases our susceptibility to oxidative stress and inflammation, disrupting gut homeostasis and facilitating the ingress of pathogenic microbes like candida. To make things worse, pathogens like candida produce toxic aldehydes which further inhibit methionine synthase activity, which is why their presence can become so persistent and make restoration of gut homeostasis so difficult. Other exogenous factors such as drugs like acetaminophen also rapidly deplete methionine pools because they require a huge supply of sulfate in order to be eliminated from the liver, which can redirect precious sulfur away from more helpful immune functions, so use of things like Tylenol and Ibuprofen can directly contribute to conditions like SIBO or infection with candida. Stress hormones also increases the loss of sulfate, which is why excess physical exercise, dieting, or working too much can deplete energy and contribute to metabolic decline. Some therapies for low methionine prescribe increased ingestion of methionine, and while this can increase methionine in the short term it primarily increases the amount of cysteine, which is toxic in large amounts, since during this problem the reduced activity of methionine synthase no longer recycles cysteine back into methionine. Methionine synthase requires folate and B12, which is why these nutrients in synthetic form can sometimes help relieve some symptoms.
Similarly to ammonia, histamine also contributes to this problem because excess histamine directly stimulates excess nitric oxide production and nitric oxide also suppresses methionine synthase. Histamine and nitric oxide are vital for the proper functioning of our nervous and immune systems, but similar to high ammonia producing bacteria, high-histamine producing bacteria in the gut can synthesize huge amounts of histamine and overtax and fatigue the immune system while also promoting excess nitric oxide and thus metabolic decline and aging. Combinations of antibiotic use followed by yogurt or probiotic consumption can supplant a healthy gut microbiome with one that produces high amounts of histamine and lactic acid, because most lactic acid bacteria are also those which produce excess histamine, thus setting up a gut which slowly and strongly destroys the digestive and immune systems and youthful wellness over time, and contributes to conditions that allow infection with pathogens like candida or H. pylori. The presence of high-histamine producing bacteria which inactivate methionine synthase and enables candida and conditions like white tongue to proliferate is made obvious by the additional presence of bloating, insomnia, weight gain, digestive stress, brain fog, etc., as both histamine and ammonia pathogens promote each other and both histamine and ammonia have similar effects on physiology. But high-histamine pathogens are enabled by the consumption of certain foods high in the amino acid histidine from which histamine is synthesized and thus fuels excessive gut production of histamine which in turn inhibits the recycling of methionine. Removing certain sources of excess histidine is helpful to suppressing excess histamine, although not all are offenders. For instance, meat is very high in histidine but does not contribute to high histamine producing bacteria because the protein usually digests quickly before it reaches those offending bacteria. Histidine is also present in nearly all foods and a complete elimination is not possible nor desirable, only that severe offenders are removed, as histidine is very important for the functioning of our own body. The primary offender in high histamine conditions and the only one which is likely in those with gut issues is so-called A1 dairy as discussed in the chapter on milk. A1 dairy is a label assigned to dairy proteins in certain breeds of cattle which resulted from a mutation when these cattle were bred to produce ungodly amounts of milk. This mutation replaced a proline amino acid in the casein constituent of the milk with a histidine amino acid, and this extra histidine contributes to the pathogenicity of many gut dysfunctions by fueling the growth of high histamine bacteria. Because dairy includes the protein casein it is much slower to digest (this is designed by nature to prolong satiation in infants), but which in turn delivers extra histidine from mutant A1 dairy to those very bacteria which cause the problem. Safe dairy is designated A2, and there is a milk brand that specifically leverages this quality for profit, but essentially this safe dairy includes all dairy cattle that are not descended from American Holsteins, which were bred separately from the Friesian varieties and other cattle by the ambitious American dairy industry, but which ended up contaminating most dairy production in other countries too including Australia, New Zealand, and all those in Europe except France which refused to adopt the mutant cattle. Dairy from Jersey cattle, any goat or sheep dairy, and all dairy from France is safe. Products like buffalo mozzarella, which comes from actual buffalos, is also an example of safe dairy. This unfortunately also includes most cheese made from cow milk from these regions, including that which you get at restaurants, and makes life just a little bit less worth living. Thankfully there are enough alternatives to make the change not totally miserable, will help lower histamine and thus restore methionine synthase activity, which will also help slow or reverse many other aging processes. For an example of how this milk contributes to health problems, one older woman who complained of excess phlegm, coughing, and post-nasal drip found them nearly eliminated when switching to safe milk. For some therapeutic approaches I do advise the consumption of casein, and while casein use is highly therapeutic for many conditions, even with the mutant A1 histidine, casein can be obtained from France from cattle without the mutation, or cheese or dairy from non A1 sources like goat can be an acceptable substitute, as casein is just a component protein within all mammalian milk and cheese is nearly always made from casein. Other sources of histidine which cause high histamine production in the gut are grains, seeds, and legumes which have digestion inhibiting properties. Because such products contain compounds that inhibit digestion, more histidine is delivered deep into the gut rather than absorbed into the body and thus promotes excess histamine, but since all of these are not suitable for human digestion anyway (or without proper preparation in some cases as is discussed in the chapter Good Bread) they should not appear prominently in the diet anyway.
Avoiding these sources that contribute to excess histamine production in the gut is the first step in restoring proper sulfate pathways in the body, but it will not entirely restore the methionine sulfate pathways until there is complete eradication of any infectious pathogens, which is evidenced by any symptoms that show candida, white tongue, tongue cracks, etc. The good news is that increasing levels of sulfate can also be accomplished therapeutically with the use of dietary sulfur, but in very specific circumstances. I long suspected sulfur of being the direct solution to such health problems, but though I attempted many strategies trying to leverage its potential the exact solution proved elusive. Like many of my discoveries I was one day serendipitously able to eradicate my white tongue without really understanding why it happened, and since it happened after a day of sun exposure considered that sunlight had instead born the responsibility. Later, when sunlight failed to prevent the return of my white tongue I reexamined my other variables at the time and revisited the use of organic onion powder, which is high in sulfur, but also without success. Frustrated, I kept searching for information that could explain how I had achieved that result. One day I finally found writing by famed MIT scientist, Dr. Stephanie Seneff who somewhat recently proposed a novel rationale for the role of sunlight on the endogenous synthesis of sulfate from dietary sulfur in our skin during sun exposure. I was so excited because it directly explained and validated my previous personal experience while also illuminating the mode of action and I immediately supplemented more onion powder in a little milk and went out for a few hours of sunbathing. Sure enough by the end of that evening my white tongue was again disappearing the very same way it had before. This therapy finally helped me confirm that conditions like white tongue and gut dysbiosis occur due to a deficiency of useable dietary sulfur, but also of sunlight. Without sunlight dietary sulfur simply remains elemental sulfur, unless it is already part of sulfated proteins, and this therapy is not especially helpful except at times when generous exposure to sunlight is possible, and indeed regular sunlight exposure is already so important to the overall state of health it should be a regular practice anyway. If sun exposure is not possible, this therapy will do nothing to increase sulfate because it is the exposure to sunlight on the skin which actually creates useful sulfate. This “supplementation” of sulfate during sun exposure and sulfur consumption also protects the function of vitamin D, which regulates gut bacteria species, since without sulfate vitamin D is not soluble and does not saturate the body. This therapy also makes sulfate available for other biological processes including the immune and detoxification systems which rely on sulfate for important functions such as protecting us against pathogens like candida and H. pylori. Because sulfate is also important for things like glutathione or the elimination of fatty liver, this sulfate/sunlight therapy also benefits many other processes like sleep, libido, hair and skin quality, and recovery from more serious diseases. I do suspect that natural sunlight and not artificial light is probably necessary for the formation of sulfate, because sunlight has so much more energy. Artificial light is still effective for the treatments of conditions like depression, but actually oxidizing sulfur into sulfate for those necessary pathways probably requires more energy than can be obtained by artificial means, although I haven’t been able to confirm this and it may still very well work with artificial UV lights. If this therapy is done correctly, white tongue will begin to diminish or disappear within 24-48 hours of practice, but it will take a few weeks of building both sulfate and vitamin D stores before it permanently disappears. Aspirin actually blocks candida from infecting cells because aspirin inhibits the metabolic pathways which produce those oxylipins that pathogens like candida use to alter our physiology. It cannot on its own destroy candida, but it can help dislodge it and in conjunction with increasing sulfate will help to remove these kinds of infectious pathogens. Taking care not to sunburn during this process is important because the use of sunblock inhibits the therapeutic effect of sun exposure on the skin, so sun exposure should be limited to hours that are less likely to cause burning or reducing the time spent in the sun which would do the same. Because white tongue is partly sustained by the tissue damage already wrought on the tongue, it will return occasionally if sulfate levels fall or until the tissue damage can be permanently repaired. If spending time in the sun produces a feeling of restlessness this is a sign of low antioxidant capacity, and things like vitamin C, zinc sulfate, selenium, sugar, and topical coconut oil will mitigate the oxidative burden caused by sunlight and make the experience more enjoyable. There is also no need to use aspirin in excess for this therapy, as one a day is more than enough to inhibit pathogen growth for twenty-four hours, if supported by sulfate synthesis. Because of the biofilm these microbes produce you may actually need to use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to manually remove white tongue build-up at first, but as the therapy progresses and stores of sulfate and vitamin D become sufficient it will disappear on its own.
A healthy body also normally recycles sulfate, resorbing it from the kidneys, so once sulfate is elevated it is rather easy to keep it that way, with some exceptions. This ability to recycle nutrients is why young and healthy people can remain so seemingly without effort, even without focusing on specific nutritional intake. But in those who are metabolically ill, exposure to stress has an outsized effect on things like sulfate balance. Certain stress steroids also increase the loss of sodium through the kidneys, and because sodium is necessary to retain sulfate, sulfate is then also lost. This means it is also necessary to limit exposure to stress in order to retain the sulfate which is synthesized during therapy, which will also reduce the frequency of therapy required to obtain an effect. Excess physical exercise, insomnia, dieting, calorie or carbohydrate deficiency, sunlight deficiency, sodium deficiency, alcohol use, exposure to industrial contaminants like glyphosate and endocrine disruptors, and even caffeine can increase the loss of sodium and thus sulfate in those who are metabolically vulnerable, increasing the likelihood of recurrence for white tongue, candida, and other gastrointestinal infections. Avoiding factors which increase stress is necessary until these conditions are fully healed. In many cases coffee is extremely helpful in restoring the metabolic rate, so you should determine which is more important for your own unique personal situation, since many people will need caffeine in order to raise their metabolic rate and get well and I was able to continually have lots of coffee while still eradicating white tongue and candida entirely. Taking care to supply sufficient sodium through supplementation is acceptable and will usually help maintain stores of sulfate. Dissolving sea salt in water is an easy way to supplement extra sodium, but take care not to overdose as this absolutely will cause nausea and vomiting. Of course, the use of sodium acetate also provides ample sodium.
Aside from killing pathogens, which is not always entirely effective because of the persistent nature of microbes, another way to further support the elimination of gut dysbiosis after the restoration of sufficient sulfate stores and to fully restore the integrity of the gut microbiome is to promote the growth of healthy microbial species which contribute to the anaerobic environment and which normally protect us from these conditions in the first place. Helpful species compete with harmful ones, so selectively supporting those helpful species by feeing them can promote their presence in the gut over those which are less desirable. Specifically, the helpful types of microbes are those which produce high amounts of the short chain fatty acids, especially those of butyric and acetic acid, as well as the full spectrum of B vitamins in ample amounts. This may seem a bit daunting but is in fact quite simple to achieve with one method I’ve found using apple pectin. Apple pectin is a special fiber contained in apples, but contrary to what you’ve probably heard fiber is not always good for the digestive tract. Fiber, especially in supplement forms, can injure the intestinal lining and indiscriminately feed bacteria and promote some health problems rather than alleviate them. Generally, there is enough fiber in a normal diet that extra should not be supplemented. But in some rare cases fibers can be specialized. For instance, the fiber in carrots or bamboo shoots are actually antibiotic, although not strong enough in my experience to make much of an impact on severe health problems. Apple pectin is similarly unique in that lactic acid bacteria cannot feed on it, or more precisely, apple pectin cannot be metabolized into lactic acid, which we’ve established is harmful to gut homeostasis and promotes metabolic decline and the elimination of more helpful bacterial species. The use of apple pectin instead promotes the growth of species which only produce the short chain fatty acids, which in turn lowers oxygen tension in the gut, eliminates bacterial overgrowth and excess lactic acid species, and also supports metabolic pathways which require short chain fatty acids. Because lactic acid species are auxotrophic for folate or produce excess histamine, promoting their competitors also increases things like folate production in the gut or helps reduce histamine. Primarily, apple pectin results in high amounts of butyrate production, but butyric acid alone does not have this beneficial effect when supplemented because it too is quickly absorbed high in the intestinal tract, and so has no presence farther down where its presence is necessary. Taking apple pectin is equal to taking butyric acid all along the gut, because so much of it is produced by gut bacteria when feeding on it. Important epithelial cells of the lining of the intestinal system use butyric acid for their energy, which means that a butyric acid deficiency promotes deterioration of the gut lining and can lead to conditions such as the so-called “leaky gut,” so restoring butyric acid in the gut through such things as apple pectin promotes healing of gut walls and digestive integrity, especially if simultaneously restoring sulfate synthesis through diet and sun exposure. One study found that apple pectin increased the absorption of magnesium, probably because butyric acid also promotes vitamin D activity and vitamin D in turn promotes magnesium absorption. Another found that a bacterial species which feeds on apple pectin produced the anti-inflammatory interleukin 10. Biologically, short chain fatty acid balance in the gut is also an indicator to our physiology about which season it is, as fruit and plants are traditionally more readily available during the warmer parts of the year when food was plentiful, and fat and meat are more indicative of wintertime and the need to conserve energy, and so the absence of butyric acid shifts the metabolism of carbohydrates into storage as fat rather than direct oxidation for energy. But our contemporary environment and antibiotics, pesticides, iron fortification, fasting, low carbohydrate diets, radiation, glyphosate, and even excessive emotional stress kills butyric acid species regardless of diet or time of year and serves to disrupt the natural rhythms of the body, which is why so many people suffer from health problems even during efforts to clean up their diets. Suppling butyric and acetic acid through the use of apple pectin can help shift the gut microbiome to one that inhibits gut dysbiosis, but more importantly supports the metabolic pathways which rely on the short chain fatty acids that might be missing during gut dysbiosis. Apple pectin can be used as desired, but a good strategy is to supplement it in generous amounts about twenty or thirty minutes before meals, so as to advantage helpful bacteria over those which are a problem. At first an amount of about 10-20 grams a day is necessary, but it can be reduced as things improve. The great temptation when using apple pectin is to stop using it once health improves, but this would be a mistake as the gut can quietly shift back to dysbiosis without much notice, and in those with established metabolic conditions things like excess tissue iron can still contribute to the more rapid return of gut imbalance even after using apple pectin. Of course, apples are a great way to support the health for these same reason, and their effect on butyric acid is what accounts for the genesis of that age-old adage about eating an apple a day, as people intuitively recognized the unique action of apples on health. Unfortunately, there is not enough pectin in apples to conveniently shift the microbial population of anyone with severe dysbiosis, so the generous use of apple pectin or fiber is necessary in their case while normal apples can help sustain anyone who is already healthy or not suffering too badly. When first using apple pectin you will experience unpleasant changes to the bowels for a day or two as the extra butyrate kills off other populations of bacteria and helps to reestablish an anaerobic environment. This is normal and will even out after a few days of use. Giving up milk at this time can enhance the ability of apple pectin to shift the gut microbiome, since lactose feeds lactic acid bacteria and produces the unhelpful lactate, but giving up milk alone won’t shift gut species because lactic acid bacteria can feed on a variety of substrates and will persist in spite of the absence of lactose without other interventions, and because milk can be a much needed source of protein and other nutrients it can be more helpful to keep it in the diet than otherwise. But apple pectin, by favoring other varieties of bacteria, makes giving up lactose effective. Later after the gut has persistently shifted, milk can be reintroduced.
Lastly, and most importantly, because vitamin D promotes a healthy gut microbiome it is necessary to have adequate levels of vitamin D in order to permanently promote a healthy composition of species within the gut and especially to fully recover from any type of gut dysbiosis. Vitamin D actually promotes the growth of microbes which produce B vitamins in amounts which benefit our health, and it is our ability to make and share vitamin D that is responsible for our symbiotic relationship with such bacteria, who are then able to produce B vitamins and share them with us in return. Without vitamin D, healthy species of bacteria are not able to survive in our gut and leads to B vitamin deficiencies and the development of other metabolic problems, which is why so many of the therapies in this book suggest the use of B vitamin supplements. Restoring a healthy gut restores the production of B vitamins in the gut, thus eliminating generally any need for supplementation.
But failure to restore the gut during summertime and adequate exposure to sunlight is common, especially in those who are very aged or with severe metabolic problems, and indicates an inability to successfully synthesize vitamin D, because vitamin D synthesis actually occurs relatively easily in healthy bodies and even just thirty minutes a day of sun exposure, while not ideal, is usually enough for a healthy person to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D to stay healthy. In this case a supplement of vitamin D can be somewhat helpful in restoring gut health, but the ability to produce vitamin D in the first place is far more effective and in many cases it is not possible to fully recover without restoring the ability to make our own vitamin D, which is far more potent and effective than supplements. It is well known that the ability to synthesize vitamin D wanes with aging, as metabolic pathways break down and become less efficient, but because of environmental contaminants like glyphosate, dioxins, or medications like Accutane, and behavioral practices such as dieting, fasting, or excess physical and emotion stress the ability to produce natural vitamin D is often prematurely compromised which can lead to a host of other metabolic issues. This problem of insufficient vitamin D synthesis is primarily caused by an insufficiency of the amino acid arginine. Normally arginine is stored in large amounts in the skin and connective tissue, and when pre-vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from cholesterol under exposure to sunlight the resultant pre-vitamin D reacts with the enzyme nitric oxide synthase which in turn stimulates nitric oxide synthesis in the skin from arginine which thus dilates blood vessels in the skin, allowing pre-vitamin D to travel deeper into the body where it will be transformed by the liver and kidneys into the active vitamin D. Over time as stress and other factors stimulate the excess production of nitric oxide and catabolize the skin and other connective tissues for their amino acid content the amount of arginine available for vitamin D synthesis falls until eventually vitamin D synthesis fails altogether or at least becomes insufficient to support healthy populations of bacteria in the gut. For instance, arginine is a crucial precursor for the urea cycle which is needed to detoxify ammonia from the body and ammonia rises in a lot of situations which promote stress, thus requiring more arginine which can then deplete stores if not enough occurs in the diet to match demands. Now, arginine is a complicated amino acid because it is directly responsible for nitric oxide which, when functioning normally, is extremely important for our general health and arginine is involved in important functions like healing, sexual arousal, and detoxification of ammonia through the formation of urea. But taking arginine as a supplement or using certain medications like erectile aids artificially and excessively elevates nitric oxide and this amount of nitric oxide suffocates mitochondria and can actually accelerate aging and metabolic disease, so supplementing arginine will only complicate health problems in the long-term. Our bodies do make small amounts of certain amino acids like arginine enough to sustain a healthy person, but during times of aging and metabolic disease our bodies have lost the ability to synthesize them and certainly never enough to overcome severe metabolic stress. Worse, it begins to catabolize them from other tissues such as the skin so that more important physiological processes such as reproduction can continue, but at the expense of things like vitamin D synthesis. Arginine deposition in the skin is also reliant on other amino acids like proline and glycine, and the presence of other amino acids in whole protein food sources like meat, glycine, and nuts prevents the instant synthesis of nitric oxide from arginine that occurs when taken in isolation.
While most sources of protein are helpful for getting arginine generally, only those such as nuts which are highest in arginine are helpful therapeutically for the restoration of vitamin D synthesis. Nuts are a bit of a paradox when it comes to health because they also contain high amounts of those unsaturated fats which are actually harmful and unstable in the high heat, high oxygen environments of our bodies. But nuts are also our natural source of the all important vitamin E, and the sole purpose of vitamin E is precisely to prevent the oxidative destruction of those unsaturated fats, which means that eating nuts is actually far more safe than eating other sources of these fats, including meats and so, I believe, necessary for our overall wellbeing since our relatively aggressive requirement for arginine can really only be satiated by a diet which includes nuts as a source of protein. Because nuts have such high amounts of beneficial amino acids, even more than meats, it seems clear to me that our evolution included the consumption of nuts as a dietary staple, not least of all as sources of vitamin E which we also need in so many metabolic processes. Consuming high-quality, organic nuts in general will be helpful for supplying the amounts of arginine which are needed by those with metabolic insufficiency to restore natural vitamin D synthesis, but especially when consumed prior to sun exposure the high arginine content of most nuts will facilitate the proper reactions which occur in the skin during exposure to sunlight, thus facilitating the proper synthesis and distribution of vitamin D. Including a concentrated source of sulfur such as organic onion powder for sulfate synthesis fully restores vitamin D pathways and helps reverse vitamin D deficiencies and to establish a permanently healthy gut microbiome. Avoiding behaviors like fasting and dieting, which depletes reservoirs of amino acids like arginine, as well as agricultural contaminants like glyphosate, pesticides, and dioxins which interfere with protein metabolism is also necessary to facilitate normal vitamin D synthesis in the skin, but should be part of a healthy diet anyway. Supplying extra dietary arginine in this way also works with artificial UV light, if you have one, so it can be a solution even when sunlight is unavailable or insufficient. For those who are severely metabolically compromised, aged, or during the wintertime a supplement of vitamin D will probably still be necessary and is helpful anyway for supporting proper gut function.
A few other nutrients and strategies further help restore the gut. Molybdenum, for instance, also supports healing dysbiosis, candida, and H. pylori because molybdenum is an essential cofactor in the enzymes which break down aldehydes created by these microbes which thus inhibit methionine synthase. A molybdenum deficiency is easy to acquire because it is not ubiquitous in the environment, and because the demand on molybdenum is increased in such conditions (and in those who drink alcohol since alcohol metabolizes into aldehyde) it can be quickly depleted. Any person with yeast or bacterial problems will have a molybdenum deficiency because the amount in foods is not enough to overcome the burden sustained during infection, and severe physical decline seen during advanced alcoholism is in part due to total molybdenum depletion. Molybdenum is also effective against microbes because it helps the body to regain control of excess copper and iron through a special protein called ceruloplasmin as is explained in the chapter on progesterone. Molybdenum is traditionally gotten from fresh water and is in fact the taste of spring water, which is actually the taste of molybdenum. Supplements are inexpensive, widely available, extremely helpful, and not needed in large amounts. A low, consistent dose is best and while this may come off as a recommendation, know that it is very important and should be given priority for its supporting role in other helpful metabolic processes which are discussed throughout this book.
Boron is another helpful trace mineral and though very poorly studied it is clear to me that a boron deficiency also promotes gut dysbiosis because a boron deficiency increases the activity of the enzyme vitamin D 24-hydroxylase, whose purpose it is to destroy vitamin D. This is one of those rate-limiting functions the body has to prevent overuse of particular nutrients when others are missing or deficient. Boron deficiency also causes the increased loss of many other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium through the urine, so the activity of vitamin D 24-hydroxylase may simply be protecting us from overuse of these valuable minerals, not to mention the increase in calcium loss during boron deficiency being a contributor to kidney stones. The stomach also requires large amounts of potassium in order to make and excrete gastric acid, and H. pylori stops gastric acid by inhibiting hydrogen potassium ATPase. It is not powerful enough to entirely suppress all our H/P ATPase activity but during a boron deficiency and thus low potassium the microbe needn’t work very hard to thus cause a sufficiently reduced amount of stomach acid to enable its survival. Boron’s absence also causes sex hormone activity to decline, and since hormone status effects gut health, boron likely helps regulate gut microbe composition to some degree. When the body is replete with boron and thus generous amounts of supportive minerals and active vitamin D, it becomes more difficult for pathogens to overcome our natural and normally effective defenses. A boron deficiency likely develops from a deficient intake of fruits, because foods high in boron are largely non-citrus fruits such as grapes and apricots, which makes their dried products the most potent sources. I honestly get rather sick of raisins in large amounts after eating them constantly for a few years, so I supplement boric acid or borax, which is a natural mineral salt of boron and is commonly used as a household cleaning adjuvant, in order to help guarantee vitamin D activity, mineral retention, and promotion of libido. A dose of 3 mg is minimal with 6-9 mg being more effective if taking in supplement form. Boric acid and borax are highly concentrated forms of boron and only about 1/8 a teaspoon a day or every few days is needed to supply more than enough boron, and do not take in excess. Besides helping to support gut function, boron boosts the sex drive, feelings of relaxation, and promotes other desirable outcomes and will definitely help prevent kidney stones.
As mentioned earlier, gut dysbiosis can interrupt our supply of B vitamins. One of the most important to be lost in such an infection is biotin. Biotin is needed for the body to metabolize the branched chain amino acids which, when un-metabolized, actually cause the diabetes-like conditions of elevated blood sugar and promote pathogens like candida and white tongue. The constituent parts of branched-chain amino acids are needed in the processes which govern the metabolism of fats and sugars, and without biotin to break down branched-chain amino acids sugar backs up excessively in the blood stream and thus provides fuel for infectious candidates as well as stimulating fat retention and promoting the diabetes state, so taking biotin until the gut is fully restored can greatly reduce lots of symptoms associated with gut dysbiosis.
While not a cause of gut dysbiosis, many people with gut dysbiosis suffer from chronic lower back pain because such injuries are not the result of physical damage but the effect of metabolic products of pathogenic bacteria and bacterial overgrowth around the gut, which weakens surrounding tissues and inhibits their regenerative ability, which includes the psoas muscles that transit directly through the gut and connect to the lower spine, so lower back pain too is resolved by the restoration of a healthy gut because its resolution then allows damaged cells to fully heal once more.
PROGESTERONE HEALS EVERYTHING
Weight gain is often a supposed side effect of progesterone, though this is not really an effect of progesterone but rather that of gut dysbiosis, as progesterone helps the body work better, and if there is any stimulus for weight gain, such as an imbalance in gut bacteria, high histamine producing bacteria, H. pylori, candida, etc., the body will become more prolific with fat storage as a response to the presence of pathogenic organisms. Weight gain with progesterone use is always a sign of undesirable bacteria in the gut and for this reason addressing gut health as discussed in the chapter on such is important to avoid weight gain while using progesterone. If weight gain is likely during progesterone use it is also a sign that progesterone needs to be used, because the body, under enough stress to stimulate weight gain, is probably in desperate need of some extra help. Avoiding progesterone will really be just ignoring a problem that needs to be addressed, as the pathogenic bacteria will still be there and still be harming your body even if you’re avoiding weight gain by avoiding progesterone, so fix your gut.
The trace mineral molybdenum is a helpful and necessary adjunct to the use of progesterone. Progesterone increases the synthesis of ceruloplasmin, which is a protein in the body that controls the metabolism, deposition, and retention of excess copper and iron. Without sufficient ceruloplasmin, free copper and iron accumulate in tissues and disrupt mitochondrial function and depress cellular respiration. In fact, it is ceruloplasmin that is responsible for the age-reversing effects that can be seen with progesterone elevation (such as occurs during some pregnancies), as ceruloplasmin scavenges deposits of excess copper and iron from tissues. One study put the elevation of ceruloplasmin in the presence of progesterone at 262%. Molybdenum is the primary limiting factor in the synthesis of ceruloplasmin, and the diminishment of ceruloplasmin due to molybdenum or progesterone deficiency is a primary factor in aging, as free copper and iron begin to saturate tissues uncontrollably. Without adequate molybdenum progesterone does not stimulate ceruloplasmin, and in fact progesterone use can deplete molybdenum by stimulating an increase in ceruloplasmin, and as molybdenum is also needed for processes such as the detoxification of aldehydes this can cause unhelpful deficiencies in other areas as well. Molybdenum can be a difficult mineral to obtain in sufficient quantities naturally, so it is helpful to take as a supplement when using progesterone, to guarantee adequate supply. Molybdenum is the mineral responsible for the refreshing taste of spring water, as spring water is actually the taste of molybdenum. Foods in which it is most available, such as legumes, also tend to contain significant amounts of phytate which may inhibit its absorption, which makes a low-dose supplement more helpful. By supplying adequate molybdenum, the therapeutic effect of progesterone never diminishes and other pathways which also use molybdenum are not compromised.
IRON AND DISEASE
Next to vitamin C, molybdenum is one of the most helpful nutrients to control excess iron through its use in the protein ceruloplasmin. Ceruloplasmin is typically considered a protein that controls copper in the body, which it does, but for reasons which are still unclear ceruloplasmin is also associated with iron deposition in the body, and acquiring molybdenum is necessary for the synthesis of molybdenum. Spring water is a typical source of this mineral, and in fact it is the taste of molybdenum that makes spring water taste as it does, but in those with a stressed metabolism it is likely that a supplement will be necessary in order to properly control excess copper and iron. A low dose taken infrequently is plenty, but can be taken every day if desired. Progesterone can triple levels of ceruloplasmin so long as enough molybdenum is present, and this is likely one of the mechanisms by which progesterone improves health and aesthetic appearance.
One of the most potent anti-fungal, antibacterial compounds commonly available is boric acid. Boric acid was often used as medicine until the advent of more specialized antibiotics. Borax is still used as a cleaning agent, and because borax is a naturally occurring mineral it is considered to be much safer than chemicals like chlorine, which is the case, but borax can still be toxic internally in large amounts. There are documented cases of illness and death caused by excessive ingestion of borax and boric acid, but used in trace amounts can be safe and helpful in treating lots of chronic yeast and bacterial problems as well as to support a healthy metabolic rate. Studies on the medicinal use of boric acid all show a beneficial effect on a toxic marker of oxidative stress in the body called malondialdehyde, which results from the lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fats. In fact, one rat study which examined the protective effect of boric acid on alcohol toxicity showed a lower malondialdehyde level in alcohol treated rats than even the control rats not exposed to alcohol. Malondialdehyde damages DNA and is one of the reasons why inferior fats like canola oil, fish oil, and corn oil are potentially so damaging to our health. Another study found boric acid to protect against the toxic effect of titanium dioxide, which is commonly added to processed foods and supplements and even occurs in things like aspirin. Besides protecting DNA from oxidative damage, very low doses of boric acid or borax dissolved in water can help kill infectious pathogens and support metabolic integrity without side effects, so long as doses are kept low. Boric acid is definitely not one of those things that works better in bigger amounts, and taking too much will definitely make a person sick and have potentially life-threatening complications. A safe and helpful dose is about 1/8th teaspoon dissolved in water a day taken a few times a week. Higher doses have been shown to be safe, but I personally experienced significant benefits from this amount and there is no need to exceed it.
To be clear, antibiotics are useful and oftentimes necessary to prevent serious illness, and a person should always follow the advice of a competent medical professional. But if safer alternatives such as iodine can be effective then that would be better, and the tradition of following antibiotics with yogurt can permanently shift gut bacterial populations, and post-antibiotic diets should instead consist of foods high in vitamin K or useful fruits such as dried apricots, which support populations of our most healthy native species rather than food industry strains.
NATURALLY LEAN THROUGH NUTRITION
The inability to produce vitamin D naturally can occur because of two major factors. The first is a deficit in magnesium caused by a deficit of boron, because a magnesium deficiency strongly reduces the synthesis and function of cholesterol and as previously discussed a deficiency of boron promotes the excessive loss of minerals like magnesium. But otherwise, the most common cause of vitamin D deficiency is due to deficiency in the amino acid arginine. When we are young and growing and do not yet have active adult hormones and metabolisms the body has very little problem synthesizing and storing the amino acids responsible for healthy and youthful skin and connective tissue, and this is in fact one of the reasons for childhood which is the storing of particular nutrients which are needed in higher demands through adulthood. When grown, different hormones kick in our need especially for these amino acids increases. In addition to normal adult physiology, stress further increases the demand on these amino acids and over time the pools of glycine, proline, and arginine in skin and connective tissue become depleted, in part because our body can only synthesize limited amounts of each but which is made all the worse by diets which are inconsistent and insufficient, behaviors such as fasting and dieting, or by exogenous chemical toxins which block our ability to synthesize them. When pre-vitamin D is formed in the skin through exposure to sunlight it reacts with the enzyme nitric oxide synthase which in turn forms nitric oxide from arginine. This then dilates blood vessels and helps get vitamin D deep into the body where it can be transformed into active vitamin D. Deficient levels of arginine in the skin cause vitamin D to stay there where it continues to be irradiated into non-vitamin D products or fails to reach the liver and kidney where its transformation to active vitamin D takes place. Taking supplemental arginine is not a good way to address this problem, however, because in isolation arginine causes a systemic increase in nitric oxide, and excess nitric oxide suppresses mitochondria and accelerates aging. As we age or suffer stress and metabolic decline or are exposed to harmful exogenous chemicals and medicines like Accutane we lose the ability to synthesize amino acids like glycine, proline, and arginine, and the increase in stresses and the decreased ability to match that stress begins to deplete our pools of these amino acids from skin and connective tissue especially, which then inhibits the ability to make and use vitamin D. With few exceptions, amino acids are generally not helpful in isolation, and isolated amino acids never occur in natural diets, and taking arginine as a supplement will cause an excess of nitric oxide and be harmful in the long term. There is some arginine in meats, but the most potent natural sources of arginine are nuts. Nuts are a bit of a paradox when it comes to health because they are rich in the types of unsaturated fats which are actually harmful and unstable in the high heat, high oxygen environments of our bodies. But nuts are also our natural source of the all important vitamin E, and vitamin E’s sole purpose is to prevent the oxidative destruction of unsaturated fats, which means that eating nuts is far more safe than other sources of these fats, including meats and so, I believe, necessary for our overall wellbeing. Because nuts have such high amounts of the beneficial amino acids, even more than meats, it seems clear to me that our evolution would have included the consumption of nuts, not least of all as sources of vitamin E, without which it is more difficult to obtain the important amino acids such as arginine. Consuming high-quality, organic nuts is helpful for supporting many metabolic problems, but with regard to vitamin D and its influence on the health, nuts become an indispensable source of helpful amino acids like arginine. Consumed in general but especially prior to sun exposure will safely elevate arginine in the circulation without triggering excess nitric oxide production, especially if efforts have already been made to raise the metabolic rate, and facilitate the proper reactions which occur in the skin during exposure to sunlight, thus facilitating the proper synthesis and distribution of vitamin D. Including a concentrated source of sulfur such as organic onion powder will fully restore the formation of vitamin D in most people and help reverse vitamin D deficiencies and establish a permanently healthy gut microbiome. Avoiding behaviors like fasting and dieting, which depletes reservoirs of amino acids like arginine, as well as agricultural contaminants like glyphosate, pesticides, and dioxins which interfere with protein metabolism is also necessary to facilitate normal vitamin D synthesis in the skin. This also works with artificial UV light, if you have one, though not quite to the degree of natural sunlight. For those who are severely metabolically compromised, aged, or during the wintertime a supplement of vitamin D will probably still be necessary and is fairly helpful for supporting gut function.
Some other nutrients may also be needed to ensure a lean physique, although they should be occurring regularly as part of a healthy diet anyway. Studies show that inclusion of sulfur in the diet also prevents the development of fatty liver. Sulfur is required for many regulatory processes in the body. Two which influence the deposition of fat is the role of sulfur in the formation of glutathione, and also that sulfur is used to eliminate fatty acids from the body by the detoxification organs such as the liver. A deficiency of sulfur is common in most western diets, not only from a lack of certain foods but also because agricultural products lack sulfur rich soils or its inclusion in fertilizers and the effects of glyphosate on sulfate pathways. That sunlight is needed concomitantly with sulfur consumption in order to make it bioavailable further complicates the situation of sulfur in our contemporary, sunlight deficient lifestyles. Sulfate formed in the skin from dietary sulfur by exposure to sunlight is actually required for proper vitamin D function in the body, and sulfate is used in many biological processes to make compounds more soluble and either more easily distributed throughout the body or better eliminated by the detoxification organs. When vitamin D is synthesized from sunlight in the skin it is supposed to be bound to sulfate and thus hasten its distribution throughout the body. Without sulfate, vitamin D remains insoluble and this prevents its efficient distribution, and a deficiency of sulfate, which is also required for the use of the cholesterol precursor to vitamin D, is the reason why aging people diminish in their capacity for vitamin D function. Without sunlight sulfur simply remains elemental sulfur and does not support sulfation pathways (unless derived from the methionine pathway as discussed in the chapter on gut health which is often inhibited in those with metabolic problems). If sun exposure is not possible, increased dietary sulfate that is not part of sulfur proteins will do nothing to increase sulfate because it is the exposure to sunlight on the skin which actually creates useful sulfate, and another reason why generous exposure to natural sunlight is so important for the overall state of health in humans. This “supplementation” of sulfate during sun exposure and sulfur consumption protects and guarantees the synthesis and function of vitamin D. It also makes sulfate available for all the other biological processes for which it is required including the immune and detoxification systems. Because sulfate is also important to so many things like the synthesis of glutathione or the elimination of fatty liver this sulfate, sunlight therapy also benefits other things like sleep, libido, hair and skin quality, and recovery from more serious diseases. I do suspect that natural sunlight and not artificial light is necessary for the formation of sulfate, because sunlight has so much more energy behind it and I did not obtain similar effects while using artificial light, and it may only be possible to achieve this effect during months of adequate sunshine. Artificial light is still effective for the treatments of conditions like depression, but actually oxidizing sulfur into sulfate for those necessary pathways probably requires more energy than can be obtained through artificial means. The use of sunblock will inhibit the therapeutic effect of sun exposure and the formation of sulfate and vitamin D, so if spending time in the sun produces a feeling of restlessness it is a sign of low antioxidant capacity and things like vitamin C, zinc sulfate, selenium, and topical coconut oil will mitigate the oxidative burden caused by sunlight and make the experience more enjoyable. Taking care not to burn and to get sun during the less direct times of day is also advised. Sulfate is also needed for the proper synthesis and distribution of cholesterol, and sulfate deficiency is also the likely root of conditions which benefit from supplementing pregnenolone, since pregnenolone is the first hormonal product made from cholesterol and a deficiency of pregnenolone results in a myriad of metabolic deficiencies.
PESTICIDES, DIOXINS, AND TOXINS
A more powerful defense against the harmful effects of pesticides as well as the heavy metals which contaminate conventional agriculture and build up in the body is with the use of boron. Boron comes in supplement form, but its natural occurrence in the mineral borax or as boric acid is a concentrated and pharmacological form which can be used to powerfully diminish the oxidative burdens of pesticides and heavy metals, if used correctly. Boric acid and borax can make you sick if used in excessive amounts, and there is no point to using them with reckless abandon. Unlike supplement forms of boron, borax and boric acid are highly concentrated and potent, and only very tiny amounts should be used supplementally. Studies show borax and boric acid to protect against the oxidative damaged caused by pesticides and heavy metals, as well as lipid peroxides like malondialdehyde which damage DNA. A dose of about 1/8 a teaspoon a day a few times a week is more than sufficient a dose without being problematic, and can more directly supply boron to the body than typical supplements.
One very sneaky way in which chemical toxins are entering our bodies is through clothing, bedding, and furniture. Textiles are increasingly being manufactured with harmful plastics and chemicals which are unregulated and not disclosed to the consumers. Coming in direct skin contact with these products causes endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals to diffuse into the skin and then into the body. I once owned a blanket which was gifted to me and was very beautiful, but every time I curled up with it without wearing clothes my skin felt strange shortly after. I used to shop at Banana Republic because of their tall sizes, but increasingly their shirts and tops began making my skin feel soapy, and I now avoid all their products. Besides buying 100% natural or organic textiles, clothing, and bedding, there is an easy way to detect products that will cause these problems. If touching a product causes the skin of your fingers to feel soapy, sticky, or otherwise changed from the way they were before you touched it, this means there are harmful chemicals on or in the product and it should be avoided.
Histamine can be increased in those with cancer due to the presence of high-histamine producing bacteria. These are often the same ones which are used commercially to produce dairy products such as yogurt, which is another reason to avoid products high in lactate. But many western dairy products contribute to the production of histamine because of the type of cattle used in the production of milk. Many years ago Americans hybridized cattle in order to produce a breed that delivered increased quantity of milk. This resulted in a mutation to the milk protein which replaced a proline amino acid with histidine. Histidine is the precursor to histamine, so consuming most American dairy products with this extra histidine amino acid while also having high-histamine producing bacteria will result a huge increase in histamine burden. Symptomatically this results in brain fog, changes to vision, and feelings of irritability and agitation because histamine irritates the nervous system but also increases production of nitric oxide and serotonin which in turn depress mitochondrial activity. In order to avoid this extra histidine intake it is necessary then to use sources of milk which are called A2, which come from traditional breeds of cattle such as Jersey cows, or from goat and sheep or any dairy which originates from France (France wisely declined to accept these American breeds of cattle). This also applies to cheese and casein, since cheese is usually made of casein. Some cheese which is French in appearance does not actually originate there, so you must read the label to confirm the country of origin. Eliminating A1 dairy from the diet will greatly reduce the histamine burden and thus increase comfort and prognosis.
Because a boron deficiency promotes an excess loss of both vitamin D and all the major minerals as discussed in the chapter on gut health, it is also helpful to use a low-dose boron supplement like boric acid or borax in recovery from cancer. Excess boron can cause problems and is not beneficial. Dissolving no more than 1/8 a teaspoon in water as a dose each day is sufficient.
Separately from the function of the thyroid gland itself is the way in which thyroid hormone works throughout the rest of the body. In most thyroid disease the gut is also in a state of disarray, and this alters the influence of thyroid on the body because thyroid hormone is actually excreted first into the gut before it is circulated to the rest of the body. This happens because thyroid hormone, in a healthy gut, reacts with acetic acid which activates it and transforms thyroid into the active thyroid hormone. If the gut is in a state of dysbiosis and producing very little acetic acid, thyroid hormone fails to activate and thus results in functional hypothyroidism, even if the gland itself is working properly. It is very easy to fix this issue though, using apple pectin as described in the chapter on gut health will naturally and dramatically increase the synthesis of acetic acid in the gut and result in much better thyroid function, and addressing gut health overall as discussed in that chapter is key to guaranteeing robust thyroid activity if gut problems also present with hypothyroidism, which they often do.
Sometimes people expect to fully recover from all their physical maladies by increasing their thyroid function, but this is an oversimplification of the way our body works and an underestimation of the actual state of health or environmental factors such as pesticides, glyphosate, or toxic medications like Accutane might have on the systems of the body. Even though I was able to fully restore my thyroid function with hot body temperatures and a great, consistent pulse rate I still suffered from other health problems including fatigue, aches and pains, hair loss, insomnia, weight gain, and others. One of the major issues that prevents a person from fully recovering from metabolic disease which may still persist after recovery from thyroid disease is that reactive oxygen and lipid peroxidation processes have become so prolific as to establish a state of self-sustaining deteriorative reactions. For instance, when the body is stressed and unable to maintain a high metabolic rate it resorts to the synthesis and utilization of a higher percentage of unsaturated fats, because they are more easily transported and assimilated into cells during low metabolic rate and stress, but which are also more susceptible to peroxidation making the process self-sustaining and resistant to nutritional and medical intervention. The inability to fully raise the metabolic rate without massive systemic free-radical reactions thus prevents the metabolic rate from recovery, fatigue sets in and makes the person feel continually ill. This can also be made worse by the presence of unhelpful gut bacterial species which will synthesis these unstable fats from good ones and thus contribute to our tissue levels of these fats even when eating a good diet. One of the most powerful medicines available to restrain this process which can be used to improve energy levels and stop the chain of reactive oxygen species, which is also antibiotic and anti-fungal, is boric acid. Boric acid was often used as medicine until the advent of more specialized antibiotics, and borax is still used as a cleaning agent, and because borax is a naturally occurring mineral it is considered to be much safer than chemicals like chlorine, which is the case, but borax can still be toxic internally in large amounts. There are documented cases of illness and death caused by excessive ingestion of borax and boric acid, but used in trace amounts can be safe and helpful in treating lots of chronic yeast and bacterial problems as well as to support a healthy metabolic rate. Studies on the medicinal use of boric acid all show a beneficial effect on a toxic marker of oxidative stress in the body called malondialdehyde, which results from the lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fats. In fact, one rat study which examined the protective effect of boric acid on alcohol toxicity showed a lower malondialdehyde level in alcohol treated rats than even the control rats not exposed to alcohol. Malondialdehyde damages DNA and is one of the reasons why inferior fats like canola oil, fish oil, and corn oil are potentially so damaging to our health. Another study found boric acid to protect against the toxic effect of titanium dioxide, which is commonly added to processed foods and supplements and even occurs in things like aspirin. In those who have persistent metabolic difficulties the sustained reactive oxygen and lipid peroxidation problems can prevent a complete recovery. Besides protecting DNA from oxidative damage, very low doses of boric acid or borax dissolved in water can help kill infectious pathogens and support metabolic integrity without side effects, so long as doses are kept low. Boric acid is definitely not one of those things that works better in bigger amounts, and taking too much will definitely make a person sick and have potentially life-threatening complications. A safe and helpful dose is about 1/8 teaspoon dissolved in water a day taken a few times a week. Higher doses have been shown to be safe, but I personally experienced significant benefits from this amount and there is no need to exceed it, and boric acid can thus be a profound adjunct to recovery from hypothyroid disease, so long as it is used correctly.
Potassium has been shown to reduce the urinary excretion of calcium (with the exception of potassium chloride), so taking care to guarantee generous amounts of dietary potassium can help increase the retention of calcium and thus better manage sleep disorders. In fact, because potassium is important for the proper function of GABA, potassium is one of the crucial factors in getting good sleep, and since many western diets low in fruit thus lack enough potassium it should be a high priority for anyone suffering insomnia. Daily recommended amounts of potassium range from 4.5-5.5 grams. Considering there is only about 900 mg of potassium in a potato, one of the most potent sources of potassium, you can see how easy it can be to acquire a deficiency. Dried apricots, plums, and other fruits are also high in potassium, but a supplement of potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate can help to bridge the gap between diet and total requirement.
Sometimes because of serious problems such as can occur due to extreme stress or environmental confounders such as the use of the medication Accutane, the body can entirely lose the ability to absorb calcium and maintain helpful levels enough to facilitate processes like sleep and weight loss. This is made obvious when elevated dietary or supplemental calcium fails to produce helpful outcomes and can be circumvented by using calcium acetate. Similar to sodium acetate as described in the chapter on gut health, calcium acetate easily absorbs into the body and distributes calcium efficiently. Calcium supplementation should always start at a very low dose and work up slowly as the body, having long been deficient in calcium, can become overly sensitive to it due to increases in things like parathyroid hormone and a large dose can cause serious problems such as vomiting or even seizures. To make calcium acetate it is necessary to buy and start with calcium carbonate which is widely available as a supplement. Using only 1/4 a teaspoon of calcium carbonate, add vinegar (about 1 tbsp) until the reaction fully stops, dilute in a small amount of water or milk and consume. After dosing at this level for a while (once or twice a day) you can move up to 1/2 teaspoon max once or twice a day. This method of calcium supplementation always gets calcium into the system.
But the loss of potassium and other minerals is accelerated during a boron deficiency, so it can be more effective to actually increase boron rather than focusing on potassium or other minerals, which can be obtained easily from a good diet or a low-dose boron supplement. This problem is further compounded when considering magnesium which is one of the best promoters of sleep. A boron deficiency exaggerates the loss of magnesium from the body, but magnesium is crucial to maintaining sleep. Magnesium is stored in our bones and is released from storage at the same time as calcium during times when dietary sources are not sufficient. As a boron deficiency progresses more and more minerals are lost excessively from the body which in turn begins to drain important minerals like magnesium from the bones. Because we cannot entirely catabolize our skeleton, which would cause us to collapse, there comes a point where mineral catabolism from the bones becomes halted. This in turn contributes to insomnia because there is no longer a pool of readily available magnesium, although in those with severe stress the bones will continue to be catabolized anyway which results in osteoporosis. A boron sufficiency is required to reverse insomnia because without boron we cannot retain or make efficient use of most minerals, making efforts to acquire them pretty futile. A boron sufficiency easily makes mineral intake sufficient and can promote the retention as well as the effectiveness of healthy diets or mineral supplementation. Boron is supposed to be acquired both through foods like non-citrus fruit as well as fresh water as the mineral borax dissolves from rock. Diets deficient in fruit and unhealthy water supplies easily cause boron deficiency which becomes exaggerated as we age when stress stimulates an increased need for it. Chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals can further deplete stores of boron. Boron is easily supplemented, but I prefer the more controversial forms of borax or boric acid which have a more profound effect on health. Borax is widely available but advertised as a cleaning adjunct, and boric acid can be purchased from a few online retailers. Both are highly concentrated and only a tiny, tiny amount is needed to supply a highly bioavailable form of boron, excess of which can cause its own health problems and is not helpful, so no more than 1/8 a teaspoon a day, dissolved in water, is needed. Taking boron will in turn prevent the excess loss of minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium and thus make them more persistent in the body and more effective in the restoration of sleep. Long-term supplementation of boron in anyone with insomnia is very important as severe insomnia represents the depletion of ample mineral storage in our bones, so a consistently elevated but not excess amount of boron can help reverse this trend and remineralize bone with stores of these needed nutrients. A boron deficiency also destroys vitamin D in the body by upregulating the enzyme 24-hydroxylase, so boron sufficiency is also required to maintain proper levels of vitamin D. Supplementing boron will make supplements of magnesium more effective in sleep promotion, and in my experience a few weeks of extra boron made it possible to only use some extra magnesium to induce sleep, no longer requiring any of the other supplements which used to be necessary.
A copper excess is actually a molybdenum deficiency, as molybdenum helps the body properly manage copper, and amounts in our diet are often not enough to balance the effects of copper exposure from sources of contamination. Molybdenum is present enough in normal foods to be sufficient for healthy people, but it is by far deficient for those who need more for a therapeutic effect, and a supplement is often necessary in order to get copper levels under control. Dietary sources of molybdenum are foods like buckwheat, sorghum, or almonds. Legumes have the highest levels of molybdenum, but since legumes have high levels of phytic acid their molybdenum is not always bioavailable.
Also, because some people have high-histamine producing bacteria in the gut, which someone with insomnia most certainly does, it would be helpful to avoid sources of A1 casein, which means most brands of dairy. A1 milk with its extra histidine amino acid increases the formation of histamine in the gut of those with high-histamine producing bacteria and thus an increase in histamine and nitric oxide, both of which in excess will severely interrupt sleep and cause metabolic problems. This issue is made obvious by any bloating and brain fog that accompanies dairy consumption. Dairy without this extra histidine are goat, sheep, and A2 cattle such as Jersey cows or any dairy originating from France. Casein from France can also be sourced online.
As acetic acid stimulates the synthesis of glycogen, taking some while consuming carbohydrates can load the liver and muscles with more glycogen than they would normally store, and thus prolonging the ability to sleep before stress hormones kick in. The study I saw only used 0.4% of acetic acid in solution, so it doesn’t take very much. 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of vinegar in a large glass of orange juice is both easy to take and very effective in promoting glycogen storage. Taken with or immediately after consuming a meal that includes carbohydrates will be most effective. If the gut microbiome is restored as discussed in the chapter on gut health with species of bifidobacterium, the gut will naturally also begin producing more acetic acid and possibly eliminate the need to supplement it. Of course, the use of sodium acetate also provides acetic acid.
Of course, eliminating avoidable oxidative burdens like wifi is likely still necessary for truly restorative sleep. As sleep is facilitated primarily by GABA, a copper excess allows wifi to continuously interact with certain neurological cells to interrupt sleep. Copper facilitates the active state of cells, helping to transmit electrical pathways easily and at night when GABA is supposed to kick copper out and induce sleep, zinc is supposed to take its place to stop the electrical conductivity into the cell. In a zinc deficiency or copper excess this does not happen, copper stays put, and GABA is not able to properly turn off cells to induce sleep. Because copper is receptive to wifi signals (this is why antennas and wires are made of copper) it actually receives the signal and transmits that microwave energy into the cell, manually stimulating the cell and keeping it turned on and active, sustaining the oxidative burden regardless of the cell’s ability to handle it. While it is still important to eliminate wifi exposure, lowering excess copper is also required to facilitate good sleep. A copper excess is actually a molybdenum deficiency, as molybdenum helps the body properly manage copper through the protein ceruloplasmin, and amounts in our diet are often not enough to balance the effects of copper exposure from sources of contamination. Molybdenum is present enough in normal foods to be sufficient for healthy people, but it is by far deficient for those who need therapeutic assistance, and a low-dose supplement is often necessary in order to get copper levels properly under control. Dietary sources of molybdenum are foods like buckwheat, sorghum, or almonds. Legumes have the highest levels of molybdenum, but legumes have high levels of phytic acid their molybdenum is not always bioavailable. A relatively high dose of molybdenum can be used to flush excess copper (1 mg), then transitioning to a lower maintenance dose when symptoms improve (150-300 mcg). A zinc sulfate supplement can also help restore normal levels of zinc, but it will not do so without sufficient molybdenum, and large doses of zinc are not helpful. Zinc can also oxidize vitamins and should not be taken with them. And again, a boron deficiency can in turn induce a deficiency of magnesium and potassium which both promote GABA function, so supplementing extra boron with borax or boric acid can help combat the effects of Wifi in promoting insomnia.
UV light also produces vitamin D, and vitamin D is a wonderful promoter of high metabolic function and sleep. Vitamin D promotes GABA activity, sex hormone synthesis, a lean physique, is anxiolytic, meaning it combats anxiety, is a mineral-sparing diuretic, and promotes the uptake of minerals which promote sleep such as calcium and magnesium. But, as discussed in the chapter on gut health, vitamin D also feeds beneficial gut bacteria and is responsible for promoting species which synthesize B vitamins in our gut, and a deficit of vitamin D is one of the primary sources of gut dysbiosis. Getting natural sunlight is the best way to obtain vitamin D (sunblock inhibits vitamin D synthesis), but some common toxins like glyphosate or medications like Accutane and even aging can permanently destroy the ability of the body to make vitamin D. If exposure to sunlight does not help promote restful sleep, it is indicative of an inability to make enough vitamin D and supplementation is helpful and sometimes necessary. As discussed in the chapter Naturally Lean Through Nutrition, the inability to produce vitamin D is rooted in a deficiency of arginine, because as we age or suffer from metabolic disease our pools of arginine decline, and the ability to naturally synthesize vitamin D can be restored by eating foods such as nuts, which are high in arginine.
LIBIDO AND ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
The trace-mineral boron is also shown in many studies and observational experience to increase testosterone and arousal, and in fact a boron deficiency is extremely detrimental to the effectiveness of the reproductive system. While it will not cure erectile dysfunction on its own, boron achieves an increase in testosterone by liberating testosterone and other sex hormones from the protein which shuttles them around the body (sex hormone binding globulin), so if the diet is poor and the body unable to synthesize these hormones in the first place boron will not have this effect, although it is quite easy to guarantee hormone production simply by eating healthy and consistently as suggested elsewhere in this chapter and throughout this book. Some controversy exists around boron supplementation because some studies also show boron increasing estrogen, but this occurs because sluggish systems aromatize testosterone, so more testosterone in high-aromatizing individuals means more aromatization into estrogen, and it will not aromatize into estrogen if the metabolic rate is elevated and the body replete with anti-aromatization factors such as vitamin E. Boron supplementation can have an acute effect if taken immediately before sexual activity or a long-term, persistent one if taken in low doses consistently. The latter is better for overall health. Boron also rehabilitates the reproductive system because it also prevents the excess loss of most other vital minerals which occurs during active boron deficiency including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, which also makes their acquisition easier and potentiates their beneficial effect on all tissues but especially in supporting the cellular respiration of the gonads, which require sufficient calcium and magnesium to operate at youthful levels and prevent atrophy and aromatization. If the body does not have enough boron it then actively loses calcium which is needed for proper gonad function and the generation of youthful sex hormones, so a boron deficiency is one of the most important aspects of erectile and libido function that should be addressed. A boron deficiency likely develops from a deficient intake of fruits, so obtaining enough through high-boron foods such as raisins or apricots concomitant with high mineral foods such as melon, pistachios, dairy, stone fruits, or well-cooked greens can restore and sustain the proper levels of healthy minerals which support a healthy sex-drive and arousal. Boron also likely originated from natural water sources since the mineral borax is present in many water sources and in fact using borax in safe doses is preferable to a commercial supplement of boron. In more severe cases a supplement of borax or boric acid may also be necessary to supply enough boron to be effective. For instance, some tumors excrete higher levels of the enzyme 24-hydroxylase which destroys vitamin D, but boron inactivates this enzyme and thus any tumors or fatigued tissues would likely express excessive amounts of this enzyme, reacting with more boron than would normally be the case, and require extra boron to exceed its inhibiting effects. A dose of 6-9mg of a boron supplement or no more than 1/8 teaspoon of boric acid or borax dissolved in water is helpful.
Equally important to the synthesis and function of cholesterol is sulfate. When cholesterol is sulfated it transports easily throughout the body, contributing not only to hormone synthesis but also to vitamin D and other metabolic pathways. As I mentioned in the chapter on gut health, a large contributing factor to metabolic decline is a deficiency of sulfate, without which cholesterol cannot be sulfated and results in insufficient steroidogenesis. Primarily we obtain more than enough dietary sulfate through the methionine pathway and associated sulfuric amino acids. But this is often compromised in those with metabolic problems. According to famed MIT scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff, we do have a backup pathway of sulfate synthesis, but it requires both adequate dietary sulfur and sun exposure. When there is sufficient sulfur in the body, sunlight on the skin oxidizes sulfur into sulfate. Because we typically have a deficiency of both sulfur and sunlight in our contemporary lifestyles, metabolic problems often set in very early when the body faces shortages of sulfate, where they would otherwise resolve themselves naturally if our organism led more natural lifestyles with generous exposure sunlight and fully nutritious foods. Even places like Iceland, whose agriculture contains high levels of sulfur thanks to their volcanic soil, have far less metabolic disease than other developed countries despite being at a higher latitude with less sunlight (I also suspect they take more advantage of sunlight when it’s available than those of us in lower climates). Increasing sulfur intake and getting more sunlight can increase the formation of sulfate and thus increase cholesterol and hormone synthesis. Using a food source of concentrated sulfur such as organic onion powder in food or milk prior to getting sunlight is an easy way to accomplish this. Obvious signs of hormonal insufficiency, besides libido dysfunction, are benefiting from pregnenolone supplementation, not necessarily in libido as pregnenolone can sometimes knock out stress hormones and thus inactivate a libido which is only sustained by stress, but for other symptoms such as insomnia, bloating, and anxiety, which is a symptom of pregnenolone deficiency.
The trace mineral molybdenum is a helpful adjunct to the use of progesterone in the restoration of health because molybdenum is necessary for the synthesis of the protein ceruloplasmin which is controls both copper and iron deposition in the body. Without sufficient ceruloplasmin, free copper and iron accumulate in tissues and disrupt mitochondrial function and thus depress cellular respiration. Progesterone increases the synthesis of ceruloplasmin by a huge margin (262% in one study), and I think this is in fact one of the reasons why progesterone is capable of improving health and aesthetic appearance. Of course, the body cannot make ceruloplasmin without molybdenum, and it can be a difficult mineral to obtain in sufficient quantities. Molybdenum is the mineral responsible for the refreshing taste of spring water. Foods in which it is most available also tend to contain significant amounts of phytate which may inhibit its absorption, so a low-dose supplement is oftentimes more helpful. In fact, by stimulating ceruloplasmin progesterone supplementation might actually deplete molybdenum, so it would be wise to take in order to prevent this.
THE CURE FOR ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ADDICTION
Of course, there is some dogma in such programs which is misunderstood and misused by certain adherents, and to be clear, the value in such programs are the therapies of personal and fear inventory, which helps alcoholics and addicts understand that they are truly valuable as human beings and how life experience differs from who they are as a person, as well as being supported by a community of likeminded individuals. My own experience within the program was a mostly positive one which exposed me to the practice of personal inventory and helped me tease apart the trauma of my past from my individual worth and thus learn to have a deeper connection to myself and the world around me.
The trace mineral molybdenum is the most important, of which a deficiency is quite easy to acquire, especially if its use is increased through heavy drinking. Molybdenum is needed specifically to detoxify those aldehydes and in long-term drinkers or those with a preexisting molybdenum deficiency aldehyde levels remain elevated and thus account for most of the physical decline of alcoholics, so all drinkers or anyone in recovery must supplement molybdenum in order to avoid the specifically destructive effects of aldehydes. Because alcohol promotes the oxidative destruction of polyunsaturated fats, which is the mechanism by which alcohol and its aldehyde metabolites actually cause physiological damage, it is also helpful and advisable for anyone who does or has used alcohol to supplement extra boron with a low dose of either boric acid or borax. Studies on the medicinal use of boric acid show a beneficial effect on a toxic marker of oxidative stress in the body called malondialdehyde, which results from the lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fats. One rat study which examined the protective effect of boric acid on alcohol toxicity showed a slightly lower malondialdehyde level in boron treated rats than even the control rats not exposed to alcohol. Malondialdehyde damages DNA. Boric acid is definitely not one of those things that works better in bigger amounts, and taking too much will make a person sick and have potentially life-threatening complications, and boric acid and borax come in highly concentrated preparations unlike the supplement form of boron, so minuscule doses of both are far more potent than may be obvious. A safe and helpful dose of boric acid is about 1/8 teaspoon dissolved in water once a day taken a few times a week. Higher doses have been shown to be safe, but I personally experienced significant benefits from this amount, it is quite potent and there is no need to exceed it.
Sea salt can also be used to quickly improve mood. During stress the body loses sodium and chloride, and it takes measures to balance electrolytes by inducing such hormones as aldosterone which has the effect of flushing potassium, and since potassium is supportive of GABA function, low sodium contributes directly to depressive episodes. Supplementing sea salt during the course of a day can greatly improve mood, in part because chloride is also a stimulant and helps cells run energetically, and in fact the metabolic rate and thus vitality cannot run sufficiently without enough sodium or chloride, and most people with metabolic problems will often lose sodium more quickly than healthy people and thus require greater amounts in order to get well. Do not use any salt products which contain anti-caking agents (read labels) which are often toxic, and do not use more than 1/2 a teaspoon at any one time, as excess salt will cause vomiting, and is best dissolved in a liquid like water or orange juice. It is better to slowly increase sodium to the recommended 2.3 grams daily and even a little more, as getting that all at once will make you feel very sick.
FOR THE LOVE OF DAIRY
There is currently a debate about certain types of milk as well and whether they affect us or not. I have personally oscillated between accepting or rejecting the issues around A1 and A2 milk, which refers to specific mutations in the protein of American dairy cows in respect to more traditional varieties of cattle where a proline amino acid has been replaced by a histidine amino acid. I have come the decision that A2 milk is in fact more healthy for consumption. The difference between the two is so subtle it is difficult to decipher any effect. This is because the addition of the histidine amino acid is probably only a problem in those people who also have high-histamine producing bacteria. Histidine is the precursor to histamine, and while histamine has important biological functions for us, in excess, especially produced by gut organisms, it can overwhelm our metabolic systems, increase nitric oxide, and shut down the metabolic rate. Even casein which I recommend so highly can potentially have more histidine than meats because of this mutation, and thus raise internal histamine synthesis and contribute to a host of metabolic issues, depending on the state of the gut. A company now produces A2 milk and distributes it to some stores across the world, but this milk is also available from traditional Jersey cows as well as any dairy sourced from France (France declined to adopt the mutant American cows which were bred to produce a higher milk volume) or through goat and sheep dairy. A2 milk has the distinction of also being very delicious. Because cheese is largely made from casein, it is also necessary to only purchase cheeses which originate from goats, sheep, Jersey cattle, or France (many cheeses which appear French are actually not made in France, so look at the label to confirm the country of origin). Casein can even be sourced from France and thus be used more effectively to restore health.
(and all alcoholics or those with symptoms of addiction and alcoholism must address gut health as discussed in that chapter, as restoration of healthy gut microbiota, by again supplying healthy short chain fatty acids, will go a long way to healing the disease and its destructive mental and physical effects)
Before alcohol metabolizes into acetic acid it is first metabolized into highly toxic aldehydes, and it is these aldehydes which are mostly responsible for the toxic effects of alcohol. Because we have evolved alongside yeasts for millions of years we have the innate ability to detoxify alcohol, which is why we can even drink it in the first place without immediately dying, but these detoxification pathways require certain nutrients like B vitamins and zinc. The trace mineral molybdenum is the most important, of which a deficiency is quite easy to acquire, especially if its use is increased through heavy drinking. Molybdenum is needed specifically to detoxify those aldehydes and in long-term drinkers or those with a preexisting molybdenum deficiency aldehyde levels remain elevated and thus account for most of the physical decline of alcoholics, so all drinkers or anyone in recovery must supplement molybdenum in order to avoid the specifically destructive effects of aldehydes. High doses aren’t necessary nor helpful, and is better taken in a low dose consistently.
Generally I advise people to avoid lactic acid bacteria products and supplements, as such microbes produce amounts of lactic acid which can suppress the metabolic rate, including the kynurenine pathway, but also because many of the species used in probiotic products or in the dairy industry tend to be of the variety which also produce high histamine, and as is discussed in the chapter on milk if these bacterial species populate the gut while a person consume A1 milk, which is high in histidine from which histamine is synthesized, the amount of resultant histamine can cause digestive and neurological problems that can lead to everything from weight gain to insomnia to cancer. One sort-of exception is cultured buttermilk. The probiotic used to make cultured buttermilk, called Lactococcus lactis, tends to produce a variety of lactic acid that is the same as our own, where other species of bacteria produce a variety that is more harmful. This makes the use of cultured buttermilk much safer than other lactic acid bacteria cultures, and buttermilk can be used as a potent source of NAD production because the bacterial ferment inoculates the beverage with large amounts of the full spectrum of B vitamins which in turn promote the endogenous synthesis of niacin from the milk’s tryptophan content. If buttermilk is made at home from a starter culture using A2 milk or other safe varieties this is an even better product as it avoids the high histidine content of regular dairy and can actively promote endogenous NAD synthesis and thus the restoration of many metabolic pathways. Because lactic acid can work against efforts to restore the metabolic rate, it is important to monitor pulse and temperature if choosing to use buttermilk as any drop in metabolic rate would make this an inappropriate option and should not be used until or unless a high rate of metabolism can be sustained.
Since hair growth is dependent on the production of NAD, the process of manually stimulating and supporting the kynurenine pathway as outlined in the chapter Niacin Therapy is the therapy to restore hair growth. The process of manually stimulating the kynurenine pathway using proper fats, a source of niacin, and other nutrients to facilitate the production of NAD directly restores the growth of hair and the health of hair follicles.
Hair growth also requires full repletion of B vitamins, especially biotin, and because our B vitamins are largely supplied by native gut bacteria, gut dysbiosis such as is described in the chapter on gut health can prevent hair growth simply for a lack of these essential nutrients.
Because low temperatures increase the formation of the polyunsaturated fats which inhibit the kynurenine pathway, a deficiency of butyric acid will prevent hair regeneration because a butyric acid deficiency interrupts the concomitant rise in body temperature which accompanies GABA release at night. As discussed in the chapters on GABA and gut health, butyric acid is needed for the body to direct sugars into oxidation for energy or as storage in glycogen, rather than fat, and when butyric acid levels are low or nonexistent the body instead shuttles carbs into fat and reverts to a fatty acid metabolism, which lowers the metabolic rate and thus overall body temperature, especially at night. Without sufficient butyric acid the body does not have a high enough average temperature to protect hair growth, especially at night, even if daytime temperatures rise acceptably, and this situation would then prevent the skin from maintaining an adequate consistent temperature which in turn promotes enough unsaturated fatty acid synthesis to inhibit NAD formation and thus negate hair growth. Using a substrate such as apple pectin as described in the chapter on gut health to increase butyrate synthesis is necessary to stabilize the overall body temperature and guarantee hair regrowth. In addition, adequate butyric acid also helps facilitate hair regrowth by promoting proper GABA function, which helps to quiet and repair the overactive autonomic nervous system which will otherwise stress hair follicles and promote hair loss. If you are someone who sweats at night or experiences hot flashes and the idea of being warmer makes you want to take a cold shower, know that heat during these phenomena is actually the result of venting from the core during the process of lowering core temperature, not raising it, and is indicative of high estrogen and a low metabolic rate, where the skin eventually cools during the night to a temperature which is incredibly destructive to skin health and hair growth. In contrast, the increase in metabolic activity and heat from restoring butyric acid synthesis results in a toasty warm feeling absent any sweating or discomfort such as what occurred when you were younger and healthy, because the body is able to sustain a high metabolic rate and thus retain heat rather than flushing it to the environment. Niacin therapy alone can stop hair loss, but without some substrate like apple pectin to guarantee adequate butyric acid synthesis, scalp kynurenine pathway activity won’t be consistent and hair regrowth likely won’t occur.
The autonomic nervous system thence has a large role in the disruption of the kynurenine pathway as it relates to hair loss, and for this reason excess nitric oxide and acetylcholine dramatically promote the pathology of hair loss. The nerves of the scalp extend along the direction in which hair tends to recede. Looking at the map of neurological architecture of the scalp it is easy to observe a correlation of typical balding developments along the nervous system structure. As the metabolic rate declines and age advances the compensatory autonomic nervous system, though elevated use of acetylcholine and thus nitric oxide, begins to stimulate cells in an attempt to resuscitate the falling metabolic rate. This results in an overstimulation and exhaustion of some cells, inhibition of mitochondrial activity, eventually causing cells to switch to the lower but more sustainable stress-enabled fatty acid metabolic pathways which are more likely to promote omega-3s and inhibit the kynurenine pathway. Pesticides are huge promoters of acetylcholine, but excess can also come from overstimulating the nervous system through excessive use of medications, excessive physical exertion, pre-workout, alcohol, nicotine, or deficiency of calories and nutrients. As discussed in the chapter on alcoholism, the nightshade family of foods can also induce excess acetylcholine if eaten excessively or in conjunction with a poor diet of bad fats (good fats such as butter and coconut oil help protect nerve cells against the effects of the neurotoxins in nightshade plants). So someone who has eaten large amounts of potato skins (the skins containing the toxin solanine) is quite likely to exhibit increased hair loss along with agitation and restlessness. Eating organic foods and using some supplements such as antihistamines or lysine to inhibit nitric oxide and excess acetylcholine help greatly to reduce them and thus allow mitochondria to respond to the increases in NAD generated by niacin therapy and multiply in numbers and activity.
But before niacin therapy is practiced, there is one more crucial component that must be restored before niacin therapy is successful. The short chain fatty acids which are discussed so often within in this book are again of vital importance when it comes to having robust and youthful hair growth. As the body ages the accumulation of iron, copper, and inappropriate fats set the stage for the ingress of unhelpful gut bacteria which depress production of the short chain fatty acids. Indeed if it were possible to sustain a youthful, healthy gut microbiome indefinitely we would probably not age at all. This is true in the case of hair restoration and it is first necessary to support synthesis of the short chain fatty acids, primarily butyric and acetic. When I first “accidentally” regrew my hair it was during a time when I was using supplemental thyroid, which helps to replace many of the biological requirements for natural thyroid function and those systems on which it relies. Specifically, thyroid requires adequate acetic acid in the gut in order to work properly, where thyroid hormone is first secreted into the gut and then reabsorbed. If the thyroid hormone has bonded to acetate it then performs as active thyroid in the body and runs a hot metabolic rate. If there is no acetate, thyroid remains inactive and does not affect the metabolism as it should. Restoring health of the thyroid gland as discussed in the chapter on thyroid disease is a different process than hair regrowth, but it is one of the basic foundational pathways which need to be restored in order for the entire body to be healthy. Butyric acid in the gut is also probably influential on the growth of hair because during a butyric acid deficiency the metabolism shifts from carbohydrate to fat, which means that the body stores more fat and lowers the metabolic rate in order to conserve energy. Both of these responses to short chain fatty acid deficiencies are failsafes which protect our biology from perceived nutritional scarcity, since short chain fatty acids are largely derived from specific nutritional substrates, specifically that of fruit but can also come from others such as starches if the gut is populated with appropriate bacteria. So, when the gut no longer has short chain fatty acid producing bacteria, due to antibiotic use, poor diets, dieting, or glyphosate or other industrial contaminant poisoning, the body still shifts into this state of metabolic preservation which, if sustained for an extended period of time, will eventually inhibit less metabolically important characteristics such as hair. As discussed in chapters such as gut health or the one on GABA, restoring butyric and acetic acid production in the gut is quite easy with the use of apple pectin. The only guaranteed method I know of currently, apple pectin cannot be metabolized into lactic acid, which means that lactic acid bacteria, responsible for much metabolic distress due to their production of lactic acid, cannot feed on it and thus apple pectin supports the growth of butyric and acetic acid bacteria, which tend to be the types that are more supportive of human biology. Using ample amounts of apple pectin twenty or thirty minutes prior to every meal for a week or two can dramatically shift gut populations of bacteria (this will cause disruptions in gut function for a few days), and result in the restored production of butyric and acetic acid, which will then allow niacin therapy to effectively stimulate hair regrowth. This happens due to the increase in metabolic heat in the case of butyric, inhibiting the desaturation of fats in cold skin which inhibit the kynurenine pathway, or by the increase in thyroid due to the presence of acetic acid, or probably both. Once apple pectin has been used for a week or two and changes in gut function have been achieved, its use can be cut back to once a day or less because the bacterial growth stimulated by it will continue to grow on other carbohydrates as well. Regular use of apple pectin should be maintained, however, in order to keep out unwanted types since in those with metabolic problems the ingress of lactic acid species occurs more easily, and is most effective immediately after periods of low food intake, such as waking in the morning, in order to advantage those species. Once the metabolic rate has been sustained and with the use of apple pectin to establish a better gut microbiome, niacin therapy should lead to the first signs of hair regrowth within thirty to sixty days, depending on age and overall metabolic health.
If you are old enough you may have also noticed that grey hair grows at a faster pace than darker hair. Estrogen is elevated in many tissues that age, and hair follicles are no exception, and because estrogen stimulates cells to grow more quickly, aged tissues which do not need to grow but are under the influence of estrogen will increase their rate of division (this is one of the actions that occurs within tumors). I do not yet know how to reverse greying, but I have noticed that grey hair slows its rate of growth when taking magnesium bicarbonate, but not with other sources of either magnesium or bicarbonate. It also slows the rate of growth for nails, and taking a dose every other day or two is enough to help even out some features of aging such as this, and while I’m not convinced it has any particular role in the restoration of hair, it certainly can’t hurt.
GOD AND SPIRITUALITY
Sometimes it might be difficult to correctly identify “my part,” as we are often focused on the behaviors of others or what happened to us that it makes assessing our own behavior more difficult, especially if we feel the need to justify our experience, pain, or emotions. The parts of self listed under “part hurt” are what motivate behavior, because our behavior is always a response to those areas of self which have been damaged. For instance, if your ambition has been thwarted by some event or the behavior of another person, how you reacted to your plans being subverted will show you your part, or perhaps how you attempt to engineer or control people, places, and relationships to fulfill your ambition in the first place. It is also helpful to resist the temptation to only include self-pitying behaviors. For instance, you might only include behaviors/character defects that let others hurt you such as being too trusting or having no boundaries while being reluctant to identify more self-incriminating labels such selfishness, pride, feeling better-than, or being judgmental. This therapy is more effective if you will accept all of your imperfections by writing them down, not just the ones which serve to buoy your sense of self worth, which in the end will still be an artificial valuation if you ignore or avoid inconvenient character defects. If this proves difficult, it helps to recognize that our character defects, especially the ones we most despise, originated from trauma endured as we were growing up, trauma which occurred to valuable and legitimate parts of our self which were understandably and rightly damaged by pain, abuse, or neglect, and they are not true reflections of our value as an individual but simply the scars of life.
LOVE AND HAPPINESS
Love must be given voluntarily and without expectation. But oftentimes there are psychological impairments to giving and receiving love in a healthy, unconditional manner. In families which are prone to abuse, whether physical or emotional, and most families have some degree of one or the other, there can then exist psychological divisions within each person according to their role and status within the family unit, which ultimately impair healthy bonding with others. This often takes the form of a child being abused in their childhood by parents who are incapable of containing the stress between them, then the child, traumatized by their experience, becomes unable to function as a whole person and takes their broken pieces with them into adulthood, unable to mend the fractured self nor function successfully as an adult. This process of triangulation is beautifully described by a psychiatrist named Murray Bowen and it is helpful to establish the root cause of psychological trauma which can prevent the whole functioning of the adult. Used as a coping tool for incapable parents, the child’s development becomes thus impaired and as an adult goes on to do the same. What Dr. Bowen’s work didn’t do was establish how to overcome such issues. That was later developed by another psychologist, Dr. Stephen Karpman. His philosophy, amusingly called Drama Triangles, recognizes three distinct outcomes of debilitating triangulation. This diagram of psychological fracturing thus allows those affected by it a way toward recovery, to become a whole person. Karpman Drama Triangles identify the resultant personality types as victim, persecutor, and rescuer. For instance, a person who identifies as a victim sees themselves as helpless and blameless. The persecutor type is one who attacks, blames, shames, is authoritative, self-righteous, and superior to those with whom they are entwined. The rescuer feels guilty or obligated to help the other types, but their actions really serve to reinforce the other roles as well as satisfying their desire for gratification through their role as rescuer. Karpman describes the mindset as being “poor me,” for the victim, “it’s your fault,” for the persecutor, and “let me help you,” for the rescuer. These fractured senses of self prevent a person from being a whole person and can also spill into other aspects of life apart from relationships. For instance, a person like me who identified as a victim may also have other problems such as keeping the house clean, or trouble making friends. Because the mindset of the victim is focused on the things they don’t want, like a dirty house or a lack of friends, we actively turn away from these in an attempt to avoid uncomfortable realities we feel powerless to control. A situation such as this could easily originate from an overbearing mother who came charging into bedrooms and yelling at her children for messes or repeated failures with friends in childhood could erroneously convince the victim of the futility of friendship. Each person actually tends to cycle through all aspects of the triangle, at times performing each role, although one may be more dominant. Where Dr. Karpman has been so helpful and unlike most mental health therapy is in providing a way out of these kinds of psychological cages. For a long time it seemed to me that the the damage done in my childhood was probably permanent, and that there was no way to actually get out of the subconscious modes in which I found myself. In addition to the personal inventory practice in the chapter on God and Spirituality, which can help relieve us of our delusions to our own behavior and the rules of life, the Karpman Drama Triangle can help us recognize our individual subconscious fracturing and thus how to go about becoming whole. Most therapists do not practice the Karpman Drama Triangle or provide therapy through it, and in fact most therapists occupy the role of rescuer within the diagram which is why most therapy is ineffective and why therapy can drag on unproductively for extremely long amounts of time. General therapy for escaping these conditions is rather straightforward, and all of it is rooted in an inability to ask for what we want. Each type is overly concerned with how life does not measure up to their expectations and are focused on problems rather than solutions. For instance, we will focus on how our house is not clean rather than wanting a clean house. It is a small and seemingly insignificant triviality, but the mindset makes a major difference. Wanting a clean house instead of hating a dirty house empowers a person to be solution oriented rather than problem oriented. The different personality types are how we go about trying to get what we want in harmful ways because we don’t feel worthy of what we want. A victim feels they cannot get what they want without the assistance of someone else, a persecutor thinks that someone else stands in the way of what they want, and a rescuer believes only other people are worthy of the things they want. The ultimate solution to each of these fragments of a self is to exist in the middle of them all, and the baser traits of each individual type become the opposite, healthy trait when exercised properly. For instance, instead of feeling victimized a healthy person is vulnerable, instead of persecuting and blaming a healthy person is assertive and self-sufficient, and instead of rescuing and enabling others a healthy person is simply caring. To find oneself simply requires “holding a center position” amid all three extremes. It is a combination of sensitivity, compassion, and responsibility with a solutions-oriented mindset, and this can enable you to connect easily to others in ways that are healthy and satisfying and best of all, to experience real love and intimacy, and further study and self-work on the effects of triangulation and Karpman Drama Triangles can easily be found through mental health resources and literature.
In this respect, the amino acid Glycine plays a major role in the direction of aging. Glycine does a lot of things in the body from being a part of protein synthesis to collagen formation to detoxification pathways to increasing the activity of the kynurenine pathway. Being replete in glycine can repair or even prevent the destructive effects of oxidation, thus inhibiting or reversing the aging process. But our bodies are only able to make so much glycine, and especially during episodes of metabolic disease it is not enough to support anti-aging. Supplementing a small amount of glycine daily either through the use of gelatin, which is high in helpful amino acids like glycine and proline, or a glycine supplement can not only support efforts to heal all metabolic diseases but also to stall or reverse the aging process. I add about 3-4 tablespoons of glycine powder to a gallon of milk, making it quite easy to take this powerfully anti-aging therapy every day.
Additionally, silicic acid from plants, not to be confused with silica or silica dioxide which are raw forms of the mineral that we cannot metabolize, stimulates the production of collagen which is the connective tissue that secures cells in place and facilitates the proper function and structure of most body systems. As we age, production of collagen declines significantly. Loss of collagen accounts for much of the changes in aging skin, and many beauty products claim to target this deficit although they are more likely to use inflammatory and estrogen promoting molecules which induce cell swelling to plump skin and trick consumers and does not actually promote collagen synthesis nor health, since that would require specific nutrients and the activation of specific metabolic pathways. Loss of collagen also effects the function and viability of internal organs that help support health and wellness, because without collagen they are not able to rebuild and restore their structural integrity. Bad fats, especially the harmful arachidonic fatty acid, enable the production of oxylipins by pathogens like candida which in turn stimulate production of prostaglandins which then interrupt collagen synthesis, so simply taking a silicic acid supplement is not really enough on its own to restore proper collagen synthesis in those who severely ill or have unresolved gut microbiota issues, and work on restoring a healthy gut as defined in that chapter should always be a priority, since health begins in the gut. Silicic acid has general health promotion effects even with deficient collagen synthesis including the detoxification of harmful things such as aluminum, so it is generally beneficial to use.
Nitric oxide is the most potent accelerator of the aging process because it directly inhibits the activity of mitochondria. Nitric oxide is expressed in many normal physiological processes, especially in reproductive, skin, and cardiovascular functions and is absolutely crucial for proper vitamin D synthesis, but excess can suffocate mitochondria and over time reduce our cells’ ability to respirate properly. This effect of accelerated aging can be observed in those who use erectile dysfunction medications, pre-workout products that elevate nitric oxide, or those who supplement arginine, which all lead to the formation of excess nitric oxide. Some supplements like lysine or antihistamines, which block nitric oxide release, can be used to help relieve cells temporarily from excess nitric oxide burdens, and their use and effects are discussed at length in the chapter on cancer. But avoiding arginine, the precursor to nitric oxide, as sometimes happens such as in those dealing with herpes viruses can cause arginine deficiency, and too little arginine can cause health problems over time and, as I have said before, good health requires reason and common sense, so avoiding all arginine in the name of suppressing nitric oxide will actually have undesirable long-term effects such as inhibiting healing or vitamin D synthesis. Natural foods like nuts, which are high in arginine, are also high in other amino acids, the presence of which prevent the inappropriate formation of nitric oxide except when it is specifically needed. Primarily, it is the elevation of excess nitric oxide through exogenous factors or excess stress which contributes to aging. All nitric oxide need not be inhibited in order to slow or reverse aging, only the reduction of excess nitric oxide from processes such as neurological stress as discussed in the chapter on alcoholism and addiction, the chapter on hair restoration, or from high histamine producing gut microbes as described in the chapter on gut health. Nutrients like niacinamide and other B vitamins, or progesterone, aspirin, and raising the metabolic rate in general all lower excess nitric oxide activity anyway, while still preserving its helpful functions. Excess nitric oxide is also stimulated by the excess deposition of free copper and iron into tissues. Copper and iron play important metabolic roles, but they are also difficult for the body to manage and can saturate tissues excessively. The presence of copper stimulates nitric oxide synthase, which is the enzyme that forms nitric oxide, and the presence of copper (and iron) is in turn controlled by the protein ceruloplasmin which is in turn dependent on the trace mineral molybdenum. Molybdenum deficiency is easy to acquire, so a low-dose every day can be helpful in restraining the aging process by limiting free copper in tissues, especially if using progesterone as described in the chapter on progesterone therapy., because it upregulates the synthesis of ceruloplasmin, so taking molybdenum with progesterone can reverse the effects of excess nitric oxide on the aging process.
Sulfur has traditionally been used as a remedy for acne because sulfur strongly binds to excess iron, thus inhibiting the growth of bacteria on the skin (and elsewhere in the body), and the reason foods like garlic make you smell bad is because sulfur binds to excess iron, which is then excreted through the skin, and sulfur-iron compounds are very smelly. Sublimed or powdered sulfur preparation in a good fat such as organic shea or cocoa butter or coconut oil can make topical treatment both pleasant and powerfully effective. Sulfur is quite dangerous to use, however, as even a little bit in the eyes can cause severe discomfort, and only a tiny, tiny pinch is needed in about 1/2 cup of oil to be effective. Daily use against acne and other skin conditions works rapidly. Pure sulfur does not have an odor—it only does when reacting with other compounds, so there is no need to worry about scent, but if you do smell a slight “rotten eggs” odor after applying it means sulfur is reacting with iron, though there shouldn’t be enough to make an offensive amount of it. Increasing the formation of sulfate through sun exposure as described in previous chapters is even more effective in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions, but applying a small amount of topical sulfur can more directly treat these conditions, and never get sulfur near your eyes at even a small exposure to the eyes will cause extreme discomfort.
Many skin conditions resemble acne but are in fact other types of infections. For many years I also suffered a strange condition where the hair follicles of my neck became infected if my facial hair grew out even slightly. I tried many treatments for acne on this condition, with no results. It turns out the infection was caused by demodex mites, which are an organism that commonly cohabitates with humans and feeds in hair follicles, which is why the infection worsened if I did not shave frequently. Other common skin conditions involve a wide variety of fungi and yeasts which can cause everything from simple flaking to severe lesions and rashes. For all of these conditions (including acne) the treatment with sulfur is also amazingly effective and can also be used on things such as toenail fungus and skin tags, as sulfur’s effect on iron destroys any pathogen which uses it to cause such problems. Again, please be extremely cautious when using sulfur. Keep it away from children, and especially your eyes.
Because powdered sulfur is so problematic internally it is more helpful to use sulfur-containing nutrients like vitamins B1, B2, and Taurine (I discuss these below) to bind internal iron, or eat foods which are high in sulfur such as garlic, onions, and cabbage (and to address gut health which influences our sulfur amino acid pathways as discussed in the chapter on gut health). If iron overload already causes acne, avoiding foods which are high in iron for a time and using these supplements and foods which help bind and flush iron from the body can quickly cure acne in young people. Older people, with slower metabolic rates, may have a more difficult time but the process is the same.
Incidentally, yeasts produce a special form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside which is powerfully supportive of NAD synthesis. It is one of the reasons why traditional kombucha or heirloom bread as discussed in the chapter Good Bread can be so restorative to health, and rebalancing the populations of yeast in the gut and using a yeast probiotic as discussed at the end of the chapter on Candida and SIBO can actually set up a gut which produces this special form of niacin automatically.
Because glycine dramatically enhances metabolic integrity it also supports the proper functioning of the kynurenine pathway, and if the meal includes gelatin (which is high in glycine) such as can be added through gravy or dissolved in juices the effect will be even more profound. Glycine also functions to rapidly counteract tissue damage and aging, so it can help sustain and protect hair that is already grown from possible stresses that might compromise it otherwise. Alternatively, a supplement of glycine powder can be used instead. Too much glycine at once can sometimes be dangerous, so don’t exceed 10 grams in any one dose nor 20 grams a day.
Also, since acetic acid stimulates the synthesis of glycogen, taking some while consuming carbohydrates can load the liver and muscles with more glycogen than they would normally store, and thus prolonging the duration during the night before catabolism sets in. The study I saw only used 0.4% of acetic acid in solution, so it doesn’t take very much. 1 tbsp of vinegar in a large glass of orange juice is both easy to take and very effective in promoting glycogen storage. Sodium acetate can provide even more. Taken with or immediately after consuming a meal that includes carbohydrates will be most effective.
Zinc is also required for the body to properly use vitamin D, as many studies show the concomitant release and uptake of zinc along with vitamin D activity, and without zinc the body either cannot use vitamin D or does not perform the functions stimulated by vitamin D, and a supplement of zinc sulfate will be required in anyone in need of GABA therapy, as the manifestation of pathologies requiring GABA therapy are also indicators of zinc deficiency, since zinc promotes skin health through these pathways. If zinc and vitamin D are necessary for your situation but have not been supplemented previously, it is necessary to first use them for a few weeks before attempting GABA therapy, in order to restore affected cellular substances and pathways (like glutathione), without which GABA therapy will not be as effective. Their use will still make improvements in the overall metabolic rate, which should be improved anyway prior to attempting this therapy.
By shutting down the active metabolic state, GABA actually lowers the core body temperature because our primary source of body heat is being turned off to allow cells to rest and restore their internal constituents. In healthy people the body responds to this drop in body temperature by coordinately raising thermogenesis from fat cells, bringing us back to the concept that fat is meant primarily to keep the body warm, not as a source of calories. Fat is our very own built-in heating blanket which serves to keep the rest of our cells at optimally functioning temperature. When it comes to GABA, the foremost inhibitor of this thermogenic response is a calcium deficiency. The inability to absorb or properly utilize calcium is a factor in many degenerative diseases. Calcium stimulates a warmer metabolic rate, binding with phosphorus as it departs cells after its use for energy, thus preventing problems caused by excess phosphorus which results from an increase in metabolic rate. In many people with metabolic problems (perhaps all) calcium or certain forms of calcium are deficient even when the diet is replete with calcium. Even though I drank copious amounts of milk I never got the same benefits to GABA function as I did when using calcium acetate. Calcium acetate originates naturally in the guts of those with a normal microbiome, but when populations of healthful gut bacteria decline as discussed in the chapter on gut health, short chain fatty acids like acetic acid decline as well, thus inhibiting formation of helpful mineral acetates. Calcium acetate as described in the chapter on insomnia can be used to circumvent calcium deficiencies and guarantee GABA function to be effective in restoring sleep as well as the regeneration of damaged tissue such as occurs in vascular insufficiency and stretch marks as well as other trauma to internal tissue which cannot be seen.