Autoimmune Disease Diseases and Disorders fermented cod liver oil Food Grant Genereux Inflammation nutrition Supplementation vitamin A vitamin A depletion diet

Vitamin A: Vitamin or Villain?


180DegreeHealth, from the start, has been about two main issues:

  1. Slaying widely-held dietary myths
  2. Determining what the hell is inflicting an accelerated improve in almost all well being issues worldwide over the previous century, the final 40 years particularly, and decide how greatest to show these developments “180 degrees.”

Admittedly, 180D has completed much more of #1 than #2. In reality, as a result of the pursuit of #2 attracted so many excessive well being fanatics and disordered eaters, I felt obligated to principally drop the latter and shout “EAT AN EFFING SLICE OF PIZZA AND RELAX” from the rooftops.

Nevertheless it’s scary on the market individuals. For instance, in simply 40 years, the Alzheimer’s fee in 75-85 yr olds in North America elevated by four,000%. Many different inflammatory and degenerative illnesses have seen will increase almost as scary in that point interval. We will’t simply hand over as a result of a few of our failed excessive food plan experiments didn’t work out. We’ve acquired to determine this out.

And so, I current to you immediately a very nice lead about what may be inflicting all this, one thing which may probably slay THE most sacred dietary cow, and one thing which may have actual potential to reverse the horrifying current well being tendencies.

Take into account, that is principally only a concept. Most theories are utterly improper. A only a few are even partially right. I’m not 100% satisfied about it, and also you shouldn’t be both. You shouldn’t be 100% satisfied about something in science. Nothing is ever set in stone, and one new discovery can dramatically upend all the things that has come earlier than it.

What’s the idea?

The idea is that extra accumulation of Vitamin A within the physique is the first reason for body-wide irritation. This irritation is invoking an immune response, and the immune response itself is doing much more injury on prime of it (by way of autoimmunity, principally).

Sounds fairly preposterous upon first look. I imply, we’re speaking about Vitamin A right here. You recognize, the FIRST VITAMIN ever found. It’s a substance present in virtually each meals. The most typical type of vitamin A is retinol, and is used on the attention, therefore the identify (retinol as in retina).

Nevertheless it begins to sound so much much less preposterous once you consider it like this…

There was an enormous improve in most inflammatory and immune circumstances during the last 40 years. So what modified considerably 40 years in the past and continued to worsen?

Nicely, there’s the low-fat weight-reduction plan craze. There’s the change to excessive fructose corn syrup. We began enjoying video video games and utilizing computer systems. We began utilizing a hell of much more chemical compounds, components, and taste enhancers in meals.

These sound dangerous, and most pin the blame such issues while not having to see a lot proof, however there’s not likely a lot of a concept that one can construct about how these issues trigger such a tidal wave of irritation and the immune system principally going apeshit in addition.

The rise in vitamin A consumption, nevertheless, is rather more compelling. Proper consistent with the dramatic rise in sickness was a dramatic rise in vitamin A consumption.

  • Proper round 1980 the U.S. began pumping supplemental vitamin A into milk, breakfast cereal, toddler method, margarine, and different meals. Different nations adopted go well with.
  • Using vitamin A-loaded multivitamins completely skyrocketed (over 50% of U.S. residents take a vitamin A-laden multivitamin day by day)
  • The pores and skin most cancers scare began, and everybody started lathering themselves with sunscreen–wealthy in vitamin A palmitate.
  • Pimples lotions chock filled with vitamin A (I used to make use of prescription Retin-A) have been squirted on each pimpled face, later adopted by the infamous vitamin A-based Accutane

However that’s not all!

The consumption of meals wealthy in plant-sourced vitamin A (as carotenoids) went wild! International tomato consumption greater than doubled. Yr-round recent fruit and vegetable availability elevated dramatically. The boon in wholesome vitamin (makes an attempt at it, a minimum of) elevated wildly. Fruit and vegetable juice consumption skyrocketed. I imply, hardly anybody knew what a smoothie was in 1980. In 2005 I heard a child as soon as say, “Who the hell eats a smoothie for breakfast?” The 2018 reply to that query is in fact, “EVERYONE!”

After which in fact there’s salads. And kale. KALE! Sure, people have truly been making an attempt to eat it for years now.

Okay, I feel we will all agree that the consumption of vitamin A has gone means up over the previous 40 years. Now, why the hell is that a dangerous factor?

So, definitely you’ve heard one thing alongside the strains of “taking too many vitamins can be bad.” Yeah, REAL dangerous. Vitamin A is by far the vitamin with the worst fame in terms of getting an excessive amount of of it. The listing of signs you will get from taking an excessive amount of vitamin A is a mile lengthy, and doesn’t sound very nice.

That’s an acute situation, and may be simply and shortly fastened by going again to comparatively regular vitamin A consumption ranges.

The idea put ahead by Grant Genereux is that vitamin A, a fats soluble vitamin, is saved away within the liver. The liver does NOT have limitless storage capability for vitamin A, so when the liver turns into saturated with it, it will get saved as retinoic acid (a nasty, inflammation-inducing substance used for chemotherapy and acid peels and the like) everywhere in the physique–the place it turns into a set off for irritation and a belligerent response from the immune system.

When you attain that time of saturation, all the vitamin A you ingest is a potent “poison.” Grant believes that the illness patterns seen worldwide, and the sudden rise, has all of the markings of a poisoning, not of a degenerative illness course of:

Does it not make some intuitive sense that no matter is inflicting these illnesses; it simply needs to be one thing pervasive, but delicate, in our surroundings? One thing that’s so apparent that it’s being ignored and ignored. One thing so little and virtually trivial, that it’s by no means an excessive amount of of a suspect. One thing that’s proper beneath our noses. One thing we’ve been informed, and we assume, is sweet for us. But, it’s one thing that may have a profound, and devastating impact on the human physique.

Moreover, when you perceive that the basis reason for the autoimmune illnesses, and most of the psychological well being issues, is a poisoning, you’ll perceive why all the varied medicine are completely ineffective. Or perhaps this vitamin A subclinical toxicity isn’t apparent? In any case, this can be a very delicate and tough state of affairs that develops slowly over an extended interval. It’s extra or much less documented to be massively unlikely to occur on as extensive a scale as it’s. However it’s occurring, simply with principally small or subclinical quantities of this potential toxin accumulating within the mistaken locations within the human physique.

Simply to be clear right here, this isn’t in any respect basic hypervitaminosis A. No, it’s far worse as a result of the saturation ranges are greater. I feel it’s insidious Vitaminosis A. This can be a very sluggish construct as much as close to saturation and thereafter remaining in a state of continual delicate overflow of what now turns into a toxin. This course of is so properly documented and clinically confirmed, that I feel we will think about it to be an absolute reality. Earlier on I requested what might probably trigger the top to toe self-destruction of the human physique that we see with the autoimmune illnesses. Now we all know; it’s truly a well-proven, and well-documented reality too. It’s retinoic acid.

How might a “vitamin” be inflicting all of this?

Properly, in Grant’s second e-book, Poisoning for Revenue, he does a reasonably rattling good job of breaking down the issues within the unique experiments that recognized this substance because the very first “vitamin.” It might not truly be a vitamin in any respect, however merely a standard poisonous substance present in meals that our livers usually hold underneath containment, and that our our bodies have discovered the best way to use over generations (for instance, vitamin A is launched from the liver to struggle infections. It really works since, you already know, it’s poison!). As most of you vitamin nerds know, liver is by far probably the most concentrated supply of vitamin A, and is taken into account by most nutritionists to be a superfood. (Cod liver oil has virtually a spiritual following in circles like The Weston A. Worth Basis, however many have gotten burned by consuming an excessive amount of of it. Like, actually burned.)

Grant additionally purchased some gerbils and fed them a zero vitamin A weight loss plan with no sick impact. Fairly the opposite. Awww, take a look at these cute lil’ fuckers! Jogs my memory of my two gerbils again within the day, which I named Koko B. Ware and Leapin’ Lanny Poffo, as a result of I’m the awesomest at naming stuff.

Some frisky gerbils that outlived the supposed vitamin A poor lab animals in experiments almost 100 years in the past is mildly reassuring at greatest although. What about people?

Grant has been avoiding all sources of vitamin A 100% for almost 4 years I consider. Nonetheless kicking. Nonetheless capable of see. The truth is, he reversed a mile-long laundry record of great, debilitating well being issues doing so (eczema, weight achieve, and dementia most notably), and even had most of his grey hair flip again to brown in his 50’s.

The Andersen household has prevented vitamin A for 17 years as of this photograph (mother and father aged 44 and 57 within the photograph). Even the youngsters have hardly had a hint of vitamin A of their complete lives. Man, they’re actually in tough form! They haven’t any eyes! 🙂


Vitamin A is meant to be a key nutrient for pores and skin well being. Sorry woman, I need to see extra of your pores and skin. For science in fact!

dnk3tlkv4aeqjseObserve, Charlene “lizard skin” Andersen has famous her well being issues (bronchial asthma, eczema, Lyme illness, and others) are rekindled by consuming liver, which she grew up consuming steadily and having a robust affinity for.

Sufficient of that. Suffice it to say that there’s a LOT extra to the vitamin A narrative. 

Whereas most will simply assume that Grant healed himself of his issues by eradicating all allergens (since he whittled his food plan right down to just some meals), or PUFA (he consumed hardly any in his eating regimen as nicely)–or simply flat out dismiss it as a result of he’s an engineer so subsequently couldn’t probably know his ass from a gap within the wall–I guarantee you there’s extra right here than that. Once more, the idea shouldn’t sweep you off your ft and switch you right into a zealot in a single day. However it’s one thing to be open to.

As Grant states on the finish of his first ebook, Extinguishing the Fires of Hell:

“However, even with all this evidence, I’m not asking you to simply believe that this theory is correct. I’m only asking you to believe that it is quite possible for it to be correct. Whether it is correct or not is still an open question. The responsible answer to that question is that we really don’t know just yet. The great part of this investigation is that you now have an opportunity to help prove it one way or the other. We need more evidence, and a lot more results to prove it correct or not. The quickest way to get that evidence is for more people to apply this simple little diet experiment and report their results. I wish I could say the results will be fast and easy, but they will not be. This process will take time. I expect somewhere around three to twelve months, or longer for most adults. Therefore, we need to be both patient and diligent. Additionally, we need to be very careful not to jump to conclusions. This is serious business, deadly serious business. Please don’t report false results. Don’t report wishful thinking. I’d view doing so to be completely amoral and regarded as fraudulent. Also, please report all results. Both failures and successes need to be reported. For eczema, psoriasis, lupus, and most other autoimmune diseases, please post both before and after pictures.”

So what do you have to do with this info? 

Properly, for starters I feel it might be safer to keep away from vitamin A-laden dietary supplements, together with cod liver oil, and fortified meals (milk and breakfast cereal being the worst), till we now have extra info. We have to be SURE that this stuff are useful and never dangerous earlier than consuming them willy nilly. Thanks however no thanks for not diligently doing all of your homework earlier than implementing nation-wide dietary modifications, authorities! (grumbles, feels slight regret over burning that Ron Paul poster a number of years again).

Additionally, like I’ve beneficial since all the time, it is best to use shirts and hats as sunscreen, not white goop filled with vitamin A. Vitamin A makes the pores and skin tremendous delicate to daylight. I ended utilizing it as a result of I obtained uninterested in getting horribly burned in minutes once I forgot to place it on, even with a darkish tan. As Grant factors out in his ebook, slathering vitamin A cream on rodents causes pores and skin most cancers. Not an INCREASE in most cancers charges. 100%. Each. Single. One. Even with out daylight.

That’s what you need to do in case you’re wholesome. That may maintain your vitamin A consumption probably inside the boundaries of what your liver can cope with, and hopefully you gained’t run into long-term issues.

You also needs to maintain your liver wholesome and extremely metabolically lively. There are lots of elements concerned in liver well being and performance, however a pair no brainers are preferentially choosing saturated fats over unsaturated fats (to assist keep away from fatty liver illness), and maintain your metabolism excessive. The liver is among the many most metabolically lively tissues within the physique, and its metabolic exercise slows dramatically to decrease metabolic fee if you end up overstressed and/or undernourished (calorically). That is maybe why stress and a lowered metabolism may cause autoimmune flareups, and interventions that increase metabolism and alleviate stress are so efficient. For some time at the least.

Should you’re sick and overrun with an autoimmune illness or different inflammatory, supposedly “incurable” situation, properly hell, give a Vitamin A-depleted eating regimen a whirl. What have you ever received to lose, actually? I feel this “Villain A” concept is promising sufficient to discover.

How does one deplete themselves of vitamin A? Consuming none of it for 7 months or so ought to do the trick, if Grant’s estimates are right. The weight loss plan is brutally restrictive, restricted principally to grains (he used rice), white greens (assume peeled white potatoes, turnips, celeriac, parsnips, jicama, cauliflower), beef, and raisins and grape juice. However it beats consuming solely beef, which appears to be all the fad nowadays relating to toppling autoimmune circumstances and psychological issues.

Word, a eating regimen of beef and water solely accommodates no vitamin A. Coincidence? Determine for your self. 

We’ll talk about this extra on an ongoing foundation for positive. To greatest take part in discussions, I like to recommend studying Grant’s two books HERE and HERE.

And in addition studying by way of the prolonged and extremely contentious thread on the Ray Peat discussion board about it HERE. Franko solutions questions on it and debates with extra power than I might ever muster, so I might undoubtedly verify that out.

And naturally learn the feedback right here! I’m positive there might be no less than a couple of hundred.

Chart put collectively by 180D reader Jeanne of vitamin A content material of widespread meals.