You ARE What you eat…

This is a nice confirmation of something I’ve suspected. That some relatively large molecules pass into the body unchanged in “digestion”; many with biological activity. We all know this from the use of medicines, many of which are fairly large molecules and expected to be absorbed unchanged; yet somehow many folks think things like DNA and RNA and Proteins are all completely and perfectly converted into “raw materials” prior to any getting in…

But it’s just not so.

Digestion, like most processes in our bodies, is an evolved process that is “just good enough” and then doesn’t waste any more energy than needed. Energy being a vital resource, and typically in short supply, to living things. We have various energy conservation strategies. It is so important that most species to NOT evolve a large brain as it is a waste of energy. Humans are very unusual in that regard, but it comes at the cost of massive die offs in times of famine and an inability to just estivate or hibernate. We must be actively seeking calories to keep the brain fed.

So one energy conservation strategy would be to only digest things to the largest sized pieces that can be reused. IMHO that is part of what leads to arthritis, as some of us develop an immune response to “bits” of collagen or other materials from some particular foods. Bits that are just unique enough for the immune system to eventually decide they are “not us”, but are sized such that they can be brought in from food and reused as ‘building blocks’ via chunks that are energy efficient large. A miss match between the digestive “bring in big chunks to be efficient” and the immune system desire for blocks broken down enough to be clearly just ‘raw materials’. So, for me, beef proteins cause an immune response leading to arthritic problems if I eat it more than once a week (or less, some times).

OK, fine theory and all, but not much evidence for it (other than speculation as to a ’cause’ that is a kind of wiggle match to the available evidence of cause / effect).

So along comes this interesting article:

It’s an article about the discovery of an RNA chunk from rice floating around in the blood of animals fed rice. Including people. Not only that, but the microRNA is biologically active.

Now think about that for a minute. A chunk of a PLANT gets passed into the blood unchanged, floats around, and does things.

I took some fair amount of heat from some folks over my assertion that it was time to walk away from GMO foods. (One comment that didn’t get approved said I was “FOS”, or full of it… Telling the host they are ‘full of shit’ does not meet the guidelines of the About box…) I’d stated that my concern was with the potential for the bits of crap inserted into GMO foods to remain active and do “who knows what” in the gut, interacting with gut bacteria and / or having some of it interacting with you. That relatively big bits could be passed wholesale into the body and that could be very “not good”. Things like the BT Toxin.

Well, here we have an ‘existence proof’ of just such a large molecule of biologic material getting into the blood stream and wandering around.

RNAs from rice can survive digestion and make their way into mammalian tissues, where they change the expression of genes.

What’s the News: It’s no secret that having lunch messes with your biochemistry. Once that sandwich hits your stomach, genes related to digestion have been activated and are causing the production of the many molecules that help break food down. But a new study suggests that the connection between your food’s biochemistry and your own may be more intimate than we thought. Tiny RNAs usually found in plants have been discovered circulating in blood, and animal studies indicate that they are directly manipulating the expression of genes.

What’s the Context:

MicroRNAs, or miRNAs, are molecules involved in regulation of gene expression, the transcription of genes into proteins. miRNAs bind to the messenger RNAs that ferry genetic information from DNA to the ribosomes, which translate messenger RNAs into proteins.
When a miRNA binds a messenger RNA, it keeps it from being translated, thus preventing that gene from being expressed.

How the Heck:

This team of researchers at Nanjing University had been studying the miRNAs that circulate in human blood and were surprised to find that some of the miRNAs weren’t homegrown but instead came from plants. One of the most common plant miRNAs was from rice, a staple of their Chinese subjects’ diets. Intrigued, they confirmed with a variety of tests in mice that the miRNA, which, in its native environs, usually regulates plant development, was definitely coming from food.

When they put the rice miRNA in cells, they found that levels of a receptor that filters out LDL, aka “bad” cholesterol, in the liver went down. As it turned out, the miRNA was binding to the receptor’s messenger RNA and preventing it from being expressed, sending receptor levels down and bad-cholesterol levels up. They saw the same effect when they tried it in mice.

Going further, when they fed rice to mice but also gave them a molecule that would turn off the miRNA, the liver receptor bounced back and bad cholesterol levels went down.

The team concludes that miRNAs may be a new class of functional components in food, like vitamins or minerals—even in an animal that’s pretty far removed from their home organism, they can manipulate gene expression and have an effect on nutrition.

Never heard of MicroRNA? Well, the first one was figured out in the 1990s, but it took until the 2000s to get some clue about them, so it’s a relatively new discovery.

The first miRNAs were characterized in the early 1990s. However, miRNAs were not recognized as a distinct class of biological regulators with conserved functions until the early 2000s. Since then, miRNA research has revealed multiple roles in negative regulation (transcript degradation and sequestering, translational suppression) and possible involvement in positive regulation (transcriptional and translational activation). By affecting gene regulation, miRNAs are likely to be involved in most biological processes. Different sets of expressed miRNAs are found in different cell types and tissues.

Aberrant expression of miRNAs has been implicated in numerous disease states, and miRNA-based therapies are under investigation.

The implications of this are huge.

From potentially lending support to the notion that eating raw food matters, to idiosyncratic food differences, to potentially things like the particular processes of Kosher food making a difference. (Does the way a cow is bled change what is left in the meat to get into, and adjust, your genetic activity? Does a shellfish have a miRNA that causes problems, missing in scaly fish?)

So one of the recent fad diets has been the “Wheat Belly” diet. It asserts that modern wheat makes folks fat. Modern wheat is quite different from the wheat of 1800. Might part of that be a miRNA that is present in larger amounts, and, perhaps, shuts down fat metabolism or turns on fat storage?

The fact that when another substance was given with the rice, the miRNA was turned off and the cholesterol elevation blocked, also implies that ‘food combining’ is important. Perhaps those traditional combinations (like fish / rice or rice / soy sauce) are not just flavor matching.

Are some of the food that are “cancer fighting” perhaps turning off the particular genes of cancer cells? Can “brain food” be more than just the proteins, fats, and vitamins in them?

Also left open is the question of: “If miRNA makes it through the gut, what else does?”

So in some very fundamental ways “You are what you eat” since it is demonstrated to be turning on, and off, various genes. I can think of no more basic change to “who you are” than comes from changing what genes are active.

Looks to me like the folks advocating for a more traditional and low processed diet just got a fairly large boost. If we evolved, for example, to be properly balanced in energy and growth, when eating a kg or so of raw vegetables per day, maybe “that matters”. Perhaps all those folks “juicing” on things like pureed carrots are not just imagining that it makes them feel better.

For me, it mostly means that I’m going to be paying much closer attention to how I feel after eating particular individual foods. I’m also going to try eating some more, and different, raw foods. Now I don’t expect to notice a lot; but it would be very interesting if something were notable. It also means that if something is “less than fresh” I’m going to be wondering what all the “bugs” in it might have contributed, and do I really want a bit of mold to be turning my genes on and off?

There is also the potential to explain some of the longevity “hot spots” via the foods they eat. For example, the folks in Italy who live to 100+ in good shape while eating pounds of sheep cheese. Perhaps it isn’t just the running around chasing sheep, but “something in the cheese” (Pecorino)… So could having cheese, wine, and bread be more than just some calories?

Pecorino Cheese – the answer to a long life?

By Jennifer Meier,

So did anyone else catch The Oprah Show yesterday? The show is visiting regions of the world where a large percentage of the population lives well into their nineties and beyond. Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, is one of the those regions. Giovannai, a 105 year-old resident of Sardinia shared his secret to longevity: “I eat bread, cheese and dark wine.” He is truly a man after my own heart.

According to Oprah’s sidekick Dr. Oz, the Pecorino cheese that Sardinia is known for is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Paired with antioxidant-rich red wine and whole grain bread, a dinner of bread cheese is not something you have to view as a guilty pleasure.

Maybe it’s more than just Omega-3s and antioxidants. Perhaps it’s doing a bit of gene regulation as well…

Me? I think I’m going to pick up some Pecorino, a nice rich Italian whole wheat crusty bread, some olive oil to dip it, and a bit of a decent Italian Red… Oh, and a salad…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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85 Responses to You ARE What you eat…

  1. R. Shearer says:

    I have a hankering of some Galopagos tortoise soup.

  2. Power Grab says:

    Re the ideas presented in Wheat Belly – I think his point that 2 slices of whole wheat bread raise your blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of table sugar is amazing. It also helps me understand that whenever I would have a piece of toast for breakfast, then I would eat more that day. I would feel stronger hunger all day. I’m guessing the mechanism is that higher insulin levels cause your blood sugar to be reduced to a lower level than otherwise. That’s what insulin does. Even after reading that book, eliminating bread and most sources of wheat from my diet, and losing weight, inches, and cholesterol points – i still puzzle over why avoiding wheat seems to be a good thing. Another thing I read was that wheat has a lectin that functions just like insulin. So when you eat wheat with or without other starches or sugars, you get a greater release of insulin than you otherwise would. I also read that the release of insulin hampers the release of bile. If you don’t release enough bile, then the fat you do eat is not metabolized. If you know what I’m talking about with all this, then you might want to seek out a product called Poopourri. Just sayin’ . I don’t own it or sell it or anything.

    Re the food of long-lived populations – most of those items you mentioned have significant anti-fungal properties because they were produced using lactobacteria. Not the grain, as a rule, unless it’s sourdough, but the cheese, the wine, and fatty acids have a tendency to keep fungi from getting out of control. My rule of thumb is that grains and sugars tend to help molds and fungi to live long and prosper, but many fresh foods (especially those produced in a tropical environment, such as coconut) have significant anti-fungal properties, or at least pro-lactobacterial properties (if I may coin a phrase). I don’t think it’s necessarily the antioxidants, per se, as it is the anti-fungals that help preserve our health. Oh, one more thing, lots of times it’s the anti-fungal things that also turn out to be anti-cancer. Since cancer and fungi prosper under the same conditions (high sugar, low oxygen, low energy), it’s not too surprising that loading up on anti-fungal foods can help treat or prevent cancer. Shhhh…you didn’t hear it from me.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    Damn, I just had a large plate of rice for supper and now you tell me that it may be hazardous to my health! Next you will be telling us that living is a terminal condition.. ;-) pg

  4. gallopingcamel says:

    Up to 1995 I was into physically demanding sports, track & field, Rugby football etc. Then arthritis struck and my doctor told me that I would not even be able to play golf. He recommended replacing my hip and knee joints. He tried a series of powerful NSAIDs on me. One of them (Bextra) was highly effective but I noticed a dramatic effect on my blood pressure and stopped taking it long before the drug was withdrawn from the market. For the last 8 years I have turned my back on prescription medications while grasping every “miracle diet” or “alternative medicine” straw that floated by.

    Gloucosamine and Chondroitin did not help me but fish oil worked really well. Since starting with fish oil the deterioration in my joints has been minimal so my doctor has stopped talking about joint replacement.

    Although my joints have not got any worse they have not improved either. What I am looking for is something that will stimulate my body to repair itself. Radiation might have the desired effect and I am looking into ways to try it out on myself, inspired by the example of my chemistry professor (Dr. B.C. Saunders) who developed botulinus toxin for military applications during WWII. The stuff had to be tested and the only way to do it quickly was to test it on himself.

    I am trying to obtain a lively chunk of Carnotite with the idea of using it to generate a solution of Radon for drinking with my daily single malt scotch whisky. The beauty of Radon is that it is an alpha emitter so it has no effect unless ingested. I will keep you posted on my progress or lack thereof.

    My capabilities have diminished to the point that I can’t do much physical work but then I remembered George Bernard Shaw who said “Those who can do…those who can’t teach”.

    So now I teach:

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Lucky for me, mine has stayed “marginal” over the years. Mostly just need to keep the “cow stuff” limited. Though lately I find tomatoes causing similar effects. (In Dr. Dong’s Arthritic’s Cookbook he lists tomatoes as a ‘no-no’, but I’d been able to ignore that for the last few decades. No more…)

    Shifting the omega 3 / 6 ratio helps too as does Vit-D (fish oil does both).

    FWIW, you might want to just try Human Growth Hormone rather than the radiation. It ought to stimulate the repair / growth without the cellular damage side effects of radiation. From what I’ve seen of it, looks to work for a lot of ‘issues’.


    It isn’t that it’s bad, per se, just that it “does stuff”… so you need some ‘fish oil’ (preferably in the fish ;-) to go with the rice ;-)

    @R. Shearer:

    You want to be a tortoise? Ok…..

    @Power Grab:

    Good points. Yeah, I’m shifting to more “fungus hostile” diet.

    BTW, older forms of wheat are asserted to not have the problem as, perhaps, all whole wheat. This could be due to the stuff in the wheat germ (having a lot more RNA…) or the hulls having some beneficial effect that swamps the “white bread” part.

    One of the historical groups with great teeth and health, with slim build, were northern tribes in India that ate a lot of wheat. But it was older types and whole grain… So it might not be the wheat per se, but what we’ve done to it / with it. Due to that, we’re slowly cutting over to whole grains.

    Oh, and one study on rice found that the phosphorus compounds in bran on brown rice was effective at preventing / reducing cancerous changes in cells.

    Phytic acid is found within the hulls of nuts, seeds, and grains.[2] In-home food preparation techniques can reduce the phytic acid in all of these foods. Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree. More effective methods are soaking in an acid medium, lactic acid fermentation, and sprouting.[17]

    Phytic acid has a strong binding affinity to important minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc though the binding of calcium with phytic acid depends on pH[18] and that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can reduce phytic acid effects on iron.[19] When a mineral binds to phytic acid, it becomes insoluble, precipitates and will be nonabsorbable in the intestines. This process can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries.[20][21] Contrary to that, one study correlated decreased osteoporosis risk with phytic acid consumption.[22] It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, the deficiency of which is known as pellagra.[23] In this regard, it is an antinutrient, despite its possible therapeutic effects (see below). For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable.

    “Probiotic lactobacilli, and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora, as well, are an important source of the enzyme phytase which catalyses the release of phosphate from phytate and hydrolyses the complexes formed by phytate and metal ions or other cations, rendering them more soluble, ultimately improving and facilitating their intestinal absorption”[24]

    I’ve forgotten if it was IP4, 5 or 6, but one of them was found in brown rice bran and was protective / helpful.

    So I’ve started buying brown rice and whole oats and all… And whole wheat bread.

    Seems I’m less hungry and have more energy at the same time. We’ll see if the other benefits show up…

  6. Petrossa says:

    EM, one thing people always forget about long life:

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    One of the things that is interesting about the “pockets of longevity” or longevity hot spots, is that the folks in them are healthy and energetic far longer before the decrepit state sets in. In the case of the Pecornio Cheese folks, running around chasing sheep over hills at 80 or 90 is quite normal. While for us, being in a hospital at 70 if you make it is more normal…

    Similarly, the Okinawans have seen the present generation having much faster health decay and earlier death (on a more western diet). So some of them are dying at 60 looking about the same as their parents of 80 to 90…

    In other words, seeking after the longevity hot spots is as much about the quality ‘for the duration’ as it is about the absolute duration.

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    Much of the research into wheat in Australia by the CSIRO is devoted to boosting the protein content, or gluten. I know a local chef who cannot use australian wheat flour to make his inherited (Italian) recipes. He complains that the flour is “too strong”.
    I notice that there has been a noticeable increase in coeliacs (those intolerant to wheat flour) in recent years, as well as people allergic to “nuts” (although peanuts also strongly induce the allergic reaction). One cannot help wondering if there is some connection with stronger gluten being higher in lower MW proteins, or the vary sort of thing that might be ingested without digestion.
    Ancient forms of wheat, Emmer, Kammut, and Spelt, are possible substitutes for modern wheat. Curiously Durum wheat (think pasta) is also less allergenic.

  9. When I buy yeast to put into the wine, one thing on the specification is the “kill factor”. The yeast puts out a chemical that kills other yeasts, so it becomes the dominant one. If you make wine from grapes, you don’t need to add yeast since there will be enough floating around naturally, but it’s a good idea to use one that produces better flavours and more efficient conversion of the sugars to alcohol. The yeast I use is a Champagne yeast with a very high kill-factor. I’d presume these anti-fungal compounds remain in the wine after the yeast has done its work, thus the wine will by itself act as anti-fungal medicine if you drink enough of it. Wine has historically been used to wash wounds out, presumably because it was seen to have antiseptic properties. It’s nice to have a scientific reason for the wave-offering….

    I have read (but can’t find the link at the moment) that people fed on solely rice are much easier to brainwash. Could be the reason is this miRNA passing into the body. It seems this technique was used by the Moonies (on my brother back in ’76) as part of the recruitment process.

    Although red tomatoes can show problems, yellow and orange ones seem to be fine for my girlfriend. Worth testing out if you want to eat tomatoes but normally can’t.

  10. Jason Calley says:

    @ gallopingcamel “For the last 8 years I have turned my back on prescription medications while grasping every “miracle diet” or “alternative medicine” straw that floated by.”

    Have you tried using plain old borax as a boron supplement?

    My wife (and now me as well) are starting to get the various joint pains so I was doing a little reading the other day and saw the article on boron use for some types (not all) of joint problems. I have not started using it yet, but will advise you if I have noticeable change.

  11. Tim Clark says:

    I admit I was unaware of miRNA, as it wasn’t discovered when I was a lab rat in a molecular genetics project. So…….. You were right.

    Can I avow I only dissed your GM hypothesis knowing that it would force you to dig deeper. ;~P

    Seriously, this data opens up an opportunity for endless hours of thought and google research. Thanks for the digging. What immediately comes to mind—-

    [ or the hulls having some beneficial effect that swamps the “white bread” part. ]

    The “germ” in whole wheat contains the RNA for the reduction of stored carbohydrates into translocated usable sugars………

  12. adolfogiurfa says:

    What about the IMPRESSIONS you eat through your EYES?

  13. adolfogiurfa says:

    Wise sentence my dear @E.M.! You are really intuitive, a sign that you eat and process all kinds of food properly and reject just good looking prospects…
    It´s time for you to revisit the chapter nine of:

    Click to access fragmentsof.pdf

  14. NeilM says:

    I know its not the main topic of the post, but I’m not convinced that there is any such thing as bad cholesterol.
    Actually I think there is greater risk to health from too low a level. The liver must make it for a reason otherwise why waste the energy?

  15. Petrossa says:

    That has actually been confirmed. But statins make big bucks so…..

  16. Pascvaks says:

    FWIW Thought –
    We ARE what we eat, and “we are what is eating us”, and “each of us has different things that are eating us” – As I read, a thought came to mind, that the ingestion half of the process was very much complemented with a few billion micro-organisms that were tagging along for the ride and breaking down what we ate yesterday into smaller bits and pieces. And, that these little friends of ours had their own very unique makeup in each of us. It’s not like we all only have Ham and Lima Beans C-Rats every meal and that’s all and the only “what” that we all ate. Now I haven’t had any Quinua in a while, or any Kiwi Fruit either, and I have to admit that I do like to munch a banana or a bunch of Cheeto’s every now and then, etc. ad infinitum. The wife is just as much alike to me as I am to her, but there are BIG differences. She has her very own favorites at the buffet, and I have mine, etc. ad you know. The kids are the same too now, as different from their mother and I as they are from each other; and I’m still just talking about the ‘bugs’ in our guts. (No telling what our oldest picked up off a plate of “x” in New Zealand last year, or from the water, or air, or on the outside edge of a glass of water;-) Bugs are funny people! People have funny and different bugs! Imagine how complicate things get when you have a lot of different ‘things’ you eat and several million different chemical reactions going on 24 hours a day halfway between your head and feets.

  17. Power Grab says:

    If you’re going to increase your intake of whole grains, you need to soak and/or sprout them, and/or use sourdough methods to prepare them.

    The primitive peoples that eat a lot of grain and still are able to produce normal, healthy children generation after generation, are probably using sourdough methods to prepare them. I read an article about some researchers who went to Egypt and used ancestral grains along with open-air capture of “bugs” (leavening bacteria) to prepare sourdough that was supposed to be like they made it in ancient times.

    Point is, we can make sourdough bread without having a starter if we know how. So I would imagine those healthy people who ate lots of grain did not prepare them using our modern methods. Another thing that’s interesting is that cultures that survive and thrive while using lots of corn, is that they have learned to incorporate a step of preparation that involves soaking it in lime water (slaked lime). It frees up the niacin so it can be assimilated. Without this step, you don’t get the niacin you need.

  18. Power Grab says:

    Ever tried Cherokee Purple tomatoes? It’s one of those heirloom tomato varieties.

  19. Power Grab says:

    @ NeilM: I also don’t believe cholesterol is bad. In fact, one of my mottos is “Cholesterol is your friend!” I only mentioned its lowering after eliminating bread because I thought I was going to be coerced into having an official checkup that was a thinly veiled attempt to pinpoint new drug customers. If your cholesterol number is above a certain level, that makes them think you should be taking their drugs.

    I don’t get tested much, but I happened to noticed that my number went down about 40 points after I stopped bread. It went down another 20-30 points when I got off sugar. That was enough to brag about. and not get coerced into the screening.

    My favorite sources say that we should keep it between 200 and 300 as a rule of thumb. It seriously scares me when people proudly that they got theirs down to 75 or something. That’s getting down to the level that AIDS patients naturally get down to – – and you know how healthy they are!

  20. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Pascvaks; Interesting observation about internal bugs. While in the Philipines in the late 60s I developed an internal problem and after much effort decided it was caused by sugars and wheat starch. After eating lunch or supper I would collapse and sometimes pass out. Afterwards It felt as if I had been beaten badly. On board ship if I consumed any sugar I acted as if drunk (some were sure I had a secret stash). Ever since I have limited my consumption of sugars and refined starches. I’m fairly certain it is caused by a yeast or fungus infection. Over the years it seems to have progressed to the point that any food sugars cause the problem. Food oils help to limit the effect. I have been tested for insulin problems, nothing there. I’m just allergic to food. Too bad I like to eat! pg

  21. adolfogiurfa says:

    BTW: We are the bugs of the Earth, and ecology really means (of course not what the crazy greens think) that the equilibrium process among everything wich feeds on some other things Everything feeds out of everything.
    Thus we are like the earth´s Lactobacillus, living in the Earth´s intestines, while some very hungry other-bugs want us to be their food….

  22. Power Grab says:

    @ PG – When they tested for insulin problems, were they only looking for insufficient production?

    Some of the authorities whose health advice I value say that producing too much insulin is what ages us and causes many problems. Avoiding sugars and excess starches helps avoid producing too much insulin.

    I have begun thinking that blood-sugar fluctuations are a major part of many maladies. In fact, I have gone so far as to say that women who have problems with hot flashes probably get too much starch and sugar in their diet. When I mentioned that to my sister, she thought about it for a moment and then agreed. I also think that so-called “panic attacks” are a blood sugar imbalance a lot of the time. Now that I avoid wheat for the most part, if I do happen to eat some kind of bread, I can feel my thinking processes getting muddied and slow. Eating other starches can bring on something similar, but it takes a lot more of those foods to do it.

  23. Petrossa says:

    I don’t think there exist such a thing as healthy food, there only exists unhealthy food. Genetically programmed we live our destined lives as long as you don’t live off snack/processed food all your life
    The search for the ‘ideal food’ is therefor pretty fruitless (pun intended)
    Personally i stay away from vegetable matter which isn’t a seed,root or nut, why eat stuff you can’t digest, and make do with raw meat, rice and bread.

  24. Pascvaks says:

    @Adolfo – You reminded me of something I’ve thought now for a while, ‘people are at the halfway point of the Universe, there’s just as much creation below us as above;-)’

    PS: The “halfway point” is a poetic licence kind’a thing, I actually think that in the scale of the Universe people are somewhere in the Super-ElectronMicroscopic range of small, insignificant, meaningless, etc;-) (Especially now that we believe what we used to call the universe is no more than a teeny-tiny, ittsy-bitsie little insignificant bubble in the real Universe;-)

  25. Perhaps, “You ARE What you eat…, simply conforms that all life is connected.

    I.e., humans ingest mostly other forms of life plus a little NaCl (salt) for flavor and healthy thyroids..

  26. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Oliver: Not only for a healthy thyroids but all muscles work, as you know, by the opposition of Na+ and K+, when you relax magnesium comes in the muscle (which is depolarizing) from the blood stream, while calcium ion from the bones replaces it in blood (BTW, as you have noticed, bones are not permanent but in constant interchange of calcium ions…..and the Sun has it too.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @Graeme No.3:

    During the Reagan years we boasted about our greater wheat tonnage / acre. The Russians (at whom the jab was directed) rejoined with “Yes, but you must put slice of cheese on American bread to have same protein as Russian.”

    We’ve clearly gone for “tons” not “content”…

    I have some old wheat grains in my seed bank for just such reasons. Emmer and Spelt IIRC. Oh, and some “old Barley”… Though I was very surprised to discover that a common “weed” here is in fact Barley… “Foxtails” in Californio Speak…

    Would be a PITA to mill by hand, but “in an emergency” it’s nice to know it’s really Barley. Just a primitive angry untamed cranky sort of cuss… ( I like that in my “zero tending hardy emergency garden” seed selections…) Many common “weeds” are in fact just very stubborn edibles…


    “Yeast. It’s not just for breakfast (toast) any more!” ;-)

    Thanks for the idea on “other color” tomatoes. Easy enough to try. ( I’ve also got several light color tomato seeds I’ve not trialed yet…) If it’s just the red pigment that is the problem (or a substance on the same metabolic pathway set) that would be great news…


    I’d thought I’d done a posting on that, but using Boron as a key word search didn’t have a hit…

    OK, some few years back we (spouse and I) did a trial on Boron. It helps a variety of things, but only “some”. (Depends on how deficient you are to begin with, I suppose). The spouse now buys very expensive Boron pills at the health food store. I dip a damp finger tip in the borax and lick it every few weeks ;-)

    It (and silicon) is one of the essential nutrients that most folks completely ignore. I suspect (but can not prove) that we are ‘over fed’ on the main elements and “way under fed” on the unusual trace metals and / or food co-factors. (i.e. “who knows” that would soak into our blood from ‘fresh green leafys’ that doesn’t get in from ‘white bread and processed peanut butter’…)

    So FWIW, I found “some” benefit from boron and some “metabolic lift / brightening” from ginko biloba. (The compounds that act as neurotransmitters in Ginko Biloba are well known and shown to have neural activity.) Also note under “Histamine” here, at the far right, Ginko is listed as an inhibitor:

    Click to access Neurotranschart.pdf

    (Along with Green Tea, grape seeds, and licorice…) so folks with histamine problems would benefit…

    Extracts of Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids (ginkgolides, bilobalides) and have been used pharmaceutically. These extracts are shown to exhibit reversible, non-selective monoamine oxidase inhibition, as well as inhibition of reuptake at the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine transporters, with all but the norepinephrine reuptake inhibition fading in chronic exposure.[32] Ginkgo supplements are usually taken in the range of 40–200 mg per day. Recently, a meta-analysis of clinical trials have shown Ginkgo to be moderately effective in improving cognition in dementia patients[33] but not preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease in normal people.

    In memory enhancement

    Ginkgo is believed to have nootropic properties, and is mainly used as memory[36] and concentration enhancer, and anti-vertigo agent. However, studies differ about its efficacy. The largest and longest independent clinical trial conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) to assess Ginkgo biloba published the finding in 2008 that the supplement does not reduce incidence of all-cause dementia or Alzheimer disease in adults 75 years or older who had normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment when given a twice-daily dose of 120 mg extract of G. biloba.[37][38] However, a similar trial published in 2010 by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry concluded that the same extract formulation of G. biloba (EGb 761), when given as a single 240 mg daily dose, “was found significantly superior to placebo in the treatment of patients with dementia with neuropsychiatric symptoms.”[39]

    According to some studies, Ginkgo can significantly improve attention in healthy individuals.[40][41] In one such study, the effect was almost immediate and reaches its peak in 2.5 hours after the intake.[42]

    One study suggests that Ginkgo’s effect on cognition may be attributable to its inhibitory effect on norepinephrine reuptake.

    While mildly expensive in stores in pills, as the trees grow all over here; last fall I stuffed a couple of quart jars full of yellowed leaves and added vodka. My testing indicates that 1/2 shot is ‘about as much as you want’ and that one whole shot is “very interesting” is a ‘not quite normal kind of way’ ;-) I did 2 shots exactly one time…

    I’ve been thinking of adding a measured amount of borax to the bottle and making a ‘standard tonic’… but not gotten around to it. I suppose I could go “all the way” and use Iced Green Tea as the “diluent” and have a “Brew it yourself” energy drink ;-) But frankly, all three at the same time made me kind of hyper and I’m already overactive enough ;-)

    @Tim Clark:

    Being a “counter irritant” to stimulate circulation eh? Ok, I’ll buy that ;-)

    Ohhh! Good point on the germ having the DNA / tRNA for starch processing… Wonder if any ‘gut bacteria’ pick it up and run with it too ?…

    (As I try desperately to NOT have the next decade of my life sucked up diving into this very deep pool of possibles…)


    “The eyes eat first” is classical culinary teaching… The “presentation” is important for that reason and it can start all sorts of metabolic processes running (drool!) ;-) Then the nose, gets a turn… Finally, a bit for the tongue… then on to the rest of the body for even more stimulations (now to include genetic switching…)

    18 Chapters? ! OK, later tonight…


    Hey, it’s a food and health thread. Anything even tangentially related is “on topic”. From cast iron skillets (and how to make them ;-) to hair quality (and how a hair shirt can be made ;-)

    I agree with you on cholesterol. IMHO it is from the “confusing indicators with cause” department. As soon as I found out that most of the cholesterol in our body was “made there” the idea that dietary levels ought to be reduced was a bit daft.

    IMHO the real issue is “things plugging up fat metabolism”. So since the “all cholesterol is bad” days “they” have not figured out only one kind is “bad”. Eventually they will figure out that since it is a fat transporter and raw material, none of it is “bad”, but plugging up the fat transport with things like trans-fats IS bad. So the “cure” of “cut out all fats” sort of works (other than it still leaves a partly plugged fat metabolic transport / pathways and starves you of very valuable nutrient / energy source). That too, IMNO, is why we have the Eskimo Anomaly and the French Anomaly and… Folks that ate LOTS of natural saturated fats, but nearly no fake fat / trans fat.

    Because of that thesis, I avoid the word “hydrogenated” and any package on which is is to be found. Eat butter by the pound and ALL the fat on meats. (Roast Chicken has the drippings saved and used to make a very rich stew. Bones and pan drippings get simmered for about 1/2 hour – 1 hour. Bones and skin hauled out and stripped. Depending on how much it’s “just me” or will include family (who are abhorrent of chicken skin chunks) I’ll just chop all of the meat and skin, or take the large chunks of skin out. (Sometimes added to the livers that I fry in butter and eat ;-) Add some lentils, rice, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt pepper, and sometimes peas. Simmer until everything is cooked ( an hour? sometime more or less…) and adjust seasoning. “Weak” chicken flavor gets a bouillon cube or three added. Oh, and on the celery, I don’t ‘trim off the leaves’ and toss them. Just rough cut from the very end leaves and all. Celery leaves are very tasty ;-) I’ve also been known to use any of: peas, potatoes, turnips, pasta, whatever vegetable is around in it too. Can also be nice if some “stuffing bits” are in the chicken or pan drippings and I’ve been known to use “poultry seasoning” as the dominant spice then…

    So when I go to the doctor I’ve not had “cholesterol problems”. Don’t tell them what I eat, though, it would damage their precious ego ;-)

    Did I mention I start each day with a few eggs? I’ve been known to have a 3 egg omelet for breakfast, then a deviled egg sandwich for lunch and a hard boiled egg for a snack…

    Basically, it works a WHOLE lot better to ask “what is screwing up natural and normal metabolic pathways” than to look for a daemon in natural foods, in my experience. Or, in short, a billion years of evolution is unlikely to be wrong… but a food chemist is highly suspect…


    Well done!


    A couple of times in my life I’ve had “a gut full of the wrong bugs”. All sorts of problems. From headaches to belly cramps to lethargy to confusion to “sulphurous farts” to…

    Cure? Eat a cup or three of yogurt each day until gone. “Apply” a couple of grams to ‘the other end” accelerates the process…. The lacto bugs eventually take over and “all is well”.

    The original cause? A couple of times it was from indulging in a lot of ‘strong drink’ and the alcohol levels killed off the ‘good bugs’. A couple of times it was “post antibiotic treatment”. A couple of others I “ate something with evil riders”. (One of those then needed antibiotics and then I could get things back to normal). So “managing your bugs” matters… as you pointed out, we all have a slightly different crop.

    @Power Grab:

    The famous “San Franciso Sourdough” is from the normal bugs in the air around here. I’m still working on getting good at sourdough. One thing I learned is that I wasn’t using the starter often enough. It needs to be constantly rotated / updated or the lacto bugs out grow the yeasts…

    Cooking does a partial job on the bran, but yes, a bit of ‘yogurt or yeast’ time helps a lot.

    I trialed Cherokee Purple once. It did marginal. ( two or three nice tomatoes only…) I’m in a very cold location for tomatoes… Flavor was good and color was very nice. Wasn’t reacting to tomatoes then, so no idea what they might do. But now on my list is “try different tomatoes and see what happens”. That is, is it just “standard store” types that’s the problem?


    I’ve been pondering that. Life is rather paranoid about wasting energy. Every so often somebody drops the production of an enzyme that makes some needed material. If enough is ‘available in the diet’ they have a metabolic advantage of not needing to waste that energy. The result is our dependency on vitamins and co-factors. (“Vitamin C” is a hormone in most animals / plants. We, chimps, and IIRC hamsters, are the ones for whom it is a vitamin… the others make their own).

    So one thought this stimulated was “What ELSE do we ‘get from the environment for free’ that isn’t a vitamin per se, but where the amount / quality is all over the board if you are eating ‘starch, protein and fat from a can’ and calling dinner?” Thus my move to a more “whole plant and natural form” bias in diet has some more motivation behind it. Also the “pay more attention to each individual plant / animal food and what happens”.


    You might want to try the ‘bug fix’ listed above. It sounds like you have a yeast overgrowth. There are a lot of books / articles on how to get back to a lower candida higher lacto bug mix. If nothing else, there are lactobacillus pills you can take to put a ‘bug bomb in the belly’ without the need to eat yogurt or “apply it”…

    In my experience, there’s a hysteresis effect. Each bug type can stay dominant until you get the others “over the hump”, so 1/2 measures are not very useful. For a long duration resident, you might need to do LOTS of yogurt and related to displace it… (For one bug, it didn’t leave until I had penicillin for something else. Blue Cheese has therapeutic levels of penicillin in it and I’ve used a very nice French or Danish blue to cure various soar throats and colds. Started as soon as the symptoms start, slowly dissolving bits of blue in the mouth (about 1/4 lb / day) and letting it soak into the mouth / throat has stopped things in one day. So some “blue cheese and then yogurt” might be a good ‘double tap’…

    @Power Grab:

    I mentioned that a fried was diagnosed as “hypoglycemic” (since refined to actual wheat allergy). So I ‘experimented on me’. It took several weeks, but I was able to induce a kind of hypoglycemic response in me (and then had a devil of a time getting it to leave…) Restricted fats and protein, ate lots of starches and sugars. Eventually (several months) got into large blood sugar swings and hypoglycemic overshoot on eating. AFTER scaring myself, went on a largely “protein and fats” diet to stabilize (and recover)… It took about 6 months until I was back to my normal “eat anything and don’t care much” pattern. Even then, large sugar dollops were more impactfull than in the past. Now, decades later, the whole thing is just a bad memory…

    My typical meal plan now follows the old family paradigm of “Protein / meat, Starch, Vegetable” followed by a small desert and occasionally with bread on the side; but leaning more toward whole wheat and ‘rustic’ Italian / French breads. With lots of real butter and sometimes cheese.


    The non-digestible parts (fibre and bran) have soluble minerals and act as buffering agents on sugar digestion. One of the “key bits” in my self-induction of a ‘sugar problem’ was to eliminate ‘fibre’ so the sugar rush (even from starches) could be more intense. Part of the “fix” was putting the fibre back in the diet… You need the physical chemistry aspects that the “bulk formers” bring to the table. (Pun intended too ;-)


    Yes. Something forgotten in all the folks rushing to daemonize sodium and praise calcium is that you need a balance of those with their opposite. Most folks in the USA are magnesium deficient . Adding more Calcium is silly, then need more Mg… Most of us are too high on sodium. The better thing, IMHO, is add some potassium (the ‘no salt’ salt substitute). Then the kidneys don’t have to do so much “hold on to one while dumping the other very similar alkali metal” and can just “dump some of each until balanced”. So I sporadically use the no-salt. I’ve made up some salt shakers that are about 10% potassium chloride / 90% NaCl and that seems to work nicely while tasting very good. I suspect that is why “sea salt” has a following. It’s a more balanced mix of minerals.

  28. Petrossa says:

    I take pills to replenish my minerals and vitamins. Saves me having to eat stuff that makes my guts wrench and stink up the place. If it was good enough for the cro magnon it’s enough for me.
    I also take protein digesting enzymes (papaya) to take of the load on my digestive system.
    Some herbs to diminish my auto-immune responses helps against the arthritis, some other digestive herbs and 3 grams of fishoil. I noticed that at 6 grams i started bleeding from my nose, so that was an indicator it has an effect on blood clotting.

    Salt i take a good amount, taking the J curve of salt intake in mind

  29. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Good advice!…That´s a new business opportunity: A “Salt” made up of a mix, say:
    80% Sodium Chloride
    18% Potassium Chloride
    1% Magnesium Chloride
    0.5% Calcium Carbonate
    0.1% Iodine
    0.1% Lithium Carbonate (just to relax)
    0.3% Magnesium Stearate (anti-caking agent)

  30. Adolfo – here in France we can buy unrefined sea-salt. It’s grey, not white, and will probably contain all sorts of trace minerals we “don’t need” according to current knowledge. It tastes nice, too. Incidentally, in your mix you forgot the Borax (see Jason Calley’s post). Maybe there’s more to the saying “salt of the earth” than we thought.

  31. Power Grab says:

    Re your experiment into hypoglycemia – I am glad to hear that you were able to reverse the sensitivity. I am hoping I can figure that one out. The reason I think that might be a possibility is that I had been diagnosed with “hay fever” type allergies years ago that seemed to appear out of the blue. I finally went to the doctor and ended up with IIRC 3 prescriptions. I didn’t stay on the prescription products forever, but I did take OTC meds for years and years, every time I could have a dose. But ever since I learned the secret about cholesterol not being an evil poison, as well as some other holistic tidbits, I might use a antihistamine once or twice a year, if I overextend myself and abuse my adrenals. Now I generally don’t even keep painkillers around unless relatives are coming for a visit. (No, I don’t get them for myself, but for the relatives. Thanks for asking!) I look forward to the day when I can again indulge in wheat foods without having to ask myself if I can afford to schedule the next three days staying close to the loo.

    OTOH, there are plenty of people who say we do not “need” grain foods. I feel so good after a nice steak and dark green salad, I almost don’t miss bread. In the meantime, I’m puzzling over what damage non-organic corn and potatoes might be responsible for. Does the BT in non-organic corn kill off the good bugs in our gut? When I think I need some starch, I usually can get away with eating corn or potatoes. I’m wondering if all that non-organic corn is part of the increase in wheat sensitivity.

    Someone said they had reversed their wheat sensitivity by using Yakult (sp?), a drinkable yogurt probiotic. I used it for a few weeks and never felt brave enough to actually eat some commercially-produced bread (the kind that usually does the most harm). Now I’ve fallen off the wagon because I have to go out of town to get the probiotic. I don’t know whether or not to get back on the wagon if I’m not ever going to take the wheat bread challenge again!

    I used to be a huge pancake aficionado. That commercial jingle that iHop came out with this summer is so enticing! “Love on a plate” – I wish I had written that! I have found some gluten-free products that make acceptable quick breads, and a brown-rice-based macaroni that works for our family favorite Shell Macaroni Casserole. Oh, and now two pizza franchises have come out with gluten-free crust.

    Gluten must be best-buddies with fungi, or something. It sure seems to do the same kind of damage.

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith: If you are what you eat, what about what you drink?!

    Fox News 10 best craft beers:

    It also has links to full reviews 8-) pg

  33. gallopingcamel says:

    Jason Calley, 24 August 2012 at 1:18 pm

    That Borax thing is new to me. I read the papers on the website you quoted and I have ordered some of those pills. Borax compounds, like most chemicals are deadly in excess but may be beneficial when the dose is appropriate (cf. digitalis, coumadin, botulinus toxin and many, many more). You might say something similar about ionizing radiation.

    My otherwise admirable Rheumatology doctor at the Duke UMC lost all interest in me when I balked at the powerful drugs he prescribed. He could not believe that a diet substituting oily fish for the “cow stuff” (thank you Chiefio for the concept) would replace modern drug therapy. In my more cynical moments I suspect his real problem was the loss of income from selling legalised dope. Enjoy the following two minute song by the inimitable Tom Lehrer:

  34. Tim Clark says:

    [Add some lentils, rice, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt pepper, and sometimes peas.]

    Whattt!!! No okra??

    @Petrossa says:
    24 August 2012 at 4:25 pm
    I don’t think there exist such a thing as healthy food, there only exists unhealthy food.

    Opps, there we part ways. My mother, who was the original organic hippie chick ( home-made stone-ground bread was good except for the grindstone remnants) used to say:
    It isn’t what you eat that makes you unhealthy, it’s what you don’t eat.

    I only take a few supplements I’ve determined are not in the food I eat, or i don’t assimilate them well- selenium, zinc (vital for immune response), potassium (I’ve had a few fainting spells until I discovered potassium gluconate) and boron. Boron is most concentrated in the floral plant appendages, so I get mine through a health food store tea compote product containing flowers from chamomile, hibiscus, amaranth, etc. needs a dose of honey. ;<0

  35. John Silver says:

    I searched this post and it’s comments for the word “rye”. 0 hits.

  36. Bone Idle says:

    Talking about food to my oncologist will press his rant button. If you let him, he will go on and on for half an hour or more ranting about the modern diet and processed foods.
    Here is a few of his quotes
    Do you know that after the boomer generation filters out the following generations life expectancies will decrease?

    Did you know that those on extreme or fad diets ultimately have a higher cancer rate than the balanced diet population? e.g. extreme vegans.

    He is now getting a ever increasing percentage of cancer patients in their late thirties and early forties suffering from cancer varieties which were normally old persons. Not only are these younger people getting cancer, they are often obese, suffer from normally older age heart conditions, well on the way to diabetes type II and have hearing and sight problems.. Blood tests often reveal that the person is suffering from malnutrition even though they are obese.

    In his opinion, organic food growers and sellers are not subject to strict enough supervision and he is loathe to recommend it.

    His pet rant button presses.
    Fad diets, TV and celebrity diets, too much dairy, processed foods, junk foods, carbonized soft drinks (one can a week is the limit), over use of multi-vitamins instead of a correct balanced food diet. Parent heli-coptering leading to lack of child physical exercise.
    The rant list goes on and on

  37. Pascvaks says:

    @JohnSilver –
    “Rye ;-) can refer to either of two types of whiskey: 1) American rye whiskey, which must be distilled from at least 51 percent rye; 2) Canadian whisky, which is often referred to (and labelled as) rye whisky for historical reasons, although it may or may not actually include any rye in its production process…Rye whiskey was the prevalent whiskey of the northeastern states, especially Pennsylvania and Maryland, but largely disappeared after Prohibition. A few brands, such as Old Overholt, survived it. Today Heaven Hill, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Bulleit, and Catoctin Creek (among others) also produce rye whiskeys, as does a distillery at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, which sells a version of the rye Washington made. Rye is currently undergoing a small but growing revival in the United States… Rye is known for imparting what many call a spicy or fruity flavor to the whiskey. Due to its distinctive flavor, American rye whiskey is sometimes referred to as America’s equivalent of an Islay whisky.[6] Bourbon, distilled from at least 51% corn, is noticeably sweeter, and tends to be fuller bodied than rye. As bourbon gained popularity beyond the southern United States, bartenders increasingly substituted it for rye in cocktails like Whiskey Sours, Manhattans, and Old Fashioneds, which were initially made only with rye. All other things being equal, the character of the cocktail will be drier with rye”

  38. Tim Clark says:

    If you recall, my wife and I went to the MDA cancer Center and spent two months in their library before and after treatments. We came back with many ideas, the overconsumption of carbohydrate I discussed earlier, but one I forgot was blood pH.
    There is copious data suggesting that the foods we eat alter blood pH, and acidic blood is associated with cancer (and other illnesses). Suprisingly, one of the best things you can ingest to maintain slightly basic blood pH is fresh lemon juice. Although acidic initially, what is absorbed into the blood stream after digestion elevates pH. As Bone Idle stated, carbonated beverages cause acidic blood pH. So do carbohydrate diets, especially almost all processed foods. We consume about 2 lemons juiced a day with water only. Perhaps not so coincidentally, we’ve both lost more weight than necessary. I’ll let you know in 4 & 1/3 years if it works as advertised on cancer.

  39. Petrossa says:

    MM, my wife died of cancer at a young age and at the time i did copious research (as everyone does) The only thing i came away with is that cancer is overwhelmingly genetically predisposed and getting it is just (bad)luck of the draw.
    Exceptions can be made for known extremely carcinogens, such as radiation overdose or other radically DNA altering things. In my wife’s case it was radiation overdose, she got melanoma.

    But the average joe in the average joe’s world will get cancer when he gets it, regardless his average joe dieet. The very subtle changes as blood pH to my mind won’t change much. Correlation doesn’t causation make.

    That kind of thinking got us the cholesterol craze setting back the discovery of the real causes of CVD by decades.

  40. NeilM says:

    Sorry to hear that Neil Armstrong has died.

  41. Tim Clark says:

    There is no debate regarding genetic predisposition to cancer. Eight kin of my wife have died, at a younger age. She has had various kinds for twelve years. She is now free fo cancer, and feels great. Explain that. You need to do a little more research.

  42. dearieme says:

    @EM: here is a link to the blog of a chap who takes self-experimenting with diet (and other habits) very seriously.

  43. Petrossa says:

    That’s called good fortune Tim. My present wife had her first cancer at age 12, her second at age 39. Most of her female line has succumbed to cancer. She is now 57 and still cancer free with a mild scare in between. She eats mostly crap food for which i scold her daily. Explain that.

    Well easy. That is how things work. Cancers , even full blown, go into spontaneous remission. It’s extremely doubtful to put it mildly that a minor change to a dieet could influence that.

    Especially something as ephemeral as blood ph.

  44. John Robertson says:

    If thats the case, the cannibals were correct, eating your vanquished enemy imparts their Mana onto you. Maori culture of NZ incorporated such a belief prior to European takeover.Of course more on topic its fascinating how we are shaped by our food.JRR Canada

  45. Power Grab says:

    I’m partial to the ideas of Dr Ryke Geerd Hamer and what he called “German New Medicine” regarding the triggers for the various types of cancer, as well as heart infarction.

    I’m also partial to the contribution of Doug Kaufmann ( in understanding the nature of cancer.

  46. Tim Clark says:

    .4.1. Acidic Environment

    In tumour cells, high glucose flux through the glycolytic pathway produces large quantities of lactate, resulting in tumour tissue with pH 0.5 units lower than normal tissue [40]. Cancerous cells adapt to this acidification, exhibiting maximal growth at the relatively low pH of about 6.8 [41]. Tumours also have a capacity, similar to working skeletal muscle, to share lactate between hypoxic and nonhypoxic cells, so it is not extruded as a waste product [42]. Despite these survival adaptations, tumour acidity has been shown to impair DNA repair mechanisms [39] and to upregulate angiogenic molecules such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and IL-8 in order to enhance lactate clearance [43, 44]. Experimental evidence demonstrates that the acidic environment is supportive of tumourigenesis, increasing resistance to chemotherapy [45], mutation rate [46], and invasion capability [47]. The acid-mediated tumour invasion hypothesis postulates that H+ ions from the tumour microenvironment diffuse down their concentration gradient into the surrounding normal tissue [48]. Because the normal cells cannot survive the increase in acidity, the border of malignant tissue is progressively pushed forward. In fact, mathematical modeling has shown that tumour acid production alone can explain patterns of tumour growth [40]. The effects of acidity are particularly important in a hyperglycemic environment because increased glucose flux through tumour cells has been shown to create a large increase in lactate production [33, 49].


    J Theor Biol. 2005 Aug 21;235(4):476-84. Epub 2005 Mar 16.
    The role of acidity in solid tumour growth and invasion.
    Smallbone K, Gavaghan DJ, Gatenby RA, Maini PK.
    Centre for Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, 24-29 St Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3LB, UK. Res. 2000 Aug 15;60(16):4372-6.


    Diminished DNA repair and elevated mutagenesis in mammalian cells exposed to hypoxia and low pH.
    Yuan J, Narayanan L, Rockwell S, Glazer PM.
    Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8040, USA.

    The tumor microenvironment is characterized by regions of fluctuating and chronic hypoxia, low pH, and nutrient deprivation. It has been proposed that this unique tissue environment itself may constitute a major cause of the genetic instability seen in cancer. To investigate possible mechanisms by which the tumor microenvironment might contribute to genetic instability, we asked whether the conditions found in solid tumors could influence cellular repair of DNA damage. Using an assay for repair based on host cell reactivation of UV-damaged plasmid DNA, cells exposed to hypoxia and low pH were found to have a diminished capacity for DNA repair compared with control cells grown under standard culture conditions. In addition, cells cultured under hypoxia at pH 6.5 immediately after UV irradiation had elevated levels of induced mutagenesis compared with those maintained in standard growth conditions. Taken together, the results suggest that cellular repair functions may be impaired under the conditions of the tumor microenvironment, causing hypermutability to DNA damage. This alteration in repair capacity may constitute an important mechanism underlying the genetic instability of cancer cells in vivo.

    Mathematical models of tumour invasion mediated by transformation-induced alteration of microenvironmental pH.
    Gatenby RA, Gawlinski ET. Novartis Found Symp. 2001; 240:85-96; discussion 96-9.

    Cancer Res. 2006 May 15;66(10):5216-23.
    Acid-mediated tumor invasion: a multidisciplinary study.
    Gatenby RA, Gawlinski ET, Gmitro AF, Kaylor B, Gillies RJ.

    Departments of Radiology, Applied Mathematics, and Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85718, USA.

    The acid-mediated tumor invasion hypothesis proposes altered glucose metabolism and increased glucose uptake, observed in the vast majority of clinical cancers by fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography, are critical for development of the invasive phenotype. In this model, increased acid production due to altered glucose metabolism serves as a key intermediate by producing H(+) flow along concentration gradients into adjacent normal tissue. This chronic exposure of peritumoral normal tissue to an acidic microenvironment produces toxicity by: (a) normal cell death caused by the collapse of the transmembrane H(+) gradient inducing necrosis or apoptosis and (b) extracellular matrix degradation through the release of cathepsin B and other proteolytic enzymes. Tumor cells evolve resistance to acid-induced toxicity during carcinogenesis, allowing them to survive and proliferate in low pH microenvironments. This permits them to invade the damaged adjacent normal tissue despite the acid gradients. Here, we describe theoretical and empirical evidence for acid-mediated invasion. In silico simulations using mathematical models provide testable predictions concerning the morphology and cellular and extracellular dynamics at the tumor-host interface. In vivo experiments confirm the presence of peritumoral acid gradients as well as cellular toxicity and extracellular matrix degradation in the normal tissue exposed to the acidic microenvironment. The acid-mediated tumor invasion model provides a simple mechanism linking altered glucose metabolism with the ability of tumor cells to form invasive cancers.

  47. Petrossa & Tim Clark,
    There is an immense body of evidence showing that high levels of ionizing radiation greatly increases the incidence of cancer and leukemia. There is much less evidence showing that moderate doses of radiation can dramatically reduce the incidence of the same diseases. For example:

    As far as I know there has been no attempt to validate the results of the above study even though there are many people (including me) who would willingly participate. This may be a case for amateurs to step in where professionals fear to tread.

    Steel contaminated with Cobalt 60 was used to build those apartments in Taiwan. The result was a diffuse gamma source that delivered substantial whole body doses for many people that were higher than what would be permitted to “Radiation Workers” in the USA (5 Rem/year or 50 mSv/year). How can an amateur hope to reproduce such a high dose given the regulations relating to radioactive sources? Remember that the acute LD50 dose (50% of those affected will die within a month) is around 5 Sv. Clearly gamma sources are out of the question owing to the highly penetrating nature of gamma rays even if you could get a license to posess such a source. I used to have a lively ~1 milli-Curie Cs137 source that was more than adequate but the state of North Carolina demanded that I give it up on my retirement in 2002. So how can you irradiate yourself without affecting the people you live with?

    It is a simple matter to infuse water with Radon. You can place a radioactive ore such as Carnotite in a container filled with water. When you drink the water you will be ingesting Radon at a predictable rate and the corresponding whole body dose is easy to estimate. As Radon is an alpha emitter the Q factor is ~20 so it does not take much to produce a sigificant personal dose of radiation without any risk of affecting one’s nearest and dearest.

    To produce anything meaningful in the context of a medical study it would take thousands of volunteers to willingly subject themselves to ionizing radiation while providing information for statistical analysis. I plan to keep a daily log of my experiments and I am encouraged to know I will not be alone:

    If you take the trouble to read this exchange on Rod Adam’s “Atomic Insights” you will note that I am skeptical about Ian Soutar’s ideas. Even so, while my BS detector is still beeping, I want to contribute data to validate or falsify his hypothesis.

  48. BobN says:

    I had a friend that was an Alcoholic, the doctor told him if he was going to drink use Whiskey not Bourbon, its easier on the Liver.

    My wife had cancer at 20 and beat it, at 40 it returned and see was given 3 months to live, she beat it and now is in her 60’s.

    I have had RA since 8 years old, nothing worked but booze. I went through High school without a sober day. It worked great keeping things in remission, but you can’t spend your life drunk. Some of the drugs worked great, but wiped out my liver. I might try the Boron route.

  49. BobN, 26 August 2012 at 4:36 am

    Wow! One of my sisters has really bad RA (I have the Osteo kind). She does not drink alcoholic beverages so it may be a problem to get her started given that she is 60 years old!

  50. BobN says:

    @gallopingcamel – At 60 is not a good time to start. More than likely her Liver would go bad quickly, It worked for me for a lot of years, but not the thing to do when your older. I used a drug called Embrel for years and it made me normal, but it caused bad infections for me so the doctor tuck me off it. Arava worked good to but hurt my liver. You might have your sister try the two I mentioned. They were great until my body rejected them.

    The whole Booze thing is interesting. When I was younger and would have a very bad day I would drink a six pack and it killed the pain, but of more interest, I felt great for about 2 days. I could never figure the chemistry of why it worked that way. I asked my doctor about becoming an alcoholic with what I was doing and he said I probably wouldn’t as it was for killing pain, the body reacts differently.

    I have also noticed mental attitude affects the joints. You feel much better depending on your mood. It pays to be a happy guy.


  51. Petrossa says:

    Yes, what’s funny about that is that in the 90’s the green religion forced everyone in the Netherlands to isolate their homes to the point that hardly any ventilation was possible, causing the levels of radon gas to get so high, were it a nucleair site it would have been closed down.

    Which falls under my observation of radiation exposure as cause of cancer.

  52. E.M.Smith says:


    Due to a family history of colon cancer, I’m more aware of the problems that come from too little fiber… so I’ve done both low and high diets. Now, one thing in particular, I have a very long large bowel. ( The Doc doing the exam complained of needing to use nearly the whole hose…) As we saw in the story humans have had a great shortening of the colon as we evolved.

    The longer it is, the more plant stuff you need to be healthy. The shorter it is, the better suited to low fiber animal foods. (One friend could not effectively digest many plants. He had a very short digestive system and things were “processed” in about a day. I’m more like 2.5 – 3 some times.) So YMMV.


    For me, a low fiber diet and I get a constipation problem. Eventually that will result in colon cancer from the longer residency time and higher level of toxins. Lots of fiber: the initial effect in transition is some gassing and “issues” as you described. Then “things pick up speed” and the gut bacteria shift and “it all gets better”. Eventually things move faster, stay softer, have lower toxin levels and lower residency / contact time. Thus lower colon cancer.

    So while I can’t say how you are built, I can say that any “gassy” issues mitigate over time. (Though never leave). If you have the “short colon” build, you are optimized for high food density… where I’m built to live on leaves and bugs it would seem ;-)

    The “Salt J curve” thing is interesting. I do note that they hint at, but didn’t explore, the nature of potassium interactions. I think they will eventually figure out it’s a J curve that moves with potassium levels…

    Epidemiological studies have also reported that increased potassium intake is associated with reduced risk of CV disease, most notably for stroke, although the optimal level of daily potassium intake has not been established. Potassium intake is also a proposed modifier of the association between sodium intake and CV disease.


    Given that above reference to Jama, I think I’ll make a more standard mix for my “special salt”. I’ll have to experiment with some of your proposed additions to see how it tastes ;-)

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Clearly what you drink is part of what you eat! Especially ‘yeast in’ craft brews!

    IMHO the “best” craft beer is the one in your hand ;-)


    We can get crude sea salt too. Heck, there are even boutique salt stores selling hundreds of specialty salts from all over the world. Even a restaurant (in L.A.?) that serves a variety of salts at the table as the primary feature…

    In theory the mix is ‘ideal’ as we evolved in it billions of years back, but in reality, some other mix might be a bit better given what else we consume.

    @Power Grab:

    There’s a lot of ‘probiotic’ fermented milk products:

    that generally all come down to some mix of various lacto-fermentations. Yogurt with live cultures or Kefir ought to be close too.

    As GMOs have only recently been approved for sweet corn, until now the potential of a GMO “issue” has been nil in it. (Chips and tacos not so much…) Still “no bad thing” demonstrated yet, but who knows what the future will show.

    A friend is wheat intolerant, so we’ve made a large number of various non-wheat things and have a growing recipe file. If you want any ideas, let me know and I’ll post some. Most anything can be made into “flapjacks” if you add some egg to glue it together ;-) It’s just the “muffin method”. I’ve used 1 C of a variety of flours, an egg, tsp oil, touch of salt, and IIRC something like 1/4 tsp baking powder (whatever it was on the package adjusted to the 1 C size) and 1/4 tsp sugar? something like that. Worked OK with a variety of “stuff”, since once soaked in butter and drenched in syrup, what’s under it is not very important ;-)

    I like using rice flour to replace the wheat in a corn ‘hoe cake’ of ‘flapjack’ recipe, and then swap the corn part for whatever you want to try for ‘variety’. Sorghum, millet, whatever.

    Just ’cause you can’t have wheat, don’t mean you can’t have flapjacks! (The buddy uses buckwheat – that isn’t a wheat at all – in his flapjacks. A rice / buckwheat blend ought to be quite nice…)

    FWIW, our ancestors, the chimps and apes, started on a largely fruit and leaves diet (with some minor bugs and meat). Occasional ground plants too (i.e. roots). About 6 million years ago, we branched off as a ‘runner of the plains’ at the same time that grasses started evolving. So we largely scavenged other predator kills for meat at the start ( and learned to break bones with rocks to get the marrow out – a high fat high food value source the big cats could not get out…)

    Clearly that says most of our evolution has been ‘omnivore’ with emphasis on bugs and such as the meat part, but eventually including mammal marrow and more. Less clear is that 6 million years of grasses. Was that enough for us to ‘co-evolve’? Were the seeds of grasses close enough to other seeds and nuts anyway?

    While I tend to think “Yes”, the simple fact is that in evolutionary terms, grasses are ‘new’. So while I’d not flat out avoid grass seeds, they ought to be in the context of more ‘normal’ roots, fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, etc. (All land animals share a long evolutionary path in the ocean as fish eaters… )

    Oh, and you might want to try rye bread. (Without the caraway seeds for a more neutral bread like flavor). It has a little gluten, but not as much as wheat. Triticale is a rye / wheat hybrid that is in the middle. If actually gluten intolerant, I’d avoid both, but it is a wheat specific issue or a ‘modern wheat’ issue, they can be an alternative. Personally, I like buckwheat and sorghum and millet enough that it’s just not hard to find things that work and are not wheat. Rice being the ‘neutral’ base for making less intense flavor profiles if desired.

    At any rate, it take 30 generations to get a major response to strong genetic selection. For people, that is 900 years. As we’ve been eating grains for at least 12,000 years now, I think we’re likely ‘adapted enough’…


    One of my favorites of all time ;-) I have the boxed set ;-)

    The easiest way to test food sensitivity is to go to a ‘plain vegetables and rice with fish’ diet for about a week (or two) until things don’t hurt, then add foods back in to find what causes issues. Typical culprits are fruits (like Tomatoes and other things in the nightshade family – eggplant, potatoes) and mammal meats / dairy (usually ‘cow stuff’). But each person is a bit individual in their responses. (Rough paraphrase from The Arthritics Cookbook by Dr. Dong).

    Yeah, M.D.s really don’t like it when you say you don’t want to use what they think are the “best” solutions. (Things that often has some horrid side effects, IMHO). They are also indoctrinated to think that nutrition consists of enough protein and minerals with starches in the context of a low fat low salt diet. Oh, and vitamins. After that, anything else must be ‘quackery’… Start saying you want to try that stuff, they figure you for a flake and ‘turn off’.

    There are some M.D.s with more open mind (such as Dr. Dong who is an M.D. specializing in arthritis and related…) but you have to look hard…

    @Tim Clark:

    No, no okra. If I need slime, I’ll just toss in some snails… ;-)

    I’ve never developed a taste for okra. I’ve tried (as spouse’s family is from Texas and you can’t do Texas Dinner With Family and not eat okra…). It’s just not something I’ve every managed to enjoy… (the okra, that is ;-)

    @John Silver:

    Why is that odd? Rye is “just another grain” and a very close cousin of wheat. Most gluten intolerant folks have to avoid it (but not all!) and most folks who can eat wheat already know what rye bread tastes like. (I did just comment on it above, prior to seeing your note).

    It’s a nice grain, but not quite up to making risen bread on it’s own, and not gluten free enough for those really worried about wheat “issues”. FWIW, I use it in a variety of cooked forms. Rolled like oatmeal. As a Kashi like grains mix. It’s a nice grain.

    @Bone Idle:

    Sounds like your Doc has “issues”…

    “Organic” doesn’t change the nutritional profile of the foods. That’s a red herring.

    Vegan is at best a dietary challenge and at worst a recipe for screwed up nutrition. I say that having studied how to cook vegetarian as my family (mostly) went that way for a while. All but one have now swapped back (yeah!) and that one is an “Ovo – Lacto – occasional chicken bits” sort that isn’t hard core about it. So I’m not worried about the Vegan problems.

    I agree with him on the sodas, though. I can directly correlate my dentist bill and quantity of work to when I’ve had a ‘soda a day’ for a several month interval… I now just don’t “do” soda other than a few when on the road at fast food places that don’t have water…

    Does sound like he’s “leaping off a cliff of conclusion” that it’s due to “health food craze gone too far” where there are many other potential causes for whatever he’s seeing. (Including our generally more chemical soaked world these days, our constant immersion in microwaves from many sources, our frantic life styles, our..)


    Anyone make a “pure” rye? I ‘have issues’ with corn, so avoid Bourbon (it’s not a strong reaction, but there’s a bit of it that survives the fermentation process) and stick with Scotch / Irish for that reason. But a Rye made without corn at all would be attractive…

    @Tim Clark:

    Interesting… Lemon juice is also advised for kidney stone problems. I often use citrus in cooking. Also, in evolutionary terms, great apes evolved on a fruit / citrus heavy diet.

    FWIW, I just can’t eat as much starch and sugar as most folks consume. I’ve just got to have some meat, fats, leaves, vegetables (non-starchy). I’d rather have a nice “Bread and butter pickle” or “picked beets” than a cupcake most of the time. Spouse will make a chocolate cake for me for my birthday (Marble Fudge with chocolate frosting is my favorite). She doesn’t each chocolate so it’s just “me and the kid”. I can’t eat more than one modest sized piece a day. (No problems – just too much sweet and gooey for me.) The thing lasts for days and days…


    While the colon cancer gene has been identified, it is still the case that it has environmental enhancing agents. Diet strongly modulates the onset date… It is also not possible to say if a gene “causes cancer” or if it is just a normal variation that is non-problematic until in the context of “modern stuff” that triggers it. Several “cancer genes” may be in that bucket. So, like tendency to allergy, it isn’t just genetic and may have more complex modalities.

    In short: Some folks may be genetically more predisposed to chemical sensitivities. That is NOT a genetic “cause”… (Take various mold toxins that cause cancer. Folks have differential sensitivity, but take the exposure to zero, no cancer… so is that REALLY a ‘genetic cause’?)


    Thanks for the link!

    @John Robertson:

    So I like to eat a lot of chicken… guess that explains a lot about me vs Maori Warriors ;-)

    @Tim Clark:

    Interesting citations. One of the things that happens in cancer is a dumping of calcium from the bones into the blood. Wonder if the buggers have a way to trigger odd calcium metabolism to adjust the pH..

    I also heard a theory that cancer is a ‘strongly conserved’ genetic survival mechanism that has gone awry in fully evolved animals. The thesis was that cells learned to work together in colonies, but if “things got bad” it was “every cell for itself”… Fine if you are a slime mold or algae, not so good if a human. Preventing cancer in that model was largely just a matter of keeping the pH, oxygenation, and nutrient levels such that the cells never decided it was ‘time to get outta here’… Unfortunately, lost the link (didn’t catch it…) and not had time to find out more. Supposedly, there was some evidence involving induction and reversal of some processes in the lab.


    Common smoke detectors have a radiation source in them. Not sure exactly what kind, but a kid made a start at a DIY nuclear lab using them (news reports were of a ‘nuclear reactor’, but that’s pushing it…) So you could likely make a low dose (and even calibrated) source out of them. Or at least use them to make other materials ( what the kid was doing IIRC)

    Hahn is an Eagle Scout who received a merit badge in Atomic Energy and spent years tinkering with basement chemistry which sometimes resulted in small explosions and other mishaps. He was inspired in part by reading The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, and tried to collect samples of every element in the periodic table, including the radioactive ones. Hahn diligently amassed this radioactive material by collecting small amounts from household products, such as americium from smoke detectors, thorium from camping lantern mantles, radium from clocks and tritium (as neutron moderator) from gunsights. His “reactor” was a bored-out block of lead, and he used lithium from $1,000 worth of purchased[2] batteries to purify the thorium ash using a Bunsen burner.[1]

    Hahn posed as an adult scientist or professor to gain the trust of many professionals in letters, despite the presence of misspellings and obvious errors in his letters to them. Hahn ultimately hoped to create a breeder reactor, using low-level isotopes to transform samples of thorium and uranium into fissionable isotopes.[3]

    Although his homemade reactor never achieved critical mass, it ended up emitting dangerous levels of radioactivity, likely well over 1,000 times normal background radiation. Alarmed, Hahn began to dismantle his experiments, but a chance encounter with police led to the discovery of his activities, which triggered a Federal Radiological Emergency Response involving the FBI and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. On June 26, 1995 the United States Environmental Protection Agency, having designated Hahn’s mother’s property as a Superfund hazardous materials cleanup site, dismantled the shed and its contents and buried them as low-level radioactive waste in Utah. Hahn refused medical evaluation for radiation exposure.[2]

    IIRC, shortly after that Coleman changed their mantles to not use Thorium…

    Since thorium salts are common in the sands from Florida to the Carolinas, it ought to be easy to get some. Smoke detectors are everywhere.

    34 MB pdf of where to find thorium deposits in the USA:

    Looks to me like the beaches on the Florida / George border are best and easy.

    Oh, and I remember somewhere reading that a kg bag of potassium salt was a modest source of radiation useful for some lab experiments.

    As it turns out, approximately 0.01% of the Potassium found in nature is Potassium-40, a radioactive isotope with a half life of 1.28 billion years. It’s a beta emitter, with an energy of 1.3 MeV (millions of electron volts). Due to the very long half life, the activity is rather low, meaning you need a bit of it to actually get a measurable quantity of radiation.

    As an experiment, I bought a small (3.5 ounces, 100 grams) bottle of it from the supermarket and placed it in front of my geiger tube (pancake style with a mica window). The reading jumped from around 8 counts per minute (CPM) to 35 CPM, more than a factor of four. I then poured a small amount (perhaps a tablespoon) onto a piece of paper, and then positioned the GM detector just above the salt. The reading went up to around 100 CPM. While not a huge amount of radiation, it is about 12 times the background level, and quite detectable.

    So depending on how much radiation you want, and if beta is ok, you could just put a bag or two of it in your favorite chair or ‘on your side of the bed’…

    There are also thorated welding rods for sale. 2% thorium.

    Oh, and a lot of folks still collect “Fiesta Ware” dishes with the uranium glaze. Ought to be available from specialty dealers. That link also has a picture of a gadget that might be just what you want. Don’t know if you could find one from a collector…

    Radium Water/Revigator

    This was some sort of quack medical fad in the 1920’s, much like using magnets, homeopathy, aromatherapy, etc today. The item was a water container, lines with uranium ore. You would pour your water into it, and I guess it would pick up some of the radium, which you would then ingest. This sounds crazy today, but radiation was new back then, and some thought it was a miracle cure.


    Interesting… I've been known to mix aspirin with some booze to dampen arthritis too. Not so much lately (diet changes helped a lot – especially the beef and tomatoes). Aspirin is protective of the liver in particular to the damaging effects of ibuprofen, tylenol / acetomenphen, AND alcohol… So take an aspirin with that rye ;-)

    I'd also strongly recommend trying the diet restriction route. It can make a BIG difference if / when you find particular 'trouble foods'. It's NOT a hypothetical. I can directly, reliably, and repeatably modulate an arthritic response using beef / cows milk. Takes about 1 week for full onset, and about as long for remission; but small responses happen inside 2 to 3 days.

    While it's a PITA to spend 2 weeks eating rice and peas… with the occasional fish; the relief can be dramatic. Then you put back in 'other stuff' one per week. ( I actually spent 2 weeks on 'chicken an potatoes' as my purge step. Week 5 or so I added "cow stuff" and didn't make it to the end of the week before I 'had issues'. Removed them, one week later, no problem. So added a load of things in a batch after that. Continued no problems. For the spouse, tomatoes were also an issue.)


    Oh Dear! News saying 82 and complications of heart surgery…

  53. Petrossa says:

    I read this great paper about gorilla digestion. Has a ton of info on gut digestion.

    Evidently when one has some form of abnormality in the digestive system the average joe story doesn’t count anymore.
    Looking at the human digestive tract as such, the need for fibrous mass is slight. We hardly ferment (a tiny bit in the gut but really tiny). We only have 1 stomach, with a low ph good for dissolving meat bad for bacteria. We have flat molars, can’t grind anything but nuts and seeds. We have a short digestive tract, etc.etc.

    All biological evidence points at a carnivore that can eat starch and fruits. Since the body is geared towards that eating anything else hardly makes sense all things being the same.

    As for the radiation, it was more as towards how ridiculous radiation standards are. People go on about Fukyousima and how awful it is, whilst living in homes that would be off limits in that area.

  54. Pascvaks says:

    A link on Pure Rye fer’ya. It’s closer than I thought to the People’s Republic, in the Utah Territory! Guess some coal miner saw the light and put everything in a wheel barrow and went West some time back; but at least they kept the name (and the receipe) where it was once the Top Shelf libation: “OMG” – Old MononGahela rye (yhep! the Monongahela – that river in Pennsyvaeneea;-)

  55. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Tim: In tumour cells, high glucose flux through the glycolytic pathway produces large quantities of lactate, resulting in tumour tissue with pH 0.5 units lower than normal tissue [40]
    Which can be avoided taking LACTASE (like “Lactaid”) or treated diary products.

  56. Chiefio,
    As you have found there are many ways to collect enough radioactive material to create a (potentially) therapuetic source.

    For example, there is enough Americium in the typical smoke detector to do the job, However, both Am241 and Am243 are alpha emitters so you would have to ingest the Americium in order to create a whole body dose. Once ingested how could you get rid of it if you changed your mind? Heavy metals have a tendency to hang around in the body.

    Radioactive gasses strike me as a much safer way to obtain a whole body dose of ionizing radiation. It is relatively easy to get enough Tritium (beta emitter) or Radon (alpha emitter). One of my ex-colleagues used to have a stock of 20 Curies of tritiated water! An overdose of Tritium or Radon is relatively easy to treat. The affected person must be encouraged to drink large amounts of liquids such as beer until the dose rate returns to safe levels.

    My guess is that the “Invigorator” produces Radon that dissolves in the water. The problem I see with such a device is to how to get the potential benefit of Radon without traces of radioactive heavy metals leaching out into the water (e.g. Uranium, Protoactinium, Thorium, Actinium or Radium). As noted earlier it is often difficult to eliminate heavy metals from the body.

  57. E.M.Smith says:


    As I pointed out, humans are fairly variable in gut length. Me? I need plants (with some meat). My buddy? He would pass corn whole and undigested. Basically a carnivore. YMMV.

    For those of us with a long colon and slower digestion ( 3 x the residence time of my friend) if we don’t have plant fiber, we’re constipated and get colon cancer. One size does not fit all…

    Per radiation: It looks like low levels are useful tor kicking up the repair process rate. (Several examples / cases / studies all with the same result). Even high levels have large survival rates. (Look how many survivors of the W.W.II bombings there were…)


    Feeling good releases endorphins, the compound that binds to opiate receptors in the brain. Basically, you make your own opium. (Also shows up in the ‘runners high’).

    Alcohol is both an anesthetic (so gives immediate relief) and it is a generalized depressant of many metabolic pathways. (Also you get dehydrated and use up a lot of B vitamin in metabolizing it). So in general, “take a whack, the immune system gets shorted for a couple of days”. The body gives priority to “other demands” first and works on immune responses “in the off times”.

    In theory, you could get similar immune depression from a variety of “insults” from a diet deficient in immune supporting vitamins (and other components) to excess stress (adrenalin shuts down immunity a bit so more resources go to ‘escape’) to drug abuse to simple ‘over work’. If any of those would be enough to reduce pains, or not, is an open question.

    Also, some arthritis looks to be related to “low repair rate”. A hard physical workout build muscles via them making Growth Hormone. But the body is not perfect. Some of that growth hormone leaks into the general circulation… So I have an (untested) thesis that the rest of the system is evolved to work right with a “normal” level of Growth Hormone circulating from our much more active lives of the past (think chasing deer on foot in the snow through brush…) But now, we have too low a level circulating… so the joints don’t get enough growth hormone as general hormone levels drop in older age. To the extent that thesis “has legs”, either oral HGH replacement or even just doing “full load low repetition” weight lifting ought to increase growth hormone levels.


    Oh Boy! I’ll look it up at the local store…


    I think Lactate will not do anything in this case. It works during digestion. This is talking about glucose metabolism inside the cell making lactate.


    I was thinking more of “snuggling up next to it” rather than swallowing it… But if you are going to swallow, using a noble gas is probably the best way to assure a ‘purge’ is doable ;-)

    Might be easier to just buy a house in an area with a known radon infiltration problem and play a lot of pool in the basement ;-)

  58. Petrossa says:

    I am somewhat doubtful about this ‘variable gut length’ theory. Sure it varies. But in order to truly make a difference it should vary by many yards to make a real difference. All i know is it varies by a yard in total. And any way the food stays the shortest time, (6 hours or so) in the small intestine which is the longest part.
    Read the gorilla article. Most enlightening. It’s large intestine retention time that makes the difference. Up to 40 hours in a normal person.

    I can easily imagine gut retention times being influenced, look at IBS, which can either prolong it or shorten it. Makes more sense.

  59. Power Grab says:

    Re seeking out radiation – how feasible would it be to take a trip to the nearest TSA outpost and have them blast you a time or two?

    Re buckwheat – I used to always choose the buckwheat pancakes over the white ones whenever my grandmother would offer me a choice. Yum. I have some buckweat pancake mix, but it’s part wheat.

    Re using rye instead of wheat – the author of Wheat Belly makes the point that modern wheat is bred to be a lot shorter than its predecessors. Doug Kaufmann makes the point that grains harbor fungi and mycotoxins. I’m wondering if the shorter wheat harbors more fungi and mycotoxins than the taller varieties, because the shorter varieties are so much closer to the soil, the source of fungi and mycotoxins.. Also, since rye is so much taller than this short, modern wheat, maybe that’s why it seems less problematic.

    I understand that organic wheat is less likely to harbor fungi than non-organic wheat. I get the idea that organic produce, being less “protected” from pests by man-made chemicals, has to produce its own defenses, and grows at a more natural pace, so its nutritional qualities are more dense. That comment about the Russian wheat was enlightening!

  60. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m mot saying I’m built to live eating tree leaves and nothing else. But I’m more that way than most. No leaves and bulk, I’ve got “issues”. Not “ideas about issues”, we’re talking hard as rock stool that does not move well… Gas, bloating, discomfort. The long intestine alone is a few feet longer than average. My “retention time” is about 3 days, where for many folks it is closer to one. I can very effectively digest plants with some meat. An all meat diet; I can do it, but “things aren’t right’…

    FWIW, my “trunk” is also longer in proportion to my size than most. I’ve got much more length in the “gut zone” than typical. (Arms are longer too, so they hang to the same relative body position, even if I look a bit like a short legged ape ;-) It’s part of the “primitive package” that I seem to have… (Molars with primitive features like larger ‘points’, large teeth, partly prehensile toes, slight sagital ridge, very large hands, hairy tendency, …) I think it is part of the Neanderthal contribution…

    At any rate, it isn’t a theory. It’s an observed, measured, validated, real world thing.

    @Power Grab:

    Organic farmers are more likely to be growing an heirloom wheat too.

    One that I think has potential is triticale. As a wheat rye hybrid it was “made” and not messed with a whole lot. First in the 1930s, then it wasn’t until the 1950s that much more was done. So it was a very high yield (due to the nature of the mixing) and might not have been screwed with since. (Not high volume being grown, so not attractive to the business of seed development).

    Notice, too, that the emphasis is on ‘durable’ not “high tonnage cheap”:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex127

    Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) is a man-made crop developed by crossing wheat (Triticum turgidum or Triticum aestivum) with rye (Secale cereale).

    Early attempts to cross wheat and rye produced only sterile offspring. It was not until the 1930s that techniques were available to produce fertile hybrids. Once this step was accomplished, it was possible to develop new combinations between wheat and rye as well as direct combinations between triticales with differing wheat and rye parents. Consequently, new varieties of winter or spring triticale can be developed with the same methods used for breeding other cereal crops.

    In 1953, the University of Manitoba began the first North American triticale breeding program. Early breeding efforts concentrated on developing a high yielding, drought tolerant human food crop species suitable for marginal wheat producing areas. In contrast, more recent programs concentrate on developing improved animal feed and fodder varieties for production under a number of diverse environmental conditions. Table 1 shows a historical list of spring and winter triticale cultivars.

  61. Power Grab says:

    Another thing – high fructose corn syrup is made using fungal enzymes. So I figure that means it carries mycotoxins. Also, the corn itself already carries mycotoxins, so you’re getting a double dose. i understand that the body sequesters fungi using calcium. So whenever they say a disease involves calcium being in the wrong place, I figure that means there was a fungal infection and the body tried to neutralize it with calcium.

  62. E.M.Smith says:

    @Power Grab:

    Highly refined things, like sugar and corn sugar (made into syrup) are so pure that it would be very hard to get any measurable mycotoxin in them. Mycotoxins are mostly proteins and large; so prone to being destroyed by typical minor filtering, chemical treatment, and heating.

    Far more reasonable is that sugars feed the molds that live inside you.

    Also, there are many non-fungal related diseases of calcium. Many are physical materials processes. (Kidney stone deposition). So you need to allow for those points.

    The most immediate impact of fructose is that it is directly converted to fat in the liver… So not the best thing to be eating for controlling blood sugar or triglycerides…

  63. Chiefio said: “Might be easier to just buy a house in an area with a known radon infiltration problem and play a lot of pool in the basement ;-)”

    That would have been a great idea for my house in New Jersey which had a full basement replete with Radon. I should have set up the master bedroom in the basement and then let nature take its course. No need for heating or cooling as the temperature remained constant year round!

  64. Power Grab says:

    I remember from the original Star Trek series they had an episode where they had a load of quadrotricale in their hold that ended up being consumed by the tribbles.

    good times…good times

    Even though refinement might tend to remove unwanted substances, don’t they say that homeopathic remedies are effective because they still have “holes” in the liquid that formerly held the substances that were diluted out, and that makes them able to interact with our systems as if the substance were still were?

    I’m pretty sure I read the abstract of a paper that seemed to prove that refined water still had ‘holes” in it that were still the same shape as the substances that were removed. Seems like it was a Japanese research paper.

    Since you have mentioned your having a longer-than-average digestive tract, and the fact that you do better with plenty of veggies, I wonder if we could get folks to contribute what they know about their digestive tract length and the type of foods they feel good eating?

    All I know is I am short-waisted and small-boned and feel really good after a nice steak, maybe with dark green veggies or salad. I’ve always been a big milk drinker, too. Never had beer. Not much of a drinker. I have had a glass of wine once in a while. Industrially-processed vegetable oil makes me repeat. Natural fat doesn’t. Not a picky eater, except now wheat and I don’t get along very well. The cheaper it is, the quicker I react, which makes me wonder if the cheapest wheat junk foods are made (at least partially) from damaged grain (left in the bin too long and got moldy, buggy, or whatever).

  65. Pascvaks says:

    @PowerGrab –
    I’m somewhere between you and EM, and most others here too, I’m sure. I’m quite sure you’ve all also come to know firsthand the differences between male and female in your lifetimes. I don’t think we’re looking for a needle in a haystack (but maybe we could be;-). If we just took Yankees and did a ‘complete’ analysis of everything we eat (and everything that eats us, symbiotically and not) we’d likely come up with a nice laundry list of ‘problem’ and ‘good’ things. But I doubt it would be very much different from those in other ‘developed’ countries; perhaps, the big exception might be the amount of antibiotics Yankees use/eat and the impact they have on us. I have a ‘feeling’ that some old fashioned wisdom would be the end result:

    – Everything in moderation.
    – There’s no magic bullet.
    – There’s no fad diet.
    – Too much of anything can kill you.
    – The older you get the more your body changes.
    – If it tastes too good to be natural, it probably isn’t good or natural.

    Oh! Yes – You are what you eat
    (and what is eating you;-)

  66. Jason Calley says:

    @ BobN
    Ouch! RA since eight years old! Sorry to hear about that one… I have just started the boron supplement in the last few days, so have no real info on it yet. I did notice that the very first time I ingested some of the borax (1/8 teaspoon in a glass of kefir) that about 30 minutes later I had some mild itchiness — mostly on my feet. Odd that, but apparently skin rash is one symptom of boron sensitivity. No recurrence though. I suspect that a combination of boron and magnesium might be more effective. See this for info on magnesium bicarbonate.

    @ gallopingcamel
    Ha! I love Tom Lehrer! That is a song I had not heard before. I am of the opinon that all dope peddlers should register with the AMA. Oh, wait, most of them already are! We live in such an odd culture. Dope = evil but pharmaceutical = good. I once told someone that Presidential candidate John McCaine’s wife was a leading figure in the largest drug cartel in North America. Of course she is; she controls a major brewery company. Sadly, the person to whom I was speaking did not get the point.

    This is probably not a practical method, but one way to increase radon exposure is to visit more caves. Most of them are in sedimentary rock, but they still manage to have higher radon due to the poor circulatory patterns inside. Oddly, many caves have a slightly higher lightning strike frequency near their mouths; the supposition is that the higher radon causes small increases in the ionization and hence more lightning strikes. So, for more radon, visit a cave — but not during a storm!

  67. Jason Calley says:

    By the way, concerning basic pH and cancer. If lowering blood pH helps fight cancer, I wonder what effect hyperventilation would have. Perhaps one could just breathe heavily a few times a day and blow off enough CO2 (yes, the EVIL CO2!) to shift the blood to more alkaline. Breathe until the face and fingers begin to tingle.

    Wait a moment… just did a Google, and found some interesting things. First, many cancer patients spontaneously increase breathing rates and experience hyperventilation. Secondly, these folk claim that they have higher cure rates among patients who are prevented from hyperventilating.

    Hmmm… confusing. Might be worth further looking in to though.

  68. Jason Calley says:

    @ Power Grab “I’m wondering if the shorter wheat harbors more fungi and mycotoxins than the taller varieties, because the shorter varieties are so much closer to the soil, the source of fungi and mycotoxins..”

    Simple solution: just plant your wheat on top of a hill so that it will be taller!

    Oh, wait…. :)

  69. BobN says:

    @Jason – Thanks for the link, I will look up the patent and see what it has to say. Good luck on your Borax usage, I plan on starting as soon as we go town, Living in the country we don’t get in daily. Please let me know how it goes for you and I will do the same. Hopefully some good will come of it. One can hope!

  70. Chiefio said,
    “I was thinking more of “snuggling up next to it” rather than swallowing it…”

    That approach rules out the vast majority of natural radioactive sources as alpha or beta emitters lack the energy to penetrate even a millimeter of flesh. You would need a gamma emitter and then it would be difficult to produce an even whole body dose. Anyone who came close to you would also be irradiated.

    Totally off topic, synchrotons with modest energy (e.g. the I GeV storage rings at the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics or the Duke University Free Electron Laser laboratory) use high energy electrons (beta particles) that can create showers of ionizing radiation that are easy to detect even after passing through four feet of lead and ten feet of concrete.

  71. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    A hint of the contents and GMO dangers revealed. “Tiny RNAs usually found in plants have been discovered circulating in blood, and animal studies indicate that they are directly manipulating the expression of genes.”
    And, there’s more! “Pecorino Cheese – the answer to a long life?”

  72. Jason – 1/8 tsp of Borax is around 600mg, give or take. If I read the Newman text correctly, he was aiming for a dose of 30mg at a time, with a maximum dose of 90mg per day to supply around 8mg of elemental Boron. You may be overdosing. Although you’ll most likely lose the excess in urine with no problems, the maximum daily dose seen to be OK was 41mg Boron in the Borax factory workers, and you’d be around 60mg. It seems better to err on the side of caution here, and not overload your body too much at once.

    For Radon, granite is known to be a good source. Houses in Edinburgh and in Cornwall are built of it, and without adequate ventilation the Radon builds up to “dangerous” levels. Left in the air, it’s going to affect everyone, but possibly having a water-jug filled with crushed Granite may give you what you want. Filtering through a Brita (or similar) water filter should remove any heavy metals, whereas the gas should pass through. You may need to check with a Geiger counter as to the activity of the resultant water before and after filtering – I haven’t tried this.

    The other way to get higher than normal doses of ionising radiation is to take a lot of high flights or be an astronaut. This may be one reason why airline pilots tend to go grey earlier than most others.

    Seems like you’re not only what you eat, but everything that passes through your body too.

  73. Petrossa says:

    Overall we have been eating and being irradiated since we came to be. Genetic modifications via the environment are big reason why we exist today. Trying to clean it out might be not such a good idea.

    Take for example the oversensitivity of americans towards foodborne diseases compared to europeans. Due to extremely hygienic measures in foodhandling the defense system has been weakened in the latests generations leading to a higher level of allergies and other auto-immune diseases.
    On my travels in Eastern Europe and the Middle East i never traveled without a kilogram (2 pounds) pot of activated coal. You got the runs almost everywhere you ate. After a while you get used to it and it takes a might strong infection to get you locked in the toilet.

    We are what we eat, indeed. That includes resistance to diseases.

  74. Pingback: Boron | Musings from the Chiefio

  75. Pascvaks says:

    @Petrossa –
    Have to ask, are you a beer drinker or a wine drinker?
    When “Off World”, I don’t eat anything anywhere until I feel the “Buzzzzzzzz”;-)

  76. Jason Calley says:

    @ Simon Derricutt “Jason – 1/8 tsp of Borax is around 600mg, give or take. If I read the Newman text correctly, he was aiming for a dose of 30mg at a time, with a maximum dose of 90mg per day to supply around 8mg of elemental Boron. You may be overdosing. Although you’ll most likely lose the excess in urine with no problems, the maximum daily dose seen to be OK was 41mg Boron in the Borax factory workers, and you’d be around 60mg. It seems better to err on the side of caution here, and not overload your body too much at once.”

    Yes, I think you are right. I found some other sources which recommended the higher doses temporarily for helping to fight any fungal infections. One nice thing about the borax is the overall safety as far as toxicity goes; there seems to be a pretty high dosage required to do any serious harm, but yes, probably caution is better. Maybe E.M.’s “wet finger lick” would be preferable!

    Interesting info regarding radon and granite. You know, it is really too bad that radon can be detected with Geiger counters. If it were completely undetectable, then it would be the perfect threat to inspire panic in people. “You can’t see it… you can’t smell it… you can’t taste it. It comes out of the ground and hides in your house! If you go in your basement and don’t find anything out of the ordinary that means you are in DANGER!!” Gosh, think about what a great business opportunity it would be to do remediation for that! :)

  77. Petrossa says:

    I am a teetotaller. Don’t do alcohol, drugs (except prescription), cigarettes.Did in my illspent youth, but it doesn’t do it for me anymore. I like my mind a sharp as possible which is hard enough as you age.

  78. Pascvaks says:

    @Petrossa –
    Me too;-) Though I smoke I can’t (due to a long period of aging and meds and whatnot) drink wine (or limp watery American beer) the way I used to, but if I went “Off World” again, even now, I wouldn’t drink the water. Not saying there’s anything wrong with any country’s water, saying that every ‘pond’ has it’s own ‘environment’ and it doesn’t pay to ‘go local’ too fast no matter where you are. I think of it this way, local wine or beer would be strictly ‘medicinal’, and the ‘Buzzzzzzz’ simply tells me when I taken a ‘medicinal’ dose.

  79. Petrossa says:

    Just only recently the special police branch here went on strike because they were from now on forbidden to drink wine during a stakeout in the stakeout van.

  80. Pascvaks says:

    I have a feeling they’ll find an expedient something or other to fill the void, let’s hope it doesn’t have high sugar levels and rot their teeth, or make them as fat as American cops and unable to catch the bad guys in a foot race. Life is becoming just too over-regulated. No doubt soon, “they” will be telling us who, what, where, when, how, and why to marry, and who, what, where, when, how, and why to have kids and live and work, and worship, and… next life I’m going to a different planet. This one is starting to get a little too pushy;-)

  81. Petrossa says:

    You just described the Netherlands. Being such a small nation and having an enormous civilian data collection they can have the computer pick out anything. One example: They wanted to find all hairdressers who worked from home and didn’t have the proper permits and/or paid taxes.

    So they crossreferenced the tax data to the watercompanies data and the chamber of commerce. Everyone using more then average water for his household and some other criteria got a visit from the fiscal fraud unit. Scored big time.

  82. Petrossa,
    In the late 70s when I lived in Schiedam, the Genever capital of the world, my house was roughly seven meters below mean sea level. Back then they had automated cameras that recorded speeding, traffic light infractions, level crossing infractions and much much more. One would get little post cards inviting you to send 200 Guilders (~$100) to the local Politie. Unbelievably efficient compared to bumbling Anglophone police around the world.

    My Schiedam house hot water and central heating were provided by tiny contraptions powered by natural gas with surprisingly low monthly bills. I had never seen an unattended gas station that operated 24/7 but they had them in Holland.

    In spite of all this impressive stuff, my otherwise ultra-modern Dutch house lacked fly screens on the windows so one was forced to fumigate one’s bedroom an hour before bed time each night. Dutch mosquitos are even more obnoxious than the New Jersey kind.

    For good or ill this kind of technology has slowly penetrated the USA over the last 30 years.

  83. Petrossa says:

    Gallopingcamel, technology has vastly improved now. All highways are covered by night/day vision HD camera’s which take a picture of each license plate upon entering a highway and leaving it. The information is stored for 2 years. All policecars have the same equipment which checks routinely checks all passing cars. The computer then verifies each license plate against all databases (fiscal, police, social) and if there is anything out of order a policecar is instructed to intercept you.
    Furthermore it calculates the distance traveled so it gets your average speed and sends out a fine for each kilometer above the limit. Since cruisecontrol is not practical in such a small country almost everybody gets a fine for speeding by 3 kilometers once every while. The nations budget now has already factored in the revenue from the fines and if it falls short fines are raised. Fines are now automatically deducted from your account should you ‘forget’ to pay against a slight 30% fee. All other infraction camera’s are linked into the system. Red light camera’s are also speed camera’s for that double whammy should you speed up to catch a green and miss it.

    Social security inspectors have the right to enter your home even in your absence, you are not allowed to refuse entry. They don’t need a warrant.

    Gas prices are linked to Brent oil, but only upwards. The mosquitoes are still there and been improved in obnoxicity by importing the asian kind.

    And those are just the good parts about Holland.

  84. Gail Combs says:

    Power Grab says:
    24 August 2012 at 4:21 pm
    ….I have begun thinking that blood-sugar fluctuations are a major part of many maladies. In fact, I have gone so far as to say that women who have problems with hot flashes probably get too much starch and sugar in their diet….
    Nope. I have been on a low sugar, low starch, NO wheat/rice/potato diet for three years. What finally killed the hot flashes is Co-Q-10. If I do not take it morning and night, back they come within a day or two.

  85. Gail Combs says:

    Power Grab says:
    27 August 2012 at 4:04 am

    …..Since you have mentioned your having a longer-than-average digestive tract, and the fact that you do better with plenty of veggies, I wonder if we could get folks to contribute what they know about their digestive tract length and the type of foods they feel good eating?

    All I know is I am short-waisted and small-boned and feel really good after a nice steak, maybe with dark green veggies or salad. I’ve always been a big milk drinker, too. Never had beer. Not much of a drinker. I have had a glass of wine once in a while. Industrially-processed vegetable oil makes me repeat. Natural fat doesn’t. Not a picky eater, except now wheat and I don’t get along very well…..
    That is me too. A short-waisted and small-boned carnivore: meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs a little wine, tea and leafy veggies/salad. One slice of bread will give me reflux and I seem to be allergic to a lot of plant type food, melons, green peppers, green beans…. I can tolerate a small amount only. A large salad and I am on the can an hour or so later.

    And thanks ChiefIO, Now it look like I am going to have to really start milking the sheep and making cheese.

    The USDA did us all a really big disservice BTW. The Faillace family imported a breed of Belgium milking sheep for making cheese. The Fallice’s got crosswise of the USDA (long story dealing with Mad Cow disease which they were researchers of ) and the US government AFTER the five year quarantine time was up, declared the animals as having scrapies and killed the herd. (All the young males slaughtered for meat would have been tested) So there went a US source of sheep milk cheese link

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