Ray Peat

PODCAST | Ray Peat

Sep 01, 2009 | Herb Doctors: The Ten Most Toxic Things In Our Foodnew


: Thank you. And welcome to this month’s Ask Your Herb Doctor. My name is Andrew Murray.

SARAH JOHANNESEN MURRAY: My name is Sarah Johannesen Murray.

ANDREW MURRAY: For those of you who perhaps have never listened to our shows, they run every third Friday of the month from 7 till 8 PM. And we’re both licensed medical herbalists who trained in England and graduated there with a degree in herbal medicine. We run a clinic in Garberville where we consult with clients about a wide range of conditions and recommend herbal medicine and dietary advice. And this month, we’re very pleased and fortunate to welcome Dr. Ray Peat back to the show. And we’ll be discussing the ten most toxic things in our food. So welcome to Ask Your Herb Doctor, Dr. Ray Peat.

RAY PEAT: Thank you.

ANDREW MURRAY: I think what I'll just start by doing is opening the show and just ask you to mention your academic background for those people who perhaps have never heard you.

RAY PEAT: Okay. I used to teach linguistics and literature and such. But I got interested in nutrition and other parts of biology, endocrinology and such. So I went back to graduate school in 1968, got a PhD, taking most of my course work in biochemistry and reproductive physiology. So it’s mostly endocrine chemistry that I've been studying ever since…

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So for the last 45 years, Dr. Peat has been doing nutritional counseling and reproductive physiology and hormones – specializing in hormones, is that correct, Dr. Peat?

RAY PEAT: Yes. I was doing it some what in the early 60s just from what I could learn incidentally without actually taking coursework in it.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So we have a very experienced nutritionist, physiologist, endocrinologist joining us tonight. Dr. Ray Peat, we’re very happy to have you on our show tonight.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. I think what we wanted to go over this week, for those people who’ve just tuned in, are the ten most toxic things in our food. Incidentally, I would say, probably 50% of our interaction with clients consulting with us is based on their diet and changing their diet, modifying their diet in terms of getting them to cut out eating those foods that are negatively impactingtheir health and encourage them to switch to other foods that are positively affecting their health. And probably the other 50% is herbs and/or other preparations. So diet is very important. I think the adage, you are what you eat is very appropriate. And so, for tonight’s show, people that are listening, you should probably take note. In England, they are very descriptive ingredients on all the foods that you buy. It also seems a bit ridiculous, sometimes when you look at the wrapper of some foods because there’s such kind of information about the ingredients it almost covers up the packets and the kind of advertising they’re trying to do for the food But it’s very good. It lets people know exactly what ingredients are in the product. Everything has to be disclosed. And I think – and the thing that will come out tonight when we cover the ten products that are known to cause of, I would say, disease or symptoms in people that may lead to disease, these things are very easy to spot on packaging in England. Whereas in America,there certainly is in the legislation allowable, I would always say, nondisclosure of certain ingredients. And Dr. Peat when we go through ingredients, you can perhaps expand some of those things that are allowable by law to be included and not be detailed on the ingredient packaging. And so, one of the main things that has come to light are the ever-increasing processing agents used in foods, to the point now where food, if you want to call it food, in some cases, can be basically broken down into a soup, re- homogenized, put into molds, pressed and formed into a certain type of food. And this is becoming, I would almost say, an art, not in a sense of being creative or artistic for itself, but for the sake of selling a products and turning a pretty non-edible food into an apparently edible and apparently good-for-you food. So the transglutaminases are a group of compounds – they’re basically meat glue, if you like – so these are the agents that will bind meats together. So , Dr. Peat, would you – I know you have a lot of experience with the things that we’re going to mention tonight. So I'll be very pleased if you would talk a little about the transglutaminases, what they’re doing, and the negative impacts in the foods that they’re found in.

RAY PEAT: Celiac disease has been pretty much explained as an overlap between a part of the gluten protein molecule and a natural enzyme that we have in all of our cells and systems, the transglutaminase which sticks proteins together. And this is induced by lots of things to increase its quantity or decrease it. For example, the ACE inhibitors for treating blood pressure have been discovered to block it, to the extent, that people’s skin can fall off. The epidermis separates and forms blisters and comes loose because of inhibiting the transglutaminase. But other things can intensify the action. Estrogen, for example, will cause premature hardening of the epidermis. The cells are flattened and keratinized under the influence of estrogen, which is antagonized by vitamin A. The and the skin and the breast are places that especially involve these interactions of the hardening enzyme. And breast cancer and uterine cancer contain very large amounts of overproduction of the transglutaminase of certain kinds. And the antibody reactions that are involved in celiac disease can inactivate the natural enzyme when it occurs. And, for example, the scleroderma, the hardening and calcification of the skin and other membranes can apparently overlap considerably with Celiac disease involving over-activation of the transglutaminase enzyme.

ANDREW MURRAY: Would you say that, being related to estrogen, females would be at greater risk?

RAY PEAT: Yeah, all of the autoimmune diseases are much more frequent, five or ten times for some of them, in women compared to men. And I'm not sure how big a role transglutaminase plays in those, but that is one enzyme that is very susceptible to forming auto antibodies under the influence of estrogen.

ANDREW MURRAY: And these auto antibodies will be directed at attacking self?


ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. So what kind of – typically,what kind of foods will contain larger-than- normal amounts of these transglutaminases?

RAY PEAT: Well, the worst thing about the use of these product is that they are industrially manufactured in microorganisms, genetically modified. And for, I guess, about 30 years now, organisms have been used for modifying foods. And when the Japanese pioneered the genetic modification of microorganisms to produce amino acids, our people were thinking they were buying a pure chemical substance. But I ran across many people who said that they believed they almost died when they took a pure amino acid preparation. And it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to thoroughly purify anything made in a microorganism, to the extent, that it won't be allergenic. So the worst thing is that you're getting junk from microorganisms and industrial processes.

ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah. And these can’t be removed or they’re very difficult to remove?

RAY PEAT: Yeah. As far as I know, it’s impossible to absolutely purify them. But they purify them enough to satisfy government regulation.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So they’re taking bacteria, fungi and yeast and genetically engineering them and genetically modifying them to produce various chemicals, and the transglutaminases, they’re one of these things that get produced through genetic modification.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. And they’re becoming more and more popular with restaurant chefs to prepare things individually rather than industrially.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Yeah. So it’s a very interesting article you sent us that was talking about the chefs wrapping chicken with bacon. And if they just applied a little bit of this meat glue, the bacon conveniently stuck to the little bit of chicken breast. So…

ANDREW MURRAY: [inaudible].

RAY PEAT: And they’re getting very skillful at – for example, soybean protein can be shaped and modified and glued together to resemble even the fibrous texture of meat. And scraps that are salvaged from slaughterhouse can be glued together to look like meat and they can form it, so that it looks like specific lamb chop cuts or pork chop or rib steaks or whatever. And they're very good convincing copies.

ANDREW MURRAY: They don’t want to waste anything. If they can find a byproduct or a waste product and turn into a product, so that’s good for business, isn’t it?

RAY PEAT: Yeah. Probably where most people are exposed to the transglutaminases would be in the chicken or fish chunks that are very neatly formed to a certain shape or in delicatessens. They have a so-called roast beef or a roast turkey that comes in a very symmetrical tubes or loaves.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Now, while most of us here in Humboldt County – no, I don’t know if I can say most of us in Humboldt and Mendo, but fortunately in California we are blessed with a lot more natural food stores. But still it’s very prevalent. These delicatessen meats are very prevalent in the stores in California and throughout the United States, even though they might be eating in greater quantities throughout the rest of the US. It’s quite frightening.

ANDREW MURRAY: So, basically, the pressed meets, so any meat that appears in a delicatessen that's being pressed into a certain shape and doesn't look as though it was tubes or loaves.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Now, while most of us here in Humboldt County – no, I don’t know if I can say most of us in Humboldt and Mendo, but fortunately in California we are blessed with a lot more natural food stores. But still it’s very prevalent. These delicatessen meats are very prevalent in the stores in California and throughout the United States, even though they might be eating in greater quantities throughout the rest of the US. It’s quite frightening.

ANDREW MURRAY: So, basically, the pressed meets, so any meat that appears in a delicatessen that's being pressed into a certain shape and doesn't look as though it was off an animal, in that way, just – I know what you’re saying, they do it very different. You may not notice it until you start looking at it properly. But they’re the kind of meats that will be pressed together and then sliced conveniently.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Or the chicken nuggets or the fish steaks.

RAY PEAT: I think some of the loaves that have been for hundreds of years or more – for example, head cheese, gelatin – natural gelatin was traditionally used to make a loaf out of that, so that would be fine.

ANDREW MURRAY: And that’s the way it was. And, unfortunately, it’s been changed.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So just to recap on these transglutaminases, Dr. Peat, they’re something that our body manufactures naturally and they have a purpose. But when we take them in increased numbers through these processed foods, is that when it starts to cause the problems?

RAY PEAT: Yeah. Everything that we eat or inhale is processed by our immune system, sampling things that hit the intestinal membranes or they leak through the membrane into the bloodstream. And so, the immune system has to decide what to do to these extraneous materials. And it can either accept them and allow them to circulate or it can organize a defensive attack against them And it’s the defensive inflammatory attack against the extraneous materials such as a microorganism, proteins that can trigger the sometimes deadly allergic reactions. And it isn’t strictly the proteins. The immunologist doctrine use to say that it’s proteins which are the allergens, but many carbohydrates or starch-like gum materials are extremely allergenic. And that has actually been known for 60 or 70 years that allergists are just now barely accepting the fact.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. You’re listening to Ask Your Herb Doctor on KMUD Garberville 91.1 FM.

And from 7: 30 or so until the end of the show at 8 o’ clock, you’re invited to call in with any questions either related or unrelated to this month’s topic of the ten most toxic things in our food. My name is Andrew Murray.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: My name is Sarah Johannessen Murray.

ANDREW MURRAY: And we are joined by guest speaker, Dr. Ray Peat, endocrinologist, biochemist and physiologist. The number here, if you live in the area, is 923- 3911. Or if you live outside the area, the toll-free number is 1-800-KMUD- RAD. I just want to quickly – before we move on to the next food product or additive, Dr. Peat, could you just quickly mention the health benefits of gelatin. We mentioned the pressed meats and the use of transglutaminase to achieve that where gelatin was always used. And the gelatin is a very good product for you. Would you just say a few words about gelatin?

RAY PEAT: Yeah. The gelatin constitutes about 50% of the protein in an animal. And it has the feature of lacking tryptophan, cysteine and methionine, which the muscle meats, for example, are extremely rich in tryptophan and cysteine and methionine. And those happen to inhibit the thyroid function, supress metabolism, and promote inflammation. And it seems by eliminating methionine, just one of those from the diet, in animal experiments has increased the maximum lifespan about 40% And adults have an extremely low requirement for tryptophan, cysteine and methionine. They’re used for growth processes.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So it’s very important for children.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. So they’re essential for kids to grow up. But once you've achieved your growth, you just need a very small amount to make new skin and antibodies and intestinal membranes and hair and nails. But you don't need the vast quantities that get in the ordinary average proteins. So an adult – 40 or 50 years ago, nutritionists wondered how little old ladies could be so healthy just eating gelatin and toast because they thought of tryptophan and cysteine as essential amino acids that old people can essentially live on, with just a trace of the other things like bread and fruits.

ANDREW MURRAY: Right, good. Okay. So just another reminder for people that – I think probably because it just helps help reinforce in my own mind,I think, this kind of conditioning that gelatin is a bad product, it’s created from animal parts and these animal parts are things that shouldn’t be in our diet. But it’s actually the reverse and actually gelatin is extremely important.

RAY PEAT: Traditional diet made very efficient use of things like chicken feet, pig’s hairs and tails, beef and pork skin and so on, really very pleasant and nutritious foods.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: There have been studies showing the anticancer effect of gelatin as well.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. Anti-aging and anti- inflammatory. It was used medically very widely up until or about 50 years ago.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay, very good. Let’s move on to the next food subject so we can try and get through as many of these as we can before the phones start ringing. How about – gosh, I’d say, additive number two on the list, citric acid and ascorbic acid, the common ingredients that you find perhaps on juices, especially orange juice.

RAY PEAT: I started running into people who had mysterious allergies in Eugene. They tend to start with the pollen season and then continue with grass feed – field burning in the later summer. But allergies were extremely common in Eugene. But I found that some people had year -round allergies and they were consistently taking all the anti-allergy supplements, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C and so on. And I suggested that they try stopping those for a while to see what happens. And I got essentially 100% results in curing the local allergies. And that was when I started doing a lot of nutrition counseling because everyone was so surprised to see they have been allergic to the supplements. And ascorbic acid – that caused me to investigate the history of it. In 1953, when I worked in the woods the word went around that you could cure poison oak with ascorbic acid. And I tried it myself. And in just two or three days, I completely recovered from a horrible case of poison oak and never caught it again. At that time, it was very expensive to make. And the pills on sale were only 50 mg. Several years later they developed new ways of manufacturing it. One of the processes Linus Pauling described as the lead room for making sulfuric acid which is then – the sulfuric acid is slightly contaminated with lead and other heavy metals. Then the cornstarch is processed, oxidized with this industrial sulfuric acid and ends up as ascorbic acid containing quite a bit of heavy metal. And with these new methods, I found that when people were taking 500 or 1,000 mg, they would often develop cold symptoms when they took it rather than when they didn't take it. And it apparently is irritating enough to the intestines that it causes endotoxin absorption and inflammation of the nose and throat and chest membrane. And citric acid is manufactured by very similar methods to ascorbic acid. And they really shouldn't be considered to have anything to do with the natural ascorbic acid or citric acid. The person who can get very sick on 2 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid can eat 4,000 mg of natural ascorbic acid with no reaction at all.

ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah. I think that’s a very important point. You’re saying that’s actually – even though they might call it the same product, actually the industrial manufacturer of it produces a very different effect.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. One researcher dissolved a 500 mg tablet of commercial ascorbic acid in a liter of water and then put it in a machine that measures free radicals. And he said it was like a storm of free radicals. He said it’s amazing it doesn’t – it was equivalent to something like a 100 rads – no 600 rads of X-rays would take to produce that many free radicals in the water.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And here, people are taking Vitamin C for its antioxidant effect.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. He said that it shows what tremendous antioxidant systems we have in our stomachs that we don’t all die with the first 500 mg dose.


So, I guess, let’s move on because it’s 7: 27 now. Things about – how about the gums We see things like guar gum and locust bean gum and carob bean gums, [inaudible] gum, and carrageenan, agar agarand these other similar gums and mucilages. How about those?

RAY PEAT: I was reading the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbooks for the 1947 or so, and I saw that the FDA had declared that they were so allergenic they couldn’t be considered fit for use in foods.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And now they’re in everything.

ANDREW MURRAY: And now they’re in everything.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Most ice creams, cottage cheese…

ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah. Run through a list of the kind of foods that you’ll find these gums and mucilages in?

RAY PEAT: Oh, practically everything. They haven't figured out a way to get it into fresh eggs and orange.


SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And even if it doesn’t say on the label, it doesn’t mean it’s not in there, right, Dr. Peat?

RAY PEAT: Yeah. And, surprisingly, even organic foods, sometimes they don't have to list things like sulfites on the labels, but I think they do have to list carrageenan, but it can be in the food as a gum or thickener, for example, and still be called organic. But not long ago, there was a publication of a person who died after having an alginate dental impression made with anaphylactic shock.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So they’re very allergenic because an alginate would be like the agar agar, right?

RAY PEAT: Yeah. And in the dental school at the University of Kansas, students were practicing making alginate impressionson each other. And out of 227, there were 50 of them who developed blisters in their mouth.

ANDREW MURRAY: Was it 15%?

RAY PEAT: It took about five days to clear up. So just contact, in 20% of the people, create blisters and then occasional unlucky people it can kill them.

ANDREW MURRAY: So these are really the things that are – if people that are listening to the show want to think about these things, they’re basically the thickeners. So the kind of foods that would be found in – I mean, ice cream, believe it or not, it’s certainly present in ice cream.

RAY PEAT: And organic whipping cream, you might notice…

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay, whipping cream. And how about cottage cheese? I think you’re missing cottage cheese with…

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Yeah, Organic Valley and the Clover cottage cheese, those have it in there. I'm a fan of cottage cheese and I was hard pressed to find one that find one that didn’t have it – finally, I bought Nancy’s. It’s quite tart, but it does have it in there. It doesn’t have the guar gums in there. And so, what I eventually did is, started making my own cottage cheese which is quite simple.

ANDREW MURRAY: So what are the foods? Let’s just quickly mention other foods that people can just take a look at, the ingredient panel and see for themselves. So things like ice cream, cottage cheese, bread products, cookies, tortillas – believe it or not. Any other foods that spring to mind?

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: A lot of processed foods. Just read the labels.

ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah. It’s the unfortunate thing that processed foods contain a lot of the things that we’re going to talk about tonight. Okay, how about – let’s quickly mention this because I know we’ve spent some time at length talking about them. But PUFAs, the polyunsaturated fatty acids, are a pretty big problem.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. In natural foods, I think there are two or three naturally occurring substances that account for some natural disease and possibly all of the major degenerative diseases. Those are polyunsaturated fats, starches, and sometimes an excess of iron in some natural foods if you eat that exclusively. For example, if you ate liver every day accompanied by orange juice,you would absorb a toxic amount of iron. But just over the period of several years, you can see the accumulation of the polyunsaturated fat in the tissue, so that old animals have highly polyunsaturated brain tissue and alter the issues with more unsaturated. And the long-lived animals that are remarkable for living longer than you would expect are unusually saturated in their fat.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. All right. So we’ll just basically mention the kind of things – so PUFAs you will find – polyunsaturates in things like corn oil, soy oil, fish oils – to some extent – and these are things that – not so much the fish oils, but the corns and the other oils. The things that are certainly used is frying oils, the things that – they’re basically fried chips or fries, French fries and other products that are fried – usually fried in these kind of oils. And certainly things to look out for. In terms of what they do, Dr. Peat, just quickly mention some of the conditions that they can lead to?

RAY PEAT: Arthritis, cancer, dementia, wrinkly skin, susceptibility to sunburn. An article that just came out two months ago was looking at the pigment segment epithelium in the retina and they found that the linoleic acid, in particular, but all of the polyunsaturated fatty acids, created an inflammatory process that basically accelerates the degeneration of the retina. One of my newsletters a couple of years ago went over that, but this was just a couple of months ago,a new article, showed that stearic acid or saturated fatty acids don't do that. And for many years, some researcher on alcoholic liver disease have been showing that it’s the polyunsaturated fats, which cause cirrhosis and hepatitis when they drink alcohol. In India, alcoholics who are in the butter, ghee and milk eating regions don't get cirrhosis.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. So the cirrhosisis not apparent at all in those people then –clearly, those people that would drink or consume alcohol in the presence of polyunsaturated oils in their diets.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. And a group led by a man named Nan Xi [?] has demonstrated that saturated fats can basically cure alcoholics, cirrhosis and hepatitis.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Even in the presence of them continuing to drink. I think it was said 32 ounces of vodka a day?

RAY PEAT: That wasn’t Nan Xi’s [?] group, but it was about 30 or 40 years ago, someone did allow them to drink a quarter of water every day and they still recovered when they had their saturated fats.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So naturally occurring saturated fats – to recap for our listeners –are butter, coconut oil, palm oil if it’s been separated because there’s two portions of the palm oil…

RAY PEAT: Beef and lamb fat and cocoa butter.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So those are the saturated fats. And the polyunsaturated fats, to name a few more, sesame seed oil or even the nuts and seeds in high quantities will provide a lot of polyunsaturated fats,if you eat primarily nuts and seeds.

RAY PEAT: And chicken and pigs, if they’re fed on a high corn and soy diet…

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Which they all are in this country.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. Their fats will be representative of what they were eating.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Even our eggs because all chickens, even if they’re fed organic feed, are fed…

RAY PEAT: They used to talk about the high saturated fat and cholesterol content of eggs, but about 30 years ago someone decided to re-analyze and found that, at the time, they were already almost purely polyunsaturated.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So eggs aren’t even saturated – don’t even have saturated fat anymore because they feed the chickens corn and soy as the main primary food.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. You’re listening to Ask Your Herb Doctor on KMUD Garberville 91.1. And anytime now until 8 o’ clock, you’re invited to call in with any questions either related or unrelated to this month’s topic of ten most toxic things in our food. My name is Andrew Murray.

SARAH JOHANNESEN MURRAY: My name is Sarah Johannesen Murray.

ANDREW MURRAY: And we’re joined by guest speaker, Dr. Peat, endocrinologist,biochemist and physiologist. The number here, if you live in the area, is 923-3911. Or if you live outside the area, 1-800 -KMUD-RAD. Okay. So let’s go on to the next group of food products or food – the corporations into food – well, food – the things make up the bulk of food in some people's diets.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Well, Dr. Peat, you kind of categorized, saying three toxic things that are in our foods, naturally growing rather than as food additives. So the polyunsaturates, the starches and excess iron. So let's talk about starches.

RAY PEAT: A man named Gerhard Volkheimer, an immunologist in Berlin, had apparently read some of the older studies at about 100 years ago and he tested on his medical students, having them drink a solution about a cup full of cornstarch stirred into water or potato starch, various vegetable starches and then he would draw a blood sample periodically. And at first, it was very clear that, within about 10 or 15 minutes of drinking the starch solution, you'd find a lot of unprocessed starch pellets in the bloodstream, the same size they were when they were ingested. And in some of these searches, the diameter of the starch grain is as much as a 100 microns across, 10 times as wide as the cells that line the intestine.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So how did they get through?

RAY PEAT: The process is called persorption. But, basically, it just means they are pressed on one side and they pop out the other side. The cells are much more flexible than people imagine.

ANDREW MURRAY: And you said 100 microns. And the red blood cells are about 7, isn’t it?

RAY PEAT: [inaudible] starch, I think, since the capillaries are just a few microns across and a red cell at 10 or 11 microns has to bend a little bit to get through a capillary. The starch grain can get – if they are just the right size, they could enter a capillary and get stuck. But the bigger one will plug the arterials before they get to the capillaries.


RAY PEAT: And so, Volkheimer fed a high starch diet to mice and then sliced them up and found that every organ contained areas where cells have been killed by plugging up with an artery with…


RAY PEAT: And that it accelerated the aging process by killing areas in the heart and brain and kidneys and so on.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So that’s causing a heart disease then basically?

RAY PEAT: And in his medical students, after the first 15 to 30 minutes,he tested the urine and found the same unprocessed starch grains were showing up in the urine right through the kidney organelles and somewhat later he found it in the bile and even in the – about an hour later, he could find it in the cerebrospinal fluid.

ANDREW MURRAY: Wow. Okay, we do have a –I know I want to explore this a little bit further, but we do have a caller on the line. You’re on the air.

CALLER: Hi. How are you doing?

ANDREW MURRAY: Good. And you?

CALLER: Good. I'm doing well. Thank you.I just want to thank you for your show. It’s a wonderful show and just really full of great information. I have a 13-year-old daughter who has allergies. I’ve heard you mention it a couple times. We eat pretty well. Welive locally and eat pretty good organic food. Probably about15% is package, just ice cream and bars maybe or potato chips. I'm good – anyway. And so, she has – my daughter has these allergies. And the symptoms are stuffy nose and then some bumps sometimes on her face or sometimes on her legs. We had her tested for allergies and she tested positive for Johnson grass and some molds and then sensitivities to wheat, dairy and corn. We did an elimination diet and determined that those seem to be the culprits and the dairy seem to be make her more stuffed up.And the corn and wheat sort of generated the bumps. And I was just wondering what your take on that is. And it seemed to come on about when – between 6 and 8 years old is when these allergies started to manifest.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. And how old is she now?

CALLER: She is 13 – about to be 14.

ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, okay. Dr. Peat, do you want to comment on this?

RAY PEAT: With allergies, it’s similar to autoimmunity, except not so serious. The estrogen begins to rise, especially in girls, but in boys too around the age of seven or eight. It’s distinctly rising in the average person. And the estrogen changes the immune function, tends to shrink the sinus glands and increase antibody production without the guidance of the sinus cells. And that seems to be why it predisposes to allergies, asthma and autoimmunity. Asthma is now very well recognized to be increased by birth control pills, menopausal estrogens or even the cyclic premenstrual rise in estrogen. And partly that’s the effect of lowering the blood sugar because if your blood sugar falls, the immune cells become much more reactive. An experimenter gave animals – first, he ranked the food allergens from nuts down to some foods, and the mild allergens, if he lowered the animal’s blood sugar with a little insulin to 50% of normal, the mildestallergens could kill the animals with an allergic reaction. But if he infused glucose, while exposing them to even the worst allergens, the worst allergens might give them the sniffles or a red nose, but nothing worse. So just increasing glucose or decreasing it can make the total difference in your sensitivity. And since thyroid and progesterone are the main things that allow your liver to store adequate glycogen and estrogen is the main thing that interferes with that, that's why the sensitivities of various sorts come on around puberty.

ANDREW MURRAY: Wow. Okay, good. All right. Probably another misconception that sugar is bad for you. Just say a little bit more about sugar in terms of its physiological effects and maybe why the culture has been turned off of sugar and onto artificial sweeteners.

RAY PEAT: The cultural thing is a really complex story. But the white sugar was already being blamed for causing diabetes 150 years ago and the treatment for a diabetics was to absolutely forbid sugar, which was a completely crazy idea. A French and an English doctor said that if they’re losing a pound of sugar per day in their urine, they’re truly going to die sooner if they don't eat any sugar. So he fed them up to 12 to 14 ounces of sugar. He fed the best white granulated sugar he could buy and he cured his patients just by feeding them as much sugar as they were losing. And the process of washing it eliminates most of the allergens. So the finest white sugar is really one of the safest foods available.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. Because there’s a very big trend towards molasses sugar and the kind of brown, golden sugars. Okay. So another caller on the line, Dr. Peat. So let’s – caller, you’re on the air.

CALLER: Hi. I have some questions about coconut oil.


CALLER: First of all, could you explain the difference between the coconut oils and the coconut milks as far as what they are and their health effects? And then the other question I have has to do with recipes for coconut oil. I find it works great in stirfries, if you mix it with sesame oil or something. But it doesn't really have a flavor that’s conducive to eggs or things like that. And I'm just for recipes for coconut oil that would go well.

RAY PEAT: The coconut water is a pretty safe material. When the coconut is relatively fresh, the liquid should be almost clear and very sweet and it’s been used medically and it’s surprisingly low in allergenicity. But the white material that is sold as milk is an industrial manufactured substance made out of basically emulsifying some of the solids and oil with the liquid from the coconut.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: The source is guar gum, I think, is in coconut milk.

RAY PEAT: The solids in coconut are very starchy and can be pretty allergenic. So I recommend using the highly filtered, deodorized form of coconut oil, which is extremely cheap. Currently, it’s about $50 per five-gallon pail, but where the aromatic delicately scented that have been filtered – some people, just a teaspoon of that can make some people very sick from an allergic reaction to the starches that are left in it. And if it's very well filtered, high-quality oil, it tastes fine for frying chicken. I’ve been frying chicken in coconut oil for many years. And it works with eggs, but it isn’t as tasty as butter for some foods like eggs.

CALLER: What’s available here is the coconut oil, which is like a clear solid, like a wax almost, and that's what I’ve been using for stirfries. And it doesn't seem to have quite the flavor that goes well with some recipes. And then there's the coconut milk that you buy in the cans that you use in curries in Thai style food. So that’s what's available.

RAY PEAT: There have been some studies in – even in the Philippines,in which the people who used milk traditionally were having health problems. So it’s – even in the traditional form, it’s probably not a very good food to use.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: You sent us an article, Dr. Peat, that was showing an increased risk of breast cancer in women in the Philippines who ate a lot of coconut milk in their food recipes. But just to answer your question, caller, the Chautauqua sells the Tropical Traditions expeller-pressed coconut oil and I think you’ve had some of that too, Dr. Peat. That seems to be the best one. I’ve found that it doesn't have the coconut flavor, therefore it doesn't have the allergenicity that could be provided by the coconut. And it’s relatively tasteless and it doesn't taste like anything basically. It’s the non-organic, expeller-pressed Tropical Traditions and they do sell it at Chautauqua. I don’t know if you live in southern Humboldt or northern Humboldt.

CALLER: What I see available is this waxy stuff. It looks like oil. It looks like the pure oil. But they’re – I guess, they’re – I find it confusing about the oil – the health effects of the oil, which I've heard you recommend quite a bit. And it seems to make me flush and raise my body temperature sometimes. And the coconut milk, which sometimes I think has the same effect, but I don't cook with it that often because those recipes are so tasty that I overeat. So, anyway,I'm just trying to figure out how to work it into my diet if it really has these positive effects in a way that makes it appetizing. Thank you.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Thank you for your call.

RAY PEAT: One of the very pleasant ways to use the deodorized oil is to emulsify it, add a little bit of egg yolk. It’s all it takes. If you warm the oil and the milk, just a touch of egg yolk, will allow it to emulsify about 50% oil to milk or whatever concentration you want and you can make ice cream or cheesecake, all kinds of buttery, creamy consistency food using – instead of cream or cream cheese, you can use the coconut oil emulsified.


SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Great. Thank you for that.

ANDREW MURRAY: Let’s move on. I wanted to cover the starchesa little bit more. But let’s move on to the next ingredient, the GMO microbial enzymes and the vegetarian rennets. These are kind of cheese replacements. Will you talk a little bit about rennet and why natural rennet from the cows’ or young calf’s stomach is not being used now, but it’s being genetically modified on yeasts and other microorganisms and how this has contributed to allergies in people, in people that say they can’t cheese, et cetera.

RAY PEAT: I think it’s the trace allergens, parts of the fungus or the bacteria. Aspergillosis is a very serious disease and people who work in some of these enzyme factories are exposed to dust from the microorganisms and develop allergies of various sorts. But the regulators assume that the people who eat the stuff aren’t going to have the same sort of reaction.

ANDREW MURRAY: Aspergillosis, that’s Farmer’s Lung, isn’t it? They get it from moldy straw and it’s another respiratory preoccupational disease for farmers.

RAY PEAT: Yeah. And all of the organisms used in manufacturing amino acids,or proteins or enzymes, all of them, have the risk of the impurities being left in the product. And the food producers are being pressured in various ways to give up the natural material and buy their stuff in a can and do it in a – like, they’re in a chemical lab rather a kitchen. Many kinds of pressure are affecting the food supply, so that people are believe that the industrial way is necessary. You can see government and commercial websites that say these things are necessary for high-quality food. If you’re going to keep the food on the shelf for a month or two, maybe it’s necessary. But, for example, Nancy's yogurt used to be – or Nancy's cottage cheese used to be natural cottage cheese. And the way cottage cheese was always made was to drain the curd and soldered. And draining it left the curd free of lactic acid. But couple of years ago, someone convinced the Nancy's yogurt people to start using what they called a dressing, consisting of lactic acid and something else to…


RAY PEAT: Oh yeah. To give the cottage cheese a very long shelf life. Lactic acid suppresses the growth of organisms, but it’s just as toxic to the people who eat it as it is to the organisms that are being suppressed by it. It very quickly can simulate the whole inflammatory chain reaction, the same as the polyunsaturated fat. And if that inflammation is continued chronically, then it increases fibrosis. And the same as radiation. Any of these chronic inflammations eventually increase the risk of cancer.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And we’re told it’s good for us, lactic acid is great for your intestinal health, right? So we’re told. We have a caller on the line.

ANDREW MURRAY: We better be very quick, though, because it is four minutes to and I do want to give people some more information about Dr. Ray Peat. So it’s going to befor about two minutes unfortunately. But you’re on the air.

CALLER: All right. I'll take ten seconds. I just wanted to ask what do you think of olive oil and canola oil. And I'll go off the air.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay, thank you. Dr. Peat?

RAY PEAT: In small quantities, like a teaspoon full or so of olive oil, it’s fine and it’s safe because it's only 10% of the toxic polyunsaturated fats. Canola oil is very high in the polyunsaturates. And it got its reputation as being a helpful oil about 30 years ago when they learned to lower the erucic acid content. But Han Selye demonstrated that it is not the erucic acid which was causing it to cause heart damage and other degenerative processes, it was the linoleic acid itself, the so-called essential fatty acid, which was causing death of heart cells. And he showed that just by adding stearic acid from cocoa butter, he could neutralize the toxic effect on the heart. So it’s the ratio. And canola oil has a very high content of the dangerous polyunsaturates.

SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Thank you for that, Dr. Peat. I just want to summarize the rennet with – referring to the cheeses. The natural sources of rennet that have been used for thousands of years are animal rennet or non-animal. Natural sources are fig juice, nettles, thistles, mallow, Creeping Charlie, cardoon thistle, vinegar, lemon juice or just letting the milk sour from a curd. Artificial sources of rennet are enzymes, vegetarian rennet, microbial enzymes. And they are either derived from mold, so they are very allergenic, or they’re genetically engineered. So vegetarian rennet, folks, is not a safe rennet.

ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. We apologize for not mentioning Dr. Peat’s contact details at the end of last month's Ask Your Herb Doctor. We had the program on the dangers of medical radiation and it was very interesting. And, unfortunately, Dr. Peat wasn’t mentioned there as the – the contact details. So he can be reached on his websites. He has a website and it’s www. raypeat.com.