PODCAST | Ray Peat
Jul 01, 2008 | Herb Doctors: Thyroid And Polyunsaturated Fatty Acidsnew
: 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, which run every third Friday of the month from 7 till 8 PM, 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 we manufacture all our own certified organic herbal extracts, which are either grown on our CCOF- certified herb farm or which are sourced from other certified organic suppliers. You’re listening to Ask Your Herb Doctor on KMUD Garberville 91.1 FM.
And from 7: 30 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. The number here, if you live in the area, is 923 -3911. Or if you live outside the area, the toll-free numberis 1-800-568 -3723. We can also be reached toll-free on 1-888 -WBM-HERB for further question during normal business hours Monday through Friday. So this month, we’re very pleased to welcome Dr. Ray Peat on to this live show. I know our listeners are keen to hear what 40 years of experience has revealed concerning areas of your expertise, Dr. Peat,in progesterone and related hormones and how physiological differences can be made in one’s health by relatively simple dietary changes, along with, in some cases, alternative treatments and particularly in some cases the addition of thyroid hormones supplementation. So, Dr. Peat, thank you for being our guest speaker this month.
RAY PEAT: Yes.
ANDREW MURRAY: Hi. For those listeners who are perhaps not familiar with your, Dr. Peat, could you just outline your academic and your professional career?
RAY PEAT: First, I was studying the humanities, literature, linguistics and I worked on Masters degrees in several departments. It was about 12 years in which I taught humanities and worked at several universities before I went back to graduate school to work in biology. And I had been interested in biology all through the 1950s and 60s, but I considered the dogmatism to be more than I wanted to deal with. But after going through five or six other graduate departments,I learned that just keeping your mouth shut, you can get through any department if you don't ask questions and challenge people.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right. Okay, all right. Well, perhaps then to start, I know we’ve mentioned on previous shows in the last – in the last month and the month before that, I know we’ve mentioned the importance of thyroid. Perhaps would you explain the physiological importance of a correctly functioning thyroid to our listeners and what symptoms would be experienced by a person with a low thyroid state?
RAY PEAT: All of the higher animals require thyroid to survive and to differentiate. Without any thyroid function, we would just be basically like a fungus. And the brain is the organ that’s most responsive to the thyroid hormone and it’s the one that uses the most oxygen and burns fuel at the highest rate. And all of the oxidative processes that are required for high-density functioning of any organ, all of that depends on the thyroid hormone. So really the difference between us and a bacterium or a fungus is the thyroid largely.
ANDREW MURRAY: So it's really a master controller?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. It’s the master gland. And it even is more basic than the pituitary, which they often call the master hormone.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Because the thyroid hormone will affect the pituitary function.
RAY PEAT: Yeah. The pituitary depends on the metabolism of the brain and gets signals from the whole body. But the thyroid is what’s regulating the brain and governs the signals that the other cells send out.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So if a person’s brain isn’tutilizing oxygen efficiently, then their thyroid – that’s probably because of their thyroid gland and then their pituitary won't operate correctly. Do I understand this?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. The thyroid keeps the energy of all cells up and makes them ready to work. But a lot of people have thought of the thyroid as an exciting hormone. I’ve heard that it will make them burn calories faster and lose weight and so on. And so, they think of it as similar to speed or adrenaline. But, actually, it works in the opposite direction. People who are low in thyroid usually have defective sleep, often insomnia. And taking the right amount of thyroid can bring on deep sleep in an insomniac, sometimes in just in a few minutes.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And is that because it helps balance the adrenaline and lower the adrenaline levels?
RAY PEAT: Gradually, over a period of days, it will lower a person's adrenaline, sometimes 40 fold, down to the normal or low level. And at the same time, it’s raising the cell’s stores of energy and letting the cell get into its readiness, relaxed condition. When you have a cramp in a muscle, often that’s because the energy is depleted and low thyroid people tend to get muscle cramps very easily.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Yes. I have several clients who have calf cramps. They think it’sdue down to them being hypothyroid.
RAY PEAT: And one of the old, very meaningful tests for hypothyroidism is to have a person kneel on a chair and thump the Achilles tendon, and rather than looking for the extent of the reflex, you look for the speed of the relaxation.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right.
RAY PEAT: Because to relax the muscle, it has to restore its energy and get ready for another twitch. And the brain and all other organs are the same way. When the energy is down, it can't relax. It has to build up energy to get into the relaxed condition.
ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. Perhaps, would you explain, in the adrenal fatigue syndrome of – something that’s fairly related to that. If we're talking about people who are over sped-up, if you like, over sympathetically stimulated by a low thyroid compensating – or trying to compensate with adrenaline,how the adrenal glands can become very tired out after?
RAY PEAT: One of the ways that you can measure a low thyroid is to measure either the urine adrenaline breakdown products or the blood adrenaline. And it will often be 20, 30, 40 times higher than normal in a hypothyroid person. And that’s because adrenaline is the emergency compensation for low energy. And when the adrenaline is high, it tries to bring the energy back to normal. And it first draws gluclose out of the liver. And so, if you’re low thyroid, you tend to deplete your glucose stores. And when those are gone, your adrenaline goes even higher and starts pulling fats out of storage. And the fats poison your ability to burn the glucose and create a diabetes-like condition. But – when your thyroid is low, you tend to run out of sugar stores more easily. And so, you are more likely to be in the high adrenaline and high fatty acid addition. And when the fatty acids aren’t providing adequate energy, then you resort to producing cortisone. And the cortisone usually follows just a few minutes after the surge of adrenaline. The cortisone starts breaking down your tissues, muscle sare the first to go. Thymus is dissolved sometimes in just a few hours with high cortisone. And the breaking down of your tissues provide sugar to help you restore energy so cortisol should be just a very quick instantaneous reaction. Otherwise, it starts destroying all of your essential organs.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right. This would be the classic wasting of a hyperactive or sympathetically stimulated or over- stimulated person.
RAY PEAT: Yeah. I’ve seen several very hypothyroid men who no matter how much they ate couldn’t put on weight, people weighed 135 pounds who were very frail looking. When they took thyroid, they didn't have to eat so much, but they could suddenly put on muscle because the cortisone went down.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right, exactly.
RAY PEAT: At the same time that your adrenaline is driving your adrenal glands to produce more cortisone, your adrenals need the thyroid hormone to convert cholesterol into cortisone. And so, the low thyroid person – well, the destruction of your muscles to turn them into food liberates tryptophan and cysteine amino acids, which are signals to turn your thyroid down, so that you don't totally destroy yourself in the first two days.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So it’s a vicious cycle.
RAY PEAT: So the stress turns your thyroid down. And when your thyroid is low, then you can't convert cholesterol into cortisone. And that’s what is called the adrenal failure. But it’s really thyroid failure.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And is this why also people that have high blood pressure – sometimes low thyroid people can end up with high blood pressure because they have too much adrenaline?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. You can find dozens of articles in Pubmed, showing that high blood pressure goes with hypothyroidism. And very quickly, you can usually lower the blood pressure by correcting the thyroid.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And this is contrary to popular opinion. When you think of thyroid, people think, ‘oh, it’s a stimulant, it’s going to raise your blood pressure, it’s going to give you heart palpitations and all these adverse effects,’ but in reality you're saying that people if don't have enough thyroid, their body will start overcompensating with adrenaline. And the adrenaline is what gives you all those stimulatory effects.
RAY PEAT: Yes. And the adrenaline and lack of energy increases the tendency of the blood to clot and for the red cells to become rigid, so that they don’t go through the capillaries very easily. And so, the blood is thicker and harder to pump. And that tends to cause high blood pressure and heart problems such as rhythm problems.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And even an increase – possibility of a stroke, correct?
RAY PEAT: And meanwhile, since you aren’t able to produce the anti-stress hormones when your thyroid is low, the cholesterol, instead of being turned into protective or anti-stress hormones, the cholesterol simply rises in an attempt to compensate for the lack of protective hormones.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And that’swhy people with low thyroid have a high cholesterol?
RAY PEAT: Yes.It's a mirror image of your metabolic rate. That’s been known since 1930s that if you take out a person’s thyroid, the cholesterol zooms up. And if you give them a supplement, the cholesterol comes down in just a matter of a few days.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Right.
RAY PEAT: And the longevity and intelligence and resistance to cancer and so on are assisted by the high cholesterol. So lowering cholesterol without correcting your thyroid is exactly the wrong thing to do.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And that's what the statin drugs aim to do, correct?
RAY PEAT: And when you forceyour cholesterol down, you’re unable to make progesterone and pregnenolone and DHEA and the whole range of protective steroids.
ANDREW MURRAY: There was a recent study that came out – Harvard study, I think, that actually proved that cholesterol lessenedto 200 was actually likely to cause more cardiovascular accidents than cholesterol of 230, say. What’s your opinion on the reference range being less than 200?
RAY PEAT: The Framingham study showed that people over 50 are much more likely to have dementia if they have less than 200 cholesterol. And there are several indicators that 260 or 270 is the best for longevity and resistance to cancer.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: What is your view, Dr. Peat, on why so many Americans seem to be low thyroid?Is it radiation, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides?
RAY PEAT: More than that, it started back in the 30s or earlier. Already the food industry was starting to convince people to use vegetable oil, synthetic butter and synthetic cooking oils made out of – cottonseed oil was one of the first to use – for margarine. And in the 1930s, George Crile and his wife did surveys around the world of people’s oxygen consumption and thyroid function. And he showed that in almost every other country, except where they have a high incidence of tuberculosis, cancer and heart disease in the relatively healthy populations, people averaged about 25% higher metabolic rates than Americans. And they didn't offer a theory of why Americans were hypometabolic,but it was pretty well established that 40% of Americans benefited from taking a thyroid supplement and they were the ones with the high cholesterol and low metabolic rate. It's probably the grain centered diet because in the Yucatán and in Alaska, among the Eskimos the people had higher metabolic rates. And those are cultures that are not bread centered.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Right. So they were – you’re saying that the Eskimos who ate lots of saturated fats and didn't have the fields to grow the grains, they had a better utilization of oxygen?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. But the Americans, with their bread and other starchy foods, tended to eat only the muscle meat and the more primitive, less affluent cultures such as Yucatan and the Eskimos, they economize and eat the whole animal – the brain, the thyroid glands and the blood and feet and skin, everything is used.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So you’re saying they have a more balanced ratio of the proteins, not just the muscle meat, like we eat in America, just muscle meat?
RAY PEAT: Muscle meat is very powerful at suppressing the thyroid because that’s its function. When we resort to cortisone, we destroy our muscles. And so, it’s the muscle dissolution coming into the bloodstream that suppresses the thyroid. And so, when you eat simple steak or hamburger, your body can’t tell the difference between stress or eating simple meat. It suppresses your thyroid because the imbalance of amino acids.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So what can people do when they – if they are meat eaters or if they aren’t meat eaters to eat a protein that isn’t going to be suppressing their thyroid?
RAY PEAT: The balanced proteins are – if you stew a chicken, for example, and skim off the fat after it has cooked the meat loose from the bones, you will get gelatin out of the skin and bones and connective tissues, which will be about half of the protein of the whole chicken. And that would be what the primitive cultures were eating every day, a perfectly balanced set of amino acids. And you can approximate that by eating shellfish, shrimps and oystersand such things where you eat the whole body of the animal. And milk and cheese are pretty good for the protein balance. The cheese is slightly better than milk because the milk is designed for a growing individual and the tryptophan happens to be a growth stimulant. And once your ful -sized and adult, you don’t need very much of the tryptophan and cysteine.
ANDREW MURRAY: Okay. I'm wondering, every now and again, it’s a little difficult to hear you. I don’t know if your speaking into the telephone directly or if you’re on a speakerphone. Just sometimes I hear you much more clearly than other times.
RAY PEAT: Okay. I'll get closer.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Thank you.
ANDREW MURRAY: Perhaps, I wonder, for some people, how they would understand as best, would you just explain the methodology of testing thyroid function and why perhaps so many people fall through the cracks?
RAY PEAT: In the 1940s, when the drug industry was really getting economically important after the Second World War, a new type of thyroid hormone was synthesized containing only T4. And around that time, a blood test came on the market, which measured iodine bound to protein, and they assumed it was the same as the synthetic hormone, which they were promoting as a supplement in place of natural thyroid glandular material. And the synthetic hormone was tested only on young men who were the least likely to have a hormone problem. But the range of people showing a deficiency of protein-bound iodine, since they thought they were measuring the thyroid hormone when they measured the iodine carried on a blood protein, they found that only 5% of the population had low protein-bound iodine. And that went through the culture. To sell the test, this is the scientific measure of the thyroid hormone. And they convinced doctors that 95% of the population didn’t need thyroid, even though the symptoms established up to about 1940 showed that everyone with those cluster of symptoms – dry skin falling hair, constipation, insomnia, lethargy and so on – benefitted from taking thyroid. They were no longer given thyroid because of this idea that only 5% were deficient in blood iodine. But in the 1960s, it turned out this protein-bound iodine had almost nothing to do with thyroid function. And it was found that the real thyroid hormone was T3, not thyroxine. And it’s present in a very small amount in the blood and so it took a very sensitive test to really measure how much T3 was in the blood. And they were able to do that by the late 1960s. But they said that – they standardized the new test against the old idea, which had been established with a completely meaningless measurement. Protein- bound iodine didn't measure anything. But the new tests were standardized according to this meaningless 95% normal. So, now it doesn't matter how accurate your test is and if you’re really measuring the right substance. If you keep the idea that, statistically, only 5% are hypothyroid, then you’re not going to be treating people who need it.
ANDREW MURRAY: Absolutely. Okay. I think this is probably a very good time to lead on the same finding, as it were, things being set 50, 60 years ago as being fact and not being challenged until relatively recently. And I think one of the most – they’re probably going to be controversial and shocking to a lot of people, but we have talked about it before in the past, the whole controversy of polyunsaturated fats, the fats that are good for your heart, good for your cardiovascular system and good for your heart versus the saturated fat of our ancestors using lard, cooking with beef fats etc. being bad for you and heart – destructive or bad for you heart. How do you…?
RAY PEAT: This really started with the paint and plastics industry learning how to make paint, varnish and plastics out of petroleum where previously fish oil and seed oil – linseed oil, in particular, had been the basis of paints, varnishes and plastics.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And linseed is the same as flaxseed, correct?
RAY PEAT: And the petroleum chemist learned how to make paint very cheaply out of petroleum, and so the farmers and the industry that had been producing paint stock had no market. And, first, they used some old research, which had already been disproved in the 1940s. George and Mildred Burr claimed that unsaturated fats were essential nutrients. And in the early 1940s, at the University of Texas, people working on the B vitamins showed that what the Burrs had created was a B vitamin deficiency by not feeding their animals a balanced diet. And Burr himself demonstrated that animals without the unsaturated fats had an extremely high metabolic rate, about 50% higher than average, sort of like the Yucatán or Eskimo people relative to Americans. And even though Burr demonstrated that his fats lowered metabolic requirements, it apparently didn't occur to him that maybe the diet he was feeding didn't have enough of some other nutrient. The lab in Texas showed that it was specifically vitamin B6 and zinc which were deficient in the diet that George and Mildred Burr…
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And not actually the polyunsaturated oils?
RAY PEAT: No, the polyunsaturated oils were simply suppressing metabolism, so that rats didn’t need so much food. And the pig farmers knew about and they applied it by giving the polyunsaturated fats to their pigs to fatten them by suppressing their metabolism, so they wouldn’t need so much food.
ANDREW MURRAY: So polyunsaturated fats actually increase your weight, increase your fats?
RAY PEAT: While lowering the number of calories you need and can burn.
ANDREW MURRAY: Is it right to assume that polyunsaturated fatty acids have a slowing effect on thyroid function?
RAY PEAT: Yes. A group of experiments in France showed that they block the secretion of the hormone from the thyroid gland itself, block the transport on proteins in the blood, and block all of the cells’ function in response to the thyroid hormone. So there are three or four very specific places where the polyunsaturated fats directly block the function of thyroid. So it’s good for fattening pigs, but this research was useful to the industry who didn't care about the health of the pigs or how long they live, just that they were very cheap to get fat.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And can you outline for our listeners, please, or list the different types of oils that are in our food chain today that are very high in polyunsaturated fats?
RAY PEAT: Safflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, and flax and soy. Canola isn't quite so bad. But it’s still toxic.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: What about sunflower?
RAY PEAT: Sunflower is pretty bad.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And what about fish oils?
RAY PEAT: It’s worse. But the good thing about fish oil is that it’s so unstable that most of it doesn't survive to reach your bloodstream where it would inhibit your thyroid function. So it breaks down into other compounds, which are actually toxic, and the first thing you see affected is the immune system. The breakdown products, they spontaneously oxidize in fish oil, include acrolein,which is a carcinogen, and ethane, which you can measure on the breath after people eat fish oil, but all of these – or several of these toxic breakdown products are immuno suppressive, and so they have an anti-inflammatory effect that in the short run makes them seem beneficial.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And that’s why people who take fish oil say they notice a benefit – their joints are easier to move or their skin conditions have resolved, maybe things like psoriasis that are due to an overactive immune system.
RAY PEAT: Yeah. 50 years ago, they used to treat arthritis and psoriasis and other inflammatory conditions with x-rays. And the x-rays worked. You could stop juts about any inflammation for a while with x-rays.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: More like doctors do today. Our dermatologist at school, he told us there's nothing we can do for skin disorders besides steroids. It works. But is that what you want?Do you want to depress your immune system, so your skin gets better?
RAY PEAT: Yes. Steroids aren’t as bad as x-rays or polyunsaturated fats. But the polyunsaturated fats work by exactly the same mechanism that the x-rays do, creating an immune deficiency inability to produce information.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right. Now, how about the other news that these polyunsaturated fats are so unstable and so liable to oxidation because of their unsaturation that the adipose tissue in our bodies, just beneath our skin that we all have, stores…
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Adipose issue is fat tissue.
ANDREW MURRAY: …yeah, that stores the fat. This product can remain in a body for several years posing direct problems?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. The turnover rate between – if you totally change your diet from saturated to unsaturated, it takes about four years for the complete change to be reflected in your stores. So you can figure that the average fat molecule is four years old. And if you’ve ever left your cooking oil or salad oil bottle out of the fridge, you’d notice that it gets sticky And if it was at body temperature, that hardening, oxidizing process would be much, much faster. Just at room temperature, I’ve once did an experiment. I think it was corn oil, a bottle of salad dressing. I put a cork in the top and a small rubber tube down into a cup of water. And the water began rising in the tube, showing that spontaneous oxidation was consuming the oxygen in the bottle, pulling water up into the bottle.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And is this – can you comment on these oils once they’re in our bodies, are they oxidizing and becoming very sticky?Is this what plaque in an artery is?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. For 30 or 40 years, people have been demonstrating that the chemicals in the lining of the artery are identical to age pigment. And age pigment is produced in proportion to the unsaturated fats in your diet versus the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fats and the amount of oxidants such as heavy metals in your diet. And the blood stream is constantly oxygenated and your whole body is at a high temperature that makes it easy to oxidize the unsaturated fats. But in the bloodstream, every time you draw fats out of your storage, they have to circulate through the bloodstream, and so they’re exposing the lining of the arteries constantly to free radicals and there's plenty of iron circulating in the blood, which is the catalyst for starting the oxidation. And besides breaking down and leaving the residue or age pigment in the arteries, recent experiments have shown that polyunsaturated fats poison a mechanism that normally is causing cholesterol to be taken out of the arteries. There are several mechanisms by which the polyunsaturated fats increase atherosclerosis, just what the food industry wanted to – couldn’t sell the product for paint, they want us to help the pigs use the product.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: So it’s time to throw out the corn and safflower or sunflower oil and start eating better and coconut oil, right, Dr. Peat?
RAY PEAT: Yeah.
ANDREW MURRAY: So often, our grandparents had it right.
RAY PEAT: Yeah. We keep getting told that the fish oils now – even though it’s pretty well-established that those seed oils are carcinogenic and cause heart disease, they’ve shifted over to say that real essential fatty acids are the fish oil type, the omega-3 And that basically comes from a study of Greenland people that didn't really have any data, but they said there’s very little heart disease and they eat fish, so they must be fish oil. But a more recent study, just two or three years ago. Alaska Eskimos showed that they eating fish have – the ones who eat a lot of fish have no less heart disease than the ones who don’t eat fish. And a study on the other side of Canada found that if you look at the amount of omega-3 fats or fish oil in their tissues, the Eskimos pollution, such as PCBs and Mercury, exactly correspond to the amount of fish oil in their tissues.
ANDREW MURRAY: Right. Yeah, I'm sure. Okay. Very briefly, people that may have just tuned in, it’s Ask Your Herb Doctor KMUD91.1 FM. This month, we have a very special guest speaker, Dr. Ray Peat, 40 years of experience teaching in universities and PhD in physiology and biochemistry, have, with very good results, produced – simple dietary changes have produced very good results for a lot of the people. And it's a testament to having you on the program, Dr. Peat, that we have, in fact, over the last five or six months been implementing some of your recommendations to clients that we consult with and have actually seen very good results for ourselves. So not just reading, it’s actual first-hand witness of what you’ve recommended. We’ve consulted with a lot of patients or clients rather and seen, in our clinic, results with people. So we’re very pleased to have you on the show tonight. I wanted to just continue. For the next 20 minutes, the lines are open. Now, I do see the lights flashing, so I think there’s probably people wanting to ask questions. But if we don’t – I think we have a – somebody is right on the line now. So go ahead, you’re on the show.
RAY PEAT: Hi.
CALLER: Okay. Just a couple of thing I want to ask. One is, on a different show you had talked about cholesterol itself was not the problem, but there was something else, histamines or – that’s not the right word, but some histamine or something was the culprit because if you had a high or low level of those, the cholesterol would clog the arteries. And if you didn’t, the cholesterol wouldn’t hurt you. And you said if you took at least 500 milligrams of B12 and a certain amount of B6 and something else…
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, B2.
CALLER: What was it, B2? Not B6?
ANDREW MURRAY: There was B6, B12 and B2.
CALLER: Oh, B2.
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah.
CALLER: And how much of each do you need? There was a minimum amount. I think you said 500 on the B12.
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah. Perhaps, Dr. Peat, how do you equate the B vitamin to cholesterol? I know you’ve already mentioned it actually. So…
RAY PEAT: Well, the liver is constantly detoxifying all the chemicals that you absorbed from your intestine. Anything in your bloodstream is processed through the liver. And if you're deficient in thyroid, the liver can’t handle the cholesterol or free fatty acids. If the liver treats the polyunsaturated fats as toxins and destroys them, causes them to be excreted, the cholesterol is recycled and used for making the digestive bile acids for reuse for making steroid hormones and such. But the liver can’t process these things without adequate protein and B vitamins. Thymine, B1, is one of the essential for making the liver work efficiently. And a low thyroid function makes it impossible to use these B vitamins and protein. And so, the liver, for any of these deficiencies, will fail to detoxify and will allow estrogen to accumulate. The estrogen activates the mobilization of free fatty acids, exposes your arteries to more oxidative damage, while suppressing your thyroid function and creating a vicious circle. So I usually advocate eating a high naturally rich in vitamin diet. And eggs and liver are probably the richest sources of all of the essential nutrients for liver function. But if you eat too much liver, it can act like too much muscle meat and suppress your thyroid. Too much keratin or vitamin A can also suppress your thyroid. So I recommend lots of liver and eggs in the diet, but only if you're balancing with the right amount of thyroid function, so that your liver has all of the actors that it needs to process out the toxins.
CALLER: How much vitamin B12, B6 and B2 do you think a person needs?
RAY PEAT: It varies according to your metabolic rate. Like the Burrs’ experimental rats, if they were eating a lot of unsaturated fat, had very low metabolic requirements…
CALLER: Well, let’s say if you’re not really into the – so is it okay to eat butter? Is it better to eat butter then you say?
RAY PEAT: Oh, very good. Yeah, butter and coconut oil.
CALLER: What about olive oil?
RAY PEAT: It's not as good as butter.
CALLER: And why do you say butter is good for you when so many people say it’s bad for you?
RAY PEAT: Well,for example, people have demonstrated that the polyunsaturated fats are what cause alcoholics to get cirrhosis and hepatitis. It isn’t the alcohol. These researchers – Nan Xi’s [?]group at several universities, in recent years, is showing that he can cure liver disease caused by polyunsaturated fats by adding water and other saturated fats to the diet.
CALLER: Well, what about the block in your arteries that you don’t want? How do you get rid of that?
RAY PEAT: That’s caused by the vegetable oils primarily.
CALLER: Now, are you saying that omega-3s are not good for you?
RAY PEAT: Yes, they are not.
CALLER: But we’ve been told they’re so good for you. Those are good for your brain, an anti-oxidant, and good for your…
RAY PEAT: Well, Alzheimer’s disease is now definitely associated with inflammatory processes and free radical oxidative processes, which are supported by the polyunsaturated fats.
CALLER: Is omega-3 a polyunsaturate?
RAY PEAT: Yes.
CALLER: Well, then why do they say it’s so important to have it [inaudible]?
RAY PEAT: Well, they have to sell their products. They were saying the same thing about safflower oil and cottonseed oil for about 50 years. Those were the essential oils and you should eat a cup full a day.
CALLER: Well, it does seem to make the arthritis in my knee better.
RAY PEAT: Well,it’s anti-inflammatory, but those are the oxidized breakdown products that suppress your immune system. And at the same time, they suppress inflammation, they also suppress your ability to stop infections or to stop the spread of a tumor, if there is a…
CALLER: Well, then how– so you’re saying that omega-3s will depress my immune system?
RAY PEAT: Yes, that’s…
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: This has been proven in several studies. How I like to look at the situation is, what did your ancestors eat? Did they processed fish oil that they had to have all these fancy machinery and vacuum sealersand everything to put this fish oil in a capsule or did they just eat some fish occasionally?
RAY PEAT: When a person – some of the studies that saw fish eaters were healthy, they had a product, the refined fish oil, that they wanted to sell, so they said, ‘oh, this is why the fish eaters are healthy.’ But the fish also are one of the best sources of selenium, other trace minerals, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, all of these tending to be risk factors for the chronic degenerative diseases if you’re deficient in them. So ocean fish are a very good source of the nutrients. But you want to eat the ones with the least fat because the fat is the worst component and the most likely to contain [inaudible].
ANDREW MURRAY: Absolutely, yeah.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And also, I think you’ve commented before that you want to eat the small fish because there is – they have less of the heavy metals.
RAY PEAT: Yeah, they haven’t collected so many metals, such as mercury.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Can I ask you,Dr. Peat, for our listeners, how many times a week would you suggest eating eggs and or how many eggs a week or liver or the shellfish or fish?
RAY PEAT: You can eat as many eggs as you want if they’re well-fed chickens. But they most chickens now the same thing they feed pigs, a lot of corn and soy. So I – currently, for Americans, I advocate only one or two eggs a day because of the polyunsaturated fats. But if you have a farm and can get your own chicken feed,let them eat bugs and whatever they find, grass, sprouts and so on.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Well, what would you feed? I raise chickens and ducks myself. And what would you feed your animals? What would you feed them?
RAY PEAT: My friends in Mexico feed them lots of stale tortillas and table scraps.
ANDREW MURRAY: And they’re really most things, weren’t they?
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Well, what about just buying bird feed?
RAY PEAT: Well, a mixed diet is better. Sprouts, chickens love sprouts. And the sprout doesn’t have as much fat [inaudible].
ANDREW MURRAY: Hello.
RAY PEAT: …use animal fat [inaudible] beef trimmings and so on.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Okay. Thank you for that. Dr. Peat, we have another caller.
ANDREW MURRAY: Hello. I think there’s another caller. There was another caller on the line. I know the lights are flashing.
ANDREW MURRAY: Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Andrew?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yes.
CALLER: Hi. This is Rosa.
ANDREW MURRAY: Hey, Rosa.
CALLER: I was curious to hear what Ray Peat thinks about the Ayurvedic oil chains. I found it very interesting that you said it takes four years to change out the fatty acid composition of your cells. And would doing an oil change where you’re actually like drinking a lot of oil speed up the changeover?
ANDREW MURRAY: Dr. Peat?
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Dr. Peat, are you there?
CALLER: Oh, dear!
ANDREW MURRAY: We seem to have lost Dr. Peat. We’ll see if the engineer can…
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: The engineer has just stepped away from his desk.
ANDREW MURRAY: And the things are going crazy.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: That’s a very good question to ask, Dr. Peat.
ANDREW MURRAY: Is Dr. Peat still there? Hello. And I can’t hear you either.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Hello.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Hi. You’re on the air.
CALLER: I got cut off just about the time the engineer stepped away from the phone. I had a question to Dr. Peat I have Hashimoto’s disease, which is a disease of the thyroid. And I had been on 175 micrograms of thyroid since 1976, although it goes up and down as Hashimoto’s does. And I would dearly love to find somebody who knows what the heck is going on because MDs are not doing me any good.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: I completely understand. And Dr. Peat has offered to consult with clients through either Andrew or myself. We can consult with Dr. Peat on your behalf.
CALLER: That would be wonderful.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And at the end of the show, we will announce the telephone number to call. And then Dr. Peat is willing to consult with clients.
CALLER: Also, could you spell his name and could you tell me of any books he may have written?
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Yes. He has written several books and he has a website and we will also give that information out at the end of the show.
CALLER: Okay. And he says butter, coconut oil – and what did he say about olive oil?
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: In moderation.
RAY PEAT: It’s got 10% of the polyunsaturated fats on average. And so, a teaspoon or two per day isn’t enough to hurt.
CALLER: Okay. Because I’ve been using olive oil and occasionally sesame oil. I had high cholesterol,330. And I thought I'd better bring it down. But I’ve been using [inaudible].
RAY PEAT: Cholesterol is very good for a person. If you take an adrenal gland or an ovary, run blood into it, the amount of progesterone coming out the other side is directly proportional to the amount of cholesterol in the blood. And that depends on vitamin A and thyroid be converted. So when a person takes thyroid and sees their cholesterol quickly coming down, that’s because they're making the defensive hormones like progesterone and progesterone.
ANDREW MURRAY: Okay.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And, Dr. Peat, we had another question for you. Someone called in earlier and asked if – because you said it takes four years for these oils to convert over if you have been eating polyunsaturateds and you stop eating polyunsaturated oils and you start eating only butter and coconut, very saturated oils.
RAY PEAT: Yeah. You only see a big problem in someone who's very fat. They will take thyroid or use coconut oil, which can boost your thyroid while it’s in your bloodstream. But as soon as your blood sugar falls and you draw fats out of storage, then your thyroid is suppressed again.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Right. So if you eat an excessive amount of oil, does this speed up the change?
RAY PEAT: Well, one lawyer who weighed over 300 pounds thought he would lose weight in a hurry, so he drank a cup of coconut oil and he said he really believed he might explode…
ANDREW MURRAY: Get a heart attack.
RAY PEAT: …and start a fire because he was so hot for about an hour. So you don't want to take more than about a tablespoon at once because it – you can notice your heart rate goes up, you breathe harder and get pinker for about 30 minutes to an hour after you take a tablespoon full.
ANDREW MURRAY: Dr. Peat, would you be able to suggest any safe way of – I don’t know how to call it, but dieting in terms of replacing your polyunsaturated stores with your saturated diets, is there anyway to actually increase that change or you just have to wait four years?
RAY PEAT: Well, just taking a little bit of coconut oil at a time – it depends on your body weight. I added just a tablespoon per day and lost a pound a week and stabilized 12 pounds lower.
ANDREW MURRAY: There you go.
RAY PEAT: And people who are fatter might use a little more or they might need a thyroid supplement to fill in when they’re not using the coconut oil.
ANDREW MURRAY: I had another question, Dr. Peat. I know you’d talked 15 or 20 minutes ago when you were mentioning liver for that one person who phoned with the cholesterol question and you mentioned the B vitamins and also the – the supply of these B vitamins, especially in liver. Would you have any advice for hepatitis patients and how thyroid hormone for them and/or other information will be useful?
RAY PEAT: Having a doctor who understands thyroid is convenient. And Mary Shomon’s website has a list of doctor all over the country with patients’ comments on what experience they’ve had with the thyroid prescribing doctors. And I've seen people with terminal cirrhosis, who, after six months of using saturated fat, thyroid and, in some cases, progesterone, the doctors saw no evidence of cirrhosis left. Even though their liver had been very enlarged and rubbery, it was normal after six or eight months.
ANDREW MURRAY: Fantastic.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: That’s incredible.
ANDREW MURRAY: Well, it is four minutes to 8. So I think we should probably better start to wrap the show up right now and give out information for people who’ve listened to this show. It’s been a real pleasure to have you on the show, Dr. Peat. Thank you very much for joining us.
RAY PEAT: Okay, thank you.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And how many books have you written, Dr. Peat?
RAY PEAT: I published four or five, I guess.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And they are available to buy on your website? Is that correct?
RAY PEAT: Yeah. You can see a description of them on the website.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: And Dr. Peat’s website is www .raypeat .com. And like I mentioned earlier to the other caller, if people would like to consult with Dr. Peat, they can consult with either Andrew or myself. And we will consult with Dr. Peat on their behalf. Our toll-free number is 888- 926- 4372. And that translates as 1- 888-WBM – for Western Botanical Medicine – HERB.
ANDREW MURRAY: So once again, Dr. Peat, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your wisdom with those people who’ve tuned in today. Very much so. To those of you who have ears, let them hear. I'm always very happy when the traditional dogma is overturned by the truth is out there. There’s plenty of information. So just don’t stop searching. If you get an inclination, just follow it and, you know what, you might just get some very good results from it. So until the same time on the third Friday next month. Sarah?
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Thank you, Dr. Peat, forgiving a lot of clients and patients hope that, with proper nutrition and some supplements and a good diet, they can overcome and become much more healthy.
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah. Like I said at the beginning of the show, the reason that we invited you on, as much as anything else,are your wisdom and your experiences because we’ve actually seen the difference ourselves. So thank you very much.
RAY PEAT: Okay, thank you.
ANDREW MURRAY: Have a good night.
SARAH JOHANNESSEN MURRAY: Thank you very much for joining us. Good night.