Politics & Science: Biochemical Health

PODCAST | Ray Peat

null | Ray Peat

00:00:00 > JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Today we’re gonna be talking about human health and the physiological implications of some of the chemical processes that happen in the body, namely reduction and oxidation, and some of the other factors. My guest today is Dr. Raymond Peat. He has a PhD in biology and speciality in physiology. Ray, do you want to add anything to that? RAR PEAT: Yah, when I was studying for my degree at the University of Oregon, I got interested in oxidative processes as they relate to aging. And I've been thinking about what oxidation means, and all the ramifications, for

00:01:02 > 40 or 50 years. And still, I'm curious how it really works. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see, so it's an ongoing scientific endeavor, I suppose, understanding it ? RAR PEAT: Yah, the idea of electrons moving around in matter, that's one of my longest-standing interests (i think, I struggled since I was a little kid, probably). But I am still not satisfied that anyone knows, what an electron is, or how it works. But without knowing that, you really don't understand what's going on in oxidation, reduction, pH, free radicals, and so on. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Maybe you could give us a little sense of the history of people trying understand biochemistry? How did it all start, do you think? RAR PEAT: Oh well, the famous

00:02:04 > first demonstration that life processes are material chemistry was when a guy synthesized urea. And people had believed that that was maybe done by something special in the life process, that couldn't be imitated in the real, inert world. But just heating, I think, ammonia and carbon dioxide (i don't remember the exact chemicals)...But# it was demonstrated that you can make urea simply mechanically. So people started thinking about the chemical processes that make up life and gradually getting away from the idea that there is something unique about the life process

00:03:06 > that is distinct from chemistry. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I was just reading about.. There was some Swedish person - Is that correct? - who figured out urea? That was around the revolutionary war in 1760 something. But people must have experimented with bodily fluids before then. Was there much research done? RAY PEAT: In the 18th century people were really figuring out a lot about how organisms work. But the official science, the stuff that got published and approved up by the government, that was a very slow process that was usually a hundred years behind the people on the ground who were really thinking about [how things work].JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Science

00:04:08 > for a large part was actually a private affair done by usually wealthy people sometimes? Not always, I suppose, but...RAR PEAT: Yah, the rich cranks... [Ha-ha]. So they often put their particular philosophical or religious bent into the physical ideas. And it was because of that personal quality that science was really more literary and interesting and artistic before the universities took it over. And gradually, in physics, I guess, the universities took control of it away from the cranks and the rich guys in the mid- 19th century. And that was

00:05:10 > the physics that Einstein, for example.... The leading academic physics was being done in Germany, and Einstein being Jewish, resented the authoritarian dogma of the professors. So he invented something that outwitted the authoritarian physics establishment. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: He sure did. That sorts of reminds me of what the general law of institutionalization, that I am making up here on the spot, but it seems like it takes the interest out of most fields, once it gets franchised like that. Religion, I think used to be more of a personal experience before the church took over. It sounds like it's the same with science. RAY PEAT: Yah. I think, Einstein himself succumbed somewhat to

00:06:12 > the authoritarian attitudes in the case of saying what an electron is. And 30 years later, I think he regretted having set things in motion in that particular direction when he never accepted the quantum mechanics view of reality as based on randomness. But he was largely responsible for setting that in motion with his theory of the photoelectric effect. And the idea of the electron as a discrete particle interacting with a proton as a discrete particle was the key idea in that photoelectric effect. A photon of a given energy would dislodge an electron

00:07:14 > from the solid state, giving it a certain voltage So you can talk about the electron energy or voltage of a given frequency of light. That particularized, or atomized the idea of both light and electrons. And that's something that allowed theory to take over and cover up and reject a lot of empirical factual observations relating to light, color, electrons, molecules and so on, and I think life. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: It's interesting. Once you become an icon you have to be very careful what you say because people might take you seriously. RAR PEAT: Yah I don't know how conscious he was of that,

00:08:16 > but he was very persistent in not entirely going along with the drift of the quantum physics establishment. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So that view of the electron, and atoms in general, I imagine (seeing the electron is an essential part of atomic structure): can you explain further how that actually set us on the wrong track? RAY PEAT: Around the time of the first World War, Michael Polanyi had demonstrated a continuous potential description of how gases are bound or absorbed onto solid surfaces. And that was a smooth sort of process, a straight

00:09:20 > relationship between the pressure on the gas and the thickness of the absorbed layer And when he went to Berlin to present his experimental work and theory [to] Einstein and others, that was already ten years beyond the total electric theory, and the particularization of light and electron energy or structure. And Einstein was one of the people that said, "In the advanced science world here in Germany, we know that that just is impossible because matter is particulate and you just aren't going to get forces smoothly extending away from the surface if the surface has an electrical property, and the gas has an electrical property,

00:10:22 > the first layer of gas atoms hitting that surface is going to perfectly neutralize that. So there is no potential extending through space."But Polanyi 's results clearly showed that something like that was happening, a continuously thickening layer. So, Polanyi was defeated, and the people like Irving Langmuir fifteen years later got the Nobel prize for his idea that gases can only condense in a mono layer. Polanyi knew it was wrong, but he was a physics professor and he had to teach the Langmuir isotherm. But in his own experimental work Polanyi went along

00:11:24 > examining how molecules and crystals, solid state things, work.In one area of research after another he kept seeing continuity, things extending. For example, in the behavior of a crystal, were previously he had shown that gases on the surface of activated charcoal for example, formed multi-layers. Working with crystals, he found that the events on the surface of a crystal affected its elasticity and resistance all the way through. So, physically, the surface doesn't have the meaning that it seems to [have] in geometry. For example in working a crystal back and

00:12:26 > forth, it gets weaker and weaker as it accumulates some kind of fatigue or memory. J. C. Bose had demonstrated that s ort of thing and found that the fatigue could be recovered (from) in a crystal, but Polanyi was interested in the fact that the weakening involves energy flowing over long distances, creating areas of exaggerated weakness That was the same sort of effect that he saw when the surface of a crystal was wet. The surface effect modified the resistance and elasticity property of the depth of

00:13:28 > the crystal. So it was analogous probably to the idea of conduction bands in which, in a metal, the electrons are delocalized. And you can think of particulate electrons acting this way, but Polanyi's work suggested that maybe that isn't the only and necessary way to think of electrons. When I was in graduate school 1969-70, I was reading surface physics especially as a way to help understand oxidation biologically. And in one of the physics journals, a man named Helmut

00:14:30 > Schwarz published a description of a funny experiment in which laser light is shined horizontally through a crystal while a beam of electrons goes through the other dimension of the crystal, through this thin layer less than half a micron thick. And the electrons passing through the crystal are deflected into a certain pattern by the electronic property of the crystal atoms that they passed by. S o you can see the shape of the crystal reflected in the image of where the electrons hit. Ordinarily, that's done exposing electrons passing through the crystal

00:15:32 > exposing a piece of photographic film to the electrons and getting a chemical change producing the image. But he found taking even a fluorescent screen away, putting an aluminum oxide coated layer at the bottom that was very non-reflective, he found that the electron spots were still there, but they had the blue tint of the laser light going sideways through the crystal. So the spots had to be the supposedly discrete particulate electrons for them to be deflected to exactly the right spots, which are used to identify crystal structures and such, but at that

00:16:34 > spot there shouldn't have been any light that it was the color of the laser light modulating in effect the beam of electrons. And that, when I tried to talk to physics professors about it they simply said, "It can't happen. You can't modulate one electron "JOHN BARKHAUSEN: When you say modulate, you mean you mean change color, or actually...? RAR PEAT: Yah. The color of an electron is supposed to be its relationship to the atom. And what it's doing is absorbing, or interacting, with a particular wave length of the light, so the atom is subtracting or maybe fluorescing a color, but it's always subtracting or adding something according to the way it is bound to the atom.

00:17:36 > So, an electron flying through space just wasn't acceptable. They preferred to say that the person was simply hallucinating or something. But it was done at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and they had the best equipment of that sort in the world at that time. A lot of people immediately trying to replicate it didn't have the same degree of vacuum in their electron microscope, or they didn't have the same power of laser, or the same quality of crystal making, and so on... Great planeliness and so on was part of the original experiment. So a lot of people... Sort of like cold fusion: if it violates the theory,

00:18:38 > and you don't have the same equipment exactly, it's very easy to debunk something, just by doing a slightly different setup and getting different results. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Today's crackpot is possibly tomorrow's genius, in many cases. RAR PEAT: Very recently, Helmut Schwarz, who became the head of Germany's research granting institution (the government's money dispenser for research), he said that outsiders are important everywhere, not just in science. You don't get advance unless you have people somewhat on the fringe. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yah; if anybody wants to google “minority opinions in science”, there is actually a huge amount of information out there: Scientists who had have been sidelined for their

00:19:40 > viable research because it's bucking the current institutions or the money that's coming into those institutions. They are not getting any traction with any of their work, and in fact, a lot of their research is taken away from them research facilities. It's a lot bigger faction of science than anybody hears about because of course they don't get any press either RAY PEAT: And I've been noticing that institutions like the Wikipedia, supposedly the internet should be an opportunity to disseminate dissenting ideas, but the culture of authoritarian science is so strong that you see it affecting the way Wikipedia works. It's sort of like a sounding word for the most

00:20:42 > authoritarian viewpoints in science. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yah, that makes sense because if you have the money of an institution behind you, you have the money to pay a staff member to keep updating Wikipedia and editing anybody's other input. So it's kind of like he who has the most resources wins the argument.I was a little confused about that particulate electrons versus... Is it a wave theory? Is it one of the alternatives to that? What's wrong with the particles? RAY PEAT: Since you can't explain many events in terms of particles, it becomes sort of mathematical magic to try to make up theories to explain results like Polanyi 's or Schwarz's.

00:21:44 > And Albert Szent-Györgyi used conventional quantum thinking about electrons, and went a long way towards explaining some of the biological phenomena that the people hadn't been able to even perceive. But that doesn't mean that it necessarily validates the particulate electron, just because you can explain some important phenomena. I think it should mean that the whole idea of what matter is, how an electron works, whether it might be that there is an electrical ether-like material which breaks up in different

00:22:46 > ways into apparently discrete electrons. But that rather than being an internally discrete particle (like a proton is supposed to be), the electron might be sort of an ad-hoc division, which the wave inteRAY PEATretation is approaching that idea. And some of the sub-atomic thinkers are saying that maybe this great variety of sub-atomic particles being seen with high energy research, maybe these are just sort of an ad-hoc response of matter to a particular context, or environment, or stimulation. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So it might just be an aspect you are seeing depending on the medium you are using to see

00:23:48 > it with. RAY PEAT: Yah, exactly. And that would say that in a different solar system or different galaxy the atoms aren't necessarily going to be the same, exact, [or] have the same functionality. And that is an implication of Halton ARAY PEAT’s comments on his galaxy photographs . JOHN BARKHAUSEN: OK, now that you have brought up that, you better explain what that means again. RAY PEAT: He showed that what appeared to be continuously connected groups of stars, one of the parts of what seems to be a continuous stream of stars, one of the parts will have

00:24:50 > an extreme red -shift difference from the other one, meaning that they should be very remote in space.But his pictures show connections, like one is being shut out of the other. And he suggests that the one being shut out is newly created and that new matter has a different way of vibrating which shows up as a redshift. In other words: the atoms are different when they’re fresh. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Red shift means something is moving away from you in space? RAY PEAT: That's the standard mechanical physics connection like the doppler effect, when [inaudible] passes, the frequency drops. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You’re saying it could also have other implications. RAY PEAT: Yah, for example light passing close to a star

00:25:52 > has a frequency shift. An Israeli physicist astronomer named Dror Sadeh was working in the US. He was studying at different times the light of the stars passing close to the sun and a beeping Quasar Pulsar that sends out a certain frequency passing close to the sun. He kept seeing what seemed to be a time change (or frequency change) depending on how close the beam came to the sun. And he got an atomic clock at the US Bureau of Standards and mounted another one on a truck and connected them by radio,

00:26:54 > so that they could be synchronized, and then drove up the coast (I think he went up towards Maine) and meanwhile recorded the relationship between these two clocks as he went. And saw that every morning at sunrise, Washington DC seemed to be redshifted away from his truck. And his argument was that something about the field of the sun coming on the scene was shifting the radio waves that were connecting the two clocks. Otherwise it would look like you have an expanding universe to a ridiculous

00:27:56 > extend, in which Washington was moving at a million miles an hour away from Maine. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I think that may be. They seem remarkably out of touch with real life anyway. That's fascinating, Ray. We are talking about the nature of the universe and ourselves. And particularly electrons and electrical fields. You are saying that the that the sun’s electrical field when it – or maybe it isn’t even electrical, but the wave from the sun of radiation is possibly altering time, slightly. RAY PEAT: I think he was thinking in terms of gravitational fields. But I don't know exactly

00:28:58 > what sunrise would mean in terms of his thinking. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: How do you spell his name, Ray, so we could go look up on the Internet, what he’s up to? RAY PEAR: First name, Dror JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. Sadeh. He was killed by radiation poisoning in the non- atomic bomb laboratories in Israel JOHN BARKHAUSEN:... the non-atomic bomb laboratories making the bombs that they don't have [chuckle].RAY PEAT: Yah. [chuckle].JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That's terrible. So obviously it makes a difference how you think about electrons and if you’re trying to figure out how these molecular processes are happening. And this show is going to be about physiology, but I guess it makes

00:30:00 > a real difference what your general theory of atomic structure is. RAY PEAT: The idea of a particular nature of matter sort of spread or diffused into the thinking process, so that atoms... The same way Einstein couldn't tolerate multilayer absoRAY PEATtion in 1915, biochemists can't tolerate the long range processes in biochemistry. One of the things in chemistry that resembles what Polanyi was seeing in crystals and his other experiments the inductive effect is at the basis of the really

00:31:02 > fundamental biological thinking about coacervates, for example. Bungenberg de Jong founded a line of thinking that eventually led to Gilbert Ling's way of seeing the cell as a special state of matter. One of the basic and simple chemical physical principles necessary to think this way is called electronic induction in a molecule. And when you have atoms that are electron withdrawing, or they have an affinity for electrons, you put them in a molecule and the charge

00:32:04 > or the intensity of the electron's effect shifts down the molecular chain towards that electron withdrawing atom or group. So it's like a partial electron. That's an essential part now of organic chemistry, that you have partial charges. But when you really take that seriously and see that this effect exists everywhere in every molecule in the cell, it goes to another level which is the coordinated or coherent effects of the electron- inducing

00:33:06 > groups. So you have a collective kind of reaction in which you pass a threshold. Sort of the way liquid water passes to solid water. They can be at the same temperature, but someone has to start the process, and then it can go like a cascade: all at once the atoms will fall into place and change the state. So, you can have solid water at somewhat above the melting temperature, or liquid water well below the freezing temperature (if you don't have this cooperativity of molecules and atoms). When you combine these ideas of cooperativity and induction, you get these

00:34:10 > group effects where you have a change of state in effect which will pass through the bulk of the material. So that you can start thinking about how it works with looking at the effects of pH on a protein. That's the simplest effect of the pH; the same all the way through a solution. And a protein with its various charged groups responding to that pH. So that the internal fields are intensified or decreased according to the pH. So you can have a protein expanding or collapsing according to the pH of its surroundings. But then, when you add

00:35:12 > other molecules binding or associating with that protein, and those have electron withdrawing or donating properties: then the way that protein responds to a certain pH is different. And these electron withdrawing molecules are, in a sense, a “partial oxidation” (oxidation being “the taking away of electrons”). So that the degree of oxidation in a molecule defines how “electron- withdrawing” it is. And the totality of molecules with that quality in a system such as a protein or a group of proteins in a solvent, will affect the

00:36:14 > global degree of oxidation in the system. And when it reaches a certain point, instead of just one protein collapsing or expanding, you get the same freeze-melt transition in which one protein triggers another one, and so on. So, you get coherent cooperative types of changes throughout the system. That's where the tending to think discretely has been so strongly affected by the particulate electron, particulate proton, particulate photon. The type of thinking. So that people don't like to get involved in those cooperative global effects.

00:37:20 > JOHN BARKHAUSEN: It sounds like there are several things that affect how quickly a chemical change happens in the body or elsewhere. One of them is the environment, so the pH surrounding the substance where the change might happen is key, and then the other part is the materials that are attached to that substance. So if you tie a protein, and then the protein might have other molecules attached to it, that actually enhance or deter the change happening. RAY PEAT: Yah. And that's one of the complexities of the living state: If you kill it, it doesn't work the same. So you have to think of it always in a certain environment. You have to really think of it as a flow from the environment, in and out; and the rate of flow, and intensity of flow,

00:38:22 > and so on. The way people think about anti-oxidants even tends to turn into a static description rather than a flowing process. A cell is always (when it's alive) maintaining a delicate balance between oxidation and reduction. And so, anti-oxidants are a dynamic process in which they’re also oxidants. If you push towards a dominance of reduction, then you kill the cell in a different way. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Ray, can you back up a little bit and just explain the origin of the word “oxidant” and what it means? RAY PEAT: In the 18th century, when they

00:39:24 > were thinking of phlogiston, that you had to dephlogisticate something... JOHN BARKHAUSEN: What does that mean? RAY PEAT: It was something that left a burning substance. It meant the exhaustion: when phlogiston had filled up the space, you couldn't bring anything more in it. And it made it very hard to understand chemical reactions. But then Priestley, and I guess Lavoisier was another one, two or three people around the same time were seeing that there was something being consumed from the air in the process of burning rather than

00:40:26 > added to it. When they started studying what was being consumed in the air, they saw that it generally made an acid form. And so, I think it was Priestley who named it; the substance that makes burning possible in the air, he called the acid- former, or the oxygen (“oxy” [greek] being the root for “acid” or “sour”). And so many acids were formed by oxygen that it got its name as the source of acid. It isn't an absolute: there are acids without oxygen. And that

00:41:28 > leads into the whole issue of pH. But thinking of oxygen in relation to its ability to form acids, that's a very important integrate with your thinking of what a cell is doing. And people tend to have begun thinking of carbon dioxide as simply a waste product; but if you think of the electronic balance between oxidation and reduction holding the proteins and other things at the cell in a certain very specific state or conformation, changing the pH is crucial. And this partial oxidation that you get

00:42:30 > at a lower pH, which governs the arrangement of the protein and other substances, carbon dioxide turns out to be a universal balancing factor or an adjustor of the acidic properties of the protein. So the acid formed by oxygen in this case, carbon dioxide, in itself, it's an acid as defined by Gilbert Lewis. It doesn't have the protons; so you needn't talk about the pH, really, because it's a non-protic acid, just two oxygens and a carbon. But this arrangement-

00:43:32 > an oxygen doubly bonded to a carbon- creates that electron withdrawing property. The intrinsic partial oxidizing property of that molecule, which when it attaches to a protein, it increases the acidity of the protein making it slightly, partially, more oxidized, more acidic. And that changes its affinity for other things, according to how negatively charged its groups are. This is the kind of thinking that then, up to the Gilbert Ling orientation accounting for cells and their metabolism without the hypothetical membrane and its pumps... The

00:44:34 > pH and the acid- property of the protein system maintained by the carbon dioxide produced by oxidation: this is the central thing in explaining why cells can discriminate between sodium and potassium, and calcium and magnesium, and all of the discriminations that cells make. You don't need a little magic pump moving things in and out. That would consume more energy than the cell has. The energy of the cell is really being produced to form carbon dioxide. And the carbon dioxide is changing and maintaining the properties, preventing

00:45:36 > excess electron accumulation. Since it is a continuing streaming process, you have oxygen streaming in and carbon dioxide streaming out, and the carbon dioxide reacting as an acid with water shifts the property of the water atom. So, the water joins with the carbon dioxide forming carbonic acid, which ionizes. You now have a negative charge on the carbon dioxide streaming out of the cell. It takes positive charges out with it. Otherwise the cell would quickly become highly electrically charged. So the movement of

00:46:38 > oxygen in, carbon dioxide out is taking out the sodium and calcium as a streaming continuous maintenance process. this is the JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Most people have heard of the membrane theory of cells, that they are basically bags holding the cytoplasm in. And (In case you didn't get this) this is an alternative theory: that it's actually being regulated by the products of the mitochondria. Is that right, Ray? So the mitochondria is producing the CO2 when it makes the energy we all use, the ATP. And so the CO2 starts off as an electron acceptor, but then it becomes negatively charged and that bonds with the positive

00:47:40 > metal ions (magnesium and calcium)? RAY PEAT: It doesn't necessarily bond with them, but in leaving, they tend to get dragged out, too JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see. And why is the CO2 leaving? RAY PEAT: Just because it's being constantly formed inside, and just diffuses out, down a gradient .JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So that's like an osmotic pressure? RAY PEAT: Well, the diffusion pressure. It's going down the gradient, like if you put alcohol against water: they will tend to make the alcohol move into the water, and the water into the alcohol. Until they are more or less even. And when you have a high concentration of CO2 in the cell, at a certain point it starts being more

00:48:42 > at ease outside of the cell. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see. So it's a diffusion process? RAY PEAT: Yah. And that accounts for taking it out into the extracellular space and the blood. And when it gets into the blood, it's taken the sodium and some other things with it. It circulates to the lungs and changes back to carbon dioxide which is again going down its gradient from a high concentration in your blood to a lower concentration in the fresh air you breathe. So the carbon dioxide is leaving the blood and it leaves behind the molecules or ions that it took out of the cells. So the absence of the acidic carbon dioxide

00:49:44 > in the blood leaves the blood now with a higher pH because of the movement of sodium and such out of the cell. So the normal situation is for a healthy cell to be just faintly under neutrality, and for the blood to be definitely over neutrality (inside the cel l 6.9 pH, and in the blood 7.4 pH, roughly). JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So that's a little bit higher than the cell is low. go on RAY PEAT: A lot of people have seen

00:50:46 > disease as caused by a low pH, or too much acidity. And in the case of stress and cancer, a tumor will become very acidic. So that traditional idea has a basis. In an infection or a tumor, the inflammation produces a high concentration of lactic acid, and a very low pH in that area, which does have disruptive toxic effects [on that area]. So the body is able generally to correct that and reduce the inflammation and stop the production of lactic acid. But when lactic acid is formed,

00:51:48 > the conversion from pyruvic acid to lactic acid is drawing an extra proton out of the NADH catalyst that causes the conversion, taking away this extra proton as it leaves [the cell]. In its formation, it raises the pH inside the cell. So, even though a tumor or an infection it is.. locally, you see excess acid (high lactic acid inside the cell, that's doing that) it's the reverse process: you get an increase in the pH inside the cell. So the

00:52:50 > cell, if it gets stuck in producing lactic acid because it can't produce CO2, then that means it also tends to get stuck at a higher pH. And this higher pH changes the whole system. And that's where you tend to get a self- replicating tumor; because the normal acidic conditions maintained by the CO2 are lost. thats good to know maybe could explain for go to the entire JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You are talking about cellular respiration. thing people genraly know the thyroid When you’re talking about the process of making the energy we all use; can you give us a little cliff

00:53:52 > note version of that? RAY PEAT: Yah. Looking at us in our environment, we are really sort of sandwiched between the sugar energy we get from plants and the carbon dioxide that we make as the final product of the energy from the sugar. A series of changes in the sugar molecule, each oxidation of that molecule adds a little chemical energy to the cell, that the cell can use to make proteins. As it degrades the sugar, it builds up amino acids and proteins and fats. When you are unable to oxidize

00:54:54 > the sugar all the way down to carbon dioxide, and produce lactic acid instead, halfway, you are losing the greatest part of the energy stored in the glucose molecule. And that lack of energy has its repercussions. But when there is really a lack of oxygen to continue the oxidation, that NADH, which allowed pyruvic acid to take this shortcut off into the semi-toxic lactic acid, that has to be renewed before you can even make another lactic acid. So, without oxygen, you need some kind of oxidant to even continue producing that kind of low energy from the sugar to

00:55:56 > pyruvate and lactic acid. And to do that, cells can produce fat and get rid of their electrons by building them into fat. So building fat in a way is an alternative (very bad one) to using up oxygen and making CO2. So, interestingly, cancers, which get stuck in the exclusive use of converting glucose or amino acids to lactic acid as their energy supply, they also get stuck making fat. Fat becomes their oxygen in effect. And then, when they still have

00:56:58 > mitochondrial function, the cell burns fat as its energy. So it's really a deranged and crazy kind of metabolism to produce an irritant lactic acid, and to do that it has to make fat which is then used as fuel with its own consequences. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That's called glycolysis? RAY PEAT: It's aerobic glycolysis when you make lactic acid in the presence of oxygen, and ordinary anaerobic glycolysis is what happens when you exercise too hard. You

00:58:00 > can build up lactic acid in getting out of breath. The blood lactate increases if you exercise faster than you're breathing, and that's normal. You can a little later consume and oxidize the lactic acid and that's OK. But when you start producing lactic acid even in the presence of oxygen, as in the case of cancer, or extreme trauma or shock, the same thing happens; something turns the trigger, so that even though oxygen is present in shock, you will waste your sugar and make lactic acid. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see; oxygen is there but you are unable to use it. RAY PEAT: Yah,

00:59:04 > the nervese system and in the case of shock at least, the nervous system is involved in making that aerobic glycolysis. So there are quite a few people who have suggested that the nervous system is involved in the cancer transition, doing the same thing that shock and trauma can do acutely. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Wow. I have to take a short break here and say that you’re listening to WMRW-LP1. And we’re streaming live at wmrw.org or 95.1 FM. And you’re listening to Politics & Science. I'm John Burkhausen, the host. And my guest today is Dr. Raymond Peat. He has a PhD in biology and a specialty in physiology. And we’re talking around the subject of oxidation and health and what role oxidation plays in maintaining that health.

01:00:10 > There’s more I want to ask you about the – not being able to use the oxygen that’s present and anaerobic – it’s anaerobic glycolysis even though there’s oxygen there. RAY PEAT: Aerobic. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Oh, and then it’s called aerobic glycolysis. I see. How does the mitochondria burn fat ? How is that even possible ? What are the problems with that ? RAY PEAT: It produces less carbon dioxide, for example. I think that’s the main problem. If you develop fat stores, you get particles of fat

01:01:12 > accumulating in the cytoplasm, and maybe even in the nucleus. That, probably, have a disruptive effect, from your... heavily shifted over to a fat economy. The tumor makes saturated fat, as it’s first product in converting sugar to saturated fat. But when it’s shifting in the presence of stress, when it shifts to burning fat, usually that will go through your fat stores, burning up your subcutaneous fat quickly. So, when a person is very sick with cancer, for example, they get a gaunt, emaciated look as their

01:02:14 > superficial fat stores are used up. And at the same time, they convert amino acids to energy, converting some of it to sugar, and some of it to fat. And so, it starts a wasting process. But, our stores, the older a person gets, generally the higher the amount of polyunsaturated fat in their stores. And when you’re oxidizing polyunsaturated fats, that produces more oxidative damage to the mitochondria. So, it tends to lower the oxidative part of the metabolism, and slow things down in general. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And then people end up feeling weak: their energy level get run down, overall. RAY PEAT: Yes.

01:03:16 > That happens in mid -life to lots of people; it resembles the cancer metabolism, but it shows up as fatigue, low energy use in general. Some people... were textbook used to say that you would always lose weight if you ate less then 1700 calories per day. Lots of people can maintain their weight on 700 calories/day. And that requires turning off of the thyroid function to a great extent. And so, you’re being wasteful, even though you’re not using very much energy at all; what you are using tends to be poorly used and destructive. So you tend to

01:04:18 > reduce your connective tissues, your muscles and digestive system, and so on, rather than just living on what you’re eating, or stored fat. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So you’re basically hibernating. Are fats always the JOHN BURKHAUSEN: [inaudible]. RAY PEAT: It’s very gurgly. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. I'm going to call you back and we’ll resume. RAY PEAT: Okay. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay, bye. Hello, you’re on the air. Can you hear me? RAY PEAT: Yeah. You’re still a little… JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Still gurgly. RAY PEAT: Not as bad as it was. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. You’re coming through fine. So if you can put up with it, we’re good to go. RAY PEAT: Okay. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: So are fats always a part of the process of respiration, oxidizing fats, Or is that only when you’re ill ? art of the process of respiration, oxidizing fats ?

01:05:20 > RAY PEAT: Yeah. It’s only under stress, generally. And starvation. Or diabetes. Or high level of stress. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: A lot of people are under these ketosis diets, where they don’t eat any carbohydrates And does that cause you to burn fats and proteins ? RAY PEAT: Yes. Your brain especially, and some other tissues ( the intestines, and red blood cells, and some other little areas) have an absolute requirement for some sugar (glucose); and they all get it by breaking down amino acids. And they get that from eating your tissues if you aren’t eating enough amino acids. But if

01:06:22 > you’re eating amino acids as your energy source (fats and amino acids), you turn on the machinery for turning amino acids into glucose and fat. And running that machinery involves turning on the stress hormones. A whole range of hormones adjust to it. And i think that those have chronic harmful effects. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: When people do it, they take blood and urine very controlled setting. They go for regular checkups and I think – I don’t actually know, but I think they take blood and urine samples, so they make sure not to endanger themselves. RAY PEAT: Most of the proteins that are being eaten under those systems,

01:07:24 > most are too high in phosphate. And usually too high in methionine, cysteine and tryptophane. And cysteine is an excitotoxic amino acid. And methionine is involved in stress and aging, in proportion to it’s excess. So that one of the most effective life-extending diets is simply to reduce drastically the amount of methionine in the diet. So that the sulfur amino acids and tryptophane are stress and aging promoters, especially excitotoxic damage to the nerves. And the high phosphate for most of the popular high phosphate

01:08:26 > proteins has a lot of excitatory, harmful effects. The KLOTHO gene and protein that is deficient in animals that have a very quick aging process: that’s largely a phosphate-handling protein. And the rapid aging produced by lacking that protein and gene involves accumulating excess phosphate. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You get phosphate from eating meat, primarily ? RAY PEAT: Meat is one of the highest ratio of phosphate to the other minerals. But several of the very high quality proteins...eating mushrooms have a pretty

01:09:28 > high ratio of phosphate to calcium. Milk and cheese are about half and half. Which is probably safe. Fruits and leaves, leafy green vegetables, have a very safe low phosphate content relative to calcium and magnesium and potassium. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So fruits and vegetables are the best. You’re not getting much protein in that case; so, you need some milk and cheese too ? RAY PEAT: Yes. And probably a fairly low protein diet is very good for health, in the sense of living longer. But for maintaining tissue renewal, you can’t go below a certain amount of tryptophane,

01:10:30 > cysteine and methionine. Those are rapid turnover proteins. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. I think, Ray, I'm going to turn to some of the questions I received from people in preparation for this show because I know if I wait, we’re going to be short on time and I want to make sure you have time to answer them. Last week, we talked about – or you mentioned Luca Turin and his research on – I think it was odors and the electrical nature of odors. He had – maybe you could – when you get to answering this, you could go over that a little bit. Somebody wanted to know what your feelings are about multiple chemical sensitivity. And that’s pretty common these days. A lot of people can be made very I'll by a perfume or the smell of bounce. What do you think is going on? Does that relate too.. the Turin’s work ? RAY PEAT: Yes, i think it does.

01:11:32 > He was talking specifically about smell and psychoactive- like antidepressant chemicals. When you look at what’s in common between smelling and having the anti-depression effect of some chemicals, what’s in common is the resonance state, or the tunning of the molecule to the oxidation state, which is in this context of partially oxidized proteins in a coherent cooperative system. The whole system has to be tuned to a certain level of reduction and oxidation.

01:12:34 > And the addition of the chemical (whether it’s an antidepressant or a perfume molecule) passes along the conductive pathways of the nervous system. And cells all throughout the body are involved in the delicate nerve balances. The vegetative ( or autonomic nervous system) regulates the state of inflammation (of the tissues, for example). There are lots of cells closely associated with fibers of the nervous system; cells called mast cells, for example, that can regulate inflammation all throughout the body, in the brain as well as all the

01:13:36 > other tissues. And these are connected and balanced with the nervous system. So a slight shift in your autonomic nervous system can globally change the degree of inflammation all throughout your body, increasing the amount of histamine and insertion, and the various products of the mast cells. When a person is under stress chronically these inflammatory things tend to rise. And when you increase your intensity of mitochondrial respiration and your level of carbon dioxide, that stabilizes the system back, away from that excess inflammatory reductive impulse. But, when you’re right on the

01:14:38 > edge, just balanced, not intense enough oxidation going on, then a perfume molecule, or a psychoactive chemical, or a food molecule can send impulses through your system shifting you away from the oxidative excitatory processes, towards the side of your nervous system that becomes dominant in shock. So i think the chronic fatigue and the chemical sensitivity inflammatory states are in effect a variation on the physiology of shock. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: It’s amazing people can wear a nice smelling product that would

01:15:40 > make someone else deadly ill. RAY PEAT: Yes. I think it depends on the way your nervous and chemical system is tuned up. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I mean involve oxidation and reduction. all our chemical processes RAY PEAT: Yes. Lactic acid is a reductant, as well as a product of being reduced. And turning it into lactic acid from pyruvic acid involves an electronic addition or reduction. Then, when it goes to a balanced or healthy cell, it shifts the balance towards reduction. And if you add oxygen into that cell, it’s ok; the electrons will be consumed. But

01:16:42 > lactic acid itself has this potential for shifting the balance. For example, in the mast cells (that are signals for more inflammation), too much lactic acid will activate their releases. So, systemically, letting too much lactic acid circulate is adding to the inflammatory state. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You people mite be interest in you’re not very fond of yogurt, because of the lactic acid you absorb from it. RAY PEAT: There are some kind of yogurts that have very little lactic acid. You can thicken the milk enzymatically, rather than with a lot of acid. Those very mild yogurts

01:17:44 > aren’t specially harmful. But if you’re very sour with lactic acid, and if your liver is on edge ( not enough thyroid function) that’s like shifting towards the reducting side; it can have systemic effects and can bring on allergic reactions (migraine headaches and such). JOHN BURKHAUSEN: And so, just talking specifically about yogurt, we have a local yogurt maker around here. And I find if you buy it immediately, as soon as it comes out, there’s – no apparent lactic acid in it. But the longer it sits, the more the acid separates from the actual milk product. So I'm wondering is that acid forming as it goes or is it always in there and you just shouldn’t eat it, period. RAY PEAT: The bacterias are making it. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So, a young

01:18:46 > yogurt would be fine ? RAY PEAT: Yes, i think so. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And you can also strain your yogurt, which is the same as buying Greek yogurt. And that gets rid of it, and makes it basically thicker, or cheesier. RAY PEAT: Yes, that’s the idea of cottage cheese. The drain away of most of the fluid (the whey) and that takes away almost all of the lactic acid from most cheeses. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Ok, that’s good to know that fresh yogurt is ok. I guess, we’ve got a question coming in on the same subject we were talking about a second ago. It’s from Duncan. I bought a perfume base from a chemical company some years ago and it was so toxic that UPS was afraid to deliver it. I had to go pick it up myself. On the MSDS toxicity scale, which goes from zero to four, this was

01:19:48 > a six. Yup, two points over the max for chemical toxicity. perfumes are very poisonous, he concludes. What’s the MSDS? Is that the manufacturers’… RAY PEAT: Safety data sheet. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Thank you, yes. And he also asks, do you contribute to Wikipedia? RAY PEAT: No. Someone has asked me to comment on the association-induction hypothesis particle, a very good, long particle, described in Gilbert Ling’s theory. A lot of people are jumping on it, saying it should be eliminated from Wikipedia because it’s wrong. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I wonder if Gerard Pollack, who also derived openly a lot of his work from Gilbert Ling’s, would defend it?

01:20:50 > RAY PEAT: Yes. I don’t know how you get involved; when i find out, i think i will say: “Keep it, please JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. That would be good. Let’s see. And I have some more questions here. I should – I'm going to find them, so we get to them before the show is over. This is from Paul. He says, I'm a 34 year old male. And since about eight months, Type 1 diabetic. I believe I got diabetes after x-rays from my dentist. I'm curious if you think that’s possible. I take daily insulin and follow a pro-metabolic diet. I supplement aspirin, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, B1, B3, glycine, pregnenolone, magnesium glycinate. He’s still into a “honeymoon” phase, and would like to prolong that phase and/or even getting off insulin. Do you have any tips

01:21:54 > RAY PEAT: Before i was born, my father had extreme diabetes. Went down to something like 90 pounds or less, couldn’t assimilate any kind of food. Even pure protein raised his urine glucose tremendously. And looking at old naturopathic remedies, he started eating as his only food brewer’s yeast. About 2 cups a day, at first. And immediately stopped producing so much glucose in his urine. And in a few months, was completely well. Maybe 5 years or so after that, he would eat some extra brewer’s yeast, but never had any symptom

01:22:56 > of diabetes after that. And i think part of that effect is the hormones in the yeast which stimulate regeneration, and high potassium content, which has an insulin- like action, and the high B vitamins. But, having enough glucose, so you don’t draw any polyunsaturated fats out of storage- those are very toxic to the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. There, normally, they are constantly turning over (the Beta cells are being renewed constantly). And in a diabetic, they are being renewed, but they die quickly.

01:23:58 > And sugar is a factor that will prolong their lifespan. It doesn’t need anything to stimulate renewal. Just to prevent them being killed, primarily by the polyunsaturated fats and the nitric oxide. Soon after it was discovered that the body produces it’s own nitric oxide, in the early 1990’s, many articles came out demonstrating that nitric oxide is specifically what kills the Beta cells. So you definitely don’t want to do anything that would increase your nitric oxide production. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Which activity would do that ? RAY PEAT: Supplementing arginine or foods high in arginine wouldn’t probably be desirable.

01:25:00 > And i think the effects of aspirin, and the B vitamins, and Vit E, pregnenolone and progesterone and DHEA... Around 1985, i think it was, someone, gave rabbits diabetes with a chemical toxin, and then gave them a supplement of DHEA. And that was the only difference. The ones that got DHEA regenerated healthy insulin producing pancreases. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: DHEA need to be taken in small amounts, or it will convert to estrogen ? RAY PEAT: Yes. 10 to 15 mg is probably a safe amount. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Ray, and one of the things that I think everybody will be

01:26:02 > surprised by is that you’re actually advocating taking sugar or glucose, which is the… RAY PEAT: Yes. I have a couple of articles on my website guessing the history of that; in the late 19th century, a couple of doctors described cases that they cured from really advanced, terminal diabetes; people losing weight at a terrific rate. They added something like 12 ounces per day of sugar to an otherwise good diet, regular high protein and vegetables and milk and so on. But just by adding 12 ounces of sugar to that diet, in just a few weeks, people came back from near death. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And i guess their logic was

01:27:04 > to replace the sugar lost in the urine RAY PEAT: Yes. Exactly. The reasoning at first was: they’re dying so fast, they’re putting out the equivalent of a pound of tissue converted to sugar every day. And just to slow down their starvation process, they said, and they craved sugar; why not let them eat what they crave, and maybe slow down their death ? But instead, they stopped waisting away, and came back. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: And I want to back a little bit to – because I think I did – the person who asked the multiple chemical sensitivity question a little short shrift, in that I never asked you, what can somebody do if they’re

01:28:06 > suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity. RAY PEAT: Supplementing thyroid is the usual thing. But sometimes, they’re very low in cholesterol. And since thyroid works practically through converting cholesterol to hormones like progesterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone, if your cholesterol is too low, thyroid alone doesn’t necessarily do it. So, supplementing one or more of those will very quickly often relieve the exaggerated sensitivity. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You said rabbits were given diabetes just by being poisoned with a toxin. And a lot of our diseases are environmentally caused.

01:29:10 > They say a lot of people have per-dispositions to cancer, and diabetes, etc... But i suspect a lot of it is environmentally caused by pollution. RAY PEAT: Yes. When i was starting on my dissertation project, i wondered what the factors were that slowed down oxidative processes in aging. And as i looked around at the possibilities, i saw that the same type of deteriorations, the same biochemical patterns of the interference with mitochondrial respiration were produced by a great variety of stresses: ionizing radiation, or even UV to excess, had

01:30:12 > an effect similar to all of the estrogens and the aromatic hydrocarbon carcinogens. And hydrocarbons are produced by excitation and inflammation. And polyunsaturated fatty acids produce the same pattern of deterioration. And the Vit E supplement was found to stop the characteristic damage they were seeing in lab rats and industrial animals from feeding them too much unsaturated fats. And my thesis adviser found that the effects of too much estrogen were corrected by a very large Vit E supplement. And others were finding that Vit E

01:31:14 > protects even against radiation and sunburn. And so, some of the processes, like the breakdown of polyunsaturated fats are increasing our susceptibility to damage from all of those stressors (radiation, estrogen, toxic heavy metals, and so on). JOHN BURKHAUSEN: And Ray is referring to the liquid oils that are everywhere in our food supply, the canola oil. I think you think olive oil is not too bad and butter is good. But all of the vegetable oils except olive and coconut, are not a good idea. RAY PEAT: Yes. Olive oil has only 8-10% of the unstable polyunsaturated. Butter and coconut oil have 2-3% of the unstable ones. I’ve

01:32:16 > recently finally shifted, in accordance with something that I've read about 40 years ago, on the absence of cancer in animals that were fed different types of oils (coconut oil was safer than olive oil, which was safer than safflower oil and the polyunsaturated. But the safest of them all was hydrogenated coconut oil). And recently, I've found a place to get some of just to try it out; and it has a very nice, clean taste and texture, and it’s free of trans fatty acids, as well as polyunsaturated fats. The trouble is, the supplier doesn’t supply it retail; only in bulk. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So, did you get a semi,

01:33:18 > parked behind your house (laughs)? RAY PEAT: It was a very involved process to get a few gallons of it. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Well, sometimes you can say you’re thinking of buying a semi, but you just want a sample. RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Well, that’s interesting. Did some of the animals get to eat butter? RAY PEAT: Oh yeah. Butter and coconut oil were the safest natural oils. oxidation and reduction can refer to hydrogenation hydrogenation and dehydrogenation, RAY PEAT: Yeah. It’s just the movement of electrons. They’re talking about when we turn saturated fat into

01:34:20 > unsaturated fat in our own bodies; we dehydrogenate it. And when a cow turns unsaturated fat from their food into saturated fat for the butter, it’s bacteria in their intestine and rumen which is saturating it (hydrogenating it). So, dehydrogenation is something that we do in our own bodies. maybe it described or us what is actually happening to the molecule your actually moving i didn't RAY PEAT: They are actually referring to the electron; the movement of electrons out of the bonds. It’s what makes the difference.

01:35:22 > The usual thing that you move is a hydrogen (2 hydrogen atoms). And when you take those away... like if it’s on the 2 adjacent carbon atoms in a fat molecule; there was a bond of 2 electrons between the carbons; you take away a hydrogen from each one, and it takes...it’s one proton and one electron that leave, in each case. And they combine: 2 hydrogen atoms turn into hydrogen gas. Or go to some other molecule. And the left behind electrons join with each other. So you get a double bond. Four electrons are joining those carbon atoms. And the absence of

01:36:24 > this space filling hydrogen seems to leave that range of electrons between carbons open and more reactive. So, when you get a lot of hydrogens removed, that makes access of oxygen atoms to the fat molecule easier. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That’s why CRISCO is actually a liquid oil. but it has had an hydrogen added to it, and that makes it more stable. RAY PEAT: Yes. And if they would complete the process the way they do in changing coconut oil from 2-3% Pufas to 0% Pufas, you wouldn’t get the trans fats in it. So, You would have

01:37:26 > totally saturated, mostly stearic acid in CRISCO. And that would be safe. One group of researchers found that aged, defective mitochondria that were # not respiring properly...when they gave them fully saturated, hydrogenated, peanut oil, it restored mitochondrial function. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Wow. So, it’s a way of purifying it. RAY PEAT: Yeah. And it eliminates the unstable quality that makes things susceptible to oxidation. Physiologically, there’s something called the “saturation index”; you can look at a person’s red blood cells and find the ratio of stearic acid (fully saturated) to

01:38:28 > linoleic acid ( or linolenic: different degrees of unsaturation) and the longer ones (even more unsaturated). And people with cancer have a low saturation index. It’s a very stabilizing thing to..... like a newborn baby is highly saturated in it’s fats. In recent years, a lot of nutrition- oriented doctors are saying “You must give babies fish oil, and other highly polyunsaturated things, because most babies are born deficient in the essential fatty acids”. But that’s the normal state of the newborn animal . JOHN BARKHAUSEN: It shows how disconnected

01:39:30 > are the medical authorities with nature. The baby is a great example of perfection. newborn RAY PEAT: Yes. The rate of oxidation is highest; I'm not sure how you compare the primal oxidative state. But the newborn... the consumption of oxygen and sugar per grain of tissue is higher than it will ever be later. And it decreases especially at puberty, with the rise of the sex hormones. The oxidation rate decreases more shaRAY PEATly. And mortality rate increases as the

01:40:32 > oxidation rate decreases. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That makes perfect sense. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Now, I better get back to my questions here from interested people. Martins asks about salt. And there’s three questions about salt. And I'll just through them as quickly as I can. Can salt ingestion trigger migraines in some predisposed people (example: Max Gerson) ? And what would be the physiological explanation ? I read them all or do you want to take one at a time. RAY PEAT: Are they related to the salt? JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Yeah, they are all about salt restriction. RAY PEAT: Yeah. The others. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Here’s number two. Do you believe salt restriction was useful in the University of Munich’s 1928 tuberculosis trial on with Max Gerson’s

01:41:34 > diet under the supervision of Ferdinand Sauerbrush ? If yes, was the beneficial effect due to a release of excess intracellular water? 3 If salt restriction is useful in evacuating excess intracellular water present in degenerative diseases, is it useful to keep restricting it once this excess intracellular water has been evacuated ? Should cancer patients keep avoiding salt after a few months of a saltless diet ? RAY PEAT: I’ve read Gerson’s book and he was very, very good, thorough. He saw the effects of the diet first on migraines and then tuberculosis and then cancer. And he tried to understand it. And he seems to have read just about everything in the first half of the

01:42:36 > century on the subject. And the salts are extremely important. The other contemporaries of this cancer researcher had a very interesting parallel: a set of facts regarding salt. William Frederick Koch, who was a chemistry professor at the University of Michigan, early in the century, was studying the removal of the parathyroid glands. And a calcium supplement was the technical remedy for the cramping reaction to the removal of the parathyroids.

01:43:38 > And the doctrine was developed that the parathyroids regulates calcium. And so you need to replace calcium when the gland is removed. But Koch did the surgery on animals and found that if he gave them extra potassium, or sodium, or magnesium, it had the same curative effects And the essential fact was that one of these can makeup for a deficiency of the other. And the Gerson diet was extremely high in the other minerals, especially potassium. And the diet always had the amount of sodium that you would have in juice,

01:44:40 > leaves and fruits and vegetables and so on. So it was always a physiological amount of sodium. But often, a very excessive large amount of potassium and magnesium. And i think that these were the essence of Gerson’s success, rather than just the reducing sodium. Because when you look at particular experiments, sodium can stimulate the respiration of the cell and cause it to unswell, give up excess water. If you lower the other minerals and give it too much sodium, you can force it to swell, to take up water. But sodium’s normal physiological function is to act as a stimulant.

01:45:42 > Calcium tends to do the same. But the cell normally is excluding sodium. And it perceives sodium as an irritant ( or stimulant), and revs up it’s oxidative metabolism when it has a little extra sodium. And the increased oxidative metabolism produces carbon dioxide and restores the balance. So, when we’re in balance, the right amount of sodium is increasing energy production and decreasing cell water content. And much of the stuff hadn’t been specifically examined during Gerson’s lifetime. But

01:46:44 > he was definitely on to something, and was curing migraine and cancer. But he very typically would give his patients a couple of grains of Armour thyroid, and very often, coffee enemas. And they were always having a very high ratio of carbohydrates to protein. So they were low on methionine, tryptophane, and the potentially toxic amino acids. And generally, lots of things in his program were very well founded. But there just wasn’t enough information at that time about how the balance of the alkaline minerals works. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yes, there’s so many physiological variables, it’s hard to

01:47:46 > pin down a specific one. RAY PEAT: About aldosterone: one of my first physiological experiment was on myself; when i worked in the woods, our cook was cracked on the idea that hard physical labor meant you sweated a lot and needs to replenish your salt. And so he would put about a tablespoon of salt in everyone’s porridge in the morning. If you didn’t eat your porridge, you didn’t get your ham and eggs and steak. So everyone was doing it. And within a few days of doing that, i found that the sweat that gripped down my forehead was leaving salt crystal trails on my glasses, and my eyebrows looked like they were coated with snow from the salt crystals. And i thought of the trick of saying that

01:48:48 > i had been put on a low salt diet. So i got normal porridge from then on. And immediately i could sweat distilled water. And on the high salt diet, i had to take salt pills at about 11 o’clock in the morning, otherwise i started to getting feint; i needed to replenish the salt which was pouring out so fast. But after the low salt diet, i never needed after any salt pills again JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You mean the overdose of salt stopped your body from being able to regulate it properly ? RAY PEAT: Yeah. And when you’re cutting back on the sodium, one of the first reactions is that your aldosterone is increased. And aldosterone lets you retain the sodium; but it does it at the expense

01:49:50 > of losing some potassium and magnesium. So if your diet is high in calcium and magnesium, and potassium, then there isn’t any problems with the low sodium intake. But chronically, that high aldosterone has a pro -inflammatory effect. And so, chronically, getting more of all of the alkaline minerals than you really need is calcium, magnesium, a safety precaution that will suppress your aldosterone, and protect your heart from inflammation and fibrosis and hypertension and so on. So, in the long run, sodium has this protection against cell swelling, inflammation, fibrosis.

01:50:52 > JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And if taken in reasonable amounts, it tastes good too, right ? What about “can salt ingestion trigger migraines in some predisposed people” ? RAY PEAT: Yes. When you’re already on a low salt diet and take salt, one of the common physiology experiments is to have people drink a quarter of plain water or a quarter of plain water with a heaping teaspoon of salt added to it. And at the end of the physiology lab, everyone who got the unsalted warm water would have formed about a quart of urine. And the ones that got the salt didn’t have any extra forming. It took usually a couple of days for that excess water to come out. So if you take a sudden dose

01:51:54 > of salt, it makes you swell up and retain water, until your aldosterone has adjusted downward JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see; so it just takes a while to adjust to it. RAY PEAT: Yeah. And you’ll notice that anything that’s susceptible will swell up; your fingers and toes and lips and eyelids and such might swell up in the first day after eating lots of salt. But people who, for example, on a long aiRAY PEATlane trip would always got swollen feet; if they adjusted 2 or 3 days in advance by eating extra salt and some baking soda, they didn’t get the swollen feet from sitting still anymore. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So you’re retaining the liquid then in a different place ? Or. RAY PEAT: No. You’re suppressing the aldosterone, so it gets the

01:52:56 > water out of you. And one of the ways sodium works is the albumin molecule is full of negative charges, and it holds the sodium in association. So you get a cloud of positive -negative charges which hold under water. It keeps the water osmotically held in your bloodstream. If you’re low in either albumin or sodium, your blood itself loses the osmotic quality. And the water stays in your cells and extra-vascular spaces. But when the combination of albumin and sodium is present in the blood, water flows out of the tissues into

01:53:58 > the blood. And blood passing through the kidneys then can get rid of the water that otherwise would sit around in your tissues. And that same situation impairs circulation, because your blood volume is low, and the fluid volume outside the blood vessels is too high. And the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH: vasopressin) is another side of this. But it’s a lot more complicated than a response to stress, estrogen and a lot of other things, for the aldosterone is pretty closely related to the mineral balance. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And what is the anti -diuretic hormone ? RAY PEAT: It’s a pituitary hormone that causes water retention with sodium loss.

01:55:00 > And a low thyroid person... old people, people after accidents, anyone in serious stress... they call it “Inappropriate secretion of anti- diuretic hormone syndrome”. And that’s very common where edema is what is really harmful. The brain swells up, for example, because the body has too much water and not enough salt. And the remedy for that is just adding sodium. But that’s not fundamental; and if you do it too fast, you disturb the balance in the different compartments. But the basic reason for it is that you aren’t producing the carbon dioxide from a thyroid deficiency. And the absence of the high production of the carbon dioxide

01:56:02 > means that you’re enable to retain the sodium in your kidneys, as the water passes through. And so, the low thyroid person loses sodium, because the reverse of the process that happens in other cells. In the kidneys, carbon dioxide allows the cells to catch and retain sodium. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Well, that’s fascinating. And can’t say I get it all, but I understand it a little bit. That’s very interesting, Ray. Thanks for explaining all that. And I had more questions, but I didn’t have any more from other people. I think I got to them all. And anything you want to say to sum up about staying healthy and keeping your oxidation working well? We have about two minutes. RAY PEAT: Just keeping stress down and fun up.

Judging food by – largely by how it tastes, rather than by what the experts say. .RAY PEAT: Okay, Well, that’s easy advice to follow. So, now, Ray, I would really want to thank you for coming on these last two shows and I'll tell people how to get in touch with your website if they want to read more. And then I'll say goodbye. RAY PEAT: Okay, thank you. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: All right. Thank you so much, Ray. Yeah, bye-bye.