In a doc appointment to recheck med dosages the other day, our vegetarian housemate being mentioned caused the doctor to start pushing on some info in such a way that it caused years of research in a lot of different subjects to all cascade together for me. I have read hundreds of books, many of them medical texts that normal people would flinch at plowing through about ADD, and recently I have been exploring both Autism and dietary deficiencies. Add to that various interests like anthropology, history, entomology, neurology, bio-chemistry, etc as interests, and you get a strange spectrum of things that most people wouldn’t be interested in all of. And damn. All of it came to me full force, mid migraine. I sat and stared blankly at my hands for several minutes while my brain tried to catch up with walking through it all. I am sure there are still holes and there are probably pieces I don't have right or don't have right for the right reasons or whatever, but it hit me a lot like a train and made me need to talk a bunch if it through to understand it myself. You have been warned that this is still pretty stream of consciousness.
I can’t possibly contain all of it, but it is truly phenomenally fascinating to me. The doc beat on the idea of reading a book called “Diet For a Small Planet” as absolutely essential because it does a good job of helping people understand how to complete and balance the amino acid elements of a protein so that they can actually utilize them at all, which is something especially lacking in the diets of most vegetarians.
I probably won’t get all the details right because I don’t have a medical degree, but the gist of her concerns were; She was a vegetarian for six years until she and her kids were diagnosed with ADD. Because of what ADD is and does to a person, they need an extremely high level of protein compared to most people to function, and she just couldn’t get enough for she and her kids, with the ADD, very easily and she didn’t like Indian and other funky foreign foods that use richer sources of proteins and fish oils and such, that can meet the body’s needs, either, so of the choices, meat was a lot better choice than her alternatives for them.
Basically, she said that there are several components that make up a protein that our system can use. She said there are five elements to it. If all five core elements aren’t present, you may as well be eating no protein at all, effectively, because your body can’t do anything with it because one usable unit to the brain is built of all five components. Incomplete units do little if anything for you, (or potentially do unbalanced things for you that would throw your system further our of alignment from normal). She said the book explains in a lot more detail the combinations it takes to make it possible to have complete proteins to function. I ordered it, but am still waiting on the Amazon package.
She reminded me, accidentally, that protein is one of the primary regulators of brain chemistry. I had been researching brain chemistry similarities between autism spectrum disorders and ADD, and her comment set off a spiral. The primary amino acids (which protein breaks down into in the system), are all necessary, and most vegetarians aren’t getting enough to have complete amino acid function unless they eat a lot of soy and supplement themselves. Based on current nutritional understanding, soy is the only complete source of protein in a single item, that isn’t from meat. But no amout of soy will give you the fatty acids your body also needs that derive from sources like fish and beef. Because a vegetarian is often low in proteins, they do not have the re-uptake inhibitors that are created from the break down of some of the amino acids. So they are lacking the dietary sources of regulation of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain which help to either (depending on which amino it is derived from) create more neurotransmitter, or help regulate the enzymes which break down the neurotransmitter and cause its re-absorption in anticipation of ongoing supply.
Not having those amino acids make people more susceptible to several other problems, too, like diabetes, because the deficiency deprives the body of its natural cleaning system and causes cravings for further unbalancing patters for their short term gain. If all cylinders available are going just to keep the body lurching along, secondary functions like toxin elimination and hormone regulation aren’t going to be getting the attention they deserve to create balance. In part because there is a biochemical deficiency in (at least one amino) L-glutamine, which causes attempts to compensate for low brain chemistry through sugar cravings, to attempt to draw enough glucose into the system that it will function as a stop gap solution to the inability to create enough of the amino acid for itself. Human systems aren’t designed to function with blood sugar levels high enough for false serotonin function over extended periods of time, like that would potentially necessitate in a chronically amino acid deprived person. So while the glucose (derived from sweets and simple carbs) helps your brain in the short term, it causes your other systems to need to stop responding to glucose, so that they can continue to mostly function in that high sugar environment. That imbalance also creates vastly more work for the pancreas, which also contributes to the spiral into diabetes.
The sugars are appealing to the amino deficient brain because they causes an imitation serotonin availability to your brain. The problem is that it is an imitation with different characteristics which cause it to crash faster and become un-useful before normal serotonin would. This is part of what some people experience when they sugar crash. Your system is designed to be able to use glucose in the short term in extreme deprivation states to allow you a little more time to get the proteins up and running for functionality, not as a constant state coping mechanism. But there is no system over-ride that shuts down the sugar cravings if you start to rely on only that due to an amino acid deficiency. The system starts amassing damage, but continues to chug along in this highly volatile state.
Basically, your brain will crave the sugar and stimulants to try to cope with amino deficiencies, but the infusion of sugars causes your brain to produce more of the chemical that reabsorbs the neurotransmitters in timed anticipation of the sudden surge of new supply needing to be re-absorbed. The false serotonin reaction falls off too fast, chemically speaking, and so your brain is very effectively ramped up for re-absorption of any serotonin that is present, which effectively would then be sucking dry the supply for signal transmission in your brain that was left over after the sugar disappeared (before the enzyme surged), causing ADD-like problems where you haven’t even got the amount you started with that was reinforcing your cravings for sugar and stimulants. You go from low to spiked high, then far lower than where you started and your system is then desperately trying to work to deal with the mess, cycling through a roller coaster.
One of the other amino acids, tryptophan, is one that the body isn’t very efficient at absorbing from whole foods in a normal diet, anyway. Tryptophan is the amino acid that is converted to serotonin directly. Because of the low levels of complete proteins in a vegetarian diet, they are not getting the primary source of absorbable serotonin the body demands, and it is spending already limited resources on trying to create the amino. This is just one more among many examples of problems created by amino deficiencies.
Basically, each neurotransmitter has an enzyme in the brain that causes them to break down and be absorbed again to make room for ongoing fresher supply. Think of it sort of like oil in a car. The part being used to lubricate the cylinders is going to get hot from all the pressure and start to break down and struggle to protect the engine, so the car is designed to continuously replace the recently used oil with fresher, cooler oil to protect the workings more effectively. The enzymes take the neurochemicals out of use in expectation of continued supply of such chemicals to help lube and protect the brains functions and signaling. If you’re not getting enough amino acids, you are getting both a higher presence of unused break-down enzyme from sugars to attack the serotonin you are creating yourself, and not enough of the building blocks of the neurotransmitters to return the system to balance and protect the works.
The whole mess can demonstrably causes depression and ADD and Asperger’s (autism lite) like problems, tiredness, lethargy, low energy, and over-compensation of hyper-activity to kick up brain activity and therefore chemistry, contributes to low self-esteem, acting obsessive sometimes to the point of OCD, extreme emotional-ness, being controlling or manipulative (which are attempts to limit the world when you can’t expand to manage it), insecurity, lower pain tolerance, crying easily, feeling overwhelmed, isolated, anxious, sleep problems (because it effects melanin production and the pituitary gland), exhaustion, fainting, dizziness, forgetfulness, confusion, trouble concentrating, SAD, etc. The effects vary person to person as to which set they express. But all of them are derivatives of the same initial amino brain functions.
Experts have said for a while that people who have ADD and similar problems needed to eat a breakfast high in protein every day. It has been assumed that it is because proteins break down more slowly than carbs, creating more ongoing fuel for the child, but that is only part of it, I think. The other part is giving yourself the chemistry to not be absurdly set-back when you start the day and heading emotionally or physically downhill from there. It is making sure you have the actual chemicals instead of the pseudo substituted chemicals necessary to function for a day.
The suggestion is that people, and especially people who have ADD like problems, need to be eating at least 20 grams or more (possibly at least twice that in ADD) of complete protein with every meal, at least three meals a day. That’s about 3 eggs worth or 3 ounces of meat with every meal. But often it isn’t mentioned that that intake requires the fatty acids to be effective, that are found in most concentrated form in fish and flax, and beef collagen. They don’t need them all at once, but they need some in the course of a day from at least one of them, and all of them balanced over time across days. It is possible to find supplements to fatty acids from vitamin stores. Omega 3 is fish, Omega 6 is flax, and omega 9 is beef, usually. But most vegetarians don’t know to take them, let alone people with an unbalanced, but meat containing diet.
The fatty acids are necessary to the system as part of its secondary hormone regulation system. They become building blocks by passing through the cyclooxygenase or lipoxygenase enzymatic pathways, forming several hormones known as eicosanoids. Eicosanoids have may anabolic affects on the system, including things like regulation of insulin sensitivity (diabetes class problems). They reduce inflammation in the body, prevent clotting of blood, maintain cell wall health in the system, regulate things like heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The fatty acids are what scientists in the 80s stumbled on and misinterpreted, when they started suggesting margarines and artificially created poly-unsaturated fats instead of saturated and mono-unsaturated fats to prevent heart disease. That assertion was based on the observation of the protective characteristics of a small class of essential fatty acids. Their artificial substitutions didn’t function the same way in the system, and consumption of the long chain poly unsaturated fats in such a dramatic imbalance to saturated and mono unsaturated fats caused even more tendency for accumulation of dangerous cholesterols because they were such long chain beasts that they were easier to trap in small places where a saturated fat would have kept moving through the system to be used. They were onto something, but barking up the wrong tree. The point was that the body needs a very specific set of essential fatty acids to regulate the system, and most diets do not provide a balance between the three most essential. Because they misinterpreted the data, though, they ended up hurting instead of helping most heart disease patients by creating more imbalance in their systems. This is part of the reason that some mono unsaturated fats which don’t generally occur surrounded by other toxins, like olive oil, actually did more to help these heart patients than the margarine and other poly unsaturated fat craze of the 80s.
As we currently understand it, nutritionally speaking, the three most nutritionally important omega 3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They are classified as essential because the body is unable to manufacture them for itself and because they play fundamental roles in several physiological functions. Our only source for them is a balanced diet or supplementation. As I get into where they come from, it should be clear how poorly we do at balancing them in our diets.
Alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3) is found in its most potent form in flax seeds. It is also found in pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, soybeans and some leafy veggies and can be derived from cold water fatty fish. Linolenic acid is found in high concentrations in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and canola oil. This one is the thing most likely to be present in an American diet. As it is broken down, it does not turn into alpha-linolenic acids, though. It turns into gamma linolenic acids which becomes arachidonic acids, which are already plentiful in diets containing meat fats. Those fall under the Omega-6 fatty acids, rather than 3. The American diet is often extremely overloaded with Omega-6 fatty acids, and extremely low on Omega-3s.
A growing body of research suggests that Omega-3s play a fundamental role in regulation of the system to prevent chronic inflammatory conditions and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (often mistaken for food allergies by lay people, but which are not true allergies), cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer reversal and behavioral syndromes like….you guessed it…ADD.
The Omega 3s are so fundamentally important, in part because alpha-linolenic acid can be used to derive docosahaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) if those two are not being absorbed in high enough quantities directly from the diet. The break down into DHA and EPA becomes prostaglandins, which are a powerful hormone in the system, which regulates all sorts of things like blood pressure, blood clotting (anyurisms and migraines), nerve transmission, the inflammatory and allergic responses, the functions of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, arterial build up, and the production of other hormones. Depending on the type of fat in the diet, certain types of prostaglandins may be produced in larger quantities, while others may not be produced at all. Again we have imbalance which allows for substitution and then disease. Creation of a better balance ratio means that things like inflammation and arterial plaque would be reduced in people with heart disease through the creation of regulation hormones. Because we lacked the understanding of the hormone stage, it lead to the misconception that any poly unsaturated fat in any quantity would be better than other fats during heart disease research in the 80s. Like so many things in America, we found the effect and missed the point and further unbalanced ourselves.
The problem, in part with American diets, is that because we have so much Omega-6 available and so little supply of Omega-3, the system tries to cobble together a duct tape and paper clip solution to the problem, in the form of substituting the one for the other. But in so doing, the Omega-6 fats cannot maintain the cell wall fluidity the way that 3s can. And the Omega 6 is the precursor in the body to the pro-inflammatory reaction that the body uses to initiate healing. So inflammation is being encouraged all over the body in never before seen ways. 3s, when sufficient for the role in your system do the opposite. They are anti-inflammatory building blocks designed to regulate inflammation in the human system once healing is initiated. And they are nearly entirely missing in the American diet because of faulty understanding of what we were getting from our diets before we became carnivores.
This whole huge chunk of educating myself lately and the conversation with the doc got me thinking. I have done lots of research about ADD over the years and all the different proposed solutions. Recently I have been fascinated with its similarities to autism and the other biological/chemical problems people with ADD, ODD, OCD, share and why people with those disorders are more likely to have the other disorders and a set of secondary diseases and disorders which occur frequently among the entire set.
Some interesting facts: there was a study out a few years ago showing that women who ate meat at 20 weeks and 36 weeks of pregnancy had children with better brain development relating to higher IQ. There are amino acids in meat essential to myelin casing not present in other foods. Atkins diet (and similar diets like Sugar Busters) is based on the principle that sugar is addictive to some people. Doctors have said for years that sugar wasn’t in fact addictive, which is true if you limit the definition of addictive to a very specific set of responses in the brain. But it can cause its own form of cravings and crashing which mimics withdrawal in some people under some circumstances. He doesn’t go into detail, but the reason they can be addictive is that they are increasing brain function far enough to function in the people low on neurotransmitters. His premise is partly that more protein, instead, would be much healthier if you have that problem, than the sugar cycle to function at all with its necessary crash at the end (and the caloric content thereof). Protein would provide more of the right building blocks anyway, for those people to make their own brain chemicals, and would let their bodies adjust back closer to balance with less roller coastering. Studies have been done of Atkins like diets wherein they have been extremely effective in treating diabetics. That would make sense if they are in part diabetic because their system is trying to desensitize from what the brain is doing to function at all, and it is possible when caught early enough, to reverse the beginning of that cycle.
There have been increasing numbers of studies (medical and anthropological) about human diet development over time as part of natural selection. Most of them have come to that most people’s bodies are designed to graze on fruits and nuts and seeds for a primary input, along with a fair bit of leafy vegetable matter, and the *occasional* (about 1-2 times a week) serious boost of animal protein, the best form of which appears to be fish.
But, see, there is also a catch. In reading a bunch of info about ADD, there are a growing number of sort of cutting edge doctors who believe at this point that it and dysfunctions like it, including autism spectrum stuff, are potentially manifestations of our very broken handling of the differences between hunters and gatherers in ancient humans.
If we apply that potential to the issue of diet and the needs of a predator as we understand them in the wild, and herbivores as we understand them in the wild, and known patterns like differences in brain development based on protein input in utero and childhood, you get interesting possibilities. The majority of early people were gatherers. It was their job to do a consistent, fairly mindless behavior millions of times over and over, grazing as they went and having very little protein in their diets. This is also true about most herbivores today. They graze. But one of the biggest distinctions between herbivores and carnivore has to do with predatory thought and action being necessary and present in almost all carnivores and none of the herbivores. A predator has to adapt insanely quickly in extreme high pressure environments, has to function in very long burst of levels of concentration and adaptation, but in exchange, is rewarded physiologically with the greatest physical and biological gains based on food access rules within animal groups. And they get long lazy breaks after meat gorging where almost nothing is expected of them that they don’t want to do.
There is something about the process of becoming a carnivore that changes us from the nuts and berries and fish that washes up, life. Most of the time in nature, it breaks down into a yes or no species toggle of predator or not. Humans are rare in that we have evolved maintaining an apparent capacity for both, and in dispersed enough environments that the physiology and genetics keep getting isolated and then re-jumbled, etc.
So, if we posit that based on the exhibit of the rest of the animal kingdom, hunter and gatherers evolve differently through a combination of nature and nurture; That they isolate and then remix themselves, you get the possibility that we are more physiologically and/or biologically different, potentially, than we often think of ourselves. It is possible to have much stronger ties, genetically and physiologically speaking, to one of hunters or gatherers in our ancestry. That difference in availability of proteins would alter the brain structures and biochemistry between the two sets of people, based on their access to the amino acids used to cause the changes. The greater the changes to physiology and lifestyle, the greater the difference in which survival mechanisms each person would exhibit, and the greater likelihood that they would select for furthering that process because the members of the sub group who used their survival mechanism the most effectively, would be the most likely to pass on that genetic and physiological material and opportunity and feedback to their young. Their needs for the things that made them predators would increase over time and adaptation, distancing the predators further and further from their nut and berry sustaining family and friends. History supports this potential in a variety of ways, but I will come back to that.
So, now, let’s switch back to nutrition and brain chemistry theory and start pulling pieces together. One of the amino acids functions as a SSRI, for example. They are all fundamental, and most people don't eat in ways that provide balance to the whole set. And even when they do, they do so with imbalances in the fatty acids the system needs. Now you get a problem. Not only are we not getting the protein we've evolved to need as hunters to function as hunters, we are trying to pretend to be gatherers while failing to adopt a balance for an herbivore which would create the necessary fatty acid levels to help support our systemic shift. The combination of all those failures is magnifying the differences. But our bodies are now adapted to need more proteins to build the chemicals it takes for the hunter to function and, well, be hunters. And we are designed to rev down to rest state when we are in this biochemical state, but our lives are instead demanding consistency of us.
We know that the human body naturally has a tendency to trigger a desire to eat in people who need more energy than they have available. People can make trade offs between rest, exertion and energy intake to function in any given situation. Many ADD people are overweight in their lives, in part because, the way they kept from needing to eat constantly as hunters was staying in complete rest state until they needed extreme adrenaline and endorphins to function. Not spending a lot of time in constant middle exertion states protected them from a constant “desire for supply of energy intake” sensation that causes many ADD people to eat all day from anything around them to attempt to simulate normal levels of activity when we do not allow ourselves rest. And it explains in part why they would also need more fuel for the day of the least volatile form available: proteins, in order to simulate “normalcy” which really means “gatherers ability to attend and not get bored and focus and repeat until we are insane.”
So, it could be described that the human brain utilized proteins to create an over-clocking effect. We are burning past the natural configuration limitations in an active process of adaptation to our resources and developing needs. What happens when you over clock a computer? You see functionality increases that were not possible with the configuration present prior to the over-clocking. In this way, adding proteins has created a selection for intelligences and high pressure burst adaptation, but like a computer, the harder you push it, the longer you need to let it cool down after that great gaming session, or the more you need to devise a better cooling system to handle the load.
This would explain a personal observation of mine that many of the ADD and Autism spectrum and OCD, etc people that I have ever met were extremely intelligent compared to the norm and even family members who were not ADD, etc. They are burning more pathways for connections and adaptations than most children are. They are at the furthest outside point of the evolutionary curve. They are learning to function by drinking from the fire hose instead of limiting the stream. This also explains phenomenon in children where onset of immune system dysfunctions like allergies and sometimes treatments for ADD in the form of diet or stimulants can cause a steep percentile decline in development and intelligence in some, but not all children. It is possible for physiological and environmental problems and other forms of sufficient strain to the system could overwhelm the ability to increase skills and cooling systems involved in drinking from the fire hose by, effectively, changing it from drinking from the hose to having the reservoir dumped on your head, necessitating a step backward from being part of the evolutionary front lines to function at all. We needed to function at insane processing speeds and still be able to think clearly. With that adaptation came the price of what happens with faulty burn in, exposure to mitigating factors or situations which are not compatible with the changes to your physiology, like schools that want consistent attention sustained, etc.
If this is the case, then eating like a gatherer exclusively, which has been encouraged with the slow but incomplete progress of nutritional information and things like the food pyramid, may be a large part of the reason we can't function, when combined with these other factors. Gatherers are designed to function that way (at least if they get the balance right, which they probably aren’t either in this country). When we selected more and more for hunter through successive generations, we moved away from that partly and upped our needs for amino acids from proteins.
Which brings me to full whammy that I had begin to cascade.
Look at pack dynamics in dogs. What you see is that the dogs most prone to becoming highest in pack dynamics are often bred of other very high status dogs, and the more effective they are at hunting, the higher they go in pack structure and the more meat and thus amino acid access they achieve and the higher they are over-clocked as a rewarding circle. It would become a self fulfilling feedback loop wherein the more hunter you are, the more you need, the more hunter you become from the chemicals available, etc. Spirals on itself. So, enter the “balanced” (read consistency based but misunderstood and imbalanced for actual needs) diet phenomenon, and you undermine complete proteins which allow functionality and continued escalation of pack status and functionality, and fatty acids that help maintain current state.
Suddenly you have a physiological tie in to all kids of things like why so many adult relationships between a very dominant person and a non-confrontational person go so badly. There is a biological encouragement to mate with those of your own strength and select for that sort of ability even more over time, to keep the ball rolling rather than having children who are a compromise between the two states and thus a relative step backward from the dominant parent.
And so it might, theoretically be possible to create food balances of brain chemical building blocks that treat most forms of depression and ADD and OCD and Diabetes and anxiety disorders and such. And it would explain why we are so prone to problems when we are at half function because of diet. And it might be that most of those problems are manifestations of our misunderstanding of our needs and what is causal and what is effect.
To give you some examples of potential connections no one has been putting together very effectively: People with ADD or autism, or most degenerative muscle and bone disorders that are not from a known other cause (Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc) and often other associated disorders are usually deficient in the same vitamins and minerals on blood tests, often in at least approximate proportion to the severity of their problems. ADD and autism and similar spectrum disorders all affect the same portion of the brain in cat scans. Many of these people have hormonal problems that cause gender disorders, sleep disorders, thyroid cancers, etc, which is all consistent with a lack of brain chemistry sufficient to regulate gland and hormone functions effectively; especially things like the pituitary. Many of them do not process physical contact the way that normal people do, wanting higher inputs to stimulate pleasure in the brain. They do not have the brain chemistry sufficient to regulate endorphins and adrenal glands, so they look for high stimulation activities and situations (often also high risk, but not always) which will trigger the “hunt initiating” brain chemistry state that allows them to rest from physical pain long enough to stop holding the painful part so strangely that they are making it worse, long enough to heal it, among other things. The correlation between people with pain disorders and ADD who are into BDSM, fast cars, motorcycles, sky diving, fighting, etc are really impressive. The correlation between the upsurges in most of these primary and secondary disorders has tracked very closely with the “civilization” of men and arbitrary distancing from early man diets, their removal from their natural patterns as hunters and, exposure to damaging chemicals and circumstances, increases in modern medicine and beliefs about understanding of nutrition. The diabetes and neurological disorders have climbed in correlation with our food pyramid style diet and processed food patterns, which have also tracked with addiction levels per capita to drugs and alcohol, etc. And we are failing to get it.
Which brings me to the next piece of the puzzle. We know that stress in utero and chemical problems in utero and exposures can trigger either those primary disorders or the secondary ones, sometimes both. We know this because we can create them in rats and mice predictably at this point. Stress at the right time in pregnancy will consistently produce hermaphroditism. Stress at a specific other point will create male rats who present and female rats who mount. Most of the systemic hormone regulation starts with the same amino acids. The lysine amino, and I think at least one other, but would have to go find the reference, dramatically affect the pituitary, as do the fatty acids. The pituitary is your master hormone gland, which regulates the rest of your hormones in your body, affecting sleep and gender issues and fertility and weight loss and a whole slew of other things. Hormonal and chemical effects in utero can cause all kinds of gender and hormonal problems ranging from hermaphrodites, transsexuals, etc to androgen insensitivities and ovarian cysts, and infertility.
But the problem goes beyond the womb, too. Things like mercury poisoning can produce autism. Aluminum accumulation is the primary discernable difference in Alzheimer’s patients. ADD, autism and pain disorders all often share deficiencies in magnesium, too. Arthritis and pain disorder folks are often deficient in potassium in their diet, increasingly so with the increasing magnitude of the disorder. Many parents swear part of their children’s ADD like behavior is really chemical exposures that set them off somehow. Lead poisoning can cause mental retardation, etc. Addictions sometimes alter brain structures which then further the addiction. And you have just a few of the factors imprinting on humans once they leave the womb.
So, with our increased isolation from the circumstances of diet and behavior that we adapted to, we have cut ourselves off from the body’s most effective regulation and cleaning and detoxification systems, most of which are initiated by neurochemicals and hormones (which start as proteins and fatty acids). The current supply is deficient to run all the systems at this point anyway, and on top of that, we are causing them to crash cycle with other forms of stimulation like glucose. And we have increased our exposure to toxins which are the things we would otherwise be able to at least partially remove from our systems. And we have made the food pretty and bug free instead of healthy to the point that we have created a perfect environment and opportunity for cancers and other immune dysfunctions like allergies. In so doing, we have discovered new immune system problems and diseases unheard of in early man, seen a giant increase in immune dysfunction and sensitivity problems, like pain disorders, allergies, cancers, ADD, autism, OCD, etc. Every one of those things can be dramatically affected by changes to diet and vitamin and mineral intake, and things like overall strength of the immune system. The only things that affect every one of those things in the body are neurochemicals, hormones, and water. Is it any coincidence that, being short of all the building blocks, we are seeing a severe jump in problems? I don’t think so.
Some other interesting pieces that contributed to the cascade; In Japan and China, before they became global and less isolated, and in places where they are still isolated, you saw some consistent patterns. Without the diet variety that allowed for all of the amino acids and fatty acids, you saw incomplete proteins, insufficient fatty acid sources and vitamin limitations. Those produced very consistent patterns. There is much less physiological variation to Asians than in most places in the world. Their zinc and protein deficiencies keep them small and put limits on health in various ways. It created changes to their hormone systems that caused elimination of facial hair in men and a tendency to higher percentages of female babies. (And thus abandoned and further malnourished children, foot binding and a whole slew of other cascading things.)
So, then, why is it that the oriental are some of the least prone to the sorts of disorders and immune dysfunctions I have been describing? They did not have all the parts to roll the ball any further along in their dietary evolution, or even maintain state, but they did stumble on some of the most effective detoxifiers on the planet, very early in their cultural development. Seaweed, algaes, fermented soy, and green tea are some of the strongest detoxifiers known to man. They became staples of their diet, every meal of the day, thus clearing out the build ups that they would have been unable to stop, otherwise, because their diets were otherwise so out of balance. Those food items are the only ways we know of to clear chemotherapy and radiation out of the body after treatment for cancers, to give you some idea of their power at detoxification. They are some of the only known ways to remove heavy metals and other foreign toxins the body can’t process. Coincidence? I doubt it.
If we stop the production of our own detoxifiers and do not replace them somehow externally the way the oriental have, you get the cancers and immune dysfunctions and brain disorders we see so prevalently in the US. This has been demonstrated in the youth of Japan in recent generations. Without western genetics to contribute, if they come to this country as children, they will gain size and the other advantages of a more diverse diet over their parents, but also the increased risk of problems like heart disease and cancer and allergies from the elimination of detoxifiers from their diets, etc. The more generations removed from Japan and westernized they are behaviorally and diet wise, even if completely still genetically Japanese, the higher their risks for Western brain and immune system disorders.
And next we look a moment at the way that western medicine has affected the problem. There is a doctor who has been studying a small tribe of people on a remote island that remained isolated from the rest of the world completely, much longer than most places. When they were discovered, we sent western medicine their way. We passed out penicillin like candy and got rid of all the bacteria, parasites and worms that we possibly could to help stop the problems that all those things cause. We slowed childhood death rates and still born rates and such. We have had little opportunity to see only modern medicine as a change to a group of people. So many groups have been affected by culture, religions or pressures we created, toxins we introduced or encouraged them to create for themselves, and other modernized world phenomena, that no one had seem a growing pattern until we watched the progress of this small group of people.
This island of people went from having a shorter life expectancy and a much higher childhood and pregnancy related death rate, with basically no examples of our western disorders like allergies and pain disorders and diabetes and heart disease, to the opposite state. Something like half the population has allergies or other immune system or brain chemistry disorders they didn’t have before we came along. This is one generation of people, not a successive evolutionary change through several generations. Same exact group of people, different before and after shots. They lived to 30 years old without one allergy, and suddenly suffered hay fever. And the only thing that changes was that we killed off the flora that lived inside them as fast as possible. The doctor believes that when we took away all of the things the immune system existed to manage and control, we took away everything this system had to do and created a vacuum in its place. Nature abhors a vacuum. The system doesn’t just vanish, but it has nothing legitimate to fight, so it turns on itself in one way or another, creating allergies and other problems.
We know from significant study of testing on other species that many of them have helping organisms on or in their bodies. Things that often cost them something in the long run, but that give them something in the immediate term and create a symbiosis for a time. They break down different things than their host bodies; help the host by removing other more dangerous creatures or substances, etc.
We know that our bodies react badly to antibiotics in the form of yeast upsurges, and that we need to replace good flora in our system to solve this problem or allow it the time to solve itself. But as a culture we have never faced the magnitude of the problem. There are a few bleeding edge doctors who have started trying to create or find benign bacteria and parasites and worms to re-introduce to the human body. They haven’t achieved broad scale application yet, but the results of the things they have been applied to, like irritable bowl syndrome and other things we have had no way to explain before, blow my mind. The majority of the patients have responded with recoveries from the problems they were having. And all of this also gives a hint as to why the medical community is beginning to see some success with enzymatic treatments for a variety of such disorders.
Now, let’s apply this. We have a body designed to build from proteins, now. And we know that in vegetarians, they will often get sick or have diarrhea if they eat meat after not doing so for a long time. Those seem like they contradict on the surface unless we’re supposed to be eating soy constantly or something. But many of the vegetarians grew up eating meat and never had that problem before. What has changed? The flora that lived in their gut and fed on meat proteins or their byproducts have died off. Which suggests, from the presence of diarrhea until such flora can be re-created, that we needed those organisms to help us break down complex proteins and utilize substances our bodies have now evolved to depend on. Now, apply that on a larger scale, and you get a pretty straightforward answer to at least part of the problem. Medicine has removed many of our problems, but also many of our tools for success, and thus created as many problems as it has solved. And we need to figure out how to get the tools back or not need them or meet the needs else wise.
This explains why some of the things that seemed contradictory with early ADD theory, actually complement it. Things like the Feingold amine and sal elimination diets. By all previous ADD understanding, it shouldn’t work. In medical circles the people who swore by it were mostly considered quacks and flakes. Unless you expand the understanding to a much larger picture, and posit that states like that of the oriental can exist as a compromise for a physiologically irreversible state the body exists in at the moment. If you can purge toxins artificially, or if you can prevent the toxins ever being present in the first place, you eliminate many of the secondary diseases, immune system dysfunctions, etc., if they haven’t created permanent damage already, with the removal of the contributing factors of toxicity that make the primary disorders much more volatile and overwhelm the compensation systems the body has. The toxins and disorders that grow of them and their inconsistent removal overwhelm the predator with more things than s/he could possibly handle, even over-clocked and great under pressure. If you can stumble on a way to purge or limit the toxins, you create a state like that of the oriental where they are not at their full potential in lots of ways, but are also much more functional than people on western diets.
The diet would potentially put you in a state of stasis or much slower progression up through the pack of humanity, potentially even causing permanent alterations to other functions like hormone systems and insulin sensitivities, physiologically and potentially mentally, because of less over-clocking and burn in, etc, but it might also help to create a situation where, without the toxins, you reduce the load and demand on the neurochemical system to a point that it can start to self regulate again in somewhat less broken way. And it seems possible, even, to eliminate so much of the building blocks for predator that the body can stop functioning on those insufficiently, and can drop back to a previous install of wet ware very much like the gatherer state we all started in.
It also explains, though, why some of those treatments are treating effect rather than cause and can create many of their own problems like diabetes in some people. They may be creating a break from toxins, and a false stable state of neurochemistry by the fact that much of the diet, for some people, ends up being simple starches which break down into sugars and thus function as false serotonin which then regulates many of their other systems enough that they can function somewhat better, as long as they introduce no toxins. It also explains why even on the diet, chemical exposures could mess up the semi-stable state if there aren’t staple toxin eliminators in the diet. It would mask some problems that cause diabetes and such in some people, making those things seem unrelated and separate disorders, the diet successes for which would appear to contradict. And it explains why someone who doesn’t react as strongly and thus doesn’t eliminate as much from their diet, might still be crashing because their sugar state is unstable.
If my extrapolation is correct in the overlapping issues, which I haven't tried to go and prove, then people who are struggling with ADD and diabetes and depression and such who are taking insulin and stimulants and using Feingold and all those things are missing it. We are treating the symptoms, not the causes. And those people would then really need to figure out how to increase protein in their diets in healthy ways. But I have seen people add protein to their diet to no effect, so I thought that I must have been barking up the wrong tree, until the doctor pointed out the problem with completion of proteins and their ineffectiveness if they are incomplete, and the tendency for incompleteness in the American diet, and I combined that info with what I know about fatty acids. The missing piece (or at least one missing piece. There may be others.) to the puzzle that I didn't have is that they also need to understand how to complete the proteins correctly in balance with the fats and do so consistently, which answers my long running question about why proteins seemed hit and miss and inconsistent in helping ADD kids in the same kid at different times or in multiple kids overall, depending on what was in their diets.
Protein is a simpler to understand word for amino acids. When you add to their insufficiency with the fatty acids deficiencies, it explains a huge amount about the fluctuations in people with these problems. It explains the reasons for good days, versus bad, when combined with toxin exposures concepts. It explains why some kids who add eggs or soy to their diets still aren't seeing any consistent progress.
Instead of seeing our complete puzzle for what it is, we are each seeing only a few of the "try this, it sometimes helps" pieces to the puzzle. What if we will not win until we successfully include an understanding of all of them in the puzzle at the same exact time.
There are 20 common amino acids that make up proteins. We understand that we need to eat at least 5 of them together, and that the system minimum is 8 to function as an adult (two more for kids), some of which can be built of the first five, to function neurochemically. But what if we really, those of us who are evolved furthest of the predators, need the whole set, and even the rare ones sometimes to regulate hormones as well, and the vitamins and minerals and exertion we are not getting in our current lives? And what if we need to do all that on top of supplementing our capacity for detoxification to take stress off the system and make up for the increases in exposures to toxins? And what if we need all the fatty acids at the same time? And in the right amounts? And most of our individual understandings are limited to “uh, this many servings of bread a day” or such, and that is totally missing the needs we have because one person buys the fruit and nut and whole grain bread and gets more from it than another person who buys the white bread and crashes fast from it.
And also, there is the problem that some things like Feingold and stims and such, may just be functionally allowing us to take an evolutionary step backward to previous wet ware, effectively. Or, they might be making it possible to sustain over clocked without the need for cooling in between in some fashion. It is hard to say for sure which it is. I have a vague impression that more stimulations with better back end handling would be better than less stimulation and avoiding the need for the back end handler, but that is just instinct that draws me to that, rather than scientific analysis. So there are questions still to answer. In either case, though, higher intake of amino acids and fatty acids would manage to help regulate the other effective systems that have heretofore been ignored in terms of correlation. Even on stims or Feingold or constant exercise/adrenaline jobs, or what have you, there is still some set of things your processor is never getting off its stack, by staying in full pressure mode constantly, potentially. Your system might not be getting to enough of its maintenance of fertility, immunity, pain processing and even survival expectations, and diseases like Cancer which represent chemistry out of balance. Or maybe balancing the diet and staying on the stims could be making it possible to attend start to evolve to attend to those things even in high pressure environments. Currently the systems are flaky at the task, as evidenced by stress studies and their connection with cancers and other problems, but maybe that is a fundamental part of selecting for the members of the pack who can take it and not suffer the consequences. It is hard to find exactly the right levels of things to cause neurochemical stability with meds and things like that, since days differ, so the more consistent you can make diet and stock of aminos to fuel processes, the less your life would resemble a roller coaster in the now, though. Which is useful information for many of us even if we have to decide whether we want to be part of the testing ground for evolutionary superiority.
And so all the parents who have freaked about the effects of the stims and diets on their kids were both right and wrong, and ignorant of pieces of it. It wouldn't be the problem they thought it was, but that would be nearly impossible to determine without a lot more research. And in a way, they do work, but with unknown trade offs and costs, which would probably seem different between different children as to how strong an effect it would be. Not all of us are meant to be alpha or are dealing with so many secondary issues that stable is further away and harder to find. Some of us just make great troops, and/or only have one thing to cope with on the spectrum, if you will.
All of this would also explain why it is that I have so often seen the pattern that you can get a really scary brilliant kid from a dim or average set of parents, if different things like all of this are affecting their burn in periods, rates of over-clocking, and the kid is at max potential for their genetics, where the parents weren't because of differences in outside forces or toxins and contributing factors between the parent’s childhood and their offspring's childhood.
Every single one of those problems like depression and ADD and diabetes have researchers who say "lots of protein, not poly unsaturated fats, and absolutely eliminate the simple carbs and sugar," as absolute diet necessities. I had wondered for a while why that worked for all of them when it was so contradictory to other "appropriate diet" studies for things like early research into diabetes and other nutritionist advice. But now it makes sense. It also explains why adding neuro-transmitter reuptake inhibitors to our diets can help lots of both depressed and ADD people. And why some people don’t respond to those, when you consider that we have only one drug to affect any of the neurotransmitters beyond serotonin, so it is possible to have a problem with one of the others that current options don’t touch.
The ramifications of all the pieces just blow my mind. Back to a little of that history that I promised earlier; Apply this phenomenon, pack dynamics, genetic selection, entomology, biology, anthropology and neurology to history. Suddenly you have a much stronger reason than the masses didn’t rise up against their masters constantly or more often than they did in any given culture. You have reasons you could have periods of relative health and periods of deadly plagues sweeping through continents based on diet inadequacy similarities at the time, or toxin exposures. You have a reason leaders do not come up from poor classes nearly as frequently as they come from people higher in the pack. You have a hint as to some of the fundamentals of why the powerful stay powerful. You have an explanation of why it is more likely that their children will be leaders, even if the financial benefits and/or social status vanish in whatever brings down the parents. You have a reason that even in a new country where they lack contacts and context and status and money, they can still return to some form of ruler status, where another person would not even with the same drive to better themselves. It gives you a biological backing for the reasons that those that do climb out of the lowest classes, came from the greatest pain and pressure, consistently, and usually had to be the most ruthless about it. Just so many pieces that all then have a common thread to tie them together when you combine the biology, circumstances and contributing factors. The higher your class’ status through history, the better and more various the food you had access to, especially proteins which were much more costly in nearly every part of the world in developing nations. So many historical rises and falls that travel interestingly with diet.
It explains why weight watchers now offers diets for some people who need to diet by eating low cal hundreds of times a day of nuts and berries, and why some lose weight when they get rid of the carbs and calories and eat constantly from 0 calorie foods. And it explains why none of their diets work for some people, if their hormones are so out of whack that they will prevent progress of any kind.
One thing that my current research leaves unclear except for some hints in autistic people, is what comes of the toxicity damage that creates physiological damage which is irreversible as part of the progression of the problem. The brain is good at routing around that which functions poorly in terms of processing input and generating output. In some people, with damage that isn’t too severe, it seems possible that they could reverse the effects of the toxins which agitate the problem and create other ancillary susceptibilities and problems throughout life. But what of in utero problems? If their chemistry was, for exampled, messed up badly enough to create gender anomalies and such, that would potentially/probably effects brain structures significantly as well as chemicals which could explain some of the more severe things that effect the same parts of the brain, like full blown autism, and why whooping cough vaccines and mercury exposure can create the same phenomenon.
Toxins could explain why an extreme deficiency, exposures and processing problems can manifest as ADD or OCD or Asperger’s or full blown Autism. They could all be, essentially, the same problem bound by different mitigating factors in the form of toxicity exposure and handling, level of brain over clocking achieved, and thus rerouting potential once damage is caused, and access to the building blocks that make regulation and healing possible. Some may be permanent advanced damage while others are potentially reversible if caught early enough and not induced by structural anomalies in utero.
We know that whooping cough vaccines and mercury exposure can trigger Autism in children, which would seem to potentially support such a hypothesis. If there are toxins or diseases (bacterial, viral, or systemic deficiency based) which are allowed to exist because of the imbalance and toxin’s effects on the immune system, that could trigger physiological destruction like the degenerative effect to Alzheimer’s patients as more aluminum accumulates on their brains. A stage of evolution could, by it’s being thwarted and undermined, create a optimal environment for genetic and biological and physiological destruction as a natural selection away from breeding creatures who have stopped pushing forward biologically speaking. If we have sufficiently backed away or been damaged so that we are no longer part of the “fittest” for which we generally biologically select, that step back may come with the price that we fall behind and some other species more on the bleeding edge of the curve will evolve to take our place if we do not return it to best case forward motion.
All of this also explains why some diets dramatically effect autistics, for example, because some of the aminos or fatty acids may be conflicting in bad ways on the permanently damaged structures, emphasizing the problem instead of helping with it because it is trying to process the toxicity without success and only becoming an agitant, similar to what happens when a smoker takes vitamin A (I believe it is) which releases more of the toxins back into their system, but doesn’t manage to solve the toxicity problem, thus creating a net loss in overall health. If the necessary pieces weren't there at critical stages, it may create biological/physiological anomalies that mean that there is no way to “fix” the deficiency or toxin damage in the already born, or already mature. At best we may only be able to manage the anomalies with stims and diets and doing what we can to encourage alternate routing, as the only way to cope. But at least we can figure out how to stop messing up future babies.
As for the future? What happens if we figure all the pieces out and then figure out how to create the perfect cocktail for the biological improvement of natural selection in other species? Just, wow. We probably have the information, if we put it together and used it, to evolve other species on this planet. Our children's children... could be sharing tea with an elephant over talk of politics and family. We could reverse engineer ourselves far enough to create artificial life that grows and learns and changes like we do way beyond even currently phenomenal AI. We could force the evolution of bacteria on other planets into sentient life. Which brings the question, did someone or something ever potentially do that same thing for us? Are we the result of someone out there figuring out the right kind of “go juice” to cause something to fill our evolutionary slot? Are they out there, watching from afar somewhere to see how their reality TV comes out? Are we among many who are going to either succeed or vote ourselves off the island?
Anyway, food for thought. Other pieces, too, but it’s just too much to write here. Oy.