Ascorbate cleanse

Last week I did an ascorbate cleanse. You can find the protocol here.

I got the idea from watching Dr. Russell Jaffe’s presentation on predictive biomarkers.

I was also inspired by an idea that ascorbate and ascorbic acid (generally referred to as Vitamin C) are best thought of as antibiotics, and not the harmless antioxidant we’ve come to believe it is. This is a subject of debate in the MAG FB group, where Morley Robbins has been kicking up dust about how ferritin, copper dysregulation, and vitamin C are closely related. I won’t go into that today. I find the prospect very interesting, and have modified my diet accordingly, but I’m not 100% convinced. I feel like there are some pieces missing yet. There’s nearly a dozen molecules involved in the whole process (micronutrients and proteins), and frankly I want something more than a list of bullet points in order for me to believe. Not believing makes you a bit of a ruffian in MAG, since it’s an unquestioned article of faith that ascorbate and ascorbic acid are the devil and screw up your ceruloplasmin, and further downstream, your ferritin. Morley is supposed to be working on a definitive article about the matter. According to my digging, he’s been researching this since the first half of 2014.

The nice thing is that there are, as far as I’m aware, less than 20 papers directly relating to the topic. So it’s not beyond a casual researcher to appraise their self of current commonly known data. I have the papers printed out, but right now I’m boring through Jack Kruse’s Ubiquitination series.

Anyway, this is all really off topic. People always say “…but I digress” to sound erudite after a couple of tangential sentences (a memetic phrase that people pick up in whole instead of constructing themselves because the memetic phrase has a very particular effect and meaning understood by all who know it)… but in this case, I really did digress from the topic! Let’s talk about the C-Cleanse.

You should be aware that it’s also called the C-Flush — and for good reason. Part of the protocol is indeed an expulsion of brown liquid from your rear. I think it may be clearing out your gut flora… remember the antibiotic idea?

My experience did not go as planned. First, it’s not mentioned but I think it would be ideal to start this protocol in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat. I was unable to do this, though, and started after having breakfast. First mistake. The second mistake was that my dosages were too spread out (30 minutes instead of 15). My understanding is that the whole process should take under 3 hours to complete. I probably spent 6 hours doing it.

Between my late start and spread out dosages, I took my last swig at 5pm. I was very uncomfortable for the rest of the night. I could constantly feel gas building inside me, and when I was able to relieve that with a trip to the bathroom, the ‘diarrhea’ burned coming out. This persisted into the night, waking me up at 2am.

I plan on trying this again next month, but I’ll be sure to do it early in the morning before breakfast with tighter and/or heavier dosages. This way I’m not wasting a meal (that I’m about to poop out) and it’s less likely to interfere with a restful night.

A couple of links about Vitamin C and its effect on gut bacteria:

Ascorbate cleanse

Ten Minute Wellness Course

This is a list of easy and low-entry things you can do. They’re baby steps for Americans. They’re not the most powerful things you can do, but you’ll be healthier than most other Americans. Dropping gluten and pasteurized dairy will pay dividends, but I can’t expect the average Schmoe to do those. And nobody wants to think about eating liver.

So let’s begin.

  1. Magnesium. Trust me, you don’t have enough magnesium. Add some K2. These are the two most harmless supplements, and they do good things for you.
  2. Intermittent fasting with Bulletproof coffee. Good for weight loss, but be wary if you have adrenal dysregulation. You probably have adrenal dysregulation.
  3. Sardines. Find a sauce you like, or eat them with Sriracha like I do.
  4. Salt. Put a quarter teaspoon in water and drink that in the morning. Don’t be afraid of putting salt on food.
  5. Seaweed, like dulse flakes. You can sprinkle them on salads, soups, casseroles, etc. Largely tasteless.
  6. Track your sleep: Sleep Cycle, or Sleep as Android. Figure out what things change your sleep quality.
  7. Collagen. Make it part of your routine. Good for joints, hydrated skin, and hair.
  8. Cut out the sugar. It gloms up hormone receptors and makes your proteins sticky. Gross, wrinkle-face.
  9. No carbs in the morning, only fats and protein.
  10. Sulfate. San Pellegrino, eggs, onions, garlic.
  11. Wifi timer. Use an outlet timer to turn off your Wifi at 9pm. You’ll stop looking at your device screens at a decent time and cut out EMFs that will affect your sleep.
  12. Squatting. Settle into a deep flat-footed squat. You’ve probably already lost the ability to be in this position comfortably. Use it or lose it. Stay limber.
  13. Eggs. Sulfur, cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins, B vitamins. Everything you need to build an animal from scratch.
  14. AM sun. Get out in the sun from 7-10 in the morning. It sets your circadian clock and will get you a nice tan without burning.
  15. Water. Have a glass of lemon water and drink spring water as often as you can.
  16. Only water. Why would you drink anything but water? Your cells don’t run on apple juice, silly.
  17. The Butter Protocol. If it’s hot enough to melt butter, put grass-fed butter on it. Bonus tip: heat up frozen veggies, or steam broccoli.
  18. Grass fed > organic. Your money is better spent on quality meat than organic produce.
  19. Incorporate movement into your lifestyle. Why do you think old people are so stiff? Because all civilized people do is sit, stand, and lie on a bed. Frequent movement is more effective than spending an hour at the gym.
  20. Don’t be a picky eater. Add some variety to what you eat. You’ll get a broader range of minerals, vitamins, and other molecules — some of which we don’t even know about yet.
  21. Keep it seasonal. When you eat pineapple in the winter, your body thinks its summer. Don’t confuse your body.
  22. Intensity over steady-state cardio. Run intervals, not marathons. Lift weights, build muscle. Run miles, lose muscle.
  23. Cut out seed and vegetable oils. That means you, peanut butter and mayo. They’re fragile oils that oxidize easily (polyunsaturated fats). Some sources never existed before the industrial age. Think about that.
  24. Use resilient oils for cooking like butter, tallow, and coconut oil (saturated oils). Olive oil is cool for low-temp cooking (mono-unsaturated).
  25. Implement some form of meditation (transcendental, flotation tanks, heart rate variability, etc) and minimize chronic stress. Acute stress we were built to handle and even adapt to; chronic stress is what weakens us.

There. In ten minutes, you just learned how to be healthier than people who spend four years getting their dietary education from agribusiness and pharmaco supported organizations.

Is there a lot more to health? Yes. How much more free time do you have? This is three years of my knowledge compressed into 600 words. You’re welcome.

Ten Minute Wellness Course

Tech news for non-chumps

Pareto Principle, 80/20. Read the 20% of the material that gives you knowledge about 80% of the industry. This isn’t 20%, more like 5%… but let’s be honest, the less brain points you spend on technology the better. Most news is inconsequential. You can duck out of the tech industry for 6 months and not miss much of anything substantial. If there’s a new iPhone, a huge security hack, a new OS upgrade, anything interesting — it’ll trickle down through the channels listed below. Screw Tech Crunch and The Verge, you don’t need them. This is about quality commentary that keeps you sharper than 80% of the chumps out there while spending 95% less time on the matter than the 20% that is non-chumps. That’s leverage, bro. Science. Statistics. Cha-cha-cha.

  1. Security Now. Thoughtful, thorough and measured appraisals of the big things happening, with an obvious focus on security. Spinrite is dynamite.
  2. Gamers Nexus. Mostly hardware review. I value the original methods for HW evaluation (like the .1% FPS measurements) as well as the coverage of rare topics like PSU voltage ripple.
  3. John C. Dvorak PC Mag Column. I value a quirky contrarian perspective, and JCD usually delivers that.
  4. Essays by Paul Graham. Philosophical discourse on technology-related subjects. Mostly dead now, but reading the archives here, you’ll pick up several tools for your mental toolkit.

Honorable mentions: Bruce Schneier, Tom’s Hardware, Kevin Kelly, Jaron Lanier, Daniel Suarez, Triangulation, John Carmack

Tech news for non-chumps

Ray Peat, PUFAs, sugar

It’s been a while since I’ve written something here. I actually had a few posts in the works — driven by some theories gained by reading Ray Peat — but they petered out.

I’ve read some of Peat’s stuff before, but it was cursory due to his controversial position in the health sphere I traverse. Unlike most people, though, I don’t dismiss him easily. It’s obvious to me that he has an extensive knowledge of research literature, and he utilizes that to build some very interesting and unique theories. Moreover, much of his knowledge covers decades that aren’t often discussed. I think it’s important and wise to read the ideas and hypotheses of intelligent men who lack today’s education — they have a perspective that isn’t poisoned by any false truths we believe today. Gaining historical knowledge makes the permanent impermanent.

The two main sources of Peat’s controversy are his positions on PUFAs and sugar.

I made a breakthrough in my understanding of Peat’s context a couple weeks ago when I found out he’s familiar with Gilbert N. Ling. It’s rumored they even correspond. I know of Ling’s work from reading Jack Kruse’s blog. So I did a search combining with Peat’s name and Ling, and started from that angle.

After reading some of the things that came up, it’s my opinion that in order to understand why Peat dislikes PUFAs, you have to understand his position on membranes: Membranes, plasma membranes, and surfaces. I have to note that my understanding of the work of Ling and Gerald Pollack and the implications from their combined work is in its infancy; however, my interpretation of Peat’s mistrust of PUFAs rests largely on two facets:

  1. Lipid membranes are not essential for life due to water’s properties. “A small drop of water can float for a moment on the surface of water; this is explained in terms of the organization of the water molecules near the surface. No membrane is needed to explain this reluctance to coalesce, even though water has a very high affinity for water.”
  2. The skin disease that rats developed in the experiment used to prove the essentiality of Essential Fatty Acids was cured by the addition of vitamin B6 to the diet. In other words, a dietary lack of EFAs exposed a nutrient deficiency of vitamin B6. Peat maintains that PUFAs depress metabolism. If this is correct, then it stands to reason that removing PUFAs from the diet will upregulate the metabolism, and thus the organism will require more nutrients to maintain health at the new faster rate of metabolism.

Peat cites a multitude of other deleterious health effects from dietary PUFAs, but in my opinion these two concepts underpin an intellectual basis for their dietary removal. In other words, it’s one thing to say something has a multitude of negative effects; it’s another thing to explain why said thing is unnecessary in the first place. By working from a more fundamental angle, it’s easier to accept any empirical evidence that shows PUFAs are deleterious.

So context is good. However, the matter is far from settled. I haven’t really found any studies supporting Peat’s oft-cited claim that PUFAs depress thyroid function. Moreover, I have a feeling that many of them will conflate vegetable/seed oils and fish oils. The conflation of the two oils is unacceptable, because even though fish oils are prone to oxidation, they have redeeming qualities — at least DHA does. Vegetable and seed oils have no redeeming qualities as far as I know.

We’ve covered PUFAs, let’s talk about sugar. One things that’s always bugged me is why humans, and in particular children, have such a desire for sugar. Sugar is roundly criticized by health advocates of any stripe. It glycates proteins and interferes with cell receptors, causes premature aging and hormone problems, etc. So Peat’s fondness of sugar represents hope that I’ll be able to reconcile the human desire for sugar with its deleterious health effects. I don’t believe we’d desire it so heavily if we didn’t have some biological purpose for it. I’m of the same mind as Stephanie Seneff: biology isn’t stupid, it’s smart. There’s more to the sugar story than we know right now, more than people are willing to talk about. Right now, everyone chalks it up to addiction and insulin resistance, and they’ll tell you to only eat fruit during summer. I certainly agree with that prescription, because fruit was only available during certain seasons for thousands of generations. But what if sugar signals something to us? What if it’s a way for children to access information about the environment? Does sugar correlate with mineral content, or biological potential for growth? Why does sugar taste so sweet?

But sugar is sin, and nobody wants to entertain these questions.

Ray Peat, PUFAs, sugar