Ray Peat Rodeo
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00:00 Music. Hello, Ray, are you there? Yes. Let me bring you right up. Okay, you’re on the air, I believe. Okay. Yep, I can see the needles are moving. So thank you very much for joining me and us this afternoon. And perhaps you have a degree in biology with a specialty in physiology. Do you want to add anything to that besides being a science historian? No, except maybe that I was in the humanities for years before I went to graduate school in biology. Okay, that is an interesting part of your life and maybe we’ll be talking about that some. I think it guided the way I treated science being more critical about the texts that you refer to. 01:01 And maybe giving you a more humanistic attitude toward science and life? Oh, you know, more philosophy. Biologists think they have a philosophy of science, but it’s a pretty rudimentary, mechanistic, mechanical materialism usually. Do you want to define mechanical materialism for our audience who may not be familiar with that term? Yeah, the difference between organismic thinking or in the White-Hydian sense or historical materialism in the Marxist sense, mechanistic materialism makes a clear distinction between mind and matter. 02:02 And for them, matter is necessarily unconscious and stupid because intelligence exists only in their realm of mind or idealist philosophy. I see, so it’s sort of an elitism of human thought at the expense of the rest of the world? Yeah, a clear distinction between mind and matter. In brain biology, that’s changing a lot. People are realizing that you can’t solve some of the problems when you think in that dualistic way, but still it tends to be a philosophical idealism rather than a philosophical materialism. 03:05 Well, that’s some heady stuff that you’re talking about, and I’d like to bring the show, make it fairly down to earth so people can relate to it and know what we’re talking about. And I was thinking of talking about today about how we know whether we’re healthy or not. I think one of the ways we basically judge ourselves and how we’re doing in the world is how healthy we feel and if we feel energized or depressed or stimulated or stressed out, those are all conditions that we subjectively put or assess ourselves as having. And I think when the medical world came into being, I suppose there were always shamans before that, we used professionals to judge how healthy we are or how we are doing within the world that we live. 04:08 And I thought it would be interesting to talk about the history of that, how we’ve oriented ourselves in our world, and also talking about how reality-based that assessment is or how dogmatic it is. And I was thinking to start off, perhaps you could give us your experience from childhood on as to the health challenges you faced or triumphs you’ve had and how that’s shaped your viewpoint on health in general. As a little kid, I was a migraine periodically having a combination of digestive and visually affected headaches. And when I was 10, one of the naturopathic doctors prescribed a bag of an herb to make a tea out of that was supposed to affect the migraine syndrome. 05:18 Years later, I discovered that from the taste of it had been marijuana, but it didn’t help at all. That was about the extent of my drug treatment. Is that the only doctor you saw as a kid? It was a naturopath? I didn’t know. What year was that? Can you tell us Ray? 1945. Okay. I didn’t know. There were naturopaths back then. Oh, sure. They were the original doctors and the modern type of allopathic doctor. It was just one strand, one ideology of medicine and there were all kinds of ideologies up until the American Medical Association defined one strand of medicine. 06:19 How did osteopathy relate to that? It was just one of the theories that the bones were the framework of health and to think about the importance of the bones in general health. Many strands emphasized different things like the old humor theory of medicine pretty well died out, but those things were blended into homeopathic medicine and naturopathy. The homeopathic tradition still has some of that thinking in terms of personality types that are very similar to the old humor medicine. The phlegmatic and personal personality thinking in terms of the fluid related to the various organs. 07:34 When you look at the standard medical traditions between France and England, you see a very heavy emphasis in the Latin cultures on the liver and the English on the intestine. In Latin America, cardiology is a much bigger thing than in Europe or has been traditionally. That’s interesting. How do you account for the emphasis on different organs from the different cultures? I think just which school of medicine happened to be most influential or successful. Do you think the humors was influenced or interacted with the Indian and Far Eastern traditions like the Areovetic? 08:46 Yeah, there was some absorption. The Arabs really were the way Greek medicine came into Europe, but some of the Indian culture got into the Greek medical tradition. What is the Greek medical tradition? That’s the famous Hippocratic oath. That’s the only thing I know about it. Well, it was just pretty empirical with the two main branches of it, but it was just a rational attempt to be understanding the organism biologically. 09:47 And when did these getting back to indicators of health? Before I do that, actually, let’s talk about how naturopaths and before modern blood tests, how doctors assessed whether a person was healthy or not. It depended a lot on the school of medicine. Some of them would make judgments about which humor was dominating them or which organ. By the 19th century, different strands of biological information were being integrated into the different theories so that people started thinking about the cells making up the organs and some of the interactions of the organs. Late in the 19th century, they were realizing that the sugar was secreted by the liver to maintain a steady internal environment. 11:16 In the 19th century, different strands of biological information could feel and smell and even taste the different secretions and lumps on the body and such. Just examine the person as an object to see if there was anything abnormal that they could feel or see or touch or smell. For example, they used to taste the urine to see if a person was diabetic and there were many ideas about what you could diagnose by smell, including diabetes and cancer. 12:19 Lately, people have been talking about the ability of dogs to diagnose by smell when a person is about to have a seizure or when they’re developing a cancer. Yeah, that’s very interesting. Is it their heightened smell or is it telepathic, do you think? Possibly, electrical fields. Dogs can apparently detect bioelectric fields the way fish can, but Limus Pauling was probably the first person who thought of diagnosing by analyzing a person’s breath and found 250 chemicals in the breath and only a few places are now taking advantage of that and analyzing what diseases they can find. 13:21 For example, nitric oxide is increased in the breath when a person has inflammatory disease. Various inflammatory indicators show up in the breath. Yeah, that’s impressive. Basically, they used all their senses to diagnose people and assess how well they were doing. Yeah, as well as listening to their complaints and their history. Yeah, there’s a book put out, I think, by West Virginia Public Radio. They put out a CD of a recording of a doctor named Roland Sharp who was a beloved physician down there and he talked about spending most of his time talking to people. And that he considered his primary job. He did treat them if they needed it, but he was definitely an old school doctor. 14:27 And I think even if a doctor wanted to do that now, they would have a difficult time pulling it off in the economic and cultural environment that medicine finds itself in at this point. Yeah, the person often knows more about their disease than they are aware. For example, their dreams will often predict some sickness that’s about to come to full awareness. Just on the edge of awareness, if a person is a good listener, sometimes they can draw out information that the person wasn’t fully aware of. Yeah, now I just had somebody call Bill, I think, from down in New Zealand and I tried to accept his call while you were talking and it didn’t actually work. 15:34 It put you on hold, Ray, so we couldn’t hear you for a second. Bill, if you want to call in again or maybe he’s there, let me just try to bring him up and see if I can make this work. Can you hear me, Ray? Oh, yeah, I can hear you. Okay, why don’t you go ahead with your question, Bill? Yeah, I thought you had to have a call from 10,000 miles away. I was fascinated, Ray, with the opening about your advocating for matter to have the same kind of perhaps life, but anyway, at least intelligence as a human species. And what I’m doing here is just suggesting, isn’t it interesting that we are willing to attribute intelligence to non-material beings like spirits, but not to matter? 16:40 Thank you so much for being part of MRW. Okay, well thank you, Bill, and thanks for your call. And I would suggest for everybody calling in that if this echo persists that while you’re talking, you turn down your volume on your own computer so that you don’t have to listen to your voice coming back to you. Always a problem with phone interfaces, but Ray, can you still hear me? Yeah, fine. Did you hear Bill? Yeah, good. I think the attitude towards matter that exists still throughout the medical profession and biology in general is basically a religious belief about matter. It is something very separate from science. It’s a religious exclusion of spirit, mind, and intelligence from whatever they consider matter. 17:47 And so an organ or an organism or a material object can’t have in itself mentality, spirit, intelligence, and so on. And hardly deserves to be called alive. It’s not at all a scientific issue. When I was, I think about eight or nine years old in an encyclopedia, I read about J. C. Bose’s biological experiments right around the turn of the last century. And he, coming from the Hindu tradition, didn’t have any of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim attitude towards matter, life, and human intelligence. 18:58 And his Hindu background apparently gave him the perspective to ask what life-like properties exist in the different levels of organization. And so he defined… Hello? Dr. Ray Pete. Hi, Ray. Sorry, I dropped out. I don’t know. Don’t know why. So Bose asked what are the defining features of human life and listed some of the properties of sensitivity and reactivity and so on that are standard terms for human life. Then did tests on plants to see if they had any of these animal-like or human sensitive properties. 20:11 And he showed that plants showed a reactive physical response to practically any stimulation, especially harmful stimulation. And he then, after designing instruments that would record in a very clear way the reactions of plant tissue to stimulation, he applied the same thing to objects such as metal and minerals, and showed the same properties of sensitivity, reaction, learning, or adaptation, applied to all of the levels of existence, mineral, plant, animal, as well as human. 21:17 And that didn’t fit into the way Western nerve biology was developing. But scientifically it was actually more soundly based than the way the English and French and German biologists were thinking about how nerves work. And the fact that we can thank Bose for inventing the radio, basically, Marconi, I guess, according to what you’ve said, got his basic ideas for inventing the actuality of radio from Bose himself. Is that right? Yeah, and it was exactly the same kind of physical thinking about the sensitivity of material that led to the invention of the radio as to the explanation of nerve function and muscle function. 22:27 Yeah, that is fascinating. So thank you, Bill, for that call, and sorry for the technical problems. So Ray, maybe I’ll just follow up. Was that your only experience with the doctor as a child? Was the naturopath? No, I had one doctor gave me, probably, almost a lethal dose of radiation by fluoroscoping me. How old were you then? Five, I think. Was there any purpose given? Entertaining the doctor and impressing the patients. That was a very popular toy around 1940 or so. And it was in a doctor’s office? Yeah. I didn’t realize you’d been subjected to that. That’s terrible. A fluoroscope for people who don’t know is basically an X-ray machine, but they used to have them in shoe stores, right, Ray? 23:34 Yeah. You could get your feet X-rayed. Yeah, kids would go in and look at their feet bones. Yeah, and that’s the use of technology as novelty, even though many people did know that X-rays cause a cumulative and very harmful damage. I think Thomas Edison was completely against the use of radioactive technology, wasn’t he? Yeah, he was one of the pioneers in designing the apparatus and such, but his main technician died horribly from exposure to it, and that changed Edison’s attitude towards the use of it in medicine. And that must have fueled some of your skepticism toward the medical profession after you found out that it wasn’t exactly a healthy thing to do. 24:35 When did you realize it wasn’t a good idea? In 1945 and 6, I was reading, I think because of the atomic bomb, I started reading about radiation. It was already in the underground culture the biological effects of medical X-rays was already coming out as a very unwise thing to do, but the medical profession was hardly getting started. They had killed many people by bad apparatus and bad theories and such. In the 1930s, that was probably a major year for radiation deaths, people that I knew in college and later were still getting horrible X-ray treatment for their acne or ringworm. 25:44 They would get their heads X-rayed for a ringworm and their face X-rayed. People that I knew in college about 10 years after they had had the treatment for acne, for example, some of their skulls had begun collapsing, their sinuses collapsed so that their faces were deformed. That was still being done in the 1950s. I remember hearing about the English woman, Alice Stewart, her study showing that X-raying pregnant women caused leukemia in the babies. That just wasn’t acceptable by the medical profession. That was one of the first things that actually got into the medical journals at all, 26:54 even though it didn’t have much weight with most doctors. So that happened when you were five. Is that right? No. The fluoroscopic experience, but I started reading around 1945 and 46 about the effects of radiation, so I was very interested when Alice Stewart’s work came out. It had been just an underground fringe opinion in those 10 or 15 years before her work. Was it unpatriotic to be against the technology of radiation? That really didn’t get started as a political issue until I think the later 50s. 27:55 It became just a very dangerous thing for any academic person to criticize either X-rays or atmospheric atomic bomb tests. If you said that they were killing people in Utah by the fallout from the bombs, you were probably a communist and a pervert. People who worked for the government immediately would lose their jobs and be smeared by some world’s charge or political affiliation. John Kaufman was one of the main government propagandists in favor of continuing bomb tests. So I considered him sort of a government demon all through the 50s. 29:03 And later, I think it was in the late 1960s that he later said he was giving a speech defending atmospheric bomb testing because there had been no evidence that it caused mutations and deaths in subsequent generations. He said partly he was saying that he realized that it was a crazy thing to be doing. He simply changed suddenly from being the government’s biggest propagandist to… Oh, Ray, just a second. Hello. Hello. You’re on the air here at WMRW with Dr. Ray Peat. Yes, Dr. Peat. My name is George. I’m from Miami. And I’ve got a two-part question. I was wondering if I could pose the first part, which I wanted to see if… 30:04 If you’re trying to turn off stress hormones, should you err on the possibility of overeating until you’re stable with tents and pulses? Well, sugar is the single most immediately effective food for stopping stress. Sometimes salt, so a food with mixed components, but including enough sodium and glucose or fructose, will stop some of the worst stress hormones. Okay. That helps. Here, I’ll ask the second part. So would losing excess weight, in fact, help you gain that stability because of reduced body fat? If you lose too fast, that is going to cause damage by an oxidative decomposition 31:15 of the unsaturated fats as they’re being oxidized at a higher rate. So I think slow weight loss is the best thing. And having enough protein and minerals in your diet during weight loss can make a tremendous difference in the amount of stress. When a person goes on a complete fast for a week or two, they lose very little fat, but a lot of protein and functioning tissue. But if they eat about a thousand calorie diet for the average person, they can lose almost entirely fat and almost no good protein eat tissue. So the minerals as well as the protein are very important to reduce the stress hormones, 32:23 which will take down your good tissues when you’re losing weight. Okay. Well, thank you. I really appreciate it, Dr. Pete. And thank you very much to the host, John, in belief, yes? Yeah. That’s right. Thank you for calling. Okay. Take care. Yeah, take care. I have another question from somebody related to hormones, Ray. This is from Priscilla, and she’s asking, can you refer me to a source of information about the workings of hormones in the body? It seems any mention of them is laughed off as having to do with sex or anxiety. I’m thinking there’s more involved with hormones than just that. Yeah, and the definition of hormone has changed a lot, in the last 30 or 40 years, so that the classical definitions hardly apply anymore. 33:25 Things have become a lot subtler and more complicated, but it’s a good look at one of the classical textbooks in the chronology just to see the framework of even how complex it was 50 or 100 years ago. But one of the good textbooks from about 20, 30, 40 years ago would be Constance Martin. I think it was just called the textbook of endocrinology. Okay. Constance Martin, textbook of endocrinology? Yeah, and Hans Selje, when you want to look at some of the ways science preceded medical understanding, 34:31 Hans Selje did something called the Encyclopedia of Endocrinology in the 1940s, and his work was very influential for my thinking on endocrinology. He very early showed the dangers of estrogen and the protective effects of progesterone and pregnenolone. If the medical industry had really paid attention, the country would have been much healthier now. Let’s see, it’s 443 here on the East Coast, and you’re listening to Politics and Science. And my guest today is Dr. Raymond Peat, who has a PhD in biology and speciality in physiology. 35:34 And in my opinion is one of the most comprehensive science historians I’ve ever spoken to. So if you have a question about science or health, we’re welcoming you. If I can make this Skype phone system work, we will definitely welcome you to the airwaves. Ray, what was the next doctor experience you had after the fluoroscope and the naturopath at age 10? Oh, I stayed away from doctors. After that? Because of my experience with migraine, when I was 9 or 10, I started getting nearsighted. And I noticed that the only other kids in my school who were nearsighted were girls. 36:36 And a couple of them also were migraineers. And that got me thinking, why are more girls nearsighted and subject to migraine headaches? So that started me looking in general at people in terms of their hormones and their health symptoms and such. So I was already thinking along the lines of the suppressive effects of estrogen on metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and thyroid function in my early teens. I discovered that a change in my eating rhythm would invariably trigger migraine. 37:38 If I was very active physically on the Saturday, for example, that night or the next morning, I would develop a migraine. Just because I had drawn down my glycogen supplies hadn’t replenished them by eating fast enough. Interesting. Yeah, go ahead. After thinking about that for years, I finally realized that I could intervene even if I had waited until a headache was actually started. It happened that I had a couple quarts of ice cream in the fridge and realized that I hadn’t been eating enough. I ate a quart of ice cream as fast as I could when the blind spots were already starting to flash and found that they turned right off as I absorbed the ice cream. 38:40 So for two or three years, that was my intervention, always having some ice cream on hand. You didn’t switch to ice cream headaches instead? No, those were fine. Okay, sorry to interrupt. You were saying something when I did that. Well, several other things added to that. Someone told me about eating a rock here at being a way to interrupt a headache. And I found that that worked too, so I would do that every day and not have to worry about keeping ice cream handy. And I had read some of the books of a famous gastroenterologist, Walter Alvarez. 39:45 He was one of the newspaper doctor columnists, but he was a very imaginative enteralogist. And he found that the intestine was involved in a very high percentage of headaches. He wanted to disprove the idea that headaches are caused by toxins. He believed they were caused by pressure in the intestine. And so to demonstrate supposedly to disprove the toxin theory, he stuffed some of his medical students rectums with wads of cotton, and about half of them developed headaches. And so he said, see, it’s pressure, not toxins, but he didn’t actually test whether toxins could do it too. 40:48 Well, other researchers were working on the intestine, both with toxins and pressure. Russian researchers, for example, would put an inflatable balloon in the intestine. And when they would blow up the balloon, if the rabbit was in normal health, nothing would happen. But if the rabbit had low blood sugar, blowing up the balloon would cause all kinds of symptoms, including epileptic seizures. And other researchers have found that an allergen or a chemical irritant would cause that whole range of anything from seizures to shock. If the blood sugar was low, but if the blood sugar was high, chemical irritants had almost no effect biologically. 41:54 So that’s how the ice cream was working to protect you with sugar? Yeah, the carrot would apparently do multiple things, absorb toxins or speed along the elimination of toxins and prevent pressure and chemical irritation. So you could work on either side of it, keeping the blood sugar up or eliminating or reducing the irritation to the intestine. That’s very interesting. I have a lot more questions here from people that I should probably get to before the next hour whizzes by and we’re done. But I forgot to, and saying people could call, I forgot to give out the number, and that’s 802-526-2326. That’s 802-526-2326. That’s if you have a phone, that’s my Skype number. And if you’re on a computer, you can Skype John Barkhausen all one word. And if I can figure out the Skype system, I will bring you up on the air with Dr. Ray Pete, who’s on the line right now from Eugene, Oregon. 43:04 So, just getting back to my loose theme here of indicators of health. At some point, blood tests began to be used extensively by the medical profession. When did that start? My awareness of it started around the late 1940s, when some of my fat friends in school told me that they had previously been told that they had a glandular problem and had been given thyroid. But with the new medical science in the late 40s, they discovered that they were just gluttonous and ate too much. They had no hormone problems because their blood tests, they had given a test called protein-bound iodine. 44:07 That was the scientific thing in the late 40s and all through the 50s into the 60s. And if your protein-bound iodine was okay, you just had the psychological problem of eating too much. So, where about half of the people who went to the doctors with overweight would get a thyroid prescription and cure their problem. After science intervened with the blood test, 95%!o(MISSING)f those people, well, 95%!o(MISSING)f the population, so about half of the people who had been on thyroid were told that they were perfectly normal, hormonally, and taken off thyroid. And at that same time, synthetic thyroxin was introduced. And it was tested on medical students, but at that time were all young men in their early 20s. 45:12 And when they were given a dose of synthetic thyroxin, it worked just exactly the same as a dose of armor thyroid had worked. So, the chemical pharmaceutical industry displaced the meat industry-based armor product because it was more scientific. And exact, it was a single hormone rather than a dehydrated gland and combined with the protein-bound iodine blood test that really ruined the health of the country by failing to give thyroid to nearly everyone who needed it. And when they did need it, they would prescribe the synthetic form. 46:13 And they neglected to notice that most thyroid patients were women, a ratio of 5 or 10 times to the incidence in men. And that women, especially if their thyroid is low, their livers are much more sluggish than men’s. It’s easier for a woman, especially in the premenstrual time, to get drunk on a small amount of alcohol because the liver throws it off so slowly. And the same with aspirin and other drugs, women are more sensitive because the liver is slowed down by estrogen, which also contributes to the problem of hypothyroidism. And in women, it neglected to test the comparison between armor thyroid and synthetic thyroxin. 47:18 But it happens that when the liver is very sluggish, the thyroxin isn’t turned to the active hormone, but it does suppress the pituitary, the pituitary senses that there is the presence of thyroid hormone and stops stimulating the gland. So if the liver isn’t converting it to the active hormone, the gland is going to decrease its production because the T4’s thyroxin is accumulating. So the frequent event throughout the 1950s and 60s was that women would actually be made worse by turning off their remaining thyroid function by dosing them with this synthetic inappropriate drug, 48:22 which had been tested on young, healthy men whose livers were able to turn it to the active hormone. So that’s a case of them doing the tests but interpreting them in such a way that it actually didn’t help the health of the patient? Yeah, and during this time, the protein-bound iodine test showed that very few people in any population, only 5%!t(MISSING)ested low, which they thought meant low thyroid function. Then as new tests became possible in the 60s using immune techniques, they found that the protein-bound iodine test had nothing to do with thyroid function. 49:26 So the concept had been built into the profession that only 5%!o(MISSING)f people are really biologically lacking thyroid function. So they devised new tests and standardized the new test on the same population framework that the meaningless test had created. So now they said, we know that 5%!o(MISSING)f the people are going to be hypothyroid, and that these tests adjust our new sensitive tests to fit that old concept. And ever since then, that has been, no matter how sensitive your measurement of any of the thyroid functions can get, it’s become the idea that the normal range is going to be covered by 95%!o(MISSING)f the results. 50:34 They stretch whatever fine tests they might develop to fit a bad definition of normal. It’s like they didn’t bother to figure out what healthy means before they decided what the range for a healthy thyroid is. Apparently it never occurred, even at the time when they were telling people that they were gluttonous, rather than deficient in thyroid, that the test completely knocked out meaning and sense from diagnosis and treatment. And is that, do you think Ray, that’s because the pharmaceuticals and money got involved, or is it just they took a wrong turn somewhere and never looked back? Oh yeah, the drug industry controls the world. It was obvious in the way both the protein-bound iodine test and the synthetic thyroxin, how they took over the mind of medicine. 51:41 Carla Rothenberg, who was a law student at Harvard, wrote a very good paper on the history of the estrogen industry during those same years, early 1940s, showed that the industry didn’t like the way science was going, which was showing that estrogen was able to create abortions and produce cancer, inflammation, degeneration, all sorts of bad things. But they had products that could be made cheaply, and they decided with a conspiracy of, I think it was 12 or 13 big corporations with an estrogen product, they decided to get the FDA in line and get the population in line with mass media, public relations, 52:56 and journal articles and pressure on the FDA to sell the idea that estrogen was a fertility-promoting medicine rather than a sterility promoter. So starting in 1942, science was turned on its head for basically about 60 years. That’s unfortunate, but fascinating still. And I have to say right now that this is WMRW-LP Warren, and you’re listening to a live edition of Politics and Science with Dr. Raymond Pete on the line. He’s a physiologist, a PhD in biology, and a science historian from Eugene, Oregon. And we’re accepting questions on the air. If you call 802-526-2326, questions about science or medicine or philosophy. 54:01 And you can also email info at WMRW.org if you’d like to send an email question. And I should get to some of these email questions before we run out of time. Let me see. Paul has sent a question. By reducing conflict with others and within one’s own mind and thereby lowering stress hormones, can kindness, generosity, and ethical conduct thereby promote healthy metabolism? Yes, I think so. Okay. And he has a follow-up. Do you ever recommend meditation? Why or why not? Meditation in the sense of watching your own consciousness being mindful of your body and of the world in general and how they interact. 55:02 I think everyone should always be doing that. Practicing awareness. Yeah, and especially the interactions so that you can see what your needs are and not confuse them with what’s really happening in reality by being aware of yourself and the world. You can avoid confusing the two. You’ve often, or I don’t know if it’s you who said it originally, I think other people have said this, that we don’t actually end where our skin ends, that we are all part of the environment around us. And so how do you, you know, go ahead. When I was working on linguistics, I realized that people are really participating, they’re inside each other’s minds. 56:12 The way language works, the Russian physiologist, one of Pavlov’s students, devised a way of explaining how reflexes work in terms of what he called the acceptor of action, which is essentially a model of the world that is built in our consciousness. And we adjust that according to the results of our senses and interaction with the world. And that’s our mind, our intention, and our knowledge. It stores everything that we have learned, and it completely changes the idea of what a reflex and a sense is. 57:23 And then Paul has another question, and this probably enters primarily into the world of politics, although I suppose forensic science is part of this and logic. Do you consider the U.S. government’s explanation for the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on 9-11 2001 plausible? And if not, what explanations do you consider most plausible? I haven’t heard anything from any government official that makes sense, and I think there are quite a few possible explanations that any of several of them are more plausible than the government’s story. Paul gave me five questions, and they’re all good ones. Can you please discuss the functions of the hormone oxytocin and its relationship of any with metabolism? 58:30 It’s one of the adaptive hormones, but it has some stress-related responses, so I don’t see it as the happiness and euphoria hormone. It can go up under stress, too, and its effects aren’t all good. It’s sort of like the parasympathetic system is a good relief to the sympathetic and anxiety-related system, but you don’t want to go too far in that direction. It’s a matter of having it at the right time and in balance. There are many hormones like that, right? They’re key at certain times, but do you want to stop them and not let them go on? 59:34 Yeah, and definitely that’s the case with those pituitary hormones. All of the pituitary hormones are pretty expendable as long as you keep your thyroid working. Several researchers removed pituitaries and gave thyroid, sometimes cortisol, and found that the animals were healthier without their pituitaries, and so they were losing their oxytocin, and all of the pituitary hormones went when they removed the gland, but the animals, if they were given thyroid, could live even longer than normal. Another question here. In your books and interviews, you often provide examples of people who recovered quickly from serious health problems by changing their diets or supplementing with pro-metabolic substances such as thyroid or progesterone. 01:00:38 While these examples can be very inspiring, at times they can be somewhat dispiriting to people who have struggled with health problems for a long time and do not respond quickly to similar changes in diet or supplements. Can you offer any anecdotes about slow, gradual healing that may comfort or inspire such people? When it isn’t instantaneous, if you keep working on it, it tends to be gradual. When you are lucky and hit the missing thing on the first try, you can see things in an hour or less go from miserable to perfect, but if you don’t happen to hit on the one missing factor, then it can involve a very slow repair of many systems. 01:01:42 Sometimes, for example, a person will supplement progesterone and feel that everything is perfect, but then they hit another point in the monthly cycle and things go out of balance. Often, they have to go through two or three of those monthly phases even when they are on exactly the right track. The body changes so drastically, cyclically, that it goes through repair phases during those cycles. When it’s other things other than a simple cyclic progesterone or thyroid function, it can take a slow repair process. For example, bones can take quite a while to repair, but I’ve seen people with crippling arthritis immediately, 01:02:49 and overnight or within an hour or sometimes their joint becomes painless and works where it had been crunching and popping. Sean wants to know what are your plans for the next five or ten years? Are you planning on any new books or research or lectures? Continue to write newsletters? Anything specific? As far as I know, I expect to keep writing newsletters, and I’ve got some ideas for books, but as I discover new things, my idea of what a good book should be changes. Currently, I’ve been thinking about the importance of carbon monoxide in our endogenous regulatory processes. 01:03:58 Dioxide or monoxide? Monoxide. For about twenty years, I’ve been talking about the importance of keeping your carbon dioxide up. But one of the things that everything I’ve been talking about, getting enough bright light, thyroid, drinking coffee, eating fruit, and keeping your carbon dioxide up, one thing that is acted on in the same direction by all of those is carbon monoxide. And when we’re under stress, we produce that, and these helpful factors help to get rid of it or to decrease its production under stress. And when the stress is simply enough, for example, the monthly cycles or the daily cycles that cause our pituitary to become active cyclically more or less, 01:05:07 the ups and downs of ACTH and thyroid-stimulating hormone and oxytocin and so on, all of the pituitary hormones are acting at least partly by way of increasing carbon monoxide production where they’re acting on the gland or end tissue. And that seems to be one of the reasons why removing the pituitary gland in these experimental animals had such beneficial effects, because of the harmful age-advancing effects of the endogenous carbon monoxide. Wow, yeah, and I was just driving around in my plow truck that has a terrible carbon monoxide problem, the window is wide open and trying to… So it sounds like it’s dangerous from outside sources as well as inside. 01:06:09 Yeah, the outside adds to what’s going on on the inside. No one has a tendency to liver disease or seizures or such. Any little fluctuation like going downtown where the carbon monoxide might be a legal 20 or 30 parts per million, that could be enough to seriously bring on your symptoms. Even if you’re only there for half an hour? Yeah, it’s a trigger. Yeah, when I used to drive a lot through downtown Los Angeles or Seattle, I would tend to get lost on days when the carbon monoxide was up around 50 parts per million. If I got out of my lane, I had a hard time finding where I was supposed to go. 01:07:15 Yeah, that’s terrible, Ray. I should mention also that this is a special we’re doing here on Politics and Science today with Dr. Raymond Pete, and it’s a special because we’re having a fundraiser, our February fundraiser. It’s the only one we do on air so far all year round. We have a very small budget. It’s only 12 grand, but we do need to make it up to keep broadcasting all year. So anybody who has any money, they can throw our way. It’s greatly appreciated, and it’s easy to do. Just go to our website, WMRW.org, and click the pig to make a PayPal or credit card donation. And it’s a tax deductible donation because we’re a nonprofit, and on top of that, there’s nobody here getting paid. So every dollar or penny you contribute goes directly to our operating expenses. And thank you, everybody, for all your donations. We do appreciate it, and we’ve had some in your honor today, Ray. 01:08:17 You’ll be glad to hear. So very much appreciate you coming on today. I have a question here from Wade, and he’s asking, why certain diseases present as they do? Why does someone develop Alzheimer’s while another gets multiple sclerosis? There’s some other pattern of degenerative disease. When the basic premise is a failure of energy, what determines the disease course that a person takes? The health of your other organs influences the shape of the deterioration of your nervous system. The amount of clotting material, for example, is probably higher or at least more unstable in multiple sclerosis. 01:09:19 They find clots tend to associate with the plaques or the inflamed areas in multiple sclerosis, and the clotting of fibrin deposits aren’t the factor in Alzheimer’s plaques, but it does relate to the clotting system. And some people think that the amyloid, which forms the plaque, a particular kind of protein, they think that the brain is producing that to make up for the leakiness of the capillaries in Alzheimer’s disease, where it’s sort of the opposite process in multiple sclerosis where the clot seems to start the process. The fibrin deposits, breaks down, releases inflammatory material and starts an inflammation in that clotted area. 01:10:31 With Alzheimer’s, the capillaries get leaky, produce some micro-hemorrhage, some heme or hemoglobin leaks out, and an enzyme that clears away the heme or hemoglobin is the enzyme that forms carbon monoxide, and this enzyme is known to be associated with amyloid plaques. So it’s basically a blood vessel leaky problem being handled from the opposite sides. Each type of degeneration has its own ways of working, trying to correct a problem and failing to do it. Cancer develops, possibly starting with the same leakage of blood vessels and hemoglobin, 01:11:40 possibly leading to increased deposition of connective tissue and collagen producing an atrophied area, and within that area of atrophy, cells can convert themselves to live without the ordinary support of the environment because of the deranged connective tissue that chronic stress and irritation has produced. So you get the same elements involved, but in different ways. Atrophy, malfunction, tumor formation, invasive cancer and so on, all of our cells trying to correct a problem but not having enough energy to do it fully and properly. 01:12:42 And we so often hear from the medical professionals and from the media who seem to magnify what they say, that genetics is what determines whether you get a disease or not. That must have some play in which way disease manifests itself, doesn’t it? Yeah, everyone has genes so genetics explains everything. But the way they prove that certain mutations are responsible, they just haven’t ever made a convincing case because first you have to define what the normal populations genes are. And it turns out that usually about half of the people with the disease might have genes that contribute to it, 01:13:43 others don’t, and a large proportion of perfectly healthy people have a fully mutated set of genes. And Harry Rubin has pointed out, he was a biology professor at UC Berkeley. He pointed out that very highly mutated cells can have dozens of cancer promoting mutations. These cells, as long as they’re in a basically healthy organism, don’t produce cancer. It’s the failure of the organism’s support system interacting, but basically it’s the organism problem starting first. Then mutations occur because of the stress on the tissue, because of the failure of the organism’s support system. 01:14:48 I see, so you may have a propensity inherited from an environment, an exposure that your predecessor had, but the environment can also heal that if it gives you enough energy. Yeah, and there is a sort of momentum in the whole physiological pattern that can pass on from generation to generation in a way of expressing the genes. So even the definition of what a genetic defect is has changed radically. The influence of the environment on the parent can affect the methylation of the genes, and that can affect their tendency to be expressed or not. So it’s like a weight for an influence that can accumulate generation to generation 01:15:51 and make it harder for a given individual to correct it, but still it’s only a tendency of the gene to express or not. Well, we’re running out of time here actually. We have another 35 minutes to go, but it’s going by very fast, so I’m just going to keep doing these questions. As more are coming in by email, you can email them to politicsandscienceatmadriver.com, but probably the easiest at this point is info at wmrw.org. I’ll get those too, so info at wmrw.org if you want to email in a question right now. And here’s the next one. As your work increases in popularity, people are quoting you more and more in an authoritarian context in discussion groups on the internet, I think, to the degree that if you haven’t said something or written it, then other sources of input can’t possibly have validity as well. 01:16:55 How do you want to be seen? I’m paraphrasing here because it has the wrong pronouns, but how do you and your work want to be seen? Are you a teacher? A teacher is an overused word that is losing meaning within the public school system frame of reference, so can you define that word in terms of how you would like it used? Well, as a teacher, even in the state university or well-defined setting, when I was assigned a teacher, a course that had a description in the university catalog, I would read the description of the course and see what textbooks were being used to teach the course, and then staying within the abstract definition of what the course was supposed to cover, I would basically criticize the textbooks that were available and were being used. 01:18:00 So if the students were required to buy a textbook, I would fairly, carefully demolish the textbook as far as I could. So I think a teacher’s function should be essentially criticism of the cultural stereotypes that the students are confronted with, and showing the students how to go about criticizing the things that they are going to be constantly confronted with. I see. So you’re basically teaching by example? Yeah, I guess. All right, I like that. Now here’s a specific question about health. See, is it useful to compare the basal metabolic rate or the resting metabolic rate to the daily caloric intake in order to gauge one’s metabolic rate? 01:19:13 Yeah, there are many ways you can do it. And why would you do that, Ray, just for everybody else who’s listening? Well, the more alive you are, the more energy is running through you. When an egg is fertilized, as soon as it gets itself going, it starts a tremendous increase in oxygen consumption. And from then until, if you measure the oxygen per gram of weight, the oxygen consumption decreases for the rest of your life. From puberty to old age, oxygen consumption decreases by about 70%!(NOVERB) unless you intervene with controlling the inflammatory hormones and supporting thyroid function. 01:20:23 And the mortality, when the hormones change at puberty, the incidence, the likelihood of dying increases steadily from puberty on. And that corresponds to the decrease of ability to consume oxygen burn energy. And that’s basically because of the structure-building influence of the flow of energy through matter. It’s exactly what J.C. Bowes was talking about. The energy flows through all matter, but it does it more complicatedly through higher organisms. 01:21:27 But it’s basically the same process that he used in making his radio receiver, the way the matter responded to the fields around it, determined the way the energy flowed through it. So what Sandy’s asking here, is it useful to compare the basal metabolic rate or resting metabolic rate to the daily caloric intake in order to get a full picture of the metabolic rate? Yeah, if you can put a person in a container and measure the heat being produced, that’s one way of doing it. Or you can measure the amount of oxygen consumed or the amount of carbon dioxide produced. Or over a period of time, just the amount of food that disappears and is turned into carbon dioxide. 01:22:28 You can weigh the food that’s being converted or the gases that are being produced or consumed. Or you can measure the amount of water that you evaporate because that’s an index of how much heat you’re producing. And so if you measure all the fluids, you take in for 24 hours and subtract the amount of urine produced. The missing water is how much you’ve evaporated. And so that’s a way of doing calorimetry indirectly. Interesting. And then I suppose you’d have to compare yourself to somebody who was considered healthy. Yeah, the famous GW cryo and his wife went around the world with basal metabolic apparatus. And they found that everyone in very different cultures, from the Eskimos to tropical people in Africa and Central America, 01:23:42 their basal metabolic rates were about 30%!h(MISSING)igher than the average Americans. And their diets were tremendously different, mostly meat in the Eskimos in a cold environment and mostly starchy foods in the tropics in a very hot environment. But still they were metabolizing, burning about 30%!m(MISSING)ore oxygen than the average American. And that he took to be an indication of a very generalized hypothyroidism. He saw a correspondence of brain function to adrenal liver and thyroid metabolism. And he charted animals. 01:24:48 He showed that crocodile at rest could weigh several hundred pounds, but it would consume only as much oxygen as a cat at rest. And he showed that their brains were the same size. And so he believed that the brain represented the basal metabolic rate and basically how alive you were. And when was GW cryo doing that work? In the 30s, 1936 was one of his last books, I think. So already our metabolic rate was lower than people in other parts of the world. That’s interesting. Moving on to another question here. It’s very simple. What is a healthy libido? 01:25:53 One that I suppose is satisfying and fits into the rest of your life. That sounds good to me. That was from Jacob. And then moving on to Justin. See, Justin says, I know several people with chronically low blood pressure, such as 85 to 100 over 60, doctors generally consider it not to be a problem. Do you think this is indicative of any underlying physiological problem? I also found it interesting, everyone that I have met with this issue were women. I think it does reflect a low metabolic rate, but it doesn’t always mean that there’s any problem other than probably you could be more productive if you were producing more energy and needed more blood circulation. 01:26:58 When I spent some time in Florida, I was miserable because of the high humidity and high temperature and couldn’t take my usual amount of thyroid. And I found at times during the night when I wasn’t taking thyroid and was being suffocated by the humid heat, that my blood pressure would go down. I think the lowest it went was almost what they would define as dead. I think it was something like 50 over 25. But I felt fine. Why couldn’t you take the thyroid because of the humidity and heat? Because then I would feel like I was being boiled. You get too hot, I see. 01:27:59 Just sitting at rest, I would be sweating furiously. Another person asked, when did your digestive problems start in your life? Was there any cause for them? I think when I was about six months old. Do you attribute it to anything? I think probably my mother’s hypothyroidism contributed. And that consisted of just having stomach uncomfortability whenever you ate something that didn’t agree with you. Periodic headache attacks starting at a very young age. And the person also asked why can some people eat things without any regard for what they are and apparently not feel bad. 01:29:02 And other people have a horrible time and have to watch whatever they eat, can’t eat wheat, etc. The whole history and balance of your different organs, some people have stronger body parts, different shapes, different lengths of intestines, and so on. The whole balance influences each part. I see, I see. Oh, I know, I have one question here. You’re starting to break up, so I can’t quite hear you. Am I? Okay, can you hear me now? Barely, it’s gurgly. I’m bad enough even when I’m not gurgly, so maybe I should just call you right back, right? Okay. It’s easy to do, I’ll be right back. 01:30:07 Hi, I’m going to drop off this one call. There. Okay, we’re talking to Dr. Raymond Pete at New Gene, Oregon, and we’re discussing science history and medical history and health issues today. The rough theme of the show was indicators of health, and Ray, can you hear me? Yes. Good. I have another question from Robin. Why are they testing for PSAs even though he has had his prostate removed? I guess they’re doing screening to see if he still has any cancer, but supposedly the PSAs come from the prostate, so why are they testing if they’ve removed it? I think they believe that it indicates that you still have some parts of the prostate, some prostate cells lodged in other parts of your body, but when you measure that antigen in women, 01:31:08 it doesn’t mean that they have prostate cancer. That antigen is found in women, and it rises when their estrogen is high, and maybe it would have some correspondence to risk of breast cancer or something, but it doesn’t really mean as much as the medical people think. Do you know what PSA stands for? I don’t. Prostate-specific antigen. But they find the same antigen in women who don’t have a prostate, so they’re not accurately named. Yeah, I see. And it’s possible that perhaps it’s made in other parts of the body? Must be. Oh, okay. Yeah, interesting. Okay, here’s one that we can all relate to from Stefan. There’s a teen acne, and maybe acne in general. 01:32:13 He says, see, he’s tried vitamin A, topical neutrosorb and supplemental extra zinc. What are the causes of acne? What about sugars, chocolate? I’ve heard they don’t, but is that true? And what cures are likely? And would topical progesterone help? And is that okay in a young teen? I’ve seen topical progesterone work almost instantly. A pimple would be forming a red lump and would regress as soon as they put progesterone on it. But it usually involves a bacterial infection, and the immune system is reacting badly, not simply getting rid of the bacteria but producing an inflammation. And so there are several things involved, but vitamin A and thyroid function are two that are essential 01:33:19 for the differentiation of the cells in the skin and the follicle structure and the oil glands and such, and the thyroid, which regulates the hormones. But the skin is a major source of steroid hormone synthesis, and the thyroid and vitamin A are partly acting to maintain a healthy steroid hormone turnover. Cholesterol can be turned into the various steroids, and the precursors like pregnenolone and DHEA can be metabolized either well or badly, depending on your whole nutritional situation, but thyroid and vitamin A are the most often involved. 01:34:21 The B vitamins, you have to make sure your whole system is well merged. I see, so it could be for many number of causes. Yeah, and it’s always good to keep in mind the bacteria that like to live on oily moist skin. And is your body trying to get rid of some pollutant or toxin? Is that why it erupts like that? No. Okay. All right, so we’re running, we only got about 10 minutes left here, a little more than that. Here’s a question. See, I’ve read somewhere that people with Alzheimer’s don’t tend to get cancer, and I’d like to know specifically why Ray thinks that happens. I don’t know if it happens. Okay. Partly, Alzheimer’s I think is not consistently diagnosed. 01:35:29 Sometimes just people who get to be 90 or 95 aren’t very attentive to current events and get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when they might not have all of the diagnostic features that a person who was 35 would have. Yeah. It was originally a disease called pre-senile dementia when a 40-year-old would start acting absent-minded or mindless. Yeah, we have another caller on the line here. Caller, you’re on WMRW. You’re live. Oh, great. Thank you. So first of all, I wanted to thank Dr. Pete for sharing all this extremely useful information. 01:36:31 I just had a couple of quick questions. I had such an email, but I thought I’d quickly call it. So my question is regarding metabolisms, stimulating foods that heat up your body. So what I have experienced is that eating a calorie dense meal like a pancake seems to warm me up more than drinking a lot of liquid like orange juice, which Dr. Pete recommends. So I’m a bit confused why you do not consider starch to be superior to liquids in terms of raising body heat. Well, the starch slightly more than sucrose triggers insulin, and the insulin tends to lead to increased cortisol production. 01:37:34 And cortisol can raise your body temperature, but that isn’t the kind of increased metabolism that is generally helpful, but it can warm you up by a kind of stress reaction. Some people wake up with a very warm body, 98.3 temperature, possibly, and an 80 pulse. Then after they eat something in the middle of the day, their temperature might be under 98 and with a 70 pulse. That means that their nighttime stress hormones, especially cortisol, were responsible for keeping the metabolic rate and heat production up. But that tends to lead to long-range problems where if you cycled your heat production down during the night and up during the day, 01:38:41 that would lead to longer range benefit. Thank you. One other quick question I had is, I just do a very theoretical question. Then what age do you think a male can expect to maintain a healthy sex life without, let’s say, the use of Viagra or things like that? Shouldn’t have any particular age relation. Testosterone is testosterone and DHA and thyroid and so on are all part of the good sexual energy. And there’s no reason why those should drop off at any particular age. Do you consider drugs like Viagra to be helpful or harmful? 01:39:47 I’m harmful because it acts largely by increasing nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, and those have lots of harmful effects. Oh, interesting. Okay, thank you so much, Dr. Pete. Thanks for calling. Ray, I had a question. I’ve been reading lately about the supposed problem of having too much calcium in your diet. I know that you’ve recommended supplementing calcium and it’s been a big help in my life in getting my teeth to stop degenerating. But I was just reading an article that somebody posted about people who drink too much milk and how that’s going to cause a lot of calcification of tissues and other problems with calcium building up in places it shouldn’t. 01:40:49 And I was just wondering if you could comment on how much calcium somebody should take and whether those problems that those people are talking about are accurate. No, that’s the result of some medical people who had a mechanical way of thinking about input and output. But for at least 50 years, it’s been known that parathyroid hormone increases when you’re deficient in calcium and vitamin D and possibly other factors, but especially parathyroid hormone increases as your need for calcium increases. And if you aren’t eating enough calcium and vitamin D, your parathyroid hormone will take calcium out of your bones. And when it does that, it’s putting it into your soft tissues, contributing to hardened arteries and kidneys and even the brain can calcify. 01:42:01 And the prevention is to get enough of the nutrients such as vitamin D and vitamin K that regulate calcium, not get too much phosphate, but to get plenty of calcium and keep your parathyroid hormone and prolactin and cortisol down by a good intake of these protective anti-stress nutrients. And in fact, the surest way to calcify your arteries and kidneys is to be a calcium avoider. Because that’s what they recommend you do, right, if you end up with kidney stones. Yeah, and for kidney stones in particular, a good balanced diet will make the urine not release the calcium crystals, keeping the right pH of the urine 01:43:11 and not having protein sleek out into the urine will prevent the crystallization. So you can pour out lots of calcium through your urine if you’re eating a lot of calcium, but it doesn’t calcify, it passes out in solution. And when your vitamin D and vitamin K are adequate and your parathyroid hormone is low, your arteries aren’t going to take up calcium. Yeah, it’s a little alarming if what you say is accurate and it sounds good to me that the mainstream medical world has it so backwards. Well, yeah, there are several journals you can find on PubMed, several articles that have demonstrated that eating plenty of calcium is protective. 01:44:12 And finally, we’re almost done here, but getting back to the loose theme of the show about indicators of health, what does intention have to do with the testing for certain markers of health? Because it seems to me that many times the tests these days have gotten away from being about the health of the patient and they seem to be more of an abstract nature in terms of, or maybe not even abstract, maybe more in terms of just economics, whether the intention of testing the patient is about using the test equipment, paying for new scanning equipment and the like. It just seems like the medical industry has gotten away from treating the patient to running a business. Yeah, I think with x-rays that’s often the case. They have to keep their equipment busy if it isn’t paid for, they want to keep an income so they can get a new machine when this one’s paid off. 01:45:24 A lot of the testing is done to prevent lawsuits. Someone yesterday said she asked her doctor what he would do if they were his symptoms. Would he have the x-rays or the CAT scan? He said no, but I wouldn’t sue myself. So finally she agreed that she didn’t need the CAT scan or x-ray. Yeah, so you can talk to your doctor about unnecessary testing. There’s a question that just came in by email. Are there dangers to antibiotics and how they modify gut flora? Is it best to seek maximum sterility for the gut or may it be better to attempt to cultivate an overall balance of gut flora? What are some of the best factors for cleaning the gut? 01:46:27 I think the best, safest, long-range things are the indigestible but antiseptic fibers of raw carrot or bamboo shoots. Cook bamboo shoots happen to be not in themselves digestible but to contain antibiotic substances that help to suppress bacteria. The whole small intestine in a very healthy person is sterile. The more active your digestive fluids and enzymes are, the more sterile your small intestine will be. The more sluggish your metabolism, low thyroid function, the more likely you are to have bacteria living far up towards your stomach in the small intestine. Stimulating the intestine with something like raw carrot or bamboo shoots helps, 01:47:37 but keeping your metabolic rate up is the basic thing so that your digestive fluids are killing off or preventing the growth of the bacteria. Alright, well there’s plenty more questions to ask, but we’ll have to save it for another time. Ray, thanks so much for being on Politics and Science again and being so patient and for supporting Community Radio and here in Central Vermont all the way from Eugene, Oregon. Okay, thank you. Alright, thanks Ray. Good night. And that is Dr. Raymond Pete, Physiologist, PhD in Biology, Science Historian. You can find out a lot more about him by going to his website. Raypeat.com, that’s R-A-Y-P-E-A-T.com and you’ll find many of his newsletters there ready to read and all for free. 01:48:42 So thanks again for listening, thanks for supporting WMRW. I’m very grateful for all the support you’ve shown for this show and for having Ray Pete and other scientists like him on the air broadcasting through 2013. And also thanks to everybody who participated in the show for sending in their questions and for calling in. This is John Barkas and signing off for Politics and Science. Thank you.

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