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18 Jun
The microbiome is a hologram overlaying a bacterial ecosystem
We've known for decades now that bacteria communicate using different light emission, and this is likely one of the purposes for which photoreceptors first evolved

As such, any large mass of bacteria is essentially a three dimensional web of organized light
On top of that, the light that sells emit is coherent light, essentially a laser, as light is captured, organized, and re-emitted by the nucleus

This light is produced as a byproduct of free radical decay, but the nucleus is essential for it to be concentrated enough to emit
Read 6 tweets
16 Jun
Frequency of alcohol consumption has as much of an impact on glutamate production as amount

Consuming 2-3 drinks every couple days will cause milder but more prolonged glutamate upregulation, while binging 10+ drinks once a month will cause severe but short term glutamate spikes
This is the main driver of alcohol tolerance over time

Since alcohol potently suppresses glutamate signalling (mimicking GABA), the brain over compensates with increased glutamate production

This is also what makes alcohol withdrawal directly neurotoxic with a seizure component
If you have an alcohol tolerance your glutamate production is at a higher than normal baseline

This often has a powerful negative impact on mental health, especially anxiety and depression

Alcohol consumption feels better short term, but accumulates toxicity over time
Read 6 tweets
9 Jun
Antibiotics are often given to cows by farmers to promote weight gain, as they rely on gut bacteria to clear carbs before absorption

We know antibiotic use has some association with low microbiome diversity in humans, could this contribute to obesity?
The caveat here is that ruminants rely on bacteria for digestion much more heavily than humans, getting most of their calories from short-chain fatty acids fermented from fiber in their stomachs

However, the link between antibiotic use and obesity does seem to carry over
This study found more than 1 antibiotic treatment in the first year or two of a child's life associated with higher obesity risk
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29359849/
Read 6 tweets
7 Jun
CHOLESTEROL AND HEART DISEASE

The last few months I've been researching cholesterol and heart disease extensively, including interviewing various experts in the field, in this thread I'll be summarizing my findings and opinions

THREAD //
Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I'm not here to debate anyone

This is a controversial subject in many ways, but I've approached this with an open mind and will be including studies to support my positions

If you disagree with me, that's fine, to each their own
I also will not be speaking on heart disease medications like statins

I think there are pros and cons of any drug/medication, and at this point I have not researched these drugs in enough depth to put out an opinion on their use

Now without further ado, let's jump right in
Read 42 tweets
6 Jun
Many people are aware that bacteria in the gut produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which allow them to indirectly influence the nervous system

What's rarely discussed however is the fact that many bacteria also release free glutamate
Notably the bacteria responsible for gingivitis and periodontal disease can increase glutamate activity, they thrive on processed sugar consumption

In some cases this increase in glutamate signalling is indirect as a result of the release of endotoxins like LPS
LPS activates the TLR4 receptor in glial cells

TLR4 receptors mediate pain sensing and neuroinflammation through increased glutamate signalling and cytokine release
Read 4 tweets
4 Jun
There's a big difference between a cold-pressed seed oil and a seed oil that's been in a restaurant fryer for a week

PUFA degradation into toxic aldehydes usually requires 1-2+ hours (depending on temperature), and the fats themselves aren't inherently inflammatory
This means that you shouldn't use these oils for long periods of time, or at least opt for more saturated oils if you do

Studies on oxidation of plant-based oils rank olive oil as having the least potential for oxidation, with coconut, palm, and avocado oil ranking high as well
If you're going to use other seed oils, I'd opt for cold-pressed rather than solvent extracted

Avoid hydrogenated oils/spreads as their processing creates trans fats which are associated with cardiovascular inflammation (if you use any opt for emulsified)
Read 7 tweets
24 May
Soda is designed to make you as addicted as possible
If we compare the composition of a standard bottle of coke since its creation, bottle size, salt content, sugar content, and caffeine content have all increased

You have a combination of multiple factors that promote thirst/dehydration, and sugar
Caffeine is included as the most widely consumed stimulant on earth, playing into the fact that the majority of adults are physically dependent on it

The combination of sugar and carbonation creates an extremely pleasurable mouth feel that further reinforces consumption
Read 5 tweets
24 May
Adult men should ideally donate blood at least 4 times per year

For pre-menopausal adult women twice per year is usually sufficient, though this can be increased to 4 as well post menopause
Donating blood clears excess unbound iron and oxidized hemoglobin, and stimulates the process of hematopoiesis (the creation of new red blood cells)
Pathological Roles of Iron in Cardiovascular Disease
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29874997/
Read 5 tweets
22 May
Androgens create agression by downregulating inhibitory serotonin receptors

Since serotonin is one of the cornerstones of neurogenesis in the brain, this reduces neuroplasticity, and with certain overly potent steroids even becomes neurotoxic
This is balanced out by estrogen, which has a protective effect on the brain and maintains a good level of serotonin signalling

"Roid rage" is actually caused by excess androgen activation overstimulating adrenaline, without enough estrogen and serotonin to keep things balanced
The research we have on testosterone actually suggested it's not really inherently agressive

In some studies men with higher testosterone handle threats more harshly, but they also work well with others, and give out more generous rewards for others' acheivements
Read 8 tweets
21 May
The addictiveness of a substance is directly proportional to how quickly and potently it increases dopamine in the brain
For example: crack and cocaine have exactly the same chemical structure and pharmacological activity, but crack reaches the brain in as little as ~5 seconds when smoked, while powdered cocaine takes a few minutes to reach full effect
The same goes for nicotine gum vs. tobacco/vape, and smoked/injected opiates vs. oral pain pills

Generally addictiveness increases something like this: smoking > IV/IM injection > insufflation > sublingual > topical/oral
Read 6 tweets
19 May
PSA: your microbiome does not feed on carbohydrates or alcohol

Your microbiome is located in your colon at the end of your digestive tract, at this point your three essential macronutrients have been absorbed and only fiber remains as an energy source
When your diet contains low/no fiber your microbiome loses strain diversity and begins to seek out other food sources, this occurs in two ways

1. bacteria begin to consume the mucus lining separating them from the intestinal wall, as mucus is made up primarily of polysaccharides
2. bacteria/yeast may begin to grow further up your digestive tract into the small intestine where they are able to consume some amount of your dietary carbs/sugars before they can be absorbed
Read 7 tweets
17 May
For many of those suffering from depression, SSRIs don't provide any benefit just by increasing serotonin, but rather through the downstream effects of serotonin receptor activation
Only a subset of depression patients actually present low serotonin

Other issues like reduced neurogenesis factors, elevated neuroinflammation, skewed GABA/glutamate ratios, etc, are present in the majority of cases
Activation of 5HT1A and 5HT2A receptors seems to be responsible for much of these effects

Research suggests they mediate changes in inflammation and BDNF levels long term

SSRIs have even been shown to provide analgesic effects, likely through their effects on endorphin levels
Read 4 tweets
17 May
As I understand it babies crying constantly is a fairly modern phenomenon

In previous generations when a baby's cry would have been a safety liability, mothers would use techniques like holding the babies nose to train them not to cry at a very young age
And even into the late 19th and early 20th century it was very common to give babies alcohol and/or opium preparations to calm them
Let me expand since some of you are responding without actually reading this:

The key word here is constantly

Of course babies have been crying since the beginning of time, but historically cultures have minimized this in different ways that aren't employed today
Read 5 tweets
16 May
Cravings are almost universally associated with a combination of low dopamine, low GABA, and elevated glutamate and cortisol
The endopioid system seems to play a role as well, unifying both dopamine and GABA in brain regions associated with pain perception and positive reinforcement
Managing cravings at the deepest level means understanding this well enough to correct any inbalance necessary

For example: managing stress, avoiding alcohol, avoiding activities like watching porn that desensitize dopamine/opioid receptors, avoiding hyper-palatable foods, etc
Read 4 tweets
6 May
Asking a dermatologist if you should get daily sunlight exposure is like asking an atheist if you should go to church every week
In dermatology, one of the worst things that could possibly happen to you is skin cancer

In medicine in general, skin cancer is not common compared to other cancers or metabolic issues, and not very fatal, especially if caught early (even melanoma survival rate is 98+%)
On the other hand, daily sun exposure actually reduces risk for many other types of cancer, heart disease, and many other health issues

Skin cancer risk is increased by sunburn, NOT sun exposure, so as long as you don't burn your risk of skin cancer is not increased
Read 6 tweets
3 May
The idea that cultures that use entheogens for the purpose of religious experience or enlightenment are not practicing "real spirituality" couldn't be further from the truth
All religion has roots in shamanism, it's only in more recent history that other religions have replaced shamanism with non-psychoactive sacraments

This is an excellent lecture that expands on this point:
There's nothing wrong with any religion, with or without the use of substances, all can provide genuine religious experience

The issue we're seeing in Western society is that because the experience of shamanism isn't available, it has been co-opted out as a tourist attraction
Read 5 tweets
3 May
Ultra low dose naltrexone (ULDN)

(thread) Image
For a few months now I've been experimenting with microdoses of naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist

I'd like to unpack some of the benefits I've noticed and the most likely mechanisms through which it works
Naltrexone works through two primary mechanisms

1. antagonizing (inhibiting) the opioid receptors, most potently the mu opioid receptors which are responsible for the euphoria and pain relief from opiates and endorphins
Read 19 tweets
1 May
This is also why algae oil DHA isn't a proper replacement for omega-3 from seafood

DHA from seafood is already preformed in the SN-2 position, which impacts both its bioavailability and use in the brain and eyes
Make sure to opt for fresh or frozen seafood over canned, and stick to lower temp cooking over things like frying

High temps or poor storage can oxidize DHA causing it to lose the symmetrical electron configuration that allows it to act as a quantum semiconductor
I'd avoid fish oil for the same reason, it's mostly low quality and a marketing gimmick

All the same omega-3 fats are found in fish and shellfish, with loads of added nutrient content as well
Read 5 tweets
28 Apr
There's an interesting divergence between what allows humans to function better in the short term vs. the long term

We see decreased longevity with increase calorie consumption and more animal products, but better exercise performance and nutrient status at the same time
From an evolutionary fitness perspective optimal health only needs to extend up to or slightly beyond reproductive age, so even an ancestral diet isn't guaranteed to provide benefit far beyond that point

That said, there do seem to be some principles that overlap
For example, nutrient deficiency has been robustly linked to a variety of short and long term health issues and symptoms

I think it's best to target the basics like this first, then progress toward the goal of longevity/disease prevention from there
Read 4 tweets
28 Apr
Carbohydrates aren't converted into fat unless they're consumed far above maintenance calories

That said, loading up glycogen stores can make it less likely that dietary fat will be used for energy as glycogen is the priority energy source
To put it simply: carbs and fat can both contribute to a caloric surplus which can result in weight gain either way, but of the two it is the dietary fat that's stored as it requires the least conversion
Processed carbs do still have several characteristics that make them more likely to cause caloric surplus in many cases

They are often found in overly palatable foods that are designed to be addictive, though in some cases (ie donuts) they are also combined with fat
Read 5 tweets
28 Apr
Methyl-B12, betaine, and SAMe all increase methylation by providing methyl groups for reactions, with methyl-B12 being the least potent, and SAMe being the most

Niacin decreases methylation by depleting methyl groups from the liver during metabolism, and increases acetylation
Folate is especially interesting as it dynamically regulates methylation, acting as a cofactor for methylation reactions in normal concentrations, while decreasing methylation downstream of its activity at the folate receptor when taken at higher doses
B6 is required to clear methyl waste, aka homocysteine, allowing it to be metabolized into useful cysteine, sulfate, and taurine

B2 is a cofactor for the metabolism synthetic folic/folinic acid from plant foods and supplements
Read 5 tweets