The Big Vitamin D Mistake

“The role of vitamin D in innate and adaptive immunity is critical. A
statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D was recently discovered…Since all-disease mortality is reduced to 1.0 with serum vitamin D levels ≥100 nmol/L, we call public health authorities to consider designating as the RDA at least three-fourths of the levels proposed by the Endocrine Society Expert Committee as safe upper tolerable daily intake doses. This could lead to a recommendation of 1000 IU for children <1 year on enriched formula and 1500 IU for breastfed children older than 6 months, 3000 IU for children >1 year of age, and around 8000 IU for young adults and thereafter. Actions are urgently needed to protect the global population from vitamin D deficiency.”

—Papadimitriou DT. “The Big Vitamin D Mistake.” J Prev Med Public Health. 2017.

More time indoors also suggests a need for vitamin D supplementation.

How Not To Die

“The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-recognized lecturer, physician,
and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of
death in America—heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s,
high blood pressure, and more—and explains how nutritional and lifestyle
interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other
pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier
lives.”

https://nutritionfacts.org/book/

Found the app Daily Dozen on F-Droid. The list of things to eat is in line with most nutrition information you hear, but the book looks worth a look.

The Case Against Sugar

“In America today, nearly 10% of the population has diabetes; more than two-thirds of us are overweight or obese; and one out of 10 kids are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The journalist Gary Taubes blames all of these afflictions on one culprit: sugar.”

—Gary Taubes. Interview with Doug Fabrizio. The Case Against Sugar.” RadioWest. November 24, 2017.

Fuller treatment is available in his book, The Case Against Sugar. Add this to other classic discussions on the topic like “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”

Also, it might be that refined sugar is the most obvious culprit and that building a diet around carbohydrates, which is a new feature that developed along with farming, might be the problem, which makes this a much bigger problem than just the “Western Diet”. See The Ketogenic Bible for a full discussion.

Biohacking: Smart People With Money Being Science-Based and Stupid 

“Over the last 4–5 years, my main hobby has been to get that by hacking my body and mind using a logical, science-based approach…

…People like me will be able to pay for this out of pocket and use off-label prescriptions from private doctors who focus on upgrading and prevention rather than merely healing. Downstream the extra mood, energy, focus, health, willpower and social skills — enhanced over decades — will accrue further and further advantages to people who upgrade themselves, which will lead to a cycle of further concentration of wealth.”

—Serge Faguet, “I’m 32 and spent $200k on biohacking. Became calmer, thinner, extroverted, healthier & happier.hackernoon.com. September 25, 2017.

N of 1 experimentation is valuable. The problem in this case is he is arguing hockey stick, compounding returns when the more likely scenario is that he’s going to give himself some form of chronic illness over the long-term. You’re only 32. Do you believe 40 years of thyroid supplementation isn’t going to lead to a health problem?

There is useful advice in write-ups such as this one. Thinking about sleep hygiene, eliminating sugar from your diet, intermittent fasting, weight-training built around deadlifts and squats, HITT training for cardio, meditation/cognitive therapy are probably all good ideas.

The place it goes off the rails is with medications and supplements. A low dose of 5mg of lithium is probably alright. If you take ~100-150mg as he is, you better have normal kidney function. Magnesium supplementation is also probably a good idea, since most of us aren’t eating big leafy vegetables at the same rate our ancestors did.

I could even get behind the very occasional therapeutic use of psychoactive compounds such as MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, etc. If they were used to to augment a program of meditation and periodic hours in an isolation tank.

But hormone therapy? Playing sorcerer’s apprentice with your hormones strikes me as a singularly bad idea.