This is a follow up to my previous post about the Dukan Diet and Vitamin A.
There is a new fad which is an off shoot of the Paleo diet. It’s an all meat diet. I had heard of it over a year ago before it was popular; I read much on this website: http://www.zerocarbzen.com. I tried it. It didn’t work for me. There are stories of miraculous transformations, unicorns, and mermaids resulting from this diet, so it made me really disappointed that it didn’t work for me.
I mean, that website called it the “Original Human Diet.” So, am I less than human since it didn’t work for me? No. (I’m sure it was just that old party line about adaptation and electrolytes….right……).
Now, it has been trumpeted all over the internet by Shawn Baker, M.D., through his instagram account, instagram.com/shawnbaker1967. People are actually supposed to eat like lions! (Because look how similar we appear….right?).
I did ask him through instagram – What about people with ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency?
His response was it was a rare disorder. Not true. It is the most common ureagenesis disorder with a prevalence of 1 in every 40,000 (https://adc.bmj.com/content/84/1/84)
Sometimes it is detected at birth and sometimes it is not detected until adulthood, when one tries to eat the “Original Human Diet” (only meat! we’re supposed to eat like the lions remember? sharpen your nails/fangs!).
When I last posted about OTC deficiency, I had left off with the bit about biotin possibly playing a role.
Remember that OTC deficiency is a urea cycle disorder. Urea comes from ammonia which comes from meat (or any source of nitrogen). Ammonia is turned into urea and excreted from the body. If the ammonia cannot be turned into urea and excreted, then ammonia builds up in the body. It is toxic for humans when reaching high enough levels (when you eat enough meat from which it comes or take certain medication), and death and/or brain damage may be the result. You can look up ammonia online and research its toxicity for humans if you don’t believe me. So, anything that interferes with OTC enzymes results in an increase in ammonia in the human body.
OTC deficiency is listed as a genetic disorder. But in the last post I presented evidence of others’ research that may dispute this. OTC deficiency can be the result of Vitamin A deficiency. And it can be the result of biotin deficiency.
An experiment in 1996 through Osaka University Medical School in Japan found that rats who were made biotin-deficient for 6 weeks had a significantly higher plasma ammonia level than the control group of rats who were biotin-supplemented. ‘OTC gene expression in the liver of BD rats was 40% lower than in BS rats…These data suggest that biotin deficiency decreases OTC activity and the amount of OTC mRNA.” To clarify, BD=biotin deficiency, BS=biotin supplemented. So this shows a clear effect of decreased biotin on OTC enzymes, necessary for ammonia/urea metabolism. You may also soon see recommendations for pregnant women to eat more biotin-containing foods, because it extremely important for fetal development, recent research shows. But this is not widely known information yet.
In addition to rat studies, there is one human case study. I must highly commend the doctors in this case. They had a patient with ammonia levels that would not drop to normal using the typical treatment of arginine/lactulose/citrulline and low protein diet. This patient had many disorders, mental and physical. His ammonia level was 120mg (reference range of 12-47mg), and even after the treatment above, was still fluctuating between 120mg and 226mg. This is very dangerous because of the potential for brain swelling and death. A really smart & savvy doctor began treating him with 800mcg of biotin daily and the patient’s ammonia level fell to 69mg. Amazing. The patient had normal liver function tests, which means the hyperammonia was due to an OTC deficiency. Abnormal livers also have problems processing ammonia into urea and if this patient’s liver panels were abnormal, that would have been the likely diagnosis and not OTC deficiency. So, we now have a valid medical case proving that OTC deficiency can be corrected by biotin supplementation. All of the sudden ammonia levels decrease as a result of biotin. Is it truly a genetic disorder? Or is it an environmental disorder due to lack of biotin? If you would like to read the case study, it is “The Effect of Biotin on Human Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency Diagnosed in Late Adulthood” by Alan Scott Sacerdote, Gul Bahtiyar, Grazyna Kaluta, Judith Giunta, Taiga Inoue, George Ezeji, and Annpia Baby. It was presented March 7, 2015 at the Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego, California. Presentation Number SAT-476.
The fact that both vitamin A and biotin deficiencies can cause OTC enzyme deficiency leads me to believe that this “genetic disorder” is actually a “genetic adaptation” by humans who evolved eating much vitamin A and biotin in their diets.
And to further explain, it has already been proven by the American Chemical Society that any increase in protein in the diet necessitates an increase in vitamin A. This is because vitamin A is depleted from the liver by excess protein. Protein eaten in the diet can become retinol binding protein, which brings vitamin A from the liver to the tissues. The vitamin A that is taken from the liver must be repleted.
Liver contains the most concentrated amounts of both vitamin A and biotin. And it is so seldom eaten (if at all) on a high protein diet. But every culture that ate animals ate organ meats as well. And this may be the missing piece to prevent failure on an all meat diet.
I wish the doctors would have also tried giving their patient vitamin A, just in the interest of science to see if it would decrease the ammonia level.
I really do want to know why, what, how it is caused. What is the natural human diet.