A few comments on Genereaux’s Vit. A toxicity hypothesis, after reading the eBook linked above (looks like I mispelled his name throughout, sorry bout that):
“Poisoning for Profit” is overall very compelling and persuasive, though of course it also raises new questions and areas where, as they say in the mainstream, “more research is needed.”
His critique of the early Vit A studies claiming to prove the dangers of Vit A deficiency is excellent. However, one of his arguments, that it doesn’t even fit with common sense or observation – animal species would rapidly go extinct if 4 to 8 weeks of Vit A deficiency led to rapid vision deterioration and all sorts of organ failure – seems like it could be applied to his own contention of Vit A toxicity.
That is, Vit A being commonly found in many foods, it would be equally foolish for nature to evolve/design animals who are so sensitive to it – Vit A being also “fat soluble” and thus able to accumulate long term. Perhaps not as critical a design flaw, but something I wish he had commented on or explored in a little more depth.
Of course it’s a separate case when it comes to Vit A palmitate – a synthetic form – being added into the food supply (dairy and cereals) by government mandate. This form acts differently in the body, and animals would have no assumed fitness for it. But while he makes the distinction, he doesn’t really fully compare the toxicity of natural vs synthetic Vit A.
For instance, egg yolks are high in Vit A – is this natural food form really so dangerous to animals, or do the fats and minerals that come with it act protectively, or even in such a way that it’s beneficial (in reasonable amounts)?
It appears from his own case of curing his eczema by a strict elimination of all Vit A, that at least for some people – those who have accumulated too much, or become sensitive – any amount is too much. In addition, the synergistic effects between Vit A and vaccines, that he claims, may make natural Vit A a greater risk than it otherwise would be in nature undisturbed. But some explicit comment or discussion of this would help to clarify his views.
A second observation I have is that Geneaux only addresses the mainstream, official views on Vit A, and the “diseases of civilization,” or of the West. He easily destroys the comical explanations for the booming business in chronic disease, relative to less developed countries, or the West’s own history just scant decades before – that it’s “bad luck” for the individual, bad genetics, bad lifestyle choices and so on. But he omits completely any mention of the alternative health and nutrition communities, and their hypotheses, which are more credible.
Chief among them is the case against refined flour and sugar, advanced by the Weston A Price Foundation for many decades (and influential on other researchers I would say, such as Gary Taubes.) How does Geneaux’s Vit A Toxicity thesis relate to the views of other alternative nutritionists? Are they complementary in any way, or entirely opposed?
Of special interest is the fact that WPF, and like-minded researchers I’ve come across (eg Paul Jaminet, of Perfect Health Diet) seem to have “bought in” to the mainstream Vit A research, at least somewhat – while I doubt they approve of Vit A palmitate, they are BIG fans of natural source Vit A. Much of the alt nutrition community (on the paleo, low carb side at least) views beef liver as a “super food” due to its high Vit A content, plus minerals etc. (Though they may recommend limited quantities as a supplement only, due to admitted toxicity in high amounts.) How does Geneaux view all this – are they incompetent researchers, or affiliated fraudsters of the mainstream?
In support of WPF and others who claim benefits, there are arguments from nature – it is said that some predators preferentially eat organ meats, such as liver, and leave the muscle meat for carrion. Likewise, tribal hunter-gatherers are said to have especially prized the liver (I suppose they might know this from research on the few extant tribes during the 20th century.) So again, flipping Geneaux’s own argument about the unlikelihood of animals deficient in Vit A rapidly disintegrating, it seems nature would also not design animals who prized a toxic substance that accumulates in fat tissue.
A third issue raised in the book is the question of motive and intent – as usual, there appears to be a gray miasma of incompetence, happenstance, profit seeking, evil designs on the public, and a train that picks up speed and can’t be stopped or slowed at any cost. We are not consulted on the real facts of the matter (or at least what is known behind the scenes), we’re just passengers as the engineers shovel in more coal and the whistle blows, next stop the Gates of Hell…
Geneaux speculates on possible benevolent motives at various points along the way – a rather incredible idea, for instance, that the intro of Vit A palmitate may have been a response to a secret industrial accident of some kind, a misguided attempt to prevent millions of cancers – which, even if successful, would just lead to other issues, in the manner of squeezing a balloon and displacing the air elsewhere. However, Geneaux’s credulity to, eg, POW narratives and pictures, and official history of the Nazis and WWII, does not inspire great confidence in his ability to “read the tea leaves” of what goes on behind the curtain. For all his savvy and excellent ability to pick apart scientific papers, he has not had the scales entirely drop from his eyes, either by his own skepticism or at the promptings of a Mathis paper or two…!
Still, even in those areas he has some interesting views, and most especially his critique of medical science and research is stellar and a must read imo.