Here are notes I’ve collected from my research. A lot of these are direct quotes and I did my best to include specific credit. This is a frequently built upon work-in-progress done mostly for fun and so is unstable and unpolished. “Peatarian” refers to biologist Ray Peat, Ph.D, whom I learn the most from.

General, Diet

Coffee should always be eaten with sugar and protein or it will cause hypoglycemia and release stress hormones.

When Ray was young and active, he ate up to 8000 calories a day. He claims to have drank 40 cups of coffee per day before discovering thyroid hormone supplementation. Peat recommends up to 5g of calcium per day, and says magnesium is very important to have before taking thyroid.

There should always be a balance in meals, with sugar, protein, and fat. Carbs and protein should be 2:1 or more, like 3:1, 4:1 or 5:1. Hypothyroid people should ingest 80-100g of protein per day.

Clonidine and cyproheptadine block stress hormones and treat addiction. Anticholinergics like cypro improve learned helplessness.

[Ray, what causes POTS and dysautonomia?]: “Toxins, trauma, virus, and hypothyroidism”

Red light, niacinamide, sugar, carbon dioxide (bag breathing) help the mitochondria. Stress, ketosis, famine, darkness, PUFA, melatonin and serotonin choke the mitochondria.

“Red light accelerates wound healing, and improves the quality of the scar, reducing the amount of fibrosis.” I use the Philips 415836 and the PLT PS30.


Water retention causes hypertension. Laxatives are needed to flush water from the cells. Minerals, niacinamide, and progesterone lower blood pressure. Caffeine initially raises it, then lowers it. Frequent urination is hypothyroidism and high adrenaline. You want to pee out no more than ⅓ of what you drink.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are not essential but are toxic and they taste bad so their marketers had to call them essential as an incentive for people to eat them.

Lack of carbs/glucose puts severe stress on the body, it goes catabolic and complete dissolves the thymus gland and breaks down liver, heart, brain and muscle tissue to get energy. Adrenaline is always high in caloric restriction. The supposed benefits of caloric restriction are largely due to the decrease of dietary fats.

Vit. E protects from bad effects of iron. Coffee taken with iron foods will decrease iron absorption.

Most of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) except aspirin (ASA) produce intestinal damage in rats. “Aspirin protects against several kinds of toxicity, including excitotoxicity (glutamate), dopamine toxicity, and oxidative free radical toxicity. Since its effects on the mitochondria are similar to those of thyroid (T3), using both of them might improve brain energy production more than just thyroid. Magnesium, niacinamide, and other nerve protective substances work together.”

Peat and Haidut like minocycline/tetracycline antibiotics. Fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin are the dangerous ones.

“In the hormonal environment dominated by estrogen, mild stresses such as exertion, or even restless sleep, allow toxins (and sometimes bacteria) from the intestine to enter the bloodstream, triggering a complex chain of events that create a systemic inflammatory state.” – Ray Peat

Stabilizing mast cells: theanine, aspirin, niacinamide

Niacinamide in high doses can kill fungus and parasites. Niacinamide changes the way cells respond to stimulus. “Niacinamide is a nutrient that inhibits the release of fatty acids, and it also activates phagocytic activity and lowers phosphate.” Precaution: Excess nicotinamide increases plasma serotonin and histamine levels.

Beneficial effects of topically applied nicotinamide in aging skin, such as improvement in barrier functions in atopic dry skin and decreased appearance of signs of facial photoaging (eg, skin texture changes and hyperpigmentation), have been noted.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s is hypothyroidism, low progesterone and high estrogen (and mercury according to Andy Cutler, Ph.D). Additionally, low brain temperature causes brain fog.

The simple approach [to demethylation] is just to increase levels of CO2 in the blood, from experience to somewhere around 7%-10%. With a high enough level of CO2 the body is known to regenerate tissue in its healthy state, and is essentially capable of living forever. DMSO does essentially the same thing as CO2, and it’s easier to apply, because it’s a liquid, but there is little we know about the safety of DMSO dosages. Yes, Down’s syndrome has been treated with DMSO and GABA. But for me it’s surprisingly easy to increase CO2 levels. Only two things are needed, a very clean, empty gut, and intentional slow breathing at the rate of about 4-5 breaths per minute.”

The effective way to infuse CO2 into the tissue is through the blood. And the effective way to increase CO2 in the blood is to inhale more CO2. You can do that with constant intentional slow breathing (4 to 5 breaths a minute), because the CO2 builds up in your lungs and you rebreathe it. It’s been done for thousands of years in the practice of pranayama. It works!”

Serotonin, its detriments, how to lower it: selected quotes from Ray Peat, PhD

Serotonin: Effects in disease, aging and inflammation

High serotonin causes avoidant and authoritarian traits, while those with high dopamine, low serotonin have anti-authoritarian novelty-seeking traits. Serotonin is high in hibernation, and Alzheimer’s can be seen as extreme hibernation, “eliminating all brain functions except those needed for simple survival.”

“The liver has several ways to detoxify endotoxin and serotonin, but these can fail as a result of poor nutrition and hypothyroidism. An excess of tryptophan in the diet, especially with deficiencies of other nutrients, can combine with inflammation to increase serotonin. Polyunsaturated fatty acids promote the absorption of tryptophan by the brain, and its conversion to serotonin. A “deficiency” of polyunsaturated fat decreases the expression of the enzyme that synthesizes serotonin.  Some fruits, including bananas, pineapples, and tomatoes, contain enough serotonin to produce physiological effects in susceptible people. Besides avoiding foods containing fermentable fibers and starches that resist quick digestion, eating fibrous foods that contain antibacterial chemicals, such as bamboo shoots or raw carrots, helps to reduce endotoxin and serotonin. Activated charcoal can absorb many toxins, including bacterial endotoxin, so it is likely to reduce serotonin absorption from the intestine. Since it can also bind or destroy vitamins, it should be used only intermittently.”

“The amino acid theanine, found in tea, has been reported to decrease the amount of serotonin in the brain, probably by decreasing its synthesis and increasing its degradation.”

“Progesterone, thyroid, and niacinamide (not nicotinic acid or inositol hexanicotinate) are other safe substances that help to reduce serotonin formation, and/or accelerate its elimination. (Niacinamide seems to increase serotonin uptake.)”

Tryptophan, serotonin, and aging

When an inflammatory disease (eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome) was noticed in people using tryptophan tablets (1989-90), there was an intense campaign to exonerate the tryptophan itself by blaming the reaction on an impurity in one company’s product. But the syndrome didn’t occur only in the people who used that company’s product, and similar changes can be produced by a high-tryptophan diet

There are people who advocate the use of tryptophan supplementation or other means to increase serotonin in the tissues [to treat] fibromyalgia syndrome, but the evidence increasingly suggests that excessive serotonin, interfering with muscle mitochondria, is a major factor in the development of that syndrome.

The fatigue produced by “over-training” is probably produced by a tryptophan and serotonin overload, resulting from catabolism of muscle proteins and stress-induced increases in serotonin. Muscle catabolism also releases a large amount of cysteine, and cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan suppress thyroid function. Stress also liberates free fatty acids from storage, and these fatty acids increase the uptake of tryptophan into the brain, increasing the formation of serotonin. Since serotonin increases ACTH and cortisol secretion, the catabolic state tends to be self-perpetuating. This process is probably a factor influencing the rate of aging, and contributing to the physiological peculiarities of aging and depression.

Malnutrition, and specifically protein deficiency, produces an inflammatory state that involves extreme serotonin dominance. Stress or malnutrition prenatally or in infancy leads to extreme serotonin dominance in adulthood. Other functions of tryptophan are reduced, as more of it is turned into serotonin. Decreasing tryptophan or decreasing serotonin improves learning and alertness, while increased serotonin impairs learning. In 1965, Hans Selye showed that the injection of serotonin caused muscular dystrophy. Subsequent studies suggest that serotonin excess is involved in both muscular and nervous dystrophy or degeneration.

On the tryptophan-poor diet, the amount of serotonin in the brain decreased. When brain serotonin decreases, the level of testosterone in male animals increases. More than 20 years ago, a chemical (p-chlorophenylalanine) that inhibits serotonin synthesis was found to tremendously increase libido.

In old age, the amount of serotonin in the brain increases. This undoubtedly is closely related to the relative inability to turn off cortisol production that is characteristic of old age

The metabolic rate (eating more without gaining extra weight) and ability to regulate body temperature are increased by early tryptophan deprivation. An excess of tryptophan early in life, stress, or malnutrition, activates the system for converting tryptophan into serotonin, and that tendency persists into adulthood, modifying pituitary function, and increasing the incidence of pituitary and other cancers.

Weight loss

I have heard from several people that they think I recommend drinking whole milk, which I don’t, because the amount of fat in whole milk is very likely to be fattening when a person is using it to get the needed protein and calcium. When a person wants to lose excess fat, limiting the diet to low fat milk, eggs, orange juice, and a daily carrot or two, will provide the essential nutrients without excess calories.”

“Per calorie, sugar is less fattening than starch, partly because it stimulates less insulin, and, when it’s used with a good diet, because it increases the activity of thyroid hormone. There are several convenient indicators of the metabolic rate–the daily temperature cycle and pulse rate (the temperature should rise after breakfast), the amount of water lost by evaporation, and the speed of relaxation of muscles (Achilles reflex relaxation).” (high metabolism promotes weight loss)

“The ratio of calcium to phosphate is very important; that’s why milk and cheese are so valuable for weight loss, or for preventing weight gain. For people who aren’t very active, low fat milk and cheese are better, because the extra fat calories aren’t needed.”

“People on a standard diet will typically burn 200 or 300 more calories per day when that amount of sugar is added to their diet; but if extra fat is added, too, some of the extra calories are likely to be deposited as fat. It’s important to watch the signs of changing heat production as the diet changes.”

“Yes, it’s best to lose it slowly. When I tried adding about a tablespoon of coconut oil once a day I lost about two pounds a week, for several weeks, without eating less.”

“Some muscle-building resistance exercise might help to increase the anabolic ratio, reducing the belly fat.”

“My recommendation (for weight loss) is to eat to increase the metabolic rate (usually temperature and heart rate), rather than any particular foods.”

“Yes, that’s why a resistant (antiseptic) fiber such as bamboo shoots or raw carrot helps with weight loss, it reduces endotoxin and the stress hormones, and lets the liver metabolize more effectively.”

“Aspirin is another thing that reduces the stress-related increase of free fatty acids, stimulating metabolism.”

Ray Peat Anecdotes


ray-pregRP: “When I was buying pregnenolone from the Syntex factory in Mexico, 1984-5, to test its safety I ate a kilogram of it during a year, 3000 to 4000 milligrams per day. I didn’t detect any side effects at all, except that my skin, that had been sagging over my eyes and on my neck, firmed up. I know a man in his sixties who is taking a teaspoonful every day, without any bad effects.”

“Dear Ray, Every so often ill have a day where I occasionally stutter, or mix up the starts of words. I notice when this is happening with my speech it also happens similarly when I write. A strong coffee seems to improve my ability to speak fast without fault. I just wondered if you had any thoughts about the reasons behind this. Thank you.”

Ray Peat said: “I think it probably has to do with the temperature of the brain, and the associated motor systems, when the intention runs into reflexes that are operating at a slower speed.”

When nutrition and thyroid function, light, atmospheric pressure, and other conditions are favorable, the autonomic transmitters (e.g., acetylcholine, histamine, serotonin, adrenalin) and pituitary hormones and other “signal substances” are kept within safe limits.”

The reality is more complex than the philosophy of the drugray-hat industry imagines, but the solutions of problems can be much simpler, if we think in terms of energetic support, rather than the over-concretized interventions of the pharmacologists. In hypothyroidism, it is common for there to be an excess of adrenalin/noradrenalin, serotonin, histamine, and some of the pituitary hormones. Correcting thyroid function can immediately correct many problems, but especially when the energy deficiency has caused anatomical adjustments (redistribution of blood vessels and mast cells, for example) it’s important to make the environment supportive in as many ways as possible.”

“Painters and musicians have sometimes said that they use alcohol or other drugs to help them find their “own way.- Moving against the tide of the culture is an adaptive effort, and they find some neurological support in drugs. They are right in struggling against the current of imbecile conformity to find some creative truth, but there are better ways to sustain our energy and adaptive capacity. In some cases, good food and social fairness are enough to enliven people so that drugs are not attractive,and in other cases a more specific biochemical/energetic approach is needed.”


“Bihari thinks naltrexone works by increasing endorphins, I think excess endorphins are often the problem, and the antagonist can sometimes be helpful. […] Naloxone and naltrexone have some effects that aren’t directly related to the endorphins, on estrogen and histamine.”

“I have seen good results from using naloxone for 3 or 4 days; naltrexone has similar effects. Doses of one milligram or less can sometimes be effective. […] Ginkgo is fairly safe.”

“[LDN treatment] I think it’s safe to take 5 or 10 mg of naltrexone daily for a few days, but I don’t think it should be used continuously; I have known people who had good results, repeating the short courses two or three times in a year.”

According to the Low Dose Naltrexone Homepage, which was created by former colleagues of the late Dr. Bihari, the best time to take LDN is between 9 pm and 3 am.

Toxicity of Stored PUFA – Functional Performance Systems (FPS).

“It’s the stored PUFA, released by stress or hunger, that slow metabolism. Niacinamide helps to lower free fatty acids, and good nutrition will allow the liver to slowly detoxify the PUFA, if it isn’t being flooded with large amounts of them. A small amount of coconut oil with each meal will increase the ability to oxidize fat, by momentarily stopping the antithyroid effect of the PUFA. Aspirin is another thing that reduces the stress-related increase of free fatty acids, stimulating metabolism. Taking a thyroid supplement is reasonable until the ratio of saturated fats to PUFA is about 2 to 1.””

“Since stored fats are usually mostly polyunsaturated, the thyroid gland will keep being suppressed as long as weight is being lost, since the PUFA are being released into the blood stream. If a person has enough cholesterol, thyroid, and vitamin A, and keeps estrogen low, progesterone supplements shouldn’t be needed, but since adipose tissue is a source of estrogen synthesis when there’s inflammation, stress, or low thyroid, the need for progesterone is likely to recur. Aspirin helps to inhibit estrogen synthesis.”

“People with a significant amount of fat in their body, who have in the past eaten foods containing vegetable oils, are likely to draw unsaturated fats out of storage, with toxic effects unless vitamin E, thyroid, and coconut oil are used protectively until tissue stores of unsaturated fats are depleted. Typically, body stores of fat take four years to completely reflect the change to a different type of dietary fat.”

“When we don’t eat for many hours, our glycogen stores decrease, and adrenaline secretion is increased, liberating more glucose as long as glycogen is available, but also liberating fatty acids from the fatty tissues. When the diet has chronically contained more polyunsaturated fats than can be oxidized immediately or detoxified by the liver, the fat stores will contain a disproportionate amount of them”

Nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, B12 (Dr. Peat’s April 1999 newsletter)

“Carbon monoxide, and other substances such as nitric oxide which also function as respiratory poisons, suppress energy production by the mitochondria, and this activates enzymes which cut DNA molecules, producing either DNA rearrangement, or apoptotic cell death.”
“This would include antiestrogen regimes, antiinflammatory and antihistamine factors (histamine interacts closely with nitric oxide and carbon monoxide), adequate nutrition, carbon dioxide, and specific anti-carbon monoxide therapies (such as light, alcohol, and possibly the minerals which convert porphyrin into compounds that inhibit the production of carbon monoxide), and methods to decrease nitric oxide formation and to restrain cortisol production, since these promote the formation of carbon monoxide. One of the most interesting approaches to inhibiting carbon monoxide production is to use vitamin B12, as hydroxocobalamin, as an antidote to nitric oxide, preventing the nitric oxide from stimulating the formation of heme oxygenase.
Wherever carbon monoxide mediates a biological malfunction, as in acquired immunodeficiency, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, vitamin B12 seems to have a place as a detoxicant.”


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