Monday, March 15, 2010

*NSFW* Sunlight: Rama to the Max

The avatar (reborn spirit) for the Sun is 'Rama'; the Sanskrit root of Rama corresponds to 'light and fire'. I have always been a sun-baby even as kid and enjoy HEAT. My little sisters and I used to frolick for hours everyday after school in Pennsylvania where the backyards were wide and fenceless. *haa* My brain still connects those warm, nice, sun-drenched days... with baby bunnies and butterflies...

In Northern Cal, we've had on/off S*CKY rain for like 7 weeks which feels like CENTURIES... finally the SUN is out and my vitamin D serum levels among other things (mood) are soaring up again *haa*.

Thank you Sis and B-I-L for the iPod shuffle...

UR so awesome. Technology rocks.


My favorite sun songs...

1. Sunlight, Natalie Imbruglia (see below)
2. Here Comes the Sun, BEATLES
3. Summer Skin, Death Cab For Cutie
4. SummerLove, Justin Timberlake
5. Cafe Del Mar Adios Ayer, Jose Padillo
6. You Are My Sunshine, Angelina Jolie version Mr. & Mrs. Smith
7. Sunlight, Plain White T's
8. In the Sun, Joseph Arthur
9. Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity), Incubus (acoustic)
10. Welcome to My Sunny Day, AKON
11. Tik Tok 'fight until we see the sunlight...', Kesha
12. Into the Light, Rolling Stones
13. Rough Cut, Alex Wong & Amber/Paper Raincoat, RSVP here for a house concert in SF 3/28th 4pm. See you THERE and bring RED RED WINE and ur hawwwt evo *ss WINKY
14. Amber... Sun Studio Sessions, You Will Love This Song and Another Perfect Sunset


Jamie said...

Nice. Unfortunately we have the opposite problem here in little ol' New Zealand. Day by day now, the sun gods are preparing to leave us. At midday the sun sits at about 60 degrees now. Below 45 degrees and we lose all our UVB radiation and with it my beloved vitamin D.

Luckily though, I am wise enough to take 5 little rays of sunshine in a capsule every morning!

Dr. B G said...

BUMMER... I take the 10,000 IU of 'rays of sunshine' but unfortunately I'm the worse patient.

I do better with UVA + oral D3 in the winters... for some reason... seems more evo sound as well.

Cupcakes said...

I take Vit D supplements too, but nothing is comparable to basking or exercising in the sun. I don't think you get much Serotonin or Tan by eating D3 either, so the sun is definitely my drug or hormone of choice.


Kevin said...

Iris Dement "When Morning Comes Around" always plays in my head on pre-dawn runs and light becomes visible on the horizon.

Dr. B G said...


I used to really burn like a vampire in UV radiation. I don't anymore (just negligible amount compared to before)... No dermatologist figured it out.

Many drugs cause photosensitivity. FOODS DO TOO.

GRAIN TOXICITY. Paired w/vitamin D insufficiency.

Yeah, nothing beats real sunlight!


Dr. B G said...

Hey Kevin

Great song! I like John Denver too.


Jamie said...

I'm on 5'000IU over our summer but will up to 10'000 over winter. I note in the newsletter from the vitamin D council this week that at 2250IU per day, this only gives you approx 12 days of vitamin D storage.

Kennedy - definitely agree with you on vit D capsules not being a replacement for the real deal. Capsules can't replace blue light at 100000 lux. But from now until about Sep/Oct, we lose most of our UVB radiation, so, along with gettign outside on our cold sunny days here in Christchurch, I'll be upping my 'roid intake!

Dr B.G - I too used to get burned to a crisp, but barely get more than a bit of reddening if I stay outside all day. I have noticed this two summers in a row, and others supplementing vitamin D & fish oils notice the same. I found this paper a year or so back that might explain why (moreso now I am eating a nutrient-dense paleo diet):


I suspect the findings outlined in the low fat diets section is due to a reduction in n-6 PUFA rather than an effect due to total fat reduction.

Dr. B G said...


That is a COOL link.

Exactly -- where does n-3 and vitamin D reside (and carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamin D, Co Q10, etc)?

Fatty tisues
--pastured animal PHAT PHAT PHAT PHAT
--grubs catepillars worms
--brain, neural tissues
--organ meats
--shoreside seafood rich in cholesterol (lobster, shellfish, molluscs, fish, etc)

I'm glad to hear your skin isn't burning any longer!


Byron said...

Dr. B.G., great spring start with good music and hot ladies!
First sunshine and I awake from winter delirium and restart my energy on very very high which means I nearly overdrive in somekind of Hulkmania style...without turning green. It´s really strange how extremely different one can feel just because of sunshine.People are often frighten how a winter apathtic dead body turns into maniac. Wish the best.

Cupcakes said...

'Many drugs cause photosensitivity. FOODS DO TOO.'

If only I knew that earlier, I could have avoided days of needless pain. Now with an ultra-high Sat Fat diet-- I'm talking Maasai style-- that's all but stopped.

'I used to really burn like a vampire in UV radiation.'

Ha ha. And that is definitely saying something. I bet you get a really nice Tan now judging by your photos on an earlier post. Something I hopelessly envy.

Jamie- I hope the 'roids keep ya strong through your winter, lord knows I'm looking forward to the summer here.


Olga said...

Hi Dr. BG. Thanks again for all the great info. My question is about carbs. You mentioned previously that you eat about 50 g per day. What types of carbs do you eat, and are there any (other than sugar) that you try to avoid.

Kevin said...

If I'm careful about carb intake I tend not to get sunburned, even living at 8000ft altitude in the Wyoming desert.

Dr. B G said...




My weakness is 85% chocolate -- because I can't control myself. The sugars (though only 15-18 grams -- yea I eat the half WHOLE BAR) do affect me and then later I crave MORE...

My main carbs 20-50 grams/day are non-starchy veggies as salad or stirfried (in coconut oil or ghee) w/pork beef or chicken. We are trying to do more sweet potatoes and red/yellow potatoes.

RICE. We are Chinese so I still eat rice but I can't tolerate more than a few bites so it is really more of a 'condiment' at this time. When I make fried rice (mainly for the kids) I add lots of (hidden) chopped napa cabbage and diced veggies (carrots, zucchini, green onions) and lots of MEAT. It's really fried meat.

My sister made Mark Sisson's 'nola' w/ oats, almond butter, cinnamon and coconut oil. It is the BOMB but again the carbs from the oats are too much for me (plus I cannot control myself). Her almond butter brownies are excellent too. Yea yea yea candy-cigarettes... I really don't need it but boy after a big workout they're GOOD :)

If I start the day off no-carb (just eggs/ham) I have ABSOLUTELY NO CRAVINGS during the day. Cannot eat rice or oats (carbs) in the morning as my hunger will be uncontrollable... potatoes are not so bad as long as they are drenched in fat.

Does that help? What do you like and what works?


Fitnatic said...

Dr. B.G., hate to do this to you, but Lord Ram pronounced Raam(not rama) is avatar of God Vishnu, not Surya (Sun).
BTW, loved your post. I try and keep out of sun as much as possible because I get nasty case of freckles that now have merged together to form dark patches. NOT nice. :(

Dr. B G said...

Hey P!

Really?? I thought I knew my avatars... Vishnu (sun) has 10. Rama is the 7th. Yes, I hear ya -- age spots and freckles are the only negative for UV exposure. That's why I take antioxidants -- they do reduce age spots and freckles -- and use coconut oil (and sometimes aloe) as a UV protectant. Smells like summer too.

Pycnogenol is a good safe effective antioxidant (I like Trader Joe's and NOW brand). Helps collagen, scarring, blood vessels, redox and detoxifies as well.

Olga said...

Hi Dr. BG.

My diet is pretty much as you describe. Right on about the dark chocolate!!!
I do find however that if I go too low carb that I experience brain fog and low energy, which goes away when I eat carbs. I suspect this is due to serotonin levels which are too low. Is there a minimum amount of carbs which must be consumed to maintain adequate serotonin levels. Would it be best to carb up at bed time (say 20-30 g) and eat low/no carbs the rest of the day? Any advice would be great! Thanks again.

lightcan said...

Hi G,
I hear you're talking about chocolate...
I was a total sweet chocolate addict. I had to get my fix and use to hide it behind the books on my book shelves. Because the only time I had to myself was at night after everybody went to bed, I used to eat some then. No wonder I put on so much weight. Well, I transitioned to only very dark choc, only small amounts but had to have it every day. So I decided that for Lent I was going to give it up. So I did, which is great, but I'm really looking forward to eating some of the dark choc Easter egg and every time I go shopping I look for really good dark ones. Once an addict always an addict, isn't that right?
BTW, can you give your knowledgeable opinion on my recent lipid panel? Remember that my LDL was very high and I was asking you what to do?
TC 529
HDL 111
calc LDL 399
trig 95
HDL is high, which is great. It's good to be above normal ;)
Is the high LDL consistent with a low T3 of 0.8 (under the min 1.2)?
It's the same since at least last August when first measured although I didn't lose any weight for months during the winter.
TSH gone down a bit, good, 2.1 to 1.59 but ft4 gone down too 16 to 12.6. Who can make sense of this?
I'm taking a multi for the B vits and Zn for the liver and drinking some dandelion tea, plus extra Se, also Mg, vit c for constipation, vit D 5000, concentrated CLO 2.5 g/d, coq10, kelp, glucosamine, took pycnogenol for a month. (of course paleo, low carb and lazy)
I got an 'offer' (limited spaces) for cardiovascular and stroke screenings for 169 euros (!) Should I call them back? It means an ultrasound of the carotid, 4 limb ECG, ultrasound for AAA abdominal aortic aneurysm and PAD screening and a bone mineral density test if I want it. Are these tests needed if I have had high LDL for 18 months now, and a Lp(a) of 100, although admittedly I'm probably pattern A
What say you?

Dr. B G said...


If you are crashing on low carb, you are probably adrenally depleted. Google 'adrenal fatigue' or consider reading Dr. Rind's info and Dr. Wilson's book 'Adrenal Fatigue' which I getting through right now.

Reactive hypoglycemia and 'crashing' is a sign and symptom of poor adrenal function -- the adrenals produce 50 hormones and derivatives including preg the grandparent of all sex steroids and cortisol -- it is more of a master of metabolism than leptin and insulin.


'paleo low carb and lazy'

*HAA!* that's me too! :)

I found ur old labs... (I guess I am a hack *haa!* I didn't say *HAG!*)

Dec 2007 TC 6.4 rest N/A

30.09.08 TC 7.1 HDL 2.1 LDL 4.7 Trig 0.6

7.08.09 TC 11.0 HDL 2.1 LDL 8.6 Trig 0.7

12.10.09 TC 13.7 HDL 2.5 LDL 10.9 Trig 0.7

TC 529
calc LDL 399 (10.2 of course pattern 'A')
trig 95 (1.06-up mildly?)

So your thyroids off. You've had stress and 2 kids... but longevity in the genes. Don't worry about the Lp(a). Paleo, low carb, high sat fat will take care it. Lazy doesn't hurt...

I think ur adrenals are OFF too! We are so 'go go go' as a society it's a wonder we function at all -- that is our survival instincts. The B-vits, vitamin C and the wonderful things you are taking definitely help the adrenals and the thyroid glands. I don't know what you are missing. Sleep? Laughter? I should post more jokes *haa*. Watch some classic Seinfield in Ireland, do ya get it out there??!


Consider some of the below:
--magnesium (which ur doin)
--Thorne trace minerals -- zinc, chromium, selenium (which ur doing some), etc
--pantothenic acid 500 to 1000mg twice daily
--B6 50 to 100mg daily
--B-complex with P6P (Jarrow and Ultra Botanical are excellent)
--adaptogens (Gaia stress response is good)
--vitamin A 5000 IU
--vitamin K2 (LEF super K is good)
--ur doing D?
--tocopherols (NOW brand is good)
--Vitamin C for 'CRUCIAL' 1000 to 2000mg twice daily (long acting w/bioflavanoids if possible)

I started the above a few wks and feel like a MILLION EUROS now. (not devalued US$)

Call me lame but I hate taking too many pills... but the above do work as recommended by Drs. Lam, Rind and Wilson. They have some additional advice about eating complex carbs at each meal, 3-4x per day and some sea salt (which I think is good if you are dizzy at all -- whcih I have been the last 2-3 yrs once I passed out during yoga at home though I was mildly dehydrated).

No sugar -- I gave choco too. You are BRAVE for Lent.

Good chocolate is sometimes like a spectacular vacation with lots of SEX... what is worse later?!? The cravings or the withdrawal from vacation??! *ahaa ha* j/k...


Olga said...

Hi Dr. BG.

Thanks for your advice. Yes, I do have low adrenal function. I am trying to recover from an unnecessary hemi-thyroidectomy. I suspected adrenals so I had a salivary adrenal test which confirmed it. My senario is very similar to Lightcan's. I too am following Dr. Wilson's recommendations and taking most of the supplements you mentioned. I had not heard of the long acting C and will give it a try.

One thing I want to mention is vitamin A. As part of a healthy paleo diet, I was eating liver 1-2 times per month about 1 year ago. I started feeling unwell (insomnia, joing pain) which I attributed to the low thyroid function. But I found some information regaring vitamin A toxicity in people who have familial hyperchoesterolemia. We can't metabolize vit A as efficiently as people with normal vit A levels. Here is a link to hyperlipd where I posted a few papers:

The symptoms of vitamin A poisoning are similar to those of adrenal fatigue. Any suggestions for how to speed up vitamin A detox other than taking high does vit D and avoiding vit A foods (hard to do on a paleo diet)?

lightcan said...


did anybody tell you that you're great? (of course they did)
Thank you, sister, for giving me a helping hand.
I know, the trigs are up, I can't do much about it, pfft. I'll keep those supps in mind, hard to get them in that form as I would have to ask my hubby to order them, so I generally go with these crap/cheap multis that I find in the pharmacy over here, better something than nothing. You were saying that some people are poor methylators so good qual Bs are needed and yes all 8 Es too. Yes, I'm taking K2 too, maybe I need to up the doses as you say. And eat some more liver. Yum.
Monastyrsky says that after 1 g of buffered vit C first time in the morning you will empty your bowels in an hour if your body has enough of it. It doesn't do anything for me, so I'm either dehydrated or I need loads of vit C. Complicated. It must be the adrenals taking their share.

Well, I don't know which is worse, the choc or the exciting vacation. At least I can have the chocolate whereas I have only the fantasies left about the vacation. ;)

So you think I shouldn't bother with the stroke and PAD tests this year?

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

Dr. B G said...

Hey Olga,

Anyone can easily get vitamin A toxic consuming too much liver. I've done it myself OD'ing on liver pate (YUM). Couldn't drink alcohol for a day...

I should look up the quantity but liver contains A LOT OF VITAMIN A. I eat about 4-8oz every 1-2 mos and don't have problems. I've heard of problems when people consume every 1-2 wks... Perhaps it depends on K2 K1 and vitamin D status as well? NAC, glutathione and tocopherols?

I dunno.

I DID see your posts from Peter.

The three links specified a vitamin A irregular metabolism for:
--Type I (chylomicronemia)
--Type IV (hypertriglyceridemia)

They don't mention FHC.

Did I read incorrectly?

The anecdotes refer to the old Frederickson classification method. See p.177 table 1.

I was struck by our genetic uniqueness and the 'outliers'. I have 2 patients and my mother-in-law who SWEAR they cannot take cod liver oil because of the vit D or A or 'something' they all three complain that it induces breast tenderness and even leakage.

Vitamin A is a hormone and can affect sex hormone synthesis. THIS MAKES SENSE. Their eicosanoids, RXR/RAR and cortisol pathways are different. Oddly these individuals have high BP but low heart disease risk and longevity 70s-80s. One has high Trigs 500s (from Renga russian, she's Lativian) and 2 have normal Trigs < 100s. (A kidney/renin/aldosterone thing is going on w/their BP.)

Their LDLs are fine, not FHC, interestly.

Thanks for your comments as always!


Dr. B G said...


Grrl, u crack me up. 'what's worse...?'

My adrenals are getting better but not as fast as I'd like... Need a vacation... or CHOCOLATE *haaa*

Wilson says that chocolate cravings can indicate a Magnesium deficiency as chocolate apparently is a good source of Magnesium. Don't know about that but I'd rather take Mag!

I've been BANGING the vitamin C but no bowel changes. Maybe I am like you horrible deficient b/c I don't eat as many vegs as I should...

The methylation issue is best resolved with a SNP genetic test -- but those run $200 to 500.

Above can help to figure it out. Good luck! *haa* Perhaps the 'wrong' B-vitamins can hinder progress?

Maybe we're hitting perimenopause faster due to environmental changes? It's strangely odd to me that so many of us have adrenal, thyroid and multiple endocrine issues... though I am optimistic it is all recoverable in some degree of reasonable time (our lifetime?)...

*sigh* At least I find it comforting to commiserate w/y'll...


PS SORRY -- I guess those tests can provide some reassurances and help. They are reliable tests.

Olga said...

One more thing...
What is your take on exercise while recovering from adrenal fatigue. Being a working mom of two, the only think I have been able to fit into my day (other than biking with the kidies) is high intensity circuit training type videos. My favourites are The Firm series. These were great when I felt well, but they're a bit too intense for the time being. If I try it, it takes me a week to recover. What do you suggest. Is it a good idea to push if every few weeks, or not?

Unknown said...


Your Cholesterol history sounds like a classic example of some problems with the Thyroid resistance. Note, its quite like nothing wrong with your thyroid gland since your THS is OK.

See awriters comment at the Whole health Source Blog (too me it sounds exactly like the same problem with an outlayer LDL value)

Link here:

"awriter said...

supplement with oligofructose. My triglycerides are 42. My HDL is 97. My C-RP is .6, my calcium scan is zero, I am no longer insulin resistant nor obese. I am 25 pounds overweight, after having lost 65 pounds while eating HF/LC steadily over two years. Kept it all off for years, but couldn't lose another ounce after having major surgery three years ago. In fact a year after surgery I gained 10 inexplicable pounds with no change whatsoever in diet.

I eat a high fat, modest protein, low carb diet that contains no processed food of any kind. My ratio of O3 to O6 (of which I have very little) is great. I eat grass-fed meat only. I am the poster child for your theory -- except that I am extremely leptin resistant as shown by my blood tests.

Those tests also revealed that the LR had caused me to become thyroid hormone resistant as well (thus explaining the ten pound gain), by pooling T3 in my blood and blocking it from my cell receptors by raising my RT3 -- which also caused incredibly high, outlier cholesterol. I fixed the TR problem by taking Cytomel, which caused a 120 point drop in my TC and my LDL in six weeks.

Thus I believe your theories about the cause of this problem are interesting but incorrect. My own research has led me to believe that LR is caused by stress to the endoplasmic reticulum (which can be caused by surgery, for instance) and that "curing" it -- or becoming more leptin sensitive will NOT be done by diet change but by medication. With my Endo's support I am currently doing an Experiment of One to see if this is in fact the case on

and so far it it appears to be working."

Lightcan I urge you to sign up to the Yahoo group and read post number 1. I'm 100% convinced you can sort out your LDL issue by following a T3 supplementation protocoll for awhile.

Good Luck

Dr. B G said...


I owe you some info on detoxing vitamin A (sorry) -- Eades has posted on using xenical/alli to detox pesticides, bisphenol and other (fat-soluble) endocrine disruptors, at Protein Power blog.

I am currently reading Wilson's 'Adrenal Fatigue' and would love to hear what works for you! For exercise I've been doing more gentle stuff -- cut out Bikram (apparentenly the temperature extremes poop out the adrenals faster -- 90min of high heat NOT GOOD). I've actually cut back on Crossfit temporarily (and haven't had time). Just jogging 3-8miles, biking again, and lots of yoga (gym and at home).

The FIRM sounds great. I think if you better, then it is working. Exercise raises body temperatures, thyroid hormones, cortisol and adrenaline which are all good. Eating small frequent meals with protein, essential fats and some carbs are key too to avoid hypoglycemia (which taxes the adrenals to secrete cortisol for gluconeogenesis). Yeah -- no intermittent fasting right now.


Dr. B G said...

Donald Duck,

I appreciate your comments. Both thyroid and adrenal function are under appreciated hormone controllers of our lipids.


Dr. B G said...

Hi :)

Wo hen xiwan ni! Xing ni ga wo email...?

ramaramax (at) gmail (dot) com


lightcan said...

Thanks Donald Duck, I've heard about that as I read Stephan's posts too.(I keep asking the same question everywhere I go until I find the answer, sorry to the paleo world readers) These annoying GPs, they sent me to the biochemistry department instead of endocrinology that I wanted. I wasted 6 months already with useless musings about my LDL and diet instead of correcting my hormones.
I will try to get a slow release form of T3 to be taken three times a day if such thing exists over here.


I hear you about IF and cortisol. Maybe I should go back to 3 smaller meals a day instead of 2 bigger ones, although if I have high fat for breakfast I'm not hungry at lunch time. I eat at 10 a.m. and then at 6 p.m.

Neonomide said...

Hi G!

Just bumped into this brand new RCT on Vitamin D and muscle strength:

Ah, a succesful RCT, it's now official!

Have you btw access to this Cannell et al. article, which reviewed umpteen old studies on UVB/Vit D and sport performance ?

I'd love to see a post on the subject!

Dr. B G said...

Hi Neo!

I haven't seen that new article out yet! The vitamin D 2000 IU/d dose was woefully low and they concluded that did not achieve adequate blood levels in asian-indians (of course not). They used 60,000 IU in a month.

Yes I've perused Cannell's article -- it's great and I think it's in the post:


theactualist said...

We enjoy the morning sun on our balconey here in Washington DC. I bask in this morning sun for about 20 minutes each morning (weather permiting). I usually wear shorts and a T-shirt. Am I absorbing enough or even too much Vitamin D with my approach?

Dr. B G said...

hi theactualist!

It depends on the season, latitude of DC (which I believe is north of the 37the latitude which means for ~50% of the year negligible amounts of UVB the activating wavelength for D synthesis), and other ancestral factors and diet.

Wheat/gluten impairs certain CYP enzymes which activate vitamin D production in peripheral and skin tissues -- the USDA SAD diet is why and a big factor for the current vit D deficiency epidemic. Gluten is higher in wheat products due to genetic manipulations.

Skin color and genetics and ancestral migrations from the equator are key too. Sometimes age but I don't believe that is a big factor in context with the above.

hope that helps!

Neonomide said...

Hi Grace !

U said:

"If I start the day off no-carb (just eggs/ham) I have ABSOLUTELY NO CRAVINGS during the day. Cannot eat rice or oats (carbs) in the morning as my hunger will be uncontrollable... potatoes are not so bad as long as they are drenched in fat."

I read about a recent rat study that showed how fatty breakfast idn't impair rats' ability to change between ketone/glucose energy systems, could this in a sense be the case for humans as well ?