Ray Peat's ideas are unorthodox, thought provoking, and awesome. No matter what your criticism of him, he is doing his own thing, which I respect. Having said that, it doesn't mean that I didn't think some of his nutritional recommendations were completely batshit insane upon first glance.
Take Peat's stance on orange juice. He has mentioned that he drinks at least a quart of 100% orange juice a day, for the magnesium, potassium, and the vitamin C content. I could not even begin to grasp Peat's decision until I remembered a technique that Dr. Datis Kharrazian uses to "unwind" insulin resistance in his patients:
"I suggest fasting three to five days. A minimum of three days is required for best results. If you are feeling good and following my fasting rules, you may go longer than five days (one of my patients went as long as four weeks). During the fast, do not take any supplements, use hormone creams, or even popular skin creams, as many skin creams contain hidden estrogens that will hamper your results."
Dr. Kharrazian goes on to explain that the fast consists of maple syrup, water and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. He instructs his patients to sip the syrup drink every 15 minutes during waking hours. Dr. Kharrazian suggests that the fast calms the digestive tracts and decreases inflammation of his patients with Hashimoto's disease (gluten intolerance).
What's with the maple syrup you ask?
In an interview with Jimmy Moore, Dr. Kharrazian explains that having a constant flow of glucose is an important part of supporting the glucuronidation pathway, which needs to be in working order to inactivate "used up" estrogen in the liver and brain. The simple sugar boosts the patients glucuronic acid levels enabling them to clear out their "old" hormones.
I have an immense amount of respect for Dr. Kharrazian. If the first thing he does with his insulin-resistant patients is feed them sugar-water, then there is more to insulin resistance than I originally thought. In other words, if up-regulating glucuronic acid is the starting place in reversing insulin resistance for Dr. K's patients, then Ray Peat may not be so crazy after all.
Peat believes that estrogen, cortisol, and adrenaline, in unfavorable amounts, are the hormonal culprits behind bad health. Peat has numerous, highly referenced articles presenting evidence for his theories.
Peat's idea that simple sugars are benign and even beneficial is fascinating. It makes me wonder if those of us who do poorly on low-carb paleo diets have some kind of glucuronic acid deficiency.