Last year I wrote that I had cured my keratosis pilaris, an annoying and unattractive skin condition. I thought it was because of different bathing habits. I was wrong. It came back really badly when I started an office job and I brainstormed possible causes:
- Less sunlight?
- Trace vegetable oil and gluten from eating out?
- Too hot showers
Unfortunately, when I tested each of these theories they didn't pan out. I tried sunbathing, not eating out, and cold showers. The keratosis remained.
When I learned I had a polymorphism that meant I that most of the Vitamin A in my favorite orange vegetables was not getting converted to retinol, I decided to try to get more retinol. Since synthetic retinol has been tied to some issues in studies, I got it mainly from liver and cod liver oil.
Within a few days my keratosis started clearing up and just in time for swim-suit season! I guess I wasn't getting enough retinol in my diet because I was eating fairly conventionally and eating more vegan meals when I didn't have access to grass-fed meat. By conventionally, I mean an ancestral diet that's just normal diet minus junk, but without the addition of things like offal. Think meals like a burger without the bun and a salad. I guess the lessons here are
- An "ancestral" diet that is just a normal diet minus gluten, sugar, and grains might not provide as many benefits as one that involves eating nose to tail
- Nutrient needs vary among people
- Animal sources of most nutrients are usually more usable