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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Eating Raw Liver Would Have
Saved My Great-Grandfather's Life

Three men won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that
eating lots of raw liver effectively treated Pernicious Anemia.

I am mildly anemic. I expect this particular occurrence of anemia is due to blood loss during my kidney removal surgery.

My most-recent blood test leads me to believe I need more Vitamin C, Iron, and Vitamin B12. Vitamin C increases the bioavailability of certain iron-containing compounds; looking into these suggests that one orange with each meal would be sufficient.

I emailed my relatives about this, and mentioned that the 1934 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared by George Hoyt Whipple, George Richards Minot and William Parry Murphy "for their discoveries concerning liver therapy in cases of anaemia."

It seems that eating large amounts of raw liver was an effective treatment for Pernicious Anemia. This was later found to be caused by the victims being unable to absorb Vitamin B12 in their food - Methylcobalamin - because they had a lack of something called Intrinsic Factor, a protein produced in the stomach that binds to Methylcobalamin in the small intestine.

The lining small intestine has receptors for Intrinsic Factor but not directly for B12.

My great grandfather, the father of my maternal grandfather Estel Rex Speelmon, died of Pernicious Anemia. Just eating lots of raw liver would have saved his life.

I've had a vague idea for an essay for a year or so, that will discuss the crucial importance of simple kinds of information: just knowing that eating liver treats pernicious anemia is all that was needed to save a great many lives.

Methylcobalamin is required for the production of red blood cells. The Cyanocobalamin that's labeled as "B12" in most vitamin pills and fortified foods isn't actually B12, rather the liver processes Cyanocobalamin with a small fraction being transformed into the Methyl kind.

I also mentioned to these relatives that I was going to eat a whole lot more red meat, because the only human-edible food that B12 is found in is blood. That led my second cousin to protest vigorously; Glenn advised me to adopt a Vegan Diet - but gradually - and to get my B12 from Vitamin Pills.

I was a vegan for six months. Most of that time I exercised vigorously every day. At the end of that I'd lost forty pounds, was in great physical shape, looked really good and had boundless energy.

Then I started eating meat, eggs and dairy again. The result is that I gained all that weight back and more, and when I start to sing on the street, after I put my Tip Jar on the ground, stand back up then walk a few steps away from it, I have to stop and breathe deeply for thirty seconds or so before I can start singing.

This because standing back up from putting something on the ground leaves me short of breath.

I'm determined to lose all that weight again, not at all for a better physical appearance but for my blood pressure, as well as to prevent heart attack, stroke or diabetes. Diabetics often die of heart attacks, they go blind or their feet rot off because their poor blood circulation leads excess blood sugar to cause open sources.

(My paternal grandmother's sister, my Aunt Violet, had Diabetes.)

I've not yet been prescribed blood pressure medicine but if it goes any higher I surely will. My pressure has been creeping gradually up the last year, with the highest I've seen it being 170 over 110. (It's generally not that high, but still too high.)

High blood pressure is called "The Silent Killer" because there are no noticeable symptoms until it's too late to save one's life: it will destroy your kidneys, one will need a transplant but I expect one wouldn't qualify for a new kidney until one's blood pressure is back down to normal. That would totally suck to try to get in shape while on Dialysis.

I've only got one kidney left. My surgeon advised me to take good care of it.

PS: "certain seizure medicines" prevent one's body from absorbing B12. Does the Trileptal (oxcarbazapine) that I take do so? No. How about the Depakote (valproate) that I took from 1994 through 2014? No as well.

(I was taking Depakote just for Bipolar Mania, however many anti-seizure (anti-epileptic) drugs are effective for mania as well. This leads to speculation that Mania is some form of seizure.)

And then I'm going to eat them all up.

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