Our skin is the window to our state of health. Here’s how to heal skin conditions naturally, including psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, keratosis pilaris, acne, dandruff, skin tags and others! In my interview with Dr. Garrett Smith, ND we discuss each skin condition in detail, and how to heal them by working from the inside out: removing toxins and replenishing nutritional deficiencies.
Our skin might well be the window to what’s going on inside our bodies. And while it’s concerning that we might not be as healthy as we’d like… if we’re honest, our vanity kicks in, too.
Because people see our skin first. It just plain stinks to have sudden or ongoing issues with psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea, dandruff…
Some people struggle their whole lives with one or more skin conditions. While others look in the mirror one day and suddenly, don’t recognize the person on the other side.
“What happened? How did I get so old? My skin didn’t use to be so wrinkly, saggy, mottled, and dull. And what’s with all the brown spots? Do I have cancer?”
Is this just part of getting old… or is something wrong?
We’re going to talk about all that today, and hopefully come away with insights as to WHY it’s happening and what we can do about it.
I’m excited to welcome back Dr. Garrett Smith from NutritionDetective.com. He has joined me before to talk about hormone balancing, but today I have asked him to share about another significant yet often overlooked facet of our health: the well-being of our skin, and how to heal skin conditions naturally.
Dr. Smith is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor in Arizona. He has a Bachelor of Science in Physiology with a minor in Nutrition. He spent 12 years as a strength and conditioning specialist. Yet, when he realized that nutrition was inseparable with fitness, he got into the medical field. His approach is unique because he takes a look at a person’s individual vitamin and mineral metabolisms. He helps his patients remove toxins and improve nutritional deficiencies to help them heal from the simplest to most debilitating of issues.
In this interview, we’re going to look at how addressing our toxin and nutritional status can heal our skin. If you or someone you know struggles with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, keratosis pilaris, and others then please listen to — or read or watch — this podcast interview with Dr. Garrett Smith from NutritionDetective.com to learn how to heal skin conditions naturally.
In this article:
- how to support your liver to heal skin conditions naturally
- how each skin condition is linked to certain toxins and deficiencies
- why Vitamin A is not a vitamin, and how it affects skin
- dangers of Accutane and retinol skin products
- and much more!
Please set aside distractions and watch or listen to the video below. Or, if you prefer to read, the complete transcript plus my summary notes are below!
Wardee: Hey everyone. I'm Wardee from Traditional Cooking School and wardee.com, and I'm joined today by Dr. Smith. Hi, Dr. Smith.
Garrett Smith: Hello. Thanks for having me.
Wardee: Thanks for joining me again. I'm so glad you could make it. I want to give a quick update of what we're doing today? Dr. Smith has joined me before, but in case this is your first time hearing from him, he is a naturopathic doctor in Arizona. He has a refreshing approach to healing and nutrition and healing. He's actually a detective and he goes by the name Nutrition Detective Online and that really suits what he's doing because he does have foundational approaches, but he's really trying to see what is going on in an individual person's body to help them heal from various issues. His foundational approach is addressing toxins ... removing toxins and addressing nutritional deficiencies and he's really had marvelous success, helping people heal from the simplest to the most debilitating of issues.
Wardee: I have interviewed Dr. Smith before on the topic of balancing hormones naturally. That link will be included with this video if you want to go there. Let's talk a little bit about what today's topic is. It is the skin and the skin is the first thing people see. You might say it's the window to what's going on inside our bodies. Our skin really expresses our health, our state of health. So while we might be concerned about that, which I think we are, I think we also just hate it when our skin looks bad for color, vanity or whatever, we just really dislike it. We might have chronic issues throughout our lives, eczema, psoriasis, acne and then, some of us, later on in life might look in the mirror one day and say, "Oh my goodness, what is going on? Just all of a sudden I look so old. Where did these wrinkles come from? Why do I have brown spots? Is this cancer?"
Wardee: It can be very concerning, so we're going to talk about a lot of those things today. Why it might be happening. Some insights into that, and hopefully, get some encouragement from Dr. Smith as to what to do about it. So I'm excited to learn today because I really ... I might have a little bit of an idea of where we're going, but I really don't know what Dr. Smith is going to say, so it's going to be good. Okay, so Dr. Smith, would you add anything about your background before we dive in to the topic?
Garrett Smith: Well, I mean, I've been in practice since about 2006 and I've gone through ... as a lot of people out there have done for their own health, I went through various phases of learning and thinking that almost every alternative doctor or whatever, gets into the idea of like, "This causes everything." They go through a candida phase or they go through a heavy metal phase, or they go through a carbs cause all disease phase and so then, all carbs are bad or they go through all these different phases. I've been through most of the major ones enough to put them all together, and with what I've been doing now, kind of linking them all together to the liver's health and the bile, I have ... In terms of skin stuff, I had psoriasis on my knuckles. I had several bouts with skin fungus including tinea versicolor and dandruff, and athlete's foot.
Garrett Smith: So I did have a tendency towards skin issues myself and I've been able to get rid of all of them now, and as I was doing more of what I'm doing now, a lot of people I know deal with dry skin, and I actually got to the point where commonly, I feel like my skin is internally moisturized. It's really strange and I'm not bragging. It's something that surprises me over and over again, where I'm like rubbing my forehead and I'm like, "I think skin people would really love to feel my skin and just go ..." They would be like, "You don't use anything on it." And I'd be like, "No, I don't. I don't do that." So one of the things ... before we start, I'll just go on this real topically, but we'll probably get into it a lot more later. So people will say in naturopathic medicine or another holistic health, that your skin reflects the health of your gut.
Garrett Smith: Because when you think about it, your intestines open up into your ... you could look at it going top to bottom or either, right? So your mouth goes down into your stomach. Well, this flips over at your skin, so it's a continuous ... do you ever see one of those-
Garrett Smith: Those squiggly, the jello things where they have the middle and you can just pull them and they keep rotating around? So that's like what we are. We're like a tube inside of ... we got our outside and we got the inside tube and we're just like a continuous tube. So it makes sense that the skin on our inside can reflect the skin on the outside, but then, if we start going, well, why do skin things flare up and how did our gut change? What made our gut change? What made our skin change? If this is true, and in naturopathic and in other alternative medicines, they'll say all your health ... or when in doubt, treat the gut. That's what they'll say. "When in doubt, treat the gut."
Garrett Smith: Okay, well what are they treating? What is wrong down there? What are the root causes of what they're saying is wrong down there? So if they say to treat the gut, just treat the skin, what are they treating as? We'll get into this stuff. It's the toxic bile that is really affecting the gut, and if that penetrates into your bloodstream, then it tends to come out of your skin. So we'll get into those theories a little deeper as we go, but yeah, it's all ... I've fixed my own skin issues. We have skin issues, get helped all the time. I don't know if you had any personally, but yeah, there's nutrients that are involved, there's toxicities that are involved and we just kind of work on all of them at the same time, so yeah.
Wardee: That was a great teaser. I'm so glad you brought that up about the inner skin and the outer skin and yeah, I can just picture that balloon thing filled with gel. It just keeps going. I think that's such a great analogy, so you've teased that really well. So let's dive in now to ... I don't know if you want to break these up at all, but I was thinking about skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne, cancer even. Then, I was thinking about sort of vanity things we'd be concerned about, sunspots, age spots, skin tags, wrinkles. Would you break those up or would you put that all together when you're talking about why?
Garrett Smith: Well, I would tend ... I mean, I could talk about them all in a general sense and then, for certain ones of them, we can break them down into individual things.
Wardee: Let's do that.
Garrett Smith: Okay, so let's do the general sense first. So, okay, my whole paradigm shifting approach to medicine was inspired by Grant Genereux and Anthony Mawson. One of the things that Anthony Mawson in his 34 papers, where he's been connecting all sorts of diseases to basically cholestasis or toxic bile from your liver, leaking into your blood. So normally, what's normally supposed to happen? We are not supposed to have bile in our blood. For those of you who understand bile, so what is bile? Some of you may ... what is bile? Your liver, it's your detox organ. Hopefully, you know enough about health that you know that your liver is your primary detox organ. I don't have time to go back that far, but anyway, so the liver is a primary detox organ.
Garrett Smith: If you think of it as, it's both a storage site, because your liver ... if you don't think the liver stores things because of what other people in the health world have told you, go on the internet and go on PubMed, pubmed.gov and use the word accumulate. Don't use the word store, use accumulate. I mean, if you have a storage room for your stuff, why do you have a storage room? Because you've accumulated too much stuff. So the liver does store thing. In the research, you look up the word accumulate or content and you'll see that the liver and the kidneys hold all sorts of stuff. Liver is a storage site. It's also a ... I call it a sewage processing plant.
Garrett Smith: So sewage processing plants, we send our waste there so it can process it and make it into hopefully something that's smaller and denser and easier to throw away, rather than just throwing all that water back out. That nasty, dirty water back out in the environment. It also ... you're breaking it down into stuff that is easier to dispose of. It may be more toxic, it may be more concentrated toxicity, but you can get rid of it easier. So there's that and then, there's the ... it is a filter. People will say that liver is not a filter, but when you think of a filter, like if you think of a water filter at your house, you run things through it ... and a filter by definition is something that takes stuff out of something else. So if you have a water filter, it's taking toxins out of your water, that's a filter, that's by definition.
Garrett Smith: So your liver is a filter. It takes things out of your blood. It runs them through the sewage processing plant. Some of those things get stored and then, what happens with the rest of it? It's put into the bile. The bile is your ... The easiest way I think, to have to think of it is the bile is your liver's poop. Your liver has to poop out, it's a sewage processing plant. It doesn't magically make everything disappear. It has to get rid of the toxic concentrate. This is your bile. So a lot of people out on the internet, a lot of people in the alternative world love to talk about bile as it's a wonderful, wonderful thing and you need it to digest your fats and absorb nutrients and all this stuff.
Garrett Smith: I'm kind of going, that's also where we get rid of a lot of our toxicity. So what can happen, if you look up the words liver injury or cholestasis, which these are the technical terms in the research, basically, what you get down to when you have those things is you are leaking that toxic bile, however you got to this place, whether it's medications or I call them pokeys. Those things they give us to boost our immune system. It could be those, it could be exposures to toxins, whether it's toxic metals, whether it's plasticizers, whether it's pesticides, whether it's whatever, and certain supplements can cause liver damage and all sorts of stuff.
Garrett Smith: So anyway, you start leaking this bile into your bloodstream. Now, it's in your bloodstream, this is the most toxic fluid by definition your body makes. By definition, bile is the most toxic thing in your body. If this leaks into your blood, it can go everywhere, anywhere. Your brain, your heart, your muscles, your bones, your reproductive organs, your skin. So the bile goes into the blood. What can then now deal with this toxic bile floating around your blood, which contains all these things? It goes to your kidneys first because your kidneys are working on ... they also filter the blood. They try to get rid of it. What if your liver can't get rid of it fast enough and your kidneys can't get rid of it fast enough? People love to talk about how the skin is your largest detox organ.
Garrett Smith: This may be true. Okay, do you want things coming out of your skin? Well, here's the difference between your liver to your bile, to your poop, which is how you are supposed to get rid of it primarily, or the blood to your kidneys to pee, and so you get rid of it that way. Well, when you poop, you get to leave that toxicity behind, you walk away from it, right? It's gone. It's not touching your body anymore. That's what I'm getting at. It's not touching your body anymore. Your pee, you leave that behind too. You got to walk away from that. It's out of you. It's gone. Let's say you were pushing out a toxin or multiple toxins in your sweat or in your sebum, in your skin oils. When it comes out of your skin, where does it go? It goes nowhere. It just sits there.
Garrett Smith: So let's say these toxic things are coming out through your skin and they're irritating your skin on the way out and then, they just sit there on the tissues, potentially getting reabsorbed and damaging the skin until they're gone. People who have had acne, they've heard about, you need to wash your face like multiple times a day, right? How would that help, unless you are washing away something toxic from the top of your skin that is then helping you not to have a reaction there. So one of the ideas that I work on in terms of skin problems ... and then so toxic bile, if they say that the health of your gut is reflected in the health of your skin, well, if you have toxic bile coating your guts, and then, you have that toxic bile actually eating through your guts and your bile ducts and your liver and getting into your bloodstream, and then it comes out through your skin, then we have a connection between the two.
Garrett Smith: So this is how when your diet gets bad, your skin could get bad because your bile gets more toxic and you have more toxins coming up through your skin. So we have a connection now between these things and that is what I work on. That is the drive behind my approaches, and we see skin conditions improve and go away all the time. People might ask, "Well what do you do for acne Doc Smith? What do you do for rosacea? What do you do for this? What do you do for this?" Well, this guy has a protocol and he says to use this herb and this guy has this, and he says, "Don't do this." What do you do? I don't have protocols for any particular condition. We work on the things you mentioned earlier.
Garrett Smith: We work on not putting toxins in. We work on helping the body to get rid of stored toxins and we give the body the nutrients, especially, minerals that it needs to both protect itself from these poisons that are in it and to help the body to get rid of it. So there is no protocol. Now, what do I do that individualizes things is I look at hair and blood tests to give people what I think are good starting doses. Then over time, as we do ... my office hours, my follow up, that's included in these packages and then also retesting, then we adjust people up and down to get them what they need. So the overall approach is generally the same, but the fine tuning is in the dosing.
Garrett Smith: If I had somebody who told me they absolutely couldn't take something because it always caused them a problem, then they don't take it. We don't force it. I mean, somebody shouldn't be getting worse, if we're giving them what they need. So that's kind of the basic idea of it.
Wardee: So would you mind clear-
Garrett Smith: So if you want to hit on individual things, we could go into that.
Wardee: Yes, I do, but first, I would like you to clarify on the pathway of the bile.
Garrett Smith: Yes. Okay.
Wardee: It gets to the blood and gets to the skin, that's not where it's supposed to be. So could you just address how that happens?
Garrett Smith: Yes. Okay.
Garrett Smith: So let me back up to the normal bile ... I call it the bile pathway. So the normal bile pathway, the liver cells make the bile, they produce the bile, and they're also taking stored toxins and vitamin A, which I think is a toxin in its ... we can get into that later. Vitamin A, copper, manganese, lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic. It takes all these plasticizers, BPA, pesticides, puts them into the bile. That bile then inside the liver, so if you're familiar with the blood vessels, there's like capillaries, they're the tiniest blood vessels out at the ends of your fingers, your toes, your skin. Okay, so you have capillary sized, bile ducts inside your liver. So there's little teeny ... the teeniest, tiniest bile ducts that go from the cell, makes the bile.
Garrett Smith: It goes into the teeniest, tiniest bile ducts, and these are still inside the liver. Those all come together into bigger and bigger bile ducts, kind of bigger and bigger blood vessels, like up to your aorta, the biggest one. Then those are called ... there's the common bile duct, which part of that breaks off and goes to your gallbladder. So then we have the bile ducts that are outside of the liver. So the liver makes the bile, goes into the little teeniest, tiniest bile ducts. Then it goes into the biggest bile ducts, the common bile duct and then, other places. Okay, then that feeds into your small intestine. Then, normally, with a normal standard American diet, which is not good.
Garrett Smith: A standard American diet in the research, as the bile goes along your intestines, 95% of it is reabsorbed into a very special blood system for your intestines that goes ... it's like your security system. That blood from your intestines, it was going to absorb food, it's also absorbing toxic bile and other toxins. It goes right into what's called the portal venous system or the portal vein, which is a big vein that goes right to your liver. Think of it as like ... it's like the security checkpoint at the airport. They're going to make everybody go through this one point. They're going to make all the stuff you absorb in your guts go through the liver first, before I can go into the system. Okay?
Garrett Smith: So that is what's called ... so 95% of it is reabsorbed, 5% of that bile, that toxic bile actually gets pooped out in a day. So 95% of it goes right back to your liver and only 5% of it is pooped out. So now just imagine if ... let's say if that's your best way of getting rid of toxic bile, of toxicity, what if you don't eat things that grab onto the bile? What if you ate more things that grabbed onto the bile and helped you poop more of them out? What if you don't eat things that grab onto the bile? So even when you poop them out, you're pooping out even less than 5% and most of it is going back to your liver or what if you're just taking in more toxins than you get rid of?
Garrett Smith: Then, just the math of it, you're slowly accumulating toxicity. I love the Dave Ramsey, it's just math. Really, if you put in more toxins than you can get rid of, it's just math, you're getting more toxic day to day. So that's the normal bile pathway. In the research though, if you look up liver injury or cholestasis or cholestatic, those are keywords, what these words mean is that there's an injury to the liver and things are leaking. They're going places they're not supposed to be. So there's one thing called intrahepatic cholestasis, which is cholestasis or bile leakage inside of the liver. So in the liver cells or in the teeniest, tiniest bile ducts, those can start leaking.
Garrett Smith: There's interesting things that you can look up in the literature called vanishing bile duct syndrome. Many medications can cause vanishing bile duct syndrome, which means the bile ducts just disappear. What do you think would happen if, let's say the pipe that went to your toilet suddenly disappeared and it was now ... instead of being a pipe, it's now a wall. What do you think would happen when you try to flush your toilet, right? Back pressure. You have poopy water all over your floor. Dirty water that you don't want there that's doing bad things. It's going to start growing mold, it's going to start causing disease, it's going to start doing all these things.
Garrett Smith: So when you think of bile flowing the wrong direction, if you think of a toilet backing up and putting bad things into places you don't want it, that's that. So that's intrahepatic cholestasis. It means intra is inside, hepatic is liver, cholestasis is bile ... basically the way to think of cholestasis, it's bile going where it's not supposed to go. So that's one, that's the big one. Then, we have extrahepatic cholestasis, which is where in the common bile ducts, in the big bile ducts or leaky gut, many people out there have heard about leaky gut and they'll say all diseases caused by leaky gut and you go ... so that they say things are leaking from the gut into the bloodstream, things that aren't supposed to be in the bloodstream. Does this sound familiar now?
Garrett Smith: Well, that's extrahepatic cholestasis. Also, extra hepatic cholestasis, if you have any kind of GERD or nausea or heartburn, reflux, that's actually ... the reason why modern medicine has gotten nowhere with acid reflux is because it's actually a bile problem. It's bile coming backwards up into your stomach and that's why they don't get anywhere with ... that's why they never fix it because they're treating stomach acid when it's actually bile acids coming into your stomach, which is even more confusing because bile as a whole is alkaline. So you got a whole ... it's a whole nother problem. They call it bile acids, but actually the whole of bile is alkaline. So, okay, that's extrahepatic cholestasis.
Garrett Smith: That's bile leakage or bile going the wrong way outside of the liver. So as an example, let me go over, how could leaky gut happen from toxic bile, because that's a big topic out there today, right? If we're talking about the gut reflecting the skin, retinoic acid, vitamin A. We're going to talk about retinoic acid later. I saw that in the questions. So retinoic acid is something that when you consume any vitamin A, whether it's carotenoids from plants like beta carotene in carrots or your sweet potatoes or whatever, or you're eating egg yolks, yellow or liver or dairy. Dairy is high and vitamin A, whether it's because of the cows eating grass or whether it's because of them, feeding the cows vitamin A or alfalfa or whatever they're feeding.
Garrett Smith: So all vitamin A eventually as it goes through the detox systems of your body ends up as retinoic acids. One of the things that they do for ... especially ladies, ladies are going to be the ones who get more chemical peels, right? We're talking about skin today, but I mean anybody can get a chemical peel in their face, but they have one called a yellow peel. They'll notice the color yellow come up a lot in the stuff I talk about. They have a yellow peel. It is what's called all trans retinoic acid. What it does ... in the literature, they've said, we use all trans retinoic acid or retinoic acids to induce a controlled wound on the face, a controlled wound of your face skin.
Garrett Smith: They're saying, "We know if we give just this amount, it will only melt so many layers of skin." So then, imagine if one of the ways your body gets rid of vitamin A, which I'm telling you is a toxin, is to put that vitamin A into your bile, your body detoxes vitamin A into retinoic acids. You now just released a bunch of liquid that contains yellow peel that is used to induce controlled wounds on the skin. It now coats all of your intestines. Do you think if it can melt your face skin, that it can cause your guts to get leaky, especially when they're not controlling the amount. So that's just one method of how vitamin A in the diet can ... vitamin A causes cholestasis in the liver.
Garrett Smith: We got the research to show this and then, vitamin A, when it turns into retinoic acid, it can actually melt your top layers of skin cells, which would then allow bile to leak past into your bloodstream and then, cause all the problems of toxic bile flowing everywhere. So that's kind of a little deeper into the toxic bile theory of disease. I haven't come up with a good name for it yet, that's as good as I got right now. So anyway, that's the basics of that, that we do.
Wardee: That's good. I think that's very important just to understand the normal bile flow and the bile flow that causes this problems and how it can happen. So I'm really glad you went into that. Now, let's tackle the individual skin conditions or skin issues. I'll let you pick based on your knowledge, what you think you want to address first and you can lump them together if you want to, if you think they're related or-
Garrett Smith: Let me look. I'll look at the ... So what I do with my clients when I work with people is I go over their biggest concerns, which if somebody comes into me and they say their labs are off in a certain way and they're saying, I have this ... I have insomnia, I want to do things that will help ... I don't care about their labs. If their labs can help me help their insomnia, that's great, but I care more about helping their insomnia first, because that's what's bothering them. So when people have skin issues and they tell me about it, what I do in my consultations is I tell them, here's the things you need to concentrate on the most. So what I can do is I'll kind of go over general things for skin that I focus on.
Garrett Smith: Then, we can go over ... if there are specific things for any particular condition, then I'll mention those. So I'm looking here at psoriasis. So I had psoriasis, right? I mentioned that. It's so nice not to have it. I still kind of look at my knuckles and I go, "Oh, it's still gone, good." Mine wasn't that bad. I know other people suffer with it hundreds of times more than I do or did. Any skin condition, I will tell people, any skin condition, generally there's going to be some amount of vitamin A toxicity in the system, so we work on that. In terms of nutrients, the big one that I focus on is zinc, and I almost always find zinc deficiencies in people when they have skin conditions.
Garrett Smith: So what I always tell people is if you got skin conditions, we need to look at zinc. So I had success with ... these are things that if somebody said, "Well, how do you know that that's the thing that does it?" I can't say that ... as you know, Wardee, we use so many different little approaches combining to make a big approach that if something goes away for you, you don't know what did it generally, because we've got so many things going on, but we also try to turn it into variables that one variable at a time, people are kind of trying to change ... as much as you can in real life, we're trying to change one variable at a time.
Garrett Smith: So sometimes people can say, "I did this and it got better." So sometimes they can say that. Anyway, eczema, so let me just bring up eczema. Grant Genereux, the guy I learned about vitamin A toxicity from, he has three free books at his blog, ggenereux.blog. I'm sure we'll spell it out for you or Wardee you'll have it all typed out because his last name is kind of hard to spell if you don't know how to spell it. Anyway, so he had three things when he figured out that vitamin A was a problem and he started avoiding it. He had really, really bad eczema. He had jaundice, he was completely yellow and he had chronic kidney disease where they were about to the point of putting him on dialysis and through his particular diet, this is what he did.
Garrett Smith: This is not what I recommend for everybody, but this is what he did. He did a beef or bison and black beans and either brown or white rice, so that was the extent of the variety in his diet. It's a very low vitamin A diet. It's actually a relatively low copper diet. He got rid of all three of those conditions, over time. So in terms of what made the eczema go away, well, he was definitely on a low vitamin A diet and that was probably the big cause. Rosacea, I'm looking at that here, when I first started doing the low vitamin A diet, very quickly, I got a testimonial of rosacea going away. So in terms of ... I think that's probably it. Just so any of you guys know, vitamin A science is so terrible that they look at the blood.
Garrett Smith: They look at blood vitamin A, which has next to nothing to do with how much vitamin A you have stored in your liver. This would be like saying ... so people will say, "Well why not," and I'd say, "Well, does the amount of money you carry in your wallet at any one time directly correlate to how much money you have in your savings account?" And people will say, "Well no, those two have nothing to do with each other." I go, see, right? See, the storage has nothing to do with what is free floating through your body. When you look at studies ... well, let's just hit on rosacea and while we're at it, we'll hit on what's called KP, keratosis pilaris, which also a lot of people know as the chicken skin.
Garrett Smith: The little red bumpy things you get on the back of your arms, typically. I used to have those too. When people go and they look at the research, they'll say, "Well, KP, keratosis pilaris, there's multiple studies that show that it's associated with low vitamin A in the blood. I go, "Okay, well, we have person upon person upon person upon person who has gotten rid of their KP by avoiding vitamin A." So is it really a deficiency condition or is it maybe a toxicity condition in their liver and you just don't see it in the blood? Now, some people out there ... there's a very weird thing with these toxins. Sometimes people will take some vitamin A or some cod liver oil and they'll see cod liver oil is high in vitamin A.
Garrett Smith: They'll see their condition improved for a couple weeks, maybe a month or two. They think, "Oh, I'm fixing my deficiency and it's all going to be gone for good." Then, the problem comes back and it's worse.
Garrett Smith: Then, they have to take more of the vitamin A or cod liver oil, to make it go away again, and it doesn't go away quite as much and it doesn't stay gone for as long. Then, they triple down, so they're already doubled down and they triple down and they take more and then all of a sudden, it doesn't work anymore. Now, they're wondering, well, I should have fixed my vitamin A deficiency by now, why is it back and why is it worse? You can use toxins to suppress symptoms. This is the whole basis of conventional modern medicine is using toxins to stop a process in the body that slowly festers and worsens underneath it until all of a sudden you get to the point where you're on one medication, two medications, three medications, four medications.
Garrett Smith: You're taking medications for side effects. Well, you can do the same thing with poisons, natural poisons. So this is the effect that people get with their KP when they take high vitamin A things. They're suppressing a process in their body which works for a little while until it stops working and then, they're left even more toxic, and the thing they used to use that seemed like it worked doesn't work anymore. Now we go ... so you've mentioned here acne. Acne is absolutely ... there's absolutely copper toxicity involved in acne. There's both vitamin A toxicity and copper toxicity. This is why the old ... if you want to call it a wives tale or an urban legend of chocolate being associated with acne, chocolate is extremely high in copper.
Garrett Smith: I can tell you if you're out there watching this and you have a chocolate addiction or you feel like you're just totally hooked on chocolate, you're absolutely copper toxic. Well, people say, "Well, why would I be addicted if I ... how do I have copper toxicity if I'm addicted?" Remember, people don't get addicted to healthy things. People get addicted to unhealthy things. So if you have an unhealthy attachment to chocolate, you're addicted to something in it. Well, that can be copper. I've got papers showing that people can become addicted to vitamin A and carrots and stuff like that. So it's actually as strong ... Some people have said it's as strong an addiction as tobacco like smoking is. This is in the literature, this is in scientific literature.
Garrett Smith: So yeah, so acne is always ... there's always a zinc deficiency with acne. That doesn't mean ... let me ring that back. That doesn't mean you go and you take high dose zinc to get rid of your acne. It might help, but can you get zinc toxicity? Sure, you can overdo anything. I take zinc very seriously, that's why I test it in both hair and blood. I don't mess around with zinc and copper. I test both of them in hair and blood. So anyway, acne has always got vitamin A toxicity. There's usually copper toxicity. If you were to look at the list of things that people will say flares up acne, I could look at that list and I'd say it's either high vitamin A or it's high copper, guaranteed.
Garrett Smith: So then we go ... Sorry, go ahead.
Wardee: I said interesting.
Garrett Smith: Yeah, it's kind of like ... Well, let me back up, again, Grant Genereux, how did he figure out to avoid vitamin A? Well, what he did ... I think he's a geological engineer, if I'm correct. He's an engineer, I just forget which type he is, but he went and he looked at ... he found lists on various websites of the 10 things that aggravated eczema. So he looked at that list of foods and he looked at what was the common thing in all of these 10 foods, what did they all have? The only thing he found was vitamin A, in nine out of 10 of them. So he said, "Okay, well, here goes nothing. Let's make a super low vitamin A diet." There is no such thing as a zero vitamin A diet.
Garrett Smith: He did what's the lowest vitamin A diet that he could come up with, that he thought was sustainable. He came up with what I told you earlier and over a year or two, all of his horrible eczema ... I mean his eczema, he said he had it under his armpits and it was just yellow and crusty and it caused him a lot of pain. He was in pain from it and it all went away. So that was how he figured that out. Now, that I know what's in foods better, like yeah, when I look at the acne trigger foods, there's always copper and vitamin A.
Garrett Smith: Yeah, so then we have cancer. Okay, I don't want to get too deep into cancer today. I'll kind of give this the superficial treatment because cancer is obviously a very legally landmine field to go into, because if people were to know that cancer is really the body's attempt ... so why is cancer your own cells? Why is your body making extra tissue to ... what is this extra tissue doing? Do we believe that our body has gone haywire and is now working against itself that we have these cells that have gone rogue? Do we believe that or in my world, do we believe that this reaction by the body must be some sort of last ditch attempt by the body to deal with something.
Garrett Smith: So this is a very different concept. Are we victims of our own body or is our body doing the absolute best it can in the situation that we have given it? Are we at war with our own cells, the war on cancer or just like children, if the children are having problems, they're our flesh and blood and we should figure out what's wrong and adjust around it and help bring them back or do we want to just try to kick them out of the house, right? Well, I'll tell you which one I would want to do. So fatty liver ... let's back up again. Fatty liver, if I were to tell you, that I think a lot of the toxins that we encounter, pesticides and plasticides and all this stuff are fat soluble.
Garrett Smith: If I were to tell you that vitamin A is fat soluble and if bile backs up in the liver, well, what does bile help you absorb in your diet? A fat and fat soluble vitamins. So if the body was going to store fatty things in the liver and it was running out of space to do so, what might the body, in its wisdom, make more of in the liver? It might make more fat. Okay, so fatty liver can be an attempt by the body to create more tissue to store more toxicity. Okay. So if that theory is understandable by you, then if we start going, "Okay, what if the body has an exposure over time, over years to a certain toxin or a certain combination of toxins where the body is running out of space to store it.
Garrett Smith: What then could the body make to create more storage space for it? Your body could make kind of cells that don't do much other than just sit there and soak up poison. Cancer may be a very well a reaction by your body, a last ditch attempt to create areas to store this toxicity. People go, "Well, why would your body store these toxins? Why doesn't just get rid of it?" Well, I then ask people, why do you have that extra room of stuff in your house that you never get rid of because you never have the time to get rid of it. Why do we all have junk rooms? Why do we have so much crap in our garages? Why do we have storage rooms? Why do we have a junk drawer that we never go through.
Garrett Smith: We just can't get rid of it fast enough. We don't take the time to get rid of it, we don't have the ability to get rid of it. Somebody else says, "Why don't you keep that around? We might use it later," or whatever. Anyway, your body either has to make a choice with toxins, either it lets it run free into the blood ... let's say that security, that portal vein that goes right into the liver that brings all the stuff from your intestines, it's either going to stop it and do the bouncer thing where it's going to let things through or not, if it lets things through, they just go right into your bloodstream and then, they're going to get to your brain and your heart and all these things.
Garrett Smith: The liver says, "Well, I can't afford to let it go into the bloodstream so I'm going to put it here in the liver," or your body may be saying, "Well, we're running out of space at other places, we better start creating this thing here, this new tissue here." That's basically what I believe cancer is. Now Grant wrote ... Grant has three free eBooks on his website. He has a whole ebook there about the connections that he's found between vitamin A toxicity and breast cancer. So he has a whole book on breast cancer. Well, when you think about it, Vitamin A, is it fat soluble? Yeah. What are breasts made of? Fat, weird that we might store too much of this toxin there and then, we end up getting problems.
Garrett Smith: So another funny thing about skin conditions, a lot of them, for those of you who have them, is oftentimes as the skin conditions get worse, what color often do skin conditions tend to take on?
Garrett Smith: They tend to have a yellowish tint to them, right? Eczema is often yellow. Often, if you let whiteheads acne get ... sit there long enough, if you don't pick it all off, you can often see a yellowish tint to the whitehead. Why do people get yellow armpit stains? What do you think is in there? There's all sorts of things that ... poisons in general are often yellow, just so you know. Yellow is often a color in nature of poisons and bitter things. So anyway that's that, so let me continue on to the next one. I have questions up here, Wardee.
Garrett Smith: Why do we have age spots, sunspots, skin tags? Okay, so I'm going to break those into age spots and sunspots or what some people call liver spots. So age spots and sunspots as we talked about can be associated with toxic bile and the liver. Okay. Well, what then would be the compound that's associated with that? That would probably be toxic bile and whatever is in it. Now, people will then talk about lipo fusion or lipofuscin, however you want to say it? L-I-P-O-F-U-S-C-I-N. It's considered a pigment that is part of those liver spots or sunspots. It would maybe interest people to know that if you go into the research, you'll find that carotenoids, plant vitamin A is part of the lipofuscin molecule. It's also part of the LDL molecule, the bad cholesterol.
Garrett Smith: So if we have age spots and sunspots actually containing vitamin A, like plant vitamin A, we already know that when people eat too much ... they drink too much carrot juice or they eat too many sweet potatoes or they eat too much liver or whatever, they can turn orange or yellow. So we know that we store vitamin A. Well, what's right under your skin? What do we have a layer of right under our skin? Fat, right? So if we're going to store fat soluble poisons and we don't have enough room in our liver or we need more room immediately we can put it in the skin, it shows up in the skin. So on that note ... so that's the bile connection, the toxicity to those.
Garrett Smith: I remember when I used to work in a supplement store way back ... before naturopathic medical school, I remember somebody coming in and saying what skin cancer was, in their impression? What skin cancer is, is its toxicity in your skin that has then due to the sun, gotten baked in place. It's like a baking in of toxins in your skin. Back then, I was like, "Whatever dude." He was just some guy coming in and being like ... talking to somebody else who worked there, skin cancer is this and back then, I went, "Yeah, okay, whatever dude." I was 19 years old or something. No, I was probably 22 or 23, thinking I knew everything, right?
Garrett Smith: Then all of a sudden later, when I'm thinking of this stuff, I go, "Wait, maybe it is." So, could sun spots be toxicity baked into the skin? Yeah, could your skin get in a way charred? Could it burn ... I mean what happens when you burn something on your stove in a pan, right? It makes a crusty dark thing. Okay, what happens when you're out in the sun too long? You can turn red or you can turn kind of burnt looking, right? I mean when you think of cooking, you cook a chicken, it browns. Is tanning actually a good thing, because then, why does your body get rid of it? Why would you stop going out in the sun until you lose your tan? Are you healing? Are you getting rid of that burnt skin?
Garrett Smith: Because we can turn over cells. Why wouldn't you keep it? If it was so wonderful, why wouldn't we keep it? So anyway, that's just a whole nother thing. So skin cancer may simply be toxins burned into the skin and now, what doctors are seeing with liposuction, because people are trying to eat healthy ... I've actually seen quotes from plastic surgeons who do liposuction and I do that because that's the motion they do with that fat sucker thing, right? They'll say they can tell when people eat healthy because the fat that comes out is orange.
Garrett Smith: When you think of fat in your mind, is it orange? When you think of a steak with fat on it is it orange? It's not supposed to be orange. It's supposed to be white. Orange fat on a piece of beef would look sick to me. My intuitive thing would be like, that's not what it's supposed to look like. Now, I've got this whole thing about eating orange things. I absolutely avoid eating anything orange. So it's a vitamin A thing, now, that I've got ... so anyway, but yeah, so I think we covered all the things you mentioned. Skin tags. Skin tags. Let's go over skin tags. Just real quick. Skin tags are ... I can't say what causes them, but they are generally associated with poor blood sugar control.
Garrett Smith: They're very common on diabetics and they tend to happen where things rub often. They'll happen around collars or they'll happen in the groin. I used to have some skin tags. I had some in sensitive areas and this was before ... I know, I used to be very hypoglycemic. I mean I've had plenty of health issues in my life. Thank goodness mine were never that bad. The only reason I say that is because they never got in the way of me researching. They didn't stop me from getting here. Anyway, so if you get into the research, Anthony Mawson, the cholestasis guy, he's gone into tons of research. He hasn't published the paper yet, but he's got tons of research showing that vitamin A worsens your blood sugar control.
Garrett Smith: And leads to lowering your insulin sensitivity or you could say increasing your insulin resistance, which when that gets really bad, that's diabetes and diabetics tend to have a lot of skin tags. Coincidence. Okay, so then I have a video on my YouTube channel where I show that vitamin A depletes magnesium. Okay, well what if I were to tell you that when I first got into topical magnesium using magnesium absorbed through the skin, I thought, what if I apply it to my skin tags, my little ones under my armpit and I had one in my groin. After I did that long enough, they went away. I don't know if they fell off or whatever. All of a sudden one day I was like-
Wardee: Where is it?
Garrett Smith: Where are they? Where did they go? Then I checked the groin and I'm like, "Wow, that's gone too. Holy cow." What is magnesium? If you go and look in the research, magnesium and diabetics, magnesium really helps blood sugar stability. Vitamin A depletes magnesium. Vitamin A causes poor blood sugar stability and when you get all this stuff, and when I started doing magnesium, "Oh my gosh, it helped me so much." So was it that my blood sugar stability got better and then, the skin tags fell off or was it the magnesium in that area got restored and then, they fell off? I don't know. This is why I never know exactly what did it. I just hit these things from multiple angles and then, I was able to ... as I learned more about this, I was able to look back at my history and what I did.
Garrett Smith: And say, this is why this worked because it's connected and this is why I got worse doing these things. So anyway, I think that's all the ones you listed.
Wardee: I did. That's all I listed, but you mentioned dandruff earlier, so would you talk about that one really quick and is that related to dry skin or-
Garrett Smith: Skin fungus. Well, dandruff is actually associated with a skin fungus, a specific type of skin fungus. So I had tinea versicolor, I had a skin fungus on my chest, right under my chest line and also my elbows, and then, I had athletes foot and dandruff ... most people tend to think of dandruff as dry skin because that's the way it shows up to them, right?
Garrett Smith: When I used the clippers on my head, I used to have snow afterwards because it was both the dry skin and then rubbing it with the spiky clippers would ... man, it was bad. I'd take a shower afterwards and then, I'd still put my shirt on afterwards and I'd get it all. I wouldn't normally have dandruff, but when I aggravated it, man, it was everywhere. So with the tinea versicolor, so let's go into how we can help some of these things with minerals. So what is in the anti-dandruff shampoos? A lot of people don't always look at them. They just go, it's a der shampoo, it's a medicated shampoo. Well, Selsun Blue, SEL at the start of that word.
Garrett Smith: Then, if you flip it over and you look at the active ingredients, you'll see selenium. I think it's selenium sulfide. So the active ingredient in dandruff shampoos is a mineral. Head and Shoulders, the active ingredient, I forget which zinc it is. I think it's zinc pyrithione but it's zinc. So when I was a teenager, dealing with this tinea versicolor, and I went to the dermatologist and they said, "You're just going to get it every year." They're like, "Some people are susceptible to it. If you're susceptible to it, you're an athlete, you sweat a lot. It's in the air, it's a spore in the air," I think was what he said. You'll just get it on your skin again and it'll grow again.
Garrett Smith: So if we kill it with medications like ketoconazole, and for those of you, especially men or anybody who's worried about low testosterone, if you ever took ketoconazole, go type in ketoconazole and testosterone on any search engine. You'll find that ketoconazole, an antifungal medication destroys testosterone levels, destroys them. So I did that, I took it orally and I don't know that I felt that bad after it, but it killed it, and it came back and I was like, "Well, I'm not going to do that again." Even as a teenager, I was still hesitant on medications, which is probably good. Well, I know it's good. Anyway, so then I thought, the guy gave me a ketoconazole shampoo.
Garrett Smith: So I was just supposed to leave ... just apply it and leave it, sit as long as I could and then, it would hopefully make it go away, but like the guy said, he was like, "It's going to come back every year," or I'd looked on the internet and they said, "You could use Selsun Blue, you would cake on the Selsun Blue after your shower, whatever, and you just walk around your house with crusty shampoo on you for half hour or whatever. I was like, "I'm not going to do this." I don't want to say I was lazy, but I was too lazy to do that. So I just thought, "Well, if it's going to keep coming back, why do I do this?" Then, I thought, well, what am I really doing, why is the selenium killing it, what's happening? Light bulb moment. Maybe I'm just deficient in selenium.
Garrett Smith: So I don't have selenium in the top layer of skin, and that's where it's showing up. So what if I put selenium in to refill all of my cells and then, the cells that come up to the top have enough selenium and the tinea versicolor can't live there. It's not suitable anymore. So I did that and I don't want to go over the doses because it's not typical doses and I don't want anyone to go out and hurt themselves. I took as high a dose as they say, you could take in the normal literature for a month. So I always had a time limit on it. Even back then, I said, "Okay, this is how long I'm going to take it." It was a month. Then, I dropped down a dose for two months I think.
Garrett Smith: Then, I dropped down to the very standard 200 microgram dose. Lo and behold, within a couple months, I don't know if you know about tinea versicolor, but in the areas of your skin where you have a tan and you get it, it doesn't tan, it looks pale. In the areas of your skin under my arms where you don't really tan, it looks reddish or pinkish. So it's very weird, you have this weird like leopardy pattern that's the opposite of your tan and they say you have to go out in the sun to get a tan to tell if it's gone away. Well, I could tell that the red spots on the bottom of my arm were gone. The reddish, pinkish spots were gone. Then, I went and I looked and I got out in the sun enough.
Garrett Smith: Then, the spots went away. I was like, "Hey, I guess we fixed it," and I've never had it since. Now, I do my hair test, which is how I look at selenium levels all the time, and I just take enough selenium to keep myself good. Now, I know ... so in terms dandruff, if dandruff is a fungus ... well, I can tell you I used to have dandruff, I don't have it anymore. I had that for a long time. I don't think I got rid of that. That was a zinc thing for me. So the tinea versicolor was selenium. I think the dandruff was a big zinc thing for me. Three of the antifungal minerals that I use and I'm not treating them with this. I'm just filling people's levels, right?
Garrett Smith: Zinc, selenium and molybdenum. Funny thing that they're all copper antagonists. They all directly work against copper. Some people say they lower your copper. Well, I test it all. I'm not worried about that. That doesn't scare me. I refill people's levels and then, things are good. So interesting thing that all three of the antifungal minerals I use are anticopper or copper antagonist.
Garrett Smith: So anyway, that's like the fungal stuff, the dandruff, the jock itch, the athletes foot, the tinea versicolor. They're all fungal connected, and we just work on ... I still dose people based on their hair test, based on their blood test, and we talk about doses, whether they feel good or not. Then, if we're trying to focus on something, if I was giving them a dose that I thought was good for them and they come back to me later and they're like, "Well, it's not quite gone yet, it's not going away." Well, we might try more, but I would say, try this for a week. Try this for a month. See, if you see any improvement. If you do, then we might stay with that longer.
Garrett Smith: If you don't, then don't keep taking high doses of things unless it's helping. So that's kind of ... we try to be prudent and cautious, but yet, we're okay with being ... because we're testing and people are coming and talking to me, we can be a little bit aggressive as long as they're staying in touch with me and we can say, that was too much or that was not enough or you're doing great or that didn't work. I'll tell them, if something doesn't feel right, back off, like don't ... for those of you out there, who have practitioners who tell you if you're taking something, they're like, "This should help," and you start taking it and you go, "I feel like hot garbage when I take this."
Garrett Smith: They tell you, "Oh, that's normal. You're just detoxing. Just take more, when that bites you in the butt." That's not the approach to use. If a kid put their hand on the stove and they burnt themselves, would you then tell them to hold their hand and they're twice as long and they won't burn themselves? That doesn't make any sense. That's not how physiology works. So maybe they give you something that's toxic and you shouldn't take it. Maybe if I give people something they don't feel good, maybe they're dumping too much toxicity at once. "Okay, so should I make them dump even more by taking more of it?" No, they can't handle it already. Anyway, that's just some of the philosophical things I do in these approaches.
Garrett Smith: I talk about these things in the Love Your Liver Program, for people who aren't able to work with me or who don't choose to work with me, I talk about doing these approaches on your own, so people can learn what's good for them, because that's really all we're after in the end is people fixing the problems, but also learning how to keep them away, and if they come back, what was it that probably got them going in the first place? What has changed that allowed them to come back. Anyway.
Wardee: Great, great, and then, how about if you just address just wrinkles and looking old?
Garrett Smith: That's a tough one. That is a tough one. It's not tough. I mean, we have people ... when people comment on me, even a year ago, I was looking at a video of myself from a year ago and I'm like, "Wow, I looked so much better than I did even a year ago." I think I kind of got over a hump. I know actually in the last year I got over a hump in my vitamin A levels. My vitamin A levels went from a 50, which is high normal into a 30s, which is still not where I want it. It's very much in the normal, but it's more getting towards the lower level. I wish I knew about wrinkles and skin aging, but it's really just ... I have people come and tell me that ... clients tell me that, everybody is saying, I look younger, everybody is saying my skin is glowing and do I know what does that? No.
Garrett Smith: The thing I always tell people about saggy skin is that sometimes the skin is like ... if you think of the skin like a wetsuit and it's tight and let's say you were to shrink your body inside of the wetsuit, then the wetsuit can get ... if the wetsuit doesn't adjust, which wetsuits can't, you're going to have a baggier wetsuit. So in terms of, if people consistently ... especially, if they try to starve themselves with diets, they often lose more muscle than fat, well, you're losing the muscle that holds your skin, holds the shape. So we got to keep our muscle mass. That's important, and undereating or undereating, especially protein is a very quick way to that.
Garrett Smith: One of the things I talk about on the diet is when in doubt, eat more protein. I mean that's what our skin is made of. That's what our muscles are made of. So that's a big one, is just keeping ... it's like when people lose tons of weight, they have saggy skin. So you want to keep your muscle mass ... even in your face, there's face exercises where you can build muscle and all of a sudden people ... I bought some of those Jawzrsize things. It's like a jaw muscle thing and it helps your jaw line, but you can exercise your muscles, your face and tighten things up. So there is that, but there's also just collagen. Okay, there is quite a bit of research on vitamin A ruining collagen. It's just absolutely terrible for collagen formation.
Garrett Smith: We've got stuff in the mouth showing that it messes with mouth healing. My girlfriend started doing the stuff that I suggest and she's had this thing on her gums that is not healing right, and the doctors just keep watching it, and she tells me the other day, she's like, "It's getting better." I mean, she's only been doing this stuff with me for two months. We have people that have their dental stuff improve. I don't treat dental stuff like wrinkles. I don't treat wrinkles. People just tell me that it's a bonus of the program. So I wish I had ... the tightening of the collagen, the more nutrients you have and the good ones that we want, the better your skin gets.
Garrett Smith: It tightens up. We can't fix everything, but we can definitely improve things. So I wish I had a better answer for that. It's just a side bonus.
Wardee: I think that's a great answer. Okay, so in our limited time left, let's dive into the Accutane and Retinol dangers, make sure people know.
Garrett Smith: So we'll cover three things. Accutane, retinol in skin products. There's also retinoic acids in other skin products and then Retin-A.
Garrett Smith: So just so you guys know, so we have Accutane, which is 13-cis-retinoic acid. Retinol is what people call animal vitamin A, and they put it like you see it on those commercials. People are like ... I forget who it is. Is it Jennifer Aniston or one of the other celebrities? He's like, "I love my retinol cream," and I'm just like going to barf watching it. Then, there's Retin-A which is tretinoin. A lot of women these days in particular are using Tretinoin, Retin-A on their face. You should know ladies that there was a huge study on US veterans, where they decided that they were going to have these guys and gals be lab rats because they thought that applying Retin-A to their face on a daily basis would help prevent skin cancer.
Garrett Smith: They had to stop the study because too many of them were dying early. So you can ... and might their skin have looked great, sure, yeah. That's possible. You may be having great results with your skin, while all of a sudden, I hope this isn't you. Maybe you can stop it early, but if it's you, they're developing autoimmune conditions and they're like, "But my skin looks great." You're like, "But you've got lupus now, but you've got rheumatoid arthritis. Is that worth the trade?" I mean, for some people ... humans are vein creatures. That's how we judge people like visual first, right? That's just the way we're designed. Nature does it all the time. It's normal.
Garrett Smith: It's normal to have an interest in vanity, but to choose vanity over, actually living longer and the healthier you are, the happier you are, all these things ... anyway, don't put Tretinoin on your skin, and then, some of you ladies or people, any gender, you may stop it and be like, "Oh my gosh, my skin went to heck." Well, think of a person who's drinking tons of coffee every day and then all of a sudden they quit. They feel like crap. When you get addicted to drugs, your skin gets addicted to a drug and then, you take it away, you have withdrawals which can look bad and feel bad. I can't solve the problem right away that that was created by you being misled into taking a poison that ... there's a whole thing called retinoic acid syndrome where they give retinoic acids to cancer patients.
Garrett Smith: They can die from it. So this is legit, so if you're putting tretinoin and Retin-A on your face, that's a problem. I had a woman, I was treating her for laser for bilateral ... both leg knee arthritis. I said, "You know what, if you quit your tomatoes, habit ..." tomatoes are super high vitamin A, but they're also a nightshade, which is associated with arthritis for hundreds of years. I said, "If you quit your tomatoes, you won't need the laser anymore and your knees will probably get better." I'm not giving up my tomatoes. You can keep your pain. That doesn't bother me. You can keep it. Go ahead. So let's get into Accutane. Accutane 13-cis-retinoic acid. So when you eat vitamin A, there's three main retinoic acids that it will turn into in your body eventually.
Garrett Smith: There's 13-cis-retinoic acid. This is all legitimate. Don't think there's a difference chemically between these things. 13-cis-retinoic acid, which is known as ... when it's sold to you in a pill, it's called Accutane. Okay. Same chemical. This is in the biochemistry textbooks. I'm not making anything up here. If you think that natural 13-cis-retinoic acid is somehow different from synthetic 13-cis-retinoic acid, you should go talk to some organic chemists because there's no difference. I've got the research, showing that as an example, with all trans retinoic acid. When people eat lots of vitamin A vegetables, it raised the all trans retinoic acid in their blood. Well, they could also put on Retin-A and raise the all trans retinoic acid levels in your blood.
Garrett Smith: The important thing to know about this is anything you put on your skin, you're absorbing some of it. If it's a lotion, if it's a cream or whatever, it's going into your system. They've shown this with sunscreens, 24 hours later they can show that the sunscreen compounds are in your blood. Do you think that if you're applying fat soluble vitamins to your skin, they're going to be in your blood later. This is why I use topical magnesium. It works amazingly at raising magnesium levels. There was stuff a while back, they were talking about pharmaceuticals, like the next wave of pharmaceuticals is going to be topical pharmaceuticals because they're absorbed so well.
Garrett Smith: So basically, anything you put on your skin, you have to assume you are absorbing it. One easy way to think about this is if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin. People would go, "Oh, that's too far." And I'm like, "Well, it's not, really." So anyway, Accutane, 13-cis-retinoic acid. Go on Facebook and search Accutane survivors or Accutane victims. Accutane recovery. You'll find 20,000, 70,000, maybe bigger groups of people who are there, trying to fix the damage that taking Accutane did to them. If you're a parent and your child is on Accutane or they're thinking about taking it for their acne, you need to know that in the drug databases of side effects, the drug with the most sexual side effects in the age group, 12 to 17 is Accutane, 13-cis-retinoic acid, also called Roaccutane, if you're in Europe.
Garrett Smith: This stuff absolutely destroys the reproductive system. You've got 12 to 17 year olds who say they basically have a condition with ... they're like, I can't feel my genitals. I'm smiling and it's so unbelievable that if you're a parent and your dermatologist says it's fine, there won't be any problems, it's totally okay. They are lying to you and what they've done when patients have come to them in the past and said, "This ruined my life." They're just like, "No, it couldn't have been the drug." They can't sell Accutane in the US anymore. It's been recalled. They can sell it as 13-cis-retinoic acid or the generic. They can't sell Accutane because it was recalled in the US and yet parents are still giving it to their children.
Garrett Smith: Even though there's a black box warning on it, the strongest warning on a pharmaceutical of birth defects, and I believe there might be one for potential suicide.
Garrett Smith: So would you give your child a drug that could cause them to take their life over acne, when I'm sitting here telling you it's probably vitamin A toxicity and copper toxicity and zinc deficiency. If your kid and you wouldn't do a diet to fix it and you'd rather take a drug that could potentially ruin your life ... and when I'm talking about Accutane side effects ... now, I help Accutane victims to recover their health. It is a form of vitamin A toxicity. It is liver injury, it is cholestasis. Anthony Mawson has gone over this in multiple papers. We can fix it. It takes a long time. Accutane damage, retinoic acid damage takes the longest to fix of all of them. I'm not going to dance around it. Drugs are the most potent poisons out there. That's why they work.
Garrett Smith: That's why they're stronger than supplements because they make your body do more stuff because they're poisons. So anyway, Accutane, absolutely you are risking the rest of your life in terms of your health to take that stuff. Then, we have retinol. Well, retinol and skin products, it may work a little bit. Like I said, you may look better, but that retinol is turning into retinoic acids. That's what it does in your system. So you're basically taking a retinoic acid, it's just doing its skin stuff and then, getting reabsorbed. Then, if you look at side effects, like I've talked to plenty of people who are like, "I use a retinol cream and it made my face worse," or they say, "I have to be really, really careful, because if I take too much of it, it makes things worse."
Garrett Smith: You're going, "What? Does this not register?" It's like, "Maybe it's not good for you." So yeah, putting vitamin A on your face, you may get short term benefits, you may get external benefits for a while as long as you take it, but the internal damage is potentially going to stay until you find somebody like me, who's telling you to get off of it and then, you have to get off of it in your diet, then you have to get off of it in your supplements, you have to get off of it in your skin products, you have to get off of it everywhere. So it'd be better to not do it in the first place than to have to come to me to fix it later. If you have health problems already, you're probably already vitamin A toxic. Anyway, there's that.
Wardee: Okay. I am really glad you were so strong about that. That's the best possible warning, and I also am glad that you said it's longer than the other things, especially the Accutane recovery, but it is possible to come back from that.
Garrett Smith: Yes.
Wardee: So that's great. Okay, so one more question about the sun. Is there a safe way to spend time in the sun?
Garrett Smith: Yes.
Garrett Smith: Get the poisons out. So here's something that we have people notice all the time on the program. Now, this is not different. There's different skin tones. So different skin tones have to do different things. So when I say something, like if I were to say the more toxic somebody is, especially, if they're pale skinned like me, the more toxic you are. Usually, you have a much stronger negative reaction to the sun, easily getting burned or you have super sensitive eyes to the sun. You always have to wear sunglasses. The paler your skin is and the more sensitive you are to the sun, the more toxins you have up in your skin and in your eyes. Now, that I've been doing this long enough ... I used to burn really easily. I used to know that I could be out in the Tucson sun, Arizona sun for a half hour with nothing on my skin in the middle of the day.
Garrett Smith: If I did longer than that, I was going to burn, I'd peel a week later. Funny thing, do you know that one of the symptoms of vitamin A tox ... of acute vitamin A poisoning, so if somebody, let's say they drank their bottle of vitamin A supplement or whatever, the symptoms of acute vitamin A poisoning are skin reddening and peeling, desquamation. What are the symptoms of a sunburn? Skin reddening and peeling. What do you think the sun is basically baking in your skin? Vitamin A. So what we see is as people ... this is the thing about the tan that I wanted to say is as people get the vitamin A out of their system, they start telling me ... I mean I've had this happen myself and other people tell me that all of a sudden their eyes aren't so sensitive, they don't have to wear sunglasses outside all the time.
Garrett Smith: Now, they don't burn anymore, but the weird thing is, is oftentimes they're telling me, "I don't really tan that much either though," which is weird, but what I was telling ... So then here's a funny thing I've seen around Twitter. There's like a guy called the Tan Man or something or the tan ... they'll say, if you want to get a really good tan, you got to eat lots of vitamin A. I'm sitting here saying, when I get people detoxed from this stuff, they don't really tan but they don't burn either. So we have people who can go out in the sun longer and not burn, but if you're white like me, you're not going to get a tan, but if you want to get all sorts of problems, you could eat more vitamin A and get more tan, which may simply be you char broiling yourself.
Garrett Smith: When you stop getting the sun, your body fixes the char broiling you did to yourself out in the sun. I mean, think of how people, when they're really tan, they look like a cooked chicken, right? That's what they look like. Why do we think that you being out in the heat and the light is different than you being in an oven, which has heat and light? It's totally different theory, so we ... and people, they just don't get the damage from the sun. There's no burn, right? So if they say don't go out in the sun so much that you burn. Well, the burning is the problem. So what happens if you stop burning in the sun? Is the sun now a problem? I mean, I still think if you're pale like me, if you're ... I'm 97.5% European, like Northern European.
Garrett Smith: I'm like all Viking and Scandinavian blood. Okay, so when you look at the people who are in Arizona, before the white people got here, their skin is very dark. Not African American dark, but they're Native American dark. That's not my skin. So I do think about ... I go, "Well, if I'm not designed for this sun, maybe too much of it isn't a great idea for me." I'm just not designed for it. So I'm not designed for swimming either, but I can swim. I can swim, but I don't have fins. So I can do it, but that doesn't mean I am blessed. I'm not supposed to live there. So especially with my haircut. Normally, I would have more hair up there if I didn't cut it short.
Garrett Smith: So if I cut my hair short and I'm in Arizona and not Norway, I might need to cover my head more because too much of that sun on my skin, I'm not designed for it. So you still have to do that. I mean people know, you all have seen ... we'll get back into the skin aging and the wrinkles. Everybody knows the leather skin people. We all know some of the leather skins where they tan and they tan and they tan and they tan and they look old. I mean, what causes fats to oxidize? What causes bad oxidation? Heat, air and light. What is tanning? Heat, air and light. You're cooking yourself. So it's probably not a good idea to chase a tan. Now, I'm not going to say that going and getting spray tan is any better, that's orange.
Garrett Smith: Probably spraying orange things on your skin and absorbing them into your bloodstream isn't that a good idea either. Yes, we regularly have people who say they couldn't go in the sun or ... I had one little girl, I think she was 11 or no, maybe she was ... I don't know. She was a teenager. Sorry, she was a teenager. She had just gotten ... when her cycle came on, that was when her health problems all started, which points towards copper toxicity. Anyway, that's a whole nother story. I was telling her parents that I thought she should get some sun because the girl didn't go outside much. I mean she was having such mental difficulties that she would lock herself in her room in the dark, in the dark and not talk to anybody for 30 hours straight.
Garrett Smith: She was having big issues and at one point we had to do things like dose her very small. Very, very small on everything. They got a vitamin D lamp to try with her, because I was saying, "You should get some light." They try to ... I think for either 10 seconds or 30 seconds, she had a gigantic meltdown, super toxic. Now, she can go out in the sun with her friends because they did it long enough that she's less toxic. So just think that the degree of your response to the sun is one potential indicator of how toxic you are. People who have darker skin, you're not going to have this reaction as much, because your skin is more ... in a protective state to block the sun.
Garrett Smith: Especially pale people, yeah, people are able to go out in the sun and not have it cause problems. It's pretty cool, and the eyes thing, it's nice not having to wear sunglasses all the time when you go outside. You can choose.
Garrett Smith: Actually on that note, wait, everybody is worried about blue light, right? Everybody is ... blue light is the sun. So sun is blue light, so when you think of blue light as being bad, don't ever forget the sun is blue light. That's the difference between the sun and firelight. Firelight doesn't have blue light or yellow light or orange light or amber light, red light. The light of fire, right? Yellows, oranges, red. Okay, I have a paper on this on my forum. Blue light can damage the eyes. That's why they say, you're not supposed to be on the computer screen too long. That's why I'm sitting here talking to you on my computer screen with a blue light plastic screen on it, so I'm not getting constant blue light from my computer in my eyes.
Garrett Smith: The funny thing is that blue light ... there was a research done, blue light could not damage the eyes if there was not vitamin A present.
Garrett Smith: Blue light could not damage the eyes if there was not vitamin A present. We have all these people now wearing blue light blockers during the day because they have to protect their eyes from the blue light. Gosh, what might they be toxic with? They have to wear sunglasses outside. This girl who was super toxic would lock herself in a dark room. What do people do when they have migraines? This toxicity is very ... and then, other people will say, "But you need vitamin A for your eyes to function." I'm like, we need sunlight, right? We are designed to have sunlight and sunlight only can damage our eyes with blue light that's in it, if there's vitamin A present in our eyes. You're going to tell me that ... first of all, we have people who have been avoiding vitamin A for four years, like myself.
Garrett Smith: Grant has been avoiding it for I think eight years now. I'm going to go shoot in a gun competition tomorrow, so does it seem like my eyes are suffering? Probably not, and I go to nighttime gun classes too and they'll say that you need vitamin A for night vision. Well, what if I were to tell you that I have research showing that the more carrots women ate in a study, the worse their night vision. That kind of shoots that whole thing in the foot, doesn't it?
Garrett Smith: So anyway, there's all these things that they all connect. It's really cool and people like yourself and others tell me they really appreciate it when I start making everything make sense. They may have thought that vitamin A was a vitamin, it's not. When I tell them what the studies show vitamin A does, the ones that people don't talk about, then they start going, "Oh my gosh, my eyes are terrible and I used to eat tons of sweet potatoes, and carrots and I was eating liver or I was eating egg yolks or I was eating ... I was taking vitamin A." I used to give people vitamin A supplements. I feel terrible about it. Years ago, I was giving it to them and now I know better and I'm doing better by being out here and helping people to not get stuck in that.
Garrett Smith: Anyway, yeah, there's a lot of stuff out there and we start figuring out, just less vitamin A in your diet, even if it was just less is better for you than more.
Garrett Smith: There you go.
Wardee: Thank you Dr. Smith. Let's wrap up with you sharing how people can work with you.
Garrett Smith: Okay. So if you want to work with me doing what I call testing and consultation, that you go to nutritiondetective.com. There's the packages, there's a link called Consultation. You can go there. If you want more information on how we work first, I mean, you can go and read the website of course, but you can also email Julie, who's awesome at firstname.lastname@example.org. She's super helpful at answering questions and talking to you about logistics of getting the testing done. We have worked with people in 28 different countries. So if you're in a different state of the US and you're like, "I can't work with you Dr. Smith because I'm in California." No, it's not a problem. Like I said, we've worked with people in 28 countries.
Garrett Smith: Somebody told me the other day on Instagram, they're like, "I'm in Arizona." In a joking way, I was like, "I don't care." You don't need to be. I don't have an office where I see people. I do it all virtual. Everything I do is virtual. So there's that. If people want to do the Love Your ... so the Love Your Liver program is my, do it yourself program for people to help themselves with. So when people get the testing and consultation packages with me and they get the six months of support, they automatically get into the Love Your Liver program. So that's like all the information that I want them to know that I can't teach them in a consult, so there's that.
Garrett Smith: Then, if people can't work with me or don't want to work with me or maybe have just gone ... they've worked with me long enough, they don't need me anymore, which some people ... I've got people working with me for eight or nine years now because they like it. Anyway, they could do the Love Your Liver program, which is a standalone thing. That's members.nutritiondetective.com. So that's the Love Your Liver program website to go there. If you want to follow me, I've got ... I mean, we'll give you all my social media links. There's my YouTube channel where we do a weekly livestream, every Friday morning. Times could change eventually, but yeah, Friday mornings, 8:00 AM and that's fun.
Garrett Smith: We do subscriber Q and A, and I usually cover a couple topics each day. Yeah, so those are the ways that people could get in touch with me. If you look around nutrition detective on the internet, you'll find me.
Wardee: That's right and I will be sure to include those links with this video and now, if you're watching this video on Rumble or Gab TV, make sure to follow the link to where the transcript and notes are, because that will have everything for you to browse. Thank you so much Dr. Smith. I feel enlightened, encouraged. It's been really good information. I know it's going to bless and help people, so I appreciate your time and your wisdom and your caring. You make a difference.
Garrett Smith: Thank you. You are very welcome. Thanks for having me on.
Wardee: God bless you all. Bye-bye.
Garrett Smith: Bye.
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In our interview, Dr. Smith shares that he has spent his years of practice linking various diseases, from hormone imbalance to skin conditions, to the health of the liver, and then putting together his Love Your Liver program to help his patients support their liver health.
People ask me, “What do you do for xyz?” I don’t have protocols for any particular condition. Instead, I help my patients stay away from toxins, and get rid of stored toxins. I help people get the nutrients (minerals) they need to protect from and rid themselves of the poisons in their bodies. I also do hair and blood tests to give people individualized starting doses for the minerals, and then we fine-tune from there. This is the drive behind my approach.
Along the way of practicing what he teaches, Dr. Smith has been able to heal his own skin conditions naturally, including psoriasis on his knuckles and several bouts of skin fungus (tinea versicolor, dandruff, and athlete’s foot). He says he feels like his skin is internally moisturized even though he doesn’t use any products on it!
The Toxic Bile Theory of Disease
In alternative circles, it is often said that one’s skin reflects the health of one’s gut. Or, “When in doubt, treat the gut.” This is because our digestive tract opens at our mouths, and then it flips over and keeps on going down our skin. It’s all connected, so what is on the outside reflects what’s on the inside.
If our skin starts to flare up, we should start asking: How did our gut change? This is the first step in healing skin conditions naturally.
Dr. Smith explains…
My whole paradigm-shifting approach to medicine was inspired by Grant Genereux and Anthony Mawson. Anthony Mawson, in his 34 papers, connects all sorts of different diseases to cholestasis, or toxic bile from your liver leaking into your blood (source). Your liver is your primary detox organ. It’s a storage site, and (how I like to think of it) a sewage processing plant. It’s somewhere we can send our waste so it is processed and hopefully made into something smaller, denser, and easier to throw away. It may be more toxic, too, as a result of being more concentrated. Your liver is also a filter. It takes stuff out of your blood, stores some of it, and puts the rest of it into bile.
The best way to think of bile is your liver’s poop. The liver has to get rid of the toxic concentrate left over from processing our waste. This is bile. By definition, it is the most toxic fluid our bodies make.
Let me explain the normal bile pathway. Liver cells produce bile and put stored toxins (Vitamin A, copper, manganese, lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, plasticizers, BPA, pesticides, etc.) into it. Bile then travels down capillary-sized bile ducts inside the liver, gradually coming together to form bigger bile ducts, and finally into the biggest bile duct: the common bile duct. This system of ducts feeds into your small intestine. As the bile moves along your intestines, 95% of it is reabsorbed into the portal venous system, which is a big vein that goes to the liver. The blood in this vein absorbs the toxic bile, but also food and other toxins from the digestive tract, and it is headed back to the liver to be filtered. The other 5% of bile is excreted through poop.
What we eat affects how much bile we excrete, and therefore how many toxins we can get rid of.
When cholestasis or liver injury happens (through things like exposures to toxins, whether plasticizers, pesticides, supplements or certain medications, etc.), the bile ducts can start leaking. Some medications cause bile ducts to disappear. Let’s say the pipe that goes to your toilet suddenly disappeared; instead of a pipe, it’s now a wall. If you try to flush your toilet, what will happen? You’ll have dirty water that starts doing bad things, growing mold, causing disease. To picture bile leaking and flowing in the wrong direction, think of a toilet backing up and putting bad things into places you don’t want. This is called intrahepatic cholestasis.
There’s also extrahepatic cholestasis, which is when the common bile duct starts leaking. Many people reference Leaky Gut nowadays, saying that things are leaking from the gut into the bloodstream. Does this sound familiar now? GERD, heartburn, and acid reflux are all caused by extrahepatic cholestasis.
Connecting Vitamin A and Cholestasis
How exactly can Leaky Gut happen? Dr. Smith explains…
When you consume Vitamin A, whether it’s from plants (carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.) or animals (egg yolks, liver, dairy), it eventually goes through the detox systems of your body and is converted into retinoic acid. Many women will recognize retinoic acid as an ingredient in their chemical peels and other skincare products. The literature shows that retinoic acid can induce a controlled wound on the face, a certain amount melting away this many layers of skin (source). If you’re trying to exfoliate dead skin from your face, you can see why people would think this is beneficial.
Now think about what Vitamin A can do on the inside of our bodies. The liver converts it into retinoic acid and puts it into bile. Bile is released into the small intestine and travels down the digestive tract. The active ingredient in chemical peels is now coating your gut. If retinoic acid can melt your facial skin, can you imagine how Vitamin A in diet and supplements, especially if it is uncontrolled, can lead to Leaky Gut?
Once the gut lining is damaged, not only can toxic bile leak into the bloodstream, but also food and toxins.
To Heal Your Skin Conditions, Support Your Liver
Once bile starts leaking into the bloodstream, it can go anywhere and everywhere: your brain, heart, muscles, bones, reproductive organs, and skin. It also goes to your kidneys because they filter blood, too. But if your liver can’t get rid of it fast enough and your kidneys can’t either, what is said to be the largest detox organ? Your skin.
When our waste is properly disposed of by the liver and kidneys, it is excreted via urine and bowel movements. Once it’s out of your body, you get to walk away from it. But when waste is excreted via sweat or sebum onto the skin, it just sits there. It irritates your skin on the way in, and then it stays there… damaging the skin more until it gets (potentially) reabsorbed into the body.
One interesting thing about skin conditions is that as they get worse, they often have a yellowish tint to them. Eczema is often yellow. Whiteheads get yellow if you let them sit there long enough. Why do people get yellow armpit stains? What do you think is in there? Yellow is often, in nature, the color of poisons and bitter things.
To sum it all up: If your diet and environment is bad, your skin could get bad because your bile gets more toxic, and the toxins come up through your skin.
How to Heal Skin Conditions Naturally
Dr. Smith shares some of the general things he recommends for patients who come to him wanting to heal their skin conditions naturally:
Regardless of the skin condition, generally there’s going to be some amount of Vitamin A toxicity in the system. In terms of nutrients, the big one that I focus on is zinc. I almost always find zinc deficiencies in people when they have skin conditions.
According to Dr. Smith, detoxing from Vitamin A is a major factor in healing from eczema.
Grant Genereux, the guy I learned about Vitamin A toxicity from, had really bad eczema, jaundice (he was completely yellow), and chronic kidney disease to the point that he was about to be put on dialysis. Then he figured out that Vitamin A was a problem.
This is not what I recommend for everybody, but this is what he did: He ate beef or bison, black beans, and either white or brown rice. That’s it. It’s a very low Vitamin A diet, and a relatively low copper diet. He got rid of all three of his conditions, over time. So in terms of what made the eczema go away, well, he was definitely on a low Vitamin A diet and that was probably the big cause.
Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Smith believes that keratosis pilaris (the little red bumps on the back of your arms, also known as “chicken skin”) is not caused by Vitamin A deficiency! He explains…
There are multiple studies that associate keratosis pilaris with low Vitamin A in the blood. The problem is, Vitamin A levels in the blood have next to nothing to do with how much Vitamin A is stored in your liver. It would be like saying that the amount of money you carry in your wallet directly correlates to how much money you have in your savings account.
Patient after patient of mine has gotten rid of their KP by avoiding Vitamin A. So I started wondering, is it really a deficiency condition or is there a toxicity in their liver that isn’t picked up on by blood tests?
Because KP is said to be caused by low Vitamin A, people often supplement with Vitamin A or a food high in Vitamin A, like cod liver oil. They’ll see their condition improved for a couple weeks, maybe a month or two. They think, “Oh, I’m fixing my deficiency and it’s going to be gone for good.” Then, the problem comes back, only worse this time. They take more of the Vitamin A to make it go away again, but it doesn’t go away as much and it doesn’t stay away as long. Finally, their supplementation stops working entirely. This is called the Duration Paradox. Now, they’re wondering, “I should have fixed my Vitamin A deficiency by now. Why is it back and why is it worse?”
You can use toxins to suppress symptoms. This is the whole basis of conventional modern medicine: using toxins to stop a process in the body that slowly festers and worsens underneath it until suddenly you’re on one or more medications. You’re taking medications for side effects.
You can do the same thing with “natural” poisons. This is what happens when people take high Vitamin A supplements to heal their KP (or other skin conditions). They’re suppressing a process in their body which works for a little while but then they are left more toxic.
I have been working with Dr. Smith since early 2022 and at the time of this writing (November 2022), my life-long KP rash is 90% better. Prior to this, it would ebb and flow, but mostly just kept getting worse no matter what I tried. Now, it’s nearly better… finally! I’m nearly 48.
As we continue our discussion of how to heal different skin conditions, you will start to see a common theme! Like Dr. Smith said in the beginning, almost all can be attributed to some degree of Vitamin A toxicity, and many can be treated using zinc.
One of my very early patients had a number of symptoms, including rosacea, disappear within the first three months of following a low Vitamin A diet. This study also shows zinc to be helpful in treating rosacea.
Finally, Dr. Smith shares that (just like KP), when people use Vitamin A to treat their rosacea, it may seem to improve in the short-term, but in the long run it becomes worse.
Dr. Smith explains that to heal a skin condition such as acne, you must first address Vitamin A toxicity, copper toxicity, and zinc deficiency. Acne is usually related to this combination of factors.
There’s absolutely copper toxicity involved in acne. That’s why there’s an old wives tale that chocolate is associated with acne. Chocolate is extremely high in copper. In fact, if you feel like you are addicted to chocolate… I can tell you, you are absolutely copper toxic. Remember, people don’t get addicted to healthy things. If you have an unhealthy attachment to chocolate, you’re addicted to something in it. That can be copper. I’ve got scientific studies showing that people can become addicted to Vitamin A (source). Some people say it’s as strong an addiction as tobacco or smoking would be.
There’s also always a zinc deficiency with acne. But don’t take a high dose zinc to get rid of your acne — you can overdo zinc, too. I don’t mess around with zinc or copper, which is why I do hair and blood tests before dosing patients.
Vitamin A toxicity is always involved with acne, too. If you were to look at a list of foods that flare up acne, I’d look at it and see that each food is either high Vitamin A or it’s high copper.
Without getting too deep into the legal landmine that is cancer, Dr. Smith shares his theory for how cancer is related to Vitamin A and other toxins:
Why is your body making cancer cells? What is this extra tissue meant to do? Do we believe that our body has gone haywire and is now working against itself, so we have these cells that have gone rogue? Or do we believe that this reaction by the body must be some sort of last-ditch attempt to deal with something? This is a different concept to most. Are we victims of our own body or is our body doing the best it can in the situation we have given it?
Let me give you an example. Many toxins are fat soluble: Vitamin A, pesticides, plasticides. If the body was going to store fatty things in the liver and it was running out of space to do so, what might the body make more of? Fat. So… fatty liver disease can be an attempt by the body to create more tissue to store more toxicity.
If that theory makes sense to you, then we might ask, “If the body has an exposure over time to a certain toxin(s), and the body is running out of space to store it, what could the body make to create more storage space for it?” Well, your body could make cells that just sit there and soak up poison. So, cancer may be a reaction by your body, a last effort to create areas to store this toxicity. That’s what I believe cancer is: a tissue that the body creates because it can’t get rid of the toxins as fast as they are coming in. Instead of letting the toxins loose in the bloodstream, it makes a place to store them.
Grant has a free eBook on his website (here) about the connection between Vitamin A toxicity and breast cancer. Is Vitamin A fat soluble? Yes. What are breasts made of? Fat. Weird that we might store too much of this toxin there and then end up with problems.
Age Spots & Sun Spots (Liver Spots)
Dr. Smith explains that age spots, sun spots, or liver spots can all be associated with toxic bile.
The interesting thing is, there’s a pigment called lipofuscin in liver spots or sun spots. If you look it up, you’ll find that carotenoids (plant Vitamin A) are part of the lipofuscin molecule. They’re also part of the LDL molecule, the bad cholesterol.
We already know that people store fat-soluble poisons in fat. What’s right under our skin? Fat, right? So if our bodies are going to store fat-soluble poisons but there’s not enough room in our liver, we can put it in the layer of fat under our skin. How does it get there? The liver puts fat-soluble poisons in bile, which if it leaks, can travel throughout the body, including to the skin.
Nowadays, plastic surgeons doing liposuction say they can tell which patients eat “healthy” because the fat that comes out is orange. When you think of fat in your mind, is it orange? Is the fat on a piece of steak orange? No. It’s supposed to be white.
Skin tags are generally associated with poor blood sugar control. They are common with diabetics and tend to occur in places where rubbing happens, such as around collars or in the groin. Dr. Smith used to be very hypoglycemic, and used to have skin tags. He says…
When I first started using topical magnesium, I thought, “What if I apply it to my skin tags?” After I did that long enough, they went away. If you go and look in the research, magnesium helps blood sugar stability. And, according to Anthony Mawson’s research, Vitamin A depletes magnesium… worsening blood sugar control and leading to decreased insulin sensitivity (increased insulin resistance). Coincidence?
Dr. Smith explains that psoriasis is not much different than the other skin conditions we’re discussing, since it too can be boiled down to Vitamin A and copper toxicities as well as a zinc deficiency!
So I had psoriasis, right? It’s so nice not to have it. I still kind of look at my knuckles and I go, “Oh, it’s still gone, good.” Mine wasn’t that bad. I know other people suffer with it hundreds of times more than I do or did.
This study shows that psoriasis skin lesions have higher levels of retinol (Vitamin A) and a Vitamin A-binding protein that protects us from Vitamin A, as well as other proteins and enzymes that mediate retinoic acid formation and transformation.
Also, quoting this study, “Increased serum copper and decreased serum zinc levels were generally observed in patients with psoriasis.”
Skin & Scalp Fungus
Dr. Smith has had tinea versicolor, a skin fungus on his chest and elbows, athletes foot, and dandruff. All are gone now! He shares what made the difference…
For fungal issues (dandruff, tinea versicolor, athletes foot, jock itch), I make sure people have healthy levels of zinc, selenium, and molybdenum. These minerals are all copper antagonists, funnily enough.
What is in anti-fungal shampoos? If you flip over a bottle and look at the active ingredients of Selsun Blue, you’ll see selenium. I think it’s selenium sulfide. The active ingredient in Head and Shoulders is zinc pyrithione. The active ingredients in these anti-dandruff shampoos are minerals!
Tinea versicolor is a selenium deficiency. Dandruff is a zinc deficiency. I give my patients dosages of these minerals based on their hair and blood tests, and we talk about the doses to see if they feel good on them or not.
For people who aren’t able to work with me or who don’t choose to work with me, I talk about doing these approaches on your own in my Love Your Liver program. I want people to learn what’s good for them, because that’s really all we’re after in the end: people fixing the problems. And also learning how to keep them away. If they come back, what was it that changed to allow them to come back?
More About Tinea Versicolor
When I was a teenager dealing with tinea versicolor, I went to the dermatologist. They said, “You’re just going to get it every year. Some people are susceptible to it, especially athletes who sweat a lot. It’s a spore in the air so you’ll get it on your skin again and it will grow.” Sure enough, I took the recommended anti-fungal medication (ketoconazole) and it went away, but then it came back. (By the way, ketoconazole destroys testosterone levels.)
I didn’t want to do a medication again, so I looked on the internet instead. Someone recommended trying Selsun Blue and letting it sit for half an hour or so after showering. I was too lazy to do that. I just thought, “Well, if it’s going to keep coming back, why am I doing this?” Then, “Why is the selenium killing it?” Light bulb moment. “Maybe I’m deficient in selenium. The tinea versicolor is showing up in my top layer of skin, so what if I supplement with selenium to refill all my cells? Then the cells that come to the top will have enough selenium. The tinea versicolor can’t live there anymore.”
I don’t want to go over the doses because it wasn’t a typical dose and I don’t want anyone to go out and hurt themselves. But I took as high a dose as they say you can take (in the normal literature) for a month. Then I dropped down a dose for two months. Then I dropped down to the very standard 200 microgram dose. Within a couple months, it was gone. I’ve never had it since. Now I test my hair frequently and take just enough selenium to keep my levels good.
Wrinkles & Aging
People often tell Dr. Smith’s patients that they look younger or that their skin is glowing! This is not so much about healing a skin condition, versus an unexpected boon of following his Love Your Liver program! He says…
When in doubt, eat more protein. That’s what our skin and muscles are made of. If you undereat, you lose the muscles that hold your skin in shape.
There is also research showing that Vitamin A ruins collagen formation (source). It messes with mouth healing. I don’t treat wrinkles or dental issues, but I have plenty of testimonials saying that these things are improving for patients! The tightening of the collagen, the more good nutrients you have, the better your skin gets.
Is there a safe way to spend time in the sun? Dr. Smith says…
Yes, if you get the poisons out. Think of it this way: The degree of your response to the sun is one potential indicator of how toxic you are. People with darker skin are more protected from the sun. People with pale skin are less protected from the sun. Usually, pale skinned people have a much stronger negative reaction to the sun, easily getting burned. Or their eyes are super sensitive to the sun and they always have to wear sunglasses. The more sensitive you are to the sun, the more toxins you have in your skin and in your eyes.
People with pale skin from northern climates are not designed to get as much sun as people with darker skin. But remember, sun isn’t the problem: burning is. I used to burn really easily. I knew that I could be out in the Tucson, Arizona sun for half an hour with nothing on my skin in the middle of the day. If I did longer than that, I was going to burn. I’d peel a week later.
Funny thing, did you know that one of the symptoms of acute Vitamin A poisoning is skin reddening and peeling (desquamation)? What are the symptoms of a sunburn? Skin reddening and peeling. This is my theory: If you have toxins, like Vitamin A, stored in your skin, the sun basically bakes them into your skin. That’s your sunburn. As people get the Vitamin A out of their system, they start telling me (and I’ve experienced this too) that their eyes aren’t as sensitive and they don’t tan as much. But they don’t burn either!
My thought on tanning is: If our bodies wanted us to tan, wouldn’t they keep it? Why do we lose our tan so quickly if we stop going out in the sun? Maybe we’re not supposed to tan. Why do we think that being out in the heat and the light is different from being in an oven, which has heat and light, but cooks things? What causes fats to oxidize? Heat, air and light. What is tanning? Heat, air and light. You’re cooking yourself. So it’s probably not a good idea to chase a tan.
On that note, everybody is worried about blue light, right? Because it can damage the eyes. Well, remember, the sun has blue light. Research shows that blue light can’t damage your eyes if there isn’t Vitamin A present. People say that we need Vitamin A for our eyes to function, but there’s research showing that the more carrots women ate, the worse their night vision got (source).
Dangers of Accutane & Retinol
Now let’s talk about how NOT to heal your skin conditions. 🙂 Dr. Smith explains that when you eat Vitamin A, it eventually turns into three main retinoic acids in your body: 13-cis-retinoic acid is one, and trans retinoic acid is another.
13-cis-retinoic acid happens to be Accutane, and trans retinoic acid is tretinoin, also called Retin-A. Chemically, there is no difference between the natural and synthetic forms. They do the same things in the body.
For example, studies show that when people eat lots of Vitamin A-rich vegetables, it raises trans retinoic acid levels in their blood (source). Retin-A is trans retinoic acid. If people put skincare products containing Retin-A on their skin, it raises trans retinoic acid levels in their blood. There’s no difference!
There are groups of tens of thousands of people on Facebook trying to fix the damage that Accutane did to them. If you’re a parent whose child is on Accutane, you need to know that in the databases of drug side effects, the drug with the most sexual side effects in the age group 12 to 17 is Accutane (also called Roaccutane in Europe). It destroys the reproductive system.
Did you know that you can’t sell Accutane in the US anymore? It’s been recalled. But they can sell it as 13-cis-retinoic acid or the generic version.
I help Accutane victims to recover their health. It is a form of Vitamin A toxicity. It is liver injury, it is cholestasis. Anthony Mawson has gone over this in multiple papers (source). We can fix it. It takes a long time. Accutane damage, retinoic acid damage takes the longest to fix of all of them. I’m not going to dance around it. Drugs are the most potent poisons out there. That’s why they work. They’re stronger than supplements.
There was a huge study on US veterans applying Retin-A to their faces on a daily basis to help prevent skin cancer (source). They had to stop the study because too many of them were dying early. Maybe their skin looked great, but they were developing auto-immune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Is that worth the trade?
Don’t choose vanity over living longer, healthier, and happier. Don’t put Tretinoin on your skin. If you stop and notice that your skin goes to heck, well, think of a person who’s drinking tons of coffee every day and then all of a sudden they quit. They feel like crap. Your skin can get addicted to a drug and when you take it away, you have withdrawals which can look bad and feel bad.
If you’re putting anything on your skin, you’re absorbing some of it. They’ve shown this with sunscreens. Once you apply it, 24 hours later, sunscreen compounds are in your blood. The same goes for putting fat-soluble vitamins on your skin. You will absorb them. This is why I love using topical magnesium — because it absorbs so well. One easy way to think of this is: If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
Retinol is what people call “animal Vitamin A” (as opposed to carotenoids, which is Vitamin A from plants). It is in many skin products. Even if you put it on your skin, it is absorbing into your body and turning into retinoic acid. Plenty of people say they have to be really careful with it because if they use too much, it makes their skin worse. I’m thinking, “What? Does this not register? Maybe it’s not good for you.” Putting Vitamin A on your face may give you short-term benefits, but the internal damage is happening.
If you suffer from skin conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, or acne, you might benefit from using a topical zinc spray. Here is one that I (Wardee) recommend and which I have seen to help others.
Where to Go from Here
If you’d like to work with Dr. Smith to heal your skin conditions naturally (or work on other health issues), visit his website NutritionDetective.com. He offers virtual consultations as well as his Love Your Liver program for those who want to do it themselves. You can also email email@example.com to ask questions!
- Love Your Liver program (included free if you do a consult with him)
- Nutrition Detective YouTube channel (weekly livestreams)
- Dr. Smith’s consultation program (individual or group options)
- Dr. Smith’s supplements
- Topical zinc spray for acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, etc.