3

votes

You are what you eat?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 13, 2010 at 5:37 AM

When you eat a plant, only pubmed can tell you what all is in your food. When you eat an animal, you can more relate to what's going into your body. Beef muscle? I've got some muscle! Chicken liver? I've got one of those, I think.

How much evidence is there for animals parts helping your human parts? Here's why I'm asking. I've got the joints of a 110 year old man because of a genetic disorder. When I go to a Chinese restaurant, I sometimes order beef tendon stew and look furtively around to make sure no one caught onto my simplistic thinking. Can the tendon help my tendons? Or more likely, will my gut break it down before it has the chance?

I mean, if you eat brain, you do get a ton of great fats to help your very own brain. And eating goat's beard has always made mine shiny and smooth.

6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on August 29, 2011
at 12:25 PM

there's an old saying that one should 'eat what ails you'.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 15, 2010
at 02:31 AM

I'm sorry, I can't let my sense of wonder out yet. There's probably not much DNA is our body, mass-wise, but a little screw up and you're suddenly a hermaphrodite. Now that's amazing.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 15, 2010
at 01:37 AM

That being said, I remember some very awesome moments after trick-or-treating. Shoving reese's peanut butter cups into your mouth makes you feel amazing for a few minutes. Not unlike cocaine.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on September 15, 2010
at 01:35 AM

It is kind of amazing that there are only 4 grams of glucose in the blood and yet maintaining blood glucose levels within a fairly narrow range is a matter of life or death. Do I get your sense of wonder on that one?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 15, 2010
at 01:27 AM

ONLY because I am free to correct: 100 grams in the liver, a mean of about 300 in the muscle, and 4 grams in the blood. So around 400 grams. Can be more if you're carb loading (not us!!) or less if you're low carb (us!!). So if we've got a pound or less of glucose in the body, and 30 pounds of fat, that puts it in perspective more. Eating a lot of glucose can absolutely overwhelm your blood levels, while eating a lot of fat won't (and won't elicit the same hormonal response that makes you feel high then very sick).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 01:56 PM

You can potentially argue that you are what you eat as a human, moreso than if you are a cow. Why? Humans are omnivorous, cows are not. When you eat meat, you are getting nutrients in a form similar to your own from bodyparts similar to your own. When cows eat grass, that does not apply. We can theoretically get all our nutrients from animal parts.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:51 PM

That doesn't mean I don't understand or have some problem with asserting that the components in tendons can be used to make tendons. That argument is perfectly valid.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:49 PM

Of course. I'm just saying that you can't argue that you are what you eat as a human, unless you are prepared to generalize, and that generalization is ridiculous. Therefore, the argument is not valid. It's just a point of logic.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 14, 2010
at 09:15 AM

I'd much rather eat tendons, than tons of grass every day, which is where the cow gets it's minerals.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 04:15 AM

I wonder if eating skin can give you better skin? Drinking water makes me feel more fluid. Uh oh, I just started thinking about how cannibalism might be good. Time to take a step back.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 04:13 AM

Good answer! When I eat McDonald's, I feel like shit, which follows a similar line of reasoning.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 14, 2010
at 03:45 AM

Yeah but eating lots of fat is good if you have a fat problem. Maybe eating heart 'might' be good if you have heart problem?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 02:39 AM

Patrik, I slyly changed the scenario to preparing for an oceanic adventure, coming from a no-fruit environment, such as Northeastern Gondwanaland (huh?).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 01:49 AM

You wouldn't be eating fruit and starchy vegetables if you didn't have any. Like, if it was wintertime in 50,000 BC Europe. Ketosis losses through urine, breath, and metabolic inefficiencies are minor. With regards to getting fat, eating a lot of fat is as good a strategy as any. No reason to think of adding body fat as a bad thing, like if you want to store some for a paddling expedition across the Atlantic!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 14, 2010
at 01:46 AM

@Kamal -- if you were storing bodyfat for winter, you'd want to load up on fruits, not fat.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:21 AM

Hmm. If, for some bizarre reason, I wanted to get fat, (and stay paleo), I'd be eating fruit and starchy vegetables. But that's because I don't think it's mainly a matter of calories.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 07:14 PM

ack! totally unintentional and dumb! fixed* You may refer to me as Nike from now on.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:33 PM

Next time you call me Jamal I'll be forced to downvote you :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:21 PM

Yes yes, that Bones book looks interesting as well. Thanks for the link.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:15 PM

Of course I've read that article before! Also, I've purchased way too many ketostix in my lifetime. I'm not talking about fat compared to carbohydrate. This is strictly basic nutrition. Fat has 9 calories per gram, and is a very good source of energy. If I were storing bodyfat for the winter, I'd load up on the marrow and butter right now.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 03:26 PM

eating lots of fat does not lead to fat gain. Kamal, check out http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html Gary Taubes is required reading. If you eat mainly fat you go into ketosis and you just burn fat like no tomorrow. good way to lose fat!

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 03:23 PM

i think this hack has similar thinking and may be close to the answer you are looking for.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 13, 2010
at 01:36 PM

the thyroid connection you mention has always interested me. I don't believe that heart muscle from a cow (though i love and eat the stuff) is going to find its way to my heart and make me stronger. But, the desicated thyroid does indeed seem to work in that way. Really interesting. I may have heard a similar thing about adrenals, ie taking dessicated adrenal would support (if one needed it) proper adrenal function.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 01:23 PM

Eating lots of fat is a great way to store extra fat. Just like eating lots of muscle ensures you have enough building blocks to make muscle. Right?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 13, 2010
at 05:42 AM

What a fascinating question!

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12 Answers

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3
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 13, 2010
at 02:41 PM

I think for tendons, it might very well apply. Tendons and cartilage might include lots of minerals that are in short supply. See this hack.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 03:23 PM

i think this hack has similar thinking and may be close to the answer you are looking for.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:21 PM

Yes yes, that Bones book looks interesting as well. Thanks for the link.

3
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 14, 2010
at 03:53 AM

Hmm, well I think it might help in that those parts of the animal probably have all the building blocks that your same parts need to maintain themselves. Along this line of thinking, you would be more likely to insure that you are getting all the building blocks you need for that body part if you eat that body part. So if you eat tendon, then all the parts needed to create tendon are likely in that tendon you just ate. So if before, you were lacking in any nutrients needed to make tendon, well now you just ate them and that would be a good thing. Now if you were already fully stocked up in your body of all nutrients needed to make tendon, then the additional consumption of said nutrients would probably just be redundant and not needed, but still would not hurt.

If you think about this though, it holds up pretty well. If you need calcium for bones, you can get it by eating bone. If you need magnesium, then eat a body part that has more magnesium in it. Then the body part you have that needs magnesium will be happy with you. Eating heart meat may not have anything specific in it that is special to just the heart, but it well help your body overall, including your heart. On the flip side, we don't know all of the nutrients needed and by eating the whole animal, including all the weird parts, we may be helping the whole animal that is ourselves in ways we don't even currently know about.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 04:15 AM

I wonder if eating skin can give you better skin? Drinking water makes me feel more fluid. Uh oh, I just started thinking about how cannibalism might be good. Time to take a step back.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 04:13 AM

Good answer! When I eat McDonald's, I feel like shit, which follows a similar line of reasoning.

2
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on September 13, 2010
at 11:47 AM

I doubt it. That's what they said about dietary fat--eat fat, get fat. It just doesn't work that way.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 02:39 AM

Patrik, I slyly changed the scenario to preparing for an oceanic adventure, coming from a no-fruit environment, such as Northeastern Gondwanaland (huh?).

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 03:26 PM

eating lots of fat does not lead to fat gain. Kamal, check out http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html Gary Taubes is required reading. If you eat mainly fat you go into ketosis and you just burn fat like no tomorrow. good way to lose fat!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 01:23 PM

Eating lots of fat is a great way to store extra fat. Just like eating lots of muscle ensures you have enough building blocks to make muscle. Right?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 14, 2010
at 03:45 AM

Yeah but eating lots of fat is good if you have a fat problem. Maybe eating heart 'might' be good if you have heart problem?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:15 PM

Of course I've read that article before! Also, I've purchased way too many ketostix in my lifetime. I'm not talking about fat compared to carbohydrate. This is strictly basic nutrition. Fat has 9 calories per gram, and is a very good source of energy. If I were storing bodyfat for the winter, I'd load up on the marrow and butter right now.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:21 AM

Hmm. If, for some bizarre reason, I wanted to get fat, (and stay paleo), I'd be eating fruit and starchy vegetables. But that's because I don't think it's mainly a matter of calories.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 14, 2010
at 01:46 AM

@Kamal -- if you were storing bodyfat for winter, you'd want to load up on fruits, not fat.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 01:49 AM

You wouldn't be eating fruit and starchy vegetables if you didn't have any. Like, if it was wintertime in 50,000 BC Europe. Ketosis losses through urine, breath, and metabolic inefficiencies are minor. With regards to getting fat, eating a lot of fat is as good a strategy as any. No reason to think of adding body fat as a bad thing, like if you want to store some for a paddling expedition across the Atlantic!

1
0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 29, 2011
at 10:19 AM

Perhaps this is not very scientific...

ARTHRITIS(3):

Well, my favorite disease is Arthritis. The reason why I love Arthritis is that it???s easy to fix. And when you can fix something as horrible and debilitating and painful and expensive and as miserable as Arthritis, you get kind of excited about this concept of preventing and curing disease with nutrition. And so I tell people about this arthritis thing all the time. So let???s have a quick look at arthritis.

Number one, 75-80% of all Americans over the age of 50 get arthritis to one degree or one type or another, and according to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, 35 to 50 million baby-boomers are going to get arthritis in the next 7 to 10 years and there???s not a single medical treatment designed to treat or fix it. Aspirin certainly doesn???t fix arthritis, it causes gastric bleeding and death. Tylenol doesn???t fix arthritis, there???s 50,000 cases of kidney failure each year, 5000 so severe you need a kidney transplant. Then there???s Ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve, these things don???t fix arthritis, and they cause liver disease in 2-5% of users including liver sclerosis, even if you don???t drink. And then there???s metholtrexate(?) and gold shots(?). These things don???t fix arthritis, they subdue your bone marrow so that you can???t make normal platelets and white blood cells. Then you have the granddaddy of all medical treatments for arthritis, Prednizone and Cortisone. They don???t fix arthritis. They subdue your immune system which leaves you open to diseases far, far more horrible than arthritis, and Prednizone and Cortisone accelerates the loss of minerals from your bone. Something you don???t want when you have osteoporosis and arthritis.

When these prescription medications and over-the-counter medications don???t work anymore to relieve pain and inflammation, the only thing left for you medically is joint-replacement surgery. And I never liked to send my patients in for joint-replacement surgery, cause they never work out well. In fact, many times you are worse off after the surgery than you were before the surgery.

The advantage my patients have always had is that I???m a veterinarian as well as a physician. So I always used to tell my patients ???Look, we have all these nutritional formulas designed to prevent and cure disease in animals, including arthritis, and so I tried adapting nutritional arthritis formulas designed to prevent and cure arthritis in pigeons and turkeys, dogs and cats, sheep, pigs, horses, cows, lions, tigers and bears to human use. It was no surprise to me, it works just as well in humans as it does in animals, because it was designed to prevent and cure arthritis in pigs. And of course it has some really nifty stuff in it, which I have been telling people to use for 20 years, and I have literally seen tens of thousands of people who have had a regrowth of cartilage, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, bone foundation, bone matrix. Doesn???t matter if they are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, I???ve seen people 97 years old regrow cartilage and bone, even if they had bone to bone arthritis. If there???s blood supply to that joint and that bone, they will regrow bone and cartilage.

Well, Harvard Medical School goes berserk when you say stuff like that. ???Wallach, you can???t say those things! And the only thing left when they get bone to bone arthritis is joint-replacement surgery.??? And I would agree with him if the only raw materials you are using is Tylenol and aspirin and Prednizone and Cortisone. We have learned over 50 years that you can???t regrow cartilage and bones using those things.

Now one of the basic things, of course, that the Harvard Medical School jumped on and said ???this is so ridiculous that this couldn???t work!??? And so they took 29 arthritis patients who had not responded in any way to heroic medical treatment for arthritis over 15 to 20 years. They took them off their medication, it wasn???t working anyway, lined them up for joint-replacement surgery, and for 90 days before their surgery they gave them heaping tablespoon of ground up chicken cartilage in their orange juice every morning for 90 days. They were sort of chuckling in their beer saying ???nothing is going to happen???. Well, here???s what happened. In 10 days these people had complete relief of pain inflammation that they hadn???t had in 15 to 20 years. In 30 days they could open up a new pickle jar that had never been opened without pain to the fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders. In 90 days 28 of the 29 were clinically cured. Now this is from the Harvard Medical School and the Boston VA. That meant that they had complete return, 100% return, of the range of motion, all of the pain and inflammation was gone, in their fingers and toes and hips and knees and neck, and certainly many of them still had knots on their fingers, cause it was only 90 days, and you would think they would call me up, these professors from Harvard Medical School and from the Boston VA, and say ???Look, Wallach, we have to apologize to you. We???ve been bad-mouthing you for 20 years and why don???t you come up to Boston, let???s talk about the whole thing???? Here???s what they said, ???After 3 months it was clear that the drug was beneficial.???

Chicken cartilage had become a drug in 90 days! Now why would that happen? Well, because you can???t patten chicken cartilage, and they convinced the US Patten Office that they were using a drug to do this study, and they actually got a use-patten on chicken cartilage. And you, too, for $3500 a month, can get Harvard Medical School???s chicken cartilage in a capsule for arthritis. (You can get it for 30 cents a day??? ha, ha). That???s kind of interesting. And of course, cartilage or gelatine, has chondroitin sulfate in it, glucosamine sulfate, collagen, these are all the basic raw materials to rebuild cartilage and bone. Now again I have been telling my human patients this for 20 years. They???ve been using gelatine and cartilage for race horses for 100 years for their cartilage and ligaments and joints. And in 1995, a Luke Bucci, an exercise physiologist came out with a great book called ???Pain Free???, and he talks about the advantages of gelatine and cartilage and glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate and collagen for regrowing cartilage, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, bone foundation, bone matrix, he does this with nutrition. He does this with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate and collagen and cartilage and gelatine. Just a couple of months ago, a medical doctor, Dr. Jason Theodisakus, MD, wrote the ???Arthritis Cure???, subtitle ???the medical miracle that can halt, reverse and may even can cure osteoarthritis.??? (TRUST ME, I'M A DOCTOR)

http://www.kingmaker.net/eknowtrient-a.htm

1
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on September 15, 2010
at 12:47 AM

This one blows my mind every time (not necessarily making an argument here):
My body is jam-packed with glucose and uses it for all kinds of important functions. And yet if I eat a lot of glucose I feel sick.

Feel free to correct me by thinking about just how much glucose is in my body at any one time. I just wanted to share the sense of wonder.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 15, 2010
at 01:27 AM

ONLY because I am free to correct: 100 grams in the liver, a mean of about 300 in the muscle, and 4 grams in the blood. So around 400 grams. Can be more if you're carb loading (not us!!) or less if you're low carb (us!!). So if we've got a pound or less of glucose in the body, and 30 pounds of fat, that puts it in perspective more. Eating a lot of glucose can absolutely overwhelm your blood levels, while eating a lot of fat won't (and won't elicit the same hormonal response that makes you feel high then very sick).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 15, 2010
at 01:37 AM

That being said, I remember some very awesome moments after trick-or-treating. Shoving reese's peanut butter cups into your mouth makes you feel amazing for a few minutes. Not unlike cocaine.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on September 15, 2010
at 01:35 AM

It is kind of amazing that there are only 4 grams of glucose in the blood and yet maintaining blood glucose levels within a fairly narrow range is a matter of life or death. Do I get your sense of wonder on that one?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 15, 2010
at 02:31 AM

I'm sorry, I can't let my sense of wonder out yet. There's probably not much DNA is our body, mass-wise, but a little screw up and you're suddenly a hermaphrodite. Now that's amazing.

1
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on September 13, 2010
at 02:33 PM

I think that "building blocks" is the key. The same blocks are used all over the body for all sorts of building. One would hope that the tissue in greatest need is more capable of pulling what it needs from the blood stream.

However, I don't think that a cell responsible for building cartilage in my thumb is going to say, "Hmmm... I could use this bit of protein but I hear that Mr. Knee needs it more than I do so I'll pass for now."

1
2fb33fe640f9de45d551aa98ea089d9e

on September 13, 2010
at 07:58 AM

It can't hurt that the macro and micro nutritional breakdown of the food you are eating is likely to be very similar to the body part you are eating it for. But I suspect beyond optimal nutrition, it cannot really specifically "help" those body parts.

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:04 AM

The only problem with this line of thinking I can see, is that you can't apply the same reasoning to, say, cows, who certainly have tendons.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 14, 2010
at 09:15 AM

I'd much rather eat tendons, than tons of grass every day, which is where the cow gets it's minerals.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 14, 2010
at 01:56 PM

You can potentially argue that you are what you eat as a human, moreso than if you are a cow. Why? Humans are omnivorous, cows are not. When you eat meat, you are getting nutrients in a form similar to your own from bodyparts similar to your own. When cows eat grass, that does not apply. We can theoretically get all our nutrients from animal parts.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:51 PM

That doesn't mean I don't understand or have some problem with asserting that the components in tendons can be used to make tendons. That argument is perfectly valid.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 14, 2010
at 12:49 PM

Of course. I'm just saying that you can't argue that you are what you eat as a human, unless you are prepared to generalize, and that generalization is ridiculous. Therefore, the argument is not valid. It's just a point of logic.

0
Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on September 13, 2010
at 10:29 PM

I totally agree with this although don't know for certain that eating tendons will help your joints. I tend to notice the energetic effects of food, and at times have felt a mild buzzing (in a good way) in my liver after having some, especially from wild animals. Same with heart - just feels big, wide and strong. It seems quite plausible to me that eating organs of an animal could strengthen your own. Surely at least some traditional cultures thought the same.

0
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on September 13, 2010
at 08:58 PM

Eat phospholipids from brains, seafood, egg yolks and the like and you can incorporate it into your brain making you less stressed. So Emily Deans argues http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/search?q=phospholipid

0
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Kamal- I think you have an interesting question here and I think in some ways going after certain unconventional cuts of animal will result in benefits although perhaps not to the exact corresponding part of the body. The previous answer linking to eating bones seems to be a real connection. I know the Weston A. Price foundation loves bone broths for all sorts of minerals we just can't get easily elsewhere.

MDA had an interesting post on joint health and how to help improved them http://www.marksdailyapple.com/arthritis-diet/

His main points were - Skip grains--gluten seems to be linked to arthritis, avoid Omega 6s which are inflammatory, avoid potatoes--the old tricky nightshades too probably, get your Vitamin D, eat Turmeric and Ghee.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 13, 2010
at 07:14 PM

ack! totally unintentional and dumb! fixed* You may refer to me as Nike from now on.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:33 PM

Next time you call me Jamal I'll be forced to downvote you :)

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 13, 2010
at 11:42 AM

Natural Thyroid supports thyroid. But that's hormonal..

It only makes sense that the nutrients in certain parts are more easily obtained from those parts. Now whether your body will use them for such is unclear...Likely it will use them for preferential placement, most need.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 13, 2010
at 01:36 PM

the thyroid connection you mention has always interested me. I don't believe that heart muscle from a cow (though i love and eat the stuff) is going to find its way to my heart and make me stronger. But, the desicated thyroid does indeed seem to work in that way. Really interesting. I may have heard a similar thing about adrenals, ie taking dessicated adrenal would support (if one needed it) proper adrenal function.

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