Deuterium found in our water supply and plant foods can be toxic to the immune system and cause the release of histamine and other inflammatory mediator mast cells. Here’s what it is, how to avoid it, and an interesting possible way to prevent mast cells from triggering histamine.
WHAT IS DEUTERIUM?
Heavy water (D₂O rather than H₂O) is water that contains a larger percentage of deuterium (heavy hydrogen) than normally occurs. It is toxic to plants and animals but is friendly to bacteria. It’s not as toxic to humans due to the high water content of the human body. However, once it reaches a certain level, it can contribute to the development of chronic and degenerative diseases.
As a side note, heavy water, when made into ice, sinks, rather than floats.
Light water, or Deuterium-Depleted Water (DDW), then, is water that contains a smaller percentage of deuterium than normal. DDW has been used as a therapy for cancers (breast, lung, and melanoma), for metabolic syndrome, for chronic fatigue syndrome, and for its anti-aging effects, as it has been shown to slow the rapid growth and deterioration of cells.
HOW DOES DEUTERIUM AFFECT HISTAMINE?
According to animal studies, deuterium causes increased histamine release from mast cells.
We want to deplete deuterium in the body, and take in foods and water that are already deuterium-depleted.
It is actually possible to have your deuterium levels tested, and they should be under 130.
HOW DEUTERIUM ENTERS THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
The way deuterium enters the food supply is through photosynthesis, as plants produce energy from carbon dioxide and water. As we know from grade school science class, animals then eat the plants, and we eat the animals (or plants), and that is how deuterium gets passed on to us through food.
The deuterium concentration in water varies. While ocean water is especially high at 156 ppm, the water from rivers, lakes, and streams is also deuterium-rich. Polar oceans have a much lower concentration of deuterium.
FOODS HIGHEST IN DEUTERIUM
Potatoes & Other Starchy Tubers– The highest deuterium food is potatoes. Plants get rid of their deuterium by storing it as sugar or starch. Therefore, high carbohydrate foods like fruits, root vegetables, and grains are high in deuterium.
Grains & Legumes – Including corn and peanuts.
Fruits – High in deuterium. Eat seasonally in moderation, rather than year round.
Meats from grain-fed animals, as grain is high in deuterium.
Processed Food – Especially if GMO
Older food – As plants and animals age and grow, they become less able to deplete deuterium. Eat younger plants (new growth) and younger animals (rather than the old hen) when you can.
Sugar – High-sugar diets interfere with mitochondrial health and the depleting action of deuterium in cells, leading to DNA instability, unlimited cell growth, hydrogen bond breaks, and abnormal numbers of chromosomes in cancer cells.
FOODS LOWEST IN DEUTERIUM / DEUTERIUM-DEPLETED
- Lard – The lowest deuterium food is pork fat (lard), but it’s inflammatory. We need to pick our battles…
Animal Fats from Grass-Fed Sources – Fat, whether from plants (olives, avocado, coconut) or from grass-fed animals is the most deuterium depleted source of calories.
Healthy Plant-Based Fats – Avocado (high histamine), coconut, olive, nut oils.
Green Leafy Vegetables – Green plants deplete deuterium, and green leafy vegetables and other low carbohydrate vegetables are deuterium depleted.
Nuts – Nuts are full of fat and protein, rather than sugar and starches. Most nuts are deuterium depleted.
Deuterium-depleted water – Commercially available as Preventa or Qlarivia.
FASTING & KETOGENIC DIET FOR DEPLETING DEUTERIUM
A ketogenic diet (Low carb, high fat, moderate protein) forces the body to burn fats, instead of carbohydrates, and produce ketones, instead of simply glucose.
It turns out that ketones are a deuterium-depleted source of energy for mitochondria, which are the energy powerhouses of our cells.
The tricarboxylic acid cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs Cycle, is enhanced by following a ketogenic diet. Aside from helping to produce ATP, the energy currency of the cell, the Krebs Cycle helps to produce water molecules that didn’t come from water intake. This cycle makes water that is naturally deuterium-depleted and delivers it to the tissues of the body.
It’s interesting to note that because the body produces 1.1 kilograms of (deuterium-depleted) water from every kilogram of fat consumed, eating a high fat will result in less thirst.
Alongside an overall healthy lifestyle with good sleep and moderate exercise, (also conducive to depleting dangerous deuterium levels), the above strategies can help you to lower deuterium, potentially improving histamine-related symptoms, and maybe with some anti-aging side benefits.
———- REFERENCES ————
Artsybasheva, O., Barysheva, E., Shashkov, D., Vlasov, R., & Tekutskaya, E. (2014). Changes of oxidation during use the food diet with deuterium depleted water in laboratory animals with purulent inflammation. Russian Open Medical Journal, 3:0201. Retrieved from: http://www.romj.org/2014-0201
Basov, A. A., Bykov, I. M., Baryshev, M. G., Dzhimak, S. S., & Bykov, M.I. (2014). [Determination of deuterium concentration in foods and influence of water with modified isotopic composition on oxidation parameters and heavy hydrogen isotopes content in experimental animals]. Voprosy pitaniia,
83(5), 43-50. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25816625
[Article in Russian]
Boros, L. G., D’Agostino, D. P., Katz, H. E., Roth, J. P., Meuillet, E. J., & Somlyai, G. (2016). Submolecular regulation of cell transformation by deuterium depleting water exchange reactions in the tricarboxylic acid substrate cycle. Medical Hypotheses, 87, 69–74. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2015.11.016
Gillespie, E., Levine, R. J. & Malawista, S. E. (1968). Histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells: inhibition by colchicine and potentiation by deuterium oxide. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 164(1), 158-165. Retrieved from: http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/164/1/158.short
Gillespie, E., & Lichtenstein, L. M. (1972). Histamine release from human leukocytes: studies with deuterium oxide, colchicine, and cytochalasin B. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 51(11), 2941–2947. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC292444/
Gyöngyi, Z., Budán, F., Szabó, I., Ember, I., Kiss, I., Krempels, K., … Somlyai, G. (2013). Deuterium Depleted Water Effects on Survival of Lung Cancer Patients and Expression of Kras, Bcl2, and Myc Genes in Mouse Lung. Nutrition and Cancer, 65(2), 240–246. http://doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2013.756533