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The Thermo Diet Podcast Episode 60 With Keith Littlewood

The Thermo Diet Podcast Episode 60 With Keith Littlewood

I this episode of The Thermo Diet Podcast Jayton Miller sits down with health and wellness professional Keith Littlewood for a second talk. In this episode, Jayton and Keith talk about all things thyroid. From how estrogen and cortisol affect the thyroid to how methylene blue can increase the amount of available thyroid hormone in serum. They also talk about Keith Functional Endocrinology and Nutrition Seminars where Keith teaches people everything you would ever want to know about hormones and food. Check it out and let us know what you think!

 

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Channels: - Christopher Walker ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA1... ) - UMZU Health ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2IE... )

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Keith's Website - https://balancedbodymind.com/ 

Full Transcript:

Jayton Miller:
Welcome back to the ThermoDiet Podcast. I'm your host Jayton Miller and today I have on the podcast, again, Mr. Keith Littlewood. The first episode that I had with Keith was one of my favorite of the history of the ThermoDiet Podcast and I'm super excited for you all to listen to this episode today.

Jayton Miller:
We talk about things from how estrogen and cortisol affect the thyroid, the diurnal rhythm of the thyroid, vitamin A, thyroid carrier proteins, methylene blue and its relationship to higher thyroid availability, the largest factors in maintaining a healthy thyroid, and the key functional endocrinology and nutrition seminars. I'm really looking forward to you all being able to listen to this one. It's filled with an extreme amount of value so let's get into it.

Jayton Miller:
How's it going today, guys? I am here with Keith Littlewood. How you doing today, Keith?

Keith Littlewood:
Not bad. Traded the heat of Dubai for the cold and snow of the Lake District in England. Enjoying the shift, to be honest.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. This is your second appearance on the ThermoDiet Podcast. I really appreciate your time and thank you for hopping on here and talking with me again. For those who haven't listened to your previous podcast, could you tell them your background and how you came across this realm of health?

Keith Littlewood:
Sure. I fell into health by just starting out as a gym instructor and then into as a personal trainer and then into having my health club and small personal training company. Then I realized I hated managing people. I did some holistic exercise stuff in the US with the C.H.E.K Institute and then I moved away from that and got into functional medicine testing and then more into Ray Peat's work, which I found really interesting and the science that he referenced, whether it be Albus and Georgie or [inaudible 00:02:01] Katharina Dalton, some really good scientists with some really incredible work behind them.

Keith Littlewood:
That spurred me on and challenged my biases. I thought it was all very good reading these books, which are absolutely astounding books but I decided to go to uni ... Back to uni. I did a degree in fitness and health, which was really just a plodding along, not really meaning anything at the time.

Keith Littlewood:
I did a post-grad and a masters degree in endocrinology, looking at, specifically ... It was interesting because the experience of understanding what doctors are studying as well, because it was mainly doctors on the course, and seeing how they look at different aspects of research and perhaps shy away from the nutritional aspects and often take the dogmatic beliefs that the blood tests are the gold standard. It was interesting to really study with them.

Keith Littlewood:
My masters degree was looking at some of the older research like [inaudible 00:02:57] put out and did a small study looking at body temperature and pulse and how blood thyroid values like thyroid stimulating hormone can appear completely normal but yet people can have suboptimal temperature and have all this clinical presentation of low thyroid function. It was just along those lines.

Keith Littlewood:
I'm just starting my PHD next year, which is a real challenge for me because I thought I wasn't capable of doing the other studies but it's a lot more in-depth and going into more some clinical research and looking at thyroid receptor expression, looking at liver function when the body is perhaps ... Certainly, not human bodies but rodent physiology, when they're exposed to multiple pollutants at various levels.

Keith Littlewood:
The idea is to go and do that. That's been my journey over the last ... Well, from the fitness industry in the late '90s up until now and I'm here now doing this thing working, primarily, earning money as a kind of coach for hormone-related issues, like digestion, sleep, energy, mood, fertility, that kind of thing and trying to juggle being a parent and working and studying at the same time. It's all a bit of a juggle but here I am.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. That's awesome. Well, I know that I thoroughly enjoy your work. You're probably one of the more knowledgeable people that I've come across other than [inaudible 00:04:20] and Ray himself. I really appreciate everything that you're putting out for everybody. It's awesome.

Keith Littlewood:
Hey, I really appreciate that. To be honest, [inaudible 00:04:31] talking about Ray, a very clever guy. I just, generally, probably 20 years on most people. I'm 49 so I've read a lot more books and kind of juggle around so most people should be where I am at that age I think. It's nice to be considered within those kind of work of people but they're very clever people for sure.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. Whenever it comes to thyroid, how do estrogen and cortisol and I guess stress, in general, kind of affect the thyroid's functioning?

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. There are multiple levels. Even from the basic skipping meals where we know that cortisol is going to need to be produced, primarily, if there's not enough energy around, the body has to start breaking down fats as a fuel. If glucose is running out, the brain is preferentially going to ensure that the liver is saving some liver for the brain. The brain likes to use glucose. If it gets to start breaking down fatty acids as a fuel, chronically, it's a bit of a problem.

Keith Littlewood:
Initially, the thing of just skipping meals, which can and should be able to do if they have a healthy physiology but a lot of people don't. The ability to skip meals is one of the primary reasons why they can't cope. If you're training in a fasted state, for example, you're going to be starting to produce a lot more cortisol. That has an effect.

Keith Littlewood:
We know that glucose, cortisol, and even adrenaline, for example, have the capacity to inhibit thyroid, primarily, because it's a bit like analogous to the digestive system, right? When you're not in the parasympathetic state of digesting foods and you're startled and you have to spring into action, the digestive system shuts down and you start funneling blood towards the working organs, the periphery, and the skin just to get you prepared for that stressor.

Keith Littlewood:
That's the same thing is when you have these higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol, it's really there to get you out of a situation. That comes at a cost by inhibiting the organizational hormones like thyroid.

Keith Littlewood:
You know, what you might tend to see in the acute stages is perhaps a slight increase in TSH. It's usually inhibited very, very quickly. When you look at medical cases where people have been using long-term cortioc steroids of something, for example, then the thyroid physiology is certainly suppressed and sometimes TSH is unreadable in that state.

Keith Littlewood:
This is why we tend to see a lot of thyroid blood tests appear completely normal. I think that's relatively problematic. I've been working with a lot of clients in Australia recently and there's this dogmatic upholdance of the TSH being the gold standard. I see a lot of clients that have been to the doctors and they've looked at my TSH and they won't look at the T4 or T3 or the three T4s and T3 as a marker, because they think that that's the gold standard test.

Keith Littlewood:
I think that's the problem. There are many things that can make thyroid blood tests appear completely normal and being stressed and cortisol production is just one of those as an example, whether you're training in a fasted state or chronic emotional stressors, chronic pollutant stressors, perhaps you're over-exercising, perhaps ... There are a number of stressors that can drive that but that's just one of the reasons why cortisol might be elevated but at the same time, TSH might be suppressed.

Keith Littlewood:
In a normal healthy system, what you should see is that as TSH starts to increase, you'll generally see cortisol increase as part of that. You'll tend to see a lot of people don't have that normal response and this is why perhaps the feedback mechanisms with the loops, that there being enough thyroid hormone within the blood and in the carrier proteins, which we'll talk about later.

Keith Littlewood:
Going back to the pituitary and that feedback mechanism going, "There's enough thyroid in the blood. We don't need to produce anymore. We don't need to ramp up TSH production." TSH production, as I said, usually what would happen is cortisol would increase. TSH, in itself, for example, is a stress hormone. Not everybody tends to view it as that.

Keith Littlewood:
When you have high production of TSH, it's associated with fibrosis, it's associated with follicle [inaudible 00:08:55], within the thyroid gland itself. TSH can be as much a stressor as, say, cortisol and the effects of estrogen, which we'll talk about in a minute. Also, the TSH receptor, which can be problematic as well. The TSH receptor is not just in the thyroid gland. It's in the ovaries and the testicles and the liver, in the bone, and there are various reasons that when the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor is not regulated, there are connotations with this and its progression with tumors and cancers.

Keith Littlewood:
There's a knock on effect of perhaps understanding why TSH should start to increase in response to a lack of peripheral conversion of thyroid hormones. Understanding, that there are mechanisms that can inhibit it as well. That's why TSH perhaps on its own can be a complete waste of time.

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. Definitely. Whenever it comes to the TSH receptors, especially within the reproductive tissue, do you know exactly what's going on there?

Keith Littlewood:
No. I don't. I'm still working my way through that as part of my studies. I think it's that it might be as part of the mechanism with the extra peripheral thyroid issue. Maybe it's having an effect that's slightly problematic that's perhaps related to growth. There may be some synergy with some of the other tissues that are associated with growth in cancers as well. Perhaps like the endothelial growth factors that you tend to see with angiogenesis, and other factors of growth. Maybe it's to do with growth and proliferation, much like the estrogenic issues that you tend to see but I'd put my hand up and say I don't fully know at this moment in time.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. Whenever it comes to estrogen, do you usually notice that it is estrogen, then high TSH levels from the suppression of the thyroid or that it's in the reverse?

Keith Littlewood:
Could you say that again? I'm sorry.

Jayton Miller:
Whenever it comes to estrogen and its effect on thyroid, do you usually notice that estrogen inhibits the thyroid function and then TSH goes up or the other way around?

Keith Littlewood:
I think it's hard to say with that sometimes. Estrogen does have the capacity to inhibit thyroid hormone production. It can affect the thyroid binding globulin and to a degree, maybe even transthyretin, but sometimes when estrogen is produced, it will suppress thyroid physiology.

Keith Littlewood:
I think even to a certain extent, you could argue, and I've seen this with some female clients, is that they're pushed into a subclinical state of hyperthyroidism, even on the buildup in their premenstrual phase, for example. You'll have a dump of estrogen, it will have effects on stimulating glycolysis. It can have an effect on lowering thyroid physiology.

Keith Littlewood:
I generally think it's the estrogen is increasing that suppressed the thyroid, but equally, you could be low thyroid from a number of different reasons, perhaps environmental pollutants and stressors that allow estrogen to have a double whammy effect, as it were. The thyroid is being suppressed and then you have an excess of estrogen, which suppresses thyroid physiology further and that has knock on effects because it can affect [inaudible 00:12:23] and excess of estrogen can affect all levels of aerobic physiology, the electron transport chain.

Keith Littlewood:
Therefore, it can have negative effects to oxidative phosphorylation and use of fats and glucose as a fuel efficiently. I think it's going to be probably context-specific to the person on what they're experiencing but, generally, as a rule of thumb, estrogen will suppress thyroid physiology. Does that answer the question?

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. It did. Yes. Whenever it comes to the functioning of the thyroid, I know that TSH is usually highest during the night. Is there an overall diurnal rhythm of thyroid performance?

Keith Littlewood:
Well, I think you could probably look at it as similar to the seasonal effects of ... I think, certainly, the kind of nadir of TSH at nighttime perhaps parallels that need of just if you take a single day and then look at it as a seasonal thing. We know that TSH is usually at its lowest in the summer months and then perhaps starts to increase during the winter months. Why?

Keith Littlewood:
Because there's less light around as an example, therefore ... Well, there are many aspects to that. The fact that there's not a lot of light around, we often see less hormones being ... Sorry, when there's enough light around, there's enough hormones being converted but as it gets colder, we know there are things that we know our body needs to generate more heat, for example, whereas in the summer time we're kind of being warmed up by the sun and the environment around us.

Keith Littlewood:
That will mean that TSH will start to increase as days get darker and longer as opposed to lighter and longer. There are other aspects like increasing serotonin and increasing melatonin as well that might have an impact on that during the winter months as well.

Keith Littlewood:
But going back to the question regarding night time, I think the TSH is paralleling that darkness, the stress of darkness that Ray Peat, who was the first person to suggest that, for me, which I found really interesting, is that as darkness onsets, you'll have peak of melatonin, which in itself perhaps suppresses thyroid to a degree. It cools the body down. You'll have increases in growth hormone. Again, depending on someone's physiology, how well they're fed, how much they've eaten, will probably dictate how much growth hormone is being produced as an example, how much cortisol is being produced, and, ultimately how much TSH is being produced at night time. I think the standard day is just an expression of the stress induced by darkness to a degree.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. That makes a lot of sense. One question that I've had for quite a while is I've always thought that vitamin A, especially in excess, hinders proper thyroid functioning. I know it depends on the carotenoid versus the animal derivatives. What is your take on vitamin A? Is it something that we should supplement with if we don't get enough in our diet or is it just something that we should avoid completely?

Keith Littlewood:
Well, I think there are a couple of contexts to that. I've skimmed over some of the controversial posts coming out of the US from some people who say that you shouldn't be taking vitamin A. I think there tends to be a glossing over of some of the real problems in the US and I think there is a substantially large portion of hypothyroid people.

Keith Littlewood:
Now, bearing in mind, if you start throwing plenty of vitamin A at someone who is low thyroid, your ability to use that vitamin A is substantially diminished, therefore, you are likely to consume toxic levels or perhaps slightly excessive levels of vitamin A quite easily. It's well known, as you said, that the beta caretonoids tend to not be as favorable as, say, the pre-formed vitamin A, which comes from your organ, meats, livers, that kind of thing, which I think is an essential component of the diet. I think the more stress that you're under, I think the more sunshine that you're in, I think that how sick you get, will dictate how much vitamin A that you need.

Keith Littlewood:
I can't see any reason why people couldn't consume 20 to 30 grams of liver a day or maybe five to six days a week as useful. You can look for those tell tale signs of consuming the excess carotenoids and you see carotenosis and these orange-y fat pads in the hands and sometimes on your feet. When I used to do lots of physical therapy, I could tell when someone had been on a paleo type diet, consuming loads of sweet potatoes and squash because their feet would be virtually orange and I would say, "Do you eat lots of sweet potatoes?" They'd say, "Yeah. Every day." It's like you can see these things.

Keith Littlewood:
I do think it's really important to understand whether someone's liver is functional enough to utilize the vitamin A and would always favor more of the liver from that, not to say squashes and sweet potatoes aren't useful foods because they can be. When you're eating them every day, the excess of the carotenoids can have an effect on making the liver slightly more sluggish than it could be. Therefore, you need to consider that.

Keith Littlewood:
When someone's sick, as I was saying, you could become sick very, very ... It depends how sick you can be. It might be an acute or a chronic illness but you would deplete vitamin A substantially. If you're someone who gets sick quite a lot throughout the year, you might find liver being the game changer. I do find that organ meats, and particularly liver, is something that does have a big bang effect for a lot of people, particularly female clients, because it will assist with hormone conversion.

Keith Littlewood:
For example, in the female cycle, the corpus luteum holds a substantial amount of vitamin A that I think it helps to produce the progesterone from. If you're looking at ovulatory issues and fertility issues then getting adequate amounts of vitamin A could be essential. I know a friend of mine that's consumed 30 grams of raw liver every day for the last 10 years and is probably one of the healthiest people I know.

Jayton Miller:
I've seen a study where they took adolescent boys who hit puberty late and so they hadn't hit it yet and they actually supplemented with vitamin A plus iron and it had similar effects to bioidentical testosterone within the study. As far as the synthesis of the steroid hormones, how does vitamin A play a role in that?

Keith Littlewood:
It's funny because I've seen a similar study as well with menopausal women who have had similar issues and supplementing with vitamin A is basically taking some of their postmenopausal symptoms, which was really interesting.

Keith Littlewood:
I think with vitamin A it allows the liver to function efficiently, it will help with steroidal hormone conversion. It will help with tissue differentiation, which is quite important. If you look at the issues, say, for example, with people who have been in the sun a lot and they're exposed to excess UV, one of the primary actions of vitamin A is just acting as a tissue differentiator. It will just promote steroidal hormone in the peripheral tissues and in the liver. Generally, as a rule of thumb, that's the mechanisms I'm aware of of vitamin A. I don't know the exact mechanisms beyond that.

Keith Littlewood:
The other thing as well with vitamin A is that generally you might see, particularly, many females, again, coming up as anemic and, again, it's a low vitamin A status that's not allowing binding of iron efficiently, not allowing hemoglobin production efficiently. It tends to have a knock on effect to other systems related to red blood cell production as well. It's not just limited to steroidal conversion.

Jayton Miller:
Do you think that people who are anemic on blood tests should probably start supplementing with vitamin A, initially, instead of going towards iron and supplementation?

Keith Littlewood:
Absolutely. To a degree, as well, if you look at, say ... You can get a feel from some of the RBC tests like hemoglobin, hematocrit, corpuscular volume, and those ones may actually flag out the slightly low. If they're end range low or even low, you can probably suggest someone is a hypothyroid, first of all, and you'll probably find adequate vitamin A and restoring thyroid capacity will basically eradicate what looks like anemia.

Keith Littlewood:
Again, if you're just getting a blood test done that's just looking at, say, [inaudible 00:21:23] levels and you're not looking at ferritin, trans ferritin or tissue iron binding capacity, then ... You still get a lot of doctors that will look at just iron levels and go, "Hey, you're anemic" and it's like, "Well, why aren't they responding to the iron?" when you give them loads of iron. I've seen some people have IV iron drips and wondering why they feel pretty crappy just supplementing extra iron. It still makes me wonder how people can have five years of medical training and usually a specialism, get to that point where they're just looking at a single blood test and wondering why iron's not increasing.

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. To answer the question, I think if someone has the context, their history is there, perhaps not eating enough irons means they're under a lot of stress, perhaps they get a lot of sunshine, all of these reasons, perhaps they've been sick multiple times throughout the year, that would be a good indication of needing for that.

Keith Littlewood:
Many females, as an example, tend to shy away from organ meats anyway. I often get emails from clients saying, "I can't stomach liver. What's the next best thing?" Unfortunately, the next best thing is liver tablets because there's no getting around it sometimes. That's the next best thing.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. Whenever it comes to liver tablets, I've heard that some of the nutrients can be oxidized inside of them. Do you still think that there's a significant benefit from supplementing with them?

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. No. I mean, it does depend. If substances have been oxidized then there may not be as good a benefit. It's something that needs to be considered on the supplement to see if the nutrients are still there for sure.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. You had mentioned them earlier but what are some of the ways that we can increase the efficacy of the carrier proteins for thyroid hormones and what are some of the ones that we can keep an eye on?

Keith Littlewood:
Well, there are three main carrier proteins for the thyroid as such, which is transthyretin, thyroid binding globulin, and albumin. You know, I think it's becoming part of the problem, certainly, I've spent the last few weeks researching pollutants as part of a literature review. It's problematic because in rodents, the main carrier protein is transthyretin and you've got a lot of research on that. Rodents don't tend to have the major human one, which is thyroid binding globulin but transthyretin is another one that's quite problematic. I think it's about 30%, 40% of their thyroid carrier capacity. Maybe 30%. I think thyroid binding globulin's probably got the majority of it.

Keith Littlewood:
They can be easily displaced. For example, unsaturated fatty acids can displace thyroid hormone from transthyretin. Transthyretin tends to have a capacity for retinol binding protein, which is your vitamin A type protein, and then T4. Now it's very easy for proofers like fish oils, DHA, to hijack that carrier protein. Other pollutants like PCBs and perhaps phthalates can also do that as well, and they're very ubiquitous in the environment.

Keith Littlewood:
When we start to see these carrier proteins being hijacked, perhaps it's one of the reasons why thyroid hormones are problematic when you come to look at a blood test. For example, you have full carriers. It seems in the blood that there might actually be enough T4 and T3. This is where perhaps these feedback mechanisms become compromised.

Keith Littlewood:
I think understanding that there are a number of things that can hijack the thyroid proteins. I'm just trying to think of practical ways of doing this. I think just maintaining the you thyroid status of having good thyroid function and I think vitamin A will play a part in that as well because it probably has a beneficial effect on transthyretin as well.

Keith Littlewood:
I think just trying to ... It's virtually impossible these days to avoid pollution and to avoid, I'll just put the word, toxins. But they are real and they are ubiquitous and they do have discernable and very nefarious effects on thyroid physiology. You can't avoid them.

Keith Littlewood:
You can do things like at your home make sure you've got clean water coming in. At the moment, I live at one of the most polluted cities in the world and we have an air filter upstairs and downstairs to deal with the air in the house. I think that there are things that you can do to perhaps create your own cocoon and make sure that you're limiting the exposure to pollutants. That includes cleaning pollutants, perhaps the cleansing products and grooming products that you use, all of those can perhaps have a cumulative effect.

Keith Littlewood:
If you live in a polluted city, you're drinking heavily fluoridated water, you come home, you're spraying Mr. Muscle or whatever, your [inaudible 00:26:42], and you're reading a lot of these things, there is perhaps a risk and a cumulative factor that's probably hard to analyze in any shape or form, but maybe that factor that pushes it over, and these can have an effect on the carrier proteins and how they are transporting thyroid hormones.

Keith Littlewood:
I think taking care of your own environment that you spend time to sleep in and regenerate in is very, very important. Also, getting out to environments that don't have these kind of ubiquitous air pollutants, some of the pollutants that we find have very [inaudible 00:27:17] qualities that are very problematic to physiology and can also have an effect of hijacking not just the carrier proteins but also the receptors as well. I know negative actions around how T3 is taken into the cell. There are problems.

Keith Littlewood:
The more that you can manage your environment at home and the more that you can get out to areas that are rich in nature, clean air, perhaps have a different vibration or feel to them when you step out there. I know being in the countryside at the moment, I feel very much more relaxed, though I'm looking after the kids all day long and there's a few things to juggle up there but being in the country with clean air, I often feel much more relaxed than I do in a city that's heavy in the air with pollutants and has a certain stressful feel to it.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. I think some of that also has to do with sound pollution too because we're not always aware of the amount of sound that's coming in subconsciously that is just keeping us stressed out [crosstalk 00:28:20].

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. Yeah. I live relatively near a busy road in the Middle East and here there's a road outside but there's a lake on the other side of the mountains and it's literally ... The noise is apart from the odd goose flying past, it's pretty quiet.

Keith Littlewood:
I think that the carrier proteins, another interesting point is the unsaturated fatty acids and to a degree, even saturated fatty acids when they're very, very excessive, perhaps you're consuming an excess amount of saturated fats can have a similar effect. The affinity for carrier proteins like thyroid binding globulin and transthyretin, the unsaturated fatty acids have a very high affinity for it.

Keith Littlewood:
You know, brominated flame retardants, which are, again, the most ubiquitous pollutants that are around and you tend to find them in offices, warehouses where people work, in the dust and in the air and then you have all the other PCBs and phthalates and the PHIHs as well. All of these seem to have a very negative effect on how thyroid hormones are both carried and how they cross perhaps the blood-brain barrier.

Keith Littlewood:
Then you have other transport mechanisms called the monocarboxylate transports, eight and 10, and something called the OP1C1, which is an organic and ion transport proteins. These are thyroid carrying proteins. [inaudible 00:30:00], for example, is something that carriers the thyroid across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system and is found quite heavily in the pituitary. These can also be affected by pollutants as well. The MCT10 is kind of more a muscle tissue in other kind of organs as well. These small cellular proteins and transporters can also be affected by pollutants as well.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. You were actually the first one that I found that actually talked about methylene blue and the increasing thyroid hormone availability. Can you go into how that works a little bit?

Keith Littlewood:
Sure. It's funny you should say that because I've been thinking about this recently because I thought I don't have the true answer to it. What does appear quite a feature, certainly, in rodent physiology, is that there's more thyroid hormone availability in the serum post-methylene blue. Now at the moment, I'm not too sure whether that actually means that there's less need for thyroid hormone because of perhaps oxidative phosphorylation is enhanced but perhaps fatty acid and glucose oxidation is utilized efficiently.

Keith Littlewood:
I don't know if that higher serum thyroid value is a product of more efficient function and less thyroid need or something else. I'm actually not quite sure at the moment. I was just thinking about this recently of how that was a positive feature for the thyroid at the moment.

Keith Littlewood:
My thoughts on it at the moment are that because oxidative metabolism is functioning as efficiently as it can do, it's probably producing adequate carbon dioxide, [inaudible 00:31:50] is functioning well, perhaps the need for thyroid is lessened somewhat and that's why you might see slightly more thyroid hormone available in the blood.

Keith Littlewood:
Or it might be that it's affecting other structures and there's generally more thyroid hormone available because the system has become more efficient. I mean, typically, when you use methylene blue it tends to go to problem areas anyway. Cancer physiologists will tend to use it as a detection system, right? They inject methylene blue intravenously or perhaps into sites of tumors. You often see that the methylene blue will aggregate in these areas and can be picked up with certain imaging. I think that's very, very useful.

Keith Littlewood:
It was interesting. I was speaking to a relative who is a doctor and they thought I was balmy talking about methylene blue for restoring physiology. They said, "We just used it for looking at cancers within the body." I was like, "Doesn't it tell you something that it's aggregating there? Why is it aggregating there? Is it aggregating for a reason? Is the effect beneficial for physiology?"

Keith Littlewood:
I think it's still quite balmy that I find some ... I was doing a course last year earlier on in the year on basics of cancer physiology and they were just throwing in, "Oh, an emerging feature of cancer physiology is also metabolism." I'm like, "Well, they knew that 70 or 80 years ago." That was the [inaudible 00:33:16] effect that cells tend to rapidly dwindle towards glycolysis and burn everything up inefficiently. How as oncologists and cancer specialists talking about also metabolism as an emerging feature of cancer physiology, especially when they're using methylene blue, which has the capacity to ensure that electron transport chain and aerobic metabolism is restored efficiently.

Keith Littlewood:
To answer the question, I still don't know exactly but perhaps it's just a suggestion that the system is more efficient and, ultimately, there's more thyroid hormone available. I might have a different answer for that in a few months.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. I have two questions, one thyroid and one cancer-related. As far as the cancer goes, do you think that it aggregates there because of the reductive state of the tumors? One of my friends told me about a podcast with Ray and Georgi where they were talking about whenever they injected the tumors with methylene blue and exposed them to a certain wavelength of light, it actually helped shrink the tumors.

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. Yes. To answer your question, I think it does aggregate there because it is going towards the reductive metabolism. I think it's because glycolysis is there. I don't know why it aggregates there. What would be the reason why it would go there? Why? That would be the question to answer that. How does the body drive it there? How does it aggregate there? I don't know the answer to that. Maybe someone with more brains than me can perhaps answer that.

Keith Littlewood:
It's interesting to know that it does aggregate there and it does have the capacity to increase oxidative metabolism. There are quite a few studies that show that when you use a red light spectrum, I think anywhere in the standard red light spectrum, perhaps 630 up to about 830 or something like that, 650 to 830, have shown every beneficial things, not just on reducing cancer or tumor size, which can be done with perhaps a number of things but I think its effects on blood parasites and malaria seem to work much more beneficially when you have methylene blue shared with a red light spectrum.

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. It makes sense that if a tumor is running out of control, the micro environment is very acidic, it's wasting glucose, perhaps it's ... One of the hallmarks of cancer tumor and progression is the breakdown of fatty acids and the gene expression of something called the PPARs. This is well known within cancer physiology is that kind of altered, aggressive wasting state and why people tend to say all sugar tends to feed cancer. Well, sugar will feed any cell that's functioning well but, ultimately, glucose is the easiest source. When you don't have that, you aggressively break down fatty acids.

Keith Littlewood:
Now if you keep breaking down fatty acids, particularly unsaturated fatty acids, you're going to keep getting damage to the electron transport chain. It's a bit of a vicious cycle where there's chronic glycolysis and no chance of getting out of that. I think it makes perfect sense that red light is being used in conjunction with methylene blue to get the beneficial effects of cancer. Definitely.

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. Then as far as for thyroid performance, do you think that it could do with an increased amount of ATP production that is just a higher output of thyroid hormone?

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah. It's possible. Again, it would be tissue-specific. If there is enhanced oxidative phosphorylation and there's adequate ATP, perhaps it's even part of the component of carbon dioxide as well. It becomes a self-regulating feature of the metabolism. Certainly, having more energy around and more ATP around is going to be useful.

Keith Littlewood:
I think when you're not breaking down the aerobic metabolism and pushing someone towards glycolysis, you have more ATP around anyway, right? It would make sense that if there's more ATP, generally, most cells can function efficiently and that includes peripheral conversion of thyroid hormone.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. I guess as summing all of that up, what do you think are the top five tips that we can do today to help get our thyroid on track and increase its effectiveness?

Keith Littlewood:
I still do think that eating on a regular basis is one of the easiest things that we can do to maintain thyroid function. I've seen it time and time again. I've seen people who perhaps think a low thyroid, based upon all of their symptoms, and surprisingly, I've seen them actually do wonderful things and not be hypothyroid. They just needed a good solid source of nutrients coming in each day.

Keith Littlewood:
Interestingly enough, I was working with a lady just the last couple of months who was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. She was like 42, 43 and told she had basically gone into menopause. Within the space of four weeks and some supplemental progesterone, she started having her period again.

Keith Littlewood:
The context to thyroid extends to the other hormones, reproductive hormones as well. I think eating on a regular basis is very, very important. I think getting adequate light is also essential. We take it back to what we talked about with the long days of summer. Generally, mammals produce less TSH because the need to heat the body up, the need to maintain metabolism can be, to a degree, propped up during warm days of sunshine, not to say that somebody might mistakingly be propped up by that but then you might start to see that as the lightness starts to fade and the days get longer, the true hypothyroid state might be actually expressed and this is why people get Seasonal Affective Disorder and mood-related issues in the winter. You can spot that.

Keith Littlewood:
I think adequate food, adequate light. I certainly think not over ... I think exercise, generally, you should be doing exercise up until you can't exercise anymore because it has an anabolic effect. It helps us to feel stronger. I put my back out the other day just from a long flight and six hours of driving to get to the place I was going to and I felt an old injury that usually puts me on my back in tears if I don't manage it, I literally got on top of it, did the exercises three times a day, and I was out of pain.

Keith Littlewood:
Understanding that movement and staying strong can help to promote optimal function of the body. The more that we can deal with the stresses of whether it's taking the heavy bags of shopping and lifting kids up and stuff and not being in pain ... Pain has an effect on thyroid physiology because the more chronic pain we're in, the more chronic cortisol and adrenaline are produced and we start wasting vitamin C and other nutrients that can have an effect and, ultimately, stress the thyroid out as well.

Keith Littlewood:
I think staying fit and healthy is important but then not overdoing exercise is an essential feature. If you want to stay strong, a good strength program three times a week is going to set you up. Walking every day and experiencing the stress reduction effects of walking as well can be particularly useful. If you're into your long distance aerobic work, whatever floats your boat, whatever boosts your rocket, but if you look at long distance running as an example, they're much more prone to coronary artery calcification, which tends to have a spillover with aspects of thyroid function as well. They might have interactions with nutrient availability as well. Generally, the longer distance, the more calcified arteries that people tend to have. That probably has an effect on thyroid physiology.

Keith Littlewood:
I know we're on number four but I'm going to say this one now because it's the more prominent thing, I do think if you're not eating thyroid rich foods and you've done all you can from a metabolic perspective to enhance your nutrient uptake, available energy, getting out of carbs, good quality proteins and fats and you're not getting it there, you don't have a waking temperature of 36.5 degrees or about 97.8, progressing to 37 or 98.6, then there's a very good likelihood of you requiring thyroid hormone.

Keith Littlewood:
I don't take it lightly when I say that there are probably hundreds of millions of people out there that do, that aren't. I think understanding that and exploring, experimenting with what's missing is the key thing to enhancing physiology and making people more robust. Ultimately, people having good thyroid function extends to more people thinking about the world around them and what stuff is going on and how they can change it.

Keith Littlewood:
I think a lot of people just go day to day without having the capacity to think because they're so stressed out by the regular daily things, whether it's emotions or whether it's dealing with stresses from a relationship or finances or the environment. All of these things tend to not be dealt with efficiently when you're in a low thyroid state. I think if we can raise the energy and thought processes of large amounts of the population perhaps the world might start to push towards a better place. That's just me living in perhaps a utopian dream that's modified by thyroid hormone. I do think it's, certainly, a feature that we need to think about.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. I completely agree. I think that the relationship between thyroid functioning and our psychology is absolutely completely undervalued for one but it's just mind bogging how much of an impact that it can make. For sure.

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah.

Jayton Miller:
You have a functional endocrinology and nutrition set of seminars. I would love to hear more about this and how people can get involved in that.

Keith Littlewood:
Sure. I started just over a year ago just putting together seminars, which has been basically my experience of studying endocrinology, looking at some really great scientists' work, like Ray's stuff and Katharina Dalton's stuff. It's really just seminars on looking at hormones in a way that I think is slightly more beneficial, much more beneficial than seeing skilled clinicians sometimes who perhaps just rigidly look at the blood tests.

Keith Littlewood:
It's really about understanding some of the basics between the [inaudible 00:44:18] pituitary relationships, understanding feedback mechanisms, looking at aspects of cardiac function and why the staircase effect is useful for understanding why someone's heart rate and temperature gives a really good overview of someone's health. It's looking at these client testing tools.

Keith Littlewood:
Ultimately, my main motivation is I've gone through this. I went through spending a lot of money and getting clients to spend a lot of money on testing. I used to do hundreds of stool tests a year. I've come to the conclusion now that you don't really need to put people through lots of tests. I'll get a lot of clients coming to me and saying, "What blood test do you want?" I go, "I don't want any." I said, "We'll start using blood tests, A, when we've got you to a state where those tests might mean something because you're not in a stressed state and, B, let's use them if what I'm suggesting doesn't work."

Keith Littlewood:
I think testing should be the end range. If you're not sorting out someone's nutrition, lifestyle, facts of like, carbon dioxide, all of these things, then these are the tools that you can give to people to work with clients to get them functioning without spending lots of money.

Keith Littlewood:
It's an overview of adrenal hormones in context, there's neurobiology of sleep and how to change someone's sleep, looking at why people wake up at night, how to resolve the midnight pee, there's seminars on resolving premenstrual syndrome, there's seminars on cholesterol and coronary arterial calcification, there's some on the membrane theory and trying to incorporate the standard stuff of why people say you need to have fish oils for a liquid membrane, which is a bit mental when you think about it, especially when you understand how the [inaudible 00:46:07] doesn't actually go around the whole cell. Also, how when you oxidize these fatty acids, it causes many, many problems. It's trying to incorporate Gilbert Ling's work, which I still don't understand. I've just put some brief things that look at perhaps bringing some of it together. There's some stuff on ... What else is in there?

Keith Littlewood:
I can't even remember right now. There's some biology of cancer seminars. There's about 21 seminars in there at the moment, including breathing pattern physiology, carbon dioxide retention, and the seminars range from about 30 minutes up to about 90 minutes. The idea is I add a new one every couple of months for the members just to get an idea of what I'm looking at, what I think it's important to critique and perhaps put out there against people who are saying why statins are really, really useful for longevity when it appears that they actually increase the risk of coronary artery calcification and break down the electro transport chain and create more oxidative stress over time.

Keith Littlewood:
It's really about contrasting some of the well known things that are out there and looking at some of the things that I've learned and just giving a slightly different slant on hormones and nutrition and the environment. That's what I keep trying to add to it is something that adds to those conversations.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. Where can people find that?

Keith Littlewood:
That's on my website. It's just under the functional endocrinology and nutrition page, which I'm thinking of changing soon to just functional hormones and nutrition. Still a lot of people don't understand or know what endocrinology is. I think people understand what hormones are so I'm probably going to change the name on that.

Jayton Miller:
Sounds good. That's at Balanced Body Minds.

Keith Littlewood:
Dot com. Yeah. That's it. It's just on one of the main pages there. I appreciate you advertising it. Thank you.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. Then your Instagram is TommoLittlewood.

Keith Littlewood:
Yup.

Jayton Miller:
Do you have any other social media platforms that you like to use?

Keith Littlewood:
I have a Facebook page, which is Balanced Body Mind but it's not used that much these days. It tends to be Instagram and the website and I probably need to think about another social media thing because they're always changing. I only do them because I need to get clients in. I need to think of another platform but I'm certainly not going down the route of TikTok. That's for sure.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. I'll be staying away from that as well.

Keith Littlewood:
Yeah.

Jayton Miller:
Keith, again, I appreciate you hopping on here and I know these listeners are going to love it.

Keith Littlewood:
I know. I really appreciate it. Could I just add one more thing to be cheeky?

Jayton Miller:
Absolutely.

Keith Littlewood:
If anybody is interested, there is a link on my website, which is for my PHD. My PHD is costing me tens of thousands of pounds, probably close to 50,000 pounds so I've put up a GoFundMe page, which is going nicely. I've raised nearly 5000 pounds so far. I'm not expecting all of it. I will be paying a substantial amount towards it but the lab fees are costing me over 30,000 pounds for the experiment. Independent science isn't cheap so if anybody feels like dropping $5 or $10 down or anything, that will be really appreciated because I've got the next six years to try and work with that. Even if they can't afford to do that, just sharing it with people that want to see some independent science done.

Jayton Miller:
Definitely. What's the GoFundMe under?

Keith Littlewood:
That's a great question. If you go on my website, there's actually a link on there. I can't remember without shutting this down and deleting the screen and you going. It's on my website and there's also a link in my link tree and Instagram.

Jayton Miller:
Sounds good. Yeah. For all those of you listening, make sure to check that out. Please share it. I know I'm going to as soon as this podcast is over. Definitely.

Keith Littlewood:
It's really great to talk to you again. Happy to chat again but good to see you, Jayton. Thanks a lot.

Jayton Miller:
Yes, sir. It was good seeing you.

Jayton Miller:
Thanks for listening to the podcast. If you haven't already, make sure to hit the like button, subscribe, and leave a comment down below if you want us to cover a different topic.

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