Editor's Note: It doesn't take a medical degree to know that many of us tech geeks whose lives circle around our computer aren't getting the best nutrition or exercise. With that in mind, I asked my father, an MD who works for the state of California's Department of Corrections, to provide a family favorite, his article on "Vitamin P". This article was previously printed in Stitches, a humor magazine for physicians in the November – December 1992 edition. -- Louis (PDF Available)Guest Post By Richard N. Gray Jr. M.D.
What do you do when a patient comes to your office stating he doesn’t feel well because his ribosomes are hurting? Obviously, the traditional history is obtained and a physical exam performed. If, after consideration of all entities in the differential diagnosis, the problem turns out to be ribosomalosis, hypovitaminosis P should be suspected, as this is the most common etiology of ribosomalosis(1).
Vitamin P is an obscure, but definitely essential, fat-soluble compound found in such foods as peanuts, potato chips, pies, popcorn, pizza, pop (i.e. psoda pop), pickles, peanut brittle and other such foods. It binds reversibly with the (you guessed it) P-10 receptor protein of the ribosome, stabilizing the organelle, leading to improved protein synthesis. The critical importance of vitamin P is reflected in the fact that it’s measured not in RDA’s but in a recommended allowance weekly, generally called the RAW score. The RAW scores of a variety of foods(2) are listed in the accompanying table.
Before you become skeptical about this important nutrient, consider the research done by Dr. Francis(3), who showed that a large quantity of peanuts enhances the advantageous qualities of beer, a known ribosomal stimulant. Also consider the increased needs for vitamin P exhibited by adolescents, who consume huge amounts of foods containing this vital compound.
As with the other fat-soluble vitamins, there is a hypervitaminosis state, but it is rarely encountered unless parley is eaten. Parsley is to vitamin P what polar bear liver is to vitamin A. It simply needs to be avoided.
Also a contraindication to high vitamin P intake is the pregnant state, in which, according to recent research(4), the yin and yang forces are upset. If such a problem is suspected, the obstetrician should order serum yin and yang levels and treat accordingly.
Though much is known about vitamin P, research continues in an effort to expand our knowledge of its antidepressant properties, so it can be more appropriately utilized.
The major question remaining is: why is there so much vitamin P in ice cream?
FOOTNOTESYou can download a PDF copy of the original article introducing Vitamin P here.
- R Gray, M.D.; Gray’s Nutrition, 3rd Edition, pg. 1492, Laf and Fudgebetter, 1986, Philadelphia.
- Unpublished data, Yuba Dietetic Association.
- N. Francis, M.D.; “Shotgun Surgery,” Orthopedics & Obstetrics, vol. 6, no. 2, pg. 99; 1981.
- I. Dick, M.D.; The Smoking Rabbi, Preface, Six-point Press, 1980, New York.