The health legend Ray Peat is dead at 86, according to a report online.

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Tributes poured in online.

Full collection of quotes here.

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Ray Peat exposed the evils of seed oils.

Ray Peat website here.

More here: What Is the Ray Peat Diet?

For anyone who’s ever had a chronic, difficult-to-diagnose health condition, the search for answers can lead to years of frustration. Where medical science sometimes fails to offer a definitive answer, anecdotal evidence and experimentation can occasionally lead to a sustainable solution for some people.

That’s been true for Benedicte Lerche, a biochemist, nutritional counselor and thyroid specialist who struggled with a low-thyroid disorder in her 20s before finally finding the Ray Peat diet. She now offers counseling and support featuring the Ray Peat diet via her service, BiochemNordic, based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The thing about the Ray Peat diet is that there isn’t really a set Ray Peat diet. Erin Holley, a registered dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, says that “apparently the Ray Peat diet works to correct hormonal imbalances and improve metabolism through ‘pro-metabolic’ dietary changes.” If that term seems unfamiliar, you’re not alone. “I’m not quite sure what this means because even the people that follow his diet can’t explain it,” Holley says. U.S. News reached out to Peat for an interview but did not hear back.

Peat hasn’t published a book that outlines all the ins and outs of eating to improve thyroid function, and he’s not offering a monthly membership program, cookbooks, recipe lists or simplified lists of foods to eat or avoid in prescribed amounts, like so many other diets out there. Instead, finding the essence of the Ray Peat diet takes a lot of digging and reading into various online networks and forums, some of which include unconventional alternative medicine advice alongside mainstream nutritional and health advice.

Nevertheless, the Ray Peat diet has many staunch followers, such as Lerche, who’ve found freedom and relief in his unconventional ideas. This eating concept draws from the Peat’s research and, to a certain degree, is open to interpretation by the user.

According to information posted on the website raypeat.com, which is attributed to Peat himself, he holds a PhD in biology from the University of Oregon, with specialization in physiology. He has taught at the University of Oregon, Urbana University, Montana State University, National University of Naturopathic Medicine, Universidad Veracruzana, the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico and Blake Austin College. He has also offered private nutritional counseling.

Peat’s biography notes that he started his work with progesterone and related hormones in 1968. “In papers in Physiological Chemistry and Physics (1971 and 1972) and in my dissertation (University of Oregon, 1972), I outlined my ideas regarding progesterone, and the hormones closely related to it, as protectors of the body’s structure and energy against the harmful effects of estrogen, radiation, stress and lack of oxygen,” he writes. “The key idea was that energy and structure are interdependent, at every level.”

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