Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
February 3, 2020
On January 1, 2020, I began the Carnivore Diet, which is an animal-based diet. I did my research and learned that this way of eating was more than helpful for many cancer patients. Some patients were cured! So, I am all in with this eating plan, which replaces my paleo-type diet I was eating for the last 7 years.
Case studies have been published where incurable cancer patients went into remission and even resolved their malignancies by eating basically an animal-based diet. Some of these patients had been on chemotherapy previously, but many of them elected never to start chemotherapy. Instead, they began this special diet.
However, I know of no published papers that show the Carnivore Diet has been used with multiple myeloma patients. As I’ve described in my past Blogs, my diagnosis is IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma. While many named types of cancer exist, initially all cancers to some extent are a result of mitochondrial and metabolic dysfunction. So, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it may be plausible that repairing damaged and ineffective mitochondria and improving a cancer patient’s metabolism should be the basis for all cancer therapy.
Paleomedicini is a clinic in Budapest, which has documented several cancer patients benefiting from its animal-based diet, which they named the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet (PKD). This clinic claims to cure many chronic diseases, including cancers, with the PKD exclusively. While the regulations on making medical claims in Hungary are different than those in the United States, Paleomedicini’s published case studies are impressive and are based on human clinical results.
My experiment with the Carnivore Diet as a lifestyle change has been relatively uncomplicated and encouraging. However, over the last 4+ weeks I have had 2 concerns: (1) I was not able to stay in ketosis continuously, and (2) I have had occasional acid reflux, which has never been a problem for me.
(1) The ketosis concern is most likely from increased levels of blood glucose resulting from gluconeogenesis. Excess protein with no carbs in my diet could cause gluconeogenesis. For the most part, I fixed that by making sure that my fat-to-protein gram ratio is at least 2:1 and that I am not eating an excess of protein.
Also, the stress I deal with because of my incurable diagnosis could be a cause. (Yes, I do have stress even though I am extremely positive.) Stress is a more difficult factor to get under control continuously, but I am relatively successful with it.
In addition, some medications that are given to me during my infusions of Darzalex will cause my blood sugar to be elevated – specifically dexamethasone. Fortunately, my oncologist is decreasing my dose of dexamethasone along with decreasing the frequency of my infusions from weekly to biweekly.
(2) My other concern is acid reflux. This also could be due to the dexamethasone that is given to me during my infusions of Darzalex. The half-life of dexamethasone is up to 72 hours. So, remnants of this drug could linger in my bloodstream from infusion to infusion. Fortunately, as I mentioned, my dose and frequency are being reduced, which could solve this concern.
I Am Unique
All this being said, I believe I am unique in noteworthy and advantageous ways. After reading published case studies of cancer patients and their success with a Carnivore Diet, I found none of these patients emphasized improving their overall health like me.
Even before I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2018, I was following a primal diet and a primal lifestyle for about 6 years. After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I elevated my metabolic status to levels not typical of the average cancer patient. I wanted to give my body everything it required to stay healthy and heal naturally. Humans survive and thrive because of their strong immune system and the presence of nutrients the body demands to function optimally.
From my experience at my local Cancer Center, most current cancer patients have not been educated about the importance of their metabolism and their nutrition. Here is my firsthand observation:
I have been going to the Cancer Center once a week to receive my infusion of Darzalex, which is a specific form of immunotherapy targeting my malignant plasma cells. Before starting the immunotherapy, I was required to have an “instructional interview” with the cancer nutritionist. She told me I could eat anything I wanted if I liked it. Nothing was taboo!
In the clinic where I was receiving immunotherapy infusions, many other cancer patients were receiving various cocktails of their chemotherapy drugs. On several of my visits for infusions, the nurses and aides in the clinic were offering chocolate chip cookies to all the cancer patients having their IV therapies. The doctors in the clinic advised these cancer patients to eat anything they liked to maintain their weight. The quality of the food didn’t matter – pizza, ice cream, cookies, donuts, bagels, and the like were not discouraged because they provided calories. No wonder most of these cancer patients have a highly compromised metabolism. Don’t the docs and nurses get it? Glucose feeds cancer cells, and junk food and poor metabolism compromises the all-important immune system.
I can emphatically state that this is not the way I have been abusing my body. On the contrary, my diet over the last 7 years has included foods that are anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense. Here is a link to my Blog where I describe how I believe I contracted multiple myeloma.
After being diagnosed in September 2018, my Daily Cancer Protocol has emphasized areas of my body which are weak and would benefit from external help. As you may recall, since my diagnosis, I have experienced numerous pathological fractures which were results of the severe bone damage I already had when I was diagnosed. I’ve tweaked my protocols along the way. My integrated protocols were, and currently are, designed to:
- Support my immune system with herbal extracts
- Maintain my healthy bone metabolism through specific supplements
- Assure my gut is at peak efficiency by taking spore-based probiotics to improve the growth and diversity of my gut bacteria along with supportive supplements to protect and repair my gut’s mucus layer and epithelial barrier.
- Assist my mitochondria to function properly and produce ATP efficiently through the application of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy with a full-body mat
My Personal Carnivore Diet
I’ve been asked, “So, what do you eat on the Carnivore Diet?” My goal with the Carnivore Diet is not only a healthy eating lifestyle but also a means to help starve cancer cells by ketosis.
I’m not an expert on the carnivore diet, but Paul Saladino, MD is the doc with detailed facts. Dr. Saladino has just published his book titled, The Carnivore Code, which takes a deep dive into the medical science of an animal-based diet. If you are interested in the evidence supporting this way of living, I recommend Dr. Saladino’s book to get into the nitty gritty of the Carnivore Diet. His website is also a wealth of information.
Another source I just discovered is a cookbook. While shopping at my local Costco, I came across The Carnivore Cookbook by Maria and Craig Emmerich that was published in 2020. It is much more than a cookbook. The first 76 pages go into an in-depth but easily understood description of the medical science behind the Carnivore Diet. This is a “must purchase” in my opinion if you are exploring the Carnivore Diet.
I try to vary the meals I eat on my modified animal-based diet, and I only eat when I am hungry. Below are a typical day’s meals for me. I generally only use Himalayan salt for seasoning. Since these foods are extremely satiating, I rarely snack. But when I have the urge, I may snack on homemade devilled eggs or slices of high-fat, zero-carb cheese. (I don’t have any negative systemic effects from this cheese.) Because it is important for me to maintain a high fat-to-protein gram ratio of approximately 2:1, I add extra healthy fats for cooking and food preparation into my meat and organ entrees. My go-to thirst quencher is filtered water, which I drink throughout the day.
Around 6 AM:
16 ounces of French Press coffee from organic, freshly ground beans. I add 2 tablespoons of Collagen Peptides. To this I also add 2 tablespoons of organic MCT Oil and heavy whipping cream to get extra good fats.
Ground lamb or beef burger; 2-3 eggs over easy (cooked in tallow)
Chicken or pork liver pâté; 2-3 eggs over easy (cooked in tallow)
Salmon roe; 2-3 eggs over easy (cooked in tallow)
Wild-caught sardines with bone-in and skin-on; 2-3 eggs over easy (cooked in tallow)
Shrimp; triple-cream brie; bone broth to drink
Wild-caught salmon; triple-cream brie; bone broth to drink
Ribeye steak; triple-cream brie; bone broth to drink
Where I Am Now
My experiment with the Carnivore Diet probably will turn out to be the way I eat for the rest of my life. I am impressed with my results so far, and I am more than impressed with the potential to help my body heal from this aggressive form of multiple myeloma.
I’ve stated this before, and I continue to emphasize, that my quality of life is paramount. My wife and I continue to delve into my ever-expanding Bucket List since I have outlived my original prognosis by over a year so far. And I feel exceptional with energy and outlook to spare. My wife and I are going to celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary in June 2020. We didn’t think we would make it to our 50th wedding anniversary last year, but we did! Awesome memories!!!