Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
January 6, 2020
I am making a major change in my diet. As with my entire unconventional cancer journey, I continue to experiment and think “outside of the box”. My current research is suggesting that there are potential benefits to replacing my Paleo-type diet with the Carnivore Diet in my Daily Cancer Protocols. While there is no peer-reviewed published trials which I could find where the Carnivore Diet has been designed to treat cancer patients, there are anecdotal reports and case studies that are impressive. The Carnivore Diet is similar to a ketogenic diet but with all fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds removed.
A ketogenic diet reduces carbohydrates and increases healthy fats to a level where the body’s metabolism shifts away from burning carbs to burning fat and ketones for energy. The Carnivore Diet requires eating only wild-caught and pastured animals from nose-to-tail. Since the Carnivore Diet completely eliminates all plants, it importantly avoids the abundance of antinutrients (i.e. lectins and oxalates) found in plants.
Lectins are proteins, which plants produce to defend themselves against animals trying to eat them. Lectins will cause digestive upset, particularly when eaten raw. These proteins are found in roots, stems, leaves, and especially in the seeds of many plants.
After we eat lectins, they bind to the sugar portions of our intestinal wall where they interfere with digestion and nutrient uptake. However, after edible seeds are cooked using moist heat, some of the damaging effects of many lectins may be reduced. Yet, the danger of lectins is real.
Oxalates, which are tiny molecules found in a variety of seeds, nuts and many vegetables, will bind minerals like calcium and form crystals. Oxalates also can cause kidney stones and are responsible for a wide variety of other health problems related to inflammation, autoimmunity, mitochondrial dysfunction, mineral balance, connective tissue integrity, urinary tract issues and poor gut function.
Sally K. Norton wrote an excellent article about the health hazards of oxalates. Medical research also has shown that oxalates promote the transformation of normal breast cells into highly malignant and undifferentiated tumors. Specifically, oxalates have been shown to damage mitochondria. And mitochondrial dysfunction is a primary component in the development of cancer.
In 2016, a case study was published of a 60-year old patient who had a malignant myoepithelial tumor of the soft palate. The patient refused conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Instead, the patient started a paleolithic-ketogenic (paleo/keto) diet in December 2014. For the first six months, the patient followed a strict meat and fat only diet (Carnivore Diet). From July 2015 on, she was allowed to eat small amounts of vegetables less than two times a week. Surprisingly, the cancer progression was halted as evidenced by imaging follow-up. After 20 months and the conclusion of the case report, the patient had no symptoms or side effects from the originally diagnosed cancer.
During my research, I also came upon another cancer patient. Andrew Scarborough was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable brain tumor (Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma) at the age of 27. He elected to treat his cancer with a strict paleo/keto diet, which he modified into a strict Carnivore Diet. Two years after his diagnosis, his cancer was in remission. And his protocol and results are being studied by Hammersford Hospital in Australia.
In a 2018 review of medical papers, the authors found a ketogenic diet reduced the production and growth of most cancer tumors. However, in some isolated types of cancer, a ketogenic diet apparently supported the growth of tumor cells.
If you google “Carnivore Diet”, you’ll find many anecdotal reports on the Internet describing the benefits of this lifestyle change. For more in-depth discussions of the medical benefits of the Carnivore Diet, I recommend Dr. Paul Saladino’s website (https://carnivoremd.com/the-carnivore-diet-start-here/). He is an MD who highly recommends and personally follows a strict Carnivore Diet.
So, I am connecting some of the medical dots that I am researching. I believe the benefits of a Carnivore Diet will assist my body’s challenge to heal from IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma. As you may recall, my original prognosis at the time of my diagnosis in September 2018 was that I could be dead by the end of 2018. I’ve surprised a lot of people!
Let me be very clear though. I am not recommending that cancer patients should be on the Carnivore Diet. I will experiment with it and will describe below exactly what I will be doing for my personal use. Again, there is no published proof that what I am including in my Unconventional Cancer Protocols is going to treat my cancer or anyone’s cancer. But all my research has proven to me that what you eat and what you eliminate from your diet are vital for overall health.
Potential Benefits of Carnivore Diet
- Restricts calories and mimics fasting: Protein is filling, so you eat less. Eating less reduces caloric intake. Reducing caloric intake will decrease insulin production, insulin-like growth factor, and growth hormone. Fasting (which restricts caloric intake for a period of time) triggers autophagy where old cells die and damaged cells repair. The end result is reduced inflammation as well as reduced symptoms of chronic and autoimmune diseases.
- Provides low residue in gut: This diet is basically protein and fat – all of which are absorbed in the upper part of the gut. So, there is little leftover residue to irritate or inflame the lower portions of the gut. Less residue in the lower gut reduces diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain while helping prevent inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Also, the Carnivore Diet avoids oxalates and lectins that could be damaging to the body.
- Alters the gut microbiome: A healthy gut microbiome is vital for optimum immune health and reduction of inflammatory diseases. However, altering the gut microbiome may have positive as well as negative effects. Microbial diversity and homeostasis are key to a healthy microbiome.
- Supplies pre-digested nutrients: Eating an animal from nose-to-tail provides all the nutrients that support that animal’s health. The nutrients that are consumed by the animal are present in their muscles, fat, cartilage and collagenous parts, and their organs. Eating wild caught or pastured animals from nose-to-tail provides us with all these nutrients, which may be in sufficient quantity and quality for us to thrive.
- Creates ketones: A Carnivore Diet will put the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis will shift the body to burning fat or ketones for energy instead of burning glucose. Cancer cells cannot utilize ketones, but our remaining healthy cells can. As I mentioned above, cancer patients might have significant results from being in a state of ketosis even though there are no controlled, long-term human studies to support this.
My Updated Unconventional Cancer Protocol
I’m going to tweak my Cancer Protocols by replacing my current diet program with the Carnivore Diet along with a few of my modifications. I will follow this eating program for at least 1-2 months to see how my biomarkers react and how I feel. This experiment may become the way I will eat forever going forward. It should be no surprise to you that my ultimate decision maker or breaker will be how I feel. Of course, I will continue with my other integrated cancer protocols daily.
I’ll eat when I’m hungry and drink when I’m thirsty. Although I purchase most of my pastured and wild-caught animal products from neighborhood grocers and local farmers’ markets, I purchase what I can’t find from White Oak Pastures in Georgia or VitalChoice in Washington.
My Carnivore Diet
- Intermittent fasting, which is part of my current diet – probably easier to do on a Carnivore Diet because proteins and fats are more satiating
- Pastured animal meats and their healthy fats (including organs like pork and chicken liver, sweetbreads, skin, cartilage and collagenous parts)
- Wild caught seafood – especially sardines, salmon, shrimp, mussels, and salmon roe
- Butter or ghee from grass-fed and pastured cattle
- Raw cheeses
- Pastured chicken eggs
- Homemade bone broth
- Spices, sea salt, and herbs for flavor
- One cup of organic coffee with raw heavy cream in the morning
- Freeze-dried Organ Complex and Freeze-Dried Bone Marrow (supplied by Enviromedica from grass-fed cattle in New Zealand)
My Daily Cancer Protocols
- To support my gut: I take 2 caps of Megasporebiotic, 2 caps of HU58, 2 caps of RestorFlora, 8 caps of MegaIgG2000, and 1 scoop of MegaPrebiotic mixed with 1 scoop of MegaMucosa in cold water (all products from Microbiome Labs). I also take 2 caps of TerraFlora (from Enviromedica).
- To support my bone: I take 6 caps of OsteoVegan (from NuMedica), 4 caps of Megaquinone K2-7 (from Microbiome Labs), and 25,000 IU of Vitamin D3 (from Nutrigold).
- To assist killing cancer cells: I take 6 caps of Salvestrol Platinum 2000 (from Salvestrol).
- To support my immune system: I take 3 herbal liquid extracts from MediHerb: 5.0 ml of Echinacea Premium 1:2; 2.5 ml of Korean Ginseng 1:2; and 5.0 ml of Astragalus 1:2. Also from MediHerb, I add 5.0 ml of Marshmallow Root 1:5 Glycetract to the 3 herbal liquid extracts for mucous membrane support and as a “sweetener” for the other 3 “bitter” elixirs.
- To help repair my mitochondria: I use PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) Therapy using the PureWave full-body mat first thing in the morning for 8-minutes at setting “Vital – 10”, afternoon session for 8-minutes at setting “Basis – 10”, in early evening for 8-minutes at setting “Relax – 4”, and at bedtime for 24-minutes at setting “Relax – 1”.
- To control pain: I take 600-800mg of ibuprofen only when necessary.
- To target specific proteins involved in my cancer, I take 2 human-derived monoclonal antibody immunotherapies: XGEVA injections attack a protein that causes my bones to weaken and inactivates this protein. Darzalex infusions attack a specific protein on the surface of malignant plasma cells and kills them. Along with the Darzalex, I am given premeds (Tylenol, Benadryl, and Decadron) just before the infusion to limit any side effects.
- To help prevent colds and flu: I use a Bee Propolis Mouth Spray 4 times a day if I feel any “scratchiness” in my throat (from Beekeeper’s Naturals).
- To strengthen my body: Based on the condition of my skeleton, I perform appropriate upper body and lower body exercises several days a week at home. It’s essential for me to avoid any “twisting” motions because of my risk for additional pathological fractures. Also, I walk about one mile outside a few days a week. As my body strengthens, I’ll incorporate a more challenging routine.
That’s it for now. I started the Carnivore Diet on January 1, 2020. My Unconventional Cancer Journey is taking a turn to more experimentation, which is my New Year’s Resolution. This is how I roll.
Up until now, I have had success maintaining my quality of life. Maybe my bone marrow cancer will go into remission, or maybe I can cure this malignancy. Who knows? Certainly, conventional oncologists don’t know. By checking my cancer biomarkers as I progress with the Carnivore Diet, I will know for sure. I’m prepared for all outcomes.