“My Jaw Pain is Killing Me”
– 10 Causes … Treatment Options –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

February 13, 2022 [printfriendly]

Have you ever experienced jaw pain? It is estimated that up to 80% of people have experienced some type of jaw or tooth pain at some point in their lives. So, if you haven’t experienced it firsthand, there’s a good chance you will.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the causes, treatment options, and how you can be proactive to avoid this unpleasant experience all together!

On July 3, 2016, I published a Blog about Monique. She was a patient I saw in 2015. She was one of many patients I treated for similar symptoms. She entered my office saying, “My jaw pain is killing me.”

Another patient I treated in 2018 had similar symptoms but they were much more serious. Jonathan had a root canal procedure performed on his upper right molar about 3 months before I saw him. His general dentist performed the root canal and also placed a crown on that tooth. Then, Jonathan began to have severe pain in that tooth, in his jaw muscles, and in his jaw joint.

At first, Jonathan thought that the root canal was failing and was the cause of his pain. That was part of his problem. The other immediate cause was related to his biting pressure on that newly crowned tooth, which Jonathan didn’t consider.

When I saw him on an emergency visit, I needed to get him out of pain. I also had to determine a definitive treatment plant to resolve his issue for good. I treated the emergency problem that day; the other was definitively treated later in the week.


What Is Jaw Pain?

As a periodontist, I frequently treated jaw pain.[1] Most pain comes from the jaw joint and the muscles that help chew food. This jaw pain may be called TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain or TMD (temporomandibular disorders). Many of the causes of this type of jaw pain also can damage the jawbone around the roots of teeth. Here’s the inside skinny about jaw pain (TMD).

More than 40% of adults experience pain in their mouth annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[2] But only 50 to 60% of people with jaw joint pain will seek treatment. Those who don’t get treatment continue to live with painful side effects.

The most frequent complaint I have seen is pain either in the jaw joint or in the jaw muscles. Another common symptom is discomfort when opening the jaw, most obvious when eating or speaking. Popping and cracking sounds in the jaw joints when opening and closing may be present. Also, buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears are possible. Sometimes there is swelling; most of the time swelling is not obvious.[3],[4] Pain also can be isolated to the areas around the roots of the teeth.


10 Causes of Jaw Pain

TMD is multifactorial, and there may be sources that are difficult to identify.[5],[6]

Below are 10 related causes for TMD:

  1. Trauma (like a car accident) involving the jaw joint could create damage in the structures of the joint resulting in pain.
  2. Habits of clenching and grinding the teeth can damage the jaw joint and cause muscle pain. These habits also wiggle the roots of the teeth in the jawbone, which will damage the bone around the teeth and may cause tooth pain and cause the tooth to feel loose. Grinding also may crack teeth.
  3. Improperly designed chewing surfaces because of a poorly shaped crown or a poorly placed filling material could cause forces that rock a tooth from side to side. The rocking motion can cause spasms in the jaw muscles as well as cause a hairline crack to develop in the root of the tooth. This also can cause the involved teeth to feel loose in the jawbone.
  4. Poor nutrition and unhealthy digestion could cause chronic systemic inflammation that could affect all joints (example: rheumatoid arthritis).
  5. Emotional stress has been shown to create biochemical changes in the blood system that could increase chronic inflammation throughout the body and joints.
  6. Lack of sleep increases chronic systemic inflammation and can affect joints in the body.
  7. Excessive estrogen may increase inflammation and damage in the jaw joint.
  8. Infection beginning in the joint will cause swelling and pain.
  9. Infection in the jawbone from a failing root canal filling, from residual infection in an extraction site, from an abscessed tooth or a decayed tooth, and from other areas of infection in the mouth and head can affect the TMJ.
  10. Complications with airway space because of a narrow jaw, improper position of the tongue, and misalignment of teeth can create obstructive breathing and poor oxygenation which can result in clenching, teeth grinding, and jaw pain.


Treatment Options for Jaw Pain

First, the most obvious potential causes must be addressed.[7]

If the bite is causing muscle and jaw soreness, then the bite must be adjusted. Correcting heavy pressures on the chewing surfaces of the teeth by selectively smoothing out these heavy pressure areas may be all that is necessary to make the bite healthy and stop the pain.

If a patient grinds his or her teeth habitually, sometimes a bite guard could be worn during sleep to reduce the pressures in the jaw joint. If people go to the gym and perform strenuous workouts, they often clench. This also would be a good time to wear a bite guard to protect the teeth and jaw joint.

At other times, orthodontic treatment might be necessary to correct the bite. In more complicated cases, the upper and lower arch may be too narrow to allow the tongue to fit comfortably between the lower teeth. In this case, the upper and lower jaw arches could be widened, the teeth properly positioned, and the tongue given more comfortable space. These efforts will open a compromised airway space regaining normal function for the tongue, improved oxygenation, and reduced bruxism.

I published a paper called, Shoddy Dentistry & Mouth Splinters, where I describe many dental issues that could cause dental pain and inflammation. It’s Free to download if you would like.

Clinical studies show other factors affecting TMD. Examples are emotional stress and lack of sleep, which have been reported to aggravate the symptoms of TMD.[8],[9]

Based on published research papers, these other therapeutic steps should be considered:

  • Treat any obvious or not-so-obvious infections or inflammation in the mouth
  • Reduce stress
  • Get restorative sleep
  • Eat a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet
  • Avoid eating foods that contain chemicals that can affect the gut and create chronic systemic inflammation
  • Seek the advice of a myofunctional therapist and an orthodontist who are trained in proper jaw structure and function
  • Only as last resorts, investigate medications or surgery for TMD


How I Eliminated Jonathan’s Jaw Pain

Jonathan’s pain was related to (1) his bite after his crown was made and (2) a hairline crack in the root of his upper molar root canal tooth. The crown was improperly designed and shaped poorly. The chewing surfaces between that tooth and his lower molar were bumping too hard. Since these pressures were too heavy, his jaw muscles went into spasm, which in turn caused his jaw pain initially. Jonathan couldn’t make this pain go away and didn’t know what was causing it. He also could not tell if the upper crowned tooth was hurting more than the lower molar tooth which was also being pounded with heavy biting forces.

In addition, the heavy pounding pressures on the crowned tooth which had the root canal procedure eventually caused a hairline crack in the roots of that molar. A root canal tooth tends to be more brittle and prone to root fracture. The hairline fracture went through the roots of the upper molar into the jawbone.

At first, I needed to get Jonathan out of pain. The first thing I did was to determine the spots on the crown that were hitting his lower molar too hard. I used a very thin “carbon paper” to visualize the responsible heavy pressure points. I then evened out these heavy contacts by smoothing and polishing the chewing surfaces so that his teeth came together properly. Immediately, he noticed his jaw was more comfortable.

Next, I rescheduled Jonathan to extract the upper molar. Once there is a crack in the root that travels up the root into the jawbone, it is not treatable. After I extracted the tooth and prepared the bone socket to receive an implant, Jonathan scheduled to have me place a zirconia-type implant into the socket about a month after the extraction. At times, a bone graft and other bone rebuilding procedures are required to restore the bone socket to receive an implant.


Putting It All Together

Many factors affect jaw pain. The more obvious causes should be explored first. If grinding habits or bite problems exist, these must be corrected. If those pressures on the tooth have cracked the root, then the tooth must be extracted since a cracked root cannot heal.

Any irritant in the mouth that may cause infection or inflammation must be diagnosed and treated appropriately.

If the jaw is out of alignment or if the jaw needs to be widened, proper orthodontic treatment is crucial to regain function, to provide room for the tongue to become comfortable, to normalize the airway space, and to resolve TMD issues.

Also, stress reduction, restorative sleep, and good nutrition must be implemented to reduce TMD symptoms.

If symptoms persist, other treatment options must be investigated and implemented to resolve the issues and make the patient comfortable.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551612/

[2] https://www.forbes.com/health/body/common-causes-of-tooth-pain/#footnote_1

[3] https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/t/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd.html

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21835653

[5] http://www.rjme.ro/RJME/resources/files/570116185189.pdf

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Association+between+estrogen+levels+and+temporomandibular+disorders%3A+a+systematic+literature+review

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Different+association+between+specific+manifestations+of+bruxism+and+temporomandibular+disorder+pain

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33829540/s

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27687043/


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Pathway to My Cancer Recovery
– My Immune System –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

June 1, 2020 [printfriendly]


Pathway to my Cancer Recovery


“Al, you have cancer.” My oncologist’s words are still ringing in my ears.


“It’s an incurable type of bone marrow cancer.” I felt the blood drain from my face.


“If you do nothing, you may have 3-6 months to live.” Just then my legs went limp. Nothing would ever be the same. My life was just thrown into an abyss of terror.




Over the last 21 months, I rallied beyond all expectations. You probably know my story.


My oncologist gave me 3-6 months to live after he diagnosed incurable aggressive multiple myeloma in my entire skeleton in September 2018. I rejected chemotherapy and progressed well while adhering to my Unconventional Cancer Protocols until a severe setback in August 2019. At that time, I was standing in my bathroom brushing and flossing my teeth with my feet planted on the floor. Then, I twisted to the left to throw the floss into the trashcan. In that split second, my right femur snapped in half. I collapsed to the ground. I was in excruciating pain. I also broke several ribs and fractured my right humerus in half. After being rushed to the ER to repair my leg, I was transferred to a hospice hospital to die! Amazingly, I revived and returned from the edge of death. On May 8, 2020, I had a new PET Scan that showed “no active cancer cells” throughout my entire body. Today at the age of 73, I am doing amazingly well.



Factors Responsible for Miraculous Recovery

What are the factors responsible for my miraculous recovery? I can’t be sure, but I think I know. Establishing a diverse, robust, and quality garden of gut microbes and an intact gut epithelial barrier (i.e. No Leaky Gut) is vital. Eating an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet is essential. Also, improving cellular metabolism using PEMF Therapy is a contributing component. I am convinced that my healthy gut, effective diet, and improved cellular metabolism enhanced my immune system.


Yet, an underlying deterrent has been the excessive number of cancer cells. As I have written in the past, I believe at least one malignant plasma cell got its initial start way back in my days in dental school over four decades ago. But the volume of malignant cells finally overwhelmed my body to eventually cause symptoms in 2018. So, it was necessary to beat back these excessive malignant plasma cells. To do this, several months ago my oncologist recommended two newly approved immunotherapies to target the enormous number of cancerous plasma cells. These are not chemotherapy drugs; they are human-derived monoclonal antibodies. I incorporated them into my Protocols to assist my immune system in getting the job done.


Taken in combination, I believe all these efforts were ultimately responsible for the repair and healing I am experiencing. I can’t prove this, but I am alive and thriving today with no active cancer cells in my entire body based on the PET Scan taken on 5/8/2020. An immune system functioning at peak performance stands out to me as critical.




The immune system takes its cues from the gut microbiome, which lies on the mucous layer of its mucous membrane.


The “mucous membrane” lines the body cavities and tubular organs including the gut and respiratory passages. It’s an epithelial barrier that secretes a protective mucous layer. The mucous membrane makes up about 4,300 square feet in the human body. That’s like the square footage of a huge home.


Approximately 37 trillion microbes cover the mucous membranes. The far majority of these living organisms are in the gut. In the gut, the microbiome is several layers thick. And this ocean of microbes talks between themselves and among all the other microbes located on all other mucous membranes in the body. It’s like a huge communication network that alerts the entire population of microbes to what’s happening on their turf simultaneously.


Practically all pathogens and irritants that enter the body must pass through the mucous membranes. The microbiome sitting on the mucous membranes becomes aware that there may be strangers in its midst. The friendly microbes have a unique and critically important role to play. They are the neighborhood watch group. They signal the immune cells in the epithelial barrier that there is something foreign that has just invaded and needs to be eliminated.


The gut microbiome and its mucous membrane are the central command center for the entire body. About 70-80% of the body’s immune system is located in the epithelium of the mucous membrane of the gut. When there is an invader anywhere in the body, the microbiome associated with its local mucous membrane relays messages to the gut microbiome. Then, the gut microbiome alerts the gut immune system that there is a pathogen or toxic element that needs to be removed. Effects from the gut immune system travel to all corners of the rest of the body directing all areas to react to the invasion.


The beneficial microbiome also communicates with the immune cells located in the lymph tissues throughout the body. All immune cells become involved with the fight to remove the invaders. This communication system rivals the most complex systems created by man. The human body is an amazing machine operating beyond comprehension.



Method of Action

There are two divisions of the immune system – the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.


First, the innate immune system is immediately called up to action. It creates inflammation that promotes a pathway to get to the sites of the invasion. It also sends an army of cells, which rush to the area of infection and begin gobbling up the invaders. Other cells in the innate immune system begin telling the adaptive immune system the specific antigens that are responsible for the infection. An “antigen” is any substance that is capable of stimulating an immune response.


The adaptive immune system gears up to mount the ultimate battle. The adaptive system mobilizes specialized lymphoid cells to attack these very specific antigens. Moving forward, the adaptive system stimulates the production of antibodies, which can produce immunity against these specific antigens if they invade again in the future.


There also are complex feedback loops to temper the immune system’s fight and eventually bring it back to a non-inflammatory state.



Immune System Support

As I mentioned, the microbiome is essential for the immune system to function properly and efficiently. To raise the level and function of friendly bacteria in the gut, specific probiotics, prebiotics, amino acids, and immunoglobulins have been shown to (1) improve the population and quality of the gut bacteria, (2) restore a healthy mucosal layer, and (3) repair damage to the epithelial gut barrier.[1],[2] My Protocol to Restore Healthy Gut Bacteria explains the specifics to make this happen.


In addition to the gut microbiome, the food we eat must provide all the nutrients for health and not carry “irritants” that can damage the gut microbiome or damage the gut barrier. A way of eating that was prevalent in primal societies and has current medical evidence is the animal-based (Carnivore) diet. My 30-Day Transition to the Carnivore Diet guides a person to get onboard.


Since the cancer I am fighting is a malignancy of a specific plasma cell in my bone marrow, it is important for me to take down these aberrant plasma cells if I can. Eliminating this pathology will help me redevelop my vibrant immune system. So, my gut, diet, improved cellular metabolism, and targeted immunotherapies are working together to support my immune system and to regain my health and wellness.


It is interesting to note that only 20-30% of individuals who are candidates for immunotherapy and who accept it gain a measured success. The majority of patients obtain limited or no beneficial results from their immunotherapy.[3] The far majority never become “cancer free”. The reason has been reported to be due to an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria[4],[5],[6], which compromises the immune system. All the more reason for me to continue my Unconventional Cancer Protocols for the rest of my life.



Cancer Recovery Summary

I am only a study of N=1. There are no controls in my personal experiment. It’s important to understand that I am not claiming to have a cure for cancer. I do not have the magic bullet. I am not recommending my protocols to anyone to treat his or her disease. However, I do have a method from which I have enhanced my body’s ability to repair and heal. In my way of thinking, my current success is due to a combination of modalities I follow in my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. Specifically:


  • Ensure a healthy, functional, and intact gut
  • Consume an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet devoid of chemicals and other irritants
  • Target specific malignant plasma cells using recently approved human-derived, monoclonal antibodies
  • Repair dysfunctional cellular metabolism using PEMF Therapy
  • Support and assure a robust immune system


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5561432/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6733369/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503493/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6529202/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747470/

[6] https://gut.bmj.com/content/68/3/385.full



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Dr. Guillermo Ruiz Interviewed Me

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 21, 2020 [printfriendly]






Dr. Guillermo Ruiz interviewed me for his 30/30 Health Podcast which he just posted on 5/19/20. He interviewed me 2 weeks before my PET Scan showed NO ACTIVE CANCER CELLS IN MY ENTIRE BODY.


I talk about my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. Take a look if you have time:




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COVID-19, Gum Disease, & Diet

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 18, 2020 [printfriendly]



You might be scratching your head and asking yourself, “What is he talking about? Is he just trying to catch my attention? Maybe even confuse me?”


Well, I’m talking about the correlation between COVID-19, Gum Disease, and Diet. That connection is our immune system. And yes, I want your attention so I can share my thoughts about this association, your overall health, and your well-being. I certainly don’t want to confuse you.




New research is suggesting that the COVID-19 virus could be life-threatening by initially damaging red blood cells[1] and causing hypoxia[2]. The theory goes like this:


  • The virus attacks red blood cells by attaching to the iron portion of its hemoglobin.
  • The virus oxidizes the iron and releases it into the bloodstream.
  • Then, the COVID-19 virus replaces the iron with itself in the red blood cell.
  • The virus controls the red blood cell, which now is unable to carry necessary oxygen to other cells and organ systems. This results in hypoxia.
  • The oxidized iron pours into the bloodstream causing severe oxidative stress, which causes systemic inflammation initiated by the immune system.
  • Zinc in the body mobilizes itself to offset the damage from the free-floating oxidized iron thereby depleting the body of its necessary levels of zinc. This can cause a loss of smell and taste among other effects.
  • The oxidative stress from excessive iron, severe systemic inflammation as a result of the immune system’s overproduction of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines), and hypoxia can cause the lungs and other organs to fail, possibly leading to death from COVID-19.



This is just a theory. So much is being learned about the virus day by day. But this theory makes sense. It could result in the clinical signs and symptoms of this pandemic that are being observed and documented throughout the world.[3]



Gum Disease

The gum tissues in your mouth are susceptible to chronic systemic inflammation. The oxidative stress occurring from an excess of unhealthy oxidized iron causes the immune system to create acute and chronic systemic inflammation. These physiological changes cause dysfunction in the immune system – especially if the immune system was already weakened or dysfunctional from emotional stress, environmental toxic substances, an unhealthy gut, or poor diet choices.


Active gum disease will increase as the immune system fails to control the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Periodontal infection will release virulent bacteria and inflammatory elements into the bloodstream complicating the already spreading systemic inflammation. Inflamed and bleeding gums will increase the potential for increasingly destructive forces occurring from the COVID virus.




A diet including inflammatory foods and lacking nutrient-dense foods will damage the gut’s garden of bacteria, its mucous layer, and its epithelial barrier. The result will be the leakage of toxic substances into the bloodstream from the lumen of the gut. The immune system attempts to gobble up these toxic substances by releasing various chemicals and cells to fight the invasion. These immune system actions create inflammation that spreads throughout the circulatory system to all organ systems. However, if you have periodontal disease and if the COVID-19 virus is present, then your immune system already could be overwhelmed.



Vicious Cycle

A weakened immune system, active periodontal disease, and unhealthy food choices continue to promote chronic systemic inflammation. If COVID-19 invades the body, the existing chronic systemic inflammation will exacerbate the potential virulence of the virus.


So, there could be a vicious cycle escalating exponentially.


Fortunately, the far majority of infected people will not succumb to death. Their body’s immune system will overcome the virus at a point where the virus is inactivated by the antibodies that are naturally produced by the adaptive immune system. Other negative feedback pathways will go into effect and reduce the immune system’s production of inflammatory chemicals. But there are proactive precautions that uninfected individuals could take to enhance their immune system.


I’ve talked about how to improve the immune system in previous blogs – especially HERE. But in summary, a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet along with lifestyle changes will enhance the health of the gut and provide the immune system with many of the necessary ingredients to defend your body.


Supplements of vitamin C, vitamin D, glutathione, and zinc have been suggested to help prevent or possibly treat COVID-19 infection. However, along with lifestyle changes, the nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diets I have recommended will provide most of these nutrients in their natural states as they exist in real, unprocessed foods.


Medical research will come up with an adequate treatment protocol to deal with the acute and life-threatening manifestations of the COVID-19 virus. Scientists also may develop an effective vaccine or an array of vaccines to protect people prior to the invasion of the COVID-19 virus. But your proactive efforts to support your immune system will also help with fighting the virus, preventing periodontal disease, and avoiding other chronic diseases. A healthy immune system will go a long way in maintaining your well-being.



[1] https://chemrxiv.org/articles/COVID-19_Disease_ORF8_and_Surface_Glycoprotein_Inhibit_Heme_Metabolism_by_Binding_to_Porphyrin/11938173

[2] https://www.hemob.org/covid19-news/2020/4/8/coronavirus-pneumonia-and-hydroxychloroquine

[3] https://www.jillcarnahan.com/2020/04/16/emerging-theories-that-may-help-us-solve-the-covid-19-puzzle/



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We MUST Live in a Petri Dish
Our Immune System

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 4, 2020 [printfriendly]


We MUST Live in a Petri Dish


I get up early every morning. Even before taking a shower and making my coffee, I turn on the TV to my favorite newscast. Some would say that turning on my TV is the worst thing I could do. But I want to be informed – even if there is so much bias and hype out there in the media.


So, this morning I woke around 6AM and first tuned into my favorite live broadcast. The seasoned anchor said, “We certainly don’t want to put our kids back in school because school is like a petri dish.”


My guy was referring to children being exposed potentially to the COVID-19 virus in a closed-in, body-to-body contact area of a bunch of kids. Kids who are sneezing, drooling, touching their noses, and touching one another are prime carriers and spreaders of infectious diseases.


Did this morning journalist mean that we should put our kids instead in a sterile bubble to prevent the spread of all contagious diseases? Where do you fall on the continuum between living in a sterile sphere and comingling with highly contagious people?


Let me stop you here. I am not in favor of putting my child, my wife, myself, or anyone in a contained area of people who are highly contagious with a deadly disease. Common sense must prevail. Extremes generally are not the answers on either end of the pendulum.



Human Physiology

We must understand human physiology and our DNA blueprint. The human body learns over time to biologically defend itself from specific contagious diseases. One essential way is by being exposed to microbes with varying degrees of virulence that are all around us all the time. This is as it has been since the beginning of time.


During this time of the pandemic, we have to allow our medical scientists to develop a means to destroy the COVID-19 virus. At least they need to make it less contagious and destructive to our body.


But we must become proactive to improve our natural disease fighting capability. Our future health depends on this. The solution for health and wellbeing has never been a pill or a shot. That would be treating the symptoms but never addressing the causes.


Our natural defense mechanism against contagious diseases is our immune system. We were created and have evolved over thousands of years to survive and thrive. No one could survive if our immune system did not exist, or if our immune system was ineffective at fighting infectious diseases on its own. We can only thrive if this system is functioning at peak efficiency.


We eventually develop a strong immune system by being exposed to the world around us. If we lived in a sterile dome, our immune system would never learn to defend us from all the microbes from which we are exposed every minute of every day. Each of us will survive only because each of us has successfully been exposed to antigens slowly over time.


“SLOWLY” is the operative word. Being thrown continuously into a sea of deadly and contagious microbes will overwhelm the immune system and could cause death. But slowly becoming exposed in our germ-infested environment will build our defenses and develop our immunity over time. Our innate and adaptive immune system will learn correctly to mobilize our internal armed forces, which are collectively called our immune system.



Our Immune System

Most of us have an inefficient and dysfunctional immune system. How can I say that? Statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest we are generally unhealthy: 60% of US adults have a chronic disease; 70% of American deaths is caused by a chronic disease; and 72% of our population is overweight. Our society is drowning in an epidemic of chronic illness. These facts are the results of an immune system that is not doing its job. Our immune system is compromised and ill prepared to fight for our life.


About 70-80% of our immune system resides in our gut. The cells of the immune system and the gut bacteria regulate and support one another. If the garden of healthy gut bacteria becomes overgrown with harmful bacteria, then the balance between the gut bacteria and the immune system can become severely compromised. In addition, if the gut barrier membrane becomes damaged, unhealthy toxic substances will leak out from the gut lumen into the blood system. The toxic reaction in the bloodstream is called metabolic endotoxemia, which then leads to chronic system inflammation. This spread of inflammation throughout the body via the circulatory system could lead to the manifestation of various chronic and autoimmune diseases.


Our complex immune system is made up of two active mechanisms working in tandem: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.


Innate Immune System: The innate system is activated quickly whenever a foreign substance is detected in our body.  The defense mechanisms include physical barriers such as the epithelial barrier of the gut, chemicals in the blood, and immune system cells that individually attack foreign elements entering the body. The innate immune response is immediately activated by an invader’s specific chemical properties, called antigens.


Adaptive Immune System: The adaptive system is an antigen-specific defense mechanism. Once an antigen is detected, processed, and recognized, the adaptive immune system creates an army of immune cells specifically designed to attack that antigen. In addition, a unique and highly effective response by the adaptive immune system is to store “memory” cells for that specific antigen. Memory cells create “immunity” for future attacks from that exact antigen. If our body is attacked again by that invader, memory cells will create an onslaught of antibodies that will go to work against that antigen.


So, it is vital for the gut to be healthy in order to have an efficient and effective immune system.



Enhancing the Immune System

Diet and lifestyle choices affect the health of the gut, and therefore affect the health of the immune system. We must enhance our immune system by making necessary choices. Here are seven specific actions under our control that we must understand and strive to accomplish:


  • Eating nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods
  • Restoring and maintaining a healthy gut
  • Acquiring restorative sleep
  • Performing efficient exercise
  • Reducing emotional stress
  • Exposing our skin to sufficient sun exposure for the production of natural vitamin D (or consuming supplements if necessary)
  • Cleaning our mouth properly


It is critical for our survival to avoid continuous, highly contagious, potentially life-threatening pathogens. It is also critical for our survival to have a robust, efficient, and effective immune system. Our petri dish, which is the world around us, is part of the teaching mechanism that allows our immune system to defend itself. Our diet and lifestyle provide the essential elements to allow our immune system to do its job.


Taken all together, this is the path to health and longevity. We owe it to our body to be proactive.



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The Cure for COVID-19
Hear Me Out

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

April 6, 2020 [printfriendly]


Cure for COVID-19


The entire world, and specifically our government, is moving in a direction that will never address the real problem of COVID-19! Hear me out. I know it sounds like I am “off my rocker”. However, I’m talking about what our body really needs. This is a wakeup call!


  • Yes, I agree that it is critical to treat the acute infection.
  • And yes, I agree that this will save lives that would be lost.
  • And surely, pharmaceuticals may be the only means to accomplish this.


But what happens when the next pandemic or whatever horrendous invisible microbe strikes again in the future? A real cure must be all-encompassing and basic.



Mother Nature

Do you remember the slogan, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”? I’m dating myself, but this was a popular commercial ad on TV in the 1970s for a popular brand of margarine. The idea was that this butter substitute would fool your taste buds into believing it was real butter. It even would fool Mother Nature. Actually, margarine is a product that will cause serious health complications.


Along this line, I believe today we think we’re fooling Mother Nature by pretending we’re eating healthy foods and living healthy lifestyles. But we’re not fooling anyone. As a society, we don’t understand that among our most basic needs, we need to consume essential nutrients and avoid toxic substances. The result of our deception has been to gradually weaken our body’s ability to fight infections.


Medical science is digging into physiology and pharmaceuticals to create the cure for COVID-19. Money is being poured into the coffers of research to invent and manufacture something to destroy this virus quickly and effectively. Although this treatment may be critical right now, it will not support our most important defense system that fights the fight for our body – our immune system.



Immune System

Our body is bombarded by millions of invaders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yet, the human body was designed to identify an invader and mount its “armed forces” to kill it. When the immune system is at peak performance, its attack is quick, efficient, and effective. Following the natural attack, these biological warriors leave behind a specific soldier. If the same invader were to get into our body again, this deputized soldier would take over immediately to kill it.


To accomplish all this, our complex immune system is divided into two separate forces – the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.



Innate Immune System

The innate system is activated quickly whenever a foreign substance is detected in our body.  The defense mechanisms include physical barriers such as skin, chemicals in the blood, and immune system cells that individually attack foreign elements entering the body. The innate immune response is immediately activated by specific chemical properties of the invader, called an antigen.


Adaptive Immune System

The adaptive system is an antigen-specific defense mechanism. Once an antigen is detected, processed, and recognized, the adaptive immune system creates an army of immune cells specifically designed to attack that antigen. In addition, a unique and highly effective response by the adaptive immune system is to store “memory” cells for that specific antigen. Memory cells create “immunity” for future attacks from that exact antigen. If our body is attacked again by that invader, memory cells will create an onslaught of antibodies that will go to work against that antigen.



Immune Compromised

Sadly, the far majority of us are immune compromised! That means that we can’t mount a strong and efficient immune response to destroy the invaders. How do I know?


  • Well, just look at the obesity rate in the US. It’s 42.2% based on CDC statistics.[1] This is a sign of a compromised immune system.
  • Then look at the prevalence of chronic diseases in the US. The CDC has determined that 45% of US adults have at least one chronic disease, and 70% of all deaths are the result of a chronic disease.[2] These are additional signs of a compromised immune system.
  • And then look at how many people take at least one prescription drug or depend on over-the-counter medicines. The CDC states that 48.4% of US adults take at least one prescription drug.[3] Once again, this is a sign of a compromised immune system.



I submit a major cause of a weakened immune system is our choice of food. Take a look at the typical breakfast: donut, coffee sweetened with sugar, and a glass of orange juice. Then look at the typical lunch: burger on a bun with gooey sauce, salty fries, and a Coke. Or maybe it’s a vegan meal which is devoid of animal products but includes all the other junk. And don’t forget the in-between snacks made up of over-processed carbs, sugar, unhealthy fats, and bunches of chemicals. This eating style has been termed the Standard American Diet (appropriately known as SAD). It is one of the ways we have destroyed our immune system. And so, we continue decimating our immune system slowly – meal after snack after meal.



The Cure

An all-encompassing and basic cure is not a pill, not a vaccine, or not an expensive therapy created by the medical industry. The ultimate cure is relatively inexpensive but time consuming. It requires us to rebuild and invigorate our immune system so that it will function optimally. My cure is not a quick fix. It requires much more. To get there, an individual must reevaluate his or her diet, lifestyle, sleep, exercise, and stress. And then, changes must occur over time to get the immune system up to speed as it was designed to operate. (I elaborate on these lifestyle changes in my book that was released in 2017 titled Crazy-Good Living.)


By the way, boosting our immune system is the best and least expensive medical insurance we could “buy”. If we reinvigorated our immune system, think how much less we as a society would have to spend on medical care. To do this, we need to be proactive and start ASAP:


  • Consume nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods. Various ways of healthy eating provide necessary nutrients while avoiding over-processed carbohydrates, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and chemical ingredients. I was eating a Paleo-type Diet for about 6 years before transitioning to the Carnivore Diet on 1/1/20. (I offer my PDFs for transitioning to a Paleo-type Diet as well as transitioning to a Carnivore Diet. Email me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.)


  • Maintain a healthy gut. A healthy diet and methods to restore the gut’s balance of beneficial bacteria are essential. The gut houses 70% of the cells that make up the immune system. (I’ll send you my Protocol to Restore Normal Gut Bacteria if you email me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.)


  • Sleep restoratively. Sleep about 7-8 hours a night starting between the hours of 9 PM to 11 PM. Make the room dark, cool, and quiet.


  • Exercise efficiently. This includes a combination of (1) some aerobic exercise, (2) brief, high-intensity interval training 1 day a week, (3) strength training 1-2 days a week, and (4) non-exercise movements during the course of every day.


  • Reduce stress. Meditate; practice yoga; try diaphragmatic breathing; and experiment with progressive, total body muscle relaxation.


  • Get out in the sun. Sun exposure creates Vitamin D in your body. This vitamin regulates the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitates normal immune system function. It also improves your resistance against certain diseases. Try to expose as much of your skin as you can to the sun based on your skin type, the time of day, the season, and your geographical location. Also, specific foods like salmon, sardines, shrimp, and egg yolks provide Vitamin D. If you can’t get adequate sun exposure or can’t eat enough foods that supply vitamin D, then consider taking supplements of Vitamin D3 along with Vitamin K2.


  • Practice effective oral hygiene. Your gut bacteria and your mouth bacteria “talk” back and forth. Make sure you brush your teeth at the gum margins, floss and clean the surfaces between each of your teeth, and scrape the topside of your tongue to remove odor forming bacteria and microscopic food remnants. (I’ll send you my protocol for How to Clean Your Mouth if you email me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.)


My cure is inclusive. It gets us back to basics. Rather than just a Band-Aid or an aspirin tablet, my cure assists the body with overall healing and overall wellness.


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

[2] https://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/docs/GrowingCrisisofChronicDiseaseintheUSfactsheet_81009.pdf

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/drug-use-therapeutic.htm



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Return From The Edge

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

March 16, 2020 [printfriendly]


Return from the Edge


At this time with the coronavirus pandemic upon all of us, my Unconventional Cancer Protocols are even more critical for me to follow. I am in the highest risk category for this virus to cause me harm. I’ve already returned from the edge of death. Now I am striving to stay ahead of this mysterious and potential killer virus.


My Return from the Edge

At 10 PM on August 21, 2019, I was at home brushing and flossing my teeth in my bathroom. I turned to my left to throw the used floss into my trashcan. My right foot was planted on my bathroom floor. As I twisted ninety degrees to my left, I heard a snap. In that instant, I fractured my right femur in half and collapsed onto my floor’s ceramic tile. Pain was excruciating! I screamed for my wife who was in the other room. Crumpled on my bathroom floor, I believed that the edge of death was near. My diagnosis in September 2018 was incurable bone marrow cancer called IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma. And I knew I already had outlived my oncologist’s original prognosis by six months.

EMS arrived within minutes and transported me to the ER.

I understood after being diagnosed that my skeleton was fragile, but I had no idea how fragile I was. Still, I was progressing well since my diagnosis while following my unconventional cancer protocols to maintain a quality of life. Then came this disaster in my bathroom.

My right femur broke like a chicken bone; 2 right ribs were broken, and my right humerus was fractured in half. I was heavily sedated. The surgeons repaired my right femur because the bone fragments could have pierced my femoral artery. My right humerus was left unset. A couple of days later, I was transported to a Hospice facility to die. I was at the end of my life.

To make matters worse, a hurricane was bearing down on Charleston, SC, on September 4, 2019. My city was preparing for a direct hit, and the Hospice facility was ordered to evacuate. The hospital had no place to send me; so, my wife scampered to find a hospital bed to be delivered ASAP to my house. I was then transported by ambulance to my home.

Basically, I was immobile, catheterized, requiring a bedpan, and lying in a hospital bed in my living room. My level of narcotic sedation made me constipated and groggy. When the hurricane hit, the power in my area went out for about 12 hours. Hospital beds are electric; so, now the bed was immobile too. No lights, no air conditioning, no phones – everything was working against me.


On the Mend

My wife, immediate family, and a few hospice nurses helped me at home. Once the hurricane passed, I had to make a decision – would I stay in Hospice or would I fight to survive? And I needed to get off all sedation meds.

My wife is an amazing woman. As an intensive care nurse, she knew of death and how to deal with those at death’s door. She saved my life. Her strength and determination helped me realize I could recover. My wife was the light at the end of the tunnel. She helped me return from the edge of death.

She arranged for an in-home nurse and a physical therapist to change my path from dying to healing. Within weeks I was able to get out of bed and then get rid of that damn catheter. My wife also helped me wean off all narcotics and related meds. By the end of September, I returned to my cancer protocols to heal my body.

With the help of my in-home physical therapist, I also was able to walk using a “rollator” not only inside my home but also outside. My recovery was rolling along amazingly well.

My oncologist was surprised and pleased with my recovery. In early October 2019, he suggested I consider two immunotherapies recently approved by the FDA for multiple myeloma, which I researched and incorporated into my cancer protocols. These were not chemotherapy drugs. They were targeted human-derived monoclonal antibodies to strengthen my bones and destroy my malignant plasma cells. Innovative medicine meets natural healing.

Then on October 16, 2019, I had another major setback when I fractured the lesser trochanter in my left femur. However, it was not as severe as my fracture in August. To help heal and recover from this fracture, I entered in-hospital physical therapy and did well. For the most part, I am a miracle on the mend both physically and mentally.


A Work in Progress

Shortly after recovering from my left femur fracture, I learned about the benefits of a Carnivore Diet for cancer patients. Once again, I delved into the science. Published case studies described how the Carnivore Diet could help patients with incurable cancers to heal. That was enough for me. So, on January 1, 2020, I changed my diet from an autoimmune Paleo-type diet to the Carnivore Diet.

I am a living example of an unfolding experiment. And I am a work in progress. All my previous events guided me to where I am today. My current blood chemistries and CBC are encouragingly positive. Specific blood tests to evaluate my malignant plasma cells also are showing significant improvement. My hope over the next few weeks is that this bone marrow cancer may go into remission. From there, who knows? I even might be able to eventually claim, “I am cured!”

As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am one in the highest risk category for the coronavirus. Importantly, I took a test two weeks ago to determine if I have increased intestinal permeability in my gut barrier membrane. “Increased intestinal permeability” is also known as a “leaky gut”. In my opinion, this is a vital test because a leaky gut is the gateway for chronic systemic inflammation and a compromised immune system. Chronic systemic inflammation and a compromised immune system are factors in the development of cancer as well as many other chronic diseases. One of the critical arenas for health, which my cancer protocols address, is the gut. Specifically, the gut’s microbiome, its mucus layer, and outer epithelial barrier must be functioning efficiently. If there is damage to my epithelial barrier, then my immune system would be compromised. I must have total control over this contingency.

The test is called the PEG 400 Permeability Test, which is not available in the US but is available in the UK as well as in Hungary. I used BioLab Ltd[1] in England for the test. I’ll have the results in another week or two, and I will write a Blog about the test, its interpretation, and my path going forward.

Physically, my life has turned around. I’m walking outside about one mile every other day. I’m also doing half-squats and modified pushups. And I’ve been able to walk up my stairs to the room-over-the-garage where I am able to use my NordicTrack Cross Country Skier once a week. I’m not going to win any athletic medals, but I am getting to move my body in healthy ways.

Based on what my oncologist tells me, there is no other patient with multiple myeloma who has done what I have done with my unconventional cancer journey. I’ve often said that I am a study of N=1. Perhaps my protocols have been successful because they provide a “shotgun approach” to get my body prepared to heal overall. My cancer protocols enhance various vital activities of my body: efficient nutrition and digestion, gut health, immune support, bone metabolism, and mitochondrial repair. I offer a PDF of my most updated cancer protocols to anyone who would like it. If you would like a copy, email me (Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com). Caveat: My Cancer Protocols have never been proven to cure cancer. My personal research suggests that these protocols may have a positive effect on my body’s ability to heal itself. I make no other claims except this is what I am doing for myself.

[1] https://www.biolab.co.uk/docs/peginst.pdf


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33 Days on Carnivore Diet
– Unconventional Cancer Journey –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

February 3, 2020 [printfriendly]


33 Days on Carnivore DietOn 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

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

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.


Around Noon:

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)



Around 6PM:

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!!!



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What to Eat
For a Healthy Mouth

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

January 27, 2020 [printfriendly]


What to Eat For a Healthy Mouth


Well, you definitely should not be devouring an egg sandwiched between processed cheese on a muffin, drinking a glass of orange juice, and finishing with a donut for breakfast. And then sipping on a 20-ounce Venti of coffee loaded with sugar to get your day started. This “energy breakfast” is not healthy at all. On the contrary, it’s practically all carbs and added sugars that will damage your gut bacteria, compromise your immune system, and create chronic systemic inflammation. And ultimately, this “food” would change the bacteria and acid levels in your mouth to start the ball rolling in the direction of gum disease and tooth decay.


So, what should you do about breakfast? What about the rest of your day? What are better choices for your mouth? Should you just think about removing bad stuff, or should you replace bad choices with appetizing substitutes, which will continue to satisfy you? Let’s get into this discussion.


First, take a deep breath. You could ease into any dietary changes that may interest you. You don’t need to jump all in at once with both feet. Take your time and make changes appropriate for your personality, comfortable for you family, and eventually effective to get you to your end goal. If you seem to get off track, that’s also OK. Just review what you want to accomplish; get back to your program; and proceed at your own pace once again.


My Patients’ Nutrition

When patients come to me interested in proper nutrition and wanting to make changes in what they have been doing, I provide a program to help them. Initially, they and I need to understand what they actually are eating. I give them a 3-Day Food Journal, which they will complete over the course of 3 continuous days. It’s amazing how people believe they are eating healthy until we go over their detailed Food Journal. They also fill out a health questionnaire. I review their food choices and other health issues with them, and I comment about what’s good and what’s bad about their current eating habits. We’ll also discuss what might be missing in their meals that is necessary for a healthy mouth as well as a healthy body.


In addition, I give them a summary of the general food groups that are not healthy choices. I specifically recommend substitute foods to replace their unhealthy choices, which they have included in their Journal. Then, both of us create a plan to make necessary changes – slowly and methodically. Whatever time it takes for them to change their eating lifestyles is perfectly OK. Whatever works for each patient works for me.


You can email me, and I’ll send you a PDF of the 3-Day Food Journal with my written guide to assist you in interpreting your personal 3-Day Food Journal by yourself. The PDF also includes some tasty substitutes to replace specific bad food choices in your daily diet. Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com


Generally, a healthy diet will eliminate as many processed carbs and added sugars as possible. Be especially aware of sodas and juices. These contain strong acids that can demineralize your teeth and start the tooth decay process. Sodas and juices also contain a huge amount of sugar that feeds bad bacteria in your mouth, which are initiating factors causing tooth decay and gum disease. Also understand that the artificial sweeteners in zero-calorie drinks can damage your healthy gut bacteria, which affect your overall health as well as your mouth. So, consider eliminating sodas and fruit juices of all kinds and find satisfactory substitutes that you can enjoy. Water, teas, seltzers, and coffee may be ideal substitutes for you. If you need a sweetener, use organic stevia or monk fruit that do not cause tooth decay and are not artificial.


I recommend various ways of eating as long as they are doable for the patient and meet the strict criteria I encourage – no foods that are inflammatory to the body and all foods that nourish the body.


This is important: Don’t think that a “diet” is a temporary way to eat and then you would go back to old habits. My concept of a healthy diet is truly a lifestyle change in eating protocols that may take time to institute – something that eventually happens comfortably and without constant thought, stress, or effort. Diets like the Mediterranean Diet, a Low-Carbohydrate Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Ketogenic Diet, and even the current Carnivore Diet may be excellent lifestyle changes to investigate. If any of them appeals to you, make plans to transition into it at your own pace. Here is a short description of each of them:



Eating Lifestyles

Mediterranean Diet: This type of diet consists of eating: (a) high levels of vegetables, fruits, cereals (mostly whole grains), nuts, and legumes; (b) low levels of saturated fat, sweets, and meat; (c) high levels of unsaturated fat (mainly olive oil); (d) medium-high levels of fish; (e) moderate levels of wine; and (f) medium-low levels of dairy products (mainly yogurt and cheese).


Low-Carbohydrate Diet: Restricting processed carbohydrates and sugars avoids high blood sugar levels and high blood insulin levels. Low-carb improves the garden of beneficial gut bacteria. Processed carbohydrates can be replaced with resistant starch (ex: oats, raw potato starch, cooked and cooled rice, green bananas).


Paleolithic Diet: A paleolithic (paleo) diet today mimics the diet of our ancestors during the Old Stone Age. This style of eating was prevalent during the course of human existence. A paleo diet today consists of: (1) High consumption of fruits, vegetables, and various herbs and spices; (2) Moderate-to-high consumption of meats, organs, fish, and eggs; (3) Moderate consumption of nuts and seeds; and (4) Exclusion of all processed foods, legumes, grains, pasteurized dairy products, and processed vegetable and seed oils (except olive and coconut oil).


Ketogenic diet: Ketogenic (keto) diets represent an extremely low-carbohydrate diet. A keto diet reduces carbohydrate intake to less than 50 g/day. At this level, insulin is kept to low levels and cortisol levels are slightly elevated. This will induce the production of ketone bodies in the liver, which will be used as the main energy source for the body.


Carnivore Diet: The carnivore diet is an extreme of the keto diet. 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, oxalates, and phytic acid) found in plants that have the potential to cause many gut problems.



My Personal Eating Plan

Prior to 2012, I was eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). My eating lifestyle was loaded with unhealthy carbs and unhealthy fats. In 2012, I shifted my SAD lifestyle to a paleo-type diet. Some withdrawal symptoms occurred as I eliminated excess carbohydrates. These included achy joints, deep cravings for carbs, stomach discomfort, and overall weakness like dealing with the flu. Then after three weeks or so, all those ailments were practically gone, and I was on a positive roll. I continued with my paleo diet with some tweaks along the way until 2020. On January 1, 2020, I transitioned to my modified carnivore diet. This has been perfect for me; maybe it could be perfect for you.


If you would like, I will send you PDFs on my healthy paleo-type diet and my healthy carnivore diet. Email your request to me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com



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Cancer & Carnivore Diet
– My Update –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

January 20, 2020 [printfriendly]


Cancer & Carnivore Diet


The Carnivore Diet has been a huge and beneficial dietary change for me. I was on a Paleo-type diet for the last 6 years, and a more stringent autoimmune Paleo-type diet since I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2018. I assumed I was “fat adapted” for a long time following these eating programs. Probably that’s why I didn’t have the potential “side effects”, which I knew could be a problem with the transition to a Carnivore Diet. One initial change I noticed was more frequent urination after I went to bed. Getting up to pee every hour or two while in a peaceful slumber is not my idea of restorative sleep. Not a big deal after all, and it didn’t last for long. Another change I noticed was softer but well-formed bowel movements. (Am I getting too descriptive here?).

My research has taken me a long way from where I was before I discovered the Carnivore Diet. For example, I learned that the necessary nutrients required to thrive are “predigested” by animals and reside in their muscle, fat, and organ tissues for us to consume. And these nutrients are free of the “antinutrients” associated with raw plants. In addition, I discovered that fiber was not a critical factor for healthy gut bacteria. Along with fermentable fiber, the gut microbiome can metabolize amino acids to manufacture the necessary short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are vital for healthy gut function. This table identifies the SCFAs created by the gut microbiome through the fermentation of specific amino acids in the gut.


My Ketosis

While on my previous Paleo-type eating program, I didn’t know if I ever entered a state of ketosis since I never tested for that. Ketosis was not my goal until now on the Carnivore Diet. I want to be in ketosis because this may help deprive cancer cells of glucose, which is a major source for the malignant cell’s energy production.

After 6 days from starting the Carnivore Diet, my urine ketone strips showed that I was in ketosis. To my dismay, I wasn’t in ketosis two days later – and didn’t know why. As I later learned, the “fat to protein” ratio that I was consuming was a major factor, and I was out of sync with the correct ratio. I also questioned if my malignancy and my other unconventional daily cancer protocols could have something to do with staying in ketosis. So, I did some research.

I contacted a couple of MDs whom I considered experts on the Carnivore Diet. Ultimately, I found the major cause of my problem with staying in ketosis. I was eating too much protein and not enough fat. My body was making glucose from excess protein (gluconeogenesis).

In fact, the body can operate on two sources of energy – those derived from fats and those coming from carbohydrates. However, the body has a tough time fueling itself from protein only. Therefore, I must ensure I have enough quality fat to maintain a state of ketosis. The ideal fat-to-protein macronutrient ratio for the average individual on a Carnivore Diet is about a 2:1 ratio in terms of calories. However, since 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories and 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories, the same ratio could be expressed as a 1:1 ratio in terms of grams. Because of my malignancy, my goal is to maintain at least a ratio of 2:1 in terms of grams to arrive at a blood ketone level high enough to potentially starve my malignant plasma cells.

In order to arrive at this ratio, I tweaked my eating. I included two tablespoons of MCT oil in my coffee in the morning along with my heavy cream. Also, I reduced the grams of protein I ate during the course of the day. After 2 days, I was in ketosis again – confirmed with the urine keto strips as well as the Keto-Mojo Blood Ketone and Glucose Meter. Based on the stage of my multiple myeloma and the importance of maintaining muscle mass, my research suggested that I should be eating about 80-100 grams of protein daily. That would require I eat at least 160-200 grams of fat a day. This level of protein and fat would equal about 1760-2200 calories. I’ll continue using Keto-Mojo Meter so that I can begin calculating my personal Glucose Ketone Index.

Here is another important fact especially for cancer patients. Stress and prescription steroids will increase insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis resulting in a significant spike in blood glucose levels. Many cancer patients are under stress and are taking dexamethasone or prednisone along with their conventional chemotherapy treatment. This spike could last for several days after taking the corticosteroids or reducing personal stress levels. The introduction of steroids in the bloodstream could also take an individual out of ketosis. Dexamethasone is a long-acting glucocorticoid with a half-life of 36 to 72 hours and is 6 times more potent than prednisone. Prednisone is shorter acting, with a half-life of 18 to 36 hours. The effects of these meds are easy to understand, but your stress levels are far more difficult to get under control. Be aware if you are dealing with emotional stress or are prescribed steroid medications.[1],[2]


Glucose Ketone Index (GKI)

The GKI is a tool that can help monitor the relationship of the major fermentable tumor fuel (glucose) to the non-fermentable fuel (ketone bodies). Drs. Joshua Meidenbauer, Purna Mukherjee, and Thomas Seyfried have suggested the GKI goal for cancer patients is between 1-2.[3] This represents a high blood ketone level. The ideal time for me to test my blood glucose and ketone levels is about 2-3 hours after eating.

The GKI formula is simply: Glucose Level ÷ 18 ÷ Ketone Level = Glucose Ketone Index

  • > 9 GKI means your body hasn’t transitioned into a fat-burning state.
  • 6-9 GKI demonstrates a low level of ketosis. This is appropriate for those who want to lose weight or maintain optimal health.
  • 3-6 GKI demonstrates moderate levels of ketosis. This is appropriate for addressing many common metabolic diseases, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or obesity.
  • 1-2 GKI is a high level of ketosis and appropriate for cancer patients.


Food Shopping

Shopping for my new eating program has been a breeze. Everything I need is located in isolated peripheral areas of my healthy grocery stores or from my local farmers’ market. When it comes to cost, properly raised animal products are more expensive than other foods. Yet I don’t need to buy any plant foods or processed foods. That makes a difference at the checkout register. And I have less grocery bags to carry.

As for organ meats, I continue to enjoy my homemade bone broth, chicken liver, oxtails and occasionally sweetbreads when they are available. But to assure I get my daily intake of essential nutrients, I take capsules of freeze-dried Bone Marrow[4] as well as Organ Complex[5] – both supplements are sourced from grass-feed cattle in New Zealand and are available from Enviromedica. The Organ Complex consists of desiccated heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas.


Overall Health Benefits

The Carnivore Diet provides a noteworthy benefit for the gut, the mouth, and the overall health of the body. Since there are no refined carbohydrates or sugars, this diet encourages a healthy mouth without tooth decay or periodontal disease.

The first beneficial effect of no carbs is the creation of a healthy balance of gut bacteria. The healthy gut bacteria are capable of creating important short chain fatty acids from available amino acids instead of plant fiber. A healthy gut encourages a healthy immune system with no chronic systemic inflammation. The mouth responds by maintaining a healthy balance of its own garden of bacteria with no competition from processed carbohydrates.

Bottom line – potentially excellent medical and dental visits. Maybe the Carnivore Diet could represent the best medical and dental insurance you could purchase. It’s worth looking into.


My Cancer Biomarkers

My cancer biomarkers have been improving significantly. But I can’t attribute these results to the Carnivore Diet. These biomarkers were improving dramatically after I started the human-derived immunotherapy infusions on November 12, 2019. However, I confidently can say that my increased energy level and fat loss, without any muscle-mass loss, are directly related to the Carnivore Diet. In addition, I have read several case reports of cancer patients who have experienced remission and healing of their cancers directly related to the Carnivore Diet. Those published results have encouraged me to continue with this way of eating.


Updated Personal Carnivore Diet

  • Intermittent fasting, which is part of my current diet – easier to do on an Animal-Based Diet because proteins and fats are more satiating
  • Pastured animal meats, their healthy fats, and organs (including skin, cartilage and collagenous parts)
  • Wild caught seafood – especially sardines with bone-in and skin-on, salmon, shrimp, mussels, and salmon roe
  • Butter and tallow from grass-fed and pastured cattle (both provide additional fat to improve my fat-to-protein ratio)
  • Triple-cream cheeses (examples: triple-cream brie and St. Nuage to provide high fat-to-protein ratio of 4:1 with no carbs)
  • Pastured chicken eggs
  • Homemade bone broth
  • Spices, sea salt, and herbs for flavor
  • Natural spring water for drinking (has trace minerals)
  • Two cups of organic coffee with raw heavy cream and organic MCT oil in the morning (cream and MCT oil provide additional fat to improve my fat-to-protein ratio)
  • Freeze-dried Bone Marrow and Organ Complex – (supplements from Enviromedica)
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt (for sodium and trace minerals) and 1/4 teaspoon of kelp granules (for iodine) added to a glass of water in the morning
  • Maintain ketosis and monitor GKI – (ideal GKI for cancer is between 1-2)


Where from Here?

I will continue the Carnivore Diet indefinitely and strive for a GKI between 1-2. As I said, I’ve learned that 2-3 hours after a meal is the ideal time to measure my glucose and ketone levels, which I will record at least 3-4 times a week.

My infusions of Darzalex (immunotherapy to specifically kill malignant plasma cells) require approximately 20 individual appointments at the Cancer Clinic. I have had 9 infusions so far, and I will continue until treatment is completed. I also will continue my monthly subcutaneous injections of XGEVA (targeted monoclonal antibody) to assist the strengthening of my skeleton.

I’m not waiting for double-blind human studies to be published by medical researchers who ultimately may tell me the Carnivore Diet is the ideal diet for cancer patients. If that day ever came, it would be at least 5-10 years from now. Individuals who have my prognosis have a lifespan measured in months – not years.

Let’s be serious! Waiting for science to prove what I am doing right now might never happen while I’m alive. In essence, I’m my own study of N=1, and I am more than OK with that. My attitude is excellent, and my goal always has been to maintain a quality of life for all of my remaining time on earth. I actively am making lasting memories for me, my wife, and my immediate family.

“Someone said that God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.”
James Matthew Barrie,
author of Peter Pan

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112077/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31025151

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4367849/?report=classic

[4] https://shop.enviromedica.com/pastured-bone-marrow

[5] https://shop.enviromedica.com/pastured-organ-complex


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