Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
January 17, 2021 [printfriendly]
January 1, 2021 was my first anniversary – 1 year being on a carnivore diet. This new way of eating changed my world. And it continues to be a significant factor in my Unconventional Cancer Protocols, which are responsible for the creation of my robust immune system and healing.
To bring you up to date, I received a diagnosis of incurable bone marrow cancer in September 2018. At that time, my oncologist gave me 3-6 months to live. I rejected chemotherapy, created my Unconventional Cancer Protocols, and am thriving today. But in August 2019, I suffered several severe pathological fractures on the right side of my body all at one time. These put me into a hospice hospital to die. Yes, to die.
Yet, I rallied!
In May 2020, my PET Scan showed no active cancer cells in my entire body, but I never entered remission. And today, I don’t know if more malignant plasma cells will continue to overwhelm my body in the future.
That brings me to my 1-year history of being on the carnivore diet.
As I said, I began a strict animal-based diet on 1/1/20. My research leading up to my decision to replace my way of eating with a carnivore diet was extensive. Since my diagnosis in 2018, I had been eating an autoimmune paleo-type diet.
My research about the carnivore diet was replete with anecdotal stories. I also was impressed that published medical papers suggested that an anti-inflammatory diet, which created ketosis, would be ideal for cancer patients.
Then, I discovered compelling human case reports documenting the success cancer patients had with a strict animal-based diet emphasizing a 2:1 fat ratio measured in grams. Most of those individual studies were reported by a medical facility in Hungary – the Paleomedicina Clinic.
Since 2011, the Paleomedicina Clinic in Budapest, Hungary has treated over 5000 patients with severe chronic diseases and cancer. The treatment for all these patients primarily consisted of the clinic’s Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet (PKD) with no supplements or drugs. The PKD is a strict animal-based diet reminiscent of the way our primal ancestors ate. Many results of these medical successes have been published, but I focused on the clinic’s individual cancer cases. While these were not double-blind studies, they were convincing.
In addition, I found an abundance of support and excellent research from Paul Saladino, MD, the author of The Carnivore Code. Dr. Saladino’s book is a treasure trove of peer-reviewed research. Being rather “geeky”, I discovered his book to be “just up my alley”.
Human Evolutionary Experience
If we take a broader view of human evolution, we realize that our omnivorous ancestors preferred a nose-to-tail animal diet. Also, their meals often were intermittent with unintentional periods of fasting.
This way of eating provided a state of ketosis for our primal ancestors most of the time. Ketosis allows the body to use its abundant storage of fat as fuel. It also allows the liver to create ketones, which are clean burning fuels for the brain, heart, and muscles.
Ketosis and ketones are potentially beneficial for cancer patients. Cancer cells are generally unable to use ketones for their fuel, and glucose (the preferred fuel of cancer cells) is no longer in abundance.
In addition, ketones decrease excessive free radicals, stimulate the production of endogenous antioxidants, and improve the production of ATP by healthy mitochondria. Human studies show that ketones improve lipid profiles, reduce insulin levels, and enhance weight loss without decreasing muscle mass. Also, ketones provide an anti-inflammatory effect, important signaling for biological pathways, and the ability to affect gene expression.
All of these factors assist in the mitigation of cancer.
Below is an informative interview of Dr. Thomas Seyfried discussing this subject:
If you looked at me, I don’t look like a guy who is dying from cancer. I am 5’7” tall and weigh 147 pounds. Since 1/1/20, I’ve lost several pounds of body fat while maintaining my lean muscle mass. I feel and look like a metabolically healthy guy – at the tender age of 73.
Since being on an animal-based diet, my blood chemistries and complete blood count have remained within normal ranges. My oncologist orders these blood tests every 4 weeks. He also orders specific protein blood studies to evaluate my immunoglobulins every 2-3 months. The dysfunctional IgA antibodies in my body still remain high but at relatively unchanged levels.
My energy level is stellar. And my biomarkers, which I described in my article “5 Important Tools for a Robust Immune System”, have suggested I have a strong and efficient immune system.
To help identify my current status, my doctor scheduled a bone density scan in March 2021 and another PET Scan in May 2021. I’ll be reporting the results following the tests.
The reality of my prognosis is unknown today. I have outlived my original prognosis by over 2 years. My quality of life is impressive. And my mental cognition has never been better. Yet, I have constant discomfort from my multiple pathological fractures, which I have experienced since my diagnosis.
I rarely take any medication for pain. Interestingly, I have noticed that my daily use of PEMF Therapy, which is part of my Unconventional Cancer Protocols, has significantly reduced the degree of pain I experience.
Exercise is another important component for healing along my cancer journey. I use a rollator to walk outside about one mile a day weather permitting. The rollator is my security if my legs were to weaken, or if I were to lose my balance. Also, I do modified body-weight exercises indoors 2-3 days a week and modified high-intensity-interval-training every 7-10 days.
If you have been reading my Blogs since my diagnosis, you know me. I will forge ahead. My attitude is proactive, and my resolution is to heal my body as best as I can. I want to be known as the senior poster boy for a healthy lifestyle despite my diagnosis of incurable bone marrow cancer.
Check out my new training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.