My 10 Solutions
– We Swim in a Polluted Sea: Part 2 –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 16, 2021 [printfriendly]



In Part 1 last week, I used the metaphor that we swim in a polluted sea. I suggested that our environment is killing us slowly. The sea could seal the fate of those who refuse to be proactive and reactive.

The bright light is that there are solutions. And they are simple. But their implementation is complex.



My 10 Solutions

Ideally, the residents of the polluted sea need to swim out of their environment and into fresh, clean water. Individuals need to give their body what it requires and remove everything that is damaging. Those who want to regain and maintain health must choose a different sea in which to swim.

A metaphorically healthy sea would consist of all the nutrients and lifestyle choices that support your body and would avoid potentially toxic substances and irritants that could hinder your health. This new environment would improve the responsiveness of your immune system and create metabolic flexibility.

Here is my vision of an unpolluted sea. It consists of my 10 solutions. Some may be more important than others. But in my opinion, they work in synergy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts:

  1. Nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods
  2. Natural spring water
  3. A robust gut
  4. Strong cells with functional mitochondria
  5. Healthy sun exposure
  6. Restorative sleep
  7. Efficient exercise
  8. Stress reduction
  9. Effective oral hygiene
  10. Consciousness of the mind, body, spirit connection

Let’s get started.


#1: Foods

All healthy diets exclude:

  • Added sugars and excess carbs
  • Agrochemicals
  • Emulsifiers, preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals
  • Over-processed seed and vegetable oils
  • Trans fats, hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated fats
  • Anti-nutrients in specific plants that will harm the gut microbiome and the gut lining

I have created my Better Belly Blueprint that embraces an eating lifestyle of at least 70% animal-based foods and less than 30% of selected plants with minimal anti-nutrients (i.e. phytates, lectins, and oxalates).

Animals must be pastured, fed no chemicals, and raised humanely. Eat from nose-to-tail, which includes their muscle meat, saturated fats, organs, and collagenous parts. Practically all the nutrients your body requires are in nose-to-tail eating.

If you would like to see some of my original recipes, click on Better Belly Blueprint Recipes.


#2: Water

Probably this is one of the most underrated yet essential nutrients for our body. I wrote about water in my article on Hydration & BUN. And one of the best sources of pure water is the natural and unfiltered spring waters that are replete with trace minerals and the energy the sun bestows on the chemical and electrical properties of water. They should be bottled in glass.


#3: Gut

Much medical research today is uncovering the immense importance of our gut for overall health and wellness. We must …

  • Maintain an intact gut lining
  • Improve the integrity of the mucous layer
  • Establish a high diversity, quantity, and quality of individual species of beneficial bacteria

One method to improve the gut microbiome is to ingest spore-based probiotics. Studies show that these unique bacteria are resistant to stomach acid, germinate in the gut, produce beneficial chemicals (metabolites), enhance the growth of other commensal bacteria, and assist in the repair of the gut epithelial barrier.

In addition, specific immunoglobulins, which can be introduced into the gut, will bind to toxic elements and hasten repair of the mucous layer and gut epithelial lining.

I published a mini-eBook explaining the interactions of the gut with chronic disease. In my publication, Is Your Gut Killing You?,  I cite 295 peer-reviewed medical articles.


#4: Strong Cells with Functional Mitochondria

So far, a healthy diet, unfiltered natural spring water, and a robust gut will provide the elements for efficient and effective cells. But there is another force that can improve the cell membranes and the production of ATP. It is based on the magnetic field of the Earth.

The Earth’s magnetic field ranges from 26 to 66 micro-Tesla.[1] Tesla is the measurement of the strength or intensity of a magnetic field and incorporates the amplitude of the wave frequencies.

The wave frequencies on Earth “speak” to all cells of the body – restoring proper electrical balance, healthy cell membranes, blood circulation and oxygenation, and mitochondrial function. Walking on natural ground with bare feet (i.e., grounding) helps transmit this energy into your body.

If there were no Earth’s magnetic field, various illnesses would occur.[2] For example, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere there is a significant reduction in electromagnetic forces. NASA learned early that there was biological harm to their astronauts from the loss of the Earth’s magnetic field in outer space. To compensate for the medical damage that was done, NASA began to equip their space capsules and space suits with electromagnetic field generators to simulate the natural magnetic fields on Earth. These generators produced an average of 50 micro-Tesla.

Another way for you to improve cellular function would be to use Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy with a full body mat. This is what I do to assist with healthy cellular membranes and mitochondria.

My mat specifically runs at a maximum of 40 micro-Tesla with filters to remove any voltage spikes or damaging electromagnetic fields.[3] This German-made mat produces frequencies from 0.1 – 10,000 Hz in harmonic wave patterns. I incorporate a specific PEMF protocol three times a day, which I describe in my Unconventional Cancer Protocols.


#5: Healthy Sun Exposure

Our main source of Vitamin D is the Vitamin D3 that is created in the skin from exposure to sunlight. We also get some Vitamin D2 from a few foods in our diet. When we have inadequate blood levels of Vitamin D, we can improve them through dietary supplements. But for Vitamin D to function properly, it requires various “helper” nutrients, which include Vitamin K2, Vitamin A, magnesium, boron, and zinc.

Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2 enter the circulation and eventually are converted into “25 Hydroxy Vitamin D” (the inactive form of Vitamin D) by the liver. This is basically our “storage pile” of Vitamin D. This inactive form returns to the circulation and reaches the kidneys where it is transformed into “1,25 Dihydroxy Vitamin D” (the active form) as it is needed.

The active form of Vitamin D acts on bones, the intestine, and kidneys to regulate the level of calcium and phosphorus in our blood.

It also has many other functions in the human body. Vitamin D regulates cell differentiation, cell maturation and the innate immune system. It affects up to 10% of our genetic activity and improves the resistance against certain diseases including cancer.[4]

Another benefit is that it enhances the diversity of microbes in the gut as well as increases the variety of beneficial species.[5]

Your blood level goal for 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D should be no less than 40-60 ng/ml. Toxicity usually does not occur until the blood level is above 125 ng/ml.


#6: Restorative Sleep

Your body relies on circadian rhythms. These are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. They are natural processes that respond primarily to light and dark.

The cycle of circadian rhythms regulates the biological clocks that are the natural timing devices for many of our body’s functions such as:

  • Hormone release
  • Eating habits and digestion
  • Body temperature
  • Sleep patterns

Most people can optimize their circadian rhythms by sleeping about 7-8 hours a night. The ideal time to go to bed is between the hours of 9 PM to 11 PM. Also, make the room dark, cool, and quiet for a better night’s sleep.


#7: Efficient Exercise

Your body requires movement. This includes simple movements as well as complex movements. To “work” your body efficiently, you should include a combination of:

  • Brief, high-intensity interval training once every 7-10 days
  • Aerobic exercise 1-2 days a week
  • Strength training 1-2 days a week
  • Non-exercise movements every day 


#8: Stress Reduction

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

Continuous emotional stress will damage the gut microbiome and cause “leaky gut”, which will lead to significant and ongoing chronic systemic inflammation. This will tax the immune system to the extent that the immune system will be compromised and unable to mount an aggressive attack when needed to destroy serious invading pathogens.

I published this article in November 2020 that shows the damage emotional stress can cause in an otherwise healthy mouth.


#9: Effective Oral Hygiene

Your gut bacteria and your mouth bacteria “talk” back and forth. Your gut must be healthy, and your mouth must be healthy. Infection and inflammation from the gut and mouth can enter the blood system, travel along nerve fibers, and infiltrate tissue fluids to contribute to chronic disease. If there are any irritants in your mouth, they must be treated appropriately.

To make sure your mouth stays healthy, you need to have a personal oral hygiene regimen.  This includes brushing your teeth at the gum margins, flossing and cleaning the surfaces between each of your teeth, and scraping the topside of your tongue to remove odor forming bacteria and microscopic food remnants. I’ve published a detailed PDF that explains the 4 Steps to a Healthy Mouth.


#10: Consciousness of the mind, body, spirit connection

We are more than just the food we eat, our individual cells, and our environment. We are our thoughts and emotions, our physical bodies, and our spirituality. No part of our body functions like an island unto itself. Our mind, body, and spirit are intertwined and determine our health, make us who we are, and guide us to our purpose in life.


Connect the Dots

I stated earlier that there are solutions.

Basically, they are simple and available to us if we take the time to gather them together.

But the implementation is complex. A proactive person must research and act upon the elements I just discussed. There is no magic pill; it takes dedication to swim out of the polluted sea into fresh, clean waters. But the ultimate outcome will be transformative and regenerative.










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My Primal Lifestyle
Part 2 of 3: How I Exercise

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      August 23, 2016   [printfriendly]

My Primal Lifestyle
In Part 1, I discussed what I eat on a typical weekday and then what I eat on a typical weekend. In this Part, I discuss how I exercise. In Part 3, I discuss my sleep patterns and how I deal with stress.




My Philosophy


I believe an exercise program must be efficient for me. An efficient exercise program provides the maximum health and fitness benefits I am looking for in the least amount of time. I don’t want to produce oxidative stress in my body on a chronic basis. Therefore, I want a program that allows my body to rest and recover before performing another similar exercise session.


To meet these desires, I follow specific guidelines weekly. I perform high-intensity interval training, bodyweight strength training, aerobic exercise, and low-intensity physical activity.



High-intensity interval training


I use a Nordic Track Classic Pro Skier®, a cross-country ski machine that is set up in my spare bedroom.* Once a week, I do four to six cycles depending how I feel that day. It goes like this:


I warm up by “skiing” at a slow pace for two minutes. Then, I “ski” at the fastest speed I can muster for twenty-five seconds, and then rest by “skiing” slowly for ninety seconds. That completes one cycle, which I will repeat until done. This routine is exhausting, as it should be.



Bodyweight strength training


I do four basic movements in the privacy and comfort of my home once or twice a week. They are pull-ups, squats, pushups, and planks. I only use my own bodyweight as resistance. I purchased a pull-up bar online and attached it to the doorframe of my bedroom. Here is an online source that reviews various pull up bars.* The squats, pushups, and planks require no equipment, only motivation. There are great videos demonstrating these movements on YouTube by Mark Sisson. The series is worth viewing: pull-ups, squats, pushups, and planks.



Aerobic exercise


My favorite aerobic exercise is to ride my Trikke® outdoors.* For me, it’s great exercise and great fun. I ride my Trikke for thirty-to-forty minutes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, unless the weather is not cooperative.



Low-intensity physical activity


Non-exercise movement is just walking or moving about. My goal is to walk approximately 10,000 steps a day. At first, I found a pedometer was best to count how many steps I was taking a day. Today’s pedometers can be carried in your pocket, worn around your waist or wrist, or even worn around your neck. Here is an online review of various pedometers.* Once I learned how much walking I needed to do to add up to 10,000 steps, I didn’t need to use a pedometer any longer.


Standing rather than sitting has been shown to be important for overall health and for the health of your joints and stabilizing muscles. Sitting most of the day is associated with increased health risk, independent of the performance of other active exercise.


As a dentist, I sit while treating patients in my dental office. Standing while treating patients is practically impossible for me. While not treating patients, I try to stand as much as possible in my office. At home, I use a standup desk when I use my computer, and I stand while doing most anything I once did sitting.




Where I Am Today


I am almost 70 years old. These four categories make up my entire exercise program. Some experts have suggested that I could be more aggressive or varied in my routine. Personally, I don’t know why. This program has allowed me to feel healthier today than I have ever felt. I plan to continue what I am currently doing for as long as I am able. This is a simple program that works for me and allows me to do whatever else I want to do.


*(I do not receive any remuneration from Nordic Track, any pull up bar or pedometer company, or Trikke.)


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My Primal Lifestyle
Part I of 3: What I Eat

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      August 22, 2016   [printfriendly]

My Primal LifestyleChris and his wife Terry came to my office the other day to discuss his periodontal treatment plan as well as the lifestyle changes I recommended both of them to consider. He brought his wife because she also had many questions. Two of her questions were, “How do you live your life?” and “What does your typical day look like?”


Great questions! I’m proud of the way I treat my body today, and I was eager to share that with Chris and Terry.


My primal lifestyle started in 2013. From that time forward, I have included a nutrient-dense diet, efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and stress reduction in how I live. In this first installment (Part 1), I discuss what I eat on a typical weekday and on a typical weekend. In Part 2, I discuss my weekly exercise program, and in Part 3, I discuss my sleep patterns and how I deal with stress. I am not an athlete or a marathon runner or a gym enthusiast. I am just a guy trying to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can. My philosophy is to keep it simple, doable, and effective. I think you will agree.



The Days Of The Week


I eat differently over the course of a week. Mondays through Fridays are different than Saturdays and Sundays. So, here is an example for a typical weekday and then my choices for a typical weekend. I also included my selections that are the same for all 7 days.



Typical Weekday


I usually do not eat breakfast because I am usually not hungry. But, I generally have a cup or two of my Spiced BulletProof Coffee in the morning.


Often my first meal is around noon or 1PM. That frequently consists of 3 eggs over easy cooked in coconut oil. I will sauté several leafy greens (like spinach, Swiss chard, and kale) in coconut oil with spices and seasonings like turmeric, fresh garlic, Himalayan salt, kelp granules, and ground pepper. I either will drink filtered water or goat kefir (I prefer Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Kefir) depending on what’s available and what’s my preference at the moment.


For dinner, one of my favorite meals is salmon baked in parchment paper with sides of sweet potatoes and streamed broccoli smothered with plenty of butter from pastured, grass-fed cows. I also like to sprinkle Ceylon cinnamon on my sweet potatoes.


For dessert, 85% dark chocolate is a regular indulgence. My preferred bar is Alter Eco Dark Blackout. When available, I enjoy some of my homemade avocado chocolate pudding that includes organic cacao powder.



Typical Weekend


My wife and I generally go out for breakfast or brunch both days. We look forward to eating at our local farm-to-table restaurants. At one of these restaurants, I usually get shrimp sautéed in olive oil with green peppers, onions, and garlic. I also have three sides: beets with ginger and raw honey, steamed cabbage, and sweet potato casserole made with raisins, apples, and pecans. Water with fresh lemon or lime is my preferred drink.


At dinnertime, we like a rack of lamb that we oven bake with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. I whip up a fresh salad of leafy greens with tomatoes, fresh fruit, raw pumpkin seeds, and my creamy Caesar dressing. We often have a side of live-culture sauerkraut.


Dessert is optional. I may have fresh fruit, dark chocolate, or my delicious avocado chocolate pudding.





I make a smoothie to drink that is available whenever I want during the day. It is a combination of leafy greens like Swiss chard, spinach, and kale with an avocado, berries of various types, a banana, and filtered water to create the right consistency. I use a Vitamix Blender and store it in a large Thermos.


I rarely snack, but if I do it is usually with various raw nuts and seeds (cashews, macadamia, Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds,) along with fresh fruits.


At dinnertime I may have a glass of a full-body red wine. I have found several organic varieties that I favor.



There You Have It


That’s pretty much my average day’s food plan for the weekend and for the weekday. What do you enjoy for your typical meals? Let me know.


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Who Knew It Was So Obvious?

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      May 31, 2016   [printfriendly]

Who Knew It Was So Obvious?It’s so simple.


I’m amazed.


When I stop to think, the obvious blows me away.


Here’s what I know:


I know that today’s science and knowledge are growing at an exponential rate. No manmade machine has ever been created or built that is as complex, compact, unique, and self-perpetuating as the human body. Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have allowed our human species to become quite perfect. I know that animals in the wild for the most part do not have chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, tooth decay, or gum disease. And, I know that modern humans are plagued with chronic diseases of all types leading to severe compromise in the quality of life.


What I also know is that humans throughout time have evolved because their food sources were natural. These foods were not the same for every primal society. Yet, the food from the land and the sea allowed their body to develop the amazing ability to survive and thrive. If any species were not able to survive and thrive, it would have been deselected and removed from the evolutionary timeline by other more adapted species.


What I know is that my body needs what my primal ancestors needed – nutrient dense foods, restorative sleep, efficient exercise, and reduction of stress. I will provide these basics in order to stay as healthy as I can with the least decline in the quality of my life moving forward. I also know that others who don’t know what I know will not misguide me.


Who knew? It is so obvious to me. Is it obvious to you?


graphic source


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I Woke Up This Morning Feeling So Alive

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     January 11, 2016   [printfriendly]
When I Woke Up This MorningYou need to know my history in order to understand what I am saying. I have written about it HERE.


I am almost 69 years old. For the first 66 years of my life, I was not healthy. I thought I was healthy, but I wasn’t. In 2006, when I was 59 years old, I had a stroke but recovered completely within 2 months. It wasn’t until 2013 when I learned what I had been doing wrong for 66 years. It was an eye-opener.


I learned about primal nutrition and primal lifestyle. That included eliminating from my diet all processed grains and sugars, all unhealthy fats, and all other processed foods that had chemicals added to them. I learned to exercise efficiently and sleep restoratively. I tried to learn to control my stress levels – not an easy task.


Over the last three years, I have become a different person. I feel healthier than I have ever felt. I have energy throughout the day; I don’t have carbohydrate cravings; and I only eat when I am hungry. I have gotten into an exercise program that makes sense to me and has science to back it up.


I do high intensity interval training for about 10-15 minutes once a week. I do bodyweight strength training for about 10-15 minutes twice a week. Both of these I do in the comfort of my home. I do outdoor aerobic exercise two days a week for about 30 minutes at a time. I also do non-exercise movement by walking about 10,000 steps a day, and I use a stand up desk at home instead of sitting down as I used to do. I have written about my routine HERE.


A medical doctor who also is a functional medicine practitioner once told me, “In order to repair your body, it may take one month of proper nutrition and lifestyle for every year you damaged your body from your poor nutrition and poor lifestyle.” Since I had been damaging my body for the first 66 years of my life, I may need five or six years of doing what I am doing now to get as healthy as I can. So, I am a work in progress since I am only three years into my repair process. But, I feel great. I feel so much alive. If only I knew then what I know now!!


My goal is to spread the word. People don’t understand that the damage they are doing to their body doesn’t make itself known immediately. It often takes decades to fester and escalate before the clinical signs and symptoms become obvious.


Most people need a tipping point to make a change in their lives. Some people need to be debilitated by a heart attack or a stroke before they get the message. Some people need an external event to occur like the birth of a grandchild to motivate them to make a change. A few people only need to learn what is best, and they make the change. Whatever it takes to tip your consciousness into motivating you is all that matters.


So, I write quite a bit. I lecture to lay groups of people and also to those in my profession. I try to impress that a train is coming, and the prudent person should get off the tracks. The science is there. Most medical practitioners don’t know what they don’t know. I am living proof of what a primal diet and a primal lifestyle can accomplish is such a short time.


When I woke up this morning, I felt compelled to put into words what I was feeling.

8 Truths I’ve Learned After My Paleo Transition

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       December 4, 2015


Healthy Lifestyle ElementsFor the first 66 years of my life, I was not a healthy guy. You can read my story here. However, for the last 3 years or so, I have become a new person, and I have incorporated my newfound knowledge and lifestyle in the way I educate my patients. Here are 8 truths I have learned after my Paleo transition. They’re listed in no special order; they’re just my thoughts:


  1. Too much conflicting information from respected medical institutions about health and diet has made the average Mary and Joe spin in circles. A Paleolithic-type diet has been around for 2.5 million years of our species’ evolution, and it has well served humankind throughout the world. It’s not a fad; it’s the way it was meant to be.
  2. Chronic emotional stress is difficult to control. The damage to the healthy gut bacteria and the immune system plays havoc on the entire body including the gum tissues in the mouth. One of the pillars of health is control of stress. There is no pill you can take to make stress go away.
  3. When I am evaluating a patient in my periodontal practice, there is no way I can do a thorough mouth examination that includes a discussion about their gut and immune system in less than an hour. The 10-15 minute exams that many of my contemporaries perform for their patients are inadequate and a disservice to the patient, in my opinion.
  4. Nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods that are the basis of a Paleo diet provide the body with essential nourishment for every cell to survive and thrive. These foods make up another of the pillars of health.
  5. Although genetics play a role in gum disease and many chronic diseases, an individual’s diet and lifestyle are more important than his or her genes.
  6. A third great pillar of health is restorative sleep. The human body is based on a circadian rhythm and generally requires about 8 hours of sleep each night.
  7. The Standard American Diet (consisting of unhealthy fats, refined sugars, conventionally raised animal products, processed grains, and a host of chemicals) is a major culprit for today’s chronic disease epidemic. Period!
  8. The fourth pillar of health is an efficient exercise program. That does not mean over-exercising aerobically an hour a day, 5 days a week.


I am still learning. At almost 69 years of age, this is exciting for me. I have transformed my life and my health through the knowledge of evolutionary lifestyle. If only I knew then what I know now!!!


I will leave you with this one question: If you knew a train was coming at you, would you get off the tracks?

What Did You Say I Have?

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       November 8, 2015


evolution r“What did you say I have? I brush my teeth everyday and floss when I can. Now you say I have gum disease that is eating away at my jawbone! How did this happen to me?”


You are not alone!


A study published in 2010 demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth.


Another study published in 2012 by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 47% of the US adult population has periodontitis (the advanced stage of gum disease that eats away at the jawbone). If you were over 65 years old, the prevalence of this advanced infection jumped to 70%. Wow!


Advanced gum disease typically does not hurt. The earlier stage of this disease, which is gingivitis, usually produces bleeding gums. But, if gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of periodontitis, the bleeding generally stops as the infection moves deeper under the gums to begin destroying the jawbone.


If left untreated, periodontitis will cause teeth to get loose. Teeth will become sore and painful to the touch. Chewing will become uncomfortable. Infection that is around the tooth root could be pushed into the blood system, affecting other areas of the body. These gum infections could also become severe in the mouth resulting in much swelling, bleeding, and odor. Once the structure of the jawbone is significantly destroyed, the only option would be to extract the teeth involved. In addition to mouth problems, gum disease has been associated with many other bodily conditions such as diabetes, pre-term and low-weight babies, heart disease, and many more.


There are many causes. The most common is bacteria that get under the gums around the teeth that thrive off of the sugars and refined carbohydrates we eat abundantly everyday. Another cause is the lack of efficient oral hygiene, which includes effective tooth and gum cleaning habits. Additional causes are the health of our digestive system, the nutrients that are in our foods, our stress level, and our genetic predisposition. Frequently, habits like gritting or grinding your teeth, even if you are not aware of this habit, could weaken the jawbone and result in further destruction.


You cannot change your genetics, but you can change the quality of foods you eat and your lifestyle, and you can learn to properly clean around your teeth and gums.


Those who read my blogs may know that I am a periodontist (gum specialist) with 41 years experience in treating patients with advanced gum disease. I also am licensed in the laser gum treatment called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), which is patient-friendly and involves no cutting with scalpels and no stitches. I have found this to be the best way to treat advanced gum disease. In addition, I am a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner using this background to guide patients to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Some of my patients decide to complete a 3-Day Food Journal, which allows me to evaluate their eating and lifestyle habits and then to recommend healthier food and lifestyle choices.


I offer my patients a Lifestyle Repair Plan, in which I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, selecting from a host of nutrient-dense foods. These are the foods that have a great deal of nutrients packed into each calorie. My Plan also incorporates changes in lifestyle that are critical for overall health. Included are concepts of health maintenance like Oral Care, Restorative Sleep, Efficient Exercise, and Stress Reduction – concepts that I have summarized into simple and doable steps.


My goal for my patients is to treat their active gum infections, teach them methods to maintain a healthy mouth, and assist them with eating and lifestyle changes that could lead not only to a healthier mouth for the rest of their lives but also to a healthier body.

Here is How I Exercise

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
April 13, 2015 [printfriendly]



evolution rSometime ago I wrote about the 4 pillars of health. I compared them to the legs of a dining room chair. Those pillars are:

  • Nutrient-dense foods
  • Stress reduction
  • Restorative sleep
  • Efficient exercise


If any one of these pillars is compromised, then overall health would be in danger – just as if one leg of the chair were broken, the chair would be unstable. What happens on a cellular level eventually affects your entire body. Your mouth is intimately and intricately affected by your overall health.


There is significant research that shows (1) how specific methods of exercise are extremely effective in creating the healthiest results and (2) how these benefits might be obtained in the shortest amount of exercise-time.


Here is the way I exercise on a weekly basis to get the most from my workout. For your information, I am 68 years old. Based on your physical well-being, you might choose other exercise programs that would be better suited for you.


Brief and Intense Strength Training:

Strength training builds muscle strength and improves hormone efficiency that allows your body to function optimally. I do four simple movements that take as little as 10-20 minutes a couple of times a week to gain maximum benefit. These basic movements are: pull-ups, pushups, squats, and planks.


I do these four movements twice a week in the privacy and comfort of my home. The only equipment that is necessary is a pull-up bar. I purchased one online and attached it to the doorframe of my bedroom. Here is a source that reviews various doorframe pull-up bars. You also could look up “portable free-standing pull up bars” online to view various manufacturers and models, which could be set up anywhere.


Mark Sisson has created four YouTube videos that demonstrate these movements in a progressive manner from beginner to advanced. Here are links to them:

Pull-up. Pushup. Squats. Plank.


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

HIIT is the ultimate beneficial exercise for your heart, your muscles, your hormones, and your weight. You could perform this once a week for 10-20 minutes in total. You would start with a warm up of 1-2 minutes. Each cycle might consist of (1) 7-30 seconds of all-out-to-exhaustion pedaling on a recumbent bike or sprinting outside, and (2) rest for about 90 seconds to regain your normal breath. This cycle should be repeated for 2-8 cycles. Then, finish with a 1-2 minute cool down.


I use a Nordic Track Classic Pro Skier. It is a cross-country ski machine that is set up in my spare bedroom. Usually I use it once a week for 4-6 cycles depending how I feel that day. I warm up by skiing at a slow pace for 2 minutes. Then, I “ski” at the fastest speed my arms and legs can muster for 25 seconds, which puts me out-of-breath and in an anaerobic state.  Then I rest by skiing gently for 90 seconds. That completes one cycle, which I will repeat until done.


Dr. Mercola has created a video that demonstrates HIIT using a recumbent bike.


Aerobic Exercise

My goal is to exercise about two hours a week doing exercise that will raise my heart rate between 55% to 75% of my maximum heart rate. At that level of effort, I can carry on a conversation while exercising. If I were unable to carry on a conversation, I probably would be in the anaerobic zone of exercising, and that is not where I want to be for this routine. My personal aerobic exercise is riding my Trikke outdoors. It’s great exercise and great fun for me. I try to ride my Trikke (model T78 Deluxe) about 2 or 3 times a week for about 40 minutes. I find the best time of day is just after the sun rises – peaceful and beautiful.



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Some Personal Thoughts…

evolution rHere I am – a periodontist and a primal-nutrition enthusiast. I know that I can improve the gum health of my periodontal patients using (1) patient-friendly, cutting-edge treatment to correct gum disease along with (2) primal nutrition concepts that help prevent the return of gum disease. I know that incorporating primal nutrition and a healthy lifestyle also will help prevent many, if not all, of the chronic diseases that plague our modern world.
I’m going to share my personal thoughts. When it comes to my life, I believe in quality. I don’t want a pill to just make me feel better or just make my blood chemistries register a better number. For me, it wouldn’t matter what the disease was called, or if my cholesterol was plus or minus a certain number. If what was going on with me affected the quality of my life, I would want to prevent or eliminate whatever was creating that problem. I would want to get to the root cause and repair the damage. I don’t want something to mask the symptoms.
I am discovering from my extensive research into the science of primal nutrition that the manifestations of chronic disease in our society today are frequently the results of what we put into our bodies and what we are unable or unwilling to remove from our bodies. It’s not the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis that concerns me, or cardiovascular disease, or type 2 diabetes, or Alzheimer’s, or any of the named degenerative diseases. What motivates me is the maintenance of individual cell health because that is where chronic disease begins, and that is where chronic disease can be prevented.
There are so many prescription medicines out there to treat the manifestations of cellular damage – to treat the symptoms of disease. There are so many over-the-counter supplements being promoted to treat these same conditions. I believe the most important things to do are to give our cells whatever they require to survive and thrive as well as to remove whatever is unhealthy for them. Cells will repair. It all starts with proper nourishment and the removal of whatever is damaging the cells. Toxins in any form compromise our cells and their ability to function optimally. Unrelenting stress, harmful chemicals, poor sleep habits, lack of efficient exercise, damaging foods – all of these contribute to the bad things that we need to eliminate in order for our cells to do what they were designed to do.
I see health as a four-legged stool. If any of the legs of the stool were broken, then the chair would not support the person who tried to sit on it. Your healthy, productive body needs stability too. And, your mouth is just an extension of your functioning body. Your mouth is not an island unto itself; it is intricately and intimately connected to everything that happens to each cell in your body.
To support your health, the quality of your life, and the health of your mouth, the following four cornerstones (just like the four legs of a chair) must be in place:

  • Nutrient-dense whole foods
  • Restorative sleep
  • Efficient exercise
  • Reduction of all unhealthy stressors

Longevity is Good; Quality is Better!

evolution rStatistically, we are living longer in the US today than ever before, but we are developing chronic diseases that significantly interfere with the quality of our golden years. Some of us are in distress and pain for decades before succumbing to these chronic diseases. This is not the way the human body was designed or evolved to be.
We were not born deficient in prescription drugs. We were not born to have to go to the physician every year to stay healthy or to see a dentist twice a year to prevent and treat gum disease and cavities. We were not born to require supplements of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for our bodies to function properly.
We were born to be healthy. We were born to retain our adult teeth throughout our lives until we die. We were born to move and jump and run and exert our bodies. We also were born to have pleasure and relax with nature.
Imagine this: Think of sitting on your four-legged dining room chair, and notice what happens. You are comfortable and stable. Now what would happen if one leg suddenly were removed? You’d topple over. How about two legs? Three Legs? You need all four legs of this four-legged chair to give you the support you need. Your healthy, productive body needs stability too. And, your mouth is just an extension of your functioning body. Your mouth is not an island unto itself; it is intricately and intimately connected to everything that happens to each cell in your body.
Just as there are four legs to this dining room chair, there are four pillars to a healthy “you”. Chronic disease occurs when one or more of these are broken. The four pillars are:
Nutrient-dense real foods
Restorative sleep
Efficient exercise
Stress reduction
Here is a brief description of each pillar:
Nutrient-dense real foods provide the energy sources that every cell in your body needs to do its thing. These foods consist of wild-caught and free-range animal products from nose to tail along with their wonderful fats, all veggies, some densely colored fruits, as well as nuts and seeds in moderation. These foods also support your good gut bacteria, which are critical for health.
Restorative sleep allows important systems of your body to replenish themselves. Your body needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night ideally in a quiet, cool, dark space. Your body can’t function properly if you try to catch up on sleep over the weekend. That’s not how it works.
Efficient exercise helps maintain and build your body with the least amount of effort for the maximum effect. A science-based, practical routine could include (1) a 10 to 20 minute workout of high-intensity sprinting once every 7 to 10 days, and (2) a 10 to 20 minute workout of strength-training exercises twice a week including squats, pushups, pull-ups, and planks. Also, science has shown that non-exercise movement throughout the day may be as important as efficient exercise. Standing as much as possible and sitting as little as possible should become routine. Simple walking is good movement, and a realistic goal to strive for each day should be 10,000 steps. A good tool to record how many steps you take everyday is a pedometer – a good brand is Omron.
Stress reduction includes removal of toxins from internal and external sources as well as removal of psychological stresses. Stresses from any source are toxic to all cells and eventually to all organ systems. As these stressors build up in the body to overload the system, clinical manifestations can appear like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. These manifestations of toxic overload frequently are expressed differently for each individual.
Your body was designed to be a finely tuned machine. These four pillars of health assist every cell in your body to perform as it was meant to perform to create longevity and most importantly quality of life.

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