The Case for Meat
– 6 Compelling Reasons –
 

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

August 29, 2021

On 1/1/20, I began incorporating an animal-based diet (i.e., Carnivore Diet) into my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. It was a major change for my Protocols, which I began after my incurable bone marrow cancer diagnosis in 2018. And this significant tweak made a measurable transformation in my overall health and healing.

While almost all other cancer patients were trying to fight their malignancy and heal their body by eating a plant-based diet, I went in a totally opposite direction.

The case for consuming the entire animal from nose-to-tail was explicit in the treatment of cancer patients at the Paleomedicina Clinic in Budapest, Hungary. After researching the Clinic’s case reports and educating myself about the benefits of animal-based foods, I fine-tuned the Clinic’s diet with the Carnivore Diet to form my Better Belly Blueprint way of eating, which I follow today.

Recently, I came across Brian Sanders and his work on nose-to-tail eating. He is embarking on a journey to produce a movie about animal-based diets involving many aspects of animal husbandry, nutrition, and the environment. He breaks down the case for meat into 6 identifiable fundamentals:

  1. Evolution
  2. Bad science
  3. Nutrition
  4. New science
  5. Environment
  6. The Alternative

 

A Gift to the World

Brian’s contribution is a gift to the world population! He’s a filmmaker who is creating a Movie titled, Food Lies.

Brian builds on the concept that humans, plants, animals, soil, and microbes have been intimately interconnected for the last 2.5 million years. His 6 areas of concern are brilliantly described and proven.

 

#1 Evolution

Brian describes the evolution of our human species. Scientists have proven that our species has been mainly animal eaters from nose-to-tail with the inclusion of a few plants.

  • Radioisotope nitrogen testing has shown that our primal ancestors mainly ate animal protein.
  • Along with human skeletal remains in the archeological digs, tools were discovered which were used to kill animals and break open their bones to gain access to the organs, marrow, and fat.
  • In addition, the human digestive system evolved a long, small intestine to digest animal-based foods, and the colon became shortened since our species began eating and digesting less plant matter.
  • Importantly, human stomachs developed an extremely high acid content. As primitive man scavenged carcasses, the intense stomach acid was able to destroy the bacteria which were rotting the meat our ancestors ate. If our ancestors consumed a bunch of unhealthy microbes which entered their gut alive, the human species could not survive!

In essence, animals were our ancestors’ mainstay and plants were their “fall back” food when animals were not readily available.

And today’s hunter/gatherers mainly eat animals.

 

#2 Bad Science

Food Lies explains how bad science evolved in the 1950s. In the 50s, scientists published medical papers and accepted misleading research data, which incorrectly and possibly purposely blamed red meat and animal fats for poor health. And this bad science led to a change in the health of the food we consumed. Processed foods with high carbohydrates, added sugars, and seed and vegetable oils became the staples of our diet. The research was promoted by the government and the food industry. With the decline in animal-based foods and their replacement with these innutritious foods, obesity and chronic diseases began to explode among the population.

 

#3 Nutrition

While plants appeared to provide a slew of vitamins, minerals, and many other healthy nutrients, they also consisted of anti-nutrients which could attach to these important nutrients and prevent them from being absorbed by the body. In addition, these anti-nutrients damaged the important garden of bacteria in the gut, the mucous lining of the gut, and the epithelial barrier that separates the gut from the rest of the body. In contrast, eating animals from nose-to-tail provided practically all the nutrients which humans required in a bioavailable form with zero anti-nutrients.

 

#4 New Science

Finally, new science is now beginning to emerge. Researchers began to prove that low carbohydrate foods and nose-to-tail animal foods, which were raised in a humane and non-chemical manner, are healthy. These foods allow people to lose weight, live longer, control their glucose levels, increase HDL, and decrease triglycerides. We’re witnessing a rebirth of our evolutionary blueprint.

 

#5 Environment

Brian continues to explain that animal farming is good for the soil, produces fertile areas to raise more crops, and improves the CO2 footprint. The methane gas produced by cattle recycles from the cattle, into the air, then into the grass, and again back to the cattle. Methane gas recycles and only stays in the air for about 9 years. On the other hand, burning fossil fuels produces 80% of the emissions that damage the environment and affect climate change. Their CO2 gases stay in the air for 300 to 1,000 years and don’t recycle like methane gas. Fossil fuels are the “800-pound gorilla in the room”. Fossil fuels and the industry that supports and benefits from fossil fuels are what needs to be curtailed. Curtailing animals from grazing on land is counterproductive and reduces the abundant nutrient source, which consuming animals from nose-to-tail provides!

 

#6 The Alternative

What’s the alternative to meat? There really isn’t a good one.

Monocropping is not healthy for the soil.

If plants are assumed to be the answer, then chemicals must be added to the soil. Fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that linger in the atmosphere for up to a thousand years, must be used to produce these chemicals. And once the plants are harvested, their nutrients are not completely available for humans to absorb. Many of the plants’ nutrients are bound up by “anti-nutrients” within the plants that make these nutrients significantly less bioavailable.

Also, preparing the land for monocropping kills animals and destroys ecosystems. Monocropping of corn, wheat, and soy could ruin our soil and be the population’s downfall.

On the other hand, animals give back to the soil. Animals raised for consumption can be grazed in rotation allowing other plants to be grown in the fertile soil created from the animals defecating and urinating.

And animals can be raised lovingly and can be provided a happy life until humanely killed. If these animals were in the wild, they would eventually starve to death or be eaten live by their predators.

Interestingly, over 400 commercial products purchased and used by our society are derived from cattle and hogs. Here’s a short list to consider:

  • Anti-aging creams
  • Dyes and inks
  • Shampoo
  • Musical instrument strings
  • Cosmetics
  • Textiles
  • Adhesives
  • Fertilizers
  • Paint

 

Moving Forward

Food Lies is still in production. In my opinion, it is destined to be a well-made, informative, and a must-watch documentary for the times in which we live. Contrary to popular beliefs, animal farming can help feed the world and provide fertile soil to grow crops.

We have enough land to feed the masses. We only have a mismanagement system.

To see what the movie is all about before it is released, watch the 15-minute video summary below. Brian Sanders discusses all the pertinent facts.

 

Check out my training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.

 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my “Belly Bites” Newsletter HERE.

I Eat Meat!

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
March 4, 2019

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I Eat Meat

I eat meat. I never excluded meat from my diet. However, the only meat I eat is from pastured or wild-caught animals who consume their natural diets with no chemicals added. In addition to meat, I eat their organs and consume their bone broth – nose to tail. (As an aside, the farmer I visit at my Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning provides grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef mixed with ground kidney, liver, and heart in one-pound packages: 70% ground beef; 30% ground organ meats.)

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However, now that I am on a journey to fight my incurable aggressive bone marrow cancer, I have been asked by many, “Why do you eat meat or animal protein? Don’t you know they cause cancer?”

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Well, healthy animal protein as part of a diet containing plant-based foods does not cause cancer. And healthy meat and organs are critical for humans to eat.[1] Healthy humans are omnivores![2]

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Let’s get into it.

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Essential Amino Acids

Humans require 20 amino acids to create all the proteins that life requires. This includes 9 essential amino acids (which cannot be made by the body) and another 11 non-essential amino acids (which can be made by the body). The 9 essential amino acids are easily supplied by animal protein.

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Animal protein provides the best and most biologically complete source for these building blocks. Amino acids are critical for proper immune function, muscle integrity, DNA manufacturing of the body’s necessary proteins, and gene expression.

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Vegans can mix various plants to get all the essential amino acids, but the quantity of legumes required to get the right mix also provides too many grams of carbohydrate to the diet. Too many carbohydrates in the diet creates excess glucose, which feeds cancer cell growth.

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Acid Environment

Some critics of animal products state that animal protein is acidic, which they claim encourages cancer growth. However, that is not entirely correct. Cancer cells actually create their own acidic environment by way of their production of energy.

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Healthy mitochondria are responsible for efficient energy production. However, the mitochondria in cancer cells are dysfunctional. Therefore, cancer cells must use fermentation to create the energy they require. Cancer cells use a tremendous amount of glucose and some glutamine to produce energy by this inefficient method. A by-product of the fermentation process is the production of a large quantity of lactic acid. In turn, lactic acid bathes the cancer cells making the environment acidic around tumors.

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Observational Studies

Other critics of eating meat cite studies showing the consumers of meat have a higher risk of cancer. However, these studies are mostly flawed.

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These studies are basically observational. They only look at the consumption of meat and the incidence of cancer. This can demonstrate a “correlation” but not a “causation”. The problem is that observational studies cannot eliminate the many other factors (some known and some unknown), which could significantly affect the outcome of the study.

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Another problem is that most studies do not control the quality of meat. There is a difference between pastured animals and conventionally raised animals. There is a difference between animals grazing on organic grasses and animals fed chemically produced grains. There is a difference between processed meats and unprocessed meats.

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Also, other studies show many people who eat large quantities of red meat have unhealthy habits and unhealthy lifestyles. Examples are smoking; consuming excess alcohol; eating large quantities of processed foods made from grain flours, sugars, and unhealthy fats; ingesting very few fruits and vegetables; and living relatively sedentary lives. These confounding factors significantly increase the risk of cancer in their own ways.

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Gut Microbiome

Different research shows that an unhealthy gut microbiome might increase the risk of cancer when large quantities of meat make up the diet. Refined-carbohydrate and low-fat diets can cause gut dysbiosis, which in turn could create metabolites from meat that might be carcinogenic. However, a healthy gut microbiome may prevent the production of unhealthy metabolites from meat. And, a diet including a large percentage of organic plant foods along with healthy meats will improve the health of the gut microbiome and may thereby decrease the risk of cancer.

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Necessary Nutrients

And then there are the biologically active nutrients that are abundantly supplied by animal proteins. These nutrients are necessary for healthy bodily function but are not readily available in a vegan diet. Some of these missing nutrients of a vegan diet include vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, heme iron, retinol (preformed vitamin A), and DHA.

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My Thoughts

Basically, a limited amount of unprocessed and pastured meat is healthy and doesn’t promote cancer.[3] A proportioned diet (less than 25% naturally-sourced animal proteins including all their healthy fats AND more than 75% non-starchy vegetables, berries, and seeds) may be the ideal diet for cancer patients. That is the diet I incorporate in my extensive Protocol to treat my IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma.

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For more information, I recommend two excellent books. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer by Dr. Nasha Winters and Cancer as a Metabolic Disease by Dr. Thomas Seyfried.

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[1] https://academic.oup.com/af/article/8/3/5/5048762

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/12/23/how-humans-evolved-to-be-natural-omnivores/#671a630b7af5

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549221/

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