Gum Disease? Diabetes?

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     January 17, 2016   [printfriendly]


Gum Disease? Diabetes?Type 2 diabetes is growing in the US. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 29.1 million people (or 9.3% of the US population) had diabetes. Of those, 21.0 million were diagnosed, but 8.1 million had diabetes yet didn’t know it. That meant that 27.8% of people with diabetes were walking around undiagnosed with this debilitating and life-threatening disease.


Another alarming statistic is that 94% of the US population has some form of gum disease, but about 47% of US adults have advanced gum disease that is destroying their jawbone and making its way into the bloodstream.


Those with type 2 diabetes are unfortunately confronted not only with the damaging effects of their diabetes, but also with the destructive path of advanced gum disease (or periodontitis). HERE. HERE. HERE. The prevalence of advanced gum disease in diabetics is significantly higher than in those without diabetes. HERE. HERE.


Type 2 diabetes is generally a chronic disease that is related to diet and lifestyle. A Paleo diet and lifestyle can go a long way in either possibly reducing the complications of this disease or possibly eliminating it and restoring the body to health. HERE. HERE. HERE.


For those with type 2 diabetes and advancing gum disease, a recent study published in 2015 showed that a combination of conservative gum treatment and a specific dietary nutrient provided healthier results than conservative gum treatment alone. The infection of gum disease improved and other markers of diabetes including hemoglobin A1c improved.


In this study, conservative gum treatment consisted of a deep cleaning under the gum tissues to remove tartar, which was acting like a splinter causing irritation and inflammation. The specific antioxidant supplement was lycopene, which is abundant in foods like guava, watermelon, and tomatoes. Participants in this study were given capsules of lycopene to take daily for 8 weeks.


My personal research has convinced me that nutrients like lycopene consumed in their natural food sources will enhance cell function and prevent chronic diseases better than consuming man-made or prepared supplements. That is one reason I prefer a Paleo diet as my go-to way of eating. A Paleo diet includes various plant-based foods that are rich in the natural antioxidants that support healthy blood sugar as well as reduce the chronic inflammation of gum disease.


If you have gum disease and diabetes, you need to be proactive. Schedule an evaluation with your dentist or periodontist and at least have a thorough deep cleaning performed to remove disease-producing tartar. Also, begin a Paleo diet with an emphasis in vegetables and fruits that have high levels of lycopene.


If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

Buy My Book

Crazy-Good Living

Detox Diets? Not For Me!

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS         January 3, 2016


Detox Diets?Your body knows how to detoxify. With the New Year, there are so many claims by so-called experts who want to sell you their special detox diet or cleanse kits. Detox diets and cleanses are not for me! A published review of the literature in 2014 showed that claims by these detox diets are very questionable and not well substantiated.


I have written about this before.  Your body has many well-designed systems to get rid of the junk.


Individual cells have genes that create natural biochemicals to rid your body of unnecessary and damaging elements by way of the Nrf2 pathway. Your liver is the primary organ that performs detoxification. Then there are the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, skin and lungs that all play a role in the elimination of unwanted and toxic substances.


Therefore, it is critical to provide the nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy functioning body. Healthy food choices give your body the nutrients to successfully manage most toxic loads. Healthier lifestyle choices can avoid and eliminate most other stressors. A primal or Paleo diet and lifestyle are the means to the end – the end being to make your body function as it was meant to function.


Special cleanses that are touted to detoxify your body are not the answers, in my opinion. There has not been any well-designed, published research in peer-reviewed journals proving these are effective. I believe the answers lie in what you eat, in what you don’t eat, and in how you take care of the rest of your body.


What these cleanses apparently do very thoroughly are to remove dollars from your wallet.

4 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     December 28, 2015   [printfriendly]

Almost every year it’s been the same old thing for me. Has it been that way for you?


New Year's ResolutionsFor me, I would decide on my New Year’s resolutions. Whatever they might be, I would make an all-out effort for the first two weeks of the year to make them happen. And then, the normal routine of life would take over for the next 50 weeks just as it had in the past with little significant change that year.


But then, it happened. It all changed three years ago for me. The change saved my life.


Three years ago my resolutions changed. They weren’t like losing weight or going to the gym more often or learning how to sing. They were so much more encompassing. They redirected my lifestyle.


Today, those resolutions are helping me become the healthiest I can. But, I had to relearn everything I thought was right that actually was wrong. I have written about my story here.


Pillars of HealthSo for this New Year, I am sharing my four healthy resolutions for you to consider. They changed my life. Chances are they could make you the healthiest person you could be. I consider these lifestyle changes the 4 pillars of health, which I have written about in many blogs. (examples: Here, Here)

  • Sleep 7-8 hours every night to allow your body to restore itself.
  • Start eating a Paleo diet that will nourish every cell in your body with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Begin an exercise program at home in your own time that takes the least amount of effort providing you with the most bang for your buck.
  • Try to reduce the stress that your body endures daily.


A friend told me about oncoming disasters. She wisely questioned me, “If you knew a train was coming toward you, what would you do?” The answer is so obvious.


As we get older (and I am approaching 69 years old), many of us start to notice changes in our body. Most of us start to develop degenerative diseases like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, a little fatter around our waist, somewhat elevated blood sugar, and on and on. We think that these things are normal as we age. We think that they are happening all of a sudden. But, what we don’t realize is that degenerative diseases are not a part of healthy aging. Changes that are becoming apparent to us now actually began insidiously within our body decades ago – accumulating damage over time.


“If you knew a train was coming toward you, what would you do?”


Making these 4-lifestyle changes now could take you off the tracks of the oncoming train. These 4 healthy resolutions for the New Year will change your life forever.




If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

Gum Disease & How I Treat It:
Natural   Meets  Traditional  –  Part 3 of 3

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       December 22, 2015


Gum Disease TreatmentIn Part 1, I explained how most of us have some form of gum disease. I also suggested how you could tell if you had this disease. In Part 2, you learned the differences between health and disease as well as the way a dental professional could determine if you had this disease. In this last Part of the series, I outline the causes of gum disease and my treatment methods combining natural and traditional treatments.


What Causes Gum Disease?


If you had gum disease, here are some generally accepted causes:

  • Bacteria form on surfaces of the teeth where the gums meet the teeth. The bacteria film is called dental plaque. When some of these bacteria become very unhealthy and get under the gum, they cause disease.
  • Some of these bacteria can harden around the teeth forming tartar or calculus. It attaches like barnacles form on the bottom of a boat that sits in the water. The irritation to the gums from the calculus is like a splinter in your finger that irritates the skin.
  • Habits of grinding or gritting your teeth can wiggle the roots in the jawbone. This will weaken the bone just like a stick that is wiggled in the ground will push the dirt aside while loosening the stick.
  • Bad dental fillings can act like irritants damaging the bone. If you had dental fillings that were broken, had rough edges, or didn’t fit properly, they could cause infection.


But, did you know there are other causes? These not-so-obvious causes may be even more important than dental plaque or tartar. They include:

  • Eating specific foods that cause bad bacteria to overgrow in your mouth and in your gut
  • Not eating nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods that can strengthen your immune system and prevent infection
  • Toxic substances in your environment that could affect your immune system
  • Genetic changes that could make you more susceptible to gum disease


My Way Of Treating Gum Disease


It would be great to take a pill and all of a sudden gum problems would be a thing of the past. It doesn’t work that way. Here is what I recommend for my patients, progressing from what everyone should do to what those with significant disease should do:

  • One of the most important things you can do is to clean your mouth properly. Here is my article on how to do that.
  • If your diet or lifestyle were not healthy, you need to make changes. In my opinion, the healthiest diet for gum health and overall health is a Paleo diet.
  • A dental professional could help by removing any tartar that is irritating the gums. Think of this like removing a splinter in your finger so that the skin could heal. If deeper problems existed, then more advanced treatment might be necessary.
  • If there are broken or rough fillings in your teeth, they should be repaired or replaced.
  • If you have habits of grinding or gritting your teeth, some type of bite treatment or a bite guard must be included.
  • For deeper disease, there is a deeper type of cleaning called scaling and root planing, which is usually performed by a dental hygienist with your gums numbed.
  • For more advanced disease, bone surgery might be necessary. Today, LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) is a laser surgical procedure that can treat the infection and assist your own bone to regrow without cutting with a scalpel or using stitches. In my opinion, LANAP is a game changer for the treatment of advanced gum disease and may become the standard of care in the future. Again, this is my opinion, but about 25% of periodontists in the US have become licensed to perform LANAP. When I treat my patients with LANAP, I also provide specific herbs for my patients to support their immune systems while healing.


In this series of three articles, I have provided my summary of gum disease, its health consequences, and its causes and treatments. In my opinion and in my experience, incorporating traditional treatment with natural treatment provides the ideal way for my patients to improve their overall health and to improve their mouth health.

Success With LANAP®

   Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     December 3, 2015


I am a periodontist treating gum diseases and have been in practice for 41 years. For the first 35 years of my career, I was treating gum disease like most periodontists throughout the country. In 2010, I was challenged by a patient who asked me what I knew about LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure)? I told her that I did not believe that laser surgery was effective in treating advanced gum disease. I was skeptical, and most periodontists agreed with my opinion.


But, I then began researching this new protocol that reportedly required no cutting with a scalpel blade and no sutures. What I learned surprised me. I learned that the published clinical reports showed that this procedure was not only scalpel-free and suture-free, but also it was more effective in treating the bacteria that caused periodontitis and it assisted in new bone growth. In addition, most patients were able to return to their regular routines the next day.


My research changed my mind, and I enrolled in the extensive educational program to become licensed as a LANAP clinician. In 2011, I became licensed in this protocol. For the last five years, I have successfully treated advanced gum disease with LANAP. Severe bone loss was regenerated. Here is one of my recent success stories.


LANAP Before & AfterThe red circle in the x-ray to the left surrounds a severe hole in the bone, which was the result of severe gum disease. The x-ray was taken on 7/3/2014. One year later, the red circle in the x-ray to the right surrounds the area where most of the destroyed bone was regenerated after LANAP treatment. The x-ray was taken on 6/25/2015.


I became a believer in LANAP after I began my research in 2010. Since 2011, my patients have experienced results like this over and over again. LANAP is one of the procedures offered today by periodontists licensed in the LANAP protocol. You could think of the LANAP protocol like this: It is like removing a splinter from your finger, destroying the harmful germs in the area, and assisting the area to heal completely as it was before the splinter punctured the skin.


In my professional opinion, LANAP has changed the playing field of treatment for advanced gum disease. Today, I incorporate my treatment of gum disease with a Paleo diet and lifestyle to improve the overall immune system and health.


If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

We Were Born to be Healthy:
Part 3 of 7

evolution rThis is the 3rd installment. Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE.


Ian Spreadury wrote a seminal paper in 2012 reviewing 112 peer-reviewed articles, which helped create for me a clearer perspective of being healthy. The answers to “What happens and why?” take shape with the dawn of civilization.


About 10,000 years ago, the age of civilization began. With it, grain agriculture emerged. The seeds of grasses were cultivated and then processed into flour. Flour could feed the masses. But, flour was an acellular carbohydrate.


What’s the big deal with acellular carbohydrates?


All of our plants are made up of cells that have cell walls. When we eat plants, our digestive system naturally breaks down these cell walls and utilizes the nutrients of the entire cell. When man places unnaturally high pressure and heat on plant cells, the cell walls are destroyed and the resulting product is a highly condensed substance without cell walls. These are acellular carbohydrates.


Man took the seeds of grasses, destroyed their cell walls, and created an acellular carbohydrate called flour. Many of the original nutrients within the natural cell were lost. Sugary foods also were processed into acellular carbohydrates. As these processed carbohydrates became commercialized, many varieties of carbohydrate-dense foods were created. These dense, acellular carbohydrates have played havoc on our digestive systems ever since.


Today, most Americans eat dense, acellular carbohydrates at every meal and for every snack. Ian Spreadbury recognized that the foods that contained 23% or less carbohydrate density were more easily handled by our digestive system; foods that contained more than 23% carbohydrate density were implicated in chronic inflammation and chronic disease.


The food we eat is part of the answer to the question, “What Happens and Why?”


(For your information, I have listed some common foods with their carbohydrate densities: “less than or equal to 23%” and “more than 23%”. I’ve also listed a government-sponsored website and instructions that you can use to calculate the carbohydrate density for almost any food you can think of. Both are at this link.)


Here are summaries of two papers that demonstrate how our food can be our best medicine.


Scientific Paper # 1:


An experiment was reported in the Journal of Periodontology in 2009. Ten individuals were allowed to eat whatever they could fish, forage, and cook over a course of four weeks. They only were given some basics of whole, unprocessed foods to start off. They could not practice any oral hygiene. At the beginning of the study, bacterial cultures were taken from their tongues, dental plaque, and gum pockets along with recordings of pocket depths and points of gum bleeding. At the end of four weeks, the researchers discovered that the plaque levels had increased in both volume and varieties of bacterial species. However, they were surprised that the species of bacteria were not virulent and that pocket depths as well as bleeding points decreased significantly. In essence, these individuals ate nutrient-dense whole foods, didn’t practice any oral hygiene, and their signs of gum infection decreased.


Scientific Paper #2:


In this other paper, researchers summarized results of 37 clinical studies to determine the actual nutrients that assisted in periodontal healing after surgery or assisted in overall periodontal health. Here are the nutrients most often associated with gum health:

  • Vitamin D (primary source: the sun; dietary sources: fatty fish, pastured eggs)
  • DHA (dietary sources: oily fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies)
  • Low ratios of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids (In the US the ratio is about 30:1, but in healthy societies it is closer to 1:1)
  • Low processed carbs and high fibers (dietary sources: fruits and vegetables)
  • Calcium (dietary sources: bones and bone broth, dark leafy greens, canned salmon with bones)
  • Magnesium (dietary sources: Swiss chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, raw cocoa)
  • Vitamin C (dietary sources: broccoli, citrus)


It would be interesting if there were a diet that incorporated an abundance of these nutrients in its base of food choices.


And, there is. It’s the Paleo-type diet Here, Here, Here.

Our Kids Deserve a Healthy Mouth

evolution rOur kids have tooth decay NOT because they’re deficient in fluoride.
Our kids have bleeding gums NOT because they don’t brush and floss twice a day.
The primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because their nutrition is deficient; their drinks are acidic and sugary, their healthy gut bacteria are compromised; and their lifestyles are sedentary. These deficiencies also manifest in childhood as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, skin eruptions, allergies, and a host of other diseases. Improper nutrition and lifestyles early in life sow the seeds for many of the degenerative diseases that plague these individuals in their 40s and older.
When it comes to the mouth, brushing and flossing are important. But, most importantly:

  • The avoidance of refined carbohydrates, which is part of a Paleo-type diet, prevents the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria and maintains a healthy acid level in the mouth.
  • Essential nutrients and trace minerals from a Paleo-type diet provide a necessary arsenal in the saliva to remineralize teeth, which is a natural 24/7 process.
  • Healthy bacteria in the gut promote healthy bacteria in the saliva allowing normal function in the mouth as well as assisting in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • An active lifestyle of playing outside, rather than sitting in front of a TV or playing video games, improves gut health and metabolism.

So, what is a Paleo-type diet?
A Paleo-type diet is basically the elimination of ALL foods that contain unhealthy fats and oils; food colorings, preservatives, emulsifiers, and other chemicals; added sugars; grains and grain products; and pasteurized dairy products. A nutrient-dense Paleo-type diet consists of pastured meats along with their healthy fats, wild caught fish (especially salmon, sardines, and shellfish), organ meats (like liver), all vegetables – especially leafy greens (either raw or cooked), fruits – especially dark-colored (like all the berries) in moderation, and raw nuts and seeds in moderation.
Our kids will eat the way Mom and Dad eat. Kids learn by example. Healthy snacks could include fresh fruit and nuts, almond butter spread on celery sticks, slices of raw cheeses, liver pâté on slices of cucumber, and cut up pieces of colorful sweet peppers. Healthy drinks could include filtered water, unsweetened seltzers, teas without sugar (some local raw honey might be OK), and kombucha (a naturally carbonated tea fermented from healthy bacteria). If they are eating healthy in the home, and if they are given healthy meals and snacks for lunches at school, then whatever minimal cheating they do is not so bad.
I have some of My Favorite Paleo Recipes in my blogs. Also, there are many cookbooks on Amazon describing easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes for on-the-go lifestyles.
Dental visits should be pleasant. Your children shouldn’t have to be concerned about tooth decay or gum disease if they are providing the nutrients their bodies need to thrive. Kids should clean their mouths appropriately, but they must eat nutritiously. Their mouths will thank them, and their overall health will thank them.

Your Dentist Could Save Your Life

evolution rA visit to your dentist may mean different things to different people. But, it could save your life.
Many dental offices take your blood pressure at the beginning of each appointment, which I do for all my patients. This may be the first time an abnormal reading is spotted. A high reading may be nothing more than a reading within the normal fluctuation range. However, if you do have undiagnosed high blood pressure, then this could be a wake up call for you to see your medical doctor for further tests and treatment.
Also be aware of the white-coat syndrome of hypertension. This frequently is caused by the stress or fear associated with a doctor or hospital visit. Most of the time, this is a transient occurrence because the elevation is due to being nervous. Sometimes it requires further evaluation. This article goes into more detail.
Personally, I have white-coat syndrome. Every time I see my MD, my pressure is elevated. Usually by the end of the appointment, it has stabilized. However, when I take my blood pressure at home in a relaxed state, it averages 121/72. If you suffer from this nervous situation, then take your blood pressure at home at various times when you are rested. Average these readings to get a baseline for your resting systolic and diastolic pressures. Here is a link that shows 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) for normal blood pressure fluctuations, for white coat syndrome, and for other anomalies.
Statistically, deaths due to hypertension have increased by 62% from 2000 to 2013 based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is estimated that 70 million US adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, but only 52% of those with this disease have their blood pressures under control. In addition, approximately 1/3 of US adults has pre-hypertension, which means blood pressure is elevated and is a risk of progressing to full-blown hypertension.
If you have true high blood pressure (hypertension), then it is a significant medical concern because it increases your risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke. It also can contribute to kidney failure, by weakening and narrowing blood vessels in your kidneys, and to problems with cognition. Here is a table summarizing average resting blood pressures.
One risk of increasing the chance of developing high blood pressure is carrying excess body weight. When fat is concentrated around your abdomen, it represents a more serious risk even if you are not overweight. A diet that includes processed sugars and foods is the primary cause for visceral fat around your waist. Research has shown that your waist-to-hip ratio may be an effective measure for assessing high blood pressure risk. In 2008, the World Health Organization wrote a paper on the waist-to-hip ratio.
Here is a way to measure your waist and hip circumferences and to calculate your Waist-to-Hip Ratio.
Interesting research published in 2014 has demonstrated that dietary sugars influence blood pressure and serum lipids independent of the effects of sugars on body weight.
In another article published in 2014, the authors reviewed the literature and concluded that the high consumption of added sugars in the US diet may be more strongly and directly associated with high blood pressure than the consumption of sodium. The abstract stated:
“Evidence from epidemiological studies and experimental trials in animals and humans suggests that added sugars, particularly fructose, may increase blood pressure and blood pressure variability, increase heart rate and myocardial oxygen demand, and contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance and broader metabolic dysfunction.
Thus, while there is no argument that recommendations to reduce consumption of processed foods are highly appropriate and advisable, the arguments in this review are that the benefits of such recommendations might have less to do with sodium—minimally related to blood pressure and perhaps even inversely related to cardiovascular risk—and more to do with highly-refined carbohydrates.”
Increased blood pressure and increased waist-to-hip ratio are two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome has been shown to lead to type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In 2014, a randomized controlled study reported that a Paleo-type diet improved the markers of Metabolic Syndrome. And, here is an article I wrote that goes into more detail about Paleo-type diets.
Bottom Line: If your blood pressure is questionable, you need to see your MD. Also, if you have high blood pressure, you already may have (or may be on the way to developing) metabolic syndrome. A Paleo-type diet might improve your blood pressure values as well as your overall health.

Antioxidant Supplements? – Not So Good!

evolution rAlmost everything you have heard about antioxidants in the past may not be true!
Unfortunately, some facts that we thought were proven in the past have been invalidated today. For example, we thought that science proved that saturated fats were unhealthy, but recently published meta-analysis articles (Here, Here and Here) have shown that saturated fats from plants and pastured animals are actually necessary and healthy for our bodies.
The question then becomes, “Will the facts that science verifies today become false tomorrow?” The answer is, “In some cases, yes!”
So, what can we do if we look to science for answers?
My personal approach has been to take a broad view – like you would observe at 30,000 feet above the earth in an airplane.
For example, if you were seated on a plane before takeoff and looked out the window, you only would be able to see the runway. Once the plane began its ascent, you would see some of the rooftops surrounding the airport. As the plane continued to climb, you now would be able to see some of the roads and waterways making up the city. After the climb and now at cruising altitude, you could make out the mountains, clumps of neighborhoods, and a broad overview of the terrain.
My approach to what is best for us as humans is to first take the most comprehensive view. To me, that means studying our species’ evolution over the course of 2.5 million years. The facts of evolution have given me a healthier appreciation of what allowed our species to survive and thrive. Therein lies the truth!
The fact that we are alive today is a testament to these truths. Our bodies are complex and intricately designed. Almost always our bodies will function at their peak if given the nutrients and lifestyle from which they evolved.
This leads up to supplements. Generally, supplements are not necessary for our body. Nutrient-dense foods usually will be the only nourishment our bodies require to function optimally unless there was a disease that had damaged the body’s ability to perform in a healthy state.
Antioxidants are among the most popular health-protecting supplements sold worldwide without prescription. As a society, we think we need to purchase them in huge amounts in order to help rid our bodies of all those bad free radicals that are running around causing harm to our cells.  Research is showing that “it just ain’t so.”
Free radicals are molecules or atoms containing an unpaired electron. Unpaired electrons are hungry for another electron with which to pair up. Electrons want to exist in pairs. They are unstable until they get that additional electron from somewhere else so that they can be paired up again.
However, free radicals are naturally occurring byproducts of normal functions within the cells of our body. They are formed from the cell’s use of oxygen to produce energy. In turn, these free radicals, in the form of oxidative stress, can signal the cell to make its own homemade antioxidants through the pathway of Nrf2. Activation of Nrf2 can also be stimulated by various nutrients in foods, and this process is critical to our survival.
Antioxidants are molecules that are able to donate an electron to the free radical, thus stabilizing the free radical by giving it the extra electron to make a happy pair.
If free radicals are unable to get their needed electrons from antioxidants, these radicals can cause damage to the body through oxidative stress, which is associated with ageing, heart failure, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and many other health problems.
In the past, science has suggested that the more antioxidants we ingest, the less oxidative stress we have to endure. These antioxidants would donate electrons to the free radicals and neutralize their potential damage. However, antioxidants themselves can become reactive (become a free radical themselves) after donating an electron to a free radical.
In the human body there are many varieties of antioxidants present. As I mentioned, we can produce them internally by stimulating the Nrf2 pathway. Also, our body can obtain antioxidants from nutrient-dense foods we ingest from a primal diet. The varieties of antioxidants in our system can buffer each other as they in turn give up electrons to newly formed free radical molecules.
As an example, one naturally occurring external source of antioxidants is chocolate. It contains more than 20 antioxidant flavonoids. Once you eat chocolate, its antioxidants have the ability to donate electrons to free radicals in the body. As one type of flavonoid gives up an electron to a free radical, this flavonoid is converted into a free radical itself and becomes reactive, but less reactive than the free radical to which it donated its electron. This reactive flavonoid then receives an electron from another type of flavonoid within the chocolate. This second flavonoid becomes reactive but not to the extent of the first flavonoid. This goes on and on with each successive flavonoid giving up an electron but becoming less reactive. Eventually, the naturally occurring antioxidants in chocolate (in this example) decrease the damage of free radicals in our body.
A problem occurs when we take a high-dose antioxidant supplement. For example, taking a high-dose vitamin C supplement provides only one form of an antioxidant. There are no other antioxidants in this supplement to offer the protective give and take by providing extra electrons. The end result could be an abundance of antioxidant molecules of vitamin C that are now free radicals themselves. They have become highly reactive with no means of neutralizing themselves. This creates more oxidative stress.
The bottom line is to help your body produce its own antioxidants as necessary and to utilize the antioxidants supplied in nutrient-dense foods. Taking doses of antioxidant supplements could prove unhealthy, resulting in more oxidative stress to your body. Eating a nutrient-dense diet like the primal diet not only could promote activation of the Nrf2 pathway but also could provide numerous varieties of beneficial antioxidants for your cells.

Too Many Paleo Diets!

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
April 15, 2015   [printfriendly]

evolution rFirst, you must realize that our primal ancestors did not eat the same things. How could they? They lived all over the world in all types of climates with various animals and plants making up their unique environments. Some ate large quantities of protein, some ate large quantities of fats; some ate large quantities of plants. Even today, primal societies around the world enjoy varied diets and exhibit exceptional health. So, how could a Paleo Diet be the same thing for everyone? Impossible.


Second, one thing is certain – a Paleo-type diet did not include processed foods, which are ubiquitous in our modern diets. If you exclude these processed “foods”, then practically everything else could be fair game to eat if you could tolerate them and if they were prepared properly.


A Paleo-type Diet always excludes:

  • Processed grains (including all breads, pasta, cereals, crackers, pizza, cookies, muffins, popcorn, rice cakes, etc.)
  • Processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, and their aliases (including sodas, candy, anything made with high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, dextrose, beet sugar, fruit sugar, etc.)
  • Commercially over-processed vegetable and seed oils (these include corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and most oils that are liquid at room temperature); however, avocado oil and olive oil are healthy oils.
  • Fats that are hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated as well as commercially processed trans fats and margarine
  • Processed and package foods containing preservatives, emulsifiers, food coloring, artificial ingredients, other chemical products, GMO products, grain products, unhealthy fats, and added sugars of any type)
  • Commercially pasteurized and homogenized milk products


So, what can you eat?

  • All animals that eat their natural foods and are pastured or wild caught including their organ meats and their wonderful saturated fats
  • All vegetables either raw or cooked, ideally organic
  • All fruits, ideally organic
  • All nuts and seeds, ideally organic and raw that have been soaked overnight in salty water and dried the next day to remove chemicals that bind to healthy nutrients in the food you eat


How to proportion an ideal plate of food

Think about everything you eat and drink at every meal or snack, and visualize this food on a plate – no matter what size or shape of the plate. Include solid foods along with what you may be drinking as part of the total food you are consuming. (For example, a green smoothie is part of a salmon dinner that could include a salad and fresh strawberries.) Here is how all of this food should be proportioned:

  • At least half of the plate should consist of non-starchy vegetables with healthy fats
  • One-quarter or less of the plate should consist of some type of animal protein with healthy fats
  • One-quarter or less of the plate should consist of nuts or seeds or fruit or a starchy vegetable with healthy fats


Where to purchase Paleo-friendly foods

  • Most can be purchased in any grocery store. You just need to look, read labels, and be discerning.
  • Local is better than shipped from several hundreds or thousands of miles away.
  • Check out local farmers’ markets for fresh produce and animal products.


If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

Buy My New Book

Crazy-Good Living