Mar 05, 2012 - 4:49 pm
Find the current thread on the Paleo diet fascinating--and the ongoing controversies about all the following issues vital but confounding:
1) Whether or not cancer survivors should be eating meat--even organic, grass-fed meat;
Many alternative practitioners such as Dr. Russell Blaylock, recommend NO meat, or dairy, whatsoever because they are high in arachidonic acid; only raw goat's milk does he believe is entirely safe. Likewise, the China Study seems to endorse a diet very low in animal fat, correlating it with lower rates of cancer. Au contraire, Dr. Bruce West (publisher of Health Alert, the most intelligent journal of alternative medicine I have yet to read) claims that the last thing he would prescribe for a cancer patient is a very lowfat diet; he recommends a modified Mediterranean diet, "the healthiest in the world." And Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, renowned for success in treating pancreatic cancer patients, prescribes a different diet for every single patient, based partly on blood type (I, for example, with "B positive" blood, would be urged to eat meat about twice a week or so) and partly on the nature of the cancer (blood cancers calling for meat and fish oil whereas "solid tumors" such as uterine and ovarian calling for a mostly vegetarian diet and flaxseed oil.
Tethys has posted some interesting information about the rationale for the "paleo" diet, which has gained some recent currency, based on knowledge about how our ancestors ate. What I would question here is the extent to which evolution has, over milennia, enabled us to adapt to many different diets. Whole grains, once the darling of nutritionists, have recently started to take a beating, with questions not only about their digestibility (gluten, etc) but their tendency to raise blood sugar levels.
Tempted to reduce my consumption of grains and opt for mostly salads recently, I noted how much better I had felt when eating brown rice and black beans at least four times a week--and discovered how high they are in IP-6, now available as a supplement that has the alternative oncological community buzzing. (If you Google IP-6, you'll find that it allegedly does the following: bolsters production of NK white cells (the ones that destroy cancer cells), reduces the risk of metastasis, boosts energy, boosts mood, and chelates excessive iron (a search for the last property is how I found articles on this supplement).
2) Whether or not we should be eating (a la The China Project) a low protein diet;
Yes, the China Study would seem to urge us toward a vegetarian diet fairly low in protein. But as Tethys has noted, there are online some brilliant critiques of the book claiming flaws in its methodology. And although minimizing food intake has often been shown in clinical studies to increase longevity, just last week I read some fascinating studies showing that in mice (granted, just mice) implanted with sarcomatous tumors, those tumors grew fastest in the presence of a high-protein OR very low protein diet. Were I to take those studies seriously, moderate protein consumption would seem to make sense.
3) Whether we are defective in digesting protein because we lack vital enzymes and HCL.
I'd really like to hear your thoughts on any or all of these issues. If any one fo the intrigues you, perhaps we could even form research committees to try to resolve them!