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About Paul Saladino, MD:
Dr. Saladino started his medical career as a physician assistant in Cardiology. He saw first hand the disconnect between patient’s health challenges and the tools available to physicians. So he attended medical school at the University of Arizona and trained with Dr. Andrew Weil focusing on integrative medicine and nutritional biochemistry. He then went on to complete a residency in psychiatry at the University of Washington and become a certified functional medicine practitioner through the Institute for Functional Medicine.
He now maintains a private practice in San Diego, is a featured blogger for Psychology today and is currently writing a book titled, “The Carnivore Code: Unlocking the secrets to optimal health by returning to our ancestral diet.”
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Key Time Stamps & Show Notes:
02:30 The nutritional content and bioavailability of nutrients in meat is amazing. Animals use the same cofactors, vitamins and minerals we use. They have the same operating system as a human, making it more bioavailable than the plant derived versions. Dr. Saladino believes that, if you eat an animal, nose to tail, you will get everything you need to function optimally.
04:30 Plants don’t want to be eaten and have developed antinutrients to dissuade insects and animals from eating them in abundance.
05:35 About 2 ½ million years ago in our evolution, there was a shift in our primate lineage. Our colon shrunk. Our small intestine got bigger and our brains got much bigger. Many agree that this was from eating animals far more than plants. We became less adapted to eating plants the way we had before.
08:03 We became animal hunters instead of plant hunters. Our biochemistry, our adaptation to eating plants shifted. Plant toxins began to affect us more than they had before. We have eaten some plants, especially in times of starvation. Eating plants is not optimal or ideal.
09:11 Fossil records of Neanderthals and homo sapiens from northern Europe show that they were high level carnivores, higher than other known animal carnivores. As you eat more animals, you accumulate different nitrogen isotopes, which can be detected in fossilized remains. We were eating bigger animals and probably eating almost exclusively animals.
11:51 It is difficult to look at existing hunter gatherers and make conclusions about where we came from. The landscape is not the same and they do not have access to the animals in a way that they would have.
12:38 If you had access to the best food all the time, would you still eat plants? Dr. Saladino believes that we would not, other than seasonal grazing. Indigenous cultures, like the Inuit, on first contact stated that they only ate plants when animals were not available.
16:37 Perhaps our view of polyphenols and fiber are incorrect. Fiber restriction improves GI function, according to research. There are no interventional trials that suggest the fiber is beneficial for humans in any real way.
19:51 Most polyphenols and plant compounds are plant defense chemicals called phytoalexins. These compounds are to defend the plant against insects and fungus.
22:03 Plants have different operating systems than animals.
23:19 Why do we think plant compounds/plant defense chemicals are good for us? In research we assume that they have benefit.
24:05 Many phytoalexins, plant defense chemicals/toxins, are created when the plant is chewed and the compartmentalized chemicals mix. Sulforaphane does not exist in brassicas until we chew it. It discourages animals from eating it because it is highly oxidative, creating free radicals in your body. It strips electrons from other molecules. Defense chemicals are often highest in the seed and sprout.
28:36 Your body detects phytoalexins like sulforaphane and begins to clear it immediately, turning on the Nrf2 pathway in the liver. Our antioxidant pathway is turned on to protect us.
29:50 We do studies looking for the benefit of sulforaphane. There are studies that show that it decreases DNA damage. However, it is the glutathione made in response to the phytoalexin that decreases DNA damage. We don’t need sulforaphane to make glutathione.
30:43 The concept of molecular hormesis is not the same as environmental hormesis. We should look at these compounds for their overall impact, not just the beneficial aspects.
34:57 It difficult to outsmart 3 million years of natural history and evolution. Vegans argue that we do not need animals for compounds because they can be derived using technology. This is reductionist.
37:11 Vegan diets are full of plant toxins. You can eat all plants and not have a nutritional deficiency in the first year or two.
38:04 What is in your supplements? Are they bioavailable in the same way as real food, real animal products? Do they have the cofactors that are available in your food? There is more to food than we recognize: micro RNA, transfer RNA, and other molecules that are not macronutrients.
39:54 There are heavy metals in supplements, even vegan proteins.
40:25 The estrogens are in high levels in American grain fed cattle and almost none in Japanese cattle.
41:18 Mycoestrogen is a mold pellet that is placed in a cow’s ear so the cow will need 30% less feed/get 30% fatter on the same amount of feed. It is a natural estrogen compound from a mold.
43:28 While traveling, if you cannot get quality meat, fast.
45:05 The nose to tail carnivore diet seems radical. In terms of evolution, eating plants and processed foods in radical. Nose to tail carnivore has been our way of eating for 4 million years.
46:16 We have become separated from the process of hunting, the respectful hunting and killing of animals. Only 3 generations back, our ancestors were killing animals by hand and eating nose to tail. It is our heritage.
50:50 Organ meats are cheap, cheaper than muscle meat.
51:17 Functional nutrition and root cause nutrition is not part of western medical training. It would be a paradigm shift in western medicine to think that food is linked to disease. Food is the arbiter of the quality of your life.
55:57 Two meals a day is common with a carnivore diet. Nose to tail is satiating. Dr. S could not get enough calories from 1 meal a day.
57:00 Meal timing for time restricted feeding in important. A study of diabetics showed that they had improved glycemic control when their eating window was early in the day.
58:27 Eating only muscle meat is not nutritionally complete.
58:57 Protein consumption in humans has a sweet spot and is probably individual to each human. On the low end, the risk is osteopenia, osteoporosis, loss of bone density and loss of lean muscle mass. On the extreme high end, your rabbit starvation, when your human biochemistry breaks down.
59:30 Your body does not run on protein. Humans run on either fat or carbohydrate. We use protein as building blocks. It can be turned into glucose, but we don’t generally use protein for energy.
01:00:07 High protein, low carbohydrate with low fat is essentially starvation.
01:01:01 A fasting glucose of 70 to 80 is the sweet spot. Above 80 may not be good for longevity. Glucose in the 90s on a carnivore diet may be an indication of too much dietary protein.
01:01:45 The sweet spot for protein may be about .6 to 1.1 grams per pound of lean body weight. Eat more fat.
01:02:34 Valuable glucose information is garnered with an A.M. glucose test, before you eat and 45 min to 1 hour post-prandial. A rise above 20 or 30 post prandial is probably too much. Post prandial glucose rises can be damaging and often missed with only A.M. fasting glucose.
01:06:38 If you are in ketosis, LDL generally rises. In healthy people, there is no evidence that elevated LDL is bad for humans who are insulin sensitive.
01:07:48 Insulin resistance can look like many things, like low HDL, high triglycerides with high LDL. It can also look like high TMAO or other things.
01:09:22 When you are on a fat-based metabolism and making ketones, your body makes more cholesterol. Ketones and cholesterol share a common pathway in the liver.
01:11:17 Multiple labs across medical disciplines work to triangulate your biochemistry. Physicians are not trained to see patterns. The root cause changes management.
01:17:34 Dr. Saladino has found that patients on carnivore or keto are more hormonally sensitive. T3 decreases with tissue sensitivity and antibodies come down.
01:18:31 Are plant toxins triggering autoimmunity for people? Carnivore diet is an elimination diet.
01:21:01 Most flavonoids have estrogenic activity, stimulating the estrogen receptor. Resveratrol stimulates the estrogen receptor.
01:23:20 You need to get some omega 3 (fish, grass fed animal meat), iodine (muscle meat, egg yolks, fish), and calcium (bones).
01:23:51 There are no reports of vitamin A toxicity from overconsumption of beef or lamb liver. Vitamin A in food form is processed differently than from a supplement.
01:24:45 Choline is in liver, egg yolks and muscle meat. It can turn into TMAO. It is a precursor for phosphatidyl choline, needed to make membranes in our cells. It is a precursor for acetylcholine.
01:25:57 Riboflavin: People are probably not getting enough riboflavin. This is probably behind the activation of different MTHFR polymorphisms. Dr. Saladino found that increasing riboflavin helped with homocysteine levels..
01:30:41 Dr. Saladino’s elevator pitch: What does a human need to function optimally? What are the vitamins and minerals that humans need to function optimally and how do we avoid toxins? Be an engineer. Pop the hood.