5

votes

All meat diet doesn't cause nutritional deficiencies?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 03, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Recently I came upon this paper, published in 1930. Two men eat only meat for a year. http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf

It claims that nutritional deficiencies did not appear. Given the concerns on Paleohacks about vitamin deficiencies and supplementation, how can we reconcile this?

The conclusions are as follows:

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS. 1. Two men lived on an exclusive meat diet for 1 year and a third man for 10 days. The relative amounts of lean and fat, meat ingested were left to the instinctive choice of the individuals. 2. The protein content varied from 100 to 140 gm., the fat from 200 to 300 gm., the carbohydrate, derived entirely from the meat, from 7 to 12 gm., and the fuel value from 2000 to 3100 calories. 3. At the end of the year, the subjects were mentally alert, physically active, and showed no specific physical changes in any system of the body. 4. During the 1st week, all three men lost weight, due to a shift in the water content of the body while adjusting itself to the low carbohydrate diet. Thereafter, their weights remained practically constant. 5. In the prolonged test, the blood pressure of one man remained constant; the systolic pressure of the other decreased 20 mm. and the diastolic pressure remained uniform. 6. The control of the bowels was not disturbed while the subjects were on prescribed meat diet. In one instance, when the proportion of protein calories in the diet exceeded 40 per cent, a diarrhea developed. 7. Vitamin deficiencies did not appear. 8. The total acidity of the urine during the meat diet was increased to 2 or 3 times that of the acidity on mixed diets and acetonuria was present throughout the periods of exclusive meat. 9. Urine examinations, determinations of the nitrogenous constituents of the blood, and kidney function tests revealed no evidence of kidney damage. 10. While on the meat diet, the men metabolized foodstuffs with FA: G ratios between 1.9 and 3.0 and excreted from 0.4 to 7.2 gm. of acetone bodies per day. 11. In these trained subjects, the clinical observations and laboratory studies gave no evidence that any ill effects had occurred from the prolonged use of the exclusive meat diet.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 14, 2011
at 12:31 PM

What a lovely answer. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on January 07, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Why aren't organs considered meat? That sounds as silly as saying fish isn't meat.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:54 AM

Liver has vitamin c in it. It's a bit misleading in the title. They didn't *really* have what we would consider an all meat diet ( steaks 24x7). The had the other parts of the animals too (organs and the like) which have more of a variety of vitamins.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:52 AM

We don't have to reconcile anything. What part of the traditional Inuit diet is not paleo? While the study is very interesting it is only n=2 - by the way there was a third subject that dropped out in the first couple of weeks (couldn't hack it). Also note that V. Stefansson was a self-aggrandizing jerk if ever there was one. Okay that was an ad hominem, but I couldn't resist.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:50 AM

We don't have to reconcile anything. What part of the traditional Inuit diet is not paleo? While the study is very interesting it is only n=2 - by the way there was a third subject that dropped out in the first couple of weeks (couldn't hack it). Also note that V. Stefansson was a self-aggrandizing jerk if ever there was one.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:44 AM

LOL! Funny always gets an up-vote from me - even for trolls...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:43 AM

The Inuit are a tremendous number of tribes with varying eating habits. That said, they ate rotten and raw fish/meat a number of fruits and vegetables when available and the undigested contents of the stomachs of seals/caribou/etc. They also ate so much fish/salmon and got so much n3 that they frequently had nose bleeds of up to an hour. I think I'll pass on that side effect, thank you very much!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Same here! Going all meat is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

023b769d82ebb31b8bf968a7a86663a6

(320)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I concur, many nutrient rich foods are not commonly eaten by most people these days. Offal, marrow, ETC...are extremely rich in Vits and minerals needed.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 03, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Agreed. Man can not live on bacon alone.

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8 Answers

10
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:52 PM

It's really hard to know about deficiencies for a variety of reasons. One is that many requirements that are established may not apply to carnivorous eating, because eating carbohydrate can increase requirements of some nutrients. Another is that micronutrient content of an animal sometimes depends on the amount of the nutrient in the diet of the animal, which in turn can be effected by soil, sunshine, etc. Yet another is that some deficiencies take a very long time to become evident, so self-experimentation can be misleading.

I still mostly rely on self-experimentation. Through this I have found that eating only meat has vastly improved my health, way above even a simply Very Low Carb diet.

I'm also not averse to supplementing certain things, though. Circumstances are never perfect, and may not have been even in Paleolithic times. Moreover, a damaged body sometimes needs more of certain things than an undamaged one might. That is, a healthy person might get enough from simply eating an optimal diet, whereas someone with already established imbalances may need extra support.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 14, 2011
at 12:31 PM

What a lovely answer. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

9
852971dced053f84e0ab8a8e587762fa

(118)

on January 03, 2011
at 07:42 PM

"The parts used were muscle, liver, kidney, brain, bone marrow, bacon, and fat. While on lecture trips V. S. occasionally ate eggs and a little butter..."

This is a very important consideration.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 03, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Agreed. Man can not live on bacon alone.

023b769d82ebb31b8bf968a7a86663a6

(320)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I concur, many nutrient rich foods are not commonly eaten by most people these days. Offal, marrow, ETC...are extremely rich in Vits and minerals needed.

7
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on January 03, 2011
at 07:50 PM

I've done n=1 (me) meat and water eating (beef, pork, poultry,bone broth, marrow, eggs, fish, liver, heart, etc etc) and have had nothing but good health. Not a real head scratcher that someone would have perfect health on meat only. When you think about it, meat is the original superfood.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Same here! Going all meat is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

2
07c5607b5639012aa228f0734b8b9160

on January 05, 2011
at 09:10 PM

How did they explained that scurvy didn't appear during the year of experiment?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:54 AM

Liver has vitamin c in it. It's a bit misleading in the title. They didn't *really* have what we would consider an all meat diet ( steaks 24x7). The had the other parts of the animals too (organs and the like) which have more of a variety of vitamins.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on January 07, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Why aren't organs considered meat? That sounds as silly as saying fish isn't meat.

2
49de4cd2f26705785cbef2b15a9df7aa

(840)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:06 PM

It's important to note the wide variety of body parts that the men in the study consumed. They ate many different organs, each of which contains different amounts of different vitamins, minerals, etc

I doubt one would see this study's results if many of the less popular body parts were consumed.

1
D4b64986b1d505d00d70fe18e68fd0c1

(28)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:02 PM

What about the Alaskan Natives? In their traditional diet they ate for 10 months out of the year ONLY meat.Their sources were seals, whales,fish,moose and caribou. The only time there was anything else avalible was during the summer when there were berries.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:43 AM

The Inuit are a tremendous number of tribes with varying eating habits. That said, they ate rotten and raw fish/meat a number of fruits and vegetables when available and the undigested contents of the stomachs of seals/caribou/etc. They also ate so much fish/salmon and got so much n3 that they frequently had nose bleeds of up to an hour. I think I'll pass on that side effect, thank you very much!

0
D38c0cc994b194de08289e0fe3f99d1e

(421)

on January 07, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Here's my n=1 based comments.

I tried a 10 day fat and animal protein fast (i.e. carb restricted fast). I always feel best when I keep carbs low, and eating no carbs is no exception. I maintained excellent energy levels and felt great throughout the 10 day period; I did not crave carbs, and in fact at the end of the ten days I re-introduced them in small quantities.

Check out Charle's Washington's ZIOH (Zeroing In on Your Health) blog for more info on the zero-carb lifestyle (http://blog.zeroinginonhealth.com/).

0
Medium avatar

on January 04, 2011
at 12:03 AM

Does your supermarket not carry spinach?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:44 AM

LOL! Funny always gets an up-vote from me - even for trolls...

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