Francis Pottenger and Weston Price, two names many in the ancestral and paleo movements are familiar with. Modern day examples of how food effects health. Many that drink raw milk will tend to cite Pottenger's cats, who were fed either raw or cooked food and after several generations either thrived or degenerated similarly to the civilizations that price studied with poor facial development, poor health and possible mental diseases. This article though, among many similar, states that this is simply a taurine deficiency, cats are poor manufacturers of taurine and all these degenerative ailments are blamed on it.
For Humans (not infants though) Taurine is classified as a non essential amino acid. Taurine improves fat digestion by sending more cholesterol and increased bile excretion into the bowels and also lowers serum cholesterol. Lack of taurine means lack of fat digestion, if you don't digest the fat you shouldn't be digesting the fat soluble vitamins (1) (you remember, a,d,k2 from Weston price's studies). What's wrong with this theory? It feels to easy.
So back to the question, are the degenerative diseases that pottenger and possibly price, observed caused by a taurine deficiency? This would have implications for anyone who eats a paleo diet with significant fat who tries to get their daily rda of fat soluble vitamins.
Other General Info on Taurine:
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2994382/ (abstract: taurine depletion... could provide a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and diabetes)
- http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/35156969/taurine-bone-growth-bone-development (An extensive analytical study of taurine contents in both the stages of bone formation and bone loss may make taurine as a single marker of bone metabolism.)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22356551 (taurine could minimize neurotoxicity caused by fluoride)
- http://pubget.com/paper/23392870/Effect_of_taurine_feeding_on_bone_mineral_density_and_bone_markers_in_rats (bmc in rats higher with taurine diet)
Ps, as always, I +1 all constructive answers. I'm putting a very high bounty on this question, so voice your opinion in an answer and get a bunch of Free Reputation Points!!
asked byStephen_4 (10989)
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on March 23, 2013
at 03:45 PM
I think it all boils down to species-specific diet.
The wildcat (Felis silvestris) were never known to boil their prey. They survive (and thrive) on raw duck, rabbit and nutria meat. So it is all about the diet that is good for the species.
Which makes me think: it is a shame how little we know about so-called "primitive" diets. Even Weston Price did not go far enough.
When do they eat? How much? What do they cook, what they don't?
So to answer your question - no, it is definitely not about taurine. It is about eating what you were designed (by nature, of course) to eat.
Evolutionary appropriate feeding patterns - that's what it is all about.
Because of your question I am doing an experiment - how much raw food I need per day. For a while I was on 50% raw and it did not work for me. Then I went 0% raw. It did not work either. So far I am on 10% raw and it seems to be working. I need at least some raw foods every day.
on March 26, 2013
at 09:23 PM
I noticed that one of the common characteristics Weston Price noted in people suffering from apparent diseases of civilization was poor vision.
This is fairly observational and could mean very little, but it's certainly consistent with the idea that suboptimal taurine levels could be a contributing factor in some of the degenerative diseases of civilization especially in light of some of the studies you turned up.
on March 24, 2013
at 04:14 AM
Hmmm. When I first went ZC, I started CRAVING raw beef and lamb. I then proceeded to eat a kilo of it per day raw, for months. Then, I suddenly didn't want to eat it anymore, and started craving it lightly cooked rare. That's still how I eat it.
Wonder what's at play in all this?
on March 26, 2013
at 03:09 AM
Well some people here asked for me to keep y'all posted, so.
Day 1-4- I had 4-6grams of taurine per day.
Day 5- I had 8-12 grams. I noticed some calming effects for sure at this larger dose, and all my stools since starting have been a nice healthy brown color, 4-5 on Bristol. I've felt slightly more anabolic recently, but that's so relative and could just as easily be placebo that I'll put that in the maybe pile.
Day 6- (10+ grams) After reading this abstract : http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-0-387-75681-3_53?LI=true#page-1 , I've decided to mix my powdered Taurine together with yogurt. Also, eating all this at the same time I take my Fat solubles A,D3,K2-MK4. I still can't tell home much of what I'm doing is having any effects and how much of it is just placebo. So far though I've noticed improved sleep quality (and I'm already a pretty good sleeper), and a calming sensation, especially soon after taking the Taurine.