6

votes

[Max Bounty] Pottenger's cats, just a taurine deficiency ?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

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.

http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/proper-feeding-from-pottengers-cats

Other General Info on Taurine:

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!!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 27, 2013
at 01:27 AM

Raw, not really. I live in Japan, so handling is top notch. I got the runs once or twice, rectified with a round of oregano oil. Cooked rare, I use a sous vide controller to keep it submerged in 51C water for several hours. Meat stays perfectly rare, but duration of heat is as much a factor as peak level on bacterial destruction. No problems.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 11:51 PM

Yea, this is kind of the reason I did my first Max Bounty on **this** question. I might not be around a lot anymore, pretty sure this is what I was needing to find. For reasons I won't delve into I'm actually pretty confident I've suffered from a Taurine deficiency for a good portion of my life (wasn't breast fed, then grew up with vegetarian dad). Not to say Taurine would be an ultimate hack for many or most people, but I do think it is VERY under-appreciated atm considering the amount of clinical and epidemiological studies promoting its efficacy.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:30 AM

@Stephen I appreciate your research etc fwiw. What really stands out to me in the last study posted is the huge amount of taurine in raw liver as opposed to cooked. Maybe this is a factor in raw liver being reported as having 'tonic' like effects when ingested...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 06:44 AM

That's interesting. Have you had any food poisoning issues at all from raw or lightly seared beef in the time you've been consuming it this way?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 03:46 AM

Take it partially with a grain of salt, it has fresh oysters listed twice, one at 700 and again at 4,000. It's the only source I've found so far though. I'll keep you guys posted on the higher doses I take and if I notice any effects. Check out the second study I have in my question, I thought it was really cool.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 24, 2013
at 03:36 AM

Heh I was just reading that. freakin oysters letting me down. Looks like chicken legs/thighs and most bivalves would be the way to go. i'm gonna try like 500mg supp and see if i notice anything. I can't tell if the beneficial effects are nutritional or pharmacological in these studies though.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 03:19 AM

Here's a list of food items and their taurine density. Interestingly some of the worst seafood was as rich in taurine as some of the richest meats. Shellfish especially seems to be almost 5-15 times denser on average in taurine than other land mammals. http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmb/aal/pdfs/spitze.pdf

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 03:17 AM

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmb/aal/pdfs/spitze.pdf

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Here's a list of food sources and their taurine content. Interestingly some of the worst seafood was as richi. Taurine as some of the richest meats. Shellfish especially seem to be almost 5-15 times denser in taurine than lamb,beef,other land mammals.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 24, 2013
at 02:57 AM

Also of note: The Hadza cook their meat, but they ate liver (which is a rich source of taurine) raw.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 24, 2013
at 02:53 AM

FWIW, taurine has been used by many to correct cardiac arrhythmias. I have them here and there but never tried it due to my substantial beef intake, but I might give it a shot.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:54 AM

I'm surprised no one really talks about it, which makes me think maybe it's crap, but so far the studies at least back it up hardcore so I'll keep taking it. I'm going to bonty this question so you'll be able to see at least for the next 7 days or so what, if any effects I see/notice/post.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:53 AM

Yea, I've been taking it for maybe 2 days now, nothing has happened that I couldn't just write off as placebo.. Yet. I ordered 2.2 pounds of it off Amazon though (for less than 20 bucks) and I plan to incorporate it long term at a minimum of 2g per day. I'll probably experiment with upto maybe 10g in a day and see how I feel, I've read it's water soluble and gets washed out by the kidneys like b vitamins. I just read another article on ncbi about taurine protecting against fluoride toxicity though, combine that with its beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and testosterone and bile.

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:40 AM

cool.. be sure to keep us posted on any benefits/changes etc.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:16 AM

I'll start by taking between 3 and 6 grams per day spaced throughout the day.

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 23, 2013
at 11:26 PM

oh yeah ..and natural T booster too.. wicked http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/782/Relieve_Stress_Naturallywith_Taurine.aspx

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 23, 2013
at 11:08 PM

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/taurine/AN01856 ingredient in energy drink too-not sure if thats been mentioned. What doseage are u thinking of starting with?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 23, 2013
at 07:43 PM

That makes sense then, why most of the taurine info is about cats. Since the FDA party line is that "fat is bad, avoid as much as humanly possible!" I can see why little research would be done on taurine's effects for what they consider to be an unhealthy way of eating. If we were eating as they think we should be, we wouldn't need taurine.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:48 PM

Stephen, you are funny :) I don't care about that whole + /- thing so you don't have to +1 my posts. Unless it is a version of a smiley face. I kind of agree with Terry Wahls. She said that there is so much more to eating real food than to eating any isolated vitamins and minerals, no matter how good they are. Also, she recommends eating things as raw as possible, except for some.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:42 PM

But +1, I appreciate your feedback.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:38 PM

Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. We'll probably never know to what degree it contributed since getting approval to feed 3 generations of felines a taurine deficient diet and observing their degenerative diseases develop would no longer pass an ethics review board. Taurine deficiency in cats does lead to poor oral health, high abortion rates, vision problems, heart problems and growth problems though. It is my strong opinion that lower taurine in Pottenger's studies was a highly significant factor http://www.petwave.com/Cats/Basics/Nutrition/Taurine-Deficiency.aspx .

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:20 PM

Yes, that's what I am saying :)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Are you saying it's not the only thing responsible for degenerative diseases in Pottenger's cats?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:17 PM

That's what I'm thinking: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12693699 .

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:15 PM

Sounds like for the low-fat healthy-SAD eaters, or 80/10/10 fruitarians, it may be irrelevant, but for the fat-heavy or fat-normal Paleo-eater, or for someone with familial hypercholestremia, it could help a ton...?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:11 PM

I am saying it is NOT THE ONLY thing that is possibly responsible for degenerative diseases.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:55 PM

So you're saying that taurine deficiency is not responsible for the degenerative diseases pottenger observed in his cats?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Thanks varelse. From what I've gathered taurine is an essential amino acid for cats but only a conditionally Essential amino acid for humans. Meaning some humans at some ages, some diets, some places sometimes (especially infants) Need taurine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12514918 . Some humans will probably never need to supplement with taurine, and for some it may help a ton. The thing about it that peaked my interest is that it lowers cholesterol and makes more bile to increase fat digestion. There's a lot of other research on it, but that's what peaked my interest.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:32 PM

I'm liking your taurine kick, Stephen. I think you are really onto something here. I always did find it strange that taurine is such a big deal for cats (as a cat-owner, I find that a lot of his treats and stuff mention taurine) but not for humans.

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4 Answers

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4
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

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.

Wild cat

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.


EDITED:

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.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:11 PM

I am saying it is NOT THE ONLY thing that is possibly responsible for degenerative diseases.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:20 PM

Yes, that's what I am saying :)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Are you saying it's not the only thing responsible for degenerative diseases in Pottenger's cats?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:48 PM

Stephen, you are funny :) I don't care about that whole + /- thing so you don't have to +1 my posts. Unless it is a version of a smiley face. I kind of agree with Terry Wahls. She said that there is so much more to eating real food than to eating any isolated vitamins and minerals, no matter how good they are. Also, she recommends eating things as raw as possible, except for some.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:55 PM

So you're saying that taurine deficiency is not responsible for the degenerative diseases pottenger observed in his cats?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:42 PM

But +1, I appreciate your feedback.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:38 PM

Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. We'll probably never know to what degree it contributed since getting approval to feed 3 generations of felines a taurine deficient diet and observing their degenerative diseases develop would no longer pass an ethics review board. Taurine deficiency in cats does lead to poor oral health, high abortion rates, vision problems, heart problems and growth problems though. It is my strong opinion that lower taurine in Pottenger's studies was a highly significant factor http://www.petwave.com/Cats/Basics/Nutrition/Taurine-Deficiency.aspx .

3
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

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.

Since taurine has a number of important roles in retinal health a common pathology of taurine deficiency is poor vision (this was apparently seen in Pottenger's cats) and abnormal retinal function.

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.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 11:51 PM

Yea, this is kind of the reason I did my first Max Bounty on **this** question. I might not be around a lot anymore, pretty sure this is what I was needing to find. For reasons I won't delve into I'm actually pretty confident I've suffered from a Taurine deficiency for a good portion of my life (wasn't breast fed, then grew up with vegetarian dad). Not to say Taurine would be an ultimate hack for many or most people, but I do think it is VERY under-appreciated atm considering the amount of clinical and epidemiological studies promoting its efficacy.

1
Medium avatar

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?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 24, 2013
at 06:44 AM

That's interesting. Have you had any food poisoning issues at all from raw or lightly seared beef in the time you've been consuming it this way?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 27, 2013
at 01:27 AM

Raw, not really. I live in Japan, so handling is top notch. I got the runs once or twice, rectified with a round of oregano oil. Cooked rare, I use a sous vide controller to keep it submerged in 51C water for several hours. Meat stays perfectly rare, but duration of heat is as much a factor as peak level on bacterial destruction. No problems.

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

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.

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