6

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Must individuals on all-meat/fish diets have vitamin/mineral deficiencies?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 01, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Must individuals on all-meat/fish diets have vitamin/mineral deficiencies? {I'm thinking vitamin C, potassium, etc.}

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 15, 2012
at 03:38 PM

She said, there are reasons why we are studying them (and they are not studying us) related to our own success as a culture and their relative deficiencies. That can apply to diet.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 15, 2012
at 03:36 PM

Other deficiencies and pitfalls of born-again Paleo diets: collateral nutrients like dietary fiber. Without food for the microbes in your gut, the GALT, the 70% of the your immune system that is found in the gut, is gonna crash bigtime! We really don't know the details of what Paleo peoples really ate so it's not a moving target, it's a hidden target that is only known in broad strokes. As Volek/Phinney state, beware of garbage dump science. On the other hand if you are looking at studies of recent Paleo cultures you should also remember what Margaret Mead said about interpreting that science:

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 13, 2012
at 06:01 AM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/17733/all-meat-diet-doesnt-cause-nutritional-deficiencies/17751#17751

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on November 11, 2012
at 03:54 AM

It's logically impossible to prove a negative. I will explain further below.

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on November 04, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Let's start with proving there are no deficiencies. Then we will proceed.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on November 01, 2012
at 04:35 PM

Yes, it is feasible and obviously has been done. Also, I think your need for certain vitamins is different than when you eat a more varied diet.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 01, 2012
at 03:54 PM

And some of it raw.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 01, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Does not deficient equal optimal? (Nope.)

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on November 01, 2012
at 05:36 AM

I think the story about the Indians eating adrenal glands was ripped off from Weston A. Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

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8 Answers

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5
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on November 01, 2012
at 02:38 AM

Nope. People on all muscle meat may have deficiencies, but those cultures who focus on meat only seek out and specifically consume offal and glands that most people miss.

5
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on November 01, 2012
at 03:33 AM

From this study we can learn that:

Vitamin C is preferentially deposited in adrenal gland, lymph node, lung, and brain.

And here we see that vitamin C can be found in varying levels in several organs and glands:

A study was made with the method of Roe and Kuether of the total ascorbic acid concentration in 69 samples of human pituitary gland, 71 samples of human cerebral cortex, 67 samples of human myocardium, and 63 samples of human pectoral muscle, derived from individuals ranging in age between 7 days and 88 years. Average values, respectively, of 0.617, 0.184, 0.042, and 0.033 mg/g fresh tissue were found.

I recall reading somewhere (from a quick Google, I'd guess it was this discussion) that Native Americans used to divide the adrenals and/or pituitaries up amongst the tribe whenever they made a kill, because they recognized them for having a unique contribution to their health. From that last link:

The diet of these Indians was thus almost entirely limited to wild animals and some plants and berries in the summer. One old Indian was asked through an interpreter why Indians did not get scurvy, which as you know is from vitamin C deficiency.

He replied that scurvy was a white man's disease; while it was a possibility for Indians, they knew how to prevent it and white men did not. When asked why he did not tell white men how, he replied white men knew too much to ask Indians anything. Asked how, he went to his chief for permission to tell. Upon returning he explained that when an Indian kills a moose, he opens it up and finds the small ball in the fat above each kidney. He cuts these balls-the adrenal glands-into pieces that are immediately eaten, one by each Indian in the family.

The adrenal glands, we now know, are among the richest sources of vitamin C in all animal or plant tissues. Cooking destroys vitamin C. The Indians' empirical knowledge and use of different organs and tissues of animals has certainly been verified by modern methods of analysis. Their wisdom preceded these methods, and the discovery of vitamin C, by thousands of years.

Now, all that said, I don't know anyone, hunters or otherwise, that eats fresh raw glands; but it is theoretically feasible to live on an all meat diet without deficiencies.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on November 01, 2012
at 04:35 PM

Yes, it is feasible and obviously has been done. Also, I think your need for certain vitamins is different than when you eat a more varied diet.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on November 01, 2012
at 05:36 AM

I think the story about the Indians eating adrenal glands was ripped off from Weston A. Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

4
8d6390b3b8991a9cb653a3d13c1cbf6a

(543)

on November 11, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Over what time frame? For one year, we have the Bellevue study. For multiple years, there are plenty of folks who have done ZC with just meat for years, at least some of whom have claimed to not use supplements. Could they develop deficiencies over a period of decades? Perhaps. Could their children have problems? Again, perhaps. We do not yet have sufficient data.

We also have data of people switching from meat to pemmican, and encountering problems that may have been scurvy. Presumably the dehydration process removes something from the meat--is it vitamin C? Possibly, or something that acts similarly to prevent deficiencies.

It does seem to be true that nutritional needs change when only eating meat, as ZC folks should get scurvy fairly quickly, but it seems to be rather rare (the cases I can think of involved pemmican). Additionally, most ZC folks are not eating organs--it's just muscle meat. That suggests the body is fairly robust with respect to food inputs.

2
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on November 13, 2012
at 05:11 AM

"Research by a McGill University nutrition scientist found, for example, that 100 grams of raw seal liver provides almost six times as much vitamin C as 100 grams of fresh apples and 100 grams of muktuk (the skin of beluga and narwhal) provides eight times the vitamin C found in fresh lettuce."

"Science confirmed more than 30 years ago that when consumed in adequate amounts and traditionally prepared, the vegetable-free Inuit "country" diet furnishes everything necessary for nutritional health."

"This may be counterintuitive for those convinced that a diet heavy in meat and fat is unhealthy, but in Greenland, Danish researchers found that muktuk not only prevented scurvy, it was often more effective in doing so than fresh fruit and vegetables."

"All a reminder that opinions based upon simple preconceptions and received wisdom may be satisfying but that doesn't make them right."

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=af8720bf-f204-4dfe-ac91-320c03661de7

"Meat is the only nutritionally complete food"

"Animal foods (particularly when organ meats are included) contain all of the protein, fat, vitamins and minerals that humans need to function. They contain absolutely everything we need in just the right proportions. That makes sense, because for most of human history, these would have been the only foods available just about everywhere on the planet in all seasons."

"Below you can see that animal products are superior sources of most essential vitamins and minerals, including 4 that do not exist in plant foods at all:"

http://diagnosisdiet.com/food/meats/

Scroll down the ^^^ link to the "meats" section. There is an excellent chart there just below the quote I have quoted above which will give you much information on vitamins and mineral content in plants and animal sources.

So, the short answer to your question: Meat is the only nutritionally complete food.

2
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on November 01, 2012
at 02:38 AM

My understanding is that to avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies you're going to need to eat a wide variety of animal parts (e.g. muscle meat, organs, offal).

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 01, 2012
at 03:54 PM

And some of it raw.

1
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on November 11, 2012
at 04:19 AM

Its logically impossible to prove a negative statement. It is not possible to prove there are "no deficiencies" for any diet, as you asked to prove in your sub-comment. So, your question is better asked in the following forms:

a) Prove that one can live vitamin/mineral sufficient on an all meat/fish (animal product) diet. or its converse b) Prove that one can live vitamin/mineral sufficient on an all vegan diet.

We already know (b) has not yet been proven because traditional vegetarian societies have never been able to sustain themselves without including some animal product, such as dairy in the case of India.

In fact, in the context of modern society, even for paleo's, we probably can't even prove (a) - witness the need to supplement minerals and vitamin's that are hard to obtain on most any diet and hard-core paleo - cuz face it, people are too squeemish to use the animal to the fullest day and and day out, and make sure they get the properly raised animals, and get proper mineralized water.

Even in the context of diets since the dawn of time, individual genetics and changing environment has probably guaranteed that each individual has become deficient in at least one vitamin/mineral at any random point in their lives, and probably many for sustained periods of time.

So in answer to your question - yes, individuals on all meat/fish diets must have deficiencies - and so must anyone else. Fortunately, the typical human body is resilient enough to successfully reproduce and wean children in spite of this.

0
0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 13, 2012
at 01:11 AM

Seems to me your question can be reliably answered yes, they will be deficient, and proven with only one example. If you are eating meat produced by modern slaughter methods it will have been bled therefore deficient in Na which is present in the blood at 30X the level of K and K is approx 10 times Na in the cells. Hence the low carb diet advice to drink salty broth.

Another example, Ca. Unless you are eating fish bones and all, neither your fish nor your red meat will have enough Ca to balance P and the acid load from protein catabolism.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 15, 2012
at 03:38 PM

She said, there are reasons why we are studying them (and they are not studying us) related to our own success as a culture and their relative deficiencies. That can apply to diet.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 15, 2012
at 03:36 PM

Other deficiencies and pitfalls of born-again Paleo diets: collateral nutrients like dietary fiber. Without food for the microbes in your gut, the GALT, the 70% of the your immune system that is found in the gut, is gonna crash bigtime! We really don't know the details of what Paleo peoples really ate so it's not a moving target, it's a hidden target that is only known in broad strokes. As Volek/Phinney state, beware of garbage dump science. On the other hand if you are looking at studies of recent Paleo cultures you should also remember what Margaret Mead said about interpreting that science:

-1
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 12, 2012
at 10:55 PM

In theory, No. but in reality - yes, you will have deficiencies, perhaps not now but likely later.

There are many reasons, and probably far smarter people than I could answer this- but, I think it would be VERY difficult for this to work - you would have to be EXTREMELY careful.

Some reasons I have read: (1) Your food would always have to be fresh. For example: you could have a deficiency in CoQ10

(Again, I just pulled this information from a bunch of different sources on paleohacks, and perfecthealthdiet)

"Why do you need CoQ10? ???Because endogenous production and metabolism is reduced with aging and food intake can be 5mg at best. ???Because endogenous biosynthesis is 17 step process and involves number of resources. Probability of deficiency is thus extremely high. ???The UV light and temperature together have a great effect on coenzyme Q10 stability. ???Mitochondrial support. Hence, essential for organs with biggest mitochondrial count, like heart. Improves hypertension and can prevent congestive heart failure. Brings energy levels up. Essential for stressed periods, intensive works, sleepless nights. ???Incrases HDL, lowers hbA1C ???Used for neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders. ???Improves oral health - periodontal disease, gingivitis etc. ???Antioxidant."

For more Paleo Diet hacks: The Ultimate PaleoHacks Supplement Thread - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/65801/the-ultimate-paleohacks-supplement-thread#ixzz2C39xufq9

From the poster who wrote the above:

"if you are not eating that heart raw and in the dark, there is lots of chance you don't get it. The UV light and temperature together have a great effect on coenzyme Q10 stability."

For more Paleo Diet hacks: The Ultimate PaleoHacks Supplement Thread - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/65801/the-ultimate-paleohacks-supplement-thread#ixzz2C39Ow3ba

So there you go, you could have a CoQ10 deficiency. An example of one of many deficiencies from your diet. The answer is, like I said, "Yes in theory. In reality it depends."

So basically, it's not a robust diet, what you're proposing. You have to be very, very choosy about your foods, they have to be VERY fresh, and cleary some raw to get the nutrition you need. However, that will introduce the possibility of pathogens.

(2) Aagain - Yes, in theory. In reality - it depends. If you are exposed to any fungal or bacterial species which can create biofilms, or you have any yeast which go out of control, all-meat and fish will cause problems.

Perhaps your theoretical person is healthy BUT, according to Paul Jaminet:

" the thing about chronic infections is everyone gets them. You can see that our immune system has to really be active defending us in order to avoid us getting some kind of pathology. And I think we also have to recognize that these things are evolving and changing, and bacterial generations, viral generations are so short and they don???t have the DNA preserving machinery that we have so they tend to evolve very rapidly and we???ve now created a new kind of host that never existed before."

Then he goes on to say:

"So one of the key differences is in how they respond to a ketogenic diet for instance. So pathogens that have mitochondria like fungi and protozoa can metabolize ketones for energy. Bacteria and viruses can???t, and so if you go on a ketogenic diet you???ll starve bacteria and viruses but you???ll feed fungi and protozoa. And so a simple thing to do is go on a ketogenic diet for a while, do your symptoms get worse or better."

2a) Paul Jaminet also talks about the gut barrier, and mucus in the gut. There haven't been any studies on this, and yet, Paul Jaminet, some of his commenters, and even people on Mark's Daily Apple have talked about a decrease in mucus (eyes, nose) with VLC.

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/11/dangers-of-zero-carb-diets-ii-mucus-deficiency-and-gastrointestinal-cancers/

Why do you need proper mucus production? Because: "a healthy mucosal barrier is also essential to protect the gut and airways against pathogens."

He goes on to say, "If, for whatever reason, mucin production were halted for lack of glucose, we would have no tears, no saliva and no gastrointestinal or airway mucus."

Again, it's possible to LIVE VLC, but why? From the same post by Paul:

"Your body needs some glucose, and it???s surely less stressful on the body to supply some glucose, rather than forcing the body to manufacture glucose from protein."

So I think you could survive and keep surviving, but it seems like in our current world, where it is impossible to ensure a completely fresh and healthy food source, and also that the people and natural resources like water are completely clean, that eventually you run into problems with a VLC diet (of only beef and fish)

Further, if you have infections, you can develop a Vitamin C deficiency. paul talks about this too:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/11/danger-of-zero-carb-diets-iii-scurvy/

2b) As a support to the infections story in this modern day and age, Paul has a story of high ldl on a low carb diet:

"In Larry???s case, he had been eating low-carb Paleo for years. So toxins (wheat, vegetable oils, etc. etc.) were not a problem.

Pathogens might be a problem ??? after all, he???s 64, and everybody collects chronic infections which tend to grow increasingly severe with age."

So, again, you could do it, but if you got an infection, I'm not sure it would be in your best interest to continue. I'm sure that high LDL stresses the body's other antioxidant reserves, I think Paul mentions glutathione? Perhaps others.

Eating only meat and fish (even organ meat and whole fish) also doesn't give your body the resources to fight these bacterial or fungal infections. Turmeric, tomatoes, pepper, etc. have powerful quorum-inhibiting elements to fight against gut biofilms.

From Paul's site, (which I believe he got from another reference): "Blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry and strawberry extracts were effective as quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs). Common herbs such as oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme were also effective. Turmeric, ginger and kale were also tested and found to contain QSIs." (from here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/07/bowel-disease-part-iv-restoring-healthful-gut-flora/)

Finally, only an anthropologist perhaps could really answer this question posed by Paul:

Some people think there is something wrong with a diet if supplements are recommended. They believe that a well-designed diet should provide sufficient nutrition from food alone, and that if supplements are advised then the diet must be flawed. I think this is quite mistaken. The reality is that Paleolithic man was often mildly malnourished, and modern man ??? due to the absence of minerals from treated water and agriculturally produced food, and the reduced diversity and higher caloric density of our foods ??? is severely malnourished compared to Paleolithic man."

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/answer-day-what-causes-high-ldl-on-low-carb-paleo/

So could you? Yes. Might you eventually get something chronically infecting you, unless you live in an absolutely clean, pristine environment without contact with people? Probbaly. Oh yeah and can you guarantee all the animals you eat have absolutely no pathogens when you eat them raw and no contact with chronic pathogens?

It's pretty crazy to bet on that!!!

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