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Health effects of the carnivore diet

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Dr. Paul Saladino, a functional medicine practitioner, advocates the use of a nose-to-tail carnivore diet to heal many autoimmune conditions, and points to evidence suggesting the notion that all plants are beneficial may need to be revisited and revised
  • Plant lectins can have harmful effects by binding to specific receptor sites on your intestinal mucosal cells and interfering with the absorption of nutrients across your intestinal wall. Lectins act as antinutrients and can have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome by shifting the balance of your bacterial flora
  • In studies where rodents were given very high amounts of methionine, an amino acid found in animal protein, a shortening of lifespan was observed, leading to the oft-repeated claim that animal protein shortens lifespan
  • Follow-up studies revealed it was not the methionine that caused this effect, but rather an imbalance of methionine to glycine in the rodents’ diet. A nose-to-tail carnivore diet has a well-balanced methionine to glycine ratio, and appears to provide all the nutrients your body needs
  • A nose-to-tail carnivore diet may be optimized by combining it with intermittent fasting or other periodic fasting regimen

Dr. Paul Saladino trained at the University of Arizona with a focus on integrative medicine. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Washington in 2019, and is a certified functional medicine practitioner through the Institute for Functional Medicine. In this interview, Saladino discusses the surprising benefits of the carnivore diet, especially for those struggling with autoimmune disease.

Initially, I was skeptical of the carnivore diet, but once I listened to Saladino’s detailed analysis and justification for this approach, I changed my position and believe it is appropriate for a large number of individuals.


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