View Full Version : Raw Foodism Debunked

Greg Davis
09-10-2007, 01:13 PM

Preceding post has an interview with "raw chef dan"... even though this raw diet guy is full of it, i would definitely eat at his NYC restaurant (http://www.raw-q.com) (yummy pics).

Mike ODonnell
09-10-2007, 01:22 PM
He makes good points...your body has enzymes it produces, cooking is not the issue but overcooking can be, you need protein and fat and having raw fruits and vegetables is always a good supplementation to any diet. Don't think many here will argue that. I liked his quote

By the time it gets to you, all food is dead.

So buying organic food at the local Kroger is a waste of money considering how long it has sat in storage. Local farmers markets or your own backyard may be the only way to "try" to get the most for your money. I went through my organic phase now I just wash everything and try to get as local as possible.

Garrett Smith
09-10-2007, 05:45 PM
My main issue with the AtomicNerd site's "brutal" rebuttal and the MDA blog is that they act like they really know THE TRUTH about everything. Mark is a smart guy, I'll give him that. However, knowing when one steps out of their knowledge base is a gift he is lacking, IMO.

First, humans absorb dipeptides, tripeptides, and all other sorts of whole proteins (including enzymes, natch) across the lumen of the digestive tract. I get so tired of these "hardcore science types" ignoring this well-proven tidbit--including the dang biochemistry teacher at my alma mater!!! NOT EVERY PROTEIN IS BROKEN DOWN TO AMINO ACIDS. That would be a stupid waste of time and energy by the body. Let's look at bromelain, that nice little proteolytic enzyme from pineapple:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=11577981&ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Bromelain is a crude extract from the pineapple that contains, among other components, various closely related proteinases, demonstrating, in vitro and in vivo, antiedematous, antiinflammatory, antithrombotic and fibrinolytic activities. The active factors involved are biochemically characterized only in part. Due to its efficacy after oral administration, its safety and lack of undesired side effects, bromelain has earned growing acceptance and compliance among patients as a phytotherapeutical drug. A wide range of therapeutic benefits has been claimed for bromelain, such as reversible inhibition of platelet aggregation, angina pectoris, bronchitis, sinusitis, surgical traumas, thrombophlebitis, pyelonephritis and enhanced absorption of drugs, particularly of antibiotics. Biochemical experiments indicate that these pharmacological properties depend on the proteolytic activity only partly, suggesting the presence of nonprotein factors in bromelain. Recent results from preclinical and pharmacological studies recommend bromelain as an orally given drug for complementary tumor therapy: bromelain acts as an immunomodulator by raising the impaired immunocytotoxicity of monocytes against tumor cells from patients and by inducing the production of distinct cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-a, interleukin (Il)-1beta, Il-6, and Il-8. In a recent clinical study with mammary tumor patients, these findings could be partially confirmed. Especially promising are reports on animal experiments claiming an antimetastatic efficacy and inhibition of metastasis-associated platelet aggregation as well as inhibition of growth and invasiveness of tumor cells. Apparently, the antiinvasive activity does not depend on the proteolytic activity. This is also true for bromelain effects on the modulation of immune functions, its potential to eliminate burn debris and to accelerate wound healing. Whether bromelain will gain wide acceptance as a drug that inhibits platelet aggregation, is antimetastatic and facilitates skin debridement, among other indications, will be determined by further clinical trials. The claim that bromelain cannot be effective after oral administration is definitely refuted at this time.

Their "debunking" of systemic enzyme therapy was quite a load of BS:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=10862465&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus

Employment of the authors' highly sensitive biochemical method allowed the fact of resorption of proteolytic enzymes after their peroral ingestion to be confirmed, with a question having been raised as to further fate of proteinases and mechanisms of curative action of combined enzyme preparations.

I'm sure what helped this dog get better was either the placebo effect or just a "magical" combination of amino acids after digestion of the extract (ie. it couldn't have been from the larger proteins being absorbed into the blood directly from the GI tract):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16131834&ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

A 1.8-year-old intact female Maltese dog was presented because of a history of chronic diarrhea, polyphagia, weight loss, and coprophagia. The patient was severely emaciated and evacuated very moist and four-smelling, yellow feces. Fecal stain with Sudan III revealed numerous lipid droplets. Result of fat absorption test showed aldigestion. A definite diagnosis was made based on trypsin-like immunoreactivity assay in serum which was low enough to be diagnosed as an exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. After pancreatic enzyme supplement with porcine pancreatin powder, the clinical signs were disappeared. This case report documents clinical manifestations, diagnostic tools, treatment and efficiency of oral pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in a Maltese dog.

Digesting all proteins down to amino acids is an URBAN MYTH, a relic of poor GI scientific investigation. The fact that this is not taught in medical schools (not only mine) is only one of the many signs as to why our GI-oriented docs are so friggin' useless most of the time.

Greg Battaglia
09-10-2007, 07:09 PM
I liked that blog post a lot. I think Mark is a cool guy and I like his philosophies on life and enjoyment.
As for systemic enzymes, I'm just as clueless as any average Joe when it comes to those. Definitely something I need to do a lot more reading into. Has anyone seen a video of this Chef Dan character? He looks pale, a bit flabby, and has awful teeth from what I can tell. Not exactly the picture of health. Take a look for yourself:


Dr. G, that's some interesting stuff. That's one step toward my gaining of knowledge regarding systemic enzymes. Have any other good studies I could peruse? Not for anything, but what exactly do you disagree with Mark on (besides enzymes)? I can understand where you're coming from in a way, as he does speak very authoritatively. Art D. does the same thing, in my opinion, but I love his stuff as well. But overall, I think Mark hits the nail on the head 95% of the time.

I can't stand those hard science people either. Their stance seems to be that if there aren't any studies that have examined a claim, then that claim CAN'T be true. Anthony Colpo is this way, and it irks the hell outta me. I'm all for using studies, but I think a more open-minded approach is better. I think either Scott Kustes or Scott Hagnas (can't remember which) said something along the lines of "Use the study of one" meaning: experiment for yourself and then make a decision.

Greg Davis
09-10-2007, 07:27 PM
In Mark's defense he does say "unless they are digestive enzymes"- wouldn't that cover bromelain?

I'm sure you know more about some of the other enzymes available but I think the MDA post is mostly on point about going overboard with raw food.

Garrett Smith
09-11-2007, 05:13 PM
My point is that the body has many receptors and carriers for whole proteins across the GI tract (not only enzyme proteins). There were so many problems/overgeneralizations/mistakes with the AtomicNerd piece that it is irrelevant. Not a whole lot of people understand that whole proteins can be absorbed--not even a lot of doctors who prescribe glandulars and systemic enzyme therapy!

Going overboard on raw food isn't optimal, I agree with that. A raw vegan diet is about as bad as it gets. However, I will say that I did pretty darn well on a raw diet that included raw meats (as he mentions in the article). A raw Paleo diet is pretty hard to argue against. In fact, one thing I tell people is that if something cannot be eaten raw (without causing detrimental effects on health), then it shouldn't be eaten. Grains and beans, for example.

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme--as far as I know, it is not an endogenously produced digestive enzyme. So, it would fall under "foreign" protein in my book and thus be broken down like everything else (if that false theory were true).

Greg Battaglia
09-12-2007, 11:13 AM
I'm with ya on the enzymes. The raw food is a different story. I tried going completely raw before (besides meat) and I felt awful. I have a strong willpower so I was able to stick this out for about 2 months before accepting that my mostly raw food diet simply could not sustain even a semi-active lifestyle. I was tired at all times, felt heavy in the extremities (clear sign of glycogen depletion), had headaches, couldn't concentrate on a damn thing, and was incredibly irritable due to lack of calories and a boring diet. Once i started cooking my veggies again I felt instantly better. Not to mention that my digestion was complete crap (pun intended, I had to visit the rest room every hour, literally). Besides, after reading up on this a lot, I came to realize that that H/G's cook most of there food. They take advantage of the luxury of fire. Most H/G's also eat starchy foods, like tubers and certain roots. If they don't have starchy foods in their locale, they make up for it with lots of animal fat, so either way, they end up eating calorie dense foods. So I think it's a misguided effort when some Paleo guru's say "no starches, and only raw", yet they promote the unlimited consumption of fruit with great zeal. Most H/G's have much more access to tubers than to fruit. Anyway, getting a bit off topic here, sorry about that. I don't know, my personal experience weighs heavily against raw foods. Maybe I did something wrong, not sure.

Mike ODonnell
09-12-2007, 12:18 PM
Pineapple and Meat....they have been saying it since the 1950s....funny how all those old simple philosophies are just so true (like take your Cod Liver Oil from Grandma...)