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October 2005 after the first frost and summer grasses had turned brown.  The growth of winter grasses was delayed by the drought.

Curing Crohn’s Disease

Column #213

Here in America we’re not supposed to say that changing what one eats can cure a disease. So I’m here to tell you that I’m not saying it. BUT . . . there is a study out that’s titled: “Crohn’s Disease Successfully Treated with the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet.” You can read it and be the judge. I’m just a messenger.

The report was compiled by a diverse team of researchers whose goal is to document the impact of eating a true paleolithic diet that keeps one in a state of ketosis. Three of its authors are with Paleomedica, a medical unit in Hungary that has a very bold slogan: “WE OFFER A DEFINITE CURE – We not only treat symptoms but reverse disease.”

The report is about a 14-year-old boy with a severe case of Crohn’s. For 15 months he had been under a standard treatment protocol that combined drugs with a diet low in fat and fibers and free of lactose. His diet-symptom diary did not show any consistent association between symptoms and food items. Yet at the end of those 15 months he was in very bad shape and was offered a “last resort surgery.”  His family turned that down and decided to take him to Paleomedica.

Paleomedica only treats its patients with diet. So after an examination and analysis the boy was prescribed a diet “consisting of animal fat, meat, offal, and eggs with an approximate 2:1 fat to protein ratio.” Red and fat meats were encouraged instead of poultry as well as organ meats from pork and cattle. Grains, milk, dairy, refined sugars, vegetable oils, oilseeds, nightshades, and artificial sweeteners were excluded. Some honey was allowed for sweetening. The patient was not taking any supplements.

At the onset the prescribed paleolithic ketogenic diet was so strict it contained no vegetables and fruits. Previous experience had shown that a full fat-meat diet was best in the most severe cases of Crohn’s disease. Within a few weeks the boy’s disease symptoms began to improve. In ten months time he had achieved full remission.

For the most part the patient did a good job of dietary adherence, yet he made a mistake on his birthday. He ate two pieces of commercially available “paleo” cake which contained coconut oil, flour from oilseeds, as well as sugar alcohol. There was an immediate measurable setback that lasted for several weeks! After being on the diet for 15 months the report concluded that, with long-term dietary compliance, the patient will likely remain symptom free for life. I’d say that’s far better than removing the colon and being under a doctor’s care for life.

Obviously this report of a cure for Crohn's Disease flies in the face of the official word. It also ignores today’s enlightened “best foods” mantras. Everywhere we turn we hear that we must eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while avoiding meat and fat. It’s as if meat and fat are poison. We’re also told that eating meat is inhumane and raising cattle is an environmental abomination that’s causing the temperature of the earth to increase. Both views ignore history. First, for about two million years man ate so much meat he became a specialist in hunting big game, the bigger the better. Second, ruminants have roamed the earth in huge herds for 50 million years during which time the Earth’s temperature rose and fell many times. Therefore I don’t think the Earth’s current warming trend is caused even in part by ruminants grazing grasses.

Dr. Zsófia Clemens, Neurobiologist, brain researcher, and head of the Paleomedica institute, has voiced several comments regarding her frustration with modern medical science. “. . . clinical experience was a guiding principle for the development of medicine until hundreds of years ago, before the increased influence of the pharmaceutical industry.” And she says that it’s her desire for her and people like her to someday “. . . take back supervision of the Paleolithic Diet from self-appointed influencers. We, physicians and researchers, work to make the Paleolithic Diet a mainstream medical method so that it means the same in Washington, Vladivostok, Melbourne, and Budapest. We would also like to prove . . . there is an ideal and genetically determined diet for all people. This is the scientifically proved Paleolithic Diet, which excludes vegetable oils, flour, and supplements. If we do this, doctors will have the opportunity to cure and prevent many civilizational health problems.”

Fortunately we have access to a wide variety of meats and fat that are perfect for the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet. Of course only grass-fed and Omega-3 meats qualify because not only are they nutrient dense and diverse but they also have 2:1 or lower balances of Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). All meats will have some Omega-3, but what’s important for reducing inflammatory conditions is having both EFA families in balance with each other.

Nuff said.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don’t miss these links for additional reading:

Crohn’s Disease Successfully Treated with the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet by Csaba Tóth, Andrea Dabóczi, Mark Howard, Nicholas J. Miller, Zsófia Clemens


The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases by Artemis P. Simopoulos

Tools and Toys by Ted Slanker

Open letter to Professor Loren Cordain about Ketogenic and Paleolithic Diet(s) by Csaba Tóth and Zsófia Clemens

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