Animal Meats and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The Vegan Healing Diet as the Pathway to Lasting Health
by Dr. David Klein
Director of the Colitis & Crohn’s Health Recovery Center
Author of Self Healing Colitis & Crohn’s
Meat (any animal flesh, including fish) is the single most causative dietary factor with colitis, Crohn’s disease and most other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). I have never seen or heard of a case of complete and lasting healing of IBD where the person continued to eat meat. Dead animal foods do not bring life to sick people. They cannot because meat is mostly indigestible and it poisons the bowel, bloodstream and tissues while acidifying the body and undermining our health. Even infrequent meat eating can trigger a flare-up of IBD. Meat and dairy products of any kind are not essential to the human diet, and their use has been directly correlated with the major diseases prevalent in Western society, including IBD and colon cancer.
All of the nutrients which are essential to maintaining peak health and longevity are available from plant sources. Animal products are acid-forming, mucous-forming, high in fat, devoid of fiber and low in water content; they require great amounts of energy to digest, and usually putrefy in the bowel, creating an overload of “unfriendly” bacteria and toxic byproducts. When the body is too acidic from acid-forming foods, it will not be able to heal IBD until detoxification has occurred. When fats are cooked using high heat, free radicals are created which are known to cause cancer. Many people with IBD are lactose-intolerant, meaning they cannot digest milk sugars. In every case this author has seen, people do not overcome IBD until they stop eating meat and dairy products. Eating a diet high in cooked animal products destroys most people’s health, and it is advisable to eliminate all animal products from their diet: beef, pork, fowl, fish and dairy. When we stop eating animal products, we immediately liberate a great amount of physical energy which the body can use for detoxifying and healing itself.
Are We Carnivores?
In response to the question “Are we carnivores?”, Dr. T. C Fry wrote:
A carnivore is an eater of carnage or flesh. This does not accurately portray animals said to be carnivores. Animals that live on other animals usually consume most of the animal, not merely the flesh. True carnivores lap the flowing and oozing blood of their prey with relish. They delight in the guts and its partially digested contents. And they will consume the bones and gristle (collagen or cartilage). Dogs, for instance, require about 1,700% as much calcium as humans, for animal flesh is extremely acid-forming. Blood and bones are required to offset the acidotic end materials. They also require about 1,200% more protein than humans. When you note the relish and gusto with which dogs go for whole animals, you can be sure that what carnivores need for their nourishment is quite delicious to them.
Do you relish the idea of crushing the life of a rabbit with your bare hands and teeth? Can you lick its blood with gusto, getting it over your face, hands and body? Would you dig into its guts with pleasure? Would you love to chew on its bones and gristle? Would you love to swallow chunks of its flesh, not being fastidious about swallowing hair and vermin that might be involved? Would you like to do the same for any plant-eating animal that you could apprehend, kill and consume while still in its warm and fresh state?
Of course, you and every unperverted person loves animals as fellow creatures on earth. Killing them is repulsive to you and eating them in the freshly killed state is even more disgusting to you. Yet, most of us do consume flesh and some organ meats while rejecting blood, bone, most fats and the entrails or offal. But we kill our animals by proxy. We denature and derange flesh and organs with heat and camouflage it with condiments. Does this describe a carnivore to you? Would you, in a state of nature, relish chasing down animals and eating them? Again, this is alien to your natural disposition and actually sickening.
True carnivores also secrete an enzyme called uricase to metabolize the some 5% uric acid in flesh. We secrete none and thusly must neutralize it with our alkaline minerals, primarily calcium. The resulting calcium urate crystals are one of the many pathogens of meat-eating, in this case giving rise to or contributing to gout, arthritis, rheumatism and bursitis.
Are humans natural meat-eaters? There are too many considerations in physiology, structure (miscalled anatomy), aesthetic disposition and psychology that characterize us as non-flesh eaters to even seriously entertain such notions.
I had a nutritionist tell me in front of an audience that we had canine teeth and that proved our meat-eating character. I responded with: “You really mean dog teeth, don’t you? Like fangs?” This caused her to redden. Then I related one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite retorts: “If you counted a sheep’s tail as a leg, how many legs would it have?” Invariably the answer was “five”. To which Lincoln would respond: “Only four. Counting the tail as a leg doesn’t make it one.”
I think you’ll agree that we are not equipped in any aspect of our being as carnivores.
Are We Milk Drinkers?
Addressing the question “Are we milk drinkers, that is, are we sucklings of animals?”, Dr. T. C. Fry wrote:
I doubt that humans ever directly suckled cattle, goats, mares, camels, sheep and other animals. And, of course, the idea of doing this is obnoxious to our disposition. I refer, facetiously, to milk eaters as secondhand grass eaters although, to be sure, grass has all the nutrients necessary to support life.
While we can live on milks (certain Africans like the Masai live substantially on milk and blood, thus reducing themselves to parasite status), these are by no means our natural foods. Milk-drinking as a regular part of our intake is only a few hundred years old, with the exception of certain Arabic and African peoples.
Milk-drinking is pathogenic. If milk and milk products were discontinued today, millions of people would cease to suffer sicknesses and pathologies within a short period. In fact, if this alone was discontinued, the hospitals would virtually empty out and physicians’ waiting rooms would be mostly vacated.
Milk-drinking is also an act by proxy. If we had to get milk directly from the teats of animals by suction, I’m sure we’d skirt milk altogether. I would and I’m sure you would, too.
The major food protein sources are animal products, beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts. All of these are typical sources of putrefaction, especially when eaten in meal-size quantities. Putrefaction, actually a fermentation process, is the bacteriological decomposition, or rotting, of nitrogenous foods or proteins in our gut which occurs under certain conditions of incorrect eating and insufficient secretion of digestive enzymes. Putrefaction of proteins proceeds easily at body temperatures, just as milk will spoil on a warm day. In our society, the putrefaction of meat and dairy products (except yogurt, which is partially digested by bacterial cultures in its preparation) is the major culprit in that regard. The byproducts of putrefaction include ammonias, sulfides, histamine, tyramine, cadaverine, putrescine, indoles, skatoles, and purines—all toxic compounds which poison the body and mind, leading to rapid aging, fatigue and disease. The body has a limited capacity to eliminate these. If some of these toxins should get into the blood, it is the liver’s job to neutralize them. However, when elimination is not complete, such as in cases of constipation or when the liver is impaired, these toxins will cause autointoxication and are typically a major factor in IBD.
Are We Protein Eaters?
Addressing the question “Are we protein eaters?”, Dr. T. C. Fry wrote:
To hear the exponents of the meat trust, you’d think we’re in imminent danger of disease and death if we fail to eat meat three times a day. The truth is that eating meat three times daily will cause the very conditions we’re taught to fear. We’re in no danger of protein deficiency unless we’re eating a 100% cooked food diet. On the other hand, there are grave dangers in eating cooked proteins. At normal cooking temperatures, proteins are coagulated, deaminated and largely oxidized. The nitrogenous materials are soil for putrefactive bacteria. The carbohydrate portions of cooked proteins are usable for caloric values but still present the problems that cooked carbohydrates pose.
If we must eat proteins, we must eat them raw to derive their full benefit. But proteins, per se, are not created as food. They are created by plant and animal life as components of organisms, seeds, enzymes, ova, etc. Most proteins of this nature have toxic protective compounds. The bean family has anti-enzyme factors. Eggs have avidin. Nuts also have anti-enzyme factors. Seeds of peaches, apples and many other fruits have hydrocyanide. Humans do not secrete the enzymes to negate or break down these toxic substances.
From fruits we derive as much protein as is present in mother’s milk for a growing baby! Moreover, fruit proteins come to us predigested as do other ripened fruit components. There are many alarmists who warn us about protein deficiencies of fruits and many other presumed deficiencies. If we developed in nature on fruits to our high state as anthropologists have found, then the real deficiencies are in the thinking of those who proclaim deficiencies. Their evidence is usually based on researches with pathological specimens, especially those whose metabolic and assimilative faculties are very impaired. They base their thinking from a standpoint of disease rather than health, from a modality and curing mentality rather than a correction of pathogenic practices. In saying that our natural foods are deficient, they are simultaneously proclaiming improvidence in nature. Or, in effect, saying: “God, you made a terrible mistake in providing for us and especially in giving us a sweet tooth.” Advocating the consumption of proteins and yet more proteins when those so advising know by their own researches and knowledge that the proteins will be cooked and contribute to heavy pathology is nothing less than criminal.
One more consideration: If we ate only proteins in their raw state we’d quickly become diseased and perhaps even suffer death! Why? Because various amino acids require from about 60% to 137% of their carbohydrate energy potential for their deamination and utilization. The net result would be starvation. That’s one reason so much weight is lost by the obese on protein diets. And the intoxication that results from putrefaction is the reason so many of these dieters become diseased, with some dying.
Are we protein eaters? Emphatically, no!
Hazards of Eating Meat
The following is an excerpt from the extensively researched book The Undigestible Truth About Meat by my colleague Dr. Gina Shaw, M.A., A.I.Y.S.:
Did you know that the two leading causes of death in the U.S. are directly related to the consumption of meat? When I use the term “meat,” in order to clear up any confusion anyone may have, I am referring to all animal flesh, be it from cows, turkeys, pigs, chickens, fish, in fact, any animal that lives and breathes and that humans consume! I am talking about all animal flesh.
Patrice Green, J.D., M.D. and Allison Lee Solin state that animal products easily account for our largest intake of pesticides and herbicides, in fact, more than 80 to 90% by some estimates.
Meat also has antibiotic residues. One half of all antibiotics in the U.S. alone are used in the production of livestock. Antibiotics, too, can contribute to hormone-disruptor exposure.
As if that isn’t enough, in a recent article entitled “Meat Your Death?” by Lawrence J. Jacobs, M.D. and Caroline Kweller, they report that a survey by Public Citizen, the Government Accountability Project, and the American Federation of Government Employees, found that 46% of federal inspectors had been unable to recall meat laden with animal feces, vomit, metal shards, and other contamination.
In 1998 USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) declared safe for human consumption animal carcasses carrying a host of diseases, such as cancers, tumors, open sores, poultry pneumonia, infection arthritis, and diseases caused by intestinal worms.
Food borne diseases such as campylobacter, listeria, E. coli, and salmonella affect millions of Americans and Britons each year and kill more than 5,000, particularly children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems. In the vast majority of cases, people contract these diseases after eating animal products-meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy or from items contaminated by animal products or animal feces.
Animal food is highly acid-forming and, according to Dr. Robert Young, a microbiologist and nutritionist from the U.S., has high levels of bacteria, yeast/fungus and associated toxins.
Cooked animal foods are dead, enzymatically speaking. They lack enzymes which help us to break down foodstuff, they lack phytonutrients which are by their very nature abundant in fresh, raw plant foods and they lack many essential vitamins and minerals.
In a recent report by Dr. Green and Ms. Solin, they argue that organic meat, dairy and eggs certainly cannot be held to be a healthy option as not only do animal products contain cholesterol, and are typically high in fat, they have been found to significantly raise risks for heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity and cancer.
Meat is the most putrefactive of all foods. This means that meat is more liable to decay in the human gastrointestinal tract than any other food. Flesh, when it is eaten by humans, tends to undergo a process of decay in the stomach or intestinal tract causing a poisoning of the blood. Putrefaction in meat-eaters is evidenced by bad breath, heartburn, eructations and smelly stools, and it is probable that the attempts of the body to eliminate these wastes has a profound influence on the shortening of our life span.
If the body fluid that bathes our cells is overloaded with waste, an excessive secretion of bile, fatigue, weakening and aging are the inevitable results. The accumulation of toxic substances in the body causes the deterioration of the intestinal flora and the blood vessels gradually lose their natural elasticity—their walls become hardened and thickened. Irreversible damage to the organism will then inevitably occur.
The hardest thing for the human body to digest is cooked animal protein—it leaves us feeling very weak and tired. Protein, being the most complex of all food elements, makes its utilization the most complicated. Those people with impaired digestion will find it preferable to ingest a lesser quantity of concentrated protein which they will be more capable of utilizing, rather than a greater quantity which not only cannot be processed efficiently, but which may poison the body.
When protein is eaten in greater amounts than the body is capable of utilizing, the organism is subjected to the toxic byproducts of protein metabolism, which it has been unable to eliminate—and the inevitable result is degenerative disease.
Meat passes very slowly through the human digestive system, which is not designed to digest it. In fact, flesh foods can take about five days to pass out of the body (plant foods take about one day). During this time the disease-causing products of decaying meat are in constant contact with the digestive organs. The habit of eating animal flesh in its characteristic state of decomposition creates a poisonous state in the colon and wears out the intestinal tract prematurely.
Often, poisonous bacteria present in flesh foods are not destroyed by cooking, especially if the meat is undercooked, barbecued, or roasted on a spit—these are notorious sources of infection. The stomach will attempt to break down animal flesh with chemicals which are ill-equipped to handle flesh foods as we have such a low amount of hydrochloric acid, as compared with carnivorous animals. This hydrochloric acid we do have is also low in acidity, as compared to a carnivorous animal. Next, the animal flesh passes into the small intestine until it comes to the ileocecal valve. Passing through the ileocecal valve, it enters the cecum which is at the base of the ascending colon. From here the second stage of digestion starts. The chyme becomes a seething mass of intestinal flora. When dead bodies are incorporated in our food, the flora is putrefactive and their mission is to destroy. From the colon, they are drawn into the bloodstream by suction and, as they circulate around the body, disease or sickness is the inevitable result. On a fruit and vegetation diet, the natural flora are fermentative and break down this type of food—they are not pathogenic and are quite harmless to the body for the simple reason that we are not flesh eaters.
British and American Scientists who have studied intestinal bacteria of meat-eaters as compared to vegetarians have found significant differences. The bacteria in the meat eaters’ intestines react with digestive juices to produce chemicals which have been found to cause bowel cancer. This may explain why cancer of the bowel is very prevalent in meat-eating areas like North America and Western Europe, while it is extremely rare in vegetarian countries such as India. In the US, bowel cancer is the second most common form of cancer (second only to lung cancer). Conversely, recent studies have found that chicken meat is the most carcinogenic meat that people can eat due to the amount of the carcinogen PhIP contained in it—although, as we will find, all meat is dangerous and carcinogenic to the human body.
Cholesterol is mainly found in animal products. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and eggs, etc., all contain cholesterol, while plant products, on the whole, do not. Choosing lean cuts of meat is not enough; the cholesterol is mainly in the lean portion. Many people are surprised to learn that chicken contains as much cholesterol as beef. Every four-ounce serving of beef or chicken contains 100 milligrams of cholesterol. Most shellfish are very high in cholesterol. There is no “good cholesterol” in any food.
Colon cancer is acknowledged to be the predominant type of cancer in the United States, and it is the second leading cause of cancer mortality. An article in the Wall Street Journal several years ago tells about a study of colon cancer by Dr. William Haenzel, Dr. John W. Berg and others at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Berg said: “There is now substantial evidence that beef is a key factor in determining bowel cancer incidence.”
Scientists have reported evidence that two characteristics of meat-based diets are specific influences in colon cancer:
1. Fecal transit time: a low-fiber diet allows carcinogens to be concentrated and held in contact with the bowel mucosa for long periods, while a high residue diet (a vegetarian diet) produces more rapid passage of body waste.
2. Influence of the diet on the amount of carcinogens produced by the body: it has been found that meat fat tends toward production of carcinogens in the intestine.
Let us now examine the charge that flesh-eating is supposed to be a superior source of protein. Well, upon examining the evidence, the truth is exactly opposite! The effects of encumbering our bodies with the proteins of other animals serve to promote diseased conditions of the human organism. Dr. Herbert M. Shelton wrote that allergy and anaphylaxis (a kind of toxic shock of the tissues) are not mysterious and that they are due to long-standing poisoning of the body by excess or inappropriate protein foods. Animal proteins are often not reduced to their constituent amino acids, but are absorbed in more complex form. Absorption by the body of such partially digested proteins poisons the human body and so-called “allergic symptoms” may result in gout, arthritis, cancer, or any one or more of a host of degenerative diseases.
Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, in reviewing recent research findings, stated that it has long been known that cooked red meat contains cancer-causing heterocyclic amines, which form as the meat is heated, but the U.S. National Cancer Institute has shown that oven-broiled, pan-fried or grilled/barbecued chicken carries an even bigger load of these carcinogens than does red meat. In fact, they argue that chicken is far more cancer-causing than red meat (the number of PhIPs in a well-done steak contains about 30ng/g, but grilled chicken reached 480ng/g). These dangerous chemicals are strongly linked to colon cancer, but may also contribute to breast cancer. Conversely, Dr. Barnard also mentions that the cholesterol content of chicken is actually the same as that of beef, and the fat content is not much different, either.
As previously mentioned, vegetarians have lower rates of colon cancer than non-vegetarians (Phillips, 1980). Incidence of colon cancer has been strongly linked to the consumption of meat (Armstrong, 1975). Willett (1990) carried out a study of over 88,000 women aged between 34 and 59 years. The study found that women eating red meat daily ran over twice the risk of developing colon cancer than women eating red meat less than once a month. Reduced incidence of colon cancer in vegetarians may be attributed to dietary differences which include increased fiber intake, increased consumption of fruit and vegetables, and decreased intake of total fat and saturated fat.
The mechanism by which a vegetarian diet is protective against colon cancer is unclear and a great deal of research is being carried out in this area. It has been suggested that secondary bile acids are carcinogens, which may play an important role in colon cancer. These are derived by bacterial metabolism from primary bile acids made in the liver and secreted into the intestine. Vegetarians have lower levels of secondary bile acids than non-vegetarians (Turjiman, 1984). The differences in bacterial populations between the intestines of vegetarians and non-vegetarians may also be important. Bacterial flora in vegetarians has been shown to possess reduced ability to transform bile acids into potential carcinogens.
The role of dietary fiber in prevention of colon cancer may also be important, as was first noted in 1971 when it was suggested that the high incidence of colon cancer in Western countries was linked to low fiber diets. Other dietary components associated with high fiber foods have also been implicated as having protective effects.
Leukemia is the overproduction of white blood cells to contend with toxic materials in the blood, due to the byproducts of protein breakdown. As you are probably aware, leukemia is a type of blood cancer and, as such, the causes (a meat-based diet) would inevitably be the same as for the causes of cancer (above). Dr. Paul Kouchakoff discovered, in his extensive experiments, that cooked meat causes a tremendous proliferation of white blood cells in the bloodstream—the increase is two to four times that of normal proliferation! The body produces white blood cells in order to surround toxic particles and to escort them to the nearest exit point, usually the kidneys.
Leukemia is always associated with an extremely high amount of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is an inevitable byproduct of meat consumption, as mentioned in the first chapter. In fact, animal products are comprised of approximately 15% uric acid!.
Diverticular disease affects the colon. It occurs frequently in Western countries, where intake of dietary fiber is low. Gear (1979) found diverticular disease to be less frequent in vegetarians, twelve% of vegetarians had diverticular disease, compared with thirty-three% of non-vegetarians. This is thought to be due to the increased fiber of vegetarian diets.
The China Project on Nutrition, Health and Environment was a massive study involving researchers from China, Cornell University in Boston, and the University of Oxford researching the relationships between diet, lifestyles and disease-related mortality in 6,500 Chinese subjects from 65 mostly rural or semi-rural counties. The rural Chinese diet is largely vegetarian or vegan, and involves less total protein, less animal protein, less total fat and animal fat, and more carbohydrate and fiber than the average Western diet. Blood cholesterol levels are significantly lower. Heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis are all uncommon. Areas in which they are becoming more frequent are areas where the population has moved towards a more Western diet, with increasing consumption of animal products. The China Health Project has clearly demonstrated the health benefits of a diet based on plant foods. One of the project’s coordinators, Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, stated: “We’re basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing our intake of animal foods.”
Research shows that adding fire to food causes dangerous changes in the food structure, including the creation of carcinogenic substances. According to research performed by cancerologist Dr. Bruce Ames, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The University of California, Berkeley, various groups of chemicals from cooked food cause tumors: nitrosamines are created from fish, poultry or meat cooked in gas ovens and barbecues, as nitrogen oxides within gas flames interact with fat residues; hetrocyclic amines form from heating proteins and amino acids; polycyclic hydrocarbons are created by charring meat; mucoid plaque, a thick tar-like substance, builds up in the intestines on a diet of cooked foods. Mucoid plaque is caused by uneliminated, partially-digested, putrefying cooked fatty and starchy foods eaten in association with high-protein flesh foods; lipofuscin is another toxin: an accumulation of waste materials throughout the body and within cells of the skin, manifesting as age-spots, in the liver as liver spots and in the nervous system, including the brain, possibly contributing to ossification of gray matter and senility.
From the book Diet, Nutrition and Cancer published by the Nutritional Research Council of the American Academy of Sciences (1982) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Office of Toxicological Sciences, carcinogens in heated foods include: hydroperoxide, alkoxy, endoperoxides and epoxides in heated meat, eggs, fish and pasteurized milk; ally aldehyde (acrolein), butyric acid, nitropyrene, nitrobenzene and nitrosamines from heated fats and oils; indole, skatole, nitropyrene, ptomatropine, ptomaines, leukomaines, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine, muscarine, putrecine, nervine and mercaptins in cheese.
Raw food is the optimum diet for humankind. Fired foods lose their nutrient content by up to 80% and their protein usability by approximately 50%. Cooking also destroys 60 to 70% of the vitamins, up to 96% of vitamin B12 and 100% of many of the lesser factors, such as gibberellins, anthrocyans, nobelitin, and tangeretin, which boost the immune system and other body functions. According to Dr. Paul Kouchakoff, every time we eat cooked food, our bodies produce a proliferation of white blood cells to get rid of the invader! This does not happen when we eat raw plant foods.
A harmonizing, low-fat, fruit-based, alkalizing, properly combined vegan diet of 75% to 100% raw, un-cooked, non-antagonistic foods is the only way to go for healing colitis, Crohn’s and all other gastrointestinal diseases. and for staying healthy. I have personally helped over 3,000 clients heal IBD via my Vegan Healing Diet Plan. For more information on my Vegan Healing Diet Plan please visit http://www.colitis-crohns.com and http://www.veganhealingdiet.com.