This section is under construction as of 3/07 and will deal with the topic of what is commonly referred to as “genetics”. The astute reader has already picked up on my vibes concerning this issue. To put it bluntly, we have put way too much emphasis on “genetics” and I believe those who study this subject sense that there is a missing link…or three..in their chain of explanations. I hope that the following section sheds some light on the matter.
In This Section:
Genetics Schmenetics – A Forum Post – The following is taken from a post I placed on a veterinary forum. It will serve as the introduction to this controversial subject we call “genetics”. We were discussing the rather sudden rise in the incidence of heart disease is cats and the role of “genetics”.
The Latest Epiphany – (Link only) This is my response to my friend George’s letter, a wise chiropractor who attended theTuesday night group that I led at my church. This Email contains many of the elements that we have covered in our group- things that have arisen from hours of discussion of how and why our body does what it does in response to what we do to it. I shared the idea that viruses were created for good with the group one night and we came up with some amazing ideas. As much as this sounds like “medical heresy”, it actually dovetails perfectly into what we already know to be true in medicine. It simply takes our understanding of genetics to a whole new level, demystifying it along the way. Of course, there is no way in my mind to cover this without bringing in the Creator of the universe. And by including Him, of course we arrive at the epiphany. This letter contains strong religious references and is not meant to offend or alienate anyone. It is simply what I believe in my heart of hearts to be true and, again, “dovetails” (a perfect analogy) right into our understanding of medicine, adding a new dimension to the relationship between our physical and spiritual lives.
Genetics Schmenetics- A Forum Post
We were discussing the rather sudden rise in the incidence of heart disease in cats on a pet forum when I decided to post this. Veterinarians used to see a lot more of this devastating condition known as cardiomyopathy in the years prior to the mid 1980’s. It was discovered by a senior veterinary student that there wasn’t enough taurine in the feline diet.. Subsequently, the manufacturers of pet foods increased the amount of this important amino acid and the incidence of feline heart disease declined dramatically.
But, I started to see a number of new heart cases in cats over the past few years and decided to post a query on a veterinary forum asking whether any colleagues were noting the same increase. I was not surprised to see that they had. I also was not too surprised to see the subject of genetics come up in the “conversation”.
So, I took the opportunity to get up on my soap box and relate my recent studies of dietary and environmental issues to what I believe we have been hiding behind for too long…”genetics”.
I hope that you get something from it.
Posted on a veterinary forum 2/07
Ok. The gloves are coming off. LOL
First of all, I am a firm believer that diet has something to do with everything and everything to do with some things. Both B complex and magnesium are absorbed primarily by the duodenum, as are calcium, iodine, the rest of the B complex, C, and most trace minerals (manganese, boron, chromium, zinc, lithium, and more). The only reason we can possibly say that diet is not related to every illness we see is that we have failed to fully grasp the potentially devastating effects of gluten, casein (and other dairy glycoproteins), soy and corn on the duodenal villi in all simple-stomached animals (non-ruminants) that consume them. As we all read about one nutritional deficiency or another (e.g. iron, iodine, folate, B6, magnesium, zinc, chromium, C, iron, etc.) keep in mind the list of trouble foods above. The allergies to these foods should serve as huge clues about the origin of other “idiopathic” medical problems.
And we desperately need to expand our concept of “genetics”. I did a podcast recently entitled “Genetics Schmenetics” ( http://www.animaltalknaturally.com/2006/10/24/genetics-schmenetics-show-58/ ) on which I had an opportunity to share my views on the misconceptions about what “genes” do and don’t do. To offer a good explanation of genetics, we have to answer some very basic questions that conventional views of genes cannot answer. Things like: “If it is genetic, why does it wait to manifest? Why 2 years in one sibling cat, years later in another and years later in another? If it purely genetic, why doesn’t it show up at or near birth. Why does it wait? What IS waiting? What brings it out of that variable waiting period? If breast cancer is genetic, why did it used to wait til after 50 or 60 years and is now showing up in the early 30’s?
The Doberman is dropping like flies at 7 years from cardiomyopathy. I adopted a Dobie from the Dobie Rescue group at about 4 years of age. He had been found under a bridge after being hit buy a car and looked he was a concentration camp victim. In my ignorance, I fed him a corn-based Science Diet formula for about the next 4 years, despite the room-clearing gas he had. I then learned about the “big 4” and put him on a potato-based diet. The gas abated almost overnight and he appeared to be thriving. But, at 14.5 years, he went into atrial fibrillation (in October, one of the most common months for people to develop atrial fibrillation) and died 6 months later (in April, the same month of the year that my Mom died of a fatal stroke, my dad had a heart attack the year before, and a few clients had gone into atrial fib.)
The point? Yes, he died of CM but at more than twice the age of the average Dobie. This age incidence thing goes both ways. We have almost all diseases, many of which have strong genetic tendencies, occurring earlier and earlier in humans and pets. On the other hand, we are sitting here talking about successfully treating pets with “genetic diseases” that would have died in years past but who are doing much better on improved diets and holistic approaches. See the contradiction here?
If something is purely “genetic”, how does it present so acutely, with no warning, and be so lethal. Can we name many “genetic” diseases that fit this description? Well, I’m sure that some people could at least name a few but the argument above will still apply: Why do they occur when they do after waiting for years to finally show up. Why do some many things go wrong between 5 and 9 years in the dog (the equivalent of 40-50 in people)?
Here is that fun fact again: It has been estimated that up to 45% of the amino acid sequences in our double-stranded DNA are viral segments, both active and extinct. We know that is how retroviruses operate and how they cause cancer. Carcinogens don’t “cause” cancer but rather induce the virus into doing this. Cancer is the glaring example of a “genetic disease” and how they come into existence. We have viral information in our DNA and it is triggered into action by “carcinogens” and other agents such as lectins, including the dietary glycoproteins of gluten, casein, soy and corn. Celiacs are the “who’s who” of immune-mediated diseases and cancer. This is no longer a mystery to those who study it.
This is all complicated by the ever-worsening malabsorption/maldigestion syndrome that is being created by the exact same foods that are providing the damaging lectins. The villi are coming apart (in their vain attempt to limit the entry of other bad things in those foods), leading to the malabsorption of essential nutrients (above), which has the potential for weakening every single tissue in the body, including the immune system. Now, couple that with the fact that we are riddled with latent viruses and pleomorphic bacteria- most of which serve an important purpose until we force them into becoming bad- and we have a powder-keg just waiting to blow.
We know that viruses can cause cardiomyopathy. The Coxsackie and parvovirus of dogs arte known to do this. Remember parvo-induced cardiomyopathy? Yes, it clinically afflicted the young, primarily, but leukemia in people afflicts the very young…and then 15 year olds…and then 40 year olds…and then those 65 and older, when the incidence goes off the charts. If it walks like a virus and causes disease like a virus, it must be a virus, right? (This is like mast cell cancer in dogs and cats- no one wants to call that one a virus, either, but it has virus written all over it.)
We must be delivered from this trap that we call “genetics”. It has been a recycle bin of misinformation and deception long enough. It is almost worse than that word “idiopathic”. At least with that enigmatic word, we continue to look for answers. Once we deem something “genetic”, everyone’s mind seems to grind to a halt.
And your (and my) testimonies above speak to the truth of what I am saying. We are controlling the “inevitable, genetic” diseases with diet and alternative medical approaches.
My family and those celiacs who I talk with on the Internet have all had numerous common afflictions. Are all of these conditions- the IBS, hernias, back/necks, allergies/immune diseases, rotator cuffs, insomnia, heart disease, cancer- that run through our families “genetic”? Or, is the known “genetic” condition of celiac disease, which affects 40% of first degree relatives, the thing that is transmitted with all of the others following. All of the above can be traced back to “Pandora’s Box” (the damaged small intestine) along with other dietary insults (e.g. trans fats, preservatives, GMOs) and environmental factors (air pollution, fluoride, etc) .
In addition, I really don’t understand how anyone can look at the average dry cat food label and not scratch their head. The cat foods are much worse than the corresponding dog foods on average. Many more cat foods have soy and dairy in them. It is a mystery why companies that make pure lamb and rice dog foods can’t make the cat foods the same way. They consistently add these unnatural and biologically inappropriate ingredients to the cat’s food (wheat, corn, soy, and dairy). Why is that? Do they consciously or unconsciously have some kind of vendetta against the cat? That is nothing new. Man has been trying to exterminate the cat for millennia. Remember the plague?
The tremendous amount of knowledge coming out of celiac research is changing everything. So many conditions can be traced back to the complications associated with gluten intolerance that it is hard for me to imagine our current medical plight without the influence of food intolerance. T
The results of the G.A.R.D. speak volumes when this diet is applied to chronic illness. Idiopathic epilepsy is considered “genetic” in dogs and in many cases of human epilepsy. It strikes the dog between 6 months and 6 years and people between 2 and 13 years and again after age 65. And yet, the diet has “cured” countless cases canine seizures (halted their seizures without medication), even is cases that were severely affected. Certainly, one of the components of the syndrome we call epilepsy resides in the DNA. Epilepsy does run consistently through a number of dog breeds. But just because that virus is sitting there in the genome, it does not have to emerge as a problem. It is clearly triggered out of “hiding” by our own actions.
But the really good news is, even after it does emerge, we can turn things around by eliminating the triggers and factors that unleashed it from its resting place. “Genetic disease”? Genetics Schmenetics.