Gut and Psychology Syndrome – my thoughts

Respected doctor and author Natasha Campbell-McBride was interviewed recently by Dr. Joseph Mercola. A Russian-trained neurologist, she has a practice in the UK in which she treats autism, ADD/ADHD, depression and Bipolar disorder with her nutritional protocol, which in some phases excludes all plant material.

You can view the article here

In one part of the interview, Dr. Campbell-McBride states:

“When you cook vegetables, their cellular structure gets broken down, and they are much easier to digest. They become more of a feeding and nourishing food rather than a cleansing food. Raw fruits and vegetables are indigestible for the human digestive system. They don’t feed us; they cleanse us… But as we cook the vegetables, and as we ferment the vegetables, we break down their cellulose structure. They become less of a cleansing detoxifying food and more of a feeding and nourishing food.”

OK, where to start? As you know, my opinion differs. According to everything I have learned, and been involved with for many years, when you cook vegetables, the enzymes which would have helped them to digest become denatured and therefore the food is less digestible when cooked. Additionally, many of the vital nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and trace nutrients are destroyed. Likewise, I have to disagree with the blanket statement that “raw fruits and vegetables are indigestible for the human system”. If that were the case, how is it that thousands of people are thriving worldwide on a regime high in uncooked fruit and vegetables, and not just thriving, but reversing many degenerative disease states? I would have to amend this statement to “there may be a tiny minority of people for whom certain fruits and vegetables, when eaten raw, may present a digestive challenge”. Generally, inability to digest certain raw veg is a very individual thing, and there may only be one or two types of veg that are the culprits, with other types being fine. Likewise, the preparation methods of these fruit and veg were never mentioned. If they are blended into soups and smoothies, for example, their digestibility soars, as is the case with juicing. Cooking is not the only way of breaking down the cell wall, and of course cooking destroys nutritional value, whereas juicing does not, and blending may only affect a tiny percentage of micronutrients (although opinions differ here within the raw community – Brian Clement vs Victoria Boutenko for example).

Fortunately, she does redeem herself and mentions fermented food, which as we know can be very beneficial for health, restoring often-depleted probiotic gut flora. The health of many long-lived societies is often attributable to the fact that their diets contain a lot of fermented food. However, it was the next statement that really got me thinking. “Humans are not designed to eat plants because we are not herbivores since we do not have a rumen”. Well, neither does a horse, a rabbit, a guinea pig or a rat, but they are all herbivorous. And, since we “only have one small stomach, which contains pepsin and hydrochloric acid”, we therefore only have one dietary option available to us, and that is animal flesh. What about the great apes then, whose digestive systems are very similar to ours? They do not eat animal flesh or dairy products. They do not cook or ferment plants prior to eating them. They have very similar dentition to ours, and they have similar concentrations of gastric hydrochloric acid (HCl). Surely that tells us something? Additionally, the concentration of our gastric HCl is a thousand times weaker than that of a true carnivore (wolf, cat etc), and as simple observation will reveal to you, our dentition is nothing like theirs.

“Humans are not fit to break down plants at all. Most plant foods, when we consume them in a raw state in particular, they go all through our digestive system, and they finish up practically undigested in the bowel where the bacteria – that’s our equivalent of the rumen – partially break them down and convert them into short-chain fatty acids… and that’s the boost to our human metabolism.

But if you try to live entirely on these plant foods, you will run into trouble, as vegans do… In order to feed yourself, you have to consume animal products… meat… animal fat… fish… eggs… good-quality dairy products…”

I disagree. Many vegans do not run into trouble at all. In fact, the living foods vegans have the best health profile of practically everyone, provided that they are doing it in the right way. My counter argument would be that IF you feed yourself with meat, animal fat, fish, eggs and dairy products, you will run into the same problems that everyone else in sick Western society experiences, i.e. high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, stroke… I could go on, but I will cite the recent study published by researchers from Harvard medical school, which found that eating an extra portion of red meat per day significantly increased cancer and heart disease rates. See my other blog post for more details.

Finally, let us consider the validity of the following statement:

“Indeed, in order for us to produce sex hormones, we need cholesterol, because they’re made from cholesterol. We require vitamin A and vitamin D. We require a lot of protein. In order to produce sex hormones, they have to eat meat, eggs, and animal fat. If you don’t want to produce sex hormones; if you want to be infertile, and if you don’t want to have any sexual desire, then the vegan diet is the right diet that you should follow.”

“We need cholesterol to produce sex hormones” – yes, absolutely true. But what she neglects to mention is that the liver produces all the cholesterol that we need. After age 3, we no longer need a dietary source of cholesterol because the liver takes over this function. Yes, we do require Vitamins A and D. But we need our Vitamin A as its precursor, the carotenoids, which we get from plants. Indeed, Vitamin A poisoning is a real concern if we eat organ meat, especially liver. Vitamin D, absolutely, but 90% comes from sun exposure, not food! It is poorly absorbed in the digestive tract, so sun exposure is the recommended source.

“We require a lot of protein” – nonsense, in my opinion. If we did, why would the protein content of human breast milk be approximately 3%, designed for our time of most rapid physical growth? We really do not need a high protein diet. There are certain types of people who require more protein than others, true enough. If we derive our protein from animal sources, we massively increase our risks of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, stroke… need I say more? If you would like the researched facts on this, please listen to my CD “The Real Truth about Food”, available at

“In order to produce sex hormones, they have to eat meat, eggs and animal fat”. Again, in my opinion, nonsense. We know that sex hormones are produced from cholesterol, and that we make our own cholesterol. “If you want to be infertile….. the vegan diet is the right diet to follow.” Not so. Brian Clement, Director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, has lost count of the number of infertile couples who have successfully conceived following detoxification at the institute, and by following their health-building guidelines, based entirely on the living foods vegan diet. Philip McCluskey describes the raw vegan diet as “the sexiest diet on the planet”, and there is a study currently under way into the effects of the living foods regime on sexual desire. If it left you with no sex drive, why is it that the Hippocrates regime appears to so successfully reverse infertility?

Surely, all infertility is, is nature saying “this species is so sick we don’t want it to survive”?

I agree, some vegan diets are a total disaster. But to state that veganism is a rapid way to create your own demise is, I feel, unfortunate, especially if it propels people towards a dietary regime that will ultimately destroy cardiovascular health, cause liver and kidney damage, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and osteoporosis, and, ultimately, shorten and degrade your life.

My final comment on these dietary suggestions is, since this doctor has measurable success in treating gut-related conditions, could it be that the success stems from what the diet leaves out? No, I am not talking about all those wonderful health-giving plants that are so high in antioxidants and minerals, vital for our health, wellbeing and longevity. I refer to the fact that this regime completely precludes the use of grains. This makes a huge amount of sense, since a lot of the conditions she is treating respond brilliantly to a gluten-free diet. Perhaps we should view it this way – it is not the consumption of animal products that are creating the good results and “nourishing the body”, it is just that the success comes from what is absent.

About Max Tuck

Hippocrates Health Educator. Long term living foods vegan. Athlete, lecturer, author of four books (with the 5th coming soon) and firm advocate of healthy living.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Gut and Psychology Syndrome – my thoughts

  1. Ann says:

    Excellent post! I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Thank you for sharing your professional opinion with us. Very nice upgrade of your website by the way!

  3. Sonia Palecek says:

    Loved the post – great commentary Max!

  4. Paolo says:

    I find your article quite inaccurate and frankly just an opportunity to promote your personal credo. If you read Dr Campbell’s book instead of just an article you would know that the GAPS protocol is not a lifestyle but rather an approach to treat the so called gut and psychology syndromes. It is possible in time to eat different foods once the leaky gut is healed.
    You would also know that NatashaCampbell is a strong advocate of green juicing.

    Please tell us of any people healing their leaky gut or recovering their children from autism through a raw vegan diet. That is an article I’d love to read.

    • Max Tuck says:

      Dear Paolo,
      Thank you for your comments and your input. As you can see from the title of my post, it is called Gut and Psychology Syndrome – my thoughts”. The comments represent just that, my thoughts, and if you read the article carefully, you will notice that I use the phrase “in my opinion” liberally. I was asked for my opinion via a link to the interview on Dr. Mercola’s site, and that is what I have provided – my opinion. I have not read Dr. Campbell’s book, only the article, which is what I was commenting on. Clearly you appear to be a supporter of her methods, whereas, from the comments she made via Dr Mercola’s site, and as I stated, without having had the benefit of reading her book, I am not. Your comment seems to have been posted with a degree of anger which I find a little inappropriate, in particular accusing me of blatant self-promotion, which I find mildly offensive.
      It is indeed refreshing to hear that Dr Campbell is a strong advocate of green juicing. The article I was commenting on gave no indication of this, only the fact that she considered raw fruit and vegetables to be an inappropriate diet for our species.
      Regarding healing from leaky gut and autism, may I suggest that you contact Dr. Brian Clement at the Hippcrates Health institute in Florida? He will be able to furnish you with all the information you need in this area, including an approximation of the number of people who the Institute has aided in recovery from such conditions; it is likely to be in the thousands.
      With best wishes for your continued success,

      • Peach says:

        Hi Max,

        I have read a couple of Dr. Brian Clement’s books (and other authors as well) and have attended his talk in the UK. In addition, I have seen some films and most inspired by “May I be Frank”.

        I was on alkaline diet for two years and now on GAPS diet. I have had a skin condition that cannot be properly diagnosed.

        Since the mainstream medicine is of little help, I took it upon myself. It is during my research that I discovered alkaline diet. I was already a vegetarian so doing the alkaline diet was easy. I had been a raw foodist as well. Unfortunately, after 2 years of being on alkaline diet, the improvement on my condition is minimal, about 10%.

        I tried GAPS diet after attending WAPF conference where Dr. McBride was a speaker. It took me 2 months to convince myself to eat meat again (was finally convinced after speaking to a spiritual teacher who advised me to thank and bless the spirit of the animal before every meal). A year after GAPS , my skin is nearly clear. My intolerance to milk and seafoods was gone as well.

        I went for live blood analysis whist on alkaline diet, then whilst on the GAPS diet. The result – I was less acidic whilst on GAPS diet and have much less toxins. My guess is that my gut was healing whilst on GAPS diet so my body is able to absorb the nutrients.

        I have no doubt that the alkaline diet is indeed good. In fact I made a handsome investment on it. However, I think, no matter how promising a diet is, if your body cannot absorb the nutrients, then the diet will work. You need to heal your gut first.

        GAPS diet is about a balanced diet that you yourself prepare in a traditional way. GAPS is actually a lifestyle, not just a diet. You need to get rid of toxins as much as you can e.g. I now blend my own body oil , prepare my own household cleaners and added some plants indoors.

        I would encourage you to read her book. As Paolo have stated above, Dr. Campbell mentioned having vegetable juice in the morning whilst the body is cleansing (from 4am to 10am I think) and having lots of vegetables in your diet. Dr. Campbell is a neurosurgeon and a NUTRITIONIST (sorry just need to emphasise that).

        What she says in the article maybe questionable from a healthy person’s point of but is valuable to people with a condition like me.

        I hope I have contributed something sensible here as I have done alkaline diet and now on GAPS diet.


      • Paolo says:

        Dear Max

        First of all let me apologise for the tone i used in my post. I really appreciate your warm answer, so thanks for setting the example and choosing to keep an open debate in your blog. i hope i can explain my frustrated tone below.

        I have an environmental science degree and moved on to qualify as a holistic nutritionist. Please note I am not anti-vegan or anti rawvegan, i think it’s a lifestyle that can give you great results if you test it and calibrate it according to your body needs. My personal belief is that its mother nature’s best detoxification system. After the detox phase though, not all people are able to implement it. This is true also of some clients i know of the Hippocrates institute, they repaired the damage really well, but when they moved to a phase when nourishing is more important than detox, were not able to thrive on a raw food diet. 

        The reason of my frustrated tone i guess is that when you market yourself as the ‘raw food scientist’, your message has the potential to affect readers in starting a new lifestyle. Your personal opinion and experience are not enough anymore and your research needs to be thourough and impartial.

        The facts you provide in your article don’t show that in my opinion.y reasons in brief.

        Many people are just not able to convert and absorb the fat soluble vitamins from plant sources. Carotenoids are not enough for many people, they can’t convert them to the full A. Vitamin D may not be enough from sun exposure, particularly in UK.  Many are not able to breakdown the parent omega 3s from plants. These situations may be temporary, but starting with a vegan diet in these cases would likely lead to failure.

        I don’t want to go in the details of your comments about the risks of animal products. I just mention that the lipid hypothesys, the theory that demonized cholesterol and saturated fats as direct causes of heart disease, has been proven as completely wrong. Or the China Study is a document that many researchers are challenging for the way its conclusions were built.

        You also don’t agree on your comment about raw vegetables and enzymes. It is not true that plants have digestive enzymes and therefore are more easily assimilated raw than cooked. Plants have metabolyc enzymes, not digestive enzymes. Or the plant would literally digest itself. Eating them raw does not improve assimilation. This is a science fact and even raw food guru Tim VanOrden has publicly admitted that. Cooked vegetables are much more easily assimilated, they are just not as nutrient dense as raw vegetables.

        When you discard Natasha Campbell’s protocol with those unscientific arguments, you give your professional opinion that a raw vegan diet is bettet in treating a leaky gut problem, even if you didn’t mean it. That is a big leap of faith and a great responsibility you carry on yourself. So at this point why not provide a raw vegan protocol that may be used as an alternative to Natasha’s gaps diet?

        I don’t need to contact the Hippocrates institute and I suspect they won’t pass me the information. I wish somebody in the raw community like you could answer that.



  5. msmadmess says:

    Excellent reply 🙂

  6. Max Tuck says:

    Thank you to everyone who has kindly commented on my post and opened up this interesting discussion, especially to Paolo and Peachy whose opinions differ in part from mine. It was very interesting to learn of Peachy’s personal experience with the GAPS protocol, and to read Paolo’s subsequent comments. Regarding these, I am interested in particular in some of Paolo’s comments and would like to add my voice to these.
    Firstly, in regard to the concern that Paolo raises regarding some people’s apparent lack of ability to convert fat soluble vitamins from plants, I wonder if the underlying issue here is a lack of gastric hydrochloric acid, as is the case for Vitamin K? Having researched Vitamin K’s role in bone health prior to writing my book “Top 10 Raw Food Tips for Osteoporosis”, one of the main issues with its bioavailability, according to researchers, was low levels of gastric HCl, rather than a deficient metabolic pathway. I wonder if this applies therefore to the carotenoids? I have no idea, but it would be very interesting to read reviews on this subject.
    I totally agree with Paolo’s statement regarding Vitamin D. Many North European vegans are deficient, which is why I am such a strong advocate of either going to the tropics for a couple of months over the winter to get some rays, or taking D3 supplements, if the levels of 25-(OH)D are shown to be low on blood testing. Vitamin D is such an important hormone that I would never ignore the issue, and I always recommend that people supplement if they have low blood levels and have to endure the British winter like I do : )
    I am totally in agreement also that the demonisation of cholesterol in the 1970s has been proven to be largely inappropriate, and that refined sugar was actually the enemy (see one of my other blog posts “Did “The Men” really make us fat?”, but conveniently covered up by the sugar industry. However, oxidised LDL is still considered by many researchers to be a major factor in heart disease risk.
    I am particularly interested in Paolo’s comment regarding the enzymes in vegetables, since we all know that once past their peak ripeness, they break down and rot. Is this process not in some way governed by digestive enzymes? I am certainly aware of Tim Van Orden’s status as a fantastic athlete who eats raw food, but I was not aware that he was a health researcher, so thank you for providing that information. Do you know what his degree is in? I’ll have to look him up.
    As I stated in my original post on this subject, assimilation of the nutrients in raw vegetables may be enhanced by thorough chewing (which of course also begins the digestive process) as well as by juicing and blending. I do not believe that cooking is the only way to access these nutrients, and Viktoria Boutenko has conducted blending experiments in scientific laboratories to test this out.
    Finally, I would like to stress that I wrote the post when asked by some concerned living food vegans, who value my opinion and scientific knowledge, to provide my comments on the article as posted by Dr. Mercola (who, incidentally, states that 30% of the population need animal products, whilst Dr Gabriel Cousens states he has only tested one person in his lifetime that had a biological need for animal protein, so opinions differ here too). One day, I am sure that I will read Dr. Campbell’s book, which, incidentally, a close friend is currently reading, who is exasperated by the wholesale and vehement onslaught against veganism presented therein. However, I am currently working on an e-book on natural ways to boost the immune system, so will not be able to put forward an alternative protocol to the GAPS regime at this time.
    I would like to thank everyone who has put forward their viewpoint on this excellent discussion. I greatly value your comments and input.

    • Paolo says:

      Hi Max,

      My personal opinion is that the conversion of carotenoids to vitamin A depends on different factors, the gut flora being one of them, rather than a single factor or nutrient.

      Vit K2 is not present in plants. 
      It can be produced by beneficial bacteria, but in leaky gut patients the gut flora is completely compromised, so introducing HCl alone will not improve the situation. 

      With regards to LDL, the small, dense, reactive LDLs are mainly born from the VLDL that is a product of high intake of refined carbohydrates rather than animal fats. Research has been heavily manipulated inthe last decades into passing the lypid hypothesys as the main cause of cardiovascular disease.

      i respect Tim VanOrden, he may not have a degree but is an independent researcher with a flexible approach towards dietary dogmas and labels. It also takes integrity to publicly admit a scientific truth that may potentially affect the beliefs of many raw fooders.

      You don’t need a degree to research that digestive enzymes are only produced by animals and plants have only metabolic enzymes. Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult to find in books. I agree though that soups and smoothies are an easier way to absorb raw veggies, but at the level of the microvilli it makes little or no difference, and with a leaky gut condition all raw vegetables should be avoided except juices.

      If I have another chance to meet Brian Clement in UK, the leaky gut question is certainly one I’m going to make, although I fear the answer may be that green juices alone will do the trick and chicken soups cause cancer.

      Best regards


      • Max Tuck says:

        Thank you again Paolo for your valued input.
        I am keen to understand why you think that there is a conversion problem from carotenoids to Vitamin A. This is not something that I have ever come across, and wonder how you have reached this conclusion. One possible interpretation is that, since you are a naturopathic nutritionist, you have seen a poor response to the use of supplements, but since 95% of supplements that people use are synthetically derived, they do not have the same effect in the body as bioavailable carotenoids that would be abundantly present in brightly coloured vegetables and fruit. I am only drawing this conclusion since you have not cited research papers on the subject, so please correct me if I have come to an incorrect conclusion.

        I am well aware that plants do not contain vitamin K2, but we both are well aware that the best sources of K1 are dark green leafy vegetables, some of the very things that Dr Campbell quotes as being indigestible. There is no problem in converting K1 to K2 in the vast majority of the population; problems tend to arise in those with low gastric HCl, as I mentioned previously, and those with abnormal probiotic levels. I am totally aware that people with “leaky gut” have deranged probiotic flora. However, I would submit to you that whilst this is a subject very close to your heart (otherwise you would not have been compelled to comment in this detailed manner), the majority of people actually do not have this syndrome.

        As I have been at pains to point out all along, my comments have been general comments in response to the wholesale condemnation of raw plant consumption by Dr Campbell in the article quoted. I understand from the article that she believes veganism to be totally inappropriate for all humans, not just those who are affected by the syndrome that she specialises in, and my response was to that.

        According to the well-respected geneticist Steve Jones, humans cannot live on raw food and if we tried we would all be dead in 2 months. I beg to differ; all I have to do is look around to see that this is in no way true! We all have our individual areas of expertise. We all have our individual opinions based on personal experience, interpretation of scientific studies and other sources. It is well known that two people can read the same books and come to entirely different conclusions.

        When someone, whoever they might be, and whatever qualifications they may have, makes a blanket statement condemning a particular way of eating which, whilst not necessarily optimal for their selected niche, is one which enables many others to thrive, they are inherently being short sighted in my opinion, even to the point of setting themselves up for ridicule. When I heard Steve Jones’ comment, I laughed. A lot in fact, because according to him I should have died 14 years ago, as should many of my friends. And I am not just alive, I am very much thriving, as, likewise, are my friends, and many others who have been written off by the medical profession but turned their health profile around through a living foods vegan diet.

        In conclusion, I feel obliged to say that I am a little surprised with your statement regarding your anticipated answer from Brian Clement if you should ask him about the living foods diet and leaky gut. I would indeed be amazed if he gave such a response, and your tone almost seems to indicate that you have no respect for his opinion or expertise. I find this disappointing, knowing that he spends at least 25 hours per week reading research papers, and collates scientific information from all over the globe. His one aim 30 years ago when becoming the Director of the Hippocrates Health Institute was to introduce the scientific research which until that time had been lacking. In regard to research, it is my opinion that he is the most widely read of all those successfully reversing disease through dietary methods. I, personally, would ignore this expertise at my peril.

        Again, my thanks for your participation in this most interesting discussion.

      • Ok, I think two things are getting confused here. One discussion is about how to best treat leaky gut, and the other is a general attack on the raw food for healthy people. While talking about leaky gut, the article takes side swipes at the raw food diet, the latter is what Max was responding to.

        Paolo, you say you are not anti-raw, but you are challenging the very reason that people adopt a raw food diet. Most people choose raw food, not because it is a short term detox, but because it gives the body more nutrients, significantly more. At Hippocrates blood tests are taken at the start and end of the stay, and yearly after that. If people couldn’t assimilate the nutrients on a raw food diet wouldn’t that show up in the blood tests? My understanding is that the Hippocrates diet works because of the extra nutrition on a raw food diet, that is its whole premise. Dismissing it as just a detox is missing the point.

        The enzymes in food may not strictly be called ‘digestive’ enzymes, but they are still enzymes that break the food down. I can’t see why they would not help with digestion. As soon as a live food is blended, juiced or chewed, the enzymes will start to break it down. If you know of any studies that show that food enzymes stop working once in the gut I’d be really interested to read them.

        I find it interesting that fiber is eliminated in the GAPS diet. I suspect this works because it is mainly eliminating cooked processed foods wheat/bran/rice/potatoes etc. Most people on a standard diet don’t eat that much veg anyway, and if they do it is always cooked (no enzymes). The raw food diet already eliminates all of these sorts of foods. Has the same problem been shown to occur on a Hippocrates living food diet? Dead lifeless food will hang about in the body and cause problems, raw enzyme rich foods tend not to.

        I don’t doubt the GAPS diet works for some people coming from a standard diet, but I question why it works. I personally suspect a juice fast with probiotics followed by a raw diet would be much more effective. I can’t think of anything more packed with nutrients and easy to assimilate than green veg juice and wheatgrass. I’d also like to make clear that the Hippocrates diet is not just any old raw or alkaline diet (actually, I’ve no idea what is meant by an alkaline diet). Even many raw foodists miss the most important points that are the foundation of the Hippocrates living food diet.

  7. Paolo says:

    Hi Max,

    For more information on nutritional deficiencies in vegetarians with particular emphasys on fat soluble vitamins I suggest reading the following article:

    It offers some good information and reference to studies on vitamins A, D and K2 and their conversion to different forms.

    Dr Campbell’s “wholesale condemnation of raw plant consumption” is a generalization that you made from reading that article, and basically the main reason of my posts here.

    In that article she just mentioned that some of her clients (usually all affected by mental disorders) did well on a no-plant diet. Once they re-introduced even small amounts of vegetables, the manic symptoms came back. So for some clients and at that point in time, plant foods were detrimental.
    This is very different from total condemnation.

    She also mentioned that raw vegetables have a particular cleansing effect, and fermentation is a way to make them more nourishing and less cleansing, as used by most ancient civilizations. This might actually be a good tip to help stay raw in the long term.

    Your article went out of context by not noticing that Dr Campbell’s GAPS diet is most of all a specific approach to treating guts and psychology syndromes (autism, ADHD, dyslexia, etc) and became instead a general criticism to a meat based diet. 

    Hence my previous request to you to go back into context and provide to your readers an alternative treatment to a leaky gut using a vegan diet. That would really complete in my opinion your criticism to the GAPS diet. 

    PS I am not affiliated with Dr Campbell by the way.

    Steve – I am not anti-raw at all, i do enjoy juices, smoothies and salads on a regular basis. But do check your facts on digestive enzymes, they are not called digestive by chance, and are not found in plants.


  8. Paolo, I pleased that you enjoy raw food regularly. I also appreciate you are trying to clarify the original article which you think misrepresented the views of the author. However the fact remains that you are stating things that are contrary to the Hippocrates diet, such as “raw food is not as nutritious” and that “food enzymes don’t help break food down”, please correct me if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick here. You can hardly be surprised that we latch onto these statements, this is a raw food blog after all.

    The fact that you seem to be unknowingly contradicting the foundations of the raw food diet, that you keep damning the raw food diet with faint praise, and that you are posting studies on cooked vegetarians, shows that you don’t really understand the raw diet and how powerful it can be. I suggest Max’s website as a good starting point to learning more about the Hippocrates diet.

    Without some background specifically on the Hippocrates raw food diet you probably wouldn’t accept any alternative treatment Hippocrates provided. There is a reason Hippocrates Institute calls it the Three Week Life change program. Three weeks of experiencing and learning. There is rarely a one size fits all solution to a problem.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against questioning anything about raw food, and I hope don’t come across as defensive, I’m not. I was hoping to get some good quality counter arguments as to why raw food isn’t as good as I think it is. However, your westonaprice link doesn’t convince me at all.

    btw, I didn’t say food contained digestive enzymes, please read more carefully. And my name is not Steve.

    • Paolo says:


      Apologies for misreading your name.

      Nobody put raw foods on a second level. As you said there is nothing that fits everybody, and this is true of everything including the raw food diet. In many people their digestive tract has probably none of the problems that i mentioned in my posts. It makes little or no difference if it’s less digestible. But make your own research about pure digestibility of raw versus cooked.

      Metabolyc enzymes do not breakdown foods. This doesn’t mean that they are not useful, for example they provide aminoacids that together can form complete proteins.

      For this reason in my opinion it’s more likely to be protein deficient on a cooked vegan diet than a raw.

      But this doesn’t mean that raw foods are less digestible, to the contrary. They also have so much more fiber that they MAY become a problem with seriously damaged gut flora. The opportunistic bacteria thrive on undigested fiber.

      Jokes apart about Dr Clement, I don’t have nothing against the Hippocrates Health institute, i would recommend that approach to most people with chronic conditions.

      Best Regards


      • Paolo says:

        “But this doesn’t mean that raw foods are less digestible, to the contrary.”

        Here i meant more digestible, my mistake.

  9. Scott says:

    In my opinion, Paolo wins. In regards to enzymes, Paolo is correct. The consumer has the enzymes needed to break down food. Read and reread that that sentence. Think about it with the argument about why dead plants break down. No organic organism breaks itself down after death. Other organisms (consumers) do. The dead organisms defense mechanisms are gone, thus opportunistic organisms begin to break down the dead organism.

    Also, don’t confuse oxidation with self consumption. Opportunistic organisms breakdown the protective layers of the dead organism which allows for spontaneous chemical reactions, or oxidation. Simply cut an apple in half, and watch it rust. Or cut yourself and notice the red, oxidized blood. Ever wonder why it wasn’t blue like in the vein?

    But decay has nothing to do with the organisms own digestive enzymes. A dead organisms digest tract may burst during decay and it’s own digestive enzymes might lock onto their own body parts, but will soon be digested by the opportunistic organisms. Thus, the dead organisms digestive enzymes are really ineffective before being consumed and assimilated as other nutrients in the opportunistic organisms body.

    Any college level biology book would have all this information. The “digestive” enzyme destruction theory is just an internet myth that is perpetuated over blogs and product reviews, but has no scientific basis. (BTW, I believe in whole food consumption and (try) to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s food guide, with the exception that I do fermentation of dairy (and veggies, of course)).

  10. Max Tuck says:

    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment on this particular blog post. It certainly does seem to have taken on a life of its own, well outside the original context of the post.

    In response to Paolo, from way back in September, I find it a little surprising to see that your comments and conclusions are drawn from the “facts” as presented by the Weston Price Foundation. Having taken the time to read the link you kindly sent, I can find several flaws in their arguments, which appear not to have been updated for the last 50 years. Research has certainly moved on, and whilst Weston Price’s observations and study of native populations was very interesting at the time, and gave us many useful insights, we are almost 100 years on from those times and have accumulated vastly more information on human physiology in both disease and health. Whilst I am more interested in the maintenance of outstanding health, I find the pathophysiology of disease processes a rewarding subject to study. We can indeed find almost anything we care to search for on the internet, so in final response to Paolo on the subject of Weston Price and whether we should regard it as hard fact, I would suggest the following article for your entertainment:

    With regard again to the subject of enzymes from Scott, I personally have never been entirely convinced whether it is possible to scientifically prove the “enzyme bank account” theory as put forward by Dr Edward Howell. However what is interesting to read in his book is the effects of cooked food consumption in relation to pancreatic size in other mammalian species. What I also know is that Enzyme Nutrition was written in the 1930s, but not published until the 1980s, and was co-authored by Viktoras Kulvinskas, one of the world leaders in enzyme nutrition, and whom I studied under in 2005 whilst at the Hippocrates Institute.

    With regard to a discussion on the activity or even the existence of food enzymes, we only have to look to nature to gain examples of enzymes which have proteolytic or lipolytic activity. Ripe pineapples contain the proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which has medicinal uses and was present in the enzyme mixture used by Max Wolf, for example. Ripe avocadoes contain lipase. Why is it therefore dismissed by some that these enzymes contribute to the digestion of plants when ingested by humans? For many years it was thought that all ingested enzymes were denatured by gastric hydrochloric acid and therefore any concept of “enzyme nutrition” was erroneous. Indeed, this certainly still appears to be taken as gospel if we read standard biology texts, to which Scott refers. However, according to the research biochemist Dr Mitra Ray, who herself discovered an enzyme, and her team, there is a lot of evidence to indicate that this “fact” is actually incorrect, and that certain enzymes, labelled by radioisotopes to monitor their progression, are not inactivated in the stomach and pass through to the small intestine unaffected. This research has clearly not yet made it to the mainstream.

    On the subject of oxidation versus enzymatic activity, I am well aware of the difference, but find the blood analogy an extremely poor one and completely erroneous. Venous blood is not blue, it is deoxygenated and dark red. Arterial blood, as we all know, is bright red. Venous blood is still dark red (not blue) when it has not come into contact with air; this is easily demonstrated by the technique of blood sampling by means of a vacutainer (a blood collection tube that contains no air because it is a vacuum). Anyone still in doubt as to the colour of venous blood, whether exposed to air or not, is welcome to join me for a day in my operating theatre, where you will find all the evidence that you need. Remember in the past it was believed that royalty were “blue-blooded” – a myth not perpetuated by the internet but through benign ignorance.

    I would like to close this post with the following excerpt from “Life Force”, by Dr Brian Clement – a book which I highly recommend.

    “Hippocrates’ research experiments on the body’s utilisation of enzymes have produced evidence showing us how the infusion of fresh enzymes provides the human body with an enormous boost in improved digestion and healing at the cellular level. Too little attention and credit have been given to the importance of food enzymes as the critical link between the consumption of raw food and the resulting health benefits. We have two basic understandings about digestive enzymes and food enzymes. One is based on the structure of these molecules and their ability to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. The second is based on the advantages that enzymes bring to cellular function. After two decades of microscopic analysis of the cellular systems of thousands of people who have been guests at Hippocrates, we discovered and confirmed that digestive enzymes and enzymes found within plant foods clearly enhance the electrical frequency in and around the body.”

    “Enzymes are considered to be merely proteins by most nutritional scientists, whereas the work we have conducted using electron microscopes has revealed that all of the enzymes we cracked open contain electrical frequency. Furthermore there is some evidence to support the idea that food enzymes begin to be assimilated as soon as they are in the human mouth, resulting in a transfer of electrical charge and absorption at this primary level well before they come into contact with the stomach. Discovering that the function of enzymes enhances the electromagnetic frequency of cells brings an entirely new and totally supportable science to the study of enzyme activity.”

    The above is not something that we could expect to find in college level biology texts. We need to look in greater depth for our answers, and not so easily accept overly simplistic explanations of complex subject material.

    • Paolo says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your acknowledgement.

      Max – It is fair that Weston Price operated a long time ago, but thanks God he did, today it would be almost impossible to find and interact with such a variety of primitive non-industrialized cultures. The research in the article I submitted clearly indicated studies and publications from 1984 to 2006 so if you read it I don’t understand your comment about 50 years old studies. It would be great to know the flaws you found.
      I can’t find anything scientific in the article you sent and I don’t find it entertaining.

      The most meaningful part of the article to me are the two comments below:

      “Scott – August 9, 2008 3:24 PM
      (maybe the same Scott that replied earlier? – Paolo)

      Gerry, are you prepared to offer peer reviewed studies that show saturated fat to be a causative factor in ill health? No correlative factor, causative.
      Mind you, I am NOT a proponent of low carb, saturated fat, or anything the WAPF suggests is the panacea of health. I have no bias, I’m just interested in the science instead of emotion”.

      And this was the answer:

      Gerry Pugliese – August 9, 2008 3:34 PM”
      “Hey Scott-
      I’m not a scientist or a doctor. So I’m not a research warrior, but read the news. The standard American or Western Diet is not only nutrient-deficient, but packed with those refined carbs WE all admit are crap, but its also loaded with saturated fat. The other enemy to human health and a huge reason why Americans are obese.
      I mean come on. Dr. Atkins died from a heart attack!

      Would I recommend a Weston Price type diet to a cancer patient? Probably not. It’s all about context.

      I heavily criticised you Max because you didnt take into account the context of the GAPS diet: treating a leaky gut condition to reverse mental illnesses such as autism, schizofrenia, depression. Countless autistic children healed completely thanks to the GAPS protocol, and this is nothing short of amazing. Once their gut were healed they were able to introduce different foods.

      I think you would restore your integrity by updating your blog post to reflect that, because well trusting readers may actually think that the raw vegan diet is a valid alternative to GAPS for the range of conditions where GAPS is involved.

  11. Max Tuck says:

    In response to Paolo – you heavily criticised me despite the fact that I clearly stated, not only in my article, but also in my follow up comments, that I was commenting on the article in general, and not in relation to GAPS; if you would care to read some of my replies above you will perhaps finally appreciate this. You state above that you criticised me because I was not taking Dr Campbell-McBride’s recommendations in context, overlooking not only the fact that I did put it in context, but also the whole purpose of the original blog post, which was to explore whether or not the raw/vegan diet could be considered to be appropriate for our species, when one author, (based on her experience with a very small minority of the population who experience a relatively uncommon, but nonetheless distressing, health challenge), relates that it is not. Could it be that you criticised me anyway because, for whatever reason, you just didn’t like my post?
    As I have reiterated numerous times, my original post was to give my comments on the appropriateness, from a health perspective, of a diet that excludes all plant material for all population groups, not, as you seem to still be erroneously interpreting, a very small minority of the population that have a specific medical condition.
    I have not received any additional comments, either via this blog or via my website, from people who have made this misinterpretation, so I fail to see how an update of my original post is considered to be necessary. In fact, most people, from the feedback I have received, absolutely loved this post, but remained the silent majority who contacted me directly about it, and not via this blog.
    Please re-read the 3rd paragraph of my comment on 17th September above if you are still in any doubt as to the context of this blog post from April 2012.
    As always, my best regards to you.

  12. Joan Colby says:

    I heard the video with the Russian Doctor and i just couldn’t believe it. I was one years ago that had Ulcerative colitis and the more animal foods i ate the more inflamation and all in the colon i had. I was relying on coritzone injections in the colon , i was 27 ,now 71 . It wasn’t until i came accross Vegetarian books , Dr. Kirshner, Dr. walker and began juicing and blending raw Veg’s that i cured myself that food instantly absorbs in your blood stream and also cleanses but that it what we want the two gently working together . I raised my children Vegetarian with nuts and seeds and yougart etc. and raw milk and they never even had a cold ever and they are 47 and49 my son makes Waxy Wax surf board wax and still remembers how vibrant he was and still is. for us who know better and were healed from cancer and all sorts of malody because of this life style , we can’t believe this nonsense, meat takes sometimes 4 days to digest. thats not a healthy life style. thanks .

    • Max Tuck says:

      Thank you Joan for adding your personal experience to this discussion. It is always great to hear from people who have used a plant based diet to turn around a health challenge. in relation to the bowel we know that the consumption of meat is closely linked to the incidence of bowel cancer, and I am still to find a nutrient in meat that cannot be obtained in a more healthy way from the plant kingdom. Fantastic also to hear about the health benefits that you have received from juicing – something which I wholeheartedly recommend. Many thanks for your valuable input.

  13. Pam says:

    I am curious how many people with gut issues that cannot digest raw foods have taken antibiotics. Just one dose of strong antibiotics kills quite a bit of good bacteria. Could antibiotics, pesticides as well as GMO’s and vaccinations along with a mineral deficiency be a huge culprit in gut disintegration and proper immune functions? Also curious if taking antibiotics makes it extremely difficult to recoup those good enzymes and bacteria. Some people seem to have the constitution for meat eating while others for veggies and plant based. It seems important that whatever diet you are drawn to that it’s important to follow that diet protocol correctly, eat organic, and follow proper food combining.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s