Owen Davis | 9 Mar
This is the first in a series of articles exploring how poor health is compounded over generations (due to epigenetics) and how, as humans continue to shift away from their ancestral diet, their health deteriorates. Processed foods, climate change agenda driven plant-based meats and nutrient-deficient foods are all key contributors to this decline. To help frame this discussion, it is first important to know where our understanding of generational health came from - Pottenger's Cats.
Pottenger's Cats is a scientific study conducted by physician Dr Francis Marion Pottenger Jr. that explored how poor diet affected cats and their offspring over multiple generations. To test this, he ran a ten year study (spanning 1932 - 1942) that involved 900 cats, divided into two groups - one fed a diet of raw food and the other a diet of heat-processed food.
Simply put, Dr Pottenger found that cats subsisting on a diet of raw food maintained excellent health, whereas
cats subsisting on a diet of heat-processed food suffered a dramatic decline in health. Moreover, Dr Pottenger
observed that the degenerative health of the cats on a heat-processed diet appeared to be passed from generation to generation,
to the point where the cats became extinct in the fourth generation.
Cats following a raw diet showed the following qualities (according to Price Pottenger):
Cats following a heat-processed diet showed the following qualities (according to Price Pottenger):
Images from the Pottenger's Cats Study highlighting the comparisons between cats fed raw & cooked food.
The cats who followed a heat-processed diet showed physical degeneration as soon as the second generation, while in the third generation, they were unable to reproduce, which ultimately led to them becoming extinct in the fourth generation.
It is also worth noting that plants were grown in the pens where the cats were kept. Inside the enclosures where cats following a raw diet were kept, plants grew and thrived. Whereas the cats who were fed the heat-processed diet, only weeds grew.
At face value, it may seem odd to surmise anything from feline nutrition about humans. But Pottenger's Cats highlights two
aspects of health.
The Pottenger's Cats study is one of the most powerful lessons from the past on ancestral nutrition. This insight may provide answers for future generational health and serves as a dire warning for those who do not question philanthropic megalomaniacs who think plant-based meat is the solution to climate change.
To put this into context: would you continue to eat processed and synthetic foods if you knew they would not only harm your health, but your children's health and their children's health? Generational nutrition potentially has more of an impact than you realise.
The term 'raw food' with respect to Pottenger's Cats, is essentially an 'ancestral eating plan' in line with the species of animal. In other words, 'raw food' is equivalent to the optimal, most nutrient-dense human diet - the diet that contains the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients humans require to thrive.
Pottenger's Cats shows that when an animal moves away from its ancestral eating plan, its biology changes for the worse. It suggests that the same is true when humans abandon their ancestral diet.
Pottenger’s Cats also highlights another important aspect of nutrition - how the cooking process (specifically
heat) can compromise the nutritional quality of certain foods. As obligate carnivores, cats must eat raw
to survive and thrive. Critically, they require the essential amino acid called taurine.
At the time of the Pottenger’s Cats study, taurine had not been identified as essential for cats. However, with
the benefit of hindsight, it is now apparent that taurine is a ‘heat labile’ amino acid. The term ‘heat labile’
refers to something susceptible to destruction or alteration at high temperatures. So,
in the context of Pottenger’s Cats, this means that the heat-processed food contained far less taurine than the raw food and explains why
cats on the heat-processed diet suffered physical degeneration as soon as the second generation.
It highlights an important consideration for the human diet and how we must be careful to preserve essential amino acids, fatty
acids, minerals and vitamins in
While cats must eat a raw diet, this does not mean humans have to. Humans have a different dental and gastrointestinal adaptation compared with cats. Through the discovery of fire between 200-500, 000 years ago, we have adapted to be able to process foods differently for safety and nutrient activation.
Certain plants and meats can be dangerous when not chemically or physically broken down.
Perhaps the most important finding in Pottenger's Cats study, however, is that the health problems
associated with improper nutrition are compounded over generations and present a systemic risk to the species (as
was the case in Pottenger's Cats study where the cats became extinct in four generations of poor eating).
Or, as the Price Pottenger Organisation puts it, "It proved that the physical degeneration associated with a
mother's poor (cooked) diet could be inherited by offspring and was, in a way, remembered by the genes through
This is the concept of epigenetics.
According to the CDC, epigenetics refers to "how your behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence."
Pottenger's Cats study revealed, "the power that environmental factors, including diet,
have on our health and the health of future generations". This discovery led to "an idea of even greater significance - that by
controlling our environment the way nature intended, we control our health". This is why Pottenger's Cats is such
an important study in the context of human health.
This concept of controlling the environment to control health is foundational to us at Nutrition Diagnostics. Our tailored
are rooted in this idea.
The term 'controlling the environment' simply refers to eliminating things that cause the body harm and maximising things that
do good in the body.
Said differently, it acknowledges that the body has a framework for optimal health. This framework requires a
delicate balance of inputs. When met, these inputs allow the body to function optimally; when not met, the body
cannot function properly, leading to poor health. The control points are what we call the six
In order to achieve this, health
model thinking must strategise a measurable plan to balance
Our tailored health programs
revolve around adhering to the body's framework for health. But what is the body's ideal framework for health,
and how do we know what the correct inputs are? This can only be determined by analysing body