WHENEVER I think of Professor Pottenger or Pottenger’s cats, my thoughts race to milk, egg, chicken and beef…and the many contributions they make to health problems in different parts of the body, none the least of which are the stomach and intestine.
The story of Pottenger’s cats is not a story of a solitary man or a hermit who kept an array of cats for company. It is a study in nutrition. Between 1932 and 1942, Prof Francis M. Pottenger Jr, M.D, experimented with two basic groups of cats. He fed one basic group with cooked or processed food, and the other with raw food. In other words, the first group ate “dead” food, that is, food killed by cooking, frying or processing while the other group ate live or living food.
Pottenger discovered that cats fed cooked food developed “hypothyroidism” and allergies, among other health problems.They were all wiped out in their third generation. But when they were fed raw food, the problems disappeared. The other basic group fed raw food suffered no disease and procreated till the fourth generation when the experiment was terminated.
The heart of Pottenger’s experiment, as one reviewer of his work said, is this question: “Does the cooking process render food nutritionally deficient, useless or dead?” Another question Euro-American commentators on this experiment are asking is whether its lessons are applicable in the nurturing of human health. Yet, another question is whether we are not all ill today because contemporary human diet has deviated from the Creation Plan. Do we then need to return to The Garden of Eden, as Jethro Kloss canvasses in his book which goes by that title.
The experiment of Morean Pottenger Jr. was overseen by Dr. Pottenger and Dr Alvin Foors, a Professor of Pathology at the University of Southwestern Carolina.
The experiment lasted over 10 years and involved 900 cats over four generations. The designers of the experiments wanted to know the effects of food processing and cooked food on the health of healthy cats. Pottenger found that cats kept in his laboratory exhibited poor survival indices. The 90 cats in his experiment were divided into five groups. All groups ate the same food which gave them “the minimum basic requirements”, although the “major portions” were different. Two groups ate whole foods of raw milk and meat while the remaining three groups were restricted to “processed foods” pasteurised milk and condensed milk. All four generations of cats on the raw milk and raw meat diet were healthy, reproduced optimally, were agile and hardly fell ill throughout their normal life spans.
The remaining groups, which ate cooked food, pasteurised milk and processed food were sickly and disease-ridden towards the end of their lives. The second generation of this group sickened in the middle of their lives, while the third generation were disease ridden with many of them dying early. The cats on processed foods and pasteurised milk did not produce a fourth generation. They were wiped out in the third generation. Even when the third generation was pregnant, they died before the birthing process. So sickly had many of the cats in these three groups become, that, unlike normal cats, they could not land on their feet when they were tossed. This should amaze anyone who is familiar with cats. Even the Yoruba say it is an abomination for a cat flung out from a storey building not to land on its fours.
These Pottenger cats moved sluggishly and suffered from dental deterioration and skeletal deformities over three generations before they were wiped out. On the other hand, the cats which ate raw meat and raw milk were healthy throughout their life spans. They had good bone structure and density, no tooth decay or loss, possessed shiny fur, recorded neither parasites nor disease and reproduced kittens with good birth weight easily. If the diet was for any reason altered to cooked meat and processed milk, it caused health challenges to develop. Bones could become soft and pliable. This was in addition to hypothyroidism, which triggers several health challenges even in humans (obesity, hormonal disturbance, diabetes etc). Similar to the health problems Pottenger discovered in his cats are found in the human population exposed to the same diet.
Many critics and disciples of his work have wondered if humans, too, have to revert to raw meat and raw milk diet to stay healthy and live longer, free of disease and pain. Almost across board, the answer has been a resounding NO. This is because there are many parasites, bacteria, viruses and other microforms in raw meat and raw milk. In fact, the effort to eliminate those in raw milk led to the idea of pasteurisation (boiling) of milk after Louis Pasteun successfully sold the idea of a Germ Theory to the scientific and medical communities of his time. The theory, which holds sway till this day, says germs cause disease and that pasteurisation gets rid of debilitating parasites, bacteria and indeed viruses.
The question which arises from this is why the germs in raw milk and raw meat did not cause debility in Pottenger’s cats. I would assume there is immunity in cats to protect them. This question in no way advocates the consumption of raw meat and raw milk or that of cooked or fried meat or of corned beef or of all variants of processed milk (tinned, powder or condensed).
I struck milk off my diet about 30 years ago. That was after a privileged visit to a milk factory in Freshland, the Netherlands, where one world-class brand of milk was produced. I saw how cows were fed estrogen to make them produce milk almost every day. I wondered what would befall women if their breasts were to lactate every day of their lives.That is not the Plan of Mother Nature for women. They lactate only when there is a baby to feed. As the human body is derived from the highest animal species, and is, therefore, unquestionably of animal origin, the cow cannot lie outside this creation plan.
Cow farmers over-stimulate the ovaries and breast of cows with chemical estrogens to get them to produce milk daily, just as chicken farmers torment hens to lay egg every other day. This is unnatural and must have its punitive consequences or reward for human health. There is a lot of estrogen residue in cow milk. This upsets the estrogen balance vis-a-vis other hormones in people who are hooked on cow milk. There are some husbands who have more estrogen in their bodies than the levels Nature permits even women to have. Yet estrogen is the hormone which distinguishes women from men. A man with more than his lot of estrogen is, therefore, likely to be low performing, have low sperm count, huge buttocks, feminine voice and hair and curves all over his body and could spot changes in the breast region.
As for women who have gone over the estrogen boundary, menstrual pains are common as are irritated breasts and, perhaps, breast cancer. This is not to mention the increased wave of uterine fibroids in Nigeria. As excess estrogen sometimes brings along excess prolactin, and other hormones, it may cause fertility problems for women. This is because high levels of prolactin prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs and instructs the breast to start producing milk for a coming baby. High levels of prolactin may be a reason some women experience pseudo pregnancy. There is yet another angle to the problem of milk in the diet. Milk producers say it is a cheap and high source of calcuim. Yet milk causes lactose intolerance in many adults, which damages the intestine. It also causes pre-term puberty in girls with dire consequences.
The calcium in cow milk is denser than the calcium in human blood and bodies. It is designed by Nature for calf (baby cow) which walks the same day it is born, while the human baby takes about nine months on the average to walk.Teenage girls who consume lots of milk and egg are known to menstruate and develop breasts much earlier than they might otherwise may have, setting off negative consequences in later years. Many adults are lactose intolerant. That means they cannot digest lactose, found in milk. In the intestine, undigested lactose causes lactose intolerance in adults, feed bacteria and fungi. If cancer is developing, lactose is a good “meal” for them as cancer thrives on sugar. Thus women who suffer from vaginal candidiasis, or uterine fibroid, which may be candida thats bacteria driven, are well advised to stay off milk.
The claim of milk producers
They claim that milk is desirable for calcium to stem osteoporosis or to neutralise stomach acid. The dairy industry advertises along these lines to fatten its purse. But there are many plant sources of calcium richer in calcium than milk and without risks of the protein sludge milk may cause in the intestine. As a remedy for excessive stomach acid or peptic ulcer, protein digestion involves more hydrochloric acid presence in the stomach than carbohydrate digestion. Many of us know that meat is bad for health but do not know why. It is more difficult to digest and, so, stays longer in the intestine, sometimes decaying and poisoning the system. This is in addition to releasing cholesterol and helping to grow the population of unfriendly bacteria, which may cause damaging irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)and irritable bowel Disease (IBD).
A 2010 study, which examined the intestinal bacteria of Burkina Fasso children in a rural African setting and those of Italian children who ate more meat than the Burkina Fasso kids, found that the Italians had more unfriendly bacteria than the Burkinabes. Overcooking meat, frying or smoking meat may transform its proteins into Nitosamies, which are implicated in the formation of cancer. This is a risk faced by barbecue lovers. New Castle University researchers examined 183 men and women who suffered from IBS, IBD and ulcerative colitis, the last stage of colon inflammation before cancer onset. Their findings, published in an academic journal, shows that frequency, urgency and bloody stools had subsided in these people for a while. But when they resumed meat eating, about 52 percent of them relapsed, most meat eaters are about three times more at risk than casual consumers of red meat.
These conditions altered the intestinal microbial health which, in turn, predisposed such patients to conditions which may range from colon disease to mental health and even cancer. If for these and other reasons we flee from red meat and take refuge in poultry chicken and turkey, do we fare better? Hardly! Poultry chickens are sick animals. They inhale poisonous gas from their stool all the days of their lives. They suffer from all sorts of infection, ranging from Gomboro and Newcastle disease to birds flu. For these diseases, they are given therapeutic and prophylactic chemical drugs which end up in their tissues and eggs. On the labels of some of these drugs, you may find a warning like…”discontinue 14 days before slaughter”. Let us imagine they received a dose yesterday and a buyer turns up for about 100 of them today for restaurant supply, do the farmer and the buyer respect the label?
Do not let us forget that not only estrogenating hormones are added to their feed to make them lay eggs almost every other day, they are also fed dyes, which are confirmed sources of cancer, to make the egg yolk yellow. Yellow is the colour of the yolk in the free range hens picked up from grasses and other plants. These birds are a pitiable sight when they are sprayed chemicals to clean their cages and bodies of lice. Some of them pass out. Others may not lay egg or lay smaller eggs thereafter for a while. This shows they are in a state of depression. And because they are “imprisoned” in cages, they cannot exercise and throw off toxins. They become irritated and “fight” one another at the least provocation.
When estrogenation makes one lay an egg too big for the anal passage and there is a tear, the others peck the poor bird to death at the sight of blood. So, the farmer must periodically cut short their beaks. This is also traumatic for them and fills them up with adrenaline. These are the chickens whose meat we relish, not realising that we eat sick animals and that, since We Are What We Eat, we, too, are bound to be sick. It is for this reason as well that l eat only guinea fowl egg when it is in season. Even then, I am mindful of the fact that the yolk is a load of cholesterol and therefore, take dietary measures to emulsify it in the bloodstream. The egg comes with lecithin to do just that. But cooking or frying destroys lecithin, leaving the cholesterol mass to cause havoc not only in the intestine but in the blood vessels, the heart and the brain as well. One may solve this problem with lecithin, vitamin E, orange peel powder and dietary supplements designed for this purpose.
I have heard some people say they give their children only the egg white while they eat the yolk. They do not realise that the egg white has a heavy load of Adivin which destroys vitamin B complex in the body when the yolk is not eaten with the white of egg. One of the consequences of this is nerve damage since vitamins B supports healthy nerve function. Another challenge is digestive system distress. The bowels are ever moving and under stress and need these vitamins to calm them.Vision also profits from vitamim B complex. Vitamin B1 supports the optic nerve. Vitamin B2 prevents cataracts and even helps to dissolve some of them. They also prevent and cure Beriberi, a wasting condition of muscles. We can go on and on. What professor Pottenger and his cats have taught us is that we are sickly humans today who do not live to ripe old age, ravaged and damaged by disease because we deviated from the Creation Plan for the feeding of our bodies and for nurturing them back to health when they ail. In this regard, I always feel I hear the voice of the wise one, Who says: “Neither drugs nor injections but the right kinds of foods and drinks bring lasting health.’’
Thank you, Prof. Pottenger.