iPet’s Ally Weekly Q&A Round-up 03-01-21: Does Neanderthal poop shows clues to human’s microbiome?

iPets Ally Q&A Round-up

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Hey! I’m Dr. Ruth Roberts, your pet’s ally. I hope that life is good for everybody. We’ve got a couple of questions so I’m going to pop over to the Facebook page for the group.

1. Is acid produces as soon as protein hits the stomach wall? And if acid is produced to break down protein, why do vegans also suffer from GERD?

That first question is actually not correct. Stomach acid should start to be produced when your dog starts to chew. Remember, when you or your dog start to eat, you start to salivate a little bit so that the amylase and your saliva can start to break down some of the starches. This should also start the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It doesn’t mean that when the food hits the stomach that there’s hydrochloric acid present, but it begins to be produced. Now, it is not used only to break down protein.

Hydrochloric acid is a general acid and so it’s going to start to digest everything. It will also start to kill bacteria or viruses that may be on the food itself which is one of the ways that we end up with food issues. As clean as you can be with any type of food preparation, there are still things present that could potentially be harmful, and so this is one of the jobs for stomach acid. When the stomach acid gets produced, then that sits there and mixes with whatever is in the stomach and it starts to break down all of the food macronutrients – the fat, protein, carbohydrates and starts to clean things up.

Okay. Now, why do vegans get GERD? It’s for the same reason the rest of us do. Because there is a disconnect between the digestive process. The stomach acid is not produced until after the food has actually left the stomach. All of sudden, there’s all this acid being produced in the stomach so you get gastric reflux. The acid starts to come up in the esophagus and creates all sorts of unfun issues. So, how do you get around this? There’s this old concept of fletcherizing your food. You’re supposed to chew each mouthful of food one time for each tooth so that’s 32 chews per mouthful. That helps to break down the food a little bit more effectively. Secondly, this is where people will use things like betaine hydrochloride. The rule of thumb in people is that in day 1, you would use 1 capsule of betaine hydrochloride with each meal and see if that’s okay then the next day you would use 2 capsules per meal and so on and so forth until you get up to 7 where you are effectively self – diagnosed as hypo chlorotic or low acid producer. That’s when they tell you to go see the doctors which they don’t know what to do and so they just put you on Pepcid or some sort of acid reducer to prevent the symptomatology that you’re getting. I hope that helps.

2. Does MegaMucosa cause itching?

Suppose that after a month of using MegaMucosa for your pups, there was no more throwing up. Grass eating has been reduced but not eliminated, but they were scratching and licking more. If you saw this start to happen just when you began to use the MegaMucosa, then it may have something to do with it. Initially, you may see things get a little bit worse as far as itching and things of that nature as the gut start to heal. Also, you can use quercetin to help control symptomatology for a few days as well.

The other thing to be mindful of is that if you’re starting to see some of the spring pollens come out. That may be creating the itching. The one thing to keep in mind is that, is it springtime and the stuffs are blooming that’s why they’re itchy? Or is it because they’re really sensitive to something in the MegaMucosa? Or is the MegaMucosa is starting to heal the gut and in some of that die off, you’re starting to see them be a little itchier? Keep us posted on that.

3. What does CBD Ease have in its formula?

It does have mostly frankincense and myrrh. What you could consider doing is getting a plain CBD. A week on the Ease, and a week on the plain stuff to rotate through the essential oils because we do kind of acclimatize to them for lack of a better descriptor.\

4. What is low methionine diet?

Low methionine diets are now being discussed on the human side for cancer control. In fact, the concept has been around since the mid-70s, but like a lot of ideas and nutrition it got dismissed for quite some time. Now, on the human side, the Mediterranean diet is the thing that cures everything. There is a lot more interest and discussion about what we can do with how we’re eating to manipulate how we respond to a certain disease or to prevent disease.

Think of everything in a bell-shaped curve and you’ve got the center as 80% of the population and the outer as 10% to either side as the outliers and so these are the people that do great on the vegan diet, all – meat diet, keto diet, or whatever sort of extreme style of eating it is. This idea of a low methionine diet is actually pretty damn simple. Essentially, what it means is decreasing your intake of animal proteins and brazil nuts which pets can’t have anyway.

The reason this is being the big thing is that because the study in 1974 looked at cell cultures and what they’ve found was that normal healthy cells could grow in a culture medium that had no methionine it. Methionine is an essential amino acid meaning you have to eat it to have sufficient quantity on board and cancer cells could not grow in a culture medium without methionine. Meanwhile, back at the ranch in the 90s, they did a study in mice and they looked at mice that had a specific type of colon cancer that was not responsive to the typical treatment of that time which was 5FU. What they found was in mice that were on a low methionine diet, all of a sudden, their cancer became responsive to 5FU and their tumor sizes shrank dramatically. This is untested in veterinary medicine and it is just starting to be utilized in the human side.

5. Does Neanderthal poop shows clues to humans’ microbiome?

There was this study where scientist found a cache of Neanderthal poop which is 30,000 years old poop. What they were able to do was to sequence the DNA of the bacteria present and identify the species of the microbiome of the Neanderthals. Lo and behold, we all thought they were all just meat eaters and they ate it raw. No, they’re a hunter – gatherer society so they were eating vegetables and gathering grains. The interesting thing is that it turns out that the microbiome of Neanderthals is very similar to our current microbiome.

The reason this is important in terms of dogs is that dogs evolved with homo sapiens. They showed up about the same time that the Neanderthals disappeared and so there’s a lot of theories about that. They have been eating what we have been eating. We are omnivores, and we have not been eating high-fat high meat diets, we’ve been eating whatever we could get our hands on – grains, grasses, vegetables, roots, fruits, and meats.

The joke about the bumper sticker that says, “Vegetarian is an old Indian word for bad hunter” and basically that’s it. If there were no game animals around, then you were eating what you could forage. This lends credence to the idea that the raw diet is actually not the ancestral diet of dogs. I’ve been saying this for a lot of years but it’s been rewarding to see more of the data come out to support this concept. While what I’m saying to you will be viewed as absolute hearsay amongst other vets, I think it really is the truth.

7. Can low methionine diets be applied to cats?

Sustainability is on my mind as it must be on yours if you’re experiencing some of the weather effects of climate change. So, this concept is not going to work for cats because they are obligate carnivores, but I think for dogs we can definitely increase the amount of either plant-based proteins or plant-based foods within the diet.

That’s what I’ve got for you this week. Until next week. Remember, your pet’s best health starts in the bowl. Give everybody a big hug and a kiss for me. Thanks!