Dr. Al, as his patients call him, has been a periodontist for over four decades.
He divides his career into two periods: before and after a unique periodontal laser procedure coupled with the dynamics of ancestral nutrition. The laser-based LANAP® protocol and the importance of ancestral nutrition, he believes, are revolutionizing the treatment of gum disease.
“LANAP, which is an acronym for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is reengineering how I treat periodontal disease. This procedure helps the body regrow bone around the infected teeth without cutting the gums and without stitches. And, the fact that ancestral nutrition is the basis for total body health is mind boggling.”
Elektra Press published the print copy of his book, Crazy-Good Living, on October 11, 2017. It is based on ancestral nutrition and lifestyle. It incorporates his Four Pillars of Health: (1) nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods, (2) restorative sleep, (3) efficient exercise, and (4) stress reduction. It is available at all booksellers and online stores including Amazon.
Dr. Danenberg currently sees patients at Bluffton Center for Dentistry in Bluffton, SC.
To further his education in ancestral nutrition and lifestyle, he received advanced training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health as well as The Center for Mind-Body Medicine.
In 2014, he received a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner designation and then the Primal Health Coach Certification. In 2015, he was appointed to the faculty of the College of Integrative Medicine and created the college’s integrative periodontal teaching module. Then, in April 2017, he earned the designation of “ADAPT Trained Health Professional from Kresser Institute, the only functional medicine and evolutionary health training company”.
VIDEO - DUwHF #999 - Alvin Danenberg
AUDIO - DUwHF #999 - Alvin Danenberg
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Howard: It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Al Danenberg, DDS, periodontist, certified functional medicine practitioner, ADAPT-trained health professional, certified primal health coach. I've been a big fan of his. Thanks for coming on the show, Al.
Alvin: It is my pleasure. Thanks for inviting me. This is so much fun.
Howard: Dr. Al, as his patients call him, has been a periodontist for over four decades. He divides his career into two periods, before and after, a unique periodontal laser procedure coupled with the dynamics of ancestral nutrition. The laser-based LANAP protocol and the importance of ancestral nutrition, he believes, are revolutionizing the treatment of gum disease. LANAP, which is an acronym for laser-assisted new attachment procedure is re-engineering how he treats periodontal disease. This procedure helps the body regrow bone around the infected teeth without cutting the gums and without stitches. The fact that ancestral nutrition is a basis for a total body health is mind boggling.
Elektra Press published the print copy of his book, “Crazy Good-Living,” on October 11, 2017. It is based on ancestral nutrition lifestyle. It incorporates his four pillars of health; nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods, restorative sleep, efficient exercise, and stress reduction. It is available at all booksellers and online stores including Amazon. Can we push that out today?
We'll push that out to a damn near a million people. There's a quarter million on Dentaltown, and we just had our five millionth post last night. Did you see that? Yeah, I woke up to a five millionth post.
Alvin: I post my blogs on Dentaltown now too if you noticed.
Howard: I certainly have noticed. If you ever push a blog if you send me the link at email@example.com, there's those buttons. I can click it out to my Facebook followers, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Alvin: I didn’t know that you could do that.
Howard: Yes, I'll do that. First of all, congratulations on your evolution with LANAP because I remember the first guy that did it in Phoenix. It was like twenty years ago. Allen Honigman.
Alvin: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I know Allen.
Howard: My friends were talking shit about him behind his back. I'm just sitting there looking at this thing because if you don't have any arrows on your back, you're not a pioneer and Allen was the only guy locally and now, here it is twenty years later and guess what every periodontist in Phoenix has?
Alvin: If they don't, they should because it is revolutionizing not only the concept but the biology of treating periodontal disease. Amazing.
Howard: I was the first dentist to treat periodontal disease with my light saber.
Alvin: You and Luke.
Howard: I stole it from Luke. I want to talk so much about your book, but before we go in the book I want to ask. This is Dentistry Uncensored. The most brutal question these young kids have is they come out of dental school. They're going to work for their mom and dad. They're working in the dental office. They see all these implants that mom placed five and ten years ago, and a quarter of them have peri-implantitis. They just want to know what's going on with that. How would you recommend treatment? They claim that when they go to websites of like the American Academy of Periodontal Medicine and all that stuff they don't even have a protocol for treating peri-implantitis. If they go talk to four different periodontists in their city, they get four different answers. Talk about peri-implantitis.
Alvin: Well, it's a great subject, and I'm going to step on a lot of toes unfortunately. Because unfortunately or fortunately, some science is evolving and being published that should change some mindsets. I've written some papers about it and if you want, I can send you some links about this.
Let's talk about titanium. Titanium has been used in the body for many, many, many years. Everybody says it's biocompatible. I don't believe it is so biocompatible to start with. There are some published papers from maybe a decade ago that were showing that titanium implants inside the body like joints, a shoulder joint or a knee joint, whatever it is, when they were failing and they did evaluation of why they were failing, the researchers found that there was a noninfectious chronic inflammatory state around the implants. What they also determined over time were that the titanium ions were leaching out of the titanium or titanium alloy creating an immunological response, a cytokine reaction that created chronic inflammation destroying the bone.
Now here's my point. I'm very much into systemic chronic inflammation. My concern is that and we'll get into the gut microbiome and chronic inflammation later. But my concern is that systemic chronic inflammation goes to other parts of the body decades later creating other systemic organ failures. Now that the titanium ions are leaking into the immediate environment causing an immediate problem causing a loss of the implant, that is a serious problem. But what are the complicating factors years from then of the chronic inflammation?
Now, fast forward to the dental implants. Dental implants are 95% I guess titanium or titanium alloy, and these ions are leaching into the periodontal ligament, well not the ligament space but the bone structure. It's creating in a lot of people a cytokine immune response. Now that's the inflammation. Once that happens and you have an active infection in the mouth for a variety of reasons, then it becomes an infectious problem. Now you have peri-implantitis, and it's surrounding the implant not just the bacteria but the cytokines from the ions of titanium leaching into the bone.
What is the result of that? Well, frequently, the bone will slowly break down, and of course, the implant is still a success until it’s lost in the mouth. You could have 50% bone loss and it's still considered a success because it's solid until it gets loose just like dental plaque is healthy until it's not healthy. The implant is healthy until it gets loose. Well, there's some in-between stage here, and I think that these ions are a problem. Now, it's not going to be a loss of the implant for everybody, but it's one element that's causing the problem.
What you need to do? Certainly, you have to have good oral hygiene. But what is even more critical is you have to have a healthy gut microbiome, healthy bacteria in the gut that creates a healthier immune response to maybe fight this potential problem of the chronic inflammation around the implant. That's a huge story, and no one is talking about it. Most people don't even know about it, but there's literature and research in the last two years in the dental publications that talk about this.
Howard: Do you think that's why Straumann and these big companies are buying ceramic implant companies?
Alvin: Absolutely. Absolutely. I can tell you without a doubt that there is a very current research that's shows that zirconia does not create as much of a cytokine reaction, although there is some. But there is not as much as a cytokine or an immune response, and there is obviously no leaching of titanium ions because there's no titanium. The question would be, are there zirconium metal ions in the ceramic material that could be leaching out? I don't know that that's known yet.
Howard: Are you seeing less peri-implantitis with ceramic implants?
Alvin: I think that that's a true statement. Correct.
Howard: A lot of, a lot of people are starting to talk about that. Are placing ceramics?
Alvin: Actually, I am only seeing patients once a week now, and I am not doing any implants anymore. I had never done zirconia when I was doing implants. It was the titanium and titanium alloy implants in my day. I'm an old guy. I'm seventy-one years old. I'm thinking about moving on to exciting things like we're going to talk about later. I'm not placing implants. I do the LANAP and I love LANAP. It's a phenomenal procedure, but I'm not placing implants right now.
Howard: There's a lot of people we've had on this show that are making the switch to a zirconium because of everything you're saying. Now let's talk about your book, which by the way, only has five-star reviews on Amazon. Ryan, give him a three-star just to throw him off.
Alvin: Thank you, Howard. I knew I could count on you.
Howard: All five-star reviews. This is a culmination of four decades of being a healthcare provider. How do you see your profession now versus forty years later when you approach disease and health?
Alvin: You mean forty years later from now or forty years later before now?
Howard: Before now from when you got out of school. I mean because it seemed like when we got out of school, we were kind of mechanics. We drill holes in rocks and fill them. Now, it's a much more complex; diet, sleep, health.
Alvin: Here's what I see unfortunately. I see the majority of healthcare professionals, physicians as well as dentists are trained as fixers of a problem, and they're not trained in understanding the central ideology of these problems, which I believe emanates from the gut microbiome and then disseminates throughout the entire body. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are actually manifestations of chronic inflammation and reduced host resistance. It's a direct result of a dysbiotic gut meaning bacteria in the gut are not in balance, and pathogenic bacteria are taking control and leaking into the blood system. The problem is very few people understand that.
Dentistry is a fantastic profession that understands how to repair all this damage, but it doesn't address what's causing it. People can brush and floss today every day and they still have gum disease and tooth decay. It's not because they're not brushing or flossing correctly. It's because they are not understanding the microbiome in the mouth and how it got dysbiotic or unbalanced. Of course, forty years ago, we were only talking about brushing and flossing and using antimicrobial things to kill all these bacteria. When you start to kill the bad bacteria, you kill the good bacteria. Your mouth needs good bacteria to provide specific and necessary biological pathways.
I see in the future there are biological dentists. There are holistic dentists. All of these people that are starting to understand that the mouth is not the center of the universe. It's not the center of the body, although a lot of things emanate from the mouth. But the mouth didn’t start it. The gut started it. The microbiome in the gut started it. It's starting to manifest throughout the body. The mouth is one of the major manifestations of disease.
The most important thing is the dentist is the most eloquent trained professional to see what's going on in the mouth, and the mouth mirrors everything else in the body. The dentist can really see the first signs of this damage to gut that gets involved in the mouth. The mouth is only one part of this big digestive tract from the tip of the lips to the end of the rectum. If you can look at your mouth and see damage and infection and understand that and treat that but also treat the gut that started the problem, you are going to be intercepting huge other chronic diseases down the road. Did I answer your question?
Howard: Yeah. I know my homies. I mean I've lectured to them a thousand times. I've had so many lunches and dinners. They think holistic medicine and all this stuff is wacky. What they don't realize is they think it's wacky. I mean you go to your physician, and he shows you have high cholesterol. He just wants to write you a script for a statin. If you say you can't sleep, he's off to the next script for Ambien. If you say that, hell, your wiener won't even work. Oh here's Viagra. I mean they just sit there and write five prescriptions in seven minutes. When consumers are looking for alternative medicine, they're looking at an alternative to some pill-pushing junkie drug dealer MD that wants to put them on five prescriptions.
Then you just start Googling polyphagia. By the time, you're on five different prescriptions. The trajectory does not look good. You know what I mean? Then when someone comes along and says, "Well, let's try to cure this with diet and exercise and information." Now, you're considered a holistic wack? I mean even Thomas Edison said that the primary medicine of the human body was food.
Alvin: Let me tell you my story. When I was fifty-nine years old, I had a stroke. Amazing. I thought I was healthy but I wasn’t, and a variety of situations developed to create my stroke. My conventional medical doctors saved my life, and they put me on seven medicines for the rest of my life at the age of fifty-nine. Between fifty-nine and sixty-six, I tried to learn what I needed to do to change my lifestyle and diet to get healthier because my doctor said, "You need to exercise. You need to eat a healthier diet." But they didn't know what that meant. They just said to do it. I went to the standard organizations that supposedly would be able to give me the information. From the age of fifty-nine to sixty-six, I did that. I still was on seven medicines at the age of sixty-six, and I weighed one hundred eighty-seven pounds.
At the age of sixty-six, I took a phenomenal course. It was called Nutritional Intensive for Healthcare Professionals. It was at of all places the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Five intensive days and I learned information that blew me away. I was introduced to the concept of primal nutrition, primal lifestyle. I've never heard these terms before. I'd never heard the name Weston A. Price before. I never understood food as medicine before,
At the age of sixty-six, I changed my life and my lifestyle. Today, I'm seventy-one years old. I have lost thirty-five pounds, not because I want to lose weight although I needed to. The weight melts off when you start eating healthy because your hormones start to balance. Today, I am on zero medications. I just stopped the last medicine that I was weaning off of. My doctors thought I needed seven medicines for the rest of my life. I'm healthier today than ever before.
The reason is I follow a primal lifestyle and a primal diet. I have no problems eating a million foods that I love. I can go into a McDonald's and still eat basically a healthy diet because I know what I can eat. All I'm saying is the idea of holistic, every cell in the body communicates with every other cell and every cell requires nutrients to work. If you have an expensive car that needs high-test gasoline and you put junk gasoline in it, it will run but it will be inferior to what you need to have or the way it could run.
If you put the right foods in your body and eliminate the toxic elements that are available in other foods and live other elements of your lifestyle in a healthier state, you will become healthy. Everyone can benefit. There is no one that cannot benefit. I started at the age of sixty-six. If you were to start at the age of twenty or thirty, just look and think of how much healthier you're going to be and not have the chronic diseases that western society has today. Thank you.
Howard: What is a primal diet? What can people do to eat right and lose weight?
Alvin: Well, there are a lot of terms that are misconstrued today, primal being Paleo, Mediterranean, and all kinds of varieties of these styles of eating. Basically, a primal diet is this. People all over the world living in their societies without westernized processed foods. All over the world eat the foods of the land. This is a primal diet. If you live near the equator, it's different types of foods and if you lived closer to the North or South Pole. Different foods are still primal. Here's the basics.
Processed foods that have been genetically modified, processed foods that have been overcooked, over-chemicalized with enzymes and preservatives, the fruits and vegetables that have been tainted with herbicides and fertilizers that are manmade and have residual chemicals. All of this gets into your and body creates damage because your body doesn't know how to deal with it. Farming has over-processed grains and sugars and oils so that they are unhealthy to the body. The foods that I eliminate are the processed foods. I do not eat any grains whatsoever. As a matter of fact, grains are actually a product of farming and civilization that started about ten thousand years ago. This processed grain has never, ever been metabolized or broken down in the body of humans.
We have no enzyme to break down, for instance, the gluten in wheat, oats, barley, or rye. These particles of gluten break down to small peptides, but they don't break down to the amino acids that your body needs to absorb. These larger peptides, specifically called gliadin, irritate the gut lining and creates little holes in the gut lining like holes in a cheesecloth. Peptides and other proteins of foods that are not fully broken down leak into the bloodstream, your bloodstream creates an inflammation because of the immune system, and now all kinds of problems develop. All kinds of allergies, all kinds of autoimmune diseases are created from this damage, leakage through the gut lining and the change in the bacteria in the gut. Grains are an unhealthy food substance.
Processed seed oils that are over-processed, they become rancid. They create a lot of free radicals in the body. Your body recognizes those thinking it's really good saturated fats and they're not. Saturated fat is a critical healthy fat, but saturated fat has to come from healthy animals. Healthy animals would be grass-fed and grass-finished beef, not the grain-fed and grain-finished beef that is conventional. It has to come from wild caught fish, not farmed fish. These animal proteins and fats are very healthy as long as these animals grow and live in their natural environment and eating the natural foods that they consume.
Certainly other foods like processed sugars, you know very well. You write quite a bit about process sugars. Any kind of added sugars or concentrated sugars are extremely unhealthy for the mouth, for the gut. Certainly, it's going to create excess carbohydrate load creating obesity. A huge number of issues come about with added sugars. The World Health Organization maybe two or three years ago wrote a monograph that described that these added sugars are one of the most damaging sources of chronic disease in all of westernized civilization. These things have to get removed from our body.
Pasteurized milk, even milk, our bodies do not need milk. We needed milk when we were growing up and we were breastfeeding, but we don't need the milk at this point. The casein protein in milk tends to mimic the gluten protein in grains and that is destructive to the gut lining as well as immune system.
Basically, I don't eat grains. I don't eat milk. I don't eat over-processed seed oils. What do I eat? I eat all naturally-occurring animal products as well as their organs. I eat all kinds of vegetables and fruits and nuts and seeds and cooked in many, many, many ways.
Howard: Growing up in Kansas and going into undergrad at Creighton in Omaha, Nebraska and then go into dental school in Missouri, it was so hypocritical that all these Republican conservatives were against welfare to like some poor lady that had a kid out of wedlock, but they are so subsidized. They get the major welfare. Everything you said not to eat is billions and billions of dollars a month in subsidies. That's why you have this crazy industry where everybody just tries to make everything at a corn.
What people don't realize is that when you go to McDonald's or 7-Eleven or Circle K and buy Coke that Coke would have been a lot more expensive if the federal government wasn't subsidizing the corn to make high-fructose corn syrup and all that stuff. I mean it's perverse incentive. They shouldn't be drinking it in the first place. Then you're making it cheaper. Then the people receiving that the queens of welfare are the Fortune 500 and the farmers, and those are the group of people who think all the welfare goes to some poor sixteen-year-old chick who's trying to get her baby immunized.
Alvin: Absolutely correct. You're talking to the choir here.
Howard: I'm talking to the choir, but you know who's listening to us? You know what percent of dentists our age listening to this are conservative Republicans? Oh my God, so I love reminding them of their hypocrisy. I mean if you don't like welfare, cut it first in corporate America. Quit the Fortune 500 welfare. You talked about restorative sleep and efficient exercise and stress reduction. I assume stress reduction is get a divorce and live single. Okay. We got that. You can call your kids out. Go through those. What is restorative sleep, efficient exercise, and stress reduction?
Alvin: Let's just talk about the basics and very simple. Our bodies require sleep. Our bodies are on what's called a circadian rhythm. Theoretically when the sun rises, it kind of stimulates certain things, cortisol in your body. You wake up and you're fresh, and you're pumping glucose and adrenaline and you're moving. Then when the sun sets, your body starts to produce more melatonin. It's helping you fall asleep and you fall asleep. During that process of sleep and wake, your body is producing a lot of benefits. It's producing growth hormone. It's getting rid of a lot of junk. It's preparing your body. It's destroying unused and unhealthy cells. It's draining your brain from lymphatic systems. It's doing a lot.
If you don't get that sleep, your body's natural hormonal functioning and protein metabolism and a variety of other basic metabolic processes don't work properly. Restorative sleep is ideally getting maybe seven to eight, possibly nine hours of sleep a night. Now, everybody's a little different. Some people need seven. Some people need nine. But no one functions when they sleep three to four hours every night. It's not a healthy situation. The most important hours of sleep probably are the hours from around eleven o'clock to about three o'clock in the morning. More than likely, most of the biological functions in your body have that restorative phase in that timeframe. That's what restorative sleep is all about. Also if you don't get restorative sleep, there is stress that's placed in your gut that actually damages the gut healthy bacteria.
Efficient exercise, some people think that they need to jog five miles a day and then go to the gym and work out for another hour a day. They're doing this extremely intense physical exercise maybe seven days a week. That's not true. Actually, you can over-exercise and create oxidative stress that is damaging to everything in your body. Efficient exercise would be a method to do what your body needs in the shortest amount of time.
One of the things that is critical which would not be considered exercise, it's considered non exercise movement, is actually stand more than you sit. It's actually to walk. Walking is extremely important for your health. It's important for the lymphs to circulate through your body. Walking approximately ten thousand steps a day has been shown scientifically to be beneficial. Two thousand steps equals about a mile. If you walk a mile, if you walk after dinner or before dinner or whatever, certainly in the office you're walking and moving from operatory to operatory all that counts so ten thousand steps. Non-exercise movement is critical.
Now, you need to move into an exercise pattern. What has been shown to be extremely efficient is what's called high intensity interval training. What that means is you exercise. You push your body to the extreme for maybe thirty seconds I'll give you an example in a moment. Then you rest for about a minute a half. That will be one set. You do that maybe for four to six sets once every seven to ten days. Once every seven to ten days that's not much. That will create more biological benefit than going to the gym for an hour five days a week. The science proves it. It's not anecdotal.
There's also bodyweight exercises that you can do maybe once or twice a week for maybe ten minutes to fifteen minutes at a time. Those would include four basic exercises. One would be pull-ups, and you can gradually get to the point where you can actually do pull-ups well. Push-ups, squats, and what's called planks. If you did those four body movements, you would exercise the majority of all the major muscle groups in your body. You would efficiently create a healthier muscle tone to your body and that helps with osteoporosis. You would feel good. It's energy-inducing and stress relieving. Those two things, good sleep and good exercise are critical.
Stress reduction, oh my goodness, we are so involved with stress in our lives today. It's not just emotional stress. It's physical stress like over-exercising. It's chemical stress from bad foods and chemicals we're breathing. There are just many, many different areas of stress. If you can control the stress insult to your body and your body knows how to deal with stress if it's not overloaded.
Certainly, psychological stress is the biggest problem in our society today. One way to correct that or help with that is to do some basic that sounds like woo-woo woo-hoo kind of stuff, but meditation is really good. You can relax. It's simply sitting down in a quiet room, closing your eyes, breathing deeply, and not having any noises and just let your mind wander. You could do simple things like progressive relaxation of different muscle parts of your body by just laying down and tensing muscles and relaxing them. You can do some yoga that is relaxing and also good for muscle stretching. There are a variety of things that you can do with stress. I write articles about this all the time. I have over four hundred blogs on my website that talk about all these different subjects.
Those three elements plus the nutrient-dense diet are what I consider the four pillars of health. I do believe that all the science shows that if you can control these four elements which is big, you can control your health. We have the potential to live anywhere from between one hundred twenty to one hundred fifty years old. That's amazing. Now, we're breaking down our bodies. Most of us start to degenerate and visibly degenerate when we're forty because we've been doing so much bad stuff to our body we're breaking down. We have the biological potential to live at least one hundred twenty to maybe one hundred fifty years old. One of the things that you need to do is to create this healthy four pillars of health that I've explained in my book.
Howard: Your website is Dr. Danenberg, D-A-N-E-N-B-E-R-G. Isn't Danenberg an ice cream? What am I thinking of? Isn't an ice cream?
Alvin: I don't know.
Howard: I have to agree with the stressor. I've told Ryan a million times. Ryan and I both agree on one thing more than anything. That is every time we go to hot yoga for an hour. That's the best feeling you can get.
Alvin: Wait, wait, wait. You do hot yoga?
Alvin: That is cool.
Howard: But it's not cool because I had this awesome place up the street from me. It was called Bikram Yoga. They did a big HBO or Sports. What's that Sports though in HBO? Real Sports? Anyway, they threw him under a bus. It turns out he's probably a very weird guy, and I think he's fled the country. They're all closed in Arizona.
What I liked about Bikram is that it was twenty-six poses twice. I didn't have to think because I'd done it for many years I knew the whole deal. Now, I go to all these other hot Bikram deals, and it's always some girl jumping around and going from here to here. Now, I'm stressed in the class because I don't know what this crazy monkey is going to do next.
I liked the Bikram. It’s kind of like going to Catholic Church. You knew what every prayer was going to be in the same order. I mean there was no thinking involved. I like Bikram because there's no thinking involved. After you do the class ten times, you know. In fact, I even knew what exercise was the exact halfway mark. You know I mean like oh I love the triangle because now I'm halfway through the class.
Alvin: I get it.
Howard: You just feel good doing that. I also want to say something else to the kids out there that are still in dental kindergarten is a lot of the things they taught us thirty years ago are just completely wrong. I mean I'll give you a crazy example. When I was in physics at Creighton University taught by a Jesuit who had been teaching this like eighteen years, he told us all that an atom was 99.999999% empty space. Oh now we're told about dark energy and dark matter. They just discovered a new organ system. Did you read that in the paper yesterday? We've always had ten organs. They found a whole new organ system because what happened is when they were doing samples, these tubules would all collapse and they never saw it. One guy thought he saw something. He told another guy and that guy looked. It was at NYU. They're like, "Oh my god, we've discovered an eleventh organ system."
How can we think we know everything when they just recently discovered dark matter, dark energy, and eleventh organ system. You know what I mean?
Alvin: What you're saying is the exciting thing that's happening to me, and it's actually propelling me to just do more and more at the age where I am at this point. I am learning so much, but I am learning that I know so little. Science and medicine think they all had the answers until they are proven wrong a year later and now they have the answer. Then that will be proven wrong a year later, and then they'll get another answer.
That the only thing that I know as a fact is that we are a phenomenal organism. Our bodies have been created to be obviously miraculous. There is so much intricacy to our body. People talked about there are gene polymorphisms that create a problem. Well you know what? There may be what's called SNPs, but there may also be many other systems that compensate for a damaged gene.
What we are learning is that we have the genetic makeup, but only our bodies respond 10% to that genetic makeup an 80-90% of what's around us called the epigenetics or epigenome. That is basically everything that happens to us and that includes the gut microbiome. We are maybe ten to thirty trillion human cells, but we are anywhere from fifty to one hundred trillion microbial cells. We are more bacteria than we are human. You, Howard, are more something else than Howard Farran. It's interesting. It's fascinating.
Our lives depend on the healthy bacteria having happy times in our guts as well as the rest of our body, being fed the foods that they need, and not being subjected to the toxic elements that destroy them. In westernized cultures especially United States, we are feeding these bacteria the wrong foods. We're bombarding them with chemicals like glyphosate and Roundup. Residual chemicals on foods were certainly heavy metals. We're putting mercury fillings in teeth that mercury vapor is just emanating from every filling every day creating a toxic element in our system. We're putting deodorants under our arms that have aluminum that are getting under our skins and into our neuro tissues. We're blocking the natural method of our detoxification by sweating. It's just amazing what we're doing to ourselves.
Howard: A lot of it is, again, I always go back to government corruption. I mean it's just insane. Only ten companies make almost everything that you buy at Kroger, Wal-Mart, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg's Mars, Associated British Foods, and Mondelez. The subsidies they get, I mean, it's a rigged system.
Alvin: It is a rigged system. It's coming off as if these are the facts of life and it's not. Sadly, the word that I'm trying to get out, the word that you're trying to get out, even though you have a big platform, it's still muffled by the big pharmaceutical companies. The big agricultural companies. Certainly, Madison Avenue knows how to promote all these other products. It sounds like we are the ones that are wrong and everybody else is right. That's why we are where we are today. Over 50% of the US population has chronic disease.
During our primal ancestors and even primal societies that are alive today, there has been either no or minimal chronic disease. No one had obesity or cardiovascular disease. They didn't even have gum disease or tooth decay as you know. If you can look at skeletal remains from ten to twenty thousand years ago, hardly ever do you see bone destruction or dental decay. It’s occasionally.
There was a study that was published in 2010 or 2012, I can't remember, that showed that the US adult population has the prevalence of gum disease, just the slightest amount of gum disease. 94% of the population has active gum inflammation. That's amazing. That is a huge disease problem in the United States.
Howard: You know what's funny is the yoga teachers I just fell in love with for years because they were so committed to their lifestyle. They wouldn't wear deodorant because they said, "I need all that stuff to drain out." They also wouldn't wear cologne. They said, "Cologne is aromatic. It's designed to be gaseous smell when you're spraying your cologne on." She always told everyone, "Throw away all your deodorant. Throw away all your perfume. If someone doesn't like the smell of you, they can stand back."
Alvin: Let me tell you. I'll tell you what I use for deodorant today. I take a little bit of coconut oil in my fingers, dip it in a little bit of baking soda, and that's my deodorant. I will tell you that there's no odor. Of course, when you eat healthy, your body doesn't produce odors that it would produce if you're eating a lot of heavy grains and sugars, by the way.
In addition to that, when I started doing this maybe five years ago, I did sweat quite a bit under my arms. After my body got used to it in a month or so, I sweat much less but I sweat. Sweat is a normal human process. Why would we stop that? It's like preventing us from going to the bathroom. This is a normal human process. It is one of the ways we get rid of toxic elements in our body. Sweat.
Howard: I also want to tell young kids something that I lived through. I mean when I was in dental school, ulcers were treated by surgeons who would put you to sleep, go down there and cut them out. It was an Australian woman who thought, "Well maybe that's not the case." Right now, Australia is pioneering in fecal matter transplants. She noticed that after this little kid had chemo that it would kill everything in their body. It's just a dumb bomb. It just tries to kill everything, and hopefully, that will include the cancer but you'll live through it and come back to life. These little kids were just laying there lifeless. One day she just told her mother to defecate [inaudible 0:41:26] and put it in a blender and gave an enema. She was shocked at how fast he bounced back to life.
They say that right now in the world, the number one transplant on the world today is not a heart, liver, or lung. It's fecal matter.
Alvin: Fecal microbial transplants have been approved by the FDA in this country to treat C. difficile, Clostridium difficile, which is a life-threatening infection in the gut that is generally a result of overuse of antibiotics. Fecal microbial transplants have been successful. Obviously, you have to have a transplant from a healthy person because you will transfer those bacteria into your system. If it's not healthy for you, then you'll get that disease. Yes, you're right.
Unfortunately, the United States is only allowing fecal microbial transplants for C. difficile, but there are other areas in the world that are doing fecal microbial transplants for a variety of conditions which are allowed, not in the United States though.
Howard: Will you talk about this processed food causing a systemic inflammatory body? There are more than eighty different types of autoimmune diseases, but the most common are Graves' disease, Hashimoto's, systemic lupus, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis. I was listening to this doctor talk. He said, "These tend to run in families." If you look at a big family tree like if someone has type 1 diabetes and they have thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis, someone if you look back far enough is going to have multiple sclerosis. There could be a genetic component to it. They're probably all eating the same foods.
Alvin: Well, you're correct about the genetic component and that is one of the things that you cannot control over. You can't change the genetic makeup of your body. That's not going to create a manifestation of that disease. For example, every auto immune disease and this is according to Dr. Alessio Fasano who is at Harvard and he's done some brilliant research. He may win a Nobel Prize regarding this.
Dr. Fasano has determined and proven that you have to have three elements to create an autoimmune disease. You have to have something that creates a change in the composition of the bacteria in the gut that are actually creating an overpopulation of unhealthy bacteria called dysbiosis. Something is triggering that. Second of all, you have to have something damaging the lining of the gut. The lining of the gut is only one cell layer thick. That lining of the gut is very selectively permeable to nutrients that flow from the gut after the nutrients are digested into the portal blood system to get through the liver and then through the rest of the body. There has to be some damage to that layer, that one cell layer of the gut membrane, and that is created by, for example, grains and chemicals that you're eating, stress that you're experiencing, psychological stress, over-exercising, poor sleep.
All of that can create holes in the gut lining. You have to have something damaging the bacteria in the gut. You have to have something that damages the lining of the membrane of the gut. Then once the membrane is perforated and some of these proteins that should never be in the bloodstream create an inflammation or a chronic inflammatory result from the immune system, then you have to have genetic predispositions in different organ systems for that autoimmune disease to occur. But you have to have all three.
If you have the genetic predisposition for multiple sclerosis but you have a healthy gut and a healthy gut lining, 80-90% of the time you will not get MS. If you have a gene for cancer but you have these other things under control, 90% of the time you will not get the cancer. You will not get periodontal disease. You will not get rheumatoid arthritis. You will not have cardiovascular disease. All the chronic autoimmune diseases that you can mention have this basis in these three elements. All three have to be present. If you can eliminate certainly the bacteria problem and a healthy gut lining, you will 90% of the time not have that disease. That's an amazing thing. You have control over the way your body manifests disease. Most people don't understand that.
Howard: You have a healthcare system that's never sat down at the table with the ten companies that make all the food.
Alvin: Well, they probably have only because those companies designs at the healthcare system. I mean you're not going to get General Foods to stop making their grain cereals. They're not going to promote a healthier cereal because there's none. Cereal is made from grains. Grains are not healthy, so General Foods is not going to tell the healthcare system to get their act together.
Howard: Again because the other comment you made was about Madison Avenue how marketing has been so good at getting people to make a worse decision. You would think in a straight economy that two people are going to do a trade. I want to trade four chickens for your pig and that we would have the most perfect information, but a third party has come in and got in-between us and showed us all these illusions of their food or why we should do all this.
I've lectured in fifty countries and I always tell Ryan. I want to write a book called the giggle factor because when you go to the richest countries in the world, the most industrials exporting economies, the United States, Germany, Japan, South Korea, not many people are laughing or giggling. Then when you go to these very poor countries like Cambodia and Vietnam and Malaysia. I mean, everybody's giggling and everything's funny. I tell the story in Cambodia that it was nighttime. Everybody would just go out on the street and they throw a match in one of the trash barrels and that was their light. Then they'd had one soccer ball. They're just all playing and giggling and laughing with a soccer ball. They are so poor like one guy would buy one Coke. Then they pass it around, and everybody would just take one little sip and giggle.
I've talked to so many people that are international businessmen. When you're sitting in airplanes on fifteen-hour flights, you have a lot of conversations, and so many people recognize that GDP is inversely related to giggling.
Alvin: Yeah so that's a stress factor in and of itself. It's interesting. I was just interviewed for the Human Longevity Project documentary. Now, this is an exciting project.
Howard: Congratulations for getting that interview. That's pretty rocking.
Alvin: Thank you. Well, the producers and the film crew went to all over the world to what's called Blue Zones. These are the areas where the predominant age is over one hundred. They interviewed all these people. Why are you all healthy here? Why are you all healthy there? It turns out food is certainly is important. But the critical element that seems to underlie everything is the socialization, the relaxing atmosphere, the less psychological stress. That seems to be the main element.
Now this documentary, I think, is going to be starting to air in May and it's going to be nine one-hour parts. It's going to be really phenomenal. After the producers interviewed these individuals from the Blue Zone, they interviewed maybe eighty or so theoretical experts in their actual fields. They came to me to talk about the gut microbiome and the oral health and how that evolved into a healthier lifestyle and less chronic disease.
I think what you just hit on is critical and that is the socialization, the relaxing environment, the little less stressful environment, the giggle factor like you're suggesting is a happy go-lucky person that doesn't put the weight of the world on their shoulders and frowning all the time and worrying and fretting about life because that is very destructive to the human body and the human mitochondria.
Howard: When you go to the Blue Zones book, I love that book, the first thing that comes up is the Audible version.
Alvin: You're going to need to connect me with somebody so I can do this.
Howard: You're doing it right now, buddy. You're doing it right now.
Alvin: I know. Okay. We'll get it out to the twenty million people out there.
Howard: Yeah because what's neat isn't they buy your book. It might say people who bought your book bought the Blue Zones of Happiness book. You start algorithm and start seeing that you're interested in a healthier lifestyle, so they started recommending other books. Just like if you buy a business book, they start saying, "Oh well, the people who bought this business book also bought this business book.
Alvin: That's correct. That's correct. That's correct.
Howard: It's such a complex sale. Then let's get back to your website. Your website, drdanenberg.com, I see a section for consultations. Now is that for the dentist listening to you right now or is that B2B?
Alvin: No. For anybody. But most people that go to my website are lay people that have issues with problems in their mouth. Then their dentist doesn't get it or they're not giving them resources that are getting them under control. I have people from as far away as Australia that talked to me about their gut and overall health. It's not necessarily related to the oral health. Most of the people come to me because they are not getting answers from their general dentists or their specialists, and they're still having problems and they wonder why.
Certainly, I do have some healthcare professionals that have consulted with me. I do that like you I are doing over Skype or over a regular telephone call. What I do with these patients or clients, what I recommend they do is I have a significantly detailed online questionnaire that they fill out and submit to me online. Also, I had them do a three-day food journal so I can understand exactly what they're eating, how they're exercising, what their bowel movements are like every day for three consecutive days. We go over this.
It's amazing how many people think that they're eating healthy, but they're really not. We talk about that. We talk about whatever is on their mind. Obviously, I don't make a diagnosis over the internet, but I can give them ideas of what I see. Many of them had their dentists send their digital x-rays to me. I tell them what I see. I recommend for them to go to areas where they live so that they can get proper treatment. A lot of times, it's involving maybe a dentist as well as a functional medicine practitioner.
Howard: Okay. Now, I want to finish this interview with advice to the people starting out. You I have been doing these three or four decades, and they're just coming out of school. I always ask my homies. Subscribed to me on the YouTube channel. It's on youtube.com/dentaltownmagazine. I love to read the comments after of the YouTube video. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me who you are and all that.
When I get these emails, 25% of them are still in dental school and the rest are all under thirty. They're at the other end of the distribution curve. They're just starting. They're just getting out of dental kindergarten. What advice would you give them?
Alvin: Well, from a health standpoint, they need to begin to understand that health actually starts with the food they're eating and the bad stuff that they're putting into their body that is damaging. They need to learn. They need to start learning the health or the condition of a healthy microbiome, microbiome meaning all the living material in your gut, the viruses, the parasites, the bacteria, everything that's in your gut that's supposed to be there in a state of balance. That is critical for health. They need to do some research. You can go to PubMed and type in some words like a gut bacteria and chronic disease or gut bacteria and oral health and start to understand the medical research that is out there that supports a healthier living and eating style.
Unfortunately, all this clinical data that's published all over the world takes decades to get into the clinical practice. Your mentors in dental school that are teaching you, unfortunately, don't know this information sadly enough. They should but they don't. I would start to educate myself with that.
I also would start to take as many CE courses that you can, of maybe biological concepts of dentistry not just the technical aspects, They're critical. The technical aspects are critical. But have an open mind. Don't be shut down by somebody that says this is a fringe type of dentistry. Don't even look at it. Use your brain. You're certainly intelligent. Make some inquiries from real research before you make a decision.
Then I would read as much as you can about a primal nutrition or a primal lifestyle because that is the way our human species have evolved for at least one hundred sixty thousand years for modern humans Sapiens but certainly possibly two and a half million years. What we have done to survive this period of time, unfortunately, is being damaged by westernized foods and processed foods and chemicals. Our genes know what they need to survive. Don't disturb them,
Howard: I know there's a lot of people that want to talk about fake news or is news real or is news not. Bottom line, these ten companies that make all the food, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg's, Mars, Associated British Food, Mondelez. I mean Nestle they start out chocolate, PepsiCo sugar water. I mean General Mills is just all grains and fruits. Well guess who buys all the advertising on all these news stations whether it be CNN or Fox News or MSNBC because as a dentist I see it every time.
A two-year-old little girl goes under by a board certified pediatric dentist with a board certified anesthesiologist to go do eight pulpotomies on her. You know who the bad guy is? The dentist. The anesthesiologist. What went wrong? Is there going to be a big settlement? Will the mom get a million dollars? There is no talk about the diet, the food. How does a two-year-old girl need to be put under general anesthesia and have eight pulpotomies and chrome steel crowns. I mean, my god, no one will talk about that because the system is rigged.
Alvin: I agree.
Howard: If the media companies start throwing these ten companies under a bridge, what do you think will happen to their stock price which is publicly traded?
Alvin: You're right.
Howard: I think what we're going to change everything more is YouTube, the internet, podcasts. I'm going to stress you out right now and tell you you have to stand there and read your book. It would only take four or five hours. Don't get a professional reader because they want to hear you. I hope you do that book. Love your message. Love everything you've done for dentistry. I'm a big fan of your blogs. I just wanted to tell you thank you so much for coming on the show today and talking to my homies.
Alvin: Oh thank you for the invitation. This is a phenomenal platform. You are a phenomenal person, and, again, thank you for the opportunity.
Howard: All right. Thank you, Ryan. On that note, do you want to go eat some Doritos? We're going to go eat some cheese puffs and chase it down with a Mountain Dew. No, I'm just kidding.
Alvin: Howard, you're fantastic.