Lessons From Pottenger's Cats
"If proper nutrition and exercise are absent when facial structures are developing, dentition always suffers. The kitten kept on a deficient diet for 10 months has an inadequate jaw with crowded, irregular and poorly aligned teeth." ~ Francis Pottenger, MD
Francis Pottenger, MD, wanted to produce high potency adrenal extracts. That meant growing the healthiest cats possible. By accident, he found the cats on raw meat diet had much more potent adrenals than those on cooked meats prepared for human consumption. So he studied 2 groups of 900 cats over 10 years, and his findings have useful implications for humans.
Both groups were given vitamins, cod liver oil, and given access to outdoors. The control group was fed a optimal (native) diet of raw meat and raw milk.
The experimental group was fed a diet of cooked meat and pasteurized milk. They are called Deficient Cats because of the resulting health deficiencies. "Adults cats placed on cooked meat or pasteurized milk diet begin to show unhealthy condition in their mouths within 3-6 months." (p. 22)
Selective findings from Dr. Pottenger's Deficient Cats fed food altered by heat:
- Poor dental-facial development is "one of the earliest defects noticed in the cats on cooked food." (p. 41)
- Bad teeth alignment and poor occlusion (p. 41)
- Poor bone mineralization: calcium content of bone ranges from 12-17% in the first deficient generation to 1.5-3 % in the third generation
- Milk produced by a deficient mother lacks the nutrients necessary for her kittens' normal growth and development.
"On the other hand, if such deficient kittens are given adequate feedings during the nursing period, much can be done to improve their general condition." (p.42)
|Raw Meat Group||Cooked Meat Group|
|Prominent Cheek Bones||Longer and narrower face in Gen2 & 3|
|Broad Dental Arches||Retruded mid-face, underbite, overbite|
|Teeth regular in size and alignment||Crowded & Twisted Teeth, Malocclusion|
|Gregarious, Friendly, Playful||Irritable, nervous, dangerous|
|Distinct Male & Female Traits||Aggressive females & docile males|
|Normal sexual interest and pattern||Sexual disinterest or perversion|
|Strong resistance to parasites||Frequent allergies and skin lesions|
|Efficient child birth with no delivery complications||25-75% higher aborted pregnancy + difficulty with delivery causing many maternal deaths so there was no 4th generation|
|Mother cat stays healthy after delivery||Maternal health declines toward death|
|Newborn average weight = 119 grams||Newborn average weight = 100 grams|
|Head size stays the same from one gen to the next||Smaller skulls in G2 and G3 kittens|
|Well-developed normal cat can be maintained in health if given thyroid and adrenals||Does not become a normal cat even if given intense therapy|
(Source: Pottenger's Cats, by Francis Marion Pottenter, Jr., MD, Price-Pottenger Foundation, 1983)
Dr. Pottenger's study on raw milk compared to pasteurized milk showed the same result as raw meat versus cooked meat. "The cats fed pasteurized milk as the principal item of their diet show skeletal changes, lessened reproductive efficiency, and their kittens present progressive constitutional and respiratory problems as is evidenced in the first second and third generation deficient cats eating cooked meat. (p.15)
For Dr. Felix, the lessons provided by Pottenger's Cats are:
- Some nutrients called "freshness factor" in some foods are heat sensitive.
- Nutritional injuries, including dental-facial deformities, hormonal imbalances, allergies, and behavioral changes, can come from loss of the "freshness factor"
- Nutritional injuries first shows up in the mouth and dental-facial misalignment
- Nutritional injuries can be passed down to the next generations to cause increased dental and systemic complications
- Nutritional injuries and their dental-systemic complications are compounded down the second and third generations, and reversal takes much longer and often is not complete
Do you have ancestors who had a life time of refined processed foods?
Is your child on the receiving end of nutritional injuries passed down from up your family tree?
"The first step in giving a person the right nutrition is to make him able to eat the right foods in sufficient quantify. This depends on the adequacy of his facial development, the strength of his muscles, and the shape of his masticating (chewing) bones.
Mothers: do not feel guilty that your child does not have perfectly straight teeth. There are many factors, including some that are beyond your control. So relax and take in what can be done after understanding how teeth and mouth fit into the Whole Health puzzle.
Pottenger, Francis M. Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition by Francis M. Pottenger, MD. 1995
Dr. Felix discusses Pottenger's findings and how they pertain to children's health during his webinar on September 19, 2013. Click here for more details and to sign up for this webinar on his events page.