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Chapter 4

De-Aging through Diet: How Food Is Information for Health and Longevity Genes

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thanks to Dr. Enikő Kubinyi and her dog-centric research team from Budapest: For more about Dr. Kubinyi’s Family Dog Project, go to

dogs can be considered Methuselahs if they live seventeen or more years: See Dávid Jónás, et al., “A Preliminary Study to Investigate the Genetic Background of Longevity Based on Whole-Genome Sequence Data of Two Methuselah Dogs,” Front Genet 11 (April 2020): 315. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2020.00315. eCollection 2020.

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Wolves also ate berries, grasses, seeds, and nuts: See Austin T. Homkes, Thomas D. Gable, Steve K. Windels, and Joseph K. Bump, “Berry Important? Wolf Provisions Pups with Berries in Northern Minnesota,” Wildlife Society Bulletin 44, no. 1 (March 2020): 221–23. Also see: Jose Motta-Junior and Karina Martins, “The Frugivorous Diet of the Maned Wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus, in Brazil: Ecology and Conservation,” Chapter: 19 (Publisher: CAB International; Editors: D. J. Levey, W. R. Silva, M. Galetti): 291–303.

A calorie is not a calorie, according to diet and obesity researcher Dr. Jason Fung: To access Dr. Fung’s writings and research, go to.

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a 2016 survey of deans and faculty members from sixty-three European veterinary colleges revealed: See Iveta Becvarova, Daniel Prochazka, Marjorie L. Chandler, and Hein Meyer, “Nutrition Education in European Veterinary Schools: Are European Veterinary Graduates Competent in Nutrition?” J Vet Med Educ 43, no. 4 (Winter 2016): 349–58. doi: 10.3138/jvme.0715-122R1. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

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A 2020 study found that only 13 percent of pet owners feed ultra-processed food exclusively: See Serena Gordon, “Are Raw Food, Homemade or Vegan Diets Good for Your Pet?” US News and World Report (HealthyDay News), June 29, 2020,

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the fresh pet food category is one of the fastest growing segments in the pet food industry: See Richard Kestenbaum, “The Biggest Trends In The Pet Industry,” Forbes, November 27, 2018,

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“More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”: The History channel’s website keeps tabs on this story based on a collection of Stanford Research that looks into the impact of tobacco advertising. See Becky Little, “When Cigarette Companies Used Doctors to Push Smoking,” September 11, 2019, at;,Reynolds%20Tobacco%20Company.

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Dr. Mark Roberts about his macronutrient research on wolves and domesticated dogs: See M. T. Roberts, et al., “Macronutrient Intake of Dogs, Self-selecting Diets Varying in Composition Offered Ad Libitum,” J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 102, no. 2 (April 2018): 568–75. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12794. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

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carbohydrates are a nonessential nutrient: See Eric C. Westman, “Is Dietary Carbohydrate Essential for Human Nutrition?” Am J Clin Nutr 75, no. 5 (May 2002): 951–53; author reply 953-4. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/75.5.951.

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The average consumer spends $21 a month on pet food: For facts on the pet industry market, go to the American Pet Products Association at www.

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Dogs eating dry food or kibble tend to have higher inflammation and obesity rates: See LeeAnn M. Perry, et al., “Risk Factors Associated with Canine Overweightness and Obesity in an Owner-reported Survey,” bioRxiv 2020.01.06.896399; doi:

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The DOGRISK program at the teaching hospital: See

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A study found that insulin levels in dogs remained elevated for up to eight hours: See Adrian K Hewson-Hughes, et al., “The Effect of Dietary Starch Level on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Concentrations in Cats and Dogs,” Br J Nutr 106, Suppl 1 (October 2011): S105–9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511001887.

Domesticated dogs are still evolutionarily adapted for a state of feast and famine: See Dr. Richard Patton’s site at

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so you can make informed brand decisions: For everything you want to know about animal feed and pet food regulations, go to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) at

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good and bad fats: See “The Truth about Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the In-between,” by Harvard Health Publishing, December 11, 2019,

in 2020, 94 percent of pet food recalls: To access all pet food recalls and withdrawals from the market, go to the Food and Drug Association’s dedicated site to this information at

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A 2019 study evaluating the urine of thirty dogs and thirty cats: See Rajendiran Karthikraj and Kurunthachalam Kannan, “Widespread Occurrence of Glyphosate in Urine from Pet Dogs and Cats in New York State, USA,” Sci Total Environ 659 (April 2019): 790–95. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.454. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Health Research Institute Laboratories (HRI) of glyphosate levels: See

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The microbiome is so crucial to mammalian health that it could be considered an organ unto itself: For a nice review of the microbiome, see P. Amon and I. Sanderson, “What Is the Microbiome?” Archives of Disease in Childhood – Education and Practice 102 (2017): 257–60.

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The Human Microbiome Project, launched in 2008: See

“A house is not a home without a dog, and a dog isn’t a “D-O-double-G” without its microbial ‘crew.’”: See Daniella Lowenberg, “Who Let the Microbes Out: A Paw Print of Doggy Skin Bacteria,” March 30, 2015, PLOS Blogs, Also see: A. Rodrigues Hoffmann, et al., “The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs,” PLoS ONE 9, no. 1 (2014): e83197. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083197.

We visited scientists Misa Sandri and Bruno Stefanon at the Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences at the University of Udine: Go to

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compare how a dog’s microbiome changed when either a raw diet or heat-processed diet is followed: See Misa Sandri, Sandy Sgorlon, Elisa Scarsella, and Bruno Stefanon, “Effect of Different Starch Sources in a Raw Meat-based Diet on Fecal Microbiome in Dogs Housed in a Shelter,” Anim Nutr 6, no. 3 (September 2020): 353–61. doi: 10.1016/j.aninu.2020.03.003. Epub 2020 Apr 11.

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The average bag of dry dog food (kibble) contains: See Dana Scott, “Why 99% of Dog Food Is Fake,” blog for, January 26, 2021,

acrylamides and heterocyclic amines: Mark G. Knize, Cynthia P. Salmon, and James S. Felton, “Mutagenic Activity and Heterocyclic Amine Carcinogens in Commercial Pet Foods,” Mutat Res 539, no. 1-2 (August 2003): 195–201. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(03)00164-5. For a review of these chemicals, see Kyung-Jun Lee, et al., “Determination of Heterocyclic Amines and Acrylamide in Agricultural Products with Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry,” Toxicol Res 31, no. 3 (September 2015): 255–64. doi: 10.5487/TR.2015.31.3.255. Also see the National Cancer Institute’s “Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk” at

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the estimated $113 billion in sales anticipated by 2025: See the report by Grand View Research, “Pet Food Market Size Worth $113.08 Billion By 2025,” September 2019,

twenty-four commercial pet foods for these carcinogenic HCAs: Mark G Knize, Cynthia P. Salmon, and James S. Felton, “Mutagenic Activity and Heterocyclic Amine Carcinogens in Commercial Pet Foods,” Mutat Res 539, no. 1-2 (August 2003): 195–201. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(03)00164-5.

the influence of four differently processed dog food diets: See Siobhan Bridglalsingh, “Influence of Four Differently Processed Diets on Plasma Levels of Advanced Glycation End Products (Ages), Serum Levels of Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (Rage), Serum and Urine Metabolome, and Fecal Microbiome in Healthy Dogs,” University of Georgia, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2020. 28025289.

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“How much you eat and what you eat is very important, but when you eat might be even more important”: To access all of Dr. Satchidananda Panda’s research and publications, go to his lab’s site at Also see his book The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight (New York: Rodale, 2018).

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your circadian rhythm revolves around your sleep habits: For a tour of the relationship between circadian rhythm and biology, see Dr. Panda’s book (see previous note) and Dr. Michael Breus’s The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype—and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More (New York: Little Brown Spark, 2016).

24 percent increase in hunger: See Karine Spiegel, Esra Tasali, Plamen Penev, and Eve Van Cauter, “Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite,” Ann Intern Med 141, no. 11 (December 2004): 846–50. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-141-11-200412070-00008.

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Fasting comes in many forms, but its fundamental effect on the body is the same: For a review about fasting, see Rafael de Cabo and Mark P. Mattson, “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease,” N Engl J Med 381, no. 26 (December 2019): 2541–51. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1905136.

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Dr. Mattson has conducted studies in which he subjected animals: To access Dr. Mattson’s comprehensive list of studies, go to his site at Also see his review article noted previously.

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A growing number of animal experts recommend fasting healthy dogs: See Y. Becca Leung, et al., “Metabolic and Immunological Effects of Intermittent Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet Containing Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Healthy Dogs,” Front Vet Sci 6 (January 2020): 480. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00480. eCollection 2019.

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The Purina Institute found beagles fed twice a day: See The Purina Institute’s “Canine and Feline Brain Health” summary downloadable at