I first came across Dr. Gabe Mirkin about a decade ago. Someone forwarded me his newsletter as a rebuttal to my keto and meat-heavy lifestyle. According to his website, Dr. Mirkin is a practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years. He is one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics, and Pediatric Immunology.
Mirkin is also known for his botched RICE protocol for healing injuries. He invented the concept of applying ice to injuries to reduce swelling, but he later repudiated his earlier recommendations. You do not want to interfere with the body’s natural healing process. Regardless, RICE is now another 100-year medical myth, with coaches, athletes, and moms still rushing to apply ice to every strain and sprain.
In any event, several years ago I sent Dr. Mirkin an email about his anti-meat obsession. I was curious how humans could have evolved to self-destruct after consuming their primary and often exclusive source of food.
I was flattered that Dr. Mirkin responded.
He wrote to me that my lab tests would reveal all. If my labs were great, then I can thank my genetics, which make me “genetically superior to almost all Americans.” (If only!) If my labs were terrible, then I am “a fool” for ignoring his Captain Ahab quest to demonize mammal meat.
Although I have no formal medical training, I’ve actually uncovered a third possibility. And that is: Dr. Mirkin is full of shit. People with average genetics can have terrific blood work if they follow an ancestral diet consisting mostly of animal protein and fats, and few carbs. For whatever it’s worth, my labs are excellent, because that’s what happens when you eat and live the way the human body was designed.
If you visit Mirkin’s website, you’ll find some bizarre claims — like both butter and margarine being pro-inflammatory foods. This comparison is not even apples to oranges, but rather cow to rapeseed. Seed oils are indeed toxic and highly inflammatory, but butter from grass-fed cows is a superfood. As biohacker Dave Asprey explained in his Bulletproof Diet book, “There is one naturally occurring trans fat that is chemically completely different from artificial trans fats. It is called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and is found in grass-fed butter. While artificial trans fats damage your health and performance, CLA has a host of health benefits. It is absolutely not the same as margarine.”
The mainstream WebMD website goes on to say of grass-fed butter: “Early trials suggest that consuming enough conjugated linoleic acid may help reduce chronic inflammation and associated decreases in immune function.” WebMD also notes that the butyrate found in grass-fed butter has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory effects.
On the flip side, Mirkin’s claim that whole grains are anti-inflammatory would be news to individuals suffering from leaky gut syndrome. Likewise, pace Dr. Mirkin, vegetables are in no way anti-inflammatory. Vegetables are full of toxins, such as oxalates, that immobile plants use as defense against being eaten. The health conscious consider nightshade vegetables off limits because — due to inflammation — they produce gas, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and joint pain.
The sad thing is, individuals like Dr. Mirkin, with large audiences and positions of authority, could use their platforms to talk about exciting breakthroughs, such as:
- Copper deficiency being the simple and easily fixable problem behind the modern heart disease epidemic.
- Peptides as a cheap and readily available way to fix nearly every ailment, from lung function to golfer’s elbow.
- Type 2 diabetes being reversable overnight with dietary changes.
Instead, what you get from Mirkin is the completely predictable and utterly banal repetition of health advice from government websites and pharmaceutical company allies. In spite of all the access that a person like Dr. Mirkin has to cutting edge health and science information, what new articles appear on his website in October 2022? There’s more pitching of COVID jabs, with weird, passive-voice statements like: “research has shown that the messenger RNA vaccines appear to be safe.”