Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Peak Human - Unbiased Nutrition Info for Optimum Health, Fitness & Living

Sep 6, 2019

Alright everyone, we’re back, Brian Sanders here with another episode of Peak Human where I talk to the leading experts around the world about health, nutrition, exercise, and how to live a long and healthy life. I’m a bit behind this week due to the holiday and filming a couple more awesome interviews for the Food Lies documentary. Every time I think we’re done, I get a new opportunity to talk to an amazing expert.

Yesterday we filmed with Professor Craig Stanford a USC anthropologist and world-renowned authority on primates who walked us through how savage our chimp ancestors were and still are. It’s no vegan utopia out there with them quietly munching on leaves and twigs. They hunt monkeys and rip them apart and eat them with their bare hands. He also explained the changes our bodies, brains, and digestive systems went through as we began eating more and more nutrient dense animal foods and became human.

Then today we hit my alma mater UCLA completing the cross-town rivalry professor square-off and talked to Dr. Aaron Blaisdell. He’s a powerful force in the ancestral health space and actually co-founded the Ancestral Health Society which puts on the Ancestral Health Symposium each year. They bridge the gap between the science and researchers in academia with the rest of the world. They’re basically undoing all the weak correlations and bad epidemiology that’s been done in the last 60 years that gave red meat and saturated fat a bad name using actual hard science. It’s a little sad that we need this group of “crazy rebels” to show us simple facts of human evolution and animal foods being the foundation of how we became human and continue to be the foundation of health.

So check them out and support the Food Lies film at We’re on Indiegogo and you can help us finish the film by clicking through - one more time - and pre-ordering a copy. It’s seriously the only way we can fight this battle - which is crazy that it is turning into an actual battle for our right to eat the healthiest foods on the planet.

Speaking of eating animal foods, Nose to tail is going strong and it’s hard to keep all the meat in stock. By the time you’re hearing this we should be back with some of our signature products such as the primal ground beef with liver, heart, kidney, and spleen mixed in. We’ve got a ton of nose to tail cuts of beef, buffalo, lamb, pork, and chicken as well on

Quick thank you to supporters on Patreon - help the tribe survive with a few dollars there and help us continue to stay afloat. Get the extended show notes and Slack invite link on

So onto the guest this week, Chris Masterjohn, PhD. If you haven't heard of him, you should have because he’s a force of nature when it comes to nutritional research. He’s got a PhD in nutritional sciences and knows more than just about anyone concerning how fat, carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals work in our body. He’s publishing papers, putting out tons of great content on his site and youtube, has a masterclass series, and is a great guy for putting up with all my questions. I hope he wasn’t put off by this interview that I pushed to the very last minute before his next meeting. I wanted to bring up a lot of points that went against the standard nutritional narrative. I think a strict carnivore diet (or victus I should say - which is a better word than diet that I think we should be using) is super interesting and wanted to see what he thought about it. It gets technical in the beginning, but hold on and wait for the end, because that’s when it really gets good. So here’s the interview, I hope you enjoy it.


Support me on Patreon!


  • Chris Masterjohn has his PhD in Nutritional Sciences 
  • He runs his own online blog and programs at
  • Chris’ definition of nutrient density and selecting nutrient dense foods 
  • The importance of nutrient balance when considering nutrient density 
  • Why looking at nutrients per calorie isn’t that useful, for example if you compared protein per calorie for broccoli it would be very high but no one is going to eat that amount of calories of broccoli to ever reach a sufficient amount of protein 
  • He has a 5 tier ranking system that helps you figure out which foods help you hit your nutrient targets for the day and which don’t 
  • You can either choose to eat foods super dense in nutrients or you can choose to eat a lot of different foods that are moderately dense in nutrients
  • Why he is strongly against Joel Fuhrman’s nutrient density score
  • You want to consume all the essential nutrients well over the point of being deficient without being near the point of having too much 
  • Reaching riboflavin toxicity is unheard of 
  • The role of vitamin D in preventing leaching calcium from your bones 
  • The interactions of vitamin D with vitamin K and vitamin A in preventing calcification in soft-tissues (ie. anything but bones and teeth)
  • If you don’t balance vitamin D with vitamins A and K you may be at risk for soft-tissue calcification (e.g. kidney stones) and this is a danger of having too much vitamin D
  • You can read about is theory here:
  • Animal foods with vitamins A and K: 4-8oz of liver per week, cod liver oil, egg yolks, full-fat dairy products (you won’t get enough vitamin A and K with dairy and egg yolks alone)
  • Plant foods with vitamin A: red/orange/yellow/green vegetables have vitamin A in the form of carotenoids that needs to be converted into the form in animal foods which is retinol, these are good sources of vitamin A but many people have poor conversion rates, there are also other factors that can interfere with the conversion 
  • Two main forms of vitamin K: K1 (in plants - fermented foods like sauerkraut or natto) and K2 (in animals - fermented dairy (cheese, yogurt), liver, egg yolks, meat, etc.) 
  • Non-fermented animal foods have MK4 that appears to have unique and essential roles in humans
  • Most people are bad at converting vitamin K to MK4 therefore it’s a good insurance policy to get vitamin K from animal foods
  • The dropout rate of vegans is very high 
  • Carnivore shares a lot in common with veganism by cutting out a whole group of foods and the risks are the same because you are cutting out certain nutrient profiles 
  • You are vulnerable to getting too much of something on the carnivore diet
  • Why eating too much protein could be bad 
  • Carnivores are also vulnerable to not getting enough manganese and vitamin C 
  • There’s no longitudinal data on carnivore diets and the life-long effects and there is no human population that traditionally eats a carnivore diets 
  • Weston Price looked for vegans and only found cannibals:
  • All traditional diets emphasize animal products for health but they also all eat plants
  • Even at the extremes of the arctic where plants barely grow, they try very hard to get plants
  • Theoretically, if you insist on being carnivore then the best way to avoid nutrient deficiencies you would need to eat nose to tail, there are no nutrients you can’t get 
  • What is in an animal’s tissues is a snapshot of what that animal needed in that tissue at the time it died
  • Eating nose to tail and shellfish (especially mussels for manganese) and eating fish is probably going to prevent you from nutrient deficiencies if carnivore
  • Risk of not getting enough vitamin C 
  • Solutions to acid-base issues on carnivore
  • There are no populations that were chronically keto 
  • If you look at the anthropological spread of traditional diets across the globe correlates strongly with latitude, the maximum plant consumption is at the equator and the further you go from the equator the more animal products are consumed 
  • Plant foods availability goes down and down as you move from the equator and Chris believes this is the main thing that has driven more animal foods in the diet 
  • Even when plant foods are maximally abundant, no one has chosen to eat all plants 
  • Calorie availability was probably the driver of food choices 
  • Canadian Natives prevented scurvy by eating the adrenal glands of moose
  • All cultures were either seeking plant foods or obscure parts of the animal that were more nutrient dense that you could usually get from plants like vitamin C 
  • The default for humans is neither vegan or carnivore 
  • We have protein needs and you can choose carbs and fats in a way that provides micronutrients, fits your lifestyle, and in a way you won’t overeat
  • The physiological requirements for glucose are only low if you are keto-adapted
  • Chris does not believe you need less vitamin C if you aren’t eating carbohydrates (i.e. the theory that glucose and vitamin C compete for the same transporter) 
  • Carbs are generally going to improve vitamin C recycling 
  • Plant polyphenols are toxins that we have co-evolved throughout animal evolution and we are adapted to them and learned how to exploit them to increase our defences without allowing them to cause toxicity - it increases our defences enough to make it a net positive
  • Anything that’s hormetic is only hormetic in the hormetic range and then it’s toxic 
  • People that react to plants and go carnivore probably have genetic problems with their defense mechanisms
  • For most of us, plants and vegetables are hormetic 
  • We know mechanistically what molecules in plants do and how they benefit us
  • Chris' site


Support me on Patreon!
Sapien Movement:
Follow along: