Episode #34: Interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan of The Primal Advantage


Description: Dr. Cate talks about her experiences with Primal Advantage clients after the launch of the program in July. In particular, she discusses how traditional medical care is not structured to allow for the discussion of how diet and lifestyle elements affect disease patterns. Most family practice physicians are obliged to spend only 10 minutes with patients. This usually constrains doctors to only enough time to treat symptoms (rather than the cause of those symptoms) with prescription drugs that generate adverse side effects. Regarding blood tests, Cate mentions the recent disturbing headline about the UCLA meta-analysis that 75% of heart attack victims have LDL cholesterol readings in the “safe” or “normal” zone, and furthermore have no symptoms of heart disease until the actual heart attack.

She mentions both the fasting blood glucose test and the average blood glucose test (A1C) as simple, inexpensive, but extremely critical markers that suggest a serious problem brewing if they are at objectionable levels.

With the Primal Advantage 1:1 metabolic consulting program, Cate’s custom-design blood panel is a critical element, as is the 90-minute consultation. Cate explains that this provides plenty of time for a detailed evaluation of a client’s “metabolic snapshot,” which is an algorithm designed by Cate to reveal a score in one of six different categories: energy production, hormone receptivity, immune function, cardiovascular and circulatory health, brain and nervous system health, and connective tissue health. By reviewing the blood tests, the extensive client questionnaire, and client food diaries, Primal Advantage clients will get a detailed plan of action enabling them to enjoy more energy, improve performance and recovery, and decrease their true risk factors for heart disease, cancer and metabolic problems.

As a dietary consultant for the Los Angeles Lakers and several individual NBA players, Cate also commented on the recent news that NBA greats LeBron James and Dwayne Wade have adopted a paleo-style diet.

Cate has agreed to appear as a recurring guest on the Primal Blueprint Podcast, and encourages listeners to submit questions via the Speakpipe application on the blog.primalblueprint.com web site (notice the “submit a podcast question” blue tab at the right edge of the page). On future podcasts, Cate will address listener questions as well as highlight some of the common trends seen among clients and the general population at her practice.

Here are some links Cate submitted after the show that she thought readers might be interested in. They relate to how traditional medical treatments and dietary beliefs might be second-guessed by primal-minded health enthusiasts:

Eggs and sat fat containing foods are not bad for us:

Bare metal stents and their general overuse:

The dangers of taking drug eluting stents without taking additional medications (which can cause an increased risk of bleeding) to prevent clotting:

Stenting does not save lives in people with stable angina, although it supposedly helps symptoms. It raises the point that cardiologists get paid more for stents, which could be the main reason they are done in the absence of data:

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3 thoughts on “Episode #34: Interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan of The Primal Advantage

  1. Herby Bell

    While Dr. Shanahan is a breath of fresh air and an admirable wellness warrior, on one issue, I hope she edits/amends her comments in the future in the following way:

    Kate was lamenting about Naturopaths and other “alternative health care providers” when she said in episode 34, and I paraphrase, “Nothing against alternative practitioners, but it seems as if they charge people thousands of dollars for tests that are misunderstood or the results of which are poorly communicated or made actionable to their patients…” or something to that effect.

    Dr. Kate then went on to say that when she was in her “baby doctor diapers” she would advise patients they were just relegated to “the genes they were dealt” with respect to the inadequate sick care she was delivering fostered by her bosses, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. ARGH#@!!

    Okay, here’s the punchline: While not all “alternative practitioners” know their butts from Sunday about clinical chemistry, MANY do. To marginalize/dismiss WELLNESS professionals on this issue who have been trying to monetize WELLNESS for decades in the face of the perennial and arrogant allopathic blowback is really inconsiderate and a mistake. Now, since medicine has figured out it is the number three cause of death in the U.S., wellness has been discovered by…who else?…allopathic medicine. Sick.

    I just get SO tired of NOT hearing allopaths mea culpa. MY GOD, the long trail of tears of misinformation and kowtowing to corporate medicine and consumerism, you’d think that SOMEONE of the new guard would offer a sincere apology for helping–NO systematically DELIVERING this current epidemic of adaptive lifestyle disorders including metabolic syndrome in its full spectrum.

    In all fairness, Brad did offer and apology to the latest generation that they have been handed this manipulated health care? mess brought about by economic expediency, but let’s hear it from the new breed of M.D.’s who really can affect change.

    Physicians, heal thyselves and let’s move forward in a cooperative, collaborative way sans all the pompous arrogance, albeit still unconscious. The message is STILL, “There is no way to wellness, wellness IS the way” as you may hear being echoed from the mountain tops for decades.

  2. Brad

    I wish I lived in the Napa area lol. It’s incredibly difficult to find a primary care doctor that thinks anywhere near along these lines. Most of the doctors in my area are heavily rooted in old science, and it often shows among the age bracket. Doctors that are 60+ typically don’t think along these lines. Any advice on how to look for a doctor that interested in alternative medicine and practice?


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