Repair Your Metabolism For a Better Life.
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Dr. Cate Shanahan is a board certified Family Physician. After getting her BS in biology from Rutgers University, she trained in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University’s graduate school before attending Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She practiced in Hawaii for ten years where she studied ethnobotany and her healthiest patient’s culinary habits. She applied her learning and experiences in all these scientific fields to write Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. She consults for the LA Lakers. And in March 2017 will be relocating to Newtown CT to open a new office.

Dr Cate is the only member of the Lakers' training staff in Northern California

The Lakers are continuing the PRO Nutrition Program based on Deep Nutrition Principles. Go Lakers!


“…[W]e trust Dr. Cate implicitly. I’ve seen great results from it from when I started doing it last year.” 

          – Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers? (1)

” Everything they’re telling us, one, it makes sense, and two, [Shanahan] has science to back it up….I used to have stiffness in my knees, but not anymore. I’m sticking with it. I’ve noticed a change.” 

          – Steve Blake, LA Lakers (2,3)

“I like [PRO Nutrition] I think it’s good for everybody…because it prolongs our lives, and generations after us will be healthier because we eat healthy. It really helped me with endurance [and] I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active because of my diet change, and I just decided to keep going with it to this day. I can tell once I’ve [cheated], my body feels different.” 

           – Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (4,5)

“I’ve definitely noticed my joints aren’t as sore, aren’t as stiff when I wake up.” 

           – Chris Kaman (6)

“Working with Dr. Shanahan, I’ve radically changed my diet. I can’t tell you how much better I feel: tons more energy and a minor stomach pot is disappearing fast. I’m calmer and getting restful sleep, which I’d about resigned myself to doing without for the rest of my life. Incidentally, my high blood pressure is decent for a change and those annoying, stubborn skin rashes are next in line for full attention. Knee and neck pain from long ago injuries are gone; my joints are looser and more flexible. I’m happy as a clam. Health and longevity are vital interests of mine. “I’ve got to live a long time so I can write my books,” is what I say. Plus I’m addicted to feeling good, my blessedly lucky state for most of my life.”

           – JoAnne Lordahl, Kaui resident and Author Princess Ruth

WE CANNOT BELIEVE THE CHANGES! My parents call us to talk about buying grass-fed liver and to brag about their awesome food and lifestyle upgrades. I am SO HAPPY that you were able to help them transition. We got such a kick out of the phone calls) – “Did you know that sugar feeds cancer?” I am more than impressed by the depth and bredth of Dr. Shanahan’sknoweldge. More importantly, as the daughter of one of her patients – I am amazed by her effectiveness.  Dr. Shanahan listens carefully to my mother’s concerns and clearly shares and explains health-saving information. In a few short weeks, my mother transformed from a life-long junk food eater to a nutritional maven. She is losing excess weight, showing large improvements in her blood work and – most critically – strengthening the systems of her body to help her as she undergoes chemotherapy and surgery in her ongoing fight against cancer. As a family, we are fortunate beyond measure to have Dr. Cate in our corner!

           – Lizzie Harris McCormick, PhD. Long Island City, NY

I have suffered from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and a myriad of other sports injuries off and on for 30 years. I always attributed it to running too much, being active, getting older etc. etc. Not only did Dr Cate heal my ailing joint and tendons but my skin looks amazing! That coupled with the anti- inflammatory diet has cleared up my adult cystic acne as well and we are well into the dog days of summer in Atlanta. Usually by this time of year my skin is a mess as and I am happy to say it looks and feels great. My body feels happy!

           – Pattie Blohm, Milton, GA

In a matter of six weeks I lost six pounds, my blood sugars are in much better control, my blood pressure dropped from the 140/80 range to 112/72, I feel much less hungry and have a lot more energy. I’m not really eating a lot less, but rather a lot different.

           – M Davis, Manchester, NH

Articles about Dr. Cate and her professional athletes:
Dwight Howard:

Here’s part 2, about Paleo/Primal:


“Nearly every disease I see is the inevitable product of a deranged metabolism. When metabolism is imbalanced it allows accumulating life stress (emotional, toxic, infectious) to divert your health down a wrong turn. Our first order of business working together is to get your metabolism turned around and back onto the safe road.

“While technologic interventions and pharmaceuticals work well as a last resort of after injuries and accidents, rehabilitation of a distressed metabolism requires a holistic, natural approach using a host of natural modalities. I’m excited to join forces with Primal Blueprint because I believe Mark Sisson and his team present the most sensible and effective strategies to enjoy real-world success with eating strategy, exercise success, stress management, and overall optimal gene expression.”

– Dr. Cate Shanahan


Mark Sisson interviews Dr Cate at his home in Malibu

Mark Sisson interviews Dr Cate at his home in Malibu

Dr. Cate writes about the experiences that lead her to write Deep Nutrition and Food Rules:

In high school I competed in cross country and track at an international level and earned myself a four-year college athletic scholarship and an invitation to the Olympic trials for the 1500m race. But in college, my once-indestructible body started falling apart.

Sports Injuries I Suffered From

  • Shin splints
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Illeotibial band syndrome
  • Patello-femoral pain
  • Ankle impingement syndrome
  • Pulled muscles

I was almost as intrigued with trying to solve the mystery of why I was the team member who kept getting sidelined by shin splints, tendonitis, and other sports injuries as I was frustrated by the fact of being injured. To learn more, after graduating I enrolled in Cornell University’s Molecular Biology program in hopes of somehow getting to the root of recurring sports injuries and being able to help competitive athletes like myself.

That was in the 1980s, when biotechnology was in its adolescence. I soon learned that genes are every bit as dynamic and alive as you and I, responding on a minute to minute basis to the world around them, and it was obvious to me that technology would never evolve to the point where it could keep up with the complexity of our inner biology. So I left graduate school to attend medical school in hopes of getting to the root of illness from the clinical angle.

Medical School Does Not Get to the Root of Illness

I started med school knowing that malnutrition could change human DNA, but by the time I left I’d learned so little about nutrition that I pretty much forgot about my goal of getting to the root of illness. I did learn that the problems I had could all be attributed to weak collagen in my joints and muscles, but had no idea why this problem affected me and not any of my parents or grandparents.

Only when I relocated to Hawaii, the state with the longest lifespan in the US, did I realize that I was immersed in a culture of healthy people who could teach me the secrets of what I’ve come to call “genetic wealth.”

Common External Signs of Genetic Wealth (Men and Women)

  • Strong joints
  • Fertility
  • No grey hair by age 50
  • Strong nails
  • Limbs proportioned according to the Golden Ratio
  • Long nose, high cheekbones, full lips, and strong jaw

Many of my patients were employed at the Hawaiian resorts. These women, in their 50s and 60s, worked all day long lifting, scrubbing, bending, reaching, and then when they got home they kept on going, making dinner for their husbands or chasing after the grandchildren they cared for. These women typically had beautiful skin, supple joints, and few if any grey hairs. Every last one had grown up in a rural area where they were raised as their parents and grandparents had been on home-grown fresh foods prepared according to simple traditional culinary techniques.

Traditional food is not what we think it is.

Everything I learned about diet in medical journals was turned on its head by my experience in Hawaii. Animals are actually easier to raise than vegetables, requiring only pastureland and water, and so many of my patients also raised their own goats, pigs, and chickens, and caught fish. I realized I was seeing firsthand the kinds of practical food-gathering, storing, and cooking solutions that our ancestors used throughout history; I was learning the foods that made us human.

Over the years I spent in Hawaii, I studied culinary traditions practiced by my patients, and found a world of delicious food and incredible sources of nutrients that is hidden from most Americans. I wrote Deep Nutrition to begin to draw the connections I’d discovered between food and beauty and genes and health.

Ironically, some of the poorest people in the world eat the best foods. We call them subsistence farmers and uneducated, but they are masters of self sufficiency and posses skills that few of of us educated in America can even understand.

Today, I work with Western Connecticut Health Network, where I have the privilege of being able to bring the old-fashioned country doctor ideals from rural Kauai to a modern medical practice an hour from Manhattan. I enjoy teaching people to shop, cook, and eat according to the traditional principles our bodies have evolved to depend on. Every day after work I watch Luke cook up a delicious meal, and sometimes I wash the dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What ages do you treat? I see children and adults of all ages.

What are your office hours? 8:30-5 Monday through Friday. On Wednesday, the office is open but I do not schedule appointments.

Will I see patients in the hospital? I work hard to keep you out of the hospital, but if you need to be admitted you will be well taken care of by Queen of the Valley’s excellent hospitalists. I often visit my patients during their hospital stays to provide additional continuity of care.

What happens after hours? If you have an emergency, please call 911. If you have an urgent medical question, the answering service will put you through to the physician on call. If you need medication refills, please wait until the next business day.



  • Justin Riojas

    Hello, MSII from UTH Houston. What is best evidence regarding DHA or omega-3 supplementation for pregnancy? Currently reading Deep Nutrition in between finals! Pg 168 talks about the oxidation potential of fish oil. I started on this chapter and apologize if I missed the recommendation, but any advice on where evidence is at currently with supplementation for pregnant women ?

    • The evidence would be confounded by the fact that the designers of such studies don’t generally consider the oxidation of the fish oil. So really we’re dealing with a situation where our best ‘evidence’ comes from what people used to do. We used to get plenty of fat from grass fed animals and wild caught fish ! (as well as flax oil and other fresh cold pressed seed oils, but in much smaller amounts.) Butter and cheese and other dairy fat are some of the cheapest and tastiest ways to get not just omega-3 but also K2 and CLA. And much yummier than fish oil.

  • sean olivares

    Hello Dr. Cate, Getting closer to 40 I am beginning to think about prostate health. I was hoping to see your take on this.

  • Bunny Watson

    I read Food Rules in 2014 and it was incredible. I agreed with every rule and wanted to know why you thought that way. So I read Deep Nutrition. It was riveting. I was at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. This book changed my life, and now I own your beautiful new edition. Thank you.

    Two days ago I listened to and watched the slides in your recent webinar. But, did I hear you right? This fermented cod liver oil I have been taking because I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis is actually harming my mitochondria?

    The Weston Price folks highly recommend this supplement, the only supplement I use. Should I be eating salmon or something instead?

    • HI Bunny! Great question. Yes you heard right: All liver oils have the POTENTIAL to degrade over time, like 30 days, because they contain so many of the most fragile fatty acids. But careful manufacturing can make a big difference. If manufacturers who take pains to create a higher quality product were willing to describe their procedure for preventing oxidative damage, which is different than enzymatic damage, then we consumers could get more clarity on which brands are worth buying. Until then, we’re just guessing. So that’s why I personally do not take the stuff. I get my omega-3 fats from grass fed dairy. AND a recent article suggests that simply cutting out vegetable oils without increasing omega-3 intake will prevent the destruction of the omega-3 fats already in your diet. This alone can make a huge difference to your body’s supply of omega-3, thus optimizing mitochondrial function and neurologic health.

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  • Wild Swan

    We have seen similar results to those Lita discusses, so I look forward to your answers to her specifics.

  • Lita Santos

    I Just got the following results. After 3 months on a ketogenic diet (5% carbs, 15 -20% ptotein, 75 – 80% fat) and fasting regime and 13 kg weight loss. Now i was expecting higher cholesterol but this shocked me. Even my triglycerides went up which very much surprised me and hdl went only slightly up. Everything is worse. All ratios are worse.

    Total – 7.7/298
    Hdl – 1.2/46
    Ldl – 5.9/228
    Trig – 1.4/124

    Feeling absolutely deflated after so much work. Could i be one of those this doesn’t work for?

    Previous results from 27 july are following 3 month on conventional low fat diet and 11 kg loss at that time. Everything was better with the exception of hdl which was 1.1.

    Total – 5.2

    Hdl – 1.1

    Trig – 0.9

    Ldl – 3.7

    What’s going on? What could explain these results. I’ve been so successful in terms of weight loss and how i feel but these numbers are scary.

    I have not had a HbA1c done but my fasting glucose was as follows

    27/7/16 – 4.9 nmol/L
    25/11/16 – 4.3 nmol/L
    I realise you cannot give personalised advise, but just looking for some general information on this phenomenon. I have had a few hints e.g. fat mobilisation due to weight loss and Ldl subfractions.

    I am most baffled by my trigs going up? Is it the saturated fat? Research had convinced me this was good for me.

    kind regards Lita

    • Wild Swan

      Wondering how much you are exercising because we had similar numbers changes and I was wondering it if was because our exercise was insufficient (it was, and we just started seriously lifting and boxing again). Hope you get an answer! Say,I have read that high cholesterol in women, esp of a certain age, was considered healthy, but I don’t know…

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  • Travis

    Hi. You said in one of your books that you shouldn’t worry about eating salt. I was wondering what your opinion on kidney stones are. My mother has had them and I’ve been lead to believe that one of the things that cause them is salt. What is your opinion on the cause and would you recommend staying away from salt or anything in particular.. any preventions?

    my second inquiry is simply that of being a skeptic. I read your books and I’m reasonably convinced of what your saying. however, saying that saturated fats and cholesterol are good for you is practically the opposite of what the average person seems to believe. I’m not the best at reviewing the sources in your books. I’ve done some research and it seems probable that at least some of what your saying has truth to it. Is there further reading you can recommend that would allow me to try and understand the process? Anything in particular that really stuck out at you and made you really firmly believe this? I currently eat a lot of eggs and I add a fair amount of pure butter with many things I cook. but.. I still feel skeptical and I really only believe you because it makes more sense to me then what a lot of people believe. but I’m still unsure at this point.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.


    • I see more people running into trouble with low sodium than high. If something is too salty we tend to spit it out.

      As for what make me start thinking this way, it was really the simple connections I made between sugar being sticky and causing internal molecular bonds that end up disrupting everything that make me realize there was a wealth of health to be gained from avoiding blood sugar-elevating foods. Also when I checked references on medical literature, there was a lot of sloppy science.

      Beyond that, the real source of security that you have found the truth should come from asking yourself do you trust nature or do you trust the new and the technical. Everything that I say comes from and aligns with the trust of nature.