Why Don’t Dogs Live Forever? | Rodney Habib | TEDxNSCCWaterfront

Translator: Yasmina Hablani
Reviewer: Denise RQ Dogs are awesome. (Laughter) I mean, literally,
just a smile on a dog’s face has the ability to lighten your heart up. I even come up with an equation for this
just to tell how awesome they are. Take anything,
any situation that there is. Fire a dog in there (Laughter) and it’s going to become awesome. (Laughter) For instance: mud. It’s not awesome. But now you put a dog into that situation,
and you have awesome. (Laughter) And the best part is that science backs up just how awesome dogs are. Harvard University recently
conducted a study and found that just by owning a dog, it not only has the ability
to make you happy but it can make you healthier. Just petting your dog has the ability
to lower your blood pressure, lower your heart rate,
making you calmer and more mindful. Owning a dog for those
who are isolated within their homes: getting out more, more interactive,
interacting within their communities. I even come up with an equation
thinking and showing the dogs have the ability
to grow our communities. For instance, take a look at Jack. Jack never really got out much,
stayed at home a lot. That was until he got a puppy. Then Jack was forced to get out
and walk his puppy. Here is where Jack meets Jill. Jill falls in love with Jack’s puppy. One year later, they have a baby:
community growth. (Laughter) And 41% of North Americans today
actually have a dog. As awesome as dogs are, sadly, they’re flawed,
according to science. Dogs here are not living that long, not as long as they should,
and they’re dying very young. And we ask the question why, these animals are living
in some pretty scary statistics. We have to start looking
around the world at these statistics. We know that in the last 5 years
in the United Kingdom, diabetes is up 900%
when it comes to the dog. In North America,
the obesity epidemic is up 60% as animals are plagued with obesity,
and that statistics continues to climb. And the worst one,
the most staggering statistic of all, the one that is decimating our pets
all over the planet is cancer. One in two dogs today
is diagnosed with cancer, and in fact, research are showing
that of any animal on the planet, the dog has the highest rate of cancer. And this has left the scientists
scratching their heads. What’s happening? So, what you’re seeing now is the largest canine study
to ever be conducted. 3,000 dogs, 25 million dollars
to figure out why the dogs are broken. It’s being conducted on Golden Retrievers. We have to ask the question,
“What is going on?” According to Dr. Lappin
who’s involved in the study, he said that when he graduated
from Vet School in the 70s, dogs used to live to be 17. Sadly today, they’re only living to be 11. And the Golden Retriever itself
is only living to be nine or ten. So what is it? What are these factors
that are plaguing us with cancer? I tell you, when the Broad Institute
conducted an extensive study with cancer, they found mind-blowing information
that leave humans with jaw on the ground when this research came on. It showed that although
10% of cancer is genetic, 90% are the results of lifestyle
and environmental factors, the things that are around us. If we want to dig deeper into that 90%, let’s remove the 10% for a second; you can’t change your dog’s genes if you went and adopted
your dog from a shelter. So what’s in that 90%? If you were to fire that in a cancer pie, and we would remove slices,
what is research telling us? What’s causing all this cancer? Stress, obesity, infection, sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise,
and toxins and pollution. But it leaves us
with this giant piece to the puzzle, that big piece right there,
and what is it you’re seeing? It’s diet. And according to science, this is the most important piece
that we’re not focusing on. In fact, after multiple studies, 30 to 40% of all cancers can be prevented by simply implementing dietary changes. 40% of cancer can be prevented by food. In 2013, my dog Sammie was diagnosed with cancer. I knew I needed to do
everything I could in my power to figure out how and why this happened. I burned through routers, Ethernet cords,
researching, day in and day out, trying to figure out
how was I going to stop this disease from progressing in her body. And when research pointed to me
that 40% of cancer was in the diet, I knew that’s where I had to start. So I settled on a worldwide journey, traveling around the world
looking for answers. And today, I’m going to share
with you my journey. But before I do, there is a very important word
that we all need to understand. And that word is called nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is the new science between the correlation of diet
and how it affects our DNA. For example, let’s say you are handed
a whole bunch of lousy genes: your parents, their parents, and parents;
cancer in that whole family. You have the ability
to keep those genes off by putting good functional foods
in your body. Then you’re going to start putting things
in your body that aren’t so good. You have the ability
to spark those genes on. And you’re creating disease. I knew there was going to be a correlation
between nutrigenomics and my dog. And so my journey started. And as a blogger today, I go to information to the World Wide Web, a digital community’s
largest interactive database where all the information
in the world is there. For me, it seemed pretty evident
where I was going to go. I went to where one of the oldest dogs
in the world was eating. Logically, these dogs were bulletproofing
themselves from cancer, so what were they doing? I started to travel,
and I started to research. I found dogs on all different parts
of the continent that were living in their teens
and in their twenties, until a viral post
that literally broke the Internet. It was discovered that the oldest dog in the world
was discovered in Australia. Meet Brian McLaren, a dairy farmer, a beautiful man with a simple life
and a beautiful dog. He had no idea that his 30-year Kelpie, 30-year old dog, was going to be a World Record holder
for the oldest dog in the world. So this is where I had to start;
I needed to talk to this man. “Brian, tell me,
what are you feeding your pet?” He told me that there were
a couple of factors here when he was feeding Maggie. For instance, he wasn’t
feeding her a lot; calorie restriction. He said some days the dog wouldn’t eat. She was self-fasting. And then exercise came into the equation. I told him here in North America,
people like to go outside after work and walk the dog around
the block for 20 minutes, or they’ve got that wonderful
giant fence in the yard they let the dog run in the yard. And he laughed at me. And he said, “Me and my dog, on average,
get nine kilometers of exercise a day. She follows me around
when I’m driving in the tractor.” So, when it came to her diet,
please share with me. He told me, “Every day I share with her
a giant glass of raw fed grassmilk, it comes straight from the cow. At night, sometimes,
she sneaks around after the cattle birth, and she starts eating cattle placenta.” It’s not going to be bottled. But then, he also told me
that he was adding some unconventional things into her bowl
that he believes increased her longevity. So I had to know! But before I share that,
I knew I needed more data. And what you’re seeing here is
the longest observational study to date: a 30-year study that shows the correlation
between diet, cancer, and longevity, held on almost 7,000 animals. And heading the study
was a Norwegian researcher named Thomas Sandberg. So I got in contact with Thomas. And this beautiful man
was willing to share 16 years already into the project
of his data that I’m going to share with you today. What you’re looking at
is a researchers’ graph, terribly cluttered,
very hard to figure out. So I added a little bit of modification, and we can zoom into it. When you are looking here
at the green region, all those 8.5,; these are specific breeds, and this one primarily is a Great Dane. Great Danes only live to be
about eight and a half on average; Great Danes eating
an average dog food diet. The blue section is the extension of life
when there is a diet modification. The blue section is almost
doubling the animal’s life when the pet owner
changes the diet for the dog. Holy smokes. “You tell me right now
what that is, Thomas.” Thomas said, “You know what? What’s even more important is that we see a lower incidence
of cancer in these animals. But because the diet’s varied, and you want a specific diet
for cancer rod, I suggest you to go
to The Epigenix Foundation.” The who? The Epigenix Foundation
is a world leading foundation that is funding studies in the research between cancer, diet,
lifestyle, longevity, all the things that I was just
talking you about. They were funding
a project called “Ketopets.” So I was skeptical. I got on a plane and flew
to America; I had to see this. They showed me that this sanctuary that they have,
this ground breaking sanctuary is full of the world’s leading
metabolic doctors for dogs. They were bringing in
rescued animals, homeless dogs, from different shelters around America
that had terminal cancer; stage 4, not a long time to live. And they want to give them
a second chance. With America’s only PET/CT scanner, meaning they can follow the cancer
from day one to the end of the protocol, which was a 120-day protocol, coupled with
an unconventional metabolic diet, “Ketopets” found the ability to
slow down, to halt, or to reverse cancer. I said reverse cancer. What you are looking at here
– I haven’t shared the diet with you yet – what you are looking at here,
is a standard bowl of dog food. This is what almost every single dog
in the world is eating. But the three examples I just gave you,
the oldest dog in the world, the dogs in the longevity project,
and “Ketopets” who are reversing cancer, their bowls kind of look like this. And what you’re looking at is a full bowl of unprocessed fresh food. Doesn’t seem so mind-blowing. Logically, we know, as humans if something is good,
you’re going to feel great. But in the dog food world,
it’s unconventional. It’s unresearched. And just how awesome is this? My dog Sammie, today, is fighting cancer. I mean, she’s beating it. She’s as healthy as she’s ever been
since I’ve made this dietary change. Some people may say, “I don’t know; that was very confusing,
I wouldn’t be able to do all that.” So I saved this study for last. What you’re looking at here
is a Purdue’s study. In 2005, Purdue University wanted to know, “Alright, if we add a little bit
of fresh food to a bowl of processed food, how much effect could this really have?” So, three times a week, they took some green leafy vegetables
and added it to a bowl of processed food. And the results that came back
were jaw-dropping. How did it affect cancer? Ninety percent decrease
in the risk of cancer by just adding some green leafy vegetables
to a bowl of processed food. Today, we bring
these animals into our homes, we domesticate them,
we bring them into our communities. We tell them, “We want you
to be able to understand our language. We want you to be able to behave
the way we tell you to behave. We want you to adapt to our lifestyle,
we get out or we sit at home.” But more importantly, we don’t give them a choice
when it comes to their diets. We pick what we deem is nutritious,
and we put it into their bowl. We say to them, “You have two choices. Either you eat what’s in that bowl,
or you’re not eating.” Today, with the way
the cancer epidemic is going, in you guys, and in our beautiful pets,
it’s showing no signs of slowing down. There has never been
more of an important time than right now to research exactly what you guys
are putting into your pet’s bowls. Oh, and by the way, when an 85-year old plumber,
from Austin, Texas, Jake Perry, this brilliant man was asked, “Jake, how on earth did you set
the Guinness World Record not once but twice, with the oldest living cats in the world, a 34- and a 38-year old cat?” His response? “I just added
some fresh food to the diet.” Thank you guys. (Applause)