Book written by David L Minkoff, MD

Book Review by Ronald Peters, MD, MPH

Scientists estimate that the adult human body contains between 30 and 40 trillion cells. Our galaxy has about one hundred billion stars. (One trillion is 1000 billion) Your body has more cells than there are stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

There are millions of biochemical reactions occurring every minute in each of the trillions of cells in your body.

Biomolecular research suggests that protein is about 75% of human body tissue and there are some 42 million protein molecules in a single cell.  This astonishingly complex mix is made of about 10,000 different types: antibodies, contractile proteins, enzymes, hormonal proteins, structural proteins, storage proteins, and transport proteins. The word protein is derived from the Greek word proteus, which means “primary.”

Ribosomes are tiny complex molecular machines found in every cell of the body. Their job is to manufacture proteins from amino acids, a process called protein synthesis.

The instruction for making proteins is stored in our DNA and this complex mix of intracellular proteins mut be properly controlled to produce health. Many diseases are caused by either having too little or too much of a certain protein. The more scientists know about how protein abundance is controlled, the better they can prevent, or treat disease.

Protein is made from building blocks, called amino acids. The body needs 20 different amino acids for growth and healthy body function. Nine of these are “essential”, meaning they are not made in the body and must come from our diet.  They are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The “nonessential” amino acids are made by the body, primarily in the liver.

The liver recycles used proteins to create amino acids such as alanine, aspartate, glutamate, glycine, and serine and essential amino acids, such as histidine and threonine.

Pregnancy, infancy, trauma, and chronic disease require an increase in the body’s growth, regenerative and healing functions and require more amino acids that everyday needs. For example, arginine (nonessential) is needed in higher amounts to recover from injury or enhance healing in response to disease, such as cancer.

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy foods provide complete protein, but they also contain fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.  Fats are essential for energy production, cellular growth, organ protection, immune function and helping to absorb key nutrients, like vitamin A.  However, Americans eat too much fat.

Saturated fats are found in animal products, dairy foods such as cream and cheese.  They are more “solid” and are used to in many processed foods, fast foods, cookies, pastries, and pizza. Eating too much saturated fat increases LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease, as well as weight gain and increased risk for diabetes, and stroke.

Unsaturated fats are found in nuts, seeds, and avocados, as well as plant oils such as olive and safflower oil.  Unsaturated fats help to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which transports the “bad” LDL cholesterol to the liver where it is broken down and discarded.

According to paleoanthropologists, our ancestors had fat three times a week and we modern humans often have three times a day, leading to overloaded fat storage throughout the body and cellular insulin resistance, a key mechanism for the epidemic of chronic disease in our society.

The body stores fat in muscle cells and when they are overloaded with fat they become “resistant to insulin”.  Due to increased intracellular fat, it is difficult for insulin to drive glucose into the cell and both insulin and glucose rise in the blood, thus contributing to weight gain, and increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and even depression.

Let’s get back to protein. From 30 to 50% of older people in our society are protein deficient according to medical research. Protein deficiency occurs for two reasons: poor diet and impaired digestion and assimilation. Research in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging reveals that in older people in the United States insufficient protein is a marker of poor health.

The signs of protein deficiency include:

  • Fatigue, weakness, and frailty
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Hair loss, acne, and premature skin aging.
  • Weak immune function and slow wound healing after injuries
  • Edema, or swelling, often in the legs, is a sign of a serious medical sign of protein deficiency and it is a sign of kwashiorkor. It is caused by low levels of albumin, the most abundant protein in the blood.
  • Fatty liver, or, fat droplets developing inside of liver cells, which is a symptom of kwashiorkor, a severe form of protein malnutrition that typically develops in infants and children who are living in poverty-stricken regions of the world. If not treated properly fat deposits in the liver becomes a disease called “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”.

Protein deficiency in older people is often due to poor diet, but perhaps more importantly, it is often due to poor protein digestion, which is a common companion of the aging population. The following common conditions disturb protein digestion, even in people who have no GI symptoms, or complaints:

  • Low stomach acid production, or hypochlorhydria. When chewed food, hopefully thoroughly, enters the stomach, acid is secreted by the stomach cells along with digestive enzymes to break down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats so they can be absorbed later in the small intestine.  Too little acid production is very common, even in younger people.  High stress is associated with reduced acid and enzyme production.
  • Common Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid
    • Bloating, belching, burning, or gas immediately after eating
    • Nausea after taking supplements
    • A sense of fullness after eating
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Hair loss
    • Brittle nails
    • Iron deficiency
    • Undigested food in stool
    • Chronic yeast infections
    • Itching around rectum
  • Intestinal candida overgrowth due to excessive antibiotic use in the past, as well as prolonged in use of alcohol and sweets create “leaky gut” which impairs assimilation of nutrients from the small intestine.
  • Antacids such as Alka Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums are commonly used for heartburn and indigestion, but they also impair protein digestion by neutralizing stomach acid.
  • Acid blocking medications such as Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Aciphex are more dangerous because they are prescribed by physicians and often taken for a long time. These drugs are associated with an increased risk of death and many side effects, including heart disease, dementia, fractures, pneumonia, and kidney disease.
  • A low sodium diet lowers stomach acid production.
  • Eating disorders are associated with stress as well as indigestion from low stomach acid.
  • Aging in general is associated with a “natural” reduction of stomach acid production.
  • Drinking lots of water before or during a meal dilutes stomach acid and iced drinks with meals constricts or slows normal cellular acid production.

The multiple stresses of modern life put high demand on the chemistry of proteins.  There are toxic burdens affecting or minds and bodies:

  • toxic chemicals,
  • heavy metals like mercury and lead,
  • mold toxins,
  • chronic emotional stress with high levels of the cortisol,

Stress creates a hypermetabolic state with the production of glucose to provide energy for the cells and mobilizing amino acids, all designed to increase immune response and wound repair to meet the challenge of “fearsome” issue summoned by the worried thoughts.  Some people worry throughout the day and the body is listening and activating the powerful stress physiology for no good reason.  Inevitably, the immune system weakens, and disease develops.

A whole food plant-based diet provides plenty of protein to meet our daily needs and has other benefits, including the prevention of heart disease and cancer, easy weight loss, reversal of coronary artery disease, reduced blood pressure, reduction or elimination of elevated blood sugar and type 2 diabetes.

According to Dr David Minkoff, writing in his book, The Search for the Perfect Protein, protein malnourishment may be found in people with the following medical conditions:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Sleep disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Recurrent infections and weak immune function
  • Weight gain and obesity

PerfectAminoXP Powder


1 serving (1 scoop or 5 tablets) is the protein equivalent of approximately 30 grams of whey, pea, soy and collagen, but instead of 120 calories, you only get 2.


Healthy protein metabolism is a certainly key issue in treating chronic illness and preventing disease, but it is only one piece of a complex puzzle.  As the father of modern medicine said about 2400 years ago: “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

However, the maintenance or restoration of health depends on good nutrition, aerobic fitness, and weight training, and perhaps the most important piece to the puzzle is the governing influence of consciousness on the function of the human body.

Read more on the power of the mind