We don’t have any long-term published data on the bone health of Atkins’ followers (or any other health parameter for that matter). One might look to the Inuit peoples–the so-called “Eskimos”–for hints, though. (The word Eskimo comes from the word Eskimaux–“eaters of raw flesh.”) They seem to be the only population on Earth approximating the Atkins Diet, living largely off Atkins’ dream foods like blubber.
Despite having some of the highest calcium intakes in the world, the Inuit also have some of the worst rates of osteoporosis. Although calcium intakes vary widely, people in some villages get over 2500mg per day, almost 5 times what most Americans get, due to their eating many of their fish whole, bones and all. For example, their recipe for “Ice Cream” calls for “2 cups moose grease,” not in and of itself high in calcium, but with the addition of “1 dressed pike,” this Atkins-friendly dessert offers up a respectable 130mg of calcium per serving. The “unusually rapid bone loss” found in every study ever published on Inuit bone health is blamed on the “acidic effect of a meat diet.”[310-314]
Not only does the near-Atkins level of animal protein in their diet seem to be dissolving their bones, the near-Atkins level of animal fat leaves the Inuit women’s breast milk with some of the highest levels of PCBs in the world. Their blood is swimming with mercury and other toxic heavy metals. “They’re at the top of the food chain,” says Dr. Russel Shearer, an environmental physical scientist with the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and therefore “accumulate the highest levels of these contaminants.” In the last edition of his book, Atkins did finally acknowledge the threat posed by the industrial pollutants in animal foods and urged his followers to choose organic free-range meat.