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  • Mike

    I’m not convinced. The paper cited about garlic and raisins (other things as well) is simply an association. I love this website but I fear that as Dr. Greger tries to learn more about the health-nutrition link he forgets that there are still millions that need to be educated on the power of food to reverse our number one killers. Articles like this start to put this website on the outskirts of acceptable presentation of scientific literature.

    Please Dr. Greger, stay focused on the clear proven links between diet and health. Now a paper looking at women who have had frequent miscarriages and showing a diet change can influence the probability of a miscarriage. This would be very interesting (phd thesis anyone?). The cited paper is an association and we shouldn’t be too quick to point at a single component as the cause.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      I disagree. Hardcore science starts with an association which you observe, then you make a hypothesis, and if it is interesting enough (and you can raise the money) a study will be conducted. Viewers of this site are intelligent enough to figure out (from the video) that garlic and raisins are not the (only) answer to premature birth, but there is an association. In my opinion the point of the video is to show, that what your mother eats can have a huge impact on the rest of your life.

      • Mike

        I agree with you that an association can more us towards the hypothesis and so on. However, I would like us to be more prudent. I don’t want to see the website to start overstating the benefits. It would have been nicer, in my opinion, if the video ended with Dr. Greger stressing the fact that an association does in no way imply causation.

        It is my belief that this website can help make nutrition the mainstream treatment for our number one killers. I feel a video like this moves towards a more misleading presentation of the information for those viewers who are not versed in the great disparity between association and causation. With that said, I agree with what George said below, Pascal’s Wager is fine in the end.

        • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

          Generally it is “dangerous” to want absolute proof – it is hard to get and takes time – the ultimate hard endpoint is death. Of course correlation is not the same as causation, but it shows you where to look. There are firm, but not conclusive evidence, that a mostly plantbased diet, makes you live longer, better and minimize your risk for a number diseases. Thats enough for me. If you want absolute proof you have to wait 80 years….Some times we have to accept probable evidence, because conclusive evidence are years away. It takes years of training and experience to make the right interpretation of scientific evidence – thats why you can see all kinds of crazy claims based on science – meat, milk and eggs are health foods and so on. Dr. Greger has years of training and experience in reading scientific litterature.

    • George

      Mike: You do have a point. In cases like this I apply Pascal’s Wager. No, there’s no definitive proof that garlic or raisins can prevent premature birth. I doubt there ever will be. But garlic and dried fruits are ubiquitous, inexpensive, packed with nutrients, and tasty. I’d try it. If it works, it’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s still great

      • Joe

        George and Mike, I and my friends Alex, Ben, Charles, David, Ed, Frank, Harry, Irving, Kevin, Larry, Nathan, Oliver, Patrick, Quentin, Ralph, Steven, Tim, Ulysses, Victor, Walt, Xavier, Yuri and Zachary have been eating garlic and raisins for years, and not one of us have experienced a single case of premature birth…

        • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

          Actually, this is science – following a cohort for several years. And impressive results! You just have to be careful with the interpretation………:-)

          • Darryl

            It is a suspiciously non-random sample in a number of respects.

          • Guest

            I asked my friends Joe, Steve, Gary, Alex, Ben, Josh, another Josh and they never eat garlic nor fruit. Two of them have never had a piece of fruit in their lives. Still, no cases of premature birth….

          • Toxins

            Its all about risk going up and down. For someone who has never eaten fruit before, I can confidently say that their risk for health issues are high. Because you do not consume these foods does not guarantee premature birth.

        • Coacervate

          Ha ha, you’re all male…can’t have a baby. Like a comedy shoe. So funny because you have not experienced premie struggle. Not so funny when you have. Grow up some more and come back. We all have big laugh then.

    • Darryl

      Since you asked, Maconochie, N., Doyle, P., Prior, S., & Simmons, R. (2007). Risk factors for first trimester miscarriage—results from a UK‐population‐based case–control study.BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 114(2), 170-186.

      The most apparently protective dietary factor was daily or nearly daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, associated with a halving in risk for miscarriage. Dairy, chocolate, and intercourse were associated with lesser risk reductions, and oddly, air travel appeared almost as potent as veggies, with a dose dependent benefit for hours of flight. Meanwhile those drinking alcohol at least once had increased risk, and with daily alcohol, three times the risk..

      • Mike


  • Joe Caner

    Yum! Two great tastes that taste great together. Garlic and raisins, together at last. Wait a minute. Perhaps it is not as preposterous combination as it would seem at first blush. Maybe a rice pilaf with almonds added, or perhaps a savory chick pea stew with tomatoes and onions, or a hot and sweet potato curry. This might actually work.

  • Suzzi

    Dried fruit is awfully sweet and sticks to the teeth, possibly causing cavities. Because it’s dried instead of fresh, some of its nutrition has been lost along with various phyto-chemicals. So, I think that the equivalent amount of fresh fruit would be better. Too bad they didn’t study it’s effect. But I’m sure that drying a grape doesn’t add to it’s fiber content.

  • Skeptical

    One garlic bulb a week and a little raisins once a month. That makes the study pretty suspect to me.

    • guest

      actually its even less than what you said because in the video I beleive he said clove a week for garlic, which I’m pretty sure is just one of the little sections that you break off.

    • Darryl

      Its a case control recall questionaire study, so rather low on the hierarchy of evidence. Its worth examining Table 3 from the paper, in particular the adjusted model in the right two columns, which accounts for some other factors which may influence preterm birth risk.

      With the raisins, low raisin intake was associated with a lower risk of preterm birth than high raisin intake, which itself was not significantly better than no raisins. Given this lack of dose-dependent effects, and the very low dose level, this association may reflect overall dietary patterns: expectant mothers who occasionally choose raisins over other snacks may make a number of wise health decisions. And while statistically significant, the low raisin intake result wasn’t highly significant, the P-value indicates there’s a 3.4% chance of this result occurring by chance from comparing two random samples from an identical population distribution. (P-values are important measure of confidence in meaningful non-null research outcomes, with 5% being barely statistically significant, and very small values (commonly reported down to 0.001%) offering increasing confidence in an association).

      There’s a similar lack of dose response for dried fruit as a whole, though there’s no question that eating at least some dried fruit was associated with lower risk.

      With the garlic, there was a hint of positive dose response, as only the high intake category had a significant result. This study binned every mother consuming between one clove and multiple heads of garlic per week into a single high-intake category, so its possible more dramatic protection among those who ate more than one clove dragged the the whole category. The low 0.9% P-value is fairly impressive. My concern here would be that knowing the cloves of garlic consumed is a pretty good proxy for home cooked dinners, and home cooking tends to be healthier fare than processed, restaurant, or fast food.

      Case-control studies are done because they’re inexpensive, and often suggest avenues for further, more conclusive research with prospective cohorts or intervention trials. It’s premature to conclude that raisins and garlic prevent preterm birth, but we have more confidence that they won’t do any harm in pregnancy and might do good.

      • Mike

        Absolutely excellent. Thank you for some good analysis on the paper. I do hope Dr. Greger changes this video because, it do believe,it is misleading in its current form.

      • Mike

        Absolutely excellent. Thank you for some good analysis on the paper. I do hope Dr. Greger changes this video because, I do believe, it is misleading in its current form.

  • Kitsy Hahn

    Okay, so has anybody determined whether eating four Brazil nuts once a month can get the same result? I mean, why not carry the study beyond the raisins and garlic theory? There’s a big (food) world out there.

  • Coacervate

    Lessee,, what do I recommend to the child-bearing women in my life? Consider eating as suggested by the associations highlighted in this video? But consider the down sides…um…garlic breath! Oh dear?

    Thanks, once again, Dr. Greger, for describing the possible mechanisms in this study and other work you’ve discussed that would be congruent with these results. Taken together, the massive body of your research is distilling into a rational overarching principle of good eating, good activity and positive mental health. The Symphony is in tune. Play on!

  • GodBlessAmerica

    What about vaccines, there is a direct correlation. Aborted Fetal DNA, viral DNA and a multitude of neurotoxins are included
    in the soup into pregnant mothers. The American Pediatric Association recommends pregnant mothers be vaccinated with the tDAP vaccine to pass on immunity to the unborn fetus. The FDA noted in a report November 2013, that those vaccinated can carry the pertussus organism in their respiratory tracts for 6 weeks after being vaccinated. Now babies are being born a month early….are they escaping a toxic enviornment? I wonder? Into exposure to the dangerous whooping cough virus from their own mothers.

  • noreen

    When I was pregnant with my first and only child almost thirty years ago, I craved garlic and raisins. Not that I was a fast food freak, but Burger King hamburgers repulsed me and they do today. I still eat a whole lot of garlic, but not so much raisins. This is the strangest thing that I would read about them both almost thirty years later.