Doctor's Note

This is the final video of a three-part series on the latest discoveries about fighting inflammation with plant foods. See Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell, and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes. Inflammatory bowel disease risk is also tied to arachidonic acid (see Inflammatory Remarks About Arachidonic Acid), which may partially explain the animal protein connection, given the levels in chicken and eggs (see Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation). For more research into reversing chronic disease through diet, see Eliminating the #1 Cause of DeathCancer Reversal Through Diet?How to Treat Diabetes; and Research Into Reversing Aging. Also, be sure to check out my other videos on inflammation.

For more context, see my associated blog posts: Treating Crohn’s Disease With Diet, The True Shelf Life of Cooking OilsTop 10 Most Popular Videos of the YearBiblical Daniel Fast TestedLead Poisoning Risk From VenisonPlant-Based Diets for FibromyalgiaShould We Avoid Titanium Dioxide? and Mushrooms and Immunity.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    This is the final video of a three-part series on the latest discoveries about fighting inflammation with plant foods. See yesterday’s video-of-the-day Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell and Friday’s video Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes. Inflammatory bowel disease risk is also tied to arachidonic acid, which may partially explain the animal protein connection given the levels in chicken and eggs. For more research into reversing chronic disease through diet, see Eliminating the #1 Cause of Death, Cancer Reversal Through Diet?, How to Treat Diabetes, and Research Into Reversing Aging. There are 25 other videos on inflammation and hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects if you’d like more information.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      This is Fantastic to have supportive research to confirm what I see in my practice everyday!  Thanks for finding that study because it validates all the remissions I have had in Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis cases who go on plant based lifestyles.

      Best cases: I have a 10 yo boy (now 11) and his sister 8 yo (now 9) who were sufferers of Crohns and UC respectively.  Both had been to Pediatric GI docs and had visual and biopsy confirmation of their diseases.  Both were placed on Remicad and had multiple bursts of Prednisone.

      I convinced their Mom to go Vegan and guess what. . . both are in remission, are off their meds and have had no flare-ups since December last year.  Both are now back playing sports and excelling at being kids something that both hadn’t experienced since 7 and 6 years old.

      I must give credit to John McDougall, MD who helped guide me in the process of understanding the power of plant based diets.  And also for having Michael Greger, M.D. speak at his Advanced Study Weekends where I was mesmerized by Dr. Greger’s interactive lectures and learned of

      Can’t beat the Power of Plants!

      • Traportka

        How fortunate for your patients who are in remission because they changed their eating habits/diet!  That is considered a miracle in my book!  Your response gives me hope and believe me, that’s a big deal.  Thank you! 

        My son, Noah, was dx in 12/09 w/Crohn’s.  He was 12 yrs. old at that time.  He started out with Sulfazaline, then went to 6mp and now Remicad.  He’s being tx’d at Loma Linda & has seen 3 GI’s so far.  NO ONE is acknowledging diet being a paramount factor in healing.  I feel like I’m on an island all by myself, since I know better.    My brain is on overload trying to learn, absorb, and dissipher (sp) all this information about Crohn’s. 

        At this point, my biggest dilemna is convincing my now, 14 yr old Noah, to go Vegan.  He’s headed for boarding school in August and my heart is up in my throat trying to get this under control and figuring out how I can make this happen before then.  He is extremely resistant/sensitive to certain textures of food and has cravings for unhealthy foods (processed).  It’s been a real struggle to get him to eat fruits and veggies because all he really wants to eat is meat at every meal.  I have made a valiant effort to provide a balanced diet, homemade yogurt, fruit smoothies, veggies, homemade bone broths and the like.  He’s turned his nose up to all that I’ve mentioned.   

        Are there any guidelines to follow in regards to the appropriate nutrients a boy needs while eating Vegan?  Do you recommend supplements and probiotics?  How about a mutlivitamin? Can a Vegan diet be elemental (liquid) too?  How often do you scope your patients w/Crohns? 

        Forgive me, please.  Do I sound like I’m about to go over the edge? This has been overwhelming to say the least.  I just want what’s best for my son.  These new biologic drugs, or drugs of any sort, given to a 14 yr old boy for an unlimited amount of time seems careless when there’s no other discussion about other healthier alternatives that have less side effects.  I’ll continue to search until I’m satisfied with the answer.  That’s the least I can do for the love of my life……  : )

        Blessings to all!

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          I don’t have a lot of time right now but I will try to give you as much information I can because of your sense of urgency.

          I know it is difficult to get children to change.  I have two, a 14 and 12 year old boys.  Both were hard to change but persistence and education were big factors in their making the switch. 
          I had them watch the Cheese/Mite video
          To show them what is put into our foods.

          I had them watch part of Carnism by Melanie Joy
          Fast forward to the part where she shows animals have feelings and then how they slaughter animals. Warning it is not for the faint of heart.  And I MADE my children watch this. There was no barganing.  It’s imperative they  understand where the meat comes from and they needed to understand the cause and effect of their choices.
          You could also have them watch Earthlings which is sickening but important. 

          Here are some success stories from patients at Dr. John McDougall’s website which are inspirational and hopefully identifiable with your son

          I can’t find one of the Star McDougallers, she had Crohns or UC and cured it at age 65 I think.

          Have a talk with your son about cause and effect and that the choices he makes today will have profound consequences tomorrow for his body (but be gentle aboout it).

          Most importantly, tell him the reason you are trying to get him to change is because you love him more than anything in the world and you don’t want to see someone you love, with all your heart, suffer.

          I have to go but I hope this helps.
          Sincere regards.

          • Traportka

            Thank you for being so generous with your time and the information you shared.  It is greatly appreciated. 

            My concern is the time constraint of implementing and introducing a vegetarian diet when I am a beginner at best.  My son will eat the food that I prepare or buy.   Another obstacle, which I am sure can be overcome in time, is that I have to provide and prepare the food ahead of time and then transport it to my son while he is away at school for the week.  These are just some the logistics involved! 

            After some serious thought, I will step back for just a bit to catch my breath and come up with a plan.  I may have to ease into this gradually before I can fully implement. 

            I know I am on the right track.  It’s just a daunting task, to say the least, to be told by the medical professionals in charge of your child’s health that diet doesn’t play a role in regaining good health.  If that doesn’t blow one’s mind, I don’t know what will! 

            In my humble opinion, just as “carnism” is barbaric and disturbing, so is ignoring the dietary nutritional needs of a growing teenage boy under doctors care.

            Can’t wait to see how this all turns out once Obamacare takes full effect. 


          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            I just had those two children follow up today in my office.  They are still in remission and still Plant based.  He and his sister came in today because they needed immunizations to start back at public shool.  Originally they were home schooled because they wer so sick and lethargic they couldn’t handle a full day at public school. 

            Since going plant based they have been doing perfectly and have had no flare-ups.  You son can do this too.

            This is just fantastic and should give you hope and the energy to forge forward into going plant based with your son.

            All the best.

        • Guest


          In addition to HemoDynamic’s excellent advice and resources you may also want to check these out as well.

          Gary Yourofsky’s speech on animal rights and veganism held at Georgia Tech in summer of 2010.  It is a bit intense at times (but quite good), and it definitely gets the point across about why it is important to go vegan/plant-based. 

          You may also want to seek a consultation for your son from Dr. Klaper, a very well-respected doctor who uses applied nutrition and complementary medicine in consultation with his patients.   

          To go plant-based, starch-based, vegan, etc, is not that difficult really, but like all changes it takes time and getting used to until it sticks. There are SO MANY wonderful resources out there that can guide you along the way.  Like Dr. Barnard’s 21 Day Vegan Kickstart Program.

          I also really like NutritionMD a lot, as well.  Loads of information about nutrition, recipes, and how to construct a  vegan grocery shopping list (and so much more). 

          Regarding getting optimum nutrition for your teenage son, check out the “Nutrition Tips: NUTRITION FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN” section on the NutritionMD web-site.  Dr. Greger covers this as well here. You may also want to read Jack Norris and Virginia Messina’s book _Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet_.  It is a wealth of easy to digest (pun intended) information, and it has an entire chapter on “Raising Vegan Children and Teens”.

          Wishing you and your son the best of health!

      • Amyc1085

        Hello. I see you posted this a year ago, so I am really hoping that you still follow this discussion. I am mom to a five year old girl dx with chrons disease at age 3. We originally had her on pentasa which only worked for a few months before we found the SCD diet. That helped for a few months until she had another flare which we then had to higher her dosage. That helped, we took her off the meds and continued with the diet but once again she is in a flare. I just recently started finding information on following a plant based diet and juicing. I never would of thought that it could work bc of all of the roughage and fiber, but the success stories can’t be denied. It’s just that this information conflicts with all of my previous knowledge, so I don’t really know where to start. How do you start implementing a diet that is quite opposite from what I know. Do you take it slow? Or do you just go straight in eating all sorts of fruit and veggies. I’m assuming that this diet is also eliminating all processed foods as well. I should also add that she has obvious sensitivities to fruit/sugar and I suspect that she has problems with candida. Do you know if this diet would help with that as well? I’m sorry to ask so many questions, I’m just desperate. I know it’s a long shot me posting on here from a post from a year ago, but it’s worth a shot.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          Yes a Vegan diet will help. The child that I referred to in the previous post one year ago is still doing well but does every once in awhile have a flare up when he gets stressed (according to his mother) and has to take some shorts bursts of prednisone. But the whole family is now Vegan because of the benefits they have seen in their son and daughter.

          I have had about 10 patients with significant Inflammatory Bowel disease all of whom have benefited from a plant based diet. And yes it is contrary to what current medicine teaches. Why? I would rather not speculate b/c then I would sound very negative.

          There is substantial evidence too about Crohns being infective from a bacteria in dairy called Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis (MAP) that seems to colonize the bowel and is difficult to eradicate.

          A physician in Australia, Dr. Brody ( has performed extensive research this inflammatory bowel disease is primarily infectious from MAP (FOUND IN NEARLY ALL DIARY PRODUCTS AND CANNOT BE PASTEURIZED-research shows it’s even in milk based infant formula) and needs to be treated with long term antibiotics and has had fairly good success rates. Unfortunately from what I can tell he doesn’t incorporate much dietary change.

          Anecdotally, Dr. McDougall, MD and myself can vouch for the success of inflammatory bowel disease with a Plant-Based (Vegan) lifestyle.
 Scroll down to: Ulcerative Colitis Relapses with Meat and Beef and read
          A patient success story:

          A great place to start is the info at PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and the Vegetarian Starter Kit:

          Click Health and Nutrition Literature, sign up with your email address for free then download the Kit and many other good easy to read literature titles to help with understanding disease and recipe’s.

          I’m 100% sure the diet will help but there is evidence that pharmacologic treatment may be necessary. So try the lifestyle changes first (no risk in that at all) and if it doesn’t completely get rid of the disease then consider antibiotic treatment.

    • Stefan Juhl M.D.

      What a great study ! This is as good as it gets. Plant Strong is anti inflammatory. No doubt. If I recall medschool right the GI docs warned against to much fiber in Crohns, because of strictures in the intestine, so will they implement this powerfull, healing, cheap, safe “disease modifying drug”?

      Sterols vs Steroids

      Radicchio vs Remicade

      Salad vs Salazopyrine

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        In med school that is exactly what I was taught–a low-residue diet (low in fiber) for UC, IBS, Crohns Dz. 

         (They also taught no nuts or seeds with Diverticulosis because it will cause Diverticulitis which has also been proven to be bogus!)

        That never made sense to me because I already knew that high fiber intake decreased bowel transit time (moved it through faster) and food being in contact with the bowel less time meant less irritation to the bowel wall.  I also knew that meat and dairy were one of the most irriating things to those delicate intestinal walls.  So why low fiber?

        Well without my doing a Lit search I’ll bet there are some real ‘good’ studies out there proving crappy diets (meat and dairy) help people feel crappy but are made to sound like they heal everything.  Bet they’re funded by big AG as well.  I’ve already seen a bunch of those studies and it is rediculous, no, Ludicrous that the junk gets published. 

        Lesson learned, Crap perpetuates crap, and quality perpetuates quality.  I vote for quality! 

        One up for plants!

        No, One Million UP FOR PLANTS!!!!

        • Stefan Juhl M.D.

          The lion has a short intestinal tract because “it knows” that you have to get the toxic wasteproduct from meat out as fast as possible.

          Kale vs colectomy !

          Keep up your energy my friend

          • DLS

            Perhaps, or it’s because herbivores need longer GITs because fiber greatly inhibits digestion, so longer transit times (and a well-developed cecum full of helpful bacteria) increase utilization of nutrients. The anti-animal-foods agenda here is tiresome.

          • Jola

            Fiber inhibits digestion [in humans]? Where is
            your evidence for making such a comment and resulting hypothesis? It may take
            longer to digest fiber, but that does not mean “fiber greatly inhibits
            digestion”. The overwhelming amount of scientific evidence indicates the benefit
            of fiber ingestion in humans to greatly aid in digestion (not to mention help treat
            diabetes, heart disease, constipation, just to name a few).


            The digestion process in humans begins the
            moment food enters the human mouth and ends at the anus. (How does fiber
            inhibit digestion from mouth to anus?) Most absorption of nutrients takes place
            in the later sections of the small intestine, and not the large intestine (where
            the cecum is located). Substances that cannot be broken down in the small
            intestine by the body pass through the large intestine where the last bits of water,
            ions, and salts are reabsorbed, and the remaining solid material, exits through
            the anus.  According to my reading and
            understanding of the cecum, “[m]ost mammalian herbivores have a
            relatively large cecum, hosting a large number of bacteria, which aid in the enzymatic breakdown of
            plant materials such as cellulose…. In contrast, obligatory carnivores, whose diets
            contain little or no plant material, have a reduced cecum….”  If anything
            the design of the human GI tract and the larger cecum seem to indicate that we
            have it precisely to aid in the breakdown of plant food and not animal food. If
            humans were designed to eat a primarily meat-based diet, it seems to me that we’d
            be designed with a smaller cecum and not one that is as “well-developed” as our


            Moreover, in regards to transit time and the human
            GI tract, when analyzing the transit time of omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans,
            the transit time in humans was longer for meat eaters and “as dietary fibre
            increased mean transit time decreased” (
            In other words, the transit time is longer for humans eating a meat-based diet.
            Again, this fact seems to indicate to me that humans are meant to eat a more
            plant-based diet by (GI tract) design.


            As for the, “anti-animal agenda” expressed in
            this forum, it’s just the scientific facts (true, it is often mixed in with a
            bit of passion).  If you have good scientific
            evidence indicating another point-of-view, please do share it. We are more than
            willing to analyze and discuss it here. 
            It need not be “tiresome” at all.

          • Very informative and thoughtful. Thank you.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Maybe it is time for you to do some comparative physiology of the human gut!

            Here, I’ll even help you out.  Read the works of one of the most prominent and well published works of Katherine Milton, PhD who is a distinguished professor of physical anthropology at UC Berkeley.  Her research focuses on the dietary ecology and digestive physiology of Primates, both humans and non-humans.

    • Aris Ioannou

      Hello there, my name is Aris and I am from Cyprus, a small European Union country. A person very close to me was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. She’s only 5 years old. Perhaps you can direct me to some milk-replacement products for the child, since milk was more or less, what she considered her favourite beverage (and from what I’ve read so far, probably that’s the cause of the disease too). Anyway, I would be very grateful if you could help me, either by posting over here, or, if its not too much trouble, sending me an email at Thank you very much  

      • Jola

        Hello Aris, 

        My heart goes out to your friend. Hopefully, the information that you are learning on this site will help treat your friend’s Crohn’s disease.

        I’m not sure what is available in Cyprus, but there are many plant-based milk alternatives available here in the States.  Maybe you can find some in your area (or at least on the internet). 

        The alternatives are: Soy Milk, Almond Milk (and other nut milks), Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, and Oat Milk.  There may be more, but these are the ones that come to mind.  You can do an internet search for “milk alternatives” to see what else might come up.  

        If some of these milk alternatives are not available in your area, you can make you own non-animal based milks (you can research recipes on the web).  The key is to stay away from animal milks/proteins.  Luckily, there are a variety of alternatives available.  

        Wishing you the best of luck and your friend a speedy and healthy recovery!

        • Aris Ioannou

          Thank you very much Jola. You’ve been more than helpful. :)

      •  I’m not a doctor, but until someone who knows more than me responds to you, consider milk alternatives like almond, rice, and hemp milks. All healthy and no nasty dairy.

    • Wrosshirt

      Dr. Greg, 
      There is a lot of new study information available on the effects of wheat protein triggering inflammation in non-celiac patients.  My personal experience suggests that wheat may act synchronously with animal protein to increase inflammation.  I’d like to see more about wheat’s negative effects in your video series including its incredibly high glycemic index figure, it’s direct effects in raising advanced glycation end-products, and its neuro effects through wheat exorphines.

    • steve

      Doctor I am a 58 year old crohns patient and had surgery a year ago. Constantly have to avoid fat in diet or pay the price. I was trying to find the study mentioned below to study up on the diet and see if I could pull it off. Please advise:

      thank you

  • Iamlfbadvm

    My name is Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander,BA,DVM. there is a condition in dairy cows called Johnnes Disease. USDA allows these diseased cows to go to slaughter for human consumption. In various research thru out the years, it has been suggested that there might be a link between Johnnes Disease in dairy cows to Crohn:s Disease in Humans. According to research done in Great Britan, The milk of dairy cows with Johnnes Disease,was pasteurized for Human Consumption. After pasteurization,the bacteria that causes Johnnes Disease, was still present. Pasteurization did not kill the bacteria.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Yes, and the bacteria is Mycobacterium avium paratuburculosis (MAP). 

       Here is a good research article on Crohns and MAP in children which shows the sources of MAP:
        “Humans may easily acquire MAP by multiple routes of transmission. MAP is present in pasteurized milk, infant formula milk, breast milk, municipal tap water, surface water, and cow manure (14).”
      14. Collins MT. Paratuberculosis: review of present knowledge. ActaVet Scand 2003;44:217–21.

      Got pus?

      • Stefan Juhl M.D.

        What about Bovine Leukemia Virus?

        Milk is such a great food – apparently you are at risk of acquiring Crohns disease, maybe leukemia, diabetes type 1, osteoporosis, breastcancer, prostate cancer, CVD, stroke and in the waiting time of your fate you get fat with pimples.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          What about BLV causing NHL, and Prions causing MadCow (Swiss-cheese brain) disease. I’ll tell you what, the milk industry couldn’t give a rats @$$ about me or my family so I play the same way. I don’t care about them either so everytime I recommend a dairy free diet, which is everyday, I feel like I am freeing my patients from the brain washing and bondage that has kept them sick and enslaved to the medical system.
          It’s about independence today and everyday. Being able to be free from sickness, free from medications, free to live in good health is abasic human right and to have an industry that is the antithesis of that is . Some would say communistic.

          Happy Independence Day my friend!

          • Narrativeart

             Most doctors tell there Crohn’s patients that diet has nothing to do with IBD. What can you do about educating the doctors? Most IBD patients are so sick that they just blindly do what they are told by their doctor, they are too sick to advocate for themselves.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            That is a big question to tackle.

            I think that most doc’s just repeat what they learn in Med School and don’t ever research the literature for the truth.  Also they are so busy (like I am) that they have to make the time (just as I do) to research the facts, and then share them with their patients.  And in the industry increased time with patients equals decreases in income.

            Also many Doctors are so egocentric in their thinking that they don’t want to be told someone else is right or told how to do things.  That’s why Doctor’s as a group are so splintered.  If we weren’t we would be the most powerful lobbying group in the world.  Look at the Teamsters and how powerful they are.  Look at Meat and Dairy (We spend (Fed Govt) 16 Billion a year on subsidies for meat and dairy):  We have way to many leaders with few willing to follow.

            I educated doc’s by having them see my patients get better which happens all the time but I have had only two docs really take note as to how many of my patients improve.  One is a Rhuematologist who has told his patients, “I don’t what he does but all my patients that see him tend to get better.”  Also one doc in my practice has started eating Vegan and I caught him taking some recipes home from PCRM’s Vegetarian Starter pack and Jeff Novicks Fast Food DVD printout.  Today he baked some brilliant Vegan scones for after out Mountain Bike ride.  A small triumph!

            This is what I tell all my patient’s, “Educate yourself”.  Don’t believe what I say look up the facts.  So I give them the reputable websites, Physicians and Dieticians so they can go read and learn more.  There is nothing more important than your own body and self, so if you want the best from it learn about it.

            Tell everyone you know about:
    Michael Greger, M.D.
   Neal Barnard, M.D.
    Dean Ornishes, M.D.
            Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D.

            Have everyone watch Forks Over Knives
            Read The China Study, The Starch Solution.
            Buy DVDs of Lectures from many great speakers at Dr. mcDougalls website.  He tapes all his advanced Study Weekends for purchase.  Buy them as a group of people and then trade them as you watch them.

            Dr. McDougall tried to get a nutrition bill passed in California for Dos to be educated but it got torn apart.  Dr. G has four vids about it on NF.  Just type in Nutrition Bill to watch them.

            Bottom line: Eat Plants FIRST because we have learned beyond even any unreasonable doubt that they heal and Second: Educate yourself (maybe at the same time would be best).

            I hope this helps.

            Share these websites with as many people you can and help educate the world. 

            The more people know the more they will change.

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            Very well said.

            The China Study is fantastic.

            Jeff Novic is great, he has a great sense of humor (“What! Its water…”)

          • Narrativeart

             You are right the only thing I can do is spread the word. I have been doing that, but people think that I am trying to sell something.
            Nobody wants to hear that their beloved hamburger that they are addicted to is making them sick.

          • Jola

            Love how you answer this question, and I love the links! However, for some wacky reason the PMRI link you have listed leads to the “Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International” website instead of Dr. Ornish’s “Preventative Medicine Research Institute.  Ah, I figured it out.  A minor typo (PMRI and not PRMI) is to blame; the correct website is: ).

            Before I sign off, I also want to add that it is so refreshing and encouraging to see practicing docs on this site.  I also wish there were more docs who were on board with plant-based interventions, eating, and lifestyle.  Any advice, on how a regular person with regular insurance can go about finding a “plant strong” primary doctor?  Last I checked, that was not one of the boxes one could check off in the insurance selection filters when researching doctors.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Thanks!  Corrected!

            Plant Strong– Engine2?

            Regarding Info on Plant Based/Strong Docs
            Just type in your Zip Code and see if any are close.

          • Jola

            Thanks, Doc.  I actually found that reference soon after I posted my question (using the web-site links that you shared above). I think that self-registry database is a good place to start.  However, it still seems pretty limited to me given how many doctors there are. (A search for California listed just 62 results and not all of them doctors.) Better than nothing, I suppose. It’d be great if insurance companies could incorporate something similar into their doctor databases. I’d love to have a primary care doc who was open to plant-based interventions/lifestyles.  

            As for “Plant Strong– Engine2?”. I have not read that particular book yet (have read many others by “the usual suspects”, but have heard the term “plant strong” and I like it.  Plant strong, plant based= same thing. No?

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            The Plant-Strong term was created to have a broader appeal, especially to the masculine side of life.

          • stacy

            Any specific diet suggestions?  I’ve been doing a fruit-based diet to help with my UC and its helping, but im not symptom-free. However, when i try to eat things other than fruit (starchy veg, legumes, nuts/seeds, gluten-free grains..grains are the worst), my symptoms flare. Any advice?

            Also, do u recommend any supplements like digestive enzymes and probiotics?  I’ve read that these actually dont help much and that enzymes can make the body “lazy” and dependent on outside sources of enzymes.  Is this true?

            Also, are fermented foods helpful (homemade yogurt, raw sauerkraut, etc)? 


          • Monica

            My 16 yr old son has crohns colitis. He’s also gf and he does take digestive enzymes or licorice supplement before meals to help with digestion when he eats outside the home. It’s also hard to digest skin from fruit or veggies, so we peel everything. He eats very little raw, he’s served soft cooked meals. Mostly liquid or pureed. He followed the lowfod map diet chart for fruits and veggies when in a flare and no night shades. Lots of detoxing. He drinks Living clay liquid, clay body mask, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and good supplements like slippery elm, marshmallow root, boswellia etc… This works for him, with this disease you can’t me lazy or you could end up in flare.

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            In med school you learn basically nothing about health and nutrition. It is fancy to prescribe drugs, performe surgery, but not sexy to recommend carrots and brocholi. In addition most patients wants a pill to cure the problem

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            It’s the American way Stefan–Instant Gratification; it’s what pills offer. 

            I Disagree about the “Plants aren’t sexy.” though. Check out the pic Below ;-“

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            I love carrots!

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            Sadly you are right. Money rules, not the truth. How we ever came to believe, that milk is good for us, is a puzzle. Milk for all animals is for their babies, and milk from another species? That is strange.

            Happy Independence Day to you and your family, dr dynamic.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          BTW, Nice pic!  Healthy looking young man! Keep up the great work! 

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            Vegans look better ! ;-) :-)

            For some strange reason I have problems creating my avatar and the picture ended up the wrong place!

    • Traportka

      I have had to absorb a lot of info. in a relatively short period of time.  However and ironically, I know of a little girl who just resetnly tested positive for MAP or Johnnes Disease.  I was shocked to discover a veternian did the blood test!  The child has Crohn’s disease, just like my son.   GI docs don’t even attempt to address the issue, at least not here in the U.S.  Am I correct in my understanding that when the bacteria transfers from a cow to a human the growth rate of the bacteria is very slow, in that it could take years to manifest itself into something that causes intestinal problems?
      What are the symptoms of MAP in children?  Why aren’t doc’s automatically testing for it once a Crohn’s dx is established?  

  • So amazing!  It’s good to be a vegan.  :-)

  • Saidsalem

    Hello, i have a question about Liposomal Vitamin C. Dose it have any additional benifits Vs Normal vitamin C like improved absorbsion or is it all hype?Thanks alot.

    • Toxins

       I wouldnt put too much weight on it. As Dr. Greger has pointed out, supplements are cheap and marketers will find all sorts of ways to try and sell them at higher than necessary prices. Vitamin C is very abundant in the plant world and deficiencies of vitamin C while on a healthy whole foods vegan diet are unheard of and I don’t see how they could be possible.

  • Jessica

    Awesome! Plant-based diets heal, I have no doubt about it. I do wonder about the accuracy of the headline on your video though. Clicking thru to the main study you discuss, I noted a paragraph near the end that states that the semi-vegetarian diet is “effective for relapse prevention,” but that the authors’ concern with “rapid, safe and reliable” induction of remission, which they say they achieve via infliximab. So it seems to me that the study demonstrates not that plant-based diets achieve remission but that they help sustain it. Is that right?

    • Jessica

      p.s. – Either way, more GI docs need to hear the message that diet does matter to Crohn’s and other IBD. The standard line is that it doesn’t.

  • Dr Greger,

    Many people with IBD have a lot of trouble tolerating fruits and vegetables and often those in a flare up are put on a “low residue” or “low fiber” diet. What do you suggest for them so that they can follow those guidelines but also try veganism? For the IBD community, minimizing the foods that directly aggravate a flare up is the main priority. 

    • Narrativeart

      I would like to know as well?

    • Jola

      I wonder if it really is the fruits, vegetables, and fiber that are causing the IBD flares ups. Might it be dairy and/or meat/fish included in the diet that could be contributing to the flare ups?  Any evidence of that in the scientific research?

    • Jessica

      I have Crohn’s and have definitely experienced this, particularly in relation to raw veggies. There have been times when the easiest foods for me were white bread and white rice. BUT, I’ve always tried to transition from those times to a diet rich in veggies and fruits. Sometimes, boosting easy-to-digest antioxidants like spices (turmeric) helps. Other times, I sneak in veggies like a mom with a picky kid, blending them in sauces and drinking smoothies, until my body is ready for the heartier stuff.

  • Narrativeart

    Why do some people get Crohn’s and others don’t?  I would like to know if the incidents of Crohn’s is increasing? And if so why? Also what is the risk for family members of a Crohn’s patient of getting Crohn’s?

  • Bill Franks RD

    Could you please post the reference for this study? 
    Thank you.

    • Toxins

      References are all listed in the sources cited section underneath the video.

  • Ilse249

    Additional information on the diet used, excerpted from the article:  “Eggs and milk were used. In other words, our diet was a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet[51]. Miso (fermented bean paste) soup, vegetables, fruits, legumes, potatoes, pickled vegetables, and plain yoghurt were served daily. Fish was served once a week and meat once every 2 wk, both at about a half the average amount.”   Also, “Foods that have been shown to be a risk factor for IBD in or outside Japan, including sweets[20-23,28-30], bread[27], cheese[27-29], margarine[27], fast foods, carbonated
    beverages, and juices[24,25,29], were discouraged. Healthy habits were encouraged: no smoking, regular physical activity, moderate or no use of alcohol, regularity of meals, and not eating between meals[53].”

  • Miranda

     Semi-vegetarian? Meat once a fortnight? That’s basically full vegetarianism in my book. Anyway, study is interesting but not compelling evidence. Not in view of the meat-heavy SCD (Specific Diet Carbohydrate) diet, which is a diet tailored specially for IBD sufferers and has the glowing testimonials of 1000s of people behind it. And this little study too:

    It’s worth nothing that the SVD diet began with test subjects who were in full remission, whereas in the link I posted the test subjects had active disease. It’s easier to maintain remission than it is to get into remission in the first place.

    Anyway, I’m not pro-SCD, but I don’t think there is nearly enough evidence yet to declare the definitive diet for Crohn’s. Far more studies need to be done.

  • Bryan Au

    I have been trying tell people this for years and now my RAW STAR Recipe book WON The #1 Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA Award 2012 by The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards because my recipes are fast, fun, easy and super delicious. It is also only 2, 5 or 10 minute recipes, is all natural new and amazing and 100% Plant Based designed with doctors and health experts for the most healthy, nutritious and balanced delicious plant based diets so now is satisfying, new, and gourmet too in just minutes:

  • PlantEater

    Thank you, Dr. Greger, for helping get the word out about dietary treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.  I suffered with ulcerative colitis (initially diagnosed as Crohn’s) for more than 10 years and was taking quite a lot of medication with little relief when I finally happened upon the concept of arresting IBD with a medically supervised water-only fast followed by a vegan diet.  I sought treatment at TrueNorth Health Center and was fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Michael Klaper, who managed my case.  The treatment was a resounding success.  No more meds, no more of the better known UC symptoms (the gut pain, diarrhea, etc.), no more of the lesser known UC symptoms (joint pain, low-grade fever, etc.).  In short, I feel great and I love the food.  If only the gastroenterologist who treated me for years were even remotely interested in how Dr. Klaper helped me achieve remission!  

    Oh, and thank you also for your amazing work of monitoring, interpreting and reporting that’s represented on this website.  Many people have asked me for information about my UC “cure” (and the accompanying weight loss, boost in energy, etc.), and this website is one of the resources I can refer my friends and family to for reliable information.  Good work!

    • stacy

      I tried to get into truenorth for my UC, but they rejected me and wouldnt tell me why, other than I was “too complicated.”  What does THAT mean?!  So, now I have no way of healing my gut bc I’ve tried everything else adn TrueNorth was my last option.  

      How long were u there and when did u go?  How long did u fast?  Were u on any supplements/meds and are u still on any?

      What is your current daily diet?  If u could provide a log of a typical day, that would rock!

      I would love to find out more info about ur experience!  Thanks

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Excellent resources!  Thank you!!

    • WholeFoodChomper

      Thanks.  Yikes, sorry about the multiple posts. Disqus was acting temperamentally. 

  • Traportka

    Many thanks to you for taking the time to respond and share.  I definately feel empowered now since I have a place to start.  All the best to you. 

  • JamesKB

    Hey Doc. My friend has Colitis. He’s been vegan for about a year. He eats a lot of bananas, white rice, potatoes, some carrots and peas mostly. I’ve encouraged him to eat foods with higher levels of antioxidants. I’d also like to see him try nuts. He intends to eat more fruit and vegetables in the future (especially greens in the form of juice). Do you think fresh green juice would be as good as the whole thing? I’m guessing not. Besides eating more antioxidant rich foods, nuts, greens and anti inflammatory foods in general, is there much more I can recommend? I’ve heard a lot about people healing from Crohns on a vegan diet rather quickly, but I don’t hear much about Colitis. Is there a reason for this?


  • JamesKB

    Oh and he has made a lot of progress by the way, since going vegan, but still feels he has significant issues.

  • Ginger Noble Sweeney

    Amazing! I co-teach a Chronic Disease Self-Management course, created by Stanford University, and you have renewed my interest in using nutrition to increase vitality and decrease chronic illness. I’m excited to share the information I’m learning about nutrition and wellness with anyone who will listen, and am so glad you have the link to your other videos on inflammation in your post. Thank you so much for all you’re doing to help us all live healthier, more vibrant lives! Also, love your voice!

  • tom w

    Thank You.  I was diagnosed with crohn’s 16 years ago, and have my usual flare ups.  I started looking into a plant based diet a few months ago for my weight and heart, then I started to wander if it would have any effect on my crohn’s.  So I wanted to thank you for this information. My wife and I have been on a plant based diet for over 7 weeks now, and are doing great.

  • Iamlfbadvm

    In the last several years,alot of research shows that Johnes Disease in Dairy Cows is a direct link to Crohns Disease in Humans. It is also reported that between 60-65 % of the Dairy Herd in the United States has Johnes Disease. According to research done in Great Britain, Pasteurization of Milk from Johnes Cows did not kill the Bacteria,”Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis.” ( MAP ) In other words, People got Crohns Disease thru the milk and milk byproducts. My name is Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander,BA,DVM. I am a former USDA Veterinarian who was in charge of the largest culled cow Federal Slaughter Plant in the United States.The Plant is located in  Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. The Plant could slaughter up to 1800 cows a day. The Plant was owned by Taylor Packing Co Inc. and is now owned by Cargill. This Plant, and other Plants across the Country,Slaughter these  Diseased Cows everyday for Human Consumption. USDA and CDC do nothing to stop the slaughter of these cows. If you are interested to know more about this connection and what I am doing about it,please contact me thru    Thank You. Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander,BA,DVM  

  • Jules

    I wish I had this knowledge nearly 30 years ago when I came down with UC. I almost died and had surgery after suffering for two years. While I was never as sick as I was before I had surgery, I still didn’t feel healthy and had other types of inflammation, including arthritis and iritis. Only when I went vegan about 5 years after my initial surgery did I start to feel young again. Nearly 20 years later, I am still very healthy. It was the best decision I ever made. Too bad most doctors don’t have a clue about this subject.

  • Elia

    I have a question. Recently I had ileostomy, where my big bowel was removed. Is there any dietary recommendations you would offer to me? Perhaps because of the surgery I cannot absorb certain nutrients and I need to eat more of the particular foods? Many thanks.

  • karen

    I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1973. I became a vegetarian in 1980 (vegan in 2008) and never had a relapse of the disease since, over 33 years!!!!

  • Dr. David Klein

    Toxic, undigestible foods that we are not biologically suited to cause bowel inflammation, colitis and Crohn’s. Via the Vegan Healing Diet Plan I teach in my Self Healing Colitis & Crohn’s book, I have helped thousands heal up. I counsel people with IBD onward to new health every week and am glad to answer questions and help.

    David Klein, PhD, Hygienic Doctor
    Director of the Colitis & Crohn’s Health Recovery Center

  • Dr. Greger,

    When I was fourteen years old, I was diagnosed with U.C. I have tried many different things to help with symptoms, I am currently trying my best to eat a plant based diet. I have read several article about supplementing with the amino acid glut amine for digestive health. Can you tell me anything about this or do you have any videos for this? I haven’t found anything yet on your site. Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you.

    • There is scientific literature that supports both glutamine and quercetin in healing the gut. True North Health in Santa Rosa CA supplements their water fasting program with these to help the gut heal. Article on Glutamine in Gut 2009 lead author is Zhou and Quercetin in J Nutr 2009 lead author Suzuki. Certainly a plant based diet is the place to start. I would recommend you read several of Dr. John McDougall’s newsletters… Chained to the Bathroom(Nov 2002), Review of article in Gut on Ulcerative Colitis in his November 2004 newsletter, Diet for the Desperate in his Dec 2002 newsletter and to help clarify the wheat issues further the newsletter in September 2005, Could it be Celiac Disease. Clearly many of our intestinal related illnesses can be reversed by proper nutrition. The devil is in the details and everyone is bit different. Our guts are very complicated ecosystems and the science keeps changing so keep tuned to View the other videos on this website on Ulcerative Colitis start with… Good luck.

  • Jane Fontein

    Ive was dıagnosed wıth Chronhs dısease and let me tell you ıt ıs paınfull! I swıtched to a vegetarıan dıet wıth very little daıry for other reasons. I dıdnt know ıt would help wıth the dısease, but ıt dıd. It has elımınated my dıgestıve problems and paın completely. I used to end up ın hospıtal very often. And lıterally wıthın days of beıng on my new dıet my symptoms lessened and wıthın a few weeks they were completely gone. Thıs ıs somethıng I have suffered wıth for years and no Dr ever suggested anythıng except steroıds and paın kıllers whıch dıdnt help much at all. More people should know about thıs.

  • VegChronie

    Sounds great, but I was diagnosed with Crohn’s after I had already been on a vegan diet for nearly a year. I admit I could have eaten more healthy vegan foods and less processed foods (which I am working on now), but my disease developed after I became vegan. I had no symptoms before. It occurred suddenly maybe 10 months after I went vegan. I have already cut carrageenan from my diet, working on less processed foods, what else can I do specifically? I’ve also been trying to work out, but nearly every time I try I feel more pain either during, after, or the next day. This is also trying relatively low intensity exercises like swimming or yoga. I also try to choose lower fiber options like white rice instead of brown.

  • Amyc1085

    Hello, my name is Amy and I am mother to a five yr old girl with Chrons disease. I stumbled upon this site when I started looking for information regarding the benefits and potential risks of juicing. She is currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am not sure if you are aware of it, but essentially you eliminate all grain, sugar, soy, starch and most dairy. This diet has previously gotten her into remission before, but she is currently flaring again. I understand how crucial vegetables (especially organic) are in diet. Unfortunately at this time they seem pretty difficult for her to digest. She is having a very hard time with fruits in particular. I would like to start juicing to get some easily absorbed vitamins and minerals into her diet. Is this something that you would recommend. Also, we all eat meat. In our defense, we eat all grass fed, free range, organic and all our cheese is from grass fed cows. I fully understand why a cow with a poor diet, kept in terrible living conditions, given horrible drugs would be unhealthy. But given the fact that we are consuming healthy meat/poultry in moderation, wouldn’t that be healthy. I feel the benefits of having meat/poultry and homemade broths can’t be ignored. I don’t mean to question your knowledge disrespectfully, I am just very interested. I’m a desperate and confused mom, who from the day of her dx has done everything in my power to prevent what doctors say is the inevitable (chemo, surgery). I will also add that she is currently on no medication for the past six months. I appreciate you taking the time to read this!

    All the best,

  • Toxins

    It is strongly advised to eliminate animal products from the diet as this is what tends to promote this disease. The issues raised with animal products are irrelevant whether they are organic or not. I do not know of evidence currently showing that a low carb diet will aid with chron’s disease, and it may actually be doing more harm then good.

    The best dietary approach would be, to again, eliminate ALL animal products, organic or not, and consume plenty of starchy foods, veggies and fruits. There is nothing wrong with potatoes, brown rice, oats, etc.

    • Amyc1085

      Thank you for your response! Everything you just said goes against everything that I have been reading and studying for the past year and a half. We follow the SCD diet which is specifically geared towards chrons and uc. The basic concept is that complex carbohydrates take longer to digest therefore giving fuel to bad bacteria. We have completely eliminated processed foods from our house and that has made a huge difference. I’m not trying to debate, I am just trying to educate myself. Right now I am willing to try anything that will help get her health back on track. Like I said, scd improved her symptoms but I have yet to see her looking healthy again. I also suspect she has problems w candida. So if you were in my shoes where would you start? Is there a book recommendation that could help educate me on how to start this. I’m so scared to make the wrong decision.

      • Toxins

        I understand your concerns. I personally put full faith into an extremely successful and well known plant based doctor named Dr. Mcdougall. He has had great success in reversing intestinal disease, such as chron’s disease, with a plant based diet built upon complex carbohydrates. You can read his medical opinion regarding the disease here.

        Dr. McDougall also has a book on digestion.

        You can also send him a personal email or call him with a question regarding your concerns.

        I wish you the best of luck.

      • Thea

        Amyc1085: I’m not a doctor or an expert, but I thought I could help supply some ideas for your question of “where to start?” I know it can be so overwhelming to change ones diet so much.

        Dr. HemoDynamic suggested that you take a look at PCRM’s site. I would further direct your attention to their 21 Day Kickstart program (which is free and starts at the beginning of each month). I am thinking that might be a good fit for you because the 21 Day Kickstart program holds your hand through three weeks – everything from grocery lists to meal plans to cooking videos and a community forum monitored by nutrition experts. So, that’s something you might want to look into:

        Another idea is to get the cookbook “Let Them Eat Vegan”. The author of this book has young children so she tends to create “kid-friendly” food. But don’t let that label fool you. I’ve been cooking quite a bit out of the book lately and loving the food!

        My final bit of advice also comes from Dr. Bernard and the PCRM site. While it is best to commit to 3 weeks of whole-food plant-based eating in order to a) break old habits, b) change your taste buds, c) start to see health benefits — it is also important to wait to start your three weeks until you are ready. It is OK to take a week or so and come up with a plan. Experiment with dishes you think your family will like. I think that the PCRM website says something like, “The average family eats a rotation of 8-9 dinners.” Lunch the next day can be leftover dinner from the previous day. And most people eat the same breakfast every morning. (How about smoothies or oatmeal?) So, making this change is not as hard as you would think. Especially since 3 dinners could be foods that you eat now that are almost naturally vegan. 3 dinners could be foods that you eat now that you “veganize.” And 3 dinners could be new dishes that you add to your menus. Looked at that way, you only have to come up with 3 new dishes!

        My point: You want to go into the 3 weeks with a calm, happy expected attitude rather than fear and concern that you don’t know what to do. There’s plenty of awesome-tasting, filling, fast, and completely healthy food out there. You just have to find what will work for your family.

        One last tip: I just started watching a DVD from Jeff Novick on “Fast Food”. It’s a great “cooking show” that puts together fast but super-healthy food with simple ingredients that you can get from any grocery store. I think this video could be a huge help to you in trying a whole food plant based diet with your family.

        The best of luck to you. I’m excited for you to take this journey. If you decide to give it a try, please post back and let us know how it went.

      • Thea

        Amyc1085: I thought of something else I meant to share. The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a great source of information. They have a page on “Feeding Vegan Kids” that I think is really good. The first part is all about infants. But don’t give up. They get into older kids further down the page.

        Here is the link and some excerpts that I think are important:

        “The best way to assure that your children achieve their ideal rate of growth is to make sure that they have adequate calories. Some vegan children have difficulty getting enough calories because of the sheer bulk of their diets. Children have small stomachs and can become full before they have eaten enough food to sustain growth. The judicious use of fats in forms like avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and seed butters will provide a concentrated source of calories needed by many vegan children. Dried fruits are also a concentrated calorie source and are an attractive food for many children. Teeth should be brushed after eating dried fruits to prevent tooth decay.

        Children should get enough calories so that protein can be used for growth in addition to meeting energy needs.
        Table 17 (page 193) shows one diet plan that has been used successfully by vegan children.”

        You’ll want to stay away from processed foods like “soy hot dogs” if you can, but I think the general information in the above page is pretty good.

        Hope that helps!

  • Ilana

    Dr Greger, in addition to abstaining from animal products, what do you think about the claims that link gluten to autoimmune diseases?

  • john

    When I asked my doctor (gastroenterologist) if diet may play a factor in my pancolitis he laughed at me, in a way that was like “There’s no way diet could possibly have anything to do with it; leave the thinking to us doctors and don’t suggest any more silly ideas.” He then told me I would have to take 3 pills 3 times a day (9 pills a day) that he prescribed. I have been symptom free and off the meds for years.

  • rosmoreno

    My mother-in-law has been suffering with crohns for almost twenty years. Her doctor has told her that her diet has nothing to do with her disease and therefore she had been hesitant to change her eating habits. Her doctor has told her that many raw vegetables can irritate her disease. I would like to take her to a doctor in the Dallas area that shares Dr. Gregers ideas on nutrition and crohns disease. Any recommendations?

  • Heidi

    Ok, I am confused. So much info that I’ve read says that fish oil is ANTI-inflammatory, so how can fish be included on an inflammatory food list?

  • Chloe

    I don’t know if anyone will answer this. I have been in severe pain for 19 years. I was born with choledochal cyst/biliary atresia. I have had 7 surgeries from birth including roux en y surgery and repair of 2 narrowed hepatic ducts. Food hurts to eat. I do get cholangitis but since I cut out most food other than Ensure stirred in yoghurt and some fruit I haven’t had a temperature for two years. However, I regularly get hot flashes the whole 19 years, bouts of really severe pain that will go down with IV antibiotics and anti inflammatories help too but after Iv antibiotics the pain comes back quite quickly and slowly builds up again. I’ve now made things worse with this strict diet and had to blockages due to severe constipation so I will have to eat more proper food but eating protein has seen an increase in back pain these last two weeks. I have secondary scelorising cholangitis but although I have significant right lobe damage I am along way from a transplant, I have increased shoulder tip pain this year and body aches that can be severe plus joint pain, I am told my liver is not bad enough to justify the body aches. I was in hospital two wks ago with a second bout of severe constipation and I was treated like dirt by the specialist and accused of lying via little digs. I only learnt last year that he has never believed I am ill and did not interview me on what happened in the uk when I lived there for 4 years–they treated me very well there although I ended up on the wrong team as I did not know chronic pancreatitis had been dismissed. In my late teens I was diagnosed with U/c but I know think they may have been mistaken although I have had mucous back lately but no diarrhea either than or now. My life is very limited and I have to take a lot of pain killers which no longer work well. I am thinking I should try this diet of yours maybe it will help with all the pain. I have a supportive doctor at the liver transplant unit who suggested bacterial overgrowth but the doctor down here doesn’t believe it. It has not helped that because of family reasons at home I have not been able to go in to hospital every time I am in severe pain–I was able to in the Uk although I did not go in if I only had the pain without a temperature, as for many years I was told by my family doctor in NZ, I would be sent home if I only had severe pain. It is really hard to change my behaviour now I know I can go and of course it hasn’t helped that I had problems at home which made me feel I could not go in–this have been resolved. Nz has had massive cutbacks to it’s health care system with the community health care act of 2001–similar ideas have been introduced around the world due to worries over the aging population. Anyway, do you think I may have a chance of this helping my severe pain problem?

    • Thea

      Chloe: I was waiting to reply to your post because I was hoping that someone more knowledgeable or with related experience would reply.

      I’m not a doctor, but I have a thought for you that seems reasonable to me: I would guess that you have tried everything else. And while we may not have a lot of studies specifically about your condition, we have seen plenty of studies and a bazillion (I’m sure ;-) ) case studies showing that whole plant food based diet has helped people chronic pain, including joint pain. Since, for *most* (perhaps not all) people, eating a whole plant food based diet can’t hurt and seems to help in so many ways, I would think it would be worth your effort to give it a real try.

      The trick for someone who is not familiar with this type of eating is to get the details right. You will want to make sure you take a good B12 supplement. And you will want to make sure you are eating whole plant foods, not processed. It can be hard to do if you are in pain and don’t feel like cooking. But there are some things you can do that are extremely easy and extremely healthy. For example, if you can open a can of beans and rinse them. Then put them on a sweet potato that you baked quickly in the microwave. And then poor on some store-bought salsa and maybe some defrosted (pre-chopped) broccoli, you will have a great whole food meal that came together with nothing more than opening containers and a little zapping in the microwave.

      Two other ideas for you are: Jeff Novick’s DVD on Fast Food. In that DVD you will learn other ways to make easy, whole food plant based meals that are nutritionally excellent. If you are up for a little cooking, you might try the free PCRM 21 Day Kickstart program.

      Kickstart will hold your hand for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum where you can ask questions.
      (Click the green “Register Now” button.)

      Hope that helps! Also, I’m sorry you are going through so much suffering. I hope it gets better.

  • Maggie Paala

    Hello, I just joined this discussion and I’m hoping I will still get a respond despite my late post. My fiance’ was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease of the large intestine at 21 years old (he is now 37). He’s had three major surgeries (a removal of 85% of his colon, a temporary ileostomy, and a reversal). Three years from his surgery and he is still struggling with his symptoms including chronic abdominal pain and severe fatigue after getting off of Prednisone. I’ve read a little bit about SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and it’s benefits to Crohn’s disease. Any thoughts of this specific diet? What’s your defense on doctors saying that patients with Crohn’s should not eat vegetables as it is high in fiber? Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’m determined to help him deal with his symptoms along the way and I refuse to believe that diet change would not make a difference on patients with Crohn’s disease! Also, I met a physician that conducts DNA testing that determines the appropriate diet and medications that is better metabolized by an individual. Has any of your heard of this and what’s the reliability of the result of a DNA test for a person’s diet and medication?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Let me know if you’re still looking for some advice?


  • Eryn

    I can’t tell you how much I loved this. I wish I had seen it 20 yrs ago when I was diagnosed with Crohns disease as a college freshman. I even got my degree in dietetics (never practiced due to having a family) but never heard a word about “plant based” diets. I followed the recommended high protein, low fiber diet without any improvement and suffered greatly for many years. About 4 years ago I came across Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman which led me to more and more books about the plant based lifestyle including The China Study which was the clincher for me. I have now been in remission for the past three years despite my gastroenterologist calling me “noncompliant” and “in denial” because I refused to continue taking the TNF blockers. He refused to acknowledge that I was in remission despite completely normal labs for the first time EVER. I had had 4 blood transfusions and hospitalizations to low blood calcium previously. My two colonoscopies since going plant based have been completely pink and healthy. No one can convince me it wasn’t my diet. I will never go back and insist on telling anyone who will stick around long enough about my experience…wish more would actually listen.

    • Thea

      Eryn: Such a moving story. It is so hard to go against a doctor’s opinion. I’m glad you found the strength to do it and to heal yourself. It’s sad you suffered all those years, but you have a happy ending now. :-) Hopefully this information will get out to other people in a similar situation.

  • Karen

    I am living proof that this is ‘spot on’. When I was 18, 1978, I was diagnosed with Chron’s disease. Two years later in 1980, I became vegetarian, now a vegan since 2008. Not once in the past 37 years did I have a relapse.

  • backyarder1

    I have been having digestive problems for over two years. I recently had a CT scan of my abdomen and was told that I have terminal ileitis. I eat a LOT of animal based protein including eggs for breakfast every day and usually meat at least one other time every day. It will be a huge change for me to go vegan but it would certainly be worth trying if it would clear up my problems. Can you recommend any books or any of your posts that would help me develop a diet plan? I don’t even know where to start.

    • Thea

      backyarder1: This is one of my favorite types of posts! Allow me to make some suggestions.
      Dr. Greger just published a book called How Not To Die. Part 2 of that book includes a diet plan that many people are finding helpful. Note that Dr. Greger does not make any money off of the book. All the proceeds go to supporting this site. I do recommend checking it out.
      One of the suggested resources in Dr. Greger’s book is PCRM’s (Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine) free 21 Day Kickstart program. That program is super great for beginners because they hold your hand for 21 days – including grocery lists, meal plans, recipes, cooking videos, inspirational e-mails, and a forum moderated by an RD where you can ask all sorts of questions. If you are interested, click the green button on the following page to register:
      One thing to keep in mind is that some people can go “cold turkey” and change their diet in a day and be very successful. Other people need to transition over time, both to let their bodies and their minds adjust to the healthier diet. I have heard PCRM’s director, Dr. Barnard, say that initially, people are not ready to make a change. There needs to be some planning and finding out what foods you like. Maybe try some new dishes mixed in with your regular ones until you are feeling confident/not overwhelmed about making a change. Here is a page from PCRM that talks about how to make a plan (if you don’t want to do either of the above ideas or you want to combine all of these ideas):
      If you still need another idea, here’s another favorite of mine: Pick up 1 to 5 healthy vegan cookbooks. And start a cooking. Be sure to make extra so that you can have leftovers and don’t have to cook all the time. Some healthy options (especially if you skip the oil in the recipes) that I particularly like and cook from all the time myself are: Vegan on the Cheap, Eat Vegan for $4 A Day, Everyday Happy Herbivore, Let Them Eat Vegan, Plant Powered Families, and Vegan Casseroles.
      Finally, I want to say that using the term ‘vegan’ is fine shorthand, but as a newbie, I want to make sure you understand that the goal is to eat (large quantities of absolutely delicious) whole plant foods, not just to abstain from meat, dairy and eggs. The above references will help you to understand what a Whole Plant Food Based (WPFB) diet — the one recommended on this site — really is. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. And don’t forget the B12 supplement. Most important.

  • mary


  • AP

    I have Crohns. Have had 3 surgeries. Last one in 2009. Have had three or four partial blockages since 2009. Do my best to eat a plant based diet; however, I often cook the dickens out of my veg, a wee raw, but I ration the raw, and certain veg I avoid altogether. I eat no corn, no nuts, no seeds unless I grind them. I have no ilium. I take B12 shots because I have no ilium. I listen to all your videos and read all your stuff. I worry because the variety of plant food is not as great as others and because I either ferment or cook everything; additionally, i mix my veg with rice or pasta to slow down digestion, in what i think is forcing my tummy to start digesting what should not head to my intestines undigested. I can tell the signs when I am putting too much pressure on my intestines. when i see or feel the signs, i just eat rice and poached eggs for a few days, nothing else and then I start adding back. I take no medication whatsoever anymore. I stopped it all.

  • Ally

    Thank you for such valuable resources! I have a question, though, and I really hope the specialists here will be able to comment.

    I’ve been reading about plant-based, raw food, paleo diets etc. On one hand I totally agree with the plant-based diet arguments, but I recently stumbled onto the “Autoimmune Solution” by Amy Myers. The argument is that to heal the gut and fight the inflammation you should cut out gluten, grains, legumes, and mostly eat veggies, fruits and animal protein. What are your thoughts on this? Are grains and legumes really that harmful and inflammatory?

    I myself had my thyroid removed a month ago due to papillary cancer (stage 1, didn’t spread, no radioactive iodine treatment). I’m now on Levothyroxine, but the meds don’t seem to work and my TSH levels are 30+ instead of 2. I also have many symptomps of the leaky gut, lazy bowel, inflammation and parasites. Could the diet high in dairy, grains and legumes be the culprit? What should I eat/supplement with to get better? I’m currently eating mostly plants and grains, some legumes instead of meat, fish 1-2 times a week. I supplement with liquid chlorophyll, take Pau d’Arco + Cat’s Claw, and eat cod liver daily.

    Many thanks!

    • Thea

      Ally: Dr. Klapper has some wonderful talks that specifically address the digestive system and leaky gut. Dr. Klapper would tell you to cut out all animal proteins and to eat whole plant foods. Plus, cutting out the animal proteins is good for fighting cancer. (For various reasons, such as IGF-1, which you can learn about on this site.) If you are interested, here are the talks from Dr. Klapper: (Sadly, the pages are just clips of the talks. To hear the whole talks, you have to pay for them.) and

      I think if you want Dr. Greger’s answer, I would recommend reading the book How Not To Die as he outlines his recommended eating plan in Part 2. While I recommend the book, you don’t have to buy/read it. You can get the gist of the eating plan by downloading the free phone app: Daily Dozen. And you can get the gist of the material in the book (though not as organized or as compact) by going through videos on this site. For example, you might start by investigating the topic page on grains:

      Good luck. I hope this helps.

      • Ally

        Thank you, Thea!

  • Aliena

    I just found out a friend of mine has Crohn’s Disease. He was asking me about a photo I posted of the pizza dinner I made. He wanted to know if it was gluten-free. I immediately went to your website to research the disease. I don’t think he knows about the anti-inflammatory power of a plant-based diet. He does follow a gluten-free regimen. Is this typical of inflammatory bowel diseased patients? To eat gluten-free? Why would they do this when gluten is included (being a part of whole wheat) in a plant-based diet?