Doctor's Note

For more on naturally occuring aspirin:
Magic Bullets vs. Promiscuous Plants
Appropriating Plant Defenses
Power Plants

And check out my other videos on vegetarians

For further context, also see my associated blog posts: Inflammation, Diet, and"Vitamin S"Fighting Inflammation with Food Synergy; and The Most Anti-Inflammatory Mushroom.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on vegetarians. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • Dora

      I have a question about pain relief from an injury. For example, I pulled my back today and am in a substantial amount of pain. Is there anything that would help provide relief as quickly as Motrin? I know that cherries are anti-inflammatory, but would they help with the pain as quickly?

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please check out my associated blog post Inflammation, Diet, and “Vitamin S”!

  • b00mer

    This is amazing! I recall at some point in the last few months a story on the evening news about an aspirin a day preventing certain types of cancers. I never started taking it because I generally don’t like pills and have a history of gastritis/ulcer issues (pre-vegan days). But oh ho ho, another piece of the puzzle comes out. Gotta love it.

    I realize now this is an older video. They definitely did not mention anything to do with this on the news. Only spoke of pills. What a shame.

    I also notice there are no comments on this video. That’s crazy! I find studies like this so exciting.

  • annon

    Do we know which foods have the highest concentration of aspirin?

    • Laloofah

      annon, I was wondering that as well, and recently found this. Assuming its information is credible, you may find it useful too…

      Salicylates in Foods

  • Laloofah

    And this story just appeared in the mainstream media:
    “Aspirin May Lower Deadly Skin Cancer Risk in Women”
    Of course, they’re talking about melanoma, and I saw no mention of veggies in the article. Just pills. Pity!

  • judd

    What is thoughts on an 81mg aspirin regimen, while on a plant based diet. Is it necessary.

  • test

    In which food Aspirin is naturally found ?

    • Lori Noal

      Wintergreen I believe

  • just me

    This is highly interesting. thanks

  • Flor Gutierrez

    I’d like to know if there is a cure for rosacea, i’ve being vegan for over 6 months and i got rid of the rest of my illnesses ( IBS, insomnia) but the rosacea persist and haven’t been able to leave the antibiotic prescribed, i’d appeciate your opinion. Thank you in advance

    • Colleen

      I have had the same experience with rosacea worsening while I’ve been very faithfully following a low-fat plant based whole foods diet for the last six months. In every other respect I feel much better. I wondered if it could be because I’v been eating more spicy seasonings, like chili powder and jalapeño peppers.

      • b

        Do you take cyanocobalamin as a vitamin B12 supplément?

    • b

      Do you take cyanocobalamin as a vitamin B12 supplément? If so, acne is a risk.

      • Vnus

        how should you take a B12 supplement, then?

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          B12 is super important. Adults needs roughly 2.4 micrograms per day. In supplement form it comes in higher doses. Cheapest source of B12. Any kind is fine, like cyanocobalamin. I am not sure what b is referring to about acne, but for those who want to avoid cyano there are other types like methlyB12.

          For more on Dr. Greger’s Optimal Nutrition Recommendations.

          If really interested in this topic check out my comment on B12 for tons of information!


        • Kim

          I don’t have rosacea, but I’ve noticed the following to bring on something of a light, reddish rash-like mild acne on my face: B12 supplements and blended food like smoothies and cashew (and other nut) creams. I have the latter rarely now and stick to whole, unaltered foods most of the time, eating whole bananas and berries instead of smoothies, for instance. With B12, the solution has been simple as well: I use the smallest dose I could find, 50 mcg, and crush one now and then, keeping the powder in a spice jar, and every day add a little to my food, sometimes once a day, sometimes twice. More often if I’ve been forgetting for a couple of days. That way, my body gets the amount it needs without any excess, and zero acne/rash. :)

  • Daniel Bergman

    Hi Dr. Greger,
    I would appreciate if you could comment on this paper at some point:

    • Toxins

      The risk of stroke would be seen in those with hypertension from excess sodium intake. Sodium restriction is what is advocated here. Less then 1500 mg per day is a good cap. The study notes that “Nonetheless, vegans have the potential to achieve a truly exceptional ‘healthspan’ if they face this problem forthrightly by restricting salt intake”. The author also notes to increase potassium intake, b vitamins, whole grains, etc. which are classic signs that the “vegans” he is referring to are not the health conscious whole foods plant based vegans which is the diet recommended here.

  • Hana

    Rosace, helichrysum italicum is highly intiinflamatory for the skin.

  • Hana

    Doctors on TV only tock about exercise, no sugar of any form, baby aspirin, statins and never anything about plant based livestyle for prevention. Like a vegan should I still take the baby aspirin?

  • rick

    It appears that most doctors now prescribe some level of supplement with aspirin, typically 81mg. Do we have science that supports or refutes this?

  • LynnCS

    Can I say that I just love you, Dr. Greger…without explaining.

  • Drs…

    My wife and I are both looking forsome clarity regarding the role of Glycine in tumor promotion. Jain et al (2012) published research displaying…“The integrated analysis identified glycine consumption
    and expression of the mitochondrial glycine biosynthetic pathway as strongly correlated with rates of proliferation across cancer cells. Antagonizing glycine uptake and its mitochondrial biosynthesis preferentially impaired rapidly proliferating cells. Moreover, higher expression of this pathway was associated with greater mortality in breast cancer patients. Increased reliance on glycine may represent a metabolic vulnerability for selectively targeting rapid cancer cell proliferation.”

    The findings summarized above really are in contrast to another paper by Labuschagne et al. (2014) that displayed that …. “Cancer cells selectively consumed exogenous serine, which was converted to intracellular glycine and one-carbon units for building nucleotides. Restriction of exogenous glycine or depletion of the glycine cleavage system did not impede proliferation. In the absence of serine, uptake of exogenous glycine was unable to support nucleotide synthesis. Indeed, higher concentrations of glycine inhibited proliferation. Under these conditions, glycine was converted to serine, a reaction that would deplete the one-carbon pool. Providing one-carbon units by adding formate rescued nucleotide synthesis and growth of glycine-fed cells. We conclude that nucleotide synthesis and cancer cell proliferation are supported by serine rather than glycine—consumption.”

    My wife and I both treat patients and are providing information
    regarding lifestyle and disease management to them. That being said, my
    take is the Warburg effect is king when dealing with nucleotide
    biosynthesis. Serine is key in moving the folate cycle in a manner
    fostering nucleotide synthesis for a rapidly dividing cell. Glycine
    itself may indeed inhibit serine hydroxymethyl transferase if its
    levels rise high enough… thus, slowing down or possibly inhibiting the entry of single carbons into the folate cycle via serine… from glycolysis that would definitely make glycine supplementation (bone broths, gelatin, L-glycine supplementation) appear favorable. However, a common mutation in cancer is an up regulation of glycine decarboxylase (Zhang et al 2012)… Now serine is no longer inhibited by glycine AND glycine itself supports nucleotide synthesis… This is where I am stuck… My questions are, do we attempt Glycine restriction? If yes, how do we buffer an excess of Methionine? Do we use Gly or reduce both Meth and Gly in diet? Our
    goal for our patients is longevity/health for those without disease and an
    appropriate adjunct to support cancer therapy in cancer patients.

    Thanks for your time we really appreciate it!

  • cyndishisara

    Begging the question. Which plants are the best, if one wants to raise ones salicylic acid level?

  • It is my understanding that the main effect of aspirin ingestion is to inhibit the proinflammatory effects of Omega 6 fatty acids that promote chronic disease. So the ground floor way to reduce this disease pathway is to reduce the ingestion of Omega 6 fats found in nearly all refined oils and processed foods that include them.

  • BB

    An ethnobotany question. I wonder if this ever came up in the literature. Did poison ivy bother peoples that lived in close contact with nature? If not, is it possible that their tissues contained more of certain phyto-elements that prevented or mitigated the rash? If people who eat lots of plants have more aspirin in their blood, then who knows how much other medecine-like substances they also carry…

  • MBear

    I clicked on the pubmed source, then on another which the site showed as related. It was a testing of urine samples to address this same issue. While it did in fact show that vegetarians have more salicylic acid then nonvegetarians, vegetarians still have considerably less than those on aspirin. So the statement about the latter two “sometimes” being equivalent is a stretch. Notwithstanding, a very interesting article and site all around. Thank you Dr.Greger for posting your video transcripts and your source documents as that is very important to some of us.

  • 4Baccurate

    Eating grapes, which are high in salicylates, caused someone I know to bleed in the intestines, and then with a single dose of aspirin, to hemorrhage from the intestines, and later to have a cerebral hemorrhage in the basal ganglia. A scientific idea:
    Doctors should be measuring the blood clotting factors and salicylates levels in patients’ blood before ever prescribing anything even remotely capable of causing internal hemorrhage. Aspirin is ototoxic. Aspirin is a garbage drug. Salicylates accumulate in the body, no matter from what source. Vegetarians may be less susceptible to such bleeds because of high vitamin K content in such things as cruciferous vegetables.

  • tomcat11

    My wife has to take a blood thinner, warfarin because of a mechanical aortic valve. She would like to take many of the herbs listed in the videos for various things like ginger, kennel, ect but they mess with her INR counts because they have a side effect of increasing bleeding. She and I are frustrated to find foods that she can take without effecting her INR. There is very little info in the videos about blooding thining and would like to find more good info on this subject. This is a subject that needs more time devoted to it because there are millions of people out there who have take blood thinners.