Doctor's Note

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. Be sure to check out all the other videos on the Atkins diet and don't miss the other videos on erectile dysfunction. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: The Most Anti-Inflammatory Mushroom, Watermelon for Erectile Dysfunction, Atkins Diet and Erectile Dysfunction, Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk, Plant-Based Workplace Intervention The Real Paleo Diet, and Do Vegans Get More Cavities?

  • 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. Be sure to check out all the other videos on the Atkins diet and don’t miss the other videos on erectile dysfunction. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

  • Toxins

    I know some people will comment that support the paleolithic diet/atkins diet and try to tout the benefits and “science” behind it. So before someone does, please read Dr. Greger’s free e-book ‘Atkin’s Exposed’ with over 1,100 references.

    • meat man

      utter nonsense

      atkins was correct. we have two digestive behaviours

      this site is obviously vegan propaganda and that’s sad because your skewed view could cost lives.

      we are OMNIVORES, we have CANINE teeth.. GET OVER IT!

      • Thea

        meat man: Since so many people report how Dr. Greger’s diet has made them healthier and in some cases saved their lives, there is not need to be sad.

        re: canine teeth
        This is a common misunderstanding. The thing is, humans have canine teeth *in name only*. To see what real canine teeth look like, check out the following page and scroll down to the section, “Humans have canine teeth. End of story.” Look at the picture on the right.

        While you are on that page, I highly recommend taking a look at the rest of the information. You will find it quite the eye opener if you decide you are interested in the scientific facts (no propaganda!) about your body.

      • Toxins

        References please? The atkins has been well established to promote athlerosclerotic lesions, promote cancer and other degenerative disease.

      • Richard

        The nonsense is your comment, meat man! Read a few valid studies about meat, eggs and dairy instead of drinking the cool-aid.

  • Tan Truong

    If you don’t care about your health, think of the blood flow to other parts of your body. :)

  • BPCveg

    I am having trouble teasing apart some of the differences between the Atkins diet and the whole foods plant-based approach that you advocate.

    Specifically, it seems possible to be both vegan and follow a low carbohydrate (Atkins-like approach)…isn’t that what the eco-Atkins diet is all about?

    For example, one could eat a whole foods plant-based (vegan) diet emphasizing low carbohydrate and high fat foods like nuts, seeds and avocado. Thus, one would gain the advantages of high antioxidants present in these foods while ingesting relatively low quantities of toxins, cholesterol and saturated fats. By emphasizing these high fat foods (which are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated “good fats”), one could ensure that very few calories come from carbohydrate sources, thus leading to the ketotic state … so what? … is that necessarily bad?

    • Toxins

      check out Dr. Greger’s video

      It address just that and a plant based low carb diet is indeed health.

      • BPCveg

        Thanks for the link; though even after watching that video on plant-based-atkins-diet, I would be concerned about potential side effects of the eco-Atkins diet, including ketoacidosis, where pH drops to extremely low levels…not sure what the latest data is on this.

        • Toxins

          I agree, ketosis is definitely an issue when carbs are restricted. I would be interested on Dr. Greger’s take on that.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please also check out my associated blog post Watermelon for Erectile Dysfunction!

  • Gremmin

    Follow the money, all studies funded by food companies cannot be submitted as science. Sometimes there’s money to made by encouraging certain results.

    • Richard

      Your comment is false, Gremmin. Just because a food company sponsors a study does not mean it was not a proper study. One must look at a study carefully and also see if it fits a mega-analysis of studies in that area. Be super cautious about results if it turns the world upside down. Many studies done by for-profit companies are tainted and the USDA or some other government agencies can also produce tainted study results.

  • Julia Finn

    Dr Greger– have you read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories? I find his arguement compelling but I am open minded…Could you post a critique?

    • Don Forrester MD

      It is not based on the best current science. While it is true that processed carbohydrates contribute to today’s high incidence of chronic diseases the consumption of animal products and high fat foods are a much larger problem not only in due to health issues with cholesterol and saturated fats but due to all the chemicals (e.g. dioxins, mercury, other persistent organic pollutants) not to mention environmental degradation, animal suffering and worker safety issues.

      • Richard

        I am not sure saturated fat is the villain it was made out to be for many years. Can you refute the latest studies about saturated fats not being unhealthy?

        • Toxins

          Jeff Novick puts the recent hype into perspective.

          “Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association

          of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease”

          This Meta-analysis looked at 21 different studies, and came to the conclusion that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD [heart disease].”

          Shared by Jeff Novick:

          One major problem with this study is they did not look at any studies where the saturated fat intake was less than 7%, which is the level recommended by the American Heart Association. Most of the diets had saturated fat intakes in the range of 10-15% (or more).

          So, just like the studies that criticize “low fat” diets, but never analyze any diet that is truly low fat and based on the principles of low fat, high fiber, whole plant foods, this study criticizes the impact of lowering saturated fat, but never looked at any diet that truly lowered saturated fat to the level recommended.

          Another problem with the study is what the subjects replaced the saturated fat with when comparing the 2. For many, if not most, it was with either (or products containing) hydrogenated/trans fat, while flour, white sugar and/or mono fats.

          People who replaced saturated fat in their diet with polyunsaturated fat (omega 3/6) reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by 19 percent, compared with control groups of people who do not.

          Lastly, studies on all-cause mortality trumps findings for subsets such as CHD and CVD. Most all-cause studies demonstrate a direct relation between saturated fat intake and all-cause mortality and the lower the better. Here is a list of studies showing just this.

          “the results of this study support earlier observations that dietary intakes low in SF or high in FV [fruits and vegetables] each offer protection against CHD mortality. In addition, however, our data suggest that the combination of both high FV with relatively low SF intake offers greater protection against both total and CHD mortality than either practice alone.”

          “The major finding of the present study is that the average population intake of saturated fat and vitamin C and the prevalence of smokers are major determinants of all-cause mortality rates. Saturated fat and smoking are detrimental, but vitamin C seems to be protective in relation to the health of populations…The potential effect of changes in saturated fat, vitamin C and the prevalence of smokers can be illustrated as follows. A change in saturated fat of 5% of energy is associated with a 4.7% change in age-adjusted all-cause mortality rate (Table 3).”

          “A high RRR pattern score, which was associated with high intake of fat and protein and low intake of carbohydrates, increased the risk of death. Subjects with a pattern score belonging to the highest quintile obtained on average 37·2 % of their energy from fat and 37·6 % from carbohydrates and thus did not meet current dietary recommendations (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2002). Food groups that contributed to this unfavourable pattern of energy sources were red meat, poultry, processed meat, butter, sauces and eggs, whereas a high intake of bread and fruits decreased the pattern score.”

          From the National Academy of Science:

          “Saturated fatty acids are synthesized by the body to provide an adequate level needed for their physiological and structural functions; they have no known role in preventing chronic diseases. Therefore, neither an AI nor RDA is set for saturated fatty acids. There is a positive linear trend between total saturated fatty acid intake and total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration and increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). A UL is not set for saturated fatty acids because any incremental increase in saturated fatty acid intake increases CHD risk”

          “The saturated fatty acids, in contrast to cis mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids, have a unique property in that they suppress the expression of LDL receptors (Spady et al., 1993). Through this action, dietary saturated fatty acids raise serum LDL cholesterol concentrations (Mustad et al., 1997).”

          • Thea

            Toxins: What a great post! Thanks again for finding and passing this kind of information on to us.

            Note that the following link in your post does not seem to work. Are you able to fix it?

          • Toxins


          • Thea


    • Dan Lundeen

      People new to Dr. Greger’s extensive writings frequently ask him to shoot down or rebut the latest broscience or truthy rehash of the low carb/paleolithic diet/atkins diet. He’s already done it a thousand times so it’s really a ridiculous request — please read Dr. Greger’s free e-book ‘Atkin’s Exposed’ with over 1,100 references. (Tip o’ the hat to Toxins)

  • Choderus

    Has never affected me this way. Keep up the grudge-work.

  • Matthew

    If you look at his triglycerides, which are reflective of eating sugar and carbohydrates, they TRIPLE in that third period where he lost his mojo and the heart blockage. I think the most likely scenario is that he got tired of Atkins and started cheating a bit. Eating sugar/refined carbs will inflame your arteries. Eating all the fat of the Atkins diet with inflamed arteries gets the cholesterol and fat deposited inside the arteries to wall off whatever is inflaming them, thus causing the blockages and the erectile dysfunction.
    Eskimos and Masi had healthy lives getting 80% of their calories from animal fat with no appreciable carbs. Add western high carb food together with the fat, and their life span sheds a few decades.

    • Dan Lundeen

      Wrong on so many levels. Please read Dr. Greger’s free e-book ‘Atkin’s Exposed’ with over 1,100 references.

    • lucidvu

      The massive increase of triglycerides was the first significant negative change I noticed too, coincident with the reported symptoms. Dr. Greger made no mention of it.

      As for the total cholesterol level, it didn’t look “pretty good” in the beginning. He started and then returned to a low total cholesterol which is associated with various risks such as increased severity of stroke, increased mortality (e.g. suicide, injury, cancer), depression and criminal violence etc.

  • Artur Denysenko

    How about this study “The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?)”

  • Calvin Leman

    Four months of whole-food plant-based food only reversed my erectile dysfunction in about 4 months.

  • Kekin Shah

    What are the dietary recommendations for treating erectile dysfunction???

    • Han

      erectile disfunction is caused by the same problem as strokes, hardened arteries and arteriosclerosis: clogging of the arteries.

      The answer is, go vegan!

  • Heretic

    Re: Dr. Greger’s free e-book ‘Atkin’s Exposed’ with over 1,100 references.

    I took a trouble some time ago to go through 1 page of Dr. Greger’s thousand references and found that every single one I looked was irrelevant to the place it was quoted! Then I gave up reading, what is the point? Please feel free to add another thousand.

    It takes one evidence to the contrary to invalidate a theory. That applies to Atkins but that also applies equally to your speculations!

    Re: ED

    This is a completely unwarranted generalisation! I am stating it based on my personal experience! In fact, I think, the opposite is true!

    I am on a high animal fat (60% calories) low carb low protein diet continuously since 1999.

    I think people have much more chance of developing ED due to metabolic syndrome or diabetes t2 induced by high starch high fructose plant based exclusive diet (with some polyunsaturated vegetable oils and deficient in essential fats), and due to thyroid disruptors from crucierous vegetables and beans, than from eating all inclusive animal based variety diets.

    Stan (Heretic)

  • NutritionMan

    I am always warning my friends of the dangers of doing an Atkins style diet. I am sick of people saying that it is working for them when a heart attack could be the first and only symptom that they get.That is surely something you don’t want to take a risk on. I believe people don’t really know what healthy is until they try a WFVD with short boughts of exercise.

  • Steve Kirsch

    Jumping to conclusions from the experience of one patient is silly.

    This is cherry picking data to fit your belief system.

    It is not science. Implicating low carb diet from results from one person is completely irresponsible.

    We clearly know that Gregor is anti-low carb and he just cherry picks facts to justify his belief system. This is a perfect example.

    In another video, Gregor talks about people who had impaired blood flow from a low carb diet. But the paper itself said it was a HIGH PROTEIN diet, not a low carb diet (which are typically very low in protein).

    What constitutes proof is properly conducted experiments, not anecdotes such as these.

    Promoting anecdotes to prove your point is simply irresponsible and even more so when the particular case chosen is so inconsistent with what normally happens.

    How many other cases of ED associated with low carb diets do you see? is there a study? Of course not. If there was, Gregor would have cited it.

    This is just completely irresponsible.