Doctor's Note

This reminds me of my video Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil? Just like we thought omega 3 supplementation could help with mood, we also thought it could help with heart health, but the balance of evidence has decidedly shifted. I still recommend the consumption of pollutant-free sources of preformed long-chain omega 3’s for cognitive health—I have a bunch of videos on their way explaining my rationale.

For more on the neurotoxic nature of mercury-contaminated seafood, see:

What can we do to help our mood? See:

What about antidepressant drugs. Sometimes they can be absolutely life-saving. Other times they may actually do more harm than good. See my controversial video Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work?

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  • Noe Marcial

    apart from the amathing WFPD would you recommend to take Vegan DHA for a old woman that have memory loss and depression ? (we are giving her?) im considering to buy DHA but can affect that negatively?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Noe. It’s a great question. Here are Dr. Greger’s Optimal Nutrition Recommendations and all of the information we have on DHA. You might consider taking DHA if your doctor is pushing it, and you feel intake of other fats (flax, walnuts) are not adequate. Elongating ALA to EPA/DHA is controversial. Some folks who are following a vegan diet just take it as precaution whether they really need it or not. I see nothing wrong with this approach so long as it;s not causing more harm. I don’t think it will negatively impact mood, but it may cause the blood to thin more than normal. If that happens check with your doctor about lowering dosage or discontinuing.

      • Noe Marcial

        thank you!

        • Stillfuckingme

          But be carefull that fish oil usually contain oxidized omega 3. U better be buying krill oil which has astaxanthin that protects the oil from going rancid

          • Noe Marcial

            yea i have bought plant base DHA :)

          • Huang

            algae is the best

      • Thank you Joseph Gonzales.

  • Noe Marcial

    does mercury from the amalgam in teeth be a source of mercury in blood? if one have one old amalgam how have to take it out get badly contaminated with that? or the quantities of that is small compare to fish consumption?

      • JD

        MacSmiley: The document you’ve cited is from FDA. Personally, I don’t believe anything FDA says.

        • Sorry, but your anti-establimentarianism is not my concern. I’m on a cellphone and do not have full access to research.

          How about Stephen Barrett?

          • Noe Marcial

            well i don’t have any anti establishment idea behind.. and just for objective reason , you can see the effect of Glifosato in argentina. the rise in allergies, cancer , etc.. FDA approved that.. what to say..
            I don’t like conspiracyS documentaryS but i think this is not one of thouse, you can hear from first hand

          • Guest

            “I don’t like conspiracyS documentaryS but i think this is not one of thouse, you can hear from first hand” heh and yet you reference “documentary” sponsored by gmo-free companies they of course dont have conflict of interest….

          • Alan

            You need to do more research on Stephen Barrett. After doing so i do not believe that you will take anything he says seriously.

          • Guest

            The same we can say about author of this site, Barrett spead many misinformation but about here he have right. He also have many good articles (not all of course)

          • Kim Churchman

            Oh hey, a link to Quackwatch! All the best docs are there, the ones who know what diet change can really do.

          • Wilma Laura Wiggins

            MacSmiley, you seriously need a wake up call, especially if you think you can trust quackwatch or FDA.

      • Noe Marcial

        sorry but after see whats FDA Says on Monsanto products like Glifosato.. i can not trust in FDA, It seems drive by different lobbies it self…

        • Adrien

          The problem is not Glyphosate, but Roundup®, which isn’t just Glyphosate. The only long term toxicology study to use commercially formulation of Roundup® – and not Glyphosate alone – is Seralini’s study, which have been withdrawn from the scientific literature thanks to Monsanto lobbying. Can you guess why ?

          Nothing should stop the progression of the American Empire and the greed of the big corporation on which it’s based upon. The FDA in this picture is just a prostitute to serve the biggest interest, that is not the public of course. However, that doesn’t mean everything the FDA says is wrong. When things cannot be denied anymore it goes in public warning labels, but the drugs industry are just going for the news drugs anyway..

          • Guest

            “. Can you guess why ?” you knoe that this study was retracted due to methodological error.” is Seralini’s study, which have been withdrawn from the scientific literature thanks to Monsanto lobbying” if you check facts you will be see why this study was retracted even freshman will know that by the same you can show that everything is bad for us, what is more funny this study was also heavly lobbed by gmo-free companies. “Nothing should stop the progression of the American Empire and the greed of the big corporation on which it’s based upon. The FDA in this picture is just a prostitute to serve the biggest interest, that is not the public of course.” maybe check again gmo free companies made more money than monsato, spend more on marketing etc.

          • Adrien

            The thing you should have guessed is because it show adverse effect. And no the study does not have methodological error. They use the exact same strain of rats and methodology than the study used by monsanto to put GMO on the market. So if this study had to be withdrawn, the monsanto’s study too. But it’s not, of course, they need to control the world by controlling the seed and they have lot of money to spend on discrediting idea on the web, indeed Mister Guest.

          • Guest

            Maybe check one more time why this study was retracted. As a toxicologist in the same manner as Seralini I can provide you evidence that water is bad for you.” But it’s not, of course, they need to control the world by controlling the seed and they have lot of money to spend on discrediting idea on the web , indeed Mister Guest.” again maybe check this, like I wrote earlier that The GMO-Free companies funds more studies spend more money to campaning(and thanks that they are top free most income earners in food industry.

            Most of this scientist reference this study spread statment “We have 100% that GMO are dangerous” and now retraction? how by this their credibility looks? they have no other option they must spread this claims to save face.

            By thoroughly analyzing the original study, volumes of literature from both the anti-GMO stance and pro-GMO scientific viewpoint, Seralini’s response to withdrawal/retraction, and ultimately reviewing Seralini’s raw data it’s abundantly clear that A. Wallace Hayes is correct in his position that Seralini’s study was too fatally flawed to have even been considered for publication.

            Another fatal flaw, this time in the peer review process, does not validate a piece of junk science. Anyone who bases a conclusion on Seralini’s study most likely also endorses Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 anti-vaccine study which was also subsequently retracted. Unfortunately, not before it caused a great deal of biased media furor ~ as we see once again with this GMO debacle.

          • Wilma Laura Wiggins

            Dear Guest, where did you find the statistics for who made the most money? Also are you talking about all the gmo-free companies combined versus one huge Monsanto?

          • Guest

            Hello Wilma you can easly find in google looking such financial reports many organisation and even journals make them. No I mean not all but separately, I cannot tell you know for sure(Im not at home and dont have access to my hard-drive but le I wrote first two companies was gmo free third was monsanto.

      • Alan

        Look at both sides of the issue. Mercury in the mouth is poison. The stuff is handled with extreme caution until it is put in your mouth, them all of a sudden it is harmless ??? I have a very hard time with that.

        • Guest

          “I have a very hard time with that.” and I have hard with people without basic knowledge in topic in which they wrote, first rule of toxicology: the dose make poison. Water also can kill you in proper dose.

        • Kim Churchman

          The logic is that in about five minutes or so the mixture of metals hardens into an alloy. It’s the only way a metal filling can be made at a temperature safe for the mouth. The mercury really is locked up, becomes sealed by tarnish and only abrasion by heavy grinding or sandy food can release it. Even the amounts are small by scientific measuring in saliva. How much that small amount affects the body, there’s the big question. Every poison is poisonous or not by the dosage. People have told me they felt better all over after replacing their metal fillings and I believe them. People have also told me about dentists pressuring them to take out a mouthful of sound fillings for xx thousand, and I agree that there’s a profit potential in exploiting people’s fears. Personal decision. Second and third opinions a MUST.

    • I would go to see my dentist in the next days and tell him, please remove the amalgan now. But please use all the seafty precautions.
      If it removed than, I would take some fiber in addition like indian fleaseed husk for the next month. If you already a plant based eater I would think its enough, if not, than it is the best time to start it. ;-)

      • Wade Patton

        It was plausibly argued the last time I looked into this concern, that the exposure to mercury whilst having fillings removed would far exceed the risks of leaving them in your teeth. And I used to eat a lot of tuna and salmon…nevermore.

        • That’s only the half true, sorry. The informed dentists in Germany remove all the amalgan of there patients because the mercury is only (maybe) save if the fillings are not micro demaged. You are right, there is a big risk by removing them. But informed dentist knows how to do, how to protect the patient and (!) the dentist by himself. I just joined a seminar about this theme…

        • Kim Churchman

          The removal is done under continuous water spray and with a heavy-duty suction vac right next to the tooth. Insist on both of those, just to be sure. Any dentist who would cut amalgam dry, I would climb out of that chair and never come back.

      • Kim Churchman


      • Wilma Laura Wiggins

        I think at age 83, with only one filling, it is not necessary at all. And could cause more harm than good. I would leave it alone and not eat tuna.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Interestingly Dr. Greger has a video about amalgam fillings and canned tuna. It may help.

      • Noe Marcial

        i have to say that i don’t agree with the conclusion sugent in that video. in nutrition facts Michael says, it is not a good thing compare something with the worth things.. if fish is worst doesn’t mean amalgam is safe! (it is not said but sugest in the video link) the other day an amalgam have break to my aunt during night, she have swallowed part of it without notices. amalgam breaks.. and its relatively common.. so what about the amount of mercury when you eat that, or more offen even, the dentist repair againg the old ones to make new ones with no any protection, you actually swallow a lot of amalgam there.. there is any study on that?

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          I don’t think he is saying amalgam fillings are safe, but that mercury from one can of tuna a week is like having 29 fillings. Both ought to be avoided (or heavily reduced) to prevent mercury from accumulating.

          • Noe Marcial

            it will be great to put some light on the amalgam fillings topic. and mercury en vaccination,
            a friend of my have start Multiple Sclerosis after a particular vaccination that have contain mercury in it… even the hospital have assumed that. after 10 years she still with MS. and it was consider a safe amount.. it may be a rare case. but the vaccination topic awake a huge debate as well.

    • Zeth

      I personally don’t know the answer but I would say yes absolutely. I went and had mercury fillings removed. I now have more energy and less digestion issues which were quite sever before I had them removed. Not 100 better but like 80 percent better after removing.

    • Wegan

      If you can afford it you can have your fillings removed safely by an IAOMT dentist. Once all Mercury is out the safest way to chelate is with frequent dose chelation. Mercury Is one of the most toxic substances and putting it in your mouth (or vaccine) is just stupid.

  • Thank you for the great resource. I recently wrote up an article about the fishiness behind the science of fish:

    I’ll have to look more into this caveat of information and add it. While most health boards recommend fish consumption, the risks just don’t seem to outweigh the potential benefits, especially when those benefits can be more safely obtained elsewhere.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      And finally a topic of healthy eating has reached the medical community – recommending higher intake of fish for various ailments, brainhealth (incl depression), cardiovascular disease and so on – and then it turns out that it is wrong! Of course the followers of this site has known for years that fish is not a health food.

      • guest

        A poster below posted this comment. I ask you, as you are a doctor and knowledgeable of this matter today,
        but this person seems to have made a very valid point that was not portrayed today and likely should have,
        if the truth is what we are after here. What are your thoughts, as the few servings of fish per week was found
        to be protective. The integrity of our vegan community depends on clarity on this sort of stuff.

        “That last line is also in agreement with the Japanese paper you (Dr. Greger) cited:

        “A significantly increased risk of suicidal death was observed among women with very low intake of fish, with HRs (95% CI) for those in 0-5th percentile versus middle quintile of 3.41 (1.36-8.51).”

        So the papers you chose to use are actually arguing for a few servings of fish a week as protective, rather than strict avoidance or daily consumption. Normally I agree with your videos, but this one was very badly done and just hurts the image of the website. When people accuse Dr. Greger of cherrypicking, this is why.”

        • Barkingsparrow

          More fear-mongering on fish . Dr Greger please stick to the good proactive stuff on what we should eat rather than cherry-pick on this anti-fish agenda – as this poster says – it demeans your message to the point where your credibility is lessened. I just read The Blue Zones – and none of those longevity cultures were vegan. In fact – I ask anyone to point to any historical longevity culture that was strictly vegan. Meat was infrequent, yes – and no one ate beef, but they had the occasional eggs, goat milk, fish, chicken, and pork and thrived.

          • Matthew Smith

            Dr. Greger has said that those who ate meat “on occasion” “outlived them all.” He has also shown that among many regions in other countries that can’t afford meat our chronic diseases are absent. However, these people do not outlive us. Those who embrace a vegan lifestyle to add life to their years and years to their life do so knowing now it has health benefits. If you read about the blue zones you must be interested in long life. Some people have other strategies, including the use of supplements, like TOR. Being vegan is a recent invention and so we don’t know how much it could add. There are other ways to avoid chronic illness. The people in the blue zones eat meat once a month at most, and the longest lived among them were the Lora Dunning Adventist vegetarians. They still only lived 4-7 years longer, and this is a similar benefit to going to going to church or being in a tight nit social community, though without doubt their abstinence adds to their lives. Do you think eating fish is necessary to add to life? I think you probably already are on a “Calorie restricted” diet for long life and that’s what everyone here wants. I think that Dr. Greger has research that regular fish consumption is not a health related life style. He also doesn’t recommend any alcohol, but almost all Blue Zone members drank lightly. What Blue Zone attitudes do you want to take for a long life? I don’t think anyone can point to a vegan culture, the term being made in the 1940s.

          • UCBAlum

            On average, the traditional Okinawan diet provided 1% of calories from fish and less than 1% of calories from beef, poultry, and dairy.


            You can say they weren’t vegan, and technically this is correct, but if the health benefits of a vegan versus non-vegan diet has been reduced to that which makes up 1% of calories in a diet, then the debate is over.

          • Chad

            The Adventist’s that live the longest are the Vegan Adventists. Check out the documentary “Ancient Health” at It talks about this.

          • Raisa Jari

            The Blue Zones study showed that what those areas had in common for diet was a mostly plant-based diet with beans a being very important part of the diet as well as fresh fruit and veggies and grains. I am a fan of the Blue Zones. Here is a short video they posted recently that sums it up:

          • Alan

            The people in the Blue Zones ate very little of the animal foods you mention. I believe it was about 5% or less of their diet. Usually once or twice a month.

        • Alan

          The article above says this “A similar protective dietary pattern was found in Japan; a high intake
          of vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and soy products was associated with a
          decreased prevalence of depressive symptoms. It was not characterized by
          a high intake of seafood. 100,000 Japanese men and women were followed
          for up to 10 years, and they didn’t find evidence of a protective role
          of higher fish consumption or the long chain omega 3’s EPA and DHA
          against suicide. In fact, they found a significantly increased risk of
          suicide among male nondrinkers with high seafood omega 3 intake. This
          may have just been by chance, but a similar result was found in the
          Mediterranean. High baseline fish consumption together with an increase
          in consumption were associated with an increased risk of mental
          It says that those with a high seafood omega 3 intake had a significantly increased rate of suicide.

  • Alex

    On what grounds then does the good doctor recommend algae DHA?

    • Matthew Smith

      So if the RDA for “Fat” is 60 grams a day, and this site has as a side component a very low fat diet (whole foods, plant based), then they are recommending some plant based sources of fat like walnuts and flax seeds. The RDA for fat is not broken down into omega 3 versus omega 6 and omega 3 is not broken down any further. Someone thinks you need at least 60 grams a day but users of this site probably get far less. Could you get 60 grams of fat a day from nuts and a whole foods plant based diet? Is there such a thing as a fat deficiency? Clearly users of this site would agree that meat eaters can get a fat imbalance. There is a RDA for Saturated fat too, and nuts can fill that but many people here probably on some days get none at all. Tropical fats, filled with Omega 6s, even plant based, may not be good for people in the temperate zone. He says in the video plant based fats are good for mood, but this site does not recommend added oils like olive oils, in part because of the great wealth that is lost from it in processing (Let’s try to get cloudy olive oil). One fifth of America suffers from mental illness each year. ALA from flax seeds might improve mood in many of these people, or at least, that is what I have been told. The traditional fish oil might lead to mercury related depression. Perhaps beans could also improve mood. So, I would also like to ask, do you feel plant based omega three oils are good for mood? i understand that they are not a “whole food.” Would you advice against a one for one replacement of fish oil with flax seed oil for mood?

      • Thea

        Mathew Smith: re: “Is there such a thing as a fat deficiency?” In a talk from Dr. McDouggall some time ago, I believe I heard him say that there is a name/condition for a person who does not get enough fat, but that such a condition is a theory, not something you see in practice in the real world – at least not in America where people get enough calories.

        I don’t know if this is true or not. Just thought I would pass it on as an interesting thought.

      • largelytrue

        Your premise is false for the USDA at least. There is no RDA for fat for non-infants:

        They do have tables of AMDRs dating from the 2002-05, report which are nowhere near 60g/d even at the upper end:

        Note that the concerns that they express for values below the AMDR are entirely based on cardiovascular biomarkers: TC and HDL.

        • Matthew Smith

          Thank you, I was referring to what is on the nutrition label. The NAL has Omega 6 to 3 ratios that are way out of balance. With recommended values that low, I’m surprised so many are ALA deficient.

          • largelytrue

            The ratios are way out of balance because they take AI for ALA and LA to just be the median intake of the US, and the US is basically a population with ratios that are out of balance. Here I assume that you mean ‘balance’ to be a dietary n6-n3 ratio ranging from 1 or so to an upper limit of 4.

            From where are you sourcing the idea that many people are actually ALA-deficient, as opposed to simply being out of balance?

          • Matthew Smith

            Please see this link.

            I do not have the book “The Omega 3 Phenomenon” but Rudin was a big advocate for Omega 3s for serious mental illness.

          • largelytrue

            In all likelihood he wasn’t judging people to be ALA deficient in relation to the RDA. Are you surprised because you think otherwise, that his judgment is correct, and that therefore many people have ALA intakes far below the RDA?

          • Matthew Smith

            Yes. Thank you. I am very surprised.

          • largelytrue

            But it looks like he typically recommended amounts like 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day, with half a teaspoon as the absolute lower limit: (p. 139)

            At 7g ALA per tbsp, that’s an absolute minimum of 2.3g on top of whatever is in the rest of the diet. That’s well in excess of the USDA AI for ALA. At 2 tablespoons or more for many people following his program, that’s far in excess of median intake. It seems that his standards of inadequate intake had nothing to do with the AI.

          • Matthew Smith

            Thank you. If I were to critically assess my statement, I would say the book authors would argue the RDA for ALA is too low, with my comment about the recommended fat allotment not being pertinent or not segregating out enough information. He notes mood improvement with less agitation with flax seed oil supplementation. Do you feel this is only due to placebo effect, or would say even finer essential fatty acid supplementation might improve mood as well? Thea has alluded that Dr. Greger would like to change his dietary recommendations. For those of us who are not lifelong vegans deficiencies abound and lead to chronic illness. Thank you for researching this. You are accurate and I would have to step back and say, I agree with you. I am surprised fat is recommended at all and low fat diets are healthy. I am probably eating more healthy fats since joining this site. I actually felt better when I was on a non fat diet. I should step back, and give thanks to you instead because I raised my HDL and lowered my triglycerides with niacin. If it weren’t for that, maybe they were bad because I was eating too much fat. I would like to agree with you and apologize that my point was not relevant. There are many diets coming together here besides whole food plant based, including low fat and vegan. Is that Dr. Greger’s purpose? Thea has also said he is preparing meal plans. Maybe we can gain insight on that from those in December, which I’m very impatient for.

          • largelytrue

            I have no deep idea of Rudin’s argument but I see no particular reason to trust him. He was a psychiatrist who doubled down on a single nutrient as the key to general health, as far as I can tell. I don’t really trust that line of argumentation, nor do I lend him all that much authority to comment on nutrition as an expert, and I’m especially unwilling to give him the kind of expertise needed to demonstrate an a wide-ranging importance of one specific nutrient. As far as I can see published no academic research on n-3, and presented no systematic study on his “Omega Plan” The popular press, like the web, is filled with miracle diet plans, and I see little reason to investigate them all.

            That said, I’m open to the possibility of this or that effect from ALA supplementation. I would just prefer to get that information from proper sources. I’m not really familiar with the primary literature that might relate ALA supplementation with improved mood above and beyond placebo. Depending on its extent, getting familiar may take time.

            I identify NF as basically a WFPB site. Yes, there are vegan and low-fat viewpoints present here but it’s because they are interested in vegan and low-fat diets in combination with the WFPB idea. There’s some convergence on a preference for lower fat in the WFPB world but this preference isn’t uniform. I don’t think that very high fat plant based diets are nearly as common. It will be interesting if Greger comes out with meal plans but I won’t necessarily follow his plan myself. I treat NF more as a news source than an authoritative body of recommendations as it is. I value other opinions. Greger may become more important as a popular leader in the WFPB world as time goes on and older figureheads age and die, and I certainly admit that it will be interesting to see how NF develops over time.

            There are certain elements of nutritional research that I don’t follow very diligently due to lack of personal investment. It’s not that I’m trying to overcome any specific ailment, but rather that I’m trying to take a primordial preventative approach to the major killers, focusing less on specific foods and more on the general ideas that have the strongest support. I haven’t seen much to recommend high-dose niacin supplementation as part of my long-term strategy in the first place, but from what I recall seeing I’m suspicious of the idea that niacin has therapeutic use in reducing cardiovascular risk. Part of this stems from my doubts about HDL as a broadly robust biomarker in mechanistic and statistical terms (my more direct concern), and part from relatively disappointing results of niacin in actual trials in particular (e.g, You may want to investigate the topic area and see what’s credible, since the idea that ‘functional’ HDL is the more appropriate target seems to be getting a lot of discussion among researchers of late.

          • Matthew Smith

            Thank you very much for your comment. Niacin worked for me. A study in those with heart attacks, those on Niacin lived two years longer than expected. I am curious to see how long it will work for me, and what benefit to lifespan high Niacin will have for me if I do it for as long as I need it. Big drug interests are hoping to make a more profitable drug. There are some vitamins that improve longevity. These include Niacin, Parthenoic Acid, Melatonin, Vitamin D, Astaxanthin, CoQ10, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, EGCG, Folate, Vitamin B12, Curcumin, and Vitamin A, Selenium has great anti-cancer properties. I found after high VItamin D therapy that I am shockingly deficient in this nutrient. I am also fearful that I am shockingly deficient in many other nutrients but am below the clinical diagnosis level. I was shockingly deficient in Iodine. It is great to take an Iodine supplement now, I don’t feel my heartbeat now and must be calmer for that effect. Before my heartbeat was steadily getting louder, I guess. My back pain and ankle went away on Iodine (had tendonitis, gone with Iodine). I really want to find out what I am still deficient in to improve health. This site has vitamin recommendations. When I read that they are only true for white people due to research bias, my first reaction was that minorities have less deficiencies. With Vitamin D alone they probably have more. This site does not recommend supplements, preferring the whole plant. I think this is great logic. As nature intended. Imagine the drugs that are present in say an apple that we can’t get at because they are too small or diffuse. So I admit I cheat when I use supplements. I am using the concept of concentration. I am missing out by not eating the whole thing. This shortcut taken to its logical extreme is sickening America. However, I am very interesting in medicine and the location of Iodine as the treatment for goiter was the basis for modern medicine (before it was known that sea sponge could cure goiter). This process is medicine and I think if taken sanely can still save modern medicine. What was after Iodine? Vitamin C for scurvy? Maybe Niacin for pellagra/ schizophrenia would be part 2 That hasn’t happened yet. Dr. Greger would love to show us that modern non-whole food processes are robbing us of nutrients and is sickening us. Maybe high blood pressure is a sulfur deficiency exacerbated by freshening vegetables. . Could you imagine?

          • Matthew Smith

            There is at least a small amount of backlash against the AIM-HIGH and HPS2-THRIVE studies.

    • Thea

      Alex: Good question.

      Note: Dr. Greger’s current nutrition recommendations go back to a post that is dated 2011. He has hinted along the way that he wants to update those recommendations, but he hasn’t done so to date. Recently, we learned that Dr. Greger’s new book that is coming out in December will have meal plans. I assume that means that the book will also have updated nutrition recommendations. So, hopefully we will find out in December if Dr. Greger still recommends DHA supplementation or not and if so, why. The answer would presumably be based on the body of evidence, ie, a whole bunch of studies and all the studies together, rather than a single study.

      That’s my guess on the answer to your question. Sort of an answer anyway.

      • Matthew Smith

        Fish oil pills are being prescribed now to lower triglycerides. Niacin in large doses can cut them by half (the same niacin robbed from grain in the mills). I would ask if these pills, not for mood for triglycerides, can cause depression or other mercury related problems. .

  • MikeOnRaw

    Quick question. Regarding DHA supplementation mentioned at the end. Does that mean there is a chance that DHA supplements are not protective and that dietary intake of omega 6 and omega 3 in the ideal ratio is really the only protective method?

    • Matthew Smith

      So at least in premise you’d agree that modern Americans have a deficiency of Essential Fatty Acids, and supplementation could be therapeutic. The video seems contradictory in saying “effectively higher plant to animal fat ratio” but not EPA/DHA are health promoting. I would be thrilled if we have addressed the Essential Fatty Acid deficiency.

  • Chek

    This video seems very dishonest when looking at the sources you gave. From the mediterranean diet paper (SUN cohort):

    “With regard to fish intake, a reduction in risk of more than 20% was observed for intermediate quintiles (third and fourth)”
    “The HRs (95% CIs) were 0.67 (0.54-0.84) for fruit and nuts, 0.71 (0.57-0.88) for legumes, 0.73 (0.59-0.91) for fish, and 0.79 (0.63-1.00) for the MUFA:SFA ratio.”
    “The SUN cohort, in another analysis, found that moderate to high levels of fish consumption (third through fourth quintiles) exhibited a relative risk reduction of mental disorders greater than 30%. ”
    “Our results are consistent with the possibility that very low fish consumption is associated with an increased risk of depression, but once a threshold of intake is reached, no further reduction in risk is obtained.”

    That last line is also in agreement with the Japanese paper you cited:

    “A significantly increased risk of suicidal death was observed among women with very low intake of fish, with HRs (95% CI) for those in 0-5th percentile versus middle quintile of 3.41 (1.36-8.51).”

    So the papers you chose to use are actually arguing for a few servings of fish a week as protective, rather than strict avoidance or daily consumption. Normally I agree with your videos, but this one was very badly done and just hurts the image of the website. When people accuse Dr. Greger of cherrypicking, this is why.

    • Kate Scott

      The Sun cohort results are open to two different interpretations. Dr Greger’s interpretation that fish consumption was not protective against depression is perfectly legitimate if you have a look at Table 3, where there is no significant linear trend for fish (while there is a significant protective effect of fruit/nuts, legumes, MUFA/SFA ratio). I note that you have left this bit off your first quoted sentence, which, to quote the complete sentence is: “With regard to fish intake, a reduction in risk of more than 20% was observed for intermediate quintiles (third and fourth), although the linear trend was not significant”. On the other hand, when they combined the upper three quintiles of consumption and compared it with the lowest, a significant protective association for fish emerged. So yes, with a little data massaging there is a suggestion of a protective effect of fish. But if you want to go by the planned analysis (shown in Table 3), which finds no signficant linear trend for fish, then Dr Greger’s interpretation is quite correct. The fact that the researchers themselves did not mention fish in the abstract suggests that they too concur with Dr Greger’s interpretation.

      • Chek

        There wasn’t a linear trend for fish, but like that study and the Japanese study suggest, this may be due to there being a theshold beyond which fish consumption may lose some benefit, possibly because the influence of the heavy metals begins to outweigh the omega-3s.

        In both studies, fish consumption in general was considered protective, and in the Japanese study there was more than a three-fold risk of suicide in women who ate little or no fish compared to the middle quintiles of fish consumption. If Dr. Greger has the data to investigate that further or to provide evidence that another omega-3 source may work better than fish, that would be a good thing to make a video on. In this video though, he seemed to try to make his referenced papers look like they say the opposite of what they actually say by withholding information. It’d be much better to show exactly what the study found and then explain why it might be so.

        The paper showing that EPA and DHA supplementation in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial didn’t improve mental health makes me wonder though if the mood-related benefits shown for moderate fish consumption might actually be due to another nutrient, like vitamin D, which fish have relatively high amounts of as well. I’d like to see a study adjust their data for vitamin D status and see if fish consumption is still independently protective at any level. For people who would otherwise have low blood levels of vitamin D from staying out of the sun, the vitamin D taken in from food could give a significant benefit. With fish being really the only significant food source of vitamin D, it’d make sense that fish consumption would appear protective in populations where suboptimal vitamin D levels are common.

  • CaptD

    Add to the above that Fukushima’s ongoing ☢ pollution of the Pacific Ocean and you get a perfect storm of negative benefits from eating “tainted” food whether it is fish or plants. Covered fish farms and/or greenhouses will become the norm as ever more environmental pollution makes traditional outdoor gardening hazardous to your health.

  • Please, can anyone held a German by explaining the meaning of EPA and DHA? Thank you so much… ;-)

    • CaptD

      EPA – (Environmental Protection Agency) Establishes guidelines that must be followed, but lately they are being “gutted” by our Congress, in order to help these Big Corp.’s (who donate BIG $$$) have to provide less safeguards and therefore make more profits.

      • Thank you, you saved my night sleep today. :-))

        • CaptD

          Steffen – Happy to help!

          BTW: Germany is my hero since they are modeling the way toward residential Solar Energy Freedom (once the loan is repaid) and phasing out their Nuclear and Coal Energy Generation at the same time!

          In the USA, both the NRC and the EPA are being muzzled by Congress since the majority of Congress are now caving into Industry demands for ever less oversight in order to protect their large donors.

          As many of us know, removing regulations, will only make the next accident occur sooner!

          Here is a great example: GOP guts EPA

    • Julie

      Hi Steffen. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential omega 3 fatty acids. They are found in fish oil and algae omega 3 supplements.

      • Thank you Julie, that makes more sence for me… because I already heart a little bit about EPA and DHA

        by Professor Dr. Walther Veith from South Afrika University.

  • Matthew Smith

    The Omega 3s found in walnuts, flax seeds, and Algal derived sources are purer than found in fish? If only fish oil had the mercury removed. Omega 3 is a large component of the structure of the brain and other parts of the body. You could flip this very study and suggest that foods rich in omega 3s without mercury, like nuts, have been found to be good for mood. Fish is not a health food, but maybe the algae they eat to get to make their omega 3s (EPA, DHA) are a health food. Omega 3s make up much of the structure of some parts of the body, including the brain, and are important for regrowth. What is the turn over for our omega 3s in this sense? How much ALA do we really need? Is there a recommendation on Walnuts and Flax seeds?

    • Matthew Smith

      It was an “effectively higher plant to animal fat ratio and beans that appeared protective” against suicide. Oh thank goodness! A recommendation to eat more plants for mood.

    • Annetha

      My understanding is that organochlorines such as PCBs are stored in fat, while mercury is stored in lean tissue of fish.

  • charles grashow
    Dietary intake and status of n−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population of fish-eating and non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor-product ratio of α-linolenic acid to long-chain n−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort
    “In conclusion, this study found substantial differences in status and detailed intakes of n−3 PUFAs and their sources in different dietary-habit groups in a general population of middle- and older-aged men and women. The precursor-product ratio of ALA to circulating n−3 PUFAs was significantly greater in women than in men and in non-fish-eaters than in fish-eaters, which indicated a potentially greater estimated conversion. There were smaller differences than expected in status between fish-eaters and non-fish-eaters, which may also be explained by the greater estimated conversion of ALA to LC n−3 PUFAs in the non-fish-eaters. The implications of this study are that, if conversion of plant-based sources of n−3 PUFAs were found to occur in intervention studies, and were sufficient to maintain health, it could have significant consequences for public health recommendations and for preservation of the wild fish supply.”

  • CaptD

    Sorry to everyone for making things more confusing…

    You might also check out Krill Oil which is used as a health supplement!

  • Julie Someone

    and LOL, please tell me WHAT medical study determines “depression?” PLEASE PUSH YOUR THUMB into your forehead? R U DEPRESSED??
    R U #HITLER ? PLEASE RESEARCH THE BOGUSNESS OF “mental disorders” .. they are VOTED INTO EXISTENCE, PLEASE INVEST IN BIG PHARMA IF YOU ARE pushing a connection between “depression” and suicide. I was BIGTIME into promoting you.. I totally MISSED any of the BS about “mental BS” by you! MUCK!!!… and i followed you for years!! i should have searched deeper!

    With all due respect….You, as a DOCTOR…..HOW MANY YEARS OF STUDIES HAVE YOU HAD in the history of psychology/psychiatry? smmmma!

    • Julie Someone

      I will not be promoting “PlantPure Nation” anymore …as i totally promoted you, day in and day out for years! Thank you for showing your belief of the word “depression.”

      • Wade Patton

        I didn’t understand “thw word depression” until I experienced it. It’s not make believe. I sincerely hope that those close to you are able to get help if they ever need to and not be scoffed at and ridiculed. Believe anything you want, but be aware how it make hurt those you love.

        • Julie Someone

          i am a bogusly labeled 100% Disabled American Veteran.
          and yes, i felt like is was depressed…because that’s how i was programmed that i wanted to feel. :-D
          LOL, if one wants to feel they are depressed, then they are depressed!
          LOL, the DSM has like a check list of a lot of so-called “mental disorders” …LOL, try some more “mental disorders” on for size…just look at the check-lists.
          LOL, the one that entertains me the most, is “Delusions.”
          “Delusions present, most prominent Delusion, Ro O’ ” GAF Score: 30
          LOL, i mentioned a list of people that know me…yet my VA Doctor picked Ro O’ as my most prominent delusion, and then prescribed me a known sudden death med for “my delusions.”

          LOL, i do not wanna make any hocus-pocus formula to wake anyone up. They have their idols/beliefs. LOL, the negativity pre-installed in the word, “depression” … gotta get going.. because i know Binary.
          Believe whatcha wanna believe, one can only be programmed by the ones they allow to be programmed.


      • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

        Sorry you feel that way, Julie. I am not entirely sure I understand your frustration. As usual all citations and links to more videos can be found throughout this page.

        • Julie Someone

          Why do you feel sorry? Or did you as that word, as a condescending word, w/ my first name in the same sentence? LOL, is that a way of you attempting to force a depressed state into one’s that are programmed like you?
          Hmmm, what is your definition of “sorry?” it’s the #1 misused word in the United States.
          Can you look in the mirror? posted above: “…The reason I don’t like the word is because it puts those who strive for a healthy diet into an inferior category…”
          Soooo, because there are videos saying “depression” “depression” “depression” And the Big Pharmas backs that word, 100%
          … LOL, i haven’t werked in over 21 years…do workers believe in the DSM? and do workers believe that because there is more research funded by the Big Pharma …
          LOL, hey Mr Grumpy Gills LOL, did you try to trump me?…my frustation? who’s frustrated? do you feel defeated? inferior?
          why did you use the word, “sorry?” I totally missed the cartoon that taught people to misuse the word, “sorry” and try to install that syntax error in others.

          ~~~just keep swimming~~

          We have a long way to go…and please do not be “sorry.” LOL, if you look it up in the DSM…there’s probably a “word” for someone who feels “sorry” for others.
          The word i used is *syntax error.*

    • Charzie

      WHAT??? R U Hitler??? Seriously, if you have no concept of what depression or mental illness is, consider yourself very fortunate, but DO NOT ridicule the idea of it if you have no experience with it personally!!! I am currently in a very great state mentally, but had battled severe depression all my life…well before I even knew what the heck it was…I just thought that was the way life worked! Not having the desire or ability to get out of bed in the morning to face another horrible day and wanting to not live is NOT a choice or something you learn! Mental illness has been a plague of ours for eternity and is NOT a new phenomenon! I agree that it is more common now and horribly over-prescribed with the medications that abound, and I think this is simply because our natural lives are so out of whack… but true depression and mental illness are as physical and real as any other human disease and have been around as long! Personally speaking, diet and lifestyle changes have been an immense help. Though NO ONE has a shortage of “Prozac” or whatever drug, they did help me get back on track, but are certainly not for everyone as they are being used, therefore there needs to be a way to tell the difference!!! But the inability to experience joy or lack of desire to be alive is NOT a choice one learns, it descends on you like the plague and sucks away your life. Mental disorders are voted into existence? Really? I’m wondering if you got a vote?

      • Julie Someone

        HELLO!! ..
        LOL, a meeting of PSYCHIATRISTS does the voting! i am not a psychiatrist, nor will i ever be a psychiatrist. [That’s Hitler’s works…still alive today for $$$$ purposes]
        Mental disorders are voted into existence. Please watch..thanks for asking the questions?
        mental disorders are voted into existence..the DSM… fact!!it is a FACT! fact, fact.
        it’s one’s CHOICE in being programmed to be unable to experience joy. [once one swallows a psyche med, the body is a host to that drug…been there, done that]
        LOL, do ya think i lack empathy? ::gently nudging your arm:: “wake up Charzie”
        IF one has been programmed to believe in being depressed, that’s one’s choice. The same person can also choose to not be a Victim any longer.

        No doctor is my god, if one places doctor’s on a pedestal, depending on the dr… chances are, if one will idolize them, even when they produce inaccurate findings…if that dr believes in mental illnesses, or someone working for them does… look out! ::nudging you gently::: “can u wake up, Charzie?’

        Did you live in Phoenix, and go to the VA medical there? Remember all of the Media propaganda?!?
        [media propaganda is to protect the ones’ directly involved. yet, people that were not involved in other way, will swear that their “news channel” was feeding them the honest truth]

        One has a labeled “mental disorder” because one was programmed to believe that…and /or was programmed to just pass on opinions as facts

        -signed a [BOGUSLY] labeled 100% Disabled American Veteran

        Ironically, [because i allowed them to] the VA tried to kill me w/ a sudden death med,[T.E.N.] as soon as, i called their bluff! :-D
        In my VA medical record, by a VA Psychiatrist, “Delusions Present, most prominent delusion, Rosie O’Donnell.” GAF score: 30
        hmm, i mentioned Mr Joseph Jackson & Cyndi Berger[the PR for many Celibrities] to that VA psychiatrist… but he chose “ro o’ as my most prominent delusion..why?

        LOL, i thought i had mecury toxicity… i had soooo many of the symptoms. I’m Vegan, and i have metal fillings in my mouth. But the test came back NEGATIVE for mecury.
        LOL, why did i think i had mercury toxicity? Umm, LOL, somehow i was programmed to believe that. :-D

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Now also available in Portuguese / Legendado e publicado em Português:

  • Joy Schwabach

    According to Dr. Joel Furhman, MD, DHA supplementation is necessary to vegans. Do you disagree with that?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I do not necessarily disagree, but the word “necessary” is very strong considering there is no dietary requirement for DHA or EPA, only for essential fatty acids like ALA and LA. Having said that there is reason to believe those following a vegan may benefit from taking DHA. Here are Dr. Greger’s Optimal Nutrition Recommendations. For more in-depth analysis on essential fats check out dietitian Jack’s blog. Let me know if this helps. Thanks for your post, Joy.

      • elsie blanche

        What supplements do you currently take, and/or are you considering taking?
        And do you eat any grains that have been fortified, as in most breads at sandwich shops
        and even Whole Foods is now using fortified-organic grains in a lot of their packaged
        products and salad bars, deli-bars, takeout, etc.


  • Emmi

    (Nothing to do with this video, new videos have more comments activity, thats all) Hi! I’m vegan (3,5 years) and still struggling with acne. I watched your videos on acne and looks like IGF-1 triggers mTORC1 signaling that produce acne ( Since im already vegan (low fat whole plant based) I started to do more research on my own. In this video Dr. greger says that Leucine activates more mTORC1 than other amino acids and animal products have the most dietary amounts of this partirular amino acid ( Could it be that I need to bring Leucine intake even lower, for example, reducing beans that, in the plant kindom, are the ones with the highest levels of Leucine? And increase ursolic acid from fruits and spices? Ursolic acid inhibits leucine-stimulated mTOR activation (, found in apples, basil, bilberries, cranberries, elder flower, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, hawthorn, and prunes. Could this be the solution for plant eaters that still suffer acne problems? Thank you for responging!

    • guest

      Google “SCD diet”, but try to do a vegan version of this diet. It works wonders for people, it did for me. Follow it exactly, no cheating, avoid all grains and soy, and only eat the beans allowed. You’ll see a food list of SCD legal and SCD illegal foods. And don’t eat anything fried in oil. Eat fruit alone, hours away from fat, protein, and other foods. Keep it simple, but trust me, SCD diet, a vegan version of it, has changed lives. I also avoid fermented foods, for now at least. Seems to help, the avoidance.

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Fish is still seen as a healthy food in Portugal, at least in the predominant culture. This vïdeo will be a great way to start changing that.

    • Thea


  • Thanks for an interesting post and thank you, Dr. Greger, for clarifying the sources of omega 3s in your discussion. Whenever I hear about the pros and cons of “supplementing with omega 3” and the speaker or writer doesn’t define the source or form of omega 3 (very common) I feel troubled because this vague phrase, at least in my mind, can mean consuming fish oil, or algae oil, or eating some ground flax or chia seeds and allowing the parent ALA to make EPA and DHA inside our own bodies. I first learned about the importance of essential fatty acids in the context of eating ground flax and chia, so I never learned to assume that “supplementing with omega 3” meant specifically eating fish oil. For me, “supplementing with omega 3” meant adding a scoop of ground flax or chia to my daily diet. Surely these are two very different ways of supplementing with omega 3. In my view it is very important to consistently clarify which form of supplementation is under discussion and which is not, so no one is misled. Without these distinctions I think we invite the same sort of confusion that has led to popular myths such as ‘all carbs are bad’. Thanks for considering.

  • Nicole

    Please, please try to do a video (or video series!) on orthorexia as soon as research is available. It is disheartening to see the overwhelming prevalence of disordered eating in vegan pop culture and is distracting from what truly matters: helping people achieve optimal health and making the world a better place for everyone.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      There’s no video but just my two cents on “Orthorexia”, it’s a made-up term. Eating heathy and wanting to make conscious choices for our families makes logical sense. The reason I don’t like the word is because it puts those who strive for a healthy diet into an inferior category, where they become labeled perfectionist or idealist. There is more to the story, as one of my dietitian colleagues writes. Maybe one day Dr. Greger can do a video!

  • Alan

    To all those below discussing the EPA’s and the DHA’s – I do not eat fish or take neither supplement. My mind is fine. I do not suffer from depression are have suicidal thoughts.

  • Guest

    I wonder how incompetent you are, Im neurologist toxicologist who study issue about mercury and fish, All mercury scare is scam in Japan there is no one screening(brain) study showing that currently mercury level is harming so go spread your quackery to children because with their knowledge there is chance tha they belive you in this “article”

  • Charles Ross

    “Pesco-vegetarians in the community, who ate a plant-based diet with up to one serving of fish a day, lived longer than vegan Adventists.” This sentence has circulated on the internet recently. Is this true? If so…how might we account for why eating fish is better than strict vegan? Could it be that the vegan Adventists are more junk food vegans as to more whole food plant based? Or maybe the Adventists are not taking their Vit B12 or Omega 3’s? Curious as to your thoughts…..
    Thanks a bunch,
    Charlie Ross DO

  • A

    I wonder how incompetent you are, Im neurologist/toxicologist who study issue about mercury and fish, All mercury scare is scam in Japan there is no one screening(brain) study showing that currently mercury level is harming so such quackery only trully incompetent people without basic knowledge maybe belive you in this “article” First rule of toxicology the dose make poison but to know that there is need to get even minimal knowledge.

    • Guest

      Probably this comment be quickly removed due to fact that show how author is incompetent…

  • Mar

    But I read that if someone has a higher intake of selenium than mercury, the mercury has no negave effects of the body, expecially the brain. Is it true doc?

  • MeBro

    But I read that if we consume more selenium than mercury, the mercury has no negative effects on the body, expecially the brain, is it true???

  • StillMeBro

    I read that if we consume more selenium than mercury, the mercury has no negative effects on the body. is it true?

  • Yep, so biased based on industry agenda! (referring to the studies revealed as he mentions at the end of this video)