Doctor's Note

The third leading cause of death? Make sure you see the “prequel” to this video: Why Prevention is Worth a Ton of Cure.

Even medical diagnosis can be harmful. See my video Cancer Risk From CT Scan Radiation.

For those curious about my time in medical training, you can read my memoir-of-sorts: Heart Failure: Diary of a Third Year Medical Student.

Times, they are a-changin’ though, with the emergence of the field of lifestyle medicine:

I’m excited to be part of this revolution in medicine. Please consider joining me by supporting the 501c3 nonprofit organization that keeps NutritionFacts.org alive by making a tax-deductible donation. Thank you so much for helping me help others.

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  • Noe Marcial

    it will be good to control the drugs levels and alcohol in doctors!.. i know a family doctor and surgeon , that drink quite a lot of of wine a day.. plus antidepressant and anxiolytics and no other professional than himself controls the quantities and the effect on his work … no wonder if that can increase the risks of mistakes…

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    Hippokrates – we have a problem!

  • SeedyCharacter

    This is not hyperbole when I state that I have likely saved the lives of three friends/family members from medical error. One was an aunt who was obviously severely dehydrated in a nursing home. One friend had an undiagnosed melanoma lesion on her leg that her physician had said “let’s watch that” rather than “let’s immediately biopsy that.” One had a bleeding ectopic pregnancy; her doctor had sent her home for the weekend in spite of blatant high-risk symptoms. Believe-it-or-not, at the time that I was counseling her boyfriend to get her to the ER stat (whereupon they immediately took her to surgery), I was in the local hospital recovering from a hospital induced systemic staph infection that it took doctors over a week to properly diagnose and treat. I nearly died and my friend nearly died in under a week from hospital/physician error!

    • Wilma Laura Wiggins

      Yes I hear you. I “died” 3 times while in the hospital after surgery from medicines I couldn’t handle and came out with diabetes and congestive heart failure which I didn’t have when I went in. My endocrinologist said “Stay out of hospitals, they make you sick”.

      • SeedyCharacter

        Oh, so sorry to hear about this outcome for you! Since you’re on this website, I’m guessing you are now doing a good job of caring for your conditions.

    • Ray Tajoma

      My experience has been the reverse – doctors recommending unnecessary surgeries and tests (that’s where the $$$ is). I went to 4 eye doctors and all except one recommended immediate urgent surgery in my eye (I had a black mark in it), except one. He confidently said he can tell from the color it’s a birthmark. That was more 10 years ago and the mark is still there and it never grew.

      • twinboys

        Are you familiar with iridology?

        • Sean

          No, but I have heard of witchcraft. Similar right?

  • Will. M.

    Is there anyway we can suggest a topic to be covered by the good Dr.? Thanks

    • Thea

      Will: You can basically post a question anywhere under a video and Dr. Greger will take note. Here is the actual wording from the FAQ section on this site, which you can go to in order to get the links if you want:

      “How can I get Dr. Greger to answer my question or submit an idea for future video coverage?

      Leave a comment under any of the videos or blog posts or post on our Facebook page or tweet us. Our (largely volunteer) social media team keeps an eye out for such requests and passes them along. You can also contact us directly. If enough people raise the same question, Dr. Greger will address it here in the FAQ, answer it in the “Ask The Doctor” section, or make a new video about it. He used to personally respond to every single comment and question raised on the site, but that’s just no longer possible.”

      • Will. M.

        Thanks for the feedback

        • Nadege

          Jeff Novick is really good at answering questions on Facebook!

  • Clara

    What can we do about this problem? What can I do about this problem? Who do I write? How can we get activism going around this topic?

    • DrDave

      Clara: All aspects of the medical industry are now dominated by money. Modern healthcare is really about health insurance, not providing improved health, as this video clearly shows. Consequently, doctors are forced through an education centered around pills and surgery, neither of which can do more than relieve symptoms, but they do insure a repeat customer for many years to come. As Bill Maher says, “there is no money in health or death, only in illness.” So, please do everything in your power to avoid coming under their influence. That is, maximize preventative measures like eating well (low fat, whole foods, vegan), getting rest and exercise, practicing stress relief, no smoking, little or no drinking. taking B12, etc, etc, like Dr G says on his web site. By the way, this message is also strongly broadcast by John McDougall, MD, and more and more other MDs. However, until such men and women doctors are common (not even close right now), we must look out for ourselves and those we love. Also as DR McD says – keep reading and studying, spread the message, voice your concerns whenever and wherever you can starting with your elected officials, and find like-minded others in your area. The ONLY way this will change is through a massive grass roots movement demanding better care of health, which the various moneyed stakeholders will fight tooth and nail. Sounds like GMO labeling, doesn’t it? Or primary education? Best wishes.

      • James Pyrich

        Sure, there is a lot of money sloshing around, but money is not the core of the problem. Why is there so much money sloshing around in the first place? Where does it come from?

        Some of it is taxed, but much of it is printed or borrowed. And the only reason that can happen is because most people believe that we need to control people through the power of the state… and any time you localize power, you will attract people who get off on controlling others… and these people are not good people.

        If we had money that couldn’t be invented out of thin air, it would be pretty much impossible for politicians to grant favors, of which insurance, pharma, and food industry lobbyists take part.

        Granted, this is the world we live in, so I think (for whatever my opinion is worth) that your suggestions are absolutely on point for how to navigate our current predicament.

      • Rebecca Cody

        Another good source talking about how drugs cause more problems than they solve, and showing how Big Pharma manipulates data to make their products look like they do far more than they do, is Dr Brownstein. Just Google him.

        • 4Baccurate

          Also, go to Dollars for Docs on ProPublica.org. A cardiologist who, it turned out, had taken thousands of dollars from Merck as “speaking fees,” told my husband, “If you don’t take these drugs, you could lose a leg.” My husband had had a series of life-threatening adverse drug responses, including a hemorrhagic stroke, from the drugs that cardiologist wanted to prescribe. It’s terrifying, some of these monsters who get into medical school.

  • Colliemom

    Fortunate to be alive today despite a doctor’s poor medical advice: “Stay home and put your feet up” during a pregnancy in which I did not know I had placenta previa. BTW – in the second bullet point above there is no need for the apostrophe.

  • http://oncomp.com Joy Schwabach

    We need competition in health care. Added regulations don’t work here any better than they did in the old Soviet Union. How about an Uber for healthcare? http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2015/07/uber-for-health-care.html

    • The dude

      The real problem is not the doctors, it’s the system that controls them. To solve this problem people must rise up and force the government, and the private sector to follow the proven system that helps people to stay heathy or be penalized. More competition in the current system will only lead to competitors to find more create ways to make more profit not guide people compassionately to health. Delivering the current bad system faster from unqualified people out of there homes is a bad idea. And silly at best. Completion has its place.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Uber heathcare ;-) Nice! The good news is health care professionals who focus on nutrition and lifestyle medicine are becoming more available. It’s great to see the work of Kaiser Permanente – the largest U.S. managed care organization that publishes patient education materials. Kaiser has established a very healthful meal plan that doctors can distribute to patients. Dr. Barnard’s Medical Clinic opens this Fall in Washington, DC. A few sites have search engines for finding a doctor: Lifestyle Medicine and Dr. ​McDougall​. ​You may also want to check out the Plantrician Project.

    • 4Baccurate

      The number of seats in medical schools and the number of medical schools, need to be increased to accommodate the greatly increased population.

  • Veggie Eric

    Every time I’ve been to a Dr. they seem to want to prescribe a pill of some sort before I leave… even if all my vitals are fine. I have no blood work numbers out of range on a WFPB diet and the only med I take is a rescue inhaler for asthma (I’ve had asthma since birth) but my asthma has almost gone away completely since eliminating dairy (the last thing to go before going full vegan). But still the Dr. keeps asking “what can I give you today? Are you depressed? Do you want some prozac or xanax?” ME: “No thanks doc, I feel great!”. DOC: “Are you in pain or do you need something to help you sleep?” ME: “No doc… I feel great, no pills needed”. seemed like the Dr. was put off that I didn’t want any pills. I wish nutritional intervention was offered first before pills but I don’t see that happening unless Drs get on-board with Nutritionfacts.org. There should be a law passed that all new Drs must study this site as part of internship.

    Another quick story… One of my best buddies I’ve known for 25 years just got his physical. He’s 44yrs old, 5’9 / 210lbs. BP=180/101, total cholesterol 240, no fasting blood sugar taken?! His Drs advice was to cut down on calories and take a BP lowering med. The med got his BP down to 130/? but he is now dizzy and has no energy. He can’t even lift a box without having to sit down right afterwards. So we went out to lunch the other day to talk about it. I took him to a Pho joint. I like to get the tofu and veggie Pho. He passed on Pho and instead ordered a chicken and egg dish smothered in a rich butter cream sauce. I said, “that’s the reason your health is not good”. He said he knew but couldn’t bring himself to change his eating habits because he loved the food he eats and was just going to take the Meds and try to eat less… *sigh… and there you have it. Some people just will not change no matter what, even in the face of declining health. The thing that gets me is he has no interest whatsoever in ANY diet. He trusts that pills will fix him all up and he can still eat McDonalds and trusts that any pill a Dr gives him is safe and effective and he has nothing to worry about.

    • MikeOnRaw

      I feel that lifestyle is clicking with some health organizations, though perhaps not pushed as hard as they should. I highlighted a report my wife got and what her doctor told her in a recent video. Fairview Health Systems is the clinic. Her annual results were not great and her doctor in her talk brought up both the Mediterranean diet and the movie Forks over Knives as things she should consider. This was also printed on the report she brought home.
      Now my wife had heard this all from me before, and she has been eating more fruits and vegetables and we share vegan dinners about 3 times a week. But getting that reinforcement from a medical professional has really had my wife double up on her cutting back on processed foods and reducing her animal products. (Cheese will be the hardest for her)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf7oGF7kTDA

      • Betty

        See if she’ll watch dr Neal Barnard talk about why we can’t give up cheese. It’s incredible. On YouTube.

      • Veggie Eric

        Great video Mike! Keep up the good fight. You’re on the right side of science. We just need to get the word out to our friends and family that there is a better way. Appreciate you and your health journey.

      • Charzie

        There are awesome plant based cheese recipes on Youtube and elsewhere. Miyoko Schinner has a book on vegan cheeses and even sells them ready made now. Not difficult at all and a great treat when you are feeling that yen.
        I TOTALLY agree that hearing about WFPB from their doctors is a huge influence because my own success was seen as a fluke by almost all until a few heard similar from an “authority” figure and not just what they considered anecdotal reports from me!

        • MikeOnRaw

          yep, and we’ll be tracking down different recipes starting in September when our life calms down after a move. thanks for the reminder.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      Tell him that his diet will make him impotent – maybe that will help. Probably also his meds – from the side effects it sounds like a beta-blocker. Not testing his blood sugar sounds unwise.

      • Veggie Eric

        Good advice, I’ll keep working on him. I’m going to try to show him healthy Vegan options that taste great and can be substituted for the bad stuff like I do with pho. It normally comes with meat in beef broth but you can get it with veggies in veggie broth on request. Also a good veggie burger is key I think to helping some people see the light. He can’t fathom not eating a burger again. Thanks Plantstrongdoc, you’re aces brotha.

        • Jim Felder

          Try a pizza with a whole wheat crust, BBQ sauce, lots of veggies, and ground cashews and nutritional yeast in place of the cheese (from Eng #2 book, thanks Rip!). I have family members who have no intention of giving up “real” pizza who request it when they are visiting. As for burgers, try marinating a big portobello mushroom in a balsamic/herb marinade, grill it and then put it on a cracked wheat bun cup side up with a big dollop of basil pesto and thick slices of beef steak tomato, red onion and lettuce. Who would want a greesy cheeseburger when you could have something like this!

          • Veggie Eric

            That sounds so good. Now I’m hungry, haha. Think it’s gonna be a portabello burger day today. Thanks Jim!

          • Jen Drost, PA-C, NF Volunteer

            Great suggestions, Jim! These sound deelish and very smart of you to sub in simple, familiar foods for friends new to WFPBD :) Cheers!

        • JP

          You should’nt make him think this is a permanent decision, tell him to start with 1 day a week of no meat, gradually increasing as he gets used to more fiber in the diet and the taste, even if he has a cheat day once a week, he is much better off than eating meat on a daily basis

    • Jim Felder

      Probably because the strong message running through everything to do with nutrition in this country is that if you don’t like the latest nutritional advice, wait a few months and it will change. I think most people have given up on getting clear effective nutritional guidance and so are just going with what they like, knowing in some vague way that it isn’t healthy. But they don’t have any confidence that any of the diets du jour will lead them to health so like your friend they continue to drill holes in the bottom of their boat and trust that doctors can patch the holes fast enough to keep them from sinking. And such a sad state of affairs is exactly what Big Food wants, “nobody really knows, nothing is really certain, there are so many conflicting studies, here, have another one of our delicious new desserts, it will make you feel better!”

      • Veggie Eric

        You hit the nail on the head Jim. There is so much confusing health advice out there right now that people don’t know who to believe anymore. Worse than that there are sites and bloggers who actively appose a WFPB diet for whatever reason and will attack it whenever possible with lies and myths usually for self validation of their own strongly held belief system. Thankfully Nutritionfacts.org is a port in the storm for those seeking the truth.

      • Wilma Laura Wiggins

        Unfortunately, you are spot on.

      • Brux

        The whole system works together.
        If you practice medicine any other way, and something bad
        happens they can sue you for not following the accepted
        treatment and win. This system is about control and money,
        just like the farming system, and any other corporate national
        or global system. People do not fit in except as entities that
        can be a controlled source of profit.

      • DanielFaster

        Merchants of doubt, that is their product. All you need to think is there is a mere possibility it might be good for you or even that it might not be bad.

    • Rebecca Cody

      A few years ago I took an intensive nutrition course. I’d been interested and reading about nutrition for over 40 years. One of the most rewarding parts of the course was discovering others who felt the way I did about taking charge of our own health and doing so with nutrition. But our numbers are growing…

  • zauborg@yahoo.com

    The Us healthcare is full of intermediaries and CYA policies. It is based on an economic purpose that seeks to maximize profit by exploiting insurance and number of treatments. From that point of view, it makes sense that the US healthcare is the most expensive and inefficient of the world. It prefers treatments (maximize returns) not successes (minimize returns). Treating makes more economical sense than curing. Bloating the system with services makes sense to the shareholders because it brings more profits by moving more money. Profits are rewarded and encourage. Sick people bring profit. If nobody went to hospitals to receive treatments, doctors pay would be proportionally reduced affecting the supporting, managing, owning staff plus the banks. How distant is the banking industry from the healthcare industry? Banks and business seat on top of the US pyramid. They tell you what how it is. And your job is to conform.

  • nutritionmuse

    Such a traveshamockery…great post Dr. Gregor! So sorry to hear we lost such a force in medicine. Good to know clotting genetics too….we test for that and have changed more than a few patients meds because of it. Recently had a family member with cancer admitted to hospital to manage pain and contracted pneumonia. Pain was eventually easily managed at home by an amazing friend and MD who practices guess what…pain management. NO hospitalization required. Pneumonia(and icky biopsy) could have been avoided.

  • Craig Holman

    My son is in his third year of residency in internal medicine. He will be a great doctor his dad thinks. One of his complaints that I hear often is about the 30 hour rotations without a break. No nap. Coming home the other day he heard a car honking at him. He was at a stop light asleep. I worry about him. I worry about those on the road with him. And certainly I would not want to be a patient at about hour 26 of his schedule. No many or us would be at our best at that point. To think of a complicated patient in the hands of someone with that cognitive skill at that point is sad. It is really inexcusable.

    • Tobias Brown

      Is it part of a mind-control strategy where they wear them down so they will be more pliable and accepting of the sick care model?

    • Wilma Laura Wiggins

      Its horrible they do that. I had one intern sew up my daughter’s cut without waiting for the medicine that numbs the wound to take effect because he wanted to go back to sleep. At the time I was so brainwashed and naive about doctors, I did nothing but almost faint and have lived with the guilt ever since. I don’t know why hospitals or whoever makes the rules feels it is o.k. to do this to interns but something should be done about it. The “reform” they instituted is way too little and waay too late. And the statistics Dr. Greger stated are most likely under-stated. I personally know of one person killed by being given the wrong medicine and it was just swept under the rug. Nothing happened to the nursing student who killed this person – nothing at all.

    • Wade Patton

      Firefighters around here do 24-hours shifts WITH A BED, and then 48 hours OFF. Ridiculous is 30 on, absolutely moronic. I should have gotten an MD when instead of the JD I now have no use for. Water, bridge, under…

    • Rebecca Cody

      A neighbor’s son, who had a good life with a wife he loved and a daughter he adored, went three nights in a row with little or no sleep because of worries about his job. Then he jumped off a freeway bridge. You cannot expect people to be able to function and think when they are exhausted from lack of sleep.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Hello. Could you please add footnotes for the sources in your transcript? I have mentioned Nutritionfacts.org to several people to show them why eating a whole food plant-based diet is healthier but sometimes it takes a lot of time to find the right article to ascertain the sources. Thanks!

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Just click on the Sources Cited button to the right of the video. Thanks for sharing my work!

      • Sebastian Tristan

        What I mean is: could you put footnotes in the transcript to point to the articles in “Sources”? For instance, there are 13 articles in “Sources” and, if I wanted to show anybody which is the right one so they can check it themselves, I’d have to theoretically go though all 13 of them.

        On another note, Dr. Greger, I really hope to see you this Fall in Montreal at the second Montreal Vegan Festival!

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Hey Sebastian. I see what you are saying, but please understand to add all of those links would require another large step of including the proper hyperlinks for each study for every transcript published. We can look into doing that in the future it’s actually a great idea, however, currently our staff is very limited and have so much to edit already. In the videos, Dr. Greger is always pulling up the study for you to see and talking about its strong points. Sure, you’d have to pay close attention and match up the citation, but for avid readers super intrigued I am sure they could find it, no? If there is ever something that I can help look up let me know. As you’ve probably seen all blogs have hyperlinks and many reflect studies in the videos so you could perhaps recommend the blogs over videos in some cases. Just my thoughts.. Stay tuned for more improvements and keep the suggestions coming! I, too, hope you get to catch the good doctor in Montreal.

          Best,
          Joseph

        • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

          Oh, I see. That’s what the blogs are for. All the videos are made into blogs with all the studies hyperlinked to the transcript. Hope that helps!

          • Sebastian Tristan

            Joseph, Dr. Greger, thank you for replying. I was not aware about the difficulties of adding hyperlinks or the fact that blogs contained hyperlinks. Nevertheless, I was thinking more about citations. If you want, I can volunteer to add some myself. Just have someone from your staff contact me, tell me which style you use (APA, MLA, etc.) and I’ll gladly help. Thanks for all your amazing job!

          • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

            Awesome! Check in with us about volunteering! Just shoot us a quick volunteer application so we know what time you have available.

            Thanks so much,

            Joseph

  • Jerry

    Heart disease being 96% avoidable seems pretty good- but just in women, and how? What about the other 4% and is it avoidable or are they doomed by their genes? Also, what percentage is avoidable in men, and how? I tried searching for this and found articles that recommended eating lean meat and milk and limiting instead of restricting alcohol. No Thanks!

    • Jim Felder

      I think 96% for men and women appears to me to be very conservative. Check out this video from this site: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/one-in-a-thousand-ending-the-heart-disease-epidemic/ . Here a study was done in the 1960s to compare the evidence of heart attack at autopsy in 632 Ugandans as compared to 632 Missourans of African descent. In the Ugandans, 1 small healed infarct (meaning it wasn’t the cause of death) or 0.2% while in the folks from St. Louis there were 136 or 21.5% with signs of heart attack, with heart attack being the cause of death in many of them. With such astonishing results, the researchers went on to look at another 795 autopsies of Ugandans and still only the one small heart attack out of 1427. So if you were a Ugandan in the 1960 eating very close to a whole food plant based diet, then your odds of having a heart attack was 1 out of 1427 or 0.07%. So with a lifetime of eating the same plant based diet that the Ugandans were eating I think 96% avoidance for both men and women look like a very easy target and an nearly 100% elimination of heart attacks looks very doable.

      But 100% is probably only doable for our children if we can stop the dietary abuse in time. For the rest of us, we can still get the odds of a first heart attack way down. Even something like 96% or better is probably possible, taking Dr. Esselstyn’s initial and follow-up clinical trial as evidence. But to really get rid of it we have to help the children break the cycle.

  • https://plus.google.com/105966496222333683946 devonster10 .

    Interesting

  • Darryl

    Is there a respected guide to rational levels of medical surveillance for those of us with healthy lifestyles and no symptoms, now that we know annual physicals, colonoscopies, prostate screening, and mammograms have limited utility?

    • Thea

      Darryl: This is the question of the year! Thanks for your post and for the links too. Whether there is an answer or not, the question is revealing and something for us all to think about.

      • JS Baker

        Great question, Darryl. I think some physician practices are actively figuring this out, although I haven’t found any guidelines published for us laypersons. Atul Gawande has an excellent article in The New Yorker (“Overkill,” May 11,2015) on negative consequences of over testing http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/11/overkill-atul-gawande In his article Gawande describes how the WellMed patient care model eliminates unnecessary care and unnecessary testing in order to provide more necessary care, thus improving patient outcomes. Healthwise.org may be a move in this direction of helping people decide what and when to test and what the results suggest. Their their long running book, “Healthwise Handbook: Take Charge of Your Health” and associated web-accessible supplements, are used by major health care insurers including Kaiser Permanente. I have not read this book or used used Healthwise services.

    • Veggie Eric

      The only acceptation (for me) is that I had cancerous polyps discovered and removed from my colonoscopy in 2009, so I am ok with a colonoscopy and will be getting another one again for peace of mind.

      • Wilma Laura Wiggins

        You know the body can destroy cancer by itself if given the proper “tools” (diet), don’t you? Not saying 100% of course but we all have cancer every day and it goes away by itself. I have become so very suspicious of today’s doctors that I would question whether the so-called cancerous polyps were actually cancerous. It seems a bit suspicious to me that almost everyone that gets a colonoscopy has found these cancerous polyps yet people like me who do not get the tests just continue along being fine.

      • Lawrence

        Veggie Eric, good to hear your colonoscopy went well. If you feel comfortable doing so, would you please consider sharing with us whether or not the polyps that were removed were within reach of a flexible sigmoidoscope (i.e., distal colon, last two feet)? Although recently offered a colonoscopy, I am about to acquiesce to a one-time flexible sigmoidoscopy in accordance with Dr. McDougall’s recommendations from 2010. I had to convince my ‘Primary’ to go this route and I see that I will also have to make this case to the ‘gastro’ whose office assumed I was coming for a colonoscopy, but will instead submit only to the sig-scope. Dr. McDougall’s recommendations are here: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2010nl/aug/colon.htm Thanks.

        • Veggie Eric

          Hi Lawrence, I wish I had that information. It would probably be helpful as I don’t know the exact location within the colon where the polyps were removed… But the procedure was painless and quick. They put me into a twilight sleep with Michael Jacksons favorite sleepytime drug propofol. Next thing ya know the Dr was sitting me up and showing me pictures of my colon. I was glad I had a full colonoscopy done so I could see what was going on over in the ascending colon and apendix area. For me I would do the full colonoscopy for peace of mind, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Wade Patton

      Pam Popper is surely against routine screenings and tests. I’m not sure if she recommends any ever without some reason for inquiry.

  • Guest

    Off Topic: I just read an news article saying that experimental results show that transforming growth factor beta-1 is a major cause of aging and cognitive decline- at least in mice, and that it’s reversible with a chemotherapy agent: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/uoc–dpu051215.php

    Is there a nutritional equivalent for this drug?

    • Darryl

      Maybe our old friend (and Dr. Greger’s favorite) curcumin.

      • Guest

        Thanks for your response, Darryl. Without it, I might be tempted to experiment on myself with galunisertib-if I could find it. Instead, I’ll continue to take turmeric. Please keep us posted on any new developments in this area.

  • Sadie

    I am a whole foods plant-based vegan, but my family with whom I live (daughter, son in law, kids ages 26 and 22) are junk food omnivores. The 22 yo is going to Medical school next year. I can’t convince him or any of the family to do some basic research about the benefits of a plant based lifestyle. I have forwarded Dr Greger’s NutritionFacts and other info, to no avail. They just delete the messages. I could just cry, I feel so frustrated. I can’t afford to move out. Is it worth my time to keep trying? My daughter and son in law are both on several prescription drugs which I am sure could be eliminated with lifestyle changes. It just hurts me so much to watch them destroy their lives. Any suggestions?

    • Julie

      Sadie, I think many of us know how extremely painful and frustrating it can be to watch loved ones ignoring health information while slowly killing themselves with poor diet and lifestyle choices. My advice:
      1) Be respectful of your loved ones and their right to make their own choices
      2) Don’t lecture or be pushy
      3) Keep quiet until it’s the right moment and keep it very brief and to to point, as well as upbeat and loving
      4) Lead by example. Truly enjoy your healthy lifestyle. Maybe try some new delicious recipes and advertise how yummy it tastes.

      • Fred

        After making some serious efforts it is probably best to just ask yourself in what ways can you continue to improve your own life in meaningful ways instead of wearing yourself down trying to fight mass insanity? I know…I know…all the guilt from not trying to save the world….oh the pain….. In actuality…this kind of guilt-trip likely derives from a lower level of understanding if anything. It’s easy to be simple-minded…it’s much harder to rise above this and accept some realities.

    • The dude

      Never give up! It took my mother at least ten years of persistent nudging. Emails,books,articles, comments and dealing health before I finally listened. We’re very grateful to her now for her persistence. It’s a marathon not a sprint! Also, thumbs up to Daryl’s contributions. :-)

    • guest

      I have the same experience with friends. At first, when I forwarded videos, they wouldn’t watch but acknowledge. They don’t even do that any more. Frustrating.

  • Neil De Silva

    In my experience, almost every person who went to Medical School, was doing it to become Rich or simply to Please their Parents! Medical School was a Get Rich Quick Scheme ! Is there any wonder that most MDs’ end up as Alcoholics or (Legal) Drug Addicts!

    • JordanS

      Are doctors paid a fixed annual salary , as most of us are, or a portion of the profits based on the number of patient visits to each doctor?

    • Wilma Laura Wiggins

      While I am not a fan of modern medicine, your statements are a bit on the far out side. I am sure there are well intentioned doctors who truly want to help people but their education has failed them miserably. Apparently it has also taught them to close their minds to anything “new”, which is really sad. I remember that I suffered with ulcers caused by h. pylori for 10 years while a lone doctor tried to convince his cohorts of what actually caused ulcers (not stress and spicy food). Finally I found a doctor who had taken the doctor’s discovery to heart and he cured me. Bless him and bless the doctor that spread the word.

      • The dude

        agree. My brother is a Doctor whom ran his own practice and who is very intelligent and cared for his patients, however, the insurance companies forced him out-of-business and into a clinic run by business people. Now he works for a pay check only and keeps his “nose clean” it’s sad. Only works to retire. The real problem is not the doctors, it’s the system that controls them. To solve this problem people must rise up and force the government, and the private sector to follow the proven system that helps people to stay heathy or be penalized. More competition in the current system will only lead to competitors to find more create ways to make more profit not guide people compassionately to health.

        • Wilma Laura Wiggins

          I’m sure you are right about the system, just not sure it is the responsibility of “the people” or government to clean it up. Nor do I think it is possible. I think the doctors themselves must fix their system somehow. I know some have tried to opt out of taking insurance and I don’t think that worked for them. Perhaps they need to join something other than the AMA which has somehow gained way too much power. Perhaps Physicians for Responsible Medicine? Maybe start their own insurance company? Why not?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I’ve have a much different experience of people I know who are doctors and the reasons why they went to med school. I think it’s fair to say everyone has problems, but let’s not blame all the doctors. I know that is not what you implied. Surely this is a complex issue. The cool thing is that Dr. Greger is humble enough to recognize the faults in his own profession and with that knowledge admit the mistakes and look for ways to facilitate change.

  • http://www.lastchimpanzee.com/ Peter Holst

    Did you know that the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom for many years the highest mortality from lung cancer in the world have and that the mortality from breast cancer and prostate cancer also very high compared to other countries are? More information: http://www.preventingcancer.info

  • alef1

    Two comments.

    First, I think in actuality doctors have become THE leading cause of death, not the third leading cause, even leaving out deaths due to medical errors and incompetence. Let’s look at the nominal first and second leading causes of death on the list, heart disease and cancer. The fact that the doctors focus almost entirely on drugs, surgery, etc. after their patients reach a treatment stage, rather than on prevention, which might prevent as many as >75% of those people from ever getting the disease in the first place, puts those deaths squarely at the door of the doctors who failed to make at least a reasonable effort to inform, convince, and properly support their patients on the value of preventative health practices. Make me wonder what ever happened to doctors swearing to abide by the Hippocratic oath, and “I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my
    ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I
    prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. ” These days, the Hypocritical oath seems more like it.

    In addition, the treatment modalities for heart disease and cancer for those who actually have developed detectable disease, actually seem ineffective for the majority of patients even when compared to patients who do nothing (http://www.clinmed.rcpjournal.org/content/2/6/527.full.pdf+html http://www.icnr.com/articles/ischemotherapyeffective.html ), and outrageously ineffective when compared to people who choose to make lifestyle changes instead , as for example when looking at people who diligently follow the Esseltyn diet. (http://dresselstyn.com/JFP_06307_Article1.pdf)

    Second, in looking online at the official lists of the leading causes of death, like the CDC’s, ( http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm ) I note the conspicuous absence of any mention of deaths do to the medical industry at all, blatantly choosing to just leave the data out. This really does go well beyond a conspiracy of silence into Orwellian territory.

    • alef1

      Incidentally, as a friend pointed out, I agree that it doesn’t all the doctors fault, but doctors do serve as
      the proximate cause of those deaths, as licensed agents of that medical system.
      And even the medical system doesn’t accomplish all this on its own, but in
      combination with the Food Industry, aided, abetted, and institutionalized by the
      contrary to scientific fact policies adopted by the U.S. Government. All of
      these together comprise the real leading cause of death in the U.S.,

      And as Stan Lee said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” For
      the most part doctors have abrogated that responsibility, despite their ethical
      and moral to take that responsibility:

      “I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to
      my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I
      prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.

      How has this happened? I think Edmund Burke summed it up well:

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
      nothing.”

      I don’t see doctors as a evil, or at least any more evil or more
      corrupt than other human beings, but they do hold the power of life and death
      over their patients, which means I believe they they have to answer to a higher
      standard.

      Many do indeed seem good human beings with good intentions, but in my
      experience the vast majority of them, with the exception of a few like Ornish Esseltyn, and Greger, in the final analysis they end up as “good men who do
      nothing.” We need to inspire more “good M.D.s” in the system to become “good men who do something.” I feel happy to see more a few M.D.s of that kind posting here.

  • Brux

    Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
    … great book, brilliant author.

  • Tikiri

    As always, highly informative and excellently articulated. Thank you!

  • AG

    I live in the coastal city of Santa Cruz, CA and several people I know, myself included are wondering if the Fukishima plant’s meltdown’s continuing radioactive water leakage into the Pacific is slowly killing the ocean? Secondly, is it contaminating so much of the Pacific that it poses a hazard to even go into it on the west coast of the U.S. for fear of accumulating a lethal dose of radiation. Its my understanding radioactive exposure is cumulative, is that correct? Third, if the ocean is slowly but continuously being contaminated by this radioactive leakage, what effect is it having on fish and will it (or is it currently?) be safe to eat any ocean fish or will we have to take a Geiger counter to the fish monger to check before we buy? Extremely concerned. Thanks AG

    • Guest
    • Brux

      There is a very good book called “Physics For Future Presidents” that cuts through all the BS on radiation and explains how it works and the experimental statistical findings about radiation. Fukushima is pretty bad, but I think by the time radiation gets to the west coast of the US is background radiation. Instead of imagining the worst, read about radiation from reputably sources.

    • Thea

      AG: re: “myself included are wondering if the Fukishima plant’s meltdown’s
      continuing radioactive water leakage into the Pacific is slowly killing
      the ocean?”
      From my perspective, the question is not relevant, because humans are quickly killing the oceans another way. If you are interested in saving the oceans, I recommend doing some research on ‘dead zones’. Here’s some links to get you started:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_%28ecology%29
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-hanlon/dead-zones-now-in-more-fr_b_833025.html

      Also, human slavery is rampant on the fishing vessels that bring us fish. I’ve read an in depth article on this topic and the brutality is horrifying. Who wants to be part of that? I can’t find the specific article, but there is plenty of information out there with a simple search. Here is are some links to get you started. You can see in the second link that eating farmed fish does nothing to protect the oceans since the farms are feeding ocean fish to the farmed fish…
      http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25814718
      http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/-sp-migrant-workers-new-life-enslaved-thai-fishing

      My take-home is: Ideally people would not be buying any fish at all regardless of what is happening with Fukishima. ie, that Fukishima is the least of our problems.

  • rumicat

    Thanks for the video and all the wonderful comments. experienced my own share of medical misjudgment, but I ask lots of questions and have avoided the worst.
    As for plant based medicine, the truth will out, we’re just not at the tipping point yet. Best to you all.

  • Dommy

    “Is it part of a mind-control strategy where they wear them down so they
    will be more pliable and accepting of the sick care model?”
    Great observation. You may be right.

  • delbert Parkinson

    I have told you many times that I have discovered the cause of most cancers and you have never contacted me at delparkinson@msn.com or called me 360-438-3636 so I know the feeling. Del.

    • Wade Patton

      Hey Del, I went and looked at one of your videos. Interesting but you are going to need some clinical data, some research, some real correlations to make a good argument. I posted on the video I watched as well. Thanks for sharing your theories, but I cannot agree (i gave a very light touching on my experience in the RF field in the comment).

  • Marvin

    Your point is well made, prevention is better than treatment. In fairness to doctors, people turn up in hospital after screwing up their bodies then look for the so called medical miracles we associate with drugs like antibiotics. Simple advice like go home, eat your veggies and get some exercise are not seen as being real medicine. Practical low cost common sense things are ignored in favour of extraordinary interventions.

    Having said all that, I also get the point that the medical profession seems locked into a mind set which pretty much ensures making mistakes. The oft quoted phrase “first do no harm” seems very hollow and meaningless when used in the face of the obvious harm being done daily.

  • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD-NF Moderator

    This issue is complicated but to enter a few thoughts on quality improvement as a graduate of the Advanced Training Program at Intermountain Healthcare. The IOM’s reports,Crossing the Quality Chasm and To Err is Human pointed to the large number of preventable deaths caused by errors. The quality improvement movement in medicine which took off in the 1980’s with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the work of Brent James and his colleagues at Intermountain Healthcare was based on the work of Dr. Deming who helped launch the quality movement in Japan post WWII. This approach to problem solving… front line teams working collaboratively to solve problems based on statistical process control is supposed to be taught in residencies but isn’t. And even if it was taught if health care professionals get out of residencies and go to work in systems (whether they are large or small) that don’t support the “effective” application of these techniques it won’t happen. Intermountain Healthcare has implemented quality improvement guidelines in over 80% of clinical work. They have held cost increases to CPI plus 1% over the last two years. You will know prevention and quality are happening in your medical care organization when the health of plan members go up and rates go down. The bad news this will take time and may never happen except in a few medical organizations. The good news is by individuals following good lifestyle practices… WFPB diet, exercise, non smoking while pushing for policies that support improved public health issues such as clean air and water you can avoid drugs and procedures. The best way to prevent a problem with a medication or procedure is to not have one in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong there is certainly a place for medications and surgery but best avoided. As greater numbers of folks improve their own lifestyle they will influence others to change as well.

    • Rhombopterix

      Great comment as usual. Please use paragraphs for my old eyes : )

  • Sherri

    I took my husband to the doctor because his blood pressure was high 160/90–immediately he wanted to give him this blood pressure pill and when I asked can we do this naturally he said no way he is going to have to take this for the rest of his life. And he neglected to tell us that this small pill one of the side effects if impairment to the kidneys. He mentioned nothing about nutrition, magnesium levels, lifestyle, stress, nothing. So went home goggled the side effects decided he wasn’t going to do that and started a program of my own with supplements that help with this as well as some diet changes. We also did acupuncture. Within 3 weeks his blood pressure was 110/76. The doctor refused to talk about natural methods, told us it would never work, told us he would have to take this blood pressure medicine for the rest of his life—does he get a kickback on these prescriptions? Well never filled it and have never looked back and my husband is doing great!

    • Wade Patton

      This is the kind of shit that gives the whole medical profession a bad name. Sorry for my language, but that’s what it is. Total bullshit.

      VERY HAPPY that you knew enough/learned enough to approach the issue with nutrition and got safe, quick, and everlasting results without complications–but probably only enhanced longevity and wellness from the dietary changes. KUDOS!!!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      How frustrating :-( Of course medications have their place, but certainly there are dietary steps to take for hypertension. The DASH diet comes to mind and doctor’s need to be able to recommend aspects of this diet! I am so glad you found relief.

      Best,
      Joseph

  • eshah45

    I like your programs very much but you have ignored progress by many medical groups. Note this reference:

    http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-hospitals-receive-highest-ratings-in-latest-patient-safety-scorecard/

    Responsible doctor groups are responding to the information that you describe.

    • Rhombopterix

      No they are not. That link is just an ad for the Kaiser dressed up like news.

      Yes there are good medicos but their numbers are so few that they can’t find each other to reproduce.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Oh we have loads of information about Kaiser! Thanks for mentioning. Here is a video on Kaiser Permanente – the largest U.S. managed care organization that publishes patient education materials. Kaiser has established a very healthful meal plan that doctors can distribute to patients. Dr. Barnard’s Medical Clinic opens this Fall in Washington, DC. A few sites have search engines for finding a doctor: Lifestyle Medicine and Dr. ​McDougall​. ​Other interested in this area may also want to check out the Plantrician Project.

  • Alan

    I might need to see a doctor tomorrow. I sure hope not and should not have to. I am vegan and pretty much been that way for 24 years. I do not remember the last time i had a cold or flu or anything else. It is the Genesis 1:29 diet. Also i have good insurance found in Exodus 15:26 –15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.

    • Rhombopterix

      There are no gods

      • Alan

        No gods, Just One God!!!!

    • Brux

      >> I do not remember the last time i had a cold or flu or anything else.

      Maybe you have Alzheimer’s. Seriously, we cannot go or listen to what people say about what personally think they eat, or experience, or how well or sick they are … that’s why we have science.

      • Alan

        Hi Brux – You listen to science and i will follow the directions of my Creator, the One who designed us humans knows what is for our best good !!!!

    • Lawrence

      Leviticus 7:22-27. To look at us now is to understand how far we have strayed. Say Amen.

      • Alan

        Hi Lawrence – Yes i can say Amen to that. The people in the world would all be healthy if we followed our Creator and Designer.

        • Lawrence

          Matthew 6:5-8

  • Chanoch Winnykamien

    This reminds me of the story of the Hungarian physician Ignaz
    Semmelweis.

    Dr. Semmelweis worked at the Vienna General Hospital’s maternity
    clinic. In European and North American hospitals, puerperal
    fever, or childbed fever, was rampant, sometimes climbing to 40
    percent of admitted patients. He developed a theory of infection, in which he
    theorized that decaying matter on the hands of doctors, who had recently
    conducted autopsies, was brought into contact with the genitals of birth giving
    women during the medical examinations at the maternity clinic. He proposed a
    radical hand washing theory using chlorinated lime, now a known disinfectant.

    Implementing his theory reduced his department’s death rate by 90%. Has the
    medical establishment followed his way? Dr. Gereger’s video will give you a
    hint to the correct answer.
    It is to do with the human nature more than the medicine.

  • Tony Heller

    The “Medical Establishment” seems to treat doctors in training as if they were indentured servants: cheap, exploitable labor. There should be a law limiting the hours worked to perhaps 50 hours, with adequate sleep an absolute requirement. The present situation is medieval, worthy of a lampoon by Monty Python if it weren’t so serious.

  • Ray Tajoma

    …the doctors and hospitals kill you very slowly by exaggerating the least abnormality, scaring you to death to make you pay for unnecessary tests and then require surgery & lifelong drugs. You are better off dying naturally, you will live longer and keep your money from charlatan thieves.

  • Johanna Schubert

    Dear Dr Greger and Commenters,

    I am sorry to hear that you had negative experiences with healthcare. So did I, and I am WFPB physician, but despite that, I urge you to dig a little deeper before you make such statements as we heard in this video. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education is working hard correcting this problem with initiatives that completely changed residency programs and the teaching institutions focus (just an example): http://www.acgme.org/acgmeweb/tabid/436/ProgramandInstitutionalAccreditation/NextAccreditationSystem/ClinicalLearningEnvironmentReviewProgram.aspx.

    How could you believe that anyone can work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially physicians? There is mandatory drug and alcohol testing for both residents and attending physicians in the hospital and there are anonymous routes to report someone who might still dare to show up to work under the influence (which I have personally never experienced). Any patient safety issue can be anonymously reported and is very seriously investigated in the hospital. Our residents meet with the faculty monthly to discuss new patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, everyone brings ideas and works on a small local or interdepartmental project.
    I am not doubting the data that mistakes happen, but stating that we do nothing about it is the exact opposite of the truth. We have been working hard to bring valuable change, and I hope that you will see results soon.
    Wish you all the best. Eat well, live well!

    • Wade Patton

      I didn’t hear anything about actually working under the influence, what I heard was working at the levels of sleep deprivation that equate the functional impairment of being under the influence. Maybe I should re-view the vid?

      I wish you great success at turning the tide from SAD/managment to WFPB/thriving. Thanks for commenting.

  • Rebecca Cody

    Upton Sinclair said it all: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    My sense is that food in the grocery stores and restaurants of America is our greatest national threat. How many have died needlessly of heart disease, diabetes complications, cancer, all of which can be prevented or ameliorated through diet. This is far more dangerous than even doctors and hospitals!

    • Wade Patton

      brilliant! thanks Rebecca.

  • Christopher D Goeser

    Having served on the medical executive committees of two hospitals, I can offer some good news as to the latest efforts of two community hospitals in Oregon, and hope that they are representative of the efforts of similar hospitals around the country. For instance, we measure the rate of hand washing by health care providers and post the results in order to reduce the spread of infections, and use checklists before surgeries to insure patients receive prophylactic antibiotics. Both preventative efforts have reduced the rate of nosocomial infections. Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), used by both hospitals, has decreased the rate of medication errors. There are active programs to reduce falls by hospitalized patients. I could go on, but my point is that both for the safety of patients, and maintenance of accreditation and reputation of the hospitals, I foresee physician error dropping a notch or two on the list of common causes of death, and hope that one day it falls off the Top 15 list.

  • Stephan
  • Bill Thomas

    The book, ” Medicines that Kill” by JMarcum MD FACC is an excellent resource. This book has great statistics and insights from a practicing MD

  • Kent Nauman

    Another thing they are resisting is the computerization of the medical record in Dr. Weed’s S.O.A.P. format with auditing by diagnostic and statistical quality control programs. Also see the following YouTube videos:
    1) Psychiatry: An Industry of Death (FULL VERSION)
    2) Psychiatry: The Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane?
    3) Diagnostic & Statistical Manual: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam

  • fenny

    Lets face it, Doctors are just people. Some are good and devoted while others are greedy for money and very sloppy with a diagnoses. Drugs are easy and more drugs are handed out to counter the negative reaction to a drug with more dispensed with each reaction. Use food as a medicine, amazing results.

  • Monique

    Yes I always wondered what doctor’s performance was like seeing that they work ‘long exhausting shifts’….excellent discussion/video!

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    This could be an interesting topic to cover, if any study as been done on it: What’s served in the Hospitals around the world – http://www.realfarmacy.com/20-eye-opening-photos-of-hospital-food-from-around-the-world/

  • http://www.naturallifeenergy.com/ Natural Life Energy – Aqiyl

    Hi Dr. Greger. The research this video is based on data from 2000. Are the same numbers from the article still valid today? I wrote an article based on your video and someone asked if the numbers are the same in 2015. I have no doubt they are, or might be worst, but are there any current articles that address the number of deaths? Thank you

  • http://www.math.missouri.edu/~rich/MGM/primer.html rwinkel

    Let’s not forget the outright psychopaths and sadists that prowl the obstetrical/pediatric wards and the psych wards, and how many of their activities are actually institutionalized in standardized medical practice endorsed by their respective guilds. Circumcision, premature cord clamping, episiotomy, back birthing, routine induction and cesarian, hyper-vaccination, mother-baby isolation, lack of support (or outright sabotage) for breast feeding. And for the shrinks, toxic drugs, manufactured diseases, conjured chemical imbalances, implicit support of abusive family situations and social/economic ills, dungeons of quackery and last but certainly not least, shock treatment.

    Let’s put the label where it belongs: american medicine is sick. Doctors are the biggest threat to the lives of children in this country.

  • Youcef

    Hi Dr. Greger,
    I fully embrace the observation that medical errors are a leading cause of death. No doubt about that. However, I have a question pertaining to statistical rigor:
    Did anybody make sure that there is no overlap between the numbers of medical errors and other causes of death, before ranking them in order?
    For instance, there could be double counts if a death officially counted as a “death by cancer” also was non-officially a death caused by a medical error.
    Thank you.

  • drgallenstein

    You’ll never catch me making mysteaks.

  • GeminiRat

    ProPublica has just published an article about researchers at John Hopkins Medicine urging the Center for Disease Control to require that medical errors to be listed on death certificates. The researchers estimate that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US – hmm, now where have we heard that before? ProPublica is encouraging that public discussion on this issue continue… See https://www.propublica.org/article/study-urges-cdc-to-revise-count-of-deaths-from-medical-error?utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter

  • Joseph

    I like how the topic is “How Doctors Responded to Being Named a Leading Killer” but conclusion is, how a woman shouldnt have listened to her doctors but prevented her own health problem with diet…