Doctor's Note

What’s Your Gut Microbiome Enterotype?

I also have a series about the epic fermentation battle in the gut between protein and carbs that offers lots of insight on why it matters who we have living down there:

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  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    The message is loud and clear! Eat more plants!

    • Joe Caner

      I sense a recurring theme in the scientific research that supports your assertion.

      • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

        Ditto :-)

    • plant_this_thought

      I like how this video shows that the human gut is capable of adapting to meat-eating but that for optimal health one should stick to plant-based. The fact that evolution has favored flexibility does not dictate that our diet should consist of every single thing we are capable of digesting. Yes, as a species we are omnivores. But science, which reflects the best available evidence, offers us a basis for choosing what is optimum.

      • Thea

        Ooh. Well said!

      • Laloofah

        I’ve always remembered something that Dr. Milton Mills said in a lecture at Denver VegFest about 10 years ago – that we humans are “biological herbivores, but behavioral omnivores.” And he went on to detail how why those omnivorous behaviors so often get us into biological trouble. (Details with which regular visitors to NutritionFacts are very familiar!)

        • lilyroza

          Thank you for the link. Dr. Mills really nails down the argument for humans being herbivores by nature.

        • lilyroza

          Thank you for the link. Dr. Mills really nails down the argument for humans being herbivores by nature.

        • Lars Sundström

          Dr Mills is wrong. There is not enough B12 in our diet by natural means.

          • Jim Felder

            And there is not enough fiber in a largely carnivorous diet for us. We are hind-gut fermenting herbivores and absolutely require sufficient fiber to feed our little friends so that they will make a number of critical nutrients like the short chain fatty acid butyrate that acts as a primary energy source for the cells lining our colon. The RDA is at least 25 grams of fiber, but to be healthy rather than just scrapping along at the bare minimum you should be getting 40 or more grams a day. Anthropological studies (basically by looking at fossil feces) show that primitive humans ate in excess of a 100 grams of fiber a day.

            So Mr. Sundstrom, where are you going to get your essential fiber? Or are you going to remain critically fiber deficient so that you don’t have to a simple B12 supplement?

          • Lars Sundström

            Carnivorous gets their fiber from cartilage. No one needs grass fiber except cows maybe. It only make you do number 2 more often to an increase amount.
            If you have the money we can do a test. 200 persons in one hotel for 4 weeks. Half get your fibers and the other get meat. Lets see which half will starve to death?

          • Iluv Merengue

            I never ate cartilage during my whole “omnivorous” life nor observed anyone other than my mother (who died of cancer) eating them (from chicken) or maybe she was just sucking them.

            Going #2 more often is actually healthy, how come you seem to not know that??? :-o

            Your experiment is ridiculous. As a hypoglycemic who for over 30 years believed I needed to eat meat so I would not be hungry “in 2 hours” I can tell you that now I can go longer with a good complete vegan meal. Now I don’t even get the pesky temple headache, oozy nauseous feeling if I go too long past my mealtime, and I can “overeat” if I’d waited too long without gaining weight like it was happening before.

            Perhaps you need to hear about the vegan athletes who are winning competitions, they report better endurance and faster recovery. Please check this video and see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM7MAlp0j50

          • Iluv Merengue

            I disagree. What happens is that in modern life it’s harder to get B12 by “natural means”, but being that while I was an “omnivore” I took all kinds of supplements, including sublingual B12, and know other “omnivores” who get shots from their doctor, I think it’s a very minor thing. Most people over 40 can’t even absorb it from meat, so I can’t see what good eating it does them anyway.

          • Denise

            This is given to cows so they produce meat with B12. Why not take it instead?

          • Vege-tater

            B12 is made by soil bacteria and before the current age when we drank from streams and ate bits of soil on our plants, we got plenty. Animals STORE B12, they don’t create it.

    • Jim Felder

      100% agree. Your diet is healthy exactly to the degree that it is plant based. 100% plant based is indeed the healthiest, but this is also a great message for those who could never imagine never not eating flesh, cheese or eggs since the closer the can come within their own personal limitations the better off they are. 90% plant based is going to be nearly infinitely healthier than the standard diet. Even just putting plants in the center of their plates and meat on the side will help most avoid the worst ravages of the standard western diet. We just have to work to not make it a black or white choice for those looking to change.

      • Lars Sundström

        I think 80% meat and 20% plants is the perfect setting for humans. For cats and dogs, you who have any, it is more like 95% / 5%. I do presume you are not feeding your pets with bananas as that Banagirl do?

        • Have you compared health outcomes of people getting 80% calories from meat to the plant based diet? Spoiler alert: plants win big, meat fuels cancer and rapid aging (via mTOR and IGF-1 pathways)

        • Jim Felder

          This is not supported by the consensus findings in nutrition research. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. The simple facts are that societies that get more calories from plants are healthier (as measured by prevalence of chronic disease rates as well as premature death rates from those diseases) than those who get fewer calories from plants in a nearly perfect dose dependent manner. There are numerous biochemical studies detailing clear biological pathways for why this is the case. It is also confirmed by case controlled trials as well as large prospective trials.

          So you can state what ever you want, but your nutritional “theory” that the perfect diet for humans is 80% of calories from animal foods does not match the observed facts. As such it is not a valid theory and should be discarded unless you can show how all the observations and biochemical research results showing exactly the opposite don’t show what we think they do.

          However, I am always open to be proven wrong. So please be my guest and show me where the current research saying that a healthy ratio is actually more like 90% plants and 10% animal foods with strong indicators that 100% plants with a simple B-12 supplement is an optimal diet all when wrong.

          • Lars Sundström

            Facts? Do you think you have the facts? If there was any facts at all we all should not be talking about this subject in mass variety, should we? Have you any idea how many reports and studies that have been done. How many of those who have science and science only as the main goal?
            Do you take all the information out there in consideration or are you under the influence of your believes, history, education, needs, friends…. Facts, my ass.
            There is only one way to settle this and that is what is happening to people regarding to what they eat. We surely eat way too much sugar. Nothing in our bodies need sugar. Do we agree about that?
            Carbs will increase the insulin level in our blood, fat will not – Agree?
            If you don’t agree the discussion for me ends here.

          • Jim Felder

            Yes my friend I do have facts. But you are very correct to point out the risks of confirmation bias. One has to be on constant guard to make sure that you don’t just read material that agrees with your current beliefs. The doctor who runs this site is also very aware of this risk and works to highlight the full picture of human nutrition, so this is definitely not a “Yay vegan diets” website. Plus he makes sure that you can “Fact-Check” him any time you want by putting a link to all the sources he used right next to the video so you don’t have to just take his word that this is what the research says. You can just click the link and read the actual research and decide for yourself

            Your fear of insulin leads me to believe that you are a follower of the “Carbs = Bad” school of nutrition. This very website is bulging at the seams with summary after summary of tens of thousands of peer reviewed research papers. The topic of low-carb diets has been the subject of quite a few. Here is a link to a list of some of those videos.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/low-carb-diets/

            In addition Dr. Greger has written an ebook directly addressing the carbo-phobia sweeping the globe and why a fear of carbs and insulin is not supported by the research. You can download it from here for free (or pay $7 for it on Amazon). http://www.atkinsexposed.org/

            On a different line here is a video about research done in the 1960s comparing heart attack rates in native Africans in Uganda (where the diet at the time was 90+% from whole plant foods) to African Americans in St. Louis as verified by autopsy. Basically there was only 1 person out of eventually 1000 autopsies in Uganda who had a heart attack and it was a small one which had healed.So clearly eating a high carbohydrate diet is not only not bad for your heart, it is absolutely protective. I bet it won’t surprise you that the heart attack rate in meat loving America was just a tad higher.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/one-in-a-thousand-ending-the-heart-disease-epidemic/

            So how does your hypothesis that the ideal human diet is 80% animal products explain the observed fact that people who get the vast majority of their calories from whole plant foods are healthier than those who don’t? Again any theory of diet must be able to explain the observed facts or it is not a valid theory. So let us talk about your confirmation bias and cognative dissonance (the dogged persistence in maintaining ones belief even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary).

            But I will agree with you that as a culture we eat too much refined, simple sugar. And of course carbohydrates cause insulin levels to rise. But surely you understand that there is a vast difference between complex carbohydrates and sugar. As for nothing in our body needing sugar, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for every cell in our bodies. This isn’t just opinion, this is absolute bedrock biochemistry. And our red blood cells will use nothing else but glucose to the point that our livers will break down the proteins in our own muscles to make glucose (in a process called gluconeogenesis) if it can’t get carbs or protein from our foods. We are highly adaptable beings and we can use less than ideal foods as energy sources if forced to do so. But just because we can does not mean that it is the healthiest way to fuel our bodies.

            I am sorry to see that you’re frightened by the insulin boogie man that low-carb promoters use to scare those they are looking to fleece. Insulin only becomes a problem when the insulin receptor on cells stop responding. But this isn’t do to the insulin itself, but because of saturated fat in the diet gumming up the insulin lock.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-insulin-resistance/

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lipotoxicity-how-saturated-fat-raises-blood-sugar/

            The primary source of saturated fats are from animal foods, nutritional abominations like hydrogenated vegetable oils and a very few plant fats like coconut oil.

            But insulin isn’t just raised by carbohydrates. It is raised by protein as well. So if increased insulin is somehow the indication of a “bad” food, then you should avoid meat at all cost since it raises insulin just as much or more than carbohydrates. Take a look at this nice summary of the myths surrounding insulin.

            http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/index.php/free-content/free-content/volume-1-issue-7-insulin-and-thinking-better/insulin-an-undeserved-bad-reputation/

          • “We surely eat way too much sugar. Nothing in our bodies need sugar. Do we agree about that?”

            Americans DO eat way too much refined sugar, for sure. Then again, complex carbs are good for you, and they break down into glucose, which your body runs on. Dr. Greger advocates a plant based whole food diet (not processsed foods or refined sugars/grains).

            The Chair of Harvard’s nutrition department went on record before a 1973 U.S. Senate Select Committee investigating fad diets: “The Atkins Diet is nonsense… Any book that recommends unlimited amounts of meat, butter, and eggs, as this one does, in my opinion is dangerous. The author who makes the suggestion is guilty of malpractice.”[4]

            A medical report issued by the New York medical examiner’s office a year after Atkins died at age 72 from a fall showed that Atkins had a history of heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension. It also noted that he weighed 258 pounds (117 kilograms) at death (tho apparently weighed 195 pounds when he entered the hospital before his heart stopped).

            This isn’t rocket science. Compare your blood pressure, BMI, LDL, and HDL cholesterol levels after 3 months of a full on whole food, plant based diet, to your 80% meat diet, and lets see the difference. I’m sure you will end up with improved biomarkers of health.

      • george christoforou

        The jump from vegetarian with eggs and dairy or just vegetarian with dairy to pure vegetarian, ei vegan diet is a big jump. A vegan diet with the occasional non-vegetable item perhaps once a week is the range of healthy options suggested by Dr Greger, from what I have understood from his many videos

        • Jim Felder

          I agree completely. 100% plant based is best but you don’t lose all the benefits if you still include some animal foods in your diet.

          BTW, I am basing my statement off of what Professor Campbell said about his work in China. Of the groups he examined in China none ate a purely plant based diet, but they all ate a lot less meat than westerns do and as a whole had far lower rate of chronic diseases than western countries. Yet even though the rates were so much lower than the west there still was a considerable difference in disease rates across China. When he looked at the rates of different diseases like heart disease and a number of cancers versus the amount of animal products in the diet of the region there was a very clear relationship between amount of animal based foods and these diseases. Further there was no minimum amount below which no further improvements in disease rates were found. The counties with the lowest meat consumption had the lowest disease rates, strongly suggesting that the absolutely healthiest amount of animal foods is zero.

          So I get two things out of this. One the best health is obtained from a pure whole foods plant based diet and two, any progress towards 100% plant based will bring benefits in direct proportion to the increase in whole plant food and reduction in animal foods. I think this good news since the health benefits of a plant based diet don’t appear to go away when you include more than just a tiny amount of animal foods to your diet. This allows people to not have to make the big jump to 100% plant based in order to see any improvement in their health. They can change as much as they are capable of changing. A little change brings a little improvement, a bigger change brings bigger improvement and a complete switch brings the biggest improvement.

          Like my wife says, “change, even good change, brings fear and uncertainty into our lives”. As a result a message of the need to change completely to see any benefit will be too big a jump for most people to be comfortable with. A message of incremental change can result in a greater number of people being able to make positive changes to their diet.

          This is not a message of “everything in moderation”. It still needs to be made clear that 100% plant based is still the healthiest and something that people should strive for if they care about their health. Instead it is a message of celebration for the change that people can make at the current time. And once they see that they can live and be happy and enjoy life without a huge piece of meat in the center of their plate, maybe they might be able to start leaving it off their plate entirely more frequently until animal foods are just infrequent or special feast day treats without every having to say that they are “vegan” or have completely given up animal products.

        • Iluv Merengue

          Not that big if you’re properly motivated. I’m 63 y.o. so let’s say my habits were more than pretty well established, however, I was having serious problems due to gallbladder stones so last Dec. I went to lacto-vegetarian from “omnivore” in one day, and 5 weeks later to vegan when I found out I didn’t just “love” cheese, I was addicted to it. But I also had more than my health (and weight) to motivate me, for me the suffering of animals is a big deal. And next I learned about the impact factory farming is having on the environment, it’s totally unsustainable, but most people don’t hear about it because of greed, but just go to YouTube and look for “Cowspiracy” or “Meat the Truth” and see for yourself.

    • plant_this_thought

      I am interested in the difference in the microbiome between 100% plant-based eaters and, say, 95% plant-based. By introducing even a small amount of animal protein, do you force the body to ramp up the bacteroides? Many otherwise well-conducted studies just “cut down” on meat, and assume that this will capture the effect of dietary change to PB diet. However, maybe the most dramatic and unequivocal effects can only be seen at 100% PB. Any experts want to speak to this?

    • Gerald Berard

      eat only plants,…;)

    • bread is a combination. Should bread be eating as a plant or animal?

      • Thea

        whowrotewhat: What do you mean that bread is a combination? Some bread is made with eggs or maybe milk or butter, but for the most part, the bread I’ve seen appears to be made with only plants, especially home made breads. Is your experience different?

        • lilyroza

          I believe he is refering to the yeast, (It’s Alive!) perhaps considering it an animal? Yeast is a fungi, neither plant nor animal per se, but fungi.

          • Thea

            Interesting. I knew yeast/fungus was alive, but I’ve never met someone who considered it (even emotionally, putting aside the science for a moment) in the category of ‘animal’. I know that fungus is not scientifically in the plant category, but I personally put mushrooms/yeast there in my mind/emotionally.

        • george christoforou

          But Dr Greger recommends Mushrooms as being beneficial to the immune system. So I gather that yeast may fall in the accepted category. Perhaps some scientific research is available on yeast and it’s affect on the vegan diet. Doesn’t yeast contain B12? The vitamin that is hard to obtain from a vegan diet.

          • Thea

            george: re: “Doesn’t yeast contain B12?” I know that nutritional yeast often has B12 added to it. I would guess that yeast used in bread (a different ‘beast’ compared to nutritional yeast) does not have B12. But I don’t know.

            re: Mushrooms. I do love mushrooms! Dr. Greger says something like: he really recommends a diet of whole plants and fungus, but that just doesn’t sound so appetizing when you include the fungus part. ;-)

      • Lars Sundström

        Bread, especially, gluten will make you sick. If you have IBS – stop eating gluten ASAP.

          • Lars Sundström

            Hopefully, for their sake, less is listen to you folks. Not even the US Dietary Guidlines, who I really presume is so bought of the big food industry, agree with. They sure have one step more to go and that is about saturated fat.

  • Bat Marty

    Dear Dr Greger, would it be possible for each video, to have a link for each of the studies you reference in your videos? Thank you!

    • Cliff Babson

      There is a link to the references cite, to the right of the video window, below the title and social media buttons there are links to view the transcript, references cited, acknowledgements etc.

      • Bat Marty

        aaaaah FANTASTIC!!! thank you :-)

      • Bruce Cropley

        Now that’s fast service ;)

  • Julie

    Even Dr. Mercola loves “How Not to Die” so much that he devoted an entire article to Dr. Greger. Complete with 27 minute interview. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/13/how-not-to-die.aspx

    • Thea

      Wow, that really surprises me. But I’m happy to see Dr. Mercola help provide exposure. Thanks for the link!

    • Thea

      Some thoughts: I haven’t listened to the interview yet, but I read the article under the video on that page. I was a bit shocked on how it was done, because there were several instances where I felt that Dr. Mercola was using quotes from Dr. Greger’s interview to support Dr. Mercola’s ideas and which are not ideas that Dr. Greger would support or likely say in his book. (They *still* have not sent my copies of the book!!! So, I can’t say for sure what is and is not in the book.) An example:

      Dr. Mercola writes: “What Is a Healthy Diet? The short answer to this question is: real food. It couldn’t get much simpler than that really. That means food in its natural state, as it grew on the vine, tree, bush, or in the ground. And when it comes to animal foods, two key factors are: living conditions and diet. Real food is raised in accordance with nature, and the animals are allowed to eat their natural diet, without added drugs and fillers.” I would be very surprised if Dr. Greger recommends anything relating to that last sentence. If something is bad for you, removing the drugs might make it slightly less bad, but Dr. Greger still isn’t going to recommend it, I think.

      I also noticed how many comments at the bottom of that page said something like, “Why are you telling us about Dr. Greger? His views are so different from yours, Dr. Mercola. Now what am I supposed to believe?” I’m wondering ultimately how the pros and cons will settle out for each doctor for this interview. From my perspective, no one is happy. But maybe the benefits of exposure outweighs the cons.

      • Julie

        Thea, since Mercola fans and Greger fans often consider themselves polar opposites (even enemies), I think the whole thing turned out pretty good. The fact that Dr. Mercola even highlighted Dr. Greger is HUGE, IMO. While some comments were negative, others were positive. The post with the highest votes starts with, “I keep all the videos of Dr. Micheal Greger.” Other comments:

        “Thanks for including Dr. Greger’s website, NutritionFacts.org. I have followed his website for several years now and love the way he presents data. If one wants to follow a science based approach to nutrition his website is one of the best ways to stay up to date on new information that constantly comes out.”

        “Finally! I am so happy to see Dr. Mercola highlighting Dr. Greger’s work! ”

        “Dr. Mercola, it says a lot when a person can interview someone with differing nutritional advice! It’s one of the reason I follow your site. Meat can be such an intensive subject for people, but we all have the same goal… optimal health. I’ve been vegetarian for a twenty years and it’s been working great, but I also believe everyone needs to make their own food choices. To keep an open mind like a young child is a truly great quality.”

        “Great article! I am passing this on to everyone I know. It’s chock-full of easy-to-implement changes in lifestyle and eating and makes an immediate impression upon reading it. Thanks for your efforts, Dr. Gregor (and for yours, Dr. Mercola!). Hats off to you.”

        Definitely got some exposure (182,090+ views) and now a lot of people seem a little confused–but that may a good thing as their “my omnivorous diet is perfect” world just got a little rocky.

        • Nick Presidente

          The comments in that website are.. unreal and moronic. I’m not a fan of Dr. Mercola, he pushes supplements and pills and whatever else he can slap a label on. Those people are so hyped making mountains out of molehills they are ignoring the avalache burying themselves.

          • VegGuy

            Nick, a lot of comments on that site are also real and helpful. You don’t have to be a fan of Dr. Mercola, but some of his reader’s comments are really supportive of Dr. Greger. Here’s one more positive comment from yesterday’s article:

            Dr. Mercola,
            I’m confused about your dietary advice. After reading Dr. Greger’s article and following up with several hours of reading and viewing on his Nutritionfacts.Org website, I’m about convinced that Vegan is the absolute best way to go.

            This is somewhat contrary to your diet plan, which includes “high quality” animal protein and fat sources.

            Would you PLEASE address this? Are you evolving your own diet advice?
            Thank you,
            Doug R

          • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

            That’s rad! I think when others who disagree can come to common grounds and engage in a conversation it’s always a win! It shows the importance of finding common ground and areas of agreement rather than viciously attacking someone for their views. The Mercola interview to me just shows how much growth and respect Dr. Greger has established amongst his peers.

            Way to Go Dr G! And thanks everyone for your comments. Your input on this site is why I get up in the morning :-)

          • Lars Sundström

            Maybe, just maybe, it might be so that animal fat and protein of high quality is outstanding compared to all other sources. Well, if we are talking “believers” or just poor old fashion science will see when the reaction/action occur.

          • Rebecca Cody

            I bet this interview will lead many Mercola regulars to Dr Greger, and perhaps change at least some of their views. You can’t deny that Mercola has a HUGE readership, and that means lots of exposure for Dr G’s work.

          • Alan

            Yes, i forgot to add that he pushes supplements on his readers that he says himself that he does not take or he takes a select few. But he pushes lots and as a snake oil DR. he is getting rich off of his meat eating audience.

      • Alan

        I used to get Mercola’s emails and after a few years i got tired of him pushing his meat eating at his readers. I just politely unsubscribed. To me it was not worth wading through his garbage to find the good !!!

        • Thea

          I like how you acknowledge that there is good in there somewhere. I would totally agree with wading through Dr. Mercola’s information as not being worth it. But I think our society (or at least American society–not sure where you are) has lost the art of civil disagreement to the point where few people seem to be able to listen to each other enough to learn from each other. Everything seems to be100% black or white and anyone who doesn’t see it your way is the devil. One thing that I really liked about Dr. Greger and Dr. Mercola’s interview is that they stayed respectful of each other and worked to find common ground. That’s being good role models I think. And as Julie and others have pointed out, there is the potential for some good to come out of that interview.

          • Alan

            Hopefully some good will come out of it. Sorry if i sound too hard on Mercola. What bothers me is how he is leading so many people down a path of destruction. We ALL need to do our own research. It is not wise to trust in any human being to show us how to eat. Myself i have not always been vegan. Raised on a farm in KY eating pork, beef, chicken eggs and lots of milk. At around the age 30 i started heading toward vegetarianism and eventually went full vegan. At 60 i am healthier than i probably ever have been. Sad part of it is so many vegetarians and vegans still do not eat a good diet. It is the WFPB diet that we need as you already know.

          • HaltheVegan

            Very well said, Thea!

        • John

          I still read both Mercola and Greger. I think that they agree about 60% of the time. It seems to me that some people’s bodies do better as vegans and others with very carefully chosen free range, organic meat products. I think I get a more complete picture from reading both. My wife is a vegan and she feels better that way. I feel better as a 95% vegetarian. I think most thoughtful people will agree most of the time on most but not all things about nutrition. John

    • Joe Caner

      Of all of the things in Dr. Greger’s book to focus on, Mercola unfortunately chooses the following:

      “When I was growing up, there was no such thing as AIDS. I wondered ‘Where did this come from?’ It was just such a devastating illness. When you look back … it was a so-called zoonosis — an animal to human disease tied to the bushmeat trade and eating primates in Africa, which spread [the disease] around the world,”

      It would be interesting to know context of this quote. It has been postulated by some that HIV may have been a zoonotic infection of SIV due to bushmeat consumption, although, no credible evidence to support this hypothesis has ever been presented.

      It is more likely that HIV made the cross species jump from chimpanzees to humans as an inadvertent industrial accident from a mass Polio vaccination trail in the Belgium Congo in the 1950 where the material used to grow the vaccine was chimpanzee blood serum and organs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPV_AIDS_hypothesis

      This assertion has vociferously denied by principles and scientific community, but there is precedent for such a cross species viral infection to be spread by a Polio vaccine. SV40 from green monkeys was spread by the Salk vaccine. Salk used green monkey blood serum and organs to grow his virus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SV40.

      • Lawrence

        Hi Joe. Regarding context, this presentation from Dr. Greger may shed some light:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAFGPDm-YA8
        The book to which Dr. Greger refers is here. I have not read it, but therein may be the answers you seek:
        http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552

        I enjoy reading your posts. Cheers.

        • Joe Caner

          Thank you for the information Lawrence. Ah, Jared Diamond’s seminal work, an excellent read. You owe it to yourself to give it a go.
          It would be very useful from a public health perspective if the origins of HIV with smoking gun evidence leading to a definitive resolution can be found. Hopefully, enough physical evidence still exists.
          Until then, I’m doing my part in avoiding zoonotic infection by abstaining from the ingestion of animal products and by forgoing vaccination derived by incubating viruses in animal tissues.
          I do have one remaining risk factor. I have been known to date an omnivore every now and then, although, I always do my bit to introduce them to an alternative way of eating. :-)

      • Charzie

        Yeah, since I was a recipient of that charming vaccination, I am very curious about the implications…one of those I-want-to-know-or-maybe-I-don’t scenarios I guess. That SV40 and other viruses were in that vaccine is clear but the implications are not as obvious, though its cancer potential is a big issue. I know our environment now has so many man made variables with so many questionable effects on us, and it’s hard to pin down a the causes, but when I was a kid in school, we never even heard of allergies, asthma, autism and the myriad of other maladies our kids are plagued with now. Very, very disturbing to say the least, and it is just getting worse. That’s why I love this website…we don’t have much control over all these issues, but at least we can do the best we can with the knowledge gained here! Thanks to you Dr Greger, and all of you who make this site a reality for all of us!!!

        • Joe Caner

          I hear you. With the indiscriminate synthesis and release chemicals without regard for their toxicity or environmental impact, at least one can control what one put into one’s mouth. Dr. Greger’s work has help to elucidate the healthful from the harmful. I concur with my own thanks.

    • Panchito

      The full Dr Mercola interview is one hour long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIUjFXoV3iE&feature=youtu.be

      I noticed that Dr Mercola seems to be ageing faster than normal from the looks of his recent videos. He once promoted this anti carbs theory from new studies about AGEs. I think he recommended a total max of 15 grams carbs if I remember right. And thus he promoted a high fat diet devoid of carbs combined with intermittent fasting to compensate. But he forgot to tell his viewers that high fat foods contain truck loads of exogenous AGEs (later studies). Hope he becomes vegan one day and realizes that money and recognition is not everything and more. There is an spiritual side to veganism that is valuable too.

      • Alan

        It appears to me that he has a red color in his face. Most of the time that is a sign of an alcoholic or heart problem. Hopefully he is not an alcoholic and hopefully he will wake up to his way of eating before he is unable to wake up. And he is leading lots of people to an early grave.

        • Fred

          He walks on the beach daily…there is sun out there?

  • Lawrence

    For advice on ‘How Not to Die’ too young,
    Read about eating outside your phylum.
    Doctor Greger’s new book: Oh, please give it a look!
    It will alter your diet and tum-tum.

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/dp/1250066115

  • Lawrence

    There once was a man from Nantucket,
    who was eating his lunch from a bucket.
    But, after reading a book on why not to eat chook,
    his lunch he decided to chuck it.

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/dp/1250066115

    • Jim Felder

      Wow, mining Aussie slang to get the necessary rhyme! Well done!

      • Lawrence

        Lived in Alice Springs for four years. Came by the slang honestly. :-)

    • Charzie

      I raised a household of boys in the inner city… my corrupted language database automatically filled in the rhyme in the last line a bit differently! LOL! Love it Lawrence!

  • Lawrence

    Regarding the diet of Royals,
    There are many who eat as though loyals.
    But, with a diet of plants one may get in their pants,
    and they need not be covered in oils.

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/dp/1250066115

    • John

      You capitalized Royals because you’re congratulating the World Series champion Kansas City Royals, and trying to “steer” them away from barbecue.

  • Lawrence

    I think I’m done for the day…

    • Ann Blanchard

      I enjoyed your work so far. :)

  • reherman

    I read (Bodyecology.com) that as we age digesting plant protein is harder and that we should be adding fermented plant protein to our diet. I was wondering if there was any comment on this.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Interesting take. I am not sure if there’s any data to suggest that is the case? I know as we age we lose the ability to absorb B12, which is why anyone over 50 is recommend to take it. The safest source may be a B12 supplement.

      Let me know if you come across any research. Thanks, reherman.

    • Charzie

      I don’t have any specific research to refer you to, I can only speak for myself (though there are slews of other enthusiastic anecdotal reports), but adding fermented foods to my diet has been transforming in so many ways, including digestion. But the most impressive has been mental health! I have no clue how eating this stuff can not only improve mood and stave off depression, but can also cause one to feel joy like I can’t even remember! It’s not like my life situation is especially joy promoting at present, so all the more impressive!.

      I’ve gotten a lot of teasing about the strange “brews” always bubbling on my counter, (the mad scientist) and the fact that I am the only person they know who has to feed the food in the refrigerator! (Sourdough culture, ginger bug, etc.) but it is so worth it! Once I got over the germphobia we are indoctrinated with, I gained enormous respect for the forces of nature that so willingly not only protect and preserve the nutrients in a culture, but actually increase the nutritional benefits and nullify some undesirables. I knew pretty quickly that despite the fact that I was not crazy initially for some of the tart flavors, my body actually began craving them. I’ve definitely learned to love them though! It’s always a reminder to me about how there is such a beautiful balance and wisdom in nature, God, whatever you choose to call it, that I am motivated to work with it, instead of against it. I think we all have an innate wisdom we’ve learned to ignore, but it is a source of great discovery in my life, and I’m loving it!

  • Alan

    Give me liberty, give me freedom, give me my plants !!!!!

    • valnaples

      HA! for a few years, I ‘ve been likening Dr. Greger’s efforts to Paul Revere’s midnight ride…Dr. Greger shouting out “go to PLANTS!!!” Paul Revere supposedly warned colonists “go get your arms!” (to fight the British soldiers) Dr. G is a true humanitarian AND a great American!

  • Henry

    Two questions: the first specific to this video and the second a general one –
    1) This report presents medical research on the relatively immediate change in gut flora by switching from plant-based to a meat-based diet. Have there been any medical studies that indicate the impact on gut flora by switching the other way, i.e. from meat-based to a plant-based diet?
    2) Can a one or two sentence summary of reports be included with each presentation?
    Thank you

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I think the best summary would come not from Dr. Greger or myself, but the researchers! That is why I love this site we all have the ability to read the actual research. Do you mind checking the “sources cited” section and see what ya find? I am happy to pull some of the articles you find interesting. Also, if you have not seen his other videos on the microbiome please check them out. There may be more research to explore in these videos. This video is relative to the discussion, too. Tipping Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes.

      • mike at the river

        Have to Say, I and an overflow crowd, saw Dr Greger in Tucson this Sunday, for his opening presentation of his new book, How Not to Die. FANTASTIC Book, and fantastic presentation by Dr Greger!

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          He is one of the best presenters I know. I heard him in like 2005 or so and was completely blown away! Thanks for attending I know he appreciates the support.

          • Veganrunner

            I have also seen Dr Greger in person. He is so amazing–full of energy bouncing around the stage. It’s hard not to look at him and want to be WFPB to be that healthy.

        • Charzie

          I am so gung-ho to see him live and in person! I think he is coming to nearby Cape Coral FL in Feb, but can’t find it on their website. Can someone here verify?

  • Rhombopterix

    Thank you. we have been debating this since your previous vid. Now we know

    But there is more to the story: So we know at this stage (years of WFPB) we’ve got the good bugs. BUT There are many different types of fiber. Which ones promote short fatty acid production? We still need to reduce inflammation somehow. Anyone? Next vid?

    Should we be drinking more vinegar? More fermented? Wheres Darryl?

    • Lawrence

      Don’t spit the dummy, Rhombo!

      • Rhombopterix

        I’m the disease and youre the cure.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I assume it’s the insoluble fiber that really cranks out the SFAs like butyrate. I have been enjoying the new videos on the microbiome, but one I really love is Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics. Yes, it’s wise to choose foods that help reduce inflammation and several plant foods can help in this capacity. I don’t think fermented foods are always necessary. This video discusses vinegar and ways to improve good gut bacteria. Polyphenlols from whole foods are preferred though.

      • Rhombopterix

        Thank you for responding. We are really trying to fix a bad problem. I’m sure my wife has the right microflora because she has been eating WFPB almost her whole life of 60 years. Yet still she suffers. To me , it sounds like she needs to promote Short Chain Fatty Acids . She get the fibre. but you assume insoluble is best for SFAs. But I dont get that specifically insoluble is best from the “boosting good bacteria” vid. Or did you mean all fiber inclusively?

        I take your point about Polyphenols. And I think some vinegar might help (which she hates, of course).

        I just have this nagging feeling that we are just not doing something right. We went through a long elimination process. Whole wheat, for example, does put her off. All legume…A little seems ok but no more than a slice of bread every other day or a little hummus now and again type thing.

        I know this site is about getting the world to lift its game. You can’t solve individual variables. But i cant shake the suspicion that some of you have gone the whole FODMAP route and have learned something that could help us.

        Thanks for indulging me…see its my main Squeeze. She gotta be happy or I’m not happy.

      • Rhombopterix

        you assume insoluble is best for SFAs. But I dont get that specifically insoluble is best from the “boosting good bacteria” vid. Or did you mean all fiber inclusively?

        sorry, duplicate post

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          No apologies :-) You are right, Dr. Greger does not distinguish between the two types of fiber in that video. When I think of insoluble I think roughage, like a broom sweeping the intestinal wall, and the body cannot break down the fiber so it relies on the bacteria in our gut to to the job. Bacteria love this fiber and makes butyrate. I am not sure how soluble fiber contributes to butyrate production. Does anyone?

  • VegasVeganGirl

    I’ve been eating a whole foods, plant-based diet for 3 years now, and I eat zero oil and zero animal products. I submitted my stool sample to American Gut Project last year, so after viewing yesterday’s video on gut microbiome enterotypes, I excitedly checked my American Gut Taxa Summary. My most abundant microbes are from the genus Bacteroides (29.2%)! Ruminococcus levels were 1.96% and Prevotella was present at only 0.01%! Paraprevotella (phylum Bacteroidetes) was present at 2.69% and Catenibacterium (phylum Firmicutes) was present at 0.15%. Mmmm, I eat plants, but my gut looks like a carnivore! Any explanation for this?

    • D|F

      Probiotics overwhelmingly promote bacteroids, if you don’t take one then I am not sure at the moment as to why.

      • VegasVeganGirl

        No, I don’t take probiotics. Could it be because I eat a fair amount of nuts (saturated fat)?

        • Charzie

          Everyone is gonna get sick of me promoting fermentation, but it has been such a huge benefit for me and others in so many ways! It’s cheap, easy, and the rewards can be huge, won’t hurt to try! Save your bucks on the questionable quality of probiotic supplements and eat the real deal. We tested a few pretty expensive supplements from some friends who were using them, and they were virtually dead. LOL, we estimated a net loss of $350 when they could have gotten better results for free! Not to mention the satisfaction involved! And honestly, you don’t need to buy into the hype about needing special equipment or special cultures to get started lacto-fermenting, any jar with a lid and fresh produce will get ya there! (There ARE cultures needed for certain ferments, but they are the exception.)

          Donna has a great website, but watch this video of how she came to cultured foods and the healing it brought to her. Touching and informative, and I can totally relate!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbX9Nv9OtGM

        • D|F

          It was just be speculation, unless you could (want to) add or remove foods and submit more samples which I doubt. If you really want to try and find a reason you could try reaching out to someone in the study and explain that you were part of that project. Sometimes they are helpful/interested even if they can’t give a solid answer.

    • Rhombopterix

      I think your problem (and mine and others) has to do with the limited science available. The summaries presented are used to make predictions for large populations. But on the individual level these numbers are of no help. You are the outlier, the exception that proves the rule.

      VVG, there IS a reason for your particular micro-mix. I think you will need to do what we are doing, elimination diet, careful record keeping…one step at a time. Do you eat whole plant foods? BTW/ do you have any unpleasant symptoms or just wanting to shift to Prevotella?

  • Darcelle Rancourt

    Two weeks after adopting a plant-based diet I developed rosacea. My dermatologist told me it was likely the change in diet and, after doing some research, I’ve read there’s a link between the gut & skin. Unfortunately, nothing I’ve tried nutritionally has helped. I started taking a probiotic, which helped reduce the ‘sunburn’-like symptoms but the condition still persists despite my whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

    I’ve also watched the videos on eczema hoping they would help, but I’m already doing everything suggested. I’d really appreciate if Dr. Greger or anyone else has any nutritional suggestions that may help with rosacea. I’m going to try incorporating more turmeric into my diet for the anti-inflammatory properties. Other than that, I take the recommended ground flaxseed daily and drink oolong tea. I’m trying my best to cultivate a healthy gut flora, but it just doesn’t seem to be showing up in my skin. Unfortunately, my skin’s the worst it’s ever been since going plant-based. :(

    • Rhombopterix

      FWIW: One of my workmates mixed turmeric with coconut fat and put it on and covered with bandage daily. I saw the worst case of this almost disappear within a few days. But he quit using it and it came back! I’d definitely try the Turmeric during this transition. But stay the course until its all gone

      • Darcelle Rancourt

        Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve read about turmeric ‘masks’ and have been contemplating trying one, but was going to mix it with an aloe vera gel. Is there a particular benefit to using coconut oil?

        • Rhombopterix

          I would say that Turmeric is the active ingredient. I make turmeric soap and also use canola oil/turmeric paste topically on anything i don;t like the look of.
          Some oils may be better at transporting curcumin but I have no info on that. Also have heard that a little black pepper in the mix is helpful but again I have no direct knowledge there. All the best. Please keep us posted!

    • Tom Goff

      According to Medicinenet:
      “Possible rosacea dietary triggers include
      . dairy, including yogurt, sour cream, cheese (except cottage cheese);
      . alcohol, including red wine, beer, vodka, gin, bourbon, and champagne;
      . chocolate;
      . soy sauce;
      . yeast extract;
      . eggplants, avocados, spinach;
      . some beans and pods, including lima, navy or peas;
      . citrus fruits, including tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins, or figs;
      . spicy and temperature hot foods.”
      http://www.medicinenet.com/rosacea/page12.htm

      You might want to see if any of these is in your new diet and try eliminating them one by one to discover if a particular food is triggering your rosacea

      • Darcelle Rancourt

        Thanks for the link. I’ve read about triggers, but I’ve been exposed to most of them before (many on a daily basis for years) and they were never an issue. I haven’t introduced anything new into my diet either, only eliminated animal products.

        • Tom Goff

          OK. Sorry, the link was no help. The only other thing I can suggest is that there may be some kind of threshold effect and that you replaced the animal foods in your diet by significantly increasing consumption of one or more trigger foods. I know that I come out in spots and pimples if I eat in a restaurant and the rice/vegetables etc have enjoyed the attentions of too much cooking oil. I can tolerate small amounts but if the cook’s been heavy-handed with the oil, I usually suffer for it.

  • walterbyrd

    Are probiotic, or prebiotic, supplements needed, or helpful? What about enzyme supplements?

    Does it help to eat soy yogurt?

    • Charzie

      Read my posts above.

  • Richard Kottek

    I was wondering what specific food items may optimise Butyrate production, I have a feeling this may help with psoriasis.

    • Lawrence

      Here ya go, Richard. Go to HEALTH TOPICS, B, butyrate.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/butyrate/
      I hope you find relief. I share your concern. Mine seems to have a mind of its own…but, thankfully, it is minor and manageable.

      • Richard Kottek

        Cheers, Thanks for the info.

  • san

    So for sibo, which bacteria do we want more of?, which is better?. Since vegan diets and fiber etc make the problem worse by feeding the wrong bacteria in the small intestine. ANSWER

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Legendado em Português / Subtitled in Portuguese: http://nf.focoempatico.net/como-mudar-o-nosso-enterotipo/

  • rickp707

    How do probiotic supplements affect the enterotype balance? Are specific plant based probiotic supplements available for use after taking a course of antibiotics?

  • Tito Abuawad Yepez

    I was so desperate to watch this video on how to change our enterotype that I was relieved when I did so. Dr. Greger….You are the best of the best. Only 3 years ago I was having at least 4 chronic disease symptoms…until…I found nutrition facts.org. Now I am almost with NO mayor problems. I have changed my enterotype and ounce a week a have a reasonable animal meat but…NO dairy at all…I can handle my weekly friends gatherings with NO problems at all. That was a nightmare years ago…
    GMOs arrived here in Bolivia and I was so concern as well as any human that knows that prevention is key for the future. i watched your video on GMOs and realize that the devil is in making a priori generalizations and that details are much important that we thought. Animal nor plant genes DNA can be get into human DNA; unless BIG BIOTECHNOLOGY does it That would be the case, we would be part a variety of animals, part a variety of plants and the rest still humans. It will take some time until we fully know the consequences of GMOs. However I will stay away from them. What is 100 per cent unquestionable is that any crop…ANY CROP !!! sprayed with glyphosate can devastate ours lifes and ever since this chemical is been used, we are all have chronic diseases with NO light at the end.
    Would you please Dr Greger be so kind as to put into perspective, as You usually do, the tremendous damage that glyphosate is doing to our guts, tissues,organs, inmune system,……with the hundreds of studies that are available proving this damage. i am so concern about this because we are starting to have the same problems agricultural workers are having in Argentina.
    Keep up the unbeatable work….Thanks a lot …
    Best wishes for you…
    Tito

    • Thea

      Tito: How great that you are doing so much better!

      Note: Dr. Greger did series on GMOs and organic vs non-organic food not too long ago, including some information about glyphosate. Here are two of the videos that specifically mention glyphosate. Hopefully you can find the beginning of the series from here if you are interested.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=glyphosate

      • Charzie

        I live adjacent to a small canal in Florida, and noticed what I thought was a “seasonal die off” of vegetation in the canal. Well, I was naive! Guess what happened to the vegetation? Glyphosate…I inquired, and of course they tried to tell me they were “safe” amounts! Somehow when formally thriving plants just suddenly drop dead, call me alarmist, but that doesn’t seem too safe to me! My well is not 100 yards away, I am not too happy to say the least. And to think I was upset because my neighbor sprayed Roundup along his fence line! Next they are just going to bottle the crap as sauce and sell it to add directly to our food since it ubiquitous now anyway! Makes you want to scream. My veggies in the garden may be a bit buggy, but at least I know they aren’t poisoned! Grrrr!

        • Thea

          I totally sympathize with your frustration. It’s a situation that is beyond your control and yet is so vital and basic as safe water. At least you are doing all you can that is in your control. In the end, that’s all any of us can do.

    • Charzie

      Tito, so happy to hear of your success! I had a similar healing experience and it changed my life! Dr Greger and other REAL doctors are fighting the good fight, and it looks like the message is finally reaching people all over!
      How can Monsanto and other chemical companies get away with taking over our food supply? I hate violence, but I have to admit it would thrill me to see them all just vaporize and go away…though it’s probably too late.

  • vegank

    Thank you Dr.Greger and the NF team for making this video , which makes it easy to understand and apply the theory to our daily diet.
    I can see the positive effect on my child who has made a lot of progress since we went WFPB and junk food/sweets-free.
    when there is not enough research there is so much speculation and a lot of unscrupulous marketing that goes on (and the only thing they clear is one’s bank account, not the gut) but now I am able to apply our dietary approach with more confidence.
    I also appreciated the information on the pro-biotic – cancer link with specific bacteria being pointed out here.
    p.s. My book (“how not to die”) arrived , very impressed with how comprehensive it is, it exceeded my expectations.
    Thanks for all the work you all do and for making the information accessible to laypeople.

    • Thea

      vegank: What a great report. I’m so happy to hear that your child is doing better. I hope things just keep going up and up and UP!

      • vegank

        It could be a combination of factors including a delayed developmental progress as well, but he used to have less than 5 seconds attention span , body slamming into walls and windowpanes etc (like an unstoppable freight train), but is now calmly sitting for more than 30mins or longer, and able to focus , read & do maths on ipad where as a few years ago he struggled with discriminating between 2 pictures. All of this improvement without medication or costly treatments.
        As for myself I was not obese but back to my weight I had in my teens, actually feeling better than when I was 16 with clarity of mind & evenly sustained energy during the day. I hope many more people will try WFPB. It’s worth a try.

        • Thea

          Wow. Those are truly huge gains. I’m so happy (for you both!).

  • Robert J. Moynihan, MD

    Dr. Greger, You and I have chatted over the years but I wonder if you could begin to address the issue of animal based foods and how they have radically changed qualitatively over the past 50-75 years with very clear medical implications. What I’m angling at here is what might the health consequences be of eating animal food products from naturally raised animals without the use of steroids, antibiotics, unnatural feedstock, inappropriate confinements etc etc. I know the quality of the meat coming from the typical factory cow is almost a different food from one grass fed in an open natural environment. I cant help but think that in addition to our lack of whole plant based foods in our diets the consumption of these qualitatively horrible animal based foods adds additional risk to our wellness and that high quality animal foods may not be nearly as hazardous in the setting of optimal plant based consumption.

  • karinthomas

    It appears the study compares people who eat either only plants or only meat. Only the plant-only diet is realistic, in vegans. The meat-only diet isn’t realistic in our society – I don’t know anyone who eats only animal products with no plants. I am not sure how this study resolves anything.

  • bri

    I’m wondering what the implications of a plant based diet would be for someone with ulcerative colitis as well as Rigid Spine Syndrome (a form of muscular myopathy)?

  • Iluv Merengue

    The ending made me laugh “a virus that infects spinach”, lol! I’m glad I found this because not long ago I encountered a commenter on YT who said he couldn’t eat vegetables because they hurt his gut, I told him it was happening because eating as much animal food as he did his gut flora had changed but it would change back if he went plant based. If I ever encounter that argument again now I can show this video. ;-)

  • Hendrik
  • John Dill

    A 2013 study, The Gut’s Microbiome Changes Rapidly with Diet, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894525/, tends to cause me to question the need for doctors to prescribe probiotics or yogurt after a round of antibiotics. It seems to me, from this study, that if someone were to eat yogurt for a week, they would simply change their gut flora to accommodate yogurt eating. Why not just return to a normal whole foods / plant based diet, or stay on it, and allow our gut flora to do its magic all by itself. I am curious what you might think of this Doctor Greger.

  • Marc

    My family has eaten a whole food plant based diet for the last five years but we feed our dogs and cat a raw meat diet. Does the current science indicate what the disease ramifications are of preparing and serving raw meat on a daily basis, even if our diet is optimal? Thanks for all the valuable health information you provide.