Doctor's Note

Here’s the link for the video I mentioned about the original randomized controlled trial, Improving Mood Through Diet, and the pilot data on workplace interventions can be found in Slimming the Gecko and Plant-Based Workplace Intervention.

Diet can help at home too! See:

Arachidonic what? For background on the inflammatory fatty acid see:

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  • Rami Najjar

    It is indeed a myth that those who are vegan/vegetarian are more depressed. In addition to the other Dr. Greger videos highlighted below the doctors note, this great video from plant positive looks at sources that attempt to show low cholesterol leads to more depression and cancer.

    http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/27/cholesterol-cancer-and-depression.html

  • Nick Patenaude

    Just a question on Arachadonic Acid– is this the same type of omega-6 found in peanuts and some other nut sources? (en francais L’Arachides) If this is accurate, what kind of concentration differences are there between nut and animals sources? Does the Arachadonic acid in peanuts still provide a similar inflammatory effect?

    Thanks!

    • Rami Najjar

      Arachidonic acid is the counterpart to DHA and EPA. It is not found readily formed in plants. Linoleic Acid (omega 6) is found in high
      amounts in peanuts, the body proceeds to convert it to arachidonic acid. This is more controlled and is based on how much omega 3 is available for conversion as well. They are competitive substrates for similar enzymes. People tend to get too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3 in their diet which tilts the balance towards more arachidonic acid and much less DHA and EPA. That is why you may have heard that your ratio of overall omega 6:3 should ideally be 4:1 or better.

      http://www.hqt-diagnostics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/1._simopoulos_omega-6_-_omega-3_balansen.pdf

  • Wade Patton

    So is it going to take bean-counters actually counting on beans to improve The Bottom Line numbers of the Corporation to begin to influence Western dietary patterns toward a more healthful life? Oh the conflicts, but I do hope that study participants learned something, and tell two friends.

    Lower rates of disease and mental issues would be a great start on a better world, a reversal of our negative spiral. Maybe this is the straw. We need a turning point.

  • VeganMHC

    Could you please make more videos on mental illness and mental health? I am studying to become a mental health counselor and I find your videos extremely helpful and useful. Thanks for all the effort you put into educating the masses on the benefits of a vegan diet :)

  • Veggie Eric

    Now this is the type of video I love to wake up and read in the morning. Still the best way to start the day is with a nutritionfacts video. Kudos Dr G!

    • Dasaniyum

      Except when the video involves human placentas or entomophogy

      • apprin

        Agreed !!

  • Wegan

    Yikes, Amazon is advertising the Gary Taubes book on the “How Not To Die” site.

    • Vega-tater

      I know, I almost had a cow! lol!

  • Will

    When will the new set of vids be available for purchase?

  • ks391262

    The last study was co-written by “Joseph Gonzales, RD,” that name seems familiar…:-)

    • Rami Najjar

      He has several published studies, we are lucky to have someone so smart in the field helping out nutritionfacts.org.

  • Linda A Reynolds

    I have Hashimoto’s and was vegetarian for many years – the Hashi’s got worse. I was told to try The Paleo Approach to healing auto-immune diseases and after not touching meat for years started adding MINIMAL organic chicken, grass fed beef and bone broths and WILD fish to my diet and miraculously – after years of suffering – I healed. You are NOT going to get the bodies needed amino acids, Omega 3 fatty acids etc. from plants or nuts or seeds (they are high in the BAD Omega 6 f a) And the ammountof fructose in a plant based diet is way high – so you can keep it. I am living proof how dangerous eating plant based diets sre (oh lets not forget lectins and phytates). If you want to REALLY learn about the food you consume – but an excellent book like The Paleo Approach!

    • Mango Tango

      I think you mean the Paleo approach to stinky body odor, bad breath, greasy skin, low energy, cancer, heart disease, type2 diabetes and a shorter sicker life? That sounds about right for the Paleo diet. Try going vegan to heal your made up problems. Eggs and dairy are some of the worst foods ever and ‘bone broth’ is an old stupid Weston A Price wives tale. gross… Go Vegan!

      • Linda A Reynolds

        I am now a couple years into eating lean organic grass fed beef, wild fish, organic free ranged chicken, plenty of organic vegetables, no grain or nightshades, no gluten – and I have never felt better in my 66 years! I have energy, my thyroid and Hashimoto’s antibodies tests are good. I have gone to lean muscle and lost the 20 lbs I could never lose. Yesterday I made home made organic chicken soup (bone broth is SO healing). When I was a Vegetarian I tried the Vegan route – I was sick, bloated and full of gas. The soy did in what was left of my thyroid (and you may Google this phenom – also I suggest that you really learn about the nutrient needs of your body. I only eat enough animal products to sustain my life. If you will look at Nature, you will find that MANY species have to consume other species for survival. They don’t have to gorge on it, but they do have to consume. I am fine with my health now with much kudo’s to The Paleo Approach for teaching me about food and what each food does IN the body and that helped me design an eating plan for my heath. My energy is off the charts. Not so when I was “plant based”. I am a “whatever floats your boat” type of gal, so to each his own – I have found my path back to wellness and as you can see, sustaining it. My Doctor is amazed and put his wife on my eating plan. She lost 40 lbs so far (a little more to go) and feels wonderful. That’s all the “proof” I need. I now know what each and eery food that I eat does to and for my body and I know what NOT to consume.

    • MikeOnRaw

      Anecdotal evidence is always interesting but hardly compelling. While you may have correlated your diet change to resolving your Hashimoto’s I hope you recognize that there may have been something else going on. In addition you can’t ignore the negative health effects of red meat or wild fish. Paleo if followed does recommend a number of servings of fruit and vegetables so unless you are avoiding those recommendations you still should have a higher than Standard American Diet in plant food intake.

      • Stewart E.

        Good comment sir.

      • MartinNovotny

        How about 10.000’s of anecdotal evidences? Will you still call them anecdotal? And how anecdotal is the fact that Hom Jay Dinshah, founder and former president of American Vegan Society died of a heart attack in 2000? Don’t you find this funny – it’s you vegans/vegetarians that claim YOUR way is the ONLY way how to prevent heart attack… C’mon guys, get real. If you’re 20 or 30yrs old, come back when you’re 50 and tell me that you still thrive. Going vegan/vegetarian ALWAYS help if you were on SAD previously. Few months, even few years if you really do your homework and combine plants wisely so that you maximally prevent any deficiencies/disbalances that most of the vegetarians and esp. vegans suffer from – B12, iron, hormonal mess… I do like the fact that Dr. Greger promotes plant-based diet. What I do not really like (and highly involved in nutrition for past 20+ years I can see it in 2 of 3 of his videos) is the fact that he only sees the problem from one side and does not mention (widely available) studies that contradict his findings. Not mentioning that he does not differentiate McDonald’s hamburger from grass-fed beef prepared in crockpot using only fresh herbs and salt additionally.

        • MikeOnRaw

          10,000 pieces of anecdotal remain anecdotal do they not? Just as a single heart attack death by a vegan remains anecdotal. Dr. Greger has done at least one talk looking at the death of Hom Jay Dinshah and possible causation. https://youtu.be/q7KeRwdIH04
          If you want to see studies that tell you red meat is good for you, you’ll never find them on this site which shouldn’t be a surprise. Start up your own page with your own comments and studies if you want to see them gain more traction. Feel free to post a link to any “widely available” study which is actually available to read (no paywall) and name what study Dr. Greger used which is being refuted.

    • Huang

      Total nonsense

    • Huang

      Vegetarianism is pointless you should have gone vegan

    • Vega-tater

      Vegetarians still eat animal products, but if you were vegan you must not have had a very balanced diet because there is nothing in animal flesh that you can’t get a better version of in plants. Hashimotos is an immune disorder, so something else is going on, you can’t blame veganism. In fact, eating more sea plants actually “fixed” my hypothyroid issues. And the fructose in plants is a non issue, it helped me get rid of diabetes, that disease caused by consuming all those unhealthy animal fats! No disrespect intended, but YOU are the one who really needs to learn about the food you consume!

      • MartinNovotny

        Where did you study biochemistry? Fructose helped you get rid of diabetes? Do you know how fructose is metabolised and that in first line it has nothing to do with glucose blood levels? And that in 2nd line it contributes to overweight/obesity/metabolic syndrome? That it is primarily used to replenish glycogen stores and if eaten in abundance it gets again stored as body fat? Your claim calls for Nobel price ;-)

    • John

      There is nothing about a plant based diet that says you can’t sprout, roast or soak nuts, legumes or grains. Plants also have omega 3s and amino acids. Quinoa and amaranth are very high in different amino acids. If you’re going to be a healthy paleo you shouldn’t eat a lot of meat anyway. A lot of the paleo authors are gradually admitting that good carbs are necessary and you should eat more plants than meat anyway. You don’t have to be 100% vegan or high meat/fat. John S

      • MartinNovotny

        Agree. Not a lot of meat. And Linda did not say anything about going 100% free of carbs. Quinoa and amaranth are as good as all the other plants with regards of amino acid profile – or rather as bad as the others. The best sources from plants with the most complete amino acid profile are rice and pea – those 2 combined along with i.e. artichoke (one of the few plant-based sources of isoleucine) will give you 100% of essential amino acids. Or you can have 1 piece of grass-fed steak gently prepared in crockpot once a week and you achieve the same ;-)

    • siriusfarm

      Well thanks for giving me a good chuckle this afternoon with your comment about the “dangers” of eating a plant-based diet. Maybe take a few minutes and watch Dr Greger discuss the Paleo Diet

    • Stewart

      Linda, as MikeOnRaw suggests there are many things involved in auto immune diseases. By that I mean that you could be consuming any number of things with a vegetarian diet which might provoke an auto immune response. That might include nightshade, gluten, citrus, dairy, eggs, et al. Each of those, with the exception of dairy or eggs are healthy unless it provokes an allergy or auto immune response. With the paleo fad you might well have eliminated an important provocation to your immune system along with the ingestion of some very unhealthy things.

      Indeed I had a diet that was not unlike a paleo diet but it was the gluten (not included in a paleo diet) that was giving me psoriatic arthritis. I eliminated gluten and the psoriasis disappeared. On further study I found about numerous pro inflammatory factors in meat and dairy and decided to eliminate all. Then the occasional flair up and residual swelling from the arthritis disappeared. After a year I checked and the gluten sensitivity had also disappeared. Again, this is just my own anecdote but when I reported this to a class at Cornell, I was told that this is very common.

      Good luck with your auto immune condition. Auto immune conditions are ubiquitous and they can be serious.

  • baggman744

    Arachidonic acid is essential for your brain, liver, and organs, according to the National institutes of Health. A study published in 2013 in the American Journal of Cell Physiology reports that arachidonic acid appears to help increase muscle mass, and a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that arachidonic acid supplementation, when combined with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), helps improve social interaction in people with autism spectrum disorders.

    Getting too much arachidonic acid in your diet could be problematic. The University of Maryland Medical Center and the American Heart Association both say that arachidonic acid promotes inflammation, which can increase your risk for heart disease. However, if you’re getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids — abundant in coldwater fish, flax seeds, soybeans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, and other plant-based oils — exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting saturated fat, trans fat, dietary cholesterol, and sodium in your diet your heart-disease risks should stay low.

  • PLA

    Listening to your video it occurred to me that nearly all the symptoms you mentioned that improved on plant-based diets are symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of mental health issues (such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and more) are one big result of low magnesium. Eating more plants should improve magnesium levels since that is where we typically primarily get magnesium from. Higher energy, less PMS (or eradication of it), less menopausal symptoms (or eradication of those), and so much more are all benefits of magnesium. I hope you will do a series of the incredible benefits of magnesium and how transdermal magnesium can help much faster than even getting mg through plant food. See Dr Mark Sircus and Dr Carolyn Dean books.

    Regarding arachadonic acid. Don’t walnuts have arachadonic acid? But you’ve shown health benefits from walnuts daily. Is this just a small amount of arachadonic acid? Why the difference?

    • Rami Najjar

      Hello Pla,

      As is often the case, magnesium may very be a marker of plant food intake in studies unless supplemental magnesium is the independent variable, as potassium and fiber are often used as markers of plant food intake. Walnuts do not contain preformed arachidonic but they do contain omega 6 in the form of linoleic acid. Please see my statements above in an earlier post regarding omega 6 and 3.

  • Stewart E.

    The removal of neuroinflammation producing factors as a possible basis for mood and productivity improvement might also be responsible for improvement in many other things as well. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s come to mind immediately.

    Then of course diabetics limiting the amount of exogenous advanced glycation end products from animal sources has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity dramatically. Too many possible benefits in these studies for just one video.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Interesting. I have a good friend who was diagnosed as being bipolar. He gave veganism (without consuming any gluten as well) a try and his bipolar episodes have stopped completely. I really wonder if AA has something to do with it.

  • Panchito

    Check out the role of amino acids (neurotransmitters role). With age or gained functional deterioration, some people lose the ability to create enough non essential amino acids. For example, glycine has an important role as a neurotransmitter among many other functions.

  • baggman744

    Question: does the good doctor have a clinical practice? Does he see and treat patients? Does he have hospital privileges? Did he ever? His bio does not state.

    • Matthew Elswick

      From the sounds of it, he practices out of a local pub.

  • cameron

    Will the website be looking for any new registered dietitians any time soon?

  • Matthew Elswick

    That narrator should sober up before he does the audio for these videos. No credibility. W.C. Fields could have done a crisper job.

    • guest

      Shut up. That’s Dr Greger your talking about. He does his own voice overs. He sounds great, most people find his delivery entertaining and engaging unlike you Matt. I bet you look like W.C Fields.

      • Matthew Elswick

        I don’t care what his name is, he needs to sober up before doing the narration. Sound like some sot doing a video in his moms basement.

  • Matthew Elswick

    The drunken narrator deleted my comment about his sloppy delivery. Credibility for this video and its booze swilling host = GONE.

    • guest

      I hear you eat saltines with your afternoon tea? Not even a proper biscuit, how can we take you seriously.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I think I deleted your comment because it was rude and inappropriate. The credibility of each video can be found in the “sources cited” section. Please consider reading the transcripts if you don’t like the audio. You are free to comment here but please be respectful.

      Thanks Matthew,
      Joseph Gonzales, R.D.,
      Nutrition Director

  • More reason to eat clean

  • Phung Dang

    i used to go on a vegetarian diet and had felt healthier in many aspects. But one thing that concerns me is the level of hair loss and constipation.

    What should I eat to promote faster hair growth because I am experiencing bald spots on top of my head.

    thank you

  • owenthomson

    The term ‘probiotic’ means supporting life. Probiotics are friendly,
    beneficial bacteria. These bacteria (as well as others) are normal
    inhabitants of the large and small intestines and are a very important
    part of a healthy digestive system.

  • Ruth

    I would just like to add my personal experience. I have bipolar type 1, borderline personality disorder, PTSD and social anxiety. Over the course of this year I have gradually become vegan. At first it was ‘accidental’ – I was too lazy to cook for one when my ex was ejected from the house for being an idiot. After a couple of weeks I began to realise that I was feeling better. I have been suffering with severe, life-threatening bipolar depression for approximately 4 years and now, since becoming fully vegan and exercising regularly (which I was unable to do when I was depressed and a meat-eater) I have been able to more than halve the medication I take and haven’t had a single bipolar episode all year. My psychiatrist agrees that diet helps, but refuses to believe just how much of a difference it has made. Unbelievably, I feel pretty certain that I will eventually be able to do away with my meds altogether if I continue to be a healthy and active vegan. I am an intelligent woman and to be honest, I am cursing myself for not realising before just HOW different I could feel simply by changing my diet. I am also losing weight at a nice, healthy rate because I have significantly reduced my portion sizes as the food I now eat fills me up more. Given how much exercise I am doing, I would have thought I would need to eat more, but it definitely appears that nutritional content is the key. I would like to thank Dr. Greger and others like him for putting forward the truth about plant-based diets. As with someone who has commented below, I would like to see more videos regarding a plant-based diet and the effect it has on mental health issues. I can testify that it has worked literally wonders for me. At 49, I really wish I had known this sooner. GPs need to catch up on this and start helping their patients transition to a healthier diet, and it’s about time the meat industry wasn’t allowed to make false claims regarding the so-called health benefits of the products they sell. From my experience, meat is not health giving.

    • Cody

      Hi Ruth, I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We love hearing stories like this. I firmly believe that the benefits of a plant-based diet, although plentiful already, are still to a large extent, unknown, and we will continue to see in the years to come how many people can benefit from such a diet. I wish you all the best in your journey!