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Preventing Arthritis

Even flexitarians might be at increased risk for developing arthritis.

September 16, 2008 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited



It just got compared to the leading pharmacological treatment for enlarged prostates: the standard drug costs about $300 a year, versus about $10 a year of daily flax. This new study found they both worked just as well as each other, so, I guess it all comes down to side effects. Of which there are many for tamsulosin, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, and all sorts of abnormal things. Flax also has a number of side-effects, though. It improves your cholesterol and blood sugar, controls your blood pressure. and controls your hot flashes, though usually not a huge problem in prostate sufferers…

It may even help with arthritis: “Fish, seal, and flaxseed oils lessen joint pain.” So, it looks like you have another choice! You can kill and grind up her... You can kill and grind up him... Or, you can kill and grind up this… Uh, the horror!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on arthritis. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on arthritis. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • Shintaido Leslie

    This video seems to be a little messed up. The audio doesn’t kick in at the very beginning, so I missed hearing the first part.
    PS I LOVE THIS WEBSITE!!! Great job. Thank you!

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      I’m so glad you’ve found the site useful Leslie. The audio weirdness of which you speak is an artifact of the fact that all the older videos were originally part of my Latest in Nutrition DVDs (, and so got chopped up into topical segments for the website and you experience these kinds of continuity issues. Unfortunately there’s no “previous” video button where you can go back and see the “prequel” to the current video so you don’t come in in the middle (yet! We’re working on version 2.0 to incorporate all sorts of new features). For this video, you can see the one immediately preceding it here:

  • Leana

    I didn’t understand a thing on this video. Is flax seed good or bad? I will also like to ask if it’s true that soy is bad for you. My understanding is that it’s very bad. I got it from this link.

    Thank you for your answer.. =)

  • Foofoo Rab

    Dr. Greger, I love this.  Love the videos and the content in them and your presentation and delivery.  I am 38 yrs old and have recently adopted a vegan diet about 3 months ago and now slowly attempting a vegan lifestyle as well ( leather, etc..)  Could you reccomend any books, videos, websites ( other than yours) or any tips that i should consider.  Thank you again for the great work you do!  Eranga

  • Ryan Winrick

    I first want to say thank you VERY much for all of your effort and daily contributions towards informing people of the truth behind so many aspects of healthty nutrition! I would love your input on a question I have though. I’ve had 4 knee surgeries now – all due to playing american football. I’ve been told by several Dr.s that my knee is like a case study b/c there’s so many things wrong with it, and I’m “too young” for a knee replacement at this time. I have arthritis “in all 3 parts of the knee”. Well, thanks to your information and videos, I now eat far less meat and I eat ground flax seeds on a daily basis. However, given recent pains in my knees, I was also considering taking Fish Oil pills and Glucosameen sulfate pills. What are your thoughts on those? And are there specific brands that are proven to be more reliable by actually containing the ingredients they advertise on their bottle? Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Toxins
      • Ryan Winrick

        any input on Glucosameen sulfate? Thanks

    • marthala

      “I now eat far less meat…”

      I point your attention back to this video’s comment: “On the other hand, eating meat, even a tiny amount, may dramatically increase our risk of developing degenerative arthritis. Even eating meat less than once a week may trigger arthritis.”
      I expect you saw it, but hope you are taking this to heart, particularly if your knees are so bad. [And I expect the same is true of all dairy products and arthritis, as they are animal protein, too.]
      It does take some doing to switch from the diet to which we’ve been accustomed for many years.

      • Ryan Winrick

        yes, I recall that video, but unfortunately for me it’s still a work in progress:) I haven’t consumed eggs or milk in several months – only unsweetened soy now. Do you have any input on “effectiveness” Glocosameen sulfate? Thanks

        • Don Forrester MD

          There have been clinical studies showing improvement in some patients with arthritis. I have seen more patients benefit from a WFPB diet. Initial responses are probably due to the clearing of Neu5gc from the body see… For some arthritis I have seen patients who after improving greatly from going on a WFPB diet still have some flares that they were able to ultimately relate to specific plant triggers. These triggers can vary from patient to patient.