Doctor's Note

Here’s the video I mentioned about using a more plant-based diet to reduce the risk of relapses: Dietary Treatment of Crohn’s Disease.

I get a lot of questions about additives like polysorbate 80. I’m glad I was finally able to do a video about it. Here are some videos on some others:

If you, like me, used to think all fiber was good for was helping with bowel regularity you’ll be amazed! See for example, Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet.

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  • Plabtstrongdoc M.D.

    Great video! Controlling a serious disease just by changing your diet to a mainly plant based diet, instead of taking drugs where you risk progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Given the choice most patients would probably prefer broccoli over hazardous medication.

    • Tiffany Lawrence

      I’d probably disagree with that…I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who turn their nose up and even get angry when you mention dietary changes (and I’ve been med free for 2 years with diet and supplements). The problem is that their doctors tell them that diet has nothing to do with it and load them up with medications.

      • Jocelyn

        And we really shouldn’t be surprised to learn that diet has EVERYTHING to do with it! How could the food we take in every day for life, not greatly impact our health….?

        • ray

          Also the business end of the medical / health industry has a profound impact on decisions made for public health since it has become incredibly profitable. I don’t see the current system going away any time soon…WHAT A SHAME!!!!!!

        • Caroline Harris

          Tell me how a vegan of many years was diagnosed with Cronh’s if it is all to do with diet?

          • Jocelyn

            Well of course nothing is perfect. There is still human disease, it just doesn’t need to be to the extent that we see it. There are always other factors involved, however as this website demonstrates, diet can play a HUGE part in preventing and healing myriad diseases and health related issues….but it is not as panacea.

          • Nick Presidente

            Veganism isn’t inherently healthy, you can eat low fibre, refined vegan foods and be just as sick as anyone else. Chances are people on a whole food, plant based diet are healthy. You also can never (ever) use one person as an example for anything, you need to use trends and samples.

          • terri

            not sure, but one can eat a lot of processed “vegan” food. this is why I prefer whole food plant based. I don’t eat fake meat,chips,cheese etc. plus we need to limit oil, some of the vegans I know use a lot of oil in their food.

          • dineaudio

            A couple of spoons of extra virgin olive oil every day is very healthy. Oil helps D and A vitamin absorption.

          • Etienne-Emile Ciopenhauer

            There is nothing healthy about a processed oil. It’s incredibly high in calories, and has almost no nutrients. It paralyzes the arteries after consumption. Instead of telling us what is healthy and what isn’t, why not spend a few hours of your time researching this website to know the facts first?

            Oil doesn’t help D and A absorption. Fat is what helps absorption. They are called “fat soluble vitamins” for a reason, not “oil soluble vitamins”. An olive is healthier than olive oil. There are no benefits to eating olive oil over olives. Additionally, we only need a small amount of fat to absorb fat soluble vitamins, about 2.4g in a meal. This means that many plant foods contain enough fat as it is without the need to add some high fat food to the meal.

          • dineaudio

            Eating a vegan diet doesn’t mean one is eating a healthy diet. One can eat only potatoes their whole life, for example.

          • Etienne-Emile Ciopenhauer

            What in the hell are you talking about? If a person was going to eat most of their calories from whole potatoes and add a few vegetables and fruits, they would be fine. Potatoes are the most nutritionally complete food on the planet, and yet you use them as an example of a bad item in a vegan diet? Do your research.

          • Thea

            Etienne-Emile Coipenhauer: Please watch your language. It would be a good idea to take some time to review the rules for posting on this site. You can find those rules by clicking the green ‘comment etiquette’ button above the comments area.

            If you see a post that has information you consider to be incorrect, I recommend that you use it as an opportunity to educate someone, including being polite and providing references to back up your statements. That way leads to growth and learning.

            Thank you,
            – Moderator

  • Ilana

    However, most people who are not in remission in Crohn’s can NOT eat high fiber diets. What can you tell them to do?

    • I believe the general recommendation to avoid animal products still stands; lower-fiber foods while in a flare (like skinned potatoes or skinned sweet potatoes) are great options; so are blended salads and smoothies.

      • Eryn

        I started out juicing to give my gut a break from fiber but get as many fruits and veggies into me. Did that for 1-2 months and then went plant based. It’s been 3 yrs in remission.

        • Congrats! My gut did not like juice, and I tried so many different types, but smoothies worked for me. So glad to hear that you’ve been in remission for so long!

    • anthonyp

      Yes i agree. Eating lower fiber plant foods will still provide the fibers needed to protect/heal the lining of the gut. Plus if that is done and animal products are avoided, then it will help. Try telling to consume less animal fat and protein all together.

  • elsie blanche

    Are organic corn corn chips ok to include in a healthy plant-based diet? Even the organic store-bought corn chips are fried, and the frying process heats sunflower oil and/or canola oil to very high temperatures, and for long times, in order to make the chips. Is there any science that shows that eating foods derived from frying these vegetable oils is harmful to us? Do they alter in a bad way our macrobiome? Do you ever indulge in servings of corn chips, Dr. Greger? Anyone else out there include these, or avoid at all costs?

    • Julie

      Frying foods always destroys oils, producing highly reactive substances that wreak havoc in our bodies. These damaged oils literally fry our arteries. Even before frying, the refined oils themselves are already quite damaged from the multi-step process of extracting the oil from seeds.

      • elsie blanche

        Interesting. I also see elsewhere that some people feel oils such as coconut oil are safe to fry (stable, not deranged by high-heat/extraction) but coconut oil has way too much fat for me. I like the idea of Dr. Greger’s below….the lightly toasted sprouted corn tortillas.

    • What I do is lightly toast (organic sprouted yellow) corn tortillas–taste better than fried and healthier too! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

      • elsie blanche

        Oh this sounds tasty. Such a cool idea. I’ll try these soon.

        Are you adverse to the occasional fried tortilla, taco shell, etc. when these sprouted gems are
        not what is being served? Or do you avoid 100% the traditional fried tortillas, taco shells, etc.?

        • Jocelyn

          same can be done with pita bread and flour tortillas ( I usually use the oven for big batches).

      • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

        Link where to buy these?

        • Julie

          We like Food For Life Organic Sprouted Corn Tortillas.

          • Plantstrongdoc M.D.


          • val

            yes, I’ve seen these sprouted corn tortillas at Whole Foods by the way…and have bought them a few times…I do like their store brand 365 organic yellow corn tortillas which are only $1.19 per pkg too!

  • Thank you for sharing! I’ve taken particular interest in this data, since I have Crohn’s disease, and have found the same recommendations when I’ve done my own research:

    In light of this data, it seems counterproductive for people with IBD to go on paleo or similar high-meat, low-fiber diets (which are VERY common diets among IBD’ers). I am optimistic that current and future research will shed more light on this topic.

    • Bean

      The three folks I know with Crohn’s all got it after turning vegan, and went into remission after adopting an essentially paleo diet. I think it depends on the individual.

      • They would make for an interesting case study. Were they all whole-food vegans? How long were they vegan before they developed IBD?

        The benefits I’ve seen from people who go on paleo-type diets (to help with their Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis) is often due to the fact that they don’t eat junk food, not because they are eating more meat. I’d be interested in knowing what their long-term outcomes are in the next 5, 10 or 15 years.

        • Bean

          One of the people was vegan for 15 years and developed Crohn’s a couple years later. Yes, whole foods. The other folks were both veg whole foods, one for a year or two, the other for 5-10 years. They are all now in remission on a paleo diet. I myself am vegan, and I know turning veg has helped others, but after seeing my friends’ intense suffering come to a screeching halt within a few weeks of eating paleo, I have come to believe it really depends on the individual – as much as I hate to admit.

          • I wonder what factor plays a role in this, since the science is contradicting their outcome. Unfortunately, since there are likely many factors that contribute to Crohn’s, it’s hard to say why someone would have those experiences, it seems very unlikely that someone would develop Crohn’s within a “couple of years” from starting a whole food, plant based diet, and there are usually symptoms that show up many years before an official diagnosis is made, which would mean their illness began well before they became vegan.

            In my case, I went vegan in 2000 (wholeheartedly a junk-food vegan for the first 8 years!) and was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2008, but looking back – all the back from birth to my teen years, I could see that something was wrong with my digestive system and it took a very long time for those problems to manifest into full blown CD.

      • Steven Jodoin

        I believe from personal experience with crohns and trying to do get better naturally, the reason people may get better on paleo is not really because its “better” but the simple fact about 25% of people with crohns are also celiac. Paleo cuts out grains, if you have crohns and are following a whole foods plant based diet, also go gluten free..

        • Frog58

          people with crohn’s due not necessarily have celiac. It could be more like gluten intolerance or sensitivity due to damaged and/or surgically removed parts of the intestinal tract. I eat gluten free and was tested during a colonoscopy for celiac….came back negative for celiac. Yes I feel much better on a gluten free diet….I have lost over 8 ft of large and small intestine and my last surgery for narrowing by scar tissue was caused by many mini flares that I probably was not very aware of….you know the ones where you get the symptoms but on a much lighter scale…not enough to hospitalize me or for steroids. Well years of that caused me to loose an additional foot of small intestine. I only get the surgeries when the scar tissue narrowing is such that it takes all day for scrambled eggs and an ensure into my body. In other words last result.

    • Thea

      VeganOstomy: Best of luck with your condition. I hope you are able to beat it.

      • Thank you =) I don’t know if I can “beat” this type of illness, but I’m certainly making an effort to keep myself in the best health possible, and the information that Dr. Greger provides is invaluable to this process!

      • Frog58

        there is no cure at this point in time, so we cannot beat it!! We can only aim to do our best to control it

  • henrik

    I have developed Crohns disease while being on 100% vegan diet one year ago. But 8 months ago I had to start eating meat because vetables and fruit past throu me undegested and starch was to blouty. Now that I have stoped inflamation with havy medication I am going back on vegan diet. I will report my experiance.

    • Dr.Driver

      Thanks Henrik, I would love to hear about your experience as you progress. I feel it may be rather informative.

  • Maku

    I was diagnosed with mild to moderate Crohn’s colitis in 2009. For a number of reasons, it has never been medically treated. But I went vegan in 2010 and after two years or trial and error with extremely serious occasional flare-ups (up to 30 visit to the toilet with a lot of red and tarred blood) I have been able to achieve complete healing with no flare-ups in two and a half years. When I first started researching my condition, I found that the European consensus on Crohn’s recommended low-fibre diet. I was intuitive enough to stick to my gut instincts. And it was a wise decision. A vegan-diet (supplemented with B12) is, from my personal experience, the right choice to heal yourself. I have colonoscopy and histolopathology data from 2009; I haven’t seen a doctor for 6 years; and should I ever decide to do a colonoscopy at 50 or 60 I’m thinking of posting the data online for everyone to see that a whole plant food-based diet works. You can not just maintain remission – you can achieve remission!

    • Maku

      And just to clarify – I follow a very high-fibre diet with lots of greens, beans, lentils, fruit, berries, nuts, dried herbs, and spices.

      • elsie blanche


    • KWD

      Maku, thanks for sharing your experience so that others may benefit. I wish you continued good health.

    • Thea

      Maku: I second KWD’s comment. Great post! Thanks for taking the time to share.

    • Justin Bosley

      It may not have been Crohn’s disease. It may have been Celiac Disease which is another autoimmune disease but is caused from wheat. Many people that go vegan/vegetarian experience gut issues because they start eating a lot more wheat and never realized that they were allergic before hand.

    • Maku

      The decision to go vegan wasn’t a calculated one. It was purely intuitive. I had no access to medical care. So I had to figure out how to live with it. The first two years or so were the most difficult ones. I had long periods of very restricted diet – one or two types of grain, oatmeal and nothing else. It took years to slowly introduce a wide variety of foods into my diet. And everything is fine now. I must also thank Dr Greger for his website because it emboldened me to be more adventurous with my diet. And it also might saved my life as I wasn’t properly supplementing my diet with B12 in the first 3 years and started developing bad symptoms – it’s the shortness of breath that reignited my interest in looking at nutritional information. And I came across this website. All problems solved now.

      To Justin Bosley and his celiac comments – I can only say that the Crohn’s diagnosis was made at the respectable John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK – the gastroscopy results (with multiple biopsies) were fine. And I like and eat grains including wheat, rye, and the like from time to time.

      • Maku, can you contact me? You haven’t setup a profile, so I can’t reach you directly, but I’d love to ask you a few questions about your decision to go vegan and your Crohn’s disease.

      • I got your message, but the email fails. Can you email me directly please?

  • Bean

    I think this is highly dependent on the individual. I know three people who got Crohn’s AFTER turning vegan – yes, whole vegan foods only. They are now in remission after returning to eating meat and greens and some fruit – no grains, sugar, starchy foods, etc. They all wish they could stay vegan, but they just can’t.

    • Justin Bosley

      It may not have been Crohn’s disease. It may have been Celiac Disease which is another autoimmune disease but is caused from wheat. Many people that go vegan/vegetarian experience gut issues because they start eating a lot more wheat and never realized that they were allergic before hand

      • Bean

        I know what celiac is, and it was not celiac for at least two cases. Two tried at various points to eliminate soy, wheat, sugar, etc. Nothing helped. I realize anecdotal stories cannot negate science and that was not my intention. I was just sharing my experience of a few incidences where a vegan diet did not help, and in fact, seemed to trigger GI problems.

    • Heather

      I think that you are making an excellent point here. The symptoms and severity of Crohn’s is highly individual. I work as a registered dietitian in an IBD clinic. Many of my clients have similar complaints, while others experience drastically opposite ones. The point I am trying to make is that it all depends on the person. While challenging, I often recommend an elimination diet and slowly introduce each food back in. Paying attention to symptoms during this time is crucial. This video provides even more information on dietary treatment of Crohn’s Disease.

  • Kenzie IBD

    I don’t think a diet like this would help someone like me that has a Fructose Malapsorption. Some of the veggies that this doctor that says is good to eat(like broccoli) give me abdominal cramping and cause bloating.

    • There should be plenty of plant-based foods to eat, even with fructose malabsorption issues. Have you spoken to a dietitian who specializes in plant-based diets and IBD?

      • Kenzie IBD

        I’ve spoken to a dietician about my fructose malabsorption but not going vegetarian.

        The list of recommended veggies lists 10 different ones and also lists salad greens. I’d go crazy on a diet that was that restricted.

        • Yeah, sometimes those lists are fairly generic and are meant to be well tolerated by the greatest number of people. If you notice similarities between those 10, perhaps you can expand on them on your own.

  • C. Z. Krzakowski

    Dear Dr. Gregor–

    Thank-you for all your excellent work here and for discussing the results of these new studies on Crohn’s disease and nutrition in this video.

    An important question still remains: What should patients who are experiencing a Crohn’s flare up to do while it lasts? Despite being a long-term vegan (WHPB), I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease four years ago and was able to control my symptoms until a recent and severe flare up. It became impossible for me at that time to consume high-fiber (and raw) fruits and vegetables. What would you recommend that IBD sufferers do when they have a flare up? I am echoing several other members’ questions when I ask this, and I cannot seem to find your response to this question on the site so far. It would be immensely helpful to have your thoughts and advice.


    Dr. C.Z. Krzakowski

    • I’m not sure there is a correct answer that fits everyone. I would recommend trying the approach suggested in Dr. McDougall’s December 2002 newsletter article, Diet for the Desperate. It contains no raw foods and eliminates plants that can cause problems. Here is the link…
      Good luck hope things settle down for you.

      • I echo that recommendation to check out Dr. McDougall’s elimination diet. When I was flaring, skinless potatoes and white rice were all I could handle, and high-fiber foods came well after that. I also tend to focus on smoothies, soups or broths for nutrients when roughage was difficult to handle.

        • C. Z. Krzakowski

          Thanks so much!

      • C. Z. Krzakowski

        Thanks for your response and for this link, Dan. Very helpful.

  • Matthew Smith

    Dr. Greger has shown that vegans are more likely to have more regular and bigger bowel movements, and that this digestive activity has health benefits.

    In this, video, Dr. Greger shows that colon cancer triples with smaller sized bowel movements

    In this video, Dr. Greger shows that “Vegans for example were about 3 times more likely to have daily BMs”

    Eating more fiber to increase bowel size can improve health. I am glad to hear that the semi-vegetarian here is shown to be a cure for Crohn’s disease with 100 percent remission in the first year and 92 percent remission in the second year. I am glad that is available to me in the future, should I have digestive health problems or this autoimmune disorder ever.

    • Linda N

      Semi-vegetarian, and even vegetarian, is not VEGAN.

  • Gary Slocum

    I just read an interesting report Dec 23 2014 About roundup killing gut bacteria,

    and half of the children being autistic by 2025.

    • joevegan

      I read a couple of weeks ago that 80% of conventionally grown wheat is sprayed with Roundup just before harvest to increase crop yields. I’ve put wheat on my list of edibles that need to always be organic.

      • Gary Slocum

        Yeah it looks like buying organic is pretty important even if just to stay away from roundup. I already limited my bread intake, I guess I’ll also look for an organic loaf for the freezer.
        Buying organic is not easy for me living in a rural area, plus in a unhealthy state in general. Might have to move to I’m lucky to get organic carrots and sometimes broc with the crowns already turning yellow….grr
        But thanks to the good work and info of Dr Greger and his team and eating mostly plant based whole foods I was able to get rid of the arthritis in my knees that gave me problems for 15 yrs climbing stairs and mowing the lawn. So that’s a big improvement for me.

      • Darryl addressed this rumor.

        Moreover, no no GM wheat is commercially grown in the United States. Compared to animal feed (corn, soybean) and cash crops (cotton), there’s never been much demand.

  • ToBeAlive

    I am going with MAP virus as the cause of Crohn’s. My daughter had a small bowel stricture resected last January that, beforehand, was assumed to be Crohn’s. They kept trying to bend her symptoms to fit but with our WFPBD, I couldn’t believe she had inflammation. None found tip to tail.

    • Has your daughter tested positive for MAP? There are anti-map therapies, and even an anti-map vaccine being developed, which could help if she in indeed positive for MAP.

      • ToBeAlive

        Did get a lot of my info from Do hope that the MAP research/vaccine project keeps going. Also had input from geneticist microbiologist friend in NZ where they acknowledge the MAP problem. There they do the best available tests for MAP, not generally available here.
        So, I buy that my daughter has had exposure to MAP and perhaps the beastie made a nest in her Jejunum resulting in a thickening and narrowing as her body fought it.
        In any case, it has been cut out and won’t be bothering her again -much to the consternation of her medical team!

        • D.R.

          ToBeAlive – Can you advise where I can reference more info on MAP Virus please? I am coming up with nothing using most isearches.

          • ToBeAlive

   are developing treatment/prevention based on the work of Professor Thomas Borody. That’s the name to watch!

          • D.R.

            Now I understand it is mycobacterium avium, it is not a virus (thus no vaccine). Interesting hypothesis. I am looking for a root cause in an individual that was caring for a cancer patient (immunocompromised from chemo and radiotherapy) who had acquired mycobacterium avium intracellulare that a rough course of antibiotics could not remove and remained as a constant residual infection. Could this individual have picked it up from this person? A bit of a stretch, and also that gut issues are mediated by the mycobacterium avium complex not just MAP. I hope your daughter is doing well. Surgery would not necessarily have eliminated MAP as you know, so a positive MAP diagnosis would still be necessary. The individual I am looking at has just completed a course of antibiotics prescribed by his gastroenterologist and a few weeks on has developed three additional food intolerances! Where did I hear about this antibiotic “side-benefit” before? This whole field of gut health is a minefield. Where to next?!

          • ToBeAlive

            So sorry to hear that!
            My daughter’s entire tract tip-to-tail is clear of inflammation going on a year. No other good explanation for that stricture (granular bodies present) so we will keep an eye on possible Crohn’s the rest of her life.
            Really believe that our naturally anti-Crohn’s lifestyle has something to do with it. She also has inherited my strong immune system which we have tested in grubby corners of the world.
            I agree gut health (in medicine) is a minefield. Best to research research research and find the best Dr.s out there.

  • rick

    If I stick to a whole foods plant based diet, my ulcerative colitis is without symptoms. It appears I can make it active again most easily by eating cheese. If you have ulcerative colitis, you will know that this is a huge deal.

  • Darryl

    An aside: Dr. Greger has addressed antibiotic abuse in animal agriculture in numerous venues as well as videos here. They’re also abused in human medicine – every time a patient asks for antibiotic prescriptions for viral infections like the flu. Antibiotics are as effective against beneficial bacteria that promote gut barrier integrity as they are against pathobionts, and there are interesting associations, especially in the very young, between antibiotic use and subsequent development of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    If Dr. Greger questions the role of polysorbate 80 in the diet and its possible connection(s) with Crohn’s disease, then please question the FDA, vaccine makers and Big Pharma why polysorbate 80, i.e., Tween 80, is an ingredient in many vaccines [Rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq; HPV vaccine Gardasil; Influenza vaccines Fluarix, Flulaval; Pneumococcal vaccine PCV13-Prevnar 13; Tdap vaccine Boostrix;] as per the FDA’s Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary published online. Polysorbate 80, therefore, is injected into children and adults! What adverse events can polysorbate 80 do when it gets into the blood stream via injection and vaccinations?

  • D.R.

    Dr Greger – The mention of increased beneficial bacteria with reduced animal protein and fat caught my attention and I wonder how much further evidence/studies of this you have seen. I would appreciate any comments you have on this.

    I recently came across a study (albeit off the Crohn’s topic) where association between diet, exercise and positive microbiome diversity was being examined. I am aware some of these scientists are leaning towards the justification for the use of milk protein isolates for “health improvements” (cringe).

    I have not seen enough data to know, but the supplementary data associated with this work I find a bit surprising; TNF-alpha and cytokine values so high in the < 25 BMI control relative to the elite athletes. Is this plausible? Noted of course their protein intakes are very high across the board with concomitant elevated Total cholesterol and high LDL. Interesting how the authors avoided charting the LDL at all! Surely the oxidative stress and the potentially increased inflammatory state of the athletes would get expressed in the numbers?
    Oh yeah, one more thing are these coefficients what pass for positive correlations today?

    • Toxins

      Please see here, Dr. Greger highlights several studies showing this

      • D.R.

        Thanks Toxins for this. The basis of my question was centred on how much we actually know, or don’t know about what is good healthy gut microbiome diversity. I am quite familiar with the area but I have the impression that some investigators bias gets the better of them and their conclusions from findings are a bit of a stretch. So when one group reports that a low or non-meat diet leads to a greater diversity of healthy bacteria, and then another attributes a greater diversity of healthy bacteria to the high consumption of animal protein, then both clearly have very different perspectives on what good is. Given that it is an emerging area of study it merits further reporting here going forward, reference Martin Blaser’s team at NYU etc..
        I would still like to hear Dr. Greger’s take on the attached.
        ciao..and Happy New Year!

  • Giacomo Cariani

    Where are the subtitles?

    • KWD

      Giacomo, Just to the right of the video you’ll see the row of icons for social media and sharing tools. Just below that row of icons, if you select “View Transcript”, the full dialogue of the video will appear just below the video in your web browser. While the transcript isn’t set up to display as actual subtitles as the video runs, I hope this helps.

      • Giacomo Cariani

        Ok, Thank you very much. But I liked more the previous website version with the subtitles on videos.

        • KWD

          Indeed, the loss of subtitles on the Vimeo platform is a drawback. I’m not sure if you’re aware but the YouTube channel was targeted well over a year ago and temporarily shut down. At that time, it became clear that a second platform was needed to host videos to ensure no lapse in material being available to the public. So now, videos are uploaded to both platforms.

          While I’m not involved with the technical aspects of the site, it seems to me that the Vimeo format is much nicer aesthetically integrated into the website because YouTube overlays annoying ads and presumably that’s why it has replaced YouTube as the prime platform embedded on the site but rest assured, you can also find the videos on YouTube with subtitles. Thanks for your understanding.

          • Giacomo Cariani

            Thank you.

          • KWD

            You’re quite welcome!

        • Thea

          Giacomo: Here’s my understanding: Vimeo can do the subtitles, but it takes time to set up. The staff plan to get to that step, but are still working on converting the videos to vimeo to be the default play on this site. I could have misunderstood, but I believe that you may see the subtitles again in the future. You are not the only person who likes them, so I hope it is a feature we can offer again in the future. And of course, as KWD says, we have the transcript as work-around in the mean time.

          • Giacomo Cariani

            Great!! Wonderful news..

  • Joannabanana1989 .

    i was diagnosed with UC after i had been a raw vegan. now i follow paleo and am able to control my symptoms better. this seems to be the trend. get massively sick as a vegan and then improve once animal products are introduced again. makes total sense since all the research knows the benefits of low residue for our diseases.

    • jj

      Many people can not tolerate a raw diet and it actually isn’t the healthiest.

    • That is interesting… I was diagnosed with colitis and cancerous colon polyps in 2009. At the time I was eating high fat paleo. Lots of grass fed bison, bulletproof coffee, etc… my symptoms kept getting worse the more paleo I ate… As soon as I went low-fat plant based and cut out the animal foods and fats, my colitis went away on its own. As long as I stick to beans and greens and no animal foods my health is perfect.

      • Joannabanana1989 .

        i’m glad you are doing better!! it’s such a toss up of what works for people. it’s like whatever you are eating when you get sick, eat the exact opposite and get better!

  • brydon10

    I’ve always wondered if Omega 3:6 ratio had anything to do with crohn’s disease. I’ve been in remission for around 5 years now, and have only had one very bad flare up. I was diagnosed with moderate-severe crohn’s. Now, prior to that I tried a vegan diet for a few months, so I doubt that could really have anything to do with my flare up, I believe it was caused by stress. My diet for the past 5 years has been completely omnivorous and not as clean as I would like. Anyways, I know that Omega 3:6 ratio can cause inflammation, so if your omega 6 is very high and your ratio is way up, would you be more likely to flare? If I switched to a vegetarian or vegan diet (I would like to for ethical and health reasons), would this throw me off and possibly cause a flare up? Thanks.

    • Thea

      brydon10: I’m not a doctor and can’t say anything about crohns. But I can say that a primarily whole food vegan diet with 2 T ground flaxseeds (and maybe 1 ounce of the right kind of walnuts each day) generally has very favorable omega 3 to 6 ratios. To learn more, I recommend the following talk: From Oil to Nuts by Jeff Novick. This talk is a very comprehensive (and entertaining!) look at the topic of fats and oils, including the omega 3 to 6 ratio issue. Jeff explains how it all works on a whole plant food based diet. You can buy the talk here if you are interested:

      Good lucks with the crohns.

      • I would second Thea’s recommendation about Jeff’s Oil to Nuts video. Going on a plant based diet doesn’t always lead to an “appropriate” 6:3 ration of 2 to 4:1. Some plant oils especially corn oil are very high in Omega 6’s so that some studies have shown ratio’s of 6:3 much higher than 12:1 in vegans. This is not a problem if you stick with whole foods and avoid oils. Good luck with your Crohn’s Disease. Keep tuned as the science keeps coming.

  • JDR

    While the information is interesting, I don’t believe it all. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease after being vegetarian for 17 years (vegan at the time of diagnoses and for at least three years leading up to it). A plant based diet did not help me avoid it, nor has it helped me since the diagnoses. In fact, many veggies make matters worse with my stomach. The only thing that has helped it at all has been doing juice fasts and taking daily probiotics. I know people want to believe that plant based diet is the answer to everything, but it’s not, especially when it comes to Crohn’s. It’s just not that simple… at least not for what I’ve experienced.

  • Loretta Davis

    Dr. Gregor, many thanks for this video. Are there similar studies and results on UC? Many thanks in advance.

  • suje

    Is diet can treat genetic disorders ?

  • Michael Doucet

    I was diagnosed with Crohn’s 12 years ago. I had to have 2 bowl resections with a total of 28 inches of large and small intestines removed. They had me on a high dosage of prednisone for a long period of time and the steroids caused my hip bones to deteriorate and now I have necrosis of the hip bone and had to have a decompression done on my left hip. I’m currently 29 years old and the doctors want to do a hip replacement within the next 2-3 years and I would have to have another replacement again when I’m between 55-60 years old. The meds for Crohn’s do help but you have to be careful that it will not cause another problem.

  • Emily

    Dr. Greger-

    What is the difference between a leaky gut from eating animal products and crohn’s disease?
    Does someone have to have a leaky gut in order to receive the negative effects of animal products…for instance, is that the only way for bacteria(to cause arterial inflammation) or proteins(that cause autoimmune diseases) to get into the bloodstream?

  • Jude Miller

    I have had Crohn’s for at least 14 years now, and currently taking Humira which I would like to stop after using it for 7 years. My current doctor will not continue to see me if I stop using biologic medication (He wanted me to use Tysabri which carries the risk of PML but I decided against it). Have any advice for my next step? I have been about 80% plant based since January with great results and would like to use the lifestyle change instead of drugs.

  • Rodrigo Cardoso
  • Matthew Smith

    A milk allergy can produce enormous stress on the human body. Most people have a milk allergy. Dr. Hoffer said he had tremendous success taking schizophrenics off of milk. Milk allergy, Omega three deficiency, and a Niacin Deficiency are the cause of most kinds of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia might not be genetic or related to genes. It might be related to environment and diet.

  • Frog58

    Okay…If this works for you great, I happen not to agree with any of this. Do not troll me as I am not judging you or telling you what you have to do, please just read my reasoning. I have had crohn’s for 35 years, numerous surgeries, medical treatments (traditional & alternative) and will pass on info from my experience and knowledge. 1) When I was diagnosed I was almost totally vegetarian with high fiber, etc for years so if you are advocating a whole food plant based high fiber diet…why did the crohn’s surface? 2) For those who have strictures, narrowing or partial blockages this can be dangerous as the suggested food can cause total blockage (it happened to me with high fiber food) 3) Crohn’s has a mind of its own, is different for everyone and is episodic. I know people who have had one episode and never had it again, people who have it off and on through their life and people who live in a constant flare regardless of what is done….so how can anyone one claim that this or any method is the “fix”? 4) Lots of fatigue with this disease, this diet takes a lot of prep and shopping for fresh produce 5) I am already gassy…adding the plant life and beans that are in a veggie diet would just make it worse, more painful and isolate me more with the smells….. anyone have a match?

    If you feel this diet works for you, great. If you have never tried it, I would suggest you consult with your GI to see if you are in a place where you can try this (strictures, narrowing and partial blockages could cause problems).

    With such a damaged gut as mine, they know I am absorbing calories, I have started to have certain vitamin deficiencies supplemented by IV or injection. Regardless of which way you decided to go, consult your GI and a well regarded nutritionist to make sure you are getting all you need. If your GI is not open to discussing this, in my opinion it’s time to look for another GI dr. That’s what I did, I use foods I can tolerate, supplements that I have found to work for me (through trial and error with my GI dr and pharmacists helping me navigate avoiding the negative side effects or reactions).

    May we all stay symptom free for as long as possible with what ever methods we chose to try to control this disease.

  • Amber Percy



  • CelestialDragon

    Hello Dr. Gregor. I recently discovered you and have transitioned to a whole-foods plant based diet and doing quite well. The information you provide has made it much easier for me to make decision for my own diet now in spite of all the conflicting health information available. Thank you for all your hard work.

    Could you please provide some research for people with ulcerative colitis experiencing a flare. My lactovegetarian daughter was diagnosed last month with UC which happened after she was prescribed an antibiotic for tonsillitis over a year ago. After two other antibiotics, several tests for C. Diff and Crohn’s, and struggling with symptoms, she is currently hospitalized on intravenous prednisone. One of the specialist recommended fish oil and whey protein and is not supportive of vegetarian/vegan diets. We got a sermon on the “incompleteness” of vegetable protein and “egg protein is the gold standard” that all other proteins are measured. His only option given is Remicade. She is making very slow progress although we got her the fish oil and grass-fed whey protein and is eating low residue diet. I have provided her with probiotics and wheat grass powder and send her links to your videos.



    • Thea

      CelestialDragon: I can’t comment on the UC part, but I can definitely say that the information the specialist has on protein is *long* outdated/wrong. If he got that wrong, what else did he get wrong?

      Here is a basic protein 101 article that clearly dispels the myths that expert was pushing. Maybe you could print it out and share with the expert?

      As for the myth about egg protein being healthy, check out my standard reply to egg white (that’s the protein part of the egg) below. Maybe you could share this information with the specialist as well. Or just share the summary paragraph and ask if he wants the research to back it up. ;-)

      I hope this helps.
      There are two problems with eggs, the yolk and the white. (To paraphrase Dr. Barnard.) Egg whites are likely a big problem health-wise, just like the yolks. It is true that egg whites do not have cholesterol. But egg whites are essentially all animal protein. Here’s what we know about animal protein in general and egg whites in particular:

      Dr. Barnard links potential kidney problems to animal protein (though I don’t have the details on that). And Dr. Greger talks about the problems of animal protein in general in his annual summary video, “Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet”

      Here on NutritionFacts, you can get a great education on how animal protein is linked to the body’s over-production of a growth hormone called IGF-1. IGF-1 helps cancer to grow. To watch the series about IGF-1, click on the link below and then keep clicking the “next video” link on the button to the right until you get through the bodybuilding video. Then you will have seen the entire series.

      Here’s another great tidbit from NutritionFacts on another mechanism linking egg whites to cancer as well as increased virus infections: “why would animal protein and fat increase cancer risk? Well, as I noted in Bowel Wars, if you eat egg whites, for example, between 5 and 35% of the protein isn’t digested, isn’t absorbed, and ends up in the colon, where it undergoes a process called putrefaction. When animal protein putrefies in the gut, it can lead to the production of the rotten egg gas, hydrogen sulfide, which, over and above its objectionable odor, can produce changes that increase cancer risk. Putrefying protein also produces ammonia.”
      To learn more details about the process, check out:

      Darryl at one point reminded me of the methionine issue, which I think I first learned from Rami and later from Dr. Greger. Egg whites have *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22
      Dr. Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and cancer.

      Darryl also pointed out that, “…high methionine diets increase coronary risk in humans. In its associations with cardiovascular disease and other disorders, homocysteine may be functioning partly as a marker for the major culprit, excess methionine.”

      Dr. Greger recently posted some videos on how animal protein can raise insulin levels. The first of the following videos even specifically addresses egg whites.

      In summary: there are at least three pathways potentially linking animal proteins, especially egg whites, to cancer: the IGF-1, methionine, and putrefaction. And there is some good evidence that egg white consumption contributes to heart disease and potential problems with T2 diabetes by raising insulin levels in a bad way. All of these reductionist-type studies lend support the bigger general population studies showing that the healthiest populations on earth are those which eat the least amount of animal protein.

      With all of the information we have about the harmful effects of animal protein in general and egg white in particular, I think it’s best to stay away from egg white. Why not get your protein from safe sources? IE: Sources which are known to have lots of positive health effects and will naturally give you a balanced amount of protein? (ie: whole plant foods) Make sense?

  • Lori

    I’ve been looking for information on gastritis, specifically on Autoimmune Metaplastic Atrophic Gastritis-AMAG. My son-in-law has been diagnosed with Autoimmune Metaplastic Atrophic Gastritis-AMAG. His Vit B12 is normal. He’s thin and has lost 20lbs. He was put on an autoimmune paleo diet with no grains, nuts, seeds, nightshades or beans. Do you have any comments or suggestions?