Doctor's Note

I've previously mentioned Dr. Barnard's work with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Physician-Assisted Suicide? When Doctors Give Nutrition Advice, Dietary Guideline Graphics: From the Food Pyramid to My Plate, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate, and PCRM’s Power Plate, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Accused of Making Illegally Deceptive Claims, Paula Deen: Diabetes Drug Spokesperson, Atkins Diet: Trouble Keeping It Up, and How To Treat Diabetes. That paper about resolving the heart disease epidemic for good was written by another of my heroes, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who I've mentioned in China Study on Sudden Cardiac Death and The Tomato Effect. In addition, I have a half dozen articles profiling Dr. Dean Ornish's work, which was instrumental in changing my own diet 22 years ago. On Monday I'll start the Pritikin IGF-1 saga featured in Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death—I can't wait!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts:  Plant-Based Workplace Intervention and Diet and Cellulite 

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

    I’ve previously mentioned Dr. Barnard’s work with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Physician-Assisted Suicide? When Doctors Give Nutrition Advice, Dietary Guideline Graphics: From the Food Pyramid to My Plate, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate, and PCRM’s Power Plate, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Accused of Making Illegally Deceptive Claims, Paula Deen: Diabetes Drug Spokesperson, Atkins Diet: Trouble Keeping It Up, and How To Treat Diabetes. That paper about resolving the heart disease epidemic for good was written by another of my heroes, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who I’ve mentioned in China Study on Sudden Cardiac Death and The Tomato Effect. In addition, I have a half dozen articles profiling Dr. Dean Ornish’s work, which was instrumental in changing my own diet 22 years ago. On Monday I’ll start the Pritikin IGF-1 saga featured in Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death—I can’t wait!

    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

    • Coacervate

      When you’ve got suction cups on your fingers and toes you don’t have to exercise.  Its a workout just hanging out on the window. The hard part was keeping them off the arthropods.  Mmmm

  • http://poxacuatl.wordpress.com/ Strix

    How exciting! Maybe this will get some publicity. I’ve seen Dr. Barnard get some press occasionally; this study would be great to get out there since most people have heard of Geico.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670735069 Tan Truong

       True that.

      • http://poxacuatl.wordpress.com/ Strix

        Spread the word, stat! :^)

  • BPCveg

    I am not sure why you always cite Ornish as he does not test a vegan diet at all. Taken from your cited paper (pg.2, paragraph 9), ‘Can Lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease?’ :

    ” Experimental-group patients were asked to eat a low-fat vegetarian diet for at least a year. The diet included fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and soybean products without caloric restriction. Some take-home meals were provided for those who wanted them. No animal products were allowed except egg white and one cup per day of non-fat milk or yoghurt. The diet contained approximately 10% of calories as fat (polyunsaturated/saturatedratio greater than 1), 15-20% protein, and 70-75%predominantly complex carbohydrates. Cholesterol intake was limited to 5 mg/day or less. Salt was restricted only for hypertensive patients. Caffeine was eliminated, and alcohol was limited to no more than 2 units per day (alcohol
    was excluded for anyone with a history of alcoholism, and no one was encouraged
    to drink). The diet was nutritionally adequate and met the recommended daily
    allowances for all nutrients except vitamin B12’ which was supplemented.”ch was supplemented.

    • Veganrunner

      Hi BCCveg,

      Should we just ignore the data/research if it is not vegan? There are many a good health practitioners who advocate plant based diets and still will say “if needed” eat occasional free-range, grass fed.

      If the data demonstrates health benefits it is hard to argue unless one is vegan for animal cruelty reason.

      What do you think?

      • BPCveg

        Hi Veganrunner,

        My concern is that Dr. Greger’s video is misrepresenting Dr. Ornish’s study.  In ‘Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary artery disease’, Dr. Ornish was using an experimental diet that included animal products (eggs and milk), yet Dr. Greger’s video doesn’t even mention that. Instead he only focusses on the plant based aspects of the study.

        In another video (i.e. ‘Research into Reversing Aging February 22, 2011′) dealing with one of Dr. Ornish’s studies, Dr. Greger specifically states prior to presenting Ornish’s work that “it appears we have to eat vegan” whereas the study used an experimental group that took fish oil supplements daily. I commented under the video on this issue 12 months ago and received no response from Dr. Greger.

        Dr. Greger often says that he reads every nutrition article in the literature “so that we don’t have to” and if someone challenges him on his scientific acuracy, he has been known to retorts, “don’t shoot the messenger!”.

        Look, I am not writing this to shoot any messenger. I am simply asking the messenger to accurately report the message. 

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Strix,
    Sounds exciting but nothing new.  Great video though.
    I just keep plugging along teaching my patients the same plant based nutrition everyday and always see great successes in those that do it.
    Everyone gets better all the time!

    You see Dr. John McDougall showed the same thing with employees of (I think) Blue Cross Blue shield in Chicago.  The employees got better and the health care costs went down.  No one cared and no one seemed to take note for longer than a week.  Otherwise everyone would have jumped on the band wagon.

    Whole foods market owner John Mackey has been doing the same thing with his employees and showing improved health and decreased health care costs of their employees for over two years now, and it still falls upon deaf ears.

    I’m sure Dr. G can pull up even more studies showing the same thing and no one will take note for longer than a fleeting thought.

    Comon’  Medicare has put out estimates on the potential savings on Medicare cost expenditures at about 75% if we all went plant based.  That’s a potential estimated cost savings of between $500,000,000,000 to $900,000,000,000 per year.  Yes Billion! and nearly a Trillion dollars a year saved if this lifestyle was adopted. 
    How come no one is listening?  that would not only fix out healthcare ‘crisis’ but would eliminate the National Debt within two years!

    People love their meat and truly believe that our sickness care system will save them from their continued poor dietary choices once they have a heart attack, stroke cancer, diabetes, dementia etc.  Unfortunately they are sadly mistaken ;-{

    There is only one thing that has been shown to prevent, reverse and even cure disease and that is a whole food plant based eating lifestyle.  And this has been shown to do this with good solid scientific evidence for over twenty years!

    And best of all it doesn’t cost the consumer nor the government anything!  You don’t have to buy insurance, you don’t have to buy a new pill and you don’t have to go to your doctor every three months for the rest of your life!

    Why don’t we just follow an old Nike Slogan: “Just Do It!”

    • http://poxacuatl.wordpress.com/ Strix

       Keep plugging along is all we can do!

      I also get very discouraged. You can only use the excuse that people “just don’t know” for so long. People do know; they just don’t want to know. There are so many reasons “why?”; but I think one biggie is that people don’t want to change.

      I think one of the saddest things is knowing that the people eating whatever they want under the guise of wanting “happiness,” and not wanting a life of “deprivation,” is that when the sickness comes upon them, they realize they were wrong, and is too late. :*(

      I hate Nike but love that slogan. Have used it often and people get mad. They like excuses and reasons…blah, blah, blah. There are always reasons not to do something.

      Don’t be discouraged, Doc; you’re doing the good work :^)

  • Gilesset

    But this is exactly why I can’t be exclusively a vegan.  For those like myself who have great difficulty keeping weight on, such a diet is disastrous.  The very things that should help, like eating nuts, turn out to actually help one to reduce.  Without some form of animal fats I become almost skeletal.

    • http://poxacuatl.wordpress.com/ Strix

       Adding grains will help. More beans, if you can, too. I find those are more weight-gaining than fat!
      Some of the higher-calorie fruits, too.

      • Veganrunner

        Totally agree Strix. 

    • Andy

       There are some great Vegan Protein powders and Protein Bars made from Brown Rice Protein.  I have the same problem.  Went plant based lost a lot of weight and everyone thought I was unhealthy because they thought I was too skinny.  I’m going to try to get more protein from powders and shakes to build up some muscle to keep a fit look.

      • Gilesset

        Thanks, Andy.  It’s nice to know someone else has the same problem.  All one ever hears about is weight loss but for us, losing weight is the easy part.  I wish Dr.Gregor would address this issue.  I’ve known others who have abandoned the vegan diet because the ended up looking sick.

    • Adamtgardener

      Gilesset,

      There is a very ancient process going on here that comes down to this…Corruption cannot put on Incorruption. We have all gone along creating a human flesh and condition based on a nutritional paradigm that is completely false and misleading. In the end it has created a corrupt model for human flesh based in sickness and disease when the truest model would show you will never be sick again. What it comes down to is having enough Vision to see it through to the “end”…when a plant based diet will indeed keep you in the weight range you are most comfortable in. Also, there are a number of fresh, living protein drinks that can be made using sprouted brown rice, sprouted yellow corn, almonds or sesame seeds, raisins, dates or figs to sweeten, etc. I’ll have two sixteen ounce drinks for lunch and it sustains me through a grueling afternoon of concrete formwork which is very labor intensive. Good luck…don’t give up…let Spirit have Its Way with what you know to be true.

  • elias masri

    But the average waste circumference was still 41 inches? 41???????????

  • Shane Jackson

    Kind of hilarious they asked the participants not to alter their exercise habits during the intervention period. So if they “awakened” someone at the Geico headquarters to the need for better health they then asked the person not to try to get healthier until we get some usable data for the study.

  • Narrativeart

    I have been totally Vegan for a bit over 1 year now. I  lost about 30 pounds. I still need to loose about the same amount. Lately I have been having trouble gaining weight. I am getting confused as to who to believe. All the Plant based doctors have different advise about loosing weight. Shall I eat less Whole Grains? Or should I exclude nuts? Or should I eat less all together and start counting Points/ Calories. It would be nice if I could figure out what to do. I did like this Video a lot.

    • Toxins

       Why do you want to gain weight? As long as you are eating whole, unprocessed plant foods free of oils, caloric needs and energy expenditures are satisfied. That is, as long as you eat when your hungry till your full you should maintain a stable weight once losing the initial few pounds. You will not continue to lose weight to underweight levels. I personally prefer  complex carbohydrate based diet as Dr. McDougall recommends as this is the most satiating to me.

      • Narrativeart

         I made a mistake, I meant I have trouble losing the last 30 pounds that I feel are access weight. I do eat whole foods, no oil, sugar or salt. I also include nuts. I just see that other people following these diets lose a lot of weight very quickly, the only thing I can think of is that I perhaps overeat. I was just wondering that perhaps counting calories is then the answer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.krstulovich Diane Krstulovich

    GEICO ought to share their outstanding results with the owner of their company, Warren Buffet.  It would sure change his outlook about his prostate cancer.  But then, he’s kind of an old-fashioned guy.  He might prefer to spend his money on doctors who don’t cure anybody and just treat them – FOREVER! It’s worth a shot.

  • ruth

    this is so adorable! I love the geico and to see his little waist expand and contract in relation to the vegan diet is just too cute!
    Your videos are my daily cheerup and inspiration! Thank you!