Doctor's Note

Also check out my more recent videos on omega-3 fatty acids:
The Mediterranean Diet or a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?
PREDIMED: Does Eating Nuts Prevent Strokes?
Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development
PCBs in Children’s Fish Oil Supplements

And check out my other videos on fish and my other videos on industrial toxins

For more context, see my associated blog post: EPA dioxin limit has National Chicken Council worried products could be declared “unfit for consumption”.

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  • 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 fish and industrial toxins. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    And check out my associated blog post EPA dioxin limit has National Chicken Council worried products could be declared “unfit for consumption”.

  • DSikes

    What was that brand of algae-based DHA? I’ve been trying to find a local source and could only find one: a prenatal DHA pill. The price is about twice that of fish oil (family of 5 would use $46 / month = two bottles of 60 pills). My wife thinks this is too costly so I’m hoping to find another source…

  • TheCheryl

    PLEASE INCREASE THE VOLUME ON YOUR VIDEOS – AT LEAST ON INTERNET POSTINGS! Today I listened to several of your videos for the first time. I found them fascinating + extremely useful. I would like to listen to them again, and others of yours, BUT:

    Trying to hear them was TORTURE, because the volume is MUCH too low. Both the videos’ volume AND my computer’s volume were at 100%. Yet I could barely hear the audio – and had to lean my head over close to my laptop’s speakers to do so! (And this was in a quiet room.)

    FYI my laptop has excellent speakers which I normally keep at 50% volume. I rarely have to increase it for certain listening, and never past 75%. And I am NOT hard of hearing!

    Thank you for honoring my request.

    A fan.

    • Laura

      Underneath the video there is a transcript button you can select so you can read what is said in the video. That has helped me when I don’t have speakers.

  • Oh geez! I feel horrible. I ate 3oz of salmon twice per week while pregnant and nursing I ate it 3 to 4 times. I also gave both my kids commercial fish oil drops, but on the package it says most of the toxins and metals have been removed. GEEZ! Now I feel like my breastmilk is toxic as was my entire pregnancy!!!!

  • Alan Warren

    How many times  a week is it safe to eat canned wild sockeye salmon and wild sockeye salmon?
    My email is alanw.@axxent:disqus .ca 
    Thank you.
    Alan Warren

    • Toxins

       Dr. Greger recommends a pure plant based diet. Fish, whether it be wild caught or not, has a myriad of pollutants and heavy metals. It is advised to completely avoid fish products.

      • Me

         Unfortunately he doesn’t keep things in perspective.  All the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides on all his GODLY fruits and vegetables are WAY MORE TOXIC than eating a little fish or lean chicken/turkey breast.  Not everyone can buy all organic produce, and most of it is not truly organic anyways.  The best diet is MOSTLY plant based, with some lean turkey/chicken and fish in small portions. Avoid all red meat.  Vegans get cancer from these pesticides and they still have heart attacks.

        • Me

           Dr. G gets upset with NANOGRAMS of pollutants in fish, but MILLIGRAMS of pesticide on my fruits and vegetables is perfectly safe according to him?  The science is wrong, and I am a scientist, biologist, and health care worker.

          • Me

             I respect Dr. G’s beliefs not to eat animal products, but trying to convince the world that being a vegan will make you live forever and never get diseases is ridiculous.  I know a vegan marathon runner that dropped dead from a heart attack climbing some stairs on vacation.  As long as you avoid smoking, red meat, and other self destructive habits, you will live to when you are genetically programmed to live. You will eventually get the disease your body will succumb to in old age.  Dr. G. seems to think eating his diet will prevent or cure cancer because it does in a petri dish. That is not real life.  Maybe vegans can live a couple years longer than if they were omnivors, but sacrificing 60 years of quality life to get to live 2 more miserable years in old age is silly.  Everything in moderation.  Take things with some common sense, his anti-aging diet has left him with less hair and looking older that myself, a healthy omnivor of the same age.  Fruits and vegetables are not a miracle, they are a part of a healthy diet. The END.

          • Toxins

             Vegan does not equal healthy. Whole foods plant based does. A vegan can eat white pasta, french fries and candy all day long and still be vegan. Furthermore, the limitation of oils is essential to completely prevent athleroscerotic lesions from developing.

            If you have kept up with the latest science you should know that vegans will in fact, at the biologoical level, live longer then omnivores.

            There are several contributions to aging and dying. One factor
            includes breaks in our DNA, which contributes to organ failure and
            cancers. The amount of DNA breaks in a 65 year old vegetarian eater is
            equal of that of a 25 year old omnivore. This is significant.
            one is completely plant based, we promote our DNA repair mechanism
            significantly and also protect our DNA from damage, where as one eats
            animals products, we expose our DNA to a lot of oxidative stress.

            At the ends of our chromosomes is a cap called a telomere. Every time
            our cell divides, this cap gets shorter and shorter, think of it like a
            burning rope. Once the telomere runs out, our cell no longer divides,
            and dies. We can actually measure our age based solely on the length of
            our telomeres.
            logic now here is how do we keep our telomeres from shortening so
            much, or better yet, how can we repair our telomeres? Well thankfully,
            our body has a repair mechanism, similar to the DNA repair mechanism,
            that will lengthen our telomeres. It isn’t perfect of course, because it
            will shorten faster than it can repair, but its better than no
            lengthening at all. The study link below shows how processed meat can
            shorten our telomeres by up to 14 years, while fish (due to contaminant
            levels) can shorten our telomeres by 6 years.
            After 3 months on a whole foods plant based diet + exercise, one can significantly boost telomere growth activity.

            It is a known fact that aging is directly correlated with eating
            now we have more evidence to prove this.  Denham Harman discovered
            that the mitochondria had a significant role in aging and he described
            aging as a “disease”.
            i described above, our DNA gets attacked by oxidation on a daily
            basis.  Oxidation is like rusting, and we can think of aging as rusting.
            We prevent this by eating antioxidants, found in plants. Our mitochondria though is the power plant of our cells and the antioxidants
            cant get to the mitochondria without the help of a special enzyme
            called superoxide dismutase. Its a detox enzyme within the mitochondria 
            that converts the superoxide molecule (which is damaging) back to
            regular oxygen., Its like a bomb diffuser. It has been linked with tumor
            It is considered neuroprotective
            And the reason women live longer than men is because they have better superoxide disumutase activity.
            The mitochondria has been accepted in the scientific community as the greatest factor in aging
            do we boost this enzyme? We have to be a plant based eater. Our
            superoxide dismutase enzyme is about 4 times more effective when we are

          • Christo Okulian

            nice answer bro toxin. I love the facts that u provide.

          • Toxins

            Furthermore, DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in the human body. It can be viewed as the hormone that extends lifespan and the more we have of it the longer we live. Caloric restriction has been shown to upregulate the production of this hormone, but there is a better way then walking around starving. Researchers found after just 5 days on an egg free vegetarian diet, blood levels of DHEA rose about 20% compared with those on the meat based diets. The vegetarians weren’t producing more DHEA, they were actually keeping more of it and losing less through urine. These levels of DHEA are something you would only see in fasting people or those experiencing caloric restriction.

            Interesting still is that the calories were controlled in both the vegetarian diet and meat based diet so the caloric intake was equal.

            In summary, if one is on a plant based diet, they can mimic the levels of DHEA found in caloric restriction without going around hungry, thereby significantly increasing lifespan.

            What is your evidence that vegans will not live much longer than omnivores?

          • Toxins

             If you truly are a “scientist” then you should be well aware of the abundance of data supporting a whole foods plant based vegan diet. Also, you would be best supporting your claims with evidence.

        • Toxins

           If one is on a whole foods plant based diet then the amount of pollutants exposed to ones body is significantly lower. What you find on non organic vegetables and fruit pale in comparison to what you find in fish and chicken. Do you have any evidence to support your claims? How exactly do whole foods, plant based vegans develop heart disease? Where is your evidence?

          Lets look at fish alone shall we:

          Flame retardants are found in fish

          a large quantity of dioxins are found in fish

          Methyl mercury found in fish which has been linked with neurological impairment in children and cause other neurological impairments in adults

          Endocrine disrupting xenoestrogens in fish may be interfering with male fertility.

          DDT found in fish

          Pharmaceuticals flushed into our waterways end up contaminating fish, such as Prozac residues.

          Blood arsenic levels are actually used as an indicator of how much seafood one is eating.

          Fish and fish oil are the top 2 sources of PCB’s

          and this is JUST Looking at contaminants, ignoring what other baggage fish entails and ignoring biological contaminants as well.

          You cannot really justify your position to say that non organic fruits or vegetables are more polluted then fish, this is simply nonsense.

          • Me

             Yes, there are toxins in animals. But there are more
            toxins (PESTICIDES DIRECTLY SPRAYED ON AND INCORPORATED INTO ALL PLANTS AND VEGETABLES) in vegetables and plants than meat.  Every pesticide used is a PROVEN carcinogen, why would you want to eat a ton of that?  Sure fish and chicken have some toxins in them, but they are not like plants that have airplanes dump TONS of carcinogens on them.  And fish oil has been proven to be beneficial for everything from heart disease to eyesight, depression, arthritis, etc.  I agree and would not trust Joe’s Fish Oil.  But Omapure makes fish oil out of sardines and anchovies (which have next to no contaminants since they are small fish) and then they molecularly distill it, and then it is tested by another company and labeled as Pharmaceutical grade fish oil.  Buy Omapure, or you can spend TEN times the money and get one tenth of the Omegas from an overpriced, insufficient dose Algae source pill.  Why do you vegans always fail to realize how much MORE damaging pesticides are then any of the minor parts per billion of toxins found in animals?  And where is arsenic? In the ground where plants grow.  I agree that nothing should be taken to the extreme, like eating bacon, eggs, steak every day.  But a little of something is a different story.  A baby aspirin a day will make you live longer, prevent heart attacks and colon cancer. A bottle of aspirin will kill you.  A little pesticide on your fruits and vegetables is the same risk factor as a little pcb, dioxin, arsenic, mercury, whatever in fish.  And do you what population lives the longest?  The ones that eat no plants, basically only fish and whale blubber, yes Eskimos. There are not many plants growing in Antartica, yet they live the longest.  It all comes down mainly to genetics and the rest to a REASONABLE diet.

          • Me

             Veganism is like a religion, it is bad when anything gets that fanatical in life.  Do I eat at McDonalds every day? No, that would be bad.  But I will go to Subway, get a whole wheat sub with all the veggies, and yes, heaven forbid, the 4 slices of paper thin turkey breast they put on it.  Do you really think that amount of turkey is killing me?  Get real.  I know that red meat is carcinogenic, but I also personally know Oncologists who will eat steak fairly regularly.  The oncologists I know say that the ONLY two things that really matter in your health and odds of getting cancer are genetics and smoking.  I take vitamins, but they also say that vitamins are also no protection (except maybe D), and the only supplement oncolgists usually take is Aspirin!

          • Toxins

             Again, your statements are personal anecdotes and opinions. Provide some scientific evidence from peer reviewed medical journals. A good place to start is here.

          • Mirna

            Ummm, McDonalds is bad overall because the small GOOD (being the lettuce) is overshadowed by all the BAD; like the white bread bun (highly refined), mayo & cheese (just plain gross fat), and the mystery-meat patty from a sick cow on antibiotics… and the turkeys are just as ill, so stop crying about it. All I hear from you is “Waah, waah, I want my indulgence because I’m weak with no discipline.”

            The whole thread is about how you just got bad news you couldn’t handle so you threw a tantrum instead.

          • gr

            Next time you have a dinner at their house, ask them to let you have a look in their medicine cabinet. Maybe you could share some prescription secrets they may have. I love healthcare professionals that talk about health but fail to stay abreast of the latest or even some of the older studies.

            I don’t know about you but I’d rather eat plants than animals but if you need that animal in your belly because of your addiction then its ok. I hear the meat sweats is very real.

          • Toxins

             With lack of scientific evidence your statements are simply opinions and some of them are blatantly false. As you explore this website, you will see many of your questions answered and many of your statements proven faulty. Not only that, but there is science to back up what is claimed on this website where as there is none to back up your claims.

          • Me

             When a group of 60 year old oncologists who have seen patients live and die for 40 years all remain healthy omnivors, there is some proof.  If diet was the key to preventing cancer, other diseases, and prolong life, DON’T YOU THINK EVERY PHYSICIAN WOULD BE VEGAN?  GUESS WHAT, PHYSICIANS ARE NO MORE LIKELY TO BE VEGAN THEN THE REST OF THE POPULATION. AND THEY ARE HIGHLY EDUCATED AND KNOW WHAT DOES AND DOES NOT CAUSE DISEASE AND DEATH. 

          • Me

             You know what, go on denying yourself any animal products, inconvience people at partys or dinners, etc. Go ahead and live to be 106 with 80 years of whatching everything you eat.  I will eat SENSIBLY and live to 100 with my shorter telomeres, and be happier in the process.

          • Toxins

            I find a healthier body, tasty foods and degenerative disease free increased lifespan to be quite satisfying actually and I am in no way (nor are most vegans) dissatisfied with my dietary choices. To each his own.

          • Me

             I like potato chips.  Potato chips are vegan. Even the healthiest potato chips that are only potatoes and olive oil or peanut oil are still cancerous.  Will I eat a giant bag every day? No, but will I deny myself potato chips because they are bad for me? No.  If you drank a 2 liter of Coke every day you would definately get cavities and ulcers. If you drank a dixie cup of Coke a day, NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU.  It is all about degree and amounts.  You vegans don’t get that.  You will eat potato chips anytime, but never a piece of fish?  REALLY??

          • Mirna

            Not true. I never ate anything fried, even before I was vegan. Your statement is silly. Everyone knows (except you) that fried foods are bad. Period.

          • Toxins

            I believe you have failed to read my responses to you in their entirety. Potato chips, nor is oil healthy.The idea is whole foods plant based. This essentially means unrefined foods.

            As for “Moderation” Jeff Novick, world renowned nutritionist, puts it best.

            “The items we know that are causing harm to Americans right now are
            the excess consumption of added sugars, refined grains, sodium, fat, and
            saturated fat.
            So, how much does the average American consume of these?
            Added Sugars – 242% over the recommended upper limit.
            Refined Grains – 200% over the recommended upper limit.
            Sodium – 229% over the recommended upper limit.
            Saturated fats – 158% over the recommended upper limit.
            Solid fats – 281% over the recommended upper limit.
            Therefore, these are 5 items we can no longer consume “in moderation” as
            their current level of consumption is far beyond the level we know to
            cause harm.   The only solution is a dramatic reduction in the amounts
            we consume of these items.   Then, and only then, perhaps we can again,
            consume these things in moderation.
            However, there is also a flip side to the saying “everything in moderation.”  
            There are items that we know are very beneficial, that we should be
            consuming a certain amount of in order to gain their benefit.  These are
            fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber.  
            So, how much does the average American consume of these?
            Fruits – only 42% of the recommended minimum intake.
            Vegetables – only 59% of the recommended minimum intake.
            Whole Grains – only 15% of the recommended minimum intake.
            Fiber – only 40% of the recommended minimum intake.
            these are also items we can no longer consume in moderation as their
            current level of consumption is far below the level we know to be
            beneficial.   The only solution is a dramatic increase in the amounts
            we consume of these items.   Then, and only then, perhaps we can again,
            consume these things in moderation.”

          • Toxins

            Firstly, you have no evidence that just  because they are from China that goji berries are not safe.

            Secondly Meat contains approximately 14 times more pesticides than do plant foods…Thus, by eating foods of animal origin, one ingests greatly concentrated amounts of hazardous chemicals. The reason for these high levels of contamination is because most pesticides and herbicides are attracted to and stored in fat.  Low levels found on the grasses and grains that are fed to the chicken, pigs and cattle accumulate in their body fat in very high concentrations for people to eat.

            Thirdly, it is far healthier to consume a pesticide laden apple then it would ever be to consume a filet of fish. If one is truly concerned about pesticides, then avoiding the “dirty dozen” apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines,
            peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries would be best

            Fourthly, this is an issue of only pesticides we are dealing with, you have not considered other very harmful components of animal products such as cholesterol, trans fat, endotoxins, xenoestrogens etc.

            A more in depth look on organic vs conventional can be viewed on Jeff Novick’s forum where  he cites many studies comparing the two and showing that in the long run it really doesn’t matter whether one eats organic or conventional as long as they are eating fruits, vegetables and starches.

          • Me

             Wow seriously, The Dirty Dozen? Those are the ONLY fruits and vegetables I eat. Apples, berries, celery,spinach. Oh well, I am screwed with a vegan diet of those of a regular diet, so guess I will just stick to everything in moderation.

          • A scientist, biologist and a health care worker who hasn’t heard of the Dirty Dozen? You claim to be a scientist but your arguments couldn’t be further from the scientific method. You argue based on anecdotes and a lack of logic backed up by no facts or science.

          • Me

             It seems to me that there are no foods that YOU can actually eat safely.  Could you post your grocery list and foods you eat so I can see if it is even possible to stick to only those 3 foods?

          • Mirna

            You are a gold mine! I’m sad to see it wasted on the “voluntarily blind”…

          • Read all your comments here. No evidence, followed by attempts of distraction. Grasping for straws.

          • Toxins

            Your lack or professionalism drastically takes away credibility from your statements. I will link you to several videos answering some of your questions in the above statement.





            Furthermore, your “evidence” is not proof nor is it really evidence. Again, explore the science itself at the primary source, not the opinions of others.

          • Me

             Hmm, I am sitting here eating the worlds healthiest food. Dried Goji berries from Whole Foods. Then I notice the fine print, they are from China. WHO know WHAT THE HELL contaminants are in them? China constantly lies about safety.  No food is really safe.  All I am saying is you must admit that all the plants you eat have carcinogens sprayed on and in them. Why do you fail to see that that is just as bad as the toxins in fish or chicken??

          • beccadoggie10

            The U.S. government also lies about what contaminates are in our food, air, and water. The Congress protects themselves but deregulates laws or defunds agencies that protect the rest of us.
            Not all the Congress behaves like this, but certainly those who are against raising taxes to cover the debt created by everyone in Congress since FDR, including those conservatives who attach riders to appropriation bills.

          • annoyed

            oh fcuk off “me”. your noise is garbage, we are here for science, we can’t afford organic is bullshit. those same people buy take aways, alcohol and cigarettes. stfu already

          • LumLum2500

            I’ve heard Dr. Michael Klaper say the exact same thing as in the above 4 videos.

          • Mirna

            So what are you suggesting? If all plants are bad, what will you eat? You are FAR from a carnivore and ALL animal proteins grow cancer cells. You can bash the plants all you want, in the end, you’re stuck. You can’t live off fish alone and God help you if you tried. If you are that worried, grow your own produce, geez.

          • beccadoggie10

            My soil is now contaminated with radionuclides brought in accidentally by my husband from a company that mixed sweepings or diggings from production waters contaminated with Normally Occurring Radioactive Materials and dumped into my backyard.

            My dog tasted the newly spread soil which filled some of the holes from downed trees after hurricane Lili, and less than three months later she was dying of a fast growing bone cancer after just receiving a good health report from her veterinarian.

            I cannot use the soil in my yard to grow food, even if I could get down to the ground. So I’ve ordered cedar raised beds from Vermont and soil in hopes that it is cleaner than Louisiana. And, all summer I’ve made my compost in preparation for planting this fall.

            If all works out, I’ll buy more raised beds next year and place them where we have 6 hours of sun. Then, I’ll learn to put up foods like my mother did during WWII. The difference is I’ve led a soft life and at the age of 71 now have osteoporosis. So it depends how I do at getting stronger to how much I can accomplish.

            But I enjoyed gardening organically in the past, so I hope I’ll be able to pay people to help me garden this fall.

  • Jrodriguesrd

    I take Res-Q 1250, which on the label says its “the purest, most potent, pharmaceutical grade omega-3 marine oil”  Is this ok to take, or all those contaminents really not able to be removed?

  • Dan Winkler

    Looks like this is the brand of algae DHA shown in the video:

  • joyce

    the fact that animals suffer so horribly when killed for eating is enough for me not to eat meat ever. I need no other reason.

    • beccadoggie10

      When we visited China in 2005 and I heard as well as saw a white duck which had regularly been fed being swooped up, and his neck wrung in preparation for fresh Peking Duck for its master’s customers, I ate vegan on the rest of the trip.

      But it was not until 2012 when the pain I experienced from a fractured spine led me to purchasing a book by Neal Barnard, M.D. that I changed my diet to vegan to reduce the pain and inflammation, not just in my mind but in my entire body.

      When I give into my cravings and eat any animal protein, I experience pain and inflammation, and when I eat a plant based diet, it lessens or disappears. There is nothing like experiencing that pain to make one change their ways.

  • beccadoggie10

    The pollutants that have accumulated in wild Alaskan salmon explains to me the why my body screamed in pain several hours after eating a serving of wild sockeye salmon.

    I began dreaming about eating anything that was not green and swam instead of growing roots.

    Alas, my compost pile is nearly finished and my raised bed needs to be assembled for the late fall planting of collards, which I’ll grow, wash, blanch and freeze.

    I crave anything that does not grow roots. But, it’s not worth the pain or the toxic outcome of eating industrial poisons and GMO’s in what used to be called food.

  • annoyed

    someone ban this “me” idiot already

  • xtopher66

    God this is a hornets nest of vegetarians. Dioxins can be found in all food sources. Maybe larger in fish or meat, although the study group numbers are always low, they are shown in vegeterians too, urban and rural, READ the studies! Vegetarians are also exposed to GMO food sources, pesticides and poor soil nutrients. What we are all agreeing on is we live in a toxic world and clearly diet alone is just one of the contenders in limiting out life span. We are indeed being poisoned by the industrialists. Life expectancy rates year on year have increased in the western world due to the overall improvement of controlling infectious diseases mainly and not lifestyle choices between omnivores or vegetarians. Maybe you all think eating more greens is going to save you from an early death but it isnt. I suggest you check your water, air pollution, fabrics, medications. If you americans have moved on from creational theory to evolutional theory yet, then you should know that nature makes all the smart moves for a reason. The reason we have been given a digestive system to cope with metabolising such a varied food source is because it makes us a versatile species to evolve over all other species. No other creature has this ability. Therefore, nature has evolved us to happily accept these varied food sources, in the right balance. We are also very capable of dealing with poisons and toxins as we do find in the natural world as we always have. Most of these studies show tiny amounts and you would have to consume fish for example on a massive amount to have serious effects.

    • Toxins

      You raise points that are discussed and clarified throughout Yes those on a plant based diet are exposed to some pollutants, but not nearly to the degree as those on an omnivorous diet. The effects of bio-accumulation are important.

      Also, we actually do not need to consume much fish at all to have harmful effects from the pollutants.

      There is FAR more wrong with animal foods than pollutants, and the most convincing evidence to abandon the consumption of animal products is not because of the pollutants.

      I encourage you to further explore this site before you jump to rash conclusions. The purpose of is to share the science, not the opinions.

  • I have been talking to some folks that seem to think wild caught salmon is the best thing since sliced bread. While they discourage eating much beef or chicken, they encourage people to eat a lot of wild caught salmon. “Since omega-3 fat, primarliy DHA, is the most important structural component of the brain cell membrane, it stands to reason that it is also good for the retina…astaxanthin, which is even a more potent antioxidant than lutein, vitamin E, and beta-carotone… A study in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that people who have a high omega-3 DHA intake cut their risk of ARMD- the leading cause of blindness in people over fifty- in half…” It sounds fishy to me. I notice in a few of your videos that you point out that wild caught salmon is a lot less contaminated than farmed, but can you tell us if wild caught salmon is contaminated enough or dangerous in other ways that we should really not eat it at all?