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 theother videos on vegetables and cancer. Also, there are 1,448 other subjectscovered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer and DietNutritionFacts.org: the first monthFoods That May Block Cancer Formation, and Which Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?

  • 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 vegetables and cancer. Also, there are 1,448 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516115900 Scott Harris

    When I click on the article under “Sources Cited,” I do NOT get that article, but rather one with a similar name from 2002 with different authors. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Scott–thank you so much for finding that! The link was wrong but has now been corrected.

  • maybush1

    Dr. Greger,

    I was interested in your take on what the abstract of this cited paper says with respect to antioxidant levels of the vegetables tested and the anticancer affects they have. I’m actually very surprised!! The abstract says:

    “The antiproliferative effect of vegetables was specific to cells of cancerous origin and was found to be **largely independent** of their antioxidant properties.” [my emphasis]

    So, what this seems to me to be saying is that we may not want to be focusing on the antioxidant levels of plant-based foods afterall (at least not for possible anti-cancer affects)…??

  • http://www.facebook.com/FredrickHahn Fredrick Hahn

    Here’s the thing – there is no magic to vegetables. People who have cancer and remove refined sugars from their diet significantly decrease the #1 fuel source of virtually all cancers – and that is glucose.

    But to combat cancer even better, adopting a VLCKD is the best choice. This would entail removing virtually all carbohydrate from the diet.

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/33

    This deals with brain cancer but since virtually all cancers use glucose as their fuel source, a VLCKD should work in the same manner and other research papers have shown such.

    Other resources:

    http://www.carbohydratescankill.com/3010/there-role-for-carbohydrate-restriction-treatment-prevention-of-cancer-yes-of-course

    There is no magic to vegetables. There is just much harm in processed sugars and high blood glycemia.

    • Toxins

      Frederick
      Its funny you keep talking about “fueling” the cancer with glucose when ALL our cells run on glucose. Again, eliminating carbohydrates does not make any sense. Your health outlook is severely skewed to viewing all carbohydrates as bad, which is plain wrong. It has been shown that cancer proliferation does in fact cease with certain vegetables.
      http://missclasses.com/mp3s/Prize%20CD%202010/Previous%20years/Antioxidants/Mindblower.pdf

      • http://www.seriousstrength.com Fredrick Hahn

        That paper shows how certain plant components affect cancer in a lab, not in the human body.

        You said:

        “Its funny you keep talking about “fueling” the cancer with glucose when ALL our cells run on glucose.”

        No they don’t. They can, but not always. They can run just fine on fat and ketone bodies – better in fact. And glucose can and is made via gluconeogenesis. No need for carbs in the diet at all in order to obtain all the glucose you need. I’m amazed you don’t know that.

        And cancer cells DO feed on glucose. Have you not read the research? Allow me to start you on your journey:

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2394295/

        “Again, eliminating carbohydrates does not make any sense.”

        It makes perfect sense to keep blood glucose levels normal best done by limiting carbohydrate intake. And it sure matters a lot to the diabetic.

        “Your health outlook is severely skewed to viewing all carbohydrates as bad, which is plain wrong.”

        Strawman. I never said that. I’ve said many times that most vegetables and some seasonal fruits are quite good for you. It’s the grains that need to go.

        “It has been shown that cancer proliferation does in fact cease with certain vegetables.”

        Really? Show me the research that supports this.

        And again, the idea that vegetables are the reason for a slowing of cancer fail to take into account that when people have cancer and go vegan, they also remove all the junk food from their diets. THAT is what is most responsible for the slowing down of cancer not the vegetables themselves.

        I challenge you to put up your most recent blood panel. Here are my fasting numbers from 5/2011 (I’m 50 yrs. old):

        HDL: 83
        HDL3: 61
        LDL: 174
        LDL Pattern: A (large buoyant)
        HbA1c: 5.6
        Triglycerides direct: 57
        CRP: 1.0

        • Toxins

          2 links Frederick,
          http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/atkins-diet-trouble-keeping-it-up/
          http://www.atkinsexposed.org/

          Regardless if it was in a lab, the fact that these vegetables affected the cancer cells themselves, to the extent of stopping the growth, sends a powerful message. Let’s see beef extracts do that in a lab.

          The paleo diet is not supported by any credible health foundation, for good reason. Ketosis is harmful in the long run, as explained thoroughly by Dr. Greger, i dont need to do any copy and pasting for that. From what i understand by your response, u view vegetables as vitamins and water. Antioxidants and phytonutrients in vegetables are what makes them so healthy and helps prevent cancer. Go look at the many studies Dr. Greger cites from this link
          http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/slowing-the-growth-of-cancer-3/
          Showing the marked decrease in cancer risk with vegetables consumption and how meat significantly increases this risk.
          I am assuming since you think grains are so bad that the past rural Japanese populations, that had most of their diet comprised of rice, had short lifespans and poor health? No, they thrived. They were known to be typically centenarians. Same story for the Okinawan.

          P.S. I have never had a blood test taken (last time i remember I was 6 years old), I have not had any bodily issues.

  • Anne-Marie

    Hi Michael or any volunteer,
    I want to know if it’s possible to have the complete article cited in this video. It will be useful for me.
    Anne-Marie Roy

  • krandersen

    Dr. Gregor, first of all, thank you! Love the site!

    In this video you didn’t reveal the full lifting of the vegetables and their respective rankings in the charts relative to different cancers. Do you address that else where? Would love to see full charts with veggies listed. Thanks.

  • Shivamoon

    Thank you, Dr. Gregor. Excellent information.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Breast Cancer and Diet!

  • Sergei

    Dr. Greger,

    I pulled the paper you cited. Figure 1
    puzzles me. Yes, garlic kills all tumor cells. But I also see that
    orange bell peppers and radish make pancreatic carcinoma worse (even if
    you account for the error). The same goes for jalapeno and tomato in
    case of lung cancer. Does this mean we should stop eating these
    vegetables?

    Thanks.

    • Toxins

      No, of course not! This is all in vitro which means outside of the body. These vegetables are good guidelines but they are not solid proof that cancer will completely stop in their presence in vivo until further studies are done. Keep eating your bell peppers and jalapenos with a peace of mind.

  • Janet

    Dr. Greger,

    My question is about the study(ies) relating to brain tumors and spinach and beet roots demonstrating anticancer effects. Did the study(ies) include oligodendrogliomas?

    Thank you for posting these videos–they are very informative!

  • tracy c

    My son is 25 and sadly just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is having 5 weeks aggressive chemo and then Whipple surgery. I just started him on a whole foods plant based diet with two fresh green juices a day. A big raw salad and lightly steamed cruciferous veggies with fresh garlic or fresh garlic dressing. Is there anything else I should feed him? He has beans and hole grains and sweet potatoes too. I need to get as much tumor fighting food in his body to combat the cancer.

  • tracy c

    * whole* not hole

  • Tobias Brown

    As much as I’m a fan, I don’t see the connection between the effect of these vegetables on cancer outside the human body. It’s quite a leap for me to accept that the outcome of these petri dish studies have anything to do with what goes on in our bodies. There may be an influence but then… how do we know that in a real bodily context the other veggies don’t have a powerful effect as well. I want to believe it and I’m excited to eat more of the powerful veggies, but I can’t help but doubt the validity of this science. (Again, you take a simple lab context and correlate this to an immensely more complicated human body context.) Please, I’d like to think otherwise.

  • Tobias Brown

    What does the study mean by “living human cancers”? Where these in living human bodies or outside them? The earlier studies required a leap of faith, why don’t these studies also require a leap of faith? Don’t get me wrong, I tend to want to believe it. But my mind requires me to question this…

  • guest

    Author George Johnson has just published a book entitled The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery in which he apparently (I haven’t read the book yet) claims that “large-scale studies have failed to show a strong relationship between consuming more fruits and vegetables and a lower incidence of cancer.” This quote is from a Mother Jones magazine article on the book, and it goes on to cite how “clinical trials using vitamin supplements have actually shown increased risk of cancer in certain populations, and have cast doubt on the significance of micronutrients in reducing your overall mortality.”

    Do you have any comments on this? I’d expect the book to have a more nuanced discussion; perhaps the Mother Jones article conflated consumption of vitamin supplements with consumption of whole vegetables containing those vitamins, which, from my understanding of your research reviews, are two very different modalities?

  • bobcchicago

    Dr. Greger,

    Great video. Please tell me where is the vegetable breakdowns for specific cancers? Thank you.

  • Robert Taylor

    will garlic, bell peppers and beet help in the cure of prostate cancer

  • nez

    Just diagnosed with stage 2c prostate cancer that. I have been basically 95% gluten free, meat fee, dairy free for a year but am evidently losing the battle. I am being told I will need either surgery & radiation, or hormone treatment with 2 types of radiation therapy. Please suggest nutrition resources specific to fighting and recovering from this type of cancer.