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  • Doctor Dave

    Welcome to government of, for, and by the corporations. They even have personhood status now, thanks to the Supreme Court. In Lincoln’s day it was government of, for, and by the people. Progress, or not so much?

  • guest

    Wondering if you have any thoughts on what specific foods can break down the blood brain barrier/weaken it, and which, if any, can build it back up.
    What effect does a high-fat diet have, and how about a high-Glycemic diet’s effect?

    I don’t have any “industry made” food items in my diet, but I do have mother nature made items and even some of these, in wrong quantities, combinations, maybe, … well as spices….cause the BB barrier to weaken? It only makes sense that some of the “natural” stuff, and is not so good for us as well.

    • Thea

      guest: I don’t understand the concern about breaking down the blood-brain barrier, but I presume you are interested in brain health and preventing dementia and Alzheimers. For that concern, I can highly recommend the well-researched book by the well-respected Dr. Barnard:

      “Power Foods For The Brain”

      Dr. Barnard addresses all sorts of food related issues and to top it all off, the back of the book has recipes.

      • Jillian Bland

        Would it have anything to do with cancer cells?

    • Jillian Bland

      Ginkgo Beloba , not sure if I spelt that right, is supposed to get through , but you have to watch that you don’t have high blood pressure before you take it.

  • Tobias Brown

    The way our society runs leaves a great deal to be desired. How can the public be so behind the curve here? It’s really pathetic. And it makes me so angry that my head could explode. And it’s not only in the area of our food supply. Check out what the experts in field of finance have done to harm the US public over the past 7-8 years.

    • Thea

      Tobias Brown: It really does “blow the mind” away how callous our fellow citizens have been.

      In terms of exploding heads: I do hope you will keep your brains inside. ;-) We need people like you to bring sanity to the situation.

  • guest

    ‘rent a scientist’! I love your one liners Dr. G. Can I use this tomorrow at work? I’ll either get a chuckle or a grimace.

  • Guest

    Can someone please let me what I can do to make tomatoes and potatoes not have arthritic effects on me? I have tried cooking various ways, as well as raw. I know they are nightshades. Anyone else get horrible arthritic symptoms as a result of eating these?

    • Stewart

      I have a similar problem with arthritis only it was gluten sensitivity. The pain was sufficient and the recommended treatment (methotrexate) so hideous that I have no inclination to eat gluten containing products. However I was also vitamin d deficient and when I corrected that I reduced the sensitivity. Still had some residual symptoms so I went with a whole foods plant based diet thinking that animal have just too many pro inflammatory factors. Indeed the arthritis is 100% history.
      Now my gluten sensitivity seems to be greatly lessened.

      • Thea

        Stewart: That’s fascinating that going plant-based had an effect on your gluten sensitivity. Good for you for making a (difficult for some people) change that improved your health.

        Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

      • Leslie

        I am wondering if the vitamin D was just a “steroid like” band aid for you. I have had experiences where vitamin D took away my issues, but if i stopped taking the D the issues came back. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, not a vitamin. Can’t help but think that in peeps with autoimmune issues, the vitamin D does not get to the root of the problem, just puts a band aid on it.

        • Stewart

          Leslie,you are right that in your suspicion that Vitamin d is not really a true vitamin. “Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin, ie, it is not an essential dietary factor; rather, it is a prohormone produced
          photochemically in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol. The molecular structure
          of vitamin D is closely allied to that of classic steroid hormones (eg,estradiol, cortisol, and aldosterone) in that they have the same root
          cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene ring structure.” (Anthony W Norman in Am J Clin Nutr August 2008 vol.88 no. 2 491S-499S).
          However, regardless of structure as
          a steroid or secosteroid, it is essential in human (and indeed vertebrate )health.

          There is a growing awareness of the ramifications of vitamin d deficiency. Depending on geography and culture. At least half the world seems to be mildly to severely vitamin d deficient. In severe cases this can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Chronic insufficiency shows evidence of promoting immune system disorders, osteoporosis, dental problems, cancer et al.

          Other than at far north latitudes in the winter, we can get adequate vitamin d with 10 to 20 minutes of sun a day. This much sun will give us 10 to 20,000 units of vitamin d. With today’s culture this is difficult for most of us (except lifeguards). (Many years ago I might have gotten applause from neighbors for lying in the back yard nude. Today I would probably get arrested.) In any case with indoor jobs daily sunning is not done by most. So my levels of 25(OH)D were extremely low when I developed arthritis. I was taking a supplement of 2,000 units per day but it was not enough. When taking 5,000 units per day (according to the label) my levels returned to normal and my gluten sensitivity was greatly reduced but not eliminated.

          While vitamin d is important, my point is that such things as arthritis are generally caused by a multiplicity of factors, all of which can have a major impact. I reduced the factors in my symptoms to three, but that enumeration is itself overly simplistic. A whole foods plant based diet is not a thing. It is a monumental system with an
          incredible range of phyto nutrients working in tandem with and sometimes against
          other things. Gluten was provoking my immune
          system to be misdirected while others have enhanced and refined my system to work much more effectively. Vitamin d is an important factor in this in itself but it should not be considered as an isolated factor. My point is that by addressing a wide range of things the food allergy might be mitigated or even eliminated.

          Auto immune diseases are numerous and becoming more and more prevalent. This is extremely important to me as I have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the type where your beta cells croak because of an auto immune
          response provoked by something and stop producing insulin altogether. This was called juvenile onset but now more and more adults are developing it. Had I had adequate vitamin d levels and a plant based diet, I am convinced that I probably would not have developed this
          condition even eating wheat. All this just goes back to Dr Campbell’s point about “reductionist reasoning and studies”.

          Addressing a single factor might help but will not solve the issues in most disease. But, we do not want to leave out single factors either. Just put them in context and we might be able to work around them and enjoy an occasional tomato. .

          • Leslie

            Stewart, thank you for sharing your knowledge and understanding of this dynamic. What you say makes sense. Vitamin D obviously helps many people, and their “overall health status” would greatly suffer without vitamin D being added to the diet via food or supplements. Through my experience, and, apparently, some others, vitamin D can be counter-productive. When I get my vitamin D from the sun, my body reacts fine, no problems. When through supplements, I get tired, sick, rundown. I am convinced that in some people with autoimmune issues, vitamin D helps, and in some it hurts. For me it seems to suppress my immune system, leading to me getting sick. So it helps me in one area, hurts me in another. And, prior to supplementation, is was not deficient in D.

            Best of luck to you with your health, and I’m jealous of your ability to now eat gluten. I wish my body allowed it.

  • Thea


    I’ve seen enough of this type of information now to not really be surprised. But sometimes the audacity of humans who run these corporations makes it really hard for me to be compassionate.

    I imagine that there are still lots of people who remain (purposefully?) ignorant of the food situation in America. It’s really helpful to have videos like this that we can point people to. Thanks for doing it.

    • DGH

      I agree with you. It’s very difficult to practice compassion with people who are harming public health in the service of the almighty dollar. But the alternative – closing one’s heart – is even worse. Keep one’s eyes open, don’t be a sucker, but still practice compassion when you can. Actually, I find it’s the smaller circumstances that make it hard for me to practice compassion – what I call “difficult encounters”. A big corporation is a pretty abstract thing in my mind. :-)

      • Thea

        DGH: re: the alternative being worse.
        (sigh). Of course, you are right.

        You have a very good outlook. Given your job, you have lots of up close and personal encounters with a wide variety of people. I admire that you keep up the good fight without giving up – and while trying to stay compassionate. Very impressive. Thank goodness for doctors like you.

    • Joe

      I think it is helpful to understand the environment. Most people who work for these companies do not make the leap between their decisions and the harm that they cause.

      Our economic system has evolved so that these companies must do right by the share holders. That means more profit. If profit is the first concern, then health will naturally be the second. That means that the majority of decisions made will favour profit instead of health, so it is no surprise that the end products are extremely profitable and extremely unhealthy.

      So we have a situation where the consequences of these profit-centric decisions are so far away from reality (sometimes different decades and continents) – that any sort of human compassion has been removed. For me, that is the real threat of globalization – not the people who actually make those decisions.

  • brec

    Hypothetical question: if you were making decisions at a food manufacturer, would you have any motivation, other than benevolence, to avoid additives that made your customers sick?

    • Joe

      There is no motivation other than profit, because the decisions made have no immediate effect. So yes, benevolence is the only factor – and even then, the share holders probably wouldn’t allow it!

      The only reason we are seeing changes is as the public becomes more aware, the manufacturers have to turn to new practices to remain profitable. We see the same pattern across all marketing. The idea of low-fat and heart healthy foods has nothing to do with the companies apparent respect for the customers health! Here in Italy, we are seeing a wave of ‘no hydrogenated fats’ labeling right now. A good thing yes – but not aimed at making anyone healthier!

      Best idea must be to avoid any food which has been subject to this human decision-making process – eg anything with a label!

      • brec

        “As the public [i.e., the customer] becomes more aware…” Exactly. A company that sells a product that makes its customers sick — where the customer knows the connection — will not be profitable, due to loss of sales.

        • Joe

          Very true. The problem is the time lag between the product going out and the customers finding out exactly what these things do. Makes resources like this website all the more important. Thanks Dr Greger!!

          Of course – this is really where regulatory agencies and governments should step in and evaluate the risk their citizens are being placed under. But with government and industry looking pretty similar, its up to us to make these judgments now. Why didn’t I listen more to my Chemistry and biology teachers!!!

  • dzp

    Off topic request – Shingles, can you do a segment on prevention and treatment? I am currently suffering tom a full blown case and have no idea of what I could be doing nutritionally. Thank you.

    • guest

      Meditation is a useful tool. I believe many diseases are brought on by stress. Stress has many forms – nutritionally, physically, mentally, emotionally. Just 10 minutes at morning and night, be with your breath. Make it a practice and see how life changes.

  • Sven

    Hello NF team,

    this was an interesting video, I did share it with my friends,
    would it be possible to do a video or QA on Nootropics or smart drugs/herbs? I am going to university and these are increasingly beocming popular among students wishing to get an edge. THe Nootropics include natural herbs such as bacopa monnieri, rhodiola rosea, ashwagandha, but also synthesized drugs in the rectam family like pramiracetam and noopept.

    Thanks for another great video!

    • Thea

      Sven: While Dr. Greger can’t reply to many posts, I do believe that he reads them all. When he sees requests like this, he keeps them in the back of his mind. That way, if relevant research comes up on the topic, Dr. Greger knows that there is interest in it.

      Thanks for your comments.

  • Teresa

    That explains a lot.

  • void_queen

    Dr. Greger, thank you so much for doing this important work and bringing this information to the people. After reading Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz I concluded that the USDA was a joke. After watching your videos I concluded that the FDA, the animal products industry and doctor’s treatment of symptoms rather than causes was a joke too. Thank you so much for making people aware.

  • Joe

    And it doesn’t stop at food additives! –

    UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson voted YES on the new Pioneer GM maize, based purely on industry safety studies.

    He said ‘Science’ has proved it safe – and gets this straight from the EFSA, who examine industry studies to determine the safety. Many EFSA experts also have ties to the companies they’re supposed to be reviewing.

    What does this mean? It means this new GM crop could be approved for cultivation in Europe based on the opinion of one man who made his mind up based on industry studies. The UK vote is crucial in terms of weighting – they were one of 5 countries who said they’d vote for it, while 19 said they’d oppose it.

    And then theres the issue of publication bias. Google Ben Goldacre – he does a great video on this. Some studies have shown industry research to be 4 times as likely to favour the thing they’re testing – because industry can and does withhold negative results.

    It makes a mockery of our democracy!

  • Jillian Bland

    Is it true that orientals make their own B12 in their gut, and whites due to food availability and their love of meat and dairy, no longer can. If this is true what of other races?

    • Toxins

      All humans create B12 in the gut, but it is far too low to be absorbed.

      “In one of the less appetizing but more brilliant experiments in the field of vitamin b12 metabolism in the 50’s, Sheila Callender (7) in England delineated that human colon bacteria makes large amounts of vitamin B-12. Although the bacterial vitamin B-12 is not absorbed through the colon, it is active for humans. Callendar studied vegan volunteers who had B-12 deficiency disease characterized by classes megaloblastic anemia. She collected 24-h stools, made water extracts of them, and fed the extracts to the patients, thereby curing their vitamin B-12 deficiency.”

  • Tobias Brown

    What about the use of “wax” on apples to prolong their shelf life? Is this substance safe? What’s the best way to clean it off?

  • Delbert Parkinson

    I want to share that I have discovered the cause of cancer with you Dr. Greger. Del..