Doctor's Note

I have to admit I had never even heard of Proteus mirabilis. That’s why I love doing this work—I learn as much as you do!

I explored another unconventional theory as to why plant-based diets are so successful in treating inflammatory arthritis in Potassium and Autoimmune Disease.

There’s another foodborne bacteria implicated in human disease, the EXPEC in chicken leading to urinary tract infections—another game-changer: Avoiding Chicken To Avoid Bladder Infections.

This reminds me of the Neu5Gc story (The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc), that mystery pig brain disease (Eating Outside Our Kingdom) and the crazy tick bite meat allergies thing (Alpha Gal and the Lone Star Tick).

Lots more videos coming up on the role our gut flora play in health and disease—stay tuned!

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  • Stewart E.

    HemoDynamic, I am so delighted to know about your showing videos in the patients rooms. I wish all doctors, including mine, would do so. Actually, I just wish they would watch for themselves. I think it likely that some might be a little put off at first but most will be impressed at your approach. Almost everyone I know is suspicious of the medical profession as a “profession of drug pushers.”

    OK the medal of honor is a bit over the top. That’s for military only. But,,,, Presidential Medal of Freedom?

    • Maureen Okun

      Plus a warm place in our healthy hearts!

    • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

      Ok The Presidential Medal of Freedom it is! More apropos as well because he is freeing people from the bondage of disease.
      Where can I nominate him? Anyone know?

  • Tobias Brown

    This is the weakest area of my strict vegetarian diet: The raw side. Though I eat some raw veggies, it seems that I balk at the effort required to make delicious raw salads. It seems that the key factor is the effort required to shop for the quality veggies, to do all the preparation, and preserving salads? It’s not happening. I’m open to suggestions. Yet, John McDougall makes it sound like it’s not critical so I’m conflicted. My compromise is to use frozen chopped spinach (which I cook) and to keep romaine hearts in good supply and just eat those. Another hang up is making tasty dressings, more more task in the salad making department.

    • Gail

      How about throwing a handful of pre-washed packaged greens into your fruit smoothie? No need for salad dressing that way.

      • Tobias Brown

        I’m not a believer in smoothies. They’re fun to have occasionally but they don’t seem natural or whole to me. No doubt I own a Vitamix nevertheless.

        • mack41

          Does it make any difference to your stomach if your teeth or a blender chew up the food? I doubt if your tummy can tell the difference, except that the blender does a better job.

          • David Johnson

            Except that chewing is good for you too…

          • MikeOnRaw

            If it does I can’t find anything definitive about such a difference. In general there are digestive enzymes in your saliva that start the digestive process as you chew. Many raw vegans “chew” their smoothies in an effort to help digestion.

        • mbglife

          I tried making various fruit and/or green smoothies. Each time I did it would make me dizzy and a bit nauseous when I tried to drink it. I know that they can help you uptake more nutrients, while at the same time rushing too much fat or sugar into the liver. So I just go with the tools mother nature gave me and chew my food instead of drinking it.
          Mark G

          • mack41

            I have to say that there are barely any fat or sugar in most vegetables. Fruit has some sugar in it, although not as much as the usual processed foods most people eat, plus the fiber keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream too fast. Various video here have covered this topic before and smoothies are really no problem. If you’re experiencing nausea and getting dizzy, Mark, perhaps you’re drinking your smoothie too fast or it’s the shock to your stomach because it’s too cold.

          • James Sloane

            If you add a food that has fat in it to the smoothie, such as flax seed or avocado, it also slows the sugar absorption and emptying of the stomach, lowering the glycemic index. Plus it helps the body absorb carotenoids and other fat-soluble nutrients.

          • Mark G

            Well, I understand all of that. I was trying to keep the post short so left it to be assumed that sugar would be for fruit. The problem for me is not drinking to fast, it’s room temp, and I only put in whole fruits or greens usually in basic smoothies. Some people react differently, simple as that. Not everyone experiencing a problem is doing it wrong. But thank you for the suggestion in case that was the problem. (posted by phone)

          • sharon

            I think this is a good explanation of ‘smoothie’ versus juicing which removes all the fibre from the drink. Retaining fibre is the key to smoothies and of course the lack of fibre in juicing is what allows sugars to be absorbed rather quickly.

        • PaulG

          Most grocery stores now sell organic baby greens, single-item or mixed, washed and ready to be eaten in plastic boxes. Mix a little olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, ginger powder, black pepper, and a dash of salt. (You can make this dressing in a minute or so.) Add the greens and you’re in business.

          • Tobias Brown

            Thanks but I systematically exclude all oils from my diet. They seem to be processed foods generally speaking, which I avoid. Maybe olives can be simply squeezed to extract oil but I avoid it too.

      • Ruby

        Just leafy greens in smoothies? Or can you do others without making it taste too much like veggies?

        • Gail

          I like other veggies with my fruit in my smoothies too: beets, red cabbage, parsley, broccoli, sprouts etc. I also add a piece of lemon to help neutralize the bitter taste of some greens. My favorite is the power greens Costco sells, consisting of kale, spinach and chard.

          • Ruby

            Thanks Gail. I currently use the power greens blend that Costco sells in my morning smoothies, but wanted to add more greens…does the broccoli make it pretty bitter? How big of a piece of lemon do you use? I usually use a big handful of the power greens, a banana, a cup of berries, maybe two cups, chia or flax seeds, and Sproutein protein powder. Thanks.

          • Gail

            Costco is great for finding ingredients for smoothies! I also use in my smoothies the frozen mango and pineapples that they sell. Sometimes they have frozen pomegranate seeds and other fruits too. Dates aren’t bad in smoothies either. I use about 8 pieces of broccoli florets (also from Costco) and about half a lemon, peeled. I also grow my own broccoli sprouts and add about half a cup of them in too. But I guess you have to experiment to see how much lemon you like.

      • Charzie

        I was going to suggest the same thing. Though opinions vary on the benefits of smoothies, through my own initial adoption of them, the dramatic improvements of just those alone was a huge influence that encouraged me to adopt a WFPB diet! I know many people who though not willing to dramatically change their diets, have adopted the habit of a daily green smoothie for the obvious benefits they found. I think the immeasurable benefits of ingesting the nutrients of blended plants far outweighs any perceived drawbacks, or limiting them, for whatever reasons! Unlike juicing, we are still getting the contents and benefits of the whole plant. Since digestion begins in our mouth, I make it a point to not just chug a smoothie, but to savor it in small sips, and let the salivary glands do their job. It is usually a meal for me, since I tend to put on the pounds, so I often opt for veggie smoothies, akin to raw soup. I have always had issues with my teeth, so I also feel this is much more beneficial for me personally, than improper chewing, as long as I take my time. I honestly think it is a very workable option and a great way to get plants into you that you normally might avoid. I don’t think I’ve ever made a bad smoothie…you can make it very simple, or add the kitchen sink, and each one is a surprise and adventure! I’ve even fermented them for many hours or a day for added probiotics since I almost always add either rejuvelac, one of my lacto-fermented veggies and liquid, yogurt, or miso to my smoothies too… depending on the ingredients, some times more than one. Quick, simple and nutritious, what more can you ask for?

    • mbglife

      My problem is that if I eat more than just a small handful of leafy greens I get mild diarrhea. It’s been like this for years. So I don’t have salads. I can only eat a little cooked baby kale daily. The only lettuce I can eat without problem is iceberg (not very helpful). From what I read, people with lettuce sensitivities are probably responding to the latex. But I don’t know if this is my my situation. I just know that I miss my romaine and worry that I’m not getting enough greens. :-(
      Mark G

      • Jen Drost, PA-C, NF Volunteer

        Mark, sheesh, that sounds like torture! You are trying to do the healthy thing and then your bowels revolt :( Wonder if you ever tried sprouting your *own* greens. It’s inexpensive to try, very easy, and maybe it would work for you? Dr. G. did a piece about home sprouting here. Hope this helps!

        • Mark G

          Thanks, Jen. I’ll church it out.

    • Rita

      Tobias I know exactly what you mean. We’re only making huge salads for the 2 of us, but it takes forever to make. A food processor made all the difference. It also helps with eating one of our salads which can seem to take forever too. We start with bagged kale and collard greens and grind that in the processor, same with broccoli. Slice or shred disk takes care of red pepper, carrots, celery, etc. After a fashion you learn how much of each to do it so it becomes a process and therefore quicker. Make two complete salads in 2 plates at the same time. You pull everything out of the fridge, put it all back and do clean up once for 2 days. Store one plate in a clean plastic bag (ok so I grab a couple extra while I’m buying produce) in the fridge and you’re good to go for the following day. It also means you can decide during the day when you are going to make them, if you have more time available in the morning make them then. We have the salads for supper, but I don’t have time to make them just before eating them. Hope this helps.

    • nutritionmuse

      Quick salad advice: use Whole Foods or other health food store salad bar to make a box of veggies…all the ones you don’t want to cut up. Then throw in a handful with some lettuce. Lazy man’s dressing: sprinkle on rice vinegar, red wine vinegar or squeeze 1/2 lemon (the point is a variety of vinegar flavor), a splash of balsamic, salt/pepper. No need to pre-mix, just toss it all with the salad. People always ask me for my recipe. :) For the really motivated: top your salad with some dried Herbs d’ Provence.

      • Tobias Brown

        As a side note: I’m from Vermont, US, where we have salad bars at supermarkets, however I live in Montreal, CAN, where, except for “Le Plateau” district, supermarkets rarely if ever have salad bars.

      • John

        You must be very wealthy and have unlimited funds. Whole Foods charges over $8 per lbs at their salad bar. They don’t even state that it is organic produce. Living next to Amish farmers, I can get locally grown produce for between 19 cents to 99 cents per pound.

    • Thea

      Tobias: I’m totally with you! I hate chopping. Salads just don’t happen at my house. So, here’s what I do to get some raw (fruits and) veggies in me: First I thought about what foods I truly like to eat raw (that would be no burden to me) and that can be eaten like an apple – ie, without any prep. Some examples for me are: bell peppers (mostly non-green), sugar snap peas, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, etc. Plus lots of fruits like apples, bananas, and berries. I buy these things in convenient packages: for example, I buy 10 oz bags of sugar snap peas from Trader Joes. Or 10 to 16 ounce tubs of cherry tomatoes. And bags of 3 organic, colored bell peppers.

      I put 3 to 4 of these packages/foods in my carry bag to work each work day. And then first thing when I get to work, I put them in front of me and give myself permission to snack all day. Put my hand into a bag and munch sugar snap peas and before I know it, I’ve eaten a bag of raw green stuff. And I didn’t even need dressing. Even the bell peppers don’t need any prep. Just eat them like an apple. (which actually does involve some skill if you don’t want to get seeds in your keyboard. But it does work out with some practice.)

      As time went on, I made myself be a bit brave and try some new things. And I was often pleasantly surprised. For example, next to my bag of sugar snap peas was a bag of fresh green beans on the shelf at the store. Would green beans taste good *RAW*???? Turns out, they do. :-O

      • Tobias Brown

        Yes, these are good ideas and I do this as well. I always have romaine hearts on hand too.

        • Thea

          Tobias: re: “… I do this as well.” Since you started with a post stating that you feel that you don’t get enough raw foods in you, it seems reasonable to ask ourselves: How much raw foods to we need? (if any)

          It seems to me that most experts (that I respect) feel that eating some raw foods is a very healthy practice. But I haven’t seen any definitive studies saying how much.

          When these types of questions come up, I tend to look at what the traditional Okinawans ate as a general guide/good info.

          I don’t know exactly how much of their food was raw, but I know that 69% was sweet potatoes and 12% was rice. 7% was other grains. It looks to be about 4% meat and dairy and 2% oil. Those are just some categories I could quickly pick out and that takes us to 94% foods that were for sure not raw. It seems to me that we don’t need a whole lot of raw foods in order to expect to get to a healthy 103.

          Just some thoughts for you. I know that you may have some good reasons for wanting to have more raw foods in your diet. I can think of several myself. I’m just trying to put the issue into perspective, if not for you, then for anyone else reading this thread.

          • Tobias Brown

            Thanks. I think those folks were found to restrict calories a bit too.

      • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

        Actually I love chopping!! And Salads tastes great! And didn’t dr Fuhrman say: Salad is the main dish :-)
        First you need an expensive set of knives (they will probably last for ever, so it is a one time investment). Second a big nice chopping board – preferably wood. And then learn/practice chopping techniques. Sharp knives, big chopping board and the right technique and then you can actually work very fast The dressing is easy – I have tried several recipes, but always wind up with balsamic vinegar again. I live in northern europe and here you can get hundreds of different kinds – some aged for years, and from cheap to very expensive. Almost every morning I make fruit salad – again with the right equipment and technique I work fast (I am not a surgeon! :-) ) strawberries, blueberries (They dont need chopping), grapes (one cut), banana and squeezed orange on top. So Thea I challenge you – try it for one month and you will never stop chopping! :-)

        • fred

          I can’t chop as well as the chefs on TV….but I do OK. Basically try to put as many varieties of veggies in a salad as is reasonable. Especially in spring/summer/fall…I really look forward to the salads. Grow my own tomatoes/leaf lettuce. Drink my fridge-brewed green tea all summer.

          I find a dollop of salsa and a bit of v olive oil can make a decent dressing. I do buy some processed dressings…need to watch the added sugars/cheap oils like you do with all the processed crap.

          • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

            Nor can I. For some strange reason a glass of wine (in the weekends and holidays) makes chopping even more easy :-) Yes, salsa is a good dressing too.
            Do you have a special recipe for the fridge-brewed green tea?

          • Damo

            I am interested in how you fridge brew tea.

        • Thea

          PlantstrongDoc: Coming from anyone else, I likely would have dismissed the idea out of hand. But coming from you and with such nice enthusiasm, I have to give the idea some serious consideration. I’m not saying I will, mind. :-) But I will seriously consider it.

          A couple years ago I tried eating salads every night, after reading Eat To Live. I started started to gain weight because I had to doctor the salads so much in order to make them palatable to me. And even then, I really didn’t like the process of eating them. It seemed like a grueling chore.

          But one thing that I always try to keep in mind is that my tastes do change. So, maybe it is time to give it a try again? Perhaps this time in a more healthy way?

          Thank you kindly for the nice note and encouragement. I hope it inspires lots of people.

          • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

            Thea – you are the best!

        • Gayle Delaney

          Dear Plantstrongdoc,
          I would love to know in which country you live. I have lived in several places in Europe and have spent 17 summers in Rome. But not since switching to WFPB 2 years ago. I dread dealing with food and with my European friends who are not very open… And my beloved Roman friends are THE MOST CONSERVATIVE of all Western eaters I know. They may try other national Cuisines when the visti me in San Francisco, but by the 3rd day, they come home bearing bags of groceries with Italian pastas, sauces, etc. so they can have the foods Mamma made. I have written them all warning them that my diet has changed and that I hope they will accept it. Of course, I have sent links to Dr. Greger, and found Vegan videos in Italian for them as well. One friend and her husband have made many changes (she recently had Breast CA), but I am expecting rough going with friends and in restaurants. Thanks to Dr. G’s Year-In Review videos, our switch occurred unexpectedly and overnight. It was easy because we were convinced. I shall be sorely tested by Mozzarella di buffalo and the French cheeses, but that I can handle. I am hoping that you know of WFPB pockets in Europe!

          • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

            Gayle,
            I live in Denmark. Actually I think that we have more pigs (danish bacon is allegedly famous) than inhabitants!
            Luckily it is very easy to get very fine vegetable, fruit, beans, lentils and so on. Organic is popular, so it is easy to get. I have no colleagues, friends or family remotely interested in WFPB. You can get vegetarian at restaurants, but vegan is a challenge. My best guess is that very few persons in Denmark knows about the concept of WFPB. The general level of education is high and many people are interested in food and in health issues, so it is a little disappointing. There are no WFPB pockets in Denmark. I think the vegan-trend is bigger in Germany, so maybe a WFPB pocket there? Italians love their pasta, cheese and ham….

      • b00mer

        Thea, I like your style! I think I’m at a middle ground between salad prep and your technique. For some reason, I don’t like salads. I just don’t! (vegan blasphemy??) Never have, never will. But I don’t mind things like carrot, bell pepper, or celery sticks. So I’ve started keeping a big container of those pre-sliced, plus cherry tomatoes and can eat them plain no problem. I think I actually prefer plain veggies to ones with dressing. Once in a while I try a new dip/dressing recipe but always go back to plain. Going to check out the peas/beans like you mention. Unfortunately the prepackaged options are a bit pricey where I live, but we should be getting the bulk ones in for summer pretty soon here.

        p.s. I chuckled at the bit about seeds in the keyboard. You’ve got skills!

        • Thea

          b00mer: You betcha! My chopping skills may be at the low end of the bell curve, but my whole bell pepper eating skills are right up there with the best. I’m sure.

          jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj (oops, the jjjjj key stuck. I’m sure that had nothing to do with a seed…)

      • MarthaLA

        Green beans (or purple pod or yellow pod beans) are especially wonderful eaten right off the vines, if you get the opportunity. They are sweet! And sugar snaps and snow peas likewise, so delicious right off the vines. And bell peppers eaten from the bush – though it’s tougher to manage to get ’em all the way to ripe on the bush (bugs and things). I’m reminiscing here; really, really need to get my garden going again.

        • Thea

          MarthaLA: I’d love to roam through someone’s garden that looks like that! Thanks for your thoughts. I’m going to have to look for those purple pods growing on the vine.

    • MikeOnRaw

      You know what, the prep doesn’t need to be instagram pretty every time. And preservation isn’t an issue if that’s what you are regularly eating. And while finding high qualtiy produce is almost always worth it, for day to day I won’t hesitate to get something from my local grocery store if it helps to make sure I eat some good whole foods vs some more processed foods.

    • b00mer

      Hi Tobias, I don’t mind chopping, but I just plain don’t like salads. A couple times a week I slice up a container of carrot/celery/etc sticks and just eat those plain. I actually like the simplicity. I prefer the plain veggie flavors to the taste with added dressing, so that takes care of that bit too. My partner does like salads, and so he also just once or twice a week chops up a few of everything to fill a big bowl of diced salad veggies. Handful of lettuce, handful of veggies, easy peasy. He uses store bought dressing though. I have seen some dressing recipes that might work for you that involve either water with flax/chia for thickening, or applesauce. Those would just be mixing in a bowl with a fork, no need for blending anything and cleaning out the vitamix.

      I guess I’m with McDougall in not really considering it a big deal, but I value variety in general so I’m trying to add in a bit more raw veggies myself. I remember once bringing a bowl of raw veggies to work, and my Chinese colleague said to me, “You can eat that??” in regards to the raw cauliflower. She had never seen such a thing. She timidly tried a bite, but definitely thought it was weird. My other Chinese colleague then explained the hot/cold TCM theory for me. Kind of interesting. Some cultures appear to not put much emphasis on (or even discourage to some degree) raw vegetable consumption, and seem to do just fine.

      • Tobias Brown

        Yeah, I will settle for buying convenience packs of baby cucumbers, snap peas, romaine hearts and just eat those from the package.

    • b00mer

      Also with summer coming, it’s the season where personally I tend to make more main dish/bean based “salads”. Can eat plain or in a wrap with big crunchy lettuce leaves. Or eat on top of a big bed of lettuce so dressing isn’t necessary. Can also increase raw veggie to bean ratio as desired.

      This is one of my all-time favorites, have been making for about 15 years! (oil not necessary):
      http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-northern-italian-white-bean-salad/fff0c6cf-88eb-4226-9fa5-0cfc3ebfea0d

    • Gayle Delaney

      Hi Tobias! I too resist daily salad making, but I believe that I make up for it with: Every other day I make a Vita Mix pitcher (80 oz.) full of green smoothies, drink half that and the next day. 4 TBSP of Flax Seed, almond milk, (1 cu.) A half tray of ice cubes, red cabbage, sometimes a tsp of chia seeds, 6 tiny Baby carrots, frozen spinach, fresh kale 4 cu?, 2-4 big collard greens, sometimes beet greens or lettuce, an apple, an orange, 2 bananas, 2cu frozen blueberries. YUM! I prefer to drink my salads. They are delicious.

      • Tobias Brown

        Sounds like a lot of effort. :)

    • Wilma Laura Wiggins

      I feel as you do. It just seems like too much trouble sometimes. Maybe we could chop some carrots and celery and what else might hold up and keep them ready in a jar in frig and just pour some on some lettuce if the mood strikes? Or do something I’ve seen others do make a salad in a jar starting with dressing and then harder veggies and then last the lettuce. Then just dump onto a plate when ready. They make like 5 at a time.

    • Tobias Brown

      Maybe just hang out more with people who LOVE to make raw salads. Join a dreaded local raw meetup and pretend for a while. :)

  • Marianne

    Thanks for this Dr. Greger. I have had RA for 17 years and have lost and still losing joint mobility. Just started a move toward increase plant-based diet 10 days ago and I am seeing a reduction in level of inflammation without taking my meds (methotrexate). This video serves to reinforce I’m on the right track.

    • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD -NF Volunteer

      You might also benefit from understanding the issues around neu5gc see… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-inflammatory-meat-molecule-neu5gc/.
      Congratulations and good luck.

    • zappso

      I’m male and I developed RA in about 2002 when I was 30 years old. My mobility went downhill very quickly; I suffered a lot of agonising pain, a severe lack of sleep, and chronic fatigue. Thankfully I had barely any deformities – good and bad: because there were no immediate visible signs, not even my family believed me or had any sympathy. I lost my job and, soon after that, my marriage because of RA. I was actually vegetarian at the time.

      I refused to take any meds because of the side effects. I tried avoiding milk, eggs, gluten, sugar and certain fruits and vegetables (all as separate trials) and I even tried eating meat again – all to absolutely no effect.

      Two years ago, during a particularly bad flare up, I discovered an article on Neu5Gc on THIS web site and instantly went vegan – it was the only thing I hadn’t tried. The results have been miraculous. I no longer get morning stiffness, and flare ups are minimal. When I do get pain, it’s a manageable 1-3/10 (rather than 9/10) and it lasts only hours or days, rather than weeks or months. A whole host of other ailments have also simply disappeared – chronic indigestion, migraines, tinea, dandruff, skin irritations and more. I had a blood test after one year, looking at all common vitamin and mineral levels. I had normal to high levels of everything except vitamin D (like most people with RA and many people in Melbourne, so I’m told).

      I do find that the RA affects more joints than just in my shoulders and hands now. Maybe my immune system is more effective now, maybe it’s just the progression of the disease (my rheumatoid count was close to 600 when I last had it checked). I’m suspecting that I may also be sensitive to gluten, so I try to avoid it. Soy could also be a problem, so I limit my intake of it.

      In the past 8 months, I’ve been able to return to work and I have more energy than anyone else there. Even on the train home, when everyone else is drooping and looking tired and sick, I feel awake and alert. I’ve also started playing guitar again – which I had to stop due to the pain many years ago.

      This website has helped change my life and save me from the suffering and hopelessness that comes with a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. I will never stray from a plant based diet now, and I’m starting to support the animal welfare and environmental aspects of veganism too – it seems like the right thing to do for so many ethical reasons.

      Thank you so much, Dr. Greger!

      • Thea

        zappso, What an amazing story! Every time I read a story like that, I feel proud to be a supporter of NutritionFacts. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have many happy, pain-free years into the future.

  • mbglife

    I love that gut microbes can be changed so quickly so people can start to see relief if they try changing to a healthier diet. However, it works both ways. A friend send me a link to this blog post yesterday about a guy and his son who tracked the son eating fast food for 10 days. Pretty interesting.
    Mark G.

    http://qz.com/402918/i-made-my-son-eat-nothing-but-mcdonalds-for-ten-days-to-prove-what-fast-food-does-to-your-gut/

    • http://twitter.com/MacSmiley MacSmiley

      That was one awesome experiment!!

  • Veggie Eric

    Another eye opening amazing video Dr G. This one especially hit close to home. My mother suffered from debilitating and painful RA for years. She had both hips and both knees replaced and was on several powerful meds including painkillers for it. If only this site was around 15 years ago, she might still be with us today. I try to tell everyone who will listen about the power of a WFPD. Most won’t even consider it… You know the old saying…”you can lead a horse to water:.”

  • Leslie

    A high-fat plant based vegan diet might prevent the benefits from occurring, wouldn’t you think? Doesn’t high fat coconut oil, palm oil, and excess polyunsaturated fats and free oils cause inflammation?

  • Ronda

    Can Sjogren’s syndrome be helped with a plant based diet? Do you have a video that relates to this subject?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Good question! Since Sjogren’s syndrome often accompanies other immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, perhaps a diet for RA could be helpful for Sjogren’s? Nutrient intake is altered in Sjögren’s syndrome/a> and could be addressed. Some research suggests omega-3 fats may play a role helping to reduce dry eyes. Here is one case study on a women who reduced inflammation and began normal menses with an elimination diet. She eliminated gluten, beef, eggs, dairy products, nightshade vegetables, refined sugars, and citrus fruit for 4 months. The authors conclude “restoration of normal menses was caused by reduced inflammation in the ovarian tissue and supports the hypothesis that the gut immune system can influence autoimmune disease and inflammation.” I would consider avoiding cow’s milk, as there has been a link to milk sensitivity in those with the syndrome and maybe even gluten. So yes, following a diet for RA may be very beneficial for Sjogren’s. At least I hope it is, as I know how frustrating auto-immune diseases can be. Best of luck and let me know if anything helps?

  • Pamela

    Please spread the word to other health care providers about showing Nutrition Facts videos in patient rooms – or any other way to get the message across. I am getting fed up with doctors always pushing medication.

    • Ray Tajoma

      Pushing medication, pushing surgery, pushing expensive useless tests & scaring patients by exaggerating consequences of inaction to milk patience and their insurance companies dry.

  • Guest

    Doctor: I’m, like Stewart, is so happy to hear that you take an effort to educate your patients. Most doctors don’t do that simply because it’s not good for their pocketbooks. The more ignorant the patients are, the richer the doctor is. Here’s a book i’m reading now, written by another maverick, about the current status of medical practice in the US , unless you’ve already read it: Unaccountable by Marty Makary, MD

    • Sidney

      From my experience, that’s no longer the case. Perhaps years ago when the drug companies were giving generous “donations”. That’s all been done away with. I think the real reason for the emphasis on drugs is that is how they are taught. They don’t know any better.

  • http://www.123eat.net/ Steve Billig

    If urinary tract infections can be a step in the RA process and UTI infections in women can be initiated through the route described in the video, I would hypothesize that scrupulous hygiene down there might also produce positive results. Seems like an obvious thing to test.

  • Karl Kessler

    I find it interesting that the vegan diet lasted for 3.5 months, but the second data point is at 4 months. If I weren’t the trusting sort, I’d think that was to allow 2 weeks for milk to do its damage…

  • http://acupuncture-portland.com Cole Magbanua LAC

    The part about Rheumatoid heart disease and strep got me thinking about maybe helping people prevent it with a plant based diet as well, being that the immune system is stronger and infections from strep less likely… cant find anything under the health topics. And how about healing the damaged heart with the vegan diet? We have a sister who has the disease and is scheduled for surgery. It looks like the diet change we recommended her is improving her so much that the surgery may not be necessary.

  • Tobias Brown

    Does staying on the lower range of the healthy BMI scale help to reduce RA issues? Does eliminating fat stores in general allow our bodies to heal more easily? To the extreme, does fasting also help with RA pain?

  • Robert Haile

    I saw quickly at the end of the presentation in addition to diet, that anti- Proteus antibiotics were mentioned, but I agree that diet alone should be tried first as the antibiotics in addition to killing Proteus, may also harm symbiotic bacteria. As an MD, I saw lots of Proteus Mirabilis in urine and elsewhere. How about the pain of osteoarthritis?

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    This is great! The only side effects I know of – when we are talking WFPD – are reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and so on. The standard treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are DMARD – disease modifying antirheumatic drugs – sounds great, but it is terrible when there are alternatives. DMARD include methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, sulfasalazine, cyclosporine, leflunomide, azathioprine. Side effects include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, renal effects, fatigue, vomiting, gastro-duodenal ulcers, hepatic
    involvement, leukopenia, hyperglycemia, muscle cramps, myalgia, convulsions, anemia, thrombocytopenia, encephalopathy,
    confusion, insomnia, allergic skin reactions, pancreatitis just to name a few…. and this is approved by the authorities…. I prefer broccoli.

  • tgifford

    So should one consider a regiment of Cephalexin or other antibiotic to treat Proteus mirabilis?

  • Tobias Brown

    Too much effort involved.

    • Charzie

      Plain plant based yogurt and some favorite spices make a great quick dressing, with a squirt of citrus, vinegar or whatever else you might prefer to thin it. I make my own nut/rice/oat whatever based yogurt which doesn’t thicken much when you culture it, as an easy base for dressings and sauces, but thick or thin, a fork and some herbs/spices = a nice creamy, quick, healthy option to pour over whatever!

      • Tobias Brown

        All great ideas but all that takes too much effort on top of everything else. And believe me, I’ve tried. Also, I’ve found that the best dressing is balsamic vinegar however in the US I had never seen what this product really is like in its authentic form. What we get here in the US cannot compare to real balsamic. 12 year aged? That’s the real balsamic. Forget the stuff we have. (I only got to know this by living next to an old world market in Montreal.)

        • Thea

          Tobias: FYI, you *can* get the real thing in America if you know where to look. It’s not generally in the main grocery stores, but I have found it. I’m currently enjoying a basalmic vinegar that was aged 18 years in a wooden barrel. You are right, it is not even close to what is normally sold as “balsamic” vinegar. It’s pretty amazing stuff. And terribly expensive.

          • guest

            Thea: Can you please tell us what the brand is and where to buy it at? Thanks

          • Thea

            guest: The brand I have been using is called Gianni’s. I bought my bottles at a local specialty high-end kitchen store. I’ve never seen the good stuff in actual grocery stores, even the health food kind. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have better luck than me.

            The store that I got mine from recently went out of business. But Gianni’s does sell on-line. Here is their website:
            https://www.giannisfinefoods.com/store/item_view.php?id=21&item=traditional-balsamic

            Word of warning: I paid over $20 for the bottle I bought. These bottles have been re-sized and are now smaller and cheaper. But something about the way the website is not telling you how many years the stuff has been aged makes me wonder if they did more than just resize/repackage. Maybe the contents are not as good? I don’t think I’d buy it anymore without a clear indication of the number of years it has been aging and ingredient list.

            Dr. Esselstyn had a favorite on-line company for buying fancy, real balsamic vinegars. I don’t have that link at my findertips, but I had looked it up in the past and it looked legit. It wasn’t aged quite as long as the Gianni’s I had bought, but it still looked like it was probably pretty authentic. (Don’t know. Just guessing.)

            Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

          • Eileen

            There is a store named Gustare in Wellesley, MA that sells delicious aged balsamic. They will ship.

        • Veganrunner

          Tobias I just use a squeeze of lemon. No trouble there.

    • vegank

      This is not for raw vegetables but sprinkling roasted sesame seeds (which you can buy from Asian food stores) on steamed but still crunchy green beans or leafy greens with a squirt of lemon and few drops of soy sauce is an option. usually sesame oil is used too but it is not too bad without it.
      It can be kept in a glass bottle for about a week.

  • Wade Patton

    WFPB to the rescue! (once again).

  • Kamal B

    I’ve been RA patient for past 23 years and been vegetarian for 18 years, I just would like to know what diet should I follow exactly being a vegan, if anybody can help me with that please.

    • Wade Patton

      There is no diet. It’s a way of eating/living. I put together my eating plans from study of the 8 years of videos and articles found here. It’s not vegetarian, it’s WFPB-no oils, no added sweeteners. Make that minimal use of sweeteners. I use molasses now and then in small amounts. There is a world of JUNK “vegetarian” food out there that will do very little to promote health. Run from anything “enriched” or “fortified” too. I made the transition one meal at a time, then a day-then two (I started feeling better after only 2 days) then a week and I still eat “flex” meals/treats on the weekend/holiday. But I’m cutting those down considerably as they always, _always_ spike my weight and it takes 2 days or so to get back on track. Eating this way eliminated my need for Saw Palmetto to keep my prostate happy. The only “supplementary” thing I add is fresh ground flax seed. I try to get 1 to 2 tablespoons of that in my meals (or straight-with a chaser) every day. And I’ve dropped 15 pounds despite NEVER counting calories, Never being hungry, and eating 4 and 5 times every day–and drinking a few beers too. WFPB rules.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Kamal B. Dr. Greger has a video on the Swank diet that you may find useful. Thanks for your note.

    • Rita Fairbairn

      Hello, I was diagnosed with RA 8 years ago, and I am literally pain free, I have a great deal of energy, and feel healthy!! The only issue I continue to have is a higher inflammation levels than I would like. I presently follow mostly the Paleo Diet, with VERY small portions of protein, and very very little amounts of grains (brown rice only), also vegetables. fruits, seeds and nuts—very minimum to no processed food. Recently, I came across a book called “Eat Right For Your Type” (there are four Blood Types), by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.
      I do believe, there is no “one” particular diet for EVERYBODY!! Eating Right For Your Blood Type makes TOTAL sense, and I’m now committed to following this lifestyle to see if I can lower my inflammation numbers. Stay Tuned!
      Thank you!

      • Thea

        Rita: I’m glad you are finding a diet that is working for you.
        .
        When it comes to the book you mentioned about eating for your blood type, you should know that a systematic review of the scientific literature finds *no* evidence to back up the claims in that book. For more information on what we know and don’t know about the blood type book: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/blood-type-diet-debunked/ I encourage you to watch this short video and check the sources cited if you want more evidence.
        .
        Here’s the bottom line: There are a lot of books on nutrition that sound good (ie, makes sense when you haven’t looked at the science–just sounds right), but are really just pseudo science. I recommend keeping a healthy skepticism. It can be exciting and fun to try something new. But when it comes to nutrition, I like to aim for proven, and long-term safe patterns.

  • http://www.naturallifeenergy.com/ Natural Life Energy – Aqiyl

    You are the man!!!! I refer to your work all the time, and you outdid yourself this time. It is remarkable how much knowledge is out there that fills the gaps in our knowledge. Thank you for being so diligent in your process. I am writing a book and I refer to your work, Dr. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Sebi. You three have brought me so much clarity on my plant-based diet journey. Thank you!!!

  • Barb

    This is very exciting! I eat a vegan diet and have for years, but have RA.

    Can you tell us which foods are anti-Proteus? PLEASE?

    • 2tsaybow

      Barb you want to make sure you are eating a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) diet. Dietary lignans are found in all unprocessed plants. The more plants you eat the better. All plants contain them.

  • Betty Cardenas

    Wow, I didn´t even know about this bacteria in the urinary tract, but I´ve changed 95% to vegetarian diet and yes, I´ve been feeling much better!!! NOW I KNOW WHY!!! fabulous! I want to hear more about this krippling maladie. It´s been a nightmare, but in my old days (66) I feel so much better tan in the beginning!!! Seldom a pain.

  • vegank

    I’ve been lucky enough never to contract urinary-tract infection but did get the beginning of arthritis in my hands one year.
    Without knowing that Plant based whole food also helped to reduce this type of pain, I switched from being a vegetarian to vegan and then to whole food plant based vegan when I found Nutritionfacts.org. After about a few weeks the pain in my hands/fingers literally faded away. I probably changed my diet just in time, as I realise it is not that simple to reverse it at a later stage.
    The prospect of not being able to write , get dressed , do gardening, Art and even driving was a real wake up call.
    It must be quite depressing to lose one’s ability to do these things.
    It’s time consuming to plan for good vegan (plant based whole food ) meals every day , but now I consider it as a long-term investment.

  • Noe

    It’s seems a comon factor in the auto inmune deseace.. Some animal proteins and the sinmilitude with our pun cells. What about multiple sclerosis that affect much more women than men and also more Caucasic people in general. I mean why more women? It is any study explaining wy that? This video on artritic reumatoid just rice to me that question . Thank you!

  • Veganrunner

    Kinda off topic but a must see. The Trouble With Chicken
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/trouble-with-chicken/

    • Veganrunner

      And that link has Chasing Outbreaks. Excellent short video.

  • Sidney

    Proteus is a bug that is commonly taught about in med school micro classes these days. Very interesting to hear about the connection between it and Rheumatoid Arthritis; never had heard about that before. I’ll bring it up and impress my attending next week!

  • Sidney

    Dr. HD, so glad you are progressive and knowledgeable about this. I mention a lot of the facts I learn about here to my attendings on the wards and they look at me like I have two heads. It’s really sad how most M.D.’s are clueless about nutrition. I should also add most of classmates are too. I mention I’m a vegan to them and they can’t understand why even though the best argument to do so stares at them multiple times in the face looking at all the obese sick patients we see every day. I even said that the other day during call when everyone else ordered in burgers and fries and I kept to my pea protein shake. They all just laughed it off and said they’d worry about the consequences in 30 years. SMH, and these are medical students!

  • bananalee

    I wonder if there is a similar mechanism behind interstitial cystitis?

  • migill

    Dear Dr Greger
    Congratulations on the excellent service you and team provide. As a person with severe rheumatoid arthritis living in Sydney Australia I have followed your site for some time. This particular video and reference set – why do plant based diets help rheumatoid arthritis – is an excellent summary and very useful. I am on a biologic drug and have yet to build the courage to cease it and test the strength of my diet. Both, however, work pretty well although I am unable to work full time. Great work! Mike

  • Bob

    I found the site informative and refreshing. I would like to add some additional info to complement your work: the public isn’t aware of the fact that we are probably doing a major injustice to ourselves by relying on the current food supply. Each year billions of gallons of used cooking oil (UCO) i.e. from restaurants, are collected, cleaned and sold as an animal feed additive. This process was stopped in Europe in 2004 where it has to be used as a bio-fuel. Our ‘animal proteins’ are being tinted with various impurities that aren’t taken out of the UCO. Once again big business; they (use to) charge for the pick up and then sell it to the food industry.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Thanks for the note! If interested, here is a great video on oil shelf life.

  • Paul White

    I hope this is the right place to ask a question as I can’t find any place else to post. I’ve been strictly eating a whole food plant base diet for a bit over 3 yrs. about a year ago I began having serious joint inflamation and pain. I’ve tried eliminating night shade vegatables, gluten, and quite a few other foods which has had little effect. I’m taking acetaminophen, N-acetylcysteine, ibuprofen, and turmeric curcumin capsules jut to get some relief from the pain. With that bit of background given, my question is: should I be checked for the bacteria which you mention in the video on plant base diets and rheumatoid arthritis?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hey Paul. How frustrating being in all that pain! I am not sure what’s going on, but I suggest asking your doctor about additional tests that could be performed. You may also try eliminating citrus (even citric acid found in many packaged foods), apples, bananas, any foods with sulfites (wine and dried fruit) and even plant-milks with additives (carrageenan). This study I was a part of discusses our elimination diet methods. See it it helps? And again, check with your doctor about additional tests. I do hope you find some relief.

      Warm wishes,
      Joseph

  • Kasper

    Excellent video. To my knowledge, to help treat UTI: multi-strain potent probiotics (e.g. fermented vegetables), d-mannose supplement, pure cranberry juice/powder supplement, drinking plenty of water. Also good hygiene down below!

    To my knowledge, to help treat rheumatoid arthritis: reduce pro-inflammatory food (e.g. meat, dairy), increase anti-inflammatory foods (e.g. WFPBD), probiotics and digestive enzymes, mild joint exercise, supplementation with VitD, curcumin, omega 3 (e.g. flax), VitC. Many links to clinical studies found here: http://www.arthritisprotocol.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/references.html

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Kasper this is a great list of REFs! Thank you!

  • Rob

    I recently watched this video and looked up one of the studies referenced in PubMed called “Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a Proteus urinary tract infection”. I was so impressed I printed the abstract and gave it to my wife who coincidentally had an appointment with a rheumatologist. Her family physician advised her to see one as she is experiencing early symptoms in her hands and feet for just over a year now. To my surprise the specialist discarded the study and did not give it any importance or attention. She even questioned the source of the study and authenticity saying she was not familiar with it and would not even read it!

    I was very disappointed to say the least. I was hoping the specialist would have be more open-minded and would have consider possible testing to confirm/deny the possibility. I guess this specialist is set in her ways of diagnosing and treating RA using traditional methods.

    I’m wondering why this study was not acknowledged or recognized by this specialist. Has anyone else have a similar experience? I’m wondering what we should do next.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hey Rob,

      Gosh that sounds like a terrible experience for your wife who is just looking for answers. I have no idea why the RA doctor dismissed the study. Surely there must be a reason? I posted more about RA above and the study we conducted on pain triggers. I really hope she finds some relief. I might suggest a second opinion from another doctor. I am not saying change docs or dismiss their advice, but consider a second opinion.

    • Vege-tater

      I’m not surprised, after suffering with RA for years I had repeatedly been told that diet had NOTHING to do with it. Figuring doctors had more knowledge about these things than I could possibly have kept me in agony for years. I finally just got the courage to try a WFPB diet for many reasons, and lo and behold, so many health issues became history, including RA and diabetes. Staying away from traditional medicine is my healthiest bet!

  • Rodrigo Cardoso
  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    For those who have portuguese speaking familly and friends, who could use the help of subtitles: http://nf.focoempatico.net/porque-as-dietas-baseadas-em-plantas-ajudam-na-artrite-reumatoide/

  • Sammi

    samantha

    Aug
    19, 12:10 PM

    Just
    found out I have a mild (1) antibody reaction to bean mix which was navy, pinto,
    green,lima. Are lentils, chickpeas, black eyed peas a different family ? I ate
    beans every day and it was a staple in my diet. Now I am confused. I have no
    other allergies on the blood antibody test except for plus 1 on cantaloupe and
    honeydew. no grain dairy or other antibody reactionsl, Now I am confused .as to
    what to eat?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I know this was covered on another thread, here. Thanks for reposting. I hope you found some answers.

  • Kimberley Burfoot

    I find the interchangeable use of the words “vegetarian” and “vegan” confusing.
    I had been vegetarian for about 5 years when I got rheumatoid arthritis, and it progressed quickly and caused a lot of damage over a period of about 13 years. It wasn’t until I changed to a completely vegan diet that my RA saw a significant improvement.

  • juliannetaylor

    I am doing a post grad research project looking at diets to treat RA. Plant based diets do have a great effect. However the diet that got best results in the plant based group was a gluten free one. In elimination diet studies (none of which you mentioned here) many RA sufferers have specific trigger foods – which are often different for each person. However gluten grains and dairy are common, both eliminated on a vegan diet. I have been interviewing people who have had success on a plant and animal protein diet. Trigger foods in the 10 people I interviewed include dairy, eggs, pork, shrimp, rice, corn, rancid vegetable oils. Foods that caused problems if eaten to excess include nuts. Meat, poultry and seafood were not triggers, but all people ate grass fed, organic typically where possible. They also ate a lot of plant foods – vegetables, fruit and root veg.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Sounds neat! Those triggers you mentions seem correct, however, I would lump shrimp into the seafood category. I recommend the book, “Foods that Cause Pain” by Dr. Neal Barnard. We ran a study based on this book and initially included RA patients but we needed a bigger “n” and ended up not being able to use their data. The dietary protocol is still valid. Our research shows that certain foods can trigger pain. The elimination diet was used in a portion of the study and I agree it can be very useful, yet extremely challenging for some. Good luck with your research let me know how I can help more?

      Best,
      Joseph

    • Vege-tater

      Can I just add that combinations of foods are worth considering also. I had a lot of “sensitivities” before going whole food plant based, that eventually were eliminated. I had previously tried an elimination diet and found nothing specific, it was the overall diet that was key.

  • richard maddux

    no surprise, plant based supplements have changed my life for the better. hope found out of the main frame of info.

  • Brad Leech

    Please note that your information is incorrect. The paper you are talking about ‘Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a Proteus urinary tract infection’ at 5:21 comes from “Rheumatoid arthritis treated with vegetarian diets”.

  • Alex Moore

    Thank you Dr. Sebi for curing my herpes. Please contact Dr. Sebi on Email: info.drsebiscellfood@gmail.com for any kind of disease cure so that your health can be restore.

  • nani

    Also Dr Fuhrman suggest supplenting K2: ¨Kale, collards, spinach and mustard greens are some of the richest sources of K1. Vitamin K2 (a few different substances called menaquinones), on the other hand, is produced by microorganisms and scarce in plant foods; high K2 foods include dark meat chicken, pork and fermented foods like cheese, so K2 is more difficult to get from a Nutritarian diet. The human body can synthesize some K2 from K1, and intestinal bacteria can produce some K2, but these are very small amounts.¨and: ¨Remember, leafy green vegetables provide generous amounts of vitamin K1, and getting K2 from a supplement is likely beneficial if your diet is low in K2.¨What do you think?

    • Vege-tater

      I think we evolved to get our ideal nutrition from plants, and supplements can never compare.

  • Brighde

    Hi Dr Gregor! Is there any interesting research on psoriatic arthritis? There seems to be some good info on Rhumatoid Arthritus but I can’t find much on this form of Arthritis. Thank you for the amazing work you do!

  • Terry6

    What is missing in every discussion about antibiotics? Antibiotics kill all bacteria, including the helpful bacteria, in the host. What affect does this have on production and animal health?

  • Ariel Pereira

    Noticed absence of formerly recurrent oral herpes outbreaks since adopting plant-based diet. Do others have same experience?

  • T

    I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I’ve been on a vegan elimination diet for over 3 months. for the last month I’ve been eating nothing but sweet potatoes and buckwheat. the disease still seems to be present. I take Nabumetone and ginger in capsules. I don’t know what to do. I’m a firm believer in the Whole foods plant based diet and I appreciate Dr. Greger’s work. I would appreciate any input I could get. Thank you.

  • Henry Boneset

    I have taken glucosamine for years for ankle and knee pain. I always wonder if it really helps. Are any of you aware of recent studies on the subject. I’m getting tired of opinions and seek some real, scientific facts. Thanks.