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How to Boost DNA Repair with Produce

“In the light of strikingly consistent observations from many epidemiological [population-based] studies, there can be little doubt that the habitual consumption of diets high in fruits and vegetables helps to reduce the risk of development of degenerative diseases, including many types of cancers.” Not satisfied with merely telling people to eat their fruits and veggies, scientists want to know the mechanism. I discuss this topic in my Which Fruits and Vegetables Boost DNA Repair? video.

Not just vehicles for antioxidants, fruits and vegetables contain innumerable phytonutrients that can boost our detoxification enzymes, modulate gene expression, and even modulate DNA repair pathways. “Until fairly recently…it was generally assumed that functions as important as DNA repair were unlikely to be readily affected by nutrition,” but, if you compare identical twins to fraternal twins, only about half to three quarters of DNA repair function is genetically determined. We may be able to control the rest.

“It is estimated that, on average, there are 800 incidents of DNA damage [in our bodies] per hour,” which is about 19,000 hits to our DNA every day. What’s more, “that DNA damage can cause mutations and give rise to cancer, if not repaired.” Thankfully, “the regulation of [DNA] repair can be added to the list of biological processes that are influenced by what we eat—and, specifically, that this might constitute part of the explanation for the cancer-preventive effects of many plant-based foods.”

Any plants in particular? Nine fruits and vegetables were tested to find out which ones were better able to boost DNA repair: lemons, persimmons, strawberries, oranges, choy sum (which is like skinny bok choy), broccoli, celery, lettuce, and apples. Which ones made the cut? Lemons, persimmons, strawberries, broccoli, celery, and apples all conferred DNA protection at very low doses.

Lemons, for example, were found to cut DNA damage by about a third. Was it the vitamin C? No. Removing the vitamin C from the lemon extract did not remove the protective effect. However, if you first boiled the lemon for 30 minutes, the protective effect was lost.

If it’s not the vitamin C, what might it be? That’s the subject of my video Citrus Peels and Cancer: Zest for Life?

Surprised that the lemon benefit was abolished by cooking? Find out which vegetables it may be best to eat raw in Best Cooking Method.

What about cooked versus raw garlic? See my video Inhibiting Platelet Activation with Garlic and Onions.

For more on DNA protection and repair, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

76 responses to “How to Boost DNA Repair with Produce

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  1. I forgot about the goodness in lemon citrus peel.
    Soon as the cold weather snaps must buy a bag — organic, of course.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Dommy, there’s lemon zest in Dr. G’s 8 Check-Mark Pesto. The recipe is on pp.374 of his book, “How Not To Die.” I’m making some tonight.

  2. I have a question on postural hypotension. Both my daughter and son-in-law seem to have this. Are there any specific foods that they should include in their diet? Any suggestions would be of great help.
    (Sorry this is off topic, wasn’t sure how to reach you otherwise)

    1. You could try taking horse chestnut extract, or butcher’s broom – both are useful in reducing lower leg edema – purportedly by modulating venous compliance. I assume they’ve seen a doctor about this, and he found no treatable medical condition.

    2. Sue, fruits such as citrus and apples contain nutrients that help the veins. Best one I know is to peel a grapefruit leaving as much of the outer white part as you can.
      Yes, I know, people complain it’s bitter. But that’s where the vein healing nutrients are. When eating apples, include the skin.
      I’ve noticed that patients that have this problem are generally overweight and not fit. The leg muscles aid the veins to keep blood from pooling in the lower leg as you stand. So exercises to strengthen calf muscles in particular seem to help. Of course daily walking is important. Work up to about 30-45 minutes of brisk walking a day.
      You want to walk like you are late for an appointment.

    3. I have reviewed both and PubMed but could not identify research focusing on any specific food involved with correcting orthostatic hypotension (Obviously lots more on hypertension!) Still nutrition intake does affect blood pressure and the need for appropriate level of fluid and sodium is important to minimize risk for adverse hypostatic reactions. I’m sure your relatives have been advised to avoid dehydration. This article also stresses need to avoid large meals (Look under Treatment): and

      Hope this is helpful even if a specific food can’t be identified as a remedy.

    4. Sue

      They really need to get a dagnosis of the cause of this condition if at all possible.

      However, alpha-adrenergic activity is one possible mechanisnm for this condition. There is some old animal study evidence that food restriction might help here. It’s a long shot but a calorie restricted diet for a couple of weeks might be worth trying to see if there is any helpful effect.

  3. Took me about 1 month to enjoy drinking cranberry juice. (1 pound of cranberries, 2 liters of water, in the blender). Have been eating peeled lemons and limes daily for several months. Still haven’t got used to them.

    1. Your post makes my mouth pucker.

      I juiced some lemons this morning. I made some pizza burritos and one of the sauces in it had lemon and ginger and I end up tasting both of them. Licking my fingers is differemt than eating peeled citrus.

      I am addicted to the smell of citrus. I love the flavor, too, but the smell makes me so happy.

        1. My brother gave my pizza burritos with garlicky lemon ginger cashew sauce and chickpeas a “That was good.”

          He said it three times.

          I can tell you that it looked disastrous because I don’t know how to wrap burritos, but three thumbs up from the same person makes me happy.

      1. Deb, if you are a tea drinker I recommend Earl Grey. I’ve found it also in Green Tea versions as well as the black tea. I drink both to cover all bases.

        Of course the thing that makes Earl Grey, Earl Grey… is the citrusey bergamot added so I bought some bergamot essential oil, added a few drops to a 1oz dropper bottle and add that to my other types of tea including blueberry, chamomile, guava, artichoke etc.

        It has that citrusey smell you mentioned but more like a lemon/lime cross to my aroma senses.

        1. Lonie,

          I love Earl Grey!

          I don’t drink it as often nowadays because I added other tea varieties in, I think Green tea displaced it.

          Green tea in the morning. Vanilla chai at work. Hibiscus at dinner. Sweet dreams before bed.

          1. I added other tea varieties in, I think Green tea displaced it.

            Green tea in the morning. Vanilla chai at work. Hibiscus at dinner. Sweet dreams before bed.
            Reminds me I haven’t cold brewed any Hibiscus in a while. I also add the bergamot extract to that… no way you are going to hurt the taste of the Hibiscus by adding some citrus to it. ‘-)

  4. Love love Dr G but multiple links to multiple videos often with unclear recommendations, that need to be viewed multiple times, is time consuming andbecoming a drag, an obstacle to good health. only obsessive people persist and even then it’s easy to forget the recommendations. to help people, what is needed is for each food, a very succinct very short summary recommendation (that gets updated with new news), such as
    Food X is (strongly/ moderately) recommended Q frequency in Z cooking style or quantity for W benefit, please note Y (eg tip to optimise bioavailability or other important note). See link for more

    No longer than this, to make the information quickly accessible as many people are not interested in the background research they just want the recommendations

    1. I made this same complaint/criticism several times last week by leaving several replies about the information overload here and the conflicting testimonials and advice. I was told that the moderators are volunteers and that I shouldn’t complain since the info is free (I bought the book for $28.00). I even had 3 of my replies deleted from the board. You should read the policy about leaving comments here and then choose your words wisely. This blog is still a valuable resource to have, but you are going to have to create your own filtering system. Just some friendly advice.

      1. I think that ‘eat mainly whole plant foods and take supplmental b12, algal oil and perhaps d3’ was about as simple as it gets. The particular whole foods that are available vary from area to area so being too specific isn’t necessarily helpful. A lot of the foods commonly available in the US aren’t available where I live and vice versa, for example.

        However, if you want a free simple guide, why not download Greger’s free evidence-based eating guide?

      2. Jack

        Were your posts really deleted? You have to post some really outrageous stuff here for it to be deleted. Not just outrageous – really outrageous. Trolls regularly post some ridculous and offensive comments but they usually don’t get deleted.

        In my experience, posts disappear because they fall afoul of a fairly arbitrary spam filter. If there is a link the filter system doesn’t like, the post just disappears into the ether. This has even happened with links to some of Dr G’s own videos. My posts often diappear for this reason. The solution is to ‘copy’ your comment before posting. If it doesn’t post, paste it in a new comment, delete the link(s) and then try posting again. Works for me anyway.

    2. Fan,

      I feel certain that his How Not To Diet book will help, but his Red light, Yellow Light, Green Light system was meant to do that.

      Diet will be his focus next year. In the meantime, his interviews on YouTubr often give more of that type of information.

      YouTube is full of interviews with him.

      I watched a fun 2019 interview with him today.

      He is such a positive person for someone who is such a lightning rod.

  5. About detox and antioxidants, glutathione is the king (or queen). The body uses it to detox and other things (prevents DNA damage). Many people (maybe all) have toxic levels of heavy metals. People don’t that when heavy metals come out they usually burn (peeing or pooping) or have mental effects. But imagine what they do to you long term if they don’t come out. It could be dangerous (hospital or worse) to try things without learning so be careful and don’t go to Amazon looking for a cure. Glutathione is both a mobilizer and a chelator. These things help long term

    1 Have a fast bowel movement (lots of fiber)
    2 Eat vit C, cabage (sulfur), baby spinach (lipoic acid) to boost glutathione, etc.

    And yes, people in a WFPB diet have lots of heavy metals. For example blueberries have aluminum from soil (need low ph) and mushrroms can be high too, or if you a recent convert, you may hoard a lot from like eating cans of tune (mercury) in your past. You will only learn the truth after you become aware. But on websites people only talk about nutrients, etc. I tell you that if you want to protect your DNA learning about heavy metal should be my first thing on the list. You will learn other things along the way too.

    1. Panchito,

      I did the 12 Week FIji water to help my brain get rid of aluminum and I am trying modified citrus pectin right now.

      The Fiji water worked.

      I am mostly trying the modified citrus pectin because I have it.

      We shall see if I notice anything.

      I stopped having hallucinations after the Fiji Water. Aluminum.

        1. Panchito,

          Thank you for the encouragement! I appreciate it!

          Yes, I am one of the OCD ones.

          I have gotten rid of so many serious symptoms just hanging out here long enough.

          I got rid of neuropathy, horizontal nail ridges, a lump on my Breast and eczema on a nipple, hallucinations, night terrors, vision problems, lesions, leg spasms, the list goes on and on.

          Trying to do this process with brain problems has made it so much more challenging, but everybody has been so nice and so helpful.

          Thank you agsin.

          1. I knew absolutely nothing at all when I came here 15 months ago.

            I never had learned science or nutrition or all that much medical other than specific to my care-giving.

            I had never heard of any of these Doctors or Whole Food Plant Based.

            Genuinely, I had zero interest in any of it and now it captivates me.

            Thank you, Dr Greger.

            I don’t know if I will ever be able to comment withmy computer again and I am not sure whether you banned me. If so, I am sorry for staying.

            I have been enjoying your YouTube Channel and I could go to your other sites instead, but I will talk too much at any of them.

  6. If lemons were so effective in DNA repair, how about its cousins, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines?
    Another studied showed that probiotics were also extremely effective, I wonder is a combo would negate or double therapeutic benefits.

    1. Dr. Greger mentions oranges (or specifically orange peels) in relationship to DNA damage repair ,
      so your question about how other citrus fruits besides lemons repair DNA makes sense. Unfortunately a review of PubMed did not identify any specific studies yet to answer your question, although several fruits have been studied in terms of DNA damage such as this one with some cautionary comments as included: Markers of oxidative DNA damage in human interventions with fruit and berries
      “Data on the effects of fruit and berries on DNA damage in humans are scarce and inconclusive; adequately controlled studies with validated markers are needed.”
      Dr. Greger does comment on probiotics, but again it may be unrealistic to anticipate studies detailing the potential synergistic effect of fruits and probiotics on DNA (if even occurring)

  7. How to prevent or reverse cataract? I have a healthy vegan diet. My ophtamologist always told my eyes younger than my age during my checks up (every two years) Recently, he told me that I was developing
    cataract and may need a surgery in about a year. I would like to avoid surgery.

    1. Marguerite, I assume you are already eating lots of greens for the lutein, etc. Also making sure you are getting enough zinc, and don’t have copper overload.
      The source of your lighting matters also. The new energy efficient light bulbs are hard on the eyes, and have been linked to eye damage.
      Don’t have time to look up all the studies, but I’m posting just one.
      Look up articles on macular degeneration also.

      1. Simple answer for eye issues: ———> KALE. This goes back to the other statement that “Fan” complained about above, and what I complained about last week. If at all possible, just give the answer. Don’t refer to a 15 minute video download that someone has to sit through just to get the answer. Your good intentions are appreciated, but some questions can be given a direct answer and don’t need an entire lecture.

        1. Welcome aboard Jack! You too can spend endless (and mostly thankless) hours responding to never-ending,and often repetitive, questions for the sheer pleasure of trying to sincerely help someone out who may be new to the topic of nutrition.

        2. For lutein to fight macular degeneration, I’m trying to eat a cup of corn/day since spinach is more expensive. I do feel something is happening with my vision, but I’m not sure what. Maybe it’s placebo effect.

        3. Some of us aren’t interested in people’s opinions. Even Dr Greger’s opinions. We are interested in the evidence. That is what this site is about – evidence/nutrition – and that is precisely why it is valuable

          If you personally aren’t interested in the evidence – fine. But you have to understand that that is what the site is about. informing people about what the science says. The site spells it out right there on the front page
          ‘Find out what the latest science is saying about your favorite foods to help you make the healthiest choices for you and your family’

      2. The source of your lighting matters also. The new energy efficient light bulbs are hard on the eyes, and have been linked to eye damage.
        There are different color temps in the led lighting… they range from daylight mimicking white light to tungsten emulating yellow output. If you don’t want to change out all your lights, just buy a pair of yellow tinted glasses and wear those, especially when watching led TVs or computer/tablet/phone screens.

    2. Marguerite,

      Eventually, there might be drops coming out instead of surgery and those drops seem to be about affecting Amyloid which is something researched with Alzheimer’s.

      Dr Greger has a video on ginger and apple juice affecting amyloid. There might be other videos in the Alzheimer’s section.

      I looked up Serrapeptase, but there is only anecdotal evidence for that. I looked up water fasting, but in the study they did it wasn’t enough to reverse it. They might not have done long enough. Dr Goldhamer videos are what I would look for.

      The logic for it is that cataracts is caused by mis folded proteins and Autophagy deals with defective proteins.

      But the study I read, it didn’t work.

      Look through the Alzheimer’s videos.

      You will want to avoid AGES and you will want plenty of antioxidants and you will want to be low saturated fats to avoid Diabetes, which is correlated to cataracts.

      I am not a doctot.

      I just read

      amyloid beta, misfolded proteins

      Related to glycation and oxidation and often related to Diabetes

      1. Watch your cholesterol because that is involved in the process and I believe there is a video on that.

        Sleep enough at night, I think might be part of it.

        I say that as a hunch. If I remember right, MIT did a study and it was the immune system of the brain which got rid of the amyloid beta and that process they activate with blinking LED lights done at a certain pace. Gamma? Maybe.

        I am mentally going back a long time ago, when I researched it because I suspected I had early onset Alzheimer’s. They did a study and the microglia cleaned up some of the amyloid, I think.

        I am so far over my head and can’t get links and post them with my phone. Sorry.

        Please don’t get confused by me.

        1. Yes, I just looked up the study and 40 Hz light flickering decreased Amyloid-Beta in the visual cortex.

          Mind you, that was an Alzheimer’s study, but the cataracts drops were them using sterols trying to find one which could help them get rid of the Amyloid-Beta in the visual cortex.

          Visual cortex sounds good.

          Back then, I bought a $40 gamma light therapy kit to see if it helped with my Alzheimer’s symptoms.


          The drops are already available for dogs on Amazon and what I will tell you is that my dog used to look like he was developing cataracts, but now, either because of the enzymes I gave to him or because of the water fasting or the ginger…. They don’t seem noticeable.

          I will verify whether they are gone next month when he has his physical.

          Cataracts was coming up as a topic.

          Hmmmm, maybe I need to try the blinking gamma lights on him.

          1. I think it was Dr Bredesen who believes that the misfolded proteins in the brain happen protectively.

            I say that because if the folds are happening because of toxins or heavy metals or acidic diet or whatever thing like that, getting rid of the amyloid may be the wrong focus.

            It might be in Dr Geegers video. Not sure.

            1. Laughing

              Yes, it is obvious that I do silly theories as the first step in my process.

              I am about to fall asleep. Almost 6 in the morning so my microglia don’t get a lot of time to untangle my brain.

              1. Cytokines may be involved in some cataracts and that means inflammation.

                I am looking at interleukin 1a and 4. Don’t know if I will find anything, but I did find things which reguted interleukin 6 when I was doing cancer research

                Anti-inflammatory diet and sleep

        1. Those Interleukins have been proven to induce structural changes consistent with Diabetic cataracts.

          They are an immune system response.

          1. I have to start with my science videos.

            They have ones on cytokines. Pretty boring vidros, but they have an interleukin mnemonic tricks video.

            Pretty cool.

    3. I’m glad to hear you are eating a healthy vegan diet which does indeed decrease your risk for cataracts , but it does not mean you will not need surgery. Nutrition can help but cataracts may still develop. See and
      for more details. Bottom line, you continue to need regular ophthalmologic care and monitoring while eating that healthy diet and being open to surgery if needed. You may check out these videos

    4. Marguerite

      Marily and jack have given you some good answers.

      The US National Eye Institute spells out the advice this way

      ‘Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help to delay cataract. If you smoke, stop. Researchers also believe good nutrition can help reduce the risk of age-related cataract. They recommend eating green leafy vegetables, fruit, and other foods with antioxidants.

      If you are age 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. In addition to cataract, your eye care professional can check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other vision disorders. Early treatment for many eye diseases may save your sight.’

      The American Optometric Assocaition also has some useful advice on nutritional strategies:

  8. I would like to know your opinion about the “intermittent fasting”…..eating all you can eat during 4 hours a day….plant based….

    1. Carmen,

      A moderator said that Dr Greger will be dealing with intermittent fasting as part of his “How Mot To Diet” book. Looking forward to hearing what he says.

      As far as I can tell, some of the newest research puts a caution flag out. It may damage the pancreas and cause insulin resistance. If you look up skipping breakfast on PubMed, you will see correlations to T2 Diabetes, Circulatory problems and Cancer.

      It gets confusing because Water Fasting has been used to get rid of cancer.

      Waiting for Dr Greger’s thoughts, but Dr Longo said 12 hours is the best and that over that can cause problems. 13 hours was also discussed, not sure of the logic between the two.

      Breast cancer patients who wait 13 hours between dinner and breakfast are less likely to get the cancer back.

      Dr Longo talked about not doing too many hours, for sure.

      There may be a different logic for periodic water fasting and mimicking fasting, but skipping breakfast even was correlated with obesity in Asia which isn’t known for obesity.

        1. Yes Ra’anan, if my breakfast consisted of bacon, fried eggs, toasted white bread like the plate shown in the article’s picture, I would be a lot healthier to just skip it! Yuck!

          If on the other hand I am eating a whole food, plant-based diet like Dr Greger describes in the Daily Dozen, and exercising daily, then, to be honest, I am hungry and looking forward that bowl of oatmeal or green smoothie. I might only eat twice a day, but one meal is earlier in the day for sure.

          Looking forward to Dr G’s take on diet issues!

  9. Greetings all!

    Please allow me to hijack this thread, lol!

    Does anyone know whether a WFPB diet (or close proximity to one) can help reverse or slow damage caused by a bicuspid aortic valve? It seems like I’ve encountered one medical malady after another since my late 50s. I’m recovering from surgery to correct a rare urological condition right now. Just diagnosed with a squamous carcinoma on my leg, and now this heart thing. We know BAV is a birth defect, so my diet couldn’t be causal. But there’s calcification, stenosis, aorta enlargement, regurgitation and other bad things associated with it. I have to be tested for those. I don’t know about any of them being associated with diet. It seems I’ve skirted any major issues with my BAV thus far, but it is said that I most likely will have to have major heart surgery sooner or later.

    Still have the fatigue issue. That may or may not be caused by the BAV. Not sure whether I should take YR’s advice and start consuming a few animal products. Something stops me from trying that so far.

    1. Only YOU know the answer to that one, Scott! :-)

      Not necessarily “a few” animal products. Maybe just one or two, once or twice a week or so. See how you feel. I just hope you don’t end up being one of those ex-vegans who get interviewed on YouTube. Seems there’s a lot of them lately! They rattle off a whole list of health issues (even though they “did it right”), after having followed an animal-free diet for 1, 2, 3 + years. Different strokes……

      (Thinking out loud: Maybe there IS something to the blood type diet, after all. I’m an O-positive.)

      It’s great not to want to kill food animals, but you — as a human animal — should think of your health. You’re important too, y’know!

        1. Scott

          The claims for the blood type have been trialled and found to not be valid

          it’s probably better to go with what the evidence shows. YR means well but she is paddling her own canoe here not promoting what the nutritional scence shows – just what she believes. Since she also believes that the claims of ‘medical mediums’ and ‘channelled’ supernatural entities are vaild sources of information on diet and a variety of other things, I personally would be cautious about following her advice. Adding animal foods to a well-planned WFPB seems like a potentially risky backwards step give what we know about animal foods and cardiovascular disease risk.

          That said, a whole food plant based diet can include small amounts of animal food. And if you don’t take supplemental B12 or algal omega 3, then it may even be advisable to include small amounts of animal foods to deliver these nutrients. But I suspect the supplements might be a safer option in your position.

          There is no particular diet recommended for your condition – as you say, it is a birth defect which means you have two leaflets instead of the usual three. However, it is probably a very good idea to eat a heart healthy diet in your position. There are plenty of claims out there about what such diets are but the only diet shown to reverse heart disease is Esselstyn’s. See his site here

          There are also free videos of a number of his lectures/presentations on YouTube, which you may want to consider.

          1. “That said, a whole food plant based diet can include small amounts of animal food.”
            – – – – – – —

            Isn’t that pretty much what I was saying to Scott? “Not necessarily “a few” animal products. Maybe just one or two, once or twice a week or so.”

            Fumbles, why don’t you be more specific in your “small amounts of animal food”? How much is small, and how often can a diligent WFPB eater get away with it, per week-wise, for instance? “Small amounts” is too vague.

            (So you’re dragging up the “medical medium” stuff again? Better watch it, buster, or I’ll sic Slider the Bully on you!)

            1. YR

              Yes, it’s close to what you said but you didn’t mention the supplement option. Also, you mentioned the blood type diet but the only good trial I am aware of that investigated this found that the claims behind it appeared not to be valid. Although any diet that eliminates highly processed foods is likely to be relatively healthful so I would see it as an improvement on the SAD.

              TBH, I have no definite idea what ‘small amounts’ are. Nobody does really. I think that Fuhrman advises ‘less than 10%’ of total calories. In the traditional Okinawan Diet, it was less than 4% of total calories while in the traditional Japanese diet of the same era (also associated with healthy longevity – only not quite so much as the Okinawan diet), it was less than 7% of total calories.

              For ethical reasons though, I prefer to avoid all animal foods and instead rely on supplements. There is also the fact that in the latest Adventist mortality study, ‘semi vegetarians’ had the second highest mortality risk (after ‘non-vegetarians’).

              Yeah, what’s happened to Slider? He posted constantly and obsessively for a day or two and now nothing. I thought he was quite entertaining but he’s obviously off with the fairies, if you know what I mean. Being attacked by him is like being savaged by a dead sheep. Totally bizarre and totally harmless.

              1. I really appreciate the input, Tom. Your commentaries on nutrition and other health science are a voice of reason here IMO. I’ve not decided to try this proposition of a bit of NOT plant-based fare just yet. Right now, I am leaning more toward thinking the fatigue is probably not related to my diet.

                It actually very well may turn out to be this bicuspid valve. My appointment with my new cardiologist is Thursday, so I’m sure I’ll soon find out. If that’s not it, I’ll rethink the diet. Frankly, I’d much rather it be the diet than the heart, but we don’t get to choose such things.

                As far as diet, you and YR are helping me see that it’s not necessarily all or nothing. I mean, it’s not like my health would suddenly be in peril if I ate a serving of fish.

                Now, feel free to continue on with this most entertaining back and forth between you and YR!

              2. Fumbles uttered: “There is also the fact that in the latest Adventist mortality study, ‘semi vegetarians’ had the second highest mortality risk (after ‘non-vegetarians’).”
                – – – – – –

                Is their latest info regarding pescatarians the same, however? If I felt I had to slap a label on me, I’d probably choose that one.

                “TBH, I have no definite idea what ‘small amounts’ are. Nobody does really. I think that Fuhrman advises ‘less than 10%’ of total calories.”
                – – – – – –

                I don’t claim to be a hotshot in the math department. Wondering if Fuhrman’s “total calories” pertain to the amount in one meal….or if he’s talking the whole day….or just what?

                (I don’t like swallowing pills or a bunch of supplements; would rather get good nutrition directly from food, if possible.)

                1. YR

                  Yes, ‘pescatarians’ still had the lowest overall mortality risk – just ahead of ‘vegans’.this was for both sexes combined.

                  In men though, ‘vegans’ had the very lowest relative mortality just edging out ‘pescatarians’. In women – different ball game. ‘Pescatarians’ clearly had the lowest risk and ‘vegans; had a higher mortality risk than even ‘lacto-ovo vegetarians’ and ‘semi-vegetarians’. Nobody knows why there was this difference between men and women. Also, this was an observational study and therefore all its findings may have been affected by uncontrolled variables. Either way, a WFPB diet with small amounts of fish seems a reasonable nutritional strategy if you don’t take supplements.

                  That said, the US National Institutes of Health advise that everybody over 50 should take a B12 supplement or eat B12 fortified food because older people are less likely to be able to absorb the B12 naturally found in animal foods. Apparently the B12 in supplements and fortified foods is more easily absorbed.

                  As for Fuhrman, it’s not clear what period he is referring to when he talks about less than 10% of calories coming from animal foods. I would suspect weekly but that’s just a guess on my part.

                  1. Thanks, Fumbles. From the link you posted:

                    “In Dr. Fuhrman’s pyramid, beans are eaten daily and meat is limited to two servings or less per week.”
                    – – – – – –

                    I assume Dr. F. includes fish and other animal products in those two servings per week. Of course, now I’m wondering how many ounces he considers a “serving.” 3 oz., 4 oz., 6?

                    Am not about to angst over such things, however. :-)

  10. Cheryl,

    Ah another craze and book seller with “the” answer. The use of a single ingredient food miracle has been shown to be so misguided time and again. Our metabolic processes are a complex interplay of parts.

    The claims have limited scientific reality. Go to Goggle Scholar ( and check the lack of good studies of any kind. If your reviewing the Doxorubicin paper ( note it was the roots and leaves used…. And a ton of the studies are based on rat’s not humans.

    Although celery has many good features, ie. 0 glycemic index, high potassium, etc. it’s not a/the sole player in providing the necessary comprehensive elements needed for optimal nutrition.

    One consideration regarding the ingestion of the celery drink, especially at 16 ounces on an empty stomach vs, as an example, tea or other beverage is will this ingestion takes the place of a well-established beverage with positive known chemical changes seen as an example in these teas: ( or ?

    Perhaps consider some added celery in your daily intake is the way to go, not as an isolated veggie but rather as an ingredient in your food, with all the fiber and other nutrients present.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

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