Live Q&A with Michael Greger, M.D.

Hangouts on Air: Live Q&A with Michael Greger, M.D.

Aired January 26th, 2014 at 8:00PM ET

Discuss

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.


244 responses to “Hangouts on Air: Live Q&A with Michael Greger, M.D.

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  1. How old were you when you turned Vegan? I was interested in the brief comment about dairy being particularly bad for adolescence contributing more highly to hormonal affected tumor tissues?

  2. Having trouble deciding the right cooking oil. I don’t fry food , but some recipes require a light coating of oil to make make ingrediants not stick and lightly brown. For years I used canola oil believing it was the healthiest. Now there’s evidence everywhere that these oils (oilive , canola ,other PUFAs)are inherently unstable when exposed to heat an form a harmful compound called HNE. Canola being the worst due to the processing it undergoes not to mention it being banned for use in infant formula by the FDA . Lately digging everywhere on the internet points to Coconut oil as being the most stable and healthy for cooking. Why , it’s saturated fat is more stable and resistant to heat damage ( not to mention containing Lauric acid, which has cholesterol benefits as well as having anti-bacterial properties). Seems all the oils that are good for you, you cannot cook with.. Any advice this issue is driving me nutty.

    1. A suggestion – don’t use any oil. A few ideas for you:
      Apple sauce may be used in cakes, cookies, and other sweet baked goods to replace oil or margarine.
      Prune Puree may be used to replace the oil. To make it, puree in blender 6 ounces prunes, 1 cup water, and 2 tsp. vanilla.
      Mashed or pureed tofu can replace oil in other (non-sweet) baked goods.
      Flax meal.
      Chia seeds

      1. There are certain cooking styles that require a little. Some herbs etc that need fat to bring out their flavor. Not a big baker. Not sure how flax or chia seeds replace oil in cooking ???

        1. Hi Evan, I hear your concern! I just started cooking without oil by using water as the cooking lubricant. Even if I’m making an Indian style dish, I first sweat the spices in little water. If the veggies start getting stuck to the pan, I just add a splash of water. I hope that might work for you. :)

        2. You mix with water and see they gel up like an egg and it’s all good fat. And flax can be used in baking like eggs, to hold stuff together.

    2. Hi Evan,

      I agree that if you’re absolutely set on using an oil for certain high-temperature applications, coconut will be more stable and *less bad* for you, but I wouldn’t confuse that with *good for you*. Dr. Greger has a video on the healthfulness of coconut oil here:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-coconut-oil-clog-arteries/

      If you’re interesting in incorporating some alternative cooking methods, here are a few I can think of:

      -Including some amount of ground nuts into veggie burger batter allows them to brown nicely, even when baked.

      -Many people have good luck with the scanpan, which allows you to brown without oil, though I haven’t tried it personally. Would love one, but it’s a little bit of an investment

      -When it comes to sauteeing veggies, it was a revelation to me that oil wasn’t required. Most everything I cook starts with sauteeing onion, and for that I first get my ceramic coated cast iron pot nice and hot on med-high, then add the onions (the order is important here), and stir continuously for at least the first couple minutes. After they’ve browned nicely (a few minutes), I add just a small splash of water to the pot, which deglazes all the beautiful brown bits at the bottom. A pinch of baking soda also makes them caramelize within only a few minutes. As long as the veggies are of a higher-water content (e.g. onions, carrots, celery, etc), and the pan is hot prior to adding them, they will let out their juices and sautee up just fine. If they have a lower water content (e.g. garlic), a splash of water from time to time is needed.

      -As far as herbs needing oil to bring out flavor, I guess I can’t say I’ve really experienced that. Other than making sure to add dried herbs at the beginning of cooking, and fresh at the end, I don’t really feel the need to do anything to get more flavor out of them. Maybe try increasing the amount? Otherwise I know Darryl says that he does use a bit of oil to temper spices in certain dishes, maybe he’ll see this and can chime in here for you.

      I would just experiment, and see what works for you. I was intimidated when I first considered going oil-free, but each time you make something without oil and it turns out well, it’ll increase your confidence. Hope some of this has been helpful.

    3. I have foud coconut oil to be the only oil I actually use daily, on my skin, and at times in soup, after cooking. Coconuts fresh from the tree make my body shiver with some kind of bliss. It’s truely amazing and know Dr G thinks against it for it’s satration but I’ve read that certain enzymatic functions need saturated fats to work at all, so. . . It cured staph that would not go away for years – as soon as I put it on my skin, never had trouble again. I also use virginolive oil when I need a loose oil like for hummus, but . . . .well in the Vietnam war cocowater was used when blood ran out and it works in the body just like blood. I heard of a doctor that ran all a sick patient’s blood out and replaced it with cocowater and the patient leaped up after and ran down the street happy and healed. It’s antibacterial so I use it as deodorant (try it on stinky pits and see!) and on cuts. I say it’s a fabuous choice for cooking too but the hotter it gets the more of the essentials you lose so be aware. and I like the comment below about using water to steam instead no reall nutritional value is browning a veg, but if it’s the flavor you like then, have at it, but maybe just ad oil after and stem and get the flavor without damaging the nutrients of the food. . . . since the point of the food is just that. ;) Cheers!

      1. Thanks everyone for such great advice. I especially need oil for really sticky applications, like making my own flax crackers ( which are like glue ) , or browning falafels without them falling apart. Seems to be a hot topic regarding coconut oil some medical professionals site many studies on the benefits of some saturated fats and others have the complete opposite view. I use it for skin and hair and it’s amazingly moisturizing aid with no reaction and I have very sensitive skin. I have switched to steam and water for other applications. I guess the small amount I use shouldn’t really be of much concern and it’s better than oxidizing other oils like Olive.

        1. Coconut water has been with good results used as PLASMA for people that lost a lot of blood. I really doubt that a person could survive replacing all blood with coconut water.

  3. Hello, Dr. Greger. Is it true that for healthier digestion of nuts and seeds and
    better absorption of nutrients it’s better to put them (nuts/seeds) into water for a
    few hours before consuming, or there’s no significant difference? Or maybe it can make
    them even worse? What can you say?

  4. Dr G you rec 11000 units a day min of anti oxidants for men, which list do we use and how do we use it to build a diet by the numbers?

  5. I have been put on the FODMAP regimen for a possible solution to IBS which I have had for 5 years now. I am 70 yrs. old. This “diet” was studied at Monash University in Australia. Do you have any comments about it?

    1. Do you eat animal food at all? Is your core diet veggies? Beans? Nuts? Lots of greens? Algaes? Kelp would help with ibs but you know what?? I bet mega doses of magnesium and long Epsome salts baths. I have ibs trouble to and long baths several times a week or even daily are a godsend. Plus kelp and all the rest too. Good luck!

  6. Dr.Greger, can fruits and berries increase levels of glucose in blood with time
    and have harmful effects if one eats plenty of them? Or do they have safe
    sugars that don’t cause drastic changes of insulin levels? And what is the
    maximum dose of fruits and berries one can eat per day not to cause harm (say in grams)?

  7. serious issues with Chlorella please comment

    In a 2002 paper, Armstrong et al. [1] discovered a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the cellular wall of Chlorella. LPS is an endotoxin found on the surface of all gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella and is a potent immune system activator. When LPS binds to receptors on the surface of macrophages (phagocytic cells of the innate immune system), it activates them and induces them to release pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor TNFα, and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) [2]. Chlorella, in effect, puts our innate immunity on high alert via LPS, an endotoxin it happens to share with some lethal bacteria. Too much LPS leads to sepsis, which we would be well advised to avoid, but even low doses of Chlorella may be ill advised if they are chronic. While activated immune system may be beneficial in situations such as during an infectious disease outbreak, one must ask what happens to us when we make chlorella a regular part of diet, indeed, a food. Chronic exposure to LPS leads to chronic systemic inflammation, which is not a desirable state of affairs, as the readers of this blog know. Specifically, systemic LPS-activated macrophages in the brain have been implicated in progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and are responsible for Parkinson’s disease [3]. But wait! Isn’t Chlorella at the bottom of the aquatic food chain? Some hapless organism must be eating it, so why can’t we? It turns out that animals that eat algae in general, such as the horseshoe crab or shrimp, have evolved a mechanism, a unique protein, to bind and neutralize LPS. We have not. In the case of Chlorella we see another manifestation of a well-known evolutionary story, that of grains and birds that eat them, and people who eat the birds. People, unlike birds, do not do well when eating grains directly. It is the same with Chlorella, shrimp that eat it, and people who eat the shrimp.

    1] Armstrong PB, Armstrong MT, Pardy RL, Child A, Wainwright N.,
    Immunohistochemical demonstration of a lipopolysaccharide in the cell
    wall of a eukaryote, the green alga, Chlorella, Biol Bull. 2002
    Oct;203(2):203-4.

    [2] Hsu HY, Jeyashoke N, Yeh CH, Song YJ, Hua KF, Chao LK,
    Immunostimulatory bioactivity of algal polysaccharides
    from Chlorella pyrenoidosa activates macrophages via Toll-like receptor
    4, J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 27;58(2):927-36.

    [3] Qin L, Wu X, Block ML, Liu Y, Breese GR, Hong JS, Knapp DJ, Crews
    FT, Systemic LPS causes chronic neuroinflammation and progressive
    neurodegeneration, Glia. 2007 Apr 1;55(5):453-62.

    this is all from:
    http://robbwolf.com/2012/01/19/trojan-horses-of-chlorella-superfood/

  8. serious issues with Chlorella please comment

    In a 2002 paper, Armstrong et al. [1] discovered a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the cellular wall of Chlorella. LPS is an endotoxin found on the surface of all gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella and is a potent immune system activator. When LPS binds to receptors on the surface of macrophages (phagocytic cells of the innate immune system), it activates them and induces them to release pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor TNFα, and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) [2]. Chlorella, in effect, puts our innate immunity on high alert via LPS, an endotoxin it happens to share with some lethal bacteria. Too much LPS leads to sepsis, which we would be well advised to avoid, but even low doses of Chlorella may be ill advised if they are chronic. While activated immune system may be beneficial in situations such as during an infectious disease outbreak, one must ask what happens to us when we make chlorella a regular part of diet, indeed, a food. Chronic exposure to LPS leads to chronic systemic inflammation, which is not a desirable state of affairs, as the readers of this blog know. Specifically, systemic LPS-activated macrophages in the brain have been implicated in progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and are responsible for Parkinson’s disease [3]. But wait! Isn’t Chlorella at the bottom of the aquatic food chain? Some hapless organism must be eating it, so why can’t we? It turns out that animals that eat algae in general, such as the horseshoe crab or shrimp, have evolved a mechanism, a unique protein, to bind and neutralize LPS. We have not. In the case of Chlorella we see another manifestation of a well-known evolutionary story, that of grains and birds that eat them, and people who eat the birds. People, unlike birds, do not do well when eating grains directly. It is the same with Chlorella, shrimp that eat it, and people who eat the shrimp.

    1] Armstrong PB, Armstrong MT, Pardy RL, Child A, Wainwright N.,
    Immunohistochemical demonstration of a lipopolysaccharide in the cell
    wall of a eukaryote, the green alga, Chlorella, Biol Bull. 2002
    Oct;203(2):203-4.

    [2] Hsu HY, Jeyashoke N, Yeh CH, Song YJ, Hua KF, Chao LK,
    Immunostimulatory bioactivity of algal polysaccharides
    from Chlorella pyrenoidosa activates macrophages via Toll-like receptor
    4, J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 27;58(2):927-36.

    [3] Qin L, Wu X, Block ML, Liu Y, Breese GR, Hong JS, Knapp DJ, Crews
    FT, Systemic LPS causes chronic neuroinflammation and progressive
    neurodegeneration, Glia. 2007 Apr 1;55(5):453-62.

    this is all from:
    http://robbwolf.com/2012/01/19/trojan-horses-of-chlorella-superfood/

  9. Is there a vegetarian version of Thera Omega-3 nutrition supplement- The Thera product contains fish oil. Could you recommend a specific vegetarian product or brand? A Google product search indicated that the FDA does not evaluate these products. Thank you!

    1. Dr. Greger recommends algae oil supplementation, although one can achieve totally adequate omega 3 intake by dietary means alone. Flaxseeds, walnuts and leafy greens are especially rich in omega 3.

  10. It’s my understanding that the negative effects of eating meat and dairy
    products are due to the animal fats present. If fat-free yoghurt and egg whites
    are fat free, are they then safe to eat?

    1. Jonathan: As you said, animal fats are definitely a problem. But animal protein is also a problem. For example, your risk of cancer goes up eating animal protein, such as those found in dairy and egg whites. Check out the video series on this site for IGF-1.

      And when it comes to dairy, there is also the problem of lactose intolerance which the majority humans suffer from in a variety of ways, whether they know it or not.

      And then there are the contaminants in both dairy and eggs…

      PCRM has a nice summary of the problems with dairy products.
      http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products

      For more details on these topics, check out the great videos on NutritionFacts:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/eggs/

  11. Dr Greger you are my go to source for all things nutrition because of your non bias clinical research and observations of the constantly changing world of health, my question is, I understand its best to get minerals from organic whole plant foods but in a case where one might not be eating various foods for the most balanced nutrition, would a liquid mineral supplement help at all in aiding health? And if so, would ionic minerals be unsafe as its derived from the sea? Im guessing that a plant derived liquid mineral supplent would be best but can also be more expensive long term, what would be the pros and cons of the two different sources? Thank you do much for your work and living your passion. You’re truly inspiring

    1. I found myself poisoned with these “ionic” minerals(tried different kinds over years and am convinced they are poison when not in real food. Devestating. I use sea salt(centic hawaian, Utah red etc, all kinds – after cooking always so not to kill it), and a 1/2tsp in a gallon of water I drink. I take alges which are high, like kelp (huge mineral content, in balanced amounts) and also flavor my daily coffee with molassas which tatses GREAT and is chock full of mineras and potassium to get your day started. Hope that’s helpful.

      1. I do appreciate the reply very much. I have stopped using the ionic trace liquid minerals and have switched to just investing into more diverse organic seasonal foods and will try molasses and kelp soon as they sound more effective and safe. My research and experimenting will continue and I will update with the progress here. Thanks again.

  12. I have gout and started toward vegan lifestyle. Since we were told that legumes are high in uric acid and not so good for gout patients. Is it true? and if it is, what is the alternative?

    1. The wonderful thing about a whole-plant based diet is that you do not need legumes to cover your protein needs. So if legumes give you trouble – eat less or even leave them out. You will get all the proteins your body needs as long as you eat enough calories not excessively from fruit. All starchy and non-starchy vegetables and grains have sufficient protein. Dr. McDougall has good article about that:

      http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

  13. Why should I not eat dairy and meat in the same meal? It is my understanding there is a nutritional reason for this, but when I tried to get an answer the only thing that came up was because of religious reasons. I want to know if there really is a true medical reason for not doing this. I eat meat and dairy all the time. I eat a lot of dairy products. Thank you!

    1. Lisa: I may have missed it in the video above, but I don’t remember Dr. Greger talking about this topic. What I guess Dr. Greger would say to your question is : if you want the best chance at being healthy, you would not eat any dairy or meat at all – since each one is unhealthy completely by themselves.

      For more information about dairy:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy/

      For the tip of the ice burg on meat:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/meat/

      For Dr. Greger’s nutrition recommendations (notice how it does not include meat or dairy or eggs):
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      Good luck.

    2. Lisa the basic standard view of this doctor and those here is that eating animals or their excretions at all, ever, causes nothing but ill health, disease, low energy and a sick life. If you want an opinion on which poison to eat when, you might try asking elsewhere dear. Good luck.

  14. I finally got around to watching this. It was so much fun! I’m really glad you did this Dr. Greger and hope you will do it again.

    ———————–

    For anyone who missed it in one of Dr. Greger’s previous videos: Dr. Greger is moving around on the screen because he is walking on a treadmill. (Can’t remember if this was announced at the beginning of the video or not.) I think it was cool/fun to watch you walk and talk. I sure wish I could get one of those things for my office!

    —————————

    One of the things that was so neat about this question and answer session is that I picked up some little gems that I hadn’t gotten from previous videos. For example, the part about how the unhealthy Atkins diet could (temporarily) lower someones LDL (bad cholesterol) before killing them. (Those last 3 words being my own.)

    Another gem: Oil is to fat as table sugar is to carbs. LOVE IT! And helped to clarify for me where you stand on oil. Also, thanks for telling us what you eat. I think you should make that part of every one of these talks. It was fun.

  15. I’m late but VERY curious what you would say about magnesium. I eat a core of magnesium foods (lb of chlorella a month, plus dark leafy greens daily – no joke – I also eat pumpkin seeds and other nuts, locally grown and raw which I crack myself, and potatoes etc – it’s almost as if my entire diet is rife with magnesium so I am STUMPED as to why I have to have baths and take Epsome salts internally daily or else. . . I notice my bms are less productive and my let go as a rule seems quite hampered – ie nervous and stressed and hyper and spastic, both emotinally and physically. I have a neurolofgical disease as well, so this may be some reason adding to my need for it? Very interested in what you might say. Thanks and Aloha, Ruby

  16. Good afternoon, Mr. Michael Greger. My name is Alexander Potramansky. ‘m Following you and I fully support you. I live in Russia, I use Google translator, therefore it is possible translation errors.

    My grandfather is sick atherosclerosis of the lower extremities, that you can advise? what diet? It is waiting for your help.

    Sincerely, Alexander

  17. I’ve got a stumper for ya doc. I’m relatively vegan but grain free(no dairy ever but occasional meats like in soups, though as infrequently as possible, not even monthly). I’m BIG on green algaes, omegas, and make the core of my diet an effort to focus on dark leafy greens, including juicing them. So here’s the thing, I have a neurological disease (CMT) and while my diet might be arguably described as rife with magnesium foods, unless I have a soak in a bath of Epsom salts a couple times a week at least, and take a teaspoon internally, nightly, my bm’s are compromised(slight and difficult). I also enjoy coffee and understand the constricting affects and I hear that genetic diseases afftect magnesium levels, but it’s astounding to me that I could need so much magnesium just to poo. I’m 47, lean, been doing yoga for 15yrs, and ride a bike instead of drive. I still spaz and have energy issues as well. I eat a lot of Brazil nuts, black walnut powder, and chlorella (lb a month, no joke) and ferments like miso, home made pickles and krout. . . I just found you yesterday and as poo poo as I am about everyone with an asshole/opinion, you rock out, covering all the issues I have seen with vegans and all the other diets and to me you rule. I’ll be absolutely rivvited to anything you have to say. . . waiting with great anticipation! (rubifyit@gmail.com)

    1. Ruby, You might want to check out the effects of salt. The excretion of sodium promotes loss of other minerals. I think Doc Greger has info on that concerning calcium. Haven’t heard of magnesium specifically. Good luck!

      1. I am quite aware that urination results in loss of minerals. What is your point? “The excretion of sodium”?? What are you talking about? Just curious. Please be clear, as my question was for Dr G specifically, and had nothing to do with sodium loss or intake, so if you are going to chime in, it’d be nice if you made your unsolicited idea make some sense and your words relate in some way to the post you are responding to. You know? Thanks. Cheers.

          1. Ok. You noticed bath salts dear. It’s basically pure magnesium. It’s a mineral. It absorbes into the skin. Thus the baths. I am absorbing minerals in my baths, not depleting them. Goof grief. Ok? Please, I am not open to a disgussion on your views/ideas about salt, as you seem very confused. Also, unless you direct me to Dr G’s info, I am not inviting unsolicited (and half baked, please forgive my saying) contrary ideas. Please respect that. But since you’re here let me informe you: FYI, all urination lets go of minerals and various things we do not need. That’s a good thing. Constant repleation with food is. . . . a daily thing. Magnesium is depleted with certain diseases, especially neurological. Thus my question to Dr G concerning why and my very high need of it. FYI salt is NOT bad. It is needed and Dr G has some vids that are contrary to your contensions about him being against adding it at all. In addition, calcium and mag are not similar, they work in tandum – one exctes, the other alows rest and let down. FYI again, folks who seem quite healthy die of hheart attack, dead, out of nowhere, dude to lakc of magnesium in diets (search magnesium and heart on this site for the vid). . . . Again, m question was for the trained profession directly. I am a life time health care practitioner and your uninvited misinformation is just fodder for argument I won’t further indulge. Please educate yourself via this web site and do not write me again on this or other topics. Thank you. Good luck on your blossoming education on health. Good day.

          2. BTW, I don’t agree with everything purported here, yet there is no misinformation I have yet detected. Hoever there is slanted info based on the view of the “standard american diet” REALLY HIGH in crap, way over salted foods – foods salted for preserving. That’s HIGH salt. It’s not salting your bean soup. Dr G’s SALT vid is about che cheese and corporate polocies on salting foods, and cautioning against that, which is nothing but prudent, and I stand behind it wholly. . . except I do not eat those foods, EVER. Again, the audience spoken to and the contaxt of all i nfo needs to be taken i nto consideration when discerning, and digesting info. I might suggest, in your own study and quest for understanding, rather than take in all info and ideas as correct, you instead take in infomation with a . . . . pinch of salt. Wink. Toodles Karoline.

  18. I am wondering if Dr. Greger could comment on Functional Medicine. I’m all for a holistic approach, but when it gets to things like coconut oil, bone broths and other saturated fat claims, I can’t support it. There are several “celebrity” docs out there getting a lot of press, i.e. Amy Myers and Mark Hyman who all proclaim they can help many chronic conditions. I was referred to a dietitian who was a functional medicine practitioner, for help with food sensitivities. The first thing whe wanted me to do was add fat to my diet with bone broths, pasture-fed animal meat and butter, despite my total cholesteral at over 250. I paid a huge amount out-of-pocket for a consultation and never went back. I lean towards a plant-based diet with only good oils from nuts and avocados. What science are they following that says these saturated fats are helpful? Thanks for your time.

    1. Sandy DeFord, I’m sorry to hear you went through all that with the consultation. It sounds to me like you have a good head on your shoulders. You handled that well.

      I’m not an expert in these things, but I have an opinion about your last question. Life is so messy and scientific experiments so imperfect that you can find “science” to support any position you want to take. So, I’m sure those “experts” could point to studies that (may or may not) back up their claims.

      But that does not mean that the “body of evidence” (the majority/the convincing studies/the whole) supports those claims. I believe that Dr. Greger’s work on this site is well representative of the body of evidence that we have about nutrition science. You might also want to take a look at Plant Positive’s video series. (He has both a YouTube channel and his own site.) Plant Positive does an amazing job of busting the cholesterol deniers, etc.

      That’s just my 2 cents. Good luck to you.

  19. My friend says “that free range fresh wild (no longer that 3 to 5 days old) organic fertilized eggs do not cause TMAO to be formed and are actually good for you. His only research is how he feels after eating the egg. I say ” they are the most Acid forming animal product you can eat (see on the Max-Planck Institutes Acid/Alkaline Chart) and are toxic. Are Fetilized non-factory farm eggs and exception to the research condemning eggs? I personally am a 37 year raw foodist and consume no animal products whatsoever. Also, does taking Phosphydial Choline Supplements cause TMAO to be formed? Thanks, Blessings, Len aka. the Maui Bush Doctor

    1. Even local organic eggs cause me inflamation so I abstain, period, but lots of folks around here have their own chickens and also swear by the eggs. I’ll ask someone. One lady I can tell has lung issues, the other is a friend and I know she has health issues and loves dairy and I wouldn’t trust her judgement on her own body cuz i don’t think she’s quite aware. The other is a woman who works at my health food store – she’s older, but I know has some health issues, though I am pretty sure she’s at least vegetairan and may well be dairy free, though she eats eggs..

  20. I use a pound of chlorella month and have always used some form of blue green algae. It’s a staple. It’s nothing short of necessary. I also need magnesium at the same time because the algaes help dump metals which create contractions in the organs dumping (all of them) and only chlorella holdds the metals and brings them out. Both together are miraculous. I’ve also heard weight falls off eating it. . . I say never mind to all those words above – no disrespect, but I go on what works not what others say. Try it and see what it feels like and what it does. If you’ve never taken a green algae you WILL experience detox symptoms and magnesium would be highly indicated if you ask me. Good luck.

  21. I loved listening to you, Dr. G, but have to admit that I had to avert my eyes. I’m one of those rare folks who get dizzy when watching moving cameras. (Think Blair Witch Project–or worse than that, Rachel Getting Married.) Maybe you could nix the treadmill next time? Or maybe I’ll just keep looking the other way. Thanks for all your important work.

  22. Hello Dr Greger,

    Can you please elaborate on whether or not it is good idea for new parents to be following guidelines for introducing Probiotics into an infant’s diet?
    We are 90 vegetarian in my house ( 10% traditional dishes, fish) and have a 8month old only on breastmilk.. but I keep hearing remarks on the importance of Probiotics, we have a lactate free home so now i am trying to get more answers..

  23. Can you reverse arteriosclerosis especially if one has poor circulation in the feet especially if there is evidence that the poor circulation is affecting the rest of your body and organs

    1. This post is in reference this:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311163101.htm

      “Men in the highest quartile of animal protein intake had a 39 percent
      decreased chance of experiencing higher-level functional decline than
      those in the lowest quartile. These associations were not seen in women.
      No consistent association was observed between plant protein intake and
      future higher-level functional decline in either sex.”
      So maybe lower protein intake for older men is not so great? Since I fit in this category…I’m interested.

  24. Is there any research/recommendations re: the necessity of washing (and drying) organically grown whole grains before grinding them at home?

    1. k: I’m not an expert, but I have some thoughts that may help you.

      My understanding is that whey is a by-product of the diary cheese making industry. Whey contains a fair amount of animal protein. We have some pretty good evidence that animal protein promotes cancer growth. Does this mean that whey *causes* breast cancer? I suppose that depends on what you mean by causes. I don’t know whether or not whey would start the first cancer cell – but you aren’t considered to have cancer until you have something like a billion cells. So, if whey were to promote cancer growth, then you could say that it causes cancer since it would more quickly take you to that cancer diagnosis.

      If you are interested in learning more, I suggest looking up the IGF-1 series of videos on this site to learn how animal protein can promote cancer growth. (The series starts with the title “IGF-1 as One-Stop Cancer Shop”.) Other videos on this site also draw a link between animal products and cancer, but they are not necessarily about whey in particular.

      Hope that helps.

  25. What is the best natural solution for scalp psoriasis? I have a mild-moderate case, but I’ve noticed lately that my hair is thinning, so I am really freaking out…HELP! My dermatologist says the “only” thing I can do is use this Ketoconazole shampoo every day, but it seems to make it worse and it damages my hair! Are you familiar with the Indian herb bhringaraja (false daisy)? Thank you SO MUCH for all you do!!

    1. Robin,
      After using tea tree products for years, I got an allergy against it. My skin turned red and itchy. (I had used tea tree oil straight on athletes foot and after starting allergy couldn’t tolerate the tea tree deodorant neither.) You might want to try another shampoo. For a while I used a coarse clay (not the fine one for facial/skin application) to wash my hair. It takes excess grease out but also distributes some over the whole length of hair as “conditioner”. It took me a bit to get the hang of it but it is certainly the least chemical of all means. Now I’m using the Shea butter shampoo by Alaffia.
      I wish you complete recovery and enjoyment of your beautiful hair!

  26. When is your next “Live Q&A” session? I love the fact that you’re getting your exercise (on the treadmill) while answering questions live! Very cool.

  27. I am curious that I see nothing on your site about eating hemp seeds. I at first thought they may not be legal in the United States but I have since seen them in a U.S. nutrition store. I am Canadian and they are available in bulk food stores, Costco’s, and many other stores. I am a new Vegan and have been eating 1/2 cup a day added to my morning oatmeal mixture for primarily the high protein and omega 3 levels.
    I have been basing this on the nutritional profile on the label but would prefer to have input from you Dr. Gregor as both myself and another friend that is a new Vegan as well have been using your site as our main trusted source for info on nutrition.
    Thanks,
    Dr. Steve Johnston

  28. Hi, Dr.
    How would you respond to the vague and misleading study from the Annals of Internal Medicine which is being interpreted by the media as a green light to consume saturated fat?

  29. I have a question for Dr. Greger or any of the experts. My dad was recently diagnosed with systemic lung nodules brought on by chrondrosarcoma in his arm. The chrondrosarcoma was removed by surgery, however the the nodules in his lungs are too spread out and small to be removed by surgery. Furthermore, chemotherapy (I have been told my oncologists) is not normally effective against lung nodules.

    Are there specific foods (and the amount) that he can eat to help combat this type of cancer?
    Thank you

  30. Please, can someone help to explain this? I am eating a whole foods, vegan diet. The diet that is advocated by doctors like Ornish, McDougall, Barnard, Fuhrman, and Esselstyn. Steel cut oats made my blood sugar go above 200 today. My LDL is low at 70. My HDL is good at 50. Triglycerrides tested at 70. Why the heck is my blood sugar spiking. Am I becoming diabetic from eating a plant based diet? This makes no sense to me. I am even feeling some tingle in my legs I think. I thought maybe it was from my back. I have spinal stenosis in my low back. Please tell me what I am possibly doing wrong. My weight is good at 150. I eat no junk, no refined carbs. It looks like to me that I am wearing my pancreas out from the complex carbs. This is so crazy and now has me concerned. Please respond someone. Has Dr. Greger ever heard of anything like this? Should I start adding some animal products back into my diet?

    1. Hi Tony, for starters – how long after your ate the oats did you get a reading of over 200 and how high over 200? Did you have fruit/sugar/juice on your oats, etc. What is your fasting BS? Have you checked it after other meals? Are you regularly checking your blood sugar? How often are you checking it? I am assuming this was by finger stick, correct?

      1. Hi Jacquie…..thanks for responding. It was a finger stick and it was like 220 I think. My fasting is always around 80 so usually normal in the mornings. I read today on a couple of different internet websites that oatmeal does this to most people, even those who are not diabetic…often in the 180 range. I ran out of test strips so I could not test today but I will as soon as I can get some more. Today, I did not put any honey in my oatmeal. I was only using like one teaspoon anyway so not a lot. I also did not add the banana. I had the steel cut oats today, 2 tablespoons of walnuts, and 1/2 of a green apple sliced up in the oatmeal. Do you personally eat oatmeal yourself and have you ever tested yourself just to see? I need to find a way to stop these spikes wouldn’t you say if this happens each time I eat oatmeal even if the levels come back down to fasting normal. 2 hours post-prandial and the levels are down but still not in normal range. I am also going to start exercising right after eating the oatmeal to see if that helps any. Does oatmeal do this to most people? I read posts from a lot of people today who say oatmeal spikes them to 180, even people who have not been DX with type 2 diabetes. According to McDougall, Fuhrman, Ornish, and Barnard, a whole foods PB diet should help cells become more sensitive to insulin and this should not happen I think. I am gonna see my personal doctor in a few more weeks but do you think healthy complex carbs might be bad for some people. I started doing this to try and stay healthy as I get older. I am in my mid 50’s now. I have checked after a meal of beans, veg salad, collard greens, and eggplant and that did not cause a spike like the oatmeal I think. I really need to experiment on myself a little more and then I can answer your questions more precisely. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

        1. Hi Tony, thank you for sharing your personal experiment. I think you are on the right track to work with your body and try different things. Are you on meds, which ones? Can I assume type 2….more questions…so probably not good to post your life online! Working with an RD/RN Diabetes Educator that is supportive is often helpful too.

          Lastly, this might be interesting for you since you are doing such a great job of seeking out information. Although this says for health professionals, you could take it to learn – its free! http://www.nutritioncme.org/programs.cfm?cat=4

          Have fun learning!

  31. Very disturbing report from the Annals of Internal Medicine promoting saturated fats over polyunsaturated fats… http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638 . I know the Dr. gets tons of questions , how can this be possible ? Like I said very disturbing. While I don’t have access to the entire article I saw a review of it by Dr. McDougall. He’s quoted “I agree with the conclusion that polyunsaturated fats (fish oil) and monounsaturated fat (olive oil) are not going to prevent heart disease. They are at least fattening and most likely promote cancer” … Promote cancer ??? I hope Dr. Gregor can shed some light on this.

    1. Kyle: I’m not aware of any good science backing up the blood type diet. Here is just one example source showing that the diet is not based on anything scientific:
      http://www.medicaldaily.com/blood-type-diet-debunked-after-book-eat-right-your-type-sells-7-million-copies-267391

      On the other hand, there is a TON of good science backing up the health benefits of a whole plant food diet. All of the information here on NutritionFacts shows this. Keep watching videos on this site and you will start to see why yourself.

      Hope that helps.

    2. Hi Kyle, I’m happy you asked this because Dr. Greger is releasing a new video on blood type diets in just a week! I’ll post it here again when it comes out. (Hint: it appears that the blood type diet was mostly hype by one doctor.)

  32. have you come across any study on ghee? Indian Ayurvedic physicians swear by ghee and its medicinal properties. In my opinion it contains saturated fats.

  33. Hello, I would like to ask if it is possible to drink young dried barley/wheatgrass ground into powder and if that would have more significant benefits than for example spinach (kale is not readily available where I live.)

  34. SOOOO WHY ISNT THERE ANYTHING FROM YOU POSTED SPECIFIcALLY about gmo food and the quality of drinking water from the tap filled with various stuff like heavy metals and fluoride?? do u have any research re these issues??

  35. Anyone see this study claiming worse health outcomes for vegetarians? “Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study” 2/14 in the Journal PLOS ONE

  36. Is Dr Gregor still going to be hosting another Live Q&A? I posted a question over two weeks ago, but have not had ANY response nor seen anything posted about another upcoming Q&A session. I really NEED some help with my situation/question, so I hope to get some feedback soon! I am at my wits end and need some suggestions ASAP. Thanks so much for all you do!

    1. Robin: I’m not a doctor, but this sounds like the kind of thing that would be hard to assist with over a website. Here’s my suggestion after seeing, “My dermatologist says the “only” thing I can do is…”

      I would suggest that you get a second opinion. Find another dermatologist. If your current dermatologist has only one suggestion that makes you worse, then it is time to find another doctor. That’s all I can think of to try.

      While this doesn’t help you much, I thought I would mention that your situation struck me as unusual (and thus really requiring some expert help). When one of my older female family members went vegan, her hair started to come back in thicker — after having spent years getting thinner. You mentioned that you already eat vegan (hopefully whole plant food based vegan). So, your situation doesn’t sound like it would have an easy fix. (But who knows? Maybe another doctor will know what is really going on and what to do about it.)

      Good luck. I hope you are able to figure this out!

  37. I don’t understand these studies just out:

    Vegetarians are ‘less healthy’ and have a poorer quality of life than meat-eaters

    Vegetarians visit their doctors more often and are more prone to allergies

    They also have ‘a 50% increased risk of both heart attacks and cancer’

    They are also more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders

    But vegetarians tend to be more active and less likely to drink and smoke

    By Emma Innes

    Published: 07:56 EST, 3 April 2014 | Updated: 09:27 EST, 3 April 2014

    Vegetarians are usually confident about the health benefits of their meat-free diets.

    But new research suggests vegetarian diets are associated with poorer health and quality of life.

    The study also showed that vegetarians visit their doctors more than meat eaters and that they are more prone to allergies, cancer and mental health problems.

    Enlarge

    Vegetarians are less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters, researchers claim. Table shows the chances of suffering from different illnesses depending on diet

    It showed that non-meat eaters have double the risk of allergies and a 50 per cent increased risk of heart attacks and cancer, CBS Atlanta reports.

    They are also significantly more likely to experience depression and anxiety.

    However, the research from the Medical University of Graz, Austria, did reveal that vegetarians tend to be healthier in some ways.

    It showed that they are usually more active and that they consume less alcohol.

    They are also less likely to smoke and tend to have lower BMIs.

    The research also revealed that people of high socioeconomic status are more likely to be vegetarian.

    Vegetarians are 50 per cent more likely to get cancer and to have heart attacks. They are also more likely to have allergies and to suffer from anxiety and depression

    The research contradicts previous studies that have suggested red meat is linked to a range of health problems, including bowel cancer.

    As a result, the researchers say more studies are needed to confirm their findings.

    The researchers say: ‘Our study has shown that Austrian adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.

    ‘Therefore, a continued strong public health programme for Austria is required in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2596012/Vegetarians-healthy-poorer-quality-life-meat-eaters.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

  38. Would it be
    possible to address the issue of thyroid hormone replacement? Is there any
    plant-based research or diet related research in the area of
    hypothyroidism?

  39. .hi this is sunny.i am 20 years old.2 years ago a cricket ball hit badly at my penis.since then it is quite abnormal.now i have feelings of sexual problem especially erectile.i also have urinary problem

  40. Hi Dr. Greger, I have been exploring the field of health and nutrition and am interested in going back to school to get a Masters in Nutrition. What would you recommend as the best schools for this? I unfortunately live outside of the US and am bound geographically but I was wondering if there were any distance learning masters programs that you might be able to recommend?

  41. Hi. Wondering if you have information on morgellons disease? I was diagnosed at UofM a year ago – been doing many natural protocols. Interestingly white vinegar topically and red apple vinegar orally daily seem to be helping, but the fibers are still coming out and painful joints..

  42. I have Systemic Amyloidosis (AL) and heard the Green Tea includes a chemical that can help remove Amyloid from the body (EGCG). Is there good data to support the use of Green Tea to help remove Amyloidosis and could this be a cure?

  43. It has been established that the progression some cancers can be turned on by the presence of dietary animal protein and turned off by the absence of dietary animal protein (2006 The China Study by T. Colin Campbell). Since most everyone has a burger or some other animal based protein sandwich with their French Fries and potato chips, I am wondering what the cancer risk is for vegans (plant based diets that are rich in Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds and nuts) that occasionally consume French Fries and Potato Chips. Did any of the studies cited in your latest nutrition video (April 30, 2014 Cancer Risk of French Fries) consider the risk of caner to vegans that consume French Fries and Potato Chips?

  44. I just listened to the video on mushrooms and breast cancer. Does it make a difference if the mushrooms are raw or cooked?

  45. I am switching potentially cancer causing cosmetics for natural butters and oils. However, I am concerned with the added cholesterol that might be absorbed into the bloodstream from almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter, etc. Are there any studies and findings on this? Many thanks!

  46. What a wonderful format Dr. Greger! You are a mine of useful and positive information!

    One suggestion is to add a table of contents where each listed question is linked to the point in the video where it is answered. This might help people locate the question that interests them.

    Thanks for considering this feedback.

  47. Seems to be a lack of research revealing the effect and interactions from taking COMBINATIONS of vitamins and supplements. Especially when taking a variety of pills at the same time. Any news you can share?

  48. I would be interested to read about fruits/vegetables with least pesticides. I heard kiwi have no (or have minimum of pesticides). I did quick google search, and it doesnt look like thats correct. On one site I quickly ready supposedly that kiwis are sprayed early and when ready for harvesting, then there is little of the pesticides left. Anyway, it doesnt matter kiwi or not. My point is that I would like to focus on those groups of veg/fruits which have the least chemicals, if any :)

    Thanks Mr. Greger

    And thank you for all your effort!

  49. I was wondering if there was any cross sectional research study consensus on testicular health, antioxidants, anti-cancer, etc??? Thanks

  50. Dr. Greger looks healthy, and healthier than in older videos. He is doing something very right. Perhaps I should work at a treadmill.

  51. hi, my name is Nadia i am from Moldova. can you tell what you think about vacination of people. if optimal diet can prevent many disease why then we need vacination?

    1. Vaccinations do not prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, etc.. Diet will not protect us from infectious diseases, which Vaccines directly address.

  52. Dr Gregor,
    Could you do a video on Kefir?
    After being hospitalized as end Stage-4 metastatic breast cancer, intubated, induced coma for 8 days, taking three rounds of antibiotics and having diarrhea for 4 months, I started making my own Kefir and taking Kefir made from goats milk, and it stopped the diarrhea in its tracks.
    Except for the Kefir, I have been a Vegan since my return from the hospital.
    There are some real ncbi studies that have confirmed Kefir’s benefits on cancer.
    Could you elaborate on the benefits of Kefir? Or is it so non-vegan that you can’t?
    Thanks,
    Mia

    1. Mia: I’m sorry to hear about your medical problems. Ouch.

      One thing about your post that caught my attention was that you are making your own kefir. So, then I wondered if you could make it non-diary and get the benefits of kefir without the drawbacks. I would think that the benefits of kefir would be from the pro-biotics
      rather than from the dairy or a combination fo the two. So, I would expect a non-dairy kefir to be
      just as beneficial. I know that there are commercial brands of non-dairy kefir. I can’t remember if the one I tried was soy or coconut based, but I believe it was one of those. This makes me think that you really could make your own non-dairy kefir if that is something you wanted to do.

      That’s just something to think about.

      Good luck. I am thinking good thoughts for you to have a complete recovery.

    1. Maya: Consider checking out this video from NutritionFacts.org:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/calcium-absorption-soy-milk-versus-cow-milk/

      Underneath the above video, Dr. Greger also wrote:

      “My calcium recommendation is to get least 600 mg daily via calcium-­rich plant foods—preferably low-­oxalate dark green leafy vegetables, which includes all greens except spinach, chard, and beet greens (all very healthy foods, but not good calcium sources due to their oxalate content). Check out the video Plant vs. Cow Calcium for more.

      And for more from a practical perspective, check out my accompanying blog post Soy milk: shake it up. As well as my associated blog post, How to Enhance Mineral Absorption.”

      If you find that text, you can click links that will take you to more relevant videos.

      Good luck.

    2. Yes, but you can also get enough calcium eating green leafy vegetables, such as kale, arugula and collards. Calcium is littered through out other plant foods as well.

  53. I seem to have thyroid concerns, and was wondering whether any of your material has recommendations as far as thyroid detox goes? Now that I read about it this little gland is doing a lot!!!

  54. Hello Dr. Grenger, I thank you for all the work that you have done in providing unbiased analysis of what’s happening in the world of nutrition. Your work is phenomenal. Now there are some things that I keep getting asked by people which I am unable to form proper response to. I request you to please take some time out to answer below important questions of mine:

    1. I would like you to analyze and provide your critic to this study – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/07/31/ajcn.113.062638.short

    2. There have been a lot of studies about saturated fat and LDL being good for health in the recent past. I would like to know your critical analysis and take on them.

    Thanks.
    Sejal
    http://sejswhirlpool.wordpress.com/

  55. I have been a vegan for a few years and in pursuit of some fitness goals I started learning about proper food combining. Any thoughts on Dr. Douglas’ 80-10-10 diet or Freelee The Banana Girl’s modified version of a high carb low fat diet consisting of lots of fruit for breakfast and lunch and cooked dinner consisting of mostly high carb root vegetables? Also thoughts on oil free and/or salt free diets?

    1. Amit: I’m not an expert, but most of the time when I hear about “food combining”, it seems to come from questionable sources/questionable science.

      I’m not talking about the interesting topics on this site that discuss “food synergy” though. You may find that topic interesting.

      As for oil: Jeff Novick has a really great lecture: From Oil to Nuts. I learned a lot in that talk. One of the things I learned is an understanding of why oil is like sugar, maybe worse depending on your calorie needs. But does that mean my diet should be oil-*free*? The answer is, ‘yes’ if I want an optimal diet, but here is where the comparison to sugar helps me a lot. I still eat sugar even though I know it is bad for me. I just do the best I can to limit sugar to rare, occasional desserts. (At least that is the goal.) So, to me, a lay person’s opinion, if you can work toward limiting oil in your diet to rare treat dishes, that is a reasonable goal – instead of working too hard to be completely oil free.

      Good luck to you.

  56. Hi, my question stems about protein. In your videos it is clear that animal protein is (simply) bad for you. I would like to see if there are studies about protein supplementation. Are the protein Supplements out there just as bad for you?

    Thanks!

  57. Ian unable to find I formation on your site pertaining to the impact, positive or negative, of consuming egg whites vs. the whole egg. I often get asked if one only eats the whites is there less of an impact on cholesterol and heart disease?

  58. Doctors frequently claim that among the ubiquitous causes of women’s hair loss (particularly Hashimoto’s, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.), the absence of meat in the diet, particularly red meat, is a top factor. I have not come across any legitimate studies endorsing meat as a hairloss prevention aid; why this dogmatic dedication to meat as the holy grail for hair loss? Thank you for any clarification.

  59. Doctors frequently claim that among the ubiquitous causes of women’s hair loss (particularly Hashimoto’s, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.), the absence of meat in the diet, particularly red meat, is a top factor. I have not come across any legitimate studies endorsing meat as a hairloss prevention aid; why this dogmatic dedication to meat as the holy grail for hair loss? Thank you for any clarification.

  60. I heard recently that there can be such a thing as too much spinach or swiss chard. Could be a potential problem for osteoporosis, I guess, due to oxalates in the raw form? Can you enlighten me further? Is there any substance to this question?

  61. I heard recently that there can be such a thing as too much spinach or swiss chard. Could be a potential problem for osteoporosis, I guess, due to oxalates in the raw form? Can you enlighten me further? Is there any substance to this question?

    1. Don: I’m not a doctor, but here is my 2 cents.

      There is such a thing as too much of anything. But putting that issue aside, is there some special reason to worry about spinach and swiss chard? Here’s my understanding: Those are greens that have a lot of oxalates, which bind up the calcium *in those greens*. The oxalates do not bind up the calcium in other foods. For example, if you ate kale with your spinach, you would still get full benefit of the calcium from the spinach.

      So, to answer your question: Eating say spinach would only be a problem if you ate so much of it that you didn’t also eat significant amounts of other leafy greens which have more bio-available calcium. And since we have lots of evidence of the health benefits of including spinach in our diet, we don’t want to be afraid of eating spinach. We just do not want to make spinach the only greens we eat.

      That’s just my understanding. I hope it helps.

  62. How do you know which probiotics have the right level of bacteroidetes? I we looking for the lactos and the bifidos, or what?

  63. Any research on improving white blood cell count as in neutropenia? I’ve been on a plant-based, whole foods diet for 18 months, but still getting sick a lot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  64. can you evaluate the glutathione raising supplements sold by max international? or a video on glutathione production in vegans vs omnivores?

  65. New documentary, “Cereal Killers” that supports eating animal products, at least on the
    premise it won’t make you fat, raise your inflammatory biomarkers, or
    bad LDL’s. Here’s the link, very interested in your view. I’m a
    healthcare provider and hesitate to bring this to my patients attention.
    Would value your opinion here.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/28/cereal-killers-movie.aspx?x_cid=20140628_cerealkillersdocumentary_facebookdoc
    Thanks
    Jim

  66. I’ve searched but have been unable to find any information on whey protein concentrate (specifically, from non-rgbh dairy). I’ve read in some places that whey is associated with reduced cancer risk, but I’ve read that it increases IGF-1, which is associated with greater cancer risk. Trying to understand this!

  67. Hi-I have recently been diagnosed with a severely herniated c6/c7 disc. This is causing me incredible pain. I had my first epidural steroid injection yesterday. Wondering if you are aware on any research about anti-inflammatory diets & herniated discs?

  68. Is it possible to have mass produced food that is healthy? It is my impression that mass produced food is of lower quality and higher additives in them.

  69. I have a friend who is a big meat eater and was just diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer. Can dietary habits help protect from ulcers (which I’ve read are now know to be caused by H pylori infection)? Thank you!

  70. I apologize if this has been covered already, but in regards to the Swank diet for MS – what about all the new research regarding “good fats”? Coconut oil, avacado, etc.

  71. I have been told it could be a herpyes virus I have got a rash all over my back and it’s starting to effect the rest of my body like my legs and arms and some on my face.i have not come in to contact with anyone for 4 to 5 months but I have had for the first time for six weeks now

  72. I am curious as to if you have at some point found any nutritional treatments for bone cancer. I wish you had the time to do more Q/A sessions but, on the other hand your audiences’ Q might not be worthy of your time and efforts. Thank you for your work.

  73. Should you take a “drug” holiday when using spices and herbs as medicine? I take 1 tsp of turmeric with 1/8 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger daily in Golden Milk and it completely eliminates pain in my arthritic thumb. The pain comes back if I stop using it for a few days. I have no health issues, no kidney or gall stones at 63 years of age.

  74. I just read an article on ‘cilantro and chlorella’ being used to detox heavy metals with 80% success. Any body know anything about this?

  75. Not sure if this is the right place to ask questions but I couldnt find anywhere else so I will write my question here for now…

    Dr. Greger,

    I have a question about store bought almond milk vs. homemade almond milk. I have read conflicting information about this.

    One says that store bought almond milk is better as it has vitamin D which assists in calcium absorption as well as other added vitamins which are beneficial for ones health, whereas homemade almond milk does not have these vitamins and on it’s own has very little calcium.

    The other information which I have read which conflicts with the above says that store bought milk is full of additives like synthetic vitamins and emulsifiers which is damaging to health as it stresses the immune system and contributes to chronic disease.

    I am somewhat left feeling very confused and want to make the right choice, especially as I have a toddler and I myself am pregnant so need to know what is the best route to getting enough calcium through almond milk.

    Looking forward to your response.

  76. I have a friend that claims when she eats grains, she gets “gut rot” or “leaky gut”. I also happen to know she eats many different animal products. What is your take on this?

  77. Which vitamins and minerals should a vegan take and in which amounts? Currently take: Vitamin D(1000IU), Kelp for iodine(325mg), B12, Algae for omega-3 (325mg) plus flaxseed, calcium (600mg).

  78. Hi Dr Greger,
    Iam wondering if juicing with vitamix is bad as far as to much sugar. Iam not a diabetic and weight is ok. I still want to drop 10 lbs. But my mom died from diabeties so I have always watched that. I have been pretty healthy for years but I went completely vegan in May of this year. All my blood work has always been good. I did eat chicken but rarely but not anymore. So I have been watching you and I really could use some advice. I don’t want to go from good to bad because I have made bad choices about eating. I really want to eat a lot of fruit but because of being programmed over the years it scares me. I do believe that plant base diet is the best way of life. Please help. Is to muck fruit bad?

  79. What is the best dose of potassium for a severe case of psoriasis? I am also trapped in a windowless office for at least 10 hours a day at work.

  80. I have suffered from Psoriasis for the last 2 yrs. I am at a loss for help. Nothing topical helps. We’re you saying to increase potassium intake? Other than juicing green vegetables, what else should I be doing?

  81. Doctor, I value what you say very much. You talk a lot about increasing a plant based diet and decreasing animal based foods. I am confused however about whether I should continue eating wild salmon, wild halibut and free range chicken. Can you clear this up for me? Thanks

    1. Bill: The following link shows you Dr. Greger’s recommendations for optimum nutrition. Notice how he does not recommend eating any fish or chicken.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      To understand why fish and chicken are not recommended, check out these videos and articles on those topics:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=fish
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=salmon
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=chicken
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/
      ….(On the last link, follow the series by hitting “next video”)

      You could spend a lot of time on this site learning about fish and chicken. You will notice that many (most?) of the problems with these foods has nothing to do with where/how they were raised/grown.

      Most people think they need animal flesh for protein. I have some awesome links that will help you understand protein needs if you want them.

      Most people think they need fish for the omega-3s. I will point out to you that salmon still has a lot of saturated fat and that you can get your omega 3s more safely through other means. For the best presentation in fat, check out Jeff Novick’s video: From Oil To Nuts.

      I hope that helps.

        1. Madelyn: I *believe* that garlic was also on the list of food poisonous to dogs. I read that book a long time ago and do not remember all of the details. I highly recommend reading that book. I’m not an expert, so I can’t advise you beyond that.

          I’m sorry to hear about a dog with cancer. That would be heart breaking. Good luck to you and the pooch.

  82. Hello Doc. Ive been on your site for more than 15 min now trying to find out where to post my health related question. Cant seem to find an exact spot to, so I will try here.
    My question is: “Which Immune System boosting foods do you recommend for killing Gonorrhea? thanks!

  83. dobutamine

    Hi Michael,
    Our cardiologist wishes to add this to an Iv for the
    Stress Echocardiography test scheduled on August 8 here at Straub Clinic & Hospital.
    tMy instincts say it is not safe and not necessary.  I appreciate your input.
    Sleepless in Honolulu
    Judith Driver
    808.292.2944

  84. Dr. Greger,
    I am told that vegans have a low HDL level. I have maintained a plant based diet for about 6 years. My lipid panel is great except for my HDL which is 33.

    What are your thoughts about this issue?

    thanks,

    Gary

    1. Hi AP, it is! All of Dr. Greger’s videos are available online for free. If you want to have your own copy though, you can get the DVD from the website (www.drgreger.org/dvds). Hope that helps!

  85. Please tell me exactly what is meant by a ‘plant based diet’. I assumed it meant vegan. My friend insists the eating of meat is irrelevant. It means not eating anything that comes in a box (or jar or can,etc.) i.e. anything that has been processed. What – exactly – do you mean by this term?

    1. Kathy Deer: It is a good question. And you are more right than your friend, I would say.

      Most of the time, when people talk about a plant-based diet, they are abbreviating a bit because what they really want to talk about is a “whole food plant based diet” – which is a subset of vegan eating since vegan eating includes junk food like potato chips and cola. Some people just start to say plant based diet. Others abbreviate as WFPB.

      Some people believe that WFPB diet could include some *tiny* amounts of meat. But primarily, this is a whole food vegan diet.

      If you want to know what Dr. Greger is talking about more specifically, here are his nutrition recommendations spelled out:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks. That did clarify – although it almost hurts more than helps. Most of my favorite vegan meals probably don’t qualify. But – time to rethink the whole diet thing – again!

    2. Plant based literally means eating only products from plants. Often folks talk about whole food plant based diet to emphasize eating whole foods that aren’t processed or things without labels. As a physician who prescribes plant based diets to my patients it depends on what your goals are for your health as to the variations within plant based eating. At this point in my career I can’t think of a single reason short of avoiding starvation where eating meat is a healthier alternative to plant based eating. If you have followed Dr. Greger’s work you have a good appreciation for the problems with meat consumption but the beauty of NF.org is that you can always go back and review if needed… so go to browse all topics… select Meat… read the nice topic summary courtesy of Denise which will help direct you to the videos of interest for you or your friend re meat consumption. Alternatively you can thumb through the 216 videos on meat. Remember below each video is the cited reference and clicking on it will give you the abstract or article if available for free.

      1. I’m fully convinced that meat, eggs, dairy are bad. I’m just having trouble with the veggies portion. I’ve been vegan for about 1 1/2 yrs now but haven’t lost any weight – which I definitely need to do. I don’t eat chips (very often), sweets, or sodas, but do depend pretty much on frozen vegan meals for dinner, smoothies for breakfast, and salad for lunch.

        1. I would recommend reading John McDougall’s newsletter article, The Fat Vegan, published in December 2008. Generally you will consume more calories by drinking smoothies then the separate ingredients before blending. You might also enjoy Doug Lisle’s you tube video… How to Lose Weight without Losing your mind! It is all about calorie density. The best presentation I’ve seen on this concept is Jeff Novick’s Calorie Density: Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer. As you will see from these videos not only do you eliminate animal products but also oils, nuts, sugar and avocadoes. Once you have attained your body weight that you desire you can add back in some nuts/seeds in limited quantities. Breads are calorie dense as well. Good luck.

  86. Can eating too much fruit be harmful? I’ve read numerous articles stating Steve Job’s pancreatic cancer may have been caused by his fruitarian lifestyle in early age. Similarly, when Ashton Kutcher’s hospitalization with pancreatic problems when he was preparing for the movie Jobs has been attributed to eating too much fruit. I can eat 9+ servings of fruit a day to satisfy my sweet tooth (afterall, a smoothie alone can have 4 servings). Is there a point at which fruit becomes harmful? If so, how many servings are safe?

    1. In my discussion with folks like John McDougall MD and Jeff Novick RD it appears that eating up to 4 fruits a day is generally healthy. The potential problem relates to the fructose in fruit. Fructose is almost exclusively metabolized by the liver as opposed to glucose which is the preferred fuel of virtually every cell in the body. Fruit contains fructose, glucose and sucrose aka table sugar which is one molecule of glucose and fructose bonded together. The products of fructose metabolism include uric acid, triglycerides, inflammatory aldehydes, cholesterol and some glucose. You might start with the video on fructose… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flesh-and-fructose/ and http://nutritionfacts.org/video/miocene-meteorites-and-uric-acid/. Fruits have alot of good benefits and certainly are a better than concentrated sugars. You can delve into the benefits by going to the fruits section… read topic summary by Denise and peruse the 172 videos relating to fruit for those of specific interest. For another opinion on Steve Jobs you might benefit from reading John McDougall’s excellent article which relates his pancreatic cancer to exposure to carcinogens in his teens… it wasn’t the fruit. To read see Dr. McDougall’s newsletter article, Why did Steve Jobs die? in November 2011 the link is: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2011nl/nov/jobs.htm. Pancreatic problems can be related to very high triglyceride levels but generally are more associated with another plant based liquid… alcohol. Gall stones can sometimes be a cause of pancreatitis (gallstone pancreatitis).

    2. Rebecca: To supplement the great answer you already got, I thought I would let you know that Dr. McDouggal also has a great, free video talk on the topic of “Why Did Steve Jobs Die”. I found the information to be extremely compelling and helpful. And as Dr. Mcdouggal says, no one has disputed his math (or his logic as far I know). It’s only 40 minutes.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81xnvgOlHaY

      The bottom line for me is: Steve Jobs had what is normally an extremely fast growing cancer. Yet he lived with it for decades. I think his healthy, mostly vegan, diet played a huge part in that.

  87. Hi ,

    I have been trying to find actual information on juicing. Whether it does cause diabetes or if the sugar spike is something to worry about. Also I heard that it could cause kidney stones because of the levels of oxalate in the foods.Do you have any information on these things.

  88. How about complete proteins? Do we really need our diet to contain them? Is there any research showing we need complete proteins everyday?

    1. You don’t need to worry about protein… it is actually the essential amino acids we need (i.e the ones the body can’t make). We get plenty as long as we consume enough calories. I know of no research that shows we need to pay attention to the amino acid content of the food we eat. You digest the proteins into amino acids which are absorbed. Your body then uses what it needs and the rest are metabolized by the liver and excreted by the urine primarily.

  89. Since Dr. Greger posted a Turmeric and OA/RA videos I was compelled to share this with my patients. The alternative was to continue encouraging NSAIDS and potential GI problems that come with it. Since my field (PT) deals with mostly subacute and chronic pain, I have been recommending one tea spoon of turmeric and a pinch of black pepper daily or BID to help control joint swelling/pain. Do you think there are any precautions (except for kidney stone med hx) that should be taken (outweighing the alternative–NSAIDS). And are there any better doses that the research or clinical community found?

  90. My father in law needs surely for calcified mitral valve, but his arteries are clear. His doctor says that while diet can keep arteries clear, valves are unpredictable , not necessarily helped by diet. Is this true?

    1. Quickly, I have been in cardiology for over twenty years and have had very strict plant based patients with valve disorders. Unfortunately, none were able to cure/reverse their calcified valves (aortic or mitral) and ended up with valve replacements which were life saving for them.

      I wish I could say plant based diets reversed calcific valvular heart disease but in my personal experience that has not been the case. And as far as I know there have been no studies showing vegan diets reverse valvular heart disease.

      That said, they did reverse their arterial heart disease!

      Eating plant based can have amazing results with most chronic diseases but some diseases do require modern medicine to extend life.

      I hope this helps.

  91. I am 55 and have been vegetarian for last 23 years but three years ago changed to complete plant based diet, packed with nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetable, while consume no oil in my diet, except occasional avocado in salads. I also go to the gym and perform fast paste cardio exercises at least 4 times a week. However, my cholesterol remains high at 205 (HDL: 46 & LDL: 132). My son has the same diet but his cholesterol is 150. I’d like to know what is not working for me and what modifications I need to make to lower my cholesterol?

    1. Plant Man: I’m not a doctor or expert, but I have three thoughts for you: I remember some time ago that I heard one of the big experts (McDougall or maybe it was Esselstyn?) say something like: For people who have had high cholesterol for years, sometimes their bodies just keep making mega doses even after converting to a healthy diet. We are not sure why. So, it could just be that your body is messed up and your son is lucky. ??? That doesn’t mean that your very healthy sounding diet isn’t doing you lots of good in lots of ways. It may just mean that it isn’t going to overcome decades of cholesterol consumption. Or maybe it will take longer than a few years??? (Just a speculation.)

      My other thought is this: I don’t know what you look like or what the last three years has done for you. For many people, when they go plant-based, they start to loose weight. (Maybe you have no need for that. I’m just saying.) *If* that is the case for you, then maybe your cholesterol will get more under control after you finish losing weight. Again, just speculation.

      My third thought is: While your diet sounds truly excellent (better than my own) and your exercise is awesome, you might consider ways in which to tweak your diet for maximum cholesterol lowering effect. I recommend searching NutrtionFacts for the videos which specifically address high cholesterol. You will see which specific foods have been shown to have an effect on high cholesterol. And maybe you could tweak your diet to include those foods. (If you do, let us know how it goes!)

      Hope that some of that helps.

      1. Thanks for advice Thea.

        I forgot to mention that I am 6′ 1″ and weight 178 Lb.
        Before turning to strict plant base, no oil, no salt diet 3 years ago, I was not consuming any meat or fish but nevertheless, ate cheese & eggs during the prior 20 years when I was vegetarian; After switching to plant based diet, I lost 40 Lb that I had gained during the prior 5 years. My weight has been stable past 3 years and have not gained back the weight that was lost.

        I would look into your third recommendation. I have also
        contacted my physician and asked for a re-test to eliminate any potential errors that might have been introduced by the processing Lab. According to my annual checkup results, all my other health metrics are excellent.

  92. Dr Greger. Big fan of yours.My name is Roberto Santos from South Florida, 62. I am a vegi for 30 years now. No meat or bi-products. I eat lot of vegis, tofu. Mostly 60-75% raw foods. I exercise every day(run, P90X). I eat Salmon(3oz. four times a week) and Tuna(occasionally but do) for fish. Also on occasions sea food. Why is this “meat” not good for you,or in the category of “meat” according to your lectures. Also I eat boiled egg whites (3/day). Should I be taking eggs out of my diet totally, even if it’s just the whites. I consume substantial amounts of tofu, cooked. I have a history of cancer, and diabetes in both of my parents families. I have tried vigorously to prevent it. I would love to hear what you think, and read your comments. Thanks so much for being you, and sharing your wealth of knowledge with the world. Thanks for your time. Regards, Roberto

    1. Roberto: All good questions. Thank you for sharing.

      Dr. Greger has good reason to group fish flesh with any other type of meat/flesh. Think of all that saturated fat and cholesterol you are getting wit your salmon and occasional tuna. If diabetes is a concern for you, will definitely want to leave out those fatty foods. To learn more about preventing diabetes using science that Dr. Greger backs, check out the book: “Dr. Barnard’s Program for Reversing Disabetes: The scientifically proven system for reservsing diabetes without drugs”. In that book, you will understand why fat = diabetes.

      Another part of your question is about egg whites. Egg whites are pretty much just animal protein. For that matter, think how much animal protein is in your salmon. Dr. Greger has a wonderful series of videos that explains how animal protein feeds cancer through creating unhealthy amounts of IGF-1. You can start the series by clicking on the link below and then keep going to “Next Video” (link on the right) until you get to the body building video.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

      That’s a start on why you would not want to eat animal protein. There are a bazillion other reasons not to eat fish. You can learn about those reason on this site starting here:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fish/

      If the reason you eat fish is to get omega 3 fats, you might consider eating Dr. Greger’s recommended diet, including 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day. That will get you all of the omega 3s you need in not only safe, but extra healthy packages. That flaxseed stuff even helps with fighting certain types of cancers. Check out these videos:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      Dr. Greger also covers diabetes and cancer in general in several videos. You might consider researching those topics on this site.

      Hope that helps!

  93. Last night in the UK, Horizon (tv programme) aired on BBC2 at 9pm, entitled “Should I eat meat?” At 5min and 43 secs into the programme, Dr Michael Mosley (of “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” fame) states that based upon the research, “There is little evidence that chicken and other white meats pose a health risk, so these are off the agenda” for the study in the TV programme. He then goes on to focus on red meat and processed meat. At 32mins and 14secs in, Dr Mosley refers to a 30 year long Harvard study of Dr Walter Willett (The Nurses Study), and also at 35mins and 48secs in, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrution (the EPIC study). The EPIC study shows very little correlation between diet and health.

    Unfortunately, although the programme was a step in the right direction, the removal of poultry/other white meat from it (as they were seen as not posing a health risk) has now given the message to millions of viewers that poultry is safe to eat, that there is no evidence to say it is carcinogenic. It is too late to influence this episode, and also the second and concluding part tomorrow at 9pm – however, would it be possible for Dr G to contact Michael Mosley at the BBC with a view to a future tv programme that may raise the awareness of the effects of a PBD to the masses

    The programme mentioned is available on the BBC iplayer for the next four weeks (unavailable to most outside the UK unless you can find a site that streams it – or use a VPN “virtual private network”).

    Finally, I know the Doc has referred to the EPIC study in one of his previous videos, can someone remind me of it please – thanks in advance…..

  94. Is there anything in particular to look for when buying amla? I haven’t been able to find it at any local health stores and need to order it online. It’s pricey so I want to make sure I get the best kind. Thanks!

  95. Our daughter has just found out that she has the BRCA 1 gene. She is 25. Her paternal aunt currently has ovarian cancer and that is the reason our daughter was tested. She is being advised to have a mammogram and an MRI alternately every six months, and at 35-40 have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, and she can choose to also have a double mastectomy. She has been eating a vegan diet for a few years, but has occasionally cheated (not much, but some). What are your recommendations for her? She has one child and hopes for several more. I have read that mammograms are possibly a bad idea – adding radiation to breasts that are already susceptible to cancer. If she were your child or patient, what would be your advice as to the regimen lifestyle she should live? (How do I see the answer to this question? Do you email me or do I just come to this site often to check? Thanks!!!)

  96. I have a more difficult question regarding a post kidney transplant. My boyfriend had kidney disease in which his high blood pressure destroyed his kidneys, leaving them full of scar tissue and unable to do their purpose. Because of this, he went through a year of dialysis and now is functioning on his mother’s donated kidney. He is now on countless drugs to keep his body from rejecting the kidney and blood pressure meds. I believe it’s been 3 years since his transplant, and since he’s met me he is now on a plant based diet :) Is there by any chance a way to reverse the scared kidneys to normal function with nutrition? Do you know of any great doctors who would be able to help us medically yet with the knowledge of how the body can repair its self with nutriton?! THANKS! :D

  97. I wonder if Dr. Greger has read the Nina Teicholz book, THE BIG FAT SURPRISE, where basically she refutes everything Ive learned on Nutrition Facts. Any comments on this book?

  98. You should get the nobel prize for literature. Finally something worth reading. Much like tempah the fermented soy being more nutritious than tofu, I wonder if the fermented (black) garlic is also superior from the similar process. I utilize garlic religiously and would like your take on it.

    1. Rafaela: Many people find microwaves to be convenient. I do. I also find that the microwave gives superior cooking results for some uses. Also, sometimes a microwave is the healthiest way to cook a food.

      If using the microwave doesn’t appeal to someone, then there’s no reason to use it. But for those who see the benefits, there’s no reason not to use it. If you are concerned that a microwave might be harmful health-wise, here is a wonderfully clear, well-researched page dispelling the myths around microwaves:
      http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/Microwave.htm

  99. I can find nothing on your website about sepsis. Unfortunately, I suffered this condition after a hot tub exposure where e.coli entered the urinary tract, straight into the kidney and then the blood. Up to 50% of people with this die, and up to 50% more die within 8 years due to immune disorders plus organs affected. Mine are kidney (now with a GFR of 70 = stage 2 kidney disease) and brain damage (can’t remember words and speak the wrong words plus super flaky now). Being in the biz, I take lots of immune boosting supplements, anti-inflammatory, cognitive and probiotics supplements, but I’m not improving as expected plus my digestion is off. I’m nauseated and have no appetite, but get hungry after 12-14 hours of not eating and have great bowel movements and weight gain. Any suggestions?

  100. Recent articles are discussing heavy metals in things like cacao/cocoa/etc as well as vegan protein supplements — Cadmium being the most significant pursuit. What is your opinion on this, especially since you advocate – strongly- cocoa powder in smoothies, etc.

    ie: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/cocoa-concerns-toxic-metal-found-popular-cocoa-powders

    http://rawfoodsolution.com/is-raw-cacao-toxic/

    http://www.naturalnews.com/045545_cacao_powder_cadmium_lab_testing_results.html

    http://www.living-foods.com/articles/toxiccacao.html

    http://vegetarian.lovetoknow.com/Raw_Cacao_Side_Effects

  101. Dr. Greger, is there any evidence that women who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet during pregnancy have more favorable labor and delivery outcomes, or that their children are born healthier (such as reduced incidence of pre-term birth, low birth weight)? Also is there evidence that vegan and vegetarian pregnant women have lower rates of conditions like gestational diabetes? As a pregnant vegan, I’ve heard only warnings from mainstream sources about my diet and nothing about the potential health benefits (though I’m sure there must be some!).

    1. Kristin: Great question. I have heard that there is evidence that a whole plant food based diet helps couples get pregnant. Also, this site does have some videos on pregnancy. The first video talks about gestational diabetes, which is one of your questions.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=pregnancy
      And here is the topic page:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/pregnancy/

      I’m not sure how many of your specific questions get answered here on NutritionFacts. So, I thought I would also refer you to the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) site, which generally has pretty solid, well researched information about vegan diets and which has a whole section on kids. I did a search on ‘pregnancy’ and came up with several VRG pages/articles:
      http://cse.google.com/cse?cx=013760672451121181412:ggv79ngmdge&ie=UTF-8&q=pregnant&siteurl=www.vrg.org/&ref=#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=pregnant&gsc.page=1

      Here’s a quote from the first link on the page above: “A series of studies 1,2 at The Farm, a community where vegan diets are a part of a socially responsible lifestyle, have shown that vegans can have healthy pregnancies and healthy children. Here are some things to consider.”

      So, I’m thinking that you might be able to glean some of the answers to your questions here and there on the VRG pages.

  102. My husband and I became Vegan 4 months ago. Many times folks would discuss the low protein content of the Vegan diet on muscle mass. We’re conscious of the protein content in our diet and work out at the Y (sometimes inconsistently) and have noticed a drop in our muscle size but not strength. We both are able to lift as much weight as before, maybe even more. Does muscle size equate to strength? Or are the bulky muscles characteristic of meat eaters and have little relationship to actual strength?

    1. Bonnie: I am not in any way an expert, but I have some thoughts for you.

      It’s my understanding that muscles can get bulky at least two ways, and the second is not always about more strength. It is my understanding that muscles tissue can have fat in it/inside the cells in addition to the actual muscle fibers. So, my theory is that if you were loosing some muscle bulk, but not strength (can still bench press X pounds…), then maybe you were losing some of the fat in your muscles. This may not be true. It’s just a theory.

      But what I can say is that vegan athletes, including body builders have been very successful, including at the top most levels, such as Olympics and breaking world records. I included some info below and some links to sites that feature vegan athletes. Hope you find it useful.
      ********************

      (article from meatout mondays)
      Vegan Bodybuilders Dominate Texas Competition

      The Plant Built (PlantBuilt.com) team rolled into this year’s drug-free, steroid-free Naturally Fit Super Show competition in Austin, TX, and walked away with more trophies than even they could carry.

      The Plant Built team of 15 vegan bodybuilders competed in seven divisions, taking first place in all but two. They also took several 2nd and 3rd place wins.

      For More Info:
      http://www.plantbuilt.com/

      ———————
      When Robert Cheeke started VeganBodybuilding.com in 2002, being the only vegan athlete he knew of, he may not have imagined that the website would quickly grow to have thousands of members. Robert says, “We’re discovering new vegan athletes all the time, from professional and elite levels… to weekend warriors and everyone in between.”

      For More Info:
      http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/
      —————–
      There was that other guy who just did a world record in weight lifting. “Congratulations to Strongman Patrik Baboumian who yesterday took a ten metre walk carrying more than half a tonne on his shoulders, more than anyone has ever done before. After smashing the world record the Strongman let out a roar of ‘Vegan Power’…” For more info:
      http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/vegan-strongman-patrik-babaoumain-breaks-world-record/
      another article on the same guy:
      http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/09/08/vegan_strongman_shoulders_550_kg_a_record_perhaps_at_vegetarian_food_fest.html
      —————–
      Here’s a story about a bodybuilder who doesn’t use any supplements. Just eats whole plant foods:
      http://www.forksoverknives.com/vegan-bodybuilder-plant-based-diet/?mc_cid=b8b1865825&mc_eid=09aaf03269
      —————–
      Mr Universe – “Since going vegan, he has actually gained even more mass, now at 107 Kilos…”
      http://www.thediscerningbrute.com/2015/07/14/mr-universe-goes-vegan/
      —————–
      Here’s another site that I like:
      http://www.greatveganathletes.com/

      I found this story on the above site: “Pat Reeves has set a new world powerlifting record at the WDFPA World Single Lift Championships. The 66 year old lifter, who has been vegan for 46 years, lifted 94 kg to set a record for the under 50.5kg weight class while competing in France in June 2012. The lift was more than 1.85 times her bodyweight, which is exceptional for her division. Pat is now officially the oldest competing weightlifter in Europe.”

      Hope everyone finds this helpful.

      ————————-
      Story of Mac Denzig, winner of season six of The Ultimate Fighter
      http://www.ufc.com/news/Mac-Danzig-Diet-The-Truth-About-Vegan
      ————————–
      Book: Vegan Bodybuilding And Fitness by Robert Cheeke
      http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Bodybuilding-Fitness-Robert-Cheeke/dp/0984391606/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396982744&sr=1-1&keywords=vegan+bodybuilding

      ————————–
      (someone on Amazon) For those who want a more thorough dietary guide, I suggest Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier. His book is exclusively about vegan sports nutrition and contains a variety of great tasting recipes along with a 12-week daily meal plan.

      More about Thrive:
      Thrive Energy Cookbook
      Created by two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, Brendan Brazier, Thrive Energy Cookbook dives into Brendan’s philosophy on plant-based nutrition, showcasing 150 easy, health-enhancing recipes.

      An expert on how diet affects performance and how not to waste energy, Brazier explores how foods in their natural state maximizes energy and health, lowers body fat, improves sleep, and peaks conditioning and physical performance.

      Thrive Energy Cookbook includes the use of leafy greens, hemp seeds, quinoa, brown rice, and nuts as staples in an alkaline-forming, plant protein-packed diet regime.

      In addition to being a best selling author, Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete. He is the creator of the ZoN Thrive Fitness Program and the award winning, plant-based VEGA product line.

      ——————————
      And another article from Meetout Mondays:

      Vegan Figure Skater Takes Silver
      Canadian Olympian Meagan Duhamel and her partner Eric Radford won a silver medal in pairs figure skating at this year’s Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

      Duhamel proudly took to Twitter announcing that she is an “Olympian, vegan, yogi and nutritionist.” Wonderful! Congratulations to Meagan for being an outspoken and shining example of what healthy vegan eating looks like. …

      —————–
      (from Meetout Mondays)
      Plant-Powered Athlete: Griff Whalen [NFL Player]
      His teammates say he has the most enviable body on the team. They say he consumes an average of 6,000 calories and 200 grams of protein a day. They also say, he does it all by eating plants!

      In a recent interview on IndyStar.com, Indianapolis Colts’ wide receiver Griff Whalen, talks about his vegan ways.

      “I feel a lot lighter, faster, quicker on the field. There isn’t that heavy feeling, that groggy feeling after I eat,” says Whalen.

      Hooray for another plant-powered athlete for us to cheer on. w00t! w00t!

      Read the full article on :
      org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=X9u7eAG%2FDmVet3kwZgrmHD5TipkEhWa4
      ****************
      (from Meetout Mondays)
      NFL’s David Carter on Living Vegan: In an interview last month on Rich Roll’s podcast, 27 year old Chicago Bears’ defensive lineman, David Carter spoke of a day in the life of the NFL, what he eats daily, his vegan journey, and his commitment to animal advocacy.

      “I can honestly say that being vegan is not only the most efficient way to be full-body strong, it’s also the most humane; everyone wins,” Carter said on the podcast.

      Carter is also the founder of The 300 Pound Vegan, a lifestyle blog where the NFL player writes about his journey through veganism and shares plant-based recipes. If nothing else, Carter shows us that living on plants is not just for endurance athletes or yogis but can positively impact heavy hitters in terms of their size, speed, agility, power, and quickness. Aww, yeah! Thanks for being so rad, David. We love it!

      Listen to the full interview on Rich Roll: http://www.richroll.com/podcast/david-carter-300-pound-vegan/
      Or for a written story with sample menu plan: http://www.gq.com/story/vegan-diet-of-nfl-player-david-carter

      Check out fighter Mac Danzig:
      http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Mac-Danzig-3396
      http://www.mikemahler.com/online-library/articles/mma-training/ufc-fighter-mac-danzig-vegan-diet.html

      ——————————
      And another article from Meetout Mondays:

      Record Setting, 92 Yr Old Vegan Runner

      Mike Fremont has been vegan for over 20 years, and has been setting single age marathon running records just as long.

      “At age 88 [Mike] ran a 6H5M53S marathon in Cincinnati Ohio and at age 90 ran a 6H35M47S marathon in Huntington West Virginia. [He] also set a single age world record for 90 years old in the half marathon in Morrow Ohio in August 2012,” said Veg World Magazine.

      According to an interview with Veg World Magazine, Fremont credits his vegan lifestyle for his continued record setting runs, at his age.

      We love seeing vegans making positive media waves, and what better way to showcase the health benefits of plant-powered living than Mike’s awesome running career. Here’s to you Mike, and vegan athletes of all ages!

      Learn more about Mike Fremont a VegWorldMag.com.
      http://www.vegworldmag.com/amazing-92-year-old-vegan-runs-another-half-marathon/

  103. Evening all. I have been trying to get definite thoughts on legumes and their interaction with g6pd deficiency. I happen to have this deficiency and have done a decent amount of research on the internet. It seems like most say that fava and edamame should be eschewed, but the others are suggested to stay away from. I don’t seem to have adverse effects to legumes, but I’m not sure. Dr. Greger, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on being plant-based and g6pd deficient and the consumption of legumes. Thanks, Chris

  104. I’m a physician and wonder if there is any proven benefit to recommending probiotics after a course of antibiotics? Which one, and for how long?

  105. Hello Mr. Dr. Greger sir :) I see a lot fitness experts recommending high intensity burst interval training, because as they say: “only this high intensity training, increases human growth hormone levels in human body and it is good for heart and cardiovascular health, and it also increases longevity”…, there is also growth hormone drugs that is presented like elixir of youth.. isn’t that the same growth hormone that is increased by animal protein consumption which promotes cancer risk, and speeds up aging process ? And so what type of training benefits most for longevity and overall health, is it high intensity burst interval, moderate intensity like jogging, or no training just being low intensity active all day – less siting more walking?

  106. Based on watching your videos which cast doubt on fish Oil (omega 3 fatty acids), If a patient is currently taking Fish Oil 3 times daily for reduction of triglycerides, what would be the better plant based option for reduction of triglycerides? Flax?

  107. I love nutritionfacts.org and How Not To Die book. I am a vegan because of YOU, Dr. Greger but i have a question for u. I’ve been getting charlie horses and foot cramps the past year. What should I eat more of?

  108. Hi everyone. Quite a desperate situation here but finally getting some answers.

    I’m having HUGE problems with Oxalates. I have suffered awful IBS for a long time and always ate a very high oxalate diet. Curries, lots of Turmeric, Spinach… you name it, it was high oxalate. I cheated on my veganism and binged on things like Ice cream / wheat when I was suspecting intolerance… due to depression and stress.

    Now things have become critical. I had to give you an idea of what’s going on to ask my question:

    ** Is it going to help or harm me to temporarily include more animal products whilst I go on a low oxalate diet? I can’t see how on earth to get enough nutrients and calories without eating a very very limited diet with almost no dedicated protein source. Can someone show me some more science on animal products and leaky gut? **

    The Low Oxalate community attracts a lot of meat eaters. Plants are sometimes vilified and animal products suggested as one of the only solutions. I am worried about further damaging my gut by even temporarily consuming animal foods. I have tried chicken, fish, on occasion but am more scared of eggs looking at the info here.. but actually think egg whites would be one of the only protein sources I can cope with whilst I recover ( I cannot seem to eat ANY beans but green beans in moderation )

    I react to all starchy foods, cannot digest fat…a teaspoon of coconut oil put me in a lot of pain. I can’t eat tofu or tempeh it seems either (high oxalate)

    I don’t know where to ask this so I posted it here.

    1. diann: Being vegan works very well for my dog. I have a 12 year old Great Dane who is still doing pretty good. Great Danes usually only live to about 8-10 years.
      .
      The devil is in the details, however, when it comes to doing a healthy vegan diet for a dog. You need to do your research carefully and pick a kibble that is properly formulated. My dog gets V-dog, but there are other options out there. If you want to learn more, here is a talk from a veg who knows about dogs successfully making the transition to a vegan diet: http://nwveg.org/presentations Scroll down until you see: “Armaiti May, DVM: September 21, 2013 — Vegan Diets for Dogs and Cats: Risks and Benefits presented at Portland VegFest 2013.” Or below is a different version on youtube if you prefer.
      .
      My dog’s blood work comes back great every year. And going vegan cured him of a serious health problem (peeing blood, for over a year). But like diets for humans, a vegan diet for dogs is not a magic pill. And just like for humans, it has to be done right to do good.
      .
      Hope that helps.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIMBX3jdYM0

  109. Hey DR Greger, Hawthorn Berry Tea heard great things about this how good is this in regards to heart health and reliable studies??

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  111. I went vegan a year ago and one of my clients recommended your Youtube channel. I have further changed my diet to be even more healthy based on your info. I have a BSc. so I like the fact that you check the research. I am reading ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer and I am haunted by the fact that I still contribute to this cruelty because I feed my dog a raw meat diet. I tried going on the web and researching a vegan diet for my dog but I am not having any success. Would you be interested in doing a series of videos or point me in the direction of the relevant research. Everything I find advocates feeding lots of fruit and yet when I did the research into feeding raw it was against this and my dog concurs; if she gets fruit mixed with her meat she pukes. Thanks for your consideration.

    1. Kuxy: Congratulations on eating a healthier diet. I too am very interested in the best way to feed my dog. I have some thoughts and links for you that you may find helpful. My dog is a on vegan kibble called V-dog. He is an almost 13 year old Great Dane and he is thriving. (More below.)
      .
      As for getting an answer from from Dr. Greger: It is a good question that pops up from time to time. Dr. Greger has been known to say something like, “I’m a vet of just one species – humans.” So, I don’t know if he will be tackling this topic.
      .
      I like that you asked about the science, because that is the key. To my knowledge, the science is deploringly lacking. It’s deploring because humans LOVE their dogs and dogs do great things for humans and yet proving the saying that familiarity breeds contempt, we have relatively little good science on dogs, especially when it comes to their diet.
      .
      I am aware of only one independent (ie, not paid for by a dog food company), published scientific study on dog food in regard to a vegan diet. The study was on a small number of dogs and was very short term, but the study gives us tantalizing hints. The study was on working Alaskan sled dogs, who have to be in peak condition. And the study looked at objective measures, not asking the owner “Hey, how do you think they did?” The result was that the vegan dogs did just as well as the omnivore dogs in the control group. This tiny study proves nothing. But it does hint at an answer and shows that we need more and better studies. If interested, here is the study: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=6488300&jid=BJN&volumeId=102&issueId=09&aid=6488296&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0007114509389254
      .
      In terms of anecdotes, though, we have many, many additional hints that dogs can thrive on a vegan diet. I understand that one of the longest lived dogs according to the Guiness Book of World Records was a vegan named Bramble. I think Bramble lived something like 27 years and was not a small dog (small dogs typically live longer). And then there are the many, many dogs which are thriving on vegan diets today in people’s homes. I personally know a handful of such dogs, including a lucky dog who has a vet for his human.
      .
      My own dog has been on a vegan kibble for 6+ years. My dog is an almost 13 year old Great Dane whose blood work is still all normal and who most people think is much younger when they meet him. Great Danes usually only live 8-10 years. Certainly no one can say that my dog’s diet has hurt him. When my dog was 6, the food I had been feeding him got bought by the company, Purina. I did not trust that Purina would keep the same quality, so I started doing research, including learning about how tainted the meat supply is in the world, especially in America. So, even feeding my dog human grade meat did not seem to be the answer. After doing lots of research, I finally decided to switch to a vegan kibble. My dog went vegan before I did, and we both got a very nice surprise: My dog’s health didn’t just stay the same, it dramatically *improved*.
      .
      About a year and a half before switching diets, my dog had started peeing blood. Sometimes it was dark red and very scary to me. I had gone to multiple vets about this problem, done x-rays, etc. Nothing helped. I did not expect the diet change to fix this problem, but after a couple months on the vegan kibble, the blood in the pee magically disappeared. The cure was likely *not* just coincidence since as I said, he had been peeing blood for a long time. His coat and nails also got shinier. And his energy/play level went up. In a 6 year old Great Dane, those changes were really something and sold me for life right there on the value of a vegan diet for dogs.
      .
      One important piece to this question is to note a study that came out about 3? of years ago that showed that dogs have a significant biological difference from wolves – one that had to do with having 3 genes that help dogs digest starch. This makes perfect sense to me since one of the current leading theories about how wolves became dogs is that dogs started hanging out around human trash piles, eating human leftover food. Which as we know from NutritionFacts, would primarily have been plants, including a lot of starches. For more about the biological study of how dogs are different from wolves, check out this article from one of my favorite, nationally known dog trainer Patricia McConnell: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/dogs-wolves-diet-and-sociability This information makes me believe that dogs are especially adapted to be able to tolerate (a specially designed for dogs!) vegan diet and that arguments from the other side that look at wolves diet and biology are not so valid.
      .
      As I mentioned above, V-dog is the brand I feed my pup. I did several feeding tests and my dog loves his v-dog just as much as he loved his old brand, Innova. If someone reading this post is interested in feeding their dog a vegan diet, it is worth doing some research. Like any diet for any species, there are some potential “gotchas” worth avoiding. There is a vet who speaks around the country trying to help people be successful in getting their dog on a vegan diet. And you can catch her lectures for free on the internet. Here is one example: Vegan Diets For Cats and Dogs, Risks And Benefits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIMBX3jdYM0
      .
      I find that most of the people who believe that dogs should eat meat use the same flawed arguments that paleo proponents use for arguing that humans should eat meat. Meat proponents for dogs certainly do not have any more science to back up their assertions than I do for my vegan assertions–at least none that I have seen. Something to think about. Another philosophical point: What do we owe our non-human companions? We certainly owe them physical (as well as mental and emotional) health. And, in my opinion, we owe them a future. A world where they can exist, which will not happen if humans continue to promote the animal food industry. So, even if meat and vegan diets came out neck and neck in terms of general dog health, other factors then weigh the scales to favor the vegan diet.
      .
      After reading all that (assuming you are still with me all the way down here!), what do you think? Was this helpful?

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  113. What about intermittent fasting? I do vegan + B12, D, & zinc in one meal a day, with 23 hours on only hojicha and spices.

    1. Thanks for your question Bill,

      According to a systematic review published in 2015:

      “In conclusion, whether fasting actually causes improvements in metabolic health, cognitive performance, and cardiovascular outcomes over the long term; how much fasting is actually beneficial; and where the threshold of hormesis resides (i.e., a balance between long-term benefit from fasting compared with harm from insufficient caloric intake) remain open questions. Unfortunately, the vast majority of human studies of a fasting intervention were weight-loss studies using single-arm, non- randomized approaches or multiple intervention arms with no control.

      (…) Future fasting research should determine whether and to what extent fasting regimens are safe. Further research is needed to determine whether fasting is effective for improving health in the general population, higher-risk people, and diseased in- dividuals. Additional knowledge is also needed regarding the mechanisms of benefit and the optimal frequency and duration of fasting in apparently healthy and high-risk individuals. Fi- nally, in deference to the current focus on lower-cost healthcare, fasting has no direct financial costs and represents a nominal savings on food expenses. In summary, intermittent fasting may improve health; however, substantial additional clinical research is needed before advocating its use for health purposes.”

      Hope this answer helps.

  114. I received my blood test result yesterday and despite having changed my diet 10 months ago for a whole food plant based high carb low fat diet ( with minimal processed food cooked myself with whole grain flour ) I got concerning LP-IR score of 50 ( more precisely my VLDL is high ). I do not know what to do at that point and my conventional doctor told me to reduce carbs to not develop diabetes in the future. I exercice 5 times a week and have elevated blood pressure which my doctor said again that I am carbs sensitive. I do not smoke, drink alcohol or sugary beverages and eat a no salt no oil diet. Please help me !

    1. Better to hear from Dr. Greger, but my one meal a day is blueberries, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, lots of pecans or walnuts, usually an avocado, and a smoothie made from Itoen Superfood Mix (made from 7 fruits and 22 veggies, widely available in Japan), flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, carrot, onion, broccoli, lots of beans, asparagus, spinach, pure cacao, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, garlic, cayenne pepper, and seaweed, plus D, B-12, and zinc. The rest of the 24 hours, it’s only roasted green tea, sometimes with spices already mentioned. So no flour, no processed foods, mostly raw except the beans and asparagus, and not so high-carb, because of the avacado, beans, nuts, and seeds. The 9-ounce smoothie includes a whole crown of raw broccoli, but I save 4.5 ounces of it for the next day in a glass jar.

        1. Again, it’s best to hear from Dr. Greger, but if you had fatty liver before starting your vegan diet, it can regenerate, but it takes about three years. You have to get healthy before getting good VLDL results. My menu, unlike Dr. Greger’s, is somewhat high in fat and low in carbs, the opposite of what he recommends in that regard, but that’s what cyclic (intermittent) fasting calls for. If you’re eating three or more meals a day strictly vegan, Dr. Greger’s recommendations should be considered the gold standard. He calls it high-carb, it’s but nothing like the ridiculous typical American diet. I haven’t heard yet what Dr. Greger thinks about cyclic fasting.

          1. I see thanks for your answer. I had somewhat regular diet before with lots of chicken almost every day as my staple. I also do not eat between midnight and 12:30PM for a full 12 hours of fasting, then I eat a big salad and usually at night a big cooked food starch based plate, followed by a bowl of oatmeal or cereal. I am considering reducing high glycemic index foods ( white potatoes, rice … ) and eliminate most saturated fats of my diet and see in 3 month if the numbers get better.

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