Book Trailer for How Not to Age
Preorder my new book How Not to Age, out this December!
Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Linda
I was only a kid when doctors sent my grandmother home in a wheelchair to die at age 65. Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, she had already had so many bypass operations the surgeons essentially ran out of plumbing—the scarring from each open-heart surgery had made the next more difficult until they finally ran out of options. Confined to a wheelchair with crushing chest pain, her doctors told her there was nothing else they could do.
I think what sparks many kids to want to become doctors when they grow up is watching a beloved relative become ill or even die. For me, it was watching my grandma get better.
Soon after she was discharged, a segment aired on 60 Minutes about Nathan Pritikin. He had been gaining a reputation for reversing terminal heart disease and had just opened a new center—a live-in program where everyone was placed on a plant-based diet and then started on a graded exercise regimen. My grandmother somehow made the trek to become one of its first patients. They wheeled her in, and she walked out.
Later featured in Pritikin’s biography Pritikin: The Man Who Healed America’s Heart, she was described as one of the “death’s door people”:
“Frances Greger…arrived in Santa Barbara at one of Pritikin’s early sessions in a wheelchair. Mrs. Greger had heart disease, angina, and claudication; her condition was so bad she could no longer walk without great pain in her chest and legs. Within three weeks, though, she was not only out of her wheelchair but was walking ten miles a day.”
At that time, reversing cardiovascular disease didn’t even seem possible. Drugs were given to try to slow the progression, and surgery was performed to circumvent clogged arteries to try to relieve symptoms (literally bypassing the problem), but the disease was expected to worsen until you died. Today, we know that as soon as we stop eating an artery-clogging diet, our bodies may start healing themselves, in many cases opening up arteries without drugs or surgery.
By the time I became a doctor, giants like Dean Ornish, M.D., had already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt what Pritikin had shown to be true. Using the latest high-tech advances—cardiac PET scans, quantitative coronary arteriography, and radionuclide ventriculography—Dr. Ornish and his colleagues showed that heart disease, our leading killer, may be reversed with the lowest-tech approach—diet and lifestyle.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Preorder my new book How Not to Age, out this December!
Yoga practitioners are healthier, but does practicing yoga lead to good health, or does good health lead to practicing yoga?
One cannot assume that simply avoiding animal foods will necessarily produce a healthy diet.
The optimal intake of dietary cholesterol may be zero.
Before watching the video, can you guess which conditions vitamin D has actually been proven to work for in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials?
What are the pros and cons of plant-based eating?
What is the most effective way to help people reduce their meat consumption?
Why do the official federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting the intake of dietary cholesterol (found mostly in eggs) as much as possible?
Why are erythritol levels in the blood associated with higher levels of chronic disease?
What are the maximum acute and daily doses for adults and children to avoid gastrointestinal effects?
Coffee and common herbal teas impair iron absorption, which may help explain some of their benefits.
Why can a single meal high in saturated fat impair cognition?
Anti-inflammatory diets can be effective in alleviating chronic pain syndromes.
Tongue scraping can boost the ability of the good bacteria in our mouth to take advantage of the nitrates in greens to improve our cardiovascular health.
What diet should oncologists recommend?
Diet appears to mediate the majority of the racial health gap.
I answer some common questions I’ve been asked about cholesterol and diabetes, such as “What is the ideal LDL?” “What’s going on when someone eats healthfully but their glucose is still out of control?”
Even nine out of ten studies funded by the egg industry show that eggs raise cholesterol.
Is the role of cholesterol in heart disease settled beyond a reasonable doubt?
Our body can make vitamin K2 from the K1 in green leafy vegetables.
AGEs may be one explanation for why those who consume meat may have up to three times the risk of developing dementia compared with vegetarians.
Enhance athletic performance with diet.
How can mandating healthy eating messaging on fast-food ads ironically make things worse?
How might we prevent the inflammation from gluten-free diets?
Specific foods have been shown in randomized controlled trials to improve symptoms like hot flashes.
Burning incense has been found to generate about four times the particulate matter as burning cigarettes.
Why are Black Americans sicker and die younger than their white counterparts, and what can we do about it?
What foods should we eat and avoid to reduce our risk of Afib?
Our gut flora is determined by what we eat, for good or for ill.
Why don’t more big payors in health care embrace plant-based eating?
If you care about your health so much that it would be unthinkable to light up a cigarette before and after lunch, maybe you should order a bean burrito instead of a meaty one.
Big Meat downplays the magnitude of meat mortality.
The meat industry’s own study concluded that meat consumption increased the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and premature death.
How legitimate is the common corporate criticism of the scientific nutrition literature that the credibility of observational studies is questionable?
International Life Sciences Organization, a nonprofit, is accused of being a front group for Coca-Cola and other junk food giants.
Do nut eaters live longer simply because they swap in protein from plants in place of animal protein?
I discuss a public health case for modernizing the definition of protein quality.
Is potassium chloride win-win by decreasing sodium intake and increasing potassium intake?
A staggering 99.99 percent of Americans fail to get the minimum recommended potassium intake (despite it being perhaps only half of our natural intake) and stay below the recommended sodium intake (even though it may be twice our natural intake).
If you’re going to have something unhealthy, is there anything you can eat with it to help mediate the damage it may cause?