What Is the Ideal White Blood Cell Count?

What Is the Ideal White Blood Cell Count?
4.71 (94.29%) 98 votes

Since white blood cell count is such a strong predictor of lifespan, what should we aim for and how do we get it there?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A higher white blood cell count may be an important predictor for cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality, cancer mortality, all-cause mortality, decline in lung function; so, an important predictor for heart attacks, strokes, declining lung function, dying from cancer, and premature death in general. No surprise, as the number of white blood cells we have circulating in our bloodstream is a “marker of systemic inflammation.” Our body produces more white blood cells day to day in response to inflammatory insults.

We’ve known about this link between higher white counts and heart attacks since the 70s, when we found that higher heart attack risk was associated with higher white blood cell counts, just like it was with higher cholesterol levels and higher blood pressures—something that’s been found in nearly every study done since then. Decades of studies, involving hundreds of thousands of patients, showing “dramatically higher…mortality rates” in those with higher white counts.

But why? “Why does…white blood cell count predict mortality?” Maybe because it’s a marker of inflammation and oxidation in our body. In fact, maybe even a biomarker for how fast we’re aging. But, it may be more than just an indicator of inflammation, but an active player, contributing “directly” to disease via a variety of mechanisms, including the actual “obstruction” of blood flow.

The average diameter of white blood cells is like seven and a half micrometers, whereas our tiniest vessels are only like five micrometers wide. So, the white blood cell has to squish down into like a sausage shape to squeeze through. And, when there’s inflammation present, these cells can get sticky. Here’s more images of a white blood cell plugging up a vessel as it exits a small artery, trying to squeeze into a capillary—slowing down or even momentarily stopping blood flow. And, if it gets stuck there, it can end up releasing all its internal “weaponry,” normally reserved for “microbial invaders,” and damage our blood vessels. This may be why in the days leading up to a stroke or heart attack, you may find a spike in the white cell count.

Whether white count is just a marker of inflammation, or an active participant, it’s better to be on the low side. How can we reduce the level of inflammation in our body? Staying away from even secondhand smoke can help drop your white count about half of a point. Those that exercise also appear to have an advantage, but you don’t know if it’s cause and effect unless you put it to the test. Two months of Zumba classes—just one or two hours a week—led to about a point-and-a-half drop in white count. In fact, maybe that’s one of the reasons exercise is so “protective.” But is that just because they lost weight?

“Fitness and fatness” appear to both play a role. More than half—51.5%—of obese persons with low fitness have white counts above 6.6. But those who are more fit, or who have less fat, are less likely to be up that high. Of course, that could just be because exercisers and leaner individuals are eating healthier, eating less inflammatory diets.

How do we know excess body fat itself increases inflammation, increases the white count? You’d have to find some way to get people to lose weight without changing their diet or exercise. How’s that possible? Liposuction! If you suck about a quart of fat out of people, you can significantly drop their white count by about a point. So, maybe this should get us to rethink the so-called normal reference range for white blood cell count. Maybe we should revise it downward, like we’ve done for cholesterol and triglycerides.

Up until now, we’ve just based normal values on people that might be harboring significant background inflammatory disease. If you just restrict it to those with normal C-reactive protein, another indicator of inflammation, then instead of normal being 4.5 to 10, maybe we should instead revise it closer to 3 to 9.

Okay, but where did the healthiest populations fall—those not suffering from the ravages of chronic inflammatory diseases, like heart disease and common cancers? Populations eating diets centered around whole plant foods average about 5, whereas in the U.S., at the time, it was closer to 7 or 8. The reason we know it’s not genetic is if you take those living on traditional rural African diets, who are down around 4 or 5, and move them to Britain, they end up closer to 6, 7, or 8. Ironically, the researchers thought this was a good thing—referring to the lower white counts on the uncivilized diet as neutropenic, meaning too few white blood cells. They noted that during an infection or pregnancy, where you really do need more white cells, the white count came right up to wherever necessary. So, bone marrow of those eating traditional plant-based diets had the capacity to create as many white cells as needed but “suffers from understimulation.” They’re just not smoking enough cigarettes and eating as many inflammatory foods.

Similar findings were reported in Western plant-eaters, with an apparently stepwise drop in white count as diets got more and more plant-based. But maybe there are non-dietary factors, such as lower smoking rates, in those eating healthier? What you need are interventional trials to put it to the test. Just 21 days of removing meat, eggs, dairy, alcohol, and junk affected a significant drop in white count, even in people who started out down at 5.7.

Those that started out even higher—patients with rheumatoid arthritis starting up around 7? No change in the control group that didn’t change their diet, but a one-and-a-half point drop within one month on whole food, plant-based nutrition. That’s a 20% drop. That’s more than the drop in inflammation one might get quitting a 28-year pack-a-day smoking habit.

The most extraordinary drop I’ve seen was in a study of 35 asthmatics. After four months of a whole food, plant-based diet, their average white count dropped nearly 60%, from up around 12 down to 5, though there was no control group, and not enough patients to achieve statistical significance.

If white blood cell count is such a clear predictor of mortality, so inexpensive, and reliable, and available, why isn’t it used more often for diagnosis and prognosis? Maybe it’s a little too inexpensive. The industry seems more interested in fancy new risk factors you can bill for.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Oliviu Stoian and Catherine Please from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Oorka via 123RF. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A higher white blood cell count may be an important predictor for cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality, cancer mortality, all-cause mortality, decline in lung function; so, an important predictor for heart attacks, strokes, declining lung function, dying from cancer, and premature death in general. No surprise, as the number of white blood cells we have circulating in our bloodstream is a “marker of systemic inflammation.” Our body produces more white blood cells day to day in response to inflammatory insults.

We’ve known about this link between higher white counts and heart attacks since the 70s, when we found that higher heart attack risk was associated with higher white blood cell counts, just like it was with higher cholesterol levels and higher blood pressures—something that’s been found in nearly every study done since then. Decades of studies, involving hundreds of thousands of patients, showing “dramatically higher…mortality rates” in those with higher white counts.

But why? “Why does…white blood cell count predict mortality?” Maybe because it’s a marker of inflammation and oxidation in our body. In fact, maybe even a biomarker for how fast we’re aging. But, it may be more than just an indicator of inflammation, but an active player, contributing “directly” to disease via a variety of mechanisms, including the actual “obstruction” of blood flow.

The average diameter of white blood cells is like seven and a half micrometers, whereas our tiniest vessels are only like five micrometers wide. So, the white blood cell has to squish down into like a sausage shape to squeeze through. And, when there’s inflammation present, these cells can get sticky. Here’s more images of a white blood cell plugging up a vessel as it exits a small artery, trying to squeeze into a capillary—slowing down or even momentarily stopping blood flow. And, if it gets stuck there, it can end up releasing all its internal “weaponry,” normally reserved for “microbial invaders,” and damage our blood vessels. This may be why in the days leading up to a stroke or heart attack, you may find a spike in the white cell count.

Whether white count is just a marker of inflammation, or an active participant, it’s better to be on the low side. How can we reduce the level of inflammation in our body? Staying away from even secondhand smoke can help drop your white count about half of a point. Those that exercise also appear to have an advantage, but you don’t know if it’s cause and effect unless you put it to the test. Two months of Zumba classes—just one or two hours a week—led to about a point-and-a-half drop in white count. In fact, maybe that’s one of the reasons exercise is so “protective.” But is that just because they lost weight?

“Fitness and fatness” appear to both play a role. More than half—51.5%—of obese persons with low fitness have white counts above 6.6. But those who are more fit, or who have less fat, are less likely to be up that high. Of course, that could just be because exercisers and leaner individuals are eating healthier, eating less inflammatory diets.

How do we know excess body fat itself increases inflammation, increases the white count? You’d have to find some way to get people to lose weight without changing their diet or exercise. How’s that possible? Liposuction! If you suck about a quart of fat out of people, you can significantly drop their white count by about a point. So, maybe this should get us to rethink the so-called normal reference range for white blood cell count. Maybe we should revise it downward, like we’ve done for cholesterol and triglycerides.

Up until now, we’ve just based normal values on people that might be harboring significant background inflammatory disease. If you just restrict it to those with normal C-reactive protein, another indicator of inflammation, then instead of normal being 4.5 to 10, maybe we should instead revise it closer to 3 to 9.

Okay, but where did the healthiest populations fall—those not suffering from the ravages of chronic inflammatory diseases, like heart disease and common cancers? Populations eating diets centered around whole plant foods average about 5, whereas in the U.S., at the time, it was closer to 7 or 8. The reason we know it’s not genetic is if you take those living on traditional rural African diets, who are down around 4 or 5, and move them to Britain, they end up closer to 6, 7, or 8. Ironically, the researchers thought this was a good thing—referring to the lower white counts on the uncivilized diet as neutropenic, meaning too few white blood cells. They noted that during an infection or pregnancy, where you really do need more white cells, the white count came right up to wherever necessary. So, bone marrow of those eating traditional plant-based diets had the capacity to create as many white cells as needed but “suffers from understimulation.” They’re just not smoking enough cigarettes and eating as many inflammatory foods.

Similar findings were reported in Western plant-eaters, with an apparently stepwise drop in white count as diets got more and more plant-based. But maybe there are non-dietary factors, such as lower smoking rates, in those eating healthier? What you need are interventional trials to put it to the test. Just 21 days of removing meat, eggs, dairy, alcohol, and junk affected a significant drop in white count, even in people who started out down at 5.7.

Those that started out even higher—patients with rheumatoid arthritis starting up around 7? No change in the control group that didn’t change their diet, but a one-and-a-half point drop within one month on whole food, plant-based nutrition. That’s a 20% drop. That’s more than the drop in inflammation one might get quitting a 28-year pack-a-day smoking habit.

The most extraordinary drop I’ve seen was in a study of 35 asthmatics. After four months of a whole food, plant-based diet, their average white count dropped nearly 60%, from up around 12 down to 5, though there was no control group, and not enough patients to achieve statistical significance.

If white blood cell count is such a clear predictor of mortality, so inexpensive, and reliable, and available, why isn’t it used more often for diagnosis and prognosis? Maybe it’s a little too inexpensive. The industry seems more interested in fancy new risk factors you can bill for.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Oliviu Stoian and Catherine Please from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Oorka via 123RF. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

For background on exactly what white blood cells are, and why we doctors count them, check out my last video, What Does a Low White Blood Cell Count Mean?

I believe I touch on the health of those rural Africans in How Not to Die from Heart Disease.

More on fighting inflammation here:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

131 responses to “What Is the Ideal White Blood Cell Count?

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  1. Suffering from high WBC test results due to systemic inflammation brought on by a mycotoxic high bacteria ladened meat based diet?
    Plant based nutrition to the rescue!




    19
    1. This is a fantastic video………cuts new ground ………further validates the benefits of WFPB eating. Really excellent.




      24
        1. WFPB is Whole Foods Plant Based. It is eating unprocessed food, mostly plant based like veggies, fruit, beans/legumes and nuts/seeds. Most who eat this way are vegan, but there are some who feel you can have less than 10% of your intake come from meat and dairy.




          5
          1. And there are some for good reason like Dr Fuhrman who think animal products should be limited to 5% of daily calories.

            I have yet to see a study that proves someone reversed heart disease eating a “normal” amount of animal products.




            8
            1. Nope. We don’t.
              Vegans on the whole are very, very good at self education. We have to be. We get this crap from all sides and are constantly required to prove ourselves. As a result, we eat a whole foods diet just like you. We just happened to grow some compassion and ethics along with the diet. We are brains and heart!

              It’s really only teenagers experimenting that eat a junk food diet and call it vegan. Anyone vegan longer than 6 months – 2 years has invested the time and effort to learn how to do this properly, longterm. There are many ethical vegans who have been so 35+ years! I’m among them. I’m here, listening and learning, just like you. No one continues that long without learning how to eat properly! We who are vegan for life do it right!
              Please, before you repeat the propaganda you’re using to motivate yourself to stick with a “diet”, meet a few (dozen) who follow an ethical vegan lifestyle. Get to know us. Don’t believe this divisive nonsense. It works in no one’s favor! We can help each other, if you’d get over this crap.
              By the way, ethical vegans don’t need this kind of motivation. The decision is already make for us. So, we don’t do this divisive stuff back, towards the WFPB crowd. Our compassion and ethics actually extend towards fellow humans as well. You may want to consider that before you deride what you don’t understand, again.




              4
              1. Wow, this reply to someone just making a comment (Debbie Binder), is the reason I sometimes cringe at the attitude on this website.
                Many people here are new to even thinking about being vegan, sometimes they just have a question and get lots of thumbs down. I’m a scientist by training, and the essence of real science is to think outside the box. So to my way of thinking sincere comments, questions, should always be welcomed. A friendly tone goes a long way to helping others see your point of view.




                14
                1. Monica: I am an ethical vegan AND I am trying to eat a more whole food plant based diet at the same time (due to a family history of heart disease). I absolutely know what I SHOULD eat, and I absolutely (at times) eat vegan junk food – despite what I know – as do most of my vegan friends. So yes, I supplement B12, Vitamin D….and everything else Dr Greger recommends. I would say I know more about nutrition than most of my friends, and I would say I likely eat WAY more fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains than the average American, however I still enjoy vegan “junk” probably more often than I should (I had a couple Oreos yesterday – delicious and “vegan”). I like vegan cupcakes, and donuts, and vegan processed meat on occasion. It’s a struggle….for many people. There are still a LOT of vegans who are junk food vegans, and that’s the bottom line; for you to say otherwise is just not true. And there is nothing wrong with being a junk food vegan….they just don’t have a focus on their own health… just like the vast majority of Americans do not think or care about what they put in their bodies and call “food”. I am however grateful that junk food vegans are they’re at least considering the animals.




                  4
                2. I became vegan in 1987 and initially consumed a ton of soy, tofu and meat substitutes like tofu dogs. I had several tofurky’s at holiday times even though to me they taste like salty rubber. I was not completely sure what to eat. Yes i always loved salads and fruit as well. Vegans tend to love soy but i think a little is okay but not a lot. Over the years I made my own food and found the live food regimen works for me but it took a while. Unfortunately a lot of vegans DO consume lots of vegan frozen and canned foods that are quick easy and not very healthy. Take a look at the massive frozen food section in health food stores and large supermarkets, it is all about quick and convenient and nutrition disappears.I think the meat analogues are nasty but some people thrive on them and their freezer is full of them and frozen vegan pizza’s. I have learned there is a HUGE diversity of what people consume as vegans. It is not one size fits all. It ranges all the way from a live food plant-based mostly fruit diet, to those vegans who prepare their own foods and consume 50% raw, to the fast-food-frozen vegan boxed foods, soy or nut milks, etcetera that are readily available and you never have to cook. namaste’, rachel




                  1
        2. Reiner, To my way of thinking, a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) eating pattern is a vegan diet, no animal products, that consists primarily of unprocessed whole plant foods as one’s ingredients list for meal preparation, no added refined flour, oils, salt or sugars. There are circumstances when I am traveling or dining at someone’s home where I deviate from this pattern, but I find that if you do not put it into your shopping cart, you do not put it on your dinner table.

          I suppose there are those who include animal based foods in this pattern, but then again, there are those who identify as vegetarian and regularly eat chicken and fish. It does not make them bad people, but it does not lead to optimal health outcomes. The fewer animal products and more whole plant foods that one incorporates into one’s diet, the better off one’s health outcome will be. This position is supported by the sited research on NutritionFacts.org. The benefits that one derives are a continuum that extends out to 100 percent plant based.

          So, to be super healthy, maximize you intake of whole plant foods, minimize animal and highly refined and processed foods, and get regular exercise.




          1
  2. Awesome video packed with information. Thanks Dr G as always.

    Do you recommend any tests that would be worthwhile carrying out on otherwise healthy WFPB eaters?
    WBC?
    Vit D?
    B12?
    etc

    Thanks

    Scott




    8
    1. Hi Scott,

      I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks for your question.

      Typically, an individual should not need to worry about any tests if you are doing 3 things: 1. taking a reliable source of vitamin B12 2. either taking a vitamin D supplement or getting sufficient sunlight year-round, and 3. getting enough omega 3 fatty acid intake via walnuts, flaxseeds, etc. or by supplement.

      However, if you are concerned, just a very curious person, or like to prove to doubters how good your blood work is, it wouldn’t hurt to get these values, or a lipid panel done.

      I hope this sufficiently answers your question!




      5
      1. I just had a CBC done for my annual physical. I asked the doc about checking the nutrient levels for B12 and D. He told me that is standard practice. Since I had never seen these levels reported in years past, I was surprised. When the phlebotomist came in to draw blood, she had a form for me to sign if I wanted to pay 100 dollars out of pocket to check my D level. It turns out that my insurance pays for the B12, folate, calcium to be checked, but NOT the D. Needless to say I was not curious to the tune of 100 bucks!




        0
        1. You might want to reconsider. Many clinical studies show that a very large segment of our population is “off the chart low” on vitamin D. Keep in mind that it’s not a vitamin. Its a hormone, that signals for 200-300 genes that we know of and has over 11,000 binding sites on the human genome. Low vitamin d is associated with a vast array of diseases from many cancers through autoimmune diseases. I live in Hawaii with my two adult kids. We surf, fish, dive, run and hike….all of our vitamin d levels were “off the chart” low because we wore sun screen or shirts.

          If you go to the market to buy some needed food and your insurance company won’t pay for it, do you pass?

          Dr. Ben




          0
  3. Another very informative video … thank you Dr G!

    As the video and the research papers backing it up point out, Leukocytosis seems to be both a marker and to a lesser extent, a cause of diseases such as CVD. I’m wondering if Big Pharma is working on a drug to reduce WBC as they did with statin drugs for high cholesterol ;-)

    After watching the last 2 videos, I looked back at some of my previous blood work results and sure enough, before going WFPB, my WBC ranged between 5 and 6. Now after being WFPB for four years now (as a result of this website!), the WBC ranges between 4 and 4.5.




    24
    1. Mine is 3.3 and I am a meat eater. Eating meat does not cause inflammation but eating inflammatory foods such as processed foods, vegetable oil, too much PUFA fat from nuts and seeds, will do. So all people can have inflammation, meat eaters or vegans.




      3
      1. Of course you have the research to back these opinions up? I don’t see any links or references, so I assume you don’t. Until you do, bye.




        13
      2. Most of us on this site like to work with science and properly performed research if not evidence of a long-living population. There are studies that indicate people that consume nuts and seeds on a regular basis live longer and healthier lives. I do not know of any such study with those results for meat.
        Although I do agree with your assessment of processed foods and “all” oils you provide no support for your opinion on meat.




        5
      3. Interesting. Don’t know what is considered Norma by your test lab, but most in US consider lowest white count should be is 4.5. Too low not healthy either!




        0
        1. My WBC has been low (1.9-3.1) for years. I just recently switched to a plant based diet. My doctor doesn’t think it is a problem. Should I be concerned and should I add something to my diet to raise this low count.




          0
    2. Correct me if I am wrong but weren’t your WBC really good at the range of 5-6? From the video, it sounded to me like we should shoot for a WBC between 3 and 9, right? Thank you.




      1
    1. Maybe people should give some information instead of just doing a hands down. Not helpful at all!
      I think Ryan Hallett has a good question!




      1
      1. Herbs, as evidenced by the videos on this site, are certainly good for the body because of their powerful anti-oxidants. Mushrooms are also good for the body, again watch some videos, and likely should be consumed daily along with the herbs.

        Instead of trying to fine tune your WBC count with diet you should make more of an effort to find out why your body thinks it needs more WBCs if it is high.

        .




        1
  4. Does anyone here recall the old Paul Kouchakoff studies of “digestive leucocytosis” in the 1930s, used by raw food advocates as partial evidence for their beliefs?




    1
    1. I’m very glad to see these videos also. My WBC ranges between 2.1 and 3.1 for years and years, and I’m healthy (exercise, WFPB diet, and so forth). My previous doctor was always shaking her head and finally sent me to a hematologist who ran more blood tests and concluded, oh well, it’s an individual thing. Nothing about it being being an indicator of the absence of inflammation, which had occurred to me.




      8
      1. hi denise, will you read my post about leukopenia and compare it to your condition ?

        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – “The real does not die, the unreal never lived.” , Nisargadatta Maharaj




        0
  5. Recent WBC count was 2.9 and is usually about that level for years. I eat grass fed meat and wild caught salmon, other wild caught shell fish, pastured chicken eggs from my back yard.




    7
  6. My WBC has been flagged as low for many years now. It’s been flagged as too low when I was over weight by 50 pounds and eating a lot of sugary foods and is still flagged as low now that I’m closer to my goal weight. It’s 3.2. So for me it didn’t matter if I ate poorly or ate more healthy.

    My platelet count is flagged as low at 123 , but I’m not sure what that means…… is that good to be low on as well??

    Also my neutrophils are also flagged as too low …. they are 1.35 ….. hopefully they should be low too?




    4
  7. Dr Gregor
    I always enjoy your incite and shared learning. 37 years ago in a physiology experiment we decided to look at the effect of exercise on WBC count before and after running stairs for a few minutes. The literature revealed that at least 50% of the peripheral WBC Poole is adherent to venous and arterial wall. When measuring the WBC count at rest the marginated Poole is not quantitated.
    Our post exercise counts rose significantly…. I cannot recall the % of baseline counts.
    Would be a fun test to compare WBC counts before and after exercising on a tread mill. Hope this sheds some light on the variability of peripheral WBC counts and factory affecting variability.
    I deeply appreciate your work and sharing it. Dom Costabile DO MS FAAFP RMSK
    http://WWW.preserving-wellness.com




    11
  8. After having “Dangerously low wbc” for years, as described by several doctors (wbc in the 3’s), and me being confiunded and concerned for years while being a vegan athlete, this set if videos solves the puzzle and not just put me at ease, but validates my original claim I made to the doctors that “Maybe I’m not making them because I don’t need them since I’m eating right and exercising”. They all though I was crazy and one even laughed at me. Thank you for this.




    22
  9. Thanks Dr. G – another great, informative video. I’ve been ‘labeled’ as neutropenic for as long as I’ve been vegan/plant-based (for almost 7-years) – and has always been a cause of concern with my doc – though I have zero health problems, and am never sick. WBC are generally 2.0 – 3.5. I guess I can stop worrying about this now! :-)




    14
    1. EXACTLY my thoughts! I guess my intuition was right about my count being lower because my body saw that there is not need for higher counts! I haven’t been sick in years, even having a WBC in the 3 range.




      4
    2. I have a low WBC for at least 30 years, usually at 2.2-2.5. The only times it was higher was when I was pregnant but I also had Gestational Diabetes during
      the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. That was 28 years ago, before I began eating WFPB but my WBC also didn’t go any lower once I started eating that way.
      Kinda curious. I am also wondering if other people with these lower levels(in the 2’s) experience longer recovery times after exercising as I do. Wondering if
      there is a corralation between low WBC and the ability of the muscles to recover within a “normal” timeframe.




      1
      1. Hi Catherine,
        Do you remember about your neutrophils levels? During this year my WBC were around 2.5 and neutrophils 0.46. I haven’t been sick or tired and I do exercise every day. I am vegan for more than one year.
        Regards.




        0
  10. I understand that having lower WBC is indicative of lower disease but half the foods we eat increase production – such as citrus, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, almonds, turmeric, green tea, papaya, kiwi and sunflower seeds. I eat most of these every day as part of the daily dozen. I have other lab work I’m still struggling to get into a healthy range five years into eating whole food, plant based. I’m strict with my eating and make almost everything myself. I also have some long-term medical issues and treatments that take me out of the “normal range” for a lot of things. My last WBC was 8 six months ago and has never gotten lower than 6.5 in the five years since changing my eating. I’m wondering if I should forego some of the mentioned foods as maybe I’m overdoing it.

    My weight is great, I’m off all but one medication, I’m exercising and feel great. And I have no plans to change what I’m doing, just gets frustrating when you don’t see the results that others do.




    11
    1. Brenda, I am a volunteer moderator at the website. I am very impressed by your change of diet towards whole food plant based by learning from Dr Greger with all the great information he provides us on this website. You have managed to use food as medicine and bringing down the number of medications that is great. I think you might be too hard on yourself and not see the good changes that is happened for you. Well, done and keep up the good work.




      11
  11. I am greatly relieved by this and the prior video on WBCs. My count has been between 2.6 and 3.2 for the past 20 years and it always worried me. Interestingly, I was visiting my 92 year old dad recently and he had just had his labs drawn. His WBC count was 2.7. His LDL cholesterol, like mine, is on the high side even though I eat plant-based and he eats very little animal products. Seems to me there is a genetic component here.




    13
  12. Thank you for the wonderful information. I’m a leukemia survivor, last treatment in Dec and wanting to ensure my wbc is in a good range. I’ve also been taking something holistic to ensure reducing inflammation, if anyone is interested let me know




    1
    1. Hi Gis Donovan, Thank you for your comment. I am one of the volunteer moderators on the site. I like to say well done with being leukemia survivor! I am interested to hear your story and how your body healed itself. Keep up the good work and yes I am also thankful to Dr Greger for all the hard work he does to help us all taking better care of our health.




      4
      1. Hello!  Thank you for your reply.  I was diagnosed last August with Leukemia,  it was very aggressive and came on quickly.  I spent 30 days in the hospital initially then every month would go back for a week of treatment until Christmas.  I went into remission and  halfway through chemo a nurse friend of mine introduced me to these concentrated fruit/vegetable capsules (food not a supplement).  Doctor told me that the more chemo I had the worse my side effects would be and probably last longer also.  In end of December I had very minimum side effects and they didn’t last long.  I continued to improve quickly.  Every time within the last 6 months my blood markers have improved.  In February I began eating more plants and have continued on the capsules.  They provide me with an enormous amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients.  I’m grateful for the added nutrition even though my diet is green and clean!




        2
  13. Thank you for the wonderful information. I’m a leukemia survivor, last treatment in Dec and wanting to ensure my wbc is in a good range. I’ve also been taking something holistic to ensure reducing inflammation, if anyone is interested let me know




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    1. Hi David Hanson, Thanks for your question. I am one of the volunteer moderators at the site. Yes he did indicate that At the moment the normal range is 4-10 but he was also pointing out that this normal range may be based on people that might be harboring inflammation already and he was saying may be it could be revised and be between 3-9.
      If you look in the transcript you can see that. I hope that is helpful.




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  14. This is as always a great video. There are exceptions to all rules. My dad whom had a white blood count of 13.0 thousand hardly ever took ill. Never had a heart attack, and lived until 97. I am his son, and am 75 years old, with a white blood count of 13.6 thousand. I never get sick, my HDL/LDL counts are so good that my doctor tells me he wishes he had my numbers. I have not used tobacco in 42 years, I do not drink hard liquor. Only drink dry red wine with dinner. Hardly ever have any red meats. I go to the gym for an hour, 7 days per week, am not overweight at all. I eat 2-3 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Have generally 2-4 BMs per day, without any problem. Sooo, a high white blood court at least in my case, is apparently genetic and I expect to live probably over the age of 100 in good health, with such a high white blood count, that most doctors would not understand the reason why I am in such good health.




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    1. Thank you Allen Cohen for posting. i was beginning to get a complex since my White blood count is the ONLY result that mars an ideal set of results. I measure 11.1 but the doc said nothing about it so should I worry. I am WFPB for 7 years at 75 and lead the same sort of life you do. No medication, no illnesses. I think it goes to show that you should only have screening and blood tests if you feel ill. Otherwise you tend to worry about the almighty numbers.




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  15. Interesting. Apparently, the lower one’s WBC, the better. Dr. Greger gave the following table:

    Vegan – 5.6
    Lactovegetarian – 6.9
    Lacto-ovodegetarian – 7.1
    Semivegetarian – 7.3
    Nonvegetarian – 8.2

    I eat a can of sardines a day, which makes me as a nonvegetarian. So I went back and checked my latest blood work done a month and half ago.

    My WBC was 4.71 (normal range 3.7 – 11.1), which puts me almost a full unit below that of a vegan. But I also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.




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  16. I’ve had leukopenia my whole life and I do not see I have to fight infections more than other people. When an infection comes, my number of leukocytes rises up to normal and fights the infection. My Leukocytic formula has always had disturbed values.
    What about this sort of low white blood cells ?




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  17. The video is good to explain about the good thing about low WBC, something that my doctor cannot explain. And also the correlation between WBC and inflammation.

    But what is wrong as usual is to use the theory to trash animal foods which is totally wrong. My WBC is 3.2 despite me being an a meat eater. In another word, inflammation has nothing to do with meat eating and it can happen to vegans as well who eat let say vegetable oil, or a diet full of PUFA fat, or sugar.




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  18. I have high White blood cell count, also my bones are clicking and my calcium has come back under along with Vitamin D.

    The question i have is, calcium supplements are bad but is a wholefood supplement bad e.g. “Garden of Life mykind Calcium” the same or is that fine.
    As i feel i need to take as my bones feel really weak and clicky.

    Please reply any help appreciated

    Side note: Do i need to take with Vitamin K2 etc

    I follow a vegan diet (Lots of oats fruit and starch and beans) and IF 17 Hour Fast, 7 Eating Window.




    1
    1. Hello Paul,  I too experienced bone pain among many other things before and after chemotherapy.  In the last 8 months I’ve been taking these concentrated food capsules, 30 different fruits and vegetables,  no sugar just antioxidants & phytonutrients and there are 36 scientific studies performed that have been published in medical journals to support the benefits.  A nurse introduced me to them and I’ve never been so grateful.  It’s food not a supplement.  A couple of months ago I partnered with the company to share my own experience and possibly help others along the way. If you look at my website it has information on the clinical research and videos of doctors who support whole food nutrition and what they think.  Good luck to you!




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      1. Gis Donovan, from my understanding, it is against the terms of service to promote commercial interests on this forum..whether veiled as personal testimony or not.




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        1. My apologies.    I only meant to be helpful considering my own experience.  Appreciate you letting me know.  Thank you!




          1
          1. I hope I didnt give the impression that I (and Im sure many many others !) didnt appreciate hearing of your experience and successful journey to health. I surely did ! Congratulations are in order, and thank you for sharing what worked for you.




            1
    2. http://drhoffman.com/article/strontium-for-bone-health-2/

      Further, scientists are looking into the benefits of strontium for osteoarthritis because researchers hypothesize that strontium might also improve cartilage metabolism; additionally there may be protection against dental caries since 10 percent of subjects that had no dental carries in a 10-year study sponsored by the U.S. Navy resided in a small town that had unusually high levels of strontium in the municipal water supply.

      It is my clinical opinion that strontium citrate is absorbed better than the other forms of this mineral.

      Remember that strontium is very closely related to calcium. They both utilize the same carrier protein for transport. Calcium will win this tug of war effortlessly. The take home message is to take strontium 4 hours away from calcium (preferably other minerals as well) before bed. Currently, I dose strontium at 681mg in one dose prior to bed (each strontium citrate capsule contains 227mg of pure strontium citrate = 3 capsules) on an empty stomach (defined as 2 hours after a meal).

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141105140708.htm

      “We think it’s important to reinforce the fact that osteoporosis is not just a woman’s disease,” said Rozental. Studies have shown that men have twice the mortality rate of women both during initial hospitalization and in the year following a hip fracture. Survival rates following a wrist fracture, the number-one upper extremity fracture in older adults, also are lower among men.

      no link

      There are considerable variations in the quality of drinking water in Norway. The researchers studied variations in magnesium and calcium levels in drinking water between different areas, as these are assumed to have a role in the development of bone strength. They wanted to examine whether there was a correlation between magnesium and calcium concentrations in drinking water and the incidence of hip fracture.

      The study results show that magnesium protects against hip fracture for both men and women. The researchers found no independent protective effect of calcium.

      “Treating men for bone fractures, but not the underlying cause, places them at a greater risk for future bone breaks and related complications,” said Rozental. “The results of this study lead us to suggest that men over the age of 50 with fractures of the distal radius should undergo further clinical assessment and bone density testing to better identify those at high risk for future fracture as well as those who would benefit from further treatment.”

      They looked at 227 men and women 60 years or older. They used MRI scans to determine the total amount of brain lesions each person had. Then they correlated the results with calcium supplements. The results are scary.

      The results “revealed that supplement users had greater lesion volumes than non-users.” And this was true regardless of calcium intake from food, age, sex, race, years of education, depression, and even hypertension.

      In fact, the researchers stated, “The influence of supplemental calcium use on lesion volume was of a magnitude similar to that of the influence of hypertension, a well-established risk factor for lesions.” What they are saying is that as bad as having high blood pressure is for your brain, calcium supplements seem to be every bit as bad! Once again in their own words, “The present study demonstrates that the use of calcium-containing dietary supplements, even low-dose supplements, by older adults may be associated with greater [brain] lesion volumes.”

      Hopefully this study will put the final nails in the coffin of calcium supplements for bone health. That said, I have to also say that there is a place for calcium supplements. On a daily basis, taking 500 mg or less per day is fine for general health. Taking more than that should be reserved for when there is a medical reason for them.

      Frank Shallenberger, MD




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      1. Dr. SHallenberger, thank you for this post, helpful info. Would like to hear your thoughts on whether vitamin K2 would help proper utilization of calcium.




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    3. Paul.

      I’ve been told that the clicking which sounds like bones is actually ligaments. I used to have that, too, but it went away after changing my diet. I have to admit I can’t remember the details. Perhaps one of the doctors who reads this discussion will speak up.

      Green leaves provide the calcium you’re concerned about far better than any supplement, because it is balanced with magnesium and other minerals. When we get too much calcium from supplements the excess can be deposited in your arteries – not what you want! If you follow Dr G’s Daily Dozen you’ll see he wants us all to be eating lots of green veggies. It’s easy to steam or boil a few leaves of kale, chard, collards, or spinach, or use frozen ones, or chop them and eat them in salads. Populations with healthy bones in old age get far less calcium than most Americans think they need, but they get it from food, especially green leafy veggies.

      Dr Michael Klaper has an excellent video on Youtube about bone health. But with a house full of company coming in today to celebrate my husband’s 80th birthday I don’t have time to find it. However, it is worth seeking and watching.




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  19. When we are talking white blood cells what type are we talking. I have always had a mild neutropenia on WFPB. Thank you.




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  20. I find the topic confusing because there are so many good foods that increase WBC count such as mushrooms, garlic and many others.

    What is the considered healthy range for a vegan????




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  21. I have been vegan for 10 years. I have a white cell count of 3.6, Platelets 146 and Neutrophils 1.8. My levels were similar with annual check up a year ago. Does the study also relate to having lower Platelets and Neutrophils?




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  22. Love these important videos focusing on basics. Inflammation is the key- always was. It’s truly amazing how few people never ever do a full and long term dietary test on themselves, and so they remain forever confused as how to control their short term and long term health. It all begins and ends with what you put in your mouth on a daily basis. For years, decades and forever. It is all so simple to be 100% healthy and prevent or reverse the major chronic killers in our physically poor society.




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  23. I have been a vegan for 7 years now and my WBC count has been 4-5 eating mostly raw very low fat, very little grains until this year it jumped up to almost 8 when I started introducing grains and less raw food and occasional “junk” by going out to vegan restaurants. What a difference! Going back to fruit, potatoes and veggies!




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  24. How low is too low? He didn’t specify. I was so looking forward to this video but I wish he was more clear about the range where we will be optimal




    1
    1. I have the same question! My WBC has averaged 3.1-3.5 for the past 10 years. I do hope that someone answers our question! :)




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  25. I have listened to all of your podcasts and have your book, but there is one question that I am still not clear on. What do you think of the ketogenic diet for cancer? I did a google search, and yesterday listened to Chris Kresser’s podcast on the same subject. The problem is that there are so many different opinoins out there. Thanks for all your hard work!




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    1. Hello Marla! Unfortunately, Dr. Greger is unable to answer most of the questions posted here, however, we do have an amazing team
      of volunteer doctors, nurses, and dietitians who answer questions. I have forwarded your question to them.
      Please note that we don’t have enough volunteers to get all questions answered, so an answer is not guaranteed.




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    2. I look at Chris’s site occasionally but only for entertainment. The blogs there generally reflect all the misinformation on the planet.

      If you seek long term health you should monitor Drs Greger, Fuhrman, Esselstyn, Ornish and McDougall to name a few and forget about the Paleo, low-carb, high fat, magical oils suggestions likely supported by some industry like dairy, eggs or meat.




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    3. Marla, This is just my little observation. I had an aggressive non-hormone-connected breast cancer seven years ago, when I was 67. Over the years I’ve met many other breast cancer patients, but only two others with the same triple negative cancer. Both of those women were much younger than me – one in her mid 30s – and both went on a ketogenic diet. Neither survived more than about two years after diagnosis.

      I learned about WFPB from reading The China Study, followed by many more books and websites. It was quite clear to me that my cancer came on quite strongly following two years of eating only pastured beef, chicken, eggs, and dairy along with organic veggies and fruit. When I found the tumor it was quite large, yet it had not been detectable a year earlier. In addressing the cancer, I first ate a raw vegan diet, had many alternative treatments along with an alternative form of chemo, and the tumor subsided almost to nothing. But when I added cheese the tumor grew back FAST. I now eat no animal protein, eat WFPB, and I’m healthy and thriving seven years after the original diagnosis.

      Please re-watch Dr G’s videos and the many other plant based doctors on Youtube talking about how animal protein stimulates growth through MTOR and insulin-like growth factor. When you see how readily animal protein stimulates the growth of cancer, you’ll see that the ketogenic diet, with a lot of animal protein and saturated fats, and few antioxidants and the myriad other benefits of berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, is NOT an anti cancer diet. The science definitely backs this up.




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      1. One other problem with some animal products, red meat in particular, is the heme iron content. Iron is known to promote growth of cancer cells.




        0
    4. Hi this is Dr. Sozanski, PhD PScD of Natural Medicine in Atlanta GA and Moderator of Nutritionfacts.org. In regards to your question I went and selected randomly a site listing the elements of the ketogenic diet https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2015/01/03/Keto-Diet-Food-List-What-to-Eat-and-Avoid, where all the Eat freely, Eat sparingly or Avoid foods were listed; based on that particular classification, the first paragraph under Eat freely listed grass fed meet, wild caught fish and seafood, pastured pork and poultry and eggs, also saturated fats such as butter, ghee etc.
      Just from reading this section, I will be able to refer you to some of Dr. Greger’s videos related to the connection between animal foods and cancer: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cancer/. Where would I even start in recommending the videos, from those talking about IGF-1 found in animal foods and its role in multiple cancer growth and proliferation mechanisms, to those on New5Gc, the inflammatory molecule also found in animal foods. The material goes on and on, please see for yourself.
      I hope this helps. Have a great day.




      1
  26. Hello Spencer here,
    I’m new to the comment section of this website but I’ve been having some conflicting thoughts. This is very off topic of the video published here but I’ve been vegan for about a year and half, eating more whole food lately, and I’ve been thinking about calories. I’m a tall man and my BMR is about 2000. On a whole food plant based diet this is hard to achieve for me and feel full and satisfied with about 1600-1800 calories a day. I know this seems like a small issue but is this an issue at all? I don’t want to lose weight or become malnourished or something lol. But I’ve been obsessing about it lately and I don’t know what to think about calories.




    1
    1. I doubt that you are at your perfect weight so I do not know why you fear losing some. Check out the BMI of the traditional Okinawans, the longest-living population in the world and you likely can shed a few BMI points.

      As you age you are going lose muscle and strength so you need to concentrate on resistance training in moderation but consistently.

      If you are really concerned with the calories you can increase nuts, seeds and avocado which you should already be consuming on a regular basis.




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    2. Hi Spencer,

      I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks for your question. This is something that many men on plant-based diets, including myself, question or struggle with.

      First, continue to listen to your body. If you feel satisfied consistently, that is most important. Also make sure that you are not losing any further weight.

      However, if you do feel the need to put on a few pounds, nuts/seeds, avocados, dates, and smoothies are great options to increase caloric intake, as mentioned by others on this post.




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      1. Thank you for your response Whollyplantfoods. Lately it’s been me getting bloated or “way to full” trying to meet my caloric intake. I’m sure it’s just my gut getting use to extra fiber but I’ll definitely listen to my body, I’m sure I don’t need to be to worry about calories and my body will adjust accordingly. Calories just always been something that kind of concerned me but I’m sure it’s mostly a psychological challenge to reach this ,”institutionally made”, caloric intake. I do wish Dr. Gregor touched on this in a video because I do know from his book that vegan/vegetarian’s burn more calories, I think the figure was 11% more than omnivores, but does this BMR figure of daily calories burn at resting and 2,000 calorie need have any relevance to us whole plant food eaters?




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  27. I heard Dr Gregor mention he was going to put on a WEBINAR ABOUT FASTING in the last live Q&A session on YouTube. I am desperate to find more info (like when, where & how much) but cannot find any hear & have no other way of finding out so any Info would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks




    0
    1. Dr Goldhamer at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA has had a clinic treating and curing people with medically supervised fasting or a whole foods plant based diet for over 30 years. He probably knows more about fasting than anybody in this country. He will respond if you email him. Here is his website: http://www.healthpromoting.com/water-fasting.




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  28. Hi Tevans,

    I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you for your question.

    Right now dates and times are not set for that future webinar. Make sure you are subscribed to receive the monthly news letter and e-mailed updates. That way you will receive the information when it is released.




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  29. I follow a whole foods plant based diet (for the past 4 years) and have a lot of allergies and mild asthma year-round. My latest WBC was 8. Can allergies increase the WBC count?




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    1. Hi this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD, PScD out of Sandy Springs, GA and moderator for nutritionfacts.org; indeed severe allergies triggering an immune system response could be the cause of increased WBC count in your blood. Please see the mayo clinic article: http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/high-white-blood-cell-count/basics/causes/sym-20050611; in regards to your WFBD and existing allergies and mild asthma, in addition to environmental allergies, I would also like to rule out food allergies, as, (while plant foods tend to be less allergenic than animal foods), there can be serious plant offenders out there, two examples, citrus and the night shade families. An elimination diet, together with a re-introduction challenge diet, maybe with the help of a health professional, may help relieve some of these issues.




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      1. Thanks for the reply Daniela. I’ll check out the Mayo Clinic article. Is it possible to have an elevated WBC, like 8 and not have inflammation? In other words, is a higher WBC causal or is it just correlated to inflammation? The reason I ask is that I also had a Sedimentation Rate Test that indicated that I had low inflammation. My sedimentation rate was 1mm/hour. Thanks.




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    2. Hi, Richard Thanks for your question. I am one of the volunteer moderators at the site. About your question if Allergy increase white blood cells. I would say yes, Mast cells and basophils are key effector cells for IgE-dependent allergic inflammatory reactions (1). Upon activation, these cells secrete preformed proinflammatory chemical mediators (e.g., histamine, proteases, proteoglycans, and nucleotides) as well as de novo synthesized lipids (e.g., leukotrienes and prostaglandins) and polypeptides (e.g., cytokines and chemokines). These substances lead to the development of allergic inflammation. I hope this is helpful to you.

      Histamine-releasing factor has a proinflammatory role in mouse models of asthma and allergy




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  30. My WBC hit 2.0 after a 1-2 month low calorie diet (it’s normally around 3.0). After resuming a generous amount a calories, it went up to 4.0. Does the ‘fasting’ period explain the low WBC in that case? Was 2.0 ‘too low’ at the time? My doc was so worried that he sent me to a hematologist.




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  31. My white blood cells count is 2.9 and I was sure that was an indicator of sickness. Have been on a plant-based diet for almost 4 years now and I feel way better than when I was much younger. This video is putting to rest those scary thoughts I had. Why have I not been told that by my doctor in the first place is beyond me. Thanks Dr. Greger for all these informational videos you are doing for us mere mortals. :)




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  32. There is a semantic distinction to be made. The principle paper for this video addressed the higher disease incidence of people with “high” WBC counts–which I take to mean out of range–i.e., > 10(000).

    Dr. Greger frames the distinction in terms of people with “higher” WBC counts–which could mean anything. It could mean ‘higher’ than the recommended range–which I now infer is 3-9(000), reduced from 4-10(000). Or it could simply mean higher than some other ‘normal’ reading between 3 and 9.

    Would a WBC count of 8 be worse (indicate a greater chance of disease) than, say, 4, or even 3? Can you be too low?

    I gather from the video that lower is better, and that WBC status is similar to cholesterol and blood pressure in this way. That is, a BP of 100/60 is “better” than 120/80 (or 140/90 for those over 60); a TC of 120 is “better” than 150, which in turn is better than 190 (still considered ‘optimal’ by the AHA). For fasting blood glucose the situation may be the same–i.e., that lower (e.g. 70) would be better than (100–borderline prediabetic), which is still better than 120. With Uric Acid, Dr. Greger indicated that higher is better until you reach the threshold around 7.0 (or was it 8.0?).

    It would be nice in general to know the rule of thumb on these measures, so that we might take remedial steps thru diet and exercise to adjust them. But I suspect that they’re only rules of thumb, and don’t apply to all individuals…so we shouldn’t take them too seriously.




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  33. Hi!
    I would like Michael to read this, and if he want’s – respond to my mail-adress in the end of this letter :-)

    Hello Michael!

    My name is Stefan. I live in Gothenburg, Sweden. A friend of mine recommended to me your book “How not to die”. Im really into the healthy lifestyle and taking care of my body the best way I can so I bought your book the following day and started reading immediately.

    What an amazing piece of art! I enjoyed every second of it and it confirmed very much of what I already knew about the importance of eating the right food. But it also gave me lot’s of new knowledge and perspectives. Im not saying I’m going all vegetarian or vegan but it inspired me so nowadays I at least try staying away from all animalfood like twice a week :)

    Why I contact you in the first place is bacause since about 4 years ago I’ve been making my very own special 1000ml smoothie basically every morning. In the beginning it only contained about 5-7 different ingredients. But as timed moved on and I started learning and studying even more about nutrition, I started adding up new things constantly. The last 3 years my smoothie has consisted of about 15-20 different ingredients. Nowadays it’s more of a 20-25.

    I list them for you here beneath:
    Water
    Frozen Mango
    Frozen Broccoli
    Frozen Spinach
    Frozen Blueberries
    Frozen Blackberries
    Frozen Beetroot
    Frozen Pinapple
    Banana
    Fresh pressed lemonjuice
    Applecider vinegar
    Fiber housing
    Peanut butter
    Honey
    Chlorella powder
    Wheet grass powder
    Cranberry powder
    Spirulina powder
    Cacao powder
    Maca powder
    Ginger powder
    Cinnamon
    Turmeric
    Coriander
    Cardamom
    Flavored Whey protein powder

    If it tastes good? Hell yeah it does! Therefor, what I would like to suggest and do is having a full body scan and also test all my bloodvalues etcetera and share with you my results. Im quite curious about how my body responds to this cocktail of supernutritions that i keep on adding every day, every week, every year.

    A couple of weeks ago I visited a Fitnessexpo and did some kind of “bodyscan” to detect overall fat mass in my body. From a gradescale of 1-15 where 1 is the best and 15 is the worst I scored a 2. I got credit for that. The interesting thing about this is I’ve been basically physically inactive the past 4 months due to an servere accident where I broke my collarbone right of into serveral pieces and had to have surgery and then staying in bed for 1 month without even walking. I’ve just been able to carefully start working out in the gym again. I still can’t run.

    With that in mind I know that my values probably where, and also can get – even better beyond. I’m currently 1,88cm tall, turning 30 years old this autumn and weights about 77kg. I saw that you are visiting Stockholm in Sweden the 2nd of October this year. It would be such an honor to meet you Michael! I for sure would like to offer you a full glass of “StefansSuperSmoothie”!

    Please write me back what you think about my proposal. I want to contribute to your research about health and food and hope to hear from you soon! :)
    My mailadress is: stefan.abrahamsson87@gmail.com

    Wishing you a great week!
    /Stefan Abrahamsson




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    1. Stefan,

      I’m also a fan of Dr Greger’s work.

      You’re clearly working hard on your health and it sounds like you’re getting great results. I’d also like to compliment you on your English. I wish I knew a little Swedish, but I’m sorry to say I don’t, even though my husband’s mother was Swedish.

      You now need to add one more item to your smoothie. A little black pepper will enhance your ability to absorb the nutrients from the turmeric considerably.

      Keep up the good work and continue healing from your accident.




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  34. For me, this video and discussion, have raised more questions than they answer. As we know, there are different kinds of white blood cells. Maybe the problem is only when certain types are raised? People with allergies tend to have eosinophils raised, and so have a higher total count. Is this a problem also? Sure would like someone to tackle the issue of which types are the problem.




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  35. I love the information on this site but I only ever read the articles. When I’m on my phone, I’m typically in a place where I cannot listen to a video. Please consider making all of your information readable! Thank you! :)




    1
    1. Stacey,

      If you’ll look below the video you’ll see a line that says View Transcript.
      You can go there to read the message on the video. The charts and graphs won’t be there, but you’ll still be able to learn what the video shows.




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  36. now I’m confused.. ! where does this leave nutritional yeast, the B12 superfood & it’s “modulation of the immune system” – the idea that it’s amazing due to its ability to increase white blood cells count, (diminishing both susceptibility & or severity to infection) whilst simultaneously decreasing inflammation..? any theories would be good.. (- I’m gonna packing it away anyhu as I can’t get enough of the stuff mind..! :) :)




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  37. I really, really would like to see a single study that truly isolates meat in general and its the role (or lack of) in inflammation. I feel it’s never clear b/c of multiple variables. The problem is that all these studies lump all meat eaters into the same group. That means that someone like me, who eats all kinds of organic vegetables, greens, “superfoods”, AND grass fed meat on the regular, 2-3 eggs almost every single day…and avoids additives, is placed in the same group as an average meateater– who eats deep fried fast food raised inhumanely, tortured, fed an unnatural diet, and processed, doused with additives. When differences between this group and vegetarians are pointed out, meat is always assumed the culprit and contributor to heart disease (and other disease). I wish Micheal Greger or others could comment on this.. Why has no one worked this question out properly in studies?. (my WBC is currently 4.8. It has always been low. I have never been overweight except while pregnant. My cholesterol is normal– I repeat, 2-3 eggs almost daily for the past 15 years–otherwise, my diet resembles what is recommended here)




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  38. wow
    this is a huge surprise for me
    i try for very long time to increase my low white blood count
    without any success
    and until now, I didn’t figured why ,
    after all i eat WFPBD
    i never thought it may be a good sign
    you opened my eyes




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  39. my WBC are always 2.5, is it okay? my doctor who is my uncle says it’s normal and healthier and he also has the same level and it’s genetic in the family




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    1. As one of the moderators on this site, I’d say you are fortunate to have a wise uncle for your doctor and go with what he’s telling you that that WBC of 2.5 is indeed okay and healthy for you if you’ve no symptoms or indications of problems. Enjoy your health and hopefully keep eating a healthy plant-based diet.




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  40. I just received blood test results from a study I participated in. They flagged my WBC as being too low: 4.1, where their range is 4.5-11.0 K/MM3. If I use the new revised down range, however, there are no problems at all.

    Just as a side note, I do eat meat, but I make sure I have at least 1 vegan meal per day, I eat lots of vegetables, and I have completely cut out all dairy. Also, I get at least 30 minutes a day of intense exercise.




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      1. I’m not referencing anything from 2012. I’ve posted an answer to this question in another thread, that’s what this link is. This question has been asked many times on other threads, which I’ve answered, but don’t want to spam the entire website with my copy/pasted answer.

        Dr. Ben

        Virus-free.
        http://www.avg.com




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