Are Weight-Loss Pills Safe?

Are Weight-Loss Pills Safe?
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Why don’t more people take the weight loss medications currently on the market?

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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.

Despite the myriad menu of FDA-approved medications for weight loss, they’ve only been prescribed for about 1 in 50 obese patients. We worship medical magic bullets in this country. What gives? One of the reasons anti-obesity drugs are so “highly stigmatized” is that historically they’ve been anything but magical, and the bullets have been blanks, or worse.

Most weight-loss drugs to date that were initially approved as safe have since been pulled from the market for unforeseen side effects that turned them into a public threat. As you may remember, it all started with DNP, a pesticide with a promise to safely melt away fat—but instead melted away people’s eyesight. (It was one of the things that actually lead to the passage of the landmark Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938.) Thanks to the internet, DNP has “made a comeback…, with predictably lethal results.”

Then came the amphetamines. Currently, more than half a million Americans may be addicted to amphetamines like crystal meth. But “[t]he original amphetamine epidemic was generated by” drug companies and doctors. By the 1960s, drug companies were churning out about 80,000 kilos a year, which is nearly enough for a weekly dose for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Billions of doses a year were prescribed for weight loss. Weight-loss clinics were raking in huge profits. A dispensing diet doctor could buy 100,000 amphetamine tablets for less than $100, and turn around and sell them to patients for $12,000.

At a 1970 Senate Hearing, Senator Thomas Dodd (father of “Dodd-Frank” Senator Chris Dodd) suggested America’s speed freak problem was no “accidental development.” He said the pharmaceutical industry’s “[m]ultihundred million dollar advertising budgets, frequently the most costly ingredient in the price of a pill, have, pill by pill, led, coaxed and seduced post-World War II generations into the ‘freaked-out’ drug culture.”

I’ll leave drawing the Big Pharma parallels to the current opioid crisis as an exercise for the viewer.

Aminorex was a widely-prescribed appetite suppressant—before it was pulled for causing lung damage. Eighteen million Americans were on fen-phen before it was pulled from the market for causing severe damage to heart valves. Meridia was pulled for heart attacks and strokes; Acomplia for psychiatric side-effects, including suicide… and the list goes on.

The fen-phen debacle resulted in “some of the largest litigation pay-outs” in the industry’s history, but it’s all baked into the formula. If you read the journal PharmacoEconomics—and who doesn’t—sure, a new weight-loss drug may injure and kill so many that “expected litigation cost” could exceed $80 million. But Big Pharma consultants estimate if successful, the drug could bring in over $100 million. So, do the math.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: e-Magine Art via flickr. 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.

Despite the myriad menu of FDA-approved medications for weight loss, they’ve only been prescribed for about 1 in 50 obese patients. We worship medical magic bullets in this country. What gives? One of the reasons anti-obesity drugs are so “highly stigmatized” is that historically they’ve been anything but magical, and the bullets have been blanks, or worse.

Most weight-loss drugs to date that were initially approved as safe have since been pulled from the market for unforeseen side effects that turned them into a public threat. As you may remember, it all started with DNP, a pesticide with a promise to safely melt away fat—but instead melted away people’s eyesight. (It was one of the things that actually lead to the passage of the landmark Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938.) Thanks to the internet, DNP has “made a comeback…, with predictably lethal results.”

Then came the amphetamines. Currently, more than half a million Americans may be addicted to amphetamines like crystal meth. But “[t]he original amphetamine epidemic was generated by” drug companies and doctors. By the 1960s, drug companies were churning out about 80,000 kilos a year, which is nearly enough for a weekly dose for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Billions of doses a year were prescribed for weight loss. Weight-loss clinics were raking in huge profits. A dispensing diet doctor could buy 100,000 amphetamine tablets for less than $100, and turn around and sell them to patients for $12,000.

At a 1970 Senate Hearing, Senator Thomas Dodd (father of “Dodd-Frank” Senator Chris Dodd) suggested America’s speed freak problem was no “accidental development.” He said the pharmaceutical industry’s “[m]ultihundred million dollar advertising budgets, frequently the most costly ingredient in the price of a pill, have, pill by pill, led, coaxed and seduced post-World War II generations into the ‘freaked-out’ drug culture.”

I’ll leave drawing the Big Pharma parallels to the current opioid crisis as an exercise for the viewer.

Aminorex was a widely-prescribed appetite suppressant—before it was pulled for causing lung damage. Eighteen million Americans were on fen-phen before it was pulled from the market for causing severe damage to heart valves. Meridia was pulled for heart attacks and strokes; Acomplia for psychiatric side-effects, including suicide… and the list goes on.

The fen-phen debacle resulted in “some of the largest litigation pay-outs” in the industry’s history, but it’s all baked into the formula. If you read the journal PharmacoEconomics—and who doesn’t—sure, a new weight-loss drug may injure and kill so many that “expected litigation cost” could exceed $80 million. But Big Pharma consultants estimate if successful, the drug could bring in over $100 million. So, do the math.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: e-Magine Art via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

The video I mentioned is Brown Fat: Losing Weight Through Thermogenesis.

Stay tuned for Are Weight Loss Pills Effective?

So what does work for weight loss? That’s the topic of my new book, How Not to Diet. You can preorder now at https://nutritionfacts.org/how-not-to-diet/, and you’ll be among the first to get it when it’s out in December. (All proceeds I receive from my books are donated to charity.)

In the meantime, you can find more on weight loss in:

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

63 responses to “Are Weight-Loss Pills Safe?

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  1. I went 100% WFPB in 2015 motivated by multiple chronic diseases threatening my life. I wasn’t thinking about weight, just trying to stall what seemed the inevitable sad ending. Well, all the diseases reversed. . . and. . . my weight and body dimension returned to where they were in my 20s. I eat impressive amounts of plant foods to the point of getting frequent comments of disbelief. Other people followed my lead and are experiencing the same thing. Yet all the “popular” diet books (aka low carb diets) emphasis weight reduction and promise health benefits. Long term, the results are obvious. Fat and sick is the norm for them. I’m regaining the vitality of my youth. I”m 65 today.

    I recently discovered something new. The longer I do this, the more I enjoy it. It gets easier with time. And the health benefits are still accruing. With the low carbers, the results seem all short term, have diminishing returns if they are successful at all, and all the people I know are failing on all fronts. Some have died of disease predicted by their diets. Insanity I define as repeating the same thing expecting different results.

    1. farmcountry,

      Your story sounds very similar to my brother’s, though I think that he was more gradual in his approach: 15 years ago overweight and out of shape, on all kinds of meds (including for diabetes), starting exercising and eating plant based (eventually Plant Based Whole Foods), lost about 70 lbs and went off all his meds, including for diabetes. He’s now 70, looks great, and feels great.

      My husband and I both separately lost weight as vegetarian, practicing portion control and making healthier choices (there are a lot of junk foods that are vegetarian, even vegan!!). Then, when we gradually transitioned to PBWF eating (dropping dairy products and eggs), we lost even more weight without even trying.

      And I agree with you: the longer we do it, the more we enjoy it. I LOVE my food!!

      But, when I share these experiences with others, they are not at all persuaded. Not even close. I wish I knew how to be persuasive. Or what is persuasive. Because I became a vegetarian almost 50 years ago for sustainability and environmental reasons, and have since come to learn that it’s also healthier. Whew!! All the pushback I received during the first 4 decades had me almost convinced that I was aberrant, engaging in weird and unhealthy behavior.

      1. Well, you are by definition abnormal. After all, t’s now normal to be overweight and on medications just as it’s normal to eat, meat junk food and drink alcohol.

    2. farmcountry,

      That is so fabulous! I love stories like that.

      Congratulations on reversing diseases and losing weight.

      I still haven’t lost much weight.

      I don’t know if I will, but I love that all of the disease symptoms are reversing themselves.

      Yesterday, I had one slice of pizza without any cheese or topping and I had gained 2 pounds this morning.

      I didn’t ask for “no oil” because it was a party and they had their hands full and that might be why, but I hated that the scale was a full 2 pounds over what it has been.

      1. I know that even exercising and even doing “no oil” and even cutting out nuts and avocado, I just don’t have any margin at all, even mostly eating salad with beans and lentils.

        Not losing weight wasn’t as important to me. I was health-oriented in the process and I got the health benefits.

        But if I had lost weight, people probably would have started wanting to do WFPB.

        The fact that they still want to try things even though I haven’t lost weight tells me that I have communicated enough for them to be interested.

        1. Deb
          What is interesting to me is the documented weight loss program of Dr Kempner and also somewhat documented Dr Mcdougall and his potato diet.Both are similar as in both had very low protein .
          No one really knows how successful a whole food plant based diet is , because we don,t know how many people have tried it and perhaps failed and simply moved on to something else . We at least know that not everyone will come down to their ideal weight immediately .
          Anyways I pre ordered the How not to Diet book and it should be interesting what info it contains .

  2. That’s tremendous Farmcountry! We have been doing wfpb 10 years, and more than 30 years of high veggie/fruit intake with modest amounts of animal products. I expected a different result but lately have been plagued by polyneuropathy, hypothyroid, and last night, a mini stroke. Not quite what I expected….. maybe time for a water fast.

  3. So called ‘natural’ weight loss pills sold in health food stores are no better. Anyone remember ephedra? It was a key ingredient in most. The Chinese only take it in small doses as it acts like psuedoephedrine, the active ingredient in Sudafed. US companies however started marketing it in higher and higher doses. A review of ephedra-related adverse reactions, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, found a number of cases of sudden cardiac death or severe disability resulting from ephedra use, many of which occurred in young adults using ephedra in the labeled dosages.

  4. Weight loss pills operate very well for obese people, because the can stay in there compfort zone and have another thing to blame, why they are obese. In my praxis I make the same experience again and again, several times a week. I always wondering about the people here, if they saying: I went on the wfpblf diet 10 years ago or 2 years ago… in Germany, if you tell someone you are a Vegan (no one or very little knows anything about the wfpblf diet) because of the health – discussion went always wrong. Why? I don’t get this, I need my steak, my cheese…. no meat? No way! OK, my BP is a little bit higher but my doctor says, no problem, if I take this pill every day I can be 100 with this…. Diabetes, oh yes, I have since I was 36 – look at me, I’mdoing good, ok my breath is a little bit short, my cholesterol is about 200 but he, I’m fine.
    I realy are disillusioned… maybe it’s because such people are more valuable for the society because they bring a lot of money for others, for the pharma, the drug dealers, the physicans, the therapeuts, the surgeons, the protheses makers and the geriatric nurses…. whereas a healthy person is only healthy. ;-)

    1. Heilpraktiker_Ju,

      Yes, the doctors do the same thing in America.

      As far as the “people need their steak” what I am finding is that my having talked about it with people, they have zero desire to do it, but as health issues increase some of them switch to wanting to do it, but they are currently up to just not feeling like they can.

      My brother and his wife have been doing a food delivery and it sells the same meals in both vegan and meat versions and they just tried a cauliflower meal and my brother ate it. That is significant. When I was cooking for him, his main rules were no cauliflower, no lettuce or any leafy green.

      1. Honestly, it looked like I was failing with everybody.

        They all were more low-carb oriented.

        But a year and a half later, it is turning out that people listened and want to try some vegan things.

        Yes, they are not yet really wanting Whole Food Plant-Based and they aren’t doing all-vegan meals either.

        But all of them are having some vegan meals.

        That is new.

    2. Heilpraktiker,

      I am sorry to learn that diet has not improved in Germany.

      I lived there for 2 years in the mid 1980s (Gottingen, Hamburg) as a vegetarian, which was just about impossible. I did eat very small servings of meat when invited into homes for dinner; my hosts seemed horrified by my eating habits. Luckily, I cooked at home for most of my stay there. And there were very good ethnic (mostly Asian) restaurants that could serve vegetarian dishes.

      And I actually agree with you: People are more profitable as patients, kept sick and in continuous need of drugs and other medical treatments and procedures for conditions, illnesses, and disabilities caused by the “food” they eat. Big Food, working hand-in-glove with Big Pharma/Big Med. It may not be actual collusion, but it is very effective. Especially with Big Food, and Big Pharma, sponsoring and supporting medical professional organizations and “research.” And all three advertising their products and services in the media. No objectivity at all. Few sources of unbiased information anywhere. All very SAD.

    3. Heilpraktiker_Ju, here too, in conversation with friends or aquaintances about food or health, they will usually make a joke and change the subject when the topic is wfpb. They make faces at the mere mention of broccoli.

      One girl listened this summer though. She has brought her blood sugar down from 12.8 to 4.6 in 3 months. Her dietition told her to invite me to her next appointment lol. I am happy for her.

      1. Barb,

        That is great!

        Yes, I get the same funny faces at the concept of broccoli.

        But I have had a few people try it and lose weight.

        One of the women lost 50 pounds, but then was diagnosed with cancer and needed two surgeries for it and what I will say is that she was probably discouraged that it hadn’t prevented that, but who knows if it didn’t slow the cancer down and save her life? Either way, it lowered the risk during surgery and other intangibles.

        1. Yes, it’s awesome Deb! No doubt it did help your friend immensely, even if it was to be in better shape for surgery. I persevere on my healthy course with that in mind often. We want to be fit enough for anesthesia/surgery if, God forbid, we need it.

          My friend is delighted with the recipes, the food, and our daily walks. The doctor congratulated her and said she would be off all meds in 6 mos and to keep it up. She lost 30 lbs so far.

          1. Barb,

            That is so fabulous!

            It will trickle out from there.

            People have never really heard about the disease reversal or the weight loss people often get. They have not heard of people getting off meds.

            Those types of results do affect people.

            1. Deb and Barb,

              But not very many people are persuaded by evidence.

              My brother has a friend who is very overweight and diabetic. Since my brother had such success in losing weight and going off all his meds, including for diabetes, he visited his friend a few years ago, to try to persuade his friend to change his lifestyle. His friend wanted nothing to do with what my brother was saying. Then, about a year or so ago, they both became very depressed when his friend had his foot amputated mid calf, due to his diabetes.

              The father of a friend of my family has diabetes, and also recently had a foot amputated. The good news is that he is doing very well with his prothesis. THAT is the good news??!

              But think of how much profit each patient generated for Big Med and Big Pharma. And will continue to generate. For Big Food, too.

              It’s depressing.

            2. The problem is that the internet and YouTube are awash with people promoting low carb/keto diets. Not to mention articles in the mainstream media splashing sensational claims made by such people.

              People love it because they have a licence to eat beef, cheese, butter etc. Throw in a sprig of parsley and hey presto it’s a healthy diet. At least according to certain cardiologists, MDs and others presenting themselves as health experts. I don’t honestly see much on the internet promoting the dietary guidelines, DASH diet etc let alone WFPB diets. Then there’s the ridiculous protein and gluten-free fads.

              It’s little wonder that people are confused … or use the kerfuffle to keep on eating what they want “because the experts can;t agree on anything”. They just ignore the fact that dietary guidelines around the world all pretty much say the same thing – if they are even aware of this.

              .

  5. I’m really disappointed that you stopped where you did in this investigation! While nothing you said about past weight loss meds was incorrect and a WFPB diet will make diet pills unnecessary, you didn’t actually answer the question you posed. You asked “are weight loss pills safe?” There are several drugs currently on the market that you completely avoided discussing the efficacy and safety about. I value your deep dives into clinical trials. Would have loved to see what you found about current meds.

    On another note, I agree that a WFPB diet could run pharmaceutical companies out of business if the entire population was willing to comply with it, but many people just won’t. Whether it’s due to lack of education, lack of access to fresh foods or even just an unwillingness to give up certain foods they love is aside the point. Thank goodness for pharmaceuticals that can help problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease! Many many people would die without them.

    You have a very devoted following that believes every word you say. Most of the time you are extremely fair and balanced. Please be vigilant that you do not resort to mud slinging. Pharmaceutical companies may not be the BEST path to health, but they are not the devil. I don’t believe for one minute that they are deliberately putting drugs on the market to cause harm on a large scale. They are looking to treat problems by targeting one particular thing, but not all outcomes can be anticipated in our complex human bodies (even with clinical trials).

    1. Points to ponder, Anonymous, but I still tend to think:

      1. A lot of debilitating and lethal diseases (you mentioned diabetes and cardiovascular disease) are caused by lifestyle and may be best reversed by lifestyle changes. That might be the thesis statement of NF.org, in fact.

      2. The answer to the question might be: Very few pharma drugs are safe. Good grief, even a bottle of Bayer aspirin has a warning label on it about Reye’s Syndrome, allergic reactions, and severe stomach bleeding.

      3. The pharma industry is still in its infancy as a science dedicated to manipulating human physiology with chemistry. Maybe in a couple hundred years the science will be more mature and pharma products will address the targeted issue without all the adverse side effects.

      4. I don’t see any mud slinging here. When Big Pharma calculates a profit margin – even factoring in law suit litigation costs… well, it sounds like they are putting profits over the good of their customers – customers who are frequently desperate to find relief from a health condition.

      1. One drug company was set up by Scientist that supported Hitler and experimented on my grandfathers people,he went to prison for eight years;his partners were also Third Reich supporters. the company that produced thalidomide were distributing in one country when they were well aware it was causing deformity in children in another country. The synthetic opioid epidemic devastating in particular some northern cities in the USA was caused by ruthless promotion by the drug company and prescription by doctors.Why does anyone trust such people?

    2. I agree with your sentiments Anonymous. I found lorcaserin quite effective in eliminating compulsive overeating (eating leftovers instead of storing them, for example) and other unhealthy eating behaviors that I had struggled with for over 50 years. I took it for 6 months, took a 3 month break, then took it for 6 more months. With unhealthy eating habits gone, I am now on a whole food plant based regimen and off all diabetes and blood pressure meds and at a healthy weight that is easy to maintain. I am certain that I would not have done that without the behavioral help from the brain chemical. I know others who took it without seeing any benefit though.

    3. ‘I don’t believe for one minute that they are deliberately putting drugs on the market to cause harm on a large scale.’

      That’s not the argument Greger is proposing. The argument is that they are deliberately putting drugs on the market to make huge profits. And all drugs cause some harm. The secondary objective is to market drugs that do much more good than harm. The argument is about where do companies draw the line when big profits are at stake?

  6. Today’s video dovetails nicely with the recent discussion about filtered drinking water. As Dr. G. was going through the list of weight-loss pharma products in this video (and their monstrous side effects), I kept thinking about a news story I heard a few years ago about birth control meds turning up in city drinking water… and one has to assume all these weight-loss chemicals could be in there as well.

    There’s no turning off the Pharma pipeline either…

    Might be time to filter our filtered drinking water. =\

    1. Dr. Cobalt,

      I can’t even imagine that end of things.

      Well, if they are in my water, they aren’t working.

      I do use Pur, so I guess maybe I am safe-ish.

    2. In Florida they found the cause of infertile alligator eggs and alligators born bisexual was caused by minute quantities of birth control chemicals in otherwise pristine water. When water authority in the UK were asked about this they said similar was found with fish in some rivers,asked why they did not filter this out they replied we can hardly measure the chemical!

  7. Hello there

    A friend of mine is pressuring me to go to a Herbalife meeting. But I’ve heard that soy protein isolate is not good for you and it has masses of vitamins especially vitamin A. What do you think about it?

    1. bacastle,

      I know that doctors such as Dr. McDougall recommend not to eat soy in the soy protein isolate form.

      I looked at pubmed and found it difficult to find a “smoking gun” against it, I searched outside of PubMed and found this article in Shape magazine which said that the risks are pesticides and heavy metals. I found the description of the aluminum in the process to be interesting. I have been trying to get aluminum out of my brain, so I wouldn’t risk it

      https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/ask-diet-doctor-last-word-soy-protein-isolate

      My question is: Are you Whole Food Plant-Based already?

      Herbalife won’t be a better dietary pattern than Whole Food Plant-Based.

    2. bacastle,

      I eat whole food, plant based. That means, minimal to no processed foods (and no animal products.). I don’t like supplements for many reasons. (One is the lack of regulation, both of their manufacture, and of their safety and efficacy.) And soy protein isolate is a processed food. As are vitamins. I’m guessing that vitamins — supplements — are added to the soy protein isolate, though I would have to read the ingredients to know for sure. And too many vitamins can cause harm. High levels of vitamin A, for example, are associated with bone density loss.

      That said, I do eat soy foods, in the form of edamame, soy milk and soy yogurt, tofu, tempeh, etc. So, both whole and lightly processed. And I do take supplements recommended by Dr. Greger: vitamin D, and B12. You can look at the supporting evidence by searching for these in the search bar.

      But I’ve also read that Herbalife is a pyramid marketing scheme. So I would run far away from that meeting.

        1. bacastle,

          I looked up the pyramid scam because they were investigated for it, they say they cleaned up their act, but there are a whole bunch of people who lost $30,000+.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNM3MB04qFk

          There are a whole lot of pyramid schemes out there. I am watching my friend try to do doTerra, but people end up buying the extra product themselves to keep their quota. The vast majority of people spend money and don’t make any for all of these types of set-ups. I have watched so many people do so many of these and I have never seen anything good.

          I do know one seriously, seriously charismatic man who used to sell Amway and he was the exception. He is a public speaker and is a charmer, who is highly, highly attractive and highly, highly persuasive. He is the only one, who I know who succeeded at both the sales and recruiting people process.

          As far as the products themselves, one that I looked at had equal protein to sugar content. Very high sugar.

          Some are better than that, but it is something to watch.

          The problem is that they will try to recruit you to recruit people and that trick never works.

      1. Thanks for your thoughts, Dr.J.

        How do you address the 150µg iodine RMD? Do you supplement or use sea vegetables?

        I’d be interested in your recommendations for D and B12 too.

        1. dr cobalt,

          I follow the advice of Dr. Greger, after evaluating the evidence. I am not an MD, but rather a PhD (former plant biochemistry research scientist, now retired).

          As for iodine, I do eat small amounts of seaweed. True confession: I eat a small serving of dried dulse as a substitute for potato chips, one of my downfalls. Now I add a bit of flaked dulse to miso soup, when I make it at home. And I LOVE miso seaweed soup when we go out to eat — no doubt in part because it’s salty. I would like to learn how to prepare seaweed for other dishes — recipes, maybe.

    3. Hi, bacastle@gmail.com! Here at NutritionFacts, we advocate a whole food, plant-based diet with limited supplementation. Whole soy foods are preferable to isolated soy proteins. Your friend is probably pressuring you to go to a meeting because the structure of the business relies on new people so that the existing people make money. It’s not something I personally would want to do, and I would suggest that you don’t do it under pressure from your friend. There have been lawsuits against this company, and you may want to look into that. I hope that helps!

  8. My husband and I have been WFPB for almost 3 years. He lost a ton of weight even though he wasn’t large to begin with. I gained weight for every pound he lost!! Too many carbs for me I think. In June of this year I started the Dallas Doctors Diet which has been fantastic for me. I’m fully WFPB but with a completely new approach to eating meals, and have lost 15 pounds since beginning it. The book is old and out of print but available on Amazon.

    1. Candy,

      Glad it worked for you. It is nice when something does.

      I looked it up and it is basically eating only when you are at a stage 3 hunger, possibly only eating 2 meals per day and start with the food you like the most. I already only eat 2 meals per day and probably do start with what I like the most and drink 5 glasses of water. I do all those things. Oh well.

      1. The other important part is eating very slowly, paying attention to taste, texture, smell, and thus becoming satiated in all ways, and allowing your body to realize it has eaten a meal before you gobble down way too much. You definitely learn a lot about yourself in the process. Mindful eating!

  9. I am a grown adult person and I also don’t eat candy nor have I any desire to, but that pink pill looks like a delicious piece of candy… Good thinking, pharmaceutical industry–always a good idea to make dangerous things look appetizing for kids.

      1. Scary stuff, Deb. I love the whole operation medicine drop thing, something like that needs to exist to responsibly dispose of all these medications. Still it’s a scary thought, with all the meds everyone takes, even that which is excreted in their urine or elsewhere gets into the environment.

  10. I was still thinking about Finland and tried to look up the hormones in milk and if they keep the cows pregnant, they can have a 650% increase in progesterone and I think it was closer to a 67% increase in estrogen.

    Then, I went back to the study where hormone replacement therapy increased the rate of Alzheimer’s and it happened to be in Finland.

    Is milk with all those extra hormones a form of hormone replacement therapy?

    Could it explain a reason why they improved their mortality rates from heart attacks by lowering the fat of their milk, but maybe that milk has the same hormonal and maybe even Monsanto problem or antibiotics?

    It just seems to me that they stayed dairy is where I start mentally and women are the ones who get Alzheimer’s more, men get Parkinson’s more and it is Alzheimer’s that they are #1 rank, so I am looking for women’s causes first. If their men have Alzheimer’s instead of Parkinson’s, that would require more scientific understanding than I have.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l665

      1. It did affect young girl’s menstruation, though, right? If the video was on that topic.

        Nope, I guess I am not going to be solving Finland’s mystery for quite a while.

        1. Thanks, Tom.

          I just re-watched the video where young males and young children had their hormones shoot up after attempting to drink a quart of milk. They said that the young ones had it go up at a much higher rate because of how low their pre-pubescent levels of estrogen was.

          Either way, that was humans and they were hormonally affected by drinking milk.

          So, since post-menopausal women are low in the hormones, it might have the same negative impact similar to hormone replacement therapy.

          There is a potential mechanism anyway.

          I looked up IGF-1 and that is another one where it could possibly be protective or it could make it worse and that might be because of blocked arteries or another cause. The fact that it can even possibly be high and either have a positive or negative effect makes me think it is probably in the food which contributes, along with the fat or aluminum, etc.

          1. I was thinking about the IGF-1 because it is causal in cancer.

            Alzheimer’s has a Vegan group at risk because of things like Homocysteine and if that group is represented, it will mess up whether IGF-1 is a risk factor for people who eat animal products. Same as Methionine.

            I feel like it took all of the videos to get me to the beginning point of understanding the mechanisms.

            I also feel like it will take 10 or 20 laps through the information to finally just begin to understand the mechanisms and I genuinely feel like I need to understand them.

            It is easy to switch from high-fat milk to low-fat milk and think you “got it” now, but miss all the other mechanisms other than fat and still end up in the same place.

  11. “Dr. J…I eat whole food, plant based. That means, MINIMAL to no processed foods (and no animal products.)”

    No processed food…is whole food…not ‘some’ processed food. ‘Whole foods’ have a shelf-life of 7-10 days, and there are no ingredients to read about on the label…because there is no label.

    Anybody who says are on a WFPB diet and does NOT lose weight (coming from a SAD lifestyle) are not being completely honest or truthful. That would be like saying…”I drank a quart of Whiskey by myself last night, and I didn’t get drunk”. A physical impossibility.

    In 1991, I adopted my own version of a ‘live plants-only’ diet, and started out at age 42, 6’1″, and 224 lbs., 30% BF. Just short of one year later I was down to 150 lbs., and 10% BF. Today I am still 150 lbs., and 10% BF. And life could not be sweeter. You can’t be ‘fat’ if you don’t eat ‘fat’.

    1. LG King,

      To me, “Whole Foods” means minimal to no processed food, and pretty much only lightly processed food. I do eat some lightly processed and prepared foods. I bake bread — I grind my own grains. But grinding grains is processing them. So is fermenting them (part of the process of making sourdough bread). I make soy yogurt from commercial soy milk — which is processed. I also make my own soy milk at home, but it doesn’t make good yogurt (I don’t filter it). I use spices — all processed. I mix my own muesli — starting with rolled oats, which are processed. I also use frozen fruits and veggies, especially out of season. Also, dried fruits. And some canned foods. My list of lightly processed foods is long.

      But I cook most meals at home, from veggies and fruits, legumes and whole grains, and some nuts and seeds. And often, some lightly processed foods. It all seems to work very well. Especially because I enjoy my foods. As does my husband (who does the dishes).

      Happy eating!

    2. LG King, luckily we’re not too simple or stupid of creatures that we have to be OBSESSIVEEEEE In our terminology. Technical cooking is processing, technically grinding up a seed is processing and if you want to get REALLY technical, so is chewing.

      1. Also, fat is an incredibly important part of our diets, that’s why we need EFA’s, “essential” being the operative there. Fat from our diets plays a lot of important roles in our bodies, it’s just a matter of the type and source.

  12. I find it odd that you didn’t cover phentermine which is the #1 most widely prescribed weight loss medication. Yes the combination drug phen-fen was withdrawn from the market due to ONE of its components. Fenfluramine is unsafe and hasn’t been in use for almost 20 years. Phentermine by itself is safe and effective and has been in use for over 60 years. It is not an amphetamine. It is not addictive. The longest course of phentermine treatment on record is 21 years. Some people need medical help with their weight loss, others don’t. Diet knowledge did nothing to treat my binge eating disorder. Phentermine is the sole reason I am able now to eat in the way you recommend Dr. Greger and the sole reason I am not still obese with my weight continuing to climb. The benefit outweighs any risk and I plan to continue my medicine indefinitely with the blessing of my doctor.

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