Benefit of Dates for Colon Health

Benefit of Dates for Colon Health
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Seven dates a day for three weeks are put to the test in a randomized controlled trial.

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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.

Dates are one of the healthiest sweeteners. That’s what we use in The How Not to Die Cookbook. You can blend them with water to make date syrup or use date sugar, which is a whole food—just dried dates ground into powder—and as such is packed with nutrition, ending up with as much antioxidant power as blackstrap molasses, but without the strong taste—though not all brands are the same. For example, Bob’s Red Mill may have twice the antioxidants compared to NOW Foods, though they only tested one package each. Okay, so dates are healthy compared to other sweeteners, but that’s not saying much. Do dates have any special medicinal properties?

You’ll see papers like this in the medical literature, touting the “Therapeutic effects of date fruits in the prevention of diseases…anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour activity,” complete with figures like this of the purported “pharmacological activities of dates fruits in disease control.” But what they don’t say is some of this may be based on studies like this, where they feed dates to rats. That sounds nice, but then induce testicular ischemia, by twisting their left testicle clockwise 720 degrees, so like two full rotations, to completely kink off the blood supply. So, did the dates help? Who cares if the dates helped? We’re talking about rat testicles! It’s like when researchers test the nut-on-nut effects of pecans. What relevance does that have?

Though ironically, perhaps the strangest assertion here, that dates help with labor and delivery, is actually supported by randomized and double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, as I’ve covered before; so, let’s keep an open mind here. What about the purported anti-cancer effects?

Researchers studied the impact of dates on our good gut flora and “colon cancer cell proliferation.” Our gut harbors about 10,000 billion micro-organisms and “is considered the most metabolically active site in the human body.” All sorts of crazy stuff is happening down there. And we can reward our good gut flora by feeding them prebiotics, like dietary fiber, and polyphenols, a class of antioxidant phytonutrients. And dates have “high levels of both.”

Okay, so let’s blend up some dates with some gut flora, “faecal slurries” donated by volunteers. You’ve heard of green smoothies? This is more like a brown smoothie. Well, what happened? Both the whole date extract and just the date polyphenols were “able to significantly increase the growth of beneficial bacteria,” and then they also assessed the ability of mixtures to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in a petri dish. Even just the polyphenol fraction cut cancer cell growth by more than half, and the whole date extract nearly blocked cancer cell growth completely. “Together these data suggest that consumption of date fruits may enhance colon health by increasing beneficial bacterial growth and inhibiting the proliferation of colon cancer cells.”

It would have been nice if they had actually studied the effects of dates in the actual colon, but there had never been such a study… until now. The “[i]mpact of…date consumption on [gut flora] growth and large intestinal health: a randomised, controlled, cross-over, human intervention study.” Volunteers were randomized to either a control group or seven dates a day for three weeks, and… “there were significant increases in bowel movement…frequency,” not surprising eating the additional fiber, but also “significant reductions in stool ammonia concentration…after consumption of dates.” I have a video on why that’s important.

“Furthermore, date intake significantly reduced genotoxicity in human faecal water.” What the heck is that? That’s like human stool tea. A water extract of feces from someone eating seven dates a day causes significantly less genotoxicity, meaning is significantly less DNA-damaging, which is good, since that’s what’s coating the inside of our colon on a daily basis.

Dozens of different date varieties have been pitted—no pun intended—against a variety of cancer cells in vitro. Not just colon cancer and stomach cancer, which the dates might actually come in contact with, but also prostate cancer cells, lung, and breast cancer cells. But, of course, we’d have to first show that the active components are actually absorbed into the bloodstream, and end up in those organs.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: ferumov via Adobe Stock Photos. 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.

Dates are one of the healthiest sweeteners. That’s what we use in The How Not to Die Cookbook. You can blend them with water to make date syrup or use date sugar, which is a whole food—just dried dates ground into powder—and as such is packed with nutrition, ending up with as much antioxidant power as blackstrap molasses, but without the strong taste—though not all brands are the same. For example, Bob’s Red Mill may have twice the antioxidants compared to NOW Foods, though they only tested one package each. Okay, so dates are healthy compared to other sweeteners, but that’s not saying much. Do dates have any special medicinal properties?

You’ll see papers like this in the medical literature, touting the “Therapeutic effects of date fruits in the prevention of diseases…anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour activity,” complete with figures like this of the purported “pharmacological activities of dates fruits in disease control.” But what they don’t say is some of this may be based on studies like this, where they feed dates to rats. That sounds nice, but then induce testicular ischemia, by twisting their left testicle clockwise 720 degrees, so like two full rotations, to completely kink off the blood supply. So, did the dates help? Who cares if the dates helped? We’re talking about rat testicles! It’s like when researchers test the nut-on-nut effects of pecans. What relevance does that have?

Though ironically, perhaps the strangest assertion here, that dates help with labor and delivery, is actually supported by randomized and double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, as I’ve covered before; so, let’s keep an open mind here. What about the purported anti-cancer effects?

Researchers studied the impact of dates on our good gut flora and “colon cancer cell proliferation.” Our gut harbors about 10,000 billion micro-organisms and “is considered the most metabolically active site in the human body.” All sorts of crazy stuff is happening down there. And we can reward our good gut flora by feeding them prebiotics, like dietary fiber, and polyphenols, a class of antioxidant phytonutrients. And dates have “high levels of both.”

Okay, so let’s blend up some dates with some gut flora, “faecal slurries” donated by volunteers. You’ve heard of green smoothies? This is more like a brown smoothie. Well, what happened? Both the whole date extract and just the date polyphenols were “able to significantly increase the growth of beneficial bacteria,” and then they also assessed the ability of mixtures to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in a petri dish. Even just the polyphenol fraction cut cancer cell growth by more than half, and the whole date extract nearly blocked cancer cell growth completely. “Together these data suggest that consumption of date fruits may enhance colon health by increasing beneficial bacterial growth and inhibiting the proliferation of colon cancer cells.”

It would have been nice if they had actually studied the effects of dates in the actual colon, but there had never been such a study… until now. The “[i]mpact of…date consumption on [gut flora] growth and large intestinal health: a randomised, controlled, cross-over, human intervention study.” Volunteers were randomized to either a control group or seven dates a day for three weeks, and… “there were significant increases in bowel movement…frequency,” not surprising eating the additional fiber, but also “significant reductions in stool ammonia concentration…after consumption of dates.” I have a video on why that’s important.

“Furthermore, date intake significantly reduced genotoxicity in human faecal water.” What the heck is that? That’s like human stool tea. A water extract of feces from someone eating seven dates a day causes significantly less genotoxicity, meaning is significantly less DNA-damaging, which is good, since that’s what’s coating the inside of our colon on a daily basis.

Dozens of different date varieties have been pitted—no pun intended—against a variety of cancer cells in vitro. Not just colon cancer and stomach cancer, which the dates might actually come in contact with, but also prostate cancer cells, lung, and breast cancer cells. But, of course, we’d have to first show that the active components are actually absorbed into the bloodstream, and end up in those organs.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: ferumov via Adobe Stock Photos. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Here’s those remarkable labor and delivery videos: Best Food for Late Pregnancy and Best Food for Labor & Delivery.

And here’s some recipes! Date Syrup and a Balsamic Date Glaze.

But what about all the sugar in dates? See: If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit?

The other video I referenced to is Stool pH & Colon Cancer.

I did a month-long video series on mammograms. What about colonoscopies? See: Should We All Get Colonoscopies Starting at Age 50?

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

141 responses to “Benefit of Dates for Colon Health

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  1. At 04:20, who knew there were so many varieties of dates? I have never heard of most of these.

    So happy to hear that dates, formerly a guilty pleasure, are actually good for me!

    1. It looks like most date varieties offer about the same inhibitory activity (10-20%). So which dates are the least expensive? I usually get pitted Deglet Noor imported from Tunisia (in North Africa) from a local shop that specializes in Indian food. A 28oz oz box costs about $7.

      My other comments is that dates can vary a lot in size. If you’re writing recipes, always provide a weight measurement of the quantity of dates in addition to whatever other quantity measurement you want. For example, a quantity of “5 dates” is just not precise.

      1. Not many people in the U.S. have kitchen scales. Stating the dates as a dry measure such as half a cup, or a third of a cup, would work for me.

      2. Precisely
        My question is, I have packaged whole organic Medjool Dates from Thrive Market
        They are big, One serving(40g) is 2 to 3 peices, containing 29g of sugar
        Should I be eating 7 of these each day?
        Thats over 60g of sugar from just the dates per day
        I thought 39g of sugar was the recommemded max intake per day for a male 55 years old, from all sources of added sugars

            1. From the video shared by plant this:
              “Seventeen people were made to eat 20 servings a day of fruit. Despite the extraordinarily high fructose content of this diet, presumably about 200 g/d—eight cans of soda worth, the investigators reported no adverse effects (and possible benefit actually) for body weight, blood pressure, and insulin and lipid levels after three to six months. More recently, Jenkins and colleagues put people on about a 20 servings of fruit a day diet for a few weeks and found no adverse effects on weight or blood pressure or triglycerides, and an astounding 38 point drop in LDL cholesterol.”
              References are available under sources on the link to the video

              So added sugar is a problem, not whole fruit.

          1. That’s just vague hearsay, what does repeating it here contribute to understanding the science? (Eg What were the qualifications of the person giving that advice, had they read the research into dates barely affecting blood sugar or insulin, what does liberally even mean – less than 20 per day?) Hopefully the prediabetic was told to eat wfpb with lots of whole beans, no meat products and plenty of whole fibre

        1. Very good point. The study discussed found that the seven daily dates had the potential colon cancer reduction. But you’re right that they have a lot of calories and sugar. It’s not added sugar, importantly. Natural sugars balanced by a lot of fiber and phytonutrients are far different from added/processed sugars on metabolism and various disease states. There’s not a recommendation to take in a ton of dates daily, though.

        2. I believe the 7 dates in the study are ajwa, they are smaller than deglet nour and, obviously, medjool. The weight stated in the research is about 50g: watch video @ 03:30

          1. I found this: Effects of date ( Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool or Hallawi Variety) consumption by healthy subjects on serum glucose and lipid levels and on seru… – PubMed – NCBI

            | | | | | |

            |

            | | | | Effects of date ( Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool or Hallawi Variety) co…

            Rock W , et al.

            J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Sep 9;57(17):8010-7. doi: 10.1021/jf901559a. Comparative Study; Research Support, Non-U….
            |

            |

            |

            Much of the research was done in Israel at Rambam Hospital and the Technion in Haifa.
            A date with Israel

            | | | | | |

            |

            | | | | A date with Israel

            By touting the health qualities of dates and getting them to worldwide markets fresh, soft and juicy, Israel’s d…
            |

            |

            |

    2. Yup, a lot of varieties ;-) And not all are created equal. I do buy approx. 20MT dates monthly for our fruit&nut bars (EU-Organic, vegan, gluten-free, 100% raw). Best varieties (from taste point of view and also – those that are less prone to Zygosaccharomycces yeast activity): Sukkari from Saudi Arabia (one of TOP6 based on medicinal properties) and Aseel from Pakistan. Not comparable with standard Deglet Nour from Tunisia…

  2. I am about to make lunch for my brother and I was making the decision between date sugar and coconut brown sugar which they call low glycemic index or a little of each.

    Boy, decisions, decisions.

    Do the benefits extend to date sugar which I bought in a package?

    Funny how you are going to be so helpful about lunch!

      1. Yes, the teaspoon of coconut oil added to the melting choc chips is optional of course. I disregard any references to oil in recipes automatically, Melting chocolate slowly over a double boiler works for us. Finding recipes for fat free date squares is more of a challenge.

        1. Barb, Deena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families cookbook has a really good one made with dates and almond meal and a few other ingredients, but no wheat flour, and no oil. She calls them “blondies” in that book. They’re so good that they disappear from the pan quickly in my home! I respect her too much to post her copyrighted work without permission, but please support her by getting the book — it’s all WFPB and oil-free…with lots of innovative, delicious ideas. Some of her recipes from that book are “mainstays” for me — her neatloaf (“autumn loaf”), her magic applesauce salad dressing, and several others. https://dreenaburton.com/plant-powered-families-cookbook/

          1. Your comments on healthy recipes are making me hungry. BTW Dr. Greger also has some great date recipes in his How Not To Die cookbook. – Almond Chocolate Truffles, No-Bake Oatmeal Walnut Cookies, Fudgy No-Bake Brownies. plus several recipes using date paste. Who knew dates could lead to such heavenly desserts?

  3. I suppose this is rather “twisted,” but I think that anyone who performs mouse testicle torsion, or any other totally superfluous torture of innocent creatures, deserves same… and I would like to volunteer!

    1. I suppose this is rather “twisted,” but I think that anyone who performs mouse testicle torsion, or any other totally superfluous torture of innocent creatures…
      ——————————————————————————-
      this sounds like science.
      _______________________________________________
      deserves same… and I would like to volunteer!
      ——————————————————————————-
      this smacks of sexual fantasy. ‘-)

        1. Animal torture is NOT sexual fantasy!! It’s real!! It’s horrific!! It’s not even good science!!
          ————————————————————————————————————————
          But two wrongs (animal and retaliation on humans) do not make a right.

          Seems you are torn between violence and non-violence. What would Jesus or Ghandi do?

          1. Lonie, I agree that two wrongs don’t make a right. However, the threat of it might be a good deterrent.

            We’re also inadvertently assuming that the animal torture is being done by men. So what do we twist on guilty women scientists? Their breasts? Oh wait, we already do that but call it a mammogram.

            1. We’re also inadvertently assuming that the animal torture is being done by men. So what do we twist on guilty women scientists? Their breasts? Oh wait, we already do that but call it a mammogram.
              ————————————————————————————————————————
              Nancy, we think alike… except I was thinking the… you know… little man in the boat thingy (I didn’t know if we could say “clitoris” here so I used a euphemism.)

                    1. Yes, that was an aside so it doesn’t count as being posted. ‘-)

                      The site seems to be acting strange lately. Another poster had a statement that showed in my email notification but that part was left out on the site and because of that caused me to post something totally different than I would have responded if I had seen that part of the post.

                      It did have characters (like arrows) and I assume the site strips what it doesn’t understand away. AI sorta like to coast when on an interactive site but I guess I’ll have to start being on my toes and paying attention. (sigh)

                    2. Lonie,

                      Has the site been acting strangely for you, too?

                      I can’t post from either my computer or cell phone from work at all, but I can post from my cell phone from home. Sometimes.

                      Dr Greger said clitoris in a video and YR beat you to posting it. The most exuberant comment on the site, I might add.

                    3. Laughing about things disappearing and reappearing.

                      While I was at the grocery store tonight, the song, Blinded Me With Science came on the store channel and I ended up thinking about the fact I can’t post on this site and I think some of the Apricot Kernel YouTube people want to kill me.

                      Dr Greger blinded me with science and now I can’t participate as much.

                    4. I did get a little paranoid when Flashback Friday on the YouTube channel briefly disappeared last week.

                      I pushed the reload button on my computer and nothing.

                      People with brain problems do not like things like that.

                    5. I can imagine going to a doctor and saying

                      I don’t know what is wrong with my brain, i seem to not be having a flashback.

                      I mean I had a flashback, but it disappeared, and now it is back.

      1. Lonie,
        >>>this sounds like science.
        You know, there’s good science and there’s bad science, relevant science (with respect to some purpose) and irrelevant science, ethical science and unethical science. To me, these kinds of unnecessary, cruel and half-baked experiments on animals is bad, irrelevant and unethical. Get real.

  4. Sitting down now to watch this video while enjoying my daily ounce of unsweetened high polyphenol Bakers chocolate and dates chewed at the same time to provide healthful sweetness.

    What a way to receive confirmation :-)

    Next up: Dr. G’s video on Hass avocados which I ate an hour ago (with tomato paste and crushed garlic). Hope the news is just as good.

    1. while enjoying my daily ounce of unsweetened high polyphenol Bakers chocolate…
      —————————————————————————————————————
      I’ve recently changed over from the Baker’s chocalate to Ghirardelli’s 100% cacao baking chocolate bar and break off small amounts to eat accompanied by a few Ghirardelli 60% cacoa chocolate chips.

      A little more expensive than the Baker’s but I had to chop up the Baker’s with a pointy knife whereas I can break off small amounts of the Ghirardelli’s thinner bar easily with my two thumbs.

      1. Lonie, I thought you were going to state “Ghirardelli’s 100% cacao” because that’s what I have: the powdered form. I want to use it instead of baking chocolate for baking, but without adding the oil (I’ve found replacement recipes, e.g.: ” replace one ounce of unsweetened chocolate, use 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon butter, shortening or oil. Dissolve the cocoa in liquid that is already used in the recipe”). Have you ever done that?

        1. Back when I spent more time fashioning foods to eat I would melt from my vast stores of Baker’s chocolate (bought it cheap as it had “bloomed” and was then relegated to my local Bargain Store outlet for resale… bloomed is o.k. as melted.)

          And when I did the melt, I would often add some olive oil and/or MCT oil to give it a softer texture. I might also add some frozen cherries or similar to give it an added nutritious kick (I’m a strong believer in overwhelming anti-oxidant strength when battling oxidation. ‘-)

          Earlier I would add soy lecithin but quit when I decided to quit soy altogether.

          But the last time I did the chocolate melt thing, I generally just did it plain or maybe added some dark molasses in a small amount to make it more palatable. It still set up nicely and allowed me to mark it in squares using a pizza wheel, making it easier to break the squares along the dotted lines. ‘-)

      1. Warning: Lookout for Dutching

        The method used to process the raw cacao bean can affect the amount of flavanols in the end product.

        If your chocolate says “processed with alkali” on the nutrition label, then it’s going to have less flavanols (more). Processing with alkali is called “dutching“.

          1. To save anyone having to join CL, they found only one brand of vegan chocolate that does not contain dangerous levels of cadmium or lead and also has been recommended by the Food Empowerment Project for not sourcing their chocolate from areas where slavery is found. That chocolate is
            Endangered Species Dark Chocolate.

          2. Of course, no lead ingestion is good, but I found this article that suggests for adults, it might not be a problem, but definitely an issue for kids.

            “Although Cr and Pb concentrations in chocolate are below the USP recommended oral limits, the lead concentration should still be considered as a health concern. That is because of the high digestive tract absorption factor, especially for children (30–75% by children 2- to 6-year-old compared to11% absorption by adults) [21]. Chromium has a lower digestive tract absorption 0.5–3% by adults [25] and 10% in children [25]. In Table 4 we present calculations of the number of chocolate cubes (each cube is considered as10 g) that a child may eat until the daily consumption limit of lead is reached [24]. The calculation assumed maximum digestive tract uptake of 75%, to emphasize how easily children can exceed the daily lead oral limit from chocolate only. For adults it is almost impossible to surpass the oral limit because low absorption and higher body weight.”
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24401377

            1. Another good link… thanks Mims.

              Maybe I’ll finish my Ghirardelli’s 100% baking chocolate after all, before switching to the Baker’s.

              1. I thought fruits didn’t carry heavy metals from soil, unlike leaves. Perhaps it’s in the outer husk?

                Are any areas known to be safer? I guess we can ask each supplier if they test. Not the 1st time I’ve put the onus on the company. Certified organic seems to offer no assurance as I’ve been told before they don’t always test for heavy metals

            1. Where does the cadmium come from, is this known? From the processing? It’s not lower in cacao versus cocoa?
              —————————————————————————————————————————————————-
              I wondered the same thing.

              Along with my daily intake of 100% cacao unsweetened baking chocolate I also consume an occasional drink of Organic Raw cocao from one or another South American countries who produce it.

              It sounds as though Consumer Labs did not test that and I’m wondering if it is from the soil or like you, from the processing.

    1. The Baker’s brand of unsweetened chocolate “100% cacao” in a 4-oz package.
      Any supermarket or online.
      There are higher polyphenol chocolates, but those also showed higher cadmium contamination.
      So for me Baker’s (very low cad) unsweetened hit the right spot.
      And with the simultaneous chewing of hot water softened dates, the bitter cacao becomes positively yummy.

      1. The Baker’s brand of unsweetened chocolate “100% cacao” in a 4-oz package.
        ———————————————————————————————————–
        Thanks for the inside dope on what was found… can you also relate how Ghirardelli’s 100% baking bar stacked up?

        1. Lonie,
          I didn’t see a Ghiradelli 100% baking bar. Either they didn’t test it or I overlooked it.
          But here FYI:

          Ghiradelli Intense Dark 72% cacao = 4.1 mcg cadmium per 38 g serving
          Baker’s Unsweetened 100% cacao = 0
          Ghiradelli 100% unsweetened cocoa = NOT APPROVED (exceeded the limit for lead)

          CR does great original testing work in their own labs. Worth the subscription.

          1. Ghiradelli 100% unsweetened cocoa = NOT APPROVED (exceeded the limit for lead)
            ——————————————————————————————————————-
            Thanks for looking this up… looks like it is back to the Baker’s 100% for me. ‘-)

  5. The comment about “faecal slurries” donated by volunteers. You’ve heard of green smoothies? This is more like a brown smoothie.. painted a very strange picture in my mind until I understood what was being said… slurries/smoothies… got me… I’ll get some dates and date sugar and try them out…
    mitch

  6. I am in Israel and dates are popular. People’s sugar levels rise after consuming too many dates. Doctors are advising people not to consume so many.

    1. Linda,
      How many is “too many”?
      There’s always going to be a blood sugar level rise after consuming sugar of any type/source, I suppose.
      As long as it doesn’t remain elevated….

      1. I am cautious about many things.  I am a dedicated Pritikin follower for over 35-years.  I have been healthy with no significant health diseases,  Pritikin has proven to be right on most things.  He was against dried fruit.  I would never eat more than 1 or 2 dates in a day.  It is hard to limit dried fruit as they are very tasty.  I have no sugar issues but am cautious.  Too many things are being promoted by corporations to make money.  Just my opinion.  Who did this research?

        1. I love dates. But they have a lot of sugar. Medjool dates have about 4.5 grams of sugar — which is pretty amazing since one date weighs about 7.1 grams. So 7 dates provide about 31.5 grams, or almost 8 teaspoons, of sugar. The sugar is fructose and sucrose in about equal parts. So, the amount of sugar in 7 dates seems high. Does that matter?

          For comparison purposes, the amount of sugar in a medium apple is about 19 grams, and for one orange about 12 grams.

                1. Fumblefingers are U suggesting that the BIG DATE industrial complex is sweetening researcher’s findings?

                  Which paper title are you referring to? Dr Greger looks out for conflicts of interest and funding sources and often raises this

                  1. I am saying that the enthusiastic title and conclusion don’t sound typical of sober, responsible scientists disinterestedly studying a subject. So, yes it is possible that the authors designed and/or worded their study and the resulting paper to please the funders.

                    My comment was a response to your immediately preceding post. I couldnt find any information about who funded the study

            1. I also agree the sugar is too high in dried fruit to eat it regularly as a snack. (at least for me, that is) This past month my blood pressures have gone very high. This is unusual, but I did buy two packages of dried figs. Guess I won’t be buying them again! Nor any dates, though I like them both. In spite of wfpb, I had 148/86 at several checks this week. I don’t know if I can bring the bp down.

              1. Barb,
                There is another, mostly unrecognized factor in the blood pressure and food consumption that should be considered, and that is an unsuspected food allergy. Food allergy is more widespread than realized and, besides reactions like hives, rashes, shortness of breath etc. can be elevated blood pressure as a reaction to the body’s 3-alarm fire. Any food or substance that causes an allergic reaction may also be spiking the systolic, if not systolic and the diastolic. Just something to consider.

                1. wow Dommy! thank you for posting about this. I had no idea that high bp could be a response to allergies. When you think about, it might have something to do with bp lowering on water fasts or elimination diets. Thanks again for taking the trouble to mention it.

          1. I doubt if you’ll find a more severe critic of sugar than Dr. Robert Lustig. But it’s added sugar that he’s against See his video, Sugar, the Bitter Truth, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM In it, he says that in fruit, the poison comes with the antidote: fiber. So, no problem with dates or any other fruit according to sugar’s harshest critic.

    2. Cousin Linda (my name is Cohen too) I don’t know about Israeli doctors, but here in the U.S. Doctors are not trained in nutrition and almost always give poor nutritional advice. It’s better to do the opposite of what they say in most cases.

      1. Cousin Paul.  Dr. Greger and many others in this field are doctors.  Doing the opposite of what doctors advise is not always the right thing either.  I think there is much research that is promoted by the food industry and researchers are paid well  to prostitute themselves. I am just cautious.  The dates in Israel are very large and full of sugar.  There have been many videos recently questioning the nut research.  We just had Tu B’Shevat and dried fruit and nuts are up in the front of the market now.

        1. See the links shared above or look up dates in Dr Greger’s videos as dates are “semi fresh”, not dried. They’re full of fibre and antioxidants so don’t cause insulin spikes but are very healthy.

          20 serves of fresh fruit can be eaten daily without adverse effects on sugar. Raw nuts are known to be very healthy too (search videos on this site)

            1. Tom,
              I am sure you meant to type “Esselstyn” when you typed “Campbell”. Campbell is not against (sensible) nut eating, and is “impressed” with the studies showing health benefits.

              https://nutritionstudies.org/evidence-nut-consumption-human-health/

              Here’s an excerpt from the article, which I think is worth reading in its entirety:
              “But I understand the cautionary stance of Dr. Esselstyn. It is true that many nuts are sold in bags, already shelled,
              making them easy to over consume. Eating too much of any rich food, even if in whole form, may not be a good idea for
              people with heart disease. Esselstyn’s impressive results were obtained without nuts.

              But fat content aside, I am impressed with the findings now showing health benefits for most nuts. And when we judge a food
              by one nutrient, in this case judging nuts only because of their fat content, we may be falling into the same trap that has
              caused so much past misinformation.

              Investigating nutrients in isolation, i.e., reductionism, is fine when we are exploring the mechanisms by which they work.
              But, for an understanding of a food’s nutritional properties, we must seek and understand context, i.e., wholism. I am
              distressed with too much unnecessary confusion in this field called nutrition, most of which comes from interpretations based
              solely on reductionist research findings, a practice great for pharmaceutical firms and other financial interests.”

              Also analysis of Seventh Day Adventist data by Loma Linda researchers led them to conclude that that nut-eating has CHD health benefits.

              https://publichealth.llu.edu/adventist-health-studies/findings/findings-past-studies/adventist-health-study-findings-nuts

              “Men who ate nuts more than five times a week enjoyed a 40 percent risk and women a 52 percent risk, as compared to
              those who ate nuts less than once a week. Those less than 80 years old who ate nuts more than five times a week showed 47
              percent the risk, and those more than 80 years old who ate nuts frequently had a relative risk of 45 percent compared to those
              individuals who ate nuts infrequently.”

              “When eating nuts five or more times a week, vegetarians showed a risk of 44 percent as compared to low nut-eating
              vegetarians, and non-vegetarians a risk of 51 percent as compared to low nut-eating non-vegetarians.

              “Thus, these associations are consistent and of sizeable magnitude, implying a probable causal relationship. Several
              mechanisms for this finding have been suggested, including the relationship between the high poly- and mono-unsaturated fat
              content of nuts and the lowering of blood cholesterol, the anti-oxidant properties of the high Vitamin E content of nuts, or the
              high arginine content in nuts (an amino acid precursor of nitric oxide), which leads to relaxation of the arterial walls. All three
              of these would tend to reduce atherosclerosis.”

              Cheers.
              A big nut/seed eater on a 100% whole food plant diet

  7. Animal cruelty in labs is NOT science. Comparing a rat to a human is ludicrous. Evidence based medicine using humans (and not in a cruel way) is more reasonable. How about studying the health habits of healthy populations and ditching correlation versus causation and eat like they do in the Blue Zones, it, better yet, eat WFPB.

    1. This is sickening animal torture. Cannot imagine what kind of person came up with the idea of twisting a rat’s testicles 720 degrees, and then excuses the practice as “science.”

      Ugh….

    2. Evidence based medicine using humans (and not in a cruel way) is more reasonable.
      ——————————————————————————————————————
      Dr. Josef Mengele and other Third Reich doctors would have probably agreed with you (although your definitions of cruel probably differ.)

      Not accusing you of being a Nazi in your thinking… just trying to point out to those human testicle-twisting volunteers that this may have been the same sort of slippery slope those people came down.

      1. Lonie, There’s good science and there’s bad science, relevant science and irrelevant science, ethical science and unethical science. Advocating relevant, and ethical science (in this case on humans in an ethical way) and vehemently opposing the opposite with some hyperbolic language hardly counts as the beginning of a slippery slope. Lol.

        1. Advocating relevant, and ethical science (in this case on humans in an ethical way) and vehemently opposing the opposite with some hyperbolic language hardly counts as the beginning of a slippery slope. Lol.
          —————————————————————————————————————————————–
          gengogakusha,
          I understand you defending Lora and just want to clarify that I was using her post as an entry point for my rebuttal to previous posts in re: volunteerism. While volunteerism is generally a good thing, twisting men’s testicles to “teach them a lesson” isn’t a good thing, in my opinion.

          And as WFPB Nancy pointed out, the mouse testicle twisters could have been women. She gets it that “Sugar and Spice and every thing nice” is not an accurate meme for women in general. To wit:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH0QVi1ygGQ

          1. Apoligies gengogakusha,

            Your post above left out the part in the email version that pointed thusly to a previous comment of mine:

            >>>this sounds like science.

            This would have changed my comments entirely if I had seen that reference.

  8. There’s a lot of concern in comments over the sugar in dates but did DrGreger do a video previously on a finding that dates don’t cause blood sugar or insulin spikes?

  9. Any thoughts on organic cacao nibs? I sprinkle some on nut butters. Occasionally roll a banana in nibs just for choc flavor. The banana is sweet enough. You can bake with the nibs too.

  10. Dates are used to measure air pollution. Chocolate is loaded with heavy metals and copper and companies don’t say where the beans are from. If you eat chocolate everyday, remember that metals accumulate.

      1. Interesting discussion here too.
        Organic farming doesn’t improve the situation, acid soils play a role and this can be managed or farmers could switch to growing coffee. Because cadmium is naturally occurring it slipped past cal. prop 65 but the EU introduced limits on heavy metals in chocolate. Now some major chocolate companies are working on the problem too

        https://www.asyousow.org/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/toxic-chocolate/

        https://www.futurity.org/cadmium-cocoa-beans-chocolate-1287742-2/

        1. Even if you are picky with your choices, you won’t be save from heavy metals. Even experts add year round maintenance detox because they know. All foods are contaminated with heavy metals and your only defense is to to learn how they come out. Some foods (like chlorella) help with that and they should be part of solution but it help if you know more.

  11. An afterthought about Baker’s chocolate and all others.
    Those study results are mostly from 2014. A point in time four years ago.
    Today?
    Who knows where manufacturers source their beans now, the soil conditions, whether processing methods have changed, what the heavy metals readings would be if those same brands were tested today, product one would purchase and consume off the shelf in 2019, as opposed to 2014…?

  12. I’ve been trying to view this video for two days, but it will not play. Has anyone else had any problems viewing this video? Is there tech support?

    1. Off the top of my head:
      clear browser cache,
      try a different browser,
      temporarily turn off ad blockers,
      enable javascript,
      enable cookies,
      come to the site from a search engine like duckduckgo.com.

    2. Stacy Owen, I had this problem all day Wednesday. (I tried a few times during the day), so I gave up and read the transcript. I had no problem with older videos that I tried. But I was able to see the video today (Friday).

      I’ve had this problem with a few past videos; it seems random. I can usually watch them later in the day. I’ve no idea why.

  13. If date sugar is a whole food, why does the nutrition label show zero fiber content. I’ve checked several different date sugars, and they all list zero fiber. Can anyone explain this.

    1. Great point. The per teaspoon serving of date sugar has <1g of fiber. It would take more to add up to substantial fiber. Two whole medjool dates (which are higher in fiber than deglet noor dates, for example) have 3g of fiber.

  14. Why 7 dates? Will an effect be seen with 4? With 1?

    7 dates is about 126 calories (at about 4.5 grams of sugar per Medjool date, which is about 18 calories). But really tasty!! Like a candy bar.

  15. Take everything Dr. Greger says with a skeptical eye. He was recently called out on youtube for using industry funded studies (aka – marketing) to come up with his recommendations.

    1. Could you be more specific? Unless citations to the actual studies are provided, it’s impossible to take this kind of general criticism seriously.

      1. “called out on youtube”? Top scientific investigative exposé I’m sure. Please tell more, including the specific problem, and who “funded” this investigation

      2. Nuts Won’t Save Your Life (Part 1 of Nuts)

        | | | | | |

        |

        | | | | Nuts Won’t Save Your Life (Part 1 of Nuts)

        Somebody has to say it – certain vegan “experts” repeatedly distort research around nuts. It may not be their fa…
        |

        |

        |

        1. Of course, eating nuts won’t “save you”. It’s pretty much common sense that you should eat a sensible, well balanced whole-food plant-based diet. That said, there is plenty of evidence that nut eating is healthful for most people. Cf.
          https://nutritionstudies.org/evidence-nut-consumption-human-health/ Campbell has looked at the evidence and supports sensible nut eating. Is he one of those misguided vegan “experts”? Fuhrman has too, and is strongly in favor of nut eating. Is he another of those misguided vegan “experts”?.

          I think the problem is more that many vegans are “‘scaremongered” into thinking that only a very low fat diet, nut-avoiding diet is healthful. I won’t drag this out. Read Fuhrman The End of Heart Disease or some of his website articles for his arguments

          https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/eat-to-live-blog/72/nuts-and-seeds-essential-for-good-health-and-weight-loss https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/eat-to-live-blog/141/nuts-and-seeds-help-keep-disease-away https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/eat-to-live-blog/63/nuts-an-important-component-of-an-anti-diabetes-diet

          You can trust your youtube “expert”. I’ll stick with Campbell and Fuhrman.

        2. Linda Cohen,
          I think I misinterpreted the intent of your note. Were you merely posting the youtube person who called out Dr. Greger? so we could check it out?

          If so, I apologize!

          And thanks very much for providing the information. In any event, I see that that youtube “expert” actually says in his disclaimer.

          Here are the actual links

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFHuqI-TCw
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdLmdTz0g34

          I have not looked at them.

          1. I listened to all the videos in the series and am new to being a vegan.  I was a vegetarian for 35-years and followed Pritikin in the 80’s.  You don’t need to apologize.  We can all learn from each other and it is fine to disagree even with “experts”.  We all make our own choices.  I am here to gain information.

            1. Linda Cohen,

              I was also a vegetarian since college (more than 50 years ago) and went vegan about 3 years ago. I follow a more or less Fuhrman “nutritarian” diet, which works well for me and my wife (who is pre-diabetic and cannot tolerate a lot of whole food starchy vegetables or grains or lots of fruit, as they spike her blood sugar – her main carb is legumes).

              Back on the topic of the videos originally mentioned by Eric (those “calling out” Dr. Greger). Dr. Fuhrman has now reviewed the videos and has posted a detailed rebuttal.

              The Attack Against Nuts and Seeds—Getting Nuttier All The Time.
              February 12, 2019 by Joel Fuhrman, MD

              https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/eat-to-live-blog/168/the-attack-against-nuts-and-seeds-getting-nuttier-all-the-time?utm_campaign=Nutritarian%20Diet&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=69891940&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–ybAAyTNbZa0LuBssk-DAKpDo1v4Pq-S0ozkenlXLfq-zuSmWXDv9NzzcjovYTWKmIKUT47nhHf6ylwJf2JkaTh7MoMA&_hsmi=69891940

              It is, in my view, well worth reading. Given how busy Dr. Furhman is, I am very thankful he took the time to do this. It underscores why one should not get advice from people on the internet who are neither doctors or research scientists or other health professionals with relevant credentials.

              Cheers.

              1. Great link gengo-gakusha,

                I’m not a follower of individuals but I do follow anything I consider to be good information… and the info in the link you supplied is information that rings as true.

              2. Thank you for the link.  I think it is good to eat nuts in moderation and I can do that. Some people might over indulge.   It is hard for me to control myself around dried fruit or dates.

  16. Just want to let nutritionfacts.org staff know that if I search on “colorectal cancer”, it brings up this video on dates, BUT with a date of 02/04/19, not 02/06/19. If I click on the link for it, it tries to take me to the nutritionfacts.org DEVELOPMENT server, and does not succeed in bringing up the video. I found it anyway, by clicking on recent videos, and going through them. But I could not get to the video by clicking on it from the search results for colorectal cancer. But usually the web site is great; I LOVE it.

  17. Is there any research on whether it is better for colon health to eat the dates in a single serving or to spread them out through the day?

  18. I would like to know what is the,safest amount of dates a person can consume in one day and also can dates cause someone to be insulin resistance

    1. Hello Sheldon,

      It’s a common misconception that fruit sugar is harmful for those with diabetes. Dates are actually quite low on the glycemic index, meaning that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar very much. The research on fruit is quite clear that the more whole fruit you consume, the lower your risk of diabetes. I know this goes against conventional knowledge, but often times people conflate processed sugar with fruit, which should not be done. Furthermore, the true cause of insulin resistance is fat intake, particularly saturated fat. It would be far more important to avoid oils and animal products for that reason.

      I hope this helps,

      Matt, Health Support

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/lipotoxicity-how-saturated-fat-raises-blood-sugar/

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