Benefits of Turmeric for Arsenic Exposure

Benefits of Turmeric for Arsenic Exposure
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See what happens when turmeric curcumin was put to the test to see if it could reverse DNA damage caused by arsenic exposure.

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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.

Arsenic is a “carcinogenic heavy metal,” and “[t]he major mechanism of [arsenic]-related damage [appears to be] oxidative stress.” It’s the arsenic-induced “[a]ccumulation of free radicals” that can kill off cells, and damage our DNA. And then, the double whammy is that it may disrupt our body’s ability to repair our DNA once it’s damaged. Well, if the damage is oxidation, what about eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as the spice turmeric, which contains an antioxidant pigment known as curcumin? As anyone familiar with my videos can attest, “numerous clinical [trials] have suggested…therapeutic efficacy against [a variety of] human diseases, including cancer…, diabetes…, Alzheimer’s…,…and inflammatory bowel…,” joint, lung, skin, and eye diseases.

In terms of protection against heavy metals, they suggest turmeric may both help scavenge free radicals as well as chelate, or bind up, heavy metals—complete with a fancy colorful diagram. But, it’s all just theory, until you put it to the test. Unfortunately, until recently, the tests were like this, where you can see if curcumin can protect against heavy metal-induced oxidation in puréed rat brains. Why can’t you just give some turmeric to people? It’s not like there aren’t millions of people out there who’ve been exposed to arsenic, and could use some help.

In what became the greatest chemical disaster in human history, so-called “tube-wells” were installed in Bangladesh to provide clean water. UNICEF meant well; too bad they didn’t test the water for arsenic. People started showing up with feet that looked like this, and as many as one in ten in some parts of the country will now go on to die from cancers caused by the arsenic exposure. This allowed the medical community to document all sorts of interesting cancers. But why not give them something that may help—like turmeric curcumin?

“After determining the [extent of] DNA damage, 50% of…volunteers were randomly selected and prescribed curcumin capsules blended with [a little black pepper compound],” and the other half “were…given a placebo.” Here’s the amount of DNA damage that was found in the curcumin and placebo groups of arsenic-exposed individuals before the study started, compared to the DNA damage found in a control group of individuals not exposed to arsenic, which remained the same throughout the study.

Now, they wanted to establish a baseline in the arsenic-exposed groups. So, they waited for three months to start the study. And, indeed, the DNA damage remained stable. Then, for three months, they proceeded to give them the curcumin or the placebo. The placebo didn’t do much, but within the first month, you could see the curcumin working. And, by the third month, the DNA damage in the curcumin-treated arsenic group was no worse than in those who hadn’t been exposed to arsenic at all.

And that’s amazing. The “curcumin had an effective role in [the] regression of DNA damage.” Yes, it’s “an excellent antioxidant agent,” but what they found subsequently is that the curcumin undid the arsenic crippling of our DNA repair enzymes. So, it both helped prevent the damage and facilitate repair. “Thus, curcumin…may be a useful modality for the prevention of arsenic-induced [cancer development].”

Of course, you have to make sure the turmeric itself isn’t contaminated with heavy metals. Oh, those poor kids in Bangladesh. If it’s not one thing, it’s  another. And, it’s not just kids in Bangladesh. Nearly a quarter of spices purchased in Boston had lead in them. And, it’s not just a matter of buying U.S. versus foreign brands, as the lead levels were not found to be statistically significant. How about just eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables?

The reason we care about DNA damage is that we care about cancer. What if you measured the beta-carotene levels in people exposed to arsenic who went on to develop cancer, compared to those who got exposed to the same amount of arsenic, but didn’t get cancer? Beta carotene is like a proxy for healthy fruit and vegetable intake. The way you get high levels in your blood is you eat lots of healthy foods—like greens and sweet potatoes. Compared to those with low levels, those with high levels of beta carotene in their blood had 99% lower odds of getting arsenic-induced cancer—a hundred times lower odds. So, if you’re going to eat rice, why not some rice with some sweet potatoes on top?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Marta Ambrosetti from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Fight SLE. 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.

Arsenic is a “carcinogenic heavy metal,” and “[t]he major mechanism of [arsenic]-related damage [appears to be] oxidative stress.” It’s the arsenic-induced “[a]ccumulation of free radicals” that can kill off cells, and damage our DNA. And then, the double whammy is that it may disrupt our body’s ability to repair our DNA once it’s damaged. Well, if the damage is oxidation, what about eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as the spice turmeric, which contains an antioxidant pigment known as curcumin? As anyone familiar with my videos can attest, “numerous clinical [trials] have suggested…therapeutic efficacy against [a variety of] human diseases, including cancer…, diabetes…, Alzheimer’s…,…and inflammatory bowel…,” joint, lung, skin, and eye diseases.

In terms of protection against heavy metals, they suggest turmeric may both help scavenge free radicals as well as chelate, or bind up, heavy metals—complete with a fancy colorful diagram. But, it’s all just theory, until you put it to the test. Unfortunately, until recently, the tests were like this, where you can see if curcumin can protect against heavy metal-induced oxidation in puréed rat brains. Why can’t you just give some turmeric to people? It’s not like there aren’t millions of people out there who’ve been exposed to arsenic, and could use some help.

In what became the greatest chemical disaster in human history, so-called “tube-wells” were installed in Bangladesh to provide clean water. UNICEF meant well; too bad they didn’t test the water for arsenic. People started showing up with feet that looked like this, and as many as one in ten in some parts of the country will now go on to die from cancers caused by the arsenic exposure. This allowed the medical community to document all sorts of interesting cancers. But why not give them something that may help—like turmeric curcumin?

“After determining the [extent of] DNA damage, 50% of…volunteers were randomly selected and prescribed curcumin capsules blended with [a little black pepper compound],” and the other half “were…given a placebo.” Here’s the amount of DNA damage that was found in the curcumin and placebo groups of arsenic-exposed individuals before the study started, compared to the DNA damage found in a control group of individuals not exposed to arsenic, which remained the same throughout the study.

Now, they wanted to establish a baseline in the arsenic-exposed groups. So, they waited for three months to start the study. And, indeed, the DNA damage remained stable. Then, for three months, they proceeded to give them the curcumin or the placebo. The placebo didn’t do much, but within the first month, you could see the curcumin working. And, by the third month, the DNA damage in the curcumin-treated arsenic group was no worse than in those who hadn’t been exposed to arsenic at all.

And that’s amazing. The “curcumin had an effective role in [the] regression of DNA damage.” Yes, it’s “an excellent antioxidant agent,” but what they found subsequently is that the curcumin undid the arsenic crippling of our DNA repair enzymes. So, it both helped prevent the damage and facilitate repair. “Thus, curcumin…may be a useful modality for the prevention of arsenic-induced [cancer development].”

Of course, you have to make sure the turmeric itself isn’t contaminated with heavy metals. Oh, those poor kids in Bangladesh. If it’s not one thing, it’s  another. And, it’s not just kids in Bangladesh. Nearly a quarter of spices purchased in Boston had lead in them. And, it’s not just a matter of buying U.S. versus foreign brands, as the lead levels were not found to be statistically significant. How about just eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables?

The reason we care about DNA damage is that we care about cancer. What if you measured the beta-carotene levels in people exposed to arsenic who went on to develop cancer, compared to those who got exposed to the same amount of arsenic, but didn’t get cancer? Beta carotene is like a proxy for healthy fruit and vegetable intake. The way you get high levels in your blood is you eat lots of healthy foods—like greens and sweet potatoes. Compared to those with low levels, those with high levels of beta carotene in their blood had 99% lower odds of getting arsenic-induced cancer—a hundred times lower odds. So, if you’re going to eat rice, why not some rice with some sweet potatoes on top?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Marta Ambrosetti from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Fight SLE. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

100 responses to “Benefits of Turmeric for Arsenic Exposure

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  1. If this is your first video, or first week of Nutrition Facts exposure, please do read the doctor’s notes and note all the supporting/relevant videos he lists there. Also note that the archive is fully searchable and that all sources are listed for YOU to be able to read the reports yourself and answer many of your other questions.

    There is no prohibition against discussion of dissenting ideas and positions but please realize that this site is about the nutrition facts as found by the latest research, and OFTEN these things will be somewhat different from mainstream and popular belief and thoughts. Also that facts are subject to change depending upon findings, and that nutritional research is a difficult task for many reasons.

    Most common questions and conflicts on very many subjects have been previously addressed and can be found, along with the supporting studies and discussion if one will simply take a few minutes to look for them.

    We are glad to have you here with open mind and ready palate. WFPB works for so many of us, and works well! We hope to support your transition and create a tide of change. Thanks for stopping in.




    21
    1. This video was absolutely amazing!!!
      My spice of choice just switched from cinnoman to Turmeric!!!!
      Thanks again Dr.G. you never cease to amaze me
      In loving gratitude
      Holly




      7
      1. I use applesauce about 1/2 a cup in a small bowl. I put 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of ground flax seed on one side with 1/4 teaspoon of amla powder. Then on the other side of the bowl I put 1/2 a teaspoon of tumeric and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. I then cover the tumeric and pepper up with applesauce, use a teaspoon and swallow it all at once. Then I mix the rest up and enjoy. It is an easy way to incorporate the above nutrients into my diet. I do this twice a day. I also eat a few raw almonds with each serving.




        0
    2. “please realize that this site is about the nutrition facts as found by the latest research…”
      It should read, “please realize that this site is about the nutrition facts as found by our latest research”

      I am not suggesting your research is biased. Its just better said when you use the word “our”, even though its assumed.




      0
      1. I understand your drift but the term “our research” would incorrectly imply that Nutrition Facts had conducted or funded that research. This would create a very misleading impression of thee studies discussed on this site.




        17
  2. Excellent video! I like this particular summary of evidence based nutrition because it addresses both the reductionist and synergistic approach to nutrition. By that I mean it not only shows another good feature of the wonderful spice turmeric, but it also indicates at the end of the video that the synergism of eating a whole plant food diet can yield protective effects.

    The one question I have is: does anyone know of of any recent progress in making the curcumins in turmeric more bioavailable? Dr G has shown in previous videos that black pepper compounds and a bit of fat plus heat help in increasing the bioavailability. And there are several companies that claim they have a unique patented way of increasing the bioavailability of curcumin extract. But I’m wondering if there is any other technique that has been tested by unbiased research?

    Also, if I remember correctly, in one of Dr G’s previous videos, the science shows that the whole turmeric works better than the curcumin extract, so I’m wondering if there are any new ways to make the whole turmeric more bioavailable?

    I believe this is the video that compares whole turmeric to curcumin extract:

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/turmeric-curcumin-plants-vs-pills/




    8
    1. WFPB-Hal, thank you for posting the link to the Plant vs Pills video.. amazing to think of the huge sums of money spent on curcumin supplements when the studies demonstrated that tumeric with curcumin REMOVED was as, or more, effective than curcumin extracts! In reading over one of the study abstracts, they did mention that tumeric oil (within the whole tumeric) enhances bioavaiability.
      I am thinking that I may use the whole root, grated, in my curries more often. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23847105




      5
      1. Yes, Susan, isn’t it amazing about the whole turmeric being as good or even better than the curcumin extract. Again, it’s the synergism of the whole plant food vs one ingredient. I like your suggestion of using the whole root grated … thanks for sharing that about the oil contained in the whole plant, too.




        5
    2. Hi this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD in Natural Medicine in Atlanta, GA and moderator with Nutritionfacts.
      Very good question and I had to dig a little to find one other video, that you are surely familiar with, https://nutritionfacts.org/video/boosting-the-bioavailability-of-curcumin/, to find an answer. First, i personally eat about 4 inches of root daily and use it in any cooking I can get away with, and since I started finding it in the stores I never looked back to the extracts, exactly for the reason of bioavailability. Second, the discussion on oil and pepper additions refers to the extract spice. Dr. Greger offers the consumption of the whole root as an alternative to boost bioavailability, as the natural oils present in the root can boost bioavailability 7 to 8 fold, which is probably close to what added oil does to the spice. I hope this helps, Daniela




      4
  3. >>>Nearly a quarter of spices purchased in Boston had lead in them. And, it’s not just a matter of buying U.S. versus foreign brands, as the lead levels were not found to be statistically significant. How about just eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables?

    Recently I’ve greatly increased my spice intake for the supposedly health benefits. Now I am wondering if this is smart since there’s no way of knowing which brands or particular spices are contaminated. I recently wrote to Frontier Co-op and asked about possible heavy metal contamination of their products and got no answer. Does anyone know of brands or particular spices that have been tested?




    10
    1. Hi Gengogaskusha,

      I did some research regarding Frontier green tea and discovered it originated in China. So…my guess is some of their spices originate there also.




      3
      1. Coincidentally, I just received the following reply regarding possible lead contamination (not sure about other heavy metals – should have asked a more general question).

        Dear David,

        Thank you for reaching out to us. Although there is no specific FDA standard for lead in food, based on FDA’s guidance documents, we require all herbs and spices to contain less than 1 part per million (ppm) lead. Lead is a ubiquitous compound, and occurs widely in nature and the environment, and consequently can be found at some level in almost all food products.

        Based on the risk profile, Frontier conducts its own independent sampling and testing of products we receive from our suppliers. which is equivalent to 0.35 parts per million (ppm) lead. This is below the allowable threshold of 1.0 ppm lead level. At Frontier, we take regulatory compliance and food safety very seriously, and have robust sampling and testing protocols for the products we sell.

        Sincerely,

        Jennifer
        Frontier Co-Op
        Simply Organic
        Aura Cacia
        Customer Care
        1-800-669-3275




        8
        1. Thank you, gengogakusha, for sharing the response from Frontier Co-op. It would be nice if they shared that info on their website. I’ve heard Lundberg does that with their rice.




          2
    2. I stay away from store bought spices unless I know where it comes from. I stay away from spices or foods in general from China and India even if they call it organic. If I have to buy then I pick the spices from Turkey, Greece, most Middle East countries because those countries don’t usually counterfeit or put in chemicals. I grow my herbs or buy fresh herbs grown in USA. It is very easy to grow herbs surprisingly. Don’t go for exotic herbs that you cannot grow in cold climate and you should do well.




      4
      1. Jerry Lewis, You’re kidding about Turkey, right? I recently read an article about ships laden with grains (maybe other produce as well?) going through Turkey, and voila! The grains are now organic. It’s a huge deal, and a huge fraud. We are eating “organic” products from other countries that aren’t organic. I don’t trust any foreign country or any company, foreign or not. I trust independent testing. Growing your own is an excellent approach.




        7
        1. Dr. J: I believe this is the story you were talking about:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-labels-said-organic-but-these-massive-imports-of-corn-and-soybeans-werent/2017/05/12/6d165984-2b76-11e7-a616-d7c8a68c1a66_story.html?utm_term=.4e645b45a982

          I heard about this, too, when it happened. I avoid any foods that come from Eastern Europe, especially Turkey. It makes me wonder who was getting paid off.

          The article says that a lot of the so-called “organic” grains were destined to become animal feed. Which gives me yet another reason not to consume animal products. Not only do I have to track where my own food comes from, but I’d also have to track where the food comes from that feeds the animals & their products (eggs, dairy, etc.) that I would theoretically consume. That’s too much for me to keep track of. I’d rather just eat WFPs grown by me or locally grown. Keep it simple.




          5
        2. Dr J, thanks for the warning. I already know that oive oil from Italy is normally counterfeit and is controlled by the Mafia. It’s a multi billion dollar business. Look up in the 60 minutes.




          1
        3. Growing your own is the most fantastic approach for those things that can be grown at your locale. Gardening/Wild Harvesting/Viticulture/Orchards and Nut Trees- whooot! Even if you live on concrete surrounded by asphalt, one can grow some peppers and tomatoes rather easily in five-gallon buckets- a/k/a container gardening. What? No sun? Look up LED and T5 florescent lighting-the sun can be replicated close enough to grow many things and some stuff, like mushrooms do not require UV to flourish.

          Nearly everybody can grow a thing or two if they try (and likely be healthier/happier for it). Sorry I do not have supporting evidence but stand by my assertions nonetheless.




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      1. i have purchased herbs from mountain rose and they seem to be high quality , however self reporting does not always work , third party tests are better .
        one of the problems with most herbs is heavy metal contamination , i’ll just eat wfpb and assume i get enough antioxidants




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        1. I agree limiting intake and relying on WF where one knows the source might be the wisest course. As far as turmeric goes, I only use fresh.




          1
    3. Yes, I’d really like to know how to ensure turmeric supplements I buy are not contaminated. This is yet another example of why the industry needs to be regulated. Most of us have very busy lives and cannot always take the time to grate whole root turmeric on a daily basis.




      1
      1. Hi Jerry this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD in Natural Medicine in Atlanta GA and Moderator for Nutritionfacts. Just for important date gathering, is your statement based on personal experience? I personally found turmeric very helpful in reducing flares and overall gut inflammation. Turmeric was found extremely helpful in IBS/ulcerative colitis in a double blind study. Here is the link to the video, https://nutritionfacts.org/video/striking-root-turmeric-curcumin-ulcerative-colitis/ Thank you and have a great day, Daniela




        11
    1. Hi Joe this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD in Natural Medicine in Atlanta GA and Moderator for Nutritionfacts. I do like your question… like is there anything curcumin won’t do? Just like kale. I need to answer to the comments below regarding IBS and digestive disorders. Turmeric was found extremely helpful in IBS/ulcerative colitis in a double blind study. Here is the link https://nutritionfacts.org/video/striking-root-turmeric-curcumin-ulcerative-colitis/ Have a great day, Daniela




      7
      1. Daniela, I’ve been fortunate in that I have on the main enjoyed good health, but just to be on the safe side, I add a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric with freshly ground pepper per serving to every salad and casserole to ensure the full benefits of turmeric hot or cold.




        3
  4. Don’t people in Bangladesh eat a lot of turmeric regularly anyway? Still, they develop diseases caused by arsenic poisoning but respond to turmeric supplementation positively. Could this be a result of bioavailability? It would be interesting to know what would happen if the turmeric pill didn’t contain piperine.




    2
    1. Yes bioavailability is important. The worse thing is complacency when people consume turmeric the wrong way and assume that they are protected. The real test is that if you have a minor or major ailment, do a test before and after you consume whole turmeric or curcumin supplement and then see if there is any difference.




      2
    2. George, I think they do use a lot turmeric in their cooking. But if it’s grown in their region & watered with the same water they’re drinking, then I think it probably wouldn’t help them that much.




      1
  5. Turmeric / curcumin is a no brainer as it fixes and prevents a number of health issues and it is a must have for everyone. The trick is how to use it in a way that is effective and I am not sure how. I do both, eating whole turmeric with fat and pepper, and take curcumin supplement which seems to work in my case.




    3
  6. personally i can’t tell it does anything , after using it for a year and then not using it for 6 months. so i guess in this case it is better to believe in the science and keep taking it and hope for the best




    5
    1. Dr Ronald Cathcart, I did a search of all the NutritionFacts.org videos using the search tool at the top of the page and found this one:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-cataracts-with-diet/

      It appears that at least one study found that “vegans” had the lowest incidence of cataracts of all the compared types of diets.

      The full research paper is available for free here:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21430115

      Dr Greger also has some videos on macular degeneration and glaucoma.

      Hope this helps.




      5
    2. Hi, this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD and Moderator for Nutritionfacts. Awesome answer below, the whole set of videos is at ://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cataracts/ Best regards, Daniela




      2
    3. As WFPB Hal has noted, some of Dr G’s videos on other eye health issues are also relevant eg
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-prevention-of-age-related-macular-degeneration/

      My takeaway there was that there is evidence that daily sweetcorn, kale and Goji berry consumption may help.

      You might also find this discussion below helpful. Basically, it says eat a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains (and coffee). It also suggests that weekly fish consumption may be helpful but cites no studies which demonstrate this.
      http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/cataracts.htm




      3
    4. Dr. Ronald Cathart – I can’t contribute to the “prevent cataracts via diet” discussion, but you may want to check out this product for cataracts.
      http://www.can-c.net/
      I am just developing a cataract and am going to try these drops since I am at the beginning stage and have nothing to lose at this stage. If my cataract retreats, I will share my success on this site.

      Also, I listened to a very interesting interview on National Public Radio quite a while ago, now, with an eye surgeon who stumbled upon this situation. He was faced with a baby who was born with severe cataracts in her eyes. They needed to be removed which they did. For whatever medical reason which I do not recall, they did not insert new lenses in the eyes. I believe it may be because she may have had her own stem cells but that is speculation on my part. Anyway, over time, this baby grew new lenses in her eyes all on her own. And they grew in just fine, no problems. That started the physician thinking about a different way to treat cataracts when they are bad. If I recall, he was having success just allowing the lens to regrow, which takes longer in adults of course, but was occurring. I can’t link you to any research as this was a radio interview. But see what you can find out perhaps.




      1
  7. Hi Dr. Gregor and WFPB community! I would like to request input from this community (and possibly a later video by Dr. Gregor) regarding knowledge about leptin’s role in weight loss, insulin’s effect on leptin and the brain, and the capacity of whole grain, nut, or bean flours to increase insulin production. I recently came across a psychologist ph.d. who stated that all sugar and flours increase insulin, and this high level of insulin keeps leptin from crossing the blood-brain barrier. I’m pretty happy with everything I’ve heard from her so far, but I’m very resistant to giving up my home made breads, and I know Dr. Gregor has “whole-wheat pasta” on his list of “some of my favorites” under servings of whole grains. Plus, I always want to know more about the “science” I’m hearing but may not be able to access for myself. Please share your thoughts if you have any knowledge on this topic! (Dr. Gregor-video? series??) =)




    1
    1. Jessica: The best science I’ve seen about weight loss is on calorie density. NutritionFacts covers calorie density, but for some really fun talks which go into the subject in detail, check out these:
      Doug Lisle “How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mindhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ
      Jeff Novick “Calorie Density: How to Eat More, Weigh Less, and Live Longer,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CdwWliv7Hg&t=1151s

      Here is a summary article from the speaker of the second talk: http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/5/20_A_Common_Sense_Approach_To_Sound_Nutrition.html




      7
      1. Thea
        Don.t forget Dr Greger’s second last video I believe where he ended the video with a statement similar to this
        “5 one cup servings of legumes , like peas,beans and lentils per week was as effective as a calorie restricted diet for weight control”




        5
        1. Thanks Ignatius! I remember seeing something like that too. I’ve tried to find it again after seeing your post as I wanted to get details. I wasn’t sure if it was talking about weight control or other benefit and wanted to verify and check out the source. I couldn’t find it, but the study results do not surprise me (depending on the details of what they meant). Legumes fall below the cut-off for eating a low (human normal?) calorie density diet.

          Thanks for the reminder of that line. I’ll keep looking for it.




          1
          1. hi Thea! The same study was cited in a couple of places, with this article being one of them https://nutritionfacts.org/2015/12/24/which-works-better-adding-beans-or-portion-control/
            and I believe this is the study you might be looking for https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22916807 Dr Greger mentioned it again more recently in the video here https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-avoid-lectin-poisoning/ as Ignatius mentioned. Hope this helps.




            1
            1. susan: You are so awesome! I swear I looked at the transcript of the lectin video twice and didn’t see it. Argh. Thank you!!! (And you even gave a link to the study itself. You really are awesome. :-) )




              0
      1. When I stopped eating all animal products, I lost 30 lbs so I don’t find this index helpful with regard to losing weight–and kept it off…. Just saying.




        0
        1. Hi Lisa: this is Dr. Sozanski PhD of Natural Medicine in Atlanta GA and Moderator for Nutritionfacts. I thought your statement on going on a WFBD and losing 30 lbs in the process was motivating and encouraging for many others who are seeking to lose weight and get abundant nutrition in the process. Would you mind sharing your experience and an overall description of your successful effort? Many thanks, Daniela




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          1. Regards, Daniela,

            Sure! Many years ago, my daughter and a friend of hers from China descended on our house over Christmas vacation from college. They left a bunch of books all over our coffee table that they were reading. I picked up and read “The China Study” and one of John Robbins’s books; I was angry that no one had ever let the public/me know about this information before and I immediately decided not to eat animal products any more–especially as I am a cancer survivor from surgery and radiation in 2001. I began to read everything I could get my hands on and one of those books became very influential: “Nutritarian Handbook” by Joel Fuhrman, MD. There are about three pages in this latter book that outline what categories of foods Fuhrman thinks everyone should eat daily and I was amazed by the volume of greens, as well as other vegetables he recommended in that book, not to mention that the size of one serving was frequently 1.5 cups. In spite of the fact that I was working, I began to prepare a curried soup daily in the morning. It took an hour to make but I found it absolutely delicious and it was a recipe I made up. For years now I have belonged to a CSA which bestowed upon me varied vegetables each week so my curry/soup ingredients changed with my CSA deliveries; whatever they provided, I washed, chopped, and cooked in a large pot. Amazingly, I found that each week I lost a pound without going hungry and with no deprivation on my part whatsoever, in contrast to previous attempts at losing weight. In fact, I was not trying to lose weight anymore, having given up on that, and was just trying to eat healthy–in line with “The China Study” guidelines of not eating animal foods. I lost 30 lbs after which I plateaued. I was not happy with my weight yet, as my BMI was still in the “overweight” section on the BMI charts, but I had moved out of the “obese” area on the BMI charts. Still seeking the correct diet, it was pointed out to me that olive oil is an extract and not a whole food and therefore I should avoid oils. When I started avoiding oils, my weight dropped another 5 lbs without going hungry or dieting. Even so, my weight is still not in the normal range, but without effort and without going hungry I have lost 35 lbs all told. I feel like different foods at different times. Today I put tomatoes, green peppers, sliced beets, spaghetti squash, mushrooms, zucchini squash, and a little low-sodium broth in an old roasting pan in which I used to cook turkey and I roasted the batch for 45 minutes. (I kept each vegetable in its own part of the pan. I sprinkled garlic powder on the mushrooms, Italian seasoning on the Italian-type vegetables, and onion powder on some of them.) Sometimes I put pizza sauce on some Ezekiel pita bread and put onions, mushrooms, and whatever else I like on it; then I sprinkle it liberally with garlic powder and Italian seasoning and microwave it. Sometimes I make a HUGE salad with everything but the kitchen sink on it–or whatever I feel like–and instead of dressing, I put organic balsamic vinegar on it. I have learned to like the vinegar on the salad altho’ the idea of it didn’t appeal to me at first. The trick is to put what you like in the salad! When oil is called for when cooking something, I use a small amt of broth instead and watch it like a hawk to make sure it doesn’t dry out. I hope this helps. I don’t believe people who say to just “eat less” or “cut calories” any more. Those never worked for me, but eating pure vegetables, grains, fruits, and limited fatty seeds and nuts helped me. Here’s a couple of side stories: my sister came to live with us, adopted my “diet,” and lost 35 pounds as well. A sister-in-law of mine in Canada was sick and feeling very ill and taking antibiotics. I asked her if she wanted to try something and she said she did. I suggested that she try not eating animal products; she agreed, and the last I heard, she could not believe how much better she felt and had lost 35 pounds, as well.




            1
            1. Daniela, here’s an aside:

              I have noticed lately that when I have oil, (e.g., when I am out somewhere and cannot get my own unadulterated foods,) my face breaks out–and I am 70 years old! When I get back home and eat my own foods, it clears up again. For awhile, I thought it was the bread I was eating, but I am eating bread now and it is not broken out–it is the oil!




              1
    2. Jessica, the weight loss method by calorie counting does not work and it is a losing proposition. In fact if you eat more fat which has a lot of calorie then you lose more weight. It is quite counter intuitive but totally scientific. If you want to eat fat from plant food then eat a lot of avocado. You can look it up. It is your metabolism that burns more fat than if you eat less or exercise, not to say that you don’t need to exercise. In fact, you can burn fat during your sleep if you have the right metabolism. It’s long and complicated and so I cannot explain in a few words.

      I just google quickly and find the following:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4061651/

      https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/3-crazy-ways-burn-fat-while-you-sleep/




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      1. Jerry Lewis: Who recommended calorie counting? Why are you posting about that? If you are responding to my post, then you did not watch the talks and do not understand the concept of calorie density. Applying calorie density to weight loss is the very opposite of counting calories.




        8
    3. many types of diet have been shown to deliver short term weight loss. Even high fat diets have been shown to be effective in obese and (pre) diabetic individuals. possible because such people have damaged metabolic and endocrine systems which alter their responses to macro nutrients. However, sustained weight loss is another matter:
      “There is a general perception that almost no one succeeds in long-term maintenance of weight loss. However, research has shown that ≈20% of overweight individuals are successful at long-term weight loss when defined as losing at least 10% of initial body weight and maintaining the loss for at least 1 y. The National Weight Control Registry provides information about the strategies used by successful weight loss maintainers to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss. National Weight Control Registry members have lost an average of 33 kg and maintained the loss for more than 5 y. To maintain their weight loss, members report engaging in high levels of physical activity (≈1 h/d), eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet, eating breakfast regularly, self-monitoring weight, and maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends.”
      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.long

      This is consistent with advice to eat a diet high in whole plant foods, particularly starches, which tend to be low in both calories and fat. However, fruits and nuts tend to be high in calories and therefore may need to be restricted if weight loss is the aim.




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    4. Hi, Jessica. I’m not sure what qualifications this PhD psychologist has in the arena of nutrition, as that is not generally part of the training for such an individual, unless she has sought additional education in that area. If you are happy with everything else you have heard, but something does not ring true for you, then take what you can use and leave the rest.
      I would suggest that sprouted whole grain bread is healthier than one made from whole grain flours. How you eat; whether you eat slowly and chew thoroughly or wolf down your food can affect insulin release. Also, cooking and cooling whole grains tends to increase their resistant starch content. More on that here:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/getting-starch-to-take-the-path-of-most-resistance/
      I hope that helps!




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  8. Hello
    I have my IgE test last month amd its 1700.I usually face sneezing,flu all the time and doctors used to say its allergy.my nutritionist recommend grape seed extract and turmeric extract supplements as my IgE was 1700.
    I am still facing the same symptoms.
    What should I do now.really worried about my health.
    Thanks and best regards AMMARA




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    1. Hi Ammara. This is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Natural Medicine in Atlanta GA and Moderator with Nutritionfacts. The problem should be regarded holistically. High IgE may mean a lot of things, not only an allergy to inhalants or food. It could be caused by immunodeficiencies, inflammatory conditions, infections or other causes. I suggest that you get a Natural or Functional Medicine practitioner to examine your medical history and all possible root causes suggested by the test results. A nutritional protocol should be developed involving an elimination diet. Grape seeds and turmeric are awesome to strengthen immune system and reduce inflammation but they will not help as long as the stressor is still present. I hope this helps, Dr. Sozanski




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      1. Thank you Doctor.yes you are absolutely right because when I regularly use tumeric extract and grape seed extract supplements for that period symptoms  disappear but when I dnt take they started again.can youu please help about stressor present?My blood profile is normal except my haemoglobin level.my HB is 9.Lipid profile is all setHepatitis and liver profile is normal.I have no medical issue other then this.Please help me regarding this I will provide you every information you need for this.Thanks




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        1. Hi Ammara: this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski: I understand your predicament. Sometime IgE can be high and it is difficult to find out why. From your words I understand that you only did a total IgE test, but not a specific one. The second has better chances to identify the particular allergen. Also how did you determine that you do not have food allergies. What test was done. Please keep in mind that a high IgE count could very well be due to an allergy to food just as much as from inhalants.
          However, we, the Moderators at Nutritionfacts are here to provide helpful references and directional advice. Going into an in depth evaluation and action plan is not within the purpose of our role. We could talk offline if you chose to, please contact me at daniela@newhealthahead.com. I hope this helps. Daniela




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  9. I really appreciate this video — thank you. I’ve been depressed about the rice/arsenic series for several weeks.
    Please keep up the great work.




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  10. Off topic: Ketofest 2017? I can understand the growing popularity of keto diets, but I had no idea it was actually this popular. I did a search, and did not find any videos on the subject here.




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    1. hi Joe, your question came to mind as I was watching youtube videos. I enjoyed watching this one since it is a doctor, Dr Kim, (from McDougall program) speaking about his experience on a ketogenic diet. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbH6TIdtZ3Q
      Here at NF there are a few videos about low carb diets https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/low-carb-diets/ and this one about paleo https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-problem-with-the-paleo-diet-argument/ Hope you find something of interest in these.




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  11. Great video, thanks Dr G! Early this year I found out I had a Lead level of 47. Do you think if Tumeric helps with Arensic that it would also help reduce Lead?




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    1. Hey Florence, thanks for writing. I think the answer is not only ‘No’ but I’ve seen many articles that indicate turmeric may be lead contaminated. So far as I know, the jury is still out on whether lead poisoning is possible for consumers of turmeric.




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  12. So if the arsenic in the rice is easy to negate with a diet rich in antioxidants, what’s the problem with having rice every day after all? The amount required seems easy to achieve. Shouldn’t the recommendation change, given a diet rich in fruits and vegetables?




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    1. Doug,

      May I suggest that you soak the rice for 24 hour before use than drain and rinse the rice leading to a much reduced load of arsenic. reference: https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/how-cook-rice-remove-most-arsenic.html

      Or you can use the percolating method….rather inefficient.

      Please see Whollyplantfoods response as it’s on the mark.

      Better to remove the toxin than to try to reduce it’s effect.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com




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      1. It was encouraging to me to learn that a diet high in beta carotene does reduce the odds of getting arsenic induced cancer by 99%. Rice is the only grain my body can tolerate at this time, so my diet is rich in rice as well as sweet potatoes. Those are my two main starches. It made me smile when Dr. G mentioned eating rice with sweet potatoes for that is what I eat every single day.

        I do soak all my rice (even my rice cereal) overnight and then drain it and use fresh water for cooking. And I try to eat rice that comes from California.

        Thanks Dr. G for mentioning that a diet high in beta carotene is beneficial. My beta carotene intake is very, very high and I plan on keeping it that way! :-)




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  13. Hi Doug,

    I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for your question. This is a good one.

    There is no hard data to suggest one way or another that eating high antioxidant foods with rice can “cancel out” the negative effects of the arsenic-laden rice. However, the goal of eating healthy, simplistically, is to give the body as many good things and as little bad things as possible. Otherwise, we could eat moderate amounts of meat, junk food, etc., and have the healthy foods around it “cancel out” the bad in the meat and junk food. It doesn’t exactly work this way, and while it of course is best to eat lots of healthy foods, regardless of whether we have harmful things (meat, junk food, arsenic in rice, etc.), the most optimal diet will not have any of the detrimental components to it.

    I hope that makes sense, and helps answer your question.




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  14. It’s great to see Dr. Greger’s video here addressing the arsenic problem with the consumption of turmeric to reverse oxidative dna damage. If there is a concern about turmeric contamination with lead etc., it looks like it would be easy to grow your own. I found a short video on how to do this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRhDXLkphW4. Other info suggests that it can be grown in containers too. Then you can have worry free turmeric every day — for free. And you can store any excess in your freezer until the next growing season….




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  15. I’ve been taking 1/4 tsp of turmeric spice every night with a glass of water since the beginning of this year. I have gallstones, and have not had any reactions to taking this daily dose of turmeric. However, I recently learned I probably haven’t been getting any benefits from this turmeric because of the body’s inability to absorb most of it (I am not mixing with with fats or pepperine). So to increase absorption, last week I took a 1/4 tsp of black pepper along with my 1/4 tsp of turmeric spice, and the following morning I had gallstone pain! I haven’t tried it again since.
    I really want to get the health benefits of turmeric, but since I have gallstones, it seems that I am not able to do this! I never have gallstone issues, otherwise, thanks to my plant based diet.
    Do you know of a way I can get the turmeric benefits but not deal with gallstone problems? I really don’t want to have my gallbladder removed.
    Thank you.




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      1. Thanks Jerry,
        My concern is not with getting stones. I already have gallstones. My concern is that turmeric can cause the gallbladder to contract, and since I have stones, this can cause pain. This hasn’t happened to me while taking Dr. Greger’s recommended daily amount of 1/4 tsp of tumeric spice. However, the one time I tried to boost the bio-availability of the turmeric by adding black pepper (as was done in the study mentioned in this video), I experienced gallbladder pain the whole next day, so I believe it caused my gallbladder to contract.
        I guess my main questions is, can I still get the cancer reducing benefits of turmeric without boosting it’s effect with pepper or fat? Because in my case, boosting it’s effect seems to cause me gallbladder pain.




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        1. Hi BigLou, now I understand your concern. There are 2 issues with consuming turmeric or curcumin to some people:

          1) Turmeric contains oxalate which can cause kidney or gallbladder stone to some people, but curcumin which is an extract of turmeric, does not. So people can consume curcumin to get the benefits of the turmeric without running the risk of kidney or gallbladder stone.

          2) Unfortunately, both turmeric and curcumin cause the gallbladder to contract and therefore cause pain. This is your case and so you have to avoid both turmeric and curcumin.

          http://gallbladderattack.com/blog/turmeric-benefits-and-your-gallbladder-health/

          Your solution is to fix your gallbladder issue through nutrition first.

          https://draxe.com/gallbladder-diet-natural-treatment/




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    1. HI this is Dr. Sozanski: There is hardly ever a real reason to remove the gallbladder in my experience. My advice is to look for food allergies, and do an elimination diet for a few weeks, followed by food reintroduction. Or, if you have the possibility to an allergy test, you may find the offender. In most cases, once the allergen is removed, my experience i that the gall bladder attacks go away. I hope this helps. Dr. Sozanski




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  16. Everyone seems to have a different opinion in how tumeric should be consumed in order to reap its benifits at the fullest;
    Should the tumeric be consumed raw (juiced)?, cooked in a meal after passing it through a garlic crusher? Boiled and made into a tea?
    I’m sure any of these ways are better than nothing, but which method provides the most potent antioxidant to our bodies?
    Thank you




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    1. Lydia, there seem to be 2 methods used by the supplement manufacturers to increase the bioavailability of turmeric benefits:

      – Eat raw but with pepper which contains bioperine

      – Heat it with fat (this is how the Indian from India eat).

      I do both, i.e. cook turmeric with pepper and fat.




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      1. Thank you for your reply Jerry. What are your thoughts on golden milk? Also, I’m afraid of staining my teeth with turmeric. Do you have any suggestions, other than immediately brushing your teeth after consumption?
        Thanks buddy




        1
        1. Lydia, I look up the golden milk recipe and it looks like this recipe uses the same method as I use, i.e. heating + fat + some pepper. Note that you don’t need a lot of pepper to activate the turmeric because it seems strange to put pepper in your tea.

          https://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea-recipe/

          And very counter intuitively. turmeric can be used to whiten teeth. Apparently turmeric only stain porous surface like cloth but not solid surface like teeth, so it looks like there is no fear of yellowing your teeth (or all Indians will have yellow teeth).

          https://wellnessmama.com/35837/natural-teeth-whitening/

          4. Turmeric

          Turmeric-Antioxidant and Immune Boosting SpiceAnother counter-intuitive remedy that actually works. Turmeric is known for staining things yellow (including cloth, skin and other surfaces) and it has even been used as a dye for cloth in the past. It isn’t the first thing you’d think of for whitening teeth, but it works surprisingly well.




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  17. Great question. You might find this video interesting: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/turmeric-curcumin-plants-vs-pills/. There are over 300 different substances in Turmeric that are thought to be beneficial! Wow. Honestly, I don’t have an exact answer for you. I suspect the ability to digest turmeric ( or any other root like ginger root) differs from individual to individual. Personally, if it tastes really good to me, then I go with my instincts (and a dash of common sense). I love raw ginger root juiced and I love ginger root in stir fry. Therefore, I suspect Turmeric and I would get along just fine: ) I am curious, though. What tastes the best to you? Cheers!




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    1. Hi Deborah, Thank you for the reply. I love anything good for the body, I don’t discriminate between foods using my tastebuds ;) My question was related to absorbency; through which consumption would the body best absorb turmeric’s health properties?
      Some suggest consuming it raw over cooked, with an oil. Others suggest eating it raw with a spice. And some even make ‘golden milk’. What does NF suggest? Thank you!




      1
      1. I can’t really speak for NF. I am a volunteer, but not the doctor himself.
        I can tell you that your own unique set of digestive enzymes and your own individual microbiome determines what you personally absorb best. That is why I rely on my own instincts just a bit. My best educated guess : both juicing it and heating it makes it more absorbable. Thanks again!




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  18. Are all spices imported from Asia potentially contaminated with heavy metals? I wonder whether it is worthwhile looking for lead-free turmeric while most spices available to me are imported from China and could therefore be contaminated.




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