Berries for Inflammation & Osteoarthritis Treatment

Berries for Inflammation & Osteoarthritis Treatment
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Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials on berries and the first clinical study on the effects of berries on arthritis.

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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.

How might berries improve human health, healthy aging, and quality of life?  Maybe, due to their anti-inflammatory effects, since inflammation can be an underlying contributing factor in the “development, progression, and complication” of a number of chronic diseases. Higher intake of anthocyanins, the brightly-colored pigments in berries, has been associated with anti-inflammatory effects, which may be “a key component” underlying the associated reduction in chronic disease risk. But these are all just associations. You can’t prove cause and effect until you put it to the test.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial found that blueberry smoothies could turn off inflammation genes. (This is measuring the expression of pro-inflammatory genes in white blood cells taken from individuals before and after six weeks of drinking placebo smoothies with no blueberries.) They got worse over time. Six weeks later, more inflammatory chemicals pouring out, whereas the blueberry group started out about the same at week zero, but six weeks of daily blueberries and, the expression of inflammatory genes went down.

“In addition to attenuating inflammation,” they demonstrate that “blueberry consumption was able to significantly decrease the levels of free radicals” in their bloodstream: no change in the placebo group, but after six weeks of blueberry smoothies, the amount of free radicals in their blood was  extinguished by half. Okay, but does all that antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power actually translate into clinical benefits? For example  what is the effect of blueberry consumption on recovery from excessive weight lifting-induced muscle damage?

A randomized crossover study: a blueberry smoothie or antioxidant-matched placebo smoothie five and 10 hours prior to, and then 12 and 36 hours after, exercise-induced muscle damage. The smoothies were about a cup and a half of frozen strawberries, a banana, and apple juice, or without the berries, but dextrose and vitamin C added to match it for calories and antioxidant power. Even so, the blueberries worked better at mopping up free radicals. Here’s the oxidative stress without the blueberries: it goes up and stays up. But, with the blueberries, it comes right down. Yeah, but what we care about is the recovery of muscle strength, so you can jump right back into training. Same drop in peak torque 12 hours later, but a day later, significantly faster restoration of peak muscle strength, demonstrating that the ingestion of blueberries can accelerate recovery — something that may be especially relevant to athletes who compete over successive days.

That’s all well and good, but what about using berries to treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis?  Yes, they may have protective effects against arthritis in a rat — significantly reducing “paw volume”— how swollen their paw gets when you inject it with some inflammatory irritant. But there had never been any human arthritis berry studies, until now.

Remember that amazing study where strawberries alone could reverse the progression of precancerous lesions? The strawberries were dramatically downregulating pro-inflammatory genes. Give strawberries to diabetics for six weeks, and not only does their diabetes get better, their C-reactive protein levels, a marker of systemic inflammation, drops 18%. Even just a single meal can help. Have people eat a largely unhealthy breakfast, and the level of inflammatory markers goes up over the next six hours, but less so if you added just five large strawberries to the meal.

So, can “strawberries improve pain and inflammation” in confirmed knee osteoarthritis? No fair that the title ruined the suspense, but yes, osteoarthritis patients randomized to get like a pint and a half of strawberries a day for 12 weeks and yeah, certain inflammatory markers plummeted on the strawberries. But did they actually feel any better? Significant reductions in constant pain, intermittent pain, and total pain. The “first clinical study on the effects of…berries” on human arthritis, and found that a “simple dietary intervention, the addition of berries to one’s diet, may have a significant impact on pain, inflammation, and overall quality of life in obese adults with [osteoarthritis].”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Iwona Łach via unsplash. 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.

How might berries improve human health, healthy aging, and quality of life?  Maybe, due to their anti-inflammatory effects, since inflammation can be an underlying contributing factor in the “development, progression, and complication” of a number of chronic diseases. Higher intake of anthocyanins, the brightly-colored pigments in berries, has been associated with anti-inflammatory effects, which may be “a key component” underlying the associated reduction in chronic disease risk. But these are all just associations. You can’t prove cause and effect until you put it to the test.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial found that blueberry smoothies could turn off inflammation genes. (This is measuring the expression of pro-inflammatory genes in white blood cells taken from individuals before and after six weeks of drinking placebo smoothies with no blueberries.) They got worse over time. Six weeks later, more inflammatory chemicals pouring out, whereas the blueberry group started out about the same at week zero, but six weeks of daily blueberries and, the expression of inflammatory genes went down.

“In addition to attenuating inflammation,” they demonstrate that “blueberry consumption was able to significantly decrease the levels of free radicals” in their bloodstream: no change in the placebo group, but after six weeks of blueberry smoothies, the amount of free radicals in their blood was  extinguished by half. Okay, but does all that antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power actually translate into clinical benefits? For example  what is the effect of blueberry consumption on recovery from excessive weight lifting-induced muscle damage?

A randomized crossover study: a blueberry smoothie or antioxidant-matched placebo smoothie five and 10 hours prior to, and then 12 and 36 hours after, exercise-induced muscle damage. The smoothies were about a cup and a half of frozen strawberries, a banana, and apple juice, or without the berries, but dextrose and vitamin C added to match it for calories and antioxidant power. Even so, the blueberries worked better at mopping up free radicals. Here’s the oxidative stress without the blueberries: it goes up and stays up. But, with the blueberries, it comes right down. Yeah, but what we care about is the recovery of muscle strength, so you can jump right back into training. Same drop in peak torque 12 hours later, but a day later, significantly faster restoration of peak muscle strength, demonstrating that the ingestion of blueberries can accelerate recovery — something that may be especially relevant to athletes who compete over successive days.

That’s all well and good, but what about using berries to treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis?  Yes, they may have protective effects against arthritis in a rat — significantly reducing “paw volume”— how swollen their paw gets when you inject it with some inflammatory irritant. But there had never been any human arthritis berry studies, until now.

Remember that amazing study where strawberries alone could reverse the progression of precancerous lesions? The strawberries were dramatically downregulating pro-inflammatory genes. Give strawberries to diabetics for six weeks, and not only does their diabetes get better, their C-reactive protein levels, a marker of systemic inflammation, drops 18%. Even just a single meal can help. Have people eat a largely unhealthy breakfast, and the level of inflammatory markers goes up over the next six hours, but less so if you added just five large strawberries to the meal.

So, can “strawberries improve pain and inflammation” in confirmed knee osteoarthritis? No fair that the title ruined the suspense, but yes, osteoarthritis patients randomized to get like a pint and a half of strawberries a day for 12 weeks and yeah, certain inflammatory markers plummeted on the strawberries. But did they actually feel any better? Significant reductions in constant pain, intermittent pain, and total pain. The “first clinical study on the effects of…berries” on human arthritis, and found that a “simple dietary intervention, the addition of berries to one’s diet, may have a significant impact on pain, inflammation, and overall quality of life in obese adults with [osteoarthritis].”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Iwona Łach via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

82 responses to “Berries for Inflammation & Osteoarthritis Treatment

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    1. YR, Nice retro song by FS! Yep, we’ve heard this song before … it seems that blueberries are used in almost all these experiments. Although this video did add in an experiment using strawberries.

      Looking at the ancient history of humans, I can envision berries, in general, being a staple food of early humans. They are easy to pick and eat. I read somewhere that our color vision arose because it helped early humans find colorful nutritious food.

    2. In my ugh, decades experience in the ‘natural products’ industry, as soon as any study finds a plant or vitamin/mineral to be good then all sorts of products containing it come out. However; I also find they often take a study that only used oral ingestion, ignore that part, and come out with a topical cream. (or vice-versa, a study that found a topical to be beneficial is sold as a dietary supplement in pill form).

      I can not even count the number of products that have people figuratively pouring gasoline over their engines then wondering why they do not see much benefit.

    3. Your sarcasm is not much appreciated sir. Frank Sinatra is not an expert on health is he? FORKS are the cause of most non-infectious sickness and early death in the US after all.

      Insofar as anthocyanin protects the skin against oxidation, one might assume that it thereby mitigates wrinkling as well.

      My wife had uterine cancer 7 years ago. We became whole-food vegans after I got my hands on Dr. Greger’s book (and half a dozen more.) One delightful side effect was that our skin texture and appearance improved.

      Rose is thriving, so am I. Wipe the haze from your eyes and you can too.

      1. “Frank Sinatra is not an expert on health is he?”
        – – – – –

        What’s Frank Sinatra got to do with the price of turnips in Siberia?

  1. I see a problem for the strength training with Blueberries at 2:45.

    Sure you have recovered more at 36 hours, but the goal of strength training is getting stronger.

    At 60 hours the blueberry group is back to where you started, but the non blueberry group is Stronger than the starting point, and That is the Goal.

    This effect has been seen in other interventions that aim to reduce acute inflammation (like NSAIDS). Less inflammation, faster recovery, but less strength gains when fully recovered.

    1. PeterScott, I guess it’s all a matter of personal priorities. Is a little gain in strength better than the avoidance of a chronic disease caused by inflammation? I’ve always valued my overall health over having big muscles, but that’s just my personal opinion.

      1. WFPB-Hal,
        Don’t conflate acute inflammation with chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is generally beneficial, as in the strength training example. Blueberries aside, taking NSAIDS after strength training, interval training or other vigorous exercise to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness is misguided. This has nothing to do with chronic inflammation.

        1. gengogakusha, I didn’t mean to “conflate” anything. and I didn’t say anything about “chronic inflammation”! I merely reinforced what Dr Greger stated in the video.

          Taken from the transcript:

          “How might berries improve human health, healthy aging, and quality of life? Maybe, due to their anti-inflammatory effects, since inflammation can be an underlying contributing factor in the “development, progression, and complication” of a number of chronic diseases. “

          1. WFPB-Hal, Ok, I get your point. I wouldn’t change my overall WFPB diet neither on the basis of some study regarding exercise recovery. But I also would not go out of my way to try to reduce the acute inflammation associated with repairing muscle damage from exercise.
            Cheers.

    2. The difference wasn’t statistically significant though. Also maybe there’s a recovery effect involved since the blueberry group did a lot more torque than the control group in the previous measurement.

    3. Good point, Peter. I’m wondering the same thing. In fitness training it is well understood that muscles must be worked to fatigue and slight damage in order to build strength. As Peter points out, the research shows NSAIDs taken after a strenuous workout actually inhibit strength building, although muscle soreness is reduced. So maybe I should not be trying to reduce exercise induced inflammation? I don’t think that’s true but I’m learning that inflammation is more complicated than I thought. See this fascinating summary of some current research on inflammation in the May 2019 Harvard Magazine, many points of which followers of NF will already be familiar. https://harvardmagazine.com/2019/05/inflammation-disease-diet What was new for me in this article is how science is revealing that the inflammation process itself activates (releases?) numerous compounds that promote recovery and repair caused by the trauma which triggered the inflammation.

      1. Jeff, your link is pure gold. I shall re-read it two or three times before reading it again six months from now. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    4. PeterScott,
      Right on about the goal of strength training. What people should understand is that acute inflammation is typically beneficial. Note that
      according to Dr. Mirkin, a well known sports medicine doctor, there are studies indicating NSAIDs can delay healing.

      https://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/dont-use-aspirin-or-nsaids-for-muscle-pain-from-exercise.html

      Here’s a partial list of his points:

      “• NSAIDs do not block the muscle burning you feel when you exercise intensely (Med Sci in Sports and Exercise, Aug 1997;29(8):0999-1012). When you exercise intensely, you run low on oxygen which causes lactic acid to accumulate in muscles to cause muscle burning. The only way that you can stop this muscle burning during intense exercise is to slow down to allow lactic acid to be cleared.
      • NSAIDs taken the next day may reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but do not increase the rate of recovery from exercise (J Strength Cond Res, Feb 2003;17(1):53-9).
      • NSAIDs reduce new muscle protein synthesis after intense exercise (Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, Mar 2002;282(3):E551-6), and reduce muscle growth after intense exercise (Sports Med, Dec 1, 2012;42(12):1017-28).
      • Aspirin decreases protein synthesis after exercise (J Biol Chem, April 2007;282(14):10164-71).
      • Taking NSAIDs after injuries delays healing (South African Medical Journal, Jun 6, 1995;85:517-522), and taking NSAIDs for several weeks after a fracture delays the healing of broken bones (J Orthop Trauma, May 1995;9:392-400).”

      1. “Why Fruit is Healthful, Even Though it Contains Sugar
        • Sugar in fruit is far less likely to cause a high rise in blood sugar than sugars added to drinks or foods.
        • Fruits contain soluble and insoluble fiber that binds to the sugar while it is in your intestines, delaying absorption and blunting the rise in blood sugar levels.
        • Fruits help people control weight by making them feel full earlier so they eat less. One apple contains 23 grams of sugar and is more filling than a 16-ounce bottle of cola that has 52 grams of sugar.
        • The sugar in fruits is combined with antioxidants that help to block inflammation that damages cells.
        • Fruits lower high blood pressure and blood sugar levels and reduce oxidative stress in diabetics (Complement Ther Clin Pract, 2013 May;19(2):97-100 and JAMA, May 19, 2015; 313(19)). On the other hand, sugar added to foods is associated with increased risk for high blood pressure (Open Heart, Jan, 2014;1(1)).” Gabe Mirkin MD

        http://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/fruits-are-healthful-despite-sugar-content.html

  2. I would like to see studies on populations consuming wfpb or mediterranean diets when looking at the effects of particular food items. (instead of insanely cruel testing of innocent critters) So far I have found no difference in trying out many of the food interventions featured on NF. I don’t see this as a negative, (disappointing at times though!) since I believe it is because I am already reaping the max benefit eating a wfpb diet. So, as a people consuming wfpb, what (more) can we eat/do to lessen arthritic pain, build muscle, lower cholesterol, improve exercise/surgical recovery etc. These types of questions are what I find interesting.

    1. Barb,

      You might be right about the fact that you are starting WFPB you might not experience as much.

      I got healed of social anxiety with broccoli sprouts and PEMF and the effect is still continuing a few months later, but I will say that I don’t notice a “broccoli sprout extra bump” now when I use it.

      Social anxiety to no social anxiety was such a huge difference.

      Now, it is so subtle that I think I would only notice a difference if I stopped using it.

      I can use the example of Luminosity for my brain. It felt useful for a while, then, it felt like playing video games, so I stopped, but when I went back and tried the games again, I am nowhere near the scores or levels I had gotten to by daily use. I dropped 3 levels on everything.

      In some ways, it is like the frog in the pot doesn’t notice the water getting warmer but in this case, we aren’t noticing the symbolic water affecting our free radicals or interleukin 6 or heat shock proteins or turning our genes on and off. (Mic the Vegan had a second interview with Dr. Ornish and it was more about the effect of diet on genes. Worth it.)

      1. Hey Deb, thank you for your comments, and for the suggestion to watch Mic and Dr Ornish. Here is the link in case others want to watch https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O0pSFZ2EPyA Really interesting stuff. And I watched a video that you might find interesting Deb. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chr3rQ6Vpcw&app=desktop This Max Cynader is a reknowned expert in brain research. What I found particularly interesting was his two suggestions to improve our brains in the latter half of the video.

    2. Hi Barb,

      I like some of the other benefits of plant based whole food eating: more sustainable (uses far fewer resources — land, water, fossil fuels — and contributes far less to climate catastrophe); less environmentally degrading (less waste produced, less biocides released into the environment, etc); less cruelty to animals and workers in the meat industry; contributes less to antibiotic resistance.

      Wow!! I feel better already!

      But I also share your interests. I think some of my issues stem from having come late to this way of eating (though I’ve been vegetarian for almost 50 years, it wasn’t always whole food or healthy), and some are just due to aging. Also, although risk of diseases or lifestyle conditions decrease with PBWF eating, they don’t go to zero. Sadly.

      1. Dr J, you have summed up the situation perfectly. For all the reasons you state, and more, going wfpb was the best decision I have made. In past decades I could have done better too, though I am thankful for the good health and fitness I enjoy today. Some issues have arisen, whether due to aging, nutrition, or genes, I do not know. At the same time, others seem to be resolving. ( BP was 103/63 this morning, and has been for the last couple of weeks when I stopped to measure it!

    3. Barb, I’ve been wanting to see the same thing. Studies on WFPB subjects. For example: salt raises bp on SAD subjects but does it do so for WFPB. But we’re never going to see such a thing because there aren’t enough WFPB eaters in the US to fill up a bus. With regards to your other point, I think a lot of these studies are majoring in minor details as Dr. McDougall would say. Once you get the 99% correct, that is; a WFPB diet, then the details don’t really matter.

      1. Blair,

        I think if you are trying to reverse diseases, you want to know which things work and at that point, I don’t think it is majoring on the minors.

        I had been aiming Whole Food Plant Based vegan for almost a year and a half, but it was coming to understand broccoli sprouts, which helped me with social anxiety. I had sleep problems for over a decade and Whole Food Plant Based didn’t help at all, until I started to understand that I could eat a few pistachios or 2 kiwi before bedtime. I have brain and vision problems which I am now working on food with lutein and the year plus of Whole Food Plant Based didn’t improve most of it. 1 liter per day of Silica water did get rid of hallucinations.

        I think people who have real things wrong need and want very specific information.

        This weekend, I watched a whole bunch of people who went vegan and ended up with high triglycerides and had to figure out what in their diets was causing it. They made some small changes and brought it down to normal, but their “high triglycerides diet” would have still been considered Whole Food Plant Based.

        I feel like people who don’t have health conditions don’t understand that part.

        1. I think about all of the videos I have watched of people leaving “veganism” and it is usually, “I ate a ton of spinach and I got kidney stones and ended up with kidney problems” or went raw and ended up with sibo. People are going off soy and off gluten and off nightshades and off lectins and are afraid of grains, so they don’t know what to eat. There are things like Whole Food Plant Based community members losing their teeth enamel from too much citrus or losing teeth from too many dates.

          I am a year and a half into this process and I feel like I would never have gotten the results I have gotten without all the information.

          And, honestly, even with all of the information, I am just starting to get the results I wanted and that is because I am re-watching the videos and getting the foods and doses right.

          1. Speaking of which, I am trying to remember which video topic had the improvement in reaction time.

            I had 3 relatives fall and get injured at varying levels today.

            One broke her arm. The other two just got bruised up.

            I can remember the study, but I am not sure whether it was blueberries, lutein, etc.

        2. Deb,
          What was in the WFPB diet causing the high triglycerides in that video? I would appreciate knowing the tweaks they made. Thanks

          1. Jean, if the video you were referring to was “Berries for Inflammation and Osteoarthritis,” I was not able to find any reference to high triglycerides despite reviewing the transcript and the video (?) We do know that triglycerides are increased by many animal foods but there some plant foods on a WFPB diet that can contribute to higher triglycerides. If you want to keep yours low (which relates to the question you posed about what “tweaks could be made you would want to minimize your starchy vegetable intake limit dried fruits to ¼ cup per day and limit your portion sizes of starchy vegetables to ½ cup. These include mashed potatoes, yams, beans, corn, and peas. Limit baked potatoes (with skin) to about 3 ounces.
            (again all good foods, but they can raise triglycerides) Other helps are reviewed in this NFO topic review: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/triglycerides/‘ Hope that helps with any “tweaking” you might want to do!

      2. Blair, I agree about the insufficient numbers to get studies done, but I think our ‘bus’ is gaining momentum, and gathering data along the way, even if it isn’t in a study setting. The programs of Drs McDougall, Ornish, Pritikin, Esselstyn, and many others are record keeping as they go. The increasing popularity of sites like this one, books and films featuring wfpb ideals is indeed encouraging. In the meantime, I sure wouldn’t mind participating in an online study if Dr Greger decided to design one. Would be interesting to find out ‘who we are’ and what intetests we share.

        About Dr McDougall saying the studies are majoring in minor details… I agree, but I haven’t always seen it that way. When I started out, I had a couple of goals, and a couple of issues with a ‘see what happens’ sign on them. I plunged in, did everything correctly, and noticed the changes. But Blair, it has taken a long time for me to fully realise what kind of a stable foundation wfpb eating really gives us, and how it strengthens as time goes by. Now I don’t eat with a goal in mind, I just eat wfpb, and it all works out.

        1. Barb,

          I feel like it really does take more understanding than just going WFPB, particularly at the outset.

          For instance, I found all sorts of people who went too low fat, too quickly and they got gallstones.

          It is embarrassing to find out that WFPB people can get gallstones from losing weight too quickly and going too low fat too quickly. It is another one of those things where I ended up learning from the Keto community. Knowing that people who have always been WFPB don’t tend to have the same problems, but I am in the risk range because of my age and would have had blood sugar issues, etc.

          I have found topic after topic like that where even if WFPB has a gallbladder problem benefit over eating animal products, doing it wrong can cause problems.

          WebMD turned out to a good source for information for that for me, but Dr. Berg also helped. He didn’t just limit it to the low-fat risk factors, he also covered the high-fat risk factors and helped me to understand it a little better from both sides.

          1. Deb, excellent point about the gallstones. How could I forget? I used to do veggie fasting for 6 weeks every spring, (in the decades prior to wfpb) and 1 year had 3 gall bladder attacks within 2 weeks. I still have my gallbladder, and subsequent trials of low/no fat wfpb caused no problems, People can inadvertently eat a tsp of tumeric daily too thinking that was a wise thing to do, only to end up having gall bladder surgery. Generally speaking though, a person who eats the Daily Dozen is doing a good thing for themselves. And my point is, I am just discovering NOW, years into this, the good this way of eating is doing for me…. not from 1 particular food, but from setting the table day after day consistently with whole plant foods.

            1. Yes, I agree with the consistency.

              Though, I didn’t have breakthroughs until I learned enough.

              And you are right, I would be taking too many blood thinners – like aspirin, and turmeric, etc and last year I had so many people die from simple falls just because they were on blood thinners.

              Today, I had 3 relatives fall and not one of them is dying from it. Last year, so many of them died and these falls today were hit their head types, same as the ones from last year. It is just that none of them were on blood thinners.

              Before last year, the concept of someone dying of a nose bleed or a simple fall never crossed my mind.

          2. Berg is a chiropractor not an MD. I watched a number of his videos some years ago – they contained a lot of absolute nonsense. He advocates ‘healthy ketosis’ and has ridiculous beliefs about cholesterol for a couple of things.

            He’s a personable internet marketer, sure, and articulate. He can also sell you a pile of expensive formulas and treatments for whatever ails you.

            Whatever else he is though, a reliable source of information on health and nutrition issues he isn’t.
            https://www.casewatch.net/board/chiro/berg.shtml
            https://drericbergscam.blogspot.com/2016/08/dr-eric-berg-scammer-read-this-before.html

    4. Barb,
      >>>(instead of insanely cruel testing of innocent critters)
      You got that right – cruel and really quite pointless.

  3. Hello,

    During Dr. Greger’s last Live Q&A video, he invited me to let him know if I found articles on recovering from a traumatic brain injury with diet/nutrition on PubMed.gov. I looked and found several such articles on the website. I apologise if this is not the correct place to leave this comment!

    1. Hi Claire,

      This would be the right place.

      Did you find anything good on PubMed?

      Just glancing, I see this review suggesting high doses ALA/Omega 3s, D3, progesterone to help the D3, K2, Magnesium, Glutamine, Zinc, Melatonin (2 pistachios to a handful – see Melatonin video)

      Hyperbaric Oxygen

      The PEMF I use, Micropulse ICES has a traumatic brain injury study. It is a PEMF so it isn’t a medical device, it is an experimental device, but they also even better have a device I use called “Brain Gauge” where you can test which parts of the brain are broken. The tests are annoying but useful. Bob Dennis is the man who is involved with inventing both of the devices and he is so hands on that you can email him every question you have about the devices for the rest of your life and as long as he is alive, he answers every single question. He is very helpful. The device is excellent for bringing down inflammation and increasing circulation and for healing pain and preventing bone loss and re-growing cartilage and I use it for sleep and for a low-level much safer version of TMS – for things like anxiety and that would be good for depression, too. Right now, I have started using it on my parietal lobe, based on a study at Dr. Pawluk’s site where elderly people had improvements to their memory to the point where they tested at the levels of much younger people. I have the C5 and M1, but there is a slightly cheaper one, which is programmed for brain injury, based on that study. I recommend springing for the more expensive ones and being able to use it for everything because Bob said that the study wasn’t done using the ideal setting, but they chose a setting. There is a concept called habituation and being able to use different settings makes the process more effective. Anyway, Bob would help you with everything and he is the one who is the least promoting of his devices. He is the anti-marketing, doesn’t want to overstate what the product can be used for type of guy, who mentions occasionally things like that he has had 5 people heal their cancer and that there are people who have healed their hip cartilage, etc.

  4. A pint and a half of berries per day? (4:13) That’s not a common amount to eat, and what about the sugar content of that much? Maybe I misunderstood, but that’s A LOT.

    1. Seems to me in the last blueberry video, Dr. G. said people should eat 1/2 cup a day. I’ve been doing the 1/4 cup (frozen) on hot whole grains for eons now, and that’s plenty enuf for me.

      1. Sure but he didn’t just pluck that figure outb of thin air ……….

        ‘.. If we eat a bowl of corn flakes with no berries, within two hours, so many free radicals are created it puts us into oxidative debt. The antioxidant power of our bloodstream drops below where we started from before breakfast as the antioxidants in our bodies get used up. And a quarter cup of blueberries didn’t seem to help much. But a half cup of blueberries did.’
        .https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-how-much-fruit-is-too-much/

        Still, you pronanly don’t eat sugary nreakfast cereals so that study may not be relevant to you…

          1. As you so deservedly fit your name (Fumbles), one has a tendency to just skim over your little boo-boos. Hadn’t even noticed this one, myself.

            I haven’t eaten what we used to call “cold” breakfast cereals since I was a kid. And that’s back in the days when we added our own sugar. Pep, Wheaties, Corn Flakes, Shredded Wheat, Grape Nuts, Cheerios, etc. I’d add a tiny bit of brown sugar, never white sugar.

    2. Here are the results of fruit and sugar studies:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-fruit-is-too-much/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/if-fructose-is-bad-what-about-fruit/

      The researchers chose the amounts for these studies based on their understanding.

      I can use broccoli sprouts as an example. I was eating a little bit of it regularly, but I didn’t have social anxiety go away until I upped my intake according to the amounts they suggested.

      If you already eat some berries and haven’t seen the results, you might need to actually do the study.

  5. I’ve been avoiding nightshades for many years now, only eating very occasionally, because of the the pain and inflammation I experience in my knee (causing me to limp) after eating them. Recently, for 3 days in a row, I ate nightshades and felt no side effects for the 1st time in about 8 years. For a couple of years, I have been eating blueberries & strawberries in my oatmeal virtually every day. I wonder if there is a connection or not? Maybe it’s just a coincidence. I will have to do some experimentation.

    1. I don’t know what experimentation you plan to do but for every positive there is a negative. I have been eating strawberries raspberries and blueberries for years and it has done nothing to diminish the terrible pain in my knees.

      1. Lida, have you identified your food allergens? Do you stay away from them? I am allergic to wheat, yeast, milk products, etc. When I eliminated them from my diet, a whole range of symptoms disappeared: pain in my knees, sweating of my feet, plantar fascitis, thinning of the hair on my head. Believe it or not, my flat feet went away, too. I know this is related to my consumption of wheat because when I eat wheat, a common symptom is a terribly painful Charlie Horse in my hamstring. How odd, that wheat can affect the firing of my muscles, tendons, and ligaments. But, it is clear to me that it does.

        1. JohnG,
          I think I would need to determine that with actual allergy tests since I am helpless trying to figure it out on my own. It’s a good idea for me to pursue.
          Thanks for suggesting the connection.

          1. Lida, my wife, children, and I each had our allergies determined via Biomeridian Stress Assessment. I confirmed my results — that I am allergic to wheat, dairy, carrots, coffee, etc. — by abstaining from the identified allergens for four days, then eating a small portion of them on an empty stomach the following morning. I was shocked that my ‘withdrawal testing’ confirmed all allergies that I tested. Some may say, ‘placebo effect,’ ‘psychsomatic,’ etc. That was 10 years ago, and I consistently see symptoms (now reduced as my body has greatly healed) when I eat allergenic-for-me foods. I most highly recommend Biomeridian Stress Assessment, based on my and my family’s results and now perfect health from avoiding our food allergens and eating whole foods (mostly fruits and vegetables for me).

          1. YR, I eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables: six bananas, two oranges, and one apple for breakfast; a huge salad (1/4 head of red cabbage, 1/4 head of green cabbage, one large tomato, 1/2 cucumber, juice from two limes, 1/2 cup of homemade broccoli and mung bean sprouts) for lunch; and a cooked vegetarian meal for dinner: lentil chili or rice pasta with marinara are my favorites. I use fat very sparingly. I could not be in better health: I am at my high school/college weight of 165 (I am 5’ 11”), and am strong as I have ever been with just modest exercise. My diet (except for dinner) follows the 80/10/10 diet of Dr. Graham.

            1. John G,
              Curious – about how many calories do you consume, do you know? You seem to eat little in the way of starchy carbs. I don’t think I could exist on that – my BMI would drop too low. Different metabolisms, perhaps.

              1. gengko-, I do not count calories. I snack on some starches daily — tortilla chips, popcorn, rolled oats. But, the lion’s share of my calories come from fruit, mostly fresh, with dates in there, too.

                I think the key to my good health is staying away from allergens and animal products and eating a huge, multicolored salad. Fruit is easier to digest than starches, it seems to me: my bowel movements are large, soft, and faster than my urinations!

                1. John G, Recently I decided I cannot eat a great deal of intact whole grains – too much insoluble fiber. I rely mostly on sweet potato or kasha (not that much fiber) and rice these days for starchy carbs. But I have been adding more fruit and agree it is very easy to digest.

                  1. Gengo, and are your “bowel movements….large, soft, and faster than….urinations”?

                    (Sorry, John…I couldn’t resist. *_^)

      2. I have been doing a lot more for my knee before starting my daily berry intake that got rid of the pain, like specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around my knee. But now, the only time it hurts is after eating nightshades. I don’t imagine that if all I did for my knee was eat berries, it would have had much of an affect.

        So, if you’re not already, maybe you should give knee specific exercises a try. It worked for my Mom’s knee pain too and she’s almost 80. No pharmaceuticals for either of us.

        BTW, my pain started around 1989, when I was 18. It was so bad, I couldn’t stand up after squatting. With diet and exercise, I was able to get my knee functioning again. Now I can do full squats…with weights…with no problem.

        Good luck with your knee problems.

    2. I bet there is a connection, Enaj. I bet your body has been healing from eating berries daily, and other things you are probably doing. I have noticed the same thing with me, that since I have eliminated my specific allergens — wheat, milk products, eggplant, etc. — that when I occasionally partake, my allergic response is greatly reduced (my taking five grams of vitamin C with a bit of baking soda helps, too, I think).

      1. Thanks for the positive reply, John. It’s always nice to know there’s somebody else with a similar experience.

        I didn’t mention earlier about the arthritis in both thumbs. I wasn’t even able to turn my dead bolt before I stopped eating nightshades. If the berries are helping, it would be nice to eat my favorite dishes, aloo gobi and Szechuan eggplant, once in a while.

        Maybe I’ll try adding baking soda to my vit c as well.

        1. Hmmm, I have surgery this summer being scheduled for my thumbs.. I have been taking ginger and turmeric everyday enaj in hopes of helping the thumb situation.

  6. Dr. Greger, could you do a video on the phytonutrient/antioxidant content of different alcohols? Obviously alcohol isn’t healthy but for social drinking it’d be helpful to be able to pick the least unhealthy option.

  7. That “placebo” smoothie seems more like a noscebo, significantly increasing expression of inflammatory markers. Ingredients: yogurt and skim-milk.

    1. yes it does! While organic is certainly better than nonorganic, the benefits of consuming berries far outweigh any risks of pesticide consumption so it is important to ensure you are consuming your berries from whichever source is available to you. Dr. Greger has discussed this topic previously. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-the-benefits-of-organic-food-underrated-or-overrated/

      I hope this helps,
      Matt, Health Support

  8. HELP!!! S.O.S!!!

    My brother is battling brain cancer caused from his genetic condition called neurofibromatosis. His cancer has spread all throughout his spine and is aggressively eating away at him. He is not a healthy eater in the slightest. He has splitting headaches and lives in constant pain. What are the main foods that we can force feed him that will drastically reduce his chances of dying in the next 6 months and reverse the degenerative process.

    1. I understand that there are at least 3 different types of neurofibromatosis, so you need to be guided by your treating specialist on the best approach to manage your brother’s specific type of neurofibromatosis.

      In the meantime, you may find it helpful to read these articles by Harvard Health and WebMD on foods that fight pain. As well as fighting pain, they are also foods that will deliver better nutrition (compared to eating common SAD foods) which can only be of benefit to your brother’s overall health:

      https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/can-diet-heal-chronic-pain
      https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/ss/slideshow-foods-fight-pain

    2. Hi, ryanoftetrarch
      I’m sorry to hear that your brother is battling cancer. With a disease as complex as neurofibromatosis, his doctor is really the best source for any health advice. We do also have videos on the topic of cancer here on the site, which you can check out here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cancer/. Best of luck!

  9. If the anthocyanins, due to their anti-inflammatory effects, is probabliy de cause of the improvement,
    whould the açai the effects?

  10. “Optimize antioxidants. A regimen consisting of an antioxidant-rich diet plus supplements may help improve cognitive functioning and appears to be part of a safe, natural treatment for Alzheimer’s. Add more antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and blackberries. Eat one Brazil nut daily for selenium. Supplement with 400 mg vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols), 500-1,000 mg vitamin C, and 200 mg alpha lipoic acid.”
    – – – – –

    From: https://www.nola.com/healthy-eating/2016/12/11_changes_you_can_do_right_no.html

    Yet another shout-out for the blues. But, yikes, they say “Eat one Brazil nut daily for selenium.” That advice conflicts with Dr. G’s…..who (I think) says no more than one Brazil nut a month. :-/ (I’d rather err on the side of caution.)

    1. Actually the highest antioxidant fruit is an Indian gooseberry, which is an exotic berry. It is also known as Amla. Many comparative studies have been performed, such as the one linked below, but berries tend to come out on top. We should note that all fruit is beneficial though, so if you don’t like certain berries, the best one will be whichever you will actually eat.

      I hope this helps,
      Matt, Health Support.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3782762/

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