Best Food to Counter the Effects of Air Pollution

Best Food to Counter the Effects of Air Pollution
4.56 (91.24%) 89 votes

There is a food that offers the best of both worlds—significantly improving our ability to detox carcinogens, like diesel fumes, and decreasing inflammation in our airways, all the while improving our respiratory defenses against infections.

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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.

Outdoor air pollution may be the ninth leading cause of death and disability in the world, responsible for millions of deaths from lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infection. In the U.S., living in a polluted city was associated with a 16, 27, and 28% increase in total, cardiovascular, and lung cancer death, compared to living in a city with cleaner air. Living in a city with polluted air may lead [to] up to a 75% increase in the risk of a heart attack. No one wants to be living in a traffic jam, but it’s better than dying in a traffic jam.

“In addition to causing deaths, air pollution is also the cause of a number of…health problems.” It may not only exacerbate asthma, but increase the risk of developing asthma in the first place. These pollutants may trigger liver disease, even increase the “risk of diabetes.” “[E]ven when atmospheric pollutants are within legally established limits, they can be harmful to health.” So, what can we do about it?

Paper after paper describing all the terrible things air pollution can do to us, but most failed to mention public policy. We’re making “great strides in demonstrating the harmful effects, [but] public authorities are not using these data to” reduce emissions, as they might inconvenience the population, “and, therefore, might not be politically acceptable.”

To treat the cause, we need better “vehicle inspections, efficient public transport,…bus lanes, bicycle lane[s], [even] urban tolls”—to help clean up the air. While we’re waiting for all that, is there anything we can do to protect ourselves?

Well, our body naturally has detoxifying enzymes, not only in our liver, but lining our airways. Studies showing that people born with less effective detox enzymes have an exaggerated allergic response to diesel exhaust, suggesting that these enzymes actively combat the inflammation caused by pollutants in the air. A significant part of the population has these substandard forms of the enzyme, but either way, what can we do to boost the activity of whichever detoxification enzymes we do have?

Well, if you remember, broccoli can dramatically boost the activity of the detox enzymes in our liver. But, what about our lungs? Researchers fed some smokers a large stalk of broccoli every day for ten days to see if it would affect the level of inflammation within their bodies. Why smokers? Because smoking is so inflammatory that you can end up with elevated C-reactive protein levels for “up to 30 years…after quitting,” and that inflammation can start almost immediately after we start smoking. So, it’s critical to never start in the first place.

But, if you do, you can cut your level of that inflammation biomarker CRP nearly in half, after just ten days eating a lot of broccoli. Appears to cut inflammation in nonsmokers as well—maybe explaining, in part, why eating more than two cups of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, or other cruciferous veggies a day is associated with 20% reduced risk of dying, compared to eating a third [of] a cup a day, or less.

So, what about air pollution? We know the cruciferous compound is “the most potent known inducer” of our detox enzymes; and so, most of the research has been on its ability to fight cancer. But, here, for the first time, they tried to see if it could combat “the proinflammatory impact of…pollutants such as diesel exhaust.” They took some human lung lining cells in a petri dish, and this is how many detox enzymes are produced. Drip on some broccoli goodness, and you can get this many. Yeah, but we don’t inhale broccoli; we don’t snort it; we eat it. Can it still get into our lungs and help? Yes, two days of broccoli-sprout consumption, then you suck some cells out of their nose, and up to 100 times more detox enzyme expression, compared to eating a non-cruciferous vegetable (alfalfa sprouts). Now, all we have to do is squirt some diesel exhaust up their nose, which is what some UCLA researchers did—an amount equal to daily rush-hour exposure on the Los Angeles freeway. Within six hours, the number of inflammatory cells in their nose shot up, and continued to rise. But, in the group that had been getting a “broccoli sprout extract,” the inflammation went down, and stayed down. 

Since the dose in these studies is equivalent to the consumption of one or two cups of broccoli, their “study demonstrates the potential preventive and therapeutic potential of broccoli.”

But, if broccoli is so powerful at suppressing this inflammatory immune response, might it interfere with normal immune function? After all, the battle with viruses, like influenza, can happen in the nose. Let’s drip some flu viruses into the nostrils of broccoli-sprout eaters, and find out. And, what you get is the best of both worlds—less inflammation, yet an improved immune response. Eat alfalfa sprouts, and you can get this kind of viral spike in your nose. But, after eating a package of broccoli sprouts every day, our body is able to keep the virus in check, potentially offering “a safe, low-cost strategy for reducing influenza risk” among high risk populations. So, better immune function, yet less inflammation, potentially “reducing the impact of…pollution on allergic disease and asthma”—at least for “an enthusiastic broccoli consumer.”

But, what about cancer, detoxifying air pollutants throughout the rest of our body? We didn’t know, until now. Off to China, where they have some of the worst air pollution in the world. And, by day one, those getting the broccoli sprouts were able to get rid of 60% more benzene from their bodies, a “rapid…highly durable elevation [in] the detoxification of…a known human carcinogen.” Now, this was using broccoli sprouts, which are highly concentrated—equivalent to about five cups of broccoli a day. So, we don’t know how well more modest doses would work. But, if they do, eating broccoli could provide “a frugal means to attenuate [the] long-term health risks” of air pollution.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: pixakame via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video credit: Tyler McReynolds, Teetotalin LLC.

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.

Outdoor air pollution may be the ninth leading cause of death and disability in the world, responsible for millions of deaths from lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infection. In the U.S., living in a polluted city was associated with a 16, 27, and 28% increase in total, cardiovascular, and lung cancer death, compared to living in a city with cleaner air. Living in a city with polluted air may lead [to] up to a 75% increase in the risk of a heart attack. No one wants to be living in a traffic jam, but it’s better than dying in a traffic jam.

“In addition to causing deaths, air pollution is also the cause of a number of…health problems.” It may not only exacerbate asthma, but increase the risk of developing asthma in the first place. These pollutants may trigger liver disease, even increase the “risk of diabetes.” “[E]ven when atmospheric pollutants are within legally established limits, they can be harmful to health.” So, what can we do about it?

Paper after paper describing all the terrible things air pollution can do to us, but most failed to mention public policy. We’re making “great strides in demonstrating the harmful effects, [but] public authorities are not using these data to” reduce emissions, as they might inconvenience the population, “and, therefore, might not be politically acceptable.”

To treat the cause, we need better “vehicle inspections, efficient public transport,…bus lanes, bicycle lane[s], [even] urban tolls”—to help clean up the air. While we’re waiting for all that, is there anything we can do to protect ourselves?

Well, our body naturally has detoxifying enzymes, not only in our liver, but lining our airways. Studies showing that people born with less effective detox enzymes have an exaggerated allergic response to diesel exhaust, suggesting that these enzymes actively combat the inflammation caused by pollutants in the air. A significant part of the population has these substandard forms of the enzyme, but either way, what can we do to boost the activity of whichever detoxification enzymes we do have?

Well, if you remember, broccoli can dramatically boost the activity of the detox enzymes in our liver. But, what about our lungs? Researchers fed some smokers a large stalk of broccoli every day for ten days to see if it would affect the level of inflammation within their bodies. Why smokers? Because smoking is so inflammatory that you can end up with elevated C-reactive protein levels for “up to 30 years…after quitting,” and that inflammation can start almost immediately after we start smoking. So, it’s critical to never start in the first place.

But, if you do, you can cut your level of that inflammation biomarker CRP nearly in half, after just ten days eating a lot of broccoli. Appears to cut inflammation in nonsmokers as well—maybe explaining, in part, why eating more than two cups of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, or other cruciferous veggies a day is associated with 20% reduced risk of dying, compared to eating a third [of] a cup a day, or less.

So, what about air pollution? We know the cruciferous compound is “the most potent known inducer” of our detox enzymes; and so, most of the research has been on its ability to fight cancer. But, here, for the first time, they tried to see if it could combat “the proinflammatory impact of…pollutants such as diesel exhaust.” They took some human lung lining cells in a petri dish, and this is how many detox enzymes are produced. Drip on some broccoli goodness, and you can get this many. Yeah, but we don’t inhale broccoli; we don’t snort it; we eat it. Can it still get into our lungs and help? Yes, two days of broccoli-sprout consumption, then you suck some cells out of their nose, and up to 100 times more detox enzyme expression, compared to eating a non-cruciferous vegetable (alfalfa sprouts). Now, all we have to do is squirt some diesel exhaust up their nose, which is what some UCLA researchers did—an amount equal to daily rush-hour exposure on the Los Angeles freeway. Within six hours, the number of inflammatory cells in their nose shot up, and continued to rise. But, in the group that had been getting a “broccoli sprout extract,” the inflammation went down, and stayed down. 

Since the dose in these studies is equivalent to the consumption of one or two cups of broccoli, their “study demonstrates the potential preventive and therapeutic potential of broccoli.”

But, if broccoli is so powerful at suppressing this inflammatory immune response, might it interfere with normal immune function? After all, the battle with viruses, like influenza, can happen in the nose. Let’s drip some flu viruses into the nostrils of broccoli-sprout eaters, and find out. And, what you get is the best of both worlds—less inflammation, yet an improved immune response. Eat alfalfa sprouts, and you can get this kind of viral spike in your nose. But, after eating a package of broccoli sprouts every day, our body is able to keep the virus in check, potentially offering “a safe, low-cost strategy for reducing influenza risk” among high risk populations. So, better immune function, yet less inflammation, potentially “reducing the impact of…pollution on allergic disease and asthma”—at least for “an enthusiastic broccoli consumer.”

But, what about cancer, detoxifying air pollutants throughout the rest of our body? We didn’t know, until now. Off to China, where they have some of the worst air pollution in the world. And, by day one, those getting the broccoli sprouts were able to get rid of 60% more benzene from their bodies, a “rapid…highly durable elevation [in] the detoxification of…a known human carcinogen.” Now, this was using broccoli sprouts, which are highly concentrated—equivalent to about five cups of broccoli a day. So, we don’t know how well more modest doses would work. But, if they do, eating broccoli could provide “a frugal means to attenuate [the] long-term health risks” of air pollution.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: pixakame via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video credit: Tyler McReynolds, Teetotalin LLC.

Doctor's Note

I love this video! I’ve been reading about the terrible effects of air pollution for a long time, but finally, there’s at least something we can do that doesn’t involve having to uproot your family and move out to the countryside.

Prolonged Liver Function Enhancement from Broccoli is the previous video I referred to.

More cruciferocity here:

But, there’s a secret to maximizing the benefits. See Second Strategy to Cooking Broccoli.

What about broccoli sprout pills? see Broccoli: Sprouts vs. Supplements.

Speaking of respiratory inflammation, what about dietary approaches to asthma? See:

There are sources of indoor pollution too. See Throw Household Products off the Scent.

There’s one way what we eat can directly impact air pollution, beyond just personal protection. Check out Diet & Climate Change: Cooking Up a Storm.

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

77 responses to “Best Food to Counter the Effects of Air Pollution

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    1. Broccoli sprouts contain 25 times the amount of sulforaphane (what seems to be the most active nutrient in cruciferous vegetables) as regular broccoli and they taste great on salads. You can buy them pre-sprouted in the store, but they are pretty expensive and it takes almost no effort to just sprout them at home. I get a pound of broccoli seeds at a time from Amazon for about $16.50 and which lasts us about 6 months or more (and we eat sprouts just about every day). Use a ball jar with a sprouting lid or a specialized sprouter. Soak overnight and then rinse twice a day and in 4-5 days you have all the broccoli sprouts you could ask for. I particularly like this sprouter since you it has 4 trays and if you start a new tray every day or every other day, you will always have fresh sprouts finishing up every day just in time to eat them.

      In addition to the health effects noted in this video, sulforaphane has powerful tumor suppression effects. And as a male of a certain age, I also appreciate the fact that it is also effective at shrinking enlarged prostates with the result I no longer need to get up in the middle of the night.

      Dr. Greger created a 13 video series on the health effects of cruciferous vegetables starting with this video




      32
      1. Remarkably, there’s more of the sulforaphane precursor glucoraphanin in the seeds than the resultant sprouts, ie the total amount declines during sprouting.

        As I freshly grind flax seed for morning smoothies, I’ve also tried adding a tsp of broccoli seeds, both blended to seed meal before adding liquids. There’s still the required enzymatic reaction of myrosinase with the glucoraphanin to produce sulforaphane, so I add liquids, then brew and drink my morning coffee before adding the other ingredients like berries, greens and ice. Sulforaphane has a distinctive sharp/bitter taste, like related AITC from mustard seed, so this only is palatable when the other flavors are fairly overpowering.




        8
        1. I did that too for a while, but then got concerned that consuming the seeds was not de-activating the epithiospecifer protein that tends to direct the glucoraphanin towards nitrile production rather than sulphoraphane. So now I sprout the seeds, briefly steam the sprouts, and then whizz them with diakon sprouts or mustard that provides the myrosinase.




          3
          1. Or for a spark of myrosinase, you could just eat the lightly cooked sprouts along with a couple of raw red radishes, some raw watercress or spicy mustard, horseradish or wasabi. It doesn’t take much to provide the enzyme, says Dr. Elisabeth Jeffery–just 1/2 teaspoon of those condiments, she told us at the American Institute of Cancer Research’s 2013 annual research conference.




            1
          1. Speaking of Dr. Rhonda Patrick (Phd), she did a post on increasing bio availability by 3.5x of sulphophane by soaking the sprouts in hot water. I would love to hear what others smarter than me think. The is an image of the study she references.

            https://youtu.be/Z7buU-PK7_I




            2
        1. Not uncommon. In some laboratory/commercial sprout production, the seeds are washed with a bleach solution (and well rinsed) before sprouting.




          0
        2. I once threw out a quart jar full of broccoli sprouts, thinking they were moldy, but later realized that what I had thought was mold was simply little white root hairs. So, check carefully before tossing sprouts.




          2
        3. It could be root hairs, as suggested by Rebecca Cody, below, and which are harmless. If it is mold though, the most common mistake people make when sprouting is leaving a little water in the bottom of the container. Make sure to completely drain the sprouts (leave jar upside down on an angle for at least 2 minutes).




          1
    2. great information, I was recently watching your videos on antioxidants and you brought up the power of red kidney beans and wondered if you would be able to give any information as to how adzuki beans match up with red kidney beans when it comes to antioxidant levels?




      0
  1. Would this broccoli also detox the second-hand vapor that some of us are unknowingly breathing
    in due to E-cigarette (electronic cigarettes)? People are using these electronic devices to smoke
    synthetic opiates, heroin, meth, pot, and who knows what else, and they can simply just say
    “it’s nicotine inside, that’s it” since they are able to manufacture these drugs and devices to only emit
    nice smelling second-hand vapor. What about all us innocent people now breathing in the vapor
    they exhale after each puff of their electronic device? Will broccoli save us from that?




    7
    1. No offense, but even if you were sitting right next to someone vaping, it isn’t smoke, it is just exhaled vapor, and their lungs would have gotten the hit, not yours. I quit smoking using an e-cig so I know quite a bit about them, and I really think there are bigger issues in daily life than an occasional momentary exposure to non particulate VAPOR from vegetable glycerin, which is the primary liquid, and not a carrier for the drugs you mentioned, except nicotine. Apparatus do exist for the purpose, but they are not e-cigs by a long shot, and the likelihood you would ever come in contact with them in a public place is practically nil. Concern yourself with the important and doable things like eating well and avoiding bad habits, like unnecessary worry.




      17
      1. True, that’s like saying “if you don’t like me spraying tear gas in your home/work place/etc. why don’t you just get up and leave?” I mean, come on… It would be nice if humans evolved to start realizing we’re all connected and instead of only thinking about our immediate selves, think about how our actions effect others.




        1
  2. Whenever I eat broccoli or any other cruciferous vegetable, raw or cooked, within minutes I experience severe hot sweats that last about 24 hours. Apart from avoiding these wonder foods, and trying to introduce them very slowly (which I’ve tried multiple times) and ideas?




    0
        1. Sorry for the long delay in getting back but I’ve had related health issues that have been very time consuming. So, yes I tested all the cruciferous sprouts but disappointingly they all produce the same awful hot sweats.




          0
    1. Reg, could be a detox effect, it might not necessarily be a bad thing. Maybe get an allergy test to be on the safe side though? I’m not a doctor, but I would probably make sure it isn’t an allergy and then see how you do after a month or so eating a naturally detoxifying diet. You might find the symptoms go away.




      0
      1. Thank you, but I’ve been a Nutritarian since its inception so my body is detoxing each and every day, but these hot sweats have been occurring for 1.5 years whenever I consume brassicas. I’ve had allergy and sensitivity tests but all normal. Any other ideas?




        0
        1. Zany, have you tried home fermented broccoli? Have you tried a little with radish? My favorite for this powerhouse combination is hot Chinese mustard. It has both mustard and horseradish, 2 of the cruciferous vegetable health adjuncts. If still a problem with long term fermented (at least 3 months) with adjunct topping, then I am out of ideas. My condolences for your problems with this health powerhouse. I enjoy cruciferous vegetables at least 5 times a week, in addition to at least 2 table spoons of home fermented cabbage nearly every day. I also ferment coconut milk into kefir and/or yogurt and enjoy it in my coffee, deserts, etc. nearly everyday. Maybe the probiotics might help eventually? I know you probably already have that covered, but home fermentation seems to provide at least 100 times the number of real live units than any pill (I have tested several expensive brands). Best wishes for a long, happy, healthy life.




          0
          1. Apologies for my delayed response and thank you for your kind input. You know, I have avoided using fermented fare of any kind since Dr Greger stopped eating it some while back. He posted about it here in one of his videos and Dr Joel Fuhrman is also not a fan for various reasons. I would guess though, that if cruciferous sprouts, cruciferous whole foods, and even protein powders containing part cruciferous sprouts all result in my life blighting hot seats, a fermented version would too. However, it won’t hurt to give it a try just to satisfy my curiosity. I’ll let you know how it goes!




            0
          1. Thank you Christine. That’s most interesting – I had not seen that. I’ve shared the link with Joel Fuhrman MD, and await his verdict on whether this is in any way helpful in our quest to move forward with my seemingly very unusual and difficult to live with symptoms.




            0
  3. Dr. Greger, have you seen this video by Dr.Rhonda Patrick? It explains how to increase the sulphoraphane level in broccoli sprouts by a short temperature controlled heating. Sounds like it would be something you would suggest. Please let me know if this method is worth the effort in your professional opinion. Here’s the video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7buU-PK7_I
    Thanks so much for all you do to educate!! Russ




    8
  4. Am I correct in assuming that the same holds true for watercress? I know it’s in the Brassicaceae family along with cabbage and cauliflower. I love watercress in my daily salads!




    3
    1. Probably the same for watercress as it’s a cruciferous vegetable and he recommends all cruciferous vegetables in this video and elsewhere (although mustard greens you shouldn’t over do).




      0
  5. I was at a medical lunch meeting recently. As I sat down with my mountain of crucifers and zucchini I happened to mention to one of my colleagues the amazing health benefits of broccoli, citing one of the cancer studies featured on this site. Ali, like me, loves high performance cars. However he hates broccoli with a passion, going so far as to say, “I wouldn’t eat a stalk of broccoli if it were sitting on the hood of an Aston Martin.”




    2
    1. Oh, poor Ali! He’s missing out on all the really good stuff! I can’t stand beets, but I eat them because I know they’re good for me. A friend once asked me why I ate beets if I didn’t enjoy them. I said that eat them because I enjoy living.




      7
      1. I tend to enjoy foods more due to the fact that they’re good for me. Even if I don’t actually like the taste of something, I can honestly say I enjoy it because I so appreciate what it does for me. I took this approach with my chlorella consumption (used to HATE the taste), and to my surprise, I actually began to LOVE the taste… not kidding… I now find it incredibly refreshing and enjoyable to drink chlorella water lol.




        0
    2. IDK Jim, I think he was just pointing out that his friend won’t eat broccoli no matter how enticing you try to make it. But I guess it kind of loses its humor when you have to explain it.




      0
  6. For some more resources for getting the most benefit from broccoli, below are some links to some very helpful short videos.

    This one explains how broccoli sprouts have the maximum sulforaphane content after only two days of sprouting rather than 5 for most other seeds:

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/broccoli-sprouts-vs-supplements/

    Here is a video by Rhonda Patrick on how to maximize the sulforaphane content of the broccoli sprouts just before you eat them:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7buU-PK7_I

    Finally, here is a comprehensive long video by the same person on sulforaphane’s many benefits:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz4YVJ4aRfg

    Hope this helps.




    4
  7. After seeing air pollution high on the list of causes of death, happy to see it addressed in the video! Didn’t occur to me that the immune system could deal with it. But PM2.5 pollution is right in the size range of bacteria. It’s great news that broccoli appears to help detoxify it. Interesting to find out more about the mechanism. There is certainly a large population at risk but definitely isolating the effects of pollution may be tricky. I wonder if different kinds of air pollution with different chemical composition might be best countered by different dietary antioxidant components.




    3
  8. I’m simply another time exited about your work. Excellently again – what you work out and how you present it.

    Greetings from Germany




    3
    1. Bernd,

      This is off topic, but maybe you can help. My husband and I will be spending a couple of weeks in Germany and Austria this summer (my son is marrying a German woman) and I’m concerned about eating a whole foods plant based diet there, since we’ll be eating most of our meals out. Whenever I think of German food I think about all the meats and sausages the country is famous for. Can you suggest good sources of plant foods I can find in restaurants?




      1
  9. Hello! I just started your book and am determined to implement your suggestions into my family’s diet. My 17 year old son has intractable epilepsy. He is currently in a pre-surgery workup for brain surgery. I would love any information about how to help control seizures with diet (along with medication) especially if he is not a surgical candidate. Even if diet doesn’t help control seizures are there any suggestions to help combat the effects all of his medications are having on his liver. He has regular blood drawn to check his liver function and so far he hasn’t had any problems. But if he is on this much medication long term I can only imagine there will be long term affects. Any suggestions would be helpful. There are a lot of quacky suggestions out in the Internet world. My son has seizures every day despite being on a ton of medication. (He also had a prenatal stroke which caused extensive brain damage to his left hemisphere). Despite all of his health challenges he is a bright and happy kid! I just would like to keep him that way!




    3
    1. Hello Elise! Unfortunately, Dr. Greger is unable to answer most of the questions posted here, however, we do have an amazing team of volunteer doctors, nurses, and dietitians who answer questions. I have forwarded your question to them.
      Please note that we don’t have enough volunteers to get all questions answered, so an answer is not guaranteed.




      2
    2. Hi, Elise. The most widely studied dietary therapy for childhood epilepsy that persists with medication is a ketogenic diet. While studies have shown this approach to be somewhat effective, it is not without side effects. You might be interested in this article:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28030918
      Another recent study found that about 6% of children with epilepsy tested positive for celiac disease, and had reduced seizures with a gluten-free diet. You can read more about it here:
      http://www.advances.umed.wroc.pl/pdf/2016/25/4/751.pdf
      Although it has not, to my knowledge, been tested, I cannot help wondering whether or not a higher fat, lower carbohydrate plant-based, gluten-free diet might help. Certainly, a diet high in antioxidant fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, will support liver function. Milk thistle seed has also been shown to have some hepatoprotective effects. Whole seeds may be ground and added to food, or the seeds may be sprouted and eaten in salads, etc. This article reviews it use in the mitigation of liver damage:
      http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/22/2/191/htm
      I wish I had more to offer you, but that is the extent of the available research on the subject of diet and childhood epilepsy.




      4
      1. Thank you so much, Christine. I do know about the ketogenic diet and we did discuss it with our neurologist. From what I understand the ketogenic diet does help with idiopathic epilepsy but not with someone with known brain lesions. The side effects of the diet are concerning to me as well since his liver is already taxed. Improving my son’s nutrition is most likely the best thing we can do for him long term. I don’t know that diet alone will ever improve his epilepsy but improving his over all health and immune system will have positive effects for him regardless. I very much appreciate you taking the time to answer my complicated request!




        2
    3. You’ve probably already learned the importance of avoiding aspartame and other brain excitotoxins, but I’m mentioning it just in case you haven’t. Your son’s seizures no doubt have a much more complex origin than what happened to me. Some years ago I was on a trip with a friend. I rarely ever used aspartame (Equal, and other artificial sweeteners), but one night I had it in a cup of decaf after dinner. During the night I had a severe seizure. I woke up in a hospital 32 hours later. It took a couple of years and a few more seizures before I figured out they were being caused by aspartame. I have since made sure never to get ANY aspartame, I slowly eased off medication, and I haven’t had another seizure in over 20 years.

      There are also many valid reports of seizures controlled or lessened with cannabis, which is now legal for medical use in over half the states. It would be worth exploring, but again, you have probably done so. The CBD fraction seems to be the thing that helps most, and it isn’t psychoactive in the way THC is.




      1
    4. Hi Elise, I am not a doctor, but I have a baby cousin who was born with epilepsy and so I looked it up a bit to try and help (even though her parents don’t seem extraordinarily concerned with diet, unfortunately). The few things I remember are that manganese is very important and those with epilepsy or prone to seizures tend to be deficient in manganese. I also read that orange oil is helpful and that tulsi/holy basil (such as tulsi tea) can be helpful as well. Tulsi is also good for stress management and the adrenals and thyroid among other things. I drink Tulsi tea from Organic India on occasion because they test well for heavy metals and it’s organic. Gaia is a safe choice for that reasons as well, from what I understand. Anyways, it’s not much and you may have read about all this already but I thought I would mention it just in case.

      Best of luck to you and your son!! He’s lucky he has a mom being proactive about diet!




      0
  10. Elise – If I were you I would contact John McDougall, M.D. in Santa Rosa, CA. He had a stroke at 18 which is what propelled him into medical school. He is a peer of Dr. Gregers.
    Also, contact Alan Goldhammer, D.C. in Santa Rosa, CA as well. Might have some offerings.

    You can have a free consult with Dr. Goldhammer and if you email Dr. McDougall he will email you back.

    Wish you and yours well.




    3
    1. Thank you! I think I’ve seen Dr. McDougall in a few of the documentaries I’ve watched recently? I will definitely contact him. We are just beginning this journey with improved nutrition and I’m excited about what I’m learning. The established medical community is limited in what they can offer our son and I want as much information as possible.




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    1. As one of the moderators for NutritionFacts.org, I’d like to address your question, Alex.This study does seem problematic because it does indeed seem to contradict strong evidence that associates CVD risk with high animal fat, yet also concludes that CVD risk is associated with cholesterol which we know is only contained in animal protein. Cholesterol is complex and one needs to look closely at studies like this, recognizing that analysis can be misinterpreted and any studies that conflict with a respected body of research needs to clearly reviewed. A recent review by Dr. David L. Katz provided some clarify on the topic, referencing ” Whatever the specific, mechanistic involvement of any given saturated fatty acid with atherogenesis and coronary disease, the reliably established fact is that diets high in the foods that are high in saturated fat lead to high rates of heart disease.” For a reminder of how such studies can be misleading, check out the following video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/ Joan-NurseEducator




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  11. Great content as usual. This video also has the best production quality of any I’ve seen on the site. All that experimentation is paying off. Visuals moved along at a good pace and the text highlights displayed quickly (I didn’t like some of the previous slow motion transitions). Excellent.




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  12. So, would the seeds work as well as flax seeds…I mean, just blend them up and add them to smoothies or salads?

    Would it make it to the daily dozen?




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    1. Hey John, a couple of people were talking about this above in the comments, I thought it was interesting and might help. Will copy and paste for you.

      Darryl:

      Remarkably, there’s more of the sulforaphane precursor glucoraphanin in the seeds than the resultant sprouts, ie the total amount declines during sprouting.
      As I freshly grind flax seed for morning smoothies, I’ve also tried adding a tsp of broccoli seeds, both blended to seed meal before adding liquids. There’s still the required enzymatic reaction of myrosinase with the glucoraphanin to produce sulforaphane, so I add liquids, then brew and drink my morning coffee before adding the other ingredients like berries, greens and ice. Sulforaphane has a distinctive sharp/bitter taste, like related AITC from mustard seed, so this only is palatable when the other flavors are fairly overpowering.

      Kate S:

      I did that too for a while, but then got concerned that consuming the seeds was not de-activating the epithiospecifer protein that tends to direct the glucoraphanin towards nitrile production rather than sulphoraphane. So now I sprout the seeds, briefly steam the sprouts, and then whizz them with diakon sprouts or mustard that provides the myrosinase.




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  13. Oh my, I’m so thrilled to see I have a hater. Apparently I made a comment (or two) somewhere that has motivated someone to “thumbs down” vote on every comment I make now.

    It’s highly amusing methinks, hilarious actually.

    Well, at least I’ve motivated someone!

    [raspberry] Good Day!

    wp




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    1. Wade, it was probably the same hater who thumbed down my non-threatening comment about cooking broccoli nearly every night (according to my husband). It seems some people just get their jollies thumbing down; they’re all over the ‘Net. Apparently this is how they release their inner rage. But why must there even BE a thumbs-down option? It keeps a lot of would-be posters from commenting. (I ‘spect I’ll get a zillion “downs” just for this comment.)




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        1. I don’t know.. “haters gonna hate” but I like the thumbs down options. Have you seen some of the stuff people have said here?




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  14. So how many broccoli sprouts are recommended a day to get good results from them? Someone here criticized the cups system, but that’s all I really have to go on for now. And are the broccoli sprouts safe for the thyroid? Personally I don’t give much credence to the whole “cruciferous vegetables are bad for thyroid” spiel and just see it as another attack on plants and poorly explained claim–it took quite a bit of searching before I was able to learn that the issue is that it can interfere with iodine absorption, so as long as you’re getting adequate levels of iodine, you’re fine. However I did see in one of Dr. Greger’s videos that you shouldn’t have too many mustard greens.




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  15. As you know hay fever, asthma, and respiratory illnesses are dramatically rising. Interestingly, farm kids, exposed to far more normal pollen and other environmental allergens, have a much smaller risk of respiratory diseases and are generally more healthy. Why? When pollen and other allergens combine with particulate pollutants, exhaust fumes, carbon particles, etc., they form super-allergens, much more toxic to the airways than normal pollen, triggering respiratory illness and explaining in part why city kids have far more respiratory disease, health issues, and death. Maybe kids should get broccoli at home and school, as unfortunately, politicians are in the pockets of the biggest polluters.




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