Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?

Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?
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How much does sweating via sauna or exercise get rid of lead and mercury?

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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.

In my video on henna, I talked about the study that proved lead could be absorbed through skin and into the body. Researchers applied lead to someone’s left arm, and then they measured the level of lead in the sweat coming off their right arm over the next few days. There was a big spike, proving that lead can go into your body, but also proving that lead can go out of your body. If we can lose lead through sweat, how about using sweating for detoxification?

Look: “No person is without some level of” toxic heavy metals in their blood, “circulating and accumulating,” and hey, cultures around the world have viewed sweating as health-promoting, from Roman and Turkish baths, to sweat lodges and saunas. But what does the science say?

When I looked up saunas, I was surprised to see this: a study on the detoxification of 9/11 rescue workers, with a regimen of exercise, sauna bathing, and supplements. They reported on seven individuals, and evidently during the month before the treatment, PCB levels in their blood stayed about the same. “In contrast, all rescue workers had measurable decreases in these PCBs following treatment.” And, they reportedly felt better too. They had all sorts of symptoms—respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal—but felt better after the treatment. Improvements “consistent with” nearly 400 others they treated with the same protocol.

Wait a second. If they treated 400, why are they only reporting the results from seven? That’s a bit of a red flag, but not as red as this: the “detoxification regimen [was] developed by Hubbard.” As in, L.R. Hubbard—L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the infamous Church of Scientology. And the lead author of the detoxification paper also appears to have failed to disclose his financial conflict of interest for presumably profiting off the treatments.

Sweating does, however, represent a “time-honored treatment” in the field of medicine for mercury poisoning going back centuries. But, time-honored medical treatments include drilling people’s skulls open to release evil spirits, or even giving people mercury itself. Remember mercurochrome? What do you think the mercuro- stood for? In fact, some believe Mozart died of mercury poisoning trying to cure his syphilis—though, of course, all the bloodletting he got probably didn’t help either— another time-honored medical treatment that makes scientology saunas look pretty mild in comparison. But, a case report was described of a person who apparently recovered from mercury poisoning after six months of sweats and physical therapy. But maybe he would have gotten better anyway? You don’t know…until you put it to the test.

Mercury wasn’t formally studied, but lead was. Put people in a 200-degree dry sauna for 15 minutes, and based on sweating rates, those 15 minutes in the sauna would force out about 40 micrograms of lead from the body, with some people getting rid of 100 or more per session. So, you could drink like a gallon of chicken broth, and even if you absorbed all the lead, you could be back to baseline after just one sauna session, even after drinking bone broth.

Is it safe for children? Based on what we know now, ‘sauna bathing poses no risks” to healthy folks throughout the life cycle, though medical supervision couldn’t hurt. Now, this doesn’t mean it would be as effective in children, as adults sweat a lot more than kids. And, of course, kids are the ones who need lead detoxing the most. “There is a clear need for robust clinical trials” to test all this.

But even if it works, it’s not like some poor kid in Flint is going to have access to a sauna. That’s why I was so excited to find this paper: “The change in blood

levels of basketball players after strenuous exercise.” Saunas aren’t the only way to sweat; what about strenuous physical activity? Evidently, there was a study that found that “aerobic endurance training” lead to a drop in lead levels, with rowing better than cycling. But for how long? How intense? I don’t know; I don’t read German. But I did find the study, and it looks like they ramped up the stationary bike 50 watts every two minutes until exhaustion; so, probably just a few minutes, with no significant before-and-after difference in blood or urine lead levels, whereas an hour-long endurance exercise row did seem to drop lead levels about 12%.

This one I can read, though. A single intense training session on the court, and college basketball players blood levels dropped down to… Wait a second, they went up? A significant increase in blood levels, in fact by nearly 300%. They suspect it’s because where they were playing was so contaminated. The study was done in Turkey, where the lead levels in the air are evidently so high that all that extra breathing evidently made things worse, which I think underscores an important point.

All the dietary tweaks I’ve talked about for lead poisoning, and sweating it out, could be thought of as more expedient and cost less than primary prevention—getting at the root cause. This, however, represents “a retreat of sorts” from a commitment to cleaning up the environment and getting rid of these hazardous pollutants in the first place. Lifestyle interventions “should only be thought of as temporary solutions, and continued emphasis must be placed on eliminating lead in children’s environments” in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: KSchlott via Pixabay and MPCA Photos via flickr. Images have 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.

In my video on henna, I talked about the study that proved lead could be absorbed through skin and into the body. Researchers applied lead to someone’s left arm, and then they measured the level of lead in the sweat coming off their right arm over the next few days. There was a big spike, proving that lead can go into your body, but also proving that lead can go out of your body. If we can lose lead through sweat, how about using sweating for detoxification?

Look: “No person is without some level of” toxic heavy metals in their blood, “circulating and accumulating,” and hey, cultures around the world have viewed sweating as health-promoting, from Roman and Turkish baths, to sweat lodges and saunas. But what does the science say?

When I looked up saunas, I was surprised to see this: a study on the detoxification of 9/11 rescue workers, with a regimen of exercise, sauna bathing, and supplements. They reported on seven individuals, and evidently during the month before the treatment, PCB levels in their blood stayed about the same. “In contrast, all rescue workers had measurable decreases in these PCBs following treatment.” And, they reportedly felt better too. They had all sorts of symptoms—respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal—but felt better after the treatment. Improvements “consistent with” nearly 400 others they treated with the same protocol.

Wait a second. If they treated 400, why are they only reporting the results from seven? That’s a bit of a red flag, but not as red as this: the “detoxification regimen [was] developed by Hubbard.” As in, L.R. Hubbard—L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the infamous Church of Scientology. And the lead author of the detoxification paper also appears to have failed to disclose his financial conflict of interest for presumably profiting off the treatments.

Sweating does, however, represent a “time-honored treatment” in the field of medicine for mercury poisoning going back centuries. But, time-honored medical treatments include drilling people’s skulls open to release evil spirits, or even giving people mercury itself. Remember mercurochrome? What do you think the mercuro- stood for? In fact, some believe Mozart died of mercury poisoning trying to cure his syphilis—though, of course, all the bloodletting he got probably didn’t help either— another time-honored medical treatment that makes scientology saunas look pretty mild in comparison. But, a case report was described of a person who apparently recovered from mercury poisoning after six months of sweats and physical therapy. But maybe he would have gotten better anyway? You don’t know…until you put it to the test.

Mercury wasn’t formally studied, but lead was. Put people in a 200-degree dry sauna for 15 minutes, and based on sweating rates, those 15 minutes in the sauna would force out about 40 micrograms of lead from the body, with some people getting rid of 100 or more per session. So, you could drink like a gallon of chicken broth, and even if you absorbed all the lead, you could be back to baseline after just one sauna session, even after drinking bone broth.

Is it safe for children? Based on what we know now, ‘sauna bathing poses no risks” to healthy folks throughout the life cycle, though medical supervision couldn’t hurt. Now, this doesn’t mean it would be as effective in children, as adults sweat a lot more than kids. And, of course, kids are the ones who need lead detoxing the most. “There is a clear need for robust clinical trials” to test all this.

But even if it works, it’s not like some poor kid in Flint is going to have access to a sauna. That’s why I was so excited to find this paper: “The change in blood

levels of basketball players after strenuous exercise.” Saunas aren’t the only way to sweat; what about strenuous physical activity? Evidently, there was a study that found that “aerobic endurance training” lead to a drop in lead levels, with rowing better than cycling. But for how long? How intense? I don’t know; I don’t read German. But I did find the study, and it looks like they ramped up the stationary bike 50 watts every two minutes until exhaustion; so, probably just a few minutes, with no significant before-and-after difference in blood or urine lead levels, whereas an hour-long endurance exercise row did seem to drop lead levels about 12%.

This one I can read, though. A single intense training session on the court, and college basketball players blood levels dropped down to… Wait a second, they went up? A significant increase in blood levels, in fact by nearly 300%. They suspect it’s because where they were playing was so contaminated. The study was done in Turkey, where the lead levels in the air are evidently so high that all that extra breathing evidently made things worse, which I think underscores an important point.

All the dietary tweaks I’ve talked about for lead poisoning, and sweating it out, could be thought of as more expedient and cost less than primary prevention—getting at the root cause. This, however, represents “a retreat of sorts” from a commitment to cleaning up the environment and getting rid of these hazardous pollutants in the first place. Lifestyle interventions “should only be thought of as temporary solutions, and continued emphasis must be placed on eliminating lead in children’s environments” in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: KSchlott via Pixabay and MPCA Photos via flickr. Images have been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

139 responses to “Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?

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  1. Dear NutritionFacts.org team,
    is it normal for triglycerides to go up (+60, 120 total currently, 60 prior) after 7 months on a vegan How-Not-To-Die diet? Could an Omega-3 deficiency have caused such a spike?

    1. Great question. I would also ask the same of LDL increase and total cholesterol increase. After almost a year of the How Not To Die diet (and also no oil and no salt) my LDL increased to 120 and total cholesterol to 200. Yikes! What gives?

      1. No idea, I’m also like you and don’t add oils and keep salt to a minimum (a pinch here and there to benefit from the added Iodine). It might be worth checking by how much your levels have increased and if the relative numbers are consistent. It probably doesn’t help much but in my case HDL went up +6 (44 total currently) and LDL down -26 (61 total currently), I guess that’s to be expected but doubling the triglycerides is a bit concerning as that’s a huge discrepancy compared to the prior value.

        This might explain it but I’m not really convinced: Vegans Starting To Get High Triglyceride Levels?! Why & How To Fix -Dr Michael Greger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZG4OgTzQ4o

        I’ll try increasing exercise, sprinkling more flaxseeds everywhere, avoid sugar spikes by eating more often and reducing sweet fruits and carbs. If that doesn’t work then omega-3 supplements are the only thing I can think about :S We’ll see how it goes, hopefully someone here can help, all the best nonetheless!

        1. Love that video by Dr. Greger.

          Wondering why you aren’t convinced?

          Are you saying that you already don’t eat flour or sugar and it didn’t help?

          Have you tried moving over to intact grains?

          Green smoothies have a similar blood drop video.

          Juices and smoothies would be ones to watch.

          1. Hi Deb,

            yeah it’s been years since I’ve eaten refined grains or processed products and 7 months since I became fully vegan. I’m not convinced of what Dr.Greger is saying on that video because I’ve been eating those intact grains already and most of my carb intake consists of those and seasonal fruits and veggies. I don’t drink smoothies nor juices and I keep to what the How Not to Die book says so the explanation must be somewhere else.
            I’ll try a few things and investigate whenever I’ve got more time but hopefully there’s some wisdom on the Nutritionfacts.org team front that can shed a bit of light on this issue :)

      2. As one of the moderators for NutritionFacts.org, I’d encourage you to read the comment I just added for John A above, then also check out the wise words of T. Colin Cambell on triglycerides, which may put some perspective. on this issue. (Scroll way down to comment by Deb- Nov 5th)

      1. Thanks for your answer!

        The video appears to be unavailable. I’d recommend writing the name of the video alongside the url as it might help improve searchability in case there’s any problem with the given link.

        The article provided states that the observed increase or decrease levels of triglycerides after the diet switch is “less than roughly 25 in either direction”, but in my case it has doubled (+60 in only 7 months) and I’ve read other comments stating it has even quadrupled after changing diets. As I’m following Dr.Greger’s dietary guidelines it’s obvious that my level increase is not derived from refined carbs or unprocessed foods, so if “solely focusing on glycemic index has not always been shown to make a significant difference in triglycerides” then the only thing I can think about that has caused higher triglyceride count (I’m not accounting for any of the “variety of non-lifestyle related factors” listed in the article as it’s been only a short amount of time and no major changes a part from dietary have been happening in my life) could be reduced exercise, drastically diminished omega-3 intake or lower fat intake (but theoretically I should be fine with nuts and seeds and the seldom avocado). So yeah, thanks for the article anyways but unfortunately it doesn’t provide much information that could explain or answer my question.

        1. John

          Sorry about the video. It looks like I copied only part of the address. Here’s the full address.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZG4OgTzQ4o

          However, I see from another of your posts that you have already found it.

          This seems to be an issue for a number of people. Whether the numbers do go down after a year or so I am not sure.but that seems to be the belief. However, I suspect that most physicians would be unconcerned about your results and say that your triglyceride numbers are well within the ‘normal’ range – normal is defined as anything under 150/mg/dl
          https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/high-triglycerides-what-you-need-to-know#1

          I am no clinician. However, I would expect that, if your LDL has gone down, your HDL has gone up and your triglycerides remain comfortably within the normal range, your doctor would be delighted with your numbers.

          You may find though that Dr Greger’s recommendation to take algae DHA/EPA supplements would lower your trig number, if you are not already doing this:
          https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

          1. Thank you for your answer and for your ulterior comments Mr Fumblefingers.

            I always get a bit discouraged when looking for supplements (especially when concerning algae) because I’m never certain that the source is trustworthy and unpolluted. Iherb.com stopped shipments to my country due to country-specific and EU customs regulations following recent US policy but luckily for us, we’ve also have a long tradition of seaweed harvesting. The problem is the same as with supplements though, you can buy the algae unprocessed and be certain that you’re getting what you’re paying for, but as it’s an open water product you can’t tell what else might be in there. I’ll “dive” into it and “sea” if I can find a reliable source, if not then I’ll just keep on with the nuts and report next year. Hopefully those triglycerides will go back to pre-vegan diet levels.

            Thanks again :)

      2. Mr Fumblefingers, your first link is not working for me! Ty for the second. To John: my triglycerides rise if I eat any flour products (not just white flour) like prepared cereals, baked products, bread, grains in general. Fat in my diet impacts TC, LDL as well as triglycerides. Overall calorie consumption is something I watch.. too much food, even good food raises triglycerides. Mr Fumblefingers supplied a helpful link.

        Barbara Braid, this may not apply to you, but my cholesterol rose a lot (!) with the onset of menopause. Very discouraging to say the least.

        1. Thanks for your take Barb.

          I don’t know but I find it a bit odd that whilst eating meat, eggs, fish and pasta sporadically (traditional mediterranean diet) my triglycerides were at 60 and 7 months after a strict how-not-to-die diet, they have doubled. My calorie consumption should be less as I’m feeling more full but even so I’m a skinny guy and relatively fit so this is an untangleable mystery for me. I’ll be more careful with whole grain quantities and overall carbs and see how the experiment goes (I’d assume that fall produce like sweet potatoes and chestnuts might have something to do with it but by that much? nah.) We’ll see, hopefully they won’t keep on rising, I’m liking the lifestyle so far so I wouldn’t want to go back.

          1. You’re welcome John. I hear what you are saying. As a meat eating, dairy quaffing, olive oil using omnivore my cholesterol was 3.50 to 3.75… under 4 mmol anyway. Post menopause, and doing wfpb, my cholesterol jumped to over 6.0 mmol ! I experimented a lot at a time when I had the opportunity and found that test results could be manipulated with diet in a shorter term than I expected. (LOL just sayin’ ) Some people are fruit sensitive apparently. Beans, greens, some sweet potato ok, squash etc. is fine. but the grains (pasta)and nuts (chestnuts are fine.. even Dr Esselstyn allows them) cause me issues. Thing is, to be sustainable long term, it’s good to have a little flexibility and keep your meals enjoyable as well as nourishing. A spagetti dinner with friends might be great once in a while. Congratulations on doing so well John!

            1. Thanks for your insight Barb!

              I’m glad to learn that for many of us who began this dietary journey curiosity is a given. I guess that in your case your cholesterol jump was reasonably justified right? Although the particularities with some foods are quite interesting. It’s good to know that some foods can trick these results, mine are the first ones I get after going fully vegan so I’m more intrigued than I’m concerned (that’s why I commented here on the first place as the book didn’t mention such cases were possible) and in the end, I guess I’m just trying to make sense of my inherent weirdness.

              I completely agree on the flexibility front, I had hoped for lower triglycerides (because that would have corroborated the book’s ideas) but everything else (including iron) is to my surprise just fine. I’m not gonna lie though, it was just fine before going vegan as well and maybe even better in some aspects as I had more endurance when exercising and my hands weren’t yellow due to carrots, so I’ll keep an eye on this and keep the experiment going. Even though I haven’t done it, I wasn’t opposed to indulging in fish or meat once a month or so but, if my trigly-friends keep on reproducing, I’ll see that theory put to the test. Who knows, maybe if it means exercising more and better that could be a healthier choice after all, although as long as things keep being as they are, I don’t see any reason to betray my conscience just to prove a point. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.

              Thanks again Barb and all the best!

              1. Hi, John Askerton! Unless you are eating a tremendous number of carrots and other carotene-rich foods, your hands should not be yellow. You may be experiencing thyroid dysfunction. Are you getting enough iodine and selenium? If not, you may want to add some sea vegetables and a Brazil nut a week to your diet. More on that in these videos: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-iodine-deficiency-2/ https://nutritionfacts.org/video/four-nuts-once-a-month/ Exercise is also very important for healthy function of every part of the body. I hope that helps!

                1. Dear Christine,

                  thank you for taking the time to comment and trying to help :)
                  My thyroids are fine but I could eat a Brazil nut once a week for sure (love them). I’m not that convinced on sea vegetables because of my ignorance on the availability of unpolluted sources. Anyway, I’ve been consistently eating lots of carotene-rich foods these last months so I’m not concerned about a slight skin coloration, nonetheless I’ll gladly take the nut-ritious advice and follow it from now on.

                  Thanks again!

            2. Not sure if this is relevant to anyone here but it may be worth noting that coffee can raise cholesterol
              “The literature indicates a strong relationship between boiled, unfiltered coffee consumption and elevated cholesterol levels”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16856769

              I’d always thought that filtered coffee did not raise cholesterol levels but some recent studies have found that it does. This one also found that it raised triglyceride levels – but nowehere near as much as has happened in John’s case (which are still comfortably within the normal range)
              https://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(13)00045-2/fulltext

          2. Hey john,

            If I were you I would eliminate all the flours An rice an stick to starchy foods instead. An then retake the test AN SEE what it is. If it continues then you may need to investigate further. But give it a few months first.

            1. Hey Margaret, thanks for your ideas.

              I guess I’ll try first with increased exercise routines and reduce sweet foods and carb intake slightly and see how it goes. I rarely eat any flour-made products so there’s that and I’m not a friend of drastic measures such as not eating rice (as far as I know there’s no triglyceride epidemic in Asia, also, I think whole rice is rich in starch right?). We’ll see, I’ll try to learn as I go and if thing go south I can always remain ignorant and go back to being a mediterranean omnivore. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

              1. John,

                I asked above why you aren’t convinced, but now I read all the way down and see that you have tried things.

                Are you doing smoothies or fruit juices versus whole fruit?

                1. Seems like the questions would be:

                  What are your portion sizes?

                  Do you drink alcohol?

                  Do you smoke?

                  Do you take a Vegan Omega 3?

                  Do you get any exercise per day?

                  Is your blood sugar elevated?

                  And if it is, how much fat do you take in?

                  Do you eat your food whole or maybe you process it yourself?

                  1. Hi Deb,

                    No I don’t smoke or drink. Yes on the Omega 3 (algea based) and exercise. I only eat whole foods and grind my own flour from wheat berries and oats.

                    All other test results were absolutely normal.

                    1. John and Barbara, recommend you read a book by Drs. Eran Segal and Eran Elinav called ‘The Personalied Diet’. It should be available from most good libraries, or can be ordered from Amazon. Also some talks are on Utube.

                      In a nutshell, the studies done have shown that what elevates blood glucose levels, (and as Dr. Gregor explained in the video), will also elevate triglycerides in response. The foods that raise your blood sugar can be very different from those that raise someone else’s. It is not about the glycemic index, or glycemic load. It’s about how Your body reacts to that particular food.
                      Therefore, brown rice may be fine for someone else, but not for you.
                      The only way you can know what a particular food does to your blood sugar is by testing after a specific meal.
                      Understand that all the parts of the meal matter, fats and protein in the meal tend to slow glucose response.
                      So switching to a lower fat, lower protein diet, can indeed raise your triglycerides.

                    2. I was trying to read about Lipogenesis and the glycemic index and found this:

                      Lipogenesis and the glycemic index
                      “It might be assumed by some individuals that the higher the blood glucose concentration after a meal, the more likely that fatty acids will be synthesized from that glucose because of an oversupply of carbon units in the liver. If elevated concentrations of insulin and glucose occur after higher carbohydrate meals (i.e., meals with a higher glycemic index) and stimulate de novo lipogenesis, a statistical relationship might be observed between these variables. However, an analysis of data from four studies showed no such positive relationship between fractional de novo lipogenesis and either blood insulin or glucose concentrations in subjects on high carbohydrate diets (17). In contrast, a positive association was found between fasting insulin concentration and de novo lipogenesis in subjects on a high fat diet. These data suggest that in healthy subjects, some other variable besides glucose or insulin concentration is directly related to increased lipogenesis, or, if higher postprandial glucose or insulin concentrations are the root cause of increased lipogenesis, there exists an intermediary effector translating this signal in the liver. Further study is needed to elucidate the relationship between the glycemic index of a meal and its ability to stimulate lipogenesis.”

                    1. Hey Deb, thanks for your time and comments :)

                      I answered you before without having seen your following comments, sorry, I’ll explain a bit further and try to be more specific and schematic:
                      no drink, no smoke, no vegan omega 3 (can’t find it where I’m from), blood sugar fine, portion sizes good enough for me (I’d rather eat throughout the day than feel stuffed up), exercise has been scarce this summer honestly, I also don’t process my food in any other way than cooking or mixing it, and fat intake is comprised of nuts and seeds morning and sometimes evening as well, the seldom avocado when they look good in the market, miso counts? A bit of tahini added to home-made hummus, and that’s more or less everything I can think about now (all within reasonable quantities for culinary elegance and balance) :)

                      Thanks for the videos and the advice. I might not go back to fully mediterranean but if the trigly-levels don’t improve and keep rising to the point of worrying levels even after increasing exercise routines and cutting down some fruit, I might think of adding some fish back just because that seems to be the healthiest addition of what seemed to be working for me before (balanced mediterranean with meat, eggs and fish).

                    2. T. Colin Campbell says this:

                      “In terms of lifestyle, diet, drink, and exercise all play a role in triglyceride levels. One recent review[4] states that those people eating plant-based diets, over the long term, consistently have lower triglyceride levels, but interventional trials have been less consistent. Randomized control trials show that triglycerides may either increase or decrease when switching to a plant-based diet; most trials reviewed show that triglycerides either go up or down by less than roughly 25 in either direction[4]. In addition, excessive alcohol intake, as well as a sedentary lifestyle[5], can raise triglycerides.

                      So what do we do about a high triglyceride level? When it comes to medications the recommendations can be a bit fuzzy. There is no great evidence that driving down mild to moderate triglyceride levels, with medications specifically targeted at triglyceride levels, significantly improves cardiovascular disease risks[6]. In the context of relatively normal cholesterol results, the standard treatment of borderline to mild hypertriglyceridemia is lifestyle changes, if there is no other obvious cause (medications, etc…). As an aside, those people with very high or severe range triglycerides may be at increased risk of pancreatitis, and prescribing medication to specifically lower triglycerides in this case is often indicated.

                      Lifestyle changes can make a significant impact in lowering triglycerides. Moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise can lower triglycerides by up to 10-20%[5]. Reduced alcohol intake may improve triglycerides as well, especially if there is an issue with excessive intake or individual predisposition to high triglycerides[5]. In terms of diet, the standard recommendation for mildly elevated triglycerides is to reduce refined carbohydrate intake, particularly sugars. Fruit juice, refined flour, sweets, and any plant that has the fiber removed should be off limits. Another way to consider this is to try to eat low-glycemic index foods (foods that don’t raise blood sugar as high or quickly as other foods)[6][7]; but solely focusing on glycemic index has not always been shown to make a significant difference in triglycerides[8]. Those with very high triglycerides should also monitor all fat intake and be very careful not to consume any added fat[6]. A frequently asked related question involves whether people should be boosting omega-3 fats, commonly associated with fish consumption. The short answer is that I do not recommend fish oil or omega-3 supplements for mild to moderately high triglycerides.”

                    3. These are some types of medications you could be taking, which could raise it.

                      This is a partial list, so if you are on any medications at all, that is one place to look.

                      Table 2: Partial List of Medications that can Raise Triglycerides[2]
                      Medications
                      Estrogens (oral contraceptives)[3]
                      Some types of blood pressure lowering medications (thiazide diuretics and beta-blockers)
                      Glucocorticoids (steroids like prednisone)
                      Androgens (testosterone)
                      Acne medicines (isotretinoin)
                      Immune System Medications (cyclosporine, tacrolimus)

                    4. Okay, I found something else.

                      Are you taking a seriously good B-12?

                      Methyl doesn’t always work and isn’t shelf stable, so are you taking more than Methyl?

                      Secondly, vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with adverse lipid profiles. … South Indians consume higher quantity of fermented foods, which are rich in vitamin B12 [24,25]. In this study, vitamin B12 deficiency independently associated with triglycerides and cholesterol/HDL ratio in type 2 diabetes patients.

                    5. “Several studies demonstrated an association of homocysteine plasma levels and the plasma lipoprotein profile. This cross-sectional pilot study aimed at analyzing whether blood levels of the two important cofactors of homocysteine metabolism, folate, and vitamin B12, coincide with the lipoprotein profile.”

                      That means take B-12 and eat your Foliage. (Folate supplements cause more health problems than they solve.)

                    6. Other nutritional deficiencies can also cause it.

                      https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/acc-2016/acc-vitamin-d-and-cholesterol-levels/article/488237/

                      also “Vitamin D3 supplements may decrease triglyceride levels in at-risk women”

                      “Triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were found to be significantly (p < 0.001) elevated in the iron deficiency anaemia group "

                      Niacin (sometimes called nicotinic acid), one of the B vitamins, is a "threefer," reducing LDL a little, lowering triglycerides, and increasing HDL. … They reduce triglycerides by as much as 60% while raising HDL by up to 25%.

                      Plant sources of Niacin: "Seaweed, Potatoes, including sweet potatoes, butternut squash, okra, corn, peas, parsnip, winter squash and pumpkins, all provide between 1 and 4 milligrams of niacin. Brown rice contains roughly 9 milligrams of niacin per cup, barley and wheat durum contain over 8 milligrams per cup, buckwheat has over 2 milligrams per 1/4 cup and millet has over 9 milligrams per cup. Cornmeal and couscous also contain niacin, with 5 to 9 milligrams and 6 milligrams, respectively."

                    7. Back to folate:

                      High folate foods include beans, lentils, edamame, tempeh, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, avocado, mangoes, lettuce, sweet corn, and oranges, and whole wheat

                    8. John

                      I can’t get vegetarian DHA/EPA where I live either. However, I buy it online from iHerb (or Vitacost) in the US. It’s not cheap but, taking the total and calculating it as a daily cost, it’s affordable.

                    9. Hi again Deb,

                      thanks again for all the comments you’ve posted below and all the information you took the time to gather. I eat enough Niacin-rich foods but there’s no harm in being more conscious about it and pour a few more in each one of my meals. On the B-12 front I’m good as my levels are alright and I take the recommended amount of cyanocobalamin. I found really interesting what you posted about Vitamin D deficiency as I’m indeed a bit low. I’m adjusting things according to the knowledge and insight of your and other commentators answers so thanks a bunch, hopefully in a year I’ll see those levels decreased!

              2. “It should be emphasized that there is great individual variation in the response to dietary cholesterol. Some people are like the 88-year-old man described above and are able to maintain a normal serum cholesterol despite a high intake of dietary cholesterol. Others are more like Anichkov’s rabbits, and their serum cholesterol levels rise in response to high levels of dietary cholesterol.”

                https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/well/eat/do-high-cholesterol-foods-raise-your-cholesterol.html?emc=edit_sc_20181106&nl=science-times&nl_art=&nlid=74836649edit_sc_20181106&ref=headline&te=1

    2. John- you’ve obviously made many efforts to eat a WFPB diet and done your research, so it must be frustrating to have those triglycerides increasing rather than decreasing. You are wise to be monitoring them and taking what efforts you can to lower them, which might include looking beyond nutrition to other lifestyle factors such as stress and exercise. Could you try longer or more intense exercise sessions and see if that affects those numbers? Since flax seed can help decrease numbers you might try that, although you may already be taking that and an Omega-3 deficiency may not be the cause of your increased numbers. Best of health as you work on this mystery. Perhaps as you remain on a strict WFPB diet for longer than 7 months those numbers will go down with stress managed and more exercise. Hope so.

      1. Hi Joan,

        thank you for your kind comment and advice. I will remain on this diet for at least a year more for sure, I’ll adjust a few things here and there, exercise more, and see how it goes. Right now, more than being concerned about my health, I’m extremely curious to understand what’s going on. It’s too early to draw any conclusions but that unfortunately means it’s also too early to recommend this diet to my loved ones, which was a big thing for me as they could benefit from its promises more than I do. Who knows, it might be a result of a bit of vitamin d deficiency, a thing of the day, the sweet effects of the local fall produce, or an upward trend. I’ll check it out in a year and probably report back here or in another unrelated video.

        Thanks again, all the best to you as well :)

  2. Such an important message for our lawmakers! I live in Detroit and conduct research in Flint, and these cities face multiple environmental hazards, not just lead from the water and demolitions. Let’s not forget, too, that people of color are disproportionately affected. The attention to “lifestyle” changes definitely shifts attention away from the systemic to the individual, and that’s simply not acceptable.

    1. Kimberly,

      I agree. The concept that children could go out and play basketball and either come away with less lead or 300% more lead?!?!?!

      The poor always will get the short stick in that equation.

      People in the inner cities already have so many factors working against them.

  3. Thanks for this video fascinating

    Could this mean that hot flashes and night sweats of menopause are helping us detoxify. Have you done any research on this? Please.

    1. An intriguing idea, Katha, but I looked in PubMed but could find no research on this (Although there is a study that does mention the potential benefits of hot flashes for cardiac health.) Again I could not find it in PubMed but this source, despite not giving exact study, does cite what appears to be a bonafide study:

      Hot Flashes at Menopause May Protect the Heart | TIME.com
      healthland.time.com/2011/…/the-hot-flashes-of-menopause-may-protect-womens-hearts

      I’m wondering if the very momentary nature of hot flashes may not be long enough to do the detoxifying that would at least be a solace for those suffering them!

  4. Why does the sweating have to be caused by dry heat (or exercise?) A hot bath does the same thing, and most people have access to hot water and a bath tub.

    1. A logical conclusion. One thing I just read suggested that workers in an environment where toxic metals are in the air… they may reabsorb the heavy metals into the skin after they have been sweated out. They wondered aloud if showering soon after such work might be a good way to quickly get the toxic metals off the skin.

      One other thing mentioned was that not only toxic metals were sweated, but beneficial minerals as well, which leads me to think I need to consume minerals above and beyond my intake from food.

      An anecdote from the past. A friend went to Hot Springs Arkansas and took the treatment. He was a smoker and said he could see the water around him become discolored, believing he was sweating out the nicotine from his body.

      This suggests that your question of taking a hot bath may be a work-around, but the Hot Springs treatment did require drinking the mineral water as well as bathing in it.

      1. I’ve read that on the internet too, that after sweating you can reabsorb toxins (not from any reputable source, just blogs basically), this to me just completely goes against nature. That would be to say that nature’s design is not only flawed, but downright stupid. We’re designed to sweat throughout the day in small amounts and larger depending on various factors, it’s a natural part of our body’s function to function and maintain itself. So it’s insane to me to think that we’re just constantly reabsorbing things… I think if our skin were that permeable we’d be doomed and I think if nature were that simple and flawed, we’d have been doomed a long time ago. I also think that if our ancestors had access to internet hype, we’d have been wiped out as a species due to our own madness.

        Same reason I don’t think that sweating would mean that you have to consume excess of anything. Sweating is a natural process, we don’t need to gorge ourselves in worrying that we’re losing things. We’re supposed to lose some things and it’s just the cycle. A healthy person should thirst when they’re thirsty and become hungry when they need to eat. To me it’s not as extreme but could be mildly compared to believing that because you lose oxygen when you exhale, that we really have to work hard and gulping in air in-between to extra oxygen in us.

        1. “I’ve read that on the internet too, that after sweating you can reabsorb toxins (not from any reputable source, just blogs basically), this to me just completely goes against nature. That would be to say that nature’s design is not only flawed, but downright stupid.”
          —————————————————————–
          I’ve actually read that from a reputable source but I didn’t save it so I don’t have a link. I’ve said this before but is suitable for repeating… nature is nothing more than a bundle of mutations and techtonic or geological events. There is no “design.” That’s why species have gone extinct… because they weren’t able to adapt to change. Not because “Nature” mis-designed them.
          _______________________________________________________________________________
          “I think if our skin were that permeable we’d be doomed and I think if nature were that simple and flawed, we’d have been doomed a long time ago. I also think that if our ancestors had access to internet hype, we’d have been wiped out as a species due to our own madness.”
          ——————————————————————————————-
          It’s true that our skin is a barrier, but put like a pencil point of ricin on the skin and you die. History tells us that even Achilles had an Achilles heel. As for having access to the Internet? Without that access I think I very well may have been dead by now.
          __________________________________________________________________________

          “A healthy person should thirst when they’re thirsty and become hungry when they need to eat.”
          ———————————————————————————————–
          That’s true, but an intelligent person will know when to stop.

          1. “nature is nothing more than a bundle of mutations and techtonic or geological events.”

            And to believe that one man could define something so much greater than the grand sum of all men in a single personal perspective formed from a single personal experience from a brain capable of only what it’s capable of understanding in the grandness of all there is, would be absolutely foolish to say the least. Take into account the most brilliant minds cannot unravel all the mysteries of a kale leaf… I won’t try to define nature, but I will say it is beyond any definition I or any one of us could try to give it.
            Species have gone extinct for a great number of reasons, not one collective reason throughout the ages which could serve as “proof” of any flaw in nature. Even that belief in itself is based on a perspective and personal belief that species throughout the ages were all supposed to be alive in the same time.. like “too bad nature is so flawed, the buffalo could be grazing with the stegosaurus right now… sigh…”

            A “reputable source” without citation doesn’t hold much weight. I too have lost sources I had wished I’d saved.

            Yes are skin can absorb some things, but it’s also incredibly resilient and I imagine if it were so feeble that our sweat were detrimental to it and our own bodies then indeed, we’d have been dead a long time ago.

            As for the internet, it’s a powerful thing, but like all things they can be used for good and bad and there is a slew of misinformation out there. Everyone just has to have a blog…

            1. “And to believe that one man could define something so much greater than the grand sum of all men in a single personal perspective formed from a single personal experience from a brain capable of only what it’s capable of understanding in the grandness of all there is, would be absolutely foolish to say the least.”
              ——————————————————————————————————————-
              Hah, Busted… Yes you have outed me as “The Fool on the Hill” as Sergio Mendez referred to me in his song by the same name. Listen to the words of the song… then you will know what I mean.

  5. I’ve just recently started taking a liquid drops product that I put a dropperful in multiple cups of tea daily. The product is called Cilantro Heavy Metal detox with chlorella. Hoping to learn of the efficacy of this approach.

    1. Lonie,

      I just have a problem with using chlorella for detox. It has been tested to prevent tumors if the person doesn’t have a lot of toxins, but it increases tumors if they are being exposed to toxins. That would make me pause before using it to try to get rid of toxins.

      1. Deb, it seems the chlorella was perhaps just an adjunct to the cilantro. Vaguely remember cilantro being used for detox. Personally not at all concerned by taking chlorella as I sprinkle it on my cats’ food along with some Lewis Labs Brewers yeast.

        I do the same when eating herring filets, only I add a dash of balsamic vinegar first, then liquid turmeric before the brewers yeast and chlorella powder.

  6. This should be an easy one ( I hope ), just heard about food grade Diatomaceous and its benefits, ( or not ). Would love to here your point of view on taking this “mineral”. Thank you……….

    1. Hi, Rose Chanona! Diatomaceous earth is not a mineral, per se. It is the remains of fossilized diatoms, which are tiny, aquatic animals.
      It is often used as a natural pesticide. Although it is not poisonous, I don’t recommend ingesting it, and I have seen no credible evidence of health benefits from doing so. Inhalation is a hazard that is associated with increased risk of lung cancer and respiratory illness in workers who handle it. More on diatomaceous earth here: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html I hope that helps!

  7. I also take issue with disparaging blood letting. When done to excess, yes I believe it could become harmful. But the act of removing some of a persons blood triggers the bone marrow to release blood stem cells into the body.

    Their primary job is to replace red blood cells, but also white blood cells as well, and surely a stem cell release of any kind into a body is a beneficial event.

    If I were young enough to meet the requirements I would sign up for “blood letting.” But since I’m not, I would gladly employ leech treatment if it were available nearby.

    1. Lonie, you can donate blood; the Red Cross is always looking for donations. Donating blood is one treatment for hemachromatosis, a disorder in which the body accumulates too much iron. The condition is genetic, I think.

      1. DrJ, It has been my past experience they would not take blood from anyone over ~ 50. That was to give to a patient (my Mother) when having an operation on her broken hip (at age 101.)

        I haven’t tried a blood bank but I doubt they would want my blood for a transfusion and probably not for plasma either.

    2. Lonie

      Don’t believe everything you read.
      If you must bleed, stop after four or five pints.
      I stopped after twenty.

        1. It’s not me and I’m not American anyway so Mr Washington isn’t a hero of mine

          ‘Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
          Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.’

                1. Ok, it so wasn’t YR or Fumblefingers. How about Joe Caner? Joe was it you?
                  ———————————————————————————————————
                  Check your email inbox… it is a long-time poster here. ‘-)

                  1. Check your email inbox… it is a long-time poster here. ‘-)
                    – – – – – – – –

                    Unless…..unless it’s Lonie talking to himself. :-/

      1. George, first of all, Thank you for your Service… especially during this upcoming Veteran’s Day. Also, hoping you own your image and are licensing it out. If you get a cent for every dollar you appear on you are one rich dude.
        ____________________________________________________________________________________________
        Don’t believe everything you read.
        ——————————————————————————————————-
        No problem, especially when you posted:
        ______________________________________________________________________________
        If you must bleed, stop after four or five pints.
        I stopped after twenty.
        —————————————————-
        ‘-) Since we only have ~ 9 pints in our bodies, I’m assuming you meant all-inclusive done singularly. As for your Drs’ giving you excessive blood-letting treatments, I think just the one may have done some good but we will never know.

        But your doing twenty pints of donations over time suggests to me you were either very altruistic with your blood to help others, or you felt good when restoring your blood to stasis. Either way, thanks again for your community service.
        Sahhhhh-lute!

  8. I have heard once that lead is stored in fat tissue. If you try to eliminate it, then it will first go to blood stream and after it will be released through sweating and urinating. It is then plausible that lead will go up in blood when you try to eliminate it. Specially if you’re burning fat. This is hearsay, though. Can anyone confirm that?

    1. Hi, Thiago Kenji Souto! From what I understand, lead is primarily stored in bones and teeth. Blood levels may rise when bone is lost or remodeled, such as during pregnancy. It is stored in other body tissues as well, but not primarily in fat, as far as I know. Yes, blood levels could rise when you try to eliminate lead. You might be interested in these videos, if you have not already seen them: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/lead/ I hope that helps!

  9. !!Hey ppl how are you?

    does dr.greger ever spoke about the best-healthier daily bottle, for hot tea, and cold drinks, and just water?
    i want to buy one and looking for a safe one, if dr.greger didnt spoke about it does you guys got an idiea? its will be great !

    have a nice day

    1. You mean a reusable water bottle? Glass is probably the purest if that’s an option. For biking and things like that, glass isn’t always practical. I would GUESS stainless steel would be a better option than other materials but I personally avoid anything made in China that I store food or liquid in, I just don’t trust them… for justifiable reasons (the government, not race of course). I don’t think that Dr. Greger has a video specific to water bottles but he has videos on plastic and BPA and maybe in one or some of those videos he mentions safe materials for things like holding water and tea, etc.
      I also saw in one of his more recent live Q&A’s on youtube, someone asked what he cooked in and he mentioned stainless steel as safe cookware, I just remember him saying you can use stainless steel and you can use cast iron… I don’t remember if he mentioned other options, it was really quick and that of course was referring to pots and pans.
      I know for sure I would avoid aluminum, I know for sure I would avoid plastic that was not BPA free and wouldn’t even want to store anything hot in BPA free plastic personally. And I would be weary of ceramic because sometimes they add lead to ceramic and I would have to be sure it was pure and all that before using a ceramic water bottle. I have a ceramic cat fountain for my cats’ drinking water and I used a lead tester to make sure there was no lead in it.

      I’m no expert or authority on the subject but this is my personal approach. Good question.

      1. Cool thanks, not for biking its more for the office and stuff, maybe can i ask him in the live q/a what is the odds that he will se my questions?

        1. Hi, itamar! Dr. Greger recommends glass or stainless steel containers, if possible and practical. He also has a video on which plastics are likely to be safest, if you are going to use plastic. You can find it here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-plastics-are-harmful/ You might also be interested in this video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-the-bpa-free-alternatives-safe/ I hope that helps!

        2. I’m not sure what the odds are he’d read your question in a live Q&A, it would just depend on the order he received it. But he has them every month. It’s a good question. That’s why I love those live Q&A’s, I’ve never participated but you get to hear a lot of good questions get answered.

  10. The only way to eliminate lead in children’s environments is to eliminate lead in the environment in general. While it won’t go away entirely, it is astounding and grotesque to me what is currently allowed. For example, leaded bullets… ok, don’t even get me started on so called “hunters,” that is a topic in and of itself, but in general. I’ve spoken with gun owners who simply own a gun and go to the shooting range and I asked them about their bullets and indeed, they’re leaded. When I told them how that emits lead into the air and how the shooting range is actually a highly polluted place because of leaded bullets, I may as well have just mentioned something mundane about the weather as far as any reaction out of them went… just total apathy. Ironically these are all the people who reproduce and want their reproductions to reproduce because kids are the future and all that… it’s freaking maddening. The carelessness is so incredibly irritating, the lack of personal responsibility is excruciating, but the fact that it’s LEGAL to have things like leaded bullets in the first place is freaking insane and disgusting and pathetic. And leaded bullets are just one among I’m sure a greater sea of examples than I’m even aware of. But hey, why should the law even do anything when the public is so content in their own apathy. It is maddening. People are such fools.

        1. S & Jimbo,

          Agreed that it is time for some laws to change. I feel for the next generation. We have left them such a big mess to clean up.

      1. I was just able to finish reading the article Jimbo posted. I highly suggest others read it and share it. I knew it was bad but just gathering more insight on how bad it actually is blew my mind. I thought ignorance may have played a greater role, apparently not so much… “the National Sports Shooting Foundation will hold its third annual conference dedicated to keeping ranges from becoming environmental or health hazards.”

        1. S,

          I agree that it is a powerful article.

          Realities like: “One study found that the club had deposited 5 million pounds of lead and 11 million pounds of toxic target fragments on its grounds and nearby waters.”

          5 million pounds of lead is mind-boggling!

          When I was a young person, I was a police explorer and did target shooting with the police, but never got a taste for wanting to shoot at all. Someone bet on the person who was competing against me and I won someone a bottle of wine is all I remember about shooting. I don’t have good depth perception, so I must have used logic is all I can say.

          The concept that the managers at places like those have so much exposure. They hire people who couldn’t possibly understand the risks.

          1. A few of my relatives took up shooting two years ago. It is one of those dividing things in my family. We have a lot of radical conservatives and a lot of equally radical liberals and everything was fine until Facebook.

          2. Deb, yes it is mind-boggling! Pure insanity… Based on some of the numbers in this article alone, clearly the gun industry is a MAJOR contributor the the lead epidemic in our environment.

            That’s a really a cool story about you when you were younger! I love it when things like non gun enthusiast is the one to show up the other guys lol.

            Agree, the people working at these places and even attending aren’t made aware and just trust… That is sickening and horrible. But what’s also maddening is when you tell some of these people and they act as though they couldn’t care less because apparently, they couldn’t care less.

            “We have a lot of radical conservatives and a lot of equally radical liberals and everything was fine until Facebook.” … that is hilarious, I must say. Though I’m sure in real life, not so much. The wording though, lol Facebook.

            1. I meant that it’s sickening and horrible that the public and those working in these places aren’t made aware, not that the people are horrible for not knowing.

              1. S

                Environmental toxins are a better way to approach guns than the same old arguments.

                People won’t have heard those staitistics. Once you start getting the fishermen getting banned because the hunters shot ducks and made the water toxic, those are the types of things which could change things.

                My sister-in-law bought guns because she is afraid some lunatic will try to do a home invasion or try to kidnap her grandchild. Putting a competing fear, totally unrelated to shooting people might genuinely change her focus.

            2. My mother always told me not to get involved in other people’s probles or respond to personal attacks or name calling because it only encourages them. Mark Twain said something similar when he advised us never to argue with fools because bystanders won’t be able to tell the difference. I have never been sensible enough to take that advice. Instead I prefer to follow the instructions on the old fireworks packs we had in the UK back wehn I was a kid:: ‘Light the blue touchpaper, retire to a safe distance and enjoy the fieworks’

              I am not American and live in a completely different country, which is probably a safe distance both metaphorically and literally. It’s therefore none of my business.

              However, has anybody in the US suggested that the arguments of gun advocates should be discounted or even ignored because virtually all of them must be suffering from a greater or lesser degree of neurological damage and cognitive impairment as a result of many years of lead exposure at the range, hunting etc? In shooters, higher levels of lead exposure have also been assoiated with higher levels of aggression which might tell us something.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858639/
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068756/
              .

              1. Tom,

                There’s the rub and nobody wants to argue with the someone as Mad as a Hatter carrying a gun.

                Speaking of politics.

                You are not an American and I am watching the elections and I didn’t need a weatherman to tell that we are a ridiculously divided country.

                1. I am laughing because it is exactly what I expected.

                  I just have to look at my family and it is like having an old knee injury and knowing the weather.

                  1. And by that, I mean, as of right this second, the Republicans have gained 4 seats in the Senate and the Democrats have gained 25 seats in the House. People are up in arms in every direction.

                    1. I think the part, which will make it more interesting is that it is going to get worse – people get madder and madder and pull further and further apart, but we can’t have a Civil War or a civil conversation anymore.

                    2. We are in a tug-of-war or a game of tic Tac toe like the movie War Games.

                      I am so disinterested in politics because of that.

                      I am way more interested in solutions to problems coming from what I will call alternate sectors.

                      Whole Food Plant Based is outside politics and outside government and outside established medical and pharmacological power structures and outside educational strongholds and food industries and the press and I want to turn and say to all of those groups, I am less and less interested in your expert opinion and your so-called solutions to things. You are all about power and money and influence and you should all be ashamed of that.

                      Everybody fought for power and WFPB sprung up outside of that and people can empower themselves with it.

                    3. It is like the types of wars where people fight back and forth over control of the same plot of land.

                      Dr Greger don’t get distracted. You keep translating your book into every language possible and get those gun eaters to eat their vegetables.

        1. Thanks Mark but didn’t that JAMA article you cited show that people taking sauna sessions of 19 minutes or more had much lower mortality, CVD etc risk than people taking shorter sessions?

          1. Yes Mr. F. Indeed it did. I should have stated it differently, but I didn’t want to suggest that people go for 20 or more from the start. It’s good to work your way up to 20 or more. I do 20 5x/wk. And that’s the other thing about the paper in question. At least 4x/wk for optimal benefits. Thanks for your reply.

  11. The website said that the best way to ask a question was to leave a comment under a video, so here goes: If someone were prescribed 4000 mg of folic acid a day, how much folate would one have to consume to get the same benefits. As I understand it, there are differences in the availability and absorption rates. Thank you very much.

    1. Good question. Remember also that certain preparations can make the folate in foods even more bioavailable. I remember Dr. Greger talked about this in one of his smoothie videos.

    2. That’s a heck of a lot of folic acid. You’d have to eat over a half a pound of yeast extract to get that amount from food.

      The usual minimum requirement is 400 microgrammes (mcg). It would probably be a very good idea to double-check that dose in the prescription you have. 4,000 mg is a huge amount.

      You can find the amount of folic acid in foods by using the USDA’s food database

      https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report/nutrientsfrm?max=25&offset=0&totCount=0&nutrient1=431&nutrient2=&subset=0&sort=c&measureby=g

          1. Note that 4,000 mcg is 4 mg

            4000 mg sounds like a sllip of the pen for 4,000 mcg. Can’t do any harm to check ………….

            1. These guidelines recommend higher daily folic acid doses (4 mg/day) in women with a history of neural tube defects. In addition, enzyme-inducing anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone, and phenobarbital, are known to decrease folate levels, and valproic acid may interfere with folate metabolism.Nov 21, 2013
              Should All Antiepileptic Drugs Be Given With Folic Acid? – Medscape
              Medscape ›

              It’s not that we haven’t researched this before. What I’m asking about absorption rates and the possibility of using a folate form which might be safer. It’s hard to know what is affecting mood when both the anticonvulsant and excess folic acid circulation can both distupt moods. As you can imagine, the neuros are not really looking to have a long talk about this. So I’m looking for something “official” that I can bring to them. Is there a way to consult with Dr. McGregor?

              1. Thanks Mary.

                It also says

                “For women who have epilepsy, however, some doctors recommend a larger dose, up to 4 mg daily.”

                I understand that Dr Grgere is very busy and doesn’t provide personal medical advice but you could click on the Support box (bottom right) and raise your question there.

              2. I see the whole thread now. There is a long list of reasons why high dose folic acid has been prescribed over the past few decades. It is increasingly discouraged. Oral 5 MTHF may be a safer option in many of these settings. There is not one dose equivalent to 4g of folic acid. There are currently a variety of suggested doses depending on the indication, and whether or not abnormal folate metabolism is present (MTHFR gene defect). Doses for 5 MTHF instead of 4g of folic acid can range from 800mcg to 30g a day, depending on the indication and tolerance to the supplement. It seems that they start with lower doses and titrate up. Following folate levels in the CSF would be ideal, but not feasible. There’s not a consensus on dosing I can find by searching the literature. Genetic specialists who treat MTHFR defects are likely to have the most experience in the use of various forms of folate supplementation across many indications and may be your best resource. Good luck! Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

    3. Dr G advises against taking folic acid, as it is not converted very well to the active form, and thus unconverted folic acid can build up, which may be why folic acid supplements have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. The best way to get folate is via beans and greens. Asparagus and brussels sprouts are also high in folate. Include two cups or more of leafy greens and 1 1/2 cups of beans daily to meet your need. Here’s a video on this topic: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-folic-acid-be-harmful/ -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  12. Question Is folic acid supplementation associated with reduced risk of autistic traits in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero?

    Findings This population-based cohort and Norwegian biobank study that included 104 946 children found that children exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero had a significantly lower risk of autistic traits if the mother used periconceptional folic acid supplements. Maternal plasma folate concentration in gestational weeks 17 to 19 was inversely associated with the degree of autistic traits.

    Meaning Risk of autistic traits in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero may be mitigated by periconceptional folic acid supplementation and folate status.

  13. Interesting information as a introduction to the benefits of sweating. I am surprised very few of the comments
    submitted deal with the topic of sweating.
    I understand the subject having done my own research into it for several years. I have been marketing
    a far-infrared mat (Amethyst Biomat) which is an FDA licensed medical device for many years. In traditional swiss sauna’s
    they work at very high temperatures but are inefficient, heating the air 80% and your body only 20%
    (although you do sweat). A “far-infrared” sauna however is much more efficient and heats your body 80%’
    it penetrates deeper, you sweat more and therefore release more contaminants including heavy metals, and
    they work at lower temperatures, about 30-40 degrees lower. They penetrate about 2-3″ through the human
    body, through organs, muscles, ligaments, capillaries, bones, blood vessels, etcetera and help release the
    contaminants this way–through the skin. You need to be well hydrated to use sauna’s (ad many people are
    dehydrated which can lead to problems). When you sweat you will also lose minerals so mineralizing after
    sauna use is helpful. Using food as a detox is much, much less effective than sweating everything out. What
    you can do is eat as raw as possible and organic foods are best. Cilantro, chlorella, DE, Zeolite are some
    substances that I and other people have used for detox.I put a woman on my mat for 30 minutes and she noticed a
    metallic taste in her mouth–she said it was from a hospital procedure a few months before.
    I highly recommend using a far-infrared sauna, or the mat I offer. You feel lighter, your skin gets very clean
    from the elimination of sweat, and from using my mat my cellulite has disappeared.
    If you worry about contaminants please get a top quality water purifier. I do NOT suggest distillation or R/O
    because they remove ALL of the minerals, acidify the water, and make the water hard to absorb in your cells.
    Cheap faucet filters such as brita/pur remove few contaminants (and brita owns clorox). Spend at least a few
    hundred to a few thousands on a purifier.
    Yes I also market an alkaline ionized water purifier. namaste’, rachel

    1. Rachel, I find your post interesting. I have no opinion on your method of IR sauna, but I think I have an IR bulb somewhere in the house and since my new water distiller won’t be here until Tuesday (which I use for heat in the room I hole up in when cold, as it is supposed to be Monday) I will give it a try rather than putting on long johns.

      And speaking of distilled water, your statement…

      “I do NOT suggest distillation or R/O because they remove ALL of the minerals, acidify the water, and make the water hard to absorb in your cells.”

      …is one I do not totally agree with. My understanding is that R/O water doesn’t have ALL the minerals removed. Distillation does do that and as I use R/O water in my distiller, I do have to remove some mineral deposits left over from distilling that water.

      As for acidifying the water, distillation causes water to achieve a pH of 7 which is neutral. It actually becomes the perfect solvent in that it works on base (alkaline) or acidic. Can’t speak for R/O’s pH but I suspect it is close to what it was before going through the R/O process.

      And one more thing about distilled water… it kills both gram positive and gram negative bacteria during the boiling and steam conversion back to water. R/O process doesn’t do this AFAIK, and ionization works on one type and not the other… not sure which.

      I agree we sweat out minerals which gives us the opportunity to replace them with a good colloidal mineral supplement.

      1. Lorrie, you are correct in that R/O water does not remove ALL minerals. It ONLY removes, like, 92% of calcium, not 100%. The problem with changing the water structure by R/O (or distillation)

        is that you cannot bring it back to its’ original state no matter how much re-mineralization you do. Distilled and R/O water, as far as

        I know, is much lower than the 7pH you mention. They are both more like a 6 pH. In addition the structure of both waters are changed so that the size of the water molecules are very large and are difficult for our cells to absorb; not hydrating. Both waters are called “dead water” for a reason.

        Upon drinking either water what happens is minerals are pulled out of the body/bones to compensate for the lack of minerals in the water.

        There are obvious reasons why drinking either water(s) in the long-term is known to be dangerous for human health. You can of course choose to drink any water, and purchase any purification or filtering device that you choose. best wishes, rachel

        1. is that you cannot bring it back to its’ original state no matter how much re-mineralization you do. Distilled and R/O water, as far as I know, is much lower than the 7pH you mention. They are both more like a 6 pH. In addition the structure of both waters are changed so that the size of the water molecules are very large and are difficult for our cells to absorb; not hydrating. Both waters are called “dead water” for a reason.

          Upon drinking either water what happens is minerals are pulled out of the body/bones to compensate for the lack of minerals in the water.
          ————————————————————————————————————————
          Rachel, I do not doubt you believe what you believe vis a vis water. And to be honest, I do not think your misguided thinking is harmful. I say misguided because you say the distilled water pulls minerals out of the body/bones to compensate for the lack of minerals in the water. You also claim distilled water cannot be brought back to its original state.

          Ummmm, distilled water as it comes out of the distiller is as near to an “original” state as water can get. From a quick search on the Internet:

          “keep in mind that water (distilled, deionized, or tap) is NOT “pure” (i.e., pH equal to 7). The moment it comes in contact with air, CO2 gas begins dissolving into it, forming carbonic acid. The actual pH, therefore, will often be slightly less than 7.”

          Not arguing the pH claim you make, just using the above to point out that original state doesn’t exist. Is tap water the original state? chlorinated water? ionized water? rainwater?
          __________________________________________________________________________________________
          Upon drinking either water what happens is minerals are pulled out of the body/bones to compensate for the lack of minerals in the water.

          There are obvious reasons why drinking either water(s) in the long-term is known to be dangerous for human health.
          ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
          Why aren’t added minerals (natural colloidal for instance) as good as natural minerals that are in other waters?

          As far as drinking distilled water being dangerous for this human’s health, I’ve worn out 4 of those stainless steel 1 gallon distillers over the years (just got a new one yesterday!) and have been drinking only distilled water for at least the past 10 years but probably longer. I distill more than a hundred gallons over what I use in the winter to put up in glass gallon jugs for drinking during the summer. (I harvest the heat from the distiller to heat my computer room during the winter.)

          I had labs about a week ago and a Dr appointment Friday and the Dr. finally said, “just keep doing what you are doing.”

          disclaimer: I’m not suggesting anyone follow my regimen until they have studied as long as I have and come to know themselves as well as I have.

          1. We agree to disagree. You are choosing to drink distilled water and believe it is

            good for you. Distilled water is not found in nature, natures water cascades downward

            over rocks and stones which oxygenates and mineralizes it. I believe water is natural with minerals in it and above a neutral pH. I do not recommend distilled water or R/O water for anyone after what I have learned; it IS “dead water”. best wishes, rachel

            1. Distilled water is not found in nature, natures water cascades downward

              over rocks and stones which oxygenates and mineralizes it. I believe water is natural with minerals in it and above a neutral pH. I do not recommend distilled water or R/O water for anyone after what I have learned; it IS “dead water”.
              —————————————————————————-
              Just to distinguish between our positions, rainwater is the essential water that is distilled by evaporation and cooling and falling to the earth. It picks up things that may change it from the atmosphere (yuck, imagine that water falling through a polluted atmosphere.)

              Still, the only way to create the perfect mineralization would be to begin with distilled water and add the minerals an INDIVIDUAL would need to satisfy their needs. Then you could perhaps claim water in its best state… for an individual, that is.

              But claiming distilled water is “dead” water? That sounds like hyperbole in order to promote a for-sale product.

  14. Hi Dr. Greger,
    I was sent your video because I co-authored the Chemosphere article using sauna detoxification to reduce toxicant burdens in firemen, army, police, air force, sanitation, and other rescue workers who came to the call after the 9-11 attack and collapse of the NYC World Trade Center. After viewing your video, I did want to address one statement you made regarding your concern that we didn’t publish results for all 400 individuals.

    The aim of that study was to evaluate change in toxic load by sampling a random subset of the (then 400-strong) rescue worker cohort. As measuring change in toxicant levels involves drawing blood at various time points, both ethically and financially it would not be feasible to measure toxic load in every participant–we randomly selected these individuals from among the complete cohort and used Ergo Labs in Germany, probably the most reliable lab to detect contaminants at very low levels and extraordinarily expensive.

    Since the time of our Chemosphere publication, more than 1000 individuals have completed the program in NYC and many more in other locales and exposure settings (none with lead; I’d love to look at that). A case study looking at symptom change, blood chemistry biomarkers, and quality of life among the first 484 consecutive individuals to enroll in the regimen can be found here: http://fasenet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/townsend.pdf
    Many other articles exploring the Hubbard regimen are available online at http://fasenet.org/a-partial-list/

    As you state, use of a sauna regimen, exercise, and nutrition to improve health is rooted in deep traditions–many of them spiritual. I completely agree with you that we absolutely must lessen exposures to chemical contaminants by creating sound policies that address toxic chemicals and metals in our environment. However, it takes time to create regulatory change. Until that day, regardless of who developed a given regimen, this one helps many people and is broadly available.

    Thank you for your educational summary and for sharing possible options with your viewers.
    –Marie Cecchini Sternquist

  15. Not sure why this important topic of lead detox using sauna has been totally hijacked by another discussion however useful.
    Moderators should keep the discussion on topic!!

    1. It has been my experience on this and other forums that they rarely go off topic until after most of the important stuff has been covered. Granted, there is a cohort of chatty folk but even they (we) are triggered to post something relevant by something someone else says.

      Maybe a forum of just Dr.s is what you are looking for?

      1. No Lonnie, it topic driven, and I did not see the original discussion just a complete diversion having nothing to do with the topic at all.Generally moderators keep things on topic…

        1. To be honest, I do not remember much, if any, moderator interventions.

          They do offer answers and points to information when a poster needs help, but scoldings or reminders to stay on topic? I don’t recall any. But if they began doing that I think these comment sections would have maybe 20 responses… and doing that would sure free up a lot of time for me to do other things.’-) They might be “on topic” but they would be interesting to very few and the thread would die quickly.

          The best way to create creative buzz is to let the posters decide if something is off topic or not. Comments can easily be brought back on topic by someone posting a question or statement pertaining to the topic.

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