Could Lactose Explain the Milk & Parkinson’s Disease Link?

Could Lactose Explain the Milk & Parkinson’s Disease Link?
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Neurotoxin contamination of the dairy supply doesn’t explain why the association between Parkinson’s disease and skim milk consumption is as strong as the association with whole milk.

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Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s. In the U.S., there are approximately 60,000 new cases diagnosed every year, bringing the total number of current cases up to about a million, with tens of thousands dying from it every year.

The dietary component most often implicated is milk, for which contamination of milk by neurotoxins has been considered the only possible explanation. High levels of organochlorine pesticide residues have been found in milk, and in the most affected areas in the brains of Parkinson’s victims, on autopsy.

Since pesticides in milk have been found all over, maybe the dairy industry should require toxin screenings of milk. And there are indeed now inexpensive, sensitive, portable tests available. No false positives; no false negatives; providing rapid detection of highly toxic pesticides in milk. Now, we just have to convince the dairy industry to actually do it.

 Others, though, are not as convinced of the pesticide link. Despite clearcut associations between milk intake and the incidence of Parkinson’s disease, there is no rational explanation for milk being a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. If it were the pesticides present in milk that could accumulate in the brain, we would assume that the pesticides would build up in the fat—and the link between skim milk and Parkinson’s is just as strong.

So, they suggest reverse causation—the milk didn’t cause Parkinson’s; the Parkinson’s caused the milk. Parkinson’s makes some people depressed, they reason, and depressed people may drink more milk. So, we shouldn’t limit dairy intake in Parkinson’s sufferers, especially since they are so susceptible to hip fractures. But, now we know that milk doesn’t appear to protect against hip fractures after all, and may actually increase the risk of both bone fractures and death—but, ironically, may offer a clue as to what’s going on in Parkinson’s.

But, first, this reverse causation argument. Did milk lead to Parkinson’s, or Parkinson’s lead to milk? What one needs are prospective cohort studies where you measure milk consumption first, and then follow people over time. And, such studies still found a significant increased risk associated with dairy intake. The risk increased by 17% for every small glass of milk a day, and 13% for every daily half slice of cheese.

Again, the standard explanation is that it’s from all the pesticides and other neurotoxins in dairy. But that doesn’t explain why there’s more risk attached to some dairy products than others. Pesticide residues are found in all dairy products; so, why should milk be associated with Parkinson’s more than cheese?

Well, there are other neurotoxic contaminants in milk besides the pesticides themselves—like tetrahydroisoquinolines, found in the brains of Parkinson’s disease victims, but in higher levels in cheese than in milk, though people may drink more milk than they eat cheese.

The relationship between dairy and Huntington’s appears similar. Huntington’s disease is a horrible degenerative brain disease that runs in families, whose early onset may be doubled by dairy consumption. But again, this may be more milk consumption than cheese consumption— which brings us back to the clue in the more-milk-more-mortality study.

Any time you hear disease risks associated with more milk than cheese—more oxidative stress, inflammation—we should think galactose, the milk sugar, rather than the milk fat, protein, or pesticides. That’s why we think milk drinkers specifically appeared to have higher risk of bone fractures and death, and may explain the neurodegeneration findings too—as not only do rare individuals with an inability to detoxify the galactose found in milk suffer damage to their bones, but also to their brains.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Chris Pelliccione via flickr.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s. In the U.S., there are approximately 60,000 new cases diagnosed every year, bringing the total number of current cases up to about a million, with tens of thousands dying from it every year.

The dietary component most often implicated is milk, for which contamination of milk by neurotoxins has been considered the only possible explanation. High levels of organochlorine pesticide residues have been found in milk, and in the most affected areas in the brains of Parkinson’s victims, on autopsy.

Since pesticides in milk have been found all over, maybe the dairy industry should require toxin screenings of milk. And there are indeed now inexpensive, sensitive, portable tests available. No false positives; no false negatives; providing rapid detection of highly toxic pesticides in milk. Now, we just have to convince the dairy industry to actually do it.

 Others, though, are not as convinced of the pesticide link. Despite clearcut associations between milk intake and the incidence of Parkinson’s disease, there is no rational explanation for milk being a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. If it were the pesticides present in milk that could accumulate in the brain, we would assume that the pesticides would build up in the fat—and the link between skim milk and Parkinson’s is just as strong.

So, they suggest reverse causation—the milk didn’t cause Parkinson’s; the Parkinson’s caused the milk. Parkinson’s makes some people depressed, they reason, and depressed people may drink more milk. So, we shouldn’t limit dairy intake in Parkinson’s sufferers, especially since they are so susceptible to hip fractures. But, now we know that milk doesn’t appear to protect against hip fractures after all, and may actually increase the risk of both bone fractures and death—but, ironically, may offer a clue as to what’s going on in Parkinson’s.

But, first, this reverse causation argument. Did milk lead to Parkinson’s, or Parkinson’s lead to milk? What one needs are prospective cohort studies where you measure milk consumption first, and then follow people over time. And, such studies still found a significant increased risk associated with dairy intake. The risk increased by 17% for every small glass of milk a day, and 13% for every daily half slice of cheese.

Again, the standard explanation is that it’s from all the pesticides and other neurotoxins in dairy. But that doesn’t explain why there’s more risk attached to some dairy products than others. Pesticide residues are found in all dairy products; so, why should milk be associated with Parkinson’s more than cheese?

Well, there are other neurotoxic contaminants in milk besides the pesticides themselves—like tetrahydroisoquinolines, found in the brains of Parkinson’s disease victims, but in higher levels in cheese than in milk, though people may drink more milk than they eat cheese.

The relationship between dairy and Huntington’s appears similar. Huntington’s disease is a horrible degenerative brain disease that runs in families, whose early onset may be doubled by dairy consumption. But again, this may be more milk consumption than cheese consumption— which brings us back to the clue in the more-milk-more-mortality study.

Any time you hear disease risks associated with more milk than cheese—more oxidative stress, inflammation—we should think galactose, the milk sugar, rather than the milk fat, protein, or pesticides. That’s why we think milk drinkers specifically appeared to have higher risk of bone fractures and death, and may explain the neurodegeneration findings too—as not only do rare individuals with an inability to detoxify the galactose found in milk suffer damage to their bones, but also to their brains.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Chris Pelliccione via flickr.

Doctor's Note

What is this about milk not protecting against hip fractures? See Is Milk Good for Our Bones?

Other than avoiding dairy products, what can we do to reduce our risk of Parkinson’s? See Is Something in Tobacco Protective Against Parkinson’s Disease? and Peppers and Parkinson’s: The Benefits of Smoking Without the Risks?

I also have a video on Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet.

For the effect of foods on another neurodegenerative disease that affects our ability to move normally, see ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease): Fishing for Answers and Diet and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

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

166 responses to “Could Lactose Explain the Milk & Parkinson’s Disease Link?

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  1. Obviously our government is completely controlled by industry which they allow to sell us the poison that is dairy. What I don’t understand is why cultures that have no cultural history of dairy consumption allow us to sell it to them!!! If you were in charge of the FDA of China how could you possibly allow dairy into your country?

    Trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, choline, IGF-1, dioxins, PCBs, PDBEs, DDT, estrogen…




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    1. Some U.S. produce is banned in Europe and Japan.

      Our foods are poisoned in the name of increasing production (and then wasting) and so that they can be put on the shelf longer – from the farm to your mouth, sometime it takes a year.




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    2. Oh my god! They’re gonna get you! They’re gonna get you! They’re gonna get you! I like cow’s milk. I’ve tried other “milks”, and, they tasted bland to me. Absolutely horrible in a latte, or with cereal.
      Lighten up! You don’t have to drink it.




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    1. Hmmm…. and the top foods highest in galactose are celery, honey, cherries, beets, sweet corn, spinach, plums, kiwis, a burger with cheese, basil, bockwurst made from veal and pork, green peas and navy beans. Celery and honey are apparently the top two by far. It’s rather perplexing given the premise.




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      1. Jimmy: That is not the conclusion that I saw. From the transcript:

        “Any time you hear disease risks associated with more milk than cheese—more oxidative stress, inflammation—we should think galactose, the milk sugar, rather than the milk fat, protein, or pesticides. That’s why we think milk drinkers specifically appeared to have higher risk of bone fractures and death, and may explain the neurodegeneration findings too—as not only do rare individuals with an inability to detoxify the galactose found in milk suffer damage to their bones, but also to their brains.”

        Sounds like the milk itself to me. How do you figure differently?




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        1. The dietary component most often implicated is milk, for which contamination of milk by neurotoxins has been considered the only possible explanation. High levels of organochlorine pesticide residues have been found in milk, and in the most affected areas in the brains of Parkinson’s victims, on autopsy.

          Since pesticides in milk have been found all over, maybe the dairy industry should require toxin screenings of milk. And there are indeed now inexpensive, sensitive, portable tests available. No false positives; no false negatives; providing rapid detection of highly toxic pesticides in milk. Now, we just have to convince the dairy industry to actually do it.

          Others, though, are not as convinced of the pesticide link. Despite clearcut associations between milk intake and the incidence of Parkinson’s disease, there is no rational explanation for milk being a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. If it were the pesticides present in milk that could accumulate in the brain, we would assume that the pesticides would build up in the fat—and the link between skim milk and Parkinson’s is just as strong.




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          1. Jimmy: Your entire post seems to be a quote from the middle of the video. By the time we get to the end of the video, we have some “rational explanations”. Did you watch the video to the end? Did you read that quote I gave–the one that comes at the end of the video? What do you think I’m missing?

            Even the last paragraph of your quote starts to show that maybe it isn’t the pesticides. Or at least not all pesticides. Do you understand what this sentence means?: “If it were the pesticides present in milk that could accumulate in the brain, we would assume that the pesticides would build up in the fat—and the link between skim milk and Parkinson’s is just as strong.”

            Or are you saying that now you understand that it is indeed the milk itself?




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              1. Jimmy: I’m afraid a link to a Parkinson foundation page does not address my point, nor the point of the video, nor the problem with your post. You wrote, “Note that Dr Greger only talks about pesticide contamination in milk causing PD, not milk itself.”
                .
                Pesticides may very well be part of the problem. I would not at all be surprised if pesticides contribute to the problem. The point is, however, that according to this video, there may be issues with the milk itself. You can not say that Dr. Greger, “only talks about pesticide contamination..not milk itself.” As I showed you and as you quoted yourself, that is not true. This issue is complicated enough, I don’t want people to be confused by someone misquoting the video. That’s why I responded to your post.
                .
                Maybe you could fix your post? Or not. But if you do not fix your post, my corrects will stand.




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  2. #offtopic

    I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism (TSH=14, T4=11.5, T3=5), after a few months that I suffered from fatigue, dizziness, tingling, pain and more. No anti-thyroid antibodies were found. A month ago I started to take Levothyroxine (50mcg) to treat it, but I know it doesn’t really treat the underlying problem and I’m confused and worried. I’m a vegan for more than 3 years and following WFPB diet for about a year – at first I felt awesome, so good that I decided to go off SSRI. Then I suffered from discontinuation symptoms, but I continued to decline for way too long, so eventually I convinced my doctor to give me a blood test and we found it. I used to eat some raw cruciferous so thought it would be a good idea to add nori to my diet (judging by the package and some algebra – I added about 40mcg iodine per day), I felt better, more focused and energetic, but after awhile I felt like a ball is stuck in my throat and had a panic attack, so I decided I’ll stop with the nori. I’m really confused, don’t know if it’s related to the SSRI discontinuation, the algae, goitrogens, or maybe it’s just a coincidence. I’m only 24, just stopped taking SSRI and I was so happy about it, now so frustrated, everybody’s telling me it’s chronic and I’ll have to take Levothyroxine to the rest of my life. Do any of you have any information that could help me? is there any other solution?

    Not sure if it’s relevant but my total cholesterol is 85. Is it OK? I’ve heard that hypothyroidism usually causes an elevated cholesterol level so I’m confused. Also, 7 years ago I was tested as well, and I had TSH=6, but a year later it came down to 3. Maybe it’s just another episode?

    Today I got the new results, after a month on Levothyroxine: TSH:3.8, T4=12, T3=4.5. Not sure what to think about it, I’m still feeling the tingling and pain, maybe less fatigue and less of that pressure in my throat.




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      1. Mainly cabbage, kale and kohlrabi and not in such a huge amounts, not
        even close. Anyway, I meant I ate some goitrogens, that’s including flax
        and spinach. I saw this video, that’s why I mention it, but I didn’t eat
        that much, so not sure what to think. Also, even if it is related, now
        I’m wondering, in this case, is it reversible?




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        1. I think so yes, just need to let the body detox theses substances by avoiding them for a while as much as possible and by eating healthier and safer foods, mainly fruits, cooked vegetables and whole grains, HCLF.




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        1. Try to eat a satisfactory meal of it, would need at least 500gram of it, another problem is its full of hard fiber cellulose also, its even hard to chew it, thats why we use to cheat and grate it first, you know our body doesnt make the enzyme cellulase? Undigested things will ferment more or less, raw brussel sprouts yum yum…doesnt match humans physiology~




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          1. Lighty cooked brussel sprouts taste decent. Heavily cooked brussel sprouts are disgusting. I used to think I hated asparagus until I learned you didn’t have to boil it to death.




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      2. Eating cruciferous and other vegetables raw is not gross or disgusting. But from a nutritional point of view, the body will absorb the nutrients better if they are cooked. For some vegetables such as tomato, carrot, the nutrients will enhance by 5X-10X with cooking.




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                    1. Read about the “hack and chop” method which preserves it through cooking, or check my previous post on the subject.




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          1. Well you can use the hack and hold technique or you eat the cooked broccoli along with some raw arugula.

            I consume the whole vegetable soup and so there is no such thing as nutrients leaching into the cooking water.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/second-strategy-to-cooking-broccoli/

            http://www.aicr.org/press/press-releases/good-food-prep-boosts-cancer-fighting-ability.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

            Another study by Jeffery suggests that if you do eat well-cooked broccoli, you can still get sulforaphane to form by adding raw foods containing myrosinase to your meal. In this study, participants ate a broccoli supplement with no active myrosinase. When some participants ate a second food with myrosinase, their blood and urine levels of sulforaphane were significantly higher than those who did not eat the food.

            “Mustard, radish, arugula, wasabi and other uncooked cruciferous vegetables such as cole slaw all contain myrosinase, and we’ve seen this can restore the formation of sulforaphane,” Jeffery said.

            The studies on food processing add to the existing research on food preparation techniques that maximize plant foods’ cancer protective compounds. Previous research has shown:

            Crushing or chopping garlic then waiting 10 to 15 minutes before exposing it to heat allows its inactive compounds to convert into the active, protective phytochemical known as allicin
            Cooking tomatoes and other foods that contain lycopene allows our body to more easily absorb the phytochemical
            Boiling vegetables for a long time means you will lose water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, folate and niacin that leach into the water.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/02/09/how-to-cook-broccoli/

            That’s why I described the “hack and hold” technique—if we chop the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, or cauliflower first and then wait 40 minutes, we can cook them all we want. The sulforaphane is already made; the enzyme has already done its job, so we don’t need it anymore.




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          2. But if you cook crucifers lightly and eat them in the same meal with a little raw crucifer (say a bit of watercress or a couple of raw red radishes), the myrosinase in the raw crucifer will help convert the glucosinolate cleavage products into health-promoting isothiocyanates. Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery, Univ. of Illinois food scientists, explains… https://eatandbeatcancer.com/2013/11/15/anti-cancer-recipes-groundbreaking-news-about-crucifers/




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        1. Only lycopene for tomatoes(which is a real fruit like bell pepper and cucumber) and you can have a lot of it from watermleon and others fruits…

          vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc really have a crappy taste raw for most peoples, even cooked for a lot of peoples…
          they are not like delicious fruits for sure~




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          1. “vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc really have a crappy taste raw for most peoples, even cooked for a lot of peoples…
            they are not like delicious fruits for sure~”

            I cook my vegetables with tomato sauce and a lot of herbs and mushrooms. It adds taste, lycopene, anti oxidant to the soup.

            I eat fruits too such as watermelon that has lycopene but fruits do not have the same phytonutrients as cruciferous vegetables.

            http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=btnews&dbid=126

            Yes it is not as tasty as a regular soup because I put in so much vegetables in it but for health reason, I will eat dirt if I have to and this is better than dirt :)




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            1. But this is the whole point of cuisine-experiment with the multitude of ways that you can prepare a healthy food until you find a way you like it. If I gave up so easily, there would be far fewer healthy foods I eat. John S




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              1. You can cook all you want but the only thing is when you boil any vegetables, don’t throw away the boiling water. I cook and consume the whole thing like a soup and so there is no loss anywhere or otherwise you steam. I also cook with a slow cooker and so there is no over boiling.

                http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=14

                If you are planning to steam vegetables as part of your meal, you can include celery without having to worry about excessive loss of its phenol-based antioxidants. In a recent study, researchers compared the impact of steaming (10 minutes) versus boiling (10 minutes) versus blanching (3 minute submersion in boiling water) on the total phenolic antioxidant nutrients in celery. Both boiling and blanching resulted in substantial loss of these antioxidants, in the range of 38-41%. With steaming, however, 83-99% of these antioxidants were retained in the celery even after 10 minutes. While we encourage the practice of steaming as a cooking method of choice for many of our WHFoods vegetables, it’s great to see how nutrient-preserving steaming can be in the case of celery.




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        2. If you’re talking about foods rich in carotenoids such as carrots and squash, yes, they need to be cooked–and combined with a little black pepper and healthy fat, to increase absorption of carotenoids. If you’re talking about crucifers, most of them need gentle cooking to inactivate nitriles, compounds that compete for production with the healthier isothiocyanates. Then you add back the enzyme you kill with heat by eating a little raw crucifer in the same meal. Here’s the short list of the 5 crucifers that are best raw. https://eatandbeatcancer.com/2014/05/03/anti-cancer-foods-which-crucifers-are-best-raw/




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          1. Yep that’s exactly what I did. Thank you for confirming it.

            I eat arugula raw for the enzyme plus hack and hold my crucifier before cooking and I eat black pepper and a little bit of healthy fat in all of my meal.




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    1. https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/health-concerns/93/thyroid-function

      Dr. Fuhrman also has a article (which I couldn’t find with fast check) that discusses the whole cruciferous issue. Bottom line don’t worry about them and thyroid function.

      I also am hypothyroid and have been for years. It takes months for your thyroid to adjust. I am surprised your doctor ran a test after only 1 month.

      Peoples symptoms can vary but I can tell when mine is off due to fatigue. And when it is on I feel great. You should start feeling better in a couple of weeks.




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      1. Actually, since I started to feel bad (when I stopped with the SSRI, that’s why I contributed it to a discontinuation syndrome at first) it took about 5 months till I convinced her to give me the blood test.

        Thanks, it’s good to hear. I’m manly worry about the tingling and the dizziness right now, I hope it’s not something else more complicated.




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    2. WFPD diet has a lot of goitrogens which are not a problem if you have enough iodine. There are also a lot of goitrogens in the environment these days like bromide and fluoride. The controversy is over how much iodine is enough. Books like “the Iodine Crisis” by Lynne Farrow and Dr Brownstein’s book about iodine claim we need a lot more than mainstream medicine does. Nori has small amounts of iodine. There is usually a detox that happens when you start taking iodine that may be due to bromide. If you take iodine you also need selenium. It can take a long time to replenish your supplies but there is information out there on how to do it safely.




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      1. Thanks. The main confusion for me is that I started to feel the pressure in my throat a little after I started to eat nori and I know goiter can be triggered by too much iodine, though it doesn’t make much sense in my case. Maybe I don’t remember correctly or maybe I didn’t have enough selenium, but I’m not sure what I should do now. My TSH value came back to the (still high) normal range, but that’s on Levothyroxine that I would love to get rid of.




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      2. Lynn Farrow is one of my friends on FaceBook. She is also a part of the FaceBook iodine group page. I’ve read Brownstein’s book. I am amazed at the high doses these people take. They are a very interesting group to follow. I take about 9 mg of iodine about once a week. The iodine devotees on FaceBook take anywhere from 12 mg to 50 mg PER DAY. wow. I didn’t know that there was a connection with iodine and selenium. I take one tablet of selenium about once every two weeks. These high doses of iodine don’t seem to hurt these people from what I read on their FaceBook group page. But, I just take a little every once in a while as a little insurance to make sure I am getting something, because I DO NOT eat fish, or seaweed. I never use salt from the salt shaker. So, I just supplement a little bit about once a week.




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    3. You need to continue to work with your clinicians to figure this out. It is confusing. Original blood test showed your “brain” was trying to get your thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone hence the elevated TSH compared to your previous values. You can’t assume that the symptoms were related to the “hypothyroidism” until you go through a trial of treatment and the symptoms go away. Generally it takes 6 weeks for your blood tests to reach stability with thyroid medications. Generally iodine deficiency is not an issue in folks who use iodized salt… you can view the NF video’s on iodine. The SSRI issue is much more of a challenge. Peter Breggin’s book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, discusses the challenges and proposes a process for withdrawing from the common psychiatric medications. It is a bit pricey but very useful. To become more fully informed about the issue of diagnosis and prescription of psychiatric medications Robert Whitaker’s, Anatomy of an Epidemic, is excellent. My clinical experience has led me to the conclusion that these meds are over prescribed. They have their place in specific situations. They are easy to start and often very difficult to get off. The side effects and long term problems are significant. Your cholesterol is in a good range. Just like you need a trial of thyroid to see which of your symptoms get better you also need a trial of withdrawal from your SSRI to see how many symptoms are related to that medication. I want to reiterate you need to work with your prescribing clinicians as well as those in your home support environment to minimize the risks of withdrawing from the psychiatric medications including the SSRI’s. So good luck, keep on your healthy diet and work with your health care professionals to sort it all out. You also need to keep tuned to NF.org as the science keeps changing.




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      1. I quit the SSRI 6 months ago and suffered from all the severe notorious symptoms related to it, so I’m well aware of its effects. Now I’m wondering if it could trigger the problem with my thyroid or it was just a coincidence. We don’t have iodized salt here, that’s why i started to eat nori, but I stopped cause I suspected it has a bad influence on me. I also stopped eating cruciferous cause I’m just confused.




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        1. I haven’t read anything about the SSRI’s triggering thyroid difficulties. That said it is possible that symptoms from discontinuing psychiatric medication can persist and be intermittent. The Medical Pharmaceutical industry doesn’t do a very good job of monitoring long term side effects of medications and even less on the symptoms concerning tapering or discontinuing medications. There is a small but growing literature on “deprescribing” medication. This being driven mainly by the geriatricians who are inheriting patients on many medications. It is confusing but working overtime with caring competent health care professionals is usually successful. Good luck.




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      2. I was reading that some people, go into depression when they have low cholesterol levels. I googled the question, “What are the symptoms of low cholesterol”, and many authoritative webpages said that people who are inclined to have psychiatric problems to begins actually go into depression to a deeper level.




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        1. John Axsom: My understanding about cholesterol and depression is that while some studies have established a link, we don’t know which direction the link goes. For example, we know that when people get various diseases, their cholesterol levels can go down. But it is the disease that causes the cholesterol levels to go down, not low cholesterol levels that cause disease. There is no controversy on this point.

          So, when it comes to depression/mood, does low cholesterol cause depression or does depression cause low cholesterol? I don’t think we know for sure, but here is a quote from Healthy Longevity: “In regards to depressive symptoms, a recent review of clinical trials found that cholesterol lowering statins are associated with improvements in mood scores. Furthermore, several clinical trials have found that vegetarian diets, also known to lower serum cholesterol have favorable effects on measures of mood and stress.”
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3568015/
          http://www.nutritionj.com/content/11/1/9
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=8205407
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3783150

          NutritionFacts also has some videos on mood and diet that might interest you.

          Does that help?




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    4. I was diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s). I did a lot of research on it and found that a gluten free diet along with selenium supplementation helps keep it under control. I was able to discontinue my levothyroxin once I stopped eating gluten containing foods. The one book that I found very useful on hypothyroidism was called Hashimoto’s finding the root cause by Izabella Wentz.
      You should definitely not be eating raw cruciferous foods as they exacerbate hypothyroidism.




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      1. Thanks, but thankfully (though then I might be less confuse I guess), according to the blood test I had there is no sign for Hashimot’s.




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    5. I am no expert in thyroid symptoms but TSH is a poor way to determine thyroid issues and it can fluctuate with the season alone. There are T3 and T4 measurements that can be used to diagnose. I think you need to see a thyroid expert. The following link may help with some info.

      http://www.tiredthyroid.com/tsh.html




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    6. I can only comment about the SSRI from personal experience…what a friggin nightmare! I was on Celexa for maybe 10+ years, but after going WFPB and eliminating so many health issues I began eliminating all the dozen plus medications I had been saddled with over the years. My doctor refused to help and when she questioned my intelligence, we parted ways. Even the narcotics were easy compared to the Celexa! Other than the “zaps” there was no major issue at first and all seemed well, and then it was like a descent into hell! I can’t even begin to explain the mental and physical assault that lasted long enough to cause me to relent and take a reduced dose just to stop the withdrawal symptoms. I was so determined but no way I could function, it was a nightmare. Each time I’ve tried it’s been more of the same, just a horror no one ever mentioned!
      My thyroid was slightly elevated for a while also, but adding sea veggies seemed to help. If I ever find a reasonable doctor it’s an issue I need to address. I never found cruciferous veggies to be a problem though, at least not when you are eating an overall healthy diet. I think a lot of the “issues” like the gluten/wheat thing and the many other modern maladies are the result of an otherwise inappropriate diet, and not from the actual “culprit” that gets the rap. (and the power of suggestion?)




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        1. You are awesome, light up my day and make me smile, thanks! I don’t know about a rock star though, unless you count the rocks in my head! :)




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    7. Everything I’ve ever read has said that thyroid issues can’t be cured with WFPD like other chronic diseases. What a WFPD will do is provide a stable basis of heath so the hypothyroidism can be treated as effectively as possible. Look for Mary Solmon: Thyroid Patient, Advocate, Author on FB. Lots of good information about thyroid issues. Also, check out http://www.youngagain.org/t1.html. Good luck and really hope you find some relief and peace.




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      1. Regardless of WFPB, there are no cases of people reversed it? I mean, as mentioned, 7 years ago I had TSH=6 and then, a year later, it came back to 3, so I had some hope, I was just too naive?




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        1. TSH can fluctuate even with the weather. So it’s not a good indication of better or worse. “ball is stuck in my throat” feeling sounds like acid reflux, GERD to me. Tiredness sound like lack of Vit B12 or thyroid. You could have multiple health issues at the same time. Just take B12 pill first to eliminate that possibility. It’s cheap and harmless.




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    8. Fatigue, dizziness, tingling and pain sound like it could be a B-12 deficiency. Vegan for 3 years could be long enough to run through your B-12 reserves if you weren’t supplementing regularly, and maybe even if you were if you weren’t absorbing it well. Even if you received a serum B-12 blood test, you might see if your doctor would do a Methymalonic acid and possibly a homocysteine blood test. These test give a much better indication B-12 deficiency and much sooner than simply measuring the serum level of B-12.




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      1. Or just take the B12 pill. It’s cheap and you can’t never have an overdose of B12.

        Even a meat eater like me needs B12 for my cramp. I guess my body does not absorb enough from foods.




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      2. Take Vit B12, D, K2, selenium, magnesium, zinc to eliminate the possibility that your symptoms are not related to Vitamin or mineral deficiency. That;s a lot of pills to take but it’s better than trying drugs that may not fix your symptom because you diagnose incorrectly. I take more pills than this for diseases prevention although I have no symptom.




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        1. I agree that you could just take the B-12 because without worry of overdosing there is really only upside to taking it. And you could also increase your intake of these other vitamins and minerals as well. But for issues it could be important to understanding what the root cause or causes of the symptoms are since something like B-12 deficiency is not the cause but only a symptom of some other issue. Hitting it with a shotgun and having symptoms improve makes it impossible to know what made the difference. That knowledge could be important to understanding where the symptoms came from, how to keep them from coming back and perhaps most importantly are they indicators of an underlying medical condition that you don’t want to leave untreated.

          So if I had pronounced neurological symptoms, I would probably opt to go through a diagnostic process to identify what the starting point is before I potentially muddy the waters to the point that I will never know.

          But if you didn’t want to do the blood testing for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, you could run your own test by adding one new thing at a time, give it a few weeks to gauge any effect and then add the next item to attempt to do a post hoc diagnosis.




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          1. I agree. You can try the shotgun approach and take them all at the same time, and if the condition improves then withdraw one by one until you know which one helps. Or you just take them all regardless because you need those essential vitamins and minerals anyway. That’s what I did. Initially, it was a handful of supplements to fix some onset of aging diseases and I research some more and keep adding along with eating healthy. Currently, I have no symptom of any disease but I don’t stop my supplements intake. Yes it costs money but you do it or come down with a disease later. And I have researched that they have no side effects, no overdose, no taxing on my kidney, liver, absolutely nothing before I do. I am not the type of person who takes those “lazy” supplements to reduce weight or to build muscle without exercising.

            I am just sharing what I did but do you own research before believing one iota of what I say, or don’t believe at all.




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            1. Nutrients in food come as a packaged deal with proportions being set by the person’s overall dietary pattern. And in addition to the handful of “essential” vitamins and minerals, we know that whole food contains thousands of other biologically active phytochemicals. Currently those phytochemicals are classes as being not essential because you don’t become rapidly ill with an identifiable illness because of their absences that is reversed when that one phytochemical is added back.

              But this assumes a highly reductive approach to health. If we have learned anything about human health and nutrition is that it is a wholistic, as in something where the whole is not simply the sum of the individual parts.

              The analogy that I use is “health” is like an massive orchestra with dozens and dozens of different instruments playing a rich and complex piece like a Mahler symphony. Some instruments like the violins are the “stars” of the orchestra. Without them, the symphony is unrecognizable, and so they are deemed essential instruments. Others like the triangle in the percussion section only being played with occasional soft strokes in certain passages of the symphony. The symphony is completely recognizable without the triangle and so it could be classes as being an un-essential instrument. Despite that, the omission of the tiny triangle can fundamentally change the texture of the entire piece. Still others are like the flutes and piccolos. The flutes might be essential to playing the piece. But because flutes can double for piccolo for the most part, maybe piccolos are determined to not be absolutely essential

              Supplements are like an orchestra distilled down to only the essential handful of instruments. Definitely violins and bass, but no violas or cellos. A trombone but no trumpets or tuba. No oboe (a clarinet is close enough to play both parts). One timpani but no bass drum. And no triangle, no piccolo, Further if this orchestra of only essential instruments were to play the way supplements are packaged, every instrument would always be playing its parts at maximum volume.

              Listening to such an orchestra you probably could pick out the piece of music that is being played, but it would hardly be the same listening experience as the full orchestra with all the “minor” instruments adding texture and color to the overall sound and all instruments playing at the appropriate volume at the appropriate time.




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              1. Nobody denies the importance of foods. You eat the food first and then take the supplements as the name implies: it is supplementation and not substitution. But I know that I need to supplement some vitamins and minerals by just doing the math and there is no way I can get enough through foods even if I spend all day eating. I am looking at the optimal amount and not the RDA. And this is not counting poor absorption by the body or the body cannot convert from foods as you age.




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                  1. Ishay, I got them from reading other health/nutritional doctors – a lot of them are meat eaters or recommend supplements that are of animal source. Out of respect for Dr Greger and other vegans, I don’t want to list them out here but you can easily google the info. The other thing is when you buy supplements from reputable manufacturers, they already contain the optimal content. Not all supplement manufacturers are created equal and a lot of bad ones give a bad name to supplements. Generally I don’t buy common supplements that are sold at supermarkets or drug stores because they are mostly junk. Not only they are ineffective but sometimes they contain dangerous filler, contamination with mercury/lead, etc. Since I buy most of my supplements on Amazon.com (no advertisement here), I check the reviews of other users. Be careful about fake reviews from supplement manufacturers. Usually authentic ones will have long reviews and some of them are critical. So don’t count on supplements that contain mostly positive reviews because manufacturers sometime give out free sample in return of positive reviews.

                    Also out of respect of Dr Greger web site, use of supplements is not encouraged but real foods consumption is advised so I don’t want to talk too much about supplements except when I try to help a person with some illness. But take for example Vitamin D, the RDA is 200-300 IU while Dr Greger recommends 2000 IU and I take a 5000 IU supplement.




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                1. I am glad to see that you do focus on getting your nutrition first from food and then, as you say, supplement with supplements. But I have to challenge you on your statement that there is no way that you can enough nutrients just from food even if you spend all day eating. You can absolutely get all the nutrients and much more than the RDA if you don’t displace high nutrient density food with a lot of very low nutrient density foods. Animal derived foods and processed plant foods have much lower nutrient densities than whole plant foods, and so supplementation is really only required if a significant fraction of daily calories comes from these sources.

                  Here is a food log for a typical day for me that I recorded in cronometer along with the nutrient summary for those foods. Time spent eating is the normal meal times three times a day. As you can see I am at least at the RDA (save for vitamin E and that can be addressed with an additional tablespoon of sunflower seeds on my salad) and mostly well above without any supplements. If had to remove any of these foods to make caloric room for any meat, dairy or eggs, then these totals would suffer and I might be forced to supplement to get the totals back up.

                  And none of this includes consideration of all the un-essential nutrients found almost exclusively in plants that we know do things important to long term health, even if not absolutely essential to avoid short term illness. You can’t get these non-essential nutrients from a supplement.

                  https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/494765ddcc44e2017b01acf02155d12ed6f3b11806944b052a2db5ed76e4a5db.jpg

                  https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/70f657ed3cae14f0fab4a3c321f8ee17de4583600f839f5e61751395cbbb320f.jpg




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                  1. Well Jim, I just give you 2 vitamins and 2 minerals:

                    Vit D (I am not out in the sun that much due to work)
                    Vit K2 (K2 not K1 which I get plenty from kale and spinach and I don’t want to eat Natto for K2 because it stinks)
                    Magnesium
                    Zinc (unless you want to kill oyster)

                    Please list the amount of plant foods I need to eat to get them.




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    9. I had a very difficult time with Hypothyroidism 10 years ago, especially since my doctor was not interested in my diet approaches and she didn’t want to know how the diet was working better than any thyroid medication. After every blood test result, she would say, ‘you’re going to come running to me one day and beg me for thyroid medicine’. That never happened. My diet did work and have had closest to what is ‘normal’ results for nearly 6 years. For me the culprit was not enough vitamin D, my Ayurvedic naturopath originally hit me with an extremely high dose for 2 weeks and then we maintained the D with a lower dose. My diet is Gluten free, completely Soy free, I overcooked my cruciferous, I soaked and washed and peeled my almonds, stopped the cabbage completely although it was what I lived off in my non hashimotos days, but found if I ate almonds with their peel or thought I was cured and had cabbage salad, then i would start feeling symptoms again. Iodine supplement actually made me unwell, within minutes of having an iodine supplement, my body wouls start showing symptoms. It took 4 years to get it right, and my results have been really good in the last few years, so I’ll stick to what is working. My cholesterol was an issue too, but wheat free porridge and avocado did the trick.
      Keeping your vitamin C’s up there with your D’s, is critical, keeping your body calm is very important. If or when you take supplements, check that none of the fillers are soy. You can do it, especially because your body has had a wonderful head start being vegan.




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    10. You may actually need to add some meat protein back into your diet. Bone broth or organ meats would be great option. Plant ONLY diets

      are not the only option, and do not ALWAYS work. In fact, in my practice and many other functional practices, patients gone Vegan often complain of fatigue and get diagnosed with metabolic d/o despite their best intentions. Add some bone broth or meat back into their diets and they are restored. Something to think about.




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          1. Why didn’t you guys go out in full force and give him trouble?

            I say down with this guy. He should let the guy with thyroid issue suffer but we need to save the planet first.




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              1. I know that the good doctor always points out some bad things for everything related to meat. But bone broth is good for your collagen, minerals, protein, calcium, etc. You know that every organ in our body is made of collagen including the heart and valve that is beating in your chest, the kidney that filters all toxic waste… I keep my 95 year old dad alive with it among other foods and supplements. Between him and the cows, I have to pick him. Of course you have to pick from organic, naturally grown, etc. The benefits outweigh the risks.

                But in today’s video, the doctor scares me out of drinking milk although I am not convinced that milk consumption causes PD. I actually drink just a little bit of kefir, not milk. But all that growth enzyme inside milk scares me. I will stop drinking kefir. It’s not really needed for me and not worth the risks,




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                1. “The idea that because bone broth or stock contains collagen it somehow translates to collagen in the human body is nonsensical,” says Dr. William H. Percy, an associate professor and biomedical scientist at the University of South Dakota who has spent more than three decades studying the ways the human gut breaks down and absorbs the food we eat. “Collagen is actually a pretty poor source of amino acids,” he says.

                  Perhaps if you gave your dad more healthy food instead, he would still be alive? Who knows.




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                  1. Well people can have different opinions. You read everything and 5 people are against and 5 people are for and so you pick the best logical opinion and then you check it from your own experience. So before the invention of the collagen pill which is made of pork skin, people ate bone broth to get their collagen. I do both, take the pill and consume the broth. My nail gets stronger, my hair thicker, my teeth and gum stronger, my knee joint gets rebuilt and … I can get hold my pee like a 20 year old – sorry for this detail but it shows that internal organs are rebuilt.

                    And thank you, my 95 year old dad is still alive and well, he eats plenty of healthy WFPB + bone broth (don;t need a lot) and he can still walk and go up and down the stairs.




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                    1. Sorry, I now understand that what I wrote could be misinterpreted. What I meant to say was: Perhaps bone broth isn’t helping to keep your father alive despite your belief, and he could have done without it just as well. I didn’t mean to imply he isn’t alive.

                      My personal recommendation is to look at the science whenever it’s available. Even though a lot is still unknown, in my opinion that’s the safest way to go. I don’t believe “what my body tells me” so easily, because I’m aware of the immense psychological effects of believing something is good or bad for you, or even of whether or not you enjoy the food that you’re eating. I understand your point of “if it seems to be working, let’s carry on with it” but I think you oversimplify things and draw conclusions too quickly. That is just my opinion.




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                    2. I never do anything without thoroughly researching, especially when it comes to health. When I said to look at how the body reacts, it is to verify after you read the sciences but then check your body too because every-body is different. And I know my dad health very well – a couple of time he almost “go” like coming down with a serious flu and we “rescue” him with “grandma” kind of soup and he recovered and get back to his activities like nothing had happened. In fact, he looks younger than a couple of years ago. He does not look like those frail 90 year old or centenarian I often see in the photos but he looks robust and young.




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                    3. Exactly, well stated! It.s never a good idea to eat something because of a craving , to easy to be lead astray .Smokers also feel better at least in the short term , to continue to smoke




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                    4. Now I have to apologize because I didn’t read all of the posts and I responded too quickly. It must be guilt for bugging Jimmy so much.




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                  2. Wait wait wait, I have been harassing Jimmy about meat. I have been on a WFPB diet for two years now and I could go on and on about how I feel it has saved my life. I also fully believe that we do not need to eat meat to live. That was the basis of my bugging him.
                    I was mostly bothered because someone eating dairy who was a cancer survivor said she ate yogurt every day and Jimmy said he was glad she was eating what she felt was good for her. I was worried that she wasn’t getting vital information about the dangers of dairy, particularly the cancer aspect of it so, we went back and forth for several days about meat.

                    That being said, please do not infer that someone lovingly making food for a 95 year old man is helping to kill him. This just moves into a line of interaction that is not at all nice. We want to be good to each other, right?




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                    1. I never said or inferred anything like that. Jimmy wrote that bone broth helped keeping his father alive. All I wanted to say was that he had no good reason to think it was helpful, or more helpful than a cup of tea for that matter.

                      However, if I had a good reason to think it was killing him, I would say so. I would try to say it in the friendliest way I could, but in my opinion the risk of offending somebody is worth taking in an attempt to save a life.




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                    2. Like I said in the other post, I am sorry! I couldn’t delete the comment and I was out of line.
                      Please accept my apology!




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                    3. “Perhaps if you gave your dad more healthy food instead, he would still be alive? Who knows.”
                      I guess I misunderstood what this sentence meant.

                      As I said in another post, I am sorry I jumped the shark and commented on you post because you already interacted with Jimmy.




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      1. Something to think about indeed . I don’t doubt that whole plant doesn’t always work . Using animal products to bring back health would be even more unbelievable . It would be more interesting to see improved blood work by switching from WPB to animal products , come on now don’t be shy lets see the proof .
        My wife almost died from “thyroid Storm ” in 2010 and even though going whole plant has not solved all problems , everything that can be measured at the doctors is by far better on whole plants than when we were on animal food diet .




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    11. You might want to have someone take a look at your adrenal function by checking salivary cortisol levels throughout the day. If your adrenals are not functioning optimally it can affect all other hormone production including thyroid hormone. Things that might indicate inadequate adrenal function would be things like fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbances and anxiety all of which it sounds like you have. So yes this may be manifesting as a high TSH (hypothyroidism) but the underlying problem may be that your cortisol levels are low so your hypothalamus and pituitary gland are trying to rev up your metabolism by producing more TSH. I see this often in my practice. When I get the person to manage their stress more effectively and sleep better everything balances out and the thyroid function comes back to normal. Many times if the person is eating a SAD diet then just fixing the diet is all it takes. But sometimes there are other stressors that are affecting the adrenals and they need to be addressed in order to balance cortisol levels and subsequently improve thyroid function.




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      1. I would love to, but it was hard enough to convince them to give that
        blood test, took me months, so I’m pretty sure they will ignore my
        request unless I can back it up with a research or some sort of authority.




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        1. Maybe it’s time to spend start looking for a doctor in your area who is more helpful. What town do you live in? Maybe someone here has a referral. But don’t worry about your thyroid. It will all work out. The most difficult part is how long it takes to adjust. My endocrinologist has me waiting 3 months between adjustments in medication. But once you find the right amount of medication you will feel better.




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        2. You can pay for your own blood test without your doctor order – yes it costs money but it’s better than to be sick or misdiagnosed. It costs a few hundreds bucks and not an arm or a leg you cannot afford. Your insurance may cover the cost.

          https://chriskresser.com/5-thyroid-patterns-that-wont-show-up-on-standard-lab-tests/

          https://www.healthlabs.com/thyroid-health-testing?gclid=Cj0KEQjw88q9BRDB5qLcwLXr7_sBEiQAZsGjay2g1K287nRwYE3iPNUfd_ODA8syzHuDe1G4y3Rhvt0aArp48P8HAQ

          https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/thyroid-panel/tab/test/




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        3. go to http://plantbaseddocs.com/ and click on find a practitioner and see if there is someone in your area who might be able to help you address this problem. You could also try https://www.functionalmedicine.org/ they also have a find a practitioner link. Functional Medicine docs are usually experienced in managing adrenal disfunction and all hormonal imbalances for that matter, using natural and nutritional methods. They, however may not be strictly plant based in their approach depending on who you find but will usually be supportive of a plant based diet if that’s your choice. Hope those suggestions help.




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    12. Unfortunately our current medical system of care has not advanced the knowledge of what the cause of hypothyroid truly is.

      “Conventional treatment involves supplying the body with extra thyroid hormones in hopes that the body will use them to replace the hormones the thyroid isn’t producing. While this may provide symptom relief for some, this approach does not address the cause of the symptoms.” I would suggest reading this article regarding hypothyroid: http://goop.com/the-mysteries-of-the-thyroid/

      My take on it is that excess thyroid hormones like levothyroxine is not treating the ROOT cause of the thyroid issue, but simply adding thyroid hormones to the body, which can get stored in the liver and lead to liver issues down the road. If it were me, I would wean off the thyroid hormones, and focus on the truth cause of hypothyroid, which is the Epstein barr virus. Following an anti viral protocol until your thyroid heals- ie, no dairy, wheat, eggs, canola oil, soy, and incorporating thyroid healing foods(which includes cruciferous vegetables, wild blueberries, sprouts, cilantro, garlic , hemp seeds, brazil nuts and cranberries) along with thyroid supporting supplements (Zinc, b12, spirulina, l-tyrosine, vitamin d, b complex, etc.)




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    1. Probably not. A simple comparison of the free galactose content (per 100 grams) of foods can be misleading.

      If you look at that table in the article you linked to, you will see that the galactose coming from lactose in milk adds enormously to the amount of free galactose found in milk. As a result, a single serving of milk yields far more total galactose than is obtained from an equivalent serving of eg dried figs etc (c. 6,500mg vs 984mg). Milk and yoghurt deliver far more galactose per serving than any other foods




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      1. Lactose makes the most sense as the real culprit here, because as Dr. Greger and the large British study have mentioned, fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir are associated with longer life span, while all other dairy are not. John S




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            1. I am not worrying about the sugar in milk, but I am more worrying about the growth enzyme in milk which promotes cancer growth. I read the post by Darryl above that talks about D-galactose and I will stop consuming kefir although I don’t consume that much.




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  3. I suspect it’s the casein that’s the culprit, we all know that the mutated protein causes Mad Cow disease. We already know casein blocks absorption of most antioxidants from fruits.




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  4. [Off Topic]

    This is a petition to drive supermarkets to accept “ugly produce” because so much produce goes to the dumpster just because they don’t look nice. This waste drains our resources and destroy our planet.

    This is a beneficial cause and for those who has too much extra energy, this is a way to funnel it away.

    https://www.change.org/p/walmart-what-the-fork-are-you-doing-with-your-produce-walmart/u/17573534?tk=0ipzF0F48t-Wsv-6P2gygPxsAqmwlYYm6IqPC7iYZ4c




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  5. Study of 61,433 Swedish women over 20.1 years the more milk they drank the worse mortality and the more fractures: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015 For scientific analysis read “The China Study” by Cornell nutritional biochemist prof. T. Colin Campbell. Our local doctors here and even Massachusetts General Hospital are ignorant of science.
    Mammals were never intended to eat milk as an adult particularly of a different species.
    The breast cancer regions of the world are exactly the Dairy regions of the world. Why? Read “The No Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program” by internationally known scientist prof. Jane Plant, CBE. Cows put IGF1 growth hormone into milk so their calves will grow quickly into cows in 2 years. IGF1 helps fast growing cells to grow faster example adult cancer cells.
    The local dairy farms here have switched to orchards and pick your own fruits and produce. They’re doing fine producing healthy food while remaining dairy farms in the state struggle despite Government subsidies.
    Now tell me all over again why anyone would ever feed Parkinson’s patients milk products?




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    1. Aaron: I would think that organic would have just as much galactose. So, while organic may be marginally better with less pesticides, organic milk would still come with high risk for parkinsons, bone fractures, cancer, etc.




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    2. Not if the cause of the Parkinson’s is the lactose and/or galactose. Those sugars are an inherent part of all bovine milk, organic or not.

      And don’t forget that the amino acid profile in the proteins in milk organic or not represent a signal to the body that is used by the body to determine how to respond to intake of a given food. Think of the amino acids in different proteins as semaphore flags. The same semaphore flags in different configurations have different meanings to the recipient. In the same way the body reads different messages from different proteins by “reading” the different amounts of the different amino acids. Nutrition and messaging all in the same package.

      In the case of milk the amino acid profile provides a signal that it is time to grow. Not surprising since it is only consumed by the rest of nature during the infancy of the animal when growth is the appropriate response. Also the percentage of the calories represented by protein varies considerably in different mammalian species, and is directly correlated with the doubling rate of the infant. Rat milk has the highest percentage protein at around 50% and rat pups double in size in a shorter period of time than just about any mammal. Human milk has the lowest percentage protein at around 5%-6% and human infants have the slowest doubling time of any mammal. Bovine milk is around 25% and calves have a doubling time much shorter than humans but also much longer than rats.

      However, it is not the appropriate response to be giving to adults, who have no need for rapid growth.




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  6. Milk allergies are common. Dr. Hoffer believes Huntington’s disease can be treated with Vitamin E and Niacin. I would like to thank Dr. Greger for taking me off of milk.




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  7. Lactose is a disaccharide of D-galactose and glucose, and D-galactose has been used to accelerate aging in around 300 animal and cell studies. It’s mechanisms include advanced glycation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and oxidative stress (this was a premature submission, many links inbound)

    Why would mammalian milk use the sugar lactose? In nearly all mammals and most humans, lactose is only tolerated by newborns, lactose prevents competition by older offspring for milk. In human populations that domesticated ungulates, lactase persistence became a survival advantage, and was selected for.

    Why, then aren’t the a-galactosides found in beans similarly hazardous? Because we (and other mammals) lack α-galactosidase they pass to our intestinal microbiota, who ferment them to beneficial short chain acids, and in those with impaired microbial metabolic networks, excess gas.




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    1. Darryl: If I understand you correctly, that’s fascinating.

      Can you clarify? Here’s what I think you are saying: Are you saying that there are two types of galactose? : D-galactose and a-galactosides? And adult humans can quickly digest D-galactose, though it causes harm (maybe even aging) to do so. At the same time, humans don’t digest the other kind of galactose, the a-galactosides, at first. Instead, our “intestinal microbiota … ferment them to beneficial short chain fatty acids”. And this answers other people’s posts on this page asking about why plant foods high in galactose would not be a problem. Because there are two types and our bodies handle the two types differently. So, plant foods with galactose are not harmful. (not counting some gas…)

      Did I get that correct? Am I close?




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        1. ;-) Glad I wasn’t the one to say it.
          .
          That aside, such great info. I always appreciate Darryl’s willingness to share his research with us.




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    2. Is there much of a galactose issue in consuming yogurt? I’d like my friend to stop
      consuming dairy (there are lots of reasons why this is a good idea), but they claim
      that galactose, like you mention, might not exist in dairy yogurt, and thus, yogurt
      would be OK in regard to neurodedgnerative brain aging. What do you think?




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      1. There are a few studies which found fermented dairy products less harmful or even beneficial compared to fresh (1, 2, 3). Personally, I strongly believe much of the benefit of plant based diets is due to lower protein intake, so I haven’t had yogurt in 6 years.




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  8. Is there a study of comparing groups of people who do not drink milk to those that do drink milk in order to compare the frequency of parkinson’s disease? People living in desert regions probably do not drink milk as compared to people who live in Denmark, or other Western European countries. Such a study might clear up the confusion.




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    1. Asia has slightly lower incidence of PD than Western countries. I don’t think they drink milk. But the discrepancy can be due to misdiagnosis in Asia so perhaps the number is the same. So it’s not conclusive that PD is due to milk consumption.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924097/

      MS which is an autoimmune disease is very rare in Asia and tropical countries. Scientists theorize that it’s due to the sun exposure or Vitamin D.




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  9. Could the leaching of metals during pasteurisation be an issue? I understand that aluminium has been a problem in the past with cookware and I assume is no longer used, but I understand that nickel can leach from stainless steel. Many people, including myself, have skin contact problems from nickel with itching, inflammation and cracking of the skin – could ingestion also cause problems. What is the safest cookware material?




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  10. Hi Dr. Greger,
    I’m a 20 year old guy thinking of going on a vegan diet, but I have type 1 diabetes.
    What about a high carb low fat vegan diet for TYPE 1 Diabetes? Is it good? Could it reverse the progress of diabetic complications?
    Thank you very much.




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      1. Nope. Type 1 is genetic and is not caused by diet. Currently there is no cure although healthy diet will help the body metabolism and prevent sugar from dropping too fast.




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        1. Jimmy: Type 1 may be partially genetic. It may also be partially diet. Dr. McDougall says that there is evidence of Type 1 being caused, at least in some cases, by dairy. You can look that up if you are interested. But you are right that there is no cure. That doesn’t mean that diet can’t help. I’ll report more later today.




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      2. WFPBRunner: Yes, I’ve read the book. It is awesome and there is definitely a section on Type 1. I’m going to review that section and comment later today. Thanks for posting the picture!




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    1. John, I think you’ll just have to try the diet and see how your blood sugars react. Definitely eat a healthy whole foods plant based diet loaded with veggies–follow Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. My daughter also has type 1 and is about your age. When she eats high carb/low fat, surprisingly she requires a lot less insulin per carb. Fat, especially from dairy,will really increase her insulin needs. Also food usually digests faster eating WFPB, so you may need to adjust insulin doses and type. My daughter switches from Humilog (lasts 4 hours in her) to Apidra (lasts 2 hours in her) when eating low fat WFPB. As for complications, obviously if your blood sugars look better eating this way, that’s going to help. There is new research coming in on how eating lots of polyphenols in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts help prevent complications. Polyphenols are all antioxidants that help squelch the oxidative effects of glucose on the body’s tissues, including vulnerable blood vessels. Here’s a Dr. G video on curing diabetic nerve pain with diet (should be good for prevention as well). http://nutritionfacts.org/video/curing-painful-diabetic-neuropathy/




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    2. John: I highly recommend getting your hands on the book that WPFBRunner gave you a picture for. Dr. Barnard’s book is mostly about T2, but there is a short, 7 page chapter on type 1 and the meal plans and recipe ideas at the back of the book would be as relevant to a T1 as a T2 if you wanted to give it a try.
      .
      Most of the chapter focuses on the likely causes of T1 diabetes, which are far more than just genetic. Studies on twins as well studies on cows milk formulas point to both the role diet plays in T1 and the likely specific cause – non-human milk (which ideally is not fed to the mom nor the baby, because elements of the cows milk gets into the human breast milk http://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-infant-colic-by-changing-moms-diet/ ).
      .
      But what if you already have T1? Here’s a quote from page 35: “Keeping blood glucose under control is essential, and stabilizing cholesterol levels and blood pressure protects the heart and blood vessels. The same sort of diet that is described in this book for type 2 diabetes is likely to be enormously beneficial for people with type 1 as well.”
      .
      That quote is not a promise. It is just a guess based on very good reasoning and a lot of experience. And I can say that people who have T1 and have commented on this forum have reported great success at eating a whole plant food based diet in lowering their insulin needs. Here is a testimonial from Stewart: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-prediabetes-by-eating-more/#comment-1499564466 For the short version, Stewart said this on another occasion: “Since I made my diet entirely plant based my insulin usage has dropped about 25%. My understanding is that this is fairly typical.” Here’s another testimonial from Judylopat: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-treat-diabetes/#comment-1286459077
      .
      Here’s a flyer on Type 1 from PCRM, which head up by the same author that wrote that book, Dr. Barnard: http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/health/Type-1-diabetes-fact-sheet.pdf
      .
      WARNING!!! The devil is in the details. Just going on a “vegan” diet is not the ticket. The ticket is going on the right vegan diet. That’s why I recommend the book. If you can’t get the book and want some different on-line and free suggestions, let me know.
      .
      Does this help?




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  11. Dr. Michael Greger nutritionwise how would you prepare for a full body CT-scan? Is loading antioxidants better on the morning or would fasting be an option? Would fasting confer more protection as would assume that body is not in so anabolic state making more proteins. Sorry for off topic but this is very interesting question.




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  12. lactose intolerance is greatly lessened for individuals when they drink raw milk. I get asthma from pasteurized/homogenized milk, but not whole raw milk. It seems that the processing of milk causes the problems.




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  13. I have a rare disorder, Cervical Dystonia. It is centered in the same area of the brain as parkinsons. Is there any actual research on Cervical Dystonia?




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  14. I keep hoping that one of my questions on the many of videos that I have watched will be answered. I belong to a large group of women that have Cervical Dystonia. We have all read How not to Die and have started eating as suggested. The only thing is our questions regarding the science. There doesn’t seem to be any studies done for Cervical Dystonia or even dystonia. Why do you think this is? According to this sight I am supposed to ask question under the videos that correspond to my question. I have been doing this over the last few months as have others in my group. Not one reply yet. Trust me this is not such a rare disorder. Just like Parkisons there are over 200,000 people in the Southwest with this disease. Please help us find our way. Will the science for Parkinsons and essential tremor help us? Is there any science out there on dystonia and food? Is it possible that we have the one and only disease that can not be cured or prevented with diet? Is that the case? Is that why there is nothing on your sight in regards to this disorder? Are we truly hopeless.




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    1. Cami, I’m so sorry you have not been receiving answers to your questions from our Moderators. Unfortunately, searches on Cervical Dystonia or Spasmodic Torticollis turn up very little information. I’ve searched PubMed for any nutrition related recommendations for this rare condition and find nothing. I’m so sorry you are living with a very real condition that currently has limited treatment options for you. A couple of months ago you posted that you had been following a whole food raw diet for 3 weeks . You said you felt better but were still having spasms. How is that going now?




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      1. Well here is the odd thing after being in what I thought was menopause, my menstration cycle has returned. This is after 6 wks or more of a plant based diet. Don’t know if that will continue but my spasms did abate during that time. I did however give into cravings and go off the plant based diet a bit which I believe is the cause of my current pain. I am now transitioning back to a healthy plant based diet. I really do wish there was a way to find a group of scientists that I could encourage to do a study on food/nutrition for Cervical Dystonia. At this point I am thinking that maybe supplementing with estrogen might alleviate my spasms to some extent.




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  15. Have there been studies of the incidence of bone fractures and neurodegenerative diseases in those who are lactose intolerant and/ or follow a milk free diet?




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  16. Good afternoon Doctor, I’m currently 54 years old and I’ve been suffering from menopause effects lately. Also 10 years ago I got a surgery to have my thyroids removed and recently (2 weeks ago) I was diagnosed with Parkinson disease level 2. On a lab test my B12, B6, Folates and Chromium came being too low. Do you recommend a plant based diet to treat/improve all my conditions symptoms? And if that’s the case should I take supplements along with my plant based diet? A doctor recently told me that during menopause the ability to absorb nutrients decreases, is that correct? I totally trust your expertise, please help clear so many doubts I have regarding my conditions. Also I have decided not to take any medication to treat Parkinson, I trust diet changes only may help.
    Thank you so much beforehand for your attention to this matter, I’m looking forward to hear your approach regarding my case.




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  17. (PLEASE DONT IGNORE IS REAL)
    2015 my mother was diagnosed of parkinson (PD) and i was diagnosed of hepatitis b,i spent a lot of money on my medication and my mother medication till a point i even lost hope,i was so desperate to get my mother back to normal ,and myself .so one day my uncle who lives in UK told me about perfecthealthherbalmedcinehome,who helped him get rid of Emphysema with herbal medicine ,i was so shocked when he told me that,but i know is true because my uncle cant lie to me ,so i contacted perfecthealthherbalmedcinehome via their email;perfecthealthherbalmedicine@gmail.com,or website http://www.perfecthealthherbal.weebly.com
    they replied and ask me to send my home address and my mother’s detail and then i purchased the herbal medicine,they sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine,me and my mother used it as prescribed for 30days,because they said we will be totally cured within 30-35days,so after 30days of usage,we went for medical check up my family doctor confirmed thats my mother was totally cured parkinson (PD) and i was totally cured of hepatitis b too,now me and my mother is living free and happy again ..all thanks to perfecthealthherbalmedcinehome…




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  18. A friend of mine has suggested “blood worms” as the cause of Parkinson’s and states further that perhaps the containers/packaging of the milk/cheese may be the culprit.Your comments would be appreciated




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    1. Marco Bellaci: Pretty cool, isn’t it! We have a volunteer translation program. I don’t know how many languages we do now, but I think we have some pretty good breadth.

      FYI: If you are ever interested in volunteering your time to help this site, helping with translations might be something you could do. The “Volunteer Opportunities” link at the bottom of the page will take you to an application form for volunteering.




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        1. Marco Bellacci: I have no experience with it myself. I would expect it to be relatively easy as we have to get lots of volunteers able to use it without too much problem. If you want to ask some questions, there is a “Help Center” link at the bottom of the page. Then you can click the link that appears in the upper right corner of the Help Center page.




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  19. Sir , we’ve been following your no dairy thing very religiously. But can i consume lactose free milk? Will that help? Because you said that lactose found in milk can destroy the intestines. But if we devoid the milk of lactose then? Please help!!!
    Thanks…




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    1. Anushka Vyas: Good for you for cutting out dairy! I know it is very hard to do. Dairy is literally addictive. ( http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/newsletter/breaking-the-cheese-addiction-step-3-cleansing-the ) So, I can understand why you would want to find some way to bring that dairy back in.

      The thing is: the lactose is not the only problem with dairy. Other problems include: galactose, hormones (naturally found in all breast milk), contaminants, and saturated fat and cholesterol. Following is a more complete picture of the problems associated with dairy: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy As you can see, just taking out the lactose is not going to make the milk any healthier.

      If you share ways in which you like to use milk, I could offer some suggestions on replacements that you might find that you like even more than dairy!




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      1. Thea , thank you so so much for taking out time and helping me out!!! Really appreciate it. I would like to use milk in coffee as well as in some dishes because i am from India and we use milk to prepare a lot of dishes. So if at all there is any replacement especially for coffee ( I’m addicted! :))) Thanks so much!!!




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        1. Anushka Vyas: I’m glad you mentioned you are from India. It gave me the opportunity to share with you a program that takes popular/common Indian recipes and makes the recipes healthy. The group called Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is one that Dr. Greger has spoken highly of, including referring people to the free on-line PCRM 21 Day Kickstart program. And here’ the good news: They have an Indian version of the Kickstart program! I’ve made a few of those recipes and they are delicious! To learn more: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/india-program-intro

          Now for the part you most care about: Making delicious coffee! I’m not a coffee drinker myself, but I have some ideas that I hope will help.

          I don’t know what products are available in your area, but you may want to look for commercially prepared plant-based coffee creamers. Those are not usually the healthiest, but they could be a good transition product for you. In America, the plant coffee creamers that I’ve seen are soy or coconut based, but any plant based coffee creamer would be a good start to move you away from the unhealthy dairy.

          If you want to control what is in the product, such as controlling sugar levels and just being able to use something less sweet, you have several options. If you have a blender, doing something as simple as blending cashews and water can make a *delicious* milk or cream. (Simply use less water for cream. More water for milk.) If you have a blender, but it’s not a high-speed blender, you will need to pre-soak the cashews. Another option is to buy cashew butter. This would be cashews that is already made into a paste and thus can be turned into milk or cream very easily.

          While cashews seem to have a nice neutral flavor, many, many nuts would work. Lots of people really like almond milk. Where I am, I can buy almond milk in the stores. It has a great flavor and works well on oatmeal.

          Soy milk is a good choice when you need something a little creamier/with a little more fat. Soy milk makes really great sauces (and cakes…). I don’t like the taste of soy milk by itself, but other people do like it. In that case, soy milk would work on oatmeal also.

          I have some friends who discovered that they love putting oat milk in their coffee. It seems to work really well in terms of consistency and texture. You might even try making your own oat milk, though I have no idea how well that would work as that’s one I haven’t tried making myself before.

          Coconut milk and coconut cream (whether store-bought or one you make yourself) can be a great addition to many savory dishes in place of dairy milk or cream. Just beware that coconut milk is relatively high in saturated fat. So, depending on your situation, it might be something you want to limit.

          Firm tofu squares works great in place of paneer. The 21 Day Kickstart recipes probably has ideas on how to prepare it.

          Finally, you might see if you can find a recipe from “The Gentle Chef” for coffee creamer. If memory serves, he had a recipe in one of his books that was mostly soy or cashew milk (I can’t remember), but then had just a bit of coconut oil blended in which gave the liquid a real coffee creamer consistency. I don’t have the recipe handy, but if you are wanting a coffee addition that is just like what you use now, that *might* be something that would work. You could look into it.

          That’s all I got right now. Hopefully one or two of these ideas will work for you.




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  20. Thea , thanks so much again! Your suggestions were really helpful. I just tried the cashew milk today. It was good (better than soy milk). Thanks for taking out time and solving my query. Appreciate your efforts. It helps a lot!




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  21. Not sure this is the right post but will ask anyway.

    I have been vegan for about 6 years and exercise regularly. Eat WFPB and no oil. I started experiencing internal tremors a year ago while at rest. The whole body is shaking but can not be felt by others. It can last for hours.
    Ususally occurs immediately after eating and when I am in lying in bed at night. I saw two neurologists and so far they concluded is not Parkinson’s but have no clue what is issue. I also saw an Endocrinologist and I don’t have diabetics but blood glucose on high side (95-100), no known thyroids issues (TSH=2, Free T4=1.4, Free T3=2.9) or any autoimmune thyroid disease. Currently seeing a non WFPB functional doctor and after running multiple Genova diagnostic tests on nutritions and food antibody assessment, still cannot find root cause.
    I take B12, D,B6, Folate and magnesium daily. Follow Dr. G daily dozen.

    Any advice on this issue?




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    1. Hello Mmakhijani,
      I am a family doctor in private practice and also a volunteer moderator for this website. Dr. Greger is not able to answer all of the good questions that are posed; I will try to give you some guidance.

      I’m sorry you are having this problem with internal tremors. Because these tremors cannot be felt by others, I would agree that a diagnosis like Parkinson’s is unlikely. I wonder, can YOU feel your body trembling when you touch yourself? If so, you should probably be re-examined by a doctor. But if you cannot feel them yourself, my best guess is that you’re having a sort of attack of “nerves”, where your autonomic nervous system is over-active. One frequent cause of this is drinking too much caffeine. Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, caffeinated soft-drinks, and chocolate. If you are consuming lots of caffeine, my very first suggestion would be to cut this way back, or cut out completely. When first cutting back on caffeine, you might have withdrawal symptoms, including headache and shakiness. So you might need to gradually cut back on caffeine instead of going “cold turkey”.

      Another possibility is that you’re having episodes of hypo-glycemia (low blood glucose). Your endocrinologist should be able to help answer this.

      A third possibility is that you’re having heart palpitations, which can make it feel like your body is trembling. So you might want to have an electrocardiogram done, plus maybe a “Holter monitor” — which measures all your heartbeats over 24 hours.

      It is not possible for me to be your doctor over the internet. But I hope these thoughts help you.

      Dr. Jon
      PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Volunteer moderator for NutritionFacts.org




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      1. Dr. Jon,

        Thanks for taking the time to respond to my issue.

        I can definitely feel the tremor when I touch any area in the body since the shaking occurs in the whole body and not one specify area.

        I do not drink caffeine since I became a vegan 6 yrs ago.

        I was also thinking about hypo-glycemia since the trembling seems to be strongest after a meal especially dinner. I bought a glucose monitor the last month and see only a rise in blood sugar after a meal over 140. My fasting blood sugar is always in the 95-99 range for last few years. Much higher prior to be a vegan (120 range) but I was also 45 lbs heavier then.
        I have a aliveCor hand held heart monitor I bought few years ago and I use it regularly to monitor my heart rate in morning, before/after workout and I am always in the 60-70 bps range during the internal tremor.

        Your points are very valid but unfortunately I have looked into all of them and have not found root cause.
        I am currently checking my thyroids again (TSH, FT3, FT4 etc) to see if they changed significantly but I did these test 3/4 times last year and I am well within range.

        I also have higher cholesterol (LDL over 140, low HDL <40) and high Tri 250).. The WFPB diet (no oil) although has helped brought down my number by 30%, is still far from what It should be. I have one of APOE E4 variant that may be contributing to this.

        I am avoiding statins for now and taking 1000mg Niacin for the last 5 months and focusing on losing another 10% weight to bring my BMI closer to 20 (is 24-25 now). My functional MD asked me to stop taking Niacin recently for a few weeks to see if trembling will disappear.

        If you have any other advises or suggestions, please let me know.

        Thanks again.




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