Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?
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Which would save more lives: a prescription to eat an apple a day, or statin drugs?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? That’s “a public health message” that’s been around since 1866, but is it true? You don’t know, until you put it to the test: “The association between apple consumption and physician visits,” published in the AMA’s internal medicine journal. “Objective: To examine the relationship between eating an apple a day and keeping the doctor away.”

“Promoted by the lay media and powerful special interest groups including the US Apple Association”—so powerful that Big Apple recently spent a whopping $7,000 lobbying politicians— “the beneficial effects of apple consumption” may include a facilitation of “weight loss,” protection of the brain, “cancer suppression, a reduction in asthma symptoms, and improved cardiovascular health.” So, apple consumers ought to require less medical care, right? “Although some may jest, considering the relatively low cost of apples…, a prescription for apple consumption could potentially reduce national health care spending if the aphorism holds true.”

So, they compared daily apple-eaters to non-apple-eaters, and asked if they had been to the doctor in the last year, been hospitalized, seen a shrink, or took a prescription medication within the last month. 8,000 individuals surveyed, and only about one out of ten reported eating an apple over the last 24 hours. And, the “[e]vidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away…” So, maybe it takes more than an apple a day. Maybe we need to center our whole diet around plant foods. “[H]owever, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.” So, maybe the proverb should be updated to clarify that, if anything, “apple eating may help keep the pharmacist away.”

But, hey, based on the average medical prescription cost, the difference in “annual prescription medication cost per capita between apple eaters…and non-apple eaters” could be hundreds of dollars. So, “[i]f all US adults were apple eaters,” we could save nearly $50 billion. Of course, if you factor in the cost of the apples themselves, we’d only get a net savings of like $19 billion. If this all seems like a bit of tongue-in-cheek-apple-polishing, you’ll note this was published suspiciously close to April Fool’s day. And, indeed, this was in the tradition of the British Medical Journal’s annual Christmas issue that features scientifically rigorous yet light-hearted research, which itself took on the apple issue “[t]o model the effects on…[stroke and heart attack] mortality of all [older] adults being prescribed either a [cholesterol-lowering] statin [drug] or an apple a day.

Basically, they took studies like this, where you see this nice dose response where the more fruit you eat, the lower your stroke risk appears to fall. And, similar data for heart disease, compared to the known drug effects, and concluded that “[p]rescribing…an apple a day…is likely to have a similar effect on population [stroke and heart attack] mortality” as giving everyone statin drugs instead. And, hey, apples only have good side effects. “Choosing apples rather than statins may avoid more than a thousand excess cases of [muscle damage] and more than 12 000 excess diabetes diagnoses,” because statins increase the risk of diabetes, and this was in the UK. Here in the U.S., one would expect five times those numbers—though, ironically, “[t]he…cost…of apples [is] likely to be greater than [that] of statin…[drugs].” Generic Lipitor is only like 20 cents a day.

So, yes: “With similar reductions in mortality, the 150 year old health promotion message of an apple a day is able to match modern medicine and is likely to have fewer side effects.” But, apples are a few pennies a day more expensive, not to mention the increased time and difficulty associated with consuming an apple compared to a statin. Just one gulp with the drug, compared to all that “time consuming” chewing.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Fischer Twins via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? That’s “a public health message” that’s been around since 1866, but is it true? You don’t know, until you put it to the test: “The association between apple consumption and physician visits,” published in the AMA’s internal medicine journal. “Objective: To examine the relationship between eating an apple a day and keeping the doctor away.”

“Promoted by the lay media and powerful special interest groups including the US Apple Association”—so powerful that Big Apple recently spent a whopping $7,000 lobbying politicians— “the beneficial effects of apple consumption” may include a facilitation of “weight loss,” protection of the brain, “cancer suppression, a reduction in asthma symptoms, and improved cardiovascular health.” So, apple consumers ought to require less medical care, right? “Although some may jest, considering the relatively low cost of apples…, a prescription for apple consumption could potentially reduce national health care spending if the aphorism holds true.”

So, they compared daily apple-eaters to non-apple-eaters, and asked if they had been to the doctor in the last year, been hospitalized, seen a shrink, or took a prescription medication within the last month. 8,000 individuals surveyed, and only about one out of ten reported eating an apple over the last 24 hours. And, the “[e]vidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away…” So, maybe it takes more than an apple a day. Maybe we need to center our whole diet around plant foods. “[H]owever, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.” So, maybe the proverb should be updated to clarify that, if anything, “apple eating may help keep the pharmacist away.”

But, hey, based on the average medical prescription cost, the difference in “annual prescription medication cost per capita between apple eaters…and non-apple eaters” could be hundreds of dollars. So, “[i]f all US adults were apple eaters,” we could save nearly $50 billion. Of course, if you factor in the cost of the apples themselves, we’d only get a net savings of like $19 billion. If this all seems like a bit of tongue-in-cheek-apple-polishing, you’ll note this was published suspiciously close to April Fool’s day. And, indeed, this was in the tradition of the British Medical Journal’s annual Christmas issue that features scientifically rigorous yet light-hearted research, which itself took on the apple issue “[t]o model the effects on…[stroke and heart attack] mortality of all [older] adults being prescribed either a [cholesterol-lowering] statin [drug] or an apple a day.

Basically, they took studies like this, where you see this nice dose response where the more fruit you eat, the lower your stroke risk appears to fall. And, similar data for heart disease, compared to the known drug effects, and concluded that “[p]rescribing…an apple a day…is likely to have a similar effect on population [stroke and heart attack] mortality” as giving everyone statin drugs instead. And, hey, apples only have good side effects. “Choosing apples rather than statins may avoid more than a thousand excess cases of [muscle damage] and more than 12 000 excess diabetes diagnoses,” because statins increase the risk of diabetes, and this was in the UK. Here in the U.S., one would expect five times those numbers—though, ironically, “[t]he…cost…of apples [is] likely to be greater than [that] of statin…[drugs].” Generic Lipitor is only like 20 cents a day.

So, yes: “With similar reductions in mortality, the 150 year old health promotion message of an apple a day is able to match modern medicine and is likely to have fewer side effects.” But, apples are a few pennies a day more expensive, not to mention the increased time and difficulty associated with consuming an apple compared to a statin. Just one gulp with the drug, compared to all that “time consuming” chewing.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Fischer Twins via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

Should we be seeing our doctors every year regardless? See my videos Is it Worth Getting Annual Health Check-Ups? and Is it Worth Getting an Annual Physical Exam?

Like the thought of taking a more food-based approach to treatment? You’ll love lifestyle medicine: Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease.

Sadly, Physicians May Be Missing their Most Important Tool.

Here a link to my last apple vid: Apple Peels Put to the Test for Chronic Joint Pain

What about dried apples? See Dried Apples vs. Cholesterol.

What about apple cider vinegar? Check out: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss?

And what about head-to-head vs. açai berries? See The Antioxidant Effects of Açai vs. Apples.

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

76 responses to “Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

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  1. Back in the day, a famous psychic said that anyone eating three almonds a day will never get cancer. I’d think even if we do eat an apple and three almonds a day, if the rest of our diet is total crap, the total crap will wield more power regarding our health in general.

    1. I’m pretty sure those three almonds were specifically apricot seeds, not almonds. They just look like almonds but have been known to prevent cancer in populations who consume them daily. Either way, a psychic is not the same as a medical doctor or scientist

          1. S

            Well, it is “green” as in green recruit not the colour green – ie new or unripe, immature etc. These days of course apart from a few exceptions we only think of green as a colour. So the language is always changing like the science but some old phrases hang on in popular phrases like these. That’s why we still talk about the proof of the pudding being in the eating and proof marks. Proof really means “test” but ingorance and slackness have distorted the popular meaning.

        1. almonds back then had more nutrients and all of them were organic. There were no fake organic almonds back then.
          John S

        2. Almonds are awesome, but agreed… bitter apricot seeds, almonds or whatever else isn’t going magically withstand a diet of crap. Can’t hurt though.

    1. Joseph, Dr. Greger highly regards matcha. It ranks second place only to hibiscus tea in antioxidant content and even so, it isn’t much lower than hibiscus. Plus you gat all that awesome brain wave alteration which Dr. Greger has a video on entitled “dietary brain wave alteration” I believe. I personally find green tea, especially matcha, incredibly helpful with anxiety.

      The equivalent of two teabags (I believe) of green tea a day was shown to significantly protect people’s skin from sun damage, so imagine what the whole ground tea leaf might do.

      Best to get your matcha from Japan and not China due to lead, Dr. Greger has a very helpful video on that but I can’t remember the title.

  2. I love apples as well as almost all other fruits…

    It is unfortunate, but true, apples carry great deal of pesticise with them – and washing does not guarantee that all pesticise will be removed. Further, apples fall at the top of the dirty dozen – see: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/fruits-vegetables-most-pesticides-fd.html

    Of course option is to eat organic – but how feasable is that – eating organic is very expensive, and thus it may not be in most people’s buget, or organic foods may not even be available in the grcery stores in some regions of certain countries…

    But the question was, does apple a day keep doctor away? I don’t think so – there is no such a thing where one food alone will keep us well and healthy – it is way more complicated than that – but again we all know that… I suppose the question is, everything else being equael, by adding an apple a day, will it keep a doctor away?

      1. Julot,

        Can I ask what you do?

        Do you just eat the ones with pesticide?

        Do you avoid the Dirty Dozen entirely?

        Do you shell out the money for any organic fruits and veggies at all?

        1. Maybe stop eating fruits and vegetables altogether?

          Grow your own vegetables, even if it is only a few?

          Wondering about the gut microbiome.

          Pesticides, like Round Up are killing whole strains of people’s gut microbiome.

          Wondering if the natural versions have been subjected to the gut microbiome whole line of good bacteria annihilation test?

          1. I worry just as much about the copper products, which are sometimes used with “organic” produced and I am wondering if it could be something affecting my copper / zinc ratio.

            Would greenhouse raised things have less than just plain organic?

            My zinc experiment will get more interesting if the hallucinations come back after I finish the bottle of zinc.

            I can’t stop the Fiji Water and Zinc at the same time.

            I hate how complicated everything is.

            I need raised gardens.

              1. For most Americans, growing an apple tree is not very hard. I get high quality truly organic apples free for most of the year. The cost to me? A little bit of exercise, entertainment and sunshine. A pretty good bargain.
                JohN S

                1. “For most Americans, growing an apple tree is not very hard.”

                  Lucky you. “Most” Americans don’t have a yard where they can indulge in such a luxury, right?

      2. I found my answer about the Copper in the debunking link. Yes, I don’t like that Copper is used in Organic Farming, but Copper ALSO being used in Conventional Farming at a HIGHER level makes me take a sip on my Fiji water and Zinc ponder them as becoming long term friends of mine, until Copper is solved for.

        “Critics also cite the use of copper-based pesticides, which are used as fungicides in organic and conventional fruit production.

        Copper does have issues. Kelsey McKee, OMRI’s review program and quality director, cites documents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA that describe concerns with the use of copper.

        “In general, these concerns include adverse effects on soil microorganisms as well as adverse effects on human, aquatic, and terrestrial life during farm level application or from residuals in food,” she says.

        In an October 2015 review of copper, the NOSB acknowledged that it is “both harmful in the environment when misused and absolutely necessary to grow many crops to protect against disease.”

        NOSB called for additional study on copper for the next review of the material to see if it should continue to be on the National List.

        In a comment to a Scientific America article on organic pesticides, Rob Wallbridge, an organic farmer in Quebec, said that copper is not absorbed by plants and washes off “which is good for risk of consumer exposure.” He also said that organic certification standards “require monitoring and restrict producers from using copper sulfate if copper is accumulating in the soil at excessive levels.”

        Copper is also exempt from an EPA tolerance, and is an essential nutrient, according to Brian Baker, consultant at Belcairn Concerns and former research director at OMRI.

        Baker emphasizes that conventional farmers also use copper. “If they think it is so bad, why don’t they stop using it?”
        Pam Marrone, CEO and founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, agrees. “Organic growers get flak about copper, but conventional farmers use a lot more copper than organic farmers.”

        She also says the copper formulations used by conventional farmers contain higher risk inert ingredients than formulations used in organic production. “The inert ingredients in organic approved copper have to be on the approved list for organic and are food-grade and low risk,” she says.

      3. growing your own is not hard, dwarf apple trees fruit within 2 years of planting and are very productive and in a biodiverse garden need little pest control…just saying…..most blue zone populations grow their own food in their own gardens…perhaps that is too much effort for the masses too

      1. …and I buy my CSA produce from local farmers who also eat what they grow…. I respect that they live right where they grow things, as well, and their children are there with them in the fields.

      2. Thanks Wegan,

        Your link helped me to understand more about the Copper.

        Pesticides are linked to Alzheimer’s and I went organic last year.

        It is way more expensive where I live to buy organic.

        I have been spending a fortune on foods.

        I have recently switched some of my fresh produce to frozen, because that is ridiculously cheaper and it also has sales, which the fresh fruits and veggies never has.

        I can get 3 to 4 bags of frozen spinach at my local grocery store for the price of 1 bag of the organic fresh spinach.

        I am trying to become more organized and less wasteful and I am trying to spend less. Using 2/3 frozen helps.

        If I can solve for air tight containers for freezing, I could already change my whole system.

        I would do 6 dishes the first weekend of every month and load them into containers and load the two freezers I use.

        That would be my main meals monthly.

        That would mean a few hours shopping, a few hours prepping and cooking and a few hours clean-up.

        I think it would solve my refrigerator and cabinet storage space and it would make meal planning and prep all happen one weekend, rather than having it be an on-going process.

        I could still have fresh fruit and veggies for snacks, but it would limit that space to the snack foods versus the ones I buy for cooking.

        Right now, I throw way too much food away, and it is just that I am still not organized.

        I think: Use 3 Multicookers and the oven and make 6 different meals and load 5 or 6 bowls with each thing.

        If my Anchor Hocking bowls sealed well, I would already have done it this past weekend.

        Does anyone have American glass storage containers, which can freeze well and seal well and go from freezer to microwave?

    1. I think it’s very feasible to eat organic apples. I’m on an extremely strict budget right now but I only buy organic produce. In actuality, it isn’t much more expensive than conventionally grown and the more people buy it, the lower prices become. I haven’t bought conventional produce since I was little. And I am in no way rich.

      Things are also cheaper when they’re in season, especially when you get local, I find. With berries I get frozen because fresh berries are expensive whether organic or not. And I grow my own produce when I can… there is nothing like getting your greens, tomatoes, etc. fresh from the garden!

  3. Apples are something I love and used to eat regularly but a few years ago I noticed that eating one caused digestive gas, bloating until it evacuated me a short time later. I do not have IBD or an apple allergy. Talking with other people at a health group I am a part of it surprised me that everyone else also stopped eating apples for the exact same reason. Cooked the exact same apples do not have the digestive disturbance effect, only raw. The only thing that changed in that timeline was the apple industry started treating apples with 1-methylcyclopropene so they can be stored in cold low oxygen storage for 9-12 months before they even get shipped to a store. Gone are the days of buying this years crop unless they are labeled as such which costs more, (see Costco produce).

    1. Don’t assume that buying organic apples will automatically mean you’re buying fresh apples either. Although SmartFresh (1-MCP) is not currently approved for use on organic apples, organic growers still use approved non-synthetic fungicides and controlled atmosphere cold storage to achieve a similar effect.

  4. Hey, to any of the Mods who might be tuning in, are the cruciferocious aprons still available? I thought I heard there would be another run of those, but I think they may have come out when I had my accident, which I’m still recovering from.

    Did I miss it again? Please let me know whenever you get a chance. You can email me if you prefer.

  5. “Big Apple”—lol. I use an Apple computer every day so I can watch the health-benefitting videos—does that count?

  6. Would think the nutritional value of the apple would be included in the cost analysis. After all, consuming the apple constitutes perhaps 4% to 5% of a days nutrition. Certainly its value considered.

    But the these are the work of scientists not businessmen . . . which might also have something to do with the high costs of medical care.

  7. In 1990 I was inspired by Doctor Dean Ornish’s program to “Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery”. Then I discovered Doctor Mercola who lead me to Doctor Greger. It takes much more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. Then health insurance companies can state that it is recommended to have a colorectal cancer screening. (A possible outcome of the colorectal cancer screening is that the colon is perforated and front-side surgery is required. Also the patient may contract a MRSA infection. The final statement to the patient is that nothing wrong was found with your colon, however, you may die within two weeks because of complications with the colorectal cancer screening.) A joke: “I am a doctor and I am here to help you”.

    1. John S

      A shorter lifespan with statin use? Where is the evidence for this claim?
      All the studies I have seen show either no effect or reduced mortality. Even in popuations where no significant mortality benefit is seen, my understanding is that treated groups suffer fewer adverse events (heart attacks, heart surgery etc)

  8. Off topic:

    I would like Dr. Greger to address the issue of ‘body fat’. Somewhere in one of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s many video’s he states that the ideal body fat to be ‘heart healthy’ is between 11-12%. However, I currently can not find that video reference.

    It has been my conclusion that high body fat creates high cholesterol, which leads to high arterial plaque formation. High body fat also fuels inflammation which promotes cancer cell development. Hence, over the years via a WFPB diet and daily vigorous exercise, I have strove to maintained an ‘athletes’ resting heart rate, and a body fat of 8-10%, which seems to work well for me.

    In one of the earlier ‘Okinawan Studies’ the lonest living had a diet that consisted of 6% fat, 9% protein, and 85% carbs. I very much like the sound of these numbers.

    So, how’s about a video on the benefits of ‘low fat’ humans for longevity, seeing how so many people I see and meet on the ‘healthy diet’ kick look to be hanging out more in the 20 – 30+ %. I contend it can’t be good for you.

    Best,

    LG King

    1. Hello LG KIng

      Body fat percentage and fat percentage in your diet are two different things.

      Body fat is consider to be a normal range for an adult women between 21 – 33%, and for an adult between 8 – 22% (NHI/WHO Guidelines). Obviously, too much fat, just as you say, is unhealthy and it’s related almost to all non-commutable diseases, mostly if your fat is at the belly.

      Those who exercise regularly, are physically active or athletes have the lower body fat % numbers, at the lower range, or even below that.

      Regarding the amount of fat that you should eat in your diet, you’ll find hundreds of recommendations here. If you read an Atkins’ or Keto diet advocate, they will probably tell you to eat no more than 10% from your calories from your carbohydrates… a Mediterranean diet which cardiovascular benefits have been extensively proofed can give you about 40-60% and about 30% from fat.

      Remember that more than follow x or y number is the source of the macronutrient. If you eat 85% of carbohydrates coming from refined sugars, sweets, white cereals that won’t be a very smart choice. But if you fill this amount with whole cereals that probably would be better.

      I’ll pass your recommendation on a video talking about fat related to longevity.

      Regards

  9. Could you please do a video pertaining to Ketogenic diets? It’s so confusing to hear the doctors in support of such a diet go on about the benefits in relation to heart disease and cancer in light of many of the videos you have posted in the past. It seems so contradictory. I know many who eat eggs and bacon once a day, every day. No fiber, no vitamins & minerals, no phytochemicals, no antioxidants. Are they not letting short term weight loss seriously jeopardize long term health?

      1. Watched those videos, waiting for the ones to show up on this site.

        I am so happy tonight though, because I have gotten a few people to go vegan.

        And a few to head toward more fruits and vegetables based on Calorie Density.

        And a few to do intermittent vegan by talking about Cancer and Diabetes studies.

        And I got one of my Keto friends to cut her oil in half.

        1. Also, Plant Based London corrected the B-12 video.

          So, Dr. Greger was snatched out from under the moving double decker bus and appears unharmed by the whole incident.

        2. No such thing as intermittent vegan, veganism isn’t a diet, it’s a morel and ethical way of living. Plant based would be the accurate term.

          1. Plant based doesn’t work either, because they are doing transition foods and getting rid of animal products for a few months at a time to lower Growth Hormone.

            They are definitely not going WFPB AT ALL, but they also definitely aren’t moral Vegans.

            They are practical people who heard the growth hormone issues and will do a few months with no animal products every year.

            I also have a co-worker, who is cutting his meat in half, by adding in half tofu for every dish for weight loss and it is working.

            Last night, I had someone call me to explain lectins and she had gotten rid of all the grains and nightshades and things like that and I am so glad Dr. Greger already had a video on that.

            The one bummer is that my best friends and my brothers and father and their families are the ones who saw what I was doing and went even more Keto and one of my best friends lost almost 10 pounds last week, and is not eating any, any, any potatoes, rice, breads, oatmeal, or sugars and calls all of them sugar and she and my brothers are the ones who are trying to “show me” and I do not want to compete with anyone, especially not them, because I hear what they are eating and know they are losing weight, but I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and I don’t know which disease to be the most afraid of.

            1. I don’t do “vegan” as only a “moral” category.

              I do “moral vegan” and “junk food vegan” and “just plain vegan” and WFPB.

              1. So are they doing intermittent vegetarian?

                I still see vegan as being used for everything, and would always say, “moral vegan” if it was moral versus “nutritional vegan” but if “vegetarian” is less offensive, I will switch to that, but they intermittently also aren’t going to be eating milk, cheese or eggs, and that was always something I considered, “nutritional vegan.”

                1. I always hated that they called one of the vegetarian categories as if fish eaters could be vegetarian, so I understand the offense part.

                  1. And, honestly, the people around me HATE in an OFFENDED beyond anything I have ever seen way “moral vegan” the way “moral vegans” hate “Nutritional vegans” being called, “vegan”, so inventing new terminology helps, but Whole Food Plant Based implies Whole Food Plant Based.

                    Honestly, “moral vegan” is more like a put down political judgmental concept to them and they react in an oppositional manner to it.

                    It pushes them further away from WFPB than any other concept.

                    1. I probably identified as a “moral vegetarian” most of my life.

                      I was so sensitive about hurting any living being that I felt sick if I broke a twig off a tree.

                      The animal part of the documentaries deeply disturbs me and the animals dying and me eating them always has been too painful for me.

                      But, last night, when I was talking with a friend, her relative had left a gathering early to slaughter his grass fed animals, which they are trying to do responsibly and without chemicals and hormones, etc.

                      And I just listen.

                      And I don’t know how they could do it.

                      My grandmother’s family grew up poor and raised their own bunnies and chickens for eggs and food for all of the kids, and also had a garden, but gardens were only part of the year and animals were their main food.

                      Life is hard to figure out morally.

                    2. Well the term vegan is literally coined and defined as abstaining from exploitation and cruelty of animals. It’s not an interchangeable word and is being misused when people use it to refer to a diet. WFPB means a plant based diet made up of entirely or predominantly whole foods. Plant based just means a diet of plants. Vegetarian could mean plant based but usually includes dairy or eggs.

                      Morality is very simple when people stop trying to justify the means. It is wrong to harm or enslave another living being and this rule is not dependent on race, gender, species, and so on.

                      I think your being “sensitive” to the idea of harming animals is not only beautiful, but a sign of good intelligence.

            2. Oh my goodness, people just don’t learn… I believe Atkins was thin when he died of heat failure…

              Starvation also results in weight loss, so would they then conclude that starvation was healthy? Sigh…

    1. I believe he’ll be writing about this in his upcoming book “How Not To Diet” and I believe he said he’ll be doing a video on it before that. But check out the links TG provided for some immediate insight!

  10. Please keep in mind that all NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), except for aspirin, increase the risk for heart attack or stroke. Perhaps it is better to tolerate minor short term pain than to risk a heart attack or stroke. Also opioid pain pills have their own set of problems. God Bless

  11. Kind of off subject question, but does anyone know for a fact if lack of exposure can cause a weakened immune system/can exposure to germs actually strengthen the immune system and make us less susceptible? I know this is the case for children but I’m asking about adults. I figured this would be a good place to ask to get a real answer.

    1. Doing a little research on it, from what I’m finding is when you get a virus, your body can become better at fighting that same virus later on which is perhaps why people more exposed to things might be less likely to pick up a cold… just thinking out loud and trying to figure something out for someone. Anyways, if anyone has anything to offer on the subject I’d love to hear it.

  12. Question: I did a version of the Forks over Knives program. I stopped all medications except my thyroid pill -and I have two stents from my bad eating days. After a year on my program my over all colesterol dropped from about 200 to 130 and my LDL dropped to 77.8. However, my HDL dropped to 39, one tick below the acceptable 40.

    My question: is there a class or individual food that may help raise HDL? -Any thoughts greatly appreciated -Thx

    1. I’m not sure how important HDL is, but hopefully someone qualified will weigh in on that.
      In your research you might come across the claim that coconut raises HDL, but really it just raises overall cholesterol and raises LDL as well and is really bad for arterial function.

      Hope you get some answers here, sorry I couldn’t offer more!

  13. HDL is now being thought of as a marker that does not necessarily exhibit a cause-effect with lower rates of heart disease. In other words directly raising your HDL won’t reduce your risk. Also, you didn’t say what your before and after HDL and LDL was, but the ratio is more important. If you’re eating unprocessed whole food plant based, I would expect your HDL/LDL ratio to increase even if your absolute HDL may have decreased. This would be a good sign.

    Therapeutic doses of niacin (not time release) will increase your HDL, and decrease your risk for heart disease, but not because of the increase in HDL.

    Dr. Ben

  14. I have a question? My aunt had a colonoscopy and they told her that her large intenstines was twisting and either turning black or are black. Do anyone know what causes this and do you have any natural recommendat

  15. My aunt had a colonoscopy and they said her large intestines are twisted and turning black. What does that mean and what causes it?

  16. Twisted bowel and intestinal ischemia, likely what the turning black means, are most often caused by poor gut mobility and poor diet. It is also found when there are adhesions in the colon or redundant intestinal tissue which can sometimes happen in patients who have had abdominal surgeries in the past.

    NurseKelly
    HealthSupport Volunteer

  17. This is my quandary! My healthy Whole Food Plant Based husband with total cholesterol of 107 LDL of 54 suffered a small stroke. Even though they could find no problems with his arteries, etc, echocardiogram showed excellent heart function. They automatically put him on a statin. I am not comfortable with him taking a statin because every person I know that has taken them has had side effects, some really dangerous side effects so what should we do?

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