Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Diet for Autism

Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Diet for Autism
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What happens when children with autism on gluten- and casein-free diets are covertly challenged with wheat and dairy?

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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.

The first randomized, controlled study of a gluten-free, casein-free diet for autism found that parents in the diet group reported their kids did “significantly better.” But, that could just be the placebo effect—where parents attribute changes to the diet, particularly since they’re putting so much work into it that they may be “biased towards seeing evidence of success” that may not actually be there.

Okay; so, what if you don’t just rely on parental report? What if you do a blinded study of a gluten- and casein-free diet? The parents know what the kids are eating, but you don’t just ask the parents how the kids are doing; you have investigators objectively assess all the kids, without knowing who was in which group—the diet group or the control group. And, they found “a significant beneficial…effect at 8, 12, and 24 months…on core autistic…behaviours” with a gluten- and casein-free diet. And, this was one of the largest such studies ever done—starting out with 73 children. But, they didn’t end up with 73, since about a fifth dropped out—mostly from the diet group.

“If a family didn’t feel their child was making strides on the diet, they may have been more likely to drop out of the study, thereby skewing the analysis toward those” in which the diet appeared to work better. And so, the remarkable results they got in terms of improved social interaction and fewer ADHD-type symptoms may have ended up exaggerating the effects of the diet, since the kids for which it didn’t help may have been, gotten kind of, disproportionately weeded out. Also, because the parents were very much aware whether they were in the diet group versus the control group—because they were the ones cooking the meals—they may have changed their own behavior towards their children.

Like in that famous sugar study where mothers were lied to, and told their children had just received a whopping dose of sugar (even though they hadn’t). Not only did the mothers rate their children “as significantly more hyperactive”; they inadvertently changed their own behavior. They were videotaped, and the mothers who falsely believed their kids just got a load of sugar “exercised more control” and were more critical. So, their expectation of an effect may have actually ended up having an actual effect in changing their children’s behavior. So, in these autism studies, here the parents are upending their family’s diet, hoping, expecting that their child will get better, and maybe unconsciously treating them differently—such that they end up behaving differently when assessed later by the blinded investigators.

That’s why we need double-blind studies, where no one knows who’s in the diet group, who’s in the control group—not the parents, not the kids. So, why didn’t the researchers do it? Why didn’t they secretly sneak some gluten or casein into their diets to see if they got worse again? Same excuse as before; it wouldn’t be “ethical.” But, that’s pre-deciding the outcome; that’s like circular logic. We can’t test to see if it really works, because it may really work—but we can’t test that.

Finally, however, researchers at the University of Florida broke through the impasse by performing a double-blind study. Now, this is not an easy thing to do. I mean, you have to provide “all meals and snacks,” so that the families remain clueless as to whether they were randomized into the gluten- and casein-free diet group, or were actually in the control group getting the same foods, but with gluten and casein slipped in. Then, after six weeks, they switched the foods, so the gluten-free, casein-free group started getting wheat and dairy, and the wheat and dairy control group were covertly switched to gluten- and casein-free.

Before they broke the codes to see who was in which group, the “parents were asked [as to] whether they thought their child was on the [special] diet during the first or second 6 weeks.” And: “Five [got it right], two had ‘‘no idea’’, and six [got it wrong].” In other words, no better than a flip-of-a-coin chance. About half pretty much thought their kids got better on the casein and gluten; so, “no statistically significant findings”—though several parents did report an “improvement…in their children,” claiming “marked improvements in…language, decreased hyperactivity and decreased tantrums”—so much so that a bunch of the parents “decided to keep the children on the…diet,” even though the researchers just told them that it didn’t work.

Look; you don’t want to miss anything, though. Some of the parents claimed significant improvement. So, what the researchers did was to go back and examine the videotapes they made of the kids before and after and showed them to blinded examiners. Did their language really get better? Apparently not. The videotapes showed no improvement, so again, did “not support the efficacy of [a gluten-free, casein-free diet]” for improving some of the core symptoms of autism—or, at least, within six weeks’ time. The non-double-blind studies that showed an effect had kids on the diet for a year or two. And so, the failure to find an effect in the double-blind study “should not necessarily be interpreted to mean that [diet] does not work,” given “the relatively shorter duration of [dietary] intervention…”

The same issue cropped up years later in a 2014 study in Texas. Simple study design: put everyone on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, and then randomize parents to get baggies each week filled with either gluten-free, casein-free brown rice flour—thereby sticking to the diet—or, an identical-looking powder with gluten and milk mixed in. So, no one knew until the end who really remained gluten- and casein-free, and…no, meaningful changes were found in either diet group. Okay, but this study only lasted four weeks, and diet proponents suggest it may take months off gluten and casein to properly assess a response.

The problem is there hadn’t been any double-blind studies that lasted that long…until, now. We’ll find out what they found, next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: CMRF Crumlin. 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.

The first randomized, controlled study of a gluten-free, casein-free diet for autism found that parents in the diet group reported their kids did “significantly better.” But, that could just be the placebo effect—where parents attribute changes to the diet, particularly since they’re putting so much work into it that they may be “biased towards seeing evidence of success” that may not actually be there.

Okay; so, what if you don’t just rely on parental report? What if you do a blinded study of a gluten- and casein-free diet? The parents know what the kids are eating, but you don’t just ask the parents how the kids are doing; you have investigators objectively assess all the kids, without knowing who was in which group—the diet group or the control group. And, they found “a significant beneficial…effect at 8, 12, and 24 months…on core autistic…behaviours” with a gluten- and casein-free diet. And, this was one of the largest such studies ever done—starting out with 73 children. But, they didn’t end up with 73, since about a fifth dropped out—mostly from the diet group.

“If a family didn’t feel their child was making strides on the diet, they may have been more likely to drop out of the study, thereby skewing the analysis toward those” in which the diet appeared to work better. And so, the remarkable results they got in terms of improved social interaction and fewer ADHD-type symptoms may have ended up exaggerating the effects of the diet, since the kids for which it didn’t help may have been, gotten kind of, disproportionately weeded out. Also, because the parents were very much aware whether they were in the diet group versus the control group—because they were the ones cooking the meals—they may have changed their own behavior towards their children.

Like in that famous sugar study where mothers were lied to, and told their children had just received a whopping dose of sugar (even though they hadn’t). Not only did the mothers rate their children “as significantly more hyperactive”; they inadvertently changed their own behavior. They were videotaped, and the mothers who falsely believed their kids just got a load of sugar “exercised more control” and were more critical. So, their expectation of an effect may have actually ended up having an actual effect in changing their children’s behavior. So, in these autism studies, here the parents are upending their family’s diet, hoping, expecting that their child will get better, and maybe unconsciously treating them differently—such that they end up behaving differently when assessed later by the blinded investigators.

That’s why we need double-blind studies, where no one knows who’s in the diet group, who’s in the control group—not the parents, not the kids. So, why didn’t the researchers do it? Why didn’t they secretly sneak some gluten or casein into their diets to see if they got worse again? Same excuse as before; it wouldn’t be “ethical.” But, that’s pre-deciding the outcome; that’s like circular logic. We can’t test to see if it really works, because it may really work—but we can’t test that.

Finally, however, researchers at the University of Florida broke through the impasse by performing a double-blind study. Now, this is not an easy thing to do. I mean, you have to provide “all meals and snacks,” so that the families remain clueless as to whether they were randomized into the gluten- and casein-free diet group, or were actually in the control group getting the same foods, but with gluten and casein slipped in. Then, after six weeks, they switched the foods, so the gluten-free, casein-free group started getting wheat and dairy, and the wheat and dairy control group were covertly switched to gluten- and casein-free.

Before they broke the codes to see who was in which group, the “parents were asked [as to] whether they thought their child was on the [special] diet during the first or second 6 weeks.” And: “Five [got it right], two had ‘‘no idea’’, and six [got it wrong].” In other words, no better than a flip-of-a-coin chance. About half pretty much thought their kids got better on the casein and gluten; so, “no statistically significant findings”—though several parents did report an “improvement…in their children,” claiming “marked improvements in…language, decreased hyperactivity and decreased tantrums”—so much so that a bunch of the parents “decided to keep the children on the…diet,” even though the researchers just told them that it didn’t work.

Look; you don’t want to miss anything, though. Some of the parents claimed significant improvement. So, what the researchers did was to go back and examine the videotapes they made of the kids before and after and showed them to blinded examiners. Did their language really get better? Apparently not. The videotapes showed no improvement, so again, did “not support the efficacy of [a gluten-free, casein-free diet]” for improving some of the core symptoms of autism—or, at least, within six weeks’ time. The non-double-blind studies that showed an effect had kids on the diet for a year or two. And so, the failure to find an effect in the double-blind study “should not necessarily be interpreted to mean that [diet] does not work,” given “the relatively shorter duration of [dietary] intervention…”

The same issue cropped up years later in a 2014 study in Texas. Simple study design: put everyone on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, and then randomize parents to get baggies each week filled with either gluten-free, casein-free brown rice flour—thereby sticking to the diet—or, an identical-looking powder with gluten and milk mixed in. So, no one knew until the end who really remained gluten- and casein-free, and…no, meaningful changes were found in either diet group. Okay, but this study only lasted four weeks, and diet proponents suggest it may take months off gluten and casein to properly assess a response.

The problem is there hadn’t been any double-blind studies that lasted that long…until, now. We’ll find out what they found, next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: CMRF Crumlin. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

This is the fifth in a six-video series on the role of gluten- and dairy-free diets in the treatment of autism. Check out the first four:

Stay tuned for the finale:

Why not just skip to the chase and do a single video on the topic, instead of this whole series? It’s such a controversial and contentious issue that I wanted to do a deep dive to offer a comprehensive overview. I realize I end up covering fewer topics. Whenever you find yourself uninterested in some current subject, please feel free to dip into the videos on the 2,000+ other topics I’ve already covered on NutritionFacts.org.

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

106 responses to “Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Diet for Autism

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  1. Ahhhhh, I can’t wait for the next video!
    The report was so interesting and of course so important for all the families with Autism children.




    14
    1. In the study where the parents did not complete the diet, it was said they did not see any good effect. I wonder however if they just could not deal with the tantrums of their children not begin able to eat their favorite Mac & Cheese. I know of a child who would put up a terrible fuss that would wear down many parents and would give up the whole thing.




      3
  2. It seems to me that this series of videos on autism definitely shows that Dr Greger isn’t cherry picking research studies. He could have stopped the series with one of the first three videos, each of which ended with positive results. But instead, he kept up the research covering it all. He would have made a great detective! Even putting to shame that famous detective, Adrian Monk :-)




    16
    1. But Dr Greger cherry picks studies related to omega 3. He quotes this metanalysis indicating lack of effects of omega 3.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23247954
      Unfortunately he ignores that statins can inhibit omega 3 heart effects.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3571733/

      “The catch? This meta-analysis is one of the most heavily criticized publications in the omega-3 sea — and other researchers wasted no time calling out its errors.

      In an editorial letter, one critic pointed out that among the studies included in the meta-analysis, the average omega-3 intake was 1.5 g per day — only half the amount recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease (6). Because so many studies used a clinically irrelevant dosage, the analysis might have missed the cardioprotective effects seen at higher omega-3 intakes.

      Another respondent wrote that the results “should be interpreted with caution” due to the study’s numerous shortcomings — including the use of an unnecessarily stringent cutoff for statistical significance (P < 0.0063, instead of the more common P < 0.05) (7). At more widely used P-values, the study might have deemed some of its findings significant — including a 9% reduction in cardiac death, a 13% reduction in sudden death, and an 11% reduction in heart attack associated with fish oil from food or supplements.

      And yet another critic noted that any benefit of omega-3 supplementation would be hard to demonstrate among people using statin drugs, which have pleiotropic effects that resemble — and possibly mask — the mechanisms involved with omega-3s (7). This is important, because in several of the no-benefit omega-3 trials, up to 85% of the patients were on statins (8).

      In the spirit of accuracy, Greger could have cited a more recent omega-3 review that dodges the previous study's errors and — quite intelligently — explains the inconsistent outcomes among omega-3 trials (8).

      In fact, the authors of this paper encourage the consumption of two to three servings of oily fish per week — recommending that "physicians continue to recognize the benefits of omega-3 PUFAs to reduce cardiovascular risk in their high risk patients" (8).

      Maybe that's why Greger didn't mention it! "
      https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-not-to-die-review




      4
      1. ziejczyk, It looks like you copied your response from an article written by Denise Minger on the website: http://www.healthline.com.

        The first thing I noticed about that website is the plethora of advertisements. Just to see if the information there was at all credible, I searched on the topic “Heart Disease”. Half way through the article, a pop-up advertisement came up trying to sell me drugs from a pharmaceutical company! In further reading of the article, I stopped when I came to the line:

        “Heart disease can’t be cured or reversed. It requires a lifetime of treatment and careful monitoring.”

        Dr Caldwell Esselstyn has shown many times that atherosclerosis can be reversed by a strict Whole Plant Foods diet.

        The bottom line: You can keep your Healtline website, I’m sticking with Dr Greger!




        28
        1. I agree that heart disease can by reversed with Ornish diet. I don’t agree with dr Greger belief that omega 3 are not helpful as preventive treatment of heart disease.




          4
            1. The reason why Dr G cherry picked and said that DHA/EPA has no benefits to CHD is because it requires a very high dose of EPA in the amount of 1800 mg. But algae based DHA oil contains a low amount of DHA and almost no EPA and you know that the body converts poorly from DHA to EPA.

              To get the benefits of DHA/EPA, you have to use a high dosage as contained in fish oil, and of course Dr G cannot recommend people to eat fish. And so he cherry picked…

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4147772/

              “The differences in omega-3 PUFA dose in treated patients may also explain the different outcomes among the RCTs. The JELIS trial5 randomized patients to 1800 mg of EPA a day and showed a reduction in CHD events. This dose of omega-3 PUFA was much higher than in other RCTs and a high dose may be needed to reduce CHD events, while the benefit of reducing mortality and sudden death with omega-3 PUFAs may occur at lower doses.”




              1
              1. Sure Jerry.

                You don’t need to recommend either fish or fish oil consumption if the aim is to increase omega 3 consumption. In any case, Greger recommends DHA/EPA supplementation for brain health. And it is just as easy to recommend high dose algal oil as it is to recommend high dose fish oil. You are tying yourself into knots over this because of your obsession with denigrating Dr G.

                “A direct plant source of EPA and DHA is microalgal oil, through which fish acquire them.[105]–[110] Plant sources are superior because they do not contain the contaminants that fish contain, including heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, and cadmium, industrial pollutants like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxin, and possibly even radioactive isotopes.[111]–[114] The AI for ALA is 1.1 g per day for adult females and 1.6 g per day for men. Conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is limited in humans.[115],[116] Serum and adipose levels of EPA and DHA have been found to be significantly lower in vegetarians and vegans when compared to omnivores, although there is no evidence of any adverse health or cognitive effects.[117],[118] Vegetarians, vegans, and those with reduced conversion ability, such as the elderly, may benefit from doubling the recommended dose of ALA (2.2 g for females and 3.2 g for males per day) and adding a microalgal supplement.[107],[119]”
                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466942/




                8
                  1. I do not eat fish or chicken in any amount. I have told you this several times.

                    What I have said is that, since red meat is probably carcinogenic, people who wish to eat meat are probably better advised to eat chicken or other non red meats. As for fish, I have stated that for people who do not wish to take supplements of any kind, including several oily fish servings a week in a WFPB diet may be a good option because of the PUFA, B12, iodine etc contents. However, people need to be aware that,for the over-50s, the US NIH advises that all people take a B12 supplement.because of the body’s declining ability to absorb B12 from food.




                    6
                    1. Re: What I have said is that, since red meat is probably carcinogenic…

                      This is a big misconception and completely bogus info. Red meat is in fact the most nutritious meat if you know how to eat it, i.e. connective and joint meat at the same time with muscle meat. White meat other than fish is less beneficial, and chicken is the worse. ALA, a strong antioxidant is mainly in red meat of grass fed cow.

                      All these misconception came from the obsolete and misleading saturated theory.




                      1
                    2. You are being ridiculous, Jerry.

                      The International Agency for Research on Cancer throroughly examined the issue and concluded that red meat is probably carcinogenic. As usual, every time that scientific research delivers findings that you do not like, you claim that the evidence is ‘bogus’ or “faked”.
                      http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(15)00444-1/fulltext

                      And, despite your claim, that evidence has very little to do with saturated fat which is a known risk factor for heart disease.
                      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510

                      It is probably more a function of a mix of factors such as haem iron, carcinogenic chemicals formed during cooking and NeuG5c. That said of course, saturated fat is a risk factor for some cancers
                      http://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-saturated-fat-higher-risk/article/677418/
                      https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/870235

                      It seems that you don’t care about evidence when it conflicts with your opinions. You just dismiss it as bogus or fake …. no evidence, no reasoning, just an absolute assertion. It is little wonder that no rational person considers your opinions or your judgement to be worth beans (so to speak).




                      9
        2. Yes, Denise Minger! And the article appears to have come originally from the grandly named “authoritynutrition” website. That website was apparently created by a personal trainer with a somewhat inflated sense of his own nutritional expertise. Apparently he and his collaborators are all low carbers and staurated fat promoters. Cranks all to my mind but Minger and authoritynutrition always bring to mind Atul Gawande’s famous New Yorker article on antiscience claims (as of course does Jerry)

          “Science’s defenders have identified five hallmark moves of pseudoscientists. They argue that the scientific consensus emerges from a conspiracy to suppress dissenting views. They produce fake experts, who have views contrary to established knowledge but do not actually have a credible scientific track record. They cherry-pick the data and papers that challenge the dominant view as a means of discrediting an entire field. They deploy false analogies and other logical fallacies. And they set impossible expectations of research: when scientists produce one level of certainty, the pseudoscientists insist they achieve another.”
          https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-mistrust-of-science




          8
      2. Dr Greger does recommend use of DHA/EPA supplements but for brain health not heart health. That doesn’t sound like cherry picking or bias against DHA/EPA or supplements to me.
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-vegans-take-dha-to-preserve-brain-function/

        Further, a couple of servings of fish a week is not inconsistent with a WFPB diet. Certainly, in the most recent Adventist mortality study, ‘pescovegetraians’ had the lowest mortality risk overall for both sexes combined (although male ‘vegans’ had the very lowest relative mortality risk of all)..That said, Greger recommends pollutant-free algae sources – which is where fish get there DHA from. Sounds quite reasonable to me.

        That said, fish also provide B12, iodine, vitamin D zinc etc which can be beneficial. Strict vegetarians have to carefully plan their diet to include these things. Personally, I avoid all animals foods for health, ethical and environmental reasons. However, if one does not live in a wealthy Western country with access to a wide variety of plant foods and supplements then a pescovegetarian WFPB diet may be optimal.




        11
        1. Re: Further, a couple of servings of fish a week is not inconsistent with a WFPB diet.

          Now TG will talk from both sides of his mouth whenever he sees fit.

          So where are all the concerns about mercury when eating fish? Where is the statement that 7th day adventists who are meat eaters live less than 7th day adventists who are vegans?

          TG will change his tunes on a short notice however fits his motives at the time. I am pretty sure that he was an used car salesman before he retired.




          1
          1. You have never been comfortable with rational argument have you Jerry? Or a stickler for accuracy/

            ‘A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.’
            https://www.forksoverknives.com/whole-food-plant-based-diet/#gs.xCDvc=o

            M-i-n-i-m-i-s-e-s. To my mind, insults and fabrications are a poor substitute for facts and reason. Each to his/her own though.




            11
            1. So now you copy my diet. And yet you insult me like I propose some kind of unhealthy diet. I don’t think it’s related to my diet but more to do with you have to insult someone everyday. What a hobby.




              1
              1. Oh, come on Jerry, you apparently eat bone broth and say saturated fat is harmless. You even say that you take MCT oil every day.

                What has that got to do with fish? Or my diet? And I am pretty sure that you did not invent the WFPB diet.




                7
                1. So now for a start, TG said that he eats fish and chicken. Where are all the vegans and animal lovers out there? Come out and insult this guy like you usually did.




                  0
                  1. Again you are just making stuff up. I do not eat either fish or chicken and nor have I said that I do.

                    I am being very polite when I say that your assertions are fabrications. Or perhaps I should be more understanding and attribute your claims to your very obvious cognitive problems.




                    8
          1. Re: It is cherry picking related to omega 3 influence on heart.

            Because it requires a higher dosage of EPA in order to get the benefits on CHD, for which algae based oil has almost none, and therefore the cherry picking.

            Dr G cannot obviously recommend fish oil due to his veganism disguised as WFPB. We all eat WFPB without having to be vegan.

            The TG guy now said that he eats fish and chicken and he is not a vegan, and then deny it. He can talk from both sides of his mouth like an used car salesman.




            1
          2. That makes no sense. Why would he cherry pick studies related to heart health but not brain health?

            The fact that he recommends omega 3 consumption for brain health is evidence that he is not biased against omega 3 supplementation.so why on earth would he cherry pick?

            Sure, some people diagaree but it is not like Dr G’s views on omega 2 and cradiovascular are plucked out of thin air. A number of reviews conclude that eg
            “Conclusion Overall, omega-3 PUFA supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association”
            .http://www.igienistionline.it/docs/2012/24o3jama.pdf

            Anybody who disagrees with you and your (cherry picked?) articles has to be guilty of bias and cherry picking then? I suspect that you may have an agenda just like Jerry.does.




            6
            1. I don’t know what motives Dr G has against recommending DHA/EPA against heart diseases but the evidences are overwhelming and it is known for a long time. It took him like last year to recommend DHA oil for brain health. Geez by the time he recommends DHA/EPA for heart health then his followers will all die of heart diseases.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22279134

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Link&dbFrom=PubMed&from_uid=9129501




              1
            2. OK. “Cherry picking” is too strong word. Dr Greger underestimates heart benefits of Omega 3 supplementation. The point is this metanalysis is heavily criticised. This is bad metanalysis because it doesn’t take into consideration that statins inhibit omega 3 effects.




              0
              1. I can understand your reasoning but de Lorgil’s hypothesis is just that – any hypothesis. Yes, there are criticisms of Dr G’s conclusions but his case is a strong one and backed by multiple studies. Personally, I am inclined to accept the ODS assessment I linked to previously but that is not to say that Dr G’s assessment is not an unreasonable one.

                It is really the motives you ascribe to Dr G’s conclusion that there is no good, consistent evidence that omega supplementation benefits heart health, that I took issue with.




                1
      3. Greger recommends consumption of DHA/EPA for brain health (not heart health). How does that square with your criticisms? It seems to me that it doesn’t. In any case, fish get their DHA etc from algae – so can we. Therefore, this argument you offer just seems like an attempt to accuse him of cherry-picking and bias, which just doesn’t hold water.

        The CDC ODS has a good article on this topic.
        https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/




        7
        1. Re: In any case, fish get their DHA etc from algae – so can we.

          This is an absurd and illogical argument made by vegans.

          Kale “eats” manure and fertilizer while we eat the kale and not the caca.

          Cow eat grass and we eat the cow and not the grass.

          Fish eats algae to create DHA/EPA and we eat the fish, not the algae because there is less DHA/EPA that we can extract from it.




          1
          1. Gosh, Jerry, that actually makes sense to you? Don’t bother with evidence, just make the claim why don’t you.

            And for the 50th time, I am not a vegan. It is like talking to a brick wall.




            5
            1. So explain to me why you are not a vegan? In one post you said that you don’t eat meat, that meat is toxic, blah blah blah and then in another post, you said that you are not a vegan and you eat some meat. So if it is poison then don’t you have to avoid it at all cost?

              So what do you get in animal foods that you don’t get from plant foods or do you eat animal foods only for pleasure?




              1
              1. Jerry

                First, you have to make some attempt to understand what a vegan is.

                “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
                https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism

                I am not a vegan because I own leather belts, shoes and woollen clothes etc. I do try to eat a completely vegetarian diet but that does not make me a vegan or my diet a ‘vegan diet’ even though many people use the term ‘vegan diet’. To me this is nonsense. Vegans eat a completely vegetarian diet but most people who eat a completely vegetarian diet are not vegans. For that matter, I suspect that most people who call themselves vegans are not vegans either.

                For the record, I do occasionally eat non-vegetarian foods. For example, when I am travelling and am ravenously hungry and there is no true vegetarian option. But it is not often and I won’t try to defend it. It happens but I am not proud of it.




                6
  3. While watching the first part of this video I was thinking how it could also be applied to regulars on NFO. That is, they hear about how the evidence based facts support a WFPB diet and the placebo effect kicks in and they exclude any and all other opposite or even complimentary (like supplements for instance) nutrition.

    Just a personal observation.




    4
    1. I think that excluding foods found to be detrimental to health is the whole point of NFO. It would be rather silly to spend the time to garner scientific info on a WFPBD and then continue to consume animal products and processed junk foods, would it not? Those are the “opposite nutritions” to which you refer, I presume.




      10
      1. Just saying that some are so invested in the WFPB diet idea that they dismiss out of hand any research that includes complimentary nutrition.

        With all the dueling evidence from the milk product videos, I’m still not convinced of which way to turn. And while it may affect some adversely, milk products are demonized by those who are likely not adversely affected, hence the placebo (opposite) effect that is fostered by NFO.




        3
        1. Which video is it that has “dueling evidence” about dairy? Every study on this site, as I remember, clearly indicates that dairy is about the worst thing you could possibly eat. I read the “How Not to Die” and dairy causes cardio, cancer, and a slew of other health problems. At least, that’s what the science says. So where is this “dueling evidence”?




          4
        2. Lonie

          Aren’t you missing the point that Dr Geger actually recommends the use of complementary measures (supplements)? Like DHA/EPA for example?

          https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

          And use of the term ‘demonized’ is often just a way simply to dismiss evidence alternative health people do not like That way they do not have to address inconvenient evidence. This is particularly true of the saturated fat nuts who rely on a few confounded epidemiological studies to support their views and claim all evidence to the contrary is demonising staurated fat. the problem is that the ‘alternative’ health crew usually have little more than loud assertions and shrill repetition to support their views. if they applied the same level of angry criticism to their own opinions, it would be a welcome change.

          My ears prick up whenever anyone uses this term – quoting evidence isn’t ‘demonising ‘ anything. Why on Earth would anyone do that anyway? I suspect that it is because alternative health often are nuts and rational thought is not something they are very good at. Nor is reality for that matter. But they sure have a lot of websites and trashy books to sell.




          9
          1. Sorry – not enough ‘nuts’ in that post.
            “alternative health NUTS often are nuts”

            Nuts are good for us of course but I sometimes think we have too many on this website (not you by the way. You sound like the voice of sweet reason compared to some posters here).

            Sorry for the rant but i was just thinking what a pleasant change it is when people like Konrad criticise but actually offer reasons and rational arguments for their beliefs. I think Konrad is wrong but at least he makes a case instead of just offering vague unsubstantiated criticisms and insults.




            5
            1. Yes, I was mostly offering an opinion on behaviour rather than anything evidence based. And I do think some (not talking about Jerry ‘-) are dealt with harshly by the true believers, thus the term demonized.

              But something I just posted in an old thread is probably going to make this all moot in future, although in the here and now I expect to get a lot of blowback after posting this link ‘-)

              https://singularityhub.com/2017/11/24/5-wild-biotech-products-of-the-future/?utm_source=Singularity+Hub+Newsletter&utm_campaign=df918597bf-Hub_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0cf60cdae-df918597bf-57443037




              1
              1. That’s interesting Lonie but it all seems a very elaborate way of providing people with the macro and micro nutrients we need, especially given we have plenty of natural foods that can already do most of this.

                And i couldn’t help wondering about the home biofactory product – could this facilitate bioterrorism?




                3
                1. In re the bio terrorism threat, we just have to hope those occur in small pockets, just like the random shootings going on in many places. Although the damage and loss of life is real, the random way it happens brings it closer to home for those wanting to feel safe.

                  I would personally be more worried about some things I read about online.
                  That is, weaponized drones, driver-less cars and trucks being hacked to crash into crowds… too many things to worry about, so we can just stay home and be entertained by virtual reality. ‘-)




                  1
    2. Lonie
      that would work until you actually tested someone , how would you get blood pressure go from 180 /110 to 110 /70 in three months , all the placebo effect in the world wouldn’t change things that are measurable .




      7
      1. Ignatius, you may be selling “placebo effect” a bit short there. While I do not have any studies to back up my assertions here, I have read good doctors tell how placebo effect has, in fact, changed measurable things in some cases. It’s not relegated to tests of subjectivity alone. This is why it’s such a bugaboo to allow such into your study. There’s no treatment explanation (drug or substance or therapy) for these cases, which makes it a “mind over matter” situation, or a misdiagnosis in the first place.




        5
      2. “. . . how would you get blood pressure go from 180 /110 to 110 /70 in three months , all the placebo effect in the world wouldn’t change things that are measurable .”

        Not really – the placebo effect can significant change on MANY measurable parameters, and not just on whether subjectively patients “feel better.” Which explains why double blind controlled studies on drugs MUST include a placebo control group for all of the measurements they take, to determine how much of an effect depends on a drug, and how much comes from the placebo effect. And yes, this does includes blood pressure:

        http://www.ashjournal.com/article/S1933-1711(16)30559-9/abstract

        J Am Soc Hypertens. 2016 Dec;10(12):917-929. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2016.10.009. Epub 2016 Nov 5.

        “Effect of placebo groups on blood pressure in hypertension: a meta-analysis of beta-blocker trials”

        Highlights
        •There are significant placebo effects on systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
        •Placebo effects on diastolic blood pressure accounted for 47% of the drug effect.
        •Placebo effects on systolic blood pressure accounted for 34% of the drug effect.
        •No placebo effect on heart rate was found.
        •Placebo mechanisms could be utilized to optimize the pharmacological treatment.




        3
        1. For those still not convinced, an entertaining and informative 15 minute TEDMED video on “Harnessing the power of placebos”, by Dr. Alia Crum ( http://www.tedmed.com/speakers/show?id=621232 ), who serves as the principle investigator at Stanford’s Mind-Body Lab:

          http://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=621415

          “Stanford professor, athlete and psychologist Alia Crum investigates the role of mindsets in affecting health behaviors and outcomes. Inspired by research on the placebo effect, Alia’s research was the first to reveal the physiological effects of mindset in core areas of behavioral health, including the benefits of exercise, the metabolic processing of nutrients and the effects of stress. Alia’s research moves us beyond the limited notion of the placebo effect as a mysterious response to an inert substance toward recognizing that, ultimately, our mindset is responsible for physiological responses.”




          2
    3. Yeah it’s a simplistic mindset that WFPB diet will fix it all while ignoring that there are a myriad of other nutrition that are necessary, and the lack of them can cause problems to some people. The funny thing is that a lot of people on this board do not consider supplements but are willing to take FDA drugs that are mostly harmful and fry their liver and pancrea in the process. It’s OK because the CDC said that it is safe.




      2
      1. Gee, I thought that it was the FDA/CDC that insisted that drug companies provide information on the side effects and risks of prescription drugs.

        According to you, all drugs are mostly harmful? Of course, you don’t offer any evidence for such a bold statement. You are Jerry after all and just ‘know’ these things.

        Why are all these drugs allowed then? Is it some kind of big government-big pharma conspiracy to kill us off in the name of corporate profit? All around the world?




        3
    4. That’s funny, Lonie, because it reminded me of a friend of mine, who is part of the saturated fats / coconut oil brigade & has convinced herself that her brain doesn’t function when she doesn’t load up with saturated fats.




      2
      1. Speaking of saturated fat, the lie was started 70 years ago since 1950 and not half a century like I thought. During that time, I wonder how many billions of people in the world have been harmed by this lie.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044790/

        DebMandal and Mandal10 report that, in the United States, coconut oil was one of the major sources of dietary fats, aside from diary and animal fats, prior to the advent of the American edible oil industry in the 1940s. Despite the wide use of these tropical oils in less endowed countries, Enig11 reports however that, the coconut oil industry has suffered more than three decades of abusive rhetoric from consumer activist groups and organisations such as Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) and other members of the edible oil industry, as well as from those in the medical and scientific community who learned their apparent misinformation from these groups. Needless to say, palm oil has suffered a similar fate. According to Chong and Ng12, the principal allegation levelled against palm oil is that it is a highly saturated fat and its consumption supposedly raises the levels of blood cholesterol, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.
        From the above, it is clear, that the saturated fat content of both coconut oil and palm oil have been the basis of the vilification campaigns against their use. >>>> Enig11 traces the origins of the anti-saturated fat campaign to the late 1950s, when a researcher in Minnesota announced that the heart disease epidemic was being caused by hydrogenated vegetable fats. The edible oil industry’s response at that time was to claim that it was only the saturated fat in the hydrogenated oils that was causing the problem. This was followed by various forms of anti-saturated fat/anti-tropical oils campaigns (from the 1960s through to the mid-1980s) by individual researchers, some multinational companies and even governmental agencies in the United States. Chong and Ng12 however, noted that, the anti-palm oil (anti-tropical oil) campaigns in the United States were conducted more for economic gains than for genuine concerns of the health of the Americans. Sadly, this adverse publicity of tropical oil in the United States, has spread worldwide, even to countries in the developing world, with heart disease prevalence far lower than that of the United States. <<<<<<




        1
        1. >>>> Enig11 traces the origins of the anti-saturated fat campaign to the late 1950s, when a researcher in Minnesota announced that the heart disease epidemic was being caused by hydrogenated vegetable fats. The edible oil industry’s response at that time was to claim that it was only the saturated fat in the hydrogenated oils that was causing the problem. This was followed by various forms of anti-saturated fat/anti-tropical oils campaigns (from the 1960s through to the mid-1980s) by individual researchers, some multinational companies and even governmental agencies in the United States. Chong and Ng12 however, noted that, the anti-palm oil (anti-tropical oil) campaigns in the United States were conducted more for economic gains than for genuine concerns of the health of the Americans. Sadly, this adverse publicity of tropical oil in the United States, has spread worldwide, even to countries in the developing world, with heart disease prevalence far lower than that of the United States. <<<<<<




          1
        2. This is nonsense Jerry. To be more precise, it is propaganda from a West African country that is a major producer of high saturated fat palm and coconut oils. of course they are going to defend and promote the country’s major exports.

          if people want untainted advice on the health effects of saturated fats, they can look at major reports from panels of world class scientific experts convened by eg the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association

          http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/fatsandfattyacids_humannutrition/en/
          http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510

          But can’t you give all this nonsense a rest? We know your views and frankly we are are sick of hearing them. And I am bored responding to them. I only do so because I fear that people’s lives and health could be at risk if they believe that these crackpot claims you post actually bear some resemblance to reality. They don’t – your views promote CVD and other chronic diseases.




          2
          1. Re: World Health Organization and the American Heart Association

            This says it all. There is no need to argue with a stubborn guy who believe in FDA drug and Big Pharma and is proud to fry his liver and pancrea.




            0
            1. You are simply painting yourself as a conspiracy nut, Jerry. I

              t’s all on a par with your views that all the evidence from around the world for over 70 years, identifying dietary saturated fat and high blood cholesterol as risk factors for CVD, is “bogus” and has been “faked”.

              And you think that suspecting cognitive impairment is insulting you?




              2
              1. So let me ask you the other way. For two hundred of years or longer, the FDA has said that the only way to prevent and cure heart disease is by FDA drugs such as the statin that you used.

                Now Dr G and a number of health doctors are saying that you can prevent and even cure and reverse CHD with foods and nutrition. So do that mean that the FDA and doctors and hospitals and Big Pharma are conspiring to harm us? I know that they do harm people such as you who took statin drug and fried your kidney and pancreas, but for the conspiracy part, I am not sure (my traditional doctor is an honest man). In fact the FDA has banned all foods and supplements from making claim that it can prevent heart disease.

                Or are you saying that Dr G and other health doctors are making up those nutritional theories because the FDA and American Heart Association disagree. And they have been saying this for 200 years and so they cannot be wrong.




                1
                1. Your whole argument is based on falsehoods, Jerry. Admittedly these fabrications are all over the internet and pushed by charlatans, conspiracy nuts and crackpots. That doesn’t mean that we have to believe such lies.

                  Anybody who takes the trouble to read what the FDA and AHA actually state, knows that such claims are utterly false.

                  “Making healthy food choices is one important thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease—the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States.”
                  https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm199058.htm

                  “A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease.”
                  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#

                  Your posts are full of such intelligence-insulting falsehoods. Why do you make them? You must know that people can easily check such claims and discover for themselves that you are trying to deceive them. It is little wonder that your posts are roundly criticised.




                  2
                  1. Now you are contradicting with your God.

                    (You have to google for the links because I cannot post them)

                    reversing-diabetes-with-food/

                    We’ve known for nearly a century and a half, since the 1870 siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, that type 2 diabetes could be reversed by an extreme reduction in food intake. This has since been demonstrated experimentally; by starving people enough, you can reverse diabetes.

                    plant-based-treatment-for-angina/

                    We know plant-based diets can reverse heart disease, dissolving plaque away, opening up arteries, in some cases without drugs, without surgery, but that doesn’t happen in 24 days. The improvements in anginal symptoms are too rapid and too great to be explained by the gradual regression of the atherosclerotic plaque. So, maybe it’s this improvement in endothelial function that’s doing it.

                    taking-personal-responsibility-for-your-health/

                    There’s only one diet that’s ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients—a diet centered around whole plant foods. So, anytime anyone tries to sell you on some new diet, do me a favor. Ask them one simple question: “Has it been proven to reverse heart disease—you know, the number one reason you, and all your loved ones, will die?” If the answer is “No,” why would you even consider it, right? Only one diet has ever been proven to do that. That’s not cherry-picking—there’s only one cherry.

                    So, we know why the AMA may have been sucking up to the tobacco industry—but why weren’t individual doctors speaking out? Well, there were a few gallant souls ahead of their time writing in, as there are today, standing up against industries killing millions. But, why not more? Maybe, it’s because the majority of physicians themselves smoked cigarettes—just like the majority of physicians today continue to eat foods that are contributing to our epidemics of dietary disease.

                    What was the AMA’s rallying cry back then? Everything in moderation. “Extensive scientific studies have proven that smoking in moderation…” Oh, that’s fine. Sound familiar?

                    cancer-reversal-through-diet/

                    What’s happening, it seems, is that the vegan diet reprogrammed gene expression within the prostate gland itself. Ornish took biopsies before and after the dietary change, and you can see the subtle shift in gene regulation from more red to more green. The green denotes genes that are being downregulated under the lifestyle changes. Before, and after.




                    1
                    1. The point is that your claims were false. You as usual refuse to acknowledge this. I

                      Instead, also as usual, you wander off on another tangent which in fact seems to contradict your original claims. Yet, bizarrely, you seem to think that it validates them.




                      2
                2. Jerry You claimed that the FDA and AHA “said that the only way to prevent and cure heart disease is by FDA drugs such as the statin that you used.”

                  I showed you that that claim is false.

                  You either don’t understand plain English or you deliberately misrepresent what people write. It is very concerning.




                  1
                  1. Jerry

                    I am going to be charitable and assume that your cognitive impairment is getting worse. Nobody could utter such ridiculous falsehoods as you do in full knowledge that they are false – they would rightly fear being laughed at as being both incompetent and mendacious. You have to be either delusional or cognitively impaired.

                    Your link simply says that “FDA–regulated medications and devices are among the most common methods used to manage cardiovascular disease.” Most common not sole.

                    How can you claim that this “proves” your absurd contention that the FDA and AHA state that only prescription drugs can prevent or treat CVD? Especially when I have already quoted you chapter and verse that refutes your claim.

                    Your posts are unbalanced and indicative of some serious psychological and/or cognitive problems. I strongly urge you to seek appropriate professional help..




                    0
                  2. TG, you are contradicting with your Doctor.

                    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/taking-personal-responsibility-for-your-health/

                    So, we know why the AMA may have been sucking up to the tobacco industry—but why weren’t individual doctors speaking out? Well, there were a few gallant souls ahead of their time writing in, as there are today, standing up against industries killing millions. But, why not more? Maybe, it’s because the majority of physicians themselves smoked cigarettes—just like the majority of physicians today continue to eat foods that are contributing to our epidemics of dietary disease.

                    What was the AMA’s rallying cry back then? Everything in moderation. “Extensive scientific studies have proven that smoking in moderation…” Oh, that’s fine. Sound familiar?




                    0
                    1. That has absolutely nothing to do with your original, blatantly false claim that the FDA and AHA say that “the only way to prevent and cure heart disease is by FDA drugs”.

                      Why do you make such obviously false claims? Anybody who bothers to check them out will quickly discover that you weren’t telling the truth.




                      0
      2. Nancy, I have a neighbor who has apparently been recruited to the fat laden diet.

        She has been overweight and I’ve read on her Facebook page that she is so excited that she can eat all the good tasting foods she wants, like butter per example. And she reports that she is losing weight and inches while doing this. She had often been a constant dieter who just didn’t get results.

        I don’t give my neighbors advice on how to live or what to eat, but if I did I do not think I could discourage her from eating this way, especially as I try to eat in such a way as to increase my ketone bodies to fuel my own non-corpse.

        I may be reaching the point where I have to increase my intake of fat in order for my body to make ketones for energy, as I have reduced my own body fat to the point where I can’t keep up some of my recent wardrobe of pants.

        No worries as I’ve got old pairs of pants from years past to wear. Levi’s and Wrangler’s don’t go out of style. ‘-)

        This report on a new product is one of the things that keep me focused on ketones as fuel.
        http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-ketone-ester-ketosis-hvmn-2017-10




        2
        1. Trust me, the more fat you eat, the more weight and body fat you lose. And your “cholesterol” if it has any significance, is unchanged or even better. In general, the more you eat as long as it is healthy foods, will make you lose weight. So eat to your heart’s content and you will lose weight.

          The new year resolution to everyone is to eat more healthy foods. It’s a new year resolution that everyone can keep unless someone is addicted to junk foods. So absolutely no junk foods. Healthy fat is a healthy food.




          1
        2. Lonie, everyone loses weight on those Atkins type diets … at first. Let me in about a year or two how she’s doing.

          Of course, your comment had nothing to with mine. I was merely pointing out another instance of the placebo effect. My friend is convinced that if she doesn’t load up on saturated fats, paticularly coconut oil & animal fats, then her brain won’t function. That’s what she’s been told, so she actually believes that if she doesn’t get her daily dose of sat fats, her brain turns to mush. In just 1 day.

          But since you brought up the subject, she’s been eating this way for well over a decade & is always complaining that she can’t lose weight. And she’s locked into it by her belief that if cuts out any sat fats, her brain won’t function.




          0
    5. Speaking of placebo effect, if you eat plenty of healthy foods and in particular healthy fats, and don’t stay hungry, then you feel good and have a lot of energy and then you will get an extra bonus which is the placebo effect.

      The worse thing is all those weight loss diet which makes people starve and feel so miserable and they got a double whammy that their metabolic state goes down and they burn even less body fat which is their goal in the first place.

      The “Eat fat get thin” theory rings so true.




      0
  4. Why they even do 4 and 6 weeks “study”?!? – to me this is pure ignorance of their side to the facts how the body heals, especially in the case of autism, where also they should investigated not only the dairy but how many vaccines had each child and the heavy metals in their bodies.




    3
  5. It’s easy to blame on the foods that people eat such as dairy or gluten than to blame on the foods and nutrients that people don’t eat such as DHA/EPA, magnesium, zinc, CoQ10, amino acids, probiotics, etc.




    2
  6. Dr. Greger has become such a tease. I love him so I say it with a smile, but it’s true. I feel like I’m watching “Grey’s Anatomy.” Each video ends with, “And we’ll find out what they found……next.”




    1
    1. There is no tease and no surprise because I already know the conclusion.

      – Dairy is the culprit of all illness, in particular autism.
      – Eating WFPB will fix everything.




      1
  7. Could it be that due to vaccination sensitivity, some children react differently to those proteins ? I have a serious casein intolerance leading to grand mal epilepsy (free since 1999) and still eating lots of bread. Maybe the sensitivity becomes more profound after vaccination leading one to autism and maybe the other to epilepsy. I have to say I always found myself being lightly autisitic without any diagnosis of that kind. So the selection to which type of intolerance is made how the body reacts to that vaccination (foreign protein). Autism or epilepsy is then decided by constitution. But the trigger is the vaccination. Hopefully someone can prove me wrong or right.




    3
    1. Perhaps, but even if your supposition has some truth, is there greater good from the vaccination in the form of fewer deaths from disease? While I empathize with those who suffer from conditions such as epilepsy, autism, untreatable cancers, etc., these are still mysteries to be solved. Many will suffer and that is so sad but on the balance, we no longer have to watch people die from polio or small pox. I’ll take vaccination for everyone rather than attributing a condition whose trigger we still can’t determine.




      0
      1. Your rhetorical question suggests why we need to speedily get to the point where we have individualized medicine, assuming that will include individualized vaccines.

        The futurist site I’ve linked to below suggests we will be able to be able to hack our own bio-genome in the future. Perhaps we can buy a set of templates with different ways and means of creating an individualized vaccine that our own testing will show as being compatible with our personal biology.

        https://singularityhub.com/2017/11/24/5-wild-biotech-products-of-the-future/?utm_source=Singularity+Hub+Newsletter&utm_campaign=817505bf01-Hub_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0cf60cdae-817505bf01-57443037

        The power of exponential growth keeps me from saying this won’t be happening soon.




        1
    2. Thank you for your question. I think vaccination and link with autism is fascinating but further work is needed. Unfortunately this is being hampered by big pharma who want to suppress any meaningful dialogue on vaccines and neurological side effects. Clearly there will be some people who have an adverse effect to vaccines but proving cause and effect is very difficult and we need to keep an open mind. Dr Greger has not so far covered the issue of vaccination and autism.




      0
  8. Dear Dr. Gregor, Thank you for your ongoing work and sending out the videos. I have learned so much and tell all my friends to watch them as well. My favorite part is when you say ” and then there are the vegans” and of course, they always have the best results. Happy Holidays and thank you for changing my life thru your work, Rachel…the happy vegan




    3
  9. Kind of off the main topic observation- In the “famous sugar study”, the placebo mentioned was aspartame – is there not a correlation between aspartame and mood, similar to sugar? Or is that a myth? Were the mothers potentially right and the testers pushing Diet Soda somehow? Are placebos potentially dangerous? Am I crazy?!

    Ps HUGE FAN!!!




    3
  10. What do people think about the ‘maleness’ theory of autism?

    That is, all males are more or less autistic in some ways – less empathetic and less social than females, and that autism is merely a further shift along that maleness spectrum




    3
      1. TG
        That is an interesting article .
        The Atlantic has an interesting article on brain health titled “Power causes brain disease” I guess us humans have not figured out our own brain yet .
        when i read this article , i thought of all the times i have seen this in real life .
        the company i worked for , the majority of my life , they had about 700 employees , they were to wear hats of different colours to signify their status in that company . white was for people with less than a year and not in the union , green was the main hat of most workers , red was lead hands , yellow was quality control , purple was a supervisor , black was upper management . everyone started with white no matter what position you would be able to attain .
        i have seen people come thru the ranks quickly and have this brain disease come on as quickly as 15 minutes . yes right before your eyes , you could have someone , who was civil , funny , smile and laugh at jokes be one of the guys to being almost instant prick , you could actually stand there and watch their farcical expression change to something more (evil?) perhaps.
        how our brains work and why we do the things we do is an interesting subject , a lot of time we do things to gain power , recognition , people will sometimes do themselves in just to gain recognition . it might even explain why some people in and on the comment section post outlandish comments .




        4
    1. Do males and females react differently to equal situations? Some people view themselves as matter but the matter is subjected to a process or change which sculpts the matter through time. The rules of the change are not necessarily written inside the cells. They could be just reactions to the environment. Why do people react differently to the same situation?




      0
  11. For those still not convinced, an entertaining and informative 15 minute TEDMED video on “Harnessing the power of placebos”, by Dr. Alia Crum ( http://www.tedmed.com/speakers/show?id=621232 ), who serves as the principle investigator at Stanford’s Mind-Body Lab:

    http://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=621415

    “Stanford professor, athlete and psychologist Alia Crum investigates the role of mindsets in affecting health behaviors and outcomes. Inspired by research on the placebo effect, Alia’s research was the first to reveal the physiological effects of mindset in core areas of behavioral health, including the benefits of exercise, the metabolic processing of nutrients and the effects of stress. Alia’s research moves us beyond the limited notion of the placebo effect as a mysterious response to an inert substance toward recognizing that, ultimately, our mindset is responsible for physiological responses.”




    2
    1. Thanks for the link to the TedMed talk. I will never look at placebo the same way ever again, although I was already a believer in the effect from the time I read about the guy with some disease or another and he cured himself by watching comedy…

      Norman Cousins, editor of the respected literary magazine Saturday Review in New York City, was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an incurable and fatal spinal column illness of unknown cause.

      He tried all sorts of alternative remedies, including Vitamin B-17 or laetrile, large doses of Vitamin C and several others, with little or no effect on his condition.

      So, one day, against the advice of his doctors, he left the hospital and closeted himself in his apartment for one month doing what he enjoyed most—reading humorous stories and jokes, watching comedy movies and reading his favorite comic books.

      He did nothing but laugh and laugh each day for one whole month. He also wrote original jokes which he would read aloud to himself then laugh like crazy. He noticed that every time he laughed, his pain was eased.

      At the end of one month, Cousins returned to the hospital for a checkup. To the surprise of the medical staff who examined him, they found no trace of the dreaded disease. He was completely cured!

      The above taken from an article written by Jaimie Licauco from Inquirer.net.

      But I suspect the enemy of the Placebo Effect is skepticism. On NFO a case in point are posters Tom Goff and Jerry Lewis. They are each both skeptics and true believers… and perhaps destroyers of Placebo Effect in their search for truth.

      I suspect the same thing holds true on Amazon review sections. As a parallel in the video, how one perceives a reviewer could determine how their experience affects a purchase. I for one discount a review if I get the idea the person’s bad review is the result of not following instructions for the product.

      I generally don’t discount very heavily a good review when accompanied by disclaimer that the reviewer received a discount on the product in exchange for a review.

      And I am sure most here will disagree with me that some of these “seen on TV” concoctions are beneficial, except when they are detrimental. The placebo effect from these harmless sales are well worth their drain on the finances of their target audience.

      I have first hand knowledge of something similar.

      That is, my mother, who lived during the Spanish Flu Pandemic, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, a local drought during the 1950s that had no name, WWI, WWII, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Oklahoma City bombing, 9-11, Afghanistan, Iraq War, and all the lesser known events during her hundred plus years, held on to a little Life Insurance policy that in today’s terms wouldn’t even pay funeral expenses. She and my Dad took out that policy back in the 1930s and after Dad died, she still continued paying a monthly premium on the policy.

      I tried to get her to cancel the policy some 30 years before her death, but she absolutely refused. I’m glad she didn’t because it may have had that Placebo Effect of giving her some sort of Peace of Mind that helped her (along with my good offices) to live as long as she did.




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      1. Follow up:

        I can see this Placebo Effect, when coupled with Virtual or Augmented… even Mixed, Reality being a powerful healer. Of course a body will require the proper nutrients, but I believe we will be able to self-repair many ailments (although probably not all) with just the innate ability of our bodies to heal.




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      2. Wouldn’t “true believers” be the ones most powerfully affected by the placebo and nocebo effects?

        Go with woo, and the calims of people selling stuff, if you want Lonie, I’ll continue to rely on evidence to guide my choices.

        Low carb diets are a case in point. You can lose weight on them. You can probably lose weight by taking up smoking too. It doesn’t prove that they are healthy long term option.

        They are associated with higher mortality for thing. And, overall lower fat and lower protein diets are associated with lower mortality. But hey I want to be told that eating lots of butter, bacon, beef and brie is healthy so let’s just pretend the evidence is irrelevant and no more important than my opinion. Or, even more fun, let’s believe those lovely conspiracy theories that it’s a plot and all that evidence has been faked for 70+ years. Like yet another study that finds lower mortality with lower fat consumption (all faked no doubt)

        “Obese people who follow a low-fat weight-loss plan could tack extra years onto their life, a new review of medical evidence suggests.

        Such diets appear to help decrease overall risk of early death by 18 percent in people with obesity, amounting to six fewer deaths for every 1,000 people, researchers concluded.

        “Weight loss by cutting calories with diets low in fat — diets which also happened to be low in sugar and refined carbohydrates — appears to reduce premature mortality for people who are obese,” said study co-author Dr. Alison Avenell. She is clinical chair of health services research with the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.’
        https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_169746.html
        ,




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        1. Tom, you are non-nonpareil as a scrounger of data, but I remember an old saying that “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” ‘-)

          What I mean by that is, what may fit for a group that may include a bunch of people who do not have a clue about diet other than a greasy burger (or two or three at a setting) is statistically speaking an earlier death than a bunch of WFPB people who are extremely conscientious about their diet.

          But you aren’t comparing apples to oranges.

          I daresay if you took all the people who regularly visit NF.O and split them into severe WFPB and mostly WFPB but with animal protein or milk product (if not allergic) groups… I would not be surprised if the two groups of us would not live about the same lifespan with about the same health results (me excluded, as I will bury you all ‘-)




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          1. Lonie That is possible as there are multiple factors involved from genetics to access to good quality healthcare. Even attitudes to vaccines and social interactions may make a significant difference. Studies try – usually – to make allowance for confounding factors.such as these but can never completely adjust for such things.

            I suggest that what we need to do to have some confidence that a dietary or lifestyle approach is the best one is to ensure that all the ducks are lined up in a row. In other words, is the observational evidence consistent with the experimental evidence and is this in turn consistent with what is known about the mechanisms of action of nutrients. This is where reductionism and wholism can complement each other.

            You on the other hand seem to enjoy a good story and exciting promises and can find all sorts of reasons to ignore evidence – they MAY do this, they MAY have done that. Sure. But when the preponderance of evidence points in one direction – WFPB diet – I’d argue it is probably better to place your money on that horse. Yes, we can argue about whether a 100% plant WFPB is better or worse than a say 94% plant WFPB .but at least we have broad sailing directions.

            There is very little evidence by comparison for high fat diets delivering healthy longevity. But admittedly there are fats and fats. The current consensus seems to be that the proportion of fat in the diet is unimportant but the type of fat is important. And that the healthy fats are PUFAs and MUFAs but trans fats and saturated fats need to be limited. The problem is of course that you then get entrepeneurial types hijacking the term and pretending that animal fats are what is meant by ‘healthy fats’, They tend to be high in saturated fats which are not health promoting.
            https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good




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            1. I agree that in what ways a person strays from the straight and narrow WFPB diet is of great importance.

              And as you admit, there are times when a situation calls for a different type of nutrition. I think that is pragmatic behaviour.

              For me, I think I can eat outside the lines and do an occasional fast and be equally as healthy, if not moreso than someone who adheres to WFPB. And that is just one strategy.

              There are many ways to skin a stalk of celery.




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              1. The health benefits from fasting and time restricted eating are coming from those same biological mechanisms that make eating a WFPB diet so beneficial.

                Not combining a fast with a WFPB diet would be suboptimal to say the least.




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  12. Thanks. It was an interesting talk.

    “ultimately, our mindset is responsible for physiological responses.”

    Perhaps. However, mindset doesn’t seem to make much difference when somebody slips poison into your coffee or silently creeps up behind you and shoots you in the back of the head.

    I agree that placebo and nocebo effects are very powerful but ‘material reality’ can be very powerful also.




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  13. There has been some research on the benefits for hearth health and bone density from supplementing with vitamin K2.

    Some of this research is coming from the university of Maastricht in 2015.

    In my country it has already become the standard to add K2 to things like vit D or calcium supplements.

    Are there any people on a wfpb diet here who are taking this vitamin as a stand alone supplement?

    Did Dr. Gregor talk about this yet in any Q&A?

    Any chance that this will get included his dietary recommendations?




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    1. i think the website’s assumption is that kale, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables provide sufficient amounts of vitamin k to meet most people’s needs.

      Personally, I usually take a combined d2/k3 supplement although I am having a rest from that supplement at the moment.

      The US Office of Dietary Supplements has an interesting paper on vitamin K which inter alia outlines the differences between current European and US advice.

      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/




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    2. There seems to be some confusion about the differences between vitamin k1 and the more scarce vit k2 which is not present in kale and broccoli, hence the possible benefits of supplementation.




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  14. On a different note.

    A common error in thinking about the placebo effect is the supposition that the beneficial effect relies on the user not knowing about the fakeness of a pill.

    Allthough there migth be differences in magnitude, the blindness factor of placebo’s is not a condition for the effect in the patients themself but for the methodology that is thus standardised in research practice.




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