Dr. Greger’s Interview with Gianna Simone

Dr. Greger’s Interview with Gianna Simone
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Watch my recent interview with Gianna Simone, where we cover a whole variety of topics.

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 [This transcript has been lightly edited for easier reading.]

Gianna            Hello, and welcome back to Love, Gianna. Today I’m here with the incredible Dr. Greger.

Dr. Greger       Happy to be here.

Gianna             Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a leader in the field, NutritionFacts.org, and any books that you’ve written that you’d like to talk about.

Dr. Greger       Wow! I am a physician, specializing in lifestyle medicine using diet and exercise not only prevent disease, but to treat and reverse it as well. And it all really goes back to my grandma. You know, I think the spark for many kids to want to be a doctor when they grow up is watching a grandparent get sick or even die, but for me was watching my grandma get better.

                        She was diagnosed with end stage heart disease. Already had so many bypass surgeries, nothing more the doctors could do. She was sent home in a wheel chair to die. Crushing chest pain. But then she heard about this guy, Nathan Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers, and what happened next is actually detailed in Pritikin’s biography, to talk about Frances Greger, my grandma. She was one of his early patients, featured in his biography as one of his early success stories. They wheeled her in, and she walked out a few weeks later. She was walking 10 miles a day, and though she was given her medical death sentence at age 65, thanks to a healthy diet was able to enjoy another 31 years on this planet to age 96, to continue to enjoy her six grandkids including me. So that’s why I went into medicine. That’s why I practice the type of medicine I do, lifestyle medicine. That’s why I started NutritionFacts.org. That’s why I wrote the book, “How Not to Die.” That’s why all the proceeds from all my books all go to charity. I just want to do for your family what Pritikin did for my family.

Gianna            That’s amazing. First question: how much fat and protein do we need daily? What are the best sources? And how much should athletes be eating?

Dr. Greger       Well, you know, we don’t eat macro nutrients; we don’t eat micro nutrients. We eat food, and I think that’s one of the ways in which the food industry is able to become a trillion dollar—the processed food industry has become a trillion-dollar industry because if you just care about carbs or fat or protein or magnesium, vitamin C, whatever, they can give you, you know, junk food to match. You want Paleo junk food, we’ll give you vegan junk food, we’ll give you fat free junk food, we’ll give you… I mean any kind of junk food you want because it’s all about macro nutrients or it’s all about whatever particular thing, right? On Fruit Loops, they can say, “with fiber, vitamin D” with all this stuff, and that gives us this kind of health halo, when in fact it should all be about food.

                       And the reason people don’t talk about food is there’s no money to be made in food. In fact, produce goes bad; it’s like the worst possible investment. There’s no markup value. Can’t sit on the shelf like a Twinkie for a couple weeks. And look, even a broccoli grower is not going to put an ad on TV for broccoli because, you know, they’ll just buy a competitor’s broccoli. There’s just no money to be made. You’re never going to see an ad on TV for sweet potatoes because there’s just no money to be made. That’s not where the profit is. The system is set up to reward just the unhealthiest but most profitable behavior.

                        And so, I mean, so that’s just kind of falling into the food industry’s trap to speak of kind of this reductionist view of nutrients as opposed to food. Like what’s the best food, right? So like are carbs good or bad for you? Well, carbs are jelly beans or kidney beans, lentils or lollipops. They’re both carbs, right? I mean so fat, fat’s walnuts or lard, right? So that’s why you can’t talk about it. That’s why the industry wants you to talk like that, but it really has to come down to is what are the healthiest foods?

                        So like, look, the dairy industry can say “the calcium in dairy.” Yeah, you know what else is in dairy? It’s the number one source of saturated fat in this country. People think like steak or something. No, the number one source of saturated fat is dairy, yes, the number one source of calcium, but yes, there’s protein in pork, yes, there’s iron in beef, right? But what about the baggage that comes along with all those nutrients? I mean as much as Burger King says you can “have it your way,” you can’t be like, “Yeah, can I get the protein but hold the saturated fat, hold the hormones, hold the cholesterol.” I know, it’s a package— food is a package deal.

                        So the thing about that, so if you get your calcium from, you know, dark green leafy vegetables instead, then it’s like, well, the baggage is actually a bonus. You get the fiber and the folate and the iron and the antioxidants—all these things missing from kind of the dairy source. So that’s how we think in terms of food.

                        So if you ask me what are the best foods that happen to have fat in them, well, it would be nuts, seeds, avocados, because then it’s just—you just get the bonus instead of the baggage. In terms of protein sources, anyone who doesn’t know how to get protein on a plant-based diet doesn’t know beans, right? Beans, split peas, chickpeas, lentils, legumes—the protein superstars of the plant kingdom. And then also some of the whole grains, nuts and seeds and all sorts of things. So whole plant foods are the healthiest way to get almost all your nutrients, and that’s really, I think, how we should think about those macro nutrients.

Gianna            Question number two: what are your thoughts on alkaline and distilled water, and which is best for athletes?

Dr. Greger       Most of the kind of alkaline water nonsense is just bogus, scam kind of stuff. I have a video on NutritionFacts.org that goes into the science around that. Distilled water just kind of seems a waste of energy to me. I mean it’s the same thing with like, you know, kind of reverse osmosis distillation; it’s just a very kind of wasteful process. But you can get rid of a few little trace minerals, but that’s not really the issue. I mean tap water is typically the cheapest, safest source of drinking water.

Gianna            What about fluoride in it?

Dr. Greger       Fluoride is the reason why we don’t grow old and lose all our teeth.

Gianna            Should we be consuming fluoride though?

Dr. Greger       It’s not necessary, but from a public health standpoint—rich people can go to the dentist and afford all sorts of gizmos, ultrasonic gizmos for their teeth—but from a public health scale, I mean that’s how you reach impoverished populations which may not have the dental care that you have, and so if you have a dental problem, no big deal, go to the dentist, right? But if they have a dental problem, they could lose their teeth, which means losing a lot of their nutrition or being in chronic pain. And certainly from a public health standpoint fluoridated water is—in fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, one of the greatest public health innovations over the last century.

Gianna            Question number three: are there any guidelines or special tips for women who choose to eat a plant-based diet while pregnant, and who also choose to raise children plant based after the breast milk stage if over?

Dr. Greger       When you’re eating for two it’s just that much more critical to get all the nutrition you need, and so it’s basically all the same advice you’d give to anyone consuming a healthy diet, consuming a plant-based diet.

                        Critically important: vitamin B12. So there’s two vitamins that aren’t made by plants. One’s vitamin D, which is made by animals such as yourself when you walk outside; it’s the sunshine vitamin. And the other one’s vitamin B12. Not made by plants, not made by animals either; made by little microbes that blanket the earth. So, you know, we could get all the B12 we needed drinking well water or out of a mountain or something a long time ago, but now we chlorinate our water supply to kill off any bacteria, so we don’t have a lot of B12 in our water any more. Don’t get a lot of cholera either. It’s a good thing that we live in a nice sanitary world, but because of that we need to get a regular reliable source of B12. Critically important, particularly for pregnant women, but for everybody.

                        During pregnancy iodine’s critical, a mineral often missing from prenatal vitamins, so it’s important, if you’re getting a prenatal, to make sure it has iodine. Recommended daily allowance is 150 micrograms a day.

Gianna            And for children being raised vegan, do you recommend any books or any videos to watch? Is that something that you would recommend to raise children whole food, plant based?

Dr. Greger       Should we raise our kids healthy? I say yes, indeed, and so does the most esteemed pediatrician in human history, Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the 7th edition of Child and Baby Care, which is like one of the best-selling books ever, second only to the Bible perhaps in this country. Where in his last edition he wrote, in his 90s before he died, recommended all children be raised with zero exposure to meat and dairy, and he did that because he could see what the grandparents were dying from and see this burgeoning childhood obesity epidemic.

                        So absolutely we should raise our children in the healthiest possible way. That means not having them smoke cigarettes. That means having them put on seat belts, smoke alarms in the home, and a whole food, plant-based diet—really basic, simple. And even the ADA, well, what’s now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in their official position paper says strictly plant-based diets are appropriate for all stages of the lifestyle, including pregnancy and infancy and on through old age. So absolutely, we should all be raising healthy kids, and in fact, Dr. Scott Stoll is currently writing a book on raising vegan kids; he’s got six, so he knows one or two things about it.

Gianna            OK, number four: please help explain soy and hormones, and why both men and women need not fear it.

Dr. Greger       Soy is a misunderstood bean. All sorts of nuttiness out on the internet. If you look at the science, though, it’s really just kind of a remarkable scientific consensus in terms of humans. I mean, the laboratory animal studies, it depends if you’re a hamster or a rat, or different strains of mice have different effects. When we finally had human data, so for example breast cancer, you can see concerns on the internet about, look, soy has phytoestrogens. When you think of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, should women with breast cancer be eating soy?

                        And so we didn’t know until 2004, the first study that actually put it to the test and actually followed breast cancer survivors, some that ate soy and some that didn’t, just to see who lived longer, who had less breast cancer recurrence. And in that study and in all of five studies done to date, every single one found that women with breast cancer, whether estrogen receptor positive or negative, whether they were on Tamoxifen or not—all consistently greater survival; put them all together, greater survival, lower cancer recurrence rate. And so we’ve known that eating soy, particularly during adolescence, can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer in the first place, but now we know it’s associated with improved survival as well.

                        So wait a second. How is that possible when it has estrogenic effects? Well, no, see you don’t understand. There’s actually two types of estrogen receptor cells—it’s a long story: alpha, beta—so basically your own estrogen, your endogenous estrogen produced by your ovaries attaches preferentially to alpha receptors. Soy attaches to a different type of estrogen receptors. So it matters, the effects of soy on the body matters on the ratio of these different receptors and different organs of the body. And so it actually has pro-estrogen effects where you want it, like in the bones, skeleton. It actually reduces bone loss compared to dairy milk, for example, in studies of soy milk. But it has android estrogenic effects where you want it, for example in the breast, reducing breast cancer risk and improving breast cancer survival. So it’s what’s called a selective estrogen receptor modulator, a fancy term for basically the best of all worlds. So it reduces hot flashes, anti-estrogen effect, strengthens the bones, pro-estrogenic effect, reduces breast cancer risk.

                        And so you don’t have to eat it; all the legumes are healthy, and I encourage people to eat whole soy sources like edamame, immature green soybeans; you can get frozen bags of it, sprinkle it on your salad, a fantastic choice. Tempeh, miso, these are all whole soy foods, as well as some of the more processed stuff. And so you look in the scientific literature, it’s clear. We’ve got tons of videos about it. So yeah, you just don’t believe the craziness you read on the internet.

Gianna            And just for the males out there that are concerned that they might grow breasts or something like that from soy. Can we help debunk that for men, so they don’t fear it as well?

Dr. Greger       Sure. So there’s three case reports in literature of gynecomastia with excessive soy consumption. But by excessive soy—they were literally drinking gallons of soy milk a day, so I forget… I think some people, like 40 servings of soy a day, and at that level you can actually get enough alpha receptor activity to actually have pro-estrogenic effects. So the answer is not to avoid soy, but not drink four gallons of soy milk a day.

Gianna            So men aren’t going to grow breasts if they’re eating soy here and there?

Dr. Greger       No, and in fact it would be healthy. So soy consumption in men is associated with lower prostate cancer risk, which is the number one cancer killer specific to men.

Gianna            OK, question number five: Can a whole food, plant-based diet help heal autoimmune diseases like thyroid issues and colitis?

Dr. Greger       So eating an anti-inflammatory diet, no surprise, can be one of the best dietary treatments for inflammatory diseases in general, including auto-immune disease. So for example, multiple sclerosis, which is an auto-immune disease where your body attacks your own nerves, the single best recorded intervention—medical, surgical, anything, no drugs—have ever beaten out a plant-based diet: Roy Swank’s anti-MS diet, so the most effective. So it’s not just safer, cheaper. No, the most effective treatment ever published in the peer reviewed scientific medical literature, a plant-based diet.

                        Chron’s disease, same thing. A study out of Japan using a plant-based diet, some of the best relapse prevention rates ever. Chron’s disease is an auto-immune inflammatory bowel disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most powerful interventions for rheumatoid arthritis—whether we’re talking about objective measures such as grip strength and inflammatory markers in the blood stream or just in terms of quality of life for people suffering from these diseases. Auto-immune disease, we just don’t have a lot of good data for.

                        We have data, so the Adventist 2 study found that those who eat strictly plant-based diets have the highest rates of what’s called euthyroid thyroid, meaning normal thyroid function, and so it may prevent thyroid problems. But there’s never been any study that actually put plant-based diets to the test in terms of treating thyroid disfunction, unless we’re talking about something like iodine deficiency. There’s other types of inflammatory diseases that we don’t have data for, but it would make sense if it works for all these other auto-immune diseases, it works for these other inflammatory diseases, an anti-inflammatory diet would have this effect.

                        And part of that anti-inflammatory power is from the fiber. You say, fiber? Who would think fiber? We think like bowel health or something. It’s just kind of an inert substance. Not at all. We can’t digest fiber, but our good gut bacteria can. We have trillions of bacteria in our gut. And we used to think that was just gut health, but now we know that our microbiome, our friendly flora down in our colon actually can have effects on our immune system, even our psychological health.

                        And what do they eat, what do our good bugs eat? They eat prebiotics, which is fiber and resistant starch found in abundance in only one place: whole plant foods, and some of these compounds have anti-inflammatory effects. They’re break down products of fiber; they get absorbed into your system and circulated throughout your body. So that’s one of the reasons why plant-based diets are so anti-inflammatory.

Gianna            Number six: What are your thoughts on vitamins and supplements, vegan based, either taken orally or intravenously like vitamin C drips?

Dr. Greger       Well, certainly vitamin B12 is critically important for anyone consuming a healthy diet, so I’d recommend 2500 micrograms of what’s called cyanocobalamin, which is the cheapest source. Once a week is all you need. Costs less than $5 a year. You’re going to get all the B12 you need, but critically important from a regular reliable source.

                        If you’re not getting enough sun… Now, if you’re light skinned enough and young enough and thin enough and live at a latitude that’s sunny enough, then getting 10, 15 minutes of mid-day sun, you’ll get all the vitamin D you need. But it doesn’t matter how sunny it is if you’re stuck at a desk job all day, not getting outside, in which case you’d need to supplement your diet with vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. I recommend 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 a day.

                        So, I mean intravenous vitamin C has been used as a cancer treatment, going back to the 1970s with Linus Pauling’s work. It was since—interesting—kind of debunked by Mayo Clinic, where they gave people a whole bunch of vitamin C; didn’t see the kind of miraculous results that were originally seen, but they were using oral vitamin C. We used to think, well, oral vitamin C is the same as intravenous vitamin C, but no, our body actually clamps down on vitamin C absorption. At very small doses it doesn’t matter either way, you’ll absorb it all. But once your body gets over about 200, 250 milligrams of vitamin C—which is about five servings of fruits and vegetables worth—your body starts clamping “that’s a little too much.” Your body starts clamping down on absorption, so they actually weren’t exposed to the same amount. And so I have a whole series of videos on intravenous vitamin C for cancer if you’re interested in that; I encourage people to check it out.  

Gianna            Should we be cooking cru—your favorite—should we be cooking cruciferous vegetables, like steaming broccoli, or is blending raw kale in a smoothie effective enough, and is it bad for the thyroid to eat them raw? 

Dr. Greger       Oh, my God. We should eat cruciferous vegetables in whichever way gets us to eat the most of them. You like raw broccoli? Eat raw broccoli. You like steamed broccoli? Eat steamed. Whichever way will get you to eat the most. In fact cruciferous vegetables are one of my Daily Dozen. It’s a free app on iPhone, Android: “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.” I talk about all the foods I encourage people to get and fit into their daily routine.

                        So, you know, greens every day are the healthies vegetables, beans every day, berries every day are the healthiest fruits. A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, a quarter teaspoon of ground turmeric. You know, the best beverage, the best sweeteners, how much exercise to get—just to kind of inspire people to try to fit some of the healthies of healthy foods into the diet. And one of those boxes I encourage people to tick off every day, you’re not going to fit—you’re not going to check off the day unless you get some form of cruciferous vegetables, which is about a half cup of cooked cruciferous vegetables, about a cup of uncooked. And so that’s like kale, collards, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts, and collard greens, all these wonderful greens. And so basically however you get them in your diet, the better. During the summertime, green smoothies are a great go-to way to get greens in your breakfast. And I kind of smash some white beans in my oatmeal just to get my legumes, got to check those off. But, yeah, put them in a smoothie, put them anywhere; as long as you’re getting greens, that’s the most important thing.

                        Now you can overdo, I mean you can overdo raw cruciferous vegetables that have this so called goitrogenic compounds which are found in lots of healthy foods, not only broccoli, but also flaxseeds and a number of other healthy things. But the answer is not to avoid these really healthy foods; it’s just to get enough iodine because these goitrogenic compounds just interfere with the uptake of iodine, which is the thyroid gland. So if you’re actually marginally not getting enough iodine, then eating a lot of broccoli and cruciferous can actually affect your levels. So the answer, you just make sure you’re getting a source of iodine; the healthiest one is sea vegetables, so you like munch on those seaweed snacks, and then just like dark green leafies as a snack. Ah! I mean the more ways you can get them into your diet, the better.

                        There was this famous case in the New England Journal of Medicine, a woman who—I forget, it was like literally thousands of pounds of raw bok choy, she was on some crazy diet, and actually did run into thyroid problems, so 1000 pounds… OK, but…

Gianna            It’s like the soy.

Dr. Greger       …I encourage people, right. And look, we’re talking about foods with medicinal effects. I mean we should assume like if you can eat as much—I mean if there’s an unlimited amount of something that you can be exposed to, probably doesn’t have much “uumph” to it, right? But the fact that, look, no, some of these foods can have powerful effects on our biology, so no surprise that there’s a certain level which you want to stay within, but thankfully they’re all easily within any kind of typical culinary dose.

Gianna            Number eight: is sprouting nuts, seeds, grains and beans better for digestion? If so, why?

Dr. Greger       Oh, well, see, part of the reason that people soak or sprout nuts is to get rid of the phytates. So there was this thought, based on studies on puppies back in the ‘50s, that phytates were mineral inhibitors. And so the way you can get rid of the phytates, you soak nuts or you sprout nuts to get rid of the phytates, and then you’d maximize your calcium absorption and other important minerals. But we now know not only is that not the case, but phytates are actually healthy for you, actually beneficial effects of phytates, so we should really try to get as much phytates in our diet as possible, and the way we do that is by eating our nuts un-sprouted, eating our nuts un-soaked. And so, yeah, I encourage people to eat raw nuts, seeds, and seed butters.

                        The reason we’d rather not roast them is because of the formation of AGE’s, Advanced Glycation End products, which are these glycotoxins associated with increased risk of kidney disease and Alzheimer’s and accelerated aging and all sorts of really bad things. And it’s formed when high fat, high protein foods are exposed to extremely high heat, dry heat. And so almost all AGE exposure is meat—so like barbequed hot dogs, so barbequed, grilling, grilled chicken, that kind of thing—extremely high. So if you look at it, whereas plant foods have almost nothing no matter what you do—I mean you can grill a bell pepper and you’re not going to produce a problem, but there are rare plant foods that are high in protein effects, such as nuts, such as soy. So we should really, ideally should not—like Cajun blackened tofu, not a good idea on a regular basis because of these AGEs. So that’s why we really shouldn’t roast our nuts.

Gianna            And why do you recommend nut butters as opposed to just the whole nut?

Dr. Greger       Oh, actually whole nuts are better because you actually chew down to little particles—no matter how well you chew, you typically only fracture down to about 2 mm, which is a thousand times larger than the particles found in nut butters. And the reason that’s important is because those cell walls and those little cubes, which contain hundreds of thousands of intact walls, actually protect all the nutrients inside from absorption in your small intestine, and that creates a bounty for our gut flora.

                        So when we eat just acellular foods, powders like flour products, even if it’s 100% whole wheat flour—so if we eat 100% whole wheat flour bread or pasta or something, we’re getting all the nutrients; they didn’t take away the fiber, but all the nutrients are out, exposed to be absorbed. They get absorbed in the small intestine, leaving very little for our gut flora at the end. Whereas if you eat whole intact grains or whole beans, then there is actually these little clumps of food that’s leftover for our good bacteria, and that improves our gut health and improves our microbiome.

Gianna            I love it. Since so much of our soil is depleted of minerals, where can we get great sources of minerals?

Dr. Greger       So that’s some scammy trace mineral seller talk. Somebody should look at crop nutrient decline over the last half century, maybe 15%. So people trying to sell you mineral supplements will make this, will say, oh, our crops are depleted, just because they’re trying to sell you something. We can actually look at the data; the USDA tracks nutrients in the soil going back for a century: 15% decrement. So that means, OK, instead of five florets of broccoli, now you have to eat six florets of broccoli instead of a half century ago. Fine, eat six florets of broccoli. There’s no need to take mineral supplements.

Gianna            OK. Number ten:  For people who say everyone’s different, so we all require different diets.

Dr. Greger       Yeah.

Gianna            What is your advice on this, and does a whole food, plant-based diet help us live longer, healthier lives, all of us?

Dr. Greger       So, it’s not like—like at a zoo, there’s a gorilla diet and there’s a lemur diet. It’s not like, oh, you’re lemur #12, so you get some crazy diet. No, there’s a diet that’s naturally tuned to our biology. We evolved for millions of years. So we broke from our last great ape ancestors about 20 million years ago. So for the first 90% of our evolution until about 2 million years ago we ate what our fellow great apes ate, which is basically greens and fruit. We were a plant-based diet, almost exclusively plant-based diet, and only in the last 10% of our evolution did we start knowing how to make tools and hunting, etc.

                        And so our biology is tuned to eating whole food, plant based—so no wonder that the same kind of diet that reverses heart disease, the number one killer of men and women, is the same diet that also reverses diabetes, and the same diet that reverses high blood pressure. And so a kidney healthy diet, is a liver healthy diet, is a brain healthy diet, right? And it all makes sense because, look, the anti-inflammatory diet is a diet that helps your arteries everywhere throughout your body. I mean, look, if that’s all a plant-based diet could do, reverse the number one killer of men and women, shouldn’t that be kind of the default diet until proven otherwise? In fact that it can also prevent or reverse other leading killers would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

Gianna            We have one bonus question.

Dr. Greger       Bonus! What do ya’ got?

Gianna             What is the most effective way to help people convert to being plant based?

Dr. Greger       So I think sharing resources with them. So sometimes it’s hard; people put up their defenses when someone tries—when anyone comes to us with some new idea that conflicts with what we believe, there’s just this kind of natural reaction to kind of want to hold on. That’s why sharing kind of third-party sources: “Here’s a great documentary, here’s a great website, here’s a great book,” and then they can kind of take it in on themselves, and then kind of the motivation comes from within rather than feeling someone’s trying to tell them to do something. So that’s one of my favorite ways. And share great food! They have this sense that, oh, yeah, it doesn’t matter how—will I live that long or just feel like I lived that long? But no, it’s really the best of both worlds. Some of the yummiest, like berries, right? Wait a second. Tastes great and you get to live longer? That’s what plant-based eating is all about

Gianna            Thanks for tuning in, Love, Giana, and… [silence]. You have to say, “Dr. Greger.”

Dr. Greger       I didn’t know my line. Where’s my cue card?

Gianna            Thank you for joining in. Love, Giana…

Dr. Greger       And Dr. Greger.

 [This transcript has been lightly edited for easier reading.]

Gianna            Hello, and welcome back to Love, Gianna. Today I’m here with the incredible Dr. Greger.

Dr. Greger       Happy to be here.

Gianna             Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a leader in the field, NutritionFacts.org, and any books that you’ve written that you’d like to talk about.

Dr. Greger       Wow! I am a physician, specializing in lifestyle medicine using diet and exercise not only prevent disease, but to treat and reverse it as well. And it all really goes back to my grandma. You know, I think the spark for many kids to want to be a doctor when they grow up is watching a grandparent get sick or even die, but for me was watching my grandma get better.

                        She was diagnosed with end stage heart disease. Already had so many bypass surgeries, nothing more the doctors could do. She was sent home in a wheel chair to die. Crushing chest pain. But then she heard about this guy, Nathan Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers, and what happened next is actually detailed in Pritikin’s biography, to talk about Frances Greger, my grandma. She was one of his early patients, featured in his biography as one of his early success stories. They wheeled her in, and she walked out a few weeks later. She was walking 10 miles a day, and though she was given her medical death sentence at age 65, thanks to a healthy diet was able to enjoy another 31 years on this planet to age 96, to continue to enjoy her six grandkids including me. So that’s why I went into medicine. That’s why I practice the type of medicine I do, lifestyle medicine. That’s why I started NutritionFacts.org. That’s why I wrote the book, “How Not to Die.” That’s why all the proceeds from all my books all go to charity. I just want to do for your family what Pritikin did for my family.

Gianna            That’s amazing. First question: how much fat and protein do we need daily? What are the best sources? And how much should athletes be eating?

Dr. Greger       Well, you know, we don’t eat macro nutrients; we don’t eat micro nutrients. We eat food, and I think that’s one of the ways in which the food industry is able to become a trillion dollar—the processed food industry has become a trillion-dollar industry because if you just care about carbs or fat or protein or magnesium, vitamin C, whatever, they can give you, you know, junk food to match. You want Paleo junk food, we’ll give you vegan junk food, we’ll give you fat free junk food, we’ll give you… I mean any kind of junk food you want because it’s all about macro nutrients or it’s all about whatever particular thing, right? On Fruit Loops, they can say, “with fiber, vitamin D” with all this stuff, and that gives us this kind of health halo, when in fact it should all be about food.

                       And the reason people don’t talk about food is there’s no money to be made in food. In fact, produce goes bad; it’s like the worst possible investment. There’s no markup value. Can’t sit on the shelf like a Twinkie for a couple weeks. And look, even a broccoli grower is not going to put an ad on TV for broccoli because, you know, they’ll just buy a competitor’s broccoli. There’s just no money to be made. You’re never going to see an ad on TV for sweet potatoes because there’s just no money to be made. That’s not where the profit is. The system is set up to reward just the unhealthiest but most profitable behavior.

                        And so, I mean, so that’s just kind of falling into the food industry’s trap to speak of kind of this reductionist view of nutrients as opposed to food. Like what’s the best food, right? So like are carbs good or bad for you? Well, carbs are jelly beans or kidney beans, lentils or lollipops. They’re both carbs, right? I mean so fat, fat’s walnuts or lard, right? So that’s why you can’t talk about it. That’s why the industry wants you to talk like that, but it really has to come down to is what are the healthiest foods?

                        So like, look, the dairy industry can say “the calcium in dairy.” Yeah, you know what else is in dairy? It’s the number one source of saturated fat in this country. People think like steak or something. No, the number one source of saturated fat is dairy, yes, the number one source of calcium, but yes, there’s protein in pork, yes, there’s iron in beef, right? But what about the baggage that comes along with all those nutrients? I mean as much as Burger King says you can “have it your way,” you can’t be like, “Yeah, can I get the protein but hold the saturated fat, hold the hormones, hold the cholesterol.” I know, it’s a package— food is a package deal.

                        So the thing about that, so if you get your calcium from, you know, dark green leafy vegetables instead, then it’s like, well, the baggage is actually a bonus. You get the fiber and the folate and the iron and the antioxidants—all these things missing from kind of the dairy source. So that’s how we think in terms of food.

                        So if you ask me what are the best foods that happen to have fat in them, well, it would be nuts, seeds, avocados, because then it’s just—you just get the bonus instead of the baggage. In terms of protein sources, anyone who doesn’t know how to get protein on a plant-based diet doesn’t know beans, right? Beans, split peas, chickpeas, lentils, legumes—the protein superstars of the plant kingdom. And then also some of the whole grains, nuts and seeds and all sorts of things. So whole plant foods are the healthiest way to get almost all your nutrients, and that’s really, I think, how we should think about those macro nutrients.

Gianna            Question number two: what are your thoughts on alkaline and distilled water, and which is best for athletes?

Dr. Greger       Most of the kind of alkaline water nonsense is just bogus, scam kind of stuff. I have a video on NutritionFacts.org that goes into the science around that. Distilled water just kind of seems a waste of energy to me. I mean it’s the same thing with like, you know, kind of reverse osmosis distillation; it’s just a very kind of wasteful process. But you can get rid of a few little trace minerals, but that’s not really the issue. I mean tap water is typically the cheapest, safest source of drinking water.

Gianna            What about fluoride in it?

Dr. Greger       Fluoride is the reason why we don’t grow old and lose all our teeth.

Gianna            Should we be consuming fluoride though?

Dr. Greger       It’s not necessary, but from a public health standpoint—rich people can go to the dentist and afford all sorts of gizmos, ultrasonic gizmos for their teeth—but from a public health scale, I mean that’s how you reach impoverished populations which may not have the dental care that you have, and so if you have a dental problem, no big deal, go to the dentist, right? But if they have a dental problem, they could lose their teeth, which means losing a lot of their nutrition or being in chronic pain. And certainly from a public health standpoint fluoridated water is—in fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, one of the greatest public health innovations over the last century.

Gianna            Question number three: are there any guidelines or special tips for women who choose to eat a plant-based diet while pregnant, and who also choose to raise children plant based after the breast milk stage if over?

Dr. Greger       When you’re eating for two it’s just that much more critical to get all the nutrition you need, and so it’s basically all the same advice you’d give to anyone consuming a healthy diet, consuming a plant-based diet.

                        Critically important: vitamin B12. So there’s two vitamins that aren’t made by plants. One’s vitamin D, which is made by animals such as yourself when you walk outside; it’s the sunshine vitamin. And the other one’s vitamin B12. Not made by plants, not made by animals either; made by little microbes that blanket the earth. So, you know, we could get all the B12 we needed drinking well water or out of a mountain or something a long time ago, but now we chlorinate our water supply to kill off any bacteria, so we don’t have a lot of B12 in our water any more. Don’t get a lot of cholera either. It’s a good thing that we live in a nice sanitary world, but because of that we need to get a regular reliable source of B12. Critically important, particularly for pregnant women, but for everybody.

                        During pregnancy iodine’s critical, a mineral often missing from prenatal vitamins, so it’s important, if you’re getting a prenatal, to make sure it has iodine. Recommended daily allowance is 150 micrograms a day.

Gianna            And for children being raised vegan, do you recommend any books or any videos to watch? Is that something that you would recommend to raise children whole food, plant based?

Dr. Greger       Should we raise our kids healthy? I say yes, indeed, and so does the most esteemed pediatrician in human history, Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the 7th edition of Child and Baby Care, which is like one of the best-selling books ever, second only to the Bible perhaps in this country. Where in his last edition he wrote, in his 90s before he died, recommended all children be raised with zero exposure to meat and dairy, and he did that because he could see what the grandparents were dying from and see this burgeoning childhood obesity epidemic.

                        So absolutely we should raise our children in the healthiest possible way. That means not having them smoke cigarettes. That means having them put on seat belts, smoke alarms in the home, and a whole food, plant-based diet—really basic, simple. And even the ADA, well, what’s now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in their official position paper says strictly plant-based diets are appropriate for all stages of the lifestyle, including pregnancy and infancy and on through old age. So absolutely, we should all be raising healthy kids, and in fact, Dr. Scott Stoll is currently writing a book on raising vegan kids; he’s got six, so he knows one or two things about it.

Gianna            OK, number four: please help explain soy and hormones, and why both men and women need not fear it.

Dr. Greger       Soy is a misunderstood bean. All sorts of nuttiness out on the internet. If you look at the science, though, it’s really just kind of a remarkable scientific consensus in terms of humans. I mean, the laboratory animal studies, it depends if you’re a hamster or a rat, or different strains of mice have different effects. When we finally had human data, so for example breast cancer, you can see concerns on the internet about, look, soy has phytoestrogens. When you think of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, should women with breast cancer be eating soy?

                        And so we didn’t know until 2004, the first study that actually put it to the test and actually followed breast cancer survivors, some that ate soy and some that didn’t, just to see who lived longer, who had less breast cancer recurrence. And in that study and in all of five studies done to date, every single one found that women with breast cancer, whether estrogen receptor positive or negative, whether they were on Tamoxifen or not—all consistently greater survival; put them all together, greater survival, lower cancer recurrence rate. And so we’ve known that eating soy, particularly during adolescence, can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer in the first place, but now we know it’s associated with improved survival as well.

                        So wait a second. How is that possible when it has estrogenic effects? Well, no, see you don’t understand. There’s actually two types of estrogen receptor cells—it’s a long story: alpha, beta—so basically your own estrogen, your endogenous estrogen produced by your ovaries attaches preferentially to alpha receptors. Soy attaches to a different type of estrogen receptors. So it matters, the effects of soy on the body matters on the ratio of these different receptors and different organs of the body. And so it actually has pro-estrogen effects where you want it, like in the bones, skeleton. It actually reduces bone loss compared to dairy milk, for example, in studies of soy milk. But it has android estrogenic effects where you want it, for example in the breast, reducing breast cancer risk and improving breast cancer survival. So it’s what’s called a selective estrogen receptor modulator, a fancy term for basically the best of all worlds. So it reduces hot flashes, anti-estrogen effect, strengthens the bones, pro-estrogenic effect, reduces breast cancer risk.

                        And so you don’t have to eat it; all the legumes are healthy, and I encourage people to eat whole soy sources like edamame, immature green soybeans; you can get frozen bags of it, sprinkle it on your salad, a fantastic choice. Tempeh, miso, these are all whole soy foods, as well as some of the more processed stuff. And so you look in the scientific literature, it’s clear. We’ve got tons of videos about it. So yeah, you just don’t believe the craziness you read on the internet.

Gianna            And just for the males out there that are concerned that they might grow breasts or something like that from soy. Can we help debunk that for men, so they don’t fear it as well?

Dr. Greger       Sure. So there’s three case reports in literature of gynecomastia with excessive soy consumption. But by excessive soy—they were literally drinking gallons of soy milk a day, so I forget… I think some people, like 40 servings of soy a day, and at that level you can actually get enough alpha receptor activity to actually have pro-estrogenic effects. So the answer is not to avoid soy, but not drink four gallons of soy milk a day.

Gianna            So men aren’t going to grow breasts if they’re eating soy here and there?

Dr. Greger       No, and in fact it would be healthy. So soy consumption in men is associated with lower prostate cancer risk, which is the number one cancer killer specific to men.

Gianna            OK, question number five: Can a whole food, plant-based diet help heal autoimmune diseases like thyroid issues and colitis?

Dr. Greger       So eating an anti-inflammatory diet, no surprise, can be one of the best dietary treatments for inflammatory diseases in general, including auto-immune disease. So for example, multiple sclerosis, which is an auto-immune disease where your body attacks your own nerves, the single best recorded intervention—medical, surgical, anything, no drugs—have ever beaten out a plant-based diet: Roy Swank’s anti-MS diet, so the most effective. So it’s not just safer, cheaper. No, the most effective treatment ever published in the peer reviewed scientific medical literature, a plant-based diet.

                        Chron’s disease, same thing. A study out of Japan using a plant-based diet, some of the best relapse prevention rates ever. Chron’s disease is an auto-immune inflammatory bowel disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most powerful interventions for rheumatoid arthritis—whether we’re talking about objective measures such as grip strength and inflammatory markers in the blood stream or just in terms of quality of life for people suffering from these diseases. Auto-immune disease, we just don’t have a lot of good data for.

                        We have data, so the Adventist 2 study found that those who eat strictly plant-based diets have the highest rates of what’s called euthyroid thyroid, meaning normal thyroid function, and so it may prevent thyroid problems. But there’s never been any study that actually put plant-based diets to the test in terms of treating thyroid disfunction, unless we’re talking about something like iodine deficiency. There’s other types of inflammatory diseases that we don’t have data for, but it would make sense if it works for all these other auto-immune diseases, it works for these other inflammatory diseases, an anti-inflammatory diet would have this effect.

                        And part of that anti-inflammatory power is from the fiber. You say, fiber? Who would think fiber? We think like bowel health or something. It’s just kind of an inert substance. Not at all. We can’t digest fiber, but our good gut bacteria can. We have trillions of bacteria in our gut. And we used to think that was just gut health, but now we know that our microbiome, our friendly flora down in our colon actually can have effects on our immune system, even our psychological health.

                        And what do they eat, what do our good bugs eat? They eat prebiotics, which is fiber and resistant starch found in abundance in only one place: whole plant foods, and some of these compounds have anti-inflammatory effects. They’re break down products of fiber; they get absorbed into your system and circulated throughout your body. So that’s one of the reasons why plant-based diets are so anti-inflammatory.

Gianna            Number six: What are your thoughts on vitamins and supplements, vegan based, either taken orally or intravenously like vitamin C drips?

Dr. Greger       Well, certainly vitamin B12 is critically important for anyone consuming a healthy diet, so I’d recommend 2500 micrograms of what’s called cyanocobalamin, which is the cheapest source. Once a week is all you need. Costs less than $5 a year. You’re going to get all the B12 you need, but critically important from a regular reliable source.

                        If you’re not getting enough sun… Now, if you’re light skinned enough and young enough and thin enough and live at a latitude that’s sunny enough, then getting 10, 15 minutes of mid-day sun, you’ll get all the vitamin D you need. But it doesn’t matter how sunny it is if you’re stuck at a desk job all day, not getting outside, in which case you’d need to supplement your diet with vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. I recommend 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 a day.

                        So, I mean intravenous vitamin C has been used as a cancer treatment, going back to the 1970s with Linus Pauling’s work. It was since—interesting—kind of debunked by Mayo Clinic, where they gave people a whole bunch of vitamin C; didn’t see the kind of miraculous results that were originally seen, but they were using oral vitamin C. We used to think, well, oral vitamin C is the same as intravenous vitamin C, but no, our body actually clamps down on vitamin C absorption. At very small doses it doesn’t matter either way, you’ll absorb it all. But once your body gets over about 200, 250 milligrams of vitamin C—which is about five servings of fruits and vegetables worth—your body starts clamping “that’s a little too much.” Your body starts clamping down on absorption, so they actually weren’t exposed to the same amount. And so I have a whole series of videos on intravenous vitamin C for cancer if you’re interested in that; I encourage people to check it out.  

Gianna            Should we be cooking cru—your favorite—should we be cooking cruciferous vegetables, like steaming broccoli, or is blending raw kale in a smoothie effective enough, and is it bad for the thyroid to eat them raw? 

Dr. Greger       Oh, my God. We should eat cruciferous vegetables in whichever way gets us to eat the most of them. You like raw broccoli? Eat raw broccoli. You like steamed broccoli? Eat steamed. Whichever way will get you to eat the most. In fact cruciferous vegetables are one of my Daily Dozen. It’s a free app on iPhone, Android: “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.” I talk about all the foods I encourage people to get and fit into their daily routine.

                        So, you know, greens every day are the healthies vegetables, beans every day, berries every day are the healthiest fruits. A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, a quarter teaspoon of ground turmeric. You know, the best beverage, the best sweeteners, how much exercise to get—just to kind of inspire people to try to fit some of the healthies of healthy foods into the diet. And one of those boxes I encourage people to tick off every day, you’re not going to fit—you’re not going to check off the day unless you get some form of cruciferous vegetables, which is about a half cup of cooked cruciferous vegetables, about a cup of uncooked. And so that’s like kale, collards, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts, and collard greens, all these wonderful greens. And so basically however you get them in your diet, the better. During the summertime, green smoothies are a great go-to way to get greens in your breakfast. And I kind of smash some white beans in my oatmeal just to get my legumes, got to check those off. But, yeah, put them in a smoothie, put them anywhere; as long as you’re getting greens, that’s the most important thing.

                        Now you can overdo, I mean you can overdo raw cruciferous vegetables that have this so called goitrogenic compounds which are found in lots of healthy foods, not only broccoli, but also flaxseeds and a number of other healthy things. But the answer is not to avoid these really healthy foods; it’s just to get enough iodine because these goitrogenic compounds just interfere with the uptake of iodine, which is the thyroid gland. So if you’re actually marginally not getting enough iodine, then eating a lot of broccoli and cruciferous can actually affect your levels. So the answer, you just make sure you’re getting a source of iodine; the healthiest one is sea vegetables, so you like munch on those seaweed snacks, and then just like dark green leafies as a snack. Ah! I mean the more ways you can get them into your diet, the better.

                        There was this famous case in the New England Journal of Medicine, a woman who—I forget, it was like literally thousands of pounds of raw bok choy, she was on some crazy diet, and actually did run into thyroid problems, so 1000 pounds… OK, but…

Gianna            It’s like the soy.

Dr. Greger       …I encourage people, right. And look, we’re talking about foods with medicinal effects. I mean we should assume like if you can eat as much—I mean if there’s an unlimited amount of something that you can be exposed to, probably doesn’t have much “uumph” to it, right? But the fact that, look, no, some of these foods can have powerful effects on our biology, so no surprise that there’s a certain level which you want to stay within, but thankfully they’re all easily within any kind of typical culinary dose.

Gianna            Number eight: is sprouting nuts, seeds, grains and beans better for digestion? If so, why?

Dr. Greger       Oh, well, see, part of the reason that people soak or sprout nuts is to get rid of the phytates. So there was this thought, based on studies on puppies back in the ‘50s, that phytates were mineral inhibitors. And so the way you can get rid of the phytates, you soak nuts or you sprout nuts to get rid of the phytates, and then you’d maximize your calcium absorption and other important minerals. But we now know not only is that not the case, but phytates are actually healthy for you, actually beneficial effects of phytates, so we should really try to get as much phytates in our diet as possible, and the way we do that is by eating our nuts un-sprouted, eating our nuts un-soaked. And so, yeah, I encourage people to eat raw nuts, seeds, and seed butters.

                        The reason we’d rather not roast them is because of the formation of AGE’s, Advanced Glycation End products, which are these glycotoxins associated with increased risk of kidney disease and Alzheimer’s and accelerated aging and all sorts of really bad things. And it’s formed when high fat, high protein foods are exposed to extremely high heat, dry heat. And so almost all AGE exposure is meat—so like barbequed hot dogs, so barbequed, grilling, grilled chicken, that kind of thing—extremely high. So if you look at it, whereas plant foods have almost nothing no matter what you do—I mean you can grill a bell pepper and you’re not going to produce a problem, but there are rare plant foods that are high in protein effects, such as nuts, such as soy. So we should really, ideally should not—like Cajun blackened tofu, not a good idea on a regular basis because of these AGEs. So that’s why we really shouldn’t roast our nuts.

Gianna            And why do you recommend nut butters as opposed to just the whole nut?

Dr. Greger       Oh, actually whole nuts are better because you actually chew down to little particles—no matter how well you chew, you typically only fracture down to about 2 mm, which is a thousand times larger than the particles found in nut butters. And the reason that’s important is because those cell walls and those little cubes, which contain hundreds of thousands of intact walls, actually protect all the nutrients inside from absorption in your small intestine, and that creates a bounty for our gut flora.

                        So when we eat just acellular foods, powders like flour products, even if it’s 100% whole wheat flour—so if we eat 100% whole wheat flour bread or pasta or something, we’re getting all the nutrients; they didn’t take away the fiber, but all the nutrients are out, exposed to be absorbed. They get absorbed in the small intestine, leaving very little for our gut flora at the end. Whereas if you eat whole intact grains or whole beans, then there is actually these little clumps of food that’s leftover for our good bacteria, and that improves our gut health and improves our microbiome.

Gianna            I love it. Since so much of our soil is depleted of minerals, where can we get great sources of minerals?

Dr. Greger       So that’s some scammy trace mineral seller talk. Somebody should look at crop nutrient decline over the last half century, maybe 15%. So people trying to sell you mineral supplements will make this, will say, oh, our crops are depleted, just because they’re trying to sell you something. We can actually look at the data; the USDA tracks nutrients in the soil going back for a century: 15% decrement. So that means, OK, instead of five florets of broccoli, now you have to eat six florets of broccoli instead of a half century ago. Fine, eat six florets of broccoli. There’s no need to take mineral supplements.

Gianna            OK. Number ten:  For people who say everyone’s different, so we all require different diets.

Dr. Greger       Yeah.

Gianna            What is your advice on this, and does a whole food, plant-based diet help us live longer, healthier lives, all of us?

Dr. Greger       So, it’s not like—like at a zoo, there’s a gorilla diet and there’s a lemur diet. It’s not like, oh, you’re lemur #12, so you get some crazy diet. No, there’s a diet that’s naturally tuned to our biology. We evolved for millions of years. So we broke from our last great ape ancestors about 20 million years ago. So for the first 90% of our evolution until about 2 million years ago we ate what our fellow great apes ate, which is basically greens and fruit. We were a plant-based diet, almost exclusively plant-based diet, and only in the last 10% of our evolution did we start knowing how to make tools and hunting, etc.

                        And so our biology is tuned to eating whole food, plant based—so no wonder that the same kind of diet that reverses heart disease, the number one killer of men and women, is the same diet that also reverses diabetes, and the same diet that reverses high blood pressure. And so a kidney healthy diet, is a liver healthy diet, is a brain healthy diet, right? And it all makes sense because, look, the anti-inflammatory diet is a diet that helps your arteries everywhere throughout your body. I mean, look, if that’s all a plant-based diet could do, reverse the number one killer of men and women, shouldn’t that be kind of the default diet until proven otherwise? In fact that it can also prevent or reverse other leading killers would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

Gianna            We have one bonus question.

Dr. Greger       Bonus! What do ya’ got?

Gianna             What is the most effective way to help people convert to being plant based?

Dr. Greger       So I think sharing resources with them. So sometimes it’s hard; people put up their defenses when someone tries—when anyone comes to us with some new idea that conflicts with what we believe, there’s just this kind of natural reaction to kind of want to hold on. That’s why sharing kind of third-party sources: “Here’s a great documentary, here’s a great website, here’s a great book,” and then they can kind of take it in on themselves, and then kind of the motivation comes from within rather than feeling someone’s trying to tell them to do something. So that’s one of my favorite ways. And share great food! They have this sense that, oh, yeah, it doesn’t matter how—will I live that long or just feel like I lived that long? But no, it’s really the best of both worlds. Some of the yummiest, like berries, right? Wait a second. Tastes great and you get to live longer? That’s what plant-based eating is all about

Gianna            Thanks for tuning in, Love, Giana, and… [silence]. You have to say, “Dr. Greger.”

Dr. Greger       I didn’t know my line. Where’s my cue card?

Gianna            Thank you for joining in. Love, Giana…

Dr. Greger       And Dr. Greger.

Doctor's Note

A few months ago I met up with actress Gianna Simone, for an interview that ended up being one of my favorites. I’ve been taking a break from interviews while I finish writing my next book, How Not to Diet (stay tuned!), and I thought this was a good opportunity to show something a little different here on NutritionFacts.org. 

In this 30-minute conversation, Gianna and I discuss healthy pregnancies, the science of soy, supplements, and more.

I’m considering posting more interviews here on an occasional basis, so let us know in the comments what you think of that.

For even more Q&As, remember you can access all of my previous live chats right here.

190 responses to “Dr. Greger’s Interview with Gianna Simone

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      1. It’s the cliche’ lovers’ pose. Usually, it’s the female who adoringly tilts her head toward the male and sort of rests her head on his strong manly shoulders. Hmmm…. :-)

        I haven’t watched the video yet. Interesting comments, though. Basically, I think we should take what resonates and ignore the rest. Even with what Dr. G. says.

          1. I finally started watching the video, but I gotta say that Dr. G’s head-shaking is making me dizzy! Whoa! What’s WITH that, anyway?

            1. I think it was magnified movement by using so much ECU (Extreme Close Up). Something I would have Dr Greger do would be to look at the interviewer when she is asking the question… it’s as though he is focused on a monitor the whole time. I’m sure he has gone over his material hundreds if not thousands of times, but it still seemed he was looking at a teleprompter. He also is a little fast for my ears so a little more deliberate way of speaking would have been helpful to me. YOMD (Your Opinion May Differ ‘-)

              1. I’m just not used to listening to him talk, I guess. Or getting so up close and personal. :-)

                I usually (and would rather) read the transcripts.

    1. My husband is a doctor and I am a RN. Our whole family promotes veganism. My vegan son is a phd researcher/professor of biochem at Loma Linda University Medical Center and his wife has her phd and teaches microbiology there as well. Every since “How not to Die” came out we use that book as gifts to everyone we know who is inclined towards healthy living. It is surprising how entrenched folks are in regards to wanting to eat, albeit poorly, what their Mama fed them. Dr Gregers research is state of the art for the medical field. We live in the Blue Zone of Loma Linda and are Adventists. Mom just died at 96. Keep it up Dr.G, what a contribution to longevity you are making and what a benevolent cause!

    2. All well except the fluoride segment. The good doctor should research how fluoride got in our water system in the first place and how it was tested by ALCOA. In fact fluoride is toxic in small doses (read warning label on toothpaste) and fatal in larger doses. Proper dental hygiene and plenty of leafy greens, green tea and xylitol are better at maintaining enamel integrity.

      1. That’s funny, because I turn the speed up to 1/7X under settings, because I often find the presentations a bit long-winded. I still like the content.

        On fluoride and chlorine, I understand that these have been public sanitation enhancers, and I have been told the negative effects are nonexistent. But, I can’t help feeling that anything that is poison in some doses (and can kill bacteria in the public water supply) can have some negative effect on our own microflora. When I Google for studies, I just can’t seem to find good discussion of the science and experimentation.

        1. Unfortunately biological systems don’t necessarily follow logic or feelings. Oxygen is toxic in concentrated amounts as can happen in deep diving, but you’d obviously die without it. Fluoride is naturally found in many water supplies, yet there is no increase in disease or death in these communities as compared to communities that do not have this natural fluoridation. The list goes on. These issues have been studied exhaustively and there is no evidence of increased risk of death or disease when these chemicals are introduced into the water supply in the small amounts used. Reduced virulent bacteria in the water and reduced dental decay are huge benefits.

          Dr. Ben

  1. Thank you Dr. Greger for your contribution to humanity. We patiently and anxiously await your new book “How not to Diet”, as I have read your previous book. The information provided on Nutritionfacts.org has been an instrumental source of public health information, one which I constantly promote and try to help people who suffer from a poor and unhealthy diet. I also currently started intermittent fasting! Keep up the great work we depend on you to push the boundaries of science and nutrition.

  2. I am very surprised to hear Dr Gregor endorse the use of fluoride in our drinking water. Studies have shown that it reduces IQ and damages bones and teeth. I am now sad and confused. Perhaps Dr Gregor could do a video on this topic to set us straight?

      1. Insane statement , what is going on here to support Fluoride !!
        just look at the back of tube tooth paste , there is a warning there . if you’re child swallows the substance to brush teeth with , call poison control immediately !! When a child swallows a whole tube it will die !.
        Also look it up yourself and look at the Fluoride Deception .
        You if you support drinking water you got more heavy metals what the body can not get rid of .
        Fluoride calcify the Pineal Gland and is put in drinking water of prisoners of WW2 .google it .
        What can the body get rid of is heavy metals , look up you tube decalcify pineal gland .
        Fluoride is substance of rat poison !
        I am in shock !!

          1. Barnet, seems silly to unsubscribe over this. I don’t agree with fluoridating water and find it a violation of rights considering most of the public doesn’t want it and the adulteration of it isn’t based on any resounding science according to Harvard papers on the subject I recently read through, pretty flimsy actually. In any case, all Dr. Greger said was that it isn’t anything to worry about (I don’t quite agree with that, either, personally.. but still) and if you look at all the work Dr. Greger’s done and all the incredible science he’s presented to us, it seems entirely unreasonable to walk away from this wealth of information over one disagreement. You’d only be selling yourself short. I don’t understand that.

      1. Barb,

        Thanks for posting the link. I know that I started having teeth problems when I switched to natural kinds of toothpaste and pondered about whether it was because they didn’t have fluoride in them. It got bad enough that I switched back.

        1. Deb, here’s another article that talks about flouride in green tea (and in many plant foods). So if you really like the product you are using now, you could add drinking a cup of green tea to your routine!

          https://nutritionfacts.org/2014/02/06/childhood-tea-drinking-may-increase-fluorosis-risk/

          It isn’t easy to find a product with no SLS, but with flouride. There are a few out there, and some kid’s products will have it.

          https://uedata.amazon.com/Jason-Nutrismile-Toothpaste-Fluoride-Orange/dp/B0009DTHKC

          ‘Natural’ does not mean hypoallergenic however as I found out in trying toothpastes from the health counter!

      2. Dr. Greger goes for the status quo answer on all things not directly related to whole food plant based diets. If it was the industry answer 40 years ago, he agrees.
        John S

        1. If it was the industry answer 40 years ago, he agrees.
          —————————————————————————-
          I tend to agree. Reminds me of Baptist preachers from my younger days. They preached the Bible, maybe with a little deviation in interpretation now and then but always coming back to the one true way.

          And, it is fitting that Dr. Greger always comes back to the one true way of his Bible… Nutrition Facts . org. It’s what he knows and what he believes. Checks all his boxes for a healthy longevity.

          This is a good source for a basic plan, but some of us are looking past just a finite existence with passable health. And thankfully there are many other sources available to educate those of us wanting more.

        2. John S

          He goes with what the bulk of scientific evidence shows rather than endorsing wild claims that are unsupported by credible evidence,

          The ludicrously false claim about the current scientific position being based on old evidence is trotted out by the cholesterol and saturated fat crackpots too. it is easily refuted by actually looking at the evidence, new and old. How they get away with making such obviosly false claims is beyond me.

          It is a commonplace that “it is the dose that makes the poison”. Yes, consuming too much fluoride is bad for us. Drinking too much water is bad for us too. Perhaps we should take both fluoride and water out of the water supply then?

          1. Mr Fumblefingers,

            that is quite reaching to suggest that because we don’t want something synthetic, potentially harmful in some level of way, and admittedly unnecessary added to our drinking water without our say in the matter, that we’re just a bunch of crazies and maybe water then too, should be taken out because it’s possible to drink too much water.

            Yes, it’s absolutely true that Dr. Greger goes by the bulk evidence, but I’m not seeing BULK evidence of fluoridated water safety. And I’m also not seeing the issue as being “fluoridated water will kill us!” I’m sure it won’t. But rather, the issue is that the public should have a say as to whether something like this is or is not added to their water supply.
            IF there were any weight of evidence to suggest that it’s necessary for our teeth not to fall out of our head (if this is true, I’m a phenomenon) it would still not be necessary to add to the water supply because fluoride in its natural form and synthetic form are both EASILY accessible. Therefore, one could quite easily choose to use it in which form they chose to use.
            Taking away the public’s right to choose on matters such as these is absolutely not ok. If anything, they should be adding broccoli juice to the water to help stave off some of our biggest killers, but instead… just get the science out there and let people know they should be eating broccoli and not drinking it if they don’t want to.

            It’s a public rights issue as far as I’m concerned.

        3. John S, I quite agree with you in this case. I think that’s the basis of it.

          And Dr. Greger even says “as far as I can tell.” That indicates to me that it hasn’t been looked into deeply.

          “The proposed EPA changes to water fluoridation have sparked a resurgence of many of the old anti-fluoridation arguments, which as far as I can tell were successfully debunked over 50 years ago.”

          “Ten Great Public Health Achievements — United States, 1900-1999

          Vaccination

          Motor-vehicle safety

          Safer workplaces

          Control of infectious diseases

          Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke

          Safer and healthier foods

          Healthier mothers and babies

          Family planning

          Fluoridation of drinking water

          Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard”

          Fluoridating water does not belong on this list… Are you kidding me? The same list as tobacco use being recognized as unsafe, family planning, etc.? That makes no sense.

          “Fluoridation of drinking water began in 1945 and in 1999 reaches an estimated 144 million persons in the United States. Fluoridation safely and inexpensively benefits both children and adults by effectively preventing tooth decay, regardless of socioeconomic status or access to care. Fluoridation has played an important role in the reductions in tooth decay (40%-70% in children) and of tooth loss in adults (40%-60%)”

          Yet people live off of water with the fluoride almost entirely or completely removed (depending on filtration system), some people collect rain water, some cities have stopped fluoridating water due to public demand, some do not get fluoridated water due to well water, others drink bottled spring water with no added fluoride or rather what is synthetic lab produced fluoride. I grew up on a water filter which removed most of the fluoride and never got a cavity until I was a teen and went through my addicted-to-diet-coke phase. After cutting out fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash and switching to a filter that filtered out all of the fluoride, my oral health remained the same which I would describe as good but average. After going WFPB, I had a cavity heal itself, no fluoridated water required. The only oral care habit of mine that changed upon going WFPB was eventually realizing I didn’t have to brush as often, my mouth felt so clean, I really only brush at night (and always do) and only in the morning if I’m going out more just out of habit, not because it feels it needs it. Yes, it’s anecdotal, but to a reasonable extent I think that our own experiences should be a part of our reasoning on things, I mean if that’s not a part of it we’re really just helpless little creatures aren’t we? and we’re not. I don’t buy the cavity thing nor do I buy that our government gives a tiny piece of a crap about our oral health. Fluoride isn’t necessary in drinking water, but it’s in almost all toothpaste and the cheapest toothpaste. There’s no lack of access to fluoride in the western world if someone should choose to take this approach to oral care. But it should first be allowed to BE a choice–no doping up the water because someone out there claims to know best for us. If there is a legitimate concern over something (what with our caring government and all), then the public should be approached with the issue, the idea for a solution and the reasoning of it.

          And while the praises of (synthetic, lab produced) fluoride are being sung, I’m confused that there’s no mention of fluorosis, a condition caused from too much fluoride.

          So call me a conspiracy theorist because I don’t trust our government and there’s serious holes in the fluoridation propaganda. Meanwhile I am supposed to quite literally swallow that our ever so surprising governing factors care what’s going on with mine and little Susan’s teeth while we have to fight, hard, to help victims who were poisoned from lead contaminated water.
          I mean yeah it’s easier to think “oh, it’s fine, we’re all fine” and compared to not drinking water and compared to a westernized diet, yeah, tap water doesn’t seem so alarming with exceptions like Troy, but I don’t want to be forced to drink the stuff because COMPARATIVELY it’s not a major concern.

      3. Harvard study: Fluoridated water lowers children’s IQ
        https://fluoridealert.org/news/harvard-study-fluoridated-water-lowers-childrens-iq/

        It’s the same with Dr. McDougall who thinks all vaccines are just peachy all the time- and he thinks GMOs are great and pesticides are fine. Go figure. These guys use “scientific” thinking only some of the time. It’s really a shame. Makes no sense. Fluoride is a neurotoxin. It’s fine in toothpaste where it does work! In water it doesn’t help teeth at all and only does harm to the body.

        1. Thanks for the link. Topical is such a great option, it’s a choice, easy to get, and it’s cheap. I do not use fluoride in my oral health routine, I brush with either a natural toothpaste I get or bentonite clay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the bentonite clay contains natural fluoride in some amount. In my experience, a WFPB diet has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my teeth.

    1. I’ll pass on the fluoride, nature provides what’s needed. And if a filtration system can remove some of the garbage that gets dumped into the environment that sounds like a good plan. The whole idea of adding fluoride to water sounds wrong, feels wrong and seems unnatural. But overall a great video.

      1. This reinforces my confidence in Dr Greger as a responsible analyst of the scientific evidence.

        I am very happy that he doesn’t pander to the alternative health crowd by going along with every debatable, dubious or downright false claim made by such people. He’s a regular Joe Friday I reckon. Just the facts Ma’am.

        Incidentally, and for what it’s worth, I prefer the standard topic videos to these interview videos.

        1. I think a balanced position seeks to recognize the limitations of our scientific expertise. If you were to imagine a circle that represents the sum of all True, Factual Knowledge that could be known in the entire universe… and maybe even beyond the universe (why not?),,, and then ask yourself how much of that Summa Knowledge Base (SKB) we 21st century humans command, i.e., that is factually true beyond challenge, I think an honest person would agree that we have limits on what we can claim is inerrant at any given time.

          Back in 1799 (I think) George Washington went out for a ride on his horse in winter weather. He came home with a sore throat. Days later he reported to the “science experts” of his day. Scientific understanding back then dictated that if you were sick you had infected blood, and some of it had to be removed by blood-letting. They bled GW 4 times (you can find journal entries and letters by eye witnesses online), eventually removing roughly 80 ounces of his blood in an attempt to cure him. Today we know that this is an incorrect understanding of pathology. Over time we supplant new, updated “knowledge” for errant knowledge. This process is ongoing.

          I define “science” as our ongoing progress adding new information to our human knowledge database and modifying it as we discover errors.But I recognize its limitations. If we laugh at 18th century medicine today, imagine how they will laugh at us in the 24th century.

          My point is that we should not deify “science,” but should recognize that 1) our knowledge base is small compared with SKB, and 2) we are constantly replacing defective understanding with modified understanding (human knowledge is mutable).

          1. True but many people use this line of reasoning to justify practices for which there is no credible supporting evidence. Or, worse, for which there is good evidence of harm

            The amounts of fluoride in most municipal water supplies is small. Yet people obsess over it but ignore fluoride levels in tea (especially decaffeinated tea) and eg crustaceans. That said naturally high levels of fluoride in drinking water is definitely a concern in some countries such as China, and some parts of Europe. However

            ‘.Some evidence exists that fluoride may inhibit the calcification of soft tissues (Taves and Neuman, 1964; Zipkin et al., 1970), including the aorta (Bernstein et al., 1966). Taves (1978) reported that the standardized mortality rate due to ischemic heart disease in cities with optimally fluoridated water was lower than in cities with low water fluoride concentrations.’
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109832/#ch8.s13

          2. Well said, dr. cobalt.

            Mr. Fumblefingers,

            “True but many people use this line of reasoning to justify practices for which there is no credible supporting evidence. Or, worse, for which there is good evidence of harm”

            Very true. But I don’t see people obsessing over fluoride, just deciding they do not want it added to their drinking water against their will because it’s unnecessary and potentially harmful and is once again, added against their will. That is a violation of rights that people should be outraged about. It’s not as though the masses are demanding chlorine be taken out as there is clear, and understandable reasoning as to why chlorine is used.

            Based on the science, I don’t understand your comparing naturally occurring fluoride in a plant to a synthetic version of fluoride added to drinking water. Considering that supplements have been shown to have a different, sometimes harmful effect compared to whole food sources of minerals and other nutrients and considering that natural plant foods, including the metals in them, are metabolized differently in our bodies than from other sources such as animal sources, why SHOULD the public care about the fluoride nature provides via a tea leaf? Plus, there’s mounds of evidence on the health benefits of tea, so we know it doesn’t harm health and works to improve it.

      2. I agree Tim. First time I’ve lost confidence in Dr Greger. Can’t believe he believes what he said about fluoride . Maybe he was having a brain fog moment. I also wish he would talk slower and clearer. Guess he’s done too many videos etc. shame. Have his book and been following nutritional facts.org since day one. Disappointed for the first time.

        1. Joyce, it will pass. I was disappointed on his take on regular potatoes, but did I let that stop me from both learning from this brilliant man AND enjoying my russet potatoes? Nope! You can learn and have your potatoes, too, I’ve found.

    2. Wow, very disturbing -fluoride is a lethal toxin & poison and NO reason to be ingesting it ever. Plenty of studies already done prove the harm and danger it does to neuro system, muscles & organs. If Dr. Greger endorses fluoride, something seriously wrong! For anyone that does extensive research the facts are overwhelming.

  3. Hi!

    Does anyone have dietary advice for teeth grinding aka bruxism? I grind my teeth when I sleep. Any spesific foods to consume or avoid? I’m already eating vegan whole plant foods diet. I know food isn’t the only cure for this, for example stress and emotions have to be considered, but I’d like to optimize my diet to support my “recovery” from bruxism. All tips are welcomed with love, thank you! And Dr.Gregor, maybe make video about it? There’s not too much info about this.

    1. Hello Aypp,
      In reply to your request for any tips; my personal experience and referrals to others to use Hemi-Sync technology to assist with overcoming many different problems and issues has resulted in numerous success stories. Describing Hemi-Sync in this response would take up too much space, so the best resource would be the Monroe Institute online where you can learn more and get assistance (www.monroeinstitute.org). The Monroe Institute is a not for profit entity with numerous resources for assisting people and providing exceptional educational avenues of expanded consciousness. I am not affiliated with them and started to learn more about it many years ago. My life has become so much more valuable and enjoyable both physically (and with physical ailments) and sub-consciously. I sleep better, eat better and see the world in a different light. That, along with Dr. Greger’s exceptional nutritional and other advice, have dramatically improved my life.

    2. Any spesific foods to consume or avoid?…All tips are welcomed
      ————————————————————————————
      Aypp, I’m curious if grinding one’s teeth (I’ve done that in the past as well, when I had more teeth ‘-) is perhaps a reaction to tension when sleeping. If that be the case and with what I know now, I would take saffron before bedtime. I do this now and it does seem to have a calming effect on my dreams. That is, no nightmares… just interesting story lines as I transition to wake-fullness.

      1. Sometimes teeth grinding is a symptom of sleep apnea. Apparently some people, when they awaken after a apnea episode severely clench their teeth unconsciously. It can also be caused by TMJ, formerly wearing braces, stress, and mild dental problems that cause subtle pain we may not think is bad enough yet to see a dentist.

    3. I don’t think a plant based diet will help with bruxism. It’s simply a nervous habit. I got rid of mine by having my dentist custom make a deprogrammer for me to put in my mouth at night. Only one problem: it cost $400, Ouch!

    4. I’m assuming you have a mouth guard to use at night. If not then visit dentist for one. This prevents tooth damage and is worn at night. The condition is usually self limited but if you want to explore other options I suggest learning to meditate. It will take weeks but if practised daily can help. Physiotherapy can also help if you have jaw pain, headache or neck ache as a result of ‘grinding’. Eating plant based is your medicine! Good luck !

    5. Well eating a diet high in antioxidants has been shown to help with brain chemistry, so if it’s an anxiety issue, perhaps high antioxidant foods like wild blueberries could play a role in helping. I would use a mouth guard or whatever you dentist recommends. As far as tooth health goes, I’ve found that a WFPB diet has improved the strength and health of my teeth probably due to getting plenty of minerals. Probably the best diet to help tooth repair from damage already done, but I’m not basing this off of evidence but just my own experience and consideration of all the minerals we get from a healthy WFPB diet.

    6. There are associations between bruxism and food-related conditions, especially GERD (acid reflux). Also, those with celiac disease have a higher than usual rate of bruxism. As you mentioned, stress, anxiety, and depression are also strongly correlated with tooth grinding. I couldn’t find evidence of specific foods as a general treatment for bruxism, but perhaps your dentist may have more knowledge on the topic.

    7. A good anti inflammatory diet & likely supplements to include cur cumin with bioperine in high dose – ginger – omega 3’s – high dose D3 – magnesium can specifically reduce muscle spasms and or bruxism if deficient – most of us are – I would also work on meditation before bed and use a mouth guard to reduce tension in the TM joint and grinding – with time and patience and all of the above and others I’m not thinking about right now – give yourself 6 to 12 mo before you try to go without the mouth guard and see if there is improvement! Good luck – difficult problem to fix permanently – once improved and you maintain the treatment you should be cleared – you will know when to make any changes!

      Sincerely,

      Kevin S. Lewis, PA Medically Retired

      Whats included in this post is not medical advice and should not be construed as such – these posts are for informational purposes only – all changes to a treatment plan should be under supervision and consultation with your chosen medical provider!

  4. I have an iodine question: Should a person who has been taking prescription levothyroxine also begin taking 150 µg of iodine daily?

    According to my very basic understanding of thyroid function, the hormone TSH triggers the thyroid gland to manufacture T4 (thyroxine) and uses iodine in the process. So… if you add extra iodine to your blood via supplements, are you upsetting the balance of natural T4 production when added to the prescription dosage? Does the addition of iodine change the balance of TSH / T4 in the blood?

    IOW, is it likely that the dosage of levothyroxine might need to be adjusted after starting the iodine supplementation?

    1. Iodine deficiency is not the only cause for hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid… Typically, TSH secretion increases when iodine intake falls below about 100 mcg/day. If a person’s iodine intake falls below approximately 10–20 mcg/day, hypothyroidism occurs.

      Normally, you wouldn’t need to take iodine supplements, as iodine requirements can be satisfied with less than 1/2 teaspoon of iodized salt.Other sources are seaweed (such as kelp, nori, kombu, and wakame), but it is highly variable in its content.Other good sources include seafood, dairy products. So, this is why if you are taking iodine supplements, your levothyroxine dosage can’t be adjusted. Supplements won’t be the only source of iodine.

      According to the Amerincan Thyroid Association “Taking too much iodine can also cause problems. This is especially true in individuals that already have thyroid problems, such as nodules, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroid disease. Administration of large amounts of iodine through medications (i.e.: Amiodarone), radiology procedures (iodinated intravenous dye) and dietary excess (Dulce, kelp) can cause or worsen hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism”

  5. I always look forward to watching Dr Greger however, in this interview Dr Greger said fluoride is the reason why we grow old with all our teeth ? My understanding is that fluoride is a neurotoxin ? Can you address this please Dr Greger ?
    In addition Dr Greger, you mentioned that tap water is safe even though it is “treated” with chlorine, which again is a neurotoxin – Can you address this too Dr Greger – Thank you !

    1. Well considering that my teeth and gums are in better health than they’ve ever been and I had an old cavity from before I was WFPB heal itself since going WFPB and no longer using fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash and drinking water filtered of fluoride, I would have to strongly disagree at the notion that fluoride is what helps us keep our teeth.
      Wasn’t it shown that indigenous tribes have good teeth well into old age? I’m sure they’re not drinking fluoridated water. Of course, I could be wrong, I haven’t looked into this it’s just something I came across at some point.
      I do brush with clay, mostly, maybe there’s some natural fluoride in there. And I’m sure I get any amounts that may be helpful to me in my daily tea consumption and that definitely beats synthetic crap that the government adds and we’re supposed to trust and be ok with.

      1. All water contains naturally occurring fluoride. Nobody knows how much fluoride was in the water drunk by those tribes. Perhaps it was very little, perhaps it was a lot.

  6. I can’t believe you say tap water is the best water to drink with all the contaminants, added fluoride, chlorine, and other toxic ingredients in there. Sorry, I have lost total faith in you now!

    1. I believe it would depend on what tap water you are talking about. They range in quality drastically. For example tap water in Vancouver is some of the best in the world. I agree wth you on the fluoride. It is recognized as a neurotoxin. We haven’t had fluoride in our water since the 1970’s so, not an issue here. Chlorine can be dissipated by leaving it in a pitcher to disperse for an hour or so. Chlorine is necessary to prevent harmful bacteria. There are chlorine alternative also. For example sodium chlorite, which is used to prevent bacterial growth on meat and for water purification.

      1. Not true that chlorine is needed, it is heavy metal a halogen like Fluoride .
        Put in water to lower immune system, makes bones weaker, has bad effect on arteries and a whole list.
        In Europe there is no chlorine anywhere in drinking water, body takes is heavy metals by showering, therefore you have Fluoride free toothpaste and shower filters.
        Many lies and deception we are all brainwashed and in US they amputate new born babies and people do not even know it.
        Europe is more aware and do not amputate my best friend, US is very Dumped Down of reality I am sorry.
        Nature has no chlorine, fluoride in drinking water and do not amputate, lucky me poor American man. amazing that people are not aware that God made us perfect and it is a religious act.
        Stupid and not thought of to still do this, brainwashing in action.

        https://circumcision.org/functions-of-the-foreskin/

    2. sarah, why would you lose total faith in him over that? I disagree about the tap water as well and will never use it as my primary drinking or cooking water. But how in the world does that erase the mounds of scientific evidence Dr. Greger presents to the world? That is just ridiculous thinking. He didn’t even cite any studies, he just answered the question. I don’t know how much he’s looked into water and even if he continues to think it’s fine based on existing evidence, I’m still not ok with adding synthetic fluoride, chlorine, and other things to my body, but in no way would I lose faith in Dr. Greger over it.

  7. The FDA recently recongnized fluoride as a neurotoxin. How do you reconcile that with the benefits you mentioned for teeth when introduced to a water source?

    1. Aaron Gildener, do you have credible scientific research articles published in peer reviewed journals or other credible references supporting your statement: “The FDA recently recongnized fluoride as a neurotoxin?”

      Snopes: “we rank the claim that a new paper in The Lancet has ruled that fluoride is a neurotoxin as false.” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/new-study-officially-declare-fluoride-neurotoxin/

      Too much fluoride is a problem, but it’s not reported as a neurotoxin: “Fluoride intake has both beneficial effects – in reducing the incidence of dental caries – and negative effects – in causing enamel and skeletal fluorosis following prolonged high exposure. The ranges of intakes producing these opposing effects are not far apart.” https://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/fluoride/en/

      1. Dr. J, I would imagine that the natural mineral fluoride is safe and beneficial in natural amounts, but what they add to water isn’t natural fluoride. So my question is, was Snopes ranking of false based on studies on synthetic fluoride they add to water, or natural fluoride found in nature?

  8. If you think that I’m going to drink that slime called tap water coming from the house faucet, think again your statement. Yeah, in 3rd world countries, it is useful. There are heavy metals, chloride/ines(ammonia and chl) and other chemicals that we do not know and unaccounted for for safety. Reverse osmosis is the most healthful alternative. Personally, spring water with distillation are ideal. People with a aspirating condition, spring water only seems to be the best. Distilled seems to thin out H20, making it more difficult to swallow through the esphogus rather in lungs.

    1. For those who haven’t seen it, a researcher in Japan took glasses of water and played different types of music and had people pray and talk positively and negatively to cups of water and the water changed structure based on what was done to it.

      The results were consistent with what I already practice as a Christian. We have a water cooler at work, so while I was thinking of it, I would play beautiful music near the water bottles and would magnetize the water I drank, though I drank it too fast and prefer it cold or in tea form so I didn’t always succeed at the magnetizing part. I didn’t have a good n of 1 model of what I was trying to accomplish, but thinking about it now, I want to do his rice experiment, because I can try to replicate that and if I get the same results he did, that would be powerful. He thanked one glass of water with rice in it, cursed one glass of water with rice in it and ignored the third glass of water with rice in it and the ignored glass rotted and the cursed rice turned black and the thanked glass fermented with a sweet smell. Okay, I guess I can try that and see what happens.

  9. Excellent. Adding this to resource list for my patients. I am a family practice PCP, 34 years plant-based, raised my five sons on whole foods plant-based diet. Since age 29, I have never, ever looked back. 63 years old, feel like I’m 25. Thank you for your work.

    1. Lisa, That’s fantastic that you have been WFPB since 1985! I’m curious as to where you learned that was the bets way to eat back in 1985 before the Internet? Was it a certain book you read or what? I wish I had known about this approach to nutrition back in those days. I did eat fairly well back then, but the brainwashing was so strong back then, I did eat meat and eggs occasionally, but seldom ate dairy products simply because I didn’t like the taste.

      1. Hal, I too am curious. I hope we hear from Lisa again. I’m wondering if her husband followed the same diet.

        (Let’s hope she’s a real person, and not a shill.)

        1. Hi YR, Yes, I think there are more than one “Lisa” that posts here. Every so often, I hear about a person who has been vegan for more than 30 years and I’ve always wondered what motivated them. Back at that time, I was working away at a career job, so didn’t have a lot of time to research nutrition, so just “went with the flow” mostly. And back in that time period, most people believed what they read or heard in the mass media, without questioning anything. Now that we have so much “information” available on the Web, it has become a game of filtering everything using our “common sense”! (I think it has also been referred to as using our accumulated “wisdom”. :-) For those of us who care, at least it helps us exercise our brains looking for inconsistencies in each of these theories about nutrition that keep popping up!

        2. YR, I too hope Lisa replies because the 80’s is when I started, though I had spent years of each decade eating brown rice and vegetables . In the 70’s it was a time of Harrowsmith, Mother Earth News, homesteading, growing gardens, macrobiotics and food preservation. (think John Robbins) There were many books on the topics of self sufficiency, growing gardens, emergency preparedness. It was a time of spectacular growth for health food stores and books stores… especially the self-help and food/diet sections. It was the culture in some areas. In the 80’s we didn’t call it wfpb, but ‘food as grown’, or unprocessed or natural foods. It was at the time also the most frugal way to eat. Pritikin and Dr Ornish brought media attention to low fat plant based eating in the late 80’s and 90’s. Then the mediterranean diet garnered more attention to healthy fresh foods.

          Did you get into gardening or canning or freezing food YR?

          1. “Did you get into gardening or canning or freezing food YR?”
            – – – – – – –

            Me? Hell no, Barb, my parents did though. My dad had a huge garden, so he was the “yard man,” but my mother was great at canning stuff.

        3. I’m wondering if her husband followed the same diet.
          —————————————————————————–
          Who says she has a husband?… just because she has 5 sons doesn’t mean they aren’t all half brothers.

          There was a case in the town where I live where a child got sick and they tested the father to see if he was a match for whatever they needed. The DNA came back that he was not the father. The couple divorced and the father was ordered to pay child support (they had three or 4 kids IIRC.) Further DNA testing was done on the other kids and none of them were related other than to the mother.

          Anyway, the father challenged the child support ruling but the judge ruled he still had to pay child support even though he wasn’t the kids’ natural father.

          1. “Who says she has a husband?…”
            – – – – –

            I thought of that after I posted it, Lonie. Nowadays, anything goes, it seems. :-)

            As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out as to whether she’s a shill or not.. Prove me wrong, “Lisa”! Tell us what you “eat in a day”!

            I put people who claim they “never looked back” into the same category as those who (in reference to a book) gush that they “just couldn’t put it down.”

  10. I buy RO water from a commercial dispenser, bring it home and distill it. The commercial dispenser claims not only reverse osmosis but ionization as well. Distilled water kills both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.

    And you should see the crud at the bottom of my distiller after running just a few gallons of the RO water.

    I distill ~ 150 – 200 gallons during the winter for drinking tea in the winter and summer. Granted I do not drink straight distilled without altering it somewhat with magnetizing and exposure to magnesium rods in gallon glass jugs at least 12 hours before drinking.

    I guess I’m o.k. with not drinking straight distilled water (especially if stored in plastic) with no alteration (like brewing tea or coffee with it) but when I see the crud in the bottom of my distiller, I become very conscientious about making distilled water my starting point for anything liquid that I brew for my body.

    Oh, and I’m o.k. with drinking the distilled water straight out of the glass if it has been magnetized and exposed to the magnesium metal rods.

    Sounds like a lot of work but it has been a practice for so long that it’s just a part of my routine for quite a few years now.

    1. I tried the magnet thing for a while. I just drink most of my water in tea now and I drink it too fast to magnetize it.

      I wanted to get one of those water structurers because I liked the documentary about water and wanted my water to make pretty pictures, but I could already accomplish that through music and prayer and talking to the water and didn’t have to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars.

      That was a really cool documentary though. The concept of water acting like a computer caused me to not want to drink the water in places where it might have picked up a lot of negative information. Sounds awfully new-agey, but well, if the guy really won a Nobel Prize and if I can trust anything at all on the internet, it was an easy enough experiment. The magnet experiment was cool enough to try.

      1. Deb, I’m unfamiliar with the magnetism of water as well as the ethereal qualities of water you speak of. (Is this some sort of Marijuana water? Not judging, just asking.)

        Anyway, my way of magnetizing distilled water is to pour it into a glass gallon jug that has been surrounded by a narrow ribbon of stick-on magnetic tape and then have placed strong rare-earth magnets at intervals on the magnetic tape. I have about ten of these jugs and about six half-gallon jugs similarly done.

        At the point where I pour my glass container stored distilled water into one of these jugs it is usually five days to a week before I consume them (and they have a 6″ magnesium rod stuck in a cork that is protruding down into the water for the whole time. I keep the magnetic tape bottles full at all times (by pouring into the magnetically taped half gallon containers) and rotate them to being poured from on an as-used regimen… a “linear circle” if you will.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3572224/

        https://www.faim.org/hydrogen-water-drink-to-better-health

            1. Gee, Lonie, which to prefer?

              A tecnical paper from the World Heath Organization or an opinion piece from a dot com website?

              Goof luck.

              1. Well, after posting the link to that tome, I finally broke down and suffered through 8 pages of the 16 pages of boredom.

                All I could get was that some 40 year old Russian science says don’t drink de-salinated water… and I suppose that was their meaning when referring to the Saudis’ dependence on de-salinated sea water. (OBTW, the Saudis’ aren’t putting the salt they remove from their de-salination plants far enough out when they return it to the sea… expected to cause problems later on due to higher salinity at their water collection points… just thought I would throw that in.)

                As I’ve said in previous posts I probably do not recommend drinking distilled water straight. Maybe a remineralising option like S’s RO water system, but I’m thinking that simply using it as a base for tea, coffee, or any other combination water/beverage should get rid of any parasites and provide a completely safe glass or cup of drink to improve one’s health.

                And one thing I took note of when struggling through the linked content, that there was never any mention of the diet of the people being referred to in their studies. Sure there are people around the world who eat almost nothing but poi or some other low quality starch diet. I’m sure even unhealthy water with minerals are the best option for that cohort. But diseased/parasitic water can kill rapidly or sometimes, long and painfully.

                But we are in the 21st century now and should be looking at events through a “current condition” lens. We have more and better monitoring tools now, so when we apply the problems vs benefits test we should get a clearer view of a product or procedure.

                This is anecdotal, but after reading some of the material, I concluded I (after more than a decade of distilled water intake) am a dead man walking… and talking and laughing and thinking etc. etc. etc.

                1. Lonie

                  2+2=4 is old arthmetic but that doesn’t automatically mean that is wrong. There is no evidence that I am aware of that suggests that the studies cited in that WHO technical paper were somehow wrong, lacking in some respect or have been overturned by newer evidence.

                  Also, the paper was about demineralised and distilled water generally rather than desalinated water in particular.

                  The fact that you still alive after a decade of drinking distilled water doesn’t necessarily prove that drinking distilled water is healthful – any more than the fact that George Burns smoked cigars for more than 50 years proves that smoking cigars is healthful.

                  I have to buy distilled/RO water where I live because there is no municipal water supply and most local water sources are unsafe. I am nevertheless concerned about it and usually drink mine in tea/coffee/cacao or foods in the hope that will minmise the ‘leaching’ effect of distilled water.

                2. Lonie, if you want to read a research review paper quickly, read the introduction — which states what the paper is about and why — and then the conclusion — which summarizes the evidence presented in the paper, and may discuss what this information means in the broader context of the topic. That way, you can quickly get the gist of the main points.

                  From the conclusion: “Sufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health consequences from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium. Many studies show that higher water magnesium is related to decreased risks for CVD and especially for sudden death from CVD. This relationship has been independently described in epidemiological studies with different study designs, performed in different areas, different populations, and at different times. The consistent epidemiological observations are supported by the data from autopsy, clinical, and animal studies. Biological plausibility for a protective effect of magnesium is substantial, but the specificity is less evident due to the multifactorial aetiology of CVD. In addition to an increased risk of sudden death, it has been suggested that intake of water low in magnesium may be associated with a higher risk of motor neuronal disease, pregnancy disorders (so-called preeclampsia), sudden death in infants, and some types of cancer. Recent studies suggest that the intake of soft water, i.e. water low in calcium, is associated with a higher risk of fracture in children, certain neurodegenerative diseases, pre-term birth and low weight at birth and some types of cancer. Furthermore, the possible role of water calcium in the development of CVD cannot be excluded.” (pp 158 – 159)

                  You can then get into the details of particular subjects of interest to you; these subjects are described in the headings in the paper. e.g.: “2. Little or no intake of calcium and magnesium from low-mineral water” (pp 152-153).

                  I found this topic fascinating; I’d no idea that foods could lose their minerals when cooked in low mineral water, though it makes prefect sense chemically speaking: “4. High loss of calcium, magnesium and other essential elements in food prepared in low-mineral water” (p 154)

                  1. Lonie, if you want to read a research review paper quickly, read the introduction — which states what the paper is about and why — and then the conclusion — which summarizes the evidence presented in the paper, and may discuss what this information means in the broader context of the topic. That way, you can quickly get the gist of the main points.
                    ——————————————————————————-
                    Actually DrJ, that is how I usually read research papers as I have no interest in knowing what lab rat or procedure was used… that’s for the peer reviewers IMO.

                    But in this case I made an exception and tried to stay awake while reading the inner workings. And tbh, I think the conclusions are like an ad trying to sway the reader to approve the research done, so I didn’t even go that far.

                    Anyway, since Tom is so smitten with the WHO? I thought I would try to wade through it. I soon came to the conclusion that this was work done (like) some kind of lab experiment rather than something that had real world implications for improved health.

                    That is, you put distilled water under a microscope while in a vacuum and maybe you can find a point of danger for perhaps .00001 percent of a population. On the other hand, you do equally rigorous work in real world situations and you save maybe .01 percent of additional lives.

                    Not sure how many orders of magnitude that turns out to be on the plus side, (especially since it is only theoretical ‘-) but my distilled water filled gut tells me it’s a lot.

                3. Lonie,

                  Wow!! I’m sorry you got so little out of the article for all the effort you put into reading it; I found it fascinating!! And I would never drink or cook with distilled or demineralized water — and I say that as a former research biochemist. The evidence was very persuasive to me. (And btw, I don’t look only at the dates of the publications, but also at the source — and these all look like reputable, credible sources.)

                  And diet was mentioned in a few places. For example, in lab studies of rats placed on different types of water, they all ate the same food. Also, epidemiological studies compared health outcomes of residents of 4 different South Siberian cities, whose supplied water differed in the amounts of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids); I didn’t read the cited reference, but I would guess that the diets in these different cities did not differ significantly.

                  And some of the adverse health effects of drinking demineralized water only manifest themselves in the long term. Moreover, it’s likely that not every person drinking demineralized water will suffer the same effects, or to the same degree, just as not all smokers develop cancer (in fact, only about 15% of long term heavy smokers develop lung cancer), and not all SAD eaters develop CVD, etc.

                  1. And I would never drink or cook with distilled or demineralized water — and I say that as a former research biochemist. The evidence was very persuasive to me. (And btw, I don’t look only at the dates of the publications, but also at the source — and these all look like reputable, credible sources.)
                    ————————————————————————————————————————
                    DrJ, Your above statement helps me understand you better. That is, you being a member of the Researchers’ Community tells me that you are interested in whether or not the researchers followed proper protocol. I would also submit that if they have done so, you are more susceptible to accepting their findings.

                    I’m not downplaying the following of the protocol… I just think we need new protocols. I’ve long considered single-minded studies to be terribly wasteful. For instance, if a remedy for high blood pressure is being tested, once that testing has run its course use the same test subjects to test some other treatment (like beet juice or cacao for instance) to see what offers optimal results.

                    I hold out hope that AI will eventually take over the research field and with their data base access to mountains of data, they should be able to tease out the real best course of action.

                    I believe that in the research Tom, et al is promoting, an AI would have concluded that certain people in Casaba eating villages in Africa should have only the minerals the Casaba does not provide, added back in. But in the African villages where the staple is primarily Moringa Oleifera, they can use distilled water in a way which only needs bring the pH back up to a 7 to 8 range. (Haven’t tested the pH in my own water, but I think the magnesium rod treatment I do probably satisfies this requirement… and I know it is free of parasites and bacteria and heavy metals. ‘-)

                    All I’m saying is we shouldn’t get wedded to past research, ’cause even current research is going to be turned, if not on its head, at least on its side, in the future.

                    1. Lonie, of course science changes. That’s how it works. Any conclusion, explanation, theory, observation is subject to question and challenge. And I think it’s the best process we have for understanding the world around us. And for making predictions. In fact, it’s the basis of the videos that Dr. Greger prepares for this site, for his books, talks, etc: nutrition based research.

                      Your comment about “protocols” seems actually directed to what is studied, not the process itself. But that is a question of funding — research is not free, and often not cheap — and researchers willing and able to undertake such studies. And this data base you mention, that AI will take over: what is it? where did it come from? Past research studies? Future ones?

                      Also, what is this AI you refer to? Algorithms? You might be interested to read the book, “Weapons of Math Destruction.” Deep learning? Something else?

                    2. and researchers willing and able to undertake such studies. And this data base you mention, that AI will take over: what is it? where did it come from? Past research studies? Future ones?
                      ————————————————————————————————————-
                      I’ve been led to believe that researchers are peeing themselves trying to get grants for research… after all, if they aren’t published they do not exist. As for the data base, it will come from apps, medical reports, lab results, even the AI’s themselves as they will communicate with one another to get networked input to help them “think-out” the problem. I think Duke University is using something along these lines already to help in diagnosis, and the computers are out-diagnosing the humans if I remember the news story correctly.
                      _____________________________________________________

                      Also, what is this AI you refer to? Algorithms? You might be interested to read the book, “Weapons of Math Destruction.” Deep learning? Something else?
                      —————————————————————-
                      Yes, AI such as the one who after a few games of “Go” I think it was, was able to out-think the best Go human player. The game requires being able to “think.”
                      __________________________________________________
                      Google artificial intelligence programme defeated a Chinese grand master at the ancient board game Go on Tuesday… The victory over the world’s top player – which many thought would take decades to achieve – underlines the potential of artificial intelligence to take on humans at complex tasks.
                      ———————————————–

                  2. Thanks Dr J.

                    it’s fascinating (but depressing) information to me too because I now routinely drink and cook with bottled water (all distilled or RO water). The local water supplies where I currently live are simply not safe. Those data are a reason why I take a vegetarian multivitamin most days.

              2. And now a breakdown of the short, readable article you pooh, poohed.
                ———————————————————————————————
                Free of Microorganisms

                Distillation is the only purification process that eliminates harmful microorganisms with absolute certainty, reports the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is a vital health benefit for anyone with a weak or compromised immune system, because distillation kills parasites that may not be affected by other treatment methods. One parasite, Cryptosporidium, is resistant to commonly used water disinfectants such as chlorine, but distillation kills it. Cryptosporidium can make healthy people sick and cause severe illness or even death if your immune system is weak. Those with weakened immune systems should use distilled water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
                ————————————————————-
                Wow! The CDC recommends using distilled water.
                _________________________________________
                Contaminants Removed

                Even though distillation removes healthy minerals, the process also gets rid of heavy metals, including lead, mercury and arsenic. Distillation removes some but not all of the volatile organic chemicals in products such as cleaning fluids that tend to find their way into ground water. You also won’t get any nitrate in distilled water. Nitrate doesn’t cause health problems unless it’s converted into nitrite, which can interfere with the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen. Nitrates in water are especially dangerous for pregnant women, infants and adults with low stomach acid, reports Colorado State University Extension.
                ———————————————————————————————-
                Wow again!… Colorado State University Extension also appears to endorse distillation. You know? I think I prefer this “opinion piece” as you describe it to that lumbering elephant you linked to. ‘-)

                1. ‘Wow! The CDC recommends using distilled water.’
                  Yes – for people with damaged immune systems.

                  ‘Wow again!… Colorado State University Extension also appears to endorse distillation.’
                  If the alternative is drinking (ground) water contaminated with heavy metals and/or nitrates. If you have safe tap water where you live, I don’t see the CSU Extension comments as being particularly relevant.

                  Yes of course you prefer the livestrong.com article. i get that. Your reasons just don’t seem compelling to me . Dismissing the WHO technical paper on the grounds that it is ‘old’, ‘boring’ and ‘lumbering’ for example doesn’t convince me. But each to his/her own.

                  1. ‘Wow! The CDC recommends using distilled water.’
                    Yes – for people with damaged immune systems.

                    ‘Wow again!… Colorado State University Extension also appears to endorse distillation.’
                    If the alternative is drinking (ground) water contaminated with heavy metals and/or nitrates. If you have safe tap water where you live, I don’t see the CSU Extension comments as being particularly relevant.
                    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
                    Just throwing your own tactics back atcha.

                    That is, making a blanket statement that the water is safe because of research to counter your argument that the water is unsafe because of research

                2. Lonie, drinking distilled or any other purified water sounds a lot like eating processed food; a lot of the nutrients (if you will) in the water are removed during the processing (purification) of the water, and to improve it’s health profile, they need to be added back. But not all of them will be or probably can be. Why would you want to do that? Unless you have a health reason, or your water is contaminated, such as with heavy metals or nitrates — and some of these can be specifically filtered out. As opposed to distillation or reverse osmosis, which as I understand it, removes almost everything, the good with the bad.

                  1. Here is my take… Reading through just some, so far, of what what Tom posted below, it seems that it’s best to have minerals in water, but I don’t want synthetic fluoride in my water and I don’t want chlorine (or worse, chloramine) in my water and would want it to be as free from heavy metals as possible, so while it’d be really cool if I could afford to live off of Mountain Valley spring water or even better, safe raw spring water (in a perfect world….), I find for me, my reverse osmosis filtration system which remineralizes the water in one of its steps, my best bet.
                    And the reason I choose reverse osmosis (and again, my system remineralizes) is because it is the only thing I’m aware of that can get out the fluoride effectively. So, really the problem for people like me is the government adding shit to our water that we do not want to put in our bodies. And because of this, it accumulates to waste, added expense and it’s just an unnecessary and horrible situation in my opinion.

                    1. S

                      What system do you use?

                      The remineralisation strategy sounds sensible and I have no choice but to drink distilled and/or RO water, Unfortunately, there is only a limited range of home water filtration systems available in the Philippines and I haven’t bought one since simply purchasing bottled water is actually cheaper here.

                  2. Why would you want to do that? Unless you have a health reason, or your water is contaminated, such as with heavy metals or nitrates — and some of these can be specifically filtered out. As opposed to distillation or reverse osmosis, which as I understand it, removes almost everything, the good with the bad.
                    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
                    DrJ, Yes to distillation (and to a lesser degree RO since it probably doesn’t remove all bacteria) taking out the good with the bad.

                    But like the Hippocratic oath “First, do no harm.” I want the harmful stuff to not damage my body. IF I do not get from my foods or from supplementation what my body could have gotten from water I can remedy that by adjusting to what my lab results suggest.

                    Understand I am not talking about general populations but you did ask why I would want to do that. I’ve made it no secret my goal in life is… LIFE.

                    That is, I hope to set a new record for longevity. I could boast that I WILL set that record even though it’s a moving target… that is, someone older than me may become the record holder and I may have to outlive him or her to become the record holder.

                    But if I do make that boast and fail, well they can put my grave in an easily accessible place and cars can line the highway with people wanting to stop at my grave and say “HAH! I knew you couldn’t do it!

                    I wouldn’t be able to hear them and it would be a big boost to the economy for my small town, as a tourist attraction. ‘-)

    1. To answer your question, I already watched this and watch all of the video interviews with you YouTube offers me, but what I like about them is that it introduces me to YouTube channels. I found some interviewers who I really enjoyed watching your interviews.

      I like that the interviews tend to be longer and less edited, so we get to hear how you really process information. I contrast that to your Q&A’s which I enjoyed, but which tended to be so fast-paced that we didn’t get any deeper thinking process. (Though you did slow those down, which made them more useful to me. By the end, you had found a sweet spot, so I don’t mean to use those as a negative example.)

  11. The WHO states that reverse osmosis/distilled water if used exclusively is dangerous an can even cause sudden cardiac death. It not only lacks minerals but can leach minerals out of plants cooked in water. I live in a community with very hard but safe water but reverse osmosis is becoming trendy in rich Gringo homes.(Gringo is not used as a derogatory term in Costa Rica.)

    1. The WHO states that reverse osmosis/distilled water if used exclusively is dangerous an can even cause sudden cardiac death. It not only lacks minerals but can leach minerals out of plants cooked in water.
      ——————————————————————————————————————
      The Who should just stick to music in my opinion (Loved “No Time Left For You” ‘-)

      Seriously, that is some of the worst advice they could have put out. It suggests to me that it was decided upon by a few suits in WHO corporate HQ with no real world experience.

      I doubt the evidence for “can even cause sudden cardiac death.” would be more than an n-1 case study and they use that single case to “warn” the billions of people world-wide to change or not adopt a single practice that could provide billions with germ-free and harmful metal-free water.

      1. I agree with Lonie in this case. In the case of mineral deficiency, we get our minerals from our food. But it just so happens that reverse osmosis systems or at least the better ones, have a step in the system which adds back minerals so the water is far from void of minerals. I use Pelican. My system adds minerals back but I didn’t always have that, however I don’t even think they sell it as an option not to add back minerals anymore.
        Then you have Annette Larkin who is a vegan and is in her 80’s and known for her exceptional health and youthful appearance and she swears by distilled water which she’s been drinking for years, anecdotal, but she certainly hasn’t suffered from it. I’ve been drinking reverse osmosis for years. My cats actually seem healthier on it which might just be because they drink it more as they seem to like the taste more.

        1. I agree with Lonie
          ————————–
          I’m going to blow up my screen and take a screenshot of this… may be the first time you’ve ever written that! ‘-)
          ________________________________________________________________________________________
          My system adds minerals back but I didn’t always have that, however I don’t even think they sell it as an option not to add back minerals anymore.
          ——————————————————————————————
          Sounds like a good option, but as you said, we get our minerals from our food.

              1. Tom, I’m pretty sure that your snakiness, while no doubt sweet and beautiful in its own right, was tremendously uncalled for in this case. Having a pissed off kind of day? Maybe you could have just shared the article and what you had to say about it instead of needlessly lashing out. No one even claimed any “facts,” just shared thoughts.

                Anyway, I normally enjoy your posts and even your sarcasm in the case of trolling, but that was uncalled for.

                Personally, I hope to see what Dr. Greger has to say about this as in this interview his only concern was with wasted water. And maybe will do a video specific to drinking water, citing all the collective evidence. I’m looking through the paper you shared and so far I’m just seeing rat studies but I will have to come back to it tomorrow and read it through.

                Again though, reverse osmosis systems can come with a remineralization step which is the only way the company I buy from sells it anymore.

                1. S

                  This is supposed to be a site reporting the latest in nutritional science. Often though, comments come from highly opinionated people whose beliefs either seem contrary to the known evidence or which have no credible evidence to support them. The fact that they express outrage when Dr Greger refers to the scientific positions on their dearly held beliefs, or make insulting/disparaging remarks is, i confess, irritating to me. Why they don’t instead hang out at ‘alternative health’ websites which lap up this sort of stuff is something I’ve never figured out.

                  So, true, I do get somewhat irritated by people stating their personal beliefs as absolute facts, especially when their strongly held opinions might convince other to adopt health damaging practices. That and the number of people posting insulting and/or tinfoil hat comments is the explanation for my irritation today.

                  As for my ‘snakiness’ (whatever that means), you yourself seem a little tetchy about this. If I felt in the same mood, I might ask you if your haemorrhoids were playing up today.

                  1. Tom,

                    Yes, I too am aware of the ridiculous people who insult Dr. Greger or shamelessly try to pass off their preferred idea of things as facts, but I did not see this happening here nor was I aware of my doing so. This is clearly an evidence-based site but these are also open comment boards where people can discuss personal thoughts and questions and sharing these things is actually a positive because it leads to gathering evidence.

                    You don’t need to explain your irritability towards some of the comments here, I’m in full support of it, I just felt it was misplaced here and I didn’t personally appreciate it. So like thymol to bacteria, your irritation is 99.9% applicable to the comments it’s aimed at. No hemorrhoids, WFPB after all, but I’m probably at least mildly hot headed much of the time.

      2. More to Lonie’s point, rather than the bit of advice, I’d want to see what evidence they’re actually basing that advice off of. I mean when they put out a warning against processed meat and cancer, the whole world knew about it, I’d think if this were such a profound and evidence case, more of us would have heard about it considering people are switching to these kinds of water systems and there’s more awareness than ever about drinking water.

  12. Dr Gregory, read “The Choice is Clear” these are scientist research on all types of waters…they said Distilled is the safe water to drink, Fluoride causes all kinds of health problems ect… Tap water is dirty water, the worst to drink!..I been drink distilled all my life! :) I can tell the difference…

    Do your homework with water it will help you to become more educated in water! :) I love your daily Nutrition Facts is great info! Keep up the good that you do! ;)

    1. Dr. Gregory? :-) That makes three posters who misspelled Dr. Greger’s name.

      So I don’t have to stop and think, I refer to him as Dr. G. If he objects….well, tough titties. :-)

  13. I’ve seen some of this on youtube (love watching Dr. Greger interviews, you get extra insight!) but still have to finish watching. I so profoundly disagree with his points of fluoridated water. I find them incredibly short-sighted and even a bit offensive due to the implication that the financially insecure have no rights as to what is or isn’t put in their water and are not capable and lack to the right to make decisions for themselves like the rest of the population. In fact, I find that those who are on strict budgets (including myself) and those who are quite literally poor, often have added expenses in getting bottled water or pricier water filtration systems than they should have to BECAUSE they do not want to be forced to ingest synthetic fluoride and in some case chloramine (depending on the city). The majority of the public does not want fluoride added to their water, yet it continues to be added. The dental excuse is the original, typical propaganda which they’ve been saying all along which I so do not buy… e.g. the government doesn’t really give a crap if we get cancer from meat (for one example) but they sure do wanna make sure we don’t get a cavity…? And I’d like to see actual evidence which indicates those drinking fluoridated water have less cavities. But even so, adding this synthetic version of fluoride to the water supple would remain unnecessary. We can get a HEALTHY source of fluoride from tea and you could go to a freaking dollar store and get a years supple of fluoridated mouth wash and tooth paste on the cheap. So again, even if there WERE any evidence to fluoride in drinking water and oral health, it would remain completely unnecessary due to the reasons stated above. And people should have a say, always, no matter what AND no matter what class. The rights of the poor to eat and drink pure and live naturally have long been taken away and it’s never been right.
    I hardly consider filtration systems such as reverse osmosis as wasteful, on the contrary, I consider the CAUSE for the NEED or the purpose for them to be wasteful and that cause is adding shit to our water supply that is unnecessary and we do not want. Interestingly, chlorine is (to my knowledge) a necessary addition AND it just so happens to be incredibly easy to remove, no expensive systems required and no wasted water needed.

    1. …due to the implication that the financially insecure have no rights as to what is or isn’t put in their water and are not capable and lack to the right to make decisions for themselves like the rest of the population. In fact, I find that those who are on strict budgets (including myself) and those who are quite literally poor, often have added expenses in getting bottled water or pricier water filtration systems than they should have to BECAUSE they do not want to be forced to ingest synthetic fluoride and in some case chloramine (depending on the city).
      ——————————————————————————————————
      I approve this message… S for Congress! on a pure water for all (NO PLASTIC BOTTLES) platform. Or alternatively, individual water containers made from hemp cardboard that is either re-usable or re-recyclable.

      Glass is of course preferable and would work if every community installed a glass crusher that reduced a bottle or jar back into fine sand. Personally I don’t need one as I can’t bring myself to throw away a glass container. ‘-)
      ________________________________________________________________________________
      And I’d like to see actual evidence which indicates those drinking fluoridated water have less cavities.
      —————————————————————————————————————————————
      Though it was observational, there was a community where I initially went to school where everyone drank well water. The area was so heavily fluoridated that almost everyone had some evidence of their well water being fluoridated… the ones with heavier fluoridation having brown teeth. (I lived far enough away from the community that we had no well water and had to get it off a pipeline pumping water from some 10 miles the other direction so I was actually a control for the non-experiment.)

      But even those without the extreme fluoridation who later went to a dentist in distant cities would ask the question “You grew up in West Texas, didn’t you?” because they recognized the person had a thicker layer of enamel than most.

      But since fluoridation isn’t an issue with me I guess I have no emotional opinion on the subject. But if it were a personal issue, I’d rather not have it in my water.
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      1. Thanks for the nomination, Lonie! And couldn’t agree more on plastic-free alternatives, glass being my favorite as well. I too tend to keep most glass jars/bottles. I use the bottles for cold steeping tea, etc. and the jars work amazingly for food storage.

  14. Dr. Greger, you are a hero in my eyes! You provide SCIENCE based support for your video’s/books/interviews, etc………..how refreshing.

    It is my understanding that you will travel to meet with small groups of people, is this correct? Please let me know how to get onto your schedule?

    Thank you for your service,

    Steve

      1. Thank you Steve.
        I was curious as to the parameters, which seem quite reasonable.  I live in Las Vegas, and I am hopeful I can find enough committed people that would attend headlined by Dr. Greger………………….
        I will keep in touch!

  15. Hi. You explain in this video we should eat our nuts and seeds raw not roasted because high heat causes the formation of AGE’s. What is high heat? I roast nuts at about 250. Is that too high? My grandmother used to leave her nuts in the over over night with just the light on. Do you think would be too high a temp?

    Thanks for all your wonderful videos and the great information you share with the world!

    1. Here’s what The American Cancer Association offers about acrylamides:

      “It’s important to note that these determinations are based mainly on studies in lab animals, and not on studies of people’s exposure to acrylamide from foods. Since the discovery of acrylamide in foods in 2002, the American Cancer Society, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and many other organizations have recognized the need for further research on this topic. So far, reviews of studies done in groups of people (epidemiologic studies) suggest that dietary acrylamide isn’t likely to be related to risk for most common types of cancer. But ongoing studies will continue to provide new information on whether acrylamide levels in foods are linked to increased cancer risk.”

      https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/acrylamide.html

    2. Hi Elizabeth Cammack – Thanks for your question! AGEs are found in all types of foods, including raw nuts but in smaller amounts compared to roasted, and their formation increases as cooking temperatures rise. Here is a link to an article with a database of foods and their associated AGEs content: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/.

      The best ways to reduce AGE formation include adding moisture when cooking (this may be difficult and undesirable to do when roasting nuts), using a shorter cooking time if able (avoid leaving them cooking overnight), try cooking at a lower temperature (in your case, roasting nuts at 250 is better than roasting at 400), or by adding some sort of acidic compound when cooking (like vinegar or lemon/lime juice). So in summary, trying to eat raw nuts most of the time is going to be best, however if you do decide to roast them yourself at home, consider the tips listed above such as continuing to roast at a lower 200 degree temperature.

      With AGEs and their effect on health, it is important to keep in mind the overall total amount of AGEs that are diet contributes. If you are eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and lower in animal products (that are higher in fat and protein), these carbohydrate-rich foods contain a small amount of AGES even after cooked. I hope this helps!

      Janelle RD – Registered Dietitian & NutritionFacts.org Health Support Volunteer

  16. I do really enjoy all his videos. I may not always feel in alignment with everything he says but I try to look at it from his perspective, since he coming from the medical science side and not as much from the energetic side. Many that disagree with some of his info, like those that have been railing him on the fluoride comment in this one, are all just trying to do what is best based on what they have heard/learned and hopefully researched too. Thank you “Barb” for sharing that fluoride link of his video. If I looked at it correctly, it was a video from 2012 and more studies and info have come out about the effects of fluoride since then. It would be great if Dr. Greger could revisit this topic based on more current data. Overall I throughly appreciate and respect all that Dr. Greger is working to do and all of the free access to information that he offers.

    1. Deanna, I agree with you, but I don’t think that people commenting in disagreement were “railing” him in anyway (although I haven’t read all the comments). I read it as simply sharing their concerns and expressing their disagreement in a polite way (though again, I only read a couple comments). My biggest disagreement was his rationalization on the poor and fluoridated water which I expressed in an above post.

      I don’t always agree with Dr. Greger, which is evident every time I eat a raw mushroom lol, but I absolutely respect where he’s coming from and appreciate all his amazing and generous work. Now the irrefutable science he presents, I ALWAYS agree with.

      1. I would add, because when it comes to irrefutable science, it’s not a matter of agree or disagree… if only a vast majority of others would realize this.

      2. I read through all the comments and can see that some people were going off the deep end over it like saying they no longer have faith in him and so on. Probably should have read through them all first.

  17. I would like to know what Dr. Greger thinks of the flu shot. While he supported vaccination in general, does that support extend to the flu shot?

        1. YR, same here. I haven’t had the flu since I was little which was incidentally before the age of 9 and thus before I became vegetarian. I will never personally get a flu shot.

      1. Steven Litrov, I’ve heard (only heard, no idea what it’s based off of) that flu shots have been linked to Alzheimer’s, any known evidence on this or any idea where this came from?

        1. Nor have I had all the zillion of other vaccines we’re told to get.

          Like you, I haven’t been “shot”” since I was a kid (in my case, many moons ago, alas).

  18. I looked up the actress and I have seen her twice.

    Star Trek Into Darkness and I Can Only Imagine.

    I never saw Mother’s Day and I was sick the night 90 Minutes in Heaven showed near me. (We get most Christian movies 1 night in 1 theater.)

    I boycotted God’s Not Dead 2 because I found God’s Not Dead 1 mean-spirited. It bothered me as a Christian because it was the black hat bad guys are going to get theirs and we Christians are pre and post going to tell them, “I told you so” oriented. I actually had a college professor tell me that he was going to make me an atheist and I hated that, too, but whoever wrote God’s Not Dead 1 had every lost person was going to be dying or getting what they deserve and the self-absorbed Christians weren’t going to shed a single tear that the black hat bad guy atheist professor is dying in the middle of the street because they are on their way to Disney land or a concert. It is all nothing to me without love.

  19. 1) I’m a big fan of Dr Greger and have both his books but as a NON medical professional, I do wish he could slow down a little and scale down his findings into more manageable bite-sized answers, especially at Q&A’s.

    2) I am also confused about fluoride & tap water now.

    I truly believe that there are millions and millions of people around the world like myself who are totally confused, frustrated and disillusioned with the unbelievable amount of inaccurate, manipulated and false information being consciously and unconsciously directed at us 24/7 from industries, institutions, organizations, bodies, governments, news outlets, social media, academics, and qualified/unqualified individuals, about health, food and nutrition.

    It’s no wonder we’re all spending our lifetime continuously searching for answers that will deliver the one thing we want… the TRUTH !

    1. To me it seems that Dr. Greger being solely evidence based (he himself says he doesn’t like to speculate), even if something were harmful but hadn’t been proven to be so, he wouldn’t speculate or report on its harm if there weren’t substantial evidence to base it off of and if there were some interpretation of “enough” evidence to suggest it were harmless and there didn’t seem to be a huge negative impact on the population, he’d probably construe it as harmless unless evidence spoke to the contrary. On the other hand, at times I find he’s overly cautious like with the petri-dish avocado study which was later proven harmless in human studies, but I understand and respect his reports on these things.

      I do not trust the synthetic fluoride added to drinking water, especially since 1) it’s unnecessary and 2) the public has long made it clear that it’s not wanted yet it continues to be added… why? Cavities? Give me a freaking break. There is no logical, believable, or acceptable reason for this adulteration to most of the water supply.

      I wonder how much research Dr. Greger’s done on drinking water thus far. There’s a lot of discussion on it under this video so who knows, maybe it will inspire a new series of videos unless they’re already on their way.

  20. It’s was a good interview with a lot of useful information, but the direction was poor. Dr. G…face the interviewer. Talk with her not the camera. Two camera shoot, one center left, one center right. More interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee. There were many opportunities for banter, but unfortunately missed. I’ve seen you in other videos Dr. G and I know you can do better.

    Looking forward to the next one and thank you for all you do!

      1. I finally got through the whole video. Dr. G. seemed to be on a sugar high (lots of shake, rattle and rolling) and, while she gazed at him fairly often, I didn’t see him cast his beady eyes on her throughout the whole thing….except at the end. Maybe, because of her bare shoulder, he was afraid he would lust after her in his heart, or something. :-)

        http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1859513_1859526_1859518,00.html

        He often bent forward to squint at the questions. I’m sure he gets enuf eye vitamins in his diet, so no worries there. (?)

  21. Water is the most abundant thing in our body – if it’s not clean it’s not good – our body cannot get rid of most of the junk that is put in naturally let alone added in the name of public health or accidentally in the name of groundwater saturation – as in landfill runoff or industrial runoff – lead – fluoride – arsenic – pharmaceuticals – etc etc etc – just learned that my state requires notification if tap water lead level is > 1 ppm but the bone broth I buy is happy with < 5 ppm – flouride is not proven to strengthen bones or teeth when ingested and is clearly proven to be a neurotoxin – I was diagnosed with a terminal neurodegenerative disease – began juicing using filtered water and later using mostly juice but whole foods plant based – 20 plus pounds of veggies a week just for me – 7-14 avocados – 14 or more oz of nut butters etc etc etc – 18 mo on hospice to graduation from that 5 years ago – will only use RO filtered water – I take a lot of targeted supplements for my particular disease researched by me for me – so – knowing as a prescribing medical provider – 40 years in emergency medicine – what I know – I have to disagree re tap water – there are too many contaminants in it to include flouride and just cause the corrupted CDC or FDA says its ok doesnt make it so – do your research and know whats in your system – here in washington we have two water sheds that supply seattle – one has 0.4 natural fluoride the other 0.8 – the policy is to double whats naturally present – meaning – the north end gets 0.8 and the south end gets 1.6 – cant say what the average IQ is down south but the harvard and other studies clearly indicate higher flouride equals lower IQ – myeslf with a neurodegenerative disease am taking no chances and when it comes to children I would take none either – just some thoughts – the other contaminants no municipal water system is designed to remove are gradually building up and is why we are seeing menarc in 6 yo girls and so much other diseases unnatural for the younger age group – common sense is gone in most – reasoning is also absent in most – taking both of those in judicial quantities would suggest that there is great concern with industrial waste being added to our water supply and suggesting that in the form of tap water its fine???

  22. Great questions and as always informative responses. Please transcribe the questions and answers into your website so that we can access them individually. Thank you for your good work Dr Greger!

  23. Although I’ve watched Dr Gregor’s videos for years this is the 1st time commenting. I didn’t watch this video because it is easy to stray away from science-based facts in a discussion or interview. I prefer to see the evidence and be able to go back and check it out myself. If Dr Gregor is endorsing Fluoride he is clearly straying from the evidence. I’ve followed that topic for years before Nutrition.facts existed and the evidence continues to pile up against Fluoride. If he is willing to take on big tobacco and big pharm why isn’t he willing to take on the pro-Fluoride lobby. I don’t understand it.

  24. The only “pro fluoride lobby” are those like us that want to see less dental decay. There is no hidden agenda. If you have actual peer reviewed unbiased clinical evidence that demonstrates the hazards of fluoride, please present it here. We’d all like to see it. All the many many studies from unbiased researchers clearly show decreased dental decay and no increase in death or disease with water fluoridation. I personally know some of the researchers. They are just every day clinicians that yearn to know the truth. There is no secret society with big bucks bribing anyone to dump fluoride in the water supply.

    Dr. Ben

    1. “… 2009 review by the Cochrane group clearly shows that fluoride toothpaste prevents cavities, serving as a useful counterpoint to fluoridation’s uncertain benefits. Another study that year which tracked the fluoride consumption of more than 600 schoolchildren in Iowa showed there was no significant link between fluoride ingestion and tooth decay.

      Across all nine studies included in the review looking at caries reductions in children’s permanent choppers, there was evidence linking fluoridation to 26 percent decline in the prevalence of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth. But the researchers say they have serious doubts about the validity of this number. They write: “We have limited confidence in the size of this effect due to the high risk of bias within the studies and the lack of contemporary evidence.” Six of the nine studies were from before 1975, before fluoride toothpaste was widely available.

      The review also found fluoridation was associated with a 14 percent increase in the number of children without any cavities. But more than two-thirds percent of the studies showing this took place more than 40 years ago, and are not of high quality.

      Nearly all these papers were flawed in significant ways. For example, 70 percent of the cavity-reducing studies made no effort to control for important confounding factors such as dietary sources of fluoride other than tap water, diet in general (like how much sugar they consumed) or ethnicity.

      When it comes to fluoridation research, even the best studies are not high quality. Although this was already well-established, it doesn’t seem to be well-known.” https://www.newsweek.com/fluoridation-may-not-prevent-cavities-huge-study-shows-348251

  25. Dr. Ben,

    I’m a physician, not a dentist, I’m concerned with the whole person not just their teeth. High quality evidence continues to accumulate about the toxicity of fluoride to the rest of the human body, especially to the brain. That is a fact.

    I don’t have the time to get into a back and forth, or dig up the references for you. It is not hard to find the evidence for those that want to know the truth. I’m glad to see quite few a subscribers of this site are aware of the evidence, and I’m not shocked you may not know of it. In the busy world of a physician it is much easier to rely on guidelines and “expert” opinion than to dig deep and see what the evidence really is. And I found most of my colleagues unwilling to look at the evidence even when I presented it to them. Most physicians are too worried about straying from the herd.

    Elsewhere on this site, the good doctor cites the CDC endorsement of fluoride as proof of it’s safety. This appeal to authority rather than evidence deviates from his usual method of backing up his claims. At this point he needs to do a series on this topic. If he really looks into it he will be forced to change his opinion. Until that happens he has lost credibility with me.

    1. Dr. Bob: I’m a periodontist, a specialty of dentistry and, like all dentists and physicians, concerned with the whole body as well. I also practice evidenced based dentistry which is what the American Dental Association as well as the fluoride researchers ascribe to. All the available evidence we’ve seen has clearly shown no statistically significant increase in morbidity or mortality in populations ingesting fluoride in amounts that are optimal for prevention of tooth decay which, the last time I checked, is about 1PPM. As you’re well aware, this evidence (that is generally considered high quality) is all readily available and promulgated by such bodies as the ADA and the AMA. The rigors of attaining the M.D. degree or D.O. degree are such that I’m shocked that someone with one of these degrees would ever take the time to contradict high quality evidence and then make a statement like “go look it up.” Do I really need to tell you that this is not a compelling argument to those of us that are objective and interested in the facts? Surely you must know this already.

      Dr. Ben

  26. Credibility is lost by toting the party line on the known neurotoxin fluoride. There is currently a TSCA lawsuit against the US EPA over the neurotoxicity of fluoride added to public water supplies. https://momsagainstfluoridation.org/timeline http://fluoridealert.org/articles/fan-sues-epa-to-end-fluoridation/

    Fluoride has been harming blacks and the poor since it began if you read the historical documents. Fluorosis damage rates are now over 65% in teens.
    https://momsagainstfluoridation.org/historical-fluoride-documents

    If you look, there are over 150 studies that suggest neurotoxicity that have been done in the past decade.

    Here is some of the science from Harvard and the University of Toronto:

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422%2813%2970278-3/fulltext

    http://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/2017/09/higher-levels-of-fluoride-in-urine-associated-with-lower-intelligence-in-children/

    https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-led-study-finds-link-between-adhd-symptoms-and-high-fluoride-levels-during-pregnancy

  27. Flouride is a by product of aluminum processing. There is a natural form of flouride but they don’t use that. Another thing he said
    was no need to really be concerned about minerals (& trace minerals)….he must not know about the 1936 Document “Modern
    Miracle Men” which shows ionic minerals are no longer in plant foods and this causes humans certain diseases as well.
    Also, one other thing the Dr must not know that ALL common eaten seaweeds have been tested for heavy metals, pesticides, etc
    and ALL found to be contaiminated (mercury, lead, arsenic, pesticides, other toxic chemicals from factory runoff, etc)
    …….seaweed should not be consumed.

  28. I think they work well together and should have a health slot for a couple of min on the nightly news.
    National news so we can all see them.

  29. Thank you Dr. Greger and Gianna Simone. It’s a great interview ! I learnt about the right quantity of B12 and feel better sometimes not eating my greens raw. Great advice on how to share the information about the vegan diet.
    :)

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