Essential Tremor & Diet

Essential Tremor & Diet
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Neurotoxins in chicken, such as the beta-carboline alkaloid harman, may explain the link between meat consumption and hand tremor, the most common movement disorder.

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

As documented in the book The Case of the Frozen Addicts, a bad batch of so-called synthetic heroin caused, within days, what appeared to be advanced-stage Parkinson’s disease. Thanks to a chemical contaminant called MPTP, young men and women were left trapped inside their bodies, near “complete immobility and rigidity,” in some cases left only “able to move [their] eyes.”

The seminal paper ended with the silver lining that maybe this will help us find the culprit in Parkinson’s. Maybe there’s a similar substance out there killing off our brain cells. “Because of [their] structural similarity to MPTP,” attention turned to a class of chemicals called beta-carboline alkaloids, such as harman, also spelled harmane. And, indeed, higher levels of these toxins are found in the brain fluid of Parkinson’s patients.

These beta-carboline neurotoxins “have been implicated in a number of human diseases” aside from Parkinson’s disease, including “tremor, addiction and cancer.” I’ve already talked about the role of diet in both preventing, and treating Parkinson’s, but the most common movement disorder isn’t Parkinson’s; it’s what’s called “essential tremor,” affecting 1 in 25 adults over 40, and up to 1 in 5 of those in their 90s, making it “one of the most common neurological diseases.” In addition to the potentially debilitating hand tremor, there can be other “neuropsychiatric” manifestations of the diseases, including difficulty walking, “and various levels of cognitive impairment.”

Might those beta-carboline neurotoxins be playing a role? Well, “[h]armane is among the most potent [of these] tremor-producing” neurotoxins. You expose people to these chemicals, and they develop a tremor; you take it away, the tremor disappears. What if we’re exposed long-term?

Well, this recent study found that those with essential tremor have much higher levels of this toxin in their bloodstream compared to those without tremor. The highest levels are found in those who have both essential tremor and cancer—suggesting harmane may be playing a role in both diseases. And the higher the harmane levels, the worse the tremor.

How did they get exposed to these chemicals? Primarily through meat: “beef, chicken, and pork”—and fish, actually.

So, if this potent, tremor-producing neurotoxin is concentrated in “cooked muscle foods,” is meat consumption associated with higher risk of essential tremor? Men who ate the most meat in this study had 21 times the odds of essential tremor.

Just to put that in context, you go back to the original studies on smoking and lung cancer, smoking was only linked to at most like 14 times the odds, not 21.

Yes, “[h]armane…is a potent neurotoxin linked to human diseases, and “cooked meats” are the major source of exposure, but which meat? Like other heterocyclic amines, the levels may be highest in chicken.

Blood levels of this neurotoxin may shoot up within five minutes of eating meat—a slice of turkey, in this case. Five minutes? It’s not even digested by then. “[T]his rapid uptake is indicative of…significant” absorption directly through the mouth, straight into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and most importantly, bypassing the detoxifying enzymes of the liver. “This may lead to higher exposure levels in peripheral organs,” like the brain.

“Due to its high [fat] solubility, harmane accumulates in brain tissue.” And, using a fancy brain scan called “proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging,” higher harmane levels are linked to “greater metabolic dysfunction” in the brains of essential tremor sufferers.

Harmane is also found in certain heated plants, like tobacco. A broiled chicken breast has about 13 micrograms, and cigarettes average about 1, so a half-pack of cigarettes would expose us to almost as much of this neurotoxin as a serving of chicken.

Grilled salmon can have as much as chicken, though fried pork appears to be the worst—with fried reindeer not far behind, in the top five. I’d also suggest not eating too many butterflies.

Harmane is created when tobacco is burned, and also when coffee beans are roasted, though coffee intake has not been tied to increased risk (and neither has tobacco for that matter). So, it may be something else in the meat that’s to blame for the 2,000% increase in odds for this disabling brain disease.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

As documented in the book The Case of the Frozen Addicts, a bad batch of so-called synthetic heroin caused, within days, what appeared to be advanced-stage Parkinson’s disease. Thanks to a chemical contaminant called MPTP, young men and women were left trapped inside their bodies, near “complete immobility and rigidity,” in some cases left only “able to move [their] eyes.”

The seminal paper ended with the silver lining that maybe this will help us find the culprit in Parkinson’s. Maybe there’s a similar substance out there killing off our brain cells. “Because of [their] structural similarity to MPTP,” attention turned to a class of chemicals called beta-carboline alkaloids, such as harman, also spelled harmane. And, indeed, higher levels of these toxins are found in the brain fluid of Parkinson’s patients.

These beta-carboline neurotoxins “have been implicated in a number of human diseases” aside from Parkinson’s disease, including “tremor, addiction and cancer.” I’ve already talked about the role of diet in both preventing, and treating Parkinson’s, but the most common movement disorder isn’t Parkinson’s; it’s what’s called “essential tremor,” affecting 1 in 25 adults over 40, and up to 1 in 5 of those in their 90s, making it “one of the most common neurological diseases.” In addition to the potentially debilitating hand tremor, there can be other “neuropsychiatric” manifestations of the diseases, including difficulty walking, “and various levels of cognitive impairment.”

Might those beta-carboline neurotoxins be playing a role? Well, “[h]armane is among the most potent [of these] tremor-producing” neurotoxins. You expose people to these chemicals, and they develop a tremor; you take it away, the tremor disappears. What if we’re exposed long-term?

Well, this recent study found that those with essential tremor have much higher levels of this toxin in their bloodstream compared to those without tremor. The highest levels are found in those who have both essential tremor and cancer—suggesting harmane may be playing a role in both diseases. And the higher the harmane levels, the worse the tremor.

How did they get exposed to these chemicals? Primarily through meat: “beef, chicken, and pork”—and fish, actually.

So, if this potent, tremor-producing neurotoxin is concentrated in “cooked muscle foods,” is meat consumption associated with higher risk of essential tremor? Men who ate the most meat in this study had 21 times the odds of essential tremor.

Just to put that in context, you go back to the original studies on smoking and lung cancer, smoking was only linked to at most like 14 times the odds, not 21.

Yes, “[h]armane…is a potent neurotoxin linked to human diseases, and “cooked meats” are the major source of exposure, but which meat? Like other heterocyclic amines, the levels may be highest in chicken.

Blood levels of this neurotoxin may shoot up within five minutes of eating meat—a slice of turkey, in this case. Five minutes? It’s not even digested by then. “[T]his rapid uptake is indicative of…significant” absorption directly through the mouth, straight into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and most importantly, bypassing the detoxifying enzymes of the liver. “This may lead to higher exposure levels in peripheral organs,” like the brain.

“Due to its high [fat] solubility, harmane accumulates in brain tissue.” And, using a fancy brain scan called “proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging,” higher harmane levels are linked to “greater metabolic dysfunction” in the brains of essential tremor sufferers.

Harmane is also found in certain heated plants, like tobacco. A broiled chicken breast has about 13 micrograms, and cigarettes average about 1, so a half-pack of cigarettes would expose us to almost as much of this neurotoxin as a serving of chicken.

Grilled salmon can have as much as chicken, though fried pork appears to be the worst—with fried reindeer not far behind, in the top five. I’d also suggest not eating too many butterflies.

Harmane is created when tobacco is burned, and also when coffee beans are roasted, though coffee intake has not been tied to increased risk (and neither has tobacco for that matter). So, it may be something else in the meat that’s to blame for the 2,000% increase in odds for this disabling brain disease.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

I also have a couple videos about the other major tremor condition—Parkinson’s Disease: Preventing Parkinson’s Disease with Diet and Treating Parkinson’s Disease with Diet

Compounds created in cooked meats may also have implications for cancer risk:

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

55 responses to “Essential Tremor & Diet

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  1. What about the NIGHTSHADE vegetables causing tremors and movement disorders? I am surprised you have not (to my knowledge) done any in depth analysis on this website as to the detrimental role nightshade foods (potato, tomato, eggplant, tobacco, goji berry, peppers, and more) have on not just the issues you’ve brought up in today’s video but on pain disorders such as arthritis and some other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases/disorders.

    Eliminating nightshade veggies from the diet has seemed to have had a profound and positive healing effect for countless folks. Please highlight this topic in a video. Eliminating tomato’s, potato’s peppers and eggplants, for me. eliminated by 99% my knee pain. And I’m not the only one.




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    1. His videos are based on current research. He does not create the studies, just reports on what is being investigated. If you look through his videos you will find information on inflammation from potatoes – white, red and golden. He does discuss tomatoes and their benefit when cooked. He talks of red peppers and being more valuable left raw. We all have differing reactions to various foods so no one statement applies to us all. But it is a good idea when you post that, like Dr. Greger, you cite the studies where you obtained your information.




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      1. http://noarthritis.com/research.htm

        http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/link-between-nightshades-chronic-pain-and-inflammation

        Potato glycoalkaloids adversely affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel disease. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/potato-glycoalkaloids-adversely-affect-intestinal-permeability-and-aggravate

        Naturally occurring glycoalkaloids in potatoes aggravate intestinal inflammation in two mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/naturally-occurring-glycoalkaloids-potatoes-aggravate-intestinal-inflammation-two-mouse

        Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery (1993) 12:227-231.An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis http://www.noarthritis.com/research.htm

        National and State Medical Expenditures and Lost Earnings Attributable to Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions — United States, 2003http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5601a2.htm?s_cid=mm5601a2_e

        Differences in the Prevalence and Impact of Arthritis Among Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2002, 2003, and 2006http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2010/may/10_0035.htm

        Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation – United States, 2007-2009 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5939a1.htm?s_cid=mm5939a1_w

        Prevalence of and annual ambulatory health care visits for pediatric arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions in the United States in 2001-2004. Sacks JJ, Helmick CG, Luo YH, Ilowite NT, Bowyer S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=18050185&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

        Prevalence and Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults — United States, 2005http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5816a2.htm

        Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Relieving-Pain-in-America-A-Blueprint-for-Transforming-Prevention-Care-Education-Research.aspx




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        1. Personal anecdotes aside, it appears the
          nightshade-arthritis relation is unsupported by research, i.e., controlled,
          randomized studies. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/4-myths-about-nightshade-vegetables

          This study, for example, even suggests that glycoalkaloids,
          α-chaconine, α-solanine and solanidine in potatoes may reduce inflammation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23454444

          This study suggests that tomatoes are anti-inflammatory due
          to their lycopene content: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23069270

          The first link you sent, which is the basis of the greenmedinfo links, details
          a 1993 report by Dr. Childers. (I noticed that much of the nightshade fear
          stems from Childers’ papers’. He also started a nightshade-arthritis
          foundation. Reminds me somewhat of the Weston Price phenomenon.) The
          conclusions drawn by Childers were based on mail-in surveys conducted in the
          late 70s and early 80s. The “Nightshade Diet” that the respondents
          were to follow forbade tobacco use (a nightshade). The surveys did not take
          tobacco use into account. This, I find, is important, especially considering
          that tobacco use was much more prevalent back then. Perhaps their decrease in
          inflammation was cessation or reduction of tobacco products.

          http://ard.bmj.com/content/71/6/804.abstract
          http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/4/238

          The study on one of the greenmedinfo links you sent was this
          study on potatoes and possible link to irritable bowel syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12479649.
          My first hesitation about this study is that it was done on mice, not humans.
          Although testing on mice may suggest similar reactions in humans, it is not
          conclusive. Also, the mice were not fed potatoes, but were fed solanine-chaconine
          mixtures. Isolating a single compound in the lab rather than using the actual
          item we would be ingesting (here, potatoes) should not be used to vilify the potato
          and the countless phytonutrients it contains. Finally, the study suggests that
          any irritation is only seen in animals with a predisposition for IBS. Only 5-7
          percent of the human population has been diagnosed with IBS (highest %
          estimated at 20%): http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/

          Then you had a greenmed link that contained this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20198430
          This study fed deep-fried potato skins to mice. Again, it’s on mice, not humans. Second, it was deep fried. French fries are not part of a
          healthy, whole-food diet. Deep frying potatoes also results in the possible carcinogen, acrylamide. Third, solanine is concentrated in the skins of potatoes, with greenish-skinned potatoes (exposed to light) containing very high levels of solanine, and should not be eaten. It is not indicated whether the skins had green coloration. Fourth, this also deals with animals already
          susceptible to IBS. Finally, solanine has a low rate of absorption into the bloodstream, is hydrolyzed intestinally to a less toxic and poorly absorbed
          product, and has a rapid fecal and urinary excretion rate: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/plantox/detail.cfm?id=6537

          The other links you provided appear to deal with prevalence of
          arthritis, and not links to nightshades’ causing arthritis/inflammation.




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        2. ET is not a inflammation or wear and tear disorder like arthritis. ET is thought to be caused by damage to fine motor control areas of the brain. ET research does not focus on inflammation issues. Nightshades and arthritis have no known link to ET.




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    2. I’ve been vegan for the last 10 years, with great health effects but no effect on my essential tremor. Like Brenda, I would like to see a cite and also want to know how long does one have to refrain from nightshades to see a reduction in tremor?




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      1. Like you I don’t eat meat, though I’m not vegan. ET runs strongly in my family and I appear to be experiencing a typical course with it despite my diet. My initial thought was that egg or dairy might be my nemesis, but your experience suggests it may not be.

        In the end it may be that there are classes of ET cases that include those who get it no matter what, just like there are people who get lung cancer without smoking.




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        1. My mom also has this tremor, and I believe it can be caused genetically. (“Essential” basically means they don’t know, right?)




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          1. The cause is unknown. We do know that pairs of identical twins exist where one has ET and the other doesn’t. This strongly suggests are environmental component.




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          2. Hillary, Have you found in your studies that Dopamine Receptive Dystonia is a kind of Essential Tremor, or would it be a different illness altogether?




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        2. I believe I’m stable and suspect its my vegan diet. I wouldn’t assume it doesn’t work just because the ET appears irreversible.




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          1. It appeared reversible after short exposures in animals. The real question is whether it is reversible after long exposures. Perhaps there is some permanent changes/damage after long term exposure. I,too, have ET and gave up meat/fish two years ago after reading some of this research. I think my tremor has improved, but it ceratinly has not disappeared.




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      2. You can read the links posted above to Brenda for research on nightshades, and you can also check out some more of the links included here in the post for you, Hillary. Best of luck to you on your vegan journey. The people on my journey who seem to have gotten relief from tremors is by the elimination of nightshades, soy, gluten, and mushrooms, synthetic vitamins/supplementation and caffeine as well. I do feel there is enough of a reason to avoid nightshades and soy for a long stretch of time to see how you respond. Made the difference for me and lots of others. At some point I think the doubters need to understand and accept that we are not all the same, and that good folks of intact integrity are getting immense relief once they eliminate nightshades, soy, gluten, (and some of the other stuff on the list). Please, be in faith. Give it a go.

        References

        Beier, R. C. Natural pesticides and bioactive components in foods. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 1990; 113:47-137.

        Childers N.F. A relationship of arthritis to the Solanaceae (nightshades). J Intern Acad Prev Med 1979; 7:31-37

        Dalvi, R. R. and Bowie, W. C. Toxicology of solanine: an overview. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1983 Feb; 25(1):13-5.

        Hopkins, J. The glycoalkaloids: naturally of interest (but a hot potato?). Food Chem Toxicol. 1995 Apr; 33(4):323-8.

        Kubo, I. and Fukuhara, K. Steroidal glycoalkaloids in Andean potatoes. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1996; 405:405-17.

        Maga, J. A. Potato glycoalkaloids. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1980; 12(4):371-405.

        McGehee, D. S.; Krasowski, M. D.; Fung, D. L.; Wilson, B.; Gronert, G. A., and Moss, J. Cholinesterase inhibition by potato glycoalkaloids slows mivacurium metabolism. Anesthesiology. 2000 Aug; 93(2):510-9.

        Reit-Correa F, Schild AL, Mendez MC, Wasserman R, Krook L. Enzootic calcinosis in sheep caused by the ingestion of Nierembergia veitchii (Solanaceae). Pesq Vet Brazil 1987; 7:3:85-95

        Scott, P. M. and Lawrence, G. A. Losses of ergot alkaloids during making of bread and pancakes. J Agric Food Chem. 1982 May-1982 Jun 30; 30(3):445-50.

        Sheen SJ. (1988). Detection of nicotine in foods and plant mateials. J Food Sci 53(5):1572-3.

        Slanina, P. Solanine (glycoalkaloids) in potatoes: toxicological evaluation. Food Chem Toxicol. 1990 Nov; 28(11):759-61.

        Stankiewicz JN, Evans JL. Potato diet influences on tissue mineral composition in the growing rat. J Animal Sci Abstr 1980; 51:223




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        1. Another approach is to eat lots of nightshades and see if the tremor increases. In my case, and I have classic severe ET, nightshades have zero affect on it.

          None of your references appears to have any relationship to ET?




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          1. l have one patient who is now age 66 who had started to have a mild ET in right hand about 8 years ago. His father had ET fairly severely. The patient went on a plant based diet 6 years ago and his tremor gradually got better after 2 years. Now he has no tremor.




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            1. Would you suggest dietary changes for someone who has had it since childhood? I have had hand tremors since I was a baby, now at 44 I am starting to have tremors basically everywhere.




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              1. Hi Peggy,
                I would start with the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine. Go to their website… http://www.PCRM.org and download their Vegetarian Starter Kit… http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit and sign up for a Kick Start program.. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs/. These programs are free. You might even be able to find a Food for Life Instructor in your area. Another resource is John McDougall’s website which has is also free. There are free educational video’s, recipes and newsletter articles. Of course you need to keep tuned to NutritionFacts.org as the science keeps coming. Hope this helps both you and your mom.




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      3. I’ve been vegan 8 years. My ET is still very pronounced, but I don’t think I’m getting worse. I grow a lot of veggies including a lot of tomatoes and potatoes and eat a lot of them. They have no effect on my ET.




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      4. Hillary, I have been having a vibration sensation occasionally for years, discovered it was associated with MSG (monosodium glutamate). Listed under other names also. A new hidden MSG is in modified corn or food starch and also maltodextrin. You may find this link helpful. Also, nutra sweet give me problems also, like numb limbs and head aches. God Bless in your search. http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/261-understanding-foods-labeled-modified-what-is-modified-food-starch-and-should-it-be-avoided.html?fb_action_ids=1441238526152119&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%221441238526152119%22%3A10150151670615950%7D&action_type_map=%7B%221441238526152119%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D




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        1. My teenaged daughter has tremors when she eats MSG or aspartame and is going through tests right now to find out what else may be causing them. It’s frustrating and frightening for a young person to have this problem and not know why.




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      5. I am a strict vegetarian and I don’t drink milk or eat any dairy products. I haven’t seen any reduction of my Essential Tremors. Drinking wine helps, but I can’t live on wine nor drink too much of it.




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      6. Me too. Vegan for 3 years, eliminated every other problem I had except the tremor. My diet is not perfect. I do eat a ton of veggies, fruits, and legumes. I also bake a lot, with all the different sugars, I still eat oil (in small amounts), real chocolate, and I drink caffeine. I do notice the tremor gets better if I cut my caffeine, but it does not go away. I have tried cutting out alliums, that didn’t help. Cut out nightshades, that did not help. (I have since added both back in) I have found a way to “band-aid” my tremor with a very specific strain of medical cannabis oil.(Unfortunately this oil is not yet available to the public, i was lucky enough to try it from its creator as he is still perfecting the ratios of chemical compounds) As excited as I was to find something that helps so I can go to the store without shaking, I want it cured, not just suppressed. Anyone have other ideas? I am starting to look into the experiments with hallucinogenic mushrooms and other psychoactive compounds in low doses, which I think might be something for us all to check into. (Safely, and thoroughly, of course!)




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        1. I forgot to add- my entire family has this disease. It is worse in the women. One possible causal factor that we all share other than our genetics, is environmental pollutants. I was raised in Lewiston, Idaho. It is down in a valley, with a paper products mill, a lot of conventional wheat farming, and most of the trees have been removed. The air is crap, the water is worse, and I wasn’t able to breathe without medications until I moved away at age 27. Women think miscarriage and birth defects are normal there, most miscarry 5 times before delivering a healthy baby, and this is at young healthy ages! In my own family, our hobbies may be adding to things. Every summer is spent out in the beautiful woods mining for gold. In the early days the miners used mercury and left much of it behind to pollute the waters. My dad still has big bottles of it sitting on shelves in the house where my nephews are now being raised. Where I was raised. I handled mercury a lot growing up, without knowing to be careful. Dad said don’t eat it, so we didn’t. We have been collecting it for years because we were taught it was dangerous and we didn’t want the fish to get hurt. Now I think we were idiots. We all also have emalgam fillings. I might be wrong about all of this. But in my family we have all tried different methods to treat this so we all eat different, some have done accupuncture and other alternatives, none of us can eliminate it. My sister curbed hers with alcohol, and I curbed mine with cannabis. Other than that nothing changes for us.




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    3. Nightshades can have a huge effect on body inflammation anyone with a form of disease needs to stop inflammation foods one of them being night shades. I hope people know about dr wahls book and how she reversed her MS symptoms by diet. Also there is a huge play in water fasting and the activation of stem cells. B12 must be taken also in high doses and correct forms too.

      I would start with liver twice a week to lower tremors.




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      1. ET is NOT an inflammation disease. It involves damage to the brain and fine motor control signals. I’ve had it for decades and I have no inflammatory conditions at all.. Even in my mid fifties I can downhill ski with ease and run every day.




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    1. Harmalas are not fat soluble. In food they exist inthe salt form and would be readily dissolved in hot water during the brewing process.




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  2. Dr Greger: If “harmain is produced when coffee is roasted, though coffee intake has not been tied to increased risk”, does the study cite the average level that ends up in a cup of coffee?




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  3. I’ve had essential tremor (mostly in one hand) for a few years–all while eating vegetarian. I do notice coffee makes the shaking worse if I have more than one cup. I always thought this was due to the usual caffeine induced “jitters” but now I’m wondering . . .




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    1. Due to my age…over 65…I do eat meat but currently keep this down to beef and salmon for the most part….mostly never fried or broiled…just boiled. A solution for a higher protein intake for older people might be extra amino acids like arginine and ornithine…I intend to start taking a few grams a day in order to increase protein intake hopefully without the negative side effects. The positive effects from this might be increased muscle mass.




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      1. Hi Bob, lets find out more, if you don’t mind:

        1. How many grams of protein are you trying to ingest? You can reach healthy level without the meat/poultry and their potential side effects. Actually cellular inflammation aids in the loss of muscle mass as we age so it is even more important to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fatty acids, cholesterol, and total fat in the diet by eating fewer animal products and more plant foods.

        2. What is your goal for muscle mass?

        3. Are you doing strength training type exercise?

        4. What do you hope to gain from supplementing with extra amino acids?

        5. Do you have a study showing the benefits of supplementation specific for building muscle mass? If so please share so I can be informed. This is what I have for your consideration: Arginine is necessary for children, but usually not adults. Arginine is also one of the most common amino acid supplements, along with lycine and tryptophan, but beneficial effects of oral supplementation have not been proven. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24791918

        Ornithine is called a nonessential amino acid because your body can manufacture it. It is a nonprotein amino acid (not used to create proteins) that is an intermediate of the urea cycle, and provision of ornithine to a cell is actually the rate limiting step of the cycle. There is currently one study using ornithine paired with arginine that noted improvements in lean mass and power output in weightlifters, but this is an old study that has not been replicated and its practical relevance is uncertain.

        So eating eating whole plant foods will give you all you need – unless you have a specific medical condition that interferes.

        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/protein-intake-and-igf-1-production/

        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-bodybuilding/

        http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=protein




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  4. I’ve had ET for over 35 years-13 of them pretty severe. I’ve been a hard core vegan for 8 years, including 2 years where I ate only raw fruit and green leafy vegetables. I seem to be stable, that is not progressing, but very much still have the tremors.

    If harmane is a principal cause, merely not eating it does not appear sufficient to reverse essential tremors.




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      1. Yes. But the eight I’ve been vegan have been better than the 5 before it. Veganism helps very noticeably, but so far it has not reversed most or all the symptoms. Merely not getting worse is a major accomplishment with ET.




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  5. Is there any nutrition studies on restless leg syndrome? I can’t find anything in Dr Greger’s site at this time. Love the work he does! Thank you.




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    1. I haven’t been able to find much on that either. I had RLS when I played video games a lot. When I started eating plant based my energy went up so i went outside and exercised and played less video games and mine is gone now. I have a friend who says his is excruciating if he lets his vitamin D get low or doesn’t hydrate enough. I think it can be different for all of us.




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  6. I wouldn’t argue that a vegetarian diet isn’t better in general than a meat based diet, but in this aspect, the data out there isn’t that convincing yet. Two important studies were left out of the video. One study showed no correlation between blood harmane levels and animal protein consumption in patients with essential tremor.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16087903 The authors later parsed it out for men and women and found a correlation for male patients and animal protein consumption, but not for women. Even for the men, the standard deviations (the differences in consumption within the male patient group) are huge, and it’s not clear that just because statistical significance was (barely) reached, that the effect is biologically meaningful.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18382115




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  7. the problem is that if the essential tremor is linked to necrosis/apoptosis of particular neurons (that causes the tremor), once they died… well, i really don’t know how to repair the damage… it may be to late to save them… but i do not study this issue yet so i could be wrong…




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  8. I am a 74 year old white male, with no adverse medical problems, except elevated BP, and a left hand tremor. My father had it in his right hand. I used to consume some form of red meat, chicken, fish at least 5 times per week. This tremor began when I was about age 45. Two months ago, I decided to wage a war on my BP and hand tremor. I stopped all meat, chicken and fish, and have gone onto a whole plant foods diet, actually a life style, as I plan to do this for the rest of my days. My blood pressure which was elevated even with medications (2 of them) is now 122/76 and going down ! My hand tremor is about 50 % better. I just wanted to share my observations on myself with your audience Dr. Greger. You are the one whom have taught me to do this by your lectures and fantastic videos. I think in due course I will be able to eliminate my BP meds, and probably my hand tremor will eventually be perhaps 90 % gone. Not bad for a 74 year old medical and cancer researcher ! By the way, I also exercise in a gym, for one hour, 7 days per week, and have been doing this for the last 40 years, so that I stay active physically.




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  9. Hi, I have what I understand to be a genetic “familial” or “essential” tremor, as did my dad. When I first developed it (in my 50’s), I was a coffee drinker–not even that much coffee, as I mixed regular and decaf as well as periodic teas containing caffeine. I switched to all decaf (coffee and tea) and the tremor has been almost entirely gone ever since. (I thought I wouldn’t survive without caffeine but I find the taste and experience of drinking decaf coffee and tea does the trick, and even though there is some caffeine in decaf, it doesn’t affect my tremor). BTW I consume soy products, nightshade foods, etc. and they don’t bring on the tremor at all.




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  10. I see that medications can cause non-Parkinson’s tremors, and I would like to learn more about this, since in the nursing homes drugs are prescribed by the chart without ever seeing the person.




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  11. I posted this in another forum but have not seen any response and trying this one.

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

    Any advice on this issue?

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