Flashback Friday: Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression

Flashback Friday: Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression
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If depression can be induced with pro-inflammatory drugs, might an anti-inflammatory diet be effective in preventing and treating mood disorders?

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Depression affects more than 150 million people worldwide, making it a leading cause of losing healthy years of life as a result of disability. In fact, by 2020, depression may be the second leading cause of healthy years of life lost, second only to heart disease. Why is depression so common? Well, it is said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” But, why would we evolve to get depressed?

Depression poses a baffling evolutionary puzzle. It has such negative effects, but remains so common and heritable, meaning a big chunk of risk is passed down through our genes. So, there must be some kind of adaptive benefit. Otherwise, presumably, it would have been naturally selected against. Maybe, depression is an evolutionary strategy for defense against infection.

Infection has been the leading cause of mortality throughout human history. The average life expectancy was 25, and it was not uncommon for half our kids to die. With such stark capabilities, infection has been a critical and potent driving force in natural selection.

When we become infected, there is a surge of inflammation as our body mounts a counterattack, and then what happens? We feel lousy. We feel sick.  We get weak, tired, slow, and sleepy. We don’t see anyone; we don’t want to do anything; all we want to do is sleep. It’s like we’re depressed—and that’s great for fighting infection. Not only does that help us conserve energy so we can put up a good fight, but it reduces social contact. We’re not running around infecting everyone.

It’s the same reason we evolved to think poop doesn’t smell good, or decaying flesh. That keeps us safe from infection. In fact, we see this phenomenon with other social animals, like honeybees and mole rats, who feel impelled to crawl off and die alone when they get sick, which reduces the risk to the rest of the community.

The relationship between mental health and inflammation was first noted in 1887, for which the only psychiatrist to ever win the award got a Nobel Prize. But what evidence have we accumulated in the century since that inflammation causes depression? Well, people who are depressed have raised inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, and inflammatory illnesses are associated with greater rates of major depression. Indeed, that’s what’s found in a variety of inflammatory conditions including more benign inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and allergies. And, that’s important, suggesting the mood symptoms are not simply ‘feeling bad about having a terrible disease,’ but may be directly tied to the inflammation. Most powerfully, you can actually induce depression by inducing inflammation, like when we give interferon for certain cancers or chronic infections—up to 50% go on to suffer major depression. Even just giving a vaccine can cause enough inflammation to trigger depressive symptoms. Taken together, these studies are strongly suggestive of inflammation being a causative factor of mood symptoms.

So, can an anti-inflammatory diet help prevent depression? We didn’t know, until about 43,000 women without depression were followed, along with their diets, for about a dozen years to see who became depressed, and it was those who ate a more inflammatory dietary pattern, characterized by more soda, refined grains and meat, suggesting that chronic inflammation may underlie the association between diet and depression. Normally, we think of omega-3’s as anti-inflammatory, but they found fish to be pro-inflammatory, associated with increased C-reactive protein levels consistent with recent findings that omega-3’s don’t seem to help with either depression or inflammation. The most anti-inflammatory diet is a plant-based diet, which can cut C-reactive protein levels by 30% within two weeks, perhaps because of the anti-inflammatory properties of antioxidants.

I’ve talked about this before, but never explained why antioxidants are anti-inflammatory. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals may cause an autoimmune response in the body by changing the chemical structure of otherwise ubiquitous molecules to generate new structures that the body attacks as foreign. For example, when LDL cholesterol gets oxidized, our body creates antibodies against it and attacks it. And, so, clinical depression can be accompanied by increased oxidative stress and the autoimmune inflammatory responses it creates.

Where else does inflammation come from in our diet? Endotoxins. It’s worth reviewing how the endotoxins in animal products can cause a burst of inflammation within hours of consumption. What does that do to our mood? If you inject endotoxin into people, within a few hours, inflammation shoots up, and so do feelings of depression, as well as feelings of social disconnection from people.

Although previous research has demonstrated that inflammatory activity contributes to depressive symptoms, no work in humans has examined the effect of experimentally induced inflammation on anhedonia, the lack of reaction to pleasurable stimuli, a key diagnostic feature of depression.  No work has been done, that is, until now.  Within hours of endotoxin hitting their bloodstream, these experimental subjects not only started to feel depressed, but they had significant reductions in activity in the reward center of the brain. They were less excited about winning money playing video games, for example, in the study.

But by eliminating animal products, and eating antioxidant rich diets, we may be able to prevent or treat depression.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Ars Electronica via Flickr.

Depression affects more than 150 million people worldwide, making it a leading cause of losing healthy years of life as a result of disability. In fact, by 2020, depression may be the second leading cause of healthy years of life lost, second only to heart disease. Why is depression so common? Well, it is said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” But, why would we evolve to get depressed?

Depression poses a baffling evolutionary puzzle. It has such negative effects, but remains so common and heritable, meaning a big chunk of risk is passed down through our genes. So, there must be some kind of adaptive benefit. Otherwise, presumably, it would have been naturally selected against. Maybe, depression is an evolutionary strategy for defense against infection.

Infection has been the leading cause of mortality throughout human history. The average life expectancy was 25, and it was not uncommon for half our kids to die. With such stark capabilities, infection has been a critical and potent driving force in natural selection.

When we become infected, there is a surge of inflammation as our body mounts a counterattack, and then what happens? We feel lousy. We feel sick.  We get weak, tired, slow, and sleepy. We don’t see anyone; we don’t want to do anything; all we want to do is sleep. It’s like we’re depressed—and that’s great for fighting infection. Not only does that help us conserve energy so we can put up a good fight, but it reduces social contact. We’re not running around infecting everyone.

It’s the same reason we evolved to think poop doesn’t smell good, or decaying flesh. That keeps us safe from infection. In fact, we see this phenomenon with other social animals, like honeybees and mole rats, who feel impelled to crawl off and die alone when they get sick, which reduces the risk to the rest of the community.

The relationship between mental health and inflammation was first noted in 1887, for which the only psychiatrist to ever win the award got a Nobel Prize. But what evidence have we accumulated in the century since that inflammation causes depression? Well, people who are depressed have raised inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, and inflammatory illnesses are associated with greater rates of major depression. Indeed, that’s what’s found in a variety of inflammatory conditions including more benign inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and allergies. And, that’s important, suggesting the mood symptoms are not simply ‘feeling bad about having a terrible disease,’ but may be directly tied to the inflammation. Most powerfully, you can actually induce depression by inducing inflammation, like when we give interferon for certain cancers or chronic infections—up to 50% go on to suffer major depression. Even just giving a vaccine can cause enough inflammation to trigger depressive symptoms. Taken together, these studies are strongly suggestive of inflammation being a causative factor of mood symptoms.

So, can an anti-inflammatory diet help prevent depression? We didn’t know, until about 43,000 women without depression were followed, along with their diets, for about a dozen years to see who became depressed, and it was those who ate a more inflammatory dietary pattern, characterized by more soda, refined grains and meat, suggesting that chronic inflammation may underlie the association between diet and depression. Normally, we think of omega-3’s as anti-inflammatory, but they found fish to be pro-inflammatory, associated with increased C-reactive protein levels consistent with recent findings that omega-3’s don’t seem to help with either depression or inflammation. The most anti-inflammatory diet is a plant-based diet, which can cut C-reactive protein levels by 30% within two weeks, perhaps because of the anti-inflammatory properties of antioxidants.

I’ve talked about this before, but never explained why antioxidants are anti-inflammatory. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals may cause an autoimmune response in the body by changing the chemical structure of otherwise ubiquitous molecules to generate new structures that the body attacks as foreign. For example, when LDL cholesterol gets oxidized, our body creates antibodies against it and attacks it. And, so, clinical depression can be accompanied by increased oxidative stress and the autoimmune inflammatory responses it creates.

Where else does inflammation come from in our diet? Endotoxins. It’s worth reviewing how the endotoxins in animal products can cause a burst of inflammation within hours of consumption. What does that do to our mood? If you inject endotoxin into people, within a few hours, inflammation shoots up, and so do feelings of depression, as well as feelings of social disconnection from people.

Although previous research has demonstrated that inflammatory activity contributes to depressive symptoms, no work in humans has examined the effect of experimentally induced inflammation on anhedonia, the lack of reaction to pleasurable stimuli, a key diagnostic feature of depression.  No work has been done, that is, until now.  Within hours of endotoxin hitting their bloodstream, these experimental subjects not only started to feel depressed, but they had significant reductions in activity in the reward center of the brain. They were less excited about winning money playing video games, for example, in the study.

But by eliminating animal products, and eating antioxidant rich diets, we may be able to prevent or treat depression.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Ars Electronica via Flickr.

133 responses to “Flashback Friday: Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression

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      1. The problem here is the idea of what constitutes an anti-inflammatory diet is defined differently depending upon who you read, and also what the food actually does inside of individual people. For tons of people grains and beans are very inflammatory, and I am one of them. Full of lectins and molds that for many people are very reactive including, again, for me. For others beans may be just what they need. I do not agree with Dr. Greger in the video that Omega 3 fish and oils are inflammatory. There are too many other studies out there that show the opposite. They act as an anti-inflammatory in me and many others, and the biochemical pathways for making anti-inflammatory prostaglandins support that view.

        One man’s meat is always another man’s poison.

    1. Not only the Daily Dozen. A Whole Food Plant Based diet WFPB. Read “How Not to Die” by Dr. Greger. Or “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall. Or “UnDo It” by Dr. Dean Ornish. Or “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Or “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell. They all prescribe exactly the same thing. A Whole Food Plant Based diet. Good luck.

    2. Great information about inflammation. It makes sense that people who are depressed are sick physically in some way and don’t even know it.
      I have to say that we did not evolve this way. We were made this way by an ingenious designer. We were designed, not by evolution, but by God the creator.

        1. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46: 9, 10 [KJV]

          “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29 [KJV]

          The Mists of Time / Total Onslaught – Walter Veith
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPQjYqk_mI8&list=PL95B1BB23B7A3C795&index=4

          http://www.remnantofgod.org/books/docs/antichrist.pdf

        2. I found the video valuable, but I guess I didn’t need the lesson on evolution. I personally don’t subscribe to the theory.

          Have you ever noticed that Darwinists (not referring to Dr. Greger here) continually foist this speculative theory on us as if it were a fact, yet no one (not even Dawkins) has ever adduced a single empirical proof defending macro-evolution. There is not a shred of empirical proof supporting phyletic gradualism (the sine qua non of Darwin’s general theory of descent through modification) leading to macro-evolution. Yet the proponents have been forth-telling it as truth since we were kids. Here I’m not referring to bacteria morphing into drug-resistant bacteria (a variation of the same kind of organism) or Darwin’s finches adapting to different island climates (still a finch) or Abert’s squirrels morphing into Kaibab squirrels on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (still a squirrel). I’m talking about the Neo-Darwinist doctrine of macro-evolution, i.e., descent with modification that produces another “kind” of creature. Even 150 years after Darwin the fossil record continues to be a pathetic witness to phyletic gradualism, as is the ongoing classification of living creatures on the earth today, as are the more modern protein/nucleic acid sequence studies conducted by molecular biologists. All these studies point to stasis, perpetuation of the same kind of organism, and gaps between the kinds of organisms. Stasis and gaps are the opposite of what Darwin predicted.

          Again… there is not a shred of empirical proof that men evolved from australopithecines, apes, or the fabled Homo habilis. “Empirical” means observational, verifiable, reproducible experimentation and outcomes. Empirical conclusions are not substantiated by speculation, circular reasoning, and leaky syllogisms (the only three tools in the evolutionist’s toolbox since Darwin).

          There are only three possible explanations for the origin of species (or anything else, for that matter): 1. Divine intervention (teleology), 2. pantheism (somehow Nature has the miraculous ability to self-create design and innovation contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics), or 3. Darwin. Darwinism is a humanist religion that attempts to explain origins without referring to the supernatural. Fine, if that is what you want, but realize there is not a shred of empirical proof to support it.

          For further investigation I refer you to Bergman, Meyer, Behe, Lubenow, Johnson, Ashton, and even the agnostic Michael Denton.

      1. David,

        I am going to say that I am a Christian and I believe in design, too, and that every evolution video, that is the first thought which crosses my mind.

        I am not against natural selection, but I don’t believe in design without a Designer. sir Isaac Newton once made a model of the solar system and his friend asked, “Who made that?” And he pointed out that his friend believed there was a designer because of the design, but the friend didn’t see the level of design in the universe itself.

        Tom, he is responding to the video and that is okay.

        1. Deb

          He is responding with a personal statement of an unscientific belief. Evolution is a scentific fact. Even most religious types accept that evolution is a fact.

          This is a site about science not about unscientific beliefs. There are plenty of other sites catering for weird and wonderful belief systems. However, if people insist on stating their personal beliefs here, I see no reason why I shouldn’t present mine also.

          Personally, I think all religions are ridiculous fairy stories which shouldn’t fool a bright ten-year old. Freud thought religious beliefs were a form of neurosis (see his ‘Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices’) while a modern neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky sees them as a mental illness
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJM5mipwebw&t=4s

          George Carlin sums it up quite nicely
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r-e2NDSTuE

          Now this sort of thing is all every interesting, and people’s beliefs still continue to amaze me despite having been aound for almost 70 years, but really shouldn’t we be focusing on scientific facts and evidence? Evolution is a scientific fact, whereas opinions to the contrary are not.

          1. The theories of those psychologists are not scientific fact. A wise man once said that I can analyze why the diagonal of a right triangle is the square root of the sum of the square of the other sides, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I could also psychoanalyze atheist beliefs, although I probably wouldn’t waste my time.

            I think hidden under the comment to which you responded was as follows: You can’t reverse engineer evolution. There are plenty of evolutionary “blunders” i.e. Tay Sachs Syndrome etc. so you cannot conclusively say that because a trait exists (or is wide-spread) that it is of evolutionary advantage.

            If I thought it would be advantageous to continue this discussion, I would ask you if someone were to post something about some of the parts of evolutionary theory that were not scientifically verifiable, would you psychoanalyze it and point out that it was not scientifically verifiable?

                1. AA

                  It’s quite obvious that you don’t since you wrote about ‘evolutionary blunders’ and widespread traits which offer no evolutionary advantage. Such language displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

                  In any case, using your own logic, in the absence of evolution, wouldn’t things like Tay Sachs syndrome constitute blunders by whichever creator god you favour?

                  1. 1) I will ask again: How so? I humbly encourage you in your answer to not take my words out of context i.e. your criticism and my response to it.

                    2) If you are genuinely interested, I would be happy to supply you the names of some books to read if you provide me your e-mail.

                    All the best.

          2. TG, all you are doing (once again) is forth-telling the gospel of Darwin instead of providing what I asked for – the very gravamen of my complaint against trenchant, outspoken evolutionists. Your diatribe is the classic response of all disciples of Darwin when someone challenges the veracity of his theory: you resort to ad hominem assaults against the challenger personally or against people of faith in general. This is hardly convincing.

            Your claims are vacuous until you can adduce proof for the theory. I claim a finch will always be a finch; a squirrel will never morph into a lemur, even if given hundreds of millions of years to do it. The burden of proof to the contrary rests with evolutionists. Please stop telling us the theory is true until you can provide empirical proof for it.

    3. But I know people who became severely more depressed after going vegan
      I am certain going vegan didn’t cause it, but neither was it a cure.

      I love being vegan but too many extraordinary claims for it. Clearly it is very beneficial for heart, bringing down cholesterol, cancer fighting , among others

      Depression?
      Slowing down Parkinson’s by eating more peppers, eggplant and tomatoes?
      And if each of these claims are true – important to eat lots of leafy greens for cancer and calcium, plus tons of eggplant to prevent PD for example – plus lots of beans generally for protein – this is more food then anyone could stuff down their throats

      1. Check out choline (neurotransmitter acetylcholine). Some people may have less than others in the brain (brain barrier). Too much or too low can cause depression. Chickpeas are a good source. Too much choline is bad (TMAO, cancer). But if a person suffers from depression, it could be good shot to try.

      2. Veganism includes oreo cookies, french fries and soda. These are deadly. Eating an unprocessed vegan diet has universally been a mood elevator for all the people that I know including my patients, just like the studies confirm.

        Dr. Ben

    1. Not paying attention to news on TV might indicate that a persons invests more time into themselves, their lives and lives of their family. That is what ultimately matters!
      I wouldn’t call it ignorance, but rather deliberate detachment.

        1. Spring, I like that you put that video.

          Not learning to cook generally is why people do processed foods and restaurant food and fast food.

          Not having time to cook is another.

          I have been cooking daily for the past month and I am exhausted from it. Mentally, from trying to figure out what to cook every night and physically because working full-time and cooking 2 meals every day, plus prep and clean up and grocery shopping has been seriously exhausting.

          I feel like I expect to breakthrough eventually, but I know that when I get home, after grocery shopping, it is closer to 8 pm before I eat dinner and then I have clean up. Cooking distinct lunches takes me an hour before work every morning and trying to do the breakfast meal, too it is all challenging.

          I am going to keep doing it because of my brother’s health but it is so time-consuming and I tried something that called itself a 15 minute recipe one day and it took me an hour, so I am running into work and it just Isn’t as easy as putting an Amy’s non-dairy burrito in a microwave.

          1. My husband and I have been using a WFPB meal prep program. ( You can find many online… we use “Purple Carrot”) They send the food along with recipes. Dinner usually takes about 30 minutes now and it’s always tasty. It saves the shopping and some but not all of of prep work . It’s great for us because he is willing to follow the recipe’s directions (but not mine of course). Now he is doing most of our cooking. It is not cheap but it is easy and does save time and keeps me from overbuying food at the grocery store— so maybe I do save $ in the long run. Might be worth a try.

            1. Karen,

              I’m pleased that your finding the online food prep program to be effective. As part of the process I’d encourage you to consider an organic option which is only available from 2 firms, both of which go the distance with organic and non-GMO products.

              I tried a commercial delivery firm and found it to be more time consuming and not the quality of products we have locally. I also wonder how sustainable the process when you consider the amount of packing materials, even if recyclable, which were substantial.

              I’d like to suggest that we found that by making it a part of our lifestyle we both shop locally, prepare foods from fresher sources with a bit more shopping and spend only a tad more kitchen time which can be very enjoyable. Also the portion sizing did not allow us to make batches for the week which in retrospect is a great way to insure we use more of the products, less waste and there’s always something easily available when pressed for time.

              I do appreciate the following of the directions issue… perhaps consider getting him a “graduate” gift of Dr. Greger’s How Not to Die Cookbook ? Overall easy to follow and generally really great tasting fare.

              Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

        2. As a sufferer of depression for most of my life (I am now 66), I am so grateful to Dr. Greger for bringing this information about depression to the public forum. I was diagnosed with major depression years ago. I took anti-depressants, SNRI type, with good results, meaning I could function normally as a counselor and handle working full-time. I experienced every symptom of depression – anhedonia, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, and though I would never commit suicide, I had continual thoughts of wanting to be free, finally, from the black hole of depression. Fast forward to today. I am totally free of depression. I am totally vegan, whole-food, plant-based. I believe that depression is curable through diet. I tried everything, trust me. I spend a fortune on brain simulators, lasers, self-hypnosis, medications, etc. There is only one cure for depression and it is available to everyone. It is a pant-based, whole food diet. I thank you, Dr. Greger, for finally being the brave one who brings truth to the light, despite all the opposition of the medical field, the pharmaceutical companies, and all those who profit by the sickness of people. You are a gift to the world.

          1. I am so glad it all worked for you in your life and you have reaped the results you sought. Certainly wfpb eating is beneficial healthwise for most people, and of course the animals, but I agree with Deborah, above that the benefits are often oversold. It is not a shortcut to nirvana that’s for sure. I have not seen an improvement in depression or anxiety, not with any particular food, or the diet as a whole. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels have gone way up. I recommend this way of eating to those who ask me about it, but I do not make exaggerated claims as to what it can do. (Some of the plant based doctors do a good job of that as it is)

      1. Thomas,

        I think you are right.

        I have been watching PBS for the past few years instead of cable and looking at history, we have it made.

        We are mostly in wealthy societies with modern amenities, with good and clothing and beds to sleep on with medical care and nutrition and food.

        Most of us are not living in war zones or poverty. Most of us can read and write and have leisure time and families and friends and use of our bodies.

        We are blessed of the blessed of the blessed.

        The rest is often wrong focus.

        I watched a movie on the Wurmbrand’s last year and they lived through the Holicaust and then Russia persecuted them and Richard Wurmbrand spent something like 13 years being abused in prison for his faith after having lived through the Holocaust and I thought, if I get wrong focused, I can get moody over ice on the ground or something on the news and he kept his positive attitude while being beaten every day and while his friends were being murdered.

        We get depressed over tiny things and it may be because we haven’t lived through seriously big things.

        1. When my uncle was dying of cancer he spoke about the times we live in.

          When he was young they did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. When he was young they slept three children per bed and didn’t have much food and didn’t have enough clothing for all the children to go to school.

          He talked about how we had it so made, as if we were the luckiest people in the universe for having things like heat and lights and air conditioning and televisions and stores that were open 24 hours a day and cars and planes and long seasons without war and people living longer lives with access to medical care. He was dying and had trigeminal neuralgia and brain cancer, but he had lived through times when you had leadership like Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin and the Emporer of Japan and when half of the sons of our town were going to go to Iwo Jima and times where so many black people were being lynched and couldn’t vote and were treated worse than animals and so many people died from the flu that they didn’t think anyone would survive.

          All that and all of the people in my life who had lived through so much were the least depressed generation I have ever met.

          Part of it has to be focus and attitude and gratitude.

  1. Great video! It reminds me of the orchid hypothesis. It’s a relatively new theory that genes associated with a stronger tendency towards depression, anxiety, ADHD, aggression, and antisocial behavior, actually cause their carriers to be more sensitive to environmental cues in general. In optimal environments carriers of stress-sensitive genes seem to be higher functioning than carriers of more protective genes.

    This is an article from The Atlantic that gives a broad overview of some initial findings:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/12/the-science-of-success/307761/

    1. Would you say that they look at the world as more hostile and as a threat than gregarious happy people? That certainly makes sense, and if it compounded by other sources such as diet, or sunlight or toxins, or alcohol, that would also seem logical.

      1. David,

        A few years ago, when I researched the brain, a study said that people who come from more hostile backgrounds as children have their brain grow to have different levels of the happy neurotransmitter receptors and more of the fight or flight/excitability neurotransmitters and receptors.

        I am using those words instead of fewer receptos for the types of receptors that happier people have.

        Not their fault if they don’t have things like GABA and Serotonin receptors.

        I came from abuse and had a dark mind, but honestly, between my Christian disciplines and changes to my diet and being post-menopausal, I don’t feel like I have much darkness or negativity anymore.

        Diet prevents PTSD and stops prisoners from being violent and stops psych ward patients who have actively attempted suicide from doing it again.

        I don’t think my depression was genetic almost at all. The fact that it went away without medicines made me believe that I had nutritional deficiencies for one.

  2. I found the video valuable, but I guess I didn’t need the lesson on evolution. I personally don’t subscribe to the theory.

    Have you ever noticed that Darwinists (not referring to Dr. Greger here) continually foist this speculative theory on us as if it were a fact, yet no one (not even Dawkins) has ever adduced a single empirical proof defending macro-evolution. There is not a shred of empirical proof supporting phyletic gradualism (the sine qua non of Darwin’s general theory of descent through modification) leading to macro-evolution. Yet the proponents have been forth-telling it as truth since we were kids. Here I’m not referring to bacteria morphing into drug-resistant bacteria (a variation of the same kind of organism) or Darwin’s finches adapting to different island climates (still a finch) or Abert’s squirrels morphing into Kaibab squirrels on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (still a squirrel). I’m talking about the Neo-Darwinist doctrine of macro-evolution, i.e., descent with modification that produces another “kind” of creature. Even 150 years after Darwin the fossil record continues to be a pathetic witness to phyletic gradualism, as is the ongoing classification of living creatures on the earth today, as are the more modern protein/nucleic acid sequence studies conducted by molecular biologists. All these studies point to stasis, perpetuation of the same kind of organism, and gaps between the kinds of organisms. Stasis and gaps are the opposite of what Darwin predicted.

    Again… there is not a shred of empirical proof that men evolved from australopithecines, apes, or the fabled Homo habilis. “Empirical” means observational, verifiable, reproducible experimentation and outcomes. Empirical conclusions are not substantiated by speculation, circular reasoning, and leaky syllogisms (the only three tools in the evolutionist’s toolbox since Darwin).

    There are only three possible explanations for the origin of species (or anything else, for that matter): 1. Divine intervention (teleology), 2. pantheism (somehow Nature has the miraculous ability to self-create design and innovation contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics), or 3. Darwin. Darwinism is a humanist religion that attempts to explain origins without referring to the supernatural. Fine, if that is what you want, but realize there is not a shred of empirical proof to support it.

    For further investigation I refer you to Bergman, Meyer, Behe, Lubenow, Johnson, Ashton, and even the agnostic Michael Denton.

    1. Darwin was part of the Eugenics society too.

      I always wondered why the apes and monkeys didn’t evolve. Did they get stuck in an evolutionary time warp?

      1. JV, “the apes and monkeys” are as evolutionarily advanced as we are. So are cockroaches, bacteria, in fact all currently living creatures. Though we may have shared a common ancestor with monkeys and apes, we have all diverged from that ancestor and are all different from it and from each other, though the differences are a matter of degree. This is similar to how we differ from that little mammalian ancestor that lived with dinosaurs (though here the difference are much larger).

        And we are all still evolving; you didn’t think that evolution had stopped, did you? Some relatively recent human traits include lactose tolerance, acquired about 7,000 years ago in northern Europeans (and separately in some African populations), and the gene(s) for blue eyes, acquired sometime between 6,000 – 10,000 years ago.

        The fact that Darwin was part of the Eugenics society does not make his theory of evolution wrong, though it makes him more disappointing as a person to me. But I am viewing him from 150 years later; social values and policies have changed since then.

        1. Maybe it,s like this ,
          If you think you evolved from a monkey , maybe you did.
          If you think you didn,t maybe you did not .
          My guess it is not overly important , if you don,t want to die prematurely you will still need to eat those beans.

      2. JV,
        It always pays to check your assumptions when you are mystified by something “being” a certain way. In fact there is evidence that chimpanzees have evolved faster than humans.

        https://www.technologyreview.com/s/407705/chimps-are-more-evolved-than-humans/
        “Chimps Are More Evolved than Humans
        “A comparison of thousands of human and chimpanzee genes suggests that chimps have actually evolved more since the two
        species parted from a common ancestor approximately five million years ago,”
        ____________________
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5035889/
        “Variation in the molecular clock of primates

        Motivated by these considerations, we analyze whole genomes from 10 primate species, including Old World Monkeys (OWMs), New World Monkeys (NWMs), and apes, focusing on putatively neutral autosomal sites and controlling for possible effects of biased gene conversion and methylation at CpG sites. We find that substitution rates are up to 64% higher in lineages leading from the hominoid–NWM ancestor to NWMs than to apes. Within apes, rates are ∼2% higher in chimpanzees and ∼7% higher in the gorilla than in humans.”

        1. And talking about chimps

          New Chimp Genome Confirms Creationist Research

          “Since evolutionists speculate that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor about three to six million years ago, their theory requires a human-chimp DNA similarity of 98 to 99%. The first time they constructed a chimp genome and compared it to humans, they claimed 98.5% DNA similarity based on cherry-picked regions that were highly similar to human. However, an extensive DNA comparison study I published in 2016 revealed two major flaws in their construction of the chimp genome.1 […]

          “Just this year, scientists published a new version of the chimpanzee genome.3 This new version incorporated an advanced type of DNA sequencing technology that produces much longer snippets of DNA sequence than earlier technologies. It also involved better protocols that greatly reduce human DNA contamination. And most importantly, the authors report that the DNA sequences have been assembled without using the human genome as a scaffold. […]

          “However, the University of London’s specialist in evolutionary genomics, Dr. Richard Buggs, evaluated the results of an analysis that compared this new chimp version to the human genome and discovered some shocking anti-evolutionary findings.
          Dr. Buggs reported on his website that ‘the percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 84.38%’ and ‘4.06% had no alignment to the chimp assembly.’4 Assuming the chimpanzee and human genomes are about the same size, this translates to an overall similarity of only about 80%! This outcome is way outside the nearly identical level of 98 to 99% similarity required for human evolution to seem plausible.” New Chimp Genome
          Confirms Creationist Research, Acts & Facts, October 2018. https://www.icr.org/i/pdf/af/af1810.pdf

          1. This is a giant logic fail.

            The fact that we share DNA in any amount with chimps is evidence that we share a common ancestor.

            The quite bizarre and uttterly false statement that “This outcome is way outside the nearly identical level of 98 to 99% similarity required for human evolution to seem plausible.” must have been dreamt up by a creationist. Buggs would never have said something so desperately silly despite his name being quoted in the article.

            1. “The quite bizarre and uttterly false statement that “This outcome is way outside the nearly identical level of 98 to 99% similarity required for human evolution to seem plausible.” must have been dreamt up by a creationist. Buggs would never have said something so desperately silly despite his name being quoted in the article.” Mr Fumblefingers

              It seems to me you did not pay attention to the punctuation of my post. The statement from Buggs is enclosed in single quotes (‘’):

              “Dr. Buggs reported on his website that ‘the percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 84.38%’ and ‘4.06% had no alignment to the chimp assembly.’4”

              The number 4 is for citation which indicates from where it was taken:

              4. Buggs, R. How similar are human and chimpanzee ge-
              nomes? Posted on richardbuggs.com July 14, 2018, accessed
              August 9, 2018.

              “The fact that we share DNA in any amount with chimps is evidence that we share a common ancestor.” Mr Fumblefingers

              It shows to me that God uses some of the same design features in different species. I work with drawings of machines and something I see in them is the engineer reuses some of his designs in different machines. This reusing of stuff happens as well in software engineering for new software.

              By the way, in order for a machine to come to be it first has to be designed by a designer, and once the drawing is done then it has to be fabricated by someone. For species to come into existence by chance is something I cannot believe.

              The Genes of Genesis / Genesis Conflict – Walter Veith (doctorate in zoology, exatheist/exevolutionist)
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ3IgGYf29k&list=PLwQY8D8NXJNOCZ6o78mLhCXxLivln7X6V&index=5
              In this lecture, Darwinism and natural selection are contrasted with origin by design.

              1. Wow, Rudy, you are really bent on dragging us down the Creationist rabbit hole. In the note to me it was claimed that “their theory requires a human-chimp DNA similarity of 98 to 99%”. This is false. There would only be an inconsistency if it could be credibly shown that a lower percent would shift the timeline of common descent so far back that it would be incompatible with the phylogenetic tree that has been postulated on independent grounds. No one, including Buggs, has ever provided an argument. Why? Because they cannot. Furthermore, merely focusing on the out-of-context claim of 98-99% similarity vs. Buggs’ 84.38% is misleading since the latter but not the former is a genome wide claim. As comparative genomics expert Venema has stressed, results will shift down (to about 95%) or up depending on the specifics of what is compared (about 99.4% for protein coding sequences alone). It bears noting too that Buggs’ results have not, it seems, ever been published in peer-reviewed science journals.
                Although this does not in and of itself invalidate his results, it does indicate that one must treat these percentages with care. These issues and more have been quite thoroughly discussed by Dr. Buggs and Dr. Dennis Venema and Dr. Steve Shaffner at

                https://discourse.biologos.org/t/human-chimp-genome-similarity/38409?page=5

                If you read their interaction, you will find that Buggs himself accepts 95% as a prediction of genome-wide similarity but he thinks it an overestimate. He also stated in the blog discussion that he estimates the true % to be between 84.4% and 93.4%. In contrast, Venema and Shaffner consider the best overall estimate to be ~ 95%, so the differences in opinion seem minor, certainly not great enough to refute common descent.
                The results of experiments can differ based on many factors: notably, data quality, what’s compared, direction of comparison, equipment, sequencing and statistical analysis algorithms, code implementation, so shifting of %s is to be expected. Time will improve these estimates. When you compare current best estimates of roughly 95% (Vanema, Shaffner) to 84-93% (Buggs) to rough estimates (provided by Buggs in the blog) of e.g. macque (70s), tarsier (40s), cat, dog, cow (30s) or mouse, rat (20s), the controversy over precise estimates for chimpanzees is seen to be a dodge by Creationists. Furthermore, there are a lot of additional comparative genomic results supporting the general claim of common descent, e.g. gene order conservation and pseudo-gene similarity. For a really clear presentation at not too technical level, see

                https://biologos.org/files/modules/pscf9-10venema.pdf

                According to common descent, humans and chimps like all other primates share a common egg-laying ancestor (horrors!) and it is therefore predicted that there should be pseudo-genes in each lineage that clearly relate to the genes in the egg laying ancestor that code for yolk production, and they should occur in the same relative position in the respective lineages.
                Guess what. That’s exactly what’s found in humans and chimpanzees, among others. Now your latest dodge is that your creator has simply reused parts from different species in developing plans for others. In the case of pseudo-genes, these are useless remnants lying around. This strikes me as very sloppy craftsmanship! In your analogy to machine design, do you find useless components in the design?

                The general point is that common descent is very strongly supported by a breathtakingly wide variety of evidence of different types (genomic, morphological) that all converge on the same irrefutable conclusion – common descent including that of chimpanzees and humans is as close to an empirical fact as one can get in as difficult a field as evolution. Get used to it. It is not going to go away anymore than heliocentricism has.
                The evidence will only become stronger as science progresses until denial of common descent will be as rare a denial of heliocentricism.

                1. The author of the article, “New Chimp Genome Confirms Creationist Research”, Jeffrey P. Tomkins, did his own DNA comparison study:

                  “Sequences (both alignable and non-alignable) from the seemingly less contaminated data sets indicate that the chimpanzee genome is approximately 85% identical overall to human.” Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. Analysis of 101 Chimpanzee Trace Read Data Sets: Assessment of Their Overall Similarity to Human and Possible Contamination With Human DNA. Answers Research Journal. 9: 294-298. https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/dna-similarities/analysis-101-chimpanzee-trace-read-data-sets-assessment-their-overall-similarity-human-and-possible/

                  Evolutionists Lay an Egg: Vitellogenin Pseudogene Debunked. By Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. https://www.icr.org/article/evolutionists-lay-egg-vitellogenin

                  “The main piece of evidence for the vtg pseudogene is the presence of a 150-base human DNA sequence that shares a low level of similarity (62%) to a tiny portion of the chicken vitellogenin (vtg1) gene.8 However, the chicken vtg1 gene is actually quite large at 42,637 bases long, so a 150-base fragment of 62% similarity represents less than 0.4% of the original gene if the evolutionary story were true! But this miniscule amount of questionable data isn’t the only problem for the evolutionary egg-laying fable.
                  “In a detailed research report recently published in a technical journal, I show that the alleged vtg fragment in humans is not a pseudogene remnant but rather a functional feature called an enhancer element toward the end (fifth intron) of a genomic address messenger (GAM) gene.8 This GAM gene produces long non-coding RNAs that have been experimentally shown to control the function of other genes, a majority of which have been implicated in a variety of human diseases. The RNA products from this GAM gene are also known to be expressed in a variety of human brain tissues that span from infant to adult.8
                  “As an enhancer element, the 150-base alleged vtg sequence contains a variety of highly specialized sequences that enable the binding of specific protein machinery that controls the activity and function of the GAM gene.8 These specialized sequences are also associated with a wide variety of epigenetic marks—chemical modifications in the DNA. The specific types of biochemical data associated with these marks also tells us that this DNA feature is not only active but important to the overall three-dimensional structure and function of the GAM gene in a process called long-range chromatin interaction.8,9
                  “Upon investigation, we see that this 150-base sequence is not an ancient egg-laying ‘fossil’ in the human genome. It’s a functional enhancer element in a GAM gene expressed in brain tissues. Once again, when we examine the genetic data more closely, the evolutionary scoreboard shows nothing but a big zero—a ‘goose egg,’ as the saying goes.”

    2. I agree with you 100%, Dr. Cobalt. Thanks for your intelligent and cogent appraisal of the neo-Darwinist theory of macro-evolution. I would say more, but I have to get back to work.

    3. Seems like scientist are showing some DNA left over from when the more modern humans were inter breeding with Neanderthals. And we have since killed off or bred off that species and some still carry some of the same genes as those guys. However, we no longer have that species. So that is a primary example of evolution. But I’m sure you are going try to come up with a theory of why it’s not. Maybe it was gods plan to kill them off . . haha. It’s funny how religion and religious beliefs keep changing everytime science has a breakthrough which explains why religion had been wrong. Like the earth moved around the sun. Instead of God created man at the center of the universe. We are not even the center of our Galaxy. But hey thanks for playing.

      1. >>Seems like scientist are showing some DNA left over from when the more modern humans were inter breeding with Neanderthals

        Right. My DNA ancestry was typed by the National Geographic Genome project. Turns out that I am 2.5% Neanderthal and 3.8% Denisovan. Guess it was God’s plan that my ancestors were so unspeakably promiscuous. Horrors. Luckily my wife did not find that out until after we were married.

        As the project webpage remarks: “As our modern human ancestors migrated through Eurasia, they met other hominin species and interbred. These “cousin” species, like the Neanderthals, are now extinct, but the genetic makeup of nearly everyone born outside of Africa today includes 1 to 2 percent DNA from these hominins, living relics of ancient encounters.”

    4. >>yet no one (not even Dawkins) has ever adduced a single empirical proof defending macro-evolution. There is not a shred of empirical proof supporting phyletic gradualism (the sine qua non of Darwin’s general theory of descent through modification) leading to macro-evolution.

      You are wildly overstating your case. For one thing, Darwin’s theory is now quite old, and it would be surprising if, in such a complicated empirical field there were not controversies over details and major improvements over time regarding mechanisms and tempo of speciation.
      The controversy surrounding gradualism vs punctuated evolution seems a bit beside the point when it comes to macroevolution per se. Evolution is an empirical science: asking for “proof” is too strong. There is plenty of reason to believe in macroevolution. There is plenty of room for reasoned, scientific dispute about specific mechanisms and drivers of the tempo of macroevolution but the general outlines are clear and the key concepts/mechanisms well supported (which is why it is typically referred to as the “fact of evolution”). For some of the arguments and evidence, I recommend the following link, which defends macroevolution in detail.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

      I won’t belabor this because extended discussion is not appropriate here. Everyone is welcome to their opinion but I think your diatribe is more out of place than Dr. Greger’s casual mentioning of evolution and adaptive benefits.

      For my part, I revel in the knowledge that I am a great ape and biological kin to all living organisms on this planet.

      1. gengo-gakusha, thank you for your post. I, too, revel in being “part of it all.” Since it appears that we are of like minds, may I suggest Neil Shubin’s book Your Inner Fish, if you have not already read it. It is a great read.

    5. dr. cobalt, I agree. I get tired of people spouting this nonsense although there isn’t any proof. I sort of believed it till I studied micro-biology, and then it became ridiculous. The creation is too complex to have evolved. As Michael Denton shows in his book ‘Evolution: A Theory in Crisis’, genetic changes only result in adaptive responses. Haven’t read his new book yet.

      1. Marilyn, Denton earned two doctorate degrees too. The first was an MD. The latter was a PhD in molecular biology. So he’s certainly capable of appraising the validity of the theory. A big theme in his first book is Stasis and Gaps, both in the fossil record and in hemoglobin amino acid sequences.

        I would skip Denton’s next book and move on to others. If you’re looking for a cerebral discussion, I recommend Stephen C. Meyer: Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.

        The first is a discussion about “specified information” that is the essence of the base-pair sequences in DNA.

        The second is a fascinating study of the “Cambrian Explosion” that left complex, phylum level organisms in Cambrian rock – putatively half a billion years old. These creatures are quite complex; for example the trilobite with segmented legs, segmented body, compound eyes, internal digestive system, and a brain that makes it all function. If Darwin were right, there has to be an entire “tree” of developing organisms below this layer in the Precambrian that transitions into the Cambrian phyla. But there is nothing below them – nothing but what might be sponge embryos. It looks almost as if somebody created these complex creatures at the beginning of life on earth… hmmm. Wonder who that might be.

        dc

    6. Well said that man! We are so intricately and beautifully made that we have to “comply” with the deeply intelligent and loving laws of nature in order to simply stay alive. Dr Gregor brilliantly and thankfully understands & expounds this intricacy in order to guide us back to health. Evidence of an intelligent and loving Creator is seen in the sheer variety diversity and deliciousness of our food system & is a mere fraction of the intricate mechanisms keeping us alive OVER WHICH WE HAVE NO CONTROL except to nurture… and why would you trust the theories of a species that are so arrogant and destructive towards this most perfect ecological system… I could go on but just needed to add my penny’s worth to the above excellent & articulate comment… just sayin’

    7. Good grief.

      This is definitely off-topic. While we are at it, though, I feel compelled to point out that the claim that evolution is a ‘speculative theory’ is simply wrong. It is based on a misunderstanding of the scientific meaning of the term ‘theory’.

      ‘The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.

      Many scientific theories are so well-established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.’
      http://www.nas.edu/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

      Let’s stick with the nutritional science please

      1. “Let’s stick with the nutritional science please.:
        – – – – – –
        Fumbles is a party pooper, Fumbles is a party pooper! :-P

        “Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.”

        ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

        1. Yeah, I don’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy either. As you write, I’m just a party pooper. Silly old me.

          ‘I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose.’
          Clarence Darrow

      2. TG, you could easily shut me up and cause me to join the other side if you would just give me what I asked for: one single empirical proof for macro evolution. Any time I challenge an evolutionist in this way he usually resorts to ad hominem assaults against me or he globally insults people of faith. he never gives me the “proof” I request for this mendacious theory.

        If you went to a doctor and described symptoms of runny nose, sore throat, congestion, feeling awful – your doctor might look at his calendar on the wall and see it was December… and then tell you that you have the flu and should get back to bed. In making this assessment he us using a valid form of logical analysis called abductive reasoning. Abductive analysis seeks to provide an explanation for a phenomenon that best fits the observed data.

        Abductive reasoning is what evolutionists use to justify macro evolution. They observe that a fossilized fish has similar ventral fin bones compared with the rear leg bones of a fossilized amphibian and conclude that the one became the other over millions of years of time. The problem with it is that you don’t have 100% certitude using abductive reasoning. You only have one possible explanation (for example, in the example above you might have some other infection and not the flu… or maybe you have food poisoning). When I say there is no empirical proof for macro evolution, I am removing it from the table as a provable explanation for origins, since you cannot reproduce experimentally any of its claims.

  3. Despite following a diet for three years that was 100% what Dr. Greger advises (and now is about 95%), I still feel fatigue frequently which is sometimes, but not always, accompanied with feeling “blah” (like my thoughts and/or enthusiasm are dull). My regular doctor has thoroughly evaluated me for depression, but overall, he thinks I am not but is not strongly confident in his assessment. I have had many tests done, mostly blood work, but all tests show normal and very healthy (including low inflammation). So, if I have mild depression, Dr. Greger’s report about inflammation and depression may not apply to me.

    I have recently come across some research, such as that of Dr. Robert Naviaux at UC San Diego, that is showing the mitochondria in some people are having problems generating energy for the cells and affecting mood. Is anyone familiar with this research?

  4. Fish is inflammatory?

    Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain-
    **Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and omega-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain. omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain in this selective group.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187/

    Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder: a preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial *Omega3 fatty acids were well tolerated and improved the short-term course of illness in this preliminary study of patients with bipolar disorder.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232294/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19156158/ *Clinician ratings of mania and depression were significantly lower and global functioning significantly higher after supplementation

    Longer-term outcome in the prevention of psychotic disorders by the Vienna omega-3 study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26263244/

    Effects of Omega-3 Supplement in the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar I Disorder *Since omega-3 supplement was effective for the treatment of BID, it is suggested to use omega-3 supplements as an adjuvant therapy along with the other pharmacotherapies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27280013/

    Plasma fatty acid composition and depression are associated in the elderly: the Rotterdam Study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12816769/

    Essential fatty acid deficiency in erythrocyte membranes from chronic schizophrenic patients, and the clinical effects of dietary supplementation- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8888126/

    Prevention of fatal arrhythmias in high-risk subjects by fish oil n-3 fatty acid intake
    *this study provides evidence that for individuals at high risk of fatal ventricular arrhythmias, regular daily ingestion of fish oil fatty acids may significantly reduce potentially fatal ventricular arrhythmias

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16267249/

    The inverse relation between fish consumption and 20-year mortality from coronary heart disease-
    **Mortality from coronary heart disease was more than 50 per cent lower among those who consumed at least 30 g of fish per day than among those who did not eat fish

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3990713/

    1. Greg

      First, there is a difference between fish and fish oil. Whether omega oils are inflammatory is a different issue to whether fish are inflammatory. For whatever reason, your post doesn’t acknowledge this.

      Secondly, I can well believe that eating fish is less unhealthy than eating meat, dairy, refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods. But ‘less unhealthy’ isn’t the same thing as ‘healthy’.

    2. Given the data you’ve rightly linked and other demonstrated cognitive benefits, Dr Greger suggests a non-contaminated (free of heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins found especially in large fish) source of omega-3 fatty acids, namely algae-based omega-3s. Here’s a link to his podcast on this topic. https://nutritionfacts.org/audio/omega-3-fatty-acids/ He also has many short videos on the same topic.

  5. I like most of Dr. Greger’s videos but this one is so full of problems I don’t even know where to begin.

    Yes, diet is great for improving your mood, but all of this nonsense about mental illness is just that: nonsense. There is no credible evidence to support a genetic link to so-called mental illness primarily because the whole notion of mental illness is itself unproven. The model he’s structuring his argument around is the one propagated by the drug and therapy industries which are designed to perpetuate the very problem they are purported to treat.

    For decades professionals have been challenging prevailing theories on “mental illness” and they make a number of good points that completely undercut the foundation of the “research” Dr. Greger is citing here.

    If you’re interested, check out the works of Thomas Szasz (the internationally renowned author of The Myth of Mental Illness), James Horgan, Robert Whitaker, RD Laing, Peter Breggin, or just check out the Cochrane Collaboration and their latest critiques of the pseudosciences that are psychology and psychiatry. Mad in America is another good place to check out. Google it.

    Anyway, point is, this whole video rests on a very shaky foundation. I wouldn’t buy any of it. Should we eat a plant based diet? Absolutely. But everything else here is pure science fiction.

    1. It’s actually John Horgan. But yeah I agree. Read his letter to skeptics in Scientific American from 2016. It’s hilarious. He’s a genius. Search Google for ‘John Horgan skeptic’.

      He writes about psychiatric medication since the 90s I think. Voices like his are rare now. No one talks about their dangers anymore. Just look at this thread. there are cheerleaders even here. It’s sad.

      It’s weird how Michael Greger quotes psychiatric studies here as evidence. In other videos he debunks psychiatry. Kind of inconsistent.

    2. Matthew,

      I am no fan of psychiatric labels or psychiatric meds, but it is a common language to describe common experiences and I went to the Mad in America and the first thing I saw was a link for using cannaboids for psychosis and what is the difference? If psychosis is a myth, you don’t need to treat it with anything at all. It is just a deviation from the norm, so let it be, right?

      I went to the myth of mental illness and he pulls away the labels made by psychiatry, but then gives his own categories and says that people have a problem in living and goes back and acknowledges the things like psychoses, but doesn’t let people use it as an excuse for their behavior. To me, he goes back and forth in his logic, it exists, but it is a myth, which you can never label. Without someone giving labels, there would be no language for examining things and I could be talking about schizophrenia and you could be talking about depression or psychosis and we wouldn’t have a language to understand each other at all. I agree with him that a group of psychiatrists put the labels and often skipped the medical cause and also skipped the cultural, belief system causes and also skipped the nutritional causes and also skipped other thibgs. Self-consciousness gets swept into autistic spectrum, shyness becomes anxiety disorder, and the labels often harm people as much as the conditions and so do the meds, but you can’t say, psychoses is a myth, and then when someone is struggling with it say to them: you are faking it, what you are describing doesn’t exist, then come against pharma for trying to solve the myth, then, want people taking pot for something that doesn’t exist, then stand against them having a diagnoses after they do something while in the middle of a psychotic episode.

      Or more simply, something exists which we call psychosis, and Dr Greger can post a video if there ever is a good which lessens it because it exists for the people who have it and for gheir families, even if it is a myth.

      1. I have more than one person who do behaviors which get them hospitalized or arrested or deeply in debt or dangerous to others whentheu don’t treat their mythical schizophrenia or manic depression with meds. Big pharma keeps a young man Who I know from murdering people. On his meds, he is Dr Jeckle, off his meds, Mr Hyde. Nice person 99.9% of the time, but the u medicated times have all been doozies.

        Meaning, it isn’t all bad.

        1. I think of him when people use insanity defenses for murder.

          For him, it literally is real.

          He had his father gamble away his medicine money and a week later, he was so out of his mind that he thought his father was the devil and that his job was to kill him.

          1. If there wasn’t psychiatry, his mother wouldbe walking around helpless and would not have a language to say: he is a sweet kid. But he has this murderous side. Without a language and without meds, that whole family would have been destroyed by the process.

            The concept of going to the mother and saying that he is having life problrms is pretty useless.

            1. I do know people who were having life problems, who were diagnosed and put on meds when the reality was they needed life skills and support. The mother of that young man was one of those.

              She had to deal with all of the problems and it took years to understand what was wrong with her son and was depressed about it.

              Now that she has life skills, her whole family visits the young man and they play board games and share meals and it is better, except when he goes off his meds.

              But meds didn’t help her. They made it worse, doi understand that there are situations like kids who weren’t parented who end up being labeled ADHD and that the school’s make that diagnosis more common by expecting people to sit quietly in rows a show to learn, etc. I just feel like the skeptics take it too far and there are skeptics who are skeptical of skeptics now mean that sons people are just contrary because they prefer it?

  6. “They were less excited about winning money playing video games, for example, in the study.”

    So all those teens in front of consoles all day long should really start eating healthy, I guess? For getting more satisfaction.

  7. Hi Shilajit, thanks for your comment. Yes, it is true that if the teens were to turn into anti inflammatory eating habit the happier they will be based on the research that was revised in this video. One does hope that the sooner they reach to that conclusion the better it would be for them.

  8. Wow! A lot of the comments here are either off point or tone deaf. So just to add to the general lack of rigor in the comments, here’s some anecdotal evidence.

    I have been vegetarian or vegan since 1989. In 1997 I was diagnosed with depression, and over the next 15 years tried to commit suicide a number of times. (Needless to say, I don’t buy the idea that mental illness is a fake.) In 2014 my shrink found that I responded remarkably to a dopamine drug as opposed to the serotonin drugs pushed by Big Pharma. I improved so much that I lost all suicidal ideation and became more socially involved than at any other time in my adult life. The kicker, for me at least, came when I adopted a WFPB diet in February of 2016. The jump in my mood over the gains from the dopamine drug was powerful, sufficiently apparent that my shrink is now recommending other patients to try it.

    You can cite all the scientific theories you want about evolution and mental health. For me, the proof is in the pudding. Since February of 2016, I have had poems published or to be published in seven different journals and anthologies. I had never written a poem until I started the dopamine med.

    1. It’s probably the placebo effect. It’s very common. Watch out for long-term side effects. They can be very serious.

      Also withdrawal can be hell on Earth. Be careful if you ever try getting off your drug. Psych meds withdrawal can be fatal.

    2. Ya Barbie? I tend to agree with you. My bio father had some mental instability, I have had bouts with it since I was a teen and one trip to the ER. I Was on depression meds for over 10 years and just got to where I couldn’t afford to refil a presciription. I can turn to exercise for the dopemine, and do the more stressed I get. I also found my life is more tolerable when I started eating mostly whole plant food high anti oxidant foods and eliminating sugar and most processed crap. Whether this is learned or is genetic it certainly runs in families. My honor roll, state winning, national honor , science fair winner , who skipped a grade , daughter started on depression meds after a rocky year as a junior. With that and some counseling she doing better, but I can’t get her off the sugars and sweets. But in her own time I hope.

    3. Your story is inspirational to me, Barbie. I battle depression too. Thank you for sharing it. Dopamine agonists help mine better than any other drugs too.

      For any who might think depression is the tie to my recent fatigue onset, it’s not. It is way different from depression fatigue, which I’ve dealt with all my life. One of the worst things about having depression is that doctors tend to blame it on anything that’s otherwise hard to figure out. But l will certainly agree with them that depression is a genuine condition.

  9. Barbie, I am so pleased that you found a treatment plan — including a much healthier diet — that worked for you. Depression takes a terrible toll. I can imagine that it might feel almost euphoric to come out from under it’s dark cloud. Here’s to your continued good health.

    And congratulations on your success in publishing your poetry. Good for you!

    1. Wow Barbie! I would like to second Dr J’s congratulatory note – thank you for sharing ! Such a positive and inspirational story. I wish you continued success going forward :)

  10. Since we are talking about evolution, this will make you think. A while back it was discovered that humans evolved from fungi. While humans enjoy their own internal brain life, their behavior from their brain is a testament of their fate. Explosive growths are rewarded. The fastest the better. Human success is about being a fungus but with imagination.

    1. The universities, the armies, the businesses, the politics, etc., are all organized agencies seeded with a primitive irrational purpose. What does it mean to be smart?

    1. Wondering what is the association (or mainly a lack thereof) between depression and having sex? Seems they are pretty much opposite in nature?

      Depression = lack of interest in most things and higher inflammation levels…

      Sex = focused interest and possibly lower inflammation? At least a release of endorphins…

      1. Hi bob – Thanks for your question! Here are a few links I’d encourage you to check out where Dr. Greger discusses research surrounding the relationship between diet and desire to have sex (https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/sexual-health/) and sexual dysfunction as a side effect of taking anti-depressants (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-antidepressant-drugs-really-work/). We see that those eating plant-based diets have fewer rates of depression while also having improved sexual health and functioning.

        I hope this helps!

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

  11. So to test this theory there should be very very low rates of depression among vegans, just do a study that investigates all of the millions of people currently diagnosed with depression and taking antidepressants. correct?

    1. Ange Lee

      Not really. Apparently people with health problems, including mental health problems, often take up a completely vegetarian diet for therapeutic reasons. Many posters here for example appear to have taken up vegetarian diets becaue of personal health crises of one sort or another.

      As a consequence, there could even be higher rates of depression among vegetarians. Indeed some studies have found higher rates of depression among vegetarians and so-called ‘vegans’. However, such studies often do not look at which came first – the diagnosis of depression or the adoption of a vegetarian diet This failure usually allows the authors of such studies to suggest that vegetarian diets cause depression.

      The failure of recent studies to examine the date of adoption of a vegetarian diet compared to the date of the onset of depression is puzzling because it is such an obvious and important issue. Especially since we have known since 2012 that development of mental disorders including depressive disorders tends to precede adoption of a vegetarian diet:

      ‘Results
      Vegetarians displayed elevated prevalence rates for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders. Due to the matching procedure, the findings cannot be explained by socio-demographic characteristics of vegetarians (e.g. higher rates of females, predominant residency in urban areas, high proportion of singles). The analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.

      Conclusions
      In Western cultures vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders. However, there was no evidence for a causal role of vegetarian diet in the etiology of mental disorders.’
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466124/

      1. “Many posters here for example appear to have taken up vegetarian diets becaue of personal health crises of one sort or another.”

        – – – – —

        And yet has it helped them? From the sounds of many of these comments, apparently not.

        1. well, it just happen that most people that suffer depression don’t follow a plant based diet. But according to your argument, they should be apparently well.

          There are many causes of depression no diet related like:

          depressive thoughts (in daily loops)
          imbalance of neurotransmitters
          heavy metals
          etc.

          Group mentalities always try to pull towards comfort (equilibrium). But science is impersonal. Thus, when talking about science there may be times when it can become uncomfortable for some. For example, science could be unwelcome in like a community of people eating brownies and enjoying the bliss.

      2. I can only say that a vegan turned completely turned my lifelong problem with depression in its head. People can believe what they want. After all, many of the studies they will hear about are funded by the dairy and meat industries.

  12. I don’t know where to post this exactly but can Dr. Greger make a video or an article about the latest science of spanking?

    I am talking about raising a child ofcourse.. not some fifthy shades kinda thing..

      1. No I do not have kids yet, I want too though..

        I am reading about growing up children and there are some ‘facts’ about spanking that are dubious. Dr. Greger knows best how too look at these studies best, I on the other hand have no clue what to believe is best and most healthy for a child and upbringing.

        1. Hmmm, and you don’t even have kids (yet). Maybe you’re a little premature with your concern then?

          If you google a few words, a whole slew of websites will show up for you. Use your own discernment as to what sounds right. “At the end of the day,” it’s what we should do when reading or listening to ANYthing on the internet.

  13. Is there no moderator on this thread? Hate to paw through all the creation stuff when I am thinking about snti inflammatory foods. Specifically what does an elevated IGS level really mean ? When we see in one video that an elevated IGA from mushrooms boosts immune response without causing inflammation, that I’d good, we should eat more mushrooms. But I had IGA, IGG blood tests done that revealed s list of 16 mostly good WFPB foods I was told to avoid, like broccoli and blueberries!!! If all the tests measure is an increase in IGA, does this equate with increased inflammation, or I’d it showing s boosted inmune system?

    1. Hi, julie! I am sorry you are annoyed by some of the user comments. We generally do not delete them unless they violate the Terms of Service https://nutritionfacts.org/terms-of-service/
      Ig stands for immunoglobulin, and can be an indicator of immune response to something. The third letter, A, G, S, etc., tells which immunoglobulin is being measured.
      It is my opinion, based on my experience as a nutritionist in private practice, that blood tests for hidden allergens just tell you what you have eaten recently. Elevated immunoglobulins indicate immune response, which may or may not be related to inflammation. A strong immune response can be helpful in fighting infection and other disease, but may be a problem if there is autoimmunity involved. I hope that helps!

  14. WFPB works, I have my depression under control and I am not taking any medication for insomnia and depression which I did take for the last 25 years. Instead of fish I take daily some flaxseeds and some chia seeds which helps as well, as omega 3 and other things in the seeds help too. Also fiber is important as a lot has to do with the gut, so veggies, fruits, legumes etc. First start with WFPB, then with WFPB detox your body, stop with all this healthy foods the inflammation and get rid of it, then restore your gut and microbiome. The gut is important for many things in our body and is the unsung hero, to many people think it has with the head to do. The brain and gut is connected with the vagus nerv, the gut produces also 70-80% of neuro transmitters or for example produces 95% of serotonin, so without a healthy gut you won’t get there, because it is all interconnected. I reversed also in not even 6 month of WFPB my pre diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, also back to normal from my blood test are Leuco, BSG, Ck-Nac (might have been spiked from medication) and Seg, neuropathy, erectile dysfunction, reflux, regurgitation, heartburn and bloating (might have had gerd or something, I don’t know as I am not a doctor), and as nice side effect I did lose 25 Kilos, it is all interconnected, you can solve one after the other problem you have. I am still working on my insomnia, I used to sleep only about 3-4 times a week 3-4 hours, I am having way less days at the moment without any sleep, so that improved a little bit too. I am very happy that I don’t have to take any sleeping pills as some had severe side effects and am happy now that I have a clear head, am more focused, a sharper mind and am not anymore foggy, groggy, confused, grumpy, also no blury vision and not dizzy anymore. I eat WFPB, no oil, no sugar, try to leave out salt where I can.

    1. Errol,

      Very nice… glad to hear your benefits from the dietary changes. Amazing what a change in our diet fuel sources can make on all aspects of the body and mind.

      May I suggest you consider adding a bit more magnesium to your pre bedtime routine. You’ll find the addition may do the trick…. and of course using some melatonin is also high on the list. One caveat with the magnesium, don’t use the oxide form as it’s much less absorbable. There is a raspberry flavored powdered magnesium mix that I have been using with my pediatric patients with a good deal of success.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

    2. Errol

      You are spot on when you point out that the microbiome can influence our mental health:

      Two groups of bacteria in particular, Coprococcus and Dialister, were consistently found to be at low numbers in people with depression. The scientists then checked their findings on another cohort of 1,063 people involved in a similar study in The Netherlands and found the same result.
      “This is the first time this kind of work has been done in such a large scale in humans. Most previous work has been done in animal models,” said Jeroen Raes, Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and Flemish Institute of Biotechnology and lead author of the study.
      The research also suggests that some bacterial species in the microbiome may be able to produce or breakdown molecules that interact with the human nervous system. They looked at bacterial DNA from fecal samples in a subset of the study group, finding that the gut microbiome may be able to synthesize molecules such as seratonin and dopamine, which are found in abnormal levels in people with depression. People with treatment-resistant depression had microbiomes that were less-likely to be able to synthesize these molecules than healthy people.’
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2019/02/04/new-study-indicates-link-between-depression-and-gut-bacteria/#34023b9d45d2

      This might be a good reason to eat eg walnuts (although they are pretty much unobtainable where I live). This study though was funded by the walnut industry and USDA.
      https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/148/6/861/4992079

  15. This is completely off-topic but people have previously expressed an interest in finding out more about cataracts and diet.

    A recent review of the latest literature has just been published
    https://insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=30320615

    A full copy of the paper is available on Medscape (registration – free – is required to read it)
    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/905908

    it concludes
    ‘ Nutrition rich in fruits and vegetables, and a high dietary intake of vitamins A, C, D, E and K1 may be inversely associated with the risk of age-related cataract. More studies involving patients in a wide range of nutritional status are required to establish the long-term benefit of nutritional supplements.’

    Sounds a lot like a whole food plant based diet to me.

  16. Also off-topic:

    From:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/well/live/why-do-south-asians-have-such-high-rates-of-heart-disease.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_hh_20190213&nl=well&nl_art=0&nlid=74836649emc%3Dedit_hh_20190213&ref=headline&te=1

    “People of South Asian descent, which includes countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives, have four times the risk of heart disease compared to the general population, and they develop the disease up to a decade earlier.”

    1. YR, The below quote from the article may help explain the findings of that study:

      “Almost 40 percent of Masala participants are vegetarian, a common practice in India that is widely regarded in the West as heart healthy. But vegetarians who eat traditional South Asian foods like fried snacks, sweetened beverages and high-fat dairy products were found to have worse cardiovascular health than those who eat what the researchers call a “prudent” diet with more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains (and, for nonvegetarians, fish and chicken). People who eat a Western style diet with red and processed meat, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and few fruits and vegetables were also found to have more metabolic risk factors.”

      1. Thanks Hal!

        Information always helps!

        Tonight, I bought some carrots for juicing to see what happens with my night vision.

        My eye situation has improved quite a bit over the past year, but I watched the video about seeing 27 miles farther and Gerson reversing blindness could have been flashing on the screen.

        I am going to do a 6 week N of 1 and I have to choose a vision test, but night driving is one of the tests.

        A year and a half ago, I wouldn’t drive at night unless it was local and late enough that people were off the roads, but my eyes had more than vision problems. Looking forward to the carrot juice.

          1. Thanks Hal!

            You are such a nice guy! Always helpful!

            Yes, I watched them a while back. I have to watch them again because I remember Lutein and Zeaxanthin, but I forgot which foods.

            Today, I went to a restaurant which had 3 or 4 vegan dishes. I had vegan butternut squash and pumpkin seed soup and a dish with roasted parsnips, turnip, sweet potatoes, and chick peas, with rice noodles and red curry. It was all excellent, but their carrot ginger soup was not vegan. Why would they not do all of the vegetable soups vegan?

            Not just that soup. They added cheese to the Portabella mushroom panini.

            It felt like they wanted some of the things to be vegetarian and I felt like they could have gotten vegans and vegetarians to go often if they had taken the 3 or 4 vegetarian dishes and removed the one token animal product.

            I needed a break from cooking and the concept that I have a place to buy good vegan dishes has never happened before. Someone got the spices right.

            1. Deb, thank you for the compliment! Yes, it’s still hard to find a good totally vegan restaurant. The ones I’ve found always want to put cheese on some of the dishes. But it is nice to get out of the kitchen for a break every once in a while!

  17. Another reason depression may have been evolutionarily advantageous: The well documented benefits of Caloric Restriction on health span. How do you get a human to eat 30% less than they would normally want to? As Dr. G mentioned, either you’re quite sick or you’re depressed. -Glad we have the WFPB diet option where we can get mild CR as a bonus prize side effect of happily eating all we care to.

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