Flashback Friday: Are Avocados Good for You?

Flashback Friday: Are Avocados Good for You?
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The nutritional benefits of guacamole extend beyond just the nutrients avocados themselves contain.

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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.

Avocados have been described as “a major dietary source of antioxidants,” and this may be true compared to much of the stuff people eat. But, compared to other common fruits, avocados are not necessarily anything to write home about.

They do, however, contain those two carotenoid eye nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may explain why Mexican-Americans tend to beat out other ethnicities. The critical carotenoids are concentrated “in the dark[est] green flesh close to the peel.” And, because of this, consumers should be advised to use the “nick and peel” method to obtain the nutrient-rich outer section of the avocado. The Tufts University Nutrition & Health Letter detailed what that means:

“1. …[C]ut [the avocado] in half lengthwise around the seed.

2. Rotate a quarter-turn and cut lengthwise [again] to make quarter-avocado segments.

3. …[S]eparate the quarters and remove the seed.

4. …Starting from the tip, nick and carefully peel,” so as not to lose that nutrient-rich darkest green flesh immediately under the skin.

Avocados can also boost the absorption of the carotenoid phytonutrients in other vegetables, because carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are fat soluble. “However, many of our best foods for obtaining carotenoids—[like] sweet potatoes, carrots, and…greens, contain very little fat.” So, if you eat them straight, without any source of fat in your stomach, you may end up flushing a lot of that nutrition down the toilet.

Remember, it’s not what you eat; it’s what you absorb. Here’s the amount of beta-carotene that ends up in your bloodstream two, three, four, five, six hours after eating a little over a cup of salsa. There’s a little bump. And, the same thing with the red pigment lycopene. Okay, but now here’s that same amount of salsa with an avocado added—tripling the absorption. That means if you eat tomatoes without some source of fat at the same meal—avocados, or nuts and seeds—most of that bright red, beautiful lycopene will end up in the toilet bowl rather than your bloodstream.

Same thing eating a salad composed of lettuce, spinach, and carrots. With a fat-free dressing, hardly any beta-carotene makes it into your body. But, add an avocado and 15 times more beta-carotene ends up circulating throughout your body. Do you have to use a whole avocado, though? What about half an avocado? Pretty much same effect; works just as well. What about a quarter of an avocado? We don’t know “the [minimum] amount of dietary fat required for optimum carotenoid absorption.” It may just be a few grams per meal though, in which case an eighth of an avocado would fit the bill, or just one or two walnuts.        

Interestingly, avocado consumption may not just enhance absorption of carotenoids, but then also enhance their subsequent conversion inside the body into vitamin A. People were given baby carrots with and without guacamole, and the same thing we saw before: way more beta-carotene in the bloodstream in the hours following the meal with the guacamole added, compared to the same amount of carrots alone. In fact, over six times more. And, since beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A in the body, there should be six times more vitamin A too, right? No; they ended up with over 12 times more vitamin A.

There was also a big increase in vitamin K levels, another fat-soluble vitamin, though that’s partially because avocado contains vitamin K itself. Not too much, though, claims this avocado industry-sponsored review, that people on the anticoagulant medication Coumadin have to worry. But that’s not true. We’ve known for decades now that even though there’s not an inordinate amount of vitamin K in avocados, it still interferes with the drug Coumadin, also known as warfarin, though we’re not exactly sure why. It may boost your liver’s detoxifying enzymes or prevent absorption of the drug. But, either way, those on the blood thinner Coumadin may want to put walnuts on their salads instead.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: silviarita via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

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

Avocados have been described as “a major dietary source of antioxidants,” and this may be true compared to much of the stuff people eat. But, compared to other common fruits, avocados are not necessarily anything to write home about.

They do, however, contain those two carotenoid eye nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may explain why Mexican-Americans tend to beat out other ethnicities. The critical carotenoids are concentrated “in the dark[est] green flesh close to the peel.” And, because of this, consumers should be advised to use the “nick and peel” method to obtain the nutrient-rich outer section of the avocado. The Tufts University Nutrition & Health Letter detailed what that means:

“1. …[C]ut [the avocado] in half lengthwise around the seed.

2. Rotate a quarter-turn and cut lengthwise [again] to make quarter-avocado segments.

3. …[S]eparate the quarters and remove the seed.

4. …Starting from the tip, nick and carefully peel,” so as not to lose that nutrient-rich darkest green flesh immediately under the skin.

Avocados can also boost the absorption of the carotenoid phytonutrients in other vegetables, because carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are fat soluble. “However, many of our best foods for obtaining carotenoids—[like] sweet potatoes, carrots, and…greens, contain very little fat.” So, if you eat them straight, without any source of fat in your stomach, you may end up flushing a lot of that nutrition down the toilet.

Remember, it’s not what you eat; it’s what you absorb. Here’s the amount of beta-carotene that ends up in your bloodstream two, three, four, five, six hours after eating a little over a cup of salsa. There’s a little bump. And, the same thing with the red pigment lycopene. Okay, but now here’s that same amount of salsa with an avocado added—tripling the absorption. That means if you eat tomatoes without some source of fat at the same meal—avocados, or nuts and seeds—most of that bright red, beautiful lycopene will end up in the toilet bowl rather than your bloodstream.

Same thing eating a salad composed of lettuce, spinach, and carrots. With a fat-free dressing, hardly any beta-carotene makes it into your body. But, add an avocado and 15 times more beta-carotene ends up circulating throughout your body. Do you have to use a whole avocado, though? What about half an avocado? Pretty much same effect; works just as well. What about a quarter of an avocado? We don’t know “the [minimum] amount of dietary fat required for optimum carotenoid absorption.” It may just be a few grams per meal though, in which case an eighth of an avocado would fit the bill, or just one or two walnuts.        

Interestingly, avocado consumption may not just enhance absorption of carotenoids, but then also enhance their subsequent conversion inside the body into vitamin A. People were given baby carrots with and without guacamole, and the same thing we saw before: way more beta-carotene in the bloodstream in the hours following the meal with the guacamole added, compared to the same amount of carrots alone. In fact, over six times more. And, since beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A in the body, there should be six times more vitamin A too, right? No; they ended up with over 12 times more vitamin A.

There was also a big increase in vitamin K levels, another fat-soluble vitamin, though that’s partially because avocado contains vitamin K itself. Not too much, though, claims this avocado industry-sponsored review, that people on the anticoagulant medication Coumadin have to worry. But that’s not true. We’ve known for decades now that even though there’s not an inordinate amount of vitamin K in avocados, it still interferes with the drug Coumadin, also known as warfarin, though we’re not exactly sure why. It may boost your liver’s detoxifying enzymes or prevent absorption of the drug. But, either way, those on the blood thinner Coumadin may want to put walnuts on their salads instead.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: silviarita via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

This is part of my latest slew of avocado videos. For other burning guac questions, see:

And for my Edamame Guacamole recipe click here.

Doesn’t the egg industry brag about lutein and zeaxanthin? You’ve got to be yolking! See my video Egg Industry Blind Spot.

Why would we care about lycopene absorption? Check out my videos Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer and Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer.

For all our videos on the latest research on avocados, visit our Avocado topic page.

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

The original video aired on April 13th 2018.

119 responses to “Flashback Friday: Are Avocados Good for You?

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  1. I know this is a Flashback, but maybe someone on staff monitors our comments: I have an idea that would make the Daily Dozen app more flexible and maybe not too difficult to make the modification.

    What if we could ADD (or delete in case we add too much or changer our minds) items from the Daily Dozen? I would like to add “Allium” food group. as an example. Others might have little “necessaries” to their notions of best personal health they could add.

    Thanks, please fwd up the chain.

    Comments anybody? Perhaps there’s a coder on board who could tweak the app for us?

      1. I would love this, too. Maybe on a third tab for personalized things? I love the positivity of the app – checking off all the good things naturally pushes out the bad things. I would add both Alliums and Mushrooms.

    1. Wade, I like your thinking. Achieving variety via “sub-food groups.” Allium is an important one. Cruciferous/brassica is another. Mushrooms (actually a different kingdom but fits with vegetables) is important but neglected.
      Steve

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  2. Good morning.

    I was wondering if eating too many nuts is bad for you. I haven’t read any papers on the topic, but am curious to know whether this is true or false.

    1. Vinay, The cardiologist, Dr Esselstyn, recommends eating very few or even better, no nuts, if you have CHD.

      http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/

      Otherwise, most nuts are very healthy. Dr Greger has a lot of previous videos on nuts:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=nuts

      Also, there is one otherwise healthy nut, the Brazil nut, that usually contains a relatively large amount of selenium, depending on where it’s grown, so that would be one nut to make sure you don’t overeat.

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/four-nuts-once-a-month/

    2. I’m not sure where Dr. Esselstyn gets his no nut recommendation for those with heart disease. The large, well controlled Seventh Day Adventist and Iowa Women’s Health studies show otherwise. Nuts seem to be protective against heart disease and heart attacks.

      “In a large, prospective epidemiologic study of Seventh-day Adventists in California, we found that frequency of nut consumption had a substantial and highly significant inverse association with risk of myocardial infarction and death from IHD. The Iowa Women’s Health Study also documented an association between nut consumption and decreased risk of IHD.”
      https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/70/3/500s/4714957

        1. Exactly. Dr. Esselstyn worked with people literally dying of CAD – so seriously ill that they couldn’t risk surgery and with a life expectancy of months. I can believe that when you are that far gone, a very low fat vegan diet is the rescue diet. Extremes for an extreme condition.

          1. Yes, Anne S., this is certainly the case. Thanks for writing it out for those who’ve not really read up on Dr. Esselstyn or his work. He’s quite the fine doctor and is not against nuts for general WFPB eating.

          2. ‘As nuts are a rich source of saturated fats, my preference is no nuts for heart disease patients. That also eliminates peanuts and peanut butter even though peanuts are officially a legume. For those with established heart disease to add more saturated fat that is in nuts is inappropriate. For people with no heart disease who want to eat nuts and avocado and are able to achieve a cholesterol of 150 and LDL of 80 or under without cholesterol lowering drugs, some nuts and avocado are acceptable. Chestnuts are the one nut, very low in fat, it is ok to eat.’
            https://www.dresselstyn.com/site/nuts-what-about-nuts-i-hear-so-many-different-opinions/

      1. …so as a Seventh day Adventist, I thought i would throw in a comment. All credit for seventh day Adventist health goes to Ellen G White who wrote general instructions to the church about healthful living. The healthiest amongst us have placed importance on her instruction, considering it from God. Her instructions were not huge and detailed but generalized. She stated that “ God is as truly the author of physical laws as He is author of the moral law.”…and to study His laws of nature, and practice them will insure good health….and that God is bringing man back to His original plan in Eden….and that “ in grains,fruits, vegetables, and nuts are to be found all the food elements that we need.”..the only instruction about nuts ,was ,that too many are too rich and difficult to digest. But she also stated that our diet should be “ free of grease of all kinds”….and that oil “ as found in the olive” is good for you…..which insinuates that free oils are not good, but eating a few olives is healthy…..so this is what SDA’s have used for their background! Her writings were done in the 1800’s and now seem to be very relevant. There is a compilation book available called “ Councils on Diets and Foods” that can be ordered , if you google“ seventh day adventist book store”..

        1. Thank you for suggesting the Seventh Day Adventist book store, Bonnie. There are so many books to choose from! In the health and nutrition category I recognized Brenda Davis, Wes Youngberg and John McDougall. Do you recommend other authors we may not have heard of?

    3. Too many nuts –yes– because they are extremely high in calories. Higher than sugar at 2000-3000 calories per pound. Sugar is around 1500 cpp and fats/oils are 4000 cpp.
      Nuts are beneficial to our health, but “too many nuts” can cause weight gain and all the bad things that come with it. Don’t fear the nuts, just be moderate with them, especially the butters.

      I have found that I eat far fewer nuts when they are unsalted and also when I have to remove the hull or shell from each one, naturally.

      1. A way to manage nut (and seed) consumption is to use them as an ingredient rather than a snack. I assemble a mix (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, plus raisins for some sweetness) that I store in the fridge and add a handful to my salads, include them in my muesli recipe, toss them in a stir fry, mix them into my Vitamix vegan faux ice cream recipe. That method controls how much you eat.

        Sitting in front of a TV with a bag of nuts, you’ll most likely mindlessly eat that bag of nuts.
        Steve

        Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    4. Check out this link to the topic of nuts which will lead you to several other videos on nuts; https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/nuts/ These will confirm the health values of nuts. While some speakers in the nutritional field have said nuts are unhealthy, Dr. Greger cites a rebuttal that you will find interesting. Dr.Greger does say nuts are calorie dense, so if you need to be careful not to gobble down too many nuts (See his advice on amounts towards end of video) if you are trying to lose weight. Also take care to avoid nuts that are treated with added oil or salt. Hope that helps.

  3. Vinay Kalva,

    Darwin Galt is on the case!

    Good stuff!

    A few minor points to add:

    (1) The peer reviewed academic articles that I have read in regards to optimal health and nut consumption tend to focus on ~one (1) to ~one and one half (1 1/2) ounces of nuts a day.

    If you are metric – that’s ~ 1 ounce = 28.34952 g. “30 g” seems close enough for me.

    ~ 1 1/2 ounce = 42.52428 g. Not a number I can recollect very well – you round it as you like.

    I do not recollect finding any articles that found any additional benefit over 1 1/2 ounces daily. And I did look.

    Out of pure selfish interest, it is true.

    I would welcome correction, however.

    One thing I felt I could see reading through ‘most all of the reviews that I saw – I felt like I was looking at associations between health and nut consumption more than at cause and effect.

    Correlation, as we all know, is not causation.

    Still – we have what we have.

    I am open to correction in this matter.

    (2) As Darwin Galt allluded to, selenium levels vary – they vary tremendously between Brazil nuts obtained from different sources. Looking up general nutrition information concerning selenium levels for Brazil nuts is not an accurate way to determine selenium levels in the particular Brazil nut that you are eating. It has been a long time since I looked, by I think it is greater than a ten fold difference in selenium levels in Brazil nuts from different sources. So you cannot titrate – you just don’t know what you are getting.

    And you therefore cannot generalize from one study to yourself. The nuts in the study are simply likely to be different from the nuts you are getting locally.

    If selenium is even the issue.

    And you really do not want to O.D. on selenium – ask the horses in the Nebraska Territory who did (inflamed hooves, etc. – Dr. T. C. Madison, 1856).

    It did concern me that Dr. Greger did not address these issues in his Brazil Nut video – but hey, one does not expect perfection from mortal man.

    I go ahead and try for four Brazil nuts a month – based on Dr. Greger’s video – when I get around to it.

    From different sources.

    And my hooves are doin’ just fine.

    (3) Corrections would be welcome – I do not claim expertise in the following matters – just information I have picked up, here and there, over the years:

    I believe that it was Consumer Reports, years ago, which pointed out that nuts have one of the largest pesticide burdens of any food out there. Nuts require insecticide to fight off the eating and egg-laying insects – plus miticide for the nut mites – plus fungicide to control mold.

    Who knew?

    Good luck washing that stuff off your lightly salted roasted cocktail peanuts.

    And your hostess might think you a bit – odd – if you did.

    If you are concerned about pesticides, you might wish to pony up the higher costs for organic nuts.

    I do.

    Note that that does not entirely solve the problem, however. Mold (producing aflatoxins) – is common particularly with Brazil nuts and peanuts – aflatoxins are apparently one of the more highly carcinogenic naturally occurring substances known to man. Nut companies routinely check for aflatoxins on incoming peanut shipments, and reject shipments with too high a level.

    Gotta keep those kids safe!

    Where the rejected loads go – well – I have always wondered – I suspect it is to animal feed – and thence to humans – fathers, mothers, children and all the rest – but I do not know.

    And you? Well – once you understand these matters – if you accept them as being of any importance – you may find yourself faced with a damned if you do vs. damned if you don’t choice. Do you want the insecticide / miticide / fungicide burden? Or would you prefer the higher dose of carcinogen?

    In the words our favorite local bartender: “Pick your poison!”

    As I recollect – that organic peanut butter you make fresh from those health store machines has been tested to have around a five times higher concentration of aflatoxins as the commercial peanut butter brands in the sealed jars. It would be interesting to know if any of the commercial brands have an organic option – last time I looked they did not. At the time, I wondered if they could not offer an organic option and still get the aflatoxins down to acceptable limits. But I do not know.

    Another group concerned about aflatoxins is Parrot owners. Do a web search on that and you will get an earful.

    My solution for myself?

    I no longer eat peanuts – and I eat Brazil nuts only minimally (maximum 4 X month). I can only get conventional Brazil nuts locally, anyway – so I just go with that flow.

    I find the insecticide / miticide / fungicide brew to be pretty tasty.

    (4) Charles “Snuffy” Myers – the Oncologist who founded the Prostate Forum – who appears to be very credible to me – has documented an association between ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid – and increased incidence and growth of Prostate Cancer. Dr. Myers appears to be legitimate – an old friend actually obtained a consult with Dr. Myers at my suggestion, and returned with high praise – nothing flaky about the guy. Not perfect, but pretty darned good. Dr. Myers is very nutrition-oriented – and he has long warned against the ingestion of high ALA foods in males: particularly flaxseed, walnuts and pumpkin seed. Me – I dunno. There is a lot of contradictory material out there – I try to be cautious and to maintain an open mind.

    There is black and there is white – and there are thousands of shades of grey.

    You do what you can.

    (5) Putting it all together

    (a) If you are facing acute cardiac issues – in addition to following the advice of your own wise and learned locally licensed Physician – you may wish to seriously consider the advice of Drs. Esselstyn and Ornish and cut dietary fats to an absolute minimum. I.e. – no added fats such as nuts, avocado, chocolate or olives / olive oil.

    For the duration of the acute issues, anyway. And a considerable buffer of time afterwards.

    (b) If you are just looking for a good overall health target – 10-20% fat (by calories, not weight or volume) seems a good target for many of us. Pick a number, any number between 10-20%. Nuts, avocados, 100% cooking chocolate, minimal olive/olive oil.

    Note that reasonable people will disagree, particularly in the details. Chocolate vs. Cocoa. Olives – yes or no. 30%. Those sorts of things. It happens.

    There is a lot of information out there.

    Truth is not a monolith.

    (c) If you need to gain weight – again, follow the advice or your wise and learned locally licensed Physician. I would focus first on increasing plant carbohydrates rather than just increasing fat – but that is me. Variety and moderation: including beans and grains might be a useful consideration over, say, and all fruit diet.

    Adding strength building exercises and decreasing aerobic exercises might also be good options.

    There, Vinay Kalva.

    That should get you started.

    All the best –

    Vivamus

    1. Wow, Vivamus. Thanks for the comprehensive explanation of nut nutrition. I learned a few new things I hadn’t heard before!

      1. Darwin Galt,

        You are most welcome.

        “the comprehensive explanation of nut nutrition. ”

        Actually, this was the quick-and-dirty, brief, abridged version.

        No mention of nuts’ role in iron-deficeincy anemia – which I do commonly see in vegetarians, despite hearing denials after denials by vegetarians – bless their hearts (nuts decease iron absorption). No mention of the role of nuts in exacerbation of herpes (nuts are high in arginine). No mention of ratios of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids – and all that that means. No mention of nuts’ role in warding off cholelithiasis. No mention of smoke points of various nut oils, and by extension, perhaps – just perhaps – of nuts, themselves. No mention of . . .

        Well – you get the idea.

        It is important to limit information to the bare minimum to accommodate the target audience.

        But I am glad, Darwin Galt, that you may have gotten something out of it.

        All the best –

        Vivamus

    2. Vivamus,

      I didn’t know you were a typing horse. Cousin to Mr. Ed?

      Dr. Ornish has his patients supplement Omega 3’s and he does allow small amounts of nuts. Very small amounts, but he isn’t as low fat as Dr. Esselstyn.

      1. Deb,

        Whinny! Winny!

        Neighhhhhhhh . . . .

        Wil – BUR!

        ——————————

        “Dr. Ornish has his patients supplement Omega 3’s ”

        Drs. Ornish and Smith are well aware of each other’s work.

        Were I to ever be in a question and answer session with Dr. Ornish, Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Smith’s work would be the focus of my questions.

        As far as I can tell, they are both very good.

        ————————————————-

        Dr. Ornish has done some great work.

        Really.

        Changed paradigms.

        I admire what he has accomplished.

        As to supplementation – even in his earlier work, Dr. Ornish has been an advocate of various pill supplements. As I see it, Dr. Ornish has long been an advocate of “throw as much mud up against the wall as you can and see what sticks.”

        I have taken a more measured approach. Nutrition via food, not pills.

        My only definite exception in this is B12 when appropriate – otherwise, you are going to get permanent damage. And that is just sad.

        There is a lot of question as to the value of Omega-3 supplementation. Color me very, very skeptical.

        Reasonable people may, of course, disagree.

        And horses, too.

        Neighhhhhh . . .

        Vivamus

        1. Oops –

          That is Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers – not “Smith.”

          Snuffy Smith is an entirely different character.

          Sorry about that, Dr.Myers.

          Vivamus

        2. And I understand from my limited reading, that there isnt any regulation for whats really in that supplement capsule you take every day…..

        3. Vivamus,

          I only mention him because his study reversed prostate cancer and he has people supplement omega 3 and that didn’t prevent them from reversing prostate cancer.

          There are also studies that omega 3 improves cancer.

          Not meaning to say that in a debating way. Just mentioning that if you look at prostate cancer and omega 3, some of the studies were about whether it could improve it and some were whether it would cause it and Dr. Ornish is in the middle reversing it with diet and omega 3, so, to me, the diet trumps supplements in the equation entirely.

          If you are eating a SAD diet, omega 3 doesn’t help. THAT has been proven by the studies.

          If you are eating a WFPB diet, omega 3 doesn’t hurt and at the very least it doesn’t stop the WFPB diet from helping and theoretically, it might help. That is where I place the study by Dr. Ornish. Nobody has started from Dr. Ornish’s study and compared men who supplement omega 3 and those who don’t within the WFPB study framework.

          THAT is where the debate within this community lies and we don’t know the answer because Dr. Ornish was the one who proved it could be reversed and he has people supplement omega 3.

      1. Dr. J,

        Thank you.

        Please forgive me – I was unclear.

        I have been following Selenium research in regards to medicine for a long, long time.

        The major issue I see is as follows:

        None of the work ever seems to be reproducible.

        Which means that none of it seems to be scientifically valid.

        What is that all about?

        Well – the Brazil nuts you use are going to have a much different selenium content that the Brazil nuts used in the study you are trying to confirm.

        Seeing this, the next guy trys a selenium chemical compound that he calculates to be the equivalent amount of selenium. Which doesn’t work – perhaps because it is not absorbed the same as from food.

        Then the next guy comes up with a study where selenium seems to work – but that is with a special organically-bound formulation that attempts to emulate natural food absorption – but does it really?

        Then no one can reproduce that work with whatever materials they are using.

        So – the field of selenium research in regards to medicine is not just akin to comparing apples to oranges and other fruit – it is more comparing apples to helicopters to a summers moon to the wind touching a girl’s cheek.

        The field is in total disarray.

        Which doesn’t mean that the ideas are wrong – there is enough smoke that I think there may be something there.

        And I surely want to believe it (Danger – Self-Delusion Alert!)

        But nobody seems to be able to confirm anything.

        Emperor’s New Clothes?

        And I cannot make clinical decisions and advise action for others based on a single study.

        So – why am I bothering to eat a few Brazil nuts a month?

        I like the flavor of pesticides. ;-)

        Ehhh – Dr. Greger reminded me of prior looks into the matter.

        I think there is probably something there. I dunno what it is.

        I wanna believe.

        So – doing a little – but not a lot – almost seems reasonable.

        If not scientific.

        But – who knows?

        Dr. J.

        Thanks, again,

        Vivamus

        1. Vivamus,

          I apparently operate by much simpler rules of thumb.

          With regard to Brazil nuts, my mottos are: Better safe than sorry. Err on the side of caution. Ergo, eat about 4 Brazil nuts per month.

          Keep up with the evidence. Use the balance of evidence as guidelines. Just about everything in moderation. Eat a wide variety of whole plant foods. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.

          OK, you get the picture.

          We do the best we can.

    3. Vivamus, thanks for bringing up the pesticide burden of nuts. The environmental burden of avocados worries me, especially since demand has increased so much. I ate avocado toast in the 1960s with my mom. We didn’t know it would become a thing.

      1. Anne,

        I’m not sure your concerns about the environmental burden of avocados is justified.

        Here is a comparison of water requirements for different crops (I believe on a per pound basis):

        Lettuce — 15 gallons;
        Tomatoes — 22 gallons;
        Cabbage — 24 gallons;
        Cucumber — 28 gallons;
        Potatoes — 30 gallons;
        Oranges — 55 gallons;
        Apples — 83 gallons;
        Bananas — 102 gallons;
        Corn — 107 gallons;
        Peaches or Nectarines — 142 gallons;
        Wheat Bread — 154 gallons;
        Mango — 190 gallons;
        Avocado — 220 gallons;
        Tofu — 244 gallons;
        Groundnuts — 368 gallons;
        Rice — 403 gallons;
        Olives — 522 gallons;
        Chocolate — 2847 gallons; (One pound of chocolate being quite a serving of chocolate…)

        Eggs — 573 gallons;
        Chicken — 815 gallons;
        Cheese — 896 gallons;
        Pork — 1630 gallons;
        Butter — 2044 gallons;
        Beef — 2500-5000 gallons;

        (https://www.treehugger.com/from-lettuce-to-beef-whats-the-water-footprint-of-your-food-4858599) I don’t know how valid these figures are, and whether they take into account the entire water budget.

        Now, perhaps you meant some other environmental burden? Land? Petrochemicals? (Fuels, fertilizers, pesticides)? Environmental degradation? Contribution of GHG, and to global warming? Do you have data you can share with us?

        I worry about the crime in Mexico; apparently, avocados are now a big target of former drug cartels, as marijuana becomes increasingly decriminalized and even legal in the US.

        Everything we eat, even plant based, requires resources, and, depending upon how they’re grown, can be environmentally degrading. But generally, the lower down on the food chain we eat, the fewer resources required and the less environmental damage results, with vegan generally having the least impact and damage. And environmental degradation can be minimized for plant foods.

  4. And I do believe that I heard Esselstyn say that he has patients go that low in fat and go off nuts if they are reversing heart disease.

    That was what his study was and it worked is why he did it.

    Dr. Ornish has had someone reverse heart disease to the point of no longer needing a heart transplant and he doesn’t have a “no nut” diet. He has a very low nut diet.

    But the Adventists show that people without heart disease eating nuts their whole lives may actually have less heart disease from eating nuts.

    What we don’t have proof of is whether people with heart disease are better off eating nuts or not eating nuts and that has not been studied yet.

    1. Deb wrote:

      “And I do believe that I heard Esselstyn say that he has patients go that low in fat and go off nuts if they are reversing heart disease . . .

      Dr. Ornish has had someone reverse heart disease to the point of no longer needing a heart transplant and he doesn’t have a “no nut” diet. He has a very low nut diet.

      But the Adventists show that people without heart disease eating nuts their whole lives may actually have less heart disease from eating nuts.”

      —————————

      Deb – the Numbers Girl! (or Lady or Woman of Person or Womyn or whatever you like – I am not here to offend – this is just how I think – out loud).

      In the past – certainly in dealing with Coronavirus issues – you have been very numbers-oriented. Today’s stats – that sort of thing.

      Numbers seem to be your forte.

      I envision you at a chalkboard – covered with chalk numbers – numbers ankle deep all over the floor – piled high on the desk – or looking through the periscope of your submarine, firing numbers at targeted ships – or on a beach being swept away by an overwhelming tidal wave of numbers –

      I have a request:

      When next you encounter Esselstyn or Ornish of the Adventists – or whomever – discussing nuts could you keep please keep track of how much / how often / what kind?

      I.e. – The Numbers?

      I think this would be much more actionable for people than “some” or “low” or other vague concepts.

      Deb.

      All the numerical best –

      Vivamus

      1. Dr Ornish keeps the servings very small for nuts. 1 walnut/day , or 6 peanuts , etc. The diet description is outlined at the link.
        https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/nutrition/

        Thanks for the mention of nuts and iron deficiency anemia! I do suffer anemia, but have not been tested since giving up walnuts at the start of covid ‘lockdown’. Will be interesting to see if it made a difference.

        1. Barb,

          Careful – mentioning “anemia” can be dangerous around vegetarians.

          What do you call a group of vegetarians?

          A gaggle of vegetarians?

          A vignette of vegetarians?

          I dunno.

          I love ’em – I really do – but – they do tend to get all defensive about anemia. Lots of denial, wavin’ scientific papers around in the air proving that they DO NOT HAVE anemia – instead of lookin’ at fingernails and fatigue and heart rates and labs and . . .

          Hey – it comes with the territory. Like lifeguards and cataracts / skin cancer / herpes genetalia. Ya deal with it – and you move on.

          Some dietary strategies that you may have already considered:

          Foods that increase iron absorption – think vitamin C, Vitamin A and acids: peppers, citrus, tomatoes, green onions, etc.

          “Ascorbic acid forms a chelate with ferric (Fe3+) iron in the low pH of the stomach which persists and remains soluble in the alkaline environment of the duodenum.”

          Foods/meds that decrease iron absorption – hey, these foods dominate many a vegetarian diet – think oxalates, tannins, phytates, polyphenols, calcium. Think antacids. “Animal proteins such as casein, whey, egg whites – and soy protein – have been shown to inhibit iron absorption in humans as well. ”

          “In one review, drinking a cup of black tea with a meal reduced iron absorption by 60–70%, regardless whether the tea was weak, normal or strong.”

          “However, when participants drank tea between meals, the reduction in absorption was only about 20%”

          “Polyphenol-Rich Foods: Cocoa and coffee are food sources that can inhibit iron absorption in the body. These foods sources contain polyphenols or phenolic compounds, antioxidants that help remove damaging free-floating cells from the body — which means that morning cup of coffee inhibits iron. According to the Iron Disorders Institute, cocoa can inhibit 90 percent of iron absorption in the body, while one cup of coffee can prevent iron absorption by as much as 60 percent.”

          Bad boys:
          Spinach family
          Tea
          Nuts
          Beans
          Whole Grains
          Calcium
          Chocolate (no, not chocolate!!!)
          Prilosec and it’s ilk
          Etc,

          When people are anemic, I suggest that they might eat the foods that tend to block iron absorption two hours or so after a well-laid-out iron-absorbing meal. Or longer if that fits well into the schedule of their day.

          Or reduce or eliminate if appropriate.

          Trying to follow iron levels via Transferrin is not nearly simple as it sounds. I tend to focus on MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume). Never forget – iron-deficiency anemia is a microcytic anemia. Here ya go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcytic_anemia

          And check out B12, as well (yeah, I well know that that B12 anemia is macrocytic, but the two can overlap and creep up on ya if you don’t watch out). If you are vegetarian, just take your B12 – you will make the world a better place.

          If the person with anemia is open to animal-based products – hey, I’m not out to corrupt anyone on this board – I suggest that they consider oysters – a wondrous concatenation of zinc, iron and copper – and who knows what else? Let you body sort it out instead of taking pills – I speak from knowledge, too much to write here. Consumed with high-absorption foods – such as a red bell pepper, an orange, tomatoes and green onions – I have seen zinc deficiency (ageusia) respond to oysters within a week. And who knows – might do something for your love life, as well. All warnings about fresh raw oysters remain valid – especially those from warmer waters and summer months. I would avoid canned oysters packed in cottonseed oil – think where that oil has been. Consider the pollution burden of oysters – at times, where pollution is an issue “first do no harm” gets morphed into “do more good than harm” in my book. Reasonable people disagree.

          And here is one that nobody knows – lets see if I can get it across to people whose hands may have never touched soil.

          You know who you are.

          You will read in nutritional databases about iron content of foods. You may even use nutritional software to tell you that you are eating plenty of iron. You may even believe this information.

          Sorry.

          As with Selenium in Brazil nuts in nutritional data bases, these numbers of iron in foods can be extraordinarily misleading.

          I.e. – way, way off.

          You see – iron in foods is tremendously affected by acidity of the soil in which the foods are grown. The more acidic the soil, the more the plants pick up iron (and lead and other heavy metals, as well). The more alkaline, the less iron the plants pick up.

          Remember that soil pH is not an arithmetic value, it is logarithmic. One point of pH = a factor of ten.

          Soil pH is much more determinative of plant uptake iron than actual iron contnt in the ground. Which is to say – you can fertilize the soil with additional iron until the cows come home, but the plants will not absorb much more unless the soil is of sufficiently low pH.

          Where does all this come into play? Well – consider the soil where you are located.

          If it is limestone dominant – you likely have alkaline soil – and greatly reduced iron in you veggies.

          And likely deficiencies of zinc and copper and molybdenum . . .

          Limestone-dominant soil – it’s like growing your garden in TUMS.

          And think – in what kind of soil was that kale you bought the other day at the supermarket grown?

          Well – uh – there’s no way of your knowing that. Is there?

          For those who buy locally – check with your County Extension Agent on dominant soil types in your region.

          If you are a gardener – have your soil tested by your local County Extension Service – typically ~$20 – much more reliable that the home tests.

          And consider – if you are a vegetarian with iron-deficiensy anemia – you may wish to have your copper and zinc tested, as well.

          Your physician may resist your entreaties – happens all the time – but if you can overcome that resistance, you may both be rewarded with new knowledge.

          Consider also that zinc and copper and molbydenum – and who knows what else – are absorbed by the body via similar similar pathways. Why is this important?

          Well – if you take supplemental iron to deal with your iron deficiency anemia, you can crowd out the absorption of these other nutrients.

          And these other nutrient deficiencies can, in part, mimic iron deficiency anemia. And the circle continues apace . . .

          Happens all the time.

          Yeah, I know, I know – this stuff is all pretty obvious.

          But no one ever seems to mention it.

          I don’t know why.

          Barb.

          Steer a steady course –

          Vivamus

          1. Vivamus,

            Whole plant foods eating, and vegan diets, are deficient in vitamin B12. One of the symptoms of a B12 deficiency is anemia. Others include fatigue, peripheral neuropathy (tingling), and dementia. Dr. Greger recommends supplementing with B12.

            About 1 in 3 elderly lose the ability to actively absorb B12 from their food. Also, about 1 in 6 meat eaters are deficient in B12. Everybody should be tested for B12 levels. Dr. Greger has several videos about this, and his recommendations for supplementing with B12. You can find them by typing “Vitamin B12” in the search bar.

            1. The US National Institutes of Health recommend that everyone over 50 takes a B12 supplement or eats B12 fortified foods – this includes meat eaters

              ‘Many older adults, who do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin B12 naturally present in food. People over 50 should get most of their vitamin B12 from fortified foods or dietary supplements because, in most cases, their bodies can absorb vitamin B12 from these sources.’
              https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

          2. Vivamus, thank you!! I took notes from your thorough comments and will apply your suggestions. My b12 is monitored and no problem there. With making some changes in what/when I eat, I just might be able to avoid iron supplements in future :)

            1. Barb,

              You are welcome.

              Not medical advice – for medical advice, trust in your wise and learned locally licensed physician. If there is conflicting information – go with the wisdom of your locally licensed physician, not with anything I say. Thank you.

              Iron can often be restored by diet manipulation, alone – but it may take knowledge and careful execution to get it right.

              Otherwise – a seemingly excellent nutritious vegetarian diet – whole foods, plant based – variety and moderation – can still leave a person anemic.

              Even if you do everything absolutely right via knowledge and precise diet manipulation, you may still be left anemic. Reason – gastric acid is necessary for iron digestion, and acid production can decrease drastically with age and various physical conditions – and there isn’t that much you can do about that.

              Acid is just as necessary for the absorption of iron by mammals as low soil pH (acid soil) is to iron uptake by plants. Which is kinda neat.

              We’re all in this together.

              Decreased gastric acid and decreased intrinsic factor production – together – typically associated with aging in some but not all individuals – is associated with lower B12 absorption in the elderly – as Dr J has alluded to. So when you are looking at iron deficiency anemia, you may also want to look at the possibility of decreased B12 – they may be part of the same package.

              Decreased acid also occurs with the administration of antacid therapy. Which you may have some power to change.

              When iron deficiency is a result of low gastric acid – you may really need extrinsic iron supplementation.

              Unfortunate – but likely necessary.

              So – don’t be a Steve Jobs. If modern medicine is the best way, listen to your Physician – not a stranger on the Internet – and follow your Physician’s guidance.

              Me – I just like to run a trial of nutritional therapy, first.

              Why?

              Well – Father was a Physician. A good one, thank you. Father always went the medical route – he knew what he was doing. And he died young.

              He was only 76 when he passed.

              Mother trained as a Dietician

              She favors nutritional approaches to health.

              Mother is still kickin’ at 96.

              She’s still a sweetheart.

              Dearly loved.

              I see both sides.

              I favor nutrition first – medicine when nutrition will not work.

              I.e. – I will not treat Coronavirus with a pO2 of 82 with an order to Dietary of cauliflower.

              ————————–

              Iron, zinc, copper and molybdenum are absorbed into the body via similar pathways.

              You take a bunch of one in pill form, you can block absorption of the others.

              It tends to take Physicians time to muddle through this cascade of deficiencies.

              Here is how it typically works:

              If you take iron supplements, you may end up with a zinc deficiency. Which takes time to diagnose and which can result in permanent sequelae.

              So you finally get around to treating that with zinc supplements – and you may end up with a copper deficiency.

              Which produces some really bizarre and difficult to diagnose issues. So – when you finally figure that out – you treat that with copper supplements – but you may now end up with a molybdenum deficiency.

              Which, thankfully, is well beyond my knowledge.

              I am sure that in 50 years, we will know even more of this cascade.

              Or – you can eat appropriate foods in the appropriate manner – and if you still have adequate gastric acid – your body may be able to sort all this out all by itself.

              Sometimes bodies are intrinsically a lot smarter than Physicians.

              The wise and learned Physician understands and respects this reality.

              But sometimes – sometimes bodies need extrinsic help.

              And the Physician is there.

              ———————————–

              Oh – I haven’t forgotten the Influenza issue from the other day.

              Not at all.

              Some things take thought. And thought takes time.

              Barb.

              All the best –

              Vivamus

      1. Mr Fumblefingers:

        A quick look at the numbers at that url might suggest that eating nuts one to four times a week is better than eating nuts more than five times a week.

        Your call?

        The web site also states, and I quote:

        “BMI greater than or equal to 23.9 (above average obesity)”

        Normal BMI is usually given as 18.5–24.9; Overweight as 25–29.9; Obese as BMI of 30 or greater. Morbid Obesity – definitions vary.

        This ” BMI greater than or equal to 23.9 (above average obesity)” confuses me.

        Seems like gibberish.

        I would like to understand this stuff.

        Could you please clarify?

        Thank you,

        Vivamus

        1. The article looks at the effect on

          1. people with a BMI of 23.9 or more who ate nuts 1-4 times per week. They only had 46% the risk of CHD compared to people with a BMI of 23.9 or more who date nuts fewer than 1-4 times per week
          2. those with a BMI of less than 24 who ate nuts 1-4 times per week had a CHD risk of 53 percent when compared to low nut consumers of similar obesity.(ie BMI less than 24)

          It also reported that eating nuts MORE than five times a week:

          Lowered heart risks by 47 percent among those under age 80.
          Lowered heart risks by 45 percent among those over age 80.
          Lowered the risk of coronary heart disease by 54 percent despite smoking history.
          Lowered the risk of coronary heart disease to 40 percent among those with normal blood pressure.
          Lowered the risk to 44 percent among nut-eating vegetarians.
          Lowered the risk to 39 percent among those who exercise frequently.
          Using the body-mass index (BMI) as an index of obesity, those eating nuts more than five times a week with a BMI greater than or equal to 23.9 (above average obesity) had 46 percent the risk of coronary heart disease. Those with a BMI of less than 24 had a risk of 53 percent when compared to low nut consumers of similar obesity. These associations are consistent and of sizeable magnitude, implying a probable causal relationship.

          I have no idea from that article what the results were for people eating nuts precisely 5 times per week!

          The actual study however is here.

          https://www.researchgate.net/publication/21528754_A_possible_protective_effect_of_nut_consumption_on_risk_of_coronary_heart_disease_The_Adventist_Health_Study

    2. The Adventist study showed that people who ate nuts had less heart disease not that they had zero heart disease.

      Also, was it that the nuts provided a positive benefit or merely that that they displaced calories from snack foods and other more unhealthy foods? That could result in a relative health benefit for nut eaters. it’s impossible to identify causality from associational studies.

  5. Just a comment, but if you have known CAD, then leave the nuts behind. When the body needs ‘fat’ then it uses it from the lining of the arteries where it has been accumulating. Over a long time, the blood flow improves etc.

    1. Ruthie wrote:

      “Over a long time, the blood flow improves etc.”

      Ornish was able to document marked improvement in angina within 30 days.

      ~90% of angina patients within 24 days? (anyone remember precisely?)

      I like to play a little trick: I have people who go WFPB for health reasons take their vitals daily and keep a journal.

      I am amazed – some actually do it!

      Wonders do not cease.

      As the weight goes down – and I typically have to rein the weight loss in – none of this 20 lb a month business – I do not like to see major rapid weight loss – the pulse goes down.

      Say – over anumber of years – from 88 to 56 BPM.

      Lotsa reasons – but I tell ’em that one of the reasons is probably that they are roto-rootering their arteries clean from the inside. All naturally. And – unlike angioplasty – it is all their arteries – large, medium, small – throughout their body. Brain. Kidneys. Liver. Mr. Happy. Everything.

      Naturally.

      People can visualize that. They find it very motivating.

      Heck – I find it motivating.

      No angioplasty > repeat angioplasty > chest cracked and coronary artery bypass surgery > mind fog and remaining life on anticoagulants – for them!

      What’s not to like?

      Best regards –

      Vivamus

  6. Dr. Campbell talked about the argument between the USA and the WHO and reviewed some of the comments the WHO made near the beginning, January 10th, which he had argued against back then.

    It was interesting and I know that I was already watching him back in January and somehow the WHO’s early response is something I would like the medical and science people to evaluate in the next pandemic simulation.

    The statement that I didn’t even understand the logic of back on January 10th is about 5 minutes in.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxhZ2Z-Y4ls

    1. 5 minutes and 40 seconds in.

      I like the WHO but I would like them better if they had a different response.

      Particularly at the beginning of things that could become pandemics.

    2. I’m not a fan of Campbell and don’t follow him. Reality Bites might point out that he is a retired A&E nurse with no expertise in public health, medicine, epidemiology or virology

      However, two points

      First, he is criticising an assessment made in early January from the perspective of knowledge that we have now in July 2020.

      Second, he has used selective quotation by omitting the greater part of the WHO statement

      https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/who-advice-for-international-travel-and-trade-in-relation-to-the-outbreak-of-pneumonia-caused-by-a-new-coronavirus-in-china/

  7. I think, specifically, what I didn’t like is that they would use the logic that they knew it was transmissible human to human and they knew that the Chinese New Year was coming up and that people would be traveling and they knew that Wuhan was an international hub for travel but they didn’t feel it necessary to restrict international travel or trade and they didn’t believe it would spread to other areas of China or to other countries.

    I remember not understanding that logic way back in January.

    I thought the public health people were supposed to be using logic from the health side, not from the “trade” side.

    They should have been saying something more like, “We know that we have a novel coronavirus and that it is transmissible from human to human and people are dying in Wuhan and we expect it to travel to other areas and other countries if we do not call for a restriction of international travel and trade from Wuhan until it is brought under control. We are particularly worried because of the extensive travel during the Chinese New Year…”

    I don’t understand why it wasn’t that.

    And, no, I am not wanting to get into the “he said” “he said” debates that are going on. It is more to me whether they advised the worlds’ leaders properly in those first few months and I don’t think they did and I want to know why not.

    1. Also, the CDC’s new guidelines are that schools should open in the USA and they put out a logic that I don’t understand.

      At the same time, on the same day, Doctors, Nurses, and other people want another shut down because we have more hospitalizations today than we did at any other time during the pandemic.

      Hundreds of educators have died in the USA and children are dying at a higher rate now than earlier in the pandemic and young people also are being hospitalized more than before. A school in NC just opened on Monday and they already have a positive COVID-19 case and a teacher in Florida just died and a 9-year-old in Florida just died and a summer school teacher in Arizona just died and 40 principals in one county in California tested positive after a meeting about what to do about COVID-19.

      The CDC should at least also acknowledge that some of the kids and teachers will die, but they believe that it will be an acceptable number because if some teachers are dying this week, and some kids are dying this week, more will likely die.

      I don’t mean to want to argue with the public health people, but I have not always been happy with their leadership during this pandemic. And, then, after they lead that way, they will point to some governmental person who took their advice as the one to blame.

      I am not big on blame either, but I want them to give fuller logic when teachers and kids died this week.

    2. Deb,
      Public health has to compete with trade when getting government to make a decision that affects both. That is how government works.

      1. CDC does not care about trade, that is not their job or focus. CDC just deals with health issues but is not the decider of what gets the government attention into action.

        1. Reality bites,

          The doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are asking the government to shut down again on the exact same day the CDC is saying to open up schools.

          1. Deb, Evidently there are many, many doctors that are now saying to open up the schools!

            “Within the span of 48 hours, more than 1,500 physicians have signed the Job Creators Network Foundation’s petition advocating for elementary and middle schools to reopen this fall for in-person classroom schooling.”

            https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/07/24/over-1500-physicians-sign-job-creators-network-petition-supporting-reopening-schools/

            It pays to look at all news sources these days. There is so much bias in the news today, one has to look at sources that present both sides and then make your own decision. Just like Dr Greger presents information here that you won’t find in the mainstream media.

            1. Darwin Galt,

              I have read that doctors are losing money, as patients forgo routine visits and care and procedures; some practices are closing for good. Hospitals, too, are losing huge amounts of money. So the fact that “1,,500 physicians have signed the Job Creators Network Foundation’s petition advocating for elementary and middle schools to reopen this fall for in-person classroom schooling” impresses me not one whit. They have a vested interest in people resuming normal activities.

              The only thing that would impress me is evidence; what evidence did they present to show that opening schools is safe? Of both the benefits, and the risks? That the balance of the benefit to the risk is sufficiently great to warrant opening schools?

              Also, what is the Job Creators Network Foundation? Who founded it? Who funds it?

              “ The Job Creators Network (JCN) is a conservative U.S. advocacy group. It was founded by Bernie Marcus, the co-founder and former CEO of Home Depot.” (

              The organization has received significant funding from the Mercer Family Foundation, a private grant-making foundation that invested about $70 million into conservative causes between 2009 and 2014.[1][2][3][4]” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_Creators_Network)

              OK, they are conservative and funded by dark money; they are motivated by profits, and not your or anyone else’s good health. I would completely ignore anything they support.

              1. Dr J, I am suspect of ANY evidence that I read anywhere today! Whether it’s for opening schools or against. Everyone has an agenda. That’s why I always advocate for looking at both sides and try to focus on the big picture.

                And I’ve seen just as much evidence from believable sources that the harms of closing so many things down is doing far more harm and causing far more deaths indirectly than if things were left open.

                Sure, I do believe that the Covid-19 is a real threat. But there are less drastic measures that can be taken to mitigate the impact. And focusing on that one factor instead of looking at the big picture is counter-productive and is not the best approach for saving lives, in my opinion.

                1. One of the things that I am most wondering is if they have been adding in the risks specific to the USA when they did their math. Does the CDC have a math page?

                  Did they account for the 13.7 million children who are obese? Did they account for the safety to their obese parents and grandparents?
                  88 million people in the USA have prediabetes, did they account for that in their math? In 2018 alone, 210,000 children and adolescents younger than age 20 years were newly diagnosed with diabetes, adding to the numbers who already had it. Are they safe at school? Are their diabetic parents safe? How about kids with autoimmune? Celiac is the most common, but as of 2009, about 1 in 1000 children were diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. The CDC said that 2.6 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Are they safe?

                  Maybe they have added all of the math in, but I sure would like to see it.

                  To quote Vox

                  “Multiple studies from China investigated the attack rate among people living in a house with someone who is infected. They found that only about 4 to 5 percent of kids developed an active infection. In comparison, about 17 to 20 percent of adults became infected after exposure.

                  To be fair, data in the US is more concerning. In New York state, 57 percent of people living with a Covid-infected person developed an infection.”

                  1. How about the teachers?

                    Rocha et al.,12 reported the prevalence rate of overweight/obesity to be 47.2% among teachers in the USA.

                    Over half a million public and private school teachers are in the most at-risk age range for COVID-19. That is just the teachers. In NY, cafeteria people, school nurses, school administrators, and principals, all tended to fall in the older age-range and people in all of those categories died in NY.

                    44% of the principals in private schools are in their 60’s.

              1. Deb, That’s great! Keep up the broad research and keep an eye on the big picture :-)

                As I’m sure you know, the Media likes to control the narrative and focus our attention on one issue. Most of the time, that’s just a distraction technique so we don’t think of looking at the elephant in the room ;-)

              2. I guess I don’t like when they use Chinese studies and extrapolate it as to what American families and American schools should do.

                We didn’t have the same pandemic partly because we don’t have the same culture and we have factors like the SAD diet that we have.

                For instance, they were wearing masks in their own houses.

                We don’t even like wearing them at the grocery store.

                1. I can use Mexico City as an example

                  https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2020/07/24/why-are-so-many-young-people-dying-of-covid-19-in-mexico-city/#330de0652792

                  47% are under the age of 61. And I noted that they use age 61 instead of age 65 which has always been used in this pandemic, probably to make the 50% mark be in the older group. They never include 65 in the lower age group, I believe for that reason in the USA, but with Mexico city they had to move it to 61 to make it look like it is all old people.

                  The fact that they had to do that to improve the statistics is interesting.

                  1. In the Philippines, seniors are defined as ‘seniors’ if they are over 60. So too in Mexico.with the INAPAMN card.

                    There is no need to invent fanciful, sinister reasons for why ‘they’ used a different age cut-off for to define older people than that used in the US.

              3. Darwin,

                And when I look at the reasons those doctors give for opening school, it doesn’t jive with the study that most psychiatric breakdowns, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts occur during the school year and dip every single time of the year students are away from school and stop spiking once they are completely done with school.

                School is not this sanctuary for troubled kids. It is where they get bullied and rejected and where they get in trouble and get exposed for lacking discipline and where they feel dumb, etc.

                I ask, how many children killed themselves during the lockdown?

                And what type of socialization will they be getting when they go back with no art, music, recess, gym, sports, games or anything that allows the children too close together.

                And when they come home they now will lose interactions with grandparents and parents who have health issues and other family members and instead get 6 feet away masked air high fives with friends that they will sit back to back with every other week.

                1. The thing is, before COVID, in every area of the world that has been looked at, 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 to 7 boys are sexually abused.

                  So you would think that kids would get a reprieve at school, but 95% of the time when a boy kills himself it is related to school rather than to abuse at home.

                  So, COVID is a huge stressor, but did more kids kill themselves during lockdown or in school the first half of the year or will it be after a close loved one dies from COVID?

                  1. I go back to Dr Greger talking about med school being so toxic that people kill themselves or think about it.

                    With young males 95% of the ones who kill themselves or think about it, school is toxic for them.

                    There is a 300% increase in psychiatric break downs for young people during the school year.

                    1. I looked up suicides in the USA and actually, other countries, have had a spike in suicide in young people during COVID-19. I kept trying to get them to give me youth killing themselves during the lockdown, but the people I found who had killed themselves were all older. Several of them were medical people. The youngest I found was 23.

                    2. Okay, I found one teen suicide in February and 1 in April.

                      But I found lots of suicides of older people who thought they had COVID and medical people. They expect suicides of people who are economically hard hit, but that is likely to come starting next month because the $600 per week might be stopping. Or it might be lowered.

                      People who have had serious cases of COVID have PTSD and they have chronic problems now and they are a group that is likely to kill themselves according to one article.

                      In past epidemics, it was elderly people who killed themselves out of the stress and fear of getting sick and out of social isolation.

                      But there is always a bump when the economy goes south and one article said that there have been spikes in suicide with every recession and pandemic.

                      The thing is, back in the summer and fall of 2019, they were talking about exploding suicide rates and exploding suicide rates of black young males and Native American young people.

                      But that doesn’t seem to be happening yet.

                      If it really is 95% correlated to being back in school, then it might start spiking in a few months.

                      Much of the teen suicides come from bullying at school and online and loss of relationship and stress load at certain times at school.

                      Well, I found 1.

                      We will see if school helps or hurts soon enough.

                    3. And there was an article that something like 28 million young adults came home for COVID and they add to the seriously high number of young adults who will live with their parents for decades as adults because of debt and rent cost. That is the most common way to live now and the stigma of it is dropping off again.

                    4. Okay, I found an article that black young males, though mostly older than school age, are killing themselves at a much higher rate in 2020. It started before COVID-19 though.

                      I ended up sending my questions to WNPR. They take questions and I am going to put it down now. There aren’t a whole lot of young people killing themselves and I disagree with everybody about school.

                      I realize that my brain is breaking down from lack of sleep, but I got rid of the cat today, and I am hoping to sleep.

                      I think COVID has been affecting me, but I am not at all afraid of getting it. I am afraid by how confusing every single thing is. I am afraid that I don’t trust anyone in leadership of any groups all that much. I cling to a few nice doctors who seem sincere and careful enough to help my mind process, but the culture rips my brain into shreds and I am afraid of that. I am afraid of how the leaders make decisions. And I mean that on every side.

                      I am going to try to sleep tonight. But I read that there were more than 6,200 suicides among people aged 15 to 24 in 2017, so it should have been easier to find articles. The black community is having spikes in suicide, but that started before COVID and might be more related to a different national emergency issue.

                      Hopefully, WNPR can help them. I am not good at getting people to agree with me.

                    5. Massachusetts had a politician lie and say there was a big spike when there was a decrease. They averaged 4 per week last year and now sometimes they have had 1, sometimes 3. A numerical drop but they don’t know why.

                      The California doctor who lied said there was a massive spike but there were a handful fewer than the same time period the year before.

                    1. Some of the places the suicides are dropping to the 2016 levels and 2017 is the year that suicides really are talked about as having jumped.

                    2. When I looked it up from the abuse side, it said that $1 increase in the minimum wage decreased child abuse and neglect by 10%.

                      My poor friends who have still been able to stay out of work have been so happy during the pandemic. They are getting $600 per week, plus, unemployment (and one also is getting social security and the student loans she had taken out for her daughter are no longer docked in her pay.) She has never made this much money before in her whole life and hasn’t had trouble paying rent or utilities or insurance, plus, she hasn’t been afraid of getting COVID, plus, she has never had a real vacation before and has had months off for a stay-cation. Plus, she hasn’t needed all that much gas money.

                      I go back to the fact that 50% of Americans make less than $34,000 and 25% of them make less than $22,000 and millions of Americans make an equivalent of $9,000 for a 3 family household.

                      Honestly, the poor people have asked their employers to wait as long as possible to bring them back.

                      I suspect that has helped with the suicide rate during lockdown.

        2. And, I am not trying to argue with you.

          They are the experts and governments are listening to them.

          They said that it is important that children go back to school. Their language. It is important that they go into the physical building and that there is low risk. They said it even though 3 teachers died this week and 40 principals in one county of California ended up getting COVID-19 and more children in Florida died this month than all the previous months of the pandemic combined.

          They didn’t use the language, “We know that economically because some parents need to work onsight, we need schools open so they can go back to work, and facing this reality, we need to do the following things to make this process safer, but we cannot get down to zero risk for students or teachers.”

          They did, “It is important for schools to open” on the same day that doctors and nurses and other health care workers are pointing to the fact that more people are hospitalized for COVID-19 than any other time in the pandemic and are trying to say, “It is important for society to close again.”

          They will not be heard and need an air hug because the money to do that has been drying up.

          But they are doing the authoritative, “We are the leaders and we are going to tell the world leaders what to do, and then we are going to not acknowledge that we might have been a little too optimistic” song and dance and, to me, they are doing a song and dance process and there was a huge consequence from the WHO not recommending shutting down of international travel from Wuhan and they won’t back up and admit it and plan to do things differently next potential pandemic.

          Kids and teachers are dying now. This week.

          Schools opened this week and already have their first positive tests for COVID-19. Today.

          I wish they wouldn’t be quite so authoritative in the beginning and I wish they would admit that they are the ones who did it afterward.

      2. Reality bites,

        I agree with you. But when the WHO says that it is not likely to spread to other countries and says to not close down international trade from Wuhan on the same day that Medcram records a video that there was a case in Chicago and one in Washington state, they were already behind.

        Rather than leading the global charge and talking to China and saying, could you close down the international travel for a few weeks to spare the world a pandemic.

        Again, the WHO released the low risk, not likely to spread the same day MedCram recorded a video saying, “It is here already.”

        I was already watching MedCram that day.

        By then, YouTube knew I might be interested in what they were saying.

        1. I also am just sincerely confused and I don’t know if it is my brain problems or if these agencies just talk out of both sides of their mouths so much that I can’t follow fast enough. I know that I am having more brain problems corresponding with less sleep.

          But one CDC article that I read was talking about how we need to open schools and there will be low risk to teachers or the children.

          Then, another CDC article is about how kids aged-10-and-over spread COVID just as much as adults. and I will add that kids that age often have younger siblings and a 9-year-old died this past week, so 10 is more of a relative number.

          https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-health-news/covid-19-roundup-actual-cases-6-to-24-times-higher-cdc-older-kids-can-spread-virus-and-sample-pooling-approved/

          1. Did the epidemiologists line up with the WHO when the WHO didn’t want to close Wuhan to international travel and trade in the beginning or when they were saying that it wouldn’t likely spread to other countries?

            Why doesn’t the CDC line up with the medical doctors right now?

            And why did people get mad at Trump for agreeing with the WHO in the beginning and for following the CDC now?

            He followed them both times when I might not have followed them if I were a leader.

            If I had been president, I would have been on the phone with the WHO and been saying, “Why are you thinking it won’t spread?”

            1. I also ask if children under age 10 in the USA might be extremely different BMI and other factors than the children they are making statements based on.

              A Duke study a few years ago, obesity prevalence was 26 percent among 2- to 5-year-olds

              In studies that discussed obesity in very children considering racial factors, obesity was even higher in the Black and Hispanic communities.

              Girls in the USA can get their periods by age 8 or 9.

              I don’t feel like they are analyzing the data with cultural differences contemplated before making these recommendations.

              To me, it is premature use of science.

              1. I apologize because I know that my brain is confused.

                To me, the CDC should be lining up with the health professionals and the WHO should have been saying that once we know there is human to human transmission that viruses can spread out of the starting country.

                I don’t understand the agendas of those agencies, but it feels like they are not just about health or they would line up with the doctors.

                And, there was just a pandemic simulation and I assume both of those agencies were invited?

                Next time, could you ask them, “Do you understand that this could go global?” as the first question to the WHO.

                And what do you communicate when it is the record highest rate of COVID globally and the record highest number of hospitalizations but people can’t afford to stay home, so schools have to decide whether to open or not? Can it be a nuanced answer?

                1. A few of my friends whose kids are in college are sending them back to campus because of what the CDC said.

                  I am the only one who found it confusing.

                  I have been watching Miami and I am not hearing the reality that young people often do stupid things the moment their parents’ backs are turned. Or they did when I went to college.

                  1. Deb,

                    You are not wrong.

                    Too much to write. Out of time. Sorry.

                    Simply:

                    (1) Vietnam – Zero deaths from Coronavirus. Zero.

                    (2) United States – you would know the current numbers better that I do. 140,000+? You tell us.

                    Both countries had the same information.

                    How did Vietnam do things right?

                    By ignoring everything that the WHO and CDC and NIH and FDA and U.S Surgeon General and the airlines and the President of the United States said.

                    Except to laugh at it.

                    How did the U.S get itself into this pickle?

                    By following the guidance of the WHO and the CDC and the FDA and NIH and the US Surgeon General and the President of the United States.

                    They all have blood on their hands.

                    You know the numbers better than I do.

                    They have no valid excuses.

                    And it continues.

                    It couldn’t be clearer.

                    Our crew had word to ignore anything out of the WHO and the CDC since late January.

                    We don’t even consider what they say – except on how to plan around it.

                    Result: our crew has been well-prepared.

                    Not one of our crew has been ill.

                    ———————————

                    You keep thinkin’, Deb – that’s what you’re good at!

                    You are right – others are wrong. It happens all the time.

                    You won’t be able to convince anyone – don’t even try.

                    Think of it as Darwinism in action.

                    Or the power of social conformity.

                    Don’t let it rattle you.

                    If it does rattle you – you need to seek out like-minded people.

                    We humans are social animals.

                    Social support does wonders.

                    You are right, they are wrong – don’t let it bother you.

                    Just do right by yourself – and by your crew.

                    That is all you can do.

                    Sorry for the repetition – no time to clean it up

                    Sleep tight –

                    Vivamus

                    1. Vivamus,

                      You made me laugh.

                      Thank you for validating my opinions. I don’t really have anybody local who agrees with me.

                      Sometimes, knowing that I only have 5% functioning in a few areas of my brain, but I used to test perfect for logic, ends up being the hardest logic problem of all to figure out.

                      Vivamus,

                      The CDC just told all my teacher friends and parents of school children that the children and teachers would be safe to go back to school. There is little risk that any of them or the grandparents who have custody of so many children or all of the obese parents and siblings and all of the autoimmune community will be safe and so many of the people who weren’t going to send their children are people in the 65% of the population of the USA who just obey the authorities. The CDC says it is safe, lets go back to school.

                      I am the rebel in the bunch.

                      And they are probably the biggest contributing factor to why I think things through so much.

                      I am watching kids needing to switch which parent has custody of them, perhaps, if they want to go back to school. Or they can no longer see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, family members with health problems, so now they can have kids to theoretically play with, even though they won’t have recess, but they will lose every family interaction in their lives and have to move out of grandma’s house.

                      I have professor friends who have spouses with Lupus and kids with Tourette’s and half the kids are overweight and some have asthma, so can the professor go to work and can some of the kids go to school or not?

                      Well, the CDC says it is safe and that there is very low risk that anybody is going to die, so I guess that is what the authorities believe.

                      So, is it going to be like the WHO not being able to understand that the novel coronavirus might spread on the airplanes and actually get to other countries, especially during the Chinese version of Christmas?

                    2. Yesterday, I had a discussion with 2 educators, and, honestly, I thought they would be privately discussing their own concerns with someone, so I brought it up, which turned out to be a mistake.

                      I asked what they thought and one immediately said, “I heard that the case rate is extremely exaggerated and that hospitals are just saying that people have COVID-19 to get more money.” She gave Florida as an example and I said, “I have heard that claim, too, but I have also heard that 2 weeks after the cases started going up, the hospitalizations started going up and the ICU bed usage started going up and that now the deaths are spiking, even though it was a younger community that was testing positive. I also heard that the younger people have started spreading it to their elderly relatives. I have never heard a case where a county in Florida has used up all of the ICU beds in 53 of their hospitals. It might happen during a flu season, but it doesn’t make sense that doctors are sending people to the ICU as part of a ruse to get money when they are in a tourist state and having cases spike is destroying the tourist industry and almost caused the NBA season to not happen. Plus, since insurance companies have often agreed to waive the cost of doctor’s co-pays and meds, plus the testing would be free if it is under COVID-19, I can’t imagine hospital administrators telling their people to lie when the insurance companies would be defrauded. Pretty sure there would be some hospital administrators in those 53 hospitals with the person being told to do that crying foul rather than doing that.” Then, I said that there have been hundreds of deaths of educators, some principals, some school nurses died, and that more young people are dying now than at any other time in the pandemic.”

                      I had boundaries set against me and was told that I cannot talk about COVID anymore.

    3. Instead of just accepting Campbell’s commentary and leaving it at that, why not read the WHO statement itself?

      For example, it said ‘From the currently available information, preliminary investigation suggests that there is no significant human-to-human transmission, and no infections among health care workers have occurred. More information is required to better understand the mode of transmission and clinical manifestation of this new virus.’
      https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/who-advice-for-international-travel-and-trade-in-relation-to-the-outbreak-of-pneumonia-caused-by-a-new-coronavirus-in-china/

      Also, the news at that time was about a virus causing pneumonia. There was no news (or at least discussion) of any resulting mortality. The information appeared to be just about pneumonia cases. Not fatalities.

      That’s why I think most of these criticisms are mistaken and perhaps even irresponsible.

  8. The absorption-into-the-blood-stream graphs on this avocado video reminded me of an important insight that people often misunderstand. The “spike and decline” pattern of absorption into the blood stream of any nutrient from a meal is generally not a reflection of the presence or amount of a nutrient in one’s cells. As I understand it, the cells hold a pool of nutrients which they access as needed and are replenished periodically (after a meal). The cells’ contents do not rise and fall in the same way as do the contents of the blood. Imagine if the selenium in the cells, as discussed in the comments above, rose and fell on a regimen of four Brazil nuts over the course of a month.

    On the other hand, measures such as spikes of oxidative stress to the endothelial lining of the arteries in the hours after a particular meal, those are meaningful measures. But that is different from nutrient absorption into the blood vs. into cells.

  9. Good morning.

    I was wondering which of the following studies has more significance: a prospective cohort study of 100,000 participants or a randomized controlled trial with 40 participants. The studies were about the effect of eating fish on omega-3 levels in the body.

    1. Vinay,

      Post the links to the studies.

      There are factors such as who funded it, how the study was designed, what the p values were, etc.

      But the randomized control trial is a higher quality trial unless they designed it wrong and that happens.

      Food industries do design studies wrong on purpose.

      Even one plant food industry did something like compare their fruit to a junk food if I remember properly. It might have been a kiwi study.

    2. Vinay, Deb has pointed out just why more information is needed before one can say whether one study or another is better. Yes, generally larger studies have more validity than small ones and randomized control trials are more decisive than prospective studies–IF all other design issues were equal. It would be wise to review the funding and design of both studies and then make sure their conclusions reflect results and do not exaggerate results. Nice to see you are evaluating studies, though! Dr Greger has looked at eating fish and omega-3 levels and you can review the research studies he looked at in https://nutritionfacts.org/2019/03/14/the-purported-benefits-of-eating-fish/

  10. I have had a question for a while about fat soluble vitamins. My understanding is that there is enough of whatever is needed within the plant (small traces of fats) for there to be a benefit to the animal (us) eating it. So what if we don’t absorb triple the amount the plant by itself is offering. Why would increasing the absorption of a particular nutrient out of many nutrients be necessarily a good thing? I love veggies by themselves. This should be a-ok, right?

    1. You’ll get all the vitamins and minerals you need from a varied plant based diet that is unprocessed, except for B12. Best to go to your doctor and get tested, and probably take a B12 supplement. Don’t forget adequate sun exposure so that you don’t become Vitamin D deficient (which is a real pandemic).

    1. I’ve recently read some of Dr. Levitt’s work. He is for herd immunity. Obviouly, not everyone is getting sick. However, some of this data contradicts data that we have been looking at for weeks. Especially the mask / no mask data.

        1. Dan, hope you are out there bicycling every day! I am still getting up very early a.m. to do my laps around the block and noticing some improvements.

          I spent this past weekend looking at different studies about leg muscle/ longevity association and similar types of articles about the health benefits of fitness.

          I also came across an article that the bbc ran today . Apparently the british prime minister is keen to support new efforts encouraging healthy diets and fitness in the uk. He said that his own extra weight was a factor in becoming so ill with covid. They also are encouraging people to get out and ride their bikes.

          https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-53541866
          https://www.howardluksmd.com/sports-medicine/muscle-mass-strength-and-longevity/

  11. I just saw this on the news … Good news for a change:

    “Dr Levitt, a Nobel Laureate professor at Stanford University Claims US COVID Will Be Done In 4 Weeks by Late August”

    From Dr Levitt’s Twitter account:

    Michael Levitt
    @MLevitt_NP2013
    US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks with a total reported death below 170,000. How will we know it is over? Like for Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. Reported COVID19 deaths may continue after 25 Aug. & reported cases will, but it will be over.

    https://twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1287036738565738496

    And from another good article with plenty of graphs and mathematical analysis to back it up.

    “No “second wave” on the horizon. Covid-19 is on it’s final legs … ”

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/lockdown-lunacy-2-0-second-wave-not-even-close/

  12. They said that COVID-19 is likely going to be fairly high in the Top 10 leading causes of death in the USA this year.

    In 2018, 147,810 people died of a stroke; and that was in the Top 5 leading causes of death in the USA. According to the Worldometer, Covid-19 has claimed over 149,000 lives in just a matter of months.

    It won’t come anywhere near heart disease or cancer, but the COVID deaths don’t count the people who died at home from it and nursing homes from before May 1st, etc.

  13. I know my comment is not in relation to this video but I need a way to reach out to the community. I reversed my heart disease 9 years ago by following WFPB and life style changes. I have a much more important job now. I am trying to help my wife who has been diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. She has now had a CT scan, biopsy related to findings of the CT scan and a PET scan. We learned Friday that the PET scan found zero cancer anywhere except in a 2.3″ tumor on her lung. This was better than what the doctors originally thought they would find. My wife has followed a semi-WFPB diet for the last few years but has been very disciplined for the last 4 weeks. She does not want to go the chemo and radiation route based on friends we have that went that route only to end up dead. We are looking for a doctor/partner/adviser to help us with reversing this cancer with diet and lifestyle changes. I have been looking many places over the last few weeks with very little success. I have been a subscriber of Nutrition Facts for many years and know the community is very good in trying to help.
    Thank you all in advance!!!

  14. Vitamin E is a blood thinner. So sunflower seeds work well. Ginger is a blood thinner. You can eat it like candy. There is no reason to have issues with Vitamin K1 if you eat those vegetables that contain it in moderation. I used to eat a lot of kale salads. Sometimes four huge bowls of it a day. My doctor wanted to put me on warfarin. After I looked at the side effects I refused. I just stopped eating so much kale and upped my intake of blood thinning foods. My blood pressure has been normal ever since.

    That doesn’t mean it was that simple. I ate so many sunflower seeds I reawakened my heart murmur. Goodbye sunflower seeds. Then goodbye heart murmur and atrial fibrillation. That was six years ago. Now I can eat nuts again but I do so in moderation.

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