Flashback Friday: Diet & GERD Acid Reflux Heartburn

Flashback Friday: Diet & GERD Acid Reflux Heartburn
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Which foods should we eat and avoid to prevent and treat acid reflux before it can place us at risk for Barrett’s esophagus and cancer?

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Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common disorders of the digestive tract. The two most typical symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation of stomach contents up into the back of the throat. But it’s not just burning pain and a sour taste in your mouth. It causes millions of doctor visits every year, millions of hospitalizations. And the most feared complication is cancer.

You start out with a normal esophagus. And if the acid keeps creeping up, it gets all inflamed, and you can get esophagitis, which can turn into Barrett’s esophagus, which can turn into cancer–adenocarcinoma. To prevent all that, we just need to prevent the acid reflux in the first place.

In the last three decades, the incidence of this cancer in the US has increased sixfold–an increase greater than that of melanoma, breast, or prostate cancer. And that’s because acid reflux is on the rise. In the United States, we’re up to like one in four people suffering at least weekly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation, compared to down around 5% in Asia, suggesting dietary factors may play a role.

In general, high fat intake is associated with increased risk, whereas high-fiber foods appear to be protective. The reasons fat intake may be associated with GERD symptoms and erosive esophagitis is because studies on volunteers have shown that when we eat fatty foods, the sphincter at the top of the stomach that’s supposed to keep the food and acid down is relaxed in the presence of fat, and so more acid can creep up into the esophagus.

For example, if you have volunteers eat a high-fat meal—a McDonald’s sausage and egg McMuffin–and compare that to a low-fat meal–McDonald’s hot cakes–there was significantly more acid squirted up in the esophagus after the high-fat meal.

Then in terms of later stages, over the last 20 years, 45 studies have been published on the association between Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, and diet. In general they found that meat and high-fat meals appeared to increase cancer risk.

Though different meats were associated with cancers in different locations: red meat was more associated with cancer in the esophagus, but poultry was more associated with cancer at the top of the stomach. Whereas “meat alternatives” such as beans and nuts were associated with a significantly decreased risk of cancer, consistent with previous data suggesting a protective effect of plant protein sources, as well as fruits, vegetables and antioxidants, in produce form, not pill form.

Those eating the most antioxidant-rich foods had half the odds of esophageal cancer, whereas practically no reduction in risk among those who used vitamin supplements, such as Vitamin C or E pills.

The most protective produce may be red-orange vegetables, dark green leafies, berry juice, apples, and citrus. But it may not just be the plants. Eating healthy foods crowds out less healthy foods, so it may be a combination of both.

Based on a study of 3,000 people, the consumption of non-vegetarian foods was an independent predictor of GERD, which in this study in India presumably included eggs.

Egg yolks appear to induce an increase in a hormone cholecystokinin, which may overly relax the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The same hormone is increased by meat, which may help explain why vegetarianism appeared to be a protective factor for reflux esophagitis.

Researchers found that those eating meat had twice the odds of reflux-induced esophageal inflammation. Therefore, vegetarian diets may offer protection, though it’s uncertain whether it’s attributable to the absence of meat in the diet, or the increased consumption of healthy foods. Vegetarian diets are characterized by greater consumption of fruits and vegetables containing innumerable phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants than omnivores, in addition to just restricting their consumption of animal sources of food, which tend to be fattier, and then can relax that sphincter and aggravate reflux.

Bottomline, GERD is common; its burdens are enormous. It relapses frequently and can cause bleeding and strictures, not to mention a deadly cancer. The mainstay of treatment is the proton pump inhibitor drugs, which rake in billions of dollars. We spend four billion dollars on Nexium alone, three billion on Prevacid, two billion on Protonix, one billion on Aciphex. But they can cause nutrient deficiencies, increase the risk for pneumonia, food poisoning, and bone fractures. Thus, it is important to find correctable risk factors and correct them. Known correctable risk factors are things like obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption, but there hadn’t been studies on eating meat versus not eating meat. But now we have another correctable factor to help prevent this disease.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Jo Christian Oterhals via Flickr.

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common disorders of the digestive tract. The two most typical symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation of stomach contents up into the back of the throat. But it’s not just burning pain and a sour taste in your mouth. It causes millions of doctor visits every year, millions of hospitalizations. And the most feared complication is cancer.

You start out with a normal esophagus. And if the acid keeps creeping up, it gets all inflamed, and you can get esophagitis, which can turn into Barrett’s esophagus, which can turn into cancer–adenocarcinoma. To prevent all that, we just need to prevent the acid reflux in the first place.

In the last three decades, the incidence of this cancer in the US has increased sixfold–an increase greater than that of melanoma, breast, or prostate cancer. And that’s because acid reflux is on the rise. In the United States, we’re up to like one in four people suffering at least weekly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation, compared to down around 5% in Asia, suggesting dietary factors may play a role.

In general, high fat intake is associated with increased risk, whereas high-fiber foods appear to be protective. The reasons fat intake may be associated with GERD symptoms and erosive esophagitis is because studies on volunteers have shown that when we eat fatty foods, the sphincter at the top of the stomach that’s supposed to keep the food and acid down is relaxed in the presence of fat, and so more acid can creep up into the esophagus.

For example, if you have volunteers eat a high-fat meal—a McDonald’s sausage and egg McMuffin–and compare that to a low-fat meal–McDonald’s hot cakes–there was significantly more acid squirted up in the esophagus after the high-fat meal.

Then in terms of later stages, over the last 20 years, 45 studies have been published on the association between Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, and diet. In general they found that meat and high-fat meals appeared to increase cancer risk.

Though different meats were associated with cancers in different locations: red meat was more associated with cancer in the esophagus, but poultry was more associated with cancer at the top of the stomach. Whereas “meat alternatives” such as beans and nuts were associated with a significantly decreased risk of cancer, consistent with previous data suggesting a protective effect of plant protein sources, as well as fruits, vegetables and antioxidants, in produce form, not pill form.

Those eating the most antioxidant-rich foods had half the odds of esophageal cancer, whereas practically no reduction in risk among those who used vitamin supplements, such as Vitamin C or E pills.

The most protective produce may be red-orange vegetables, dark green leafies, berry juice, apples, and citrus. But it may not just be the plants. Eating healthy foods crowds out less healthy foods, so it may be a combination of both.

Based on a study of 3,000 people, the consumption of non-vegetarian foods was an independent predictor of GERD, which in this study in India presumably included eggs.

Egg yolks appear to induce an increase in a hormone cholecystokinin, which may overly relax the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The same hormone is increased by meat, which may help explain why vegetarianism appeared to be a protective factor for reflux esophagitis.

Researchers found that those eating meat had twice the odds of reflux-induced esophageal inflammation. Therefore, vegetarian diets may offer protection, though it’s uncertain whether it’s attributable to the absence of meat in the diet, or the increased consumption of healthy foods. Vegetarian diets are characterized by greater consumption of fruits and vegetables containing innumerable phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants than omnivores, in addition to just restricting their consumption of animal sources of food, which tend to be fattier, and then can relax that sphincter and aggravate reflux.

Bottomline, GERD is common; its burdens are enormous. It relapses frequently and can cause bleeding and strictures, not to mention a deadly cancer. The mainstay of treatment is the proton pump inhibitor drugs, which rake in billions of dollars. We spend four billion dollars on Nexium alone, three billion on Prevacid, two billion on Protonix, one billion on Aciphex. But they can cause nutrient deficiencies, increase the risk for pneumonia, food poisoning, and bone fractures. Thus, it is important to find correctable risk factors and correct them. Known correctable risk factors are things like obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption, but there hadn’t been studies on eating meat versus not eating meat. But now we have another correctable factor to help prevent this disease.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Jo Christian Oterhals via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

This is another one of those fundamental topics, like my How to Prevent High Blood Pressure with Diet video.

I did do a video about esophageal cancer, though, on the extraordinary reversal of the kinds of precancerous changes that lead to the devastating condition with nothing but strawberries: Strawberries versus Esophageal Cancer.

Since this video came out in 2015, I have a few more videos on GERD:

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

84 responses to “Flashback Friday: Diet & GERD Acid Reflux Heartburn

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  1. “high fiber foods appear to be protective” — What food has more viscus fiber than ground chia? How about a thick slurry of ground chia and water to stop acute acid reflux?

  2. I thank GERD for pushing me to actually CHANGE my eating habits to WFPB. It took a little while (a few weeks, long after I felt better in most every other aspect of living), but eventually I was able to kick PPI’s to the curb. AIN’T NEVER going back.

    Michael Greger and several other PB doctors where instrumental for me to get my mind in the right place to actually make the leap. Also it helps if you don’t mind being considered “odd”.

    Some folks had rather die of “normal” things at a normal age than to ever be deemed odd or different. Sad but appears quite true to from my vantage point.

    My biggest regret is not starting 20 or 30 years younger and saving more of my teeth.

    1. I thank GERD…
      —————————
      I don’t know if this was an accident or intentional… but if intentional, you sir, have a gift. ‘-)

    1. I understand that craniosacral therapy has some success but not always. I attend a chiropractor who also practices craniosacral therapy among other alternatives. I usually attend every 6 weeks and noticed mild tinnitus after surgery had gone. It occasionally comes back with stress but craniosacral therapy keeps it in check. It’s such an understated therapy but fascinating

    2. There is one doctor who has been healing it with PEMF. It happened accidentally. He was treating the brains of people trying to heal their balance center, but he accidentally improved their tinnitus. It is using it on the brain, not on the ears. It is in the brain, not the ears. Even deaf people suffer from it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYAn3L2iwQo

      There is a scam product video, which has real studies in it and if you go to the studies, they give a lot of information. I am not promoting the product. His point is that it can often be a symptom of brain problems, like dementia and early onset Alzheimers and problems with synapses and that is the basis of the berries concoction he sells. That part, I say because this site has information on what to do for those things.

      https://www.fightingtinnitussolution.com/landing/v2/gdn/index2.php?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoKiTuPrS4wIVjKlRCh2sbAJKEAEYASAAEgL9nvD_BwE

      1. There are more causes than that and your friend may need a physical to figure out which factors are involved. Many people who have tinnitus are B12 deficient and have high Homocysteine, so your friend should make sure they are supplementing with a viable B-12. Metabolic disorders can also cause it. Low Serotonin levels. High Insulin levels. Hypertension. Meniere’s Disease TMJ

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918681/

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259145530_The_Role_of_Homocysteine_in_Tinnitus_Etiology

        There is anecdotal evidence of eating things like broccoli, who say it gets better and that could be related to the synapses.

        1. That second link you provided said the researchers found no statistically significant link between tinnitus and B12/homocysteine levels (unless I missed something ?)

    3. Michael as a person with tinnitus myself the best advise I can give is to tell your friend to go see an otolaryngologist (Ear/Nose/Throat specialist). The internet is the worst place for medical advice. And most family practice MD’s are not very educated on the inner ear. The patient needs to see a trained medical professional who specialized in the ear for proper diagnosis.

      If it is just tinnitus they usually promote retraining therapy as a first line of treatment as all of the drugs (tricyclic antidepressants, SSRI’s, anxiolytics) have side effects.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus_retraining_therapy

      1. Agreed Jimbo, NF.org attracts many intelligent, health mined individuals so I make exceptions depending on the site. After all many have learned about the plant based diet from sharing on-line, and the trained medical professional have (in that case, mostly) failed us.

      1. Interesting. People should really just keep a diary to determine which foods and drinks bother them. There’s too much individual variation to make general conclusions about specific foods.

        1. as a reflux battler — mostly a winner — coffee does mess with me.

          but it is also related to how i treated my stomach the night before. Like if i drink beer or eat something too acidic and spicy, my morning stomach won’t enjoy coffee. i eat a healthy WFPB diet, but i also love my local IPAs and like to cook with spicy food! =[

          In the end, this is just influencing me to have more balance in my life. =]

          1. Agree completely! I can detect the sensations foretelling a GERD episode and avoid certain food combinations, with fairly good success at controlling the problem.

    1. Here is what I found on coffee and GERD:” A number of studies have explored the effect of coffee and caffeine on GERD but could not demonstrate that sphincter pressure or esophageal pH were affected. There have been no studies in which patients were instructed to eliminate coffee or caffeine and the effect on GERD was studied.” (Source; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2886414/)
      Of course, as another commenter remarked, one should always pay attention to your own symptoms and if coffee or any other food/drink upsets your system, you should not indulge.

  3. I have Barrett’s Esophagus derived from vomiting too often from excessive stress. I get scoped every 3 years to check on it. It is getting better! Why you ask. I eat blueberries and strawberries every morning, I eat tons of vegetables, fruit, fibre and I do not eat meat. and I stay away from the 2 proton pump inhibitors I was supposed to take each day. I will live. And I have lost 32 pounds. And I exercise more.

  4. This is a question more than a comment, and I really hope someone from the organisation will reply.

    I have been on things like Zantac and proton pump inhibitors for at least 25 years. Originally I had ulcers, but not caused by the bacteria. However I have severe gastric reflux, which happens even posturally, and the PPTs have helped a lot. I used to get a very acid stomach prior to these, even with the other variety of tablets.

    Currently, I have to have a PPI and wait until I feel the gnawing/hungry feeling before I can eat. If I eat before then, I have heartburn for hours and hours.

    I feel these have given me hyperacidity, and I have no idea of how to get off them. Recent information about how harmful they are has me worried. I already have mechanical heart problems and pulmonary hypertension.

    If you have any advice of how to wean yourself off these, I’d appreciate it. And thanks in advance.

    1. xymonau

      Are you Whole Food Plant-Based? It is challenging to figure out what will help without knowing where you are starting. There are things like drinking soda, which used to be triggers for me. No matter what, starting by examining your diet and cleaning that up, and figuring out the triggers would be what I would suggest.

    2. It sounds like you have a long history with Zantac and other medications and I’ll encourage you to schedule a consultation with the doctor who prescribed the PPI. You can certainly express your concerns and review a plan to gradually wean yourself off but do not do this without working with your health care provider and incorporating a plan for an alternative approach to treat your symptoms. It is beyond the scope of this website to provide you with medical advice beyond these general guidelines.
      You did not mention if you are eating a healthy whole food plant based diet. Certainly that can help in the long view, but for now you may need medication and monitoring.

  5. Suffering from GERD while sleeping at night, the following have helped me immensely:
    1) Eat very little fat at dinnertime – stick to salads with 1/4 lb chicken or salmon;
    2) Sleep with a wedge pillow to use gravity to slow the upward flow;
    3) Not able to deny myself everything tasty, I violate #1 above when I go out to eat, so as a preventive measure, I take Famotidine before the meal.
    4) I love sweets and have switched to fat-free frozen yogurt for evening dessert.
    5) Cut down on the overall volume of food I eat at dinnertime (except #3 above, which occasionally results in my awakening at 3am with heartburn requiring alka seltzer & “vertical” sleeping in an easy chair for the rest of the night – an experience that serves as a reminder to cut down on the volume).

  6. My mom died of esophageal cancer, and like her, I had heartburn and severe reflux, hoarseness, worsening asthma and cough. When I developed Prostate cancer at 50, I switched to a WFPBD which really helped, but making breakfast and lunch my larger meals with a small sandwich for dinner really helped as well.

    1. Robert Halle,
      For me the biggest improvements resulted from
      1. No eating a full 3 hours or more before bedtime. Used to get up in the middle of the night with burning throat and mouth. But this does not happen if my stomach is empty.
      2. Eating smaller meals, especially dinner. To get enough calories, I eat more frequently during the day. My largest meal is breakfast.
      3. Avoiding oils (some EVOO on salad during the day seemed ok; fat from nuts/seeds unproblematic).
      4. Sleeping on a 4-6″ bed-length wedge (or raise the entire bed frame), not just from the waist.
      5. Sleeping laterally on the left side (esophagus connects to the stomach on the right).
      It is not clear to me how important 4-5 are if one’s stomach is really empty when sleeping.
      6. Learning not to stress out.

  7. There’s a strong individual aspect to GERD. For example, I used to know a person who used to get GERD after consuming ginger; my own late mother controlled her GERD by consuming ginger.

  8. Even though I eat a WFPB diet, I do have occasional GERD. Most often it is after eating an apple. Eating applesauce does not cause the problem.

    1. Most apples also had to be taken off of my list too. Great laxative.

      I have learned that if I buy fresh picked apples, even the ‘fresh crop’ apples at Costco, no problem whatsoever. But any other apples and the problem is there. I believe it is because all apples now that are sold in the store, even organic, are mostly over 1 year old and have been kept in a cold storage in a room filled with a special gas so they do not rot. This is why we now have apples year around, but unfortunately it is now hard to buy fresh apples as even this fall most stores will be selling last years fall crop and the new apples won’t be sold until next fall.

    2. I always cook apples. Applesauce tastes better, too; no extra seasoning necessary other than cinnamon or something.

  9. I had eaten a very healthy vegan diet for 12 years (gluten free & very low amount of processed foods) when I developed GI issues and an increase in inflammation for my autoimmune disease last year. One symptom that also appeared was GERD. After a few months I took out all grain and sugars, and basically now eat a vegan keno diet which includes a VERY HIGH amount of fat. However, the fats are very healthy ones: olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters. My GERD is gone. Therefore, in the studies that looked at high fat diets and GERD I would conclude that these are HIGH PROCESSED high fat meals, with high refined carbs, and that a diet high in good fats with no refined carbs, could be very beneficial. It isn’t likely “fats are bad” in terms of GERD (as in heart disease) but it is the source of fats and what other foods are also being eaten.

    1. How interesting! I have been on a very low-fat WFPB diet for a number of months and just noticed that my GERD seems to have disappeared. I eat lots of potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and beans. The only clear source of fat is a TBSP of flax once a day in a smoothie. I seldom have avocados, nuts, or seeds.

    2. L Nesset,

      Refined carbs and sugars are not a big part of a healthy vegan diet. We agree on that part. We also agree on the avocados and nuts and nut butter. Oils are where we part ways. Mostly, there are many other reasons to not use oils. Oils harm the endothelium and contribute to the growth of cancer, just to name, two.

    3. So when you switched to Vegan Keto, did you switch to more leafy greens and more cruciferous? Just guessing. Sounds like you were eating refined grains versus whole grains. I am suspecting you switched to one of the vegetables which are more protective or somehow increased your fiber.

        1. I could tell right away, Deb! After a couple of “Bon” posts, I was going to say, “Is that you, Deb?”

          One of the clues was, you often start your sentences with “There are” or “There is.” :-)

    4. Good luck to you but I’d still be concerned about the amount of fat in your diet and a potential lack of nutrients from whole grains..

      Most ‘vegan’ diets are unhealthful so I don’t doubt that your previous ‘vegan’ diet may have promoted certain health issues. Gluten-free diets are also notoriously unhealthy even if they are fashionable.

      However, you may have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Coconut oil and even olive oil contain high amounts of saturated fat. They are very fashionable though. Have you ever calculated the amounts/percentages of the different types of fatty acids you are consuming? One of the concerns about such approaches is that increase heart disease and other chronic disease risks.

  10. Dr. Greger: Last October, you discussed the disadvantages of using proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec to treat GERD. At the time, you indicated in the discussion section that you planned in the future to do a video on H2 antagonists like Ranitidine as well. I’ve been prescribed 300 mg/day of Ranitidine for “silent” GERD for years, and I’d like to hear your opinion on the risks I’m taking. Like yourself, I discovered Nathan Pritikin’s work years ago, when I was in law school with his nephew; we began following his diet in 1970, before it was known outside the family. Later I moved to Santa Barbara and actually got to spend some time with him in relation to other matters, but the conversations always came around to one aspect or another of his thoughts on diet. I learned a lot from him. I like to think that my GERD is thanks to a genetically inherited Hiatal hernia — when I think about my father, his habit of frequently clearning his throat often comes to mind. But I also like to think that its “silent” aspect is related to all the fiber I’ve always had in my diet. I don’t plan to take the Prylosec recommendation when I attend the post-procedure appointment, but I’d still like to know your throughts about the risks related to long term use of Ranitidine.

  11. A nurse told me, and it has been my experience, that if you want ultra-strong stomach acid, just eat a very high-sugar meal. Used to make me wake up and vomit after a few hours of sleep. Who needs that!

    1. Sugary foods also make us wake up. First it gives us a rush of sugar in the blood then as we sleep the body processing that extra sugar produces too much insulin which causes that peak to crash forcing adrenaline into the bloodstream to keep the blood sugar from dropping too low…..which wakes anyone up. Avoiding carbs, especially simple carbs before bed is a great sleeping pill.

  12. I was looking at Choline alfoscerate and have been weighing the risks of the whole TMAO thing.

    Interestingly to me, and only to me, it ties into the topic of heartburn, but only because heartburn is a side effect, which was significant enough that something like 44 people dropped out of one of the studies.

    “Choline alfoscerate (α-GPC) is a common choline compound and acetylcholine precursor in the brain, which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. α-GPC has been shown to enhance memory and cognitive function in stroke and Alzheimer’s patients but currently remains untested in patients suffering from epilepsy.”

    An Italian multicentre clinical trial on 2,044 patients suffering from recent stroke were supplied alpha-GPC in doses of 1,000 mg/day for 28 days and 400 mg three times per day for the five ensuing months. The trial confirmed the therapeutic role of alpha-GPC on the cognitive recovery of patients based on four measurement scales, three of which reached statistical significance

    They had significant improvement in 6 months.

    I wonder how long it takes for TMAO to become an issue for a vegan supplementing a product with Choline in the name.

    1. YR, even healthier meals can promote GERD though people tend to have individual responses. Common triggers are tea, and coffee (for some), chocolate, peppermint anything (including toothpaste), lemon, tomato and other acidic foods, oils, meats, eggs, and being overweight. To heal my throat I had to avoid acidic foods for a long time, and I walk after every meal, rain or shine, all weather. Sitting after eating is one of the main causes.

      1. Barb,

        Bummer, huh? That’s good that you get out and walk after every meal, though. Not many peeps are able to do that.

        As gengo posted: “Trigger foods are quite individualistic.”

      1. Barb,

        Can you share what you found interesting?

        I am 13 minutes in it and they just had him do the alternating eating broccoli and then frozen yogurt and then a chicken sandwich and then frozen yogurt monitoring the brain and said that they proved that eating chicken or other proteins would decrease the amount of sugar they eat faster than eating broccoli and I put it on pause.

        First of all, the fact that he was doing all of that food before the second frozen yogurt, I felt like most people eat less of something when it is “seconds” and broccoli also has protein and by the time they get done with the “animal protein” serving it was closer to 15 minutes after the broccoli.

        Before I developed an allergy to meat, I often ate chicken followed by a dish of ice cream and I am not sure if I ate less ice cream.

        For me, eating WFPB took away the sugar craving entirely.

        I might still have a piece of birthday cake or something on the holidays, but I used to be totally compelled to drink soda and eat ice cream and candy bars and other sugary things. I can walk past them in my workplace and past them in the store and not order them at a restaurant.

        There are 2 liter bottles of soda in the fridge at my work and I could drink it for free, but don’t crave it anymore.

        1. Barb,

          I got to the next section and the woman kept saying Betiane F and I kept trying to look it up because she was saying it grows proteins in the Hippocampus and that the Hippocampus shrinks from junk food. Could explain a whole lot.

          Finally, I just gave up searching for it and went back to my own process and suddenly, while I was reading about Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which I have researched for stroke, I realized, “Is she trying to say B D N F?”

          I think she was.

          This poor man is going to learn about how junk food affects the brain, but he is learning to eat his chicken before his french fries and before his frozen yogurt.

          1. Okay, I remembered to switch my name.

            The thing is, he is learning to eat chicken instead of broccoli before his frozen yogurt.

            1. I feel like most “non-health-oriented” people learn about food that way.

              Chicken is more filling than broccoli and it will send the signal to shut off the desire to eat as much of the second serving of frozen yogurt.

              He feels like he learned this major secret which will make him thin and he learned that broccoli doesn’t help his food cravings.

              I remember being taught things like that on television.

              He is going to leave that project and not get thin or healthy and eating chicken probably isn’t going to give him a better brain either.

              1. When I was young, I think part of choosing not to eat vegetables and fruit came during calorie counting. It was like, “I have to actually count the calories in those vegetables” versus eating a bowl of ice cream and that man just went to all those professionals in America and he is going to learn not to waste time with vegetables.

    1. There were more than a few scenes in the documentary I found interesting. One lady talks about the diets of pregnant women who consume junk foods and how there are studies about behaviors in their children years later. Another fellow discusses the gut-brain axis, and how what we eat, and our microbiome influences our mental health. A researcher speaks about mouse experiments where pleasure centers of the brain are ‘turned on’ , and the mouse goes through the actions of seeking/pretending to find food.

      1. Thanks for sharing, Barb.

        I need you to know that I wasn’t putting it down.

        I was triggered by the fact that the first professionals are going to tell the severely morbidly obese man that the answer to his problem would be to eat animal proteins and they were going to use technology and know which centers of the brain tell the brain to stop eating faster and they didn’t have the logic that the man came in probably after eating his own meal and they were going to have him eat broccoli for 3 minutes and then eat as much frozen yogurt as he wanted for 3 minutes and then eat as much chicken sandwich as he wanted for 3 minutes and then they were going to feel like they were showing him a brilliant revelation that he would eat less frozen yogurt after chicken than after broccoli. But it was after his own meal before coming, plus broccoli, plus as much frozen yogurt as he wanted, plus as much chicken as he wanted and he would be full by that second frozen yogurt and they didn’t have the concept of that. Her literally telling him to eat his chicken before his french fries made me wonder what doctors he is drawn to.

        It doesn’t disqualify all of the professionals, it just was red flags on the project.

        But all of the topics you mention are ones which do interest me and I just found the greater story of that man who is genuinely searching for how to heal his food addictions sad.

  13. It does look interesting, Barb. I’m only 4 minutes into the video, and I sure hope the overweight bloke loses a few by the time it’s over.

  14. digestive enzymes and probiotics; easy-peasy.
    I learned this at Hippocrates Health Institute from one of the co founders.
    He said to take as many capsules as you can financially afford.
    The older you become, the less enzymes the body makes.

    1. You won’t get science-based advuce from the Hippocrates cowd. Woo-based advice is more likely.

      They seem ro specialise in all kinds of alternative health quackery.

      HHI may promote so-called vegan diets but that doesn’t automatically make them ‘white hats’ To be honest, I have long been concerned that Dr Greger has occasionally associated himself with these people.

      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/brian-clement-and-the-hippocrates-health-institute-finally-under-the-spotlight/

  15. Only two new videos for the whole week and one recap. Where are the times where we h a d 5 fresh movies each week? :-)

    Yeah I know, it’s because Dr. G is working on the book. Still… lot’s of interesting written blog updates each week though. Some of these would be great short videos.

    1. The blogs are from videos.. if you cluck on the video mentioned early in each blog you will see the transcript is “refitted” for the blog. Recycled. It’s all good imo, gets the info out there where people will read it.

  16. Greetings All,
    Allow me to begin by saying (read shouting from the rooftops) thank you to you, Dr. Greger and to your tireless staff. You all suggested that if I had a question to post it so that, Dr. Greger, you, and staff, might be able to answer. I will begin briefly by saying that I am an educator, and as I look at the food consumption in school districts, I am, of course, appalled by the dearth of nutrients present in any of the foods being served. I also worry for my students who drink beverages like Monster. I will often pretend, in the middle of class, to get a phone call on my cell and will abruptly stop teaching to “answer” it: “Hello, oh yeah hey…uh huh…right…yeah I agree…for sure…okay thanks”. I’ll “hang up” and then turn to the student with a Monster on his/her desk and say something like, “Suzy, that was your kidneys calling. They want you to stop drinking Monster.” (Side note, I also get calls from “future grandchildren” about recycling). :) I’ve noted a rising incidence of GERD among teens (self-reporting to me) and their increased use of PPIs at a young age. I also have been “hooked” on Nexium for 10 years. I have tapered down to 20mg and am at the same precipice I always find myself. I’ve watched all videos here, read blog, and question from 2012. I own both the books, so I have seen the marvelous offerings you have here. I would greatly appreciate a single step further:

    I’m writing with two-fold intentions:
    1. I’d love to talk to you and staff about teen-focused education ideas I have.
    2. I’d truly appreciate ANY and ALL help you and staff might provide about getting OFF this horrid PPI. It’s the “how to” for which I truly need shepherding. Taper, cold turkey and “suffer through” it, etc. I want to be rid of this drug in my life. Many thanks! Please feel free to email me for contact info.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your comment and support! Please feel welcome to email me your teen-focused education ideas to me at steven (at) nutritionfacts.org for consideration. With regard to the PPI, any information we can offer will be found on the website. I would suggest looking here if you haven’t already: https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=Proton+pump+inhibitors.

      I’d also like to suggest considering hosting a How Not to Die Screening Event at your school if you think it would be appropriate: https://nutritionfacts.org/volunteer/screenings

      Thank you again!

  17. I am 65 years old and have been a vegetarian for 5 years now. I eat super healthy (nothing processed), study nutrition like its my life’s dream and I am a vegetarian chef. I literally could’t eat any better! I have read all the comments and can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong or not doing. I have tried to keep the acid down by diet for years without taking PPI’s. It seems to work for a while but comes back. I’ve had a flare up for 6 months now and nothing has helped. I had an esophageal stricture last year that had to be dilated and now am experiencing IBS. I finally broke down and went to the GI doc. She said, “Of all people that Omeprazole was created for – YOU are THAT person and insisted I start taking it. I have, but just until my procedure. I plan on finding another way. Like all of you I don’t like the side effects. I’ve read that Colostrum really helps. I’ve ordered some and can’t wait to try it. Does anyone have any experience with taking that and would like to share? Thank you!

    1. Laura,

      You said, “Vegetarian” rather than “Vegan” are you eating dairy?

      Dairy is a common cause of it. Eggs often are cooked in things like butter or mixed with things like cheese.

    2. I was able to find one article citing studies that have been done with Colostrum, but I’d urge caution because the studies certainly aren’t conclusive and we know as another commenter mentioned that diary can cause problems so he colostrum may certainly make your symptoms worse rather than better. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/bovine-colostrum

      You’ve indicated you are vegetarian, but are you eating diary and oils? If so you might consider eliminating those WHILE working with your doctor. It sounds like your doctor has considered your specific case and I’d review with her she thinks Omeprazole is right for you. Rather than reaching for a solution that may not work for you, I’d see if there are any diet tweeks you can try and again work closely with your doctor.

      1. Thank you – The only dairy I use is an occasional butter – no eggs, milk or cheese products, all other oils are flax, hemp, avocado, grape seed oil and just started using “Thrive”, an algae oil. Colostrum is milk based so I will rethink that. Thank you

  18. Hello
    I am a nephrogist , i had 3 goutte attacks , one in 2013, 2015, and the last one was 5 days ago .
    I am afraid of eating beans due to their high purine content, is it better to eat chicken ( white meat ) ?
    Thanks
    Milad SHENOUDA

      1. Since my previous two goutte attacks, i practically stopped meat intake , i drink orange juice done at home , is this might be the reason i got the last goutte attack ?

        1. It is possible, yes.

          ‘Compared with women who consumed less than a glass (6 oz) of orange juice per month, the multivariate RR for gout was 1.41 (95% CI, 1.03 to 1.93) for 1 serving /day and 2.42 (95% CI, 1.27 to 4.63) for ≥ 2 servings/day (P for trend=0.02) (Table 3). The corresponding absolute risk differences were 14 and 47 cases per 100,000 person years.’
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3058904/

    1. Please check out this article which should help you update diet guidelines related to gout.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-gout-attacks-with-diet/ Dr. Greger has two other videos on gout you may wish to review.
      Beans are not the culprit, and because chicken comes with a whole host of health concerns that would not be recommended.
      If you wish put “chicken” in the search box at the top of the NFO page and you can find research why chicken is not recommended.
      Here’s to your health with no further gout attacks.

      1. Good morning I had my third goute crisis although I am a vegetarian (no meat) I drank one glass of fresh orange juice with 2 or 3 oranges every day . Apparently the orange juice might be the reason due to its fructose content My Question: Should I stop drinking orange juice completely? If yes what can i drink in the morning when i am thirsty? Knowing that milk is not good, chocolate is not good I am thirsty in the morning, what can I drink please ?

  19. Hi, George Reichel! I am not sure that constipation plays a role in GERD. I think the two conditions have common causes, and often occur together as a result. Lack of dietary fiber and high dietary fat content can contribute to both GERD and constipation by slowing the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, among other things. You can find everything on this site related to GERD here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/gerd/ and everything related to constipation here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/constipation/ I hope that helps!

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