Flashback Friday: How to Reduce Carcinogenic Bile Acid Production

Flashback Friday: How to Reduce Carcinogenic Bile Acid Production
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The consumption of animal fat appears to increase the growth of gut bacteria that turn our bile acids into carcinogens.

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Colon cancer risk in Westernized populations may be reduced by decreasing the intake of animal products, blaming “aggressive” factors such as animal protein and fat. We’ve explored how animal protein can putrefy and produce the rotten egg gas which may be toxic to DNA, but what about the fat? It can stimulate the synthesis and secretion of bile acids into the intestine.

That’s what bile does—helps the body digest fats; so, more fat in the intestines means more bile in the intestines, which wouldn’t be a problem except bile acids have long been suspected as being carcinogenic—especially secondary bile acids. Bile acids stimulate the growth of bacteria, which convert the primary bile acids our liver makes into secondary bile acids, and secondary bile acids have been shown to be cancer-causing.

So, this could help explain why fat-rich diets are correlated with colon cancer. High saturated fat intake is associated with elevated levels of bile, which is what you tend to see in people with colon cancer, and so both are considered tumor-producing factors in colorectal cancer development, and perhaps breast cancer, as these secondary bile acids can get absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.

This may help explain the extraordinarily low rates of colon cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, with native Africans putting out just a fraction of the secondary bile acids compared to African-Americans. Well, if a diet high in animal fat stimulates the growth of these toxic and carcinogenic secondary bile salt-producing bacteria, what about people who don’t eat animal fat?

We’ve known for over 40 years that those eating plant-based diets have less bile in their stools and a reduced capacity to create colon carcinogens. Those eating vegetarian produce just a fraction of some of the secondary bile acids implicated in cancer, about 70% less. Put people on a plant-based diet and within just one week, the bacterial enzyme activity to produce these secondary bile acids is cut in half. And within a month, their presence is cut in half as well.

One of the most important toxic effects of these bile acids, the BAs in our BMs, is the increased production of free radicals. That’s one of the ways they can damage our DNA and undermine our DNA repair pathways

Compared to this diet, if you switch people to a vegetarian diet for just 12 days, you can get a 13-fold drop in hydroxyl free radical production. Hydroxyl radicals are one of the most destructive free radicals, which may increase colon cancer risk. They only last about a billionth of a second, but in that time, can convert harmless substances in the bowel to DNA damaging, mutagenic substances, and bile acids are believed to promote this process.

So, fecal free radicals may activate carcinogens in the colon. On a standard American diet, the amount of free radicals produced in the stool is quite remarkable, corresponding to that which would be produced by a fatal dose of gamma radiation. So, what do we do about it? What’s an achievable, practical measure to decrease free radical formation in our colon? Well, we could just eat a more plant-based diet, but there’s not a lot of money in cauliflower and carrots; so, instead, we could attempt to colonize people’s colons with genetically engineered, antioxidant-producing bacteria.

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 djneight via Flickr.

Colon cancer risk in Westernized populations may be reduced by decreasing the intake of animal products, blaming “aggressive” factors such as animal protein and fat. We’ve explored how animal protein can putrefy and produce the rotten egg gas which may be toxic to DNA, but what about the fat? It can stimulate the synthesis and secretion of bile acids into the intestine.

That’s what bile does—helps the body digest fats; so, more fat in the intestines means more bile in the intestines, which wouldn’t be a problem except bile acids have long been suspected as being carcinogenic—especially secondary bile acids. Bile acids stimulate the growth of bacteria, which convert the primary bile acids our liver makes into secondary bile acids, and secondary bile acids have been shown to be cancer-causing.

So, this could help explain why fat-rich diets are correlated with colon cancer. High saturated fat intake is associated with elevated levels of bile, which is what you tend to see in people with colon cancer, and so both are considered tumor-producing factors in colorectal cancer development, and perhaps breast cancer, as these secondary bile acids can get absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.

This may help explain the extraordinarily low rates of colon cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, with native Africans putting out just a fraction of the secondary bile acids compared to African-Americans. Well, if a diet high in animal fat stimulates the growth of these toxic and carcinogenic secondary bile salt-producing bacteria, what about people who don’t eat animal fat?

We’ve known for over 40 years that those eating plant-based diets have less bile in their stools and a reduced capacity to create colon carcinogens. Those eating vegetarian produce just a fraction of some of the secondary bile acids implicated in cancer, about 70% less. Put people on a plant-based diet and within just one week, the bacterial enzyme activity to produce these secondary bile acids is cut in half. And within a month, their presence is cut in half as well.

One of the most important toxic effects of these bile acids, the BAs in our BMs, is the increased production of free radicals. That’s one of the ways they can damage our DNA and undermine our DNA repair pathways

Compared to this diet, if you switch people to a vegetarian diet for just 12 days, you can get a 13-fold drop in hydroxyl free radical production. Hydroxyl radicals are one of the most destructive free radicals, which may increase colon cancer risk. They only last about a billionth of a second, but in that time, can convert harmless substances in the bowel to DNA damaging, mutagenic substances, and bile acids are believed to promote this process.

So, fecal free radicals may activate carcinogens in the colon. On a standard American diet, the amount of free radicals produced in the stool is quite remarkable, corresponding to that which would be produced by a fatal dose of gamma radiation. So, what do we do about it? What’s an achievable, practical measure to decrease free radical formation in our colon? Well, we could just eat a more plant-based diet, but there’s not a lot of money in cauliflower and carrots; so, instead, we could attempt to colonize people’s colons with genetically engineered, antioxidant-producing bacteria.

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 djneight via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

For the role of the animal protein, please see my previous video: Putrefying Protein and “Toxifying” Enzymes.

Those secondary bile acids are what I talk about in my video on Breast Cancer and Constipation. This could help explain why fiber may be so protective (Fiber vs. Breast Cancer).

I’ve got lots of videos on the microbiome now. Here are a few:

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

126 responses to “Flashback Friday: How to Reduce Carcinogenic Bile Acid Production

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  1. It is clear to me that if always everyone on the planet ate a WPBD we would not have the huge ”health” care system we have today. But for now we are looking at a heath crisis threatening to terrify the world with a world wide plague and potentially kill millions. It has already caused a stock market scare. We know the answer, an immune system that is super charged by a WPBD, Plenty of pure water, fresh air, exercise, regular schedule and proper rest.It is not too late to start for when the coronavirus comes to such a super charged immune system, the virus will get knocked out cold.

    1. For a less scary take on the corona virus, see:

      https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/coronavirus-chinese-data-of-82-cases-are-mild-says-who

      Just read the first two ¶s.

      82% mild
      15% severe (flu-like?)

      And this is from https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/how-many-people-die-of-the-flu-every-year:

      “The World Health Organization has determined that the flu kills between 250,000 to 500,000 people each year. About 10% of U.S. residents get influenza each year. About 100,000 are hospitalized and 36,000 Americans die each year from the complications of the flu.”

      Maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds like 97% of the 17,000 corona cases are flu-like or milder.

      1. I’ve read somewhere that CorVid-19 is ~ 20 times more deadly than “normal” influenzas. I’ve also read that eventually it will become a seasonal flu-like virus we will vaccinate against and otherwise live with.

        I’ve also read that due to “community transmissions” (no China or infected persons connection) this is going to become a pandemic. So far, we here in the U.S. have been able to keep the Grim Reaper at bay in respect to this novel Coronavirus, but eventually if it will get some of us.

        My approach is to respect the virus without living in fear of it. But if I’m someone with weakened immunity, I’d take extra, extra pre-cautions.

          1. and an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
            ——————————————————-
            Indeed! I do that regularly… and sprinkle it on my cats’ dried cat food daily. (Read that it helped prevent fleas and so far none on my cats… or on me either. ‘-)

          2. That is so true, thank you for sharing
            May I ask a paranoid question.
            I live in a country where nutricianal yeast is live.
            Is there any harm in using live nutricianal yeast that you know of? I read this spooky paragraph somewhere else that said if the nutricianal yeast was live it would grow in your digestive track and eat up your nutrician like a parasite…..
            Have you heard of any real concern with using live nutricianal yeast like this?
            All the best

        1. Lonie,

          Yes, it is the weakened immunity that matters. Hospitals and nursing homes and schools and travel-related places tends to be big for spreading things to vulnerable populations.

          I had a relative get MERS and I am not up-to-date enough to know the difference between MRSA and MERS and all of the other letters. My grandmother having been a nurse loved every show with medical scenes and autopsies and I would be the one who would get confused between all of the letters of things like NCIS, CSI, etc. I also was too squeamish to watch some of them, but she was a nurse and wasn’t bothered by any of it. I could handle them if I held the remote control and turned the volume down and closed my eyes at the beginning and sometimes in the middle and sometimes near the end. I would peak with one eye and if I saw the main characters talking, I could turn it back up.

          Though the funny thing is, if you show me the same thing in a documentary, I don’t get bothered at all. My brain can handle things more in learning mode than in watching entertainment mode.

      2. I live in Vacaville and work with Dr Matyas the director of Solano County Public Health where the community outbreak has started. The reality is the flu kills .01% and Covid-19 kills around 2 percent. That is 200 times deadlier.

        The fact most cases are mild also is a major problem as people tend to not report mild illness and may purposefully or inadvertently be killing people by being a carrier spreading it.

        Lastly, no credible person in any medical field would downplay the flu. Anyone who has had flu knows how it completely disrupts your life even if considered ‘mild’. Any ‘DR’ would also know that the CDC estimates that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season, 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died.

        1. We also are learning there have been multiple cases in China and Japan that Covid-19 might be biphasic like anthrax. A biphasic disease is a disease which has two distinct phases or components. Instead of creating immunity, the virus can reportedly reinfect an individual and hasten fatal heart failure. Even if an infected patient recovers, the virus has two phases, therefore triggers still exist in the victim’s body and can awaken again with even more deadly effect.

          1. Reality bites,

            Thank you so much for sharing that information. That is genuinely so interesting to me.

            And, I agree about respecting the flu.

            I had read that about the 61,000 people dying from the flu, though I think that was the year before, though the resources I am looking at could have got the dates wrong.

        2. The reality is the flu kills .01% and Covid-19 kills around 2 percent. That is 200 times deadlier.
          ————————————————————————————————————————
          This was the data I was trying to recall but mis-reported as 20 times deadlier. Thanks for posting more accurately.

          1. I have still been deciding which UV system to get.

            The lamp I was leaning toward which didn’t have ozone sold out before I could get one.

            I have been looking at the gadgets for CPAP machines and Home Soap (Air Soap hasn’t come out yet) and I have looked at Wabi Baby and other baby bottle UV sterilizers and Homedics has a soft-sided one.

            That one you can’t see in and I prefer being able to see in, but the ones that you can see what is going on cost a lot of money.

            But if pandemics are the wave of the future, having different ways to sterilize seems the way to go.

            There are so many things like keys and cell phones and remote controls that I would like to be able to put in a contraption, but the lamp is more useful for things like bedding or bathrooms, etc.

            Lamps are also cheaper and I waited too long because I space out my purchases and didn’t know that a virus was going to put so many people into buying mode.

            There are so many choices but I do think it is worth it to get one that is well-made.

            I bought the person lifter for my cousin and wasn’t sure if he would use it and that was expensive, but one morning, he used it 5 times and I know it is coming to me next and it has already paid for itself in peace-of-mind and with the fact that my cousin was able to get off the floor and not have to be in a nursing home. He has been working on not ending up on the floor, but I bought a good one and I don’t regret being prepared, even if it is expensive.

          2. 2% is 200 times .01% so that makes it 200 times as deadly. That is very misleading, as most people who have contracted Convid-19 have not yet fully recovered. I do not believe anyone can really understand what the whole globe is facing. Hospitals around the world will not be able to quarantine all the victims as it continues to spread secretly across borders that the best security officer will not be able to detect.

        3. Older people (65+) are particularly at risk from the flu, accounting for 75% of US flu deaths

          ‘Our estimates of hospitalizations and mortality associated with the 2018–2019 influenza season continue to demonstrate how serious influenza virus infection can be. We estimate, overall, there were 490,600 hospitalizations and 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 season. More than 46,000 hospitalizations occurred in children (aged <18 years); however, 57% of hospitalizations occurred in older adults aged ≥65 years. Older adults also accounted for 75% of influenza-associated deaths, highlighting that older adults are particularly vulnerable to severe outcomes resulting from an influenza virus infection. An estimated 8,100 deaths occurred among working age adults (aged 18–64 years), an age group that often has low influenza vaccination uptake11.'
          https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html

    2. [It is clear to me that if always everyone on the planet ate a WPBD we would not have the huge ”health” care system we have today.]

      I agree with this completely.

      (But the train’s already left the station on that one.)

    1. I don’t have a professional answer for your very good question, but I think the video was mainly about animal fats causing the problems. I hope that is the case because I’ve just received a pkg of Ginkgo seed “nuts.”

    2. The video indicates that those who do not consume fats and eat a plant based diet (consuming nuts and avocodo seeds or not) ae less at risk for secondary bile increases. (“…if a diet high in animal fat stimulates the growth of these toxic and carcinogenic secondary bile salt-producing bacteria, what about people who don’t eat animal fat?
      We’ve known for over 40 years that those eating plant-based diets have less bile in their stools and a reduced capacity to create colon carcinogens”
      It appears your concern over nuts and avocado, even if the avacodo is a saturated fat, do not act the same way animal-based saturated fats do to increase the harmful bacterial.
      Just to give you a little more reassurance, here are two research studies citing the beneficial affects of avocado, including cancer-

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23282226 Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31554332 The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado (Persea americana) and Their Health Benefits which cites:
      “the potential of avocado in novel drug discovery for the prevention and treatment of cancer, microbial, inflammatory, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.”
      Hope that lets you enjoy foods like nuts and avocados now!

  2. Thank you for all your videos. I would like to suggest a topic for a future video. Suppose a community was on lock down for a month due to a pandemic, and one’s refrigerator/freezer is not large enough to store enough food for more that a week. What are the most nutritious durable foods that you can stock up on in preparation for this possibility.

    1. An assortment of dry beans and grains, nuts and seeds. Fruits and veggies that don’t require refrigeration for a few weeks: apples, oranges, root veggies like onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets. Maybe aseptic packs of soymilk or almond milk. In our family we are also stocking up on things that add flavor to foods like garlic powder, spices, canned tomato products and cocoa. Great question and very appropriate!

        1. The same foods that Dr. McDougall recommends that we base our diets on. Starches. Potatoes, cornmeal, beans, rice (whole grains), oats, pumpkin (winter squash). Since potatoes and sweet potatoes are both complete foods for humans, no need to worry about anything else.

      1. To add to the above list: oatmeal, aseptic cartons of soup and stews—Engine 2 and Dr. McDougall brands are healthy choices, whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce in jars, nut butters (if you don’t mind the fat), rice crackers and other “healthier” crackers. Lots of hot sauce, nutritional yeast, spices, and bottled lemon juice for flavoring.

        1. @ Julie @Isabellori

          Great suggestions. I would also suggest either a water RO system, Ionizer system, or water distiller… (and plenty of bleach.) Pure water may be very important for washing and drinking. And IIRC, distillation is the only thing that kills both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, but I have no idea if it works on a virus… for that reason, if I’m concerned about water contamination I will add bleach first, let it aerate for a time, then distill it.

          Also, a room ionizer.

          I don’t know if an ionizer kills airborne virus or bacteria, but it does pull air through a filter before expelling it back into the air so it might just help purify the air that way. Then just be sure you have something that kills anything trapped in the filter (if the filter is of the quality to trap things micron-sized) when it is cleaned.

          I’m personally not going to rush out and stock up on all these things immediately… but I’ll be watching closely to see if the virus suggests my region is in danger of an outbreak.

            1. I have been looking at a lot of petri dishes for UV light on dirty water.
              ———————————————————————————————
              Deb, thanks for your post. I considered mentioning UV light after reading some years ago that a researcher in Brazil (or was it Argentina?) revealed that blue (UV) light could kill MRSA on the flesh.

              I couldn’t remember if there was a certain wavelength or time of application so I didn’t post that for fear of confusing the issue. Thanks for your link!

                1. I dunno… feng shui is a Chinese thing and it doesn’t seem to be working for them. ‘-(

                  I’m thinking about pissin’ off all my friends (so they won’t come visiting ‘-) and just have WalMart deliver all my food cans and pkgs.

                  I may order some silver door knobs in case the Wal Mart guy touches it.

                  Luckily I don’t have any paper money… that stuff’ll kill ya!

      2. M & Julie,

        That is what they were talking about on WNPR.

        I live in the Northeast USA so we do a variation on that before snowstorms and it really paid off when we had a freak storm where things like ATM’s and power didn’t work for 10 days one time. It only happened once, but trees were down and people couldn’t drive anyplace and on the occasion that a grocery store was open, it didn’t have frozen or refrigerated foods and you could only pay with cash.

        Some of us had thought these things through and had filled our gas tanks and also took out cash, and had stocked our pantries, but I was surrounded by people who hadn’t done those things.

        My sister-in-law always makes sure I freeze enough ziplock bags of water to help keep the fridge cold for a long while and it can be used as drinking water and washing water and for flushing toilets.

        Mostly, we do all of these little habits and mostly it wasn’t necessary, but I ended up with a house full of elderly people who could eat and brush their teeth.

        1. A worker at Walmart said that they have been having trouble keeping hand sanitizer on the shelf.

          I do like the Silvertize cloths for that and I kept one of the silver-infused pillows out of my accidentally buying 12 for my cousin, but those are really inexpensive and it is what hospitals and nursing homes use.

          I also do like the concept of the Steri-pen and of UV lamps in general.

          Plus, I did get a hospital-grade air purifier and my worker had been getting pneumonia after allergies for a few years and he hasn’t gotten pneumonia even once since I brought the air purifier in for the office.

          That and the concept of knowing how to sanitize. The steam-cleaning with hot enough steam for a full 60 seconds or boiling for 10 minutes or UV C lamps for 2 minutes for many things, but 30 minutes for hospital sanitation levels of clean. Instant Pots sometimes have a sanitize setting.

          Washing machines would be the biggest mistake if people don’t have a sanitizing function. But putting things outside in bright sunlight for at least an hour kills a lot of things. Probably more than an hour if it really is a pandemic.

          1. My sister-in-law always makes sure I freeze enough ziplock bags of water to help keep the fridge cold for a long while and it can be used as drinking water and washing water and for flushing toilets.
            ————————————————————————————————-
            Reminds me of watching the extended news during Hurricane Katrina… there was a couple that broke into the apartment of someone who had evacuated. But being foresighted, the evacuators filled all their dishes in their cabinets that would hold water and left a note saying it was o.k. to use the water.

            Just want to thank you again for the link to the UV research. I never could understand why the Dr in Brazil’s research went unheeded.

            After reading the link you provided I now understand that unless it is a special UV(C) light, it can cause cancer and cataracts. The special light is completely safe. I guess that’s why sunglasses are coated to protect against UVB and UVA.

            https://interestingengineering.com/researchers-prove-uv-light-can-kill-flu-viruses-without-harming-humans

            1. That is funny that the evacuators left water in all of the dishes and a note.

              Yes, water is always an issue. I guess people can fill anything possible. We used to fill the bathtub to use for water to flush the toilets, but we got rid of the tub years ago.

              If you are interested in info on the coronavirus, Medcram has several videos.

              This one is how people die from it and how to lessen the likelihood of dying from it.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okg7uq_HrhQ

              Here is Medcram’s update from today.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDYb_x54DM

              This is a “perspective video” on it from earlier this month.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dDD2tHWWnU

      3. I would add dried fruits like dates, raisins and figs. Most of all, seeds for sprouting, so you can have fresh veggies every day, like red clover and broccoli seeds. Dried, green sweet peas, when planted in sallow soil or small planter on a window sill, put out nice green leaves that can be harvested selectively over weeks. Always harvest the oldest leaves before they get too big.

    2. Grow spouts! Stock up on mung bean, radish, brocolli seeds etc. The seeds last at least a year when stored properly. Easy to sprout using mason jars or sprouting kits. Very nutritious and yummy! I adore mung bean sprouts.

      And Covid definitely has potential to be a pandemic. Harvard epidemiologist Steve Lipstich is quoted as say 40-70% of the worlds population may get it. If even 2% of those need ICU care…well you are out of luck, the medical system simply does not have the capacity. This could be our generations Spanish flu pandemic…estimated 40 million (or more) of worlds population died. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu. This could be worse. I hope not. But this not just the flu, it more infective (higher r naught) and more virulent by far. I hope to be in teh 80% of those who have a mild case, WFPB diet a good strategy for that.

      1. Mims, did you read at your link under heading “Aspirin Poisoning”? Unbelievable. Apparently the death spike of oct 1918 came after the recommendation to use huge doses of aspirin! 8grams and more!

        1. Yes, that is interesting.

          Don’t mega-dose aspirin for it.

          But, I guess they were trying to bring down the fever.

          Dr. Greger’s book was fun to read. The French Flu is what the Spanish would like you to call it.

      2. Mims, I just read an article that references the 1918 Spanish flu and a COVID-19 comparison. Some of the things they said would be preventative I’ve listed below. The one I hadn’t thought of was the suggestion to clean the touchscreen of your cell phone, at least twice a day. Also, while it says we only need to wear a mask when we are sick, I disagree. Wearing a mask means we are prevented from touching our nose or mouth… and goggles might keep us from touching our eyes.
        ______________________________________________________________

        1. Disinfect your mobile device screen twice per day — it is a portable petri dish, accumulating bacteria and, yes, viruses. Antibacterial wipes are necessary here, as they generally kill viruses as well. Clean your device at least twice daily, once at lunch and once at dinner time (or linked to another daily routine). A recently published study estimates that viruses like COVID-19 may be able to persist for up to nine days on smooth glass and plastic surfaces, like a mobile phone screen.

        2. Avoid touching your face. Your mouth, nose, eyes and ears are all routes into your body for viruses, and your fingers are constantly in touch with surfaces that may contain viruses. This simple measure is very hard to maintain consistently, but is essential for infection control.

        3. Use masks only if you are yourself ill and give social kudos to people who are responsible enough to use them when sick.

        4. Self-quarantine if you are ill and have a fever.

        5. Engage your social network to brainstorm other simple behavioural changes.

        https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-how-behaviour-can-help-control-the-spread-of-covid-19-132247

        1. Clean your device at least twice daily, once at lunch and once at dinner time (or linked to another daily routine). A recently published study estimates that viruses like COVID-19 may be able to persist for up to nine days on smooth glass and plastic surfaces, like a mobile phone screen.

          Re-reading this caused me to consider carrying some of those individual packets of isopropyl alcohol to clean my phone screen. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt the screen as I bought protective glass covers to protect my phone screens from breaking from an accidental drop, and the cover sheets of glass said to clean the phone screen with the included alcohol packet before attaching the protective cover.

          I suppose different phones could have screens that react differently, but I’m sure one could contact their phone supplier and find out if there is any danger of alcohol affecting the screen.

  3. I’m afraid not everyone will catch the wink with which Dr. Greger delivers the last line. We are always looking for an easier way. Why eat healthy when you can just take a pill? There is no “technological fix” for an unhealthy lifestyle.

    1. What’s with all the pills and supplements, anyway? Why not just eat real food (organic when possible)? Keeping healthy is a holistic, every-day process: plenty of exercise, staying slim; getting enough sleep, brushing/flossing the teeth….the whole enchilada.

      And talk nicey-nice to your body cells and organs. Those Who Know claim they’re always listening to our thoughts….and obeying.

      I confess to taking a Women’s 50+ gummy every day, but it probably does little more than rot my pearly whites.

    2. Why eat healthy when you can just take a pill? There is no “technological fix” for an unhealthy lifestyle.
      ————————————————————————————————————————————–
      I caught the “wink” but do not totally agree. Yes, there is an advantage to living a healthy lifestyle, but there are many supplemental additions and even technological interventions that I feel are increasing my chances for increased longevity.

      As evidenced by reports from some of the people who comment here and have health problems, just eating healthy is not a panacea. Neo-luddism for WFPB eating may cause one to exclude a non-food intervention that could be the difference between life and death.

  4. Okay, I am paused at there being a bacteria that converts the primary bile acids that the liver makes into secondary bile acids.

    So far, my mind has Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Cat in the hat running around with Thing 2 making cancer.

    I am going to have to look up what makes secondary bile acids different enough that they needed a secondary designation.

    I will be back to finish the video later.

      1. Well, I take it back. I got to the 7th bile acid and it was named, Taurochenodeoxycholic acid and they did a very good job naming everything.

        I am still learning the science of how the liver bile acids get to the colon and their glycine and taurine groups are removed to give the secondary bile acids, deoxycholic acid, and lithocholic acid.

        So they definitely have names.

      1. Mr. Fumblefingers,

        Fascinating articles.

        From the Science Daily one: “While much of the study was conducted in mice, these novel bile acids were also found in humans. And here’s the kicker that will guide future research: They’re particularly abundant in the guts of people suffering with gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis.”

      2. Wow, that is so cool.

        Brand new.

        These new bile acids are not produced by our enzymes; they’re made by microbes in our gut.

        They said a sentence that these represent a fifth mechanism of bile acid metabolism by the microbiome.

        I think I only mentally found 4 mechanisms, but it is interesting that there are 5 mechanisms and this is still considered primary bile acids. Does that mean that it is still one of the 8 bile acids, rather than the ones with things like glycine or taurine removed? Is that a stupid question? Yes, apparently Wikipedia missed quite a few bile acids. One of the other articles said that they have identified 26 different primary and secondary bile acids.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160106125156.htm

        It is interesting that this new bile acid concept is particularly abundant in the guts of people suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis.

        Bile is from cholesterol is a concept that is in one of the articles and I know that Dr. Greger mentioned cholesterol but my mind has to go back to is it still from cholesterol in the microbiome?

  5. At the 3min 32sec mark in this video they show how a study contrasted a high fat + low fiber diet 1 with at low fat + high fiber diet 2 to compare results. In diet two it shows use of whole wheat bread, i.e. flour, for breakfast and dinner versus a wfpb [ whole food plant based ] option like steel cut or rolled oats for breakfast and legumes/beans or corn for dinner. Why is it so many of these studies see whole wheat bread, i.e. flour that is a processed grain, as a viable plant based fiber choice for test diet versus a whole food based option that this site constantly reinforces as being better for us than the processed alternatives?

    1. Hi myosin, thanks for your comment. You have made a good observation and good point. It is still in the literature the wheat bread confusion. Whole-wheat bread is considered healthier because the bran and germ contain fiber and vitamins that the endosperm by itself does not have. However, sprouted and whole grain better still organic grains would be a better option.

      1. spring03,

        Whole wheat flour is not the same as whole grain flour. Wheat flour is white flour (basically just the starchy endosperm, with some proteins), made from wheat (as opposed to from soybeans, lentils, etc). Whole wheat flour is reconstituted flour; it is white flour to which bran (seed coat) has been added back; because the bran is high fiber as well as minerals and some vitamins, this flour may be considered healthier. But it does not contain the germ, which is the baby plant, and contains protein and oils as well as some vitamins, minerals and other compounds — and because the oils go rancid when the seed is broken open by grinding, a flour containing the germ would go rancid fairly quickly, so it would have a relatively short shelf life. Whole grain flour is flour ground from the whole grain (usually stone ground), so it does contain both the bran and the germ in addition to the starchy endosperm of the intact wheat berries (or grains). It is best ground shortly before use.

        I researched flours while learning to bake sourdough whole grain bread — and I eventually starting grinding my own flours at home just before using them.

        But I don’t know why sprouted grains are considered healthier than whole grain flour; I’m hoping that somebody can provide me with some published research studies on this topic.

        1. Dr. J – You said “Whole wheat flour is reconstituted flour..”
          I disagree and so does google and flour mills. Whole wheat flour is the whole grain. Wheat flour is the reconstituted flour. A label can not say whole wheat if it is not the whole grain without getting in trouble with the regulating agencies.

          1. cp,

            I think I must have been reading Canadian milling information; and in the US, whole wheat flour is supposed to be the whole grain. I’ll look into this further. Thanks for the correction.

  6. I have been watching again and got to the place where vegetarians produce 70% less of the secondary bile acids and it is emotional to me. My mother died at 53 years old of breast cancer and, no matter what, she ate so much less junk food and calories than I did, but I became allergic to meat. My developing a meat allergy may have saved my life.

  7. So, what is your take on Saladino’s “Carnivore Code?” Flies in the face of everything you have posited for as long as I have been reading your posts.

    Frankly—and your thoughts would especially be appreciated here—Saladino debunks the well-recognized epidemiological arguments for a mostly plant-based diet through Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones population observations. Ocular evidence is more compelling than one man’s hypothesis through lab research, etc. Such as the Keto diet without long-term observations as to its ultimate effects.

    Turner Howard

    1. My “ocular” evidence has shown that when the word “debunk” is used then falsehood is most likely to follow. Saladino does not effectively argue against plant based diet healthiness at all. In fact he lies. He spews the myth of Inuit healthiness while they are actually less healthy.

      https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/12/18/inuit_life_expectancy_lags_as_rest_of_canada_living_longer.html

      Your statement of “one man’s hypothesis” is false. Many people are involved in producing a great volume of work regarding health implications of diet choices. These studies are not just lab work but also observational studies. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of what Dr. Greger asserts and against what Saladino is selling.

  8. This one is odd for me, because I was trying to figure if maybe I needed to increase Secondary Bile Acids after a recent science new blurb.

    “Identification Of ‘Missing Microbe’ Spurs Clinical Trial In Ulcerative Colitis”

    That missing Microbe is the one makes Secondary Bile Acids. It turns out people with Ulcerative Colitis have extremely low to non existent levels of Secondary Bile Acids, and are typically missing the bacteria that produces it (I suffer IBS that sometime flares up more like UC).

    The rest is a quote:

    “Probing further, the researchers learned that the bacterial family Ruminococcaceae was severely underrepresented in ulcerative colitis patient’s guts. This family’s members are particularly adept at converting primary bile acids to secondary bile acids, because they possess genes for enzymes that efficiently perform that conversion.

    “All healthy people have Ruminococcaceae in their intestines,” Habtezion told me in an interview. “But in the [ulcerative colitis] patients, members of this family were significantly depleted.”

    1. PeterScott,

      If you suffer from IBS, you have probably already come across this: IBS is associated with a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including a “diet high in animal protein.” Mice with IBD were fed a low calorie diet of plant based foods over 4 days, which resulted in “ increased stem cells in the gut, a sign of regeneration, and also reversed inflammation-associated shrinking of the colon…. the team found an increase in the gut bacteria Lactobacillus, and that transplants of this microbe reversed IBD symptoms. “A number of studies indicate that it is protective against IBD in mice and humans,” says Longo.”

      Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2195739-a-temporary-low-calorie-diet-may-reduce-inflammatory-bowel-disease/#ixzz6FI7HIeCz

      A related article reports that a particular type of gut bacteria may be associated with colon cancer, by causing DNA mutations: “ But more recently, suspicions have grown about certain gut bacteria, including a strain of E. coli that produces a substance that can damage our DNA.” It also reports on the related research about ulcerative colitis and the lack of the bacteria that produce secondary bile acids, which appear to be missing in the feces of patients with ulcerative colitis. which you describe above.

      Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2235508-gut-bacteria-may-be-responsible-for-bowel-disorders-including-cancers/#ixzz6FI8ovNh0

      So far, it sounds complicated. Both linked articles contain links to the original research reported. I didn’t read those; I simplified my take-home lesson to eat well balanced and varied whole plant foods.

    2. That missing Microbe is the one makes Secondary Bile Acids. It turns out people with Ulcerative Colitis have extremely low to non existent levels of Secondary Bile Acids, and are typically missing the bacteria that produces it (I suffer IBS that sometime flares up more like UC).
      ——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
      Could changing the gut bacteria into short chain Butyrate be the answer?
      _________________________________________________________

      “They found both a significant increase in the number of M2s as well as increases in levels of other anti-inflammatory molecules like the cytokine IL-10, in both normal mice and their diabetes mouse model after vibration. In fact, whole body vibration restored M2 levels to that of normal controls.

      In the microbiome, they saw numerous shifts but by far the most significant was the increase in Alistipes and a general decrease in the diversity of the microbiome.

      They note that while more diversity is generally considered a good thing, in this case the shift likely resulted from an increase in species like Alistipes, which can produce short chain fatty acids like butyrate, which result from the fermentation of dietary fiber in our gut and which feed inhabitants of the microbiome, are highly anti-inflammatory and can help reverse ill effects of high-fat diets, they write.”

      https://neurosciencenews.com/whole-body-vibration-diabetes-14739/

    3. There are many secondary bile acids and even more gut bacteria that produce them. Some secondary bile acids appear to fight cancer but many secondary are actually toxic.

      As Dr G has pointed out, the bile acids used to break down animal fats may be particularly worrisome. However some plant oils – common in both cooking and in processed foods- may also be toxic in part through requiring toxic bile acids for their digestion.
      https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/56/10/2314.long

      Ruminococcaceae are bacteria that help digest complex carbohydrates.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463488/

      I suspect that they are scarce in people with IBS and UC because such people often mistakenly avoid high fibre foods. If you want to increase the total and relative amount of Ruminococcaceae in your gut, you probably need to eat a low fat WFPB diet – that is, a diet consisting primarily of complex carbohydrates. You may want to focus on soluble fibre in the first instance since soluble may worsen symptoms in some people.

  9. Really enjoy Dr. Greger’s information on nutrition and health. Am particularly puzzled by the diametrically opposed viewpoints from other “experts” on nutrition and health. Dr. Greger, Dean Ornish, MD, John McDougall, MD, et al all have convincing evidence that a low fat vegan diet is the most scientifically proven approach to a healthy diet. Meanwhile, Mark Hyman, MD, Joe Mercola, DO, “Low carb USA” (aka I love bacon) have presented the opposite view of Fat Fiction:
    https://fatfiction.movie/
    A British physician, Malcolm Kendrick, in his THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL CON, has gone to the extreme with a chapter “eat whatever you like, diet has nothing to do with heart disease.”
    There are millions of confused people who would appreciate your professional analysis of these extremely opposite viewpoints. Another handsome donation will be forthcoming if you will explain who is right and why. Thank you!

    1. Patrick Quillin,

      I have only anecdata: eg, my brother, as a vegetarian, suffered a heart attack at about age 66; he was also overweight, out of shape, and had numerous other problems, including high cholesterol. (I asked him how that was all possible, as a vegetarian, and he replied: “I liked cheese too much?” Maybe he also liked eggs too much? Plus, he was vegetarian for only about 10 years; before that, he ate SAD). After taking a course on changing his lifestyle, including to whole plant food eating (what to eat, how to shop for it and how to cook it), he did change his lifestyle to eating whole plant foods, dropping the dairy products, and eggs (he also started exercising). And he eventually went off all but one of his meds, including for high cholesterol and T2 diabetes.

      For me, the proof is in the pudding. I’ve both experienced, seen, and read about amazing health benefits when eating whole plant foods. The evidence supports this way of eating. It’s also more sustainable, less environmentally degrading, less cruel to animals and workers in the meat industry, and contributes far less to the development of antibiotic resistance. That’s more than good enough for me.

    2. Kendrick has cobbled together a ridiculous argument based entirely on confounded observational studies. I wouldn’t waste my time on his nonsense He is one of group of highly vocal cholesterol cranks who ignore the great majority of scientific evidence and misrepresent the rest. Hyman and Mercola are among them. These are very popular in keto/low carb/’saturated fat is good’ circles but regarded as dangerous cranks by health and medical authorities around the world..

      I fact checked one of Kendrick’s videos a few years ago which claimed there were ten contradictions in the cholesterol/saturated fat CVD link
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ls9HWRxvMo&t=221s

      “He set the tone when he started off by saying that a deep fried Mars Bar contains hardly any fat! Good lord, the thing is deep-fried – how can it possibly contain “hardly any fat”? In fact, it apparently contains a whopping 15 grammes of fat.
      http://www.food.com/recipe/nutrition?rid=43463

      He then goes on to discuss what he calls 10 contradictions in the cholesterol hypothesis. The first is a list of 27 associations (taken from a single Scottish study) with the risk of all-cause mortality. Things like BMI, total energy intake, total cholesterol, alcohol intake were associated with all-cause mortality but the associations did not achieve statistical significance. Although the table he presents is about all-cause mortality (not heart disease), he says that this shows that everything we are told about risk factors for heart disease is wrong.

      However, Kendrick does NOT mention the part of the study that shows that “The gradient with total serum cholesterol concentration38 was very highly significantly positive for all coronary heart disease”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2127508/pdf/9314758.pdf

      As an aside, I would note that since things like cancer, Alzheimers, alcoholism and heart attacks all lower cholesterol, the lack of association between all-cause mortality and total cholesterol is unsurprising.

      His second “contradiction” is an unnamed Norwegian study which apparently shows mortality risk goes up as cholesterol goes down, It seemed to be a U shaped curve to me but, be that as it may, population studies of associations between cholesterol and mortality have a problem:

      “…. results of a recent meta-analysis10 of cause-specific mortality (including unpublished data on noncardiovascular causes of death) from 10 large cohort studies and 2 international studies that concluded that reduced serum cholesterol is not related to excess mortality among cohorts of employed individuals, whereas population-based studies did show a relationship. The investigators proposed that the discrepancy in results was probably due to a higher frequency of risk factors associated with low cholesterol, eg, alcohol abuse and ill health, in population-based study samples compared with employed cohorts.”
      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2365.full

      Kendrick also mentioned some unpublished data from the famous Framingham study which apparently only a few people have been made privvy to. Obviously I have no way of telling if his claim is correct or not because mere mortals like me haven’t seen this alleged data. However, the Director of the Framingham study wrote “It is concluded that even after these adjustments, nonfasting HDL-C and total cholesterol levels are related to development of CHD in both men and women aged 49 years and older.’
      http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/363237

      His third “contradiction” is Japan where he says fat consumption has increased, serum cholesterol has increased but CHD and stroke have decreased. This is true but Japanese researchers report that “The decline in CHD mortality is attributable to large declines in blood pressure levels and the prevalence of smoking, which may have offset the potentially adverse effects of increased total cholesterol levels during the past decades. High total cholesterol would need a longer incubation period to maximize the effect on CHD risk.54,55”
      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/118/25/2725

      Kendrick’s fourth “contradiction” is the 2009 US study documenting the cholesterol levels of heart attack patients on admission to hospital (ie following their heart attack). As noted before, trauma including heart attacks causes cholesterol to decline. We would therefore expect people to have lower cholesterol levels after a heart attack. Yet he describes this as a contradiction. Why doesn’t Kendrick mention that heart attacks lower cholesterol levels?
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC374382/
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26233997
      http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/146/7/558.full.pdf
      http://www.criticalcare.theclinics.com/article/S0749-0704(05)00097-7/abstract

      His fifth “contradiction” concerns familial hypercholesterolemia. He refers to an obscure, unpublished 1966 study and another unpublished survey of students with fathers who had proven heart disease before 55. He attempts to argue that hypercholesterolemia is not a risk factor for heart disease based on two cases in one group and four in the control group. I am no statistician but an argument, based on just 6 cases – and his description of unpublished studies – sounds very weak to me. Relying on those to dismiss the findings of more modern peer reviewed published studies is a very unconvincing argument. Here is a link to a rather more credible discussion of familial hypercholesterolemia
      https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000392.htm

      I will try to find my notes on the other five they are on another computer).. However, they are all the same thing – Kendrick uses confounded observational studies to argue his claims and ignores randomised controlled trials and the extensive mechanistic and genetic evidence eg

      https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109

      1. The last five of Kendrick’s alleged contradictions

        “Contradiction” 6. He then goes on to show WHO figures for deaths from heart disease and fat consumption. He then quite reasonably says that you can’t really draw conclusions from this data from different countries because of confounding variables. However, he then continues, “a lack of associations means it is not a cause. That is science”!

        Absolutely false. I can’t believe this bloke graduated from medical school because he clearly has no understanding of either science or epidemiology. He apparently couldn’t even understand what he himself said a few seconds earlier – that you can’t really draw conclusions from this data from different countries because of confounding variables

        “Contradiction” 7. He then presents figures for Russia and Japan which show that the 3 key US and UK risk factors for heart disease don’t explain the differences between the Japanese and Russian figures. Or between those and the UK and US figures. Therefore this “proves” that UK and US risk calculators are “nonsense”, he says. Anybody with even the faintest knowledge of epidemiology and/or biostatistics would immediately understand just how wrong this claim is. His slide also has a reference to a study of the “Japanese paradox”. Of course, he fails to report the study’s conclusions:
        “There are three possible explanations. One is the decline in population blood pressure level and the prevalence of hypertension during the years 1965-1990; the second is the decline in smoking rate in men and women; the third is that the serum total cholesterol level for middle-aged and elderly populations remains 5-15 mg/dL lower than that of the US elderly counterpart, although men aged 40-49 in Japan and the US had similar serum total cholesterol levels. It was also noted that elderly people in Japan, as observed in the Seven Countries Study, had far lower serum total cholesterol levels in midlife, i.e., around 160 mg/dL in the 1960s. This was not the case for elderly in the US where a higher serum total cholesterol level was observed in midlife.
        In conclusion, the lower serum cholesterol level in the past of Japanese middle-aged and elderly people compared to Western counterparts helps to maintain the low CHD incidence and mortality supported by the declining trend in blood pressure level and smoking rate for both men and women.”
        https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jat/14/6/14_E529/_article

        The possible role of alcohol abuse in Russia and its effect on reported heart disease death rates, is also ignored. There is considerable discussion of this problem in the literature but of course Kendrick does not mention it, eg
        “It has recently been argued that a substantial number of such deaths currently ascribed to cardiovascular disorders are misclassified cases of acute alcohol poisoning”
        http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/734132

        Contradiction 8.He then goes on to put up some figures from a whole range of countries which he says come from the MONICA study. He stresses that the key risk factors in the UK and US (high blood, pressure, smoking, cholesterol levels, saturated fat intake) do not explain the differences in heart disease death rates between all these countries. This shows he says that saturated fat and cholesterol do not have anything whatsoever to do with heart disease. Once again, he is displaying an appalling ignorance of epidemiology that is jaw-dropping. If people truly want an intelligent analysis of the effect of heart disease risk factors internationally and how these, including the MONICA study, have affected our understanding, this article below is a good recent summary
        http://www.nature.com/nrcardio/journal/v11/n5/full/nrcardio.2014.26.html

        “Contradiction” 9. Then looked at WHO data on cholesterol levels and deaths in women provided by another cholesterol “sceptic” Zoe Harcombe. This shows a trend for higher cholesterol to be associated with lower heart disease death rates. No mention here of potential confounding factors, of course. Don’t women in wealthier countries tend to have both higher cholesterol levels and better access to health care for example?

        “Contradiction” 10. This was another large population study which again showed that people with low cholesterol had a higher rate of all-cause mortality. This is not anything new. As I have pointed out already (this has been known for at least 20 years but Kendrick does not mention it)

        “…. results of a recent meta-analysis10 of cause-specific mortality (including unpublished data on noncardiovascular causes of death) from 10 large cohort studies and 2 international studies that concluded that reduced serum cholesterol is not related to excess mortality among cohorts of employed individuals, whereas population-based studies did show a relationship. The investigators proposed that the discrepancy in results was probably due to a higher frequency of risk factors associated with low cholesterol, eg, alcohol abuse and ill health, in population-based study samples compared with employed cohorts.”

        All Kendrick’s claimed contradictions come from his own highly biased interpretations of certain observational studies. He singularly fails to mention experimental studies – these have almost universally shown that cholesterol lowering has resulted in reductions in adverse CHD events eg
        http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1600176#t=article?

        Kendrick’s claims are typical if the arguments made by all the self-styled cholesterol sceptics.

    3. Dr Greger doesn’t normally comment on individual books by cranks or other authors of sensational ‘health’ books. There aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the year for one person to respond to all of them.

      However, he has addressed the general claims of self-styled cholesterol sceptics like Kendrick, Hyman and Mercola in this video

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-do-we-know-that-cholesterol-causes-heart-disease/

      Kendrick et al simply ignore experimental, genetic and mechanistic evidence to present a case that high cholesterol is harmless and even protective. They are also very careful to ignore the evidence that trauma and many diseases cause cholesterol to decline because this explains why the observational studies they quote, especially of older people, find a link between low cholesterol and mortality risk. Whether this is because of gross ignorance on their part or because of a desire to meet market demand is unclear Many people want someone, preferably a doctor, to tell them that eating butter, brie, bacon and beef is healthy. As Atkins demonstrated, it is possible to make millions meeting this market demand

  10. Thanks for all your hard work, the volume of information on this site is amazing. I’m just wondering if you would do an updated video on Nuts and health reflecting the most current research. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there now, is daily consumption of a serving of nuts still part of a healthy WFPB lifestyle or do we now need to worry about our arteries?
    Thanks again!

    1. Actually the “controversy” over nuts seems to focus on one nutrition blogger’s concerns about nuts which appears to disregard many studies demonstrating strong support for the view that nuts are indeed healthy. Dr. Greger has not waded into this controversy, sticking to the science as usual.

      However, you may want to read these summary NF.O statements on nuts: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/nuts/ with the additional comment at the end: “In April 2019, videos claiming “proof” that consuming nuts are bad for health were released. View Dr. Fuhrman’s response to these videos here,” (Dr. Fuhrman’s explanation of the nut “controversy” : https://www.drfuhrman.com/elearning/eat-to-live-blog/169/additional-comments-on-more-vegsource-jeff-nelson-anti-nut-videos–april-2019

      As far as updating the video on nuts, while I can forward that request as we generally do with other such requests, I can say that when I checked into the Medline data base, checking for new videos about the health benefits of (or lack of) I only found these reviews and this one more updated article: All showed a strong association between nut consumption and health benefits, so yes nuts are still part of a healthy lifestyle. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31095304 Identification of Plasma Lipid Metabolites Associated with Nut Consumption in US Men and Women. (July 2019)
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/Nuts and Human Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review (2017)
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/Health Benefits of Nut Consumption (2010)
      Hope that’s helpful.

    1. Just ran across this ……………

      ‘A new meta-analysis adds further fuel to the controversy over sodium and cardiovascular health, suggesting that reducing dietary sodium lowers blood pressure (BP) even among those whose starting systolic BP is as low as 120 mmHg.

      Each 50-mmol reduction in 24-hour sodium excretion was associated with reductions in systolic BP of 0.66, 1.89, and 2.76 mmHg among normotensive patients, a mix of normotensive and hypertensive patients, and hypertensive patients, respectively.

      “This is a quite important finding that it is beneficial not only in hypertensive individuals but those with normal blood pressure,” senior author Feng J. He, MD, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology. “Also, the study showed quite clearly that the lower the salt intake achieved, the lower the blood pressure.”

      The World Health Organization recommends a maximum dietary sodium intake of 2 g/day (5 g of salt) as a population-level intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Previous studies, however, have reported that sodium reduction is of limited or no value in normotensive individuals.

      Further questions were raised following evidence from the PURE study of a J-shaped relationship, in which both higher and lower sodium levels were associated with increased CVD risk.

      Unlike the PURE study, which has been criticized for using spot urine tests to estimate sodium excretion, only 24-hour urine collection was used to estimate sodium excretion in the 133 randomized trials in the meta-analysis, He noted.

      Among the 12,197 participants, each 50-mmol reduction in 24-hour sodium excretion was associated with a 1.10-mmHg reduction in systolic BP and a 0.33-mmHg reduction in diastolic BP (P = .03).

      Falls in systolic BP were present across all subgroups, as classified by age, sex, and race, but were larger among those older than 55 to 65 years (– 3.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], –5.05 to –2.71), women (–1.32; 95% CI, –2.47 to –0.16), and blacks (–4.07; 95% CI, –6.14 to –2.00), the authors report in an article published online February 25 in the BMJ.’
      https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/925858?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=129079FG&impID=2294941&faf=1#vp_1

      1. It’s so hard to know how to not only take in enough sodium to keep your electrolytes happy (to avoid hyponatremia), but also to not take too much to affect the blood pressure. *sigh*

        I see your Head of the Beast, as of this moment anyway, hasn’t shown up. Maybe in your next post, it will.

        1. Head of the beast? That’s a bit harsh. It’s a chimpanzee – virtually a relative of yours. Humans have been described as a type of chimpanzee…………..

          ‘how similar taxonomically chimps and humans are, as their genes differ by just 1.6%, whereas chimps and gorillas differ by 2.3% (p. 19). Thus the chimp’s closest relatives are not the other apes with which it is classed, but the human (see Homininae). In fact, the chimpanzee-human difference is smaller than some within-species distances: e.g. even closely related birds such as the red-eyed and white-eyed vireos differ by 2.9%. Going by genetic differences, humans should be treated as a third species of chimpanzee (after the common chimpanzee and the bonobo).[2] Or possibly the chimpanzee’s scientific name should be Homo troglodytes instead of Pan troglodytes. ‘
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Chimpanzee

          1. “Head of the beast? That’s a bit harsh.”
            – – – – –

            Sincere apologies to the chimp. I hope I didn’t scare him away. Come back, Monkey Face!

            (Or don’t.) :-)

      2. Still waiting for some of these J-shaped graphs to be covered.

        What comes to mind is what Dr. Greger talked about in the stroke webinar about Japan having such high rates for strokes and it was because of sodium.

        Someday the webinars will show up here.

        For some reason I don’t remember getting the email where I can re-watch that Webinar. I will have to look it up.

  11. Doctor although
    I really admire you and your efforts to bring good information to all of us, you sometimes get to heady I get lost trying to understand

  12. One more thought on the COVID-19 Coronavirus… it has been said that animals and birds can pass a virus to humans… can a person give their pets COVID-19?

    1. Lonie,

      The CDC is still examining that but it looks possible. They have 1 dog quarantined and that dog tested a weak positive after his owner tested positive.

          1. Unlikely they say.
            ——————————-
            Barb, a poster on another forum I’m on said there are videos of the police in China beating dogs to death with long poles. Apparently the Chinese believe there is a connection. Fortunately (for me) he didn’t post any of those videos… that would have been hard to watch.

            Still, if we get hit as hard as China, we may become as crass in our reactions to people we know dying, as the Chinese.

            I hope we don’t get there.

  13. By the way, I think I am getting a Wabi Baby UV sterilizer. It is so expensive, but when I looked at things like the Home Soap they didn’t have a way to replace the bulb, so those are “throw out” versions. The lamps are cheaper, but I am not wanting any ozone version of anything and some do say ozone-free, but they didn’t have the same controls.

    I did find one smaller brand that says “lab-tested, FDA approved” and that one is a little cheaper and also sells bulbs and filters. I am pausing to really think about whether I want to make the investment, but I think so.

    I am not a clean-freak by any means, but the people around me have been sick 3 or 4 times this Winter and I haven’t been sick in years and I do have a relative with MERS right now and have also had relatives with MRSA and I did watch some videos about those, but it just seems like I am going to have some gadgets to clean my toothbrush and my cell phone and keys and remote controls and my silvertize cloths now and then. A lamp with a remote would be cheaper and probably better, but some of them have bad reviews on Amazon, so I am waiting for a good enough one to use for my bedding.

    1. If you had people sick around you and didn’t get sick, that means you have a healthy immune system. How did it get healthy? it got healthy from doing things right, not being a clean freak was part of it. If we have our environment sterile, our immune system gets lazy and even sick, because no bacteria, good or bad can enter it. An army that has no enemy lets it’s arms get rusty. Just dry your bedding in the UV sunshine, along with all your other laundry, and let as much sunshine come through your windows along with fresh air that had the sun shining on it and keep things washed enough to make them look and smell clean. That will be enough to keep you well. Contact with a sick person now and then will even help your immune system.

    1. For people interested in cancer research, they have successfully used crisps.
      —————————————————————————————————-
      Deb, I’m disappointed… I was expecting potato chips. ‘-)

  14. But you still don’t want to get sick because hospitals have been suing patients who can’t pay and it is already a big number.

    It makes me know that if I ever do have to go to a hospital, I will be refusing to see any unnecessary people and I might not eat.

    Seems like they should be showing the tab while the care is being given.

    1. I was watching a Victoria rerun tonight and it was an episode about the queen having a fancy ball to help the silk weavers while the poor couldn’t afford bread.

      This weekend, two more chain stores are closing. That is 3 named stores on the same street in one of the wealthier towns near me.

      I watch more and more middle class people become close to losing everything as their jobs go away and medical and insurance being out of control is always the straw breaking the camels back.

      Right now, I am spending money on UV and steam cleaners and organic produce, but I know I am watching businesses close after 90 years and eventually the greed and selfishness of the haves will look ugly in the light of how many people can’t survive at all.

      1. Yesterday on The Doctors they were talking about a woman mixing the insulin for her 8 year old son and they were talking about how she was adding water and none of them could figure out why someone would be doing that, but an episode of a Chicago PD had a woman who couldn’t afford her child’s insulin and it surprised me that the doctors didn’t even think of it.

  15. Throughout history people have had to give up some of their children because they can’t afford to take care of them and medical problems cause that more than anything.

  16. From the business end, insurance costs so much that we can’t afford to hire full time workers. From the employee end deductibles are so high that you can have surgery and not have insurance pay a penny and even when they do the copays are 30%.

    There are people who went to hospitals not covered by insurance who have ended up with $200,000 bills from one surgical stay and honestly they get threatened by the collections people and they get so many bills that it is so confusing.

  17. We don’t take insurance costs out of people’s pay checks, but that is what my friends have happening and it makes their rent money tight, but they still can’t afford their deductibles and co-pays and insurance won’t pay for the fancy new medicines that work better.

    1. ‘Medical tourism’ is an option if it isn’t an emergency.

      People can fly to eg Latin America, Thailand, Philippines or even to India or China for treatment and get it done for far less even after factoring in the flight and accommodation costs. Or Canada for that matter where private medical care is about half the US cost (or so I understand). It’s important to ensure though that the facilities and staff are accredited.

      Ditto for dental treatment.

      1. Tom,

        That is important to know.

        I know that my friend who is an American citizen with a company in France has paid for his workers who had medical care there and one of them had a $3000 bill after cancer treatment. Here, one day in the hospital would be $10,000 – just for the stay.

        More people have insurance now, but, honestly, more and more people have $12,000 deductibles with 30% of the full cost after that. If you have a $200,000 hospital stay, $12,000, plus 30% adds up so quickly.

        You are right that a trip anywhere is so much cheaper.

        1. My close friend had her husband need 2 surgeries after they both lost their jobs. One of them, they were able to be put on Medicare because their unemployment benefits ran out midway through the hospital stay, but he was there for almost a week with zero coverage and they now are looking at whether they will lose their house. It is the last thing you want to think about when you are going through medical issues.

    1. Sounds like a winning game for surgeons and hospitals. It will certainly fatten their wallets. That’s the sort of obesity I want – wallet obesity.

  18. I have decided on getting a Wabi Baby UV sterilizer. My favorite part was that I got a coupon and beat Amazon’s price by over $50. Sorry, Amazon, but I am horrified that you would swallow up everybody and not have a conscience at all.

    So I am finished with UV, steam, air purifier, and I got my Silvertize cloths for hand sanitizers and water, I am still using PUR, but I can sanitize the filters. Eventually, I might finally spring for a Berkey because I am finding that having very well-made things makes me so happy and having water I will actually drink preferably without microplastics makes me happy, too.

    I am almost finished with my whole long list of things.

  19. Avoiding one night in the hospital for MERS or MRSA or avoiding being quarantined for CoronaVirus would pay for all of my gadgets 10 times over. I could have a UV lamp in every single room.

    1. I wonder if they charge people when they quarantine them and I know that the answer in America would be “Yes” so I guess if I am going to get it, I have to be someplace else.

    2. You may want to include a zinc supplement or foods high in zinc in your daily regime There is some evidence from in vitro experiments that zinc inhibits coronavirus replication
      https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176

      Don’t overdo it since too much zinc can cause copper deficiency among other things.

      Older people and especially older vegetarians may be at risk of zinc deficiency

      ‘An analysis of NHANES III data found that 35%–45% of adults aged 60 years or older had zinc intakes below the estimated average requirement of 6.8 mg/day for elderly females and 9.4 mg/day for elderly males. When the investigators considered intakes from both food and dietary supplements, they found that 20%–25% of older adults still had inadequate zinc intakes [24]………………………………………….

      The bioavailability of zinc from vegetarian diets is lower than from non-vegetarian diets because vegetarians do not eat meat, which is high in bioavailable zinc and may enhance zinc absorption. In addition, vegetarians typically eat high levels of legumes and whole grains, which contain phytates that bind zinc and inhibit its absorption [34,41].

      Vegetarians sometimes require as much as 50% more of the RDA for zinc than non-vegetarians [2]. In addition, they might benefit from using certain food preparation techniques that reduce the binding of zinc by phytates and increase its bioavailability. Techniques to increase zinc bioavailability include soaking beans, grains, and seeds in water for several hours before cooking them and allowing them to sit after soaking until sprouts form [41]. Vegetarians can also increase their zinc intake by consuming more leavened grain products (such as bread) than unleavened products (such as crackers) because leavening partially breaks down the phytate; thus, the body absorbs more zinc from leavened grains than unleavened grains.’
      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

      One consequence of inadequate zinc intake is an impaired immune system. This is not a good thing at the best of times and something we particularly want to avoid if we are facing a possible pandemic where older people are most at risk as appears to be the case with COVID19.

      ‘Severe zinc deficiency depresses immune function [51], and even mild to moderate degrees of zinc deficiency can impair macrophage and neutrophil functions, natural killer cell activity, and complement activity [52]. The body requires zinc to develop and activate T-lymphocytes [2,53]. Individuals with low zinc levels have shown reduced lymphocyte proliferation response to mitogens and other adverse alterations in immunity that can be corrected by zinc supplementation [52,54]. These alterations in immune function might explain why low zinc status has been associated with increased susceptibility to pneumonia and other infections in children in developing countries and the elderly [55-58].’
      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

      1. Tom, very good and timely adwice.

        I know a lot of people who read the comments section think their best long term health stems from getting all the body’s requirements from their WFPB diet. But I believe we need to put those long term goals aside and do what is best for our near term protection, even if it means going against strongly felt beliefs.

        To that end, we need to accept that supplementation or even eating foods that are proven to fulfill our body’s need to achieve max nutrition, but go against what is taught here, can help us achieve that max nutrition protection.

        No, I’m not talking about turning to red meat or sausage etc… but I’m starting to think I may go back to eating an occasional poached egg as well as the occasional yogurt cup. I’ve already returned to eating soups with small amounts of chicken mixed in. Diet is our best defense for keeping an exposure to viruses mild, IMO.

        Hopefully we will read about countries that the population seems to have an innate immunity to everything going around. Maybe armed with that information we can pick things from their diet (just as an example: jalapeno peppers from the Mexican diet) that can help.

    1. Laughing.

      I have a strong sense that nobody else would want that.

      My list came from the ridiculously confusing paradoxes of life and from not understanding how to actually accomplish anything at all or how to understand it.

      My brain had shattered into pieces and I had to figure out so many things like which pans to use and what is the most environmentally friendly and healthy way to clean and how not to overflow the storage space and what are the ethics of every decision in my life.

      It already sounds ridiculous.

      There is a war of ethics in every decision. For instance, I do buy from Amazon because I like to support Nutritionfacts.org that way, and Amazon is not a great employer and doesn’t care about communities and might put all of the stores and the post office out of business, but also is convenient, but doesn’t have a higher sense of responsibility to the whole to match how much money and power they are getting and how much damage to society they are doing.

      Each and every thing we have to do in our life has to not destroy the planet and not destroy our wallet and not use every natural resource, and there are efficient and not efficient ways of doing things.

      Honestly, I mentally broke down and started channeling the fear into a list of things I didn’t understand how to do and I made a list and started researching each thing and first started with every way to do things like cleaning and then I watched every YouTube video I could find and looked at enzymes versus white clay versus water-only cleaning versus steam and I ended up finding out things I liked as much as I like WFPB and from there, I narrowed to which steam cleaners and which microfiber cloths and which UV sanitizer and it took a few years, but I have figured out how to do everything I could think of to make a list about.

      If my Instant Pots had worked, I may have finished earlier.

      The biggest reason I am trying to finish is to stop spinning around the topics here.

      Figuring out what exactly to eat that will give me the results I have watched in all of these videos is still on my list, but I officially have all of the tools and I got rid of most of the toxins and disposables and I learned how to sanitize using sites like Dr. Annie’s Experiments and using videos.

      I guess I don’t know what you are looking for is the thought that I just had.

      When I did the process, I realized that I wasn’t doing anything the best way. Now, even just cleaning my house or organizing it or knowing which foods to eat all of it actually has an answer and if you use the right websites, it can get easier.

      I don’t even think I knew the categories before. I just would walk into a store like Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond and buy a pan. I didn’t have what material is it or will the coating come off. I didn’t have the concept that I could hurt my brain with my frying pan.

      Anyway, it is making a list of the things you aren’t happy with and researching better ways to do it and then, it is figuring out the balance between the cheaper ways versus where to spend the money on something higher quality.

      I never did that before because I didn’t have a lot of money, but cheaping out makes you have to do the process over and over again and the mental stress alone from having to make decisions over and over and over again was worth more than the extra you have to spend for quality.

      Chef AJ’s webinar talked about “decision fatigue” and it adds so much stress in our lives that I just decided to look for permanent solutions this time and try to get it so that I don’t have to make any more decisions.

      I am not sure that the process I did would be good for everyone, because I know that people like YR and Barb spent their whole lives learning each thing one at a time, and that is surely a better way to do things.

      But if there is anything at all that you aren’t happy with, let me know because I am really happy with everything.

      1. I guess why I have shared it is that I didn’t know that there were easy ways of doing things.

        Even with food. Whole Food Plant-Based IS one of the things I found in trying to figure out how to do things. Millions of people are spending billions of dollars trying to figure out what to eat and how to eat and we do the same circles over and over and over again and that is what consumerism has counted on.

        The logic for each cleaning supply and whether it is toxic and whether it works and which one is better all wars in our brains and the diets are already warring in our brains and I think I had a “Nothing really works” and “There isn’t any good answer.” and “Even if there was a good answer, I couldn’t afford it.”

        But then, I started researching things and I watched a woman just pour enzymes on a glass top stove and she said, “Come back in an hour and just wipe it clean and you don’t have to scrub at all.” and I watched Wirecutter magazine say, “If you have burnt something on a pan, just pour baking soda in with some water and boil for 15 minutes and then, just wipe it clean, no need to scrub.” and I tried the enzymes and I really could just wipe my glass top stove and had been using razor blades and glass top stove cleaner and I had thrown out pans and didn’t know that I could have just boiled baking soda and water in it. Then, I saw water-only cleaning and steam cleaning and I already have 3 or 4 good ways to do things and I can have a back-up box of baking powder or make my own enzymes from my citrus fruits with my oatmeal, which I turned out to not need a milk bag and I turned out to not need to soak very long and maybe not at all if the whole phytate thing doesn’t matter too much.

        Anyway, suddenly there are ways to eat that can reverse diseases and ways to clean without ending up with plastic bottles or buying heavy products.

        And it is all information given freely on the internet. You just need the faith to know that there are good answers out there.

  20. I was also thinking about how this message spreads.

    Since I bought the Built soft welded cooler from the shopping channel, all of the young people at Whole Foods want to talk to me.

    They don’t have any idea that I am a Whole Food Plant-Based vegan Christian who has researched every single topic under the sun.

    They just want to know what material my grocery bag is and that it is made from whitewater rafting material makes all of us happy.

    1. And, yes, I am not politically vegan or politically Christian or religiously Christian or necessarily perfectly environmentalist with my grocery cooler, but I have something that will last the rest of my life and I have one thing after another that will last the rest of my life and I get so happy by that.

    2. They just want to know what material my grocery bag is and that it is made from whitewater rafting material makes all of us happy.
      ———————————————————————————————————————
      This research helps explain why people as a whole aren’t as “green” as they need to be.

      “New research suggests that companies looking to promote their latest environmentally friendly product should downplay its green credentials if they want consumers to buy it.”

      https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-02/uoea-hpg022820.php

      1. Lonie,

        That is fascinating.

        The human mind is so easy to fool.

        When I read the article on the Uncle Freud and Betty Crocker several videos ago, the concept that Betty Crocker couldn’t sell the boxed cake mixes and that to get people to buy them, they needed to tell women to add an egg in so that women could feel more useful and caretaking and like she had given her feminine egg to her family is opposite of how people are today. Nobody wants extra caretaking duty. Just add water.

  21. All this discussion about bile acids makes me think of some organ prose I wrote on 8-16-05. My dad was in the hospital sharing a room with a man who was scheduled to have his gall bladder removed. This patient was undecided on the operation and our families were carrying on casual conversation. I decided to recite, from memory, some organ prose I had written. I think this did create a few smiles, if not some quizacal looks. The jist of the prose is really about organ donation.

    All My Organs

    I’m an organ donor
    And when I am ready to go
    I’m just going to walk into a hospital
    And say
    You can have all my organs
    And you can take my harmonica too

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