Flashback Friday: Is Fish “Brain Food” for Older Adults?

Flashback Friday: Is Fish “Brain Food” for Older Adults?
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Why has fish consumption been associated with cognitive impairment and loss of executive function?

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In the landmark Global Burden of Disease study, researchers compiled the top 20 causes of death and disability. Number one on the list was high blood pressure, two and three were smoking. The number four leading cause of loss of life and health was not eating enough fruit. Lack of exercise was number ten, then too much sodium, then not enough nuts and seeds, not enough whole grains, not enough vegetables, and number 18 was not getting enough long-chain omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood due to its purported protective effect against heart disease.

Even years ago, when this was published, however, they were already questioning the benefits of these fish fats, as more and more randomized controlled trials put them to the test and they failed, culminating in the recent meta-analysis that I profiled previously, that appeared to put the issue to rest.

Cardiovascular protection isn’t the only thing fishes and fish oil consumption were hyped for, though. Omega-3s have also been touted to treat depression. But after taking into account all the negative results that went unpublished, there appears to be no benefit for major depression, or for preventing suicide—as I explored previously in my video on fish consumption and suicide.

But what about for the prevention of cognitive decline, or dementia? The available randomized controlled trials show no benefit for cognitive function with omega-3 supplementation in studies lasting from six months to 40 months among healthy older adults.

It may sometimes even make things worse. Higher current fish consumption predicted worse cognitive performance, and greater past fish consumption in childhood predicted slowed perceptual speed and reaction time. This may be due to neurotoxic contaminants, such as mercury, in fishes. We’ve known that the developing brain is particularly sensitive to the damaging effects of mercury, but maybe the aging brain is as well.

This would explain results like this, where higher omega-3 levels were associated with high levels of cognitive impairment and dementia. More EPA found in the cognitively impaired, and more DHA found in the demented—presumably because of pollutants like mercury and PCBs in seafood that have been related to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

The same cognitive functions disrupted in adults, like attention, fine motor function, and verbal memory, are similar to some of those previously reported in children exposed in the womb. And the adults exposed to mercury through fish consumption didn’t just have subtle EEG brain wave changes or something, but observable deficits in neurobehavioral performance measures—for example, poorer performance on tests of fine motor speed, and dexterity, and concentration. Some aspects of verbal learning and memory were also disrupted by mercury exposure, and the greater the mercury levels, the worse they did.

But look, this study was done downstream of a gold mining area, a process that uses lots of mercury. Other such studies were done on people eating fishes next to chemical plants or toxic spills or eating whale meat. What about a more mainstream population, an elite group of well-educated participants, really well educated—most were corporate executives like CEOs, all living in Florida, and wealthy enough to afford so much seafood that at least 43% exceeded the EPA’s safety limit for mercury. And it had an effect.

Excessive seafood intake, which they defined as like more than three to four servings per month of fishes, like tunas or snappers, elevates mercury levels and causes cognitive dysfunction. Not much, only about a 5% drop in cognitive performance, but a decrement that no one, let alone a health conscious and achievement-oriented person, is likely to welcome.

It’s worth noting the irony of the situation; the fact that corporate executives who choose to overconsume seafood for health reasons instead sustained a drop in their executive functions as a result. Yet, if a 4.8% drop in executive function due to excessive seafood intake occurs in highly functioning, healthy adults with ample cognitive reserve, the major concern is whether similar mercury level elevations in individuals already suffering from cognitive decline might result in substantially greater declines—particularly with cognitive decline and dementia, and seafood consumption, on the rise.

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.

Image thanks to damedias via Adobe Stock.

In the landmark Global Burden of Disease study, researchers compiled the top 20 causes of death and disability. Number one on the list was high blood pressure, two and three were smoking. The number four leading cause of loss of life and health was not eating enough fruit. Lack of exercise was number ten, then too much sodium, then not enough nuts and seeds, not enough whole grains, not enough vegetables, and number 18 was not getting enough long-chain omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood due to its purported protective effect against heart disease.

Even years ago, when this was published, however, they were already questioning the benefits of these fish fats, as more and more randomized controlled trials put them to the test and they failed, culminating in the recent meta-analysis that I profiled previously, that appeared to put the issue to rest.

Cardiovascular protection isn’t the only thing fishes and fish oil consumption were hyped for, though. Omega-3s have also been touted to treat depression. But after taking into account all the negative results that went unpublished, there appears to be no benefit for major depression, or for preventing suicide—as I explored previously in my video on fish consumption and suicide.

But what about for the prevention of cognitive decline, or dementia? The available randomized controlled trials show no benefit for cognitive function with omega-3 supplementation in studies lasting from six months to 40 months among healthy older adults.

It may sometimes even make things worse. Higher current fish consumption predicted worse cognitive performance, and greater past fish consumption in childhood predicted slowed perceptual speed and reaction time. This may be due to neurotoxic contaminants, such as mercury, in fishes. We’ve known that the developing brain is particularly sensitive to the damaging effects of mercury, but maybe the aging brain is as well.

This would explain results like this, where higher omega-3 levels were associated with high levels of cognitive impairment and dementia. More EPA found in the cognitively impaired, and more DHA found in the demented—presumably because of pollutants like mercury and PCBs in seafood that have been related to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

The same cognitive functions disrupted in adults, like attention, fine motor function, and verbal memory, are similar to some of those previously reported in children exposed in the womb. And the adults exposed to mercury through fish consumption didn’t just have subtle EEG brain wave changes or something, but observable deficits in neurobehavioral performance measures—for example, poorer performance on tests of fine motor speed, and dexterity, and concentration. Some aspects of verbal learning and memory were also disrupted by mercury exposure, and the greater the mercury levels, the worse they did.

But look, this study was done downstream of a gold mining area, a process that uses lots of mercury. Other such studies were done on people eating fishes next to chemical plants or toxic spills or eating whale meat. What about a more mainstream population, an elite group of well-educated participants, really well educated—most were corporate executives like CEOs, all living in Florida, and wealthy enough to afford so much seafood that at least 43% exceeded the EPA’s safety limit for mercury. And it had an effect.

Excessive seafood intake, which they defined as like more than three to four servings per month of fishes, like tunas or snappers, elevates mercury levels and causes cognitive dysfunction. Not much, only about a 5% drop in cognitive performance, but a decrement that no one, let alone a health conscious and achievement-oriented person, is likely to welcome.

It’s worth noting the irony of the situation; the fact that corporate executives who choose to overconsume seafood for health reasons instead sustained a drop in their executive functions as a result. Yet, if a 4.8% drop in executive function due to excessive seafood intake occurs in highly functioning, healthy adults with ample cognitive reserve, the major concern is whether similar mercury level elevations in individuals already suffering from cognitive decline might result in substantially greater declines—particularly with cognitive decline and dementia, and seafood consumption, on the rise.

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.

Image thanks to damedias via Adobe Stock.

Doctor's Note

Fruit deficiency as the #1 dietary risk factor? For more, see Inhibiting Platelet Aggregation with Berries.

But what about those healthy Eskimos? See Omega-3s and the Eskimo Fish Tale.

For more on the shift of the evidence on fish and heart disease, see Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil?

The greatest danger of mercury exposure may be for children; see

Other videos on the effect of fish contaminants and health among adults include Fish and Diabetes and Fish Consumption and Suicide.

Mercury is not the only neurotoxic contaminant of seafood, though. See Diet and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease): Fishing for Answers.

And what about plastic? See my recent video, Microplastic Contamination & Seafood Safety.

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

166 responses to “Flashback Friday: Is Fish “Brain Food” for Older Adults?

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  1. OK, it looks like the downside of eating fish for omega-3’s is due to the contaminents in the fish such as mercury.

    The big question in my mind is whether or not omega-3 consumption from algae grown in a sterile tank safe and effective? Dr Klaper has stopped taking omega-3 supplements because of

    A good discussion by Dr Klaper can be found here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3FuKCsWvKE

    The bottom line for me, as of now, is that the human body is so complex, no one really knows whether supplementation is safe and/or effective and/or harmful!

    Can Dr Greger please weigh in with his current opinion on this topic?

    1. To my mind, Klaper has been misled by Jeff Nelson. The possible ‘harmful’ effects he refers to appeared in a simplistic study which also found that trans fats appeared protective! I think that Nelson was scraping the bottom of the barrel with that particular observational study (which completely ignored the fact that cancer processes affect lipid metabolism).

      This study below may be of interest if you have doubts about DHA supplementation for brain health

      https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad160439

      1. Tom,

        I don’t think it was Jeff who influenced Dr. Klaper.

        I think it was Dr Tim Radak who worked or works with Dr. McDougall who influenced Jeff and may well have influenced many people in the vegan community but Dr. McDougall was against Omega 3 supplementing before Dr. Radak was against it. There is some cross-influencing, I am sure.

        Chef AJ is over on that side and one of the doctors she had on (not the Sherzai’s, and I can’t remember the woman’s name offhand) has a vegan community where they are getting pretty good numbers just by not eating nuts or oil and eating enough greens. That community is saying, “See, we don’t have to supplement” and their numbers are good, but not everybody’s will be and a lot of people do have problems with triglycerides and that matters.

        I feel that taking the Omega 3’s have helped my brain function, but that is anecdotal, but I see a difference when I stop taking them and I remember that someone else on this site had a mother who had amazing results when she started taking them.

        1. I have gone on and off and on and off of them and am not sure whether placebo effect would explain the benefit or not.

          Maybe I get so happy at the concept of preserving the volume of my brain that something biochemical happens to improve my brain function out of joy.

        2. Thanks Deb.

          I was going by some comments made by Jeff Nelson where he implied that Klaper had changed his position because of arguments that he, Nelson, had put forward. Or to be precise, he said that his arguments had caused Klaper to review the evidence which in turn led to Klaper changing his position.

          There appears to be ‘hard’ evidence from imaging studies that DHA/EPA supplementation over time causes positive changes in brain size and performance as well as improvements in scores on cognitive testing. Klaper’s arguments about potential harm seem more speculative.

          However, the studies seem all to have been conducted in omnivores. It is possible that those positive brain changes would be unnecessary or simply wouldn’t happen in strict vegetarians eating high ALA omega 3 whole food diets. That’s definitely a possibility but not something I’d like to hang my hat on though. I continue to follow Dr G’s recommendations in this area because of the evidence of benefits (even if that evidence comes primarily from studies in omnivores). And because there appear to be no safety issues, Klaper’s arguments notwithstanding..

          I thought that this article below was a useful and balanced discussion of the issue

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747747/

    2. In short, why do we need supplements if we are eating a balanced WPFD? How many thousand years have grazers, even elephants lived healthy lives without supplements?

      1. We may not ‘need’ supplements. But achieving optimal health and just surviving into our 70s aren’t necessarily one and the same thing.

        And most experts agree that. for people eating completely vegetarian WFPB diets, B12 supplementation is essential for good long term health:

        ‘One of the earliest studies conducted on vegans, from the U.K. in 1955, found significant vitamin B12 deficiency with some suffering from nerve damage and dementia. This and many other Individual cases of B12 deficiency in vegans, and a great deal of other research, has led to the overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community and vegan health professionals that vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements are necessary for the optimal health of vegans.’
        https://veganhealth.org/vitamin-b12/

      2. Marcy,

        I think at least one of the videos on this site reports that 1 in 3 elderly are unable to actively absorb B12 from their diet, so they need to take B12 supplements, and in large amounts to absorb it passively. Actually, even 1 in 6 omnivores tested are B12 deficient as well. And food animal feed is supplemented with B12 these days, since their diets are otherwise deficient in it.

        And vegans are definitely deficient in B12, so they all should be taking B12 supplements.

        I also recall that the video (or blog) explains that we used to be able to get B12 from sources such as our drinking water (due to the bacteria in it), but that sanitizing our drinking water kills beneficial bacteria (those that produce B12) as well as pathogenic bacteria.

        You can type in B12 in the search bar on this site, and look at the videos and blogs that result for more detailed information.

    3. Darwiin: The Klapper link helps me. I used to supplement DHA when it was all the rage. I get plenty of flax and green leafies.

  2. Sorry, I missed typed one of the sentences in my first post. It should read: “Dr Klaper has stopped taking omega-3 supplements because of possible harmful effects.”

    1. IDon’t think Dr Klaper has been misled at all. He’s a bright boy…. capable of going through all the literature, as has my neurologist who comes to the exact same conclusion, (and both agree with my GP)…. unless you have elevated triglycerides that can not be managed with lifestyle changes, it’s a waste of time. The high potency (4 gram) prescription products used in studies are not the same thing.

      The Drs Sherazai discussed this very topic at the recent webinar in February hosted by chef AJ. They said omega 3 from plant foods like greens is all we need and that we only need a tiny amount. No supplements. I would eat fish long before buying a supplement.

      1. It depends a bit on your genetics. One of my kids vomits up everything unless he gets krill oil. We’ve tried the experiment several times. A Dutch friend, recommended the oil, she said she had seen this problem before.
        Our ancestors also came from seacoast areas.
        It’s the mercury that’s the problem.

      1. Barb, I did watch the Dr Tim Radak talk on Youtube about omega-3’s. Excellent talk in my opinion. Thank you for the reference!

    1. Darwin,

      It is more complicated than all of those resources put together.

      There are factors such as many males don’t convert ALA to DHA at all. Many tested zero at converting to DHA. If I remember right, post-menopausal women are often not good converters as well because estrogen is involved.

      Also, if you eat nuts at all, you won’t get the proper ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s unless you supplement and there is the thing about whether it matters that you have kept the brain volume higher by supplementing or not.

      The people who tell you not to supplement tell you to not eat nuts.

      We go back to the Adventist vegans where the ones who ate nuts had much better outcomes to those who didn’t eat nuts, so it is important to look at it from multiple sides.

      There is genuine division about this.

      Dr. Fuhrman had people very close to him get Parkinson’s and when he tested them they had almost no DHA even though they were very clean eaters and he strongly believes that it was because they had no testable DHA.

      The doctor from Chef AJ’s conference feels like going off of nuts and off of oils and eating a whole lot of greens is enough and that becomes where the community gets divided.

      1. The MRI results from the ones who supplemented show that supplementing is doing something to preserve brain volume.

        But if you don’t eat nuts or use oils and if you eat a lot of greens, you may get enough if you are a good converter.

        I am opposite of Barb about fish.

        I would never ever, ever eat fish.

        I have watched too many videos on fish and would never, ever, ever, ever eat fish.

      2. Yep. I had a genetic test done and I have a gene (or lack a gene, I don’t recall) that makes it difficult for my body to convert ALA into DHA so it is important to do your own “due diligence” and figure out what is best for yourself and don’t over-rely on a purported expert.

        1. Mike,

          A lot of males have that and I agree with you.

          We listen to the experts argue back and forth, but we literally shouldn’t trust any of them because if our body isn’t converting it for any reason we are the ones who suffer.

            1. When they are getting results where only 9% of vegans are testing for enough DHA, it is hard for me to understand recommending not supplementing.

              It sounds dangerous to me since most people just follow the leaders.

              The fact that in the studies where people just do what leaders say the number seems to be close to 65% and in the studies where they tested vegans who were very low was also close to 65%, that makes me pause and wonder how much deficiency is related to people just being followers in general.

        2. What genetic test was that, Mike?
          What company was your test provider?
          What would you estimate the cost would be (without insurance)?

          1. Hi Alphaa,

            I used Ancestry.com and i believe the cost was $99. They have two tests, one is simply for knowing your ancestry, which I didn’t care about and the other was for health genes. However once Ancestry generates the report you have to download the report and then upload it to another website, I used Rhonda Patrick’s website and that was an additional $25. It is very comprehensive report and listed more than 20 genes that effect my health span.

            I believe there are other sites that do everything so you don’t need to transfer your file around. I’ve heard 23andme does everything but never verified.

            Anyway, lots of good information and worth the effort, in my opinion.

          2. Alphaa0010,

            For further genetic information I would see this article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4491005/

            The use of the genetic tests can be highly misleading, as a number of factors including some genes not checked, are implicated in the conversion.

            You might consider spending your money on checking the omega 3,6 and 9 levels in your blood as a more effective and reflective approach.

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

            1. Hi Doc,

              Thanks. It is always good to hear hear both the pros and the cons so again thank you.

              However arguing against the gene test because “some genes not checked” can be seen as an argument for testing since without the test all genes are not checked.

              1. However arguing against the gene test because “some genes not checked” can be seen as an argument for testing since without the test all genes are not checked.
                —————————————————————————-
                So Mike, You are sayin’ that Wayne Gretzky was right when he said “you miss all the shots you don’t take.” ?
                ‘-)

                  1. Ah man, I should have waited :(
                    ——————————————-
                    ‘-) But, nothing but good news here… that is, when it hits that figure you can do another one to check the first one. ‘-)

      3. Dr. Ornish still recommends taking Omega 3’s and his input is important to me because he reversed both heart disease and prostate cancer while having his patients supplement.

        The exception he gave was one subgroup that got worse supplementing and that was people who have congestive heart failure or chronic recurrent angina due to insufficient blood flow to their heart.

        The people who call it “unsafe” often say, “It MAY cause prostate cancer” but Dr. Ornish reversed prostate cancer and the people were on it, so, to me, that becomes a non-factor because other studies it improved prostate cancer and his reversed prostate cancer while people were also taking it.

        Anyway, it is complicated.

        Dr. McDougall, Dr. Klaper, and others are against it just in case it causes cancer and they don’t think it helps.

        Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Ornish and Dr. Greger are for supplementing, so far.

        1. The ‘may cause prostate cancer argument is flawed because it is based on work by a single team, which astonishingly also found that trans fats may protect against prostate cancer.

          What that research seemingly ignored was that cancer processes affect lipid metabolism and reverse causation may be the real explanation for those associations. That is, abnormal blood levels of omega 3 and transfats didn’t necessarily affect cancer risk but cancer processes may have caused the abnormal blood lipid levels seen in people with prostate cancer. Assuming that all associations are necessarily causal, and A always causes B (and not vice versa), makes for good headlines but isn’t a methodologically sound approach.

      1. Deb and Mike, Thank you for your input and links to more information on the omega-3/DHA controversy. I will certainly continue to research all I can find on this issue, and try to make an unbiased logical decision. As Dr Klaper says in his video, a blood test for DHA may not reveal much. What counts is whether or not the amount in our cells is optimal. And I know from my studies in dynamical systems theory, that there are numerous feed-back loops in the body that regulate all our physiologic processes, so when an external substance that the body can make is added, then the body stops making that substance. Maybe I’ll look into how much my body is converting from ALA to DHA. But then, if I find out that my body is not making the conversion, then what is the optimal amount to take? So many unanswered questions!!!

  3. What about Farm Raised Salmon? Having not been swimming around in the Mercury laced soup which we call our Oceans, is that not a better way to get some Omega 3 Fats? I can only eat so much hemp seed before I blow…

    1. Ross, omega 3s are in a huge variety of foods in a wfpb diet, greens included. Blood testing might be something to discuss with your doctor if you are curious how you’re doing so far.

      As to your question about farm raised fish, well, they are raised in the ocean in pens. To further explore the risks and benefits of eating fish and farm raised fish, this article may put things in perspective for you:

      https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/

    2. In both wild and farm-raised salmon, that red color comes from pigmenting compounds called carotenoids, which are found in crustaceans, algae and other naturally occurring sources. While wild salmon get their color by eating shrimp and krill, farm-raised salmon generally have carotenoids added to their feed, either through natural ingredients like ground-up crustaceans or synthetic forms created in a lab. Without the added compounds as part of their diet, farm-raised salmon would look quite different than what customers would expect. Farm-raised salmon is naturally gray.

    3. Farm raised ocean fish are often fed food made with ocean catch fish while raised in pens in coastal salt water right next to cities. So farm raised sea fish may be considerably worse that wild caught. They may not even be better from an ecological standpoint since uneaten food collects under the pens causing problems for wild fish in the area.

      That’s why each week I eat a couple cans of Canadian “sardines” that are actually herring. Sustainable, cheap and low mercury. Taste terrible as well. Cats look at me like I’m nuts when I eat them.

  4. I have enjoyed and benefited from Dr. Greger’s work for several years.

    My concern with this video is its title, which I find misleading. A more accurate title would focus on the majority of content, namely, the damage mercury in food (with fish in pride of place) does that effectively negates benefits from other nutrients. The title implies that (all) fish is risky, when the information I have suggests that is not so. Mercury does not appear to be at dangerous levels in all fish consumed by us.

    1. Hi Jack, thanks for your comment. Dr Greger has looked at those studies that discuss the consumption of fish. In his other video he talks about for example food that is beneficial to the brain.
      When you read articles like this in Alzheimer’s disease journals, about how “Eating more berries may reduce cognitive decline in the elderly,” they’re talking about observational studies like this, where “berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years” in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, or the “intake of nuts” appearing to delay brain aging by two years. They’re just talking about associations. Berry-eaters and nut-eaters tend to have better brain function as they age after trying to control for a bunch of other lifestyle factors, but you don’t know if it’s cause and effect…until you put it to the test. Thankfully, we now have a growing number of interventional studies that have done just that. Randomized, controlled trials where people eat berries or nuts and you can prove it—actually show improvements in cognitive performance, raising the berry nutty idea that we may be able to forestall or reverse the effects of neurodegeneration in aging with food.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-brain-foods-berries-and-nuts-put-to-the-test/
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD-2KiBRrck&feature=emb_rel_end

    2. Jack

      I choose not to eat fish for ethical and environmental reasons. However, including several meals of small oily ocean fish per week in a whole food plant based diet may be a good choice from a health perspective especially for people who choose not to use supplements. This is a personal opinion which is probably not shared by the site or Dr Greger.

      Sardines (AKA herring and pilchards) are usually relatively low in mercury. However, eating canned as opposed to fresh may be risky for other reasons since a

      ‘potential health risk of eating sardines may not come from the fish itself, but the can it’s in. Cans can contain a toxic chemical, bisphenol A, known as BPA.
      Despite concerns about its link to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, BPA is still used in food cans in America. According to the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), USDA warns that toxins in can linings can migrate to the food inside.
      In the CEH study in 2017, 38 percent of cans tested used BPA, and another 19 percent contained toxic PVC in the linings. Lab studies found BPA exposure may cause reproductive disorders, genetic damage and possibly increase the risk of breast cancer.’
      https://www.livestrong.com/article/550938-health-risks-of-eating-sardines/

      If you choose to continue eating fish, fresh or frozen are preferable to canned ( especially since many of the alternatives to BPA appear to be equally dangerous).
      https://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/01/health/bpa-free-alternatives-may-not-be-safe/index.html

  5. What about fish oil supplements for joint pain/arthritis? I went off arthritis medication after being diagnosed with kidney disease. I also went whole food plant based which has improved my kidney function however I am in horrible pain from severe arthritis in my neck and back. Friends have suggested that fish oil supplements would help with the pain?

      1. Carol,

        Dr. Ornish said that if you take fish oil versus algal oil be careful with how much cholesterol is in the supplement you choose.

        I am wondering if the fact that some of them are higher in cholesterol has impacted any of the studies.

        1. Ok. Does anyone know if there are any studies regarding algae oil and arthritis pain? I am not worried about heart disease or brain function. I need to be in less pain or I will have to go back on arthritis meds and they are what damaged my kidneys in the first place.

    1. You can try but I’m skeptical it will help. Same for curcumin. Glucosamine might help but depends on the product. Not a cheap brand like CVS. Need a formulation that will enable the large glucosamine molecule to be absorbed.k

    2. Hi Carol,

      I don’t know what arthritis medication you were on, and I don’t know how it’s linked to kidney disease.

      I did read that the use of NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) may accelerate the degeneration of cartilage in arthritis:

      “In human studies, NSAIDs have been shown to accelerate the radiographic progression of OA of the knee and hip. For those using NSAIDs compared to the patients who do not use them, joint replacements occur earlier and more quickly and frequently. The author notes that massive NSAID use in osteoarthritic patients since their introduction over the past forty years is one of the main causes of the rapid rise in the need for hip and knee replacements, both now and in the future.” http://journalofprolotherapy.com/the-acceleration-of-articular-cartilage-degeneration-in-osteoarthritis-by-nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs/

      I don’t know if this information is correct, and/or has been replicated. But if it is, then it certainly seems a sorry state of affairs when drugs used to treat the pain from arthritis make the arthritis worse.

      And I do feel at least some of your pain, as I am developing serious arthritis in my back, hips and knees (and maybe hands). Right not, I’m still able to walk off a lot of the pain, and I use heat as well. But it’s terrible. I wish there were treatments for it, rather than simply pain relief and eventually joint replacement.

      1. Dr. J., I’m wondering about your last paragraph, where you talk about z’developing serious arthritis.”

        And here, some years back, you changed from a vegetarian diet (which included dairy and eggs) to a WFPB one. Sounds like the switch hasn’t helped. Maybe you’re eating too many food items you should NOT be eating. Or abstaining from the ones you should?

    3. Carol – I had a terrible bout of severely inflammatory osteoarthritis in my R hip a couple of years ago. So severe I could not walk at all. A chiropractor friend of mine suggested that I take a product called “Cosamin ASU” (best price at Costco.com; do not confuse with Cosamin DS). I followed label directions. I also ate, daily, 1/4 Cup of bing cherries. See this Dr. Greger video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-inflammatory-life-is-a-bowl-of-cherries/ The severe pain in my hip has completely resolved and has not returned.
      Also, you may want to look up “Inflammation” in the topics section of this site for any other useful information.
      Hope this helps!

      1. Ruth. Yes I eat cherries and pineapple on a regular basis but I am still in pain. I have tried other glucosamine chondroitin supplements but I will check into the one you suggested. Thanks!

      2. Cosamin is one of the more expensive brands of glucosamine, maybe $60/month. There are other good brands that are less expensive like Osteobiflex, some Schiff brands, Dona. I had painful osteoarthritis. Glucosamine eliminated the pain for 14 years. If a brand stopped working, I switched to another brand. No other substance helped me. Fortunately, I solved the problem without a hip replacement. Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

    4. Carol, if you are of a mind to do so, give CBD oil a try. I woke up during the night a few days ago with foot pain that left me thinking I was having a gout attack. I don’t take the CBD oil regularly, but remembered I had some and took a few drops under the tongue.

      I remembered then why I don’t take it regularly… because it makes me sleepy. But it also helps relieve my pain.

    5. Carol I also have arthritis in my hip, bone on bone and told I need replacement. I was also in a lot of pain and couldnt put weight on hip at all. I have tried many natural things over the last 2 years to stave off the replacement and here is what I have found: I tried Prolozone injections into the joint (8 of them), this helped a lot with the inflammation and a little bit with the pain. During this time I was also taking Cosamin AV, which maybe helped but not much. I tried a collagen supplement in a blue can that is popular-this seemed to help, but I had an allergic reaction to it after a month. Pharmacist said the reaction was probably due to the very high amino acid content, three times normal. I was looking on PubMed and heard of a product that had studies done on it and I am trying that now. This product contains three ingredients that also have individual studies on their effectiveness. Product by OrthoMolecular is usually sold only to physicians but I found a Pharmacy that did sell it to me. The formula contains Vitamin C, Magnesium (TRACCS), gelatine Hydrolysate as (FORTIGEL), TENDOACTIVE and MOBILEE which is a studied standardized hyaluronic acid made from roosters comb. This seems to be helping with pain, inflammation and joint movement. I would suggest looking at OrthoMolecular’s website which has some studies posted, if you find a physician to sell it to you, some charge around 75.00 a month, the pharmacy I bought from was 45.00. I have no association with this product other than pain and looking for an answer.

  6. On this topic, I saw some statistics which said that as the ocean temperature has changed the level of these toxic exposures has increased.

    They said that between the years 2012 and 2017, Atlantic bluefin tuna had an increase in methylmercury levels by as much as 3.5% each year.

    They made a model predicting the increase in methylmercury levels saying that a temperature increase of 1°C in seawater could lead to a 70% increase in mercury for dogfish concentrations and a 32% increase in mercury for cod.

  7. Dr. JoAnn Manson is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the leader of the VITAL Study, a major fish oil study which found significant CVD benefits to taking fish oil. She also did a metanalysis of fish oil studies with I think 29,000 patients and wrote the following on11/6/2019 in an article “A Promising Future : Omega-3s and CVD Prevention. Referring to the meta analysis, she wrote that taking fish oil “significantly reduced myocardial infarction (heart attacks), coronary heart disease death, CVD death and total CVD events.” She said that one study, REDUCE-IT found significant reduction in stroke. Also said there was a dose dependent response. There was an 8-9% reduction in total CVD events per each 1-gram increase in the dose of omega-3s, DHA and EPA, or EPA alone. She said that even lower doses of fish oil would translate into hundreds of thousands of CVD events averted in the US.
    Just a few days ago, I read about a meta analysis of fish oil studies from Europe with 400-500,000 patients, which also found CVD benefits. I will try to find it.
    As for fish oil and the brain, stay away from tuna, swordfish and other mercury contaminated fish. I haven’t eaten these in decades.

      1. Yes, it is Lonie. Thank you. I found it and posted another comment about it. Dr. Greger is unreliable when he says that the question of fish oil’s effectiveness has been decided against it. He seems to be biased because of his personal preferences. Notice that he doesn’t tell you about recent studies like those of Dr. Manson at Harvard and this one, though it’s possible that he hadn’t seen this result when he made the video.

        1. Alan,

          As always, I wonder: what were the study subjects eating? Would the same benefits be observed in those who eat WPF?

          From the linked article: “The association between fish oil use and CVD events appeared to be stronger among those with high blood pressure…. For example, omega-3 fatty acid supplements have shown beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart rate, all of which would exert a protective effect against the development of CVD events.” Well, eating WPF exerts a protective effect against the development of CVD events; it certainly exerts beneficial effects on BP and cholesterol levels (I don’t know about heart rate.). Moreover, although the study reportedly controlled for lifestyle habits and diet — “These favourable associations remained after taking account of traditional risk factors, such as age, sex, lifestyle habits, diet, medication and other supplement use” — what exactly is meant by lifestyle and especially diet?

          1. Doc, I’m not a vegan but pretty close. It may be possible to achieve similar outcomes with WPF, possibly even with a Mediterranean diet. However, you may get more of an anti-inflammatory effect from the fish oil as well as the greatest benefit from combining diet with fish oil. A lot of vegans eat inflammatory foods, which I have observed from reading comments here. By inflammatory, I mean sugar and refined foods, which raise blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance. By the way, Dr. Greger routinely appeals to observational studies when they support his position.

        2. It is hardly just Dr Greger who is saying this.

          For example, the expert scientific panel convened by the American Heart Association stated this

          ‘We concluded that available evidence does not support the use of omega-3 PUFA supplements in the general population who are not at high CVD risk, including those with diabetes mellitus and prediabetes.’
          https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/cir.0000000000000482

          The AHA isn’t guilty of vegan bias. Greger’s position on this is mainstream.

          As for the VITAL study, of course the person who led it is going to talk up its importance and its findings. However as the UK’s National Institute for Health Research has commented.

          ‘The trial provides fresh evidence to support current recommendations that omega-3 fatty acid supplements in usual doses should not be offered for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It also provides new evidence that they do not reduce the risk of cancer.’
          https://discover.dc.nihr.ac.uk/content/signal-000752/fish-oil-supplements-do-not-cut-cancer-or-heart-disease-risk-at-one-gram-a-day

          I’d suggest that the UK’s NIHR probably isn’t guilty of vegan bias either.

          One of the problems with the Reduce-it trial is that it din’t actually trial fish oil so it is of highly doubtful relevance to this issue. Instead it used 2 g of icosapent ethyl twice daily (total daily dose, 4 g). That is a manufactured product derived from fish oil but it is not fish oil.

          Another is that it was a trial relating to secondary prevention (NOT primary prevention) which again is not what Dr Greger is discussing. the study population was patients with elevated triglyceride levels despite the use of statins.

          Note also that the Reduce-It trial was funded by the pharmaceutical company that manufactures icosapent ethyl .

          1. That AHA paper was from 2017 and didn’t examine any evidence from studies of fish oil for primary prevention of CVD events and disease, because there were none at that time.

            So Dr. Manson is just touting her 5 year Harvard study, and the meta analysis she did, meaning that they are worthless? Isn’t that a form of ad hominem attack? Last year I posted the results of her fish oil study, The VITAL Study and you tried to deny that she found a significant reduction in CVD events and death, even though the results were on the study’s web site for all to see and some people here verified it. It spoke poorly for your intellectual honesty and your dismissiveness of her work now is just more of the same.

            1. Alan and Dr J,
              I hope you both will take a minute to read this excellent article that discusses points that you both have raised, particularly under the section heading Diet vs Supplements. I can not summarize since I am on the phone, but Dr Radak does look at vegans vs omnivores, inflammation, ‘low levels’ are not established/defined, who actually benefits from fish, supplements, and what is actually known to increase or impact brain size and cognitive health. Fascinating.

              https://radaktim.wixsite.com/website/post/omega-3-diet-and-lifestyle-factors-influencing-brain-health

              1. Barb, I tried to click the link from my browser (google) and it warned me I was attempting to go to an unsafe link and did I want to proceed? I chose no.

                1. Don’t know why Lonie.. it is the website of Dr Radak, and it gets a fair bit of traffic. I have no problem with it and I have used it for about 6 months now.

            2. As i wrote before, it is not just ma and Dr Greger who are saying this. You can argue all you want with the AHA and the UK’s NIHR if you want.

              As for ad hominem attacks, what does your comment about my honesty represent?

              Or your claim about Dr Greger’s personal bias for that matter? Especially since he recommends DHA/EPA supplements for brain health but – like the AHA and NIHR, – not for,the primary prevention of CVD,

              As for your comments about Dr Manson’s remarks on the Vital Study website, either you haven’t bothered reading them or you simply don’t understand what she wrote.
              https://www.vitalstudy.org/findings.html

              1. Here is what Dr. Manson who is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School saidabout fish oil based on her meta analysis of studies.
                “Omega-3s have been found to significantly reduce myocardial infarction and coronaryheart disease death, CVD death and total CVD events…there is a dose response withan 8-9% reduction in total CVD events per each 1-gram increase in the dose of omega-3s, DHA and EPA, or EPA alone… lower doses would translate into hundreds of thousands of CVD events averted in the U.S.”
                You have to be pretty obtuse to claim that this is not an endorsement and recommendationof fish oil. If I am a doctor and say that washing your hands often will translate into hundreds of thousands of fewer cases of corona virus and thousands of deaths averted, wouldyou say that this is not a recommendation?  If you don’t want to take fish oil that is your decision. Mine is to take it and I take 3-3 1/2 grams/dayUnlike aspirin, fish oil does no harm. Older individuals will be able to substitute fish oil for aspirin.There is no downside. Lots of older individual have plaque in their arteries and don’t know it. They are at potential risk of heart attack. Fish oil offers them a real possibility of averting that heart attack by reducing inflammation in their arteries.

    1. So is it good to take DHA EPA supplements?
      ————————————————————–
      I vaguely remember reading (on NF.o, I think) that taking a DHA supplement one time per month or so was found to be more beneficial than taking it every day.

    2. Randy, never mind my post… I confused DHA with DHEA. Here’s what I thought I was posting:

      The beneficial effects of one optimal dose of DHEA generally lasted between 1 to 4 months, though in some individuals it lasted for a much shorter period of time due to a number of negative factors such as excessive stress/work, excessive exposure to low temperatures and toxic substances, or use of common pain medicines. On the other hand, if a patient took an excessive dose of DHEA, the amount of normal cell telomere decreased, while there was an increase in cancer cell telomere. It was found that those who took an overdose of 25-50 mg daily for more than 3 months had a high incidence of cancer of the prostate gland, breast, colon, lung, and stomach. Also, when the average normal cell telomere levels were less than 110 ng, compared with a normal value of 120-130 ng, and when DHEA in different parts of the body was also extremely low (less than 1-2 ng), one could suspect the possible presence of a malignant tumor somewhere in the body.

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16617690-beneficial-effects-and-side-effects-of-dhea-true-anti-aging-and-age-promoting-effects-as-well-as-anti-cancer-and-cancer-promoting-effects-of-dhea-evaluated-from-the-effects-on-the-normal-and-cancer-cell-telomeres-and-other-parameters/?log$=activity

    3. Randy,

      This is a hotly debated topic.

      The rationale for using it goes back and forth.

      If you decide to go with the people who don’t supplement best to get tested and make sure you have enough DHA.

      Many males can’t convert from ALA and you don’t want to not have any.

      If you can convert, make sure you are eating enough greens and flaxseeds.

      If you love nuts or use oil or have high triglycerides or brain problems, you might need it.

      If you have congestive heart failure or severely blocked arteries causing severe angina, the logic changes and in that case best to listen to someone like Dr Ornish and not take it.

      Either way, he said not to take ones with too much cholesterol.

      Dr Ornish recommends certain brands and he lists some fish kindS and some algal oil kinds.

      Dr Greger said to look for USP on labels of supplements, I think that is what he said during his stroke webinar. I can’t double check.

  8. What about flax seed and what about flax seed oil (with lignans). Omega 3 which is ALA, Omega 6 which is LA , and Omega 9 which is Oleic Acid. Any thoughts about their consumption as NF recommends a tablespoon on his daily list. Is that sufficient? Yes, I’ve read his suggestion. Just looking for comments vs consumption of fish and flax or their oils Thanks for reading. Be well!

    1. Ruthie,

      Dr. Greger recommends flaxseed AND he recommends Omega 3 from the algal oil.

      He has videos on those.

      Pretty sure that he doesn’t recommend flaxseed oil.

      Either way, the issue comes that vegans tend to test really low and many people can’t convert and many people eat things like nuts and end up with a wrong Omega 3 to 6 ratio if they don’t supplement.

      There are a lot of things to consider.

  9. Why was the consumption of low mercury fish like salmon not mentioned in the video. Sure, tuna, swordfish, etc. which are high in heavy metals referenced but not salmon.

  10. In the video, you can see that Dr. Greger is looking at studies UP TO 2012. But we have much better data now, as I showed in another comment today. Here is a study that I got off of CNN dated March 4, 2020. Was published that day in the British Medical Journal. Study followed 427,678 people in the UK over a 9 year period. Found that fish oil supplements were associated with a 13% lower risk of death, a 16% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 7% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events such as stroke and heart attack. “The authors said their analysis of the data showed that the benefits were independent of factors including age, sex, lifestyle habits, diet, medication and other supplement use.”
    This is an observational study. You can doubt the results if you like and maybe at your own risk. I am following Dr. Manson at Harvard Medical School and taking fish oil. I don’t trust Dr. Greger on this. It’s clear from the fact that he is looking at studies from 2012 and earlier that he is not an objective observer.

    1. Alan,

      I know that this video makes it look like Dr. Greger is against Omega 3 supplementation or as if he sees it worthless for things, but he does still recommend
      250 mg daily of pollutant-free (yeast- or algae-derived) long-chain omega-3’s (EPA/DHA)

      The fact that he is mentioning unpublished studies does mean that we aren’t hearing everything.

      And, Dr. Greger, the fact that McDougall’s site said that you recommended against Omega 3’s and your site says that you recommend it when the wording of this was “omega 3” on the list does make it a tad confusing. I am going to agree with Alan about that.

      Alan, you are right that this video was done a while ago, but the study you are talking about is observational and he is talking about deouble-blind placebo-controlled studies, and what Dr. Fuhrman did say in response to the negative studies is that they don’t study vegans so it is much harder to see if there is a benefit in the vegan community from supplementing because Omega 3 supplements don’t undo the effects of a SAD.

      His take on it is that in all of his decades of clinical practice, he has seen the negative effects when vegans don’t supplement up-close and personal since the 1970’s and his diet is very high in greens and he is testing people for DHA, so that does carry some weight to me.

      1. That last “his” is Dr. Fuhrman’s take on it is that he has watched healthy, clean-eating, greens-eating vegans shrink their brains to the point that they have neurological diseases and you can’t get it back. Jeff Nelson responded to that with a study which has been covered here that some behaviors do increase brain volume and Dr. Fuhrman’s response is that there is a point of no return and that he is the only clinical doctor who has been doing this process with enough vegans to see the ravages of when they don’t supplement.

        Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.

    2. Alan, Regarding your comment: ” It’s clear from the fact that he is looking at studies from 2012 and earlier that he is not an objective observer.”. These Friday Flashback videos are just repeats of previous videos. I don’t think that Dr Greger is biased in his selection of studies. I believe that he and his team have just not had the time and resources to look at all the recent data and make a new video. This particular original video was first posted on June 10, 2016, almost 4 years ago.

      1. He knows about more recent research and shouldn’t be recycling old videos with out-of-date conclusions. That shows even more bias.

        1. This is incorrect.

          The Reduce- it trial was not about primary prevention and nor did it use fish oil. It is therefore irrelevant to this issue.

          The VitalD trial which you keep referencing to support your beliefs actually found

          ‘Conclusions
          Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation did not reduce major cardiovascular events or cancer incidence.’
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6392053/

          Your allegation of bias are therefore not supported by the evidence that you yourself cite.since neither of them provide a justification for recommending marine n-3 fatty acid supplements for the primary prevention of CVD. You would also have to accuse US and UK health authorities since they too have made the same decision. Your allegation is even more unbelievable since Greger, unlike the US and UK health authorities, recommends use of marine n-3 fatty acid supplements for brain health.

          1. Here is a quote from the Vital Study:

            Omega-3 fatty acids

            Cardiovascular disease. During the trial, 386 major cardiovascular disease events occurred among the 12,933 participants receiving omega-3 fatty acids, as compared with 419 such events among the 12,938 participants receiving placebo, an 8% reduction that was not significant. Upon closer examination, this result was due almost entirely to a reduction in heart attacks without a reduction in strokes. Specifically, the omega-3 fatty acid intervention lowered the risk of heart attack by 28% and the risk of fatal heart attack by 50% but had no benefit on stroke or cardiovascular deaths not related to heart disease. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids reduced the rate of angioplasty procedures by 22%.
            So one gram of fish oil lowered the risk of heart attack by 28% and fatal heart attack by 50% and loweredthe need for angioplasties by 22%. Dr. Manson’s meta analysis of fish oil studies found a dose dependent response with greater amountsof fish oil producing greater benefits. It’s clear that she believes that there is benefit to taking fish oil.For professional reasons, she can’t explicitly recommend it, but the public is certainly not going to waitfor the AHA to make a recommendation.  As for Dr. Greger, he posts a 4 year old video attacking fish oil 2 days after a major fish oil study showing benefits of fish oil appears in a major journal. Seems very fishy to me.

            1. Let me remind you of the conclusion reached by the authors of this study (including Dr Manson)

              ‘Supplementation with n−3 fatty acids did not result in a lower incidence of major cardiovascular events or cancer than placebo
              https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1811403

              They also stated

              ‘There was no control for multiple hypothesis testing, and no formal adjustment was made to the P values or confidence intervals. Thus, the results regarding exploratory end points and subgroups should be interpreted with caution.’

              By what possible contortions of logic could anyone conclude that this study justifies recommending marine n-3 supplementation for the primary prevention of CVD?

              For glaringly obvious reasons, that study hasn’t convinced the AHA to change its recommendations. Nor has it convinced the UK authorities to change their position on this issue. Dr Greger has clearly also come to the same conclusion as those leading national US and UK issues but that apparently shows that he is biased against marine n-3 fatty acid supplements (despite the fact that he recommends we take them for brain health). That accusation and indeed the entire logic of the argument make no sense to me.

              Nevertheless, according to some posters here, a study which concludes ‘Supplementation with n−3 fatty acids did not result in a lower incidence of major cardiovascular events or cancer than placebo’, actually showed that we should all take such supplements for routine primary prevention of CVD. ..Further, you guys keep quoting Dr Manson in support of your claims but even you now concede that she does not recommend marine n-3 fatty acids for the routine primary prevention of CVD. Even the abstract that you quote, explicitly states that the reduction in events was not significant – ie it could well have occurred by chance.

              So all these highly qualified experts have got it wrong and you guys have got it right? And there is something ‘fishy’ going on because Dr Greger doesn’t share your opinions? It’s all a vegan plot, right?

              Forgive me for being somewhat sceptical.

              1. Here is your answer. This is not just from Dr. Manson. It’s from the Harvard Schoolof Public Health. This is from a meta analysis of randomized clinical trials.

                Omega-3 fish oil supplements linked with lower cardiovascular disease risk – Date: – September 30, 2019 – Source: – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – Summary: – People who received omega-3 fish oil supplements in randomized clinical trials had lower risks of heart attack and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) events compared with those who were given placebo.
                – Share: –      FULL STORYPeople who received omega-3 fish oil supplements in randomized clinical trials had lower risks of heart attack and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) events compared with those who were given placebo, according to a new meta-analysis from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Researchers found an association between daily omega-3 supplementation and reduced risk of most CVD outcomes, including heart attack, death from coronary heart disease, and death from CVD, but did not see benefit for stroke. In addition, higher doses of omega-3 fish oil supplements appeared to provide even greater risk reduction.The study will be published online September 30, 2019 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.”This meta-analysis provides the most up-to-date evidence regarding the effects of omega-3 supplementation on risk of multiple CVD outcomes. We found significant protective effects of daily omega-3 supplementation against most CVD outcome risks and the associations appeared to be in a dose-response manner,” said first author Yang Hu, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School.While observational studies have shown an association between fish consumption and lower heart disease risk, results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been inconsistent. Two reviews published last year did not find clear evidence for benefit.In this new analysis, the researchers did an updated meta-analysis that included three recently completed large-scale trials, which increased the sample size by 64%. The total population analyzed by Hu and colleagues included more than 120,000 adults in 13 randomized trials worldwide. The analysis included the VITAL trial, the largest randomized trial of omega-3s to date.The findings showed that people who took daily omega-3 fish oil supplements, compared with those who took a placebo, lowered their risk for most CVD outcomes except stroke, including an 8% reduced risk for heart attack and coronary heart disease (CHD) death. The association was particularly evident at higher doses of omega-3 fish oil supplementation. This finding may suggest that marine omega-3 supplementation dosage above the 840 mg/day used in most randomized clinical trials may provide greater reductions in CVD risk. Given that several million people experience these CVD events worldwide each year, even small reductions in risk can translate into hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and CVD deaths avoided, according to the researchers.”Although public health recommendations should focus on increasing fish consumption, having an overall heart-healthy diet, being physically active, and having other healthy lifestyle practices, this study suggests that omega-3 supplementation may have a role in appropriate patients,” said senior author JoAnn Manson, chief of the Division of PreveStory Source:Materials provided by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    3. alan,

      The study you mentioned “Found that fish oil supplements were associated with a 13% lower risk of death, a 16% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 7% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events such as stroke and heart attack.”

      I thought that eating WPF resulted in a much lower incidence of all 3 conditions mentioned, especially when coupled with exercise, not smoking, and not drinking alcohol.

      And even though the study results were reportedly independent of lifestyle habits and diet, what exactly is meant by these factors, especially diet? Were these same benefits found in those eating WPF? On top of the benefits resulting from eating WPF? How many of their study subjects do you think were eating WPF?

      1. You raise good points, which I can’t answer. Most people don’t want to become vegans, because they are afraid of the deficiencies or don’t want to give up the pleasures of animal protein. I think the vast majority of people think this way and the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil could help them. Maybe vegans eating a truly anti-inflammatory diet, low in sugar and simple carbs don’t need fish oil, assuming they are not deficient in omega-3s.

          1. Barb,

            Well, the article you posted a link to is quite an interesting read. A lot to think about.

            Here’s just one example: “ Hussein (2005) states, “The fact that DHA can be formed from ALA, albeit at a very low rate, but cannot be increased by increased dietary ALA suggests that DHA concentrations, at least in circulating phospholipid pools, are regulated to satisfy a relatively low metabolic demand that can be satisfied by the relatively low levels observed in vegans with no dietary DHA intake and with erythrocyte DHA levels lower than EPA” (p.278).
            Conversely, the population that may benefit the most from ingesting EPA/DHA may be omnivores who consume significant inflammatory AA from animal product intake. Long chain Omega 3 can compete with AA to produce less inflammatory molecules. Additionally, those following the standard American diet, high in processed food and oil and whom may have very unbalanced Omega 3/6 ratios, may also benefit,
            especially as several studies that are primarily plant-based show protection for cognitive decline (Wu, 2019; Morris, 2015).”

            I especially appreciate the fact that vegetarians and vegans are included, though what exactly constitutes these two groups is not defined. I would guess that the first group avoids meat, and the second all animal products. Though what they eat instead, whether processed or whole plant foods, was not described. So far at least (I’m not quite done reading).

            1. It is interesting isn’t it Dr J! I am still studying it and will be for weeks to come. He is a professor of nutrition. I found the discussions around factors impacting brain size, arachadonic acid in animal foods, metabolism of the omegas, the fine balance of these nutrients, all really onteresting. He is a supporter of whole plant foods.

    4. FYI there is more than one Jack here so I will change to Jack1.

      If I understand this video properly, Dr. Greger notes the prior observational studies but then shares that randomized trials did not support fish oil supplementation benefits. So more observational studies would not really change anything as Dr. Greger’s bias appears to favor randomized trials over observational studies rather than some other basis for bias. I believe that’s what he means when he says “put it to the test.”

    5. Your comment makes no sense. Dr Greger recommends a DHA/EPA supplement for brain health.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      And Dr Manson does not specifically recommend that people take a fish oil supplement for the primary prevention of CVD.
      https://www.vitalstudy.org/findings.html

      It is quite that you have strong opinions on this matter but equally clear that those opinions are not factually based.

      1. This was a response to Alan’s post further up the thread.

        As for Jack1’s comment: ‘Dr. Greger’s bias appears to favor randomized trials over observational studies’,

        this doesn’t really reflect the full picture. The AHA position on omega 3 oil supplementation is based on data from experimental studies rather then observational studies. So is the UK position. See my earlier posts for links to these. Presumably this arises from the fact that observational studies are notoriously vulnerable to confounding by uncontrolled variables. For example, people taking fish oil may be more health conscious and better educated and informed than people who do not. This could well skew any observed results. Possibly also, people who buy supplements have greater disposable income/wealth than people who do not. This too might affect results.

        My point really is that it is a bit much to accuse Greger of personal bias on omega 3 oil supplements when he actually recommends that people take the darned things for brain health. And his view that solid evidence is not there to recommend omega 3 oil for the primary prevention of CVD is identical to that of the mainstream US and UK positions. Yet someone here accuses him of bias and lack of objectivity.on this issue. That person has also repeatedly misrepresented the statements of Dr Manson on the VitalStudy website to support his accusations.

        That person has also repeatedly misrepresented the results of the VitalStudy on omega 3 oil supplementation to argue that Dr Greger is ignoring it when he continues to argue that experimental studies do not provide solid evidence for omega 3 oil supplementation for the primary prevention of CVD. He nowhere mentions what was the conclusion of the VITAL study on omega 3 supplementation

        ‘Conclusions: Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids did not result in a lower incidence of major cardiovascular events or cancer than placebo.’
        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30415637-marine-n-3-fatty-acids-and-prevention-of-cardiovascular-disease-and-cancer/?dopt=Abstract

        It’s one thing to make mistakes and errors, we all do it, but making highly personal accusations of this kind in these circumstances could be seen as verging on abuse. It certainly leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

        1. By the way, the Independent Cochrane review’s analysis is

          ‘This is the most extensive systematic assessment of effects of omega‐3 fats on cardiovascular health to date. Moderate‐ and high‐quality evidence suggests that increasing EPA and DHA has little or no effect on mortality or cardiovascular health (evidence mainly from supplement trials). Previous suggestions of benefits from EPA and DHA supplements appear to spring from trials with higher risk of bias. Low‐quality evidence suggests ALA may slightly reduce CVD event risk, CHD mortality and arrhythmia.’
          https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub3/full

  11. Well, I dismiss what dr furhman says… the man sells supplements which is clearly a conflict of interest.
    I do hope people interested fond time to watch Dr Radak speaking on the topic, and also discussing Dr Greber’s sources on context.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nne_fATFGfw

    The vital study uses a drug that is available by prescription here for people with high triglycerides. At this link you can discussion of study findings that says supplements are not comparable to the whole food, and that people who eat fish do not reap a benefit. This was not studying those on a whole food plant based diet. Dr Kim Williams from the American College of Cardiology fame even remarked on the Adventist nuts study saying… sure, better than what? meat? The studies were not conducted using wfpb population.

    https://www.vitalstudy.org/findings.html

    But then, perhaps this is why the Adventist pescatarian women did soooo much better than the vegans? I did post the Harvard link above as well.
    In the end people will do what they feel the need to do, but I am amazed at the number who do not consult their own physicians on these questions.

    1. …also discussing Dr Greber’s sources…
      ——————————————————–
      Barb, I think you misspelled Dr Gerber’s name. ‘-)

    2. I suspect that Dr Fuhrman’s position on this is correct at least for so-called ‘vegans’ in general Whether this also applies to people eating high ALA WFPB diets is another matter.

      As Jack Norris at VeganHealth has noted

      ‘Researchers compared DHA and EPA levels in red blood cells with risk for dementia in 1,575 adults who were part of the Framingham Study. The subjects had an average age of 67 years and were all free of dementia at the onset of the study.

      Although previous research among the Framingham participants had found that plasma DHA levels were associated with lower risk for both Alzheimer’s Disease and all-cause dementia, this study looked at red blood cell levels since this measure reflects intake over a longer period of time—up to 120 days versus just a few days for plasma levels.
      In this study, the lowest levels of DHA and EPA were comparable to what is typically found in vegans.
      Based on MRI measures, total cerebral brain volume was lower among people with the lowest red blood cell levels of DHA and EPA compared to the highest. The researchers suggested that the difference was equivalent to approximately two years of brain aging. This was the only difference in MRI measures.
      Higher red blood cell DHA and EPA levels were associated with performance in tests of visual memory, executive function, and abstract thinking but there was no relationship with verbal memory.
      Tan ZS, Harris WS, Beiser AS, Au R, Himali JJ, Debette S, Pikula A, Decarli C, Wolf PA, Vasan RS, et al. Red blood cell omega-3 fatty acid levels and markers of accelerated brain aging. Neurology 2012;78:658-64.’

      https://veganhealth.org/omega-3s-impact-on-hearts-and-minds/

      1. Well, to my mind, dr furhman has been totally and utterly discredited. I won’t give the time of day to any claim he has made or makes in future. Don’t think it’s necessary to say anything further, so I will leave it at that.

        I think people who have concerns about cognitive health, brain health/status should see their physician about a referral to a neurologist. Sitting around the internet accomplishes nothing.

        The problem with any of the studies with omega 3 showing any result are that the dosages are high, very high. Here , for example https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad160439
        This comment box wont let me paste more , sorry.
        2 grams dha…. So, are people prepared to take out their little algae 250 or 200mg capsules and take 8 or 10 of them per day??? And for years? Probably not… it starts getting pretty darn expensive. The studies often use the prescription drug often prescribed for high triglyceride levels.

        The best research I have seen so far suggests that lifestyle factors combined support brain health, particularly sleep and exercise (at least 3 x 45 min fitness walks per week for example) All the other lifestyle factors like maintaing healthy body weight, eating copious amounts of veggies, avoiding alcohol and drugs, continued life-long learning, community involvement etc all contribute .

    1. Barb,

      Yes, people eating fish do not show additional benefits.

      But I do believe there were studies where those who didn’t eat fish did show improvement.

      I would have to find it again.

      Barb, I don’t dismiss Dr Fuhrman.

      Vegans test exceedingly low for DHA and it wasn’t just Dr Fuhrman who found that result.

      The female doctor Chef AJ interviewed tested high, but such a high percentage of vegans tested low to no DHA that it becomes is it okay to have no DHA at all?

      Because that happens.

  12. The vegan leaders who were eating plant based back before this became a movement are public people.

    Dr Fuhrman isn’t inventing them.

  13. I don’t think people would even know whether their own doctor is smarter than Dr Ornish or the other doctors.

    They can get tested but many of the people here are vegan and nobody has set up a Whole Food Plant-Based study and most of the studies people like Ornish have done included supplementing.

  14. Anyway, I started having a sore throat and post nasal drip tonight.

    I know that I may have been exposed to MERS from my cousin and that the young man who works for us is sick and so is the 9 year old.

    I will see what happens tomorrow.

    I haven’t been anywhere other than Whole Foods and I drove someone to court.

    I haven’t been sick for so long but there is irony that I am going to get something the same day that there is a corona virus confirmed case in my state.

    I don’t think it would be that already but my cousin has MERS and I saw him before he knew it. How does he have MERS right now?

  15. Every body else around me already had gotten sick 3 times this Winter.

    I don’t have a fever. More like cold symptoms and a sore throat just starting.

    It might be allergies.

    1. Deb, thanks for sharing your illness experience, especially if it leads to self imposed quarantine.

      Oh, and here is a link to a maybe/maybe not solution for killing a virus. Hibiscus tea is the one rated number one, but like I say, the people claiming this aren’t exactly mainstream… but that doesn’t in itself mean they can’t be right. ‘-)

      https://www.printfriendly.com/p/g/UH2RPL

  16. In my humble opinion,
    It is right and proper to decide for oneself what works and what does not. My go-to suggestion is, hair analysis, blood tests etc. to confirm what one might need to optimize their health. When it comes to supplementation/diet we are all over the map as individuals based on our locale, metabolism-body type & health issues. It would be prudent to reconsider telling others what to do. Nothing wrong with sharing what you found helpful but to advise is playing with fire. Some supplements can be life changing or life threatening. So suggest a test, don’t guess…

    1. Rubytwoshoes, Regarding your comment: ” It would be prudent to reconsider telling others what to do. Nothing wrong with sharing what you found helpful but to advise is playing with fire. Some supplements can be life changing or life threatening. So suggest a test, don’t guess…”

      Excellent comment!

    2. Ruby Two Shoes,

      I agree with you.

      In the end, we have to decide for ourselves.

      The best minds disagree even within this movement and the studies are so contradictory.

      Plus, there is the whole death by doctor is up in the top 10 ways people die.

      We can respect them and even trust them but each topic is separate and we have to be able to live with our decisions even if we are wrong.

      For omega 3, I am not afraid of cancer at all. I am afraid of losing brain volume and of having the wrong Omega 3 to 6 ratio.

      But I understand that people who are eating six servings of greens and not eating nuts and who don’t have Alzheimer’s aren’t worried about that.

    1. With all the preparation I did for the coronavirus, I didn’t buy something for sore throat.

      Amazon delivers.
      ————————————————————
      So does WalMart if you don’t have Prime. I’m gonna be ordering some more throat lozenges soon.

      Sucrets!… ’cause they contain an ingredient, dyclonine, that protects the brain… oh, and they open up the nasal passages. Also, gonna order some more 60% cacao Ghirardelli semi-sweet dark chocolate chips. I read a long time ago that chocolate relieves a cough as well as cough medicine.

      For me, that has worked well… just 3 or 4 will usually soothe my cough center. Get well soon!

      1. Thanks, Lonie!

        It hurts to swallow right now and if it weren’t for having someone with MERS in my family and Coronavirus just hit my state, I would be thinking strep throat or tonsilitis.

        Every worker we have here has been sick 3 times this winter and this is #1 for me but it has made me wonder whether I will end up getting MERS and Coronavirus.

        My cousin isn’t doing well with the MERS. They have to drain his lungs every few weeks and finally are putting a plug in so he can drain it himself, I guess. I am not a medical person, so I don’t know how all that works, but he has such respiratory issues. I just can’t swallow.

        I haven’t thought of sucrets for years. We would always use that when I was young. I liked the sensation of it.

        I bought a Navage and distilled water, which I will go overboard and boil it anyway, but I am hoping it will help my breathing.

        1. I talked to a doctor online and it is probably not MERS that my cousin has. He has a respiratory infection, but the doctor said that MERS didn’t have many cases in the USA. So, it might be MRSA. I did ask him that a few times, but he kept saying MERS, so I guess he might be confused. He is on high doses of oxygen and is having serious respiratory issues, but probably not MERS.

          I looked at the symptoms of everything and I do think I probably have strep throat rather than any famous new condition. It is so painful to swallow.

          1. I looked at the symptoms of everything and I do think I probably have strep throat rather than any famous new condition. It is so painful to swallow.
            ——————————————————————————————————–
            These are strange times… when having strep throat is good news.

          2. Just thingking… the Sucrets might help the painful to swallow condition as it boasts an oral anesthetic. Claims “Immediate Pain Relief” and “Soothes Sore Throats.”

        2. Honey and lemon in hot water was always the traditional remedy for a sore throat in my part of the world.

          Lemon is antimicrobial and high in vitamin C. The honey is believed to soothe the throat.

          1. Tom,

            Thanks!

            I ended up finding a doctor online that had a concept of how to prevent a sore throat from turning into a cold or flu.

            He recommended gargling salt water I think he said to remove the fat layer protecting viruses.

            I found 2 other things to gargle

            A hydrogen peroxide water mixture

            And chlorine dioxide

            Not at the same time.

            I did those and I also did tea and lemon and it has worked amazingly well.

            The sore throat is so good that I barely feel it and I can breathe through my nose and the nasal drip is gone.

            A different doctor said that post nasal drip comes from a histamine response.

            I can still feel a little sore throat but I haven’t used the Sucrets yet or the spray I bought.

            1. The chlorine dioxide gargle was so cooling and refreshing.

              I did the salt water first but that one felt so good that I just stood there gargling for a long time.

              The Navage is salt water rinsing our the sinuses. Better than a Neti pot.

              You can’t use tap water because there can be brain eating amoeba if the water isn’t sterile.

              I think it all worked beyond anything I could have asked for.

              1. Tom & Lonie,

                I read an article that it takes 48 hours for colds and flu and viruses to be fully established.

                Irrigating the nasal cavities with saline and gargling with salt water or things like chlorine dioxide and things like Manila honey coming in that first 48 hours can change outcomes.

          2. Fumbles, did you suggest HONEY?!!!!!

            Where were you when I had to “hold my own” against that guy who went into a rant over the subject of honey….and then, of course, S came along with her two bits.

            This place….I swear. :-(

            1. YR

              I didn’t ‘suggest’ anything. My post merely identified a home remedy people used to treat sore throats when I was a child. it was a ‘for information’ point not a recommendation.

              Sorry but I don’t recall you being assailed over honey. That said, while I’m not a ‘vegan’, I can’t see any good reason to consume honey. It is classed as an ‘added sugar’ and we are advised to minimise added sugars in the diet. Consequently, I avoid it and all other added sugars.(except 3 or 4 times a year when I eat ice cream – my guilty secret).

              https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/know-your-limit-for-added-sugars.html

                    1. I’m pretty sure that I am a better judge of what I did or did not imply than you are.

                      You are sounding a bit tetchy today though aren’t you? FU seems a bit of an overreaction to a simple mention of honey and lemon..

                      I was tempted to respond by advising you where to park your broomstick but didn’t because I know that’s just the way you are.

                      BTW, you don’t live in Arkansas do you?
                      .https://www.manta.com/d/mhxytmw/snippy-chicks-hair-and-tanning

                    2. No, I live in NY state, for what it’s worth.

                      If I had posted, “It’s thought animal proteins offer better iron for those who have anemia,” that would sound like I “endorsed” animal proteins, wouldn’t it?

                      You’re always saying that you would never eat fish for ethical and environmental reasons (you’re so good!), so why didn’t you say you’d never eat honey for the same reasons? Curious minds wish to know.

                    3. You’ve mentioned before that you live somewhere on the US East Coast but I couldn’t resist the ‘snippy chick’ allusion.

                      As far as I am concerned, if it’s just a statement of fact, it’s just a statement of fact. There’s no need to over-interpret it. After all, I have repeatedly written that I think that several meals per week of small ocean-caught oily fish is probably healthful. That doesn’t ,mean that I recommend that people do it – after all, I don’t do it myself.

                      To answer your question, the difference is that living creatures are deliberately and cruelly killed to put fish on dinner plates. Honey isn’t made from dead bees. On the contrary, beekeepers usually provide food and hives.

                      Curious minds? You have multiple personality disorder then?

                    4. YR

                      You asked me a question which I answered. And that is supposed to be me wanting to get the last word? Yeah, right.

                    5. “Honey isn’t made from dead bees. On the contrary, beekeepers usually provide food and hives.”
                      – – – –

                      True, but you didn’t answer my original question. Why couldn’t you have posted the above “thought” when the subject of honey was being discussed? You stayed silent…..a “sin of omission” as the Catholics might say.

                      But we can drop it. I’ll forgive you. :-)

  17. Barb,

    I am wondering how many people throw Dr. Fuhrman out of the logic. I think it is a lot of people now.

    The thing is, he gave a glimpse into the failing of an original Whole Food Plant-Based movement where the leadership ended up with Parkinson’s and neurological problems and he gave a study where vegans were tested and 90% of them were below optimal levels and 65% were seriously low.

    I think I don’t want his voice tossed out because I am seeing so many people thrive on his diet online and I may listen to people like Colin and maybe not 100% trust his studies at least one in particular, but he wasn’t the one running that study and he said that he didn’t understand the statistics well enough to double-check it himself and Dr. Greger already explained that 90% of doctors couldn’t double-check the statistics themselves.

    People have lost 250 pounds on his diet and they have also lost that much on The Starch Solution.

    To be honest, I think Dr. Ornish is the one I look at and he is still using it, but the vegan community testing so low and the original Whole Food Plant-Based movement leaders ending up with brain problems is what Dr. Fuhrman added and that is important information to my mind.

    Most people probably don’t even eat all that perfectly on it and I know that I forget to flaxseeds almost ever so my logic always has to keep that in mind. Right now, I have eaten greens for a year, but the first year, I didn’t probably eat them almost at all.

  18. Article appeared in the Guardian 2 days ago. Title is: Low-carb diet may reverse age-related brain deterioration, study finds. ”
    The study was done at Stony Brook University and found that “neurobiological changes can be seen at a much younger age than would be expected, in the late 40’s.” Professor who made this statement also said, ” the study suggests that this process may be prevented or reversed based on dietary changes that involve minimizing the consumption of simple carbohydrates.” This results in the brain using ketones rather than glucose for energy, which stabilizes the brain’s networks.

    I think that what is bad for the brain is also bad for the heart. Eating a lot of sugar and other simple carbs causes blood sugar spikes which lead to insulin resistance, which injures the heart, which may be the real cause of heart disease. I have read that the CDC estimates that 1 in 3 adults over the age of 30 have insulin resistance. UCLA claims that it is 1 in 2 adults. This means huge numbers of people walking around with pre-diabetes and diabetes and don’t know it. These are people who can’t metabolize carbohydrates well. This is why I think the advice to eat a lot of grains is controversial. I’m not convinced that it is healthy to eat grains, though I eat some. They cause blood sugar and insulin spikes, which may be bad for the brain and heart.

    1. Re that particular study, the competing interests statement is worth bearing in mind

      ‘Competing interest statement: The intellectual property covering the uses of ketone bodies and ketone esters is owned by BTG Plc., Oxford University Innovation Ltd., and the NIH. R.L.V. and K.C., as inventors, will receive a share of the royalties under the terms prescribed by each institution. K.C. is a director of TΔS Ltd., a company spun out of the University of Oxford to develop products based on the science of ketone bodies in human nutrition. TΔS Ltd. has licensed HVMN Inc. to sell the ketone ester in sports drinks in the United States’
      https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/03/02/1913042117

      The study however is interesting since a high fat low carb diet is usually required to produce ketones (or fasting) and high fat diets have long been recognised as being associated with cognitive decline and dementia risk
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074256/

      Perhaps diets high in refined carbs and diets high in fats are both damaging to brain health.

      Regarding grains and brain health, this video is perhaps worth reviewing
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/alzheimers-disease-grain-brain-or-meathead/

  19. This discussion is worth the reminder that we can acquire our Omega 3 fatty acids from the same place that fish do – vegetables. Here is a list of vegetables that have more Omega 3 fatty acid in them than Omega 6. Flax seed is not the only source for our Omega 3’s.
    Lactinato Kale, kale
    Lettuce, green leafy, Romain, Iceberg
    Cabbage, green, red, Napa
    Watercress
    Asparagus
    Zucchini & yellow crookneck/straight
    Arugula
    Broccoli
    Spinach
    Kohlrabi
    Brussels sprouts
    Cauliflower
    Chayote
    Leeks
    Rutabaga
    Green beans
    Turnips
    Radish, red
    Radish, white, oriental (daikon)

    1. Ruth,

      My only problem with that logic is that when they tested vegans only 9% tested optimal.

      65% tested seriously deficient.

      Dr Fuhrman has a very high nutrition oriented diet and is a clinician who tests his patients for DHA and his diet is so high in greens in comparison to the people doing Starch Solution.

      The original Whole Food Plant Based movement led people in a way that they had more strokes and more neurological problems and I am afraid for the 65% of people in the new movement who will just obey these leaders.

      1. What scares me is that there are so many people just eating potatoes for a year and so many people just eating fruit and so many people just eating vegan processed foods and each movement brings so much peer pressure and right now the peer pressure is against even supplementing B12 or DHA and I haven’t seen any studies confirming that it is okay to not supplement if you are vegan. I don’t hear many of the leaders doing an approach that will cause people to get tested and be careful other than Dr Greger and Dr Ornish and Dr Fuhrman.

        Honestly, I can feel guilty about supplementing watching the videos.

        Then, I look at the studies where vegans are deficient and I don’t see it as there is adequate leadership that will make sure people are careful.

  20. Excellent Ruth, ty!
    I just watched this short video with the Drs Sherzai answering a question about choline.., in the news last fall and causing vegans to question their diets. It’s really interesting to me to hear them explain the FED technique, False Exaggerated Deficiency, in order to sell foods/ supplements. In case anyone is interested,
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oEfeuG31hNA

  21. Well, I slept all day long and did the saline processes again and I can swallow without pain for the first time in 48 hours.

    My friend who has the exact same symptoms has gotten worse.

    I ended up getting a few bottles of high alkaline water just to mix things up. I don’t usually over-alkalize but it sounds like another thing to try short term.

  22. I have been thinking about the 65% who tested seriously deficient and I have been thinking about my relatives who do exactly what the doctors say even though their doctors are Keto-oriented.

    Decision fatigue and peer pressure drive everything.

    I almost feel like I could just close my eyes and put doctors faces up and they can tell me whether to supplement anything at all or nothing at all and they can just decide everything and I would never think about it again and it would reduce stress and I can just shut down my brain and not have to figure anything at all out and if the answer is to never take any supplements that is cheaper and easier, too.

    But I know that I haven’t eaten flax seeds in over a year and I don’t know what matters or doesn’t matter or how perfect you have to be.

    1. The how perfect do you have to be to get away with never supplementing anything is how people’s minds work anyway.

      When Mic The Vegan interviewed Dr. Greger the first and foremost important question that vegans asked was “How much oil can I get away with eating?”

  23. I talked to my father about coronavirus yesterday and he immediately said, “I am not going to stop living and I am not going to think about it. If I get it, I get it. Nothing I can do about it.” I was definitely the rebel.

  24. I was reading an article where German scientists said that the coronavirus needs TMPRSS2 to enter the lungs

    I think it was that

    When I switched to diet and that lycopene came up as maybe helpful when that is involved.

    The science was over my head.

    But I was reading that and that the last coronavirus could only exist within a narrow ph.

    I might go off coffee for a few weeks.

    If lycopene could help, is there a way we could get one of the WFPB doctors to say it might be worth a try.

  25. What about oysters, mussels and clams? I have eaten 99% plantbased my entire life and at 50 have never had high blood pressure or cholesterol or anything else nasty. However, I have never wanted to take supplements and therefore eat bivalves every week or fortnight. Never been deficient in anything (had too much iron in my 40s) and I was therefore wondering whether I am doing good or bad by including these foods? By the way, my 88 year old parents love your ‘How not to Diet’ as much as ‘How not to Die’! Thank you for helping to convert them. I took me almost 30 years. I love having healthy parents who still live in their own home and are going strong! Isabelle

  26. I’m marveling art your perseverance helping your folks move into a whole food plant based diet. Good for you –and them!
    So what about those oysters, mussels and clams? While I can’t speak to specific studies showing they are good or not for the brain, I did see this study, which may cause you to perhaps reconsider eating them, or at least not over indulging:
    https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/35/8/921/329887 Infectious Outbreaks Associated with Bivalve Shellfish Consumption: A Worldwide Perspective

    Since you’re eating 99% WFPB if you only have them as a rare treat, you may decide to continue as is. Just thought I’d share on cautionary study.
    Wishing you and your parents the best of health.

  27. I wonder why Dr. J. never answered my question about her “getting worse” arthritis despite (or because of?) her change in diet. I asked the question several days ago….thought she’d have seen it by now.

    It’s up toward the top of the thread.

  28. Is this the last word on whether or not fish (or at least, EPA and DHA) fight chronic inflammation as resolvins and protectins?

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-03/muos-ric031320.php

    furthermore:

    These naturally occurring bioactive lipid mediators are termed Rvs (derived from ‘resolution phase interaction products’) … and PDs … . Rvs are categorized as either E-series (from EPA) or D-series (from DHA) and aspirin-triggered epimers have been identified for each family … protectin D1 (PD1) is a product of 15-LOX-mediated conversion of a PUFA substrate, in this case DHA … . Rvs and PDs possess stereospecific and potent immunoregulatory actions that are protective in vitro and in vivo … . Further evidence has demonstrated roles for these compounds, in particular PD1, in protection of retinal epithelial cells … , experimental stroke-related ischaemia-reperfusion injury … and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease … . Careful structure-function analyses for each Rv and PD1 have been determined using a murine experimental model of peritonitis … .

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2785519/

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