Flashback Friday: Longer Life Within Walking Distance

Flashback Friday: Longer Life Within Walking Distance
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Researchers find exercise often works just as well as drugs for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, and the prevention of diabetes. Exercise is medicine.

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

“Physical inactivity [has been called] the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.” Of course, just because someone calls it that doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, physical inactivity ranks down at #5 in terms of risk factors for death, and #6 in terms of risk factors for disability. Diet is by far our greatest killer, followed by smoking.

But still, “there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the…prevention of several chronic diseases (…cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) [as well as] premature death, adding an additional one or two years onto our lifespan—helping to “add years to [our] life”, and, above all, “life to [our] years.” It truly may be survival of the fittest.

How much do we need to exercise? In general, the answer is the more the better. “Currently, most health and fitness organizations advocate a minimum of” a thousand calories burned of exercise a week, which is like walking an hour a day, five days a week. But, seven days a week may be even better in terms of extending one’s lifespan. Moderate intensity can be practically defined by the “Talk but Not Sing Test,” where you can still “carry on a conversation but would feel breathless if trying to sing.”

Exercise is so important that not walking an hour a day is considered a “high-risk” behavior, alongside smoking, excess drinking, and being obese. Having any one of these effectively ages us three to five years in terms of risk of dying prematurely—though, interestingly, those that ate green vegetables on a daily basis did not appear to have that same bump in risk. But, even if broccoli-eating couch potatoes do live as long as walkers, there are a multitude of ancillary health benefits to physical activity—so much so, that doctors are encouraged to prescribe it, “to signal [to the patient] that exercise is medicine.” In fact, powerful medicine.

Researchers at the London School, Harvard, and Stanford compared exercise to drug interventions, and found that exercise often worked just as well as drugs for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, and the prevention of diabetes. Of course, there’s not a lot of money to fund exercise studies, so one option would be to require drug companies to compare any new drug to exercise. “In cases where drug options provide only modest benefit, patients deserve to understand the relative impact that physical activity might have on their condition.” We could throw diet into the mix, too. Yes, the FDA could tell drug companies, your new drug beats out placebo, but, does it work as well as kale?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nemo via Pixabay

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

“Physical inactivity [has been called] the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.” Of course, just because someone calls it that doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, physical inactivity ranks down at #5 in terms of risk factors for death, and #6 in terms of risk factors for disability. Diet is by far our greatest killer, followed by smoking.

But still, “there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the…prevention of several chronic diseases (…cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) [as well as] premature death, adding an additional one or two years onto our lifespan—helping to “add years to [our] life”, and, above all, “life to [our] years.” It truly may be survival of the fittest.

How much do we need to exercise? In general, the answer is the more the better. “Currently, most health and fitness organizations advocate a minimum of” a thousand calories burned of exercise a week, which is like walking an hour a day, five days a week. But, seven days a week may be even better in terms of extending one’s lifespan. Moderate intensity can be practically defined by the “Talk but Not Sing Test,” where you can still “carry on a conversation but would feel breathless if trying to sing.”

Exercise is so important that not walking an hour a day is considered a “high-risk” behavior, alongside smoking, excess drinking, and being obese. Having any one of these effectively ages us three to five years in terms of risk of dying prematurely—though, interestingly, those that ate green vegetables on a daily basis did not appear to have that same bump in risk. But, even if broccoli-eating couch potatoes do live as long as walkers, there are a multitude of ancillary health benefits to physical activity—so much so, that doctors are encouraged to prescribe it, “to signal [to the patient] that exercise is medicine.” In fact, powerful medicine.

Researchers at the London School, Harvard, and Stanford compared exercise to drug interventions, and found that exercise often worked just as well as drugs for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, and the prevention of diabetes. Of course, there’s not a lot of money to fund exercise studies, so one option would be to require drug companies to compare any new drug to exercise. “In cases where drug options provide only modest benefit, patients deserve to understand the relative impact that physical activity might have on their condition.” We could throw diet into the mix, too. Yes, the FDA could tell drug companies, your new drug beats out placebo, but, does it work as well as kale?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nemo via Pixabay

Doctor's Note

Exercise is just one of four lifestyle behaviors found to significantly extend our lifespan. See my last video, Turning the Clock Back 14 Years.

Other longevity videos include:

For more on exercise, see:

What about the stress exercise can put on our bodies? See:

This is why I recommend 90 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 40 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. You can find examples in my free Daily Dozen app (for iPhone and Android).

Since this video came out, I have more videos on exercise:

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

96 responses to “Flashback Friday: Longer Life Within Walking Distance

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  1. Thank you doctor and all that support such a brilliant site that is loaded with science based information. You guys are gems. After eating a breakfast of oats I normally go for a walk in the morning and in the afternoon I again try to fit in another walk. It does help that we are retired empty nesters. This morning we spied a family of kangaroos complete with Joey. Yes we are from the sunshine coast in Australia. A bowl or two of sweet potato soup in the night really made the day special. Thank you for all the information.

      1. Jean

        It’s not always a good thing. When I lived in Canberra, Australia’s federal capital, I saw them all the time but there used to be scores if not hundreds killed every year on the roads. I even saw a dead Wedgetail Eagle on the road once from the bus on my morning commute. Three of them had been roosting in the nature reserve opposite my house. A city with nature reserves inbuilt into it is wonderful in many ways but wildlife and highways are a bad mix.

        1. Wow. Now there’s an unanticipated nuance I had not yet imagined: Mr. Fumblefingers with an Australian accent (from my point of view, anyway).

          Interesting, new dimension. Every time I read your posts now, I will superimpose an Aussie accent in my mind. =]

          I think you live in GB somewhere now, don’t you?

          1. No. I was born and bred in the UK. Then I moved to Australia, Since I retired though, I now spend much of the year in the Philippines.

    1. YR, can you sing while bouncing? I’ve never heard of that “talk/sing” test for exercise intensity. Recently, I use a pulse monitor when walking or stepping on my stepper.

      1. I never heard of that “talk/sing” test before either, Hal.

        Yep, I’ve been known to tra-la-la once in a while while bouncing on my rebounder. Usually, though, I chant an affirmation of some sort. :-)

  2. Is there an upper limit that is considered too much? Since I’ve discovered ultra-distance events, I occasionally train (walk & run) up to 30 miles in a day.

    1. Arlene,

      I believe that the answer is based on ignoring what your body is saying.

      https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-addiction#1

      The obvious answer is yes. There is such a thing as too much exercise.

      Every once in a while young seemingly healthy athletes die during practice.

      Every once in a while they get injured because of doing too much.

      I have known people who died during a particularly aggressive game of ping pong and an aggressive soccer match.

      When I was young, I was a police explorer and passed out cold in the hot sun. Conditions obviously matter.

      My 85-year-old worker, who had to retire this year was a runner, and it extended his life, but his knees and joints eventually became the problem and he, by the end, called running as much as he did, “Crazy and unhealthy” and he said that he would never recommend people doing what he did.

      1. Deb, re: “My 85-year-old worker, who had to retire this year was a runner, and it extended his life, but his knees and joints eventually became the problem and he, by the end, called running as much as he did, “Crazy and unhealthy” and he said that he would never recommend people doing what he did.”

        I agree with your worker. I’ve known plenty of friends who took up jogging/running when young and continued through middle age jogging 3x per week, and now they’re all having knee and hip replacements! There is probably a poor diet element involved, too, but the “pounding on the joints” doesn’t sound very healthy to me. Much better to do “smooth” aerobic exercises like swimming, in my opinion.

      2. Hi, Deb,
        I want to note that I took up running at age 71. I had been a 2-mile-a-day walker for years and I had done that to alleviate stress. Previous to running, I had achy knees, a pain under one rib, a sore hip on one side and sore feet (in different places.) I followed a C25k (couch to 5k) plan that the NHS has, (for free,) on the Internet. It is WONderful! I don’t run 5k, but I did run for 30-35 minutes straight at the conclusion of the program and ALL of my fore-mentioned pains disappeared. I had been plant-based for quite a few years before embarking on this running program and was pushed into it by my youngest son who convinced me to try it by constantly bullying me into doing it. After a couple weeks of engaging in it, it occurred to me that maybe I ought to check with my doctor. She said she thought it was “a little ambitious” for someone my age, but encouraged me to keep at it. About a year ago, I was flummoxed by my husband who is disabled and has dementia, and I stopped running for many months. I’ve recently figured out how to resume my running and I’m glad of it.

        My point to you would be that my knees and joints appear to have BENEFITED from running rather than the reverse. However, my running is relatively modest–not done at a frantic pace and not in marathons or even half marathons (don’t I wish!) I’ve read other accounts where runners claim joint benefits from running and these are easily found on the Internet.

        1. Thanks, Liisa!

          Yes, my worker was doing marathons.

          As far as pain goes, I know that using my Micropulse ICES took away all of the inflammation and pain from my whole body and Whole Food Plant Based is keeping it away. I have zero pain. The thing is, I had injury pain before. Knee, ankle, and foot. Plus, I had chronic lower back pain and shoulder pain. I would have said that all of it went away with the ICES, but the diet improved the situation even more.

          Recently, I have started using the ICES preventatively hoping to regrow knee and hip cartilage. I am not having problems with either knees or hips, but I figure since I have a device which can regrow cartilage (If ued consistently 3 hours-ish per day for about 2 years -PEMF regrew it in close to 40% of the people, that was not specific to the device I use and they are going to be doing a study specifically for the ICES itself for regrowing cartilage, but the ICES is better than most PEMF’s, so I just feel like I want to try it. Like I said, I am not currently having any pain at all, but I don’t see that I need to wait to go bone-on-bone to try it.

          1. Deb,

            What are Micropulse ICES? And what are PEMFs?

            And do you have any evidence published that Micropulse ICES can take away inflammation and pain? And regrow cartilage? In the form of research publications published in peer reviewed scientific or technical journals.

            1. There are studies on PEMF’s.

              Micropulse ICES is the brand from Bob Dennis, who is the researcher who originally demonstrated biological effects of pulsed magnetic fields for NASA. He had invented the device to help his own back injury from being a firefighter. He is the real deal. NASA was manipulating data in studies and he walked away because he refused to be involved in manipulated studies. NASA tried to steal the concept and write his name off of it, but a judge awarded the patents to him. It is a research device. Not a medical device. He does studies with it, but studies cost a whole lot of money and he is doing a mom and pop process with his wife. As far as the regrowing the cartilage, that is a study, which is out there, but he is doing his own study with his device, which is going to start soon. I bought it after I had spent years hobbling around with foot and ankle problems and I was utterly astounded by how quickly and well it worked. The thing is, he sells devices between $450-ish and $1500-ish and people who have made scam versions are selling them for $20,000 to $40,000 for old technology. He has helped people improve their technology and he has bought the other PEMF’s and opened them up to see what they are doing because he is “the field of PEMF moving from quackery to science” oriented. The answer is that he has a small brain trauma study. He has a pain relief study. He has a re-growing bone in animals study. He has a lot of people using his devices and he keeps in contact with everybody and asks for their negative experiences and what doesn’t work as part of his process. He has had 5 people talk about reversing cancer, which is not a study yet. He has had amazing results with spine injuries in animals. There is a clinic, which is using his devices with every person who comes there for things like ALS and Parkinsons, etc. Nope, it is all experimental and research and self-hacker-oriented. But there are a lot of studies with PEMF’s on PubMed. Dr. Pawluk has a lot.

              When I was deciding which device to get, I could only afford a few and his was different. He spends zero dollars on marketing and is genuinely wanting to know any negatives and the negatives so far, have been vertigo for people who are predisposed.

              He has been offered money to give the device for “hair regrowth” 31 times, but he has never taken the money. He thinks they are doing a con artist process and he had already left NASA for pretty much that same reason.

              1. I genuinely used it to get rid of pain and inflammation and my leg swelling after an injury was daily. I used his device one day and woke up the next morning with no swelling and it never came back.

                He said to keep using it anyway, but I moved it to my knee, then to my shoulder, then to my back. Then, I used it to stimulate my vagal nerve to reprogram my food preferences. (That gives you a timeline because that happened when I came here)

                It has a TMS function and has things like Delta, Gamma, Theta, Alpha (which I have used gamma to see if I can duplicate MIT’s study for Alzheimer’s and I have used Alpha for social anxiety and Delta for sleep) I am using it to try to reach the hippocampus and amygdala as part of memory and the caudate nucleus and other areas, each based on TMS or DBS studies.)

                People have been using it for improving vision.

                I find it endlessly useful but I am mostly just trying out all of the studies people have done with TMS, Vagal Nerve Stimulation, DBS, PEMF, TENS, Brain Plasticity, etc.

                Yes, I read PubMed, find studies and try them. Some have totally blown me away.

                1. But I say all of that and it is the truth, but Bob Dennis is this extra-careful, downplay everything man and I am passionately up-playing all of the things I have used his device for and he wants me to do things in a careful, scientific way and communicate back what I tried it for and what the results were and he wants everybody to be careful and all of us who buy it are self-hackers and once it works for something, we run ahead and try it for everything under the sun. But he is still so nice and polite and still says, “Okay, but be careful and tell me anything negative at all.”

                  1. I laugh because he won’t consider that it is possible for it to help with hair regrowth or with tinnitus, but I did find a doctor who successfully used PEMF for tinnitus stimulating a certain part of the brain and I found devices, which they say improve it by stimulating the vagal nerve, so I have the positive sides of the conversations and he does the skeptical sides of the conversations and says things like, “I could be wrong and if you succeed with anything, let me know.”

                    (Some doctor did succeed with using PEMF for tinnitus accidentally. He was trying to treat balance problems using brain plasticity and accidentally started having patients say that they no longer had tinnitus.) I don’t have tinnitus, but my family members do. They won’t try it anyway because the minute I say that it is an experimental research device, they back up and wonder why I even have one.)

                    1. Anyway, when you look up PEMF and cartilage, you find things like this on PubMed and you find anecdotal evidence from people like Bob Dennis and you find scans on Curatron’s site where an elderly woman went from bone on bone to having cartilage back.

                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5905856/

                      https://www.pemf-tech.com/cartilage-regrowth-for-the-hip-and-the-knee/

                      Curatron has some less expensive, but less effective products and they have the expensive kind, but people like Bob have healed both of his hips with his own device and he is doing a mom and pop study.

          1. Yes, Tom, that first link is the one that gets one into the program. It truly is a wonderful program–with lots of oldsters who think they can’t do it, but find out they can. Thanks for posting the link! Oh, and of course, you don’t have to live in the UK to do the program; I don’t.

        2. WFPB-Liisa,
          What a great story. I happen to believe that many long-term runners/joggers damage their joints by overtraining and by not strengthening their lower body adequately. Adequate recovery is essential, as is adequate muscle as that’s what protects the joints. Overtraining actually breaks down muscle. Finally there’s diet. In turns out, osteoarthritis has an inflammatory component. Cf.
          https://www.drmirkin.com/joints/knee-pain-treat-with-lifestyle-changes.html
          who recommends a WFPB diet.

          One way to build strong legs is to do short sprints (either running or on an exercise bike or elliptical machine). I took up interval training around age 70 (I am 72) and love it. Instead of just walking or jogging, I sprint for ~30 seconds as fast as I can and then walk/jog as long as required for my my legs feel reasonably fresh and my breath has recovered. I particularly like trail running with my dog, focusing on running up hills and walking or jogging the rest.

          The protocol I follow is Dr. Mirkin’s:
          https://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/how-to-do-interval-training.html

          After several years, I have no knee or hip pain from the exercise. But I also do strength training, which includes lots of body weight squats, including single leg squats, or squats with a kettlebell. My orthopedist told me he could not say running was the best exercise for me but then encouraged me to do it, if that’s what I like. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

          1. 言語学者 (gengo-gakusha) The NHS program, if you haven’t seen it, includes “sprinting” intervals in one of their “graduate runner” runs. That would be in the C25k+ (Couch to 5k Plus.) I like those sprints; it feels great to run as fast as you can for a short period and then “rest” (e.g., walk instead of run.) The moderator in the program calls herself “Laura.” She’s really excellent.
            On more than one occasion I felt like I literally had her running right along side me and encouraging and praising me for my efforts. She’s great!!!

      3. deb, I’ve posted a podcast link later in the comments but wanted to post directly to you since this may ensure you see the info in question. The reason I thought it could interest you is that during the podcast, Sinclair relates that he gives the family dog NMN. The expectations are that the dog will lead a very long life.

        Also related that the dog (his wife’s) is a hospital visiting dog but they had to discontinue that as the dog on NMN is so full of energy that it is too rambunctious to be around someone in a hospital from illness or injury.

        The video is embedded on the linked to page below.

        https://alivebynature.com/david-sinclair-on-joe-rogan-podcast/

        OBTW, I found this info on the Alive By Nature site, the company where I get my NMN. I’m not endorsing the company but it is the only one so far that sells a product one puts under the tongue to allow to dissolve and thus get into the blood stream in greater amounts due to stomach acid perhaps destroying product taken in pill form.

        1. Hi Lonie,

          Thanks for the link.

          When I started this trying to heal my brain process, I did take a lot of supplements. Niagen was one and I believe that was NMN. I could be wrong. I am going back a few years to that part. I did that and NT Factor and PS100 and Neuro-Mag and CoQ10 and PQQ and a Vitamin Code multi and things like chlorella. Trying to remember the whole list. Pretty sure I did Sulforaphane and Resveratrol and Curcumin and Berberine and Melatonin. Plus a few others. Spent a large fortune on supplements.

          Now, I spend a fortune on organic fruits and vegetables and a much smaller fortune on a much smaller list of supplements. Omega 3, B12, Zinc, Neuro-Mag, D3

          I am thinking about CoQ10 again. We just plain don’t get enough sun to do it the sun way. It just seems to be cloudy or rainy every day. I was drivign to the store today and there was some sun out, so I opened my sunroof, but the minute I did, the sun popped behind some dark clouds and I was afraid it was going to rain into my car. It only sprinkled, and the sun came out again later, but by that time the heat was downright brutal and it was so humid out.

          1. Hi Deb, yes I remember you are currently preferring food to supplements. Obviously you think that’s the best program for you. That’s why I was mainly thinking you might want to consider NMN for your dog, knowing how much you care for and have spent on the animal.

            (I think the following qualifies as irony… years ago two of my older brothers were in 4H and would buy supplements to add to the feed of their show animals. But when I try to get them to see the need to do that for themselves… nothing.)

            1. Laughing, yes, Lonie, I am trying to do it with food. It took me over an hour to eat my salad tonight. So many vegetables.

              I was emotional though. I think my dog is slowly deteriorating. It is a slow process and it has been over a year already. Time has flown. He has been having skin problems and has started having mucus again. He was having it quite a bit back before water fasting and hasn’t had it at all in all of the months since then. None at all.

              I want to tell you that I want to say, “I have my dog’s vet” which is not true. He is a sweet man, but him being medical model and not even acknowledging any of the things I have done as worth anything at all has made it so that I don’t want to walk through any of this with him. I can’t really afford the way he does things. Jkat already gave me more of their product and it already helped almost immediately before they sent me a box of everything under the sun for free. They were afraid that the products they sold me a few years ago would have lost potency and they offered me a free product and I said, “No, you don’t have to do that, you have been so ridiculously sweet and supportive already and the old product worked” and they sent me a whole box full of free products and I am tearing up. Their product worked day 1 for his skin issues, but I know that his immune system must not be functioning well again and he might have an infection in his lungs again and I have to call the stupid vet. And, yes, I am not trying to call the vet stupid. His not being the supportive person who helps me with this process feels so stupid.

              Honestly, it was so discouraging tonight. Having my dog go back to having symptoms – the first symptoms at all in 7 months, but symptoms none-the-less. He has looked so excellent for 7 months. So happy and so excellent.

              On top of that, I suddenly was having brain problems, which my logic says is related to my dog, but I have been doing so much better with that, too.

              Anyway, I ate every vegetable under the sun and most of the spices. The only fruits I ate were pomegranate seeds and blueberries, but I ate those, too and I drank my stupid green tea latte and I bought some stupid Fiji water. I don’t think I got more aluminum in my brain since last year, but I guess I won’t know unless I try the Fiji water and the other thing to look at is my new B12, which I started a few weeks ago.

              I hate going backward so much.

              1. Jkat gave me a whole box of their product with me saying, “No, you don’t have to do that.” is where I pause and thank God.

                There are times I know that no matter how much better my brain has gotten, it is still so broken and I thought about it tonight and there is still nothing the medical and psychiatric models would do that I really would want to do.

                I don’t want their medicines. I don’t want to have to fail at their medicines a few times to get things like brain scans or real TMS and their version of TMS is more apt to give seizures. I already have a safer and probably more effective version of it and it isn’t costing me thousands of dollars and I don’t have to go through a whole rigamarole to get to use it.

                I watched relatives go through with Alzheimer’s and dementia and none of the meds worked and I am already doing things like turmeric and blueberries and broccoli sprouts and kale and I lowered my cholesterol and saturated fats. I am taking B12 and eating my folate. I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to have a doctor or psych person tell me that diet won’t help and that is what they would say. I already know it. There might be some far enough away who would say, “Are you eating your beets?” and the answer would be no. I stopped a few weeks ago but I was only eating beet chips.

                I don’t know. I have been working so hard at brain plasticity and doing stupid things like the different gamma and alpha and delta frequencies and I think I need some vagal nerve stimulation or prefrontal cortex stimulation tonight.

                It may be that the Deep Brain Stimulation, which I started when I got the deeper coils helped with executive function but messed up my mood. I haven’t felt depressed in so long. I can’t even remember when.

                Sigh.

                Sorry. Not meaning to complain. I feel like God has enabled me to fix about 100 things without needing to spend money on doctors or psych people and obviously, donations and conference money is still money, but it is small money and I have accomplished so much with so little money even with half my brain tied behind my back.

              2. I hate going backward so much.
                ——————————————–
                One step backwards, then two steps forward.

                Chin up! A lot of people find inspiration in you.

                1. She has a unique way of talking and thinking sometimes. I just read something where she said, “…my brain tied behind my back….” What a unique way of putting it! : )☺

              3. Re your vet: can you either (1) get your vet to read “The China Study” or watch “Forks Over Knives”? or (2) Find a vet who is also into Greger-like thinking about food?

                Also, re this: are you in touch with a food support group in your area?
                Maybe someone in it would know a vet who would better work with you? If you’re not in a group, I suggest the PlantPure Nations pods. They are all over the country. I LOVE my pod group! I love talking with people who are interested in our topics just like our online group here does!

                Deb, I bugged my vet to read “The China Study.” At first he said, “I got the book.” Later when I knew I was coming back that same week, I told him to “Read Chapter One by Friday [my next appointment.]” He DID! Then he read the whole book and his colleague did, too! Maybe that would work with your vet?

        2. Thanks for telling me which product.

          One tested with none of the product in it, so make sure you look yours up and that it isn’t that one.

          1. One tested with none of the product in it, so make sure you look yours up and that it isn’t that one.
            —————————————————————————————————-
            It’s not. ‘-)

  3. Dr Michael Greger,MD,you have transformed my outlook on what to ingest.
    The Vegetarian diet espoused by you is backed by solid research papers.
    It’s an amazing how varied research papers are correlated & condensed in easy to understand graphics.
    Believe me you are Messiah of Good Health & continue to give hope for a more cleaner coronary artery,clearer cognitive function,Increased GFR,decreased Stress…
    Spellbinding are your Videos.
    Once again thank you Dr Greger & your lovely team of Researchers.

  4. Off topic, please pardon. Did anyone watch Dr Greger’s recent webinar on fasting? If so, what was the bottom line, if any, for someone who’s already WFPB and doesn’t need to lose weight?

    1. You mean the one that’s not coming up until July 26th? I keep seeing the ad at the bottom of my screen every time I show up here. “Don’t miss our live webinar on Intermittent Fasting with Dr. Greger on July 26th at 2:00 PM.”

      1. Oops! I thought it had already happened. The topic is of interest to me as I had some success with 5:2 fasting several years ago. I’ve had better results, though, with WFPB both in terms of getting down to an ideal weight and overall health. I don’t mind spending the $30 but I don’t have time to watch 3 hours at a stretch — especially if the bottom line turns out that fasting doesn’t add anything if you’re already WFPB.

        1. In my case, I’m doing fine so far with my no-foods-between-meals scenario. I eat plenty enuf at each one and never feel hungry between them. Been eating that way for many moons. Plus, I’m usually finished with my evening (last) meal by 6:30 PM, and won’t have another (a hearty breakfast consisting of food I can chew) until around 8-8:30 a.m. the following morning. Doing the math, that’s 14 hours “fasting.”

          PLUS plus, I sure don’t need to lose weight, and three hours of questions/answers would give me a headache already. When I get a notice from a website about (yet) another livestream, I always shudder; I never check ’em out until after the fact. Thing with livestreams: People post with questions so darn quickly, the main performer (while he/she attempts to squint into the camera) barely has a chance to glance at them all anyway. Such stress! ;-/

        2. Hi Michael, if you are interested in the webinar, it will also be emailed to people who register. But the information in it will also be released as videos of the day later so you will be able to see the content here on NF.

  5. I’m reading, more and more frequently, about young professional athletes dropping of cardiac events. That would indicate that fitness isn’t really sufficient for health. Contrary to this information?

    1. Blair,

      Athlete implies higher intensity and duration than exercise.

      Obviously, diet is more important than exercise.

      I don’t see it as contrary.

      Athlete has higher risk for cardiac problems during exercise. That is for sure.

      That is a different topic.

      1. Blair,

        If I brought the analogy back to food.

        Leafy greens are one of the healthiest food choices, but too much spinach could cause your kidneys to fail.

        That reality about spinach doesn’t make leafy greens less healthy.

        It creates a boundary. A concept of dose.

      2. ALL MAMMALS are at risk of cardiovascular events when they put their bodies under stress……even normal exercise. This is why many people die at the gym or out running. This can happen at any age but increases the older the mammal.

        A great many people die, who do not exercise, just getting up in the morning and starting their day as THAT causes stress…… enough for them to have a heart attack or stroke.

        1. When my step-mother had her stroke, what I remember was that someone told how to lessen the chance of getting one and that seems in my memory to be something you do before you go to bed…. I will have to find it…. but I found these studies and this is not what I am talking about, but this information could save someone’s life. Knowing which type of stroke and when they are most likely to happen can be seriously helpful.

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4798539.stm

          Okay, if you want to know the time factors.

          Stroke risk peaks every 12 hours. Strokes are most likely to occur during two two-hour periods, one in the morning, and the other in the evening, research suggests. Japanese scientists, who examined 12,957 cases, found the risk peaked between 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm.

          Haemorrhagic strokes, which are less common, occur when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain. There are two types: bleeding directly into the brain tissue (intracerebral), and bleeding in the arteries on the brain’s surface (subarachnoid).

          In all three cases, the researchers found that the risk peaked during the morning and early evening.

          Ischaemic strokes were particularly likely to occur in the morning, and slightly less likely to occur during the evening peak slot.

          Haemorrhagic strokes showed less of a peak in the morning, but a higher peak in the evening.

          The researchers suggest that fluctuation in blood pressure is likely to be a significant cause of the peaks and troughs in risk.

          Previous studies have shown that blood pressure tends to be highest during the morning, and often peaks again during the evening.

          However, they believe other properties of the blood may increase the risk of an ischaemic stroke, and decrease the risk of a haemorrhagic stroke in the morning.

          For instance, platelets, the tiny solid particles found in blood are known to stick together more easily – and possibly form a clot – in the morning. The blood also tends to be thicker at this time.

          When blood is less thick and sticky, excessive bleeding is more likely, raising the risk of a haemorrhagic stroke.

          The study also found that one type of stroke – ischaemic strokes -were much more likely to occur during sleep than haemorrhagic strokes.

          Around a fifth of ischaemic strokes occurred during sleep.

          Most were concentrated in the period immediately before waking up, although the stroke would probably have begun earlier.

          Joe Korner, of the Stroke Association said: “Previous studies have shown that stroke risk does vary over the 24 hour cycle and that occurrence during sleep is most common for ischaemic strokes.

          1. This is part of it, but it still isn’t what I am looking for.

            https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1440

            “Previous studies have shown that disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm, also called an internal body clock, increase the risk of ischemic stroke, so we wanted to find out if daylight saving time was putting people at risk,” said study author Jori Ruuskanen, MD, PhD, of the University of Turku in Turku, Finland.

            For the study, researchers looked at a decade of data for stroke in Finland to find the rate of stroke. They compared the rate of stroke in 3,033 people hospitalized during the week following a daylight saving time transition to the rate of stroke in a group of 11,801 people hospitalized either two weeks before or two weeks after that week.

            Researchers found that the overall rate of ischemic stroke was 8 percent higher during the first two days after a daylight saving time transition. There was no difference after two days.

            People with cancer were 25 percent more likely to have a stroke after daylight saving time than during another period. The risk was also higher for those over age 65, who were 20 percent more likely to have a stroke right after the transition.

              1. Serrapeptase or Nattokinase would be the other two you would take at bedtime if you take them. The enzymes can dissolve the blood clot kind.

                1. Is the drug they give people within 3 hours of a stroke made from turmeric?

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5519528/

                  https://www.bbc.com/news/health-12409700

                  There are people who live out in the boondocks. Low dose aspirin, nattokinase, turmeric with something to help it cross the blood-brain barrier. PEMF and LLLT are ones that come to mind.

                  I say it because the hospital “missed” that my step-mother had a stroke for a whole week and honestly, some of us thought they checked for that first and we basically missed that they had missed it, but I have wondered about it during some snowstorms and when I have thought about things like hiking Mt Washington, which I did. I threw up when I reached the top, but this body hiked Mt. Washington. I was a little embarrassed by throwing up, but when I moved to California, I didn’t make it all the way up Mt. Whitney, but the triathletes who did make it up all threw up, so that made it okay. I am not exactly an American Ninja.

                  1. I found this one interesting.

                    A lot of extra damage in the brain after a TBI or a stroke comes from the whole glutamate storm process.

                    They had tried and failed to give glutamate blockers hoping to stop the damage in its track, but that wasn’t so effective because there was a reason that the brain was doing the whole glutamate mopping things up in the first place.

                    They tried something else based on a new concept. They removed glutamate from the body (of rats) by the enzyme oxaloacetate and when the glutamate was low in the body, the glutamate started coming out of the brain by diffusion. Using it they dropped the blood levels of glutamate by 50% and that dropped the brain’s glutamate levels by 50%.

                    It actually helped the rats recover faster and better. The even better news about it would be that the glutamate process in humans can last for days after a stroke, so there may be more of a window for helping.

                    https://www.dnalc.org/view/834-Glutamate-Damage-and-Stroke.html

                    1. Glutamate is why they do the Keto diet for epilepsy.

                      So, maybe they will be able to just give the enzyme someday to the epileptics, maybe?

                      And, maybe, if you have a stroke, you might want to do water fasting or vegan keto for a few days to lower the glutamate? Maybe?

                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722878/

                      Some of us are not scientists, but we are curious people.

                    2. Sorry for my glutamate storm.

                      Laughing.

                      I write too much.

                      I ended up taking the thoughts over to Calvin at Adventures in Brain Injury. He will like it. There was a teenager who did an award-winning science research project on astrocyte gliosis who he interviewed on his podcast, which I had listened to a very long time ago. She was focusing on the pooling of the excessive glutamate in her research. The astrocytes are supposed to be picking up the extra-glutamate and are supposed to be recycling it into glutamine. Her take was that the glial cells were misbehaving and not taking up the glutamate. She isolated the astrocyte and noticed that the protein, which was responsible for taking up the glutamate was in the wrong place. It had moved away from the outside of the cell, to the inside of the cell.

                      She found a way to remediate it by creating a healthy signaling complex to give to the astrocytes to convince them that nothing was really going wrong and the astrocytes made more of the transporter protein, which increased the recycling of the glutamate.

                      More than one-way to….. (I am not going to finish the non-vegan friendly sentence and I can’t think of a different one.)

                      Anyway, my social anxiety is healed and my executive function is better, but I am out there in my own private Idaho.

  6. Growing up in Australia, in the 1940’s -1960’s, we did not “exercise” but played sport which was not only fun but mandatory with very rare exceptions. School allotted Wednesday afternoons for competition. Most of us played for clubs as well. We had a 20 minute morning tea during which most of us ate our lunch after getting up early to eat and do physical chores such as chopping wood. We also had an hour for lunch at school during which most of us played more sports for fun. These activities became lifetime habits which my brother and I have continued into our 70’s, except rugby. We sail, surf, play singles tennis, hike with our families and dogs. We don’t dread it like “exercise” but look forward to it, even having to talk ourselves out of it when we really need to rest. Even if I died young, I would not have been disappointed about the health benefits of sport because we grew up and continued loving it.

  7. Not meaning to sound like a Doubting Tomas… Tom “Fumblefingers” is Primary in that role.

    The thing I’m “doubting” about exercise being the end all good health promoter is that exercise causes higher metabolism rates… which causes cells to divide… which causes shorter telomeres… which leads to earlier death?

  8. I’m on a whole-foods plant-based diet (vegan). I swim on a master’s swim team at least 3 days a week and walk on the days I don’t swim. I also ski in the winter. I’m 59 and have had high blood pressure for a very long time. I’m on medication for it. Over 4 years ago, before being fully vegan, I suffered 3 strokes. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Any suggestions on how to reduce my blood pressure and get off medications?

    1. Jude,

      Which diet are you on?

      By that, I mean are you doing the daily dozen?

      Eat to live?

      the Starch Dolution?

      Dr Ornish or Esselstyn?

      The China Study diet?

      Pritikin?

      That is where to start.

      Are you no salt no sugar no oil?
      Are you doing flaxseeds?
      Nuts?

      Any processed foods?

      Salad dressings? Boca burgers? Etc.

      1. I’m not on a specific diet but I follow many of them. I do follow the daily dozen and I have Eat to Live. I don’t eat oil, sugar and very little salt. I do eat nuts and flaxseed. Salad dressing I make on my own without oil. I generally don’t eat processed food with exception. Yesterday, 4th of July, my daughter had a big bbq with everyone bringing something. I brought my own Hilary’s Burger, Eziekiel bun and fruit salad. That is all I ate.

        1. If she/he hasn’t already done so, you might want to ask your doctor to check you out for kidney, thyroid and adrenal problems since these can sometimes cause elevated blood pressure. Sleep apnea can also do It, I believe.

          1. Thank you. You made me think. I’ve been on the same thyroid medication for 25 years and within the last 6 months my doctor started checking my levels and determined they were too high. She is slowly lowering them. Hopefully that might help? Also, I recently had a sleep study and determined I do have sleep apnea.

            1. Hi Jude (or should that be Hey Jude? – you must be well and truly sick of that now)

              It certainly sounds like your thyroid and sleep apnea issues might be factors in your high blood pressure. The Mayo Clinis describes this situation as secondary hypertension
              https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/secondary-hypertension/symptoms-causes/syc-20350679

              You need to discuss this with your doctor because of hte interrelationship between these. A CPAP device might be useful for your sleep apnea.

              1. I’m never tired of the “Hey, Jude” haha. Thanks for the link. I recently had a sleep study and just waiting for the cpap, which has been a problem.

        2. Hi, Judy,
          Like you, I have some high blood pressure, but am not on medication yet. I think this is something we have to become very assiduous about. As opposed to your meal on the 4th, I would have made a huge dish to share that didn’t have any sodium in it at all. For example, I might make a huge salad with lots of greens, some vegetables, maybe some cold brown rice, canned no-salt beans (e.g., Eden’s,) and a no-sodium dressing that I make from scratch using a PlantPure Nation cookbook. (It’s VERY easy–throw the ingredients in the Vitamix and it’s done.) Looking at a Hillary’s burger, there is some added sodium in the form of sea salt, and not only that, there’s more salt than garlic or onion. Unlike other people who can manage some sodium, maybe we can’t; I know I can’t. I’m 72 and it appears that as I am getting older, I am less able to tolerate any occasional sodium. Low sodium soups a couple times a week in my otherwise no-added-salt diet make my blood pressure go up. I’m also a caregiver and I think the stress gets to me sometimes. Lately I’ve given up green tea because of the caffeine. I know the caffeine in coffee raises my pressure; I had my BP taken before and after having caffeine, so I know. Instead of green tea, (which I love,) I’ve been drinking hibiscus tea, and it’s made a difference. On my last trip to the doctor, they weren’t talking about having me monitor my BP at home…. Like you, I also exercise. I run one day, (about a half hour,) and walk a couple miles on my rest day. I suggest looking for a PlantPure Nations pod group near you for dietary friends and support. I love my group. They have monthly potlucks and we have a book group, too.

          1. Thank you for your response. You are right, I could do better. I will put more thought and time into situations like this from now on. I will look up the pod group. That is something that will be new to me. I follow some sites on facebook but have never done pod groups. I have hibiscus tea and never drink it. I’ll change that! Thanks so much!

            1. Judy, be careful of your teeth drinking hibiscus tea. Dr. Greger has information on it if you search for it.

              Watch the PlantPure Nation movie for free here, which is a real bargain, as I paid megabucks to see it in the theater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBKnG9Y0owQ&t=8s

              Information on the pod groups; let me know if you have difficulty finding one for yourself–I can ask my pod leader for help: https://plantpurecommunities.org/ Here’s the PlantPure Nation website: https://www.plantpurenation.com/

              1. I’m in the middle of watching H.O.P.E and it has such good information. I’ll be passing it on to others. Thank you! I’ll look up the hibiscus tea info too. Thank you!

      2. Hibiscus tea is one thing which can help.

        Flaxseeds

        The vegetables which are high in nitric oxides

        Those are the ones I remember.

        Dr Greger has lots of things under the topic in the topic section.

        It might be in the FAQ section, too.

        That is a fun section, which I don’t look at very often. Lots of

        Also search YouTube.

        Dr. Greger often does interviews

    2. Jude Coe, congratulations on achieving your lifestyle changes! The good food and exercise puts us in good shape for preventing future heart or strokes. I have a similar background, and recently pulled my all-too-often systolic bp from the 130 to 150 (!) range back down to 106 to 112 over 60. It may be that your doctors will want to keep you on bp meds as secondary prevention protocol no matter what. I take barely 1/4 of the lowest dose pill. I find salt does not do much, but sugar does. Fruit, on the other hand seems to lower bp … and I ate quite a lot throughout the day.

      https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0415/p993.html

      https://www.strokebestpractices.ca/recommendations/secondary-prevention-of-stroke/blood-pressure-and-stroke-prevention

    3. Hi Jude Coe – Thanks for reaching out! It sounds like you are doing many great things already including daily physical activity and following a plant-based diet. A few additional tips that may help to reduce blood pressure include:

      –Center your diet around whole (minimally processed) plant-based foods as processed foods tend to have a higher sodium content. With hypertension, it is beneficial to limit your sodium intake to 1500 mg/day.
      –Eat nitrate-rich foods daily that help to dilate blood vessels such as beets, leafy greens, and fennel seeds (https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/nitrates/)
      –Drink Hibiscus tea (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/hibiscus-tea-vs-plant-based-diets-for-hypertension/)
      –Add 1 Tablespoon of flaxseed daily (https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/flax-seeds/)

      I hope this information helps!
      -Janelle RD (Registered Dietitian & NutritionFacts.org Health Support Volunteer)

      1. Thank you for your help. I wrote myself a note on what you suggested and stopped by the store and bought fennel, for the first time. Now I realized that you said fennel seeds, which I did see too but didn’t buy. I already follow your other suggestions.

  9. Dear Dr. Greger. Thank you. You changed my life. I drank the kool-aid. I am all in. My blood pressure is has gone from 155/90 to 120/70. I have lost 25 lbs etc. I eat copious amounts of dark greens, fruit, nuts, seeds and berries. In a nutshell I eat like a monkey and feel like an ape!
    I am 67 and feel like 18. Thanks. BB

  10. So in other words, a 60% of your maximum heart rate is ideal as THAT is the ‘talk but not sing’ range. For anyone with a heart rate monitor on your exercise machine this is easy.

    There is also a great youtube video from 2011 on this topic called: 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo

  11. This video is about longer life so I feel I am not off topic if I link to another one dealing with longer life. It’s from a show called the Joe Rogan Experience, but the guest is David Sinclair… perhaps one of the most important individuals working in the science field of longevity.

    Be forewarned the video is over 2 hours long and even though the host interjects himself into the conversation in inappropriate ways, Sinclair manages to get back to the important point and finish the telling of it.

    This is an opportunity to learn from a candid revelation what is coming and surprisingly, how close much of it is to becoming a reality. If you or a friend or relative have an illness that he is working on through his many companies (from lime disease to cataracts… + many more) you will be rewarded by watching this video to the end, IMO. I certainly was.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8464&v=HOTS0HS7aq4

    1. Hello doc im a long time viewer and plant based advocate. My father has been diagnosed with polymialgia rheumatica and was prescribed prednisone. Please do a video on treating this, we would be very grateful. He also has high blood pressure and is eating more plant based as i encourage him to do so. Hes very open minded.

    2. Wow, talk about a man on a mission! David Sinclair looks a younger than 50…great complexion. He smile reminds me of my long-deceased Uncle Jim. He seems like the sort of guy who will succeed, too.

      1. Wow, talk about a man on a mission! David Sinclair looks a younger than 50…great complexion. He smile reminds me of my long-deceased Uncle Jim. He seems like the sort of guy who will succeed, too.
        ——————————————————————————————-
        Yeah, the skin is something I noticed too. As for whether or not he will succeed in his current mission, if his past performance where he sold his earlier discoveries for 750 million dollars (and puts his money back into new research companies)… if that is any predictor of future success then he should be o.k.

        He also seems genuine in the seemingly down-to-earth way he lives, including diet and exercise. The things he’s working on… healthy longevity, natural and safe anthrax killer for Seal Teams, MRSA treatment, adviser to governments, others mentioned I can’t recall… his original success is ongoing.

        He did say he has taken resveratrol for something like 12 years and NMN for 3 years. He takes much more than I can afford (1 gram) of the NMN, IIRC, probably in water since that’s the way it was administered in mice for testing. As I said in the post to Deb, the sublingual method is much better at getting into the blood stream as opposed to the pill form which has most of the benefit destroyed in the stomach acid.

        1. I also found it fascinating that Sinclair said something that comes with aging is that our DNA is pretty stable, but the epigentic codes that tell DNA what to do get damaged by things like radiation (from x-rays, the sun and even our food) and can no longer tell our DNA how to make cells properly.

          Uses the scratches on a CD analogy that causes a song on a CD to not be played back properly. Repairing those scratches (caused by radiation and other damage) can get things back to working as they did when young.

          A Phase 1 (safety) trial is set to begin in humans in 2020 on a product that takes NMN even further toward filling in those “scratches” and returning us to a younger state.

          This not necessarily a replacement for WFPB eating, but rather and adjunct… as Sinclair himself professes to preferring vegetables over meat.

  12. Re the shadowed pic at the top:

    The one in the middle with a bit of a butt looks like the only female in the crowd.

    Unless…..what looks like a long pigtail is actually a part of the body that unfortunately wandered too from its home turf. It wanted to explore another joint, you might say. :-/

  13. I ended up interacting with people who left Whole Food Plant Based.

    It has been interesting because they are communicating as if it is impossible to be healthy as vegans and many of them were vegans for a long time and are clearly angry at the vegans. Not sure which ones. I think the politics of it causes them to slingshot away. They were eating whole foods, but a few of them were nutritionally deficient and some had digestive issues and a few were clearly exposed to lectin, phytate and nightshade anti-nutrient teachings and were probably trying to do veganism without beans, lentils and nightshades and may have lost their periods. That sentence was more implied. They became boyish on veganism and started developing breasts and hips when they left veganism.

    Some were losing their hair and having their nails be brittle. It seems like they had genuine nutritional deficiencies and I wonder how many people have left veganism from supplementing Methyl B12 and not having it be enough.

    Gut problems was the other reason.

    And, yes, Tom, I know that it is Whole Food Plant Based and my thought was that the people who identify “vegan” often aren’t following the doctors and learning the science. They seem to be the group of youngsters who are getting in trouble and who actually improve health-wise going off of vegan and eating animal products. I talked about that with someone, how I am older than they are and I am looking at people who are losing tons of weight and getting off meds and reversing diseases and they are seeing a nutritional deficiency and rather than correcting it, they are jumping ship. The person started off hostile, but honestly, we ended up having a good conversation and wished each other well by the end.

    I will say that people leave veganism so angry at veganism. I am not seeing that with Whole Food Plant-Based focused people.

    1. Labels, labels!

      “Vegans do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fowl, game, animal seafood, eggs, dairy, or any other animal products. Dietary vegans might use animal products in clothing (as leather, wool, and silk), toiletries, and similar. Ethical veganism extends not only to matters of food but also to the wearing or use of animal products, and rejects the commodification of animals altogether.[20]:62 The British Vegan Society will certify a product only if it is free of animal involvement as far as possible and practical, including animal testing,[155][156][157] but “recognises that it is not always possible to make a choice that avoids the use of animals”,[158] an issue that was highlighted in 2016 when it became known that the UK’s newly-introduced £5 note contained tallow.[159][160″

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism

    2. Deb, I have been plagued with disconcerting loss of hair and brittle nails. I am taking methyl b12 currently, but this has been going on for the past 2 or 3 years with the other b12 too. I have had very strong “perfect nails” through all kinds of tough jobs so I didnt know why they break now. Same with the hair. So, this past month I have been trying thyroid meds, a small dose to see if that makes a difference in any of my symptoms. We will see what happens.

      1. “So, this past month I have been trying thyroid meds”
        – – – – –

        Are these meds that were once prescribed by a medical doc? And you still have some around, or what? I’d be afraid to just pop a pill without their knowing about it.

    3. People who become ‘vegans’ for reasons of fashion or because of a magazine article, are never going to stick with it. They probably also don’t know how to eat healthily in the first place, and quite likely don’t even understand what ‘vegan’ means. Look at the appalling Denise Minger who wrote that she was a vegan but ate raw fish and raw milk.

      What is more, you don’t have to be ‘vegan’ to eat a WFPB diet. A supplemented completely vegetarian WFPB diet is probably fine for most most people though.

      On the other hand most ‘vegan’ diets are unhealthy junk food diets. Or highly limited diets that are necessarily nutritionally deficient.

      As I have pointed out before, please pardon the repetition, the US dietary guidelines state that a so-called ‘vegan’ diet is healthy if it’s done right. Fad diets, vegan or not, are never a good idea.

  14. Yes YR, I got a prescription about 10 days ago. He tested my TSH every 6 mos or so, and saw that it was creeping up slowly (my thyroid function declining) I went for full blood testing in June, and will get tested again in august. I am not overweight or anything but I sure have been feeling poorly.

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