Flashback Friday: Why Is Nutrition So Commercialized?

Flashback Friday: Why Is Nutrition So Commercialized?
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Why is the field of nutrition often more about marketing products than educating people about the fundamentals of healthy eating?

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The prevalence of chronic diseases, like diabetes, has skyrocketed—as have the number of articles published about diabetes in medical journals. Why does our wealth of academic knowledge not translate more directly into making things better? Maybe it’s our overattachment to the reductionistic mindset that proved so successful with acute deficiency diseases, but may actually represent an obstacle to successfully battle chronic disease.

As I’ve touched on before, health these days seems to be reduced to a highly commercialized commodity, in which we’re marketed all sorts of high-cost, high-tech tests, and treatments of dubious value, with substantial risks attached—which is worrisome, because most of the things that make us healthy, and keep us healthy, are cheap, and largely available without professional help or commercial prodding. This isn’t to say modern medicine can’t work miracles; but, what about the big picture—the 80% of death and disability caused by preventable, diet-related diseases?

But, of course, the field of nutrition is commercialized, too. It’s all about profits and products, and extracting nutrients from whole foods so they can be repackaged and marketed.  Yes, food is best eaten whole. For example, just eat the broccoli, the blueberries—not some broccoberry supplement.

But the reason there aren’t more studies on whole foods is fairly obvious—you can’t patent them. Why should a company spend a lot of money, time, and effort to convince you to buy broccoli, when any other company can sell it to you? That’s why the field of nutrition can be more about marketing profitable products than educating people about the fundamentals of health and wellness.

For example, the benefits of whole grains over refined grains is commonly attributed to the fiber. This allows the food industry to whip out fiber-fortified Froot Loops, and make you feel all better.

But check out this ingenious study. Burkitt and colleagues thought the extraordinarily low rates of killer chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa was due to all the whole, plant foods they were eating. This turned into the fiber hypothesis—the reductionistic thought that fiber must be the magic bullet active ingredient.

Well, hey; let’s put it to the test. Refined grains have some fiber left in them. So, what if you compared two groups of older women, both getting around six grams of grain fiber a day—but one group mostly from whole grains, and the other mostly from refined grains? Who do you think lived longer?

If it was just the fiber, there shouldn’t be much difference, because they ate about the same amount. But the whole grain group lived longer; a significantly lower mortality rate. So, this implies that it may be all the other wonderful things in whole plant foods, linked to fiber, that may confer important health benefits, above and beyond the fiber itself. That’s why fiber supplements wouldn’t be expected to offer the same benefit.

Food, not nutrients, is the fundamental unit in nutrition.

As Dr. David Katz has pointed out,”Our culture doesn’t want to hear that the active ingredient in broccoli is broccoli…”

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.

The prevalence of chronic diseases, like diabetes, has skyrocketed—as have the number of articles published about diabetes in medical journals. Why does our wealth of academic knowledge not translate more directly into making things better? Maybe it’s our overattachment to the reductionistic mindset that proved so successful with acute deficiency diseases, but may actually represent an obstacle to successfully battle chronic disease.

As I’ve touched on before, health these days seems to be reduced to a highly commercialized commodity, in which we’re marketed all sorts of high-cost, high-tech tests, and treatments of dubious value, with substantial risks attached—which is worrisome, because most of the things that make us healthy, and keep us healthy, are cheap, and largely available without professional help or commercial prodding. This isn’t to say modern medicine can’t work miracles; but, what about the big picture—the 80% of death and disability caused by preventable, diet-related diseases?

But, of course, the field of nutrition is commercialized, too. It’s all about profits and products, and extracting nutrients from whole foods so they can be repackaged and marketed.  Yes, food is best eaten whole. For example, just eat the broccoli, the blueberries—not some broccoberry supplement.

But the reason there aren’t more studies on whole foods is fairly obvious—you can’t patent them. Why should a company spend a lot of money, time, and effort to convince you to buy broccoli, when any other company can sell it to you? That’s why the field of nutrition can be more about marketing profitable products than educating people about the fundamentals of health and wellness.

For example, the benefits of whole grains over refined grains is commonly attributed to the fiber. This allows the food industry to whip out fiber-fortified Froot Loops, and make you feel all better.

But check out this ingenious study. Burkitt and colleagues thought the extraordinarily low rates of killer chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa was due to all the whole, plant foods they were eating. This turned into the fiber hypothesis—the reductionistic thought that fiber must be the magic bullet active ingredient.

Well, hey; let’s put it to the test. Refined grains have some fiber left in them. So, what if you compared two groups of older women, both getting around six grams of grain fiber a day—but one group mostly from whole grains, and the other mostly from refined grains? Who do you think lived longer?

If it was just the fiber, there shouldn’t be much difference, because they ate about the same amount. But the whole grain group lived longer; a significantly lower mortality rate. So, this implies that it may be all the other wonderful things in whole plant foods, linked to fiber, that may confer important health benefits, above and beyond the fiber itself. That’s why fiber supplements wouldn’t be expected to offer the same benefit.

Food, not nutrients, is the fundamental unit in nutrition.

As Dr. David Katz has pointed out,”Our culture doesn’t want to hear that the active ingredient in broccoli is broccoli…”

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Pills: PeteLinforth and Broccoli: Meditations via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

This is part of my extended video series on the reductionist trap. See, for example, Reductionism and the Deficiency Mentality. Previous videos that touch on the topic include on Industry Response to Plants Not Pills and Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?

The Five to One Fiber Rule still holds, though, since it’s an indication of how heavily processed a product is.

There are two sides the intellectual property argument when it comes to food. I explore both in Plants as Intellectual Property – Patently Wrong?

And, of course, this is why I always recommend Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health.

The original video aired on August 12th 2016.

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

110 responses to “Flashback Friday: Why Is Nutrition So Commercialized?

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  1. An amazing thing about the science of nutrition is that even a dodo like myself can get it. I also find it a really interesting subject.

    1. Dan,

      I am glad that you feel that way.

      That tells me that you are mostly getting your nutrition science from the same direction and from wonderfully enjoyable and accessible sources.

      Before I came to this site, I had been reading PubMed before and often the information was presented in such technical scientific language made more confusing because of the shorthand. The science was more complicated because there were so many contradictory articles and the statistics is often complicated. It quickly became obvious long before Dr. Greger pointed it out that there were sketchy studies and that the information was going to go back and forth in the most ridiculously confusing way.

      I remember when nutrition science, to me, went in a pattern like this:

      Soy is good for you. Soy is 90% GMO. Soy is bad for you. Soy has antinutrient properties. Soy is so good that it will save your life. Soy is so bad that it will kill you. Soy causes breast cancer. Soy prevents breast cancer.

      Every topic went something like that.

      It was crazy-making and led to “Who can I trust about any of this at all?” thoughts.

      I no longer have a tug of war happening in my broken brain.

      1. Deb,
        The information bit chain was something like this for me: —You need lots of protein for a strong body (in reality: excess causes cancer), —Milk does a body good (causes bone fractures and cancers), —People can be vegetarian but they have to eat a variety of food to get complete protein (Diet For A Small Planet), disregarding most of Earth’s population that live on a short list (rice, beans, potatoes) of starches. —Vegetarians lack energy (vegans are some of the top endurance athletes).

  2. Most of the people here won’t have had that strong tug of war and don’t know that it is almost a form of mental abuse and people end up brain-washed. They have to choose a side to stop the mental and emotional pain.

    I didn’t choose a side and, trust me, it cost me something.

    1. That is interesting, Dan. I actually think that’s pretty much what most go through. There are scientists who are still in the dark on nutritional science. There is so much misinformation out there that it really is a journey until you get to the point where you learn to look at the BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE and learn how to recognize it. And that is EXACTLY what Dr. Greger has provided. Before him, I was relying on cronometer (don’t do it!). Before that, I learned and experienced that beans and legumes were amazing for you, but then I was actually convinced by some insistent fellow vegans that they were bad for us and we shouldn’t eat them often…. So glad I learned how to learn through all the chaos and confusion. Dr. Greger and those like him provide that. His work is like a lighthouse amidst a foggy, stormy sea.

      1. S,

        Yes, I got to the part where you were convinced that beans and legumes were bad for you and there are people who I have seen on YouTube who left veganism and went carnivore because they had been convinced that vegetables and beans are loaded with antinutrients.

        One woman who left did have serious problems and almost died from too much spinach and that one is legitimately confusing and I suspect a lot of people do that when they switch to greens. But the rest of the people were swayed by head knowledge. There is a SIBO group who leave veganism for that cause but often it is they get spooked away from grains by the Paleo people and then spooked away from beans by the Gundry group and spooked away from potatoes and rice and bread and pasta and fruits by the Keto group and get spooked away from Gluten by the leaky gut groups and get spooked away from soy by the group that says that 90% of it is GMO and that it causes breast cancer to grow faster and causes man boobs.

        The masses are so confused and so terrified of every type of food.

        In the USA and a lot of the European countries, Keto is wildly more popular than Plant-Based and I think it came from the popularity of people like Longo and the fasting doctors and by pet food logic and by people having to count carbs for Diabetes.

        I did the Google trends search and almost every doctor from the Plant-Based community and people like Dr. Hyman and other ones that I consider internet sensations all were at the same line – as if everybody was listening to the same people and yet Keto is wildly more popular and Dr. Greger is in a class by himself in the trends and I would think maybe it was that he put out books but with people like The Doctors and Dr. Oz, they have spikes related to contests where people have to know the right answer and then go their internet page to play a game. What interested me was that Dr. Greger didn’t have the spike and fall. He had a fairly even line right in the middle. And Dr. Oz and The Doctors spike way above him during the contests but they come down to his level between the spikes and he is slightly edging out Dr. Oz right now. That is pretty amazing because the television doctors have such fame and are on multiple times per day. Plus, they have an internet presence.

        That is extraordinary to me. His taking the extra time to make all of these videos and to do them professionally has seriously brought in people in a highly Keto country. I feel like the people here don’t even know that most of these countries the masses haven’t heard any of it.

        1. Actually, Google Trends depends on how you put the name in so it does get complicated.

          You can put Dr. Greger in some ways that his graph looks different.

          So I guess it doesn’t count. I might be typing the other names in wrong for how people search.

          But the Plant-Based Diet versus the Ketogenic Diet is the major comparison.

          Plant-Based is the second most popular diet trend but Keto is so popular. No, I should say that Standard American Diet is probably still the most popular way of eating but nobody Googles it.

          https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=%2Fg%2F11cknh9qp1,%2Fm%2F03cg86

        2. Deb,

          All that stuff on spikes is interesting… It just goes to show that the truth isn’t sensationalism and it’s always found somewhere in a calm place, in the middle. It seems humble, but it is constant. And eventually it always prevails.

          It’s amazing how there is all that “spooked-ness” as you described it well, when the science is so readily available and so clear, abundant, and growing. It’s a shame, but I guess it’s just a matter of time as per my comment above. Again, I’m so grateful to have found Dr. Greger and his and his team’s work because it has been that guiding light for me; that place where you can actually go to learn the truth. And even more valuable than that, he has taught me, in regards to nutritional science and science in general, HOW to find the truth.

          It’s amazing how people go to extremes and then go back because the extremism didn’t work. In regards to so-called vegans, they were never actually vegans. They were plant based misusing the term as veganism is a moral/ethical way of life. Now, if they actually were in it for animal rights and their crazy sibo diet failed them and then went back to harming animals instead of eating like all the other surviving and even thriving vegans are eating, then quite frankly, they are sheer pieces of crap.

  3. “Ultimately, an unbiased observer of human behavior must conclude that most action is not shaped by theory, but rather theories are shaped to conform to actions we have no intention of changing.” -Marjorie Spiegel

    “Whoever is content with the world, and who profits from its lack of justice, does not want to change it.” -Friedrich Durrenmatt

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

    “What we leave behind—our legacy—is how we affected others. And for most of us, no other choice has a greater impact on the legacy of help— or harm— we leave behind, than our daily food choices. Day after day, and year after year, our lives can be seen as the culmination of thousands of instances in which, equally assured of nourishment and health, we had the opportunity to choose kindness and mercy toward other animals, or to choose violence and death for them. For billions of people, the question of eating animals really comes down to this basic question: am I someone who, when able to freely choose, would rather harm animals, or help them? When able to choose, do I choose kindness over violence, or violence over kindness? Our answer is our legacy.”

    1. Thankyou for your comments regarding the life choices we make. The result of ‘our’ choices is quite apparent throughout history and now with the overpopulation and mismanagement of resources and the food choices we are each making is affecting the world we live in.

      1. Sharon, overpopulation is opinion, I’m not really even sure how you could measure that and decide that. Irresponsible actions devastating the planet and all life on it, is definitely able to be seen and measured, though. In regards to food choices, the whole entire animal agriculture industry itself is a mismanagement of resources. And for the love of God, people need to stop buying palm oil. It’s one of the most devastating industries and no one talks about it. I’ve been waiting for Dr. Greger to do a video on it about at least its unhealthfulness–he’s actually called it the most unhealthy oil.

    2. ahimsa42.
      Thank you for your reasoning for compassion. Life would be better. It seems like a slam dunk message: Better environment to live in; better health and a better legacy. Hopefully this will catch on.

    3. That is brilliant, ahimsa… “Our answer is our legacy.”

      I would go further than that, even. Our answer is who we actually choose to be and become; our very character; our very soul. That is a legacy that isn’t just left behind, but that we take with us.

  4. Besides your wonderful website and video’s, what publications are good to learn about nutrition? Scientific publications are fine. trying to learn the basics and how to apply them to diagnose, treat, and cure or mitigate disease? I’m ok with a recommended textbook as well but would like up to date info as well.

    1. Doris, “Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism” by Sareen Gropper et al. This textbook has filled in a lot of what I needed and now I’m glad with WFPB eating. Current, definitely worth the expense. Technical with plenty of what goes on inside the human body. It’s as technical as you want. Highly recommend it. Other books include Dr Greger, How Not To Die, and How Not To Diet. Excellent! Be well!
      .

      1. Ruthie:
        Thank you for the recommendation. The current edition (7 th) is expensive. I’ve just ordered a used copy of the fifth edition. Some student reviewers who have used it as a textbook say that the difference among various editions is mostly superficial.

        1. George, I agree. The 5th edition would be fine. There is a lot to help you understand the human body. You can pick and choose what you are interested in. It takes you to the cellular level which helped me immensely. The body is remarkable, wonderful. I have the seventh edition and it is now underlined and marked and the margins filled in with my notes. It makes me appreciate my body all the more. It’s up to YOU to take care of it. Be well!

    2. Read “The Starch Solution” by the great Dr. John McDougall. Also read Dr. Greger’s “How Not to Die” of course. And “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell. Subscribe to “The International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention”.

    3. Hi Doris,
      Good question. I favor websites like NF.org that are free and not “commercialized”. The two besides NutritionFacts that I find most useful are PCRM.org and the McDougall website. I find the McDougall website of particular use as Dr. McDougall provides a valuable clinical perspective. His website, https://www.drmcdougall.com/, also provides video’s of past educational programs. He wrote newsletters monthly for over ten years which are excellent. The challenge is to find what is relevant to you in your journey to being healthier. The McDougall program consists of a well trained dedicated staff that I was fortunate to work with for 8 years. Two professionals that are tremendous assets to the program are Jeff Novick, registered dietician extraordinaire, whose lecture titled, Calorie Density: Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer, is now available on YouTube, and Doug Lisle, clinical psychologist extraordinaire, who co-authored the book, The Pleasure Trap and whose website Esteem Dynamics has excellent videos. These three resources, NutritionFacts.org, PCRM.org and DrMcDougall.com, have been helpful to me both personally and professionally. Keep tuned to NF.org as the science keeps coming and since it takes years if ever before the best practices are adopted by the medical industry I believe it is important for individuals to take responsibility for their and their families health. Hope this helps.

      1. Don, Blair, Ruthie, Rudy & Mr.F.,

        Along the lines of Doris’ question, can anyone suggest a textbook where I can learn about food synergy?

        Example: black pepper helps with the absorption of curcumin from turmeric.

        Thank you in advance, Holly

      2. Don, good thoughts… I found the last sentence disheartening in its reality. I mean that you are right in saying it is a personal responsibilitiy to keep our family healthy, but truly I believe it should be a function of government..

        Oh dear…Now before libertarians and republicans and these days democrats get riled up, I just mean that unless we transition to an inherently equal system of finance and resources, where rich don’t get better basics than anyone else (because we care about ALL) then yes it is a personal responsibility to learn about healthy ways. But thats not good for us ALL.

        That said, if anyone cares to make an argument against the federal dissemination of healthy information, together with legislation that rewards business for forwarding this message, and penalizes businesses who’s products hurt people then lets see it.

        If ‘freedom” is the main argument against this idea, then please explain the benefit of being allowed freedom to slowly kill people with crappy foods or even the benefit for people to have access to products that kill them, while allowing exponentially more dollars to be spent in promoting them then exposing their harms?

        At some point we either bust out over our east and west coast belts, or we all perish in dishealth, or we awaken to the joke that is freedom – for freedoms sake.

        1. jazzBass, I understand where you’re coming from. Most all of us desire to live in a happy pleasant society where everyone is healthy and happy! But it always comes down to how best to achieve this goal.

          Each generation goes through this big argument of whether government can solve all our problems by forcing this or that or whether, we, as free individuals can work things out on our own through a free-market system. (And no, I’m not talking about anarchy here, but rather limited government that maintains law & order but doesn’t run everything in our lives by regulations.)

          I remember back in the 1970’s the arguments then were very much like the ones people are having today, only today we have a new generation who hasn’t studied history. Believe me, we’ve been through this “movie” before, as Bob Dylan used to sing ;-)

          Dr Milton Friedman, the economist, does a great job of answering most of the questions in your comment.

          Here is a very enlightening interview of Dr Friedman on the “Donahue” show way back in 1979. This segment is an important short excerpt of the whole interview:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyw4YHeAlbI

          For the whole 45 minute interview, which I highly recommend, see this link:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EwaLys3Zak

    4. Doris

      I’d suggest starting off with major scientific reports on nutrition and health by panels of leading experts. For example, the latest report by the US dietary guidelines scientific advisory committee
      https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/2020-advisory-committee-report

      the World Cancer Research Fund report on diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer
      https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer

      And, although fairly old now, the World Health Organization’s Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases
      https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42665/WHO_TRS_916.pdf;sequence=1

      1. Fumbs,

        Im happy to read that the dietary guidelines allow me, in an effort to get more healthy, two glasses of wine each and every day!!!
        (Plus up to 10% of my calories from processed added sugar, and pork and eggs consumption)

        Life is good again!!!!!!!!!

        Just kidding of course, but man they need to get out of receiving donations from Big Ag food factory industry, so they can stick to what we here all know.

        Still there are plenty of other good reccos there….

        1. JB

          I think the greatest value from those reports is obtained from reading the full document where the evidence is described, analysed and assessed.

          Doing that allows us to understand why the expert panels reached the conclusions they did. And it’s usually not donations from Big Ag or whatever, it’s the simple availability of evidence that meets the standards set. For example, Esselstyn’s studies don’t meet the cut because they were small, unrandomised, uncontrolled and haven’t been replicated by other other researchers. Ornish’s don’t either because his intervention wasn’t solely dietary. This is why the AHA’s scientific panel on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease was able to write

          ‘Finally, we note that a trial has never been conducted to test the effect on CHD outcomes of a low-fat diet that increases intake of healthful nutrient-dense carbohydrates and fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes that are now recommended in dietary guidelines.’
          https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510

          The availability and impact of new studies on expert assessments is why the meat, egg and dairy industries have been busy in recent decades funding large numbers of carefully designed ‘research’ studies to overwhelm the existing evidence base. They had a good ‘win’ on cholesterol in the last US dietary guidelines for precisely that reason.

            1. Fumbs,
              Great reading. Done on a typewriter. Ahead of his time. An engineer. I found it encouraging that he made light of older people running.

          1. And you are right to look thee for answers, though it may be like our presidential choices in that we still dont have much choice, free from special influence. So, yes, I dont intend to throw the baby out with the corporate purchased bathwater, but still i do think it bares mentioning is all.

            Like I said, definitely good stuff in there as well. :)

          2. Fumbles, Im sorry but I just reread these comments. Am I to understand that you take the word of these organizations because they claim that the expensive trials that would upend their donors influence have not been done, and that therefore we should eat beef stroganoff, like the AHA recommends is heart healthy? (They do you know)

            I know there are sites “debunking” Esselstyn, like this one for instance: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/the-china-study-myth/

            But the main premise is that Esselstyn didnt prove animal proteins cause cancer. As a cohort study of I think millions of people it may be true that the china study wasn’t aimed at giving some people meat and seeing the differences, but what is clear is the diet they consumed was largely absent meat on its whole and that these millions of people of low meat consumption areas, followed over decades, didn’t get the western sicknesses we have subsequently proven are associated with meat consumption. The SAD is a verifiable killer is it not?

            So with the overall information known, these organizations can in fact technically write a “gotcha” as in: [We are unfortunately unable to say meat is bad because Esselstyn didnt do a proper study], The premise is about not proving a specific fact it did not intend to prove, but one can easily make the proper correlations.

            Now the issue is: who will pay for proper trials to prove it, and who will make sure meat big ag and diary dont interfere with paid counter “studies” showing meat gets you better grades when 8th graders are given meat and given a 3rd grade test?

            Not a rhetorical question. Should these health organizations take even one penny from industry?

            I assume you are here not to refute Greger’s statements that animal protein does in fact cause cancer, and that beef stroganoff is in fact a bad idea, and that big industry does in fact squash dissent through alliances, legislation and trumped up studies in their favor?

            Honestly I don understand your grasping to institutional dissemination of information in the face of rapacious corruption and the knowledge of industrial influence through financial means. I know yoiu know these things because you are obviously a smart dude.

            Any organization simply cannot go against the messaging of its biggest donors, and that includes NGO’s and for that matter, governments themselves. I hope you don’t disagree with at last that premise, but if not, then please flesh these ideas out further beyond judging them as conspiracy theories, as if we don’t have ample examples of these sorts of activities within our institutions time in and time out, over and over…. Government, journalism, security orgs, local and federal offices, corporations all in a revolving door of favors and positions even writing legislation for lawmakers, and the profits taken are shared one way or another. One could be unaware, but one cant say they don’t “believe” it since it is true and verifiable.

            At each point there is a single solitary person making the decision that “well, this isnt so bad, it wont really hurt people”…or worse, they just take the word of the charming and well connected lobbyist, or dinner guest, without any further examination. If the presentation seems sound, and is sold convincingly, why even look into it right?

            Then its into the office monday morning with a new project influenced by weekend conversations.

            I hope you can agree that these organizations are not immune to this paradigm, and can see that in fact it is rather likely at least in some small part. Now that part, this is important, that part could be the part that makes a large decision or prints something meant as fact, and therein lies the seemingly benign, or “bad apple” harm.

            1. JB

              I think you need to settle down with a nice relaxing cup of tea and a cold compress on that fevered brow of yours.

              Your arguments seem a mite confused. Well, they confused me (easily done if I’m going to be honest). You apparently don’t understand what Esselstyn’s studies were about for example In fact you seem to be confusing Esselstyn with Colin Campbell.

              Nor do you appear to have read any of those reports I linked because your comments don’t acknowledge let alone discuss the methodologies used to identify, grade and assess evidence. All you seem to have done is seen recommendations that you don’t like and assumed that it’s all the result of dark forces and some vast conspiracy that dominate every health department, professional medical association and academic institution everywhere from the USA to North Korea and all points in-between.

              Every health authority has come to more or less the same conclusion because that’s what the current balance of scientific evidence shows. And the key recommendations aren’t exactly that favourable to the meat, egg, dairy and processed foods industries in any case. They are basically telling people to eat a mainly plant food diet that is minimally processed
              https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
              https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/chapter-1/key-recommendations/

              Has it ever occurred to you that your thinking resembles Darwin’s in some ways? I mean look at this

              ‘but if not, then please flesh these ideas out further beyond judging them as conspiracy theories,’

              That seems like blatant gaslighting to me. Instead of fleshing out your dismissal of major scientific reports by critically analysing the evidence/methodologies/assessment employed. you just assume that they are all irredeemably flawed because of financial influences. The ideas behind those reports are fleshed out in the reports themselves. They are what you have to read to understand the issues and the nature of the evidence. Yes, industry constantly tries to influence decision makers and has plenty of money to fund carefully designed ‘research’. However, that’s not the same thing as alleging that it has bought decision makers and scientific panels across the globe.

              The evidence should be examined on its merits. So should the assessment methodologies used. If you are not prepared to do that and instead prefer to rely on murky speculations and unsubstantiated allegations, it’s hard for anyone to take your arguments as anything other than conspiracy theories.

    5. Doris – I know you would like a magazine type format (if I read you correctly). But if you want an overall umbrella set of information to diagnose, treat, and cure or mitigate disease, start with T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study (book). Eating the whole and the all of the rainbow of vegetables, fruits, bean, and grains is what mitigates the majority of the diseases of our times – the diseases of affluence.
      I can’t think of one plant based physician that advocates the idea of “if you have x disease eat y vegetable”. Because it just doesn’t work that way. However, eating plant foods with the highest nutritional value might be helpful to you. Try Joel Fuhrman, M.D.’s Andi Score and just eat high nutritional density foods:
      https://www.drfuhrman.com/content-image.ashx?id=73gjzcgyvqi9qywfg7055r
      Another resource you might enjoy is http://www.whfoods.com/ This site has lots of information on where to get specific nutrients in their natural food form.

      Good luck and have fun!

      1. Hi Mr Fumblefingers and Rudy, thanks for your comments to Doris. Even though nutrition is being commercialized as indicated in this video there are still good resources such a s Nutrition facts.org and other nutrition inspired Drs who are there for referance and scientific based information.

    6. Another great resource is the new online publication: https://ijdrp.org/index.php/ijdrp The International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention
      Incorporating the International Journal of Lifestyle Medicine which is a free open-access, peer-reviewed journal created to document the science of nutrition and lifestyle to prevent, suspend, and reverse disease. The IJDRP is a publication of The Plantrician Project.
      Of course you have already reviewed the helpful resources Dr. Greger has authored (?) with multiple links. You can check those out using the above tab;”Books”
      Best of success in learning more about the connection between illness and unhealthy nutrition.

  5. The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications 3rd Edition
    Reed Mangels, Virginia Messina, Mark Messina
    2010
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0763779768/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

    World’s Healthiest Foods, 2nd Edition: The Force For Change To Health-Promoting Foods and New Nutrient-Rich Cooking
    George Mateljan
    2015
    https://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Healthiest-Foods-Health-Promoting-Nutrient-Rich/dp/097691851X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+World%27s+Healthiest+Foods&link_code=qs&qid=1602259180&sourceid=Mozilla-search&sr=8-1&tag=wwwcanoniccom-20

  6. I just listened to the video regarding fiber. I am dysglycemic, I have tried keto with lo sugar, vegetarian (way too much fat for my system), and am back to lo fat, lo carb, no sugars (including bread pot. rice etc.)…I find that natural fibers as in greens and veggies is the best thing for my system. (my symptoms if I do the things I listed as no nos -I get headache, tunnel vision, tingling toes, neuropathy inner right calf, cold water feeling left calf . If I eat balanced veg. diet I feel great.
    My idea is that as soon as we are born we are heading toward death, our “health” is a likely precarious event and constantly fluctuating and homeostasis is the best I can hope for.
    Love your commentaries Dr Gregor.

  7. I thought this might be a good time and place to mention that many food companies are getting in on plant based wagon and developing replacement meats. Many of these substitutes are not what any of the plant based physicians would call healthy. For example, a new company based in Colorado – OZO, a division of Plantera Foods, “proud member of the Plant Based Foods Association” (who are they?), is making a “ground beef” product that has 18 grams of fat, 6 saturated, in 4oz of its product. This is not heart healthy. Impossible Foods and Lightlife foods also make similar products which are unhealthy for one’s heart and waistline. So my warning here is to read the labels and don’t assume that just because it has pea protein in it that you want to put it in your mouth.
    https://ozofoods.com/products/ground/

    Food companies are not interested in the public good or the health of your body – their mission is to make money. Never forget that.

    1. A brief introduction to Plant Based Foods Association: A trade association with it’s own lobbyist.

      “The Plant Based Foods Association is the single most important trade organization representing the interests of plant-based food companies. We are proud to partner with PBFA in creating a more level playing field for plant-based food companies.”
      https://plantbasedfoods.org

      “longtime food industry critic and researcher Michele Simon…. has launched the Plant Based Foods Association, which exists to “ensure a fair and competitive marketplace for businesses selling plant-based foods intended to replace animal products such as meats, dairy, and eggs.” The brand-new trade group already has a part-time lobbyist, the longtime vegan- and organic-food advocate Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)….

      Right now, the PBFA’s membership list consists of companies that deal solely in vegetarian products, from nut-milk upstarts Califia and Malk to lesser-known firms like Tofuna Fysh. (Vegan tuna salad, anyone?) Simon said any purveyor of vegetable-based protein products, including Unilever, is welcome to join the trade group, but the bylaws state that a majority of its board of directors will represent pure-play vegetarian companies.“

      https://grist.org/food/vegetarian-food-companies-finally-get-their-own-lobbyist-in-d-c/

      1. After reading some posts, i happened into my local Lidl, and found a fake meat at a reasonable price. It was sitting next to the other meats, and so I had a look at nutrition label.

        You are right, the fake meat had 19 grams of saturated fats per serving, while the lean ground beef had just 8 g.

        I literally laughed loud enough for some people to hear and were wondering WTF?

    1. Marilyn,

      I have never understood why so many places move to China and, if they all do, why hasn’t China made so much money that they could actually improve how they do things.

      I agree that I don’t trust them with food.

      But manufacturing companies tend to start someplace else, get a good reputation and then shift to selling Chinese junk. I have seen that pattern so many times. I still don’t understand why their quality hasn’t advanced with all of the manufacturing they end up having come their way.

      But, yes, the dead animals and lead paint on baby toys, there have been too many egregious issues with things from China. Even just the quality of clothing and finding out that the clothing was made by child slave labor or seeing brands of things like rice cookers where half of their line has 5 stars on Amazon and in reviews and other models have 1 star and says made in China. Or recently the really poor quality masks from China that were sold to the public that didn’t measure up to the standards they claimed.

      We see it in our industry but it doesn’t stop the companies from going there and that is the part I never understood.

      1. Deb, I hear you. China also makes clone products. They look like and work like the US products, but the materials are way cheaper.

        I was talking to a Factory soda machine repairman. He was sent to inspect “the” assembly line. He discovered there were two assembly lines, side-by-side and asked about it. As he looked at the 2nd he realized the inferior materials. He now understood the challenge of Mom & Pop stores: they buy the less expensive one and it lasts a few months. But they are “saving money”, not realizing they are spending more over time as the cheap stuff wears out quickly.

        Same is true with food. They use fake products and fillers that cost less. They only care about profit. Not all, but enough to give them a terrible reputation.

    2. Ruth.

      Dr J.

      Marilyn.

      When I originally decided to go from a SAD omnivore diet to a healthy WFPB diet – for health reasons – I “needed” the fake meats that existed at that time. There was a craving for meat.

      Cascadian Farm provided the ersatz “Canadian Bacon” I needed for breakfast to substitute for real bacon – that enabled me to change my breakfast habits, bit by bit.

      Vegetarian hot dogs of that era were a pretty poor substitute for the original.

      And I really did not like reading the ersatz meat ingredient list. Not yum-yum.

      Over time – the addictive need for meat-like foods subsided. Whatever is in meat that addicts people did not seem to be present in those plant-based substitutes.

      I compare it to alcohol-free wine or decaffeinated coffee or cigarettes without nicotine.

      After a while your body kinda goes: “what’s the point?”

      The zing is gone.

      And I could then take the next step to enjoying largely vegetables and fruits and beans and whole grains and nuts without any meat substitutes whatsoever. That transition just kinda came about spontaneously – it was not pre-planned.

      That ersatz meat transition period is what made it all possible.

      —————————————————

      You will note that these new fake meat companies are marketing largely to omnivores – not to WFPB people.

      We are already lost to them.

      The “meaty” mouthfeel and tastes and smells they have worked so hard to create are no longer compelling for us.

      More likely to repel, instead.

      And WFPB people have a whole different intestinal microbiome to feed than do SAD omnivores.

      Resulting in different cravings.

      ————————————————-

      These companies do know what they are doing – but are they going to be creating a population that will transition all the way to healthy WFPB eating?

      Some – yes. How much – time will tell.

      My hope is that they will help more and more people transition to healthy WFPB eating – at the expense of their having to keep recruiting more and more SAD omnivores over time to have a stable or growing market for their transition products,

      Win-win.

      Alternatively – their introduction of plant-grown hemoglobin-equivalent may maintain the addictive aspect of their products and “hook” the next generation of victims – kinda like the way replacing unhealthy addictive cigarette smoking with supposedly healthier vaping isn’t really benign at all.

      Are the fake meats just the culinary equivalent of vaping?

      I dunno. Yet.

      We’ll see what happens.

      All the best –

      Vivamus

      1. Viv, my early experience mirrored yours and I did experiment with faux “meats” and tofu pups are horrible. Follow Your Heart Provalone is quite good for all the cheezers here.

        If one is in that early transition, (or if there is an occasional yearly pang for a burger) I wonder if its best for them to eat lean beef once in a while (8g saturateds), rather than a faux “meat” that has 17g, but is derived from plants, so does not contain animal protiens?

  8. Hi Ruth, thanks for your comment. Yes, companies are there for profit and they also can learn from their consumers what product is favored by their consumers. The more consumer request for healthier products the more these companies have to concentrate on making healthier products which then bring them profit.

  9. Regarding the fake meat gravy profit train, and the foreign source of same being additional cause for avoidance…this all happened right here a while ago and so no need to look to other countries for poisoning our cats dogs moms and children.

    So when we decided in the 80’s that fat was to blame for heart disease, nefarious and greedy bad actor US companies companies added corn syrup and white flour, and got Snackwells etc… The country got fat, really really fat. half a million die each year because of that (not China).

    The true problem is that this is the same profit bait that causes Chinese companies to cut corners, or worse. We could take more of the lions share of the blame for forwarding such a cut throat capitalist export. Just sayin’.

    So Impossible meat is similar in that the American public will continue to “drink the Koolaid” and live in blind trust, and in fear of China and Russia as a result. Its what got us Trump, and what got us Joe Biden if we are honest. Both corporate donor recipients, and therefore beholden to their will. Like the American Heart Association etc… you get what I mean.

    I don’t say that some companies elsewhere aren’t nefarious, but just that this is also potentially a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I just have to speak up on these posts when blanket statements are the order of the day but I do understand the China reference was in addition to the US based companies. I just don’t agree that the source being China is sufficient enough to slander a product.

    We certainly accept their money don’t we. trillions in bonds, Hurricane relief and cozy deals with family and friends of our most powerful politicians including Joe and Donald actually.

    What do I mean?
    If one hasn’t looked at the global contributions of China’s art, culture,technology, agriculture, logistics, and philosophy, to name a few, one may well also overlook more local transgressions – we all know that so many fraudulent, corrupt and greedy examples can be found right here to equally mirror some bad actors in other countries like China. The Big Short comes to mind, or Teflon, or Nicotine, or even lead, and this all barely scrapes the aluminum from our smoke stacks.

    Would we even hear about it if our exports caused harm in other countries? Is that really something that could never ever happen because we are…what? Better?

    Happy safe weekend, and stay far from the bad people over there somewhere.

    1. jazzBass,

      I would not say it about any other country other than China.

      I believe that the Japanese have a very good reputation for products. Always have that I know of.

      Yes, I do pause about their green tea after the nuclear incident, but their manufacturing standards have been good.

      If I ever research a product and they get good reviews or get good reviews by California or Consumer Labs, I will let you know.

      I haven’t seen it happen yet.

      1. Deb, maybe you didn’t read the post entirely, that’s ok.

        Again, I say not that China doesn’t do bad stuff. I am saying that anything we see there, we can see here. Human sex trafficking, chemical additives illegal, child labor or incarceration, etc..

        My point is:
        Yes , sure, go ahead and call out china (but just know we do the same things, and we set the tone for profits above humanity, trade deals in corporate favor etc.. Even all the deals are in our currency. We control if a kid enters illegally, but falter when its about goods from sweetheart deals, then blame the sender.).

        So how about something progressive here, lets agree we can find links to horrible things that china has done.

        Why don’t you send a few links here about the exact same things we’ve done.

        That seem fair? And if it does, can it inform your thinking, and linking on China = bad?

        We just need fewer sheep to make this world a better place. Say no to manufactured consent.

        1. jazzBass,

          If you are talking political corruption and corporate fraud, yes, I would agree that there is corruption maybe everywhere, but there are places here that are testing the food and inspecting the food and there are recalls on it when something goes wrong.

          There is a huge difference in manufacturing when things come from China so far and that comes up when I research things almost every time. With the solar panels, Tesla got in trouble with fires and it ended up being that Solar City had used parts that were manufactured in China that were defective and they have since changed to a different manufacturer. Is Tesla this wonderful company, no. They lower their prices and do these press conferences as if they want to save the world and then, the minute people start buying, within 3 months they raise their prices again. They have an amazing vision but are a “for profit” focused company and that shows.

          Still, would I risk putting the Chinese made parts on my roof, no and there might be solid companies in China but every single project I do has had a faulty Chinese manufactured product thread. Even brands that are amazing often eventually do one line that is crap and every single time so far, the crap line comes from China. Five stars for the Japanese manufactured rice cooker, wish I could give zero stars for the one model made in China. Five stars for the French Manufactured cookware. 1 star for the one model that somehow gets manufactured in China. As if even companies who have tradesmen with excellence in craftsmanship can’t figure out how to keep that craftsmanship once they manufacture it in China.

          I will still look each project I do the same way and I would buy Chinese if they ever make a product that stands up to scrutiny so I haven’t crossed them entirely off my list for that.

          But food safety, I don’t trust China and I don’t trust Mexico. For your point, I don’t trust the food industry in the USA either but I am not buying almost any of their products either. I buy organic produce but I do look at which country and I don’t buy from China or Mexico. I don’t buy tea from most countries and I am very careful about which country I buy rice from. I almost never buy supplements online unless it is a brand that has excellent lab testing. USP GMP 3rd party testing.

          So I guess I don’t trust most of the companies in most countries but eventually you have to make decisions and those tend to include experience.

          I had a dog that was eating dog food which turned out to be from China back when the dog food from China was killing the dogs and that was followed by the toys painted with lead paint coming from China and those are when I drew the line in the sand for health safety. I have had junk products from China and I don’t want anymore products that are going to break down too quickly and I ended up with excellent everything when I started drawing that line in the sand.

          Maybe part of it is that I work with manufacturing and the USA parts are of such better quality over and over again for decades. More expensive and people want cheaper but so much better quality that we are still in business 55 years later even though we are a small company and even though they have tried to replace us with Chinese made a few times. I was at a funeral and a man who does a lot of business in China said, “I am not afraid of China taking over because I am there all the time and they aren’t all that great at some of these processes” and I said, “Yes, but if you were a manufacturer in the USA, you would know that big companies want things made cheaply and are willing to gain a good reputation and then once they are 5-star they switch how they do things and rely on their name. I hate that process.

          When I looked at washing machines, the famously dependable ones no longer were made in the USA and I ended up buying a SpeedQueen because they were the only manufacturer who still used steel parts and who had a calculator for how many years it would last if you don’t overfill it.

          I hate big business and I know that they won.

        2. JazzBass

          Companies often have two standards.

          A Japanese rice maker sells their better made products in Japan and sell a Chinese version with their name To their USA customers.

          I don’t understand the global choices enough to find the excellent Chinese companies and I am sure they are there but I haven’t found them here.

          It is possible if I were in the upper class there might be a best of the best category where they have the best of something.

          I am trying to think of a Chinese luxury line of something that I might not know about because I am priced out of it or something like that.

          1. Clothing is another. My elderly relatives have American made clothing that is such high quality that they have worn the same sweaters and shirts and pants and coats all of their adult lives even though they throw it in a 30 year old washing machine with an agitator and use Tide powder to not pay for water.

            It is so hard to find even 1/4 of that quality now. I have spent years looking for replacements even of socks and I can’t find anything even a tenth as good so I keep them even with tiny holes. I hate planned obsolescence As a concept.

            It is the US companies using the labor in China wrong. Greedy Gus’s China might use the labor for better results.

            I understand that companies get wealthy doing it but I hate that we fill the dump with everything.

            That is my bias.

        3. JazzBass,

          Ironically, the China products sold in America just came up again a few minutes ago.

          Victoria Secret suddenly started having some of their bras made in China and I hadn’t heard that.

          My friend was looking for a company that would measure her properly and the place I would have sent her closed but I told her she could go to Victoria’s Secret.

          She ended up having horrible reactions to the bras and she said that she had never experienced anything like it before.

          Well, the bras from China had formaldehyde in them and people became disfigured and scarred and there are lawsuits now.

          She sent me the article about it today and in it they said that their bras were being made in Sri Lanka but suddenly some were made in China,

      2. By the way, making an easy correlation, do you feel it is at all possible that US based manufacturing analytics review could at all be biased towards or against the red or yellow scare of the day? Could the criteria be stacked against one or another source of goods? Do you think all chinese buildings, and infrastructure are there but for the grace of bandaids, because they couldnt make anything of quality?

        I know you to be a thinker, albeit perhaps isolationist, but thinker none the less, so please flesh the idea out… Correlations are easy enough and its simply not possible that all chinese manufacturing is bad etc.. blanket statements are like you said. Soy = bad. (not true)

        By the way you’ve not mentioned your dad that Ive seen, I hope he is doing well back to swimming etc…

        1. jazzBass,

          My father has started improving. He is going to have an aide until the New Year who will be doing all of the cooking and cleaning and laundry, etc.

          He intends to go back to his routine next month and I am hoping good things for him.

          It has taken a few months but he drove the other day and was able to walk into a restaurant.

    2. JazzBass,

      Regarding your statement: … “Its what got us Trump, and what got us Joe Biden if we are honest. Both corporate donor recipients, and therefore beholden to their will.” . I beg to differ with you on a major point here.

      In his 2016 election, Trump, being a businessman rather than a career politician, had enough money to fund his own election. He didn’t need contributions from anyone or any corporation, so he wasn’t/isn’t beholden to anyone. Neither political Party wanted him to be the candidate! He won because his platform supported the huge working class, tax-paying Americans. In fact, with his money, he could have retired to his own island in the South Pacific and lived the life of luxury. I’m surprised he chose to run for President, knowing that he would be subject to constant abuse by both political parties and the media, which did in fact happen.

      I sincerely believe that he was tired of seeing career politicians of both parties sell our country out to the highest bidder, both foreign or domestic. I really believe he wanted to get the country back on track of being an independent free nation with full opportunities for all it’s citizens. Just my opinion. But try thinking deeply about it for a while and block out the media propaganda and look at his numerous accomplishments. Of course, one will have to dig around for some truthful websites to find out his accomplishment because all you hear on most TV news is “Orange Man Bad” ;-)

      Jerome Hudson’s book lists many of them:

      https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/07/29/50-things-they-dont-want-you-know-trump-harpercollins-reveals-breitbart-editor-jerome-hudsons-book-cover/

      1. Darwin thanks for the thoughts. But, (buzzer sounds) I’m sorry, wrong again! (he took millions and millions from corporations)
        https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contributors?id=N00023864

        So yes, he may have had the money to not be beholden, but take it he did. :) and lots and lots of it. In fact neither you nor I know how much money Trump actually had at the time or has now, but certainly he is living richly. Having become president now ensures it.

        I do agree he did speak to an underserved population. Its rare, but still largely was lip service.

        This was my entire point. I believe Trump is now – even if he wasn’t before – a politician. And remember Trump didnt win purely on his good looks. He had a campaign and that campaign was a political campaign, no matter his business history.

        My entire point was that if you enter politics as it is today, a percentage of the public will drink your koolaid, and you will likely differ their true needs because of being beholden to corporate interests.

        Being a business man Donald Trump is in a uniquely advantaged place, and literally has dined regularly with TOP C-level associates and would-be deal partners who would have relished the idea of their colleague now having this kind of power. They can now simply pick up the phone for a one on one.

        These are the things I’ve been talking about here. We tend to fall into manufactured consent.

        This book is from 1988 and all of it has come to fruition. yikes!
        https://www.amazon.com/Manufacturing-Consent-Political-Economy-Media/dp/0375714499

        I hope you will go ahead and continue your searching online beyond breitbart only because it is known to be a right sided outlet and could, at least in theory, have an agenda of some ideology.

        As a thinker I know you would not stop there if there was even a chance that the information is angled in some way.

        1. Vivamus, I tried to read the article at the link you sent, but the website wouldn’t let me read the full article. From the title, it looks like an opinion piece. I like to stick to facts. But thanks for the attempt to show all opinions. I like to look at all sides of an issue.

          1. Darwin,

            Understood.

            On my browser, there is a bar beneath a horizontal row of small round pictures of a bunch presidents and such labeled “Read Full Story” – which leads to the full article. I will guess that this bar is not present / not working for you.

            Found the same article on another site. Warning – if you have a browser with an ad-blocker, this is the time to use it! You’ll see what I mean if you don’t have an ad-blocker installed.

            The author has deep Republican bona fides:

            “Richard A. Gallun is a longtime Wisconsin businessman who has served as a fundraiser for many charitable causes. He was also Wisconsin campaign finance chairman for Ronald Reagan’s first run for president in 1976, finance chairman for Senator Bob Kasten, R-Wis., from 1979-87, and finance chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin 1989-91.”

            His opinions are of the solid sort of a thoughtful man making real decisions. He appears genuine. Again – you may find his wisdom helpful:

            https://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/story/news/solutions/2020/10/08/wisconsin-businessmans-reluctant-divorce-republican-party/5900715002/

            Vivamus

  10. com·mer·cial·ized
    adjective

    designed principally for financial gain; profit-oriented

    Even nutrition INFORMATION is commercialized. This website might be less than most but still is just the same.

    1. RB

      You wrote ‘Even nutrition INFORMATION is commercialized. This website might be less than most but still is just the same.’

      Would you therefore provide some examples of where the information on this website is commercialised?

    1. Viv, thanks for sharing that editorial. I read them sometimes, but always with the knowledge that they are opinion.

      The irony that the piece is both politicized and opinion, while calling out the leadership for being politicized and acting on opinion is not lost on the thinking reader.

      Still much truth there in collective botching, and bilateral wasting of resources, and spending approved by both dems and republicans…As we do have powerful “leadership” on both sides of this single isle we try to call politics. ugh..

      Much blame to share and go around for sure.

      I’m not sure what place in the NJM there is to request we vote, stating the solution is neither democrat nor republican, but can only assume they meant green party? (or was it a veiled request to tell people to vote for Joe Biden. Hmmm, why not just say it then?)

    2. Vivamus, Thanks for the link to the NEJM article. I hadn’t seen that before.

      That’s really unusual for a medical journal to get so political. So I did a little research … you know, one of those “follow the money” type things. It’s difficult to trace the way they hide stuff like this, but I was able to find a few things … see below.

      Here are some links to read up on the background for the NEJM article:

      Connecting the dots:

      NEJM Big Pharma China

      NEJM’s cozy relationship with Big Pharma:

      “Former NEJM editors on the corruption of American medicine (NY Times)”

      https://participatorymedicine.org/epatients/2012/03/former-nejm-editors-on-the-corruption-of-american-medicine-ny-times.html

      “The trail of tainted funding: Conflicts of interest in healthcare, academics, public relations and journalism”

      https://www.healthnewsreview.org/toolkit/trail-tainted-funding-conflicts-interest-healthcare-academics-public-relations-journalism/

      “Criticism of NEJM’s defense of industry-physician relations”

      https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2015/05/criticism-of-nejms-defense-of-industry-physician-relations/

      Big Pharma’s cozy relationship with China:

      “Testimony of Rosemary Gibson, Senior Advisor, The Hastings Center and Author, “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine”

      https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/RosemaryGibsonTestimonyUSCCJuly152019.pdf

      NEJM partnering directly with China:

      https://www.nejmgroup.org/discover-our-products/know/nejm-yi-xue-qian-yan/

      I’m sure glad that Dr Greger mentioned the new medical journal: “International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention” so at least there will be a more trustworthy source for medical/nutrition research findings.

      https://ijdrp.org/index.php/ijdrp

      1. Darwin,

        I think you may be overthinking.

        It has been some time since I subscribed to the New England Journal, it is true. The New England Journal takes in a wide swath – I have had good reason to narrow my gaze.

        One can only do so much.

        But I do clearly remember getting it the mail with a feeling of anticipation and sitting down that evening on the couch – light coming down over my left shoulder – with Zeus, my mighty hare, standing guard – leafing through it as the time disappeared into the ether.

        There was a feeling of excellence permeating the entire room.

        That is the effect of real quality.

        I do not get that effect on reading your work.

        The difference is night and day.

        Vivamus

    3. Vivamus,

      I feel like, rather than a void of leadership, there is a power struggle to control information from multiple directions.

      For COVID, I can take two influencers in the WFPB community – Dr. Greger and Pam Popper and they led in opposite directions.

      It is as if everybody everywhere is leading in their own direction and the press is reporting on all of it.

      1. Deb,

        Understood.

        You are not wrong.

        I happen to have knowledge in this sphere. Which is what brought me back to Dr. Greger’s web site at this time.

        One concept I would transmit to you –

        In regard to the Novel Coronavirus: I am much more concerned about morbidity than mortality.

        I would downplay the death statistics. They are easy to comprehend – but relatively unimportant.

        The important thing is the residual morbidity.

        I think.

        How deep and how broad.

        This will be much more difficult to quantify.

        I hope that I am wrong – few things could please me more.

        Time will tell.

        Deb.

        All the best –

        Vivamus

  11. Science, Science, Science. It’s all about the science. So, I ask my cardiologist ” since you invoked the term science, (when attempting persuade me to take statin drugs), just to make sure we are on the same page, would you mind giving me your definition of “science?” Please give me a concise definition of science.
    Whereupon he looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Think about it, and see if you can come up with a concise definition of science. And ask yourself-What do all sciences have in common-every one of them-and how are they all different? Would like to hear from Dr. Gregor-Thanks in advance. Wayne Kuhn

    1. The premise of the question is not correct. What you’re seeking, and what Dr. G talks about, is “high quality evidence”. This will necessarily be: peer reviewed, published in well known medical journals, unbiased, and using “hard clinical endpoints” which means things like “does taking a statin reduce the risk for premature death”. While reduction in serum cholesterol does correlate with reduced risk of death in many cases, its not necessarily a sure-thing, so its not a hard clinical endpoint. Just keep in mind that in most people (not including the 1:250 to 1:500 that have Familial Hypercholesterolemia) that an unprocessed plant based diet will reduce cholesterol, and the risk of premature death, more than statins which are a higher risk proposition since statins can have nasty adverse effects such as rhabdomyolysis.

  12. In this ONE video lies the core reason to support universal healthcare: when we taxpayers/government are opening our wallets for the well-being and disease treatment of ALL public money for preventive care — the first order of diet and nutrition– will be at the top of the list. As long as we remain a “market driven” model of disease treatment profit will be the rule, which few of us can afford.
    So grateful for all the outreach and service Dr. Greger and crew to elevate good food and common sense.

    1. Berry Manter,

      Back in the 1970’s there was a well-populated county near where I lived who experimented with “Universal Healthcare”. Every county resident could go to a doctor or hospital and get treatment with only a $5 co-pay for any illness!

      Needless to say, the experiment went bankrupt after about 10 years. Taxes in that county went through the roof, and also, all the good doctors moved away because the pay was so low! And, of course the tax-paying residents moved away also, so the whole idea collapsed.

      Talk about a science experiment. This one was very informative!

      And on a related topic, I’ve never understood why so many people have such a hatred for companies that make a profit. Yes, I know many companies gouge and cut corners on quality. But every company (and individual) has to make at least some profit. And we all can choose to not buy their products.

      If companies don’t make a profit, then the employees that produce the goods and services would have to work for free! Do you really want to make the employees of these companies work for free? Isn’t that the very definition of slavery?

      I’m beginning to think there are way too many Marxists in our colleges and universities these days. We need to get back to teaching how free-markets are supposed to work. Granted our country has drifted way off course by moving to “crony capitalism” where the government and large corporations scratch each others back, but going further off course is not the answer!

  13. I found out today that the aide who is living 24/7 with my father and step-mother is making a lot of vegetarian and near-vegetarian soups for them and they are enjoying them.

    Well, probably too much sodium but it is a huge shift away from meat and cheese.

    I am wondering if I could get her to use Gardein instead of the pieces of meat.

    It reaffirms what I would say to anybody.

    Make good tasting meals and don’t even mention Plant-Based until after they taste things.

    If they want to try it, start with 7 meal recipes that you think they would like before arguing one science fact.

  14. Thank you , Dr. Greger, for articulating the weaknesses of western research, in terms of both reductionism and patent motivation. Western medicine has no rival when it comes to removing a bullet from the brain or repairing a cleft palate. But chronic disease is a different animal, and benefits from a different dialectic altogether.

    That is why I believe we need traditional medicine, not just as an integrative adjunct, but as a diversification of our worldview and means of evaluating information. Traditional science is a science of a different mind: eco-centric, multifactorial and relational. In traditional medicine, the human organism actually has the potential to transform and heal, not just control symptoms. Traditional medicine is rooted in ancient knowledge but continues to evolve in modern applications.

    A plurality of medicinal disciplines is the game changer we need to move forward. The new dialectic itself is as healing as the cures.

    Recommended book on nutrition: “Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition” by Paul Pitchford.

    1. Can’t say I agree. What we need is effective medicine.

      Sacrificing a goat, drilling holes in someone’s head to allow evil spirits to escape and including lead, mercury etc in ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines are bad medicine. Full stop. Just because something is traditional doesn’t mean that it is either effective or safe.

      The appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy …………. no matter how much fancy verbiage it is dressed up in.

      1. Sacrificing a goat? Drilling a hole in someone’s head? I think you are confusing ritualistic practices with traditional medicine. The use of toxic heavy metals was used by Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine in the past, but this is no longer accepted. The risk now is more from contamination of herbal medicines as many plants are also bioremediators, taking up contaminants from polluted environments. This is a worldwide problem and affects a number of food items. For example, there are guidelines now for eating rice, which concentrates arsenic. However, when using herbal medicine, I agree it is indeed important to buy from suppliers who systematically check for contaminants.

        Western medicine uses radioisotopes in diagnostic procedures and quite a few toxic remedies. This is less than ideal but it does not negate the contributions of western medicine in its entirety.

        What I apparently did not explain clearly is that traditional medicine is, first of all, not the same as folk medicine. It’s actually a form of science. Also, it is a science that, while rooted in tradition, continues to grow and evolve. It does not mean using something because it has always been used in the past without any understanding of what is going on.

        The other point I was trying to make is we should not expect one form of medicine to do everything. All systems have their strengths and limitations. Traditional Chinese medicine and ayurvedic medicine have important contributions to make. Medical researchers, in fact, pore over traditional texts in order to get ideas on which plants to test for important compounds. The research then proceeds on isolating compounds they can patent and take to market. In some instances, they are exploring genetically engineering plants to make what they deem the effective compound in higher concentrations. But, as Dr. Greger aptly stated, “Our culture doesn’t want to hear that the active ingredient in broccoli is broccoli.” Notice he uses the word “culture”, not medicine. I agree with that as well. Reductionism is not just a symptom of medical science — it is a symptom of modern western culture and pervades many aspects of our intellect and lives.

        There are other systems of disciplined thought we can explore.

        *This message may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorized to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose, or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message. Thank you for your cooperation.*

        1. Thank you for your response.

          However, I think it is a mistake to assume that modern medicine is purely reductionist. Many if not most medical guidelines stress the importance of wholistic therapy in the sense of using diet and other lifestyle interventions as the first line treatment eg.
          https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg181/chapter/1-Recommendations#lifestyle-modifications-for-the-primary-and-secondary-prevention-of-cvd

          We also see the same thing in nutritional science, where the 2015-20 US Dietary Guidelines focus on dietary patterns rather than individual macro or micro nutrients. And let’s not forget national physical activity guidelines. Together, modern dietary guidelines, physical activity guidelines and conventional medical treatment constitute an approach to health that is just as holistic as any traditional medicine system.

          What is more, many traditional ayurvedic and TCM medicines appear to be just as much a product of a reductionist approach as statins. To the extent that ‘traditional medicine’ uses scientific methods, it is modern medicine. To the extent however that it relies on unverified and untestable principles, It arguably qualifies as pseudoscience.

          I personally am much more comfortable with evidence-based approaches to my health and medical treatment than tradition-based approaches. You may well be different of course.

          1. Fumbs, it may be, as you say, that the medical practices literature suggests holistic approaches, but you and I know that 99% of docs do not mention diet at all until they say “dont eat greens while on this heart medication.” By then its largely too late.

            Devils advocacy may not always be the order, nor the clinging to pillars of medical superiority. Its just not that good, even if its all we have.

            Just some thoughts…

            1. JB

              True enough but the fact that many docs may not practise medicine in accordance with professional guidelines doesn’t invalidate modern medicine. In fact I’d wager that many ayurvedic and TCM practitioners do exactly the same thing. That is, they focus on prescribing medicines rather than diet and other lifestyle modifications. Possibly because that’s what their patients want too – gimme a pill not a lecture.

              Sure there’s a lot that’s broken about modern medicine but where is the evidence that ayurveda, TCM etc is superior? Sure, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence but that’s hardly a good reason for believing that traditional medical systems must be better because, well, they’re traditional for goodness’ sake. That’s the sort of thinking that leads people into Weston Price Foundation type thinking.

              http://blog.mrwaddell.net/uploads/2014/08/Dilbert-stats-vs-magical-thinking.gif

              Apologies to Vivamus.

  15. Dr. Greger, this is one of your best, and a signature for your entire effort to promote sound nutrition with a scientific basis, in fact.

    The proposition that the fundamental unit of nutrition science is food, itself, probably alienates those who get their nutrition from a bottle of tablets. They are yet unaware of the galaxy of micronutrients in every mouthful of broccoli. They respond to products promoting curcumin, in isolation from other, perhaps equally important co-factors.
    “WHY IS NUTRITION SO COMMERCIALIZED?”– ONE OF THE BEST VIDEOS
    .
    The message is simple and impossible to misinterpret– eat whole food, and a plant-based diet.

    * PS– A thank you to the staffers putting together this video. In particular, the opening theme is a lot more pleasant to hear than the nuclear blast (boom) which once began each segment, and now, the video concludes with an equally appealing exit theme similar to the opening, but with a playful touch. Not bad, at all.
    Even the audio level of your voice has begun to match the audio level of the opening theme and exit theme– no more constant adjustment of volume in order to hear your voice.
    * PS– I bought two copies of the book, “How Not to Die” for relatives, and they appear genuinely pleased. In fact, they began reading as soon as they got the book, without any prompting from me.

    1. Hi, Sergey! Obviously, we lie down when we are sleeping, and sleeping is very important for our health. The question is about what we do in our waking hours, and the focus is less on body position than on body movement versus remaining sedentary much of the time. Although I don’t know whether or not it has been directly “put to the test,” I suspect that lying down would be as bad or worse than sitting. The best is to be up moving around as much as possible and practical. You might be interested in this, in case you have not already seen it: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/turmeric-curcumin-vs-exercise-for-artery-function/ I hope that helps!

  16. Off Topic: Novel Coronavirus and Eyes:

    (1) Association of Daily Wear of Eyeglasses With Susceptibility to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection
    JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online September 16, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.3906
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2770872

    (Our crew has been wearing eye protection since March due to the obvious concern in regard to aerosolized infection).

    (2) “The Gut and the Eye”
    Eyenet (the Monthly Newsmagazine of the American Academy of Ophthalmology)
    October 2020
    https://www.aao.org/eyenet

    “Could the gut microbiome become the next target for diagnosing and treating eye disease? What new research reveals about this complex ecosystem of microbes and how it might be linked to uveitis, AMD, and other conditions.”

    (I do not have access to Eyenet, but this might be of interest to those who do. I find it interesting that Ophthalmologists may be looking at the human gut microbiome in relation to diseases of the eye – perhaps relevant to the interest in nutrition and health shared by many of those following this very bulletin board).

    (3) Help Us Stop Rubber Bullets Before They Blind More People
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    JUN 04, 2020
    https://www.aao.org/about/governance/academy-blog/post/fight-rubber-bullets-blindness-protesters-eyes

    (4) In Memoriam: Ophthalmologist Deaths From COVID-19
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    https://www.aao.org/coronavirus/deaths

    Ave atque vale,

    Vivamus

    1. Ave Vivamus,
      Your points are well-taken, throughout their range of reference. I share concern about militarization of police, equivalent to introducing an army to control the civil population, with all the dark overtones of “third-world” dictatorship. By day’s end, this November 3, the American people will have made a choice about our national direction for the near future, and as so many have pointed out, the facts do not present a rosy dawn for the country, no matter who wins.

      Regarding aerosol infection of the eyes, I took my own direction from a physician’s claim that he probably contracted COVID-19 during an airline flight in which he wore only a mask. Anecdotes are not studies, but when immediate action is imperative, I had nothing to lose by putting on my wrap-around sunglasses before entering a store. Later, tiring of squinting at product labels, I bought a polycarbonate, wrap-around pair of safety glasses from the local Harbor Freight for $2.00. These safety glasses can be worn over regular, prescription glasses– https://www.harborfreight.com/eyeglass-safety-protectors-43946.html

      On Chinese product virtues and demerits, China’s manufacturing ethics and standards reflect USA investors, as the principal guiding force in post-Nixon industrialization of the PRC. We brought them our technology, set up their factories, gave them long lists of products they could make more cheaply than American workers, we educated their engineers and other professionals, and there are few cases in which American fingerprints are not all over the process.

      The Chinese are a courageous people, and want real democracy, even if their leaders fear what real democracy could do in de-stabilizing their industrial state. Tiananmen Square and Tank Man made that all the more obvious to Western eyes, even as Google and Cisco rushed to help build the Great Firewall of China. .

      1. alphaa10,

        You wrote:

        “Regarding aerosol infection of the eyes, I took my own direction from a physician’s claim that he probably contracted COVID-19 during an airline flight in which he wore only a mask. Anecdotes are not studies, but when immediate action is imperative, I had nothing to lose by putting on my wrap-around sunglasses before entering a store. Later, tiring of squinting at product labels, I bought a polycarbonate, wrap-around pair of safety glasses from the local Harbor Freight for $2.00. These safety glasses can be worn over regular, prescription glasses– https://www.harborfreight.com/eyeglass-safety-protectors-43946.html

        (1) Probably Dr. Joseph Fair. Mid May. If you can watch the following clip without feeling the irony, well –

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjZbSHv6lws

        Dr. Fair’s work as a television Doctor (Epidemiology) included explaining to people how not to get the Coronavirus. The rest is history.

        Dr. Fair was ill mid-May.

        By March our crew had already gone entirely n95 / goggle / no airline travel / take this whole thing very seriously.

        Two months prior to Dr. Fair gettin’ religion.

        Dr. Fair’s illness was not warning for us – it was merely additional confirmation.

        To us his actions were kinda like balancing on the safety railing on the observation deck of a skyscraper while wearing a blindfold. “We never expected a wind to come . . . ”

        You don’t need an Epidemiologist to know which way the wind blows.

        (2) “Safety glasses”

        Probably a good idea.

        The paper I posted certainly supports the concept.

        We had quite a bit of discussion amongst ourselves back in March – wrap-around glasses vs. safety glasses vs. goggles vs. face shields. Everyone in our crew has elected to go with goggles – the better the fit, the better.

        Note bene: many of the safety goggles available are too broad in the face – in the effort to be one-size-fits-all, many choose to go wide for the widest possible face. Unfortunately, that leaves air gaps at the sides for medium and smaller faces.

        If you buy your way through different brands, you may find one that fits you better than others.

        Important Concept:

        Figure that you are dealing with a microbe that is smarter than you are. Far smarter than people who have the hubris to give advice on such matters – witness Dr. Fair. Smarter than the guys publishing papers. Smarter than science, itself.

        Smarter even, perhaps, than standard Level IV laboratory precautions.

        Respect this enemy: do not think you can tame it.

        The Novel Coronavirus is very, very good at what it does.

        The best way to deal with it is to be elsewhere.

        Let someone else who really wants it have it.

        You really, really do not want to get this virus

        —————————————————-

        “On Chinese product virtues and demerits, China’s manufacturing ethics and standards reflect USA investors, as the principal guiding force in post-Nixon industrialization of the PRC. We brought them our technology, set up their factories, gave them long lists of products they could make more cheaply than American workers, we educated their engineers and other professionals, and there are few cases in which American fingerprints are not all over the process.”

        Much truth in what you say.

        I ignore the China bashing I see on this site. All China needs to do is point a mirror in our direction and we are had.

        ———————————————

        “The Chinese are a courageous people, and want real democracy, even if their leaders fear what real democracy could do in de-stabilizing their industrial state. Tiananmen Square and Tank Man made that all the more obvious to Western eyes, even as Google and Cisco rushed to help build the Great Firewall of China. .”

        I question this.

        Democracy is not seen by all as being the panacea Americans seem to think it is.

        Other peoples have seen it bring crime and chaos and loss of even modest savings. And point to other poorly led democratic countries.

        The US is the prime example.

        ————————————–

        Oh – since we are talking safety eyewear, I’ll match your url and raise you one.

        Here is my favorite safety eyewear:

        Wendy Ailan
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Wendy_Ailan.jpg

        alphaa10.

        You take care –

        Vivamus

  17. Can you make some videos about good gut bugs? After reading William Li’s book ‘Eat to beat disease’, I’d like to know more about L.reuteri. It makes vitamin b2, ergothioneine, eats fodmaps like GOS to produce reuterin and that kills h.pylori in the gut. I’d like to know how to express it more if i have it, and how to get it if i don’t have it. I’d like to know about other beneficial gut bugs.

  18. On the gadget end of things, I have a lot of elderly drivers who hate night driving and there are more and more driving assists. Some of them close to $50.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLLkK7YmBmc&ab_channel=DiabloFormulaRacing (about 10:30 is the demonstration of this one)

    This one is infrared about 1:12 in you can see what it looks like when an animal is about to cross the street in front of you. This one is excellent for storms is what they also said.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7QZHCuXXYM&ab_channel=AlexOstanin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnCR9dldmAs&t=33s&ab_channel=HUDWAY

    I am laughing because I may well end up with a Tesla at the end because as I get older, I like the concept of all of the alerts and auto drive in and out of parking spaces. I haven’t really had street car accidents but I have had people hit me in parking lots and I think all of them might have been them, except when I was 16. But there was no damage at all.

    I am looking at safety on the road. My brain is better and my night vision is not much of a problem (hooray for kale? I had horrible night vision for years and haven’t noticed it at all for the past year)

    But I still get nervous about animals crossing the road and during storms.

    The anti-elitist gets a Tesla. Laughing.

    I like Tesla’s vision of what they think the world should be like. They disappointed me that they just gave a talk about making solar and electric cars more accessible and then about 2 months later announced that they would be raising prices of both their power wall house batteries and their auto-drive.

    Still I think the goal of getting rid of fossil fuel usage is my goal and they can help me even if I can’t trust them.

    First I have to pay for my solar panels but a Tesla can cross country on the equivalent of one tank of gas and it costs $8 or something like that to cross the whole country with electric. I probably won’t ever do it but I want to go green and I also want a car that can keep me in the proper lane.

  19. What effect would freezing cranberry juice and pomegranate juice have on its nutrition? I would like to freeze it into ice cube trays and use it like frozen berries to add to a dessert/oatmeal. What effect would it have on the compound that detaches bacteria from urinary tracts, stomach walls and such?

    1. I don’t think that anybody has ever done a trial of that type.

      But why drink juices anyway? They appear to increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. According to Harvard, whole fruits may be a better option ,,,,, at least when it comes to diabetes risk.
      https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/08/reduce-type-2-diabetes-risk/

      You could put whole cranberries and pomegranates into a blender instead. That way you’d get the benefit of the fibre and skin of the fruit as well as of the juice.

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