Heart Disease May Start in the Womb

Heart Disease May Start in the Womb
5 (100%) 7 votes

Fatty streak formation occurs in human fetal arteries and is linked to the pregnant mother’s cholesterol level.


The strategy of preventing heart disease risk in childhood has been described as radical, but is the concept really so radical? What would be radical is to adopt this concept and actually do something about it. The alternative is to continue indefinitely to rely upon the late, incompletely effective, costly strategies for treating already established risk factors, like high cholesterol levels, that may have been causing progression of the disease their whole lives. A failure to diagnose and treat risk factors in youth may miss an opportunity to prevent the long-term consequences of heart disease, the leading cause of disability and death in the United States.

We could prevent 90% of heart attacks. Such a claim would have seemed outrageous 50 years ago, but now we know stopping this epidemic is achievable. There’s two ways we can do this. The first is the clinical medicine approach, in which physicians identify kids at risk and vigorously advocate lifestyle changes or drug them, but this model can, at best, be applied to only a few individuals. We have 15 minute doctor visits, preventive care isn’t reimbursed, and interventions directed toward individuals are often ineffective, because they are not supported by the surrounding culture. To stop the disease process completely, one may have to go to an almost exclusively plant-based diet, something that hasn’t been officially recommended for fear of “discouraging” the public. But our job as physicians is to tell the truth and let the public decide.

That’s why we need broad social and cultural changes that pervade the entire population to prevent atherosclerosis. The evidence justifies igniting a veritable social movement that eventually will be officially supported by the powers that be.

The goal of eliminating 90% of coronary heart disease is feasible, but the cultural and societal changes necessary to achieve this goal won’t be easy, and they won’t happen soon, but it’s time to start.

So, maybe the newest Academy of Pediatrics-approved guidelines for universal cholesterol screening of all children, starting around age nine, might actually be too conservative. How about starting at age two? That’s when parents are generally engaged and vigilant about well-child checkups and when there are additional opportunities for parent education about the importance of diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, not only for their kids but for them as well, because atherosclerosis can start even before birth, and depend on what our moms ate.

Fatty streak formation occurs in human fetal arteries and is greatly worsened by how high the pregnant mother’s cholesterol is. Arteries were obtained from spontaneous miscarriages and premature newborns who died within 12 hours of birth right around the end of the second trimester. They looked at the arteries of fetuses from mothers with normal cholesterol levels and from pregnant moms with high cholesterol, and fetal arteries from mothers with high cholesterol contained dramatically greater lesions.

This suggests not only that heart disease may start much earlier than we previously assumed, but that it depends on maternal cholesterol levels. So, atherosclerosis might not just start out as a nutritional disease of childhood, but a nutritional disease of pregnancy.

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 Britt-knee via Flickr.

The strategy of preventing heart disease risk in childhood has been described as radical, but is the concept really so radical? What would be radical is to adopt this concept and actually do something about it. The alternative is to continue indefinitely to rely upon the late, incompletely effective, costly strategies for treating already established risk factors, like high cholesterol levels, that may have been causing progression of the disease their whole lives. A failure to diagnose and treat risk factors in youth may miss an opportunity to prevent the long-term consequences of heart disease, the leading cause of disability and death in the United States.

We could prevent 90% of heart attacks. Such a claim would have seemed outrageous 50 years ago, but now we know stopping this epidemic is achievable. There’s two ways we can do this. The first is the clinical medicine approach, in which physicians identify kids at risk and vigorously advocate lifestyle changes or drug them, but this model can, at best, be applied to only a few individuals. We have 15 minute doctor visits, preventive care isn’t reimbursed, and interventions directed toward individuals are often ineffective, because they are not supported by the surrounding culture. To stop the disease process completely, one may have to go to an almost exclusively plant-based diet, something that hasn’t been officially recommended for fear of “discouraging” the public. But our job as physicians is to tell the truth and let the public decide.

That’s why we need broad social and cultural changes that pervade the entire population to prevent atherosclerosis. The evidence justifies igniting a veritable social movement that eventually will be officially supported by the powers that be.

The goal of eliminating 90% of coronary heart disease is feasible, but the cultural and societal changes necessary to achieve this goal won’t be easy, and they won’t happen soon, but it’s time to start.

So, maybe the newest Academy of Pediatrics-approved guidelines for universal cholesterol screening of all children, starting around age nine, might actually be too conservative. How about starting at age two? That’s when parents are generally engaged and vigilant about well-child checkups and when there are additional opportunities for parent education about the importance of diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, not only for their kids but for them as well, because atherosclerosis can start even before birth, and depend on what our moms ate.

Fatty streak formation occurs in human fetal arteries and is greatly worsened by how high the pregnant mother’s cholesterol is. Arteries were obtained from spontaneous miscarriages and premature newborns who died within 12 hours of birth right around the end of the second trimester. They looked at the arteries of fetuses from mothers with normal cholesterol levels and from pregnant moms with high cholesterol, and fetal arteries from mothers with high cholesterol contained dramatically greater lesions.

This suggests not only that heart disease may start much earlier than we previously assumed, but that it depends on maternal cholesterol levels. So, atherosclerosis might not just start out as a nutritional disease of childhood, but a nutritional disease of pregnancy.

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 Britt-knee via Flickr.

104 responses to “Heart Disease May Start in the Womb

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  1. I have heard it proposed before that children’s food preferences are strongly influenced by what one’s mother ate during pregnancy based upon mothers recollections of what they ate and what their children subsequently would have an affinity. The following study demonstrates that garlic can pass though the placental barrier, but then again, garlic can pretty much make it through anything. http://www.madsciencemuseum.com/msm/pl/smelling_amniotic_fluid

    1. Just anecdotally, my sons were both rabid milk drinkers and meat eaters and I never was. We have a family “joke” where I was called the “vampire” because I was always up all night…so every time I saw them have a plate full of meat and not much else, (as adults, not in my care), I would ask them if they were trying to drive a “steak” through vampire mom’s heart.

      1. Funny. I used to have the same dietary plan as you boys. I loved my some beef steak. There were many a meal where I would eat nothing but a big 7-bone chuck steak seared hard on the outside and bloody rare in the middle in garlic infused olive oil in a cast iron fry pan and then sprinkle a little salt on it. I would often serve it with a cucumber, tomato, onion, garlic, basil, olive oil and red wine vinegar salad, and that’s it. I was truly are carnivorous creature. Makes me nostalgic just to think about it, although, I don’t miss the greasy mess this used to leave behind. Sometimes I am amazed that I am still alive after eating that way for so long.

        I would have been voted least likely to go vegan in my high school year book If there was even such a designation back them. ;-) Now look at me. I don’t even use oil of any kind any more when I cook, and when I eat out, I can feel it when it’s in my food, and it doesn’t feel good.

        1. Kudos to you Joe! What’s your secret because I have so many people I know with active disease that will not make the connection that it’s their diet that’s killing them. It’s so frustrating! I just wish I had the knowledge earlier and could have spared myself so much grief.and suffering. Still, it’s amazing how much my old self healed when I got on the right path!

          1. Ya know, it’s funny. I started out eating primarily a fat-centric, meat heavy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables due to my preference for all things salty/savory. I would eat my share of sandwiches, bread & pasta, but left to my own devices, my dining preferences where very much as previously described. I wasn’t much for desserts other than the odd piece of fruit because after eating a meal like that, there was little room left them so I ate refined carbohydrates infrequently. This served me well for a number of years. I stayed lean and healthy. I didn’t really start putting on weight until I started cohabitating with women who from my experience were more inclined towards sweets over salty/savory, and so, refined carbohydrates started featuring more prominently, my decision, not theirs.

            After my last divorce, I went back to my old eating habits, but the weight never really came off. My doctor told me that I needed to lose weight and my cholesterol was too high so I started dieting without changing my diet and exercising. I was always hungry. My cholesterol and blood pressure never got much better. I didn’t feel all that well, and the flavor of the food no longer brought me the hedonistic pleasure that had when I was a younger man.

            My doctor told me that I need to go on a life long regimen of statin drugs for my cholesterol which I felt dealt with my symptoms instead of focusing the causes of my condition. I told him that it was my intention to treat my elevated cholesterol by making changes to my diet. He told met that approach never works, and he tried to pursued to reconsider, but when I made it clear that I would not, he insisted that I come in for testing every three months.

            From that point, I embarked on the odyssey of self education and experimentation on nutrition where I started measure and weighing everything I ate so I knew how may calories I was eating and what was my macro-nutrient mix was for any given meal. I began by eliminating red meats and cheeses from my diet. For every step I took, I will see measurable results in my biomarkers, and the way I felt. The last animal product I ate regularly were pouched shrimp and hard boiled eggs which I would put on a dinner salad that had white beans for their fiber content and lots of fresh vegetables tossed with crushed garlic, olive oil and balsamic & red wine vinegar. It was very tasty. I miss that salad, at least I think I do. I’m not sure what it would taste like to me now.

            At that point, my cholesterol had come down to 160 mg/dL. I had lost weight. I felt much better, but due to the cholesterol in the eggs and the shrimp, my LDL/HDL ratios were going in the wrong direction, and my doctor told me that he was amazed by my progress, but that it was his recommendation that I start taking statin drugs. I told him, “screw it! I’ll go vegan first,” and that is just what I did.

            I have heard people say that they would rather die than give up eating meat. I suppose that the thought of giving up the hedonic pleasure associate with eating meat is inconceivable to them, and they perceive that life would not be worth living.

            What I can offer is that my transition to a WFPB diet made me feel so darn good that it stopped being about my biomarkers. I found a new hedonic pleasure in FEELING AMAZING. Added to that was the fact that I really enjoyed my new diet which became much more diverse. The diversity of my diet went FROM different cuts of pigs, cows, chicken, turkey, lamb, deer, elk and various species of fish & seafood TO a truly astonishing diversity of fruits, vegetables, herbs, roots, beans, grains, seeds, spices, nuts, fungi, sea vegetables, etc. I started eating things that I had never tried before. It opened me up to a banquet of Epicurean proportions. A true hedonist’s delight, and I feel as good as I can every remember feeling.

            I understand your frustration. It is difficult and perhaps impossible to change peoples beliefs even if you wave what you believe to be incontrovertible and verifiable facts in front of them. I suppose that one is either predisposed to being open to new ideas or not. All one can do to is plant some seeds. Hopefully, some will land in fertile soil. Be comforted in the knowledge that some seed remain dormant for a season or two before taking root and blossoming.

            1. Joe Caner: GREAT story! I really loved reading it. And I think that this is the type of information that people need to hear. Eating healthy can be just as much about enjoying food as eating unhealthy. But the side benefits for the healthy diet are overwhelmingly good compared to the unhealthy diet.

              Thank you for sharing your story. I think it will provide inspiration to others.

            2. That’s an amazing story Joe, and I so relate! I wish I could bottle your guts and good sense and pass it out to all the deniers I know who, if they just gave it a fair trial, would never look back either! I agree with Thea that success stories are inspirational and even now, I can never get enough of them. There is nothing quite as motivating as finding out how another human being was personally affected by just making dietary changes to turn their health around, especially when all else failed and their hope was dim.
              I guess my only “regret” is sometimes it gets lonely bucking the tide without a buddy! It’s not that the lifestyle itself is difficult, I adore the diversity of flavors I’ve been encouraged to discove, and feeling so much better keeps me on track, but always feeling like the outsider gets old. It’s great at home, after all this time it’s second nature, but once I leave the house, it’s not so easy anymore, the rest of the world hasn’t gotten it YET! I am hopeful it is happening though! In the meantime it’s nice to know that even though I don’t have anyone to personally share the adventure with, you brilliant souls are out there doing the same thing and understand. I know this sounds corny, but coming here is like coming home.

              1. Thank you Charzie. I have always had a healthy mistrust of authority, and I am a bit of a maverick so it was probably easier for me than most. When I think how much miss information there is about food, and how the deck is stacked against people when it comes to making food choices with the food desserts, fast food restaurants and fabricated foods where manufactured have manipulated the fat, sugar and salt content to ensure maximum addictiveness, I can’t help but feel empathy and a patience for people. There are some members of my own family and a few people at work who makes fun of me for going vegan. It’s like I’m a joke to them.

                I’m kind of used to it though because I am often the only socialist in a room full of right leaning sympathizers who believe that Obama is some kind of socialist fascist Hitler Nazi from Kenya while I sit there and scratch my head wondering what differences are there between him and “W” besides management style.

                Anyway, I digress as per usual. I get lonely too so it is good to come together as a community of like minded individuals who can share their experiences and encourage each other. I believe that we should continue reaching out to those who disagree with us, and not just for their good, but for the good of the entire planet.

                There are a lot of people who are deniers of the link between meat consumption and hearts disease, and often, those same people also deny anthropogenic global warming. As it turns out, one of the best things we could do for our atmosphere and environment is to seriously curtail scale of animal factory farming. It is poisoning the ground water, causing algae blooms in the ocean and emitting tons of green house gases.

                I don’t believe there is a choice. We must continue to reach out. I feel hopeful. I believe people are getting it. Don’t dispare.

                1. Wow. I wish I could let you read an e-mail I just sent to a friend where I said essentially the same things you just did! Blew my mind, seriously!
                  Other than the obvious benefits for my health, the issue of the manipulation of the “food” we eat…be it the actual bastardization of it, bogus recommendations, or the rigidity of the dysfunctional systems in place…were a big motivational push when I first started leaning in the direction of nutrition to solve health issues. Not that I always made the best choices for myself, but when the issue of food is so obscured and confusing, I think we just tune it out…until we are forced, for whatever reason, to focus and become conscious of the buried truth. A rude awakening, but an essential one.
                  I have had issues with animal consumption from the time I was little, I could never understand the dichotomy of eating some animals and not others, and why we had to kill them at all. Maybe the reason I was never a fan of it was because I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept that eating death could enhance life, but I sure do now! Even before I was aware enough of the health issues to be motivated to just stop, it felt wrong. I think it always affected me negatively, both physically and mentally, I just know that I feel worlds better not eating it! I love this website to get the real details behind what we consume. That whole “we are omnivores” thing (or carnivores) never resonated with me for lots of reasons I won’t get into now, but someone here summed it up perfectly for me…you can even feed a bunny cooked meat, but that doesn’t make them a carnivore either.
                  Watch a cat or wolf hunt and you can appreciate the very obvious and detailed adaptations nature has made to insure their success in obtaining prey, their natural food. Notice too HOW predators eat what they catch. No tools, weapons, or prep needed! Ditto for omnivores, they are just predators with more options. We may have learned to appropriate their behaviors, but I challenge even the most rabid meat eating human to go out into nature with no gear at all, and feed yourself, to get an idea of what we are adapted for! What we learned to like is a whole different topic. Everything about our physiology tells us we are starch adapted herbivores, (with our extra copies of amylase), giving us advantages over the primates. I think it was probably that adaptation and our ability to utilize fire to cook, that fueled the growth of our unique big brains and allowed us to move away from the always green equator. Both would allow us to utilize the storage organs of plants that were seasonal, well before we learned to eat other things for survival.. If it was supposedly just eating meat that advanced us, then why aren’t true carnivores the smartest of all? But I ramble! Have you noticed? LOL Before they ban me here, (kidding) If you or anyone else wants to take further discussion off site, you can e-mail me at chargc at gmail dot com.

                2. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will contact Forks Over Knives and VegNews and see if they would like to publish it on their web sites! Would be neat if your local paper would publish it to expose folks who might not otherwise see it.

            3. I agree with Thea – your story is truly inspiring.

              I’m curious to know if you noticed much change in your grocery costs with the change. I don’t pay much attention to grocery budgets any more. I just buy what we need, but your change was so profound that it seems it should be reflected in your pocketbook.

              1. When I first made the transition to WFPB, my grocery bill was considerably cheaper because I continued purchasing conventionally raised fruits, grains and vegetables, and I pretty much purchased the same old, same old, apples, avocados, bananas, beans, blueberries, bread, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, grapefruit, onions, pasta, peanut butter, pears, peppers, rice, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, etc, etc, etc.

                I then started transitioning away from conventionally grown produce to organics for items on the EWG ( http://www.ewg.org/ ) Dirty Dozen, but I continued buying conventionally grown for items on the Clean Fifteen. This trend continued until I purchase just about everything that I can source organically grown out of concern for the endocrine disrupting chemicals being sprayed onto our foods, and it is the only way one can consciously avoid GMO foods in the US due to the fact that we live in a corporate controlled oligarchical state which bows to the dictates of monied interest over the will of the majority of people who when asked, overwhelming want accurate labeling of their foods among a myriad other concerns and desires which are systematically ignored…

                I then started introducing more exotic foods into my diet such as durian, jack fruit, Kai-lan, oyster mushrooms, persimmons, etc. With careful shopping and by purchasing seasonally, I would say that on the main, my grocery bill is still on average cheaper than it was before even with the odd $20 durian that finds its way into my shopping basket.

                1. Joe, you’re a wonderfully adventurous eater! Thank you for your comments.

                  I buy mostly organics, too, at my local food co-op and some at Costco. We also have organic departments in several of our supermarkets but I prefer the others. We have a wonderful farmers’ market, but their prices are often higher than the same foods at the co-op. I do like to support them when I can.

                  We used t grow a big garden, but it became overwhelming the summer I was gone for cancer treatment and grass took over, so I don’t grow much besides a few kale plants now. It’s still out there, still good, in late January!

                  Wouldn’t it be fun for those of us who follow Dr G to have a big picnic? Too bad we’re all so scattered. It feels lonely out here sometimes, being the lone plant only eater.

                  1. Well, I like food, and I had the good fortunate to be introduced to a variety of great cooking from a diversity of different cultures at an early age New York being such a cosmopolitan town. I learned to look forward to different taste sensations so I’m interested in trying new things.

                    I have some fruit trees, but I travel too sporadically to grow much of a garden.

                    My son will join me in vegan fare, and I have friends who are happy to eat WFPB. In So. Cal there seems to be a growing awareness of the benefits of a WFPB diet, and it has a certain “cool factor” among certain circles and the young. A plant based diet could very easily and rapidly spread.

                    I am hopeful that this trend will continue to grow. That being said, there is no room for complacency.

                    We have patriotic and religious holidays which for all intent and purposes are centered around meat consumption, Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s; Ham on Easter; Lamb on Passover; Hot Dogs and hamburgers on Memorial Day and 4th of July, Turkey and Thanksgiving etc, etc, etc.

                    And the Animal Agriculture Industry and their creatures in government are doing what they can to maintain the status quo by using intimidation tactics and public relations to scare, spread misinformation and discredit individuals and ideas.

                    Jesus Christ, God Almighty, Uncle Sam, Santa Claus, Leprechauns, the Easter Bunny and the whole darn agricultural & retail economy all seems to be conspiring to keep us to eating meat, so it is not a done deal yet

                    1. Geez, you’re so right, Joe, both about big biz and government and about the holidays. A couple of years ago I read a recipe for corned seitan and cabbage, from the site http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com. I’ve not tried it, but my birthday is St Pat’s Day, so maybe this year I will. My son will be visiting (lives in London) and he’s an adventurous eater, though he loves his meat. Do you think folks would be able to guess it isn’t meat? That might be a fun thing to try.

                      California is usually pretty cutting edge as to trends. This makes me shudder because of their new vaccination law, but in many other and better ways it has been a leader in the past. I grew up in the bay area.

                    2. It sounds great. If it were me, I would try the recipe before serving it to others. Seitan has the chewy texture of meat and it takes up the flavors whatever it’s seasoned. Meat eater general love it. I know I do.

                      With vaccinations, it is always a balancing act between the need of the one and that of the many. We certainly don’t want an infection disease to run through an unprotected population. On the other hand, we want to be sure that vaccines are safe for individuals. I wish I felt that pharmaceutical companies and government had more concern about the safety and well-being of ordinary people. I find it disturbing that pharmaceutical companies had once arrived at the conclusion that the use Thiomersal, which is an organomercury compound and known neurotoxin, as a preservative for vaccines was acceptable. They have since phased it out of production. They did not recall the vaccine that was already in circulation mind you. They were quite content to let be used. One can only speculate at to what risk such organization will consider acceptable in future. I do not give me a good feeling.

        2. Hi Joe – When i was a child i was a very particular eater. I did eat not hardly any veggies. I ate mostly meat and potatoes with milk or ice tea. For desert it was Bob White Molasses with butter on my moms very tasty white floured biscuits. Today i eat NO meat, white flour, molasses, milk or tea. I do eat plenty of potatoes, but not like my mother cooked them. She boiled them and then thickened them with corn starch and added lots of margarine. Boy were they good. I would not touch them today. I boil them in a little water whole and add nothing and love them. And i eat lots of veggies. I grow most of them organically. Love to be in the garden!! So i like you was raised on meat and now eat none at all. I do not miss it either. I enjoy my food more now than before becoming vegan.

        3. A follow up to my first post to you. I also ate lots of white bread and any pies and cakes that my mom made. Plus a candy bar once a week after mom went to the grocery. I would not eat beans at all and now have them almost every meal and love them – all kinds.
          Joe i read your comments below and i agree that we need to keep sharing with those that do not eat the way we do and hope and pray for the best. I have a friend that i sell some veggies to for him to resell and also work for him some growing veggies to sell. He does eat some veggies but also meat, junk, fried foods, etc. He has several health, problems and is over weight and does not get around very good at all. I talk to him as much as i can without him getting upset about him changing his diet. He actually knows to a large degree that it is what he needs to do and how to do it, but he just never makes the change. He is 71 yrs old and about a month ago he lost his brother that is a yr. younger to a series of strokes. I am hoping and praying that he will wake up before there is no waking up for him also. Time will tell. It amazes me to watch him barely able to get around and hardly able to bend ever to pick something up and here i am at 60 going like the Ever Ready Bunnie from the old advertisement. I also send him links to some of these videos and info from Dr McDougall, Esselstyn and others.

  2. To give you an idea of how backward we are in Canada, here is what our health agency is recommending as first solid foods to babies, and they make a reference to First Nations to help make their recommendation more acceptable (notice how plant sources of iron are pushed back to the status of “alternatives”). The public has no chance:

    “While meat and fish are traditional first foods for some Aboriginal
    groups, the common practice in North America has been to introduce
    infant cereal, vegetables, and fruit as first complementary foods
    (Friel, Hanning, Isaak, Prowse, & Miller, 2010; Dee et al., 2008;
    Statistics Canada, 2004). However, the daily or frequent consumption of
    heme iron foods (meat, poultry, and fish) can contribute considerably to
    meeting infant iron requirements (PAHO, 2003; Krebs & Hambidge,
    2007). Infants should be offered iron containing foods two or more times
    each day. They should be served meat, fish, poultry, or meat alternatives daily.”

    Here’s the link:


    1. Your post got me curious about public attitudes towards vegan diets. So I just googled: vegan children study, to see what I would get. I was surprised at the number of US and UK doctors in the press warming if the dangers of vegan and vegetarian diets. I started to read a few but had to stop. The ignorance and unsubstantiated claims were too depressing.

      1. You know… I could be mistaken, but to my recollection, publications I’ve seen on nutrition aimed at the population urge only vegetarians to consult dietitians. Also, my encounters with health professionals (either in or out of clinic setting) revealed to me that they still think plant protein is incomplete… Sometimes it feels like we’re living in two different dimensions…

    2. Really scary and frustrating and why Dr G is always getting accused of having a “vegan agenda”. It is impossible to convince people that a WFPB diet works for anyone, not just me because of this prevailing attitude that we need meat to survive! .

  3. Lets start a letter to the editor campaign IN EVERY STATE!!
    The newspapers will get Dr. G’s message across to the reading public for free!!!
    There are only about 5 major newspapers in my state.
    Newspapers r happy to publish well written articles.
    Dr. G’s transcripts make great letters to the editors but few newspapers will publish letters from out of state.
    All we need is about 30 activists from each state and we can generate over 500 letters per month reaching a circulation of millions.

    1. Wow! That’s quite a plan. I’ll think about it. Are you saying we should use Dr G’s videos as a place to find our subject matter, a place with research behind it? This needs some serious organization and planning, but I like the idea.

  4. It is always nice to see science providing more information on how to decrease the amount of arterial disease in individuals. Patients who maintain a whole food plant based diet during pregnancy can easily meet the increased daily protein requirements while avoiding eggs, meat and dairy. The extra work of checking for adequate protein intake and other nutrients would seem to be worth the investment. The effort needs to extend after birth when most mothers are faced with the recommendations from Pediatricians that it is okay to begin dairy at age 2. I understand the rationale to avoid dairy before age 2 after all the best food is human milk but can’t understand based on the science why suddenly at age 2 dairy is okay. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I don’t like the term, primordial prevention, and will continue to hope my colleagues in Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics and Family Medicine will move toward the primary prevention (preventing disease from occurring). It is always interesting to me to see the date of publication of these important studies… in this case 1997 for the autopsy study. For me it drives home the importance of the work being done by Dr. Greger and his research staff. They find and highlight important studies which are often buried in the literally hundred of thousands of studies published each year in the medical literature. So… important to subscribe so you can keep up with the latest science whether it is a new “gem” or an “old” nugget! I would encourage everyone to encourage others to subscribe as well.

    1. Don: “I understand the rationale to avoid dairy before age 2 after all the best food is human milk but can’t understand based on the science why suddenly at age 2 dairy is okay.”

      Amen!! But really we do understand this don’t we. Yes! It’s the Good ‘ol Boys club (Congress and Senate) and the USDA supporting Big Ag/Dairy. It’s completely corrupt. Even Bernie Sanders last night stated how corrupt our political system is which I found very refreshing but who is really going to do anything about it? See Below for Bernie Sanders statement and link.

      How about this though: How is it not advisable to expose infants to dairy protein (linked to Type one diabetes, Eczema, Reflux, Diarrhea, Colic, even the start of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns disease, etc) before age 1 (Remember Breast is Best) but if moms breast milk doesn’t develop then nearly all the docs and WIC recommend Cow’s Milk-based formula first?

      To get them off that crap I always have to write letters to WIC and tell them the baby is allergic to dairy so the mother and baby will have access to Soy-Based formula and avoid all the aforementioned problems.

      Crazy! Good to see your surfing NF.org Don!

      For those that don’t know WIC = The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federal assistance program of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for healthcare and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children.

      Bernie Sanders: “As a result of this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, our campaign finance system is corrupt and is undermining American democracy. Millionaires and billionaires are pouring unbelievable sums of money into the political process in order to fund super PACs and to elect candidates who represent their interests, not the interests of working people.” The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated

      1. Hi Jim, Nice post… and good “work around” to fix the deficiencies in the WIC policies. Think how much time and effort would be saved if the system was based on the best science and clinical trials. I wonder how long it will take for our colleagues to catch up to the science. We should develop a more robust system to encourage breast feeding and milk support for women who aren’t able to produce enough milk. The La Leche League does nice work but I don’t think most medical organizations provide as much support as they might. Keep up the great work.

      2. Yeah, like our past presidents don’t prove that fact? Voting is a cruel joke because every candidate is a puppet. All that strife over who can vote, for nil?
        As for WIC, another joke supporting or sponsored by big Ag. Vouchers for milk, cheese, processed cereals…no produce at all. But that was 40 years ago…has it changed at all? Really doubt it!
        I wish some of the really vocal vegan activists would emphasize how we are being controlled and brainwashed by the interests of big biz, because personally, being manipulated and deceived while the truth is out there, but ONLY if you know where to look, almost killed me!

      3. But…and it’s a big butt….what about all those jobs created by big money so the dummies can raise more kids and so we can have fodder for more wars? You wouldn’t want to stop all that would you? Of course not….

  5. Thank you so much Dr. Greger!!!
    I have been on s plant based diet for a little over two months now and WOW!!!
    The changes in my Heath are amazing.
    Who’d a thought I could ever be pain free and playing with the kids again. You are a very generous man to put all your research on You Tube everyday. I love the book, too. I listen to it as I ride my stationary bike!
    Thank you
    I have elaborated on the flax seed chips, grin. I love making flax seed flat bread that is delicious!!!!! After the flat bread comes out of the oven I spread vegan homemade pesto over the top and enjoy!
    Organic Flax Flat Bread
    2 cups flax seed powder
    I cup water
    I diced red onion
    I bunch fresh basil
    2 minced bulbs garlic
    I cup chopped walnuts

    All ingredients are organic
    Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F

  6. I am 68 years old now. My PSA was climbing from 2014 at 4.1 to June 2015 at 6.3 and in December 2015

    at 8.2.

    I went to a urologist in NYU in June 2015 and in the DRE examination he found that left side of the prostate is

    firmer. After the DRE I gave urine and results of PCA3 came back with a 19 score. He wanted to schedule a

    biopsy but I objected and he scheduled a 3D MRI. It cam back showing a large tumor ( within the gland )

    described as highly suspicious as significant cancer. I decided to postpone biopsy.

    I went to 5 more urologists for opinions and all decided on a biopsy. I realized all the doctors are tied up

    to a standardized mode of treatment and no one will cross the lines.

    I went through a MIPS test through the University Of Michigan. PCA3 score was 26. Cancer risk score was 33% and High grade prostate cancer risk score was 17%

    Later on I ran a PHI test which came back with a score of 115.55 which showed a 50.1% likelihood of prostate cancer.

    Later on I ran a blood test which is run by Armune Bioscience , called Apifiny . It is non PSA related and checks antibodies to cancer. Score came back at 19 ( out of 100 ), described as low risk.

    I have not done a biopsy so far. Other than urinating more often and weak urine flow I don’t have any pain, no blood in urine or stool.

    Back in October I read that eggs and dairy products are not good for prostate, so I cut those out completely and in a blood test profile my total cholesterol went down to 205 ( it was in the 240 area for the last 15 years . I never took Lipitor or any medication to lower my cholesterol ).

    I need specific guidance from a doctor about prescribing or recommending the right supplements and dosages
    and maybe fine tune my diet. Regular doctors are not going to steer me in my direction.

    Will appreciate very much if Dr. Greger will comment on my email.

    1. In the tab “health topics” look for “prostate health” and “prostate cancer”. There are a lot of videos about dietary impacts on cancer in general and some on prostate specifically. But a quick 30 second take-away is to eat ground flax seeds, 2-3 tablespoons, and lots of cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) and allium (onion garlic, shallots, etc.) vegetables daily. The cruciferous vegetables contain a chemical called sulforaphane that is particularly effective. Broccoli sprouts have the highest level of sulforaphane with 20-30 times as much as broccoli, the next highest. So just order a pound of broccoli seeds and a sprouter (or just use a mason jar with a bit of cheese cloth held in place with the ring lid), and kept a batch constantly in process so you get a quarter cups of fresh sprouts a day.

    2. On the topic of supplements, whole plant foods are like a symphony orchestra with many different instruments which has been tuned by evolution to play the “Human Health Symphony”. Supplements are like trying to find the single most “important” instrument in the orchestra, getting rid of all the others, and then filling the stage with just that single instrument. Without a doubt violins are the most “important” instrument in the orchestra, but I for one wouldn’t like to listen to a stage full of violins trying to play a symphony, nor would a single supplement likely do any better at promoting your health.

      So while I mentioned sulforaphane above, that doesn’t mean that a supplement of isolated sulforaphane is an effective replacement for the whole food. Study after study has shown supplements are not effective without the support of the full orchestra of hundreds if not thousands of other bio-active chemicals found in whole foods.

      1. Study after study has shown that vitamins are safe, effective, beneficial in many ways, an excellent investment, and cheap. The idea that one vitamin would drown out others is incorrect with all except perhaps copper and zinc. The idea of Sodium and Potassium working in this way, in my opinion, is incorrect. You probably need a great deal of both Sodium and Potassium. A great violinist, (an extra vitamin) can highlight a great performance, not stand out to its ruin. Masking other deficiencies is a benefit. not a liability in a concert. The FDA defines supplements as food. The FDA might one day say supplements are food, exactly. The FDA might say that you have to label supplements as to what they’re for in the U.S. Title code (it’s seems to be implied). One day, the whole world might agree on what supplements are for in every case, and we can find foods to do the same thing.

        1. Many vitamins have been shown to not be safe, especially in large doses. Vitamin A, E, Calcium, Folic Acid, there are huge lists of synthetic vitamins that are damaging.

          1. This is literally not true. Nothing is as safe as Vitamins. Many people launch vitamin studies only to find the placebo group dies. Then they wait for the study section to get sick, and hold the Medicare department hostage for $10 million for pancreatic cancer. It’s a huge scam. That seems to be the only way to get cash now in this world. Synthetic vitamins are the same as natural vitamins if well purified. I am so very sorry that people know that large doses of Calcium are harmful, especially because a Calcium Potassium, and Magnesium deficiencies are the rule. It is truly terrifying how poorly published vitamin studies are. The pharmaceutical companies say drugs cost more, but they make less on them then they do on the vitamins. It is truly cruel the greed that keeps medicine from using vitamins.

    3. It is difficult for us to make medical recommendations because you are not our patient and there is no way we can know all the facts related to your medical case and nor would we want to make any recommendations that you would construe as medical advice because this places us at risk for medical malpractice.

      So please remember what ever I say is only a suggestion and does not supplant medical advice from your own medical doctor(s) and any lifestyle change you make is solely your responsibility.

      The best option is for you to find a doctor that is willing to follow your progress even if they do not agree with your lifestyle change. Remember you are the boss! You are hiring them to help you, so if they don’t and can’t help you, FIRE them!!! and find another more supportive physician!

      An excellent colleague of ours is Michael Klaper, MD and he does do Skype consultations. He is located in Santa Rosa, CA. You can sign up with Michael Klaper, MD here. He is an excellent physician and probably one of the top five most knowledgeable physicians regarding lifestyle change and reversing chronic disease. The True North Medical Center he works with is currently in the process of publishing a case report of a woman who just fought her lymphoma and won using a water fast and whole food eating. They have helped over 15,000 people with their chronic diseases using water fasting and Whole Plant Food eating. It truly works and I have been there and have seen their amazing results. Water fasting has the amazing ability to basically reset your body (like hitting the reset button on your computer) allowing it to perform at its highest level. This is imperative since you body needs to maximize its ability to fight the cancer.

      Recommendations to make your body a powerful cancer fighting machine:

      First and foremost stop drinking all alcohol and stop smoking if you smoke!!!!

      For all my patients I highly recommend stopping ALL ANIMAL PRODUCT intake!!!! These have been shown beyond any reasonable doubt to be highly correlated with and promote cancer growth!

      So immediately move to a varied, no oil added, Whole Food Plant Based Diet. TODAY!!!

      Educate yourself! as Jim Felder stated below read everything you can about Prostate Cancer, Prostate Health and Cancer in general from this website!!!! Also click on the Sources part of the eduVideos and read the references in detail. Especially read the work by Dean Ornish, MD who has shown slowing and regression of Prostate cancer with his lifestyle changes which is most notable for nearly a 100% plant based diet.
      Dr. Greger does an excellent review of his work here:

      Exercise everyday!! This helps your own immune system locate and try to kill the cancer cells.

      Be present and positive. Meditation and prayer have been show to have beneficial effects on the bodies ability to fight cancer.
      I hope this helps.
      Smiles ;-)

      1. Great paper. The Iron in curcumin might be very beneficial for cancer. Hibiscus tea is also rich in Iron. “Hibiscus sabdariffa Leaf Extract Inhibits Human Prostate Cancer Cell Invasion via Down-Regulation of Akt/NF-kB/MMP-9 Pathway.” “In vitro antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic activities against prostate cancer of extracts from Hibiscus sabdariffa leaves.” There might be B2 or riboflavin in curcumin. Dr. Pauling said all disease can be cured by minerals. I hope you find the rich mineral to treat your problem. I have found Niacin, in the right doses, can treat my mood disorder. Perhaps it works out to a Nitrogen deficiency. There is no or little Nitrogen in modern drugs, and that is what the neurotransmitters are made of, which probably can’t be made from amino acids. The baking of foods removes almost all nitrogen content.

    4. Boron and K2 are extremely good for the prostate. You could consider eating Kiwis. Phosphorus and D3 are very good for cancer. If your cholesterol is to high, you might have a Niacin deficiency. “Adequate boron levels are associated with a 64% reduced risk of prostate cancer,” “Boron Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk,” November 2015 “Life Extension Magazine.” If you try supplementing with two grams of Niacin, beware of the flush. The skin tingling reaction of skin losing D2, or converting adrenaline back into adrenaline. Shows you you’ve been up to something.

    5. Hello Moti. It sounds like you live in southeastern Michigan. If so, I suggest you get in touch with Dr. Joel Kahn’s office to see if they can refer you to any local primary care or specialist docs that will use a plant based approach to helping you manage your prostate condition. http://www.drjoelkahn.com/ Although Dr. Kahn is a cardiologist he is strong voice in whole food plant based medicine. My guess is that he is connected to an entire network of similar minded medical practitioners in the greater Detroit area. Use this excellent website to educate yourself and modify your diet, and find a doctor who will partner with you to understand and manage your health. Good luck.

      1. I’m guessing that’s true for all cancers. Does this have something to do protein lighting up IGF-1, especially animal protein? In “Forks Over Knives,” (I think) didn’t Campbell say they studied protein without fat on board and it still caused cancer cells to grow?

        1. Hi Paul – Here is a link to an article i read just yesterday from Dr Campbell. It is about animal protein and heart disease.

          Here is a quote from the article “For example, neither dietary cholesterol nor saturated fat are
          significant causes of heart disease. Dietary cholesterol and saturated
          fat are merely indicators of the amount of processed and animal-based
          foods being consumed, an observation that was introduced into the
          scientific research community over 100 years ago when it was shown that
          animal protein was a more significant cause of early heart disease than
          ingested cholesterol, for example.” But i do believe that in his “China Study” book that he does say the same thing about cancer. I no longer have the book. I gave it to someone that needed it more than me.

      2. High protein diets put extra stress on one’s body because it has to process all those extra nitrogen compounds and deal with the resulting higher urea levels. Protein also spikes insulin levels more than carbohydrates.

        When people as me where I get my protein from, I occasionally counter by asking how do they cope with all of their excess protein in their diets.

        1. Joe – i am going to start telling them that i get my protein from the same place as the Elephant, the Rhino, the Hippo, and the Gorilla. From plants. I read that a few days ago in an article by a body builder on a whole foods plant based diet.

          1. Gorillas, elephants, hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses are among the strongest, baddest vegans around, and vegan humans athletes acquit themselves very well in their respective sports.

    6. One easy way to start on WFPB is just to eat the foods you like from fruit, veggies, grains, and beans. You can always branch out later. If you like baked potatoes with salsa or veggies on top, eat that. If you like oatmeal and fruit in the morning, eat that. If you like pasta, cook some whole wheat or bean or rice pasta and put some tomato sauce on it and pile on some veggies. There’s a lot of food you probably have around your house right now that qualifies as minimally processed plant foods. You can start there.

      On page 273 of Dr. Greger’s new book (“How Not to Die”), there is a worksheet thing called Daily Dozen. It lists foods we should be trying to eat daily and check boxes to mark off your servings. I copied that and gave it to a friend of mine who was having so much trouble going WFPB. She just couldn’t seem to stick to it. So I told her to follow the worksheet of foods to eat and get all of those in or as many as she could every day, but she didn’t necessarily have to stop eating her non-plant based food. She said it looked like a ton of food and I just told her to try it and I gave her a couple of daily menus she could try that were easy to fix and take to work. She ended up dropping the bad food and is now losing weight following that little chart. It turns out she just needed a visual aid or whatever to get her going, and she said she is still checking off her food portion boxes every day.

      Thanks, Dr. Greger, for helping someone see the light!

      1. Paul: Thanks for sharing that story about your friend. With stories like these, I am just starting to see the value of Dr. Greger’s checklist. At first glance, I had originally thought it might be too complicated for most people. Now I’m seeing how it can help people focus on all the great food they get to eat. The system naturally pushes out the bad food without making people worry about having to give something up. It’s a very exciting phenomenon, and I’m glad to see that it is helping more than just my one friend that it has started to help. Other people’s friends are benefitting too.

        1. Exactly. I actually typed it up onto a sheet with lines for check marks so my friend could easily use it. Under each category, I typed what the category consisted of (e.g., 1/2 cup cooked grain, 1 slice bread; or 1/2 cup beans or 1/4 cup bean dip, or whatever, which Dr. G. lists at the beginning of each food chapter) so she could easily see at a glance what would fit the guidelines. She told me she photocopies it and uses it every day as her checkoff sheet. She said her cravings for non WFPB foods have decreased considerably. That’s one of the huge benefits of this diet, IMO.

          I also just ordered a copy of the book for her to have. She seems more excited about it every time I talk to her! I think it’s true that many people just like having things spelled out for them in concise structure and outline. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen (or “Daily Ten” if you leave off water and exercise and focus on food) is a great tool and so are those summary boxes at the beginning of each food chapter (“Dr. Greger’s favorite Other Vegetables” or whatever).

    7. Moti, while you are searching for satisfactory medical care, why not give a plant based diet a try? Have you had opportunity to see Dr. Greger’s video,
      “Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio,” ( http://nutritionfacts.org/video/prostate-cancer-survival-the-av-ratio/ ) and check out the research that he sites?
      In the opening of the video he states, “It is now 8 years since the famous Ornish study was published, suggesting that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet could reverse the progression of prostate cancer.”

    8. Hello Moti , there is a plant based urologist ( very famous ) in Chicago – Dr.Terry Mason ( I don’t know pif he still has his own radio show ) but he is awesome and gave speech in San Diego at second annual Plant based nutritional conference where also Dr.Greger was. I was sitting next to him and ask if he tells every patient with prostate cancer to stop drinking milk and he just looked at my name tag and said ” anna I tell EVERYBODY not to have dairy . He is amazing!

    9. Hi Moti – For prostate cancer Dr John McDougall recommends that you do nothing except eat a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet {WFPB} for prostate cancer. He says most likely the a person will die from old age or something else instead of the prostate cancer. I just watched a fairly old 2 minute clip with a young Dr McDougall interviewing his father in law while he was working in his garden. After the Video he told a little story that goes something like this. First i want to say the Dr McDougall was his father in laws {FIL} Dr. At the age of 70 his FIL had a heart attack and he tried to get him to change his diet. He refused. Six months later he had another one. He changed his diet this time to a WFPB. At age of 75 while doing a yearly check up on him he found that he had Prostate cancer. His FIL asked him what he should do. He said do not do anything. His FIL said i will take your advice. Today his FIL is 95 and still working in the garden.

  7. I’m so excited!!!!! I have a new video to show the new and current pregnant women at my practice.

    If there is anyone that will change it is a mom for her baby!

    That is provided the mom’s aren’t hooked on meth, heroin or prescription drugs which is a very real and all too common problem I face.

  8. Thank you, DR. Greger, for adding to the argument for eating WFPB in pregnancy, and feeding our children soon! To cheer our 60+ year-old selves up, we went back to the video, “Never too Late to Start Eating Healthier” (more healthily). Then we linked through to the Adventist study, (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23836264). From there we were able to read, for free, the full text (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1710093), which cited the EPIC-Oxford study that “did not show an all-cause mortality advantage for British vegetarians (among 47 254 vegetarian and nonvegetarian participants),28 and pooled results have shown reductions only for IHD mortality.16” This was a big, influential study.
    From there we linked to the abstract of the EPIC-Oxford study (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1613S) asking ourselves, “How could this be?” From here we could link to full text for free (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1613S.full). Ah Ha! The EPIC-Oxford’s “vegetarians” were divided into 4 groups ( at this point we recalled that you did a video on this). “4 diet groups were established: meat eaters (those that eat meat), fish eaters (those that do not eat meat but do eat fish), vegetarians (those that do not eat meat or fish but do eat dairy products or eggs or both), and vegans (those that eat no animal products). For the women recruited in the pilot phase of the study, and the first 1300 men and women recruited by EPIC nurses, these 4 dietary categorization questions were not asked, and diet group was assigned according to responses provided in the food-frequency questionnaire (described next). In this article, the vegans are included with the vegetarians because there were too few deaths among the vegans to report separately.” No wonder!
    So, do any of our well-informed members and team know just how influential this study has been in promoting further research on vegans or WFPB diets and how much it may have set us back?

    Thank you for this site that allows us to follow the trail of citations!

    1. Thanks for this analysis. There is no doubt that the results of studies like EPIC-Oxford can be used to mislead people about the health benefits of a strict vegetarian diet. A common problem in such studies for example is that many people adopt vegetarian diets in response to diagnoses of serious disease or in response to the appearance of pre-clinical symptoms of such diseases (eg obesity etc). This naturally makes it appear that vegetarians may have poorer health than, or at least no advantage compared to, non vegetarians. This is why the 7th Day Adventist studies are so valuable. They are of people who have largely been lifelong or at least long-term vegetarians, or who adopted the diet later in life for religious reasons, and are less likely to include many people who adopted vegetarianism in response to a real or perceived health crisis.

      The blogger healthylongevity has a thoughtful analysis of the studies of mortality and vegetarian diets, and the way they are used by the saturated fat/low carb crowd to bolster their own beliefs.

      1. Hi Tom – I am a 7th Day Adventist and have adopted a mostly – almost entirely vegan diet. And yes i guess that you can say that we do it for religious reasons. For me and most 7th Day Adventists that i know we do it also to be healthy because our Creator wants us to be healthy. He tells us in 3rd John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
        Sadly a lot of & 7th Day Adventists eat was to many sweets and eat fake animal products that are not much if any healthier than meat. They suffer from the same diseases as the rest of the population. But hose that eat a WFPB usually life long, healthy active lives. I am 60 yrs old and have been a & 7th Day Adventist for about 25 yrs. I know at least 2 that are in their 90’s and have known several more that have made it into their nineties. I read a book by an Adventist, he was a Dr. and the title was “How to live to be 101”. He lost most of his eyesight around upper nineties and still did most things for himself he fell one day while performing some household chore and broke his neck and died just about a month before he turned 101. Other than being mostly blind my understanding is that he was still in pretty good health.

  9. To the person with possible prostate cancer. As vegan ophthalmologist, I remember reading an article by Dr. Gregor on diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Gregor did not understand the science of diabetic retinopathy and I felt he gave the wrong advice. Don’t rely on his advice for your possible prostate cancer. The reason that the urologists agree is that is the state of the present knowledge on the disease. Dr. Gregor gives good advice but when you have the opinion of specialists in the field, better to go with it.

    1. Dixie
      Other than going WFPB and exercise Dr Greger doesn’t give advise. He reports on research that has been done. And chances are the studies will conclude plants are best. He would never give the prostate person above advise.

    2. The whole point of this website is to report, in the most unbiased way possible, the research. Dr. Greger goes to great lengths to abstain from his opinion on subjects and therefore doesn’t give advice!

      Curious though, do you know any Urologists that understand the research on plant based nutrition and its ability to thwart cancer? Specifically the work of Dean Ornish, MD.

  10. Julie: Of course the control of blood sugar is vital to prevent retinopathy However some people still will get retinopathy with good blood sugars. Background retinopathy (the retina is edematous) vision goes down secondary to the edema and damage can occur if the edema is left too long. This is usually in type 2 diabetes. This is almost always treated with anti-vegf injections. Laser can also be used but the injections are now more common. For proliferative retinopathy there are new vessels in the retina that leak and the treatment is pan retinal photocoagulation with the laser which can be curative. Yes, much of the retina is destroyed by the laser but it preserves our accurate vision. I hope this is helpful.

    1. Since the topic of the video was diabetic retinopathy, is “good control” of blood sugar the same as not being diabetic? I supposedly had good control of my “symptoms” with medication, but my vision still suffered. After changing to WFPB and eliminating the need for drugs, my vision not only stabilized but improved. Controlling disease symptoms with drugs, no matter the numbers, is NOT the same as eliminating the source of the disease itself.

      1. In the medical literature, they right that the symptoms of diabetes are similar to beriberi disease, if not identical to that disease, and can often be treated by vitamin B1 or thiamine.

  11. Dr Greger’s recipe from his awesome down to. Earth book was a 2cup flax to 1 cup water. I like bigger batches so I usually make 4 to 2 or 6/3 then add all the goodies. If any of you haven’t bought his book yet I highly recommend it!
    Being raised on a cattle ranch Beef….it’s what for dinner got extended to every meal and jerky for snacks throughout the day.

    Bring a Vegan is like living on s different planet, lol. So I guess I am literally been transplanted to planet health, or planet no pain. My physical therapist was so impressed with how well I’m doing instead of seeing him once a week he cut me back to once a month just to see if I continue to improve. For the first time in 30 years I am waking up before the alarm goes off and energetic and happy. I never knew food could make such a difference.
    Life is good!
    I small so grateful for Dr Greger’s new book and his free website nutritionfacts.org

  12. Julie: One more thing. It is essential to control any high blood pressure as that increases the odds of retinopathy. Drs. McDougal and Barnard both think a vegan diet will help. I could not convince my patients to do this. However, being a vegan I think it is always worth it.

  13. I really appreciate this video. But I don’t think it will be well recieved by about 9,999 out of 10,000.

    If this is where the research leads though, so be it. What to do, not publish? Thank you Dr Gregor for sharing what the research shows. The PDAY, Bogalusua, Korea and Vietnam War Veteran studies clearly show heart disease starts early.

    As a kid I ate for breakfast 1/2 pound of bacon along with white bread, butter, milk and eggs. Every day. How I’ve made it to 60 I have no idea. But thanks to these studies, and doctors like Greger, McDougall and Esselstyn it’s never to late to learn and change my lifestyle.

    1. I was raised eating pretty much the same way and am also 60. Along the way i got involved with alcohol and drugs. Today and for 25 yrs been clean and eatin WFPB and feeling better than i can remember. No colds, no flu’s, just eat good, feel good and exercise and work hard.

  14. Plaque in the arteries as a baby? I think mothers should consider supplementing with D3. It’s really good for genes. Too much cholesterol could be a vitamin B3 deficiency. D3, Argaline, Lysine, Proline, and Vitamin C quickly remove plaque from the arteries. Niacin reduces the liver’s need to produce triglycerides to fuel mitochondria, in my opinion.

  15. The most important reason to be vegan is because using sentient beings as resources is morally unjustifiable. There’s so many reasons to be vegan, but that is the most important reason.

    1. I hope we get soon to the day when people say, “Looking back I can’t believe we used to kill animals for food, sport, and personal items.” Exploitation and oppression.

  16. I so wish that the NF website existed when I had my child.
    Not that he has a heart problem, but I would not have been so blind to all the standard propaganda out there.
    When he had severe eczema for example during infancy, the Drs were willing to help but only by prescribing ointments that did not work. It took me a while to figure out through observation and noticing a pattern that the cause was dairy – especially cheese which I was consuming at the time. Funnily enough, he was a natural born Vegan almost while I wasn’t at the time.
    Needless to say we are on WFPB now.

  17. I really love the nutrition facts videos and the helpful information they provide.
    I have a question which is loosely linked to today’s topic, in that I think there is a small amount of evidence for some pregnancy benefits.

    The thing I am really curious to know more about, and to hear if Dr Greger has come across at all is the Japanese bacterialy fermented soy food, Natto.

    I have been reading a little bit about it recently, and it seems to be attributed to lower cardiovascular and stroke risk, as well as oestoporosis prevention. There was also a study that suggested eating Natto in pregnancy reduced eczema risks in the child.
    There are also some sites that suggest it helps with weight loss, although it seems some of those claims are unsubstantiated.
    There are then some more vague suggestions like it improves skin texture and gives you more energy.

    Most of these benefits seem to have been isolated to the actions of 2 substances that Natto is rich in – one is vitamin K2 which provides the bone density benefits, the other is Nattokinase which seems to have a thrombotic effect and may be reason it prevents CVD (because breaks down clots as they form).

    The biggest prohibitor to its consumption in the west seems to be smell and slimy texture.

    I would really like to know if Dr Greger has come across Natto in his research, and what he thinks about the existing evidence for its use.
    Is it likely to be the benefit form the individual active components specific to Natto, or is it more likely reflective of traditional Japanese diet health effects, or as simple as a daily serve of beans?

    Thanks in advance for your help with this topic.

  18. I’d really like to ask a question. Is anyone here reading How Not To Die? In the book he talks about the naturally occurring trans fats in meat and dairy and gives the impression they are bad, but everywhere else you are told the conjugated linoleic acid is beneficial. I really don’t know how to eat any more or who to believe.

    1. There is a lot of CLA hype on the internet promoted by saturated fat proponents and supplement marketers. Some of it is underpinned by carefully designed “research” studies funded by the dairy.meat, egg etc industries which appear to show some benefits. However, a review of the effects of CLA in humans concluded:
      “there is not enough evidence to show that conjugated linoleic acid has an effect on weight and body composition in humans. However, some of these studies have observed that the administration of various CLA isomers has adverse effects on lipid profile (it decreases HDL cholesterol concentration and increases Lp(a) circulating levels), glucose metabolism (glycemia, insulinemia or insulin sensitivity), lipid oxidation, inflammation, or endothelial function.”

      You might also want to look at the Wikipedia article on CLA, which offers a balanced summary of views on this issue

      On animal trans fats generally, another review concluded:
      “The limited data suggest that the experimental effects of ruminant and industrial TFA are similar when consumed in similar quantities, but very few persons consume such high levels of ruminant TFA, and observational studies do not support adverse CHD effects of ruminant TFA in amounts actually consumed.”

      In the end, CLA is a trans fat and trans fat consumption is associated with poorer health. You will find people on the internet stating that animal trans fats are somehow magically healthy. The science really doesn’t support this, whatever some industry funded studies may appear to show. Apparently, there’s as yet no evidence to show that trans fats in animal foods at the levels currently consumed are dangerous … but there’s no evidence to show they are beneficial either. As for CLA supplements, again it seems like a lot of marketing hype. Try to get your information on animal trans fats from reliable sources rather than unreliable interet web sites eg the CDC, IOM etc

      I’ve always found Dr Gs videos a reliable source of information about such matters. Some videos you might want to watch are:

      1. When a fat-phile challenges WFPB or says eggs and meat are healthy, ask them, “Does that food reverse heart disease?” Maybe it will shut them up for a while.

  19. Hi! HELP! I’m plant based for over 4 years now and I’m having irregular heart beat! Really scary stuff! I supplement with B12, D2, K2. I can’t supplement with algae based DHA because my country doesn’t allow importing supplements and no company produced it locally. My levels of B12, Iron, Vitamin D are ok. Could it be Omega 3 DHA deficiency? What would you do if you can’t get the DHA supplement? Thanks!

  20. I have search the website for an article or video on familial hypercholesterolemia, but can’t find any. I’d love to get an opinion from the doctor.

    My whole life, I’ve known that high cholesterol “runs in the family” on my mother’s side. I’ve always had high cholesterol, and just figured there was nothing I could do about it. I was really affected by Dr. Colin Campbell’s words though on this issue. “Genetics loads the gun, diet pulls the trigger.” I decided to change my diet to a whole food, plant-based one like that suggested by Dr. Greger, Campbell, McDougall, and Esselstyn–so I’m on day 7 of that transition.

    Shortly before starting this lifestyle, I found out through my mother that the genetic element that I always thought was just a “predisposition” is actually the genetic condition familial hypercholesterolemia. I have yet to be tested (will in a few weeks), but my mother has it and several other family members have it (and cardiovascular disease). I asked the doctor I’ve been consulting with about the condition and how it responds to a WFPB-diet, and he said that it responds great…but not great enough. He indicated to me that people with FH likely need to change their diet AND undergo aggressive statin therapies. (None of my family has ever had to do LDL apheresis, and I don’t think we’re bad enough off to need it.)

    So even though *I* may not have the disease (I have an LDL of 173, so I’m going to say no), I have both worries for my own treatment if I do have FH, and mostly worries about my family members that DO have the condition. My family knows I’m trying WFPD, and I’d like to try to persuade them of its benefits through my own positive results. I’m afraid they won’t be receptive at all to it, however, if it’s true that a WFPD won’t reduce their cholesterol enough without statins to help. Certainly a WFPD would help more than NOTHING…but most of my family members just cringe at the thought of giving up meat and dairy. I’ve already brought this up to my mother, and she would rather take a pill than change her diet, period.

    I really would just love to know the efficacy of a plant-based diet on the genetic condition of familial hypercholesterolemia, and if a statin drug is still needed in addition to a WFPD diet. I haven’t been able to find specific studies through my own research online on people with FH on a WFPD specifically…so I wonder if it’s just under-studied, or if we definitely know statins are necessary to treatment of the condition.

  21. Dr. Gregger,

    I first heard about you from the Rich Roll podcast. Since then, I have followed nutrition facts. org. I am active duty military, so I have a very hard time with my coworkers when I try to convince them of the benefits a plant based diet provides. They see me doing Ironman races, and wonder how much faster I would be if I consumed animal products. I reference your facts, and no one seems to get it. However, that is not why I reach out to you.

    I am writing you because my wife is pregnant and I am very afraid. I know what I think I know about what she should eat. I make all the food in our house, I have read your book “How not to die” and we eat that way, or as close to it as can be.

    I seem to be getting it from everyone, implying I am hurting my wife by not making animal products available for her. However, I feel I am helping her and our child. Also, that is only the food that I make. My wife is the decision maker in the relationship (she is the boss). I make her the food she requests.

    So, what I am asking is: What are the best foods I can feed my pregnant wife?

    1. Jason Gant: Pregnant vegans face a whole lot of ignorance and hostility. It sounds like you both are having to deal with such ignorance, and it is a shame since you are making choices that maximize your chances of health for both mom and baby.
      My first recommendation is to get a book from Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina called Becoming Vegan. These authors have been quoted and spoken of highly by Dr. Greger and even have a guest blog post here on NutritionFacts. Their suggestions would be consistent with the information on this site. There are several versions of “Becoming Vegan”. I don’t have the revised “Express Edition” with me at the moment. But I’m looking at the slightly older original version and it has two chapters just for you! : Chapter 10 “Building Vegan Dynamos…pregnancy and lactation” and Chapter 11 “Growing Vegans…birth through adolescence” The Express version may also have similar chapters. The rest of the book is a great reverence book. Ie, it’s not something I read from front to back. But find it very helpful for looking up specific questions from time to time.
      Another reference for you is a group called the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG). I feel that they do a lot of research to back up their information. They have a section on their website for pregnancy and children. If interested: http://www.vrg.org/family/kidsindex.htm – scroll down to the nutrition section.
      I have personally met several vegan children born to vegan moms, everything from infants to an 8 year old. They are all healthy and super bright kids. Nice people. Calm/steady personalities. Normal heights. Etc. Both science and anecdotal evidence backs up what you are doing. I think you are wise to make sure you are not missing anything. It’s smart to check out some expert resources on the topic. But don’t let those ignorant people giving you a hard time get into your heads.
      Best of luck to you both. I hope this post helps!



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