How the Dairy Industry Designs Misleading Studies

How the Dairy Industry Designs Misleading Studies
4.86 (97.24%) 116 votes

How the meat and dairy industries design studies showing their products have neutral or even beneficial effects on cholesterol and inflammation.

Discuss
Republish

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

Observational studies like these, suggesting dairy might not be so bad, can be confounded by extraneous factors, such as the fact that people who eat more cheese tend to be of higher socioeconomic class. Fine, but what about this interventional study? A randomized, crossover trial, which compared a high-fat cheese diet, to a high-fat meat diet, to a low-fat diet. A high-cheese diet: CHEESE, which is loaded with saturated fat; a high meat diet: MEAT, which is loaded with saturated fat; versus CARB, a low-fat diet. And, people ended up with the same cholesterol levels.

Let’s see how they did it. Half the study was paid for in part by the dairy industry, and the other half paid for by dairy, dairy, dairy, and dairy. If you’re the dairy industry, and you’re trying to design a study to show that a high-cheese diet doesn’t raise cholesterol, how would you go about doing that?

Anyone remember this video? It’s one of my favorites. The beef industry was in the same pickle as the cheese industry. Beef has saturated fat, which raises cholesterol, which raises the risk of dying from our #1 killer. What’s an industry to do? So, they designed a study where they added beef, and cholesterol went down.

How is that possible? Here’s the two diets. They added beef, and the cholesterol went down. They did this by cutting out so much dairy, poultry, pork, fish, and eggs that their overall saturated fat intake was cut in half. They cut saturated fat levels in half, and the cholesterol levels went down. Well, duh. They could have swapped in Twinkies and said snack cakes lower your cholesterol, or frosting or anything.

Okay, so now that you know the trick, let’s go back to this study. The way to get the same cholesterol levels is to make sure all three diets have the same amount of saturated fat. How are you going to get a high-fat cheese diet and a high-fat meat diet to have the same saturated fat level as a diet with neither? Unless… Wait, don’t tell me. What? They added coconut oil or something to the other diet? They added so much coconut oil and cookies to the so-called low-fat diet that they all had the same amount of saturated fat, and voilà! That’s how you can make a cheese- or meat-rich diet that doesn’t raise cholesterol.

That reminds me of the desperation evident in this study that compared the effects of dairy cheddar cheese to a nondairy cheddar cheese called Daiya. Milk consumption has plummeted in recent years as people have discovered plant-based alternatives like soy milk and almond milk. And now there’s plant-based cheese alternatives? What’s the National Dairy Council to do? How are you going to design a study that shows it’s healthier to eat cheese; design a study where cheese causes less inflammation than the vegan alternative. They got their work cut out for them. Daiya is no health food by any stretch, but definitely three times less saturated fat than cow cheese. So, I give up. How could you possibly show more inflammation from Daiya?

Well, there is one fat that may cause more inflammation than milk fat: palm oil. In fact, it may raise cholesterol levels as much as trans fat-laden partially hydrogenated oil. Yeah, but what are you telling me? They like slipped the Daiya group some extra palm oil on the side. Yes, can you believe it? They compared cheese to Daiya “plus palm oil”—so much extra palm oil that the vegan alternative meal ended up having the same amount of saturated fat as the cheese meal. That’s like proving tofu is worse than beef by doing a study where they compared a beef burger to a tofu patty…stuffed with lard. Oh, wait, the meat industry already did that, but at least they had the decency to concede that “Replacement of meat with tofu in the habitual diet would not usually be accompanied by the addition of butter and lard.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Edmund Garman via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

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

Observational studies like these, suggesting dairy might not be so bad, can be confounded by extraneous factors, such as the fact that people who eat more cheese tend to be of higher socioeconomic class. Fine, but what about this interventional study? A randomized, crossover trial, which compared a high-fat cheese diet, to a high-fat meat diet, to a low-fat diet. A high-cheese diet: CHEESE, which is loaded with saturated fat; a high meat diet: MEAT, which is loaded with saturated fat; versus CARB, a low-fat diet. And, people ended up with the same cholesterol levels.

Let’s see how they did it. Half the study was paid for in part by the dairy industry, and the other half paid for by dairy, dairy, dairy, and dairy. If you’re the dairy industry, and you’re trying to design a study to show that a high-cheese diet doesn’t raise cholesterol, how would you go about doing that?

Anyone remember this video? It’s one of my favorites. The beef industry was in the same pickle as the cheese industry. Beef has saturated fat, which raises cholesterol, which raises the risk of dying from our #1 killer. What’s an industry to do? So, they designed a study where they added beef, and cholesterol went down.

How is that possible? Here’s the two diets. They added beef, and the cholesterol went down. They did this by cutting out so much dairy, poultry, pork, fish, and eggs that their overall saturated fat intake was cut in half. They cut saturated fat levels in half, and the cholesterol levels went down. Well, duh. They could have swapped in Twinkies and said snack cakes lower your cholesterol, or frosting or anything.

Okay, so now that you know the trick, let’s go back to this study. The way to get the same cholesterol levels is to make sure all three diets have the same amount of saturated fat. How are you going to get a high-fat cheese diet and a high-fat meat diet to have the same saturated fat level as a diet with neither? Unless… Wait, don’t tell me. What? They added coconut oil or something to the other diet? They added so much coconut oil and cookies to the so-called low-fat diet that they all had the same amount of saturated fat, and voilà! That’s how you can make a cheese- or meat-rich diet that doesn’t raise cholesterol.

That reminds me of the desperation evident in this study that compared the effects of dairy cheddar cheese to a nondairy cheddar cheese called Daiya. Milk consumption has plummeted in recent years as people have discovered plant-based alternatives like soy milk and almond milk. And now there’s plant-based cheese alternatives? What’s the National Dairy Council to do? How are you going to design a study that shows it’s healthier to eat cheese; design a study where cheese causes less inflammation than the vegan alternative. They got their work cut out for them. Daiya is no health food by any stretch, but definitely three times less saturated fat than cow cheese. So, I give up. How could you possibly show more inflammation from Daiya?

Well, there is one fat that may cause more inflammation than milk fat: palm oil. In fact, it may raise cholesterol levels as much as trans fat-laden partially hydrogenated oil. Yeah, but what are you telling me? They like slipped the Daiya group some extra palm oil on the side. Yes, can you believe it? They compared cheese to Daiya “plus palm oil”—so much extra palm oil that the vegan alternative meal ended up having the same amount of saturated fat as the cheese meal. That’s like proving tofu is worse than beef by doing a study where they compared a beef burger to a tofu patty…stuffed with lard. Oh, wait, the meat industry already did that, but at least they had the decency to concede that “Replacement of meat with tofu in the habitual diet would not usually be accompanied by the addition of butter and lard.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Edmund Garman via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Here’s that beef video that always leaves me shaking my head in disbelief: BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol?

This is the final video in a three-part series. If you missed the other two, check out Is Cheese Really Bad for You? and Is Cheese Healthy? Compared to What?

The egg industry tried pulling similar shenanigans.  See, for example: Egg Industry Response to Choline & TMAO and Eggs & Arterial Function.

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

86 responses to “How the Dairy Industry Designs Misleading Studies

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. This is outright fraud. The intention to deceive (and ultimately harm) the public alone is worth kicking meat and dairy to the curb. Shame on our governments for supporting this garbage, directly or indirectly.

    1. It is outright fraud, Barb. And it’s all about money, not good health.

      BTW, I used to eat that Daiya cheese. I wouldn’t eat it now for anything.

      1. Nancy,

        I never liked Daiya.

        Still, I probably never would have gotten over dairy if faux cheeses hadn’t been available.

        I think I stopped faux cheese when Dr. Barnard said that cheese was 80% fat.

        I had NO CONCEPT of that. None.

        I think milk being 1% and 2% and Whole confused me. I didn’t even know what 1% and 2% means, but it seemed like those might be numbers for something like how much fat is in milk and I extrapolated that to milk is in cheese and somehow I missed the leap to 80% entirely.

        Suddenly, I wondered what was in the faux cheese.

        Packaging is often too small for me to look at the ingredients, but his saying that sentence caused me to look it up online.

        1. Deb, I try to avoid all foods with ingredient lists — they’re usually processed food. But, if I do buy some, I take my glasses off and bring that small print (calories, nutrients, ingredient list) right up close to my face to read it. I’ve also seen people using a magnifying glass to read these labels; the ones with light look like the best. Alternatively, take a photo of the labels with your phone, then swipe the photo to enlarge the print. But none of this should be necessary: the print should be large, clear, and easily read by everybody.

          1. What about those websites that sell food and don’t even have the OPTION for you to read the ingredients list, not even from a photo of the package! I can’t believe people actually shop form these places.

            1. S: Those are the websites you contact and don’t buy from, until they publish the ingredients list.

              You can also order them, then return if they have bad ingredients (but this makes 2 times the transport fee; and how do you know they will accept a return?).

        2. Rebecca Cody, hopefully (and everyone else) you are enjoying a very happy Thanksgiving! I thought about you today when I came across this article on the bbc. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46291919 Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought it was you who mentioned using d-mannose before and I wasn’t sure if you had seen this news item. Happy day!

    2. Agreed, if we had a legit legal system they would be sued and tossed into jail for this. These types of fiends actually put people in the hospital owing to their blatant negligence.

  2. I give Thanks to Dr. Greger for illuminating the lay public on how to best protect our health from the lobbyists, the profit seeking industry executives, and the lack of governmental public policy guidelines that discourage plant-based eating by supporting farmers who create unhealthy food options and our government’s failure to tell the real truth about the kind of food that causes death and disease. Whenever I teach a class on whole food, plant-based nutrition, Dr. Greger’s work is always shared and I always advocate this is one of the very best places to learn nutrition science. Again, Thank you to Dr. Greger and his team and all the volunteers for keeping nutritionfacts.org going!

  3. Great video! I looked at that research “Consumption of a high-fat meal containing cheese compared with a vegan alternative lowers postprandial C-reactive protein in overweight and obese individuals with metabolic abnormalities: a randomised controlled cross-over study” . and the authors make it really hard to see how much palm oil they added….as the composition of the blended drink is in a supplementary table, and the link for that is now no longer working.

    This misinformation campaign is so insidious! The authors were also brazen enough to print: “M. D. V. L., A. M. Z. and J. T. S. have received research funding from the National Dairy Council; A. M. Z. received a stipend from the National Dairy Council to present a talk at a symposium in 2013. The founding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results. There are no conflicts of interest.”

    1. But I don’t understand why dr G. says the diets in this study had the same amounts of saturated fats. If you look at the study it says that the percentage of saturated fat in total fat was the same (around 50%). But since CARB diet had 23% of energy from fat, compared to 36% in CHEESE and MEET, it had also lower amount of saturated fat. Looks cheesy ;)

      1. a, in the 5th paragraph of the written transcripts you can read more clearly how the ‘researchers’ managed to show meat and cheese diets didn’t raise cholesterol…. they added so much coconut oil (grosse!) and cookies to the ‘low fat diet that the sat fat content was the SAME between all diets. Coconut oil is close to 90% sat fat.. horrible stuff.

        1. Oh, right. I was talking about the study mentioned in the video: “Diets with high-fat cheese, high-fat meat, or carbohydrate on cardiovascular risk markers in overweight postmenopausal women: a randomized crossover trial”, not the one from Mims.

            1. Exactly this study, thanks. There is a table (TABLE 2) showing how much fat each diet had: CARB 23% of energy, CHEESE and MEAT – 36%. And in each of them 49.8% of total fat was saturated fat, so CARB diet had around 11% of saturated fat and CHEESE and MEAT – 18%. So it’s not true all of them had the same amount of saturated fat. Or am I missing something?

              Part of TABLE 2 from the study:

              |CHEESE diet |CARB diet |MEAT diet |
              Fat, % of energy |36.0 |23.0 |36.4 |
              SFAs, % of fat |49.9 (52.1) |49.8 (50.8)|49.8 (51.6) |

              1. Thanks for the link.. now I can see what you are saying. Maybe Mr Fumblefingers can have a look at this ? It seemed to me that Dr Greger was saying that all had the same amount of sat fat.. ie not reading the 49 as a percentage of fat calories. (overall the carb diet had less fat ie 23%, but the same percentage of sat fat through coconut milk and oil.) Dr Greger?

                1. My take on this: Although the “low-fat” group consumed less fat than the other two, it was still too much to really observe a strong effect on blood lipids. The diets which Dr. Mcdougall, Dr. Esselstyn and others have used to reverse Diabetes and Heart Disease didn’t contain more than 10% of total energy from dietary fat, compared to the 23% in this study (equivalent to 61 grams of fat). They also advocate whole food sources, certainly no oil or cookies, as used in this study.

                  It should also be noted that the subjects (postmenopausal women) were by no means fit and healthy. I quote (from the first paragraph in the results section):

                  “At baseline, the age of the 14 completing subjects was 59.0 ± 7.4 y, body weight was 79.6 ± 8.7 kg, BMI was 28.8 ± 1.9, systolic blood pressure was 135.4 ± 11.7 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure was 87.6 ± 6.5 mm Hg. Baseline total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol concentrations were 6.1 ± 0.8, 1.6 ± 0.3, and 3.7 ± 0.6 mmol/L, respectively. Habitual calcium intakes of subjects were 963 ± 369 mg/d.”

                  So on average they had a total cholesterol level of 235 mg/dl, and a LDL-level of 143. In addition, Table 4 reveals their glucose levels, which lay between 5.98 and 6.23 mmol/l (around 110 mg/dl) before the intervention, and a little bit lower after (with the greatest reduction in the low-fat group).

                  1. Jay, thanks for your input on that. Although I’m disappointed nobody from site support got interested in the error. The thing is I can’t share this video with anyone. It could be too easily dismissed with “vegan propaganda” statement and possibly destroy trust for the entire website in the future.

                    Regards.

  4. Dairy industry?????!! I have read ALL KINDS of studies that were intentionally skewed and we all have read many that make ‘breaking news’ for showing something new THAT NEVER TURNS OUT TO BE TRUE LATER WHEN PEERS TRY TO REPEAT THE STUDIES. Every single industry uses bogus studies to promote their products from paint to pharmaceuticals.

    1. Jimbo, while it’s true that there are many (but certainly not every) industries that lie and skew and trick, what does that have to do with the subject at hand? Your comment seems to be for the sake of drawing light away from the point, a very important point that confuses and tricks the public and leads to serious harm.

  5. Wow, this blows me away!

    It makes it so hard because most of us read the studies but miss things like that because it is in the food section.

  6. Where are the peer reviewers? Any legitimate scientific journal should reject this marketing. What kind of journals are these being published in?

      1. It is however a useful reminder to us that highly processed ‘vegan’ foods may be ethically and possibly environmentally superior to animal foods but they they can be just as bad or even worse for our health than minimally processed animal foods.

        1. But they even had to supplement the diets of those on highly processed vegan foods with sources of pure, unhealthy fat. That to me says a lot… not that the highly processed vegan alternatives to things are health foods, but just how bad animal products are.

  7. Precisely why people get confused and frustrated and just give up, the nutritional data seems to be always changing. On top of the bogus sponsored studies, you get all the internet meatheads echoing the BS like they’re authorities, but have no clue they are duped and dopes. Like Dr McDougall says, people love to hear good news about their bad habits.

    1. Vegetater,

      Yes, people love to hear good news about their bad habits, but in this case, it isn’t the audience’s fault.

      The point is that suddenly they hear on every news channel and talk show that the scientists and doctors were wrong and that cholesterol turns out to not be bad for people and that dairy turns out to be protective. The problem is that “newest science” is the full extent of what they there. They don’t hear this side of it from those journalists or talk show hosts. They just the latest data – usually in sound clips.

      I remember hearing it about butter. Butter is good. Butter is bad. Butter is good. Butter is bad. Butter is good.

      Eventually, you do stop even paying attention.

      1. A lot of people probably don’t realize the extent to which seemingly random health studies (like noted in this video) are passed on to the public. If we were able to see income sources for these writers and pseudo experts you would find they draw a paycheck from the meat and dairy industry, either directly or indirectly. You can never trust any stories written on-line or in the news, because you never know the source. Meat and dairy pay big dollars for advertising; watch: “What the Health”, it’s a well done documentary.

        The stories being published are being published intentionally, it’s not an accident.

    2. Exactly, vegetater. It’s too bad all the unconvinced and confused people out there don’t just try a plant based diet and see for THEMSELVES what happens. But it’s like you said, it comes down to wanting to keep the bad habits.

  8. Okay, so is anybody buying a Tofurky?

    I don’t usually do it, but there are expected to be 5 million sold this season and I suspect that it is the easiest way to cast a vote to the news media.

    1. Nope, I worded that wrong. They are expected to sell their 5 millionth Tofurky this year.

      Don’t forget to Google Vegan recipes.

      “Vegan Thanksgiving recipes were a top Google search this year and doubled compared to last year. In the U.S., the number of people who identify as vegans reached 6% in 2017 compared to 1% in 2014.”

      1. Deb, No Tofurkey. My husband calls it by another unprintable but similar sounding word (sort of). But basically, no faux meat or faux any animal products. Why eat them? My food is delicious without these processed faux products. So many recipes made with plant based whole foods in my kitchen from veggies and fruit, beans and whole grains, and nuts and seeds in moderation.

        As for thanksgiving: We always say thank you, whenever possible, to the farmers and workers who grow and harvest our food and get it to the market or store where we can buy it. No need for a special day.

        1. Dr J

          I agree with you. Processed food is not good.

          I did go buy one to express patriotism as a vegan-ish almost WFPB wannabe.

          Mostly, it was a political statement and I laugh saying that, but it is the truth.

          I will tell you that Christians opted out of entertainment for a long time as their version of WFPB culture and it felt so much healthier but you end up not influencing culture at all and when I watched again, when my grandmother was dying almost everything on the networks was serial killers and I know that the more that happens the more Christians opt out and the more they opt out the less influence they have.

          They aren’t going to talk vegan unless they see money in it.

      2. Now that’s great news Deb! I was telling Bill on the forum yesterday that I may buy a vegan processed item or two this holiday, if only to cast a vote for our sector. I have a sweet tooth I admit, but I don’t miss the meat, or the cheese really. There are so many great vegan recipes out there… I might attempt a crustless pumpkin pie…

        1. Barb,

          I don’t really care about eating Tofurky. I have a sweet tooth, too. More than caring about meat or cheese.

          I just know that it is the one day of the year that counts for vegan versus meat in the press.

          1. And that Google searches matter probably more than anything, so even googling it might help.

            They sell vegan gravy and that made the purchase worth it.

            1. And, no, I am not sure I will even like it at all, but I like that they talked about vegan on the radio and that my coworker talked to me about using cauliflower instead of potatoes and I got to celebrate that he is eating a vegetable.

              Actually, Tofurky reminds me of my mother and grandmother because when I became allergic to meat, they worried about what I would eat on Thanksgiving.

              It was always nice to have people who cared so much that they thought about things like that.

              1. I didn’t tell my coworker that I got banned from McDugall Website. He wants me to get rid of things like potatoes and bread from my diet. So does my father. Cauliflower mashed potatoes isn’t quite the same.

                1. I am not saying that as a joke. The Keto crowd is anti potato and potato just happens to be a big part of our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner and I just happened to be banned Thanksgiving week.

                  I realize now that I have to stop sending people there because the people I am sending have been indoctrinated Keto and they really will get banned their first comments, too. I have been sending MS patients there and the SAD diet people who already eat potatoes as their only vegetable.

                  I am going to contact the McDougall site to apologize for violating their rules. I won’t be going back but I should have tried to figure out the rules better and maybe read a book before showing up the second time.

                  1. My brain really is slow at processing things and I need to not go to sites without more preparation.

                    When I came here, I remember announcing that I could never give up dairy and I mostly don’t even have the faux milkd or cheeses or even nutritional yeast now.

                    Dr Michael Greger, you care more about WFPB than your individual program. You could have banned me the very first day and you didn’t and it might extend my life.

          2. I don’t think of myself as ‘vegan’. Nor do I think of this site as ‘vegan’. Whole food plant based is what I aspire to since that is what the science shows is the healthiest way to eat.

            Eating unhealthy junk foods, even if they are ‘vegan’, isn’t much of an improvement on animal foods from a nutritional point of view. If it’s even an improvement at all (nutritionally).

          3. Deb, I have never eaten faux meats or cheese, or sports bars, drinks or shakes. There is no appeal for me there. What I was excited about was the dramatic increase in percentage of vegans, and vegan google searches. Apparently the UK is currently undergoing a similar dramatic rise in vegan eating plans also. I use the word vegan because of its common use in media… as I said I rarely buy anything with a label on it.

      3. Very cool news, Deb! Thanks for sharing. I never do any kind of vegan turkey alternative. To be honest, I’ve always preferred all the so-called “sides” anyway.

        I’ll share my made up cranberry sauce with you guys… I make it raw by buying frozen cranberries (Whole Foods sells good organic frozen cranberries), thawing them so they get soft like they do when you cook them, then I blend them in a food processor or blender mixed with pitted medjool dates and just a bit of maple syrup (you could use all dates but I didn’t have enough) and voila. It’s awesome… well, I think so anyway. You might need to add just a tiny bit of water.

  9. These types of videos are among the best you put out!

    The real problem with the public is that they put their fingers in their ears, all the while singing silly songs. It’s that, or conveniently look the other way when the facts are being presented.

  10. Doc I would REALLY like you to explain why higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL do NOT lead to higher “All cause mortality”.
    YES these higher cholesterol levels do increase heart attacks BUT not all cause mortality.
    I’ve looked at a LOT of research on Pubmed and consistently the all cause mortality vs cholesterol or LDL is “U” shaped NOT linear.
    Here is just 1 such study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25605681
    I am on a low fat whole food Vegan diet myself, but I am beginning to think that maybe we/you should not use changes in levels of cholesterol to determine if a particular diet or individual food is good or bad for us. Perhaps the only standard to look at is all cause mortality?
    Thanks

    1. The reason that OBSERVATIONAL studies show a U curve is because the human body is a very complicated system and feedback occurs.

      High blood cholesterol appears to increase the risk of a number of long term diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic onfectious disease (hepatitis etc) and Alzheimers. However, a variety of diseases and traumas in turn can cause cholesterol levels to decrease. These include heart attacks, surgery, Alzheimer’s, chronic alcoholism, sepsis, cancers, hepatitis etc. The self-proclaimed cholesterol expertswe see on YouTube and the the internet never ever mention this. I wonder why. Some of them are MDs and should be expected to know this yet …………..

      The fact is that EXPERIMENTAL studies – a stronger form of evidence than observational studies – show that lowering highblood LDL cholesterol levels (whether by lifestyle improvements or medications) reduces the number of adverse cardiovascular events (such as death, stroke, heart surgery etc). That’s why all credible health authorities around the world stress the importance of LDL cholesterol lowering through diet/lifestyle changes or drug therapy as a way of reducing mortality and adverse events generally.

      All-cause mortality is also reduced as a consequence of cholesterol lowering as evidenced in drug trials eg
      https://www.cochrane.org/CD004816/VASC_statins-primary-prevention-cardiovascular-disease

      The Euopean Atherosclerosis Society has issued a consensus paper on the evidence demonstrating that cholesterol is atherogenic and Dr Greger has produced a video summary of the evidence proving that high blood LDL cholesterol is unhealthy.
      https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-do-we-know-that-cholesterol-causes-heart-disease/

      The quick answer to your question then is that in Western countries high cholesterol especially in older people is normal and it is mostly sick people who have low/declining cholesterol

      Most (older) people in Western countries who have low levels of cholesterol have low cholesterol because they have ill health not because they eat right and exercise regularly. In the case of some long latency chronic diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s, cholesterol levels can begin falling 15 or more years before a formal diagnosis (of cancer, Alzheimer’s) is made. The same thing applies to unexplained weight loss. Overweight/obesity is also normal in (older) people in Western societies but unexplained weight loss can be caused by eg thyroid problems, cancer, Alzheimer’s etc. This is why you will sometimes see ‘experts’ claiming – on the basis of crude observational studies – that in older people having high cholesterol and being overweight is ‘protective’.

      1. Agree with this, obervationally you should see lower cholesterol associated with higher mortality, where sickness causes the low cholesterol. Also, if people fearing imminent death finally adopt a healthy diet, but 4-5 decades of junk food have already deposited lethal millimeters of calcified plaques and scar tissue in the arteries.

        1. Kevin Clark, it doesn’t take 4 or 5 decades of ‘junk food’ consumption to have blocked arteries… being overweight, too little exercise, alcohol tobacco or other substance abuse, eating disorders, too much sat fat, inclination to high cholesterol levels, many reasons. I have seen a broccoli eating downhill skier (my husband) taken by surprise by heart disease. It takes more diligence I think than most realise.

    2. VC,

      Re-watch Dr Gregers cholesterol videos.

      What I remember from conversations is that if you get up to the poorest and elderly level, starving people have lower cholesterol.

  11. I just found a praise on milk products which is founded on this study, published in Lancet in September: “Association of dairy intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 21 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study.” As being a long-time plant-eater: how to argument in this case? Any flaws with the study? Can’t find dairy companies listet in the acknowlegdement section.. thank you!!

  12. The lead authors of the PURE study article are from McMaster University in Canada.

    McMaster University is a partner of the Canadian dairy industry.
    https://www.dairyfarmers.ca/who-we-are/our-partners

    Dairy foods are high in sodium and fat. The McMaster team has coincidentally been producing papers based on the PURE study that attempt to argue, contrrary to the bulk of scientific evidence, that dairy foods and high levels of sodium and saturated fat consumption are healthful or at least harmless. Here are some criticisms of the conclusions drawn by the authors of those papers

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2017/09/08/pure-study-makes-headlines-but-the-conclusions-are-misleading/
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/diet-and-health-puzzling-past-paradox-to-pure-understanding_b_59a81d10e4b02498834a8f27
    https://nutritionstudies.org/pure-studys-conclusions-fats-carbs-misleading/
    https://www.foodpolitics.com/2017/09/the-pure-study-lets-get-skeptical/

    McDougall also did a webinar on this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMq-YcoPY3U

  13. I agree with the people who said that this type of video is the most important on the site.

    These are the things which confuse everybody.

    Some of us know that we will never be able to defend this position unless we learn what the industry studies did to get the results they got.

  14. I also want to give kudos to the photographer. This one has such a fires of Hell type feel to it. Molten lava. Cheese always looked so good to me and this removes the comfort food feel.

  15. A huge thank you to Dr. Greger and his team for this incredible video exposing the truth to the public…. I can’t even find the words. You guys deserve some kind of prize… is there a prize for people who expose deeply rooted lies and tricks that have been harming the public for ages? Well, there needs to be. THANK YOU.

    1. Angela,

      Mega-doses of B-vitamins aren’t healthy. But we need to not be deficient.

      Cyano version has a trace amount of cyanide. Flaxseed has something like 5000 times more. People take bitter apricot kernels and B-17 which has much more cyanide than Apricot Kernels, which has more than flaxseeds, which has 5000 times more than cyano B-12.

      Toddlers have died from apricot kernels. A woman in her 30’s ended up in the ER from mega-doses of B-17, but was treated with the antidote, which is hydroxy B12.

      I didn’t find any reported cases of people ending up in the ER from either flaxseed or B-12, but there are a lot of stories of people having health problems from lack of B-12. Your spine can rot and you can die from lack of B-12.

      Back to can you OD on it? You would have to work really hard at it to OD on it. It would have to be intentional.

      Though, you can mega-dose on it for a long time and have more of a risk of certain health problems, so don’t mega-dose.

      Dr Greger gives how to figure out the dose in his video and the way the dose was chosen was by what it takes to lower honocysteine levels.

        1. Many supplements do increase the Cancer risk and folate would be another one.

          The thing is, you can get your folate from vegetables, B-12 is the one vegans and even other people end up deficient in.

          1. You can OD on water if you try hard enough.

            But it is more likely you will be like most people who don’t drink enough water.

            Some people overdo things. Are you one of those?

            Can you just accept the recommended dose on Dr Gregers recommendations and take that?

            Some people can and some people are more complicated.

            Do you know your B-12 levels?

            If you are worried, start there.

            1. 40% of the entire population are deficient in B-12 and that includes meat eaters.

              If you are vegan, you need to supplement, just not mega-dose.

    2. Angela,

      A few thoughts on the levels and “overdose” potentials.

      First there optimal levels are not measured by the serum B12, but rather by using the MMA test, which is reflective of tissue levels. By using the methylmalonic acid testing, not the serum B12. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/mma/tab/test you can determine your needs more accurately and easily. There are situations where there might be additional needs or a change in the form of administration for higher B12 than the “norm”, include lack or a deficiency of intrinsic factor, as one example. Issues with GI disorders are another common concern.

      Second the so called overdosing would take some doing and is somewhat dependent on the form of B12. Remember there are three options. If you were to take cyanocobalamin continually you could theoretically exceed your cyanide intake over time. With either methyl or hydroxy cobalamin that would not be possible.

      With reference to the dosing at high levels: you might be surprised at the amounts of B12 used including injectable formats: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-926/vitamin-b12.

      If your still worried about this safe oral format consider that even the very conservative Mayo clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-b12/art-20363663) suggests the following, with the key word being “might”:

      “High doses of vitamin B-12, such as those used to treat a deficiency, might cause:”

      Dizziness
      Headache
      Anxiety
      Nausea
      Vomiting

      My clinical experience has shown time and again that most people regardless of dose, and yes I use the injectable format at times, will not experience any adverse effects. With that said there will always be an exception to my and other clinicians findings with someone. Using common sense and considering testing will be an appropriate approach, when in doubt.

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

  16. Did the Dairy Industries do something to get out of the Type 1 Diabetes risk?

    I was listenjng to WNPR and young people are dying from rationing insulin. It is going to be an epidemic. They can’t afford it and some of them had it cost as much as my monthly salary every month and people will be dying at such a high level and more adults are getting Type 1 now.

    Has Dairy been vindicated or implicated?

    1. My friends son has almost died a few times and it is as because he is trying to get on disability but they don’t give it anymore but without it they can’t get low income housing and can’t afford their insulin and with health problems the medical bills even from almost dying and going to the hospital are so high and he can’t pursue a career. And disability is based on what you made, so if you get something like schizophrenia as a young person, which another man I know had happen, he only barely got enough disability to pay for his housing and he ended up not being perfect enough at spending and I am thinking it was actually impossible for him, because he was basically living off a teenagers wages worth of disability. They end up homeless or in an institution or prison. It is surreal, because I am seeing so many people who simply cannot make it and then I go to Thanksgivibg and my relative with a six figure job for the insurance company said that so far she is getting paid the big bucks to just sit around and do nothing. Culturally, the divide is so wide and people at the bottom are going to ration insulin or not use it at all or kill themselves or if they are “anger outward” kill other people and do death by cop or something.

      I sat in a room where 3 people are leisure class doing nothing and a few people are homeless and one homeless who used to come died at 40.

      1. To even try to go on disability for out of control Type 1 Diabetes, you have to find someone to financially support you for 6 months even to apply and 6 months later, you get rejected, so that is a year of someone housing you, feeding you, paying for your insurance and insulin. Then, after you get rejected, you are allowed to go to a lawyer and it ends up being 6 months later that you get your next rejection and you are told if you apply again, and get rejected again, you can never apply again. Finding someone to support you for that length of time isn’t even feasible unless it is a parent. My friends son has T1D plus epilepsy and you lose your license for 2 years if you have a seizure, which he had last week. He also has COPD making the mile walk to a bus stop longer. Plus, he has depression to the point where he doesn’t shower or brush his teeth or eat which contributes to the cycle of almost dying.

        Anyway, it is frustrating to me that the wealthy professional class tends to have zero compassion and, no, I am not saying that I want them to support the young man, but they could be nicer about people who really might die and they aren’t.

  17. We also talked about E. coli and how Walmart has a system to track their heads of lettuce back to the suppliers.

    Leafy greens and ecoli?

    Does washing it prevent it?

  18. Your citations fall right in line with Dr. G’s video. The first link is not research. There is no data. It’s “research news” so they are reporting on a study that I could not find. That means they can say whatever they want. This is not evidence.

    The second link is to a study that was sponsored by so many dairy entities that I lost count. Just scroll down to the bottom under “conflict of interest” and try to count the number of sponsors with the word “dairy” in it. I think that about says it all.

    Dr. Ben

  19. Hi, Robert! First of all, this study does not even mention metabolic syndrome, so I don’t see how it could reasonably be used to validate that claim. When I look at a study, the first part I read is the disclosure of funding sources. This study is funded by agribusiness, which raises a red flag for me. The second is the use of a “biomarker” for dairy consumption in combination with self-reported intake. Self-reported intake is notoriously inaccurate, due to recall bias. Is phospholipid 15:0 a valid biomarker for dairy consumption? Maybe, maybe not. You might be interested in this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828794/pdf/jah3-2-e000393.pdf
    If a person or group of people is sufficiently motivated by, for example, financial incentives, a study may be designed to show just about anything. I hope that helps!

  20. The attention to detail, combined with the ability to express it to the public in laymen terms is very impressive. Thank you Doctor. You’re doing a very meaningful service for free that the public needs (even if a lot of them don’t know it yet, maybe one day they’ll come around. I believe the plant-based movement is growing.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This