How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting?

How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting?
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Iron, zinc, oil, and even doughnuts are put to the test to see if they can block lead absorption.

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

There are certain nutrients whose intake has been associated with lower lead levels in the body. For example, women with higher thiamine intake (vitamin B1 intake) tended to have lower blood lead levels; the same with lead-exposed steel workers. Fiber and iron intake were also associated, to a lesser degree, with lower lead levels in the blood. The thinking is that the fiber might glom onto the lead, and flush it out of the body. And, the iron would inhibit the lead absorption, whereas the thiamine may accelerate lead removal through the bile. Thus, the research suggests that eating lots of iron, fiber, and especially thiamine-rich foods “may induce rapid removal and excretion of…lead from the tissues.” But thiamine’s never been put to the test, where you give people thiamine, and see if their lead levels drop. The closest I could find is a thiamine intervention for lead-intoxicated goats.

And, much of the fiber data are just from test tube studies like this, where, under simulated intestinal conditions, complete with flasks of feces, both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber were able to bind up large amounts of mercury, cadmium, and lead to such an extent that they may have blocked absorption in the small intestine—though when our good gut flora then might eat the fiber, some of the heavy metals may be re-released in the colon. So, it’s not completely fail-safe, and, like thiamine, there haven’t been controlled human studies.

But look, where is thiamine found? Here’s some of the healthiest sources that also contain fiber, concentrated in super-healthy foods like beans and greens that we should all be eating anyway. So, even if thiamine and fiber-rich foods don’t actually lower your lead levels, you’d still end up healthier.

Iron was put to the test, though, and it failed to improve the “cognitive performance” of lead-exposed children, failed to improve “behavior” or ADHD symptoms. No surprise, because it failed to bring down lead levels, as did zinc supplementation. Turns out that while “iron may limit [the] absorption of lead,…it may also inhibit [the] excretion of…lead” that’s already in your body.

And, iron may not even inhibit lead absorption in the first place. That was based on rodent studies, and it turns out we’re not rodents.

Same story with zinc. It may have helped to protect rat testicles, but didn’t seem to help human children. “Nevertheless, iron is routinely prescribed in children with lead poisoning.” But, “[G]iven the lack of scientific evidence supporting the use of [indiscriminate] iron [supplementation] in… children with lead poisoning, its routine use should be reexamined.” Though obviously, if you have an iron deficiency, supplementation may help.

High fat intake has also been identified as something that make things worse for lead-exposed children. Dietary fat was associated with higher lead levels in a cross-sectional, snapshot-in-time study, and there is a plausible biological mechanism. Dietary fat may boost lead absorption by stimulating extra bile, which, in turn, may “contribute…to lead absorption.” But, you really don’t know until you put it to the test.

In addition to testing iron, they also tested fat. They gave a group of intrepid volunteers a cocktail of radioactive lead. Then, with a Geiger counter, they could measure how much radiation they retained in their bodies. Drinking the lead with iron or zinc didn’t change anything, but adding about two teaspoons of vegetable oil boosted lead absorption into the body from about 60% up to around 75%.

The only thing that seemed to help, dropping lead absorption down to about 40%, was eating a light meal with the lead drink. What was the meal? Coffee and a doughnut. I think this is the first doughnut intervention I’ve ever seen with a positive outcome. Could it have been the coffee? Unlikely, as, if anything, coffee drinking has been associated with a tiny increase in blood levels.

If fat makes things worse, and the one sugar they tried didn’t help, they figured that it was just “eating food”—any food—not taking in lead on an empty stomach, that made the difference. And, indeed, if you repeat the study with a whole meal, lead absorption doesn’t just drop from 60% to 40%, but all the way down to just 4%! That’s extraordinary. That means it’s 15 times worse to ingest lead on an empty stomach.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Anand Prahlad, Jon Trillana and Imogen Oh from the Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. 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.

There are certain nutrients whose intake has been associated with lower lead levels in the body. For example, women with higher thiamine intake (vitamin B1 intake) tended to have lower blood lead levels; the same with lead-exposed steel workers. Fiber and iron intake were also associated, to a lesser degree, with lower lead levels in the blood. The thinking is that the fiber might glom onto the lead, and flush it out of the body. And, the iron would inhibit the lead absorption, whereas the thiamine may accelerate lead removal through the bile. Thus, the research suggests that eating lots of iron, fiber, and especially thiamine-rich foods “may induce rapid removal and excretion of…lead from the tissues.” But thiamine’s never been put to the test, where you give people thiamine, and see if their lead levels drop. The closest I could find is a thiamine intervention for lead-intoxicated goats.

And, much of the fiber data are just from test tube studies like this, where, under simulated intestinal conditions, complete with flasks of feces, both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber were able to bind up large amounts of mercury, cadmium, and lead to such an extent that they may have blocked absorption in the small intestine—though when our good gut flora then might eat the fiber, some of the heavy metals may be re-released in the colon. So, it’s not completely fail-safe, and, like thiamine, there haven’t been controlled human studies.

But look, where is thiamine found? Here’s some of the healthiest sources that also contain fiber, concentrated in super-healthy foods like beans and greens that we should all be eating anyway. So, even if thiamine and fiber-rich foods don’t actually lower your lead levels, you’d still end up healthier.

Iron was put to the test, though, and it failed to improve the “cognitive performance” of lead-exposed children, failed to improve “behavior” or ADHD symptoms. No surprise, because it failed to bring down lead levels, as did zinc supplementation. Turns out that while “iron may limit [the] absorption of lead,…it may also inhibit [the] excretion of…lead” that’s already in your body.

And, iron may not even inhibit lead absorption in the first place. That was based on rodent studies, and it turns out we’re not rodents.

Same story with zinc. It may have helped to protect rat testicles, but didn’t seem to help human children. “Nevertheless, iron is routinely prescribed in children with lead poisoning.” But, “[G]iven the lack of scientific evidence supporting the use of [indiscriminate] iron [supplementation] in… children with lead poisoning, its routine use should be reexamined.” Though obviously, if you have an iron deficiency, supplementation may help.

High fat intake has also been identified as something that make things worse for lead-exposed children. Dietary fat was associated with higher lead levels in a cross-sectional, snapshot-in-time study, and there is a plausible biological mechanism. Dietary fat may boost lead absorption by stimulating extra bile, which, in turn, may “contribute…to lead absorption.” But, you really don’t know until you put it to the test.

In addition to testing iron, they also tested fat. They gave a group of intrepid volunteers a cocktail of radioactive lead. Then, with a Geiger counter, they could measure how much radiation they retained in their bodies. Drinking the lead with iron or zinc didn’t change anything, but adding about two teaspoons of vegetable oil boosted lead absorption into the body from about 60% up to around 75%.

The only thing that seemed to help, dropping lead absorption down to about 40%, was eating a light meal with the lead drink. What was the meal? Coffee and a doughnut. I think this is the first doughnut intervention I’ve ever seen with a positive outcome. Could it have been the coffee? Unlikely, as, if anything, coffee drinking has been associated with a tiny increase in blood levels.

If fat makes things worse, and the one sugar they tried didn’t help, they figured that it was just “eating food”—any food—not taking in lead on an empty stomach, that made the difference. And, indeed, if you repeat the study with a whole meal, lead absorption doesn’t just drop from 60% to 40%, but all the way down to just 4%! That’s extraordinary. That means it’s 15 times worse to ingest lead on an empty stomach.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Anand Prahlad, Jon Trillana and Imogen Oh from the Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

That’s why it’s critical to “get the lead out” of our tap water. It’s estimated that most of our lead exposure comes from food, rather than water. But, it’s not what we eat; it’s what we absorb.  If 90% of the lead in food is blocked from absorption by the very fact that it’s in food, you could get 10 to 20 times more lead absorbed into your bloodstream consuming the same amount of lead in water drunk on an empty stomach.

Where does all this lead exposure come from anyway? Check out the first five “backgrounder” videos in this series:

More on blocking lead absorption coming up, as well as what to eat to help rid oneself of lead you’ve already built up:

Or even better, not get exposed in the first place. See my videos:

Update: I later did a couple of videos about lead being absorbed and released in our bones, and how calcium supplements may affect that process: The Rise in Blood Lead Levels at Pregnancy & Menopause and Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels

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

65 responses to “How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting?

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  1. Dear mr. Greger! I hope you can help me! I follow your vegan daily dozen list and avoid refined stuff of all kinds, but still seem to have blackheads and multiple bumps on my forehead.. It’s not big cystic clustters, but still not nice… I wonder what advise you could give me before you update the video library on acne :)
    Cheers, and thanks for the videos on lead – very interesting!




    1
    1. Gently steaming your face, then using a very dilute castile soap, rinsing like crazy with cold water, then an astringent like aloe or witch hazel – and finally, a little bit of coconut oil or castor oil – has been working wonders for my skin. I read about this in an old book on herbs written by a woman whose father worked in the cosmetics and skin care industry. He told her that men have good skin due to their use of witch hazel after shaving, but if they don’t use it on their noses and foreheads, they pores on those areas are still large.




      1
      1. I second this approach–steam clean (even without soap), witch hazel (make sure there’s no alcohol in it) , a little oregano oil (around zits to fight bacteria–but avoid getting it in eyes) and green tea compresses (dip cotton in tea and place cotton on face.) You might even want to try doing a facial mask with some matcha tea powder.




        0
    2. Sebastian,

      Your acne may be a result of a number of issues, including the diet. Although the WFPB diet is ideal for many it might not be adequate in terms of zinc levels and balancing of your oils and a host of other needs specific to your bodies construction.

      Some suggestions, have you checked your zinc levels either via a blood or oral testing ? Often times there is an association and your needing to supplement. As a note there is a correlation with toxic metals, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27600928 .

      Considering the large body of evidence regarding the bacterial issues, have you had your blood sugars checked and reviewed your soap and other skin product usage, with a health care professional ? There are many considerations so… be proactive and check as a solution is probably available.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




      1
    3. Hi,you may be detoxifying some inner stuff inside your body however i suggest looking at how much F A T you are consuming and lower
      the amount to 10% of your calories for two weeks. See if that makes a difference.
      Most of us eat way too much fat, and I am not a fan of cooking with any oils ( or even
      oil in general); fried foods are unhealthy. You can deal with the “symptom” by using facial preparations but the goal should be to find
      the root cause……. namaste’, rachel




      0
    4. All three of my children had acne, from bad to worse, being on a anti-inflammatory diet was the most beneficial. Strenuous exercise even causes an inflammatory response. Yoga, eating very healthy planned meals with no sugar made a huge difference. They still ended up taking antibiotics and acutane medication for it. I have heard dry (not fluid oil capsules) vitamin A in high doses does help, but needs to be monitored just as much as medications to preserve their kidneys. My parents took me to a dermatologist and I had UV therapy (like a tanning bed but before they were common), and now I have damaged skin. So, start with the oatmeal and ask a lot of questions to preserve your health!




      0
    5. You didn’t say how long you’ve been using eating according to dr. gregor’s recommendations. What you have to realize is that you’re probably still detoxing & skin is one of your detox organs. Are you drinking enough water, are you having more than one bowel movement daily, in other words are getting rid of toxins as they are released from your cells. Also a good blood cleanser may be a good idea to help you cleanse like burdock, red clover & I think dr. gregor mentioned berberine (not sure about that), but you will have to research it. However, you have to go slowly when cleansing blood, do your research. Organs of elimination such as lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, should be working efficiently while you detox. Lungs (increase exercise), kidneys (increase water intake), liver (increase glutathione or take milk thistle), use facial products that don’t clog your skin. I think activated charcoal is wonderful internally to help pull out toxins from your bloodstream so they’re not reabsorbed, take at night 90 min – 2 hrs from all supplements, medications, powerful stuff. Also externally make a paste & dab a little on a pimple, cover with bandaid while it draws out toxins. Steaming your face is a good idea & don’t use overdrying products on your face as they will cause you to secrete more oil. I speak from experience. Good luck.




      0
  2. What about the lead that is already in our bones? How do we chelate that with food? For instance, say someone
    ate nothing for a few days….thus, no lead coming in, would it be possible to excrete lead buried deep in bones and
    body organs? Lead from years, decades back…or is ‘that’ lead with us for life?




    4
    1. Precisely my question Greg.

      I suppose we are all looking for ways to reverse the past ingestion of lead and other toxins.




      5
    2. If you manage to avoid future exposure and get the needed nutrients and fiber in your diet, then very very gradually it should come out and be eliminated. But it will take quite a few years.




      2
    3. Succimer, dimercaprol (BAL), edetate calcium disodium, deferoxamine, and penicillamine are used as chelating agents for lead, but they may have serious side effects and can’t be used long-term. I have also read in not so scientific sources that cilantro, parsley, onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables may help bind lead and remove it from the system. But then again, they couldn’t hurt. Chelating agents may only be effective on the lead in the blood,although lead may be slowly released from the bones into the blood over time. Lead has a half-life of 25-30 years in the bones, so a few days of fasting will do very little to remove lead.




      1
      1. I dont see your reasoning on the fasting.
        PCBs have a half-life of 8-20 years and in a clinical study on PCB poisoned patients* a 7-10 day fast did remove some PCBs from their body and improve symptoms.
        Fasting does more than just consume a tiny bit of food reserves.

        * ‘A trial of fasting cure for PCB‐poisoned patients in Taiwan‘ American Journal of Industrial Medicine 5:147-153 (1984)




        1
      2. Ruth,

        Your correct in your assessment overall of the many chelation products, however not for lead specifically. Products such as penicillamine, deferoxamine and dimercaprol (BAL) have some of the more serious issues and have not been used for decades for lead removal.

        The use of EDTA, both calcium and the sodium forms, has and continues to be used internationally for lead poisonings. I would refer you to the largest training organization for their use at the American Academy for the Advancement in Medicine and a call to your local emergency room and ask what they stock.

        Succinic acid, also known as succimer, is a very safe and effective product with no or limited side effects generally based on dosage. It has been an effective means of chelating young patients as its an oral medication and in common use. There are other agents such as DMPS and a handful of unproven herbal and nano products on the market.

        Studies have shown lowered bone lead levels with use of the above agents. As and interesting assessment using a combination of chelating agents please see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21649453\

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




        0
      3. Phytate is found naturally in grains and nuts unlike synthetic chelating agents. It can be bought as IP-6 supplement sold as calcium magnesium phytate. It strongly chelates lead, aluminum, iron and other toxic metals. But it also binds essential zinc and trace metals hence requiring supplements taken apart from phytate.




        1
  3. Who would be willing to participate in such a study and how do they justify giving people lead to drink? And radioactive, at that. Wow, I’m surprised such a study was allowed at all.




    8
    1. Hi Penny, I am volunteer moderator at the site. You do raise a good point as these kind of studies sounds unethical.
      As I know from doing research on human subjects there are ethical code of conduct from Belmont report one has to follow which indicates that when doing research on human subjects there should be
      a,Respect for the stubjects
      b,Beneficence and
      c, Justice.
      The Belmont Report




      1
  4. I suggest being more careful when naming these videos because some people are going to see the title, ignore the question mark, and assume that “Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting” will all remove lead from their system. I do not defend someone not actually watching or reading the article, but knowing that there are people out there that are not going to take the time to fully review the material, it would seem more ethical to remove any source of confusion about your thesis. Even if you added, “Put to the test,” to the title, it would be clearer.




    9
  5. Interesting segment. Even some humor… a bit surprised the research didn’t include specifically sulfurous foods or actual chelates, but then there must be some mystery and suspense as well.

    ;)




    0
  6. “I think this is the first doughnut intervention I’ve ever seen with a positive outcome.”
    Members of law enforcement are rejoicing everywhere.




    9
  7. I thank you for the information. I have been vegan (or vegetarian) for almost 30 years now and believe RAW fruits
    and vegetables provide incredible nutrition and also must be superior at clearing some toxins from the body. I have fasted
    several times for 2-3 weeks (a supervised fast). I think a longer fast must release more than just a 2-7 day fast. The BEST
    overall way to detoxify your body of heavy metals and other substances is to SWEAT IT OUT.
    If you do your research you will find ancient cultures for centuries have used SAUNA’S and sweat therapy for healing
    purposes. The Finnish people regularly use sauna’s for their entire family; they know the health benefits for generations.
    Parmenides, an ancient greek doctor stated “give me the power to create a fever and I can cure any dis-ease”. What wisdom
    did he know? a fever helps the immune system (and entire body) function better. By using sweat therapy you can “mimic a fever” and start
    a cleansing process. Sauna therapy helps millions of people improve their cardiovascular system, circulation, skin tone, levels of energy,
    sleep quality and multiple other benefits. Studies show that people’s sweat contains a certain amount of chemical or heavy metal residue.
    Please consider getting yourself some type of sauna for your health, you will feel the positive difference in multiple ways.
    There IS however a difference in sauna’s. A “regular” sauna is quite inefficient and works at high temperatures, heating
    the air about 80% and your body 20%. A “Far-Infrared”(FIR) Sauna works at lower temperatures, uses less electricity, penetrates
    deeper (about 1″-3” through the whole body) and is more effective producing more toxin residue in your sweat. I have been
    marketing and using a sauna “mat” since 2005 which uses far-infrared to heat and help the body heal by improving circulation, blood flow,
    oxygen, and the similar benefits of using a FIR sauna. It is called the Amethyst Biomat and it is a US FDA licensed medical device.
    It is used all over the world by individuals and practitioners of all kinds including MD’s RN’s, massage therapists, chiropractors, PT’s,
    Acupuncturists, Reiki practitioners, Reflexologists (as I am), and hospitals. Best wishes, namaste’, rachel




    1
    1. The only thing I find better than a sauna/sweating for eliminating toxins…is daily vigorous exercise. Regularly getting your heart up into the ‘cardio zone’ is a far better added bonus to your health, as opposed to sitting on your bum starring at the wall trying to sweat.




      4
      1. Exercise is wonderful and beneficial for sure but does not result in the deep cleansing penetrating elimination
        of toxins, chemicals and heavy metals. The result you are seeking is to thoroughly cleanse your body of the toxins
        never meant for your body/organs to have to handle. “Hot” yoga is wonderful and sweat producing in a room heated to about 85
        degrees but STILL not anywhere near as penetrating. Try several sessions in a Far-infrared sauna (or work your way up to several sessions
        on the Amethyst Biomat at 158 degrees). You will feel an amazing cleansing and difference from this specific healthy heat. There are mulitple reference studies related to heavy metal detoxification, sweating and heat/far-infrared/sauna use. Take a look at these:
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17234251
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22505948
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27800487
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=22089658
        best wishes, rachel




        0
    1. Thiamine is an inexpensive supplement.

      https://www.advancedbionutritionals.com/Modified-Citrus-Pectin/PectaSol-Detox-Formula.htm

      In one study, researchers gave people 15 g of PectaSol for 5 days and 20 g on day six. The scientists measured the amount of common heavy metals excreted in the participants’ urine before taking PectaSol and 24 hours after taking PectaSol.

      The results?

      The amount of arsenic excreted in participants’ urine increased by 130%…

      The amount of mercury excreted increased by 150%…

      The amount of cadmium excreted increased by 230%…

      And the amount of lead excreted in participants’ urine increased by 560%




      3
  8. Hi David, Thanks for your question. I am one of the volunteer moderator at the site. Dietary fibers, including pectin, have been shown to exert a favorable effect on a wide spectrum of pathological conditions. The Citrus pectin has the capacity to have a favorable immune response in human peripheral blood cells through its effect on cytokine production ( substances secreted by cells in immune system).Their positive influence on human health is explained by their anti-oxidative, lowering cholestrol and anti-cancerous effects. In this study that is carried out in laboratory in a petri dish using blood samples it showed beneficial effect by increasing Natural killer cells which are part of immune system defense mechanism. I hope these information are useful to you.
    Activation of Human T-Helper/Inducer Cell, T-Cytotoxic Cell, B-Cell, and Natural Killer (NK)-Cells and induction of Natural Killer Cell Activity against K562 Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Cells with Modified Citrus Pectin




    1
    1. Actually bedreddin, the last two paragraphs discuss it. The very last sentence says that it is 15 times worse to ingest lead on an empty stomach. Also, in the doctor’s notes, Dr Greger mentions that consuming lead in water on an empty stomach could result in 10 to 20 times more lead absorbed into the bloodstream. Im sure we will learn more as this series continues.




      1
  9. sorry i need more help. i tried whole food plant based for a few days now but when i went to do some work/exerted myself i felt bad. shakes and week. felt like a low sugar or fat problem. so i ate some meat and i felt better. what did i screw up? should i eat nuts instead or what?




    0
    1. Mark T, maybe you should ease into a whole foods plant based diet. I started my transition to WFPB about 18 months ago, cutting out eggs and dairy, but continuing to have fish twice a week. For the first few weeks I was counting the days for my next fish meal. Then I began to feel like I could stretch it out, so I dropped down to one fish meal per week. Eventually I started forgetting to have that one fish meal, so I dropped it altogether except for special occasions. One thing I discovered was that I had to eat a lot of starchy food (potatoes, pasta, rice, grains), two or three times the amount I was eating before, to replace the animal based calories I had removed from my diet.




      1
    2. Hi Mark,

      Also, another thing you need to consider as you transition to a whole food plant-based diet is that you will have to eat a large volume of food to make up for the lack of caloric density. To eat 2,000 calories eating meat, dairy, and processed foods, you may not have to eat a large amount of those foods. To get 2,000 calories eating whole plants, you will have to eat much larger quantities. So make sure you eat until you are content.

      Eating a variety of foods–fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds–will also help.

      Best of luck on your journey!




      0
    3. Hi, I have been plant based for almost 30 years. No one asked you what you WERE eating and drinking; that could be the answer.
      You are just starting out and may have no idea what you should be consuming and what is right for you.
      There are MANY varieties of “plant based” eating; some people consume lots of vegan pre-made burgers, canned and frozen meals
      (with little fresh foods), some rely on tons of grain and bean combinations, some believe soy and tofu are the best things to consume
      and eat tons of soy and tofu combinations or concoctions, some (like me) are live food/raw vegans.
      Make sure you consume big salads for raw enzymes and nutrition. Experiment with what feels right for your body as you go through
      the changes. I do not believe you “need” meat, it is simply familiar to you .Perhaps you were not getting enough protein based on what you were used to. Understand wherever you are right now will likely change as you get more experienced. I started out consuming unhealthy
      amounts of soy products I discovered were not healthy for me (and maybe others). Over the years I consistently discovered that
      consuming 50% (or more) of foods in their raw/live state gave me the best energy level (raw fruit, salads, veggies, smoothies…).
      Anytime you make a big change your body can have detox reactions for different reasons but WHAT you are eating is the key to the problem.
      namaste’, rachel




      0
        1. I am not a nutritionist or medical professional. I do know however that everything contains protien, however not the same as animal protien. Whenever you make a large change in your diet there is a definite period of adjustment. You are going to experience changes in your body and energy as you are likely consuming a lot more fiber than you are used to, etcetera.

          I would look at what you ARE consuming and perhaps see what is “missing”. Again I have no idea what you WERE used to eating as a meat eater that you got used to, and what you have changed to. Maybe a 1-2 week juice and smoothie cleanse (containing some nuts) is what would help to get you feeling lighter. I am not a believer in high fat consumption and nuts are high in fats and protien. Perhaps a visit to a nutritionist is best; perhaps a vegan nutritionist. namaste’, rachel




          0
          1. Just a clarification, Rachel –

            You noted “everything contains protein”. This is incorrect; protein is not found in fats, which are 100% fat. There is “some” protein in carbohydrate (plant based) foods, and of course, protein is protein. Your recommendation for Mark to see a dietitian nutritionist is a good one. I, too, recommend a plant based dietitian nutritionist. There is a great resource at vegan.com which lists a series of “guides” – the guide to Nutrition is excellent.

            Thanks for being part of our community!
            Lisa Schmidt, MS, CN
            Mindful Benefits
            Scottsdale, Arizona




            0
            1. Thank you; i know what I meant was even simple fruits and vegetables contain protien. Not just nuts, beans, meat, dairy and eggs…rachel

              I AM GENIUS, I AM DIVINE, I AM GRATEFUL, I AM VALUABLE, I AM LIMITLESS…




              0
  10. Thank you for your insightful info on diet and nutrition for healthy living. I particularly would like to refer you to work in medical-legal partnerships and the work of Emily Benfer at Loyola University, Chicago. SHe is my daughter and has published many papers on blood levels in children in government subsidized housing in Chicago. I think you would be interested in her findings and contribution to legislature to address this deplorable oversight. Please google Emily Benfer. And, thank you again for your videos and papers I read and share regularly.
    Mary Benfer
    SArasota FL




    0
  11. WHAT ABOUT LITHIUM OROTATE?
    Dr. Greger, mounting interest in lithium orotate or lithium aspartate suggests a video-article (or two) on its potential benefits– particularly with reducing brain atrophy or peroxidative damage. There also could be some benefit with lead-induced toxicity.

    Some research indicates lithium promotes not only neuron repair, but substantial new growth

    As with most “new” topics, there is a precedent– although lithium orotate has been available over-the-counter for years, people frequently confuse it with lithium carbonate, a different compound used in psychiatry, and at orders-of-magnitude higher dosage.




    1
  12. Since lead is absorbed so markedly less with food, I was glad to hear since I was a fat kid born in 1960 who grew up in Chicago.

    The next thought was, as the body is so miraculous, maybe hunger and over eating are a defense mechanism when lead is in the environment.




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  13. I did a search, on this site, for the word “fasting” and this was the only video that has the word in the title. There is nothing in the video about fasting however.
    I wonder why the topic of fasting has not been covered yet. There are so many resources, on the web, on the topic of fasting. Some claim it is something close to a “silver bullet” for human health but where is the science?
    I would love to heard Dr. Greger explain the outcome studies concerning fasting.




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  14. I have been eating 95% vegan for 8 months. I very, very rarely eat junk foods, although I do overeat, hence I carry an extra 20 lbs. With that, I was recently turned down for a blood donation–the first time in more than 40 donations in my life: hemoglobin level of 12.7…the minimum acceptable is 13.

    I eat an inordinate amount of walnuts and pistachios and have daily serving of flaxseed meal.

    Any suggestions?




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    1. Lynn, Hi. I became vegan in 1987 and have learned a LOT since then. First of all weight is more than just food issues, exercise is also important and increasing your metabolism, even just going for a 2 mile walk everyday helps. Iron gets lost when we girls have our periods but can easily be restored. I like eating lentils, beans, figs, and BEETS for great sources of iron. If you drink a lot of black tea it will reduce your iron levels. Also try switching from consuming processed already made vegan “fast foods” that are frozen or in the refrigerator and try making your own soups, chili’s, even pizza’s. These homemade one’s will be much healthier and much less sodium than the boxed or packaged ones. Also try to focus on consuming 50% of your foods in their ORGANIC AND RAW form, much healthier and easier to lose weight this way. namaste’, rachel




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      1. Thank you, Rachel.

        Regarding exercise, I’m currently playing fast-and-sweaty racquetball 6 hours per week. In between days, I walk 20 mins. I think that is where my low iron problem lies.

        · I tried to donate exactly 8 weeks after the last donation,

        · I’ve been playing r-ball like a crazy person, and

        · I’m trying to curtail my total caloric intake.

        These three factors may serve to lower my iron count.

        I drink black tea about twice a month.

        I eat very little prepared food. I prefer raw or I cook a bit.




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        1. Hi, you certainly do exercise. You may also be holding on to weight for emotional reasons.

          I have read “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a prince”.

          The quotation points to consume maximum calories in the morning and minimum at the end of the day. namaste’, rachel

          I am co-creating heaven on earth




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  15. Lynn: If your goal is to lose weight, I do have some suggestions. Below is the post I share with people when they already understand about eating a whole plant food diet, but are also facing a weight problem. I hope this helps.

    *******************
    The nice thing about your situation is that you already understand half the battle. I’m guessing from your post that you already understand about the importance of a whole plant food diet and have at least a sense of how to implement it. That’s half the learning curve. The other half is understanding the concept of calorie density and how to apply it to weight loss so that you don’t get hungry and you still get all the nutrients you need.
    .
    Dr. Greger covers calorie density (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eating-more-to-weigh-less/ ), but not in enough detail in my opinion for someone who wants to apply it for the first time. Doug Lisle, one of the experts in the Forks Over Knives documentary, gives a great ‘calorie density 101’ talk officially called: How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind. I have watched the following talk from Doug Lisle several times and think very highly of it. And it’s free!!! And it’s entertaining! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ
    .
    As good as Doug Lisle’s talk is, it pretty much just gives you a solid understanding of the concept, but not enough practical information in my opinion. For starting to get the practical information, I recommend a talk from Jeff Novick,Calorie Density: “How to Eat More, Weigh Less, and Live Longer,” http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Calorie_Density.html If talks aren’t your thing, the following article from Jeff covers a lot of the same information: http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/5/20_A_Common_Sense_Approach_To_Sound_Nutrition.html
    Be sure to pay attention to the charts.
    .
    Chef AJ tells people who want to lose weight to eat “left of the red line”, where I believe the red line is on a diagram of hers representing is about 650 (or was it 700?) calories per pound. And “left of the red line” is all the whole plant foods which are below 650 calories per pound. The above article from Jeff Novick gives you a good sense of which foods are “left of the red line” by food category. But if you want to look up the calorie density of specific foods, you can find many foods on the following site: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ Most foods on that site have the option of choose an ‘ounce’ as a size. Then you can multiply by 16 to get the calories per pound.
    .
    It would be perfectly respectable if you are one of those people who are just not interested in the theory. You just want to dive right in and want straight how-to information. If you would rather not think about any of that (or start with the theory and then move onto this step), I have one more suggestion that Dr. Greger also recommends in his book, How Not To Die. Consider going through the free program from PCRM (Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine) called 21 Day Kickstart. The program will “hold your hand” for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum (moderated by a very respected RD) where you can ask questions.
    http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/
    (Click the green “Register Now” button.)
    At the end of the program, you will have a very good practical knowledge about how to eat with healthy and “low” (normal for most people) calorie density.
    .
    Another recommendation that Dr. Greger and I share is to get Jeff Novick’s Fast Food videos for tasty, affordable, fast and healthy calorie density recipes. Also, on-line and free is a YouTube series of recipes/cooking shows called something like Chef AJ and The Dietician. I know that Chef AJ will not steer you wrong in terms of weight loss and providing accurate nutrition information.
    .
    How’s that for some tips? If you give these ideas a try, please report back and let us know how it went.




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  16. Thank you, Thea. Yes, I am concerned about losing weight, but I’m SIMULTANEOUSLY concerned about having low iron levels in my blood (anemia)! I’d remain slightly overweight if that’s required to get the iron I need.
    Again, thanks for all the good advice. I shall follow it up.




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  17. Lynn: Oh, sorry I didn’t pickup on the iron part. I didn’t understand the gist of your concern.

    In the hopes of trying to be helpful more on target, I’ll point you to this NutritionFacts page: https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/can-tea-hinder-the-absorption-of-iron/

    Also, below is another general post I share with people who have iron questions. I don’t know if any of it would apply to your situation. I’m just hoping that something will help. Good luck!
    **********************

    I’m not an expert, but I thought I would share some thoughts resources for you on this topic. First, the following quote from well respected Jack Norris RD makes a lot of sense to me:
    .
    “If your iron stores are too low, your doctor might suggest eating meat or taking an iron supplement. Anemia in meat-eaters is normally treated with large doses of supplemental iron, not with eating more meat. Similarly, vegetarians with anemia do not need to start eating meat but can also be treated with supplemental iron and vitamin C. If your doctor insists that you eat meat, you might want to show him or her this article.” http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/iron (first pointed out to me from “b00mer”) The entire article from Jack Norris is worth reading.
    .
    WFPBrunner, a knowledgeable participant on this site, once told me that she takes the GAIA (sp?) brand. Something you might look into as I think she did a lot of research.
    .
    Also, I highly recommend the following article from Dr. McDougall: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/common-health-problems/anemia/ One of Dr. McDougall’s main points is that the cause of anemia should be determined first as then you will know how best to move forward to treat the problem. That just makes so much sense.
    .
    I hope this helps.




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  18. I too have found zinc to be lacking in my old diet–as well as vegan. My research suggests it may have been the root cause of my tinitus, high pitch hearing, reduced sex drive, essential tremor… The best I have found is Dr. Roy Walford’s in his “Beyond the 120 Year Diet” recommendation of oysters to fill out the nutrition checklist for zinc and B12 naturally.

    Here is an article to suggest directing some of your future research on the topic of zinc:

    STUMBLED UPON: Do We Have A Cure For Lou Gehrig’s Disease?
    By Bill Sardi
    September 15, 2017

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease after this famous baseball player died of the disease in 1941) is a disease without a known cause or cure. It progressively disables motor neurons and often a victim dies by choking to death or can’t expand their lungs and succumbs by asphyxiation.
    Researchers writing in the Annual Review of Biochemistry have been investigating SOD1—superoxide dismutase 1 – an internally made enzymatic antioxidant and ALS. When the human body is biologically stressed SOD-1 is produced from copper-zinc precursors. Somehow in the development of ALS zinc-copper SOD1 becomes toxic, destroying motor neurons (nerves used for movement).

    In a more recent report published in Neurobiology of Disease we learn that the provision of copper lengthens the lifespan of ALS mice by 25%.

    Then, apparently on the cusp of a cure, researcher Stephen Byer indicates a zinc/copper drug is being tested and winks his eye to say, if you read between the lines, that maybe ALS patients ought to be taking copper and zinc supplements.

    There is no way to get enough zinc from the diet. Dr. Byer goes on to spell out what to do: “Copper and zinc pose little to no risk and have few side effects and can be purchased at most health food stores as well as online. The recommended dosage is 90-100 mg of zinc and 2-3 mg of copper, taken twice daily. In other words, don’t wait for the copper/zinc drug.”

    With all of the above information as background information, in my investigations of natural remedies for helpless diseases, I stumble across the following case report published in BMJ (British Medical Journal Case Reports.
    The report describes a 62-year old male with a history of six months of progressive lower limb instability, burning or prickling sensations in arms, legs, feet (parethesia), pain and weakness. A motor neuron problem was confirmed. Blood tests reveal a lower copper/higher zinc ratio.

    The abnormal blood mineral levels were traced to use of a zinc-based dental fixative paste used for his false teeth. The dental fixative was withdrawn and supplemental copper provided. The progressive course of the disease was halted though the patient remains in a wheelchair.

    If this is a cure of sorts, then one wonders why it has taken so long to find it? The report published in BMJ Case Reports goes unnoticed by modern medicine as it pursues lucrative monoclonal antibody (mab) drugs to treat every disease, which is an admission many of the diseases these drugs treat are autoimmune in nature (body against itself). Would the provision of zinc or zinc/copper eradicate the need for the expensive monoclonal antibody drugs (47 FDA approved) that mount up to $125 billion of sales annually?

    No wonder modern medicine ridicules and expresses disdain for natural remedies like zinc and copper. They have made an entire industry out of crafting synthetic drugs to overcome what amounts to a mineral imbalance.

    As a report published at Atlas of Science points out, the lack of zinc (or balance of zinc with copper) is at the heart of autoimmune disorders. We are talking here about multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Type I diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and a long list of other autoimmune diseasesthat are often initially addressed by prescribing steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Decadron) that only douse the flames (symptoms) of these diseases, never cures them.




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  19. Dear Dr. Greger,
    I’d love to hear your opinion about the Intermittent Fasting latest studies.
    Does it make sense to integrate the Daily Dozen into 18-21 hour Intermittent Fasting (Having breakfast in the afternoon)?
    Many blogs and books claim that extended fasting beyond breakfast enhances hormone secretion.
    The idea is to squeeze the How Not to Die nutrition program into 3-6 hour time frame afternoon. In this way, we reach temporarily a ketogenic state until we break the fast.
    What is your opinion?
    I’d love to see a future post/video about this growing trend. Is it a fad?
    Thanks.




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