Is Canned Fruit as Healthy?

Is Canned Fruit as Healthy?
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Perhaps dietary guidelines should stress fresh, frozen, and dried fruit—rather than canned.

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Food cans used to be soldered with lead compounds—so much so that people living off of canned food may have died from lead poisoning. Thankfully, this is no longer a problem in the United States. Lead contamination was actually one of the first priorities of the FDA back in 1906, before it was even called the FDA. It’s great that newspapers now have online archives going back a century, so we can read about landmark historical events like “FDA Proposes Lead-Soldered Cans Be Banned” way back yonder in 1993, going into effect in 1995. Evidently, it was complicated because lead solder was grandfathered in as a prior-sanctioned substance.

Now that the lead is gone, are canned foods healthy? It primarily depends on what’s in the can. If it’s SPAM-dandy, I’d probably pass. Let’s give canned food the benefit of the doubt, though. What about canned fruit?

We know fruits and vegetables in general may help protect us from dying from cardiovascular disease. And when it comes to preventing strokes, fruit may be even more protective. But whether food processing affects this association was unknown. This study found that unprocessed produce (mostly apples and oranges) appeared superior to processed produce. But that was mainly orange and apple juice. No surprise whole fruit is better than fruit juice. What about whole fruit, but just in a can? Dietary guidelines encourage all fruit—fresh, frozen, and canned. But, few studies have examined the health benefits of canned fruit, until now. Canned fruit did not seem to enable people to live longer. In fact, moving from fresh or dried fruit to canned fruit might even shorten one’s life. So, maybe dietary guidelines should stress fresh, frozen, and dried rather than canned.

Why the difference? There’s no more lead, but there is that plastics chemical—BPA—that is used in the lining of most cans, which can leach into the food, and might counterbalance some of the fruit benefits. Recently, blood levels of this chemical were associated with thickening of the linings of the arteries going up to the brains of young adults, for example. Canned fruit is often packed in syrup, as well, with all that added sugar, and the canning process may diminish some nutrients—potentially wiping out 20% to 40% of the phenolic phytonutrients, and about half of the vitamin C.

Maybe one of the reasons citrus appears particularly protective is the vitamin C. It appears the more vitamin C in our diet, the lower our risk of stroke; and the more vitamin C we have in our bloodstream, the lower our risk of stroke. But how did the vitamin C get in their bloodstream? They must have eaten a lot of healthy foods, like citrus, tropical fruits, broccoli, bell peppers.

Therefore, the observed effect of vitamin C on stroke reduction may simply be a proxy for specific healthy foods that lower stroke risk. How could we tell? Give people just vitamin C pills instead, and see if they work. They don’t.

Citrus fruits have all sorts of other compounds associated with lower stroke risk. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You can’t capture Mother Nature in a pill. It’s like the apocryphal beta-carotene story. Dozens of studies showed that people who ate more beta-carotene-rich foods, like greens and sweet potatoes, and who had more beta-carotene circulating in their system, had lower cancer risk. But how much money can you make selling carrots? So, they tried giving beta carotene pills to people, and not only didn’t they work; they may have even caused more cancer.

So, I assumed this National Cancer Institute researcher would conclude the obvious: produce, not pills. But no; maybe we should have tried lower dose pills, or maybe alpha-carotene pills, or pills with other phytochemicals, or multiple combinations. After all, it is likely that neither the public nor the scientific community will be satisfied with recommendations concerned solely with mere foods.

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.

Image thanks to 445693 via Pixabay

Food cans used to be soldered with lead compounds—so much so that people living off of canned food may have died from lead poisoning. Thankfully, this is no longer a problem in the United States. Lead contamination was actually one of the first priorities of the FDA back in 1906, before it was even called the FDA. It’s great that newspapers now have online archives going back a century, so we can read about landmark historical events like “FDA Proposes Lead-Soldered Cans Be Banned” way back yonder in 1993, going into effect in 1995. Evidently, it was complicated because lead solder was grandfathered in as a prior-sanctioned substance.

Now that the lead is gone, are canned foods healthy? It primarily depends on what’s in the can. If it’s SPAM-dandy, I’d probably pass. Let’s give canned food the benefit of the doubt, though. What about canned fruit?

We know fruits and vegetables in general may help protect us from dying from cardiovascular disease. And when it comes to preventing strokes, fruit may be even more protective. But whether food processing affects this association was unknown. This study found that unprocessed produce (mostly apples and oranges) appeared superior to processed produce. But that was mainly orange and apple juice. No surprise whole fruit is better than fruit juice. What about whole fruit, but just in a can? Dietary guidelines encourage all fruit—fresh, frozen, and canned. But, few studies have examined the health benefits of canned fruit, until now. Canned fruit did not seem to enable people to live longer. In fact, moving from fresh or dried fruit to canned fruit might even shorten one’s life. So, maybe dietary guidelines should stress fresh, frozen, and dried rather than canned.

Why the difference? There’s no more lead, but there is that plastics chemical—BPA—that is used in the lining of most cans, which can leach into the food, and might counterbalance some of the fruit benefits. Recently, blood levels of this chemical were associated with thickening of the linings of the arteries going up to the brains of young adults, for example. Canned fruit is often packed in syrup, as well, with all that added sugar, and the canning process may diminish some nutrients—potentially wiping out 20% to 40% of the phenolic phytonutrients, and about half of the vitamin C.

Maybe one of the reasons citrus appears particularly protective is the vitamin C. It appears the more vitamin C in our diet, the lower our risk of stroke; and the more vitamin C we have in our bloodstream, the lower our risk of stroke. But how did the vitamin C get in their bloodstream? They must have eaten a lot of healthy foods, like citrus, tropical fruits, broccoli, bell peppers.

Therefore, the observed effect of vitamin C on stroke reduction may simply be a proxy for specific healthy foods that lower stroke risk. How could we tell? Give people just vitamin C pills instead, and see if they work. They don’t.

Citrus fruits have all sorts of other compounds associated with lower stroke risk. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You can’t capture Mother Nature in a pill. It’s like the apocryphal beta-carotene story. Dozens of studies showed that people who ate more beta-carotene-rich foods, like greens and sweet potatoes, and who had more beta-carotene circulating in their system, had lower cancer risk. But how much money can you make selling carrots? So, they tried giving beta carotene pills to people, and not only didn’t they work; they may have even caused more cancer.

So, I assumed this National Cancer Institute researcher would conclude the obvious: produce, not pills. But no; maybe we should have tried lower dose pills, or maybe alpha-carotene pills, or pills with other phytochemicals, or multiple combinations. After all, it is likely that neither the public nor the scientific community will be satisfied with recommendations concerned solely with mere foods.

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.

Image thanks to 445693 via Pixabay

Doctor's Note

Check out my other videos on the can-lining chemical bisphenol A, including:

If fresh fruit really that healthy? See:

Is it possible to get too much of a good thing? See How Much Fruit Is Too Much?.

Now that there’s no more lead in the cans, are there any other ways we’re exposed to the toxic heavy metal? I did a whole series on lead, which you can watch. See also:

I close with yet another screed against reductionism. For more on that, see my videos Why Is Nutrition So Commercialized? and Reductionism and the Deficiency Mentality.

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

172 responses to “Is Canned Fruit as Healthy?

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  1. Concerning the Vitamin C , there is a journalist Doctor who was published nationally in newspapers all across Canada , who retired a few years ago . Well he came out of retirement touting a Vitamin C & Lysine product for heart health , having speaking engagements all across Canada . He made a stop here about 2 years ago and filled the Kinsman Hall up , maybe 200 people showed up . I happen to know at least 3 of the people who purchased product from him plus I did too . After 3 full months on this at $50 per month my blood pressure was exactly the same , now he also sold a book with the product which it explains how this product would also benefit eye health , much smaller chance of stroke and heart attacks , cancer prevention etc.My theory was if it didn’t lower my blood pressure at all then ,I really doubted the other benefits as well . I totally agree with Dr Greger on this one. Oh yeah one time I also bought green coffee bean extract. lol




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    1. “Well he came out of retirement touting a Vitamin C & Lysine product for heart health ”
      Years ago I was on the Linus Pauling web site and they were selling the same mix..Price was a bit less. I suspect this Doc your talking about was getting his info from Pauling… Hey it’s backed by science from a nobel prize winner… What could go wrong?? ;^)
      I like Dr G’s term… PRODUCE NOT PILLS…. Sure would make a great tee shirt…. green of course.
      mitch




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      1. Last year I needed a medical for a job I was doing , I knew my blood pressure was sky high from home moniter , like anywhere from 180/120 to 165/100 . So I borrowed some blood pressure meds from a friend for a few days and went to the doctors office. !60/90 was the lowest my doctor measured . My doctor wanted me on blood pressure meds right away . We made a deal I would try to diet for 3 months and if my blood pressure wasn’t down I was to go on meds . So I used this site and Mcdougall site as my guide for whole food plant diet . Well I checked at home my blood pressure after 2 months and it was still 150/100 , so I didn’t go back to the doctor for 6 months and guess what 118/79 , my doctor rasied his eyebrows, though he tried not too.lol. To say the least I was delighted .




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        1. Do you have high blood pressure on a low salt diet? I think salt may actually lower blood pressure. Many people who have high blood pressure have been on a low salt there whole lives. Salt reduced my blood pressure. Salt is needed by many healthy people.




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          1. Salt isn’t needed by any healthy people at all. Electrolytes or *SALTS* are needed by everyone. *SALTS* and salt are not interchangeable terms.




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    2. May I honestly ask when the last time you had salt was? If you have never had salt and have high blood pressure, perhaps you should consider having some salt. I had a half teaspoon of salt the day before I had my blood pressure taken and it was 106/56. Do you taste salty? The Pauling treatment is very effective at lowering Lipoprotein A. I think medicine’s war on salt is all wrong. Many people do not get a gram of salt a day. Salt is essential and needed in macro amounts. I used to have normal blood pressure, and I never ate salt. I think medicine’s war on salt has many negative ramifications and may be wrong. D3 was known to lower blood pressure. I have heard salt is bad for you all my life and I see it as essential now.




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      1. Salt is not “essential” to any human, but *SALTS* or more precisely Electrolytes are essential. There are millions on this planet who consume no NaCl whatsoever. They do consume all the *SALTS* they need and electrolytes though, through fruit, vegetables and animals that have eaten plant food etc.




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        1. After sweating and playing baseball for 3 hours in the hot sun, I was in pain. Now I eat an electrolyte lunch, which usually features high nitrate vegetables like beets, salty foods like sauerkraut and olives, and high potassium foods like beans and other electrolyte foods like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and leafy greens per Dr. Greger. Now I am no longer in pain after all that exercise. Que viva Dr. Greger!




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        1. Eden says they use oleoresin instead of BPA. Some brands use BPS, which may not be any safer than BPA. In the US, Target and Whole Foods both sell beans in Tetra Pak cartons, which are lined with polyethylene. Safe? I hope so, since it is ubiquitous in food packaging.

          You can always cook your own in large batches and freeze in mason jars. Soaking and pressure cooking can speed up the process. Electric pressure cookers are programmable and don’t cost much more than the stove-top kind. I just bought an Instant Pot; I hope to also use it to make natto, so no more polystyrene natto packs for me (I hope).




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          1. It is also important to note that one of our highest sources of BPA exposures is from sales receipts, bank deposit automated transaction slips, and nearly every other “paper” item that is produced when transacting money. BPA (that shiny texture, and appearance) is the protective coating on them – absorbs through the skin, which is the largest organ we have! Phalates are also hormone disrupting chemicals with wide exposure.Dr. G has a great video on that!!




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          2. No USA can company has ever used BPS as a food can lining. This is an internet legend started when the paper recipe industry switched out and it was assumed that the can industry would follow. BPS would provide a sulfide odor to your processed canned food products and would not be acceptable.




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        2. Dole sells fruit (in 100% fruit juice) in a plastic container. The labeling states BPA free packaging. The plastic is polypropylene. I don’t know the health consequences of polypropylene. Anyone?




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            1. Thanks for the link, Thea.

              After my post above I did a little investigating and found pretty much the same thing that your link provided. Everything is saying that polypropylene is considered one of the safest of all plastics. From your link: “Plastics #5 Polypropylene (PP) is considered to be the safest of all plastics…”

              Here’s a link to an article that shows how to identify which plastic your product is made of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin_identification_code




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              1. Mitchell: I think I’ll add: polypropylene may be considered the safest, but that is in relationship to other plastics. It’s still plastic and I have to believe there is likely some leaching of materials which are harmful. And then there is the environmental impact. When I can find food packaged in inert containers such as glass, I feel a lot better about that, even if it is plastic #5 that I’m looking at opposite the glass.




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            2. All this talk of BPA got me to check the tomato puree tubes I use and that my kids like and use. Upon cutting one open I see a gold/copper coloured metal that on searching would seem to be aluminum. Now I know that aluminum is not ideal, but does anyone know if aluminum in these tubes leaches out? My interwebz searching returns too much anecdotal info and conflicting at that.




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          1. James: It’s not usually an entire can lining. I’m not sure it’s all that visible. I think it has to do with the sealing around the edges. (Though I could be wrong.)
            .
            Your post prompted me to do a bit of research. The following Wikipedia page (which may or may not be accurate) has information on BPA and the European Union that seems to be very recent/up to date: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A Here’s a quote of interest:
            .
            “The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed new scientific information on BPA in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015: EFSA’s experts concluded on each occasion that they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise their opinion that the known level of exposure to BPA is safe; however, the EFSA does recognize some uncertainties, and will continue to investigate them.[6]”

            .
            I have no idea what that quote translates into concerning BPA and cans in Europe. I just thought you would want to know that the BPA issue *may* be as relevant to your country in general as it is in the US.




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        3. It’s a little like mystery shopping when buying canned foods. I’ve found that cans imported from Italy and Japan are much less likely to be plastic-lined. I wish it was compulsory to label lining on the outside of the can. One clue I’ve found from the labels is that unlined cans tend to have instructions saying to remove food from the can once opened.




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    1. I do slo-cooked beans .. any bean but Kidney beans .. they need a hard boil, but then again I have the time .. maybe you don’t? I do wonder if other beans need a hard boil like Kidney beans do … anyone know ??




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      1. Good to mention that about kidney beans.

        White lupine also needs to be prepared carefully, I think.

        I boil or pressure cook for a few minutes all types just to be safe, except for chickpeas when making falafel or using traditionally sprouted varieties (and sprouting them).

        IIRC kidney beans are okay to slow cook if you boil them for 10 minutes to start.




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      2. I routinely cook chickpeas, red kidney, black and pinto beans in the pressure cooker, they all turn out great. 30 mins isn’t a lot, you can prep veggies while they cook .




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    2. Dried beans can be quick and easy. A cheap rice cooker or slow cooker can make an endless supply with almost no work.And it’s cheaper than canned. and you can throw veggies and spices on top.




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  2. A third factor may play a role in the harm associated with canned fruit: they’re mostly peeled. If fruit benefits largely derive from the polyphenols (incl. anthocyanins and other flavonoids) concentrated in the peels, then canned fruit throw away much of the good, add some bad (sugars), and package in the problematic (lined cans).

    There are also potential confounders to the epidemiology. Canned fruit are frequently used as pie fillings and toppings to less than healthy desserts. And in ‘food deserts’ where fresh produce is a long bus-ride away, the only fruit at the corner store may be tinned, so high canned fruit consumption may correlate with lower fresh produce availability and socio-economic status in ways the studies don’t statistically adjust for.




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  3. I had a physical exam a few months after going vegan. The result: my triglyceride was sky-high! Before, it had been more average. Talking to my doctor about it, we concluded that the problem was my idea of how to make a smoothie: dump a bunch of canned fruit into a blender. The added syrup was giving me what my Dr. called a “sugar overload.” I switched to fresh fruit, eventually, along with flax seed and a few veggies (a couple slices of raw beet, leafy greens, broccoli) and my triglyceride level went down well below average. Other than applesauce with no added sugar and pineapple packed in its own juice, I haven’t had any canned fruit since.




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      1. I’d recommend doing some more research on niacin before continuing to take it. Recent studies do *not* show any benefit, and maybe even harm, when it comes to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Basically it appears that niacin “treats the numbers” (HDL and triglycerides) but either does nothing or actually increases mortality. All that flushing for nothing!




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        1. I personally think that by definition, dressing up the numbers is what statins do. They add only ten days of life. Niacin, in a group of heart patients, added two years of life.




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          1. Can you expand on what you mean by “10 days” vs “2 years” of adding life (statins vs niacin)? That’s a pretty vague and sensationalistic-sounding claim.




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            1. Niacin contributed to a 90 percent reduction in mortality in one study. http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_cardio.html I read on this very website that statins do not extend lifespan. Niacin raised my HDL by more than 40 percent. Once this was found in the studies you sight doctors were told HDL is no longer important in order to make profits for drugs. Niacin is very inexpensive. Statins are blockbuster drugs. To simply write, “HDL is not important,” in the Thrive study seems to have caught medicine by surprise. I don’t think it’s possible. The doctors want to make a stain drug just like niacin but not niacin. There will never be such a compound and this about face on HDL is troubling. To eliminate Niacin is criminal. HDL might be more important than ever, but doctors want to use drugs, not vitamins.




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                1. In Dr. Greger’s book, he rights, “It’s the cholesterol, stupid,” Niacin can reduce LDL to very low or ideal levels irrespective of diet. You should be warned about the flush, the warming sensation. There is no way to raise HDL without Niacin. I do not agree with your study. If Niacin raises cholesterol, then who are they comparing the results to? High HDL people versus low HDL people with Niacin? Very few people are vegan or vegetarian. Niacin offers a short cut. I am thrilled with the vegan diet because there is so much more to eat.




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  4. Dr. Linus Pauling in this 2 minute video advocates taking 3 grams of vitamin C everyday to prevent cardiovascular disease. So, is Linus Pauling hallucinating in this video, or is he trying to scam money out of people, or is he just hoping that vitamin C will act as a placebo effect on people. Dr. Linus Pauling has to be wrong according to the research Dr Greger has shown in this video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c4lwRhvI2E




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      1. I’m a chemist and very familiar with Dr. Pauling’s work. I like to think that I’d unemployable were it not for Pauling. He was the only individual to ever win two unshared Nobel Prizes. A science magazine once listed him as one of the 20 greatest scientists ever, among the likes of Newton and Einstein. He was a gutsy guy too. He fought the most formidable of foes, the US Government, and won, and won a Nobel Prize for it. Pauling never told anybody to take supplemental vitamin C in lieu of fruits and vegetables. His thesis was it’d be impossible to obtain therapeutic doses of vitamin C by food only hence the supplements. Of course, vitamin C didn’t keep him from getting cancer.




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    1. He was a very smart man no doubt, but a reductionist. Health and nutrition can’t be reduced to isolated compounds. Read “Whole” by T. Colin Campbell.




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    2. Dr. Pauling said three grams of Vitamin C a day could add 25 years to life. There have been many studies showing a linear relationship between vitamin C intake and longevity. I do not believe he is wrong. Nobody has ever tested the health benefits of very large vitamin doses (a gram or more). Dr. Pauling was very healthy in his age.




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      1. I see that there are over 50,000 studies on vitamin C listed on pubmed. Did you look here to reach your conclusion regarding the lack of testing utilizing >1 gram supplementation?




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      2. I believe vitamin C measured in studies is merely a marker for actual plant food intake, which is the cause of extended longevity, and not just the vitamin C itself.
        (In fact, vitamin C added to bacon makes it much worse)




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        1. Eat Vitamin C rich foods. Great. In Dr. Greger’s video, turning back the clock 14 years, he said exactly what you say here. That high Vitamin C concentrations in tissues made the tissues 14 years younger, a marker for plant intake. I wish Vitamin C in pill form was just as effective. There are some positive studies about vitamins. In Vitamin C, The Real Story, the authors say that 700 mg of Vitamin C reduced heart disease by 25 percent in a group of women. Human demands for Vitamin C might be high when under stress, as in Ebola, which seems to destroy Vitamin C. It is possible that Vitamin C modulates health stress.




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      1. I read the link article you sent me by the American Society Of Clinical Nutrition. Their science seems to indicate that there is real value in IV vitamin C in large doses. But, this seems to contradict Dr. Greger’s research that vitamin C reductionist supplementation has no value whatsoever. How do we rectify these to opposite research articles? Who is right and who is wrong?




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        1. Oh, yes through an IV. I would consider IV therapy to be something other than supplementation. I would consider injecting nutrients into your veins to be medicine rather than nutrition and beyond the scope of this website and it’s recommendations. Needless to say, I think somebody should only consider such treatment under close medical supervision….From a practical perspective, studies often utilize extracts, high concentrations of nutrients to measure efficacy. Most of these studies utilize oral administration to measure the effects of various metabolic processes, as most (certainly not all) medicines are provided via oral administration. IV administration bypasses these metabolic processes and can result in drastically higher plasma concentrations. I really do not think Dr. Greger is mistaken, nor do I believe this research regarding IV administration contradicts Dr. Greger. I think there are addressing two separate, largely unrelated health strategies.




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    1. Blaice: As you can see from lemonhead’s reply to someone else, cans which use no BPA often use BPS, which are thought to be as bad (if not worse) than BPA. I’m not familiar with the other chemical that lemonhead mentioned concerning Eden’s cans. You could ask Kirkland what they actually use and then decide if that is concerning for you.
      .
      I generally get concerned with acidic products like tomatoes in cans regardless of the lining type used. For tomatoes, I have found glass containers for both tomato paste and tomato sauce. That might be something you could look into if the issue of the cans bothers you. (Though I do understand how painful that could be since Costco can be so convenient.)




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      1. Hi Thea: Could you mention the store or brand of tomato paste that you found in glass jars. I, too, am concerned about acidic foods in cans. I found some tomato paste in glass jars at Whole Foods, but it is imported from Italy and very expensive. It does taste good, though.




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        1. HaltheVegan: When I get home tonight, I’ll check out the tomato paste brand in my fridge right now. I know I have it. It comes in an adorable little glass jar.




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          1. I just checked the kind I found at Whole Foods and the brand name is Bionaturae Organic Tomato Paste, no salt added, 7 oz. , naturally ripened in the Mediterranean sunshine :-) … imported from Italy.




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        2. HaltheVegan and Georgie: It looks like the brand of “tomato paste in a glass jar” that I have is the one that HaltheVegan already mentioned: Bionaturae. It is more expensive, but I attributed that to being slightly bigger than the can next to it and also that it is in a glass jar, which I think is more expensive. Also, it is organic.
          .
          It’s possible that it costs more because it’s imported from Italy, but I think that is more marketing than a true cost. It says that it is “USDA organic”. I don’t know one way or another, but I would be surprised if the USDA is certifying farms in other countries. And the address on the bottle is an American address. I’m sure there is some part of this product that is done in Italy in order to be able to say “made in Italy”, but most products in the US now have at least some part made in another country and it doesn’t usually mean that it makes the product cost more. That’s just my guesses.
          .
          My perspective is: I don’t *like* paying more, but I didn’t feel that it was all that much more compared to other organic options and given that it is in a glass jar and given that I just don’t use tomato paste all that often. So, it works for me.
          .
          One last thought: While I don’t need an unlimited supply of the little glass jars, I find these jars particularly useful. I’ve used them for spice jars (fill up from the bulk bin) and to put little treats in to give to other people, to hold the last of extra sauce that I can’t stand to give away, etc. :-)




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          1. Thea: Thanks for all the info and perspectives that you provided. I agree on your perspectives and am willing to pay a little more for glass containers. I, too, actually reuse a lot of the glass jars for freezing small amounts of other foods. And they’re easily recyclable in my community.




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            1. On a related note, be sure to avoid coffee or other hot drinks served from perishable cups (like from Dunkin, McDonalds, Starbucks etc…). These cups are lined with plastic and the hotter the liquid the more leaching. I carry a reusable metal thermos (a wide mouth Klean Kanteen) and use this for hot liquids. Similarly if you eat out and take home leftovers, consider bringing with you a glass container. There is leaching from styrofoam too.




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              1. Devin: Thanks for the tip on the coffee containers. I do occasionally buy a hot coffee in one of those containers for convenience. I’ll start bringing my stainless steel mug on those occasions.




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      2. Yeah, I try to use fresh tomatoes as much as possible (too bad frozen are nearly impossible to fine, or at least I’ve never seen them.), but I have read that a white colored “plastic lining,” is indicative of BPA or BPS, but the cans of paste, sauce, and diced tomatoes of that brand are gray and metallic as possible. When I use them I don’t rinse them when using them either, which should help as well either way, but it seems like they are much better alternative to most. I wish I could find more information, but I will email them and find out! Will post if I hear anything.




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        1. CeeCee: I did some research into those packages some time ago. I don’t have the links handy, but if I remember correctly, those packages are basically just lined with plastic… And other layers in the product may have also been a problem. (I don’t remember off the top of my head.)
          .
          Also, there were some environmental concerns with those packages. If I remember correctly, those packages are made up of layers of various materials to the point that you can’t just recycle them.
          .
          For what it’s worth, my personal perspective is: I do get products with those types of packaging, but I don’t feel good about it. I suspect (don’t know, just suspect) that they are no healthier than using any other plastic or canned food. And I can’t recycle them. (As far as I know. I could be wrong about that.) So, I prefer to buy a glass packaged version when I can, even if it costs more.
          .
          Maybe someone else can jump in with some actual research.




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      3. So, I contacted Costco directly posing the bisphenol inclusion in their tomato products Kirkland Signatures Organic: Tomato Paste, Diced Tomatoes, and Tomato Sauce.

        This was the response:

        “Our supplier confirmed that, “KS Organic Tomato items can linings do NOT contain bisphenol compounds BPS or BPA.”

        Please let us know if there is anything else we can assist you with.

        Thank you,

        Stacy A. Member Service Agent
        Yakima Member Service Center
        1-800-774-2678/Fax 1-509-454-1310″

        It took a few emails, but I feel more comfortable using the product knowing they claim it is void of bisphenol based products.




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    1. That was a meta analysis study. The results suggest the opposite. “This meta-analysis suggests significant inverse relationships between dietary vitamin C intake, circulating vitamin C, and risk of stroke.” The more vitamin C the less risk of stroke. I don’t know what Dr. Greger is saying. “Vitamin C intake, circulating vitamin C and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies.” The study concludes Vitamin C reduces the risk of stroke.




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      1. Matthew: Thank you for the clarification. (I had only listened to the video.) My father died of a stroke. I eat a lot of fresh fruit during summer but not in winter. So as insurance I take 500 mg of ascorbic acid a day. Also, I remember reading a report once that said the most cost-effective way to boost glutathione significantly was to take 500 mg of vitamin C a day, based on research done using supplemental vitamin C.




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            1. Spoiler alert…according the podcast that I posted above, the only ailment that Vitamin C has been shown to be effective against is Scurvy.




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      2. Look at figures 2 and 3. Vitamin C intake for vegans averages around 230-240 mg/d, which would be in the “high intake” cohort in all but one of the included studies in the meta-analysis. The low circulating vitamin C tertiles had levels of ≤ 35 μM, depleted levels that don’t occur unless intakes are below 60 mg/d. The meta-analysis is emphatically not saying mega-supplement to avoid stroke. Its saying vitamin C deficient diets increase risk (so would it kill you to eat a leafy vegetable or fruit once in a while…).




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        1. Dr. Hoffer, the creator of Mega vitamin therapy, now called orthomolecular medicine, says vitamins, particularly Niacin and Vitamin C add a “lot” of years to life. He has 55 years of research. With him living to 93 and Dr Pauling also well into his nineties, I am sure he’s right. A woman in Canada lived past 113. I think saying vitamins shorten life is ridiculous. I can’t believe my relief that I am with him, in his cohort somehow. I wish everyone knew about the benefits of large dose vitamin supplements. I am sure vitamins add great length to life. I want to share my joy. Sulfur, for instance, might be a vitamin that contributes to longevity. There were two dozen reports on pubmed that report a linear relationship between lifespan and Vitamin C intake. Vitamins are safe, cheap, effective, beneficial, efficacious, and healthy. They might also be economical. Dr. Carl Pfeiffer wrote a law that says “For every drug there is a natural substance that works better.” If you add in allergies, he might be dead on the money. I wish medicine would see it that way.




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  5. What is interesting to me is the different perspectives Dr. Greger has on canned fruit vs canned beans.
    .
    I think there might be several factors for the difference. For example, there’s no added sugar to canned beans. But then again, you can get canned fruit with no added sugar. Another factor may be that peal thing that Darryl mentioned. You often get fruit pealed in cans, but not so the beans. It may just be that nutritionally, fruit loses too much in the canning process compared to beans for a variety of reasons, which may explain why Dr. Greger finds evidence showing harm of canned fruit, but not beans.
    .
    I’m just speculating. I think it is interesting.




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    1. Now I risk to sound totally unscientific: Canned fruit just seems a kind of dead – never eat it, and never had…..just saying….




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      1. Plantstrongdoc M.D.: Dead?!!? Well, I can’t claim to love the stuff in general, but I have a big fondness for canned (water only, not in sugar syrup) mandarin oranges. All pealed and just slides down. mmmm I may eat it only once a year, but it is a big treat. I think of canned mandarins as alive and slippery. ;-) By the way, that’s a technical phrase you can use in any research paper. The best medical journals use it all the time.
        .
        Oh, and I sometimes like canned peaches. Here’s a word play argument: Is it still “canned” if it comes in a glass jar? Usually when I hear about canned foods, I’m thinking metal containers. But the term for home preserving in glass jars is “canning”. And just to stand up proud: I’m an occasional fan of jarred peaches: no furry skin and a texture I prefer.
        .
        Maybe there is a recovery group for people like me.




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        1. For instance, I juice my carrots and find out that my vision improves. But if I chew on carrots, it does nothing, So the absorption is very important, not just what you eat. Some people may have to take Vitamin A supplement instead of drinking carrot juice. Each person is different.A lot of studies are flawed because they use bad supplement. The quality of supplement is also very important. I used to buy supplements from supermarket and it’s just a waste of money and it may be harmful if it is synthetic and has filler. I choose my supplements very carefully these day and I see results on everyone I take.




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        2. Not sure what your using your peaches for , like a dessert most likely . My suggestion is frozen peaches in a bag from the freezer section, they are much superior to the so called fresh peaches we get in the winter time , they will not ripen and will rot before they ripen . frozen peaches work well in smoothies , actually it’s our fav fruit in smoothies , We sometimes do smoothies when we want something like milkshake kind of treat . Frozen sweet cheeries are also good plus pretty colour .
          Talking about canned fruit my mother used to add a small tablespoon of cognac to canned pears, wow is that good! It was the only booze I ever seen in my parents home lol




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          1. esben andersen: It’s probably been over a year since I bought a glass jar filled with peaches. I just ate them out of the jar when I felt like it/for snacking. I’ve tried frozen peaches and I didn’t think they were as good to eat plain. But I imagine they would be perfect in a smoothie. And I’m totally with you on the benefits of frozen fruits in general. I agree that they are a good deal.
            .
            re: mom and cognac. That’s just awesome. I want to eat peaches at your mom’s house! Ooh. So, speaking of dessert, how about some of your mom’s slightly boozy peaches over some vegan vice cream? Yummmmmm.




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      2. Plantstrongdoc M.D.: As I was writing my first reply to your comment, I had another (slightly more serious) thought. Consider this quote from the transcript of today’s video: “Canned fruit did not seem to enable people to live longer. In fact, moving from fresh or dried fruit to canned fruit might even shorten one’s life.”
        .
        I haven’t looked at the particular research involved, but it seems to me that fruit would be like beans, where you can lose a whole lot of nutrition and it would still be healthy. That’s just my guess. If correct, then my thinking about what is going on in that study about canned fruit is that there are confounding factors involved. If someone is routinely eating canned fruit, they are likely taking all sorts of food shortcuts and are likely eating the typical SAD diet. So, it seems to me that it may not be the canned fruit itself which causes negative outcomes, but the rest of the diet.
        .
        My other theory is that canned fruit (not thinking of the BPA or other contaminant issue right now) isn’t actively bad per say, but canned fruit may just have too few of the good things that fresh or frozen fruit has. With the heat from the canning process, the lack of peal, etc, canned fruit *may* (I don’t know) be closer to a source of empty calories than a “fruit-light” source of nutrition. In that case, I could see how moving from fresh to canned fruit could cause negative health outcomes, because you would be going from good nutrition to missing important nutrition in the canned version.
        .
        What is your opinion on what might be going on in that study?




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        1. I think that your considerations make perfect sense.
          Didn’t read the original paper – dont want to read about canned fruit…… :-)
          BTW: I rarely use canned beans – I cook them in batches and freeze




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        1. baggman744: I guessed that he’s being funny. Plantstrongdoc often comments on this site with humor. Looks like the humor didn’t translate this time.




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  6. This was less than satisfying. The first and last parts pointed out that our government policy is, for the most part, dictated by large corporate interests. True. The remaining left open questions. He mentioned in passing that most fruit is canned in sugar syrup. I don’t ever remember seeing any that isn’t and is the reason why I don’t eat it. What were the study subjects eating? Does anybody think that eating food packed in sugar syrup is good for you? So is eating canned fruit healthy or not?




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  7. I haven’t bought canned fruit or vegetables in 15 years after the first warnings about BPA, it’s all fresh or frozen now. As for supplements the only vitamin that is safe in pill form is D3, most people are deficient. Minerals are generally safe to take in pill form, most people are deficient in magnesium.




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  8. Hello, I am a volunteer moderator with Nutritionfacts.org. I am also a clinical dietitian located in Scottsdale, Arizona. One of the things I learned in graduate school regarding Vitamin C is that the amount of Vitamin C we can absorb from supplements (or as is popular in Scottsdale intravenous transfusion) is self-regulating. Essentially, the body cannot absorb more than 200mg at any one time – excess amounts are excreted in urine. Choosing Vitamin C rich food sources is the way to go with Vitamin C – the body manages absorption and elimination differently with food. Once again, food, not supplements seems to be the ticket!




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    1. Can too much Vitamin C possibly be a reason that a 82 year old male is having too many trips to BR to pee? Even though on meds for BPH, I still wake too many times. I do eat alot of fruits, particularly apples and berries in morning smoothies. I do not take vitamins for c




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      1. In my opinion, it’s the sugars that is forcing you to pee more. May be cut down on quantity of sweeter fruits and have more citrus fruits in your smoothies ? .

        Disclaimer : I am just a concerned reader/watcher. I am no expert.




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        1. Probably a good suggestion Hulk, but they do not work as well in a smoothie but I should have more. Would increasing my fiber also help. I do use flaxseed. Thanks for the idea.




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  9. Off-topic question: Has anybody read a study where eliminating retinal drusen though diet could leave blind spots? I started on a mostly low-fat vegan diet last spring with the idea that if I could get my cholesterol low enough maybe it would “eat” the drusen that’s in my eyes due to macular degeneration. (Drusen are cholesterol-laden.) I mentioned my plan to the retinal specialist last spring and she looked doubtful, saying that other ways of eliminating drusen have not had good effects. But she didn’t tell me not to try. So I tried; I lost some weight and felt great. Earlier this month I saw the specialist again and she told me in no uncertain terms NOT to continue my present course. She said if I wanted to do it for my heart, then do it for my heart. But that if I was doing it for my eyes I should stop. She said if I were able to eliminate the drusen it could leave blind spots.




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  10. I have canned the extra produce from my veggie garden every summer for many years. Fruit is packed in a very weak xyla solution and I use glass jars and BPA free lids. I always use a water bath for the processing because it doesn’t turn the fruit/veggies to mush.
    Not a perfect solution I grant you, but when the freezer is full, and you’re needing a quick fix in the winter, it’s hard not to go into the canning cupboard and not have your heart lift at the sight of those beautiful jars.




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  11. You are full of such valuable information, I just love it!!! I share all this on facebook and try my hardest to do what you do to help, though I do not have your degrees…… :) I can not thank you enough for what you do!




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  12. Canned fruit is not fruit. It is a modern product made out of fruit with a container. It has been processed by cooking. High temperature in the processing destroys vitamin C. Its popularity is due to is high shelf life in supermarkets and easiness of packaging (pallets), which allows for easy distribution. “Supermarket” fruits are also not natural thought they are perceived as wild. They were designed by humans for maximum sugar content in the recent years.




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  13. We avoid cans as much as possible – they are typically lined with BPA long banned for baby bottles. Even the local Walmart has lots of produce and fruits available, some even labelled organic,




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  14. At the end of the day, if it means you’ll eat more fruit, don’t worry about it. All canned fruit is almost perfectly ripe too, as it’s rejected too-ripe fruit that is preserved before it goes bad to cut costs. I don’t have time to peel grapefruits for my smoothies or wait for peaches to go perfectly ripe. Massive conveniences outweigh the downsides IMO.




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    1. I have a difficult time buying and eating off season peaches and other fruits. I call them and grocery store tomatoes cardboard. In the winter I eat a lot of frozen blueberries and canned fruit. Is that cardboard fruit really nutritious? It doesn’t taste good.




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      1. There are a number of fruits that are good at the grocery store , apples and pears always ripen well at home if you watch them . Plums are going to be better than peaches unless it’s peach season in your area .Bananas, kiwi are normally good too , grapes can normally be found year round plus citrus . Melons will be hit and miss type thing . Apples in the store here are $2 to $4.99 a pound , that’s like $80 to $200 per bushel.
        So we normally go to the wholesaler or farmers market and buy by the bushel around $20 a bushel , just make sure they are right , and eat lots!




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  15. The Vitamin A study was flawed. It used a low dose of antioxidant among smokers. Vitamin C was found in more than a dozen studies to be the longevity factor. Here are some positive stories about vitamins. “Vitamin C linked to heart benefit.” “Vitamin E greatly reduces risk of heart disease. Studies suggest best results in those taking large doses.” “The real power of vitamins.” “New research shows they may help fight cancer, heart disease, and the ravages of aging.” More Americans saw alternative health doctors, such as those using vitamins (51 million visits for vitamin supplement doctors), then regular doctors. There were 425 million visits for alternative health practitioners compared to 388 million visits for regular doctors in 1993.




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    1. Without sources, we have no way of judging your assertions.

      While its easy to find practically meaningless studies where those who are health conscious have lower mortality, randomized controlled trials with vitamin C have shown no benefit (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). In randomized trials high-dose vitamin E supplementation appears to increase mortality (7).

      As for longevity studies, I assume you mean animal studies (human trials don’t run long enough), and there the results with vitamin C are mixed (8). Its generally believed that positive results were due to inadvertent caloric restriction (animals dislike the taste and curtail intake), an issue which has invalidated many 20th century lifespan studies with ad libitum feeding in the control arm. Studies like this have revealed that high-dose antioxidant supplementation suppresses endogenous antioxidant responses (9).




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      1. My post was from “Putting it all together: The new Orthomolecular nutrition.” “Vitamin C linked to heart benefit.” New York Times May 8, 1992 “Vitamin E greatly reduces risk of heart disease. Studies suggest best results in those taking large doses.” May 20, 1993 “The real power of vitamins.” “New research shows they may help fight cancer, heart disease, and the ravages of aging.” Times Magazine April 6, 1992. Your Vitamin E study is a meta analysis. There was a similar study about antioxidants and smokers. They found the exact opposite. “Our results do not provide strong support for population-wide implementation of high-dose antioxidant supplementation for the prevention of prostate cancer. However, vitamin E supplementation in male smokers and beta-carotene supplementation in men with low dietary beta-carotene intakes were associated with reduced risk of this disease.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16478743 The results are not consistent. “The results suggest a reduced incidence of major CHD events at high supplemental vitamin C intakes. The risk reductions at high vitamin E or carotenoid intakes appear small.” Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585762
        Vitamins are cheap, effective, efficacious, healthy, safe, and beneficial. The literature does not want to publish pro vitamin studies.




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      2. Dr. Greger wants us to note the twisting of the science in meat advertising. He publishes a lot of twisted studies about vitamins. The articles were from the New York Times and Time Magazine. There is extensive medical publications supporting my claims. I think you are cherry picking studies to prove your points. Vitamins are cheap, safe, healthy, beneficial, safe, and efficacious. There is a study on pubmed saying Vitamin A reduces cancer among smokers. The results are inconsistent.




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        1. No, I just looked at every randomized controlled trial with vitamin C with more than 100 citations. If you want a systematic review of every RCT through 2007, there’s this. For CVD, there’s a more recent systematic review from 2013. There have been more RCTs with β-carotene and vitamin E, in part because their circulating levels don’t plateau as quickly as with vitamin C, so there were better prospects for seeing results.

          I’m not averse to supplementation, per se. I take a small handful (including the niacin you mention upthread), some as vegan nutritional insurance, some in a speculative longevity n=1 experiment. The modern consensus in experimental gerontology is that high doses of exogenous direct antioxidants have no lifespan benefits, and indeed are likely to have harms through interfering with normal cellular signalling. Null results from RCTs with well absorbed direct antioxidant vitamins offer compelling support to this view.




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        2. No, I just looked at every randomized controlled trial with vitamin C with more than 100 citations. If you want a systematic review of every RCT through 2007, there’s this. For CVD, there’s a more recent systematic review from 2013. There have been more RCTs with β-carotene and vitamin E, in part because their circulating levels don’t plateau as quickly as with vitamin C, so there were better prospects for seeing results.

          I’m not averse to supplementation, per se. I take a small handful (including the niacin you mention upthread), some as vegan nutritional insurance, some in a speculative longevity n=1 experiment. The modern consensus in experimental gerontology is that high doses of exogenous direct antioxidants have no lifespan benefits, and indeed are likely to have harms through interfering with normal cellular signalling. Null results from RCTs with well absorbed direct antioxidant vitamins offer compelling support to this view.




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          1. Here’s a different opinion. “CONCLUSIONS:
            The results suggest a reduced incidence of major CHD events at high supplemental vitamin C intakes. The risk reductions at high vitamin E or carotenoid intakes appear small.” Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts.. There have been no deaths from vitamins at all. You are suggesting they are contributing to deaths of people who don’t take them. No deaths from vitamins! There is no free lunch, except with vitamins.




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            1. You’re quoting from Knekt, 2004. The problem here is that all 9 included studies were prospective studies, in which individuals self-selected their diet and intake of supplements.

              Health-conscious people are more likely to do a number of things, including (in the 80s and early 90s) take vitamin supplements, eat healthy diets, and exercise regularly, often in ways that confound results. This is why prospective studies, while useful as circustantial evidence for health associated behaviors, cannot demonstrate causality. Vitamins are fairly unique in nutrition epidemiology in that they permit randomized, placebo-controlled trials, which are the evidence gold standard for demonstrating causality.

              Consider table 3 in Knekt, 2004. Total vitamin C intake was associated with lower incident CHD risk, but not lower CHD mortality. The apparent benefit for CHD incidence for vitamin C supplement users (in quintile 5) was only significant when not adjusted for diet, represented by intakes of saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, flavonoids, folate, and cereal fiber (multivariate model 2). Health-conscious people tend to eat less SFAs & cholesterol and more fruit, greens, and whole grains, which have all demonstrated benefits in CHD independent from C status. When outcomes were adjusted for diet, vitamin C benefits for the supplement takers were so reduced as to no longer be statistically significant; in other words, vitamin C supplement users were more likely to eat healthy diets. Hence, to me these results say, “being health conscious reduces incident CHD risk”. Table 4, which looks only at C intake from supplements, is more promising, as there appears to have been a benefit of C supplementation > 400 mg that survived adjustment for diet.

              The prospective studies on which this pooled analysis is based were published between 1988-96, and surely motivated the more costly HPS and PHSII RCTs, which along with 5 much smaller RCTs have since demonstrated no causal benefit for C supplementation in CHD risk. They all used modest doses around 500 mg, so it remains possible that megadosing would be different. However, gastrointestinal distress occurs at higher doses, and it appears nutrition science is satisfied with the results from the RCTs begun in the 90s, so a higher dose RCT seems unlikely.




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              1. Perhaps vitamin c is not the perfect vitamin for stroke prevention. “Findings suggest that increased folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin E, C intake may be associated with decreased risk of stroke.” Int J Preventive Med. 2013




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        3. I would not call that Dr Greger “is twisting studies about vitamin C”. But I would say that his stance on eating only plant foods and not relying on supplements is too generalized. Sure it may work for a lot of people but it does not work for everybody. I attribute my good health to both eating a lot of plant foods and taking supplements. If I do one but not the other then I can see signs of aging. A great deal also depends on the absorption and it decreases as you age no matter how much you eat. I read just the other day that another respectful poster on this forum takes Vitamin C supplement to prevent his frequent cold and flu. I don’t take Vitamin C but I take a bunch of others.

          I suspect that a lot of studies that said that consumption of certain Vitamins such as A or E reduces lifespan have to do with comparing people who eat healthy versus people who eat lousy but just depend on Vitamin supplements. So it’s not that because the vitamin that shorten lifespan but it’s due to the lack of nutrition from foods. As its name implies, it is a supplement and not substitution of real foods.

          So Dr Greger stance is generally beneficial for most but one needs to consider his/her own health and deviate from his rec wherever it is needed.




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        4. For instance, I juice my carrots and find out that my vision improves.
          But if I chew on carrots, it does nothing, So the absorption is very
          important, not just what you eat. Some people may have to take Vitamin A
          supplement instead of drinking carrot juice. Each person is
          different.A lot of studies are flawed because they use bad supplement.
          The quality of supplement is also very important. I used to buy
          supplements from supermarket and it’s just a waste of money and it may
          be harmful if it is synthetic and has filler. I choose my supplements
          very carefully these day and I see results on everyone I take.




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  16. Physiologists are belatedly analyzing what the human digestive system is built for, from teeth to stomach to intestines to colon. Very different from the pointy teeth highly acidic very short intestines of a carnivore. People are well built to eat fruit, the early humans depended on the fruits for vitamin C. They are well built to digest soft plants and ferment them in our long intestines, so folate was always plentiful. Vitamin B12 is originally generated by microbes in the soil, no problem their food was a bit dirty. Vitamin D3 no problem walking around Africa. Now Omega 3 oils are a question – they are manufactured by algae, fish get their Omega 3 from eating algae. There are still foragers in Africa example the !Kung click tonged tribe but I haven’t seen an analysis if they get Omega 3. Note they do eat a lot of nuts….when discussing worldwide food shortage with an elder, he said “How can that be? There are so many lichi nuts in the world!” Walnuts have Omega 3, I’ve no idea what the Omega 3 content is of the nuts they eat. Do note they nurse for 3 years, have a kid every 4 to 5 years – the women are lean. The human population explosion came with the potato farmers…




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    1. Jerry LA : Here are some thoughts for you regarding your point of “Omega 3 oils are a question…” : Even greens have omega 3s in them–not much, but then again, we don’t need much omega 3 in our diet. Omega 3s are an essential fatty acid (meaning we have to get it from our diet), but the amount of that need is actually very small, estimated to be 1.1 g for women and 1.6 g for men. About 1/4 or 1/3 teaspoon I believe. If it is true that our ancestors ate a *whole* lot a greens daily, then it is possible (we don’t know) that they got all the omega 3s that they needed from the plants they ate. There is at least one study showing that a human body on a whole plant food diet is twice as efficient at converting ALA to DHA (DHA being the form of omega 3 that our bodies eventually need).




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      1. A few years ago I learned that one of the “weeds” I was continually pulling in our garden was purslane which has the highest amount of Omega 3 of any leafy vegetable. I now have a purslane patch and eat from it regularly. I think I get a bit of Vitamin B12 too, as there’s a noticeable layer of dirt on each leaf and stem I chew. Not to take away from Thea’s comment though, she is certainly correct that Omega 3’s are present in many common vegetables and fruits.




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        1. Devin Wiesner: So funny you would mention purslane now. I had never heard of purslane until very recently when someone brought up the topic. We had a good conversation, including one person saying she puts it in her smoothies for her family. I just bought some purslane seeds and am going to try to grow it. :-)




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  17. what about legumes, grains and veggies, would the canning/pressure cooking make it worse nutrition wise? assuming, no other additives in a can and it’s bpa free.




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    1. Thanks for your comment.

      When it comes to beans for example, Dr Greger has made an excellent video on the related subject:

      Canned Beans or Cooked Beans?

      Cooked Beans or Sprouted Beans?

      When it comes to vegetables, it seems that steaming fresh vegetables a great choice of preparing foods in terms of preserving its nutrient content (1, 2, 3).

      I would add that there is a concern over canned foods (including vegetables) in regards to its high sodium content so if you really have to buy canned veg, try take this into consideration.

      Hope this answer helps.




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  18. Is there/Could you do a video on protein supplementation? Everyone in sports and their uncle seems to believe that you need insane amounts of protein powder to gain more muscles, when in my opinion they really shouldn’t worry about it and should simply follow your recommendations on eating beans/lentils with every meal.

    Even most vegan sporters I know take plant based protein supplements.




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    1. Thanks for your comment.

      Here is what Dr Fuhrman states on the topic in a 2010 publication:

      “Athletes regu- larly consume supplements in the form of isolated protein V for vegan athletes, these commonly are isolated soy, rice, pea, or hemp proteins. We encourage whole food sources of protein V such as tofu, nuts, seeds, and hemp seed meal V blended into shakes and smoothies. First, isolated protein powders are micronutrient-poor compared with whole foods. Second, their use may pose health risks V excess animal protein may promote cancers via upregulation of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Importantly, not just animal proteins, but isolated protein from plant sources also has been found to elevate IGF-1 levels. What exactly defines excess protein for athletes has not yet been defined clearly, as studies on protein safety in athletes are scarce. However, increased consumption of either animal products or possibly protein isolates in the attempt to maximize growth for sports such as power lifting or body building likely is not lifespan- favorable. There is a difference between maximizing body size and muscle growth and maximizing health.”

      “Nevertheless, plant protein concentrates such as maca, pea, rice, and hemp protein powders are options when the athlete desires to remain vegan or considerably reduce dependency on animal products yet still support a high body mass.”

      Hope this answer helps.




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  19. I don’t know where the hatred of Fructose came from if not the sugar industry. First of all, table sugar (which is sucrose) is a combination of glucose and fructose. Glucose spikes blood sugar to a higher level than fructose, (because it is blood ready and requires no breakdown, being the simple source of energy for all our functions bodily, yet needed in a steady limited blood sugar level, such as is produced by digesting more complex carbs). Glucose requires no digestion and goes straight to the blood.
    From Wikipedia : “There are speculations that excessive fructose consumption is a cause of insulin resistance, obesity,[9] elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome,[10][11][12] type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[13] However, the European Food Safety Authority stated that fructose is preferred over sucrose and glucose in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages because of its lower effect on post-prandial blood glucose levels.[14] Further, the UK’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition in 2015 disputed the claims of fructose causing metabolic disorders, stating that “there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that fructose intake… leads to adverse health outcomes independent of any effects related to its presence as a component of total and free sugars.”
    In the health food industry crystalline fructose is sold as a healthier alternative to sugar. If you drink 100% pure grape juice it is often sweetened with fructose (legally) to match a standard level of expected sweetness, fructose being THE naturally occurring sugar in grape juice.




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    1. Whole plant foods are are good for you. Fructose is not a good thing to consume unless it is in a piece of fruit. Here is a video that may help you understand the problem with fructose. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flesh-and-fructose/
      Here is a video about different sweeteners available and what you can use to sweeten you foods. It is worth mentioning that you do not need to sweeten food.
      About sweetners: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-sweetener




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  20. Can you compare green tea to water please?
    Which one is better in each category? Including also which one is more effective for stress relief.
    Please! it is important! I can’t find answer for this question all over the web.




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      1. This is not what i asked for!
        I was interested in COMPARISON (water vs green tea), I know the green tea benefits already.
        I hope you understand the difference…




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  21. I wonder about apple sauce in glass bottles? I love Trader Joe’s organic apple sauce — it’s just apples and nothing else! But of course, they don’t include the peels.




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  22. I wonder about apple sauce in glass bottles? I love Trader Joe’s organic apple sauce — it’s just apples and nothing else! But of course, they don’t include the peels.




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  23. I read Linus Pauling’s Vitamin C megadose book years ago and figured, Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize winner, genius. I skimmed the book and missed the parts where he said to up your megadoses incrementally (I think, and my thinking isn’t on his plane!) but I pissed blood after upping the doses every few days. The doctor told me I would be okay as long as I stopped the vitamin C. Gladly, I thought I’d have to be hospitalized for kidney failure.




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  24. Not only is junk food including canned fruits, vegetables and nuts, more expensive, but they are also junk. They maybe great for Eskimos and astronauts, but not for me. That in my opinion is also true of peanuts. I like peanuts raw in shell (not manufactured in a factory).




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  25. Whenever I have heard studies about vitamin C pills not working I always considered it bullocks. I take vitamin C pills when I am sick and they work but then I thought more scientifically. When I am sick, I drink broths, homemade orange juice with pulp.and eat lots of other citrus. Most likely the vitamin C that is working is the fresh fruit. I am going to not buy the pills this season and just eat lots of citrus and see what happens.




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  26. What about Canned Baked Beans? Are these a good way to get 1 portion of beans a day? Or should one focus on different sources of beans… if so what type of beans?




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  27. We are a family of long-time plant-only eaters and very happy to have fantastic health. Only this week we had our world turned upside down with the realisation that my 13yo is sensitive to salicylates! Connected with learning disabilities. So no fruit, bar pear and small amount of banana, for her! Not so bad, but combined with the salicylates in so many veg, I feel on the edge of being pulled through a minefield :-(. I’m concerned with the potential lack of nourishment from her now severely depleted variety of produce. No greens! Aaaah! Anyone else experience a similar challenge? You’re all so knowledgeable and helpful. I enjoy reading your comments almost as much as Dr G’s blog! But I can’t find anything on this subject on this site. And not much for plant-only eaters on the Web at all! Any help/suggestions very much appreciated.




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  28. This may be “off-subject”, but you raised a concern of mine. I work parttime in a large department store and, of course, I have to handle those receipts and plastic bags. Do you have any suggestions for a “work-around” to this? I’m afraid they would not allow me to wear gloves, although I have considered it.

    Thank you.




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  29. I’d like to know if frozen food (fruits and veggies, of course) is as healthy as fresh food. Perhaps you could do a video on that.




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    1. Hello there! It’s perfectly fine and healthy to use frozen fruits and veggies too. Just make sure they do not contain added salts, sugars, or sauces.




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    1. Hi, Jeannette. I am Christine, a NF Volunteer Nutrition Moderator. As mentioned in the video, the concerns with canned fruit go beyond BPA and additives. The canning process itself may decrease the nutritional value of the fruit. Fresh is best, but if that is not in your budget, frozen or dried fruit may be more cost-effective alternatives for you. Keep in mind that even the more expensive fresh produce may be cheaper, in the long run, than medical treatment for lifestyle diseases caused or worsened by poor nutrition. I hope this helps!




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  30. I recently heard that the sugar added to canned fruit is supposed to stop the fruit sugar from seeping into the water, which would otherwise leave the fruit without much of its natural sugars. So apparently it’s supposed to maintain the “equilibrium”, and none/ little of the added sugar actually seeps into the fruit. I would be really interested to hear if there is any truth to this!




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  31. Do frozen fruit and vegetables have the similar nutrients to the fresh fruit and vegetables? What are the nutritional differences between them?




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    1. Great question! Here is one of the articles that is sited in the video that I think you may find informative – http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-779.pdf, and part two of the study – http://cekings.ucdavis.edu/files/19188.pdf. Overall, frozen fruits/vegetables have similar levels of nutrients as fresh. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be a convenient option, and can provide variety when availability is limited by season or region!




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