Microplastic Contamination & Seafood Safety

Microplastic Contamination & Seafood Safety
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Can ingested plastic particles from fish get into our bloodstream?

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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.

In 1869, a patent was taken out for a new substance to replace elephant ivory in the production of billiard balls, and the plastics industry was born. Ironically, what started out as a conservation-minded measure has turned into an environmental problem. Hundreds of thousands of tons of trillions of tiny plastic particles “are [now] floating on the surface of the sea.” This is how it works, either from plastic objects, like water bottles, that get worn down into tinier and tinier pieces, or plastic microbeads flowing down into the sewers from our sinks.

“Plastic microbeads are often used as a scrubbing agent in personal care and cosmetic products, such as facial cleansers, shower gel and toothpaste,” and “up to 94,500 microbeads could go down the drain in a single wash.” Then, when you trawl the oceans, you can find the same beads you find in the facial scrubs. Billions “are emitted into aquatic habitats every day in the United States.” Laid end to end, the United States emits enough microbeads to “wrap around the planet” more than seven times.

The reason this may be a problem is that the plastic then accumulates toxic compounds from the water and then shuttles them, along with any chemicals originally in the plastic, “into marine organisms,” concentrating up the food chain, and eventually ending up on our plates. “The potential hazardous effects on humans” then evidently include “alterations in chromosomes which lead to infertility, obesity, and cancer.”

Wait; let’s take a step back, and review the evidence. Plastic gets into the oceans, but does it even get into the fish? Yes: “Microplastics have been shown to be ingested” by fish and other seafood. But: “Are we [then actually] eating plastic-ingesting fish? Yes, we are eating plastic-ingesting fish.” But don’t we just poop the plastic out?

Small enough microparticles may actually be able to get absorbed through the intestinal wall and into our bloodstream. This “[u]ptake of ingested microparticles into small intestinal tissues and on to secondary organs has moved from being an anecdotal phenomenon to a recognized and quantifiable process.” But that’s in rodents. Just because it’s been demonstrated across a variety of lab animals, you don’t know if it happens in people…until you put it to the test. The closest we have is working with human placentas after childbirth, and what they found is that plastic microparticles could indeed “cross the placental barrier” from the maternal bloodstream. So, if it could get into a pregnant woman’s circulation it might get into her baby’s circulation as well.

The reason this is concerning is that plastic debris can be a source of toxic chemicals, both chemical additives in the plastic itself, and then pollutants the plastic sucks up from the water that can then be later released into the body. BPA is one of the chemical additives that can originate from the plastic itself. Given that BPA concentrations have been measured in plastic debris, microplastics “may be a major source of BPA in seafood.” But no one’s really looked into it…until now: “[BPA levels] in edible part of seafood.”

Yes, “fish and seafood…present one of the highest BPA contamination” levels. But is that just because they were looking at canned fish products, like tuna and sardines? Manufacturers may use BPA in the lining of food cans directly. Yes, “BPA may also leach from plastic in oceans, causing a direct contamination of fish.” In fact, “[s]ome…argue that the BPA environmental contamination in fish” could be worse than the BPA from the cans themselves, but you don’t know…until you put it to the test.

Here are the BPA levels found in canned seafood. You can see the highest levels were found in like tuna, cockles, sardines, and blue crab. But, these were all canned; so, you don’t know how much is from the can versus the seafood itself, until you look at non-canned seafood, and sometimes found even higher levels in some fresh mollusks, clams, flounder, and cod.

That’s not good, since plastics chemicals, such as BPA, “are known endocrine disruptors,” meaning known hormone disrupters. And “[b]esides that, [fat-soluble] pollutants [from seawater] [can glom] onto microplastic surfaces,” and potentially present additional risk—which we’ll cover next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: efes via pixabay. 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.

In 1869, a patent was taken out for a new substance to replace elephant ivory in the production of billiard balls, and the plastics industry was born. Ironically, what started out as a conservation-minded measure has turned into an environmental problem. Hundreds of thousands of tons of trillions of tiny plastic particles “are [now] floating on the surface of the sea.” This is how it works, either from plastic objects, like water bottles, that get worn down into tinier and tinier pieces, or plastic microbeads flowing down into the sewers from our sinks.

“Plastic microbeads are often used as a scrubbing agent in personal care and cosmetic products, such as facial cleansers, shower gel and toothpaste,” and “up to 94,500 microbeads could go down the drain in a single wash.” Then, when you trawl the oceans, you can find the same beads you find in the facial scrubs. Billions “are emitted into aquatic habitats every day in the United States.” Laid end to end, the United States emits enough microbeads to “wrap around the planet” more than seven times.

The reason this may be a problem is that the plastic then accumulates toxic compounds from the water and then shuttles them, along with any chemicals originally in the plastic, “into marine organisms,” concentrating up the food chain, and eventually ending up on our plates. “The potential hazardous effects on humans” then evidently include “alterations in chromosomes which lead to infertility, obesity, and cancer.”

Wait; let’s take a step back, and review the evidence. Plastic gets into the oceans, but does it even get into the fish? Yes: “Microplastics have been shown to be ingested” by fish and other seafood. But: “Are we [then actually] eating plastic-ingesting fish? Yes, we are eating plastic-ingesting fish.” But don’t we just poop the plastic out?

Small enough microparticles may actually be able to get absorbed through the intestinal wall and into our bloodstream. This “[u]ptake of ingested microparticles into small intestinal tissues and on to secondary organs has moved from being an anecdotal phenomenon to a recognized and quantifiable process.” But that’s in rodents. Just because it’s been demonstrated across a variety of lab animals, you don’t know if it happens in people…until you put it to the test. The closest we have is working with human placentas after childbirth, and what they found is that plastic microparticles could indeed “cross the placental barrier” from the maternal bloodstream. So, if it could get into a pregnant woman’s circulation it might get into her baby’s circulation as well.

The reason this is concerning is that plastic debris can be a source of toxic chemicals, both chemical additives in the plastic itself, and then pollutants the plastic sucks up from the water that can then be later released into the body. BPA is one of the chemical additives that can originate from the plastic itself. Given that BPA concentrations have been measured in plastic debris, microplastics “may be a major source of BPA in seafood.” But no one’s really looked into it…until now: “[BPA levels] in edible part of seafood.”

Yes, “fish and seafood…present one of the highest BPA contamination” levels. But is that just because they were looking at canned fish products, like tuna and sardines? Manufacturers may use BPA in the lining of food cans directly. Yes, “BPA may also leach from plastic in oceans, causing a direct contamination of fish.” In fact, “[s]ome…argue that the BPA environmental contamination in fish” could be worse than the BPA from the cans themselves, but you don’t know…until you put it to the test.

Here are the BPA levels found in canned seafood. You can see the highest levels were found in like tuna, cockles, sardines, and blue crab. But, these were all canned; so, you don’t know how much is from the can versus the seafood itself, until you look at non-canned seafood, and sometimes found even higher levels in some fresh mollusks, clams, flounder, and cod.

That’s not good, since plastics chemicals, such as BPA, “are known endocrine disruptors,” meaning known hormone disrupters. And “[b]esides that, [fat-soluble] pollutants [from seawater] [can glom] onto microplastic surfaces,” and potentially present additional risk—which we’ll cover next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: efes via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

100 responses to “Microplastic Contamination & Seafood Safety

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  1. I would have thought that if fish flesh contains micro plastics from fish ingesting it or breathing it in through their gills, then the conclusion would be that micro plastics do cross into the blood, from the intestines or from the gills. If so, they would probably do the same in us.

    But I’ve also read the micro plastics are ubiquitous, found even in beer, sea salt, and water, especially bottled water. They can even be consumed via household dust. I wonder where they are not found. Are fish of particular concern for having the highest amounts of micro plastics — the most concentrated — because they are at the top of a typically fairly long food chain?

        1. I have been burned by so many of the things because the tap water where I live now tastes bad. (For most of my life we had a well, but now it is town water.)

          I tried the water pitchers and they test ridiculously high for viruses.

          I tried Pur and I have seen tests with that where the tap water beat the water from the Pur, even with a new filter.

          I know I don’t want to drink bottled water because of the bottles eventually wrapping around the universe and back concept.

          Eventually, I am going to have to bite the bullet and go Berkey or do a whole house filter, but the concept that the filters themselves aren’t tested at the same level that the actual water from the town is tested bothers me.

          Seems like I am going to get a Berkey eventually.

          Still trying to just finish my house renovation first.

          Trying to go zero waste while also staying healthy and not going broke is such a difficult dance.

          Is there an App for figuring these types of things out?

              1. Here is one which says that bacterial counts increased in filtered water.

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8740859

                “… suggesting growth or biofilm formation in the filter material. In some cases colony counts in the filtered water were 10,000 times those in tap water. The filter material of 5 of 13 new commercial filters was contaminated with bacteria or moulds…”

              1. I put the link to explain the in line filter idea. Ours is ‘plumbed in’ and the filter recepticle is glass.. looks kind of like a canning jar but bigger. the filters can be bought down to .5 microns. It fepends on what you want to filter out. Check out what your local plumber has.

            1. The problem is that my plumber put in plastic pipes and I wasn’t sure that I liked that idea at all, but I also didn’t necessarily like having copper pipes and the plastic pipes don’t burst as often in the Winter and they cost less and people don’t break into your house to steal plastic pipes like they do for copper pipes.

              Honestly, I don’t really like drinking from those or from the pipes at my work, which is a very, very, very old building with very, very, very old pipes.

              At work, we have a water cooler, which I don’t feel confident about, but when I read about the bacteria and mold in filtered water, well, some of us are confused about water.

                1. Okay, so maybe we need a UV sanitizing light to put our water glass under after we loaded it up with all of that bacteria from the filters?

                  That would help with the mold, too, right?

                  So we can filter, then UV away the evidence that filtered water isn’t all that great either.

                  Would any of the water filters cancel the effects of my plastic water pipes?

                  Can a Berkey do that?

                  1. A UV light seems like a good idea, no matter which filter we use.

                    If I put my mushrooms in front of one could I eat the mushrooms raw?

  2. Which populations of humans have micro-plastics in them? I saw a lot of “minimal” contamination in free-range fishes. Every now and then I might catch and eat one. I’m no canned fish consumer, not anymore.

  3. Articles like this need to also explain where the average person DUMPS MICRO-PLASTICS INTO THE ENVIRONMENT. Clothing is the culprit and lint from fabrics made from plastics is the main source. More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic.

    Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers — all of which are forms of plastic — are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide. Synthetic plastic fibers are cheap and extremely versatile, providing for stretch and breathability in athleisure, and warmth and sturdiness in winter clothes.

    These fibers contribute to ocean plastic pollution in a subtle but pervasive way: The fabrics they make — along with synthetic-natural blends — leach into the environment just by being washed. Estimates vary, but it’s possible that a single load of laundry could release hundreds of thousands of fibers from our clothes into the water supply. And these tiny fibers — less than 5 millimeters in length, with diameters measured in micrometers (one-thousandth of a millimeter) — can eventually reach the ocean.

    Think about how many people are washing their clothes on a daily basis, and how many clothes we all have. Even when we’re walking around, not washing our clothes, tiny fibers are falling off. It’s everywhere.

    If you want to make a difference, only buy natural fiber clothing such as cotton.

  4. Very interesting and good report on the “plastics problem”. It’s so easy for people to protest with regard to global warming and demand avtion (easy because individualsdo NOT have anything to do but to urge otherstodo something). Plastics pollution is perhaps aneven greater threat, but here individuals need to do somethng (and that’s a lot harderthan to point the finger at others and say ‘you must do something’). With regard to the plastics problem all of us are asked to do soemthing.
    I can send you a copy of our review “Oceans of plastics – possible risks of cancer in marine wildlife and humans” by Erren et al 2013 in the book “Exploring Themes on Aquatic Toxicology” edited by Allodi et al.
    If you want a copy drop me a line: meyrow@gmail.com
    I’m one of the co-authors of the review. V.B. Meyer-Rochow
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262637401_Oceans_of_plastics_Possible_risks_of_cancer_in_marine_wildlife_and_humans

      1. I suggest writing congress urging the removal of plastics from facial products and also local water supply boards urging the removal of plasticmicroparticles from drinking water.

    1. Plastic packaging prevents a lot of food spoilage. So am not sure what we’d replace it with. Now that you raise some questions from the bigger picture, the global human population has doubled in the last 45 years. And 60% of the remaining species have been killed. Can you run me through a non apocalyptic scenario for the future of the planet?

      1. Blair:

        To limit my exposure to plastics, I try to buy products packed in glass.

        But. no, I cannot foresee a non-apocalyptic scenario for the future of the planet.

        Depending to which climate scientist you listen, it will be too hot to grow food crops sometime between 2030 and 2100. There is only a 5% chance we may be able to limit the increase in temperature to safe levels.

        I have concluded that the failure/refusal of the human race to do anything (except feeble lip service) about global heating. means we are an aberrant species. We will soon be gone, but, unfortunately, soon will most other species be gone.

  5. Below is an article and 2 videos using Zeiss microscope showing how plastic microfiber has coiled and blocked the gut of a planktonic arrow worm. The microplastic pollution can entangle even the smallest of sea creature and these days is in most commercial water bottles and water management facilities.

    Microplastics in the marine environment
    source: https://blogs.zeiss.com/microscopy/news/en/microplastics-in-the-marine-environment/

    Life as we experience and feel is an ongoing journey of discoveries, reflections, communication and actions to achieve the understanding of higher self (tangible to intangible) with those who share our belief towards a better planet for all earthlings. Once we know truth, we know the way.

    1. Thanks!

      That is helpful!

      Though Whole Foods has a posted sign in their bulk department saying that they only allow people to use their containers and their containers are plastic.

      Same with the other 2 stores which have bulk products departments. I hear that there are states where they allow people to use their own containers, but not where I am.

      I can drive an hour and bring some Ball jars and fill those, but I will say that the hour each way drive using gas doesn’t seem all that eco-friendly either.

      I hate that Whole Foods isn’t the one doing the Ball food jar exchange process. Or Trader Joes.

    2. Dr. Jon,

      Thanks for the link; the article looks fairly comprehensive. And I do all of #1-19, but got stuck at #10:

      “Say no to plastic produce bags.
      They are generally unnecessary. What are we worried about? That our apples won’t get along with our broccoli during the trip home? Or is it that the produce will get dirty? Hey, it grew in the dirt, and we’re going to wash it anyway, right? At the grocery store, I put most produce directly into my cart and then into my reusable bag.”

      I’m thinking of the video here about contamination of grocery cart baskets and handles, ad check-out conveyor belts, etc. by contaminated chicken packaging leaks (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-shop-for-handle-and-store-chicken/). So I do use plastic bags for produce. And I do wash my produce. I wonder if washing it is enough to avoid potential food poisoning?

      Also, plastic bags are great for storing greens in the fridge for a few days; we wrap them in damp paper towels (which we dry and re-use) first and then put them into a plastic bag.

      I guess I should read further; there are additional references about this issue.

      1. The supermarkets in my area will not use plastic bags starting in January 2020. Not sure how that will work out.

        My main concern is how to get rid of our garbage. There’s a garbage chute on every floor of my building, and we’ve all been putting it in plastic bags. We certainly can’t wrap it in newspapers, as everything would let loose as it flies down to the dumpster below. And who buys newspapers anymore, anyway — not moi! Is there another solution? Can’t think of any.

        1. YR,

          That is a good question.

          People are composting food type garbage and they are buying bulk in Ball glass jar containers to avoid packaging and they are using reusable shopping bags. Don’t take your receipts and have your bills paid automatically and don’t have them mail you any bills.

          A woman on YouTube put all of her trash for one year in a Ball glass jar. Her main garbage was stickers off of her organic fruit. There are lots of sites for teaching how to do it.

      1. Sydney,

        Yes. The issue is so complicated for us already.

        It is so hard to do the logic.

        The Berkey seems like an okay solution for me, but I don’t know if leaving the water in it will have mold growth and bacteria in the filters or something. I feel distrust at all of the solutions.

        Some other countries haven’t had clean water for decades.

  6. Harry Shearer, on his weekly radio/internet show, “Le Show,” has been discussing microplastics, for years. His latest show, last Sunday, is typical: https://harryshearer.com/le-shows/april-21-2019/#t=44:07
    Or there’s this: https://harryshearer.com/le-shows/march-10-2019/#t=17:03

    Harry’s one of the greatest comic minds in the country. From This is Spinal Tap to the Simpsons, his words, voice and visage have provided the world with some of its best humor of the past 50 years (he was the original Eddie Haskell on the pilot for Leave It to Beaver). Le Show is a weekly hour program of politics music and comedy, to which I’ve been listening since the early 80’s. It’s a Sunday show, available through many internet outlets, as well as NPR. Try it, you might like it.

  7. My first thought in seeing the photo and title of this video was “aww, poor fish!” If only everyone thought and felt for others and not just themselves or for those personally close to them, there probably wouldn’t be an issue with micro plastics if human minds worked this way and thus–in my opinion–worked properly.

  8. Oh lord… like there isn’t ENOUGH confusion out there, now an ex tv/commercial producer is preaching to the world via youtube that nuts are bad for you… thoughts, sentiments, etc.? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkC0-sXruM8

    I’m not masochistic enough to have watched it, but saw the shameless “scientific proof” headline and what drew me was the angry photo of Dr. Greger in the corner.

      1. (Now THAT was a snarky comment.) Your “for years” tells me you must follow this guy’s website. I never heard of him before.

        There are also those who genuflect to every word uttered by Dr. G. Isn’t that right, Fumbles?

        1. Yes, it was a snarky comment. To illustrate a point (plus it was fun).

          It’s possible to disagree with Dr Greger’s assessments without making personal comments about him or his physical appearance. That was my point.

          Greg and Sydney for example regularly post dissenting viewpoints but they don’t personalise it. I think that dissenting opinions are useful because ithey force us to think through the issues and articulate the reasons why we believe what we do. To be honest,though, I am not quite as certain about the possible value of your posts on astrology, ‘medical mediums’ and books supposedly conveying the messages of channelled supernatural entities. To me. they seem simply batty. Amusing …. but batty.

          However, it’s your occasional little digs at Dr Greger the man that I find a bit uncomfortable The departed ‘Ron From…’ did the same thing from time to time if I recall. In my opinion, that sort of thing is unnecessary, unpleasant.and doesn’t help anyone. It’s like loudly bad-mouthing a homeowner when you are sitting in his living room and your host is within easy hearing distance.

          Sure, if there was evidence that he’d done something wrong, that would be different but that’s not the case.

          In summary I am arguing that batty is OK but catty is not.

      2. It’s crazy to me that people can be so arrogant… To lack the credentials among other things and scoff at someone like Dr. Greger… the arrogance is unbelievable. It takes a really, genuinely, foolish person to act in that way. But what’s alarming is that a genuinely foolish person (in my opinion from what I gather) has 20,000 views.

        Mr Fumbles and YR, you guys are amusing! In Fumbles defense, YR, I hardly see him as someone who just takes whatever anyone says at hand, but rather is quite skillful at interpreting the science and knows a good study when he sees it.

    1. S,

      We live in a culture where every topic is presented:

      Nuts are so good that they will save your life. Nuts are so bad that they will kill you.

      Every topic.

      Don’t let any of it throw you.

      1. S,

        I watched the video and the man has a point based on an Italian man who was WFPB low fat who wanted to see if nuts would harm his artery function and he ate 2 ounces of nuts and the scan told his artery age as higher than it had before.

        Later, he tested it again and it dropped his artery age down to lower than it had when he had tested it the year before.

        Nuts do affect artery function. I say that assuming the machine was accurate and the results are duplicated.

        He didn’t do a test. Then, eat nuts. Then, do the test again. On the same machine, on the same day.

        But the artery age increased 20 to 30% for that food intake, then decreased again after.

        The Adventists who ate nuts lived longer than those who didn’t, but that could be preserving brain health versus heart health.

        Dr. Ornish and Esselstyn don’t suggest nuts when trying to reverse heart disease.

        The doctors who allow nuts point to the Adventists and to studies where nuts helped improve a diet like the Mediterranean diet. Nuts improve health outcomes of bad diets, for sure. They may not improve health outcomes for WFPB – no SOS people.

        1. I need it to be someone like Dr. Ornish or Dr. Esselstyn to take the baseline test, then take a handful of nuts and see what happens.

          I say it because I don’t know if the machine he used would really give consistent results. I don’t know whether it would change after eating anything.

          He said that it raises after eating foods which increase triglycerides.

          I want to know that it doesn’t go up just by eating anything.

          1. Can we get the technology itself tested? Maybe someone like Dr. Ornish testing himself every day and seeing if his numbers are the same every day.

            This is important to me because nuts help brain function is a study I was just reading and because avocado would be another one and seeds would be another thing.

            How low fat do you go? And what if you have brain issues?

            1. And can we have a brain function test at the same time?

              Did Dr. Ornish’s Alzheimer’s patients outperform Bredesen’s patients?

              Why did the Adventists who ate nuts live longer than the ones who didn’t?

              Is it a brain versus heart issue?

              Is it that the others just were leaner and died younger when they reached the age when people slow down eating or something?

              1. Dr. Greger, can we convince you to do an N of 1 using that technology so that we won’t have to wait for Dr. Esselstyn to say, “I told you so?”

                1. Can I toss a pleasing note to Dr Esselstyn to do a study which solves things, not complicated them.

                  If it is using that machine, test between 2 machines and test people fasting versus eating and test them at different times per day and test nuts, seeds and avocado auger and complex carbs.

                  Is it okay to go zero fat?

                  Is there anything at all such as a healthy fat?

                  I mean it, if he is going to rip off the bandaid let it be decisive.

                    1. Okay, and here is a question:

                      Blood pressure varies throughout the day every day for every person.

                      Is that true and is the machine picking up on normal fluctuations?

              2. You may want to watch the entire video Deb, and the link I posted above, too. It features Dr Esselstyn, and they spend time talking about the various studies, who sponsored the studies, and why they got the result they did. Apparently more testing is being planned for the future.

                Dr Ornish allows 3 fat servings per day on his program. Examples of fat servings would be 6 peanuts, or 2.5 tsp flax seeds, or a whole walnut. Dr Esselstyn is fine with a tbsp of ground flax, or chia seeds.

                1. Thanks, Barb, yes, I did watch the video and I do know that they are going to be doing more tests.

                  I also know that if they replicate the results and prove that nuts harm arteries, then, some of us will be sitting here asking about seeds and avocado and all sorts of topics.

                  The Adventists living longer when they ate nuts is what the results of this will be hitting up against in my brain.

                  1. Well, their point was that the nut studies are most often sponsored by the nut industries. In the case of predimed, it was nut and olive oil industries. They go into detail about the studies in the videos. And what he is saying caught the attention of Dr Esselstyn so I am not ready to dismiss it altogether. He and Dr Ornish got the desired results with their trials their way. They go into the Adventist trial too, re funding etc and that was disappointing (for me). I would have liked to hear good news about nuts, but no, nothing new yet.

                    1. Barb,

                      I don’t know how you can fake the Adventist study.

                      I guess there are ways, but what could it be?

                      Were they faking the advanced age of the people or adding to how many nuts the people claimed to eat?

        2. I find one man’s exclaimed test results to be of zero relevance when held up to all the impressive amounts of evidence on nuts and how they positively impact health and longevity. There are so many factors that could have impacted his alleged results; all the reasons why scientific studies have to be designed so carefully and thoroughly to draw a reliable conclusion and sift out other effects and possibilities. Then you have the fact that a study should be able to be replicated.

          If nothing else, to me it just makes so much more sense to put my faith into one of the most well-researched M.D’s and people on the subject of nutritional science, who in my opinion, often errs on the side of caution if anything, than to take in some anecdotal testament that doesn’t hold up against the collective data I’ve seen.

      2. Thanks for your response and advice Deb :) I’ve come to a place where I don’t let it throw me. At this point I just get annoyed at all the claims out there. Right now I’m reading The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel and Elizabeth walks you through some of her first groundbreaking discoveries on telomeres and telomerase and despite her and her partner at one particular time, finding something groundbreaking, they spent months testing to make sure it was legit. So when I see people just making these heavy claims on a whim, it’s irritating to say the least because I know how much confusion it causes and I’ve learned enough to know that scientific conclusions require some very serious research.

        1. I agree with you that it is so annoying and it is confusing and that we do need to find the voices which we trust and go from there.

          The WFPB doctors don’t agree uniformly about nuts and that complicates things.

          Dr. Ornish reversed a condition where someone needed a heart transplant, so I have to always take his view seriously. Same with Dr. Esselstyne.

          Just trying to wait and see and not close my mind on the subject.

          If 2 ounces of nuts harms the arteries by something like 20%, then I want to know what 1 ounce of nuts would do.

          Does 1 nut do something? How about seeds?

          Do avocados go back to yellow light again?

          I am eating them for my brain, is there a sweet spot which helps the brain without harming the heart? Or is the need for healthy fat for the brain to function just a mythology and eating oatmeal might be enough fat. (I remember Tom hypothesizing about that a while back.)

          1. But there’s so much available evidence that nuts are actually heart healthy, you’re assuming that two ounces of nuts does have an impact on arteries based on one little report. I would say they do not or that there’s no evidence that they do but that there is contradicting evidence to that claim. I would imagine if there were that great of an impact that 1) we’d know by now, especially the M.D’s like Dr. Greger and 2) everyone on a SAD would have been dead long ago.

            It’s true that Dr. Ornish reversed heart disease but we’re talking about people whose arterial function is so bad that they’re on the brink of death, maybe in those circumstances the only way to turn it around that quickly is to be on no or virtually no fat at all. And what if his approach would have worked while also incorporating nuts? How can we know? This is just my thinking about these things that I’m sharing.

            Whole plant foods containing fat have been shown to positively impact health including nuts and seeds in so many fantastic ways. I think it can be dangerous in a number of ways to not get enough fat. I personally didn’t respond well when I was too low fat. I had issues with skin and hair that I never had and I had hormonal issues. That was when I was listening to the internet hype about omega-6 being evil.

            1. It’s very complicated.

              Exercise temporarily raises blood pressure so it must be bad for us?

              A handful of nuts temporarily impairs artery function so nuts must be bad for us?

              On the other hand, do studies showing that nut eaters live longer simply tell us that snacking on nuts is less unhealthy than snacking on Mars Bars. crisps etc?

  9. It’s hard to believe that plastic particle of this size can pass through the tight junctions in the intestines. If it happens, it seems that the intestines must already be damaged by infections or pharmaceuticals such as NSAIDs.

  10. Dr. Gregor,
    This is off topic but I don’t know where to post it.
    Would you review the Japanese fermented soy bean Natto as used for a probiotic?
    Is it as effective in the more palatable dry bean or powdered form?
    Thanks
    -Robyn

  11. I’m concerned about eco-plastics. These plastics are made from corn starch, or completely out of cellulose. Why couldn’t we just switch to eco-plastics? Should I avoid eco-plastics?

    Thanks so much, I learned a lot from this specific comment section

      1. Trying to go zero waste is what I am focused on.

        I am not sure I can get anywhere near there, but I am pretty sure I can cut my plastics down by 2/3rds or more.

        I think about things like blueberries and I get those in plastic containers or plastic bags from the freezer section. I don’t know how to solve that yet, but they sell non-plastic packaging for most things nowadays, even if you have to buy from a zero waste site.

  12. If you would be on a raw food vegan or pescetarian diet though, or about to be, what would be your Dr Gregers Daily Dozens? Thank you and kind regards.

    1. Chris, have you checked out his videos on raw food diets yet? He recommends a diet of both raw and cooked whole plant foods. Obviously if you want to go raw that’s your personal choice, I would assume that the daily dozen would likely remain the same but just eat raw versions of the servings. You’ll have to eat bigger servings though or seeming, like a full cup of raw leafy greens being 1 serving for example or a full cup of bean/lentil sprouts being 1 serving.
      If you’re going pescetarian, his daily dozen would not change at all, he wouldn’t recommend fish or recommend less whole plant foods. In fact he even stated basically that he hoes those who still eat meat and animal products will have less room to fit those things in their diets following the daily dozen.

    2. Chris,

      I rotate between 3 vegan WHole Food Plant Based ways of eating.

      I don’t even think I do it on purpose.

      I can go months eating foods like chili and lentil loaf and oatmeal for breakfast and then realize that I am not getting enough vegetables and I switch to salads and raw vegetable wraps and fruit and spend a few months there.

      Then, I realize that I stopped eating flaxseeds and nutritional yeast and I start incorporating those in.

      I think it really suits me to have a few ways to do it.

      I watch the people who went all raw suddenly sneaking fish and lying about it and then they announce that they are leaving vegan.

      To me, if I crave fats, I eat some peanut butter or guacamole. If I crave starches, I shift to Dr McDougalls recipes, etc.

      If I suddenly feel like I am just eating potatoes and not getting greens, I shift again.

      Not sure if that helps you or not.

      For me, I bought all of the doctors’ cookbooks and an instapot (an is a figure of speech, I bought a lot of instapot and a lot of glass storage containers and loaded up my freezer for when I want hot food.

      Then, I just shop produce and kind of wing it with a loaded freezer back up plan.

      1. All of the doctor’s diets are healthy and all of them have recipes.

        There are also vegan sites and they often have advice.

        Both Happy Healthy Vegan and High Carb Hannah started off raw with emphasis on fruits and now they are both The Starch Solution.

        I don’t think you have to choose.

        Just look at recipes and find things to eat and that process simplifies it.

        If you can’t afford the cookbooks, sites like McDougall has recipes for free. So do many vegan cooking sites, plus YouTube has a ton of them and other cooking sites often have a vegan selection.

        You can join Forks Over Knives for one and there are vegan recipe apps.

        When I get sick of cooking, I just eat it all raw.

        1. Many of us here are doing a complicated process, but all you need to do is look for healthy recipes and shop for healthy food and then you don’t really need to think too much.

  13. I had the sweetest Jewish woman who has cataracts misdial Talbots and reach my number and she has kidney cancer and has diabetes and they are talking with her about glaucoma and how to feed kidneys and I am laughing because there had to be 50 things in a row that she needed to know and that I knew the answer to. She was about to throw out her cans of beans.

    She asked if I had a concept of what type of magnifier to get and I knew the Super Vision App and her friend is blind and I knew the Brain Port and I knew the Esight for her and we were on the phone for 2 hours.

  14. Can someone help with a concern i have about microwave cooking/reheating? That it might change the food nutrients in a bad way somehow. Here’s a study on albino rats. Effect of ingestion of microwaved foods on serum anti-oxidant enzymes and vitamins of albino rats https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrras.2017.03.001

    It is from an open access journal so it’s probably not that good. Although i remember when i did blood tests i was low on immune cells so this could be partly responsible. I reheat my food in it and am now cooking mushrooms in it but now I’m starting to doubt myself.

    1. Arthur,

      Cooking of any form lowers the enzyme levels a little bit versus eating raw.

      So eat some of your food raw.

      But microwave still tends to be better than many cooking methods.

      Dr. Greger has videos on it. They have tested the antioxidant levels, etc.

        1. I’m guessing that study or article is arguing that the microwaving process produces oxidation products in the food. The microwaved food could tax our bodies’ detoxification systems since it appears it does that to the rats. It might be suggesting that it’s destroying fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and E that’s in the microwaved food. I’m just going on what the abstract text. i can’t make sense of the body of the article.

          1. In Dr. Greger’s video, vitamin A is the most protective cooking method for maintaining vitamin A in sweet potatoes. I still don’t use microwaves, personally, but based on the videos here it does not seem to destroy nutrients like it’s been proclaimed. I wouldn’t rely on animal studies, especially one animal study. Trying to extrapolate an occurrence in one species to another is about as accurate as a coin toss. Look at folic acid in rat studies… hard to understand why microwaved foods might act differently but I haven’t read the study and as is the case for most things, there’s probably multiple factors that we wouldn’t even think of. Plus, maybe it was a fluke if it hasn’t been replicated. And I hope it hasn’t been… animal testing is horrible.

            1. I thought it about it some more and the article is probably suggesting that the rats are burning through the vitamin A and E more because of oxidative stress. It’s not because the microwave destroyed the vitamins. Type postprandial oxidative stress in your search engine. Pretty much anything you eat will cause some oxidative stress. Cooked foods are more oxidised than raw foods. Heat, air and water can oxidise foods. Antioxidants are important. Whether microwave is worse than other cooking methods i can’t find something about that.

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