Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease

Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease
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Oxidized cholesterol can be 100 times more toxic than regular cholesterol, raising additional concerns about foods such as ghee, canned tuna, processed meat, and parmesan cheese.

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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.

Too much cholesterol in the blood “has long been considered to act as [a] primary risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and, possibly, Parkinson’s disease.” I’ve shown these striking images of what the brain arteries of Alzheimer’s victims look like on autopsy, clogged with fat and cholesterol, compared to non-demented elderly controls. But wait a second: “cholesterol cannot be directly exported across the blood-brain barrier.” So, it can’t directly get into the brain, or out of the brain. What if the brain has too much cholesterol, and needs to get rid of some? As a safety valve, there’s an enzyme in the brain that oxidizes the cholesterol. And, in this form, it can exit the brain, and eventually the body. Ah, but here’s the kicker. “Although this fact means that the brain can eliminate excess amounts of these oxidation products,” it could be a two-way street. It can “allow toxic amounts of oxysterols [oxidized cholesterol] present in the blood stream” to go the other way, and “accumulate in the brain.”

This is not just a theoretical concern. This elegant study showed that by measuring oxidized cholesterol levels in the blood coming off the brain, measured in the jugular vein in the neck, compared to the levels going into the brain through the artery, you could measure the difference. And, this shows if you have too much oxidized cholesterol in your bloodstream, it can end up in your brain. This is a problem, because “the accumulation of oxysterols [can be] cytotoxic, mutagenic, atherogenic, and possibl[y] carcinogenic”—in other words, toxic to cells, toxic to DNA, and contributing to heart disease and maybe cancer. Yes, samples from atherosclerotic plaques on autopsy contain 20 times more cholesterol than normal arteries, but they contain 45 times higher levels of oxidized cholesterol.

Cholesterol oxidation products may be up to 100 times more pathological, more toxic than un-oxidized cholesterol—contributing to not only heart disease, but potentially a variety of different major chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Okay, so how can we cut down on the amount of these oxysterols in our body? One way is by not eating them.

Oxidized cholesterol is found in “milk powders, meat and meat products (including fish), cheese, and eggs and egg products.”

Until recently, our understanding had been limited by the lack of testing methods to accurately analyze the amount found in various foods…until, now. Oxidized cholesterol, found throughout animal products. Canned tuna was surprisingly high, but ghee takes the cake.

Ghee, clarified butter, boiled butter, is commonly used in Indian cooking. The method of preparation appears to multiply oxidized cholesterol levels tenfold. This dietary exposure from oxidized cholesterol may help explain why the subcontinent of India is ravaged by such heart disease, even though a significant proportion of the population stays away from meat and eggs. (A number of Indian dairy-based desserts are also made in a similar way.)

Oxidized cholesterol in the diet is a source of oxidized cholesterol in the human bloodstream, where it can then readily cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain. And this could trigger inflammation inside the brain—the buildup of amyloid—all occurring “years before the impairment of memory is diagnosed.” These early studies, showing the buildup of oxidized cholesterol in the blood of those fed meals rich in oxidized cholesterol, where you get this spike in your bloodstream a few hours after you eat, were done with things like powdered egg, which can be found in a lot of processed foods. But, you typically don’t sit down to a meal of it. You get the same thing, though, from eating normal food sources. Give folks some salami and parmesan cheese, which are naturally rich in cholesterol oxidation products, and later that day, it’s circulating throughout their bodies.

And, higher levels are not only associated with mild cognitive impairment, but Alzheimer’s disease as well. “Increased…concentrations in the brain may promote cellular damage, caus[e nerve cell] dysfunction and degeneration, and could contribute to neuroinflammation” (brain inflammation) and the formation of these amyloid plaques. You can show the boost in inflammatory gene expression right in a petri dish. You can grow human nerve cells in vitro and drip a little cholesterol on, and you get a bump in inflammation. But, add the same amount of oxidized cholesterol, and it gets much worse. And, if you look at the changes in brain oxysterols at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease on autopsy, you can see how the three main cholesterol oxidation products appear to be building up. Levels have been shown to dramatically increase in Alzheimer’s-disease brains, adding to the evidence that “oxidized cholesterol [may be] a driving force behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

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Image credit: Pexels 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.

Too much cholesterol in the blood “has long been considered to act as [a] primary risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and, possibly, Parkinson’s disease.” I’ve shown these striking images of what the brain arteries of Alzheimer’s victims look like on autopsy, clogged with fat and cholesterol, compared to non-demented elderly controls. But wait a second: “cholesterol cannot be directly exported across the blood-brain barrier.” So, it can’t directly get into the brain, or out of the brain. What if the brain has too much cholesterol, and needs to get rid of some? As a safety valve, there’s an enzyme in the brain that oxidizes the cholesterol. And, in this form, it can exit the brain, and eventually the body. Ah, but here’s the kicker. “Although this fact means that the brain can eliminate excess amounts of these oxidation products,” it could be a two-way street. It can “allow toxic amounts of oxysterols [oxidized cholesterol] present in the blood stream” to go the other way, and “accumulate in the brain.”

This is not just a theoretical concern. This elegant study showed that by measuring oxidized cholesterol levels in the blood coming off the brain, measured in the jugular vein in the neck, compared to the levels going into the brain through the artery, you could measure the difference. And, this shows if you have too much oxidized cholesterol in your bloodstream, it can end up in your brain. This is a problem, because “the accumulation of oxysterols [can be] cytotoxic, mutagenic, atherogenic, and possibl[y] carcinogenic”—in other words, toxic to cells, toxic to DNA, and contributing to heart disease and maybe cancer. Yes, samples from atherosclerotic plaques on autopsy contain 20 times more cholesterol than normal arteries, but they contain 45 times higher levels of oxidized cholesterol.

Cholesterol oxidation products may be up to 100 times more pathological, more toxic than un-oxidized cholesterol—contributing to not only heart disease, but potentially a variety of different major chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Okay, so how can we cut down on the amount of these oxysterols in our body? One way is by not eating them.

Oxidized cholesterol is found in “milk powders, meat and meat products (including fish), cheese, and eggs and egg products.”

Until recently, our understanding had been limited by the lack of testing methods to accurately analyze the amount found in various foods…until, now. Oxidized cholesterol, found throughout animal products. Canned tuna was surprisingly high, but ghee takes the cake.

Ghee, clarified butter, boiled butter, is commonly used in Indian cooking. The method of preparation appears to multiply oxidized cholesterol levels tenfold. This dietary exposure from oxidized cholesterol may help explain why the subcontinent of India is ravaged by such heart disease, even though a significant proportion of the population stays away from meat and eggs. (A number of Indian dairy-based desserts are also made in a similar way.)

Oxidized cholesterol in the diet is a source of oxidized cholesterol in the human bloodstream, where it can then readily cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain. And this could trigger inflammation inside the brain—the buildup of amyloid—all occurring “years before the impairment of memory is diagnosed.” These early studies, showing the buildup of oxidized cholesterol in the blood of those fed meals rich in oxidized cholesterol, where you get this spike in your bloodstream a few hours after you eat, were done with things like powdered egg, which can be found in a lot of processed foods. But, you typically don’t sit down to a meal of it. You get the same thing, though, from eating normal food sources. Give folks some salami and parmesan cheese, which are naturally rich in cholesterol oxidation products, and later that day, it’s circulating throughout their bodies.

And, higher levels are not only associated with mild cognitive impairment, but Alzheimer’s disease as well. “Increased…concentrations in the brain may promote cellular damage, caus[e nerve cell] dysfunction and degeneration, and could contribute to neuroinflammation” (brain inflammation) and the formation of these amyloid plaques. You can show the boost in inflammatory gene expression right in a petri dish. You can grow human nerve cells in vitro and drip a little cholesterol on, and you get a bump in inflammation. But, add the same amount of oxidized cholesterol, and it gets much worse. And, if you look at the changes in brain oxysterols at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease on autopsy, you can see how the three main cholesterol oxidation products appear to be building up. Levels have been shown to dramatically increase in Alzheimer’s-disease brains, adding to the evidence that “oxidized cholesterol [may be] a driving force behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Pexels via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Cholesterol gets oxidized when animal products are exposed to heat. Are there some cooking methods that are less risky? Stay tuned for my next video, How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation.

For more on diet and Alzheimer’s disease, see:

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

228 responses to “Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease

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  1. Another excellent video full of useful information! It’s videos like this one that make Dr Greger shine like a bright star above all the so called “health gurus” on the Internet. He presents clear, concise, useful information based on the latest nutritional science in an unbiased manner. This website has been my “go to” website for nutritional information for at least the last 5 years and was the main reason I went WPF. Many thanks to Dr G and the team of volunteers.

    1. Agreed, Hal. Clear, concise, useful and unbiased. That’s why I keep coming here, and it’s the reason why I went WFPB. I’d give you a thumbs-up if I could.

      1. Thanks Nancy. I kinda liked the “thumbs-up” capability, too, but I’m sure we can live without it … we’ll just have to talk with each other more like we’re doing now :-)

      2. While I agree the information is presented as unbiased, I think that is not always the case with the information itself. That is, in the table showing the cholesterol, there was no differentiation between chicken breast and thighs/drumsticks.

        Also the case with tuna. Is albacore tuna the same as oily tuna?

        Having more precise information wouldn’t work as a scare tactic, but might cause better planning for ones meals.

        1. Lonie, instead of trying to determine which animal product is less harmful to your health, why not remove them entirely from your diet? If you need help doing so, I recommend HowdoIgoVegan.com.

          1. Actually I have removed meats (other than herring filets) from my diet. That has nothing to do with whether or not the data is unfinished.

            But I have friends who will not give up meat, even if Dr. Oz says so (and he does) Therefore it is best for me to know if there are different cuts of a meat that are less damaging than others as I may be able to steer friends and family to the lesser danger.

        2. When I would eat canned chicken breast meat and an occasional tin of tuna, I would always marinate each in balsamic vinegar and various herbs.

          I would eat the tuna with no other intervention, but would eat the chicken breast meat in a stew or sauteed with onions (and turmeric, sage, and just about any other spice I could lay my hands on.)

          I wish there were studies done on unorthodox ways of preparing meat to see if there is a way that could belay the concerns of those against meat consumption.

  2. To Doctor Greger: Please discover a non-surgical solution to curing cataracts in the eyes of humans. Thanks and God Bless

    1. Look into carnosine eye drops. Two products are Can-C (original) and Brite Eyes III (copycat product). I think there is still little good, solid research done on this, so this is “anecdotal”, but many people report completely curing their cataracts with about 8 months of continued use. I’ve used Brite Eyes III, and it helped my vision become much clearer.

  3. Please do a video or article showing the foods that contain the most oxidized cholesterol. The video skimmed over it quickly. I’d like to see a chart.

    1. Theresa, is basically all meat an dairy An proceed foods that have dry egg An milk product in it. If your eating a wpbd you don’t need to worry about that.

    2. Me too! Couldn’t access it from googling the journal article even. Also the chart needs clarification – e.g., different beefs, chickens have differing amounts and it doesn’t explain why.

      1. I would have liked more info in re: differentiation between chicken breast and thighs/drumsticks.

        Also the case with tuna. Is albacore tuna the same as oily tuna?

    3. Theresa-

      Foods with oxidized cholesterol are: any food deep fried in oil (heated oil has oxidized cholesterol), polyunsaturated fats as vegetable oils.

      Oxidized cholesterol can also be formed in the body, by activities like smoking.

      -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  4. You should also mention that inside the body cholesterol can get oxidized in your bloodstream, so its not just the oxidized cholesterol you eat, but cholesterol that gets oxidized inside your body that is a problem too. Then give a shout out for your favorites- antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs that can counter some of this oxidation in the body.

  5. I’m confused because the news that India’s population is ravaged by heart disease due to ghee seems to contradict the research that shows what’s good for the heart is good for the brain (vice versa, what’s bad for the heart would be bad for the brain). And because turmeric/curry is a staple in India,I’d read there is very little Alzheimer’s disease there, thus the popularity now of turmeric use here. So rampant heart disease does not correlate w/ brain diseases in India? Can anyone clarify the contradiction here? Thanks!

    1. Andrea, I found that confusing, too. So I clicked on the button to read the transcript, only to be sent to the start screen for the video again. That happened several times before I gave up.

      I, too, have read or perhaps seen on one of Dr G’s videos that India has one of the lowest rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

    2. It is important to remember that there are multiple factors at work in most disease risk calculations both pro and anti. The balance of disease-promoting factors versus protective factors will make a difference and will probably be somewhat different for different diseases. There are also huge liguistic, cultural and dietary differences between the various regions in India, which will complicate analyses (one of the reasons why international comparisons and observational studies in general can be misleading)

      However, there is no real evidence that turneric protects against Alzheimer’s
      https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/turmeric-and-dementia

      The low rates of Alzheimer’s seen in India (and Africa and Japan etc) may be because they have populations that eat diets high in grains and other vegetables. India is different from Africa and Japan in many ways including the fact that they eat a lot of dairy and even the vegetables are often fried. perhaps these factors are particularly harmful for heart disease risk and less so for Alzheimer’s. There may also be genetic differences ie it’s possible that India has a population with somewhat fewer people who have genes that increase risk for Alzheimer’s.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2015/11/12/where-are-the-lowest-rates-of-alzheimers-in-the-world/

      Unfortunately in India, they eat ghee and even the semi vegetarians there eat vegetarian ghee or vanaspi which is very high in transfats. I understand that vegetarian ghee and hydrogenated cooking oil use is higher in Southern India and they have higher rates of heart disease there too than in Northern India (but I am writing from memory here). Being a developing country, consistent national data is scarce or unavailable. However, it appears that Southern India at least may also have high rates of dementia … only slightly less than those in Western countries according to this article

      “These are the first AD incidence rates to be reported from southern India. The incidence rates appear to be much higher than that reported from rural north India, comparable with that reported from China, and marginally lower than that reported from the western world.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3553547/

      So, I think the short answer is that there is no real contradiction. The apparent contradiction may simply reflect the differences in Northern and Southern Indian diets (which may be as great or greater than those between say, Northern and Southern Euopean diets) and the difficulties of producing nationally comprehensive, consistent diagnostic data in such a country.

      1. TG,

        My current thinking is that these issues stated today in the video are not
        an issue in people who eat raw fish/sushi, raw egg yolks, etc.
        It is interesting to me that the fish of the ocean eat other fish, none ever
        cooked. Obviously this is normal. (yeah, i know, there is issue these days
        with heavy metals, toxins, etc., but this is separate issue.

        Any thoughts?

        1. Well, Yolo, I can only say that I have seen no scientific evidence that these things are not issues for people who eat only raw fish, raw eggs etc.

          I understand that the eskimoes on traditional diets ate raw fish and meat on a regular basis. However, since I understand that they seldom lived beyond 60, Alzheimer’s wouldn’t have been a problem anyway so no real data there. And the evidence appears to be that they had high rates of cardiovascular disease so no protection there either.
          http://gorillaprotein.com/2017/09/24/inuit-diet/
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12535749

          Also, raw food is notoriously susceptible to food poisoning and with raw fish you are also vulnerable to parasitic infection eg
          https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/41/9/1297/278196

          And since the standard advice about eating raw eggs is to only eat pasteurised raw eggs to avoid salmonella poisoning, they are effectively cooked foods anyway because the pasteurisation method used is heat treatment.

          As for fish eating fish, yes this is no doubt true. But it is also one of the main ways parasitic infections are transmitted between fish. The other thing is that humans have weaker stomach acid than carnivores. The stronger stomach acid in carnivores will kill many infections. I presume the same thing applies to fish-eating fish as opposed to plant-eating fish.

          My feeling therefore would be that since there is no evidence of reduced overall risk from eating these foods raw, it’s probably safer to eat them, cooked if you want to eat them at all.

      2. To add to TG’s comments, Indians eat a lot of sugar. Sugar is probably the commonest dietary ingredient of all Indians, regardless of geography, wealth, and social status.

    3. That’s my beef (oops! no offense NF.o-ers ‘-) with many scientific studies. That is, they are done within a tight framework concentrating on one option. I know we are all different, but a one size fits all comprehensive study such as this one in real people but including many other things in a diet… those results could help us in adding to our diet in a precise manner rather than continuing to subtract from our diet.

      I know, I know… eat WFPB and you will (presumably) never get sick and will (hopefully) live a normal lifespan.

      But it is my opinion that eating a precision nutrient diet will help us to fare better.

      1. Livewire. In this instance it is veganism (which makes good sense when not adopted as some sort of infallible religion) selectively misrepresenting the data.

        1. Peter

          The only people who make these ‘religious’ accusations against people following healthy diets are those who have no arguments based on scientific evidence to offer. Instead they resort to deliberately vague and patently ridiculous accusations like these. I am disappointed that you would do this.

          So, which “vegans” are misrepresenting which data and how?

  6. Good video I’m so happy that I’m eating a whole plant based diet . My mom had Alzheimer’s an she ate good amount of meat cold cuts an the dried sausage an cheeses but so did my dad an my dad does not have Alzheimer’s or any signs of it it’s weird how to people had the same diet but my mother got an my father didn’t. I’m doing my best to try to avoid this horrible disease, it’s funny how the health gurus an doctors are trying to convince people that a meat an dairy diet is a good diet for preventing Alzheimer’s what a load of crap. Unfortunately I fell for that a few years ago with brain grain An was a Paleo purist until I said enough is enough of this diet heavy in meat an dairy . I’m very happy that I gave it up an I’m happy that I got my husband to give it up as well. Be the way turmeric should definitely be part of your diet . Dr. Gregor recommends quarter tsp day. Adding to your food or make a nice milk alternative warm cup of milk with it in it an a little honey before bed. It’s delicious

    1. Good for you!

      The good news is that people are succeeding at reversing it now.

      My brain was so bad 5 years ago and just having information about what to try has helped and, YES, I am doing turmeric regularly.

      1. I’d steer well clear of Bredesen’s advice. Sciencebasedmedicine describes it as “Dubious science, based on questionable theory”
        https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/mend-protocol-for-alzheimers-disease/

        Note that Bredesn was originally selling this approach as the MEND Protocol but he has since set up his own company to market this and now calls it the Bredesen Protocol
        https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dr-dale-bredesen-announces-termination-of-his-relationship-with-muses-labs-inc-300188947.html

        caveat emptor

  7. That chart is confusing. Why is chicken and sausages and beef listed twice with different results? Is there a more complete chart and might we see it?

    1. Kirby,

      Eat a plant based diet an you won’t have to worry about that chicken, beef or any other meat or proceed food that have dry powered eggs An milk.

    2. If I read it correctly, it was broken down into beef in re: amount of grams of fat and then, just beef of whatever measurement. Same I assume with chicken and sausages. What I’m unfamiliar with is the different types of measurements used within the data.

  8. I love this website and the good work Dr. Greger and his staff do here, but please tighten up your language!
    It drives me crazy when he says we did not know “till now” and the video is showing a piece of research many years old, in this case published in 2002.

    Last time I checked, it is 2018.

    Theresa, the chart shown in the video with the list of foods comes from this research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20870006
    If you copy and paste the title into https://scholar.google.com/ you will see a free pdf of the article you can download and view the chart.

    I appreciate that Dr. Greger always provides the citations so folks can look things up and verify the facts for themselves. But please do not misrepresent the publication dates. It is sloppy and bad communication.

    1. Claire Green, did you know this info before you saw the video? Until now is a tagline that refers to Dr Greger’s discovery and its revelation to the video viewers. It is not bad communication, it is actually very effective. Your complaint seems overly punctilious to me.
      Thanks for the link to the chart.

      1. Yes, I did know about this, and have so for years. I admit, I am a stickler for precision, as I think it is a prerequisite for good communication. “till now” is a poor tagline, as it is somewhat vague. Vagueness is not helpful when communicating ideas clearly.

        I mean it only as constructive criticism to improve an already good site. I get it from the punctilious nuns in Catholic grade school and re-inforced by geeky engineer husband and his commitment to continuous quality improvement. It is a thing. Apologies.

        1. I agree with you, Claire. I hate it when Greger misrepresents study info. It would be so great if we could just trust him to present fairly and there could be at least one source we could trust and not have to fact check

  9. My father is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease right now, so I am always looking out for research in prevention. The contradiction cited above by Andrea with ghee in India the low rate of Alzheimer’s there is also if interest to me. It surprised me that ghee was supposed to oxidize so readily as it has a higher smoke point and I thought it would be therefore more stable than butter. After researching a bit I found a research article from 1992 which differentiated a higher COP in ghee which was “intermittently heated and fried” which might really be an issue in certain food service establishments where the fat is reused (Kumar, N. and Singhal, O. P. (1992), Effect of processing conditions on the oxidation of cholesterol in ghee. J. Sci. Food Agric., 58: 267–273.) So that alone could possibly explain why the ghee value was so disproportionately high in that chart cited in the video. I would also like to know if the statins lower circulating oxidized cholesterol as well as non oxidized cholesterol?

    1. Hi Carol,

      Can I ask what types of things you are trying?

      I have early-onset Alzheimer’s and am doing a lot of things, and I am just about to get rid of my Ghee, no matter what, because I don’t want to be worried about it. Haven’t been using it, because I switched to vegan butter and then switched to almost no butter at all.

      Five years ago, I was so out of my mind that I was so out of touch with reality really. I remember it now, and never want to go back there.

      What has helped me so far has been: Getting rid of food sources of aluminum: cheese and baked goods. (Yes, I wasn’t vegan when I started) Drinking 1 liter of Fiji Water every day to get rid of the aluminum and other heavy metals. I dealt with homocysteine by Supplementing B-12, Omega 3. Zinc, getting rid of my supplements with Copper and Iron and actually eating my vegetables to get my other Vitamins and I finally have started eating berries. (That took a year, because I went 30 years with no fruit at all) I have lowered my fats and am using intermittent fasting with WFPB to regulate my insulin, because I used to have Diabetes symptoms, but those are gone now. Dr. Greger showing those blocked arteries to the brain, has caused me to stop using my butter substitutes. I haven’t figured out sleeping at night, but the Fiji Water and fixing the Copper Zinc ratio seem to have gotten rid of my hallucinations. It has been a week, I think. (Though I have seriously impaired sense of time.) I was using Vie Light and / or MicroPulse ICES for brain injury, because I also had head injuries, but my cousin has more urgent health needs and I keep getting better.

      I did try the whole Coconut Oil thing a year ago, but I threw up every time and it made my smoothies or coffee unbearable. It did help me to never want to drink coffee again.

      I also tried a supplement, called NT Factor, and I think that did help, but I am off most supplements now, except B12, D3, Omega 3 and Zinc. Occasionally iodine, but I eat Miso soup with a little seaweed for that and eat my 4 Brazil Nuts.

      Do Brazil Nuts help with this whole oxidized cholesterol thing?

      1. Yes, I also use the anti-inflammatory spices. Lots of spices and herbs, but definitely turmeric.

        I also have the essential oil aromatherapy, but that was subtle.

        The Fiji Water and fixing the Copper / Zinc ratio and getting my blood sugar under control and increasing the blood flow to my brain all had dramatic results.

        I am also walking every day, but I still haven’t solved for sleep.

        1. Carol and Deb: I am an apoe4 carrier on the same path as you two are. I recently (2 months ago) solved the sleep problem by:
          *daily exercise (even just walking)
          *f.lux for my night time computer use
          *keep to a regular sleep schedule
          *50g fiber daily fiber. I supplement with Healthy Origins “Healthy Fiber” (guar gum) to get there
          *hypnotic sleep podcasts. my favorites are “Ocean Walk” by tracks to relax (youtube v=gCPkJHx3Uhc) and anything by “Sleep With Me”

          Each of those 5 steps incrementally improved my sleep experience, and the podcasts finally just nailed sleeping for me.

          1. Daniel,

            I used to use f.lux on my apple laptop….until I got a keystroke logger malicious installed somehow and needed to have my computer wiped. The apple guy who fixed my computer said f.lux (as a freeware program) has been known in the past to install malware (although he had no proof that is what caused my problem). He said only use programs downloaded from approved vendors like Apple app store or google play. There are many programs that fit that description.

          2. Hi Daniel,

            I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug.

            Thank you for the sleep advice.

            I have had such a long list of things to overcome and to change in my diet that sleep keeps getting pushed to the end of the list. I think because it is the hardest thing to control right now.

            But, yes, I bought blue light blocker reading glasses and ridiculously, they are in the soft bag that they came in, sitting on the computer desk directly in front of me, but I keep forgetting to use them. Thank you for reminding me.

            I feel like I was so terrified when I lost my mind and I was so heart-broken, because so many people who I still truly love ran away and I was so frustrated, because I always used to test perfect for logic and I was a Communication major and, suddenly, I couldn’t figure anything out and couldn’t communicate almost at all. I went functionally mute. I think, because I could hear things coming out wrong and I could see people backing up and I could see myself getting self-conscious and I just backed up into my faith and the fact that overly analytical people tend to research everything in an OCD way and I had confidence that I could figure it out. I am laughing, because I did silly things like buying pulsing gamma light to see if I could duplicate the MIT study. That is the funny part about the brain. If I told you the true stories about what I was thinking and doing, you wouldn’t even believe how bad I was and, yet, I showed up to work and got things done… though with enough errors that I ended up getting an extra year for things… I wonder how many people will be walking through this alone as Americans keep eating the wrong things. I am glad that there already is a change. When I was going through, my relative died of early onset Alzheimers and she had hallucinations and was crying out in terror and I remember thinking, yes, if there was just some nice person to listen, I might cry out in terror, but I don’t have that, so I better get busy researching something and it hasn’t been that long, but look at all I have already learned even at this site. And I am in awe. I feel like God just walked me here and had Dr. Barnard and Dr. Bredesen and others publish their books and research and I didn’t have to work as hard. I just had to show up and push play on enough YouTube videos and on this site. This site has been my support network and I laugh, because most people don’t really interact, but you just did and it touched my heart. Thank you.

            1. I actually take it as a supplement from Swansons. It has a neat smell when you open the bottle and I seem to recall something I read (but don’t know how to find it now) saying that even the smell of saffron is calming, or something.

              I ordered a batch of 25 corms, I think they are called, from Whiteflower Farms but didn’t get any flowers to speak of this first year. However they did make a lot of new corms? for planting this fall. Soon I should be able to grow a year’s supply on my own.

              And the supplements from Swansons aren’t too pricey, even for me, so I’ll get by with them until I can self-supply.

              But the 5htp is your best bet for good sleep. If I only did one I would choose that one for sleep. In re: Alzheimers, read the piece in the link below and decide if Naringin is right for you. As a preventative, I consider it right for me. Or, eat a grapefruit before going to bed and it should provide you with the Naringin. The pill is most convenient for me though.

              https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/f-pra062017.php

              You may also find the info in this link interesting. I practice this every night.

              http://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/31/11034

              Best to you, hope this helps.

                1. Good for you. I personally eat my grapefruit during the day to hopefully help my day-time supplements last longer in my system.

                  I’m usually already drowsy when I take my 5htp, naringin, safflower, white willow bark, krill oil, Amla fruit, and ashwagandha supplements some 30 minutes before turning in.

                  A small square of dark chocolate and I’m off to slumber land.

                  But that’s just me. ‘-)

      2. What kind of zinc do use (form) and have you noticed a benefit?
        And why the fiji water as opposed to other bottled-waters?
        Lastly, what form of B12/methyl, cyano, or other?

        Thanks so much!
        Bev

        1. Fiji water, because of Silica. One liter per day, drink it within an hour. It lowers things like Aluminum levels by 70 to 90% in 12 weeks (I think 12 weeks) ‘

          Zinc Orotate Based on this logic, which sounded good. Zinc that has been chelated to orotic acid. The human body’s cellular membranes most readily absorb this type of zinc. Research from Dr. Hans Nieper has found that orotate forms of zinc were more neutrally charged, as compared to other types of zinc. This allowed them to pass through the membranes of cells easily, and thus offered the highest amounts of accompanying mineral atoms into the cells, leading to higher tissue concentrations of zinc.

          1. I pause before I give you the B12 logic.

            I have been pondering this quite a bit. The thing is, there is a big debate about B12. Dr. Greger recommends the Cyano-prefix, because of studies. It worked whenever it was put to the test. The Methyl – prefix didn’t always work in every person. With Alzheimer’s, having it work is the most important thing.

            Also, I looked on PubMed and they don’t believe the other forms are superior in any way, because the prefix has to be removed and a Methyl prefix has to be re-added on, so the logic that Methyl is more bioavailable doesn’t hold up, if I am understanding it properly.

            If you choose Methyl, I can almost guarantee that it will because you are paranoid about the cyanide, and there is so much more cyanide in flax seed, and you probably aren’t paranoid about that yet, because there hasn’t been an anti-flax seed campaign yet. Dr. Greger said that all plants have cyanide and the body is efficient at removing it. He gave a hint that he might give a different answer to people with neurological issues and to people with organ failure.

            I am not afraid of the cyanide in that and if I ever get afraid of it, I would be cutting back on flax seed before that.

            I say that I am not afraid of the cyanide, but I don’t use MEGA-Doses of Cyano version or flax seed. And, I sometimes ponder whether I have enough glutathione to have it really be okay to have all my plant sources of cyanide, because people with Alzheimer’s tend to test low in glutathione. If you know you are low in glutathione, maybe do a combination of things and add in some Nori or Nutritional Yeast, which I also do, but it would take too much of those to have those be enough. Too expensive to get them from those things.

            I am however, someone who likes to try various things, so I understand things better.

            Pub Med gave this advice: Thereby, it is important to treat vitamin B12 deficiency with a combination of MeCbl and AdCbl or hydroxocobalamin or Cbl. Those are abbreviations, but what they are saying is if you use the Methyl version, you need more than that, because that alone isn’t enough and that is too expensive for me to do all the time. but I try it sometimes, just for fun.

            If you choose the Methyl version, make sure you get at least 1000 micrograms per day. AND add in the other types. If you choose the Cyano version, you can get away cheap and get to only take one pill a week 2500 micrograms and I hate taking pills, so once a week suits me, but I know that some people want to take pills daily or will forget if they are only once a week, but they can take….. I think he said 250 Micrograms a day or take 1000 Micrograms of the Methyl.

            So, it is up to you to do the logic.

                1. I am laughing, because Plant Based London through Dr. Greger under their Bright Red Double Decker Bus, but this issue is so complicated that I watched one round table of Vegan doctors and none of them had made up their minds about which form yet and it might depend on whether you have any other Methyl support vitamins, for instance.

                  But I also haven’t figured out this part, but it sounds like you have to know how many methylation supports you have if Ben Lynch is right about this.

                  “Too low of Homocysteine isn’t good either and it can be caused by: “Too much methylation support. I’m a fan of methylation support. However, when it is not needed, it can lower your homocysteine levels too much. Maybe this is yet another reason why some people do not feel good from taking methyl donors? If your homocysteine level is too low, talk with your health professional about reducing your methylation support. You can use a multivitamin without any folate or B12 – called Optimal Start. Or you can use a multivitamin without any methyl donors yet contains folinic acid and hydroxocobalamin – called Optimal Multivitamin Minus One….”

                  1. I feel like most of us are winging it.

                    I take some Methyl donors sometimes and sometimes I fast from Methyl donors

                    And I will just say that I defended Dr. Greger, because none of the doctors are giving a thorough answer and at least he lines up with what Pub Med told me.

                    1. I say all that I said, spelling errors and all, and want to make plain, you are taking wisdom from an Alzheimer’s person who never really took science courses and who is not nearly a doctor and who has waded through advice and bad advice from doctors and lay people and internet gurus and charlatans of all sorts for about a year. Confusing as all get out.

                      In this video, Dr. McDougall says that he has the right to change his mind. He said that the science isn’t completely clear yet.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwjoYq6fTdA

              1. There has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency such that MeCbl is being extensively used and promoted. This is despite the fact that both MeCbl and AdCbl are essential and have distinct metabolic fates and functions. MeCbl is primarily involved along with folate in hematopiesis and development of the brain during childhood. Whereas deficiency of AdCbl disturbs the carbohydrate, fat and amino-acid metabolism, and hence interferes with the formation of myelin. Thereby, it is important to treat vitamin B12 deficiency with a combination of MeCbl and AdCbl or hydroxocobalamin or Cbl. Regarding the route, it has been proved that the oral route is comparable to the intramuscular route for rectifying vitamin B12 deficiency.

  10. I would love to hear a video series (or even just one video!) on familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Stats show 1 in 500 people have this genetic condition where cholesterol levels are doubled or triple the recommended “normal” levels despite a plant based diet. I always cringe when you say to not take drugs but to change your diet, however, if you have this genetic condition diet alone is not enough. I’ve researched how the size of LDL particles can change based on nutrition (light & fluffy [good] vs hard & dense [bad]), however, is that change enough to prevent disease (atherosclerosis, possible Alzheimer, and other problems from high cholesterol (specifically LDL) levels)? Can a person with FH not use cholesterol lowering drugs and still avoid diseases caused by high cholesterol levels if they eat a “How Not to Die” diet?

    1. Dr McDougall sometimes uses statins with his starch based plant only diet for people with familial hypercholesterolemia. I think Dr Esselstyn may as well, and possibly Dr Ornish. You could probably find out for sure by checking their websites.

      1. Thank you. I have looked at Dr. McDougall’s discussion board about FH. There isn’t research on what I was asking. Mostly people wondering about how to get tested for FH and diet advice. I get WFPB and am familiar with Esselstyn & Ornish too. I have checked both their sites previously. There is research out there about LDL particle size and how it relates to nutrition. I’m curious is you follow the diets of the WFPB doctors you mentioned if that is protection enough despite the elevated LDL numbers. FH is not a focus in the WFPB world and it’s hard to find information/research. Drugs come with other side effects when you have to take them for decades. I would just like more well thought out conversation on the FH & WFPB topic. (Most people aren’t familiar or just comment without understanding.)

        1. Tristan,

          If you email Dr McDougall he, or someone on his staff, will answer you, and perhaps has the answers to your specific questions.

          I think people have also gotten responses from Dr Esselstyn, so you could try emailing him, too.

          We would all like to avoid drugs, but sometimes they can be helpful, especially if you do all you can to mitigate or prevent the side effects through diet.

          Good luck with this.

    2. HI Tristen,
      You could start to investigate this question yourself using http://www.scholar.google.com
      type “familial hypercholesterolemia” and “vegan diet” or “whole foods plant based diet” into the search box and check out the results. You can limit/search by years, vary the tag words you search by, etc.

      I wish I had time to do it myself for you, but nothing like getting your feet wet dipping into the literature.

      I know my close friend has Familial hypercholesterolemia, and she did not do well on a vegan diet. She maintains the healthiest lipid profile eating a lower carb, high vegetable, protein diet (more paleo). But everyone is different, which is why what works for her would fail for someone else.

    3. Tristen,
      Great Question! I’ll pass along your request. Considering the weak outcomes with statins and their side effects I would give diet and lifestyle a few weeks to work before starting drug therapy. Including generous amounts of foods such as oats and barley, which are particularly good at sequestering bile acid from the intestines and thus lowering cholesterol load would be helpful.It seems to me that even though one’s body is producing more cholesterol, food choices can go a long way in lowering cholesterol load. Whether it will be enough to bring blood cholesterol to normal may depend on the individual.See the following reference on foods that specifically lower cholesterol.https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol
      And more videos on cholesterol https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cholesterol/

      1. Thanks for the reply! I eat the diet you advocate and I am on the new PCSK9 medication. I’ve been on it a few years. I was in a drug trial using it before it came on the market. I was in the trial because I can no longer tolerate statins. I’m on the maximum dose of PCSK9 meds and my numbers are still not low enough. That’s why I was asking about particle size. I cannot lower my numbers any further through diet and medication. Therefore my concern is regarding possible damage due to the cholesterol my own body is making and can’t clear due to genetics (thus the high numbers). I read that LDL particle size may play a role in vessel damage or lack there of AND that diet influence particle size. I’m trying to understand if this is true, what all the research and data has to say about this. It’s my understanding with the diet you advocate LDL particle size is larger “light and fluffy” and the SAD diet produces LDL particles that are small and dense. These small dense LDL particles are the damaging ones that start the atherosclerosis process. The larger size of LDL particles help protect the vessel walls from atherosclerosis because the larger sizes “bounce” off the walls instead of burrowing in or scaring them. I’m wondering if this is true, does particle size matter. Can I still have high LDL numbers yet not continue to get build up… better yet heal the damage already started in spite of my numbers?

        Here’s a recap of my original comment and your response:

        TristenMay 30th, 2018 1:00 pm I would love to hear a video series (or even just one video!) on familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Stats show 1 in 500 people have this genetic condition where cholesterol levels are doubled or triple the recommended “normal” levels despite a plant based diet. I always cringe when you say to not take drugs but to change your diet, however, if you have this genetic condition diet alone is not enough. I’ve researched how the size of LDL particles can change based on nutrition (light & fluffy [good] vs hard & dense [bad]), however, is that change enough to prevent disease (atherosclerosis, possible Alzheimer, and other problems from high cholesterol (specifically LDL) levels)? Can a person with FH not use cholesterol lowering drugs and still avoid diseases caused by high cholesterol levels if they eat a “How Not to Die” diet?
        Reply TGMay 31st, 2018 9:17 pm The US CDC comments

        “Therapeutic lifestyle changes, including changes in diet and exercise, are highly recommended in patients with FH. However, lipid-lowering drug therapy is usually also needed in adult patients and more intensive therapy may also be required” https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/implementation/toolkit/fh_1.htm

    4. Tristen, you make a great point. In those with FH, LDL levels can be very high, often even in setting of statins. Many therapies have been tried, including periodically filtering the blood of cholesterol. High potency statins are needed, and the new PCSK9 medications are often necessary as well. The lower the LDL, the better for outcomes. I find that even among my lipid specialist colleagues, though, advocation of a whole food, plant based, no oil diet, repeatedly shown to lower LDL by 30% (including in FH patients), is almost never addressed. The large majority of people with high LDL can lower it with lifestyle alone. In FH, I advise, WFPB no oil diet, high potency statins, and PCSK9 when needed to get the LDL as low as possible and prevent heart attack.

      Thanks for your comment! We’re forwarding the request for video on FH to Dr G.

      -Dr Anderson, cardiologist and Health Support Volunteer

      1. Thanks for the reply! I eat the diet you advocate and I am on the new PCSK9 medication. I’ve been on it a few years. I was in a drug trial using it before it came on the market. I was in the trial because I can no longer tolerate statins. I’m on the maximum dose of PCSK9 meds and my numbers are still not low enough. That’s why I was asking about particle size. I cannot lower my numbers any further through diet and medication. Therefore my concern is regarding possible damage due to the cholesterol my own body is making and can’t clear due to genetics (thus the high numbers). I read that LDL particle size may play a role in vessel damage or lack there of AND that diet influence particle size. I’m trying to understand if this is true, what all the research and data has to say about this. It’s my understanding with the diet you advocate LDL particle size is larger “light and fluffy” and the SAD diet produces LDL particles that are small and dense. These small dense LDL particles are the damaging ones that start the atherosclerosis process. The larger size of LDL particles help protect the vessel walls from atherosclerosis because the larger sizes “bounce” off the walls instead of burrowing in or scaring them. I’m wondering if this is true, does particle size matter. Can I still have high LDL numbers yet not continue to get build up… better yet heal the damage already started in spite of my numbers?

        Your reply: Tristen, you make a great point. In those with FH, LDL levels can be very high, often even in setting of statins. Many therapies have been tried, including periodically filtering the blood of cholesterol. High potency statins are needed, and the new PCSK9 medications are often necessary as well. The lower the LDL, the better for outcomes. I find that even among my lipid specialist colleagues, though, advocation of a whole food, plant based, no oil diet, repeatedly shown to lower LDL by 30% (including in FH patients), is almost never addressed. The large majority of people with high LDL can lower it with lifestyle alone. In FH, I advise, WFPB no oil diet, high potency statins, and PCSK9 when needed to get the LDL as low as possible and prevent heart attack.

        Thanks for your comment! We’re forwarding the request for video on FH to Dr G.

  11. Other Doctors have different opinions.

    Seafood-Seafood Intake, Sexual Activity, and Time to Pregnancy | The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism | Oxford Academic – https://academic.oup.com/jcem/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1210/jc.2018-00385/5001729

    A pint of milk a day could protect obese children from diabetes – https://dailym.ai/2LtMZf5

    Eat Fish Twice a Week for Heart Health:
    Eat Fish Twice a Week for Heart Health: AHA Updated Recommendation:

    **After reviewing recent research, nutrition experts concluded that eating two 3.5-ounce servings of non-fried fish or about ¾ cup of flaked fish every week could help reduce the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest and the most common type of stroke (ischemic). Oily fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines or albacore tuna, are particularly beneficial.

    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2018/05/16/CIR.0000000000000574

    Eating an Egg a Day May Keep Heart Disease Away, a New Study Says

    In a study published in the journal Heart, researchers from China found that people who ate an average of one egg per day had lower rates of heart disease and an even lower risk of having a bleeding stroke than people who did not eat eggs.

    People who said they ate eggs daily had an 11% lower risk of heart disease, and an 18% lower risk of dying from heart disease during the study period compared to people who did not eat eggs. The benefit seemed to be strongest for stroke; daily egg-eaters had a 26% lower risk of bleeding-related stroke and a 10% lower risk of clot-based stroke.

    Study – http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2018/04/17/heartjnl-2017-312651

    1. Yes, different doctors have different opinions, but I will say that watching the documentaries like Eating You Alive, Forks Over Knives, What The Health and after listening to people like Nathan Pritikin, and watching hundreds of testimonies, WFPB actually reverses diseases.

      Reversing Diseases is like having the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and two all in the same suit in Setback.

      The other people can say, “lower risk” but they aren’t saying, “I had heart disease and couldn’t walk two steps and now I am hiking mountains.”

    2. Greg, I read that for one study where higher egg consumption was correlated with lower rates of heart disease, egg consumption was also correlated with higher SES (socioeconomic status), which alone could explain the difference. That study was funded by the egg industry. I can’t recall if it’s the same one that you reference above.

      1. Dr. J.,

        Thank you for saying that. I remembered it when you said it.

        Yes, “lower risk” is an easy thing to scam people with.

        You just have to compare it to the highest possible risk groups to get those results.

      2. That study design was also flawed because people who already have high cholesterol don’t have it go much higher from eating a daily egg, and those are the people they used in the study. However, that doesn’t make egg eating healthy. My understanding is that all the recent research on eating eggs comes from the egg industry and was designed specifically as a marketing plan cloaked in research clothing. The actual question of egg eating dangers was resolved long ago, so no legitimate research has been done on the subject in recent years.

      3. One review of the egg study from China states — The news release leads with a headline that clearly makes a cause-and-effect claim about eggs reducing risk, and waits until the 16th paragraph to provide the all-important qualifier: “This was an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.” — Moreover: — Some stories, like this Agence France Presse piece headlined (unsurprisingly) “An egg a day may keep the doctor away, study claims” did mention some limitations. It cautioned that the daily egg consumers were more affluent than those who didn’t consume eggs and that this difference might have biased the results. —

        You can read more at https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2018/05/eggs-cardiovascular-disease/

    3. I wasn’t persuaded by that study. Those who ate eggs were better off and there are so many confounding factors that all I concluded was eat eggs if you don’t otherwise have a fully nutritious diet.

    4. Yes, Greg. “Opinion” being the operative word. I’m not interested in other doctor’s opinions. I’m only interested in the science. And, preferably, science not bought & paid for by big industry.

    5. Greg —- in my view the main issue with the egg study from China is that there is no data on the participants’ total diet. So we don’t know which foods were consumed less by those consuming more eggs (assuming isocaloric diets which we also don’t know to be true). It is possible that those who consumed fewer eggs ate more meat and saturated fat from other sources. It’s even possible that there was a higher proportion of lacto-ovo vegetarians in the higher egg consuming population. We don’t know from the study. So we cannot conclude that eggs are protective in an absolute sense, only that those who eat more eggs appear to have an overall more protective diet (but we don’t know what in that diet is protective).

      There are many other possible confounders not controlled for in this study… but not even controlling for the total macro composition of the diet renders the study nearly worthlesss in my humble opinion.

      This is unfortunately an all too common issue in single food studies, and even some interventional studies “take advantage” of the effect of replacing a really bad food with a somewhat less bad food…

      1. KB,

        What do you make of the cancer causing effects of eggs, mostly the part having to do with chickens having cancer, and the virus transmitting to humans when eggs eaten? I’ve read comments on nutrition facts.org from several people who avoid eggs completely because of this issue, as well as the possibility, i assume, that eating eggs, regardless of existence or not of virus, can raise someone’s chances of getting Cancer.

        There is also the diabetes issue that DR.Gregor says exists with eggs.

        Thoughts on all this?

        1. j j — good point. The egg study out of China only looked at CVD risk, not cancer or other diseases. It seems the link between eggs and prostate cancer is well established, though the main culprit may be choline not transmission of a virus: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-choline-and-cancer/.

          I have not heard about cancer risk related to virus in eggs, but it could be the case since a link between animal borne virus and human cancer has been shown to exist, e.g. milk and breast cancer: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-role-of-bovine-leukemia-virus-in-breast-cancer/.

          Other thoughts?

          1. j j,

            Let me first state that cancer is NOT a virus. It is not caused by a virus either.

            You currently at this very moment, have cells which have the potential to become cancerous, are becoming cancerous, and cells that are already cancerous. This is the case at every moment of your life. Cells are constantly mutating, dying, replicating, etc.

            Normally, the body gets rid of these cells either by immune function or the natural life-cycle of a cell (apoptosis).

            The difference in an actual cancer diagnosis? The cells have mutated, are not performing apoptosis (programmed cell death), and you are no longer able to eradicate these mutated, unhealthy cells. All cancers are essentially the same, we just give them different names due to the specific type of cell within the body that has mutated.

            Cancer is defined as “uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body”.

            On to the egg discussion:

            Are you eating raw unpasteurized eggs? That’s the only way I can think it would ever be possible to transmit a virus, bacteria, myco-toxin, parasite, etc. to a human with regards to dietary intake.

            I would be curious to know which viruses are able to withstand typical preparation of eggs.

            Actually, I’m quite sure the risk of salmonella occurs from contact with the OUTER SHELL, not the contents of the egg.
            The contents of the egg are sterile.

            From the CDC website:
            “Shell eggs may become contaminated with Salmonella through the laying process, or after the eggs are laid through contamination in the environment such as contaminated poultry feed or bedding.”
            https://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellaeggs/index.html

            Cheers,
            -Dave

            1. If you’d ever raised chickens you’d know the shells are not clean. They have poop on them, and probably a host of other goodies including dirt the hens walk through to on their way to lay their eggs.

            2. Hi, Dave.
              There is an entire class of cancer-causing viruses called oncoviruses. These viruses take over infected cells and stimulate the “uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body” you mention.
              Some oncoviruses may be food or water borne, such as bovine leukemia virus, avian leukovirus, and some hepatitis viruses, and some may survive normal cooking.
              According to this study, it may be possible for hens infected with avian leukovirus to transmit the infection in their eggs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28662658
              Even if pathogens were only found on the shells, breaking the shells could bring the contents into contact with those external pathogens. The question of whether or not avian leukovirus causes cancer in humans has not been fully investigated.

  12. Very interesting, but I thought I heard that India has one of the lowest levels of Alzheimers. Did I hear incorrectly? If not, why would oxidized cholesterol mess with Indian peoples’ hearts but not their brains?

    1. From what I’ve read on it most people in India couldn’t afford much ghee until fairly recently. You have to be careful with the time lapse in all this. India has changed dramatically in the past few decades, a bit like China. Some of those good stats come from earlier studies before people started changing their diets.

        1. When I looked at the Ghee Studies in India, the sample sizes were small, the people on the Ghee side were younger, wealthier, more literate and they relied on people telling their diets.

          Trying to test things like heart disease and having one group be younger is already something I don’t understand.

    2. Summarising, Dr Greger claims that blocked arteries contribute to Alzheimers Disease, and that ghee is a probable cause. However, the evidence does not demonstrate this. Instead, ghee appears to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and thereby (using Dr G’s reasoning), should also lower the risk of of AD:

      ‘Because of its high saturated fat content, consumption of ghee is expected to be associated with high CHD [3]. But, study on healthy young Indian by Shankar et al., indicated that there is no serious adverse effect of ghee on lipoprotein profile [19]. Consuming ghee at the level of 10% of total energy intake in a vegetarian diet generally has no effect on the serum lipid profile of young, healthy, physically active individuals [20].
      Similarly, Gupta et al., showed that the prevalence of CHD in men were low, who consumed more ghee in their diet [21].’

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5121705/

      Heated (oxidized) ghee contains cholesterol oxidation products, however they appear to improve the lipoprotein profiles in animal studies:

      ‘Results showed that 10% dietary ghee fed for 4 weeks did not have any significant effect on levels of serum total cholesterol, but did increase triglyceride levels in Fischer inbred rats. Ghee at a level of 10% in the diet did not increase liver microsomal lipid peroxidation or liver microsomal lipid peroxide levels. Animal studies have demonstrated many beneficial effects of ghee, including dose-dependent decreases in serum total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), and triglycerides; decreased liver total cholesterol, triglycerides, and cholesterol esters; and a lower level of nonenzymatic-induced lipid peroxidation in liver homogenate. *Similar results were seen with heated (oxidized) ghee which contains cholesterol oxidation products. *A preliminary clinical study showed that high doses of medicated ghee decreased serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters in psoriasis patients. A study on a rural population in India revealed a significantly lower prevalence of coronary heart disease in men who consumed higher amounts of ghee’.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/

      ‘There was significantly lower prevalence of CHD in men who consumed > kg ghee per month (odds ratio = 0.23, 95% confidence limits 0.18-0.30, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed this association (p < 0.001). The prevalence of hypertension and other coronary risk factors was similar in the two groups’.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9212571/

      1. Pete: Preparation of ghee involves heating (which may be why the oxysterol content of ghee is much higher than that of butter), so I’m wondering why heated ghee would affect lipid profiles differently from “non-heated ghee”?

      2. This is highly misleading Peter.

        Your first study clearly states “Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the leading causes of mortality in India, due to high consumption of mustard oil and ghee”. All this study shows is that mustard oil is probably worse than ghee as a risk factor – not that ghee is harmless.

        The second study is by traditional ayurvedic medicine admirers, rests largely on rat studies and in the human study does not discuss what the ghee replaced but hints it was vanaspi or vegetarian ghee which is usually extremely high in trans fats. Everyone acknowledges these are even worse than saturated fats in terms of adverse effects on heart and brain health.

        The third study was simply observational showed that the ghee group was younger, heavier and consumed more monounsaturated fat. Given this was India, it is also likely that they were wealthier than the group consuming the vegetable oils. My understanding is that poor people in India use cheap hydrogenated vegetable oils because they are cheaper than ghee. It’s not surprising perhaps that there was more heart disease among the older and probably less wealthy group consuming higher amounts of transfats.

        This is the old “being stabbed is less dangerous than being shot so let’s all go out and get stabbed” argument once again.

        1. Tom,

          Just as I have been arguing for over a decade. Another nail in the coffin for the saturated fat/dairy myth makers.

          Note: 42% reduced risk of dying from stroke for those with the highest levels of dairy consumption:

          New Research Could Banish Guilty Feeling for Consuming Whole Dairy Products

          Article ID: 697313

          Released: 11-Jul-2018

          Newswise — HOUSTON – (July 11, 2018) – Enjoying full-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and butter is unlikely to send people to an early grave, according to new research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

          The study, published today in the *American Journal of Clinical Nutrition*, found no significant link between dairy fats and cause of death or, more specifically, heart disease and stroke – two of the country’s biggest killers often associated with a diet high in saturated fat. In fact, certain types of dairy fat may help guard against having a severe stroke, the researchers reported.

          “Our findings not only support, but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults. In addition to not contributing to death, the results suggest that one fatty acid present in dairy may lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, particularly from stroke,” said Marcia Otto, Ph.D., the study’s first and corresponding author and assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health.

          Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, was senior author of the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

          The study evaluated how multiple biomarkers of fatty acid present in dairy fat related to heart disease and all-cause mortality over a 22-year period.
          This measurement methodology, as opposed to the more commonly used self-reported consumption, gave greater and more objective insight into the impact of long-term exposure to these fatty acids, according to the report.

          Nearly 3,000 adults age 65 years and older were included in the study, which measured plasma levels of three different fatty acids found in dairy products at the beginning in 1992 and again at six and 13 years later.

          None of the fatty acid types were significantly associated with total mortality. In fact one type was linked to lower cardiovascular disease deaths. People with higher fatty acid levels, suggesting higher consumption of whole-fat dairy products, had a 42 percent lower risk of dying from stroke.

          The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans currently recommend serving fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and/or fortified soy beverages. But Otto pointed out that low-fat dairy foods such as low-fat yogurt and chocolate milk often include high amounts of added sugars, which may lead to poor cardiovascular and metabolic health.

          “Consistent with previous findings, our results highlight the need to revisit current dietary guidance on whole fat dairy foods, which are rich sources of nutrients such as calcium and potassium. These are essential for health not only during childhood but throughout life, particularly also in later years when undernourishment and conditions like osteoporosis are more common,” Otto said.

          Evidence-based research is key to educating people about nutrition, Otto said.

          “Consumers have been exposed to so much different and conflicting information about diet, particularly in relation to fats,” she said. “It’s therefore important to have robust studies, so people can make more balanced and informed choices based on scientific fact rather than hearsay,” she added.

          The research was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant R01HL085710 and R01HL085710-07S1).

          http://www.newswise.com/articles/new-research-could-banish-guilty-feeling-for-consuming-whole-dairy-products

  13. Ghee has a long traditional use in India as anyone knows.
    Is the frequency of Alzheimer in India much higher thene elsewher??
    Would be worthwhile checking out, is Ghee is THAT detrimental.

  14. MAY 30TH, 2018 AT 3:27 PM
    Ghee has a long traditional use in India as anyone knows.
    Is the frequency of Alzheimer in India much higher than elsewhere??
    Would be worthwhile checking out, if Ghee is THAT detrimental.
    Has Ayurveda in general not been considered to be highly respectable all over the ages?
    One must have extremely strong proofs to just ignore a long nutritional tradition form millions of people.

    1. “One must have extremely strong proofs to just ignore a long nutritional tradition form millions of people.”

      Why? That statement makes no sense. What does the evidence show should be the real question, not what it is traditional or customary to eat or drink.

      Cannibalism had a long tradition in certain cultures. So did/does chewing coca leaves and betel nuts and drinking alcohol. It doesn’t mesn they are good for us and we can safely ignore the evidence.

  15. Those avoiding ghee, butter etc. who are also avoiding saturated fats, might like this recipe:

    Easy, “Saturated Fat-free,” vegan, butter replacement soft spread or vegan mayo spread
    Ingredients:
    1 pkg Silken Tofu
    ¾ c. canola or corn oil
    ¼ c. flax oil
    1 t. turmeric
    1 t. sea salt
    2 T. sugar or other vegan sweetener

    Blend tofu in blender until creamy about 1 min. with oils and other ingredients added. Scoop into a covered bowl, will keep refrigerated 3-4 weeks. Melts on hot bread, toast, & veggies! This recipe can be varied with half the oil and half the turmeric and 1 t. added mustard and 2 T lemon juice to make vegan mayo spread. Then add seasoned salt, garlc and pepper to make a great vegan garlic mayo! Feel free to spread this recipe around!.
    Love and Light Martha Helene Jones

    1. Martha Helene Jones: Yikes! Are you aware that 1) canola and corn oils are both from GMO sources? 2) Most people in the westernized world are getting far too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3 oils. Your recipe adds to this imbalance. 3) Healthy diets don’t include processed foods, and oils are the most processed of all. They have been heated so much and so degraded, treated with solvents…it goes on and on. Oils are NOT health foods. Get your fats from natural whole foods like nuts, seeds, and avocado.

      1. Canola oil can be organic, non-gmo too. https://www.nowfoods.com/natural-foods/canola-oil-organic I have heard Dr Greger say that if we absolutely had to use a small amount of oil, then organic canola would be his pick, then evoo. It has half the sat fat of olive oil, and high in omega 3’s
        https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/canola-oil (I was considering using a couple of teaspoons in salad dressing per day for the omega 3s since I cant afford omega supplements)

      2. Some oils are expeller cold pressed. Why aren’t those oils just as beneficial as ones gotten from eating from the source?

        1. Lonie,

          That is because you are isolating the oil from the whole-food version.

          Eating olives is of course more nutritionally complete than eating the comparable amount of olive oil, regardless of how it was extracted.

          Cheers,
          -Dave

          1. Point taken, but assuming you are not consuming the oil by itself, the foods you are combining it with may be synergistically even more healthful.

            BTW, I eat ~ a dozen Greek Kalamata olives each and every day with my meal of herring filets.

        2. Lonie,

          Good question. Oils are not whole foods. They are highly processed. Even the ones labeled expeller pressed are still the fatty fraction of whatever they were pressed from, be it canola, soy, corn, etc.They have 4,000 calories per pound, and can crowd out foods that have far greater nutrient density.

          None of the doctors recommending WFPB eating recommend eating oils. It’s important to get needed fats from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. We really don’t require much fat.

          1. Uhgg, the oils you mentioned make my stomach queasy just thinking about having to ingest those.

            On the other hand, my one true oil, MCT oil, and my second true oil, walnut oil, causes my stomach to growl from hunger… telling me to “feed me! feed me!” ‘-)

            1. The problem with nuts, seeds and avocado is they too are high fat, high calorie, and can be expensive. Dr Esselstyn does not permit them other than a tbsp of ground flax. Dr Ornish allows 3 servings per day… a serving is like 1 walnut, 6 peanuts, or 2 tsp ground flax or similar (the list is on his website). He does recommend a gram or 2 of fish oil. ughh! Dr greger recommends the algae omega 3, but it is prohibitively expensive. Not going to happen. Hence the thoughts on organic canola.

              What is mct oil Lonie?

              1. Hi Sally,

                MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. They are usually derived from coconut oil and/or palm oil.

                I’m more familiar with the process of getting them from coconuts, and while I have coconut oil on hand to coat my hands before handling raw chicken (to cook and feed to my cat and her kittens… not for me) I do not consume coconut oil anymore.

                OBTW, I coat my hands to kill germs. The MCT oils are known as the C-6, C-8, C-10, and some say C-12, Lauric Acid is kinda on the cusp of being an MCT. The numbers I just gave are the length of the Carbon Chains. But it is the Lauric Acid, if memory serves, that is anti biotic.

                The oil I buy currently, NOW brand, comes in a glass bottle and I’m pretty sure contains only the C-6,8, and 10 versions, the truest of the Medium Chains.

                  1. side note: Some time I need to go into town on the spur of the moment… no time to take a shower. I put a little coconut oil under my arms to use as a deodorant. Only drawback is, once I had a lady say that when I walked in she suddenly became hungry (from smelling the coconut oil ‘-)

              2. Forgot to address your comments in re: nuts and avocados. I personally buy those little jars of almond butter. By eating just one tsp per day, a jar will last 10 days to 2 weeks. When I go out to eat (maybe once per month) I eat a cup sized bowl of guacamole. Fills me up and in my mind at least, is a healthy meal.

  16. From the transcript: “But wait a second: “cholesterol cannot be directly exported across the blood-brain barrier.” So, it can’t directly get into the brain, or out of the brain. ”

    But oxidized cholesterol CAN cross the blood brain barrier and so can have pathological effects if the blood level of oxidized cholesterol seems too high, and more goes in than out.

    O.K.

    But as far as Alzheimer’s goes, should the blood brain barrier become compromised the same thing could happen with un-oxidized cholesterol .

    And in a series of replicated studies by different research groups, microwaves in the frequencies emitted by cell phones, at exposure levels orders of magnitude below the 1996 FCC safety limit (1.6 W/kg), caused leakage of the blood brain barrier in animals:

    “Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):103-12. 2009 Apr 2.
    Increased blood-brain barrier permeability in mammalian brain 7 days after exposure to the radiation from a GSM-900 mobile phone.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19345073

    More:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18568929 (full paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26650367_Effects_of_915_MHz_Electromagnetic-Field_Radiation_in_TEM_Cell_on_the_Blood-Brain_Barrier_and_Neurons_in_the_Rat_Brain)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18044737
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12782486 (full paper: http://portal.research.lu.se/portal/files/4849052/623822.pdf )

    A 2015 confirmation of these studies by a Chinese group:

    Exposure to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields activates the mkp-1/ERK pathway and causes blood-brain barrier damage and cognitive impairment in rats.Tang J, Zhang Y, Yang L, Chen Q, Tan L, Zuo S, Feng H, Chen Z, Zhu G.Brain Res. 2015 Mar 19;1601:92-101.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25598203

    Research worth considering the next time you begin to put your cell phone next to your head . . .

    1. Yes, Alef, the technology end is even harder to figure out than the nutrition end, as people move away from land lines and pay phones and desk tops to cell phones and tablets and WIFI and Google glasses and everything else.

      Sigh.

      I do ponder how much we don’t know about that end of the equation.

      Even things like frequency. Dr. Rife was killing microbes and cancer with frequencies way back when. Now, the frequency of the whole planet has changed. I wonder what that did to our poor gut bacteria?

  17. As always, a thought provoking report. But, if Ghee contributed to AD, perhaps the best way to ‘put it to the test’ is to study the incidence of AD in India. In the following study’, AD incidence in India was similar to China (where Ghee is uncommon), and marginally below that in the west (where ghee is also uncommon)

    ‘These are the first AD incidence rates to be reported from southern India. The incidence rates appear to be much higher than that reported from rural north India, comparable with that reported from China, and marginally lower than that reported from the western world’.

    ‘It is evident from our study that the incidence of AD in southern India is not as low as that found in northern India. Nevertheless, it is still lower than that of the average incidence rates of AD reported in Europe and North America’.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3553547/

    The study instead makes a link between AD and the frequency of the APOE4 allele. It is possible there is some other factor protecting against AD in the Indian population. Nonetheless the evidence does not support the theory that Ghee is a major contributor to AD.

    1. Observational studies are not the best way to test this because they are notoriously subject to confounding. Like the saturated fat studies, they are extremely sensitive to the choice of replacement nutrient. Both trans fats and refined carbohydrates are arguably worse than saturated fat for example.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/

      Especially comparisons between people consuming saturated fat-containing ghee and those consuming trans fat-containing hydrogenated vegetable oils All those studies show is which among them is the least bad.

      Instead of relying on highly dubious international comparisons and other simplistic observational studies, why not consider the totality of the evidence invcluding experimental studies and what is known about the mechanisms of action of oils and other fats on the human cardiovascular system and body generally?, Trans fats and saturated fats have repeatedly been shown to be unhealthy which suggests that both ghee and its hydrogenated oil alternatives are bad for people’s health

  18. Dr. Gregor this is Dr. Sodhi, I do not agree with your observations with AD and ghee. There are several studies showing that Indian population has the lowest incidence of AD in the world. Northern Indian use more ghee than southern Indian.

  19. ‘Finland has the highest death rate from dementia in the world (400% higher than ghee-consuming India) and its environmental features can be instructive in understanding hidden causes of dementia. Environmental factors there include: 1) a climate that is both very cold and humid resulting in housing frequently harboring molds that are capable of producing a neurotoxic mycotoxin 2) the Gulf of Finland as well as Finnish lakes harbor cyanobacteria that produce the neurotoxin, beta-N-methyl amino-L-alanine, known to cause dementia and related disorders 3) the aforementioned toxins can be potentiated by the presence of mercury and methyl mercury which can be found in Finnish waters 4) soil in Finland is naturally low in selenium and selenium deficiency may reduce the quantity and effectiveness of glutathione’s ability to protect against neurotoxins’.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28687259

    1. do you think it might have to do with fins eating lots of fish?
      Lack of sunshine/natural vitamin D?

      The mold thing is interesting, but Cuba, Florida, Asia, have extremely
      high rates of humidity, often year round. Nicoya peninsula in costa rica,
      home to some of longest lived on planet, has high humidity year round,
      eat fair amount of fish/shellfish. Hmmm.
      Thoughts? Thanks.

      1. Bev, those places you mentioned being humid also have open-aired homes or air conditioning due to the heat, where Finland has cold temp closed housing.

    2. That is the death rate. The prevalence of dementia in Finland is actually unremarkable compared to other European countries.

      One of the reasons for the increase in dementia deaths may be advances in medical treatment, decreasing the number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, but increasing the mortality rates caused by age related neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This has been explained by people living longer, therefore having more dementia-prone years of life. Another explanation might be death coding practices

      Again, international observational studies and comparisons between countries are not always reliable. However, relying on this sort of speculation to distract attention away from the actual evidence regarding the effect of dairy foods on risk is not unusual on your part, is it Peter?

        1. Lonie,

          I have to agree with you, TG doesn’t do as good a job defending his own positions as he does dismissing others.

          “They’re just living longer”
          “They might have changed their death codes or coding practices”

          Seriously? Talk about grasping at straws… You didn’t even address any of Peter’s suggestions from his article including:

          1. climate that is both very cold and humid resulting in housing frequently harboring molds that are capable of producing a neurotoxic mycotoxin
          2. prevalence of cyanobacteria that produces the neurotoxin, beta-N-methyl amino-L-alanine, known to cause dementia and related disorders
          3. presence of mercury and methyl mercury which can be found in Finnish waters
          4. deficiency of soil in Finland, which is naturally low in selenium
          5. selenium deficiency resulting in quantity and effectiveness of endogenous glutathione

          You only mention that the primary statistic “death rate from dementia” is not the same as “prevalence of dementia”.

          Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time.

          Prevalence is a statistical concept referring to the number of cases of a disease that are present in a particular population at a given time.
          It is arrived at by comparing the number of people found to have the condition with the total number of people studied.

          I’m not sure that either can be relied on with any absolute certainty, and so your disdain for Peter’s article is a bit uncalled for.

          Cheers,
          -Dave

        2. Lonie

          It is because there is plenty of evidence that saturated fats (and trans fats) are associated with cognitive impairment and dementia,eg
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107296/

          There is no evidence that the issues Peter discusses are widely associated with cognitive impairment and dementia.

          As for bias, I understand that Peter was once a marketing manager for a state dairy association here in Australia and pretty much all his posts on this site have promoted dairy either directly or indirectly. My understanding is that dairy foods are the major source of saturated fat in the North American diet.

          Of course, there may also be bias on my part, I am only human, but I try to argue on the basis of evidence as opposed to simply offering an opinion or promoting woo (which is probably why my posts make you uncomfortable)

          1. Very naughty Tom:

            You wrote: there is plenty of evidence that saturated fats (and trans fats) are associated with cognitive impairment and dementia.

            The research study you quoted states: ‘Several lines of evidence provide support for the hypothesis that high saturated or trans fatty acids increase the risk of dementia and high polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fatty acids decrease risk’

            As you well know Tom, there is a world of difference between these two statements. You make no distinction between saturated animal fats, saturated dairy fats, or transfats. The following meta-analysis may help clarify the actual situation:

            ‘The association between milk intake and cognitive disorders has been investigated in several epidemiological studies, but the findings are still conflicting. No quantitative assessment has been performed to evaluate the potential relationship of milk intake and cognitive disorders. From the inception to October 2016, the PubMed and the Embase databases were searched for observational studies reporting the association of milk consumption and cognitive disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline/impairmen

            We identified seven articles involving a total of 10,941 participants.

            The highest level of milk consumption was significantly associated with a decreased risk of cognitive disorders, and the pooled OR (95% CI) was 0.72 (0.56, 0.93), with evidence of significant heterogeneity (*I*2 = 64%, *p* = 0.001).

            Subgroup analysis indicated that the association was more pronounced in ischemic stroke patients based on a single study. Furthermore, the inverse association between milk intake and cognitive disorders was limited to Asian subjects, and the African populations showed an intermediate non-significant trend. Although we have obtained a significant association, an established relationship cannot be drawn due to the study limitation.
            Large prospective studies are needed to quantify the potential dose-response patterns of milk intake and to explore the association in populations with different characteristics.

            As I have previously declared I am an ag sci graduate who worked for the dairy industry in 1979-80. I have had no association with the industry since then. I have no particular to reason to support the dairy industry other than my absolute conviction it is the premier food on this planet.
            Moreover, my background is no more or less relevant than Dr Gregor, also an ag sci graduate, and the agricultural industries he may have worked for almost 40 years ago (assuming he is that ancient) .

            For emphasis, I am going to repeat: ‘The highest level of milk consumption was significantly associated with a decreased risk of cognitive disorders, and the pooled OR (95% CI) was 0.72 (0.56, 0.93), with evidence of significant heterogeneity (*I*2 = 64%, *p* = 0.001).’

            In regards your ghee/mustard oil comparison (previous comment). It has the appearance of a false dichotomy – the comparing of two irrelevant options whilst ignoring the issue of principle relevance. What it fails to do is to adequately consider the whole spectrum of possibilities. Including the possibility that ghee does not contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. This is consistent with this habitual tendency to adopt a limited set of premised options until such time as there is obviously contradictory scientific evidence. At which point we are presented with both specious and seemingly infinite and highly unlikely opposing arguments. Mostly, these appear more wishful thinking than science. In his video Dr G makes the link between ghee, (oxidised) lipoproteins, atherosclerosis/clogged arteries, and by extension, Alzheimer’s disease. My quoted studies appear to dismiss this concern, ergo : 1. ‘there is no serious adverse effect of ghee on lipoprotein profile’, 2. ‘at the level of 10% of total energy intake in a vegetarian diet generally has no effect on the serum lipid profile’(Shankar), 3. ‘the low prevalence of CHD in men who consume more ghee in their diet (Gupta)’. By any objective measure these studies suggest ghee is harmless, or at the very least is not harmful as Dr G is suggesting. My references are also entirely consistent with evidence that ghee-consuming India has one of the world’s lowest incidences of Alzheimer’s disease. Your cannot make the same claim. This matter should also be viewed in the context of the suspected link between cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. Seems to me it is impossible to have a serious discussion on the supposed adverse effects of ghee without incorporating some supporting macro-evidence from the Indian experience. But this is precisely what Dr G has done, and not for the first time. On the face of it, it appears to be a highly selective use of scientific evidence. That is, the fallacy of cherry picked, suppressed or incomplete evidence. The highlighting of individual cases or data that seemingly confirm a particular position whilst ignoring or dismissing anything which contradicts the overriding premise. A fallacious conscious or subconscious confirmation bias.

            1. I don’t think it is naughty, Peter. That review also stated “Of all the different types of fatty acids, the findings are most consistent for an increased risk of cognitive decline with a higher intake of saturated fatty acids.”

              Dairy food is high in saturated fat. I am not sure though why you want to distinguish between ‘dairy fat’ and ‘animal fat’ since dairy fat is animal fat. What else would it be? Presumably you are seeking to argue that dairy saturated fat does not have the adverse effects that saturated fat from other sources does? There is no good evidence for this that I am aware of. If there was, I am pretty sure that the dairy industry would have brought it to our attention by now.

              Your other points, based on the meta analysis, are a bit difficult to respond to siince you omitted to provide a link or citation. However, such studies – especially if funded by the dairy industry – can be confounded by the choice of replacement nutrients. If the studies analysed didn’t control for this, your meta analysis might be just as misleading as the equivalent saturated fat meta analyses.
              https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/

              As for the other three studies you mention, I have already commented in another post on how they simply do not show what you calim they do By any objective measure, they simply do not show that ghee is harmless as you appear ro maintain it is. Sure there is a possibility that ghee does not contribute to Alzheimer’s disease but saturated fat apparently does so why would saturated-fat containing ghee be harmless? The studies certainly don’t show any such thing. Having said that, in my personal opinion, I would say that ghee is probably less harmful than the vegetarian ghee or vanaspi (ie hydrogenated vegetable oils and spreads) consumed as an alternative to ghee itself. This is what the studies you reference appear to show.

              Since you are a committed believer in dairy foods, in respect to your argument, I can only quote back to you your own words

              ‘On the face of it, it appears to be a highly selective use of scientific evidence. That is, the fallacy of cherry picked, suppressed or incomplete evidence. The highlighting of individual cases or data that seemingly confirm a particular position whilst ignoring or dismissing anything which contradicts the overriding premise. A fallacious conscious or subconscious confirmation bias.’

              1. Tom,

                It seems yours is a rather superficial assessment of the situation. I am a little surprised you do not make the distinction between saturated dairy fat and meat fat. They are both saturated and animal, but otherwise are quite different.
                In all probability the saturated fat in meat is not harmful, but there are other aspects to meat, and its processing and cooking, which appear to be a health risk. As distinct from saturated fat in dairy, which is protective.
                In short, milk fats increase the levels of both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
                Moreover, milk fat has significantly less sdLDL particles (Sjogren et al.
                2004). This study suggests that LDL particle size distribution may be favourably modified by dairy products. In addition,’studies indicate that milk proteins can have important lowering effects on blood lipids, which may moderate any opposite effects of dairy fats and be a contributing factor to the neutral or health benefits of dairy foods observed in prospective studies’. This is quite consistent with milk being a composite food that has a net beneficial effect on those which consume it – including both calves and humans.

                It is worth reading the following for the complete overview.

                Saturated fats, dairy foods and health: A curious paradox?
                Professor D. I. Givens Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, University of Reading, Reading, UK

                https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/nbu.12283

                The anti-dairy push on this website is really a big sham. When it comes to dairy, the nutritional advice selectively delivered is of far greater public health risk than none at all. It is not an objective search for the truth. It is overwhelmingly biased, notwithstanding its valuable advice in regards plant-based diets. Which legitimately need to be promoted.

                *Dairy Foods are Anti-Inflammatory*

                It is increasingly evident that inflammation (measured as CRP in humans) is linked to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, and a host of chronic diseases. That is, quite independent of the risk from elevated blood lipids. Statins reduce both blood lipids and inflammation, without it being clear which of these two are more crucial in protecting against cardiovascular disease.

                Canakinumab is a new (and costly) drug which reduces inflammation without affecting blood lipid levels. Despite this inability to lower cholesterol, it appears to provide a cardiovascular benefit matching that of statins:

                *Antiinflammatory therapy targeting the interleukin-1β innate immunity pathway with canakinumab at a dose of 150 mg every 3 months led to a significantly lower rate of recurrent cardiovascular events than placebo, independent of lipid-level lowering. *

                https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1707914

                Yet other research demonstrates that oxidised cholesterol is mistaken by the immune system as bacteria, creating inflammation. This makes it a greater risk than cholesterol itself.

                *‘Vegetables oils, partially hydrogenated fats, and fried foods are responsible for the persistently high rate of heart disease. The most effective way to prevent coronary heart disease and sudden death according to these conclusions is to eat fewer commercially fried foods, fewer polyunsaturated fats and to avoid partially hydrogenated fats. Conversely, we should eat more vegetables and fruit as a source of antioxidants.”*

                https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/heart-health/oxidized-cholesterol-vegetable-oils-identified-as-the-main-cause-of-heart-disease/

                Overall, the evidence suggests inflammation is an even greater cardiovascular disease risk than blood lipid levels, and an anti-inflammatory diet may be beneficial in protecting against atherosclerosis. For example, a plant-based diet that also includes dairy foods.

                Dairy is much maligned on this website because of its supposedly pro-inflammatory saturated fat levels. However, this is debunked by a recent systematic revue of 52 clinical trials which demonstrates that dairy foods are instead anti-inflammatory in nature:

                *Dairy products and inflammation: A review of the clinical evidence.*

                *’Inflammation is a major biological process regulating the interaction between organisms and the environment, including the diet. Because of the increase in chronic inflammatory diseases, and in light of the immune-regulatory properties of breastfeeding, the ability of dairy products to modulate inflammatory processes in humans is an important but unresolved issue. Here, we report a systematic review of 52 clinical trials investigating inflammatory markers in relation to the consumption of dairy products. An inflammatory score (IS) was defined to quantitatively evaluate this interaction. The IS was significantly positive for the entire data set, indicating an anti-inflammatory activity in humans. When the subjects were stratified according to their health status, the IS was strongly indicative of an anti-inflammatory activity in subjects with metabolic disorders and of a pro-inflammatory activity in subjects allergic to bovine milk. Stratifying the data by product categories associated both low-fat and high-fat products, as well as fermented products, with an anti-inflammatory activity. *

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26287637

                The exception is the pro-inflammatory effect occurring in those allergic to cows milk, which is a fully expected outcome.

                Inflammation aside, Park et al (below) also demonstrate that dairy fats increase the level of* both * LDL and HDL cholesterol. That is, they ‘might not affect or even lower the total cholesterol:HDL cholesterol ratio’.

                *’Results from short-term intervention studies on CVD biomarkers have indicated that a diet higher in SF from whole milk and butter increases LDL cholesterol when substituted for carbohydrates or unsaturated fatty acids; however, they may also increase HDL and therefore might not affect or even lower the total cholesterol:HDL cholesterol ratio. The results from the review also indicate that cheese intake lowers LDL cholesterol compared with butter of equal milk fat content’*

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585901

                The findings of these studies coincide with a great deal of other research demonstrating the benefit of dairy foods in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and a host of other chronic diseases.

                Ericson et al (below) demonstrates the risk from meat is not derived from its saturated fat, and that unlike meat, dairy foods are protective.

                *’Dietary fats could affect glucose metabolism and obesity development and, thereby, may have a crucial role in the cause of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
                Studies indicated that replacing saturated with unsaturated fats might be favorable, and plant foods might be a better choice than animal foods.
                Nevertheless, epidemiologic studies suggested that dairy foods are protective.*

                CONCLUSIONS:

                Decreased T2D risk at high intake of high- but not of low-fat dairy products suggests that dairy fat partly could have contributed to previously observed protective associations between dairy intake and T2D.
                Meat intake was associated with increased risk independently of the fat content.’

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25832335

                ‘*Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.** 2017 Aug 13;57(12):2497-2525. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2014.967385.*

                *…recent research has shown that dairy lipids possess putative bioactivity against chronic inflammation. Inflammation triggers the onset of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and cancer.*

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28342603

                *…Adolescents with high milk intake had lower CMRS, compared with those with low intake (10.6% vs 18.1%, P = .018). Adolescents with appropriate milk intake were less likely to have high CMRS than those with low milk intake (odds ratio, 0.531; 95% confidence interval, 0.302-0.931).*

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24418246

                *….Higher intakes of whole fat milk, yogurt, and cheese were associated with better cardiovascular health. Even when controlling for demographic and dietary variables, those who consumed at least 5 servings per week of these dairy products had a significantly higher CHS than those who consumed these products less frequently.*

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25476191

                *Participants in the highest tertile of whole-fat dairy intakes (milk, cheese, yogurt) had significantly lower odds for being obese (global obesity: OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.29-0.72; P < .01; abdominal obesity: OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.23-0.54; P < .001), compared with those in the lowest intake tertile, after full adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, dietary, and cardiovascular risk factor variables. Increasing consumption of dairy foods may have the potential to lower the prevalence of global and abdominal obesity.*

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25159495

                *Accumulated evidence from prospective cohort studies suggests that dairy consumption is inversely and longitudinally associated with the risk of childhood overweight/obesity. *

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26862005

                *‘Now evidence is emerging that suggests the link between dairy and heart disease is more complex than we realised. Instead of full-fat dairy increasing the risk of heart disease, some recent research suggests there is no link at all or, more radical still, full-fat dairy might protect us from it’*

                http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2012/10/18/3607861.htm#.UH_K7GeWTi8

                *‘The totality of available scientific evidence supports that intake of milkand dairy products contribute to meet nutrient recommendations, and may protect against the most prevalent chronic diseases, whereas very few adverse effects have been reported’*

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122229/

                In animal studies, CLA in milk fat has demonstrated protection against inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer:

                https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021915004001030 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531702003937 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22648724.
                https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531702003937 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14976130 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2074353/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16210722 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15240785 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21442197 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11525591

                *'Cows milk also improves muscle growth, increases height in young men,reduces obesity, inflammation, hypertension, metabolic syndrome,cardiovascular disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance,diabetes and colorectal cancer'.*

                Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:975 medscape.com/viewarticle/504520

                Colorectal Cancer – *‘high dietary intake of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from full-fat dairy foods has been associated with a reduction of colorectal cancer by up to 39% in women’*

                https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_B_Vitamins_B-Complexes_Energy-Shots_Thiamin_Niacin_B-6_B-12_Biotin_and_Folic_Acid/bvitamins

                *‘Women eating at least four servings of high fat dairy foods/day had a 41% lower risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, than those who ate less than one portion of high-fat dairy a day’.*

                American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol 82, no 4, pp894-900), http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/4/894.abstract

                Milk and milk-derived products provide essential micronutrients (e.g.calcium, magnesium, iodine and vitamin D) and proteins (whey, casein and specific bioactive peptides) some of which have been associated with beneficial hypotensive effects, either independently or in combination within dairy foods (Kris-Etherton et al.2009).
                A recent 8-week RCT (Feketeet al. 2016) showed that whey protein isolate (two doses of 28 g, mixed with water, per day) had a greater hypotensive effect than casein and the effects were seen on both central and peripheral blood pressures. A number of mechanisms by which milk and its components could lower blood pressure (BP) have been proposed (Fekete et al.2013).
                Peptides released during digestion of casein and whey proteins have been shown to have hypotensive effects by inhibiting the action of angiotensin-I-converting enzyme, resulting in vasodilation (FitzGerald & Meisel 2000) by modulating the release of endothelin-1 by endothelial cells (Maeset al).

                1. Dairy stimulates cancer growth. Research has shown this for many years – going back to the 1960s.

                  My own experience when being treated for cancer (after two years of consuming homemade yogurt and cheese as well as milk) was that, with treatment and on a raw vegan diet, the tumor shrank to almost nothing. But, back home after treatment I added cheese back to my raw vegan diet. The tumor regrew shockingly fast.

                  That’s all I need to keep me off all dairy foods – the research and my own experience.

                  1. *Colorectal Cancer* ‘Dairy foods, calcium, and colorectal cancer: a pooled analysis of 10 cohort studies’.

                    ‘Higher consumption of milk and calcium is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer’.

                    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15240785

                    ‘High-fat dairy food and CLA intake were examined in 60,708 women of age 40 to 76 (Swedish mammography cohort study) with 14.8 yr follow-up. It was found that women who consumed four or more servings of high-fat dairy foods per day (including whole milk, full-fat cultured milk, cheese, cream, sour cream and butter) showed half the risk of developing colorectal cancer, compared to women who consumed less than one serving per day ‘ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16210722

                    CLA intake was associated with an almost 30 percent reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer:

                    ‘These prospective data suggest that high intakes of high-fat dairy foods and CLA may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer’.

                    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16210722/

                    ‘high dietary intake of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from full-fat dairy foods has been associated with a reduction of colorectal cancer by up to 39% in women’ Consumerlab,

                    https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_B_Vitamins_B-Complexes_Energy-Shots_Thiamin_Niacin_B-6_B-12_Biotin_and_Folic_Acid/bvitamins

                    Women eating at least four servings of high fat dairy foods/day had a 41% lower risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, than those who ate less than one portion of high-fat dairy a day. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol 82, no 4, pp894-900),

                    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/4/894.abstract

                    1. ….please livewire ..dont hold your breathe.

                      Overall, dairy is health beneficial. The vast majority of scientific evidence, even factoring for Big Dairy, demonstrates this. Nonetheless, no amount of supporting evidence will convince some people. The reason is explained – as follows:

                      ‘The simple answer is that facts and rational arguments really aren’t very good at altering people’s beliefs. That’s because our rational brains are fitted with not-so-evolved evolutionary hard wiring. One of the reasons why conspiracy theories spring up with such regularity is due to our desire to impose structure on the world and incredible ability to recognise patterns.
                      Indeed, a recent study showed a correlation between an individual’s need for structure and tendency to believe in a conspiracy theory .

                      ….It seems our need for structure and our pattern recognition skill can be rather overactive, causing a tendency to spot patterns – like constellations, clouds that looks like dogs and vaccines causing autism – where in fact there are none.

                      …The ability to see patterns was probably a useful survival trait for our ancestors – better to mistakenly spot signs of a predator than to overlook a real big hungry cat. But plonk the same tendency in our information rich world and we see nonexistent links between cause and effect – conspiracy theories – all over the place.

                      ….And so if, via our social group, we are overly exposed to a particular idea then it becomes embedded in our world view. In short social proof is a much more effective persuasion technique than purely evidence-based proof,

                      …Social proof is just one of a host of logical fallacies that also cause us to overlook evidence. A related issue is the ever-present confirmation bias , that tendency for folks to seek out and believe the data that supports their views while discounting the stuff that doesn’t. We all suffer from this.

                      … Confirmation bias also manifests as a tendency to select information from sources that already agree with our views (which probably comes from the social group that we relate too).

                      http://theconversation.com/why-people-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-and-how-to-change-their-minds-82514

                      Clearly, a great deal of the information on this website is factual, very useful and wonderfully presented – so long as it is not data demonstrating the nutritional benefits of any particular stream of nutrition which is not strictly vegan. For example, dairy. This is a shame because of the importance of message in regards plant-based diets. At this point all objectivity is abandoned, imaginary or exaggerated patterns are formed, and dogma, logical fallacies and hard-wired social-proof take precedence. No amount of argued logic will alter this situation for those whose minds are in this self-imposed stasis. One can construct a very logical ethical argument for veganism. And it is a better option than the typical western diet. But ethics aside, religious adherence to it tends to cloud the judgement and overly frame the outcome.

                    2. T. Colin Campbell and his colleagues were able to turn cancer on by feeding casein, the main protein in milk, to experimental animals. They then reduced the amount of casein from 20% to 5% and the tumors regressed. When the amount was put back to 20%, the cancer returned with a vengeance. This was reported in the book, *The China Study*.

                      This is why I don’t trust you nor Big Dairy.

                    3. Liisa, Campbell was debunked a decade ago. He claimed that milk casein increased the risk of tumor development. This is not substantiated, even by his own research. He also conveniently excludes the fact that another component of milk (whey protein) has a protective effect against cancer in the lab (Hakkak et al):

                      *‘Epidemiological studies have suggested a relationship between diet and colon cancer incidence. Results from animal studies suggest that whey protein, but not casein protein, may provide protective effects against experimentally induced breast cancer in animals.’*

                      *‘These results suggest that long-term consumption of whey protein may reduce the risk of colon cancer’.*

                      This is supported by other rather spectacular research findings: *Colorectal Cancer* – ‘high dietary intake of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from full-fat dairy foods has been associated with a reduction of colorectal cancer by up to 39% in women’ Consumerlab, https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_B_Vitamins_B-Complexes_Energy-Shots_Thiamin_Niacin_B-6_B-12_Biotin_and_Folic_Acid/bvitamins

                      Women eating at least four servings of high fat dairy foods/day had a 41% lower risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, than those who ate less than one portion of high-fat dairy a day. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol 82, no 4, pp894-900)

                      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/4/894.abstract

                      So, what to believe? Even if Campbell were correct in regards casein, is it reliable to test just one component of milk in the lab, and then extrapolate that for whole milk or the whole population or the whole nutrition matrix – which is enormously complex? There are all sorts of possibilities. For example, some dairy fractions negating any cancer-inducing effects of other dairy fractions, and providing a net anti-cancer benefit. To get to the truth, one has to expand the list of possibilities, not shrink them.
                      In *The China Study* Campbell failed to disclose 1. high levels of dietary protein offer equally dramatic protection against the initiation of cancer, 2. rats fed low levels of protein experience many health problems, 3. a research study that demonstrated low-casein diets also made aflatoxin much *less carcinogenic* was not declared. In effect, Campbell found a low-protein, plant-based diet spared rats from cancer but at the expense of a much shortened lifespan ! Campbell claims (page 59) plant proteins (eg gluten) act fundamentally differently to animal proteins (eg casein). That is, whilst wheat gluten does not promote cancer, casein is cancer-promoting. However, his own rat study demonstrated that gluten was just as powerful as casein when lysine, its limiting amino acid, was added. He ‘conveniently’ excluded this from *The China Study.* He also failed to disclose that (a) casein is just as much an incomplete protein as gluten and (b) casein’s effectiveness in promoting cancer in his models was because of the methionine he added to the diets – whilst excluding lysine from gluten. (Casein’s limiting amino acids are methionine and cysteine, which can be converted into one another. Methionine or cysteine make casein complete in the same way that lysine makes wheat protein complete.) Campbell’s protein experiments were not a comparison of plant protein versus animal protein. They instead demonstrated a more general effect involving the completeness of proteins, not that he presented it this way. In effect, a completely flawed and worthless study, other than Campbell demonstrated *the increased cancer risks associated with low-protein diets – in general.* In itself, a valuable contribution to our understanding of cancer. In other respects Campbell claimed that plant protein was protective when his own study clearly showed this to be untrue.
                      Which is bizarre beyond belief. Campbell’s failure is all too familiar.
                      Fraudulent ‘cherry-picking’ the design, course, program and reporting. Why he did so is unclear, but I suppose when one is on a very good thing, one is tempted to stick to it.

                      [With acknowledgements to both Masterjohn. C, and Minger, D.]

                      https://deniseminger.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

                    4. Denise Minger apologized for her criticism of Campbell once she understood it. The problem is that Denise is a data nut and a liberal arts major and has no academic standing either in statistics or in nutrition. She certainly does not understand bionutrition or any related field. You can easily google “Minger apologized” and find lots of hits. Campbell, on the other hand, has decades worth of experience and tenure in his field. He started out touting dairy, only to see that it was, in fact, unhealthy and despite being raised on a dairy farm and entering a science field in order to promote dairy and meat consumption, actually changed his thinking once he understood the science. You really should stop promoting misinformation about dairy on this site.

                    5. Liisa. Denise might be ‘only’ a Lib/Arts grad, but it seems, an extremely smart one. Dont wish to be unkind, but cant help thinking (for her age) she is somewhat smarter than Prof Campbell. Anyway, she is not in the ‘industry’, so at least she should be objective.

                      Whilst on this subject, in May last year she described Dr G. as a ‘cherry picker’:

                      ‘Throughout *How Not to Die*, Greger distils a vast body of literature into a simple, black-and-white narrative — a feat only possible through *cherry picking*, one of the nutrition world’s most gainfully employed fallacies.

                      ‘Cherry picking is the act of selectively choosing or suppressing evidence to fit a predefined framework. In Greger’s case, that means presenting research when it supports plant-based eating and ignoring it (or creatively spinning it) when it doesn’t’.
                      https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-not-to-die-review#section3

                      I am reading Denise’s updated ‘apology’, and as best I can tell she has not resiled from her criticism of Campbell and The China Study.

                      https://deniseminger.com/2010/07/16/the-china-study-my-response-to-campbell/

                      ‘The graphs I posted were not intended to stand as new hypotheses or conclusions about the data. I apologize if I didn’t make this abundantly clear’.

                      Is this the apology?

                      She continues: ‘My biggest concern is with the way data appears to be cherry-picked to create a “plant foods are good” and “animal foods are bad” dichotomy when the actual data from the China Study (as well as from Campbell’s own research) does not reflect this’.

                      ‘He still indicts animal foods as harmful, but comes to this conclusion by enlisting the help of intermediary variables’.

                      ‘To those who approach this discussion already believing animal foods are generally unhealthy, this bias is subtle and might not be obvious. But to those who approach this discussion from a place of neutrality, the bias is unmistakable’.

                      Again, I can vouch for this. It would be easily corrected if the information was unambiguously presented as ‘vegan’, in which case most of us would factor in that bias. But it is presented as objective scientific evidence, which is meddling with the truth.

                      Continuing…another apology word:

                      ‘My own use of the term “vegan” was simply to describe a completely animal-product-free diet. I apologize if this wasn’t clear from my post.

                      Is this the apology?

                      OK, this might be it….

                      *‘For the past few years (five? six? seven ate nine?), I’ve asserted that the success of plant-based diets is due to their whole-foodsness (eliminating processed junk, refined sugar, and refined flour), their low PUFA intake regardless of total fat (with the implication that higher non-PUFA fat consumption would be hunky dory), and the increase in other health-promoting behaviors that come with making a big change in the foods you eat (more exercise, less drinking and smoking, less couch-potatoism, etc.). I still think those things are relevant. But I now believe I dismissed the role of low total fat intake before I gave the data a fair and thorough analysis. This is a breach of the standards I hold myself to as a science blogger, which involve impartially examining all evidence before drawing conclusions’.*

                      OK, so Denise previously argued that the success of plant-based diets was mainly due to their substitution for less healthy foods, but now believes that low total fat diets have contributed to that success.
                      This seems a reasonable proposition. I note she is not making a distinction between saturated and unsaturated fats. Moreover, one cannot extrapolate from this a reversal of the principle criticisms of The China Study. As indicated in my previous post, Campbell claimed that milk casein increased the risk of tumor development. The evidence suggests milk (as distinct from any component of milk) protects against cancer. It may be connected – but Hakkak et al found that whey protein in milk was protective against cancer.
                      So, do they cancel each other out?:

                      *‘Epidemiological studies have suggested a relationship between diet and colon cancer incidence. Results from animal studies suggest that whey protein, but not casein protein, may provide protective effects against experimentally induced breast cancer in animals.’*

                      *‘These results suggest that long-term consumption of whey protein may reduce the risk of colon cancer’.*

                      Other studies: ‘high dietary intake of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from full-fat dairy foods has been associated with a reduction of colorectal cancer by up to 39% in women’ Consumerlab, https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_B_Vitamins_B-Complexes_Energy-Shots_Thiamin_Niacin_B-6_B-12_Biotin_and_Folic_Acid/bvitamins

                      Women eating at least four servings of high fat dairy foods/day had a 41% lower risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer, than those who ate less than one portion of high-fat dairy a day. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol 82, no 4, pp894-900)

                      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/4/894.abstract

                      Nor should we dismiss Chris Masterjohn’s comments:

                      ‘The American diet is atrocious because it is rich in modern, refined foods. The animal foods are factory farmed, the grains are refined, genetically engineered and not prepared properly, the fruits and vegetables are grown in poor soil, and on top of these things the food selection minimizes fruits and vegetables, leaves out organ meats entirely, and emphasizes refined grains. There are other important influences on health such as physical activity, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being, and the American lifestyle often does not do to great in these areas either.

                      Or those from Thos Billings – pre publication of the The China Study:

                      ‘The size and scope of the China Study are impressive. As a result, some dietary advocates have aggressively promoted the China Study as “proof”
                      that vegan diets are optimal or best. However, a closer look at the study reveals important limitations that impact the reliability, usefulness, and interpretation of the study results. Many dietary advocates are quick to cite the China Study without discussing the limitations inherent in such a study.’

                      The book, while not entirely without value, is not about the China Study, nor is it a comprehensive look at the current state of health research. It would be more aptly titled, *A Comprehensive Case for the Vegan Diet, *and the reader should be cautioned that the evidence is selected, presented, and interpreted with the goal of making that case in mind.

                      http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

                      Seems to me that continuing the debate on something as questionable as the The China Study is just generating more heat on a subject that was resolved years ago. Perhaps there is life yet in the low fat vs high fat diet argument. But beyond that, there does not appear to be much gained from raking over the coals of this study. I will conclude with Denise’s parting words…which I very much appreciate:

                      ‘I think it’s important to look at what that impassioned response signifies. Are we trying to be healthy, or are we trying to be right? Are we trying to learn, or do rigid beliefs deafen our ears to new knowledge?
                      Have the open minds that led us to search for the truth in nutrition suddenly slammed shut, clamping tight around an ideology that may or may not truly serve us?

                      Critical thinking isn’t a privilege reserved for the elite; it’s a birthright. My goal is not to tell people what to think, but to show them *how* to think. How to sift through the vast expanse of nutritional litter and pull out the gems. How to stop blindly following the advice of so-called authorities who may not have our best interest at heart. How to think independently’.

                    6. Denise Minger doesn’t like the results of the science so she goes after the person who was *originally *in favor of animal products. Therefore her accusation of cherry-picking is ridiculous. Of course, you, being in the dairy industry, now have the dairy/meat industry bias, whereas most people on this site are looking for the science.

                      I stand with science and with Campbell 100%.

                    7. Liisa, I think you are being a little unfair. I cannot claim to be an expert on Denise Minger, but she strikes me as being someone who is fastidiously objective. Even to the point of publicly apologising for previous errors of judgement. How many scientists are prepared to do that?
                      They have to dragged kicking and screaming to concede their manifest errors. She processes the data, and interprets it. In my opinion, without bias. Of course, having reached that point of understanding she has a bias for her conclusions. But obviously, not so entrenched in her views that she refuses to concede mistakes and amend her recommendations. We cannot ask for any more than that. In regards to Dr Greger, she has comprehensively nailed him. It is a case of a brilliant mind catching out another brilliant mind. Which is all to do with accountability, and public responsibility. Dr G’s presentations are remarkable, always informative, and often entertaining. And he is right to push us in the direction of plant-based diets. But his bias is so great for veganism it distorts the message. It becomes more a religious (faith based) undertaking than a rational nutritional undertaking. In a way, it is understandable. Those who wish to protect animals have a commendable, higher ethical purpose. The converted minority will unquestioningly swallow the message. But for the interested majority who are not similarly motivated, the science had better stack up.
                      For example, when dairy is vilified, the mass of the scientific evidence must coincide – for the broader message to be believed. There is nothing objectionable in arguing that dairy is nutritionally beneficial (it is), but environmentally and ethically unsuitable or unsustainable (perhaps).
                      And these are the viable alternatives (please dont include plant-based milks, because they are not). But we dont get that. We instead get misleading, cherry-picked information. Preaching to the converted, when there is a far larger audience out there hanging out for objective, believable science amongst the mind-numbing mass of contradictory research.
                      In pursuing this bias, Dr G simply adds to the confusion and dilutes the message.

                      In regards to T.Colin Campbell (who has otherwise made a valuable contribution to science) it would have been to his credit if he had done a Denise Minger and publicly conceded his casein milk experiment was fatally flawed, and thereby worthless (see my previous post).

                      In regards to my connection to the dairy industry. As I have explained before on multiple occasions I was was employed for two years in the dairy industry 40 years ago. I have had no connection with the dairy industry since, or any agricultural industry for that matter. At times I think they should employ me, because I seem to be doing their job for them. But I am too far over the hill, and enjoy being retired. Allows me to say what I think :)

                      I started studying dairy nutrition in 2004 because I fully intended to scrap it for health reasons. The more I read, the more I discovered that would be a big mistake. If the science had demonstrated otherwise I would have abandoned it without any qualms.

                      More generally, there is a great deal of animal welfare abuse and I have my own reservation and limitations. For example, industrial/intensive dairying, which I oppose. We all draw the line differently. Speaking of which I would urge all those sufficiently interested to read the following and act upon it …please:

                      I just signed the petition, “Xi Jinping: End to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. #StopYulin.” I think this is important. Will you sign it too?

                      Here’s the link:

                      https://www.change.org/p/xi-jinping-end-to-the-yulin-dog-meat-festival-stopyulin

                    8. I see no reason to follow Denise Minger, a liberal arts grad, when there are plenty of scientists around who can review studies. I’ll stick with Campbell, who has decades of experience *in the nutrition field*, who *admits *that he changed his mind about dairy when he was confronted with the evidence, and who was brave enough to write about his research for the rest of the world to benefit when Big Dairy and Big Meat try to cover everyone’s eyes like you apparently try to do.

                      As to your concern with dogs in China, what about the misuse of the millions of animals in America? (I presume you reside in North America.) Before worrying about dogs in China, how about cleaning up our *own *backyard?
                      I won’t bother to post any video links to the sad state of animals in America; they are easily found.

                      By the by, I did not come at this from an animal rights point of view; I came at it from the science of what’s best for human health. Helping animals by not eating them is a secondary benefit.

                    9. “To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.”

                      – Yoda

                      BTW How is your movie making going ?

                    10. “To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.”

                      – Yoda

                      BTW How is your movie making going ?

                      Heh, that is some great dialog. What gets me is that the authorship is attributed to costume artists rendition of a being rather than to a team of writers who came up with the lines. Sorry to anyone if I spoiled the magic… that’s the price we pay when we are able to see behind the curtain where the magic is made.

                      And speaking of making magic, thanks Pete for asking about my movie making ride. And kinda like soldiering during war where you have short periods of terror followed by days of boredom, I’m still in the boredom stage. I’ve conceived the idea of putting 6 or 12 of the soon to be released Hydrogen Media Machines (they are being sold as phones) in an array to give me IMAX sized capture (by stitching single camera footage into one image. It could serve as the poor man’s super imaging camera. It has me so intrigued I am trying to sell my 8k monstro conventional camera. Hoping to receive my 12 Hydrogens ~ September of this year… then the terror part of movie making begins. ‘-)

                    11. Sounds really fascinating Lonie. Does RED supply a blending algorithm for producing 3D or Imax images from multiple phones?
                      Is it moviehouse quality?

                    12. Sounds really fascinating Lonie. Does RED supply a blending algorithm for producing 3D or Imax images from multiple phones?
                      Is it moviehouse quality?
                      ———————————————————-
                      They say they will release software for it but do not say about it being stitching software.

                      But there are NLEs (Non Linear Editors) like Adope ‘-) and others that will allow stitching side by side images together, so it should be possible to then apply multiple rows on top of one another. That would be th long way around until they have dedicated SW for doing that.

                      As for movie house quality, each camera in the array will be shooting 4k so eventually you could have a feature movie where you can hone in on one of the twelve portions of the image and watch the movie or a least part of it, from that particular POV. Or you could fuse all the images together and reduce the results down to IMAX size and watch in scaled down Super Size IMAX resolution.

                      Hey Pete, you were in software weren’t you? You should go to h4vuser.net and sign up. Tell them Hank Dewey sent you. I message with one of the webmasters (Ryan) all the time. Or you could just lurk without becoming a member of the site. (all free)

      1. Many thanks TG. I’d click the “thumbs up” button but it has gone. You keep batting at em and I’ll keep eating whole plant food.

    3. Pete,

      That is an interesting hypothesis.

      When I listened to Dr. Bredesen, it seems like he scooped up every hypothesis everybody has and takes people with Alzheimer’s and corrects for absolutely everything it could possibly be.

      He said that the people who come to him with Alzheimer’s all tend to have a minimum of 10 risk factors and he has a list of 30 or 60 risk factors and may end up with way more than that.

      So, could that list be within the risk factors?

      Dr. Amen did brain scans of people with exposure to mold and he said that their brains were as bad as hard drug users. His scans are controversial, but I did hear people who were having brain problems have it reversed after they found out there was mold in their environment.

      That doesn’t mean they didn’t also have saturated fats, it is likely to be one of the group of things the people had. Listening to him, he deals with clusters of symptoms, rather than “Does this one thing cause Alzheimer’s?” It will take years to do the studies to figure each thing out and that will probably not happen in my lifetime, but, yes, getting enough nutrition, avoiding toxins, avoiding Aluminum in foods, watching fat intake, watching gut microbiome issues, watching Diabetes. monitoring B12 and B6 and Vitamin D, etc.

      The list will go on and on for what most doctors will have people try to correct for one thing after another.

      1. Its very unclear Deb. It is informative to view the list of countries that have high or low incidence of Alzheimers, and what strikes one is the absence of any obvious pattern. I expect it will be a combination of obscure factors.
        Perhaps a combination of genetic factors, infection such as Herpes Simplex 1, repeated brain trauma, molds etc I believe the following may assist, but it is speculative: physical exercise, mental exercise, Mediterranean diet, fruit and vegetables, green or black tea (definitely with added milk – as it increases the absorption of polyphenols), music, meditation, uninterrupted night time sleep, anti-pneumonia vaccination,

  20. Something here doesn’t make sense to me. The video cites how ghee, part of the traditional diet in India, has high levels of oxysterols and may be a reason for high levels of heart disease. However, the conclusion of the video is the link between Alzheimer’s and oxysterols. Yet India has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world, in fact its almost unheard of. How do you reconcile these facts?

    1. India is not an advanced Western country. Its national data collection system is relatively underdeveloped.

      Dat published about dementia in India has tended to be based on previous limited regional studies. More recent studies, however, in other Indian regional areas suggest much higher rates of dementia are to be found in that country – even higher than equivalent age adjusted rates in the US for example
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/oxidized-cholesterol-as-a-cause-of-alzheimers-disease/#comment-529323

      In any case, saturated fat and ghee are not the only risk factors for Alzheimer’s/dementia and there is no discussion of possible protective factors for that matter which might also complicate inter-country comparisons.

    2. in truth, no-one can adequately reconcile this most blatant of self-evident contradictions. But if history is a guide, we will get the usual imaginative and unbelievable attempt

  21. Addressed to TG:

    Almost every rebuttal to a proposed discussion point ends up with you putting forth an ultimatum:

    “Your study isn’t good enough”
    “Your study is wrong”
    “Your study is misrepresented”

    Really? Take a look at some of your own sources, which I personally find dubious and you will see just how easy it is to mock other people’s ideas:

    https://nutritionfacts.org
    (I guess nobody told you, you shouldn’t use the word you’re defining in the definition.)

    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk
    (It’s a charity organization. Hardly does any science-based research involving diet. Only one study, 4 years ago, specifically looking at flavonoids. So, not relevant.)

    http://gorillaprotein.com
    (Makes the assumption that humans = gorillas. You have previously rejected studies that were observational or not based on a human trial, so, there you go.)

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org
    (A collection of journalists who submit articles that “write about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices”. So, pro-science propoganda – because they do not make any claims themselves, only reference or rebut claims made by others. You would be great at working for this site, despite its name, they do not perform any “science” or “science based medicine” themselves. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/mosconis-brain-food-diet/ – Specifically cites that dietary changes are NOT on the list of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s, only the management of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. I posit that SUGAR consumption should be managed to a far greater degree than FAT consumption with regards to the aforementioned conditions. We know that dietary FAT does not cause hypertension, nor type 2 diabetes, nor obesity.)

    https://www.prnewswire.com
    (This is a press release distribution network, anyone can pay them to distribute any article they want. Are you just googling your opinions to find any article that vaguely supports them?)

    1. Hypertension management diet includes reduction of sodium and increase in foods containing potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
    2. Type 2 diabetes management diet includes reduction in blood sugar spikes and blood sugar management.
    3. Obesity management diet includes a reduction in overall calories coupled with a major reduction in high carbohydrate foods and drinks.

    Please consider that all of these management diets do not specifically limit fat in general, nor do they provide suggestions on the source of fat in the diet.

    Then realize that with each of these management diets:

    1. Sugary foods and drinks are practically devoid of nutrients, specifically those shown to improve hypertension (potassium, magnesium, calcium). Please remember that for sugar in the diet there is NO DIETARY REQUIREMENT and it provides ZERO NUTRIENTS. It can only be thought of as a source of energy to the body, and I can think of far more whole-food nutrient-dense alternatives.

    2. Diabetes and sugar do not mix. Need I say more?

    3. Sugary drinks, processed foods, and in turn, insulin resistance – all contribute to the obesity epidemic we are experiencing today.

    Also, regarding cholesterol: Vital to the function of the human body, one of the most important hormones we have. Without cholesterol we would die. The liver has the ability to increase or decrease endogenous cholesterol (created within the body), based on the intake of exogenous cholesterol (from outside the body). Therefore, watching your cholesterol consumption is really not something you should worry about if your liver is working properly. Sugar on the other hand, has shown to throw the liver out of whack – ever heard of “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”? That’s not caused by fat in the diet, its too much SUGAR in the diet. In fact, the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease management diet includes: fatty fish, walnuts, avocado, milk, sunflower seeds, olive oil. The second most important thing to avoid on this diet, besides alcohol which is #1, is added sugar.

    Cheers,
    -Dave

    1. Interesting what you have to say about NAFLD and sugar. Do you think fruit is an issue here?
      High sugar fruit servings, and not just from the bananas dates mangoes melons but also
      excessive berry consumption? Maybe fruit sugar is harmless, white sugar/grains bad?

      Thanks.

      1. Yolo,

        Personally I do eat fruit. I don’t think there’s any danger in regularly consuming whole-food sources of sugar.

        The reason for this is: fiber.

        Whole-food sugar sources (fruits AND vegetables, not just fruits mind you, Potatoes? Carrots? anyone?) are OK because of their fiber content.

        Fruit Juice on the other hand, is all the sugar with none of the fiber that usually accompanies the whole-food versions.

        Moreover, drinking fruit juice can easily lead to over-consumption. It is easy to “drink” more fruit that it is to “eat” the equivalent amount.

        For example:

        1x 8oz (250g) serving of UNSWEETENED apple juice contain ~25g of sugar and ~0g fiber.

        1x whole-food serving of apples (250g) can contain ~25g of sugar and ~6g fiber.

        My personal rule of thumb, regarding what constitutes a HIGH-QUALITY CARBOHYDRATE:

        1. Is a whole-food (wild rice, fruit, vegetable, root, etc. I think we all know and understand what is a real whole food and what is not. Fruit juice is not, for example).

        2. The fiber-to-carbohydrate ratio is better than 1:10. This means for every 10 grams of carbohydrate there should be AT LEAST 1 gram of naturally occurring fiber.

        The fruit juice clearly fails, and the whole-food version is clearly passing.

        The key to understanding fiber is to realize that the benefit lies not as a nutrient, but as an anti-nutrient. In the case of sugars and insulin, this is good. Fiber reduces absorption of carbohydrates, which in turn reduces blood glucose and insulin levels.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10805824

        Fiber reduced both the glucose and insulin peaks, despite consuming exactly the same amount of carbohydrates.

        Hope that helps!

        Cheers,
        -Dave

      2. Hello Yolo- Dave makes a good point, that offsetting sugar with fiber (by taking in whole fruit rather than juices or processed added sugar) does offset the insulin raising and glucose spiking effects of sugar. Nonalcoholic fatty liver occurs in any setting that leads to overweight and obesity, especially when the obesity triggers insulin resistance and raised triglycerides in the blood. Any situation leading to obesity, especially “central obesity” where fat builds up predominantly on the abdomen can lead to NAFLD, the incidence of which correlates with the rise in obesity. I’ve had patients with high calorie, processed food vegan diets get NAFLD, as well as people who eat meat as a mainstay, or who have sugary diets. I wouldn’t say that naturally occurring sugar in fruit are harmless: there’s a limit. Three to five servings a day of whole fruits (1 cup of berries, 1 banana, an apple) is plenty.

        A whole food, plant based, no added sugar, no added oil diet that is appropriate in calories is associated with lower weight, lower metabolic syndrome, lower diabetes, and lower NAFLD.

        Best to you! Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

      1. Oh my goodness, Lonie. With innuendo like that, you would be an excellent candidate as a writer for the POTUS twitter account ;)

        1. Why thank you Nancy, high praise indeed. ‘-)

          To be clear, I’m not a fan of the individual, but I admire his policies that are getting us fairer trade agreements and FINALLY, a POTUS that has the cojones to shock Kim Jong Un into realizing how fragile his position is.

          Apoligies for digressing into world affairs… the Nancy made me do it. ‘-)

    2. Dave —

      1) Your attack on TG is uncalled for and frankly says more about you than anything else. I find that TG is one of the most thoughtful and valuable contributors to this discussion forum. In particular, he is relentless in calling out false and speculative claims and upholding a high bar for the scientific discourse here.

      2) A general attack of TG’s viewpoints and sources with your blanket statements is uninteresting. Let’s stick to specific discussion of nutrition topics with specific sources

      3) Your statements about “management diets” sound about right (and you won’t find anyone here defending refined carbs), though for T2 diabetes it is important to mention that avoiding sugar etc. only manages the condition but doesn’t cure the underlying cause. For T2 cure, it seems avoiding fat and reducing overall calories is more important. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/diabetes-as-a-disease-of-fat-toxicity/

      4) Your comment that watching cholesterol consumption is only relevant for individuals with compromised liver function is interesting, but requires some evidence given the strong association between lifetime serum cholesterol levels and CVD demonstrated in numerous studies (with causality highly likely: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-do-we-know-that-cholesterol-causes-heart-disease/). Your point also only seems to address consumption of dietary cholesterol, not consumption of saturated fat which is also associated with elevation of serum cholesterol. For now, I will happily stick with my WFPB diet which easily keeps my LDL around 70 and HDL around 60. But happy to continue debating your liver-cholesterol points as long as we keep the debate science based.

      1. KB,

        1. I’m asking TG to uphold a high standard of integrity, not attacking him. The fact that you feel this way shows a lot as well, never mind the irony and hypocrisy of your own comment.

        2. I provided several specific nutritional viewpoints with a link to the source. I believe my comments are very much on point with the discussion here.

        3. There is no cure for type I or type II diabetes. Sorry to disappoint you.

        4. Fantastic. I’m happy to continue the discussion as well. It is a huge topic to discuss, and so I will add a new comment to the end of the page, where we can have our own thread (versus in this thread, where I already have a few ideas out there, and don’t want to detract from either).

        Cheers,
        -Dave

        1. Dave,

          Do you disagree with Dr. Barnard’s research on Type 2 Diabetes, where he took them off of saturated fats and animal products and white and wheat flours and was able to get them off of insulin?

          I am trying to understand your sentence about that topic.

          1. Are you refuting the part where people are having their Pancreas work again after diets like Dr. Barnard’s?

            To me, those studies are proof that removing the fat sources and animal proteins and white and wheat flour did accomplish reversing Type 2 Diabetes.

            1. I am going to reiterate, because thousands of people are reversing their diseases with diet. That started in studies, but it is happening now out in the world.

              Whole Food Plant Based is the only diet I have ever heard of to reverse diseases left and right.

              1. To me, that is where arguing science ends.

                When people are all getting healed on the same type of diet, we don’t need to argue about that type of diet anymore.

                The arguments that are left are for people who don’t want to go WFPB.

                It becomes a matter of which dietary practice is second best for those who don’t want to do it.

            2. Deb. Ultimately, calories are more important than ratios of fats, proteins, carbs. Just a thought. If diabetic and overweight, and seeking to simplify things. An 800 calorie/day diet for 8 – 20 weeks. Controversial keto diets aside, ratios dont particularly matter – other than those on low fat diets tend to compensate by consuming higher levels of carbs. This includes processed carbs. Which is self-defeating. The aim of the 800 calorie/day diet is to reduce fat (the product of consuming excessive fats or carbs) in the pancreas and liver sufficient to start pumping out insulin again. Warning: maintaining 800 calories/day could be quite a challenge. A possible alternative is intermittent fasting

              see: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/research/research-round-up/research-spotlight/research-spotlight-low-calorie-liquid-diet

              1. Personally, I have found calories irrelevant. I lost weight by eating plants only, following multiple diet roller coasting with meat-based diets. It was an unbelievable experience. I ate as much plant-based food as I wanted, and at the time, was even eating oil. I still lost weight and was never hungry. That is why I personally don’t believe your statement saying, “Ultimately, calories are more important….”

                I lost 30 lbs on a plant-based “diet” while eating my fill.

    3. Nice story Dave but where is the evidence for your statements?

      As far as I can tell all you are doing is simply making statements of fact which aren’t actually facts. Like your statement that viruses don’t cause cancer. factually incorrect but that didn’t stop you stating it as a fact.

  22. So, it’s my understanding that East Indians actually have a LOW rate of Alzheimer’s, so doesn’t that go contrary to the oxidized cholesterol theory as evidenced in their population?

    1. Good observation Renee! I was thinking of posting that question too.

      However, one thing to keep in mind is that East Indians also consume the spice turmeric in their cooking, which has been shown to prevent and/or ameliorate Alzheimer’s. So that may be an offsetting factor. But it would be interesting to see what Dr. Greger says.

  23. I’m thinking of giving up sardines. Apparently, they contain a lot of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), due to their high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which actually promote the formation of COPs. Canned sardines are cooked, of course, and this increases the COPs even more. The table of COPs in various foods that Dr. Greger included in his video lists tuna fish as containing one of the higher amounts of COPs but did not list sardines, which according to the following study may contain even more due to their higher content of PUFAs.

    (http://www.scielo.br/pdf/cta/v30n2/15.pdf)

    “It is evident from a consideration of the results obtained in this study that the oxidation of cholesterol was stimulated by the presence of PUFA and that grilling favored the COP formation. The samples of sardine and hake showed great polyunsaturated fatty acids levels, and these results indicate that consuming approximately 180 g of sardine or 260 g hake daily is sufficient to obtain the recommended amount of EPA+DHA. However, higher amounts of COP were formed. In addition, a more systematic analysis of heated fishes is necessary since there is a trend in the consumption of fish due the positive effects of its long chain PUFA regarding cardiovascular diseases. The physiological implication of ingesting COP also deserves further studies.”

  24. All very interesting comments. Here’s a suggestion for sleep. I used to be addicted to sleeping pills, until a friend suggested marijuana gummy candies. I decided to go off the sleeping pills, and spent 7 nights without closing my eyes. So tried the gummies, and gently, quietly went to sleep. They have 5 milligrams of THC in each, I didn’t need that much, so cut them in half, and that worked brilliantly. Wake up rested and ready for the day.

  25. Decades ago in basic chemistry class I learned that saturated fats are stable at high temperatures and do not oxidize easily as there are no open bonds for oxygen to attach to (thus oxidizing the fat). Ghee and coconut oil are highly saturated fats and thus do not oxidized easily. Ayurveda has used ghee as a carrier for herbal medicines for thousands of years.

    Vegetable fats are polyunsaturated, and thus have several bonds open to oxygen and thus oxidize easily. Commercially available vegetable fats are often processed to de-odorize them so you can’t tell by their smell when they are oxidized. Therefore vegetable fats and oils should be used sparingly in favor of cooking with highly saturated fats.

    1. It sounds like you’re ignoring lots and lots of science showing the dangers of saturated fats – especially clogged arteries.

      1. Not sure if it was saturated or not, but read (I’ll post it under here if I find the link) that consuming omega 3s at night helps protect the arteries during the night. The data suggests the prime time for having a heart attack is at night and this is a protective from that. I think they suggested fish oil omega 3s, but don’t quote me on that yet.

  26. Fascinating video! SO informative! But how come we’re always reading that Indians have low levels of Alzheimer’s? Can it be that the curry they eat is enough to stave it off, despite the ghee?

  27. It is interesting to note that you draw a possible correlation between consumption of ghee and the high rate of athersclerosis in India, yet in previous videos have commented on the low rate of Alzheimer’s Disease in that same population. As I recall you attributed the low rate of dementia to the consumption of turmeric, yet apparently it does not confer the same benefit in the heart as it does in the brain.

  28. Dear Dr G: would you do a video on Budwig Diet (flax oil & cottage cheese) and/or reply to me? I have read that 7-time Nobel nominee Dr. Budwig had 90% success rate treating cancer using this diet. I know you are not fond of animal products like dairy, but can the Budwig diet be good for cancer patients? Thank you.

    1. I tried the cottage cheese and flax oil for awhile when I had cancer. Then I learned that dairy products are among the worst cancer causing foods, so I stopped it and all dairy foods. Before that, at one point, the cancer had diminished tremendously while I ate a raw vegan diet along with many other protocols. Then I added cheese to my diet and it came roaring back very quickly.

      Dr Jane Plant is an British scientist who had breast cancer that came back five times, despite eating what she thought was a very healthy diet. The only dairy product she ate was one carton of yogurt daily.

      After the fifth return of cancer, only days after yet another surgery, she found herself wondering why Chinese women rarely got breast cancer (at that time, before they started adding more and more animal products to their diets). She realized they ate NO dairy at all. She stopped the yogurt and the cancer receded away.

      She has since helped many other cancer patients reverse their disease. She has written several books on the subject, most available through sellers of used books. Some years after that experience she added some dairy back and her cancer returned. Again she removed it and it resolved.

      By the way, don’t bother with her cookbook, because there are much healthier recipes all over the internet and in cookbooks.

      For me, any form of dairy is far too dangerous to add to my diet.

      1. Livewire, if you believe you are making a valuable contribution to nutritional science (‘Nutrition Facts’) you are sadly mistaken. If readers were to follow such bad advice in all probability they *increase* their risk of breast cancer:

        1. This Finnish study of ~ 4700 women over 15 years demonstrated a 58% reduced risk for breast cancer in those consuming dairy: *‘there is a protective effect associated with the consumption of milk’* (Sponsored by the Swedish Cancer Association)

        *Fermented milk is inversely associated breast cancer risk* (Le et al, 1986, van’t Veer et al, 1989)

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2074353/pdf/brjcancer00033-0135.pdf

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2074353/

        2. ‘*Intakes of dairy products, calcium, or vitamin D were not statistically significantly associated with breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. In premenopausal women, however, consumption of dairy products, especially of low-fat dairy foods and skim/low-fat milk, was inversely associated with risk of breast cancer. The multivariable RRs comparing highest (>1 serving/day) and lowest (≤3 servings/month) intake categories were 0.68 (95% CI = 0.55 to 0.86) for low-fat dairy foods and 0.72 (95% CI = 0.56 to 0.91) for skim/low-fat milk. *

        https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/94/17/1301/2519873

        3. ‘*We found no significant association between intakes of total meat, red meat, white meat, total dairy fluids, or total dairy solids and breast cancer risk’. *

        https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/31/1/78/655928

        4.* ‘We combined the primary data from eight prospective cohort studies from North America and Western Europe with at least 200 incident breast cancer cases, assessment of usual food and nutrient intakes, and a validation study of the dietary assessment instrument. The pooled database included 351,041 women, 7379 of whom were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during up to 15 years of follow-up’.*

        *‘We found no significant associations between intake of meat or dairy products and risk of breast cancer’. *

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11914299

        *5. ‘The summary relative risk of breast cancer for the highest intake of total dairy food compared with the lowest was 0.85 (15% lower risk with high consumption vs low consumption)* *‘For milk consumption, the summary relative risk was 0.91* (9% lower risk) *‘In conclusion, findings of the present meta-analysis indicate that increased consumption of total dairy food, but not milk, may be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer’.*

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21442197

        *‘A lower risk of breast cancer was observed with high total dairy product consumption in the whole population (RR = 0.55) and among premenopausal women with a RR of 0.35’*

        *‘Our data support the hypothesis that dairy products, through calcium content or a correlated component, might have a negative association with the risk of breast cancer, particularly among premenopausal women’.*

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17536191

        *‘Consumption starting at two or more servings of dairy products per day was likewise inversely associated with (breast cancer) risk (RR, 0.81) ‘ *

        1. I appreciate your interest, though I don’t subscribe to what you’re saying.
          There is believable research and manipulated research. We each must decide who we trust. I have found I can trust Dr Greger, Dr Esselstyn, Dr McDougall, Dr Campbell, Dr Ornish, Dr Barnard, Dr Kim Williams, and a few others.

          My aggressive triple negative breast cancer came on like a freight train following two years of eating pasture raised beef, chicken, pork, eggs, and dairy. I made my own yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and even brie. I followed the Weston A Price line.

          It was only after this aggressive cancer asserted itself that I learned about T Colin Campbell’s many years of research showing that animal protein stimulates cancer growth. His research was impeccable.

          Dean Ornish has also shown that animal protein stimulates prostate cancers, and published his research in prestigious journals.

          Much of the research in recent years has been designed and paid for by Big Dairy and Big Meat. They cherry pick and only publish what shows favorably in their interest. It’s marketing disguised as research.

          Two of the four other women I’ve known who had the same cancer (it isn’t common and isn’t related to hormones) both went on ketogenic diets. One was in her 30s, the other in her 50s. At the time I was turning 70. They both lived only about 18 months after diagnosis. The other two women I knew who had it – I don’t know how they ate, but they didn’t live long, either.

          If you choose to eat meat and dairy, that’s your prerogative, but after my experience I’m not going down that route again.

          1. livewire, to address your two points. It is true that plant food sources do act benefitially on one’s health, primary because of phytosterols and other phytonutrients. In addition, plants are abondant in folate and chlorophyll (Chlorophyllin and Cancer Prevention, https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2003/2/report_prevent/Page-01)

            Folate is critical for DNA and pretty high majority lack an enzyme ( from 23andme.com) to convert it to an active form. As far as I know there are no animal sources of folate (and folic acid can does nothing for someone who has a MTHFR defect).

            Weston Price does have some valid points in regards to grains (yes phyitic acid is anti-cancer) but in my case it’s anti-dentin, my teeth were all erroded from grains. I had 0 (zero sugar consumption). There are nutrients that are critical for human health and animals, what is also true that if you’re 50-65 yrs old, you better stay away from animal sources (research shows)

            Respondents aged 50-65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived. Conversely, high protein intake was associated with reduced cancer and overall mortality in respondents over 65, but a 5-fold increase in diabetes mortality across all ages. Mouse studies confirmed the effect of high protein intake and GHR-IGF-1 signaling on the incidence and progression of breast and melanoma tumors, but also the detrimental effects of a low protein diet in the very old. These results suggest that low protein intake during middle age followed by moderate to high protein consumption in old adults may optimize healthspan and longevity.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24606898

            now your point about keto diet. there is no research showing it’s beneficial for aging.
            Prevention of Dietary-Fat-Fueled Ketogenesis Attenuates BRAF V600E Tumor Growth
            https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/S1550-4131(16)30643-X.pdf

            The research team showed in pre-clinical models that cancer stem cell growth in the colon was enhanced by a high-fat, Western diet.
            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170706121221.htm
            https://www.cell.com/stem-cell-reports/pdf/S2213-6711(17)30265-5.pdf

            Oh and my favorite topic, cell phones/wifi and health problems
            Mobile phone radiation may affect memory performance in adolescents, study finds
            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180719121803.htm

            I was in a grad school when we had to have wifi capable laptops, noticed significant loss of concentration when working inside when my wifi was on, but not elsewhere w/o wifi. That was like 15 yrs ago. Dr. Mercola was the 1st one to warn about EMFs.

            1. Twenty years ago, Svanborg et al discovered that two components of breast milk, alpha-lactalbumin and oleic acid combined in the gut to form a selective, tumour-killing, protein-lipid complex.

              https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/meet-woman-trying-cure-cancer-breast-milk/

              Svanbourg has isolated these compounds and is synthesising them as a therapeutic cancer treatment. Other studies corroborate the role of cows milk in protecting against infection and cancer (cell division and apoptosis)

              *Alpha-lactalbumin (in bovine milk) is also reported to have anticarcinogenic activity. In mammalian cancer cell line cultures it has been shown to constrain cell division (Ganjam et al., 1997) and induce apoptosis (Hakansson et al., 1995). *

              https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/alpha-lactalbumin

              *During digestion, peptides appear to be transiently formed that have antibacterial and immunostimulatory properties, thereby possibly aiding in the protection against infection. A novel folding variant (“molten globule state”) of multimeric alpha-lactalbumin has recently been discovered that has anti-infective activity and enhances apoptosis, thus possibly affecting mucosal cell turnover and proliferation. *

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14552064

              *α-Lactalbumin was first isolated to provide a good source of tryptophan, often the first limiting amino acid in infant formulas, but has then been shown to be digested into smaller peptides with antimicrobial and prebiotic activities, immunostimulatory effect and acting as enhancers of mineral absorption*

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21335989

              Cows milk also contains this protein-lipid complex, albeit the levels of alpha-lactalbumin in cows milk are lower than in breast milk.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14552064

              The following reports demonstrate that cows milk also contains both alpha-lactalbumin and oleic acid, similar to breast milk.

              *‘Approximately 25% of the fatty acids in milk are mono-unsaturated with oleic acid (18:1) accounting for 23.8% by weight of the total fatty acids in Swedish dairy milk’*

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2596709/

              *Cows milk also contains alpha-lactalbumin, albeit less than human milk (2-5% of total protein in bovine milk)*

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14552064

              The following report demonstrates the bioactive similarities between alpha lactalbumins in breast milk and cows milk

              *‘Human and bovine α-lactalbumins share similar amino acid compositions, having 74% sequence homology and similar bioactivities’.*

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934683/

              Cows milk appears protective against cancer in various studies (particularly colon cancer and breast cancer). Arguably, the formation of this protein-lipid complex in the gut contributes to the anti-cancer effect demonstrated by Svanborg and others. Rich sources of alpha-lactalbumin include whey, butter, cheese, cream and ghee.

      2. lifewire, you’re describing anecdotal “evidence”, it’s unheard of to eliminate ONE food and be cured from cancer, nonsense.

        Almost all people are allergic to A-1 beta casein, which produces inflation, not A-2.

        Yogurt w/ A-2 beta casein, like Nancy’s, especially non-fat, may not have such ill effects. Although only you are in a position to determine what works for you, it may not apply to others. Please see the research.

        Higher cerebral glutathione concentrations were associated with greater dairy consumption in older adults. One possible explanation for this association is that dairy foods may serve as a good source of substrates for glutathione synthesis in the human brain.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4307202/

        The consumption of probiotic yogurt improved fasting blood glucose and antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients. These results suggest that probiotic yogurt is a promising agent for diabetes management.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129852

        1. Yes, I was writing about my experience, Jane Plant’s experience, and her experience with many clients who reversed cancer by removing dairy.

          However, I did that based on the research of T Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, Neal Barnard, and others. Campbell and other researchers studied this issue at Cornell over many, many years, from many angles, delving into each question as it arose. He established quite conclusively that animal protein, especially casein, the main protein in dairy, stimulated cancer growth if eaten at more than 10% of calories. When he fed plant protein at the same levels cancer was not stimulated. He was able to turn cancer growth on by alternating the feeding of animal protein at more than 10% for three weeks, then cutting back to 5% and that turned the cancer off. Then he was able to repeat this pattern.

          Below is a link to a video of one of his talks where he describes this.
          After many years of conclusive lab experiments, he was able to determine the same was true in people with his comprehensive study in China, as reported in *The China Study*.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEuRMm-a6mo

          The China Study is exhaustively researched, with pages of references – far too many for me to repeat here.

          Since dropping dairy and other animal foods for health reasons I’ve come to realize I no longer wish to support the cruelty of any of the animal protein industries, either. They really cannot be called farms. Books have been written about that, and films made, such as *Earthlings*. I don’t want hormones from pregnant cows in anything I eat. Meats are filthy because they are contaminated with feces in processing which cannot be washed off.
          Our planet could never support the world’s population if the majority of people ate meat at the rate Americans do. Nor could the existing hospitals hold all those who would become sick.

          We all make our choices based on what we trust and believe, both the research, the authorities, and our own experiences. You are free to choose.
          I choose plants. Do as you wish.

          1. Agreed, our farm practices are not acceptable, they exist only to make profits. As far as feces, well plants grow from the ground and someone, hopefully, fertilizes with chicken manure and compost is not cleaner. Plants come in direct contact with feces.

            On the other perspective, produce that is sold in stores is shipped from who knows where and much is grown in green houses/ hydroponics. Who know how that produce has been fed.
            I do have farmers’ markets here, but come on, these guys charge 5x the price, just because it is local. The market stores have economies of scale, that is why the price is lower, but the quality is unknown.

            I have an idea….. we just should fast…..jk

            1. Sam,

              Ahem…there is a HUGE difference in putting composted manure on garden soil and feces from the floor of the abattoir directly into meat. Do you have any idea how animals are slaughtered and handled, by the millions of carcasses, in this country? If not, you’ll be shocked if you’re curious enough to research and learn about it. The reason there are now warnings on meat labels to cook until well done is to kill the bacteria which cannot be washed from the meat.

              On the ecological front, our planet is growing more contaminated, our vast underground waters emptied, our rivers polluted, our rain forests clear cut, our air polluted, and thousands of once productive acres turned into desert by meat production.

              These same destructive forces are at the root of vast increases, wherever western ways are adopted, in the diseases that are killing North Americans and Western Europeans – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, kidney disease, and many others.

              Feeding more and more animal protein to the burgeoning world population is unsustainable. I’m not saying this off the top of my head. The facts and figures are out there. The videos and books and headlines tell the story that even mainstream environmental groups aren’t talking about, for fear of losing their meat-eating constituency. It’s the proverbial elephant in the living room. Check it out. If I didn’t have company coming for a vegan dinner tonight I’d find the links for you!

              And by the way, fasting, carefully done under medical supervision, is very healing and renewing. But we cannot fast forever!

  29. My friend has been told he has low cholesterol. I don’t want to encourage him to eat animal products if he shouldn’t, or to avoid them if he needs them for his condition. This is the first time I have heard of this condition. Will you please do a video on low cholesterol?

  30. According to the chart used, salami is only .6 compared to Ghee at 259 and canned tuna at 120. Cheese isn’t listed at all. I avoid all animal products for reasons given on this site, but can you do a follow-up video saying why you used salami and cheese in your example, and why beef is so low but still dangerous for oxidation? Can only a tiny amount of oxidation still cause damage? What about cooking method, such as frying? Thanks so much. I avoid all of it but others need to know.

  31. If a person begins a plant-based diet later in life, might it be possible that the oxidized cholesterol in the brain slowly drain to reduce the chance of Alzheimers or Parkinsons? In other words, will the road become more one-way? (Sorry if this is a naive question!)

  32. Good question. We don’t know for sure, but probably yes from studies showing a benefit from eating plants in reducing dementia risk and symptoms. Also, additional data available suggests its never too late to enjoy the health benefits of an unprocessed whole food plant based diet, and there are no disadvantages in an otherwise healthy individual to give it a try.

    Dr. Ben

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