Parkinson’s Disease & the Uric Acid Sweet Spot

Parkinson’s Disease & the Uric Acid Sweet Spot
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The link between Parkinson’s and dairy may not just be explained by the pesticides and lactose.

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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.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s. Characterized by a slowness of movement, rigidity, tremors, and stooping posture that all get worse and worse—and, there’s also non-movement symptoms, like cognitive impairment, sleep, smell, and mood disturbances, as the disease spreads to other areas of the brain.

The cause of Parkinson’s is perhaps one of the most important questions posed by the science of aging. For example, why is the consumption of dairy products associated with increased risk for Parkinson’s? Maybe, because they contribute to “our exposure to pesticides and other neurotoxins,” like dieldrin, which continues to be found in the autopsied brains of Parkinson’s victims—even though it was banned decades ago. But, it lingers in the environment, and we continue to be exposed to the pesticide through contaminated dairy, and other animal products.

It’s “unlikely to be due to milk compounds such as calcium,…D,…fat, or…protein,” since there’s no association with Parkinson’s when they’re “derived from other sources.” It could be the milk sugar, though, lactose, accounting for the increased risk of death and bone fractures, as well as Parkinson’s, and earlier onset Huntington’s disease.

But, there’s a third possibility, as well. Milk lowers uric acid levels, and uric acid may be protective against Huntington’s, and also slow the decline of Parkinson’s—and, most importantly, may lower the risk of getting Parkinson’s in the first place, thought to be because uric acid is an important antioxidant in the brain, something we’ve known for over thirty years now.

This can be shown directly in human nerve cells in a petri dish. Add the pesticide rotenone, and oxidative stress shoots up. Add the pro-oxidant homocysteine, and it goes up even more. But, add some uric acid, and it completely suppresses the oxidative stress caused by the pesticide.

But, drinking milk has a uric acid-lowering effect, citing this study, describing it as “[A] cute effect of milk.” But it turned out to be just a cute typo. An “Acute effect of milk on uric acid levels” in the blood. Drink cow’s milk, and uric acid levels drop 10% within hours. Drink soy milk, and they go up 10% within hours. Now, for the painful arthritic disease, gout, which is caused by too much uric acid, the uric acid-lowering effect of dairy is a good thing.

But, uric acid is a double-edged sword. If our uric acid levels are too high, we can get gout. But, if they’re too low, it may increase our risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and MS. Here’s the five-year risk of gout in men for various uric acid levels. If our uric acid is over 10, we have a 30% chance of suffering an attack of gout within the next five years, whereas at levels under 7, our risk is less than 1%.

So, it might make sense to have levels as high as possible, without going over 7, to protect the brain, without risking our joints. But, having excessive uric acid in the blood puts more than just our joints in jeopardy. Yes, having too low levels may increase our risk of MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer—but, having too high levels may increase our risk of gout, kidney, and heart disease.

So, having a uric acid level over 7 isn’t just associated with an increased risk of gout, but an increased risk of dying from all causes. But, having a low uric acid level may also shorten our lifespan by increasing mortality. High uric acid is associated with increased risk of death from heart disease, but low uric acid is associated with increased risk of fatal stroke, for example. So, keeping uric acid at optimum levels—the sweet spot between 5 and 7—may protect the brain in more ways than one.

If you measure the uric acid levels in those with Parkinson’s, they come in down around here, which can explain why dairy consumption may increase risk for Parkinson’s, because milk pushes uric acid levels down. Dairy may also explain the differences in uric acid levels between meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. If you plot men out, vegans are significantly higher than vegetarians—presumably because they don’t drink milk, with those eating meat and milk somewhere in between.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image Credit: Meditations via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

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.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s. Characterized by a slowness of movement, rigidity, tremors, and stooping posture that all get worse and worse—and, there’s also non-movement symptoms, like cognitive impairment, sleep, smell, and mood disturbances, as the disease spreads to other areas of the brain.

The cause of Parkinson’s is perhaps one of the most important questions posed by the science of aging. For example, why is the consumption of dairy products associated with increased risk for Parkinson’s? Maybe, because they contribute to “our exposure to pesticides and other neurotoxins,” like dieldrin, which continues to be found in the autopsied brains of Parkinson’s victims—even though it was banned decades ago. But, it lingers in the environment, and we continue to be exposed to the pesticide through contaminated dairy, and other animal products.

It’s “unlikely to be due to milk compounds such as calcium,…D,…fat, or…protein,” since there’s no association with Parkinson’s when they’re “derived from other sources.” It could be the milk sugar, though, lactose, accounting for the increased risk of death and bone fractures, as well as Parkinson’s, and earlier onset Huntington’s disease.

But, there’s a third possibility, as well. Milk lowers uric acid levels, and uric acid may be protective against Huntington’s, and also slow the decline of Parkinson’s—and, most importantly, may lower the risk of getting Parkinson’s in the first place, thought to be because uric acid is an important antioxidant in the brain, something we’ve known for over thirty years now.

This can be shown directly in human nerve cells in a petri dish. Add the pesticide rotenone, and oxidative stress shoots up. Add the pro-oxidant homocysteine, and it goes up even more. But, add some uric acid, and it completely suppresses the oxidative stress caused by the pesticide.

But, drinking milk has a uric acid-lowering effect, citing this study, describing it as “[A] cute effect of milk.” But it turned out to be just a cute typo. An “Acute effect of milk on uric acid levels” in the blood. Drink cow’s milk, and uric acid levels drop 10% within hours. Drink soy milk, and they go up 10% within hours. Now, for the painful arthritic disease, gout, which is caused by too much uric acid, the uric acid-lowering effect of dairy is a good thing.

But, uric acid is a double-edged sword. If our uric acid levels are too high, we can get gout. But, if they’re too low, it may increase our risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and MS. Here’s the five-year risk of gout in men for various uric acid levels. If our uric acid is over 10, we have a 30% chance of suffering an attack of gout within the next five years, whereas at levels under 7, our risk is less than 1%.

So, it might make sense to have levels as high as possible, without going over 7, to protect the brain, without risking our joints. But, having excessive uric acid in the blood puts more than just our joints in jeopardy. Yes, having too low levels may increase our risk of MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer—but, having too high levels may increase our risk of gout, kidney, and heart disease.

So, having a uric acid level over 7 isn’t just associated with an increased risk of gout, but an increased risk of dying from all causes. But, having a low uric acid level may also shorten our lifespan by increasing mortality. High uric acid is associated with increased risk of death from heart disease, but low uric acid is associated with increased risk of fatal stroke, for example. So, keeping uric acid at optimum levels—the sweet spot between 5 and 7—may protect the brain in more ways than one.

If you measure the uric acid levels in those with Parkinson’s, they come in down around here, which can explain why dairy consumption may increase risk for Parkinson’s, because milk pushes uric acid levels down. Dairy may also explain the differences in uric acid levels between meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. If you plot men out, vegans are significantly higher than vegetarians—presumably because they don’t drink milk, with those eating meat and milk somewhere in between.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image Credit: Meditations via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

Dairy and Parkinson’s? See Preventing Parkinson’s Disease With Diet.

Lactose and Parkinson’s? See Could Lactose Explain the Milk – Parkinson’s Disease Link?.

Uric acid as an antioxidant? I’ve touched on that before in Miocene Meteorites and Uric Acid.

If levels are too high, consider cutting down on Flesh and Fructose and eating cherries (see Gout Treatment with a Cherry on Top and Treating Gout with Cherry Juice). Check out Preventing Gout Attacks with Diet.

Can a plant-based diet be used to treat Parkinson’s? See Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet. Any plant foods in particular that may help? Try nightshade veggies:

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127 responses to “Parkinson’s Disease & the Uric Acid Sweet Spot

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  1. I have an uncle with Parkinson’s and diabetes. It is a terribly debilitating disease. It is very frustrating for him. He is there, but has been slowly loosing his ability to communicate coherently. It is difficult to see this once witty, cosmopolitan and articulate man become a prisoner within his own body.
    The last time I saw him he offered me ice cream. There were several gallons of the stuff in their freezer, and he scooped out a large bowl with several different varieties for himself. My aunt told me that is all he wants to eat now a days. I declined telling him I no longer eat animal products. I told him that he would do well to adopt the same eating pattern. One of my cousins told me don’t bother because he has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, and that it would be a shame to deprive him of one of his last pleasures. It is very sad.

    1. I’ve been there. I had a patient who weighed 250 and Parkinson’s. I explained to the family that if he lost weight he would get around a lot better. They said the same thing. We feel so bad for him that we give him treats. After busting them many times they finally got the message. He got down to 160 and his medication was decreased. He was able to get around much better-even able to take long walks without assistant. Food and our attachments are a funny thing.

    2. Joe Caner: I’m sorry to hear about your uncle. It can be so heart breaking to see loved ones making these types of decisions. My heart goes out to you.

    3. I think , when they get to that point, they’re not really enjoying life anyway. Food consumption is the last bit of control they have in their lives. Eating fat and refined sugar is probably one of the few happinesses that they can even experience. My friend eats, and always has, a diet of mostly processed meats and dairy. “Very few vegetables.” He went on bp meds when he was 40, suffers debilitating gout and is in terrible health. When I suggest to him that his health problems are due to his diet and he should switch to a vegan diet his response is, “You have to die, right?”. I think this is a common attitude. Most of the diet related health problems manifest gradually and are confused with normal aging. They suffer from health hopelessness and can’t even remember what it was like to be healthy.

    4. To Joe and everyone who responded to Joe:
      I, too, have watched loved ones succumb to the chronic diseases of our times and die slow painful deaths. It is painful for us, the living, as well. And hopeless feeling. But this is also why those of us on this site need to stay the course and show others that the fates of our loved ones do not have to be our fate too. I hold my good health (63, BMI 21, no meds, no diseases, no doctors necessary) out as an example of what we CAN have as we age if we so choose. I try not to miss an opportunity to tell people, when they ask me about my WFPB diet, about the diabetes, blindness, cancer in my family and how my lack of those diseases in myself is no mistake.
      Every day I get to be an example to my community of the good health anyone can also have. But this topic intersects with another larger topic and that is ObamaCare. We are all paying gigantic insurance premiums – including myself – to pay for the ill health of those we love and are ill. The meat and dairy industry continues to cost us all. So I try to not miss an opportunity to delicately remind the curious of that fact – especially those who complain about the high cost of insurance. Because it isn’t the high cost of insurance that is the problem. It is the high cost of medical treatment for a very sick society.
      It took many years to get the word out about the cigarette industry. It will take decades on this topic as well. But each day we can all take great pride in honoring our loved ones by standing – and eating – for good health in their names and memories. That is the only way that I can deal with the pain of missing those I still love so much.

      1. I’d like to see some movement by WFPB people in the government. The costs of medical care being what they are–dare to imagine what could be done about it!

    5. My dad has had Parkinson’s for nearly 20 years and is in the same boat. This year we had to move him to a nursing home, where at least they provide semi-healthy meals and less dairy than he used to eat at home. They do provide a very small dessert after lunches and dinners, but it is just enough to satisfy the residents, who as you say look forward to that as one of their few remaining pleasures in life. The residents are not overeating, so that’s a good thing. I have made dairy-free and mostly sugar-free ice creams for dad (and don’t tell him) but he hasn’t cared for them as much. I keep trying now and then, but I’ve given in to letting him enjoy what he likes in moderation. That’s my advice for others in similar situations.

  2. How do i raise uric acid, i’m vegan and i have it in 3,77 mg/dl. I suppose i need to increase the protein intake by consuming more beans?

    1. I wouldn’t go out of my way to increase uric acid levels. Lifestyle practices associated with elevated uric acid levels (e.g. alcohol, increased body fat, meat, fish, shellfish, low fiber, low folate, low physical activity) are on balance more harmful. There is no association of increased uric acid with consumption of animal or plant protein or purine rich vegetables (e.g. asparagus, cauliflower, peas). Keep up with NF.org as the science keeps coming! Have a happy holiday season.

      1. In the graph shown in the video, it looks like soy milk raises uric acid levels at least for a few hours after drinking it. If one has slightly low uric acid (4.5 mg/dl), would it be advisable to drink some soy milk to raise it to the 5 to 7 mg/dl range suggested in the video? (PS, I’m WFPB and do moderate exercise. )

      2. While I’d agree with your sentiments, there is a 2016 pilot trial which used the uric acid precursor inosine to elevate plasma uric acid and slow disease progression in early stage Parkinson’s. Might be worth prescribing under medical supervision for PD patients with low uric acid. As inosine isn’t patentable, we may not see more conclusive research for a while.

        1. This study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4641017/ as well as the pilot study you cite show some very early data regarding a degree of protection without causation but emphasize that the well known adverse effects of increased uric acid preclude adding any method of increasing uric acid except under close supervision via an authorized clinical study and the paperwork that entails.

  3. Very interesting video. I went searching for info about the connection between heart disease and uric acid levels. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/472684_3 According to this link women are at mant times greater risk of death due to ischemic heart disease when uric acid levels rise above 7.0 … 300% greater risk for women (!!!) vs 77% for men. How is it that this is not even mentioned by doctors? even when I suffered gout one summer, the doctor laughed and said I was hardly henry the Vlll type being fit and slim, and said, ‘next time, dont suffer, come in and get meds’

    My question is, is the connection to heart, kidney, and other diseases in fact weak, and if not why are doctors not mentioning this as a matter of course to patients?

      1. hi George, thanks, I just took it from the medscape page.. so it could be written, 0.77 vs 3.0 ? anyway the fact remains that women are at high risk of cvd with elevated uric acid levels independent of other factors. And, I wonder if family members suffering gout increases risk ? I have to look into this more

      2. George, it’s about risk. If one way you had 10% risk, then you changed something and now your risk is 30%, you had 300% of the risk you had before.
        John S

        1. yes, thank you John for your comments. I find this and related topics so interesting. I have been viewing the other videos linked under Doctors notes having to do with uric acid levels, diet as in cause and treatment etc. Dr Forrester posted some causes of elevated uric acid levels above, but in my case (I dont drink etc) they say my one gout attack could be dehydration related since I joined the running club that year. In any event, once was enough!
          Here today reading about parkinson’s and other devestating diseases, I have to agree with Rachel that in going forward the thing to do is stay informed and be the best example we can be.

    1. They probably don’t know. The majority of their continuing education is paid for by Big Pharma. WHy would Big Pharma care about that?
      John S

    2. Hi Susan, the relationship between uric acid levels and various diseases that affect the cardiovascular system is not at all weak. According to this paper https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3177556/ it has been known since the late 19th century. There has however been some controversy in the literature about the significance of high blood uric acid in cardiovascular disease. It’s felt that these controversies probably exist because of the difficulties in the assessment of the role of uric acid levels independently from other traditional risk factors and the different methodologies used in the epidemiological studies.
      As for why doctors don’t mention it as a matter of course, it probably depends on the doctor. For instance, as a Functional Medicine practitioner who focuses heavily on prevention, in my practice I check it routinely as part of a cardiovascular work-up. Conventional docs on the other hand who focus more on disease management than prevention would be less likely to routinely check it unless they had a patient who presented with something that has a well known direct causal relationship like gout. One other thing I’d like to mention is that insurance companies often won’t pay for labs without a proper “indication” meaning a person needs to have a diagnosis in order to substantiate a lab. When we order lab tests, those orders must be accompanied by diagnosis codes that substantiate the labs being ordered. If the insurance company doesn’t feel it’s warranted they won’t pay and then the doc has a patient who receives a bill from the lab and is unhappy so it’s often easier for the doc to “play it safe” and just order the routine things they know will be paid for. it’s a sad system but unfortunately that’s “disease care”… I mean, healthcare in this country.

    1. M. D.:
      The only dairy product I consume is 1 tsp of ghee a day, which is the only thing that keeps me from having to deal with dry eyes, so i’m interested in your question. Please read under the possible mechanisms in the following article;
      https://www.dairynutrition.ca/index.php/scientific-evidence/roles-on-certain-health-conditions/milk-products-and-gout
      Ghee is all lipids and based on the information given they don’t seem to have anything to do with the effect of dairy on serum uric acid levels. But this site promotes dairy products, so without reading the papers, we shouldn’t come to conclusions.

      1. 10 cherries a day will fix your gout by reducing uric acid.

        http://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet-cherries/

        Drinking 4 cups of milk per day will reduce your chance of gout. So cherry reduces uric acid more than milk.

        https://goutandyou.com/how-dairy-products-like-milk-cheese-and-yogurt-can-help-with-your-gout/

        Your 1 tsp of ghee per day is negligible.

        By the way, it is observed that people with Parkinson disease have low uric acid but having low uric acid does not necessarily cause PD, nor raising it will necessarily cure PD.

  4. Many (most?) metabolic activities in the body fall into the “Goldilocks” category of those with a sweet spot (range actually) above which and below which are unhealthful [body temperature, respiration, blood pressure, blood pH, many minerals (iron), many vitamins (A), dietary protein, calories and on and on]. Happily, a well designed vegan diet often is helpful in keeping the body in the healthy range. I hope there is a follow-up to this video that describes the food and food group strategies that help keep uric acid levels in the healthy range, and vegetarian dietary patterns that push the body out of the healthy uric acid range.

  5. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate when it is sciences and when it is the anti meat anti dairy stance from the good doctor.

    First of all, pesticides are everywhere, in plant foods and animal foods. If you eat GMO plant foods and don’t wash them thoroughly then you will eat a load of pesticides.

    Secondly, about the uric acid, I look at all the research articles and they said that low uric acid is associated with Parkinson’s disease. Nowhere does it say about dairy products. So a lot of people have low uric acid for a number of reasons. For instance eating cherry will lower your uric acid too. Should we stop eating cherry because of this? Does Dr Greger talk about not eating cherry to avoid Parkinson’s?

    At the Parkinson’s web site, they talk about taking inosine supplement to raise the uric acid level which can be low in some people due to a number of reasons (not because of milk or cherry, LOL).

    http://www.parkinson.org/find-help/blogs/whats-hot/january-2014

      1. There must be more people with Parkinson in the U.S. due to more consumption of cherry.

        http://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/fruits/cherries/

        United States sweet cherry production in 2014 totaled 363,850 tons valued at 767 million. Washington led the nation in sweet cherry production, with 237,000 tons, followed by Oregon (57,900 tons) and California (29,200 tons) (NASS, 2015).

        United States tart cherry production in 2014 totaled 300.9 million pounds valued at more than $106 million. The primary tart cherry producing state was Michigan having 203 million pounds of production, followed by Utah (51 million pounds) and Washington (24.3 million pounds) (NASS, 2015).

        The United States is the second-largest producer of cherries in the world. Turkey is the leading cherry producer (FAOSTAT, 2013).

  6. So, how does one measure your uric acid level? Is it with a blood test, or are there other ways?

    Once you know, which fruit and vegetables are best for lowering and/or increasing uric acid levels? Thanks a lot for this always awesome resource. <3

    1. In order to reduce the chance of gout, you have to drink 4 cups of milk per day.

      But you can reduce your chance of gout by eating just one cup of cherry per day.

      So cherry can reduce your uric acid more than milk. Is cherry now the bad food to avoid according to Dr Greger?

      This video is just a tool for Dr Greger to bash meat and dairy consumption. I agree that people should minimize meat and dairy consumption from an ethical point of view but we need to separate sciences and nutrition from ethics, or otherwise we don’t know where is the truth.

      Sure I will save an animal any minute but I will also save a fellow human being first.

      By the way, it is observed that people with Parkinson has low uric acid but low uric acid is not necessarily the cause of Parkinson. If it is so simple then we already have a cure for Parkinson.

      Taking inosine supplement will raise your uric acid level.

      1. “Sure I will save an animal any minute but I will also save a fellow human being first.”

        Except that animals are not over reproducing and trashing the earth? Humans are NOT something to brag about….

        Of course saying this probably makes me a psychopath…as defined by “groupie” psychologists?

        Humans have a way of defining “reality” to their own advantage.

      2. Your apparent obsession with dissing Dr G at every opportunity is hard to understand Your habit of stating your beliefs as absolute facts is even more unfortunate. Consequently, your post is somewhat misleading (as usual, eh?)

        My understanding from the literature is that drinking 4 cups of any old milk won’t help. Apparently, it is only low fat dairy consumption that is associated with lower levels of uric acid. As also are drinking 6+ cups of coffee per day and high vitamin C consumption
        “Recent studies have provided information on dietary risk factors for gout: higher intakes of red meat, fructose and beer are independently associated with increased risk, whereas higher intakes of coffee, low-fat dairy products and vitamin C are associated with lower risk.”
        https://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/suppl_2/ii2.full.pdf+html

        Simply noting that inosine supplements raise uric acid levels should also be qualified
        ” Inosine is available commercially as a dietary supplement, but patients should act with caution. Inosine has not been proven as a therapy for Parkinson’s, and, in the absence of medical supervision, it can cause serious side effects such as gout, kidney stones and possibly high blood pressure. It is critical to discuss any medications or natural supplements with your physician before taking them.”
        https://www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/news-detail.php?inosine-trial-secures-phase-iii-funding-to-study-effect-on-slowing-parkinson

  7. This is a fascinating report by Dr Greger, and
    (as usual) beautifully presented. But it also troubles me a little. For the
    uncommitted or partially-committed to accept the underlying proposition that
    plant-based diets entirely substitute for animal-based diets, we need research
    presented objectively, not selectively. Otherwise, we have to interpret all
    information as having a bias.

    Cows convert plants into a quite magical and
    concentrated food substance. I am of the firm belief that full-cream milk from
    grass-fed cows is the ideal food for children and young adults – especially
    given the dietary choices they have today. The argument for milk consumption is
    less certain in older adults. Its ironical that milk consumption is declining in
    developed nations, but dramatically increasing in countries such as China. They
    regard milk as a highly-valued nutritional supplement which will address the
    physical ravages of centuries of undernourishment. Seems to me the increasing
    rejection of milk consumption in developed nations is probably well-meaning, but
    nonetheless a rather grand indulgence. This is especially so given the typical
    western diet has so many other components which should eliminated before even
    considering milk. I also believe plant-based milks (some of which I consume) are
    nutritionally-speaking, very poor substitutes for cows milk.

    Elevated levels of uric acid cause gout,
    hypertension, kidney and cardiovascular disease. These are associated with
    obesity, low physical activity, low folate (vitamin B9), excessive niacin levels
    (vitamin B3), low fibre diets and the consumption of meat, fish and shellfish.
    Milk consumption can decrease elevated uric acid levels to desirable levels
    (5-7 mgs/dl). This appears to be a strong positive, not a negative for dairy.
    Those with uric acid levels well below 7 mgs/dl could choose to reduce milk
    consumption. However, they could also moderate their vegetarian diet – a common
    cause of low uric acid levels. In other words, vegetarian diets can reduce uric
    levels below optimum, and thereby increase the risk of neurodegenerative
    diseases, This rather crucial point appears to be absent from the current
    report.

    1. I haven’t drunk a drop of milk in 45 years. No cheese or yogurt in 20. No osteopenia, no osteoporosis, no gout . . . or any disease for that matter. Sixty-three years old, no blood work out of normal parameters, BMI 21, no medications, No reason to go to the doctor.
      Uric acid level – 6. WFPB diet.

      Dr. Benjamin Spock – known throughout his career as “America’s Pediatrician” – recommends a WFPB diet and specifically recommends no cows milk for children or adults. You can read it for yourself in his last published book.

      Just simply am not going to sweat not drinking cow fluids. Human mother’s milk is for humans, whales mothers milk is for whales, elephant mother’s milk is for elephants. They are all different concentrations of proteins, fats, and carbs specific to each species. Human mother’s milk is about 1-3% protein. Rat’s mother’s milk is approx 40% protein. Cows mothers milk is approx 12% protein. Milks are species specific and there is a reason in Nature for that.

      1. Guest, your post is wonderful, and I too have experienced nothing but good from eliminating dairy products from my diet. Just to let you know though, this Pete Granger is a Dairy Industry Consultant ie a one-post-wonder advertising dairy products. yucķkkkk!
        All the best to you

    2. The idea that human beings need to suckle from another species is ludicrous to me. Even Dr Spock is said to have supported the idea of a vegan diet for children. The health hazards associated with dairy products are numerous. I invite you to explore this website to see the evidence for yourself.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/milk/

      1. Susan. I am an ag science graduate. I was a marketing consultant to the dairy industry for two years in the late 1970’s – probably before you were born? I have had nothing to do with the dairy industry (or agricultural industries) since – other than (in my retirement) living next door to a dairy farm in rural Australia. I understand and well appreciate the ethical issues in relation to animal farming – and (being actively involved in animal welfare) have considerable sympathy for that point of view. That said, out of pure curiosity I have studied the scientific evidence on milk-nutrition for the past 10 years. I have found the anti-nutritional argument is mostly baseless and at times, infantile. It is predominantly driven by those who believe the solution to all animal welfare problems is to ensure the animals never exist in the first place. I dont subscribe to that kind of weird-logic. I wonder what cows would choose if given the option. To exist – on the condition of supplying their surplus milk to humans, or not exist at all? It is somewhat like asking humans if they would choose to exist (or not) if the principle pre-condition was the need to be employed to sustain oneself. I expect the majority would choose to exist for that finite period of time we have on this earth. Granted, there are also some who probably should restrict their consumption of milk. For example, men my age (over 70) because of a possible link to prostate cancer. Dr Greger has also detailed the link between Parkinson’s Disease and milk, and even more interestingly, the indirect influence on uric acid levels. As I indicated in my previous email (and using Dr Greger’s own data) milk has to be of benefit for those with high uric-acid levels attempting to normalise their levels. Those with low levels of uric acid (which could well be vegetarians) might instead restrict their milk consumption. This is supposed to be an evidence-based website. Inaccurately pigeon-holing me as ‘big-dairy’ is not a relevant, evidence-based scientific argument or response to my previous comments. It is just a distraction.

        As for Dr Benjamin Spock. He was quite a hero in many ways. However, he was also
        fallible, and at times failed to follow the scientific evidence. For example, he recommended parents place children on their abdomens to
        decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This seriously-flawed recommendation
        instead significantly increased this risk, resulting in an estimated 50,000 infant deaths in Europe, Australia, and the US

        1. Pleased to meet you Pete, and I thank you for your detailed response. I apologize if I spoke in error, however I was reading the description on your profile. We will have to agree to disagree on many issues Pete but thats ok. You are not required to agree with anyone, or to hold any particular mindset too post comments on this site.
          I have worked with animals all my life, as a rancher , working with veterinarians, and now living (retired) with family on a farm. There is not much people can tell me about the suffering of animals. Healthwise, I personally have experienced the dramatic improvements afforded by the wfpb lifestyle, and am very grateful to Dr Greger for making this sorely needed information accessible to all. Thanks again

          1. Susan, perhaps we can emphatically agree there is far too much animal cruelty in this world. I spend a lot of spare time fostering animals that have been neglected or abused. It is quite heart-breaking at times. Generally speaking, I feel more connected to animals than humans. I completely respect anyone who chooses to protect animals, and/or not consume animal or animal products on ethical grounds. However, I think the argument is much less definitive on nutritional grounds – particularly when it comes to milk. I understand this is not the view of everyone, and that maybe future generations may have a different view. Taking the emotion out of it. there are dozens of other ‘foods’ I would limit/ban/exclude before selecting milk. Cheers.

            1. Yes Pete, absolutely we agree on the animal cruelty issue, and I thank you for your service on their behalf. On the topic of nutrition I have much to learn , but can say that I chose to eliminate milk products simply in an effort to lower cholesterol levels and ended up experiencing unintended health benefits. (digestion, skin reactivity, cholesterol and blood pressure lowered, gerd eliminated ). Its just my own experience, but Im sure glad I made the decision to try it. thanks again

  8. Hmmm…. On the Peoples Pharmacy website I’ve been hearing about how topical creams with UREA can diminish the look (and existence?) of superficial veins, i.e., spider veins. I have some of these veins, and so I found a topical cream with 40% urea and started using it on my legs. Too soon to know if it’ll help the veins, but otherwise I love it! Fabulous exfoliant, and leaves the legs very soft and smooth! However, I wonder if there’s a connection between UREA and URIC ACID, and if whether should have done some homework before starting to use this topical. BTW, I have no health concerns and strictly follow a “Dr. Greger” diet.

    1. The two compounds are unrelated, other than urea was discovered in urine in 1727, while uric acid was discovered in bladder stones in 1776. Urea, incidentally, is famous in science, as prior to its accidental laboratory synthesis in 1828, it was widely held that organic substances could only be formed under the influence of a “vital force” in living organisms.

    1. HI Pam
      Sorry for the delayed response, we have a very long list of questions (that increase everyday!) The moderators try to get through as many as possible—I’m going back to the older ones on our list.

      Thanks for your question. First of all, after consulting with your physician, I would recommend trying dietary changes. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘dairy sensitivities,’ but no human needs dairy and it can often be an aggravating factor for many gastrointestinal issues. So cutting it out may improve your symptoms dramatically. You don’t need the calcium or the protein from dairy because you can get it from other food sources. All plant foods have calcium and dairy.

      Often a whole food plant-based diet can dramatically improve IBS. Sometimes there may need to be a healing phase where you cut out certain foods, but then you may be able to handle foods that you could not before. I recommend watching the new film called Eating You Alive (available on http://www.diginextfilms.com) and also Dr. Greger has done a series of posts on Irritable Bowel Syndrome here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/irritable-bowel-syndrome/

      Hope that helps!
      – nutrition professor and volunteer moderator, ‪ Martica Heaner, PhD‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  9. Tried to find a more appropriate place to ask this question, but didn’t. This video by fellow plant based nutritionist Pam Popper, called into serious question the credibility and use of the scientific research by Dr. G on a particular video he did awhile ago. She doesn’t name him specifically, but those who know Greger’s material can tell it is him. Please respond. Thank you.
    https://youtu.be/IcTj6I6DWLk

    1. How do we know she is talking about Dr. Greger? Because Dr. Geger has said eat bacon bits if it will make you eat greens. I must be missing a link she gave or something?

      1. Hiya – The implication in her introduction is that she is referencing this site. She doesn’t mention Dr. G and makes the point that that isn’t the issue anyway. The issue is to keep us all clean about facts and representing the science in an ethically clear manner.

        1. Hi Rachel
          I have no question that Dr. Geger does just that. Maybe what has happened is that those that are new to the site think he is stating something didfferent in his message. I may be wrong so correct me if I am but we don’t have any research suggesting that a 0% animal protein is best. Dr. Ornish’s research I believe had the subjects eating yogurt. I think the message if you listen to all the videos is that animal and fish and dairy comes with so much baggage best to not eat it. Or at least that is how I have interpreted the entire message since the onset of this site.

          1. Yes, WFPBrunner, I don’t disagree with you. I think its a relatively minor issue.
            But I think I did hear her caution “us” (meaning WFPB eaters in total) that – my words now – being perfectionists and rigid about being WFPB can shoot us in the foot a bit. And that we should take care to be accurate about the information we use and share.
            I can say that I have, upon occasion, looked at the research that Dr.G quoted to find some spoken words to be not exactly accurately reflective of what was in the research, in my opinion. I think Dr. P was making that point too – to be accurate. And I think its always a good reminder to be as accurate as possible. But overall I think the mission here is on track.

            Ornish, also, allows egg whites (which I found when I recently went to his site). He also sets up his program on a sliding scale of animal-foods-in-the-diet so as to help you move along as you can accommodate change.
            I agree with your interpretation – the whole of the animal foods together and as a basis for a diet is too much for our systems and its easier to just stay away from it, in total.
            But overall, this is the best site around for good science relative to these issues in an easy to access manner. This site is also on my Christmas list this year :-)
            Have a great day!

            1. There is also something about the tone of her video. She seems almost mad. As though she does it right and everyone else does it wrong.

      2. Like I said, she doesn’t mention names, but when you listen intently to every Greger video made, one can recognize his material. Her video is the first serious critique of Greger’s (my favorite health professional) research integrity and I encourage a moderator or Dr. G himself to please respond to the specific issues related to the scientific papers Popper references. Thank you.

          1. The paper comes from the work cited section on Dr. G’s video. I (or you) can find the specific video. I’ll be able to find that when I get to a computer. Thanks for your willingness to help sort this out. I have explicit trust in Dr. G and his research team and I want to be able to maintain that.

            1. Ms Popper didnt supply a link to the studies for her audience to check themselves ? She says in the video “you can go to the library and check the references ..
              To me, this speaks volumes.
              Thats what I love about NF…. sources are provided.

    2. Thank you for posting this video. Dr. Popper makes many excellent points and I have to agree with her “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” point of view. If you follow Dr. McDougall long enough you will see that he, in fact, agrees with Dr. Popper that eating a little bit of animal food “here and there” probably won’t harm one’s health. His reason, earlier on, for his all-or-nothing approach is because he has the type of personality – as many of us do – that won’t allow him to “eat just one”. Like an alcoholic, its easier to just eliminate the item from his life than try to accommodate a little bit. But McDougall makes clear that this is his personality and perspective about his situation. McDougall advises against nuts as well because if he has them around he will eat the whole package. So he makes the point that if your personality is that you can’t have Oreo cookies in the house because you eat the whole package, then leave them out. Dr. Fuhrman also states in his books that if someone wanted to have some animal food in their diet, a few ounces a couple times per week would not be harmful.
      If you think about it, . . this makes intuitive sense. If the body can actually reverse heart disease and clear out the arterial system if one eliminates animal products and fats, the body, then, also has the ability to “deal with” a small amount of “offending products”. Even Dr. Campbell’s research showed that 5% casein diet did not cause liver cancer in his research where more than that amount did. That tells us that there is a small level at which the body can tolerate this product. Although Campbells conclusions were to eliminate it.
      I chose a very strict WFPB diet for health reasons. I chose to be excellent at the diet for the first 3 years – my promise to myself. But after that, if there happens to be a situation where a small amount of animal food gets into my diet I don’t worry about it in terms of my health – because I know that my body can take care of it. I do, now, however, choose to stay away from animal products because of the ghastly way in which they are treated.
      Thank you, Joseph, for this post and discussion.

        1. JosephOlstad – not my intention to be flip, but did you have a specific question to ask about Pam’s video? Also, has anyone identified the specific video to which she refers?

    3. If Dr Popper (I can’t find where she got her PhD) had a problem with Dr Greger then she should have contacted him directly. In her public video she cowardly does not specify who she is criticizing, what specific video she has problems with, and what specific research paper she is referring to. One of Dr Greger’s videos matches her description and one of the papers he cites in that video also matches her description. So I am going to assume I know what she is referring to.

      The video I think she refers to is:
      Plant-Based Diets & Diabetes
      Volume 22 January 12th 2015
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-and-diabetes/

      The paper I think she refers to is:
      S Tonstad, K Stewart, K Oda, M Batech, R P Herring, G E Fraser. Vegetarian diets and incidence of diabetes in the Adventist Health Study-2. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Apr;23(4):292-9.
      You can go to “Sources Cited” under the video, follow the link to the article, and download the full article for free.

      Here are two of my reactions to Dr Popper’s video:

      1. Dr Popper doesn’t accurately report the study that she discusses. The researchers (Tonstad, et al) selected subjects “across the U.S. and Canada who were free of diabetes”. Two years later they were evaluated for “the development of diabetes”. At that time 0.54% of vegans and 2.12% of non-vegetarians developed diabetes. Now Pam Popper may think that 2.12% of a diabetes-free group developing diabetes within two years is insignificant, but I don’t. Further, that is a 4-fold difference between groups.

      2. Dr Popper doesn’t present Dr Greger’s commentary accurately. From the transcripts of Dr Greger’s video:

      “Fast forward 50 years to the Adventist-2 study, looking at 89,000 people and we see a stepwise drop in the rates of diabetes as one eats more and more plant-based, down to a 78% lower prevalence among those eating strictly plant-based. Protection building incrementally as one moved from eating meat, to eating less meat, to just fish, to no meat, and then to no eggs and dairy either.

      We see the same thing with another leading killer, high blood pressure. The greater the proportion of plant foods, the lower the rates of hypertension. The same with excess body fat. The only dietary group not on average overweight were those eating diets composed exclusively of plant foods, but again this same incremental drop with fewer and fewer animal products. This suggests that it’s not black and white, not all or nothing; any steps one can make towards eating healthier may accrue significant benefits.”

      Does that sound like Dr Greger is saying, “Go vegan or die!”?? I think not.

      Dr Greger has said on numerous occasions that the more whole plant you eat the better. He has said that about flexitarians and even Paleo dieters. On occasion he has said that moderation kills, but that is when he talks about eating for treatment of a disease that has substantially progressed: diabetes, heart disease, hypertension. Perhaps he needs to make that more clear, but these two positions are not in opposition.

      1. Very well said Gatherer, and I agree that Dr Greger has always maintained that the more plants the better, and has represented studies accurately. I was also checking out the okinawan study where Dr Greger details the 4% animal foods in the diet clearly. When II went to your link for the Plant Based Diet , I remembered that video for the study with tne buddhist monks. This is the link from the sources listed. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0088547
        In the text of the video, Dr Greger asks the question ” is a vegan diet better than one containing 3% animal products. The study with the buddhists attempts to answer that question. Forgive me, I am on a tablet and cannot do justice to a proper conversation, but leave you with the link to explore. I think pam popper may have been referencing the buddhist study (and people are ticked that 3% makes a difference.)
        Anyway, thanks for your time and your patience

        1. I don’t know why folks who comment on Dr Popper’s site would be angry that Dr Greger briefly discussed a paper comparing two groups of Buddhist monks eating healthy diets. It isn’t Dr Greger’s fault that the results show the vegetarian diet was slightly better for avoiding diabetes than the mostly vegetarian diet than included a small amount of animal protein & fat. Perhaps angry readers should be more like the Buddhists who avoid negative emotions.

          But I don’t think that was the paper Dr Popper had a problem with. In her video, she specifically mentions the paper I provided in my comment above. One knows that from her “78% lower risk of diabetes” statement (1 for omnivores vs 0.22 for vegans).

          In her video at about 6 min in Dr Popper states, “He then goes on to misled by claiming that one study showed that people who eat no animal foods at all have a 78% lower risk of diabetes than those who even include a little bit of it in their diet.”

          No, that is a bold-faced lie. The 78% lower rate of the development of diabetes over the two year observation period was for non-vegetarians (omnivores) vs vegans, not for “those who even include a little bit of it in their diet”. For example, if one were to compare the lactoovo-vegetarians with vegans in this study, then vegans developed diabetes at a 43% lower rate, not a 78% lower risk.

          By the way, for the group studied the 2.12% who develop diabetes in two years on an omnivore diet would be 10.6% in 10 years if linearity held. That compares to 2.7% of the vegans over 10 years. I don’t consider that a minor difference on a population basis.

          Of course, since Dr Popper never mentioned names in her video she can claim that she wasn’t talking about Dr Greger. :-)

          1. I was wondering which of the 5 groups the 78% comparisons were coming from. Did you figure that out from reading the study itself or from just freezing the video frames. Anyways, thank you for helping us laymen understand these things. This is looking worse and worse for Dr. P.

          2. Thanks so much Gatherer, I always enjoy reading your comments and I never fail to learn something. Yes of course you are right, I missed the 78% clue.. and I agree that she could have chosen a much better path than not naming the source, and not providing links to the studies for her own audience.

            To me, the results are definitly significant.. the 43% lower rate for vegans vs lacto ovo vegetarians substantial. I need only see how that translated in my own experience to recognize its importance.

            And re the hostilities.. sometimes I see it on this forum when a video about paleo or about diabetes is shown.. seems that people can go crazy defending their animal products, or chosen fat sources etc.! Its funny, I remembered that study probably because I have been listening to buddhist talks all year, LOL and was keen on learning how they ‘fared’ in that setting in asia.

            Thanks again Gatherer

          3. Gatherer, It would be wonderful if you were to share your analysis and Dr. Popper’s error in calculation with her and request that she edit her video for accuracy. Have you considered doing so?

            1. At the beginning of the study no subjects in any of the groups had diabetes. The non-vegetarian group had 17,695 subjects. After two years on the non-vegetarian diet the incidence of diabetes was 2.12%. That is 375 people out of the 17,695 developed diabetes.
              17,695 x 0.0212 = 375.

              The vegan group was smaller in size. But if there had been 17,695 vegans then you would expect 95 of that group to develop diabetes after two years on their vegan diet.

      2. Thanks for digging and finding the exact video. I’ve been reviewing both videos since you found the original. She says,”The author of the article/video [Dr. G.] has done what we all complain that the drug companies do, reporting data in relative terms in order to exaggerate the benefits instead of absolute terms…” So I’m assuming that she is criticizing Dr. G’s use of the 78% relative term rather than the 1.58% absolute difference between vegen and non-vegetarians concerning diabetes. Her conclusion and second critique was “in attempting to make the case for giving up all animal foods (I’m now paraphrasing) the author [Dr. G]cites the first study which shows little difference between vegans and vegetarians and then cites the second study on Buddist vegetarians vs Buddist nonvegetarians who were not vegans at all because both grougs were consuming equal amounts of dairy.” She says she can’t believe the Buddhist study was even included in the discussion. We assume she is amazed because she feels it is misleading as well.

        After watching the videos and carefully reading the transcripts (and Gatherers helpful comments) I think that Dr. Popper unecessarily impugned the motives of this website and its author. I appreciated her clarification on relative and absolute risk, but she could have stated it just like that…a clarification for those who couldn’t tell the difference seeing the stats on the page. Her second critique is odd, as if Dr. G was trying to hide the fact that the Buddhists from both groups ate dairy. His last statement on the video was, “They wanted to break it up into vegan versus ovo-lacto like in the Adventist-2 study, but there were no cases at all of diabetes found within the vegan group.” No hiding there. So in closing, thank you nutritionfacts community (especially Gatherer who found the video in question) for helping me see through what I now consider an unfounded critique.

        1. Her comparison to what the drug companies do is disingenuous. In the case of understanding this paper, the relative values are better than the absolute values and easier to explain in a short video to an audience of laymen.

          The relatively low rates (or low relative rates for that matter) of getting diabetes over a two year period in a non-diabetic population are not the final picture. Two years is a good duration for this type of study, but is not the end of the risk period. More importantly, what is the risk of developing diabetes over your lifetime (or at least during the first 65 years of life) if you eat a crappy diet? The absolute risk has the most meaning if it is measured over your lifespan.

    4. The beginning of her talk suggests that she actively seeks controversy. It is probably a very good way of attracting new viewers to her videos and new visitors to her website. I think if you actually look at what Dr G said, there does not appear to be any real substance to her criticisms.

      Gatherer made an interesting observation when s/he wrote about not being able to find where Popper got her PhD. She does seem very coy about it. All I could find was this statement
      “I pursued alternative nutrition training and earned a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in nutrition from a school not approved by the ADA.”
      http://wellnesssimplified.com/id24.htm
      which leaves open the possibility that she is just another health guru with diploma mill credentials or at least qualifications from an institution of somewhat dubious credibility. She is enormously popular though, or so I understand.

        1. To be honest, I’ve never looked at any of her stuff before. However, yes, a quick Google suggests that she is anti-vaccination in general although she suggests it may be useful in certain very specific circumstances.

    5. Regardless if her intention, I think that this vegan lady is very brave for speaking up. Veganism is not for everybody at all ages or circumstances (such as during pregnancy) and you have to do it right or otherwise veganism is even more harmful than meat eating. On the other hand, not all meat eating is harmful and it can be very healthy if you do it right. It’s unfair to compare someone eating a SAD diet with someone eating the Daily 12 plant foods diet.

      Anyway, I feel that it is is so cruel to force down the throat of everyone to eat a strict plant foods diet when that person is feeling very sick eating what the vegan crowd has lectured. You have to have some flexibility and some compassion not only for animals but also for your fellow human being and this lady has bravely spoken up.

      1. As usual, here you are expressing your personal beliefs and biases as facts.
        “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864

          1. broccoli: You continually present links which do nothing to back up your claims. This is an other example. Now you give us an example of a couple who feeds their children an inappropriate diet, which just happens to be vegan. This example of child abuse is in no way a case against vegan diets for children. It would be like saying that meat diets are bad for children because some family of meat eaters had malnourished children. You see malnourished children everywhere with all categories of diets.

            Your case report tells us nothing about the healthfulness of vegan diets for children or even those children. Note the ending of the conclusion from your link:
            “The raw foods vegan diet and possibly inherited small stature from the father’s side account for their relatively low heights and weights. Catch-up growth will probably occur on the standard American diet but would have also been expected if they had remained on a vegan diet.”

            To highlight the key point:
            “Catch-up growth … would have also been expected if they had remained on a vegan diet.”

            I personally know plenty of children, vegan since being weaned, and who are thriving. They are smart and healthy. Some are still young and others are in their teens. All thriving.

            Tom Goff’s quote is from a panel of nutrition experts and is actually relevant for the point at hand: appropriately planned vegan diets are healthful at all stages of the human life cycle. In addition, such diets may provide health benefits…

            ———————–

            About your posting in general: We encourage people to post links to back up what they are saying. And it’s perfectly valid to post links to studies with conclusions which are in disagreement with the conclusions of this site. However, time and again, your links are proving to be irrelevant. You are wasting our time. Please be more considerate with your posting.

          2. You really must scour the crackpot websites to unearth rare cases like this, along with the false claims that are your usual fare . Which one was it this time? The Natural Hygience Society?

            This case you quote of course proves nothing about “vegan” diets – did you even read it? If you did, did you notice the statement “. The thymus gland was absent and parathyroid glands were not located. The lungs were “congested.” DiGeorge anomaly cannot be ruled out from these findings.” How does this show that the diet was a problem?

            Funny how the people who dredge these things up and torture the reports to try to make them seem an indictment of vegetarian diets, never mention the many more cases of kids killed or harmed by omnivorous diets eg
            http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930122&slug=1681248

            Or what about the millions of kids made obese by eating omnivorous diets? In the US
            “The prevalence of obesity has remained fairly stable at about 17% and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents.”
            http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html

            I very much doubt whether any of those 12.7 million young people was eating a WFPB or totally vegetarian diet . You sure don’t want to get into the issue of the health effects on young people of eating meat and dairy do you?

          3. Talking about many millions of people and avoidable deaths, don’t you think it is time that you started advising people to eat more whole grains, fruit and vegetables – not less – and stop eating red meat? That would actually be evidence-based advice and constructive – unlike your posts to date

            “Poor diet contributes to 21 per cent of global deaths, a study found. Researchers said the deaths can be attributed to diets high in red meat and sugary drinks, and lacking in fruit, vegetables and wholegrains”
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3230568/Poor-diet-biggest-cause-early-death-world-red-meat-sugary-drinks-responsible-one-five-deaths.html

    1. Yoghurt consumption increases plasma antioxidant levels, yes, but so do lots of other things including beer. So, I would say that this is not a sufficient reason for consuming yoghurt (or beer).
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10715591

      Low fat yoghurt though may reduce uric acid. But then so might coffee and vitamin C.
      https://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/suppl_2/ii2.full.pdf+html

      Probiotics are good although you can also obtain them from eg supplements. Prebiotics though may be a better choice than probiotics alyhough there is no definitive research on this point yet.
      https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/prebiotic-effects-metabolic-and-health-benefits/F644C98393E2B3EB64A562854115D368

      For more information, you might want to type “prebiotic” and “probiotic” in the search box at the top of the page.

      My view therefore is that it is not necessary to consume low fat yoghurt since the same benefits can be achieved by other means. However, this is a personal choice but you do need to consider other aspects of dairy consumption when making this choice.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=dairy&fwp_content_type=video

      1. Tom,
        Could you enlighten us on yogurt’s effects on IFG-1 and insulin? Could you compare Greek yogurt to regular yogurt, especially in terms of its signaling proteins?

        I, too, opt for pre-biotic plant foods instead of dairy and have put together a list, with sources of info referenced, here. https://eatandbeatcancer.com/2014/04/05/anti-cancer-foods-serve-up-some-fermentable-fiber/ If anyone has new sources to add to the list, please let me know. Ultimately, all polyphenol-rich foods may turn out to be pre-biotic. Do you agree with that?

        1. HI Harriet

          I am no expert here but yoghurt like other dairy foods is generally thought to increase IGF1 levels By how much, though, would probably depend on a host of factors, including storage, processing and the protein content of the product concerned. Essentially, there appear to be two main factors – the IGF1 content of yoghurt and the role yoghurt plays in stimulating the body’s own production of IGF1.
          http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/02/14/animal-protein-and-igf-1/
          http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(06)72104-X/abstract
          http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/11/9/852

          However, the issue is complicated by the fact that yoghurt may contain offsetting factors such as probiotics. Also, the “compared to what” matter is important. If yoghurt is eaten in place of eg cheese,steak or burgers it may reduce IGF1. The industry is quite keen on studies comparing eg yoghurt and dairy consumption to red meat consumption for example. Such considerations may explain findings like these
          https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/yogurt-may-reduce-type-2-diabetes-risk/
          http://www.yogurtinnutrition.com/impact-of-yogurt-consumption-on-insulin-sensitivity/

          Further, some studies appear to show that low fat dairy is protective compared to full fat dairy when it comes to insulin resistance and T2D. This is surprising because low fat dairy would be relatively higher in (animal) protein which would be expected to drive up IGF1. It may of course simply reflect the fact that people who choose to eat low fat are more health conscious and make healthier choices overall. In fact, yoghurt consumers in general tend to make healthier diet choices anyway
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15883237
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3606818/

          Greek yoghurt is high in protein and its popularity is presumably part of the high protein craze. However, I can’t say that I have researched it. The fact that both (animal) protein and dairy appear to be related to higher IGF1 levels, and vegetables to lower levels, suggest to me that given the choice it’s probably wiser to opt for vegetables rather than yogurt.

          I don’t think that any of this helps you but thanks for asking an interesting question.

          As for your last question, my answer is quite possibly/probably but we don’t know enough to be certain.
          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286313000946

  10. Good afternoon. Thank you so much for your work, yuu have improved my life in a lot of aspects.
    I have a question that has nothing to do witht his video if someone could answer me.
    My mom is 60 and she is losing bone desnsity, i already saw the videos in the calcium supplements but i didnt find an answer on how a pos-menopause woman can avoid the bone desity losses.
    Thank you again to all the people involved in this project.

    1. Ricardo Reis: I’ll add my 2 cents to what WFPBRunner wisely said.
      .
      Fixing bone problems is a combination of the right diet (eating foods which support bone health and abstaining from foods which hurt bones) and doing the right kind of exercise. WFPBRunner gave some nice specific ideas. I also recommend reading the book “Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis–Without Dairy Foods, Calcium, Estrogen, or Drugs” https://www.amazon.com/Building-Bone-Vitality-Revolutionary-Osteoporosis-Without/dp/0071600191/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1479659935&sr=8-1&keywords=bone+vitality The book not only explains some great information about diet, but also includes some recipes and has a chapter on exercise.

    2. Hi Ricardo, Animal proteins, through affecting the acid-base balance in our bodies, cause calcium to be taken from the bones, n order to balance this. This calcium later gets lost in our urine. So meat and dairy eaters lose more calcium form their bones on an ongoing basis. There has been research showing, by the way, the countries where milk consumption is high, have the most osteoporosis.
      It is also important to make sure that vitamin D levels are healthy, and ‘weight bearing activity’ is also important. As well as not smoking.

    1. You keep stating your opinions as facts when they aren’t . Nobody really knows what causes PD
      “It’s not known why the loss of nerve cells associated with Parkinson’s disease occurs, although research is ongoing to identify potential causes.
      Currently, it’s believed a combination of genetic changes and environmental factors may be responsible for the condition.”
      http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Parkinsons-disease/Pages/Causes.aspx

      In fact, several large studies have found an association between dairy consumption and PD. The association may well not be causal and perhaps dairy is not a risk factor – nobody knows for sure – but there the association is all the same eg
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2232901/

      1. I am only stating the FACT that the lowering of uric acid by milk and cherry is not responsible for Parkinson’s disease which is the subject of this video. I said nothing about other possible causes of PD. Nobody knows yet the cause of PD, including me and you and all the scientists. It is thought a long time ago (2007 – your reference) that dairy consumption may be associated with PD. The latest researches of today points to the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA, DPA) to prevent PD. DPA is only found in fish by the way, not plants.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404917/

        http://www.xtend-life.com/information/ingredients/dpa

        1. You did not say that. You wrote “Consuming dairy products does not cause Parkinson’s disease”

          The justification that you gave for stating this was because it lowers uric acid production. However since there is more to dairy than just its effect on uric acid production, and nobody knows what causes PD, that argument is clearly not convincing. Especially when a number of studies have found an association between dairy consumption and PD.

          I also doubt your claim that DPA is only found in fish. My understanding is that n-3 DPA can also be found in micro algae (and seal oil and red meat). As for the n-6 isomer of DPA, I also doubt that this is exclusive to fish. Do you have any evidence for your claims?

          1. Tom, why did you quote only parts of my sentence? I said:

            Consuming dairy products does not cause Parkinson’s disease >>> because it lowers uric acid. And so is eating cherry. <<<<

  11. My father suffered from both Parkinson’s and heart disease and he loved dairy foods. So perhaps that was his link for both diseases plus his adherence to SAD. However, I’ve always wondered about another possible cause for the Parkinson’s but I have never seen anyone talk about this. Could his body have absorbed toxins emanating from the hair spray my mother used every day. This spray stunk up their bedroom and it was with the spray bottles that were outlawed some time later. I couldn’t stand breathing in that awful spray if I was near my mom when she used it. Has anyone else noted this issue within their family?

  12. Everyone who is currently suffering from Parkinson’s would do well to check out YouTube videos on cannabis for Parkinson’s. For the rest of us, diet and healthy lifestyles is our best prevention. Better to not get sick in the first place and it’s shameful how little Americans know of the link between diet and health. Food is your fuel. Don’t get the cheapest stuff if you want to live. Get the premium (fresh, mostly organic vegetables and fruit.

  13. Hi
    If someone has neurological issues such as: Hand stiffness, difficulty walking. The entire right side is stiff (Only right side). The person is also very weak. They can walk better if someone is holding their hand.
    Any suggestions regarding nutrition or any other suggestions?
    Thank you very much.

  14. If someone has stiffness in the right side of the body, right leg and right hand. The person has difficulty walking and writing. Weakness is also a major issue. They can walk better if someone is holding their hand.
    Any suggestions from a nutrition stand point or any other?

    Your help is greatly appreciates.

  15. Hi there. Great explanations :) I just have short question. My father has just been diagnosed with Parkinsons and I would love to start reading more about it and learn what to do to make the situation better. Could you recommend me any books, documentaries or so? Thanks so much in advance.

  16. Soory as this is not relevant to the video above, however I could not find a relative video. I would like to ask about the nervous system and what foods, minerals etc help support and improve the function of said system.
    many thanks in advance,
    Gem

    1. Hello Gem, you ask a very broad question. Dr. G. has done a number of videos on mental health — you can find these by typing “mental health” into the “Search” bar at the top of the page on this website. The best answer to your question is that you should eat a whole food, plant-based diet, with lots of green veggies, fruit, legumes (beans) and whole grains. The only supplements you need for sure are Vitamin B-12 (about 500 micrograms per day), Vitamin D (2,000 IU per day), and a DHA/EPA supplement made from vegan sources — i.e. from algae.

      Here are a few of Dr. G’s relevant videos about diets which can:
      1) Prevent or treat depression
      2) Improve mood and productivity
      3) Prevent Alzheimer’s

      I hope this helps.

      1. My husband and I on plant based diet already about 5 years. We both have seen some improvements in our health, but couple month ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinsonism and his level of creatinine in blood test is very low. I wonder if it possible to develop Parkinsonism by changing the diet. We dropped all animal, dairy and any oily foods in one day. Could it be causing his condition today. Please advice.

        1. Thank you for your question and sorry to hear about your husband. There is no chance that the diet change led to the development of Parkinson’s. In fact, plant based diets overall reduce the risk of Parkinson’s but as with all diseases diet alone can not prevent all cases of a particular disease. Please view this video from Dr Greger on treating Parkinson’s with diet
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-parkinsons-disease-with-diet/

          The blood creatinine is related to muscle mass. If you don’t have much muscle mass the creatinine will be low. You should not worry about this in itself. Exercise will help to build up muscle bulk.

          Don’t forget that on a plant based diet you must make sure you are getting a regular and reliable source of vitamin B12

  17. How to manage your uric acid?
    I mean – We know that fructose gets it high so we should avoid it
    Milk gets it low so we should avoid it
    Soy milk gets it high so we should avoid it?

    And in the end if we avoid things that shift our uric acid levels can we expect “sweet level” of our uric acid?
    Does our body have some kind of mechanism to sustain ideal lvl of uric acid if we avoid food that manipulates it?

    It bothers me because telling people that we should avoid fructose doesn’t make sense when levels that are too low also give us bad results.
    One might say “So if i eat fructose and drink milk it’s balanced diet”

    Where is the practical advise ? Dr. Greger gave us data in this movie but I’m confused what to think of it.

  18. Dr. Greger, have you done any research on goat’s milk or soft goat cheese? I heard it’s closer to human milk and some people report health benefits from it but I’d like to know if you’ve found any scientific research on this form of dairy. Thanks!

  19. Hi Robert, I’m one of the site moderators. For the most part our bodies do an amazing job at keeping the levels of all our nutrients at the levels we need them and this is called homeostasis. Typically, as long as we eat a balanced and varied diet our body will absorb what it needs via the gut, reabsorb what it already has in break down products that are still needed via the kidneys and excrete what we don’t need. We have stores of vital nutrients in our bones, liver and fat that can manufacture much of what we’re not ingesting each day. Other than the critically ill, our bodies manage all of this pretty well as long as we feed and hydrate ourselves with healthy nutrients. Even for those suffering from any of the maladies mentioned in this video there is no protocol to manage Parkinson’s or MS with specific amounts of dairy or fructose and if one did in a clinical trial it would require serial blood draws to evaluate the changes following ingestion. To me, it seems the take home message is that what you eat has an effect on your health and certain disease processes. If you’ve watched these videos for any length of time you have heard Dr. Greger let us know how dangerous ingesting animals products can be. For some medical conditions having some dairy products now and then may not be that bad.

  20. I am from Nevada, USA.. I started on NewLife Clinic Parkinsons Disease Herbal formula treatment in September 2016, i read alot of positive reviews on their success rate treating Parkinsons disease through their PD Herbal formula and i immediately started on the treatment. Just 11 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements with speech and coordination, my hand tremors seized and the stiffed, rigid muscle had succumbed. I am unbelievably back on my feet again, this is a breakthrough for all Parkinsons sufferers, visit NewLife Herbal Clinic official website ww w. newlifeherbalclinic. com or email info @ newlifeherbalclinic. com.

    Joel Kurtis
    Nevada, USA

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