Peppers & Parkinson’s: The Benefits of Smoking Without the Risks?

Peppers & Parkinson’s: The Benefits of Smoking Without the Risks?
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Might the nicotine content in nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers, protect against Parkinson’s disease?

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Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder striking 1% of our older population and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. We don’t really know what causes it, but we do know that people with a smoking history only appear to have about half the risk. Of course, smoking is hugely damaging to health; any benefit derived from a reduction in risk of Parkinson’s disease is far outweighed by the increased risks of cancer, heart, and lung disease, but this shouldn’t stop us from evaluating tobacco components for possible neuroprotective effects, and nicotine may fit the bill.

If nicotine is the agent responsible for the neuroprotective effects, is there any way to get the benefit without the risks?  Well, where does nicotine come from? The tobacco plant. Any other plants have nicotine? Well, tobacco is a nightshade—that means tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers are all in the same family. And guess what? They all contain nicotine as well.

That’s why you can’t tell if someone’s a smoker just by looking for the presence of nicotine in their toenail clippings, because non-smokers grow out some nicotine into their nails as well. It’s in our daily diet, but how much? The amount we average in our diet is hundreds of times less than we get from a single cigarette; so, though we’ve known for 15 years that there’s nicotine in ketchup, it was dismissed as insignificant. But then, we learned that even just one or two puffs of a cigarette could saturate half of our brain’s nicotine receptors; so, it doesn’t take much. And then, we learned that even just exposure to second-hand smoke may lower the risk of Parkinson’s, and there’s not much nicotine in that. In fact, one would only be exposed to like three micrograms of nicotine working in some smoky restaurant, but that’s on the same order as what one might get eating food at a non-smoking restaurant. So, the contribution of dietary nicotine intake just eating some healthy vegetables may be significant. So, researchers decided to put it to the test.

Looking at nightshade consumption, in general, they maybe found a lower risk compared to other vegetables, but different nightshades have different amounts of nicotine. They found none in eggplant, only a little in potatoes, some in tomatoes, but the most in bell peppers, and so, when that was taken into account, a much stronger picture emerged. They found that more peppers meant more protection, and as we might expect, the effects of eating nicotine-containing foods was mainly evident in nonsmokers, as the nicotine from smoke would presumably blot out any dietary effect.

So, this could explain why protective associations have been found for Parkinson’s and the consumption of tomatoes, potatoes, and a tomato and pepper-rich Mediterranean diet. Might nightshade vegetables also help with treating Parkinson’s? Well, results from trials of nicotine gum and patches have been patchy. So, maybe nicotine only helps prevent it in the first place, or maybe it’s not the nicotine at all, but some other phytochemical in the tobacco and pepper family?

They conclude that their findings will need to be reproduced to help establish cause and effect before considering dietary interventions to prevent Parkinson’s disease, but when the dietary intervention is like eat more yummy, healthy dishes like stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, I don’t see the reason we have to wait.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to InspiredImages via Pixabay.

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder striking 1% of our older population and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. We don’t really know what causes it, but we do know that people with a smoking history only appear to have about half the risk. Of course, smoking is hugely damaging to health; any benefit derived from a reduction in risk of Parkinson’s disease is far outweighed by the increased risks of cancer, heart, and lung disease, but this shouldn’t stop us from evaluating tobacco components for possible neuroprotective effects, and nicotine may fit the bill.

If nicotine is the agent responsible for the neuroprotective effects, is there any way to get the benefit without the risks?  Well, where does nicotine come from? The tobacco plant. Any other plants have nicotine? Well, tobacco is a nightshade—that means tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers are all in the same family. And guess what? They all contain nicotine as well.

That’s why you can’t tell if someone’s a smoker just by looking for the presence of nicotine in their toenail clippings, because non-smokers grow out some nicotine into their nails as well. It’s in our daily diet, but how much? The amount we average in our diet is hundreds of times less than we get from a single cigarette; so, though we’ve known for 15 years that there’s nicotine in ketchup, it was dismissed as insignificant. But then, we learned that even just one or two puffs of a cigarette could saturate half of our brain’s nicotine receptors; so, it doesn’t take much. And then, we learned that even just exposure to second-hand smoke may lower the risk of Parkinson’s, and there’s not much nicotine in that. In fact, one would only be exposed to like three micrograms of nicotine working in some smoky restaurant, but that’s on the same order as what one might get eating food at a non-smoking restaurant. So, the contribution of dietary nicotine intake just eating some healthy vegetables may be significant. So, researchers decided to put it to the test.

Looking at nightshade consumption, in general, they maybe found a lower risk compared to other vegetables, but different nightshades have different amounts of nicotine. They found none in eggplant, only a little in potatoes, some in tomatoes, but the most in bell peppers, and so, when that was taken into account, a much stronger picture emerged. They found that more peppers meant more protection, and as we might expect, the effects of eating nicotine-containing foods was mainly evident in nonsmokers, as the nicotine from smoke would presumably blot out any dietary effect.

So, this could explain why protective associations have been found for Parkinson’s and the consumption of tomatoes, potatoes, and a tomato and pepper-rich Mediterranean diet. Might nightshade vegetables also help with treating Parkinson’s? Well, results from trials of nicotine gum and patches have been patchy. So, maybe nicotine only helps prevent it in the first place, or maybe it’s not the nicotine at all, but some other phytochemical in the tobacco and pepper family?

They conclude that their findings will need to be reproduced to help establish cause and effect before considering dietary interventions to prevent Parkinson’s disease, but when the dietary intervention is like eat more yummy, healthy dishes like stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, I don’t see the reason we have to wait.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to InspiredImages via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

Benefits of smoking? See the tobacco industry gloat in my video Is Something in Tobacco Protective Against Parkinson’s Disease?.

Bell peppers may actually be healthiest raw, as I discuss in Best Cooking Method.

What about tomato products? Choose whole, crushed, or diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, purée, or paste. Why? See Inhibiting Platelet Activation with Tomato Seeds for the answer.

You may be interested in my in-depth video series on the Mediterranean Diet:

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

87 responses to “Peppers & Parkinson’s: The Benefits of Smoking Without the Risks?

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    1. Okay okay… obviously there’s a lot of controversy with solanine bringing many people to not consume ANY nightshades. However, before jumping to conclusions or just promoting unworthy claims, post up some research about Solanine and the actual danger it causes.
      In my experience, the fears of nightshade consumption are often unwarranted and based on mere worries rather than actual published data showing a cause for concern.

      1. Dylan: I can’t eat tomatoes at all but can eat other nightshades in moderation. I think it’s the histamine in tomatoes that’s the culprit, not solanine.

        1. What’s your reaction. If I eat more than a quarter cup of tomato sauce my arms itch for about 8 hours. It’s maddening, as I love tomato sauce and, ironically, it’s protective against UV exposure.

          1. Hmmm…. and I was just looking here: http://www.michiganallergy.com/food_and_histamine.shtml and see that a lot of foods contain histamines in them which may cause a similar reaction to a lot of people. I’m allergic to pollen in the spring and have been wondering if I avoided these histamine-containing foods if that would help me live through the spring without having to resort to over-the-counter medications. This is important to me because last year while suffering, I thought, “Well, this will be the year that I die”–a horrible thought…. (I’m 69 but most of my family is long-lived.)

            1. Both my mom and dad were from large families. Some died very early due to general health issues, but most made it into their 90s on both sides. Regardless of how well I take care of myself and how good my vitals are, I don’t expect to make it much past 70 (60 now). I seem to react to most foods and spices and I have a parathyroid that’s becoming problematic but can’t be treated by the normal operation because they can’t locate it (already had surgery to remove a bad parathyroid that they could find). Still, I do what it seems like you’re trying to do: minimize my problems and enjoy every day. And really, my problems, regardless of longevity, are nothing compared to people who have debilitating conditions and chronic or terminal conditions. Those are the people for whom I feel bad.

              1. I had thyroid cancer in 2001. I am determined to eat better to try to avoid another round of cancer, and yes, I try to live as healthily as possible. I can’t eat at other folks’ homes because my diet is so “weird,” I lift weights, I sleep enough at night, and I walk a couple miles a day.

                1. Sounds like you’re doing it all right. For dinners out, I stick strictly to no added oils or sugars, along with only vegan whole-foods. So I don’t usually get invited to restaurant trips, but when it’s at someone’s home, my friends extend dinner invitations without the dinner. I just bring along a dish for me. At first it bothered some friends, But everyone is used to it now The only time it’s been a bit embarrassing is when another guest at the table asks if they could instead have what I’m having. Awkward.

                2. Johanna, It is great that you are taking control of your health with conscious eating and excercising and good sleep. Being conscious of your eating habits is not being wired is being skillful. We can get a lot of good inspirational ideas from Dr. G.
                  Wish you good health.

              2. Hi, mbglife, I wondered if you have done a food diary to know which food you show reactivity? I noticed in the above posting regarding tomatoes and may be keep a note of how much is your limit of tolerance? Was the tomato based food combined with something else?
                Also how you were feeling? Emotions does play important role in Psychlogy of food . By having the thought of negative feeling before consumption of food can trigger some reaction in your body. You might like to read this artical below. Wishing you good health and long healthy life.

                Emotional eating and Pavlovian learning: evidence for conditioned appetitive responding to negative emotional states.

                1. Yes, I have kept track of what I eat kept strict testing rules. I am by nature a very contended person with very little stress. So it’s not anything emotionally related. As for the tomato sauce. It doesn’t matter if I have no salt added tomato sauce with zero added besides organic tomato sauce, or if I have pasta sauce. It all affects me the same. There are lots of foods I can’t eat. I can’t eat romaine lettuce, but I can eat red-leaf. I can have limited amounts of tumeric or other spices. I can eat blueberries and strawberries, but not blackberries or I break out in hives. I can have raspberries, but not too many. There are also lots of things I can’t eat because they give me acid reflux, including most dried fruits, like figs, dates, and mango. It took me years to figure most of it out and I’m still testing. Right now I’m trying to see if anything is causing my rosacea. My doctor says that I would have made a great medical researcher, as I’ve solved most things and he’s not been able to offer any advice. Oh, and overly ripe avocados and bananas give me ocular migraines (no pain, just light strobes and temporary episodes (15 min) of blindness. It was scary until I learned what was causing it and could then turn it off and on. Interesting, huh? I’m hoping that once medical organizations start to gather large amounts of big data on people they’ll be able to easily and accurately help people easily solve most of these problems.

                  Mark G

            2. I suffered terribly from pollen allergies from age 12 until I went on an elimination diet in my late 40s. I eliminated practically everything at first, especially those things I had tested positive for in back scratch testing. Then I stayed off everything that I’d reacted to in any way. Unfortunately, they were all starchy foods, which most of us love. You can imagine how excited I was that summer when I had NO POLLEN ALLERGIES. None. I don’t know why getting off allergic foods cured pollen allergies, but it did. I had lived on drugs for three months every year up until then and hated doing it. I remained off the offending foods for a couple of years, but eventually added things back in without consequence. I thought that maybe the elimination period had allowed a leaky gut to heal and that I was home free. This went on for over 20 years. Then, about a year ago I found Dr McDougall’s starch solution diet. I love all the foods and followed it, thinking my allergy woes were over. But when pollen season hit I was right back to needing drugs again. Darn! So now I’m not quite sure how to handle this. I doubt I’m allergic to all starches, but clearly there is a connection when the body must deal with food allergies and its’ ability to handle other allergens. Another elimination diet seems daunting now that I’m cooking for two of us, but maybe there are better allergy tests now. Does anybody know?

              1. You have done a great detective job through the years figuring things out. When dealing with complex systems such as our bodies it is often difficult to pin point the problem especially when dealing with food allergies or insensitivities. I would agree with your assessment re: starches. You might want to try a “modified” elimination diet. You might find some guidance from reading Dr. McDougall’s Diet for the Desperate.. see his December 2002 newsletter found on his website. I would first eliminate the starches that have the highest likelihood of causes problems such as corn or wheat. The trouble with allergy testing is they can be a useful guide but you can test positive and not have problems or test negative and have problems. You can also have problems with foods that rarely cause difficulty. Good luck on your journey. Dr. Greger has a number of video’s on how changing to a whole food plant based diet can improve seasonal allergies. Keep tuned to nutritionfacts.org as you never know when the latest science will help you be even healthier.

                1. Don Forrester, thank you for your thoughtful comments. Since we’re quickly coming into hay fever season in my area I’ll be motivated to do as you suggest. It was years ago that I did the allergy testing and, knowing those tests aren’t known for accuracy, followed up with the elimination diet to verify or nullify results. There were oddball sensitivities to things I only ate occasionally, like coconut and pineapple. Much later, when coconut oil came on the scene, before I discovered the WFPB diet, I found that using coconut oil daily quickly caused all my joints to ache, and made me feel 100 years old!

                  I’ll definitely follow up with the McDougall newsletter and other videos from Dr G.

              2. Assuming you have already eliminated animal and processed products, the most immune stimulating grain is likely wheat. Try eliminating it and see what happens.

                1. That sounds like the place to start to me, too, along with corn. I may do some energy testing first, though I’m always a bit skeptical of that.

          2. mbglife: Thanks for responding to my post. My symptoms:
            1. itching (could be anywhere, but mostly back.)
            2. swelled lips
            3. throat pain when talking
            4. sinus headache
            I’m 58 now and developed this problem soon after turning 50. At the same time, I became allergic to sea food, which I now consider a blessing, but I do miss tomatoes. Tomato sensitivity is a big inconvenience when I have to eat outside home. Mexican, American, Indian, Chinese, Italian , they all seem to have tomatoes.

            1. Wow. That sounds very scary. I ate peanut butter everyday until I had a small amount in a cracker and instantly as covered in hives and had to be rushed to emergency. The ambulance guys said it’s common for people to eat their favorite food and have a severe reaction or even die. Most frequently happens with shellfish, peanut butter, chocolate, beer, aspirin, and some other foods. I also found I get instant headaches and feel my head spin and blurred vision after eating tahini or cauliflower. I know of no-one else who’s heard of that type of reaction.

      2. I did not post my comment as a negative to solanine. I am simply curious if this is the good ingredient in nightshades, and maybe not the nicotine, as far as what is protective and helpful.

        As an aside, though, tomatoes in all shapes and forms and methods of cooking/raw cause me intense pain and skin issues.

  1. I gave a copy of How Not to Die to my doctor. I told her how all the money is donated to the non-profit to keep up with the latest in medical nutritional research. You wouldn’t believe how happy it made her. I’ve decided to give a copy to many medical professionals I know. This might be a good time to buy some copies as gifts since it has recently fallen off the best seller list. Maybe we can get it back on. I’d sure like to see it be a number one best seller. My doctor asked me if I wanted it back when she finished it, and I told her no, but I’d love it if she would keep it in circulation. This book is such a great tool to enlighten our doctors and chiropractors and physical therapists, and nutritionists, personal trainers, nurses, teachers. If everyone getting a tax refund could buy a few copies and put them in the right hands, it could change our health landscape. I promise you, I’m not a shill, I don’t personally know Dr G or anyone at NutrtionFacts. I just believe the truth will set us free.I know this one friend, I have tried many times to get him to consider changing his diet, he would never listen to more than one sentence. Then he was at my house and I put the book in his hands, that changed everything.Now he’s receptive, and actually changing his diet.

    1. How encouraging that your doctor was so happy to receive a copy of “How Not to Die”. Great idea to pass these books out to medical professionals, friends, family etc. I’m now thinking of buying a few copies to donate to my local libraries.

      1. A wonderful idea but people considering doing this might want to first check with their library for their donation practices. My local library treats such donations as used books to be recycled and sells them, $1 for paperbacks, $2 for hardbound. They only take money for donations to get what they approve for shelves. Every library is different. So checking first will make sure that the effort is welcomed and not wasted.

        Mark G

      2. YES! I *REALLY* love this idea of passing the book out to medical professionals…I may order a few new copies (I could not bear to part with mine except to lend it out) and do the very SAME!

    2. Hi Lilyroza, I second your proposal! I did the same thing. I donated a copy to my local public library (it continues to have 5 and 6 holds on it) and gave copies to my dentist, a massage therapist, and two other physicians, in addition to my adult children. The size makes it look daunting to read, but once someone starts to read it, its style is very engaging and leads one to read more. I still have extra copies to give away as I meet more medical personnel.

    3. lilyroza – I did a similar thing.I gave The China Study (Campbell) and Reverse Diabetes (Barnard) to a late-60’s year old friend with Type II diabetes. He read on his own, changed his diet, then took China Study to his physician and gave him a copy. HIs disease course changed immediately. The doc read it, said “We were NEVER taught this in medical school” and passed it along to his wife, also a physician. I have given out gobs of China Study and will start doing the same with How Not To Die. Family members have birthdays coming up. I, personally would give this book as a wedding gift (or a set of the “good” books), a graduation gift along with a note saying that the very best thing I could give someone in life is their health.
      Thanks for your good thoughts.

      1. Wonderful ideas about passing on the books such as “How not to Die ” and China Study by Dr Campbell as a gift. I shall look into Reverse Diabetes by Barnard as well. Keep up the good work.

    4. Hi Liliyroza,
      What a great gift you gave to your medical practitioner a copy of Dr G. book! I like to help the young generations to be more aware of their diet by following evidenced based information about diet which Dr G. is doing fantastically. Keep up the good job.

    5. Doesn’t help to enlighten teachers as they wouldn’t dare tell the little darlings they teach the truth. The parents would string them up.

      1. An enlightened teacher won’t teach propaganda from the meat egg and dairy industries. That’s where we got our nutritional teaching aids when I was in grade school.

    1. That is good point about peppers and Mexicans and low incidence of Parkinson’s.
      Dr G. did a video on nicotine and Alzheimer disease. It turns out that Solanaceae in night shades food compete for the receptor sites with nicotine and could have the protective effect of the brain without the harm of nicotine that is in a cigarette.
      Also in another video Dr G. talks about beneficial effect of turmeric and how indians have low incidence of Parkinson and dementia because of high consumption of turmeric in their diet.

      Is Something in Tobacco Protective Against Parkinson’s Disease?

      Might Turmeric Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?

  2. This was so worth the wait! I wonder if eating the vegetables raw or cooked has an effect? If one might be better than the other in this case?

    1. Nicotine is a heat resilient compound (as you might imagine, given cigarette tips burn at 900°C (1650°F) during a puff and fall to about 400°C (750°F) between puffs). Hence I’d expect cooking would break down cell compartments and increase availability but this hasn’t been tested.

      The main thing that seems to effect nicotine content within tomato cultivars is ripeness, with green tomatoes having much more than more than fully ripe ones.

    2. Hi Nancy,
      Good question about the bioavilability of of food componenets I know of tomatoes intake has beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors, especially cooked and enriched with oil. Tomato and its byproducts are rich in phytochemicals such as carotenoids (mainly lycopene and β-carotene), phenolic compounds (mainly flavonoids, such as naringenin), vitamins C and E, potassium and folate.
      In the study below they indicate that Tomato products are usually cooked with the addition of oil, and both cooking and the addition of a fatty matrix increase the bioavailability of their bioactive compounds. therefore food components may play an important role in determining the absorption, distribution and biological action of tomato compounds in the human body.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26999197

      1. Best cooking method video…doesn’t doc say that red bell peppers DEFINITELY are better raw? But I adore stuffed peppers so I’d eat them cooked too!

        1. Yes, he says that. Does anybody have a problem with the blanket statement that you could just eat more vegetables to get more nutrition? Wouldn’t the amount you would need to eat vary according to the degree to which you’re destroying various nutrients? And what if you completely destroy key nutrients? 1000 times zero is still zero

          At some point, you have to make choices–and it seems much simpler just to adopt the practices that best enhance nutrients, particularly all those phytonutrients that are proving to be so important.

  3. Maybe by eating a variety of whole plant foods with minimal processing we can get a broad spectrum of synergistic nutritional benefits? Crazy idea? Sure, but, you know, it just might be crazy enough to work, ya crazy, mixed up kid

    1. I think Howard Jacobson and T. Colin Campbell in their book ‘Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition’ would probably agree with you!

  4. Could you please address whether there is a connection between nightshade vegetable consumption and flares of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or other autoimmune diseases? My lupus is in remission, but recently my joint pain and swelling have gotten worse. I think this may be due to increased intake of tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes this past winter.

    1. Unfortunately I have struggled to find much in the peer-reviewed literature, much of the nightshade hypothesis seems largely anecdotal. Though in saying that… could be worth a controlled trial on yourself if you have already eliminated all animal products, oils and possibly gluten.

      Dr Klaper says about 10% of those with autoimmune disease are affected by nightshades-
      http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers07/

      I believe this is addressed in one of Dr Neal Barnard’s books-
      http://www.pcrm.org/shop/byNealBarnard/foods-fight-pain

      Dr Brooke Goldner may have some help-
      http://www.veganmedicaldoctor.com/goodbye-lupus.html

      This article has some discussion of research on nightshades-
      http://juliannetaylornutrition.com/2016/03/rheumatoid-arthritis-diet-case-studies/

      1. Thank you for these links. I have been a gluten-free, whole foods vegan for years, and oil-free for about nine months. I am stopping nightshades for the next few months to see if that makes a difference. I kind of hope it doesn’t, as I like to have these items in my diet rotation. Thanks again for your feedback.

        1. I noticed that my autoimmune disease was affected after I ate some concentrated tomato paste once just to get rid of it, but fresh tomatoes and canned but not concentrated tomatoes have never affected me. I eat tomatoes all the time.

    2. Hi Deb. There may not be a connection for everyone but there could be a connection for you. May be worth trying an elimination diet to check this. Maybe you have already done this exercise, but if not, the idea is that you eat a very simplified diet for a limited period of time and then one by one reintroduce foods, and see how they affect you. If you have a look at Dr Fuhrman’s book “Fasting and Eating for Health” you will find more details about the process. I don’t know what the rest of your diet is like or whether you take medications, but medically supervised fasting as done at True North Health in Santa Rosa, California seems to help get people with autoimmune conditions into remission and to maintain remission. Hope that was helpful! Good luck!

    1. I do not think there area any good statistics that can answer your question.
      Published studies tend not to follow all people in a group until everybody has died and then analyse the figures. Most studies look at groups of people over a given period and measure death rates during that period. Hence the statements about lower mortality. However, you may find Jack Norris’ discussion of this broad topic helpful:
      http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/dxrates

      1. Interesting. I’m surprised that their was no statistical difference in mortality for most diseases. Has Dr. Greger addressed this?
        Looking at the Adventist Health Study-2, the most common cause of death for vegetarians was cardiovascular disease, followed by cancer.

        1. Yes. The issue is that there are all sorts of different “vegan” and vegetarian diets. Many of them are unhealthy.
          For example, you can live on Jack Daniels, cigarettes, chips and Oreos etc and you will be classified as a “vegan” in these studies This is why Dr G advocates a whole food plant based diet – not just any old “vegan” or vegetarian diet. The video I like best on this topic is from 2003 and quite long but is well worth watching:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7KeRwdIH04

            1. My pleasure. One other point that is worth bearing in mind is the reason why people take up vegetarianism,
              There is reason to believe that a significant proportion of middle-aged and older people who take up this way of eating, do so AFTER being diagnosed with an illness of some kind. You would therefore expect to find that vegetarians might be less healthy than an equivalent population. We know this is true for mental illnesses but there is no equivalent data that I am aware of for physical illnesses.
              https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5868-9-67

              This is why the 7th Day Adventist studies are important – these are people who have been eating this way for religious reasons and usually for a considerable period of time.

              1. Tom….Some SDA’s are vegetarian because a prophet in the denomination wrote that a vegetarian diet free from grease of all kinds was the healthiest. Also that too much sugar was more harmful than meat. Not totally accurate to state that it’s for ” religious ” reasons.She wrote that she was shown this in a vision. It seems to be true!…just sayin! The church put out a compilation of her statements called ” Councils on Diets and Foods”…you might find it interesting to read.

  5. Off topic question: Dr. Greger recommends a B12 supplement once a week that costs $3 a year in other videos and talks that he gives.
    I am having incredible difficulty finding this supplement that he refers to — could you please point me in the right direction?

    1. I think Dr G first made this suggestion about 5 years ago – ie 2,500 mcg of cyanocobalamin once a week. Prices have probably gone up since then.
      However you can still go to Walmart and buy a bottle that will last you for 2 years and 4 months for $8.44. That works out to about $3.70 a year. It might be cheaper still to get the 5000 mcg tablets and break them in half
      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Spring-Valley-Sublingual-B12-Vitamin-Supplement-Microlozenges-2500mcg-120-count/24547733

    2. Hi, Dr Greger has a few great videos on B12 included in the link below. Prices tend to fluctuate greatly for B12 depending on the type, region and country. For example, in the US and Canada they are quite cheap, but a colleague who forgot her supplements on a recent trip to Portugal could not believe how expensive they were. In the T Colin Campbell plant based course at eCornell, it was suggested to choose the methyl variety rather than the cyano variety due to the possibility of very small amounts of cyanide being produced during its metabolism. I suggest to my clients in Canada to take 500 mpg/daily on average to make sure someone is getting the recommended amount via the active and passive transport routes. For the best price to buy it in 1000mcg tablets, there is always a brand on special and breaking the tablet in half. Then making sure their family physician checks their serum B12 including a MMA test yearly. Here is the link to the B12 videos B12

    1. Predrag1970 – I’ve searched but can’t find a previous mention about the negative effects of AGE’s in nightshades. The references to AGE’s I found were related to foods high in fat and protein – mostly chicken but also pork, beef and fish. Video! and Glycotoxins! Do either of these references help with your questions?

      1. Yes, they do, thank you. I watched both of these videos again and they do say that the risk is mainly from meat consumption. But I am now 46 and a 26 years vegeterian of which 20+ years, whole food plants vegan, not a raw vegan, but mostly so, and I witness a strange stiffening of conections between my neck and my head and the rapid weakening of my eye sight. I thought that it has to do with glycotoxins from nightshades I eat. Of course, I cannot know for sure.

      1. Thanks, I saw it. But I am now 46 and a 26 years vegeterian of which 20+ years, whole food plants vegan, not a raw vegan, but mostly so, and I witness a strange stiffening of conections between my neck and my head and the rapid weakening of my eye sight. I thought that it has to do with glycotoxins from nightshades I eat. Of course, I cannot know for sure. It is interesting though that microbiotic(ers) tend to not eat nightshades, I knew this for a long time and couldn’t understand why, but started to connect this fact with my getting to know about glycotoxins in them.

    2. Hi, there are a couple of excellent Dr Greger videos on AGEs, the link is below. Dr Greger gives the good example of a raw vs baked apple where the level was much higher in the baked apple but it was still negligible in terms of other foods. There were a couple of hundred food tested in one study, I would have to go through the article to find some of the night shade vegetables. However, Tom is correct, animal products are the main dietary source, with most whole plant foods containing very low amounts in comparison, but the cooking method makes a big difference. To minimize our exposure it is important to use the moist heat methods such as steaming and boiling. Here is the link to Dr Greger’s videos on AGEs AGEs

      1. Thanks, I saw most of the videos. But I am now 46 and a 26 years vegeterian of which 20+ years, whole food plants vegan, not a raw vegan, but mostly so, and I witness a strange stiffening of conections between my neck and my head and the rapid weakening of my eye sight. I thought that it has to do with glycotoxins from nightshades I eat. Of course, I cannot know for sure. It is interesting though that microbiotic(ers) tend to not eat nightshades, I knew this for a long time and couldn’t understand why, but started to connect this fact with my getting to know about glycotoxins in them. And I never eat baked fruit.

        1. Hi Predrag1970. Just a historical note….I recently reread a Macrobiotic classic from the 1960’s or thereabouts.”You Are All Sanpaku”. Smoking tobacco was considered to be OK and not proven to ever cause any harm! (the seminal research by Doll and Hill showing the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer was published in the 1950’s!). And of course tobacco is a nightshade—go figure!

  6. Bell peppers are my favorite vegetables to eat raw. I buy multiple bags of them from Trader Joes and eat them like apples through the work day. On average, I would guess that I’ve been eating one to three raw bell peppers 4 to 5 times a week for years now. I always wondered just how much benefit I was getting from this practice over the obvious benefit that eating peppers means I’m not eating say cookies.
    .
    I enjoy the non-green peppers over the green ones. I wonder if color choice makes a difference on the nicotine amount? Do we even know? And would raw vs cooked make a difference in the amount of nicotine available or absorbed? I don’t really expect that we have an answer to these questions. But if someone knows the answer or has a theory, I’m all interested. :-)

  7. Dr Greger – could you develop some guidance on Nightshade vegetables? A lot of people I speak to who are trying to find problems with the vegan diet, talk about how nightshades are bad for you. Could you help me understand if this is true.
    Thanks!

  8. I support Dr G, Dr Esselsteine, Dr Furman, Dr Campbell. My goal is to be 100 % vegan soon. Thousands of veggies to choose from! Yum, yum! I have never smoked, ever.

    However, I did the Nightshade fasting and re-entry test for potatoes, tomatoes, peppers (all sorts), paprika, eggplant.
    I am totally convinced, I totally believe that nightshade are inflammation producing for me. Stopping nightshade (potatoes) has healed my arthritic knees, no need for surgery, I can get on my knees on the floor (for CPR classes) and get back up with NO pain!
    My arm and shoulder pain- GONE- when I stopped tomatoes, peppers paprika! No more Tylenol, no more Nsaids.
    No Nightshades for me, too many other veggies to choose from!

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