Saffron vs. Memantine (Namenda) for Alzheimer’s

Saffron vs. Memantine (Namenda) for Alzheimer’s
4.64 (92.73%) 77 votes

The spice saffron is pitted head-to-head against the leading drug for severe Alzheimer’s disease.


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.

What’s the latest on treating memory disorders with the spice saffron? Saffron had evidently been “widely used in the Persian [medical tradition] for memory problems,” but it wasn’t put to the test—until this study, which I profiled, showing Alzheimer’s dementia symptoms continuing to get worse on placebo, but getting better on saffron over a 16-week period. The researchers concluded that, at least in the short term, saffron is “safe and effective in mild-to-moderate [Alzheimer’s disease].” What about head-to-head versus the leading drug used for such patients? It appeared to work just as well, but with significantly less vomiting—a common side effect of the drug. So, that’s where we were as of 2010. What’s the update?

In 2013, we got the first glimpse at a potential mechanism. Alzheimer’s disease involves “brain nerve cell destruction.” Our brain cells can be killed by the buildup of tangles, or the buildup of amyloid plaques, where “aggregates of [a protein called amyloid beta] act as a poison.” But, in a petri dish, at least, adding the red pigment found in saffron, called crocin, significantly reduces this amyloid clumping—an effect that can be plainly seen under an electron microscope. So, the component of saffron that makes it so colorful appears to have “the ability to prevent amyloid formation.” What about the tangles? There’s the amyloid, and then, there’s the tangles, which crocin also seems to be able to block in vitro—again, as demonstrated with electron microscopy. So, maybe that’s why saffron helps in Alzheimer’s disease. But, do you have to catch it early?

Note this was just for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s. What about moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s? We didn’t know, until now. Head-to-head against the leading drug for severe Alzheimer’s, and again, saffron seemed to help just as well. And, one might consider just as well better, since there haven’t been any serious adverse effects attributed to saffron—whereas the drug is associated with increased risk of “[sleepiness], weight gain, confusion, hypertension, nervous system disorders, and falling.”

And, the saffron study wasn’t funded by supplement or spice companies—just noncommercial public grants. But, all the studies were done in Iran, which controls about 90% of the saffron crop. So, there’s a national interest in promoting saffron consumption, just like the New Zealand government funds research on kiwifruit—though who else is going to fund studies on a simple spice?

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Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What’s the latest on treating memory disorders with the spice saffron? Saffron had evidently been “widely used in the Persian [medical tradition] for memory problems,” but it wasn’t put to the test—until this study, which I profiled, showing Alzheimer’s dementia symptoms continuing to get worse on placebo, but getting better on saffron over a 16-week period. The researchers concluded that, at least in the short term, saffron is “safe and effective in mild-to-moderate [Alzheimer’s disease].” What about head-to-head versus the leading drug used for such patients? It appeared to work just as well, but with significantly less vomiting—a common side effect of the drug. So, that’s where we were as of 2010. What’s the update?

In 2013, we got the first glimpse at a potential mechanism. Alzheimer’s disease involves “brain nerve cell destruction.” Our brain cells can be killed by the buildup of tangles, or the buildup of amyloid plaques, where “aggregates of [a protein called amyloid beta] act as a poison.” But, in a petri dish, at least, adding the red pigment found in saffron, called crocin, significantly reduces this amyloid clumping—an effect that can be plainly seen under an electron microscope. So, the component of saffron that makes it so colorful appears to have “the ability to prevent amyloid formation.” What about the tangles? There’s the amyloid, and then, there’s the tangles, which crocin also seems to be able to block in vitro—again, as demonstrated with electron microscopy. So, maybe that’s why saffron helps in Alzheimer’s disease. But, do you have to catch it early?

Note this was just for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s. What about moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s? We didn’t know, until now. Head-to-head against the leading drug for severe Alzheimer’s, and again, saffron seemed to help just as well. And, one might consider just as well better, since there haven’t been any serious adverse effects attributed to saffron—whereas the drug is associated with increased risk of “[sleepiness], weight gain, confusion, hypertension, nervous system disorders, and falling.”

And, the saffron study wasn’t funded by supplement or spice companies—just noncommercial public grants. But, all the studies were done in Iran, which controls about 90% of the saffron crop. So, there’s a national interest in promoting saffron consumption, just like the New Zealand government funds research on kiwifruit—though who else is going to fund studies on a simple spice?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

For more on herbal approaches to dementia, check out:

What else can saffron do? See:

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191 responses to “Saffron vs. Memantine (Namenda) for Alzheimer’s

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      1. Dear Friends

        30 mg saffron is quite in safe dosage range. A number of clinical trials have been conducted with this dose and its safety has been reported.

        Shahin Akhondzadeh Ph.D., FBPhS

    1. The studies mentioned in the videos are linked at the “Sources Cited” graphic just under the video. In the case, clicking on the first source cited for the details of the study on mild – moderate AD, reveals this under the “Methods” section: “Patients were randomly assigned to receive capsule saffron 30 mg/day (15 mg twice per day)”. From the link to the study on moderate to severe AD: “patients with moderate to severe AD (Mini-Mental State Examination score of 8-14) received memantine (20 mg/day) or saffron extract (30 mg/day) capsules for 12 months.”

      Also in the Sources Cited tab on this video was a link to an interesting review of the human research over the last 30 years on saffron- A systematic review of randomized controlled trials examining the effectiveness of saffron…on psychological and behavioral outcomes.- which concluded: “Findings from initial clinical trials suggest that saffron may improve the symptoms and the effects of depression, premenstrual syndrome, sexual dysfunction and infertility, and excessive snacking behaviors.” –fun details that weren’t in the video.

    2. My interwebz searching shows approximately 1.7mg per stigma (aka threads aka strands).

      So about 18 stigmas required.

      1g can be between £4-10 / $5-10 and contain approximately 560 stigmas per gram, so 1g will last about 1 month.

      All approximately ;-)

    3. I’m significantly smaller than most people, so, how does one “take” saffron? Is it just swallowed (presumably after weighing or otherwise adjusting it’s potency to the person’s body size/metabolism)? Added to one’s food or drink?

      Does saffron decrease or increase in potency as it ages? Is there any way to determine the age of the product received? Is there a known brand that is more reliably consistent re: its potency

      Thank you!

        1. How much saffron extract equates to 30mg of saffron? I’m mindful of what Dr Greger says about curcumin and turmeric. I’ve not been able to find a saffron supplement only saffron extract supplements – my father doesn’t like the taste so I won’t be able to get it into cooking! Thank you in advance for your time :)

    4. Hi, Lisa Steckhouse. In reference to comments by TG and Shahin Akhondzadeh, I will add my comment, “Yeah, what they said,” haha. Joking aside, the studies used 30 mg of saffron, as the others have mentioned. Saffron is, at least in the US, very expensive, so I don’t see how many people could afford to consume enough to be dangerous. I hope that helps!

  1. I didn’t see any comments on saffron raw vs. cooked. Is there data on that? As I’ve never cooked with saffron, I am curious about how to employ it for the best results.

    1. hi misterimpatient, when I read your post, I thought of helpful comments made by NFmoderator Spring03 on the topic of saffron. Here in the comments below this video, Spring gives some cooking-with-saffron advice , and also wrote a few other comments about using saffron for health promoting reasons. (like, 560 strands in a gram of saffron.. so it only requires a few strands per day for depression etc) Thanks Spring ! Hope you find this helpful misterimpatient

    2. Mrimpatient – my suggestion is to go to a spice store and purchase a little bit of saffron so that you know what it looks like. It has almost no taste and doesn’t really flavor foods but it colors food. Many Eastern and MidEastern countries use saffron in cooking making saffron rice. The saffron turns the rice a golden rich yellow color but the flavor in the rice usually comes from broth or bouillon.
      And, like most recipes, there are a million ways to make saffron rice. One could also add saffron to a soup or stew or just about anything since it is so mild in flavor. People have been adding saffron to food for thousands of years.

      I think I’ll make a stop at my local spice shop today!! :-)

      1. Since saffron is made in India….can we really trust the

        purity of this spice. Didn’t Dr. Greger say that lead finds

        it way into a lot of Indian spices because of the grinding

        tools they use…..or am I thinking of some other speaker

        1. No, India isn’t the only country growing saffron. Iran is the leading producer, followed by Spain, India, Greece, Italy, Morocco & Azerbaijan. 1 2.

          My local Indian supermarket sells the Spainish variety. I don’t know why; maybe price, maybe availability or maybe quality.

          You have a choice :-)

        2. Whenever I have purchased saffron it comes in a package, folded in something akin to waxed paper or freezer wrap. Saffron is the stamen of the crocus flower. It is so small and delicate that it needs no grinding and I have not ever found it ground. Next Spring, take a look at a small early Spring crocus flower. Look deep into the bloom and you will see tiny stamens (google a picture if you like) and you will see why saffron is not ground. There’s almost nothing to it. This is also why it’s so expensive.

          1. You’ve convinced me….I have never purchased saffron before….but, tomorrow I am going to the big supermarket, the big mega supermarket and buy me some sweet saffron so I don’t lose my mind as the days go by and by and by.

    3. Hi this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Natural Medicine and Moderator of Nutritionfacts. What a great question this is. Some of the extracts are obtained thru infusion for 10 min, which is only immersing the plant in hot water; in addition, saffron was cooked for centuries and that is how its properties were noted. The active compounds other than beta carotenoids are safranal and crocin, and they seem to be undisturbed by heat; however, some of the medical studies to prove various protective effects of saffron, were performed with alcohol extracts (tincture) from the raw plant. I like to make sure I get all benefits and use it both cooked and raw. I hope this helps, Daniela

  2. Do you know of a quality source of saffron extract in capsule form? The prices appear to vary widely. I presume the quality does as well. Any clues to a quality source would be appreciated.

    1. In general, as far as the quality of their products goes, I trust the quality of those LEF sells (Life Extension Foundation). They sell a saffron extract capsule.

      That said, I do not trust the quality of their information. Until about 5 years ago, LEF did a fair job of pretty accurately reporting on all the positive research that supported the supplements they want to sell, but they also consistently failed to mention any negative reports. At this point however, even with respect to positive research, they often make a habit of “gilding the lily,” describing a report showing a beneficial effect on fruit flies, or rats, or even an in vitro study in a petri dish, in terms that would lead the unwary reader to believe that the research describes a human study. They also routinely use correlation studies on the on beneficial effects associated with constituents in food – (see previous video on lycopene for an example) – to promote the sale of a supplement, even though often no research has “put it to the test” showing that the supplement has the same effect.

      Even so, LEF articles do routinely bring to light interesting and solid studies (for one on saffron and eyesight, see below) – but at this point one can not trust their description, but need to check out the study for oneself to see if it actually seems good enough to take seriously. So while I trust the general quality of their products, I recommend an emphatic caveat emptor with respect to indiscriminately accepting their information until you check out the actual published research studies.

      A longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early age-related macular degeneration: sustained benefits to central retinal function. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:429124.

      “Design. Longitudinal, interventional open-label study. Setting. Outpatient ophthalmology setting. Participants. Twenty-nine early AMD patients (age range: 55-85 years) with a baseline visual acuity >0.3. Intervention. Saffron oral supplementation (20 mg/day) over an average period of treatment of 14 (±2) months. Measurements. Clinical examination and focal-electroretinogram-(fERG-) derived macular (18°) flicker sensitivity estimate (Falsini et al. (2010)) every three months over a followup of 14 (±2) months. Retinal sensitivity, the reciprocal value of the estimated fERG amplitude threshold, was the main outcome measure. Results. After three months of supplementation, mean fERG sensitivity improved by 0.3 log units compared to baseline values (P < 0.01), and mean visual acuity improved by two Snellen lines compared to baseline values (0.75 to 0.9, P < 0.01). These changes remained stable over the follow-up period."

      1. I’ve been a member of LEF for about three years and agree with everything you say about them. The only thing I get them from their magazine is the references to original papers. Their products still contain crap like magnesium stearate.

        1. Hi George –

          Just to clarify, when I wrote that “In general, as far as the quality of their products goes, I trust the quality of those LEF sells (Life Extension Foundation).” I meant that I trust LEF not to adulterate their products, to routinely test them for contaminants like heavy metals (they have their own lab), and that the ingredients listed on the label accurately describes the contents of the supplement bottle. But that said, I agree many of their products contain ingredients that I consider dubious at best, and potentially harmful at worst. Staying well informed so one can separate “the wheat from the chaff” – or “the hype from the facts” – becomes increasingly important. And NFO does a great job in helping people do exactly that.

      2. Saffron for macula makes sense if it helps Alzheimer’s. One of the tests used for dementia is seeing if there is amyloid in the retina of the eye.

      3. .
        Originally, the LEF organization got its imprimatur from Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, co-authors of the ground-breaking 1982 publication, Life Extension, promoting use of certain dietary and other substances for specific health benefits, as suggested and supported by research.

        In the years following, however, founder William Falloon wavered between publication of accurate information, and sheer product advocacy. During that period, it became clear product-supportive evidence was frequently highlighted, but open or questionable points were simply marginalized or even neglected.

        That is not always equivalent to untruth, since in most cases, editors made a judgment call for the general trend of research, but LEF never published anything detrimental to its own product line. Only occasionally has LEF actually withdrawn or changed a product formulation as new research appeared, as in the case of folic acid vs. folate supplementation. LEF still advocates a general dietary practice including some saturated animal fat and dairy, though it seems at least more conversant with vegetarian concerns than ever.

        Much criticism of LEF is based on its creating a major vitamin supplement industry around claims its products “help” or “promote” health, rather than publication for a lay audience of dietary research information. Between the two missions of education and product promotion is a huge (and growing) gulf, and more than one reader and LEF member has drawn this ever-present conflict of interest to the organization’s founder. LEF counters that it supports “vital” research which otherwise never would see publication, though chapter and verse of this support is not transparent to even members.

        In 2013, IRS withdrew LEF’s charter and status as an educational foundation, retroactive to 2006. LEF has sued for a declaratory judgment, and the case is pending.

        As if to indicate the extent of LEF’s wandering from its charter mission, products of this tax-exempt “educational” foundation are usually priced beyond the budgets of the very consumer public LEF ostensibly was created to inform and benefit. With its women’s products line, LEF has found a bonanza with the over-50 demographic, and its product puffery is abject and shameless, with labored, pseudo-scientific jargon the only difference from a naked product promotional. While every organization must find a business model to remain self-sustaining, that ever-present conflict of interest is increasingly a matter of concern.

        1. Misspellling of “Falloon” hereby corrected to Faloon,

          * Dr. Greger– this separate correction posting would be unnecessary if the forum provided the option to correct or add information. This option was originally provided, but withdrawn, and now poses a petty and needless hindrance on user participation in the forum.

        2. I never heard of LEF until now. One thing I have noticed in the last ten years are all of these MLM vitamin companies jumping on the snake oil band wagon to sell supplements to the American public to make a bundle of money.
          I call them the VITAMIN CARTEL.

    2. If you plan to use a saffron supplement, be very careful which one you buy. There is a blizzard of them online, and many are of questionable value. Paradise Herbs appears to be the best on the market and contains the purest (Sargol) grade of saffron. In evaluating the various supplements, pay attention to the percent of saffranal by uv vis. Paradise Herbs has 15 mg of Saffron extract per capsule (containing 2% saffranal by uv vis). Many other brands either don’t mention the percent of saffranal or contain a lower percent.

      Life Extension Foundation sells a brand in which each capsule contains 88.25 mg, which seems like a lot until you see that the percent of saffranal is only 0.3% (compared to 2% in the Paradise Herbs capsules). If you multiply the mg of saffron per capsule by 0.3% (88.25 mg x .003), the result is 0.26475 mg of saffranal in each capsule. The much lower 15 mg of saffron per capsule in the Paradise Herbs supplement actually contains a somewhat higher amount of saffranal in each capsule — 0.3 mg (15 x 0.02 = 0.3).

      IForce Nutrition offers a saffron supplement with a much higher amount of saffranal per capsule — over 3 times the amount in the Paradise Herbs supplement — which seems like an even better deal. However, more is not always better. In fact, just twice the amount used in the 2014 study (60 mg per day) resulted in adverse side effects (e.g., drowsiness, nausea, headache).

      1. My apologies. The 2014 study I mentioned above referred to a study on glaucoma not Alzheimer’s. But apparently saffron also helps with glaucoma, which is interesting, because the eyes are also part of the brain.

      2. At this point I have become very skeptical as far as labels go, and making “getting the best deal” a priority.

        I suggest that before buying anything from a company, especially one you have never heard of before, that no matter what the label says, that you thoroughly check the company out, and get a feel for whether you can trust them or not. Established companies with good reputations have a lot more to lose if they get caught misrepresenting a product or selling a contaminated product.

        I do like getting the best deal, but without checking into the bonafides of the company that sells a product, you take the risk that with a cheaper product, “you get what you pay for.”

      3. I enjoyed your comments. I also use LEF products. I would like to point out a small math error.
        If you multiply the mg of saffron per capsule by 0.3% (88.25 mg x .03 NOT ..003), the result is 2.6475 mg of saffranal in each capsule.

        1. Dr. Schneider, the LEF saffron has .34% saffranal which makes it .3 mg, not 2.6. William was right.
          The LEF and Paradise Herbs have the same amount.

    3. Hi this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Natural Medicine and Moderator of Nutritionfacts. We usually do not endorse any particular provider though I believe there are reputable ones out there. The only thing I would like to make you aware of is that the extract is painful and expensive, so you would really need to trust the maker for quality and purity. In my mind a cheap product will probably fail purity. Personally I buy the raw plant and use it cooked and also raw over salads. I hope this helps, Daniela

  3. I find this fascinating. It also brings up an ethical dilemma:

    Personally I’d be willing to try it on myself if I were suffering from dementia (and had the faculty to be aware)… but whether or not I should give it to someone else that has Alzheimer’s – that is, spike someone else’s vitamin milkshake with it to see if there’s an improvement – is another matter.

    I invite comments from the community.

    This is not a recommendation, but I found a product on Amazon: 60 caps,88.25mg for $20. Says on the front label it controls hunger, overeating, and relieves stress. Made in U.S.A.

    1. Dr. C: Why not try the spice itself in cooking? Would there be a problem with someone already taking meds (Namenda/Donepezil) for Alzheimer’s? (I am a caregiver for someone in my family….)

    2. I wish I had had the information regarding Saffron prior to my mother’s descent into the fear, pain and general horror that accompanied her to her eventual death. Yes, I would definitely have spiked her milk shake with a safe dose of Saffron.

    3. My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s until it eventually killed her. It was horrific, and she was not able to make even minor decisions for herself in the end, so as with someone in a coma, medical decisions had to be made by family. I was so angry that as she was in a nursing home, I had no say whatever in her treatment unless it was mainstream drugs. I would absolutely have given her anything I thought might actually help, and consider that doing otherwise would have been neglect. In the end I nearly destroyed my own health in altercations with an intractable manageress at the aged care home.

      1. Genuine concern for health of the aging population would mandate basic dietary changes whose cost is relatively minor– as a prime example, vitamin B6, B12, folate and D3 oral supplements. Unfortunately, even that minor expense is deemed too burdensome by most of the “managed care” industry. Profit margin clearly has little to do with quality of care.

  4. As far as potentially treating, and not just preventing, cognitive decline goes, making sure you get at least the DV of a bioavailable form of magnesium also looks like a pretty safe bet.

    See for example, “Efficacy and Safety of MMFS-01, a Synapse Density Enhancer, for Treating Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: A Randomized,
    Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial” published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 49 (2016) 971–990
    ( )

    “Using elevation of RBC intracellular magnesium as a biomarker to screen for responders, we found that 15 of 22 subjects in the MMFS-01 group (68.2%) responded to MMFS-01 treatment. When the brain age of only the responders was calculated, the improvement at Week 12 was 14.6±3.9 years, indicating an even greater reduction in cognitive impairment among magnesium responders than all subjects receiving MMFS-01. On the other hand, these data also show approximately 30% of the subjects did not respond to MMFS-01 treatment.”

    The fact that about 75% of Americans have deficiencies ( ) might explain why only 70% responded.

    1. If you eat a lot of green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, you will get plenty of magnesium. And if you add a epsom salt bath you will get additional magnesium. And, you can even buy a spray in the health food store that allows you to spray magnesium on your skin.

      1. Technically, I agree, but you’ll note I specified “the DV of a bioavailable form of magnesium.”

        Green leafy greens have plenty of iron as well – but the bioavailability can seem low, depending upon whether one eats the greens raw (as in a salad) or cooked, and even then how one cooks the greens, and their ascorbic acid content. ( t )

        And because of biochemical individuality, the degree to which different individuals can digest different foods and efficiently assimilate different nutrients can vary widely, so even if their diets have the required amounts of the nutrients they need.

        And even if magnesium does seem well assimilated for most people from green leafy vegetables (no idea if this seems true or not), getting senior citizens to eat more green leafy vegetables might seem a bit of a hard sell.

        Apparently, using RBC intracellular magnesium as a biomarker could as a reasonable test for individuals to determine if they get enough magnesium from their diet should they have a concern.

        1. I beg your pardon! I feel like this is an insult, “… getting senior citizens to eat more green leafy vegetables might seem a bit of a hard sell.” In my personal experience, getting young people with no idea of their mortality to eat greens might be interesting to explore!

          1. Well, there was a case where our 41st President stated emphatically he would not eat broccoli!

            Of course he was only in his 50 or 60s? at the time, but I bet now in his 90s he still doesn’t eat his broccoli. ‘-)

            1. Lonie – your ignorance is showing. Using an exPresident who didn’t care for broccoli as a representative example of all senior citizens is just simply small minded and stupid. Just as broccoli is not representative of all green leafy vegetable. You are insulting to both senior citizens as well as the wonder world of green vegetables!

              1. RGB,

                When I was stationed at Ft. Polk when in the army, I learned there was one guy on base with a higher IQ than mine. He was SFC White and his IQ was in the 150 range. He could call me stupid. I don’t think you qualify.

                1. Heh, I think I know some people personally who suffer from the same problems as you.

                  That is, the poorer their health the more curmudgeonly they become and insist on communicating with others in that manner, who they envy for their better health.

                  I get it fellow, and I forgive your caustic nature.

                  Get well soon.

          2. Liisa – I am 100% with you!! “Getting senior citizens to eat green leafy vegetables might be a hard sell” – What kind of slanderous oaf makes that kind of ignorant and ageist comment? I would just LOVE to see Alef1 produce the scientific research that supports this lacking statement.
            What an ignorant blowhard.
            Signed – “An elder who consumes lots of greens”.

            1. I am 73 years old, and I eat “tons” of green leafy vegetables

              everyday because they are my life line. When you realize

              how good they are for you, you eat them by the handful like

              I do with NO OILS…..NO OILS…..N O…..O I L S………

              Dr Esselstyn quote. ha ha

              Seriously, I eat grains and green leafy vegetables not for

              taste, or fun, but strictly to stay alive.

              1. Think about this?


                “Higher legume intake is the most protective dietary predictor of survival amongst the elderly, regardless of their ethnicity”, the researchers conclude. “The significance of legumes persisted even after controlling for age at enrolment, gender, and smoking. Legumes have been associated with long-lived food cultures such as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso), the Swedes (brown beans, peas), and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans)”.

                For every 20 g beans that the elderly subjects ate each day, their chance of dying decreased by 8 percent. In second place come fish and shellfish – such as mussels, prawns, lobster and calamari. For every 20 g fish and shellfish that the subjects ate each day, their mortality risk decreased by 6 percent.

                The researchers also looked at the relationship between saturated fat [the fat in junk food, dairy and meat] and monounsaturated fat [the fat in olive oil and canola oil. The ratio of monounsaturated fat to saturated fat varied from 0.7 in Sweden to 1.8 in Greece. Each increase of 1 in the ratio led to a rise in the mortality risk of 46 percent.

                1. I am with you on legumes. Like I said before I eat an entire can of black beans everyday mixed with barley, rice, and other grains. But, I also eat a huge plate of raw spinach, aurugula and baby kale along with my legumes and grains. My desert is usually a bannana, orange, and two dates. Those dates really appease my desire for something sweet.


              Fruit and vegetable intake among older adults: a scoping review

              Maturitas. 2013 Aug; 75(4): 305–312.

              “Although older adults tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than the general population, several trends warrant concern. First, as discussed above, the intake does not approach recommended levels. Second, the most nutritious and health-promoting foods are under-consumed. Starchy vegetables make up a large proportion of daily vegetable consumption per day, likely due to the ease of preparation and consumption (e.g., boiled and mashed potatoes). Dark green and orange vegetables, which tend to be more nutrient-rich, account for only 12 to 15% of total vegetable consumption among older adults [13]. Further, some research suggests that consumption has declined among older adults in the past decade [46].”

              1. A friend of mine who does a lot of genalogical research

                on his ancestor who lived in North Carolina back in the

                1700’s until the present told me that the vast majority of

                his ancestors living in North carolina in the 1800’s lived

                to be in their 90’s. They did not take supplements.

                The worked outdoors all day long and ate what they grew

                from their gardens. I guess they were getting their daily

                recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals.

                1. I see pictures of a typical street scene from the early to mid 1900s and almost everyone is slim.

                  A lot of people lived long lives back then, especially those who lived away from the pollution of an automobile-choked city. I also think stress was less of a health risk because people were inclined to use religion to pray away their stress, or to talk it out with their neighbors.

                  These times in which we live where we, as a rule, are exposed to food abundance in our early lives to the point where our body has a higher set point of what is a normal amount, have defined us as ample body type generations. Those past generations weren’t trying to maximize nutrition… at least not to the point we here on NF do, but somehow seemed to live pretty healthy.

                  The longevity numbers weren’t so great due to infant mortality and accidental deaths, but we’ve either invented or discovered a lot of newer diseases as time has passed.

                  1. Since then, we have invested fast food and further denatured all commercially prepared foods and used toxins of all kind to preserve their shelf lives (and profits for their sellers).

          3. Hi Liisa –

            My apologies , and I appreciate the correction.

            I did not mean to discriminate or promote some sort of ageism. I should have written, “getting most Americans – of any age – to eat more green leafy vegetables might seem a bit of a hard sell.” I won’t do that again!


            That said, I don’t believe that people who post on this board – whatever their age – have a whole lot in common with the majority who eat the standard American diet.

            1. I don’t think that you need to apologise for simply stating a fact. You are just saying, rather informally, what the World Health Organization says.

              “^Older persons are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. Moreover, attempts to provide them with adequate nutrition encounter many practical problems.”

              Malnutrition is a particular problem among seniors for various reasons. As a result, there are campaigns around the world including in the US to alert doctors and seniors themselves to the dangers of poor dietary choices frequently made by elderly people. Pretending that encouraging seniors to eat more healthily is not a challenge helps no-one least of all seniors themselves.however politically correct it may be.

              And in the US
              “There are a variety of factors that go into these statistics: “taste disturbances, difficulty accessing or preparing food because of functional limitations or cognitive decline, anxiety, depression, bereavement, and poverty may cause older individuals to eat less” and thus be at higher risk for malnutrition, according to a Gerontological Society of America paper.”

              As a senior myself, I do try to eat healthily but – let’s be honest – that is not true of most seniors. I can access healthy food, I can afford to buy it and my appetite is fine. But that is not true of every senior. Let us not stick our head in the sand because of some misguided commitment to political correctness.

            2. alef1, I never thought you were directing your statement towards anyone in this forum. Besides, I am personally dealing with that issue myself. My octogenarian mother does not eat a good diet, & I’m happy when she eats anything at all. Every meal is a battle.

              1. Our elders lose their taste buds. Nothing tastes good. The psychological impetus to eat is taken from them. So they don’t, eat that is. We lived through that we both of our parents.

                1. Hi Jabrou –

                  Back in my graduate school days, one of the faculty – Pat Prinz – used to do research on this very subject. And in her presentations she would also do demos. Using older subjects, she would show that most had lost the ability, if she blocker their sense of smell, to tell the difference between many different foods.

                  However, as I recall research at the time indicated that this had a lot less to do with aging, and a lot more to do with many older people having chronic zinc deficiencies, so that the loss of taste did not seem so much of an aging effect, but of the effect of a nutritional deficiency. A quick check supports this:


                  I also found this:

                  “The most common causes of taste disorders are drug use (21.7%), zinc deficiency (14.5%) and oral and systemic diseases (7.4% and 6.4%, respectively). All these factors can have a negative effect on gustatory system deficiencies due to physiological changes associated with aging. Elderly people are liable to have several chronic diseases and to routinely need multiple medications, and this carries a particular risk of taste disorders or severe loss of the ability to taste the five basic flavors. It is noteworthy that the most useful drugs for treating chronic diseases typical of the elderly are also a potential cause of taste disorders, so periodically reviewing pharmacological therapies is not just a matter of good clinical practice, but also helps to prevent or contain taste disorders. “

                  1. Thanks, Doc. I would like to say “where were you when we needed you,” but, knowing my Mother, she would not have cooperated with anything you suggested anyway. You know, “if it was not proven science in “aught 8”, it’s not true now” kind of thinking.

                  2. I am 73 and I stopped taking supplements because of the anti-supplement advice on Based upon the research that you have come across on zinc deficiency as one of the causes of declining taste and smell….I am thinking that maybe I should start taking a zinc supplement.
                    But, if the mineral zinc is inorganic would I absorb it at the cellular level. I read where inorganic minerals are not absorbed very well and that they are a waste of money. I also read that calcium tablets actually cause calcium to accumulate in the arteries creating plaque in the arteries along with cholesterol and fat. What do you think? Are zinc supplements harmful?
                    What plants have the most zinc? It seems like organic zinc would be better than inorganic zinc. There are so many thousands of opinions about nutrition and health that you just have to hope and pray.

                    1. I started taking a zinc supplement – usually as a more bioavailable zinc chelate after reading about the correlation of Zn deficiency and impaired taste – and then finding another paper that looked at different trace elements in people who had a wide range of diseases. The researchers looked not only at Zn, but at Cu, Mn, Se, etc. In that study, in general people who had different diseases also had different patterns of mineral deficiencies – but people with every disease they looked at had a zinc deficiency. That impressed me. At the time, I figured that taking a zinc supplement with at least the MDR seemed reasonable as an inexpensive and low risk insurance policy, on the ounce (or a few mg’s ) of prevention principle. I still do. On the other hand, if labs now offer a good blood test for Zn, if it does not cost too much one could get that done, and then make a more informed decision after seeing the results.

              2. Nor did I think he was directing his statement towards anyone on this forum. However, nutrition seems a battle at any age. I feel that I eat more healthily than my (grown, but young,) children and I am constantly after them about it. Nutrition can be a problem at any age! Working people grab something to eat going to and from work or for lunch; children seek out candy and sweets even if not provided for them at home; old people, more closely facing their mortality, have their own food issues.

                1. I agree, Liisa. I went to a dinner last night & sat next to an overweight woman in her 40s, who sat there eating chips, salsa & nachos all night while telling me she was having gall bladder issues. She told me that she has diabetes & recently had a hysterectomy due to fibroids. When I started telling her about the benefits of a WFPBD, she immediately told me that that her doctor or her pharmacist or somebody was putting her on a keto diet. Yikes! No matter what I said, she wouldn’t listen. Her mind was already made up. And, not to toot my own horn, but I’m a pretty good ad for the WFPBD. I’m thin, I look younger than most people my age, I have lots of energy, & I’m healthy.

                  So I agree that each age has its own set of problems when it comes to nutrition. The young think they’re invincible. The middle aged, who have become addicted to bad ‘food’ & are starting to show signs of disease, are confused by all the mis- & disinformation that’s out there. The elderly either lose their appetite all together or figure that they should be able to eat whatever they want because they’re on their way out. My mother would rather eat a piece cheese cake than eat a nutritious meal. smh

                  1. There is so much disinformation out there on health and nutrition, that I have given up trying to inform people on the whole plant food diet. I have come to the conclusion that it’s “each man for himself”. Either you find the truth because you are urgently hunting for the truth…or you just succumb to people like “the wolf man – david wolfe”….or “merry” Mercola and is “merry” band of article writers.

            3. Don’t worry about it, alef1. I think people get offended too easily these days.

              Several years ago I quipped on a forum: “Support Your Right To Arm Bears,” (contra Bear Arms). You would have thought I had slaughtered the sacred cow. I felt bullets coming through my broadband connection.

              I thought it was funny…

      2. If you eat a lot of green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, you will get plenty of magnesium.

        That’s a misconception. You get only 79 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of spinach, 81 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of Swiss chard, 34 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of kale, and only 9 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of collard greens.

        Compare that to 221 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of buckwheat groats, 197 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of quinoa, 177 mg in 100 grams of steel-cut oats, 143 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of medium-grain brown rice, 224 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of lima beans, 184 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of blackeyed peas, 176 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of pinto beans, and 122 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of lentils.

        Grains and legumes, not greens, are your best sources of magnesium. Greens are a better source of calcium than magnesium. Whereas 100 grams of collard greens has only 9 mg of magnesium, it has 145 mg of calcium. Whereas 100 grams of kale has only 34 mg of magnesium, it has 135 mg of calcium. Even 100 grams of spinach has more calcium than magnesium — 99 mg to 79 mg.

        Eat greens for calcium; grains and legumes for magnesium.

        1. Your point is well taken. I was just speaking in general terms

          of a whole plant food diet. The point I was trying to make is that

          I don’t need magnesium supplements because I eat a whole can

          of black beans every day, plus I eat all of the other things you mentioned

          in your post. I believe one is going to absorb more calcium in the

          organic form from eating plants than from the inorganic form by

          taking a magnesium pill. But, I do take an epsom salt bath every

          few days. Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate is in the inorganic form,

          and I have no idea if I am even absorbing anything, but it does make

          me feel more relaxed….probably just the placebo effect. But, so what,

          I’ll take the placebo effect over NO EFFECT. Ha !

        2. I take one of these per day…since I’m not supplement phobic.

          “It’s well known that cardiovascular deaths, including sudden cardiac deaths, occur far less frequently in areas that have hard water, which contains lots of minerals, compared to areas with soft water, which is relatively mineral free. British researchers took a close look at this data and narrowed the protective effects to one specific mineral: magnesium.”

          Magnesium is a viable option for preventing sudden cardiac death because it plays key roles in several aspects of cardiovascular health, and deficiencies are linked to an increased risk of hypertension, heart attack, heart failure, and death. Subpar levels also promote electrical instability in the heart and are associated with a variety of rhythm disturbances, including ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac arrest.

          Researchers recently took 124 healthy women between the ages of 66 and 76. All of them were attending a fitness program. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they were healthy? They gave half of the women 300 mg of magnesium a day for three months. The other half did not get the supplement.

          Before and after the experiment, all of the women were scored according to their performance on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). The SPPB is a group of easy tests that combines the results of how fast a person can walk, how good their balance is, and how long it takes them to sit up and down in a chair five times. The test is used to predict disability and monitor physical function in older people. The scores have been able to predict the risk of disability, the risk of dying, and the risk of being admitted to a nursing home. With that in mind, I don’t think there is anyone out there who would not want to have a better SPPB score if they could. So how did these women do?

          The results were extremely encouraging. All of the women had the same scores before the study. And all of the women had an improvement in their scores at the end of the three months. But the women taking 300 mg of magnesium performed up to an amazing 60% better than those deprived of it. The authors of the study put the results this way, “These findings suggest a role for magnesium supplementation in preventing or delaying the age-related decline in physical performance.” Frank Shallenberger, MD

          1. For more magnesium effects see this link with references discussing how magnesium deficiency can cause a host of neurological disorders:


            “Treatment with magnesium supplements has been shown to induce rapid recovery from depression,2 improve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome,3 and reduce hyperactivity in children with ADHD.4 In addition, patients with schizophrenia have lower erythrocyte magnesium levels than controls.5

            Magnesium plays a major role in calming the nervous system due to it’s ability to block brain N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDA), thereby inhibiting excitatory neurotransmission.1

            … Conversely, inadequate magnesium levels can contribute to insomnia, seizures, anxiety, pain, and other neuropsychiatric problems.

            Low dietary intake and low magnesium serum levels are associated with numerous critical health conditions6 including, hypertension, elevated C-reactive protein levels, TNF alpha, triglycerides, and fasting glucose; decreased high-density lipoprotein;7 sudden cardiac death;8 type 2 diabetes;9metabolic syndrome10 asthma;11 and osteoporosis.12 In one study, dietary-induced magnesium deficiency (longer than four weeks) in lean subjects led to a reduction in insulin sensitivity.13” and:


            The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test. Magnesium Research [01 Jun 1997, 10(2):149-156]

            In any case the VERY impressive results of improving cognitive decline from low dose/DV magnesium threonate alone makes me wonder how well it might work in combination with saffron, as well as on a host of other “aging” disorders, that actually do not really derive from aging as such, but from the long-term consequences of unhealthy diets and lifestyles.

            1. I am so supplement phobic from reading and watching Dr. Greger’s productions for the last three years that I find it hard to get myself to take a magnesium tablet. But, after reading the list on the webpage link you presented, I am thinking that maybe I should take at least one 400 mg tablet of magnesium supplement everyday. I mean…it’s not going to hurt you.
              However, Dr. Greger warns us that supplements are manufactured in China and that many of them have heavy metals in them. So, I am not sure if I should swallow a magnesium pill every day. “to be or not to be that is the question”.

          2. Supplement phobic….now that’s funny. yeah…I used to take a hand ful of supplements everyday for 20 years. But, since I have been watching Greger Production videos for the last 3 years I have become supplement phobic…..but, you may be right according to that study, maybe taking a magnesium supplement may not be so bad after all. Tom takes a few vitamin C supplements everyday. I think one supplement that we should avoid are calcium supplements. Dr. Levy MD, cardiovascular surgeon says that taking inorganic calcium supplements is one of the culprits of plaque forming in the arteries. Plaque is a combination of cholesterol, other fatty substances, and calcium. Dr. Levy says that inorganic calcium is not absorbed at the cellular level, but migrates its way into sticking onto the inner walls of the arteries and also forming gall stones, kidney stones, bone spurs, and causing joint problems. So he says.

  5. Reading through the comments over the weekend was such a pleasure. There were great discussions on the scientific evidence with people sharing their knowledge & sources. Reminded me of the old days. Again, what a pleasure.

    I am grateful for the NF staff as well as the knowledgeable people who participate in this forum.

  6. I wouldn’t trust any kind of scientific study coming out of Iran. These people only see money signs in everything they do. However, we could look at a lot of anecdotal reports on saffron and go with the idea of “if there is smoke there is fire”. Since saffron does not have any adverse effects then what do we have to lose to include it in our diet, maybe it will be beneficial to us. But, I am not going to base my consumption of saffron on any Iranian study, but I will base it on a lot of anecdotal reports. The scientific method is only as good as the people who conduct it.

    1. I am simply acknowledging that it might be wiser to distrust much of our own “scientific studies” if one researches who is paying for these studies and why they might be doing so. Iran (Persia) has contributed vast knowledge and breakthroughs in medicine over the centuries, also. Your recommendations for obtaining Magnesium through our food is spot on. Thanks.

    2. I worked in the research wing of the University of Colorado hospital, Dept of biology, biogenetics, & biochemistry. There were many excellent scientists in the research wing some of whom came from Iran. Excellent scientists doing excellent research using the same scientific standards we all used. Other excellent scientists came from India, Germany and other countries. Many of these excellent scientists went on to become medical doctors and other continued in the research wings. I never noticed any particular money-grubbing attitudes or behaviors – just a genuine interest in and excellence at the science.

      1. I am talking about the scientists who remain in

        Iran who are under the direct supervision of

        the religious leaders who need the money to

        build a nuclear state in order to fight western

        civilization. I don’t trust anything they would

        say in the realm of science, politics, religion,

        or any topic under the sun.

        Of course, any Iranian scientist who is living

        in the United States with the ability to become

        a citizens and become a medical doctor is not

        going to be under the thumb of the religious

        zealots back in their home of origin. Sure,

        you can trust these guys, they are working

        elbow to elbow with other American scientists

        who have their heads screwed on right.

  7. What about aluminum as a cause of Alzheimer’s? Dr. Mcdougall insists that aluminum is necessary for the disease, and this would explain nicely why Alzheimer’s didn’t appear until 1906, shortly after a chemical process was discovered to obtain the metal and commercial production of it began. Dr. Mcdougall also recommends that we drink mineral water containing silicates each day to chelate aluminum from the brain. He cites many pubmed references to justify his chain of reasoning, which sounds to me to be impeccable.

      1. I’ve been drinking distilled water for years. Recently I’ve started drinking Hydrogen infused distilled water. Can’t hurt… might help.

          1. i’ve wondered that myself but haven’t taken the time to research it yet.

            Heavy water, used presumably as an intermediary in producing an atom bomb and as a target for commandos (Heroes of Telemark) is also known as deuterium, IIRC.

            Hydrogen infused water is too easy to make (magnesium + pure water) so I’m sure there is a large difference.

      2. John

        What did you think of the World Health Organization paper on the health effects of distilled water and other waters low in minerals? I would regard the WHO as a more credible source of reliable information than internet health gurus, even if they do have MDs

        I took away from that paper the conclusion that exclusively drinking (and cooking with) such water may be less than healthful.

        1. Actually, when my doctors found out I was using distilled water, they made me stop. Lack of minerals was one reason. Something about leaching??? was the other. I just know they were not happy.

          1. Distilled water in nature is a solvent… in a body it is pure water until it reaches the stomach where it mixes with acid and no longer has a neutral pH of 7.0.

            I can see the concern about not getting minerals from water, but drinking rain water should be devoid of minerals. Our food should have sufficient minerals from the soil it is grown in, so I don’t think the lack of minerals idea “holds water”… pun intended. ‘-)

        2. Tom, thanks for the link. I don’t trust WHO. To me common sense indicates that drinking distilled water is no big deal and has no downside because when you drink it with the food you are eating, it immediately mixes with the gastric juices, the acids, and the food content of your stomach and no longer has any kind of osmotic pressure that theoretically might pull nutrients from the cells of your body. Plus, all of my relatives on both my mother and father’s side from the early 1700’s and 1800’s and even up to the year 1962 all lived on farms and drank rain water. Many of them lived to be in their 90’s. Rain water is ALMOST like distilled water. They both lack minerals. There might be a little bit of difference in Ph levels. On the other hand drinking spring water may not be healthy depending on the origin of the water. What if the spring water runs through uranium rock, or radioactive calcium? Tap water is obviously an unknown hazard. Look what happened in Flint, MI. when lead start leaching into the water pipes of the citizens of Flint, MI. Pesticides, herbicides, medical waste, radioactive materials, and hundreds of chemicals find there way into our streams, rivers, lakes, and tap water. I’ll tell you what Tom, I will take my chances with distilled water which is 99 percent like rain water which my relatives drank all of their lives instead of drinking tap water which in some cities is basically sewage water that has been treated….good luck with that.

          1. Thanks John.

            Personally, I have always thought that the WHO is much more credible and has more integrity than even democratic national governments when it comes to health matters. They certainly royally tick off industry on a regular basis. Look at major WHO scientific reports on red meat and carcinogenicity, sugar, salt and mobile phone safety. They all infuriated industry interests because they reported but didn’t water down the facts. I can’t really imagine the US dietary guidelines telling people to eliminate or cit back on red meat as the WHO has done. The meat lobby is too powerful. Ditto for Australia, Europe, UK etc

            And I certainly don’t trust gurus on the internet to provide well-researched, unbiased information on health matters. Far better to rely on the reports of panels of world class scientific experts than guys on the internet selling supplement and other products, IMHO. Blaylock for example appears to be a bit of a nut given he believes that chemtrails are a real thing and some of his other views eg on vaccines are distinctly, er, unconventional.

            As for rainwater and snow, yes they are produced by a process of natural distillation. But by the time they reach ground level they are far from demineralised so it’s not accurate to compare people using rainwater for drinking and cooking to people using distilled water for these purposes eg

            Hundreds even thousand of years ago, human industrial pollution was less but snow etc still picked up dust, pollen etc from the atmosphere. This is how scientists are able to measure environmental and climate changes over thousand of years using Arctic and Antarctic ice cor samples.

            This is one reason why I am of the “it’s just common sense” argument. It usually argues on the basis of incomplete knowledge. It even has its own name – the Common Sense Fallacy.

            1. Tom, thanks for your replies. I really enjoy your indepth scientifically backed comments. You are right, rain water picks up dust, carbon dioxide, and other things in the atmosphere as it comes down. But, it has always been the practice of those who collect rain water to allow the rain to cleanse the atmosphere before they open up

              the receiving holes in their storage units. This was the practice of my grand parents and great grand parents who collected rain water from the 1800’s all the way up to 1960. If you do a chemical and Ph analysis of rain water that falls after the atmosphere has been cleansed from 30 minutes or so of rain, you will see that distilled water and rain water are very, very close to being the same.

              Here is a link to a New York Times article quoting experts on nutrition and water: The water-quality expert, Ann T. Lemley, a professor in the College of Human Ecology, agreed that distilled water was safe. Joseph H. Hotchkiss, professor of food science at Cornell university says that drinking distilled water is safe. There are a couple of vegan doctors who drink distilled water and advise others to drink distilled water. I know that you do not think highly of anecdotal evidence, but personally I pay attention to the thousands of people on the internet who give a positive glowing report to drinking distilled water. Here is one such person. Check out his testimony on YouTube:

              Tom, do you know of any rigorous double blind studies that prove that drinking distilled water is harmful to your health? Tom, do you drink tap water?

            2. I read the articles in the 3 links that you sent. The WHO article makes it sound like you are going to die the very next day if you drink distilled water over a few weeks period of time. The article insinuates that your body will be drained of magnesium and calcium to such a degree that you are at risk for a heart attack. The WHO article also said that distilled water can ruin your digestive tract lining and really create havoc with your kidneys. Most of these conclusions come from experiments on rats, but there were some volunteer humans who participated in their experiments. However, all I can say is that their conclusion do not match or even come close to all of the people such as Annette Larson, 73 year old vegan who has been drinking water from her home distiller for the last 40 years. Annette is 73 but looks like she is 50 years old. She never gets sick. She has the energy of a 20 year old and has been featured on public TV shows for her youthfulness. Here is one of her YouTube videos where she states that she has been drinking distilled water for 40 years. The video editing is not that great because the camera man does not know how to shoot video. But, the main take away in the first 10 minutes of this video is to learn that she is 73 years old, that she has been drinking distilled water for 40 years…..and that she has GREAT HEALTH.

              I can point out to other people who have experimented on their own bodies, much like the scientists experimented on rats with distilled water, and report positive findings. For example, the WHO report states that distilled water will give you hypertension. However, people drinking distilled water report a normalization of their hypertension to normal blood pressure levels.

              All of the negative things reported by WHO is totally contradicted by the reports of people who have been drinking distilled water for 20 to 40 years. So, why is this?

              WHO along with the United Nations is an arm of the elites who want to eventually form a one world government and eventually reduce the population of the earth to around 300 million people. In order to do this they need to control all water and food production. Whoever controls the water and the food controls the people, the money, earth’s resources and life itself. Just because an organization does good and helpful things does not necessarily mean that it is benign. You’ve heard the old expression, “beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing”. There have always been and always will be groups of people that want to control the world, just to name a few, Alexander The Great, Atilla The Hun, Napoleon, Adolph Hitler, and Uncle Joe Stalin. Don’t think for a moment that the dream of world domination died with these historical figures. The dream is still alive today in the hearts of some of the richest men on the planet such as George Soros. Money talks. Money can buy you all the scientific reports that you want. Money can buy you all the scientific sycophants that you want.

              As far as “fallacious common sense goes”…. I think your undermining of the phrase “common sense” is unwarranted. Common sense is a general term used to describe what humans OBSERVE. Since you are a white man, your common sense would tell you not to walk into a black neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois on a warm summer day. I suspect that you, Tom, use common sense everyday of your life. I observe people drinking distilled water and I hear them tell me that they have great health, energy, and calmness. That’s my observation.

              As far as my great grandparents and grand parents drinking rain water goes, I will tell you that they did not collect the rain water for a half hour until the rain had a chance to clear the atmosphere of any pollutants, dust, pollen, or insects. So, their rainwater was more pure and fewer parts per million. There have been some experiments of comparing such rainwater as the type collected by my relatives to distilled water, and the parts per million of particles was very close.

              So, Tom, you have a choice…you can risk all the dire predictions of the WHO experiments and drinking distilled water. Or, you can drink tap water and risk all the industrial pollution including radioactive particles that find their way into public drinking water. I could give you hundreds of links to articles on local public drinking water that somehow became contaminated with sewage, heavy metals, radioactive particles, industrial chemicals, dead animals, insects, all kinds of bad stuff. Good luck with that.

              By the way Tom, I have been eating apricot kernels now for an entire year. No problems. “hiccup” “burp” :-)

              You see, the thing about distilled water is that the same paranoia that people had about red tomatoes has now shifted toward distilled water. A few hundred years ago people thought red tomatoes were deadly poison, but after thousands of people OBSERVED that one could safely eat the tomato fruit, the myth about poisonous red tomatoes went away. People used there “common sense”. No pun implied.

        3. TG – You might be interested in watching this Nova show on how we (humans) evolved with minerals. It’s extremely interesting. I’d always wondered why it is that we needed minerals and our relationship to them and vitamins. This sheds some light:

          I can also share an interesting experience regarding minerals. A friend never ate vegetables – just meat and potatoes. She started to have severe heart palpitations and arrhythmia. Docs couldn’t find anything. So they wanted to destroy her thyroid (assuming it was that) and put her on synthroid for the rest of her life. She said no. She went to different Docs for a year trying to find a clearer explanation and plan. Long story short, she finally went to a nutritionist who insisted that she take magnesium since she (my friend) ate no greens. TaDa!! problem solved. Her erratic heart rate was a result of her very low magnesium levels.
          I, too, have arrhythmia and I started taking magnesium decades ago for it. Even though I am WFPB I can still tell if I am low on magnesium when my palpitations kick in. Interestingly, instead of going the magnesium route lately I started drinking a mineral water, San Pellegrino, known to have magnesium and also other minerals. This has worked even better than taking magnesium pills. My arrhythmia is nonexistant when I am drinking mineral water. So this has been a eye opener for me coupled with the information in the Nova show I mention above.

          1. Your testimony is really interesting. I have been reading

            that we don’t really absorb inorganic minerals from tablets.

            What I have been reading is that we primarily absorb

            inorganic minerals from eating plants. But, you are

            drinking water that has been infused with inorganic

            minerals and you apparently are absorbing these

            inorganic minerals at the cellular level. My worry is

            drinking hard water that has a lot of calcium. Dr. Levy MD

            cadiologist on youtube says that such water can

            cause inorganic calcium to migrate to your arteries

            and cause plaque build up. Nutrition is such a mystery.

            1. John – the water I am drinking is not infused with inorganic minerals.
              And yes, there is some research showing that calcium can build up in your arteries causing calcifications. However, that kind of research is usually associated with consuming calcium tablets and many cardiologist are now recommending not taking them or taking them in smaller amounts. But also, if you look into the vitamin K2, you will find that K2 is necessary in teh diet to transport the Ca into the bones and teeth where it is properly stored instead of coming to rest in teh arteries. Go to Youtube and look at some presentation on K2 and mineral absorbtion. As usual, it’s more complicated than it seems. It’s a very interesting topic.

              1. I agree that K2 is necessary for calcium uptake into the bones. What foods have K2? Dr. Greger has warned us about taking supplements. He has shown scientific studies that people who take supplements have a shorter life span. He also says that most supplements are made in China and have a high probability of being contaminated with all kinds of bad stuff like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and other contaminants. So far, the only food source that I have found for K2 is kimchi. But, kimchi is pickled and Dr. Greger has warned us that pickled foods are bad for us. So, can you think of some other food source for vitamin K2?

                1. John, don’t think kimchi has much K2. As far as I know, natto is the only vegan food with it. It is a very good source, but personally, I can’t stand the smell or consistency. So I take life extension brand K2. Magnesium and boron also help bone health. There are certain nutrients that are only in animal food. So I take D3, B12, and pharmaceutical grade fish oil as well. Only problem with K2 is if you are on blood thinners. Then instead of taking the usual dose the Dutch research recommended only 45mcg. But that advice may as changed so if you have this issue you will have to check current data.

        4. A lot of vegans who drink distilled water avoid the debate about distilled water potentially damaging one’s cells and leaching minerals out of the body by simply adding minerals back into the distilled water. The MAIN thing is that their water is not original tap water which could have chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, bacteria, radioactive particles, pharmaceuticals, sewage from cattle run off into streams, rivers, and lakes. However, one could easily argue against adding minerals to one’s distilled water by pointing out the possibility that those minerals might have heavy metals in them…..YES….heavy metals…take that you sneaky vegan. we gotcha with the old heavy metals trick. :-)

          Tom, I know you are in touch with the scientific crowd of the whole plant food movement. But, I don’t think you are in touch with the “hippie” crowd of the whole plant food movement. Check out Vegetable Police as he explains in “hippie” ways the ins and outs of distilled water and how to add minerals to it.

          Tom, I guess if people in certain parts of England do not want to drink distilled water with added minerals then they could drink the sparkling, clear, pure, delicious water from the River Thames. :-)

    1. Rickshaw, certain commercial interests have tried to prove no link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s. But now many specialists believe there is one. I always cringe when I see people cooking food, especially acidic foods, in foil.

      Most chemists believe that elements of the Periodic Table can replace others in the same vertical column. So chlorine, bromine can block iodine to an extent.
      Looking at the table you can see that boron is in the same column as aluminum. Perhaps taking boron can help block aluminum absorption? Don’t know, and have not seen anyone try it. But boron is very useful anyway. It’s usually in fruits and veggies, but only if in the soil where grown. And there are many parts of the world where there is little of it. If you live in one of those places you can take boron in a capsule. (as Calcium Borogluconate).

      See article- ‘Nothing Boring about Boron’.

  8. My father passed away from Alzheimer’s I watch him disintegrate into nothing at the time I didn’t know about saffron.
    He was on all the medications and they did nothing for him at all so even if a spice company funds this it’s worth a shot because when you turn to Conventional medicine they have. Just like cancer we going to walk to find the Cure they will never find the Cure because it will end the money stream and possibly their job.

    1. Check out “The Truth About Cancer”
      They have several ethical doctors and scientists who are fed up with profiting off of ineffective treatments and often use spices and whole organic foods as part of an overall system to prevent and work against cancer.

  9. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. Historical uses of saffron.

    During almost four millennia, saffron has had the largest number of application among all medicinal plants and has been used in the treatment of 90 medical indications (Ferrence and Bendersky, 2004)

    Saffron’s safe dose is less than 2 Dirham (about 6 g), if it is used in the amounts of 3 Dirham (about 9 g) or above, it can be lethal due to excess happiness and excitation.

  10. I’ve recently received and planted in pots some crocus to harvest the anthers as saffron. Just today I noticed the few that had already bloomed looked wilted and downturned. I suspect the heat (been in the 80s lately) or too much watering (I planted them in coir mixed with compost and soil.)

    Anyone with experience growing crocus, any contribution would be appreciated… including when and how to best harvest.

      1. Susan! I can’t thank you enough for the link. While reading it I almost split my side from laughing. To wit, the quote below:

        plowing can be done at the end of spring or early July Also did. In mechanized agriculture, saffron cultivates ground in the fall of the year before planting with iron cows.

        And that was just one of the gems in the article. ‘-)

        1. hahaha Lonie, I was going to warn you.. I supposed the whole site was translated farsi to english. I managed to get the idea of what I was looking for though, and hope you did too.

        2. I imagine that “iron cow” is just a Farsi term for tractor ….. a bit like the old term “iron horse” in English referring to a steam locomotive.

          1. I think there is more to this than raising saffron… I think there is a deeper meaning. I mean, this is Nostradamus level stuff!

            After the gazebo, the farm is used to break the bale of the shovel and the four horns of the metal or the Iranian iron cow at a low depth, then the soil is torn down. The breakdown of the ground causes the flower buds to ease out of the soil and grow strong and desirable.

  11. Anyone seen any research on healthy individuals taking regular “higher” doses of saffron and the effects on say their mental state, mood etc?

    When I say “higher” doses, I mean more than a couple of strands, but still well within safe levels.

    I’ve an unused box of saffron that I think I’m going to use in my breakfast smoothie bowls.

    For anyone wondering, smoothie bowls are a smoothie poured onto whole/solid food. Here’s my daily breakfast smoothie bowl:

    ~250ml Oatly Oat Milk + 2 tbls of broccoli sprouts* + handful of spinach + a few sprigs of parsley + small handful of rocket/arugula + 2 chunks of frozen pineapple (for the bromelain) + fresh ginger root (thumb-size) + 2 dates OR half an apple or half a sharon fruit / persimmon + small chunk of organic fresh or frozen lemon peel

    * broccoli sprouts are soaked in 70c water for 10mins. The water is poured on top of the frozen blueberries whilst i prepare the rest and my family’s breakfast and the kids lunches.

    Pour the smoothie into the Bowl of
    1 cup of jumbo organic rolled oats + 1/4 cup of no added sugar/salt vegan muesli (Jordans brand) + 2 tbls home-ground flaxseed (stored in the fridge) + 1/2 cup frozen blueberries + 1/2 apple OR 1/2 persimmon + a few raisins + 1 tsp amla powder + 1 tsp of aronia berry powder + 1/2 tsp cumin powder + 25g of pea protein powder** + 1/2 tsp of creatine monohydrate** + 2 tsp of home-made sugar-free berry jam (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, dates, amla, spices of your choice).

    I’ll also take 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder off the spoon and grind some black pepper onto the spoon also.

    ** obviously these can be left out for those not wanting to use such things. I’ve found over the years that my lifting of weights / gym training / powerlifting is benefited by these additions though. I genuinely would prefer to swap the protein powder for say a cup of beans but my body simply cannot deal with them . I’ve tried trust me; I’ve been plant-based for 9 years. I have top be careful with the amount of beans I eat at any one time.

    Been having this now for over a year and it’s great. Before that it was mostly a larger smoothie for breakfast, but I much prefer this smoothie bowl. I’ve only given you what I use for interest. Experiment and find what works for you. Mine isn’t always the same; it changes depending on the fruit in the house for example.

    1. Hi Scott: this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Natural Medicine and Moderator of Nutritionfacts. I personally appreciate your recipe and definitely going to try it and I hope other readers do too. Thank you for it. Your jar of saffron: I would use a pinch each day in the smoothie and no counting strands. For the beans, I must confess I could not tolerate them for many years, until I started probiotics, now and then (2-3 times a week) and at times, digestive enzymes. And the side effects disappeared and for the first time in my life I was able to enjoy them. I hope this helps, Daniela

  12. This isn’t related to this video(and honestly maybe not even directly to nutrition), but I was wondering something. How does the amount of muscle you have affect health? I am assuming there are many pros and cons, does anyone know of a good list? I guess it would be difficult to get a good study because it would be hard/impossible to control for that sort of exercise(I guess maybe if a person was doing weight lifting or something but not increasing their calories to sustain more muscle) and many muscular people are obsessed with meat and protein powder.

    For now, I am not aiming to be a huge body-builder or anything(I guess that is subjective) but my goal is to ultimately be as lean as I can without being unhealthily lean(but that is ve) but maintain my weight or only lose a little(maybe aim for 160-170 pounds and I am 171 right now) and my scale(for what that’s worth) estimates I have 15-20% bodyfat(my mother also instists that our family is just heavy boned or something).

    The pros and cons I can think of off the top of my head.

    1. Makes it easier to exercise and trying to build and maintain muscle encourages exercise!

    2. It is useful for work and chores that requires strength.

    3. Being more athletic allows you to get around on your feet faster and with more ease for longer periods of time and opens up opportunities for those who have athletic hobbies or could otherwise benefit.

    4. Grants more independence(balance, strength, less likely to have trouble moving around on your own feet, etc) when you are old(I am still 24 but it is worth saying)

    4. You are able to consume more food/calories than you could otherwise without getting fat.

    1. Shorter lifespan due to increased intake of calories? Maybe this can be offset by getting those calories from a healthy whole foods vegan diet? (But all things being equal, who will likely live longer?). Quality of life should also be considered though.

    2. You have to eat more calories than if you were equally lean but not as muscular.

    This doesn’t include social pros and cons, whatever they may be. Does anyone have anything to add or critique? It seems to me that being pretty muscular(compared to average) definitely wins in terms of physical health, so long as you don’t build and sustain it with unhealthy foods, supplements, methods, etc. As I said I am not planing on building muscle past the point of what is practical for me(160 definitely would not be huge for my frame/body), but I do ultimately want a physically demanding(in a healthy way) job for my health. I am also curious just for curiosity’s sake about what amount of muscle is too much to be healthy.

    1. Shorter lifespan due to increased intake of calories? Maybe this can be offset by getting those calories from a healthy whole foods vegan diet? (But all things being equal, who will likely live longer?). Quality of life should also be considered though.

      I think you are on the right track when you are concerned about lifespan. Most people are trying to attain greater metabolism, but that just means you are burning the candle faster… read: shortening telomeres etc.

      It is also possible, and I have no evidence of this, that growing muscle may mean you are activating IGF-1 through food intake, some way. IGF-1 is anathema to longevity.

      1. Attaining greater metabolism probably refers to attempts to preserve mitochondrial functioning…a decrease in this is one factor involved in aging.

        Then there is this?


        The researchers followed 410 men aged 65-92 for six years. Just before the study began, the researchers measured the concentration of DHEA-S, bioavailable testosterone and IGF-1 in the men’s blood.


        The combined concentration of the anabolic hormones DHEA, testosterone and IGF, after the researchers had filtered out age, education, BMI and other factors, was a strong predictor of the men’s survival chances.

        The figure below shows that, of the men with a high or average concentration of all those hormones in their blood, about 90 percent were still alive after 6 years. Of the men with a low concentration of all three hormones, only a quarter were still alive after 6 years.

        “It is conceivable that DHEA-S, testosterone, and IGF-1 have synergistic effects,” the Italians speculated. “For example, DHEA-S can be converted to testosterone in peripheral tissues, and some of the peripheral actions of both DHEA-S and testosterone may be mediated via tissue-generated IGF-1. In preliminary analyses performed in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging population, both DHEA-S and testosterone had a joint protective effect on 30-year mortality rates.”

        1. I am very cautious about speculation like this inferring causation from simple associations. Cholesterol is a hormone precursor and low cholesterol also associated with mortality in older people. However, this is because older people tend to be sicker than younger people and many illnesses and injuries cause cholesterol to decline.

          Anabolic hormones like DHEA, testosterone and IGF1 can also decline as a result of illnesses and the actual study itself noted

          “Compared with living participants, men who died during the 6 years of follow-up were older and more likely to have a history of sedentary lifestyle, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, cognitive impairment, and higher serum log(IL-6) levels (data not shown).
          Compared with men with levels of all hormones above the lowest quartile, men with 1, 2, or 3 hormones in the lowest quartiles were older and more likely to have a history of sedentary lifestyle (Table 1)”

          .Among people eating the standard Western diet, cholesterol and hormones like IGF-1 tend to be (unnaturally) high. I’d be be inclined to suspect that declining cholesterol and anabolic hormones in elderly people eating mostly standard Western diets are more likely to be biomarkers of ill health than actually causal in and of themselves. Whereas low levels of cholesterol and anabolic hormones resulting from a healthy vegetarian diet and exercise may well be protective in older people ….. as they appear to be in people under 65.

          Another reason for thinking this is that “Mice and humans with Growth Hormone Receptor/IGF-1 deficiencies display major reductions in age-related diseases.”

          My opinion therefore remains that low cholesterol and low levels of anabolic hormones like IGF-1 achieved through a healthy diet and lifestyle are likely to be just as protective in older people as they are in younger people ……. whatever simple association studies like this seem to imply.

    2. How about this? Yes, it’s from the Washington Post, but you could probably find the studies if you want:

      Because I have been led to believe that exercise helps one live longer, I have started running this year. I have been walking 2 miles daily for years and lifting weights for about 2 years. I am 70….

      1. There’s always a counter-point. I quit walking for exercise about 10 years ago and only do about 75 pushups on my window sill as I’m stretched out like a board, 2, maybe 3 times a week.

        I’m 69 years and 45 months of age. I will never turn 70. I plan to remain 69 + for the next 100 + years.

      2. All I can say is….good luck. But I’d watch those knees. I’m lucky to stay with my 1/2 hour 2xs per week exercise program….and some walking.

        My limited experience with exercising tells me that you can exercise up to a certain level….get beyond this and when you are older especially…you can be injured…and the older you are the less rapidly you will heal. My theory on it is the real benefits of exercise come from consistently doing it on a regular basis….not approaching some limit of intensity.

        Everyone tries to sell a particular program…but the real benefit comes from a consistent program up to certain limits…always challenging these limits is for younger people.

        1. Interestingly enough, when I started running this past summer, pain in both feet left, pain in one knee left, and pain under one side of my rib cage left. I am careful….

          1. Liisa, I found the same thing. Had back and neck issues since I was 40. Was sent to all kinds of doctors, no help. All they recommended was surgery or high doses of nsaids which prevent joint healing. I was in a lot of pain.
            Started using kettlebell swing. Started using 10 # bell, 10 swings for 10 minutes. Felt like I had a hot iron on my back the next day. Clearly my back muscles were not in good shape.
            Worked up slowly, now use 25# bell, 13-15 swings per minute for 30 minutes. I am now totally pain free. I run now also. Exercise sure worked for me!

            1. Thanks for your testimony. Makes me want to exercise. As a matter of fact, I think I will get up from this computer chair and go in the garage right now and do some exercising.

            2. Marilyn Kay – thank you for posting your experience. I keep thinking I’d like to try to run again but when I did it years ago I got terrible, terrible shin splints. Almost couldn’t walk. I was clearly doing something wrong. But even when I stopped running my shin splints remained for years afterword. It was horrible.
              I have noticed that my posture is going to hell in a handbag and want some exercise for the upper back. Kettlebell swinging sounds like it might be a good option. I can see where it would help back and core – I need the whole package !!! :-)

          2. As much as I like running, I try to avoid too much of it because it does seem hard on me. It does not necessarily need to be as hard on a person, I have heard that improvements in running technique/skill is supposed to help and good shoes and good insoles also help significantly(not just the feet but all parts that benefit from the softened impact) and running on grass seems way better to me than running on a road or concrete. Being skinny or light probably helps a lot too. Basically, the main problems seem to come from the impact of each step so softening the impact helps and I have heard that learning to run with good technique also helps. I personally just avoid it though and my favorite exercises are planks or leg lifts(I should learn more), especially planks. I am not exactly a running expert though, this has just been my experience.

            If running is too hard on you, you can also try walking further and or speed walking. Biking or hiking is also an option(and there are obviously tons of different exercises to try)

    3. Don’t know your age Daniel, but as people get older they tend to lose muscle and replace it with fat.
      That makes it much harder to keep your balance, and falls are a problem. Also muscle pulling on bone when you workout makes your bones stronger. Keeps you from getting osteoporosis. Cardio exercises the heart and helps lung function. Cardio helps keep pulse rate down which means your heart does not have to work so hard. Exercise, both cardio and strength training is important.

    4. Hi Daniel, this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Natural Medicine and Moderator of Nutritionfacts. Your discussion is very well researched and pertinent. The benefits of being fit and athletic, notwithstanding muscular ration to total body are innumerable, from support of the immune system, cardiovascular system, nervous system to warding off cellular aging by maintaining telomeres length which allows accurate cellular division. In short the anti aging protection of serious physical activity is not to be contested. For that reason, I have been working out and planning to work out all my life. Honestly, I don’t see many cons, and if one argues that there may be higher oxidative stress resulting from increased amounts of food processed, well, let’s make sure we take in more antioxidants and there are plenty out there. I also chose to think that all things in moderation is probably the way to go, which is something you are alluding to also, in your note. Regards, Daniela

    1. Hi Neelam, this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Natural Medicine and Moderator of Nutritionfacts. I do not think the ethnicity is a differential here. Again, consuming Saffron regularly in food, cooked or raw will provide protection against many degenerative disease. If you are talking extracts, though I do not recommend them for reasons of purity and trustworthiness of the manufacturer, usually 80 mg containing 0.3% standardized safranal seem to be an acceptable dose; but remember the benefits will be many times enhanced by a healthy diet, mostly plant based if not exclusively plant based, as I have learned to not ignore diet at any time.

  13. Hi,
    I am looking for help with eye floaters and age related vertigo.
    What nutritional whole foods can help me with these two mentioned above?
    I was instructed to place my questions under a video in the comments section.
    Many Thanks

    1. I take zeaxanthin, lutein, and vitamin C supplements as adjuncts for good vision health. The foods I eat to improve vision are handfuls of blue berries everyday, and several Indian gooseberries RAW. I eat the Indian gooseberries in combination with my black bean – rice – salsa combo and the sourness of the Indian gooseberries really “picks up” my beans and rice meal.

    2. Akil,

      regarding floaters, although scientific studies are lacking, the anecdotal evidence points to the fruit of Lycium barbarum – or Chinese wolfberry – feel free to try it.

      What about vertigo? Try to lower your sodium intake, avoiding too much sugar may guard against vertigo, according to the VDA. You can find more VDA reccomendations here:

      Moderator Adam P.

  14. I’m trying to get a grip on the evolutionary trend that makes supplementing with an algea derived DHA & EPA supplement beneficial not only on a standard western diet but also on a WFPB diet. The conclusion seems to be that the skewed omega 3 – omega 6 ratio got started when we shifted towards the agricultural diet that was and essentially is less diverse then the plants and greens we were eating as hunter-gatherers. The balance of omega-6 to omega-3 has shaped our evolution for nearly two million years.

    The last ten thousand years have witnessed humans shifting from eating a 100% natural diet, with an optimal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, to consuming a largely artificial and omega-6 rich grain-based diet, such that our ratio of these essential fats has escalated to in excess of 15:1 in favour of omega-6.”

    Seems to be a good article, but it’s also a supplement company.

    1. There are no definitive peer-reviewed studies with hard clinical endpoints (death/disease) in support of all this. There is no doubt that the SAD provides Omega 6 to 3 ratio that is excessively skewed and is likely very unhealthful. If you eat a diverse WFPB diet, your ratio will improve markedly as the ratio of Omega 6 to 3 is much more favorable than the SAD. Avoid anyone selling a supplement as none to my knowledge have any independent published peer-reviewed studies using hard clinical endpoints that show any benefit. All independent studies on supplements show either no benefit or increased rates of early death and disease.

      Dr. Ben

  15. Silica has apparently been found to reduce aluminum levels drastically in the brain. It’s now recommended to drink high silica mineral water. It’s also supposed to help connective tissue, joints, hair, skin too?

    This is a request if Dr Greger (my hero!) can do a video on forms of silica and bioavailability, sources, body requirements and any benefits of silica?

    1. Paula,

      thanks for your interesting request, I’ll let Dr. Greger know. I’ve heard about the benefits of silica, too, because it’s able to bind aluminum, but I’ve never heard about actually reducing alumunium levels in the brain.

      We’ll see if Dr. Greger (my hero, too :-D) is going to make a video about his,

      Moderator Adam P.

  16. I have been looking anywhere for pupulation studies regarding lactose intolerance world wide but still havent been able to find any. I am working in a proyect for University here in Argentina and need to provide good statistics to gain some credibility of many of my superiors. I know that probably there are no population studies for argentina, but having some statistics of at South America (latin America) would be a great start

    If anybody is familiarized with this sort of studies please answer me.

    1. Hi Mariano, this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD Natural Medicine and moderator with nutritionfacts.
      I advise that you research pubmed, at, or type pubmed in the browser.
      I did a quick search lactose+intolerance+south+america and got several hits: prevalence of li in chile:; a study for population in Northern Brazil; a study on South American Indians:, one other on Surinam, etc, etc… go and check it out there is vast information in pubmed. I hope this helps. Daniela

  17. Study showed people with blood folate in the lowest third had 330% greater risk of Alzheimer’s. That’s folate from real plant foods, the “pills” have been proven not to work. Green and leafy vegetables are high in folate.
    Also people with blood homocysteine in the highest third had 450% greater risk of Alzheimer’s. Homocysteine is an amino acid from animal foods.
    See page 221 in “The China Study” by Cornell nutritional biochemist prof. T. Colin Campbell, Phd.
    Many many other references show similar results example “Healthy at 100” by John Robbins.
    The basic problem in the U.S. is research is funded by pharmaceuticals who are searching for magic pills to make a fortune. The produce aisle in the market won’t make them rich. BTW your doctor can check your homocysteine level.

    1. Use the power of OBSERVATION. Skinny people live longer than fat people. Skinny people in general have better health than fat people. Walk into a nursing home and you will see that 90 percent of the very elderly are THIN. Hardly any fat person ever makes it into their 90’s. As far as the cohort study goes, it was probably funded by the meat – dairy – milk – and BIG FOOD conglomerations. I will take my daily observation of working in nursing homes over the years before I buy into this so called scientific paper that fat people live longer and are more healthy than thin people.

  18. I was diagnosed in 2006 with multiple sclerosis, the only symptoms at that time were falling and legs hurting and moving all the time. I remember no symptoms at all until last year. I went into full seizure mode, I was put on Avonex. I had the symptoms of that medication every day for 13 weeks, I mean I was so sick every day. I stopped that medication and a few days later I was back to my normal self. Then a few weeks later I started having attacks every week and I was really bad. It’s like one long attack every day. My upstairs neighbors cause me great anxiety every day. I have gotten a new neurologist and she started me on the Copaxone and I didn’t know what to expect, I knew I hurt from when I wake up until I go to sleep.I lost touch with reality.I started on Health Herbal Clinic multiple sclerosis Disease Herbal formula in June 2017, i read alot of positive reviews from patients here in the United States on their success rate treating multiple sclerosis through their Herbal formula and i immediately started on the treatment. Just 7 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements with my Vision and coordination, my stiffed, rigid muscle had succumbed. I am unbelievably back on my feet again, this is a breakthrough for all multiple sclerosis sufferers, visit Health Herbal Clinic official website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email info@ healthherbalclinic. net.

    1. Shirley: I checked out the Herbal Store and chatted with a Dr. Gillet online. I was surprised to learn that they sell one product (so far as I can tell from speaking with Dr. Gillet) called “the Herbal Formula”. Recommended a 7 week course of pills (2 bottles) for $357.00 US. Is that what you took? The testimonials on their site are quite impressive, but…. I am always the skeptic. I have met a lot of snake oil salesmen/women over the years and never been the better for it.

    2. If you really have MS, look up Dr. Terry Wahls on Utube. If you are here to sell stuff for this ‘clinic’ you are in the wrong place.

  19. I went to Sprouts Health Food store today and bought some saffron in the form of the flowering Stems inside the flower. This stuff is expensive. I had to pay 7 dollars for a thumb needle full of these red little flower parts. I watched a video on YouTube on how to prepare these delicate plant parts for ingesting.

          1. During the 1930’s and the early 1940’s the nazis would send people to the death camps who had any kind of deformity, mental illness, or alzheimer’s disease. In primitive cultures down through the ages, if you could not pull your weight and be productive, then you were just left behind to fend for yourself which resulted in isolation and death. In our so-called modern era of the 21st century, there are many progressive liberal people who believe in euthanasia for people who are unable to contribute to society. As an older population becomes economically unfeasible for a government to support, one might see a government finding a “solution”.

            1. We’re already there. “Healthcare providers” deprive those who are declared to be terminal of food and water until they die. Do an Internet search to find examples but here’s just the first “hit” I got to demonstrate: Aging Europeans are known to refuse to go to the hospital because, given their HUGE cost of government-provided healthcare, they’re going to cost too much to keep around even if NOT terminal. The law not only allows but often insists those who are no longer “contributing members of society” be “euthanized” for the good of those who can still contribute to the general welfare, as opposed to being a drain on it.

              1. You are right about these current events taking place in hospitals. I think this trend will increase. It may even get to a point where healthy older people could be targeted for removal from society by various means. Prior to the 1900’s large families shared a large home and each generation took care of the next generation. Today people are an island unto themselves and only look out for themselves. So, the question is, how does a healthy 80 year old person avoid being extinguished in the year 2050? Maybe, they should move to a different country such as Ecuador or Brazil. Maybe it’s time to start learning a foreign language. Ha ha ha

                  1. I have little doubt that self-supporting / contributing members of communities, regardless of age, will remain valued. It isn’t one’s age, after all, that’s determinative re: forcible euthanasia. What’s determinative is the point at which a person becomes a financial drain on the society as opposed to a contributor to it. At that point anyone is susceptible to being categorized as expendable.

                    1. If you are a wise old geezer at the age of 80 or so and you realize that your number is up if you are not contributing to the funding of the government……then being a wise old geezer you should figure out some way to make everyone think that you are a big contributor somehow. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

                  2. I don’t see how people in their 80’s except a very, very few could continue to be in the work force because the Standard American Diet is getting worse not better. Medications are being prescribed at a higher rate than ever.
                    People are exercising less and sitting at the computer more. Pollution is getting worse not better. There are hundreds and hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world that simply dump their nuclear waste into the ocean or bury it in areas where it seeps into the soil and water. The only people that are going to survive longer than the masses on this trash can we call earth are people like Dr. Greger…..and people that follow the science he presents.

                    1. Lonie, this was a very, very interesting article that you linked to, because it gave some scientific evidence that eating dark chocolate, red grapes, drinking red wine, and eating blue berries have phytonutrients that make our telemoreres healthy, younger, and even rejuvenate and function correctly.
                      Right now, this science is just emerging, sooooo, while the good scientist in white jackets are making more discoveries in this area you can bet that I will be consuming a lot of red grapes, blue berries, and a little bit of 100 cocoa chocolate. I am not going to drink red wine….I don’t want the alcohol in my system.

                    2. How much red wine? I’m a teetotaler but if a small enough “dosage” be sufficient then my next question would be how long does red wine last and under what conditions? Thx!

                    3. Right there with you on the alcohol… except for the amount in a tsp of vanilla extract. I put that in my Raw Organic cocoa powder mix to get the different ingredients to assimilate. The small amount of alcohol acts as a solvent.

                      i’m also hoping that Nicotinamide Riboside could be added to the items mentioned in their research as it performs many of the same functions as does the Resveratrol, chocolate, and even green tea. That is, the Sirt 1 (or is it Sirt 2?) pathway to NAD+.

                      Anyway, I consume dark chocolate or 60% plus cocoa powder in just about any form I find it. Turns out even oxaloacetic acid also works on the Sirt molecule but from a slightly different pathway. I use that sparingly as I have gotten some pangs in my big toe when taking it regularly, suggesting the possibility of gout in that digit.

                      Don’t want that pain again.

          2. Liisa,

            As a veteran people often say to me “thank you for your service.” I’m a little embarrassed to receive that accolade since, even though I was in a combat zone (Viet Nam) I was a company clerk in an ambulance unit stationed near China Beach (of TV fame)

            And I was also a caregiver for my mother for quite a number of years.

            I have to say that caring for my mother was much the harder of the two experiences.


  20. Dr Greger recently agreed to do more reviews of popular books on medical issues. One I would really like his comments on is a brand new book on Alzheimer Disease by Dale Bredesen. It’s based on clinical research such as this study: . The book is called The End of Alzheimer’s and it’s on Amazon here: and a comprehensive review of the book is here: I’d love to have the doctor’s comments, since Bredesen’s “protocol” seems to include at least some of the “daily dozen”. Thanks!

  21. In order to achieve some putative benefit after ingestion, does the saffron need a prior heat-associated or moisture-associated activation, molecular conversion step such as carboxylation (or something else binding or lost), or simple extraction in order to render the said effect compared to using the product raw? Alternatively, is it better or different in some desired way to consume the saffron in the raw dry form? Explain.

  22. i would like to know in what form to purchase saffron to gain the most benefit for using it for dementia, and where to find the best value as it is expensive. Can you help me with this?

    1. Hi Sherry,

      I was able to track saffron down at a local middle eastern grocery store. The price was $6 (Canadian) for 1 gram, brand Bartar from Iran. I’m not sure if Iranian sources will be available in the U.S. given the various sanctions that are in place. When I perused Amazon my impression was that it was at least 50/50 if I was going to get a pack that was fake or adulterated. Never buy it ground and wherever you get it from put 5 or so strands in a cup of water and let stand for 5-10 minutes. If the water turns a bright yellow and the strands hold their shape it is likely genuine.

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