The Downside of Green Smoothies

The Downside of Green Smoothies
4.51 (90.23%) 86 votes

Concerns about smoothies and oxalic acid, nitrate availability, dental erosion, and weight gain are addressed.


If you split women into two groups and tell them to eat as much soup as they want, but half are given big spoons and told to eat fast, and the other group is given small spoons and told to eat slow, the slow group ended up feeling more satiated, despite eating less food. The thought is that prolonged meal duration can allow more time for our own body’s I’ve-had-enough signals to develop before too many calories have been consumed. After all, we evolved for millions of years before cooking, when undomesticated fruits and vegetables were much tougher and more fibrous. Our body is built to expect us to take our time to eat.

There weren’t any blenders on the African savannah either. In smoothie form, you can drink fruits and vegetables at about two cups a minute—ten times faster than what it might take to eat them in solid form. Liquid calories can be consumed so quickly they can undermine our body’s capacity to regulate food intake at healthy levels. It’s not the liquid texture per se, but the high rate of consumption at which liquids are normally consumed. And so, blend all the smoothies you want, but better to sip them slowly, over a half hour or so, rather than gulping them down.

Even slowly sipped, though, an all-fruit smoothie may not be as filling as whole fruit; so, the more greens you can add to your smoothie the better, and you can add ground flax seeds. The thicker the smoothie, the less hungry you may be one, two—even four hours later, and flax seeds make for thick milkshakey-type smoothies. One tablespoon of flaxseeds was found to significantly suppress appetite and calorie intake. Less hunger, more satiety, more filling, less prospective food intake—meaning you give someone a meal two hours after the tablespoon of flax, and they eat significantly less. All the while, possibly leading to significant reduction in cholesterol. This is just one week after about a tablespoon a day.

The fat naturally found in flaxseeds can also help maximize the absorption of fat-soluble phytonutrients. There’s a threshold for optimal absorption that can be reached with just like three walnuts’ worth of fat. So, if you’re trying to reduce added fats, a green smoothie with some nuts, seeds, or avocado can enable you to take full advantage of the healthiest foods on the planet: dark green leafy vegetables.

Smoothies also allow us to eat parts of fruits and vegetables we might not otherwise. If instead of lemon juice, here in the Mayo Clinic’s basic green smoothie recipe, you used a little wedge of lemon, you might get some seeds and peel, which, in vitro at least, appear to suppress both breast cancer and colon cancer cell growth.

Clinical studies on smoothies show what you’d expect to see from eating great foods like greens and berries—enhanced athletic performance and recovery, boosting the antioxidant power of your bloodstream, potentially improving arterial function in the short-term, and the long-term. Kiwifruit smoothies protect against DNA damage and strawberry smoothies against inflammation. Of course so would, presumably, just eating greens, kiwis, and berries intact. There has been concern expressed that drinking green smoothies would bypass the nitrate-reducing bacteria in the mouth, but our body’s way too smart for that, and pumps nitrate back into our salivary glands. So, even if you deposited greens directly in your stomach with a tube, you’d still produce the nitric oxide so important for artery health.

Concerns have been raised about the oxalic acid in vegetables might increase kidney stone risk, but as I’ve explained in the past, if anything the opposite might be the case. So, are there any downsides of smoothie consumption?

Whether lemon juice or wedge, smoothies can be sour, and any time you’re eating or drinking something sour, you have to careful about eroding the enamel on your teeth. If you soak teeth in a smoothie for an hour, significant enamel is eroded away. But who soaks their teeth in a smoothie for an hour? What if you instead study the effects of smoothies in situ, meaning in position, as opposed to in vitro, meaning in glass? If you make people wear slabs of enamel in their mouths while they drink a smoothie to replicate a typical tooth exposure, they do find almost as much erosion as drinking Diet Coke, so it’s recommended that smoothies be consumed through a straw, similar to the advice given for other acidic beverages like soda or hibiscus tea. Compared to control, drinking juice through a straw has less of an acidic effect than swishing it around in your mouth, so avoid swishing smoothies around in your mouth, and you want to wait at least an hour before brushing so as not to brush your enamel in a softened state. But rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking is a good idea, as it can help rinse away some of the acids to protect your teeth.

And one final caveat for smoothies: when I advocate green smoothies to boost fruit and vegetable consumption I’m talking about whole food smoothies, not made from juice, or added sugars, or human organs. Some women choose to consume their afterbirth. Though described as “replenishing and delicious,” the problem with eating your placenta is that one of the functions of the placenta is to filter out toxins, and so, it may be contaminated with heavy metals, as well as pose a food poisoning risk if consumed raw, like in a smoothie. Green smoothies are great, but I’d be cautious about drinking certain types of red smoothies.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Morning smoothie and moppet65535 via Flickr.

If you split women into two groups and tell them to eat as much soup as they want, but half are given big spoons and told to eat fast, and the other group is given small spoons and told to eat slow, the slow group ended up feeling more satiated, despite eating less food. The thought is that prolonged meal duration can allow more time for our own body’s I’ve-had-enough signals to develop before too many calories have been consumed. After all, we evolved for millions of years before cooking, when undomesticated fruits and vegetables were much tougher and more fibrous. Our body is built to expect us to take our time to eat.

There weren’t any blenders on the African savannah either. In smoothie form, you can drink fruits and vegetables at about two cups a minute—ten times faster than what it might take to eat them in solid form. Liquid calories can be consumed so quickly they can undermine our body’s capacity to regulate food intake at healthy levels. It’s not the liquid texture per se, but the high rate of consumption at which liquids are normally consumed. And so, blend all the smoothies you want, but better to sip them slowly, over a half hour or so, rather than gulping them down.

Even slowly sipped, though, an all-fruit smoothie may not be as filling as whole fruit; so, the more greens you can add to your smoothie the better, and you can add ground flax seeds. The thicker the smoothie, the less hungry you may be one, two—even four hours later, and flax seeds make for thick milkshakey-type smoothies. One tablespoon of flaxseeds was found to significantly suppress appetite and calorie intake. Less hunger, more satiety, more filling, less prospective food intake—meaning you give someone a meal two hours after the tablespoon of flax, and they eat significantly less. All the while, possibly leading to significant reduction in cholesterol. This is just one week after about a tablespoon a day.

The fat naturally found in flaxseeds can also help maximize the absorption of fat-soluble phytonutrients. There’s a threshold for optimal absorption that can be reached with just like three walnuts’ worth of fat. So, if you’re trying to reduce added fats, a green smoothie with some nuts, seeds, or avocado can enable you to take full advantage of the healthiest foods on the planet: dark green leafy vegetables.

Smoothies also allow us to eat parts of fruits and vegetables we might not otherwise. If instead of lemon juice, here in the Mayo Clinic’s basic green smoothie recipe, you used a little wedge of lemon, you might get some seeds and peel, which, in vitro at least, appear to suppress both breast cancer and colon cancer cell growth.

Clinical studies on smoothies show what you’d expect to see from eating great foods like greens and berries—enhanced athletic performance and recovery, boosting the antioxidant power of your bloodstream, potentially improving arterial function in the short-term, and the long-term. Kiwifruit smoothies protect against DNA damage and strawberry smoothies against inflammation. Of course so would, presumably, just eating greens, kiwis, and berries intact. There has been concern expressed that drinking green smoothies would bypass the nitrate-reducing bacteria in the mouth, but our body’s way too smart for that, and pumps nitrate back into our salivary glands. So, even if you deposited greens directly in your stomach with a tube, you’d still produce the nitric oxide so important for artery health.

Concerns have been raised about the oxalic acid in vegetables might increase kidney stone risk, but as I’ve explained in the past, if anything the opposite might be the case. So, are there any downsides of smoothie consumption?

Whether lemon juice or wedge, smoothies can be sour, and any time you’re eating or drinking something sour, you have to careful about eroding the enamel on your teeth. If you soak teeth in a smoothie for an hour, significant enamel is eroded away. But who soaks their teeth in a smoothie for an hour? What if you instead study the effects of smoothies in situ, meaning in position, as opposed to in vitro, meaning in glass? If you make people wear slabs of enamel in their mouths while they drink a smoothie to replicate a typical tooth exposure, they do find almost as much erosion as drinking Diet Coke, so it’s recommended that smoothies be consumed through a straw, similar to the advice given for other acidic beverages like soda or hibiscus tea. Compared to control, drinking juice through a straw has less of an acidic effect than swishing it around in your mouth, so avoid swishing smoothies around in your mouth, and you want to wait at least an hour before brushing so as not to brush your enamel in a softened state. But rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking is a good idea, as it can help rinse away some of the acids to protect your teeth.

And one final caveat for smoothies: when I advocate green smoothies to boost fruit and vegetable consumption I’m talking about whole food smoothies, not made from juice, or added sugars, or human organs. Some women choose to consume their afterbirth. Though described as “replenishing and delicious,” the problem with eating your placenta is that one of the functions of the placenta is to filter out toxins, and so, it may be contaminated with heavy metals, as well as pose a food poisoning risk if consumed raw, like in a smoothie. Green smoothies are great, but I’d be cautious about drinking certain types of red smoothies.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Morning smoothie and moppet65535 via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

That’s it—the whole smoothie enchilada! Phew. For those who are sick of smoothies, you will be happy to know the next video will be non-smoothie-related (though will undoubtedly unleash its own storm of controversy!). For those who missed the rest of Smoothiepalooza, here are the first four videos in the series:

Was the concern about dental erosion new to you? See more in:

What’s with that nitrate thing? See Don’t Use Antiseptic Mouthwash. What’s the best mouthwash then? See the video What’s the Best Mouthwash? More on nitrate-containing vegetables coming up!

More on fat-soluble nutrient absorption in my ancient video, Forego Fat-Free Dressings?

And more on oxalates and kidney stones in How to Prevent Kidney Stones With Diet and How to Treat Kidney Stones with Diet.

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

283 responses to “The Downside of Green Smoothies

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    1. If you didn’t catch it in the video, check out the transcript for this one. It’s pretty clear the summary of the videos. Smoothies good but eat slow. Smoothies with greens better, keep eating slow. And take care of your teeth.

      1. and use a straw and rinse your mouth with water after consuming fruits or juices/smoothies….and wait at least 30 minutes to 1 hour (best) before brushing.

    2. Hello sir,
      Can you please explain about moringa as an ingredient in green smoothie.Its taste is some what bitter. My problem is how can we improve its taste …

      1. Having traveled some south of the US border and meeting with various indeginous healers, they usually advise burying the sacred placenta- returning to Mother Earth. In all my travels exploring transcultural health practices I’ve never heard of injesting the placenta. Here is a nice literature review on consumption of placentas postpartum.

      1. From Dr. Greger: “Sorry! There was an actual medical purpose, though–I swear! Women really do drink them and I wanted to warn them about the potential hazards. Even fully cooked, placentas may contain excessive levels of toxins like heavy metals. Sounds like you’re not at risk for exposure, though–good!”

        1. Maybe liver is just as toxic. I wish I had a list of supplements, especially the supplements that discourage brain tumors! I have to listen to some of his videos again because I lost the list I made of supplements he listed.

          1. good point, reluctant ! however, the definition Cannibalism is: the act or practice of humans eating the flesh or internal organs of other human beings. I am not sure drinking your excreted body parts would fall under that category. Indians from india, for example, drink their own urine for health, again, doesn’t fit the genre.

            1. I’m just being silly at this point, but it could be argued that the expelled placenta is part of the baby and no longer part of the mother, and therefore, it is cannibalism because it is the “organs of another human being”. At one time the placenta was connected to both mom and baby, but once it is delivered, it is connected to the baby only, and therefore is a part of the baby. When you harvest the placenta, you harvest it from the baby with a knife (or scissors, or teeth), not from the mother. Still gross.

              1. your not being silly at all, reluctant ! again, another good point. I love thoughtful conversation. in this case, it may very well be cannibalism, and if you were to partake in this practice, I suspect you would have to acquire a taste for it. as a smoothie, one may have to add a couple shots of vodka and garnish with a slice of lime and a celery stem. for dinner, maybe bread lightly and sautéed it in a light sherry and serve with some fava beans. ok, now I am being silly, sorry. my mind starts to wonder. .

                1. I wonder just how many placentas (placenti…?) one might need to consume in order to ‘acquire a taste’ for it?

                  Things that make you go ‘Hmm…’

                  1. ok, mr. wonderful61, you had to go there and get me started. well here we go. how about amy’s organic placenti in a can. no artificial red dyes or colorings, no msg, non gmo! or campbell’s thick and chunky placenti noodle soup! ” hmm hmm good” or the all famous top selling, ben and jerry’s “phish food” ice cream . “eat fresh”

            2. Placenta is totally inner organ,excreted or not,its functioning,blood goes through it,and it supoorts baby,it is like another inner organ system to maintain grow of whole another new being inside another…Its totally inner organ,and just because it is thrown away when it is not neccessary it cant be taken as waste,it is full of blood as you can see,and I ve never seen placenta that grows somewhere outside or that can be compared to urine,which is basically just waste of your body with water… :D This is sure cannibalism,but who cares i na world where people drink liquors from bones of animals and think that this is the healthy way…

          1. Why do people bash hippies? They were social experimenters, who at least tried to change what they saw was a broken society. Also, a lot of hippies were vegetarians, just saying.

            1. Indeed, they were experimenter and as such they were often wrong but sometimes very right. Nor were they monolithic. They did tend to all have a healthy distaste for authority which I still find refreshing.

    1. He broke a rule that before now was unspoken. Dr. Greger if you don’t have a rule book for making videos please start one. First entry: No raw placenta smoothie references allowed.

      1. Sorry! There was an actual medical purpose, though–I swear! Women really do drink them and I wanted to warn them about the potential hazards. Even fully cooked, placentas may contain excessive levels of toxins like heavy metals. Sounds like you’re not at risk for exposure, though–good!

        1. Actually there was only one video in this series that did NOT include the word “green”. The discussion had been all about “green smoothies”, which tend to favor plants and not animal tissues. Slipping in a “red smoothie” was a bit much and has absolutely NOTHING at all to do with “green smoothies” and the things we consider food for daily consumption.

          Maybe do an article/video on the subject and call it what it is .

          Don’t stick it in the middle of our fruit salad, thanks!

          1. Actually I’m happy that Dr Greger had the idea of slipping it into the video, because I did follow some naturopathic course a few years ago. And they boast about it for an hour long. I was shock and laugh at despair while people explaining to me that they keep their placenta to feed their baby and child with it, without the child knowing anything of course. I just feel that was wrong and disgusting but now I know that It can even be dangerous.

        2. Drinking your own placenta is really not much different than eating a raw steak, liver, sushi (raw fish flesh) or raw or cooked eggs, for that matter. It’s ALL horribly sick and disgusting. And that’s why we don’t look at roadkill and say, yum! dinner! Instead we have to disguise how our animal foods got to the plate and dress them as much as possible so they are not raw and bloody looking like that placenta! Listen to our instincts–we are not designed to eat animal flesh or secretions!

        3. I for one appreciated this addition, as I have had several friends who decided to do the placenta-eating thing after birth. Somehow I just couldn’t stomach the thought…

        4. thanks dr. greger, you can’t please everyone! I bet you didn’t know there were so many prudes out there. they will come around. it had to be told.

        5. OK I gotta put in my two cents worth here. A little revulsion can be healthy. I think this video was very very appropriate. No one complains about pictures of cows or pigs being shown having had their heads stuck into a clamp so that their brains can be smashed then skinned, gutted and hanging on hooks. We are enculturated in such a way that this is made to seem good. However, as the presentations here and elsewhere show more and more harm to me from eating this stuff, the more repulsed I become.

          I have known women and some men as well who rave about the importance of eating placenta. Showing the deleterious effects of this cannot help but add to a more healthful cultural milieu.

          The relationship of a placenta smoothie to a piece of calf liver has little gap.

        6. I wanted to give my 2 cents on the ending of this video too, because I think there is a tendency for people who are OK with the status quo to remain silent, skewing the feedback.

          I have carefully read the objections to the ending of video, and I just don’t get it. From personal experience, I know that there are a large number of people who would look at Dr. Greger’s videos and say, “Hey, smoothies are OK…” and assume all of this information applies equally to smoothies with placenta in them. Thus, the warning seems necessary to me.

          While I personally find the topic has a large “ewww” factor for me, I remain grateful that Dr. Greger included information about placenta eating. It educated me on a subject I was previously completely unaware. And I couldn’t feel emotional trauma over the pictures, because nobody got hurt or died for that “red smoothie”… (Now if we were talking about pictures of factory farms, which have also shown up here on NutritionFacts, that would have an emotional impact on me.)

          I’m glad people posted their discomfort with the last segment of the video, as I find it interesting how people took the information. And I am glad everyone feels free to post their disagreements respectfully.

          But I’ll also say that I can’t relate to keeping this information on smoothies from someone simply because of the ending. If you really think the recipients of your links would be unable to absorb any other information because of the last minute, you could always send the link with text such as, “On the last video, be sure to stop at the time point ___ or risk learning about placenta smoothies. I kid you not! ;-)”

      2. Placentas are what we all grew in, we were ok with being in them at the time. Is viewing the real female body and the product of the birth process disgusting? Is it the result of negative social conditioning from living a long time in a plastic misogynistic society. Do you want to throw up when people talk about breast augmentation or liposuction, or have you been conditioned to think that’s ok? Isn’t it useful to warn of the potential dangers from any food practice? Just wondered if Dr Greger has uncovered another useful area of discussion, perhaps a warning on content would help those not used to the natural world.

        It’s good that you complained though, personal viewpoint is great!

    2. You guys are just waaay too squeamish. :-) He probably sips smoothies while watching surgery videos. :-)

      Seriously, it is gross, but not that bad. No rules broken Dr. G. :-)

      1. There was a medical purpose, please see below. Thanks for having a “hard” stomach. I agree it was gross but there was a reason to include.

        1. Agree! It grossed me out (and I don’t think of myself as easily grossed out!), but it’s justified. It’s not just vegans watching this, and people actually do this sort of thing.

    3. On the subject of being grossed out, surely I’m not the only one who is offended by Whole Foods having their butcher shop right next to the produce section, as the smells drift and the visuals are unpleasant for vegans and vegetarians.

  1. What is the approximate pH of a blend of leafy greens, cucumber and some fruit? Wouldn’t the vegetables generally help to dilute the acidity of the fruit?

    1. It’s not just the fruit acid, it’s the fruit sugars. the bacteria in our mouths love sugar which is one of the reasons I always have water with a smoothie and swish my mouth with the water.

  2. Tough choice! Either get cavities from green smoothies or stained teeth with a green tea/amla mouthwash. Am I missing something? And wouldn’t the acidity from the green tea/X mouthwash also be a factor?

  3. Adding flax seeds to a smoothie, along with frozen berries, makes it so thick and so cold that I end up eating it slowly with a spoon. Also, Dr. Greger mentioned how we evolved eating raw fibrous plants that take a long time to eat; reminds me of my husband’s frequent comment. My husband and I always take a walk after dinner, and as he tackles the last part of dinner, his large salad, he often jokes, “I’ll be ready in 30 minutes!”.

  4. I have found that adding 1/2 avocado dramatically increases the smoothie density, the time to consume, and satiety. In addition, I add some kale to a fruit smoothie.

  5. According to food combining principles, it is not a good practice to combine fruits and vegetables within the same meal. Fruit smoothies with green vegetables may cause digestive disturbances. The green vegetables require a different pH and enzymes than fruits. Even combining fruits from the three different categories, sweet, sub-acid and acid can cause digestive issues. Best to keep smoothies simple by limiting them to 2-3 fruits and avoiding protein powders, nuts and seeds.

    1. “may cause digestive disturbances”

      Conversely, “may not”…it’s one of those things that each individual will have to experiment with. I add mango or blueberries to my green smoothies….never have a problem.

    2. “Food combining principles” sounds somewhat like a pseudoscientific system to me. In other words, I doubt that you got this information from a scientifically rigorous source.

    3. Mark, Those “food combining principles” go way back to the old Natural Hygiene combining rules. They don’t apply to greens and fruits. As Victoria Boutenko and Ann Wigmore said, greens and fruits are the perfect combination. Even the great apes have been seen taking a piece of fruit and wrapping it in a green leaf and eating it like a sandwich. The vitamin C in the fruits also helps in the absorption of the iron in the greens. And the fat in the added flaxseed helps in the absorption of other nutrients. So those old rules are no longer valid.

    4. Hi Mark – I agree that combining some fruits and veggies are not a good combo for digestion. But i have eaten many a green smoothie – mixing fruits with greens and have NEVER had a digestive problem and do not know anyone that has. If you try it and it bothers you then i suggest that you drink or eat no more. If no problem then carry on !!

    5. I have to ask how much sense this makes in the context of our evolutionary history? Somehow I don’t see a hungry, foraging ancestor refusing a bounty of fruit because he just ate some greens! No insult to you, but this is just silly. The ideas people will try to pass off in order to make a profit! Do you seriously think our amazingly adaptable physiology would be that selective when it comes to obtaining its energy requirements? If it were even remotely true, my digestion would be a mess. If anything, green smoothies improve it.

    6. The Hay Diet is a nutrition method developed by the New York physician William Howard Hay in the 1920s. It claims to work by separating food into three groups: alkaline, acidic, and neutral. (Hay’s use of these terms does not completely conform to the scientific use, i.e., the pH of the foods.) Acid foods are not combined with the alkaline ones. Acidic foods are protein rich, such as meat, fish, dairy, etc. Alkaline foods are carbohydrate rich, such as rice, grains and potatoes. It is also known as the food combining diet.

      A similar theory, called nutripathy, was developed by Gary A. Martin in the 1970s.[1] Others who have promulgatedalkaline-acid diets include Edgar Cayce, D. C. Jarvis, and Robert O. Young.

  6. Although I am a *devoted* follower and fan of Dr. Greger, I found the placenta segment of this video to be in pointless and gratuitous, at best. What WAS the reason for including it? To make the video longer? Was it intended to be humorous? Humorous at the expense of the very few people who actually do eat their own placentas? (I am not in that category, having never born a child.)

    Because of that segment I will not pass the video along to others who do not know or follow, which I was hoping to do.

    As well, it seems that the five green-smoothie videos could have been summarized into one, or recapped into one (during the placenta segment), so that those of us “in” the NF community could have sent it out to others. Separated the much-hyped topic into five videos, each one promising something in the “next” video, seems like a cheesy sales approach, encouraging viewers to watch the next, next, next, etc. videos. I know the money from the videos goes to good causes, but there is no point in messing with our hearts and minds, especially as you are helping all of us take such good care of our bodies.

    1. It’s a defect of the medium. The videos happen to be popular because they are easily consumed, meaning that they need to be pretty short to take advantage of this effect. Summaries happen in the blog and tend to be a bit more interesting to the rigorous viewer, in my opinion, since they let you look at Greger’s position from a number of angles. However, by having less urgency from the next-next-next effect and a less consumable format, note how much less user traffic goes through the blog posts.

    2. I’m still waiting on another NaCl video as we were teased about “a dozen” and only given one. It’s one area where I’m yet having a hard time understanding the underlying mechanisms and/or genuine reasons for me personally (with no BP issues and no apparent “sodium sensitivity”) to even get it a second thought. Had high hopes of getting to some level of proper understanding beyond “avoid/reduce” mantra which all appears to be based on reasons that don’t include my physiology.

      I’ll bet there are others as confused about that subject as I. Confusion is the way of the status quo which is not a place I tend to find myself, and is certainly no way to advance the nutritional knowledge and understanding of our species.

      I do find the extreme short videos format a bit aggravating when digging into a given subject, which can lead me to watching 10-20 videos in rapid succession. I do much enjoy the hour-plus annual presentation videos and some of the other longer videos with Dr. Greger in them. I often recommend them to friends _over_ the stubby shorts as a way to get a good overall feel of where Michael is coming from and what his overall message is. I find the longer videos to be much less “info-mercially” and one doesn’t get the feeling that there’s a product or service going to be pushed on them at the end-or in the next video.

      Placenta consumption talk with images was simply too far. I will likely steer folks AWAY from the whole “green smoothie” videos because of that one. I didn’t learn anything new but about dental considerations anyway-in what 5 whole videos? bummed.

    3. Thanks for your input we do value our site users comments! I told Dr. Greger and he said (also found below) “Sorry! There was an actual medical purpose, though–I swear! Women really do drink them and I wanted to warn them about the potential hazards. Even fully cooked, placentas may contain excessive levels of toxins like heavy metals. Sounds like you’re not at risk for exposure, though–good!”

      1. I respect Dr. Greger immensely, not only for his knowledge but for his ability to *teach*—i.e., his ability to take what is often (usually!) difficult material for the layperson and present it in such a way as to be understandable and, thus, useful in making dietary choices.

        That said, I *cannot* imagine that the audience for the “placenta material” is large enough to include *without warning* in this video. Yes, he himself—directly and through Joseph—has proffered an apology. Nonetheless, it is still a big enough & in-poor-taste enough shock that I (and perhaps others) recommend (1) either a video edit that omits the offensive material (2) or at least some sort of printed warning that tells the viewer something on the order of this: “Those few of you who plan to include human placental tissue in your smoothies should watch to the end; others may well wish to stop viewing @ the 4:50 [or whatever it is] mark.” Frankly, I recommend the first solution, one that could be paired with an addition to the written transcript for any who are about to give or have just given birth.

        For those of us (I include myself.) with overly (?) sensitive visual memories, this material is likely to linger for too long a time. If Dr. Greger, as is his wont, had in mind to offer a bit of an entertaining twist at the end of this excellent series, then—with all due respect—I suggest he, for the first time ever, miscalculated the effect. There are ways to solve this; I hope a solution, whether one I suggested above or something comparable, will be adopted.

      2. Personally, I don’t see why all the shock and horror over the placenta thing. Apparently they have never witnessed any animal giving birth and doing the same thing? Gasp! Dr Greger was making a valid point for those people who are inclined to do this…now we know. I’m a grandmother so the info won’t affect me personally, but it’s still good to know just in case I might ever need to share it. How is it any grosser than showing a steak or whatever…or blending eggs or any other addition of “protein” people do? Seriously, a fact of life, a placenta is a miraculous thing, none of you have ever watched a gory movie while munching on snacks I bet? Just compost any organ you might have hanging around and plant a tree on it or something else constructive, and stick with a green smoothie!

  7. I enjoyed this video, mostly for the info related to dental issues. I know he has done other videos in the past on the subject. Perhaps the video above could be “re-issued” under a dental problems heading so more folks will see this important info?
    I am suffering great pain recently due to sensitivity caused by enamel loss. I never had this issue until this year after I had been on a vegan diet one year. Good teeth run in my family and I always took good care of mine, never had cavities or sensitivity. Now I not only have pain, but I had some small cavities! I am really worried about the future of my teeth. I am only in my 40s. I rinse after eating or drinking acidic stuff. I use a glass straw. I wait to brush. I chew sugarless gum after eating, I do oil pulling (recent) I purchased some chewable “oral probiotics” which claim to repopulate your mouth with good bacteria. I use the softest least abrasive toothbrush and toothpastes. I just don’t know what else I could be doing. I even bought some prescription strength toothpaste for sensitivity. No help yet :(
    Dr. Greger is there anything else I can do? or is the damage done? By the time you feel sensitivity does that indicate a large enamel loss? Do you think “re-mineralizing” toothpastes are effective? If so which ones (I see several different active ingredients in ones sold online)

    1. Hey Nicola. Sounds frustrating to be dealing with dental issues. I like this video on cavities and our coronaries, and here is everything we have on dental health. It sounds like you are taking many steps to help protect your mouth. I would ask your dentist their thoughts about proper hygiene based on your situation. Let me probe around and see if there is more research. Get back to you asap. Thanks for your comment!

      1. thanks, I have not gotten much help from the dentist, other than them selling me a prescription strength sensitivity reducing toothpaste. I have always loved going to the dentist, but I moved and this new dentist was a bad experience. So I am looking for another.
        Please do post any additional info and research dental health is such an important topic. I read about a lot of vegans who develop serious dental issues before middle age. I think some vegans may avoid mentioning teeth issues as they don’t want anyone to have reason to not follow whatever diet plan/book they are pushing. I think it is an issue than needs to be acknowledged and (if possible) mitigate the damages by being open about the possibilities, rather than living in a state of denial.

        1. I am definitely interested in learning more and I will post more as I find it. Feel free to share anything you’ve read and we can look at the research together.

              1. it would be really great if you guys could do a future video specifically on dental products…..not sure but there must be at least some studies on various products that claim to “re-mineralize” the teeth. Since this is a common problem in vegans, I am sure the video would be most appreciated. Of course I hate to waste money, but at this point I don’t want to waste TIME on products that don’t work….namely because since going vegan one year ago, my teeth are losing enaemel and I am worried that the damage is severe/permenent. I have also read that vegans may benefit from takign Vit K2 supplements as K2 is normally obtained from animal sources. I have read anecdotal evidence that this helps strengthen teeth. Thoughts on this?

                1. I am out of the Country, but Dr. Greger does address K2 please try and search for it. As far as I know it’s not a necessary vitamin. If there is anything on K1/K2 and oral health please post some research and let us all know! Then we can discuss :-) Thanks, Nicola.

                  1. Virtually all the articles I locate regarding Vit K2 and dental health refer to WP/Chris Masterjohn and advocate using FCLO and butter. Of course these dietary recommendations are contraindicated in a plant based diet. There is numerous anecdotal evidence of K2 improving dental health. I have seen it recommended to be used in conjunction with D3 and A. Plenty of folks claim that resuming consumption of animal products in the diet or supplementation with the above have dramatically improved dental issues. Even though most everything I came across was purely anecdotal, it seems clear that a large number of vegans are complaining of declining dental health. Unfortunately I can not find enough actual research on K2 and dental health but as one of those vegans with dental issues, I am intensely concerned about finding answers. I don’t want to eat animal products, or natto (reputed to be disgusting smelling and unpalatable to most people) so I am interested increasing K2 via supplementation IF it is actually has a viable benefit to my oral health. If anyone has any info on this I would love to hear about it. One thing I read today was that there was no way to test for deficiency of K… that true?

                2. Hello Nicole,

                  K1 ad K2 are bioequivalent. Please see Dr.Greger’s comments here regarding this.

                  I know of no evidence suggesting vitamin k strengthens enamel, but rich sources of vitamin k are dark leafy greens which definitely cant hurt to include a lot of in your diet. Please see these videos here on how to reduce enamel damage after eating sour foods.



    2. Check out your protein intake. It should not be too low as enamel does contain two types of proteins. Also, healthy gums are made of collagen with the basic acid glycine. Low supply of protein will diminish the body’s ability to create enough glycine. Its deficiency has many effects like inflammation. Low protein also lowers the quality of the protective/restoring saliva.

      1. In addition to my dietary intake (from a vegan diet) I have been using a protein supplement (rice and hemp protein) and consume almond mild with added protein alternating with organic Svelte brand protein drinks. I don’t generally count exact calories/nutrients because I am naturally thin and don’t like to obsesses on numbers. I just eat what I crave and eat when I want, smaller frequent meals vs large meals. Just a rough guess, but I think I consume at least 60 g daily. I am more nuts and seeds, legumes, veggie heavy vs a solely fruit based diet.
        I don’t yet know if the oral probiotics I have been taking are doing any good or just another waste of money?
        Since I switched from vegetarian to vegan, I have of course dropped the organic plain yogurt I used to eat at least once daily. So far I have not found any vegan yogurt that I like…..maybe the yogurt was helpful in keeping good bacteria in my mouth?

    3. Hello Nicola,
      Terrible sensitivity occurs without enamel loss all the time. The most common cause is gum recession, and you can search on the several causes of it, like grinding teeth, gum infections, ice chewing, ripping-hard long-stroke toothbrushing technique and more. The one thing you’re not doing, or not mentioning, is cleaning between teeth. Ask your dentist or hygienist if they have a camera, so he/she can show you what they see, not just handing you a mirror. Hope this helps. Truth is, being vegan has nothing to do with it. Vegans can destroy teeth with things like molasses and raisins and agave and on and on.

      1. True Kim,
        The Vid didn’t mention tooth sensitivity and the link with acid erosion.
        very important for us to bear that in mind with high fruit diets.
        (BDS hons)

      2. I use an extra soft brush, only use enough force to get the job done. I use a water pic and floss. I chew sugarless gum or rinse with water after meals and wait at least 30 min to brush after acidic foods. . And as his video shows, the use of straws does help. Even in this video, Dr. Greger touches on the reasons why vegan diets may cause enamel loss. Not all vegan diets of course. I guess if you ate only french fries all day that would not be acidic and therefore cause less erosion. My diet is nowhere near the extreme case of bananas a day ilk but I do consume a small amt of fruit and a small amt of juice a day along with one cup of coffee totally watered down by a 4:1 ratio of almond milk.
        Have you any comment on the use of “oral probiotics” I have been only using them a short time so I have no opinion yet. I do know before I went vegan this year, I would eat organic plain yogurt every single day so maybe that helped my oral health?

        Do you have any research stats on what percent of enamel has been lost before you start to experience bad pain/sensitivity? I am just curious about how much damage I have done this year. My gums are not receding and no signs of gingivitis, pain or bleeding. The issue is with the teeth themselves.

        1. Hi Nicola, thanks for your carefully thought-out reply. No, there’s no research like that. There’s no way to put a number on what varies so much from person to person and in one person, from tooth to tooth and even on one tooth, from site to site. Oral probiotics make no difference in rebuilding enamel, and because of gingival crevicular fluid, they don’t go under the gums unless you drive it there in solution in your waterjet. Enamel repair is a chemostructural process, not involving bacteria (of course bacteria were involved in enamel destruction stage because they consume sugars and acids are their waste products).
          I am wondering about drymouth for you? Do you wake up with your mouth parched even when you were not breathing through your mouth? Do not start your oral hygiene regimen until a half hour after waking and after rinsing out your mouth with some (reasonable temperature) water. Even then, start with your waterjet first. I would also suggest not having fruit or juice as your mouth’s first fluid in the morning. We have all heard lemon water advocated for first thing in the morning, but please avoid that, obviously. Try to rehydrate quickly with four or six pints of fluid in the first hour or as much as it takes for natural salva flow to be restored. If you are getting along in age, it will take more. My own morning drink is a quart of very warm water with a half cup of soymilk and then a bit of coffee powder in the last cupful, and I’m 62.
          I am also wondering whether you are grinding your teeth. Enamel can also be popping off as microscopic crystals along the gumline by a process called abfraction. The underlying dentin (enamel is only the veneer) is elastic a bit, and as the tooth is flexed a little under the terrible clenching and grinding forces many people exert on their teeth and jaws. One clue you could discern is whether you have overdeveloped masticator muscles, compared to a wide range of others’ muscles.
          Hope this gives you more to go on. You might ask your hygienist to see your xrays from back then and ask whether you really did have active cavities, or whether the dentist jumped on something trivial.

          1. Thanks, I am not grinding my teeth, how do I know? Well, unfortunately I have a lot of sinus inflammation (cause TBD), I do not have traditional sleep apnea as mine is a sinus originated breathing issue. My sinuses are inflamed and for some time I have been sleeping with mouth breathing. Even have video proof via an overnight sleep study This of course means I wake up with very dry mouth. I know this is TERRIBLE for my teeth because saliva protects them. I do drink a lot of water, and never ever juices first thing. I start out my day with almond milk with a sm amt of coffee. I am considering ordering a contraption which keeps mouth shut while sleeping, not sure if it will help. I can not tolerate any mask or oral appliance while I sleep.

            I didn’t think the oral probiotics cured enamel loss, but since I have dry mouth I was concerned my good bacteria might be in short supply. The ones I am taking are a chewable tablet and they say no eating or drinking for some time after consuming the tablet. Since it is chewed, would that action force the oral probiotic into the gums at least a little?

            I am using a soft toothbrush by Dr. Collins. The type of bristles seem to get into subgingiva and between teeth better than other brushes i have tried.
            I wonder if my gum chewing is causing abfraction? I feel my masticator muscles are overdeveloped, not from teeth grinding, but from my gum chewing habit.
            I have tried Biotene mouth rinse and toothpastes and not really seeing a reduction of dry mouth but perhaps they have other benefits. To make matters worse, I am on a nausea medicine that causes dry mouth.

            1. Hi Nicola – I think we may be onto something. Grinding teeth, gum chewing and some other behaviors including ice chewing fall into a group called hyperfunctions. I have never heard that there’s a mystical number for each person out there of the number of chomps each set of teeth is good for, but hyperfunctions seem to use up chomps fast. I restarted gum chewing a couple of months ago (sugar-free, duh) after several years of none, and I was appalled at how much pain woke up in my teeth, even where none had ever been before. I have lifelong sharply painful tooth sensitivity, such that I require local anesthetics for two areas with every cleaning. I switched to ‘Ice ‘Chips’, a candy in small bits that is sweetened with xylitol. Every time I turn the key in my car’s ignition, I enjoy one (just one). The increase in sensitivity has resolved. So you may want to experiment with moving away from gum chewing.
              I have seen people suddenly have thousands of dollars’ worth of dental decay, when they got put on a dry-mouth-inducing medication, usually involving decay getting in at the edges of existing work.
              Sorry, I know of no way chewing helps probiotics get into the gumline, only into the valleys in the grinding surfaces of molars. I see nothing wrong with some slow-motion use of your toothbrush to work it in there. The best way to help the good bacteria is to keep the subgingival pathogens down in numbers, so the low pH and toxic milieu gets freshened up often enough with cleaning efforts so the bad bacteria get scrubbed and flushed away, every time they think they’re proliferating enough to build their little cities and towns under there.
              The Dr. Collins brush looks good, but I also see the brand makes a ‘disposable’ toothbrush, what a landfill-stuffing idea!
              The Biotene and similar lines of products have ingredients to add viscosity to water, mimicking saliva a little. It’s worth buying their rinse for that first rinse of the day.
              How do you feel about fluoride? A severe dry mouth person might be a candidate for a fluoride rinse ‘n spit. How to tell how severe your drymouth is: have someone use a flashlight and a tissue. They should hold open your cheek and dry the surface adjacent to your back teeth. Holding your mouth open, you touch a sliver of lemon to your tongue. Your helper watches the orifice of your parotid gland, the bump on your cheek lining (it may be high up), and sees how much saliva emerges. If it squirts or trickles down your cheek lining, that’s pretty good. If it shows as a clear droplet that hangs there, that’s dry mouth. If there’s a droplet that isn’t clear, that’s severe, or if there’s none. Google ‘parotid gland cheek’ for pictures. Obviously your state of hydration matters, are you really drinking enough?
              I know sinuses vary wildly in shape and size, and there may be some anatomical variance that happened to predispose yours to inflammation if not infection. I feel for you as I know that’s a unique and difficult, and chronic, kind of misery. Sorry I have no useful answers for that. I know the bone enclosing the sinuses is a bit elastic, much more than that of dentin in teeth, so it’s tempting to imply that the gum chewing is a factor there too! But I have no good information from which to make such a statement.
              oy, things to do today. Hope this helps. – Kim

              1. oh no, I only have 4 oz tart cherry juice, consumed late in the day in one quick session and rinse after. So I don’t “sip all day”. It is one glass of cherry juice mixed with fruit powders and Kavita. I use the glass straw always.

                There is no sign of infection in the sinuses. Only inflammation. Cause unknown and this only started in the past 5 years. The ENT doctor recommended sinus surgery to correct my breathing but I am loathe to do this. My sister had surgery (due to injury) and it healed incorrectly necessitating revision rhinoplasty…she said the ordeal was more painful that childbirth. I actually LIKE my nose shape, and the dr. admitted the shape might be changed as a consequence of the surgery. He was also concerned that with my apparent immune issues, rashes, etc that I would heal well post op. I would much prefer to find the cause of the inflammation and treat from there. So far no one can figure it out. Of course oral prednisone helps, but that is not good long term. I use the sinus flush (Neilmed) and recently (reluctantly) use a steroid nasal spray before bed. I have never heard of the parotid gland testing so I will try to do it. What is the test shows none? I know there are prescriptions for people with severe dry mouth, but without explaining much, this last dentist said they had too many side effects.

                My thoughts on chewing sugarless gum is that studies show it removes lots of mouth bacteria, but I guess it can’t discriminate bad from good. It does help get sticky food debris off surfaces of my molars. Perhaps I could just chew for a few minutes vs half and hour. Gum also helps fight dry mouth. I am leary of sugar free candy because of the artificial sweeteners, but if I found a good one that might help. The Biotene rinse I continue to use once daily, maybe helps fight plaque but not a long lasting cure for my dry mouth. I do use the prescription floride antisensitivity toothpaste from my dentist. They advised to spit but not rinse afterwards and do this before bed. I try to drink a lot of water but always the dry mouth so it seems my mouth is not a reliable judge of my hydration status.

                If I could tolerate sleeping with my custom molds (made for teeth bleaching which I can no longer tolerate) with biotene gel (or similar product) all night, then maybe it might help, but I am like the princess and the pea with stuff touching me while I sleep, can’t do earplugs, masks, etc etc. What do you think of sleeping with the Biotene gel in my trays, should I give it another try? Could I try filling the trays with re mineralizing or sensitivity toothpaste and leaving on for a set time period?

                1. Hi Nicola, I’m counting down to a trip so I will try to be more concise than I have been.
                  Couldn’t the doctor proposing surgery reveal what his diagnosis was? Or did he/she rubberstamp it as ‘inflammed sinuses’.
                  Do the parotid test, then decide to discuss with your dental team or then with an oral surgeon if the dry mouth is severe. Not for oral surgery, but oral surgeons specialize in all oral medicine, like diagnosing conditions including xerostomia. Are you forced to breathe through your mouth a lot bc of the sinuses? An OS could also biopsy the skin in your sinuses.
                  Gum causes some swallowing of ‘some’ bacteria, but not from subgingival, so it just washes away a few free-floaters, makes no difference. The oral pathogens that are the ‘bad bacteria are between teeth and below gumlines. Experiment, if you want, less chewing gum and give it a month or three to see if the sensitivity fades or resolves. You could also chew gum with lighter force, not bring your molars together all the way.
                  Nope I wouldn’t try keeping the gel or the toothpaste on your teeth longer-term with the bleaching tray. I can’t stand those things either. It would be an abuse of those products, won’t bring benefit, and you would get new irritations from ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, a sudsing agent, known to wake up a tendency to mouth canker sores. Can’t remember if the toothpaste has that, but it’s only one of the irritants in toothpastes. Another is the essential oil/s used for flavorings. — Kim

                  1. thank you again for your help. No, he didn’t and couldn’t possibly know why my sinuses are chronically inflamed. There is no discharge and bloodwork shows no signs of systemic infection. Maybe I should have asked for a culture or biopsy or something but I was too freaked out when he remarked on how bad the inflammation was and how I needed surgery. In the next breath, he looked at my bad facial rash and said I would not heal well. Great.

                    His suggestion was for more allergy testing, using sinus flush (I already do that) use steroid nasal spray Flonase (I reluctantly am doing so) and to try various anti snore items which you shove up your nose at night (have ordered some but haven’t gotten here yet) and also there are some items sold which basically strap around your head to hold your mouth shut at night. I am looking at these on Amazon wondering how I will sleep with one and what kind of rash I will get. There has been some suspicion that I have cutaneous lupus. One pathologist said yes, another said no…..who is right???? I do have many symptoms of that, and cutaneous lupus often segues into full blown systemic lupus. I have been on several lupus medications which I had to discontinue due to bad side effects. At times I have bad inflammation thruout my body. The rashes on my face and facial swelling were much worse before this year, but still the sinus inflammation persists. I know all symptoms started in 2010 and gradually got worse and worse. Don’t want to sound like a crackpot but this coincided with living in a house with bad mold. In any case if the cause of my issues is not lupus, it could still be some allergic condition and it’s difficult to pin this down.
                    I really appreciate all of your time. I was reading more about the role diet plays in enamel loss, etc and came up with one potential deficiency I may have since I am vegan…..vit K2…..some claim when they start supplements their teeth improve dramatically in short order. So I ordered some. It has to be taken with Vit A and D3 which I am already taking. I have read of many vegans who noticed a sharp decline in dental health and besides the acidy fruits/juices hurting the outside it seems that vitamin/mineral deficiencies can be damaging the teeth from the inside. I was a vegetarian before going vegan and ate organic yogurt every day and to me this diet change to vegan has brought on the dental issues. Of course the medication dry mouth and mouth breathing dry mouth are not helping but those are not new issues compared to the diet change.
                    I do use a tongue scraper and all my toothpastes are SLS free. Generally I try to avoid allergens and irritants. It is in a lot of products but nowdays it’s
                    easier to find SLS free products.

                    I also saw the Tooth Soap brand “Swish Re-mineralizing powder” and was wondering your opinion. I saw it on Amazon but no reviews posted yet
                    I’d love to hear your opinion on it if you have time to check it out when you get back. Thanks again for your time on this. I am taking all this very seriously as my teeth are a priority to me and to my health.

            1. Hi Nicola – Anything with a little calcium in it is hanging out the remineralizing shingle these days. I did see the page, was impressed that they can say they found Himalayan salt without fluoride, high water fluoride levels occur there. When I looked at world fluoride distribution years ago, I found that what is called ‘optimum’ water Fl- levels for dental health is 1 ppm. Texas and the Southwest get as high as 8 ppm at most, they get some mottling but nobody gets many cavities. the Himalayas were about 20, and some areas in Africa are up around 60. Here in WA, where I lived near Bellingham about 90 mi north of Seattle, we had a puny 0.2 or so, and plenty of tooth decay to keep all the dentists busy. I was thinking about the prescription fluoride product you have, they are up at about 5000 ppm, so if it hasn’t helped, you may want to back down to a fluoride rinse non-prescription.

              About the swish product: I wasn’t impressed, and at $15 for a dinky little 2-ounce product with no, none, science supporting it? Not recommending that! Some companies think that with enough mystique people are really gullible.

              Vitamin K 2: I found this in the description from a vendor: (copied in) Several forms of vitamin K are used around the world as medicine. Vitamin K1 (phytonadione) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone) are available in North America. Vitamin K1 is generally the preferred form of vitamin K because it is less toxic, works faster, is stronger, and works better for certain conditions. (end quote). A few anecdotal instances wouldn’t make me buy it, since it’s used in blood clotting, seems unrelated to dental pain. One of the things I like about Dr. Greger is his sifting out flimsy poorly-supported studies to bring us the solid true findings. Do you agree? This is the main thing puzzling me, that you would go shotgun (aim wide) and get the dubious products. I guess desperation does that to you.

              What I was shown in my DH training was that the facial rash characteristic of lupus is butterfly-shaped, saddling the nose. Does that sound like you? If so, you need to get a third opinion and get definitively diagnosed to prevent damage body-wide. You’ve no doubt read up on lupus. Please see Dr. John McDougall’s website; He has testimonials of several types of autoimmune disorders being reversed with his diet, a vegan diet, hope you’ve heard of him. Also Dr. Joel Fuhrman does too, just search either on YouTube.

              I just don’t see how vegan could have had a causal role with the teeth sensitivity you describe. Wondering what you are eating.

              Try a length of cloth to tie around your face like the old toothache cartoons? Then you can see how tolerable the chinstrap things are before you decide to put money down.

              I’ll be gone a bit, and back then. Best, Kim

              1. I read that Vitamin K2 is found in animal products (k1 we get from plants) and that K must be taken in conjunction with A and D3. Not sure why? it was a long complicated article. In any case the person claimed that K2 supplementation turned her dental situation around…it strengthens the teeth (not an external re-mineralizer) from within. I have been vegan one year, so I am just looking for any potential deficiencies I may have developed. When I was a vegetarian I was still eating eggs and organic plain yogurt every day. My teeth did NOT hurt then. I am vegan but I am not a fruitarian or juice junkie. In comparison to the 40 bananas a day crowd, my diet is actually far less sugar/carb heavy and a much wider variety. The vegan diet is the only change in my life that I can even possibly attribute to any of my dental woes. You don’t have to search far/long at all to read vegans talking about their dental issues. So it’s not just me. Maybe if I wee younger (I am 48) this diet would not be bothering my teeth so much. If I was 20 I would have much more enamel to burn. I can’t help but wonder if we follow up with folks 20 years down the road how many will still be able to claim perfect dental health?

                So yes I am trying anything to save my teeth, from every angle, dietary to ending the mouth breathing, the oral probiotics, the Biotene, etc. I feel like I have already done’ a lot of damage and don’t want to waste time. Sure some, or all, of these things I am contemplating trying may be a waste of money, but look how much I have spent and will spend on dental bills! Not to mention that I like my teeth and want to preserve them. Suffered years as a kid with braces and I sure don’t want that to be all for naught! I think there are some actual studies I have read on various brands of re-mineralizing tooth pastes but I will have to locate them again.

                As far as the lupus, skin lupus (not the same as systemic lupus although it can certainly progress to that) is diagnosed by biopsy and symptoms, the rashes can vary in shape and location. Not everyone has the textbook butterfly rash. As I said, I have had 3 boipsies done on my face now. I am NOT eager to keep scarring up my face for nothing. I can’t afford plastic surgery. Pathologists don’t agree and 2 lupus meds put me in ER. I have read of people taking YEARS to get an accurate lupus diagnosis. And once you have one auto immune disease/disorder, you are more likely to develop a second. So I am done with lupus meds. I go to UW medical school in Seattle for derm. So far very disappointing. Their pathologist says it’s not lupus yet offered not real alternate diagnosis either.t I can no longer drive due to disability .Travel to another state’s medical school is pretty much out of the question as I am get ill in the car, bus, etc.
                I am going to try to belt on the head thing, but I was waiting til my facial rash calmed down some (when it rains it pours and it is flaring up this week) :(
                Thanks again for your help, Nicola

              2. PS….just wanted to add I would never ever think of drinking water here in my part of WA. Even with a filter….just NO. So I don’t get any flouride from my water.

        2. One more thought: does the extra-soft brush get your teeth clean? I am talking about short or circular strokes, not long ripping strokes, so that you can use the bristle tips like massaging fingers to get under the gumline and dig out all the bacterial film that tastes a bit sour first thing in the morning. If the bristles are not strong enough to push into the gumline, not enough cleaning gets done. I used to recommend an ultrasoft brush by Biotene developed for bone marrow transplant recipients, for people with painful gums or similar oral inflammations, which did help them, but it just didn’t clean.

    4. Few more suggestions to add to the good ones above. Since you have noticed enamel loss, either acid and/or sugar may be eating away at your teeth. Until your teeth heal, you may want to completely avoid all acidic foods like citrus. The other side is that you may not be getting sufficient nutrients for enamel building like calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, vitamin D, vitamin A. Here’s an interview with a holistic dentist on remineralizing teeth that you may find helpful. Also my favorite toothpaste for helping with sensitivity because it actually remineraizes enamel is Toothbuilder (I let it sit in my mouth for a few minutes to allow my enamel to really soak up the calcium).

      1. thanks, I will watch the interview.
        I never liked citrus so I don’t drink traditional citrus juice. The one thing I did consume that has acid and citrus is Kevita probiotic drink. It is sugar free (sweetened with stevia) but it does contain both lemon and apple cider vinegar. here is the nutritional info/label
        I have since switched to the acai coconut flavor, but it still has apple cider vinegar. I only drink about a third of one daily approx 3 oz mixed with some various fruit powders (organic, raw, no sugar added) and tart cherry juice. Again a very small amount like 3-4 oz. The total drink is about 8 oz. I drink it using a glass straw to help somewhat reduce the effect of enamel. I consume organic pickled beets and pickled ginger, those are also vinegar based.

        Compared to some of the very extreme fruitarian vegan diets where people eat 30 bananas a day, plus added refined sugar and other fruits in smoothies, etc, I hardly consume that much fruit, sugar or juice and I have done’ my best to replace things with stevia whenever possible and to lower my sugar intake. I am not sure how stevia effects teeth. I only drink one cup of coffee daily and it is mostly almond milk vs coffee.
        I haven’t seen stats on this, but i suspect that by the time you experience lots of pain/sensitivity the damage to your enamel is pretty serious. The prescription sensitivity relieving toothpaste I got from my dentist doesn’t help much. I always had healthy teeth, I underwent years of braces as a young girl and I hate to think that all the agony and money spent was for naught if I end up destroying my teeth in my 40s. My father died in his 70s with all his teeth intact. I see there are many brands of remineralizing toothpastes out there and i am in the dark as to if they work and what brands are better than others. Also I think I mentioned that the ones I see most often are from Europe or Japan and wondering why we don’t have more here? If someone comes up with a foolproof way to completely fix enamel loss, they will be billionaires many times over.

        I am using a whole food supplement called VitaMineral Green by Healthforce as well as Vit D3 high dose liquid gel cap and I get plenty of A from Goji berries or goji berry powder every day. I also take a liquid magnesium, calcium, zinc, and cooper. I take sublingual B12, but soon will be switching back to injections. When I work out, I consume coconut water with added electrolyte drops (just the electrolytes/minerals, no added sweetener).
        I had severe deficiency issues 30 years ago as a vegetarian in college so I am trying hard now to eat a wider variety and take high quality supplements, especially since I have been on a vegan regimen.
        I think one major difference in why my teeth are in worse shape this year is that since going vegan I no longer eat yogurt (so far I hate any vegan yogurt I have tried) and pre-vegan I ate organic yogurt every day.
        Only been a short time since I started using an “oral probiotic”
        not sure if this is effective or just another waste of money, too soon to tell.

        1. Hi Nicola, Sounds like you’ve got lots of things covered like very low sugar intake and healthy supplements (although I’d still recommend taking vitamin K2). Stevia is fine and won’t hurt your teeth. Xylitol is wonderful because it inhibits only the bad mouth bacteria and it raises mouth pH (alkalinizes). I think this is mentioned in the video but try taking the pH of your saliva throughout the day, especially when you wake up and after consuming your Kevita or anything with vinegar. After acidic foods/drinks always rinse with water — then test pH to see if it goes up. Afterwards dissolving a little xylitol in your mouth should raise pH even more. Interesting about the probiotics–consuming probiotic foods certainly does contribute to mouth flora. Hope the oral probiotic helps.

          I’ve researched enamel building products and both my husband and I have experienced remineralization and reduced sensitivity with Toothbuilder. We hold some in our mouths for 5-10 minutes to really let it soak in. I had a small divot in a tooth from my dentist accidentally touching his drill to a good tooth. The small hole was there for 8 years and disappeared 1 month after regularly using Toothbuilder. My husband and I both have sensitive places in our mouths from either gum recession or worn away enamel–this calcium toothpaste reduces or eliminates this sensitivity because it puts calcium back into teeth. Best Wishes in rebuilding your enamel!!

          1. thanks, I will try the Toothbuilder, already a reg Lucky Vitamin customer :)
            I wish the Kevita and picked beets and pickled ginger were not so acidic.. I don’t eat much but have been craving the pickled beets lately. There are some folks who swear to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar but I consume the Kevita for the probiotics and I like the taste. Maybe I should just go back to probiotics in gelcap or capsules?
            I do chew a lot of sugarless gum. Sadly I discovered Trident has aspartame in addition to the xylitol., so I may resort to another brand. The Stevia gums I tried had no lasting power to their flavor. I chew gum after meals in hopes of mitigating damage. I also chew it to combat dry mouth. We should all be aware that if dogs ingest zylitol it can be fatal even small doses can cause serious damage. So keep your zylitol products away from your dogs.

            1. Great! I know, it is too bad that pickled beets and ginger and Kevita are so acidic. I like your idea to go back to probiotic supplements for now as I would think that avoiding all acidic foods is a primary step in healing. Yeah, those xylitol gums are quite tough to chew and lose flavor quickly. Have you tried the xylitol patches (XyliMelts) for dry mouth as dry mouth can also contribute to enamel loss.

              1. thanks will try those and maybe then can reduce gum chewing. I do wonder if there is any positive effect to gum chewing, other than debris and bacteria removal and the effect of xylitol? Does the chewing itself strengthen the mechanism which holds are teeth to the jaw? They have found that weight bearing exercises increase bone mass so I am wondering about maybe this applies to gum chewing and teeth? I do agree though too that we only have “so many chomps” so maybe I should cut back on gum. And yes at least temp on the pickled foods and Kevita. If someone could invent a coating which you could put onto your teeth before eating said items and protect the enamel, that would be a great invention. Even if it was just a temp coating, it could get you through an acidic meal.

        2. It’s interesting to read about the tooth/gum sensitivity issue you mention, I find that certain fruit like Bananas can cause inflammation of the gum. and when I was an Omnivore ,beef and chicken caused it as well.
          I quit sugar (and fruit juice)about a year ago, use stevia sparingly when having oatmeal and have seen great results not only with gum/teeth but my energy level, sleep, and skin as well. I have a feeling that eliminating dairy has helped too (no calcium build up).

    5. Hello. Have you had your D3 levels checked since you gave up milk? People with lots of D3 have less cavities. Vitamin K2 Mk4 has a very interesting effect at removing plaque from teeth. Vitamin D3 may, possibly, be the reason some cavities arrest. There are very few cavities in the tropics in large part due to the availability of sunshine. I have been doing high dose D3 (30,000+ IU a day) and it really is strengthening my teeth. I believe I was very deficient and even had plaque in my arteries in my early 30s, and that’s with never having had any red meat!

        1. In the 1920s, people were taking 20 mg of D3. That works out to 1,000,000 IU. The hospitals emptied in the early 1930s. Cancer companies in the 1930s worked out 50,000 IU daily of D3 as a very effective cancer drug, releasing Daltol, and two others which were just 50,000 IU of D3. D3 is back in vogue now as there were over 5,000 studies of D3 and cancer recently launched. You can see them for yourself at There is the very large possibility that the results will never see the light of day. The drug companies and doctors and hospitals couldn’t stand it in the 1930s and came up with a single group of medical students who were sickened with very large doses of D3. The Strech report shows large doses of D3 to be very safe. Having taken this much D3 I developed heart palpitations briefly. I think was my body over coming a D3 deficiency. Huge chunks of material were being ripped out of my heart. When I think of how deficient I must have been… I actually kind of miss the heart palpitations. Did you know that having high D3 blood levels can reduce your risk of Cancer and heart disease by half? Did you know that low doses of D3 is associated with many psychological illnesses including schizophrenia and autism? I think the pendulum could really swing for modern medicine if they start using nutrition. Many people like the Gerson therapy for cancer, although it has been roundly discredited. The Gerson therapy was not just vegetable juice… Nor was it vegan! It included calf liver juice, which is filled with Phosphorus. A Phosphorus deficiency is perhaps the one thing cancer patents all have in common, as their bodies learn to grow and divide without these atoms contained so abundantly in DNA. Perhaps pure phosphorus and D3 would be a cancer treatment. I encourage you to see mental illness in terms of a nitrogen deficiency. Nitrogen is the body’s energy molecule, as such, it perhaps makes up some the structure of the brain. Dr. Abram Hoffer twice found a treatment for schizophrenia, first Niacin, then NADH, and both times the APA shut him down. Perhaps if there was a simpler atomic source of nitrogen in the diet. One psychiatrist treated 10,000 patients in his career without a single person making a recovery. If doctors already have eliminated Niacin, and then NAD, but not yet Nitrogen as the treatment for mental illness, you might never find a cure! D3 can treat potentially any disease people experience with the exception of age related diseases and genetic diseases. It can even treat injury (broken bones heal faster and better on high D3).

      1. I have been taking high doses of liquid gel cap D3 for years so I don’t believe I am deficient. Before I went vegan I was primarily vegetarian. I never (even as a child) liked milk. I didn’t eat a lot of cheese, very little actually. But I did each yogurt daily and I believe there is some thought that the probiotics in yogurt aid in maintaining dental health. Just this month I purchased some “oral probiotics” It is too soon to know if this is effective or just yet another waste of money. The idea is that installing “good” bacteria (the ones that should reside in your mouth and can prevent bad bacteria from taking over) will improve oral health and prevent bad breath. Has anyone used this or heard anything pro/con?

    6. Nicola, I don’t know if links are allowed here, so I wanted to recommend that you google Denise Minger teeth to find out her experiences with being a vegan and tooth pain.

      1. thanks, I did read a long article she wrote and seems like a lot of good info, both from her and from the commenters. I am really wanting to stay with the vegan diet but I will try some of her other ideas. I see from her acidity chart that fermented foods are pretty acidic. I eat them daily but in very small amounts. I so a lot of supplements already for minerals and D3 but hadn’t really considered Vit K. I am wondering if it’s in the VitaMineral Green supplement I take daily? I do believe I get a lot of Vit A from my diet, both from foods like sweet potatoes and goji berries. With my vegan diet I can’t consume liver. The liver’s function is to detox the body and i always wonder if some toxins are there in the liver as people eat it. Maybe just a stupid theory on my part, but I could never stomach the taste or texture of liver.

        Thanks for the info Alice and I will keep working on my dental health. Pain, though unpleasant, is generally the body’s early warning system. So I am giving this a lot of thought. I hope things improve. I had tons and tons of inflammation throughout my body, doctors disagree as to whether I have skin lupus of some other immune disorder but rashes and inflammation were bad so that prompted me to eliminate ANY possible sources of dietary inflammation. I was already mostly plant based anyway, but I had to give up yogurt (previously ate organic yogurt daily) and eggs when I went vegan. I am not celiac, but went gluten free just in case I was sensitive to it ( I do eat gluten free whole grains). I have reduced my sugar intake greatly, not perfect there. I try to limit soy as it is *possibly* inflammatory. I take whole food supplements and eat superfoods that are allegedly anti-inflammatory. I avoid substances like carrogenan which are KNOWN to be inflammatory (bad stuff, banned for kids in Europe, used by researchers to purposely cause inflammation for studies).

        Anyway, some of my symptoms have indeed abated/reduced after following this plan for about a year, but it seems at the cost of my teeth. I want to get my face (sadly the main rash site) perfect as possible before throwing any of the eliminated things like gluten back into my diet. There were many times my face was so swollen that I could not see my nose bones, there were fluid lesions, not exactly acne like, and they would bleed easily. Since the derms/pathologists can’t agree I am stuck with uncertainty about the diagnosis. I have had the rashes for nearly 5 years now and I am 48, perfect skin before this started. Tried a regimen from a reputable Chinese medical who specializes in dermatologic issues but after several months of it my liver said NO NO and I had to discontinue the chinese herbs. Thankfully my liver seems to have forgiven me, but it was scary and I was quite ill for months. During the 3 months I took Chinese meds I saw no improvement. I don’t blame the Dr, everyone’s liver is different and mine just could not handle those particular herbs.

        My health issues have had a profound negative impact on the quality of my life. Anyway sorry for straying from the subject of dental health, but as with everything in our bodies, all systems are interconnected and inflammation the key cause of disease process. I wanted to give a little background on what led me to implement my current dietary/supplement regimen.

    7. I have the same problem Nicola and could actually feel when my teeth were in need of minerals. (I know that sounds far fetched.) I use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth (ie with potassium nitrate – Kiss My Face brand without fluoride). Recently I have started testing my urine pH and have been trying to make it more basic (higher pH) and that has helped. I recently started taking a mineral supplement (pH-Pro by Premier Research Labs) which has marine coral minerals, and so far I am pleased with the results. I am a 3 month vegan after being a vegetarian for several years, and probably still do not get enough greens but am still progressing. Cheers, RF

    1. Agreed. Now I am hesitant to share this series of videos with others since it may offend them. Seems to be contrary to the mission of this website. Redacted version please?

      1. What else are you supposed to do with the placenta? Burn it as medical waste? Inturn it at Arlington? I am glad Dr. Greger shares his zest with life. The traditions created with placenta are a part of what keeps us modern. I am surprised he didn’t say that it would make the smoothy non-vegan. I wonder if Dr. Greger has cheated on his diet with some placenta.

        1. As a guest here at his website, I would like to THANK the good doctor for his helpful and generous work, how rude to chastise him for it because the facts of life are too much to handle? *Stuff* happens, deal with it. If this traumatized so many folks, they should be mighty thankful their lives are so without real issues! Wow.

      2. I am a subscriber to NF. I also had planned to share this series of videos with friends who are trying to eat more healthily, because the series nicely summarizes the research on green smoothies. Because of the ending with the placenta smoothie, I won’t; the sensational ending would upset them and they would not pay attention to the information from the video. The ending has a medical purpose, but it wasn’t necessary in this context: Placenta smoothies are not green smoothies. The material on placenta smoothies could easily be edited into a separate short video. I enjoy Dr. Greger’s jokes but I think this choice will have the effect of turning away listeners and distracting from the message of the videos overall, which is surely not his aim.

    1. Juice is not whole food, this can cause rapid absorption and caloric consumption issues. Blending is whole food with “external mastication”, retains fiber, much healthier.

  8. I thought it was informative overall. At the end there was a comment on red smoothies in general that I found took away from the video. Smoothies may be red for many reasons… red berries, beets… and to generalize all red smoothies with placentas was incorrect.

  9. In the second sentence of paragraph two of the transcript, I noticed that Dr. G might have forgotten to include the words ‘faster than’ after the words ‘ten times’. Of course, I’m a 75 year old Type II Diabetic, and often have spells of brain fog, so my thinking might not be right. Just thought I’d mention it anyway.

    1. Have you tried Vitamin B1 (thiamine) in Orthomolecular doses? “Mental confusion/speech difficulties” is listed as a sign of beriberi disease according to wikipedia. The medical literature describes beriberi disease very similarly to diabetes, with them being described as related conditions. Niacinamide in three grams a day was also effective in treating diabetes. Perhaps your diabetes is just beriberi. I am surprised your whole foods plant based diet has not treated your condition.

      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Matthew, but my doctor thinks I’m diabetic. My glucose readings run between 90 to 110, after 8 hours of sleep. Recent A1C, on September 1, was 6.7. but I was told my goal should be 5.7. So I continue to take Metformin. 1000 mg. twice a day. Well, when I remember to do so.

          1. Hello Leslie. Sorry for the delay in responding to your comments. I’ve been away from my computer for most of the day. When I asked my doctor how soon I could get off diabetes medications, I was told it would be when my glucose readings were at 70 for three days in a row. I interpreted that to mean that any reading above 70 was diabetic. I suspect from the tone of your comments that your purpose in writing was not to be inquisitive, but to be insulting instead. I strongly believe that you know much more about diabetes than I do, and I want you to know that I would have been much more favorably impressed with you had you chosen to be informative rather than insulting. I also want to believe that deep down, you have a warm heart, and if you could get a second chance at this, you would be much kinder to me the second time around. So, I forgive you, and I also hope that whatever stress you might have been experiencing when you lashed out at me has passed, and that you are now feeling much better. And if you want to take a second shot at writing to me, I’m open to hearing from the other you. The one that is free from possible stress, and is eager to be helpful to others. Best wishes to you Leslie — whether you choose to write back to me or not. Marc.

            1. Marc, I found your report a little bit disturbing. There are two aspects you mentioned that need some attention. First, your diabetes indicators are somewhat ambiguous. Fasting blood glucose below 100 mg/dL is considered normal. From 100-125 is considered to be pre-diabetes. Above 125 is considered diabetes. However, regardless of your fasting sugars, the A1c is high. I have type 1 diabetes and mine runs about 6.7 and yes that is high for a non diabetic, good for a type 1 and not so good for type 2.
              Now, I have just a little to mention in this regard: if your doctor is treating your condition with Metformin and nothing more then you might look for a second opinion. For example I just saw a new doctor in my clinic who spent the entire session trying to see what additional drugs I might take. She also informed me explicitly that diet did not matter. Well I know it does and there is overwhelming evidence presented here and elsewhere showing that diet does matter for diabetes.

              OK having said that I have an insulin pump and was using about 45-50 units of insulin per day on a diet with modest fat, not unreasonable amount of fiber fruits and veggies, some dairy, probably 10 eggs a week and of course some dead animal. We don’t know the exact balance but the animal proteins, fats and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) were adding some insulin resistance for my symptoms. So when I adopted a whole food plant based diet I reduced my insulin resistance and lowered my insulin intake a good 10 units per day. In addition I would suggest that all fats be reduced

              Keep in mind that the common issue you and I have is how our bodies use insulin. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by greater insulin resistance and lowered insulin sensitivity. Eliminating all animal products generally will greatly improve insulin sensitivity and cure most type two diabetes. A high fiber diet definitely helps as well. The doctor who believes this to be possible is rare. But, though there are many laudatory exceptions, they generally follow drug company sales literature rather than science.

              You produce your own insulin and it is just a matter of using it more efficiently. You can measure that by test results on blood sugar levels. I don’t produce insulin so I can measure the sensitivity by keeping records on the amount of insulin required. Oh and by the way, I actually now consume more carbohydrates, not less. But I make sure they are complex carbs in so far as possible. And to repeat, I use less insulin.

              1. Hello Stewart. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I really appreciate your having taken the time to do so. I even appreciate others on this forum sharing with each other. It’s all good to reading. I never know what might turn out to be of great value to me. In closing, let me add that I plan to ask my doctor (who is an MD) to refer me to a naturopathic doctor (ND) so that I can get some input from a second person. My MD is vegetarian, so I think I’m in good hands, but the ND thought sounds like it could be of additional value. This because I prefer the plant diet idea much better than the pharmaceuticals idea. I’ll see what kind of reaction I get from my MD when I ask for such a referral.

            2. Marc,

              Sorry to hear you took my words in the manner you did. Your perspective was the least of my intentions, as I was actually being inquisitive and, I thought, respectful. But I do appreciate your
              reaction and will definitely consider it in future comments of mine on this website. I think that
              the internet hides our “facial communication”, and therefore the reader of a comment is often
              left with just the words to accurately interpret someone’s true intentions, so I can see how you may have taken my words to be insulting. My truest intention WAS to be inquisitive and to explore this
              further with you in a mature manner. I will be more mindful in the future of how my words might
              be taken.

              My experience with talking with doctors is that fasting blood readings (after 8 hours sleep) in the low 90’s are not considered diabetic. Maybe different doctors feel otherwise, and I have been misguided by faulty science. Maybe there are some doctors on this website that could comment. I’ll be sure to take your doctor’s comments up with my doctor. Thanks, Marc.

              1. Hello Leslie. Thank you so much for your kind response. What you wrote about facial communications being so much more thorough and effective than written words alone is so very true. I really appreciate your having taken the time to clear up my concerns. You couldn’t have explained it better. I’m at peace and ever so happy to have heard back from you. You are every bit the kind person I hoped you would turn out to be when the dust settled. I see you as a kind and well meaning person, and I promise not to ever doubt your intentions again. If any thoughts you share with me in the future ever give me reason to pause, I’ll just assume you were writing in haste and meant no harm. Take care my friend. Marc.

    2. I know that this is an unpopular suggestion on this site, but many people swear that eliminating wheat eliminates their brain fog. Something you might want to try for a few weeks–can’t hurt and you won’t know unless you try.

      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Julie. I do eat a lot of bread. I love tomato sandwiches and eat them often. But that and peanut butter sandwiches are about the only way I eat bread, so that would be an easy and interesting test. I’ll give it a shot to see what happens. My doctor thinks that the extent of my forgetfulness is just normal for my age (75), but the wheat thing is so easy to do, that I can resist trying it. But I need to remember not to buy bread if I’m going to succeed. I was born in 1940, and I remember my stepparents telling me to eat everything on my plate because there were people starving in Europe. Don’t know whether that was true or not, but it succeeded in getting me not to waste food ever since then. I don’t throw anything away unless it’s gone bad. So if I forget, and buy a loaf of bread, I’ll have to eat it. But I think I can manage to remember not to buy any for a couple of weeks. Wish me luck.

          1. Thanks Marge. I’ll try that too (after the no wheat test). Right now I’m enjoying a bread product named ‘Martin’s Whole Wheat Potato Bread’. But if it turns out from the test that I should avoid wheat, the millet bread idea would be a great move. Well, actually, seeing that you recommend it highly, I want to try it no matter what. So, I’ll be on the lookout for some, and be sure to try it in the near future. The worse thing that could happen is that I wouldn’t like it, and if so, I can save from going to waste by feeding it to the birds. LOL. I don’t want to break my stepparents rule not to waste food. Take care.

            1. Hi, Marc, I noticed a marked increase in my ability to think after ingesting smoothies with a little fruit and lots of kale (usually) or other greens. I also include about a cup of pure soy milk, but I think that’s incidental to my comments. Since you are on this site, I suppose you have experienced the beneficial effects of lots of greens in your smoothies on your thinking ability?

              1. Hello Johanna. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Sorry I was away from my computer and most of the day yesterday. So I’m not getting to respond until this late hour (it’s around 4 a.m. now where I am). Although I’m aware of smoothies, and have a NutriBullet to make smoothies with, I haven’t used it much. Mostly because I was concerned about possibly experiencing high glucose spikes if I consumed smoothies on a regular basis. At the moment, I’m more into steaming greens and other veggies. I also own a Vitamix 750 Blender that I could use to make smoothies. So, I’ve got all I need to get into the smoothie routine if I can get over my fears of possible glucose spikes. For me, this has been a difficult learning experience, and my pace is slow. But I prefer moving slowly that chancing possible harm with a more rapid experimenting pace. I do dearly appreciate your having taken the time to write to me though. But everything contributes to my education, so please feel free to write anytime. I appreciate everything you might want to share. And what you shared today doesn’t seem dangerous, so I might just try at least one smoothing with a little fruit, more kale, and some soy milk. Just a small trial one shouldn’t hurt if I had only one on a particular day. When I try it, I’ll try to seek you out and let you know how things went.

          1. Hi MacSmiley. Thanks so much for your link to information about famine in Europe in the 40’s. Now I know my stepparents were telling me the truth. Appreciate your taking the time to share that with me. Marc.

        1. Hi again Marc. Don’t want to get too long winded but to Julie’s point about gluten. Celiac disease exists as do gluten sensitivities. In such cases the ramifications can be serious. Still, this is not common at all. I had psoriatic arthritis. In researching it I found that about 15% of the psoriatic arthritis sufferers has such a sensitivity. Now keep in mind that among those not suffering from such a condition the percentage of population suffering from such a sensitivity would be tiny ie way less than 5%. In any case when I change my diet to a whole foods plant based diet the gluten sensitivity disappeared. Turns out this is not at all uncommon. Still gluten can be a problem for some individuals and should not be dismissed categorically.

          So my suggestion is to indeed try all dietary factors. But first and foremost, a whole food plant based diet for better blood sugar control. Also circulation does tend to improve when the advanced glycation end products are dramatically reduced by eliminating animal products. Oh and reducing the animal proteins and fats improves cholesterol and circulation as well. Then the bacterial endotoxins in meats cause short term inflammation of the circulatory system and this can impair mental function. And the list goes on and on…

          Wade Patton, I think makes a good example in this in far less words than I used.

          Best of luck.

          1. Just want to echo these words and say that I also got off of diabetes meds on a whole plant food low fat vegan diet because the meds didn’t fix the problem, they only treated the symptoms and I actually felt worse on them. My doctor was shocked because she said she had heard of it happening but had NEVER seen it personally, especially not in a couple weeks! Maybe because our culture refuses to take responsibility for their diet and good health and would rather just take the magic pill? Most doctors have no clue about the huge effect diet has on health because they are also indoctrinated into the pharmaceutical mafia! She had me on 12 before I finally wised up and fixed the underlying issues.
            I also think that 70 is extremely low as a goal for fasting blood sugar! 80 even up to 100 is reasonable, but at 70 I get lightheaded!

            1. Vegangram, your response here is gratifying. I have seen all sorts of presentations showing the ubiquitous influence of big pharma marketing on medical practice but anecdotes such as yours really flesh it out. I started to get really suspicious when I was first diagnosed with diabetes.

              I was in the Navy and the sent me to the hospital where I would go to a common cafeteria with officers, ie doctors and nurses. (Not to worry, we plebs were segregated by a screen.) One day I got to the hallway leading to the cafeteria and saw a huge array of tables with paper and other stuff on them. I looked a little more carefully and saw that this was all sales literature and samples for the drug companies. It jumped out at me that this was not the source of information that I wanted medical professionals to rely on when prescribing something for me. I had been living with the fantasy that the MDs would carefully examine the primary research and reviews before ever prescribing anything for me. (I really did at one time believe there was an Easter bunny too.)

              By the way, 70 is probably ok for first thing in the morning. You do not want to try to function much at that level though. I don’t want to go below 80 if having any sort of activity other than sleep. And then, I do not like going below 70.

        2. you can find many breads that are both gluten and wheat free. Also add in vegan (no dairy or egg) and that way you are eliminating many possible sources of health issues while you are conducting a trail period. Fortunately gluten free is a thing right now so you should not have a problem finding such breads.

      2. I too think I have a wheat allergy. Some people say that along with milk are main causes of anxiety. If a family member has a gluten sensitivity… The odds are good that you do to. So that means no PB and J. What’s left as a favorite food?

      3. I tried eliminating wheat a couple of times. Didn’t notice any benefit. THEN when I went meatless for a few days, there was a FOG cleared. Also felt less aches and pains I’d accepted as “aging”. Poof, gone!

  10. One great benefit from smoothies that was not mentioned is variety, which is a foundation of good nutrition. My regular morning smoothie includes whole fruit (apple, orange, dates, cranberries, other berries), vegetables (red cabbage, dark greens such as kale, carrots, celery), spices (fresh ginger, cinnamon), flax seed, and some powdered green tea leaves and hibiscus leaves. That’s 14 different foods. There is no way I could get this kind of variety in the morning any other way. Now I’ll add a straw and I’ll be all set. (It is time consuming to create this so I make a big batch (6 servings), divide it into single portion jars, and grab one from the fridge to go with the rest of breakfast for the next five days.)

    1. Molly, people are “freaking out” because they found it disturbing. At least, that’s why I am “freaking out” and why I wrote a lengthy post with suggestions for getting the information across to the (likely) small population of possible placenta consumers while removing “the placenta bit” so that those who found it disturbing &/or in bad taste would not have to experience it or—my concern—its like in future videos. Your ending comment is, to my way of thinking, as effective as saying to a clinically depressed person, “Hey, cheer up. Just s-m-i-l-e!!!”

  11. What about the recommendation by Dr. Walker to “chew” juice or in this case smoothies because digestion begins in the mouth, i.e. the contribution of saliva to the digestive process-I think for digesting sugars/carbs? I have been eating my green smoothies with a spoon. Other that the Please clarify if there is any downside to bypassing the addition of the substances in saliva when consuming smoothies. For now, I’ll make sure I don’t brush right after consumption, though!

    1. Hi Becky. It doesn’t seem to matter from what I see in the transcripts, “There has been concern expressed that drinking green smoothies would bypass the nitrate-reducing bacteria in the mouth, but our body’s way too smart for that and pumps nitrate back into our salivary glands; so, even if you deposited greens directly in your stomach with a tube, you’d still produce the nitric oxide so important for artery health.”

      Using a spoon is a great idea for slower consumption.

  12. Just want to say thanks to Dr. Greger and all his staff and commenters for this entire series. I have been eating smoothies (blended fruits and vegetables, separately) for many years, but I never really knew whether that was harming or helping the nutritional value. All the blender sales people said it would increase the nutritional value, but, of course, they were trying to sell blenders! It’s good to see some science behind these statements. Plus the many other science based things about smoothies I’ve learned from these videos.

  13. come on readers, the red smoothie thing is just another natural way to address the miracle aka our bodies and the holistic way to assist the immune system building and self healing process. put your big boy pants folks and give dr. greger the credit he deserves for telling you what people are doing to repair and strengthen their bodies.

    1. Just so you don’t feel left out, detox55, please read my earlier replies to Molly Patrick (especially) and to Joseph. As I once said to a PETA fund-raiser, in all the effort directed to ethical treatment of animals it is important to remember that humans too are animals. Please also note that in my reply to Joseph I fully express respect for Dr. Greger’s work. If I (and, I suspect, those who also expressed dismay at the end of this otherwise fine video) didn’t value his work, I’d simply have closed the window, said “WTF,” and unsubscribed from daily NutritionFacts email/videos. But I didn’t do those things—because I think Dr. Greger would appreciate knowing that his choice was, in the minds of some of his faithful readers/watchers (even those who already wear “big boy pants”), an unwise one.

      1. thank you, thorn 324 ! please, see dr. heaner’s response about 12 hours ago. I hope all of the dismayed are as disgusted when they dress up a hamburger with ketchup, a hot dog with relish and mustard, a slice of prime rib with au jus, and when they bit into a poor little baby pigs rib with bbq sauce on it. these hypocrites disgust me, not dr. greger’s posting. .

        1. Dear detox55, I read and heartily agree with Dr. Heaner’s response. And I, one of the dismayed, *am* disgusted when *others* engage in the animal-eating rituals you mentioned. Please understand that I am not one of them–or at least I haven’t been one of them for the last 41.75 years. In other words, if you count me among the hypocrites, you are mistaken. Please, when it comes to not eating flesh foods realize that we–you and I–are on the same side.

          1. thank you, again, thorn324. i know that we are on the same side and that is what i love about you. i guess the point that i was making is that unless we are in the faces of all the people i call hypocrites, the one’s grossed out by dr greger’s posting, but, who then go out and eat a slab of a poor little baby pigs ribs, their consciousness will forever be in limbo. some, until they die of cancer, will always be in limbo and my feeling is “good for them, they deserve it” these people disgust me and yet, they are the ones that screaming disgust. no consciousness, no peace !

      1. Joseph, I am hoping you can settle a debate some of us vegans are having.
        So, the store-bought tofu that we can buy in packages in the supermarket,
        soaked in water packages, is this tofu already cooked? Some vegans think it is raw,
        some think it is cooked already. Any idea?

        1. Tofu to some degree is processed, but you can eat raw or cooked. “Raw” tofu tastes flavorless, but some folks slurp it out of the package and love it. I personally do not find it that appetizing and prefer cooked tofu with plenty of herbs, spices, and sauces to go with it.

          1. But are the beans used to make the tofu already cooked? If they are already cooked beans in the tofu making process before it hits the store shelf, the product is already cooked, and one is not therefore eating raw soybeans, in effect? This is where the debate lies with a few vegans here.

            1. There are definitely not raw soybeans in the final product of tofu. You’d have to check in with tofu manufacturers for the scoop on how it’s made.

            2. Hello, Leslie. I hope you’ll see the reply I just sent to Joseph on this topic. I’ll also add that a Japanese friend (from whom I’ve been fortunate to learn much about cooking) treats tofu in exactly the way Madison recommends, although the simmering my friend does is more often than not in dashi rather than in plain water.

          2. Hello, Joseph. In her book _This Can’t Be Tofu_ (published 2000), Deborah Madison distinguishes between the vacuum-packed tofu—which she says is ready to eat because of the cooking process—and the plastic-tub water-packed tofu—which she says either to use in dishes where it is to be cooked or, if being used in simpler dishes (or in something such as “eggless salad”), to gently simmer it first in below-boiling water for ca. 5 minutes. I hope this is helpful.

            1. So are you suggesting that the tofu in plastic water packed tubs/packages is not a previously “cooked” product? I don’t see how it could have ever been made into a product with out at first cooking the soybeans, no?

              1. Leslie, I’m sorry to have been unclear. I agree with you and Joseph that the water-packed tofu is cooked to some degree; otherwise it could hold together in the tub. It may, though, be a matter of “taking it all the way” to a fully-cooked stage (I know that tub tofu always tastes “beanier” to me when it’s not cooked compared to vaccum-packed.); also, I both read & heard that (further) cooking is a precaution against any bacteria that may have found its way into the soaking water if the package is opened (once in the home of the purchaser) & an unused part is stored for use in a meal another day. It’s been years since I’ve seen the book, but you may find info on this subject in Shurtleff & Aoyagi’s _The Book of Tofu._

        2. Leslie: I researched how tofu was made several years ago, so my info isn’t recent. But it is my understanding that traditional tofu (not the silken/septic packages type, but the kind in tubs with water) is just congealed soy milk, much the way that diary cheese is congealed breast milk.

          So, the question is, do they make the soy milk by heating the beans or not? And is the heat high enough to count as cooked for those people who are raw foodists? I’ve made nut milks out of raw nuts and without any cooking/heat. But I think that soy milk is traditionally made by heating up the beans/water mixture. (I haven’t done a lot of research on this point. So, I may be wrong about how soy milk is made.) And if the beans get heated above X degrees (depending on the particular raw foodist’s definition of where the raw vs cooked line is), then the tofu would be considered cooked product.

  14. Dear Dr. Greger, again you talk about the benefits of flax seeds in smoothies which is certainly true. However in my case I get sever acne from using flax in smoothies. Do you know how I can get the same benefits of flax seeds from other plants?

      1. Thank you for quick reply, I believe that it may be the fat content that’s causing acne in my case. Walnuts also contain fat, but I don’t know how much and chia and hemp, I have no clue how much fat those have.

        1. Have you seen our videos on acne? It’s a frustrating skin condition and I can empathize. It could be the fat, especially dairy fat (and protein), but I think we need more research in this area.

          1. Dr. Gonzales, I am over 65 and had a lot of trouble with my face breaking out the last couple of years–really only later in my life! At first I thought it was wheat, but it seems all ground grains cause the problem because millet-flax bread also seemed to be implicated. I still eat steel cut oatmeal, which doesn’t seem to be a problem, but I mention this in case it helps others. I wish I could eat bread because I love sandwiches, but I’d rather not have my face break out.

  15. So, what’s the consensus re: enamel erosion with smoothies? Is it worth it to get the greens? If it is worth it, are stained teeth worth it to prevent erosion?

    1. The softening effect of acidity is not permanent. Time your brushing such that you don’t brush softened teeth. Be healthy and hygienic!

  16. so I drizzle a teaspoon of lemon juice on a half an apple to keep it from going brown and nibble on it after I snack on greens and beans through the day to freshen my mouth. Will my teeth thank me if I ditch the habit?

  17. I really like the fact that Dr G gives us the current points of note and we then have to use these as best we can. Thanks MikeOnRaw for your summary. Great point for adding flax or Linn seed if in UK.

  18. On the placenta issue, I would like to actually thank you for posting information on it. I fell under the cult of Weston A. Price for about a month and finally did enough real research to set myself straight, but they are all about consuming the placenta. (Check out some of Mama Natural’s videos on YouTube to see what I mean.) I would love to send this video to some “if my ancestors did it, it must be natural!” fanatics to help them out.

  19. Seems to be a lot of people offended by the placenta… Well we all came to this earth wrapped up in one so what’s the fuss?

    And on topic: more people than you’d think consider consuming them post-childbirth, especially as smoothies – so I’d say it’s a fair warning seen as they concentrate heavy metals and toxins even more than regular animal tissues.

    A sign of our times that this sacred thing which brought life, nutrients and oxygen to every human on this earth is these days probably toxic enough to be regarded as a bio hazard by the EPA. How about we show some disgust at that instead!

    1. Because it has nothing at all to do with daily nutrition or green smoothies. I’d classify placentophagy as a “special occasion” applicable mostly to child-bearers. There are lots of things in this world that various cultures do or do not eat, but that has nothing to do with “green smoothies” or the regular daily consumption of smoothies.

      This issue is not placenta consumption. The issue is including that, complete with images into a video on the topic of plant-food based smoothies.

      By all means crank up the video machine and make a dozen placenta videos. For the meat eaters…

      1. Thank you, Wade, for carrying on the torch in a manner that I think (and hope) is more convincing than what I wrote in more than one reply/post yesterday.

      2. Then the next time you defecate, refrain from looking down into the toilet. And because something has nothing to do with something is not a reason for not including a reference in a video. My fourteen year old daughter has seen what you call “graphic” and doesn’t so much as wince. If everyone took your attitude then where would we be with science? Absolutely nowhere. I would suggest getting a grip on your queasy belly and learn to perceive things more removed from such an aggregate consensus.

  20. Let’s let Dr. Greger and team help us all get over being squeamish about physical, medical, and nutritional realities that we are better off knowing than hiding from. Overcoming squeamishness in one area can help in other areas where we carry our prudishness and where it inevitably causes problems in a closed and defensive attitude. Thank you Dr. Greger and Joseph Gonzales.

  21. So drinking smoothies rather than chewing doesn’t deprive us of the beneficial nitrites? Didn’t think so. Suck it, Esselstyn!

    (Mostly kidding)

  22. I’ve been consuming green smoothies for over a decade and they really are awesome. I always include flax, but please grind it forts or it will go right through your system without being digested. Also, I always use fruit as merely a sweetener and to make the smoothie more palatable. Most of the ingredients in my smoothies are green leafiness and veggies, not fruit. I also only use water to make them blendable, never juices or nut milks! But the thing I love most about drinking green smoothies is that I can get all my daily amount of greens in my one morning smoothie which always take me at least 45 minutes to finish. It makes me feel healthy and satiated for hours.

  23. Would it be possible to look into claims that oxalates can be an issue for other reasons than contributing to kidney stones? I have in mind things like interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, etc. Is there any research on this?

  24. The Director of the Hippocrates health institute says high powered blenders like Vitamix destroy 85 to 92% of the nutrients in the smoothy because the nutrients become oxidized due to the incorporation of air. Could this be true?

  25. Dear ladies,

    Could you tone it down with whining over the placenta in the video? I’m trying to glean useful information from the commentary. Thank you!

  26. I agree that the mention of the placenta smoothie is GROSSSS! I find it gross to think that women actually do this but as a nurse I can tell you …they do. The point here is that we need to be aware of the scientific truth about what we are ingesting. This is an educational site and yes there will be gross information now and then. I don’t think it should be hidden or swept under the rug.

  27. Dr. Greger, While kidney stones may be the end result for some with high intake of oxalate, what are the other known symptoms with high spinach intake for example, that are of concern? At what level of intake does increased diuresis manifest itself, with or without interrupted sleep? Thanks.

  28. The old rules keep dying. I was told to 1) drink smoothies quickly to get the nutrients before they disappear (don’t bother storing in fridge), and 2) swish them around the mouth to get the digestive enzymes like from chewing.

  29. Hi!
    I have a question about giving flax to children. Our three year old eats the same, homemade, porridge as we adults do.
    It contains, among a few other things, crushed flaxseed.
    I´m concerned about the cyanide content, what is the recommended dose for toddlers/children and pregnant women?

  30. I wonder if anyone here can comment on some research about the antioxidant power of smoothies cited by the BBC in a programme I saw last night. It has me questioning whether I should really be drinking green smoothies at all. You can see a summary of what the BBC reported here:
    Essentially, they showed that after drinking a smoothie rich in antioxidants, there was a spike in antioxidant levels in the blood of the participants but that levels quickly declined below the base level and took around 24 hours to return to normal. I.e. the participants actually had lower levels of antioxidants than normal in the 24 hours following drinking a smoothie. The explanation offered was that the body had reponded to quickly remove the antioxidants from the blood because of a process called homeostasis. The conclusion seems to be that drinking smoothies rich in antioxidants may actually do more harm than good to antioxidant levels. As someone who drinks green smoothies partly to take advantage of all of the antioxidants contained in them, I’d be really interested to know whether has come across any research to back up these findings.

    1. Ellen: I don’t know anything about the legitimacy of that work or not. But I had two thoughts for you: 1) NutritionFacts recently did a series on smoothies. One of the conclusions (for different reasons, but it work for this point too) is that smoothies should be sipped slowly over time, not drunk fast all at once. If you applied this advice, you would also have the benefit of drawing out the antioxidant hit.
      2) I wonder if those studies were done on people who are not used to getting a lot of antioxidants throughout the day (so that a healthy smoothie may be treated like an assault by the body?) or if they did those studies on people who eat high antioxidant meals all day long day after day? Or does it matter? Just a thought I had.

  31. Today I’m starting my journey for better health and longevity. I have stage 4 kidney disease. In a nut shell I had been searching for answers.I found Dr.Micheal Greger M.D. And bought “How not to Die” Thanks Dr. Greger for all your hard work! I feel confident about my future!!!

    1. I’m afraid that I’m not knowledgeable about kidney disease, but I can tell you that going fully whole foods plant-based has benefited my health and happiness, even though I’ve always eaten a lot of vegetables and not the SAD. I have some health conditions too, although not as serious as yours, and they have significantly improved since I’ve been incorporating the information from Dr. Greger found here and in the book into my daily life. I believe that it will work just as well in your case!

  32. Thanks VegEater! Your comments of confidence are helpful and reassuring that i am on the right path. The book is very helpful and with people like you that share on this site (Disqus) make it very nice and encouraging Thanks again!!!!

  33. If you want some smoothies that are guaranteed to help you lose weight check these out! www . ninjablenderrecipes . blogspot . com

  34. No way do smoothies affect weight in any negative way. I’ve never been slimmer since I started putting as much healthy foods in my body as I could, which includes VERY large smoothies which I drink very quickly. It keeps me very full but honestly, I prefer not to feel full for very long because I like to eat as much healthy foods as I can in a day… plus, I like eating lol. And yes I’m vegan, so it’s all plant foods, and organic at that.

    And based on what I’ve seen occur in others, regular and abundant smoothie intake creates a very lean, healthy looking body.

  35. Eating a placenta? GOOD GRIEF! That’s almost as gross & disgusting as eating aborted fetuses, like is reportedly done in some areas of China.

  36. Instead of making “green smoothies” I’ve lately started making “green chunkies,” for lack of a better term. I begin with a half cup or more of unsweetened applesauce in a small food processor. Then I add kale and only a little water, blend “just enough” then add more kale or whatever. Blend, but again just a bit. This way I get a tasty, lightly chewy, fun treat to eat slowly (as suggested) with a spoon. Because it’s chewy with identifiable bits of kale etc., it tastes fresh yet the applesauce balances the sometimes strong flavor of the kale and the whole thing is easy to eat. Any advice, anything I should try to do or not do with my “green chunkies” (besides, perhaps, find a better name)?

  37. HI, I am a vegan, have osteopenia and am worried about bone loss. I typically have a smoothie for breakfast and I vary the ingredients but the constants are always a cup of non-dairy milk, tbs of ground flax, and 2 large handfuls of greens – usually spinach. I know that spinach contains oxalates preventing calcium absorption in bones, but does consuming spinach simultaneously with the non-dairy milk in my smoothie also prohibit the calcium from the milk being absorbed? I searched pubmed but the only studies I could find on this were from the 80s. Do you know if there is anything more current on this topic? Thank you!! :)

  38. I am actually very happy that he mentioned placenta eating because although many of you seem to not realize it, it is actually a very common practice throughout the world (yes, including the US). Nearly all mammals (including herbivores) consume their placenta after birth. It has shown to reduce a mother’s bleeding as well as increase her breast milk supply. I personally am considering practicing this when my child is born. However, despite my lifelong experience of being raised vegan and having been on a high-raw organic vegan diet these last many many years, as well as drinking contaminate free water, I still cannot help but wonder about the effects of geoengineering and the pesticides and antibiotics still present even in organic produce (due to the water supply). I am not sure if eating my placenta is still the ‘natural thing to do’ when the world we live in, is not so natural anymore. For those of you interested in what I end up deciding (and why), you can check out my youtube channel – it’s called EARTHBASED.

  39. Must admit I’m not at all convinced from what Dr. Greger has said about the benefits of smoothies (except as an occasional variant or treat)! It seems to me that serious questions remain about liquifying in terms of the fiber content & the rate of absorption of sugars & nutrients. Most healthy old people in the Blue Zones don’t drink smoothies. In addition, I think an argument against
    regular smoothies is that to be a vegetarian you need to learn to seek out
    & enjoy many, many vegetables in their nearly unprocessed state.
    Besides, in doing so you save money not buying all those specialty

    1. He has videos on the sugars and all that and it shows that blending fruit does not negatively impact blood sugar at all, the only fruit that does when blended is apples. As for absorption, blending food can actually make nutrients far more bioavailable.

  40. Most of the high speed blenders use jars of Tritan plastics. How much should one worry about leakage of the plastics in to the smoothies?
    Best regards

  41. I have been drinking blended green drinks (I hate the word smoothie) for three years. What I have not been able to fully nail down is whether or not I can use FROZEN RAW SPINACH in my blender? Often I use the grocery store bags (9oz or 13oz) of fresh spinach, but other times I’ve used frozen spinach, that i believe is intended for cooking. It’s faster, easier, and of course stays in the freezer longer. Is there a problem with this? What if I stick to frozen organic spinach? I wrote an email to one brand, Pictsweet, and they told me they “did not recommend” this, but didn’t say why. Anyone know for sure?

    1. Hi Joe, I am a volunteer moderator helping Dr Greger answer questions on NutritionFacts. I’m also a plant based dietitian nutritionist located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
      It is odd that Pictsweet wouldn’t give a reason…. hmmmm.
      I see no problem with frozen organic spinach, other than a different textural result following blending vs. fresh spinach. Nutritional quality of organic frozen spinach is the same as organic spinach.
      Happy blending!

      1. Lisa, thanks a lot for your response! That is what I had always thought about frozen spinach, I was just slightly worried the frozen stuff didn’t get washed as well or something since it was intended to be cooked. Appreciate the feedback!

    1. He Sean – I’m a dietitian and volunteer moderator who helps Dr. Greger answer questions. Thanks for your question. The short answer is, yes, blending fruit can cause blood sugar to spike (and more so than eating whole fruit). The reason lies in the degree of processing. Whenever a carbohydrate containing food is softened or broken down into smaller particle sizes the digestion time is reduced. As a result the natural sugar from the blended fruits enters the bloodstream more quickly which leads to a quicker rise in blood sugar levels. Make sense? Another factor could also be in the volume of fruit that is blended and consumed at one time which may be more than you could eat if you were having whole fruit. So, if you like your fruit blended consider how much fruit you use and how quickly you consume it, or maybe just go for whole fruits more often? Hope this helps.

  42. Subtracting beverages and exercise from the Daily Dozen, I’m left with the Big Ten. I’ve been combining the Daily Big Ten into one big smoothie, and drinking it in three large servings morning, noon, and evening. I literally take the checklist and fill the blender. I eat a whole food lunch and dinner that require chewing, as a well a fruity dessert at night.
    I’m drinking 64oz hibiscus tea daily through a straw.
    The smoothie makes it easy to get everything.
    Is it OK to get so much of my food intake in smoothie form?

    1. Hi John- I don’t think it is a problem to be getting a portion of your food intake in smoothies, if you actually enjoy consuming your food this way. However, some foods have nutrients that are absorbed better when they have been cooked, (tomatoes are an example) so you want to keep that in mind when planning your “chewed meals.”(I’m just assuming what you put in the blender is raw.) Here’s a video on the topic: Raw vs Cooked

  43. I’ve been consuming a juice made of kale, romaine, spinach, red pepper, tomato, carrot, red beet, red cabbage, 2 tbls flax seed meal, 1 tsp rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, banana, broccoli for the last 5 years. At last check my LDL was 53, HDL and Triglycerides all good. I also have a bowl of Ezekiel 4.9 cereal with blueberries and almond milk. I blend the veggies for 10 seconds because I want to have to chew, not drink. Any comments positive or negative? Trying to do the best I can with the information I’ve learned from NutritionFacts, Forks over Knives and other websites. I’m 62 years old and run about 4 miles on the treadmill M-F and 7-9 miles outside on Saturday and Sunday. I have recently been having joint pain and irregular heartbeat. It doesn’t bother me except knowing it is happening. Any feedback is more than welcome.

  44. Any thoughts/advice/science/warnings when it comes to ‘powdered greens’ supplements? They’re all the rage now. Obviously there’s no chance of them being a viable replacement for actual food, but are they a decent source of nutrients/antioxidants when one just wants something to drink, instead of a meal?

    What I’m trying to say is: I want to be like Batman and chug down an uber-healthy looking green drink before my morning workout, in the hopes of getting some super lightweight antioxidants/nutrients in my system, so as to avoid hitting the gym with a stomach full of produce.


  45. Scott,

    Ah the powdered greens….. there might be some advantages……. as a fall back,,,, however there have been some issues and not all brands are acceptable.

    Back in 2010 there were some notable issues with toxic metals. Has this continued, not certain and it might be best to do some in depth inquiry with the companies products your choosing. All good brands will disclose their assay of the end products, including the toxic metal content.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

  46. Haha, I laughed so hard at the ending. I love this man. Thank you for the awesome resources. I’ll continue going hard on my green smoothies.

  47. I quickly skipped over the part about placenta and focused on the rest of the content that I had come to this video to hear. So it really didn’t bother me to read it for more than a few seconds. And I agree, that if that is something being practiced, to warn people not to, is reasonable. However, to read down the long list of comments to see most were about the placenta extended the time I had to be exposed to that unpleasantness. Why after the first few comments on it, did people just keep that going? I don’t get it? I stopped reading the comments after the first 10 comments on placenta.

  48. So if I make us a smoothie bowl and eat with a spoon, and not a straw, are we destroying our teeth? I try to water rinse or chew xylitol gum afterwards, but my wife does not usually. Since it takes longer to eat than our old breakfast, she brushes afterwards and heads to work. Most anything ending in “itol” irritates her system so doesn’t chew the gum. Great…

  49. Eating with a spoon sounds like a good idea, and brushing afterward will prevent damage to teeth form the mixture of sugar and acid that can occur in a smoothie.

    Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  50. It makes no sense at all to drink a (fruit)smoothie with a straw. You can’t just gulp it down like water, it has to be mixed with saliva before swallowing. Would one eat fruit through a straw, stick them in an apple or orange..? And a lot of the smoothie gets stuck in the straw, so a lot gets thrown away. Also straws add to the “plastic soup” in the environment, extremely sad for the animals. And finally, after years of using straws, teeth may have been saved, but a new problem shows up: those nice wrinkles around the mouth; especially women won’t like that. Ok, saved dental costs, but cosmetic surgery costs a lot more than that…So: no benefits whatsoever for using straws.

    Furthermore I have a question about flaxseeds. I used ground flaxseeds for a while and read that they can only be kept for a month (or so) or they will go bad and be even bad for your health? Where I live I can only buy like a pound and it lasts me about 6 months; I stored them well in a glass container, however I did throw them away. Another option is to grind them yourself, but it has a downside to it: there’s no way to get the grinding system clean enough, so the oils will spoil in there. I want to eat flaxseeds; anybody have an idea how to go about this?

  51. Pureeing uncooked green leafy vegetables, most of which contain otherwise beneficial nitrates, relases an enzyme that converts those nitrates to nitrites by enzmatic reduction. Cooking destroys this enzyme as well as bacteria which also form nitites, however cooked greens should eaten immediately unless blanched for freezing. So I am mixing green smoothies and cooking my greens quick steaming like the orientals.

  52. There is a downside for children: without chewing, jawbone grows too short for the teeth, resulting in crowded teeth and braces.

    Higher chewing strains resulted in more growth in the bone that anchors the teeth. He showed that the ultimate length of a jaw depends on the stress put on it during chewing.
    Selection for jaw length is based on the growth expected, given a hard or tough diet. In this way, diet determines how well jaw length matches tooth size. It is a fine balancing act, and our species has had 200,000 years to get it right. The problem for us is that, for most of that time, our ancestors didn’t feed their children the kind of mush we feed ours today. Our teeth don’t fit because they evolved instead to match the longer jaw that would develop in a more challenging strain environment. Ours are too short because we don’t give them the workout nature expects us to.

    Effects of food processing on masticatory strain and craniofacial growth in a retrognathic face

  53. I’ve seen some claims elsewhere on the internet (on sites I trust less than that blending greens in a high-speed blender results in the oxidation and destruction of some (or even most) of the greens’ nutrients. Is there any truth to this?

    I’ve also seen suggestions that lowering the pH of the smoothie by adding a little lemon juice can prevent this oxidation. Is this recommended?

  54. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Thanks for your great question. Smoothies are a little controversial right now.
    Blending your greens would not destroy the nutrients, the question is if it destroys the fiber. If you completely macerate the fiber structure, then it is absorbed very quickly and you loose the benefits of the fiber. That is why juicing is not recommended. I’m not sure if that is what the claims you read were referring to. Pureed smoothies are much better than juicing. That is explained well in this blog:
    Smoothies may not keep you full as long as if you chew the fruits and vegetables yourself. Dr. Greger has said some of that can be adjusted for my drinking your smoothies slowly:

    I hope that helps.

  55. Great videos! Thanks for all this information.

    How ‘much’ is optimal? Could one consume 16 ounces of kale in one sitting and benefit, or would that serving be better consumed by way of two 8 ounce drinks over the course of two hours? I have seen some who advocate two pounds of kale per day? Is this too much of a good thing (considering oxalic acid).

    Do you have any recommendations on Green-Smoothie fasts? That is..using a blender as opposed to a juicer?

    Sorry for this condensed, multi-part question! :)


    1. 16 ounces or 2 pounds of kale per day (!) Those are the dangerous hypes… One shouldn’t even consume kale on a daily basis; a few times per week is fine. As with many healthy foods: moderation = key.

    2. Hi, Erek! First of all, kale is a low-oxalate green. With regard to optimal foods and servings, I suggest referring to the Daily Dozen, explained in this video: and summarized here: There is a free Daily Dozen app you may use to track your daily intake and exercise. Smoothie fasts are not covered here on NF. I think it is probably better to eat healthy, whole plant foods daily than to embark on periodic “cleanses.” I hope that helps!

  56. I first read “How not to die” about two months ago and switched to a whole food diet just over one month ago. But since changing foods I’ve been experiencing nausea, headaches, heartburn, severe stomach pain and diarrhea almost everyday. Before changing to a whole food diet I rarely experienced any of these symptoms. My boyfriend also recently started switching to a whole food diet and is now starting to experience stomach pain and diarrhea.

    I understand when we change our diets of course we will experience some side effects such as the ones I’ve listed, however it’s been more than a month and the symptoms seem to be getting worse.

    This is a list of the foods I eat everyday:

    Oatmeal- whole oats, banana, chia seeds, raisins and whole soy milk.

    Smoothie-1 cup whole soy milk, spinach, a little turmeric, chia seeds, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/2 cup edamame, 1 banana, 1/2 orange with skin, a little mango, 1 cup mixed berries, water and sometimes I add 1 kiwi with the skin.

    I always eat at least one salad for lunch or dinner and then I eat other forms of whole wheat such as bread, brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

    I also snack on walnuts and raisins and other fruits like grapes throughout the day.

    I feel like maybe it’s the smoothie that’s causing me so much discomfort. I make it around 7 or 8:00 and usually finish it by lunch. The size of my bottle is 26oz and it’s always full.

    I’ve tried searching explanations online but I’m getting mixed information. Please let me know what you think. I really want to continue eating whole foods everyday!

    Thank you

    1. The smoothy: way too much and too many different vegetables and fruits; beans and orange and kiwi both with skin?! That’s too hard to digest, so it goes right through. Anything raw is harder to digest.

    2. Hi Christina, thanks for your question. Firstly well done for taking the action in improving your diet. The symptoms that you described sound like intolerance to food or number of food in your new diet pattern. One suggestion can be to reduce the amount of your smoothie or just have the fruits as a whole and have water instead of the smoothie for a day or two to see how your body reacts to this. Another suggestion can be that you write down a food diary along with the food reactions to find out the culprit that cause issue with you. I hope these information are useful to you.

      1. Thank you, I’ve actually been keeping a food journal since the beginning of July. I stopped adding mango, kiwi and pineapple and rather than “gulping” my smoothies quickly, I am sipping them throughout the day. This seems to be helping a lot. I also stopped eating nuts for the time being to see if it helps and so far so good. I haven’t felt sick in 2 days!

        I think it’s really important for me to continue drinking smoothies because this is the best way for me to get beans into my diet. I’m really not a big fan of beans but if I add them to my smoothie and recently my oatmeal I can handle it!

        Thanks again

    3. You need to learn food combining. Avoid soymilk. Focus an fruits, greens, small vege juices of 4 to 8 ounces. Go light on starches, make sure beans are well cooked a long time (SOME canned organic ones ate like ones at WF) Eat animal foods only with green veges. Sweet potato and red, yellow best…starch easier to digest. Good pseudograins are quinoa, millet, buckwheat. Seaweed can be used to cook beans. Soak them in morning or overnight. Use canned Palm hearts and organic olives on salads. Avoid bottle oils except avo, olive and oils mostly on salads and stir fries. If you eat tomatoes there are rules for making those combine well. Whatever you do be careful of excess sugars, eat most fruits alone, and realize that the bacteria now are changing, so eventually you will not have as much problem. If you do then use maybe refined food as a carrier for nutrients, such as basmati rice with spices, herbs, moringa powder, pasta with pesto. For soy cultured only!

  57. I have been eating the same smoothie for over 7 years with good results. 8 years ago I had to have a stent placed due to one artery being 80% clogged. I was a marathon but wasn’t aware of how my diet was hurting me. The cardiologist had me on 5 meds and I couldn’t stand it. My Dad has had 13 stents planted and I decided I wasn’t going to follow that path. Through a lot of research I finally found Doctor Gregers’ website. Off all meds for over 7 years now to the surprise of my former Cardiologist. He actually talks about me to patients with high LDL. Here is my smoothie:
    1/2 carrot
    1/2 beet
    1/2 cup purple cabbage
    1 handful kale
    1/2″ turmeric and some pepper to help with absorption
    4 cherry tomatoes
    1/2 banana
    1 tbls cocoa powder
    1 tbls ground flaxseed
    1 tsp rosemary
    1/2 tsp seaweed (omega 3) to make sure I get enough iodine
    1 cup water


    Dr. Pam Popper just posted (a week ago) her youtube video titled: “Fat Soluble Vitamins Do Not Need to be Consumed With Fat”. I’ve enjoyed some of her latest videos, and participation in The Real Truth About Health, etc.

    She has, in this one video, countered two paradigms 1) eating some fat with fat-soluble nutrients and 2) whether Vit C increases non-heme iron absorption. She noted one study on Vit E (not linked) in support of 1) but tied a similarity conclusion to 2) based on statements like our ancestral humans “survived” therefore neither of these are issues, no reason to worry about it, the whole point of this video is to encourage people to stop making healthy eating harder than it needs to be.

    Begs my question, is she speaking about facts or convenience? She comes across as factual but uses arguments like those above rather than pointing to or referencing studies (no links provided).

    I wonder what Dr. Greger would say, and it would be great if someone would throw him this scenario in a Q&A.
    With a quick search, the following nutritionfacts videos and 2 studies state the paradigms most of us believe:

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