The Last Coronavirus Pandemic May Have Been Caused by Livestock

The Last Coronavirus Pandemic May Have Been Caused by Livestock
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The next coronavirus pandemic may come from pigs not pangolins.

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

Before I take a deep dive into COVID-19, I wanted to touch on some of the new coronaviruses emerging in livestock. As we’ve seen, COVID-19 is only one of many coronavirus diseases to jump from bats in the 21st century to cause deadly outbreaks. There was SARS in 2002, MERS in 2012, and then SADS in 2016. A new disease killing up to 90 percent of young piglets, SADS, Swine Acute Diarrhea Syndrome, devastated industrial pig farms in the same region in China where SARS had broken out. SADS was traced to a coronavirus discovered in a bat cave in the vicinity. So, one could say coronaviruses can infect pigs, right off the bat.

The combination of deforestation and intensive pork production, with millions of pigs encroaching on bat habitat, may have facilitated the coronavirus spillover from bats to pigs.

Then there is Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, another presumed bat-to-pig coronavirus. In 2010, a highly virulent strain emerged in China that caused massive outbreaks when it hit the United States and spread coast-to-coast a few years later, killing millions of pigs—approximately 10 percent of the entire U.S. herd.

Then there’s porcine-delta coronavirus, the third new pig coronavirus to emerge from China in the last decade, rapidly spreading once it reached U.S. shores in 2014. This pattern of emergence and outbreaks of new coronaviruses in livestock appears to be accelerating, facilitated by intensive confinement practices resulting in thousands of animals being housed together in a closed environment.

The pattern of new human coronavirus outbreaks also appears to be accelerating, but currently, none of these emerging pig coronaviruses appears able to infect humans. Nevertheless, continued monitoring of these pig coronaviruses is necessary for not just pig health but public health, because coronaviruses are known for their high rates of mutation and their recombination––the process by which viruses swap parts of their genetic code to better adapt to their hosts or find new ones. The fact that many livestock coronaviruses cause persistent, epidemic infections increases the likelihood that a coronavirus mutant could arise with what’s called an “extended host range,” meaning the potential to invite humanity to the party.

To trigger a pandemic, the virus would first have to spread to the lungs. Most coronaviruses in bats and livestock, to date, have been intestinal infections. The exception is Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) in chickens, which was actually the first coronavirus ever discovered back in 1931. And it was to become the major cause of respiratory infections in the nine billion chickens raised for meat in the United States every year. But it is prevalent in all countries with industrial poultry production, with infection rates often approaching 100 percent. Currently, the only way IBV has been shown to cause disease in mammals, though, is by being directly injected into the brain.

But with so many different coronaviruses circulating among so many different species, it is considered likely not a matter of if, but when the next recombinant coronavirus will emerge and explode into the human population. Already, the spikes of the newly discovered porcine deltacoronavirus in pigs that has posed such a serious threat to the pork industry can attach to receptors found not only in pig intestines, but also in the respiratory tract of humans. This broad receptor engagement of an emerging global coronavirus may potentiate its diverse cross-species transmissibility. We already know porcine deltacoronaviruses can infect both human and chicken cells in a petri dish, and we know it can infect chickens themselves (just like there’s a bovine coronavirus in calves that can infect turkeys—these coronaviruses jump around). And once they do, even more concerning is that porcine deltacoronavirus, once it jumps to chickens, can then spread rapidly from chicken to chicken.

In fact, this new paper, published in February 2020 in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal just concluded that given the susceptibility of human cells to infection, porcine deltacoronavirus should be investigated for its pandemic health risk to humans.

The SADS coronavirus can also infect human cells in a petri dish, and infect mice in a laboratory. In fact, a team of researchers concluded in the upcoming December 2020 issue of the Journal of Virology that given “the ability of SADS-coronavirus to grow efficiently in human cell lines, we should not underestimate the risk that this bat-origin coronavirus may ‘jump’ from pigs to humans.”

Bottom line: pigs, not just pangolins, may act as the mixing vessels for the generation of new coronaviruses with pandemic potential.

Coronaviruses are increasingly emerging and circulating among livestock populations around the world. The more new coronaviruses we have mixing in more and more animals, the greater the likelihood that strains with pandemic potential may emerge. While global pangolin populations are in drastic decline, we produce and slaughter more than a billion pigs each year (about half in China alone), raising the specter that the next pandemic may arise from domestic rather than wild animals—an event that may actually have already happened. The last coronavirus pandemic may have been caused by livestock. Wait, the last coronavirus pandemic? Hear me out.

Coronaviruses are the second most common cause of the common cold. So far, we’ve discovered four human cold coronaviruses, so that makes seven coronaviruses in all that can cause human disease: the six listed here, plus COVID-19. We suspect we got SARS from civets, MERS from camels, and the COVID-19 virus, perhaps, from pangolins. Where did we get the four common cold coronaviruses?

The origin of two of the four mild coronaviruses remains a mystery, but one—called human coronavirus 229E—has been traced back to camels, and the other—called OC43—to cattle or pigs. Well, if the jump by the common cold from camels to humans foreshadowed the deadly MERS species jump that went on to kill one in three people, might the coronavirus jump from livestock to humans portend a deadly human outbreak as well? It may already have.

So-called molecular clock analyses dating the emergence of human coronavirus OC43 suggest that the bovine coronavirus, now causing so-called shipping fever in cattle, jumped to humans around the year 1890. Cows to humans in 1890. That’s interesting timing. There was a pandemic in 1890. While the 1890 pandemic was presumed to be influenza, the timing of the emergence of human coronavirus OC43 has led some to conjecture that it instead may have been a SARS-like or COVID-19-like interspecies transmission of a coronavirus. Maybe it was just a coincidence, though? Well it’s not just the timing. There seemed to be a lot of neurological symptoms during that pandemic, and that’s relatively unusual for influenza, and more characteristic of the coronavirus. But the most compelling data to me is the fact that there was this highly infectious respiratory disease raging in cattle, and in the years leading up to the pandemic—1870 to 1890—there were massive culling operations to eradicate the disease devastating cattle herds the world over, ample opportunity for lots of respiratory secretion exposure.

Now we may never know what caused the 1890 pandemic, but we can take steps to prevent the next one. And that’s a subject I dive deep into in my new book How to Survive a Pandemic (all proceeds I receive are donated to charity). Yes, I go into how to best protect yourself and your family, your community from COVID-19, but I also address pandemic prevention. The best way to survive a pandemic is not to have one in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by AvoMedia

Image credit: RachelKolokoffHopper via Adobe Stock. Image has been modified.

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

Before I take a deep dive into COVID-19, I wanted to touch on some of the new coronaviruses emerging in livestock. As we’ve seen, COVID-19 is only one of many coronavirus diseases to jump from bats in the 21st century to cause deadly outbreaks. There was SARS in 2002, MERS in 2012, and then SADS in 2016. A new disease killing up to 90 percent of young piglets, SADS, Swine Acute Diarrhea Syndrome, devastated industrial pig farms in the same region in China where SARS had broken out. SADS was traced to a coronavirus discovered in a bat cave in the vicinity. So, one could say coronaviruses can infect pigs, right off the bat.

The combination of deforestation and intensive pork production, with millions of pigs encroaching on bat habitat, may have facilitated the coronavirus spillover from bats to pigs.

Then there is Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, another presumed bat-to-pig coronavirus. In 2010, a highly virulent strain emerged in China that caused massive outbreaks when it hit the United States and spread coast-to-coast a few years later, killing millions of pigs—approximately 10 percent of the entire U.S. herd.

Then there’s porcine-delta coronavirus, the third new pig coronavirus to emerge from China in the last decade, rapidly spreading once it reached U.S. shores in 2014. This pattern of emergence and outbreaks of new coronaviruses in livestock appears to be accelerating, facilitated by intensive confinement practices resulting in thousands of animals being housed together in a closed environment.

The pattern of new human coronavirus outbreaks also appears to be accelerating, but currently, none of these emerging pig coronaviruses appears able to infect humans. Nevertheless, continued monitoring of these pig coronaviruses is necessary for not just pig health but public health, because coronaviruses are known for their high rates of mutation and their recombination––the process by which viruses swap parts of their genetic code to better adapt to their hosts or find new ones. The fact that many livestock coronaviruses cause persistent, epidemic infections increases the likelihood that a coronavirus mutant could arise with what’s called an “extended host range,” meaning the potential to invite humanity to the party.

To trigger a pandemic, the virus would first have to spread to the lungs. Most coronaviruses in bats and livestock, to date, have been intestinal infections. The exception is Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) in chickens, which was actually the first coronavirus ever discovered back in 1931. And it was to become the major cause of respiratory infections in the nine billion chickens raised for meat in the United States every year. But it is prevalent in all countries with industrial poultry production, with infection rates often approaching 100 percent. Currently, the only way IBV has been shown to cause disease in mammals, though, is by being directly injected into the brain.

But with so many different coronaviruses circulating among so many different species, it is considered likely not a matter of if, but when the next recombinant coronavirus will emerge and explode into the human population. Already, the spikes of the newly discovered porcine deltacoronavirus in pigs that has posed such a serious threat to the pork industry can attach to receptors found not only in pig intestines, but also in the respiratory tract of humans. This broad receptor engagement of an emerging global coronavirus may potentiate its diverse cross-species transmissibility. We already know porcine deltacoronaviruses can infect both human and chicken cells in a petri dish, and we know it can infect chickens themselves (just like there’s a bovine coronavirus in calves that can infect turkeys—these coronaviruses jump around). And once they do, even more concerning is that porcine deltacoronavirus, once it jumps to chickens, can then spread rapidly from chicken to chicken.

In fact, this new paper, published in February 2020 in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal just concluded that given the susceptibility of human cells to infection, porcine deltacoronavirus should be investigated for its pandemic health risk to humans.

The SADS coronavirus can also infect human cells in a petri dish, and infect mice in a laboratory. In fact, a team of researchers concluded in the upcoming December 2020 issue of the Journal of Virology that given “the ability of SADS-coronavirus to grow efficiently in human cell lines, we should not underestimate the risk that this bat-origin coronavirus may ‘jump’ from pigs to humans.”

Bottom line: pigs, not just pangolins, may act as the mixing vessels for the generation of new coronaviruses with pandemic potential.

Coronaviruses are increasingly emerging and circulating among livestock populations around the world. The more new coronaviruses we have mixing in more and more animals, the greater the likelihood that strains with pandemic potential may emerge. While global pangolin populations are in drastic decline, we produce and slaughter more than a billion pigs each year (about half in China alone), raising the specter that the next pandemic may arise from domestic rather than wild animals—an event that may actually have already happened. The last coronavirus pandemic may have been caused by livestock. Wait, the last coronavirus pandemic? Hear me out.

Coronaviruses are the second most common cause of the common cold. So far, we’ve discovered four human cold coronaviruses, so that makes seven coronaviruses in all that can cause human disease: the six listed here, plus COVID-19. We suspect we got SARS from civets, MERS from camels, and the COVID-19 virus, perhaps, from pangolins. Where did we get the four common cold coronaviruses?

The origin of two of the four mild coronaviruses remains a mystery, but one—called human coronavirus 229E—has been traced back to camels, and the other—called OC43—to cattle or pigs. Well, if the jump by the common cold from camels to humans foreshadowed the deadly MERS species jump that went on to kill one in three people, might the coronavirus jump from livestock to humans portend a deadly human outbreak as well? It may already have.

So-called molecular clock analyses dating the emergence of human coronavirus OC43 suggest that the bovine coronavirus, now causing so-called shipping fever in cattle, jumped to humans around the year 1890. Cows to humans in 1890. That’s interesting timing. There was a pandemic in 1890. While the 1890 pandemic was presumed to be influenza, the timing of the emergence of human coronavirus OC43 has led some to conjecture that it instead may have been a SARS-like or COVID-19-like interspecies transmission of a coronavirus. Maybe it was just a coincidence, though? Well it’s not just the timing. There seemed to be a lot of neurological symptoms during that pandemic, and that’s relatively unusual for influenza, and more characteristic of the coronavirus. But the most compelling data to me is the fact that there was this highly infectious respiratory disease raging in cattle, and in the years leading up to the pandemic—1870 to 1890—there were massive culling operations to eradicate the disease devastating cattle herds the world over, ample opportunity for lots of respiratory secretion exposure.

Now we may never know what caused the 1890 pandemic, but we can take steps to prevent the next one. And that’s a subject I dive deep into in my new book How to Survive a Pandemic (all proceeds I receive are donated to charity). Yes, I go into how to best protect yourself and your family, your community from COVID-19, but I also address pandemic prevention. The best way to survive a pandemic is not to have one in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by AvoMedia

Image credit: RachelKolokoffHopper via Adobe Stock. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

This is the 4th in a 17-video series on COVID-19 and pandemics. If you missed the first three, they are:

Stay tuned for:

As a reminder, if you don’t want to wait for these to come out on the site, you can get them all in a free digital download here. If you’ve already seen these videos as part of my two webinars, or already have the digital download, keep your eyes out on Fridays as we continue our Flashback Friday series, and explore the many topics we have here on NutritionFacts.org.

You can take an even deeper dive in my new book How to Survive a Pandemic (note: all my proceeds from this book are donated to pandemic prevention charities).

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

61 responses to “The Last Coronavirus Pandemic May Have Been Caused by Livestock

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    1. There is a reason why pigs are used in experiments on human health. It just so happens that, despite our differences, many of the pig’s biological systems are very similar to our own. They have a number of anatomic and physiologic similarities to humans in different systems. They are what’s known as a translational research model, so if something works in the pig, then it has a high possibility of working in the human.

      1. “Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.” — George Bernard Shaw

        “Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: “Because the animals are like us.” Ask the experimenters why it is morally OK to experiment on animals, and the answer is: “Because the animals are not like us.” Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” –Professor Charles R.Magel

        “Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans…In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather they are used to protect corporations from legal liability. “–Herbert Gundersheimer, M.D.

  1. I knew that China buys a lot of livestock and animal products from the USA – but these outbreaks spreading here in animals – does that mean that they are sending animals to us?

    I understand how the human ones spread from China to here. I am not sure I understand how the animal ones get here when we are the ones doing the exporting?

    1. Deb,

      As I understand it, there are pathogens circulating in livestock populations all around the world. The problem isn’t limited to China. The next pandemic could originate anywhere animals are raised in huge numbers in confined quarters on abnormal feed, or CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations); these conditions are widespread throughout the world. The pathogens jump from livestock to humans; some will cause pandemics.

      In fact, there is evidence to suggest that the 1918 flu pandemic originated in the US, in a poultry farm in Kansas, near a military base. The sick soldiers then travelled to Europe as well as to other locations in the US — and the rest is history.

      1. Dr. J.,

        I highly respect your commitment to the cause of animals and the planet.

        It is always nice to see you show up and share from that perspective. It adds so much.

        There are a lot of people bringing useful things to the comments section but I just wanted to say that you are one of them and I appreciate your comments very much.

  2. This video greatly understates the actual pandemic threat situation by focusing too narrowly. Scientists estimate that there are 1.67 million unknown viruses of the type that have previously emerged in people. Using our best estimates, anywhere between 631,000 and 827,000 of these have the ability to infect people. Scientists currently know of only 263 viruses that can infect people, which means that we know almost nothing about 99.96 percent of potential pandemic threats. Discovering and sequencing them should be a priority — a simple case of “know your enemy.” In the aftermath of SARS, research on coronaviruses originating in bats has discovered more than 50 related viruses, some of which have the potential to infect people; this information can now be used to test for broad-action vaccines and drugs.

  3. Many years ago someone explained to me that pig farmers had to give their pigs a lot of worm medicine or they would not gain weight. Second hand worm medicine sounded so unappealing I stopped buying pork products.

    1. That’s true. I had a friend who raised pigs before developing heart disease, and going vegan at my suggestion. They dose them with wormer right before slaughter also. I assume for safety so there aren’t worms or eggs in the meat. There is a very long list on the USDA’s website of the allowable chemicals in meat. I’m sure wormer is on it.

      1. My father worked for 27 years in the Canadian prison system as the Chief of Food Services. He said, repeatedly, EVERY piece of raw pork has worms. EVERY PIECE.

    1. Darwin,

      That is something that I have been looking at. The concept that people spent weeks or months without toilet paper and suddenly couldn’t walk into stores or to the gym to go to the bathroom or wash up. I watched videos from people who have always showered at the gym and suddenly had no place to go.

      That spike in public urination concept reminds me of a joke. Was it a Far Side comic or a Cats and Dogs movie quote, I can’t remember.

      The concept was the dog was saying that they couldn’t figure out how to get the human to stop playing in the dog’s bathroom.

        1. Darwin,

          When I’d walk around Manhattan back in the day, where the nearest loo was located was always a major concern. I would never be one to march in protests, that’s for sure. Or attend the ringing of the New Year in overly packed Times Square was another. Horrible thought — where do those people go, after many hours of standing. Always glad to be at home by my trusty bathroom.

          One day I needed a bathroom while I was close to the Waldorf Astoria, on Park Avenue. So I rushed in and headed to the restrooms. Hurried in to one of the stalls, aware that somebody was in the one next to me. Only because I heard a bunch of loud grunts and groans — not what one would expect to hear from the mouth of a female. As I left the stall and started to wash my hands, I noticed a urinal nearby. Yikes, the grunts and groans came from the mouth of a MAN….I was in the Men’s Restroom! So, I hurriedly dried my hands and got the hell outta there. Obviously, I had been in such a rush I didn’t notice which restroom I had entered. :-/

          1. YR, Wow, that’s a funny story!
            For a minute I thought you were going to say that the stall was out of TP, and you had to ask the person in the next stall for a coupla squares ;-)
            Remember the Seinfeld episode when that happened to Elaine :-)

  4. Okay, a COVID-19 comment from information on MedCram today.

    I am trying to understand whether he said what I think he said.

    I think he said that people with normal A1C but high fasting blood glucose (which I believe Dr. Greger would call Keto?) are the ones at a 10.4 fold increase risk.

    Yes, I have to watch their video a few more times because I am trying to keep up but it is over my head.

    So I latched onto that concept and I am wondering if normal A1C with high fasting blood glucose really means brand new diabetic or if it is people eating Keto not knowing that they have poor glucose sensitivity.

    Sorry, I know it sounds like I wasn’t paying attention in class but I think I need to watch a whole bunch of videos a few more times to keep the knowledge.

  5. “The overwhelming majority of human beings remain apathetically oblivious to the plight of countless nonhuman animals enslaved in “livestock” conditions around the world and in general, the whole of our species expresses no viable concern for the life that we take from them through said exploitation. What most humans fail to realize is that by the continuance in the slaughter of their children, we condemn our own. The statements, “violence begets violence” and “all life is connected” are not simple euphemisms to be lightly ignored or cast aside without fully understanding the fundamental truths that they convey. The human consumption of nonhuman animal-based products will ultimately lead to the end of humanity.”

    1. “…violence begets violence” and “all life is connected” is absolutely true. These animals are under extreme stress (to put it mildly) before and during slaughter; which in turn affects the quality of the animal product. Livestock/animals in confined quarters – i.e. CAFOs – is ex-serious and no joking matter.  These poor animals withstand an entire life of sickness, terror, and horrific abuse – it is NO LIFE at all.  Consequently our environment suffers … the soil, air and water.  And FINALLY, humans who choose to eat animal products from these hell houses eventually become sick as well. 

  6. Okay, lets turn it around.

    Keto, the people can get off their insulin by normalizing their blood sugar and those people can have normal A1C but they also have high fasting blood sugar, right?

    People with that (whether from keto OR from being brand new diabetics?) have a 10.4 fold increased risk.

    1. Deb, It’s people who go high after a meal, but are making enough insulin to then go low.
      Likely people drinking soda, or eating simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies etc. Their blood sugars go to extremes. So the average is fine, but they are doing physical damage during the time their glucose levels are high.

      1. Speaking of which, Marilyn, today I circled the block while contemplating pulling into the drive-through line up but ended up pulling into the bike shop parking lot instead! It’s a fancy shop, but I asked if they had any used trade-ins that might suit me. They did! So, I ended up buying a bike instead of doughnuts, and received some lovely encouragement from the staff as well. My blood sugar will benefit in the long run, I’m sure.

      2. Thank you, Marilyn.

        I appreciate you so much.

        That helps.

        I worry about my loved ones.

        We are about 3 weeks away from being at 500,000 counted cases globally and I don’t see that we are that close to the concept of summer getting rid of it.

        It looks like it is going to trounce the Swine Flu numbers by the end of the summer. Even the Swine Flu adjusted numbers.

        This is going to take a while.

      3. Marilyn,

        It would seem like the ones with both high A1C and high fasting blood sugar should be the extra-worse group.

        Meaning all of the people who don’t go to doctors in the first place.

        The normal A1C seems like it would either be pre-diabetic or Keto rather than doctor-avoiding junk food eater.

        I would expect a group of seriously high A1C to be at the top of the list if it was more junk food related.

        Particularly because pre-diabetes seems younger than the high risk.

        But I know that I have to keep doing the mental math.

        No, I guess I understand.

        It is people who cheat a little who do worse.

        Why aren’t the people who cheat a whole lot on the top?

        1. I know so many people who didn’t regulate their eating and didn’t go to the doctors or who just never took their meds.

          It confuses me that it wasn’t that type of group.

          It is the ones who almost made it.

          1. I mentally go back to how doctors have pre-diabetics try to fix it with diet but they are high A1C already.

            So going diabetic, does going on the meds raise fasting blood sugar?

            Do prediabetics have better fasting blood sugar before they start Metformin?

            The Metformin or insulin or other meds would improve their A1C, but not their fasting blood sugar?

            I am trying to figure out why it is ones who fixed their A1C or whose A1C hasn’t gotten bad yet.

            1. There should be a high A1C group that is worse.

              People who almost made it shouldn’t do worse than people with high A1C.

              Every prediabetic who has to decide whether to go on meds needs to know if the meds are going to make COVID-19 worse.

              Or maybe make it worse but only if they do Keto or eat sugar?

              1. If it was the high A1C group it would make sense maybe even to stop the prediabetic attempt to do it through diet path short to quickly get on meds that lower A1C.

                Yes, I am intentionally not putting the Dr Barnard logic here.

                I am doing the Covid 19 logic.

                Do the meds cause the blood sugars to go really low and then really high.

                More than pre-medicine pre-diabetic?

                    1. I guess the high A1C could not be eating sugar, but if it is fat, then we go back to what raises fasting blood sugar?

                    2. The high A1C should be either SAD or high fat / high animal products or high fructose, right?

                      I guess i just am confused that the high A1C group isn’t the one they were talking about.

                      People usually even try to improve their diet at that point. ADA, Keto, WFPB or didn’t do anything except take insulin.

                      Maybe the high A1C group isn’t good at taking their meds and the low A1C group is good at taking their meds but cheats more

                      But cheats more is a sign of the same character issues as not taking meds.

                    3. I am going to stop analyzing it but someone who understands should analyze it because the High A1C group eats poorly too and probably eats fat and that makes their fasting glucose go up and my brain spins through it like a top.

                    4. High A1C has to be eating high fat and carbs or just lots of sugar.

                      Even if they are high fat, it is the sugar intake that A1C is registering, right?

                    5. Okay, I added in the ones who go way low blood sugar and need to eat sugar in the middle of the night.

                      I think I found all of the categories.

                    6. ‘What do the ones with the high A1C eat that they weren’t the ones at risk?’

                      Perhaps it is what they don’t eat that is also a factor here.
                      ‘RESULTS We identified 28 eligible trial comparisons (n = 1,394). Viscous fiber at a median dose of ∼13.1 g/day significantly reduced HbA1c (MD −0.58% [95% CI −0.88, −0.28]; P = 0.0002), fasting blood glucose (MD −0.82 mmol/L [95% CI −1.32, −0.31]; P = 0.001), and HOMA-insulin resistance (IR) (MD −1.89 [95% CI −3.45, −0.33]; P = 0.02) compared with control and in addition to standard of care. The certainty of evidence was graded moderate for HbA1c, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and HOMA-IR and low for fructosamine.

                      CONCLUSIONS Viscous fiber supplements improve conventional markers of glycemic control beyond usual care and should be considered in the management of type 2 diabetes.’
                      https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/42/5/755

                      Fibre from whole plant foods is probably preferable to fibre supplements though (even if those are likely cheaper than diabetes meds)

                      ‘These two studies, along with previous research, confirm choosing high fibre foods like whole grains, whole fruit, dark leafy greens or legumes is good for everyone, and important in managing diseases such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Dr Reynolds says.
                      “However we are now beginning to understand that how foods are processed is also important, and for whole grains when you finely mill them you can remove their benefits,” he concludes.’
                      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200522113826.htm

                  1. Medcram says it outright in the video Deb. He is referring to newly diagnosed diabetics who have not too bad of A1c, but acutely high blood sugar have a worse time with covid 19. Long-time diabetics ALSO have a tough time with it, but whether or not the diabetes drugs have a protective effect or not, is not yet known. Either way, having diabetes or out of control blood sugar is a risk factor.

                    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bDt6ca2WF3Y

    2. If it isn’t Keto, what mechanism would brand new diabetics who still have normal A1C levels but have started having high fasting blood sugar be 10.4-fold higher risk?

      Wouldn’t it be called pre-diabetic if they don’t have poor A1C numbers yet?

      Is there something other than Keto that spikes fasting blood sugar?

  7. Did any other vegans develop gingivitis as a result of the vegan diet? I want to know if this is possibility related to a Phosphorus deficiency. I want to know if anxiety, baldness, and gingivitis are linked to a phosphorus deficiency because this might be the linkages of a phosphorus deficiency. Soybeans pumpkin seeds and lentils for phosphorus. I read that phosphorus is good for gums and teeth.

    1. Matthew Smith, no studies that I have seen link low phosphorus to gingivitis. Phosphorus in acid foods like soft drinks is related to tooth and gum damage.
      Studies do show low vitamin D and vitamin C major factors. In some lack of B vitamins especially B9.
      Vitamin A is linked in those who genetically cannot convert beta-carotene to vitamin A.

    2. Matthew,

      Some studies vegans did better.

      But I have read that when vegans are nutritionally deficient in things like being low in calcium, phosphorus, and B12 are things that can contribute.

      https://globalhealing.com/natural-health/the-link-between-vitamin-b12-and-periodontitis/

      I put B-12 first in my mind as something to check because most people do Methyl B12 and that isn’t shelf-stable so it is easy to supplement with it and not know that you are still deficient.

      Phosphorus is in beans, lentils, nuts, and grains.

      1. I should add that they also said Vitamin D deficiency so if people aren’t outside enough that might be a factor that they mentioned.

    1. Deb,
      It would be wonderful if you’d stop using forms of the word “cheat” within your comments/replies.

      Is your seemingly judgmental approach in discussion(s) of prediabetes/diabetes necessary? “Cheat” has connotations of fraud, crime, deception, etc.

      Have you read Dr. Doug Lisle’s book, “The Pleasure Trap?” If not, you may find it most enlightening.

  8. Corona virus was man made in the military lab in China

    from newspaper:

    A joint British-Norwegian study alleges that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is a “chimera” constructed in a Chinese lab.
    A study, authored by University of London Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen and published in Cambridge University’s QRB Discovery, claims that Sars-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, did not evolve naturally but rather was artificially manipulated. Specifically, the authors allege that the spike proteins of the virus contain “inserted sections.”
    The study’s authors also pointed out that the virus has hardly mutated since it began to infect humans, apparently suggesting that it was already fully adapted to human biology in the laboratory. Sorensen told Norway’s NRK on Monday (June 8) that this is “quite unusual for viruses that cross species barriers.”
    He added that the virus has properties that differ greatly from SARS and “which have never been detected in nature.” After carefully examining the genetic sequence of the virus, he said that it did not appear to have evolved from natural processes

    1. Most virologists appear not to believe these claims or other claims like them. Instead, they seem to believe that these sections are small and could have occurred by random chance and/or swapping between viruses.

  9. Off topic.

    As someone who is interested in history, I have never been particularly worried by covid 19. Wrong of me I know but, having been born when polio, TB, measles and even smallpox were still deadly scourges, the death rates from covid 19 at a total population level or even just among, those infected seems relatively small. Further, death rates from the Black Death and eg the Justinian and other plagues in antiquity, were orders of magnitude higher. Even now, heart disease and cancer kill about 600,000 each annually in the US so I still consider them bigger threats than covid 19. I take sensible precautions of course but I don’t panic about covid 19.

    What would make me poop my pants is another bacterial pandemic like those ancient plagues referred to above with their massive mortality rates. Those infections are still present in wild animals and the possibility of a mutated version with antibiotic resistance is a distinct possibility given the widespread misuse of antibiotics in the livestock industry (and the fashion for wild game). I may take to wearing a mask permanently now for going out.

    This is what prompted my rambling
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWwyuVgZaiQ

  10. Dr. Greger has done a video explaining that pets are beneficial to our health—unless maybe if that pet is a chicken, cow, pig, camel, a family member or some other member of the animal kingdom. Another point is that transmission is inter-species and back and forth. Another point is that there are hundreds (thousands?) of these viruses. Another point might be that these viruses have always been there and are a function of biology. After all, plants have viruses also. I understand that animal density is a function of virus spread. For instance, camels are not a source of pandemic virus spread. . . .until they are factory farmed. Oh, and, I’m keeping my dog, cuz we’re buddies.

  11. What is going on with Spain?

    They report so many cases but almost no deaths. It had been 1 death per day. Now it is zero deaths.

    They are the one country that stuck with hydroxychloroquine.

    Nobody mentions it.

  12. Hi Dr Greger and all nutrition facts community.
    I deeply respect all your hard work and science but I have a question:
    I know vegan plant based is the healthier diet and lifestyle to a healthy weight and body and long age but when I start eating it i feel energetic but find no motivation to continue after a week mainly because it tastes bland (I think the low fat makes food taste just not food). Therefore I’m sure the issue for me and many others isn’t the awareness but how to make food taste good so we can continue on that diet. Otherwise the cravings would pull us back to all the good tasty saturated fats in a burger and fries for example. Thanks!

    1. Its rather like quitting smoking. If you eat the food you described, which are designed to be addictive, you’re at significantly increased risk for disease and premature death; this is pretty good motivation for most people to eat WFPB. We’ve found that the more we eat this way the more we like it, and the more the “bad” foods make us feel sick…..really sick. As far as bland, do you find watermelon or mango bland? How about curried lentils or veggie tacos? Lots of spices make these foods very non-bland and they can be made WFPB very easily. Don’t give up. You’ll be glad you stayed with it.

  13. December 2022? Really? Does that mean that article won’t be published for more than two years? How did Dr. Greger get a copy of it?

  14. Dr. Greger I don’t know why you always fall short of stating the obvious — that animal agriculture has to end and people need to go vegan.

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