Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer

Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer
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What happened when cancer patients were given three-quarters of a cup of canned tomato sauce every day for three weeks?

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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.

“Occasionally,… positive things happen in the field of cancer prevention science to popular, good-tasting foods.” Yes, broccoli family vegetables are wonderful, but may be “a hard food for the public to swallow.” By contrast, who doesn’t like tomatoes?

But, studies using high-dose supplements of lycopene, the antioxidant red pigment in tomatoes thought to be the active anticancer ingredient, failed over and over again to prevent or treat cancer, and may even end up promoting it—since at the high levels one can get with supplements, lycopene may actually act as a pro-oxidant. But, lycopene in supplement form doesn’t appear to be effective at lower doses, either. “There is a strong [protective] correlation between the intake of [actual whole] fruit[s] and vegetables and the incidence of certain cancers.” But when we supplement with only a single compound isolated in pill form, we may upset the healthy natural balance of antioxidants.

It does seem to be quite the human hubris to think we can reproduce “the beneficial effects of consuming entire fruits and vegetables” by giving supplements of a single phytochemical, which would normally interact with thousands of other compounds in “the natural matrix” Mother Nature intended. In addition to lycopene, other carotenoids in tomatoes include beta-carotene, gamma-carotene, zeta-carotene, phytofluene, and phytoene, all of which are known “to accumulate in human prostate tissue.” And, “there are also numerous non–carotenoid compounds in tomatoes that [may] have [anti-cancer] activity”—not to mention all the compounds we have yet to even characterize.

But, it’s not about finding the one magic bullet: “The anti-cancer effects of carotenoids and other phytonutrients may reside in [their] combined activity.” For example, at the low concentrations of the tomato compounds phytoene, phytofluene, and lycopene found in most people who eat normal amounts of tomatoes, there’s very little effect on cancer cell growth in vitro, used separately. But combine them all together, and a non-effective dose plus a non-effective dose becomes effective somehow, significantly suppressing prostate cancer cell growth.

And, the same synergy can be seen across foods. Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric and curry powder, tomato extracts, and the vitamin E found in nuts and seeds do little to inhibit pro-growth signaling of prostate cancer cells—less than 10%. But all three together suppresses growth signaling like 70%. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

So, how about instead of giving cancer patients lycopene pills, we give them some tomato sauce? “Thirty-two patients with localized prostate [cancer]” were given three-quarters of a cup of canned tomato sauce every day “for 3 weeks…before their scheduled radical prostatectomy.” In their bloodstream, PSA levels dropped “by 17.5%.” PSA, prostate-specific antigen, is a protein produced by prostate gland cells, and elevated blood levels are routinely used “to monitor the success of [cancer] treatment. It was surprising to find that,” in just three weeks, a “tomato sauce-based dietary intervention” could decrease PSA concentrations in men with prostate cancer. Also, free radical damage of the DNA in their white blood cells dropped by 21%. Imagine how antioxidant-poor their diet must have been beforehand, if less than a cup of tomato sauce a day could reduce DNA damage by more than a fifth.

Okay, but what did they find in their prostates? “[H]uman prostate tissue [is thought to] be particularly vulnerable to oxidative DNA damage by free radicals, which are thought to play a critical role in all stages of [cancer formation].” This may be for a number of reasons, including “fewer DNA repair enzymes.” Well, the researchers had tissue samples taken before the tomato sauce from biopsies, and tissue samples after the three weeks of tomato sauce from the surgery, and resected tissues from tomato sauce-supplemented patients had 28% less free radical damage than expected. Here’s the DNA damage in the prostate before the tomato sauce, and here’s after. Just 20 days of sauce. And, what’s interesting is that “[t]here was no association between” the level of lycopene in the prostate and the protective effects. Tomatoes contain a whole bunch of things, some of which may be even more powerful than lycopene.

Regardless, in contrast to the lycopene supplements alone, “the whole-food intervention” seemed to help. To see if lycopene played any role at all, one would have to test a lycopene-free tomato—in other words, a yellow tomato. So, what if you compared red tomatoes to yellow tomatoes, which have all the non-lycopene tomato compounds, to straight lycopene in a pill? So, they fed people red tomato paste, yellow tomato paste, lycopene pills, or placebo pills, and then dripped their blood on prostate cancer cells growing in a petri dish.

Compared to those not eating anything, the red tomato serum, the blood from those who ate red tomato paste, significantly decreased the prostate cancer cell’s expression of a growth-promoting gene called cyclin D1. This downregulation of the gene by the red tomato consumption “may contribute to lower prostate cancer risk by limiting cell proliferation.” The red tomato seemed to work better than the yellow; so, maybe the lycopene helped, but not in pill form. “[T]his gene was not regulated by [the lycopene-pill serum],” indicating that maybe it’s something else. And, lycopene alone significantly upregulated “procarcinogenic genes. Therefore, it can be stated that tomato consumption may be preferable.”

So, what’s the best way? A spouse wrote in to the editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch saying his or her husband “wants to have pizza…for his prostate”—to which the doctor replied, fine, but how about “cheese-free pizza (with broccoli instead of pepperoni)”, or, he can just drink some “tomato juice.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Aetem Kovyazin, and Alina Oleynik from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Daniel Means. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

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

“Occasionally,… positive things happen in the field of cancer prevention science to popular, good-tasting foods.” Yes, broccoli family vegetables are wonderful, but may be “a hard food for the public to swallow.” By contrast, who doesn’t like tomatoes?

But, studies using high-dose supplements of lycopene, the antioxidant red pigment in tomatoes thought to be the active anticancer ingredient, failed over and over again to prevent or treat cancer, and may even end up promoting it—since at the high levels one can get with supplements, lycopene may actually act as a pro-oxidant. But, lycopene in supplement form doesn’t appear to be effective at lower doses, either. “There is a strong [protective] correlation between the intake of [actual whole] fruit[s] and vegetables and the incidence of certain cancers.” But when we supplement with only a single compound isolated in pill form, we may upset the healthy natural balance of antioxidants.

It does seem to be quite the human hubris to think we can reproduce “the beneficial effects of consuming entire fruits and vegetables” by giving supplements of a single phytochemical, which would normally interact with thousands of other compounds in “the natural matrix” Mother Nature intended. In addition to lycopene, other carotenoids in tomatoes include beta-carotene, gamma-carotene, zeta-carotene, phytofluene, and phytoene, all of which are known “to accumulate in human prostate tissue.” And, “there are also numerous non–carotenoid compounds in tomatoes that [may] have [anti-cancer] activity”—not to mention all the compounds we have yet to even characterize.

But, it’s not about finding the one magic bullet: “The anti-cancer effects of carotenoids and other phytonutrients may reside in [their] combined activity.” For example, at the low concentrations of the tomato compounds phytoene, phytofluene, and lycopene found in most people who eat normal amounts of tomatoes, there’s very little effect on cancer cell growth in vitro, used separately. But combine them all together, and a non-effective dose plus a non-effective dose becomes effective somehow, significantly suppressing prostate cancer cell growth.

And, the same synergy can be seen across foods. Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric and curry powder, tomato extracts, and the vitamin E found in nuts and seeds do little to inhibit pro-growth signaling of prostate cancer cells—less than 10%. But all three together suppresses growth signaling like 70%. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

So, how about instead of giving cancer patients lycopene pills, we give them some tomato sauce? “Thirty-two patients with localized prostate [cancer]” were given three-quarters of a cup of canned tomato sauce every day “for 3 weeks…before their scheduled radical prostatectomy.” In their bloodstream, PSA levels dropped “by 17.5%.” PSA, prostate-specific antigen, is a protein produced by prostate gland cells, and elevated blood levels are routinely used “to monitor the success of [cancer] treatment. It was surprising to find that,” in just three weeks, a “tomato sauce-based dietary intervention” could decrease PSA concentrations in men with prostate cancer. Also, free radical damage of the DNA in their white blood cells dropped by 21%. Imagine how antioxidant-poor their diet must have been beforehand, if less than a cup of tomato sauce a day could reduce DNA damage by more than a fifth.

Okay, but what did they find in their prostates? “[H]uman prostate tissue [is thought to] be particularly vulnerable to oxidative DNA damage by free radicals, which are thought to play a critical role in all stages of [cancer formation].” This may be for a number of reasons, including “fewer DNA repair enzymes.” Well, the researchers had tissue samples taken before the tomato sauce from biopsies, and tissue samples after the three weeks of tomato sauce from the surgery, and resected tissues from tomato sauce-supplemented patients had 28% less free radical damage than expected. Here’s the DNA damage in the prostate before the tomato sauce, and here’s after. Just 20 days of sauce. And, what’s interesting is that “[t]here was no association between” the level of lycopene in the prostate and the protective effects. Tomatoes contain a whole bunch of things, some of which may be even more powerful than lycopene.

Regardless, in contrast to the lycopene supplements alone, “the whole-food intervention” seemed to help. To see if lycopene played any role at all, one would have to test a lycopene-free tomato—in other words, a yellow tomato. So, what if you compared red tomatoes to yellow tomatoes, which have all the non-lycopene tomato compounds, to straight lycopene in a pill? So, they fed people red tomato paste, yellow tomato paste, lycopene pills, or placebo pills, and then dripped their blood on prostate cancer cells growing in a petri dish.

Compared to those not eating anything, the red tomato serum, the blood from those who ate red tomato paste, significantly decreased the prostate cancer cell’s expression of a growth-promoting gene called cyclin D1. This downregulation of the gene by the red tomato consumption “may contribute to lower prostate cancer risk by limiting cell proliferation.” The red tomato seemed to work better than the yellow; so, maybe the lycopene helped, but not in pill form. “[T]his gene was not regulated by [the lycopene-pill serum],” indicating that maybe it’s something else. And, lycopene alone significantly upregulated “procarcinogenic genes. Therefore, it can be stated that tomato consumption may be preferable.”

So, what’s the best way? A spouse wrote in to the editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch saying his or her husband “wants to have pizza…for his prostate”—to which the doctor replied, fine, but how about “cheese-free pizza (with broccoli instead of pepperoni)”, or, he can just drink some “tomato juice.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Aetem Kovyazin, and Alina Oleynik from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Daniel Means. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

Why eat tomato sauce when you can just take lycopene supplements? See my last video: Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer.

Any foods we should avoid? Check out, for example, Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio and How Our Gut Bacteria Can Use Eggs to Accelerate Cancer.

Though it’s not easy to get guys to change! See Changing a Man’s Diet After a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.

And in case you haven’t heard yet, the How Not to Die Cookbook is coming out next month! It is available now for preorder for everyone on your holiday list (all my proceeds go to charity as always). Get a dose of tomato sauce AND a sneak peek of a 100% green-light ingredients recipe here with Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

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

141 responses to “Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer

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  1. The take-away message I get from this video is that isolated single ingredient supplements are either worthless or may even be harmful. Except, of course, for the few things that we can’t easily get from foods, such as B12, sunshine (D3), etc. And as Dr T. Colin Campbell, Dr G , Dr McDougall, and a few other science-based doctors point out, it’s the food synergy from a whole plant food diet that really counts! The reductionist model of studying single ingredients is great for those selling supplements, but not so great for us consumers :-)




    30
    1. “The take-away message I get from this video is that isolated single ingredient supplements are either worthless or may even be harmful.”

      I wouldn’t go that far. After all, one can find thousands of good studies showing beneficial effects of some supplements, even at higher dosages. Take curcumin for example, many of which studies Dr. Greger cites in his turmeric videos.

      Still, in general it seems clear that when at all possible, healthy whole foods DO seem the way to go, especially given that some supplement companies have unfortunate record of product mislabeling, contamination, and even deliberate adulteration. That said, the same ALSO applies to processed foods, and even to whole foods. Some sources of turmeric powder, even organic turmeric powder, can have high levels of lead, which can inactivate telomerase, and transform an extremely beneficial food into a harmful one. To me becoming an informed consumer, and making discriminating choices has become essential.

      On the other hand, I see the synergy principle as key, and this video does an excellent job of showing it at work. Although the pharmaceutical industry – and the supplement industry – would like us to think otherwise, the part does not equal the whole. I first saw the “Synergy Principle” stated formally in a paper by Dr James Duke (author of the Green Pharmacy, etc.) and Dr. Kevin Spelman in a review titled “The Synergy Principle at Work with Plants, Pathogens, Insects, Herbivores, and Humans” in a chapter in Natural Products from Plants, Second Edition published by CRC in 2006. ( http://www.crcnetbase.com/doi/abs/10.1201/9781420004472.ch13 ) If you can get a copy it seems well worth reading.




      13
      1. Oh – and aside from tomatoes, another impressive example of a whole food having a beneficial effect on prostate cancer. This paper came out in the December, 2008 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention ( http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/17/12/3577 )

        Men in groups eating a diet supplemented with 30g (about 3 TBS) of flaxseed a day had less than half the rate of tumor cell proliferation compared to those who did not. Other research shows that this inhibitory effect applies to some other kinds of cancers as well. If a pharmaceutical company had a drug that did even half as well, even if only for prostate cancer, its stock price would surge!

        “Flaxseed Supplementation (Not Dietary Fat Restriction) Reduces Prostate Cancer Proliferation Rates in Men Presurgery

        Results: Men were on protocol an average of 30 days. Proliferation rates were significantly lower (P < 0.002) among men assigned to the flaxseed arms. Median Ki-67-positive cells/total nuclei ratios (x100) were 1.66 (flaxseed-supplemented diet) and 1.50 (flaxseed-supplemented, low-fat diet) versus 3.23 (control) and 2.56 (low-fat diet). No differences were observed between arms with regard to side effects, apoptosis, and most serologic endpoints; however, men on low-fat diets experienced significant decreases in serum cholesterol (P = 0.048).

        Conclusions: Findings suggest that flaxseed is safe and associated with biological alterations that may be protective for prostate cancer. Data also further support low-fat diets to manage serum cholesterol. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(12):3577–87) "




        12
        1. @alef1 said,

          “Men in groups eating a diet supplemented with 30g (about 3 TBS) of flaxseed a day had less than half the rate of tumor cell proliferation compared to those who did not. Other research shows that this inhibitory effect applies to some other kinds of cancers as well…”

          Very helpful, especially for general prevention.




          6
      2. Alef1, Your response is well taken. However, your choice of whole turmeric vs curcumin seems to be a poor choice for explaining how a valuable isolated ingredient can be beneficial. The reason I say this is because of the NutritionFacts video located here:

        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/turmeric-curcumin-plants-vs-pills/

        In this video, Dr G explains that whole turmeric contains over 300 other ingredients many of which all work together to give turmeric it’s beneficial effects And this is just the ingredients that have been “named” so far. The video is another fascinating look at synergism in whole foods.

        By the way, looking at your name “Alef1”, here’s a question for you: Does Aleph1 = c (the cardinality of the real number system) ? :-)




        12
        1. Hi WFPB-Hal –

          I chose curcumin as an example of an isolated ingredient that in high dosages has a beneficial effect on its own. I agree that turmeric seems much more complex, a synergistic symphony of many beneficial ingredients that some studies have already demonstrated can have beneficial effects that curcumin by itself does not have.

          However the opposite also seems true. Research has shown that curcumin by itself – in high dosages that turmeric for practical reasons can not match at least as far as curcumin content goes – has beneficial effects. For example, a number of cancer studies administered 8g per day of standard curcumin as the treatment dose to their subjects. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24463298 ) As turmeric has about 3% curcumin ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17044766 ), to get 8 g of curcumin you’d need to take 264 grams of turmeric powder, or about 0.58 pounds a day!

          And the curcumin in turmeric, or when isolated by itself, does not seem particularly bioavailable. New supplement formulations have improved its bioavailability 7 fold or more – which means that rather than cancer patients having to take 8 gram dosages, they can get the same effective dosage from about a gram of a more bioavailable supplement.

          Might turmeric have similar, and even more beneficial effects on cancer – even given its very low effective curcumin levels at doable dosages – through the synergy principle? Perhaps, but until researchers “put it to the test” this remains umproven speculation. For cancer patients at risk curcumin, perhaps with turmeric powder as well, at present looks like a better choice, but for someone in good health who simply looks for a good way to improve health including preventing cancer, a small amount of turmeric powder(certified lead free!) ) seems like a better choice from my POV.

          You also asked, “Does Aleph1 = c (the cardinality of the real number system?”

          Well, in my opinion, yes, although the continuum hypothesis falls in the category that one can neither prove or disprove (drat that Kurt Gödel!)




          9
            1. David E Johnson, Yes, Paul Cohen was another very creative thinker! It has always seemed to me that if one did away with the concept of the infinite in mathematics, it would immediately get rid of a lot of paradoxes. After all, for most practical applications, we can get along fine without that concept. Look at what can can be done with a computer today with computations done on a finite set.

              I guess we’re quite “off topic” here so better save this discussion for a different forum :-)




              6
            2. I did not mean to neglect Paul Cohen. My “drat” referred to Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem , which apparently applies not just to mathematics, but unfortunately also to nutritional research.




              3
          1. Aleph1, Thanks for the extra info. I wasn’t aware of that latest study you mentioned. I would really like to see the whole turmeric tested in all the ways that curcumin has, but it’s the same old problem, there’s not much money to be made in a whole food, so who’s going to fund such a study.

            Yes, Kurt Godel certainly put a limit on what could or couldn’t be proved mathematically :-)




            5
            1. There seems to be a security problem with this page. The lock icons ‘unlock’ with this page only, and not with other NF pages using 3 different browsers. . We did report it directly to NF but they have not fixed the problem.




              0
          2. alef1 asked,

            Might turmeric have similar, and even more beneficial effects on cancer – even given its very low effective curcumin levels at doable dosages – through the synergy principle? Perhaps, but until researchers “put it to the test” this remains umproven speculation..

            .
            That is the research we need, now.

            At the moment, piperine (a fraction of black pepper) is used very effectively to increase bioavailability of turmeric and curcumin by suspending for an hour or two the liver’s normal clearance. We might hope for an experiment pitting curcumin and turmeric in an in-vivo, piperine-rich environment..




            1
      3. one can find thousands of good studies showing beneficial effects of some supplements, even at higher dosages.

        I agree with this statement. I think Hal assumes all supplements are extracts, when in many cases they are “Full Spectrum” or just dried (read: concentrated) herbs, spices… vegetables.

        I submit that many supplements are more potent than the food they were derived from.

        But back to the topic at hand, I’ve mentioned before that Tom Brady, one of the most health conscious athletes I’m aware of, doesn’t eat tomatoes because they are from the nightshade family and he believes they cause inflammation.

        And someone posted in the comments section of a past video that removing the seeds from tomatoes may make that less of a problem. For me personally, I’m taking these two possibly correct informations to heart and will only plant plum (canning) tomatoes next summer and removing what few seeds they produce.

        And I’ll also be planting more red meat watermelons (but still about half of them as yellow meat) to get the lycopene benefit from those. I just now returned from an eye exam at the VA and was given a “good eyes” report (isn’t lycopene good for eye health?) I want to keep them that way… and of course, take care of my prostate.




        5
        1. Extracts don’t give us fiber, and they don’t fill us up, so we may want to eat more “regular pizza”. If I’m going somewhere and I know they are giving away free, good tasting, unhealthy food, I often load up on some tasty fruit and veg or whole grain and then it’s easy to say, “Thanks, I’m full” (of good stuff).

          I also think there is something beneficial in the Blue Zones way of actually physically going into the garden, observing nature and the sky, having a small amount of dirt on your vegetables (B12?) and connecting with the seasonality of nature.




          4
              1. You can see a list of ingredients here….

                https://primalforce.net/product/telo-essence/

                I take some of the supplements in the list….but not all…and not at this price. My impression is that you’d need to approach this supplement slowly so as to not over-stimulate yourself….for sure.

                I do respect someone’s right to formulate a supplement like this…for some it might be helpful.




                0
            1. Marvin, As a followup to your post about Dr Sears “Live Forever” supplement, Dr Greger has summarized research on telomeres in a couple of past videos (and the information is free, and you don’t have to buy a costly supplement):

              https://nutritionfacts.org/video/research-into-reversing-aging/

              https://nutritionfacts.org/video/telomeres-cap-it-all-off-with-diet/

              It’s interesting that in the first video, a study on telomeres was funded by the U.S. Dept of Defense!

              “In a study funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, Dean Ornish found that after just three months of a whole foods, plant-based diet—along with exercise—one could significantly boost telomerase activity.”




              3
        2. I have no idea who Tom Brady is or why his opinions should be considered important but this nightshade idea has been around for a while. It may be based on the effects of certain isolated chemicals or other components found in tomatoes and other nightshade plants. However, toxic elements can be found in virtually everything including drinking water so that doesn’t seem to be a good reason to avoid any widely-eaten foods unless there is evidence of harm

          What does the evidence say about eating tomatoes and tomato products?

          The only recent study I found, using a quick Google, about eating whole tomatoes and other tomato-based foods was 10 years old. It found no inflammatory effect from tomato consumption.
          “After 30 days of assigned diet concentrations of hs-CRP, E-selectin and ICAM-1 were unchanged compared with baseline in the tomato-rich diet.”
          https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7966/953eab10cf065e7393a35075bcedfdc5f04b.pdf

          A later review of the effects of tomato intake versus lycopene supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors also failed to find an inflammatory effect. If anything, the review considered that existing studies may point to an anti-inflammatory effect:
          “Studies using tomato products were also inconsistent in their findings for CRP, but tomato intake may provide some advantage showing improvements in other inflammatory markers (78, 109, 110) although their clinical utility remains undetermined.”
          http://advances.nutrition.org/content/5/5/457.long




          2
          1. From my own experience, I can say that nightshades can cause inflammation. I had severe pain in my knee to the point of limping badly and arthritis in my thumbs so bad that I couldn’t unlock a dead bolt, so I decided to stop eating nightshades to see if it would make a difference. I stopped eating any for a few weeks and my pain definitely improved. Over the course of the next several months I did several small experiments and my pain would return within 2 days of eating a small amount of nightshades both days. I’ve been mostly nightshade free for more than 5 years and today I no longer limp or feel any pain in my knee and my arthritis is at least 85% better. I can eat nightshades once in while, but never 2 or more days in a row without adverse effects. Now, instead of feeling like I’m 80 years old, I feel my age again, which is half that.

            Since my experience, I have suggested to many people with pain issues (mainly back pain and joint pain) to try going nightshade free and every single one of them said their pain was better after just a week without eating them.




            0
            1. Jane, I agree. I have seen many people react to nightshades, although they are usually fine with potatoes.
              On the other hand, I can eat any amount of them and feel great. I get the joint problems from wheat. Other grains, rye, barley are fine. But after eating wheat every joint in my body hurts.
              As scientists understand genetic and epigenetic differences more, I hope to see more personalized medical treatment. This is just one example of why I have issues with broad diet recommendations. It is too simplistic. Listen to your body.
              We are not all the same biologically.




              0
              1. Marilyn I don’t understand why you have difficulties with broad dietary guidelines. The dietary guidelines are intended as a population health improvement strategy and they are not intended to apply in all conceivable clinical circumstances. Some people do have allergic reactions to eg gluten, peanuts, fish, egg, dairy or wheat etc. That doesn’t really make a material difference since it is still possible to eat in accordance with the guidelines even if certain foods are excluded.

                For that reason, I think it is wrong to advise people to ignore dietary guidelines without very good reasons. They are based on reasonably strong evidence concerning the health benefits of eating that way. People ignore the guidelines at their peril.

                In any case, I don’t think the guidelines tell people to eat nightshade vegetables or gluten containing cererals. They do advise whole grain consumption. However, there are many whole grains that are gluten free – oats, rice, millet, sweetcorn/maize, millet etc.

                The problem with anecdotal reports like those is the nocebo/placebo effect. When people are “blinded” to whether they are taking statins or consuming glutens or not, those who believe they are taking statins or consuming gluten often report symptoms even when they are not. The opposite can happen when people give up these things (placebo effect).

                ” every other diet, including the gluten free, resulted in an increased reporting of symptoms of gas, bloating, and pain. During the second part of the experiment, the participants reported increased symptoms even while on the baseline diet. The researchers attributed this to a “nocebo” effect. This is the opposite of the placebo effect, where people take a medication with no active ingredients, but they believe they are and show signs of improvement. For a nocebo, anyone taking a substance that they perceive to be potentially harmful can actually exacerbate symptoms. The results showed that only 8% of the participants had gluten-specific effects from the diet”
                http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/does-non-celiac-gluten-intolerance-actually-exist/

                Of course, 8% is still a significant number of people.

                “A study published Tuesday in The Lancet adds a new wrinkle: after examining data on 26 side effects from 10,000 patients, researchers concluded that patients were more likely to report side effects when they knew they were taking statins. When they had no idea, there was no increase in muscle-related effects.1

                This “nocebo” effect may explain the difference between patient reports in clinical trials, which have found little to no increase in side effects, and those in observational studies, where up to one-fifth of the patients report side effects.

                “Just as the placebo effect can be very strong, so too can the nocebo effect,” Professor Peter Sever, senior author from the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, said in a statement. “This is not a case of people making up symptoms, or that the symptoms are ‘all in their heads.'”
                http://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/no-rise-in-side-effects-from-statins-when-patients-dont-know-theyre-taking-them-lancet-finds

                That said, some things are very fashionable and people just believe them. I remember back in the 1980s when seemingly half the population swore blind that they had RSI. There was another time when everyone had bad backs.

                However, the main point I am trying to make is that you can avoid nightshades and gluten and still eat in accordance with broad dietary recommendations/guidelines.




                4
          2. I have no idea who Tom Brady is or why his opinions should be considered important

            You are dead to me.

            don’t know who Tom Brady is… pffft!




            3
            1. Tom, here’s why you don’t know who he is. His chef says, “No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt.

              [Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but just maybe once a month. I’m very cautious about tomatoes. They cause inflammation.”

              So he does eat a lot of vegetables, but (1) he’s not a dietician or doctor who studied nutrition–he’s a sports figure, (2) he uses olive oil, (3) he uses Himalayan pink salt and never iodized salt, and (4) he only cooks with coconut oil. Further, he doesn’t eat tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. Hopefully, he won’t get PC.




              2
        3. That’s a ridiculous myth that nightshade vegetables cause inflammation. You can look up the history behind it. Amazing that it still persists to this day.




          1
      4. Alef1 – I can’t put my finger on the exact research at the moment, but would be glad to dig for it if someone is interested. But a while back I followed the current science on beta carotene. The science was showing that those with higher levels of beta carotene in their systems had better lung cancer survival. Lung cancer is our #1 killer and very difficult to treat. So a full study was conducted with lung cancer patients and high doses of isolated beta carotene (i.e., not in food but isolated chemical in a pill). The results were striking. Much to the surprise of the researchers, those taking the beta carotene started dying at such an alarming rate that they ended up scrapping the rest of the study on ethical grounds. The controls, – those not taking the supplement – were doing better than the beta carotene group. This particular study stunned the research community at the time.
        If one is interested in food synergy – how to potentiate the good stuff from food combining – watch William Li M.D.’s Tedtalk here:
        https://www.ted.com/talks/william_li
        20 minutes and worth one’s time to watch.




        1
    2. Because I worked decades ago on the different alterations that make the transformation from healthy cells to a cancer cell, then the power of these “neo-cells ” to multiply and migrate to other tissues, I was convinced to determine multi causes to induce the neogenesis but also to prevent and restore the healthy growth. We must keep in mind we have few cancer cells circulating in our blood, every day, our system is destroying these groups of cells to avoid a tumor formation, then we can see an inhibition to migrate to start metastasis. All the health maintenance is based on eliminating free radicals to keep balance. There is what we call a competitive inhibition to make the reaction healthy or harmful. When I wrote the health benefits of avocados, I found many scientific studies that concluded that avocados are preventing, and may reverse prostate cancers. These studies were funded for prostate cancers because avocado is supposed to be the “Male” fruit from memories, then we saw, in these studies, that avocado was consumed by men eating healthier than in the other groups. I called last week one of the top surgeons in prostate cancer, and we agreed on the sentence, men having a basic healthy nutrition with antioxidant-rich food has a lower risk to have prostate cancer. The combination of powerful known nutrients in Guacamole (lycopene-rich) may be a candidate for low risk preventive treatment for prostate cancer




      9
    3. Contra TC Campbell, science works through reductionism. Assessing only “whole” diets would mean nutrition science comes to an impasse. No randomized controlled trials, no experimental subject compliance, no proof. Pointing to an complex cacophony of interactions and calling it an orchestra doesn’t advance knowledge.

      I think Campbell was responding in large part to the beta-carotene and vitamin E studies, where supplementation increased risk. To me that doesn’t suggest that reducing nutrition to the effects of individual compounds is wrong, but instead that our assumptions about antioxidants, or competition for absorption between related carotenoids and tocophenols/tocotrienols, was wrong.

      Here we have a case where tomatoes, which offer a collection of carotenoids (some like phytofluene and phytoene, invisible to the eye), were reduced to lycopene. Assuming that the association of tomato product consumption with lower prostate cancer is causal, then given time and funding, I’d expect that some set of compounds responsible might be found.

      Alas, we don’t have the luxury of waiting until the science is in. Funding is scarce for looking at natural products and their health effects, and you could die of prostate cancer while waiting for the evidence to come in.




      6
      1. Darryl, I agree. I think competition for absorption is a big reason why using one phytonutrient, instead of the array found in food is the reason many supplements are not effective. Example was the beta-carotene study. I didn’t expect it would lower cancer rates, as the gamma-carotenoids are probably more effective. And with the huge doses of beta, the gamma from foods were not absorbed.




        4
      2. Hi Darryl, Yes, as many of us have discussed here in the past, the optimal way to study nutrition is to use both the reductionist approach and the “synergistic” approach. The reductionist approach has served all fields of science very well over the centuries. I imagine that T. C. Campbell felt that it was being over used in the nutrition field. The main drawback of the reductionist approach that I see is that it is so easy for marketers to use it to “sell” single ingredient solutions to health problems with the line of reasoning that more of a good thing is always better! But you are correct in saying that if used properly, it certainly advances our deeper knowledge of nutrition. The conclusion that I have come to over the years is that we need both ways of looking at science, the reductionist and the synergistic, and they are not mutually exclusive, but in fact, complement each other.

        BTW, I think that Dr Greger is very well balanced in using both approaches in his videos reporting on the science of nutrition.




        1
  2. Question for you- i am a cancer survivor, diagnosed with prostate cancer in april 2014, had radical prostatectomy in 6/14, lupron shots every 4 months from 6/14 to 6/15, my psa has been less than 0.01 since June 2015, what diet, special foods, etc, Can I utilize to keep these numbers at this low level? Thank you,

    I really enjoy your videos and the information you offer, and am using the ideas more and more each day.




    9
  3. Given the recent headlines that Proton Pump Inhibitors raise the risk of stomach cancer by anywhere from double to eightfold, depending on length of time they’re taken, will Dr. Gregor be addressing PPIs, stomach cancer and ways to mitigate the cancer risks? And if there are currently no plans to do so, can that be added to the agenda? I’m off to go reread How Not to Die, so I apologise if this has already been covered there and I missed it, but in searching the site I wasn’t able to find much info. Thank you.




    4
      1. Blair, Yes, I have always liked that video. I would rank it near the top of all the Dr. G short videos. Even if one is WFPB, you still have to choose your food wisely..




        6
    1. There is evidence that eating an appropriate diet is just as effective as PPIs in treating reflux caused by LRP. Note though that LRP and GERD are not necessarily synonymous although they are often found together. Whether a plant-based diet will be as effective in treating reflux caused by GERD has not yet been demonstrated in a study but is a real possibility.

      “A plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to provide the same medical benefits for treating laryngopharyngeal reflux as popular reflux medications, according to new research.”
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170907143005.htm
      http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-hlth-vegetarian-acid-reflux-0920-story.html
      https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/778052#vp_2




      2
    2. PPI’s are bad drugs. They are approved for short term use by the FDA. Not for long term use. They also have been shown to significantly increase the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease in the elderly by something like 45%. PPI’s decrease cell degranulation which is how they function, but degranulation is also how cells expel their waste. Thus, waste accumulates which MAY be the mechanism for Alzheimer’s. People eating an unprocessed WFPB diet usually have all their GERD resolve to the point of not needing PPI’s. I’m one of them. When in doubt, try going 100% raw. Eat nothing but fresh lettuce, tomatoes, raw nuts, fruit, etc. I bet your need for PPI’s goes away. Then you can try adding back cooked things like beans and veggies soups with spices. Tomato paste has a high sugar content. Making the paste is a type of unnatural processing. I love it but only rarely eat it.

      Dr. Ben




      3
      1. Yes although it is perhaps worth adding that, unlike tomato sauce, there is no added sugar in tomato paste. The sugar content is from the naturally occurring sugars in tomatoes.




        3
  4. Hi AE and thanks for your question. This video does not specifically answer your question (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/diet-and-gerd-acid-reflux-heartburn/) although it does address very important issues around cancers involving the esophagus, many of which are the result of chronic inflammation due to GERD. Foods associated with decreasing risk for GERD and the complications of GERD are, not surprisingly, plant foods mostly of the red/orange/green variety along with berries and citrus. Yes, there are great concerns around the long-term use of PPI’s – these are certainly not benign drugs. I will pass along your request and see if there are other prior videos to send your way or if this is an upcoming topic to be explored.




    6
    1. Kristi & AE,

      I too would be interested in whatever Dr. Greger has to offer on this subject… I have been taking PPI’s chronically for quite sometime and I’m becoming concerned with all the negative studies.. So here’s the irony: I consume tomato sauce, juice, etc. to reduce my risk of prostate cancer but those foods trigger acid reflux. So I take PPI’s to counter that and increase my risk of stomach cancer… Oh, what a tangled web we weave.




      3
      1. Jaysal – not sure if this is an answer to your situation, but let me suggest that you stop the tomato juice and replace it with tomato paste. Paste is the highest concentration of lycopene. Interestingly, the longer tomato products are cooked, the higher the lycopene concentration. So paste is the best for getting the most lycopene. I use paste on sandwiches, home made pita pizzas, put tablespoons of it in soups, stews (vegge), etc. for ummami flavor. I use tomato paste for a spread on little h’oere doerves (someone please correct my spelling :-). Adding little bits of tomato paste in the diet within other foods seems to make it easier to assimilate without gerd response for me. Also – make a nice winter squash soup and put tomato paste in it along with a creamy plant milk. Here are the foods highest in lycopene – and you can see that tomato paste is right up there:
        http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000137000000000000000-w.html




        2
    2. Thank you. The articles I’ve read so far on the new research on PPIs make the risk sound enormous and quite scary. It’s hard to tell if the fear mongering is justified or hyperbolic. And these drugs seem ubiquitous; I was put on a PPI years ago and no doctor since has informed me of any risks.
      My daughter was even given a PPI when she was a toddler. Thankfully, we discovered Wfpb eating and we’ve both weaned ourselves off them, but the questions about what they may have done to our health, how concerned we should really be, and how we might mitigate the risks, remain. I’m sure I can’t be there only person with these concerns. Any informed opinions would be appreciated.

      P.S. Thank you also bhrollin for the video link as well.




      3
      1. As Dr. G has discussed, GERD and the need for PPI’s is one of the “pressure diseases.” Most of my patients that switch to an unprocessed whole food plant based lifestyle, including myself, found a rapid decrease in GERD and no need for PPI’s whatsoever since the WFPB lifestyle is low fat, increases the rate of gastric emptying and reduces the gastric pressure so the GERD goes away. Some foods may still trigger GERD, but with an elimination diet, you can figure out what they are for you and avoid them. We don’t have any evidence either way as to what will mitigate the damage already done by the PPI’s, but sticking with a WFPB lifestyle would be the best bet in the absence of clinical research at this point.

        Focusing in on lycopene concentration doesn’t really make any sense as components of a highly varied WFPB lifestyle show benefit. Its not as if all plants have been tested and only tomato shows benefit. Lycopene is one of hundreds if not thousands of molecules that show health benefits.

        Dr. Ben




        2
  5. Wow, recipes! I’m really excited to see the online recipe library. Will we see more and more recipes posted online after the cookbook is published?




    5
    1. Hi Joshua, we agree- it’s super exciting! We will actually be publishing a few over the next few weeks while the book is still in preorder. Keep your eyes on the Doc Notes and blogs for more!




      1
  6. It says the study participants ate 3/4 cup of canned tomato sauce — does anyone know how much tomato paste or tomato juice you should consume daily to equal 3/4 cup canned tomato sauce?
    thanks




    0
    1. just based on calories,
      tomato sauce is 70 calories per cup, 3/4 cup is 52 calories
      6oz can of tomato paste is 139 calories so you need a little more than a third of that
      juice is 42 cals a cup so you’d need 1.25 cup.
      cooked vs. raw is much different I don’t know if boiling it down more into paste changes it




      4
    2. All the research indicates that what is important is that we consume whole plant foods. As far as I know, tomato paste isn’t a whole plant food. Sauce probably is. Better yet make your own sauce with a quart of canned crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, spices and vegetables of your choice. (I like collards, turnips with greens, or rutabaga with greens.) Cook in a saucepan over low heat until they are thick. Serve over whole grain pasta or polenta.




      6
      1. There seems to be some technical problems defining the term whole-plant-food but people seems to use it with a socially made meaning. For example, the center of an orange is not the whole orange because the peel is missing. It is technically an extraction. But people want to think it is a whole food to fit its social meaning. Some people throw away the apple centers.




        3
        1. Panchito, I think an extract is something taken out of the food such that you could not find it if you looked for it in the food. So various carotenoids, for example, could be extracted from an orange, but the orange pulpy part is not an extract. Does that fit for you? Likewise for an apple. Pectin, found in apples, cannot be seen, but only extracted; the seeds taken out of an apple do not make the rest of the apple an extract.




          2
          1. WFPB-Lisa – you are correct. Eating the pulpy portion of the orange is not an extract of an orange. Definition of extraction: the action of taking out something, especially using effort or force such as squeezing or other methods. The juice of the orange would be an extraction. The eating of the pulp portion is eating the whole pulp. And one could certainly eat the pith and rind as well.




            3
            1. Panchito,

              Take a look in Wikipedia. Here is a helpful definition of “extract” as we are using it when discussing food and cooking:

              “An *extract* is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material , often by using a solvent such as ethanol or water . Extracts may be sold as tinctures or in powder form.

              The aromatic principles of many spices, nuts, herbs, fruits, etc., and some flowers, are marketed as extracts, among the best known of true extracts being almond , cinnamon , cloves , ginger , lemon , nutmeg , orange , peppermint , pistachio , rose , spearmint , vanilla , violet , and wintergreen .”

              When I peel an orange or lemon, (and by the way, I put those along with the pulp into my smoothies,) I am not using a solvent “such as ethanol or water.”

              Panchito, there IS such a thing as orange extract, and it is not the pulp of an orange.




              2
              1. I was using it in reference to the word whole-food. If you take out forcibly the pup from an orange using the fingers or the teeth in order to separate from the peel, and then select only the pulp from the whole orange. Then the orange is not whole because you have extracted the pulp from the orange. You could then claim that the pulp is whole but so would a person using unrefined olive oil.




                0
                1. That is not the usual meaning of “Whole Food” amongst WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) eaters, which is what folks on this site refer to when talking about “whole food.”




                  1
      2. Blair
        good advice , i don’t think any canned tomato product is really whole as the skins might be removed .The canned tomatoes are very convenient though . I would like to see if fresh whole tomato would be better than canned tomato sauces . Quite often when we make a vegetable stew we just cut some whole tomatoes up and sometimes zip them up in a blender before adding them.




        2
        1. I grow tomatoes and make marinara and it is great(toot toot, that’s my own horn). I leave the seeds and peels on then use an immersion blender so I do have a whole food then. I don’t know that it is any better tasting than when I use canned tomatoes, but that doesn’t matter to me.




          2
      3. Hi Blair, I agree that tomato paste usually isn’t a whole food, since most commercially produced versions of both the paste and puree, the skin and seeds have been removed, although the pulp does remain. However, according to the database listed below, being concentrated, it has one of the highest amounts of Lycopene of any other foods per 100 gm (only powder is listed as being higher.) If it still retains the lycopene, then I assume most of the thousands of other good phytonutrients are also retained, but maybe loses some of the fiber content.

        I like your idea of making your own sauce!




        4
      4. That’s interesting. I have always preferred to use paste not sauce (unless I make my own). Mainly because the sauces contain significant amounts of sugar and salt. They also seem to be a very expensive way of buying tomatoes and water.

        I have to comment though that any of the commercial tomato sauces are not made from whole tomatoes – well, at least the ones I have seen on supermarket shelves. This one for example is made from tomato paste not whole tomatoes.
        https://www.masterfoods.com.au/our-range/sauces-mustards-gravies/flavoured-sauces/tomato-sauce/

        Perhaps it is different in the US?




        2
        1. Tom, why is tomato paste not a whole food? Because the skins and seeds are excluded? “The Internet” says, “Tomato paste is a *thick* paste made by cooking tomatoes for several hours to reduce the water content, straining out the seeds and skins, and cooking the liquid again to reduce the base to a *thick*, rich *concentrate*.”




          1
          1. Yes. Blair made this point earlier and wrote ” As far as I know, tomato paste isn’t a whole plant food. Sauce probably is”.

            I have always used paste since I am too lazy and/or time-poor to make my own pasta sauce.and the commercials ones are loaded with sugar and salt

            I think the commercial pasta and tomato sauces are just water, tomato paste, sugar and salt … sold at a huge mark-up. In other words, the tomato and pasta sauces in the supermarket are just watered down tomato paste – although perhaps Blair gets a better class of pasta/tomato sauce where (s)he lives




            1
            1. So I disagree with Blair. I think it’s the other way around–it’s the *sauce* that is not a whole food because of the inclusion of oil and sugar. Paste, on the other hand, is likely a pretty whole food with simply skin and seeds removed.




              3
  7. You can start with a plant based diet with lots of broccoli, cauliflower and especially flaxseed. Watch and read nutritionfacts.org every chance you get. One last word, what ever you were doing when you were diagnosed, do the opposite. I’m 76 and have been there. This along with a good mental attitude works. There is no one food to eat but animal, dairy and eggs are all bad. Do the research. I wish you well.




    13
    1. Thanks Patrick. I was asking for a friend who has prostate cancer. He had the surgery and now, a few years later, his PSA levels are rising, indicating that the cancer is now somewhere else.

      I have given him the book, “How Not to Die” and talked about the importance of plant-based nutrition, but it is kind of falling on deaf ears.

      I figured if he could at LEAST take some tomato juice or canned tomato sauce, it could help a little…..

      Again, my thanks for your sage advice and kind words.

      Gratefully,




      5
      1. Thank you both Kathie And Patrick for your comments.
        I recognise your problem Kathy. I also have several friends who are or have been treated for cancer and it is really sad to see they prefer to stick to their Western diet and do not believe in whole food plant based food. If only they would give it a try…
        I fear iT is the influence of actual promotion and the halfhearted advise of the Dutch nutrition board and the heartlobby.




        1
      2. Kathyspeck – Take a look at Ruth Heidrich’s story and see if your friend would be willing to read it.
        https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/stars/stars-written/ruth-heidrich/

        Ruth has written her own books on her experience and diet which you can buy if he’s open to it. Find her stuff on the web. If it were me, I’d do whatever it took. But some people don’t want to make the change – and it is very painful to watch.

        Also, . . .another option would be to look into True North Clinic in Santa Rosa, CA run by Dr. Goldhammer. They will comp you or your friend a free consulting phone call.
        All the best –




        0
  8. http://www.nejm.org/na101/home/literatum/publisher/mms/journals/content/nejm/1993/nejm_1993.329.issue-6/nejm199308053290619/production/images/large/nejm199308053290619_t1.jpeg

    I love tomatoes in all forms, raw and cooked and have everyday. A friend said I’m addicted as my body is missing nicotine. It appears that nightshade plants are related to tobacco plants. I found this concept interesting. I have never smoked anything in my life, will continue with my tomatoes and feel the nicotine is negligible. Any thoughts especially if you are going to consume larger amounts of t sauce and might or might not be a cigarette smoker.




    1
    1. Just because you enjoy tomatoes and eat them every day does not mean you are literally addicted. Perhaps your friend was just joking. Even if tomatoes have trace amounts of nicotine, it’s hard to imagine the quantities are sufficient to create an addiction. If you want to test it, though, try going a day without tomatoes. If it’s easy, then you’re not addicted. Also, worth noting that a craving is not the same as an addiction. The former can be ignored.




      4
    2. Patty,

      yes, this is true and smokers are often addicted to tomatoes. But – you absorb about 1 mg of nicotine for each cigarette you smoke. Green tomatoes contains about 42.8 nano-grams of nicotine per one gram of tomatoes. That would be about 0.000428 miligrams of nicotine per 100 g of tomato. So don’t worry about it. ;)

      Hope this helps,

      Moderator Adam P.




      1
  9. I understand that eating cooked tomatoes (vs. raw) enables the body to assimilate more nutrients. Is this true for just lycopene, or other nutrients in tomatoes as well?

    Also, does breaking down a raw tomato in a high speed blender, like my Vitamix, have the same effect as cooking it terms of bioavailability?

    Thanks!

    My go-to smoothie: Cherry tomatoes, carrot, frozen organic broccoli, frozen mixed berries mangoes and pineapple, banana, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Amazing Grass vanilla protein blend, water.




    1
    1. Magnus,
      According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, blending vegetables/seeds/fruit breaks down the cell walls and results in significantly enhanced bioavailablity.




      4
    2. I’m curious how long a tomato has to be heated to release more lycopene? I occasionally heat my tomatoes just long enough to make the peeling let loose. Is this long enough?




      1
    3. Magnus,

      cooking increase bioavailability of naringenin, chlorogenic acid, lycopene and other carotenoids.

      Yes, blending is also known to increase bioavailability. So is fat, so you are doing a good thing that you add seeds and nuts to your smoothie. :-)

      Hope this helps,

      Moderator Adam P.




      1
  10. Taking about things ‘Red’. Read (sorry, don’t remember the exact source, just and one of the e-zimes that I receive) that Pomegranate juice has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. So I have been trying fresh Pomegranate juice (reconstituted did not work) on the per-cancerous lesions on my scalp and one actual skin cancer spot, with very good results. Had been using Voltaren prescribed by my Dermatologist, (but NSAIDs can be absorbed thru the skin and can be deleterious to one’s hearing) and the Pomegranate juice is producing results as good or better. Twice a day application with a Q-tip.
    Just sharing my experience, not advocating.




    7
  11. Not sure where to ask these off-topic questions. I can’t seem to find an active forum that fits the niche of “nutrition hacks”. I steam my vegetables (e.g., broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes) in a multi-tier stainless steel steamer, and I add onion skin to the boiling water. When I’ve steamed the vegetables I store the water in the fridge overnight to use for my oats. Now suppose I’m steaming vegetables with oxalic acid (spinach, beet greens, chard) or bitter compounds (endive, chicory). Is there a way to keep the water and neutralise the oxalic acid or bitter compounds (for example, by fermentation)?




    0
    1. Arthur, Regarding your statement: Not sure where to ask these off-topic questions. I can’t seem to find an active forum that fits the niche of “nutrition hacks”.

      In the comments section of this website, over the years, I have seen many great food “hacks”! Although recently, the people who formerly posted these hacks are not posting comments anymore. Hopefully, they will come back and start posting again.




      0
      1. Thank you for the link. The article talks about fermenting vegetable juice and vegetables. Would it work for the boiling water (decoction)? So I would add a starter culture (e.g. Caldwell’s) to the boiling water overnight and then use the water to cook the oats? Could I keep some of it to inoculate other decoctions from different vegetables (e.g cruciferous vegetables)?
        Would the culture reduce other potentially harmful compounds (e.g. cyanide compounds)?




        0
  12. well ……just my humble opinion …………..blood type A ….can not handle tomato……….something called lectins (they gum up the works) in tomato




    0
  13. Hi! We’re Ada and Cris, from Spain.
    We have recently read the book how not to die by Dr. Michael Greger and, as we were already quite aware about the the healthy food, some months ago we decided to make a diet based on plants. But we are a little worried because by increasing our amount of vegetables in the diet, we do not know if this can affect our health because of the use of many pesticides and irrigation water that can be harmful to our health, and we do not have, for the moment, enough income to allow us to buy all the vegetables from ecological agriculture.
    If you could help us, it would be really great. Thank you very much!
    Best regards.




    0
    1. I think you will find Dr. G’s advice’s is the benefits of a whole plant food diet greatly out weight minor downside of non-organic, so don’t let the cost or unavailability of organic produce deter you from eating ordinary WPF.




      1
    2. According to T. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study” , and chair of the department of biochemistry at Cornell, the benefits from eating whole plant foods so heavily trump any possible risks from pesticides as to make it a non issue. Remember that pesticides and heavy metals bioaccumulate up the food chain in animal products. So eliminating animal products is the first step to take in reducing exposure to toxic substances.




      4
      1. Remember that video Dr. Greger released about leaded gasoline and how it lowered the IQ in people born before the 70’s? Same thing with pesticides… The EU parliament released a report in 2017 warning that pesticides are far more dangerous then previously thought. The study was carried out by the parliament’s Scientific Foresight Unit, led by the Swedish University of Agricultural Scientists.

        Although chemical pesticides undergo a comprehensive risk assessment before market release, there are important gaps in this risk assessment. In some cases, specifically for cognitive development during childhood as an effect of organophosphate insecticide exposure during
        pregnancy, epidemiological studies provide evidence of adverse effects. There is increasing evidence that residues from insecticides are damaging the brain, and reducing the IQ of the population. And it raises concerns that the chemicals could also cause cancer and damage to the reproductive system.

        “At least 100 different pesticides are known to cause adverse neurological effects in adults, and all of these substances must therefore be suspected of being capable of damaging developing brains as well,” the report states.

        “Such adverse effects are likely to be lasting and one main outcome is cognitive deficits, often expressed in terms of losses of IQ points. The combined evidence suggests that current exposures to certain pesticides in the EU may cost at least € 125 billion per year, as calculated from the loss of lifetime income due to the lower IQs associated with prenatal exposure.”

        It goes on to describe the calculation as “almost certainly” an underestimate as it does not consider the possible contribution made by pesticides to conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

        The researchers recommend limiting exposure to non-organic fruit and vegetables – and say particular care should be taken by pregnant women and children.

        I think if Dr.Greger warns against cell phone radiation, arsenic in rice and medical scans, it’s only fair that pesticides should be judged with the same standards. I know Collin Campbell wants you to eat your vegetables and fruit in the first place, and you should. But that does not mean that we should ignore the fact that organic is the better choice.




        1
    3. Ada – I just saw this interesting piece of research re: the topic of how to get the pesticides off the vegg. But first, a little perspective! Don’t forget that the pesticides bio-accumulate up the food chain. So by virtue of eating plants themselves rather than, say, a steak, you have already reduced your pesticide exposure. The foodstuffs that are fed to CAFO animals are not washed before being given to the animals so you get the full concentration in the meat. So eating lower on the food chain automatically means you are getting less.
      To remove the remaining pesticides, add 1 tsp baking soda to 2C water and let soak for about 12 minutes to remove almost all of the pesticide See the entire article by Consumer Reports here:
      . https://www.consumerreports.org/pesticides-herbicides/easy-way-to-remove-pesticides/




      3
  14. I live in Belgium and my country has released new nutrition recommendations. I’m pleased to see that the bottom line seems to be “more plant food and less animal food“. Also as far as I know it’s the only country that places processed meat like ham or chicken slices for on bread on the same “red level” as things like candy and beer. But still there is a long way to go, for example things like eggs and cheese are in a green zone. And the weirdest thing is the placement of vegetable oils like margarine and olive oil in the greenest zone, next to things like BROCCOLI!! Allthough they limit these fats to 1 spoon of olive oil when cooking and 1 knifepoint margarine per breadslice. They convey to the people that these are supposedly “healthy fats” they even state in the info that these are necessary and can not be left out of a good diet. Why? And I quote; “Because they protect against heart desease and are important sources of vitamine E and essential fatty acids and they are enriched with fat soluable vitamine A and D.”

    Could someone offer me their opinion on the matter and some good arguments against the last quote concerning the essential fatty acids and vitamins.




    1
    1. Hi Netgogate,

      I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks so much for your question!

      Olive oil and margarine have virtually no beneficial nutrients when compared to whole plant foods. While margarine may be enriched with vitamins A and D, this is no different than taking a supplement of those nutrients. Vitamin A should ideally be consumed from the diet (orange/red foods and green leafy vegetables). Vitamin D should be obtained from the sun if possible, but if not, from a reliable vitamin D supplement. These foods may contain small to moderate amounts of vitamin E, but preferential sources of this vitamin would come from nuts and seeds, as they have a whole host of other vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. The claim that these foods may reduce the risk of heart disease is because studies find that when individuals switch from animal fats to plant fats/oils, their cholesterol levels and risk for cardiovascular disease do decrease. Therefore, plant oils are absolutely better than animal sources of fat, but fat and fat-soluble vitamins from whole plant foods is optimal.

      I hope this helps!




      3
    2. Netgogate,

      Hard to argue with factual info….. ie. the olive oil being a good source of vitamin E is certainly correct when you ingest extra virgin olive oil and it does have a positive effect on those who might not have that necessary intake from other dietary sources. Same argument holds true with the essential fatty acids.

      Remember it’s all about who and what they eat. Generalizations based on when a population’s intake of WFPB products are less than needed or optimal will inevitably require additional sources of these dietary nutrients. Are these the optimal potential……clearly not. In the US the ingestion of both fruits and veggies is ridiculously low in the general population so supplemental intakes are probably a good idea. As to the sources…. well.

      With heart disease we need to fall back on the issues of what science one reads and believes. Remember that if the key issue is based on the endothelial arguments it depends on what test is being used…..you can skew the argument in other ways based on different data sets.

      Wonder how much “pressure” was used by the margarine and olive oil industry folks to influence their inclusions.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com




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    3. These statements are based on reasonable evidence and certainly make sense within the context of a standard Western diet. That evidence is summarised most recently in the American Heart Association Presidential Advisory Statement on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease. The statement also noted that in non-human primates, replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat actually reversed atherosclerosis.
      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/circulationaha/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510.full.pdf

      The important point though is that the guidelines are based only on the evidence that actually exists. The American Heart Association statement specifically includes this observation
      ” Finally, we note that a trial has never been conducted to test the effect on CHD outcomes of a low-fat diet that increases intake of healthful nutrient-dense carbohydrates and fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes that are now recommended in dietary guidelines.”.

      People seem very reluctant to give up their isolated fats. Given that, the advice to use vegetable oils instead of butter, lard etc seems reasonable. what would happen if that advice was not there? People would probably continue eating butter and cooking with lard etc.

      The other thing is that there is evidence of the mechanisms of action by which staurated fat harms the cardiovascular system and unsaturated fats protect the cardiovascular system eg

      “A new paper, “Saturated fatty acids induce endoplasmic reticulum stress in primary cardiomyocytes,” just published in open access in “Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Diseases” by De Gruyter Open shows that there are striking differences in the accumulation of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in cardiac muscle cells, and that saturated fatty acids induce the death of these cells through the ER stress. In stalking contrast, unsaturated fatty acids protect the same cells from such damage.”
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150427101527.htm

      There are many such papers. Unsaturated fats do seem positively beneficial. However, we can get unsaturated fats from actual food instead of manufactured oils. Olives instead of olive oil, nuts, , soybeans etc Even oats are 15% fat by total calorie content. Those foods are naturally fortified with vitamins and minerals (and fibre) unlike oils.

      Vitamin D might be a problem though. Dr Greger recommends that strict vegetarians consider vitamin D supplementation
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/




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  15. Interesting article on cancer immonotherapy and the microbiome (from, of all places, Fortune):

    “It also brings in the question of diet,” says Wargo, who is now working on new clinical studies on the microbiome with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. “Could it be that patients who have a fiber-rich diet with more whole grains—that is, with a more microbiome-friendly diet—might do better on cancer treatment?” she asks. “And could such a diet help facilitate and enhance the immune system such that you might be able to ultimately prevent cancer?”

    http://fortune.com/2017/11/03/cancer-immunotherapy-microbiome-gut/




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  16. It was my understanding that only cooked tomatoes would work against (or hopefully prevent) PC, not tomato juice as the video implied. The tomatoes have to be cooked to work?? Drinking 8 oz of tomato juice a day would be more tolerable than drinking almost a 3/4 cup of tomato sauce a day.




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  17. I fixed myself a Virgin Mary with the best tomato sauce I found in Prague and hope to reduce my prostate cancer in the next 45 days, and enjoy a good drink everyday on the way.




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    1. As a Caucasian living in Hawaii with a Filipina GF I have developed a love for ampalaya; both the leaves and the fruit. So I too was interested in the health benefits. It is true. Here are two citations. One shows anti-diabetic effect and the other shows anti-cancer effect. This was at first glance. There are probably many more studies like these.

      Dr. Ben

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29082341

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29061560




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  18. Just found this webpage and something about mthfr gene defect and converting folic acid and cyano-b12, while reading comments on Youtube. https://www.dietvsdisease.org/mthfr-mutation-symptoms-and-diet/ and this comment
    https://www.dietvsdisease.org/mthfr-mutation-symptoms-and-diet/#comment-13823

    Something about poor conversion of these chemicals to active b12 and folate in some people. Should I ask my doctor for a gene test? I kind of didn’t feel right while only on cyano-b12 but it may be in my head. I use both now (methyl Monday, Wednesday, Friday, cyano Saturday and Sunday).




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  19. Message to Dr. Michael Greger

    Re: Tomato Sauce vs Prostate Cancer

    The end of the video mentions Pizza vs. Tomato Juice, suggesting just have the Tomato Juice. Actually not quite. Lycopene researchers keep getting caught out and puzzled as to why Lycopene levels are higher in the blood after Pizza consumption but not Tomato Juice (the so-called Pizza Paradox… – how can something so unhealthy be so good…). The answer is that Lycopene is a fat soluble (not water soluble) phytonutrient. Pizza has plenty of cheese dairy fat to help lycopene digestive absorbtion. Therefore if you forego the Pizza and want the Lycopene, make sure to add a teaspoon of oil with your Tomato Juice. Personally, I use this as an opportunity to slide in an Omega oil, and Hemp oil with a good balance between Omega 6 and 3 fits the bill nicely!




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      1. Hi Tom, Many thanks for your supportive reply.
        Yes I am a fan of seeds and nuts for my essential oil intake. Rightly or wrongly I also have liquid oil intake, very moderate and with a purose in mind. My suggestion is to keep source nutrients wide, nut allergy suffers can still use the oil if they can’t take the food.  Just a thought.
        Best regards – Steve Wright




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  20. This is slightly off topic, but does involve prostate cancer and diet. There appears to be a new study that shows an association between soy isoflavone intake and advanced prostate cancer, but not non advanced prostate cancer. Are those who contend that soy is not cancer protective in one way or another possibly onto anything meaningful? I’m trying my darndest to prevent my localized prostate cancer from advancing. I’ve adopted a WFPB diet and even that is controversial, but I think I’m onto the false hype over that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wavered back and forth over soy intake. I consume it in moderation (3 servings a day or less) as Dr. Greger has suggested. I also stay away from GMO soy and processed soy. Does the team have any critique or praise for this latest study or new advice for cancer patients to avoid soy? Thank you.




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    1. Hi Jon,

      Sorry to hear about your localized prostate cancer. I can’t help you with your Soy question. But you might be wondering ‘what else?’. Have you come across the work of Cancer Researcher – Valter Longo (link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVArDzYynYc)? He is investigating the role of fasting (water only fasts and fasting mimicking diet) to rejuvenate the immune system. As it is the immune system which ultimately triumphs over Cancer, this might be worth a look. There are (medically) supervised fasting centers in the USA if undertaking a fast yourself seems a bit daunting (e.g. True North http://www.healthpromoting.com/). This is for your own information only – I am not medically qualified! Best regards –




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        1. Hi Ernie, please send this request to our Support center (just click the green button on the lower right). They will best able to help with this!




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            1. Ernie, If you scroll up just a little, I think she advised you who to contact about your issue. She’s probably not in IT and that’s probably why she must refer you to that department. Best of luck with resolution.




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            2. Ernie, I took the liberty of submitting your issue with MY green button. I asked that somebody please reach out to you to help you resolve your issue. Meantime, I’m obviously creating even more notifications for you and I’m truly sorry about that! Take care.




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    2. Jon, don’t know if the study article I linked to below fits your situation or not but here are some of the things addressed that might interest you.

      “The next step is to demonstrate that a low dose of warfarin is safe and effective in preventing a return of cancer,” he said.

      For the latest study, Lorens and his colleagues collected data on warfarin use and cancer among Norwegians born between 1924 and 1954.

      Specifically, the researchers looked at prescriptions for warfarin between 2004 and 2012 and any new cases of prostate, lung, breast and colon cancer between 2006 and 2012.

      http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/blood-thinner-warfarin-prevent/2017/11/07/id/824555/?ns_mail_uid=100354791&ns_mail_job=1762228_11072017&s=al&dkt_nbr=010502zh2f4x




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