Sunday, February 10, 2013

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death |

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death |

Dr. Greger presents some of the scientific evidence indicating that plant-based (vegan) diets can prevent, treat, or reverse fourteen of the fifteen leading causes of death in the U.S..


Goinglite said...

@Don. Jimmie Moore and other Low Carbers with extremely High TC and LDL Levels have found comfort in their zero calcium scores. I think this is a false sense of security. ( See

What is your position on this?

Andrew C said...

It's sad that people like Wheatbelly Davis and his poor science (e.g. oats and battery acid ) influence some people so much.

Jimmy Moore's zero calcium score is normal for people under 40. Jimmy had his done in 2009. I haven't seen any authority for it meaning much at that point.

Healthy Longevity said...

Good job for promoting this video.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing that you are doing studies like this to prevent more deaths amongst our countrymen. Me and my cancer alternative treatment center supports you on that. Thanks and have a nice day!

Charles Grashow said...

Dr Greger became a vegan for moral/ethical reasons. So, like every other person who did so for moral/ethical reasons he cherry picks his studies to "prove" that his diet/lifestyle choice is superior.

VIP: What personal experiences led you to vegetarianism/veganism?

MG: When I was still a teen I saw a National Geographic issue with a picture of a dog market in Asia. Puppies looking out from between bars awaiting slaughter. I was horrified, but always the critical thinker I challenged myself to reconcile my reaction to the burger I had just had for lunch. How could I oppose unnecessary suffering knowing that meat wasn't necessary? So I just couldn't look at myself in the mirror anymore (or my companion animals) with a sense of integrity, until I better aligned my actions with my values. Then a trip to Farm Sanctuary dispelled my ignorance as to the cruelties inherent in the dairy and egg industries and have been happily vegan ever since (for about the last 20 years)

VIP: Can you give our readers the main features of your personal diet and exercise regimen?

MG: My favorite breakfast is a green smoothie, made from frozen berries, unsweetened soy milk, ground flax seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables; lunch at the office is typically either an enormous salad with beans and a nut-based dressing or a big bowl of vegetable soup, and then supper I enjoy cooking to unwind, specializing in spicy global cuisines, like Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, and Thai. And for dessert, Vitamixed frozen fruit "ice cream." And I exercise every day, either exerstriding or stationary bicycling.

Dr. Michael Greger is director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture in the farm animal welfare division.

A physician specializing in clinical nutrition, Greger focuses his work on the human health implications of intensive animal agriculture, including the routine use of non-therapeutic antibiotics and growth hormones in animals raised for food, and the public health threats of industrial factory farms. He also works on food safety issues, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), and plays a role in The HSUS's efforts to analyze and shape public policy concerning agriculture and nutrition.

So - he also has an agenda - some agree, some disagree

Charles Grashow said...


The video confirmed what I already knew from evaluating the published evidence: it is healthier to eat more plant-based foods and less red meat. It didn’t convince me that we should categorically eliminate all animal products. The vegan diet can be a healthy one, and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from following it; but the evidence for health benefits is nowhere near as impressive or definitive as the true believers think. Death is not “a foodborne illness” and eliminating all animal products is not a cure-all.

As Ben Goldacre said in Bad Science:

The most important take-home message with diet and health is that anyone who ever expresses anything with certainty is basically wrong, because the evidence for cause and effect in this area is almost always weak and circumstantial…

Charles Grashow said...

Long-Term Consumption of a Raw Food Diet Is Associated with Favorable Serum LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides but Also with Elevated Plasma Homocysteine and Low Serum HDL Cholesterol in Humans

"In conclusion, the present study indicates that a strict raw food diet may result in remarkably low serum total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. However, the elevated tHcy as well as the low HDL cholesterol concentrations in participants in this study could provide a mechanistic explanation of the higher mortality from coronary heart disease in vegans compared with ovo-lacto-vegetarians, which was reported in a recent meta-analysis of prospective studies (16). A high tHcy concentration accompanied by a low HDL level may result in endothelial dysfunction via impaired bioavailability of NO. In contrast, studies of moderate ovo-lacto-vegetarian diets suggest that well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence and reduce risk for diseases (49). Changing the ratio of raw food intake toward an extreme regimen with a very low intake of vitamin B-12 may be harmful in the prevention of coronary heart disease rather than providing additional benefits as occurs with milder dietary regimens.

Frank said...


I would agree with you here.

We all have bias and most pure vegan will usually tell you that they are first and foremost for ethic reasons, hence why so many vegan have a crappy nutrition anyway and suffer from health problems.

Second, I think what is clear from the actual evidence is that we should eat mostly whole plant food - as you said.

Now, nutrition is pretty hard to study in a concrete way as most nutrition-related disease takes years to manifest themselves and it gets pretty tricky to correct for all the possible confounder in epidemiology (i'm not saying ala low-carber that epidemiology is useless here, it's a very valid science and extremely useful but it has its limits).

I think the evidence are quite clear in regard to animal fats and protein, especially in regard to red meat, but I don't think we can cut off with a precise dose. If one chose to elimate all animal product, he must supplement most carninutrients and obviously b-12, and this is personally a choice I have, for now, decided not to do.

I'm going to go with what our early diet probably looked like, lots of fruits, carbs and occasionnal animal product (i'm aiming for 90/10 plant/animal product ratio) using gentle cooking meathod for my meat, AGEs minimizing methods, and trying as much as possible to eat local, hormone-free meat when I do ( which is about 2 times a week right now)

It's clear that vegan do much, much better than people on the SAD. There's evidence that vegan do even better than vegetarian, so i'm not yet sure if my choice is the good one and I'll keep looking at upcoming evidence and adjust accordingly.

What is not clear to me from the evidence is what would be the effect of a whole food, plant based nutrition with occasionnal meat product added to it, in the context of an healthy lifestyle.

We have quite a lot of damning evidences in regard to meat so that meat is unhealthy is quite a certainity by now, but i'm still wondering if there's a cut off point at which it really become problematic and one where it won't make much of a difference on a given lifetime.