Dr. McDougall – Osteoporosis and the Broken Bone Business

John McDougall

One of the things I love about living near San Francisco is all of the opportunities to do things. This evening my wife and I went to a vegan dinner sponsored by the Wellness Center and the San Francisco Vegetarian Society.

After a wonderful dinner prepared by certified Nutrition Consultant  Patricia Allen Koot, we watched this presentation by Dr. John McDougall about osteoporosis and bone health. He explained how the medical and pharmaceutical establishments game the system to make lots of money from women who have fears about this disease – promoted by front groups they fund – like the National Osteoporosis Foundation. This foundation’s corporate “advisors” include Amgen, Bayer Healthcare, Eli Lilly, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer.

McDougall’s advice is to avoid drug therapies for osteoporosis and let a whole food, plant-based diet and exercise keep your bones strong and healthy. Eating dairy and meat products add acid to your system and the body neutralizes this acid by removing calcium from your bones. This starts the process that leads to osteoporosis.

Here is the entire presentation. You can find it on YouTube along with other videos by Dr. McDougall.

This video was recorded at one of Dr. McDougall’s Advanced Study Weekends. There is one coming up in February, featuring Caldwell Esselstyn and Colin Campbell and other speakers on nutrition and health. The weekends also include all meals prepared following Dr. McDougall’s eating plan.


Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger M.D.

I discovered a great website this evening – someone at our vegan Meet-Up told me about it. NutritionFacts.org it is the website of Dr. Michael Greger in partnership with the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation.

Dr. Greger reviews nutrition-related research, as published in scientific journals, and creates short, easy to understand video segments highlighting the research.  The site also provides links to the original journal articles whenever possible.

There is also a blog with additional information. The newest article is titled Industry Influence on Our Dietary Guidelines and highlights the U.S. government’s first try at setting dietary guidelines back in 1977. The Senate had created a Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs headed by George McGovern. His committee’s guidelines recommended limiting salt, sugar, dairy, eggs and meat.

The food industry’s reaction was swift. They successfully got the Senate leadership to quash these guidelines and have this new committee disbanded and ownership of these guidelines turned over to the Agriculture Committee, which they could better control.

If only these recommendations had been allowed to become the U.S. dietary guidelines, the incidence of chronic diseases might have been slowed and our healthcare costs wouldn’t be out of control.

Please visit Dr. Greger’s site and learn more about this and other nutrition health topics.


Are You Feeding Your Brain for Health?

Power Foods for the BrainDo you believe that we are all doomed to get dementia or Alzheimer’s as we age? The current numbers are frightening.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Facts and Figures Report, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease and 1 in 3 dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Dr. Neal Barnard‘s latest book – Power Foods for the Brain – looks at how changes to diet and lifestyle can improve brain health and prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Using information from the latest studies, Barnard lays out a three-step plan for brain health: healthy foods, mental and physical exercise, and sleep. Barnard advocates a whole food, plant-based diet and avoiding meat, dairy, eggs and added oils.

He also shares the latest research on foods that can protect your brain from toxic metals and vitamins that can assist in improving brain health.

Neal Barnard, MDIn the book he talks about his North Dakota upbringing, eating a diet based on red meat, dairy and eggs – with few vegetables. As his parents got older, they began to get dementia. Based on his research, he got them to change their diet and it slowed and stopped the progress of their dementia. At one point, his parents moved into an assisted living facility and started eating the standard American diet again. The dementia started progressing again until Dr. Barnard was able to get them home again and change their diet back.

This book was very easy to read and Barnard lays out many great suggestions for making changes to diet, exercise and lifestyle to improve brain (and body) health.

I found an interesting website, called Silk, where you can share collections of anything – coffee places, vacation spots or nutrition books. I created one to highlight the books I have read – you can find it here. Currently, this book is the only one in the collection, but more will be there soon.

Dr. Barnard’s 3-step plan for brain health gives all of us the tools we need to slow the progress of these deadly diseases. Read this book and share it with your friends and loved ones who may be at risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

National Cancer Institute Can’t Find the Link Between Diet and Cancer Right Before Their Eyes


Diet quality linked to pancreatic cancer risk

That was the headline that caught my attention. The study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and AARP found these results

In a large new study of older Americans, researchers find that people with the healthiest eating habits are about 15 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with the poorest diets.

In the analysis of data on more than 500,000 Americans over age 50, men in particular, especially those who were overweight or obese, appeared to benefit most from a high quality diet.

It also found

Among men who were overweight or obese, however, those with healthy eating scores in the top-fifth group were 28 percent less likely than their counterparts in the bottom-fifth to develop pancreatic cancer.

Despite these findings, the NIH researchers could not find a definitive link between diet and cancer.

Lead author Hannah Arem of the National Cancer Institute

It is important to note that our findings are based on overall diet and not individual foods. A combination of many foods contributed to the observed association between greater compliance with the Dietary Guidelines and lower risk of pancreatic cancer

Perhaps she should read Colin Campbell’s book Whole – Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. In his book he shows why researchers need to stop looking at individual foods or nutrients and study the whole process of how our bodies use the foods we eat to slow or promote cancer.

Past studies looking at the relationship between diet and risk for pancreatic cancer have tended to focus on individual foods and found few connections, according to her (Arem) team’s report, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

No surprise there.

The researchers did find that people who ate a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet had better results than others. Another said that eating a healthy diet “has not yet translated into noticeable reductions in the incidence of the major cancers with diet-related etiology”

Maybe this researcher should read the literature published by Drs Dean Ornish or Neal Barnard. Their research shows the positive link between eating a WFPB diet and reducing cancer risk.

It is sad when the scientific community can’t make the connection between diet and disease promotion or prevention.

There are doctors and researchers who have found a positive link between a healthy diet and lowering the risk or reversing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and more. As Dr. Campbell points out in his book, the top research agencies and disease advocacy groups have been taken over by people who serve the system, not the public. Until this changes more people will get cancer and other chronic diseases because our SAD (Standard American Diet) provides a fertile breeding ground for their growth.