The subtitle of this post could just as easily have been: Feed your mitochondria right.
The two videos below pretty much tell the whole sad tale of doctors and nutrition. Taken together, they confirm the widespread notion that doctors, in general, know very little about nutrition and seem to be proud to keep it that way.
This first video has made the rounds on the internet. I’ve had it sent to me or recommended to me a dozen times, but I had never watched it until just a few days ago. I was put off because of its length, which, at a little over 17 minutes, seems like an eternity in internet viewing time. But I hope anyone reading this post doesn’t make the mistake I did and avoid watching because of the length. It is a spectacular talk given by Dr. Terry Wahls, a female physician who was struck down by multiple sclerosis (MS), a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative disorder. She describes how she was able to restore her health by revamping her diet in in a way designed to properly feed her mitochondria.* The transformation is almost unbelievable, especially considering the disease she was battling. If you haven’t already seen this video – watch it. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. And while you watch, pay careful attention to what her diet doesn’t contain much of.
After you’ve seen the above video, take a look at the one below. It is a little over 2 minutes long and was developed to give doctors – who, for the most part, don’t give a flip about diet – advice they can pass along to their obese or overweight patients. Watching the longer video above first will give you more context to better appreciate the one below and show you just how lame mainstream medicine can be.
This video came from Medscape, a subscription service for doctors to keep them abreast of all the latest and greatest news and updates from the world of mainstream medicine.
Pitiful, isn’t it?
The Medscape article containing this video. (Although Medscape is a free subscription service for physicians, non-physicians can sign up as well. For free. Register if you would like to see the article, which is nothing more than a transcript of the video above.) It is amazing to me that an online newsletter designed for physicians would regurgitate dietary information from a newsweekly and pass it off as serious medical information. Especially in such a condescending and patronizing way. The whole thing is infuriating.
The list of the 22 nutritional ‘experts’ who came up with the dietary rankings mentioned.
The US News and World Report article that inspired the video.
Power, Sex and Suicide A pretty thorough book on mitochondrial function that is accessible to the non-scientist. I read this book 6 or 8 years ago and learned a fair amount about mitochondrial DNA. I had been interested in the issue of mitochondrial rehab for a while, and this book filled in some, but not all, of the blanks. A good place to start if you’re interested.
Why Are Cells Powered by Proton Gradients? Full text of a paper written by Nick Lane, the author of the above book, discussing how mitochondria work by creating an energy gradient across the inner membrane. Accessible to non scientists.
Source of photo of mitochondria at top of post.
* Mitochondria are the little sausage-shaped organelles inside the cells that convert the energy stored in food to ATP, the energy currency of the body. I think the idea of correctly feeding mitochondria is an important one. If your mitochondria don’t work well, you don’t work well. I’ve got a couple of posts in the works on this subject of just what does keep the mitochondria fit and what happens when they become unfit. And what it takes to rehab them if broken. Based on my own pretty extensive review of the scientific literature over the past few years coupled with my clinical experience, I have a few minor quibbles with Dr. Wahls’ notions of what constitutes a perfect diet for the mitochondria, but I’ve got to say that her results speak for themselves. I just think her diet could be even better with a little judicious tweaking.
Mitochondria rejuvenating diet the nutritional 'experts' bash
How do you feel about the amounts of vegetables she suggests? I got linked to this video from Mark Sisson’s blog, and decided to give it a try. I’ve got to say that eating 9 cups of veggies as well as trying to get plenty of good protein and fat isn’t easy.
That’s one of the quibbles I have.
9 cups uncooked vegetables is not hard to eat .. if she is talking about cooked then it’s a little much to stomach
Do you do it?
I think that is one of the reasons the “experts” quoted, don’t like the “paleo diet”. When people talk about “paleo diet”, the emphasis is usually on meat and fat, and some of the people I’ve talked to are just really anti-vegie and anti-fiber. Also, often, anti-fish!
A truly hunter/gatherer diet, in most of the world, has loads of plants and a huge variety of animal foods (lizards, insects, rodents), but in most of the world FISH are a big item on the menu too.
Dr. Wahl’s diet isn’t actually all that different from that followed by, say, people on Weight Watchers, where most fruits and vegies “don’t count” for points so can be gorged on. Or body builders, where a lot of vegies are eaten. Or the Mediterranean diet as followed by the ancient Cretans, who were said to be healthy because “all they eat is herbs”.
The diet I’ve been meandering toward, based on a variety of various researches, looks a lot like Dr. Wahl’s. Lots of vegies, lots of fish and eggs, fruits, birds, good meat. I think that probably reflects more of the hunter/gatherer diet than meals based mainly off ruminant meat, which just wasn’t available on a constant basis, in most times and places.
One of the advantages of the emphasis on greens is: it’s easy to grow your own! Homegrown kale and collards are fantastic. Using a couple of hens for garbage disposal, and you get your own eggs too.
Hi Dr Mike,
Off topic slightly. My partner is vegan, happens to be height and weight proportionate and has a blood pressure reading within normal bounds. I am a former vegan (I stuck this out for 18 months) who is now following a low carb omni regime (yours) and am now losing weight far more successfully than ever before (I am an obese adult, the weight piled on every decade from my mid-20s after being a skinny kid, I am now 41). I have hypertension, with a particularly stubborn diastolic reading – for which I am on meds. My most recent cholesterol reading was on the high side at 6.0 total cholesterol (UK format). This reading was taken when I was vegan and had come down from 6.4 when I was on an omni but relatively high carb regime. I haven’t yet dared have my cholesterol reading taken again since going low carb in June last year.
My partner and I are diametrically opposed about what constitutes good nutrition. She thinks I am an animal-murdering psycho and will give myself blocked arteries. I think she is an anthropomorphising lunatic and will end up with cancer. As an academic researcher, I am able to read and interpret most medical studies although quants were not my strong point but I get there in the end. But this one flummoxes me. Could you please comment:
I am increasingly persuaded by you and Mary Dan, Lierre Keith, Ernest Curtis, MD and the ‘bad science’ authors etc that low carb diets reset the body after damage to insulin receptors caused by a diet high in processed foods, white rice, sugar, white flour, cakes, cookies, high starch veg (potatoes etc) and pasta esp when one has become obese. But then a study like this comes along and throws me a wobble. Is a vegan diet (heavily based around these refined carbs) right for my partner and her kids, but wrong for me? Who’s right?
Can you settle this debate and save my marriage?
Interesting paper. I hadn’t seen it. Thanks for sending.
Don’t know if I can solve the relationship issues with my commentary, but here goes.
This study once more proves true the dictum that there is no diet worse that the Standard American Diet, or in this case, the Standard UK Diet. When the authors of this study refer to the control group as ‘omnivores,’ it seems to endow them with a higher dietary standard than their true diet really reflects. These control subjects are chowing down on standard fare, which includes plenty of carbohydrates, including refined carbohydrates, which is evidenced by the fact that the glycemic index for the control diet is greater than that of the vegetarian diet. In no universe I can think of would 273 gm of carbs daily (the amount the omnivores consumed) be considered a low-carbohydrate diet.
What is being compared is a high-carb vegetarian diet to a high-carb junk food diet. Under these circumstances, one would expect the vegan diet to perform better. To be a true comparison, the authors should have compared these vegans to controls who were following strict low-carb diets. I’m sure the outcome would have been much different.
What I found interesting is that in the introduction of the paper, the authors went on and on describing all the studies showing the improved health of vegans as compared to non-vegans yet there was no study showing that vegans live longer.
I have a friend who has mitochondrial disease. She lives in USA and is on the net reading as much as she can since the disease precludes her from working. She found out about a new product called mitocare by bioceuticals. It is available in australia, which is where I live. I sent it off to her and in the month or so she has been taking it she has felt better. Mitochondrial disease is being suspected as the basis for other disease states such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and autism. If you search hannah poling you will find that she developed autism after her vaccinations. She also has mitochondrial disease and further study of autism patients shows an incidence of mitochondrial disease at a rate of about 1:30 where as general population incidence is 1:4000. This was enough of a red flag for the CDC to portion fund for further research. On the strength of my friend’s response to the mitocare I as a healthy pharmacist am going to start taking it myself. If you are interested in obtaining some I am willing to send it internationally. You can contact me on the facebook page nutritionalise
I ready Dr. Wahl’s book after ordering it after I saw her video. What a disappointment that was. Here is this fascinating and brave woman who wouldn’t stand still for conventional treatment methods (or in her case wouldn’t accept her fate), researching nutrition to try and solve her ills, which she did to some extent, but outlining meal plans that contain almost no animal products (one day all she had was a cup of bone broth), the rest being soy milk, rice milk, and tons of vegetables. And where was the fat? I threw the book into my car trunk out of sheer frustration.
You are right I don’t agree with everything and she may have even better results if she added more meat and fat to her existing diet. She is definitely better off doing what she’s doing though rather than taking tons of meds and sitting back and waiting for death. And I admire her determination. When I watched that video I cried.
Dr. Wahls is recommending wild fish, organ meats, grass fed meats. Sulfur containing vegetables are important for their contents of sulfur, which works great especially combined with Omega 3 food, like flax.
No, more like omega-3 food like fish and pastured land animals (pastured = properly fed… nice shorthand there).
Not everyone can convert the omega-3 *precursors* in flax and on top of that, you don’t know it’s not going rancid. Sure, it’s in the fridge at your health food store, I hope, when you buy it. But you don’t know what it went through on the way there in shipment.
Rancid fat means destruction of fat-soluble vitamins and it plays havoc in your body too.
bones are rich in fats , bone marrow is fat
What is the judicious tweaking that could improve Dr. Wahls’s diet?
I have relapsing-remitting MS, but have had no symptoms and taken no drugs for it for over 10 years now. In fact my most recent MRI looks markedly different than the initial MRI. I made some specific dietary and lifestyle changes, and take a boatload of different vitamins and minerals.
I was so excited by this video, and have now watched it a couple times. Thank you for posting it, that was a good reminder to revisit it. So inspiring! I’d really like to change from the boatload of pills to whole foods.
The other video—I don’t understand why so many doctors buy this type of info…
The judicious tweaking involves more animal products and saturated fat and a few less vegetables.
Clinical research shows the relationship between pancreatic cancer and animal proteins is as strong as that between smoking and lung cancer. Animal proteins have been shown to tear up the mitochondrial walls of arteries, increasing plaque build up and leading to CAD, open heart surgery, and death. Many people believe that they are at the mercy of their genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes; however, a whole foods plant-based diet – low to no animal proteins – has been shown to reverse and even cure diabetes, hypertension, repair mitochondrial arterial linings, and keep people alive who were told by physicians to prepare for death. I would tweak her dietary recommendations by decreasing the amount of animal proteins and substituting foods rich in the proteins we actually need (much lower levels than the meat and dairy industries and their FDA buddies would have us all believe).
Virtually every sentence you wrote is incorrect.
I know, right? I lol’d at the “mitochondrial walls of arteries” wth?
Wow, that was succinct. (And true) 🙂 Made me almost laugh out loud at work!
From Wikipedia re Nitrate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrate#Human_health_effects
“Nitrate exposure may also occur if eating, for instance, vegetables containing high levels of nitrate. Lettuce may contain elevated nitrate under growth conditions such as reduced sunlight, undersupply of the essential micronutrients molybdenum (Mo) and iron (Fe), or high concentrations of nitrate due to reduced assimilation of nitrate in the plant. High levels of nitrate fertilization also contribute to elevated levels of nitrate in the harvested plant.
Those with insufficient stomach acid (including some vegetarians and vegans) may also be at risk. It is the increased consumption of green, leafy vegetables that typically accompany these types of diets may lead to increased nitrate intake. A wide variety of medical conditions, including food allergies, asthma, hepatitis, and gallstones may be linked with low stomach acid; these individuals may also be highly sensitive to the effects of nitrate.”
They haven’t actually proven that nitrates cause cancer in a live body. They’ve produced odd results in petri dishes, in a manner of speaking. We aren’t petri dishes.
Nitrates wind up being turned into nitric oxide in the body. That’s actually a good chemical; among other things, it lowers your blood pressure.
What clinical research? And why don’t lions and wolves suffer from those afflictions?
“the relationship between pancreatic cancer and animal proteins is as strong as that between smoking and lung cancer”
Tell that to super-vegan, Steve Jobs.
– if only it was that simple.lots of other factors play huge parts in the jigsaw puzzle of illness
McDougall Newsletter: November 2011 –
Why Did Steve Jobs Die?
I don’t think anyone who reads this blog would put much faith into the risky thirty year vegan experiment. Ask Lierre Keith or Denise Minger.
Then there was what’s-his-head who played Steve Jobs in that biopic. He adopted Jobs’s diet and was admitted to a hospital with pancreatic pain.
Not to mention what all that excess fructose does to you.
… or to super-carbs-lover, Luciano Pavarotti.
“The risk (of pancreatic cancer) increased with higher intakes of total sugars, fructose, and sucrose, and the association with fructose was significant when the highest and lowest quartiles were compared (relative risk: 1.35; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.80; P for trend = 0.046). A significant association was found with fruit and juices intake (1.37; 1.02, 1.84; P for trend = 0.04)”
What are mitochondrial arteries? Never heard of such a thing.
I have RRMS too, but unfortunately, I am not doing as well as you. My neurologist is retiring (due to Obamacare) and I am starting to go to a prestigious MS clinic. They are trying to push me into taking a new medication, but I don’t want it. I am on Copaxone presently.
I would love to try something non pharmaceutical. If you don’t mind telling me, exactly what specific dietary plan you eat and exactly what vitamins.
Congratulations on being better! Lisa
I note that your doctor is retiring because of the Afordable Health Care Act. I wish him a happy retirement. But I think we should all recognize that the American Medical Association supports the Act as well as the health insurance industry. The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems not only supports the Act but has filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief supporting it in the Supreme Court case.
Your doctor may have drunk a little too much tea, if you follow me…
I was diagnosed with MS in December, 2000. I immediately went to see Dr. Atkins at his clinic in NY. He put me on a low carb diet (helped my brain function in 2 days) and through him I contacted the Brewer Science Library. They no longer publish a newsletter, but last I knew had a “book” of former articles on MS regarding studies. Some very interesting study results about the Blood Brain Barrier and other topics.
I learned about Naltexone from their articles. I printed material from the http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org website and my doctor prescribed low dose naltexone in approximately 2004. There is no doubt I had a mild case of MS, but I have had only one exacerbation (mild) since I began taking it. I’m not sure it can be taken with any of the MS drugs. My doctor has prescribed it for other patients with MS and has had some very positive results.
It’s because of her viral video that we invited Terry to speak at #AHS12 (and she accepted our invitation). Have you read The Immortality Edge? It’s a pretty good read, with generally good advice on keeping your telomeres as long as possible for as long as possible, though some of the ideas and advice are spotty.
Read The Immortality Edge when it first came out a few years ago. I, too, thought it was a pretty good read but with spotty advice here and there.
I’m looking forward to your posts on mitochondria! Please don’t get sidetracked. 🙂
What an excellent synopsis and easy-to-follow eating guideline. I’ve been following a diet close to this for about 15 years (minus the land animals) and noticed the benefits from day one.
It is a challenge to eat the daily volume of fresh fruit and vegetables that she recommends, so I supplement with an organic green powder that contains dried forms of every plant food she mentioned. That helps a lot, too.
I get lazy probably 20% of the time, and don’t come close to these amounts. During those occurrences, the effects are quickly noticeable in minor food allergy reactions and reduced mental clarity.
One final point. Organic, non-gmo is an important factor. There is plenty of published evidence about the harmful long-term effects of pesticide & herbicide ingestion (which, in the case of gmo, is bound directly in the plant’s genetics). Eating non-organic fruits and vegetables in these large amounts substantially increases that exposure.
Thanks for sharing this.
Paul – I think the issue with Dr Wahl’s healing has to do with nutritional aspects of organic vegetables that are only now emerging. It’s all in the realm of the ‘secondary plant metabolytes.” These are protective substances that plants manufacture to protect themselves from sunlight, insects, fungal attacks, and so on. Interestingly enough, they are almost non existant in conventionally raised crops. This is because there are a whole slug of trace mineral cofactors that are necessary for plants to create these items. Trace Minerals are pretty well depleted in the soils of contentional agriculture. They are actually enhanced in soils of biodynamic and other eco ag farming methods and, of course, on some organic farms. I thnk that in conventional organic food these secondary elements are in such small amounts that you have to eat lots of pounds of vegetables to get the amt of these items you need for healing. I checked with the Ann Wigmore people. They are the ones who bought WHEATGRASS onto the nutrition scene. The Ann Wigmore people say that your dried grasses drink powder is fine but you have to take it for about a year to get the benefit you’d get from just a couple of weeks of daily fresh wheatgrass intake. They also said that 2oz of fresh wheatgrass (ie cut and juiced in your own kitchen) has the nutritional benefit of at least 2 pounds of organic produce (they say that move of a vegetables form is non-nutrieitous starches, etc and all the good stuff comes out in the grass ‘sap.’) I also interviewed WAPF board member Dr Tom Cowan on this topic last week. Tom agreed with what I see as the take home info with Dr Wahl’s experience: Eat Meat for Nutrition but eat a lof of fresh organic vegetables as Medicine. Dr Cowan, a strong supporter of the WAPF traditional diet philosophy said ‘Eat LOTS of vegetables.’
I really admire what Dr. Wahls has done, but agree that the diet could be even better. In a review of Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Chris Masterjohn cited studies showing that many nutrients are better absorbed from animal sources than plants. And as much as I love vegetables, chomping down nine cups a day would be a challenge.
I am so looking forward to your improvements on Dr. Wahls’ diet.
I had seen the first video but I wanted to bash that stupid lady in the second one!! Oh my goodness. I’d better get off my paleo diet real fast as it is obviously killing me. Is that why my HbA1c has gone from prediabetic to 5.3%? Better get some more of that good healthy wheat into me.
The stupidity and ignorance of this is beyond belief and people fall for it all the time.
That video waas certainly inspiring.
Would juicing be a valid way to get the sorts of vegetable quantities she recommends? What about the greens powders?
As someone with autoimmune hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I worry about the daily addition of goiterogens like broccoli and cauliflower. I also have been told to avoid iodine since sometimes it will cause hashi’s to flare. I’d like to think my condition could improve with the right nutrients, but it is so hard to even evaluate my current medication doses for efficacy and side effects, let alone risking more side effects with a radically changed diet. All food intolerances I have are plant based; I find meat to be much less trouble. Animals have legs to run away for protection, but plants come up with chemical protection strategies. Scary!
Check out Sarah Wilson of New Zealand. She has effectively beaten her Hashimoto’s into submission.
Look at posts on thyroid issues on the blogs of both Paul Jaminet (perfecthealth.com) and Chris Kresser (chriskresser.com). They talk about iodine being both safe & helpful for hypothyroid–even with Hashimoto’s–as long as you are not selenium deficient.
I too have Hashimotos. Iodine caused me to have a big flare – I took too much too fast. I agree – you need to be very careful and have other nutrients in place before taking iodine. I still take just a little in my mutlivite and I’m fine.
Check out Dr Karrazians Thyroid book. very useful.
I follow an auto-immune paleo diet – and my thyroid is the best it’s been.
Re goitrogens – they are reduced if you cook those foods. I do.
I’ve also been adding in lots of vegetables. I feel better, I sleep better.
I think we also need to be aware that adding vegetables did contribute to Dr Wahls success – there are also other factors, I’ve outlined them here:
Juicing ?? why would you purposely eliminate the fibers in your veggies ?
vegetables are meant to be eaten whole as is everything else in nature
I have a friend with MS who has been avoiding fat and animal products for the past decade and a half. I’ve always told her that her diet didn’t seem to make any sense, her disease involves damage to the protective coating around nerve cells (the myelin sheath), how could it improve things if you deprive your body of the building blocks that protective coating?
Anyway, when Dr. Wahl’s video came out, I forwarded to my friend. I got no response. Sigh.
I have a good friend with MS. When I put her on a low-carb diet and excercise program, she immediately found relief from her RA and various related problems. At her annual checkup, her doctor said all of her labs were amazing and, whatever she was doing, keep on doing it. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding…or the meat & fat, as the case may be 😉
That’s because the brain is 60 to 70 percent fat, low fat diets cause derangement of the brain’s chemistry & neural structures. These people literally can’t think straight, at the very least it’s safe to say that without the essential fatty acids their brains are not operating optimally.
Dr. Eades: Have you been reading Hyperlipid recently? Pretty interesting stuff on why mitochondrial dysfunction might be at the core of the metabolic syndrome (and why low-carb works as well as it does to at least mitigate the damage).
Yep, I always read Peter’s stuff.
Dr Whals’ results speak volumes and she is an inspiration! I’d seen it before but well worth a re-view.
The other video — head bang on desk! :-0
I’d also struggle with that volume of vegetables and wonder how my ice age ancestors in Europe would have sustained such a diet? I am of the opinion that eating higher on the food chain provides me with the benefit of what my “food” has eaten… which is why the meat and organs I eat comes primarily from locally sourced, grass-fed and pasture-raised animals.
For example try a search on Porterhouse Steak at the USDA’s Nutritional database and you may be surprised at the list of vitamins and minerals… http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4105 (you might also notice that there is more Monounsaturated Fat that Saturated)
I am convinced that such meat sources are more nutritionally valuable to me than store-bought grain/feedlot raised meat — as well as being better for the local economy and the global environment. It may cost more per lb but I find there is less waste and I am satisfied with smaller portions… remembering that we don’t just eat to provide our bodies with calories/energy — IOW I think one can remain “hungry” even in the midst of apparent plenty.
I wonder if vegetables grown in “more natural” top-soil is similarly more nutritionally dense and perhaps less volume is needed as a result?
sorry to be off topic…but did you say we could get the protexid again by now?
I have a friend traveling to USA next week and I wanted it shipped to her address in Florida, to bring back to Canada for me!
It’s not available yet, but should be soon. Not in time for your friend traveling to Fla to pick up, though.
Thanks very much Doc for replying so promptly! -:)
There is a common misperception that non-farming peoples didn’t eat many vegies. I do a fair bit of “wild gathering” myself, and talked with someone who studied the native foods of the peoples that lived in the Pacific Northwest. Also to some native Alaskans They ate a lot of vegies! Wild greens are common everywhere humans live, and if you can’t get the greens, you have tons (literally!) of seaweed, which is a great vegetable. Coprolite and tooth evidence shows early humans eating a huge variety of plants, some 200 different species in one area. Plus they were usually nomadic, adding even more variety.
Fish and shellfish and small game (birds, lizards, rodents, insects) were probably more common foods than ruminant animals though. I think the protein in fish and eggs is healthier for humans.
Wild vegies are higher in all kinds of nutrients, and also somewhat stronger tasting, and often smaller than farmed vegies. Wild fruits are sometimes smaller away from the tropics, but not necessarily less sweet (Paw Paws and Persimmons and figs are old, and some of the sweetest fruits ever). There are loads of edible, starchy roots, and the natives around here had “squaw root” and gathered loads of arrowroot from lakes. Taro and wild yams are native to much of the world too.
Anyway, pick up a good book about wild foraging and you’ll be able to get your 3 cups of greens a day, probably from your back yard.
That Medscape/USNews and World report on the best diets is ludicrous. DASH and Biggest loser diets are best for diabetics? Yeah, if they want to keep taking increasing amounts of medications and insulin for the rest of their lives! And the criteria the 22 “experts” used to rank the diets was, of course, how little fat, especially sat fat, and sodium they contained. Totally bogus. Even Harvard Nutrition now recognizes that low fat is not good. They are still hung up on sat fat, but at least they now admit it is not a good idea to eat low fat as that ups the carbs, which they acknowledge is not a good idea.
Great post, Dr. Eades, and I look forward to more posts on mitochondria. My seminar paper in Grad school (MS Biochem) was on how mitochondria function, but very little was known at the time (I won’t tell you how many years ago that was!) about what happens when they malfunction/are damaged.
When I took my first biochem course, the professor mentioned Peter Mitchell’s chemiosmotic hypothesis as if it were a joke. That’s how long it’s been since I took biochem.
Thanks for this post. As a person suffering from neurological conditions and as someone whose mitochondria are most definitely out of whack, I look forward to reading your further thoughts on the subject. Paleo helps me a hell of a lot, but I still suffer from fatigue even if I make sure to get enough animal protein and saturated fats. The only things that provide noticeable additional help are acetyl-l-carnitine and q10, which certainly seem to indicate there’s something funky going on with my mitochondria. I’m also fascinated by the connection between obesity/diabetes, chronic fatigue and autism, which all seem to be linked to mitochondrial dysfunction (so the huffing and puffing overweight nerd kid at school isn’t just a stereotype). Here’s a link to an article, with a further link to the study about autistic kids’ mitochondria only being 1/3 as efficient as other kids’: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130161521.htm
You’ve probably read this paper “Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction” by Myhill/Booth/McLaren-Howard, but I’ll attach the link nevertheless just in case it turns out to be useful to someone. Hope it works.
Thanks for the paper. I hadn’t read it.
Thanks for the Myhill link. I can really use the info.
Interesting glutathione depletion/chronic fatigue info discussed on recent Robb Wolf podcast, with Chris Kresser. Starts on page 10 of the transcript.
Interesting. When my brother was a vegan, he thought he might have chronic fatigue syndrome. Of course, when he went low-carb/high fat and resumed meat consumption, the symptoms he believed might be chronic fatigue vanished.
How old is she? She looks very unhealthy.
She is eating too many fruits and vegetables. The sugar is aging her. I think she would be just as healthy eating 4 cups of fruits and vegetables instead of nine, and including some saturated fat like coconut oil in her diet.
Autoimmune diseases are on the increase and I wonder if the inflammation caused by too much carbohydrates and omega-6 oils like soy and corn are responsible (along with a genetic predisposition to those diseases).
Considering that she has be diagnosed with an incurable progressive neuordegenerative disorder that had her wheel-chair bound in 2008.. I’d say she looks pretty dang good!
I’d say how she looks is an improvement over advanced MS, though, which is what she’s going by. She’s mobile, where before she wasn’t, and she’s able to function where once she wasn’t, and where people with MS are normally expected to experience disease progression. That’s definitely a positive.
That said, she could probably benefit from adding in sources of grazed meat.
I did not ask about her age to make fun of her. It is good that she looks and feels better than she did four years ago. But unless she adds back meat and saturated fat, and removes the soy, her health may start to decline again.
My sister has MS and when she was diagnosed, she stopped eating red meat, cream and eggs, and removed all the visible fat and skin from poultry. She also stopped eating all junk food. She ate a diet similar to Dr Wahl’s. Her MS symptoms went away and for a while she thought a mostly vegetarian diet was the answer. But her physical appearance aged greatly in a short time, she started to gain weight around the middle and her blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol increased. Also she did not have a lot of energy although she did not need a wheelchair anymore.
I convinced her to cut way back on the fruit and also the vegetables and to add coconut oil, meat, eggs, avocado and fatty poultry back to her diet. She is feeling and looking much better than she did when she was following a diet similar to Dr Wahls and her cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar are low again. Also, the belly fat is gone.
I think there is a honeymoon period with these types of diets. Eliminating junk food–which has lots of sugar, fructose, processed carbs and unhealthy omega-6 or hydrogenated fats–leads people to believe that the good results are from the overdose of fruit and vegetables.
Again – you are making assumptions about Dr Wahls diet. She has an omnivourous diet – not a vegan diet.
She cannot eat eggs or dairy as she is intolerant to them. (They are not recommended on an auto-immune diet anyway)
Besides vegetables she eats fish and seafood, and pastured organic meat, also essential fats and some nuts.
I am not making any assumptions about her diet. I never said that she was a vegan or a vegetarian.
But nine cups of fruits and vegetables per day is a lot of carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and other sorts of problems, even with the addition of fats and meat.
9 cups of non starch veggies has hardly any carbohydrates. 4 cups broccoli has barely 10 grams usable / net carbs.
9 cups of non starch vegetables has around 30 grams carbs.
My gut reaction was that 9 cups was a lot at first, but when you put it that way, I think you’re right.
Yesterday I ate ~1 cup mixed fruit (strawberries, raspberries, melon, grapes, kiwi), 1.5-2 cups roasted brussel sprouts, and ~2 cups salad (mixed baby greens with tomato/cucumber/bell pepper/onion/avocado). I’d imagine I can easily eat ~5-6 cups/day. To get to 9 would mean making a special effort to always eat fruit and veggies for breakfast (probably sauteed veggies), which I usually do to some extent, but not always, and to pound back the sauteed spinach/kale for dinner (I only eat two meals/day).
Definitely doable, but less manageable than 4-6 cups. I agree carb load is almost irrelevant.
Dr Wahl has other videos on youtube.
In one of her videos, she makes a smoothie with beets, apples and orange juice, all of which are high in sugar. She calls it a detoxifying smoothie.
Maybe she is fortunate enough to be able to handle that much sugar, but I don’t think her diet is healthy for long-term.
what do you consider high ?? do you think before typing?
in that video she makes a smoothie with 1 small beet 1 apple and about 2 cups of oj that is roughly 55g of carbs and about 300 calories..
and that alone is not a big deal … now consider that she fills about 5
6 oz glasses with that mixture…. so now you have 11g of carbs per glass
that is nothing and surely not going to get you fat LOL
Lets assume that the person makes the smoothie according to her video–including the coconut milk–and drank only one of the 5 servings.
Each glass of smoothie would contain less than: 1/5 of a small beet, 1/5 of a small apple and about 3.2 ounces of orange juice. What is so nutritious and detoxifying about that?
If the person ingests all five serving over the course of a day, then the sugar content is quite high as one glass of orange juice contains 26 grams of sugar and one small apple contains 16 grams of sugar. Not counting the sugar from the beets and the coconut milk, that is 68 grams of sugar.
Do you really think that a person making her smoothie at home will use only 1/5 of a beet, 1/5 of an apple and 3.2 ounces of orange juice? I don’t think so.
I know several people with relapsing-remitting MS. It is not unusual for symptoms to disappear even with no treatment. In fact, I have a friend who was in a wheelchair for a year and is now walking just fine. No one can tell that she has MS. She did not take medication or make major changes to her diet.
If you watch Dr Wahls longer video, she did experience improvement in her MS symptoms from using only nutritional supplements. In fact, she said that when she stopped her supplements, she felt much worse than without them.
If you were right Dr Wahls would be obese and she’s definitely not
her lifestyle and total daily calorie intake is probably just right so she can eat that amount of sugar without troubles
I enjoyed this posting, especially the scientific/physiologic info in Dr. Wahl’s video. I like this format, using videos, especially when you superimpose your commentary. But I’m happy to read a full text posting.
Well, this one generated alot of response with some controversy. I guess that’s fine. People should not get personal though, as Luca did. Of course it’s gratifying that Dr. Wahl has improved so much. Is it really all those vegetables?
You go girl! Isn’t this why we’re all here? Because of the low carb nutritional approach which doesn’t ELIMINATE fruits and vegetables, but doesn’t emphasize them. Any regular reader of this blog, and consequently of most of the literature related to low carb eating, understands the benefit of some of the fruits and vegetables, especially berries,avocado, cabbage, etc. in moderation. But 9 cups is a little extreme. The Eskimos subsisted on a diet almost completely devoid of fruits and vegetables, except for very small amounts for a few weeks each year. Their main diet was high fat/high protein, in one of the most extreme and rigorous climate zones on earth. They’ve been quite successful.
I’ve read Dr Wahls book and watched further videos outlining her nutritional approach.
One thing she said was every few months she had a checkup with her doctor, who remarked that she looked younger each visit. She eats non starch vegetables and small amounts of fruit, she does NOT eat a diet high in sugar. Dr Wahls stresses in her book that high blood sugar and insulin much be avoided, because they increase inflammation.
I am slightly annoyed that you made these statements with no research.
Are you kidding me? She got herself up out of a wheelchair and you don’t think she looks good enough? Seriously. -.-
What’s interesting for me about MtDNA is that we can figure out how far homo sapien go back which is about 200,000 years which is a flash in the pan compared to others.I have my serious doubts about human evolution and the progression of civilizations. I had read Chris Dunn’s books about Egypt and tools used to create them. Google Ramses granite statues and what tools are needed to do the same job these days. Remember Plato’s story about Atlantis civilization? I am beginning to think they used to exist 10,000-12,000 years ago. Ask yourself… why was that Giza pyramid built with such precise that today’s builders do not match and for what purpose? Dr. Robert Schoch’s finding of the age of Sphinx to be at least 10,000 years old! Remember the story of Noah’s flooding? Could it be the reason why Atlantis civilization ended? Keep it in mind that the sea level was 300-400 feet lower than what it is today. It is making me question some things about “Paleo” diet. What if they already knew that that’s what we’re supposed to eat? So much for college education…
I know from your tweets that you have had a complicated relationship with the Kardashians. But can you please do a post on “Kardashian crackpottery”? I have never heard of that diet and am wondering if going on paleo will make my butt look big.
why the excusion of dairy (in general)? – clean, grass fed raw milk, and raw grass feed cheese is an excellent source of second hand greens, I would think). There is too much evidence supporting the use of dairy products among well, nourished, healthy peoples throughout the world.
There is a lot of evidence of the damage that the casein portion of dairy can do to people. Too much evidence, that it causes health issues, to ignore.
I am a chemist (ocean sediments/oceanography/water chemistry) and I would like to learn more about these mitochondrial processes, do you have a more detailed list of citations that will help me understand this stuff better? Thanks!
I have hundreds of papers, but no list of citations put together. The book mentioned in the post would be a good place to start.
Have you heard of the hook worm cure for MS and other autoimmune diseases? All natural and very effective. I’d do it in a minute if I had MS! I’ll try to put up a post about it today if I have time. http://www.carbwars.blogspot.com.
I’d like to see more on the tweaks, too.
I just started reading Dr. Wahls’s book. She says she thinks electrical stimulation of her muscles was also important in her recovery. I’m having mobility problems, so that’s something to look into.
My doc doesn’t have a firm diagnosis for me yet. When I told him about the Wahls website, he checked it out on the spot and encouraged me to try the diet. He recommended using a Vitamix rather than an ordinary juicer to get maximum nutrition from fruits and vegetables, and now I see that Wahls mentions the Vitamix early on in her book.
The recent book Naked Calories goes into appalling detail about the depletion of micronutrients in the modern food supply.
Dear Dr. Eades,
Thank you for the post and for all of your efforts.
I am writing to request your help. I just returned from my nephew’s 3rd birthday. He is dying from Leigh’s disease and has already lived 2 years longer than expected. According to him mainstream docs, he is beginning his decline after the disease struck at age 4 months and left him horribly changed. My question is, do you think a diet like this can possibly help him, and if so, is it possible that he could have some semblance of a normal life?
I know that is a ridiculously difficult question, but I want your opinion regarding chances for improvement v. dragging out an already painful life. I don’t want to give my sister hope if there truly is none.
If there is hope, would you or someone you know be willing to consult with her? My nephew was briefly a patient of Dr. Mark Hyman’s – I know, he doesn’t get it all, but he is better than most, and that was the best I could do thanks to her ex-husband. Now, however, she is in a position to really try some new things if there is hope.
My sister is an amazing woman and if there is a way to turn this heartbreaking situation around, I would be thrilled for her to have that chance.
She has a solid case history written up that she can share in order to give more solid feedback if you think there is a chance to help.
With respect and gratefulness,
A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is the recommended diet for Leigh’s disease. Unfortunately, this is a genetic disorder, and all the best diet can do is to prolong the inevitable. But prolonging the inevitable can buy time for a cure and make the time left more pleasurable. Wish I had better news.
Very interesting video and reinforces so much of what I’ve been learning over the past couple of years. While I don’t have the drastic health issues that she has, since I’ve switched to a primal/paleo style of diet, my health has improved dramatically on many levels.
I find it disappointing in her video though when she refers to the pile of junk food eaten by that family using words like “delicious”, “tasty”, “convenient”, etc. Once you change the way you eat and stop eating that junk, you realize that it’s not delicious or tasty. It’s awful! It tastes like chemicals and processed garbage. When you learn to cook healthy meats and veggies in simple ways, it can be incredibly delicious, and convenient too! I can whip up a fantastic stir fry or delicious salad in just a few minutes with the right ingredients on-hand. We need to change our context for what’s delicious, tasty, and convenient. It doesn’t have to come out of a box. It does require you to change your tastebuds and learn how to cook if you don’t know how. It’s not hard. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make fantastic and healthy food at home.
The woman in the second video sounded like a frog every time she said “diet”. I couldn’t take her seriously because I was so focused on how her voice changed at the end of each sentence. 🙂
I’m curious, did she also continue her drug regimen while making this recovery?
Ahhhh….. the ‘experts’…. You would think that so many letters after a name would make some of these people smarter.
When I was much younger it was very difficult and time-consuming to research most medical topics. And the journals and books generally assumed at least a basic knowledge of biology, anatomy and nutrition, which I then lacked. But today, with information literally at the fingertips, it’s inexcusable for people to remain ignorant on almost any topic. I have a son in med school (UA-LR), and I can now converse with him intelligently on myriad medical topics. Like virtually all med schools, his teaches almost nothing about nutrition, and what is taught is laughable when it comes to fats. I’ve learned far more from this blog and a few others than he knows, and he’s finishing his second year. Sad indeed, and not one of the dozens of physicians I’ve seen over the years had the first clue about how damaging wheat and sugar are to humans.
Again, thanks for this blog, and your interest in it despite a killing schedule. It’s deeply appreciated by many.
I read your newsletters and blog as often as I can. I am powerfully touched by Dr. Wahl’s life testimony to better nutrition for a much better life!
One thing, however, and it’s a general comment on your blog and the whole better nutrition thing: if a poor diet with all its consequences is typical of more affluent societies, it seems a healthy (or healthier) diet is a privilege and luxury of more affluent societies, in particular, our own. I am poor, and while I’m not proud I’m also not ashamed to say so. At present I live on monthly permanent disability checks from Social Security: I have Bipolar Disorder conjunct with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. I am a writer and classical musician by profession, but both of these, writing and music any longer, are severely hampered by the BP/AADD I’ve evidently had all my life. I am working with more experienced recoverers from both these disorders but progress is slow since I must repeat by rote any as yet unlearned activity dozens to hundreds of times to execute reliably. Even then I am able to work and complete tasks at least 50-100% slower than the average person of my intelligence and experience.
So here’s my dilemma and my commitment: I cannot afford now nor will be able to afford in the near future at least anything close to the diet that Dr. Wahl presents and recommends. I am determined to get healthier, I will get healthier, but what I need to research and come up with is a diet rich in protein, saturated fat, fruits and vegetables, that I can afford on my present income.
Counterintuitively, perhaps, I’ve recommitted myself to practice and learn to freestyle wrestle with a local wrestling club. At age 63 it may seem a little nuts to be doing so, but what the hey why not if I can do anything I want, as I believe I can. But I need all the help I can get, certainly, when my income barely provides for rent, food, utilities, etc. I’m not asking for miracles—if miracles will come they will come and I count on that, believe me! The next miracle I would like to fall into is a better diet. Mine is not bad, though some of my sources of protein, like whole milk, cheese in particular, and eggs, have their downside for a guy with ibs. Anyway, enough complaining, do you have any thoughts that might point me in a direction that will bring progress if not perfection?
Thanks a bunch, I mean thanks from the bottom of my heart for your research and information dissemination as well as your positively feisty character. As a wrestler in training its good to stay connected with feisty determined people. Thanks for all your help to date!
If don’t have enough money but want to get more nutrition, look at organ meats without pre-jugement. It is affordable even in a healthy food store, but often you will have to pre-order . I guess, you may grow grass-wheat on your window.
Thanks for what presumably is your reply to me. Having commented yesterday, ideas have been popping up toward lifting the cost burden on me. 1) I’ve decided to find a local community garden where I can grow my own vegetables and fruits, esp berries in season. 2) I am already searching the internet for local sales on vegetables meats and fish. Farmers’ Markets in Los Angeles tend to be on the expensive side, but on an occasional trip to San Bernardino valley &/or the Inland Empire I can stock up on fruits and vegetables I cannot grow. (Also, some local farmers markets are more inexpensive, or, rather less expensive, and may be availed of from time to time. I already obtain high quality vitamins and minerals, fish oil, etc., sold under the Kirkland label. Presently I am monthly auto-shipment of OmegaBrite, which is among the better fish oil caps but is, though not expensive, not inexpensive either.
Now, to the matter of the heaping amounts of vegetables I am sorry but I cannot consume anywhere near the quantity without having excessive amounts of gas and aggravation of my irritable bowel condition. I must consume enough fiber to maintain regular flow of waste, but much more would be counterproductive. Wheat grass does sound intriguing but I will have to save a long time to afford a good juicer.
So even if I can’t have the best of worlds, I can make significant improvements in my diet. My local Trader Joes already sells “organic” grass fed beef that is not too pricey, and they’re an excellent source of high quality frozen veggies and berries (oh, do I love my nightly dessert of frozen berries with or without Stevia). And I drink cocoa without milk, sometimes sweetened, sometimes not. Trader Joe’s is a g-dsend and it’s only a block and half’s walk away! Just thought I’d share to hopefully encourage other low/fixed income folks to post in these threads ways of saving money while eating healthily. Thanks for the opportunity, Dr. Eades. I love your work and your dedication to be of assistance to us who want to enjoy a healthier life! (:
Mr. Gossard, after reading your post I’m reminded of the work of Elaine Gottshall, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” She recommends a diet she calls the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. As near as I can tell she has a similar approach to Protein Power, slightly more limited. It is basically specifically designed to deal with a bacterial imbalance in the gut. Her diet has been very helpful for many people with IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as some forms of Autism. It can be a challenge to follow but after having my husband on it for 6 months he was free from all symptoms of what we thought was a gluten sensitivity.
As for sourcing food, have you looked into buying a share in a local farm? Not sure if it is available where you are but here in WA you can buy a share at a set amount and get a set amount of the produce or meat. If nothing else it would help you to budget if you knew exactly how much you’d be paying each month.
Mr. Gossard, just be aware that many of the supposed benefits of grass fed beef are highly controversial; many bloggers claim there is “one-third more Omega 3!” in grass fed beef, but the amount is so miniscule as to be unimportant. There is a difference, it just doesn’t matter.
I’m not arguing against hunting your own meat, or buying only grass-fed, grass-finished beef, or sucking down raw chicken livers. But the cost barrier of what I’ll call “purist paleo” is keeping far too many people from enjoying the benefits of reducing carbs.
Find a copy of the Drs. Eades’ Protein Power Life Plan or the original Protein Power (your library might have a copy). If you follow either of those books, you will improve your diet considerably.
Your IBS may be related to insensitivity to wheat (not full blown gluten insensitivity that is commonly tested), and following Mary Dan and Mike Eades’ proven diets will help that. (My sister and my daughter eliminated IBS symptoms by cutting carbs and all wheat products).
It won’t cost more. Our food bill dropped quite a bit when I went on the Protein Power diet.
Using ground beef from the supermarket, supermarket eggs, bacon (even with nitrates), etc. is better than eating a diet high in carbs. The purists will scream, but you will be getting 99% of the benefit with those changes. The exotic arguments are all about the other 1% of benefits you may get from “organic” vegetables, grass fed beef, etc.
Also, if Ventura County is closer than Orange County for you, the Farmer’s Markets here are less expensive than the supermarkets.
Frank, the difference does matter, i.e. supermarket meats -vs- grass fed (if you are able, financially, to make a choice). I know not whether your 1% benefit comment is accurate or not, but I do know that feed lot animals live a miserable existence. I cannot (knowingly) eat an animal that has been treated in such a way, should I be able to purchase responsibly raised food, by cutting out other “less important” purchases. I read a blog (cannot remember where (ufortunately), That the average American is willing to spend 30% of their income on their car and only 10% on their food. What’s wrong with this picture? I know of many who spend $75-$100 per month on their hair and wouldn’t consider buying ground beef from anywhere but the cheapest possible source!!
How we eat is not only a financial dilemma, I think, but a moral one, as well. : – (
“Maximize nutrients while minimizing toxic intakes” has been the standard axiom behind most effective healing diets. For that reason, you’re being dollar foolish if you don’t restrict your vegetable intake to organically grown vegetables. Corporate funded or corporate influenced USDA testing aside, organically grown vegetables are more nutrient dense and certainly more microbionoically diverse, than conventional produce. If you strike up a ‘deal’ with a local CSA farmer, there’s no reason, really, why you’d be paying more for real, fresh, diverse, local organic produce.
Our family revamped our diet, and our grocery bill went WAY down. It is absolutely a learning curve, but oddly enough, Dr. Wahl’s diet is pretty similar to how my poor-folks ancestors ate. In those days, poor folk ate lots of plants (cabbage and collards, mainly) and fish (you could catch them!) and goat cheese (goats eat weeds). Rich folks got wheat bread, pastries, and meat every day.
Anyway, if you have a yard or a small balcony, you can grow greens easily using the subirrigation buckets you’ll find on YouTube (all you need are some old Rubbermaid containers). Plants like collard trees will keep going year after year, and kale grows all year long. Lettuce is super-easy. You can also learn to forage … there are loads of edible greens even in cities. We used to get hundreds of pounds of fruit from trees in yards … people didn’t spray the trees with insecticide, so they were organic by default, but they didn’t want to pick the fruit, so we gathered it for them.
For grass-fed meat, the thing to do is buy the cow directly from the farmer. Meat is WAY cheaper that way, and young animals still on pasture are actually cheaper than grain-fed. There is some investment in getting a freezer, but a chest freezer makes a good table in an apartment (just cover it with a cloth, but not the vent). Chickens we keep, and you can keep them in many cities these days, and they are great for garbage disposal. Fish I buy at an Asian market, and they are way cheaper there and higher quality.
Anyway, even of you buy the high quality food, greens and fish and vegies are just a whole lot cheaper than processed foods. I can buy a nice bag of young bok choy for $2, less than a latte!
Now that was friggin’ scary. I am going to get back into fermenting vegetables. That much cruciferous veg would kill my already limping thyroid. I don’t think I could do that much plant matter. And I’m not giving up pastured dairy.
I have a FB friend who’s son is suffering from Transverse Myelitis which is practically the same thing as MS. I told him about Terry Wahls and this website. I hope he checks it out.
My question: How can so many people get away with eating so poorly? I mean why doesn’t everyone contract MS eating the SAD? You see some people on TV who are 100 years old and yet they, ostensibly, did nothing special with their diet. Why are some people so “unlucky”?
one concept I read on this subject, Stephen, that made so much sense to me was “years from the farm”. The idea being the closer you were to being the offspring of some one raised on a farm (of course eating natural meats and veggies, raised in an organic environment and eating what natured intended) might somehow protect you from a really bad diet one generation down the road. While I’m certain this is not true of all, it does seem to apply to many, including me. Because of my age, I’m certain I didn’t subsist on all the horrid ingredients in our food now, however, I was a Wonder Bread Kid, eating mostly canned foods and lots of sugar (twinkies, ding dongs, donuts, etc. on a very regular basis). I did not change my diet radically until well into my 50’s – and remain relatively healthy at 64. My Mother was “farm raised”. I’d sure like to read the thoughts of others on this subject?
You have to remember that people who are now 100 years old didn’t always eat the SAD diet. In fact you have to be about my age (35) to have been immersed in the Standard American Diet for all your life. I would venture to add that early exposure to correct eating set the metabolic bar for those people so that even as the HFCS and other nasties came on the scene back in the what, 70’s(?) they were already on the path to decent health. As our diets consist of more and more processed and HFCS saturated foods the babies in the wombs are exposed even, there’s no escaping it all, so I imagine these “lucky” people will be fewer in number as time goes on. I wonder what rates of diabetes, et al will be when I get to my say 90’s?
In the last 24 hours, at every turn, I’m seeing discussions about mitochondria and energy. It might be the phenomenon where you learn about something then see it everywhere, but I’m wondering if you’ve heard of “grounding” – that is, getting some skin to earth time in order to neutralize positive ions that build up in the body and damage mitochondria.
I have, I have – referred to as “earthing? I’m not sure what I think on that subject. I would hope that – that energy would be strong enough to get through our foot gear! But I guess if the impact was great enough and for a short period of time daily, it might not be a bad experiment! What I haven’t read on this subject is how would you measure those results? Over-all health?
There are “gadgets” (for lack of another word) sold to create (or supposedly) the earthing phenomenom. I believe you ground your bed somehow, and recall it to be an expensive proposition : – )
Mushrooms – low carb, medium carb, high carb?
Yup, definitely looking forward to a modified version of this diet (one that adds more protein/fat). I personally can’t handle all those veggies. I understand where’s she coming from, but to repeat what others have said already, it’s surprising how many nutrients are found in meats. I used to be a vegetarian, juiced greens, etc., and wouldn’t you know it, I ended up vitamin deficient. Go figure!
Great article. It is amazing really, all that we need in terms of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc., can be found in the food we were meant to eat. Fancy that…
My questions is not really related to this topic, but I have looked through your other blogs and I don’t believe you have discussed it before, so here goes.
I have been reading some of your Intermittent Fasting blogs and was wondering; If there are only two states, fasted and fed, why do we feel hungry even when we are technically still in the fed state? (I typically feel hungry within 3 hours of eating a “normal” sized meal. Just curious what the biochemical or psychological processes are that drive the feeling of hunger.
As I have been incorporating a low carb diet in my life over the previous months and years, I have struggled to learn more about why it works. The info is usually very dry so I don’t get it done in a rapid manner. One thing I am astounded to see over and over again is how the “ancients” knew so much more about diet than we do now. That is bass ackwards. The ancients ate what they hunted and gathered. Our biology developed over thousands (millions?) of years by adapting to the food that was available. That has been the biggest push for the paleo diet. Eat what your body was designed to eat. Don’t eat stuff your ancient ancestors didn’t have access to. It is not rocket surgery.
Great information, Dr. Eades.
Dr. Eades, I love you for your contributions. May God reward you.
P.S. It’s a lot easier to drink those raw vegetables. And they’re very easily digested.
I’ve received a lot of traffic to my blog from my comment about the hookworm cure for MS. I said I’d try to get the post about it up yesterday, but I just now got it up. It is here:
Sorry for the delay.
Textbook ignorance and reality alienated doctors.
Mitochondria are not sausage/bean-like organelles.
You have to realize that when your are looking at an EM-image/microphotograph you are only seeing a cross-section plane. If you would add up consecutive EM-sections images of the cell you will see a highly intricate branched network of continuous mitochondrium.
? are you thinking of the endoplasmic reticulum? Mitochondria are indeed sausage shaped.
I was referring to the mitochondrium; if I had intended the ER, I would written the Endoplasmic reticulum.
Dr Eades was echoing the textbook morphology of the mitochondrum – which simply is wrong since it is based on the view from a single section.
Now, the mitochondrium is a living organelle, it fuses and divides, thus at time points you do find ‘susage-like’ morphology of some of the mitochondria. But that’s beyond the point since Dr. Eades understanding of the mitochondrial dynamics don’t considerate this phenomenon.
Regarding that second, shorter video: That was the longest 2 minutes of my life.
Regarding the 9 cups of vegetables: I certainly can’t eat that much. Most days I’m lucky to eat 1 cup. I usually eat one to two and a half meals a day. I feel great, though.
Regarding good food being a privilege of the rich:
See http://karendecoster.com/category/real-food-costs-too-much-myth. It does not have to cost more to eat good food and very often it will cost much less.
I eat many, many cups of veggies a day. How? I make juices in the blender. If you don’t already have a high quality blender, it is so worth it to get one (Vitamix and Blendtec are the top two blenders on the market). Since I started doing this a couple of months ago, I am eating way more veggies, less grains carbs, and feel way better. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years, but find that I still eat a lot of grains because they fill me. I had recently remarked to my husband how full I feel after blender the veggies whereas if I just eat them as a huge salad, I don’t feel full at all. There are some great recipes online to start out. Which is what I did. I found recipes for veggies that I like and then I tweaked them and added more stuff, especially greens.
I believe Dr. Wahls’ success and remission has more to do with what she IS NOT eating than what she is eating. I had this same conversation with someone who put his Leukemia into remission after going on a raw vegetarian diet. He believes the Vegetarian Diet is what cured him, but he also wasn’t eating bread, pasta and pastry’s or drinking soda by the gallons anymore.
Yup, this simple n=1 experiment should stand on it’s own as proof of how toxic the industrially processed “foods” really are, but it’s so simple that most people can’t see the forest for the trees. You sir, along with Dr Eads, are a very clear thinker.
“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”– Nicola Tesla
i agree with your about Dr. Wahl’s diet (what she is not eating).
there is no way i can eat so much vegetables.
(i just get bloated, diarrhea + i just can’t imagine having to chew that much + teeth & jaw would get sore)
AMEN Michael! In my line of work (Vitamix sales demonstrator) everyone assumes that I am a vegetarian or vegan. I work with a lot of raw foodists. I’ve always wanted to tell people that it isn’t the “rawness” of the food that is helping them – it is the lack of processed foods and grains. But for the most part I hold my tongue because beliefs about food and diet border on Religious.
I agree with you. I’ve been carefully watching the latest pro vegan documentaries…they attribute the success to veggies, but I believe its the avoidance of carbs and sugar.
I saw her web page a few weeks ago. If she weren’t associated with a major teaching hospital, I’d have said, “Yeh, right!”
The thing that is mind boggling is that her restoration to health seems to have occurred so quickly. Peter at Hyperlipid posted an article 2-3 years ago of an MSer in Spain who went on a gluten free diet, and after six years, an MRI showed that many of the lesions in his brain had cleared. (I think Dr. Wahls’s diet is also gluten free.) But that took six years, and since the article was in Spanish, I don’t know if the improvements shown on the MRI resulted in reduced symptoms or not.
As I understand MS, there are lesions in the myelin sheath on the nerves. These lesions heal imperfectly, creating scarring — hence, “sclerosis.” It is this scarred tissue that gets in the way of nerve conduction. The thing that I don’t understand is how she had all those symptoms and now she doesn’t — either those plaques were somehow miraculously reversed, or her brain found a way to work around them. Can curing one’s mitochondria do either of those? And so quickly?
It’s not just the mitochondria, the brain as a structure is 60 to 70% fat, the reversal comes from correcting the body’s fatty acid metabolism by elimination from the diet ALL adulterated artificial, polyunsaturated & trans fats as found in liquid vegetable oils, margarines, dressings & virtually ALL processed “foods” and supplying the body with physiologically correct whole natural saturated fats as basic, raw building material for proper axon, neuron & meyelin & cell & cellular membrane structure.
Adrenoleukodystrophy as known from the Lorenzo’s Oil story & movie is a disregulation of the body & brain’s fat metabolism which causes long & very long chain fatty acids to accumulate in the brain in a manner similar to beta amyloid plaque deposition in the brain which causes Alzheimer’s, both of which can be reversed by intake of short & medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil which emulsifies, removes & replaces the long chain fats from the brain’s neuron structures.
The time interval required for restoration & normalization of the body’s fat metabolism depends on the body’s cellular replacement schedule which varies between the body’s organs & structures, and also the dietary intake level of the building materials the body needs for cellular replacement, the less good saturated fats, fat soluable vitamins & minerals eaten the longer the process will take.
In my opinion the major primary cause of MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue & most auto immune syndromes is low intake & avoidance of the good, whole, fresh & natural saturated fats & cholesterols the body requires for basic body & organ structure and metabolic processes. Proof of that is found in the fact that many if not most of these conditions can be reversed & resolved by physiologically correct cellular nutrition including, most importantly, intake of the critically essential fatty acids most people shun.
Women, vegans, vegetarians & most FDA & USDA brainwashed people with those conditions are commonly known to avoid most or all use of the natural fats, & many of the people that do include a bit of dietary fats favor artificial & excessive intake levels of the adulterated omega-6 liquid grocery store vegetable oils & margarine that completely block, shut down and totally derange the body’s fat, hormone & enzyme production & metabolism and do not support biological life & processes.
I listened to a podcast interview of Dr. Wahls on some radio show where she said, IIRC, that MRIs showed to lesions to still be present. She hypothesized that the nerves had found a way to reroute around them.
What if you want to eat local and don’t live near an ocean? What substitue can you use for seaweed?
I suggest getting Nori snacks at the local health food store.
Dried seaweed isn’t hard to find, it’s usually used for making sushi rolls. I plan to slip it into fish stock and curries, mainly to disguise it. It’s not exactly delicious.
You can find dry seaweed at most health food stores. I can recall seeing packages of it at Whole Foods. I’m trying to figure out what to use in place of seaweed. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years, but when I ate meat, I very rarely ate fish. Just the smell of it causes me to gag violently. When I’ve tried to eat seaweed, even seaweed broth, I start retching and will vomit it back up (sorry for oversharing). It’s just that repugnant to me. I also tried to eat grass fed meat about a year ago and just can not do it. So am looking into other options for the Omega 3s as well as the CoQ10 from the organ meats.
The second video is one of the funniest(disturbing) thing I’ve ever seen it’s almost surreal …
wrt diseases and cancer, I have read a few manuscripts that supposedly link BPA directly to cancer in rats and disease in humans; but there were so many factors not mentioned in those studies that had to be an effect that I couldn’t see the causal relationship myself. Am I the only person missing this link? Plus, it seems as though BPA has a very short residence time in the body, how could something with such a short residence time have such a profound effect? What do you think about BPA? If someone is eating low carb and improves their mitochondrial function, do you really have to worry so much about plastics and other man-made chemicals, or do you still think the jury is out? Is our NSF money going to projects that are barking up the wrong tree?
Your questions raise a good point about medical trials these days. If a significant portion of our population is currently afflicted with (for want of a better term) ‘high-carb syndrome’, whether or not this results in overt symptoms, it certainly would seem to skew what is considered the ‘norm’ to the unhealthy side. So, right off the bat, the pool of “normal lab rats” is not that healthy. If the researcher is looking for a response to drug X to fix disease A, and the controls and the treatment group both have a subtle but confounding level of disease B, it could ruin the entire experiment.
Maybe we should get some hunter-gatherers to comprise both groups. Oh, wait….they don’t get many of our diseases.
Totally unrelated, but I don’t know where else to ask.
Whatever happened to Paleo godfather Ray Audette? Why did he drop off the face of the planet, particularly with paleo now being a household word? Dr. Mike, do you know? I read a 2010 interview with him on the net, and I just can’t understand why he’s taking a back-seat to all the paleo info out there.
Haven’t heard a peep from Ray in many years. I don’t know what he’s doing now.
I found his website as one of the first that I came across when I googled the word “neanderthin” It appears to have been updated recently
Sean Croxton interviewed him recently:
Her recommendations remind me of Dr Steven Gundry’s ‘Diet Revolution’. She gives more details in some of the videos on her resources page, in particular the last one on the right for fighting cancer. Apart from mentioning fat specifically, it’s all there:
My favorite spot on Dr. Wahls’ video was when she mentioned that there are without doubt many elements in our food that have yet to be identified by medical science. That key insight is often lost in the rush to say, “Eat this. . . don’t eat that,” based simply on what has been learned to date.
I really appreciate your website. Have you seen these claims:
Atkins diet: trouble keeping it up
This guy has a website “Atkins exposed”/
What do you think of his arguments, especially regarding animal versus plant protein? I’d be interested to hear your position on that. YOu should consider doing a blog on the subject.
I was wondering if you have any more insights on Fiber?
Wow! My aunt has had MS for over 30 years. To see Dr. Wahls go from a wheelchair, to walking and riding a bike again, is just amazing! Talk about the power of healthy food.
I know this is off topic but VERY important:
You are going to LOVE this piece of evidence. It’s time to collect your $20,000.
Have a look at this article written by Anthony Colpo HIMSELF. He is completely discredited by HIMSELF:
Read the weight loss section specifically and closely, particularly about how low carb diets are superior for fat loss- citing study after study. Saying how low carb made him feel SPECTACULAR and LOTS OF ENERGY etc.
If this is not an example of SHADY FRAUD, I do not know what is.
My friend Urgelt warned me about the charcteristics and tactics of Internet scammers. He was 100 % right.
Colpo FERVENTLY backed low carb for fat loss and FEVRENTLY and publicly said high carb was not optimal for heart health, fat loss and made him feel TERRIBLE. He tried high carb extensively in the 90’s and rejected it adamantly. Boasting of how energetic he was on LOW carb.
He did not “learn new information.”
Now, the story is exactly the same but he substitutes high carb.
He follows the money trail like all frauds.
Have fun with it.
Dr. Michael Eades for the win by knock out.
I guess these dentists have never heard of a low carb diet.
Dr. Wahls was/is also doing some very intense electrical stimulation therapy alongside her diet changes. But she seems to downplay the amount of therapy she’s undergoing in her talks.
“At the same time, she read 212 research papers about electrical stimulation, which was being used to help athletes’ muscles heal and to improve quality of life for people with paralysis. She convinced her physical therapist to give it a shot, though he cautioned that it would be painful and may not help.
“I dialed it up to as much pain as I could take, because if I was going to fail, I didn’t want to look back and think I hadn’t gone as hard as I could,” Wahls says. “He was right. It hurt, a lot. But it also released a lot of endorphins, and at the end I felt better than I had in years.”
Wahls continued e-stim using a portable device at home and work, and began to exercise in small time increments. She also revamped her diet to see that every calorie would contribute to maximizing the brain’s building blocks.”
One the most frustrating aspects eating this way is trying to impart some knowledge to friends and family who really need it.
They, of course, throw things in your face from “recognized experts” such as the heart and stroke foundation (Canada) from which this was obtained courtesy of their enewsletter:
There’s a link at the bottom of that page to more info on fats where, of course, saturated and trans fats are grouped together as the ultimate evil to be avoided.
Thank heavens for this and other blogs and all you good posters. When docs called me crazy for thinking my muscle wasting, neuropathy, and cognitive difficulties were due to statins, or were even real, I took to the internet. I rather quickly concluded that mitochondrial damage was the first problem I needed to address, and my results have been very good. No more need for blind faith in badly guided institutions! I study, integrate the new stuff, and then make my own way. We knowledgeable bloggers and posters are curious, motivated, sharing, self-aware, persistent, and sufficiently questioning of authority (non of which my docs were) that Dr. Wahl’s example of informed and self-directed dietary changes is increasingly enabling us to undue damage done to our bodies.
This is a little off topic, but I haven’t been able to find any help for this on Dr. E’s blog.
I have tried low-carb diets about 3 times in the past 20 yrs (I am 45). I am not fat — 5′ 7″ and 145 pounds — but I am flabby and would like to be leaner.
The problem is that I hate meat. The taste and texture are disgusting to me. I like the fat from steaks and that is it. Fish makes me gag, beef, chicken, turkey…Yuk. When I am chewing meat I start to feel nauseated and have to spit it out before I hurl. when I go low-carb I end up eating mostly eggs and protein shakes I make at home. Has anyone else run into this?
After about 3 weeks and I am tired of starving and go back to lentils and beans (my favorite foods!) and a little rice. How can someone who doesn’t like meat do this??
Jennifer, I don’t know if this will help or not, but the thought that comes to my mind is “don’t chew the meat.” By that, I mean, use ground meats and mix them in casseroles — lots of cheese, etc. — or mix them into things like chili, or even your beans and rice. I have a gadget called a ChopStir that’s available cheap all over the web. With that you can chop ground meats so fine while you’re browning them that you’ll never have to chew a thing. Best of luck.
Hi Dr. Eades,
I’m having a lot of trouble right now with my low-carb diet, and while I realize you can’t answer specific medical questions, I’m wondering if you can offer a little guidance or point me in the right direction of where I should go from here.
I’ve gained nearly 30 pounds in the last two years, which has radically altered my way of life for the worse. I was a high-performing athlete before these ailments struck me: I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, hypothyroidism, and adrenal dysfunction (chronically high cortisol), and I haven’t had a period since I went off birth control last December (was on it for over 10 years). I desperately want to lose these 30 lbs and feel like myself again, particularly as I’m getting married in just 6 months.
I’ve been doing a strict low-carb and hypoallergenic diet since early this year, eating almost nothing but: whole eggs from a local farm (I eat the yolks raw), organic/nitrate-free pepperoni and chicken sausage, fish and shrimp, avocados, copious amounts of coconut butter and oil (3-5 Tbsp per day), allergen-free protein powder, sea salt, and small amounts of cacao or carob powder, pure stevia, and organic coffee. I was eating cauliflower, broccoli, and romaine lettuce for awhile, but I even cut those out, as they seemed to be irritating my gut.
As a former vegetarian, it’s been difficult enough for me to add the sausage and pepperoni to my diet – I’ve had strong aversions to unprocessed meats my whole life – so I’m doing the best I can on the animal-product front. No dairy for me, since I have Hashimoto’s. I can perhaps imagine myself adding ground beef to my diet – I think at this point I could handle the texture – but certainly no steaks or big hunks of meat requiring lots of chewing. Truth be told, I actually miss vegetables and fruit, but I’m willing to persevere in this no matter what it takes to lose the weight I’ve gained.
I’m limiting my diet to 1500 calories a day – occasionally I eat a little more than that; frequently I eat a little less than that. High-protein, high-fat breakfast immediately upon waking. I try to eat 3 meals a day, limited-to-no snacking, and I stop eating 3 hours before bed. I stopped exercising completely for almost a month (I did “chronic cardio” for years as an athlete), then resumed, but I’m only doing 20-minute weight-lifting sessions 3 times a week + occasional light walking. I sleep ~9 hours most nights.
I’m 5’3″ tall and, like I said, have 25-30 lbs to lose to get back to my ideal, fit weight. I am only 27 years old.
Since beginning this diet, I’ve GAINED 5-7 more pounds. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or what to do next, and would appreciate any and all guidance or counsel, understanding that you cannot offer *medical* advice.
Thank you Dr. Eades – I value your thoughts and truly appreciate the work you do.
Have you read Jack Kruse’s blog? He’s had some discussion about mitochronia and more recently his experimentation with adapting his body to cold. A lot of his explanations are too complex for me to fully grasp (and frankly the blog needs an editor badly) but I have to say he offers some interesting ideas.
i was diagnosed with MS in 2001. took me some time, but i cured it. no relapses/remissions since 2004. and i did it with a mostly ketogenic paleo. just my own n=1 says veggies n fruit are not essential.
Dr Eades, are you familiar with the idea that MS can be caused by chlamydia pneumonia, therefore cured by antibiotic treatment? The idea is complicated but the way I understand it basically chlamydia pneumonia has the ability to borrow DNA from the host (in fact it must do this to reproduce) and then transport this borrowed DNA from one person to another. If the “donor” has developed MS, or if the borrowed DNA is susceptible to developing MS, then the receiver of this chlamydia pneumonia that contains this borrowed DNA will probably develop MS as well. Furthermore, C. pneumonia latches on to the mitochondria and steals energy for its own use, resulting in chronic lethargy.
Though the subject here is MS, the conditions that can be caused or exacerbated by C. pneumonia is not limited to MS. It includes things like diabetes type 2, thyroidosis, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and the list goes on. Anyway, this link:
Have not heard about C. pneumonia being a causative factor for MS. I’ll take a look at the site.
Interesting animation of the ATP synthase particle that ultimately provides energy in the cell.
“Eating More Red Meat May Mean Quicker Death”
Readers of Dr. E’s blog should appreciate this article. Another epidemiological study disparaging red meat appeared on “MedPage” website (via a Google news link). The telltale indication of its merit is the expansive disclaimer by the authors themselves at the end of the article:
“They acknowledged that the study was limited by potential errors in measuring red meat intake and by the uncertain generalizability of the findings outside of the study population, which was predominantly non-Hispanic white health professionals.
Here’s an interesting article that was in our local paper:
Stay alert – eat an egg
But, gosh, them eggs just got so much *shudder* cholesterol in ’em – surely scientists could come up with a bagel or something that’s genetically modified to do the same thing?
A few years old, but interesting article on insulin and brain aging.
In the first video, the doc talks about our ancient diets…
And gets it wrong.
9 cups of veggies every day? You gotta be kidding. The assumption appears to be that all the nutrients those plants contain will make their way to her mitochondria. I wonder how she can explain how this can happen when humans can’t digest plant fiber, and the bulk of that nutrition she talks about is contained within that fiber. A better explanation is that as she ate such a huge volume of plants, she had no space left for anything else, and that anything else is grains and sugar. So the effect she got can just as easily be attributed to just the removal of those. Dr Davis would probably have something to say about that. Furthermore, she says meat and fish have an effect too. Seems to me she’d have gotten even better and faster results just by removing grains and sugar, and just eating mostly meat and fish instead.
Low carb experimental studies seem to confirm this too. If we consider that health risk factors are representative of mitochondrial function, then low carb should work even better than her idea of the Paleo diet.
Seriously, 9 cups? 3 full plates? Every day? Gimme a break.
Do you have any information about LDL-P? My husband had his cholesterol checked 6 weeks ago and his triglycerides were 605. A month after phase 1 of your Protein Power diet and they were down to 122. However, the second course of blood work was very in depth and some of it we don’t understand. We are trying to figure out what LDL-P is as that came back from the second round of blood work at 2706. We don’t have anything to compare it to, obviously, but the little we have been able to figure out implies that this number might be the new go to for risk of future heart disease. Needless to say, we are confused and at this time are simply sticking to phase 1 as it has done such a tremendous job for him thus far (and for me as well, body size wise).
Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
You should really set up a consultation with Dr. Eades. This is something that needs to be reviewed one on one. I hope this helps! Dr. Jones
What I found interesting (among others) was that she cited the Inuit as foragers with an excellent diet that exceeded the RDAs by 2 to 10 fold, but they don’t eat anything in her diet except fish. There’s not a lot of leafy greens to be foraged in the ice. They lived almost exclusively on fish, fat (blubber) and meat.
I clicked on the highlighted ‘Medscape article’ and what it took me to was an article in which the information delivered was the following:
”Twenty-two nutrition experts rated 25 diet plans, and the blue ribbon for the best diet overall goes to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. In second place overall was the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet, which is high in fiber and low in fat. It was developed by the National Institutes of Health National Cholesterol Education Program and is endorsed by the American Heart Association.
There’s a 3-way tie for third: Weight Watchers, the Mayo Clinic diet, and the Mediterranean diet.
The report rates more than just nutrition. It also rates diets in other categories. Weight Watchers won in 3 categories: easiest to follow, best for weight loss, and best commercial plan. For diabetics, there’s a 2-way tie: the DASH diet and the Biggest Loser diet. For heart health, the Ornish diet was first and TLC was second. Near the bottom was the protein-powered Dukan diet and in last place, the paleolithic diet. Apparently, the hunter/gatherer mentality did not appeal to the expert panel.’
I’m just guessing this is NOT the information you want highlighted.
Dr. Mike, what do you think about all the buzz in the paleosphere that low-carb is bad, that it will kill your thyroid, you’ll lose your hair, that you need at least 100g carbs a day for optimal health? It’s getting stifling out there. My own personal experience doesn’t support this. I haven’t read much science to support this new development. It all seems anecdotal. Anyway, curious what you have to say, especially when they say it’ll destroy your thyroid and your metabolism.
I think it is nonsense.
I looked at the 22 expert panel, and they were indeed experts. In fact, I’m sure they all collectively know more about nutrition than all of us collectively. I’m a vegetarian, and I’m not going to say it’s the healthiest or best, just because I eat it. The Paleo diet is indeed both expensive, hard to follow, and hard to source. As an anthropologist I can also promise you that most of the edible biota that existed during the Paleo doesn’t exist anymore, or exists in very small quantities. Also, you have to understand that even the ones that existed did so in particular geographic niches. Humans hunting & gathering in southern Africa didn’t have access to foods a few hundred miles away, etc… The collection of globally sourced food today is not Paleo, because no fully modern human 20,000 years ago had access to most of it, and we have no access to most of what they ate.
It’s a fiction based on a misunderstanding of the different subsistence practices, technologies, or environments that existed. With 6+ billion people, only a select few could benefit from even a simulacra of a Paleo diet. I would also add that the environment and humans didn’t evolve is some perfect way. Our evolution did it’s job to produce viable offspring, that then produced offspring. If people back then lived to be 40, they were in terrible health and had terrible arthritis. It seems like another “back to Eden” delusion. Animals that are perfectly suited for a narrow range of nutritional sources exist in narrow ranges, and die when those niches are destroyed. We are a global omnivore, and have been for 150,000 years. Our systems can handle a lot.
On the idea that people back then who lived to be forty were in terrible health and had terrible arthritis. It’s possible. Let’s see. Natural selection works by negative selection. Those who can’t handle the conditions die off and don’t reproduce. Whatever traits they had that prevented them from handling those conditions are not reproduced either. If conditions forced us to live longer than 40 to reproduce, then only those who can live longer than 40 – and still be able to reproduce – can reproduce. Everybody else who couldn’t reproduced, didn’t, therefore their traits did not reproduce either. In this case, the traits are terrible health and terrible arthritis.
The point is that natural selection does not allow traits to survive, if those traits are detrimental to reproduction, and everything else that must be done once we’ve reproduced. Somehow, I doubt terrible health and terrible arthritis is conducive to reproduction nor taking care of the offspring afterwards. Men today can reproduce right up to their death at a ripe old age. This is indicative that those who couldn’t reproduce past a certain age – 40 let’s say to keep with our example – didn’t. Conversely, young people today, both men and women, have more and more difficulty conceiving. We have modern medicine to thank for that. In some perverse reverse natural selection – artificial selection – people who can’t reproduce properly still reproduce this trait anyway, which would otherwise not be allowed to by natural selection. The same can be said about terrible health and terrible arthritis.
interesting: pesticides may be part of what’s causing mitochondrial collapse:
Have you ever been to Dr. Jack Kruse’s Blog?
Many interesting ideas there…
Ray Audette has been commenting still on the paleo food list http://listserv.icors.org/SCRIPTS/WA-ICORS.EXE?A1=ind1203&L=paleofood
From today’s issue of the Mayo Clinic Housecall. This runs contrary to the Paleo diet concepts. But it’s a big study. Does anyone have further information, or opinions about this:
“The other big story was the release of findings from a huge study on red meat published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Harvard researchers have been tracking 37,000 male and 83,000 female health care workers since the 1980s and have found that one serving (defined as 3 ounces) of red meat — whole or processed — was associated with increased risk of total, cardiovascular and cancer mortality. Red meat was defined as beef (including hamburger), pork and lamb. Processed red meat included sausage, salami, bacon and bologna. Substitution of other healthy proteins, such as fish, poultry, legumes and low-fat dairy, lowered the risk. ”
Copied from the newsletter here:
This study was an observational study, and, as such, is not valid for determining causality. It other words, it doesn’t really mean anything. Here is a post I wrote on observational studies that will explain why.
I suspect that a lot of what is going on with “meat” is about excess iron. If a person goes vegan, they eventually get anemic. But meat is really good at raising iron levels … not just what is in the meat, but also it promotes iron absorption from food. We have added iron to most starchy products in the US, and it’s high in some foods like potatoes, so a hamburger, bun, and fries is a recipe for high iron levels, which we already KNOW is associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
This simply wasn’t a problem in the old days, because everyone had parasites. And got injured a lot.
Mammal meat also contains neu5gc, which the body sees as an invader. Neu5gc concentrates in tumors, for some as yet unknown reason.
Was that the study that sent out thousands of questionnaires and asked people questions like, “Over the past four years, how many times a week did you eat red meat”? or something like that. . . . If so, it’s a faulty study not only because it’s an observational study, but because very few people remember how much red meat they ate four weeks ago, much last four years ago.
We humans are made of 100 trillion cells, each and every last one with a velvety, fatty, cholesterolly membrane enveloping it. Though very much smaller than our cells, we carry 1000 trillion friendly symbiotic bacteria, and their health and composition is inextricably tied to ours. We have 1.1 trillion brain cells and vastly more connections (axons) that are all surrounded by cholesterolly myelin. If all the axons were laid end-to-end they would stretch around the earth FOUR times.
We have 10,000 trillion mitochondria within our 100 trillion cells. They are very small, but mighty. That’s 10 000 000 000 000 000. I have no earthly idea how often a mitochondrian turns-over, but I’d be willing to bet there is a refreshing and refurbishing maintenance with quality materials and supplies, going on constantly- if not outright turnover because they are subjected to stress and ROS (reactive oxygen species) in their moment to moment activity. Each mitochondrian has two membranes and one is highly convoluted, increases it’s total acreage. Our 1000 trillion gut bacteria do turn-over, and that is daily, and we supply them with everything. Do you want to eat solidifying accreting grain carbohydrate, polyunsaturated, low-cholesterol Frankenstein oils (originally created as drying agents for the paint, putty and varnish industries) or do you want to eat what we developed our enormous fatty brains on- both fuel and supplies? Saturated fat, cholesterol, animal protein, SALT and CALORIES.
Still patiently waiting for the follow-up – not that we don’t KNOW you’re incredibly busy . . .but weren’t you going to say more on the subject of mitochondria? Or did I dream that?
Hey, you got a post that semi-sort-of talked about mitochondria.
I am 46 and have Friedreich’s Ataxia, a bit similar to MS. Could anyone advise on a good diet to stimulate my nerves/mitochondria? At present I try to eat a high protein diet to keep muscles strong, but everything else I eat is fairly ordinary.
This isn’t related to mitochondria, but I’ve searched high and low for a satisfying, reasonable, scientific/biochemical answer: if you eating a 90% fat diet, and consuming excess calories, can and will you gain weight? Or will you simply not lose? And why? Thanks so much.
This is one of the things Gary Taubes is trying to raise money to study. In my experience, people who eat very-low-carb diets do not seem to gain weight despite consuming large numbers of calories. They don’t necessarily lose, but they don’t seem to gain either. That’s totally anecdotal but based on a fair number of patients in my practice.
I am eagerly awaiting your next article! I want to know more about feeding my mitochondria properly! I have fibromyalgia and high blood pressure. I have started on the protein power diet and both maladies have improved. I am also trying to improve the Omega 3 / Omega 6 ratios in my diet. I have been looking at various websites for information on food content, and am concerned that my consumption of beef and beef fat might be overwhelming my attempts to increase my relative Omega 3 intake. Can you shed some light on this problem?
I don’t think beef will cause you problems. If you take some fish oil or, better yet, krill oil, you shouldn’t have a problem as long as you avoid high-omega-6 vegetable oils.
I would like to enquire: i’ve been struggling with acne for many years and at the present moment i can’t see any results from variuos medications and cosmetics. Can paleo diet help me? As it’s anti – inflammatory…
Loren Cordain has published papers on acne and diet and has written about it extensively on his website. Based on his experience, he feels strongly that a Paleo diet will definitely help with acne.
So …. apparently I should go back to Mom’s tradition of liver & onions once a week. I’m okay with that, but would foie gras be an acceptable substitute ?
Would work for me. But it’s expensive. Best cooked in a SousVide Supreme. 🙂 Actually the sous vide technique was developed in France about 40 years ago specifically to cook foie gras.
Something I found telling was the difference in the appearance of the 2 women: Dr Wahl all untouched with an academic’s sense of sartorial style and Dr Fryhover with her immaculate forehead and neck and tasteful lip colour. A clash of values in their faces.
Really appreciate the work you’ve done. I have a question, have you written (or know of) a good analysis of claims by Chris Masterjohn of populations eating high carbohydrate diets that are free of the typical coronary diseases. One of the strengths of the “carb-skeptical” viewpoint is the evolutionary argument, i.e., that before the rise of agricultural there just was not that many carbs available in the human diet (may not be quite as true in the tropics). None of this is meant to question Masterjohn’s evidence, but a discussion of complicating factors (physical activity, fructose/mix of fats in diet, life expectancy, genetics) would be interesting.
Also, though I’ve never made a systematic study of this, it seems by way of anecdote that when pre-agricultural societies did have access to a supply of carbs, often their response (to some degree) was to make alcohol (which actually could be seen as a brilliant technique of food – and water – storage). And of course if you do have a supply of carbs available, they are quite useful for putting on fat in anticipation of seasonal rhythms of temperature and game availability -PJM
“Good” HDL cholesterol may not protect heart after all, study suggests:
Doubt Cast on the ‘Good’ in ‘Good Cholesterol’:
Sir, I for one know that there is a gut-brain connection. My mother had MS and 1st degree relatives are 32x as likely to get Celiac Disease. I had horrible symptoms of MS myself but it turned out to be Celiac instead. Going Gluten free (I can’t do any grains including corn and oats) not only made my symptoms go away within 6-8 wks but lifestyle has changed tremendously. Gluten free can even cause MS suffers to go into remission for yrs. My diabetes is totally in check with diet alone. My blood pressure is normal and off all meds. You should read”Lose the wheat, lose the weigt,” “The Blood Sugar Connection,” or “Wheat Belly.” Wish I didn’t have to suffer for 10 yrs before finding nirvana. Avg weight loss is 26.7 lbs in 6 months.
It’s been over three months since you posted an article. I hope you will start writing again soon. I bought your book Protein Power back in 1999, but am only using it now.
Why the late start? I have difficulty observing the lifestyle due to the type of food I eat while on my job. Then recently I realized by weight is going up, my cholesterol and blood pressure are up as well. So I took the bulls by the horn, dusted by copy of Protein Power and set to observe the new lifestyle. For the first two weeks I don’t see any difference to my blood pressure (even though my weight started coming down), and was a bit apprehensive whether I was following you to a T. I read and re-read some chapters. And then I began to see the improvements. My blood pressure is coming down now, three weeks into this new lifestyle.
Two weeks earlier I went online and was delighted to discover that you have a website, with a treasure trove of blog posts. I enjoy reading all the posts. Even your parrying with Anthony Colpo makes me laugh.
As a result of discovering this website, I have ordered “Protein Power Lifespan” and “The Slow Burn”, and am presently reading “The Vegetarian Myth”.
I really enjoy all your posts as they help me adjust to a healthier lifestyle. I feel good and am thankful to you and your wife for helping me with your book. Please keep adding new articles, even if they are simply a record of what you are eating (like you did before).
One person’s biological “plausibility” is another’s “implausibility”.
Beauty (or plausibility) lies in eye (or ear) of the beholder
Barnum said “There’s a sucker born every minute”.
Might suckers buy plausibility ?
Well, is that psychologically plausible ?
I haven’t been able to see your tweets in weeks. I can see who you follow and who follows you, but the tweets just show the loading symbol forever. Anyone else having this problem?
Never mind. It’s finally working again. Thank goodness. 🙂
…and yet, treating chronic diseases through nutrition was made illegal in this country!! It’s no wonder doctors know so little about nutrition when they are not allowed to. I believe we have the American Cancer Society to thank for that. There are nutritional cures for most cancers that would put them out of business. But here is one more person speaking about how she was cured through proper nutrition! I love it. And I agree with Evelyn about that bright spot in the video, Dr. Wahl admitting all that science DOES NOT KNOW about what’s in there! It was well worth my 17 minutes…no comment on the “other” waste of time though.
I thought the 2 minute video of Dr. Wahl speech is just what Americans need to pay attention to. Obesity has become an epidemic in America and it has got to stop. The junk food industry is killing people with the the ‘sugar, salt and additives’ content in processed food. To top it off, most people don’t understand nutrition value.
I too changed my diet 5 years ago and to eating more and more fruit and vegetables. Just like the suggestion of Dr. Wahl. Since then, I have not been sick with colds, flus or allergies. The people around me get sick all the time, ie, coughing, allergies, and so on… We eat well to strengthen our immune system so we don’t get sick, getting the “cold” or ‘allergy’ is not normal.
I have used the Terry Wahls video several times to show my friends the power of diet. It is very moving.
can u point me in the right direction to deal with a recent diagnosis of mine? i have been told i have insulin resistance. that is why i am not losing weight, even with very restrictive diets. but the internet is full of “eat this…no, eat this” advice, but i am not sure who to listen to. i really do not want to b on metformin, but do not know what else to do. thanks for any input.
Hey, what’s wrong with Metformin? Robb Wolf says it’s one of the few drugs that EVERYONE would do well taking. What have you heard about it? Thanks
I came across your blog on nutritional science and thought it was a fantastic read. Your use of social media to provide quality health information is why I am reaching out to you. I believe you would probably be interested in checking out healthtap.com as a way to expand your presence in online medicine.
I’ll take a look.
At last! Finally found a sensible approach to all this ‘healthy eating’ brain-wash that the media, food and drug industry would like us to believe. I have just added Dr Wahls to my list of modern day heroines. Have long held the view that ‘sugar’ (sucrose, corn syrup) in particular is the current evil of today, and more particularly the root behind the second biggest conspiracy theory enveloping the Western world today. With reference to the second video of course a panel of experts won’t condone the ‘lower’ level diets because it would mean that the food and drug industry won’t make money! Anyone read Pure White and Deadly? Anyone aware that the WHO tried to issue a reduce sugar content directive and the American government asked them to change their recommendation? Thems with the money shout loudest.
Corn syrup has reached the UK shores and I watch in despair as people buy the food that will lead to their demise rather than sustenance. The change has to come from the ‘ground’ up. Eating lots of vegetables isn’t as expensive as Dr W feared. Because it is naturally filling, you don’t have to eat sackfuls. I suspect that hunter gatherers would have had a more ‘grazing’ approach to their food intake rather than the fixed three Meals a day approach our modern society dictates.
The easiest way to get that much vegetables in your diet is through vegetable soup, cooked and blitzed up you can easily eat 3 servings in one soup portion, you just need to find a recipe you like.
You can find dry seaweed at most health food stores. I can recall seeing packages of it at Whole Foods. I’m trying to figure out what to use in place of seaweed. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years, but when I ate meat, I very rarely ate fish. Just the smell of it causes me to gag violently. When I’ve tried to eat seaweed, even seaweed broth, I start retching and will vomit it back up (sorry for oversharing). It’s just that repugnant to me. I also tried to eat grass fed meat about a year ago and just can not do it. So am looking into other options for the Omega 3s as well as the CoQ10 from the organ meats.
I find it fascinating that the nutrients spotlighted by Dr. Wahls (specifically sulphur and omega-3) almost mirror the conclusions come to by Dr. Johanna Budwig in Germany in the 1950s. Dr. Budwig was a biochemist and discovered that taking a sulphurated protein (her top choices being quark cheese in Germany, or cottage cheese in the United States) with omega-3 in the form of cold-pressed flaxseed oil), and blending the 2 until there was no separation of oil, would allow the omega-3 fatty acids to become water-soluble and more easily accessible by the cells. Large numbers of people have been cured of cancer and other diseases using her protocol. She also recommended hearty amounts of vegetables and fruits, supplementing with nuts and seeds. The main difference in the philosophies of Dr. Budwig and Dr. Wahls is that Dr. Budwig encouraged a vegetarian diet that included whole grains and legumes, and Dr. Wahls encourages a diet with high-quality animal protein and no starches. As someone who is trying to keep cancer at bay, I believe I will be combining their philosophies somewhat. Thanks for sharing this important video, it was very inspiring.
Hi Becky, I was thinking of the differences in food in the 1950’s and now. Back then, we didn’t have all the genetically modified (GMO) grains. Even “organic” grain products are most likely going to be inadvertently GMO due to cross pollination.
Forgot to mention something in my previous comment. One thing that does cause me concern with depending on wild fish for omega-3 is that omega-3 is supposedly damaged by heat; I doubt that most of us will be eating salmon raw. Even fish oil in capsules is usually heat-processed.
Dr. Wahls unknowingly made a marketing video for the Weston Price Foundation, LOL!! Mary Enig, Sally Fallon and Johanna Budwig could have told the good doctor of this remedy long ago!!
Nice to see mainstream recognition of the cause of a lot of modern ailments not seen 200 years ago.
Weston A. Price, really? You’ll have to show me where WAPF recommends all those vegetables! Gary Null hosted a doctor a few months back that recommended similar ‘overload’ of fresh organic vegetables. She called it something like “Nutrient Cramming.’ The point was that if you over load your system with the nutrients in a wide variety of colorful vegetables, somehow your body found more materials to heal itself. Undoubtedly there is some X-factor in small amts in fresh organic vegetables that we need to get a lot of to promote healing. At this point, though, all we know is that people like Wahls or Ann Wigmore who eat a lot of fresh vegetables get well.
This is amazing! I was morbidly obese, at 5’6″ and 249#. I was not sick but I was feeling sick all the time. Fatigued and unable to do many of the things I enjoyed. I went to an internist and he put me on a food program. For lack of a better name, I called it “eating clean”. I ate NO processed foods. People asked me how I lost 80# in 8 months and I said “If food comes in a can, a bag or a box, I don’t eat it!” I eat raw veggies (2c/day), lots of greens (3+c/day), and protein (meat, fish, chicken). I love seaweed (Nori) but don’t eat it that often because I used to eat it with my rice and I don’t eat rice any more. Occasionally I will break it up on my salads. The amazing side effect: Cholesterol down to normal. Glucose down to normal. I can walk briskly, ride my bike, lift weights, swim, and I can think clearly. Amazing that someone has put it on the internet….a doctor no less! Wow. In the beginning, the doctor was giving me weekly Vitamin B shots as well. And I was told not to eat ANY diet foods! Yes to eggs and cheese, no to milk and yogurt and sour cream. I was also told to add 2 TBS of olive oil to my diet daily. And I am allowed 2 TBS of raw sugar or honey a day. Salad dressing? Olive oil and red vinegar. Or…mustard & honey. but only 2 TBS a day. We host Japanese college students yearly and I used to giggle when they asked for salad for breakfast….no any more! I’m right there with them! And I have learned to love Green Tea! Eat right and Live long!!!!! 😉
Congrats, Sandy. What about raw fruit?
My German Shepherd Dog was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy
in March of 2012 and I discovered Dr. Wahls video and diet a month ago.
I have been following her diet to a T and the results only a month into it have really been quite remarkable. While the vets/doctors / specialists I took him to said he would do nothing but decline and told me there was nothing I could do but sit back and watch my dog deteriorate, I say “shame on them.” Doctors just seem to want the easy way out. If there
isn’t a pill to prescribe, there isn’t a solution. It’s also unbelievable that
he loves the diet.
So much for that New Year’s resolution! LOL.
LOL indeed! Thanks a lot for pointing that out. No sooner did I write those words than I got inundated from all fronts. As you can see, I even fell behind in moderating comments. Trying to catch up now. Only about 200 left to go.
Trying to attribute an MS recovery/improvement to any change, be it diet, drugs, whatever, is rather like trying to pick up mercury. I knew someone whose father had been diagnosed long ago, then had his first relapse 30 years later. I knew someone else who was dead in a couple of years from diagnosis. It’s possible Dr. Wahls activated some different pathways with her electrical stimulation program. Whatever worked, I wish her well, but I don’t see a whole lot of people recovering from MS on the basis of eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I myself was diagnosed in 1996. My sister gave me a copy of the Zone diet book, which had just come out the previous year, because Sears claimed to have cured someone of MS. Nothing changed one way or another as a result of that diet. I hit the internet and successively took billbery to strengthen my blood/brain barrier, swilled fresh flax oil, went vegetarian, did Dr. Swenk’s program (no red meat, saturated fat, etc., etc.), went off dairy and red meat (again), and finally did enough reading to come round to low carb (and back to lots of red meat and saturated fat), and three years ago, went off gluten. This is where I expect to stay. Through it all, however, except for some gradual deterioration of function in my left leg — a problem that was there at the time of diagnosis — everything else has remained healthy and normal. Whatever I did or didn’t do diet-wise, I’ve been completely free of any new symptoms for 16 years — and on no drugs for about 15 years of that time.
that 2nd video has
@Aaron: If you really want to laugh, try watching some of these videos of oh-so-carefully-made-up, oh-so-patronizing women on a dial-up connection. They speak for a few seconds, then their faces freeze for a good long time in all sorts of grotesque expressions while the next bit loads. 🙂
Wow, quite a contrast between the two videos….I do wonder how GPs keep up to date on latest medical research and advancements. You kind of assume that they have a profound interest or see it as a vocation that keeps them motivated to always be learning but maybe they can be lazy just like everyone else.
I’m trying to get more greens into my diet and cut down on things like pasta. Problem is things like pasta and potatoes are so easy to turn into family friendly meals. I think that’s a real problem for many people – getting the people around them on board with the changes in diet.
I am the only LC person in my family, and I also the one who cooks and buy groceries. So far I didn’t find my way of eating not family friendly. I usually make three parts meals – meat + vegetable + starch, and I just skip the starch part.
very good, i like that /it’s me !!!!!1
I saw the Dr. Wahl’s video about a year ago. Since then, I’ve done more research and a lot of good information can be found on either the fast or slow oxidizer diet on drlwilson.com. I tried Paleo, and it made my husbands liver enzymes increase (he has Hepatitis C) because it’s too high in fat. I don’t believe entirely in Paleo because I don’t think it emphasizes Omega 3s enough. But I agree with it with regard to more fats and ancient grains. I don’t agree with Dr. Wahl’s diet because the body can better assimilate cooked vegetables than raw vegetables plus it takes more energy to digest raw vegetables. For example, you might be able to assimilate 1% of the beta carotene in raw carrots but 30% in cooked. Same with any of the other vegetables. This is also consistent with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Also with cooked vegetables, you get more nutrients in less bulk. If you take a package of spinach and saute it, you get around two servings as a side dish. Plus, with veggies like spinach and kale, cooking eliminates the oxalic acide which impedes calcium absorption. Regarding bone broths, there is so much good stuff in bone broths, collagens etc, they are very good for you and would be better used in cooking than water. Organ meats are like taking a multivitimin. So I don’t recall if Dr. Wahls was talking about 9 cups of raw vegetables, but overall, 75% of what you eat should be vegetables, the rest should be animal especially lamb, organ meats and fish that don’t contain high levels of metals. Sardines and anchovies are always a good bet. Fruits have too much sugar. Spring water, green tea and I can’t think of anything else you should be drinking, maybe a few glasses of wine. cheers!
Could the Budwig protocol help this condition?
I’m not totally familiar with the Budwig protocol, but eliminating trans fats will no doubt help. Don’t know about the rest.
If this diet is to improve neurological health, would it have a noticeable impact on other neurological diseases like muscular dystrophy? I’m beginning to research how diet could effect my condition. I have an undiagnosed muscle condition that doctors just assumed was some sort of muscular dystrophy when I was a child. Any information on the effects of this type of diet on MD would be much appreciated!
MD is not a neurological disease, it is a muscle wasting disease that does not involve the nervous system. This is why MS and MD are so different. MD is hereditary 100% and MS is not.
Dr. Terry Wahls’ comprehensive theory on food, diet and mitochondrial support can be found easily. I encourage those who feel that the brief video contained on this website does not include good fat for brain function or health to buy her book or visit her website for a comprehensive overview of her recommendations. Good fat is absolutely included. As someone who was fortunate to present with MS symptoms and brain lesions at a time when Dr Wahls’ conclusions were readily accessible to the general public, I am profoundly grateful for her insights. I am also MS symptom free.
I have to say Yes