Dr. Mike Greger on How to Combat Most Common Diseases Through Plant-based Diets

Our tax dollars hard at work. But check this out.

This is some egg company trying to put out a brochure on healthy snacking for kids. But because of existing laws against false and misleading advertising, the head of the USDA’s poultry research and promotion programs reminds them that you can’t couch eggs or egg products as being healthy or nutritious…

See, the words nutritious and healthy carry certain connotations — you know, that food’s actually good for you. But because eggs have the amount of cholesterol that that they do, not to mention the saturated fat, the words healthy and nutritious are problematic when it comes to eggs.

This is the USDA talking!

Now since you can’t say eggs are a healthy start to the day, the USDA suggests a satisfying start. Can’t call eggs a healthy ingredient, but you can call it a recognizable ingredient. Can’t truthfully say eggs are good for you.

By law, the egg industry “needs to steer clear of words like healthy or nutritious.” For a food to be labeled healthy under FDA rules, it has to be low in saturated fat — eggs fail that test — and less than 90mg of cholesterol per serving — even half an egg fails that.

Not only is the industry barred from saying eggs are healthy, they can’t even refer to eggs as safe. “All references to safety must be removed.” Remember, this is the USDA talking.

Why? Because more than a 100,000 Americans are Salmonella-poisoned by eggs every year. Instead of safe, you can call eggs fresh, the USDA marketing service suggests. But you can’t call eggs safe. You cannot say eggs are safe to eat. Can’t say they’re safe. Can’t even mention safety. Can’t say they’re healthy. All “references to healthfulness must be deleted” as well.

Wait a second. Not only can eggs not be called healthy, they can’t even be called safe? Says who? Says the United States Department of Agriculture. I love the Freedom of Information Act.

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Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders are next. You know, I always assumed cholesterol drugs were the leading class of drugs prescribed; it’s actually pain-killers though for conditions like fibromyalgia, a syndrome suffered by millions that can be dramatically improved with a variety of plant based diets, in fact, producing some of “the most impressive results” to date.

I’ve already covered both diabetes and depression as two of our leading causes of death last year.

Pap smears for early detection of cervical cancer, a common reason for a doctor’s visit. Cervical cancer is now considered a sexually transmitted disease, caused by a sexually transmitted virus, called HPV. Most young women these days contract HPV, but most don’t get cervical cancer because their immune systems are able to clear away the virus. 70% of women clear the infection within one year, and more than 90% within two years— before the virus can cause cancer, unless you’re immune-compromised or something.

Well, if that’s the case, maybe those with particularly strong immune systems might clear the virus even faster. That’s what may be behind this study that found that women eating vegetarian appeared to have significantly lower infection rates with HPV, one of many studies reporting lower risk of HPV infection among those eating plant-based diets.

So, for example, if you take a bunch of women with cancer-causing strains of HPV infecting their cervix, and retest at 3 months and 9 months, while analyzing their diets, what do you find? Higher levels of vegetable consumption may cut the risk of HPV persistence in half, doubling one’s likelihood of clearing this cancer-causing infection. And “higher” levels just meant like two or more servings a day.

This may help explain these important new findings this year. Vegan women have significantly lower rates of all female cancers combined, including cancer of the cervix. So even though it’s a virus that’s causing the cancer, a healthy diet may still reduce the risk.

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In the same way that fermented pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut foster the growth of good bacteria by maintaining an acidic environment, so does the human vagina. The normal pH of one’s vagina is that of tomato juice. Once it starts creeping up to that of coffee though, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can take hold and cause bacterial vaginosis, which affects an astounding 29% of American women, making it the most frequent cause of vaginal complaints.

It’s commonly diagnosed with the so-called whiff test, where the doctor literally takes a whiff of the vaginal discharge, smelling for the characteristic fishy odor.

Why is it so common? Well, it’s thought that high fat intake, particularly saturated fat — remember: dairy, chicken, cake and pork— may increase vaginal pH, thereby increasing the risk of bacterial vaginosis. So now that we know…”The next steps ahead includes sharing these findings with OB/GYNS and general practitioners, as well as increasing the awareness of the general community as to the importance of optimal nutrition to prevent infections of the genital tract, reduce associated disease, and maintain reproductive health.”

What might saturated fat do to the reproductive health of men? A recent Harvard study found that increasing saturated fat intake just 5% was associated with a 38% lower sperm count. But why? I’ve talked about the role of the so called xenoestrogens, these endocrine disrupting chemicals, these pollutants that build up in animal fat. But, you know, male fertility is more than just about sperm count, the number of sperm, but how well the sperms work. More about that in my video “Male Fertility and Diet.”

When it comes to male reproductive health though, this is what doctors hear about the most. Erectile dysfunction is present in up to 30 million men in the U.S., and approximately 100 million men worldwide.

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