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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-13-2016 02:46 PM
shysue I'm in the middle of reading this book right now and I'm enjoying it. It's one of the reasons I've decided to change my eating habits for the better and cut out all animal products. As for the science and the research and the tests, I take them all with a grain of salt and don't get too invested in them. Dr. Greger's overall advice and message that animal products should be eaten as little as possible and more whole foods should be eaten is what I'm taking away from the book. And it's good advice and a good message. And I don't view it as a guarantee that I won't get any of these ailments, but if you can help yourself be healthier by changing your nutritional habits why wouldn't you?


Also, I saw this at Costco and picked it up to read. Hopefully other folks shopping there will be curious and toss it in their basket on top of all the other junk they are buying and read it later and then possibly change their attitudes towards food. One can only hope.
01-13-2016 02:19 PM
Auxin Lots of people dont seem to like the title.
As someone with access to several medical journals I found it amusing. All the time I read papers that show the tested intervention prevented some specific outcome to a specific degree and also prevented just death in general to some specific degree. They'll be like 'this herb cured belly button fungus in 67% of patients, oh and it reduced death in general by 13%'.
I always found those bits inexplicably amusing so I got a laugh out of 'How not to die'.

I just finished reading the book. For those who cant afford it, just watch every video on nutritionfacts. They cover most of the more sciencey information in the book, the book just puts it into a much clearer order and format and includes useful tips and some practical food tips.
01-12-2016 07:33 PM
dixonge Normally this is where I would respond in detail, point by point, seeing as how I pretty much disagree with 95% of everything stated here about Greger and his site/book. I have a really bad case of "but, someone is *WRONG* on the internet!" (see XKCD). But I'm trying to turn over a new leaf in the new year, so not this time.
01-12-2016 04:15 PM
Thalassa4 I'm not sure how I should feel about it not being "all sciency"...does that mean that the science behind it isn't good? And the title just makes me want to laugh. ..look both ways before crossing the street, don't marry a sociopath, stay out of bar fights, forget about motorcycles and climbing Mt.Everest!

I'm all for the health benefits of a plant based diet, and know it's not good to be a junk food vegan, but I am wary of orthorexia and anorexia trying to pass itself off as sensible health advice...it turns people off from vegan diets just as much as crazed wild eyed PETA members physically attacking people.
01-12-2016 03:55 PM
Tweety
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Unfortunately, I find Michael Greger to be rather sensationalistic rather than carefully examining the evidence. He makes claims based on very small studies, and does not give the appropriate caveats to warn his readers/viewers to interpret the data on their own with caution and skepticism. Even the title of this book is overly sensationalized and invokes the idea that eating a certain diet is the key to a long and healthy life. Although many people do suffer diseases that are either caused by or made worse by diet and lifestyle factors, we also know many examples of people who followed what we think of as extremely healthy diets and lifestyles who still had their lives cut short by diseases such as cancer. Here are a couple of blog posts I like on the topic of cancer in vegans:

http://www.theveganrd.com/2014/12/ve...e-shaming.html

http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/05/wh...et-cancer.html

While I think the pursuit of a better diet is very worthy, the idea that doing so will treat diseases or replace conventional medicines in any broad sense is not well-established medical science and is in fact on the very fringes of what is being studied. Nutritional science is in its infancy, and I expect we will see some big changes in what we know in the next 10-20 years.
Very excellent points. Vegans and plant based eaters certainly aren't immune from disease/cancers and the title "how not to die" can be misleading and hurtful to those of us that do everything right and get sick. The role of nutrition in disease causation and prevention is a relatively new science and new information is coming out every day.

It would be wise to not make lifestyle changes based on one study and take that as gospel truth. An example would be he read a study that hibiscus tea had extremely high levels of antioxidants and recommended drinking it all day,. Then later he back tracked when it was found that hibiscus has high levels of manganese (I think..but don't quote me).

That said, nutrition and lifestyle can prevent diabetes, treat high blood pressure etc. These are known facts and has been studied extensively. Look at he "Forks Over Knives" patients who got off of all their medications. It doesn't replace modern medicine...all these people were treated my MD's.

People shouldn't treat serious illnesses themselves with this book. It does some good information...sensationalist claims aside.
01-11-2016 04:18 PM
runnerveggie
Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
I suspect Runnerveggie is a doctor. If so, I get why he doesn't like the book. Everyone can't read medical journals, though.
It's true that not everyone has the time or expertise to verify claims about scientific research. This is exactly why people who interpret scientific research for a lay audience like Greger need to be extremely cautious and hold the research they chose to write about to a high standard. Unfortunately, as in the blog post I critiqued above, Greger does not always seem to have appropriately high standards.
01-11-2016 09:43 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
I'm not sure why you would think that I have access to full articles. I do not.



I guess he should have cited this one, which appears to show just that (unless you have Chronic Hep B)

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/807921



Book titles are often handled by publishers and not authors. I personally have no problem with the title. I think the subtitle spells things out very clearly.

I have to ask, though, what exactly you mean by 'established medical science.' How do you define 'established?' His advice definitely goes beyond conventional wisdom, but I have no problems basing my health decisions on a large body of well-done/structured studies even if they defy said wisdom.

I also have to ask how you define 'sensational' as I find very few such statements like that in the book. Granted, I'm only about halfway through the 576 pages, but I think that's plenty to get a sense of his style...
I suspect Runnerveggie is a doctor. If so, I get why he doesn't like the book. Everyone can't read medical journals, though.
01-11-2016 06:49 AM
dixonge
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
In order to evaluate the validity of Greger's claims, you need to go to the primary sources. If you had, you would have found this in the text of the article:
I'm not sure why you would think that I have access to full articles. I do not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
I wonder which citations you believe show that coffee has a protective effect against developing hepatocellular carcinoma, either in patients with hepatitis C or in fatty liver disease?
I guess he should have cited this one, which appears to show just that (unless you have Chronic Hep B)

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/807921

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
I agree that something could be "key" without being a sure fire ticket to good health; however, the very title of the book is "How not to die," which seems to be an implicit guarantee -- "If I follow these recommendations, I won't die from the diseases listed in this book." The title is not, "How to decrease your risk," which would be much more accurate (but only if the information contained in the book were based on established medical science).

I paged through the first few pages of Greger's book on Amazon, and I found a similar sensationalistic style and claims that go beyond the current state of established medical science.
Book titles are often handled by publishers and not authors. I personally have no problem with the title. I think the subtitle spells things out very clearly.

I have to ask, though, what exactly you mean by 'established medical science.' How do you define 'established?' His advice definitely goes beyond conventional wisdom, but I have no problems basing my health decisions on a large body of well-done/structured studies even if they defy said wisdom.

I also have to ask how you define 'sensational' as I find very few such statements like that in the book. Granted, I'm only about halfway through the 576 pages, but I think that's plenty to get a sense of his style...
01-09-2016 04:49 PM
runnerveggie
Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Are you sure you have the right M. Petracco?
In order to evaluate the validity of Greger's claims, you need to go to the primary sources. If you had, you would have found this in the text of the article:
Quote:
Conflict of interest statement
... Dr. M. Petracco is an employee of Illy, a coffee factory in Italy. The role of Dr. M. Petracco was to supervise the analyses on the coffee used in the experiments, that was regularly bought. Dr. Petracco also helped in designing the study and evaluating the results obtained.
Did you notice the statistical errors and the error in the abstract? This is not nitpicking -- interpretation of data and statistical measures are the foundation on which science is built. The authors actually present two conflicting statistical measures, one of which indicates that there is actually no statistically significant difference in inflammation between the two groups. Why is this discrepancy present, and why didn't Greger pick up on it as well?

Please also note that the study did not evaluate the development of cancer at all. It is simply looking at inflammation over the short term. The author's thoughts on potential liver cancer effects are purely speculative.

I wonder which citations you believe show that coffee has a protective effect against developing hepatocellular carcinoma, either in patients with hepatitis C or in fatty liver disease?

Prospective randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of medical evidence. Here, the only randomized controlled trial I could identify among his references is the one I have already called into question. Most, if not all, of the remaining references are observational studies, which can certainly be helpful in identifying potential factors that might influence disease. However, these are not usually accepted as definitive proof as there is often the presence of confounding factors. For example, people who drink coffee may have other behaviors or exposures that influence their risk of liver disease and liver cancer. Thus, with these observational studies, you don't really know if the effects are due to coffee itself, or potentially other factors.

I agree that something could be "key" without being a sure fire ticket to good health; however, the very title of the book is "How not to die," which seems to be an implicit guarantee -- "If I follow these recommendations, I won't die from the diseases listed in this book." The title is not, "How to decrease your risk," which would be much more accurate (but only if the information contained in the book were based on established medical science).

I paged through the first few pages of Greger's book on Amazon, and I found a similar sensationalistic style and claims that go beyond the current state of established medical science.
01-09-2016 03:46 PM
David3 Just got the book on Kindle. Good stuff.
01-09-2016 03:08 PM
dixonge
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Unfortunately, I find Michael Greger to be rather sensationalistic rather than carefully examining the evidence. He makes claims based on very small studies, and does not give the appropriate caveats to warn his readers/viewers to interpret the data on their own with caution and skepticism.
If you go to Amazon, you can get a sample of his book for free. Then you can read the preface, intro, and all of Chapter 1. I'd like for you to at least do that much before you start lobbing accusations, lest those accusations show themselves to be completely unfounded. Because that's how I see what you just said - completely unfounded.

I find him thorough, obsessively so. Caveats out the wazoo. Citing of the largest studies ever done in the history of science and medicine. In other words, the exact opposite of what you just stated...

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Even the title of this book is overly sensationalized and invokes the idea that eating a certain diet is the key to a long and healthy life. Although many people do suffer diseases that are either caused by or made worse by diet and lifestyle factors, we also know many examples of people who followed what we think of as extremely healthy diets and lifestyles who still had their lives cut short by diseases such as cancer.
Something can be a 'key to' a long and healthy life without being a guarantee of such. Nothing in the book gives any such guarantee. It's all about minimizing risk factors. Cancer, like most diseases, has genetic predispositions. Diet and lifestyle can either offset them or exacerbate them.
01-09-2016 02:52 PM
dixonge
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Check out this gem as one example: Coffee for hepatitis C

Just because a document has references to scientific literature does not mean it is good science. Greger uses a study involving only 40 patients with hepatitis C to draw the conclusion that coffee is "a reasonable adjunct to therapy for people at high risk such as those with fatty liver disease." Not only was this a very small study, the study included only hepatitis C patients, not those with fatty liver disease. Of course, these two diagnoses are completely unrelated: hepatitis C is caused by viral infection while fatty liver disease is caused by either alcohol or metabolic problems (not a virus).
I think you misread what he stated. HepC and fatty liver disease are both major causes of the rising incidence of liver cancer. If coffee protects against cancer, it protects. The size of the study isn't directly problematic in the context of the MANY OTHER studies cited in his article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
To make matters worse, the study itself is questionable in terms of bias. An employee of a coffee factory is included as a coauthor: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23238034
Are you sure you have the right M. Petracco?

Overall, I will have to say I generally disagree with your assessment of this article, pretty much 180 degree opposite conclusion. I find Greger to be the most balanced and thorough of all nutritional advice out there these days. I found the article to be a wonderful overview of the topic of liver disease in general, and the potential protective factors offered by coffee. Your focus on one comment related to one study out of the several mentioned seems odd.
01-05-2016 06:14 PM
runnerveggie
Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
What is questionable? I find he uses the best science available.
Check out this gem as one example: Coffee for hepatitis C

Just because a document has references to scientific literature does not mean it is good science. Greger uses a study involving only 40 patients with hepatitis C to draw the conclusion that coffee is "a reasonable adjunct to therapy for people at high risk such as those with fatty liver disease." Not only was this a very small study, the study included only hepatitis C patients, not those with fatty liver disease. Of course, these two diagnoses are completely unrelated: hepatitis C is caused by viral infection while fatty liver disease is caused by either alcohol or metabolic problems (not a virus).

Greger neglected to mention that hepatitis C viral RNA levels were actually higher in the higher coffee consumption group. There seems to be at least one glaring error in their reporting of statistical measures (Table 3, AST), which would affect the main conclusions of the study. There is another error in the abstract (the enzyme alanine aminotransferase seems to be mistakenly reported with results later assigned to a different enzyme alkaline phosphatase).

To make matters worse, the study itself is questionable in terms of bias. An employee of a coffee factory is included as a coauthor: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23238034

This is not to mention the fact that coffee (and particularly caffeine) consumption can have significant side effects, especially for people with chronic medical conditions. This is not to say that coffee is harmful -- it's just rather short-sighted to make a blanket recommendation in light of such shaky evidence.
01-04-2016 03:48 PM
silva
Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
I don't feel he is sensationalistic in his claims. Do you know of a physician who is more trustworthy advocating vegan diets?

I read the PCRM and the studies there all the time, but I think Gregor is really good to get the word out to the public.
Yes. Dr Esselstyn.
I've known a man who went from having last rites done at his second triple bypass (after many stents, drugs, and being on the DASH diet-and type 2 diabetes), to an althletic energized happy man now free of medicines, and has the test results proving his reversal. Theres a big following of people who actually stick to his very strict regime of NO oil, and very controlled plant foods. I hear doctors say it wouldn't work because people won't do it, but they really are. The no oil meetups are way bigger than the vegan one
01-04-2016 03:45 PM
odizzido
Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
Well, don't worry about it, I thought there might be something glaringly incorrect in his work that was bothering you.
oh no not at all. If I thought his work was bad I never would have said I'd read his book if it were convenient. His work certainly has value but I would never make any major changes to my life based on his recommendations without first reading the info/studies myself.
01-04-2016 03:35 PM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
I don't feel he is sensationalistic in his claims. Do you know of a physician who is more trustworthy advocating vegan diets?

I read the PCRM and the studies there all the time, but I think Gregor is really good to get the word out to the public.
To be fair, I haven't read the book, so I'm not in a position to criticize him specifically. It's just that, in general, I am sceptical of health claims attributed to a particular diet-- low carb, high carb, low fat, plant-based, whatever-- especially when those claims involve curing a wide variety of diseases. I just don't think that what we eat is THAT big a factor, although admittedly I have nothing concrete with which to back that up.
01-04-2016 03:11 PM
silva I will say I hate the title. I can just imagine someone asking what I'm reading and tearing it to shreds.
I do wonder about some of his claims like dripping broccoli juice on cancer cells and they shrivel (I made that up, but he does say things like that)
His points seem to go way beyond just diet and into the insanity of we've learned to think of as stuff to eat. I don't mean just factory grown animals,, but all the crap that gets mass produced the same way as office supplies and cleaning products

I am afraid this may be triggering for those with eating disorders. I randomly guessed at the calories eating all catagories would be and think getting 2000 would be the high end. for those including excersize and already restricting portions and calories this may put them over the edge? Orthorexcia is also real, and while he doesn't do anything to aggrevate it, those who do suffer from complusion might have problems with it.

he really does avoid the entire vegan label- his way of eating just happens to fall into that catagory. I've always been sure to let people know eating vegan is more than food, and can be as healthy or not healthy as you like
I've gotten so enthused by all the new foods and food combining I've learned that I'm now more overweight than before went veg!
I'm so excited by how he presents food. It isn't about living forever, but optimum living
01-04-2016 09:49 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
I've downloaded the app, although like @runnerveggie I am sceptical of any sensationalist claims. Healthy eating is important, no doubt, but disease has much to do with genetics and luck.
I don't feel he is sensationalistic in his claims. Do you know of a physician who is more trustworthy advocating vegan diets?

I read the PCRM and the studies there all the time, but I think Gregor is really good to get the word out to the public.
01-04-2016 04:40 AM
no whey jose I've downloaded the app, although like @runnerveggie I am sceptical of any sensationalist claims. Healthy eating is important, no doubt, but disease has much to do with genetics and luck.
01-04-2016 12:07 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by odizzido View Post
I'd need to look again as I don't recall anymore....and I won't be doing that tonight [emoji14] If I feel like it later I might post back here with a proper reply.
Well, don't worry about it, I thought there might be something glaringly incorrect in his work that was bothering you.
01-03-2016 09:16 PM
odizzido I'd need to look again as I don't recall anymore....and I won't be doing that tonight :P If I feel like it later I might post back here with a proper reply.
01-03-2016 05:28 PM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by odizzido View Post
Yeah I agree. I find some of his stuff to be very good but other things to be....questionable. Unfortunately the good and bad is all mixed up with no indication of how reliable the information is so I do not use his stuff as often as I might otherwise.

I do believe that diet/lifestyle plays a massive role in disease, but as you said we just don't know very much yet.

Still, there is likely a lot of good information in the book and I'd check it out if it were convenient.
What is questionable? I find he uses the best science available.
01-03-2016 04:57 PM
karenlovessnow Downloaded the app and purchased the book on my kindle...thanks for the recommendation! [emoji4]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
01-03-2016 04:47 PM
odizzido
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Unfortunately, I find Michael Greger to be rather sensationalistic rather than carefully examining the evidence. He makes claims based on very small studies, and does not give the appropriate caveats to warn his readers/viewers to interpret the data on their own with caution and skepticism. Even the title of this book is overly sensationalized and invokes the idea that eating a certain diet is the key to a long and healthy life. Although many people do suffer diseases that are either caused by or made worse by diet and lifestyle factors, we also know many examples of people who followed what we think of as extremely healthy diets and lifestyles who still had their lives cut short by diseases such as cancer. Here are a couple of blog posts I like on the topic of cancer in vegans:

http://www.theveganrd.com/2014/12/ve...e-shaming.html

http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/05/wh...et-cancer.html

While I think the pursuit of a better diet is very worthy, the idea that doing so will treat diseases or replace conventional medicines in any broad sense is not well-established medical science and is in fact on the very fringes of what is being studied. Nutritional science is in its infancy, and I expect we will see some big changes in what we know in the next 10-20 years.
Yeah I agree. I find some of his stuff to be very good but other things to be....questionable. Unfortunately the good and bad is all mixed up with no indication of how reliable the information is so I do not use his stuff as often as I might otherwise.

I do believe that diet/lifestyle plays a massive role in disease, but as you said we just don't know very much yet.

Still, there is likely a lot of good information in the book and I'd check it out if it were convenient.
01-03-2016 02:25 PM
silva this isn't about shaming, it isn't even about being vegan-at all.
you can point to his not having enough testing, for everything, but he certainly is upfront with his research, and even if claims with may not be completely tested, they're not going to hurt.

I'll never put down people just for their diet, but i see no reason to put down healthy habits either. as a society we've become complacent, with health discussions followed by ads of desserts
I used to be thin. when i found myself gaining and becoming lazy I crossed the line of 'self acceptance', and am now bearing 40 pounds of acceptance.

I've been witness to severe heart disease reversed through Dr Esselstyns plan-which is more strict than anything Greger promotes. while there's no 100% in life, there are goals to aim for
01-03-2016 02:03 PM
runnerveggie Unfortunately, I find Michael Greger to be rather sensationalistic rather than carefully examining the evidence. He makes claims based on very small studies, and does not give the appropriate caveats to warn his readers/viewers to interpret the data on their own with caution and skepticism. Even the title of this book is overly sensationalized and invokes the idea that eating a certain diet is the key to a long and healthy life. Although many people do suffer diseases that are either caused by or made worse by diet and lifestyle factors, we also know many examples of people who followed what we think of as extremely healthy diets and lifestyles who still had their lives cut short by diseases such as cancer. Here are a couple of blog posts I like on the topic of cancer in vegans:

http://www.theveganrd.com/2014/12/ve...e-shaming.html

http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/05/wh...et-cancer.html

While I think the pursuit of a better diet is very worthy, the idea that doing so will treat diseases or replace conventional medicines in any broad sense is not well-established medical science and is in fact on the very fringes of what is being studied. Nutritional science is in its infancy, and I expect we will see some big changes in what we know in the next 10-20 years.
01-03-2016 07:42 AM
silva In the first part of the book ills are addressed, in the second half it's all about foods, prep, combining, and while he doesn't offer 'recipes' he does offer much guidance that really makes it easy for anyone
01-03-2016 07:40 AM
silva I love the app! I love the book!
When it first came out I could hardly believe all the wonderful, varied, reviews on amazon. Even those who dismiss all plant based diets liked it (besides the promoting vegan diets!) It's just so much fun to read. Not at all 'sciency', or preachy, he just tells it as it is, and has lots of research listed.
I wouldn't even compare this book to the website, as I often felt his videos and statistics went over my head. His writing here never does.
I almost feel too excited to change my ways, but no one, not even Furhman, got me so enthused.

I've gained the weight I'd lost when I first went veg'n and more. I'm at my highest weight ever, having been so into cooking vegan, and eating everything I wanted. It occurred to me while reading this that going back to whole foods won't be the same as it was when I first gave up animal foods. I know now how to cook, and combine, and those talents need to create a healthier me, not just lazy eater as I've become
01-03-2016 06:43 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
What are Gregor's 'daily dozen' and what tips does he use to eat them every day?

In one of the videos I saw with him in recently he mentioned putting parsley in everything. I've started doing that as it's so easy to do and I believe it's full of vitamin C. I buy a big bunch and add it to all my savoury meals. Garlic too tends to get put in everything. Though I've no idea if that's on Gregor's list!
There's a free app!
http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/12/31...ideos-of-2015/

Here's a screenshot of the daily dozen from my phone.

(In the wrong order)
01-03-2016 01:20 AM
Spudulika What are Gregor's 'daily dozen' and what tips does he use to eat them every day?

In one of the videos I saw with him in recently he mentioned putting parsley in everything. I've started doing that as it's so easy to do and I believe it's full of vitamin C. I buy a big bunch and add it to all my savoury meals. Garlic too tends to get put in everything. Though I've no idea if that's on Gregor's list!
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