Michael Greger, MD, FACLM is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions; testified before Congress; has appeared on shows such as The Colbert Report and The Dr. Oz Show; and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial.

Dr. Greger’s recent scientific publications in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Family and Community Health, and the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Public Health explore the public health implications of industrialized animal agriculture.

  • What is lifestyle wellness and how can you incorporate it into your life?
  • How destructive are the foods we are eating?
  • What is gut bacteria and why do you need it?

Links from today’s show:


0:00take back your health now episode 21
0:06you’re listening to the take back your
0:08health now podcast the show that
0:11interviews the top doctors athletes
0:13trainers and entrepreneurs to help you
0:16find the holy grail of health now here’s
0:18your host dr. dan Margolin
0:22[Music] 0:28jordann Margolin with another segment of
0:30take back your health now where we pull
0:31out all the stops in search of Health’s
0:34holy grail we are really excited to have
0:36dr. Michael Greger on the show he is a
0:38physician New York Times bestselling
0:41author and internationally recognized
0:43professional speaker on a number of
0:45important public health issues dr.
0:48Gregor has lectured at the conference on
0:49world affairs the National Institutes of
0:52Health and the International bird flu
0:54some among countless other symposia
0:56institutions testified before Congress
0:59has appeared on shows such as the
1:01colbert report and the dr oz show and
1:03was invited as an expert witness in
1:05defense of oprah winfrey at the infamous
1:07meet defamation trial dr. rigorous
1:10recent scientific publications in the
1:12American Journal of Preventive Medicine
1:14critical reviews in microbiology family
1:17and community health and the
1:18international journal of food safety
1:19nutrition and public health explode of
1:22public health implications of
1:24industrialized animal agriculture not
1:27your regular welcome to the show sir
1:29so happy to be here so dr. Greger how
1:33not to die is a pretty shocking title
1:36for a book what made you want to write
1:38that and what would have you come up
1:39with the title
1:40Oh way it’s not well how did not die but
1:43how not to die as in here you know
1:45prematurely and paint after long chronic
1:48disabling illness
1:49the good news is we have tremendous
1:52power over health and longevity the mass
1:56majority of premature death and
1:58disability is preventable defined based
2:01on another healthy lifestyle behaviors
2:03night wanted to get that word out there
2:05you know it’s it’s it’s funny because
2:08i’ve interviewed like a dr. joel Fuhrman
2:09dr. Steven country who also medical
2:12doctors that are really going more
2:14towards reversing diseases and things
2:16like that with a more animal vegetable
2:18based diet and things like that
2:20how did you first discover that what
2:21made you it’s not you know we look at
2:23the medical field a lot of the doctors
2:25are more medically based as far as
2:26pharmaceutically how to do so break out
2:28of that
2:30I was actually i’ll start with my
2:33I was uh I was just a kid when my when
2:38the doctors and my grandma women
2:40wheelchair to die she was diagnosed with
2:43end-stage heart disease here and so many
2:46bypass operations that basically run out
2:49of plumbing at some point you combine
2:52the wheelchair crushing chest pain her
2:53life was over at age 65 doctor said
2:57there’s nothing more they could do i but
3:00this year about this guy Nathan Pritikin
3:02one of our early lifestyle medicine
3:03pioneers and became one of his early
3:06success story she’s actually featured in
3:09his book men is a biography touchable
3:12Francis greater my grandma I’ve gotten
3:15even program where you know placed on a
3:18plant-based diet the graded exercise
3:19program that will deranged you walk out
3:23not a few weeks she was walking ten
3:27miles a day went on to live another 31
3:29years of age 96 @ to continue to enjoy
3:33her six grandkids including me
3:36so we’re not really this kind of
3:38miraculous recovery that not only
3:40inspire those branches to pursue a
3:43career medicine but you have granted her
3:45enough healthy years to see me graduate
3:47from medical school as well so it’s
3:49really all thanks to her I but that I
3:53not only practice medicine by practice
3:55that type of medicine I do lifestyle
3:58wow that is incredible a great story i’m
4:01so so if you don’t help in order not to
4:04die like what are the things that we
4:05should avoid a kick-out how should we
4:07live our lives
4:08I will so the first half of the book oh
4:12my deception chapters on each of the 15
4:14cause of death on Darla starting with
4:17heart disease moving onto various
4:18cancers and strokin in alzheimer’s all
4:21the way down diabetes and talk about the
4:24real diamond playing preventing
4:25arresting reversing each or 15 killers
4:27and then the second of the book is more
4:29really just gonna I didn’t mind just be
4:32a reference book I wanted to become a
4:34practical guide and female kind of going
4:37to translating this mountain of evidence
4:39into day-to-day decisions so that’s what
4:41became the second half of the book where
4:43i sent my recommendations run the daily
4:45dozen checklist of all the things I try
4:48to fit into my daily routine so you
4:51everyday encourage people to eat in a
4:53dark green leafy vegetables healthy
4:55types of vegetables berries healthy
4:56stuff roots you know you know beans
4:59every day it takes to the ground
5:01flaxseed the quarter teaspoon turmeric
5:04the best beverages how much exercise to
5:07get the best sweetness is set on down
5:08the list and hopes that I can inspire
5:12people to add more healthy food their
5:15are there other specifically said in the
5:17beginning of the book you list out some
5:18of the specific things are there other
5:21specific point hypertension or heart
5:24how would somebody avoid that would be
5:26the the remedy for that I guess how
5:27would you respond well so most of those
5:30this eases can be not only prevented and
5:33stopped in their tracks special reversed
5:35by treating the clause which is
5:39primarily an unhealthy diet so for
5:42example with nonsense in July 2013 1990s
5:46when that doctor teen is published
5:48landmark lifestyle harder on the lens it
5:50that heart disease or number one killer
5:54and women can be worked verse with Ellen
5:58another lifestyle changes so put people
6:00on the whole food plant-based diet of
6:03man and able to you know dissolve black
6:06away opening up ours without drugs
6:08without surgery so we effectively had
6:10the cure to our number-one killer for
6:13decades now you have hundreds of people
6:16continue to diet is preventable arrested
6:19bubble reversible condition same
6:21thing with hypertension my the only I
6:25think important thing to note though is
6:28if you are taking blood pressure pills
6:31you’re on blood pressure medication you
6:33need to make these healthy lifestyle
6:35changes in conjunction with your
6:38prescribing physicians because you
6:40people underestimate doctors
6:42underestimate the power of nutrition to
6:45rapidly alarm reverse disease and look
6:49you can have normal blood pressure and
6:51beyond multiple blood pressure
6:52medication she dropped her pressure to
6:53low could be dangerous you will get
6:55dizzy fall over hit your head or
6:57something so your doctor has to wean you
6:59off these drugs as your as you treat the
7:03cause as you get healthy and how they’re
7:04so you can just do it on your own and
7:06cute and take the same amount of
7:08traction return before while it’s so so
7:11you know you just funny when you think
7:12of you changing your diet CII in my mind
7:16you almost think of a slow reversal you
7:18know you’ll do this it’ll take a few
7:19years you’re saying a lot of these
7:21reversals are how long would type here
7:23at a time period of you followed
7:25strictly know so my it was the petrol on
7:29the UH can be a matter of days in terms
7:32of type 2 diabetes weeks for
7:34hypertension and and symptomatic heart
7:38disease for example in china now a few
7:40weeks you’re not getting that you
7:42actually were very energy opening up the
7:44arteries were you doing is not changing
7:46the structure your arteries in that kind
7:48of time frame various to you changing
7:49the function of those are always so for
7:51example nitrogen-containing bicycles
7:53like dark green leafy vegetables and
7:55beetroot oh my can enable your arteries
7:58to open up to dilate better so even if
8:01there are clogged off with you know
8:03cluster lady in black you can get some
8:06better function so within we should get
8:09you know a benign extent Robin China
8:12taxes when you get with you know making
8:15our stenting or bypass surgery but you
8:18get it without the surgery on by
8:20treating the actual cause instead of
8:21literally divesting the problem while
8:24really revolutionary concepts right i
8:27mean i know they’ve been around for
8:27decades but as far as if you walk into a
8:30hospital right now and you said in the
8:32ER hey this is what I want to do what
8:34kind of react
8:34you think you would get
8:37well I mean maybe you’re in the ER i
8:40mean if you have a clock in your heart
8:42you are areas of a kind of acute cardiac
8:46arrest there are my cases in which you
8:51know they rush you are to the
8:54angiography sweet they can she go in and
8:57does all that plaque away and save your
9:00life but for chronic you know stable and
9:04you know the kind of people suffer with
9:06home are my the universe testing
9:10procedures don’t work in terms of
9:14increasing more baby and mortality they
9:18don’t actually extend your life span
9:20they can have symptomatic relief but why
9:21just get symptomatically you can
9:23actually reverse course is the entire
9:25disease now it’s but I mean to typically
9:29most doctors these days have heard about
9:32Ornish work and so so you know when I
9:37when I confront them into always and why
9:39are you describing this tell your
9:41patients they typically you’ll get this
9:45kind of patronizing responsible of my
9:48patients won’t do it you know that God
9:50can get my face and stuff smoking forget
9:52but no way to try it I’m but and I but I
9:57try to remind them that look that
9:58decisions made up to you i mean you are
10:01you are making up your patients mind for
10:05them by not informing them of this even
10:08as an alternative I think you’ll be
10:10shocked at how many people at the broad
10:13you know diversity of people that will
10:15you know it’s given a choice to get
10:17their chest cracked up undertake drunk
10:19every day for the rest of I would
10:20actually choose to treat the cause and
10:23clean up their died last home and live
10:26longer because of it
10:27wow I agree with you a hundred percent
10:29what you know it’s almost a
10:30dye-sensitized I see an increase in
10:33diabetes obesity even cancers are are
10:37these things that are also fairly simple
10:39to treat based on a based on diet
10:42oh and gout to you probably the front
10:44loss on tell me about you know the day
10:47after seeing Patrick’s Day my phone goes
10:49off the hook
10:50oh god oh no well you better look at but
10:56you know it’s actually the same kind of
10:58diet that same kind of you know lots of
11:02meat and and does your message the
11:05chemically at the alcohol component I’m
11:08can lead to this you know 300 you’re
11:10seeing a high uric acid levels in the
11:12blood which crystallizes in joint such a
11:14big toe and I’m causes painful gouty
11:17arthritis it
11:18oh and so that’s the disease that can be
11:22I retreated with diet arm and some of
11:25the others you mentioned to my the the
11:27type 2 diabetes certainly computer
11:30versatile the you know after Gene on his
11:33Conqueror number one killer heart
11:35disease they moved onto the killer
11:37number to cancer so they took a group of
11:40men with early-stage prostate cancer put
11:42them on the same kind of timepiece died
11:43unjustly used to reverse heart disease
11:46and got a reversal in the progression of
11:50their prostate cancer so what they saw
11:52as a are the there on amateur PSA levels
11:56wind down as opposed to control group
11:58where they continue to rise so this
12:00suggests shrinking of their tumors mama
12:04just because of you know dioxide
12:07exercise smoking cessation all the just
12:10kind of common-sense healthy behaviors
12:14suggesting looking our body wants to be
12:17healthy all along kind of the normal
12:19state right arm it should be held and
12:22only when we know whack ourselves in the
12:26shin three times a day breakfast lunch
12:29and dinner are we gonna do not have to
12:31deal with this kind of information and
12:33these kind of oxidant insult
12:35oh which contributes undies dr. the wac
12:38yourself in indy kinda think what is
12:40that like what what are we eating is it
12:42to genetically modified foods like what
12:44did too much meat and what what is it
12:46that’s actually causing all this and how
12:48how how destructive are the foods that
12:51we are eating
12:52all the components within within the
12:56food I mean so we don’t eat you know
12:58nutrient sweet foods but are my but in
13:02general we need to cut down on a trans
13:06fat saturation sodium mud added sugar
13:11and mission these are some of the food
13:12components are contributing to disease
13:16we’ve those are kind of the traditional
13:19ones is a bunches of really new
13:23interesting stories in terms of effects
13:26on our microbiome business is something
13:29called TMAO trimethylamine oxide which
13:31is actually formed from the carnitine in
13:33the colon from family in meat dairy eggs
13:37seafood which is converted by a certain
13:41gut bacteria into some of the culture
13:43must remain oxidized liberals fri method
13:45monoxide which can then I attack our
13:48arterial lining increase the cholesterol
13:52I’m and increase your risk of heart
13:54attack and stroke and heart failure and
13:56come on down the list but what’s
13:59interesting is you need these but if you
14:02love this piece
14:04the pathogenic bacteria in your gut you
14:06don’t produce any this regardless of
14:08what you eat so what they did is it is
14:10at the Cleveland Clinic and dr. asians
14:13group where they took vegans because a
14:16mistake didn’t make any GMA oh he’s a
14:18way to take steak is packed with
14:20cognitive but yeah it’s not the currency
14:22but if you may teach the steak every day
14:25are then you see continuing bacteria
14:29they grow and multiply and that it can i
14:31create to talk to tal but if you eat
14:35healthy arm and then you don’t foster
14:38the growth of these pathogenic bacteria
14:41and so you don’t make gmail so what
14:43they’re saying is that it’s really the
14:46day-to-day stuff that doesn’t matter
14:48what you use on your birthday or
14:49holidays and special occasions my day
14:51basis we really should eat clean diet
14:54and what that means is one to minimize
14:57the intake meeting experience processed
14:59junk and maximize the intake of fruits
15:01vegetables legumes which are being
15:04quickly took these muscles whole grains
15:06with these Martians herbs and spices
15:07basically real food that grows out of
15:10the ground these are our healthiest
15:13dr. as a unfortunately growing up eating
15:15a lot of meat and potatoes or if you
15:17were to say what percentage of your diet
15:19you could get away with them and maybe
15:21i’m sure it varies for each but as a
15:23standard is a 10-percent that like what
15:25percent would you say would be a safe
15:27percent that you could eat red meat
15:28chicken dairy eggs all those kind of
15:31well so if you look for example the
15:34Okinawa japanese one of our longest
15:36living population they eat is a
15:39significant ii eight percent of
15:42plant-based at about seventy percent of
15:45that diet calorie viruses sweet potatoes
15:47purple contributed and shouldn’t go to
15:51prevent Gary but about to pretend the
15:54diet eggs and fish and say live
15:57extraordinarily are not long healthy
16:00lives so that would suggest that those
16:02two percent with work
16:04don’t the longest-living population
16:06there the second-longest of the
16:07population the longest-living population
16:09are my dad doesn’t need any made it all
16:12she squeezed that don’t 0% our band that
16:15the these the California of this charity
16:20event account of the seventh-day
16:22adventist on the which is they can
16:24longest-living you so abused on
16:27population of the world now
16:29Wow but i’m not but you know that this
16:33over love about 10 years longer than the
16:34general population
16:36I’m not sure Brian that’s a combination
16:38but the guy plus smoking rates and other
16:41healthy lifestyle behaviors
16:43what is the what is the length of time
16:44we will be talking over a hundred or
16:46what was the little to the average so
16:49the average life expectancy arm 87 from
16:53an 89 for women and so that about 10-12
16:57years past the average life expectancy
17:00of general population about 76 and and a
17:05they do have a lot of centenarians
17:06affected you know they have a there’s a
17:08centenarian cardiac surgeons there’s
17:11this who’s actually still doing a
17:13open-heart surgery over the age of 100 y
17:19and somewhat that with that show I mean
17:20that’s it mean it’s just it’s not just
17:23about the number of years it’s about
17:26your you know vitality your health from
17:29mark so not only are we living a
17:32progressively shorter use for garrett
17:35temple next generation actually that’d
17:37be the first American generation that
17:39lived shorter lives in the parents large
17:40they do the obesity diabetes epidemic
17:42but they’re living fewer healthy years
17:47of life where their significant
17:50disability and so you know we want our
17:52golden years to be happy and healthy and
17:55we can do that by taking care of
17:58yourself and you know just a little just
18:00kind of common sense stuff encryption
18:02not smoking eating healthy you know
18:04wearing her seatbelt sure that you what
18:07about probiotics supplements how does
18:09that fit into your viewpoint
18:13so I mean it so we are learning more and
18:16more about the amazing powers of a
18:18healthy gut flora to benefit not just
18:22international health but throughout our
18:24body immunity maybe mental l armature
18:28the quite extraordinary so-called
18:29microbiome revolution is going on but
18:31the answer is not to take probiotic
18:33supplement that’s all that does so you
18:36can temporarily take probiotics
18:37something you can seed your gut with
18:39healthy bacteria but then if you don’t
18:41feed those bacteria so-called prebiotics
18:44if you know feed those healthy bacteria
18:46they’ll just die off so you have to take
18:48them everyday so yeah you take
18:49probiotics every day for the rest your
18:51life or how about you just feed the few
18:56good gut bacteria you have armed with
18:59prebiotics which are fiber and
19:01resistance charge which is found
19:02concentrated whole plan for gene hold
19:05foreign foods healthy foods and you feed
19:08the gut bacteria then they grow they
19:09multiply and so so you can foster the
19:13growth of your own google bacteria so
19:16that’s really what the focus should be
19:17on now if you just do a course of a
19:19device or white by you’re done and
19:21you’re experiencing symptoms ok
19:23certainly I can imagine you know
19:25repopulated go let’s go back here but
19:26once you repopulated then you just have
19:28to feed them keeps them healthy by
19:30eating the foods that they eat we fiber
19:34we feed them they feed us right back out
19:37with you said these five parts of fiber
19:40they think absorbed back into our system
19:42and have beneficial systemic effects so
19:45we’re really were really being gardeners
19:46to our own gut for something that’s
19:48really a disease based at tending our
19:52inner garden haha i love it i love it
19:55and what was the only one apparent my
19:58daughter is eight years old you know
19:59there was a period where she was on
20:00antibiotics pretty or infection at some
20:02point you should i be worried about that
20:04i mean what would that how would that
20:05affect her groom so so it depends what
20:08kind of animal are so there’s so many of
20:09our I mean antibiotics are meant to be
20:11absorbed the system right i mean it’s so
20:15if you have an ear infection of science
20:16and fresh taking about you want a bar to
20:19be absorbed your bloodstream because I
20:20got to circulate throughout your body
20:21you don’t need your gut you need them in
20:23your blood sugar and
20:24the ear Union and the sciences so most
20:27antibiotics are meant to be absorbed the
20:28small intestine it’s only there are
20:31there are certain antibiotics that are
20:35designed not to be absorbed to stay in
20:38the intestine so they make it down to
20:40the colon wipe out your gut flora which
20:43can be done for certain the bacterial
20:46infections of the dut I and so but but
20:50there but many antibiotics don’t affect
20:54done right by your gut flora because
20:56they get absorbed for their make it down
20:58to the large colon which is where most
20:59of our cup floor all what would be an
21:01example of an antibiotic that would wake
21:03now your gut floor so something like
21:06metronews all or something where the
21:08whole point is the mean you have
21:10something like you know she did for some
21:13really horrible intestinal you know the
21:17infection you try to wipe it out
21:19unfortunately and now you hit it off the
21:21mat to Jesus caused by taking other room
21:24at the end of microbrews white are you
21:28good book of performing in the bad
21:29bacteria can take over
21:31um and so I my butt but look it so how
21:36you know what you have to go for it is
21:38if you had symptoms so for example if
21:41you have taking anabolic you have
21:42chronic i really like 250 days and more
21:45than a be like okay we’ve disturbed the
21:47Gulf back on floor maybe you know it’s
21:50worth taking my course of probiotics now
21:53of course price to work in leicester
21:56she’ll live that’s where you find the
21:57refrigerated section natural food store
21:59but just because the refrigerator then
22:01doesn’t mean they haven’t been on a hot
22:03truck for loans we do you gotta take the
22:06providers home and we do is just do as a
22:08test you open up the capsule into a
22:10little bowl of milk communicating milk
22:13arm arm and then you have a control bowl
22:16of milk which you didn’t put the capsule
22:17and you come back in the morning after
22:20overnight and the bowl should look
22:21different the one you had the probe are
22:23you should be filming and frosty
22:25engrossing yogurty when you come down
22:27the down the sink that shows just
22:30actually live bacteria doing their thing
22:32and they both look the same way you
22:33don’t bound the sink
22:35for the provider dead you to take them
22:37back to the store demand a refund you
22:39get a replace right but it’s important
22:41to do that every bottle you get because
22:43it doesn’t it doesn’t work unless you
22:45are shit Allah that is a great that is a
22:47great tip thank you for that sir
22:49so what is what he feels the biggest
22:51threat to the health of Americans at
22:52this point
22:53oh well I mean it’s a gold burden of
22:57disease study largest study restructures
22:59to date human history on by the melinda
23:01gates foundation now the number one
23:04cause of death in the United States and
23:05then one concept disability is our diet
23:09followed by smoking but now cigarettes
23:11on the kill but uh my half million
23:13Americans every year whereas our diet
23:15hundreds of thousands more so it’s the
23:18food is what we that’s our number one
23:21determines of longevity and help one of
23:24the way you know that this show is
23:26really about looking for the holy grail
23:27of health so if I would ask you with
23:29only grilled health is I guess it comes
23:31back to really the the diet and then
23:33really going towards more of a
23:34vegetarian based diet
23:37yeah that’s really what we eat and
23:39that’s our number one exposure to the
23:40outer environment actually know what we
23:42breathe now look come to contact with
23:44our skin because of all the time little
23:46folds in our intestinal tract our
23:49number-one exposure to the outside
23:51environment we’re talking about auctions
23:53for the target but anything is actually
23:55through our God into what we slide there
23:58the lining of our gut with on three
24:00times a day are my visit perhaps no
24:04surprise that it should i’m having an
24:07effect on our health we are well we’d
24:09literally physically we are created out
24:12of you know basically food air water on
24:15my gels that and you know every few
24:18months we basically you know many of the
24:20rapidly multiplying tissues in our body
24:22are completely replaced and so what do
24:25they replaced with its where what we’re
24:28eating and so we could use some really
24:30shoddy building fast food building
24:32materials right or we could you know
24:35think long-term and use the best
24:37materials to create our body in the best
24:40way possible wonderful that one more
24:43question so you’ve already dealt with
24:45other issues like bird flu and what
24:47makes confront somebody’s more
24:48contagious illnesses so difficult in our
24:50society right now LOL yeah so you know
24:53it is for some vases the bird flu or you
24:58no matter how swine flu my in one hand
25:01it doesn’t matter really what you eat
25:03because they can be transfer person the
25:05person on the other hand it matters
25:06completed what we as a society but
25:09that’s the way we raise some of the
25:11oh my can I can you know emission you
25:15know overcrowded on I genic of
25:18conditions can breed the these emerging
25:23pathogens like some of these dangerous
25:25strains of bird flu which can then have
25:28their setting you know the consequences
25:30regardless of what we eat and so we need
25:32to do but we really need to change the
25:35system by which we make our food and
25:38move for example and my go-to more cow
25:40pasture bae systems actually have some
25:42room to breathe and so we down to foster
25:46growth in some of these foodborne
25:47bacteria and
25:49are potentially you know a person to
25:51person uh epidemics which could be
25:55really devastating looking back in
26:00sure well doctor I want to thank you sir
26:02for being on the show how can I want to
26:03find out more about to get in touch with
26:05how would they do that sir
26:07best thing to do go my nonprofit side
26:09nutritionfacts.org are aware i’m all my
26:14works available free there’s no ads no
26:16corporate sponsorship strictly non
26:18commercial sign things put up with a
26:20public service is a labor of love as a
26:23tribute to my grandmother
26:25I Cristobal to check it out
26:26nutritionfacts.org your grandmother
26:29would be very proud of you certain haha
26:31thank you
26:32this episode is sponsored by New Jersey
26:35Foot and Ankle Center in Oradell New
26:37Jersey remember when you have a foot
26:40problem you’ve got a foot doctor in the
26:42family weekend and evening appointments
26:45are available call us at 2012 619 445
26:50once again that’s 2012 619 445 thanks
26:55for listening
26:56check out the show notes over at dr.
26:58band speed.com your loving the show head
27:01over to iTunes and leaving to review and
27:03look at the next time
27:04[Music] 27:06voice-overs for this episode were
27:10provided by Randy Ramos jr. to see and
27:14hear more of his work visit Randy Ramos
27:16jr. dot-com junior dot-com junior
27:20dot-com too

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