Pam Popper – Food Over Medicine: The Conversation That Could Save Your Life – Offstage Interview2018

you know the protein thing just won't go away it is and the deficiency issue won't go away it's it's sort of tied to a bigger issue which is people think we're deficient in everything which is why people take so many dietary supplements furthermore the idea is if a little bit of something is a good idea lots of it has got to be better right so if you if this much calcium in food is good for you twenty times as much all right well I think that the misunderstandings about protein go back to when it was discovered it was really the first nutrient isolated from food and so if you don't know there are hundreds of thousands of others you might think that your discovery is a little more important but from the beginning protein was over emphasized in its importance and it's very interesting because if you track through medical history which I'm a fan of medical history and kind of a it's a hobby of mine to read it you have these dual tracks you have to eat protein more protein is good you can't get enough of the stuff and then right along parallel is research study after research study after research studies showing that eating so much protein is not such a good idea well the dueling narrative the high protein folks one but really human protein needs are very very low and in fact as little as two and a half percent of calories for adults which means that it's impossible mathematically impossible to eat a diet that provides enough calories every day that does not provide enough protein so if you were to live on the lowest protein foods you can possibly eat which would be foods like rice or potatoes which have eight or nine percent of calories from protein you don't have enough protein okay you don't need any more than that I'm not suggesting of course that you do that but the point is that no matter what you eat if it's enough calories every day you will eat enough protein now part of the misunderstanding about protein is it really is tied to misunderstandings about how the body uses food for fuel and other nutrients so so I always give an analogy that I learned from a good friend of mine dr. Janice Stanger and I think it explains it so well so when you eat carbohydrate from food it's like gasoline in the car so I fill my tank with gas I drive until the gas is used up and I have to go get more gas when you eat carbohydrates you use the carbohydrate in the form of glucose for energy and when you run out you have to eat some more food it's quite different with protein protein is like the fountain full of 500 gallons of water in the downtown square all right so when you eat protein the amino acids are broken down protein is broken down into peptides and polypeptides and amino acids and those amino acids circulate around through the body and they're used to form hormones and enzymes and and various substances that the body needs for function all right after an enzymes used the amino acids are broken apart and then they can be circulated again so it's sort of like the downtown fountain you got five hundred gallons of water and every day they don't go out and add 500 new gallons you just replace the gallons of water that have been splashed out or evaporated so maybe it's 20 and that's what it is with protein the only thing that you're gonna replace is those amino acids that eventually get used up enough times that they're torched and they can't be used again and how do we know that well when the amino acids go out of circulation or they're converted to something else for example to use as fuel they release nitrogen and you can track nitrogen excretion through urinary tests and that sort of thing so so that's that's the difference and I think the misunderstanding is that somehow the protein gets used up the way that the carbohydrate gets used up and it's really not the same thing now having said that what happens if you consume too much protein and of any type well if it's if you consume too much animal protein you increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer a lot if you consume too much protein from any source the problem with the nitrogen that gets released is it also throws off Tikes toxic byproducts like urea and ammonia your kidneys get charged with just excreting those toxic byproducts and so eventually you can blow out your kidneys with high protein intake so it's a dangerous practice many many ways it's interesting that you asked about protein and muscle I'm teaching a class on sports nutrition now and I've been doing an enormous amount of research actually consuming too much protein is counterproductive to building muscle and the reason is that the body uses carbohydrate for fuel so if you eat a really high protein diet you are displacing some calories that you would be taking in from much-needed carbohydrate for fuel so what will happen to the person who consumes too much protein is the body will use up the carbohydrate then it looks for alternative fuel and some amino acids convert quite readily like alanine to to glucose like substances and that's what the body will do and if they can't get enough from dietary protein will start catabolism tissue muscle tissue in the body so it's counterproductive even for an athlete to consume so much protein one other thing I'll say about this and and that is that somehow people got the idea that you can build muscle in the kitchen okay you know where you build muscle in the gym that's where you have to go it's resistance training and we have some really good studies that have shown if you take a group of people and put them in say 12 weeks of an exercise program and they're all gonna do the identical strength training and exercise and then you feed them varying amounts of protein so you give this group 17% of calories from protein and this group gets 35% of calories from protein at the end of the 12 weeks you have identical advancement in terms of the building of muscle tissue burning and fat and the reason is it doesn't have anything to do with the protein and had to do with the training ok one last thing I'll mention is that recovery is very important so if you're a professional athlete the more you can workout the better you're going to get I mean we all know that more practice means more skill right ok so if you can recover faster and workout three times a day instead of two or two harder workouts instead of to slightly less hard workouts you're going to be a better trained athlete you're going to be more competitive well here's my point after working out hard what you want to do is replace your glycogen stores you can only do that with carbohydrate all right so the person who is loading up on protein is at a disadvantage in terms of recovery to work out more as opposed to the person who's consuming more of a carbohydrate based diet the best recovery food is carbohydrate now you're gonna eat some protein and because all foods have protein but but you don't need to go out of your way to eat to drink protein smoothies and protein bars and and but that's the way things are advertised notice how many commercials you see on TV for food bars are smoothie mixes and that sort of thing they take contains 14 grams of protein if I contain only garbage in addition to that but contains 14 grams of protein so people think you got to load up on protein every meal before you workout during workout after workout really bad idea and one of the things that you see is that athletes who engage in this kind of behavior Youth will protect you against a lot of things so an athlete who's 25 and and loading up on protein and eating a lot of animal food in order to do it often is protected by age but as that person begins to get older you know first of all the age doesn't protect you anymore so you start to suffer from the consequences of your poor eating habits and often careers are ended earlier than they need to because athletes don't feed themselves properly you there are a lot of differences between animal protein and plant-based proteins and what is the amino acid structure of the food of the of the of the food itself and so animal-based proteins contain a lot of sulfur containing amino acids and I'll give you just one example of how that can increase the risk of a specific type of cancer so take colon cancer which is one of the leading causes of cancer death in Western countries the mucosal lining of the colon is very smooth and irritation causes polyps in fact irritation any place where you have a mucosal membrane like even the sinuses can cause polyps well irritation causes polyps on the mucosal lining and the more the irritation the bigger the polyps get at a certain point in time they can become cancerous well where does this irritation comes from well it comes from sulfur containing amino acids which one of the toxic byproducts irritates the lining of the colon so that's quite different than the amino acid chains that make up plant proteins which have some of these same amino acids but in much smaller quantity so there's a big difference between plant protein and the animal protein but as I said earlier consuming too much of any of it is a bad idea well I have a good friend who speaks at these conferences to Caldwell Esselstyn and he makes a comment I'll try and make it as close to his version as possible when he says all the time cardiovascular disease need never exist and if it exists it need never progress in other words there are places on the planet where you still see populations that have virtually no cardiovascular disease and what they have in common is they eat a low-fat plant-based diet animal foods a condiment they eat it but it's in very tiny quantities here it's the center of the plate so the bottom line is that it's a it's a diet and lifestyle induced disease we could get rid of it if we if we chose to and doing so would be a good idea first of all because it kills 44 percent of the population people would live their full lifespan in many cases and the second thing is it costs so much money I mean we spend probably 20% of the healthcare budget in this country is spent on a disease that absolutely doesn't even need to exist you know genetics play a role in everything you know it's why I have well we don't know what color my hair is we want my age you don't want to know but it's why I have brown eyes and somebody else has blue eyes and somebody's blonde or genetics plays a role and and some genes you can't do much about the brown eyes Gene's not not so much negotiation that you can have their genes do predispose people to disease but this is a much more negotiable contract than the genes that dictate brown eyes and being 5 feet 7 inches tall and so two things to say about genes the first thing is that you can switch on a genetic predisposition by misbehaving so autoimmune diseases specifically rheumatoid arthritis run in my family all women on my mother's side of the family had rheumatoid arthritis by the time they were in their 50s I don't well the reason is that I don't engage in the types of behaviors that cause that disease to onset and progress I could make myself have I'm sure if I started behaving badly I could get develop rheumatoid arthritis in a fairly short period of time but I don't so you have a choice it's a predisposition it's not a sentence and that is a very important distinction for people because none of us get to choose our genes so if we really believe that genetic predisposition is going to determine our health outcomes – were all helpless victims but if you believe that and you understand that it's really up to you then you have a lot more power over your health outcomes the other side of it is that I've seen family and Families know genetic predisposition at all for disease but there's so much misbehavior that they can actually override their good genetic profile and end up overweight and sick so it works both ways you can have a strong genetic predisposition and overcome it by behaving badly eating terrible food 'he's not exercising gaining weight and end up with the family disease or you can you can do the same thing you can override your good genetic predisposition and by behaving badly I should probably say that differently I'm going to say that again so this works both ways a person with a with a genetic predisposition position can override that by doing the right things and a person who has a great genetic predisposition can override that by misbehaving so really it's up to you what to do about that well the main contributors to stroke is it's the same thing as cardiovascular disease people eat a lot of cholesterol and fat their blood becomes viscous and sticky they develop plaques inside the arteries the arteries start to constrict the stroke is a blood clot and the vessels that go to the brain are in the interior of the brain again completely preventable and and Stroke I mean both stroke and heart attack and results in instant death but many people recover much more nicely from a heart attack than they do from a stroke stroke and cause permanent disability and and one thing I want to say about this and I think it's important when you have a stroke or when something fairly cataclysmic happens to you from a health perspective that impairs your ability to function this isn't just about you it's about the burden that gets thrust upon your family and your friends and that happened to me you know my mother spent the last 15 years of her life being sick because she wouldn't take care of herself and it not only impacted her her quality of life was terrible I wouldn't wish it on anybody but I watched my father become increasingly exhausted from the the just the emotional ordeal and the logistics of her in and out of hospitals and operations and rehab in a nursing home and and my sister who was far more involved in it than I was and and so everybody suffers so I always tell people you know one of the most unselfish things that you can do is to be selfish enough to take good care of yourself take the time to take good care of yourself so that you don't end up becoming a burden on the people who you love yeah diet and lifestyle and some environmental factors and I would save cigarette smoking is an environmental factor that's a big one for example but but it's primarily diet and lifestyle there is there are some instances where cancer develops and we really don't have an explanation and people who really have been deltap or genetic and but the vast majority of the time it's its diet and lifestyle and I'll give you a couple of examples we have very specific mechanisms of action in all of these things one is that people consume dairy products well dairy products come from pregnant and lactating cows or other animals sheeps goats whatever well these products contain estrogen as a result so most breast cancers for example are estrogen receptor-positive so consuming estrogen and estrogen metabolites in food is definitely counterproductive if you don't want to get breast cancer all right it has a different type of effect on men but the risk that a man who eats dairy products will develop prostate cancer is higher than the risk that a smoker will develop lung cancer this is pretty strong stuff you know another thing is that people overeat and they gain weight they become overweight or obese fat cells produce inflammatory cytokines which raises the general inflammation level in the body and inflammation is a factor in every disease that people don't want to get including cancer and so this has increased this type of behavior increases the risk of cancer but then once you have cancer it decreases the chance that you will survive or not have a recurrence and what's so distressing to me is first of all watching people the way they eat the way they take care of themselves they don't exercise at cetera don't drink enough water so you watch people engage in what is essentially self-destructive behavior whether they realize it or not and end up getting cancer and that's tragic but then they often get treatment for cancer and go back to doing those very same things which is almost a guarantee that at some point in time either a recurrence of cancer is going to happen or some other dreadful thing there's the same habits that lead to cancer also lead to heart disease and autoimmune diseases and arthritis and many many other conditions that people don't want to get you know everybody thinks that milk builds strong bones there's good reason for that because the dairy industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over a very long time convincing us that it's true but actually dairy doesn't build strong bones and we have a number of studies showing that the more milk you drink the more fractures you get the more dairy products you consume it doesn't matter if you consume it in the form of milk or cheese or butter or whatever you're eating it in it still leads to fracture risk and that in countries where dairy products aren't consumed and calcium intake is significantly lower you see a much lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures so that sounds counterintuitive but one of the reasons is that one of the things there are many things that build strong bones exercise is one of them having a good functioning gastrointestinal tract so you're absorbing nutrients from food sunlight so you produce vitamin D so lots of things that contribute to strong bones but one of them is not putting demands on your body and in order to maintain a blood pH that's in a safe range okay so when people eat a lot of what we call high acid load foods like eggs and meat and dairy if you're living on that kind of stuff your body has to work very very hard to make sure that your blood pH doesn't drop below 7.35 because if you stay there for very long you won't be alive so what the body will do is borrow buffering chemicals substances rather from the bones like calcium calcium's of known buffer and and you do enough of that and you will start to diminish your bones just in an attempt to stay alive so the best thing to do if you want strong bones is not to eat dairy it's to eat optimally eating a low-fat plant-based diet get out the sunshine and and exercise multiple sclerosis and all autoimmune diseases are have a very strong dietary component and in the case of multiple sclerosis it appears that saturated fat and dairy are both precursors strong precursors to the development of multiple sclerosis particularly in genetically susceptible people the reason why saturated fat plays such a great role is that the same type the same mechanism that causes injury to the vessels the blood vessels in the body causes injury to the myelin that that coats the nerves and it's another very preventable disease I mean we have you know half a million people in the United States that have it right now average cost for drug treatment which doesn't help at all is about 56,000 dollars a year and it's a it's one of those diseases like stroke where you have the potential to become completely disabled and a burden on your family so completely preventable and in many cases particularly early stages can be arrested with a good diet so so many diseases are a result of damage to our gut microbiome which we don't talk about often enough but I'm incredibly fascinated with all right so in your in your gut you have a hundred trillion bacteria a healthy person does anyway now to put that in perspective you have only thirty seven trillion cells in your whole body so there's more of them than there are of us they're really not part of the body they're like renters they're renting space from us all right so what these little critters do down there is several several functions that are important they help us absorb nutrients from food they keep things out of the bloodstream that shouldn't be getting in and they also are a signaling system for our immune system so when these critters get destroyed many bad things can happen including immune dysregulation and so how do we end up with destroy we've got microphones well one of them is antibiotics and we're increasingly using broad-spectrum antibiotics which wipe out all the bacteria they're not selective for the pathogen that's causing your infection they wipe out all the bacteria including the gut bacteria which makes a person much more susceptible to a number of things including anything that involves dysregulation of the immune system and conditions that involve dysregulation of the immune system our asthma allergies autoimmune disease or the other side of that those are conditions where the immune system is misbehaving in an overactive way conditions where people are having that involve the immune system behaving in an underactive way would be serial infection she the person who says I have six or seven sinus infections a year not sure your immune system just not able to mount a response or cancer profound failure of the immune system so that's the relationship now why would dairy come into play and what I just said well here's the thing dairy products particularly in children tend to cause ear infections that's almost become a rite of passage for kids they start getting your infections well what do we give to kids with ear infections antibiotics antibiotics wipe out the gut bacteria which makes it likely that the child will get another ear infection which causes more antibiotics and you have this vicious cycle where the child gets sick again and again until one fine day the PD trician says we probably should put tubes in those years because of the chronic infections totally unnecessary and we have some research that shows that for kids who have serial ear infections that if you just take them off the dairy if you don't do anything else but take them off the dairy they get better and often don't need the tubes but if you take them off the dairy you put them on a health promoting diet and give them probiotics to restore that gut bacteria they get all the way better we have to be careful that we're using the science in the right way and we aren't always using science in the right way because everybody goes to reductionism you know and a good example of how things get misconstrued is that we know that the gut bacteria the composition of the gut bacteria in an obese person is different than in a normal weight person and we also know the reason for it because how the back to the bacterial composition depends upon what you eat because you can preferentially feed pathogens or you can preferentially feed the positive the healthy bacteria well you have a whole contingent of people out there that are saying gosh maybe if we gave probiotics to overweight people they'd lose weight always going to the simplest thing that involves no work on behalf of the human gosh if we could fix all the overweight people in the country with probiotics wouldn't that be fabulous you and I would buy stock on a probiotic company for sure but it's just not that simple and so we have to be we have to be grateful for the research and and diagnostic technology we have and all the scientific discoveries but we have to make sure that we use them in the right way another thing I should add about the antibiotic issue is that when people think about taking antibiotics they think about going to the doctor being diagnosed with an infection or claiming to have one sometimes there's not much in the we way Diagnostics it's a serious antibiotic and then going home and taking the pills but there's another way in which people take in a lot of antibiotics and they don't really realize it and I have people by the way who will say I have never had an antibiotic prescription and I can assure them that they probably have been taking antibiotics for years and that is the antibiotic found in the food you know for a very long time the FDA ignored this and even made statements about that this didn't impact human health but the reality is that we think about 75 percent of all the antibiotics made in the United States are given to farm animals and their feed and the reason it's done and has a two-fold purpose one is to prevent infection because these animals are living in such close confinement that if you have one infected chicken and there are 10,000 in the building you can't kill off all the chickens the other thing is this discovery was made in the 1940s believe it or not and that is the giving animals fish whatever antibiotics causes them to grow bigger and faster so right now the average chicken gets two goes to slaughter in 40 days instead of ten weeks and it's in part due to the antibiotic and the food well this antibiotic residue is left in the food that we eat it's in the chicken breast and and what there's their upper limits by the way on how much of an antibiotic can be in the food so how the farmers get around all of this is they buy these big bags of antibiotic at the farm store and they don't need a prescription for this by the way anybody can go in and get it and the the bag is filled with lots of different types of antibiotics so that you don't hit the upper limit on tetracycline or amoxicillin but but the overall amount of antibiotic and the food is significant and it's one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistant infection in our country right now so it's very scary we're starting to see people who develop infectious diseases that antibiotics can't help and there really aren't any on the horizon that in the development stage that can solve that problem so the only way we can really address this is twofold doctors need to prescribe less antibiotics patients need to stop asking for so many antibiotics because the doctors are sometimes in an uncomfortable position where patients are saying I have an infection you better give me an antibiotic and then we've got to stop purchasing food that contains antibiotic which means that if you're going to consume animal foods safely you have to have to buy organic animal foods it's going to be hard to get farmers to stop doing it because unless you pass a law which isn't going to happen because they make so much money getting a chicken – the amount of food you save and everything else getting a chicken to slaughter in 40 days instead of 10 weeks that they're never going to voluntarily get this up so consumers really have to stop buying it you know medical treatment is the third leading cause of death third right now and that only accounts for medical treatment in hospitals if you moved it to outpatient treatment as well god only knows but it would be higher I'm sure so how can this possibly be well when we talk about death from medical treatment we have to be fair about this and say that a lot of people die in the hospital because they're awfully sick when they get there with diseases that were lifestyle induced my mother died in a hospital and she died from two things self neglect and drinking the medical kool-aid thinking that the things that they were doing to her we're gonna help and they didn't my mother died at 78 and she comes from a family of people who live way into old age so quite prematurely so anyway so some of this is is not really the fault of the medical system but I'll tell you the part that is the fault of the medical system there's medical error one thing that we tell everybody as if you or a family member is in the hospital you need advocates if you're gonna be there for any long period of time or even overnight you can have an advocate if you're gonna be there for a couple of weeks you're gonna need a few of them to rotate so that you can keep track of medications and things of this nature because mistakes happen some of them fatal another one is that medical treatment is often given instead of diet and lifestyle advice and all medical intervention has some side effect there are no drugs if a drug has a positive effect there's going to be a corresponding side effect because you can't manipulate one enzyme system in the body without having others be impacted too that's just the way it works so when we give people drugs or when we perform procedures or always risks associated with procedures and we don't tell people that there's a better way to heal up their health we often induce more health issues in fact I'm sure you've met people where it's very difficult to determine is this person suffering from a disease or is this person more suffering from the treatment that has been given for the disease with all the procedures and drugs and all that sort of things so our quality of Medical Treaty of medical treatment in this country but the quality of it is not so good and one of the biggest reasons is that it's it's symptom control rather than addressing the cause and thus people get worse instead of better and sometimes they get worse while they feel better and that's that can be very deceptive to somebody you you know the research is very confusing and one of the reasons is that there's the perception that all research is created equal and if it's in a Medical Journal it must be correct but there are so many ways in which you can manipulate research and and one of them is study design and we see this all the time so if you have a bad study design and you can set it up exactly to prove your point let me give you an example I am aware of a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that said eating lower fat diet doesn't really make any difference well if the people eating the high fat diet or eating 39% of calories from fat and the people eating the low fat diet are eating 36% of calories from fat you're not gonna see any difference between the two but that's like saying that when people get into a car accident driving 90 miles an hour almost everybody dies and the same thing is true when they're going 80 miles an hour apparently it doesn't matter how fast you drive right well we understand that clearly it does matter how fast you drive but you have to have enough of a reduction in speed in order to have a protective effect and so it is with these types of studies so a lot of industry sponsored studies are specifically structured so that whatever this industry represents or whatever this group of manufacturers makes will turn out pretty well and another thing too is that you always have to look at how statistically significant the effect is because I read some of these studies everybody's all excited about and so what you see is that in a particular study funded by the fish industry it appears that people eating fish have a one-half of one percent lower risk of having a heart attack during the one year that the people were looked at which really isn't enough time and self-reported data this is another important thing to keep in mind when you're looking at studies of diet and how they impact health there's a lot of it is self-reported data like people will the researchers will ask what do you eat here's the problem we have very good evidence showing that people lie and we don't know why this is we don't know if they're trying to impress the researchers or it's a form of self delusion but consistently people will report eating more healthy foods and unhealthy foods and oh and just to give you an example the N Haynes data if you're to believe that the self-report data reported data is true everybody in the United States is consuming on average fewer calories than it takes to stay alive well haha you can look around and see that is clearly not the case so you have to look at these studies and what they show and look at their study design and because there are lots of different ways you can come up with what looks like a credible research study and get it published that really doesn't have any validity at all well dairy is a is a special kind of animal food you know it's a I don't necessarily think everybody has to be completely vegan to be healthy which is in itself a controversial stand to take in some circles however the people who are eating animal food around the world and surviving and not just surviving but thriving living long lives like the Okinawans the teeny tiny bit of this stuff that's the big issue so why do I say exempt dairy when it's okay to eat a little bit of organic chicken or beef or wild caught fish if you want to it's a special kind of animal food because it is designed by its very nature to help a baby mammal of varying types to achieve a certain growth rate in a specific period of time so let's just look at the difference between say humans and cows cows are born at 90 pounds and cow's milk is designed to help that animal grow to several hundred pounds within just a few months time all right humans are born at six to eight pounds and they take 18 years to reach someplace between 100 and 200 pounds generally range all right so when you're consuming a product that comes from cows which has growth promoters designed to grow at enormous animal in a short period of time those growth promoters particularly for adults can lead to conditions like cancer but the other thing is that humans and all mammals are weaned eventually there's usually a pretty specific period of time during which mammals nurse their young after which they're weaned and after which they don't consume any mammals milk from any source significant populations on the planet the Asians the Latin Americans Hispanics Native Americans African Americans do not digest milk well confer cow's milk and and milk from other species well and and so they're at a particular advanced disadvantage in terms of increased risk of allergies asthma cancer infections all kinds of things so it's just like I said in a class of itself and then of course the estrogen content which we talked about earlier which is which is a risk factor for kin just like breast cancer well you know with Crohn's disease Crohn's and Colitis are part of a family of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease which are autoimmune diseases there in the category of autoimmune diseases and like other autoimmune diseases they are brought about by in part there's a lot more to autoimmune than just diet but diet has a really big connection and what we see in the studies is that the people who are most likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's tend to eat a lot of refined and processed foods a lot of animal food a lot of fat a lot of dairy strong connection with dairy so if that's what causes it part of the solution is the opposite you're gonna eat whole foods so you're gonna eat more plant food you're gonna eat a lot a lot of less fat and a lot less animal food having said that this particular population of people can't just convert to a plant-based diet like the one that I'm eating today their systems have become so fragile that good food can sometimes upset them so we phase in a plant-based diet through several stages which involve some low protein low fat actually lower fiber plant foods that allow that gastrointestinal tract to start healing up lower the inflammation for a while and then eventually get them to the place where they can eat lots of big salads and raw fruit and that sort of thing but if a Crohn's patient who's having a lot of bloody bowel movements were to eat what I'm gonna eat today it would be very painful but once we get the gut all healed up that person can eat what I'm going to eat today and would be thriving and potentially asymptomatic and not require drug treatment well with hepatitis C the drug treatments aren't very effective new drug treatments claim to cure the disease but we have very limited follow-up and actually the period of time in a virus free state was shortened with these new drugs that were approved so I'm not a fan and I'm also not convinced that we found the cure to appetize C so what we've been able to do with with a lot of Hep C patients put them on an alcohol free diet you can't afford to upset the liver anymore so this is the time you become a teetotaler you start drinking enough water eating an optimal diet and many times what you see is that sometimes the the virus goes away sometimes it just stays stable and many conditions if you can stabilize them and they don't progress they won't kill you and for many people who look at the side effects of the drugs they decide that at least attempting to do this with diet is a good idea we often use targeted supplements with these people too now one thing that I think cursed people when we're talking about this is my gosh does diet just cure everything it doesn't cure everything it cures most things or at least it contributes to the care of those things and people will say what can it be this simple I mean really this diet cause all this I want you to think about this in a little bit different way you're the average human puts a ton of food through his body or her body every year a ton now this room that we're sitting in here a ton of food wouldn't fit in here that's how big it is so it's just impossible for I think anybody who's rational to think that you could put a ton of anything through your body and it wouldn't have an effect good or bad so we have to look at diet is the foundational thing that is involved in people developing Western diseases because you don't have a lot of obesity and cancer and heart disease and autoimmune diseases in rural China or northern Africa you have a lot of it in the United States Australia in Norway countries that are westernized so diet is a primary cause and I don't think and but he gets well from these kinds of chronic conditions without adopting an optimal diet so I don't want to over promise the benefit of diet but I think too many people underestimate the benefit of diet big agriculture has the big and biggest influence over the USDA and for good reason if you go back and read the law that was passed and Abraham Lincoln signed into law that created the United States Department of Agriculture it was set up as an advocacy organization for farmers and it was for good reason you know we we today tend to forget that it wasn't all that long ago that the United States really had a lot of food insecurity at the turn of the century between the 1800s and 1900s yet huge swathes of the population who are under that and this was a lot because farming is hard work and it's sometimes unpredictable weather crop failures all kinds of things can happen so the USDA was formed because it was decided that the government because of food being such an important thing to survival just couldn't afford for the volatility of circumstance you know and and happenstance to affect our food our food availability so after the USDA was formed if you looked at the early years you would have given it a thumbs up because what they were doing was was working on irrigation teaching farmers to till the soil not just the top layer but for a long time farmers would just destroy some acreage and then they'd just go next door and plant some more acreage because we used to have a whole lot of country and oh it seemed unlimited at the time that you could do this well you couldn't you couldn't do it on limit so there was a lot of advancement in terms of irrigation and how to till the soil and the proper use of safe fertilizers and that sort of thing and then things took a dark turn where the canet where the partnership between farmers and the farming industry and the USDA became a lot more one of influence and and there's too much of that going on in government I don't think we should just pick on the farmers and the USDA and I also think we have to make sure we look at the system promotes the bad behavior we have to change the system it's not the people who are doing it but be that as it may right now farmers have a great deal of influence over the USDA and this is complicating things because the USDA over 100 years ago took it upon itself to become volved in the development of guidelines for diets for Americans so you know all the pyramids and the food plates and all that sort of thing the USDA is involved in this and so the USDA is in an intractable position you can't solve this if they were ever to tell Americans how to eat they would have to tell them to eat less of some of the things produced by the farmers and those are the real constituents that are served by the USDA so we should get rid of that conflict of interest and then we should further get rid of the partnerships like the checkoff programs that are administered by the USDA and I don't know if you know about those but the dairy checkoff program all the farmers who produce dairy products of any type pay a certain fee per pound and it goes into a fund and it's administered by the USDA and taxpayer dollars are involved in this too to promote things like eating more dairy products and don't you find this ironic the federal government is over here promoting the consumption of more dairy products partnering with fast food restaurants to come up with recipes so we can put cheese on the crust of the pizza and add extra cheese to the sandwiches so we can have more disease which then the government is charged with helping it with Medicaid Medicare to resolve the health issues that result from all that increased dairy and do so we should just get rid of all of that and go back to the idea that the USDA could help farmers to be better farmers and work on technology and things of that nature well it the government's job is not to keep people healthy and I think that's another problem – we keep charging the government with doing more and more things that the government's not supposed to do if you take a look at the federal government the federal government is supposed to be involved in things like defense of the country infrastructure keeping people safe again I go back to I read the law that formed the USDA I don't have any objections to it and if you look at the time in which it was passed there were a lot of people that benefited because starvation was a problem in our country so so the government is supposed to do things that people can't do for themselves and back in the 1800s when this was done you had a bunch of family farms nobody was using technology and none of these people had enough money to make things better for themselves and they were so busy growing food that they didn't have time to say we should take a little bit of everyday and go out and explore irrigation right they do so so that's something the government can do but when we got the government involved in things like telling people what to eat and how to stay healthy and I think there are better ways to do it and and I'm seeing the government in all areas of health becoming more and more involved it's part of the nanny state which I have an objection to on a number of different levels but well for this discussion we'll just stick to the ones about health you you know one of the saddest things that I've seen is that and if I don't like to see people take it being taken advantage of let me back up and say that I think a lot of people want to help with this health crisis and one of these seemingly good ways to do that is to become involved with disease groups so the American Diabetes Association there are the National Association they're all come I can't remember the name of it but there a bunch of them that are involved in mental health Chad is one that's involved with people who have attention deficit disorder so chronic disease mental health you have there's a disease group for almost everything breast cancer survivors etc so people get involved in these organizations and they raise money for them and we got people wearing pink ribbons and racing for the Cure and all that sort of thing the dark side of these organizations is that they're funded by drug and food companies and what happens is even celebrities become unwitting pawns in the promotion of drugs food procedures and some of the the perverse relationships that happen this would be fodder for Saturday Night Live if the consequences were not so serious I remember one it was about 18 months of period of time when the health tip of the day on the website for the American Diabetes Association was sponsored by Eskimo Pie now what kind of a message does that send to diabetics you should eat more Eskimo Pie it's insane and so these organizations in my opinion should be find some way to be self-supporting without taking so much money from these groups which clearly has an influence on on what they say and the stances that they take so and by the way there are a lot of good people working in these organizations I put it this way I think what we have is a lot of good apples and bad barrels okay so we've got to change the the barrel so that the the good apples can do good work we've all been part of the machine in one way or another either by being unwitting participants you know being the receiving end buying the bad food and and you know receiving the ineffective or dangerous medical treatment and that sort of thing so we've all been part of it and they know that what we have to do is just massive amounts of education and the difficulty in some of this when you look at these nonprofits is that people become very defensive it's very difficult for a person to say I was deceived or taken advantage of I know I had a lot of those feelings when I first started down this path we all want to think we're smart and savvy right and and so when you start to understand I've been lied to and not only was I lied to but I behaved in a way that is exactly what they wanted me to do I used to eat dairy products I used to eat a lot of things that are advertised on TV I took a lot of useless supplements insurance for your health right I went to doctors I took drugs I shouldn't have taken I you know and then you know even before I was in this profession there was that sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach you know my gosh was I an idiot nobody likes that and the more involved people have been in these groups the harder it is and you have to I just try to be very very delicate well I try to be very delicate all the time when I'm dealing with people who are uninitiated like the people at this conference they all came here because they have an idea that things aren't right they're looking for answers here but when I'm out with other people and friends social situations whatever I really try to just wait for teachable moments and and when I get one of those instead of spewing all of this you know I'll sometimes say I'd be happy to give you some things to read about it you know and just really gently so that people don't get so defensive but I understand the defensive 'no scuzz I experienced some of it myself the pharmaceutical industry has the biggest impact on the FDA and part of it is the setup so I think it was in 1992 a law was passed we called the Paducah law and it allows drug companies to fund the FDA with the idea that drug approvals were taking so long that if drug companies gave money to the FDA they would have more resources and then drug approvals could be faster well that certainly has happened but I think this year the estimate for the amount of money that will be paid to the FDA by drug companies is seven hundred and eighty seven million dollars in change and if you go back and look at the period of time since this happened to see every year the number percentage of drug applications that are approved it's now up to about 96 percent now people will say oh no that's not true because I knew this drug failed this drug it failed to get approval well but they get recycled so the drug cuts doesn't get approved and then they submit it again so if you take a look at the number of applications that actually end up getting approved is about 96 percent and so I always say to people tongue-in-cheek I want to see the four percent they're turning down right it must be like arsenic pills or something of that nature and there's probably a conversation in the hallway that's something like you know we would have done this for you but we have to look like we're paying attention so to submit it next year we'll take care of you so we have it we have another extremely flawed system like the USDA situation that's just fraught for all kinds of misbehavior so FDA approved doesn't mean anything you better do your own research if somebody prescribes the drug to you to make sure that it's really going to benefit you and it isn't going to hurt you more than it's going to benefit you in the area of food there's a lot less regulation than people might imagine the food companies aren't paying the FDA and the FDA the FTC is more involved in advertising foods making sure that the claims that are that are made are correct or not incorrect the FDA is involved in the silly health claims that are made about food and so this is something we should just do away with we spend a fortune on this kind of stuff and regulating it and it ends up being ridiculous so I'll give you an example there's a chocolate product a chocolate chewy product that's fortified with calcium and vitamin D and it's good for your bones all right the FDA allows that claim now I got to tell you something there's nobody in this city right now who would like to see chocolate build strong bones than this woman here I I have never lost my love for chocolate and I can't have it in my house cuz I would eat it but believe me I do love chocolate okay if only it were true but people buy this stuff one of the reasons why the companies go out of food companies go out of their way to to get these types of claims approved and the supplement companies are very involved in this too is because they know that if you can put a health claim on the front package of chocolate chewy candies saying it'll build strong bones people love to hear news like that and that will sell the product so the FDA's relationship with the food companies is a lot less cozy than it is with the drug companies but the business of the FDA approving health claims for different foods and nutrients and that sort of thing has resulted in this very perverse system of terrible foods processed garbage being fortified with nutrients and then making health claims about the benefits of consuming them so again Bad's bad system for for Public Health what I would like to see happen with labels and I said this in my book I think that food labels should be really simple okay so you can have pictures of the food that's fine you can call the food something jazzy you can list the ingredients and there would be some rules about that so you don't get to have nine kinds of sugar so that sugar doesn't look like the first ingredient and no health claims now you can make claims like convenient easy to make kids love it tastes great but none of this business of eat this cereal and you're gonna do it improves cognitive health because it's fortified with with some vitamin you know some of the crazy and then no more of this you know chew these chocolate candies and your bones will be stronger as a result doctors don't get any nutrition training in school and they really don't get they get a lot of good education about intervention and we need for doctors to have this kind of training I'll tell you why if I if I had something cataclysmic happen to me you know in a car accident severe injuries lots of broken bones or something of that nature and you know where you want to have that happen right here in the United States of America we have phenomenal intervention so I can't say enough good things about that and we do have some amazing technology that allows us to diagnose things like brain tumors and yeah so I think we have to be careful we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater but medical doctors really are not trained about the cause of disease which is diet in many cases and how to resolve it which is diet they're taught how to resolve biomarkers with drugs essentially so nobody dies of high cholesterol people die of heart disease and cholesterol is a marker for heart disease but the doctors not taught to change the diet to lower the cholesterol level and the risk of heart disease the doctor is trained to give a statin and not even to have the discussion with the patient I think it's just not part of medical training right now I think that part of the problem is that pharmaceutical companies have a tremendous influence over medical training they start buying textbooks for medical students and of course the medical students look at doctors being entertained during the residency by the drug companies that looks pretty enticing they tend to follow along and then another problem is that in residency you have doctors who have been in practice training doctors now there are a lot of good things from this if I were going to perform surgery I would really like to be learning a lot about that from a doctor who performs surgery okay has been doing it for 20 years but what happens is also a lot of bad ideas get passed down there's a lot of institutional memory that gets passed out makes it really hard to insert something as I hate to say it is groundbreaking using eating a healthy diet isn't it sad we're sitting here having a conversation about that being a groundbreaking idea of people eating healthy food but it's hard to insert something the groundbreaking like the idea of the use of food as medicine and a system where you've got generations of people being trained in the same way so bad good practices get passed down but a lot of bad ones do too and it's very hard to insert something new particularly if it isn't drug or procedure related because there's no sponsor no financial sponsor well you don't learn a lot of things in medical school and most people who are good at their profession in the health and all Health Professions if you talk to good physical therapists good psychologists good psychiatrists good pediatricians good internal medicine dogs Family Practice Doc's cardiologists they will tell you that what they learned in school has benefit but a lot of the most valuable things that they do for patients every day came after medical school and so I guess first of all we need to change that but the second thing is that we need to be building into the DNA of all health professionals I call it the curiosity gene you got to be a lifelong learner in this profession and we don't have enough of that going on I find that medical doctors often don't read the medical literature openly admit it by the way and they say they don't have time and so I teach by analogy I always tell people how would you like to go to have to a CPA to have your tax returns prepared because this is time of year we're all thinking about that right and your CPA openly acknowledges he hasn't really been reading much about the tax code for the last 15 years listen I'm gonna go out in from fair your tax return I hope you don't end up in jail for tax evasion but I mean we don't tolerate this in any other field I mean even car mechanics right now the cars cars and technology and cars has changed so much that everybody who's working on today's cars has to be pretty pretty good computer technologist just to do it and we expect that when we drop our car off at the dealer that the people working on these cars have been upgraded they've you know they're trained in an entirely different way and if you started the profession thirty years ago you've had to get some additional training to hang onto your job and we don't expect that in the medical profession and it's sad I want to talk about insurance companies for a minute because they're the companies everybody loves to hate and I don't like him much either for a lot of reasons but having said that one of the reasons why insurance companies have become so difficult to get along with is because of the over prescribing habits of physicians okay so let's think about this for a minute you're president of the XYZ insurance company and you have to deliver a return for your shareholders you routinely are being asked to pay a hundred thousand dollars for a drug treatment called Avastin for breast cancer patients by oncologists and Avastin doesn't extend life by a single day for a breast cancer patient the FDA actually took off the approval for Avastin for breast cancer treatment but it doesn't make any difference because once the drug is approved a doctor can use it in any way he or she sees fit it's off-label prescribing it goes on all the time so everybody loves to hate the insurance companies but they're being asked to pay out hundreds of billions of dollars every year for things that they know have no hope of ever helping anybody so what it does is it squeezes the whole system so a pediatrician who's been being paid $20 for a visit that should cost a hundred and fifty dollars and and by the way pediatricians participate in this – over prescribing antibiotics and all this sort of things so so what you have is a big mess and then everybody says well I can't fix it myself and and they're right one person can't fix it I think the thing that can fix it is people just digging in their heels and refusing to go along to get along I had a most striking experience a couple months ago that I'll share with you so I have one of our members is working on withdrawing from psychiatric drugs which is not easy to do and one of our business partners dr. Peter Breggin has always said that for somebody to take this on the individual needs to have a team you need a prescriber you need a family member to a couple friends you know so anyway I agreed to be a health helper for this person and she said she's going to talk to her family doctor her psychiatrist was really hostile to the idea so she talked to her family doctor and he said he would be happy to help if he had a greater understanding of what this was all about and that sort of thing so she gave him some articles to read and and said after you read this stuff according to dr. breagan we should have a meeting of all the people that are gonna be involved in helping me including you so he agreed to a meeting we were there for an hour with this doctor an hour and at the end of the meeting I talked to him because I'm always looking for doctors to refer people to and I said you know I want to thank you first of all for being so kind to this woman and and also for taking an hour to do this he works for a big complex medical institution in Columbus and I said it's kind of unusual he goes yeah I know it's unusual he said he said I got very dissatisfied with medicine a few years ago and I just decided that I was either gonna practice the way I wanted to or is going to quit so he said I said to my boss I'm gonna be doing things a little bit differently we're gonna have to build differently but but I'm not gonna do this anymore I just refuse and he said I don't spend an hour with everybody all the time but he said I do arrange my schedule so that when I have to spend time with patients I can and that sort of thing and I probably said 20 people to this guy since that all happen because he's amazing so I think that sometimes it's easy to just throw up your hands and say helpless I can't do anything and I understand that feeling but then you have to quickly bounce back and say I refuse to be helpless I will absolutely find a way to do something that makes this better or works or whatever one thing that I'm encouraged about is seeing the number of doctors that I'm in touch with who are leaving those large practices in order to do what they want to do because they want to put the fun back in medicine you know for all the things you and I are talking about in terms of the shortcomings in medicine and the death by medical treatment I think the vast majority of people who go into medicine want to help people and again we're talking about the good apples being found into a bad barrel and many of them are starting to say this is not why I went into practice I want to do something different and I'm gonna make that happen so we have to keep keep in mind we've we can take our power back and do things about this how this is all going to get figured out I think that's an interesting discussion to have everybody is waiting for some federal plan to figure it out not gonna be any federal plan to figure it out in fact the best thing that can happen is when Congress is in such gridlock they can't get anything done because then they can't screw things up any more than they're already screwed up and then then you get the government shutdowns and I always love this the non-essential government employees don't come to work well if they're non-essential why don't we get rid of them we don't have any non-essential people at wellness forum health right everybody is essential or we don't keep them on the payroll who in their right mind keeps non-essential people on the payroll but having said that we're not gonna have the government solve this problem for us and this this giving up saying somebody else is responsible here's how it's going to get solved it's gonna get solved as more and more consumers jump on the bandwagon to take control of their health to recognize that health is not a right it's a privilege and you earn it you earn it by taking care of yourself by feeding yourself properly by becoming educated by asking questions by becoming an informed medical consumer that's our business we specialize in informed medical decision making you get the power back by realizing that every time you pay for something you use or you swipe your credit card or write a check you are endorsing something so when you go to the grocery store and you buy chicken breasts that comes from one of these factory farms where they've used antibiotics and steroids and hormones and the conditions are inhumane and the feces are polluting the local environment and water you know what you're doing you're saying this is okay with me all right it's okay to pollute a lot of it and it's so okay with me I'm gonna spend money on it when you agree to drugs and procedures without checking into it you're saying this whole system's all right by me I'm gonna I'm gonna be a part of it I'm gonna show up and participate you know so you start to realize the importance of all the money you spend and what that means and I feel and I've given a lot of thought to this you know Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called the tipping point and it's the it's when when something gathers enough steam that literally you see is shift and I think the tipping point for health care is you get about 20 to 30 million people who really do what we're talking about in a major way they basically say I am NOT going to support food that I that is unsustainable okay so I'm not gonna buy conventionally grown animal food anymore ever I am going to learn how to be an informed consumer I'm dropping out of the system this system is so precarious that if 20 to 30 million people drop out of it it's going to collapse and it can happen sooner rather than later it just depends on how fast it takes us how fast we can gather that number of bodies and teach them what to do you well another area in which we have disastrous things happening is population screening okay so the reason why you do population screening is one of two things either you're trying to reduce the death rate the risk of dying from something or you're trying to reduce the risk of a comorbidity now let's talk about a population screening tool is incredibly effective pap tests in every area of the world where pap tests have become the norm you've seen the cervical cancer death rate just plummet now we do too many of them and we act on the results in an inappropriate way sometimes but but the bottom line is that absolutely I don't know anybody in the medical profession who would would disagree with the widespread use of PAP testing it should be done everywhere ok so let's take a look at another screening test for women mammography okay so in spite of the fact that the United States spends eight point three billion dollars a year on mammograms the death rate from breast cancer hasn't changed its appeared to change because of the shortcomings of mammography which is that they find small masses that are contained ductal carcinoma in situ is an example that 88% of the time will not become cancerous and then we treat these people as if they have cancer and these women have surgery usually a lump back to me although increasingly mastectomy these women have lumpectomies they are given radiation sometimes chemotherapy sometimes hormonal blockade aromatase inhibitors that sort of thing and so these women would be alive five years later which is the benchmark if you did nothing to them so they go into the survival pool and it makes it look like we're doing better but if you look at the death rate from invasive breast cancer it hasn't changed at all since we started excuse me spending all this money on mammograms so the bottom line is it's a complete failure and furthermore because when you treat people who don't have cancer as if they do have cancer there can't be any benefit there can only be harm so the estimate for mammograms is that for every woman you save at least three women are going to be harmed by overdiagnosis and overtreatment and some of the results of that harm are for example if you have radiation it can increase your risk of heart disease so how would you like to find out you now have heart disease which resulted from treatment for condition you never had so if you had never been swept into the system there would be nothing wrong with you today so I think in the case of of tests like mammograms or screening tools like mammograms women should see this before they decide if they want to have a mammogram PSA testing is another one and the situation here is even more despicable happened to be a personal friend of dr. Richard Allen he's the researcher who discovered prostate specific antigen it's not a marker for cancer he's been trying to tell that to people for a very very long time PSA has no usefulness in early stage prostate cancer in spite of that we have taken the prostates out of about a million men in America many of whom are incontinent and impotent and they really didn't have cancer at all so PSA screening the US Preventive Services Task Force first said it's inappropriate for men of all ages and then with pressure from the Congress which was pressured by drug companies and and the people who make the companies that make the tests modified it to say talk to your doctor about risk but but it nothing's changed it's a useless test colonoscopy people are shocked when I say this but there is not a single randomized trial that's ever shown that colonoscopy reduces your risk of dying of colon cancer and there are studies that show that for every twelve hundred and fifty people who have a colonoscopy you save one life and you kill somebody else because there are downsides to having colonoscopies too again I think people should see this information before they get swept up tuned in to all of this diagnostic testing another downside of screening program so I don't think we talked enough about as they're promoted as the thing that will save your life so much so that people think that they can eat drink and be merry have screening tests every year to see literally if they're still getting away with it right and then if your if your mammogram is clear and your blood test was alright and all that kind of stuff then you go back home and eat some cheeseburgers and french fries sit on the couch and see if you can get away with it for another year when you go back and be tested again so there's a passivity that results from over reliance on these types of tests many of which don't really yield the results that people are looking for the reason why doctors push screening to us is they believe that they're effective but I always caution people in the health profession against practicing faith-based medicine okay now as a person who has very strong spiritual beliefs and very strong belief in and relationship with God I don't want that statement to be misconstrued but having said that I think that we should use science and outcomes based science to guide our decisions and so that's the biggest reason is doctors not thinking for themselves to look at these things and decide what they want to do now I'm gonna give you the other side of the story because I'm hard on doctors as you can tell from this discussion and so we have to look at the other side doctors are often expected to practice given the community standards of practice they risk being sued if a person declines a mammogram and later has breast cancer that's a risk that they all face and they often work in institutional settings of fact most doctors today work in institutional settings where you ready don't get to make those kinds of choices so the institutionalization of medicine has caused many doctors to go along because they don't really have a choice well the risks of imaging many forms of imaging are understated so there's a good there there are good reasons to have an image there are good reasons to visit doctors you know if I had a pain in my side and it didn't go away in a few days it appeared to be getting worse I think I'd want to go have it checked out but but we are exposed to so much radiation even dental x-rays when you have them every year or two are a bad idea and the American Dental Association doesn't recommend that anymore they even they're so conservative about the organization not the dentist's are so conservative about x-rays that they say that when a patient goes to a specialist that the x-rays should be obtained from the referring dentist instead of having new x-rays done at the spot in order to avoid additional radiation obviously this is more impactful with children than it is with adults but you know we started our discussion talking about the protein issue and nutrients more is better the imaging has gotten to that place too there's a time for imaging and it can be very very valuable but more is not better less would be better and being much more responsible about it one of the reasons that this goes on and this is something else that's not talked about enough is the fact that there is a perception in healthcare that nobody's paying for it there's no price consciousness at all people are completely disconnected from paying for things now they pay insurance premiums but but they don't put together the direct like what it costs all right and and if everybody had the ability to be a payer in a meaningful sort of way as a consumer this would all start to change you wouldn't see so much overuse of imaging or other things for that matter so I'll tell you an example of what I'm talking about I have a friend whose wife developed a gynecological problem and was recommended she have surgery and she decided this was the moment when these people decided they were going to listen to what I had to say about how to keep yourself healthy so this doctor got very upset with her when she declined the surgery he said well how are you gonna know it works they said well we found out about this they're an MRI so we're gonna go get an MRI and find out how we're doing and few weeks so the doctor laughed and said well I'm not gonna be a part of that so these are intelligent educated people they figure how hard can it be to get an MRI right so they go to the place where they got the MRI walk in one day said we want to get an MRI they said well you're not on the list well I guess you got to be on a list right well they said no we're not on any list well you have to get a doctor referral well no I mean can't you just come in here and get an MRI well this just seemed to befuddle the whole place so she goes and gets a supervisor and and this you know people are just completely amazed so my friend says well what do you charge for an MRI nobody ever asked the question they said well we usually just bill insurance and they said well we're gonna pay for it okay just cash money so how much does it cost well that took a long time they came back and said it's about twenty-two hundred dollars they said now I don't think you understand we're gonna give you cash from the wall they ended up paying two hundred twenty-five dollars for an MRI nobody had think about all the money in addition to the twenty two hundred dollars for the MRI now you got to go get a doctor visit to be referred someplace and they got a bill so so the bottom line is we've made it so that nobody has any idea how much any of this cost nobody has a stake and reducing the cost necessarily although everybody claims that they do and so the overuse of everything is easy to do when nobody is actually paying the bill you know when you hire a plumber at your house you're gonna ask a lot of questions about what it cost and if it's something major you'll probably get another quote maybe two just to make sure before you spend like four thousand dollars on something right we don't do that in medicine because nobody's really paying the bill I think that people should look at any published research with skepticism dr. Karl Popper no relation to me said many many years ago that the way that people should approach looking at an idea something new new information is try to prove it wrong and if it survives that all right then you know you really have something so the the medical journals are so clogged with garbage right now that when I read something even if it says what I have believed to be true for a long time based on my research I assume it's wrong unless I can prove it right by really looking at things like study design the conflicts of interest of the authors and that sort of thing there's so much mischief and then let me give you an example of how drug companies got psychiatric drugs approved there were several psychiatric drugs that the trials were set up for 16 weeks all right so you decide on a study design we're going to give Felicity of double-blind placebo-controlled so we're gonna give half the people one of these drugs half the people at the SIBO we're gonna follow him for 16 weeks okay so what happens and this happened actually in the case of a very well-known brand name psychiatric drug is that at eight weeks the people taking the drug were clearly better off and the people taking the placebo but things started to go south and at 12 weeks not so much by 16 weeks the placebo people were actually a little bit better off so the data that were submitted to the FDA showed a cut-off at eight weeks which really should be form of criminal behavior it's fraud then the FDA approved this drug on the basis of these kinds of flawed studies so you you have to dig deeper than just looking at one study and and almost assume from the start it sounds like being a negative person but that might protect you a lot in the healthcare business assume that it's wrong unless you can prove it right Oh diabetes is probably equally as preventable as heart disease you know in dr. Esselstyn says it doesn't need to exist and doesn't need to progress type-2 diabetes is a function of westernization I mean look what's happened in China there used to be no type 2 diabetes and China to speak of and now there are hundreds of millions of diabetics in China and in a country of a billion half people they just don't have the resources to deal with this but what happens is people eat the rich Western diet and it puts weight on you I mean the calorie density and an average day of eating if you're eating the standard American diet is ridiculous you can't not gain weight for most people anyway so people gain weight being obese and overweight or obese is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes another contributing factor people think it's all about carbohydrates and sugar it's really fat because fat not only puts fat on your body and that influences the development of diabetes because fat cells are more insulin resistant than muscle cells but also fat gets inside the cell we call it in Treme a cellular fat and that fat gums up the cellular machinery and makes those cells more insulin resistant too and so you don't have to eat the standard American diet you don't have to eat all that fat the good part is that if you're a type-2 diabetic with carrying some extra pounds if you adopt a Whole Foods plant-based low-fat diet within a really short period of time the diabetes starts to go away as the weight comes off in fact the reduction if you're an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic you've got to be in pretty close touch with your doctor because the reduction in your insulin needs can be pretty significant you don't want to end up comatose on your bathroom floor so it's completely preventable and in many cases reversible you can put it into remission and as long as you behave you won't have diabetic symptoms anymore well the effectiveness of drugs and surgery on cardiovascular disease depends on who we're talking about you know one of the things that I think is true about most of what we do in medicine is that there are people who benefit from almost all of it I mean I can think of some things where nobody benefits like bisphosphonate drugs for osteoporosis but but most things you there are people who really do benefit yeah so a good is a good example would be if you have familial hypercholesterolemia and no matter how well you eat and how lean you stay and how much exercise you do your cholesterol is 350 now that's a situation where statin drugs are genuinely helpful if you arrive at the hospital in the middle of a myocardial infarction bypass surgery or angioplasty can save your life so the problem is not that these things are not useful the problem is that there's no money in it to speak of unless you can use these things on huge swathes of the population so now what we're basically doing is we're saying to everybody who has high cholesterol don't worry about it we can give you drugs we're doing bypass surgery a half a million times a year instead of maybe 15 or 20 thousand times a year we're doing angioplasty on people who don't qualify me we had a very interesting discussion last night with dr. Williams from the American College of Cardiology talking about if you knock out there there are two very specific situations in which angioplasty is that is definitely warranted it saves lives if you knock that out plus the people who arrive at the hospital in the middle of their heart attack most angioplasty we do is not warranted so I think the key is we have to get to the place where where there's judgment on behalf of the consumer and the the healthcare provider to make sure that we're using these things in appropriate ways and that and if we did that the perception of modern medicine which now I think is quite negative in many people's eyes for good reason it's bloated it's expensive it's inappropriate its impersonal it's all about the money we hurt people we would go back to a time when discoveries and medicine were exciting the development of the antibiotic was one of the most biggest game changers in healthcare and history of the planet and it's totally been by a pervert by the overprescribing of antibiotics I want to get back to the place where we look at the advancements that we've had in medicine is truly great achievements instead of doing what you and I are doing here which is complaining about the overuse of it all so I'm here at the real truth about Health Conference for a lot of reasons one is I did this before and it was a wonderful experience and I always like being in front of engaged audiences and so the people who come here that we get to interact with there and you saw this from the number of questions we never in any session get to the end of the questions and even afterwards they were like going to shut the lights out in the room we had to like go out in the hallway because there are so many questions and so I think from being a in the healthcare business that's this is like a health care providers dream if you're interested in those people who are really curiosity us about all this stuff and asking questions and and that sort of thing it's fun it's really fun on a bigger note alright we and there's been a lot of discussion about this at this conference and in this conversation that you and I are having the educated consumer is the only way that this is ever gonna change and so what I'm looking at where I'm gonna go speak because I have far more invitations than I take and the money doesn't have anything to do with it thank God I don't have to worry about that so much anymore so where am I gonna go spend time the things that interest me most are the things that give me access to the biggest audience and I think you would find that that would be the case with all of us who are here not in a vain way like I just want people to know who I am but in a greater good way that we all know that the real truth about health is completely the opposite of what people are inundated with every single day and so anything that gives us access to large numbers of people who we can then say and I said it a couple times you heard dr. Esselstyn say it many saying it your job now all of you out there is to take this message to other people and that's how you grow this every year into a bigger and bigger phenomenon and then at some point in time the people who know better will overwhelm the people who don't sheer force of numbers and then you get that tipping point that we were talking about earlier so that's why I'm here that's why I'm happy to be here grateful to be here you


  1. I love to listen to Pam she is direct and knowledgeable,having said that I am more interested in her view of MS and other autoimmune diseases can be avoided by not having a saturated fat diet and avoid dairy?I agree to avoid both for all people but how does not eating those things ensure you won't get a autoimmune diseases?I would like more info on this theory please.If that is the theory why does one child in a family get MS and not other kids in same family?

  2. j was raised on milk and had chronic sinusitis as a result. When I gave up whole milk, the sinus condition disappeared.

  3. Love your attitude about the government!! You are my new hero! I binge watched a bunch of your videos the last couple days and am learning so much! Thank you!

  4. The first positive step you can take to control your OCD and control issue impulses, Dr Pooper, is by not deleting any genuine, honest or truthful opinion, comment or suggestion posted by your viewers. Please try it NOW and see how liberating it will be for you to defeat this constant urge of trying to be in control all the time which is probably very taxing and energy consuming for you.
    Now that would be a clear sign of strength, enlightenment and personal growth.

  5. Blood cholesteral has nothing to do with heart disease. Sugar causes heart disease.

    Medical errors could be drastically reduced if they would stop hiring fat lady morons with no inclination towards science in a scientific field.

  6. Thank you for all of the amazing content you put on Dr Pooper. I can not believe that some woman asked you to have plastic surgery 60 times, lol! To be honest tho since a large part of your work is done in front of the camera, it may not be a bad idea to try to have your front teeth which are off center and to the right fixed along with the deep laugh lines, your nose and the bags under your eyes repaired. Even though you may not care about your facial appearance, you ought to perhaps be unselfish enough to address these issues for the sake of those who watch you and your enlightening and informative content.

  7. Good to hear a reasonable person. Reason is “the first faculty of man” “God has given us rational minds for this purpose, to penetrate all things, to find truth. If one renounce reason, what remains?” ~ Baha'i Faith

  8. It is almost humorous that the ads running on this video promote statins – almost like you are endorsing them, although I know you are not.

  9. Changes to our current health care system will only happen if people like you continue to stand up and speak the truth. Keep up your great work!

  10. I love: “I’ve given a lot of thought to this”… no kidding?!? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 #holy #education #Batman 🤯

  11. Great info Pam. The ads that appear are inappropriate and the antithesis of Pam's message…processed meat, supplements, pharma,…

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