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*September 2003 issue of Dr. Greger's Newsletter*

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  • Michael Greger, M.D.
    ******************************************************* September 2003 issue of Dr. Michael Greger s Monthly Newsletter
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31 5:40 PM

      September 2003 issue of Dr. Michael Greger's Monthly Newsletter



      I. Seven Latest Updates in Veg Nutrition
      1. Vegan Diets Deficient in Three Nutrients?
      Well, Meateaters are Deficient in SEVEN!
      2. Take Some Greens for Your Blues?
      3. Green Tea and Breast Cancer
      4. Breakfast of (Slim) Champions
      5. Animal Fat and Breast Cancer
      6. Milk, Greens and Ovarian Cancer Survival
      7. Animal Products and Stroke Risk

      II. DVD update

      III. Personal Update

      IV. Best Kitty Litter in the World

      V. MAILBAG: "What Groups Do You Donate All Your Money To?"



      Vegan Diets Deficient in Three Nutrients?
      Well, Meateaters are Deficient in Seven!

      The latest data on the dietary intakes of vegans was just published
      last month.[1] The diets of about 100 vegans were recorded for a week
      and were found deficient in calcium, iodine and vitamin B12. Using
      the same standards, though, the standard American diet are deficient
      in 7 nutrients! The diet of your average American is not only ALSO
      deficient in calcium and iodine, it's deficient in vitamin C, vitamin
      E, fiber, folate, and magnesium as well.[2]

      Not only does the American public have over twice as many nutritional
      deficiencies in their diets, vegans were shown to have higher intakes
      of 16 out of the 19 nutrients studied, includeing calcium. The vegans
      were getting more than enough protein on average and three times more
      vitamin C, three times more vitamin E, three times more fiber. Vegans
      got twice the folate, twice the magnesium, twice the copper, twice
      the manganese.

      And of course the vegans had twice the fruit and vegetable intake and
      half the saturated fat intake, meeting the new 2003 World Health
      Organization guidelines for fat intake and weight control.[3] Almost
      2/3 of Americans are overweight.[4] In contrast, only 11% of the
      vegans were overweight. Almost one in three Americans are obese.[4]
      Zero of the 98 vegans in this study were obese.

      So when a meateater asks you "Where you get your B12?" You can
      counter with "Where do YOU get your vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber,
      folate, and magnesium? And while you're at it, you can ask them how
      they keep their sodium, saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol
      intake under control (not to mention their weight).[5]


      2. Take Some Greens for Your Blues?

      Tufts researchers just discovered a link between major clinical
      depression and depressed levels of the B vitamin folate in the
      blood.[6] We don't know yet if it's cause and effect, but it's
      perhaps yet another reason to eat your greens!


      3. Breakfast of (Slim) Champions

      On my new cooking show DVD, I explain how eating a healthy breakfast
      can help shed pounds. The evidence certainly seemed to point that
      way, but we weren't sure if it was just the diet or some other
      factor--maybe breakfast eaters exercised more or something and that's
      why they were slimmer?

      Last month a study was published which, for the first time,
      controlled for other lifestyle factors such as exercise, smoking ,
      poverty, etc. And lo and behold, those who ate a healthy breakfast
      indeed were significantly slimmer than those who skipped breakfast.
      Of course, this was only for those eating plant-based breakfasts.
      Those who ate meat, eggs or dairy for breakfast were the
      heaviest--even heavier than those who skipped breakfast. Those who
      ate cooked cereals like oatmeal were the slimmest.[7]


      4. Green Tea and Breast Cancer

      In my new anti-cancer talk ("Cancer-Proofing Your Body with Plant
      Superfoods"), I encourage everyone to drink green tea every day. Up
      until now, studies on Western populations have failed to show a
      protective role of tea consumption in preventing breast cancer. But
      we tend to drink mostly black tea.

      Finally, just this last month, a study on green tea consumption and
      breast cancer (in Los Angeles County) was published, which suggested
      that women may be able to cut their risk of developing breast cancer
      in HALF by just drinking about a third of a cup of green tea every

      Just try not to drink tea regularly with meals. Green tea (and
      black) can interfere with the absorption of the iron found in plant
      foods, so vegetarians and vegans should try to only drink tea between


      5. Animal Fat and Breast Cancer

      The evidence supporting a link between total fat intake and breast
      cancer risk has been lacking, but maybe that's because researchers
      didn't take into account the difference between animal fats and
      vegetable fats.

      In a recent landmark study of nearly a hundred thousand women,
      Harvard researchers separated out the animal fat and found that
      premenopausal women who consumed the most animal fat had a
      significantly greater chance of developing breast cancer. Those that
      ate the most red meat and high-fat dairy seemed to have over a 75%
      greater risk!

      Researchers admitted that couldn't tell if it was the animal fat
      itself or perhaps the carcinogens in cooked meat or the hormones in
      dairy. There was no relationship between the consumption of VEGETABLE
      fats and breast cancer found.


      6. Milk, Greens and Ovarian Cancer Survival

      Ovarian cancer is a major cause of cancer mortality in women. A
      study just released this last month, though, showed that there were
      two things that could significantly improved the survival of women
      diagnosed with ovarian cancer, vegetables, especially cruciferous
      vegetables (kale, collards, broccoli, cabbage, etc) and vitamin E in
      foods (nuts, seeds, beans, greens).

      The one thing that seemed to worsen survival was dairy. Those that
      consumed lots of dairy seems to carry about a 30% excess risk of
      early death--and the problem seemed to come from the milk sugar,
      lactose, and not the milk fat, so even nonfat dairy seemed to worsen
      the survival of those with ovarian cancer.


      7. Animal Products and Stroke Risk

      The only disappointing study I found this last month was a study
      which found that the consumption of certain animal products may
      protect against one subtype of stroke. The evidence is not yet
      compelling and has some inconsistencies, but researchers followed
      tens of thousands of people for 16 years and found that those that
      ate the most eggs, dairy, and fish had 20% less stroke mortality.

      Now vegetarians and vegans do NOT seem have an increased risk of
      dying from stroke.[9] This seeming contradiction may be explained by
      our increased fruit and vegetable consumption. According to the best
      evidence we have,[10] for every daily serving of fruits and veggies
      we eat, we drop our stroke risk 4%. So we should all be eating AT
      LEAST 5 servings of fruits and veggies every day.

      The most powerful fruits and veggies for stroke prevention seem to
      be citrus and (surprise surprise) cruciferous vegetables. Eat your
      greens! :)



      What people are saying about my new cooking show DVD "Maximum
      Nutrition" Transitioning Towards a Plant-Based Diet.":

      "It is said that laughter is the best medicine. If so, Michael
      Greger's Maximum Nutrition offers welcome relief to long-suffering
      seekers of nutritional wisdom. Based on cutting edge clinical
      research, this DVD is jam packed with practical recipes, cooking
      tips, and unpredictable belly laughs. Michael's contagious enthusiasm
      and zany humor make the how and why of cooking well and eating right
      into pure fun."
      -James LaVeck, Film producer, Co-founder Tribe of Heart

      "Maximum Nutrition is both informative and entertaining. Dr. Greger
      provides solid advice for achieving optimal health through proper
      nutrition, and he does so in his uniquely humorous and entertaining
      way. We highly recommend this DVD for meat eaters and vegetarians
      -Gene and Lorri Bauston, Founders of Farm Sanctuary

      The next public screening will take place in
      <http://www.bostonveg.org>Boston on September 21st.

      Or you can <http://www.veganMD.org/dvd.html>order your own copy for
      $20. All money from the sales of all my books, CDs and DVDs go to
      vegan charities (of course).



      During the months of October through December I'm going to be
      rewriting Dr. Michael Klaper's classic book, Vegan Nutrition: Pure
      and Simple. After that, I expect to launch another year-long speaking
      tour across the country with a whole slew of new talks. If anyone
      has any suggestions as to what topics the vegetarian community or the
      general public might be particularly interested in, let me know--some
      of my<http://www.veganMD.org/talks.html> favorite talks actually
      started with just casual suggestions from friends.

      Another way people could help me is to donate frequent flier miles or
      award tickets. I have a list of 29 cities with groups that have
      invited me to speak, but don't have student groups in the area that
      can get their school to fly me out (and they're too far to justify
      the drive). So I feel bad but have to turn those talks down (and I
      hate turning talks down!). So any frequent flier miles would be
      appreciated. Or, if any of you know any activist pilots...
      Evidently, airline pilots can each put a few people on a list which
      allows them to go on 24 standby flights a year for free. If I could
      get a pilot to put me on a list like that it would revolutionize my
      ability to get out there and speak. Can't hurt to ask...



      The butts of my 6 out of 6 cats agree: the best kitty litter in the
      world just so happens to be the cheapest! Forget your pet or grocery
      store, head over to your nearest agriculture feedstore and pick up
      some 40 pound bags of wood pellet fuel (for about $4 each). The
      stuff's amazing--trust me. So tell everyone you know with cats and
      have them donate all the money that they save to... save animals!
      This same stuff is sold as "the world's best kitty litter" in pet
      stores marked up like 1000%.

      Now. rumor has it that there's an even BETTER kitty litter(I'm
      skeptical) than wood pellet fuel called Woody Pet, which is used as
      professional horse bedding. It's a little more expensive ($5 for 30
      pounds), but I hear it's even better than plain wood pellet fuel (it
      can be found at feed stores too). I just picked up 90 pounds and
      will have my kitties get back to you next month :)


      V. MAILBAG: "What groups do you donate all your money to?"

      Since I'm able to live so simply, and people have been so incredibly
      generous and supportive, I've been able to donate 100% of the money I
      receive from selling my books, CDs, and DVDs to vegan charities. I
      take the responsibility of finding the best groups very seriously,
      especially after reading Peter Singer's
      <http://www.petersingerlinks.com/famine.htm>landmark essay on giving.

      Here's my list; I'd love to hear all of yours.


      BEST EDUCATIONAL TOOL: "Peaceable Kingdom" soon to be released by
      <http://www.tribeofheart.org/jointoh.htm>Tribe of Heart

      BEST OUTREACH TOOL: "Why Vega," put out by
      <http://veganoutreach.org/about/donate.html>Vegan Outreach

      BEST EDUCATIONAL STRATEGY: Humane Education.
      Support the <http://www.iihed.org/support_work.html>International
      Institute for Humane Education

      BEST OUTREACH STRATEGY: Open Rescue, performed domestically within
      the last year by:
      <http://www.cok.net/support/>Compassion Over Killing
      <http://www.mercyforanimals.org/>Mercy for Animals
      <http://www.uarc.com/membership.html>United Animal Rights Coalition

      BEST CONFERENCE: Liberation Now! by
      the<http://www.defendanimals.org/libnow/helpus.htm> Students Animal
      Rights Alliance

      BEST NEW PROSPECT: Current organizing for a
      <http://www.grassrootsAR.org>Grassroots Animal Rights Conference



      [1] Results from the German Vegan Study. European Journal of Clinical
      Nutrition 57(August 2003):947.
      [2] USDA. Food and Nutrient Intakes by Individuals in the United
      States, by Region, 1994-96.
      [3] World Health Organization Technical Report Series 916. Diet,
      Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. 2003.
      for Disease Control.
      [5] Then you can finally answer their question and proudly say B12
      fortified foods or B12 supplements :) Of course the fact that we're
      seriously deficient in B12 should not be taken lightly. Evidence
      suggests that our low B12 intakes make be shaving literally years off
      of the lives of vegetarians and vegans, so make sure you get your
      B12!--I recommend "<http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/>Vitamin B12: Are
      You Getting It?"
      [6] Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter. August 2003. 21(6):2
      [7] Journal of The American College of Nutrition 22(August 2003):296.
      [8] Green Tea and the Risk of Breast Cancer in Asian Americans.
      International Journal of Cancer 106(August 2003):574.
      [9] Public Health Nutrition 5(2002):29 and American Journal of
      Clinical Nutrition 70(1999):516s.
      [10] Journal of the American Medical Association 282(1999):1283.


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      Until next month,

      Check out my new cooking show DVD at :
      Four of my most popular talks are now online (free) at:
      To subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter send a blank email to:
      HEART FAILURE: Diary of a Third Year Medical Student (Full text now
      available free):
      The thinker that most changed my life: Noam Chomsky
      The single article that most changed my life:
      Please everyone donate money to Tribe of Heart

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