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*Dr. Greger's Newsletter--Fall 2005 issue*

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  • Michael Greger, M.D.
    ************************************** Fall 2005 issue of Dr. Michael Greger s quarterly newsletter *******************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 12, 2005

      Fall 2005 issue of Dr. Michael Greger's quarterly newsletter


      CONTENTS (online at http://www.DrGreger.org/newsletters.html )

      I. Latest Updates in Human Nutrition
      A. Ornish Takes on Cancer
      B. Peppermint Oil for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
      C. Atkins Diet: Dead Meat
      D. Arteries--Open Sesame!
      E. Childhood Brain Tumors and Maternal Diet

      II. Personal Update

      III. Mad Cow Update: FDA gutless, brainless;
      Our food and cosmetic supply should be so lucky

      IV. Bird Flu Update:
      On a Wing and a Prayer

      V. Mailbag: ""What sources do you use to write the newsletter?"



      A. Ornish Takes on Cancer

      Until Dean Ornish published his landmark study in 1990, most
      cardiologists saw heart disease as an inexorable part of old age and
      treated it largely palliatively, going to great lengths--even open
      heart surgery--to alleviate the pain and disability. What Dr. Ornish
      showed was that heart disease could be not only slowed down, but
      actually reversed with a plant-based diet and other lifestyle
      changes.[1] People learned they could quite literally take their life
      in their own hands and cure themselves of a debilitating
      life-threatening disease once thought incurable. The broader
      implication, of course, was that a plant-based diet could potentially
      prevent heart disease in the first place.

      Largely ignoring the evidence Ornish presented, physicians of today,
      however, continue to talk of merely decreasing the risk of heart
      disease. As Dr. William Roberts, editor of the American Journal of
      Cardiology, points out "Pediatricians do not focus on decreasing the
      risk of mumps, measles, pertussis, or rheumatic fever. They focus on
      preventing these illnesses entirely. The same concept needs to be
      applied to atherosclerotic events."[2] Having demonstrated we could
      prevent and cure our number one killer without drugs and surgery,
      Ornish has now decided to take on killer number two, cancer. [To
      continue reading please go to http://www.drgreger.org/fall2005.html%5d


      B. Peppermint Oil for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects millions of Americans with
      painful abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, and bouts of diarrhea and
      constipation. Eliminating dairy and caffeine often takes care of the
      problem, but if not I often put patients on peppermint oil--and there
      is finally now solid evidence to support this centuries-old
      practice.[9] [To continue reading please go to


      C. The Atkins Diet: Dead Meat

      My latest book, "Carbophobia: The Scary Truth Behind America's Low
      Carb Craze": published February 1st, 2005. The multibillion dollar
      Atkins corporation: files for bankruptcy August 1st.[10] Six months.
      Not bad (though I was hoping to topple them in four :). Seriously,
      though, all the I-told-them-so satisfaction is lost upon reflection
      of the thousands of families shattered by pork-rind and egg-yolk
      fueled heart attacks spawned by these high-fat frauds. Americans are
      now fattening at a rate never before seen, with a recent report
      showing rising obesity rates across 48 states. Right now two thirds
      of Americans are overweight. By 2008 the number is predicted to
      approach 75%.[11] And just when we thought we couldn't get any fatter
      comes the follow-up to the Framingham Heart Study published last week
      in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggesting that over the long
      haul as many as 9 out of 10 men are likely to become overweight.[12]
      The answer, according to two new studies piling onto the mountain of
      evidence, is a plant-based diet. [To continue reading please go to


      D. Arteries--Open Sesame!

      People who have lived with me know about my "magic powder." I
      sprinkle it on almost everything. It's a combination of ground flax
      seed, dulse flakes, vitamin B12-fortified nutritional yeast and
      toasted and ground sesame seeds. The flax is for my Omega 3 fatty
      acids (although as little nutritional powerhouses they are much much
      more); the dulse is for iodine since I don't use salt (I've always
      wanted to include sea vegetables in my diet, because I knew they were
      so amazing trace mineral-wise, but I never liked the taste. Dulse is
      a gorgeous purple seaweed with but a mild flavor); and the
      nutritional yeast is for my B12 (although again there's so much other
      nutrition in this stuff it turns your pee yellow :). But the toasted
      sesame seeds (just spread a layer of raw sesame seeds in a toaster
      oven tray and toast until golden brown) are just to make the whole
      thing edible. Sesame seeds are the first recorded seasoning ever,
      dating back over 5000 years and no wonder--the rich sweet nutty
      flavor and fragrance of freshly toasted sesame seeds is out of this
      world. Little did I know that all this time they were helping to keep
      my arteries clean. And I love hearing good news about my good habits.
      [To continue reading please go to


      E. Childhood Brain Tumors and Maternal Diet

      Cancer is second only to accidents as a leading cause of death for
      our children these days. Brain tumors are the most common solid form
      of pediatric cancer. The development of childhood brain tumors is a
      chief reason why pregnant women no longer get X-rayed. Evidence has
      been building, though, that the mother's diet during pregnancy also
      plays a significant role. [To continue reading please go to



      Alas, what was once monthly is now sadly only quarterly. As much as I
      really enjoy working on this newsletter it takes me at least a week
      to research and write, and now with a more than full time job, on top
      of the writing, and traveling, and speaking I just can no longer
      afford to spend a quarter of my month on it. So, I'm now sadly down
      to the seasons. You can expect the Winter issue this January
      (hopefully with tellings of the hatching of my new bird flu book!).
      I'll put a Spring issue out every April, a Summer issue out in July
      and a Fall every October. It kills me to have to pass over so many
      important juicy articles I see every month, and I miss the feeling of
      more frequently reaching out to everyone that has reached out to me
      over the years, entrusting me with a piece of their family's health.
      I hope you can understand. [To continue reading please go to


      FDA gutless and brainless; our food and cosmetic supply should be so lucky

      Early last month, while all eyes were on Katrina, the FDA quietly
      announced that it was even backtracking on the few rules it had
      already put in place. You may remember my April 2004 mad cow update (
      http://www.drgreger.org/april2004.html ) in which I encouraged
      everyone to put pressure on the FDA to follow the European example
      and exclude not only small intestine from the human food and
      cosmetics supply, but all cow/calf colons and rectums as well. Not
      only did they refuse to ban these potentially risky tissues, but the
      exclusion of all smaller intestines was evidently so costly to the
      sausage industry that they've decided to allow them back in, forcing
      producers just to cut off the last few feet.[21] As one public health
      commentator commentated: "So while the FDA may be gutless, your food
      and cosmetics won't be."[22] [To continue reading please go to


      On a Wing and a Prayer

      Two weeks ago a Dr. "Frist" wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times
      warning that the bird flu virus "poses an immense potential threat to
      American civilization."[33] A threat to civilization? Who is this
      guy? This "guy" is Bill Frist, M.D., Majority Leader of the United
      States Senate. [To continue reading please go to


      V. MAILBAG: "What sources do you use to write the newsletter?"

      I love libraries. I grew up in libraries. I would actually skip class
      in high school so I could spend more time in a basement--the science
      library at the local state university. Let's just say I was an
      uber-nerd. [To continue reading please go to


      REFERENCES at http://www.drgreger.org/fall2005.html

      If anyone missed previous months, check out my newsletter archive at

      Until (hopefully) next month,

      (206) 312-8640
      425 North Frederick Ave. #4A
      Gaithersburg, MD 20877-2431


      HEART FAILURE: Diary of a Third Year Medical Student
      (full text now available free): http://www.upalumni.org/medschool

      My latest book:
      CARBOPHOBIA: The Scary Truth Behind America's Low Carb Craze

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