Dr. Mercola attacks the China Study: clash of the titans

When Joe Mercola contradicts the basics of nutrition taught on GreenSmoothieGirl.com and in my books, we get hundreds of emails.

Mercola’s newsletter yesterday supposedly exposes the “DARK SIDE” of the China Study. I’m not going to link to it and therefore give it a higher page rank. It doesn’t deserve it.

Before undertaking to explain what’s radically wrong with this article, let me say this: I agree with Mercola on some macro issues:

  1. That prevention and natural remedies are the best first-line treatments, rather than drug/surgery medical interventions.
  2. That far too much of our data comes from research that drug companies and agribusiness paid for.
  3. That sugar and processed foods are killing us. (Mercola implies, with the “false dilemma” logical fallacy, in yesterday’s newsletter that either animal proteins are killing us, or processed foods are, as if they are mutually exclusive.)

But we must use critical thinking skills to expose fatal flaws in his comments about Dr. T. Colin Campbell and the China Study.

(When you put yourself in the public domain, you invite dissent. Juxtaposition of ideas creates a climate for the truth to emerge.)

As I strongly disagree with Mercola here, I will invariably get some angry email. Most readers will appreciate that my only motive is to learn and then explain the truth (or as close as I can get to it) in this world of nutrition that has so many competing voices.

My own 12 Steps to Whole Foods is a compendium of the best nutrition practices. It advocates for eating much more plant food (especially raw food) than the average American gets and is a practical HOW-TO guide, more than a philosophical debate or meta-review of research. It purposefully doesn’t advocate for vegetarianism or veganism, although I am supportive of others who choose to wear those labels. My own family, except for two vegetarian daughters, eats a bit of homemade kefir, and occasional animal products when we are away from home.

Mercola attempts to discredit the joint effort of Oxford and Cornell Universities by calling theirs an “observational” study, which he infers is somehow inferior to having once had a medical practice.

The Oxford/Cornell China study is a very sound, huge, comprehensive study spanning over 25 years. My own advanced degree, background in research, and understanding of research principles, lead me to say this:

I am thankful, finally, for a vast piece of research in epidemiology that was not funded or influenced by the drug companies or agribusiness (which primarily hawks refined corn/wheat/soy products and processed and refined and GMO foods). I see no conflicts of interest in the Oxford/Cornell research. I see one of the purest voices in nutrition in Campbell and his team.

I interviewed him by phone as I wrote this, and he said, “I feel personally responsible to Americans to tell them what we did with their money,” because taxpayers funded the China study, not profit-motivated industries.

The research was the next natural step from methodical and rigorous animal studies. It’s   a remarkable piece of research examining 6,500 adults in 130 villages of rural China where some populations eat lots of animal protein, and others eat very little. The book The China Study represents the totality of Campbell’s experiences. Those include his many years of work in the Philippines studying malnourished children, to his experimental lab research funded by the National Institutes of Health, to the human studies project in China.

Mercola refers to Campbell “forcing” everyone into vegetarianism. This makes no sense on two levels beyond the unilateral emotionalism of the word.

First, the two diets Campbell studied were 20% animal protein (which correlates to the Standard American Diet) and 5% animal protein. Neither groups studied were vegetarian. The 5% group correlates to a low-animal-protein diet, similar to Daniel’s Biblical diet, as well as the scriptural “Word of Wisdom” counsel to eat meat “sparingly, only in times of winter/famine/cold.”

Second, Campbell takes the tone of scientist. He reports and interprets the data. He doesn’t “force” or even recommend any specific diet. He allows the reader to infer from the data whatever diet they choose to follow. He isn’t an internet maven selling a philosophy; he’s a researcher who found the opposite of what he expected to. He grew up on a dairy cattle farm and thought, well into adulthood, that a high-protein diet was ideal. Like John Robbins, son of the Baskin Robbins founder, only data convinced him otherwise. I personally am thankful for honest and pure truth seekers, willing to turn another way, when data challenges popular culture and custom.

Mercola attempts to downgrade the massive China project as “an observational study,” which he says does not “prove causation.” This is puzzling to me based on a three logic flaws.

First, Campbell is a scientist and would never say his study “proves causation.” No scientist would. I’m not a scientist but know enough about it to be aware you never achieve or claim “proof of causation.” Mercola gives a two-sentence primer on how the scientific process works: initial study, hypothesis, controlled trial. Which is precisely what Campbell and the research team did:

For the rest of this report, click here.

85 thoughts on “Dr. Mercola attacks the China Study: clash of the titans

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  1. Dr Mercola has grown to be a big business. It is unfortunate that his views are now obscured by that fact.

    Dr Campbell’s study confirms what 6 million years old DNA has proven: Humans are vegans. It is because of our omnivorous this that we have so many diseases.

    ( see: Beyond Bones and Stones in the web, that explains this)

    Campbells’ study encompasses 600 million Chinese statistics in his diet, the most massive human research study ever done. How can one argue with such massive work, that included clinical trials for a span of 30 years? Our organisms can’t process such foods. In more recent times, we already see how due to wrong diet, ( see study of Pharaohs ) 7 mummies were studied by CAT scan, and show they suffered from arteriosclerosis. Others show they had gall stones. That study concludes they, being wealthy could afford animal products. The poor did not, and consequently did not have any such diseases. Same results as THE CHINA STUDY.

    Bill Clinton has decided to follow his advise, and so did I. My Cholesterol was 240 now it is 140!

  2. i applaud everything said above – is the epitome of what he purports to be against – the largest online newsletter selling nutritional supplements for plenty of money for his pockets….his newsletters were 3 x week now 5 x week and are so full of advertising and hype i don’t know why i haven’t unsubscribed i think now is the time….i am right behind colin campbell perhaps i dobn’th av ethe scientific/medical knowledge it takes to critique but his credentials and the noteworthy names of eminent scholars supporting his research is undeniably valid….

  3. I have no idea why so many people think Dr. Campbell is hell bent on turning people into 100% vegans. I read the book and I did not get that impression at all. I felt like what he was saying was to incorporate a lot of different plant foods into our diet. Now I understand it’s due to Dr. Mercola and his ilk.

    *sigh*

  4. Hi Green Smoothie Girl,

    I have been reading and re-reading because I am at this point so confused I don’t know which way to turn. I have been on the vegetarian then vegan and about 70% raw for about 6 years. Originally I eliminated meats and kept dairy and eggs I began gaining weight slowly. Then I added whole grains and legumes but still more weight gain and increasingly less energy. I thought I must not be doing this right and continued to search and learn. Next step was to eliminated all processed foods, check for high fructose corn syrup in everything, eliminate sugars etc. I added good fats like coconut oil, nuts and seeds. I even eliminated plastic containers, dishes and cups in the kitchen replacing them with glass and BPA free alternatives. I got a Vitamix and learned to make green smoothies and even went months with raw soups at night. I still drink green smoothies in the morning for breakfast (every morning) and eat many fruits and veggies barely any eggs or dairy and whole grains, nuts etc but I have been obese for the last 4 years. Of the 6 years eating progressively better according to vegetarian/vegan/raw foodies I am getting nowhere in my weight issues and having increasing issues with energy, aches and pains etc. I started this journey weighing 118 pounds at 5′ 1″ and now am around 200 lbs Absurd as I can tell with such a diet but the fact. Yes I do indulge once in a while say monthly (especially as the years progressed with no improvement on these issues) but nowhere near enough to cause this kind of weight gain.

    When I saw Mercola’s article and nutritional typing plan I thought maybe that has been my problem and maybe I need to try this way out. Now I see your article and am back to feeling unsure what to do. I see all the plant based diet advocates talk about how healthy one will feel and weight loss etc but that has not been my case and it is getting very confusing and scary because I feel my health being jeopardized. I was thinking that perhaps I am lacking in the proteins and calcium my body requires but to add more nuts and seeds at their high calories and fat with my current weight scares me. Everyone of the experts in nutrition and plant based diets has a financial investment in what they advocate. So how can those of us whose health truly depends on it know what to believe or who to trust?

    Help!

    God Bless

    Carla

  5. I am coming to realize that there are 2 constants to disease prevention: the amount of fresh produce you eat and the amount of exercise you include in your lifestyle. If you feel you must eat animal protein for best health, go for it, but keep in mind what you are eating and how much: be mindful of portions, keep the protein lean, keep it clean, don’t exceed your body’s calorie requirements and make sure you get 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies. I myself feel my best when I include small amounts of animal protein on a daily basis, mostly highly quality eggs and organic cultured dairy products, and the occasional small serving of chicken breast, and grass-fed beef or buffalo. This ensures I get enough B-12 in my diet for my best energy levels. If you are a strict vegetarian or rarely eat animal protein, then you MUST take a broad spectrum B-12 supplement. B-12 deficiency is a serious matter, and causes fatigue, nail disease, pernicious anemia, chest pain, and dizziness. Your red blood cells depend on B-12 for healthy reproduction.

    Our nation’s health crisis isn’t, necessarily, because of our consumption of animal protein, but because we generally eat WAY too many calories during the day (about 1000 more calories than what we realistically need), and we do not use those calories during our daily routine! We also do not eat nearly enough produce to ward off disease and to keep our cholesterol levels in check.

    Eat your fruits and veggies, keep your foods as whole and natural as possible, don’t eat too much, exercise daily, and you will have life long good health. Simple advice really.

  6. It was with much interest, disbelief, and disappointment that we read the article and watched the video recently published by Joseph Mercola, M.D., who warned the public against alkaline, ionized water. We read with interest because of the torrent of e-mails we received from countless, upset people who felt betrayed by Dr. Mercola. We read with disbelief as Dr. Mercola offered numerous unsupported and poorly researched opinions, made many misstatements, and contradicted much of his own writing – past and present. We have noticed that Dr. Mercola’s articles have become, over time, increasingly negative and fearful. More and more, his articles seem to sacrifice true research in preference to making a sale or a point.

    This “natural health guru,” who once sprinkled fresh life over a desert of failed drug-based health options, has appeared to sell out and become the very thing against which he railed.

    Plain and simple, Dr. Mercola is a marketing machine… and a questionable one at that. A 2006 BusinessWeek editorial criticized Dr.

    Mercola’s marketing practices as “relying on slick promotion, clever use of information, and scare tactics.” [1] The Weston A. Price Foundation stated, “Mercola’s official pronouncement is a strange mixture of true statements and illogical sequelae, conflicting reasoning and unexplained omissions.” [2]

    Since the advent of his “brand,” Dr. Mercola has been one of the most outspoken voices against the establishment and questionable efficacy of the double-blind study. Yet now, because it suits him, Dr. Mercola has fallen on his own sword by contradicting the very credo upon which his sales machine was built.

    Among his many put-downs on medical research, he recently (on May 22, 2010 – only three and half months ago) wrote a particularly vehement attack.[3] In this article, he states, among other things, that, “Science-based medicine is a ruse,” “Published studies are likely to be seriously flawed,” “Natural therapies are at a disadvantage in this flawed system,” and finally, “If an alternative treatment has not been published in a medical journal it does not mean that it is unsafe or ineffective.” Now he calls alkaline, ionized water “snake oil on tap”

    because, “Scientific justification for these water systems is absent.”

    Which way is it Doctor?

    Further, Dr. Mercola sells products on his own website that lack scientific justification. What research does he provide for the efficiency and safety of his tanning bed; especially in light of a recent FDA report that states, “Tanning beds are now shown to cause skin cancer, skin burns, premature skin aging, and eye damage (both short and long-term).”[4] What double blind studies does he have in support of his extensive line of vitamins, minerals, herbal treatments, and plethora of other products? What research does he have to support the “high amount of calcium” he recommends in his Multivitamin Plus, which he claims “supports the skeletal system”?

    In the video, Dr. Mercola implores us each to don our “logic” and put “your natural thinking cap on.” Does he take us for fools? The video and article contain so many unsupported opinions, poor research, misstatements, and contradictions that it would take a voluminous tome to address them all! Let’s examine some facts, some of the fiction he proposes, and straighten out some of his egregious misstatements.

    Fact, fiction, or slick marketing? Dr. Mercola plays BOTH sides of the marketing fence – specifically to suit his shifting needs. Dr. Mercola, in his article, praises the cancer research of Robert Gilles, who uses highly acidic compounds to attack cancer cells and concludes, “Scientists who are in the process of developing prototypes for potential new anticancer agents that selectively kill tumor cells by interfering with the regulation of intracellular pH, have found that alkaline treatments do NOT have the desired effect-but strongly acidic treatments do.” Thus, Dr. Mercola uses a very pro-acidic treatment as proof of the inefficiency and even danger of using a pro-alkaline approach.

    But wait! In another internet article,[5] he praises an alternative method being practiced by Tulio Simoncini, a medical doctor from Italy.

    Dr. Simoncini injects tumors with highly alkaline sodium bicarbonate to kill the cancer cells. Dr. Mercola stated, “Unfortunately, Dr. Simoncini is yet another brilliant doctor who has been ousted from the medical community due to his revolutionary simple ideas of how to cure profit-making diseases.” See footnote [6] for some of Dr. Simoncini’s research.

    Fact: Dr. Mercola tries to appear as if he has an absolute answer on alkaline water when all he really does is side with the establishment (when it is convenient for him) to make his point and sell his wares.

    The fact is that the jury is out on the cause of cancer and the effectiveness of treatments.

    Fact: Dr. Mercola, in his article, states, “I can assure you that I would never use alkaline water as a regular source of water.” Yet, in a popular internet article [7] called Early Death comes from Drinking Distilled Water, Dr. Mercola states, “The ideal water for the human body should be alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium.”

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states, “There are very, very few legitimate, scientific studies about the effects of alkaline water on human health.”

    Fact: There are many university studies on various aspects and effects of alkaline, ionized water on human health. There are approximately 75 years of Russian research, 30 years of Japanese research, and 20 years of Korean research. All three governments have done extensive research.

    Please see footnote [8] for the list of Japanese research that has, to date, been translated into English. That the studies weren’t performed in the U.S. should give Dr. Mercola confidence; since, as he points out himself, the drug companies control much of the medical research done in the U.S. The fact is that Dr. Mercola has done poor research on this subject.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states, “And if you drink alkaline water all the time, you’re going to raise the alkalinity of your stomach, which will buffer your stomach’s acidity and impair your ability to digest food as low stomach acid is one of the most common causes of ulcers. This can open the door for parasites in your small intestine, and your protein digestion may suffer.”

    Fact: Ben Johnson M.D., D.O., N.M.D. states, “I have performed hundreds of gastroscopes. The stomach is normally empty. When you drink water without food the water moves through the stomach in a fairly rapid fashion into the small intestine where it is absorbed, not really affecting the mucous lining of the stomach nor the pH of that mucous.

    After years of research into the effects from drinking alkaline water, I am yet to see any causal relationship between alkaline water and parasite or digestion issues. In fact, there is a plethora of Asian research that shows the opposite.”

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola incorrectly states, “If you really want to alkalinize your body, it would seem wise to encourage it with the highest quality water possible, which is obtained from vegetable juice.”

    Fact: Ben Johnson M.D., D.O., N.M.D. states, “I know Dr. Mercola sells some juicers, so I guess it is good for him. Let’s be clear-juice is food. Basic biochemistry shows that the digestive system processes juice and water differently. Juicing is a great way to get nutrients – not H2o. If you want hydration then you need to drink water. I recommend that it be slightly alkaline so that you get the magnesium and potassium ions which are so healthy.”

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states that ionizers are sold by making “astonishing health claims” and “unsubstantiated health claims,”

    including that they “cure cancer.”

    Fact: To date, IonWays has never received any warning from the FDA for its marketing or that of its representatives and has never claimed that ionizers cure cancer.

    Fact: Dr. Mercola has received two warning letters from the FDA for marketing nutritional products in a manner which violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. [9] [10]

    Fiction: Mercola states, “The fact that most water ionizers and alkalizers are being marketed by multi-level marketing (MLM) companies with less than stellar ethics.”

    Fact: There are 100s of companies in the U.S. selling water ionizers and approximately ten importers. Only three companies sell through MLM. The “ethical” statement borders on libel, but rather than pursue this legally, I personally invite Dr. Mercola to call me directly and find out about how IonWays does business, our ethics (compliance policies), and our charitable giving.

    Fiction: The “expert” in his video, Mr. Houston Tomasz, states that the ionizer industry “will not be around for very long.”

    Fact: Ionized water has been consumed in Japan since the early 1970s without any known contraindications. It has been sold and consumed in the U.S. since approximately 1995. It is estimated that about one in every six households in Japan now use a water ionizer, and one household in eight in Korea.

    Fiction: Mr. Tomasz states, “When you [MLM companies] are selling a product that 10 people get a commission on, it’s expensive.”

    Fact: I have run the sales for both MLM and a traditional business selling the Emco Tech product line-up. I would make a personal invitation to Dr. Mercola and challenge him to a “transparent”

    accounting review – his company and our company with results to be published. If you research, you will see that IonWays sells its industry-leading model for approximately the same price as all the other leading models, dispelling this notion. It is clearly not marked up to the level of the Enagic TM SD501 at $4,000.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states, “These consumers have merely fallen under the spell of a skilled [MLM] marketer who selectively misused pseudoscientific information, and twisted it around to scare them into buying their product.”

    Fact: Dr. Mercola is doing a great disservice to the hundreds of thousands of network marketers that dedicate their lives to helping others help themselves. The fact is that Direct Sales is one of the fastest growing segments of the global economy – especially during a downturn. Our Associates represent IonWays and their loyalty and passion is supported by a Compliance Department that makes sure all marketing efforts are compliant. As in any business model, there are sales representatives who will, at times, act out-of-line. When they do, they are appropriately reprimanded.

    Neither IonWays nor its Independent Associates misuse the existing science. I have personally presented the science behind our ionizers in front of hundreds of medical professionals of all types, and have never had anyone take issue with the statements I made. In the end, we are no more guilty than Dr. Mercola himself for using the available research and theories to support our beliefs.

    Most importantly, IonWays does not “scare” its customers-unlike the fear-based tactics employed by some internet marketers. IonWays’

    approach is to give out our product FOR FREE to allow the customer to make up his own mind. I invite the good doctor to come join one of our presentations and see for himself.

    Fact: The “expert” in the video, Mr. Houston Tomasz, is a V.P. for Sun Water Systems, Inc. (http://www.aquasana.com), which is a major player in the water filtration products industry. Dr. Mercola did not offer any certifications or credentials held by Mr. Tomasz that would qualify him as an “expert.” Certainly not an unbiased one.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states that, “Water ionizers are NOT filters.” Both he and Mr. Tomasz make similar statements in the video, including much discussion about lack or misuse of certifications.

    Fact: The IonWays Biostone Plus is manufactured in the USA with NSF certified components. The nine-stage Biostone Plus incorporates catalytic carbon, KDF, and multiple sediment filters between stages to remove the suspended solids of one micron or greater. The IonWays Athena is a dual filter model offering you the ability to have 18 separate barriers to treatment. We offer many pretreatments. IonWays does not claim its electrical certifications relate to the water.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola incorrectly states, “I don’t think you are going to find naturally occurring alkaline water.”

    Fact: Most of the U.S. municipal tap water supplies are alkaline due to the fact that they are hard water. Further, there are many sources of naturally occurring, higher pH/low ORP water. One such example here in the US is the water from Trinity Springs in Paradise, Idaho. It is well documented that Trinity Water exits the ground at pH 9.4 to 9.6 with a -150mv ORP. There are others…

    Fact: Dr. Mercola lauds Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work on water crystals and states, “The healing water sources formed beautiful and complex crystalline geometries.”

    DrEmoto

    Fact: IonWays Emco Tech technology has been photographed by Dr. Emoto and was shown to have a beautiful and complex crystalline geometry (right). See the footnote to refer to the authorization number from the Hado Institute [11].

    Fact: Dr. Mercola states, “In the near future, I [Dr. Mercola] will post a comprehensive review of water filters.” Dr. Mercola already sells a competing water filtering system.[12]

    These iterations of fact or fiction cover only a small portion of egregious statements. As off-base as the article was, we are even more surprised that Dr. Mercola allowed the video to be published. In the end, his expert makes statements in the video that actually support the cornerstone principles behind alkaline ionized water. Mr. Tomasz states, “I personally believe alkaline is better, I like a pH above 7,” and, “Alkaline water is optimal because by definition you cannot have free radicals in an alkaline environment” …yet they talk in the video and the article about ionizer salespeople confusing the customer!

    So who is the real Dr. Mercola? You be the judge. In the May 2006 BusinessWeek editorial referenced above, columnist David Gumpert opined:

    “Mercola gives the lie to the notion that holistic practitioners tend to be so absorbed in treating patients that they aren’t effective businesspeople. While Mercola on his site seeks to identify with this image by distinguishing himself from ‘all the greed-motivated hype out there in health-care land,’ he is a master promoter, using every trick of traditional and Internet direct marketing to grow his business. He is selling health-care products and services, and is calling upon an unfortunate tradition made famous by the old-time, snake oil salesmen of the 1800s.”

    It’s our bet that Dr. Mercola’s recently published article and video warning against alkaline, ionized water were nothing more than “slick promotion” as BusinessWeek pointed out. We believe his forthcoming review will undoubtedly and inevitably steer you toward a specific water product or products. Then, in conjunction with these two publications, Dr. Mercola will have positioned himself to come across as the “unbiased voice of reason” the “dispeller of pseudo-science” and the “provider of unbiased truth.” The reality will be that (just as he does with the other 100+ products he sells or otherwise endorses) he is pulling the strings to steer many trusting readers to products for which he will receive some form of compensation, either directly or behind the scenes.

    He gets it both ways.

    I personally find Dr. Mercola’s approach sad and disheartening. We invite anyone who reads this article to talk with those who have personally consumed and benefitted from alkaline ionized water – many for upwards of 10 or 15 years. Better yet, we invite you to try it for yourself and see – for free. We ask that you let your body be the final judge. It is not by marketing that we will change the state of health in the U.S. It will be through a grass roots movement of people who empirically know alkaline, ionized water works. Regardless of what Dr.

    Joe Mercola says.

    In good health,

    Jay_Hare

    President | IonWays, LLC

    “Our water changes everything!”

    *References omitted for space by GSG Admin

  7. What you were saying sounds right on to me. Thanks for being sensible and logical about your work. You are a great example and help to many! Thanks! Sarah

  8. I completely agree with Patricia. Live and let live; we are all different. I never heard of DR. Mercola until all the attacks on this newsletter.

    Just because we have one believe doesn’t mean all should follow it.

    MS

  9. Did anyone see the remake of “War of the Worlds” with Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins & others. Well remember how the aliens captured humans, extracted their blood & I’m not sure if they ate them or not. But while watching that movie I thought that is the same way we treat our animals. It’s disgusting. And the consequences of that is while we are killing them fast, they are killing us slowly. The reason so many people are taking statins for high cholesterol is because the cholesterol is clogging our blood vessels from eating animals. The point is our liver makes the cholesterol we need & if we ate a “garden of eve” type diet, we wouldn’t be so sick. I think Dr. Mercola is not doing human kind a good service with his recommendations. Remember Dr. Campbell was raised on a farm & he wholeheartedly believed in our brainwashed way of feeding our bodies. His change of heart was a result of the research he conducted. We’re no better than cannibals because most of the animals we eat want to live as much as we do. Would you eat your dog?

  10. It seems to me that we all need to be very careful here. There is not a single study in the world that can 100% prove that one nutritional idea is the end all be all, until you follow many people from birth to death. I believe in sound nutrition and I think most people do. I just think we need to be careful about throwing stones and thinking our way is the only way. I have seen so many people become extreme in their eating choices that it carried over into other aspects of their lives. It then makes you question their over all sanity. This has led to isolation and other weird behavior.

    I don’t know why this is, but people who live a vegetarian lifestyle or similar seem to always feel they have to justify their lifestyle to others. Why is this? Go live the way you want and let others do the same. If you get attacked leave it alone, it won’t change your belief system, retaliatating just makes you come off as more elitist. That is what I am getting from this blog post. You attack a medical doctor because he has an opinion. He did do studies just like the other guy, it just so happens his conclusions were different. If everyone would have ignored him it wouldn’t have gotten this much publicity.

    I think everyone needs to be careful who they follow, and what they are telling people who follow them. I know a lady who was diagnosed with Cancer and decided to continue her vegan lifestyle and take herbs. Guess what she died. If she had gotten the proper medical care she may have lived because it was found early on. This is what living extremes and thinking you know everything get you. Most people who get sick get many opinions I don’t see how this is any different. Take it all with a grain of salt and live the way you are comfortable with. Then don’t get offended when others choose a different path. Believe me you can find flaws in any study, especially if you really want to and it serves your purpose and makes you money.

  11. Robyn, I truly appreciate your well-written article and the way it has stimulated interesting discussion.

    I do have to say that I am another one of those people who seem to do better on plenty of meat, fish, healthy fats, and no grains at all. I didn’t try a high-vegetable-and-fruit diet for just three weeks, as Dr. M did, I followed the McDougall diet religiously for 11 months. Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, starches, hardly any fat. I gained weight (probably because I was hungry all the time) and my energy levels were quite uneven.

    It’s funny that you say the Atkins diet has made lots of people obese and unhealthy, when until I started a more paleolithic-type diet, I felt better on the Atkins diet, had better energy levels, and stayed slimmer than I had on any of the other diets I have tried in my life. I now have advanced to what I consider a better diet plan (see “Primal Blueprint”), which, like your articles, prescribes whole foods and lots of vegetables, but also a fair amount of protein and fat for weight loss and smooth energy levels. There is no dairy and there are no grains and no sugar to be found in this diet, which I think is key to its success for me.

    I do agree with very much of what you say… except that I think whole grains cause inflammation, and I am hoping that avoiding them (and dairy and legumes) will help with my autoimmune disease.

    Again, thank you for your splendid article, and I appreciate the work you are doing to help everyone discover nutritional truths.

  12. Is the quality of what you eat more important than what you eat? Nope, they’re both critical.

    You can have an organic plant or animal that are very nutritionally deficient.

    For example, plants do no make Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Cobalt is needed in the soil for a plant to pick it up. The plant is consumed by an animal that has bacteria that will produce vitamin B12. Bacteria have the enzymes required for its production. Lets say for example, a cow eats grass that contains no cobalt. The bacteria will not produce Vitamin B12. It’s impossible. Grass fed cattle are the healthiest cattle if the pasture is a healthy pasture. It must have a full spectrum of minerals and a thriving subterranean community. There must be a healthy symbiosis between all the microorganisms, fungus, nematodes, worms, beetles, etc.

    Another cattle example is that CLA is among many other things, a cancer fighting agent. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid) Grain fed cattle do not have CLA in their flesh or milk. Grass fed cattle on healthy pastures are full of it. The cattle are healthy and can pass healthy properties on the the consumer. In the winter, milk products do not have the benefits of being pasture fed. Dried hay and alfalfa do not have the same properties as a healthy green pasture.

    Whatever plants or animals are consumed, make sure they are optimized. I heard many years ago and fully believe that “Take care of the little things (microorganisms) and the big things (macroorganisms – people) take care of themselves.”

    As far as Mercola goes, I was excited at first thinking he would provide me with objective health information. It soon became obvious that his objectives were motivated by the next commission driven product more than anything.

    Thanks Robyn

  13. All he said was that we should listen to our bodies. Some people need animal protein and some don’t. I am one of those individuals who need animal protein. I can not live on a plant and nuts based diet.

    I honestly don’t see anything wrong in what he said; unless of course we’re looking for some kind of controversial to call attention to ourselves.

    MS

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