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Nutrition Facts with Dr. GregerGo to Podcast Page

Michael Greger, M.D.
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Apr 14, 2022
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What if just one lifestyle change could help you avoid getting cancer or diabetes or heart disease or high blood pressure? This one change could cut your risk of chronic disease and add years to your life. Well the simple solution to so many of these problems is to eat a healthy diet. In other words, one centered around whole plant Foods, welcome to the nutrition facts podcast. I'm your host. Dr. Michael Greger.
There is a lot of demand for information about fasting and as luck would have it more and more research is released every day. Today. We look at the practice of fasting to reverse type 2 diabetes. Currently nearly half a billion.
Adults have diabetes at fifty percent. Increase is expected in another generation. I've got tons of videos on the best diet for diabetes. But what about no diet at all? More than a century go.
Thing was said to bring about the Cure of diabetes, speedily arresting its development and causing complete disappearance of all its manifestations several days or weeks. Even so starvation is guaranteed to lead to the complete disappearance of you. If you kept up long enough, what's the point of fasting it away? If it's just going to come raging back as soon as you restart the diet that caused it in the first place might be useful to kind of kick. Start a healthier diet. Let's see.
See what the science says. Type 2, diabetes has long been recognized as a disease of excess a disease of the idle, Rich. By which they mean, anyone who doesn't practice sustained, vigorous bodily exertion everyday and earning enough to regularly eat more than they need. So diabetes is preventable, but then maybe it's also treatable. If we are dying of overeating, maybe we can be saved by under eating remarkably.
It was suggested about 2,000 years ago. In an ayurvedic texts, diabetics were encouraged to live like a saint walk, 40, 800 or 900 miles. Dig a pond or live, only on cow dung and cow urine. That reminds me of the Rolo diet for diabetes proposed in 1797, composed of a diet of rancid meat that was on top of the ipecac, like, drugs. He used to produce.
Fear sickness and vomiting anything that produces sickness, as a temporary affected, relieving Diabetes by diminishing, the quantity of food eaten and his diet plan congealed, blood for lunch and spoiled meat. For dinner, certainly had that effect similar benefits were seen in diabetics during the siege of Paris in the franco-prussian war leading to the advice to MoMA. Jean. Le ma pussy bleep.
Does little as possible that was formalized into the Allen starvation treatment considered to be the greatest medical advance in the treatment of diabetes, prior to the discovery of insulin before insulin. There was the Allen era. He noted the reports in the clinical literature of even severe diabetics clearing up on wasting diseases like tuberculosis. So we decided to put it to the test. He found that even the most severe types of
Of diabetes, he could clear sugar from people's urine within 10 days. Of course, that's the easy part. It's maintaining it. Once you start eating again for, which he stuck to two principles, keeping them underweight and restricting, the quantity of fat, a severe diabetic, can be symptom-free for days or weeks, but add some butter or olive oil and of the disease can come raging back as I've covered before. Diabetes is a disease.
Of fat toxicity. Infuse fat in the people's veins do an IV and by using a high-tech type of MRI scanner, you can show in real time to build up a fat and muscle cells within hours, accompanied by an increase in insulin resistance. The same thing happens when you put people on a high fat diet for three days or even just one day,
Or even just a single meal can increase insulin resistance, within 6 hours acute dietary fat intake, rapidly increases insulin resistance. Why do we care? Because insulin resistance in our muscles and the context of too many calories leads to the build-up of liver fat, which leads to the buildup of fat in the pancreas, which is eventually what causes diabetes type 2 diabetes can now be understood as a state of excess fat in the liver.
And pancreas and remains reversible for at least 10 years in most individuals, put people on a very low calorie diet, 700 calories a day. And in fact can get sucked out of your muscle cells and you get a corresponding boost in insulin sensitivity. Fat is then sucked out of your liver and if you keep it up, the fat gets sucked out of your pancreas and if you can catch it early enough, that can mean a reversal of your type 2, diabetes, meaning, normal sugars on a normal diet.
With loss of 15 percent of body weight. Nearly 90% of those who had type 2 diabetes for less than four years. Can achieve remission. We're may only be reversible and fifty percent of those who live with the disease for longer than eight years. That's better than bariatric surgery where those losing even more way only got 62 and 26% remissions, right? Your forks are better than the surgeons knives.
Here's how much weight you have to lose to achieve various remission rates for those who had diabetes for an average of three years lose about 30 pounds and most newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics can reverse their disease. So an extended bout of physician supervised water only casting could get you there. But you have to maintain the weight loss. One of the things we can say with certainty is that if you regain the weight, you regain, your
Bees to bring It full circle. The initial Euphoria about medicines greatest Miracle, discovery of insulin in 1921 soon, gave way to the realization that. While it was literally a lifesaver for type 1 diabetics. The use of insulin on its own and type. 2 diabetics would not be enough to prevent the later onset of complications, like, kidney failure, blindness, stroke amputations. So as argued by one of the most famous, diabetes, Pioneers Elliott, Jocelyn,
Self-discipline on diet and exercise as it was in the days prior to insulin should be Central to the
management of diabetes. Did you know that Clark? Restriction can boost levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor other by a known is bdnf. In fact, I just wrote a chapter on it, my upcoming book how not to age. Anyway, here's the story
for over a century. Fasting has been espoused as a treatment.
Supposed great utility in the preservation of Health, especially, rejuvenating the body, but above all the mind, but fast people even just 18 hours and they get all hungry and irritable after one or two days, positive mood goes down-, mood goes up and by 72 hours. People can feel sad, self blaming and suffer a loss of libido, but then something strange starts to happen after a few days. People experience a fasting induced.
Mood enhancement, decreased anxiety, depression, fatigue, and improved Vigor. And that's what studies tend to show across the board. Once you get over the hump fasters freely experience, an increased level of vigilance and mood Improvement of a subjective feeling of well-being. Sometimes even Euphoria and no wonder his by, then your endorphin levels, May shoot up. Nearly 50% this enhancement of mood alertness and calm makes a certain amount of
Our Ascent yet, your body wants you to feel crappy initially. So you continue eating day-to-day when food is available. But if you go a couple days without food your body, realizes it can't have you. Moping back in the cave. You gotta get motivated to get out there and find some calories. So confessed and be used for mood disorders, like depression. Yeah, it's great. That you can get people to feel better after a few days of fasting, but the critical question revolves around the
Since of mood improvement over time, once you start eating again, you don't know until you put it to the test. Interestingly the little published evidence we have comes out of Japan and the former Soviet Union and some of it is just ridiculous. 10 days of fasting, but they also kept them in bed all day, completely isolated with no contact with the outside world. So you have people got better worse. It'd be impossible to tease out the effects of just the fasting component, but
Did apparently get better with efficacy. Supposedly, demonstrated in 31 out of 36 patients suffering from depression. They conclude the fasting therapy May provide an alternative to the use of antidepressant drugs, considering it a kind of shock therapy. People are so relieved to just be eating again to get out of solitary confinement. To even just get out of bed. They report feeling better. Yeah, but that was at the time of discharge. How did they feel the next day? The next week? The next?
Next month fasting is by definition unsustainable. So ideally, what we want to see some kind of longer lasting effects. So what the researchers did was follow up with a few hundred patients, not just a few months later. But a few years later, the 16, and we're evidently suffering from depression, 90 percent, reported, feeling, good, or excellent results. At the end of the 10-day Fest and remarkably years later, 87% of the 62 that replied claimed that they were still doing good. Now, there was
No control group. So we don't know if they would have done just as well or better without the Fest. It was just self-report. So maybe there was response bias where you try to please the researcher. Maybe they were afraid. Otherwise, they get sent back to the whole. We have no idea but we do have good evidence for the short-term mood benefits. The question is why in addition to the endorphins when you fast the surgeon serotonin, so-called happiness hormone. There's a bump in bdnf.
Brain-derived neurotropic Factor considered to play a crucial role in mood disorders. And it's not just because you per couple rodents with a humans. With major depression have lower level circulating in their bloodstream. Autopsy studies of suicide victims show only about half the bdnf in certain key brain regions compared to controls. Suggesting may play an important role in suicidal Behavior. You can boost beat in after, with antidepressant, drugs and electroshock or with calorie restriction as
Many percent boost and levels after three months, cutting 25
percent of calories out of their daily died. What effect does fasting and a plant-based diet have on traumatic brain, injury and migraines. Let's find out an uncontrolled and unpublished study purported to show a beneficial effect of fasting on migraine headaches, but in
fasting, may be more likely to trigger a migraine than help it. In fact, skip meals are among one of the most consistently identified dietary triggers of head.
Headaches in general review of hundreds of fast at the True, North Health, Center in California. The incidence of headaches was nearly one in three, but, you know, True North also published a remarkable case report on post-traumatic headache, the CDC estimates, that more than a million Americans sustained, traumatic, brain injuries, every year. And chronic pain is a common complication as in like three quarters suffering such an injury, there are drugs.
Course to treat it there, always drugs. And if that doesn't work surgery, cutting the nerves to your head, to stop the pain. Oh, what about fasting? And plans, a highly debilitating condition difficult to manage a 52-year old woman presents with unremitting, chronic post-traumatic headache. And when I say chronic, I mean, chronic pain for 16 years, but who then achieve long-term relief following fasting followed by a exclusively.
Plant-based diet, free of added sugar oil or salt before then. She tried draw after drone after drug after drug after drug with no relief suffering, in constant pain, her entire life started out in constant pain, but then, after the fast, the Intensive, your pain was cut in half and though she was still having daily headaches. At least there were some pain, free period, six months later. She tried to get in and eventually her headaches were mild under ten minutes and infrequent and she
Continue that way months, and even years later now, of course, it's hard to disentangle the effects of the fasting, from the effects of the whole food plant-based diets, you remained on those ensuing years. You've heard of analgesics painkillers. Well, there are some foods that may be Pro algae. Sick pain, promoting such as foods, high in arachidonic acid, which includes Meats, Dairy and eggs. So the lowering of arachidonic acid from which our body makes a range of
so inflammatory compounds may be accomplished by eating a more plant-based diet. So maybe that contributed to the benefit in the fasting case. Whereas, many plant foods are high in antioxidant or components. So in terms of migraine headaches, more plant foods and less animal Foods may help, but you don't know until you put it to the test. The researchers figured a plant-based diet may offer The Best of Both Worlds, so they designed a randomized controlled crossover study where those with recurrent migraines were.
The strictly plant-based diet or to take a placebo pill and then the group's switched during the placebo face half. So the pain got better halfs of the pain remained the same or got worse, but during the dietary portion. They almost all got better during that first Blog. The diet group experienced significant improvements in headache. Number pain, intensity days with headaches and a reduction in the amount of pain killers. They needed to take. In fact, it works a little too good.
Many individuals were unwilling to complete the study by returning to their previous dies. Remember, they're supposed to go back to the regular diets and take a pill instead, but they felt so much better that they were like, no way Jose. And we've seen this with other trials where those trying plant-based, diets felt so good. They often refuse to abandon them, screwing up, the study. So plant-based diets can
sometimes work a little too. Well, we would love it if you could share with us your stories.
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