Monthly Archives: February 2015

“Vitamin L” Is The Best Way To Prevent Aging

Excellent article by Dr. Joel Kahn.

A new vitamin, superfood, pose, exercise equipment, or workout that promises to restore our vitality and youth. In my opinion, we’re unlikely to find a single breakthrough that will dramatically alter the odds that we live free of chronic diseases and medications and perform at our maximum.

Rather, it is a multifaceted lifestyle supported by a number of large medical studies that holds the “magic” bullet. Vitamin L, or “Lifestyle,” is the special sauce we need, and it accounts for about 80% of our health promotion. Reviewing a few of the foundational research studies will acquaint you with best practices for a healthy life full of joy.

1. In 2001, the Harvard School of Public Health reported on a study of 84,941 healthy female nurses that were free of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

A low-risk lifestyle was defined as a body mass index of less than 25, a diet high in fiber and polyunsaturated fat while low in trans fat and glycemic load, regular moderate to vigorous exercise (at least 30 minutes a day), no smoking, and drinking at least half an alcoholic drink daily.

During follow-up, 3,300 women were diagnosed with diabetes. The single most important predictor of this was being overweight or obese. Only 3.4% of the almost 85,000 women fit all of the low-risk lifestyle markers. These women, however, had a 91% lower chance of developing diabetes compared with the other members of the study.

2. In 2004, the INTERHEART study group evaluated the factors predicting heart attacks in 52 countries.

They reported on 15,000 cases of heart attacks and chose the same number of controls. Researchers found nine risk factors which accounted for 90% to 95% of the cases of heart attacks. Those were smoking, elevated ApoB (think bad cholesterol) to ApoA1 (think good cholesterol) ratio, high blood pressure, diabetes, abdominal obesity (waist over 35 inches for a woman and 40 inches for a man), stress, low intake of fruits and vegetables, alcohol intake and lack of physical exercise. All nine risks for heart attack can be eliminated by lifestyle.

3. In 2006, researchers analyzed data from 43,000 men in the Health Professionals Study between the ages of 40 and 75 who had no heart disease.

Low-risk men were considered to have a BMI under 25, be nonsmokers, be physically active for more than 30 minutes a day, have moderate alcohol intake and have a diet comprised of more than 40% healthy plants. Over the 16 years of follow-up, a heart attack developed in 2,183 men, some of which were fatal heart attacks. Men who had five out of five low-risk characteristics had an 87% lower rate of heart attack.

4. In 2007, Swedish investigators studied more than 24,000 women after menopause who were free of heart disease.

There were 308 cases of heart attacks over six years of follow-up. A low-risk diet (high scores for fruits and vegetable intake, whole grains, legumes, fish, moderate alcohol intake), along with not smoking, walking or biking 40 minutes daily and maintaining a trim waist-to-hip ratio reduced the risk of heart attacks by 92%.

5. In 2008, Harvard scientists reported on more than 43,000 men, again from the Health Professionals study, and more than 71,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study.

The risk of stroke was assessed and evaluated in terms of lifestyle habits in persons with no history of stroke. Stroke risk was reduced 50% by not smoking, having a body mass index of under 25, exercising 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, having a modest alcohol intake and eating a diet in the top 40% of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

6. In 2013, researchers in the Netherlands studied almost 18,000 men and women without heart disease.

They followed them for up to 14 years, and in that time more than 600 of the group had heart attacks, including fatal ones. They found that if people followed four steps they were able to lower their risk of heart attacks by 67%: averaging 30 minutes a day of physical activity, eating a healthy diet in the Mediterranean style rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, not smoking, and enjoying more than one alcoholic beverage a month. People who added a fifth health habit — sleeping seven or more hours at night on average — lowered their risk of heart attacks by 83%.

7. In 2014, scientists in Sweden examined more than 20,000 men free of heart issues and followed them for 11 years.

They found that there were certain habits that lowered the risk of heart attacks, including: a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and reduced fat, not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption daily, thin waistlines, more than 40 minutes of daily physical activity. Men who followed all five of these lifestyle habits had an 86% lower chance of developing or dying of heart attacks than those who followed none. Only 1% of the Swedes studied followed all five habits.

As a university-certified anti-aging cardiologist, a rather small group worldwide, I’m tracking trends in research on aging and strategies to slow or even reverse damage done to our cells, our mitochondria and our DNA. I’m optimistic that we are going to see some important advances in this field which is attracting major investments by such prominent futurists as Craig Venter and Peter Diamandis. For now, the backbone of all strategies to preserve health and vitality are six or seven daily habits that run as a common thread through the studies above.

We can prevent or reverse the vast majority of strokes, diabetes, heart attacks, and now Alzheimer’s with lifestyle medicine, and it’s so simple and available to everyone.

Running too hard? Light jogging linked with living longer

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That’s the title of several articles  that gleefully report the findings of a study from Denmark, which “suggests that a light jog a few times a week may help you live longer, whereas running too hard may have drawbacks.”

Researchers analyzed information from about 1,000 healthy joggers ages 20 to 86, and about 400 people who were healthy, but did not jog, and were mostly sedentary.

The analysis showed that light joggers were about 78 percent less likely to die over the 12-year study than those who were sedentary. “Light joggers” were defined as those who ran at a speed of about 5 mph (8 km/h) a few times a week, for less than 2.5 hours per week total. [7 Common Exercise Errors and How to Fix Them]

In contrast, those who jogged strenuously were just as likely to die during the study period as those who were sedentary, according to the research published Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Strenuous joggers were defined as those who ran at a speed of more than 7 mph (11 km/h), for more than four hours per week.

The finding “suggests there may be an upper limit for exercise dosing that is optimal for health benefits,” study co-author Dr. Peter Schnohr, of the Copenhagen City Heart Study and Frederiksberg Hospital in Denmark, said in a statement. “If your goal is to decrease risk of death and improve life expectancy, jogging a few times a week at a moderate pace is a good strategy. Anything more is not just unnecessary, it may be harmful.”

Dr. Karol Watson, co-director of preventive cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, agreed, and said that many previous studies have produced similar findings: A moderate amount of jogging is linked with the best outcomes in terms of a longer life span, but when people run too far for too long, the health benefits start to drop off.

“[Humans] weren’t meant to do mountain biking or marathon running every day … and you don’t have to” to live longer, said Watson, who was not involved in the study.

Being a marathon runner is still likely going to be good for heart health overall, but those runners should be aware that there is a slight increase in mortality over a given period for extreme runners compared to moderate runners, Watson said.

Other experts stress that more research is needed to determine whether there really is an upper limit on how much exercise is good for you.

“The goal is not to unnecessarily frighten people who wish to participate in more-strenuous exercise,” Duck-chul Lee, of Iowa State University’s Department of Kinesiology, and colleagues, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study in the journal. Although most research suggests that, beyond a certain point, more physical activity is not necessarily better, “we still need more data to truly determine ‘is more actually worse?'” they said.

The authors of the editorial also noted that in the new study, the “strenuous” jogging group included only 40 people, while the other groups included hundreds. If the study had included more people who jogged strenuously, the researchers may have found a link between strenuous jogging and a decreased risk of dying during the study, the editorial authors said. Also, the study relied on participants’ own reports of how much they run, which may not have been entirely accurate.

The study’s authors offered a possible explanation for the negative effects linked to strenuous exercise in the results. It could be that long-term, strenuousendurance exercise has harmful effects on the heart, the researchers said. Some studies of marathon runners have found that these athletes have a higher rate of heart scarring than people who don’t run marathons.

The study also adds to a growing body of evidence that has shown that evensmall amounts of exercise can have health benefits. In the study, people who jogged less than one hour a week were less likely to die than those who didn’t jog at all.

The best outcomes in the study were associated with running between 1 and 2.4 hours per week, with no more than three days of running per week, at an average or slow pace. “Many adults will perceive this to be a goal that is practical, achievable and sustainable,” the researchers said.

Original article… 

Treating Asthma and Eczema With Plant-Based Diets

This is a guest post by Michael Greger, M.D.

I previously discussed the power of fruits and vegetables to help prevent and treat asthma and allergies. If adding a few more servings of fruits and vegetables my help asthma, what about a diet centered on plants? Twenty patients with allergic eczema were placed on a vegetarian diet.  At the end of two months, their disease scores, which covered both subjective and objective signs and symptoms, were cut in half, similar to what we might see using one of our most powerful drugs. The drug works much quicker, within about two weeks, but since drugs can often include dangerous side effects the dietary option is more attractive. This was no ordinary vegetarian diet, however. This was an in-patient study using an extremely calorically-restricted diet—the subjects were practically half fasting. Therefore, we don’t know which component was responsible for the therapeutic effect.

What about using a more conventional plant-based diet against a different allergic disease, asthma? In Sweden, there was an active health movement that claimed that a vegan diet could improve or cure asthma. This was a bold claim, so in order to test this, a group of orthopedic surgeons at Linköping University Hospital followed a series of patients who were treated with a vegan regimen for one year. Participants had to be willing to go completely plant-based, and they had to have physician-verified asthma of at least a year’s duration that wasn’t getting better or was getting worse despite the best medical therapies available.

The researchers found quite a sick group to follow. The thirty-five patients had long-established, hospital-verified bronchial asthma for an average duration of a dozen years. Of the 35 patients, 20 had been admitted to the hospital for acute asthmatic attacks during the last two years. Of these, one patient had received acute infusion therapy (emergency IV drugs) a total of 23 times during this period and another patient claimed he had been to the hospital 100 times during his disease and on every occasion had evidently required such treatments. One patient even had a cardiac arrest during an asthma attack and had been brought back to life on a ventilator. These were some pretty serious cases.

The patients were on up to eight different asthma medicines when they started, with an average of four and a half drugs, and were still not getting better. Twenty of the 35 were constantly using cortisone, which is a powerful steroid used in serious cases. These were all fairly advanced cases of the disease, more severe than the vegan practitioners were used to.

Eleven couldn’t stick to the diet for a year, but of the 24 that did, 71% reported improvement at four months and 92% at one year. These were folks that had not improved at all over the previous year. Concurrently with this improvement, the patients greatly reduced their consumption of medicine. Four had completely given up their medication altogether, and only two weren’t able to at least drop their dose. They went from an average of 4.5 drugs down to 1.2, and some were able to get off cortisone.

Some subjects said that their improvement was so considerable they felt like “they had a new life.” One nurse had difficulty at work because most of her co-workers were smokers, but after the plant-based regimen she could withstand the secondhand smoke without getting an attack and could tolerate other asthma triggers. Others reported the same thing. Whereas previously they could only live in a clean environment and felt more or less isolated in their homes, they could now stay out without getting asthmatic attacks.

The researchers didn’t find only subjective improvements. They also found a significant improvement in a number of clinical variables, most importantly in measures of lung function, vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, and physical working capacity, as well as significant drops in sed rate (a marker of inflammation) and IgE ( allergy associated antibodies).

The study started out with 35 patients who had suffered from serious asthma for an average of 12 years, all receiving long-term medication, with 20 using cortisone, who were subjected to vegan food for a year, and, in almost all cases, medication was withdrawn or reduced, and asthma symptoms were significantly reduced.

Despite the improved lung function tests and lab values, the placebo effect can’t be discounted since there was no blinded control group. However, the nice thing about a healthy diet is that there are only good side effects. The subjects’ cholesterol significantly improved, their blood pressures got better, and they lost 18 pounds. From a medical standpoint, I say why not give it a try?

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Original article…


My own experience

How Eating Fruits and Vegetables Prevents Asthma

Juice Plus+ (the reason my asthma is virtually gone).

Gum Disease and Nutrient-Dense Food Supplements: Results of an In-Office Study

A guest post by Alvin Danenberg, D.D.S. in Well Being Journal, because your smile is important!

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Today, there is a 47 percent prevalence rate of periodontitis among adults in the United States. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease, where not only are the gums infected but the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth is infected and breaking down. For those who are over 65 years old, the prevalence rate jumps to 70 percent.

I have been a periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum disease) for forty years. For the first thirty-five years, I treated advanced gum diseases the way most periodontists do: by performing traditional gum surgery, which was somewhat successful but relatively uncomfortable for patients. Several years ago, I learned a better way for my patients. In 2010, I became licensed in a laser procedure called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) that kills harmful bacteria, helps grow new bone, and creates overall better results without the use of a scalpel or sutures. Most important, patients don’t experience the pain or swelling that has been part of traditional gum surgery.

In 2013, I started to become educated about the importance of ancestral nutrition and nutrient-dense foods, and how they affect dental and overall health. I attended a five-day nutrition course for health professionals, held at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and, several months later, a four-day Food As Medicine conference. This education was life changing for me and has been life changing for many of my patients. I personally became reenergized, and I reengineered my periodontal practice.

With all this new information pertaining to lifestyle, I also wanted to know what science had to say about nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods specifically for gum disease. I researched PubMed, which is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of published medical research from around the world. I found one study regarding gum disease and Paleolithic nutrition  and several recent studies involving nutrition and gum disease. However, I could find no studies on how specific nutrient-dense foods affected the progress of gum disease. So, in March of 2014, I decided to create a study using my own patients who wished to be a part of my research. I enlisted the help of Ramiel Nagel, researcher and author of Cure Tooth Decay, who designed the study with me. Now my research is completed, and the results are in.

Selection of Patients 
The specific criteria for patient selection were:

• The patient could not have been on any antibiotic during the last three months.

• The patient had not undergone active gum treatment (including deep cleaning or a general cleaning by the hygienist) in the last three months.

• Infected gum pockets (the spaces between the gum and tooth) bled when a periodontal probe (a gum-pocket measuring instrument) was gently inserted into the gum space.

• The gum pockets had a depth of at least 4 mm (1-3 mm without any bleeding while being measured with a periodontal probe is considered healthy).

• No more than four individual teeth per patient who met the criteria were selected for the study.

• Participants were instructed not to change any habits, lifestyle activities, dietary regimens, or medications during the course of the thirty-day study.

Results
We selected thirteen patients who met the criteria above for the study. They agreed to take a variety of nutrient-dense real food supplements for thirty days to find out if these supplements would be effective in reducing some of their manifestations of gum disease. I examined and measured 41 teeth within this group of thirteen patients.

I gave these patients three different nutrient-dense food supplements in capsule form, containing various micronutrients, which they took almost every day. The micronutrients are identified in websites referenced below.  A synergistic effect exists from taking this combination of supplements.

Full article … 

In the first clinical study of Juice Plus+ from a dental perspective, researchers at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (full article) recently completed the clinical phase of their analysis of the impact of Juice Plus+ on measures of gum health in 60 adults. The results were impressive…

Steady diet of fast food could hurt kids academically

Are daily trips to Burger King, McDonald’s and Taco Bell preventing your child from becoming an academic all-star?

Researchers have uncovered evidence suggesting there may be a link between daily consumption of fast food and a drop in test scores.

Their findings underscore recommendations from health experts who advise parents to skip the drive thru more often in 2015 and focus instead on meal preparation at home.

“I always recommend that my patients prepare meals in advance to avoid taking the easy route and stopping at fast food restaurants,” says Jamie Portnoy, a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian/nutritionist with Advocate Medical Group-Weight Management Program, which serves Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.

“I recommend taking one day out of the week to make a few meals, and placing portions either in the freezer or refrigerator so you can pull them out to reheat for dinner. Even though fast food chains offer some healthy alternatives, we tend to pick the unhealthy options, so it’s best to avoid the drive thru altogether and prepare your own meals.”

For their study, published online this month in Clinical Pediatrics, researchers reviewed questionnaires and test scores of more than 8,500 students. They found fast food consumption during fifth grade predicted lower levels of academic achievement in reading, math and science in eighth grade. This was the case even when variables such as socioeconomic indicators, physical activity and TV watching were taken into account.

In reviewing the questionnaires, the researchers found 29 percent of the children reported eating no fast food during the week before they took the survey; about 51 percent reported eating fast food one to three times per week; 10 percent reported eating fast food four to six times per week; and 10 percent reported eating fast food daily.

The authors of the study wrote that children who reported eating fast food every day experienced the slowest growth in their academic achievement across all three subjects.

“Substantial research suggests that diets high in fat and added sugar – similar to fast food meals – influence learning processes such as attention,” they wrote.

According to nutrition facts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and can prevent health problems such as obesitytooth decay, iron deficiency and osteoporosis. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free and low-fat dairy products for everyone 2 and older. The guidelines also recommend that children, adolescents and adults limit intake of solid fats, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and refined grains.

Portnoy offers these tips to parents who want to prepare healthier meals for their children:

  • When preparing a meal, always start with the vegetable first, then add on from there.
  • Avoid last-minute rushing by preparing all or part of your meal the night before, if possible.
  • Remember that small portions go a long way.
  • Allow kids to help in the kitchen; hands-on will allow your children to get involved in trying new foods.
  • Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes with sandwiches.
  • Be a good role model by trying new foods yourself.
  • Don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t like a new food. It may take up to a dozen tries for a child to accept a new food.

Portnoy also suggests these easy meal ideas:

  • Tuna salad, soup and wheat crackers, sliced tomatoes, carrot sticks, pineapple and kiwi slices, skim milk
  • Sliced turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, cucumber and tomato, carrot sticks, chilled orange and banana slices, low-fat pudding
  • Grilled cheese sandwich, tossed salad with low-fat dressing, fresh orange and kiwi slices, vegetable juice
  • Tuna packed in water, pita bread, rye crisp, lettuce, celery, radishes, green peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, orange wedges, low-fat pudding
  • Low-fat cottage cheese and low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese on medium-sized baked potato, tossed salad with green peppers and shredded carrots, bread sticks, fresh pineapple chunks
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce, Parmesan cheese, tossed salad with low-fat dressing and low-fat cheese, garlic bread, steamed zucchini, grapefruit sections
  • Sliced roast beef on bun with mustard, lettuce and tomato, oven-baked fries, cauliflower and broccoli, fresh strawberries, low-fat ice cream
  • Baked chicken breast, medium-sized baked potato, green beans, sliced tomatoes, grapes and skim milk
  • Lean turkey on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato, Brussels sprouts, summer squash, animal crackers, apples, skim milk

Original article… 

Can processed and red meat kill you?

Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

Meat consumption has increased significantly since World War II.

Long confined to the Western world – North America, North and Western Europe, and Australia/New Zealand – meat consumption is now also on the rise in other countries, such as China, due to their economic development.

From a physiological perspective, a diet rich in meat has several potential nutritional benefits but also some potential adverse effects.

Meat is rich in protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins, as well as vitamin A. The bioavailability of iron and folate from meat is higher than from plant products such as grains and leafy green vegetables.

The drawback, however, is the high content of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, both of which have been shown to be positively associated with plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL) concentrations and the risk of coronary heart disease.

Although iron is essential for prevention of anemia, a high intake, especially of heme iron, may be a cancer risk factor, for example, colon cancer.

 

Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

The results of a detailed analysis published in BMC Medicine found that “men and women with a high consumption of processed meat are at increased risk of early death, in particular due to cardiovascular diseases but also to cancer. In this population, reduction of processed meat consumption to less than 20 g/day would prevent more than 3% of all deaths. As processed meat consumption is a modifi- able risk factor, health promotion activities should include specific advice on lowering processed meat consumption.”

This is one good reason to eat more meat-free meals, and they’re nearly always cheaper, lower in calories, and better for the environment. Read more here… 

Even Exercising Can’t Combat Sitting At Your Desk All Day Long

Eating a healthy diet and exercising may not be enough to ward off disease if you spend most of your day sitting in a chair. This is a disheartening conclusion from a study published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In a review of 47 studies, Toronto researchers pored over exercise data, sedentary time, and rates of disease and death, and found a clear correlation between the the amount of time spent sitting and ailments such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It did not matter if the subject was a regular exerciser or not!

Does this mean you should stop exercising? Of course not.

What you should do is stop sitting for long stretches of time without getting up to move about. If you work in an office, try to find 5 minutes every hour to get up out of your chair and move about.

This is one reason the stand-up desk has been trending of late. If you follow that trend here are some tips:

No Whey, Man. I’ll Pass on the Protein Powder

This article is by guest author Robert Cheeke, bestselling author of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, and author of the new book, Shred It!

For the past fifteen years, I have been closely involved with the bodybuilding industry. I have an intimate understanding of how the industry operates. In a nutshell, it is sustained by the supplement companies that sponsor the athletes who represent them. This in turn inspires fans who admire the athletes to purchase the products they represent, thus creating a cycle that drives record sales and profits, all the while potentially harming the health of many involved in the industry later on down the line.

Two of my favorite professional bodybuilders, Nasser El Sonbaty and Mike Matarazzo, recently died in their forties, likely from diet-related health issues. In all probability, their deaths were a result of too much protein consumption, coupled with the use of performance enhancing substances day after day until their organs failed. Now they’re gone. This is not a rare occurrence in bodybuilding. Though bodybuilders exercise more than the average person, the rate of bodybuilders suffering from diet-related health problems is often more common than the general American public falling ill to diet-related diseases. Clearly, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

If there is one thing in the sport of bodybuilding that is as common as weight training, it is the use of supplements. No supplement is more widely consumed than protein powder. The powders of choice among mainstream bodybuilders are whey and casein, which are proteins derived from cow’s milk. In fact, these are the substances of choice for most protein powder consumers worldwide.

Athletes from all walks of life embrace the consumption of excess protein under the assumption that more is better. Many companies (and entire industries) have gone to great lengths to convince the public that they need to seek out high protein foods and consume as much protein as possible, without any consideration of the health consequences that accompany excess consumption. The focus on consuming large amounts of protein is so engrained in our culture, there are often warnings given out by friends and relatives of those following a plant-based diet that protein will be hard to come by without consuming animal products. That is another way protein supplements squeeze their way into the diets of citizens everywhere, through the unwarranted fear that we won’t get enough of this specific nutrient, suggesting whey and casein as plausible aids in this quest.

Years ago, I learned from Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book, written with his son, Dr. Thomas Campbell, The China Study, that casein has the ability to turn on and turn off cancer growth simply by adjusting the level of intake of that protein. This was determined through years of clinical trials, experiments, and tests, which yielded these results, and are outlined in detail in Dr. Campbell’s research. His findings show that when casein is consumed in large quantities, cancer cells increase in size, and when there is a cessation in consumption of casein, cancer tumor cells recede. I later learned that elevated levels of protein can also cause kidney damage, liver problems, kidney stones, excess fat gain, contribute to the damaging of the lining of artery walls, lead to plaque build up in arteries, result in lethargy, diminish bone density, and cause a host of other health problems. If this is truly the case, as it has been revealed by Dr. Campbell and numerous other world renowned experts who came to the same conclusions through experimentation, observation, and scientific research, why are these products consumed at such high levels? With their direct correlations to increased risk of disease, why is casein, which has been linked to illnesses such as prostate cancer, more than any other protein, allowed to be sold in stores? Why are these products even produced? After all, who needs them, besides calves?

If we have special protein powders created from cow’s milk for human consumption, it would only make sense that it must be because our society sees a very high rate of protein deficiency. But, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, a protein deficiency is almost unheard of in America and only exists in someone who does not consume adequate calories. The reason this is so, is because of the macronutrient make-up of food. Food is only made up of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and water (and sometimes alcohol). Some level of protein is present in all foods, and in significant quantities in specific types of foods such as beans and other legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, other vegetables and grains. The amount of protein required by the human body (5-10% of total calories per day) is relatively low in comparison to the other macronutrients. It is therefore impossible to be protein deficient when sufficient calories are consumed. This is how nature works. In reality, most people in developed countries, including those following a plant-based diet, eat too much protein, not the other way around. We clearly don’t have a health or nutritional need for whey or casein protein powders, so why are they here, why are they so popular, so common, and why is their use so infrequently questioned?

Part of the answer lies in the world of bodybuilding and the magazines, books, websites, athletes, and other individuals that feed the industry. The community that I have been part of for so long is a key factor in keeping these antiquated ideas about protein alive. It is therefore my (and others’) mission to effectively dispel these myths by showing a healthier way to support fitness goals without the use of any substances that came from a cow’s udder. As a semi-retired bodybuilder and current health and wellness advocate and multi-sport athlete, I endorse a whole-food, plant-based diet for optimal results, even when bodybuilding. I aim to put the desire for elevated levels of protein to rest by showing how a relatively low protein, whole-food, plant-based diet can support all athletic endeavors effectively and efficiently. I have achieved great results as a plant-based athlete for the past two decades, and have sought to lead by example.

If health is your goal, clearly, your answer to cow-based protein powders should be, “No whey, man.” Let’s put this into perspective. If you had to buy a clearly labeled animal-derived fat powder and carbohydrate powder at the same time of purchase as a whey or casein protein powder, would you proceed with the purchase? Or would it seem so silly to get your required macronutrients from canisters of animal by-products, the cashier at the store would raise an eyebrow and question your sanity? Consider these questions the next time you think about buying powders made from cow secretions for proper nutrition. How about eating something from a garden instead? Not only is it a much healthier choice, but fresh produce is a lot more appetizing, too.


Our all-plant-based drink mix, Juice Plus+ Complete, is perfect for all ‘athletes’ in the game of life!