January of last year Dave Thomas founder and spokesperson of Wendy’s hamburger fast food chain died he was 69 years old you know the average life expectancy in the United States is 77 Wendy spokespersons however denied any relationship between the bacon double cheeseburgers another fast food fare he hawked on television and his earlier near-fatal heart attack or his earlier quadruple bypass operation every minute and American clutches at their chest in terror and keels over dead from a heart attack strikes down half a million Americans every year heart disease has been the number one cause of death for men and women in this country every single year for the last seven decades the number one cause of death in these United States and soon thanks to the export of our diet around the world sought to be the number one cause of death in the world soon now contrast Dave Thomas with Jaden Shaw founder and spokesperson of the American vegan society just a tireless advocate for the animals a true inspiration but I never got to meet him because he died too apparently of a heart attack he was 66 years old what died of a heart attack how never ate a burger in his life raised vegetarian vegan for 40 years made me stop gave me pause when got my cholesterol checked and wanted to head over to the medical library to see if there’s anything new in the medical literature that could help me explain Jay’s death I mean last time I checked we were doing pretty good I mean was James death just a fluke so this talk is a product of that review I started by looking at mortality rates comparing the death rates of meat-eaters to vegetarians to vegans vegans are vegetarians and strive to exclude all animal products from their diet including eggs and dairy most poor animal suffering concerns well if you look back at the vegetarian literature you’ll see all sorts of kind of circumstantial evidence based on kind of indirect guesses as to how we as vegetarians were doing so you could point to research that said that for example those that ate lots of fruits and vegetables live longer and hay weed lots of fruits and vegetables it was not actually the same thing that’s falling real-live vegetarians and vegans I mean what we’d like someone to do just take a few thousand of us follow us out for a few years and kind of see how we do now one could make guesses as to what one might find if someone did something like that take say our cholesterol levels for example we’ve known for over 50 years that vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat-eaters based on those levels vegetarians should have maybe half the heart disease mortality that meat eaters doing vegans should have practically not but is that true again we really didn’t know but I mean sounds good to me I mean after all cholesterol the single biggest risk factor for heart disease and hey we’ve got the lowest cholesterol and take a rocket scientist to kind of figure it all out unless of course there was some kind of adverse effect of vegetarianism somehow counterbalancing are low risk but otherwise we should be just cruising well let’s think of some of the other risk factors for heart disease cholesterol we’ve got less cholesterol obesity we’ve got less obesity diabetes we’ve got less diabetes hypertension we’ve got less hypertension we eat more soy more fiber more antioxidants less animal protein than hey don’t we have lower stroke rates and cancer rates do we should just be kid can touch in the whole mortality department so anyway I got this email from farm the farm animal reform movement an animal rights group in Marcin DC and they were compiling their annual table of American deaths for which the consumption of animal products represent a substantial contributing factor and so they asked my medical opinion as to exactly which diseases those were so I said aha finally a chance to go to the to the medical library and see if indeed there’s

anything new that could help explain Jays death to answer that nagging question about jadenshell that continued to haunt me now whenever I take on a new research project the first thing I do is look at the latest research which is what I’d like to share with everyone today so I went to Harvard’s medical library and probably the best in the world half expecting more estimates more guesses as how we as vegetarians were doing little did I know we had real data in our actual studies that took thousands of vegetarians involved them out for a year so finally real data the latest data on vegetarian mortality rates haha I was like rouille maybe we’re doing even better than our estimates are alright well this is what I’ve been waiting for a study of 8,000 vegetarians followed for 18 years I didn’t wait to go back to my seat didn’t wait to go home I just stood there in the newly received journal section I was just published last year 2002 and read it I stood there and my jaw dropped stunned into silence shocked at what I saw they reported no difference between the mortality rates of meat-eaters compared to the mortality rates of vegetarians no difference please that doesn’t make any sense well what are the top three killers in the u.s. heart disease cancer stroke how could we be dying at the same rate as meat-eater doesn’t make any sense well there are three findings I’d like to investigate with everyone today and that’s finding number one why do meat-eaters seem to live just as long as vegetarians and not only did vegetarians not seem to live longer they have basically the same cancer death rates to the same number of colon cancer deaths the same fatal stroke rate and this is what I’ve been worried about the same rates of fatal heart disease they found no difference in the risk of dying from a heart attack between those that ate meat and those that didn’t eat me I think doesn’t that go against everything we know though right what about our cholesterol what’s counteracting all of our natural potential as vegetarians right now we don’t have more heart disease than meteors but certainly more than we should so I went down the list of mortality rates for all the other diseases say mortality rates of stroke hearts the same same same same difference same different Same Same Same Same Same Same Same okay well at least out of the list of the top dozen or so things people die from there were at least two classes of diseases for which the mortality rates were significantly different between vegetarians and meat eaters um fortunately they were not in our favor some of the data suggested that vegetarians seem to have a 50% greater risk of dying from breast cancer for example but that was explained away by the fact that vegetarians tend to have less children which is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer so vegetarianism probably has nothing to do with breast cancer mortality I just want to make that clear but the second finding is less easy to explain away they found that vegetarians had over twice the risk of dying from degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s to see what first of all the fact that the only two differences were more vegetarian deaths that’s upsetting in itself but what’s this about vegetarians having twice the risk of dying from mental and neurological disease I mean when I first saw this I mean these have just got to be some kind of weird random flukes right cuz it doesn’t make any sense well this is the latest published results but you know it actually takes like a year to go to publication so these this data is like years old by now you know every five years all the experts I’m vegetarian nutrition get together and hold an International Congress on vegetarian nutrition and the last one was hey just last year April 2002 hey hey so is there anything new under the vegetarian Sun yes indeed preliminary results from a study released twice the size 17,000 vegetarians

this so-called epic study out of Europe started in 1993 so we had been waiting almost 10 years for results to start trickling out well last year they trickle ready for the results once again vegetarians had the same mortality rates as mean eaters confirming the other study right okay but what about this what about the brain disease thing I mean that has just got to be some kind of weird fluke sadly no there was only one significant difference this time between the mortality rates of vegetarians and meat eaters and that was that vegetarians had a 50% greater risk of dying from brain disorders now right now all the smug vegans in the room are thinking I know what’s going on isn’t milk just liquid meat all that saturated fat and cholesterol and indeed dairy is the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet you know aren’t eggs like little cholesterol bugs don’t doing so hot dragging down the average write separate out the vegans and then you see a little longevity baby you know well unfortunately neither of these two studies separated out the vegans all right so where can we turn well this is the latest research both published and unpublished what about the best well you know the best research we have today it’s probably this study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called mortality and vegetarians and non-vegetarians what these twelve researchers did was took all the biggest and best studies to date and kind of pooled all the data together so they took a decade of mortality data from 28,000 vegetarians from Germany the UK and California and found no survival advantage for vegetarian what about vegans though and we don’t need all that cheesy crap we have even a lot lower cholesterol levels right vegans didn’t live any longer either say mortality rates as Maine eaters Wow there must be something really working against vegans if we can die those kind of heart disease rates with such low cholesterol levels now this isn’t the end-all be-all though it had 28,000 vegetarians only had a few hundred meetings this new epic study out of Europe has thousands of vegans will become the best soon become the best study on vegans in human history unfortunately having seen the some of the preliminary data and spoken to the principal investigators over there there’s no reason to suspect that the results will come out any different than what we see right here and in fact just last month the results from the famous German Heidelberg study were released 2,000 people fall for 21 years and the vegetarians live longer than the vegans and those who ate meat on occasion outlasted them all all right before I go about exploring these findings I would just like to throw up a third five like to investigate today and row up is right osteoporosis has reached epidemic levels in this country 10 million Americans particularly women suffer from this disease now if you compare the bone mineral density of vegetarians to me this is about the same now in some studies the bone mineral density of vegans has not been as good but you know that’s just bone mineral density is only one indicator of bone health you also want to know as if someone’s actually more likely to break something so hip fracture rate has been considered kind of like the gold standard in terms of an indicator for bone health but since there’s never been any Studies on hip fracture rates and vegetarians I don’t think we can conclusively say much about vegetarian bone health again we could estimate based on bone mineral density we’re probably doing pretty good but again we didn’t have any Studies on hip fracture rates and vegetarians until now presented for the first time in the Congress last year in a study of thousands of California seventh-day adventists vegetarians had over twice the hip fracture rate as meat eaters so this is the third finding I’d like to investigate with everyone today let’s start with this the first finding about longevity right now this isn’t to say we couldn’t necessarily live longer right remember our cholesterol levels our blood pressure and all that we have a tremendous potential for decreasing

art disease risk but something is getting in our way what is it about vegetarian and vegan diets that’s increasing our risk of dying so much that is counteracting kind of all of our natural benefits what is it and just as importantly can we change it and the good news is about time is a good news and the good news is is that yes we think we know exactly what’s going on and yes with but a few simple changes not only will we reclaim all of our natural vegetarian advantage but we may surpass our highest expectations turns out there are two major things about vegetarian diets and we are going to nail both of them today as an aside though I mean just because we don’t seem to live longer even as we are know even out as we are now with no changes just because the vegetarians don’t seem to live longer doesn’t mean they’re not healthier I mean vegetarians do have lower rates of obesity high blood pressure diabetes you know colon cancer heart disease appendicitis the list goes on and on so it still makes sense to go vegetarian even if just for health reasons alone so it still makes sense to go vegetarian even if just for health reasons alone but you know you think with all that we’d have some kind of survival advantage right what is it about vegetarian particularly vegan diets if increasing our risk so much it’s cancelling out our potential what are we lacking in our diets what are we deficient in well to begin our detective story quest one might start thinking well what other risk factors are there besides you know cholesterol high blood pressure diabetes all that because we’re kicking pushing although well to answer that question one might ask well what interventions have been shown to decrease heart disease risk right not eating meat didn’t seem to help my job so what has been shown to help well if you take people who have already had a heart attack and therefore at high risk of having another one and you put them on cholesterol-lowering drugs their risk of subsequently having another heart attack and dying drops by about 20% yeah but for those at high risk high risk minus 20% is still high risk so then they gave people fish oil capsules drop their risk of subsequently dying by about 30% not bad but just cut to the chase I mean like what’s the best results anyone’s ever gotten well there was this one study in which heart disease mortality dropped over 70% cancer death rates were cut in half – what did they do researchers are sitting around one day in France looking at heart disease data evidently something research is doing friends they’re looking a graph of heart disease mortality versus cholesterol levels and not surprisingly the graph looked like this right the more cholesterol you have in your blood the higher your risk of dying from heart disease we’ve known about this forever right so let’s say this is data from the United States now but when you did this exact same thing but charted people who lived in the Mediterranean region of Europe you’ve got a different graph you got this now know that same relationship right and I mean the more cholesterol you have in your blood the higher your risk of dying from heart disease but check this out at the exact same cholesterol level those living in southern Europe around the Mediterranean have much lower rates of heart disease well that’s kind of weird so the so they said what the heck am i I say what the heck in French but they took these 600 heart patients and put half of them on a Mediterranean diet and put the other half on a so called the American Heart Association strict prudent step to diet and what was to become known as the famous Leone diet heart trial after just two years the survival benefit was so extreme in the Mediterranean group that they had to stop the study prematurely an ethics committee came in and said it was just too unethical to keep feeding people the American Heart Association died because there were so many more deaths in that group and these results appeared quick to the survival advantage after just one year you could already see the results whereas in those cholesterol-lowering drug trials it took like three to four years to get that wimpy little 20% benefit and now after two years 70% drop in cardiac mortality all right so researchers took blood from every analyze their diets trying to find out

what it was about this diet that had such a magical effect so we have the Mediterranean group and the control group so well the first thing that it was looked at cholesterol levels and after all cholesterol is the single biggest risk factor for our heart disease and found that after two years on this American Heart Association diet their average cholesterol was 239 what’s your cholesterol supposed to be a lot less than that absolutely whereas in the Mediterranean group after two years on the Mediterranean diet their average cholesterol was 239 exactly the same weighting 70% less cardiac mortality and the exact same miserable cholesterol what’s going on so they looked at everyone’s dad what are these people eating right was the Mediterranean group eating a lot more fish or something is that supposed to be good for your heart well no the Mediterranean group was not eating significantly more fish what they were eating more of they’re eating more fruits more vegetables more beans more whole grains less meat you said we need that we don’t have 70% less cardiac mortality what’s the deal well digging a little deeper they think they found the deal one of the most significant differences between the Mediterranean group in the control group was what’s called an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of the control group was 20 and the Mediterranean group it was four all right well what’s the mega six what’s to make it three and why did the ratio make any difference well fats and oils are made up of constituents called fatty acids and you know there are three types of fatty acids there are the so called saturated fats and you know the saturated fats are what’s found these are fats are solid at room temperature so these are like lard tallow the animal butter fat these are the animal fats and also some of the tropical oils like coconut oil and palm kernel oil and these are bad for you and the second type of set the second type of fatty acids so-called monounsaturated fats you know monounsaturated fats are what’s found in nuts avocados olive oil and canola oil and these are liquid at room temp circum I saw in the fridge know you’re all wood gets a little some I saw in the fridge and then the third type of the so called polyunsaturated fatty acids these are liquid at both room temperature and in the fridge and you know there are two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids the so-called Omega threes and the omega sixes omega-3s are found in dark leafy greens walnuts hemp seeds flax seeds and flaxseed oil omega sixes on the other found on the other hand are found by dominating cottonseed oil corn oil safflower oil and sunflower oil now to understand why this ratio makes any difference we must take a quick diversion into the making of a heart attack we all start out with wonderfully healthy coronary arteries when we’re born the reason why coronary arteries are so important is because they supply the very blood supply to our heart muscle to allow it to pump but then for some reason the inner lining of our

arteries gets injured and that injury can lead to inflammation and that inflamed area of the arteries can lead to the buildup of oxidized cholesterol then so inflammation is called the so called fatty Street stage of atherosclerosis and that buildup of oxidized cholesterol this is so called atherosclerosis tage and that plaque can burst forming a clot in your coronary arteries cutting off the blood supply to a region of your heart and that can lead to sudden death a fatal heart rhythm or just damage your heart and set you up for another heart attack or heart failure or all sorts of other terrible things now up until now all the attention has been focused on this stage you know the build-up of oxidized cholesterol you know that’s the stage we rock at not only do we have much lower cholesterol levels but because of all the antioxidants we eat in our fruits and vegetables we keep with a little cholesterol we do have from getting oxidized and but what about all these other stages that’s where Omega threes come in there is it’s an enzyme in our body that converts the Amega 3s we eat to a magical substance called EPA and something that EPA goes on to produce magical substance number two called DHA monounsaturated fats are good for you these are go right what’s so great about these things well they block the inflammation stage they even block the clot formation state they even block this whole sudden-death thing no wonder they’re so great I’ll make it sixes on the other hand use this exact same enzyme to produce a substance called AAA and you know AAA is not so great but you know we need both of these in our diet omega-3s and omega-6s because these are the so called essential fatty acids meaning our bodies can’t make them we need to take them into our diets now up until 100 years ago our bodies we’ve been eating about roughly equal amounts of omega-3s and omega-6s so we’ve had anime cos six to omega-3 ratio of about one to one or one maybe two to one about equal amounts of mega sixes and Omega threes in our diet you know in our body smart it knows all about this great and not so great thing right so when we eat about equal amounts of make threes and omega sixes this enzyme prefers omega-3 and so when you eat about equal amounts this this enzyme kind of makes a mega sixes waiting line and so you make a lot more of this stuff and less of this stuff and that’s go right but then about a hundred years ago things too started to change guys with names like Wesson develop all sorts of new ways to industrially produce cooking oils like cotton seed oil which are just loaded with omega sixes now when you when you start and so over the last hundred years we’ve been our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio has been rising as we’ve been leaving more and more foods containing things like cottonseed oil and corn oil and so we’ve been really flooding our system with omega 6’s and although this enzyme does like omega-3 is better when you just so whomp your body with omega-6 is this poor enzyme is overwhelmed makes you make it three wait in line and you make a lot more of this stuff and less of this stuff and that’s yeah not so great well what’s not so great about this AAA stuff arachidonic acid well it actually goes on in our body to produce inflammation in fact this is actually how aspirin works aspirin blocks our body’s ability to produce inflammation from the mega sixes we eat in our diet and that’s why many health professionals would have people at high risk for heart disease take an aspirin a day alright so the ideal ratio intake ratio should ideally be less than four to one for omega 6’s for everyone omega 3 nice and wait a second I thought the Omega threes were the good ones well yes indeed but again this enzyme prefers Omega threes such that you can eat four times as many mega sixes and only 1/4 the amount of mega threes and you still make all the EPA and DHA you need or at least that’s the theory all right so 4 to 1 or less well so if you look at the latest studies

meat eaters the ratio for me leaders was about seven to one not so good it’s the ratio for vegetarians though was 10 to 1 and the ratio will from vegans was 15 to 1 there was a recent study on vegan kids that found the ratio of 44 to 1 just off the charts all right well where do most people get their omega-3 as well in this society mostly from fish some in poultry a little in eggs and not only are vegetarians not getting enough omega-3s but turns out the survey said for some reason vegetarians are getting two to three times as many Omega 6s as the general population for some reason vegetarians and vegans are just eating a lot of processed foods containing cottonseed oil in corn oil and meat eaters can cheat the flesh of oily fish like sardines contains preformed EPA and DHA so fish eaters don’t have to worry so much about this ratio don’t have to worry so much about this enzyme because they’re gonna eat BA in DHA directly into their diet and that’s why you give people fish oil capsules and their risk of heart disease drops by dying from our cheese drops about 30% that’s the reason why the American Heart Association recommends one to two fatty fish flesh meals a week and that’s reason number one while vegetarians may not be doing as well as we should okay so what’s a vegetarian to do well how do we get our ratio down a ratio down to facilitate the making of this stuff and let’s say this stuff well wait a second maybe if we ate more omega-3s and less omega-6 is that would work all right well where do we get to make it freeze from yes indeed greens and walnuts but you would have to eat a lot of spinach salads with walnuts every day to get your mega threes for the day thankfully the most concentrated source of omega-3s on the planet it’s not fish it’s flax seeds flax seeds are one of the world’s original health foods been widely prized throughout history Hippocrates used them Mahatma Gandhi himself was right Amy always when he said wherever flax seeds become a regular food item among the people there will be better health he actually did say that for more up-to-date reference the alternative medicine guru while I stated that if you just make a single chance your diet if you can just make one change your diet it should be to add flax seeds to your diet all right so well how do you eat them when you go to your natural food store or like Greenstar co-op for them for and you can find them in the bulk section for 99 cents a pound there are golden ones and brown ones nutritionally they’re identical so pick your favorite color flax seeds come in nature’s finest packaging they’re hard natural whole which keeps them fresh such that you can keep you don’t even have to refrigerate them you can keep them on your kitchen counter and airtight container for a year and they do just fine unfortunately nature’s finest packaging is just a little too good such they eat the whole seed it just kind of comes out the other end doesn’t they any good so you need to go rind them up so spice grinder coffee grinder food processor a good blender will do it you can actually buy at green star Crawford market grow pre ground flax seeds for three dollars a pound but a pound will last you for months how much this stuff do you actually have to eat well recommendations keep changing the NIH disagrees with the World Health Organization disagrees with Europe but I think the research points to everyone eating one to two tablespoons of ground flax seeds every day of your life until you die and that’s about equivalent to American Heart Association is one to two fatty fish flesh meals a week now and once they aren’t once you do grind it then you do have to put in the refrigerator but ground flax seeds last for months in the refrigerator although it should not last for months because you’re gonna eat it every day what do you do with this stuff well it’s a ground flax seeds a light nutty powder you can do in it you can sprinkle them in your oatmeal or whatever you’re eating throughout the day I’m you can bake with it you can make muffins breads all sorts of things with it my current favorite is smoothies though you take two tablespoons of flax seeds grind them up and then you know half a frozen banana some frozen blueberries and some nice organic soy milk the the flax seeds have this real binding quality such that you get these thick milkshake II smoothies in fact that’s not binding quality you can

actually use ground flax seeds to replace eggs in bacon you take one tablespoon the ground flaxseeds mix it up with three tablespoons of water and then you mix it up to salt frothy gooey snotty and that replaces one egg in baking that’s actually the preferred egg replacer of my favorite vegan cookbook author Joanne Stepanek if I can give away all her secrets yes they do not and that’s the amazing thing about ground flax seeds you can bake them 350 degrees for an hour and it doesn’t hurt the omega-3 content at all which is quite surprising however that’s not the case with the flaxseed oil and the reason I don’t recommend the flaxseed oil is it’s more expensive goes rancid even it won’t last even a few weeks in the fridge it tastes kind of nasty and you can’t cook with it you can’t even heat it up for a few seconds because it destroys omega-3s but somehow the way nature intended in the seed you can grind the flaxseed up bake them all you want doesn’t hurt to make three but when you extract out the oil the Omega threes are very unstable so you have to use it like a salad dressing or something uncooked but I think but the reason why I strongly recommend the ground flax seeds instead of the flax seed oil is because you’re missing out on all the other wonderful nutrients that are found in the flax seed flax seeds are also a wonderful source of soluble fiber and boron these wonderful fighter westerns called lignans anti tumour anti-inflammatory anti-cancer properties just amazing things which you miss when you just take out the oil any way you cut it flax seeds I think that’s really the best way to get your mega threes in many ways better than getting them from fish to fight you for murdering them fish’s load up your body with toxic heavy metals like lead and Mercury and DDT and PCBs in fact concerns over mental retardation and birth defects have led the FDA and the EPA to recommend that pregnant breastfeeding women and small children limit their intake of fish in this country fish is a real food disaster from food safety point of view can spread everything from hepatitis to cholera certainly overfishing is a global environmental disaster not to mention the poor fishy so when a fish eating woman comes into my office I’ve just got to hold up my hand and say just the Flex man sorry okay now if you look at the diagram you see that’s really only half the story yes we have to increase our mega threes but we also have to decrease our omega-6 is thankfully that’s totally easy all we have to do is we go home tonight and if we have any of the following oils if you have any of the following oils in your house cottonseed oil corn oil safflower oil or sunflower oil you are in need of an oil change you should throw wrong the hell out and instead if you use oils in your baking it’s in cooking which you don’t have to but if you do use it what else should you use instead there we go olive oils the mono unsaturated oils the single best oil is olive but it does have a distinctive taste which may not be appropriate for all your cooking needs and so canola oil particularly I recommend organic canola oil because of the GMO issue is second choice okay so anyway back to that legal diet heart trouble how did they decrease their ratio from 20 down to four exactly where we want to remember four to one all they do is they sat down with everyone at the beginning of the study for a half an hour and said look go home whatever fats and oils do you have in your house throw them away and replace it with olive in canola that’s all they did and when 20 down to four exactly where we want so see now we could do that right now see they didn’t have to eat fresh because both sides reading fish but imagine what we did we could do if we took our flax got rid of oils on top of our cluster office remember they had 70% drop and they had miserable cholesterol levels right we are just gone out below Malloy all right going back to here you’ll see you know if we have a lot of omega-6 in our diet and not a lot of mega threes it might lead to more inflammation in our body and that’s why a lot of people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis etc actually take like flaxseed oil therapeutically in large doses to to kind of tip their balance over to the non inflammatory side and teach you know we’re finding more and more diseases tend to have an inflammatory component to them diseases like Alzheimer’s does the study suggests that those people who were taking chronic aspirin long-term for whatever reason had five times less Alzheimer’s disease now no one should take chronic aspirin long term without a prescription I think but what we can do is again we can tip the balance over to the non inflammatory side eating more omega-3s less than mega sixes so am I saying that the same dietary change is going to decrease our risk of heart disease is also going to decrease our risk of heart of Alzheimer’s as well yes indeed all right so we have explored the first reason why vegetarians aren’t living up to our potential or more

actively kind of out to our potential reason number two is probably even more important let’s go back to this heart disease flowchart here you know as vegetarians and vegans we are blocking this step the buildup of oxidized cholesterol so if we as vegetarians vegans take our flax get rid of those oils we are going to be blocking hard C’s at every turn here here here here well yeah every turn except here wouldn’t it be cool if there some way we could block this whole deadly cascade in the first place reason number two is homocysteine the homocysteine story started in 1968 when the Boston pathologist by the name of Colman McCulloch saw these two kids it’s always bad when pathologists eat people because that means they’re dead an eight-year-old boy and a two month old infant both died of massive strokes turns out they both had a genetic defect which led to abnormally high levels of this toxic metabolite called homocysteine which led to these damaged cholesterol clogged arteries and these little kids you know dr. McCoy sat down said you know I wonder if this homocysteine stuff has some role to play in the adult heart disease as well well he you know like many brilliant discoveries in the medical field he was laughed at and ridiculed for years but now we know now we know that homocysteine is a vascular toxin meaning it directly damages our blood blood vessels even moderately elevated levels of this toxic substance haven’t just been shown to be a set up for heart disease so now the goal is to have a homocysteine level under 10 this is just micro moles per liter it’s kind of how we measure it again this is a toxic substance we want low levels in our blood and so if you look at data from 2001 for example meat-eaters have an average coat average homocysteine level of 12 not so good but ovo-lacto vegetarians had a homo Salvage homocysteine level of 16 and vegans 19 houston we have a problem seems that people with homocysteine levels as high as 16 are three fold risk of dying from a heart attack it’s been estimated that if we just had a five point drop in homocysteine levels in this country we would save the lives of 56,000 Americans every year and as bad as vegetarians have it there seems to be an epidemic of the so called hyper homocysteine EMU or too much homocysteine in the blood of vegans and it’s not just a vascular toxin it’s a neurotoxin as well it kills brain cells people with homocysteine levels over 14 are four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and so this homocysteine is where we think the bulk of the blunting of our heart disease benefit comes from as homocysteine is also where we think that our increased rates of degenerative brain disease come from as well because of our dangerously high levels of homocysteine in the same thing with heart disease yes we have less oxidized cholesterol but we have so much more in this initial injury that is cancelling out our benefits all right homocysteine is not just a vascular toxin and a neurotoxin though it’s been linked to stroke risk age-related hearing loss birth defects miscarriages blood clots cognitive decline depression the list goes on and on and you know this is data from 2001 we’ve got new data now 2002 new study came out you know meat-eaters we’re stuck up at 12 not so hot vegetarians ovo-lacto vegetarians had an average homocysteine levels 17 though and vegans 27 so two questions alright one why the heck are we so high and two how that did we get rid of it well homocysteine is a natural byproduct of amino acid metabolism meaning it builds up in every single person every single day on this earth and our body has three ways by which by which it gets rid of this stuff three pathways by which it neutralizes this toxic substance into less harmful substrates pathway number one involves a vitamin called vitamin b6 pathway number two involves a dietary component called choline and no pathway 3 actually uses

two vitamins one’s called folic acid or folate and the other is called vitamin b12 pretty much everyone gets enough vitamin b6 is found widely through animal and plant foods same thing with choline found widely through the animal and plant kingdom but you know folate is found almost exclusively in plant foods and there’s vitamin b12 as many of you know is found almost exclusively in animal-derived foods this folate is the reason why meat eaters are stuck up at 12 right they’re just not getting enough fruits and vegetables I’m getting out folic acid but this vitamin b12 is the reason we have such terrible rates of hyper homocysteine in America we have such dangerous levels of homocysteine more and more evidence is accumulating that we vegetarians and vegans are just not getting enough vitamin b12 to adequately lower our homocysteine levels and it turns out for vegans some vegans aren’t and getting enough b12 to avoid the classic b12 deficiency disease right you used to be thought ah you don’t need to worry about your b12 because you need so little and and you know it’s kind of on everything that’s stored up for years what’s the big deal severe irreversible brain damage that’s the big deal wha what about herbivores like gorillas right they don’t take no b12 they seem to be doing pretty good well they also eat bugs dirt and feces if you also want to eat bugs dirt you may also not have to worry about your b12 but if for whatever reason you choose not to you need to get your b12 contrary to popular and vegan myth clinical b12 deficiency meaning symptomatic b12 deficiency is not uncommon and I will spare you the gruesome scare stories of the vegans that have died when blind were paralyzed because of not enough b12 do we want articles in the medical literature published with titles like subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord and a 14-year old due to a strict vegan diet this poor vegan can fili got paralyzed right even one of these is way too many and so the evidence is perfectly clear you either eat b12 fortified foods or take b12 supplements I don’t need 4 to 5 foods their partner doesn’t get I get all the b12 I need from from fermented foods like tempeh and miso and sea vegetables no you don’t used to be thought that lots of plant foods had b12 in it but actually we were using a faulty test we were using a test that didn’t differentiate between active b12 and these so-called inactive b12 analogs which look like b12 to the test but actually unusable by our body so it actually if we do take in these this these b12 analogs it may actually kind of clog up our b12 machinery and act as anti b12 they said can’t I just go into my organic backyard garden kind of pull up a carrot not scrub all the dirt off if I may turn your attention to one of the most prestigious sources vegetarian nutritionist the vegetarian nutrition and health letter out alone Linda University March 2002 they had a great article called the ten most common myths about vegetarian diets and myth number one was drumroll please vegetables going to be twelve rich soil can meet vitamin b12 needs it’s a myth it’s not true okay so I’ll get into the nitty-gritty exactly how we should get our b12 in just one moment I cannot help but mention one last study the results from really landmark study released last year at the Congress by this Australian researcher took all these vegetarians who had low b12 levels and had them fill out a well-being questionnaire kind of how you’re feeling how you’re doing what’s your mood and then getting b12 for a couple months and that haven’t come back fill out the survey again and found that those whose b12 levels rose had highly significant improvements and well-being compared like the sugar pill group so um and they felt better they just had more reserved energy in fact my favorite anecdote is from Alex Hirsch chef he’s thought president of farm founded meet out day president the animal rights conferences he told me he was feeling tired and sluggish then he took his b12 and he was like wham and his words quote the effect was almost immediate and remarkable my stamina and energy level are up and I feel middle-aged again instead of a tired old man so take your b12 odds are you’ll feel better you’re almost cysteine levels will go down and you’ll reduce your risk of getting paralyzed demented and dead all for just pennies a day you cannot get too much b12 you just kind of get expensive urine so the you that you cannot take too much b12 now your body can only absorb a certain amount so you

can’t just go a couple months and take whole bottle right but you need a regular reliable source but no you cannot get too much b12 you just kind of excrete it out and no in fact pregnant women really need to get b12 cuz they’re getting b12 for – what about lacto-ovo swill ovo-lacto vegetarians those who eat eggs and dairy regularly probably get enough b12 to avoid the outright b12 deficiency disease but aren’t getting enough b12 to adequately lower their homocysteine levels it’s kind of like vitamin C and scurvy to avoid scurvy the vitamin C deficiency disease you just need like six milligrams of vitamin C a day it’s like nothing right now but if you actually want a functioning immune system and all the other one of the things that vitamin C in foods does well you need like ten times I like 60 or 100 milligrams a day see that which you need to avoid deficiency is not necessarily what you need for optimum health the same thing with vitamin b12 about 25 percent of all over lacto-vegetarian ‘s have a functional b12 deficiency meaning their homocysteine levels are just too high and that figure may be more like 80 percent for vegans have been vegan for two or more years so b12 deficiency is actually not uncommon at all in the vegetarian community but it needn’t be so right nothing’s written in stone all we need to do is get our b12 and there was and the studies have already been published you take a bunch of vegetarians vegans you give them b12 and when their homocysteine levels dropped like a rock down to eight not up at 12 now the only reason the meat-eaters are stuck up at 12 is because they’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables right but we can take advantage of our folate intake right and as soon as we get our b12 lammed down to eight down into the safety zone and meat eaters are catching on this in a recent study called vegan diet based lifestyle program rapidly lowers homocysteine levels they took these vegans I’m sorry excuse me they took these meat-eaters put them on a vegan diet for one week one fuckin week and found that those of the eyes almost system levels have their homocysteine levels dropped by over 20% right the vegan diet is like magic but now these were meters so they’re like b12 coming out their ears right I mean but it’s a ball they need with some fruits and vegetables to bring their homocysteine levels down but imagine what we could do we get our flax get rid of those oils take our b12 on top of our cholesterol levels or our blood pressure and all that we are just gonna walk all right so what we need to do to fight homocysteine vitamin b12 in four to five b12 fortified foods or supplements if you want to do supplements there’s kind of two ways you can do them weekly or daily probably the simplest method is to chew up one b12 tablet containing two thousand micrograms or more once a week so you can go down to green star– co-op and get these 5000 microgram tablets and so you can cut them in half and just take one half of one of those pills once a week share a bottle with your friends comes out to be about five bucks a year pick a day of the week you know I know my b12 day is Monday I know every Monday I got to update the mad-cow page take my b12 it’s kind of part of my life you know that’s what b12 is indeed water-soluble you can if you take high enough doses you can take once a week because your liver actually stores it up although you can certainly if you don’t like to take so if it’s hard for you to remember to take something once a week and rather get in the habit of taking something once a day then you have to take much less a hundred micrograms once a day so if you have a multivitamin or something you take once a day you should check to see if it has a hundred micrograms or more of vitamin b12 and all b12 thank you for that question all b12 in supplements and fortified foods is vegan its bacteria derived it’s all they just put it in a same steel stainless steel tank none of it is animal derived it’s just too expensive so having said that some of the other filler ingredients might not be vegetarian I have gelatin the capsule or something but but the b12 itself is vegan all right now for those of you who don’t like taking supplements but you can get all of the vitamin b12 you need by eating for two b12 fortified foods the only thing you have to remember is if you rely exclusively on b12 fortified foods you need to get at least two servings a day separated by like six hours so if in the morning you have a couple of b12 fortified soy milk then you know in the afternoon or evening you can have something else with with b12 like a teaspoon of the Red Star vegetarian support formula nutritional yeast or a lot of the you know fake meats and and and you know rice milk sand and soy milks and I’m breakfast cereals cornflakes raisin bran Grape Nuts and they all have vitamin b12 in them you just have to read your labels what about Omo lactose how much b12 s and the eggs and dairy well you would have to

eat like five eggs a day or three glasses of milk that’s an awful lot of saturated fat and cholesterol certainly would not recommend that okay I don’t seem to have those did you come in this stack of oh there they are back here I don’t even have time to cover some of the other things like osteoporosis or chromium copper iron iodine magnesium rev little anymore things so I typed up all my cut to the chase recommendations and we will pass them out as we speak and run through them before I conclude and take questions all right that will be as that’s going around the room dr Michael clapper in part based on his vegan health study describes the status of minerals in the diets of many vegetarians and vegans as underappreciated under consumed and under absorb if you’d like to read what dr. Klapper says about the mineral status our mineral status I encourage everyone to read this very important article which is found online on the bottom of that you’ll see it on your handout when you get it or of course if you don’t have internet access you can use the library although it’s probably only open for about two minutes we’ll hear the ding or you can of course read it up here I have it some copy up here alright so everyone almost everyone have it let’s start at the top here vitamin b12 and the mega threes we’ve talked about that fortunately didn’t get to talk about all this juicy stuff about DHA suffice to say if you are even contemplating I’m getting pregnant or are diabetic you should take 300 milligrams of DHA every day such that your baby gets it from months before ideally months before conception throughout weaning and there are vegetarian vegan sources in veggie caps available it may actually be reasonable for all non-fish users to take DHA there’s an unanswered research question at this appointment that is in addition to flaxseed for diabetics and pregnant and breastfeed mom’s yes indeed and and maybe and maybe appropriate for everyone that’s an unanswered question the next get everyone have the copy get your vitamin D major study published in the American Journal Clinton nutrition last summer found quote irrefutable evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a major unrecognized epidemic in the United States are you saying isn’t just a sunshine vitamin K go out and just get a little sunshine not in Africa not during the winter unfortunately during the months of January and February it’s the sun’s rays at this latitude or it’s such an angle that no matter how long you sunbathe naked here in Ithaca during January and February you are just not going to make enough vitamin D so you need to get it into your diet one can actually get an entire day supplied naturally in a few mushrooms shiitake mushrooms and chanterelle mushrooms actually have natural vitamin D in them but you have to be like a dozen mushrooms a day certainly there’s a lot of vitamin D fortified foods like the soy milks and rice milks and other motherless milks out there as well as breakfast breakfast cereals may come in handy here and if you’re not pasty white or don’t want to die of skin cancer so correctly use sunscreen or you’re young or you’re old or if you own a cable modem or don’t get outside for whatever reason you may want to take vitamin D in your diet year-round and not just during the winter okay and so for vitamin D the current recommendation is 200 international units a day for up to age 50 450 the 70 and over age 70 on 600 national news although all of those are probably going up so probably everyone’s needs a minimum of 400 international units although the Institute of Medicine hasn’t ruled on that yet all right next seven hundred to a thousand milligrams a day of calcium wait a second I thought we didn’t need all that calcium because we don’t eat all that calcium leaching animal protein all right oh if I may point you back to the ten most common myths about vegetarian diets and this are a full full text online you can see the URL is on the bottom of that handout and myth number two is vegetarians need less calcium than meat-eaters it’s a myth it’s not true and I don’t have a lot of time to talk about of calcium although I certainly can do in question an answer I would refer everyone to this very important article written by Jenny Messina called hip fracture rates and vegan calcium needs and again that articles online or up here so are you eating three cups of kale a day three cups of bok choy three cups of collards well you should that’s how everyone

should get their calcium or drinking three cups of calcium fortified soy milk or three cups of calcium fortified orange juice you know if you’re not you’re probably not getting your recommended daily intake of calcium so you may want to take a calcium supplement be happy to talk about calcium supplements if people are interested at the end now you could drink the milk from a cow but nutritionally cow’s milk is not the best source of calcium it doesn’t have lots of the wonderful things that dark green leafies have that are very important for your bone health like vitamin K and boron and vitamin C all important for bone health but missing in dairy milk and it the dark leafy greens don’t have a lot of things that you don’t want like the saturated fat and cholesterol and antibiotics and hormones and pus and all those other things that we don’t want in milk and retinol vitamin A palmitate this animal drive vitamin A that’s added to the low-fat milk supply and it’s thought to critically weaken people’s bones that’s why in the Harvard nurses study which looked at over 68,000 women found that those who drank the most milk had the most fractures and the reason they think is because the low Fatma they were all health-conscious so drinking low-fat milk right because they don’t want to die of heart disease drinking low-fat milk and low-fat milk has this vitamin A palmitate or retinol added to it and it’s thought to interfere with bone metabolism and that’s why we think these seven day Adventists vegetarians out in California were breaking their hip so often because they were all health-conscious and drinking lots of low-fat milk and that was weakening their bones we won’t know that until the it’s actually published but that’s the leading hypothesis at the moment iodine alarming a rates of iodine deficiency had been found among British vegans because they don’t iodized salt over there now the British milk drinkers were protected because they use iodine containing disinfectants to disinfect the milk processing tanks and kind of leeches into the milk that’s kind of gross but low iodine intake can lead to hypothyroidism which can lead to high cholesterol and high almost cysteine so if you don’t use iodized salt or it’s sea vegetables alright or drink milk you need to get iodine from somewhere and so you may want to take a supplement or or eat some some sea vegetables you know if you’re one of those that uses natural sea salt don’t if you use table salt was not a good idea for your health but if you use table salt you should use iodized table salt convenient way to get your iodine and the best article I’ve seen to date on this is this written by Stephen Wallace in the vegan society and so up again this iodine article is available online and up here as well iron given the new rdas in the united states it would seem the only way a vegetarian woman could get enough iron is to eat rusty nails every day and indeed nine out of ten studies done on Western vegetarians have found that vegetarians are more likely to be iron depleted have lower iron stores but we don’t seem to have lower rate higher rates of iron deficiency anemia and that’s really what we’re worried about but just because vegetarian women don’t have higher rates of iron deficiency anemia than meat-eaters doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot because meters have such crappy rates in the first place basically one in 20 menstruating women in this country have iron deficiency anemia which is a serious disease so vegetarian women eat your beans greens grains and nuts and eat vitamin C rich foods with your meals which enhances iron absorption as well as getting yourself screened for anemia every year of a few years like when you get your PAP and men shouldn’t do anything unless first being tested for an iron overload disease called mokou mitosis if you think you’re anemic you should really get tested I don’t think anyone should just take iron supplements without a prescription selenium works as an important cancer fighting antioxidant a problem for Northern European vegetarians because they have selenium deficient so not a problem for North American vegetarians but if anyone has any British Belgian Swedish or Slovakian vegetarian friends you may want to tell them to eat some Brazil nuts every month alright not a day to go by without everyone eating greens beans nuts whole grains and fresh fruit all right so what’s so good about greens what’s not good about greens it’s the healthiest single thing that we can possibly eat eating just one serving of dark leafy greens or broccoli every day and you cut your risk of hip fracture in half I’m just in awe of greens you should eat them every day while we’re on the subject of best and Morris the greens are the best thing we can eat anyone know what the most toxic or dangerous food or food ingredient in our current food supply is it’s the worst sugar is bad but there’s worse soda is bad but

there’s worse coffee yeah a lot of coffee is bad but there’s worse shout it out Sol’s not good but there’s worse saturated fat is bad right bad but there’s worse white flour is bad for the horse the corn oil is no good for you but there’s worse this cannot be the first audience that I’ve been on the road 11 months come on not want to breathe all right what plutonium trans fat hydrogenated oils alright trans fats are these toxic trans fats are found only one place in nature animal fats all animal fats contain these toxic trans fats but thanks to better living through chemistry the food industry found a way to synthetically create these toxic fats by hardening vegetable oil in a process called hydrogenation which rearranges their atoms and makes them act more like animal fats and the Nacional so there’s you know good fats they’re bad fats then their own killer fats and those are these trans fats the National Academy of Sciences just a few months ago concluded had this damning published this damning report on trans fats and said the only safe intake is zero that the upper limit tolerable intake daily is zero wait a second if the National Academy of Sciences is saying the only safe intake is zero and it’s only found in animal foods and processed foods are they telling everyone to go vegetarian alright that makes sense well you know actually they didn’t so they were challenged on it and one of the authors of the report responded to the challenge a nutritional epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health respond to the challenge and he said quote we can’t tell people to stop eating all meat and all dairy products he said well we could tell people to become vegetarians he added if we were truly basing this only on science we would but it is a bit extreme and amazing wouldn’t want scientists to base anything on science would we oh I just had to get that out all right what’s so good about beans study just came out those who ate legumes beans peas or lentils four times a week or more had 20% less heart disease beans beans are good for your heart the more you eat the more those who ate nuts and these five times a week had half the mortality rates half the cardiac mortality those who ate five serving some nuts or more a week and for those who were like oh I don’t eat nuts it because they’re gonna make me fat actually there’s an impressive body of research to suggest that those people who add nuts to their diet if anything actually lose weight and we’re not sure why whether it satiates the appetite or actually caused you to excrete more fat in your feces we’re not sure why but bottom line nuts will not make you fat you should eat them every day all right basically any nots except coconuts and chestnuts so and peanuts although they’re technically legumes have a nutritional profile which closely resembles other nuts and so again any nuts nut butters cashew butter almond butter there’s some nuts a little better than other ones but basically nuts are not Santa but I could go specifically down to a list of better and worse later on our next studies to also consistently show that even health-conscious vegetarians don’t eat the recommended minimum number of servings of fruits and vegetables every day which is not bad right five a day I heard five a day saying you know five a day that was a few months ago but the front row knows right the National Cancer Institute just a few months up to two nine a day minimum right nine so you thought you weren’t doing so good before now you’re really behind all right that’s minimum nine today 10 and a 12 a day as many fruits and vegetables as you can possibly stuff in your face all right next yeah yeah yeah drink lots of water no seriously seventh-day adventists study presented to Congress last year vegetarian or not those that drink five glasses of water every day had half the cardiac mortality half the fatal stroke

rate I don’t even mean nothing happens we eat some nuts drink some water you have your mortality legs absolutely amazing while we’re on the subject there anything else I can just kind of down-and-dirty have your mortality rate well take the in the German vegan study for example they found out that those who were quote-unquote who surprise surprise physically active had half the mortality rates of those couch potatoes or computer potatoes or whatever the case may be and maybe get your cholesterol checked who knows what your cholesterol is Oh everybody should know what their cholesterol is the current recommendations everyone sharing at age 20 should get their cholesterol checked and get a recheck every five years and quit smoking cigarettes slice at least like eight years off your life all right last but not least Z is for zinc didn’t mention anything specifically about zinc on there because once again greens beans nuts and whole grains to the rescue vegetarians though aren’t prone to low body zinc pools however inadequate zinc intake can impair one’s immunity impair one’s taste sensation and impair one’s appetite serious a deficiency can lead to growth stunting or small testicles no one’s actually gone around and measured the size of vegetarian testicles but there was a no but there was a taste acuity study that found that vegetarians couldn’t taste as well as meat-eaters now I’ve kissed a few and I think vegetarians tastes pretty good but no indeed we should think about zinc and while I’m being risque especially men since we lose like 20% of our RDA for zinc in every seminal emission that’s a good half cup of nuts right there so I’m serious beans ridiculous adore fermented like tempeh and miso nuts and seeds again dry roasted or sprouted are good sources and again fortified breakfast cereals may come in handy here as well alright my final word you know when I will first learn about this stuff you know my first thought was like it just doesn’t seem natural how these pills and weird oils and stuff I mean like when human beings were evolving it and taking home calcium supplements right well you know I looked at that I mean they certainly weren’t getting it from milk prehistoric people’s got all the calcium they needed from eating wild plants like nettles which are just loaded with calcium it’s it’s estimated that prehistoric peoples got 2,000 milligrams of calcium every single day even wild plants right that’s three times what milk drinkers get in this country right but we just don’t eat those kind of plants anymore cuz the way we live in our modern world caveman’s didn’t have to take no flax right well again that’s because the ratio was one to one there’s no such thing as trans fats no such thing as cottonseed oil right and interestingly how many of the wild plants have higher omega-3 contents than the cultivated ones so for example purslane the most common plant in the world is dug up here as a weed but everywhere else they eat it because so good for you is one of the highest plan to make a3 contents in the world you know but we don’t eat weeds anymore we’d iceberg lettuce right and they didn’t have to take no vitamin D that’s because they lived and worked outside that’s because they could work outside because it wasn’t big hole in the ozone layer you know there weren’t things smog ridden cities and all that you know and they didn’t have to take no b12 you know we used to be able to get all the b12 we needed water we drank you know drinking out of a mountain stream or well water you know but we don’t get a lot of b12 anymore and our water cuz we chlorinated our water supply to kill off all the bacteria right so we don’t get a lot of vitamin b12 in our water anymore we don’t get a lot of cholera either right so that’s a good thing right but the you know bottom line is that we live in an unnatural world which is compromising our health compromising our vegetarian potential but we can reclaim that potential with but a few simple changes and live a long life in optimum health thank you the question was well wait a second can you just I mean it doesn’t have to be five glasses of liquid a day or Canada specifically water what about tea and juice this study so the answer is we don’t know the study asked specifically glasses of water or glasses of non water right and it found out that those that drink five glasses of water had half the mortality rates but those that drank other liquids other than water that big category actually had increased mortality rates probably costing you know that we’re drinking soda and milk and some other things right so basically we don’t know I would assume that herbal tea would I mean it’s equivalent to water I mean it just makes sense to me but but I mean that’s an unanswered research question we really don’t know

what about soy soy has been eaten happily by entire civilizations for thousands of years soy is thought to reduce one’s risk of heart disease reduce one’s risk of osteoporosis and reduce one’s risk of some of the reproductive cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer right now there has been some some kind of critical studies come out against soy most of them however are based on laboratory animal data for example there study there was this recent study that found that infant rats don’t grow so well on soy milk or or on soy formula yeah but infant rats don’t grow well on human breast milk either so that means we shouldn’t give babies breast I mean that’s ridiculous right they’re fricking rats right so and so on so I give very little credence to that kind of to that kind of work now the there’s only really one disturbing human study period and that’s the Honolulu Heart Study which was a good study took thousands people fought them out for decades and did find that those who ate tofu in midlife actually had accelerated cognitive decline later in life so we’re not talking Alzheimer’s and dementia but actually the people did did like word puzzles and stuff as if they were three years older so the 70 year olds actually completed tests like they were 73 if they happen to eat hope you