Combating Common Diseases With Plants
Every year I scour the world’s scholarly literature on clinical nutrition, pulling together what I find to be the most interesting, practical, and groundbreaking science on how to best feed ourselves and our families. I start with the 12,000 or so papers published annually on human nutrition and, thanks to a team of volunteers, I’m able to whittle those down to about 3,000 studies, which are downloaded, categorized, read, analyzed, and churned into a few hundred short videos. This allows me to post new videos and articles every day, year-round, to NutritionFacts.org. This certainly makes the site unique. There’s no other science-based source for free daily updates on the latest discoveries in nutrition. The problem is that the amount of information can be overwhelming.
Currently I have videos covering 1,664 nutrition topics. Where do you even begin? Many have expressed their appreciation for the breadth of material presented, but asked that I try to condense this body of work into a coherent summary on how best to use diet to prevent and treat chronic disease. I took this feedback to heart and developed Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, which I’ve been presenting around the country over the past year. Thankfully, Aaron Wissner kindly volunteered to videotape it so now everyone can watch it. Not only did it rise to become one of the Top 10 Most Popular Videos of the Year, it remains my single most viewed video to date, watched by hundreds of thousands of people. (NutritionFacts.org is now up to nearly a million hits a month!)
Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Or actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 106,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be (*gulp*) doctors. And that’s just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the U.S. Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000) and that brings “healthcare” up to our country’s third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we’re talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care.
The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical treatments and tests is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. So for my annual presentation this year I thought I’d run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving me and my colleagues lower down the list of common killers. Thanks again to Aaron, you can now watch More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases by clicking on the above video.
After you’ve watched the new presentation, you can subscribe to get my video updates daily, weekly, or monthly to stay on top of all the latest. For now, though, air-pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy!
Michael Greger, M.D.