Update from McDougall 9-15
I attended Dr. John McDougall's Advanced Study Weekend (Sept. 11 - 13, 2015). He brought in top doctors and researchers to share their latest understanding, and I thought I would pass along some of the nuggets from the talks.
John McDougall, MD himself says that 80% of worldwide illness is due to our food choices. He also cites evidence from the Cochrane Collaboration that indicates that taking common multi-vitamins is causing thousands of deaths.
Kim Williams, MD is the current President of the American College of Cardiology and is a vegan. He shared numerous studies citing the benefits of a plant-based diet and the damage of a low-carb high-protein diet. In private, I asked Dr. Williams if he was concerned that his efforts would reduce the need for cardiologists. He laughed and said it would be great if they could take more time off.
Garth Davis, MD is a bariatric surgeon. He says that often bariatric surgery can completely cure type 2 diabetes, but the disease often comes back after about 5 years, and the patient is left with a compromised digestive system. He instead tries to convince patients to adopt a plant-based diet for a permanent cure with only positive side effects. When asked about his efforts reducing the need for bariatric surgeries, he replied that there was plenty of work for surgeons repairing hernias. Dr. Davis has a book coming out in October entitled Proteinaholic. I look forward to reading it.
Joel Kahn, MD is an interventional cardiologist who is trying to prevent 1 million heart attacks by promoting a plant-based diet. He cited a study that showed a decrease in arterial function peaking about 4 hours after consuming a popular breakfast egg sandwich. By comparison, a plant-based meal produces no decrease in arterial function. Dr. Kahn is author of The Whole Heart Solution and Dead Execs Don't Get Bonuses.
Michael Greger, MD delivered his usual fast-paced summary of the latest nutrition science research. I learned for the first time about a molecule with the acronym BMAA which is found in fish and contributes to ALS, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers. This data provides another reason to avoid eating fish. You can review Dr. Greger's findings at your own pace by visiting his web site, www.nutritionfacts.org.
Chef AJ shared many heart-wrenching details of her lengthy battle with unhealthy food. But the story has a happy ending with her now enjoying a trim and healthy body. Chef AJ is author of the cookbook Unprocessed.
Luigi Fontana, MD is a world leader in the field of nutrition and longevity. His studies indicate that consuming animal products costs us on average 14 years of life. I have been saying 10 years based on a previous study of vegetarians, but now research shows that avoiding dairy and eggs adds even more years.
Dan Buettner reported on his research for National Geographic on the clusters of long-lived people that are dubbed the Blue Zones. His found that the longest lived groups ate mostly plants and very little animal products. He found that not only did these people live a long time, but the quality of their elder years was high. They didn't tend to have long lingering and painful deaths like we do, but lived full and active lives almost to the end and then these centenarians died while sleeping quietly, while walking, or while having sex!
We also heard great talks from Michael Klaper, MD, Michael Wilkes, MD, Hans Diehl, PhD and psychologist Doug Lisle, PhD. Dan Piraro, creator of the cartoon Bizarro, entertained us with nutrition themed cartoons. And for two and a half days we ate at generous buffets of delicious low-fat plant-based food prepared under the guidance of Mary McDougall.
If you are interested in viewing videos of these talks or would like to sign up for a future McDougall event, click here.
John Tanner 9-15-15