These Five Doctors Can Change Your Life (McDougall Event Review)

Wednesday Sep 16 | BY |
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Last weekend, I attended the “Advanced Study Weekend” organized by Dr. McDougall. He organizes this event twice a year and I have attended many times in the past. In my opinion, this is the best event organized anywhere in the world about health. The information is cutting-edge, free of hype and non-commercial in nature.

Here are my notes from this year’s event. It took me a long time to organize my notes so I will follow up soon with another installment!

It’s a long article but you’ll learn a ton from it! It summarizes over 5 hours of lectures.

First Lecture: Kim Williams, MD
Diet and CV Disease 


Dr. Kim Williams is the president of the American College of Cardiology. Before the McDougall conference, he was visiting the White House. He also happens to be a vegan because he was himself suffering from heart disease.

His lecture was very informative and non-biased. He summarized the latest research in terms of diet and heart disease. Many authors cherry-pick data to favor their points of view but you could tell this was not the case with Dr. Williams. Whenever a study was weak in support of the plant-based diet, he pointed it out.

So in summary, he’s a conventional cardiologist with an unconventional diet. Here are some of the highlights of his lecture:

Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in Americans, for both men AND women (busting the commonly-held view that women die of other causes instead).

Treatments and medications are working at managing the disease. For example, the rate of death from a heart attack, if a person shows up at the ER within 90 minutes, went from 30% to 3%. However, we’re still not addressing the root causes of the disease.

Normal or “good” cholesterol levels don’t protect you. You can still die from heart disease with low cholesterol levels.

What matters instead:

C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is an inflammatory marker. It is associated with heart attack and death. and the combination of high CRP and high LDL is deadly.

Plant-based diet do work at preventing and reversing heart disease. Sometimes, they have to be combined with statin drugs, but simply because we don’t know for sure if plant-based diets alone can do the job.

– We know that plant-based diet are very anti-inflammatory, and that inflammation is a root cause of heart disease.

Sugar must also be avoided because high-glycemic load food consumption have more of an impart than cholesterol levels.

High protein diets cause death and heart disease. A study showed that there’s a 22% increase in death rate over the long term with a low-carb, high-protein diet.

Red meat is also shown to increase mortality, and processed red meat is even worst. The best substitute for meat that decreases heart disease risk are nuts and seeds. 

Too much dietary iron is also a factor in heart disease, but only for ferrous iron found in animal products (it’s actually found in the blood of the meat we eat). Oxidized iron attaches itself to blood molecules (in animals) and consuming it is associated with heart attack. In fact, it doubles the risk. Plant-based, ferric iron doesn’t have that risk.

The New Cholesterol Guidelines

Dr. Williams doesn’t agree with the new guidelines on cholesterol, which removed the limit. The previous guidelines were up to 300 mg. a day. He said the relationship between serum and dietary cholesterol is highly variable and the research was misunderstood. In the study used for this guideline (put out by the egg industry), the people in the egg-eating group had a 50% increase incidence of diabetes. Diabetes itself leads to heart disease risk. So he said they are working to change this guideline to reflect the true state of the research.

Garth Davis, MD
Proteinaholic, How Our Obsession With protein Is Killing Us


The next lecture was by Garth Davis, MD, who’s a bariatric surgeon. Here’s what bariatric surgery is:

Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

Strangely enough, he’s a bariatric surgeon who also turned vegan because of health reasons. He’s hoping that his patients won’t need him one day because they’ll follow his advice.

The topic of his lecture was protein addiction, but in fact he was all over the place, speaking with great energy and humor, trying to summarize all of the research he’s done over the years. You could tell that the man went through a very serious approach, trying to understand what truly leads to sustainable weight loss.

He spoke very candidly about the medical profession that he’s part of — “we never learned nutrition — nothing!”

He talked about the conference that obesity experts attend “Obesity Week,” where not a single lecture is about nutrition and food!

A few highlights from his talk.

  • For years, he noticed that all of his patients couldn’t lose weight but we’re eating a ton of protein. Yet, protein is recommended for weight loss. For years, he told his patients: “eat your protein first.” A deeper look at the research made him realize that our obsession with protein is killing us. We have the lowest life expectancy of Western countries.
  • To people who say that epidemiological studies don’t mean anything because “corolation doesn’t equal causation,” he answers that it’s true if you only look at one variable. But multi-variable analysis is different, because it takes into account everything. And if one study is not enough, you do it in multiple countries. When they all say the same things, you start to take notice.
  • The Epic-Panacea study showed that eating 5 servings of fruits and vegs gives you five years of added lifespan. Not smoking gives you five. Moderate exercise gives you two. All of them combined give you 10 added years of life, and no alcohol 14! But only 3% of Americans do the first three things.
  • Paleo folks avoid sugar because of insulin, but meat causes as much insulin secretion as sugar does. In fact,  fructose consumption is inversely related with  developing diabetes. Even by replacing saturated fats with pure glucose you see 30% drop in insulin.
  • Chicken contains more estrogen than soy. Chicken consumption is a leading cause of weight gain and increased lymphoma rate.
  • The Pima Indians went from not having a single case of diabetes to being the population with the most diabetes — all because of a change in diet. Previously they ate a plant-based diet (high in carbohydrates).

Joel Kahn, MD
Miracle of Heart Disease Reversal With Diet


The next speaker was Joel Kahn, a plant-based cardiologist. After a career as an emergency room surgeon, he’s now dedicating himself to plant-based nutrition education.

Highlights from his talks were:

  • Finland in the early 1970s was farming country with relatively thin, until they started dropping dead of heart attacks. It was a true epidemic. Men in their 40s were dropping dead every day. This led to the greatest success story in a public campaign to reduce heart disease. In North Karelia, they replaced butter with vegetable oil, increased consumption of fruits and veggies, and changed the community. Smoking rate was 60% smoking, it’s now 20%. In 5-10 years, heart disease rate dropped by 85%.
  • Food as poison: You experience artery damage in minutes after a “bad” meal, and the effect lasts for hours. It doesn’t just bother you in 20 years, it bothers you within minutes. As an example, he cited a study where one group ate a low fat oatmeal breakfast, and the other an “egg mcMuffin” breakfast. Within 40 minutes, there was a significant drop in function in health of artery to dilate, expand and resist heart attack. You want to be very careful about cheating with stuff like that!
  • Moderation in everything doesn’t apply to diet. It takes extreme diets to reverse this pathological process because it took years to get there. In studies, the “most adherent” groups got dramatically better results. Those that were “moderate” but didn’t get the same benefits
  • He then went on to a detailed description of Ornish Program it’s history and results. “You don’t see a 9/10 chance of eliminating angina pain with drugs as you do with diet (Ornish diet).
  • The Ornish Program can be paid for by insurance now because it’s been shown to work. It’s the only program that Medicare has found approvable (I think I heard him mention Pritikin too).
  • We found out in 2003 that we don’t have as many genes as an earth worm, but we have genes that can turn on or off. Lifestyle changes can take genes that suppress cancer and turn them on, and turn off genes that promote cancer growth. You can’t do that with drugs.

Michael Greger, MD
Food as Medicine, Preventing and Treating Disease With Diet 


Dr. Michael Greger is an entertaining speaker. He looked better than ever.

His motto is “I read every single English-language study about nutrition and health so you don’t have to!”

His talked addressed the “most dreaded diseases.”

Some highlights:

  • Colo-rectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer. It’s extremely rare in native African populations — but African Americans have 50 times the rate. We used to think it was the fiber, but the modern African diet is low in fiber (in fact very low), and yet the colon cancer rates have not increase. The big different? It’s low in meat. Native Africans, with their low fiber diet have a total cholesterol of 139 vs. 212 for Americans.
  • Heart Disease – The fact that “normal” cholesterol levels are abnormal  is now appreciated.  “Even if all americans kept their cholesterol below 200 mg/dl, millions would develop coronary artery disease.” With heart disease, moderation kills. You want to keep your cholesterol below 150 mg/dl.
  • High Blood Pressure kills 1000 people a day. As we age, our blood pressure increases. Most people over 60 have it. Is it inevitable and a natural cause of aging? In African populations, their blood pressure improves as they age! They eat  maize, beans, vegetables, fruits, wild greens.
  • With blood pressure, the lower is better. Even if people who start out  with an “ideal” blood pressure of 120/80 get benefits when they lower it. An ideal blood pressure is under 110/70. It’s possible and “normal.”
  • The Chinese on a plant-based diet see low blood pressure in older folks. How do we know it’s the plant-based part of their diet? We know because in industrialized countries, only strict vegetarians have been observed with blood pressure that low. You can increase blood pressure in vegetarians by giving them meat, according to studies.
  • If you’re already on a whole foods, plant based diet and not hitting the 100/70 target, you can do a few things to help:
    • Have a cup of hibiscus tea with each meal. It’s as effective as drugs without side effects.
    • Have a few tablespoons of ground flaxseeds a day. It’s 2-3 times more powerful than exercise for lowering blood pressure.
    • Red wine without alcohol may help
  • Plant-based diet beats ADA guidelines for diabetes with no restrictions in portions. But is it the caloric reduction that does the job. This is interesting: a study was done on high-carbohydrate diets that induced no weight loss. People were  weighed every day and patients lost weight, they were made to eat more food!
  • The results: they went from 26 to 11 units of insulin, requirements of insulin cut by 60% and half were off insulin.  In 16 days! with ZERO weight loss.

Luigi Fontana, MD
Promoting Health and Longevity Through Diet: Metabolic and Molecular Mechanisms


The next lecture was by a PH.D an MD researcher who specializes in longevity. His lecture was extremely interesting!

Some highlights:

  • Based on identical twin studies, we know that 25% of our longevity is based on our genes. The rest is up to us. We know a few things can increase our lifespan and our quality of life. He reviewed them during the remainder of the lecture.
  • Stay lean. Abdominal fat causes chronic inflammation.
  • Caloric restriction Works. It increases lifespan increase in animals by 50%, and many die with no sign of disease, suggesting that a long life is possible in animals without disease. In species related to humans (rhesus monkeys) a 30 % calorie restriction also works. The animals live longer with less disease.
  • Many humans are now practicing 25% CR (Calorie Restriction) and researchers have been following these people. All of their bio-markers improve:  12% body fat, low blood pressure. Genetic profile of 25 year old in 55 year old people.
  • But there are problems with this: you have to track a lot to make sure you get all the nutrients, otherwise you become malnourished.
  • Side effects of CR in humans are: extreme leanness in men, cold sensitivity, reduced libido (because of lower sex hormones), reduced bone mass (although bone quality seems preserved), and fertility/menstrual irregularities in women.
  • The question is: Is there another way? Intermittent fasting seems to be the answer.
  • In one interesting study, animals had a 30% CR but they were eating all day, because the researchers put more fiber in their food in order to dilute it and get them to eat more often. In this study, the mice did not live longer. So CR does not appear to be the factor, but rather these periods of fasting.

He then talked about a bunch of studies that have been done or are being done to try to understand this process, each more interesting than the last. Many of these studies (in humans) are still ongoing so we won’t know the answer immediately. But there were some interesting conclusions.

  • It seems that the timing of meals is important, and that you should have a big breakfast and a small or no dinner for optimal health.
    • In one study, two groups of people were fed a 1800 calories diet
    • The breakfast group had 980 calories for breakfast, 640 calories for lunch and 190 calories for dinner.
    • The dinner group had 190 calories for breakfast, 640 calories for lunch and 980 calories for dinner.
    • The breakfast group experienced lower bodyweight, better glucose tolerance, and lower testosterone in women.
  • In his studies, he found that restricting protein intake in animals inhibits cancer growth. This seems to be only in animal protein because of an amino acid called methionine. Animals live longer on a lower-protein diet.
  • IGF-1 is a growth hormone that drives cancer growth and that seems to be increased by protein intake. But in order to reduce IGF-1 levels, we need to lower protein intake AND total calories, according to new studies.
  • We also see a big reduction in inflammation on a lower-protein diet.

Stay tuned for my next article which will review the rest of the McDougall Advanced Study Weekend, including the take by Dan Buettner, author of “The Blue Zones.”

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Nomi Shannon says:

    You take great notes Fred. I can’t wait for the next installment. I’d love to attend the next event, what are my chances?

  2. Chris says:

    Great work Fred! I’m a little jealous… Really wanted to go to this one!

  3. wendy says:

    fascinating! thank you!! how do i get notified about the next conference?

  4. Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing this!! There was a great deal of good information in this. As a health coach, I want to stay current with cutting edge research. You contribute so much to the work I do in helping people to live well, longer!!

  5. Kim says:

    Thanks for this info, Frederic. I met several of these Dr.s in Chicago for a Cardiovascular Conference associated with the Plantrician Project. They are really getting out there with promoting plant based diets, and making it more acceptable for Dr. And patients. The Plantrician Project is formulating an online directory of plant based docs, so pele can search in their area, a great idea for finding a doc that will promote and support people making that change for their health. They also have an online nutrition and cooking course to help the public called Culinary Rx.
    Enjoyed your synopsis, since I did not make it to this event
    (wellness plant based chef)

  6. PATT BEAR says:

    Thank you very much for this inspiring information on healtlh………

  7. Cindy says:

    Fred, thank you for taking the time to share your notes from McDougall’s Advanced Study Weekend. It is well worth the read for anyone! A number of good tidbits and reinforcements. I will be sharing the comment from Dr. Joel Kahn “moderation in everything doesn’t apply to diet.” Looking forward to your next article. Thank you, Cindy S.

  8. LeRoy Werre says:

    I lost my parents to mad cow disease and my wife (18 yrs age) to breast cancer. That got
    my attention. I started watching nutritional videos and reading health related books and
    began to make dietary changes. (dr. mcdougall, t.colin Campbell, dr joel Fuhrman,
    dr. neal barnard and dr. Caldwell esselstyn.) th ey taught me much of what I have learned
    and what I pass on to those who have health issues. I also educate people about proper
    hydration and vegie juicing.
    I eliminated all my health issues and slowed down my aging on a plant-based diet. am
    probably about 30 yrs. younger than my chronological age. Have not seen a dr in nearly
    20 yrs. I let the doctor inside me keep me well.

  9. Marge says:

    I bought the Advanced Study Weekend videos and watched the whole event online. They sent them to me about an hour after the live lecture. They are really entertaining and informative.

  10. DM says:

    I cannot believe you are supporting these conventional doctors who know practically nothing about nutrition and who say many very misleading statements about meat, protein, chicken, soy, eggs, etc. These doctors do what most conventional doctors and resarchers do, they WAY OVER GENERALIZE both people and food. Some people who are unhealthy would benefit from the advice of these doctors. But that does not mean it is the right advice. They for one dont even mention gut flora balance, probably the single most important factor for all of health, including cardiovascular health. They seem to focus hugely on protein and cholesterol and from a conventional perspective, which is a shallow kindergarten understanding. They say very little about detoxification, gut flora, omega 3/omega 6 ratios, methylation, vitamin D (and k2), magnesium, CoQ10, etc. Maybe in the follow up they will discuss other very important factors, but this is a very conventional and shallow approach to disease and health, which is not surprising because they are conventional doctors.

    For example, Dr. Kahn says: “In North Karelia, they replaced butter with vegetable oil, increased consumption of fruits and veggies, and changed the community.” REALLY??? Replace butter with vegetable oil??? NEVER!! This is absolutely one of main causes of heart disease in the US – highly processed omega 6 vegetables oils replacing butter and coconut/palm oil (saturated fat). This is very bad advice. Of course, the butter better be organic and grass fed, else it can be very toxic. And moreover, some people benefit from a lot more butter/fat than others. These doctors treat everyone like they’re the same, like all protein is the same, all fat is the same, all people are the same. Like i said, this is shallow kindergarten understanding.

    Another example, several people vilify eggs. Well again, do they take into consideration the sourse of the egg, how the egg is prepared, and the metabolism of the person eating the egg. NO they dont. They generalize as if a highly scrambled, highly cooked egg yolk has the same nutrition/toxins as a raw free range egg yolk?? WRONG. Kindergarten. One of them basically says a low fat oatmeal breakfast is better than an egg. That is possibly true for a few people, but not for most people if the egg is from the right source and prepared the right way. This is a highly misleading comment and wrongful generalization of eggs.

    Another example, vegan/vegetarian diets are obviously being advocated. Well, if you take very sick unhealhy person, who eats processed foods all the time, yes, they will benefit from such a diet for a while. they will lose weight and it is a great starting point to getting healthy. However, in the long term, most people do not benefit from these diets, some do, but many dont. Many people need clean animal protein and nutrients from clean organic animal products (e.g. retinoids and b12). Most people do NOT thrive in the long term on complete vegetarian diets. Again, everyone is different, some will thrive some will not, but these doctors treat all people as if they have the same metabolism and have no understanding of, for example, metabolic differences in sympathetic versus parasympathetic dominant autonomous nervous systems, which make a huge difference in the amount of protein and fat and vegetables one needs to consume for optimal health.

    Another example, one doctors claims meat causes as much insulin secretion as sugar. Well, that may be true but the metabolism that is going on with meat metabolism versus sugar metabolism is very different. The insulin secreted because of high blood sugar is for the purpose of moving highly inflammatory, deadly sugar out of the blood into fat, whereas the insulin secreted for protein is for driving amino acids and other nutrients into muscles and cells. This doctor is essentially equating sugar with meat for insulin problems. That is so incredibly misleading. I guess it wont matter very much if I eat a bowl of sugar instead of a grass fed steak tonight for dinner??? BAD ADVICE.

    Another doctor says chicken has more estrogen than soy? What kind of chicken? Is it chickens that consume soy as feed? Im very sure it is. I would like to see what studies he is referencing for this information? Is it free range organic chicken or antibiotic ridden chickens pumped full of soy? Probably the latter, which drives home my point. The source of the protein (chicken) and how the protein (chicken) is prepared must be taken into account and the generalization is just plain wrong and very misleading. The phytoestrogens in soy are different than the estogens in chicken as well. That also needs to be discussed and differentiated.

    One last example, the statement is made: “We also see a big reduction in inflammation on a lower-protein diet”. That is so incredibly misleading. Yes if I am consuming highly inflammatory corn fed non organic GMO laden steak that is charred and I cut back on it, then absolutely that will significantly reduce inflammation because this type of meat is toxic and has very high omega 6/omega 3 ratios (like 20:1). However, the same is NOT true if I eat an organic grass fed steak that has about a 1:1 omega 6/omega 3 ratio and is not pumped full of GMO and other crap. And how i cook the steak and prepare the steak can make a large difference in the health of the steak as well. These are VERY DIFFERENT scenarios with very different results. The health of red meat/protein can also massively depend on the persons unique metabolism and how much they are consuming. Some people thrive more on GF red meat, some people thrive more on fish, some people thrive more on spirulina. Such statements are WAY too general and that is the problem. Such statements remind me of the highly flawed and biased china study. This type of very misleading information comes from over generalization of bad and biased research.

    They do have a few things right, like CR and IF, buy many many things wrong and over generalized and shallow. Again, they really have a kindergarten understanding of nutrition as do most conventional doctors. Moreover, many of the studies they reference are very poorly done and make wild leaps of logic and generalizations about things like red meat and protein consumption. Do these studies take into consideration the source of the meat/protein or how the meat/protein is prepared or the metabolism of the person consuming the protein – some people need more protein than others and it can vary a LOT. NO almost definitely they dont. Its extreme ignorance. These types of generalizations are rife in the medical literature and they are causing a LOT of confusion and misinformation. The conventional medical doctors have buried their heads in the sand so long and arrogantly ignored good science and good research that their level of understanding of nutrition, even when they try, is as I said at the kindergarten level and very shallow and way over generalized. I mean you have to start somewhere, and its a good place to start, but dont take kindergarten advice for your health, please.

    I do appreciate you publishing this, however, I think instead what you should do is point out where they got it right AND wrong, not wholly advocate taking their advice, much of which is highly misleading and way over generalized.

    • See my followup with five other lectures summarized. Keep in mind that this is a summary, and you should actually watch the lectures yourself to comment on them instead of using my summaries as a starting point to criticize their diet philosophy. For example: The project in North Karelia where butter was replaced with vegetable oil is not really an endorsement of vegetable oils. In fact, Dr. Kahn pointed that out. However, going from 10 TBS of butter a day on average to vegetable oils DID in fact cut heart disease rates dramatically. That’s a fact. Vegetable oils have other problems that you’ve aptly pointed out. But we can safely say that butter is worse.

      Each researcher has a different point of view but I agree with the general conclusions of:

      – Eat a plant based diet (avoid meat, dairy, eggs)
      – Avoid vegetable oils
      – Make fruits and vegs the base of your pyramid
      – Practice some form of intermittent fasting
      – Exercise, etc.

      • DM says:

        Thanks for the reply.

        You didnt really address any of my points about generalization and conclusions of studies being way to general and not considering the source and preparation of food, which makes a huge difference in the toxicity and benefits of a food. That is also a fact. I think you lump people all in one category as well with your recommendations (no meat, lots of fruits and veggies – will make some people very sick in the long term – I know of many many people who this has happened to). A good example of why this is problematic is Dr. Nicholas Gonzales’ amazing cancer treatment. He understood that everyone is different and cannot thrive on the same diet. He absolutely fed some people red meat and lots of butter (from the right source) and others no red meat, very little butter, and a lot more vegetables in his protocol and saw very good success. Some people would eat red meat and butter and thrive and heal and other would not. He had very specific metabolic typing diets for his cancer patients. I think seeing how people heal (or dont heal) from cancer with vastly different diets is a good indicator of how different people can be in their dietary/lifestyle needs.

        Im also shocked you think vegetable oil is healthier than butter. WOW. Dave Asprey would be so disappointed 🙂 … Since you advocate no vegetable oils, you must be completely against using any butter at all. My opinion is that that is a terrible mistake. Im of course not advocating 10 TBS per day – that is almost definitely excessive and unhealthy and not good for anyone especially if it is not organic and not grass fed. One teaspoon may be appropriate for some, and a tablespoon or two may be appropriate for others. If you base this opinion on studies, why? Did the studies take into account the source of the butter, whether it was raw or not, grassfed or not, organic or not, etc? I doubt it. If so, I would really like to see those studies. Also, If the butter is not organic, it can be very very toxic – much more toxic than non organic produce. Non organic butter can have up to 20 times the pesticides as non organic produce for example because of how toxins gather in fat. If your studies you base this on did not consider whether or not the butter is organic, then the studies are rubbish – in my opinion. How could they not be? Its probably not the butter, its the junk in the butter that causes health problems.

        This is basically the whole point im making. Studies cannot make generalizations when they dont consider source and preparation of the food being studied. This is one of the big problems with the china study, which I assume you think is good – it supports your general recommendations of no meat, dairy, or eggs. This study has all kinds of problems. Chris Masterjohn and Byron Richards both discuss the many problems with this study. The author was an angry biased guy who had it out for all animal based protein and cherry picked his studies to prove it was all bad.

        I believe the first and most important principle of nutrition is that all people are different and no one diet works for all people. Some need more protein and fat, some need more veggies and fruit. and there is a whole gambit in between. In fact Nicholas Gonzales had some 200 different diets he used based on ratios of protein fat and carbs.

        Thanks again, I will try to listen to some of lectures as well – good suggestion.

    • Dawn says:

      Dr Colin Campbell who wrote the China study grew up on a dairy farm! He had a deep belief in getting animal protein to third world countries. He was forced to accept that he was wrong and that evidence was showing that in fact it was a plant based diet was keeping people healthy and free of disease. So why would his book be biased?
      Also there is so much more to meat eating than health. There is a massive impact on the environment as well as all the cruelty and suffering that the animals are subjected to.
      You can find a million ways to justify eating meat, and give all the scientific data, but as a nation I think we would be much better off without it for many reasons. The amount of meat people consume in the west is far too much and is a really unsustainable way of eating and is causing so much ill health that costs thousands of pounds to treat. Not to mention all the toxic drug use.
      The type of meat you are referring to may be a better option, but how many people would make the effort to make sure they were getting this kind of quality? We are talking of millions of people consuming animal products. Even the more natural ways of rearing meat are still using miles of land that could be otherwise used to grow crops that would feed many more people.
      We need to look at the bigger picture. It’s time not just to be thinking of ourselves and our personal preferences but to think of the other lives on the planet both human and animal. Despite what you say about these ‘kindergarten’ Dr’s, the message they are spreading is compassionate, clean and healthy. Other cultures as we are finding have thrived for centuries on high plant based diets and that is based on real study.

      • DM says:

        I agree that sustainability, environmental, animal cruelty issues need to be considered and that not eating meat for reasons other than health is absolutely very reasonable and that is a persons own choice and I respect and applaud that choice very much. Im also very against animal cruelty – so are many meat eaters. And i agree these doctors are putting out some good and useful information

        However, the problem here is that these doctors are spreading misinformation about protein by referencing studies and statistics that do not take into account source and preparation and a persons metabolism. That is the start of the “kindergarten” approach. It is too simplistic and only a half truth. This type of generalization of food causing health problems is rife in the medical literature and it is misleading a lot of people about what is really healthy and what is not. And we who understand this need to speak up. Its just like the studies that came out over the past few years on vitamin E increasing risk of prostate cancer. The vitamin E used in the studies was synthetic coal tar derived dl-alpha-tocopherol. But, as is typical, all of the headlines come out that “vitamin E increases risk of prostate cancer”, implying any kind of supplementation of vitamin E may increase risk of prostate cancer. This is a completely incorrect generalization. The source and form of the vitamin E were not only ignored but wrong! The headlines should have said: “synthetic coal tar derived dl-alpha-tocopherol may increase risk of prostate cancer”. Well similarly, many of the studies on meat/protein do the same thing. They over generalize and mislead and really bad because it spreads false information and half truths.

        There are a lot of problems with the china study. Below are a few articles on it if you’re interested. From what I have read about Campbell at the time of the study, he was already convinced animal protein was bad. And he set out to prove it was bad rather than to find the truth. That is the definition of bias. He also comes across as very angry and unteachable – see the response of chris masterjohn below to Campbell’s extremely caustic and angry responses he made to chris’ original assessment of the study – its ugly. Dr. Campbell absolutely over generalizes and as far as I know he does not consider the source of the protein he claims is so bad and cancer causing. Does he for example consider if the isolated casein (which I am not a fan of and believe no one should consume) that he was using for his research was pasteurized, or raw, or organic, or from a grass fed source??? If he would have it probably would have made a big difference and even if it didnt you canNOT go from isolated casein causing health problems to generalize to then say all animal protein causes health problems. That is biased. That is incorrect. That is an over generalization.Bottom line, it is false.



        I believe anyone can be basically healthy on an all vegetarian diet (even for the long term). However, if 100% of people were vegetarians, about 50% of those would be at high risk of many types of deficiencies and would need to be very sophisticated in their approach to vegetarianism and supplementation to make sure those deficiencies did not occur. Very few people would be as sophisticated as they needed to be and many would not really thrive very well because of this. Moreover, these people would also be at risk of blood sugar/insulin problems and would need to very careful about that as well. Moreover, about 50% (or more) of these people would thrive even more if they included some clean, humanely raised and treated animal sources of food in their diet. I know many vegans/vegetarians who were basically healthy as vegans/vegetarians but who really started thriving to a much greater degree once they introduced a little butter and grass fed beef/fish into their diet. It can make a huge difference for some people.

        So if you want to argue to stop eating meat for reasons other than health that is fine and admirable, but dont say it is because all meat/animal protein is bad for all people, that is just not the truth.


    • Egle says:

      I cannot believe that people can be so different that need totally different diets. There could be some fluctuation depending on metabolism rate, activity etc. but not that big that one should be carnivore and another – vegan. Just imagine two cows and one of them eats meat because she is so different from another.

  11. Sue says:

    Thank-you so much for this Fred!

  12. There is a wealth of information in this article. The information from studies each doctor appear to agree on is the necessity to decrease meat intake in the diet and move toward consuming a plant based diet high in carbohydrate.

    This is however easier said than done. It is worth considering seriously. A few things I can do immediately is from Dr. Michael Gregor’s research that states a cup of hibiscus tea with each meal is very effective in reducing high blood pressure as well as a few tablespoons of ground flax seed a day. I do seem to gravitate toward easy.

    Dr. Garth Davis idea that eating (5) servings of fruit a day, not smoking and moderate exercise adds 10 years to one’s life. This practical advice.

    Dr. Kim Williams suggested C – reactive protein test to check inflammation is critical. I have had this test done with my physical annually. Overall I love the fact the medical doctors are not talking and pushing more drugs. It seems we are what we eat after all.

    This is a must read article that I will forward to friends and family. I look forward to more articles.

    Thank you Mr. Patenaude

  13. Great article Frederic. Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

  14. Ben says:

    Hello Fred thanks for attending this seminar very informative and inspiring , your honesty is refreshing , Ben.

  15. Ben says:

    Thanks for attending the seminar it was informative and inspiring , very honest and refreshing , Ben

  16. Ramona says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Dawn says:

    Thanks so much Fred for sharing such brilliant information. I love your thorough and honest approach. I will listen to the lectures and look forward to the rest

  18. BarbaraL says:

    wonderful encapsulation of things I am most interested in … can you clarify this typo? what word is “through” supposed to be? This happens a lot in articles, probably autocorrect.

    Not smoking gives you five. Moderate exercise gives you through.

  19. Charles Fry says:

    Thank you for the info

  20. Ilse says:

    Hi, can you do an article on children and growth (with protein?); what should they eat to grow? Are vegan children smaller? thanks

  21. Angie B says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the Conference with us, Fred. I have had a similar dietary journey to you in that I became a raw vegan in the 90’s, switched to fruitarianism later but am now incorporating cooked starches. I must say, the CR information is fascinating and I will try to research more of Dr Fontana’s work. I also have to say, isn’t Dr Greger looking amazing – he seems to be getting younger!

  22. Thank you for taking the time to post your notes. Very well done, and so important!

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