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Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox

Posted by alexe 
Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
August 20, 2017 11:39PM

I read the opinions of many people I respect on Dr Gundry's book a couple of months ago in a post I missed.and made some comments.

I couldn't understand how the the majority of the opinions could be held.

I am sure there are people to whom the books principles apply and I'm sure wonderful examples of dramatic good changes could happen.

But all round the world extraordinarily healthy people are living long and happy lives eating the kind of foods that the book says are so harmful.

The ordinary reader would find this confusing apart from harmful.

If anyone disagrees with me I'd be happy to hear the reasons.

I would suggest reading ''the plant paradox and the oxygen paradox. Don't hold your breath for health''by preventative professor of cardiology Dr Kahn and lectins could become the next gluten in the Atlantic.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
August 24, 2017 10:47AM
Hello Alexe - In the Afib forum, there have been numerous informative posts by George N. about Dr. Gundry's focus and his successes... starting with Dr. Gundry's personal experiences with his own health.

There are undoubtedly countless people who think they are healthy and have good diets and lifestyle habits, until they end up with some health issue that is then often managed by Rx drugs and/or surgery....or worse, they are diagnosed with dementia. But, these solutions don't address the underlying cause, as we have mentioned so often as a complaint about many medical treatments today.

The special types of testing that Dr. Gundry and others use are far more "investigative" than routine blood tests and serve to offer various paths to reverse a trend that ultimately can lead to a serious health complication. Some are relatively common and easy to correct and others, may not be. The genetic testing is most helpful to help slow down and hopefully, reverse, a trend toward dementia-type conditions that may go undetected until it is too late for reversal.

It’s not uncommon for people to think their diet is healthy just because they’ve always eaten ..”this or that”… but don’t realize that they also take various Rx drugs because they have complaints about aches and pains or hypertension or other ailments that may be caused by the body’s response to something like a reaction to lectins… as one example. The lectin story isn’t new by any means, but contemporary physicians are definitely getting into more than just routine labs to learn about why patients have the symptoms or reactions they do…. and lectins can be one issue.

Another example: Methylation issues are huge and underlie the cause of a hundred or more diseases and fortunately, with testing, these defects are being found and progress is being made with these patients.

You mention the gluten issue… while not everyone is gluten sensitive, those who are have found immense relief from symptoms that were never managed well by conventional methods. Still aren’t. I know a man who was never tested for gluten sensitivity but when he switched to a doctor who practiced functional medicine, he tested positive. Once off gluten completely, he began to rapidly lose weight and also to feel ‘human’ once again. He’s mid-50’s and has been heavy all his life. All they ever preached to him was calorie restriction, but the relief he feels from the diminished inflammatory process caused by the gluten/gliaden sensitivity is almost ‘miraculous’ … but not to those who understand that science.

The gluten/gliaden sensitivity plays a role in autoimmune thyroiditis such as Graves and Hashimotos. About 35% of US population is gluten intolerant. A specific test for genes connected to gluten intolerance and celiac disease (HLA DQ) shows that more than 80% of Americans have a gene for autoimmune disease, celiac and gluten intolerance. There is a connection between autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) and gluten intolerance. Several studies show a strong link between AITD (both Hashimoto’s and Graves’) and gluten intolerance. (According to Dr. Kenneth Fine of EnteroLab.)

So, my point is… with lectin sensitivity (which includes gluten), it certainly makes sense to rule out the potential so that, long-term, one can live a healthy long life without having to take risky ‘coverup’ drugs or have surgical procedures because of the damage. No one knows better than I do about that with the iodine deficiency manifestation that caused so many of my health issues years ago.

Here’s one of many reports on Lectins that includes a list of conditions that respond to eliminating lectins.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
August 24, 2017 04:32PM
Oh Jackie, you can always find these "experts" that say Lectins, grains, beans are bad for you, I can find other "experts" that say those foods are very good for you. I have become a doubter of these "experts", I believe beans are very good for you and some grains are as well. As for Lectins I have eaten tomatoes all my life, I raise a lot of tomatoes I make sauce and juice, I am 83 years old and roto till my big garden with my Big Horse tiller, I mow my large lawn, can and freeze my produce. I eat all of the above that your "experts" say are bad for you. As for Graves disease, yes I had that in my late 50s, that happened to me a year after the death of my son, which probably led to Graves because of the sorrow of his death not because I ate beans and tomatoes. My father had Graves at the age of 30, DNA no doubt.

Dr. Brownstein said something once to me that has always stuck, I was telling him about my brother who had Prostrate cancer, I said that he ate well, no sugars, alcohol, smoking, lived well yet he got cancer. Dr said that he had a good friend that died of cancer in his fifties who also did everything right. Sometimes you just can't account for what happens.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
August 25, 2017 11:46AM
Liz - True. There are a lot of opinions out there… but the fact is there is no opinion involved in the test results.
These are facts based on what your body indicates. You can’t deny or rationalize what the result/facts show.
The problem is that only until recently have these tests become available... including the gene testing such as the 23and me and others.

Many people don’t have symptoms of underlying, potential health issues until the actual manifestation.
That doesn’t mean it’s safe or healthy to eat foods that you body can’t utilize properly. So how do you know?
As the mantra goes: Test. Don’t Guess. This has been the revolution seen in the practice of advanced medicine…or functional medicine and. unfortunately, while many physicians are becoming certified in functional medicine, there still aren’t many out there... but not impossible ... as GeorgeN has shared with us.

The referenced Krispin Sullivan report… starts with a description of lectins… as just one example of a food element that can do ‘silent’ damage in the body.

LECTIN ID: lectin PART OF SPEECH: n SYNONYM: Plant Hemagglutinin TERM ELEMENT: Hemagglutinin DEFINITION Protein or glycoprotein substances, usually of plant origin, of non-immunoglobulin nature, capable of specific recognition of and reversible binding to, carbohydrate moieties of complex glycoconjugates without altering the covalent structure of any of the recognized glycosyl ligands. This group includes monovalent lectins (i.e. bacterial and plant toxins). These lectins bind to sugar moieties in cell walls or membranes and thereby change the physiology of the membrane to cause agglutination, mitosis, or other biochemical changes in the cell. (agglutination- clumping; mitosis-multiplication or division of a cell forming two daughter cells)

Krispin explains…
Lectins are found in ALL foods, certain foods more than others, and the same food may contain varying amounts of lectins depending on processing, when and where the plant was grown, and species.

The most common potentially 'toxic' lectin containing food groups are
• grains, especially wheat and wheat germ but also quinoa, rice, buckwheat, oats, rye, barley, millet and corn.
• legumes (all dried beans, including soy and peanuts),
• dairy (perhaps more so when cows are feed grains instead of grass, a speculation based on research showing transference of lectins into breast milk and dairy.
• nightshade (includes potato, tomato, eggplant and pepper).

Throughout our history our ancestors had limited exposure to many lectin families depending on location. In our modern world it is common to believe that we can eat any food we like. We can but the food we eat may not like us. Some persons (a minority) can tolerate all foods. For the rest of us most will find one or more lectin groups they do not tolerate. Of those who experience antigen responses most will not need to eliminate more than one or two major lectin groups. You have to experiment and see 'who' you are and 'what' your ideal foods are. It is a process.

Consider the group most likely to be causing a problem.
• Deadly nightshades including tomato, potato and eggplant.
• Glutens found in wheat, rye, barley, malt, and oats.
• Legumes, all beans including soy and peanut.
• Dairy including all milk products, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir.
• Eggs

A short review of Dr. Gundry’s book… The Plant Paradox…(there are many)
Source: [www.kirkusreviews.com]

" A fresh, learned perspective on eating healthy.

When renowned heart surgeon Gundry (Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes that Are Killing You and Your Waistline, 2009), the director of the International Heart and Lung Institute, discovered that diet was capable of reversing heart disease—among other health issues—he dedicated his career to clarifying the science behind so-called “healthy” foods that cause harm.

During his decades of clinical practice and scientific research, the author identified a health paradox: many of the grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits that are considered healthy are actually triggering inflammation, a leading cause of illness. Specifically, Gundry found that foods containing a protein called lectin—of which gluten is the most well-known—alter the gut microbiome and make people vulnerable to an array of autoimmune diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to Crohn’s disease.

In addition to identifying lectin as a hidden culprit, the author makes the more familiar, though still alarming, argument that the Western food industry plays a major role in systemic poor health. By feeding cows, chickens, and other animals an unnatural diet consisting mostly of corn and grains, supplemented by hormones and other chemicals, those compounds make their ways into our systems. The result is further disruption of the body’s ability to properly digest food.
The good news, according to Gundry, is that a healthy gut can be restored by reprogramming it using the right lectin-free foods, including many plants. In the second half of the book, he provides lists of “good” and “bad” foods, as well as recipes, alongside a dietary program designed to promote long-term health. While the “Gundry diet” is certainly restrictive, its potential is profound, and the author’s writing is clear and convincing.

Much more than just another dietary fad, Gundry’s scientifically proven approach to restoring a healthy microbiome will reorient your approach to food. "

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
August 25, 2017 02:38PM

without getting too technical, lectins help cells stick together. Research shows that lectins may have some benefits — they are antimicrobial, help the immune system and have anti-cancer potential. But the same stickiness also makes them act as “anti-nutrients,” which hinder the body’s absorption of certain vitamins. High intake of lectins may damage the lining of the intestine, which lets proteins cross into the bloodstream undigested. This could cause an allergic reaction or increase risk of developing autoimmune diseases.

It’s critical to note that the majority of lectin studies have been done with isolated lectins, not actual foods, and have been conducted in test tubes or in animals, not in people. So how can these online health gurus conclusively link lectin-containing foods to certain health issues when clinical trials in humans have not even been conducted yet?

Many rely on what we know for sure: Some lectins are toxic. But no one eats those ! For example, lectins in raw or undercooked kidney beans can cause symptoms that mimic food poisoning, such as vomiting and diarrhea. But that doesn’t mean no one should eat any beans— it just means we can’t eat raw kidney beans.
Cook your beans

Have you ever crunched into a raw kidney bean? I didn’t think so. Hard as rocks, all beans and lentils would be inedible in their raw form. Boiling beans for 30 minutes eradicates most, if not all, of the lectins. Note that soaking beans overnight does not remove enough lectin, and don’t rely on slow cookers when cooking beans from scratch — the machine doesn’t get hot enough to destroy lectins. Prepared properly, beans have low lectin levels and are safe to eat.

Grains can also be boiled to reduce lectin content. Think about quinoa, rice and barley — boiled first, then eaten, right? Fermenting and sprouting foods can also help reduce lectin content. Friendly bacteria in the fermentation process digests the anti-nutrients, and can reduce lectins by up to 95 percent.
It’s a fad

Articles that promote the lectin-free diet cite it as a miraculous cure-all for arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even cancer. That’s the first sign it’s a fad — overblown promises of astonishing health benefits before any clinical proof exists.
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 01, 2017 02:32PM
Alexe - I thought you’d be interested in the following clip on lectins which helps explain the complexity of how many individuals are impacted by the negative influence of lectins in their body and helps to explain why forward-thinking physicians such as Dr. Gundry and a whole host of others, are now tuned in to these dietary changes for optimizing health.

No discussion about plants and plant lectins would be complete without mentioning a very excellent resource for an explanation of how lectins can damage our body…. especially in hidden ways where it’s not well-recognized by the majority of physicians. It’s worth reading and to note that it’s more than just about wheat/gluten/gliaden and Celiac disease. There are many other actions and concerns, but it’s logical to begin with Celiac to understand the overall action of lectins and related.

The damage from other plant lectins that Dr. Gundry emphasizes are connected with autoimmune/inflammatory issues because as author, Sayer Ji, points out in the following clip, the lectin problem is rarely connected to health issues. His research is headline-worthy as it can solve and prevent many health consequences of lectin damage.

Start at the beginning to follow the concept but note specifically this from page 13, Part II-

Part II: Opening Pandora’s Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease
By Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo

Now that celiac disease has been allowed official entry into the annals of established medical
conditions, and gluten intolerance is no longer entirely a fringe medical concept, the time has
come to draw attention to the powerful little chemical in wheat known as 'wheat germ agglutinin'
(WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat's pervasive, and difficult-to-diagnose, ill

Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary
causes of wheat intolerance, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health
food industry's favorite poster children since high concentrations of WGA is found in "whole wheat," including
its supposedly superior sprouted form. Below the radar of conventional serological testing for
antibodies against various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA
"lectin problem" remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds,
legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato, are rarely connected with
health or illness, even when their consumption may greatly reduce both the quality and length of
our lives.

Although significant progress has been made in exposing the dark side of wheat over the past
decade, gluten receives a disproportionate share of the attention. Given that modern bread wheat
(Triticum aestivum) is an allohexaploid species containing six distinct sets of chromosomes
capable of producing well over 23,000 unique proteins, it is not surprising that we are only now
beginning to unravel the complexities of this plant’s many secrets. [1] End quote.

Continue: [thedr.com]

Source: The Dark Side of Wheat by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 01, 2017 04:28PM

I have raised bushels of tomatoes over the years and eaten them raw, made into juice and sauce. They provide Vit. C and potassium. I am 83 and work harder than most women half my age, my mother ate potatoes everyday of her life, she lived to 92, potatoes sustained the Irish until the fammie. Dr. Gundry can go fly a kite, he does sell very expensive vitamins, don't all of these guys do that?

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 02, 2017 09:06AM
Please, let's not reopen Sayer Ji's villification of conventional medicine.

Here's Dr. David Gorski's article on his validity, or lack thereof:


Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 02, 2017 01:56PM
Sorry, Gordon. I find that GreenMedInfo's library of research studies on natural approaches and detrimental substances is very useful, especially when researching a specific topic. Easy, all in one place without spending hours. He has the respect of a great many, well-known 'holistic,' advanced-medicine practitioners.

We all know, or should know, that conventional medicine falls short in many areas of healthcare treatment and preventive measures. Since I'd prefer to prevent rather than treat after the fact, I was pleased to find GMI's comprehensive library for tips that I can lead me to other resources for additional verification. Since I've had the misfortune of being misled in the past on multiple occasions and have suffered great insults as a result, I prefer to look at the whole picture rather than rely totally on conventional (and often expensive) practices that hurt me in the long haul and never did address the core issues. And I've observed that a lot of conventional doctors are quick to dismiss anything about which they have no personal observations or experiences and so are quick to bash them as impossible or hogwash. I'm living proof that's not the case.

So now (thankfully) that the new age of functional/restorative medicine has come into its own area of respected and effective expertise, it's great to see good researchers such as Sayer and many others providing resource links so patients who are interested can learn more about addressing the underlying causes rather than resorting to drugs or surgery and still not targeting the source cause.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 03, 2017 09:01AM
Ok. Jackie:; People are certainly free to believe whatever they want by whomever they want. However, it's wise to take in both side of an issue before making a decision and the GreenMedInfo and Sayer Ji side seems to rely on quantity and media sound bites of information to make their case instead of quality research that is verified by others.

As long as both the yin and yang are considered for some things, "controversial and revolutionary", patients will be better informed and therefore better able to decide a course of action to follow.


Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 03, 2017 02:25PM
Gordon - I agree about yin and yang. It's always important to look at both sides and that's not typically the case in conventional medical circles.

Just be aware that Sayer Ji as a detail-oriented researcher, has the respect of many well-known leaders in the field of functional medicine, including Mark Hyman, MD who is head of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, Neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, veteran holistic guru, Deepak Chopra, MD to mention a few of the well-known names. If he were totally off in his research focus and findings, he would not have the following he does as these people are leaders in their own right.

As I commented, his website resource library lists related studies that focus natural or holistic results which is very useful for those who aren’t making progress or are interested in learning about prevention.

As an example, Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN and Sayer have collaborated extensively to share with the public the important findings about the impact of celiac disease (CD) and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), and the development of autoimmune conditions along with the far-reaching consequences that are generally missed by conventional medicine…. just one example of many.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 03, 2017 11:30PM
I wouldn't cite dr. Permutter, very few people have gluten problems:

The basic premise of Grain Brain doesn’t fit with the current neurological literature: The latest reviews of evidence-based dietary approaches to preventing Alzheimer’s support a Mediterranean-style diet, complete with whole grains. Nevertheless, Perlmutter describes the science of Grain Brain as “undeniably conclusive.” He is similarly confident about the treatment regimens proposed in Brain Maker, telling his readers about astonishing transformations accomplished through simple dietary changes such as going gluten-free, eating fermented foods, and taking probiotics. “I can’t wait to share with you the countless stories of individuals with myriad, enfeebling health challenges … who experienced a complete vanishing of symptoms following treatment,” he writes. “These stories are not outlier cases for me, but by standard measure of what might typically be expected, they seem almost miraculous.”

Deepak Chopra is a nut, I have watched him over the years on different t.V. shows, he gets nuttier with the years.

Dr. Oz has Permutter and Mark Hyman on his show a lot, Oz is another suspect, he advertises a lot of diets, supplements and so-called beauty products which are suspect.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 05, 2017 03:20PM
Liz – Could you list the cite for your quote about Grain Brain, please? It’s not appropriate to offer quotes without giving the source cite reference. Thanks.

There are many people who are totally unaware that they have wheat/gluten/gliaden sensitivities. Your comment is absolutely incorrect as Neurologist David Perlmutter points out in his many books including those about what affects brain function... based on his treatment experiences with patients and research studies. However..

..... The topic of this thread is Dr. Gundry and the Plant Paradox is plant lectins and how he advises his patients to achieve health with dietary restrictions and requirements…and he does focus on the role of lectins (which are proteins that seek out specific sugar molecules and attach to the surface of cells). The web link I provided initially for Krispin Sullivan, Certified Nutritionist, offers a comprehensive but understandable description of lectins.

I had mentioned Sayer Ji’s GMI website as a handy resource for quickly finding studies about natural substances, foods and many other useful research links that helps save me time finding published documentation as resource references. I mentioned Dr. Perlmutter in a response to Gordon since Sayer has referenced him and many other experts in presenting the science behind the damage done for those who are either allergic to wheat or have gluten or gliaden sensitivities which can promote auto-immune reactions... and may be totally unaware of the source cause.

So I’ll digress from the original, separate topic of the lectin discussion and Dr. Gundry with the following, although the complications certainly parallel the findings of adverse effects of gluten in the body.

The issue of molecular mimicry also comes into play with both lectins and gluten and offers another technical challenge for testing, diagnosis and treatment and is explained in this paper by gluten expert, Dr. Tom O’Bryan…
Cross-reactivity is the ability of an antibody to bind with similar-looking parts on different
proteins called epitopes. This phenomenon is also known as Molecular Mimicry. In such a case
the immune system confuses one food for another. Therefore, certain foods look similar enough
to a reactive food to initiate an immune response. Patients with Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease
may be sensitized to a broad range of dietary proteins from different foods due to Cross-Reactivity.

Dr O’Bryan helps explain cross-reactivity and molecular mimicry which makes pinpointing the culprits difficult when the appropriate knowledge and testing isn’t applied. [thedr.com]

NCGS is a clinical entity with intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms abounding. As much as we may wish we could ignore the findings, NCGS is real and can manifest
in any tissue of the body.


Neurologist, David Perlmutter’s experience with patients and research into the microbiome and associated neurological issues that have been “cured” or reversed are testament to the connection of the various complications from these types of reactions and that’s some of what he is details in Grain Brain. He describes in detail the impact on the body of the inflammatory cytokine cascade that ensues when a person is has a sensitivity. He says, “…cytokines are highly antagonistic to the brain, damaging tissue and leaving the brain vulnerable to dysfunction and disease—especially if the assault continues. and this can manifest. Given this, it’s no wonder that elevated cytokines are seen in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS and even autism.” Source: Page 52 of Grain Brain which is packed with examples supported by studies. Dr. Perlmutter quotes research findings that indicates an estimated that 99 percent of people whose immune systems react negatively to gluten don’t even know it. (meaning they don’t have any GI problems whatsoever.)

Plus his testimonials about patients’ improvements after years of failed treatment options elsewhere make this book an important resource.

Clips of interest re: Dr. Perlmutter


What Leading Science Says About the Gluten Threat
(by Dr. Perlmutter)
..." I recently had the great honor to lecture in California alongside Dr. Alessio Fasano. Dr. Fasano is a practicing gastroenterologist and research scientist at Harvard whose interest is in gluten-related disorders like gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and celiac disease. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Bloomberg News and many other high profile media resources.

My lecture focused on the role of inflammation in brain related disorders and how gluten serves to initiate and perpetuate this process. Dr. Fasano focused on the specifics of the biochemistry related to gluten’s detrimental effects and he discussed how gluten in the diet increases the permeability of the bowel wall (leaky gut). And it is this permeability that allows a variety of normally excluded products access to the bloodstream. So things like bacteria, proteins, and viruses that normally would have been prevented from entering the bloodstream gain access when the gut becomes leaky as a consequence of gluten exposure.

Bacteria, foreign proteins and viruses gaining access to the bloodstream sets the stage for the body to mount a powerful immune response as these entities are considered threatening. This immune response supercharges inflammation, the cornerstone of everything bad you don’t want to get including coronary artery disease, cancer, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. Further, as Dr. Fasano revealed in his landmark publication on this subject, this may well be a pivotal mechanism in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes.

The take home message is that we’ve got to do everything we can to maintain gut health and the integrity of the gut wall. Things like gluten, antibiotics, chlorinated water, lack of probiotics, and even some of the very medications you may be taking under the direction of your physician all represent threats to the integrity of the gut wall and thus predispose to inflammation. We’ve got to learn to respect this delicate but highly influential part of our immune system."

About Dr. Permutter… by Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC Founder and Founding Director, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
Dr. Perlmutter is a pioneer in medicine. His approach to brain health offers us the opportunity to get to the underlying cause of some of the most challenging diseases. Dr. Perlmutter offers a holistic approach to neurology, treating the whole person body, mind and spirit. His approach is evidenced-based and cutting edge providing options and hope to individuals with significant neurologic challenges. [www.drperlmutter.com]
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 05, 2017 10:47PM



Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 08, 2017 01:17PM
Thanks Liz. Figures. Same old story. "Fake news" so many uninformed bashers of the advanced medicine practices feel the need to do. 'nuf said.

Dr. Perlmutter's treatment successes stand on their own merit as testimonials from patients who have benefited. He's not alone by a long shot. The Functional Medicine approach to ailments is now recognized and gaining a lot of momentum and it's difficult for many out of the loop to get on board.
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 08, 2017 03:58PM
"Dr. Perlmutter's treatment successes stand on their own merit as testimonials from patients who have benefited" Well that isn't true Jackie, there are stories to the contrary one of which I have posted.

Greg Killmaster • 9 months ago

I followed Grain Brain and Brain Maker as a basis for my diet. I lost 30 pounds and felt great for a year. My weight never goes much above 150. I'm 64 years old. During the first year, I felt amazing, bit lately, in the last 6 months my blood pressure has risen 20 points or therabouts and is sometimes as high as 150 over 87. I don't feel as good. I can feel my blood pressure now. After 2 months on the diet (my diets was pescatarian I don't eat meat other than fish) my blood pressure went down to average 110 over 70. Now its back up and though I very occasionally eat some grain, like once a week, my diet is so much healthier than it was. I don't understand how it could be that my blood pressure has gone back up to high numbers on this modified diet. I exercise moderately 3-4 times a week. (tennis for 1.5 hours, bicycling for 30 minute (semi-strenuous) and hiking. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated... Should I be open to meds or what can I try with my eating to insure I do everything possible to lower my blood pressure with diet?

There were other posts in the same vein, they feel better at first.

Dr. Colbert of Orlando, Fl. (Holistic doc.) says the mediterranean diet is what we should follow which I believe in as well.
I think a lot of these gurus that are selling books and their great way of life are fake news.


We don’t have to look further than the most recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to find a paper contradicting Dr. Perlmutter’s claims. The study addresses the associations between The DASH diet and Mediterranean-style dietary patterns and age-related cognitive change in a prospective, population-based study. Higher levels of accordance with both the DASH and Mediterranean dietary patterns were associated with consistently higher levels of cognitive function in elderly men and women over an eleven year period.

Because I don't agree with you on some things doesn't mean that I don't appreciate your knowledge overall. I take mag. now and it has helped my AF, your article on collagen prompted me to take it which I have for over a month now. You and Shannon are most helpful and I am most grateful.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/2017 09:43PM by Elizabeth.
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
September 09, 2017 01:44PM
Thanks Liz - I'm glad you are benefiting from various nutritional support aids. As your clips point out, there are many variations to health issues that can't be addressed without proper nutritional status assessments such as the Nutra-Eval testing or others I've mentioned previously. There can be many nutritional pathway "glitches" that interfere with or promote other manifestations as Greg observes in his post. He mentions he followed the dietary recommendations, but then later says he went back to eating grains or maybe more specifically wheat/gluten/gliaden...and he now has elevated Bp.

It's well known that in sensitive individuals, even one "atom" of the culprit substance can reverse the good things that were accomplished on a diet free of what is specific to your test sensitivities. Also, a total fish diet could involve various contaminants that are well known in fish sourced as farm raised or from contaminated water....and even many natural, ocean fish are known for high mercury content...which contributes to high blood pressure with time...

Or...maybe even because of his age and other previous lifestyle habits, he now has arterial calcifications contributing to the hypertension. So, while the diet helped initially for a year as he probably repaired the gut symptoms that Dr. Perlmutter emphasizes, once he broke the regimen which affects the gut health via the microbiome, he's now having symptoms. That's common. Lots of other potentials as well. Both Doctors Tom O'Bryan and David Perlmutter (and many others) are well known for their successes in sleuthing out culprits that cause a variety of food/gut related ailments.

Long ago, 'holistic' natural medicine practitioners reminded that 'death begins in the colon' and then Michael Gershon MD came out with his book "The Second Brain" about 20 years ago which also emphasized the effect and influence of the gut on the brain and overall health so it is not a new concept that Dr. Perlmutter and others are emphasizing about importance of keeping the gut and microbiome optimized to ensure health.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 19, 2017 10:32PM
DR Gundry on lectins and his vitamins:

Steven Gundry

Steven Gundry is a goop contributor, author of several books overloaded with misinformation on diet and disease, and runs the website gundrymd.com. If you sign up for his newsletter, you will immediately be presented with an offer for one of his many supplements – Gundry MD Vital Reds, for a discounted $254.70 (for 6 jars, which is what Gundry recommends): and it’s also recommended you buy Dr. Gundry’s book Diet Evolution (to supercharge the benefits of Vital Reds).

According to the website, MD Vital Reds will

“help reduce the fatigue and energy dysfunction which act as warning signs for much more serious health problems. I’ve combined the power of 25 polyphenol-rich superfruits with dozens of natural fat-burning ingredients to help your body maintain higher energy levels and fast metabolism.”

Save your money – there is no good evidence to back up any of these claims.

And Vital Reds is just the beginning!

You can spend a lot more money on unproven supplements at Gundrymd.com. These include “Lectin Shield” ($75) – to protect yourself from the “toxic” lectins (proteins in some plant foods), which Gundry states are the #1 biggest danger in the American diet. Gundry has even written a book about lectins (to convince you that you really do need Lectin Shield). In The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in Healthy foods that Cause Disease and Weight Gain, he claims that lectins are the cause of almost all diseases. The fact that Dr Oz has endorsed the book is a good clue to the pseudoscience within.

The book promo has the familiar popular line that introduces much pseudoscience . . .

“Is it possible that everything you’ve heard about diet, weight, and nutrition is wrong?“
There is no good evidence showing that lectins cause disease

Avoiding lectins means missing out on many nutritious foods, including whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, dairy, eggs, and fruit. The Atlantic’s James Hamblin has an excellent commentary on the Gundry’s book, including this observation:

“In fact, the book seems to be a sort of culmination of a long-percolating hypothesis about the imminent dangers of lectins. It’s especially common among purveyors of dietary supplements. The story goes: We need nutrients to survive, but many plants makes us sick, so synthetic supplement pills and powders are the prudent approach. The idea is based in just enough evidence to be seriously convincing in the right hands.”

“…Book publishers are rarely held accountable for publishing invalid health information. Rather, there seems to be an incentive to publish the most outlandish claims that purport to upend everything the reader has ever heard. This is a problem much bigger than any plant protein. Cycles of fad dieting and insidious misinformation undermine both public health and understanding of how science works, giving way to a sense of chaos.”

Other ridiculous health claims by Gundry on the goop website include that eating out-of-season fruit is one of the biggest modern health hazards (because “fruit promotes fat storage”).
READ Healthy or Hype? Gluten-Free Diets

Gundry also perpetuates myths like the existence of a so-called leaky gut syndrome (and of course recommends his products as a remedy). According to experts at the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research, no quality research supports the existence of leaky gut syndrome, which they say is “is all speculation, as scientific studies do not validate any of these claims. It is extremely dangerous that a TV doctor personality and some otherwise trusted practitioners are diagnosing and treating this baseless ‘syndrome’.”

These are but a few examples of the vast amount of misinformation that Steven Gundry shares. Your best bet is to ignore everything on his website, books, and writings on the goop website, and definitely don’t buy any of his products.

Emails from Gundrymd.com are pretty good evidence that this “Dr” is little more than a snake-oil salesman . . . too bad so many people fall for this marketing.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2017 10:44PM by Elizabeth.
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 21, 2017 11:25AM
The Gundry Plant Paradox is a complex topic and deserves consideration if one has symptoms and complaints that don’t respond to various types of treatments….And, important also if you just want to know the best way to stay as healthy as possible during the aging process for your unique genetic profile.

In the case where one has learned from the 23andme assessment that there are genetic factors that need to be managed in a preventive manner to help eliminate the ultimate manifestations, physicians such as Dr. Gundry who have seen the positive results of avoidance and are now sharing with those who are willing and able to take the needed steps designed for improved current health. And, as the results are confirming, avoiding the eventual, predictable decline.

Keep in mind that the Dr. Gundry’s plan looks at a wide scope of individual systemic reactions that help realize the target focus which is maintaining health and avoiding typical consequences of incompatible practices. He’s not the only one using this approach. The critics are in denial that something so fundamental could work which is unfortunately typical.

One common avoidance consideration that came up in a previous post was on plant lectins. For some individuals, certain plant lectins cause various problems, not the least of which is leaky gut syndrome (LGS) which is a huge topic in and of itself.

When something causes LGS, this means reactive molecules of foods, chemicals, medicines ingested are allowed into the blood stream whereas they normally might be ushered through the GI tract, eliminated in feces and not cause problems. However, when LGS is present, then many host-specific irritants can produce symptoms and malfunctions of glands, such as thyroid. Lectins are just one factor known to cause systemic issues. Even without LGS, there is always the potential for an autoimmune response to various substances that manifest in many ways and the problem is not always identified promptly.

Various specialized testing helps identify potential culprits and the patient can monitor symptom improvements over time by avoiding that which is set forth in the groups of foods on the ‘avoidance’ list. Some doctors say to eliminate specific foods based on test results for a specific period of time and then, re-introduce and observe and document any reactions or symptoms. Typically, reintroducing the test-targeted culprits results in a flare-up of symptoms which confirms that a food or group of foods needs to be eliminated permanently because the underlying damage can continue both silently and not so silently.

Here’s a great explanatory clip from a Paleo website discussing why these autoimmune protocols are important.. and this segment is on lectins. The author is a medical biophysicist, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. (It's worth reading the whole report.)

Nightshades contain lectins. Actually, all plants (and even animals) contain some lectins, a class of sugar-binding proteins with many biological roles, including protecting plants (especially the seeds of the plant) against predation. Not all lectins are problematic (I have an entire post in the works explaining why the lectins in wheat can be such an issue but the lectins in blueberries aren’t).

The lectins which we avoid in the paleo diet are the ones with the ability to increase intestinal permeability (see this post on how lectins do this). These are lectins which resist digestion (typically due to high proline content), are relatively heat-stable (so there are still sufficient quantities to cause an issue after cooking), and have the ability to strongly interact with proteins in the membrane of the cells that line the intestine (and some can even bind to receptors in those membranes and be transported intact across the intestinal barrier). There is huge variability the effect of different dietary lectins, from proinflammatory and promoting a leaky gut on one end of the spectrum to completely harmless and even potentially therapeutic on the other. Until a systematic analysis is performed of all plant lectins and their physiological effects, the foods advocated and restricted on a paleo diet really only represents our best guess based on what is known so far. So, what do we know about nightshade lectins? Tomato lectin is known to enter the blood stream relatively quickly in humans, which suggests that tomato lectin can contribute to the development of a leaky gut 2. This information has led me to recommend that tomatoes should be eaten in moderation for most people. People with autoimmune disease are more likely have a leaky gut and have more challenges to healing a leaky gut once it has developed. For these sensitive individuals, tomato lectin should be avoided.

Nightshades contain saponins. The flowers, fruit, and foliage of the nightshade family contain a type of saponin called glycoalkaloids (e.g.the α-solanine and α-chaconine in potato, α-solanine in eggplant, and the α-tomatine in tomato) and contain steroidal drugs (e.g. the stimulating capsaicin in peppers, the tranquilizing nicotine in tobacco)3. I explained in detail how saponins can contribute to a leaky gut in this post (also see reference 4). Very importantly for those with autoimmune conditions, saponins, such as α-tomatine, have adjuvant activity. An adjuvant is a chemical that stimulates and exaggerates an immune response. The glycoalkaloid α-tomatine is such a potent adjuvant that it is used in vaccines to ensure that the recipient develops immunity against the virus they are being inoculated against. This is critical in the discussion of autoimmune disease because dietary saponins are believed to rev up the immune response to proteins leaking out of the gut 5. When antibodies are formed against proteins (like gluten) that have amino acid sequences that look very similar to sequences of other normal proteins (like transglutaminase) in the human body, the chances of developing an antibody against one’s self increases. When this happens, the immune system attacks normal healthy proteins/cells in your own body and this is the development of autoimmunity. Beyond these actions of saponins, glycoalkaloids inhibit a key enzyme, acetyl cholinesterase, which is required for nerve impulse conduction. There is also evidence that diets high in potatoes, in particular, result in increased markers of inflammation (this could also be due to the carbohydrate load that potatoes provide and not an effect of the glycoalkaloids themselves). Glycoalkaloid poisoning can occur with excessive consumption of nightshade vegetables, and many researchers have hypothesized that the low level toxic exposure from more moderate consumption of nightshades can contribute to a variety of health conditions 1. Another problematic substance is capsaicin, a steroidal stimulant found in chili peppers (it is one of the substances in peppers that give them heat). While a variety of health benefits have been attributed to capsaicin, it is also a potent irritant to a variety of tissues, including skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Very importantly, there is evidence that capsaicin can increase intestinal permeability 6.

Of all the foods restricted on the paleo diet autoimmune protocol, nightshades are the least likely to be reintroduced successfully.


Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 21, 2017 02:49PM

of Truth – Intestinal Permeability

In some individuals, for a variety of reasons, the physical structure of their intestines is compromised. The tight junctions, which control what materials the intestine absorbs, don’t work properly, allowing larger substances (but still very small) to cross over into the bloodstream. This is known as intestinal permeability.

Physicians sometimes find increased intestinal permeability in those who have Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, in individuals receiving chemotherapy, and those who have a high intake of bowel-damaging substances such as aspirin and alcohol. However, intestinal permeability is a symptom of these ailments, not a cause; it does not lead to anything more than inflammation of the bowel walls, and it is not leaky gut syndrome. Furthermore, research shows that increased intestinal permeability sometimes has beneficial effects, such as improving water and nutrient absorption as well as activating the immune system.1


The Myth: According to the proponents of leaky gut syndrome, bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream through these defective tight junctions and wreak havoc throughout the body, causing bloating, gas, cramps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as well as fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, moodiness, irritability, sleeplessness, autism, and skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

Debunked: This is all speculation, as scientific studies do not validate any of these claims. It is extremely dangerous that a TV doctor personality and some otherwise trusted practitioners are diagnosing and treating this baseless


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2017 02:52PM by Elizabeth.
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 21, 2017 03:20PM
On Lectins:


Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 21, 2017 07:02PM
Could many of these problems (IBS etc) be due to faulty digestion beginning with chewing sufficiently, good gastric acid level.....
Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 22, 2017 10:07AM
Liz - on any given topic, there are websites that attempt to ‘debunk’ the findings practitioners of what I like to call, “enlightened, new medical practices” that go beyond the limitations of studies that so many like to hide behind. Some think that unless there is a published study proving or disproving specific aspects of the topic, then the newer treatments which tend to be drug-free and ‘natural’ are bogus. This definitely is not the case. But, the dogma of ineffective treatments remains.

Nevertheless, leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability is a real factor and is not just limited to Celiac disease. Those who are fortunate enough to be treated by Functional Medicine practitioners who do the appropriate, specialized testing not typically known by traditional practitioners know that LGS does exist; it can be treated and symptoms, reversed.

The point is not to deny or attempt to disprove because it’s unpopular in one’s own convictions as to thinking their diet or environment is ‘perfect’ and could not possibly be causing their symptoms, but to be open to the progressive diagnostics that have been available and proven useful for many years. One example is Genova Diagnostics…

Those who remain in denial… both physicians and patients alike.... will continue to suffer various consequences including autoimmune disorders which will most likely be treated conventionally with multiple drugs that don’t address the underlying problem because the gut is still leaking and neither the drugs or their side effects will act to improve the patient's health status.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 22, 2017 10:11AM
Hi Joe - yes, of course. Adequate chewing and the production of natural stomach acid is always contributory to proper and effective digestion. People with poor dentition often have difficulty with digestion.

But, that's not the only factor. If you can't produce enough of your own natural stomach acid because of nutritional deficiencies, then food particles won't be broken down in the stomach and will cause GERD and other symptoms.

Food incompatibilities are definitely part of the problem as well.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 22, 2017 02:46PM

You said:

Liz - "on any given topic, there are websites that attempt to ‘debunk’ the findings practitioners of what I like to call, “enlightened, new medical practices” that go beyond the limitations of studies that so many like to hide behind. Some think that unless there is a published study proving or disproving specific aspects of the topic, then the newer treatments which tend to be drug-free and ‘natural’ are bogus. This definitely is not the case. But, the dogma of ineffective treatments."

I have seen you show published reports on other various topics to show that what you were posting was in fact correct. Yet now you are saying a published study proving or disproving is not necessary, so what does one believe?


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Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar;32(2):74-9. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000243.
Leaky gut - concept or clinical entity?
Quigley EM1.
Author information

This article evaluates the current status of the gut barrier in gastrointestinal disorders.

The gut barrier is a complex, multicomponent, interactive, and bidirectional entity that includes, but is not restricted to, the epithelial cell layer. Intestinal permeability, the phenomenon most readily and commonly studied, reflects just one (albeit an important one) function of the barrier that is intimately related to and interacts with luminal contents, including the microbiota. The mucosal immune response also influences barrier integrity; effects of inflammation per se must be accounted for in the interpretation of permeability studies in disease states.

Although several aspects of barrier function can be assessed in man, one must be aware of exactly what a given test measures, as well as of its limitations. The temptation to employ results from a test of paracellular flux to imply a role for barrier dysfunction in disorders thought to be based on bacterial or macromolecular translocation must be resisted. Although changes in barrier function have been described in several gastrointestinal disorders, their primacy remains to be defined. At present, few studies support efficacy for an intervention that improves barrier function in altering the natural history of a disease process.

Re: Dr Gundry The Plant Paradox
October 22, 2017 03:35PM
Liz - Sorry, I probably was not taking enough time to express my point about the "debunking" of leaky gut syndrome which is most definitely a valid condition. If you want to do some extra reading about the function of the intestinal tract and how health can be impacted when something isn't functioning properly or there are pathogenic influences or the microbiome is compromised, there are great books written by several well-known physicians which are outstanding.
It's well-agreed upon in Integrative/functional medicine areas of practice.

Gerard E. Mullin, MD, is an associate professor in the department of medicine as well as director of integrative gastroenterology nutrition services at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is an internist, gastroenterologist, and nutritionist and the only physician in the United States who is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine for Gastroenterology, National Board of Nutrition Support Certification, American College of Nutrition, and the American Board of Nutrition Physician Specialists.
Books by Dr. Mullin - [thefoodmd.com]

And David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM - Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition
and his book Brain Maker - The Power of Microbes to Heal and Protect your Brain for Life... (is about the importance of a healthy microbiome) [www.amazon.com]

The Second Brain, by Michael D. Gershon, MD, Gershon, who has been called the father of neurogastroenterology, is professor of anatomy and cell biology at New York's Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, has devoted his career to basic research on the nervous system of the gut. This is an older book but the neuroscience applies. Read more here: [www.scientificamerican.com]

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