Brad is Beating Cholesterol Without Drugs

The following was written by Brad Hibler after he read Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live.

I want to thank you for publishing your views! I recently (within the last few months) purchased your Eat to Live book (recommended by a co-worker) because my Cholesterol numbers were in the mid 300's. I never considered myself overweight or considered my self a bad eater. I really didn't snack on the so called junk food. I'm 6' and was 175lbs. I weigh in at 165 lbs now and have lost over 2 inches of belly fat--not the important thing... the important thing is; my numbers have dropped to what the medical industry calls normal! I am striving to get my numbers down to what you call good in your book.

In the beginning my doctor put me on Lovastatin. I took it for almost a month and got side affects that I didn't like so I stopped. I sure am glad there is an alternative to medicines to correct issues as I have/had.

Plus I don't get the low blood sugar feelings anymore and I have plenty of energy!

In short: "Thank you." I'm sure you hear that a hundred times a day!

Julisa's Excellent Diet Defeats Lupus

The following story was written by Rosario P. who lives in Clifton, New Jersey.

In March 2004, Julisa developed a rash and after consulting several doctors, it was treated as poison ivy with topical medications. When the problem persisted, we took Julisa to St. Joseph's Hospital in Patterson, 6108032618. Following many tests, including kidney DNA, she was diagnosed with stage-four lupus (end stage), and placed on immunosuppressive drugs and steroids, including prednisone, creating very difficult side effects for a teenage girl. Desperate for alternative treatments, Julisa's mother and I searched the Internet for lupus information and found Jill Harrington's book, The Lupus Recovery Diet. The book credits included Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and we made the first appointment in August 2004.

Dr. Fuhrman explained the benefits of natural, balanced nutrition and prescribed a completely plant-based diet to cleanse Julisa's system. Of course, we were very skeptical that a diet could have such a drastic impact on her condition.

About the same time we took Julisa to a kidney specialist at Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, who told us that she was facing kidney dialysis and placed Julisa on the national kidney transplant list. We struggled with the options facing her and the family. On one hand, Julisa would endure a weekly routine of dialysis sessions and eventual kidney failure, if a transplant wasn't found. On the other hand, she (and the family) would have to completely change eating habits -- no more pizza or cheeseburgers -- to comply with Dr. Fuhrman's program, and we weren't sure it was going to work.

Under Dr. Fuhrman's care, we finally decided to stop all Julisa's medications and treat her lupus with a plant-based diet. April 2005 testing revealed absolutely no trace of lupus in Julisa's system. Her kidney function has improved dramatically and continues to return to full function. Julisa recently celebrated her "Sweet Sixteen," with a healthy future and junior year in high school ahead of her. We all take every opportunity to tell other lupus patients and anyone we know about the miraculous results obtained from Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional approach. We are so very grateful to Dr. Fuhrman.

Healthy Diet. Healthy Pregnancy. Healthy Children.

The following story was written by Lori M. who lives in Statesville, North Carolina.

Dr. Fuhrman immediately struck me as being very knowledgeable, very committed to his work, and amazingly informed about how nutrition affects each part of the body and its specific function. My husband and I both converted to Dr. Fuhrman's plant-based approach to eating, enjoying a tremendous increase in energy levels, lower cholesterol, loss of excess weight, and we were able to conceive our first child. I enjoyed two complication-free pregnancies, no small detail, giving birth to our son at age 39 and our daughter at 44. While pregnant, Dr. Fuhrman helped tremendously with bouts of nausea, but there were no other complications.

I believe that our nutrition choices -- pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and as we introduced foods to our children -- have changed their lives forever. Because our children have always eaten a plant-based diet, they enjoy all types of fruits and vegetables and meal time is a pleasant experience. Neither has ever needed antibiotics -- no ear infections, allergies, asthma or persistent childhood illnesses. They do get the occasional cold, but quickly recover. My son is now a very energetic six-year old, but very well-behaved and not hyperactive. He has an excellent attention span for his age and excels as a home-schooled student.

I am so thankful that Dr. Fuhrman offers the option for telephone consultation, since it is very difficult to find classically-trained medical doctors who understand and advocate the nutrition component of disease prevention and natural living, without the use of medications.

Date Nut Pop'Ems

It is not hard to convince people of any age to eat Date Nut Pop'Ems, and they have so much more nutrition than the average snack. This recipe is from my book Disease-Proof Your Child. Date Nut Pop'Ems are also available for purchase.

Date Nut Pop'Ems
(3-6 Servings)

  • 1 cup of ground nuts: cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds (cashew butter can be substituted for the ground cashews)
  • 2 date coconut rolls or 3 soft medjool dates

Grind the nuts and seeds in a high-powered blender of coffee grinder to make a fine nut flour. I often use the back of a wooden spoon to crush the walnuts into a paste. Knead the date roll or mashed medjool dates into the powdered/crushed nuts. Add the cashew butter if desired and continue to knead until an even consistency. Mold into bite-size balls that toddlers can use as finger food. You can grind a large amount of the nuts at one time and store in the freezer for later use.

Dr. Fuhrman Discusses Vitamins and Supplements

In his books and in his practice, Joel Fuhrman, M.D. advocates eating foods that deliver optimal health. Yet he also recommends taking certain vitamins and supplements, like his Gentle Care Formula multiple. Here he discusses that recommendation.

Why Take Vitamins and Supplements?
Since most people's diets are not ideal and individual absorption and utilization varies from person to person, it makes sense to recommend that all people take a high-quality multiple to assure most favorable vitamin D, B12, zinc, iodine, and selenium status, to name a few.

Even if your diet is ideal, some people require more of certain nutrients than others. For example, it is not uncommon for some people to need extra vitamin D, or extra B12, even when their diets contain typical amounts of these vitamins. This is especially true regarding vitamin D because of the depletion of the atmosphere's ozone layer and subsequent increase in skin damage from the sun. Because of this, many people practice sun avoidance and wear sunscreen, which decreases their vitamin D production.

I also took into consideration my recommendation to avoid all salt added to food. Salt is iodinated, making it the primary source of iodine in most people's diets. Therefore, a multiple will assure adequate iodine intake in those who avoid adding salt to their diet.

Are there any problems with taking supplements?
The main problem with taking a typical multivitamin is that it may expose you to extra nutrients that you do not need. Sometimes too much of certain nutrients can have toxic or harmful effects. For example, I do not recommend taking supplements that contain vitamin A, isolated beta-carotene, or iron, because there are risks associated with consumption of these nutrients above what we receive in our diet.

Ingesting vitamin A or beta-carotene in isolation--from supplements, instead of from food--may interfere with the absorption of other crucially important carotenoids, such as lutein and lycopene, thus potentially increasing cancer risk. 1

The precursor to vitamin A, beta-carotene once was regarded as a safe and beneficial antioxidant and even recommended as an anti-cancer vitamin, but it has recently been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers when administered as an isolated supplement. Scientists now suspect that problems may result when beta-carotene is ingested without other carotenoids that would have been present had it been ingested from real food. Beta-carotene is only one of about 500 carotenoids that exist. Beta-carotene supplements are poor substitutes for the broad assortment of carotenoid compounds found in plants.

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Good News for Parents Who Are Tired of the Ear Infection Cycle

One group of people I thought about frequently as I wrote Disease-Proof Your Child are those families who suffer from the vicious cycle of recurrent ear infections. What we have learned from the best available research is that getting antibiotics from our doctor for typical childhood infections may not be so wise. Plenty of medical authorities agree that antibiotics are overused, and are of no value against viral infections.

Now we are also discovering that antibiotic use may predispose our children to more frequent and more serious infections.

The American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released joint guidelines for doctors advising doctors not to prescribe antibiotics for ear infections unless they are severely ill or not improving on their own in three days. These guidelines represent a major shift in policy and thinking by physician leadership.

Disease-Proof Your Child takes these guidelines a step further.

My new book instructs parents how to feed their children to increase their natural resistance to infection, and to prevent those allergies, runny noses, and frequent illnesses. I believe food is the most effective medicine to keep your child away from the doctor's office. In Disease-Proof Your Child I discuss hundreds of medical studies that document that what you feed your children in the first 10 years of life can have far-reaching effects of their health for the rest of their life.

If you are a parent or parent-to-be and want scientific guidelines to keep your child from getting sick frequently, Disease-Proof Your Child is a book for you.

Success for Twin Asthmatic Children

My experience working with asthmatic children has demonstrated that nutritional excellence enables the asthma to resolve in a predictable time frame and can routinely resolve even in cases when the allergies and asthma could be considered severe.

Jeff and Brian are twin brothers who both had severe allergic reactions. Soy milk, cow's milk, peanuts, corn, strawberries, cats, and dogs, in fact, almost anything set them off with severe skin rashes and breathing difficulties. It seemed they required daily treatment with inhaled asthma nebulizers just to survive. They were my patients since they were three years old. With my guidance, their parents worked very hard to raise them in a clean environment with little exposure to dust mites, and, of course, no cats. They took fatty acid nutritional supplements and ate a very healthy diet. By the time they were five, they had only occasional wheezing when they suffered with a viral illness, and by the time they were seven, their allergic condition had totally resolved. I can't prove their upbringing with superior nutrition resolved their very strong allergic tendencies, but it seems pretty likely that their eventual recovery and excellent health was the result of their wonderful efforts at superior nutrition.

The story of Jeff and Brian (not their real names) is from Disease-Proof Your Child by Joel Fuhrman M.D. To learn more about this new book, or to buy a copy of Disease-Proof Your Child, click here.

Josh Peterson, Picky Eater

In my practice, it is common for me to see a parent whose child only eates macaroni and cheese, french fries, chicken nuggets, pizza, and cold cereal with milk. Parents routinely tell me, "Johnny won't eat any fruits and vegetables!" Incredible as it seems, high-calorie, trans-fat-filled french fries are the most common vegetable eaten by young children today. Twenty-five percent of children eat fast food french fries daily.

The Petersons brought their three-year-old son, Joshua, to see me because his prior physician had prescribed twelve seperate antibiotic prescriptions for recurrent ear infections in less than nine months. Most often, within a few weeks of stopping the antibiotic, he was sick again with another illness. The latest advice from their pediatrician was to put Joshua on a low dose of antibiotics continuously to help reduce the incidence of these infections. I explained to them that for Joshua to stay well and not require antibiotics, he had to adopt a dietry program of superior nutrition. They laughed.

The Petersons didn't need me to tell them that Joshua's diet was inadequate. They clearly knew it. They did not think it was possible to get Joshua to eat healthy food. They were wrong. The followed my advice for reforming their picky eater and when they returned to my office one month later, they proudly reported to me that he was eating a diet of all healthy food. Importantly, they accomplished this without difficulty. We stopped his antibiotics, and he proceeded through that winter without any further ear infections.

When a family first brings their chronically ill child in to see me, I insist that the entire family come--both parents and all siblings--so that we can devise a new eating plan for the entire family. The focus is never solely on the ill child. For the ill child to recover, the crucial first step is for the entire family to make a recovery from their less than optimal diet style.

When the Petersons insisted, "Josh won't eat fruits or vegetables," I explained to them that all children would eat healthfully if ship-wrecked. True hunger is difficult to deny. If faced with limited options, they will gleefully eat whatever food is available, without intellectual gymnastics to get them to.

It is not necessary to coax them to eat or to eat healthfully. In fact, battling about food with your child is counterproductive. The trick here is to adhere to this one most important rule: only permit healthy food in your home. Children will eat whatever is available. They will not starve themselves to death; they will adapt easily and learn relatively quickly to like the food that is offered.

The story of Josh Peterson (not his real name) is from Disease-Proof Your Child by Joel Fuhrman M.D. To learn more about this new book, or to buy a copy of Disease-Proof Your Child, click here.

Prostate Cancer Success Story

A 62-year-old man, appearing to be in good health, came to my office in March 2003 with a six-month history of elevated PSA levels. He was very nervous about his probable prostate cancer.

Almost all men who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) or something like it will develop prostate cancer. There is no point in screening for it because if you are over 60 you most likely already have some prostate cancer cells in your prostate. If you choose screening, screen for the rise in PSA (PSA velocity) and ignore the total PSA number.

The good news is that even if you already have prostate cancer, it can be induced to grow faster or grow slower based on your diet-style. If you have a slow-growing, less-aggressive cancer, dietary excellence alone can offer tremendous assurance that your cancer never will become aggressive. I have observed numerous patients who have prostate cancer significantly drop and maintain lowered PSA readings through nutritional interventions.

Finding out that you have prostate cancer, and learning how powerful dietary intervention is for inhibiting this cancer, actually may save your life. If the fear of this cancer causes you to change your diet and lifestyle as I recommend, you will lower your risk of dying from heart attack and stroke as well. The prostate cancer can be the wake-up call for you to make the dietary changes you knew you should have made years ago.

If your cancer is aggressive, dietary excellence may cause it to become less so, and hormonal blockade can be very effective in slowing its advance. Prostate cancer predictably responds to dietary excellence, and with the addition of a few testosterone-suppressing drugs, even aggressive cancers can be put to sleep.

In this instance, my patient and I reviewed the four separate PSA tests that had been done during this six-month period, and they were all between 4.5 and 6.0. Some of the higher readings were earlier in this time frame. His internist, and the urologist he had consulted, were pressuring him to have a prostate biopsy.

I explained to him that since his PSA clearly was not going up over time, these tests did not indicate he had cancer. I also explained that PSA velocity--which notes the rate of increase of PSA over time, is a more accurate indicator of prostate cancer than the height of a single PSA test. We also discussed the fact that about 50 to 60 percent of men in their sixties have prostate cancer somewhere in their prostate, even those with normal PSA readings, so it would not be a surprise if his biopsy did show cancer.

Since his PSA did not show a steady increase, but varied up and down erratically, my opinion was that his elevated PSA was the result of benign prostate enlargement. Nevertheless, prostate cancer could be hidden in there.

I informed him that even if the biopsy did find cancer, it wasn't likely he could have an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and since his PSA was not climbing, there was no need to rush to do anything. From my perspective, his PSA readings were reassuring, not alarming.

He followed my nutritional protocol for prostate cancer, and three months later his PSA had dropped down to the 3.5 to 4 range. He was thrilled with the results of this approach, especially when he found his LDL cholesterol had dropped from 189 to 124 as well.

He continues to visit me as a patient two to three times a year. He is doing great, and his health improves with every passing year. His PSA level now runs 3 to 3.5. We still don't know for sure that he doesn't have cancer, but he is no longer worried about it.

This story is from the July 2005 edition of Healthy Times, Dr. Fuhrman's quarterly newsletter. Access to the entire catalog of Healthy Times is part of what you get when you become a member of