Michael: The most important principles of
diet as far as I’m concerned is to keep a steady stream of whole plant foods flowing
through your digestive system and thus through your bloodstream and thus through your tissues
day after day, week after week, month after month, bathing your tissues in all the wonderful
phytonutrients and antioxidants inherent in plant foods, and also supplying food stream
that is free of oxidized animal proteins, many of the free radicals that come from processed
foods, excessive sugars, hydrogenated oils and all the chemical additives, the flavorings,
colorings, preservatives, stabilizers, all the chemical soup in modern cuisine to free
your tissues of that toxic load and just bathe your tissues in a healing river of phytonutrients
day after day. And it’s hard to see how disease is going
to get a hold of your body in that way. And I think it’s the best, most powerful modality
for turning disease around, so whole food, plant-based diet. It’s a very long-winded answer but one short
phrase. I was a young general practitioner in British
Columbia in the early ’70s. And because I had adapted a plant-based diet
people who were raising their own children and themselves on plant-based diet would seek
me out. And I seem to be the team doctor for the vegans. And many of these young women would be pregnant. And because I was good at delivering babies
and had training in obstetrics I followed them along and had the pleasure of delivering
many of these babies. I did quite a few deliveries at home in the
1970s. I wouldn’t do that today. And when it came time for me to put the baby
in the mother’s arms and the baby began to nurse the mom would ask, “How long can I nurse
for?” A year or two, absolutely. What do we feed the baby after that? And I had to give serious thought to what
is required to have a healthy infant nourished all the way through infancy and young adulthood. And so I began make a serious study of childhood
nutrition. And I realized that human beings have been
nourishing themselves on plant-based diet since time began. They are doing so by the millions around the
world today. And it’s certainly theoretically possible
to raise a child on completely plant-based foods. They need same calories and proteins and vitamins
and minerals that adults do. So I had to think how could we be able to
provide those nutrients in a form that a tiny baby stomach could handle. Of course babies are nursing on their mother’s
breast for the first couple of years. But when it was time to wean them because
they have such small stomachs you can’t load them up with a lot of fiber, you can’t give
them celery and apples and lettuce. You need to make every mouthful tell. So for small children you have to have very
nutrient dense foods, bean spreads and nut butters and hummus spreads and foods that
are based on grains and legumes and nuts and seeds, and put into a pleasant tasting form
that a child will enjoy. And lo and behold, the children grew up big
and strong. I’ve watched now three generations of these
infants that were raised in plant-based diets grow into bright, strong, intelligent young
adults who married other vegan men and women who then had a second generation of vegan
children who I’ve now seen grow up, and they are now having their own children, and they
too are growing up big and strong and healthy. So there’s no question in my mind that a whole
food, plant-based diet works during all stages of life. And with some smart planning it’s not that
hard to raise a vegan child. Omega-3 fatty acids are a real issue. There are several essential nutrients that
are in short supply in a completely plant-based diet. And omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and
DHA are the most problematic. And of late I’ve run into some rather disturbing
studies that show that long-term vegans indeed can have insufficient amount of these long-chain
fatty acids in their brain tissue and other tissues. And so I recommend that everyone who’s nourishing
themselves in a plant-based diet be really aggressive in eating the omega-3 containing
foods, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, et
cetera. [0:05:09] But if there’s any question that they’re not
getting those types of whole food nutrients or they may have additional needs for them
or I see any signs of depression, dry skin, et cetera, I don’t hesitate to recommend 300
to 600 mg of algae-derived DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. And I think it’s a safe and reasonable thing
to do these days. I think it’s important to give it to growing
infants. And now I see it’s important to give it to
adults as well. I’m a fan of supplemental DHA unless a person
is obviously supplying their own needs without it. If there’s any questionable I’ll do a fingerstick
blood test and do a fatty acid profile and see exactly where they are and what their
needs might be. Indeed we’re talking about vitamin B12, the
cobalamin family of vitamins that are absolutely essential in moving methyl groups around,
turning genes on, turning genes off. It’s essential for nerve function, for bone
marrow and blood function. And it’s an essential nutrient that no animal
makes. B12 is made in the soil by organisms that
live in the soil by soil bacteria. And cows and sheep and dear and antelope and
moose and gazelles, they all have vitamin B12 in their tissues because they’re eating
grass all day and they’re pulling up clumps of grass that have soil particles clinging
to the roots. And in these soil particles are these B12-producing
bacteria. Now, the grazing animal will swallow the B12-producing
bacteria. The B12 is then absorbed and deposits in the
animal’s muscle. And if you kill the animal and eat its flesh,
yes, you will get vitamin B12 that way. However, the animal didn’t make it, the cow
didn’t make it, the antelope didn’t make it. This is bacterial B12 from the soil. Now, we, homo sapiens, human beings, we used
to get our vitamin B12 the same way. We spent all day in ancient times foraging
for calories. We’d pull up roots and tubers out of the ground
and eat them. And we weren�t washing them in chlorinated
water. We certainly would swallow some vitamin B12-producing
bacteria when we ate these unwashed vegetables. When we got ourselves thirsty, it was time
to get a drink, we’d fine the nearest stream and plopped down and then we’d drink stream
water. And there’d be B12 in the stream water. We’d wash into the water after every rainstorm. Animals would deposit it in the streams they
walk through. And so between the unwashed vegetables, the
stream water, well water, when municipal wells were dug there used to be same vitamin B12
flowing through our tissues with the deer and the antelope and the grazing animals. But welcome to the 21st Century. Nobody is eating unwashed vegetables. No one is drinking out of streams. And do the modern sanitation. The vitamin B12 has essentially dropped out
of the plant eaters’ diet. And it’s for that reason, not because the
plant-based diet is any more or less deficient in animal-based diet. Again, the animal doesn’t make these make
vitamin B12 either. I view animal flesh as just a carrier, a vitamin
tablet if you will. So I think it’s absolutely essential that
all plant eaters consume a supplemental source of vitamin B12 because we’re all drinking
sanitized chlorinated water these days. I see a great obsession and preoccupation
with people’s cholesterol numbers, their LDL, HDL ratios, their particle size. All of this is homing down on their lipid
profiles, trying to find that combination that provides protection against atherosclerotic
plaque forming in their arteries. But I find all that attention on numbers and
ratios to be misplaced. Cholesterol plaques do not form in the arteries
just because the cholesterol gets to a certain threshold of mountain. It just sticks to the artery walls. Those cholesterol plaques form as a result
of injury to the artery walls, repeated injuries in the form of oxidizing agent, cigarette
smoke, oxidized animal proteins, free radicals from fried foods, stress hormones, too much
sugar in the diet. All these chemical insoles injure the precious
endothelial lining that lines the arteries. And these repeated injuries are the first
step. Once the endothelial lining is injured then
oxidized cholesterol flowing through the bloodstream insinuates itself into the wall of the artery
[0:09:55] [Indiscernible] inflammatory reaction and the plaque builds up as a result of inflammatory
reaction. This is an injury. This is an inflammatory reaction not just
a passive accumulation cholesterol because your level is such and such a level. [0:10:10] And for that reason the body is perfectly
capable of healing itself. You’re constantly growing new endothelial
lining cells, your bone marrow is constantly putting out showers of stem cells that act
like paving stones and reupholster this endothelial lining. The body wants to heal. These plaques will regress. But you have to stop the ongoing injury. You have to stop cooked animal protein and
the free radicals and the sugars and the stress hormones and the cigarette smoke and all these
accumulated injuries. If you do that and then consume a whole food,
plant-based diet so your artery linings are bathed with resveratrol and sulforaphane and
all these healing phytonutrients, as the weeks go by and the months go by the free radicals
are quenched, the atherosclerotic plaque start to get smaller, the endothelial lining repaves
itself, and arteries heal. It’s a reversible disease just like infection
or broken bone. And so for that reason rather than prescribing
statins and other toxic agents what’s required is remove the injury and supply the healing
nutrients that the body is looking. And clogged arteries open up and angina goes
away and claudication leaves the legs and people wind up with clean arteries. And that’s a great marker for a long healthy
life. Well, type I diabetes is a virtual lack of
insulin because pancreas has been injured. The beta cells just are not putting out insulin. And these folks are going to have to be very
modest in the sugar loads that they consume and they’re going to have to be taking some
type of exogenous insulin in some form or another until pancreas transplants or other
stem cell wizardry can give them the ability to synthesize their own insulin. But that’s about 10% of the people with a
diagnosis of diabetes. 80% to 90% of the people who are pronounced
diabetic in this country now have type II diabetes. Their pancreas puts out lots and lots of insulin. The problem is that their insulin receptors
are all clogged up and they’re clogged up with the fat that they�ve been eating, the
olive oil, the egg yokes, the cheese, the meat fat. All these fats clog up the insulin receptors
from the inside. Fats accumulate called intramyocellular lipid,
it accumulates in the muscle cells. These clog up the insulin receptors. And it was the fats that were making Kempner’s
patients diabetic. Well, he put them on a very, very low-fat
diet. He basically fueled them with carbohydrates
only in the rice and the fruit. And when the body is given that kind of fuel
load it will burn that intramyocellular lipid for energy and the insulin receptors open
up. And whatever little insulin these people were
producing suddenly were fine. And for that reason even though he was giving
them substantial amounts of sugar to metabolize with open insulin receptors and their own
moderates insulin production they’re able to metabolize quite well. It’s the fat that causes the problems for
the type II diabetics, not the sugar. So Kempner took advantage of that physiology. Cancer of course is a very fearsome disease. And one can’t be too arrogant in the face
of this fearsome, fearsome medical field. That said, I’ve been fortunate enough to practice
medicine at a time where I’ve seen evidence that various types of cancer certainly can
be reversed. And I give my colleagues in pharmaceutical
medicine great credit, agents that have been involved especially in the treatment of childhood
leukemia and lymphoma. It’s such a comforting miraculous state that
we’re in because when I started medicine in the ’60s when a child got chronic myelogenous
leukemia or some other blood dyscrasia like that their days were numbered. And it was just so sad to watch children die. And now we can offer these children great
hope. Most of these leukemias are now curable. And to even use that word in the same sentence
with leukemia is a real tribute to our colleagues in pharmaceutical medicine. That said, however, childhood leukemias are
relatively small fraction of the malignant disease that Americans have to deal with. Far more common is breast cancer, prostate
cancer, lung cancer. Those are three most common cancers along
with colon cancer. Lung cancer, of course, the majority is from
smoking. And whether that’s reversible or not it’s
certainly preventable. No one should be inhaling hot smoke into their
lungs for any reason. [0:15:13] But when it comes to these other cancers,
certainly breast and prostate cancer, there is a huge nutritional component. These are hormone-driven cancers. They are driven by estrogens and androgens. And the milieu that makes these cancers more
aggressive has to do with accessible amounts of fats especially vegetable oils in their
diet — it makes tissues unstable and more likely undergo malignant change — a lack
of vitamin D, another stabilizing agent that will set the stage for malignant change. And the hormones that people ingest while
eating the standard American diet, all the estrogens in cow’s milk products and milk
and cheese and ice cream and yogurt are made from the milk of large pregnant bovines. They’re full of estrogens. There are estrogenic pesticides, estrogenic
hormones in meats and dairy products. And people are eating lots of dairy and meat
and chicken. They’re bathing their tissues with hormones
and hormone-like molecules that promote cancer growth. The same thing with men eating lots of testosterone
precursors and all their red meat. And realize also that meat, animal muscle
as well as dairy products both, of them stimulate the production of insulin-like growth factor
1. This is the most potent growth-promoting substance
known to biology. And people consume lots of meat, produce their
own IGF1. But if you’re eating cow’s milk products you’re
eating preformed IGF1. That mother cow wants to give their baby calf
lots of IGF1 to grow which is fine for a baby calf, not fine if you’re a woman with a breast
cancer or man with a prostate cancer. So you got this tremendous carcinogenic drive,
this cancer-producing dry from the American diet. Well, it’s now a very exciting time because
we’re finding that the very same nutritional program that reverses clogged arteries and
lowers high blood pressure, whole food, plant-based diet, now evidence is showing out there that
it seems in many people, especially with early prostate cancers, early breast cancers, have
the ability to pretty much stop these early cancers in their tracks for two reasons of
course. One, almost by definition those animal-based
growth-promoting substances are immediately removed when you adapt the whole food, plant-based
diet. Plus the phytonutrients in the dark green
leafy vegetables, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, and other ones are stabilizer and they have
an anticancer effect that stabilizes cell membrane. So between taking away the carcinogenic drive
and adding the stabilizing substances and correcting any vitamin D deficiencies, where
there are now many instances showing up of breast and prostate cancers being arrested
and even reversed. And at our very own clinic a TrueNorth Health
Center in Santa Rosa, California I was privileged a few months ago to have a woman come in,
a 44-year-old woman with a lymphoma. And she had lymph nodes in her groin the size
of pigeon eggs. And she did a 23-days water fast followed
by a whole food, plant-based diet. And right before my eyes those big lymph nodes
just basically shrank away. And we have the CT scans before and after
that show the marked reduction of lymph nodes. And her blood count has returned to normal. And granted it’s still nearly stages but we
have every indication that water fast followed by whole food, plant-based diet was very effective
in melting away this woman’s lymphoma. So there’s great power in these nutritional
modalities to deal even with something as fearsome as cancer. And I’m very optimistic for what the future
cam hold with these nutritional therapies for malignant disease. The older I get and the more I appreciate
the human condition the more I realize how much more vast we are than just this collection
of cells and skin and arteries and nerves. We are magnificent energy beings without sounding
too ethereal and too Southern California. [0:19:59] Someone said we are not physical beings having
a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a physical
experience here. And there are all sorts of clever plays on
that but clearly I see the power of the human heart to overcome adversity including overcoming
physical disease. I feel the desire, say, of this woman who
recently cured herself of a lymphoma — she came in with such an intent, “I’m going to
clear this out. I’m going to do a long fast and a clean diet. And I’m going to melt this tumor.” An indeed, there was her intent. The energy of her being I believe was by far
the determining factor in her resolving this malignant disease. And the literature is redolent with so many
examples of people who’ve hung on a desperate situation just on hope and determination and
force their bodies to go beyond what would normally be limits that normal physics and
physiology would impose. The importance we have of our connection to
each other — we are tribal beings. We do not do well without love in our lives. Again, it sounds a little trite or a little
hokey, but one of the most terrible thing that’s turning out that you can do to someone
— and the complaints are bubbling to the surface from the prison system — is put someone
in solitary confinement week after week after week, cut off all connection with other human
beings. It is probably the most extreme punishment
you can inflict on someone. It just shows how deeply we need each other,
how deeply hearts need to resonate with each other’s. It’s been known for a long time that if you
have little newborn babies, you don’t pick them up and cuddle them and give them tactile
demonstration of love and security they stop eating. They go into anaclitic depression, they develop
marasmus and they die. We are that love-dependent. And of course lack of love makes people do
sad and desperate things from use drugs to abuse each other. One might say the greatest disease of all
is lack of love, and that’s what this world is suffering from at this point as many popular
singers who’ve said what the world needs now is love sweet love. Just the only thing that is just too little
of. And it really is true. I see so many of my patients come in for sleep
problems. They want sleeping pills and antidepressants
and things for their aches and pains. The truth is they’re missing love in their
life. It’s really what they want those pills, to
make those ache go way of great lack that they have in their lives. And you want to reach out and give them some
love just to help them feel better. So I’ve been more and more impressed. You can give people all the antibiotics and
anti-inflammatories that you want but unless they love themselves enough to want to heal,
unless they have something to go back to, when they leave their office they have a community
of a stable loving family, then they’re kind of lost souls and physical medicine shrinks
in its ability to heal them. But if they have love, they have hope, they
had determination, then most of what I do become superfluous. The body knows how to heal itself very well. And it’s been such a joy in medicine to watch
the power of love and connection bring such magnificent healing into people’s lives. I used to enjoy eating out in restaurants. Not so much anymore. The more I’m aware of the adverse effects
of foods rich with salt and sugar and fat and what it does to my body I realized that
most restaurant food is precisely bad. It’s basically salt, sugar and fat. And very often as I’m leaving the Indian restaurant
or the Chinese restaurant I’m thinking to myself, “I’m sorry. I walked in here.” I’m feeling heavy and greasy. I know my blood pressure is going up. And so try to avoid restaurant food as much
as possible. But on those occasions, social necessity takes
me into a restaurant setting. I try to make it as least damaging experiences
as possible. And so I have a couple of strategies. One is that before I go out to eat I eat. I have salad and apple. I can hear my mother saying, “You’re going
to ruin your appetite doing that.” And I’m thinking that’s exactly what I want
to do. So I don’t walk into the restaurant famished
and polish off a basket of bread before the waiter gets there. And I will then look to find the healthiest
things I can on the menu. In the Italian restaurant I’ll find the minestrone
soup and the broccoli rabe and the side vegetables and the salad. [0:25:09] And that’s enough because I’ve gotten to the
point — I’m there to be with my friends. I have no obligation to stuff myself with
unhealthy food just because I’m in a restaurant. I’m a grown man. It’s nobody’s business what I order for lunch
or dinner. It’s not my business what they order. And I don�t want to make a big scene. When people have given their orders I don�t
want to stand out and say, “I’m vegetarian. I’m vegan. I can eat this.” I say nothing. I just catch the waiter’s eye or the wait
person’s eye and have him come over. “Show me the menu. This looks good. Can your chef make this without the chicken?” “Oh, sure. We can do that, sir.” “Can they make this without the cheese and
can you saut� the veggies in broth instead of oil?” “Well, we can do that, sir.” “Thank you.” Done. You don�t have to make a big scene out of
it. So you do the best you can, enjoy your friends
and get out of there as soon as you can. So restaurants can be a challenge but they
don’t have to be an unqualified disaster for your health. If you want to contact me I invite you to
go my website www.DoctorKlaper.com. And those are all spelled out, those two words,
D-O-C-T-O-R-K-L-A-P-E-R, one P in Klaper, DoctorKlaper.com. And if anyone like to contact me at the TrueNorth
Health Center where I’m working, the phone number in Santa Rosa, California, about an
hour north of San Francisco, is area code 707-586-5555. I do many consultations by phone but also
I enjoy doing Skype and FaceTime consultations. I love to see the peoples as I’m talking to
them. So I invite people to call the front desk
at TrueNorth and arrange such consultation. But please come to DoctorKlaper.com. You’ll find lots of articles and webinars
including the recent one I’ve just done, Thriving in a Plant-Based Diet. So come to DoctorKlaper.com and I think you’ll
find many worthwhile features there.