Additional Comments on more VegSource/Jeff Nelson anti- nut videos – April 2019

April 29, 2019 by Joel Fuhrman, MD

Jeff Nelson made 2 more anti-nut videos recently, forcing me to comment again.  It is clear the misinformation, distortions and false accusations are reflective of his undisguised agenda. 

I also would like to remind all that a Nutritarian diet has, at its core, the concept of maintaining low body fat with moderate caloric restriction, while consuming the excellent and complete spectrum of micronutrients, so I do not endorse overeating on any food, nuts included. It is clear, however, that fatty acid insufficiency can be a major factor causing disease, and this possibility is mostly ignored or denied by low-fat extremists. 

For many years, scientific studies have documented a link between nut/seed exclusion and cardiovascular death, but now Mr. Nelson has taken the initiative to, as he says, “put the final nail in the coffin” of all those nut-promoting nutritional advocates like Dr. Greger and myself (Dr. Fuhrman) who have been hoodwinked into believing bad, falsified and otherwise meaningless studies that show that eating nuts is healthful and lifespan-promoting. He is out to prove nuts and seeds are dangerous. 

And now, he claims he has “proof” that nuts are bad, from a person he interviewed who used a pulse wave velocity machine after eating nuts, that demonstrated a reduced pulse-wave velocity after eating nuts. He never even mentioned that a transient decrease in pulse-wave velocity occurs after every large meal, regardless of its macronutrient composition (a meal of carbohydrate would have this effect also), and that the instructions from the manufacturer for this equipment instructs it is only accurate in the post-absorptive or non-digestive stage. This finding means nothing. He is so jubilant about the negative finding here, which clearly shows his distorted bias, or he would have tempered his enthusiasm with the reality that a temporary decrease in arterial elasticity after a meal, when blood is shunted from peripheral vessels to the digestive tract, is not indicative of long-term vessel damage or loss of elasticity. In fact, studies with large numbers of people (not just one) show nuts benefit vessel elasticity. For example, Dr. Greger did review all the studies to date on nuts and artery function and concluded: “Therefore, eight studies to date have investigated the effect of nuts on brachial artery function; seven out of eight showed a significant improvement in arterial function, one showed a negligible effect, and none found nuts made things worse.”

It is important to address the other video attacking me and the value of utilizing nuts and seeds in the diet again, because as I said earlier—this is a life-and-death situation, and people can die from poor nutritional advice. At issue here is that quite a few studies (see table) corroborate each other and show a significantly greater risk of cardiovascular death and all-cause mortality in those excluding nuts and seeds. If these findings represent a true effect of nuts, it indicates that his low-fat, nut-avoiding gurus are offering very dangerous advice. Nelson denies the validity of all these studies and attempts to convince his followers that all this data, from every study, is either fabricated due to nut industry funding or just a meaningless association. He disrespectfully, and without any evidence, defames the reputation of some of our nation’s leading nutritional researchers at Harvard and Loma Linda, who he insinuates have been paid off by the nut industry to falsify this data. He also claims that since epidemiological studies do not prove causation, all this data can be simply ignored. Not only is it safe (according to him) to eat a diet with less than 10 percent of calories from fat, without nuts, but he is advocating that their inclusion is harmful.

Then Mr. Nelson repeats over and over again in his videos that it is likely why one of my severely ill patients died young—because she ate nuts, which he is lying about. It was explained in the article that this patient had bone marrow cancer and 3 heart attacks in a 3-month period, and 5 stents placed, with poor cardiac output and restenosis that could not be treated, and was over 100 pounds overweight and near death when she came to me in her early 60s. I consider her history a major success case, as she was enabled to walk again and live fully, and she lived well for another 15 years in spite of her heart issues and bone marrow cancer.  Of course, Mr. Nelson left out the details of her history, so he could claim the nuts in the Fuhrman protocol must have killed her. I guess hundreds of success stories of disease-reversal and recovery on my website submitted by patients and readers must also be faked, and I have been fabricating the thousands of patients I have cared for and reversed their heart disease and high blood pressure (with nuts in their diet) over the last 30 years, and made up all those case histories presented in my books and television appearances.

As the only one of these physician “gurus” who actually has been caring for patients in a full-time, nutritionally-oriented primary practice for 30 years, attending to people damaged by radical low-fat advice, it is a subject I feel strongly about as I have seen too many people damaged. He is insinuating that I am also fabricating data for money, and my 30 years of caring for this community of “wounded “ and, in many cases, permanently damaged (low-fat) vegans who have become depressed and demented is also faked, because I make money promoting and selling supplements, including a vegan DHA.  

Allow me to address some of his arguments and claims.  I think it will become pretty clear that the veracity of anything he says has to be questioned.

First of all – Nut industry Funding

Nelson talks about industry funding corrupting research and Marion Nestle’s book on industry funding in scientific research and plays clips from an interview with her. Certainly, industry funding can shape the questions researchers try to answer, but we can’t dismiss a study purely because it is industry-funded. Let’s look at some of the major studies in question and where their funding came from.  These are all of the studies on nut consumption and all-cause mortality that have been evaluated by the three most recent meta-analyses on the subject. As you can see, the results have been similar for those that had some nut industry funding and those that did not.


Funding sources


Fraser GE, Sumbureru D, Pribis P, et al. Association among health habits, risk factors, and all-cause mortality in a black California

population. Epidemiology. 1997 Mar;8(2):168-74.

National Institutes of Health

44% decrease in all-cause mortality for highest tertile of nut consumption[1]

Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Risk factors for all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality in the oldest-old. The Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 1997

Oct 27;157(19):2249-58.

National Institutes of Health

18% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality for nuts 5 times/week, 39% for death from CHD compared to less than once/week[2]

Mann JI, Appleby PN, Key TJ, Thorogood M. Dietary determinants of ischaemic heart disease in health conscious individuals. Heart. 1997 Nov;78(5):450-5.

Imperial Cancer Research Fund (UK)

Non-significant 23% reduction in risk for 5 ounces of nuts/week compared to less than one ounce/week[3]

Ellsworth JL, Kushi LH, Folsom AR. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Dec;11(6):372-7.

National Institutes of Health

12% decrease in risk of all-cause mortality in women consuming at least 2 servings of nuts/week compared to <1/month[4]

Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med 2001, 161:1645-1652.


National Institutes of Health

Nut consumption 5+ servings/week associated with 2.74 extra years of life in men, 1.87 years in women[5]

Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH, Andersen LF, Jacobs DR Jr. Health benefits of nuts:

potential role of antioxidants. Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S52-60.

Research Council of Norway, Throne Holst Foundation,  Norwegian Cancer Society

Nuts 5+ times/week associated with 11% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality compared to <1/week[6]

van den Brandt PA. The impact of a Mediterranean diet and healthy lifestyle on premature mortality in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):913-20.

Dutch Cancer Society

8% for men and 5% for women lower risk in 75th percentile of nut intake compared to 25th percentile[7]

Baer HJ, Glynn RJ, Hu FB, et al. Risk factors for mortality in the nurses' health study: a competing risks analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2011, 173:319-329.


National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society

2+ servings of nuts per week associated with 14% lower all-cause mortality risk vs. little to none; also 14% decrease in CVD mortality[8]

Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2013, 369:2001-2011.

National Institutes of Health, International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation

15% lower risk of all-cause mortality for 5-6 servings/week; 20% reduction for 7 or more servings/week; 9% for cancer death, 24% for heart disease for 2+ servings/week[9]

Levitan EB, Lewis CE, Tinker LF, et al.

Mediterranean and DASH diet scores

and mortality in women with heart failure: The Women's Health Initiative. Circ Heart Fail. 2013 Nov;6(6):1116-23.

National Institutes of Health

14% decrease risk of all-cause mortality in 4th quartile of nut consumption compared to 1st..[10]

Guasch-Ferré M, Bulló M, Martínez-González MÁ, et al.; PREDIMED

study group. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Med. 2013 Jul 16;11:164.

Spanish Ministry of Health, Centre Català de la Nutrició de l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans; the research institution which employed some of the authors had previously received funding from the International Nut and Dried Fruit Foundation; one author was a nonpaid member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the California Walnut Commission.

39% lower mortality risk for 3 or more servings of nuts/week[11]

Hshieh TT, Petrone AB, Gaziano JM, Djousse L. Nut consumption and risk of mortality in the Physicians' Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2015, 101:407-412.


National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; one author declared a conflict of interest – had previously received a grant from the California Walnut Commission

24% reduction in all-cause mortality risk for 5+ servings/week[12]

Luu HN, Blot WJ, Xiang YB, et al. Prospective Evaluation of the Association of Nut/Peanut Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med 2015.


National Cancer Institute

U.S. cohort: 21% reduction in risk

Shanghai cohort: 17% reduction in risk in highest (>18.45 g/day) vs. lowest (<0.95 g/day) quintile of nut consumption; 38% reduction in risk of death from IHD[13]

van den Brandt PA, Schouten LJ. Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol 2015.


No external funding

Netherlands cohort: 23% risk reduction for 10+ g/d vs. 0 g/d.[14]


I gave an example of a recent non-industry-funded study that found a decrease in all-cause mortality risk associated with nuts. He countered by saying it doesn’t count because there wasn’t a dose response, and because of the possibility of confounding factors (any time a study suggests a benefit for nuts, he will bring up confounding factors). I have to reiterate that the three most recent meta-analyses did, in fact, report a dose response for all-cause mortality. Nelson leaves out any data that contradicts his agenda. Even a few weeks back a new NIH-funded, Harvard-based study published in Circulation research showed a 34% decreased death rate from cardiovascular disease in diabetics eating more tree nuts.[15] Good thing we have Jeff Nelson around to debunk all this fake news published by all these lying Harvard researchers. 

He claimed I was citing “old, weak association” studies

I cited studies from the 1990s and early 2000s, such as the Adventist Health Study and Iowa Women’s Health Study. What he neglects to acknowledge is that these are the studies that suggested cardiovascular benefits for nuts before there was any funding from the nut industry. That’s part of the point in citing those. He sees that some of the early studies were done by Gary Fraser, and assumes they were funded by the nut industry, but that is incorrect. This was before the nut industry was funding any of his research.

The Adventist Health Study-1 started in 2004 and has concluded. The Adventist Health Study-2 recruited participants from 2001-2007 and is ongoing, and findings have been published as recently as October 2018.[16] Nelson refers to it as “old data,” which is  not true.

Tharrey M, Mariotti F, Mashchak A, et al. Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Oct 1;47(5):1603-1612.

There was no nut industry funding for this recent publication. AgroParisTech Foundation, ADEPRINA/AgroParisTech, (research institutions in France) and the National Institutes of Health funded this research. The Adventist Health Study-2 is the longest running and most threatening study to his point of view, because it divides the consumption into 5 different quintiles in an Adventist population, many of whom are vegetarians and vegans. The same study shows eating animal protein also increases cardiovascular death. 

Confounding factors

For any study I cite that suggests a benefit for nuts, Mr. Nelson will dig into the discussion section, where the limitations of the study are discussed, and pull out the authors’ statements about the potential for additional confounding factors or existing factors they may not have been able to adequately control for. Every epidemiologic study on a dietary factor that finds a significant association will say something like that. Researchers need to do this, and it is true that the 39% increase risk of cardiovascular death may be off somewhat, maybe if all the potential cofounders were adequality taken into account the risk increased risk of death may have only been 35%, but that does not make the association and every epidemiologic study worthless.

When you are studying humans, there is always the possibility that there was another statistical adjustment that would have made the data more accurate, not worthless. Plus, some studies are drawing from more complete dietary and other background data than others.

Then he’ll say that it’s only an “association study” as opposed to a randomized controlled trial. The advantage of a prospective cohort study is that the sample sizes can be larger and the study can run much longer than most RCTs. Most RCTs won’t be able to run long enough to get enough data to evaluate mortality.

He mentions the Cochrane review of RCTs again and distorts the findings and purpose. The Cochrane analysis[17]  attempted to find sufficient randomized controlled trials to support the long-term prospective studies and found a lack of such trials. The review looked for RCTs longer than 12 weeks that reported on death or cardiovascular events and as the authors stated, “none of the studies identified reported on deaths or cardiovascular events,” so they could not come to a conclusion. The fact that this investigation did not corroborate the Adventist and other long-term trial is meaningless. We still have to make a judgement based on the studies that presently exist.

Then he claims to have found a recent (2018) study that contradicts cardiovascular benefits of nuts. It didn’t.[18] 

Larsson SC, Drca N, Björck M, et al. Nut consumption and incidence of seven cardiovascular diseases. Heart. 2018;104(19):1615-1620.

The researchers state  “Nut consumption was inversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and abdominal aortic aneurysm in the age-adjusted and sex-adjusted analysis. However, adjustment for multiple risk factors attenuated these associations and only a linear, dose-response association with atrial fibrillation (ptrend=0.004) and a non-linear association (pnon-linearity=0.003) with heart failure remained. Compared with no consumption of nuts, the multivariable HRs (95% CI) of atrial fibrillation across categories of nut consumption were 0.97 (0.93 to 1.02) for 1-3 times/month, 0.88 (0.79 to 0.99) for 1-2 times/week and 0.82 (0.68 to 0.99) for ≥3 times/week. For heart failure, the corresponding HRs (95% CI) were 0.87 (0.80 to 0.94), 0.80 (0.67 to 0.97) and 0.98 (0.76 to 1.27).”  

This study did find linear dose-response for atrial fibrillation, and a significant association with heart failure. So it certainly did not suggest that nuts are worthless for cardiovascular health. However, the participants in this study were not eating many nuts, which likely accounts for some of the weaker associations. The highest level of nut consumption in this Swedish population was only 3 or more times/week and only 2% of the study population reported eating nuts that often. Several studies had 5 or more/week as the highest level, or even 1 or more per day. On this topic, the authors note: “…the effect of nut intake on cholesterol appears to be non-linear with an effect primarily seen at intakes of at least 60 g/day.  As they explained, nut consumption in this study population was too low to have a meaningful impact on cholesterol levels.”

Mr. Nelson claims that because this study didn’t find associations for myocardial infarction (MI; heart attack) after multivariate adjustment, it is likely that previous studies did not control adequately for dietary factors. That is again not true. They used two different multivariate adjustments in addition to the age and sex-only adjustment. Multivariate 1 adjusted for education, family history of myocardial infarction before 60 years of age, smoking, walking/bicycling, exercise, aspirin use, alcohol, fruits, vegetables, and total energy. Multivariate 2 added adjustments for “potential intermediates of the nut-CVD relationship,” including BMI, history of diabetes, history of hypertension, history of hypercholesterolemia. The trends for total MI and nonfatal MI were significant in multivariate 1, but lost significance in multivariate 2. This reflected the small percentage of moderate and “high” (3x/week or more) nut consumers in this study: only 5% had moderate nut intake and less than 2% had high nut intake.

The authors also state in the discussion: “While results on nut consumption and incidence of myocardial infarction are inconclusive, the overall evidence indicates that nut consumption is inversely associated with mortality from CVD, in particular coronary heart disease. In a meta-analysis of 11 prospective studies, the HR of coronary heart disease was 0.76 (95% CI 0.69 to 0.84) for the highest versus lowest category of nut consumption.” Clearly, these scientists don’t think their data invalidates or contradicts the studies suggesting decreases in cardiovascular death associated with nut consumption.

Nelson’s claim that non-industry funded studies come to different conclusions is untrue.

Most of these large prospective studies (see table) were not industry-funded. I’ve highlighted the ones that were either industry-funded or had conflicts of interest related to the nut industry. Only one of these 14 studies did not find a significant association between nut consumption and all-cause mortality (Mann et al). If you can’t call this evidence “overwhelming” then you clearly have a biased agenda. If what Nelson is saying were true, we would expect all of the industry-funded studies to have positive results, and most or all of the non-industry-funded studies to have null results. That is not the case. Even the FDA, which sets a high bar for level of evidence and is extremely conservative about the health claims, permits a qualified health claim for using nuts and seeds to protect against cardiovascular disease. 

Mr. Nelson also brings up Dean Ornish as someone also advocating this extremely radical fat-phobic advice, which he knows is untrue, too. As I stated in the earlier response and Mr. Nelson knew, Dr. Ornish has always recommended high-dose fish oils to accompany his low-fat diet, before he began to include nuts and seeds in his program. Using fish oils as a major source of fatty acids in place of the fat from dietary seeds and nuts has not been studied by this research and is not in question here. Nelson has been, and is, advocating and supporting the view that neither DHA supplementation nor nuts and seeds are necessary or healthful.

In my 2010 review article on vegan athletes, my affiliation with and the sale of products and services were revealed when the article was submitted, contrary to what Mr. Nelson claims. The journal chose to acknowledge the affiliation “” right at the top of the article, but then clarified in more detail after a complaint was submitted.   

In conclusion, I take a more cautious approach to dietary and nutritional advice, even when data can be in debate. I make a thorough attempt to combine the preponderance of the evidence with clinical experience, while always erring on the side of caution, and moderating recommendations to meet the needs of each individual, which can be different. What is not discussed in depth here, but something I have addressed in my writings and lectures as well – is that telling people that an extremely low-fat vegan diet is safe and appropriate for all, and that nobody needs additional supplementation (with DHA) is irresponsible and dangerous. I will continue to fight against this contingency of radicals that has damaged the health of many with their radical agenda and philosophical rigidity. 

Addendum to this post:


Jeff Nelson published another video attacking me, disparaging the above post as being fake news and empty of substance.  He got very angry and lashed out. He tried as hard as he could to smear my name with false accusations. He also falsified the amount I charge for a 3-month stay at my retreat, to try to make me look bad. I have been the target of attacks by this contingency of low-fat extremists for years now—but I prefer not to mention names.  

Accusations include that I had in some way changed the results of a weight loss study to make it look better. The researchers in that study who made that small error, acknowledged it in an addendum to the journal, correcting the calculations and made it clear that I was not involved in such calculations.  The actual results of that study were still substantial, which should be the main point. My only part in this study was to open up my office charts so the researchers could review them and collect the data, I was not part of the calculations and statistical analysis.

As President of the Nutritional Research Foundation (NRF), I have done what I could to personally support the cost of, and raise money for, nutritional research that I deemed important. These studies are expensive. The sale of products at has been supporting such nutritional research.

To be specific with one of the main issues here, I have reported that I have encountered some vegans, not supplementing with DHA, who have become demented, due to what I believe was from DHA deficiency. I also have encountered a few who developed Parkinson’s disease and some with low levels who have developed depression. Finding a limited number of these people does not demonstrate how rare or how prevalent this problem is. Nor does it mean for sure that the low DHA levels was the cause of their dementia or other problems. Therefore, I was instrumental in funding a study through the NRF of 166 un-supplemented vegans to ascertain the answer.  That study, published in a peer reviewed journal, showed insufficiencies in about half and severe deficiencies in about a quarter.  These severe deficiencies were consistent with other studies that demonstrate brain shrinkage with aging with this level of deficiency.  Sure, more studies are always better, but we have to make a decision on the data we have and err on the side of caution.

I think this issue is critical for all vegans to be aware of. Even if it is one in a hundred or one in ten that gets harmed, it is still a needless event that could have easily been protected against. 

I do sell an algae-derived vegan DHA, refrigerated and without additives (as well as lots of other products and services) and I feel it is important that I do so. I am doing what I think is best for my clients, patients, family and friends to best protect their health and longevity, and make it as easy as possible for them to do so.  For those who don’t agree with my reasons for developing and supplying such a product, or think I am making up fake science and fake case histories in my writings, just to sell products and make money, they  have the freedom to adhere to whatever dietary and nutritional program they choose. 

I have a passion for doing what I am doing and feel blessed that I have the opportunity to help so many people recover their health and protect their future.  I am always open to learning more and modifying recommendations, should advancements in science show a better way.

I am not paid anything from the nut or seed industry, (but maybe they should start sending me checks), but I think the research demonstrates with clarity that people with and without heart conditions are taking a significant increased risk if they cut all the nuts and seeds out of their diet.  I have presented the evidence for this conclusion sufficiently. We have to go with whatever research is available at this time, plus my years of clinical experience in treating hundreds with heart disease over the years, supports the efficacy and safety of this method too. I have been in practice long enough to have followed these cases for decades and have watched these individuals grow old.  I am confident and proud of giving people what I think is the best advice to protect their future. 

Regardless if these attacks continue or not, this is all I am going to say on this matter.


[1] Fraser GE, Sumbureru D, Pribis P, et al. Association among health habits, risk factors, and all-cause mortality in a black California population. Epidemiology. 1997 Mar;8(2):168-74.

[2] Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Risk factors for all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality in the oldest-old. The Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 1997 Oct 27;157(19):2249-58.

[3] Mann JI, Appleby PN, Key TJ, Thorogood M. Dietary determinants of ischaemic heart disease in health conscious individuals. Heart. 1997 Nov;78(5):450-5.

[4] Ellsworth JL, Kushi LH, Folsom AR. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Dec;11(6):372-7.

[5] Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med 2001, 161:1645-1652.

[6] Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH, Andersen LF, Jacobs DR Jr. Health benefits of nuts:

potential role of antioxidants. Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S52-60.

[7] van den Brandt PA. The impact of a Mediterranean diet and healthy lifestyle on premature mortality in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):913-20.

[8] Baer HJ, Glynn RJ, Hu FB, et al. Risk factors for mortality in the nurses' health study: a competing risks analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2011, 173:319-329.

[9] Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2013, 369:2001-2011.

[10] Levitan EB, Lewis CE, Tinker LF, et al. Mediterranean and DASH diet scores  and mortality in women with heart failure: The Women's Health Initiative. Circ Heart Fail. 2013 Nov;6(6):1116-23.

[11] Guasch-Ferré M, Bulló M, Martínez-González MÁ, et al.; PREDIMED study group. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Med. 2013 Jul 16;11:164.

[12] Hshieh TT, Petrone AB, Gaziano JM, Djousse L. Nut consumption and risk of mortality in the Physicians' Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2015, 101:407-412.

[13] Luu HN, Blot WJ, Xiang YB, et al. Prospective Evaluation of the Association of Nut/Peanut Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med 2015.

[14] van den Brandt PA, Schouten LJ. Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol 2015.

[15] Liu G, Guasch-Ferré M, Hu Y, et al. Nut Consumption in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus. Circ Res. 2019 Mar 15;124(6):920-929.

[16] Tharrey M, Mariotti F, Mashchak A, et al. Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort. Int J Epidemiol.

2018 Oct 1;47(5):1603-1612.

[17] Martin N, Germanò R, Hartley L, et al. Nut consumption for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD011583.

[18] Larsson SC, Drca N, Björck M, et al. Nut consumption and incidence of seven cardiovascular diseases. Heart. 2018 Oct;104(19):1615-1620.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, seven-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his longevity-promoting, nutrient dense, plant-rich eating style.
For over 25 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, and through his books and PBS television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.


Comments (0):



05/01/2019 03:07 PM

Ok, I just have to say that this whole thing is getting out of hand - expect a response now from Jeff.  Quite frankly, I see valid points on both sides of this debate.  There seems to be reasonable evidence that some successful populations throughout history have survived largely without nuts, some of them Blue Zone populations.  On the other hand, more recent research tends to support the eating of nuts, but it makes me wonder what confounding variables are in place.

My rule for myself:  If I want to make a recipe that calls for nuts or avocado (both high fat foods) then I make it and enjoy it, but I don't go out of my way to make sure I have a high fat food every day.  That's a rule that works for me, especially as a large volume eater.  If I ate nuts every day I'm sure I'd gain weight, at about 200 calories per ounce.

patrana replies:

05/01/2019 05:41 PM

Im 63 years old and i know pecans and sunflower seeds were a staple in my mother and grandmothers diet as she told me storys of how they would have starved to death if not for the nuts seeds peach trees and collard greens, they ate this way all their life and all of them were healthy slim and trim. In my own experience of raising 7 kids and being poor we ate a lotttt of beans and rice and i can tell you we were all very healthy in fact we looked more healthy than the average person of that time and i have the pictures to prove it, our hair and skin glowed with radiance, i guess now they going to say beans are not healthy, all i can say is thank God for  beans and thank God for them nuts. I eat nuts every day and im losing weight steadily, you simply have to be disaplined with them or either dont have them at all. Food is not the boss of me im the boss of food !


Gumbi replies:

05/01/2019 06:06 PM

Certainly populations have lived healthfully without nuts - this is not evidence, however, that adding nuts/seeds to that diet would not enhance it.

bettereveryday replies:

05/03/2019 12:52 AM

This is a waste of time debate as far as I can see.  Jeff is intentionally trying to come against the character of these two doctors.  His comments were so ridiculously insulting and so inflammatory.  Dr. Greger and Dr. Fuhrman deserve so much better treatment.  How many times did Jeff exaggerate about what Dr. Greger said?  He kept saying that Dr. Greger was exaggerating and kept acting as if Dr. Greger doesn't know the difference between a survey and the studies of his dear, dear friends.  Pitting these men against each other is so devastating to me.  If these men aren't on the same team trying to save the health of the world, it will be the industry voices and other dietary styles, which win.    The Adventists are a Blue Zone community.  They are a Blue Zone community where the people lived longer when they ate nuts and once there is a Blue Zone of some of the oldest people in the world and they live longer if they eat nuts, then causing division in this movement over nuts is nuts.  Eat nuts if you feel like it and don't eat nuts if you don't feel like it, but don't trash the reputation of innocent doctors.  It is in poor character to try to destroy the reputation of the doctor who helped you with a film.   It is in poor character to act like Dr. Fuhrman was doing something deceptive that his patient died around the time the survey results were released and it is seriously in poor character to "out" an anonymous study person without verifying it in the first place.  Jeff acting as if Dr. Fuhrman's diet isn't as healthy as the SAD and saying sentences like "Am I going to always have to clean up after Michael? Apparently so." with such ridiculously condescending tones about doctors who have millions of followers when he didn't even get one "like" on his own website and Dr. Greger just got his 100 millionth view on his YouTube Channel alone is someone who missed the mark by ten thousand miles.  Dr Fuhrman is a six-time best selling author and he is a board-certified physician.  Treating him with disrespect is not called for.  If Dr. Fuhrman pointed to Steve Jobs and said, "Geez, I guess the McDougall Program is way, way worse than the Standard American Diet" that would be ridiculous logic and people would call him out on it.  But that is the type of logic half the world uses.  Anyone trying to pit Dr. Ornish and Dr. Esselstyn against these friends of theirs called Dr. Greger and Dr. Fuhrman is no friend to Whole Food Plant Based at all.  If this coalition dissolves over nuts, that would be nuts!  What is worse is that if new studies do come out which showed something different, both Dr. Greger and Dr. Fuhrman would be the first to switch positions, but this man is so self-serving that he would injure them and then would mock them if any study showed his side, but those studies haven't come yet and he is prognosticating that he is smarter than these doctors and boy, I wouldn't want to be the one causing division with these men.  Lives are at stake.

This reply was last edited on 05/03/2019 01:48 AM

vaporz replies:

12/03/2021 04:16 PM

Brimbporter, That's your opinion.  I stick to science, which undisputedly--through numerous studies --demonstrates nuts and seeds are life-enhancing and corroborates Dr. Fuhrman's statements.  Please show me the science that that supports Nelson's preposterous claims. Also, Blue Zone diets aren't optimal. A Nutritatian is.


05/01/2019 03:13 PM

Dr. Fuhrman,

Thank you for this careful, comprehensive, and reasoned response to Mr. Nelson. I found it very helpful. Studies of dietary components, and their relation to health, are notoriously challenging, often with results that will not be "definitive." But that is no reason to never do them. Similarly, epidemeological studies may only offer "associations," but these can be very useful (e.g., cigarette smoking and lung cancer) in understanding factors affecting health, esp. longterm health. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies may be the "gold standard," but they are "golden" only in certain situations, of which short term testing of a new medication is the prime example. For many other questions of serious import for health, they are either impractical, impossible, and/or unethical. Limiting research to only those situations where such a study is feasible and ethical is reminiscent of the classic story of the drunk looking for his car keys only under a street light "because that is where the light is."

Finally, I share the concerns regarding industry-funded studies, since these seem to have favorable findings more often than those funded otherwise. However, if one really is devoted to challenging such studies, I suggest that nuts are--well--"small potatoes" when compared with research papers published on pharmaceuticals, new drugs in particular. The amount of fine print devoted to the industy associations of the authors of these papers can be quite lengthy indeed--impressive evidence of the ways possible biases can insert themselves into otherwise "neutral" research findings and their interpretation.

Again, good work, Dr. Fuhrman, and thank you for this valuable health information.



05/01/2019 03:24 PM

Thank you for this detailed article. Though our personal story is anecdotal, I can attest that the amount of nuts and seeds you recommend (and no extra for snacking) has been beneficial to me and my husband in our health and weight loss journey. I went from a size 24 to 6. My husband was a size 54 inch waist and 500 pounds (at 5’10”) and when he stopped eating meat many years ago lost over 200 pounds. But he continued to eat seafood and generally an unhealthy diet until June 2017 when his blood pressure was extremely high and he had an abnormal EKG. He had a 44 inch waist at that time. He was scheduled to have an echocardiogram due to these initial tests. He got 100% on board with the Nutritarian program and we got the 10 in 20 plan for HBP for him. We even traveled to NJ to hear you speak that summer because he was so motivated that I didn’t want him to lose the momentum. By August 27, 2017, he was off the HBP medication and his echocardiogram was normal. He now wears a 34 inch waist pant size and at age 57 just ran his first marathon, the Boston Marathon and was featured in our local paper as well as Runners World magazine where they stated he changed to a plant based diet. He has an athlete’s resting heart rate. 


05/01/2019 03:39 PM

Bravo, Dr. Fuhrman. As one of your thousands of success stories, you’ve reversed my heart disease. I follow a nutritarian diet, eat nuts in my salads and take your DHA/EPA supplement. With the trifecta of heart disease, cancer and dementia in my family, I’m not taking any chances, nor should anyone else! 

chen.cihong replies:

05/07/2019 07:54 AM

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05/01/2019 04:00 PM

Hi I really respect you Dr Fuhrman and I have personal first hand knowledge of buying into the claims of eating 10% or less fat to reverse and/or stop heart disease. Got Dr Esselytyne's book and Dr Ornish's book started their plans and after a few weeks I was so fatigued so my cardiologist and I decided to add nuts/nut butters to my plan and I felt so much better! I have followed you for over 10 years but was being persuaded by lots of dangerous stuff being put out there. I had gone Keto and within 3 months was hospitalized with AFIB. Just prior to this I had serious doubts that Keto was good for me and was going to ditch it and go back to a more balanced plan. Well my hospitalization confirmed my suspicions. At that point I was still having angina after exercising and so I went in for a heart caterization and my LAD was 60% blocked with very little blood flow and another in my RCA 60% but blood flow ok . Consequently one stent was put in the LAD. So I embarked on a very low fat, plant based whole grain plan, which resulted in the extreme fatigue I mentioned above. I have now incorporated seeds and nuts into my plan and my fatigue is reduced but still present (most likely the statin producing muscle weakness). I am so glad there are doctors like you that are out there ethically opposing these pseudo-science proponents and bringing logic and rational thinking back into the equation. I cannot believe I fell for the Keto madness that is also taking this country by storm and which I believe is so dangerous to so many people. I would very much like to see an article by you concerning this as well. Anyway thank you so much for your dedication to good health and well being and your care and concern for people to guide them to make the right decisions to "eat to live"! 



05/01/2019 04:05 PM

You should sue him for slander. 



05/01/2019 04:19 PM

Thank you so much, Dr. Fuhrman, for taking the time to write this strong, well researched and thoughtful rebuttle to the anti-nut guy. There's so much conflicting information regarding nutrition, from low carb to low fat, it's easy to feel insecure about the correct path to good health. I look to you and Dr Greger in particular to sort out fact from fiction, reason from insanity. You both combine good science with humanity and are deeply appreciated for that.  

This comment was last edited on 05/01/2019 07:25 PM


05/01/2019 05:35 PM

Dr. Fuhrman,


I genuinely appreciate this careful, detailed response to Mr. Nelson.  I was quite grieved by his videos and I have brain problems, which come from a lifetime of SAD diet and the last thing I need is someone confusing me about what to eat and who to trust.

I respect both you and Dr. Greger and hated that he threw both of you under the bus.


05/01/2019 05:56 PM

Thank you for this incredibly comprehensive summary of the nut research, and for providing such a helpful explanation of the wave velocity test. It is disappointing to see so much energy and so many resources being used trying to dissuade the plant-based community from enjoying the benefits of nuts and seeds. Whole plant foods are nutrient dense and filled with powerful phytochemicals that protect health. We are well advised to consume a variety of them, including moderate amounts of nuts and/or seeds, without overconsuming calories.  We are a small enough community that being respectful to others, in spite of our differences, and in celebration of our shared passions, will help make this world a healthier, more compassionate place. If we are going to use precious energy and resources trying to discredit others, we might want to focus on those pushing diets that maximize animal products, and minimize healthy plant foods. 

Gumbi replies:

05/01/2019 06:09 PM

Indeed - the simple message of "eat more plants! [nuts + seeds are OK too!]" is getting lost in the mire at this stage.

This reply was last edited on 05/01/2019 06:09 PM

chen.cihong replies:

06/02/2019 03:04 AM

2 comments by Jeff Nelson: 

1. "One more comment - Dr. Fuhrman does not appear to understand the Pulse Wave Velocity test. In his article, he wrote (about me):

"'And now, he claims he has 'proof' that nuts are bad, from a person he interviewed who used a pulse wave velocity machine after eating nuts, that demonstrated a reduced pulse-wave velocity after eating nuts. He never even mentioned that a transient decrease in pulse-wave velocity occurs after every large meal, regardless of its macronutrient composition.'

"Dr. Fuhrman mistakenly believes that a 'reduced pulse-wave velocity' is a bad thing, and he says that Augusto would experience a 'decrease in pulse-wave velocity' by simply eating a meal, which is true. So Dr. Fuhrman is in fact further showing that nuts harm arterial flexibility. How the PWV test works - a fast wave speed is BAD. Stiff arteries makes the pulse travel FASTER. With arteries which are elastic and flexible, the wave moves MORE SLOWLY, because the flexibility of the arteries absorbs some of the wave and reduces the speed. The fact is, Augusto's PWV speed INCREASED after nuts, meaning the arteries got STIFFER and the wave travelled faster. Dr. Fuhrman has it backwards, because he doesn't know much about this test. That's fine, he doesn't use it and may not need to know. But his defense is nonsense, based on a misunderstanding of how this test works. A decrease in arterial elasticity leads to a FASTER PWV. The fact that food might slow the wave a little shows even more clearly that nuts were having a negative impact on Augusto's arteries, because despite any slow down from the food (which is good), his PWV speed increased due to the nuts (which is bad).  To learn more, see:

"This is a fascinating test and Dr. Esselstyn is exploring getting a group of volunteers and doing tests here in the US with people eating a healthy vegan diet, in order to identify how different foods impact arterial elasticity."

Source: comments section of 
2. "One more comment - perhaps because people in the US are not that familiar with Pulse Wave Velocity, you should appreciate it is a VERY REMARKABLE achievement that Augusto achieved an estimated age of his arteries at 20 years old, more than 20 years below his calendar age. That is huge. The limit of the machine is age 20 (if your arteries are younger than 20, the machine will give it a 20, it doesn't go lower). The real story in my video is: How could Augusto achieve an arterial age of 20? What did he do? What has he learned about specific foods, coffee, salt and so on, using the Pulse Wave Velocity scan?

"I understand that in Japan, where people in general eat a much healthier/cleaner diet than the Standard American Diet, it is rare for people to achieve even their calendar age with this test. Most people taking the Pulse Wave Velocity test get an age HIGHER for their arteries than their actual calendar age - not over 20 years lower, like Angelo. One example is a 45-year-old cardiologist whose has the arteries of an 80-year-old man, according to his test results. The man is obese. I think it could be very interesting to test people here in the US with this machine, to see what results they get. Your PWV score is highly and reliably predictive of heart disease, dementia and all cause mortality risk. Working to improve your arteries and get your the score lower can translate to longevity and good health.

"It's interesting that there is a fair amount of back and forth in the Comments over nuts and the effect of fat in nuts - possibly from people whose artery age may be a decade or more ABOVE their calendar age. In those cases - and they are probably the majority of people in the US, including many in the plant-based world, understanding and learning how to lower your artery age is far more urgent, than focusing on the nuts question. Nuts are almost a religion to some in the vegan community, like bacon is to some meat-eaters... If you've watched my other videos, we know from the literature that nuts have zero impact on heart health, heart disease or longevity - from highly regarded scientific sources like the Cochrane Review, which is unbiased and has a reputation far above Greger, Fuhrman or other outlets when it comes to accuracy and integrity. Cochrane Review found that there are no randomized controlled trials that show nuts can improve heart disease markers, or affect mortality. There's no evidence, beyond the nut industry-funded association studies that can't show causality. That is just a nut industry advertising gimmick, picked up and promoted by a few plant-based doctors."

Source: comments section of

• What Matters Most in Nutrition, Health, and Science

• Jeff Novick, MS, RDN's ( Top Tips

• What Matters Most


05/01/2019 06:05 PM

Thank you so much, Dr. Fuhrman, for your neverending commitment to truth, research and clarity.


05/01/2019 06:07 PM

Thanks for the article.


I understand you are frustrated at this stage, but I think it better you take the higher ground and not stand by that last paragraph. Just my two cents.


Thanks again for your work, plenty of references to check out in this one!

auntyoxidant replies:

05/01/2019 06:37 PM

I agree that the very last sentence should be edited. I totally understand the sentiment and I might have done the same thing, but experiece has taught me to avoid hitting below the belt. Dr Fuhrman's arguement is strong, caring and comprehensive. He doesn't need to muddle it with a low blow, even if it's a good one.


05/01/2019 07:00 PM

I am so sorry that one of the best nutritional scientists and medical doctor have to experience such criticism of their teachings.  However, such is the world we currently live in - filled with misleading and harmful lies in a multitude of domains.  I admire Dr.Fuhrnan's inner strength to refute such falsehoods and pray he find a source of refreshment so as not to tire out.  I and my husband have benefited immensely from what we have learned through this site as well as all the books.  A deeply and profoundly grateful nutritarian.  Keep well and at peace Dr. Fuhrman!  Vicki 


05/01/2019 09:17 PM

Dr. Fuhrman, you are defintely on the right side of the facts in this debate! I started my plant-based journey back in 1978 at age 19 with the Pritikin 80-10-10 "Regression" diet. Then, it was McDougall in 1982. Then, it was Ornish in 1990. These diets produced TOTAL-C < 150 mg/dl but my TRIG was always > 150 mg/dl and my GLU >100 mg/dl. 


However, as the evidence for higher fat plant foods started to be published in the late 90s and early 2000s, I started adding nuts, seeds and even small amounts of walnut and canola oil (to some recipes). Not only did I feel better, but it dramatically improved ALL of my biomarkers. TRIG came down to 64-80 mg/dl and fasting GLU dropped to the 65-85 mg/dl range. hsCRP is an amazingly low 0.51....almost too low to be measured. non-HDL-C, LDL and APO-B are also all in the optimal ranges. My A1C also came down.


Since then, I have conducted many measured experiments on my own body and have even found that extracted oils, especially walnut oil, can dramatically improve biomarkers, even in as little 90 minutes after consumption! So, I'm gonna go one step further than the recommemndation to include whole nuts and seeds in the diet and recommend that people should not feel guilty for judicious use of high-ALA, expeller-pressed extracted oils in certain recipes if they can substantially enhance the eating experience and satiety. I find that the satiety and the "staying power" of such a meal is so greatly improved by these additions that I actually eat fewer calories overall throuhgout the day (or maybe even burn more calories?) and simply end up maintaining my super lean and fit 5', 8.5", 138 lbs 60 years of age. My 33 year old athelete son is always pi$$ed off when I weigh in with 4-7 points less bodyfat than he has! LOL. Awesome. 


In closing, I'd like to end with an RCT that I haven't seen any of the diet gurus post but lends very strong credibility to my argument that even judicious use of certain extracted oils can improve an already stellar Nutritarian WFPB diet.




This comment was last edited on 05/01/2019 09:25 PM


05/01/2019 09:48 PM

Wow what a full and complete article. You have to be nuts to not eat nuts. Love them, but not too much else feel bloated. 


05/02/2019 01:43 AM

Isn't the real issue fats rather than just nuts?  Nelson never specifies what it is in nuts he claims are risky.  I want him to say what % of our diet shoild be fats and which fats he recomends,  Or, if he thinks it is some other nuturents in nuts are dangerous, he should give us the details.  I have been a 95% nutritarian for 6 1/2 years, with the sole exceptions of fish 2 times/week or so and small maounts of chicken 2-3 times/month.  I am 82, very physically active and am in great health.  Six and a half years ago I was 20 lbs above my desired wwight; not a serious problem, but I didn't like the start of a midsection spread. Now, I am at the same weight, 154, I was when I rowed lightweight crew in college 63 years ago.  


05/02/2019 10:51 AM

Nutrition professionals all read the same studies, but Mr. Nelson dishonestly and intentionally misinterprets data and conclusions to support his bias.   He fraudulently holds out (dis) information that most people don’t directly vet and knowingly exploits the public’s credulity for personal gain.  This is shameful, self-promotion disguised and camouflaged within skewed and distorted science.  It’s a dishonest position that places personal and tribal gain over the best interest of others.


Any rational, intelligent person whom takes the time to actually read the studies that Mr. Nelson cites to support his low-fat evangelical dietary extremism (and also those studies he dismisses and why) will easily see that his position and those of his ilk are laughable in the extreme.  Willful ignorance is still ignorant.


It is the consensus view of the rational scientific community that Omega-3 DHA-EPA deficiency can cause brain shrinkage and dementia.  More importantly, Nelson and his ilk are discounting this within the vegan diet consuming population.  Vegans are uniquely at risk for the damaging effects of insufficient essential fatty acid consumption.  This is because EFAs are much less ubiquitous in a vegan diet as compared to omnivores’ diets.  And, most important, upwards of 60% of people consuming a vegan diet cannot synthesize sufficient DHA from the ALA found in seeds and nuts.  So again, the science overwhelmingly supports the majority of vegans need DHA supplementation.  Yet, quite hypocritically, Nelson claims those that promote EFA supplementation as being the sole motivation for their position.  This is tantamount to saying those that promote the consumption of citrus fruits only do so because they ‘believe in’ vitamin C.  He would rather take a chance with people’s lives and brains, rather than invite a simple blood test or a low dose of supplementation, as does Dr. Fuhrman.


The disgusting ad hominem attacks by Nelson on Drs. Greger and Fuhrman have no place in the marketplace of ideas.  Anyone that needs to sink to the level of personal attacks clearly loses all credibility.  Nelson completely and fraudulently puts words in the mouths of nutrition titans such as Dr. Ornish and skews the positions of others within the rational, health-promoting community.  But worse, and this is a despicable low which reveals the level of Nelson’s depravity and desperation, is his attempt to create a nexus between Dr. Fuhrman’s care and recommendations and a patient’s untimely death.   Everyone knows that patients whom seek Dr. Fuhrman’s care are often from a very sick patient population.  Patients commonly present to his offices with profound medical complexities and comorbidities.  As this case was part of a published study, Nelson intentionally omits the fact this patient had a protracted, significant medical history of heart disease and multiple heart attacks.  To omit this relevant information is once again typical of Nelson’s deceit.  Ironically, he discounts major studies’ findings because of confounders!  What a dishonest hypocrite.  His accusations regarding the care of a patient Dr. Fuhrman treated are disgusting.  Nelson is an embarrassment to himself and the health-promoting community.  Nelson is a flat out liar, period.  It’s sad that a coattail riding English teacher may influence the future well-being and health of people with his self-serving, disease promoting rhetoric.  #NelsonDeceit


Mr. Nelson frequently cites the dietary recommendations of Dr. John McDougall.  It’s very easy to see why.  All you have to do is follow the network.  Their group, Vegsource, hosts conferences and other promotions that pander to the like-minded and promotes only the extreme viewpoints of a very limited group.


In looking more closely at Mr. Nelson’s dangerous positions I came across a video of a recent interview of Dr. McDougall.  I was saddened to see the good doctor clearly displaying the signs and symptoms of dementia.  Dr. McDougall is only 71 years old when that video was filmed.   It’s well known dementia is one of the main health risks faced by those that intentionally omit nuts, seeds and EFA supplementation from the vegan diet.  While I have not always agreed with everything Dr. McDougall promotes I have always respected him for his sincere dedication to help his patients.  It’s always sad to see an icon fall.  But as a wise man once said: live by the sword, die by the sword.   I wish John McDougall well.


Take a look at this sad interview:


I strongly encourage everyone to look at the pertinent science for your self and not be duped by the lunatic fringe whom are out to support a self-serving agenda that promotes dangerous, unsupported dietary advice




This comment was last edited on 05/02/2019 07:45 PM


05/02/2019 10:30 PM

Thanks for having the courage to challenge these individuals pushing advice which the best available evidence does not support. I have successfully reduced heart disease with a vegan nutritarian diet that includes nuts.  I chose to include them because they are satisfying and the evidence says they will increase my probability of recovering and maximizing my health. Without your writings on this topic it is possible that I could have made a different wrong decision. Thanks for doing what you do.


05/03/2019 01:25 PM

i agree that nuts are healthy if you can have them.  There are some legitimate exceptions where it makes sense to avoid nuts.  People diagnosed with tree nut and/or peanut allergies who are at risk of anaphalactic shock which could lead to death.  

Nuts are also high in calcium oxalate so for example kidney stone patients may avoid high oxalate foods such as nuts. 


Seeds are a good alternative  for those who have issues with nuts.


05/04/2019 04:43 PM

I have seen the youtube videos which talk about the so called biased research on nuts paid for by the nut industry. This can make it very confusing for people trying to eat healthfully. There are fat soluble vitamins and other phytonutrients in plants that need some fat in the diet for better absorption and the one source of healthy fats is from nuts and seeds. 


05/04/2019 04:49 PM

I wouldn't waste another second on this guy, he clearly has an agenda and looks at eveything threw that lens. That's what I always loved about you Dr. Fuhrman you are open minded in your research. I trust you, and whenever I have a question about health I come to you.  I'm hoping there will be someone like you for pet health soon, so we can get the striaght unbaised info on how to care for our beloved pets. 

Mrs K

05/06/2019 10:57 AM

Unfortunately I see Jeff Nelson has another video going out on this subject later today.  Hasn't he got anything better to do with his time?







05/06/2019 02:19 PM

Jeff Nelson uploaded another youtube video in response to this article.


05/09/2019 10:06 AM

Dear Friends:  I am asking as many of us as possible rally together to combat the harmful campaign of bad information being promoted by VegSource, and it’s front man Jeff Nelson.


There are two main reasons why we need to reply to the unscientific claims Nelson and the VegSource camp are making.  Most important is the fact that the misleading advice poses a significant health risk to the public.  To advise those of us consuming a nutratarian diet we don’t need a source of DHA/EPA and the majority of vegans don’t need supplementation of essential fats put us at risk for the development of serious diseases.  The second reason is because of the disgusting personal attacks levied against Dr. Fuhrman.  Nelson and VegSource continue to ramp up the ad hominem vitriol.  They can’t support their position with credible science and good data so they attempt to personally deride Dr. Fuhrman, a practicing physician, researcher and thought leader that proves them wrong.  This is beyond bad form and is unacceptable.


Below are some links to YouTube videos.  I strongly encourage all of us that have a few minutes to post a comment(s) in opposition to both their message and their tact please do so.  We are the torchbearers of good science, truth and civility.


Thanks everyone.

This comment was last edited on 05/09/2019 09:46 PM

Jerry D

05/09/2019 05:15 PM

I just posted this in the comments section of the Nelson Youtube video.

Dear Jeff,

I watched your recent video with great interest in light of some correspondence we had a few years ago when I was the Executive Director of the Nutritional Research Foundation and organized a research study investigating DHA adequacy in vegans. We had reached out to you to find some vegans is some specific age groups who were not supplementing with DHA. At that time you were enthusiastic and supportive of this research. The study was carried out by a team of researchers that included a highly respected DHA researcher and authority. This study was published in a serious peer reviewed scientific journal. Your attack on this study is unwarranted and unnecessary. If you have a personal issue with Dr. Fuhrman deal with it and realize when you point a finger at him 3 are pointed right back at you.

The aforementioned study certainly indicated that vegans had cause for concern as two thirds of the sample tested sub-optimal for DHA. Also when supplemented they quickly returned to healthy levels. My take away was that strict vegans could have a simple fatty acid test (under $100) or be prudent and/or take a vegan algal supplement as a precautionary measure. For vegans to ignore this study would be foolish and perhaps dangerous in my opinion. My mother was a strict vegan who did not supplement for almost 50 years. Recently (in her late 80s and 90s) she has suffered from dementia and the possibility that this is due to insufficient DHA can not be discounted. I wish this information about DHA was available to us then and perhaps the dementia could have been prevented. I have known many others in this movement (I am past President of the ANHS and NHA) that have experienced similar issues. If you want to support those you claim to serve read the conclusion of the study which stated that this study indicated the need for further investigation (a larger sample). Your financial and other support to do this study would go a long way to show your impartiality and concern for this important issue for all vegans. Your bashing of the possibility is potentially harmful to many long term vegans as they age.

I have known Dr. Fuhrman for almost 35 years. I have personally recommended many people to him And I have often heard and seen the tremendous results his dietary and nutritional recommendations have produced. Your video contained untruths, half truths and a clear misunderstanding of Dr. Fuhrman's message and mission. I don’t think your personal attacks against Dr. Fuhrman serve you or our community.
I would be happy to speak with you offline and have a friendly discussion about these issues and how to bring our community together rather than further apart.
This comment was last edited on 05/09/2019 05:17 PM


05/10/2019 11:09 PM

I have had tremendous respect for Dr. Fuhrman for many years, and I find it disturbing that he is now the latest in a long line of decent people to be attacked/disparaged by Nelson.  if you want to know a bit more about the harms Nelson has inflicted on so many others --  read this article.


It is on those of us who care about justice and common decency to call out Nelson's bullying behavior. Please inform others about how Nelson has attacked so many good people over so many years. He also has tried to rewrite vegan history to serve his own agenda with this website -- and mislead others into thinking veganism is not about justice. (Apparently Nelson and Justice don't really go together.)


When a bully or an oppressor is causing harm to others, being neutral simply enables them to keep causing harm. Please don't be neutral - if enough people withdraw their support from whatever Nelson is part of -- his on-line stuff, his conferences etc this will reduce his ability to inflict harm.

This comment was last edited on 05/10/2019 11:10 PM


05/15/2019 12:11 AM

I hate that he is doing that process against you and Dr. Greger.  

I have had a question about Loma Linda and wish I had been able to ask before this whole thing so it wouldn't look like it was part of it.  The Vegan women didn't outsurvive the fish eaters and dairy eaters even though the men did.  Is it that the women weren't eating nuts?  Or something else?  Not supplementing B-12 or DHA or something else still?  I have noticed lately that a lot of studies like flaxseed studies, protected males from metabolic syndrome, but didn't protect females?  Is that information available?  I am coming over from Dr. Greger's site, where I have been for the past year.  I do have brain problems, but they came from a high fat SAD.  I have been a no oil vegan for the past year, but have had a handful of nuts and some avocado and flaxseed.  I do go back and forth between Dr. Ornish, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Greger, Dr. Barnard and I have also watched your videos and hate so much that VegSource is doing this, but I understand where his confusion about fat comes from.  Either way, I have been getting better mentally as I have lost weight and increased my nutrition and started supplementing Vitamin D and Zinc and correcting things to deal with homocysteine, blood sugar, etc.  


I just wonder if they showed whether the women vegan Adventists ate nuts and seeds or not.  I found something as if they ate alternative meats?  I saw a study talking about that but I couldn't find the whole list of food.  Just alternative meats, so I put sodium maybe on the why they died younger list.


05/15/2019 01:08 AM

I don't even know how to say how disappointed I am that Jeff has done things this way.  I have been following what I know as "Whole Food Plant Based" and I have watched movies and debates between you and people like Dr. McDougall and everybody was so respectful.  I genuinely developed a care for all of you and for the greater goal of healing people's health and I am so deeply grieved by what has happened.  I can't even fathom that Mr. Nelson would work with you and would be such close friends with Dr. McDougall and would know the heart of people like Dr. Ornish and his whole love relationship message and he would tear at the bonds of those relationships and pit friend against friend.  I did end up closer to a fusion between all of your diets - cyclically for no particular reason, but I came to Whole Food Plant Based with symptoms of Diabetes, Cancer, Thyroid problems and serious, serious brain problems.  I had horizontal nail ridges and was doing totally insane things.  I don't even want to say what I was saying and doing.  I don't know what is wrong with Mr. Nelson right now, but he maybe never grasped how powerful all of you working together have been and how beautiful it is that you were all able to communicate so respectfully together.  Yes, I have something like early onset Alzheimer's and get emotional and get confused when things like this happen.  It genuinely grieves me that he has done this.  Anyway, I hate the internet.  I have been online for the past year at Dr. Greger's site trying to heal and so far so good, but this whole situation is the type of thing which causes so much stress in lives.  


05/15/2019 03:31 AM

For the people saying to sue, I don't think that is a good idea at all.  


You have one Dr with millions of books sold and one man who literally had zero likes on his own site with this type of drama going on.  Jeff Nelson seems to have mental health issues and I say that as someone who used to have them and who now has cognitive processing issues.  He is processing information wrong and I don't even just mean the issue, which may be complicated enough to have differing opinions.  He has close, best friendship with someone who this doctor has been in a very longterm respectful relationship with and I am a person with a brain problem who may have missed a whole lot of cues, but I would have said that all of those doctors genuinely loved each other.  I watched them joke and debate and it seemed like real friendship and the kind, which gets even more precious with decades gone by.   I do not understand why this all happened like this.  I just know that it is those relationships, which now have to come together and heal and I am not saying Jeff Nelson and Dr. Fuhrman.  I am talking about a reality that when these type of relationships are torn by public drama, it is the symbolic languages which often correct things.  Dr. McDougall has been accused of having dementia by so many people and what I see when I look at his site is that he interviewed every highly respected friend that he could find and they showed up for him.  To me, that says more than any stones being thrown.  That spoke louder than if Dr. McDougall had argued back.  I know that I am not one of the parties involved, but it seems to me that there are a whole lot of kind-hearted peacemakers and those are the ones who everybody watches all of their videos on the internet.  Mr. Nelson, if you come here and read the comments, I know that you believe you are standing up for the truth, but you are like Germany fighting against too many enemies.  You took on Dr. Fuhrman and his millions of books sold and Dr. Greger and both of these men are sweethearts of a movement, which you are part of and somehow, if you are going to debate these topics, it needs to become respectful.  You reached out to Dr. Esselstyn about what a Dr. in Italy said to you and now he is in the middle of the internet war and you are putting Dr. Ornish in the middle.  I appeal to you to put down the stones and just discuss things with less drama.  I don't know if you really will read this, but if you do, I say the same thing that there are people who are such good communicators surrounding both of you and a white flag on your part and a change of how you communicate might be a good thing right now.  I haven't been at this walk very long, but I want people's lives to be saved and I want these doctors to be able to focus there.  That's all.


05/18/2019 02:32 PM

Thanks for posting these detailed rebuttals.  The topics of low fat vegan diets and nut/seed eating come up frequently on various forums I participate in and it will be extremely helpful to have the information you have provided to counter the low-fat group.   


05/20/2019 02:44 PM

Thank you Dr. Fuhrman especially for your statement "I do not endorse the overeating of any food". If I had followed that advice I would not have gotten a hiatial hernia and acid reflex  for the first time. I made a great veggie soup and this well known Dr. kept saying to eat as much as you want - "it won't hurt you".   Well, it does. Our tummies can only handle so much. Now I also should have used common sense and known not to eat the whole pot. I switched to healthy small meals - until comfortably full and the reflux went away. I don't "follow" negative people or those who use potty mouth language. Too much negativity for my system. I will continue to move forward for health with positivity. Thank again!

This comment was last edited on 05/20/2019 02:49 PM

miki n

06/06/2019 02:21 PM

Does anyone have a link to Fuhrman's study of DHA in 166 vegans?


06/10/2019 11:40 AM

I watched Vegsource's video about supplementing DHA and my question is whether Dr. Ornish used fish oil or vegan omega 3 during his Prostate Cancer study?   I also still wonder why the vegan women in the Adventist study died younger than the fish-eating women and the Lacto-Ovo women.  Did the women not eat nuts- if their nut intake was related to better survival in that study?  Did they eat nuts, but not supplement DHA so their Omega 3/6 ratio was off?  Did they not eat nuts and not supplement DHA?  Did they die of Alzheimer's or Dementia?  Those are my questions and if I could get the answer to those, that would be enough.  If Dr. Ornish was giving fish oil or vegan omega 3 to the men while reversing Prostate Cancer, then I would not be worried about it if I was a male who was doing Nutritarian or Whole Food Plant Based vegan.  Is it true that there are studies where males convert zero percent of ALA to DHA?  Is it true that we are less able to convert ALA to DHA as we age?  If I am understanding it properly, if we eat things like nuts and avocado, we probably do need to supplement DHA because nuts make that conversion less likely, is that true?  I am not sure you will get this message.  I hope so because I hate the process Mr. Nelson is doing, but I agree with him that if males are getting Prostate Cancer from supplementing Omega 3, then that would make the issue harder for me, unless it is just that, as long as I stay below 5% in animal products and don't use oil, is that enough to lower the rate enough to not have the DHA become an issue.  I have brain problems and I am trying to fix executive function, so I feel like I want to be supplementing DHA but I want to understand how big the risk of cancer is.


01/28/2020 12:38 PM

Re: nuts,seeds and avocadoes: I used to eat all these very regularly until I recently reread Dr.Caldwell Esselstyn's approach to preventing and reversing heart disease in which he is adamantly opposed to eating all 3. He says that these, along with oils, are the basis of damage to the endothelial layer of our arteries. How much truth,if any, is there to that thinking ?


10/05/2020 11:01 PM

Thanks for insights


This comment was last edited on 10/16/2020 08:22 AM