The Plant Paradox: Can You Trust Dr. Gundry?

Today you will find a guest blog article from our Director of Research, Michael Donaldson, PhD.  Please enjoy the wealth of experience and wisdom this article entails:


Michael Donaldson, PhD writes:

Here at Hallelujah Diet we are constantly seeking to understand health and nutrition. We know that we understand only in part. And we have made improvements to the Hallelujah Diet program based on continuing research.

So, when a book comes along from a vegetarian doctor claiming to tell us “everything you thought you knew about your diet, your health, and your weight is wrong,” we checked it out. The Plant Paradox, authored by Steven R. Gundry, MD, came with some recommendation saying that it might help us understand what was “missing,” or “why the diet may not work for some.” Well, we try to help as many people as want to try the Hallelujah Diet, so we checked it out.

After the long introduction, pointing out his own expertise and clinically gained wisdom to speak to matters of health, and talking about the war between plants and animals (what?), I wanted to know if I could trust “Dr. G.”

First, I don’t buy the war between animals and plants or evolution.  In Genesis 1:29 God originally gave us the plant kingdom for food. My understanding of creation is that mankind is the crown jewel of all God created, and He put us in place to be good stewards of His creation. So, thinking that plants were made to be food for us just makes sense. There is a symbiotic relationship between mankind and plants, even indicated by their generation of oxygen for us and our generation of carbon dioxide for them. They are good for us and we are good for them.  I don’t see a war here.

So, I wanted to know if I could trust Dr. G. I can’t go interview any of his patients. I have no way of knowing if any of these stories in the book are valid. I assume so, but can I trust him to tell me the truth?

Well, how does he do with things I can verify, like scientific references?  I will give you a few examples and then let you decide for yourself.

First, in the Introduction, page xi, I came across his referral to gluten as a lectin. Gluten a lectin? That was a new one to me. So, I went to PubMed and checked it out. Here I found a reference to a study that examined lectin activity in gluten. It turned out that “Our results indicate that the lectin properties of gluten are due to traces of WGA.” (Pubmed #3839672) WGA is wheat germ agglutinin, a lectin. Well, how about gliadin, a component of gluten complex in wheat? Maybe he meant gliadin? Another study showed conclusively that, “Gliadin preparations failed to cause agglutination of any of the cells tested, whereas established pure plant lectins were active cell agglutinins.” (Pubmed #3709069). Conclusion: gluten and gliadin are not lectins.  Strike one for Dr. G. My suspicion is mounting. But maybe he is just a bit loose with the facts.

Second, as I was browsing through the book on page 209 I came across his take-down of peanuts. I’m interested in knowing why you shouldn’t eat peanuts, so I read more carefully. As near as I can tell by reading through 2 of the 3 full-text references, the claims he made here are not derived from the sources he referenced. He claims, “94 percent of humans carry a preformed antibody to the peanut lectin.” I got the impression that the reference would be something about this idea. Instead, the research group investigated using PNA (peanut agglutinin, a non-toxic lectin in peanuts) as a way to identify adenocarcinomas in esophageal biopsies by histological examination. The abnormal tissue bound PNA, whereas normal tissue did not. In fact, Table 1 and Figure 1 in the article show the normal control subjects as having very, very low binding of PNA. This is exactly the opposite of Dr. G’s claim of 94 percent! Strike 2 for Dr. G. My distrust is growing, but still not sure.

So, I went to the next reference in the paragraph and checked it out. The claim in the text is that lectin in peanut oil causes atherosclerosis in experimental animals, whereas peanut oil without lectin in it does not cause the disease (see p. 209). This would have been a great study to see. However, the reference is about identification of peanut lectin in someone who ate peanuts. I did not read the full-text of this article, not wanting to waste $31 on verifying this dubious claim. I found an abstract from the same authors and it looks like the same work (same title, too). In this study a person ate 200 grams of raw peanuts (not advised, who eats raw peanuts?) and peanut lectin was detected in his blood one hour later. This report has nothing to do with atherosclerosis or experimental animals or peanut oil. Strike 3 for Dr. G. He has not earned my trust.

But the “stunner” claim takes the cake.  In the next sentence Dr. G claims, “When peanuts are fed to humans and their resulting bowel movements are fed to rats, precancerous lesions appear in the rat colons.” When I read the reference I found Dr. G had grossly misused the scientific data, in every sense of the word.  First, the peanut lectin used in the study was purchased from Sigma Chemical, not derived from human feces (whew!). Second, this was an in vitro study using cell cultures, without the use of rats. Third, the study (again) points out the peanut lectin only binds to abnormal tissue lacking terminal sialic acid on the O-linked oligosaccharides of glycoproteins (Yes, I successfully defended my PhD thesis and published peer-reviewed articles on glycosylation and oligosaccharide processing in insect cells, trying to modify the cell culture environment so as to obtain terminally-linked sialic acid, the requirement for human therapeutic glycoproteins, so lectins and glycoprotein processing actually are in my field of expertise.) The cited reference was a molecular biology examination of how peanut lectin changes cell signaling pathways in a culture of HT29 colon cancer cells. Normal cells do not bind peanut lectin and peanut lectin does not cause precancerous lesions to appear. Strike 4 for Dr. G. You are out! (Sure, it only takes 3 strikes, but I was being generous and that last “stunner” claim was too much to leave alone.)

Do I trust Dr. Gundry to state the truth? No. Are the stories in the book true? I do not know, but I do not trust him. Knowing what I just told you, do you trust him?  If you aren’t sure, you should read the blog article from T. Colin Campbell as well. This careless use of the scientific literature exists throughout the entire book. For a novel “change-your-mind-about-everything-you-know-about-nutrition” idea, you had better document your argument very well. There is no way his arguments could stand up to peer-review and get published. Only among nutrition-confused Americans can you write a book to bash healthy foods and make it a best seller.

Are Americans really struggling with health from eating lectin-rich foods? Too much whole grain bread? Did we get fat by eating too much brown rice and beans and salsa? Too many tomatoes and sunflower seeds? Too much quinoa? Too much barleygrass juice? Really?

If you have an autoimmune disease what should you do? If you are overweight (after all, who isn’t in the USA?) what should you do? A 3-day juice fast is a great start. You need a clean slate to make a fresh start. A 7-day juice cleanse is even better; just get enough fresh juice, at least 2 quarts a day. Periodical cleansing is a good practice. Then eat more salads and vegetables.

What is the best way to dramatically increase your vegetable intake? Here is a “secret” that actually works: Get a juicer and use it. Drink at least 16 ounces of vegetable juice every day (at least 80% vegetables / 20% fruit for best results). You can make twice as much every other day and store the juice one or two days. Use your blender and make green smoothies, too. Then follow the Hallelujah Diet or make gradual changes to get you there.  If you follow the Hallelujah Diet you will dramatically improve your physical and mental health. Perfect health? No, not in this imperfect world, but yes, excellent health.

We will continue to serve you and put forward real solutions to help you improve your health. We are here to serve you, so let us know how we can best do that.

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67 comments

  1. Thank you for this article. I heard Dr G. on you tube. and if you believed him, everything you knew is wrong. I know there are non-Christians that are really intelligent and I have learned from them, however, when he kept saying we were evolved, that was offensive and didn’t want to hear what he had to say any longer

    • Yeah, Shirley, keep your head in the sand and continue to find evolution offensive.

      • To some it’s easier to believe that everything came from nothing by itself, they leave it at that without question. To others they look around and know that all they see on earth and ski could not possibly have started from nothing. Did the same salamander which evolved into an man also evolve into a bird, a lion, did it also leave the sea and plant itself in the ground and become an oak tree. Which is easier to be-leave, everything came from nothing by itself, or it was all created?

    • Dr. G is so often wrong or distorts research results so much that we certainly canNOT trust him. But we did evolve, and continue to, and this has nothing to do with his many errors.
      If you study biology at all, none of it makes sense without evolution. Sorry, talk to any biologist and they’ll say the same thing. It has nothing to do with Jesus or the Bible–I know this gives many believers a migraine, but evolution is as established (“proven,” in laymen’s words) as anything in science.
      I do not, for the life of me understand why Christians–or any others–would want to argue with evidence.

      • Where is your proof of Evolution?
        Evolution has been disproved many times over.
        The Holy Bible Says ” In the beginning GOD created..”
        nowhere does it say man or plants or anything else evolved.

        The fossil records do not show any evidence to support evolution, and there are many fossils that have been studied by top scientist in all fields.

        • Your “Fred” is buried in the sand. Who wrote the bible? I think most religious people have an incredible problem with time: We’re not talking about thousands of years…were talking about billions. Wake up religious people, organized religion was invented by powerful men to retain their power and wealth and control the multitudes. We hardly need it anymore as we have more than an adequate police force to handle this matter.

        • Oh Fred, REALLY!!!
          For goodness sake try looking and seeing!!

    • I have tried the food plan Dr. Gundry recommends and have had amazing results. Not sure of all the research sited as wrong or right but my results are real and continued to improve! Lost over 30 lbs., gained energy, and my pain levels from arthritis has greatly DECREASED! Maybe the negative voices need to try the plan before they discredit it.

  2. Thank you so much for this article. I enjoy and appreciate reading the “scientific sleuthing.”

  3. Good for you stick with God’s word, He will never lead you in a wrong direction

  4. Thanks for your research, the info today is mind boggling. We just need to use common sense and think of what nature provides vs the state of the food world today. Yes, you are right, we can’t control everything we put into our bodies (sadly) but we sure can use wisdom for the most part. Blessings!

  5. Wow! Thanks for this excellent and scholarly review of a book that is obviously neither excellent nor scholarly. Keep up the good work!

  6. Thank you Michael Donaldson for your response to the book, The Plant Paradox. Yes, it sounds like a number of the studies are not well documented. I have hear from other sources that scientific study results can be manipulated to proved whatever the interested party wants to prove.

    I’m encouraged by the reminder that juicing and green smoothies can make a difference in my health. I especially like the green smoothies because they are less time consuming than juicing. When the green are blended instead of eating them in a salad, they are easier to digest, so more nutrition is being absorbed into my body.

  7. thank you for this information. I’ve read articles from Dr. G and seen some of his Youtubes, somehow it seems that something was “off”. I didn’t realized he claimed to be a vegetarian, but gave recipes that included meat, it was just something that didn’t seem Kosher. Again, thank you for this information.

  8. Thank you for giving facts to combat this author who is “tickling” the ears of his readers. I hope
    he does not do this for gain of monies.
    “God’s ways are not man’s ways”

  9. Michael, This is Vickie Allen from the Juicing Study. I don’t remember why but I stopped reading his articles months ago. I am just glad that you validated what I was thinking. No pain but I have the Drs. baffled as to why one of my liver count total is remaining high. If a regular test it shows normal but when they to an indepth test, that one total comes back high risk even though I’m taking a liver cleansing vitamin. But by general Dr. says “not to worry”.
    Thank you for the article even though most was over by head but I got the general jest and that’s what matters.
    Blessings to the whole Hallelujah Diet family.

  10. Thank you Dr. Donaldson for your accumulated knowledge, research background & comments. You are a God-send to be on our side & watching out for us. We trust you & appreciate you. God bless you & your family.

  11. I read your critique with great care and now some apprehension…..very interesting!! Do you have any insight to his “Dr.G Diet Evolution” ? also with regards to the product “prebiothrive” and how it compares to what is offered by hallelujah diet and products? Thanks..would really like a reply..

    • The Prebio Thrive looks like a legitimate product. It is expensive for what is in there. At Hallelujah Diet we add prebiotic fiber to our Advanced Superfood and Essential Protein powders. It is the cheapest part of the formula. Agave inulin, and acacia gum in both, and chia seeds in the protein powder. But our formulas don’t stop with prebiotic fiber. Feeding your gut bacteria is critical. Beneficial bacteria thrive on plant fibers, gums, and resistant starches. Eating a plant-based diet does feed them well for most people, but some people need more help to regain balance.

      • Thank you so much for your reliable and informative analysis. I really respect your work. What are your thoughts on two of his other products that I take every morning with my PrebioThrive: Vital Reds & Primal Plants? David

      • Dr. Donaldson, will you comment on Dr. Gundry’s statement that we should use a pressure cooker when we cook beans so that the lectins are rendered harmless (or maybe they are just diminished in their ability to hurt us–I’d have to go look up exactly what he says, but I don’t have the book in hand at present). Thank you!

  12. Dr. B. E. Culbreth

    Thank you so much for doing the research–and sharing the results thereof–on “The Plant Paradox” by Steven R. Gundry. It saddens me that so many people will purchase that book and will follow the advice of Steven R. Gundry simply because the cover of the book states that it is a New York Times Bestseller. Unfortunately, a best-selling book does not mean the book contains accurate information.

  13. I have found that “Juicing” is very time consuming and adds quite a bit to the grocery bill. For both reasons, many people let it go by the wayside. However, it may be the best thing we can do for ourselves. Recently, I started using cabbage in my juice which is always reasonably priced and easy to prep. I would love to hear what others have done to maintain a juicing regimen, especially if they get up well before dawn like I do.

  14. Excellent article that explains the TRUTH, Dr. Michael! Even if Dr. Gundry is correct is some of his ideas on leptins, the answer is to consume more proteases that are found in certain plants as in pineapple and papaya. If those are not available, then taking digestive enzymes is the next best bet. Keep up the good work.
    Dr. Fred, DC, MS

  15. My husband and I have been following Plant Paradox since April 8, 2017. We take the prebiothrive, primal plants, and vital reds everyday. I have lost over 100 pounds, and my health has vastly improved. My husband lost 85 pounds, and is off his diabetes and diuretic medications.
    I know that he is real “wordy” in his books and it takes some time to read… BUT, the results are amazing! Yes, it is a very restrictive diet… but, I have lost 100 pounds without exercising yet! This is all from following his eating plan!
    And I am 52…
    I have been on and off diets my entire life.
    I have tried everything twice!
    Dr Gundry was my last ditch effort before gastric bypass consideration.
    I am very grateful to have found him!
    I am also a Christian… and I do not find his use of the word evolve offensive at all. We are ALL evolving! That can mean anything from our spiritual growth to how our bodies respond to change…
    I will not be discouraged by your article/blog as I am LOVING the results of Plant Paradox! I have clients who have asked my how I have lost so much weight.. who have also started Plant Paradox and cannot believe their own results!
    I am also off ALL over the counter medications.. to include ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, benadryl, zyrtec, and sleep aid. I do not have severe joint pain anymore… and I was having to use a walker on and off prior to plant paradox…
    I hope a different perspective will help one of your readers who may be ready to just give up… as I was.
    thank you

    • Coralee, Thank you for your testimonial.

    • Dear Coralee,

      I read your testimonial and I’m in awe. I started reading his book and I’m very interested in knowing how you did it…can you please email me at zsesteacher@aol.com. Thank you so much for the info!!!!

      • Coralee,
        Maybe you could tell us all what foods you included and excluded. Congratulations for no longer needing OTC meds.

    • Hello, thank you so much for your post. I was intrigued by Dr. Gundry’s information, much of it did make sense. I am 50 years old and have been dealing with very painful Rhuematoid Arthritis; as well as low energy, restless sleep, digestive problems, etc. I almost have not energy or desire to make the changes needed, but am praying for strength to do so. I appreciate your comments, as I don’t see why some of Gundry’s suggestions, and some from this site. Thanks Coralee for your input, like the people that have replied to you above, do you think you can email me and share more?

    • Coralee, thanks again for your testimony. I appreciate your real-world results. I think most people will get better without Dr. G’s program, but some autoimmune disorders leave few choices. Congratulations on your diligence in sticking with a difficult diet and speaking up.

      My guess is that Dr. G gets some results, but the explanation for them is just really off. Lectins are not black and white. Some are beneficial. The lectins seem like a selling point, not sound science.

    • That’s a factual testimony. Thank you Michael.
      We’ve read this book twice. Started gently adjusting our diet first. Than taking vital reds every morning, or even every second morning with great pleasure.
      By the way its the first powder Ive ever taken in my life. I am 58 yo and my husband is 69yo. So, we have nothing to loose by experimenting…. 😉
      So far so good. I look great, almost 15 years younger, feel great, my joint pain is easing, with the quality of my bowl movements I would win a competition… 😉 My hair is stronger, my nails beautiful. I feel energy and I sleep like a baby. My husband stopped his blood pressure tablets, lost some weight.
      Still it’s more to do, as we just can’t stick to Dr Gundry’s diet so easily.
      Time and our improving health will tell us mor as we go.
      Please, be open minded and question scientists. Specially watch what and how much you eat.
      My best regards.
      Maria Creager

    • FINALLY! Someone who actually knows what she is talking about. Thank you for your informative response and congratulations!
      I get so tired of christians hating on people for not believing EXACTLY what they believe…you are a breath of fresh air.

  16. Ok, so Dr. Gundry has an MD and you have a PhD. Long story short, this means that Dr. Gundry is someone who is actually in the real world applying his knowledge to actual real patients. A PhD is someone who sits in a classroom and pontificates about his very narrow field of knowledge. A PhD is someone who is paid to conduct myopic research and publish in peer-reviewed journal articles, but to do so they need to often focus on minutia that only those relative few in the field actual care about. Often PhDs work toward advancing THEORY which may or may not have real world applicability.

    MDs focus much more on real world application. They do not necessarily focus on trying to get peer-reviewed publications in an effort to get tenure so that they can then basically retire at the age of 40 and hit on the young coeds.

    MDs, especially one of Dr. Gundry’s relative fame, do have a practitioners license they need to protect. PhDs have no such license or official certification board such as the AMA.

    So, based on only such variables I’d say I’m better off trusting an Doctorate of Medicine (MD) than a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).

    I’l also add that a significant portion of the peer-reviewed literature is garbage. It’s rehashed stuff in an effort to get publications. At tier one universities professors are expected to publish at least twice a year in peer-reviewed journals, so they cut corners and find ways to rehash, reuse, or simply add a twist in an effrt to get a publication. It happens in both qualitative and quantitative research.

    In addition, about the “successful defense” of the dissertation. Often, at that stage of the game, the defense is a mere formality as the doctoral committee has pretty much already signed off on it and the actual defense is merely a right of passage scenario.

    • Thanks for your insight Leslie, this makes sense as well!

    • Maybe instead of approaching the argument form the standpoint of authority(which unfortunately the author of the article has as well by invoking the Bible), you could address the specific points the author made regarding very specific points in Dr. Gundry’s book. As an atheist, a reference to the Bible as an appeal to authority is a major turn off for me when reading an article, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and the points the author makes are very specific and make me want to do my own personal research on those points.
      This does not necessarily mean that none of Dr. Gundry’s ideas are valid, the point of the article is that due to poor use of information and research, his claims can be viewed as dubious.
      That moment when someone quoting the Bible feels more trustworthy than a doctor referencing studies by providing good points based in logic, rather than faith.

    • Thank you Leslie, that’s make sense.
      By the way, you always need to question everything.
      Thank you again.
      Maria Creager

    • Wow!
      I know we just met…but…will you marry me? 🙂

  17. Dear Mr. Donaldson,

    I am a Christian and believe in Creation and that God made plants for our good. When I was given this book by my chiro who is helping me and my husband get through some health issues, I took it home and dug in. The first thing I noticed is Dr. Gundry’s several references to evolution, and “400 million yrs ago…” so I knew that the book was not going to have God’s truth stamped all over it BUT I decided to read further knowing that even non Christian scientists and researchers can have valid information. They just give evolution the credit and not the Creator.

    I read through the first few chapters, thoroughly trying to absorb the process of how plants give off lectins to protect themselves against prey and how lectins can harm our gut, resulting in health problems. I also read about the trillions of bacteria and organisms we have in our intestinal lining, on our skin, and in the air around us that can help us combat certain lectins (sounds like God right there). Dr. Gundry also addresses how the FDA labels on meats can be misleading and how grass fed beef if the best for us. He explains how animals that are fed soy based and corn diet are harmful to us. He is not a vegetarian nor does he promote a primarily vegetarian diet as you have stated above.

    Your article is disappointing to me because you seemed to have skimmed through the book and quickly dismissed any pertinent truth because of the fact that the author is an evolutionist. If you were trying to disprove any of his scientific data he collected, you did not have a strong argument at all. This guy (believer or not) has been in the medical practice for years and years and has had real breakthrough and answers for his patients. All you keep saying is “I don’t know if his stories are true or not”. Your argument is all your opinion. Do you think you could come up with an actual real argument and thesis based on relevant scientific research that supports the fact that God did create plants for our good and maybe what lectins actually do and the real answers of how the Creator intended this to all work??

    Do you ever watch Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate? They both use data and evidence and NOT just their opinions. Bill Nye may be wrong but he doesn’t use “I think this or I think that” as He just doesn’t understand God’s wisdom. Yes, you did note a few published

    Try again sir. Most Creationists are aware that scientific evidence actually supports Creation. So find it. Why did God create lectins at all? Did this all start after the fall of man? How about having a real medical doctor/naturopath who has studied nutrition for years and years and has treated patients, and performed surgeries, and worked in medical laboratories actually write the article to make the same point you are trying to make, that is that Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox is wrong.

    • Amy, I am sorry to disappoint you with my article. I tried to verify what I could as a scientist, that is all. It could be that he is a good doctor but a bad scientist. Dr. G disappointed me with his use of the facts that could be independently verified. I don’t think his program is for everyone.

      • True, I also believe that if people are healthy and fit without any medical conditions that they know of, then Dr. Gundry’s plan is not for them. They’re very fortunate with great genes. Most of us are not that fortunate and our lifestyle and the foods (mostly unhealthy) we’ve been accustomed to eat over the years has caused us to develop health problems and weight gain. After reading how all carbs and sugars even in small to moderate amounts are just causing so many problems in our health, l don’t disagree I’m willing to try his diet evolution plan and see if it really works for me. Obviously, my diet of whole grains, fruits and veggies and low fat is not working even with added exercise. I’m prediabetic, overweight with high cholesterol. Worth a try.

    • “Your article is disappointing to me because you seemed to have skimmed through the book and quickly dismissed any pertinent truth because of the fact that the author is an evolutionist.”

      And your comment is dissapointing because you seemed to have skimmed through it and quickly dismissed any pertinent truth because of the fact that the author is a creationist. Granted, I wanted to do the same, but I continued reading.

      “If you were trying to disprove any of his scientific data he collected, you did not have a strong argument at all.”
      He provided specific references the doctors book and then references to the studies.

      “All you keep saying is “I don’t know if his stories are true or not”.”
      Not true. The author made specific points, and if you do not know what they are, I’d be happy to point them out.

      “Your argument is all your opinion.”
      Not true, here are quotes from the article that reference studies, not opinions(the links wont transfer in copy paste, but you can scroll up to find the actual link):
      ” Here I found a reference to a study that examined lectin activity in gluten.”

      “Another study showed conclusively that, “Gliadin preparations failed to cause agglutination of any of the cells tested, whereas established pure plant lectins were active cell agglutinins.” ”

      “He claims, “94 percent of humans carry a preformed antibody to the peanut lectin.” I got the impression that the reference would be something about this idea. Instead, the research group investigated using PNA (peanut agglutinin, a non-toxic lectin in peanuts) as a way to identify adenocarcinomas in esophageal biopsies by histological examination.”

      ” found an abstract from the same authors and it looks like the same work (same title, too). In this study a person ate 200 grams of raw peanuts (not advised, who eats raw peanuts?) and peanut lectin was detected in his blood one hour later. This report has nothing to do with atherosclerosis or experimental animals or peanut oil.”

      ” When I read the reference I found Dr. G had grossly misused the scientific data, in every sense of the word. ”

      All of those quotes have links to studies, articles. So while the author may have an opinion on Dr. Gundry(and so do you, everyone has an opinion), he actually spends the effort to try to justify it.

      “Do you think you could come up with an actual real argument and thesis based on relevant scientific research that supports the fact that God did create plants for our good and maybe what lectins actually do and the real answers of how the Creator intended this to all work??”

      Yes, please refer to links the author provided and address them before claming the author is not credible due to his belief in creationism.( a weird statement coming from an atheist, but I am also a stickler for healthy debate)

    • So Amy, tell me, how old is Earth, our solar system, the universe?

  18. Dear Dr. Donaldson (w/ a cc: to Ms. Leslie B),
    I’m SO grateful to finally read someone who has the epistemological chops take Gundry to task on his cynical, cavalier, reckless approach to certain key points of his radical diet hypotheses.

    That is all I will say, other than to offer this: my husband and I *were* patients of Dr. G’s, and would be more than happy to talk to you anytime and share our experience! (Teaser: the glib, cavalier approach is front and center there as well.)

    Marcy Axness, PhD
    author, “Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers”

  19. There are contradictions among most medical studies. One study says this is good, another study says its bad – both studies by credible people / institutions. This fact is a challenge so yes, its hard to know who’s guidance to follow. My experience tells me that “inflammation” is widely agreed as a health problem, certainly in Heart Disease. Inflammation is caused by the Immune system. It is the immune system that rejects for example a transplanted organ thinking its a foreign object. Dr Gundry holds the record for the most child heart transplants and the longest pig to baboon heart transplant. As he says “I know how to fool the immune system and I know how it is fooled”. This is in reference to Lectins. In this regard, I find the credentials of Dr Gundry not only impeccable, indisputable but more importantly, directly related to the subject matter in hand. He is incredibly qualified to make the points that he makes. While I agree with a few points of the blog, there is no question folksy Dr Gundry needs a marketing makeover and to tighten up some of the copy and presentation.
    I’ve read a lot on health, diet, supplements. I got my LDL down from 114 (not too high) to 52 with supplements and no statins. I follow diets 100%. I have switched to Dr Gundrys diet. He actually got me off 100% vegetarian to now include wild Salmon. His lectin restrictions are not too bad at home, using a pressure cooker etc, but hard in a restaurant. So I’m cooking a lot more at home now. I do welcome a sensible counter argument.

    • “I do welcome a sensible counter argument.”
      Then please address the specific points the author of this article made. Whether he is right or not, at least the author of the article went to the trouble, let me point it out to you:

      This is a counter argument, providing reference to back it
      “First, in the Introduction, page xi, I came across his referral to gluten as a lectin. Gluten a lectin? That was a new one to me. So, I went to PubMed and checked it out. Here I found a reference to a study that examined lectin activity in gluten. It turned out that “Our results indicate that the lectin properties of gluten are due to traces of WGA.” (Pubmed #3839672) WGA is wheat germ agglutinin, a lectin. Well, how about gliadin, a component of gluten complex in wheat? Maybe he meant gliadin? Another study showed conclusively that, “Gliadin preparations failed to cause agglutination of any of the cells tested, whereas established pure plant lectins were active cell agglutinins.” (Pubmed #3709069). Conclusion: gluten and gliadin are not lectins.

      Here’s another:
      Second, as I was browsing through the book on page 209 I came across his take-down of peanuts. I’m interested in knowing why you shouldn’t eat peanuts, so I read more carefully. As near as I can tell by reading through 2 of the 3 full-text references, the claims he made here are not derived from the sources he referenced. He claims, “94 percent of humans carry a preformed antibody to the peanut lectin.” I got the impression that the reference would be something about this idea. Instead, the research group investigated using PNA (peanut agglutinin, a non-toxic lectin in peanuts) as a way to identify adenocarcinomas in esophageal biopsies by histological examination. The abnormal tissue bound PNA, whereas normal tissue did not. In fact, Table 1 and Figure 1 in the article show the normal control subjects as having very, very low binding of PNA. This is exactly the opposite of Dr. G’s claim of 94 percent!”

      Here’s another:
      The claim in the text is that lectin in peanut oil causes atherosclerosis in experimental animals, whereas peanut oil without lectin in it does not cause the disease (see p. 209). This would have been a great study to see. However, the reference is about identification of peanut lectin in someone who ate peanuts. I did not read the full-text of this article, not wanting to waste $31 on verifying this dubious claim. I found an abstract from the same authors and it looks like the same work (same title, too). In this study a person ate 200 grams of raw peanuts (not advised, who eats raw peanuts?) and peanut lectin was detected in his blood one hour later. This report has nothing to do with atherosclerosis or experimental animals or peanut oil.”

      If you claim to want sensible counter arguments, then you should consider these as such and provide your own sensible counter argument if you think otherwise.

  20. My full trust is in Dr. Gundry. Thank you Dr. Gundry for my new vibrant health.

  21. It is clear what is going on: Dr. Gundry, who successfully transformed his own health, linked up with Anthony Robbins. Next thing you know we have products to sell, books, an entire Dr. Gundry industry. Dr. Donaldson pretty much trashes the research behind Gundry’s new empire. Get the marketing machine rolling! The next Nutri-System (which I tried. There is a reason it works, the food is awful). Remember Billy Banks kick boxing videos? Dr. Gundry will someday be on Dancing with the Stars or the ex-President’s Celebrity Apprentice, season 6.

  22. and who’s to say I can trust YOU??

    I’m not doing the Bacon Experiment by Dan Quibell and feel healthier than ever!

  23. Thank you Michael for your review ..We nee more people like you educated and slightly skeptical in a good way!!( I personally never listen to Gundry -like clips on line if there is no way to fast forward the video! No fast forward no listen. )

  24. I was listening to Dr Gundry. Sounds good and waiting for info…but I recall listening to a financial genius 10 years ago who kept promising and circling until I fell asleep and woke up and he was still talking and never communicating. Maybe it works and maybe not. If it does cheers to all. But selling books…i’m not interested in internet sales.

  25. Michael, it appears you did not read the book in its entirety. I think that’s unfair. I am a creationist and agree with you that Dr. Gundry is incorrect in his evolutionary arguments, especially where he implies that plants can think. But I actually see God’s design in this book, even if Gundry doesn’t. For example, Gundry argues that we humans were not meant to eat fruit year round. Doesn’t that scream creation to you? He explains that in order to eat fruit year round, fruit must be picked unripe and then injected later to make it appear ripe. He also argues that when we eat fruit, that signals to our body to store fat, because fruit is meant to be eaten in the summer and storing fat prepares us for the upcoming winter. All of this is a beautiful explanation of God’s design. Can I ask you a favor? Would you consider reading the entire book and then writing another review? Whether your review is positive or negative, I think you should read the book in order to give it a fair shake.

    FWIW, I have not yet tried the plant paradox diet, nor have I tried his products. I’m almost finished reading the book and find it incredible intriguing. I’m strongly considering it seeing as I’ve tried everything else under the sun and nothing seems to work. I’m only 34yo and have struggled with health issues since high school. I’ve seen doctors in many states, including MDs, NDs, chiropractors, etc.

    • Hi WillCD,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Ive just found Dr Gundry half a year ago. I’m 58yo and I have nothing to loose by experimenting, but what I want to tell you that’s this diet and vital reds works for me with a great results.
      Try it gently and observe results.
      Wishing you all the best.
      Maria Creager

  26. Dr. Donaldson, is there a scientifically verified LIST somewhere that outlines the lectin content of foods? If so, could you publish a LINK? Is there credibility to Gundry’s claims that BEANS (legumes) have a high lectin content? Is there credibility to his claims that night-shade plants have a high lectin content? (meaning, I should cut out or minimize tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, and potatoes). I’ve been looking at and studying Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GBOMB-T diet for the last few years and Dr. Fuhrman would recommend BEANS and TOMATOES daily. Dr. Gundry would say NO beans and tomatoes due to lectin content. I’ve been informally internet researching “LEAKY GUT” and lots of other gastro doctors are now mentioning lectin and beans and night-shade plants… can you comment on any of this? I too am after truth…. sounds like you have a strong background in dealing with lectins, and I value your response if you get a chance…

  27. Why are you Yanks banging on about religion?Its about personal health.I started Gundrys diet in January and lost 8kg (just under 20 pound),my type 2 diabeties was gone by the start of week 3.The only way this diet won’t work for you is if you don’t follow it.I believe 4kg a week you could loose if you follow it to the letter.

  28. Seems to me that regardless of specific diet plan, if a person goes from eating a SAD diet to a plant-based diet, avoiding processed foods, sugar, meats and dairy, they will enjoy improved health.

  29. Talking from experience..Recently bought vital reds from Dr.Gundry however after trying it the first day I felt pain in my stomach thinking it was maybe the juice was working and it was natural.. the following days passed and I was feeling worst… headache.. which i never had…i quit..Since then I have been trying to be more inform on Dr. Gundry and his sponsors if any…

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