Recipe Testing and the Straight Dope

Become a Recipe Tester

Just a few months to go before the How Not to Die Cookbook comes out in December! Want a sneak peek at some of the recipes? The publisher printed up some 2018 How Not to Die Cookbook wall calendars featuring 12 recipes from the book (collector’s edition! 🙂 and offered to mail them to the first 500 people who agree to make the recipes and share their creations on social media with the hashtag #HowNotToDie.

Sign up here to be one of the first to get your hands on these all-Green-Light-ingredient recipes and help spread the word. The calendar is free, but you have to be among the first 500 to sign up so don’t delay! Note this offer is for US mailing addresses only.

Dr. Greger’s Next 3-Hour Live Webinar

In my nutrition work, I’m known for sifting through mountains of data in the context of massive conflicts of corrupting commercial interests to get at the truth. So it’s no wonder that people come to me asking about other divisive health topics. So once in a while I’ll cover controversial non-nutrition subjects like Should We All Get Colonoscopies Starting at Age 50? or fun topics like Laughter as Medicine or Music as Medicine.

One of the most common questions I get is about the use of cannabis, both edible and smokable. Like in the field of nutrition, there’s gobs of internet misinformation floating around on all sides of the debate, and so I decided to take the topic on. I ended up making 20 videos on it, which I’ll dribble out at one a month or so on They’re all done now, though, and so for those interested in the topic I thought I’d put on a live webinar to share them all at once. So here’s your chance to cut through the haze and see what the science actually says.

Here’s all the topics I’m going to cover in the 3 hour webinar:

  • The Institute of Medicine Report on the Health Effects of Marijuana
  • Researching the Health Effects of Marijuana
  • Is Marijuana Addictive
  • Does Marijuana Cause Health Problems?
  • Does Marijuana Cause Permanent Brain Damage in Teens
  • Does Marijuana Cause Permanent Brain Damage in Adults
  • Will Big Cannabis Turn into Big Tobacco?
  • Marijuana Legalization and the Opioid Epidemic
  • Effects of Smoking Marijuana on the Lungs
  • Smoking Marijuana vs. Using a Cannabis Vaporizer
  • Does Marijuana Cause Lung Cancer?
  • Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?
  • Are Cannabis Edibles Safe?
  • Pesticides in Marijuana
  • The Effects of Marijuana on Fertility and Pregnancy
  • Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia?
  • Effects of Marijuana on Weight Gain and Bone Health
  • The Effects of Marijuana on Car Accidents
  • Does Marijuana Cause Strokes and Heart Attacks?
  • Cannabis for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

They will eventually all go up on (the last is scheduled for November 2019) but if you don’t want to wait 2 years, you can get it all now by joining me in this live webinar to get all your questions answered. For more info on signing up, go here.

Free Webinar TODAY by Dr. Ostfeld

Speaking of webinars, one of my favorite docs is giving a free webinar today at 2pm ET on “Bringing Plant-Based Nutrition into the Clinical Practice,” a must for any medical professionals or students out there who want to incorporate these powerful tools into your practice. And it’s free and open to the public, thanks to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Register for it here.

Fall Booster Campaign

Looking for a way to show your support of this Fall? Check out our new baseball t-shirts, and tees and totes featuring our popular “Plants are the Best Medicine” design here.

They’re only available for a limited time, though. The fundraiser ends October 5th.

All proceeds go to keeping alive and thriving.


Welcome to the Team!

Spanish is the second most common spoken language in the world, which is why we were so ecstatic to finally get the Spanish version of up (just click on the Spanish toggle on the bottom of any page on the site or go to The most common, though, is Mandarin. So we’re super-excited to announce the addition of our new Chinese Social Media Manager, Hailey Chang. This is your tax-deductible donations to hard at work! Hailey currently lives in Hong Kong and will be focused on expanding our current social media platforms, Miaopai and YouKu, and creating a presence on Weibo (kind of like China’s Twitter).

Also, please welcome Dustin Kirkpatrick, our new Graphic Designer! You can read more about him on our Meet the Team page. We’re so excited to be constantly expanding our reach and it’s all thanks to your support!

New Nutrition Mission Newsletter

Sign up for our new Weekly Nutrition Mission newsletter to stay updated with easy, impactful tasks for anybody to do each week to support and healthy eating. We hope this will help mobilize anybody who wants to help spread the good news about the tremendous power we have over our health destiny and longevity at the end of our forks.

Next Live Q&A’s on October 19th

Every month I do Q&As live from my treadmill and next month, October 19th is the day!

 Facebook Live: At 1:00pm ET Thursday, October 19th, go to our Facebook page to watch live and ask questions.

 YouTube Live Stream: At 3:00pm ET Thursday, October 19th, go here to watch live and ask even more questions! Note you can  start listing your questions now so I’ll be sure to get to them.

You can sign up to receive notifications every time I go live on YouTube by “Ringing the Bell” next to the subscribe button on our YouTube channel if you’re interested in more of the personal side of my work.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Brown Fat: Losing Weight Through Thermogenesis

During World War I, it was discovered that many of the chemicals for new explosives had toxic or even lethal effects on the workers in the munitions factories. Chemicals such as di-nitro-phenol (DNP) can boost metabolism so much that workers were too often found wandering along the road after work, covered in sweat with temperatures of 106 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit before they died. Even after death, their temperatures kept going up, as if they were having a total body meltdown. At subacute doses, however, workers claimed to have grown thin to a notable extent after several months working with the chemical.

That got some Stanford pharmacologists excited about the “promising metabolic applications” of DNP. Our resting metabolic rate jumps up 30% after one dose of DNP, and therefore, it becomes an actual fat-burning drug. People started losing weight, as you can see in my video Brown Fat: Losing Weight Through Thermogenesis, with no apparent side effects. They felt great… and then thousands of people started going blind and users started dropping dead from hyperpyrexia, fatal fever due to the heat created by the burning fat. Of course, it continued to be sold. Ad copy read:

“Here, at last, is a [weight] reducing remedy that will bring you a figure men admire and women envy, without danger to your health or change in your regular mode of living….No diet, no exercise!”

It did work, but the therapeutic index—the difference between the effective dose and the deadly dose—was razor thin. It was not until thousands suffered irreversible harm that it got pulled from the market and remained unavailable. Unavailable, that is, until it was brought back by the internet for those dying to be thin.

There is, however, a way our body naturally burns fat to create heat. When we’re born, we go from a nice tropical 98.6 in our mother’s womb straight to room temperature, just when we’re still all wet and slimy. As an adaptive mechanism to maintain warmth, the appearance of a unique organ around 150 million years ago allowed mammals to maintain our high body temperatures.

That unique organ is called brown adipose tissue, or BAT, and its role is to consume fat calories by generating heat in response to cold exposure. The white fat in our bellies stores fat, but the brown fat, located up between our shoulder blades, burns fat. BAT is essential for thermogenesis, the creation of heat in newborns, but has been considered unnecessary in adults who have higher metabolic rates and increased muscle mass for shivering to warm us up when we get chilled. We used to think brown tissue just shrank away when we grew up, but, if it was there, then it could potentially make a big difference for how many calories we burn every day.

When PET scans were invented to detect metabolically active tissues like cancer, oncologists kept finding hot spots in the neck and shoulder regions that on CT scans turned out not to be cancer, just fat. Then, some observant radiologists noticed they appeared in patients mostly during the cold winter months. When they looked closer at tissue samples taken from people who had undergone neck surgery, they found it: brown fat in adults.

The common message from a number of studies is that BAT is present and active in adults, and the more we have and the more active it is, the thinner we are. And we can rapidly activate our fat-burning brown fat by exposure to cold temperatures. For example, if you hang out in a cold room for two hours in your undies and put your legs on a block of ice for four minutes every five minutes, you can elicit a marked increase in energy expenditure, thanks to brown fat activation. So, the studies point to a potential “natural” intervention to stimulate energy expenditure: Turn down the heat to burn calories (and reduce the carbon footprint in the process).

Thankfully, for those of us who would rather not lay our bare legs on blocks of ice, our brown fat can also be activated by some food ingredients such as those that are covered in my Boosting Brown Fat Through Diet video.

I briefly touch on the role cold temperatures can play in weight loss in The Ice Diet and talk more about calories in (Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management) and calories out (How Much Exercise to Sustain Weight Loss).

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: