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Dr. Michael Rothman’s response to comments for “Could Being a Vegetarian Have Contributed to Michael Clarke Duncan’s Untimely Death?”

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my blog. I would like to address each of your concerns, one at a time.

“Diets that stress legumes (especially in the form of soy) raise estrogen levels and hence significantly lower testosterone levels as well”:  Do you have any studies to back this up?

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Absolutely, soy has fairly significant estrogenic properties. Estrogen antagonizes (counteracts) testosterone, in other words the higher the estrogen effects, the lower the testosterone effects. This is a fact. There are countless studies that show this.

Did you know that ancient monks purposely consumed large amounts of soy in order to dampen their libidos to make it easier for them to remain celibate?  Specifically that vegan diets *significantly* lower testosterone levels?

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Fact – testosterone (and all other sex hormones) are derived from cholesterol. Also, many studies have shown that increasing saturated fat increases testosterone levels (and HDL) and that diets low in saturated fats, but high in polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) lower testosterone levels.

The phyto-estrogens in soy are ultra weak-

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: You are mistaken, yes phyto-estrogens are weak compared to estrogen itself, but when consumed in even “moderate” quantities phyto-estrogens can have a significant impact by increasing estrogenic activity.

From what I’ve read, only act on one estrogen receptor whereas the bovine estrogens in milk (which are identical to human progesterone) produced by the lactating cow are much more powerful and act on both receptors including the sexual one.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: There is NO WAY that bovine (cow) estrogen is identical to human progesterone. LOL. Additionally, progesterone has very many beneficial effects. In fact, many women that have low progesterone/estrogen ratios suffer from multiple terrible problems. Low progesterone/estrogen ratios will increase the chance for women to get cancer of the breast, uterus, and ovaries, and increases the incidence of fibroids, polycystic ovaries, PMS…..

I’m a 35 year old vegan and have put on significant muscle that friends are surprised at even though I’m an ectomorph so I’m skeptical.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: OK – how long have you been a vegan? As a holistically oriented medical doctor I have seen hundreds of patients that have come to me after practicing veganism/vegetarianism for 10-25 years. Often when these long term vegan and vegetarian men and women hit middle age they start to complain about fatigue, weight gain and a host of other symptoms.

Fortunately, when these patients start to incorporate healthy saturated fat and cholesterol back into their diets they often rapidly improve.  Being a healthy vegetarian is possible as long as you consume enough eggs, cheese, butter, and coconut. However. being a healthy vegan long term is near impossible. There may be a relatively small percentage of people that can tolerate long term veganism (20-30 years), but most people cannot.

I’ve seen studies where the artificially high levels of progesterone in the milk from the progesterone given to cows to keep them pregnant passes through the milk and significantly raises progesterone levels in people which the authors assert may explain the rising incidence of breast cancer starting in the 20th century in the West and progressively earlier menarche in girls.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: You really need to brush up on your endocrinology before coming to my blog and making all sorts of silly statements. I know you are trying to defend your positions, but you are clearly out of your league if you want to challenge me on metabolic issues. Please see my previous comments on estrogen/progesterone ratios.

Most of the studies I’ve seen do support the idea that meat and dairy are not good for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. and I’ve only seen one that says that vegetarians had worse hearts and that was only valid in a part of China.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: There are many “cherry picked” studies (like The China Study) that “prove” that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are bad. The truth is that pretty much every honest epidemiological study shows the opposite. This subject would take a whole book to explain. Fortunately I have written this book. My book is titled Edibolic Stress – How the Lies You Are Being Fed Are Making You Sick and will explain the whole story. Chapter 9 is called The Big Fat Lie. In this chapter you will learn how you have been systematically duped by the big corporations to believe that dietary saturated fat and cholesterol are dangerous. I find it humorous that you accuse me of working for the big corporations when it is you who are actually unwittingly helping to spread their lies. I realize that this is not your fault. You and so many others have fallen victim to the Big Fat Lie.

This is why I wrote my book. To help rescue people like you from hurting yourself. If you think that I am shilling for the dairy industry than you do not know me very well. I am on your side. I am only trying to help spread the truth. Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow.

Although HDL and LDL ratios are important, in general desirable levels of blood cholesterol are below 200 mg/dl according to heart and diabetes organizations.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: When I started my medical training in 1982, the normal upper limit for cholesterol was 240! They (the experts) have periodically lowered the normal level and therefore have increased the number of people that have “elevated” cholesterol.  Now millions of people are taking powerful medications to lower their cholesterol, with scant proof of benefit.

Several studies have been done and all show that vegans have the lowest average blood cholesterol level, followed by lacto-ovo vegetarians, pescetarians and then meat eaters.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: No argument that low intake of saturated fat and cholesterol can lower blood serum cholesterol levels, but low cholesterol levels do not equal better health. In fact, just the opposite is true. Are you aware that many studies show that after the age of 65, the higher your cholesterol the longer you will live? Low cholesterol is actually very dangerous. You need cholesterol to protect your cells from damage. The more damage to the tissues of your body, the higher your cholesterol will go. The truth is that in younger persons high cholesterol can be associated with increased risk for heart disease, but this done not mean that elevated serum cholesterol levels cause heart disease.  Bear in mind that it is the oxidized (burnt) LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol combined with calcium which causes plaque in your arteries.

It seems that we make all the cholesterol we need.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: No, you will try to make us much as you need, but your body requires a lot of metabolic energy to make cholesterol. That is why eating cholesterol is so important.

Most vegans I know don’t eat a lot of soy because of the controversy around it.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Most people still think that soy is a health food. BTW, my definition of controversial – If people knew the truth, it would be really bad for the big corporations. Unfortunately, many vegans are consuming harmful levels of soy. Many vegan organizations encourage the consumption of soy. Are these vegan groups working for the soy industry? I doubt it. These confused vegan folks are trying their best to make the world a better place. I applaud and respect these vegan groups. I share the vegan groups concerns about the state of our environment.  We as a people need to return to old fashioned, sustainable, organic farming methods and protect our world from greedy corporations that practice destructive, non-sustainable farming techniques. 

Isoflavones are very healthy in certain quantities especially to those with high blood cholesterol but, because of the potency, it’s possible that they could be problematic at higher levels but WE DON’T KNOW.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: It is more than possible that soy and other phytoestrogens are bad; it is an absolute fact that too much isoflavones is extremely harmful.

Unless you can produce studies to back this up that would have had to be relatively recent.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Is there something wrong with an old study? Does the data go bad? Unfortunately, when studies have been done that reveal the truth that the big corporations do not want people to know, subsequent studies are often discouraged because this would be bad for business.

Vitamin A is also healthy in certain quantities but can be toxic at high levels. Does that mean we should all stop taking Vitamin A?

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Of course you need appropriate levels of vitamin A, just like all of the other micronutrients.

It seems like you have a bias against vegan/vegetarian diets, looking at your blog.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: I have nothing personal against low saturated fat, low cholesterol diets. My only agenda is to reveal and teach the truth, and help you to live healthier and stronger.

Why can’t you at least allow that, although some vegan diets are unhealthy, there are others that are very healthy?

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: I only try to report the scientific truth,  I have been studying nutrition, metabolism, biochemistry, and physiology for over 30 years. I have treated several thousand patients during my medical career. For me to state that low fat, low cholesterol diets are healthy would be untruthful. I therefore cannot with good conscious recommend them (unless you are a cancer patient trying to starve your cancer, then there is benefit).

You seem to be proposing that an omnivorous diet is healthier by comparing to a vegan diet that’s high in soy which would be a stick man fallacy since vegan diets don’t necessarily contain high levels of soy.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: I disagree with your assessment. I have stated the truth that soy by itself is harmful and that low saturated, low cholesterol diets are also unhealthy. The combination of both low saturated fat and high soy diets is even worse.

And can contain organic gelatinized maca which is very good for the glands including the thyroid.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Maca has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years and may also help prostate problems. However, because maca contains glucosinolates (as do cruciferous vegetables), maca consumption can lead to thyroid problems like goiter.

Also, why would food companies trying to sell margarine claim that saturated fat is bad for you when margarine is typically 10% to 20% saturated fat?

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: The saturated fat in margarine is always “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils” These are poisonous. These toxic, synthetic saturated fats are added to the other lousy poly unsaturated vegetable oils (PUFA) so that the oils harden at room temperature. The big corporations are able to increase their profit margins by substituting these inferior oils for more expensive (and healthy oils) like olive oil, butter and coconut oil.

Doesn’t that seem like a contradiction?

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: you are confused by all the lies that you have fed over your life. Read my book, understand what I am writing and you will no longer be confused.

It is more important to note the influence that the meat and dairy industry have had on us to convince us that it’s natural for adults to drink milk, let alone the milk of another species even though we’re the only species to do this and many people are lactose intolerant which creates digestion problems. Milk protein (casein) has been shown to be able to turn on and off cancer development among other things and is NOT healthy.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: Did I mention milk in my blog? Not a single word. I agree with you 100% about milk. Pasteurized, homogenized milk even if organically produced is unhealthy. Commercial milk produced by hormone laden, antibiotic infested, cows is even more unhealthy. I would never recommend  pasteurized, homogenized of milk for anybody. On the other hand, raw milk, from a sustainable, organic, humanistically raised cow or goat is highly nutritious.

Hopefully you aren’t getting paid by dairy like some other blogs that are too afraid to approve my comments because it exposes the lies. They’ve got their hands deep in the blogosphere.

Dr. Michael Rothman’s response: I am very glad you took the time to write.  Please go ahead and google and research everything that I have written. Better yet, go get and read my book, Edibolic Stress – How the Lies You Are Being Fed Are Making You Sick. www.edibolic.com

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