Vegan vs Omnivore Diet For Longevity – How To Heal The Body With Food | Dr. Mark Hyman

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View the Show Notes For This Episode:

Today, we're zooming in on a groundbreaking study that comes from Stanford University and was recently published in JAMA Network Open. The researchers put a vegan diet head-to-head with an omnivorous diet in twenty-two pairs of identical twins. The buzz around this study has been immense, sparking conversations everywhere—from social media to professional circles. Adding to the excitement, this research forms the basis of a new Netflix documentary called "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment."

In this episode of my Health Bites series, I discuss the many conflicts of interest, funding sources, and hidden agendas that were not fully disclosed but could have had a major hand in clouding the study's conclusions and real-world applications. We’ll also get into the Netflix docuseries itself—what they got right vs. what they got wrong, as well as the Functional Medicine approach to diet and how we can feed our bodies to create health while taking care of the planet in a healthy, sustainable, and ethical way.

This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, Momentous, and Happy Egg.

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In this episode, I discuss (audio version / Apple Subscriber version):
Why nutrition research is so confusing (7:26 / 5:36)
Overview of the Stanford study design and findings (11:57 / 10:07)
Issues with the study design (27:10 / 24:10)
Conflicts of interest and ethical considerations with this study (38:19 / 35:19)
Other research on vegan diets (44:44 / 41:44)
What the Netflix documentary got right and wrong (1:00:23 / 57:23)
How to eat for your health and the environment (1:08:43 / 1:05:43)

Dave McKinnon

  • @55mblindy says:


  • @marisailumiada says:

    I don’t understand why everybody is against vegan, is a choice someone make it, I m vegan for more than 20 years, I’m 52 years old and I did a very extensive blood work and the doctor who was making fun of me saying all vegan have deficiency of everything and it was a bad diet, when he saw my blood work, he could not believe, everything was more than perfect, he said he never saw saw a result like that and my friend a meat eater her results was a big mess, obviously i really take good care of myself that is all there is either if you are a vegan or a meat eater, you have to eat the right thing and have a healthy lifestyle, work out, meditation and manage stress well, when I see a doctor talking bad about veganism, for me he loses credibility, he is talking about something he doesn’t know

    • @JN-gh4hm says:

      Supplements. 🙄

    • @gardyloo3093 says:

      I agree with you so much! I’m 60 years old, vegetarian for 35 years, the last 15 years of which vegan (with eggs sometimes, so, “vEGG-an”). After a complete physical, I had a doctor say to me that I had the blood work results “of a teenager”. And to the commenter above: No, I don’t take supplements. People can take supplements if they want – lots of meat eaters do that as well – but I believe that nutrients are most effective from foods themselves. There’s no magical nutrient that exists only in meat.

    • @marisailumiada says:

      Yes I don’t take supplements either I drink shakes and juices, maybe the person above needs supplements

    • @marisailumiada says:

      @@JN-gh4hmI don’t take supplements maybe you need is fine, I drink fruit shakes and juices

    • @VCCRath says:

      I started to watch the Netflix show but quickly realized the real motivation and stopped. Clearly it was not unbiased. Thank you Dr.Hymann for addressing this.

  • @barbaravadas4140 says:

    They don’t consider blood types. Type O blood type most definitely requires animal meat/protein. Fact. Also I am not carnivore but after listening to many new carnivores explain how they actually saved their lives by converting to a carnivore diet I am convinced that vegan is highly inadequate and even dangerous.

    • @user-kj6sz4we5o says:

      It’s not that veganism is inadequate. It’s that it’s not easy to do properly… therefore, eating meat is super easy and it has a lot of those basic nutrients that the body needs.

    • @edithnell227 says:

      I developed multiple fractures after about 25 years on a vegan diet.

    • @user-kj6sz4we5o says:

      @@edithnell227 can’t the fractures be due to other reasons, such as your body not being able to properly absorb the nutrients, maybe because you was eating too many plant anti-nutrients? And your body is pre-exposed to fractures due to some other health reason??

    • @williamhenry3337 says:

      I am Apoe2 so I need to eat a diet which consists of 35 to 40 % healthy fats so I am NOT vegan.

  • @laurensargent9471 says:

    Watched the documentary. What is clear, the SAD diet is completely unsustainable on a finite planet. We cannot be healthy as we destroy the ecosystems upon which we all depend to fuel our desire for beef and cow milk in particular. I’m still with Michael Pollan. Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.

  • @gardyloo3093 says:

    Now listening further to this video, it sounds like the study really was biased, and it also sounds like they didn’t give either side a fair shake! As a long time vegetarian/vegan (35+ years), the dietary changes that I’ve felt the most significant positive change from have been: 1) Getting off dairy, 2) Getting off sugar, and wheat, 3) Getting off artificial additives, and 4) Adding in WAY more vegetables and also fermented foods. Obviously, these are all things that meat eaters can do as well. Even though I’m a veggie, I don’t think meat eating is necessarily unhealthy. I just think all of us could benefit from more vegetables, and also from cleaner foods.

    • @gardyloo3093 says:

      P.S. I just wanted to add that I respectfully disagree with the doctor that vegan diets require supplementation. I think the key to a health plant-based diet is to eat a wide variety of foods. The problem is that too many vegans are eating vegan junk foods like the fake meats, etc. which are just empty calories.

    • @christinaedwards356 says:

      I like your comment. I eat meat, eggs, seafood, but maybe 1/4-1/3 of my overall diet. All other foods are leafy greens, herbs, low glycemic veggies with occassional potato, fresh/frozen fruit (especially berries), nuts and seeds. NO grains, very little dairy and sugar snacks, no ultra processed or fried foods, only thing I drink is water and green/herbal teas.

    • @gardyloo3093 says:

      @@christinaedwards356 That sounds totally healthy! We basically eat the same way except for the meat part.

  • @charlo90952 says:

    Somebody should study a religious group like the hare Krishnas with a lactovegetarian diet. Some of them have been on this diet since the 1960s so there should be plenty of data.

  • @veganradiation says:

    Plant-powered diets have been scientifically proven to not only increase longevity but also reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Interested in learning more about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle? Come check me out for some delicious plant-based recipes and tips on thriving on a compassionate diet!

  • @strangeronatrain says:

    We classify ourselves as humans, but we haven’t figured out that some humans fuel differently, react differently to different foods because of genetics, and other factors science has not yet delved into. We as humans need to learn how to adapt, not only with food, but with each other and the information we continue to gather through studies. People like to attach to and idea that makes them feel good, but we don’t have to assume it’ll be right for someone else. Most of the planet doesn’t have their health figured out, there’s a more general fight to be fought, not involving whether or not vegetables or meat is good for you. It’s time to grow up, earth. Do your own research, feed yourself, and live your own life

  • @user-hn6kr9wl3l says:

    Why get rid of dairy?

  • @carolallison9685 says:

    Im an ecologist. We are omnivores. In fact, most mammals aren’t true herbivores. Did you know deer birds? A lot of birds. Its terrifying. Anyway, that being said, with supplements, being vegan is completely fine. The issue is research gaps. The study that found red meat increases heart disease, failed to take into account that people who eat red meat tend to also eat that meat with fries and a coke. The anti vegan side also fails to take into account that even though we aren’t vegan as a species, we are also very smart and created supplements. So, in my scientific opinion, the best diet is a natural diet of whole foods that has a wide variety of food stuff. And if you’re vegan, just get your blood work done and take supplements if you need to.

  • @melissaklouda9656 says:

    I turned off the documentary when I heard the biases. I appreciate you analysis with all these issues and I hope more people learn the truth/facts. Our family is omnivores and I focus on high quality, unprocessed and minimally processed foods. We just bought 80 pounds of grass-fed ground beef from a local farm. They treat their animals well and I feel good about supporting their farm. Thanks for your work!

  • @robeeenz says:

    I was vegan for years- vegetarian for years too- I did not have meat for a decade. I focused on Whole Foods and was not a “French fry vegan”. I always said if it affected my health I would stop but I was very strong about not hurting animals… I ended up with severe deficiencies. I felt like I was going to die. I went down hill fast and went to multiple ER’s who couldn’t figure it out because they didn’t test for the deficiencies I had. I ate meat and started ordering my own lab tests which confirmed deficiencies. Long story short I immediately started eating meat and now I will never stop. It took 2+ years to recover and I’m finally better. I will always eat meat now and I will stick with functional medicine who actually does the right tests.

    • @Aquatrex19 says:

      I also became severely deficient from being vegan. My hair was also stringy and now that I eat meat it is thriving. Being vegan is not healthy. I didn’t want to believe it but now I have lived through deficiencies so I know. Glad you are better now

    • @carolallison9685 says:

      Im an ecologist and i run a self sufficient farm. We eat meat, but our animals are very well taken care of and are killed in the most humane way. Now heres the thing, with the exception of chicken, most animals are killed humanely even in industrial settings. The issue is the environment they are raised in. There are many humane farms like mine that are clean, the animals have large pasture space, and are fed a healthy diet. If you are worried about the care of the animals, i would suggest doing some research into places, and maybe even look into local farms in your area.

  • @proudchristian77 says:

    Its as much about our walk as it is our diet , if u a thug with people’s, it won’t matter, u get to answer for being a thug reguardless of your diet , but if u eat a clean diet, it can help your walk & stear u away from thug behavior, or its just all the beat up kids growing up & protesting their interrupted childhood’s , its hard to quiet a beat up heart , 💝

  • @debbiesmith2207 says:

    Yes! That study made me so mad. This omnivores we’re eating junk food and deprived of healthy plant food. And eating meat twice a day. Who does that

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