I thought of rehashing this issue on behalf of my friends and fans (just kidding) from the WebMD forum, especially one person who seems to be doing much better on Dr. Fuhrman's diet and his IMT scan as a measure of arteriosclerotic progression started even reversing as opposed to his previous 30 years on a Pritikin vegan/vegetarian diet. Even though the following text is addressed to EngineerGuy of the webmd forum, I hope that more people will benefit reading it. I am encouraging everyone to read and add comments.
All Dr. Fuhrman did was reintroducing blended salads and added a little bit of meat or fish plus liberal amounts of nuts which are still in severe anathema pronounced by other vegan propagators. One can consider Fuhrman's diet to have 90% in common with the purist vegans like Drs McDougall or Ornish but that 10% difference has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE! What is happening here is that it seems that the 90% compliant vegans seem to be doing better than the 100% compliant vegans!
I think that this little addition of animal produce and nuts has made a huge difference by addressing some of the vitamin deficiencies inherent in the plant-only diets.
That deficiency is not only in B12. I was surprised to find out that some vegans suffer from obvious and easily measurable vitamin deficiencies, even vitamin A in spite of consuming massive amounts of beta carotene! Many seem to suffer from tooth decay, low bone density and/or osteoporosis which would point towards deficiencies of D3,K2 or some other factor. Neurological problems (mood disorders, depression, panic attacks) seem to be associated with the deficiencies of DHA and EPA (fatty acids) in my opinion (this is only my speculative guess, I have no proof).
There is also a possibility that the malnutrition symptoms among some vegans may be caused not only by their deficient diet (note: vitamin D2 and K1 can be obtained from plants, but their proper human forms D3 and K2 cannot!) but also by some intestinal digestive disruption. That possibility was first discovered and proposed as a possible explanation by Natural Hygienists. See Dr. Stanley Bass and read "With Three Generations of Vegetarian Hygienists" by Dr. Gian-Cursio. After suffering many health setbacks on their pure raw food vegan diets, including death of Dr. Cursio's son, they treated them with fasts every few months, followed by some special recovery diet that involved unpasteurized goat's cheese and eggs yolks. Dr. Cursio also introduced (and perhaps invented) the blended salads. (Note: Dr. Bass no longer recommends vegetarian diets, for which he was kicked out of the Natural Hygiene movement, after his life long participation). I am inclined to believe that their recovery approach and explanation may be correct, given the intestinal-disruptive properties of many plants. I think that the absorption problems are related to some plant phyto-toxins from wheat family (I suspect gluten and agluttins like WGA) and the cabbage family of plants (digestive enzyme inhibitors and thyroid hormone disruptors). Fasting would allow the intestinal lining tissue to regenerate itself and recover after excessive raw consumption of those plants.
I am bringing the Natural Hygienist's article to illustrate that Dr. Fuhrman is following in the footsteps of the people who tried that all before him and eventually had to abandon that approach, after many years of trials tribulations and errors. I recommend to learn from their mistakes. Dr. Bass wasted probably ~60 years of his life along this path and is kind enough to inform us of his experience. I am grateful to him since I don't have to go though all this!
Neither should you, after already wasting 30 years of your life on some vegetarianism, you don't need to waste another 30 years on some slightly less harmful variation of the same thing.
Dr. Bass describes how his fruitarian dietary experiment destroyed his teeth. It turns out that the damage might not be limited to fruitarian diets:
Vegetarian diet 'weakens bones'
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