WATCH: Cardiologist Slams Joe Rogan: “He’s Funded By Meat Companies!”

WATCH: Cardiologist Slams Joe Rogan: “He’s Funded By Meat Companies!”

October 30, 2019 100 By William Morgan


– He looks older than his age. He is funded by meat
companies on his podcast, they’re his number one sponsor. – Dr. Kahn, before we get started why don’t you just tell everybody
what your background is. You will be representing the vegan portion of this discussion. – Hey everybody, this is
Klaus from the greenhouse. You might have seen the
debate between Joe Rogan and vegan cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn. Well I sat down with Dr. Kahn recently to speak about this debate and we spoke about other topics as well including the upcoming
film The Game Changers as well as the carnivore diet. It’s a really fascinating interview. I hope you enjoy. Dr. Joel Kahn, thank you very
much for being here today, I appreciate your time. Let’s talk about The Game Changers. Everyone’s talking about it. Have you seen it and what’s your take? – Yeah, I’ve seen Game Changers and it will be a game changing
movie, opening very soon because there still is a
disbelief out there in the public that you can fuel your body,
in a teenager, in an adult, in an elderly person and
really get optimal health and these athletes are great
examples of powering themselves with natural, whole-food diets, and we see it in race car
drivers and tennis players and football players
and swimmers and surfers and everything that’s featured. And obviously that really
peak part about sexual health and male sexual health, I think it’s gonna just
build confidence and belief that make this change for your health, for the environmental health,
for the animal cruelty and those issues. So I think it’s gonna be a big winner. – You mentioned male sexual health. A lot of people are talking the scene. What was it like? – You know, this is a big deal because 40% of men at age
40, 50% of men at age 50, keep going, 60 at 60,
have erectile dysfunction. It’s a quality of life
issue and it’s a clue to clogged heart arteries,
which is really the big entry into my main passion and practice. But it’s a scene of three young athletes at the University of Southern California that should be in perfect health. They found a machine, the
urologist found a machine that put on their male
apparatus and they went to sleep but they went to sleep two times, one after a fatty meat-based meal and a different day after a
healthy, whole-food plant meal and there was an unbelievable difference in response to their male
overnight sleeping habits, more erections, bigger,
longer, the whole specifics that are presented in the movie. But even athletes were amazed
that one meal difference. Of course it’s the affect
of high saturated fat on the lining of your
arteries and your endothelium and nitric oxide, we got the science down but the fact that we can
actually measure it so quickly and so dramatically. It’s a really bad idea before
a date to have a hamburger, fries, and a malt. (laughs) – What do you think the
sort of backlash will be when the film goes public? – Well there’s plenty of athletes that do eat meat and
potatoes and for decades we had plenty of amazing
athletes that will say my steaks did just fine by me. But ya know there’s serious health issues with those athletes when
they get to their 50s and 60s and they should be concerned. There’s a whole series of NBA players that have dropped dead
about age 50, 51, 52 and they were not fed on the
whole-food, plant-based diet. They were fed on the typical junk food and meat-heavy diet that athletes get fed. So I think it takes the
short-term perspective, one meal, sexual response, one season of the Tennessee
Titans and their response. But it’s like everything else,
when you look down the road we want these people to be
healthy for 10, 20, 30 years. I think it will build a lot even though the backlash will be, there’s multiple diets
that will power an athlete. Let’s care about these people and really try and power
’em for the long win not the short win. – Yeah, specifically one
critique was from Joe Rogan, the sort of anti-vegan shock jock. You actually visited the man
himself, Joe Rogan, last year. Was it in LA that you saw him? – Yeah, so it was northern Los Angeles I was on his podcast last September. – Which is excellent, I
wanna talk about that later but he recently said that
executive producer in the film James Cameron is on some weird vegan kick and it seemed like Joe had
formed his opinion of the film before he’d seen it. – Yeah well, number one
I mean I admire Joe Rogan for his energy, for his success. He looks older than his age. He is funded by meat
companies on his podcast. They’re his number one sponsor. I mean you gotta look at
where the man’s perspective and to give him credit he eats green smoothies for breakfast, he eats vegetables with every meal. He walks a better talk
than you might expect from that backlash but it
does threaten his audience or at least his audience
expects him to push back. So he’s playing the role
that his large platform of largely meat-heavy
listeners is going to expect and he did it great ’cause he wants to keep
that thing rolling. But the reality is Rogan understands that the world’s changing
and James Cameron is in this for the environment. It’s like saying you’re a vegan doctor, you can’t actually lecture
broadly, you’re so biased. Well why am I a vegan doctor? I have no health issues,
I’ve read the science, I studied the science. I care for heart patients,
I saw them respond. Three, four weeks on a
whole-food, plant-based, naturally low-fat diet, their heart symptoms started to go away. It’s like a miracle I see
routinely in my practice. So I’m a vegan doctor by
choice, by science, by intellect just as James Cameron is a
director by choice and intellect going through the environmental pathway. I mean, it’s not a criticism, it’s actually a very rational
decision by smart people. – One YouTube commentator
that critiqued the film, he’s a meat-based kind of keto advocate, said it was fear mongering around fat, which I wanna talk about later. But he said the film has a
plant-based, vegan agenda. Agenda seems a very sort
of stigmatized word. What do you say to these haters that say oh it’s just vegan agenda? – The word agenda is very inflammatory. We do have an agenda, a better
environment, a kinder world, and better health free
of disease and surgery and medication and hospitalization. That’s an agenda so join our agenda, which is not driven by money. Sure, right now you’re
seeing companies explode and become multi-billion dollar companies. God bless them. They had the same odds of success that every other company does and they’re just using technology and the current realization
we can’t keep going with CAFO-based meat diets
to power the United States and the western world. But yeah it’s a very noble
agenda that should be recognized. But we’re threatening
people and you know what every time there’s a
winner there’s a loser. Every time there’s a disrupter there’s somebody that implodes and there will be a lot of
change in the next 10 years by the continued success of
the plant-based movement. Somebody’s gonna be
screamin’ and it’s often or most commonly financially derived. – Serious question, like are
you worried ’cause ya know you’re going up against
huge, huge industries? – Yeah, I think ya know
you’re gonna see ugliness from the food industry,
from the farming industry, from people that have blogs,
people that have positions that are threatened by
the growing medical data. I’ve written a few articles this year. It’s a really bad year to be a butcher. The amount of diet information
that favors the idea that red meat is harmful to our health, which we’ve had a baseline
for years and years, but the new data, the new understanding of the pathophysiology
is so profound in 2019. Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of people that use every dollar they have, every social media outlet they have, every way to manipulate
the public mind to hang on. It’s just like smoking. They’re gonna hang on but
they’re gonna fall off the ship and this will, in the end, be the way the American public
adopts largely or completely. – It’s interesting because
the carnivore community, the carnivore demimonde on
YouTube use your same arguments to back up their point
by saying for example, I think this Shawn Baker quote/unquote, “It’s just former athletes
that want a paycheck.” How do you debunk this kind of rhetoric? – Shawn Baker can’t budge an inch because his position is defined. I eat meat three times a
day, it heals the human body, #meatheals, and if he goes
just the pendulum a little bit towards anything moderate
he’s lost that reason people glom onto him. He’s a leader, he’s got
magnetism, he’s got crazy ideas but yeah, and there are some people that claim they feel better on it. I keep responding
science, science, science. He’s a medical doctor. He should be leading the science. One case report, a series
of 10 people, blood work, and other things. It’s right now all anecdotal
and it’s a growing movement but it won’t last. There will be illness,
there will be problems even just trying to stay
on the ketogenic diet for more than a few weeks. The falloff over the course of three years is published in the science,
it’s dramatically high. It’s an issue with
plant-based falloff also but it’s a much healthier
diet to start with. So ya know it’s not paid athletes. I don’t know the financial arrangement with The Game Changers. I do not James Wilks Executive Producer I believe is the title. I don’t think Louis Hamilton
needs a few more dollars to talk about the change in
his performance in formula F1 by transitioning to a
whole-food, plant-based diet. So I think that’s a wrong attack. They’re desperate and they’re clinging on and there are some good people
there but it’s human nature. Threaten my position, I push back. We will win because of the overwhelming
bulk of the scientific data and the environment too. It has to be this way. – Just quickly, I know
you’ve kind of debunked keto and talked about the pitfalls but could you just give
the executive summary? – Well just two statements to be succinct. You go to the National Library
of Medicine, PubMed.gov. You put in plant-based diets,
cardiovascular disease. My field, my specialty. Number one killer of men and
women through the western world you find over 100 peer-reviewed
randomized studies, epidemiologic studies, good
quality, long-term studies. Some of them go on for 30
years or more of observation going back 70 years. You put in ketogenic diet,
cardiovascular disease you actually come up with one study, diabetics low-carb increase heart disease. The finding was actually adverse
and there’s only one study. So we have no data to
suggest there’s any safety for the animal-based,
ketogenic, ultra-low-carb diet in preventing or halting heart disease. In fact, most of us believe
it’s probably gonna result in an increase in heart disease. Heart disease is gonna
take years to develop. So this ketogenic diet
craze is a few years old. Let’s look five years and 10 years. I don’t think there’s
gonna be the enthusiasm that there is now. They lost one of their biggest
leaders Charles Poliquin last September, but boy that
disappeared from the news quick and I wish his family well. I never celebrate the
death of a man in his 50s but that was one of the
leaders of the body building and low-carb, high-fat
movement and you’ll see more. Again I don’t wish that on
anybody, it’s dangerous. The other piece besides
the absence of data are the 10 published studies that if you describe a
diet as a low-carb diet of an animal origin there
is an increased death rate seen over and over. Greek studies, Swedish
studies, US studies, Japanese studies, the famous meta-analysis by a researcher Noto,
N-O-T-O, in I think 2010. I mean we’re talking
about a higher death rate being reported and nobody
wants to talk about it. If you’re on stage at KetoCon,
which was in Austin last week and you’re not talking
about the death rate with low-carb diets you’re not being
authentic to your audience but ya know, when you’ve got
an investment in a keto powder or a keto drink or keto
juice it’s just not honest. – And what do they say back? What does, for example,
Bart Kay say in response? – Bart Kay from New Zealand with his little doggie on his lap who likes to attack me vigorously and I couldn’t give a rip
about Bart Kay in all. But he would say
epidemiology, epidemiology and he has a good scientific background. Ya know, I always fall back
to people smarter than me like Dr. Valter Longo who many people know from the Fasting Mimicking diet and Dr. Michael Brown
who won the Nobel Prize for cholesterol metabolism in
1985, LDL receptors and such. They always look at the big picture. Epidemiology is part of the big picture. Randomized studies are
part of the big picture. Biochemistry is part of the big picture. That’s the problem
right now with red meat. We have more and more biochemical pathways that we’re understanding
more profoundly than ever of harmful effects of adding
red meat into the diet through pathways called Neu5Gc, through pathways called TMAO,
through a new red meat allergy that’s affecting a large number of people on the east coast of the United States. We understand better and better. So when you look at the whole perspective, Bart Kay would attack in his
Meat Militia, a great name. We have the Broccoli Militia here assembled in Washington DC. Not at all, we’re a very kind
and loving group generally and that’s part of the problem. We don’t have enough mojo goin’
on to fight back vigorously but I’m willing to do what
I can do to fight back. But the reality is when you
look at the broad picture Bart Kay stands on nothing. He just stands for a
group of ugly, mean men that like to have a leader
like at times Shawn Baker and be ugly, mean men that just incite people in the wrong way and they actually frankly
in somewhat of a scary way but it’s so old fashioned it’s comical. – You talked about the keto criticisms of the plant-based movement. Do you think these people
have a lack of integrity or are they just misinformed? – Ya know, what they’re
observing is short-term benefits that are authentic. I mean Dr. Atkins realized
when you drive carbs way down and you jack up animal
fats you will lose weight, you may get some mental clarity particularly if you’re coming
from a really bad junk food, fast food, hyper-processed diet. Transitioning to red meat may
be a more natural way to eat than eating out of a vending machine and people may feel
better, lose some weight, may see some advancements in their health. Remembering cancer is a 10-year deal, heart disease is a 10-year deal. Erectile dysfunction,
development of type two diabetes, development of brain disease and dementia is a 10, 20-year perspective. So they’re observing the short-term gains and they’re celebrating
them and they’re reasonable to celebrate them ’cause people
are struggling for solutions but the authentic answer is
you gotta look at the long term and the long game. – People say that athletes or
people on a plant-based diet need to specifically combine
different food groups so they get the full
spectrum of amino acids. What does the science say? – Yeah, athletes should follow just what the rest of
the public should follow which is a food plate pretty similar to the Harvard
School of Public Health or the Physician Committee
of Responsible Medicine or the Canadian Food Guide
that came out in 2019 or the Australian Food Guide
which is fruits, vegetables, whole grains, 100% whole
grains, and legumes; beans, peas, lentils,
natural soy products; and if you just generally
don’t concern yourself but you’re eating from that
mix you’re gonna do great and you don’t have to measure anything, you don’t have to calculate anything, you don’t have to have online programs and athletes are gonna have
to eat more of all of those but you just picture a big
bowl with greens and purples and yellows and ya know some
whites like cauliflower, the whole range of colors
you’ll get every antioxidant, every phytonutrients, every
vitamin except perhaps B12 and you do wanna supplement intelligently. Most of the plant-based athletes I know are not screaming down
plant-based powder support but some are looking for
that extra protein boost given their just high calorie
burn that they’re getting and that’s fine. There’s lost of great organic
versions of those too. – Anyway, let’s talk
about the Joe Rogan debate you were on last year. How was it? – Yeah, I expected it to be tough and I had done enough research listening. And ya know when Joe had
other vegans on, Rich Roll, it was very friendly and they didn’t really get
to a head-to-head debate on the diet. When he had John Joseph
on from the Cro-Mags they talked a lot about growing
up in the punk rock music. This was a debate and he
brought on a capable opponent even though he’s not an MD,
Chris Kresser, acupuncturist with a very large following
in Berekley, California. And Chris has a blog
and Chris does research and I knew Chris was gonna hold his own. Again, neither of us were
gonna walk out of that room saying I’m paleo now and
he’s plant based now. It simply wasn’t gonna happen but we did get mired in the
weeds or stuck in the weeds. That was Joe’s choice. He really wanted to go deep
for two hours on saturated fat before we even moved to another talk, is it harmful is it not? What’s the science? Probably could’ve made
it a little more dramatic if we all brought six slides each and we could show six slides that would’ve gone out to the public but we’re talking about data for two hours that is important data and
has to be described accurately but for the listening audience, and it was a widely watched debate. It’s probably the most watched food debate maybe in the world ever
because of his audience and its repurposing, I’m sure it’s by this time
millions and millions. There’s some fantastic debates on YouTube between Dr. Atkins and Dr. Ornish and Dr. McDougall and other
people but they’re there but they just aren’t being repurposed and have not actually been seen by more than a few thousand people. I mean this thing got over a
million views in about a week. I walked out of there
feeling great about it all. I mean, Joe wasn’t feeling good that day but he was as gentlemanly
about the whole thing as he could be. His bias is clear, he
wasn’t gonna give up on it. We probably had the weakest moment, and I’m talking here in the royal we, maybe me talking about
this molecule called TMAO which if you eat red meat
and you’re an omnivore, general member of the public, you may make a chemical in the blood, trimethylamine and oxide, that the science from the Cleveland Clinic
and all over the world, new science in the last eight years, says may promote heart disease
and block the arteries. Red meat, new chemical, heart
disease, blocked arteries, it’s part of our story. It’s very scientifically founded. The only foil to it is some
fish have TMAO in their flesh so the counter argument
is fish are super healthy, fish have TMAO. This whole argument lacks weight ’cause fish destroy your
argument and the truth of it is and I had to go a little deeper and I followed up with a blog called What Joe Rogan and Chris
Kresser Needed to Know About TMAO and Fish ’cause none
of us handled it perfectly. The reality is there’s
still very little science on that slice of the pie. It’s very few fish, deep, deep water fish have preformed TMAO. Very few humans eat these preformed fish. They’re not the typical
fare of the western world and it’s not clear that fish
is frankly all that healthy for the human body. There are some studies
out there in animals that feed in animal fish and
they get atherosclerosis. So the whole debate suggests the plant world comes out on top and I think it was presented pretty well. What Rogan and Kresser wanna do basically was just anything old in
science was worthless. That is a wrong concept. Anything from epidemiology was wrong except here’s Chris
Kresser using epidemiology but when I used it, it was wrong. And again this big perspective on the whole field of nutrition;
biochemistry, epidemiology, randomized studies; that
I kept coming back to, they didn’t understand that even though it is the most profound way to talk about nutrition science. – Yeah, seemed to go down
a painful rabbit hole in terms of saturated fat debate and it seemed they tried
to kind of deliberately keep you on that topic so you
couldn’t expand on your points and talk about the breadth
and depth of benefits of plant-based nutrition. It just seems kind of stick
on that point the whole time. – Yeah, I agree with you. And you know it’s an important topic. The more important topic is saturated fat isn’t a whole food. It gets very biochemical
and it tends to confuse more than it does to
really elucidate or educate or leave people with practical
steps because the reality is it’s food that we buy and
food has varying amounts of carbohydrates, fat, and protein and we have to keep educating people these are macronutrients. We don’t eat protein, we eat food choices that
have varying amounts. The reality is, I’m a medical
doctor and I totally endorse whole-food, plant-based
diets for everybody but not everybody gets optimal health on the whole-food, plant-based diet rich in whole grains, rich in legumes and of course fruits and vegetables. The reality is some people
still struggle with blood sugar and weight and brain fog and
maybe cardiovascular disease. I think there will develop
science to support the role that a low-carb, high-fat,
plant approach, vegan keto. It’s out there now it’s
just not studied much. Dr. David Jenkins in Toronto
published a couple papers called Eco Atkins, low-carb versions but eco meaning environmentally friendly that are plant based. Some suggestion that
biomarkers, your blood sugar, your blood cholesterol. Dr. Valta Longer, the University
of Southern California has the five-day fasting mimicking diet. A lower carb, higher
fat, plant-based version with a lot of published
science about benefits and a lot more coming out but that’s only five days in a row. But I would advise anybody
with advanced heart disease don’t listen to what I’m saying. Don’t start adding high fats whether they’re plant or
animal into your diet. Follow the Ornish, follow the Esselstyn, follow the Pritikin, follow the McDougall, Barnard and Fuhrman protocols for sure. But if it’s a general public member that isn’t getting everything
out of a whole food, plant-based diet they’re looking for, look authentically at what you’re eating. Look at your exercise, look at your sleep, look at your plastic exposure in the environment and pollution. There’s a lot of things to consider but you might take a
look at a short version of a vegan keto, plant keto approach. I think that will actually fit into the whole-food, plant-based
world as a short-term stress to go back to more traditional
plant-based diet long term. And I do that myself but I also have
characterized my heart status and it’s pretty pristine
so I don’t concern myself about some unknown cardiac risk. (swooshes and pops)