Why the Vegan Twin Study Got it Wrong

Episode 859 1h 23m


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, Live Momentous, and Happy Egg. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Why nutrition research is so confusing


  • Overview of the Stanford study design and findings


  • Issues with the study design


  • Conflicts of interest and ethical considerations with this study


  • Other research on vegan diets


  • What the Netflix documentary got right and wrong


  • How to eat for your health and the environment


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Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Coming up on this week's episode of the Doctor's Farmacy, if you put people on a vegan diet, take 'em off a standard American ultra processed diet and put 'em on a Whole Foods vegan diet, they're going to do better for sure. In the short run, the devil is in the details. Will going plant-based solve our health and climate problems? Or is the real problem how we're forming, how we're raising animals, how we're doing agriculture, and is it industrialized agriculture including factory farming animals and mono crops is the problem? Yes.
Welcome to the Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman, and this is a place where conversations that matter, and today we're going to talk about the vegan twin study that got..

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Ep. 859 - Why the Vegan Twin Study Got it Wrong