Dr. Pam Popper

Optimal Health
Dr. Pam Popper

Dr. Pam Popper

Executive Director, Wellness Forum Health

PAMELA A. POPPER, PH.D., N.D. 

Dr. Pam Popper is a naturopath, an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, medicine and health, and the Executive Director of Wellness Forum Health. The company offers educational programs to both consumers and providers that facilitate informed medical decision-making, diet and lifestyle intervention, and improved long-term health outcomes. Through its own network of providers, Wellness Forum Health offers direct-to-consumer healthcare services. 

Dr. Popper serves on the Physician’s Steering Committee and the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C. Dr. Popper was one of the health care professionals involved in the famed Sacramento Food Bank Project, in which economically disadvantaged people were shown how to reverse their diseases and eliminate medications with diet. 

Dr. Popper served as part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s teaching team at eCornell, teaching part of a certification course on plant-based nutrition. She has been featured in many widely distributed documentaries, including Processed People and Making a Killing and Forks Over Knives, which played in major theaters throughout North America in 2011. She is one of the co-authors of the companion book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 66 weeks. Her most recent book is Food Over Medicine: The Conversation That Can Save Your Life. 

Everyone who is interested in health should hear her speak. For some, their lives may depend on what she has to say! 

Articles by Dr. Pam Popper

A Review of Wheat Belly: Is The Problem Ignorance? Or Does Dr. Davis Intend To Deceive?

The public’s almost insatiable appetite for information about diet and health has led to an explosion of articles, books, websites, blogs, and documentaries.  While I think more information is almost always better, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many people to sort out good and evidence-based information from storytelling and ...
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Animal Foods Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  According to the Centers for Disease Control, the prevalence of gestational diabetes is about 9.2%. Women with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of complications related to both pregnancy and delivery, and are over seven times more likely to develop type 2 ...
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Antioxidant Supplements Not Beneficial For Athletes

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  In 2009, I reported the results of a study showing that antioxidant supplements are more harmful than helpful for athletes. Not surprisingly, advocates for supplements thought that the study’s conclusions were wrong. But a new analysis performed by one of the researchers ...
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Artificial Sweeteners Worsen Glycemic Control

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health I have advised against the use of artificial sweeteners for many years. They are recommended for diabetics and obese people, but there is little evidence showing that they benefit either population. Most studies looking at the effects of artificial sweeteners are flawed, ...
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Avoid Knee Surgery for Meniscal Tears

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health More studies are showing that physical therapy, exercise, diet change, and weight loss  work just as well, and sometimes better than surgery for knee pain. This is important since millions of people have knee pain. Over 9 million people are estimated to ...
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Benefits of Sunlight: It’s Not Just Vitamin D

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Summer is almost here, and people, particularly those who live in northern climates, should spend time in the sun. Unfortunately, most people do not get enough sun and there are several reasons for this. The sunscreen industry has done a great job ...
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Calcium: More Is Not Better

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health A common misperception regarding nutrition is that more is always better. For example, if a small amount of a nutrient in food is good for the body, large amounts of that same nutrient in supplement form must have an even more profound ...
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Carbohydrate and Triglycerides

From “Ask Dr. Pam” Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  How does eating sugar or refined foods result in higher triglyceride levels?  Triglycerides are fats in the blood stream. Both dietary fat and carbohydrate can contribute to high triglyceride levels. Carbohydrate can be converted into fat in the ...
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health The carpal tunnel is a canal located on the palm side of the wrist which is made of bones and connective tissue. It protects the median nerve to the hand and the tendons that facilitate bending the fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome, CTS, ...
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Causes and Treatment for Cellulite

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Over 80.0% of women will develop at least some cellulite as they age, and almost all will be distressed about it. Cellulite is the dimpling appearance of the skin that most commonly appears on the buttocks and thighs, and sometimes the abdomen ...
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Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  Discussion about gluten and grains has become confusing to consumers because of the misinformation they read regularly in consumer publications and diet books, and due to some very popular but not very science-based best-selling books. Without much if any evidence, some healthcare ...
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Cochrane Alleges Fraud Re Safety of HPV Vaccines

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health The Nordic Cochrane Center has filed a complaint against the European Medicines Agency over the way the EMA has handled safety issues concerning human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Cochrane is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization that consists of researchers in over 130 ...
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Coconut Oil

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  Coconut oil is represented as having almost magical properties. Some people claim that coconut oil is a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, and almost any and all health conditions. But are these claims true? The nutrient breakdown alone says that coconut ...
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Concerns About the HPV Vaccine from the American College of Pediatricians

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health In January of this year (2016), the American College of Pediatricians issued a statement expressing concern about the Gardasil vaccine. The article starts with the statement that the organization is committed to the use of vaccines as a tool for preventing disease, ...
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Conflicts of Interest at the CDC

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Conflicts of interest at federal agencies play a major role in the steady stream of incorrect messages people receive daily about diet, health, and medicine. The Centers for Disease Control is no exception. The agency proclaims its mission as follows[i]: “CDC works ...
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Cruciferous Vegetables and Hypothyroidism

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  While cruciferous vegetables are thought by most people to be nutritious foods that contain anti-cancer properties, some health professionals caution against consuming them because of the supposed link between cruciferous vegetables and hypothyroidism. I’m often asked by hypothyroid patients if they should ...
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Diet and Sleep

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Diet affects almost all human function, so it is not surprising to find that diet affects the quality of your sleep. Researchers say that a diet high in saturated fat and sugar results in lighter and less restorative sleep, while more fiber ...
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Dietary Fat, Diabetes, and Pancreatic Cancer

Dietary Fat, Diabetes, and Pancreatic Cancer Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Pancreatic cancer is one of the more deadly cancers, and is fatal almost all of the time. Both smoking and obesity have been linked to increased risk of pancreatic cancer, but like all cancers, pancreatic cancer ...
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Doctors Lack Knowledge About Drugs

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Since 2012, The FDA has used the term “breakthrough therapy” to describe drugs that may have an advantage over existing treatments for changing biomarkers based on preliminary clinical evidence. This is one of several practices used to expedite drug development and approval ...
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Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health The most frequent form of cancer diagnosed with mammography, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), is a very early-stage cancer, and some do not even think it should be referred to as “cancer.” Most women may be better off not knowing about it, ...
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Eating More Plants Better for Humans and the Planet

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Mainstream scientists are now promoting the idea that dietary change is needed in order to address the growing epidemic of degenerative disease and its associated costs, and to save the planet. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of ...
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Eating to Gain Instead of Lose Weight

 Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health While most of the U.S. population and an increasing percentage of the world’s population is overweight, there are some people who are underweight and need to gain a few pounds. I can feel some of my overweight readers groaning right now, but ...
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Focus on Increasing HDL Cholesterol Ineffective

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Another attempt to develop a drug that increases HDL levels has failed, according to an announcement at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting (2016). The drug, evacetrapib, reduced LDL cholesterol and more than doubled HDL cholesterol levels.  But in a study ...
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Food Allergies Not as Common as Thought

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health According to many medical professionals, the incidence of food allergies is rising, and it is an important reason why people are developing so many diseases. An entire industry has developed to perform tests for food allergies, and many practitioners earn a great ...
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Functional Medicine

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Functional Medicine is a form of alternative medicine which was launched in 1991 by nutritionist Jeffrey Bland and his wife Susan. According to the organization’s website, the practice addresses the underlying causes of disease, and involves a partnership between the practitioner and ...
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Gene Testing for Breast Cancer: Lots of Information, No Practical Applications

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health In the history of medicine, we see several recurring themes, one of which is the tendency to become enthralled with new tests, drugs or procedures before they have been proven to be safe or effective. The idea is that new is always ...
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Green Tea and Cancer

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  I’ve been adding high-quality, food-grade green tea to my favorite breakfast, the Wellness Forum Health smoothie, for almost 20 years. There are thousands of studies published in medical journals showing that green tea is beneficial for health. The health-promoting effect of green ...
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Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  The use of tanning beds is seen as a safe alternative to sun exposure by many people. But a growing body of evidence shows that indoor tanning may increase the risk of skin cancer. A study including 681 patients diagnosed with melanoma ...
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Intuitive Eating

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  The failure rate for weight loss programs – all of them – is very high.  Frustrated, overweight and obese people who want desperately to be normal-weight enroll in or adopt program after program, hoping for better results, but usually ending up getting ...
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Iron Deficiency (Ask Dr. Pam Series)

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  My last blood test shows that I have low iron levels and my doctor tells me it is because I am eating a plant-based diet. She says I need to eat meat in order to bring my levels up. I don’t want ...
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Medical Care the Third Leading Cause of U.S. Deaths

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health According to an article in the British Medical Journal, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer.[i] At this time, considerable funding is allocated to research on heart disease and cancer, but since ...
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Millions of Americans Are Saying “No” to Osteoporosis Drugs

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health According to a new study, sales of the most commonly prescribed drugs used to treat osteoporosis dropped by 50% between 2008 and 2012. The authors say that the reason is media reports detailing the side effects of the drugs have caused “…an ...
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Most Cancer Screening Does Not Save Lives

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Accurate evaluation of a test, drug, or medical procedure depends on asking the right questions. Looking at the wrong issues can result in incorrect findings about the value of common medical practices. Take cancer screening for example. There is lots of debate ...
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Nutritional Nonsense

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  It’s an election year, and we have three more months of political ridiculousness to go. I’m counting the days since I’m already tired of the lies, screaming (don’t these people know they can be heard without shouting into the microphone??), and the ...
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Oxalates and Kidney Stones

 Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  The incidence of kidney stones is high in the United States and is increasing in Westernized countries all over the world.[1] There are four types of stones, calcium stones, uric acid stones from eating animal foods which are high in purine, struvite ...
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Pertussis Outbreak in Vaccinated Preschoolers

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Every time a few dozen children develop an infectious disease, vaccine advocates label the occurrence as an “outbreak” and the propaganda machine fires up to blame unvaccinated children for the occurrence. I’ve never understood this, since the rationale for vaccination is supposed ...
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Plant-Based Diets Prevent Diabetes

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Diabetes is a preventable disease, and the best way to prevent it is to adopt a plant-based diet. A research team at a diabetes center in Iran enrolled 150 patients with pre-diabetes and 150 matched controls in a study in which health ...
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Proton Pump Inhibitors Have Serious Side Effects

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are included in the top ten most widely taken drugs in the world. They are prescribed to reduce gastric acid production for patients who suffer with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In addition to being prescribed by doctors, PPI’s ...
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Quitting Smoking Abruptly Better Than Gradual Withdrawal

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health I’ve always taught people to make major changes in their diets right away, rather than going through a lengthy phasing in of changes, sometimes called the “baby steps” approach. The argument for making a few changes at a time is that people ...
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Red Yeast Rice

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Red yeast rice (RYR) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. It is also used in food products such as rice vinegar, pickled tofu, and Peking duck. Historically it has been used medicinally to “revitalize blood” and improve ...
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Replacing Milk With Water Reduces BMI in Children

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health Everyone is concerned with increasing obesity rates in children. There are no simple answers for this very complicated problem, and one major impediment to progress is that so many people have so many different ideas about the right diet, the right exercise ...
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Saturated Fat Really is Bad For Health

Pamela A. Popper Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  No wonder people are confused about diet. The New York Times featured an article titled “Butter is Back” in which the author cited research showing that eating saturated fat does not increase the risk of heart disease.[1] Then the Dietary Guidelines Advisory ...
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Should You Be Worried About Eating Too Much Fruit?

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health I’m receiving a lot of emails these days from people who are concerned that eating fruit is not good for health. They’ve been told that eating “too much” fruit increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, promotes weight gain, interferes with weight ...
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Sun Avoidance Worsens Health Outcomes

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health It’s Spring – the time of year when I’m asked almost every day about sun exposure, sunscreens, and other related questions. There are some points about which we all agree – sun exposure leading to burned skin is dangerous, for example. But ...
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Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health A recent jury verdict is representative of the confusion about the connection between chemicals and cancer.  A jury awarded the family of Jackie Fox $72 million to be paid by defendant Johnson and Johnson because she died of ovarian cancer after using ...
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Tea, Cow’s Milk, and Plant Milk

 Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. with Paula Szwedowski Wellness Forum Health Recently a well-known plant-based nutrition site featured information claiming that drinking tea with the addition of cow’s milk or soy milk interferes with the beneficial health effects of tea consumption. This has led to several inquiries concerning not only ...
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The Myth of “Better” Fats

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  One very popular theory of diet and heart health is that substituting saturated fat with “better fats” such as oils high in linoleic acid reduces cholesterol and lowers the risk and incidence of cardiovascular events and deaths. It’s a widely-held view, but ...
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Traditional Doctors Question Flu Vaccines

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health It’s still flu season, and the drug companies, the medical profession, and major retailers like Kroger and Wal Mart are still aggressively promoting flu vaccines. The current recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics are ...
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Useless Orthopedic Procedures

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health While the FDA eventually approves almost every drug submitted for review, at least there is the appearance of oversight. There is no such approval process for surgical procedures, however.  A recent New York Times article notes that while people think that surgical ...
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We Should Stop Blaming Americans for Their Poor Diet and Lifestyle Choices

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health  I am tired of hearing these types of statements about people and their health: People are lazy People don’t care about their health People are not willing to change their habits People do not want to hear detailed explanations about their health ...
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Why Do I Have An Appendix?

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health American doctors are enthusiastic about removing body parts that they deem unnecessary, like gall bladders or uteruses in postmenopausal women.  But all human body parts have a purpose, and with the exception of emergency or trauma, patients should carefully consider the decision ...
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Why Do You Recommend Elimination of Dairy?

Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D. Wellness Forum Health I notice that your food pyramid includes animal foods, if organic or wild caught, but specifically calls for the elimination of dairy products.  Why is dairy an exception?  What would be wrong with allowing 1-2 ounces of cultured yogurt or cheese per ...
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