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Reversing Heart Disease

Last summer, CNN premiered “The Last Heart Attack,” a documentary featuring Drs. Ornish and Esselstyn talking about successfully preventing, stopping, and even reversing our number one killer—heart disease—with a plant-based diet. Though billed as the latest cutting-edge treatment, Dean Ornish M.D. and Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. M.D. have both been publishing on reversing the heart disease epidemic through diet and lifestyle changes for more than 20 years (see my 2-minute video Our Number One Killer Can Be Stopped).

Multibillion dollar industries ensure we know about the latest cholesterol-lowering drugs and surgeries, but who’s going to tell us about the latest advances in nutrition?  What else lies buried in medical journals with the potential to save thousands of lives that just hasn’t yet seen the light of day? That is why I started But my inspiration to go into medicine in the first place was my grandmother, to whom I give tribute in today’s video pick shown above.

Dr. Esselstyn, whose book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease inspired President Clinton’s dietary shift, issued this stirring call in an editorial he recently published in the American Journal of Cardiology:

“The time is long overdue for legendary work. We can hardly be proud of a drug and interventional therapy that results in death, morbidity, inordinate expense, and disease progression and can never halt this food-borne epidemic. Every patient with this disease should be made aware of this safe, simple, enduring option to cure himself or herself. Most coronary disease need never exist, and where it does exist, it need not progress…. It’s simple: advocate a lifestyle of plant-based nutrition, make a bold leap toward a world free of heart disease, and lessen our use of scalpels and drugs.”

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Photo credit: My great (in so many ways) uncle Eddy, may he rest in peace.

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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8:29PM PST on Nov 8, 2014

Reversing heart disease their is no such thing.

2:21PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

A healthy Diet (for me-organic omnivore) is 80% of one's health. At my last physical, my assesed risk for heart disease in the next 10 years was

5:30PM PDT on May 16, 2012


6:32PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Go vegan! :)

9:12PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

No, it is not. Bad habits are hereditary, or better said, learned from our parents'. My parents both had a heart disease. I adopted healthy life-style in my 30ties and my hearth and arteries are in excellent condition; or my physician lied to me at my annual check-up. All my medical results are better now than they were 20 years ago.

8:13PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Sorry, but I do not beleive we can reverse heart disease by what we eat/don't eat. Exercise/don't exercise. Heart disease is hereditary. It's in our genes, passed on. Who was the runner who died from a heart attack while running? The name escapes me.

12:48AM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

It always amazes me at how many older people I know don't question the number of medications they take, let alone even try a healthier eating regime.

10:31PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Thanks for info

8:48PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

A lot of people choose to rely only on the drugs and operations given by doctors, but don't make an effort themselves to continue to treat themselves and to prevent such a disease from happening again. Don't forget that you are what you eat. Your lifestyle and diet greatly defines your health and are both factors that you can control. You have the means in the palm of your hand to determine your health, but unfortunately, not everyone knows of it or had enough will and determination to make a change that could save their lives.

1:25AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012


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