CALDWELL ESSELSTYN PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE PDF

Esselstyn is an internationally known surgeon, researcher and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic and a featured expert in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Within months of starting the program, all Dr. Complete with more than delicious recipes perfect for a plant-based diet, the national bestseller Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease explains the science behind the simple plan that has drastically changed the lives of heart disease patients forever.

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Esselstyn, Jr. While it may be based on nutrition, little in the book is based on reality. The diet allows unlimited amounts of vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and permits three servings of whole fruit per day. If you do not have heart disease, you can eat walnuts and avocados in moderation. Esselstyn recommends a number of supplements: a multivitamin, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, flax seed. The Science Esselstyn repeatedly claims that you will never, ever get heart disease so long as you bring your cholesterol level low enough.

The entire lower third of his left anterior descending coronary artery was diseased. It is true that one publication of the famous Framingham Heart Study found a total absence of heart disease among the small handful of people whose cholesterol levels were this low,1 but plenty of such people died of heart disease in the much larger MR FIT trial.

The ugly facts that slay his beautiful hypothesis, however, are that low cholesterol levels make one much more likely to die of stroke and that the risk of stroke gets lower and lower the more fat and animal protein one eats. For example, he writes that fats and oils increase oxidative stress whereas plants and grains contain antioxidants. Nowhere does he point out, however, that only polyunsaturated fatty acids PUFAs contribute to oxidative stress4 and that coenzyme Q10, found mostly in animal products, is the master antioxidant of the LDL particle.

His conclusion? That lowfat diets are not nearly low enough in fat, and that cholesterol-lowering treatment only works if you lower your cholesterol at least in part with a plant-based diet. Of course, an alternative explanation would be that lowfat diets do not work and that cholesterol-lowering cannot guarantee anyone freedom from heart disease.

The Esselstyn Diet on Trial Esselstyn does, however, offer one study purported to show that his extremely lowfat diet does, in fact, reverse heart disease. Twenty-two percent of those who began the intervention dropped out of the study within the first two years; thirty-five percent of those who completed it did not submit to the follow-up analysis of their cardiovascular health; of the twenty-two patients who began the trial, only eleven remained in the final analysis.

Of these eleven, occlusion of the blood vessels became better in five, stayed the same in one, and became worse in four. Despite the inconsistent results, the average change in the width of the blood vessels was an increase in 0.

This represents an apparent reversal of atherosclerosis—on average. Likewise, on average, the degree to which blood vessels were constricted decreased by seven percentage points. Six of the eleven dropped out of the study after the first five years; in the following five years, there were ten heart attacks among the six that dropped out while there were none among the five who remained on the program.

Since there was no control group and there was such a high drop-out rate, it is difficult to make much sense of the study. Did the people drop out because their health was not important to them? Or did they drop out because the vegetarian diet made them feel fatigued, unsatisfied, and even less healthy than their original diet full of meat and junk food?

Were the people who completed the study but did not submit to the final measurements of their blood vessels reluctant for no reason, or were they reluctant because they were afraid of the results they would obtain based on how the diet made them feel? It is possible that an extremely lowfat diet would provide some benefits simply because it is extremely low in PUFA. Since the plants are so low in fat, the body will produce its own fat from carbohydrates.

The primary product of this biochemical pathway is palmitate, which is a saturated fatty acid. Because it is saturated, it is not vulnerable to oxidation. Ironically, one of the benefits of eating a diet so low in fat is that a much greater portion of the total fat obtained is saturated.

The question is whether we can eat a diet that protects our blood vessels from the ravages of oxidized lipoproteins while also eating enough fat and protein to maintain robust physical and mental efficiency and ensuring adequate intake of nutrients like zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin D, DHA, taurine and others that are primarily found in animal products. Evidence indicates that there is indeed a way to accomplish this.

Like Esselstyn, the authors measured atherosclerosis directly by coronary angiography. The results certainly surprised the authors. The progression of atherosclerosis was worse with higher intakes of PUFA, and to a lesser extent, with higher intakes of carbohydrate. The higher the intake of saturated fat, by contrast, the slower the progression of atherosclerosis. In the highest quartile of saturated fat, atherosclerosis was reversed!

In this study, the group with the highest intake of saturated fat only achieved a 0. Although extrapolation is by its nature somewhat speculative and inherently inconclusive, the same can be said of intervention trials with no control groups.

He makes no mention of other groups in whom rates of heart disease are low or non-existent, such as the Maasai and the Inuit, who eat high-fat animal-based diets, the inhabitants of Crete, who eat highly saturated goat cheese as a daily staple, or the natives of Pukapuka and Tokelau in the Polynesian atolls, who live off fish and highly saturated coconut meat.

A Reality-Based Cure Esselstyn cherry-picks the studies he presents and then stretches his interpretations of them as far as they can be stretched. The result is that the picture he paints of the relationship between diet and heart disease has little connection to reality. It is not revolutionary because advocates of vegetarianism, and opponents of dietary fat have been stretching science for ages. While his plan is nutrition-based, a plan for reversing heart disease should be both nutrition- based and reality-based.

A reality-based plan for reversing heart disease would be low in PUFA, but not necessarily low in fat. It would be rich in fresh, traditionally raised and traditionally prepared foods, including animal products. It would include a component emphasizing exercise and happiness. And, luckily for those following it, it would taste good, too. Cholesterol in the prediction of atherosclerotic disease. Annals of Internal Medicine.

Serum cholesterol levels and six-year mortality from stroke in , men screened for the multiple risk factor intervention trial. New England Journal of Medicine. Masterjohn C. Cholesterol and Stroke. Wise Traditions.

Ubiquinol protects human low density lipoprotein more efficiently against lipid peroxidation than does alpha-tocopherol. Esselstyn CB Jr. Journal of Family Practice. Price Foundation, Fall Com, a web site dedicated to extolling the benefits of traditional, nutrient-dense, cholesterol-rich foods and to elucidating the many fascinating roles that cholesterol plays within the body.

Chris is a frequent contributor to Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and is a perennial speaker at the annual Wise Traditions conference. He has written five peer-reviewed publications, and has submitted two additional experimental papers for peer review, one of which has been accepted for publication.

The contents of this blog represents his independent work and does not necessarily represent the positions of the University of Illinois. Reader Interactions.

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232: Heart Disease

Most people resort to medication but my guest today, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, will teach us how to reverse heart disease through diet. In fact, he has the longest running track record for success. Early Years Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn was a Yale undergraduate and went to medical school at the Western Reserve University. He took an internship at the Cleveland Clinic and decided to go into General Surgery. He has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since

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Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn on How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with Nutrition

Esselstyn, Jr. While it may be based on nutrition, little in the book is based on reality. The diet allows unlimited amounts of vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and permits three servings of whole fruit per day. If you do not have heart disease, you can eat walnuts and avocados in moderation. Esselstyn recommends a number of supplements: a multivitamin, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, flax seed. The Science Esselstyn repeatedly claims that you will never, ever get heart disease so long as you bring your cholesterol level low enough.

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