Heart Disease-The Cause Animal Protein?


The China Study chapter #5

After the Second World War the National Heart Institute was created at Framingham MA. At that time scientists knew that Americans were leading the world in heart diseases and they knew that greasy plaque was building up in many arteries and that it was connected to fatty acids and high cholesterol but they did not know why. The Framingham study, which identified this mainly American problem, was published in 1955. Among the early attempts to study heart disease Dr Morrison did try reducing but not eliminating animal food in a study group of heart disease patients in 1946 and he had some success. Most of the early research focus was on reducing fat and cholesterol while reducing all animal protein remained in the shadows. Today Americans eat more meat and dairy products than ever and cancer and heart disease are far and away the largest killers.

In 1985 Dr Esselstyn and his wife Ann began a study at the Cleveland Clinic, which involved 18 patients with severe heart disease with a goal of reducing blood Cholesterol below 150 mg/dt. Initially the diet allowed skim milk and non-fat yogurt but was modified to eliminate all animal protein. After 17 years as of 2003 all but one patient was still alive going into their seventies and eighties. These patients had 49 coronary events before they went on a plant food based diet and none afterwards.

Dr Dean Ornish did a similar study. He started with a group of 28 heart disease patients who went on a no animal protein diet except egg whites and non fat milk or yogurt and 20 who were given a standard treatment plan using pills and moderate diet similar to what most patients still receive from their doctors today. The group that were on the no animal food diet reduced their artery blockage by 4% in the first year while the group that received normal treatment continued to suffer increase artery blockage. 200 people have participated in Dr Ornish’s Lifestyle Project, which has saved an average of $30,000 per patient in cost of surgical procedures

Despite all of this evidence, which supports a change to a plant based diet, well meaning institutions continue to recommend moderation in consumption of animal based food rather than recommending a diet based on overwhelming scientific truth. I personally have never had a doctor recommend a plant based diet despite  building evidence that this lifestyle change would improve everyone’s chances of increased longevity a good chance of a life free of  many major diseases. Why? See the end of Chapter 5 of the China Study for some perspective.



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