President Clinton Credits Caldwell Esselstyn MD for Decision to go Plant-Based

CNN | 09/21/10

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Read More: Bill Clinton, Campbell, Esselstyn, heart disease, Ornish

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Watch Bill Clinton on CNN describe to Wolf Blitzer how the trailblazing work of Cleveland Clinic surgeon Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. led Clinton to embrace a nearly 100% plant-based lifestyle, losing 24 pounds in the process and returning him to his high school weight.

Clinton also discusses the work of health icon Dean Ornish, MD, and the enormous importance of the book The China Study, by esteemed professor T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and his son, Tom Campbell. The Campbells together wrote one of the most important books of the century, spotlighting ground-breaking, rock solid scientific research that establishes conclusively the overwhelmingly superior health benefits of plant-based diets.

The experts who influenced Clinton to change the course of his health and reverse his heart disease -- are the same ones who appear regularly at the annual VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo in California. Join us in Los Angeles, October 15-17, and meet Dr. Esselstyn and other experts whose very compelling scientific evidence convinced Bill Clinton to go plant-based -- much to Clinton's benefit.  Expo info here: HealthyLifestyleExpo.com

NOW watch Bill Clinton discuss Esselstyn and other noted plant-based researchers and scientists:



12 Comments | Leave a comment


Thanks, Mr. Clinton. Had you been with 'vegsource.com' earlier, you should have been a healthier man by now.


This is excellent advertising for plant based diet! Once such a high profile personage as this embraces the advantages, many more people will hear and believe the message. It is also a sign that the message has already worked its way deeper into our society than we might have thought.

Hopefully, in time he will go fully vegan. Clearly though, he still needs some education about protein. Sadly, he apparently thinks he needs a protein powder and "some" fish. Hopefully in time, he will get straightened out on those misconceptions.

I'm sorry he didn't mention the name of Dr. McDougall who wrote to Clinton around the time that he had the heart surgery and urged him in the strongest possible terms to embrace the plant based diet. He is definitely one of the doctors who co-created this wonderful moment in history.


I am miffed that Mr. Clinton is still consuming fish and their products and is perceived as a "new vegan." He clearly is not a vegan. Why aren't his "health experts" sending out the message that if Mr. Clinton has committed this far in eliminating animals, he can easily be a vegan. As a vegan for 10 years, I discovered that vegans have, in fact, enormous food options. Today, organic vegan foods abound and are incredibly delicious and nutritious and that is, without resorting to fake animal products. Sadly, large activist organizations promote the misleading and false notion that we ought to hang onto some animal food and continue to enjoy happy meat and fish while we assuage our conscious that these animals are treated "compassionately and humanely." Visit one of these humane farms. You will never forget your experience. Please Mr. Clinton, don't rely on the status quo for your facts, educate yourself. Peace Now. Go Vegan.


First - yes I also wish Dr John McDougall would have been mentioned...I guess he is part of that "handful of others". It took Bill Clinton a long time to get here, but it's great he's come this far. People will notice this. He will likely have great test results, even with his occasional fish, because he's made huge changes from what he WAS eating. And he's relaying the info pretty well in interviews. Loved Wolf's initial reaction - his eyes looked like he thought Bill had gone off the deep end! Quite the contrary. He's finally found sanity with his diet. He'll be able to pick up those future grandchildren! :-)


Go for the plant based diet, Mr. President. I am sure you wont regret it!


Further to my comment that Dr. John McDougall was one of the influences on President Clinton's decision to embrace a plant-based diet:


Let's all hope Mr. Clinton accepts this invitation!! He's already most of the way there...


Having read the other comments, I want to say, just back off Clinton. Why not see what wholesome and dramatic positive changes he's made, and how willing he is to share how it has given him a new lease on life? Really, vegans can be so picky! The truth is, his changes are MAJOR. No he's not a 'perfect' vegan in your eyes, but try to acknowledge dietary changes are a DYNAMIC PROCESS and not always 100% or nothing.
As a group, vegans would serve the world more if they could exercise some flexibility and compassion for others who do not eat just like they do.


I think that a bunch of you are being hard on him. If we feel that we're sacrificing ourselves then we feel resentment over our choices. What he's done has greatly improved his health. It may not be optimal; but it's a bigger step than 99% of the population is willing to do. He's not a religous vegetarian / vegan - he's doing this for his health. Going the last step may make a big difference - or it may not.
Be the change that you want to see. Preaching at others rarely works. They need to be informed but you can't delivery democracy at the point of a gun and you can't make people adopt a lasting change unless they want it.

If Mr. Clinton is a shining example of "mostly" vegan then that is one big step forward. It will open others to reducing their meat intake and some will wonder about going all the way.


Clinton should be commended! And I agree that taking people to task for not being totally vegan is pointless. If he is 98% of the way isn't that what's important?


President Clinton convinced me to read the book and now my husband and I are about to embark on a whole new chapter in our lives. Thank you Bill!


Go for the plant based diet, Mr. President i am sure you want regret.

Regards, Johny


My doctor told me I was plugged, my arteries lined with plaque.
I need to change my ways today or have a heart attack,
eat more fish and drink more wine and do more exercise,
for then you will extend your life, to tell more truths than lies.

The doctor ordered me some drugs to take each day for sure.
There is no guarantee of cure, except to make me poor.
For everywhere both far and near, the rich and poor will die.
Of heart attack and stroke and in their graves they’ll lie.

Along came Linus Pauling with his saving protocol.
He said to drink more orange juice, with a little alcohol.
The truth that you must know to keep your arteries clear.
Is not as simple as his words, you must not harbor fear.

The cure to keep you healthy, is more than vitamin C,
Amino acids, niacin, and anti-oxidant teas.
Along with fearsome exercise and cleansing of your gut.
Remove your mind from prejudice, think thoughts not from your butt.
Yippee yiyay yippee yiyoo Learn Linus Pauling’s protocol.

It’s been 2 years, since my doctor said my heart is full of fat.
With Linus Pauling’s protocol, each day I firmly sat.
My cardio said I should know my calcium score, so he scanned my heart.
If its under 10 he won’t see me no more.
yippee yiyay yipee yiyoo learn linus paulings protocol.

The pain is gone, my chest is clear, my pressure’s nice and low.
When I climb a hill I chug along, my legs just seem to flow.
My doctor checked my score, he dropped his jaw in awe.
A zero faced him squarely, thats exactly what he saw.
yipee yiyay yipee yipee yiyoo learn linus paulings protocol

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