If you're like me, you become frustrated from time to time with your attempts to get others, particularly family and friends, to listen to you about the incredible healing power of a plant-based diet. Many people can't or just refuse to believe that it's true - that diet causes disease, and that the right diet can stop or reverse conditions like coronary artery disease. This information may help you to understand why.
By now everyone is familiar with Bill Clinton's story. We know his diet was less than optimal and he had bypass surgery several years ago. He was reported as being really diligent about his diet and lifestyle habits, and followed closely the directions given to him by his expert doctors. In spite of this, the vessels used for the bypass clogged up (they do almost half the time) and he had a stent implanted. Subsequent to this, he very publicly adopted a plant-based diet, and stated in one of his interviews it was because he realized that the bypass did not work.
Clinton was influenced by The China Study and the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who has an incredible track record in helping patients with coronary artery disease. Some of his patients were terminal when they began their relationship with him, and he was able to stop and even reverse their disease with diet. Not only was he able to accomplish this with the original group of 18 compliant patients, but he was also able to repeat this success with close to 250 additional patients during the last several years. He is currently following up and gathering data on these additional patients, and the results so far show that 88% are still compliant on the diet. Of the 119 compliant patients he has interviewed, there has been no progression of coronary artery disease in any of them. This is the information patients with coronary artery disease should be getting every day - that they can quickly and effectively resolve their health issues by just changing what they put in their mouth.
But unfortunately, Americans are getting a different message. This is what Mr. Clinton's cardiologist and other well-known "experts" have said about his condition and coronary artery disease in general:
Dr. Allan Schwartz, chief of cardiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital said in an interview with Campbell Brown on CNN:
"This was not a result of either his lifestyle or his diet which have been excellent."
"His cholesterol numbers have, and other risk factors that we follow, have all been excellent. This is part of the natural history, just as illnesses have natural history, treatments have natural histories. And this particular type of bypass graft has about a 10 to 20 percent failure rate at five to six years."
"I think this is like high blood pressure... this is a chronic condition. We don't have a cure for this condition (emphasis mine), however we have excellent treatments that involve lifestyle modification, medications, and occasionally when necessary, procedures."
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a regular commentator on CBB chimed in with these comments on the same program:
"Well, you know, I think it's safe to say that. When someone has heart disease, they really are always going to be thinking about heart disease...The doctors are going to have to figure out how to prevent that from happening again in the future. It may mean more aggressive medications."
Dr. Clyde Yancy, President of the American Heart Association and cardiologist at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on the topic:
Dr. Yancy said the former president's experience makes it clear that coronary-artery disease is a progressive process. "We like to think of it as an event, but it is a disease," he said. "There aren't any cures. We have to have constant surveillance."
Remember that these are well-respected "experts" who are regularly featured on television, radio, and in newspaper and magazine articles, and they have been effective (with the help of their peers, drug companies, national health organizations and others) in convincing people that once you have coronary artery disease, you'll take drugs, have surgeries, the disease will get worse, and then you will need more drugs and surgeries.
I like Dr. Esselstyn's comments better: "Coronary artery disease need not exist and if it does, it need not progress."
Dr. Esselstyn's has written an amazing article titled "Is the Present Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease the Radical Mastectomy of the Twenty-First Century?" which can be accessed through the link below. Share it with your skeptical friends; it addresses the shortcomings of the medical profession in dealing appropriately with coronary artery disease.
transcript from the Campbell Brown Show