Getting to the Heart of the Cardiovascular Matter
will and conscience of my profession is being tested as never before. Now
is the time for legendary work."
- - Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn,
In yesterday's Notmilk column, I complimented Dr.
John McDougall for his brilliant commentary which can be found at:
discover the cure to mankind's #1 killer: in Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's
"Reversing and Curing Heart Disease"
While working at America's number one cardiovascular hospital, the
Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn did everything in his power to
make a complete nuisance of himself.
Imagine a hospital treating
more than 2 million heart patients each year with a fast food burger
restaurant in the lobby.
Add an Esselstyn or two, and remove
hundreds of thousands of tests, procedures, and surgeries. Esselstyn's
work alone has the potential to cost the Cleveland Clinic a billion or
more dollars per year in cash flow.
One day, an creative
administrator was hit with a bolt of imaginative lightening. "Let's give
Essy two dozen of the most hopeless heart cases, the ones who didn't
respond to triple bypasses, balloon angioplasty, or other procedures."
And so they did.
Esselstyn took on 23 males and one female, all
given virtual death sentences. The most remarkable of Dr. Esselstyn's
patients was a colleague, Dr. Crowe. Esselstyn writes:
heart attack in 1996, tests showed that the entire lower third of his
left anterior descending coronary artery-the vessel leading to the front
of the heart and nicknamed, for obvious reasons, 'the widowmaker' -was
Caldwell Esselstyn's skill as a surgeon is
obvious, but his proficiency as a writer might be the best part of his
work. Although readers of his book have little or no skill in
assessing heart damage by reviewing coronary angiograms or scans or
x-rays, or other diagnostic tools, Esselstyn skillfully translates the
language of cardiologists into a layman's understanding by presenting
easily understood photographs with arrows and highlighted commentary.
His book is a treasure map, and whether you are diseased or in
perfect health, you will find millions of dollars of precious health
Dr. Esselstyn writes:
"In the United states alone,
more than half a million people die of it (heart disease) every single
year...The United States spends more than $250 billion a year on heart
disease. That's about the same amount the nation spent on the first
two and half years of its military venture in Iraq..."
Of the 24
patients, one did die. All of the others survived through the duration of
this twelve-year study. Of the man who did die, Esselstyn writes:
"...He had been accepted into the study after sustaining a massive heart
attack during an unsuccessful angioplasty... his left heart chamber was
so badly damaged and scarred that it was able to pump blood at less than
20 percent of its normal capacity...After he had spent nearly five years
on the program, a follow-up angiogram compared four of the areas where
his arteries had narrowed. Two were unchanged. Two had improved. Ten
months later, he died of cardiac arrhythmia...his heart, which was so
scarred, had literally electrocuted itself into arrest...As for the
rest of the group, all improved."
The survivors? Esselstyn
confidently calls them "heart attack-proof."
The 24 patients came
to Dr. Esselstyn cumulatively having suffered through 49 life-threatening
cardiovascular events in the years leading up to the study. Esselstyn
"Among the fully compliant patients, during the twelve-year
study, there was not one further clinical episode of worsening coronary
Six patients left the study, being unable to stay
with a vegan diet. For them, the call of the cheese and meat
represented the call of the wild. Of them, Esselstyn writes:
every one of them, the heart disease had grown worse. They had
suffered...four cases of increased angina, two cases of ventricular
tachycardia, four bypass operations, one angioplasty, one case of
congestive heart failure..."
Caldwell Esselstyn is a visionary and
his work is pure genius.
I have chosen to live the rest of my life
according to his brilliant advice which is:
Eat a low fat/no fat