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Whole foods, Plant-based diets for health…. we can’t ignore the science.

“…the idea that whole foods, plant-based diets can protect against and even treat a wide variety of chronic diseases can no longer be denied…now there are hundreds of detailed, comprehensive, well-done research studies that point in the same direction….”  T. Colin Campbell, The China Study

“A low-fat, plant-based diet can prevent, and in many cases reverse chronic western diseases — cancer, heart disease, Type II Diabetes and more — with the added bonus of healthy weight loss!  All by simply changing the foods we choose to eat.

From Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD’s 20+ year study with advanced heart disease patients all of whom stopped the progression of the disease and 70% reversed it with a plant-based diet; to Neal Barnard, MD’s research with Georgetown University that proved diabetes can be reversed with a plant-based diet, to T. Colin Campbell, PhD’s 20-year China Project that produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease, and several other articles and books in between  — we’ve chronicled them here for you.”  Rip Esselstyn, Engine 2 Diet

The following is a list of resources chronicled at www.engine2diet.com/thescience/Published_Studies which support the proclamation of a plant based diet for better health.

PREVENTION

“Mostly Plants,” by Dr. Dean Ornish. Dr. Dean Omish reviews scientific evidence suggesting a plant-based diet can reduce the risk and severity of chronic diseases. He discusses studies that indicate diet alone can be neneficial for preventing and treating hpyercholeteroiemia, coronary artery disease, hypertension, obestiy, and some cancers.

Source: The American Journal of Cardiology, 2009

“Increased Telomerase Activity and Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes: A Pilot Study.” Researchers explore how lifestyle changes, including adoption of a low-fat plant-based diet, affect the activity of an enzyme that is vital for healthy cellular and immune function. In this pilot study, men who made diet and lifestyle changes had increased activity of this enzyme and lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Source: The Lancet Oncology, 2008

“A Very-Low-Fat Vegan Diet Increases Intake of Protective Dietary Factors and Decreases Intake of Pathogenic Dietary Factors.” Researchers examine the effect of a very-low-fat vegan diet on nutrient intake. Study participants who adopted the diet show increased ingestion of protective dietary factors (like fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals) and decreased consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2008

“Meat and Mortality: A Prospective Study of Over Half a Million People.”Researchers at the National Institutes of Health review diet history and cause of death from a study population of half a million over the course of 10 years. Study participants who consumed more red and processed meats had an increase in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009

“The Myth of Inheriting Disease,” By Dr. Pam Popper. Dr. Pam Popper argues diet and lifestyle choices play a more significant role in disease risk than genetic inheritance. She discusses the results of recent studies that have failed to link specific genes with diseases like obesity and heart disease.

Source: www.wellnessforum.com

HEART DISEASE

“Abolishing Heart Disease,” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD. Dr. Esselstyn explains how heart disease can be prevented and reversed by eating a diet of vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains. He discusses common medical approaches to the treatment of heart disease and contrasts these with the efficacy of diet modification.

Source: T. Collin Campbell Foundation (link to page on site)

“Reversing Heart Disease with Diet,” by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. T. Collin Campbell discusses the findings of Dr. Esselstyn’s research into the use of a low-fat, plant-based diet to halt the progression of heart disease. Participants in the study achieved reduction in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and experienced a decrease in heart disease related symptoms, like angina.

Source: T. Collin Campbell Foundation (link to page on site)

“Can Lifestyle Changes Reverse Coronary Heart Disease?” Researchers explore the link between lifestyle changes, including adherence to a low-fat vegetarian diet, and reduction in atherosclerosis and other CHD markers. After one year, study participants who adhered to the diet experienced less angina pain, had lower cholesterol, and had reduced vascular stenosis.

Source: The Lancet, 1990

“Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease.”Researchers compare the effects of intensive lifestyle changes with usual-care on coronary heart disease. Subjects who maintained lifestyle changes for 5 years, including adoption of a low-fat vegetarian diet, experienced a improvement of vascular stenosis and fewer cardiac events.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998

“Heart Disease and Diet,” by Pam Popper, PhD. Dr. Pam Popper discusses the results of a study indicating lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer in individuals with healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. She emphasizes that chronic disease can be prevented with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Source: www.wellnessforum.com

STROKE

“Adherence to a DASH-Style Diet and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in Women.” The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is evaluated in terms of reduction of risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women. The DASH diet encourages plant-based food choices, and adherence to the diet correlated with reduced CHD and stroke risk over the study’s 24 years of follow-up.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2008

“Preventing a Second Stroke,” by Pam Popper, PhD. Dr. Pam Popper contrasts the recommendations to prevent a second stoke issued by the American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association, with modification of diet and lifestyle. She cites the works of Drs. McDougal, Esselstyn, and Ornish and their investigations into the effects of a low-fat, vegan diet on cardiovascular disease.

Source:  www.wellnessforum.com

CANCER

“Foods for Cancer Prevention,” by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) gives an overview of how fat, meat and alcohol may raise the risk of developing cancer. The importance of fiber and the benefits of a vegetarian diet are explored.

Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, The Cancer Project

“Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk,” by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) examines the role meat consumption may play in development of many cancers, including those of the breast, colorectum, and prostate. Carcinogenic compounds in cooked meat and the high fat content of meat are discussed.

Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, The Cancer Project

“Changes in Prostate Gene Expression in Men Undergoing an Intensive Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention,” by Dr. Dean Ornish, et al. Researchers, including Dr. Dean Ornish, analyze the effects of intensive nutrition and lifestyle intervention in men with low-risk prostate cancer. After following a low-fat, plant based diet for three months, measureable changes in gene expression in the prostate were observed.

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2008

DIABETES

“Can a Vegan Diet Reverse Diabetes?” The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) contrasts diabetic control in individuals eating a conventional American Diabetes Association diet with those adhering to a low-fat, vegan diet. Lower fasting blood sugar levels and decreased protein loss in urine were observed in participants who followed the vegan diet.

Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 2005

“New Study Shows Vegan Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk in People with Type 2 Diabetes.” The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) reviews a 22-week study in which 99 people with type 2 diabetes followed either an American Diabetes Association diet or a low-fat, low glycemic vegan diet. Adherents of the vegan diet experienced greater improvement in blood sugar levels, weight, BMI, weight circumference, and LDL cholesterol.

Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

OBESITY

“Comparative Effects of Three Popular Diets.” Researchers evaluate the biochemical and physiological impact of the maintenance phases of the Atkins, South Beach, and Ornish diets. Results indicate that the high saturated fat intake of the Atkins diet may result in elevated total cholesterol, elevated LDL cholesterol, and reduced flow-mediated vasodilatation in brachial arteries.

Source: American Dietetic Association, 2009

“Obesity More Critical Health Issue Than Smoking,” by Pam Popper, PhD. Dr. Popper compares the quality of life, morbidity, and mortality of smokers with obese individuals. Public education campaigns have been used to reduce smoking rates, and she proposes using this approach to encourage changes in eating habits.

Source: www.wellnessforum.com

“Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease,” by Pam Popper, PhD. Dr. Popper reviews studies investigating the effect childhood obesity has on short- and long-term vascular health. She advocates doctor and patient education, rather than medication, as a means for addressing the health implications in obese children.

Source: www.wellnessforum.com

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE / DEMENTIA

“Alzheimer’s Association 2008 Research Summary.” Review discusses developments in the detection, treatment, and prevention of Alheimer’s disease. Findings indicate physical fitness, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and weight management can contribute to maintenance of brain health.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association, 2008

“Physical Fitness Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk. The Health Sciences Institute reviews lifestyle and dietary factors that can help defend against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Study results indicate greater cardiovascular fitness and sufficient intake of specific nutrients both correlate with less brain atrophy and less cognitive decline.

Source: The Health Sciences Institute