Reversing Heart Disease

September 24th, 2010

Bill Clinton explained in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that his recent weight loss was an unintended side effect of the mostly plant-based diet he’s adopted in a bid to reverse his heart disease.

Former President Clinton revealed that the grafted vein from his heart bypass surgery had started clogging up with cholesterol. Concerned, he read several books, including Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., Dr. Dean Ornish’s Programme for Reversing Heart Disease, and The China Study by researchers T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II.

Mr. Clinton was convinced that the scientific research is converging on the notion that a plant-based diet can not only prevent, but actually reverse coronary heart disease.

Wolf Blitzer: How do you lose so much weight? What kind of diet are you on?

Bill Clinton: The short answer is I went on essentially a plant based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder, so I get the protein for the day when I start the day out.

It changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds. I got back to basically what I weighed in high school. But I did it for a different reason, I mean I wanted to lose a little weight but I never dreamed this would happen.

I did it because after I had this stent put in I realized that even though it happens quite often that after you have bypass that you lose the veins because they are thinner and weaker than arteries. The truth is that it clogged up, which means that the cholesterol was still causing build-up in my vein that was part of my bypass and thank God I could take the stents.

I don’t want it to happen again. So I did all this research and I saw that 82 percent of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant based [diet], no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken or turkey[…] I eat very little fish — once in a while I will have a little fish, not often. If you can do it, 82 percent of the people who have done that have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up, the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up.

This movement has been led by a doctor named Caldwell Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic, Dean Ornish you know out in California, the doctors [T. Colin and Thomas M.] Campbell — father and son who wrote The China Study and a handful of others. We now have 25-years of evidence.

So I thought, well since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea’s wedding, I will become part of this experiment. I will see if I can be one of those who can have a self-clearing mechanism. We’ll see.

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