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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Esselstyn, Campbell, Esselstyn, Greenlaw & Esselstyn, oh my

I've been so busy with the horses this summer, I've neglected my blog and have much to catch up on.

Here is the continuation of my notes from the 'Healthy Living Workshop' I attended in southern Ohio this past May.

T. Colin Campbell

Each speaker was only given about an hour and Campbell wasted no time in jumping right in to all the ground he wanted to cover.

He pointed out something very interesting about the studies that are often quoted and suppositions deduced from; he said that most, in fact virtually ALL, studies are done on populations who consume the western diet.  Whole-food, plant-based diets are not included.  So conclusions are based on changes made in the people already eating an unhealthy diet.  Interesting.

He spoke about the 'affluent' diseases and how they correlate with each other.  Lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer tend to group together and also correlate with elevated blood cholesterol.

In the USA, the typical range of cholesterol is 170-270.  In China, the range is 90-170, or so with an average of around 120.  In many other countries, the average is even less than 88!  And, in rural China, heart disease is nearly non-existent.

There is a direct correlation between the consumption of animal protein and the rise in cholesterol, and a direct causal relationship between the consumption of plant protein and the lowering of cholesterol.

Dr. Campbell shared an interesting tid-bit about the title of The China Study.  This is a book that I revere and is the one that set me so solidly on the whole food, plant-based diet.  Well, it turns out he didn't want that title at all.  He wanted any number of other titles and had as one choice, "Food Sense and Nonsense"......I really like that one myself.  But publishers dictated and we have his phenomal work today as The China Study.

He went back to the subject of diseases and said that they do tend to cluster....cancer, heart disease, diabetes and so on, but that there probably is only one disease....that it is all the same. 

He spoke of the exposure that western women get to estrogen over the course of a lifetime.  Western girls start menstruation much earlier than in other parts of the world where the age span is 15 - 19  years, with an average of age 17.  These populations also show menopause coming earlier at around age 48, so western women get it at both ends.  Dr. Campbell says that milk and dairy are big factors.  Rate of growth is the biggest factor for starting menstruation, and the consumption of milk causes an accelerated rate of growth. 

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

Dr. Esselstyn immediately launched into his passionate belief of coronary artery disease being a disease that need not exist.  He classifies it as a food borne illness and cites the populations of Papau Guinea and Tarahumara, among others, as having virtually no such illness.

Historically, in World War 2, the axis powers took over rural farming communities and took all the animals.  In Norway, in 1940, there was a huge drop in heart disease and stroke which was directly related to the reduction of the consumption of animal products.  The previous levels of the disease returned when animals were once again available.

Endothelial cells, the one-cell width lining in our blood vessels are the "life jacket" or guardian of the blood vessel.  Nitric oxide is produced by the endothelial cells which helps to keep the vessels pliant.  Dr. Esselstyn talked about the risks of juvenile plaques that can form and then the body's defenses scramble to repair creating a plaque which can then rupture, block an artery and have catastrophic results.  Dr. E maintains that one cannot rupture a plaque if on a plant-based diet. 

Other highlights from Esselstyn:

If one is consuming animals or their products, one is damaging HDL. 
45% of  Medicare goes to 'treat' heart disease
Heart disease is not being treated today.  Stents and surgeries do not cure the disease.

Avoid:  oil, fish, fowl, meat, dairy.
Consume nothing with a mother or a face.

Also, no caffeine.
Eat greens all day if you have heart disease and NO OIL! 

In 3 weeks, you can be heart attack proof! be continued.....


  1. Hi! I just started reading your blog - thanks for the interesting info... I like "Food Sense on Nonsense" too. Looking forward to reading the continuation.. :)

  2. I really liked that alternative title too. Thanks for reading. I have most of the next installment from the conference done. Hope to finish up soon. I took tons of notes!