Lecture to address how nutrition affects cardiovascular disease

February 4, 2016 | Events, News, Medicine and Life Sciences, UTMC
By Amanda Benjamin

Author and physician Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. will visit The University of Toledo to discuss how nutrition affects cardiovascular disease.

His lecture, “The Nutritional Reversal of Cardiovascular Disease: Fact or Fiction,” will take place Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1000A on UT’s Health Science Campus.



Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association.

“Toledo is a great place for Dr. Esselstyn to come and educate the community about heart disease prevention through nutrition,” said Sophie Tuthill, a second-year UT medical student and one of the program organizers.

Esselstyn, a former general surgeon who directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, was featured in the Netflix documentary “Forks Over Knives.” He is the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (2007).

His research supports a plant-based diet to prevent and reverse cardiovascular disease. The diet includes fruits, vegetables, tubers and starchy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

book_preventThe diet prohibits all meat, fish, dairy and oils — foods that damage the inner lining of the artery, according to Esselstyn’s research.

Esselstyn said his patients “rejoice” at learning the impact of nutrition on their cardiovascular health. “They become empowered to halt their disease,” he said.

“It’s important for citizens to take an active stance in their health,” Tuthill said. “If you change your lifestyle and diet, you can reverse your illness.”

Esselstyn emphasized the importance of medical students learning how poor nutrition leads to heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

“I really applaud UT for offering this lecture,” he said.

The free, public lecture is sponsored by the following UT student organizations: Student Health and Wellness Organization, Community Health for the Underserved, Internal Medicine Club and Surgery Club.

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