Heart Health


Cholesterol is found only in animal-based food.  As blood cholesterol levels decreased from 170 mg/dL to 90 mg/dL, cancers of the liver, rectum, colon, lung, breast, childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, brain, stomach and esophagus (throat) decreased. Most Americans know that if you have high cholesterol, you should worry about our heart, but they don’t know that you might want to worry about cancer as well. The China Study pg 7-79.

Dr. John McDougall in his book The McDougall Programstates “the blood cholesterol levels . . . average decrease is 28 mg/dl” after a patient is on his esstentially vegan diet for 12 days. (pg 28) Dr. McDougall has many articles on line-Fat & Cholesterol: Primary Poisons and cholesterol video or Cholesterol & Triglycerides.

1 in 5 kids in the US has high cholesterol with total cholesterol levels over 200 mg/dL. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend monitoring cholesterol for all kids as young as 9 years old.

Drugs vs diet.  Statins increase type 2 diabetes risk by 44%.  Only diet prevents heart disease info and  video

Study shows solid evidence that there are different kinds of HDL, and some of them are harmful

Podcast interview with Dr. W. C. Roberts (Editor in Chief of Am Journal of Cardiology & Head of Cardiology at Baylor Med) preventing heart disease  on why to keep cholesterol below 150 here  

Study finds the more soy consumed the lower cholesterols levels found.

Study finds vegans consume more fiber and had the healthiest body weight and lowest cholesterol levels of all diet types.

Review of 26 trials finds adding ½ c of beans, lentils or peas a day to diet can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

Study shows low-fat, vegan diet in 7 days decreased cholesterol 22 mg/dL.

Healthy adults put on Paleo diet suffer increased LDL, total cholesterol and Triglycerides.

Study finds soy helps lower diabetes, kidney and heart risk factors, lowering total cholesterol and serum triglyceride with 1-2 oz eaten per day.

Study finds people who consume more whole grains live longer and have lower rates of heart disease. 

Study finds replacing red meat with lentils lowers LDL cholesterol.

Meta-analysis of 10 trials found vegetarian diets, compared with omnivorous diets, improve therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease risk reduction including LDL and HDL and total cholesterol.

Study of 11,000 finds vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did meat eaters.

Meat & cheese consumption increased cholesterol, eating fiber is inversely associated with high cholesterol.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends you eat less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day

Cardiology visit that discusses adopting a vegan diet resulted in lowering cholesterol

Inflammation associated with high cholesterol causes increased joint and tendon inflammation.

Heart Disease

Learn about cholesterol and heart disease here 

See “The Colon” tab for how more fiber can lead to less heart disease.

11 year study of 44,561 men and women found vegetarians 32 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die fromheart disease

 Eliminating 1 serving of red meat results in 7% to 19% lower mortality risk according to a 2012 study here.

Dr. Esselstyn’s studies of heart disease prevention and cure here

Fourteen studies involving 320,778 subjects reviewed showed the more eggs consumed the greater the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes

Study finds .6% of plant based patients has recurrent cardiac “events” vice 62% of non-plant based.

We all start out with baby clean arteries, but that soon changes with consumption of the rich Western diet.  Children raised on cow’s milk, meat, and other delicacies soon show fatty streaks (the earliest stage of atherosclerosis) – in their aorta. This damage is seen as early as 9 months of age, and all children on this diet show artery damage by age 3 years.1 These streaks eventually evolve into the plaques that are commonly seen on angiograms and at autopsy in adults.  More

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is a vitamin-like substance found throughout the body, but especially in the heart. NIH here. People with congestive heart failure have very low levels of Q-10 as do people with high cholesterol. Statins (to lower cholesterol) also lower Q-10 levels. U of MD Med Cen.  In other words, to fight congestive heart failure you need to lower cholesterol and eliminate statin use in order to raise coenzyme Q-10 levels.  ‎August ‎18, ‎2012 podcast here

Phosphatidylcholine is abundantly present in animal products. The production of TMAO from dietary phosphatidylcholine can lead to greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and death, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study shows a higher intake of fruit and vegetables results in lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma total homocysteine (Hcy) which results in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Study of 12,513 people found daily treatment with n−3 fatty acids (fish oil) did not reduce cardiovascular mortality.

Review of 20 studies of 68,680 patients found fish oil “was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke”.

Review of 1007 articles involving 20 485 patients with a history of cardiovascular disease, use of fish oil “did not reduce the risk of overall cardiovascular events . . .  all-cause mortality, sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or transient ischemic attack and stroke.”

Study showed after eating a junk food meal (a sandwich made of a sausage, an egg, and a slice of cheese), the arteries of the study participants dilated 24% less than they did when in the fasting state.

Study finds those consuming 7 servings of fruits and vegetables/day saw a 31% decrease in risk of death from  heart disease.

Study finds that heme iron, the type from meat, milk and eggs, increases by 57% the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) but the non-heme iron from plants does not.

Study of African-American diets found those who consumed a vegetarian/vegan diet had less heart disease, lower blood pressure, and 44% reduced risk for hypertension.

Study finds a high-fiber diet reduces death by 35% in heart attack survivors.

Researchers reviewed 10 studies on Eskimo & Inuit diets and found these heavy fish eaters have shorter life expectancies and higher rates of heart disease.

Swedish study: Those who consumed the most fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes as the healthy diet factor of study had the least heart attacks.

Study: Eating fruits and vegetables over animal products reduces risk of dying from a heart attack.

Study: The more vitamin K component (found only in plants) you eat you lower your risk of heart disease.

Study finds the more fiber & fruit EATEN (not pills) the less heart disease mortality.

Study found fiber and fruit intakes are associated with a strong reduction in heart disease.

Study-2 or more chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, or stroke) can increase your risk of dying prematurely

Meta-analysis found vegetarian diets vegetarian vs non‐veg diets reduced ischemic heart disease risk by ∼30%.

Study of 11,000 finds eating eggs more than 6x/week had 2.47 times greater risk of dying of heart disease.

Study: Fiber found ONLY in plants helps reduce risk of coronary artery disease.

Study: Higher egg consumption associated with heart disease independent of risk factors.

Study: Diets high in fruits, vegetables, & whole grains promote abundant healthy gut bacteria needed for good cardiovascular health.

Study: TMAO produced during digestion of animal products leads to heart attack & stroke

95 studies show eating 2.5 servings fruit/veg/day decreases risk of heart disease

Risks of modern medicine

Study finds patients who take statins gain more weight & eat 14.4% more fat

Blood Pressure

The amino acid citrulline helps produce the amino acid arginine and the overwhelming best source for bio-available citrulline is watermellon. Researchers are investigating arginine as a treatment for high blood pressure and for elevated glucose levels.

See study where six obese subjects with type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension were assigned to a strict vegetarian diet (SVD) for 1 month and lowered their blood pressure because the fiber changes the gut microbiota.

Researchers analyzed the dietary choices and blood pressures of adults from 39 studies and found vegetarian diets were associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than omnivore diets.

Study shows a low-fat, vegan diet in 7 days results in systolic blood pressure decreased by 8  mm Hg & diastolic by 4.

Study finds higher potassium intake in adolescence results in lower adult blood pressure. Top foods for potassium include: green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, green beans and asparagus.

Daily fruit associated with decreased blood pressure. In fact, a pro-inflammatory diet (low in fruit & veggies) leads to higher risk of developing hypertension.

Learn about high blood pressure here or from Dr. John McDougall here


Niacin, taken hoping reduces triglycerides, did not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke but did cause a 9% increased risk for death.

Cholesterol is found in animals, phytosterols are found in plants and lower Triglycerides.

Study finds replacing red meat with lentils lowers triglycerides.

Study finds high triglyceride levels cause 35 % increased risk for hypothyroidism

More resources


Dr. Marc Katz head cardiologist at the 7 Bon Secours heart inst. hospitals on vegan diets for heart health – ‎June ‎2012 here

Podcast Interview of Dr Esselstyn (May 2010) here

Dr McDougall interview of Robert Pritikin on why cholesterol medications do not solve the whole problem,cholesterol can be lowered at any age and at minute 25-vegan diet can help preserve heart bypass surgery from ruin (Aug 2007)  here