I was only a kid when doctors sent my grandmother home in a wheelchair to die at age 65. Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, she had already had so many bypass operations the surgeons essentially ran out of plumbing—the scarring from each open-heart surgery had made the next more difficult until they finally ran out of options. Confined to a wheelchair with crushing chest pain, her doctors told her there was nothing else they could do.
I think what sparks many kids to want to become doctors when they grow up is watching a beloved relative become ill or even die. For me, it was watching my grandma get better.
Soon after she was discharged, a segment aired on 60 Minutes about Nathan Pritikin. He had been gaining a reputation for reversing terminal heart disease and had just opened a new center—a live-in program where everyone was placed on a plant-based diet and then started on a graded exercise regimen. My grandmother somehow made the trek to become one of its first patients. They wheeled her in, and she walked out.
Later featured in Pritikin’s biography Pritikin: The Man Who Healed America’s Heart, she was described as one of the “death’s door people”:
“Frances Greger…arrived in Santa Barbara at one of Pritikin’s early sessions in a wheelchair. Mrs. Greger had heart disease, angina, and claudication; her condition was so bad she could no longer walk without great pain in her chest and legs. Within three weeks, though, she was not only out of her wheelchair but was walking ten miles a day.”
At that time, reversing heart disease didn’t even seem possible. Drugs were given to try to slow the progression, and surgery was performed to circumvent clogged arteries to try to relieve symptoms (literally bypassing the problem), but the disease was expected to worsen until you died. Today, we know that as soon as we stop eating an artery-clogging diet, our bodies may start healing themselves, in many cases opening up arteries without drugs or surgery.
By the time I became a doctor, giants like Dean Ornish, M.D., had already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt what Pritikin had shown to be true. Using the latest high-tech advances—cardiac PET scans, quantitative coronary arteriography, and radionuclide ventriculography—Dr. Ornish and his colleagues showed that heart disease, our leading killer, may be reversed with the lowest-tech approach—diet and lifestyle.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Heart Disease
All Videos for Heart Disease
How Common Are Muscle Side Effects from Statins?
Why is the incidence of side effects from statins so low in clinical trials but appear to be so high out in the real world?
The Best Diet for Fatty Liver Disease Treatment
What are the three sources of the liver fat in fatty liver disease and how do you get rid of it?
Heart Stents and Upcoding: How Cardiologists Game the System
Cardiologists can criminally game the system by telling a patient they have a much more serious, unstable disease than they really have, fraud that results in unnecessary procedures, unnecessary cost, and unnecessary patient harm.
Why Are Stents Still Used If They Don’t Work?
Over and over, studies have shown that doctors tend to make different clinical decisions for patients based on how much they will get paid personally.
Do Heart Stent Procedures Work for Angina Chest Pain?
Sham surgery trials prove that procedures like nonemergency stents offer no benefit for angina pain—only risk to millions of patients.
Angioplasty Heart Stent Risks vs. Benefits
What do physicians and stent companies have to say for themselves, given that they are promoting expensive, risky procedures with no benefit?
The Risks of Heart Stents
Why are doctors killing or stroking out thousands of people a year for nothing? How do doctors even convince patients to sign up for procedures that are all risk without benefit?
Do Angioplasty Heart Stent Procedures Work?
There are demonstrably no benefits to the hundreds of thousands of angioplasty and stent procedures performed outside of an emergency setting. They don’t prevent heart attacks, enable you to live longer, or even help with symptoms any more than placebo (fake) surgery.
Studies on Millet Nutrition: Is It a Healthy Grain?
Millet isn’t the name of a specific grain, but a generic term that applies to a number of totally different plants. Which is the most healthful?
The Effects of Processed Meat on Lung Function
If the nitrites in foods like ham and bacon cause lung damage, what about “uncured” meat with “no nitrites added”?
What About the Heme in Impossible Burgers?
Is heme just an innocent bystander in the link between meat intake and breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure?
Are Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger Healthy?
What happens when you compare the trans fats, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol levels in plant-based versus animal-based burgers?