The ENDOTHELIUM Association
All heart attacks and most strokes are caused by a sick endothelium
The idea that meat is not good for us is not new. Plato, 2500 years ago, tells us of a dialogue between
Socrates and Gluacon. Socrates argued that a vegetarian society is a better society. So too did Seneca
and Pythagoras. Professor Campbell tells us that his great, great uncle Macilwain, a doctor in the mid
1800s, became a vegetarian from his observations of life and death of his patients. Source: Campbell
A mass forced dietary change experiment was run during WWII. It was never intended to be a
dietary experiment but it was. In 1940 German Armies occupied both Norway and the Low Countries. The
Nazis then proceeded to take all the meat, fats and the dairy products and sent them to Germany. They
did this throughout their years of occupation of these countries. There was no question of choice. If people
were going to eat, they had to eat a plant based diet.
The death rates plunged during the first year of occupation. The death rate continued to fall in each of
the occupation years. Unfortunately for the people of these countries, their traditional cuisine was anything
but vegetarian. They just did not know much about preparation of good vegetarian meals. They hated the
diet along with the Germans. Immediately after WWII, everyone went back to their old diet. The death rate
soared to what it had been before the war.
Closer to our time, in the ‘50s, Nathan Pritikin, an inventor, found that he had sever cardiac
symptoms. He was told to slow down and stay quiet. Instead, he looked at the work of Dr. Lester Morrison
who had noted the dietary experiment under German occupation in WWII. Dr. Morrison ran his own diet
experiments. He found that the more vegetarian patients were, the better they did. Pritikin, experimenting
on himself, went on a vegan diet. He fully recovered. He wrote some ten books on the Pritikin Diet. Several
became best sellers. He also started the Pritikin Longevity Center. At his death in 1985, The New England
Journal of Medicine reported that Pritikin’s arteries were supple and showed no sign of
arteriosclerosis! Source: Wikipedia
Dr Julian Whitaker worked at the Pritikin Center. He went on to establish his own clinic and in 1985
published his own book, "Reversing Heart Disease". Dr. John McDougall in Hawaii, during this same
time period, found his own way to a vegetarian diet by observing patients. He too wrote a series
of books, established a clinic and recently authored legislation on dietary education for doctors.
Source: Whitaker McDougall
“Dr.Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease” was published in book form in 1990. He
was at Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center and UCSF Medical School. His program was a combination of a
vegetarian diet, meditation and exercise. It worked. He demonstrated in a rigorous scientific study that the
disease process could be halted and reversed. This was the first scientific, peer reviewed, study to
demonstrate the reversal of heart disease! Some questioned which component, diet, meditation or
exercise was the most important or were they all equally important?
In this same time period Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr of the Cleveland Clinic started a program that
just used the vegetarian component. He started in 1985 with some twenty four patients who were all at the
point where they could no longer be operated upon and were quite literally at death’s door. in 2007,
when Dr. Esselstyn published his book, “Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease”, nearly all
the original patients from 1985 were still alive and functional. His program is just diet and it is strictly
vegan. This demonstrated that it was the diet component that made the major difference. He makes the
point that “moderation” in the diet kills. The longtime surviving patients followed a strict vegan fat free diet.
(Exercise and meditation are extraordinarily important for the whole body. It is just that the endothelium
apparently does not require it to become healthy) When people are eating an endothelium friendly diet,
they simply do not have heart attacks or strokes.
The first to use the term, "Cardiovascular Cure" was Dr. John P. Cooke, Director of the Section of Vascular
Medicine at Stanford University's Medical School in his book title, "The Cardiovascular Cure: Your Self-
Defense against Heart Attack and Stroke." This comprehensive book discusses, the research, the
mechanism of disease, treatment, diet, drugs and supplements. The diet is near vegetarian but sone
animal product foods are included but it emphasizes l-arginine rich foods.
The Nobel research scientists, Drs, Furtgott, Ignarro and Murad and the many many others have clearly
isolated the problem of heart attack and stroke to the endothelium. The component that has really been
added by these scientists is an awareness of the importance of NO for the endothelium and the rest of the
Dr. Ignarro in 1985 wrote his book NO More Heart Disease and discussed in detail nitric acid's critical
functions. The book also includes a program of dietary change, supplements and exercise for people with
All the Nobel research and that of other researchers highlighted the amino acid L-arginine which the
endothelium uses in the production of NO. Some have written that every senior should be taking L-
arginine. Over the years since the discovery, there has been a great deal of research. The latest review of
the scientific literature, January, 2010, on this question suggested that the literature did not support that
position. The authors' opinion was that L-arginine should be taken in consultation with a health care
Source: Review Article: L-Arginine as a Nutritional Prophylaxis Against Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction
With Aging; Heffernan, Fahs, Ranadive, Patvardhan – Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and
The question is, how vegetarian should the diet be and what, if any, supplements and/or drugs are you
going to take? In the medical world there is no unanimity. Everyone seems to have their own formula.
Perhaps we need to realize that it takes a long time to get a large majority of the scientists aboard and far
longer to get the medical practitioner aboard too - particularly when it will cost them money. A patient today
has to make his/her own decision as to what to do and who to trust. That is why this website is here so that
you will have more information for your decision. It is your body.
This website does not provide medical advice. The website is for information purposes only.
For medical advice, consult your healthcare provider.