Mad Cowboy Interview 05: Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.

"My own feeling is that if you were to summarize where we stand on this epidemic, we have a great many brilliant minds that are focussed on mechanisms, drugs, and procedures, and we've have sort of abandoned the capacity of the public to take care of this epidemic on their own.  I would like to say right now that perhaps there can be no greater condemnation of 21st Century medicine then its refusal to share with the public the causation and cure of its most frightening chronic illnesses. 

How in the world can we have someone who's had two or three heart attacks and a couple of bypasses, and not say to them --- look them in the eye and say "Look.  I'm tired of doing these bypasses for you.  Why don't you cure yourself?  I mean, it's not that these people can't do it, it's just that they don't have the information available.  It's extremely difficult to in any way applaud what medicine is doing in this arena because the public just isn't being told what they can do to cure themselves.

- Dr. Esselstyn (in the "Mad Cowboy Interview")

"Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., was a researcher and clinician at the Cleveland Clinic for more than 35 years, where he was a member of the board of governors and president of the staff. In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as the president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and organized the 1st National Conference on the Elimination and Prevention of Heart Disease. In 2005, he became the 1st recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. Dr. Esselstyn is also an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and he was awarded the Bronze Star as an army surgeon in Vietname.

Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than twenty years. They work together to counsel patients in Cleveland.


Dr. Esselstyn's new book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" explains the science behind these dramatic results, and offers readers the same, simple plan that has changed the lives of Dr. Esselstyn's patients forever. In addition, the book offers more than 150 delicious recipes developed by Ann Crile Esselstyn, that the Esselstyns and their patients have enjoyed for years.


Clearly written and backed by irrefutable scientific evidence, startling photos of angiograms, and inspiring personal stories, the new book empowers readers to take charge of their heart health. It is an important call for a paradigm shift in heart disease therapy."

This 3-part edited interview took place by phone in early February 2007. Part 01 covers the nature of the heart disease epidemic in the United States, the tremendous impact on the population, the problems with conventional approaches to treatment, his landmark study, and its significance. Part 02 examines common questions or misunderstandings of his so-called "radical" approach, USDA guidelines, and speculates more on the nature of diseases stemming from the Traditional Western Diet. In Part 03 we learn a little about the personal side of Dr. Esselstyn, more about the book itself, and Ann joins the interview for a discussion about her approach to cooking, the recipes, patient's experiences, and the Esselstyn family --- Mark Sutton, Mad Cowboy Webmaster/Editor

[Part 01] [Part 02] [Part 03] [BACK TO INTERVIEWS INDEX]

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