Medical Doctors Advocating a Plant-Based, Vegan Diet
These medical doctors have been at the forefront of advocating a plant-based, whole foods diet to prevent and reduce cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases, while promoting optimal overall health and longevity. These world-renown physicians have individually conducted numerous medical and scientific research studies on the role of nutrition and diet on health; authored ground-breaking research papers and articles published in prestigious medical, scientific and nutrition journals; led national and international expert committees on nutrition and health; authored multiple books and produced TV series; launched non-profit organizations and led pioneering renown nutrition programs; and opened health and medical clinics — to promote the benefits of a plant-based, whole foods diet. The standard American diet that is typically high in animal fat and animal protein—their research has found—is very damaging to human health and leads to many chronic and degenerative diseases, as well as a shorter lifespan. These doctors advocate for a vegan whole foods diet that not only prevents degenerative and chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer, but can in many cases, can actually reverse the disease. This list of doctors is not conclusive, but represents some of the leading internationally-recognized experts in the field today.
Daniel Amen, M.D.
Dr. Daniel Amen is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, author of over 30 books including the #1 New York Times bestseller The Daniel Plan; Change Your Brain, Change Your Life; Change Your Brain, Change Your Body; Magnificent Mind At Any Age; Use Your Brain to Change Your Age; Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, and Healing ADD. Dr. Amen is also the author or co-author of 60 professional articles and the Founder and Medical Director of the Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and San Francisco, California, Bellevue, Washington, Reston, Virginia, Atlanta and New York City. The Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling more than 80,000 scans on patients from 90 countries.
Dr. Amen is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the highest award given to members, and is the lead researcher on the world’s largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study on professional football players. His published scientific articles have appeared in numerous prestigious medical journals.
Dr. Amen has written, produced and hosted nine popular television shows about the brain, which have raised more than $52 million dollars for public television. “The Omni Health Revolution” is a program designed to help viewers take control of their physical and mental health using the science of nutragenomics. The Omni Health Revolution supports a diet based on 70 percent plant-based foods and 30 percent high-quality protein for optimal brain and physical health.
Neal Barnard, M.D.
Neal D. Barnard, M.D., is a nutrition researcher, author, health advocate and is an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine where he conducts studies on the role of nutrition in diabetes, obesity, lipid management, and other health issues. In 1985, Dr. Barnard established the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization advocating for preventive medicine and higher ethical standards in research. He later established The Cancer Project, a nonprofit organization providing nutritional services for cancer patients and survivors and public education geared toward prevention. He also established the Washington Center for Clinical Research, an organization dedicated to research studies on diet and health.
Dr. Barnard’s articles have been published in numerous medical, scientific and nutrition journals. He’s the editor-in-chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians and the author of 15 books for lay audiences including Power Foods for the Brain, The Cancer Survivor’s Guide, The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook, Eat Right, Live Longer, Foods That Fight Pain, Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, Breaking the Food Seduction, and 21 Day Weight-loss Kick Start. Dr. Barnard has been a long-time vegan and prescribes how a low-fat vegan diet can fight diabetes by controlling blood glucose, weight, and heart disease risk.
Colin Campbell, M.D.
Website: T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies http://nutritionstudies.org
Dr. Campbell holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Nutrition, Biochemistry and Bacteriology, and an M.S. in Nutrition and Biochemistry from Cornell. He is currently the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell, the Director of the Nutrition and Cancer Program Project, and Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. He has authored over 300 research papers; is the recipient of numerous awards; has received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding; served on many national and international expert committees with mandates to develop food and health policy positions, and conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies. His principal scientific interests have been on the effects of nutritional status on long-term health, particularly on the causation of cancer. He co-authored the book The China Study (2005) and his work is featured in the very successful 2011 documentary movie, Forks Over Knives.
Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D.
Dr. Esselstyn is a top surgeon, foremost researcher in the field of plant-based nutrition, and head of the Breast Cancer Task Force and Clinic Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. At the Cleveland Clinic, he was the Former Head of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery, Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program, Past Chairman of the Breast Cancer Task Force and former President of Medical Staff. He directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. His research has been published in numerous peer review journals and scientific publications. He wrote the book Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, and he advocates for and has followed a strict plant-based diet for more than 26 years.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Dr. Fuhrman is an internationally-recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, board-certified family physician, New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman has two hugely successful PBS shows on nutritional science, 3 Steps to Incredible Health and Dr. Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution. He’s authored many books including several New York Times best sellers, Eat to Live, Super Immunity, The End of Diabetes, The Eat to Live Cookbook, The End of Dieting, Eat for Health, Disease Proof Your Child, Fasting and Eating for Health, and the Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Handbook. As an advocate of a plant-based diet rich in micronutrients per calorie, his ANDI scoring system (featured in Whole Foods Market), has directed millions of consumers to eat an anti-cancer diet through plant-based whole foods. Dr. Fuhrman has advocated eating at least one pound of raw vegetables and another pound of cooked ones each day.
Michael Greger, M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. He’s a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Greger is a licensed general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition and is a founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Currently, he is serving as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. Dr. Greger’s recent scientific publications in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Family & Community Health, and the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Public Health explore the public health consequences of industrialized animal agriculture. Dr. Greger’s nutrition work can be found at NutritionFacts.org, his science-based public service nonprofit charity. His latest two books are Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching and Carbophobia: The Scary Truth Behind America’s Low Carb Craze.
Dr. Joel Kahn, M.D.
Website: Dr. Joel Kahn
Dr. Joel Kahn is an Interpreventional™ Cardiologist practicing invasive, interventional and preventive cardiology since 1990. He was a Clinical Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine, before getting his certification in Metabolic Cardiology at the University of South Florida, where he still teaches and became the first physician to complete the program in the world. With the proliferation of 1990’s science and medical research literature indicating that heart disease and deaths were preventable and reversible with plant based diets, he became a vegetarian for over 25 years and went completely vegan plant-based for the last 12 years since 2004. His book, The Whole Heart Solution, was published in September 2014.
Michael Klaper, M.D.
Dr. Klaper is a physician, consultant and educator in medicine and applied nutrition and is currently serving on the staff of the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, a nutritionally-based medical clinic specializing in improving health through a whole food, plant-based diet. Dr. Klaper serves as the Director of the non-profit Institute of Nutrition Eduction and Research and is a member of the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Student Association. He is the author of many successful books and videos on cholesterol-free nutrition, and has contributed to the making of two PBS television programs, Food for Thought, and the award-winning, Diet for a New America.
He is an “ethical vegan” that believes in helping animals, the earth and people through maintaining a vegan diet.
Matt Lederman, M.D.
Dr. Matt Lederman is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician with a focus on the field of nutrition and lifestyle medicine. He has been seeking to change the way chronic illness is treated, with an emphasis on medication elimination and disease reversal through a plant-based, whole foods diet and lifestyle change. Dr. Lederman has lectured for the eCornell Certificate Program in Plant Based Nutrition and participated in films such as Healing Cancer and Forks Over Knives. He also coauthored the popular new book, “Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health.”
John McDougall, M.D.
A physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine, John A. McDougall, M.D. has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years. Dr. McDougall is the founder and director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program: a ten-day residential program. He has cared for thousands of patients over almost three decades of medical practice and has run a highly successful live-in program for more than 20 years.
He is a certified internist and is also co-founder of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods, producing high quality vegetarian cuisine to make it easier for people to eat well on the go. He’s developed a healthy low-fat, starch-based diet that promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits, and more importantly can reverse serious illnesses such as heart disease, without using drugs.
Dr. McDougall is the author of several national bestsellers including: The Starch Solution, The McDougall Plan: 12 Days to Dynamic Health, McDougall’s Medicine: A Challenging Second Opinion, Dr. McDougall’s Digestive Tune-Up, The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, The New McDougall Cookbook, The McDougall Program for Women, and his latest ground breaking book, The McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart.
Dean Ornish, M.D.
Dean Ornish, M.D., is a physician, bio-medical research scientist, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a recognized leader in health, healthcare and medicine. He’s the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute (PMRI). Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research through PMRI for over 35 years, where he promotes a comprehensive lifestyle change program to reverse coronary heart disease without drugs or surgery. He is the author of six best-selling books including: Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival and his most recent book The Spectrum. He’s also a columnist for Newsweek and Reader’s Digest magazines and is now the Medical Editor for The Huntington Post. He’s won numerous prestigious medical awards and has held appointments for both President’s Obama and Clinton.
Kim A. Williams, Sr., M.D.
Dr. Ken Williams specializes in cardiology, internal medicine and nuclear medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Williams is also the new president of the American College of Cardiology, one of the most conservative medical organizations in the world that focuses on the treatment of heart disease with pharmaceuticals, angioplasties, and bypass surgeries. He has published or co-published over 50 scientific and medical publications over recent years and is best known for his expertise in cardiovascular health disparities and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. He became a vegan several years ago, inspired by his patient’s success in reversing chronic heart disease. With his patients, he espouses the many health benefits of adopting a plant-based diet for his patients who suffer from high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease and encourages all of his heart patients to adopt a vegan diet.
Here is a more complete database of plant-based healthcare practitioners by location and speciality. The Plant-Based Doctors website is an international database of health care practitioners.