Generally speaking I have much appreciated Dr. Mulkerin’s columns on health in the U-B. However I am disturbed with his Dec. 22 discussion of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s studies on reversing heart disease.
Dr. Mulkerin claimed Esselstyn gave insufficient information for him to be able to evaluate Esselstyn’s program. It is not a minor issue when one scientist claims poor workmanship on the part of another scientist.
All that one would have had to do was to spend half an hour reading Esselstyn’s book
“Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.” On page 28 of his book Esselstyn wrote, “I will tell you how things turned out for all these patients, and for others as well.” That is exactly what he did.
There was also no mention that a number of other responsible doctors in the U.S. have shown proper diet can help to prevent heart disease and the well known Dr. Dean Ornish has also been able to reverse coronary heart disease with his program.
Esselstyn was dealing with serious cardiac problems in patients who were about at the end of their ropes.
He is not a novice at doing and reporting on scientific issues having published 100 scientific papers. In 1994-1995 he was listed as one of the best doctors in America.
Dr. Bernadine Healy, at one time the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, stated about his work, “His focus on the healing powers of nutrition on diseased coronary arteries has now proven right, now raising another unthinkable notion-that heart patients can cure themselves.”
It is critical that folks understand that half of all men and one-third of all women in the U.S. will die of heart disease. Compare this with the finding that U.S. men have nearly a 17 times greater chance of having a fatal heart attack than rural Chinese men. That difference is largely due to diet.
My major concern is some folks whose only hope would be to follow Esseltyn’s program would be discouraged from doing so because of Dr. Mulkerin’s column.
Dr. Esselstyn has informed me that in the May 2014 issue of the journal American Family Physician there will be a report of 200 more cases he has taken care of. I am looking forward to reading it. Finally I would urge everyone to purchase a copy of Esselstyn’s book and read it carefully.