Open Access Articles- Top Results for Caldwell Esselstyn

Caldwell Esselstyn

Caldwell Esselstyn
Born (1933-12-12) December 12, 1933 (age 82)
New York, New York
Residence Shaker Heights, OH
Nationality American
Fields Cardiology
Plant-based diet
Institutions Cleveland Clinic
Alma mater Yale University, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic
Doctoral advisor Template:If empty
Known for Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Forks Over Knives
Notable awards Gold Medal, 1956 Olympic Games - 8-oared rowing event
Spouse Ann
Children Rip, Jane, Zeb, and Ted
Caldwell Esselstyn
Medal record
Men's rowing
Competitor for the 23x15px United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1956 Melbourne Men's eights

Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr. (born December 12, 1933) is an American surgeon and former Olympic rowing champion. He is a "leading proponent" in the field of "plant-based diets"[1] and starred in the 2011 American documentary, Forks Over Knives. Esselstyn's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (2007), influenced former U.S. President Bill Clinton.[2]


Esselstyn was born in New York City in 1933.[3] He grew up on a cattle farm in upstate New York and attended public schools. He attended Deerfield Academy for high school[4] and graduated from Yale University in 1956[5] where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[6] He also competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, winning a gold medal in the "eights" as a member of the American team.[7]

Esselstyn received his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1961 (during which time he met his wife Ann).[4] He was an intern (1961–62) and resident (1962–66) at the Cleveland Clinic.[3] After returning in 1968 from duty as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he began work at the Cleveland Clinic where he eventually rose to serve as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He served as the President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons in 1991. In 2000, he gave up his post at the Cleveland Clinic.[4]

In 2005, he also "became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award."[8] Esselstyn is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Nutrition Action magazine, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.[9]

Book and film

Esselstyn is the author of the 2007 text, Prevent and reverse heart disease, in which he discusses his heart diseased patients's reversals of atherosclerosis by following a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet.[10] The second half of the book contains recipes from his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn (the granddaughter of George Washington Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic) who works with him to counsel patients on cooking practices. Esselstyn and his family of four children have maintained a plant-based diet since the mid-1980s.[8] Esselstyn attributes the success of his twelve-year trial with heart patients to low mean levels of both total cholesterol (145 mg/dl) and LDL cholesterol (82 mg/dl).[11][12][unreliable medical source?]

After undergoing cardiac surgery in 2010, former American president Bill Clinton adopted the plant-based diet recommended by Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, and Esselstyn.[2][13]

Esselstyn stars in the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives, based on his work in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and the research of his colleague T. Colin Campbell in The China Study (2005). It also explores the work of other physicians who share this approach, as well as the personal experiences of some Esselstyn's patients. Esselstyn's son, Rip Esselstyn, a former "professional triathlete," firefighter, and author of The Engine 2 Diet based on his father's research, also appears in the film, as does his wife Ann.



  1. ^ Philip J Tuso; Mohamed H Ismail; Benjamin P Ha; Carole Bartolotto. "Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets." The Permanente Journal (Kaiser Permanente). 2013 Spring; 17(2):61-66.
  2. ^ a b David S. Martin, "From omnivore to vegan: The dietary education of Bill Clinton", CNN, August 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Official Website:CV
  4. ^ a b c A New Cardiovascular Approach:Eating for Life
  5. ^ Official Website: Biography
  6. ^ "C. B. Esselstyn Jr. Fiance of Ann Crile". New York Times. 1 May 1961. p. 33. 
  7. ^ "1956 Summer Olympics – Melbourne, Australia – Rowing" (Retrieved on May 15, 2008)
  8. ^ a b "About Dr. Esselstyn". 
  9. ^ "Scientific Advisory Board" (PDF). Nutrition Action. Center for Science in the Public Interest. January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  10. ^ The 'heart attack proof' diet?
  11. ^ "Cleveland Clinic study stops progress of heart disease with diet and cholesterol drugs". American Journal of Cardiology. August 1, 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Esselsyn CB (1 Aug 1999). "Updating a 12-year experience with arrest and reversal therapy for coronary heart disease (an overdue requiem for palliative cardiology).". Am J Cardiol 84 (3): 339–41, A8. PMID 10496449. doi:10.1016/S0002-9149(99)00290-8. 
  13. ^ Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. MD & Dean Ornish MD Explain Bill Clinton's Diet To CNN

External links

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