The Purjes Foundation

The Heart Attack That Saved My Life

At the end of 2011, I had a heart attack. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I didn’t die. And I learned how heart disease, and almost all other chronic diseases, can be reversed by adopting a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle.

The night that I had angioplasty and a stent after my heart attack, I was in the ICU and saw an interview of President Bill Clinton on CNN. He described how he had been suffering from chest pain even though he had heart bypass surgery some years before. He discovered a book called, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., a physician at the Cleveland Clinic. The book described how a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle could reverse heart disease, sometimes in as little as three weeks. The book contained amazing pictures of arteries before and after converting to such a diet, pictures of arteries that had opened and pictures of hearts that had restored blood flow.

I called my wife and asked her to buy the book and bring it to the hospital. That night, we read it together in the ICU and both of us immediately converted to a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Within 60 days, I lost 20 pounds, my cholesterol fell by 70 points, and other blood markers radically improved. A couple of years later, I had cardiac imaging tests that definitively showed arterial blockages shrinking or disappearing.

Since then, I have dived deeply into the world of plant-based nutrition and have come across countless people who have reversed cancer, diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s, asthma, GERD, allergies, psoriasis, acne, eczema, kidney disease, and numerous other chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease.

Millions of people are suffering and even dying needlessly – their chronic diseases can be prevented and even reversed by adopting a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Modern medicine, with all its drugs, procedures and devices treats the symptoms of disease, not the cause. That is why when someone is treated for a chronic disease, they stay on medication forever, or they require repeat procedures. Drugs are often increased or new ones added. The disease is never reversed through medication or procedures; at best, it is put into remission. That means the disease is still in the body in a dormant state and can come back at any time.

A plant-based, whole foods lifestyle gets to the root cause of the disease. It fortifies the body’s own immune system so it can reverse the disease. As long as the patient stays with this lifestyle, the disease does not return. There is no need for supplements or special additives. Everything needed can be found in the supermarket, mostly in the produce section. The patient often comes off all medications. Blood markers for the disease often disappear completely. The patient will lose weight rapidly and effortlessly if they are overweight, or gain weight if they are underweight, until they stabilize naturally at their optimal weight.

My journey into the plant-based lifestyle has led me to be the Executive Producer of a film called Eating You Alive. It is a remarkable film that shows people who were told they had only a few months to live because there was nothing more that modern medicine could do for them. These were people with terminal cancer, or severe cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lupus or other diseases. All of them reversed their diseases. Several prominent physicians are in the film describing how plant-based nutrition can prevent and reverse disease.

My wife and I funded a clinical trial at NYU Medical Center through our charitable foundation, the Purjes Foundation. This study compared a plant-based diet to the diet recommended by the American Heart Association for cardiovascular-diseased patients. The trial lasted only eight weeks, but it demonstrated dramatic improvement in a key inflammation marker associated with cardiovascular disease and other diseases. The trial was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal in December 2017.

Recently, the Purjes Foundation partnered with the Plantrician Project, a non-profit organization with 30,000 physicians and healthcare professionals interested in the benefits of plant-based nutrition. This partnership could help change the course of medical practice. Together, we are launching a new peer-reviewed journal called the International Journal of Disease Reversal & Prevention. This is the world’s first scientific Journal devoted to disease reversal. Already, numerous high-profile physicians, researchers, businesspeople, and politicians have embraced the Journal and are looking to get involved with it in a meaningful way.

There is a great need to have scientific studies done to demonstrate the disease reversal power of plant-based nutrition. Most medical studies are funded by companies that profit from the sale of their drugs or devices on which research is conducted, research they paid for. But there is no profit from a plant-based nutrition study – there is nothing proprietary about pears. Hence, the need for donors to contribute funds to conduct plant-based nutrition studies. Towards that end, the Purjes Foundation has established the Disease Reversal Association, the world’s first public charitable association devoted to the scientific research of the benefits of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle.

The time has come for people to know they can reverse their disease through natural means by converting to a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle.

My wife and I, through the Purjes Foundation, are working hard to make that happen.

Dan Purjes