Do Vegans Get Heart Disease?


I’ve hear this question more than once from patients and acquaintances and the short answer is yes, vegans get heart disease. Heart disease is an equal opportunity afflicter and vegans are just as prone to it as any one else.

One of the reasons I think this question has come up more often in the past year or so is due to the popularity of “The China Study” and the companion movie “Forks Over Knives.” While researching the different points made in theses books I came across Denise Minger, a blogger and former vegan who has a done an incredibly in depth, scientifically based counter to the premise presented in “The China Study.”  Since she has done a far more meticulous and thorough job than I would, I’m going to post her links for anybody who is interested in this subject.

The gist of the question of whether or not vegans get heart disease is largely based on the eronious assumption that fat, particularly saturated fat is the culprit in heart disease, and since vegans don’t eat any animal products, they therefore should have less heart disease. Heart disease and stokes are caused by oxidation, inflammation, glycation (the uncontrolled bonding of sugars to proteins or fats) and small LDL particles– processes triggered by sugar consumption in all its forms, especially wheat. The Vegan food guide on the left, is not all that different than what is recommended by the American Heart Association and the Diabetic Association in terms of grain consumption. It is also a recipe for heart disease and type two diabetes.

While I personally respect anyone’s own personal dietary choices, I feel that my job as a physician is to provide my patients with the best scientific and clinical advice. Though nutrition research seems to be constantly changing, the fundamentals of our biochemistry and heredity remain constant. For those interested, I highly recommend reading Ms. Minger’s articles.


The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? (My original critique of “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell.)

Forks Over Knives: Is the Science Legit? (A critique of the science behind “Forks Over Knives,” a documentary heavily featuring Campbell and his work.)

The China Study: A Formal Analysis and Response (A referenced, uber-long, and cleaned-up collection of all my criticisms pertaining to “The China Study”—more academic and less colloquial, for anyone who prefers the former.)

One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed (A collection of peer-reviewed studies based on the China Study data that contradict Campbell’s interpretations and claims.)

The China Study: My Response to Campbell (My response to Campbell’s first reply to my critique.)

    3 replies to "Do Vegans Get Heart Disease?"

    • Debra

      When I read the topic question, my answer is also a ‘yes’, although I don’t have an explanation. This is a good to know and I’m looking forward to reading Denise Minger’s articles. If a topic is about health, I’m all ears. Thanks for the share!
      Debra recently posted..signs he wants to breakup with meMy Profile

    • Claire

      This is a good to know and I’m looking forward to reading Denise Minger’s article. Thanks that you’ve shared.
      Claire recently posted..Lisa Olsens Pregnancy Miracle Book ReviewsMy Profile

    • Jillian

      I think more people should know about this. It’s not like all vegans know about the risk of hear disease. Lots of article to read and I’m excited. Thanks!
      Jillian recently posted..editing software platformMy Profile

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