Get inspired and educated with these amazing vegan doctors! Find the best plant-based health and nutrition information, studies and advice by top experts.
Do you have to defend your plant-based diet time and time again? These well-educated vegan doctors will be able to help you out.
Instead of having to deal with malnutrition, following a healthy plant-based diet can result in preventing and treating some of today’s most common chronic diseases!
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But not only are millions of people living proof that you can thrive off of plant-based foods only, we have also accumulated a lot of scientific research conducted by brilliant professionals that backs us up, too.
Our list of vegan doctors covers different fields of expertise and different backgrounds, many of them have written their own books or have been featured in documentaries! You can find their work here:
Not all of them are (technically) ethical vegans but they all strongly lean towards a fully plant-based diet. Also, we don’t claim that this list is complete by any means, but rather a starting point!
Some of the following experts even offer online or even in-person consultation and there’s a wonderful website called Plant Based Doctors that provides a database of not just MDs but also other practitioners all around the world that would gladly help you out.
15+ Fantastic Vegan Doctors
These experts provide important insights and research and are wonderful promoters of plant-based eating patterns!
Kim A. Williams, MD
Let’s start with the 1955 born former president of the American College of Cardiology who himself has been a vegan since 2003 and since talked about his reasons for doing so – privately and professionally.
In the famous New York Times piece “Advice from a Vegan Cardiologist” he describes how his LDL (“bad”) cholesterol was as high as 170 at the age of 49, despite being physically active and not eating red meat or fried food.
He then switched to a lower fat vegan diet and six weeks later, his LDL had fallen to 90. This change of his food choices was inspired by the medical literature, observational studies of tens of thousands of people following vegetarian and vegan diets and living longer than meat-eaters while also having lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and kidney problems.
“There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans, and those who haven’t read the data.”
T. Colin Campbell, PhD
One of the veterans, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, is a 1934 born American biochemist and Professor Emeritus at Cornell University who grew up on a dairy farm – so imagine the surprise when his research showed strong correlations between animal protein and cancer.
He was one of the lead scientists of the China-Cornell-Oxford Project which challenged his strong beliefs about milk and its positive health effects. Now, that’s what we call an open-minded individual!
He has coined the well-known term WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) and he prefers the “wholistic” approach towards nutrition rather than the reductionist point of view because he finds that a food offers more than its individual nutrients.
He has worked as a senior science advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research and sits on the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Campbell was featured in the documentaries Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, and PlantPure Nation – the latter of which was produced by Campbell’s son, Nelson Campbell.
The two also teamed up for the famous eCornell plant-based nutrition certification program that includes presentations by over 25 well-educated experts.
The China Study, Whole, The Low-Carb Fraud
Caldwell Esselstyn, MD
You could call Dr. Esselstyn one of the prime fathers of this movement and a pretty famous plant-based doctor as well. He is almost exactly as old as Campbell and still going strong, too.
Dr. Esselstyn is the heart disease expert who treated ex-president Bill Clinton in 2010 and has reversed countless people’s coronary artery issues ever since.
“My message is clear and absolute: coronary artery disease need not exist, and if it does, it need not progress. It is my dream that one day we may entirely abolish heart disease, the scourge of the affluent, modern West, along with an impressive roster of other chronic illnesses.”
Dr. Esselstyn’s advice is also likely to prevent strokes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, adult-onset diabetes, and possibly senile mental impairment. His work has been featured in the well-known documentaries Forks Over Knives and What the Health.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Angie Sadeghi, MD
A diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the American Board of Gastroenterology, Dr. Angie Sadeghi is one of the top experts in the field of gastroenterology.
She runs a private practice in California, offering a comprehensive range of services – including treatment for digestive issues and illnesses related to the stomach, liver, esophagus and colon.
Going vegan has personally transformed her life in many ways; from curing her chronic health issues like fibromyalgia and eczema to losing 30 lbs in 8 months and taking part in a fitness competition at age 41, the benefits she experienced were massive.
Today, she focuses on not only dispelling many nutrition and health myths via her social media channels but also on helping her patients lose weight sustainably and heal their digestive issues.
Together with the two plant-based RDs Dahlia and James Marin, she created an online program called Your Gut Connection to help those struggling with SIBO to get to the root cause of their issues and heal their bodies for good.
The Trifecta of Health
John A. McDougall, MD
Starch – Dr. McDougall is the doctor who most vocally destroys the myths surrounding high carbohydrate diets.
His message is that the main source of your calories should come from potatoes, rice, corn and beans accompanied by vegetables and fruits. Similar to Dr. Esselstyn, he doesn’t allow too much fat from nuts and avocados.
The American physician, born 1947, came to his conclusions while working with different generations of people on the big Island of Hawaii in the 1970’s and watching the younger people getting “fatter and sicker” when adopting a meat-rich Western-style diet.
Throughout human history, all large, successful populations of people, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch.
To be fair, Dr. McDougall refuses to be called a vegan doctor because he wants to emphasize the importance of eating starches instead of just leaving animals off the table.
He’s also known for his rejection of supplements (with the exception of vitamin B12) because he has found them having side effects during his research.
Dr. McDougall is the founder of “Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods” and advisory board member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He has also been featured in many documentaries and on television.
The Starch Solution, The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, The McDougall Program
Dean Ornish, MD
Dr. Ornish, born in 1953, is a well-known advocate for using diet and lifestyle changes to treat and prevent heart disease and some types of cancer.
His work inspired and encouraged many of the other vegan doctors to pursue this path to treating patients by recommending a whole foods vegan diet.
The Harvard Medical School graduate is passionate about creating a healthy planet and healthy people by eating plant-based foods, exercising moderately, and including yoga and meditation in one’s daily life.
His “Program for Reversing Heart Disease” was built on countless of peer-reviewed studies and is supported by some health insurance companies. He allows for small portions of supplemental fish and isn’t 100% vegan in his approach, though.
You can find him in documentaries like Eating you Alive and Fat Sick & Nearly Dead 2.
The Spectrum, Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Eat more weigh less
Neal Barnard, MD
Funny, handsome and very informative. Dr. Barnard, who was born in 1953 as well and grew up in a cattle-ranching family in North Dakota as the son of a physician, is now a diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease expert.
During his medical school training at George Washington University, he began exploring the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
His educational experience also inspired him to found the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in 1985 because he “wanted to promote preventative medicine” and do something against animal testing in medical school.
Similar to Dr. Esselstyn’s work, Dr. Barnard found that saturated fat and cholesterol don’t just clog the arteries to our heart, but also our brain. Ever since his own father died from Alzheimer’s, he’s deeply invested in this research and made it his life mission to assure no one had to go through what he and his family experienced.
Together with Dr. McDougall, he contributed to the 2016 lawsuits against the unhealthy dietary guidelines that the USDA shared with the public.
Dr. Barnard’s dietary approach is just a low-fat vegan one, rather easy to follow, but no less effective in the treatment of obesity and diabetes.
In 2015, he founded the Barnard Medical Center which provides primary care and emphasizes diet and preventative medicine.
Dr. Barnard plays cello, guitar and keyboard and has been in the bands Pop Maru, Verdun, and Carbonworks – his medical work has been featured in documentaries like Super Size Me, Eating you Alive, and What The Health.
Power Foods for the Brain, Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart, The Cheese Trap
Brooke Goldner, MD
At age 16, Brooke was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Nephritis and stage IV kidney disease, struggling with her health for more than 10 years until overcoming her issues at the age of 28.
How she did it? She developed her own self-healing program together with her husband that cured her life-threatening autoimmune illness.
By following six key steps from eliminating animal products and processed foods to consuming lots of water and essential nutrients, she was able to get off all her medications, normalize her blood test results, become symptom-free, and have two children.
Today, she coaches people that suffer not only from Lupus or MS, but also common chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, chronic pain, obesity, mood disorders and more.
Dr. Goldner is a board-certified physician, she completed the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell, and founded two websites.
She has appeared in multiple documentaries, on TV news, many radio shows, podcasts and has been featured on the cover of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine.
Goodbye Lupus: How a Medical Doctor Healed Herself Naturally With Supermarket Foods
Michael Greger, MD
The great founder of nutrition facts! Michael Greger, born 1972, is your vegan doctor when it comes to the latest scientific findings on good nutrition.
With his team of researchers, he evaluates reputable studies about food and health on a daily basis, eventually sharing his findings on his non-profit website and YouTube.
In 1998 he appeared as an expert witness testifying against cattle producers that sued Oprah Winfrey for saying that meat is unsafe.
Dr. Greger’s career was inspired by his grandmother, who was diagnosed with end-stage heart disease and sent home to die at the age of 65. Nathan Pritikin, one of the early lifestyle medicine pioneers, then took her on and after just three weeks, she couldn’t just get out of her wheelchair, but walk for 10 miles a day – living another 31 healthy years on this earth.
Witnessing this made Greger question why it wasn’t common practice to treat people that way and wondered how many more important findings existed, which didn’t make it to the public.
You can watch many of his videos on YouTube or see him in documentaries like PlantPure Nation, Eating you Alive, or What The Health. He’s also written the bestseller “How Not To Die”.
How Not to Die, Carbophobia, How Not To Die Cookbook
Michael Klaper, MD
Dr. Michael Klaper, born in 1947, teaches that “Health Comes From Healthy Living” and is dedicated to the healing and flourishing of all living beings and our planet.
Having practiced medicine for more than 40 years, he has seen countless of patients suffer from illnesses like atherosclerosis, hypertension, obesity, diabetes – all of which were made worse or actually caused by the high sugar, high fat, high salt, overly processed Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).
Dr. Klaper has become a leading educator in applied plant-based nutrition and integrative medicine, giving numerous talks and webinars, and doing his best to spread the message of how important proper nutrition is.
He was a member and advisor of many projects by institutions such as the NASA or American Medical Student Association, and hosted a popular medical information radio program for over 10 years.
Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple, Pregnancy Children and the Vegan Diet
Garth Davis, MD
One of the most prominent vegan doctors because of his activity on social media and outspoken TV appearances is Ironman triathlete and recovered “Proteinaholic” Garth Davis.
The UT Austin graduate who was born in 1970 has specialized in weight loss (bariatric) surgeries and is now recommending a whole foods, plant-based diet to his patients for best health and long-term weight loss/maintenance results.
His turnaround from an animal protein-rich diet to a vegan one started at the age of 36 when he found out that he had cholesterol deposits in his eyes after a routine exam. He was also suffering from hypertension, high cholesterol, and a fatty liver – thinking that he was eating a healthy diet.
This caused him to review scientific literature on his own (after having received only one full hour of education in nutrition back in medical school) and learn about the power of a plant-based diet.
This change left him very energized and sparked his interest in fitness which resulted in completing 2 marathons, multiple Olympic and sprint triathlons, a half Ironman, and a full Ironman in 4 years.
Dr. Davis has been named a Texas Monthly “Super Doc” several times and is featured in the famous documentary What The Health.
Alan Goldhamer, DC
Articulate, inspiring and energetic – Dr. Goldhamer is one of the most pioneering and dedicated visionaries in health today. His diet advice goes further than just whole, plant-based foods! He is also advocating for leaving all oils, sugars, and salt off the table.
In his treatment facility, the “TrueNorth Health Center” in Santa Rosa, California, he provides medical and chiropractic services, psychotherapy, counseling, as well as massage and body work.
The TrueNorth Health Center It is also known for providing therapeutic fasting which has been shown to successfully treat lymphoma cancer according to a report in the British Medical Journal.
Dr. Goldhamer has personally supervised the fasts of over 15,000 patients and he has been following his own diet advice (“SOS-free whole food vegan”) for decades.
He likes to jokingly tell the story of how it all started by wanting to beat his school buddy Doug (Dr. Lisle, see below) in basketball, who, unfortunately, adapted his way of eating as well so that his efforts failed. This got them both interested in health and they work together until this day.
During his work, he found that when people eat foods that contain certain compounds, mainly sugar and oil, the brain becomes artificially stimulated by dopamine secretions, which leads to overeating, obesity, and the diseases of dietary excess.
You can see him featured in the documentaries Forks Over Knives as well as What the Health.
Even though his dietary recommendations are on the stricter side, it makes sense for mainly already sick people to follow them.
The Pleasure Trap, The Health Promoting Cookbook
Doug Lisle, PhD
Dr. Lisle is the staff psychologist and director of research at the TrueNorth Health Center and psychologist and speaker at the McDougall Wellness Program.
As mentioned above, he has been following a vegan diet for decades himself and has helped countless people to do so, too.
Although his work “Esteem Dynamics” is about more than just diet, he co-authored the “Pleasure Trap” and has brought up interesting theories on why human beings are set up by the process of evolution to prefer “rich food sources” and need a healthy food environment to thrive.
His research and clinical interests have broadened to include health and wellness, self-esteem, relationship satisfaction, the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression, and optimizing achievement motivation.
Dr. Lisle has a very unique way of explaining his ideas and approaching people, which is something you need to witness for yourself by watching one of his brilliant speeches (or the documentary “Forks Over Knives”).
The Pleasure Trap
Robert Ostfeld, MD, MS
Dr. Ostfeld earned his MD at Yale, his MS in epidemiology at Harvard, and he is now an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The cardiologist believes the number 1 cause of the escalating heart disease epidemic is our toxic Western diet and describes how, across the globe, populations that eat more of a plant-based diet have better health – whereas those that eat more of an animal-based diet do not.
He is particularly concerned about the fact that 65% of teenagers in the US already have early signs of heart and blood vessel disease.
When we are born, our bodies are turbo engines. A bunch of animal products and processed foods later, we turn our bodies into clunkers. The good news, however, is that it is never too early to live more healthfully, and it is never too late.
Therefore, he recommends that everyone going to the supermarket “walks straight to the produce isle and bathe their body in colorful nutrients”.
Dr. Ostfeld chose to work with underprivileged populations in The Bronx instead of taking a high-paying job while researching the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet that weren’t discussed during his medical training.
He is the director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. and spoke at the Committee’s International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine.
Ellsworth Wareham, MD
The retired physician and heart surgeon is an American centenarian, born in 1914 in Texas.
Wareham is a Seventh-day Adventist and a World War II navy veteran, having worked in his job until the age of 74 and then continued to train residents at the Loma Linda University until the age of 95.
He was one of the earliest practitioners of open heart surgery, soon after the first such procedure was performed.
During his career, he noticed that patients who were eating a plant-based diet mostly had much cleaner and smoother arteries than those who ate meat. This caused him to change his already health-conscious diet to a fully vegan diet around 50 years ago.
Luckily, he’s been living in a town where the largest grocery stores don’t even sell any meat! Furthermore, there is no smoking and almost no alcohol or fast food available in this area.
Although he isn’t a very active member of the plant-based movement, Dr. Wareham is a wonderful example of a healthy vegan centenarian. He sometimes mows his own lawn and in his interviews he states that he feels awesome, his medical results show no problems and he doesn’t fear heart disease like most people at old age do.
He has been featured on TV and in the documentary “How to Live Forever”.
Matthew Lederman, MD & Alona Pulde, MD
This wonderful couple cannot be left unmentioned! The internists have specialized in reversing disease by using nutritional and lifestyle medicine and developed the program used by patients in the documentary “Forks Over Knives”, where they were also featured personally.
This groundbreaking project kind of kicked off the series of plant-based documentaries we have until today and Drs Lederman and Pulde worked as advisors for this film.
Furthermore, they are the authors of 4 books, including two of the Forks Over Knives series, and “The Whole Foods Diet” for which they teamed up with John Mackey.
It doesn’t stop there, the collaboration with the Whole Foods Market founder resulted in not only a book but also other health and wellness projects that help countless people to thrive on a plant-based diet.
Matthew Lederman and Alona Pulde live in Los Angeles together with their two daughters and are wonderful examples of how to make a healthy and happy plant-based family life work!
Keep it simple keep it whole, The Forks over Knives Plan, The Whole Foods Diet
More Vegan Resources
- 70+ Best Vegan Gifts
- Vegan Nutrition Guide
- Raising Vegan Kids
- Vegan Grocery List
- Plant-Based Weight Loss Guide
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