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Advancing the science of chronic disease treatment and prevention through plant-based whole foods.


The Vitamix Foundation periodically contributes funding to support medical research that aims to assess the health impact of a plant-based lifestyle on the prevention of a range of illnesses, including heart disease, and cancer.

The Opportunity

Further evidence-based medical research is needed to understand and demonstrate the impact of plant-based whole foods on the prevention and treatment of chronic disease.

While the body of scientific evidence continues to grow regarding the impact of dietary patterns, and specifically the impact of a plant-based whole-food dietary pattern, more research is needed. Evidence-based research is a cornerstone of clinical care and essential to wide spread adoption.

Where Are We Investing

Type 2 Diabetes Clinical Research Trial
Nutritional Research Foundation
Flemington, New Jersey
$10,000 grant

To tackle this important investigation, the Nutritional Research Foundation has partnered with a Harvard-affiliated medical center in Boston to conduct a two-tier, three-year randomized study to evaluate the effect of two diets (a nutrient-dense, plant-rich diet versus a more conventional USDA diabetes diet). The study will examine such parameters as glycemic control, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Nutritarian Women's Health Study (NWHS) Sub-Study on Pregnant Women
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona
$10,000 grant

The Nutritarian Women's Health Study (NWHS) is a long term observational study on the effect of the Nutritarian diet on overall health plus the occurrence, recurrence, and progression of chronic diseases (including all forms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke). This grant funds a sub-study that focuses on pregnant women.

IJDRP (International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention)
$5,000 as a founding funder

This new journal will document the science of nutrition and lifestyle to prevent, suspend and reverse disease.

What's On Our Radar

Two recent reports/articles have caught our attention regarding the interplay between the foods we eat and their impact on our health and the environment.

Transforming the food system to fight non-communicable diseases, BMJ 2019; 364 (Published 28 January 2019)

“Malnutrition and unhealthy diets are important risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Francesco Branca and colleagues call for changes in both what and how food is produced, marketed, and consumed.

Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes are responsible for 71% of global deaths (41 million) each year. Around 85% of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now occur in low and middle income countries, where people also bear the greater burden of undernutrition and infectious disease. In wealthier countries, NCDs disproportionately affect vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

Malnutrition is a key risk factor for NCDs. Globally, nearly one in three people has at least one form of malnutrition, and this will reach one in two by 2025, based on current trends. Malnutrition includes nutritional disorders caused by deficient intake of energy or nutrients, such as stunting, wasting, and micronutrient deficiencies. It also includes excessive and imbalanced intake, leading to overweight, obesity, and diet related NCDs. Both categories of malnutrition are caused by unhealthy, poor quality diets, and they can be linked. Undernutrition in childhood, in addition to affecting survival, growth, development, health, and educational or economic outcomes, is a risk factor for overweight and NCDs in later life. Around 151 million children whose stunted growth is caused by undernutrition and 38 million children under five who are currently overweight are at increased risk of NCDs in adulthood.”

Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems (Published: January 16, 2019)

Executive Summary

“Food systems have the potential to nurture human health and support environmental sustainability, however our current trajectories threaten both. The EAT–Lancet Commission addresses the need to feed a growing global population a healthy diet while also defining sustainable food systems that will minimise damage to our planet.

The Commission quantitively describes a universal healthy reference diet, based on an increase in consumption of healthy foods (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts), and a decrease in consumption of unhealthy foods (such as red meat, sugar, and refined grains) that would provide major health benefits, and also increase the likelihood of attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is set against the backdrop of defined scientific boundaries that would ensure a safe operating space within six Earth systems, towards sustaining a healthy planet.

The EAT–Lancet Commission is the first of a series of initiatives on nutrition led by The Lancet in 2019, followed by the Commission on the Global Syndemic of obesity, undernutrition, and climate change. Find out more in our Editorial.

Plant-Based Research aggregates peer-reviewed, scientific research papers and educational resources that are relevant to plant-based nutrition. Links to abstracts and even full articles are made available when possible.

The goal of the website is to "present the growing body of evidence supporting the theory that whole food, plant-based diets offer the best chance for avoiding chronic disease, and in some cases, reversing it."

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