Nathan Pritikin

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Nathan Pritikin
Born August 29, 1915
Chicago, Illinois
Died February 21, 1985 (age 69)
Nationality United States

Nathan Pritikin (August 29, 1915 – February 21, 1985) was an American inventor, nutritionist and longevity researcher.

Pritikin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Chicago from 1933 to 1935, dropping out because of the Depression.[1] He became an inventor and a millionaire developing patents for companies such as Honeywell and Bendix[1] while living in Chicago and Santa Barbara, California.

After being diagnosed with heart disease in 1957, he began searching for a treatment. Based on studies indicating that people in primitive cultures with primarily vegetarian lifestyles had little history of heart disease,[2] he created a low-fat diet that was high in unrefined carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, along with a moderate aerobic exercise regime.[3][4] His dietary and exercise regime, the Pritikin Diet, was published in a book co-authored by Patrick M. McGrady. It has been called one of the "gold standards of American dieting success." [5]

He established the Pritikin Longevity Center in 1976 and served as its director. Now called the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, it offers controlled diet, counseling in lifestyle change, and exercise in a resort/spa-type setting. Pritikin also served as chairman of the Pritikin Research Foundation.

In the early 1980s, he began to suffer severe pain and complications related to leukemia. He committed suicide on February 21, 1985.[1]


  • The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise. Bantam. ISBN 978-0553271928 co-authored with Patrick M. McGrady (1979).
  • The Pritikin Permanent Weight Loss Manual. Bantam. ISBN 0553204947 (1981).
  • The Pritikin Promise: 28 Days to a Longer, Healthier Life. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671494476 (1983).
  • Diet for Runners: The High-Performance Diet that Gives You Supercharged Energy and Endurance ISBN 978-0671556235 (1985).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c When His Health Deserted Him, Diet and Fitness Guru Nathan Pritikin Turned to Suicide, by Eleanor Hoover, People Magazine, March 11, 1985
  2. ^ Company, DIANE Publishing (1995-07-01). Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons. DIANE Publishing. pp. 233–. ISBN 9780788118203. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Today in Science History
  4. ^ Nathan Pritikin: The Man Who Healed America's Heart (the Official Biography) by Tom Monte with Ilene Pritikin ISBN 0-87857-732-7
  5. ^ Gilman, Sander L. (2007-11-26). Diets and Dieting: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 221–. ISBN 9781135870683. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 

External links[edit]