Steven Gundry

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Steven R. Gundry
Alma mater
Scientific career
Fieldscardiology, medicine, nutrition

Steven R. Gundry is an American doctor and author. He is a former cardiac surgeon and currently runs his own clinic, purportedly investigating the impact of diet on health. Gundry conducted cardiology research in the 1990s[1] and was a pioneer in infant heart transplant surgery,[2] and is a New York Times best-selling author of books such as The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain.[3]

He is best known for his widely-disputed claims that lectins, a type of plant protein found in numerous foods, cause inflammation resulting in many modern diseases.[4] Scientists have classified the claims as pseudoscience.[5] He sells supplements that he claims protect against or reverse the supposedly damaging effects of lectins.[6]


Gundry graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in 1972 and went on to earn a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 1977.[7][8]

Gundry left his position as chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at the Seventh-day Adventist coeducational health sciences center, Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

People (magazine) reported in 1990 that a boy under the care of Gundry was healed of his heart defect.[9] The boy's recovery made the need for a heart transplant unnecessary and he was later checked out of Loma Linda University Medical Center within weeks of being admitted.[10]

Published works and controversy[edit]

Gundry has authored two books focused on food-based health interventions, recommending a plant-based diet.[11][12] Although not mentioned in his first book Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline, in his second book The Plant Paradox he advocated avoiding lectins, a class of proteins found in numerous plants.[4] In 2018 he published an accompanying recipe book.[13] T. Colin Campbell, a biochemist and advocate for plant-based diets, said that The Plant Paradox contained numerous poorly supported scientific claims and that it did not make a "convincing argument that lectins as a class are hazardous."[6] Robert H. Eckel, an endocrinologist and past president of the American Heart Association, stated that Gundry's diet advice was "against every dietary recommendation represented by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and so on" and that it was not possible to draw any conclusions from Gundry's own research on the effects of lectin-free diets due to the absence of any control patients.[14] Writing in New Scientist, the food writer and chef Anthony Warner noted that Gundry's theories "are not supported by mainstream nutritional science" and that evidence of the benefits of high-lectin containing diets "is so overwhelming as to render Gundry’s arguments laughable".[15] Gundry sells supplements, including some costing $80 per month, that he claims protect people from what he describes as the damaging effect of lectins.[8][6][15][5] Today's Dietician confirmed that there was evidence of harm from lectin consumption of some raw foods like kidney beans, but added "Although the research on lectin ... is still emerging, preliminary studies have revealed potential health benefits of lectin consumption and minute evidence of harm."[3]


  1. ^ Grady, Denise (2000). "Making Some Trauma of Heart Surgery Disappear". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018. But beating-heart surgery is controversial, because of evidence that its benefits do not last as long as those from traditional bypass operations. Dr. Steven Gundry, head of cardiothoracic surgery at Loma Linda (Calif.) University Medical Center, led a study showing that patients who had beating-heart surgery in 1989 and 1990 were more likely than those who had traditional operations to develop blockages in the arteries that doctors had worked on. But Dr. Gundry said surgical techniques had changed since then, and he thought long-term results would improve, though more studies were needed to find out.
  2. ^ "Infant Boy Survives Heart Peril". The New York Times. 1990. Retrieved August 14, 2018. Dr. Steven Gundry, a pioneer in infant heart transplant surgery, said it was unlikely that their child would ever need a transplant.
  3. ^ a b "Ask the Expert: Clearing Up Lectin Misconceptions". Today's Dietitian Magazine. 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2018. The lectin-free diet has been popularized since cardiologist Steven Gundry, MD, FACS, FACC, released the New York Times bestseller The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain in April 2017. The book promotes a lectin-free diet to treat medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, and cancer.
  4. ^ a b Hamblin, James (April 24, 2017). "Lectins Could Become the Next Gluten". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 18, 2018. The book, The Plant Paradox, has an image of an artfully smashed tomato on the cover, and it tells readers that eating tomatoes is “inciting a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.”
  5. ^ a b Rosenbloom, Cara (July 7, 2017). "Going 'lectin-free' is the latest pseudoscience diet fad". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell (August 23, 2017). "'The Plant Paradox' by Steven Gundry MD - A Commentary". T. Colin Campbell Centre for Nutrition Studies.
  7. ^ "Steven Gundry". The Cardiothoracic Surgery Network. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Hamblin, James (April 24, 2017). "The Next Gluten-Level Obsession Could Be Lectins". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Kilpatrick, Janet (December 24, 1990). "The Tiniest Wonder". People. Retrieved August 14, 2018. Although Weston no longer required a transplant, his heart needed surgical repair work. On Nov. 9, after inspecting the baby’s heart with a pressure meter attached to a catheter, Gundry performed the four-hour operation. His main repairs were rebuilding Weston’s mitral valve and patching the troublesome hole between the right and left ventricles. ... The doctors expected that Weston would need a few weeks to recuperate under an oxygen hood and more weeks at home on limited life support equipment. But Weston recovered so fast he was home in six days.
  10. ^ "Infant Boy Survives Heart Peril". The New York Times. 1990. Retrieved August 14, 2018. After being transferred to Loma Linda, Weston remained for weeks on a waiting list for donor hearts. When doctors performed ultrasound tests on his heart about 10 days ago, they were amazed to find spontaneous and unprecedented development of the left side of the heart and the two valves.
  11. ^ Gundry, Steven R. (2008). Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn off the Genes that are Killing You—and Your Waistline—and Drop the Weight for Good (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0307352110.
  12. ^ Gundry, Steven (2017). The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain (1st ed.). Harper Wave. ISBN 978-0062427137.
  13. ^ Bahar Gholipour (June 28, 2018). "No, You Probably Shouldn't Follow Kelly Clarkson's 'Lectin-Free' Diet". Live Science.
  14. ^ Bahar Gholipour (June 23, 2018). "No, You Probably Shouldn't Follow Kelly Clarkson's 'Lectin-Free' Diet". Live Science.
  15. ^ a b Warner, Anthony (July 27, 2017). "Lectin-free is the new food fad that deserves to be skewered". New Scientist. Retrieved July 28, 2017.

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