The Medicine of the Future

What is Reversive Medicine?

Reversive Medicine | WFPB.ORG

Reversive Medicine is the area of medicine that studies and demonstrates the reversal of human and planetary disease through the scientific evidence of a plant-based structure.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, reversive means characterized by or tending to restore. In Human Health, a whole food, plant-based diet accompanied by lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and sunshine are the basis of a healthy human body. In Environmental Health, a plant-based dietary pattern is the most significant solution toward reducing global warming, and improving the health and future of the planet [i].

What can Reversive Medicine do?

Though the literature on sustainable diets has grown substantially in the past decade[ii] [iii] [iv] [v], and the concept has been expanded to the economic, ethical, and cultural aspects of food consumption[vi], consistent health analyses of commonly proposed diets are scarce[vii] and approaches are based primarily on health rather than or both health and environmental objectives with few exceptions[viii] [ix].

Reversive Medicine focuses on a sustainable dietary pattern that combines the creation of a food system that supplies healthy food for the prevention and reversal of human disease with a system of reducing its environmental impact and staying within planetary boundaries.

Reversing Human Disease

Imbalanced diets low in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, and high in red and processed meat are responsible for the greatest health burden worldwide. In addition to imbalanced diets, high consumption of red and processed meat and low consumption of fruits and vegetables are important diet-related risk factors contributing to substantial early mortality in most regions.

About 2 billion people are overweight and obese, 2 billion have nutritional deficiencies, and about 800 million are still suffering from hunger due to poverty and poorly developed food systems [xxx].

Animal-based food is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction [xxxi].

Since it fully treats the number one risk factor for death and disability1 for the human body, Reversive Medicine has the ability to, among others:

Heart Disease
Reverse2 the main cause of mortality of adults, ischemic heart disease, by regressing the atherosclerotic plaque in more than 80% of the people who adopt this therapeutic strategy5 and the blood flow of the coronary arteries improves in 99%6 of the cases.

Cerebrovascular Disease
Provide a direct protective effect against the risk of cerebrovascular disease, second cause of death in women and third in men5, diminishing its risk in all its forms by 22%7, as it was demonstrated in the renowned Framingham study.

Pulmonary Disease
Improve the results of the prognostic tests from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, third cause of death in women and fourth in men4, as well as increase the percentage of the forced expiratory volume (FEV1)8, present less risk for COPD and reduce its symptoms9.

High Blood Pressure
Decrease the risk of high blood pressure –fifth cause of death in women and seventh in men4– from 15% to 5,8% and lower the blood pressure in only seven days, with 86% of the patients reducing or eliminating completely the need of medications10.

Type 2 Diabetes
Reduce significantly HBA1c in patients with type 2 diabetes –sixth and ninth cause of death in women and men respectively4–, diminishing the amount of medication needed in 29% of the intervention group in comparison with an increase of 8% in the control group11. The results from the intervention group were so successful that the treatment was offered to the control group after 6 months.

Eliminate a fundamental risk factor for the development of cancer –tenth cause of death in women–, diminishing the risk of colon cancer in 40%12, reducing the serum levels of the PSA in prostate cancer in early stages after this therapeutic strategy 13 and significantly reducing the growth of tumor cells in breast cancer –8 times more– in comparison with the control group in experimental studies.

  1. The state of US health, 1990-2010: burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors.Murray, C.J., Abraham, J., Ali, M.K. Aug 14, 2013, JAMA, pp. 310(6):591-608. 
  2. A way to reverse CAD?Essesltyn CB, et al. July 2014, The Journal of Family Practice, pp. 63(7):356-364b.
  3. Salud en las Américas. Resumen:panorama regional y perfiles de país. Organización Panamericana de la Salud. Edición del 2017, publicación científica y técnica no.642
  4. Boletín técnico. Estadísticas vitales – EEVV Año 2016-2017. Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE), 28 de marzo de 2018. Bogotá, Colombia.
  5. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? (The Lifestyle Heart Trial). Ornish, D., Brown, S.E., Scherwitz, L.W., Billings, J.H., Armstrong, W.T., Ports, T.A., McLanahan, S.M., Kirkeeide, R.L., Brand, R.J., Gould, K.L.1990, Lancet, pp. 336:129–133.
  6. Changes in myocardial perfusion abnormalities by positron emission tomography after long-term, intense risk factor modification.Gould, K.L., Ornish, D., Scherwitz, L., Brown, S., Edens, R.P., Hess, M.J., Mullani, N., Bolomey, L., Dobbs, F., Armstrong, W.T., Merritt, T., Ports, T., Sparler, S., Billings, J. 1995, JAMA, pp. 274:894–901. 
  7. Protective effect of fruits and vegetables on development of stroke in men. Gillman M., et al. 1995; 273(14):1113-7.
  8. Impact of dietary shift to higher-antioxidant foods in COPD: A randomised trial. Keranis et al. European Respiratory Journal. 2010;36(4): 774–780.
  9. Soy consumption and risk of COPD and respiratory symptoms: a case-control study in Japan. Hirayama F, Lee AH, Binns CW, et al. Respiratory Research. 2009;10(1).
  10. Effects of 7 days on an ad libitum low-fat vegan diet: the McDougall Program cohort. McDougall J, Thomas LE, McDougall C, Moloney G, Saul B, Finnell JS, Richardson K, Petersen KM. Nutr J. 2014 Oct 14;13:99.
  11. The BROAD Study: A randomized, controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischemic heart disease, or diabetes. Wright, N., Wilson, L., Duncan, B., McHugh, P. Nutrition & Diabetes, 2017. 7, e256.
  12. Molecular mechanisms for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer by natural dietary compounds. Pan M, Lai C, Wu J, Ho C. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2011;55(1):32-45.
  13. Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of prostate cancer. Ornish D, Weidner G, Fair WR, et al. J Urol. 2005;174(3):1065-9.

Reversing Planetary Disease

Global Pollution from Livestock Production 
The food system is responsible for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,[x] of which up to 80% are associated with livestock production [xi] [xii]. It occupies about 40% of the Earth’s surface [xiii] and uses 70% of all freshwater resources [xiv], and the over-application of fertilizers [xv] and pesticides [xvi] [xvii] has led to pollution of surface water [xviii] and groundwater and created dead zones in oceans [xix] [xx]. As a result, the global food system has contributed to the crossing of several of the proposed planetary boundaries [xxi] that attempt to define a safe operating space for humanity on a stable Earth system [xxii] [xxiii].

GHG Emissions and Dietary Changes
Without targeted dietary changes, the situation is expected to worsen as a growing and more wealthy global population adopts diets resulting in more GHG emissions [xxiv] and as the dietary transition toward more processed and high-value food products (in terms of cost and perceived value) continues in many regions of the world [xxv]. These dietary health risks are expected to worsen [xxvi] by increasing the human, social, and economic health burden from chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) associated with high body weight and unhealthy diets [xxvii].

Climate Change and Animal Products
Animal products are more damaging than every car, plane, train, and ship on the planet, combined [xxviii]. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that urgent and profound changes to the way we live must be made if we are to keep global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Anything above this level will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people [xxix].

Unsustainable Agriculture
Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat–instead of feeding grain directly to humans–involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource-intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use.

The Human and Planetary Impact

Reversive Medicine aims to educate and empower the global population about the optimal lifestyle structure thorough sustainable human habits, starting with a whole food, plant-based diet.

Changing diets may be more effective than technological mitigation options for avoiding climate change [xxxii] and may be essential to avoid negative environmental impacts such as major agricultural expansion [xxxiii] and global average temperature rise of 2°C [xxxiv] while ensuring access to safe and affordable food for an increasing global population [xxxv] [xxxvi].  In the absence of dedicated strategies or changes in demand, many of these human and environmental impacts are expected to intensify as demand for meat and dairy increases and the global population grows from 7 billion to a predicted 10 billion in the next 30 years [xlvii].

Reductions in meat consumption and other dietary changes would ease pressure on land use [xxxvii] [xxxviii] and reduce GHG emissions [xxxix] [xl] [xli] [xlii] [xliii] [xliv] [xlv] [xlvi].

The Goal of Reversive Medicine

It is our goal to reverse or halt the progression of human and planetary disease through clear and specific structures for the global community based on the extensive body of scientific data that demonstrates that a plant-based dietary pattern is the most comprehensive way to achieve human and environmental health.

Human & Planetary Guidelines
Medical & School Curriculums
Sustainable Education
Culinary Medicine
Sustainable Gastronomy

International Association of Reversive Medicine (IARM)

WFPB.ORG | International Association of Reversive Medicine

The International Association of Reversive Medicine (IARM) is the world’s flagship professional association for health and scientific professionals, as well as those in professions devoted to advancing the mission of reversive medicine.

Reversive Medicine connects sustainable human health (prevention and reversal of chronic human disease), and planetary health (prevention and reversal of planetary destruction), as the two codependent factors. It supports and demonstrates that a plant-based structure can have multiple health, environmental, and economic benefits, toward a sustainably healthier humanity and planet across the globe.

Reversive Medicine Symposium

WFPB.ORG | Reversive Medicine Symposium

The conference’s objective is to support the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle for human and environmental health through a review of current and progressive scientific research. Geared toward scientific and health professionals from a variety of specialty areas, the information is presented with a commitment to intellectual integrity, without bias or influence.

The Reversive Medicine Symposium is held yearly as part of WHOLEXPO.

Reversive Medicine is a trademarked term by WFPB.ORG.


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[ii] Aleksandrowicz L, Green R, Joy EJM, Smith P, Haines A. The impacts of dietary change on greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and health: a systematic review. PLoS One 2016; 11: e0165797.

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[iv] Hallström E, Carlsson-Kanyama A, Börjesson P. Environmental impact of dietary change: a systematic review. J Clean Prod 2015; 91: 1–11.

[v] Joyce A, Hallett J, Hannelly T, Carey G. The impact of nutritional choices on global warming and policy implications: examining the link between dietary choices and greenhouse gas emissions. Energy Emiss Control Technol 2014; 2: 33.

[vi] Burlingame B, Dernini S, Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, FAO. Sustainable diets and biodiversity: directions and solutions for policy, research and action. International scientific symposium, biodiversity and sustainable diets united against hunger; Rome, Italy; Nov 3–5, 2010

[vii] Payne CL, Scarborough P, Cobiac L. Do low-carbon-emission diets lead to higher nutritional quality and positive health outcomes? A systematic review of the literature. Public Health Nutr 2016; 19: 2654–61

[viii] Springmann, Marco, et al. “Analysis and Valuation of the Health and Climate Change Cobenefits of Dietary Change.” PNAS, National Academy of Sciences, 18 Mar. 2016,

[ix] Tilman D, Clark M (2014) Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 515(7528):518–522.

[x] Vermeulen SJ, Campbell BM, Ingram JSI. Climate change and food systems. Annu Rev Environ Resour 2012; 37: 195–222.

[xi] Steinfeld H, et al. (2006) Livestock’s Long Shadow (FAO, Rome).

[xii] Tubiello FN, et al. (2014) Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Emissions by Sources and Removals by Sinks: 1990–2011 Analysis (FAO Statistics Division, Rome)

[xiii] Ramankutty N, Evan AT, Monfreda C, Foley JA. Farming the planet: 1. Geographic distribution of global agricultural lands in the year 2000. Global Biogeochem Cycles 2008; 22: GB1003.

[xiv] Shiklomanov IA, Rodda JC. World water resources at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Cambirdge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

[xv] Harris, T. D., & Smith, V. H. (2016). Do persistent organic pollutants stimulate cyanobacterial blooms?. Inland Waters, 6(2), 124-130.…/n…/2016-04-29/887-5590-1-PB.pdf

[xvi] Battaglin, W.A., M.T. Meyer, K.M. Kuivila, et al. Glyphosate and Its Degradation Product AMPA Occur Frequently and Widely in U.S. Soils, Surface Water, Groundwater, and Precipitation. J Am Water Resour Assoc. 2014;50: 275-290.…/10.1111/jawr.12159/abstract

[xvii] Benbrook, C. M. Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally. Environ Sci Eur. 2016;28:3…/10.11…/s12302-016-0070-0

[xviii] Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (2015) Annual Report of Pollutant Discharges to the Surface Waters of the State From the Application of Pesticides.…/…/files/npdes-2015.pdf

[xix] Diaz RJ, Rosenberg R. Spreading dead zones and consequences for marine ecosystems. Science 2008; 321: 926–29.

[xx] Dyhrman, S. T., Chappell, P. D., Haley, S. T., Moffett, J. W., Orchard, E. D., Waterbury, J. B., & Webb, E. A. (2006). Phosphonate utilization by the globally important marine diazotroph Trichodesmium. Nature, 439(7072), 68.

[xxi] Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[xxii] Campbell B, Beare D, Bennett E, et al. Agriculture production as a major driver of the Earth system exceeding planetary boundaries. Ecol Soc 2017; 22: 8.

[xxiii] Springmann M, Clark M et al, ‘Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits’, Nature, 2018

[xxiv] Popkin BM (2006) Global nutrition dynamics: The world is shifting rapidly toward a diet linked with noncommunicable diseases. Am J Clin Nutr 84(2):289–298.

[xxv] Popkin BM. Reducing Meat Consumption Has Multiple Benefits for the World’s Health. Arch Intern Med.2009;169(6):543–545. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.2

[xxvi] Springmann M, Godfray HCJ, Rayner M, Scarborough P. Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2016; 113: 4146–51.

[xxvii] Lozano R, et al. (2012) Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2095–2128.

[xxviii] Key facts and findings’, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

[xxix] Jonathan Watts, ‘We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN,’ The Guardian, 8 Oct 2018

[xxx] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Children’s Fund, World Food Programme, WHO. The state of food security and nutrition in the world. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2018.

[xxxi] Horrigan L, Lawrence RS, Walker P. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture. Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110(5):445-56.

[xxxii] Popp A, Lotze-Campen H, Bodirsky B (2010) Food consumption, diet shifts and associated non-CO2 greenhouse gases from agricultural production. Glob Environ Change 20(3):451–462.

[xxxiii] Bajželj B, et al. (2014) Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation. Nat Clim Chang 4(10):924–929.

[xxxiv] Hedenus F, Wirsenius S, Johansson DJA (2014) The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets. Clim Change 124(1-2):79–91.

[xxxv] Godfray HCJ, et al. (2010) Food security: The challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science 327(5967):812–818

[xxxvi] Ray DK, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA (2013) Yield trends are insufficient to double global crop production by 2050. PLoS One 8(6):e66428

[xxxvii] Stehfest E, et al. (2009) Climate benefits of changing diet. Clim Change 95(1):83–102.

[xxxviii] Tilman D, Clark M (2014) Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 515(7528):518–522.

[xxxix] Bajželj B, et al. (2014) Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation. Nat Clim Chang 4(10):924–929.

[xl] Godfray HCJ, et al. (2010) Food security: The challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science 327(5967):812–818.

[xli] Hallström E, Carlsson-Kanyama A, Börjesson P (2015) Environmental impact of dietary change: A systematic review. J Clean Prod 91:1–11.

[xlii] Ripple WJ, et al. (2014) Ruminants, climate change and climate policy. Nat Clim Chang 4(1):2–5.

[xliii] Stehfest E, et al. (2009) Climate benefits of changing diet. Clim Change 95(1):83–102.

[xliv] Tilman D, Clark M (2014) Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 515(7528):518–522.

[xlv] Hedenus F, Wirsenius S, Johansson DJA (2014) The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets. Clim Change 124(1-2):79–91.

[xlvi] Popp A, Lotze-Campen H, Bodirsky B (2010) Food consumption, diet shifts and associated non-CO2 greenhouse gases from agricultural production. Glob Environ Change 20(3):451–462.

[xlvii] Springmann M, Clark M, Mason-D’Croz D, et al. Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits. Nature 2018; published online Oct 10. DOI:10.1038/s41586-018-0594-0.

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