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Health is a Choice: Dr. Steven Gundry

health is a choice

Hard to Change Habits? Blame Your Killer Genes

Dr. Steven Gundry is a world-renowned Cardiologist/Cardiac Surgeon who pioneered infant and pediatric heart transplants and (with his partner) has performed more such transplants than any other surgeon in the world. He is the inventor of leading surgical technology and is considered one of the fathers of robotic surgery.

Gundry is also an inquisitive researcher who never stops asking ‘why?’ And it is this quest that changed his life when he encountered a heart diseased patient he refers to as “Big Ed.” Big Ed was sent to Gundry by another physician as ‘inoperable’ and an angiogram confirmed the diagnosis. Six months later Ed returned weighing 45 lbs less and requesting that Gundry repeat the angiogram to see if the diet, herbs and supplements he had been taking somehow improved the state of his blood vessels.

Gundry told Ed that “worthless supplements only made expensive urine”, but agreed to repeat the angiogram. Surprisingly, Ed’s blockages had shrunk by more than 50%. Gundry had never seen such a reduction. Following successful bypass surgery, he met with Ed to discuss the diet, vitamins, mineral and herbs that had transformed his body.

This experience started a personal quest for Gundry that changed his preconceived notions about the underlying cause of heart disease, cancer, obesity and other rampant diseases. Gundry himself was overweight, so he was the perfect lab rat using sophisticated blood tests to scientifically experiment on how foods and supplements biologically changed his own body. The results amazed him. Not only did he lose over 75 pounds, but he restored his body’s normal cell functioning. His LDL (“bad” cholesterol) dropped more than 100 points and his HDL (“good” cholesterol) increased 50 points. His migraines vanished and his blood pressure dropped to 90/50.

After further research, Gundry created the Diet Evolution and found that people who adopted the program all experienced positive, life changing results. He moved to the Desert to establish The International Health and Lung Institute and The Center for Restorative Medicine.
Gundry’s protocol is not the typical diet recommended by health care professionals.

“We are what we are because of the interaction of compounds in food and our environment that activate the genes in our body, literally switching them on or off and telling our genes to do good things or to do bad things,” states Gundry. “A lot of times there are things happening at the cellular level that we might not feel from day to day but are having a tremendous influence on the long term effects in our body. This is a process that has been going on since the dawn of time. It’s a beautiful design as long as you understand what the design is looking for.”

Gundry believes that aging and death are not preordained, but “ordered” to occur by what he calls “killer genes” to make room for new copies of your genes (your offspring) to survive and reproduce. This is not a theory, but a behavior that scientists have known for years. It’s these genes that make you crave sugar, tobacco and other substances that may kill you in the end.

“Your genes are constructed to achieve three main goals: 1) deliver genes into the future by reproducing; 2) ensure the survival of your genetic copies; and 3) after accomplishing #1 and #2, get out of the way so you don’t compete for limited resources with your offspring. And here’s the clincher. The faster you accomplish these goals, the better things are from your genes’ point of view.”

It seems that the western diet has evolved as if controlled by these killer genes. We now have more diseases designed to kill us off quickly. And studies show that populations–even animals–newly introduced to the Western diet prefer this food and even crave it.

“Food has changed dramatically in the past 100 years. Our diet was remarkably uniform for millions of years up until about 8000 years ago when grain and beans were introduced and about 100 years ago when processed grains came along. A significant change also occurred 50 years ago when farm animals stopped being fed foods that they normally eat and were fed grain, which they were not designed to eat.”

The Good News?

You can “tame” your killer genes, and in fact tell your genes to behave to your benefit by deactivating bad cells, repairing damaged cells, and reproducing healthy cells, with diet and supplements.

“I approached this new field as a research project and every one of my patients is their own laboratory. I get rather fascinating blood work every 3 months on every one of our patients. With special genetic testing, we can track food that people eat and supplements they take and their effect at the cellular level. These tests can tell me if a patient has stopped taking a supplement and even if they have changed brands.”
Even Better News?
Gundry has found that this reversal process works at all ages. “I call myself a restorative medicine professional. My job is to give people tools to restore their body to as perfect a health as they want. I teach people how to de-age. What has been most surprising to me is that it is never too late. We have found that you can actually return quite damaged cells into very healthy cells. I have seen people in their mid to late 80’s completely turn their lives around–get rid of what are considered chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s–and go about leading their exciting and active lives.”
Gundry adds with a smile, “I have 90 year old women who now won’t even look at 80 year old men because they are too boring.”

How do Gundry’s peers react to his new practice? “My client’s call me ‘No More Mr. Knife Guy’ so it doesn’t get any better than that. Some physicians think I am selling snake oil, but the biggest compliment comes when they send me patients, or come to see me personally, and we are able to change their lives around.”

To start your journey towards healthier cells and to turn off those killer genes, memorize the following “Gundryisms”:

  • If you eat less, you’ll live longer
  • Eat food “live” to arrive at a hundred and five
  • Vegetables are good for you because they are “bad” for you
    (according to your killer genes)
  • Exercise is good for you because its “bad” for you
  • Drink some red wine, and you’ll be fine
  • Keep your genes guessing as to the timing of your next meal
  • The cooler your engine runs, the longer you’ll go without a major breakdown

Dr. Gundry is on the medical staff of Desert Regional Medical Center. Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution is available at Barnes & Noble in Palm Desert or online at

46 Responses to “Health is a Choice: Dr. Steven Gundry”

  1. Gayle says:

    I am confused. Just watched the video and the #1 worst thing to consume is soy products…..and then googled and saw his book. And read soy milk and other soy products were ok…..

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Thank you for reading Desert Health, Gayle! Soy is one of those food products and protein sources on which you will find many different opinions.

      Lauren Del Sarto

      • Spirit says:

        Are you the publisher? why does he say no soy and then recommend soy in his book?

        • Lauren Del Sarto says:

          Thank you. I am the Publisher of Desert Health (not Dr. Gundry’s book). I can only guess that his book came out quite some time ago and he has done much research since then. His current “food matrix” of what is/is not recommended is a newer supplement to his book.

          I would contact his office directly for additional information.

          With appreciation ~

          Lauren Del Sarto

    • Steven Gundry says:

      Please keep in mind that I wrote my first book in 2008, long before my research let me to the fact that soy products are very bad for us unless they are properly fermented.

      To your good health!

  2. Edith says:

    I would like to get more information about soya food products. can you tell me where i can find it.
    thank you

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      We are not familiar with soya foods, but I am sure you can find more information online.
      Thank you for reading Desert Health!

      Lauren Del Sarto

  3. Jk says:

    Dr Gundry is always researching and has now found soy is not ok. I think fermented may b ok but i just stay away from it completely. He has a new book coming out next year you can preorder called the plant paradox. Just go on amazon. The first book he wrote is the diet evolution which is good but now he reccomends a more restrictive diet called the matrix. It will b in the upcoming book. He talks about the matrix on the newer youtube videos. I do this one as it helps with autoimmunity. Basically in the new book he also wants you to avoid lectin which are in lots of things. You can google lectin free diet. I am not his patient. I am following his youtube vids and look forward to his next book. This diet is incredible

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Thank you for reading, JK. We think highly of Dr. Gundry and his research. He actually spoke at our Wellness Awards last year. I am ordering his Vital Reds today as a matter of fact.

      Thanks for your input and for reading Desert Health!

      With sincere appreciation ~

      Lauren Del Sarto, Publisher

  4. Michael Wisotsky MD says:

    can your diet (avoiding lectins etc) and or Dr. Mercola’s ketogenic diet kill lung cancer ??

    • Michael Wisotsky MD says:

      Please Reply , Michael Wisotsky MD

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Thank you, Dr. Wisotsky. For more information from Dr. Gundry on the effects of diet on cancer, I recommend you visit his website and/or pick up his new book, The Plant Paradox. He has had much success in prescribing diet for cancer therapy, but we cannot answer your question directly.

      With appreciation ~

      Lauren Del Sarto

    • Steven Gundry says:

      The key is to remove ALL sugar from your diet if you have cancer, not just lectins. Cancer cannot live without lectins.

  5. J Lynn Shields says:

    While waiting in my car recently and listening to my iphone, I heard part of Dr. Gundry’s information but had to abruptly close turn it off and get the car moving. Among lots of good information, I learned that he has a LIQUID that we can buy and use to help strengthen us. But, today on the computer info I’ve read, it seems that he only sells a powder. I’m confused. And, if he does sell a powder and a liquid, which one of those 2 kinds has the doctor’s most recently come up with? I am very interested, so will be looking for your help. Thank you.

    • Steven Gundry says:

      Many of the products to do come in powder form, but you add water to them. For energy, try Vital Reds, for Pre and Probiotics, try Primal Plants and PreBiothrive.

  6. Lauren Del Sarto says:

    Thank you, Lynn!

    I recommend visiting his website to see what products he offers:
    We cannot advise on whether powder or liquid is better, so you may want to research further.

    All the best~

    Lauren Del Sarto
    Desert Health

  7. Rebecca Leslie says:

    I have been on Gundry Pro and pre biotics for 2 months now. Feeling good BUT so far I have had a severe sore throat and ear infection that took 3 weeks to clear up and now I have come down with the flu. Could it be the biotics that are causing “old” illnesses to surface?

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Boy, I wish I could answer that for you and will forward to Dr. Gundry..

      Thank you for reading!

      Lauren Del Sarto

    • Steven Gundry says:

      No, not at all. I do recommend 50,000 iu of Vitamin D 3 times a day for 3 days ONLY at the first sign of a cold or flu though.

      • Lily says:

        Hi Dr. Gundry, hopeful you’ll see this and have time to answer. I’ve followed this advice for the past few initial onsets of colds and am amazed at how well it works! Is this safe for children/teens? I have 13 and 15 year old daughters weighing 90 and 105 pounds, respectively. I’ve read about hypercalcemia and it’s link to too much vitamin D. Should there be a concern about that when taking this dosage for 3 days? I’m guessing not, due to the short time span.
        Warm Regards and Thanks for Diet Evolution and The Plant Paradox!

        • Steven Gundry says:

          Contrary to much of what is out there, it is almost impossible to become “toxic” from too much Vitamin D. It is safe for you daughters to do the 3-day regimen if they think they are coming down with a cold or flu.

          To your good health!

          Dr. G.

  8. Lynn Wierenga says:

    I have been on an Autoimmune Diet for two weeks now. Migraines are one of my Autoimmune issues. I’m wondering if you would recommend any supplements to speed up the healing of migraines. I have eliminated soy products as a part of my new well as many other things …I am so very grateful for all of the wonderful , helpful expertise offered online to enhance one’s diet and lifestyle !!

  9. Steven Gundry says:

    Make sure you are taking lots of Omega-3 Fish oil with at least 1,000 mg of DHA in total.

  10. Jillian says:

    Hi, I’m enjoying the benefits of Gundry Vital Reds, Primal plants & Prebiotheive. I watch my diet and eat fruit & Veg. I keep away from bread & pasta but I love having some carb type crackers in my diet so I eat a rice cracker for breakfast with avacado. I’m taking omega 3 also. But just out my Cholesterol is high. What can I take in the Gundry product line that can help lower my cholesterol & is their any foods that help?

    • Steven Gundry says:

      Rice Crackers are a “no no”. Try Jilz Crackers if you need a cracker. You can get them at Whole foods or at Avoid sugars as much as possible. Make sure your Omega-3 has a high DHA.

      To your good health!

  11. Christina says:

    Just starting a ketogenic diet and wondering if Vital Red is too high in fruit sugars. Will it make getting into ketosis hard, or kick me out of ketosis, when I finally get to there?


    • Steven Gundry says:

      There is absolutely no sugar in Vital Reds. All the “sweet” comes from the extracts from the fruits.

  12. raj says:


    I have vitiligo and have been on this diet for about 3 months now after reading the PP book. So far, have not seen much progress with regimenting yet, so wanted to check with Dr. Gundry if he would have any other specific recommendations.


    • Steven Gundry says:

      My apologies for the delayed response. Your e-mail was just forwarded to me. I am hoping by now that you are noticing some improvement of your Vitiligo. If you are following the diet in the PP book, you should see improvement. If not, please do the Keto version of the diet.

      To your good health!

    • Steven Gundry says:


      I apologize for the delayed response. I just now received your e-mail. Hopefully by now you are noticing progress. You should be on the Keto PP diet.

      To your good health!

      Dr. G.

  13. Jorge says:

    Dr. G, I have achieved great results on the Plant Paradox in just 7 months. I dropped from a 34 waist to 29 and feeling great. I do both the Vital Reds, Primal Plant and Prebiothrive for 7 month. I’m ripped and lean. I only eat small amounts of protein per day my HDL is 66 but my LDL is at 190. Not sure what to do to get that LDL lower. I take supplements but don’t know what else to do.

  14. michele standish says:

    I have been a on my lectin-free journey as of 4/6/18. I am 56 y.o. I have lost 20lbs as well as my husband. My B/P is down from 140’s/80’s to 117/78. I exercise rarely in the winter and then bike/swim 1-3 days a week the rest of the year. Which is saying that I do not do a whole lot of exercise. I used to exercise 2 hrs a day 5-6 days a week and barely lost any weight and yo-yo’d back and forth. That all being said, I feel the lectin-free journey is working for me and my husband evidenced by getting through the holidays without gaining any weight. We both feel good, less general aches/pains, less acetaminophen usage and NO NSAIDS at all. Now I am getting ready for my yearly physical and I am wondering if there is any additional nutritional blood work I should request to ensure I am not deficient in supplements such as a folic acid, thiamine, iron levels, Omega 3, SED rate, etc? I standardly get TSH, renal, CBC, lipid panel, Vit D done. Thank you so much for bringing this research into the public arena!

    • Steven Gundry says:

      Thanks for your e-mail and congratulations on your improved good health. Check your Homocysteine, B12 and Cystatin C (better test for Kidney function). Also do the genetic test for the ApoE gene and the MTHFR gene if you haven’t done them. They are not expensive.

      To your good health!

      Dr. G

  15. Luvella says:

    Out of no where, after lunch on Monday, my face got extremely hot and red, dry mouth and my BP was 168/89. I was given BP medication but it causes headaches and dropped my BP to 112/70. It’s been up and down since. I use your vital reds. Is there another supplement you have for controlling high BP? I’m 5’8, weigh 157, walk daily, use no added salt, eat a lot of salmon, power greens, fresh fruits and veggies.

  16. Steven Gundry says:

    It is surprising that you were started on BP meds after one incident. My favorite supplements to naturally lower BP are Magnesium Potassium Aspartate (Country Life is a good brand), CoQ10 and Omega-3 Fish Oil with a total of close to 1,000 mg of DHA (Costco makes a good brand by Trunature).

    To your good health!

    Dr. G

  17. Jeffrey L Shirley DC CME says:

    What lab protocol would you use to start new patients on with minimal health concerns. Read your book The Plant Paradox and would like to use your methods. Thank you. Dr. Jeff Shirley

  18. Steven Gundry says:

    I use several labs because none of them do everything. I run inflammation (Cytokine) markers, Cardiac, Bone & Mineral, Celiac, CMP, Connective Tissue (ANA & ENA), Diabetes, Hormone, Thyroid, ApoE, MTHFR, and a few others to start.

    To your good health!

    Dr. G.

  19. Merle Ann Lawson says:

    I have excellent cholesterol by genes. My blood pressure has been diagnosed as white coat syndrome and I am afraid to go to a cardiologist because they will want to put me on high blood medication which I took for one week 20 years ago and would start to faint so I stopped with dr. agreement. I am now 72 yr. and have some shortness of breath when walking up hills no matter how much I hike our mountain and rarely but sometimes papitations. I’ve been taking Total Restore and I don’t know if this is just a coincident but I started having some bad nose bleeds. I stopped the total restore and the nose bleeds stopped. I live in the desert where is it unbelievable dry with no rain and no humidity. I took Total Restore for 5 months with no problems but now I am afraid to try taking it again. Also does fish oil thin your blood? I just don’t know what to do. I have bought your book Plant Paradox and the recipe cookbook. We are trying to change our diet gradually. I could lose 10 pounds so I am not very overweight. My husband has PD and its very hard to get him to stop eating sweets every day. I have just received your Heart Defense powder but I haven’t opened it yet because I am wondering if there is any blood thinning ingredient in it and I do not want to start having nose bleeds again. My main question is do these two products have any blood thinning ingredients in them? Please respond. Merle Ann

  20. Mary says:

    My question here after reading to the end of your write up there is a clause of total restore is not for cure, treatment and also the that the message is a mere advert and has some fictional in it.please I will like to get some clarification thanks

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Sorry you feel that way, Mary. This editorial is a profile of Dr. Gundry written 8 years ago. We certainly attempt to keep our editorial educational and feel there is much to consider here.

      Do you have specific questions for us?

      Thank you for reading ~

      Lauren Del Sarto

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