Plant-based health professionals UK Ltd is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of plant-based nutrition and other lifestyle interventions for optimal health and well-being. In addition, to practicing conventional medicine, we are passionate about promoting health and well-being through lifestyle interventions, including plant-based nutrition, physical exercise and stress management. There is no doubt that conventional medicine has resulted in some astonishing advances in patient care. However, the current model of healthcare in the UK focusses primarily on treating established disease, rather than emphasising interventions that could prevent or reduce the burden of disease. We hope to provide a valuable resource for the education of healthcare professionals and the general public alike in the field of lifestyle medicine, which is increasing recognised as a speciality in its own right. The aim is to empower individuals to take control of their own health and share this information with patients, friends and their families. With all the confusion and mis-information present in the field of nutrition science, we as a medical community have a duty to provide evidence-based dietary recommendations to our patients and society as a whole.
Founder and Director
Dr Shireen Kassam, MBBS, FRCPath, PhD
Shireen is a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, London. She specialises in the treatment of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). She is passionate about promoting plant-based nutrition for the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases and for maintaining optimal health after treatment for cancer.
She qualified as a medical doctor in 2000, initially training in general medicine, gaining Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP; 2003). She then specialised in Haematology, the study of blood disorders, and achieved Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath; 2008). During training, she took time out to undertake a PhD (University of London, 2011). Her research investigated the role of selenium, an essential micronutrient, in sensitising cancer cells to chemotherapy. She was able to show that supra-nutritional doses of selenium could enhance the action of chemotherapy in the laboratory. She has published a number of peer-reviewed papers in the field of lymphoma.
Shireen discovered the power of nutrition for the prevention and treatment of disease in 2013 and since then has been following a whole food plant-based diet. She has immersed herself in the science of nutrition and health, reading scientific papers and books, attending nutrition conferences and completing recognised continuing professional development activities to keep up to date in the field. She has completed the eCornell certification in plant-based nutrition and is a Health Support Volunteer for the nutritionfacts.org website. With her medical and scientific training, Shireen is uniquely placed to interpret nutritional data and incorporate the latest findings into daily medical practice.
Advisory Board Members
Doug Bristor is from Cambridge and has a background in ICT and Fractal modeling. Professionally, he is a ‘layperson’ in nutrition. However, he has many years of experience working in the education sector with emotionally and behaviorally challenged students. It is through this work that he became aware of the impact of poor nutrition on physical and emotional health. He was also made aware of the lack of adequate nutrition education and the systemic resistance to information and understanding that challenges current behaviour and thinking. He is committed to supporting health professionals access and present scientific information that promotes a healthful, ethical and sustainable way of living.
“My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?”
― Galileo Galilei
Dr Alan Desmond MB Bch, FRCP
Dr Alan Desmond is a Consultant Gastroenterologist based in Devon. He studied Medicine at University College Cork, Ireland and completed his specialist training in Cork, Dublin and Oxford. Having previously published influential work on diagnostic radiation exposure in patients with digestive disorders, he has developed an interest in the dietary management of a range of digestive disorders, particularly Crohn’s disease.
Alan takes every opportunity he gets to enjoy the great outdoors, running, biking & rowing. He adheres to, and advocates for, a whole Food plant-based diet. You can find him at www.devongutclinic.com
Kate Dunbar – Patient advocate
Only recently has she discovered whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet, and its amazing restorative and disease preventing benefits. At last she is completely in remission and medication free.
With a new lease of life, she is an active community member, founder of Hunstanton Community Orchard, graphic designer, ceramicist and community arts provider. She loves cooking and growing vegetables and has a small business making vegan food. She is a passionate advocate of plant-based nutrition and exercise.
She is beyond thankful that there are plant-based doctors and other health professionals who are championing a WFPB diet so that other people need not go through the torture of psoriatic arthritis and other dreadful health conditions.
Dr Sue Kenneally MBBS MRCGP MSc(NutMed)
Sue Kenneally qualified as a GP in 2002, and was awarded an MSc in Nutritional Medicine in 2017. She enjoys her portfolio career which gives her the flexibility to pursue her interests in weight management, lifestyle medicine and plant-based medicine. She is director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, SCOPE certified member and regional group lead of the Association for the Study of Obesity, a member of the Board of the Welsh Obesity Society, member of the ‘GPs with an Interest in Nutrition Group’ and a tutor in obesity and weight management at the University of South Wales. She is passionate about lifestyle and health, and hopes to inspire and empower her patients to transform their lives by making often simple changes.
She has appeared on TV numerous times and gives regular radio interviews on any subject related to lifestyle as a means of maintaining good health, and also has spoken at a number of academic/medical meetings advising other doctors and health professionals about the importance of lifestyle medicine. You can contact her via her public Facebook page Dr Sue Kenneally, or via Twitter @drsuekenneally
Dr Miriam Martinez-Biarge, MD, PhD
Miriam qualified as a medical doctor in 1999. She trained in Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine in Madrid, Spain. She first came to UK in 2008 to do a fellowship in Perinatal Neurology and Neurodevelopmental follow-up at Imperial College London. During that time she also finished her PhD in perinatal brain injury.
Miriam works now as an Honorary Consultant Neonatologist & Research Fellow at Queen Charlotte’s and Hammersmith Hospitals. She specialises in the follow up of infants and young children who have been born prematurely, who have had neurological problems around the time of birth, or who are at risk of neurodevelopmental impairments. She also has a private practice in Spain as a neonatologist and developmental paediatrician.
Miriam became a vegetarian when she was in medical school and has been vegan for the past 6 years. Although she became a vegan for ethical reasons, she also started to study the health benefits of plant-based diets, not only for adults but for children as well. Since 2013 she has had a blog where she promotes a whole food plant-based diet and counsels parents on how to provide good vegan food for their children. She is the author of a book on vegan nutrition for babies and children.
Dr Gemma Newman MBBCH DRCOG DFSRH MRCGP – Plant based nutrition specialist
Dr Gemma Newman has worked in medicine for 14 years and is the Senior Partner at a family medical practice. She studied at the University of Wales College of Medicine and has worked in many specialities as a doctor including Elderly Care, Endocrinology, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry, General Surgery, Urology, Vascular Surgery, Rehabilitation Medicine and General Practice. She gained additional qualifications in Gynaecology and family planning. She has a specialist interest in plant-based nutrition and gives nutrition and lifestyle advice to her patients, who have gained tremendous benefits by using the power of their plate.
As a broadcaster and writer she has been regularly featured on television, including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky News Sunrise. She has contributed to articles for magazines including Glamour, Zest and Good Housekeeping. Her family lead a fully plant-based lifestyle, following the extensive scientific research she has done on the health benefits associated with whole food plant-based nutrition. She is regularly invited to teach other Doctors via training programmes and conferences about the benefits of plant-based nutrition. You can get in touch via Facebook Dr Gemma Newman, or follow her on Instagram @Plantpowerdoctor, or plantbasedhealthprofessionals.com.
Dr Mahesh Shah MBBS MRCGP
Mahesh is a practicing GP in North West London. He qualified from the Hull York Medical School in 2010 and completed his foundation training in Burton-Upon-Trent, before moving back to his London home for training in General Practice.
He has a holistic approach to healthcare and a passion for helping people prevent, improve and overcome chronic health problems through whole food plant based nutrition. He follows a whole food vegan diet himself.
Mahesh is currently studying for a diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition, and is also medical lead for Region 2 of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation UK, which amongst other activities, provides free health awareness events for local communities in North West London.
Dr Luke Vano, BMBS, BMedSc
Luke is a first year psychiatry trainee, based in South East London. He graduated from the University of Southampton in 2015. As a foundation Doctor he spent his first two years working across West Yorkshire. He is the 1st year lead for the Psychiatry Early Experience Programme (PEEP) at Guy’s, King’s and St. Thomas’ Medical School. With researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, he is currently investigating the mechanisms of action of different antipsychotics, medications that are used to help treat patients who suffer with schizophrenia. Due to his desire to dispel the stigma around mental health conditions, Luke is one of the central committee members of Medfest 2018, an international film festival, which aims to explore topics related to mental illness through the medium of film.
Having suffered his whole life with obesity, Luke turned to a vegan diet in January 2017. Following a rapid (and finally sustained) weight loss, he noticed dramatic improvements in his sleep quality, concentration levels, amount of energy and general wellbeing. Since then he has advocated a whole food plant-based diet and has completed the eCornell Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition to ensure that he is giving the best information to his patients. Twitter: @VeganPsychiatry
International Advisory Board Members
Dr David Jenkins OC, MD, FRSC, FRCP, FRCPC, PhD, DSc
Educated at Oxford University, Dr. David Jenkins is currently a Professor in both the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, a Staff Physician in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, and a Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. He has served on committees in Canada and the United States that have formulated nutritional guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and recommendations for fibre and macronutrient intake (fat protein and carbohydrates) for the general population (including the Dietary Reference intake or DRIs) under the joint United States-Canada DRI system (RDAs) of the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC). He led the team that first defined and explored the concept of the glycemic index of foods. He was the first to demonstrate the breadth of metabolic effects of viscous soluble fiber (as found in fruit, certain beans, oats barley) on blood glucose and cholesterol lowering of relevance to prevention and treatment of diabetes and heart disease. His studies on combining cholesterol lowering food components (dietary portfolio) have been recognized as creating an effective dietary alternative to drug therapy (statins) for lower risk people. In an important study, he compared a dietary portfolio with all food provided with a statin in the same people and demonstrated that the effects of both were comparable. The dietary portfolio, on the basis of this and other studies including a major cross Canada real world study, was the only dietary approach referenced in 2004 Guidelines update of the US National Cholesterol Education Program (ATP III) and recommended in the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) guidelines for 2012 and the European Atherosclerosis Society consensus statement (2015). He has received many National and International awards in recognition of his contribution to nutrition research. He believes in the value of plant based diets, and that a major effort is required to mount large studies to determine the extent of their health benefits. He also believes that diets have to be environmentally sustainable.