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Episode 95

First aired February 13, 2019

The Power of Plants: bringing plant-based nutrition into mainstream medicine

Europe’s biggest scientific conference on plant-based nutrition is coming to the UK for the very first time. VegMed will be held at King’s College London on 12 and 13 October 2019. The London edition is titled The Power of Plants: bringing plant-based nutrition into mainstream medicine and will be a two-day conference. The first day is for the medical profession only: physicians, scientists, medical students, and nutritionists and those in related fields. The second day is open to the general public. The full programme of speakers can be found at

In this interview for UK Health Radio and Unlock Your Health, Dr. Vijay Murthy spoke with the manager of VegMed for ProVeg UK, Amy Odene. Amy says “It is widely accepted that some of the UK’s biggest killers are preventable with diet and lifestyle, yet only a handful of hours are dedicated to nutritional education in any medical professional training here in the UK. VegMed is being brought to the UK by ProVeg UK in partnership with Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, whose co-founder DR. Shireen Kassam says “I am delighted to be involved in bringing VegMed to the UK. The health benefits of a predominantly plant-based diet are still not fully appreciated by the medical community in the UK. The conference will give us the opportunity to share UK expertise alongside some of the international pioneers in the field of plant-based nutrition. I hope the conference will inspire a new generation of healthcare professionals to use plant-based nutrition for disease prevention and reversal in their own clinical practice.” You can contact Dr.Kassam at;; Instagram @plantbasedhealthprofessionals; Twitter @plantbasedhpuk;Facebook -  wholefoodplantbasednutrition 


About our Guests

Dr. Shireen Kassam
Shireen is a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, London with a specialist interest in the treatment of patients with lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). She is also 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, and gaining Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP; 2003). She then specialised in Haematology 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. With her medical and scientific training, Shireen is uniquely placed to interpret nutritional data and incorporate the latest findings into daily medical practice.

Shireen founded Plant-based health professionals UK in 2017. Since then she has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Plant-Based Nutrition at Winchester University with the aim of producing high quality educational material and courses. She is also a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Vegan Society.
Amy Odene
Amy is the Campaigns Manager for ProVeg UK. Her passion for plant-based food, along with her education and corporate background, serves as a perfect foundation for consulting with companies to help increase and improve their plant-based options. A speaker in the field of school meals, Amy speaks about the importance of plant-based nutrition in public sector catering.

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