DETROIT (FOX 2) - If food is medicine, here's the question: how much does your doctor actually know about what we should be eating? The answer is likely not much, but that may be changing.
"If you look at the average nutritional curriculum in medical school students receive less than 20 hours total in their four years as medical students," said Lakshman Mulpuri. He's a medical student at Wayne State University and the president of Plant-Based Nutrition Group - and he wants to change that. Starting now.
So in a first, hundreds of WSU medical students came together with patients, doctors and plant-based advocates for a day of learning not in a lab, but in real life.
"The students here are getting a chance to see real patients who have turned their lives around by changing their diets to a whole-food, plant-based nutrition. The high fiber, nutrient-dense components helped them to get off medications, feel better vitality than ever and in many cases even turn their lives around," said plant-based physician Dr. Robert Breakey. "I wish I had this kind of opportunity in medical school."
"I have lupus and I was able to go into remission using my diet," Misha Gilla, a plant-based advocate who was at the seminar, told us.
"I was diabetic for 10 years. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, ED, psoriasis, heartburn very frequently; I was obese. When I adopted the plant-based lifestyle and in two months, after being sick for 10 years - I'm on all these medications - in two months I'm off all my medications. In three months I shed 50 lbs. and here I am, eight years later at 52 years old in the best shape of my life," said Marc Ramirez, president of Chickpea & Bean Inc.
Makes you think, what can eating more plants do for your body? Some say a lot.
"Experts estimate that 80 percent of heart disease, diabetes, cancers that people suffer could be prevented if they made changes in their diet," said plant-based physician Dr. Milton Mills. He's a Washington, D.C. doctor who appeared in the pro-vegan documentary "What the Health."
He believes the human body is meant to digest plants, giving us nutrients, fiber, vitamins and even protein.
"All protein is made by plants. The animals then eat the plants and so if you get protein from an animal it's recycled plant protein," he says.
For many who believe in the power of plants their message isn't about feeling deprived, but feeling healthy.
The goal going forward is to make sure medical students are learning more about plant-based nutrition and how that diet can help prevent disease.