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WSU doctor advises athletes on benefits of vegan diets

February 26, 2013

John Salley, a 6-foot-11 former power forward and center in the NBA, became a vegetarian in January 1991 after he felt he had to make changes in his lifestyle. During his career, Salley, who retired in 2000, won four championships with the Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. He now follows a vegan diet, which eliminates all dairy foods in addition to animal products. Dr. Joel Kahn, a clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine and medical director of wellness programs, preventive cardiology, and cardiac rehabilitation at Detroit Medical Center, has counseled Salley and other athletes about the benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets. "A plant-based, whole-food diet low on sugar and gluten is very anti-inflammatory and ideal for rapid recovery from workouts," he said.