Wendy Walrabenstein, an economist, registered dietitian, and PhD researcher is the founder of
Plants for Health and board member of the Physicians Association for Nutrition in the Netherlands and USA.
After leaving a career in international banking, her focus shifted towards exploring the effect of lifestyle on longevity. Her motivation was personal, driven by the age difference between her and her husband. Her PhD research, conducted at the Reade Center for Rheumatology and the Amsterdam UMC, is set to conclude with her defense planned in January 2024. With a randomized controlled trial, it was demonstrated that an intensive lifestyle treatment, comprising a a whole food plant-based diet, physical activity, stress management and sleep optimization, effectively reduced disease activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis. The ‘Plants for Joints’ study also showed significant benefits for people with osteoarthritis, including pain and stiffness reduction and improved physical function. In addition, the treatment showed impressive improvement of metabolic markers in both arthritis groups. This is particularly noteworthy as many arthritis patients also suffer from other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, auto-immune diseases, and depression.