Dr. Dean Ornish’s Update on Heart Disease
with Dr. James Meschino
Source: Medscape, May 12, 2016
Dr. Ornish is the author of several books, including the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Dr. Ornish is a personal hero of mine, as his diet and lifestyle program is the only one that has ever been shown to reverse plaque build-up in the walls of arteries in the heart. In the interview, Dr. Ornish re-emphasizes that his diet and lifestyle program is the only one ever shown to reverse coronary heart disease and improve heart function in patients with advanced narrowing of their arteries, and/or those who have significant heart disease problems.
His program opens up the heart’s blood vessels, improves oxygen supply to the heart muscle and improves the pumping ability of the heart in patients with serious arterial plaque development and weakened heart muscles. And he does it all without drugs or surgery in patients who are candidates for his program. This has all been proven using advanced imaging techniques like Cardiac PET scans, angiography and ventriculography studies.
I have patterned much of the dietary program on the Meschino Wellness Program around Dean Ornish’s research. His program is for people with advanced stage heart disease and so it is a bit more restrictive than many of the general recommendations I make for non-high risk people. He precludes not only no beef, pork, high fat dairy products and vegetable oils, but also allows no chicken, turkey, and even fish. So, its basically a vegan or plant-based diet, with a bit of non-fat dairy products and egg whites, and some nuts and avocado. And like me, he includes soy products as a source of protein, and to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
But remember, his program is for patients with advanced coronary disease. To prevent narrowing of arteries in the first place it appears that for most of us, we don’t have to be quite as strict. His program also includes exercise, stress reduction, and social group support, all of which are equally important to the outcomes he has achieved with patients.
A key thing he mentions is that his program is the only one that has stood up to scientific scrutiny, whereas other popular diets have not shown objective evidence that they actually reverse heart disease. Diets like the Mediterranean Diet, Atkins Diet, Paleo Diet, Wheat Belly Diet and so on, at this point, offer no objective proof they actually reverse heart disease, which is the leading killer in our society. They’re popular, but actually untested in this regard.
As well, The Ornish Diet has been shown to help stabilize mild to moderate degree localized prostate cancer in a clinical trial with men, and it’s shown to improve glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure in high-risk patients, including diabetics, and it also helps to reduce body fat in overweight patients. It’s the best of all worlds, and studies show that Dean Ornish has given us the blueprint for the healthiest diet and lifestyle program to strive for.
His interview is quite fascinating and is likely very eye-opening for many people. Here is the link to the interview on Medscape:
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great.
Dr. James Meschino