A Clip from The China Study, by T.Colin Campbell
“…Another giant in this field, Dr. Dean Ornish, has been instrumental in bringing diet to the forefront of medical thought. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he has been featured prominently in popular media, succeeded in having his heart disease treatment plan covered by a number of insurance carriers and written several best-selling books.
His best known research is the Lifestyle Heart Trail, in which he treated 28 heart disease patients with lifestyle changes alone. He put these patients on an experimental treatment plan and 20 additional patients on the standard treatment plan. He followed both groups carefully and measured several health indicators, including artery blockages, cholesterol levels and weight.
Dr. Ornish’s treatment plan was very different from the standards of high-tech modern medicine. He put the 28 patients in a hotel for the first week of treatment with explicit instructions. He asked them to eat a low-fat, plant-based diet for at least a year. Only about 10% of their calories could come from fat. They could eat as much food as they wanted, as long as it was on the acceptable food list, which included fruits, vegetables and grains. As researchers noted, “no animal products were allowed except egg white and one cup per day of non-fat milk or yogurt. In addition to diet, they were to practice various forms of stress management, including meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises for at least 1 hour/day. The patients were also asked to exercise 3 hours per week at levels appropriate to the severity of their disease. To help the patients, the group met 2x per week for mutual support. Dr Ornish and his research group did not use any drugs, surgery or technology to treat these patients.
The experimental patients adhered to pretty much everything that the researchers asked of them and were rewarded with renewed health and vitality. After 1 year, the frequency, duration and severity of chest pain plummeted. Further, it was clear that the closer the patients adhered to the lifestyle recommendations, the more their hearts healed.
The control group did not fare so well, despite the fact that they received the usual modern medicine care. Their chest pain became worse in terms of frequency, duration and severity. Although the experimental group experienced a 91% reduction in the frequency of chest pain, the control group experienced a 165% rise in the frequency of chest pain. Their cholesterol levels were significantly worse than those of the experimental patients, and their blockages also became worse.
Between Dr.Esselstyn, Dr, Ornish and others before them, we have found our strategic link in our heart disease battle. Their dietary treatments not only relieve the symptoms of chest pain, but they also treat the cause of heart disease and can eliminate future coronary events. There are no surgical or chemical heart disease treatments, at the Cleveland Clinic or anywhere else, that can compare to these impressive results…”