Blocked Arteries: Clean Them Out Naturally
Diet of Subjects in the Lifestyle Heart Trial
Even with medications, not a single study before the Lifestyle Heart Trial demonstrated regression
in such a short period of time. This study not only showed that regression is possible in a short
time, but it can occur without the use of medications, furnishing an example of what can happen with
the acceptance of a simple lifestyle program that includes an excellent diet among other factors.
Let us take a closer look at the diet; it is outlined in Figure 5: Diet Content in the Lifestlye
Factors Other Than Diet in the Lifestyle Heart Trial
Along with changes in diet, the subjects made several other lifestyle changes. The complete list
of changes is shown in Figure 6: Lifestyle Changes in the Lifestlye Heart Trial.
Recently, Ornish's patients completed a five year follow-up evaluation. Measurement of heart
blood flow continued to show significant improvements when compared to their evaluations before
the five year program, and when compared with the control group who received the NCEP-type diet
and other aspects of usual care.20
Alfred Whitehead, a philosopher, wrote a statement that applies to this problem of heart disease
and the studies that show its reversal. The statement is quoted in Figure 7: Alfred Whitehead's
Dr. Ornish's work provides a good example of what an unusual mind can do with the obvious. Heart
disease is the number one killer in America. Every U.S. physician is very familiar with it, yet it
seems that most of us merely treat the disease's symptoms rather than the root cause. Lifestyle is
clearly the root cause in the vast majority of cases. Many medical professionals spend so much
time and effort mopping up the floor that we do not notice that an overrunning faucet is the
underlying cause of the problem, as illustrated in Figure 8: Treating the Symptoms.
Now that the obvious has been demonstrated, it is time for people with heart disease to take notice
and begin to change their lifestyle accordingly--before it is too late.
Caffeine May Work Against the Heart
Note that beyond the near zero cholesterol intake and a very low fat intake, the Lifestyle Heart
Trial allowed no caffeine. Why prohibit caffeine, when it is an integral ingredient in some of
America's favorite foods and drinks? First, there are concerns that caffeine may have a relatively
small but significant effect in elevating cholesterol and blood pressure levels.21 It also may
raise the blood homocysteine level which may bring about atherosclerosis.22 What is more important,
Ornish and his colleagues excluded caffeine because of its ability to worsen stress in many people.23
Stress control appears to be extremely important in reversing coronary artery disease. If you want to
stay cool, collected, and steady, it will often require a clean break with caffeine.
20 Gould KL, Ornish D, et al. Changes in myocardial perfusion abnormalities by positron emission
tomography after long-term, intense risk factor modification. JAMA 1995 Sep 20;274(11):894-901.
21 Sung BH, Whitsett TL, et al. Prolonged increase in blood pressure by a single oral dose of caffeine
in mildly hypertensive men. Am J Hypertens 1994 Aug;7(8):755-758.
22 Nyg~ard O, Refsum H, et al. Coffee consumption and plasma total homocysteine: The Hordaland
Homocysteine Study. Am J Clin Nutr 1997 Jan;65(1):136-143.
23 Ornish D. Reversing heart disease through diet, exercise, and stress management: an interview with
Dean Ornish [interview by Elaine R Monsen]. J Am Diet Assoc 1991 Feb;91(2):162-165.
Notice of Credit
The article above is compliments of the Uchee Pines Institute, Seale, Alabama, a teaching and
treatment facility devoted to natural remedies. For mor information, call 334-855-4781,e-mail:
email@example.com, or visit their Website:
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