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Esselstyn: The most effective Heart study ever documented
engineerguy posted:
Hi folks,

Dr. Esselstyn ran the most effective treatment for heart disease, ever medically documented. He had 18 heart disease patients, who had 48 cardiac events in the 8 years prior to starting his diet, and zero cardiac events in the 22 years subsequent. These were worse heart patients than ususal. 5 were told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live, prior to starting Dr. Esselstyn's diet. Dr. Esselstyn's medical publications are listed on his website . He wrote a book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease", at the 20 year mark.

Some may criticize this study because there was no control group. Dr. Esselstyn answers that the patients are their own control group, in that they had 48 cardiac events in the 8 years before the diet.

Dr. Ornish ran a study, with a control group randomly assigned between standard medical care, and the Ornish diet and stress relief and support. Dr. Ornish did not use statin drugs, for this study. The Ornish group had half of the heart attacks compared to the standard medical care group. This is very good, but is actually not good at all, compared to Dr. Esselstyn's results.

Why did Dr. Esselstyn do so much better than Dr. Ornish? One reason is that statins are beneficial, and do reduce heart attacks and strokes, by about 27%, in randomized trials. But I do not believe that would not account for most of the difference between the two doctor's results.

Dr. Esselstyn was very strict in the diet. Ornish allows non-fat dairy, Esselstyn allows no meat, fish, poultry or dairy. Esselstyn had his patients have a cholesterol test every 2 weeks, for the first 5 years!! He watched them very closely. All the doctors (Esselstyn, Ornish, McDougall, Fuhrman, and Mr. Pritikin) have observed that the most strict patients do the best.

In my opinion, Dr. Fuhrman has improved upon the other excellent programs. Each of these initiatives are very valuable. Dr. Fuhrman emphasizes checking for deficiencies, such as vitamin D (I was severely deficient, I found out by a blood test), Omega-3 fats, and many other other less common. Dr. Fuhrman talks about meal frequency, promoting 2 or 3 meals a day, not 6. I ate 6 meals a day for 30 years, on the Pritikin diet. Animals fed fewer meals, but same total calories, live longer.

Dr. Fuhrman emphasizes eating a wide variety of high nutrient foods. Many foods are emphasized for many benefits, including anti cancer properties.

I believe, for myself, curing my vitamin D deficiency, plus changing meal frequency, cured my occasional painful dry mouth at night, my mild but genuine occasional depression, and my 30 years of very severe lactose intolerance. These things went away, and the only changes that line up with them, is the vitamin D supplementation and meal frequency reduction.

So, what is the most important thing to do, to avoid heart disease? In my opinion, there is no single most important thing. There are over a dozen very important things. Strictly cutting out the bad stuff is critical. Being vegan most days or most weeks. Cut out the salt, oils, and simple or refined carbs. Emphasize lots of veggies. It is helpful to eat a large salad, even a small salad before every meal. Be very lean. Exercise. Lots of sleep. Do not eat ideally 4 hours before going to bed. Get hungry between meals. Do not eat until you are stuffed.

Best regards, EngineerGuy
engineerguy responded:

BTW, I am not perfect on all these things. I sometimes eat when I am not hungry, and sometimes I stuff myself. As I get older, I try to be more compliant... When traveling, or on social occasions, I generally try to minimize the damage, but do not generally do well. I am doing better. In my daily routine, I am quite happy with the delicious diet.

So, is your program adequate, given you heredity, which you can only guess at? I think it's valuable to get an IMT test. This is an ultrasound of the carotid arteries. It is completely safe and noninvasive. It's just like a baby ultrasound. It takes about 10 minutes, some KY jelly on your neck, and about $200. I recommend the intima-media thickness test. This provides a number, how thick the media of the artery is, average for the left and right artery, plus pictures of any blockages found. BE SURE TO VERIFY THE PRICE AHEAD OF TIME. One benefit is that you can track your thickness with time. I have made my arteries thinner, which is good. I had lipid inclusions (fat pockets) in the artery wall, which have gone away. This is actually nifty, because in the Ornish study, where the Ornish group had 1/2 the heart attacks compared to standard medical care, neither group had any change in their IMT results.

Best regards, EngineerGuy
jc3737 replied to engineerguy's response:
Please re-post this on the diet debate board.

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