When my wife and I attended the Pritikin Center in Miami area, we heard stories that maybe he was injured in a surfing accident, or something. The information is not clear, but he no longer visits the Pritikin Center. He was an engaging proponent of the Pritikin Program, and we met him when we attended the Pritikin Center twice, while it was in Santa Monica.
The Pritikin Center today is run by Paul Lehr. An exerpt from www.pritikin.org:
"Paul Lehr cannot remember a time when the Pritikin Program was not a part of his life. In 1976, his father, cardiologist David Lehr, M.D., appeared with Nathan Pritikin on the television news program 60 Minutes."
The Pritikin Center in Turnbury Isle, near Miami, was supported by a benefactor, who donated the building and supplemented the budget each year.
The Pritikin Center recently moved to another, very luxurious location in Miami area. I hope it is growing and becoming profitable.
Robert Pritikin, at the Santa Monica Pritikin Center, was not advising patients on specific medical issues. Only the board certified doctors would do that, of course, but Nathan trained the doctors. :-)
I don't believe Nathan ever owned the Pritikin Center. He started by renting motel rooms for his participants, with a 30 day program. Probably he collected money and rented the rooms, and built from there.
Nathan was a wealthy inventor in the electronics field. He developed heart disease, and turned his hobby of nutrition into a full time obsession, and cured his own heart disease, contrary to all advice given to him by the medical establishment. He had to declare bankruptcy at one time, partly due to lack of attention to his businesses. By the time he died, he had paid back every cent, to his creditors.
My source is Ilene Pritikin's biography of her husband "Pritikin, the Man Who Healed America's Heart."
I have been on the Ornish diet for two years and just learned about Dr. Fuhrman and am trying it now for four months. I've lost more weight. The Ornish diet raised my tri's and hdl plummeted. I have blood work the end of May and will see what has happened.
I want to reverse plaque, also. Adding the nuts just scared me to death after Ornish and Esselstyn. But I have slowly. Dr. Esselstyn told me over the phone not to do it. Nuts would cause my atherosclerosis to progress. I'm worried.
Do you eat any ff dairy like Ornish allows or a piece of salmon once a week? I could not tolerate the flax seed at all. Fish oil caused a lot of bruising so I added after the initial period one serving of salmon on Sunday. I got rid of all the grains the Ornish diet allowed and my weight dropped. A new study was just published concerning high glycemic load foods and heart risk increase in females. Dr. Fuhrman seems to have been right about eliminating those foods.
Dr. Ornish is so well know and his diet results are scientifically proven that it is compelling to follow it. But my lipid profile just wasn't the best on his diet.
Thanks very much for your kind words. I appreciate it.
I've got Dr. Essestyn on DVD at a vegsource conference, saying 1 oz nuts or seeds, are fine. Just don't do 4 oz. Dr. Fuhrman says be sure to take 1 oz nuts & seeds, no more, no less, if above your ideal weight.
After I reached my ideal weight, (pinch 1/2 inch by the navel for guys, 1 inch for gals), I have eaten reliably 3-4 oz nuts and seeds for almost 3 years. After 2 years, my IMT (carotid artery ultrasound) completely cleared up. The 3-4 oz daily nuts and seeds did not prevent my reversal. The low fat no nuts diet previously, did not prevent the significant progression of my IMT. See my case history at http://www.drfuhrman.com/success/stories.aspx/heartdisease?page=2#results
I followed Pritikin for 30 years, strictly for the last 2 years. Now I've followed Fuhrman strictly for 3 years. It is clear that Fuhrman has improved over Ornish, McDougall, Pritikin, and Esselstyn.
No, I ate no dairy. I have always eaten 0-6 oz meat, fish or poultry each week (last 5 years). So, that remained constant between the time when the IMT worsened, and improved.
I would think that a weekly serving of salmon is fine. How much fish oil were you taking, that caused bruising? I just recently reduced from 2 capsules a day, to 1 capsule. That meets the 100mg daily of DHA recommended by Fuhrman and Pritikin. I use www.coopercomplete.com, although there are many good brands.
I took one capsule of 1000 mgs. and the cardiologist then had me take 3 capsules. My tri's were 167 and she wanted them down and maybe a slight increase in my HDL that was 30. Dr. Esselstyn told me over the phone to not worry about the low HDL but to limit fruit to get the tri's lower. If I limit fruit on the ETL diet there won't be much else to eat. He did tell me on the phone to not eat nuts as it will clog my arteries. I am surprised you have heard him say differently. His diet in his book also does not allow nuts and seeds. After this conversation I was very nervous about trying the ETL diet but I liked the scientific articles supporting the strategy. It is all over the news anymore that nuts and fish are very healthy for heart patients.
I have never smoked and we ate a mediterranean diet. I had a dental surgery and they used an IV sedation anesthesia. Afterwards, I had a terrible migraine headache for two weeks with lots of meds to treat it and had a non-stemi after the second week of constant migraines. December 26th three years ago, they did a pci. I was stented in the diagonal. They said the other arteries were clear. They can't always see plaque in the artery especially in women. My cardiologist thought I had a spasm due to the migraine, anesthesia and meds. Who knows? She thinks this is what happened.
As a result I am on Plavix still and the whole regimen they put all of us on. They did change meds as I had reactions. I cannot tolerate a statin. They give me migraines and make me very sick. So I have to be very careful with my diet. I have been able to take 10 mgs. of Pravastatin. So taking dual anti-platelet therapy plus all the fish oil caused me a lot of peripheral bleeding and the fish oil was stopped.
My LDL was down to 80 on Esselstyn and total 146. But tri's were 167 and HDL very low. So the cardiologist gave me the fish oil. Everything went up and the LDL went to 131. Not good. Had to quit those. Since, I have tweaked the diet with ETL. There were so many grains on the other diets and I was puffy and holding water from the carbs. I am also hopeful ETL will help the water retention as well as lower some of my numbers.
I am concerned about the B12 issues. I do not like to supplement. None of the studies are showing supplements are helpful and especially in women. I talked with the female cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic and she said don't take them. Get what you need from your food unless you have an established deficiency. They do endorse fish oil if you need it but recommend a little fish. Like three ozs. daily.
There are studies coming out now showing researchers compared Atkins (new), Ornish, and WW's and if the patient lost weight then they all benefitted them and plaque reversed and blood flow increased. I do add WW's to ETL to keep my calories in check. I do water aerobics and water jogging three times a week (that includes water weights), plus treadmill and walks the other days. Sunday I rest!
Long email but I find your posts very helpful and you have experience with all of the heart diet doctors.
This can be very frustrating. I have added back a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (no cholesterol) as the latest study on Web MD showed adding nuts, fish and dairy reduced heart attack risk. Did you read that study? I am thinking of eating 3 ozs. of fish daily as long as I don't gain weight. It will be interesting to see what this does to my lipids. Right now though, the Ornish, MacDougall, Esselstyn diets are just too high carb for this female. We do not do well with the high carbs. I eat mostly salads and yellow, green veggies and leave off the grains and even oats to see If that will help. There is no way to know w/o another pci. They did do a nuclear heart scan (more radiation) two years ago and it was normal and my EFR was 60%. They said I had a small heart. My female cardiologist said hers was the same. I know many people now with normal stress tests who have had heart issues anyway.
Congratulations for taking control of your health. Your determination will take you where you are working to go.
Thanks for the kind words, as before. 4 months goes past quickly, doesn't it?
Re: I do water aerobics and water jogging three times a week (that includes water weights), plus treadmill and walks the other days. Sunday I rest!
You are super !! :-)
Re: I eat mostly salads and yellow, green veggies...
You are so right again. It takes a while to realize that increasing the nutrient density (eating lots of vegetables, beans, fruit, and some nuts & seeds) is JUST AS IMPORTANT for heart health, as low cholesterol, exercise, etc. Get lean, also.
Re: There are studies coming out now showing researchers compared Atkins (new), Ornish, and WW's and if the patient lost weight then they all benefitted them and plaque reversed and blood flow increased.
Yes, there are lots of studies comparing diets, by randomly assigning people to a variety of diets, and watching them for a year or two. Even though they include counseling and coaching, compliance is typically very poor in these studies. Over 1/2 of the participants drop out, and the average weight loss is very low. Few people are successful at all, in these studies. The conclusion is usually, the ones who lose any significant weight (the ones who actually do ANYTHING), are the ones who benefit the most (based on blood tests, etc). My conclusion is, these studies do not apply to you, since you are motivated, and follow an excellent program.
Re: I have added back a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (no cholesterol) as the latest study on Web MD showed adding nuts, fish and dairy reduced heart attack risk.
Good studies show that nuts and fish reduce heart attacks. Dairy does not reduce heart attacks, except in studies comparing to other awful diets, and funded by the Dairy Council. This is a real hazard in reading all the newest studies. I would not have been as brilliant and insightful as Pritikin, back in the 1970's, nor as brilliant and insightful as Dr. Fuhrman today. That's why it's better to study these folks first. Dr. Fuhrman covers the newest research on his website.
So, adding in Greek yogurt specifically for it's health benefits, is not warranted by the best analysis of the information available today. That's why Fuhrman minimizes dairy.
Re: I do add WW's to ETL to keep my calories in check.
I don't understand what you mean by adding Weight Watchers. Are you adding frozen WW dinners to the diet? ...To increase or to reduce calories?
Weight Watchers is the best of the commercial weight loss outfits. However, their frozen foods, similar to nearly all frozen dinners, are way too high in salt, to be healthful. (Granted, that's what customers want.) Sodium guidelines: if the nutrition label reads 100 calories per serving, allow max 100 mg sodium. If 200 calories, allow 200 mg sodium, max. This way, a 2000 calorie diet will have max 2000 mg sodium, which is a bit too high, but hopefully not all of a person's foods have nutrition labels. (Vegetables average about 1/2 mg sodium per calorie.)
Re: I am concerned about the B12 issues. I do not like to supplement. None of the studies are showing supplements are helpful and especially in women.
If you are vegan (I am, except when traveling or social occasions), B12 is very necessary. Also, as we get older, some people do not absorb B12 well from food. We are all individuals. Some people need B12 supplements, others don't. All vegans need B12 supplements.
Studies show that many people are very deficient in vitamin D. Next time you get a cholesterol check, please get a blood test for vitamin D. Sun exposure is enough for a few people, but I was deficient, after an hour of sun daily for 2 years, wearing only trunks, plus taking 400 IU of D. Studies show that I am typical. Optimal blood D level is 30 to 55 ng/ml. Most people need 1000 to 2000 IU supplement to achieve this. Some need none. Some need much more. We are all individuals.
Re: I am thinking of eating 3 ozs. of fish daily as long as I don't gain weight.
Very very unfortunately, fish is the primary source of mercury and other contaminants, in people's blood. Why not take the 3 oz of fish once or twice a week? However, if your goal is the most effective diet possible to reverse heart disease, go vegan. No question about it. Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Fuhrman are in agreement on this.
Re: ...I was puffy and holding water from the carbs.
Carbs affect some people that way. Check that there are not hidden sources of high sodium, which could be causing the edema.
Guessing, based on our brief discussion, your best efforts for the most heart healthy diet, would be to increase your nutrient density (max out salads, steamed veggies, try blended salads (greens, fruit, and a little nuts or seeds in a blender). Get very lean. Ladies ideally pinch 1 inch by the navel. If you are doing well on these efforts, it's probably fine to eat fish once a week.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), commonly known as coronary angioplasty or simply angioplasty...(wikipedia) (I had to look it up)
How about an IMT, to track your changes. This is a harmless ultrasound of the carotid arteries, just like a baby ultrasound. It measures the thickness of the artery walls, and takes pictures of any blockages you might have. It is very effective to allow you to see if you are improving or not.
Following Fuhrman, I reversed (improved) my IMT. That is impressive, since an Ornish study compared his diet with standard medical care, with heart patients. The ornish group reduced angina in 44% of the patients, but only 16% of the standard medical care group reduced their angina. However, both groups had unchanged IMT results. (1)
Sorry for my long reply !! Best of luck. You're a champ!
I use Weight Watcher's only to watch my portions. I found even on Dr. Fuhrman's I gain weight if I overdo the beans! No kidding! Females my age gain weight easily it seems. I do.
Blood work was better. LDL went to 60 and total cholesterol to 143. But HDL was 39 and tri's went way up! I've never been so high at 213! Doctor wanted me to start Tricor and I refused. My blood glucose started going higher. Must be the fruit. This is frustrating. I exercise on the treadmill an hour a day plus Fuhrman diet.
My new cardiologist (other retired) wants me off Plavix and just on aspirin now. Very scary! It has been three years with this Taxus2 Express DES. She said one year was enough but the other cardiologist never said a word about stopping. I understand there can be a rebound effect so she is weaning me. I am also on Metropolol Tartrate and I have read it affects lipids. No mention of stopping that although bp is fine. Blood tests might be affected by beta blocker.
I had the sonogram of the carotids for the first time. Cardiologist thought a good idea. She said my heart was clean except for the diagonal that was stented three years ago. But, I have moderate carotid! I was devastated. Three years on Ornish and Esselstyn and I had 50% blockage in both carotids. I am very upset after hearing this report. She wants to recheck in a year and keep a watch. She did say the plaque was not calcified nor ulcerous. So, we don't know how long it has been there and to what extent. A year will tell I suppose.
This makes me wonder about using the nuts and seeds. I'm conflicted but sure don't want a bleed in the brain. My mother died of one at 80.
Thanks for letting me run this by you. I am on the Fuhrman site occasionally. I don't find a great deal of help with that particular site.
"But, I have moderate carotid! I was devastated. Three years on Ornish and Esselstyn and I had 50% blockage in both carotids."
Excuse me for butting in but I don't understand your post. What is 'moderate carotid!'?
Also, Ornish is far different than Essy's diet. Essy, for instance, doesn't suggest meditation/stress reduction techniques like Ornish does, and Essy is far more stringent on oils. If your blockages are 50% now, what were they before?
Why don't you put the same info in a post on the Fuhrman website for Heart disease. Dr. Fuhrman reads through long posts. Include your meds. Include a 3 day food diary, ideally.
How do you feel overall? Do you feel strong and well? Your program sounds great, and you are motivated and doing great.
Yes, the 50% carotid blockage is concerning. But this blockage may have been left over from years ago. We don't know the prior history, but in a year the retest will tell you if you are moving in the right direction, which is all that matters. In other words, if the 50% blockage is less in a year, then it is absolutely no concern at all. Blockages do not cause heart attacks. Unstable or ulcerous plaque, and sick endothelium cause heart attacks. The blockages can take their time reversing, and be entirely stable and safe and harmless.
I assume your vitamin D blood level is fine, since you don't mention it.
Get lots of sleep.
Relieve stress. Slap the husband. Kick the dog. :-)
Why not add weights 3 days a week to your program? The treadmill sounds great. Try intervals.
Re: "I am concerned about the B12 issues. I do not like to supplement. None of the studies are showing supplements are helpful and especially in women. "
Roger Clements, baseball star, was asked if he took steroids, on 60 Minutes. He said the only injections he took, were Lidocaine (pain killer) and vitamin B12. Are B12 injections helpful? That's a controversy, but I'm not going to tell a world class athlete that he doesn't need B12.
If you are a vegan, like me (a near vegan), then you need B12 supplements. Furthermore, some vegans are deficient in iodine, selenium zinc, and a few more, due to common deficiencies in absorbing some nutrients for some people. That's why I take Fuhrman's Gentle Care multi vitamin for vegans. It has no vitamin A, folic acid, beta carotene, etc, which are harmful in supplements.
What is your name on the Fuhrman site?
Overall? Your numbers are great. Your carotid blockage is likely left over from prior times, and is hopefully slowly reversing. You are super. Keep it up. :-)
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.