Dietary changes reverse atherosclerosis


Lifestyle changes alone can significantly reverse coronary atherosclerosis, according to Dean M. Ornish, M.D. He and colleagues randomly assigned 46 patients with coronary artery disease to an experimental group (vegetarian diet, smoking cessation, stress management training, and moderate exercise) or a control group that followed usual care.

In the experimental group, 82% had evidence of overall lesion regression after 1 year, whereas 53% of the control group showed overall progression of coronary artery lesions.

Dr. Ornish notes that the reversal of lesions was more strongly correlated with adherence to lifestyle changes than with changes in lipid profile. He is director, Preventive Medicine Research Center, and assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

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