Reverse Heart Disease and Diabetes Dean Ornish – The Whole Food Plant Based diet, Exercise, stress

Reverse Heart Disease and Diabetes Dean Ornish – The Whole Food Plant Based diet, Exercise, stress


Dr. Delgado: I’m with Doctor Dean Ornish and when I
first read the studies about reversal of coronary heart disease, it was Dean
Ornish that brought it to the public view. Doctor Dean Ornish, you’re doing some
great work. Can you share with our audience the key of what you’re gonna share with
this medical audience at lifestyle medicine.org? Dr. Ornish: Sure. Well you’re doing
some inspiring work as well, and pleased to be a part of this. Here at the
American College of Lifestyle Medicine, we will be talking about lifestyle as treatment. Not
simply to prevent disease, but actually as a treatment. Often instead of drugs and surgery, or in
combination with them. We were able to show that these simple
changes in lifestyle; what we eat, how to respond to stress, how much
exercise we get, and how much love and support we have,
can not only prevent, but often reverse the most common diseases. We were the first to show you can
actually reverse heart disease in a controlled study. More recently, we showed that early-stage
prostate cancer can be slowed, stopped, and even reversed by making the same lifestyle changes- including the whole
foods plant-based diet, stress management techniques, including
yoga, meditation, moderate exercise, and love and support. We found that when you change your
lifestyle it changes for genes; turning on the good genes that protect us, and
down-regulating, or turning off hundreds of genes, particularly the ones
that cause heart disease, diabetes, and the most common forms of
cancer- especially prostate, breast and colon cancer. Just down-regulated within just three months
over 500 genes were changed. And also we found that the aging process
itself can begin to reverse when people make these changes. We showed for the first time that our
telomeres, the end of our chromosomes, that control how long we live can actually get longer as people began
making these changes. In all these studies we found the more
you change the better you get. Both in how you feel, which makes you want to
keep doing it, but in every metric that we look at. It wasn’t and how old or how sick people were,
it was simply a function: the more you change your lifestyle the
more you improve at any age. I think that’s a very empowering finding.
And finally, after 16 years of review medicare’s now covering our program and
we’re training hospitals and clinics around the country. We’re trying to help
create a whole new paradigm of health care rather than sick care, based on empowering people with information that
could help transform their lives So I feel very privileged to be here, and glad
to be here with you. Dr. Delgado: Was it after April 2011 that
medicare made the approval after reviewing your program? Dr. Ornish: They approved it in August of 2010. It
became effective in January 2011. And we train sites around the country.
Many, most the other insurance companies are following medicare’s lead. And part of what I’ve learned is that if is
reimbursable it’s sustainable. That science is important, but that having reimbursement is
also important. Dr. Delgado: Do you offer courses so the doctors can offer similar programs? So
that they can also get reimbursement for their effort and
time? Dr. Ornish: Yes. I’m working with a company called Healthways to scale this. We have been contacted
by thousands of doctors and other health care professionals around the country. If you go to our website which is Ornish.com, everything on there is free. Including
information, and the training and certification programs,
that we’re doing. Dr. Delgado: Please address diabetes. What what kind of effect can a
lifestyle program, plant-based, help with diabetes? Well diabetes, type 2 diabetes, is already
affecting, pre-diabetes, already affecting half of Americans. United Healthcare estimated a cost of 3.3
trillion dollars- was clearly is not sustainable. It turns out, getting your blood sugar down with drugs doesn’t necessarily prevent all
the horrible complications of type 2 diabetes. You know, amputations and heart attacks,
strokes, kidney failure, blindness; you know, anyone of which would be terrible,
but in combination are truly horrible. If you
can get your blood sugar down with diet and lifestyle, as we’ve shown in thousands of patients throughout the country, you can
prevent each and every one of them. Both human costs and the economic. Dr. Delgado: Are you
seeing any benefits for arthritic patients: rheumatoid, osteoarthritis? Dr. Ornish: Yes. We haven’t done randomized trials of
arthritis, but clinically we see osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
often show dramatic improvements. You know, it’s interesting. It’s not
like there’s one set of diet and lifestyle recommendations for heart disease, and a
different one for diabetes, or prostate cancer, or changing the aging process, for
angiogenesis, or arthritis. It’s the same lifestyle interventions
for all of those. It is almost as though your body itself can begin to personalize in the ways
that you need. Dr. Delgado: You mentioned prostate cancer. Do you suspect that other forms of
cancer are also diet based and we can make a difference in
those outcomes with patients? Say they choose not to do chemo or
radiation, or if they choose to? You say some of them. Give me an idea of
what. Dr. Ornish: Well, most oncologists think what is true for
prostate cancer is likely to be true for breast cancer as well. That’ll be the
next thing that we’re studying. Whether or not this is true for you know, some of the more rare forms of
cancer ,we don’t know yet. But certainly if you have cancer, and you’re getting
conventional treatment, doing this in addition to that can only
help you. Dr. Delgado: The millions of people on blood pressure medications right now are they protected if they’re not
following a plant based diet? Or is there evidence that the medication by itself may increase the risk factor of
cardiovascular disease? According to Doctor Klessman and his
book “12 Weeks to Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally”. Dr. Ornish: Well the nice thing about blood pressure,
is you can measure it so easily. And so even if your doctor is skeptical, say okay, if I’m on medication let me also change
my diet and lifestyle the ways we’ve been talking about. And the doctor will find that they will
have to in most cases reduce or event get you off of these pills that you might have even told you have to take forever because your blood pressure gets too low. That’s what we found in our studies,
beginning at the very first one which was forty years ago. And so most doctors would agree that if
you can get your blood pressure down without drugs then that’s better than
having to take drugs for the rest of your life. Dr. Delgado: How do you answer the compliance? Because
there’s tough areas of the world- Kentucky,
Pennsylvania, and you get them to get on this program.
After a 12-week program, what is the long-term compliance and what’s that
longest outcome you’ve monitored? Dr. Ornish: Well we’ve been training sites in West
Virginia, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania, through Highmark, Blue Cross, Blue Shield
since 1995. and we’re getting 85 to 90%
adherence to our program after a year. Now one of the common misconceptions is that
taking a pill is easy and everyone would do it. Like a statin drug, like lipitor. But changing diet and lifestyle well that’s just impossible. And yet if you actually look at the
evidence. The adherence to statin drugs, two-thirds of the people who were
prescribed them were not taking them after just 6 to 8 months -even if
someone else is paying for them! And yet the adherence to lifestyle changes
we’re getting is 85 to 90 %. And the reason is that the pills don’t
make you feel better, the statin drugs don’t make you feel better, the lifestyle changes do. And when
someone’s chest pain goes away when they’re able to reduce or get off of
their medications under their doctor’s supervision, when their aches and pains tend to go away, when they think more clearly, whether they have more energy, when they have better
sex, better sleep. For many people those choices
we’re making not to live longer, although you probably
will, but to feel better. And there’s no point in giving up something
that you enjoy unless you get something back that’s better and quickly. And when people make these changes,
because the underlying biological mechanisms are so dynamic, most people find that they feel so much better
so quickly. It re-frames the reason for making
these changes from fear of dying- which is not sustainable- to joy of living- which is. I gotta go
give my talk, I’m afraid. Dr. Delgado: Awesome! Don’t be afraid, were looking forward to it!
Thanks so much. Thank you.

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