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Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease Paperback – January 13, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Ornish, author of the popular Stress, Diet, and Your Heart ( LJ 1/1/83), bases his book on an extensive study that found his "Opening Your Heart" program resulted in the reversal of coronary artery blockage. He gives thorough background to his study, backing up his claims with scientific evidence, and provides case histories of people who have followed the program. In describing ways to reverse heart disease, he offers suggestions on how to control diet (with helpful recipes from noted chef Wolfgang Puck), as well as on how to quit smoking and how to exercise. Recommended for general collections.
- Barbara Kormelink, Bay Medical Ctr. Lib., Bay City, Mich.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Advance praise for Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease

"Revolutionary results...By the standards of conventional medicine the impossible has happened. Dr. Ornish's work could change the lives of millions." -- Newsweek

"Dr. Ornish's research offers strong scientific evidence that lifestyle changes alone can actually reverse the progression of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary arteries. These lifestyle changes can begin to reverse even severe coronary artery disease after only one year, without the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs."

-- Claude Lenfant, M.D., director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

"This is more than a book on reversing heart disease; it is a powerful and wise prescription for opening the heart in its deepest sense. Dr. Ornish's humanity, wit and integrity shine through on every page, affirming the best of what medicine has to offer. You don't have to have heart disease to be healed through this extraordinary book and program."

-- Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

"In his groundbreaking book, Dr. Dean Ornish demonstrates that even severe coronary heart disease can be reversed. He shows us that when we begin healing our lives, then our hearts begin to heal as well. Dr. Ornish shows us what we are all capable of in this exciting new book. I cannot recommend it highly enough."

-- Bernard S. Siegel, M.D., author of Love, Medicine & Miracles

"Dr. Ornish's book will be good news for many patients with severe coronary heart disease. As one of his earliest mentors, I am very proud of Dr. Ornish's achievements."

-- Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D., president, American Heart Association (1984)

"Whether or not you think you'll ever be concerned about your heart, this is likely to be the most useful book about health you'll read this year, maybe ever." -- John Poppy, Esquire

"This is an epochal book. It sets a new standard in our understanding of heart disease, and it is the template against which all other books on any disease whatsoever should be judged. For the purity of the science on which it rests, and for the majesty of its spiritual wisdom, this book has no equal in the literature of medicine and health."

-- Larry Dossey, M.D., author, Space, Time and Medicine and Recovering the Soul

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (January 13, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345373537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345373533
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, where he holds the Safeway Chair. He is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ornish received his medical training in internal medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received a B.A. in Humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address. For the past 30 years, Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes. He recently directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may stop or reverse the progression of prostate cancer. His current research is showing that comprehensive lifestyle changes may affect gene expression. He is the author of five best-selling books, including New York Times bestsellers Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Eat More, Weigh Less, and Love & Survival. He writes a monthly column for both Newsweek and Reader's Digest magazines. The research that he and his colleagues conducted has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Circulation, The New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Cardiology, and elsewhere. A one-hour documentary of their work was broadcast on NOVA, the PBS science series, and was featured on Bill Moyers' PBS series, Healing & The Mind. Their work has been featured in all major media, including cover stories in Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Ornish is a member of the boards of directors of the U.S. United Nations High Commission on Refugees, the Quincy Jones Foundation, and the San Francisco Food Bank. He was appointed to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and elected to the California Academy of Medicine. He is Chair of the Google Health Advisory Council, Chair of the PepsiCo Blue Ribbon Advisory Board, and Chair of the Safeway Advisory Council on Health and Nutrition and consults with the CEO of McDonald's to make more healthful foods and to provide health education to their customers in this country and worldwide.He has received several awards, including the 1994 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Texas, Austin, the University of California, Berkeley, 'National Public Health Hero' award, the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award for distinguished contribution in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention from the International Academy of Cardiology, a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association, the Beckmann Medal from the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases, the 'Pioneer in Integrative Medicine' award from California Pacific Medical Center, the 'Excellence in Integrative Medicine' award from the Heal Breast Cancer Foundation, the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, a U.S. Army Surgeon General Medal, and the Bravewell Collaborative Pioneer of Integrative Medicine award. He is listed in Who's Who in Healthcare and Medicine, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World.Dr. Ornish was recognized as 'one of the most interesting people of 1996' by People magazine, featured in the 'TIME 100' issue on integrative medicine, and chosen by LIFE magazine as 'one of the fifty most influential members of his generation.' About Art SmithArt Smith, chef, award-winning author and television personality, has brought back meaning and symbolism to the word 'table' and has united families and friends through the sharing of a meal.The 2002 James Beard Award winner for his first cookbook, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family (Hyperion, 2001), Art is also the recipient of the prestigious 2001 Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the category, 'For its Human Values.' Art's second cookbook, Kitchen Life, was recently awarded the 2004 Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the category of 'Best Family and Children's Cookbook.' Art is a National Bestseller and a New York Times Bestseller. A native of Jasper, Florida, Art began his career with two internships at The Greenbrier Resort. He was then selected to attend the prestigious Walt Disney Magic Kingdom College Program in Florida. Following graduation, Art took a position as executive chef at the Florida Governor's Mansion where he worked for Governor Bob Graham, now a U.S. Senator, and his wife, Adele. Art has run his own restaurant and has cooked for families all over the globe, including politicians and celebrities. After traveling extensively through Europe and Africa as a family chef, Art took a position as chef on the American European Express Train. Once settled in Chicago, he began a career in teaching and has served as personal chef to Ms. Oprah Winfrey since 1997. He is also a contributing editor to O magazine. Art's nonprofit organization, Common Threads, is based on his passionate belief that families (whether a family by blood or a family of friends) all share an innate desire to care for each other, regardless of culture, race, or geographic location. Art's mission is to foster a familial environment where children learn through cooking to value each other and discover universal understanding and mutual acceptance ( serves on the board of directors of Kid's Cafe®, a nutrition program for children in Minneapolis. He is currently working on his third book, Our Common Thread: World Families and Food.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

540 of 571 people found the following review helpful By Stacey on March 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While we appreciate that Mr. Bayan took the time to comment on our work, we are concerned that inaccurate statements he has made may discourage some people from making changes in diet and lifestyle that we have proven to be lifesaving.
For the past 24 years, the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine have conducted research scientifically proving, for the first time, that the progression of even severe coronary heart disease can begin to reverse by making comprehensive changes in diet and lifestyle, without drugs or surgery. These studies have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of the AMA, The Lancet, the American Journal of Cardiology, New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, and others.
Mr. Bayan alleges that the diet we have proven to be so beneficial is "dangerous" for some patients because both HDL and LDL may decrease and triglycerides may increase. HDL and triglycerides are only potential risk factors for heart disease, they are not diseases. When we measured the actual severity of heart disease using state-of-the-art measures such as computer-analyzed coronary arteriography and cardiac PET scans, patients showed continued improvement over time, even in patients like Mr. Bayan whose HDL decreased or triglycerides increased. Also, cardiac events were 2.5 times lower in the group who followed the program compared to the control group who made more moderate changes in diet (30% fat, 200 mg cholesterol). [reference: JAMA. 1998;280:2001-2007.] Clearly, lowering HDL by changing diet did not harm these patients.
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163 of 169 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When my doctor suggested cholesterol lowering drugs last year, I decided that 34years old was too soon to start taking drugs. My cholesterol was 266 (& that's after cutting out most red meat and pork fat -and no hamburgers). I was motivated to try to improve the health of my arteries and heart. I want to be around for my ten year old's retirement party!
I followed Dr Ornish's diet program for 6 month's then had my cholesterol levels tested again. Everything improved: cholesterol down to 210, triglycerides went from 389 to 217 and my ratio improved 24%. I never skipped a meal. I never went hungry. Secondary benefit: I lost 14 pounds and two inches around my waist without trying. I did not exercise enough so I am trying to increase my exercise now. I probably exercised an average of once a week.
By the way, Dr Ornish included a chart that demanded that you eat at least a certain amount of fat in your daily diet. I liked that the book is filled with studies by major US universities. This is not 600 pages of rambling prose but a how to book to reverse heart disease. If you want someone to hold your hand, call your Mom. If you want a "How to Reverse Your Heart Disease" manual, buy this book. ... Stop reading reviews and buy, read and try it.
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326 of 359 people found the following review helpful By R. Donaldson on March 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband, who is a physician, and has a family history of heart disease, and I, an RN, began diligently following the reversal diet of the Ornish program in January, incorporating the recommended supplements, exercise and meditation. Since then, in a period of two months, he has lost 30 pounds, his cholesterol, and LDL have significantly improved, his HDL has not, and his already high Triglycerides have risen significantly by 30%. The previous post by the Ornish group states: "HDL and Triglycerides are only potential risk factors for heart disease, they are not diseases" If they are potential risk factors..then my concern is that my husband may still be high risk since he still has the potential risk factors. The Ornish group also states in it's post, "It is true that one can eat an unhealthful low-fat diet if it is high in simple carbohydrates.... Such a diet may cause a shift to the more harmful pattern B LDL subclass that Mr. Bayan mentions" We have been following the Ornish reversal diet/program diligently and have seen " a shift to the more harmful pattern B LDL subclass that Mr. Bayan mentions" They also state that "Patients whose triglycerides increase are counseled to be even more mindful in reducing their intake of simple carbohydrates and increasing their exercise." We have not been eating simple carbohydrates, "such as sugar, white flour, alcohol, and many popular fat-free desserts", and my husband has been exercising almost every day. They also state: "Also, for many years we have recommended that patients take 3 grams/day of fish oil, which also helps to lower triglycerides" We have been taking 3 grams/day of fish oil, along with the other recommended supplements, and his triglycerides rose 30%.Read more ›
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Diamond Dragon on July 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just finished reading the reviews on this book and am quite concerned at some of the negative descriptives used. I can certainly understand that for some people, the program may not be effective and might even possibly be life threatening. However, to go as far as "warning" people to stay away from a program all together that may ultimately prove life altering and life saving to them is irresponsible and irrational.

I am assuming from the negative reviews that those persons may have expected the Ornish program to be a "fix all" for anyone and everyone that comes across it, yet all over his book he is quite specific about the kinds of people who the program was tailored for. Still, everyone is different and his suggestions throughtout that it may be helpful to many more also are logical. All person's genes and chemical make-up are not the same. That is why BEFORE going on any specific program, one should ALWAYS consult with their personal doctor and after deciding on a program, continually be monitored afterward.

This is still NO guarentee that any specific program will work or wont work.

So what if the people in the studies were "hand picked" by Ornish? Please point out even one medical study where participants WERENT handpicked by their respective researchers?

So what if much of what is published in this book might be teachings handed down from Ornish's "spiritual" guide? Ornish writes about his own personal experiences which is a responsible thing to do since the book is about HIS program and HIS studies about it. Nowhere does it state in the book that you cant fit your own in.

After reading this book and following the program I can state that for myself it has been very helpful to me.
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