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Customer Review

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs Updating but Excellent Program for Many, July 17, 2005
This review is from: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery (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. Being a person who has suffered from reduced circulation in my legs due to smoking and having been overweight as well as pre-diabetic, the benefits of this program have been substantial in a relatively short period of time. However, I can also see where any change in diet, quitting smoking and raised activity level might benefit me. I just happened to chose to follow this one and it has worked for me.

I especially enjoyed that I didnt have to buy other program items or pay for weekly meetings although the option does exist online since the publication of the book.

On the negative side, the book has not been updated since 1996 and there are important updates that I feel a new printing could/should address (see below). I would have also liked to have seen "negatives" discussed such as the increase in flatulence and increase in bowel movements. These practical negatives arent really "negatives". However, finding out all of a sudden that the new way you are eating has "side-effects" and you are standing in front of 10 members of the board when you figure it out is very embarassing. I would love to have seen more discussion on these types of things.

As for updates;

Some people cannot have soy and certain vegetables in their diets and the issue was never brought up in the book that I can remember (please correct me if I am mistaken). I am not one of these people however my sister and father cannot ingest soy at all. Many people that take certain heart/blood medications CANNOT have soy and/or must avoid certain fruits and vegetables (cranberries and blood thinners dont mix). This is a critical update I think should be addressed.

I would also like to see discussion on weaning/coming off of meats and refined carbs. During my first week, I would become "lightheaded" during this adjustment. Having some apples and peanut butter around during the first week or two just in case is highly beneficial and could be life-saving, especially if you are in a safety sensitive occupation such as I am (truck driver). When this "withdrawal" period is over, the peanut butter can go. I think that this also is a critical update that needs to be addressed.

Despite the very few negatives I experienced, I cannot say that this program/book is "bad" and to be avoided. On the contrary, it is a choice that you must make and to not consider it might be cheating yourself out of something that could possibly save your life. You must do the research and take into consideration that you might know yourself best (unless you have lived in ignorance and denial of yourself). No doctor, book author, researcher and/or any kind of medical professional could ever replace the knowledge you have of yourself.

Be responsible, use your head and think objectively. Everything is not for everyone.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 4, 2012 9:52:45 PM PDT
kimberlysz says:
and an update on your post... consulting a second dr can save ur life. esp a younger 1

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2013 6:05:04 PM PST
I am so thankful for your comprehensive reply that addresses much needed concerns and praises for the diet. I am allergic to soy. I am also a vegetarian / almost vegan and if is difficult as most of the books do not tell what to replace soy with in the diets and recipes that will still be healthful and filling. As soy is one of the 8th largest allergens in the world, I also believe that it should be addressed. I believe that it should include soy in any form. Thank you for your time and congratulations on all of your progress.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2014 7:13:52 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 30, 2014 7:16:14 PM PDT]
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