Ornish is known for his lifestyle-driven approach to the control of coronary artery disease (CAD) and other chronic diseases. Beginning in 1977, he directed a series of clinical research studies proving for the first time that comprehensive lifestyle changes could not only stop the progression of CAD but could actually reverse it. These lifestyle changes included a whole foods, plant-based diet, smoking cessation, moderate exercise, stress management techniques including yoga and meditation, and psychosocial support. He has acknowledged his debt to Swami Satchidananda for helping him develop this holistic perspective on preventive health. This result was demonstrated in a randomized controlled trial known as the Lifestyle Heart Trial, with one-year data published in the Lancet in 1990, and five-year data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which recruited test subjects with pre-existing coronary artery disease. Not only did patients assigned to the above regimen fare better with respect to cardiac events than those who followed standard medical advice, their coronary atherosclerosis was somewhat reversed, as evidenced by decreased stenosis (narrowing) of the coronary arteries after one year of treatment. Most patients in the control group, by contrast, had narrower coronary arteries at the end of the trial than the start. Other doctors have claimed similar results with similar methods, for example: Caldwell Esselstyn, and K. Lance Gould.
Dean Ornish, M.D. at TEDxSF (7 Billion Well)
Oprah Show: Dr. Ornish on Reversing Heart Disease (Part 1)
Oprah Show: Dr. Ornish on Reversing Heart Disease (Part 2)
DLD13 – The Power of Lifestyle Changes, Social Networks and Love
Dr. Ornish on Fox and Friends
Dr. Ornish on the NBC Today Show