ed34... You seem to be stuck on "absolute proof" that a certain diet would work for you. If that is your standard then I guess you are right, because no one can give you proof that a given diet will work for everyone.
Just as there is no proof that stents won't end up with re-stenosis in a short period of time in a sub-set of those who get them. And no one knows why that happens in certain people, but not in others.
As I indicated, not every single patient in the study(s) got reversal, not even after 5 years. A few didn't even halt the progression, though they may have slowed it down.
So perfect guarantees... you won't get them on this diet or any other treatment.
Second, you seem to insist on knowing the precise chemical process by which the reversal will take place. Apparently it isn't enough for you that the study took before and after angiograms in all the patients that were reviewed by independent observers.
You are stuck on how it could happen, unwilling to be satisfied by those angiograms showing it did happen.
There are many things/outcomes in medicine where doctors can only theorize as to why they work... and equally a number wherein they say they should work, but the results show otherwise.
The bottom line is that there are studies showing it may work for a good portion of individuals. That can range from reversal of perhaps 1% to 15%...and a halting of progression in others. Plus those in whom the progression slowed. Aren't each of those outcomes beneficial compared to just ever more stenting over shorter time periods.
Again, the study showed about 1/3 halted, 1/3 got about 3% reversal, and 1/3 got about 6.7% reversal on average. Obviously in those were tertiles of adherence with those doing better to the extent they followed the plan.
If you demand a perfect outcome and a perfect chemical explanation, then I doubt you'll ever be satisfied with any study that is likely to come along in the next 10 years. So its really about comparing taking a chance vs doing more minimal dietary changes that studies indicate will be better than nothing, but which will only slow the progression to a small degree.
So, you'd be rolling the dice... putting in years of what some might call effort, into a diet that might or might not give you what you want.
A choice for you to make based on the best research you can find, as well as advice from some of the best cardiologists.
The general outlook from those treating vast numbers of patients is that they will progress and face further and further narrowing which will be treated with more and more stents and bypass procedures. They have no faith that more than a tiny fraction of patients are willing to follow more extreme dietary changes.
This is also part of the reasons why you don't find 5 years studies of thousands, with a group doing a similar diet compared with normal eating as the control group.
You simply can't randomly select a thousand subjects and assign 500 to a 10% diet and the control group of 500 to a standard diet.
Of the 500 you select for the experimental diet, within 1 year, 450 of them will have given up the extreme change.
Thus large randomly selected studies of this diet are unlikely to be conducted any time soon.
Not to mention the massive cost to do such a study....where no "deep pocket" pharma company has some monetary interest in a future product.
As I mentioned before, after years and years, the Medicare system has now begun to pay for the treatment based on the Ornish study outcomes.
Not just the study I gave you, but also on another similar plan.
Also, not everyone reading here has gone through as many procedures as you have. They may be earlier in the process. For them, simply halting or greatly reducing the progression may seem like a wonderful goal.
They may not need absolute proof they will get the 3% or 7% reversal.
Personally I would follow the program even if I was only confident I would get a halting of the process. Any reversal would just be a bonus.
Finally, what is the alternative? Do you have another diet that shows a similar or superior probability of benefit? If so, I'd like to see it.
Sure, I've seen those large Mediterranean Diet studies that "compared to" a normal diet, indicate some benefit. But that benefit is limited to being a bit better than doing nothing, rather than a chance of actually halting progression.
As I indicated before, I don't believe in these folks who say they'll take a 90% obstruction and "clean it out" ending up below a 50% blockage.
That kind of change is dreaming.
Nor do I ascribe to magic ingredients or magic foods such as the one mentioned in this thread. Barley may be good, but it isn't any one food that is going to make a long term change.
Everyone is looking for a magic bullet. The truth is that for those willing to make a lifetime change to a very different way of eating, there probably is some benefit for most people over 2 to 5 years and beyond.
Nothing instant or magical. Just a way forward that offers the best chance of health, compared to doing what you've done for the past decades.
And of course, nothing in the diet precludes the use of statins, or even the possibility of future stents or bypass.
I think I have measured outlook on the realistic benefits of this kind of diet.
I always am looking for more information and am skeptical of everything i read. I am not a "born again" follower of any dietary guru.
I question everything they say in their online video presentations wherein sometimes their statements go beyond what is indicated in their studies.
I have no idea what benefit you as a individual would get from such a dietary change. I don't have any idea what your prior dietary experiments were, such that you indicate you found no success.
I'll be happy with no progression over years. So far, so good.
a poor metabolism is the reason for plague build up and it can be of various reasons like thyroid problems, obesity, lack of exercise etc.
everything we eat, inhale gets into the blood and somethings can raise plague build up like smoking, red meat etc while drinking can affect the liver and result in poor metabolism. similarly certain diet herbs can boost metabolism and helps in reducing plague build up and can even reverse.
If there was absolute proof that a given diet could reverse my atherosclerosis then yes of course I would follow it, gladly for the rest of my life. I would have to be an absolute idiot not to. I agree that a bad diet is a CAUSE of atherosclerosis but many years eating the same foods I don't believe reverses it. It's like saying omg I've been having 20 spoons of sugar in my tea for 20 years, I will stop now and make it all go away. I'm afraid it wouldn't happen. I would end up with bypass and stents. The arteries may be repaired enough for more elasticity which means if a lumen is shrunk to 1mm, it may increase to 2mm with more elasticity but the rogue material would remain. Speak to cardiologists who believe in diet change? I could say something here but suffice it to say that this is all aimed at prevention, not cure. Clinton is the classic example. If he altered his diet before surgery, there's a change the 'progression' of his disease would have halted, but it wouldn't take away the issue he has chronic heart disease. I've asked this question twice already and so I will ask again. What are the chemical processes with diet which remove the fat and plaque from arteries? how exactly would/could it work? If I doubled the amount of fruit I eat would some magic new lipids appear and clear it all up?
Gosh ed34, I am disappointed in your response. I do believe you give good advice regarding the mechanical issues involving stents and bypass, but on the issue of dietary changes you seem to be out of touch.
" I've already tried three different diets and nothing has worked. "
You are only one individual. Not everything works for everyone. I don't know which diets you tried, or how long you tried them, but not everyone gets results, and as you can see from that study, they only reported the final results after 5 years. Difficult to imagine you tried any of your diets for 5 years to see the results.
"In fact the oldest I read was done in Israel where it was concluded there is no noticeable difference."
Care to give us a link to that study, so we can see the nature of the diet and what and how results were measured after X number of years?
"The trouble is, a healthy diet may increase elasticity of the vessel, making it easier for blood to pass a blockage. Whereas someone on a restrictive diet may have more rigid blood vessels. "
What??? A restrictive diet may create more rigid blood vessels? Do you care to provide a study or anything to back up such a statement?
" I've seen many Vegans having heart attacks which make me even more skeptical."
Is that the definition of a anecdotal observation?
BTW there, are vegan diets that are terrible.
Hostess Twinkies (a American snack), and Coca Cola, are both vegan.
As are deep fried french fries in vegetable oil..
Many Indians are vegans, yet eat horrible diets and high rates of heart disease and diabetes.
" I don't believe for one minute that most people wouldn't follow a strict diet to cure their hearts,"
You really should talk to some cardiologists who believe in the dietary angle as part of a treatment plan. They would inform you that even with their full information and support, that only a small portion of their cardiac patients will follow the advice for 3 to 5 years.
It would be interesting to know what you tried and for how long.
Still, as I said, the dietary approach certainly does not guarantee success.
One has to go for 1 to 5 years based on a fair degree of faith that they will benefit relative to not doing such. Their outcome may only be halting progression or even just slowing it down. No guarantee of measurable reversal. However, the studies indicate that most would either get some reversal or at least halting progression. A few would still progress.
"Don't forget, heart disease is scary and if a Doctor said eat this and that and you will be cured, I'm sure they would all be doing it."
On this point, I can assure you, you are COMPLETELY wrong. Completely wrong. You might feel and act that way, but that is not the experience of doctors who give such advice to their patients.
That is a great deal of the reason why the advice is not given by more doctors. They know no matter how much they believe in such a diet, that very few patients are willing to follow it completely for 3 to 5 years and beyond. Only a fraction of patients will do so.
Even in studies... such as the huge Nurses Study, where they attempted to plan a diet wherein the goal was 20% fat as calories... Quickly into the study, the thousands of nurses ended up almost where they began, at 30% of calories as fat. And that was only going for a goal of 20%.
Contrast that with the Ornish study wherein the first year, the participants were at 6.7% and ended up the 5 years at about 8.5% of calories from fat.
Do you think you'd be willing to do that if you thought you'd have a good chance to halt progression, or make a small reversal in blockages?
Did any of your three diets approach that level of change?
Perhaps I am wrong, but you seem unfamiliar with the studies done by Ornish and Esselstyn. Again, they don't work for 100% of the patients, but they seem to give good outcomes for the majority of patients willing to stick it out for years and years.
I gave you the Ornish articles at a year and 5 years..
Did you read them in detail. As I said, Medicare has accepted the Ornish plan as a treatment they will reimburse for cardiac patients.
Here is another study. Not huge, but involving about 200 patients.
Not as tight and controlled as the Ornish study, but the outcomes, to the extent you believe them, are fairly impressive.
I remain skeptical about everything, but I read everything and the combined outcomes of those who are willing to go to the extreme dietary treatments these two doctors ( and many others) recommend, are compelling. Certainly better than just doing nothing except for more stents and bypasses.
Each patient is different. Outcomes may not be great in some, no matter their diet and lifestyle changes. Outcomes are more important than markers (TC, HDL and LDL)
Former president Clinton, after his last bypass and subsequent stenting, finally accepted the advice of Ornish and Esselstyn... saying that he did so because he wanted to have a chance to live and see his grand daughter grow up.. He took in all manner of advice and decided that going the dietary route, in addition to regular treatment, was optimal for him.
Wished he had done it full-on years before needing his bypass and subsequent followup intervention.
So for so good for him. He is not 100% perfect on his diet, but apparently pretty close.
Simply put, I find your total dismissal of such efforts through diet to be off the mark and not based in the science. More like your personal opinion based on your limited personal experience.
You might do well to explore it further.
Lastly, nothing one does on diet or lifestyle in any way limits what the do regarding meds (statin, etc) or even stents or bypasses.
President Clinton is doing his program after having had a bypass and subsequent stent.
I hope others can benefit from this exchange.
Nothing is promised or guaranteed, but the possibilities are there.
Presented in well respected Journals and recognized by those who run Medicare as viable alternatives......or along with more traditional care and procedures.
i mean cholesterol is not the only one which contributes to plaque while focus is given to checking blood cholesterol only when concerned about heart and blood vessels.
cholesterol is not the one which causes blockage but things like iron, calcium all can cause plague buildup. iron accumulation is mostly due to intake of iron supplements without testing the actual serum ferritin levels. also increased calcium levels in blood might be due to increasing intake of huge doses of calcium supplements when already have some kidney problems. thus raised calcium can start to form plaques.
Yes I am very skeptical of results from diet change. The first one you posted is well over a decade old and I tend to read much more up to date ones. In fact the oldest I read was done in israel where is was concluded there is no noticeable difference. The trouble is, a healthy diet may increase elasticity of the vessel, making it easier for blood to pass a blockage. Whereas someone on a restrictive diet may have more rigid blood vessels. The clue to this is a healthy diet seems to more often than not reduce blood pressure. I've seen many Vegans having heart attacks which make me even more skeptical. They don't touch meat or dairy. When you read such trials you need to be asking the chemistry behind it, which makes it more believeable. None of your examples state the chemical processes. What removes the fat and how? those are very important questions which need answering. In the UK and Europe there have been talks about watching childrens diets, but that's just to hit obesity on the head, not to treat heart disease. I don't believe for one minute that most people wouldn't follow a strict diet to cure their hearts, I would. I've already tried three different diets and nothing has worked. Don't forget, heart disease is scary and if a Doctor said eat this and that and you will be cured, I'm sure they would all be doing it. You could of course force treatments on patients saying "no healthcare if you deviate from this diet". In the UK we have often had talks about smokers being excluded from the NHS.
"Exactly as I stated. If you are trying to tell me a specific diet works perhaps you would like to share the miracle cure with millions of heart disease sufferers and cardiologists. "
Ed, look, I am not one of those who say that a good percentage of people with coronary disease are going to be able to "reverse" their disease.
However, for a portion of those willing to engage in in a strict dietary change, there is some indication in a some studies, showing a limited but actual decrease in the size of their blockages.
Is the reversal large? No. Is it significant in terms of blood flow? In some cases, yes.
After all, small changes in percentage terms... say -3% to -7% can result in increase in blood flow of 12% to 28% which is significant.
What I don't believe in is the often touted "cleaning out of arteries".. People thinking a 90% blockage is going to end up at only 40%. That is dreaming.
However, perhaps the most important feature for those willing to engage in such a dietary change, is the potential to "halt"... the process in place.
If they happen to get a 3% to 7% reversal, all the better.
The studies indicating this reversal are not large, but some were published in reputable journals. Lancet and JAMA. Most doctors do not promote this in great part because they have found that few if any of their patients are willing to alter their diets to such a degree.
You, being in the UK, may not have read such studies, however its hard to imagine that you wouldn't have come across them at some point.
I might add that the benefit of such dietary and lifestyle change has achieved such a standing that the program, based on the study, is now paid for by Medicare in the USA. Meaning they have accepted the benefit as being real in cardiac outcomes and costs.
I've see several posts wherein you keep insisting any reversal is impossilbe.
You might read the following two journal articles....
As I indicated, this is a route followed by few. Doctors know that probably 90% of patients will not follow this program long term. Actually probably 95%... But for those who do, perhaps 2 out of 3 can expect some degree of reversal. Not huge percentage reversal... but perhaps 3% to 7% over 5 years.
Those patients combined, with those halting progression, as well as those greatly slowing progression, all make up a category of patients that benefit greatly from following such a dietary program.
You seem to be denying there is any benefit, and that such a program is impossible.
There are other studies. Not huge and not perfect, but there are a great many cardiologists who favor radical dietary and lifestyle intervention in those patients willing to do so, usually combined with a statin, in order to avoid a future filled with ever more stents and bypass procedures.
Many patients would be happy to just halt the progression of their disease even if they don't get the reversal shown in the studies.
What is clear, is that without some fairly radical change in lifestyle, along with some meds (statins), that a progression will take place on the vast majority of patients we see here.
You seem to be telling people here that no reversal is possible and thus no significant benefit in major dietary changes.
lowering cholesterol will help to prevent new plaques from forming.
how does lowering cholesterol reduce plaque?
there is another herb called guggul (Commiphora mukul)
it reduces cholesterol in a different way, by converting cholesterol to bile and get excreted. this way of cholesterol reduction might reduce buildup plague too.
Exactly as I stated. If you are trying to tell me a specific diet works perhaps you would like to share the miracle cure with millions of heart disease sufferers and cardiologists. How does it work exactly, what is the chemical process involved? You do realise that the only way to remove fat is to have a lipid do it but they won't because its too late, the fat is released into the artery wall.
so many dietary and herbal products are underrated in medical society which actually far better than synthetic chemical products.
today's statin cholesterol drugs should be replaced by barley as statin affects liver, kidney functions. even after fda's approval how many doctors tell users to take barley?
"and allows some fat to come off our artery walls (opening them up). I hope you realise that this has never been observed to occur. "
Ed34, are you suggesting that a reduction in the percentage of the stenosis, or a increase in the lumen (opening), has never been observed in a dietary study?
Or what is commonly referred to as "reversal" in coronary artery disease.
Or sometimes described as a reduction in the atheroma.
Perhaps you could define what you are talking about when you say "this has never been observed to occur"
anyway its much better than prescription statins.
if anyone interested look for barley grass power or barley grass tablet in online stores like amazon. ignore the serving size they may say need 5g etc per day but actually much less like 500 mg is sufficient to see a huge difference in cholesterol numbers.
Yeah, it's been my dream to get tiny enough to visit my arteries and check out just what's going on. (maybe Raquel Welch from the past and that movie about minaturization for medical purposes, will join me)
But really, more open arteries is my only logical explanation for my resting blood pressure drop after reaching a lower body fat level (26% to 16%).
"and allows some fat to come off our artery walls (opening them up). I hope you realise that this has never been observed to occur.
The idea of eating barley has been around for centuries, roman gladiators ate mostly barley and were in fact called the 'barley men'.
I've not tried barley, but have been a fan of regular rolled oats as oatmeal porridge for decades. The past few years, I've been fermenting the rolled oats for several days, before cooking them (releases more nutrients, and aids digestion).
My chloresteral (and blood pressure) dropped in a big way, simply due to dropping my weight (from mid-way healthy BMI to low end of the BMI measure, and reaching a body fat content of ~16%). I think having tens of pounds less fat tissue, reduces seeping of fat into our blood and allows some fat to come off our artery walls (opening them up, lowering our BP).