+91 89214 41746
+91 9400075 990
7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Monday to Saturday

Can a healthy diet and improving physical activity prevent heart attacks?

Apr 4, 2022 Wellbeing, Healthy Heart, Lifestyle diseases

Coronary Artery disease; Reversal by Lifestyle changes. 

By Dr. Bijesh BDS, Head of Research and Medical Affairs @ candok.in

What is coronary artery disease? 

Coronary Arteries are the blood vessels which carry blood to heart. Coronary artery disease refers to a condition caused by narrowing or blockage in coronary arteries. Building up of cholesterol and fatty deposits inside the arteries, known as atherosclerosis narrows or damages the arteries, this can decrease or even stop blood flow to the heart muscles, neck or brain leading to chest pain, heart attack or stroke.

How does plaque build in arteries ? 

Unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity have been attributed to cause fat deposit in the blood vessels. While this was affecting older people in past decades, we are witnessing the onset of coronary artery disease among young people in this generation. As we get old, the fat deposit causes damage to the walls of the blood vessels. Inflammation along with cellular wastes, proteins, calcium and fat forms plaque. 

After examining the study, here is what we found.

The  study Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease  was done by Dean Ornish; MD, Larry N. Scherwitz, PHD; James Billings, PHD, MPH; K.Lance Gould; MD & J Brand; PHD. 

They focused on intense lifestyle changes for people with coronary artery diseases. Without the use of lipid lowering drugs for a period of 5 years, they monitored the patients during the years 1986 to 1992. Fort-eight patients with moderate to severe coronary artery diseases were randomized to follow intensive lifestyle changes. Out of this, 35 patients completed the task for a period of 5 years with follow ups and monitoring. 

The intensive lifestyle changes included a 10% fat  whole food vegetarian diet, exercises, stress management training, smoking cessation and psychological support for 5 years . 

The Control group patients were asked to follow the advice of their personal physician regarding lifestyle changes.  


At the end of the study;

The experimental group of  20 (71%) out of 28 patients, who followed intensive lifestyle changes, completed 5 years of follow up and reported less cardiac events during the period and more regression occurred after 5 years. 

On the other hand, the control group who did not follow intensive lifestyle changes, 15 (75%) out of 20 completed 5 years of follow up showed progression of coronary atherosclerosis and twice as many cardiac events. 

There were profuse changes in the risk factors for the group which followed intensive lifestyle changes and are outlined in the study. The study concluded an intensive lifestyle change- Healthy lifestyle can help in managing and even reversing coronary artery disease. 

If you or your loved ones are on medication and are willing to try lifestyle changes to manage or reverse coronary heart disease or wish to discuss this further, please feel free to discuss with your Physician. Any intensive lifestyle change will require close monitoring of medical parameters and  in most cases tapering of medications. We recommend you to seek professional medical advice. A dietitian- health coach can guide you through the process, involving your physician.


Click here to speak to a Candok Health Coach for your personalized consultation. 

Candok Health Coach can provide guidance,  prepare a customized diet plan, suggest basic physical activity and guide you through your journey to health and wellbeing. 

Understanding and applying Nutrition Series. Edited by Candok editorial board, Candok Lifestyle. Live Life, Naturally!


Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease done by, Dean Ornish.,MD; Larry W.Scherwitz ,PhD ; James H.Billings ,PhD ,MPH ;K lance Gould ,MD ; Terri A .Merritt was,MS; Stephen Sparler ,MA ; William T .Armstrong ,MD ; Thomas A .Ports , MD; Richard L .Kirkeeide ,PhD ; Charissa Hogeboom ,PhD ; Richard J Brand ,PhD .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.