Edna was an 87-year-old widow who lived alone in her own home. At age 83 she was diagnosed with angina (intermittent pain from clogged coronary arteries). Her pain was increasing despite two medications for the angina and two for her hypertension.
She feared going to bed because she would often wake up with excruciating pain around 4 AM. Because of the increased pain, she saw her cardiologist. Testing once again showed that “everything that could be done, was being done”.
Her diet included five fruits and/or vegetables per day, morning coffee, eggs 4-5 times per week, dairy (mainly cheese), 1 or 2 servings of meat per day, and desserts a few times a week. She had a normal weight. She had recently stopped her morning walks because they triggered her angina after walking half a block.
Her son consulted us about what to do. We explained that diet therapy, could often reverse heart disease. Edna was happy to try it.
Within 3 weeks the frequency and severity of her angina had decreased and after 5 weeks she was pain-free. Five months later she had no symptoms, had normal blood pressure, and had discontinued all medications.
Edna remained in good health until age 99 when she died of kidney failure, likely a complication of the dye used in her previous heart catheterizations. She wanted us to use her name because of her wish to help others.
The Science – Treating Heart Disease
Every year heart disease is the cause of over 600,000 American deaths at an estimated cost of over $350 billion.
Coronary artery disease causes about 70% of those deaths (most of the rest are from heart failure). Our expensive, high-tech treatments, while lifesaving in an emergency, do little to stop the progression of coronary artery disease.
In a study of 198 volunteers with severe coronary heart disease, only one of the 176 subjects who followed the strict diet protocol had a cardiovascular event (heart attack, stroke, or death). In the group of 22 subjects who did not follow the protocol, there were 13 events.
This data along with other studies overwhelmingly demonstrates that healthy lifestyle changes can prevent and reverse heart disease.
Still don’t believe it?
In 2017 Dr. Kim Williams, the previous President of the American College of Cardiology, said, “There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven’t read the data.”
But is “haven’t read the data” the real reason healthcare ignores what works?
We believe three mutually reinforcing factors explain the dilemma:
- Cardiologists have invested fifteen years of education after high school to learn how to care for patients using very complex technology,
- Americans have tremendous faith in high tech solutions and often a disbelief in the power of lifestyle changes to make a difference, and
- Our healthcare system pays well for high tech solutions but very little for prevention or reversal. The high tech profits fund campaigns to exaggerate product benefits and disparage low tech solutions that work. (Our White Paper provides further details.)