In 1985 Dr. Esselystyn followed a cohort of patients with documented heart disease and placed them on a vegetarian diet which included 10% of its calories from fat. It excluded all animal products, nuts, seeds and oil. In 5 years, angiography performed on 11 of 18 patients showed that in 100% of patients tested the disease did not progress, and in 76% of patients tested there was actually regression. Seven years later, he followed up on his patients and found that in the patients who adhered to his diet, the results held. Patients had no new cardiac events. Dietary studies are hard to do since they require detailed accounting of eating habits, dietary compliance, and close follow-up. There is also very little funding available for studies such as this since most are based on drug evaluations funded by pharmaceutical companies, which bank on better financial payoffs. Dr. Esselsytn does a wonderful job with the details of his study and their results further substantiate the results of Dr. Ornish’s study.
Esselstyn C.B., Ellis S.G., Medendorp S.V. et al., “A Strategy to Arrest and Reverse Coronary Artery Disease: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study of a Single Physician’s Practice.” The Journal of Family Practice vol. 41, no. 6 (1995): 560–568.
Esselstyn C.B, “Updating a 12- Year Experience with Arrest and Reversal Therapy for Coronary Heart Disease (An Overdue Requiem for Palliative Cardiology).” The American Journal of Cardiology vol. 84, no. 6 (1999): 339–341.