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Yoga, diet, exercise melt away plaque.

Yoga, diet, exercise melt away plaque

From the land of laid-back living comes evidence that lifestyle changes alone may reverse coronary artery disease. Dean M. Ornish of the University of California, San Francisco, and his colleagues found that patients who exercised, practiced yoga and ate a vegetarian diet lowered their blood cholesterol levels and reduced the fatty deposits narrowing their arteries. "After a year, we're showing striking reductions in cholesterol levels," Ornish says.

The scientists randomly assigned 50 participants with coronary artery disease to two groups and tested them initially and at the end of one year to determine the condition of their coronary arteries and blood lipid levels. Patients in the lifestyle-change group were compared with a control group receiving traditional care, including diet advice.

Ornish now reports preliminary results on 29 patients. The lifestyle group improved over the course of a year, showing an average total cholesterol of 213 milligrams per deciliter at the start of the study that dropped to 154 at year's end. Narrowing of coronary arteries also improved, dropping from an average of 44.4 percent to 40.8 percent. Control participants overall showed moderate changes in their cholesterol levels and had increased artery blockage a year later.
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Author:Fackelmann, Kathy A.
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 26, 1988
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