Can you reverse heart diseases?

Thursday, October 5, 2017
can you reverse heart diseases?

Doctors believe that by changing diet, quitting smoking, and including physical activities, one can reverse heart disease. At an early stage, it can help reverse the disease completely, and  at an advanced stage also, dietary and lifestyle modification  can help patients avoid an open heart surgery or angioplasty.  

Dr S C Manchanda, former head, cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)  has been working on developing a lifestyle modification module for his patients for last 20 years and claims that he has evidence to prove that a lot of his patients were able to reversed their heart disease.  "In many patients up to 70 per cent of the blockages in the arteries reversed. There are many patients who avoided bypass after following our module. The diet is simple vegetarian food, which excludes refined carbs and sugar, saturated fats and recommends minimum use of refined oil,” says Dr Manchanda.

Many doctors working in the field of preventive medicine believe that smoking and meat have same effect on heart health. “We need to put a lot of tax on meat products and refined food to dissuade people from eating it like we did with the tobacco,” says Dr Manchanda.

Though there is a lot of debate world over on whether or not to include meat in the diet, most doctors feel that heart diseases can be reversed by its exclusion. Yoga and other form of exercises along with diet modification help a great deal, say doctors. “Yoga reduces stress, which is a major culprit in heart disease. Stress is the reason why so many young people in their 20s and 30s are getting the disease,” says Dr Bhaba Nanda Das, head cardiac surgery at Indraprastha Apollo hospital, New Delhi.

Lifestyle disease, say doctors, involves both the mind and the body. A weak mind causes the disease in most cases. It also prevents people from sticking to a healthy dietary and exercise regimen.  

Mayank Jain shed 24 kilograms in 13 months by following vegan diet

Mayank Jain, a Delhi-based documentary maker, who made a film—The evidence--Meat Kills—on the harmful effects of eating meat, says that he himself switched to vegan diet and reduced his consumption of vegetable oils to zero. "I reduced 24 kilograms in 13 months. Food that comes from animals, including dairy products and eggs, is harmful. Dairy products are not only high in saturated fat, but they are low in a number of beneficial dietary components such antioxidants; ergothioneine, an amino acid that may help protect our cells; and fiber, a nutrient that most people, who take animal-based diet, are deficient in," says Jain.  
Along with saturated fat, dairy products, he points out,  also contain cholesterol, trans fats, endotoxins, Neu5Gc, choline, all of which may raise the risk of inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.    

On the eve of World heart Day this year, Apollo hospitals have also launched a heart disease reversal program called the Healthy Heart Program. It is a fee-basedprogram which ensures the reversal of the disease through diet and lifestyle modification.

Under the program, a cardiologist will recommend diet, exercise, meditation and a regular follow- up to make sure that a patient would comply to the changes prescribed by the doctor. “It will help prevent heart disease in young people and repeat of the disease in people who have already undergone an intervention,” says Dr Hari Prasad, CEO, Apollo hospitals.   

“The demographic dividend that India enjoys is under severe threat from non- communicable diseases. Unchecked, this disease burden with take away India’s best at their most productive age. Already around 20 per cent of heart attacks observed across Apollo hospitals are in the age group of 25-35 years. We need to emphasis on the prevention of the disease,” said Dr Prathap Reddy, Chairman, Apollo hospitals at the launch of the program in Delhi

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