April 23, 2018
3 More Ornish Diet Benefits

3 More Ornish Diet Benefits

by Berkeley Wellness  

It's well-known that the Ornish diet improves heart health. But did you know it might also help with weight management and slow the progression of prostate cancer? Here's the lowdown on three lesser-known benefits of the Ornish program.

Weight control

The Ornish program is not a weight-loss diet per se, but people following it do shed some pounds. In two large studies a few years ago, they lost about 5 to 7 pounds over a year, compared to 10 to 13 for people on an Atkins diet. In any case, when it comes to long-term weight loss, no particular diet stands out. Total calorie intake matters much more than the proportion of fat, carbs, and protein.

Prostate health

In a small study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008, men with prostate cancer who followed the Ornish program for three months showed a down-regulation in genes involved in tumor growth. According to Dr. Ornish and his co-authors, the results suggest that “intensive nutrition and lifestyle changes may modulate gene expression in the prostate.” Earlier research by Dr. Ornish found that the program lowered PSA in men with low-grade prostate cancer and helped them avoid or delay conventional treatment.

Telomere longevity

A small study in Lancet Oncology in 2013 linked the Ornish program to increases in telomere length in men with prostate cancer. Telomeres are small pieces of DNA at the ends of chromosomes; their length is a marker for aging and disease, with longer being better.