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Dr. Dean Ornish
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Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute , where he holds the Safeway Chair, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

For over 30 years, Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes. He recently directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may stop or reverse the progression of prostate cancer. His current research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression, “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning off” genes that promote cancer and heart disease.

He is the author of six best-selling books, including New York Times’ bestsellers Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Eat More, Weigh Less, Love & Survival, and his most recent book, The Spectrum. He writes a monthly column for Newsweek magazine.

The research that he and his colleagues conducted has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Circulation, The New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Cardiology, and elsewhere. A one-hour documentary of their work was broadcast on NOVA, the PBS science series, and was featured on Bill Moyers' PBS series, Healing & The Mind.

Dr. Ornish is a member of the boards of directors of the San Francisco Food Bank, the Quincy Jones “Project Q” at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the U.S. United Nations High Commission on Refugees. He was appointed to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and elected to the California Academy of Medicine. He is Chair of the PepsiCo Blue Ribbon Advisory Board and the Safeway Advisory Council on Health and Nutrition and consults with the CEO of Mars to make more healthful foods and to provide health education to their customers in this country and worldwide. He also chairs the Google Health Advisory Council.

He has received several awards, including the 1994 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Texas, Austin, the University of California, Berkeley, “National Public Health Hero” award, the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award for distinguished contribution in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention from the International Academy of Cardiology, a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association, the Beckmann Medal from the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases, the “Pioneer in Integrative Medicine” award from California Pacific Medical Center, the “Excellence in Integrative Medicine" award from the Heal Breast Cancer Foundation, the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, a U.S. Army Surgeon General Medal, and the Bravewell Collaborative Pioneer of Integrative Medicine award.

Dr. Ornish was a physician consultant to President Clinton (1993-2000) and to several bipartisan members of the U.S. Congress and consulted with the chefs at The White House, Camp David, and Air Force One to cook more healthfully.

He was recognized as “one of the most interesting people of 1996” by People magazine, selected as one of the “TIME 100” in integrative medicine, and chosen by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation.”

Entries by Dr. Dean Ornish

Can Online Communities Be Healing?

(5) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 11:54 AM

During the past 20 years, there has been a radical shift in our culture with the breakdown of the social networks and structures that used to provide us with a sense of connection and community. Because of this, the most pervasive epidemic in our culture is loneliness, isolation, and depression.

...
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Does a Mediterranean Diet Really Beat Low-Fat for Heart Health?

(1097) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 8:01 AM

An article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that a Mediterranean diet is much more effective than a "low-fat diet" in preventing cardiovascular disease. A careful reading of the study reveals that this is simply not true.

Here's why:

  • The comparison (control) group did...
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Shining a Light in the Darkness

(63) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 11:00 AM

Although many people believe that the primary emphasis of my work is about diet, it's not. What we eat is important, of course, but what comes out of our mouth may be more important than what goes into it.

Intimacy is healing. Study after study have shown that people...

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A Radical Alternative for Democrats and Republicans

(189) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 9:00 PM

This post is part of the HuffPost Shadow Conventions 2012, a series spotlighting three issues that are not being discussed at the national GOP and Democratic conventions: The Drug War, Poverty in America, and Money in Politics. Check out the Shadow Conventions big news page here, and join the...

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Prostate Cancer Screening: Think Different

(68) Comments | Posted June 12, 2012 | 8:56 AM

Last week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force finalized a blanket recommendation that all routine prostate specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer be stopped in this country. The new guideline won swift praise in some quarters and strong condemnation in others -- leaving men and those who...

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The Power of Science

(7) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 12:06 AM

I'm delighted that The Huffington Post is launching a new Science Section today.

I've spent so much of the past 35 years conducting scientific research because I believe in the power of science. Albert Einstein once said, "Not everything that counts can be counted" -- not...

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Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad and the Truth

(256) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 9:30 AM

A recent large government study found that raising levels of HDL "good" cholesterol using a drug did not reduce the risk of heart disease.

As The New York Times reported:

Patients taking the medicine along with Zocor had higher levels of H.D.L. and...

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Introducing HuffPost Health: A Comprehensive Look At Health And Medicine Today

(120) Comments | Posted October 25, 2010 | 10:02 AM

Beginning today, The Huffington Post is launching a new section, HuffPost Health. It's a place for serious and interesting conversation and education around all aspects of personal health and well-being, including treatment, prevention and wellness.

As you know, there is no shortage of information on the...

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Google Health Takes a Big Step Forward

(49) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 10:00 AM

The Internet has transformed many parts of our daily lives, touching everything from how we find information to how we go shopping, get directions, and even stay in touch with friends and family. In the last few years it's gone further and started impacting one of the areas that is...

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Atkins Diet Increases All-Cause Mortality

(1559) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 8:00 AM

A major study was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine from Harvard. In approximately 85,000 women who were followed for 26 years and 45,000 men who were followed for 20 years, researchers found that all-cause mortality rates were increased in both men and women who were...

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How to Transform Your Lifestyle and Your Life (Part One)

(122) Comments | Posted May 15, 2010 | 1:34 PM

"Listen, here's what I think. I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do. By what we deny ourselves. What we resist, and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include."

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Top 10 Medical Events Of The Decade

(60) Comments | Posted December 31, 2009 | 9:01 AM

In writing about the top 10 medical events of the decade, I first began writing about the latest high-tech breakthroughs in genomics, stem cell research, angiogenesis, and so on.

In addition, some of the biggest medical and health events of the past decade were studies documenting the limitations of...

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Sharecare Builds A Web 3.0 Bridge To Better Health

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2009 | 12:12 PM

Nowhere is the power of the Internet for improving people's lives more evident than in health care. Having the latest health information literally at their fingertips has enabled people to make more appropriate choices, learn about the effects and side-effects of medications they are taking, hear from peers about their...

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Don't Tread on Me: Transcending the Left Wing/Right Wing Health Care Debate

(959) Comments | Posted August 28, 2009 | 10:48 AM

Recently, I found myself in the middle of a contentious debate on Larry King Live sandwiched between President Obama's longtime personal physician, Dr. David Scheiner, and Dr. Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Dr. Scheiner described his disappointment with President Obama for not supporting...

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Resuscitating Health Care Reform

(402) Comments | Posted August 10, 2009 | 1:01 AM

Health reform is in danger of failing because the focus has been too much on who is covered and not enough on what is covered. Health care reform is primarily about health insurance reform, with the main battle being over coverage and the payment system.

Of course, we need...

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Resuscitating Health Care Reform

(15) Comments | Posted August 9, 2009 | 12:42 PM

Health reform is in danger of failing because the focus has been too much on who is covered and not enough on what is covered. Health care reform is primarily about health insurance reform, with the main battle being over coverage and the payment system.

Of course, we need...

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All Calories are Not the Same!

(52) Comments | Posted March 6, 2009 | 9:29 AM

Recently, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study comparing the effects of different diets on weight loss. Their conclusion? It doesn't matter what you eat, only how much you eat. So, pick a diet you can stick with, as that's all that really matters.

It's...

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Transforming Medicine: An Historic Event

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2009 | 10:34 PM

Dr. Ralph Snyderman is Chancellor Emeritus of Duke University and chair of the Institute of Medicine's "Summit on Integrative Medicine" at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The Summit s a 2-1/2 day historic event in which some of the most thoughtful and important thinkers are coming together...

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Ending the "Sick Care" System: Interview with Senator Harkin

(30) Comments | Posted January 30, 2009 | 8:05 AM

Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin was asked to lead a working group given the task of crafting the prevention and public-health components of President-elect Obama's health-care-reform bill. As chairman of the subcommittee on appropriations and health, he's in a position to have a pivotal role in tackling the immense challenges the...

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Feel Better, Live Longer

(117) Comments | Posted January 30, 2009 | 7:50 AM

What really works to make sustainable changes in diet and lifestyle? It's probably not what you think. In over 30 years of conducting clinical research, I've learned that the real keys are pleasure, joy and freedom, not willpower, deprivation and austerity. Joy of living is sustainable; fear of dying is...

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