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Health & Medical

BEYOND TRIM_Fighting disease: It’s all in vein

Doc says diet can be a cure for preventing what ails you

Sherry DeWalt of CGH Medical Center
Sherry DeWalt of CGH Medical Center

In my previous column I wrote about the “Let’s Beat Breast Cancer” campaign. According to this campaign one of the major lifestyle contributors to increased risk of breast cancer is diet.But what about other diseases?How much does our diet contribute to our risk for other cancers? Diabetes? Heart disease?

Dr. William Li, an international expert on health and fighting disease based on diet and lifestyle, is leading a worldwide effort to improve people’s health using cutting edge medical research. He is an expert in many health arenas including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and wound healing,and his work has been published in scientific and medical journals. He is highly sought after as a lecturer.

Li was featured in a online forum several years ago titled “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer”?I’ve viewed it multiple times and I’ve used it in classes to explain the importance of eating healthier food, so I was excited to learn the he had published a book, “Eat to Beat Disease.” Since his online talk 10 years ago, there has been even more research done on the topic of how food affects our risk for and resistance to many diseases.

Li is best known for his work in the field of angiogenesis, the study of blood vessel formation. He has shown that many diseases have an aspect of too little or too much angiogenesis, i.e. cancer develops more rapidly if it has a blood supply while diabetic neuropathy is a function of too little blood supply. His research shows that there are properties in some foods that either enhance or limit the body’s ability to form new blood vessels

In his new book, Li expands upon his work examining how diet influences the most important indicators of our disease risk. According to him these are angiogenesis, our stem cells, our microbiome, our DNA, and our immune system.

He details many studies done on specific foods that can either support or detract from these five key processes.It’s difficult to summarize, but the most important thing to remember is that the quality of your diet is key in preventing and recovering from many chronic diseases.In general, a diet of junk food filled with sugar, saturated fat and salt increases your risk for disease while a diet of whole, fresh foods can enhance your health and reduce your disease risk.

Find out more about Li’s work at angio.org and find his talk at ted.com/talks/william_li.html.

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