I never get tired of saying it: real food heals.
Food has the power to prevent and reverse disease, and the more we know about it, the more power we have to curate a targeted diet to help us reach our health goals. The catch is that we have to choose the right foods, the ones that elevate us, and simultaneously ditch the poor-quality ones that harm us. There are powerful compounds in foods—like curcumin, genistein, catechins, lycopene, resveratrol, quercetin—that have medicinal impacts on the body. That’s why I call the grocery store the drug store; we can literally eat our medicine at every meal.
My guest this week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. William Li, is here to tell us all about eating to beat disease and making the idea that food is medicine second nature. You may also be surprised to find out that angiogenesis, or how the body forms blood vessels, is a common denominator in creating optimal health.
William Li, MD, is a world-renowned physician, scientist, speaker, and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. He is best known for leading the Angiogenesis Foundation. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. His TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has garnered more than 11 million views. An author of over 100 scientific publications in leading journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and more, Dr. Li has served on the faculties of Harvard, Tufts, and Dartmouth Medical School.
Dr. Li and I dive right in, starting with the powerful role of food in immunotherapy, the practice of enhancing the body’s natural ability to fight cancer, rather than relying on drugs to kill cancer. He’s seen the amazing results of this on a very personal level: Dr. Li’s own mother had metastatic endometrial cancer; using immunotherapy, she was cancer-free in 30-days.
This is a dramatic example and it’s important to note that only about 20% of people respond strongly to immunotherapy, but it’s extremely promising for the future of food in medicine. People who respond to immunotherapy have a certain bacteria in their gut, one that we can feed with pomegranate juice and polyphenols from other foods, like cranberries. We can enhance the response to immunotherapy by feeding the right gut bugs; this is just one of the fascinating concepts we discuss in this week’s episode.
We also talk about stem cells and diet, enhancing the body’s regenerative abilities, and so much more.
I know you’ll love this episode, I hope you’ll tune in.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD