How To Use Food As Medicine with Dr. William Li

Episode 523 1h 14m
Topics Overview


Humans have coevolved with food and its medicinal actions on our bodies, meaning we have actual cell receptors for specific food-derived molecules. So why aren’t doctors trained in how to use food as medicine? We’re taught all about using pharmaceuticals to affect our biology, but the power of food is left high and dry. I think this is a foundational area of medical training we need to change. That’s why I’m so excited to talk to one of my favorite people and thinkers in the world of food and medicine on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. William Li. Dr. Li is constantly breaking open new frontiers in the science of using food as medicine. He explains how compounds in our food interact with our biology, and shares his research on how to use our knowledge of pharmaceutical mechanisms to prescribe effective “farmaceutical” alternatives or complementary protocols. Our microbiome is an essential part of how we extract powerful information from food. Dr. Li and I discuss what that process looks like, from that first bite of food entering the mouth. The microbiome is now being researched to enhance food-based immunotherapy for cancer and Dr. Li shares how his own mother was able to heal from cancer using this approach. Health is not just the absence of disease, it’s the presence of optimal function and feeling. Dr. Li is a wealth of knowledge on how to use food as our greatest ally for achieving an optimal state of health and healing from states of dis-ease.

We also discuss how to combine nutrition and pharmacology to prevent, address, and treat Covid and the symptoms of long-Covid, and so much more.

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Topics Covered

  • Dr. Li’s journey to understanding the power of eating to beat disease


  • How food can activate our body’s healing defense systems


  • Why Dr. Li changed his mind about organic foods


  • The benefits of nutritional diversity and eating “weird foods”


  • Research showing how eating tree nuts benefited colorectal cancer patients


  • Combining food and pharmaceutical drugs


  • Prescribing food as medicine


  • Reimagining our approach to Covid and long-Covid


  • Foods that lower inflammation and boost the immune system


  • Three ways to start using food as medicine


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Ep. 523 - How To Use Food As Medicine with Dr. William Li