Cancer Can't Stand This Diet: Dr. William Li's Anti-Cancer Nutrition Breakthroughs Transcript

Dr. Mark Hyman: Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Farmacy.

Dr. William Li: This is the beginning of a new understanding of our human nature. It's because we're beginning to understand that the big nerve coming out of our brain called the vagus nerve, communicates from the brain down to our gut. Our brain talks to our gut bacteria.

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Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to Doctor's Farmacy. I'm doctor Mark Hyman. That's Farmacy with F, a place for conversations that matter. And today, this conversation about food is really important because we're talking with one of the world's experts in many aspects of nutrition and food, Doctor William Li. He's a renowned physician scientist.

Dr. Mark Hyman: He's the author of the New York Times bestseller to beat disease, the new science of how your body can heal itself. We're gonna talk about how that works with food. His groundbreaking research has led to the development of more than 40 new medical treatments impacting the care for more than 70 diseases. He's a legend, and these diseases include diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. His TED Talk can we eat to starve cancer has garnered more than 11,000,000 views.

Dr. Mark Hyman: He's appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, Rachel Ray, live with Kelly and Ryan, and he's featured in many, many newspapers including USA Today, Time Magazine, the Atlantic, O Magazine, and lots more. He's the president and medical director of the Angio Genesis Foundation, and he's leading global initiatives on food as medicine, which is why I love him so much. His latest book and a New York Times bestseller is eat to beat your diet, burn fat, healing metabolism, and live longer. Now we get into a wide ranging bunch of topics today. It's kind of a free for all between 2 guys who are kinda nerdy about food nutrition.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We talked about the underlying healing mechanisms in the body, which I think are really important to know. 5 key defense systems that he talks about that allow our bodies to heal and maintain. We discuss how food can regulate those fundamental systems in the body to keep us healthy. We get in and out of different topics like, is there? You go bad is coffee good or bad?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Should we be eating soy? What about other foods? What about alcohol? So we get into all this important stuff that you need to know to optimize your health. I think gonna love this conversation.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's gonna be very interesting. He's a brilliant guy and, hope you love it. And let's get into the conversation with Doctor William Li. William's so great to have you the Doctor's Farmacy podcast. Welcome back.

Dr. William Li: Thanks very much. Always great to be here.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. So William might go way back, and, he is an extraordinary physician as you heard from the intro. He is a leading scientist and and an incredible visionary about the future of medicine and health. He's works in all sorts of sectors changing the world. And what his passion is now is about food as medicine and how we use food beat disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And he's written a number of great books. He talked about eat to beat disease. He's, he's wrote, you know, just an incredible book that I think set the stage for thinking about using food, not as prevention, but as treatment, right? And one of the one of the most impressive things I ever saw was at a conference we're at together was, I think, the Milken Institute. And you presented a slide and you showed, here's the effect of these bioactive compounds in plants, really these phytochemicals, and here's the effect of drugs on the same pathway.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And that phytochemicals actually seem to be more effective than a lot of the drugs, which was kind of blew my fine.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. No. I mean, listen, that's how I got into this whole area of food as medicine is I started with developing new medicines for cancer diabetes, vision loss, cardiovascular disease, and really getting at the underpinning of how is our body being derailed from health? And the pharmaceutical biotech world is all focused on that derailment. You know?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Everything in health care that we've ever been trained on in medicine is about diagnosing the train wreck and figuring out how to tease apart the carcass of of the the the Mark that actually run into each other and crushed in smoking halts. Right? Yeah. And so for me, with the success of developing cancer treatments, I realized You know, we should probably up our game and throwing foods into the same systems that drugs are being tested on, and that's when that that's the same that you were just referring to, 50 percent of the food extracts that I tested were as or more potent than the drugs we were testing at the time. And so to me, That was my Eureka Hyman.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. That what we should be doing is taking a hardcore scientific evidence based approach Mhmm. To thinking about how foods could benefit us, not just hand waving, you know, like the the, you know, look, The salad bar is great, but if you just pick up a kale leaf and wave it around, somebody who is critical is gonna say, well, how do you know? Well, so that's what I do is to figure out how do we know?

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's incredible, William. It's great. You know, as you're talking, it kind of, you know, made me think about this patient I had. Who was so sick. She was 65.

Dr. Mark Hyman: She had type 2 diabetes on insulin for 10 years. She had heart failure with an ejection fraction of 35%. Which is sort of on your way to a heart transplant. For those who are listening, don't know what that means. It's basically how much blood your heart can pump out, and it should be over 50.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And she had fatty liver. She had kidneys that were starting to fail approaching the urine. She had high blood pressure. She had a load of other things. She had a will stents in coronary artery disease and was 65 in on her way to a heart and kidney transplant.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And she was seeing the best doctors Cleveland Clinic. She was on the best medical protocols, the best drug combinations you could get, and everything was opt, quote, optimized. And she was still sick as, you know, what? And and so she came into our group program and I gave her, basically an anti inflammatory microbiome enriching low glycemic, high quality fat, good protein diet, just real whole food, got off her all the ultra processed food she was on. And it was a freaking miracle, but it wasn't a miracle.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's just science. In other words, in 3 days, she was off for insulin. In 3 months, she was off all of her meds, her failure reverse, which we don't see. Her kidneys normalize her, fatty liver normalize her blood pressure normalize. In a year, she lost a £116.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And all those diseases went away. So there is no drug on the planet that can actually achieve that effect, and it was food. Because you gave her health

Dr. William Li: care while she was getting sick k.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Right. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That that's kinda ghost we were chatting about before we started the podcast, which is one of the root causes of health. It's a really interesting question. And I don't think you had that class in med school. Did you? I I didn't No.

Dr. William Li: No. We we listen. I'm sure you and I had very similar experiences walking down the corridors with a a gaggle of students you know, wearing the the the amateur white coats and carrying the stethoscopes, clumsily. And you have the professor towing you around teaching you from patient to patient about disease to disease and have to memorize everything and regurgitate it, like, the next week on a test. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: I mean, that's how doctors are trained. And so what happened to me is that I always wondered, why do we even stay healthy? Why don't we get more disease? So, you know, here you're looking at cancer and lung cancer and kidney cancer and liver cancer and colon cancer. I I wanted to know, and and all the causes of those cancers, alcohol, cigarette, smoke, you know, eating, red meat.

Dr. William Li: Like, what I wanted to know is, well, how can we don't get cancer more often? Yeah. Or How do

Dr. Mark Hyman: the library stay healthy in the first place? Right. Exactly.

Dr. William Li: Hyman when I asked my professors that question while I was in medical school and in residency training, I would get back this look like what a silly question. Yep. If you're not sick, you're healthy. And why would you wanna even ask anything more than that?

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right.

Dr. William Li: And yet, I found that to be the most unsatisfying answer to my driving question. So that's really what I've set out to do is to figure out What are the common tenants? What are the common denominators of health? Cause we have to figure that out, in order to be able to hack into our own body. You know, like, there's gonna be a biohacker There's so all these different ways to actually think about things.

Dr. William Li: But at the end of the day, the average person, myself included, don't wanna have to think about everything. No. I just wanna know that it's working by itself.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, it's true. We what are the biomarkers of health? We we learned about the biomarkers of disease, Alright. Your kidney function tests are up. Your liver function tests are up.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Your electrolytes are off. Your blood counts low. We wanted about the biomarkers of disease, but when you look at those tests, normally, they don't necessarily always tell you if you're healthy, the ones we normally do. And so, you know, I create a company called function health cofounded it, and and we allow people to get access to all these lab tests that that it actually measure deviations from health. And we look at ranges, and we look at things that most doctors don't because we wanna say, okay, how do we measure health?

Dr. William Li: Right. Well, I mean, that gets at something really, really important, which is You know, when you go to the doctor and they order a blood test, you get the standard panel of blood chemistries and maybe a complete blood count

Dr. Mark Hyman: liter lipid tests.

Dr. William Li: Maybe some lipid tests. And that's about it. Right? So, like, whatever your dozen ish, lesson 2 dozen tests that haven't changed in 50 years.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: And and yet our knowledge of how our body functions and the ways that we can measure things Like, just our skyrocketing. Every day, we're making more discoveries. And so there's this, gigantic mismatch in the mainstream medical system between assessing our health versus just looking for a couple of warning signs for disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right.

Dr. William Li: Right? So this is where I AI comes into play. This is where data gathering comes into play. This is where people, I think, you know, like you, have been thinking about functional health for a long time. You know, you wanna scrape it all together and then figure it out on an individual level because there's no universal signature that works for everyone categorically, but everyone is their own control group, meaning everyone actually starts off with who they are.

Dr. William Li: And then how do you make that better? Or how do you know when that actually gets worse?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. People call that anecdotes, but it's actually end of 1 research, which is the highest level of evidence that the NAHSS is is possible. That's all.

Dr. William Li: And that's actually where, real diseases like heart disease and cancer treatments are actually going. We now know that this one size fits all the, instruction sheet for doctors, the playbook, the rule rule book, it really is, underestimates the power of 1.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Individual.

Dr. William Li: And we need to actually listen to the patient, the individual, for their own story. We need to appreciate they're coming from a context, and we need to understand that we just can't pull a formula out and apply to everyone. Yeah. Which is how we were taught.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Exactly. It's it's kinda I it's embarrassing to admit this, and I might be spilling the beans for the medical profession. But, basically, once you make the diagnosis, Meaning, once you label the symptoms with a name, doesn't tell it mean anything about the cause. Right? You have you have, you know, you know, heart disease or diabetes or cancer or Alzheimer's autoimmune disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It just tells you with the symptoms. It doesn't tell you the cause. I want you to do that. I want you to have the label. We call that differential diagnosis.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Then it's all cookbooked. You literally just look it up and here's the standard of care today and here's a set of drugs you use and here's the order you use them and here's the options you have And it's really kind of agnostic to the individual. It's like, this is just what it is.

Dr. William Li: Diner style medicine.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And diners, and so, you know, as you're saying, you didn't really take a course in the science of creating health. And one of the revolutionary ideas that I think you've introduced is this framework of not only eating for health, but how to eat to beat disease? You didn't say health. You said eat to beat disease. And that's a very important distinction because what you're saying is true, it's revolutionary.

Dr. Mark Hyman: If you can use food, not just to prevent disease and stay healthy, but actually to be disease. That's like a That's like a game changing concept. That's a paradigm shifting concept.

Dr. William Li: You know, what you're saying is so true from a paradigm shift But I wanna actually tell you it's a paradigm shift because that's not how, we view medicine today or how it has been taught. But I'll tell you before the 1930s. Okay. So go back only a 100 years, alright, before the development of antibiotics and all these Mark before pharmaceutical companies, the industry started to rise. What did we have?

Dr. William Li: We only had really food diet and lifestyle on our toolbox. And this one went back 10000 years Yeah. Right to the beginning of humanity. We only had food and lifestyle as our medicine. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: So what's happened is that in the last 100 years Yeah. That's true. We've lost our way because we've overfocused on just a few things. So we've lost the forest for the trees. Yes.

Dr. William Li: Literally. Right? So now what we're doing is rediscovering how food diet and lifestyle can actually make a huge difference, but the difference is that we're not just back to the future in discovering past that sort of wisdoms the grandma's chicken soup kind of thing. We're now beginning of the day, but to take a look at what that chicken soup actually does. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: And at the cellular level, at the molecular level, at the genetic level, and that gives us power. The average person doesn't need to know what genes or what cells chicken soup actually after this. But for those of us who are trying to help people protect their health, regain their health, use food as a, important, health intervention while they're fighting disease. Right? I mean, that's that's the distinction you're talking about.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. Doctors deliver sick care. But when you're at home as a patient, You're doing the health care yourself.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yes. So let's let's get into it, William, because you you you you're the kind of master of this. People wanna know if you if you were locked on some island somewhere in the middle of nowhere. And you had only certain foods to bring with you to help you have a long and healthy life to increase your spanning your life span and to reverse and beat disease. What would you be bringing with you?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like if you had a if you had a cargo ship of food and you could bring it on island and that was your, yeah, was your kind of stock What would you bring with you?

Dr. William Li: You know, I had a conversation, at the National Institutes of Medicine, with a bunch of astronauts including, you know, the the flight surgeons to talk about what would humankind need to be able to bring on a ship to go to another planet. Yeah. Right. It's it's exactly the same thing. So if you get the desert on, because that might be too harsh to survive.

Dr. William Li: Space is a lot worse.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Because you can't go back and have Amazon deliver anything to

Dr. William Li: you.

Dr. William Li: That's it. Right? So what are you gonna bring? What are you gonna grow? Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Right? So here are some of the things that come to my mind.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: And, again, you know, I always get asking, like, what are the top 5 things you do you recommend? There's no top 5, but here are are, here are a couple of things that do come to mind. You know, we need to stay hydrated. So water is absolutely critical, but if you can make water do more for you, if you're using it to brew tea or coffee Right? So both are easy to carry around.

Dr. William Li: Both are, very natural products that contain bioactives tea with the catechins and other polyphenols. Coffee has got its own polyphenols and a little bit of caffeine as well. You know, I mean, I I couldn't have gotten through medical school without, my hit of coffee, in the morning, but both of those, you know, chlorogenic acid and coffee and the catechins and tea have a range of benefits to our bodies hardwired health defense system. So while you're hydrating, You might as well get a little extra out of

Dr. Mark Hyman: it

Dr. William Li: by having your espresso or coffee. I wouldn't put dairy in it if you can avoid it and definitely not added sugar. Same deal with tea, but there's a great way of actually having your beverage. Let's start with basic hydration.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's a great idea. Right?

Dr. William Li: So this is a this is a 2fer. Yeah. Really 3. If you actually talk about coffee and tea with water, you've actually taken the number 1, number 2, number 3, beverages in the world, water, coffee and tea. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Combine them into 1, Put it in your gunnysack and take it with you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. That's great. Actually, you know, I was in Ikorea, like, researching the blue zones. And I went to this guy who was sort of making goat cheese. And I was milking goats and, like, making cheese with him.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That was kind of fun. And then after he's like, let's have some tea and he serves me this tea, like, what is that? And he's like, because it's had a different taste. I never had it before. Oh, this is the wild sage bush that's growing everywhere here.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I'm like, oh, that's kinda cool. So I I saw this plant. I looked at I I looked it up, and it actually has higher levels of catechins than green tea. And and this this is one of the longevity molecules.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? So It's quite interesting.

Dr. William Li: Well, I mean, I think that that's the other thing is that really mother nature has created a Farmacy with an f kind of in yours in the spirit of what how you do things, you know, the Farmacy with an F actually is way more diverse than anything you'd find in a drugstore in a hospital, Mark far oh, you know, Farmacy, stock house, and we're just beginning to discover Yeah. What some of these things are. The power of science.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: We can go in there. We can do mass spec. We can identify the different peaks, and we can put a label onto them.

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Dr. William Li: So here's something I I else I would bring. I'd bring tree nuts with me.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Tree nuts Okay. While not, Tom, and

Dr. William Li: Thomas, Thomas, Pistacias, macadamias, cashews. You know, so there number 1, I love the diversity of the different types of tree Yeah. Okay. But they're a great source of protein. We need protein to be, healthy, right, especially as we get older.

Dr. William Li: People always asking, like, what's a good source of protein? Well, you know, tree nuts gives you some nice protein, but it also gives you dietary fiber, which is important for gut health. And if there's one thing that I I carry around with me now, knowledge wise, that I know everyone needs to do better on. Everyone can up their own game is to get better gut health. I don't care if you're a super athlete, triathlon, you know, every single person can do better the next day tomorrow to to improve their gut.

Dr. William Li: That is so powerful. I've colleagues, who are I mean, I do cancer research, but I also have colleagues who are doing gut microbiome research, in cancer patients So talk about life and death. Right? I mean, you know, gut health. You have, you know, Mark regular stool or whatever, anti inflammatory.

Dr. William Li: It, like, all comes into sharp focus if you're talking about cancer patients. And it turns out that the quality, and nature of your gut microbiome can make the the distinction between life or death if you have cancer. And I've been talking to oncologists about this cancer docs, and they're just starting to wake up to this idea, but, you know, cancer patients are going to flooding into the clinics every single day. Yeah. Getting chemo, worse, getting antibiotics for various things.

Dr. William Li: Okay. I mean, you Look. You might need antibiotics.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Steroids, which all mess up.

Dr. William Li: But you're not resurrecting. You're not protecting the gut microbiome. And if that makes a difference between life or death, that is something that everyone needs to focus on. So a study out of the MD Anderson Cancer Center looking at people with one type of cancer melanoma, that's spread. So we're talking about metastatic melanoma, bad disease that responds well to immune therapies, not chemo.

Dr. William Li: It's a, Checkpoint inhibitors that actually explained to people listening. A checkpoint inhibitor is, not chemo. It's giving you, an infusion of a medicine that wakes up your own immune system to spot where cancer is. It actually helps your immune system do what it's to do. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Find cancer and scrub it out. Think about the dry erase board. You know, if you've got some notes on there, just scrub it all out to 0 or a clean slate. Yep. I I did for my mom.

Dr. William Li: I I've I've seen many other patients who have actually had a complete response. It turns out not everybody responds. Only about 20% of people have a good response. 80% of people don't, and we're beginning to realize that 80% don't have the right gut microbiome makeup. Now a few years ago, We talked I I remember we had this conversation at Milken about Ackermancia, which, you know, is is everyone's talking about now.

Dr. William Li: And good thing too, because it's important. Yeah. But now we're beginning to realize, other, bacteria also important. It's about 8 bacteria been discovered and dietary fiber matters.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So Yeah. Not.

Dr. William Li: The study that my colleague at MD Anderson, led on showed that if for melanoma, given an immunotherapy, for every 5 to 6 grams of dietary fiber. It decreases mortality from that cancer by 30 Oh, wow. Percent. Wow. Like, you basically I mean, think about if you

Dr. William Li: wanna keep

Dr. Mark Hyman: And by the way, people, you you know, about 8 grams of fiber a day, I was at the Hasatribe in Tanzania, need a 150 grams a day. And so, you know, we need to boost it up to about 50, but you think 5, just five grams reduces by 30%. You and you can eat 25, 30, 50 grams That's a lot of that's a lot of percent reduction.

Dr. William Li: And, you know, you know, you know,

Dr. William Li: you know, you know, you

Dr. William Li: know, just to order it in a in a bottle. Right? I mean, an order in a jar. I mean, like, I know we tend to be enough food. You want it in food because the foods, fruits and vegetables, especially the whole foods, contain the polyphenols that are the prebiotics that work along with the fiber to feed the actual healthy gut bacteria.

Dr. William Li: And you want diversity. So you want, you wanna eat, you know, that whole idea of eating the rainbow is, you know, I always think about the rainbow being a nice, visual allegory, but, really, this is a life and death thing. Like, the more diversity you can put in your plate, the more diversity you're gonna have in your gut, When your gut diversity is really rich, meaning you have a lot of different types of gut bacteria, it pays you back if your health gets paid back by improving your immune system.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. That that's so important because I wasn't gonna highlight that because the the the polyphenol, you sort of whiz by that. But, you know, we think about prebiotics and probiotics for our gut, but there's another incredibly important category of compounds that are called polyphenols, which are all the colorful plant compounds you see and that make your vegetables and fruit the colors they are. And those are medicines. And those seem to be fertilizers for the good bugs.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Now, we were talking about the reduction in cancer from having more fiber. How did that work when you eat nuts? But basically, you can probably explain it better than I can, but there's an important compound that you healthy bacteria make in your gut called butyrate. And butyrate has many effects on the body. It's anti inflammatory.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It keeps your gut lining healthy. It's the fuel for the gut, colonocytes, but it also suppresses P53 oncogene, which is essentially a cancer voting gene, which is why dietary fiber reduces colon cancer and many other cancers. So we actually now know the mechanisms by this word. So it's it's kinda amazing if you're geeky us. It's like holy cow.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We understand how to get from a to z and why it's happening. Not just eat fiber. You're not gonna cancel, but we understand the linkages all the way along.

Dr. William Li: I wanna I wanna unpack something you just said. It's because it's so interesting and important, but also to bring a little bit of clarity to the audience. So you, you, you heard the term oncogene, right? Like, Mark, you just talk about oncogene. An oncogene is a gene, which is made of our DNA, that's associated with causing cancer.

Dr. William Li: And a lot of people, including myself, for many years, thought that and, you know, you've heard of Braca and, and there's a lot of other oncogenes. It turns out that P53 is one of those oncogenes. Yeah. But it turns out that P53 the way that it was were born to have P53, normal P53 is protective against cancer. It's only when P53 is mutated when there's a problem with P53 that it actually sets up for cancer.

Dr. William Li: So P53 normally actually protects us against cancer. It's it's basically It's the bullets in our gun against cancer, fight cancer, normally.

Dr. William Li: Yep.

Dr. William Li: And it's only when it's actually mutated. Now how now let me tell you how powerful this is. There are animals like elephants that rarely get cancer that have more than one copy of P53 Oh, that's interesting. In their genome. And so P53 is protective.

Dr. William Li: Well, we wanna just prevent prevent those mutations that can occur. And this is the real purpose of this antioxidants story that's been floating around for decades. Yeah. Right? So antioxidants are neutralized.

Dr. William Li: These harmful activated atoms that that, you know, are in our environment that we eat sometimes with, ultra processed foods. And those that can actually come in there and basically like a samurai warrior, like slice and dice, like a ninja, slice and dice, or DNA. Yeah. And when your P53 gets slice and dice.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: That's when you run into trouble. So you need to protect it. Polyphenols, can have anti ex oxidant properties, They also activate all of these other protective aspects of our body so that we are more resistant against diseases including cancer.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. It's it's quite amazing. Okay. So we got we got, tea, coffee, water, nuts of all kinds. What else are you bringing with you?

Dr. William Li: You know, I so To Mars,

Dr. William Li: let's say. To Mars, what do you bring me to Mars? You know,

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, look, perishable

Dr. William Li: the things we talked about, you can actually carry with you because they're they're you can put them in a tin.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

Dr. William Li: But actually, you know, fresh, foods, produce is really, really important. And, you know, I, and I know that everybody kind of rolls their eyes when they hear about another story about broccoli or kale. I like to present it as brassica, which is like a gigantic class of green vegetables. Yeah. You can choose a cauliflower, buck choy, you know, broccolini.

Dr. William Li: It's a lot of different types of vegetables you can actually get. Mother Nature is really smart. She actually created the same types of polyphenols and bioactives and put them in all this entire class of vegetables. And and if you have any of those things, know, what are some of my favorite ones? I mean, I I like bok choy.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. Go to an Asian Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Broccoli is my favorite. Broccoli.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. And, you know, by broccolini. Chinese Broccoli is a great one. If you guidelines. Anybody that wants to, change their mind about the you know, same old, same old with broccoli.

Dr. William Li: Just needs to step into an Asian grocery store.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh my god. Yeah. I mean, the thing about Chinese broccoli, I don't know. It's sweet. It's got this, like, sweet flavor.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yep. She's like almost like eating candy, but it's broccoli. It's like so good.

Dr. William Li: Well, and by the way, you know, because I like to cook. So for me, talking about food as in as ingredients is important because people like to nail it down in their heads. But, really, Chinese broccoli What, what do you do with it? First, you gotta wash it, you trim it, you heat up some oil, puts a little bit of garlic slices or chopped garlic in there, and then literally you stir fry it quickly, okay, not with a lot of oil. And then you can add oyster sauce, soy sauce Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: A little chili pepper, whatever you wanna do to really light up your taste buds, food has to taste good. Yeah. Healthy food has to taste

Dr. Mark Hyman: good. Nobody wants to see sawdust and cardboarders. Exactly. Okay. So we got the whole brassica family collars, cabbage, brussel sprouts, Brockley, broccolini, broccolini raw.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, if the list goes on, you can look it up. It's called cruciferous vegetables, brassica, you can find them. We'll link to them in the show notes, but this is something I eat every day, and I try to eat a cup or 2 every day of these food at least. So okay. So you got water, tea, coffee, nuts, brassicas.

Dr. Mark Hyman: What's next? Well, I

Dr. William Li: I,

Dr. William Li: you know, I didn't include water because I'm just saying that you're gonna have to drink water anyway to survive. So I put golfy and tea.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh, coffee and tea. Okay. Coffee and tea, nuts. One category.

Dr. William Li: Crastic. Okay. What else? How many do I have left?

Dr. Mark Hyman: I can do as many as you want. There's no

Dr. William Li: you're sorry.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I think you got

Dr. William Li: you know what? So is this so another thing I personally love. And again, you know, this is my informed opinion. I like this category of food called stone fruit, and it's seasonal. Right?

Dr. William Li: Like, so Pumps, peaches. Yes. Right. And those are very seasonal. And, they grow in trees, and they have a little stone in the middle, like an apricot, But it turns out the flesh, and the color of the of these are very bright.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And they're they actually have a

Dr. William Li: lot of sweetness to them. Rich with polyphenols, and the skin of these fruits also contains something called uric acid, which actually is not only good for your immune system. But uric acid also helps your circulation. So you wanna etch a good blood flow. As we get older, Our blood phone naturally kind of slows down doesn't get as isn't as good as it should be.

Dr. William Li: Mhmm. You know, it's kinda like an old set of piping, a plumbing, So you wanna keep the plumbing working really, really well. That's our circulation. So our solic acid helps us keep good blood flow. It helps us regenerate our blood vessels when we need to.

Dr. William Li: Critical for brain health. So gut health and brain health, it's not just simply the gut brain access through the microbiome. The circulation is also really important.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. I mean, I I I think the problem with that for me, William, is that I love Peaches, but, like, there's, like, maybe a few weeks in the summer where you can get, I really write the this piece that doesn't taste meili and gross.

Dr. William Li: Right. No.

Dr. Mark Hyman: No. You're you're actually right. I love that, but, it I you can get them frozen, which I use.

Dr. William Li: And frozen fruit.

Dr. William Li: But it

Dr. Mark Hyman: doesn't have the skin, usually.

Dr. William Li: Usually not. But, but you can get the polyphenols in it. And that's, by the way, that's another kind of, important practical tip for people, that always ask me, like, well, I can't, I can't get fresh food all the time. Should I just go for the frozen? Is it gonna be, it's gonna lose a lot of the nutrients?

Dr. Mark Hyman: No. It's more.

Dr. William Li: It's got more. More.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Because, people that the crate froze, frozen fruit. They pick the true they pick it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: They wait. That's really right.

Dr. William Li: And they freeze and they pretty pick it when it's super ripe

Dr. William Li: because it

Dr. William Li: kinda tastes great. And they skin it, and they freeze it right away. It's Flash frozen. It's it's got it doesn't degrade. The polyphenols degrade once on a truck.

Dr. William Li: Alright. This doesn't have a chance to even degrade. So I encourage people to get fresh fruit if they can. You know, my only thing is that I wish they would actually pack fresh fruit and something other than plastic bags is now we're beginning to look at microplastics.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Nano plastics, microplastics. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, it's always hard because as fruit is something that degrades really fast.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So they pick it when it's not ripe on tomatoes. They pick them when they're not ripe. So you're you're kinda not getting really the the full explosion in polyphenols. Okay. So we got stone fruits, brassicas, nuts, a coffee and tea.

Dr. William Li: Alright. And berries. And berries. I put berries in there because I'll tell you the amazing thing about berries They are kind of the candy of nature. Right?

Dr. William Li: They're small. They're beautiful. They're sweet. You can eat a bunch of them, I and that's why candies, I just there's a can there are candies that are shaped like berries. Right?

Dr. William Li: So the the the thing about berries, though, is that they are a great source of vitamin C. They've got great antioxidants. They also have these polyphenols that are kick ass. So like And fiber. And dietary fiber as well.

Dr. William Li: Of course. The, the key thing is, you know, people always say, well, is a sugar in, in berries gonna be harmful or fruit gonna be harmful? You know, this is where all, not all calories are the same. Fruit contains so many other good things that along with the natural sugars, which are most for most people, your body can actually tackle. You're getting all these other benefits, that that you wouldn't be getting if you had a can of soda with just added sugar to it.

Dr. William Li: Right? So that's the key thing. Sugar isn't all sugar because the thing that is contained in is gonna be different. So It's

Dr. Mark Hyman: also when you eat the fruit. Like, if you eat it at the end meal as opposed to, at the beginning, it's gonna change your blood sugar, which you're gonna

Dr. William Li: have an impact. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So it's

Dr. William Li: not not important what you eat. It's when you eat too. And and how you eat it as well. Right? Because basically, if you put sugar on top of fruit, which is, you know, kind of an old school way of eating your gravy fruit.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Your peaches and syrup. Right?

Dr. William Li: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So, you know, again, this is why I think when we talk about ingredients, you know, it's easy for us to talk about polyphenols and dietary fiber. But at the end of the day, people eat food in context and together.

Dr. William Li: And so, how we eat what we eat is really, really important. How is we prepare it is also really important. So, like, for fruits, I like to eat it just fresh, right? Yeah. Seasonal and and berries, Mark would be something that I would relive.

Dr. William Li: You know, is

Dr. William Li: a study. You're gonna

Dr. Mark Hyman: need a greenhouse on Mars, basically.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. Well, or desert island. Right? I mean, you know, you need to you need to be able to grow all this stuff. But, But dried fruit, by the way, is also a great way, because you can get dried berries.

Dr. William Li: You can get fried stone fruit. I can't, if you can't get apricots all year round, but you can get dried apricots. Or dehydrated ones. Or dehydrated ones. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That may be less sugar, right? Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: If you get dried fruits, you actually get the skin on it. Right? So, like, if I had to eat 6 apricots whole, I might have difficulty do it on a regular basis. Yeah. But I could easily 6 dried apricots.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. You know, as a snack. So if you want that fruit skin, but that brings up a whole other issue about organic versus non organic. Yeah. Because interesting thing that's been discovered by botanists, people who study plants, not doctors, not the health and wellness people, but botanists have studied polyphenols.

Dr. William Li: And they found out that polyphenols are produced by most plants. The polyphenols are good for our body. Produced by most plants as a wound healing, substance for the plant itself.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Yeah. They're not they're not frost. They're for the plant's own defenses and repair and healing and protection. Right?

Dr. William Li: Right. So what happens is that when you when a plant is growing, yeah, vegetable fruit, tree bush shrub, is growing in its natural state, right? We're totally in a planet now. Don't wanna be add we don't wanna be adding the crap to the planet. We need to kind of let everything restore.

Dr. William Li: We need a pound plan to go back into its homeostatic state REGenerate. To regenerate by itself. Okay. In its that balanced state, plants that we eat, or or parts of the plants, are growing with little insects.

Dr. William Li: It's

Dr. William Li: natural in the environment. And these insects are nibbling on the leaves and stems of these plants. And what they do is they produce polyphenols in response to the nibbling in response to the injury as part of healing. This is what the botnets are saying. Now so if you grow a plant in its natural state without pesticides, gonna make more polyphenols, because it's it's illegal stuff whole

Dr. Mark Hyman: time. Under stress. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Right? If you spray with pesticides, not only do you get the bad stuff on the skin that you can't easily wash off. A study about, at a university of Massachusetts showed that about 20% of pesticides gets absorbed into the skin of an apple. Mhmm. You can't wash that off.

Dr. William Li: It's just in there. So if you're gonna get dried fruit, get the organic kind, and you're gonna get more polyphenols, as a fringe benefit.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I think that's a really incredible thing that most people probably never thought of. It didn't really occur to me, but you're right. When you have plants that coddled like pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers. They don't have a lot of stress. They're not getting attacked.

Dr. Mark Hyman: They're they're basically kinda basically coddled.

Dr. William Li: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: They don't develop any resistance to disease or stress molecules. And those stress molecules that they create are their protection, but there also are protection. Right. That's really the whole crux of what we're talking about here.

Dr. William Li: And by the way, let's let's let's dive a little deeper on that. Not only are they protection for our human cells, but now because they are also prebiotics, they're also protection for our gut bacteria as well.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I was thinking that.

Dr. William Li: I was

Dr. Mark Hyman: like, you Mark not only getting polyphenols for all the other benefits for your biology, but you actually you're helping your microbiome.

Dr. William Li: You know, it's a grand it's a grand slammer, right? Baseball analogy, you know, you hit the ball and then you drive all the runs in. Okay. And that's basically what these polyphenols are, and it all starts with how we treat the plants. And I know you've written about this, you know, sort of like, how do we actually do regenerative agriculture?

Dr. William Li: How do we take care? Look, it's a bigger problem any one person can actually solve, but As a one person, we can make that decision of what we're actually gonna feed ourselves when we go to the market.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Alright. So I wanna, I wanna get into, like, specifics different foods and controversies and things. But first, what else would you bring quickly to Mars if you're going that you absolutely need for optimizing your health and beating disease? I'm not tip my list. I'm I'm curious about your life.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. You know, I I have to say, I'm I'm assuming there's not gonna be any, easily fishable oceans. On another planet.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But you you'll see, you just have it there.

Dr. William Li: Now you

Dr. Mark Hyman: don't have to grow it or have it, you know, grow in there. Bring it there. What what

Dr. William Li: are you eating? You you know, like, I I think food I think finding a source of omega threes.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Absolutely. It

Dr. William Li: is absolutely critical because

Dr. Mark Hyman: all of those next on my list.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. Well, our body doesn't make them. Right? And a lot of foods don't make them either. All the plants do make the precursor to omega threes, but it's hard for most people to eat enough of them to actually get what they need.

Dr. William Li: And so You know, this is one of the instances where I do think that you should eat as much a marino omega threes as you can get your hands on, and you should eat plant based sources Oh, omega threes. But then, you know, if you still have struggling, then you should actually get dietary sup, a good high quality dietary supplement. And the key about omega threes, it's for gut health, good for brain health, good for immune health. It's one of these strange molecules that has been discovered to have virtually no bad effects and almost all good effects. You know, it's it's I'm always cynical and suss it's a little suspicious when something does everything, but omega threes really kinda hit it out of the park.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Alright. So so basically your meal on Mars is grilled, wild salmon, rich in omega threes, and also polyphenol. So that's the yellow color with the nice side of broccoli and, side of green tea to sip along with it and dessert you're having berries and and peaches and nuts.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. Pretty much.

Dr. William Li: And and

Dr. Mark Hyman: I love that.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. You know,

Dr. William Li: and and by the way, you know, we're talking about omega threes. You talked about Hyman, and, it is a common perception. I'm not calling it a misperception. I'm calling it a perception. That you need to have salmon and tuna, really oily fish like macaronanchovies, which not a lot of people eat, but it turns out.

Dr. William Li: And I wrote about this in my book.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I got some right in my bag

Dr. William Li: here. Fish that are not commonly thought as oily fish actually also have omega threes, cod, haddock, flounder, all have omega threes. Sebas is omega threes. By the way,

Dr. Mark Hyman: not I mean, Chilean Sebas is a high in Mercury, so you don't wanna be that one. You mean, you mean

Dr. William Li: Well, Chilean Sebas is actually not really a bass. It's a it's a it's a patagonian. 2

Dr. Mark Hyman: fish. 2

Dr. William Li: fish. Right? Yeah. So it's not even, again, marketing. Right?

Dr. William Li: We get we get tricked on things. But it turns out recent studies have shown that sea bass, particularly the Asian sea bass Yeah. You'd get in a Chinese market that steam it for you with a little bit of ginger Yep. And soy. Actually it's been discovered to not only have, omega threes, but they contain a peptide, a protein that stimulates better circulation and wound healing.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: So again, you know, this is the more we look into our foods. The more we're discovering that some of the things that I'm eating for generations. Yeah. Actually contain good substances that can keep us healthy.

Dr. William Li: That's right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, the Rock of Health Foundation is very much focused on this. They spending $200,000,000 to identify the phytochemicals in the plant kingdom that are regulating herbology and what they do. So it's really it's pretty amazing. Alright. So let's talk about some controversies.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Alright. Dairy. Is dairy good or bad? Because the government says you should be drinking three glass of milk a day as adults and 2 as kids. Or, and you can't get a school lunch if you don't have a mill.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So is that a good idea?

Dr. William Li: Look, you and I actually grew up in an era where we saw television ads on on Mark, and we were taught in grade school about, yeah, the got milk campaign. And then we know better. But I I wanna just sort of think know better.

Dr. William Li: Well, we

Dr. Mark Hyman: know what I know better.

Dr. William Li: But I wanna I wanna I wanna I wanna I wanna, maybe frame things out. As we talk about these controversies, it's sort of like good or bad, good or evil, you know, right or wrong. It depends. Food is never that simple.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It depends. Right.

Dr. William Li: It really depends. And so when it comes to dairy, and I, I think we'll come to this kind of, like, depends over and over again. When it comes to dairy, it depends on what, what, how the dairy is processed, It depends on how what the cows who make the dairy are fed. Mhmm. Right?

Dr. William Li: Like cows that have our free range at grass fed cows actually have omega threes in their milk.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Whereas, you know, factory cows don't or have much lower levels. It also depends on how the milk is treating. Yeah. You know, some milk is turning to cheese or butter. Alright.

Dr. William Li: And some cheeses when they're, fermented with healthy bacteria, become probiotic foods Yeah. That are beneficial. Right? And so and, well, what about yogurt? Yogurt's a dairy product.

Dr. William Li: We know that yogurt is actually associated with lunch 70 that Mark immune health. Yeah. And so, again, this categorical assassination of entire categories of foods, this is, I think, where we're we're getting more sophisticated. Well, what

Dr. Mark Hyman: you're talking about essentially is is focusing on the quality, the sourcing, and the nature of the source of the food you're eating.

Dr. William Li: Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: So you could eat broccoli that's bad for you. You could eat Nope. That's good for you.

Dr. William Li: Right. And, and, you know, in that bad or good category, like soy is a great example. You get a soy filler in a candy bar Alright? And and that's not doing anything for you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Or it may even cause cancer. The isolated breast cancer,

Dr. William Li: or you could actually have soy at a mommy. Yeah. Right? And so, which could be really good for you. So Again, I think that let's not character assassinate, but let's go ahead and define.

Dr. William Li: So some forms of dairy Coming from a good healthy source of dairy is really beneficial. Interestingly, by the way, when when it comes to yogurt, yogurt is considered a healthy food, a probiotic food. It's in the catech same category as Kimchi in sauerkraut and all the same things.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's what the that's kinda what the whole long do you have anything came from them? They the the the, the buggarians and the Georgians

Dr. William Li: and the Georgians and

Dr. Mark Hyman: the Georgians who were living to be very long and living on yogurt every day. And that's

Dr. William Li: The Bulgarian yogas. You know, they they found a bacteria that's actually growing. It's, like, I think it's called

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like, it was says Bulgaria.

Dr. William Li: Right? Yeah. So the the the key thing though is, what Hyman I only recently became convinced that this was true. Once I looked into it. So what what have we done for years?

Dr. William Li: Like, I mean, yogurt's been a healthy food for years, but everybody has been convinced to go to the yogurt section and pick the low fat yogurt. Oh. And usually with a little rim of sugar on the bottom of your fruit. What a mistake. Right?

Dr. William Li: So, basically, what you wanna get is whole fat yogurt that that that it is good, like like Greek yogurt, And the reason is, and this is something that surprised me. When you take the fat out of yogurt, it makes total sense. You're gonna change the nature in the mouth feel and a texture of the yogurt. No fat. The thing's gonna collapse like curdled milk.

Dr. William Li: Alright? Now, what does it do the companies do to sell it back

Dr. Mark Hyman: to your fires?

Dr. William Li: Put asthma emulsifiers.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Which are highly toxic to your gut and cause leaky gut and cancer. And And and, you know,

Dr. William Li: some people say, well, there's not enough evidence. Let me just put it out. Polysorbate 80, you know, you guess whether or not it's good or bad for your body, but you're there's beginning to be a emerging, sea of evidence.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's not

Dr. William Li: good if you're gotten

Dr. Mark Hyman: a microbiome. So And causes leaky gut, which causes inflammation, which causes all diseases and not immunity. Now you've

Dr. William Li: actually undone what you tried to do Yeah. By having a probiotic food that's good for your gut. Now you've inadvertently done something to your gut that actually makes it worse. And so this is why the the the the, you know, you don't have to be a food connoisseur, but you just have to be selective. Smart.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, essentially, your your sweetened yogurt that you get and you think is good for you has more sugar per serving than soda. Yeah. So that's crazy. It's like more sugar per ounce.

Dr. William Li: Always pick up the, the thing of yogurt and and and hold it up and look to see if there's any sugar added. Of course, let me read the ingredient label as well. I mean, that, that thin layer of purple or red or whatever it is might have food coloring in it as well. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And our and our friends, Walter Will and Darsh, Mazafinder, maybe David Ludwig published an article in, New England Journal Medicine called Mark and Health. We're gonna link to it as shown us, but it sort of breaks down the mythology of why we thought milk was good for us. How maybe it's not in some areas And I think we can get more nuance in that. It's like, well, what's the source? Is it, a highly hybridized cow that has a one casing, which is potentially very inflammatory.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It makes you have people have gut issues and and inflammation, or is it a 2 cow, which actually is an ancient sort of airline cow like the Guernsey or Jersey cows or some other cows you see in other countries. That may be better. And is it grown in a feedlot factory farm?

Dr. William Li: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Is it milk while it's pregnant? Is it or is it regenerative? Is it living out in the middle of nowhere and eating grass? And or or is it like in in Sardinia and where I was, which was quite amazing, they know to take the the animals, the goats, and the sheep and to feed them on certain wild plants at different times of the year, not because they're thinking about polyphenols, but they know if they do that, the milk and the cheese tastes better. And so they live a lot.

Dr. Mark Hyman: These are the blue zones where people in very old, and they were eating a lot of milk and cheese, but it was goat cheese. It was sheep cheese, which is a 2 casey.

Dr. William Li: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And then they found that there were these plants that they were eating that actually like Muir Toe and others that actually had high levels of these catechins. So when they measured the catechins in the Mark, of these goats. It's the same or more than you would get in the best green tea.

Dr. William Li: Right. So Well, I mean, this is, like, this is the whole thing, you know, you the whole idea of you are what you eat. You are what your food ate.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. It's the quality of the food. So it's just you have to think of what's the sourcing where did it come from? How was it raised? So many layers But at the end of the day, like, I have goat and sheep, cheese.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I have goat and sheep yogurt and have goat and sheep well, I have actually go away. That's actually how how my protein shake, my healthy aging shake is a go away in the morning. And I I really find that's great. If I have cow weigh, even as grass fed, sometimes I notice that it makes me congested and have symptoms. So there's ways around it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Okay. What about soy? Because that's a big one. Right?

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're you're Chinese and so is a big part of Chinese diet and, you know, tofu and, you know, and, and Tempe and many soy products.

Dr. William Li: Well, let let's put let's put it out there. Process soy is very common in ultra processed foods. It's a filler. It, you know, has got a source of protein that they can put onto the label. It's been used, in, in, lots of different ways by the by the food industry for food for manufactured ultra packaged food products.

Dr. William Li: That's not the soy that's good for you. No. The soy that's good for you is closer to the original soy picked off the ground as soybeans, think edamame. You go to a sushi bar. You have a little steamed umamame or just a bag of it from the frozen section.

Dr. William Li: You can steam it at home. Put a little salt on it. It's a great source of protein. Or if you ferment the soy as they do in Asia to create tofu and tempeh, and there's 100 of different types of naturally fermented soy products. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Okay. Miso, nacho, soy sauce.

Dr. William Li: I mean All of those staple foods, which, add diversity, add different gut bacteria to your system have been taken for been eaten for 100 years, 1000 years, and they're actually delicious. They're they're really part of that Asian diet. And we we now know when you go back into soy, in addition to fiber, in addition to protein, you have, different types of polyphenols, and you have other phytosterals, including genistein in equal. Yeah. These are Mark, really beneficial.

Dr. William Li: They improve your circulation. They can help your body fight cancer by cutting off a blood supply to tumors. They can improve your metabolism by activating your brown fat to burn down harmful white visceral fat. There's all kinds of there's a whole litany of good things that soy products can do, but let's talk about where the mythology of soy being harmful for women come from. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, like, you know, I love this story when Hyman with breast cancer come to see me and say, my doctor said I can't have any soy. What do you say? And I'm They they didn't tell me not to drink, which we know is a huge risk for breast cancer. In other words, just seven drinks a week increases the risk of breast cancer by 40% in women. But they don't say don't drink, but they don't eat soybeans.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Tell us about that. Well, I

Dr. William Li: mean, it listen. It's it's worse when a doctor says it because it it carries this the the idea of of authority to it. But let me let me can we back up?

Dr. Mark Hyman: It'd be your nutrition advice from a doctor. Run the other way. Except if it's people like us have been studying this.

Dr. William Li: We'll we'll

Dr. William Li: be younger generation that actually are interested in themselves. You get, I mean, you gotta be able to you gotta be able to walk the walk before you can talk to talk. And that's the key thing, but here's the big deal about soy. Soybeans do contain a plant, a chemical called a phytoestrogen, phyto meaning plant, estrogen, meaning that it's a category of of a steroid. It's a plant steroid.

Dr. William Li: And so some well meaning individual I'm gonna track it down at some point who it was. But some well meaning individual knew that some human forms of breast cancer, are stimulated by Hyman estrogen. And so when they heard that soy had estrogen, they naturally and again, I I'm ascribing good intention to it saying, Oh, estrogen and plants must be bad for estrogen in humans because it's the same thing. But this is where we step in, you know, as, questioning critical, thinkers, if you look at the, chemical structure of the plant estrogen, phytoestrogen from soybeans, and compare it to the human estrogen.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: It's mother nature's tamoxifen, which oncologists give birth.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I was just gonna say that. It's like, we call this selective estrogen receptor, modifiers. Right? Right. So our serbs, and these are drugs we give to people with cancer Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: To prevent the effect of the estrogen. So I would think of these as, you know, a a sort of a modulator of estrogen in a beneficial way. In fact, it reduces the risk of breast cancer as a serum.

Dr. William Li: Yep. What I can tell you, there are there was a study of 5000 women who are at the highest risk for breast cancer. It's called the Shanghai Women's breast cancer study. That found that those women who ate the most soy, 10 grams or more of soy a day. So that's just the amount of soy protein you get in a tall glass of soy milk.

Dr. William Li: The more that they had, that decreased their risk of mortality by 30% boom. Yeah. Okay. And then and if from when head of breast cancer completely treated, for recurrence, those women who had the most soy, actually had, almost a 30% decrease in recurrence of the cancer as well. And in Asia,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. But this isn't our opinion, folks. This is literally the the literature is so abundant on this that it's not an issue, but it's in the zeitgeist. And so all the oncologists are saying, don't eat soy.

Dr. William Li: Fourteen studies, back to back, analyze, have shown that women who eat more soy live longer And in no case, has a study shown that women who eat soy live less, a less, like, for a shorter period of time. You, you know, look, look, you gotta just look at the evidence. Right? And so this is where urban legend, needs to be differentiated from what's true versus what people would like to think is true.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So so those are controversial things. What about the things we should really be avoiding? Like, in lamatory foods. What are the things that are most harmful to us that we're eating that if we avoided it, we just take that pressure off our health and and and disease states.

Dr. William Li: Well, look, our our body is is is enriched with health defense systems that ward off the harms that we just have. Look, you wake up in the morning, you walk out, in the sunlight or take a walk on a beach, which is good for you, have some exercise, That ultraviolet radiation actually damages your DNA and damages your skin. You I'm not I'm not even talking about going out to layout for a long to get a sunburn. Yeah. But you get into a car and you're inhaling the fumes when you're filling up the gas tank.

Dr. William Li: Like, that's also toxins. So I

Dr. Mark Hyman: hope my breath What am I doing? Like Well, you know, as a practice, how long can I hold my brows?

Dr. William Li: You know, I always ask people, I said, do you stand upwind or downwind from the ask the dead tank. And people people are like, don't don't know why I'm asking.

Dr. William Li: Like And

Dr. Mark Hyman: now they have those things where you can't, like, make it lock and walk away. So I I I actually usually, you jam something in there and, like, I walk away.

Dr. William Li: I walk I walk I I I stand upwind, so I don't have to dispel it. And I walk away from me exactly as you do. But here's the thing. Our body is pretty resilient and and defends itself, swash buckles against just the, just the harms of everyday living. And so when you talk about inflammatory food avoid, it's, it's really goes to the, idea that why should you stress your body out more by making a conscious decision?

Dr. William Li: To eat something that's going to provoke more inflammation in your body that's already fighting against inflammation just to be alive. Why would you wanna do that? Like, put more stress in your body. Now, look, anybody wants to eat a bag of chips or some kind of snacks, like the, like neon colored snacks that we all grew up with. Okay.

Dr. William Li: Artificial, preservatives, coloring, flavoring. You know, there's nothing good about pussing

Dr. William Li: on pusses.

Dr. Mark Hyman: By the true definition of food. Right.

Dr. William Li: Right. Snek. Alright. Ultra Processes, snack. You know that's not gonna be good for you.

Dr. William Li: If you ate it once in a while, you know, your body will re will be resilient. It'll bounce back. But how many people do this on a regular basis. And what that does, those inflammatory foods that you would categorically ultra processed foods, snack foods that you'd find in the middle aisle, very Hyman, those, and also a lot of those candies that we grew up in the Halloween trick or treat, you know, which you put in your pillow sack, you know, or or the pumpkin, That actually those are packed with things that, that spark inflammation. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Not something you wanna be

Dr. Mark Hyman: able to regularly expose yourself to. So the process food category, I think, is becoming one of the most concerning areas. And I think it's the new it's the new smoking. I think we're understanding How do we define foods? And and there's, you know, debates about how do you classify foods and the classification?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Is it perfect? Is weather better systems? But at the end of the day, we know what we're talking about. We're talking about industrial agricultural products, corn, soy, wheat, and some dairy, and and how that's processed, broken down altered chemically deconstructed to be reassembled in the things that actually aren't food. And I'm looking up the definition here of food in the dictionary, and it's very clear.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It it basically means any nutritious substance that people

Dr. William Li: or animals eat or drink or

Dr. Mark Hyman: that plants absorb in order to maintain This is the key part in order to maintain life and growth. So by the definition of food, Ultra Processes, burritos, junk, These are not actually food because they don't maintain life and growth. They do the opposite. That's right. They impede life and they impede health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And the impede growth.

Dr. William Li: They slow you down. Right. I mean, and and by the way, then you actually take the ingenious food chemistry to add things to them that addict our brain to the flavor or the taste to it. And now you've actually, diverted the purpose of food. For life and growth.

Dr. William Li: Right? So this is what you're talking about. So, I mean, I think soy is perfectly safe to eat, if it's in its whole or naturally fermented forms as they do in Asia. Mhmm. The issue of his breast cancer is a risk, increasing breast cancer risk is a complete urban legend.

Dr. William Li: Not something that people need to know. Obviously, some people have soil allergy. So you always gotta actually, by the way, this is true for dairy as well. And any other controversial food would talk about, It there's a real individual component to it because every individual is going to react

Dr. William Li: to any specific food, differently,

Dr. William Li: even broccoli. Yeah. You know, So, hey, listen to your body. That's the other thing that we've kind of gotten away from.

Dr. Mark Hyman: 100%. And our

Dr. William Li: busy society is we've just, like, learned to drown out our own, sensation, you know, that, that listening to how you feel. 100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Interesting. Yeah. I mean, the whole idea that that, you know, we we are are eating these foods that are driving disease is or food like substances, not actually food. It is something that is probably one of the most important issues of our time. We talk about climate change.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We talk about politics and war and all these things. And this gets second shift, and no one's really talking about it. But what's what's encouraging to me, William, as I see now in the media in the press and in the zeitgeist, this concept that people are understanding that ultra processed food is the thing that is causing most deaths in the world today. And that we we and it's an easy it's an easy fix. Like, if if you don't recognize what's on the label, like, don't eat it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Minimally processed food is fine. You know, a can of tomatoes, a can of sardines, you know, like, salmon jerky, you know, I can have salmon jerky in my bag. I can't have a can of mackerel. That's okay. That's just processed.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? It's in a can. It's altered in some way, but it's very minimally processed. But what we're talking about is these deconstructed science projects that are Franken Foods that are ubiquitous that are now 60 to 65% of our diet, 67% of kids diets, and they're responsible for 11,000,000 deaths a and there are things that we should be addressing. And I was just in, Argentina and Chile and South America.

Dr. Mark Hyman: They label their food. They, like, it's like black box warning. It's like a cigarette box. You know, it says, this will you, don't eat it. And at least at least people know now.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? And they don't really know. So one of the things we talked about, I wanna get into now a little bit is is concept of the root causes of health. And in your books, you talk about foods that activate and deactivate our bodies 5 key defense systems. And I would say you could also call them the root causes of health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: What are these systems on our body that if they're optimally functioning create health. And if they're not, create disease. So one of those defense systems quickly and and and and how can these systems help maintain our health and heal us when we get sick, and what should we be eating to kind of nail these 5 health defense systems that you talk about? And you have a 5 by 5 by 5 plan. So kinda take us through that.

Dr. William Li: So 5 health defense systems are our birthright. Our health defenses were hardwired in our body when we're still in our mom's womb. So dad's sperm, mom's aid, we were just the ball of cells. Our health defenses started there. They started forming.

Dr. William Li: They start and their health defenses actually Mark our circulation, we call it angiogenesis, how the body grows and maintains blood vessels, sixty thousand miles in an adult, delivers oxygen nutrients to every single organ, every single cell in your body.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Now how many times around the

Dr. William Li: earth is that? 60twice. If you were to pull out all your blood vessels, a lot of Hyman, and then inform a ball

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's amazing.

Dr. William Li: Inside every single human. So you can imagine how important that is to to be healthy and

Dr. Mark Hyman: not to be COVID is messing up. Don't have time to get into all that, but we talked around a previous podcast, but that is Ripping up your circulation. Ripping up your circulation. It damages the lining of sixty thousand miles. And we we have a podcast that we talked about that on.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So I'm gonna link back to that and people can find in the show notes. But yeah.

Dr. William Li: So that so we wanna protect that circulation. That's 1st health defense. 2nd health defense, is actually our stem cells because when that ball of cells that we started out as started to grow a face in to grow arms and legs, and our organs started to form before we were born in at 9 months, we were all composed of stem cells, and we had so many stem cells that form who we each individually are that we had, we, we had an an overage. There's more than we needed. So when we were born, all the extras themselves that no longer needed to be used to form us actually got packed away It's kinda like, you know, extra supplies.

Dr. William Li: Yeah. And the stem cells that we were born with get packed into our bone marrow, packed into our skin, even packed into our heart, into our body fat. And they're they just sit there ready to regenerate us from the inside out. So this is a New definition of healing that hasn't been talked about

Dr. Mark Hyman: a lot is

Dr. William Li: our stem cells heal us from the inside out. I'm not talking about going to the strip mall to get your knee injected. That's not really ready for primetime as somebody who's been involved with developmental therapeutics for stem cell therapy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Not ready for primetime yet. However, What is ready for primetime is what we were born with. Our stem cells continues to regenerate. How do we know we regenerate? Our hair grows back, our skin grows back, our gut grows back.

Dr. William Li: By the way, surgeons know this. If you cut off 2 thirds of your liver It grows back. It grows back over 2 years. Yeah. If you cut off the tip of your lung, the tip will grow right back.

Dr. William Li: We do

Dr. Mark Hyman: Contact a salamander when cough a limb.

Dr. William Li: Well, we can't do a limb yet, but we can't do many other, organs. We just don't do it very, very quickly. So but that's an internal health as a health defense that we don't feel, and we don't see. Okay. We don't see our stem cells, but they're there.

Dr. William Li: Alright.

Dr. William Li: By the

Dr. William Li: way, if you cut yourself, paper cut or you scrape your knee. And, you know, if your scab comes off, you see all this bright red, bubbly stuff underneath the scab, Those are your blood vessels Mark growing. They're also regenerating 5 per 2 to 5% of those cells that are, that are in underneath the scab are stem cells that are regenerating that

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right.

Dr. William Li: That wound, that tissue right there. That's your second health offense. And and just like the circulation, there, there are foods that you can eat for your circulation and your stem cells that boost it. And the and the idea that we can eat foods that stimulate our generation to me is one of the most mind blowing exciting things that are out there. And one of the best foods is actually cacao, plant based food, cacao.

Dr. William Li: It's actually used to make chocolate. Yeah. Right? So dark chocolate, obviously. So

Dr. Mark Hyman: Wait a minute. This is a big one. Chocolate regenerates stem cells.

Dr. William Li: Cocoa. Cacao.

Dr. William Li: Cacao.

Dr. William Li: So the plant based polyphenols, the flavonols in this plant based food. So, and if you've you were in South America, so you were in the neighborhood.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We let it crack open big thing.

Dr. William Li: We ate

Dr. Mark Hyman: that we ate the thing raw

Dr. William Li: is amazing. So so let's, let's, let's demystify. It says you and I both know. Look, if you if anybody has heard about, you know, think about chocolate is made, dark chocolate is made for all chocolates that has some cacao in it, except for white chocolate. Cacao actually comes from a plant.

Dr. William Li: It's a football like shape thing Yeah. Could be brown or yellow. Yeah. When you shake it, you can feel something inside it rattling around. When it's ripe, you cut it open.

Dr. William Li: There's all these little chestnut like looking things inside it. The each each nut, each bean actually has a little white rim Yeah. Of kind of sweet sour, fruit. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's around me. You can eat it.

Dr. William Li: Oh, it's delicious. Yeah. Absolutely delicious. You can mail order the can call it right right to your home. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Okay. From places like Miami, I think there's a place that sells it. And then it's that nuts, the seed in there, the bean Yeah. That actually is dried in fermented.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But it's a chocolate bean.

Dr. William Li: And and and and and then and then roasted. And and that turns into what is the core ingredient that goes into making chocolate, but and dark chocolate has more of it. The flavonols Yeah. The collipinos are in that bean. It's plant based.

Dr. William Li: You know

Dr. Mark Hyman: what a great hack is?

Dr. William Li: What?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Cocoa NIMs.

Dr. William Li: Okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Roasted should they basically kinda break up the cocoa bean after roasted into these little nims and you can put them on anything. You can eat them as a snack. They're a little bitter, but you they're really amazing, and they're just pure cocoa. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Okay. So studies have been done. To show that the flavonols in cocoa stimulate stem cells to come out of your bone marrow, like bees in a beehive, in your bloodstream, and they go out and they find wherever needs to be repaired. If it's in your heart, they'll fix it. If it's in your liver, they'll fix it.

Dr. William Li: If it's your skin, they'll fix it. And so we can eat Foods like high flavonelcoco in order to be able to actually get the stem cells to work a little bit better. Now how do we know this this actually function works in people. Well, clinical studies have been done with high flavonol cocoa to show that in, like, men who are in their sixties with heart disease, they could actually eat just have two cups of dark chocolate hot cocoa a day for a month. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: And they doubled the amount of stem cells in their bloodstream and their circulation improved measurably. And then, what's even more important and impressive is that there was a study called the cosmos study that was completed recently that showed that, eating a high flavonal cocoa decreases the risk of cardiovascular death. Yeah. Right? Over a

Dr. William Li: period.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like a stat.

Dr. William Li: Like a statin. Exactly. Except except maybe the by by eating the same thing that you used to make chalk

Dr. William Li: So

Dr. William Li: we're not telling people to go out to have chocolate, which is a confection.

Dr. William Li: There's got

Dr. William Li: a lot of sugar and all kinds of other stuff in it. Yeah. But it's the stuff underlying it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Underneath it. Yeah. It's not actually I met Frank Mark once who is the chairman of Mars, the candy company. I'm thinking I'm gonna have this guy's prop, like, selling junk food, and he's gonna He's like, oh my god, Mark Hyman. I love your stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like, food is medicine. Food is medicine. He was like going on and on about all the piping and all we're gonna sell on it.

Dr. William Li: Mark has have got a big research program, on this as well. So, listen, I, I think it's really great that the smartest food companies are paying attention to the things that people like you and I are talking about and finding ways to invest in doing more research. Look, you know, we're not telling people you gotta go, you know, pick everything yourself to eat it. You don't have to go to the farmers market. If one day we can get the food industry to evolve from making only ultra processed foods to making healthier food,

Dr. Mark Hyman: better food,

Dr. William Li: and and taking taking the planet along the way Yeah. Then we all win.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Then we all win. Okay. So what are the next health defense systems? Okay. So

Dr. William Li: circulation stem cells. We talked a lot about this already. Your gut microbiome is the third one. 39,000,000,000,000 bacteria in our gut, not just in our gut, but it's also on our skin. All the orifices will have some defenses.

Dr. William Li: Sure.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's not 40 or 39 Yeah.

Dr. William Li: It was, like, hard to hard to talk. More more than in this more than in a clear sky, you can see stars. But, you know, a lot of people don't know this. And I I only learned this in the last year, where what part of your gut the most of the microbiome actually lives? In the

Dr. Mark Hyman: large intestine.

Dr. William Li: In the large intestines, which is the colon, think about the intestines as a forty foot tube. It's along with the school bus, alright? And you got the front end, which is actually your and then the mouth is microbiome as well.

Dr. William Li: Sure.

Dr. William Li: Healthy mouth bacteria look like it protects your brain against dementia. Alright. Like Alzheimer's disease now linked to unhealthy mouth bacteria, gum disease. Mhmm. But the but when we talk about gut health, we were usually talking about what's in the colon, which is the the last several feet of the gut before the tail pipe.

Dr. William Li: Right? Okay. So, now within the colon, the colon goes, up on one side of the body, ascending colon, goes across your body, Left to right. Okay. Right right to left, and then it comes down, and then, and then it actually empties out.

Dr. William Li: It turns out there's, most of the gut microbiome lives in a part of the colon called the,

Dr. Mark Hyman: the bottom of it.

Dr. William Li: The bottom of the, of the ascending part of the colon is kind of a baggy Mark of, of, of the colon. It's where the appendix is. And most of the gut bacteria live right there And in fact, we're beginning to realize that the appendix probably plays a role to help the gut microbiome stay healthy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's not just the vestigial organs you'll need to take out. You you don't need to dig it out. Your tonsils, you don't need to dig

Dr. William Li: them out.

Dr. William Li: You don't remember when we were taught to some medical school, the one org you don't need to see the It's totally not true when the tossers as well. You know, the the fact of the matter is that some people are beginning to think that the appendix is like the pez dispenser for healthy gut bacteria to reload.

Dr. Mark Hyman: To really know what Pizz is. That was somebody that's a kid. You basically had this little pest thing with a character on top and you pull it back and this little candy pops out. Exactly. It's like, oh my god.

Dr. William Li: The appendix like defense dispenser. So you wanna keep your appendix, but the, but the listen, I took part in a gut microbiome transplant. FDA approved for a cancer patient. We can't give the name or any details on it, but I will tell you, we were trying to help a cancer patient who had been bombarded with antibiotics and steroids, was not responding to immunotherapy. Mhmm.

Dr. William Li: He did better gut bacteria in order to be there a health health defense Okay. And so we got stool, from a super responder of, who really responded well, had healthy poop. Healthy poop. Okay. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: The, you know, kind of like navy seal level got back to bio. Okay. And and, with the gastroenterologist, I was, I was scrubbed in. We actually were able to put through colonoscopy, put the colonoscopy, colonoscope back in right down to the Seacom. And then, and then, and then, and just injected in a syringe, the healthy microbiome right where where right into the sequence.

Dr. William Li: Right. That's where most of it lives. So that gut bacteria talks directly to your immune system, which is also inside the wall of the gut. It lowers inflammation. It creates not only butyrate, as you mentioned, but other short chain fatty acids, acetate, propreanate, and probably more things that we haven't yet discovered yet.

Dr. William Li: It it text messages your brain. You know, the gut brain access, a lot of people talk about it as if it were a simple thing. This is the beginning of a new understanding of our human nature. Right? If the brain is a black box, the, the, the gut is also black bucks because we're beginning to understand that the biggest nerve coming out of our brain called the vagus nerve, which comes down the side of our neck and then like a horsetail kind of ramifies all throughout our gut that that that nervous system communicates from the brain down to our gut.

Dr. William Li: Our brain talks to our gut bacteria.

Dr. William Li: A 100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And

Dr. William Li: then our tire ago, get their SMS or their brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman: They're listening. They're listening.

Dr. William Li: They're like, they're listening. They're like, you know what? I'm gonna talk back to the brain upstairs, and so they text message our brain back and forth

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: All over again. So The bottom line is how we treat our gut defense. Not always good for immunity lowers inflammation, helps us heal wounds faster because I did research on this, but also helps us with our mental Well-being, mental health, health, depression, you know, amazingly autism seems to be linked to the gut microbiome.

Dr. Mark Hyman: A 100%. I treated so many patients with autism. And the first place we started was fixing the gut, and they all have stinky smelly, sticky poops. They all have gut issues. And somehow the psychiatrist just ignored, oh, I don't know what that is.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Just whatever. And it's the key to helping them. I had a kid kid once his autism. He had giardia. Well.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And we've cleared out his yard. Yeah. Fixes microbiome, and the kid woke up.

Dr. William Li: Well, so let but let's but let's let's let's take that. And by

Dr. Mark Hyman: the way, just so people listening, it doesn't mean that all cases of autism are caused by that. And I think this is really a fundamental flaw in medicine, which is that we think if if you have a disease Hyman, then the same treatment applies to everybody with that disease name. There is no such thing as autism. There's autism. There's Alzheimer's's.

Dr. Mark Hyman: There's diabetes is.

Dr. William Li: There, you know what? And cancers.

Dr. Mark Hyman: There's breast cancers. There's not breast

Dr. William Li: cancer. Exactly. And and by the way, you know, you just mentioned something important. By treating the giardia, the giardia was not that cause of, but the giard had disturbed the healthy defense system, the gut microbiome, so was unable to do all those complex things Yeah. So we're just starting to be discovered.

Dr. William Li: So that's the 3rd health defense system. Obviously, we talked a lot about prebiotics, probiotics, that actually improve for health. Yeah. Poly females. 4th health defense system is our DNA itself.

Dr. William Li: And the thing is that, you know, our DNA, it's about 3 feet of our DNA wound up into every single small cell in our body, and it's our genetic instructions, but most of our DNA is not instruction. Most of our DNA is actually coding for how to actually protect our health. Yeah. Right? But the part that we understand that codes for proteins is, you know, making making pieces of ourselves.

Dr. William Li: But the regulation of how the software Yeah. Of our bodies, the rest of the DNA. And so what we realize is that when you actually allow that software to break properly, your health is pretty good. And your body needs to protect all that. When you actually insults that or try to mutate that or damage that coding DNA.

Dr. William Li: It's basically like downloading viruses onto your laptop. Okay. It's running a little slower. Oh, now it's like it's it's it's frizzen out. Like, you can damage your DNA and ruin your body's ability to protect its own health.

Dr. William Li: And this is where antioxidants really come in to protect our DNA help our DNA build itself back up. So, like, if if you have a damaged DNA, that's no problem. By the way, DNA damage happens every single day. Yeah. You know?

Dr. William Li: Mean, just a natural part of

Dr. Mark Hyman: 100,000 hits, death by a 1000

Dr. William Li: cuts. 10,000 hits toward DNA every single day. Our body can fix it. But when it misses a repair, that is where at the beginning of the trouble for, that can lead to cancer and other problems can occur. So we wanna have foods That's our that's another defense system.

Dr. William Li: And I

Dr. Mark Hyman: and I wrote a lot about this in my book, Young forever. These are the hallmarks of aging. One of them is is this regulated DNA repair. And we have a whole built in repair army that's activated by Sirtuins, and we know various things activates Sirtuins from NAD plus to various phytochemicals or spiritual. So there's a whole way we can learn how to activate our DNA repair system.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So we're just going through to a high level, but This is That's right. It's all heat to be disease. It's a great Hyman.

Dr. William Li: We talked about, circulation stem cells, gut microbiome DNA. And the last one is probably, you know, save the best for laugh. Well, this is not really a best, but it's powerful. And that's our immune system. And if you think about it, our immune system had to evolve from the time that we crawled out of a swamp because the earliest form of life lived surrounded in an ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, fungi.

Dr. William Li: You ever look in pond water, you know, under the microscope is

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Pond. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: Scum. Right? Okay. And so, from the earliest time that we evolved as a LA form on this planet, we had to have some form of immune defense to protect us against the creepy crawlies that kinda might get into us. Right?

Dr. William Li: So it's not just about COVID. So we're reminded about everything. And this immune system protects us from invaders on the outside of the body like bacteria and viruses, but it also protects us from invaders inside the body, like cancer cells that are just, abnormal mutated cells, they betray us, and our immune system is like the police force that conducts surveillance. The cops are gonna be to look for mutant cells and and put someone back in the paddy wagon and takes them away. Kills those little cancer cells.

Dr. William Li: So good immunity is good health. Bad immunity is bad health. It's pretty simple. And what something that gets gets, gets confused a lot is is inflammation. Everyone thinks that inflammation is bad.

Dr. William Li: Here's what I say. Inflammation is part of our immune system. It's sort of the immediate, part of our immune system. If you cut yourself, your immune system springs in action, make sure bacteria are killed wherever the wound is, the injury is. Alright?

Dr. William Li: That's inflammatory cells. So it's good, and then it shuts off when it's no longer needed, and then healing occurs. But inflammation becomes bad when it doesn't go away. Yeah. Right?

Dr. William Li: It's the campfire that is keeping warm.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Very good to our wild fire.

Dr. William Li: That turns into a wildfire burns the entire forest down.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Exactly. So that's amazing. That's such a beautiful map of the root cause of health. And None of those things you talked about where things are really focused on as ways of treating disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But the key is how do you keep those healthy and and and basically those foods that you took to Mars with you. And second is, how do you actually understand that there the key to reversing disease, to beat disease. So as you just discussed, and I think this is such a revolutionary idea that we can actually have these built in repair, regenerative renewal, healing mechanisms that are already hardwired into our biology that we really never learned about in medical school that we know a lot about, and we know a lot about how to activate these food lifestyle, diet, various phytochemicals, and supplements, avoiding toxins. So all these ways we can modulate this healing system. And I think this is really what we're now understanding as the key to increasing our health span or life span this is what I wrote about on Young forever.

Dr. Mark Hyman: This is really the fundamental frame shift in medicine from focusing on disease to focusing on health and understand why we deviate from health and how do we create health through understanding these 5 basic defense systems, and there's there's other ways of talking about it. Talking about how Marx of aging Everybody's talking about the same stuff. You just have a different frame of it. But this is so critical, and your work is just so important, William, to kinda help us think about this to make it simple, fun, easy. And also talk about the dose, which is more important.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So if food is medicine, okay, well, which drug? What's the dose? What's the frequency? How long do you take it? Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: So it's like, it's that nuance. Not like just eat broccoli. It's like, okay. You need this much. I think one of the foods we didn't remember to talk about that I would have probably taken to Mars is mushrooms.

Dr. William Li: One of my favorites.

Dr. Mark Hyman: One of the different mushrooms. So here.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So just to close, can you kinda walk us through what Doctor. Li eats and what he takes as supplements every day to eat to beat disease and to increase your health span on your life span.

Dr. William Li: Okay. First of all, I recognize my body's already hardwired to stay healthy and to reverse disease every single day. And I think this is an important message is that You know, our body's already doing its job every single day. I I try not to actually take down my health defenses. And whenever, I can, every decision I can make to shore up to boost my health defenses, raise my shields, I try to do it.

Dr. William Li: It's just Mark. You know? It's, locking the door before you leave the house, turning off the stove before you go out. I mean, it's a it's a basic defensive mechanism. When I make a decision, I I it becomes second nature to me.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right.

Dr. William Li: Now, I strongly believe and by the way, someone said, it's one thing about this revert disease reversal thing. You know, we used to think that you could not reverse heart disease. You could not reverse cancer, but we're seeing it today. You can.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I see all

Dr. William Li: the time. Done with the help of food. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: If you know how.

Dr. William Li: If you know how Yeah. And you know, we're not saying, and you and I are not saying that this is a done deal. We know everything there is to know about it. There's a magic bullet to it. But this is where we're going.

Dr. William Li: As a health healthy for forward society. We're beginning to figure this stuff out, and we can we can all take simple steps to move it. So what do I eat every single day. I look at getting my nutrients in through eating mostly plant based foods. I wanna get enough protein wanna get into fiber, I wanna get my polyphenols in.

Dr. William Li: And the choices are so myriad if you go to the market, to get stuff that I enjoy eating. So in my books, I have, like, hundreds of lists of So it's

Dr. Mark Hyman: diversity too. Right?

Dr. William Li: Diversity is so important. You know, like, listen.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So within each category, a lot of diversity. Right? Times of diversity, fat, carbs. Right. Phytochemicals, fiber.

Dr. Mark Hyman: There's a lot of diversity where you can kinda mix and match

Dr. William Li: mix and match. And by the way, this is what 2 of the healthiest societies, in the world have done in in Mediterranean society and Asian societies, They have such diversity in their repertoire of recipes. And people don't eat the same thing every single day. There's no dog kibble you know, that everyone's actually feeding themselves. It's seasonal.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right. Right.

Dr. William Li: It's day to day.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Okay. Take us through what you had, like, maybe yesterday or the day before. When you're at home cooking, what is it like an average day look for you.

Dr. William Li: You know, I like to have legumes as a core. Yeah. So beans, and and spices and herbs to light it up I like to have, leafy greens

Dr. William Li: of

Dr. William Li: different types. I, I told you, I love, I love bok choy. I want mushrooms as well. You know, recently I cooked a Chinese New Year dinner where I got fresh shitake mushrooms. Kind of have the little, hatch marks on the top.

Dr. William Li: And I, and I just sliced them in a half. I I, and I, and I sauteed them, with some soy sauce, and I, I found some shrimp paste, to light them up. Yeah. And they put a little bit of chili, pepper in there as well. It just created this incredible umami taste to light up the mushrooms.

Dr. William Li: You're making mushrooms.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Mushrooms should take

Dr. William Li: motion would contain beta d glucan, which is really good for gut health and physical gut bacteria, but also, lights up immune system.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Anti cancer.

Dr. William Li: And it's got anticancer approach. And I wanna make one thing distinction between culinary mushrooms. And medicinal mushrooms. Yeah. Because mushrooms are so popular now.

Dr. William Li: People are thinking, well, you know, Rishi and turkey tail and all the cordyceps and all that kind of stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You can't cook with those.

Dr. William Li: You most societies don't cook with them. There are there is an overlap of culinary mushrooms and medicinal mushrooms.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And what

Dr. William Li: are they? There's 2 of them. Shataki mushrooms.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And my tongue.

Dr. William Li: And my tongue. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Those are the ones I use all the time.

Dr. William Li: I eat those all the time. I love them.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: By the way, a little pro tip you, if you're getting my taki, which is you'll find from my taki. They're they're all they're a hint of the woods. They're they're forage, you know, and some of them are huge.

Dr. William Li: Yeah.

Dr. William Li: They're they're delicious. They're, like, you can substitute a steak Yeah. Put my talking in a grill. It's amazing. But if you get my talkie from the forager, I I can I really urge you everyone who tries to do this?

Dr. William Li: To clean it really well, really well, because it comes out of the woods. And it's a kind of a compact mushroom y thing. That's got a lot of little, little frills and things in it. But salamanders like to live in them. So what you wanna do is to make sure

Dr. Mark Hyman: Make sure there's no salamanders.

Dr. William Li: You're salamanders. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Wouldn't be a little extra produce not gonna kill you. I love that. Yeah. It's so good. And what about supplements?

Dr. Mark Hyman: What do you take?

Dr. William Li: You know, people always say, well, doctor Li, you're you're you're into food as medicine, so you probably don't take supplements. Right? Wrong. I do take supplements, and and I, but I take it in a very specific way. Supplements, I define as topping off topping up whatever you would

Dr. William Li: not normally.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Supplement and not a replacement.

Dr. William Li: Supplement Hyman not a replacement. So I like to get everything I can get out of Whole Foods. I like to prepare them myself, so I know exactly what's in I try to avoid ultra processed food so I get the good stuff and not the bad stuff. But there are some things that are just hard to eat enough of. Right?

Dr. William Li: Omega threes. Is one of those things. You know, I, I travel around. I don't cook fish all the time. Yeah.

Dr. William Li: I don't eat Chia seeds all the time. So listen. So omega threes, at the dose that there's is really good for you. You, you really need to eat a lot of it. So I take omega 3 supplements.

Dr. William Li: Vitamin D. Yeah. Deficient in a lot of people. You know? So that butter would be

Dr. Mark Hyman: a lot of herring where you have to have, like, 10 servings of protein mushrooms, which I wouldn't mind doing because when I go to Italy, I ordered giant plates porcini mushrooms because you can't get them here, and I just ordered that's what I have for dinner. It's like a giant plate, a porcini mushrooms. It's delicious. Right?

Dr. William Li: Yeah. By the

Dr. William Li: way, here's a little pro tip on mushrooms. You know, if you get the lowly white button mushroom that you can get out any anywhere, it's got some, it's got some vitamin d in it, but do you know, like, how our skin gets vitamin d? You gotta exposed to sunlight. If you want your mushroom to create more vitamin d, you slice it, put it on a plate and stick it in front of the window with the sunlight coming through it. Wow.

Dr. William Li: You'll actually get the mushroom do a couple of

Dr. Mark Hyman: hours of mushrooms of sun tan. Okay. That's a new wash out

Dr. William Li: of sun tan. We

Dr. Mark Hyman: get more

Dr. William Li: vitamin d. I love that. It's really great. Right? Yeah.

Dr. William Li: And so these these are look like culinary tips. Like, you gotta make pretty fun and useful. Okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So So vitamin d fish oil.

Dr. William Li: Vitamin d fish oil. And then I do take some probiotics, but here's how I think about my probiotics. I look for human evidence and human studies. Yeah. Alright?

Dr. William Li: And I, I, and I, I'm a researcher, so I'm a little I have an unfair advantage because I'm looking at this stuff all the time. But when I see that lactabasas rooterite, for example, is good for oral microbiome and good for lower microbiome. And I've done a research show. It improves internal healing. It actually caused, you know, helps the brain secrete oxytocin, which actually improves your mood.

Dr. William Li: Like, you know what? I'm going for some of that. So I do some lactobuses for it because the other natural sources sourdough bread, I enjoy sourdough. I don't eat it all the time. It's in parmesanovigiano cheese in Italy when they actually make the real parmesanov wheels.

Dr. William Li: They use lactepacis food. Right? That's too much. I I enjoy parmesanov cheese, but much salt, too much has saturated fat. I'm not gonna eat it all the

Dr. Mark Hyman: time.

Dr. William Li: But you know what? The the l rooterai, I'll I take the children's chewable version of it. Interesting. Because I wanna also treat my gut microbiome. It fights gum disease and it kills a bacteria that causes cavities.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Really?

Dr. William Li: Right. So double hit. The acromancy we we talked about before. It happens to be one of the, guardian gut bacteria.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Pretty important.

Dr. William Li: There's a

Dr. William Li: lot we don't know about it, but we do know enough that, like, Gosh, why wouldn't you take it? Because, and by the way, I've actually done research looking at gut microbiome. I know that the acromancy you buy actually take in your gut. Like, I'm in able to triple the amount Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: In the gut. It's important. I mean, I and I honestly, I do a lot of stool testing, and they used to call me doctor C. Every poop. And I and I looked at Ackermancy on everybody, and it's amazing how many, you know, people have lower permancy and particularly the sickest patients tend to be the ones with a lot of immune disease with cancer, heart disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's quite amazing.

Dr. William Li: It's a correlation right now. But it's a pretty compelling correlation. And if we and if you go back and reflect on what we've been talking about, our gut bacteria communicates to our brain, communicates to our immune system communicates our inflammatory system, helps us heal probably many other things that we just haven't uncovered. Yeah. You know, anyone listening to this, What you gotta realize is that the the medical researchers, like me and others that are doing the hard work peeling back the layers of the onion so to speak to figure things out.

Dr. William Li: We're we're we're doing more work. We're excavating this whole field of food as medicine every single day.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We're not We

Dr. William Li: haven't covered up the whole tyrannosaurus skeleton yet, but it's coming.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's infinite. It's infinite.

Dr. William Li: And it's it's super interesting for us to do this, but we don't have the complete, answer yet. And the more we uncover, the more questions get, that we have, and we're the more discoveries we're having about just how good our food as medicine actually is for us.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I believe. And I think that's a great stack, vitamin d, fish oil, and, and probiotics. It's I take those as well. I think it's really part of the core way you can activate your defense systems, your healing system, your repair system. So your work is just unbelievable, William.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Everybody needs to check it out. You've got so many resources. Your book eat to be disease, eat to be through diet, or best sellers are fantastic. You have a course called eat to be disease course, elevate your metabolism, masterclass. It's a free, I think a free masterclass.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yep. DoctorwilliamLi.comforward/freedashmasterclass. And we'll link to all these in the show notes. So his social media is Doctor William Li, l I, and you can get him on everywhere. We can find social media.

Dr. Mark Hyman: He's just a wealth of knowledge, information, a brilliant guy, good guy, a good friend, and everybody should check out his stuff. Thanks for being on the doctor of choice podcast again. Again. And you're gonna be back right now. I mean, I'm more than talking about

Dr. William Li: Thanks very much. It's always a real pleasure. I mean, look, it's Mark, it's a it's a lonely world for people that are really trying to communicating, taking a message out. And I think we both have the submission of really trying to scale out the impact that the simple things can have a huge impact on individual lives.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Amen. Thanks for listening today. If you love this podcast, please share it with your friends and family. Leave a comment on your own best practices on how you upgrade your health and arrive wherever you get your podcasts and follow me on all social media channels at Doctor Mark Hyman, and we'll see you next time on the Doctor's Farmacy. I'm always getting questions about my favorite books, podcasts, gadgets, supplements, recipes, and lots more.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And now you can have access to all of this information by signing up for my free Mark picks newsletter at doctor Hyman. I promise I'll only email you once a week on Fridays, and I'll never share your email address or send you anything else besides my aminations. These are things that helped me on my health journey, and I hope they'll help you too. Again, that's doctor forward slash Mark picks. Thank you again, and we'll see you next time on the Doctor's Farmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: This podcast is separate from my clinical practice at the Ultra Wellness Center and my work at Cleveland Clinic And Function Health, where I'm the chief medical officer. This podcast represents my opinions and my guest opinions, and neither myself nor the podcast endorsement of views or statements of my guests. This podcast is for educational purposes only this podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Now, if you're looking for your help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner, you can come see us at the in Lenox, Massachusetts.

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