Is the Answer to Cancer in Our Diets?
Lifestyle changes (a better diet and more exercise) could prevent one third of the cancer deaths in this country, according to the American Cancer Society. Considering that half of all American men and one third of the women will be diagnosed with cancer, making those changes could mean saving millions of lives, along with billions of dollars in health care expenses. But what exactly is a “better diet”?
Dr. William Li has some answers to that question. But first, a little about Dr. Li and his work. Li is president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, the first not-for-profit organization devoted to researching angiogenesis, the abnormal production of blood vessels that contribute to cancer and other chronic ailments.
Dr. Li has spent the past 25 years in the field. His conclusion is that abnormal blood vessel production – either too many or too few – is the common denominator in a wide range of debilitating, chronic ailments, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, age-related vision disorders, diabetic ulcer, some skin conditions and more. In fact, more than 70 diseases have been linked to angiogenesis and more are being discovered all the time.
Here's how angiogenesis works: Tiny clusters of pre-cancerous cells can live in our bodies for years, says Li. At some point, they may mutate into a life-threatening condition, thanks to the development of blood vessels that enable them to grow. His work has focused on how we can eat to create an environment within the body that supports healthy cells but “starves” the cancerous ones.
As you might expect, Li's anti-angiogenic diet includes a variety of fruits (particularly berries) and vegetables, a few types of beans, plus herbs and spices, teas, some “good fats” and dark chocolate. For more details, here's his latest presentation, from the 2010 Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference.
Or, if the embed code isn't working, the foundation has the video here. Just click the tiny screen on the right side of the page to link with the YouTube of Li.
You can read more about angiogenesis and Li's work at these links: