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Is the Answer to Cancer in Our Diets?

twig's picture

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:

Wired Magazine

Stand Up to Cancer

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Submitted by lambert on

... and I resized it to our maximum width, 500px. On YouTube, if click on embed and look down, you'll see a blue box labelled Custom. Enter 500 in the width box, the height box will automagically fill in to maintain proportion, and even more keen, the code that you need to copy and paste will also update automagically.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I was hoping you would use one of your magic wands to fix that humongous YT. Custom embeds it is, from now on!

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

go to youtube and look it up if you don't know it; it's a popular joke in my fambly.

does poisoning the water, food and air supply cause cancer? Gee, Hoss. i guess i just don't know. does eating less crap and working out more lead to a better life? gosh, i guess i'm confused about that issue. let me go ignore some history and science for a while, and get back to you after pondering over some mythological texts. it's just so unbelievable that eating right, working out, and otherwise focusing on physical health would lead to, you know, physical health. i'm Shocked, Shocked i tell you. next thing i'll hear is that sitting in front of a glowing box for eight hours a day with no interrupting exercise is bad for you...

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

the prof/docs in my family have left me with that opinion: scorn. western medical science is soooo corrupted by corporate interest, and has been for so long, it's hard for me to contain my contempt. these TED lectures consistently piss me off. such bougie bunk, they mostly are. in this case: health care for all would be a good thing? omg knock me over with a feather. research into the real reasons for the epidemic of modern cancer? fsm smite me, i can't even conceive. technocrats rewarding themselves on discovering reality? not something i applaud. reasonable people have understood for a long time, like, since teddy and before that: protecting "the environment?" = protecting your own air, water and the space where you sleep.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I find it hilarious that people actually pay something like $30k to attend the TED conference. Or at least that's what I've heard.

I like this guy because he doesn't try to get people to quit eating anything in particular, just add better foods to what you eat now. I've seen too many well-intentioned writers bring up the subject of healthy food and get hammered by angry people screaming about how they'll never give up their cheeseburgers and nobody's gonna tell them what to eat and blah blah blah. So I thought he had a pretty reasonable approach to starting the conversation.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I'll see if I can track down that Dr Oz show.

I'm so glad you mentioned vitamin D, lib, really important, but there are still a lot of doctors who aren't up on it. Plus, it's not easy to maintain healthy levels. I was tested last year and turned out to be very low, even though I'm in the sun a lot and don't use sunblock.

If you haven't been to the Vitamin D Council, it's a good website with tons of information.