Convergence of Evidence: An Optimal Diet For Slowing, Stopping, Or Reversing Cancer

Dr. Michael Greger Gives Advice For The Breast Cancer CommunityBy: Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Dr. Ornish published an editorial in the American Journal of Cardiology last year that I think really sums up where we are, describing a growing convergence of scientific evidence that an optimal diet is mostly plant based. Make sure it has nuts, soy, and fiber and you can drop your bad cholesterol as much as taking drugs every day for the rest of your life, but without the cost and without the side-effects. Save the country about $20 billion.

Of course most patients aren’t even given the plant-based option because of the patronizing belief among doctors that no one will actually do it. But in reality most people don’t want take the drugs. People hate the side effects. They don’t make you feel any better and it’s scary popping pills every day so you don’t keel over and die —people don’t even want to think about it. However, when people actually improve their diets … You actually feel so much better, so quickly, that it reframes the reason for making these changes from fear of dying, which usually is not sustainable, to joy of living, which often is.

And the diet doesn’t just help your cholesterol. Unlike the drugs, a plant-based diet can also prevent and treat diabetes, hypertension, obesity, prostate cancer, breast cancer, etc. Pills can’t do all that. And instead of being on a list of medications, one drug for this; one or two drugs for that, there’s not one diet for heart disease, another one for diabetes—

A plant-based diet covers all the bases.


Because plant-based foods contain more than 100,000 different disease-preventing nutrients. Let me say that again 100,000 phytonutrients. Only found in plants.

  • You know blueberries have the anthocyanins for memory.
  • Tomatoes are rich in the red pigment lycopene, which targets heart disease and cancer.
  • Ginger’s got gingerols for hypertension.
  • Pomegranates have some totally different phytonutrients.
  • And let’s never forget kale, the list, goes on and on.

And you can’t just take these phytonutrients in a pill. B-carotene pills may actually increase cancer risk, as opposed to the whole carrot, which may lower our risk. And you probably couldn’t swallow a hundred thousand pills a day anyway.

Then he talks about his work stopping and reversing the progression of even severe coronary artery disease. … Slowing, stopping, or reversing, cancer. Living and eating healthy actually changes you on a genetic level, upregulating disease-preventing genes and downregulating genes that promote breast cancer, prostate cancer, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Drugs can’t do that.

The bottom line: People tend to think of breakthroughs in medicine as new drugs, lasers, high-tech surgery, but they have a hard time believing that simple choices can be as powerful as drugs and surgery, but they often are. Sometimes, even better.
And I will leave you, on that note.

Video Sources
D. Ornish. Mostly plants. Am. J. Cardiol., 104(7):957–958, 2009.
Pan MH, Lai CS, Dushenkov S, Ho CT. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 10;57(11):4467-77. Modulation of inflammatory genes by natural dietary bioactive compounds.

Doctor’s Note
Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts for more context: Breast Cancer and Diet, The last heart attack, Kiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel SyndromeStool Size and Breast Cancer Risk, and Generic Lipitor is not the answer to our heart disease epidemic.
If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

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  1. Reblogged this on Dynamic Health & Wellness and commented:
    Advocate for plant based diet and pursuing my PhD in health services- community health advocacy and education. I am a published writer and started journal devoted to this topic and prevention of obesity and other health topics. Thanks for article enjoyed it.


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