Pioneering Doctor Exposes The Power Of What We Eat


– I’m on the nutrition committee of the American College of Cardiology. We published a paper
recently where we surveyed how much nutrition training
does the average doctor get in four years of medical school? And it turns out it’s
about four hours a year. And then we looked at the
average amount of training in nutrition that the
average cardiologist gets in four years of fellowship training. And it’s zero. You know, we’re trained
to use drugs and surgery, we’re reimbursed to use drugs and surgery, so we use drugs and surgery. Abraham Maslow once said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see everything as a nail,” and I think there’s a
lot of truth to that. Unfortunately, if you go to
your doctor, the doctor says, “Take these pills to
lower your blood pressure, or your cholesterol, or your blood sugar,” and they say, “Doctor, how
long do I have to take these?” The doctor usually says, “Forever.” After doing this work for over 40 years, I’m really actually more
optimistic than ever, because, on the one hand,
the limitations of drugs and surgery are becoming
increasingly well documented. People who are stable
who have heart disease that have stents or angioplasties, they don’t prevent heart
attacks, they don’t prolong life, and they don’t even reduce chest pain. In the case of type two diabetes, and half of the American population today is diabetic or pre-diabetic. Getting your blood sugar down with drugs doesn’t prevent the horrible
complications of diabetes. Things like amputations, and
impotence, and kidney failure, and heart attacks, and strokes, and so on. But getting it down
with diet and lifestyle, you can prevent virtually all of them. Men with early-stage prostate
cancer who did nothing lived as long as those who
had surgery or radiation, even though those
treatments often maim guys in the most personal ways, ’cause they’re often either
impotent or incontinent or both, for no real benefit at huge economic cost. When a guy knows he’s got
a tumor growing in him, he wants to go ahead and
do something about it, and unfortunately the treatment is often worse than the disease. So now, and for the first time, we can give people the third alternative. Show that these same lifestyle changes that can reverse heart disease or diabetes can also slow, stop, and
even reverse the progression of men with early-stage prostate cancer. You know, I was trained like all doctors, to view heart disease, and
diabetes, and prostate cancer, and Alzheimer’s being different diseases, different treatments,
different diagnoses, and so on. But I’ve come to believe that they’re really the same disease, manifesting and masquerading
in different forms, because they all share the same underlying biological mechanisms. Things like chronic
inflammation, oxidative stress, changes in telomeres and gene expression and the microbiome, and apoptosis, and angiogenesis, and so on. And each one of these mechanisms in turn is directly influenced by what we eat, how we respond to stress,
how much exercise we get, and how much love and support we have. Most people tend to think
of advances in medicine as being something really
high-tech and expensive, a new drug, a new laser, et cetera. And I think our unit contribution has been to use these very high-tech, expensive, state-of-the-art scientific measures, to prove how powerful these very simple and low-tech and low-cost
interventions can be. You know, even a single
meal, that’s for example, high in animal protein
and fat and cholesterol, can cause your blood to clot faster, can reduce blood flow to
your brain, to your skin, to your heart, to your sexual organs. We found, for example, we
could reverse heart disease in just three weeks. And so for someone who
gets 30 or 40 episodes of chest pain a day, can’t walk across the street
without getting chest pain, or make love with their spouse,
or play with their kids, or go back to work without
having angina or chest pain, and usually within a few weeks, they’re essentially pain free. Then they say things like,
“Oh, I connect the dots. When I do this, I feel good. When I do that, I don’t feel so good. And for me, not having
chest pain,” they’ll say, “is worth not eating
everything that I want.” And then they’re much more
likely to make these changes, not to live longer, but to live better.