You can reverse prostate cancer and many of the diseases associated with aging by changing your diet.
Sounds unbelievable, but it's true.
It's a finding reported by Dr. Dean Ornish in his new book The Spectrum.
I've already told you how Dr. Ornish showed 30 years ago that it's possible to reverse heart disease by eating a plant-based diet, exercising, meditating, practicing yoga, and being part of a supportive group.
In The Spectrum, he goes even further.
He shows that these same principles of healthy living can also reverse cancer and other diseases of aging.
And he explains exactly why this is possible.
His findings are nothing short of groundbreaking. And with the current dismal state of our healthcare system, they're more urgently needed than ever before.
This country pays $100 billion a year for invasive bypass surgeries that aren't very effective and don't even extend life. We spend $15 billion a year for Lipitor, which comes with plenty of unpleasant side effects.
But now Dr. Ornish has shown that his program of lifestyle changes is more effective and a lot cheaper than drugs and surgery. And the side effects -- like weight loss and extra energy -- are positive ones.
Patients everywhere -- including my own -- have been seeing real results from Dr. Ornish's program.
One of my patients is a 65-year-old man who had both heart disease (which was being "treated" with drugs and angioplasties) and prostate cancer.
But we got him working to improve his nutrition and exercise. After 5 years, tests showed that the blocked arteries in his heart were dramatically better. And his prostate cancer was gone, too.
He even called me on his birthday that year to say that he felt healthier at age 70 than he had at 60. He was off all medications and feeling great.
This is what's possible when you change your lifestyle.
Because, as Dr. Ornish explains in The Spectrum, when you change your lifestyle -- the foods you eat, the activity you get, the way you manage stress and relationships -- you also change your genes.
Dr. Ornish's program really works -- and he's done the research to prove it.
For example, he studied 93 men with prostate cancer who were practicing "watchful waiting" (waiting to see if their cancer worsened before getting conventional treatment).
Half the group kept their usual lifestyle. The other half followed the lifestyle program described in The Spectrum.
The results were stunning. Dr. Ornish found that prostate cancer growth was reduced by 70 percent in the group that followed his program.
Four years later, only six of the lifestyle program patients needed conventional treatment -- compared to 21 control patients.
Those results are impressive, but even more intriguing is the evidence that Dr. Ornish's approach can actually affect your genes.
As I've explained before, changing your lifestyle can switch different genes on and off. Using food to do is called nutrigenomics.
In The Spectrum, Dr. Ornish talks about research on telemores -- the little repair systems on the end of your chromosomes that protect your DNA. The shorter the telomeres, the shorter your life.
The research he describes found that mothers who felt the most stressed actually had the shortest telomeres -- equal to about an extra decade of aging!
So Dr. Ornish applied his comprehensive lifestyle changes and found that the telomerase (the enzyme that keeps telomeres healthy) was higher.
The result? Reversal of the aging effects of chronic stress!
Let me repeat: You can reverse the effects of stress on your genes -- and on the aging process - just by changing your lifestyle.
As Dr. Ornish describes in The Spectrum, this means eating a plant-based diet of whole foods, getting regular exercise, and managing stress.
I could continue to tell you how instrumental Dr. Ornish's work has been, or how it has arrived at the time when we need it most.
I could tell you that he has been a fearless advocate for good health and that he's overcome countless obstacles to change medicine, healthcare policy, and the insurance industry.
On a personal level, I could tell you that I've rarely met a more courageous person with a more generous heart.
But don't take it from me. Take a look at his work.
It's all there, in his new book, The Spectrum.
Again, I urge you to read this powerful account of Dr. Ornish's research. While you're at it, share a copy with your doctor, your loved ones, and even your congressperson.
Remember, you can change your genes -- and your life - simply by changing the way you live.