Q: I recently read an article about a woman who believes her cancer was cured with an anti-angiogenic diet. What is this diet, and can it help my loved one who is currently undergoing treatment?
A: The anti-angiogenic diet is essentially the same as the anti-cancer diet and the anti-inflammatory diet. These diets are plant-based, meaning that plants are the primary food source and meat consumption is limited. Specifically, these diets avoid factory-farmed meat with the goal of ensuring any meat consumed is free of hormones and antibiotics and is grass-fed. Nuts are frequently included due to their healthy fat content, and alcohol is recommended in moderation.
While all of these diets have been shown to prevent disease, could the diet alone actually treat cancer and reverse the course of disease? I hope so, and am happy to hear that Harvard is pursuing a study. However, cancer treatment is complex — and that article does not provide sufficient medical information to conclude definitively that it was her diet that cured her breast cancer. That patient received a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, which have been proven to treat cancer. You could hypothesize that the conventional treatments resulted in enough of a reduction of cancer cells in her body that the immune system was then able to eliminate the remaining tumors with the help of diet.
Nutrition and cancer is a complex topic, but there are some very consistent themes, regardless of the latest diet:
* Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
* Avoid processed or packaged foods.
* Minimize sugar and alcohol intake.
— Norleena Gullett, M.D.