In the fight against chronic disease, researchers have begun to take a broader view; looking for common denominators. They have found one in abnormal angiogenesis.
“Angio” means vessel and “genesis” refers to formation or origin – so angiogenesis refers to the formation of new blood vessels in the body. That sounds like a normal thing for the body to do. Yet, healthy humans only form new blood vessels to heal a wound (blood vessels form under the scab), or when pregnant or prior to menstruating. Our bodies succumb to certain diseases when the growth of new blood vessels is out of balance.
A growing list of more than 70 diseases — including obesity, cancers, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, age-related blindness — share angiogenesis as a trait
In his TED talk, William Li, PhD, MD, President and Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, describes the role of angiogenesis in the proliferation of cancer cells. Since tumors require their own blood supply to grow any larger than the tip of a ballpoint pen, cutting off angiogenesis starves the tumor. Can We Eat to Starve Cancer? is a MUST SEE talk – full of hopeful information about the future of cancer treatment, as well as advice on what we can do to prevent or slow the disease.
Li’s research approaches angiogenesis from a dietary perspective, studying which foods are angiogenesis inhibitors. No surprise they are the same health-promoting anti-inflammatory super foods we eat for their vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. Better yet, consuming a variety of these fruits, vegetables, spices, and oils gives a synergistic boost to their health-giving properties.
Some forms of cancer are currently treated with anti angiogenic drugs, and as research continues, pharmaceutical companies are introducing new treatments to the market. Most are used in conjunction with conventional therapies of chemotherapy and radiation.
Please watch the TED talk and continue to eat (or up your intake of) whole plant-based foods.
NutritionFacts.org. Anti-Angiogenesis: Cutting Off Tumor Supply Lines. July 12, 2013. by Michael Greger, MD.
The Wall Street Journal. The Angiogenesis Foundation Presents Concept of Antiangiogenic Foods at IFT 2013 Annual Meeting + Food Expo. July 16, 2013.
WebMD. A Cure for Cancer? New Anticancer Drugs Living Up to Promise; A look at angiogenesis inhibitors, experimental cancer treatments. March 10, 2000. by Denise Mann.