The Science of How the Body Heals Itself (video + highlights)

Food as medicine.

I watched this video this week and was soooo interested in the contents I decided to transcribe some of it and share it with folks who pass by my blog.

I have been using food as medicine for years now (the most helpful turmeric, fulvic acid, maca powder and others), so I was excited to see how many of these foods I’ve already incorporated into my life.

One of the the things I focus on for Going Beyond Coping, is thinking “outside the bottle” to see what can help us in that regard, primarily mental health related issues but, when I switched to autoimmune paleo, I dropped 15 SYMPTOMS and that’s something to share.

Here is a link to the video, it’s a little over an hour long, and my take-aways, including screen grabs of charts, are below.

The science of how the body heals

William Li. MD – world renowned physician, molecular biologist, leading author. Medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, which focuses on treatment, prevention and even the reversal of diseases from cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes,  and retinal diseases. “Can we eat to starve cancer,” Ted talk. “Eat to beat disease,” book he published. He’s helped get 32 drugs approved by the FDA that improve the way we treat cancer and the way they can save body parts with diabetes.

37 trillion healthy bacteria in our gut. 10K cancer cells produced daily. New organs are still being discovered, including new brain cells.

Cancer… 90-95% of cancer is caused by “environmental” factors like Diet, Tobacco, Infections, Obesity, Alcohol and 10-15% “other.” Only 5-10% is genetic.

Bad dietary habits do cause disease. You can invert that and focus on things that are good for the body.

Science has advanced so we can look at the body, and at food, to get to the future to look at food as medicine.

There’s no “magic bullet” with food, no one “super food” to fix people. There are lists of different known foods that have natural substances that benefit the body. They list the food, their bioactive component (Examples: Tomato = lycopene, quercetin = 33% less prostate cancer. Fish = Omega 3, Vitamin D = 20% less total cancer. Coffee!!! = galic acid, chlorogenic acid) 12% reduction in mortality (less than 3 cups a day). Walnuts = alpha-linolenic acid, vitamin E = 23% reduction in coronary heart disease.) It goes on.

They are doing studies with these foods with both animals and people.

Research on biological potency (farm vs. pharma) shows natural chemicals in food can go head to head against some existing pharma, many of which came from food originally!

A major component is the way our body responds to food, precision medicine (this is why it’s important for YOU to do your own trial and error with food).

Health is not the absence of disease, it’s the strength of the systems that protect the body from disease. They are always on, when we’re awake or asleep. They go after everything that comes into the body, from food, chemicals, to gas fumes to everything. How does diet play in? It can help you build a successful fortress to protect your body against disease.


A Greek word that means circulation. If you have poor circulation you have a problem and the blood vessels can be highjacked by cancers and disease. The body is able to grow more blood vessels like after exercise, and then the body trims down the excess. When you can’t, that’s when diseases start.

Too many blood vessels = cancer, vision diseases, psoriasis, arthritis, endometriosis, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Obesity, MS, Roseacea.

Too few blood vessels = Chronic wounds, Coronary Heart Disease, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Stroke, Neuropathies, Pre-eclampsia, hair loss, erectile dysfunction.

Cancers hijack angiogenesis. They’re teeny tiny like the head of a pin and don’t have a blood supply and the immune system will get rid of them BUT if they’re able to hijack blood and get a blood supply of their own, they can multiply 16x in a matter of weeks. There are now medicines designed to cut off the blood supply of cancer (his Ted talk talks about how you can do it with food) Anti-angiogenic therapy helps treat and defeat cancer. Example = genistein from soy can actually shut down cancer blood cells. There is a myth about soy and estrogens. Phytoestrogens are dramatically different from human estrogens.

Shanghi study with 5000 women with breast cancer. Women who ate soy had a 29% reduced risk of death, 30% had more successful removal after surgery. 10g of soy protein per day = 1 cup of soy milk, not a lot. 17 studies have shown soy helps improve breast cancer survival.

Tomatoes have lycopene and have been studied for anti-angiogenesis. Large studies by Harvard, 46K men over years. 2-3 cups of cooked tomato sauce (cooked at 190 degrees in olive oil = 250% increase in lycopene after 30 mins of simmering) consumed per week, reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer by 30%. Obviously, it doesn’t work for everyone. Those who did develop the cancer, they found the men who ate more tomato sauce had less aggressive cancers.

Certain Olives are better for oil for antiangiogenesis (more effective, more bioavailability) = Moraiolo (Italian), Koroneiki (Greek), Picual (Spanish), check the bottle, they often say what kind of olives they use. Increases bioavailability for absorption.

Certain tomatoes are better as well for lycopene bioavailability = cherry, black, tangerine (has the most, you can even eat it raw and get great lycopene), san Marzano.

Foods with Antiangiogenic activity (chart)

They are the ones that reduce blood cells.

When you want to grow more (this is why I listened – POTS). Angiogenesis stimulating foods, like Barley (pasta) – causes your body to make more of the things that build red blood vessels.

Foods with ursolic acid (fruit peel) have regrown blood vessels in animals in just three weeks. Cranberry, apple, cherry, dried fruits.

(chart – Angiogenesis foods)


Medicines are a hammer, taking things down to zero. Food can do things medicines can’t.


The body regenerates with stem cells. They’re always there – skin, hair, nails all grow from stem cells, regenerating the liver, etc. They come into play when we’re injured. They studied people with an injury. Study with a burn victim, who increased stem cells over the course of treatment. More injury, more stem cells needed.

For cardiovascular disease, stem cells predict the survival rate. The more you have, the longer you’ll survive. More = more regeneration.

As we age, our stem cells start to lose their punch. They age just like the rest of us. Some diseases are made worse when they’re impaired, you need the to fight these: Alopecia, Alzheimers, Asthma, Artherosclerosis, Autism, Burn injury, chronic wounds, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, infertility, ischemic heart disease or stroke, macular degeneration, neuropathy, osteoporosis, parkinson’s, peripheral arterial disease, skin aging.  There are reports now of people having stem cell treatments and are recovering from the above. This is his field, biotechnology. He also discovered FOOD can stimulate stem cells!

Cacao = chocolate can stimulate growth of stem cells. High flavanol chocolate, into hot chocolate, consuming 2 cups a day, you will DOUBLE the stem cells circulating in your body in a month (study with 16 subjects). 20K people in Germany were studied eating just 7.5 grams of chocolate per day (3 chocolate chips, dark chocolate of course, not snickers lol) = reduction of heart attack or stroke by 39%.

Diabetes impairs the stem cells in the body makes them sleepy and lazy. Omega 3 fatty acids stimulate stem cells in diabetes.

Dietary patterns that enhance stem cells: Mediterranean, Okinawan, Caloric Restricted, Intermittent Fasting

Dietary patterns that HARM stem cells: High fat, High salt, Hyperglycemic (sugar, carbs, alcohol)

Foods that stimulate stem cells (chart):

Cancer stem cells are a huge problem. They are like a baby cell that makes more babies. They’re the biggest reason why cancer comes back.

Some foods actually TARGET cancer stem cells! (chart):


37 trillion bacteria in the microbiome. 50% of each of us are bacteria. Holobiont, that’s what humans are 50% human/ 50% bacteria. When half of us is off kilter = disease.

Conditions where gut bacteria are disturbed – Dysbiosis: (chart)

There are also bacteria in your mouth. Strong dental mouthwashes, like the kind you get at the dentist, can wipe out your entire mouth microbiome and that actually increases your blood pressure! Fascinating. The mouth bacteria also help digest the food you eat, which lowers blood pressure.

New discoveries show certain foods contain the things we need to support the microbiome, like Kimchi and sauerkraut (lactobacillus), and pao cai. Sour dough bread.

Lactobacillus reuteri is a very distinct bacteria that is delivered from the mom. It lives in the colon and when the mom is 9 months pregnant, there’s a signal sent from the uterus to the colon which causes the bacteria to come out in blood cells to the breast where it lands by the nipple. The mother’s milk injects this bacteria into the baby. This bacteria can reduce the risk of breast cancer. And it lasts for four generations, protecting against breast cancer. Eating the probiotic will help fight breast cancer, and even reduces it if you don’t have a healthy diet.

Live vs dead probiotics… for lactobacillus reuteri, if you kill it with an ultrasound, and even filter out anything that could possibly be alive, and take those fragments and feed them, it will have the same effects as a live bacteria. It also helps prevent and/or reduce obesity. It also causes the brain to release oxytocin, which is the feel-good chemical the brain releases when we hug. So this bacteria actually affects our minds.

Kiwi fruits (chart):

Very small study but made it worth looking further into. These two bacteria actually make other metabolites that are anti-inflammatory and even alter our lipids and energy metabolism, and they help the gut have a protective mucus layer (less leaky gut!). This is the beginning of really looking into these aspects of foods.

Foods that beneficially affect the microbiome: (chart)

Processed meats, artificial sweeteners (especially saccharine) both harm the microbiome.


DNA Modification

We have good and bad DNA. Good ones can help block cancer, bad ones can help grow cancer (and other diseases).

Turmeric is one example of a food that increases the good DNA, through epigenetic changes and that actually blocks cervical, lung and breast cancer. At the same time it blocks the bad DNA. Add fresh cracked black pepper for absorption (or eat raw).

Spices are good and helpful.

Foods can modify our genes.

Dietary Bioactives (chart):

You can see which foods will turn on good genes and which will turn off bad genes. Just know that in addition to everything you heard so far, the foods we eat also affect our DNA.

Immune System:

As we get older our immune system tends to go down, as the stem cells age/weaken. It’s a very complicated system – the immediate system that responds to invasions, the adaptive immune system that produces antibodies. Our immune system is talking to other cells all the time and we don’t understand it but we know it’s important and that’s why we need to protect our immune system.

In cancer, the cancers are escaping our immune system. Once they get the blood system, they can escape the immune system. Immunotherapy for cancer is now having successful results. It’s not chemo, or radiation. It’s medicine that’s FDA approved and it unmasks the cancer cells so the immune system can destroy them. His own mother, at 83 with recurrent metostatic endometrial cancer, was given no chance. Got an immune treatment and after 3 treatments, her cancer disappeared. At 83. It also works on tumors.

Jimmy Carter, in 2015, melanoma had returned, spread to his liver and his brain and there was no treatment. Immunotherapy has kept him alive to this day with no sign of cancer.

The problem is… it’s 4000 times the cost of gold by weight!  (I saw $150k/yr when I searched) and it’s not tested for everything.

Rethinking Cancer. He joined a cancer discussion where they talked about food, sleep, stress. Patients who respond to immunotherapy vs those that don’t, there is ONE key difference.

A bacteria called Akkermansia muciniphila. If you had it in your gut you would survive with immunotherapy, if you didn’t have it the chances were less likely you would survive. Guess what? You can’t eat it, it doesn’t exist. All we can do, is drink either pomegranate or cranberry juice and you can grow it back.

Oysters have a polysaccarride and a protein that boosts the immune system. When those proteins are fed to mice with cancer, you can see a reduction by almost half of the tumor growth, and the spleen improves it’s killing power. It’s still early but the research looks promising.

Broccoli sprouts have been studied to boost the immune system to kill (administered) Live Attenuated Influenza Virus in a double blind study. 22x more immune cells produced by the sprouts and more K cells (for killing power).


Choose foods that can make a difference. Grand Slammer Foods Hit 5 Defenses (chart):



Rethink health as a defense.


DNA modification

Immune System

Regeneration (stem cells)


Plant based guide for downloading available

“It’s not how good you are now, it’s how good you’re going to be that matters.” Atui Gawande MD

Regardless of what your life was like yesterday, you’re now armed to have a better tomorrow.

He also recommends PubMed. If you hear things like “soy gives you man boobs from the estrogen” you can search soy on pubmed and see all the studies docs are doing on that topic.

That’s it, those are my notes. I was soooo happy to see how many of these things I’ve already incorporated and how much more improvement I’ve had since discovering the low stomach acid issue and starting Betaine Pepsin HCL. I’ll be doing a post about that soon enough.

Interested in trying an Elimination Diet (where you eliminate something for 30 days to see if you have gains), here’s a post I did on sticking with it: Tips for Elimination Diet

I also tried the Leaky Gut Diet when my skin went crazy in 2019, here’s a post about that: Leaky Gut

Make it a great day thrivers, the choice is always yours.

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Dawn Super

I have a multitude of disabling disorders and this site is about how I'm going beyond coping into thriving and loving my life.

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