“By indirectly targeting fat cells, through their dependence on blood supply, we can actually starve them to death.” – Dr. Mitchell Gaynor
In his TED Talk, Dr. William Li passionately discusses angiogenesis and its role in both cancer development and cancer recession. For reference, angiogenesis is simply the development of new blood vessels in the body. Dr. Li believes manipulation of this physiological function may end cancer and promote health.
As he explains:
Angiogenesis: the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels.
“Anti-angiogenic therapy is the method of cutting off blood supply to the cancer. This can be done because tumor vessels, unlike healthy vessels, are abnormal and poorly constructed, and because of that, they’re highly vulnerable to treatments that target them.”
Deficient and Excessive Angiogenesis
It is important, for the sake of this article, to explain the scientific rationale linking the consumption of certain foods and “starving off” fat cells. Simply put, imbalances in the production and maintenance of blood vessels can manifest into several diseases and conditions. Angiogenetic imbalances arise from either insufficient or excessive angiogenesis.
Insufficient angiogenesis is when the body possesses too few blood vessels and is linked to several diseases and medical conditions, such as erectile dysfunction, heart disease, inability to heal wounds, neuropathy, and stroke.
Excessive angiogenesis – an excessive production of blood vessels – has also been linked to several diseases and conditions. Arthritis, blindness, cancer, endometriosis, and multiple sclerosis have all been associated with excessive production of blood vessels.
Obesity = Excessive Angiogenesis
Obesity – the mass accumulation of fat cells – is a byproduct of excessive angiogenesis. As such, measures can be taken to counteract the effects. “Like tumor cells, fat cells grow when blood vessels grow,” says Dr. Li.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a world-renown osteopathic physician, and surgeon, concurs: “…obesity is also largely dependent on angiogenesis.” Dr. Mercola goes on to explain that fat cells, like cancerous cells, can potentially be eliminated through diet.
What does this mean? Simply that we can starve off fat cells through proper dietary habits. To accomplish this, we must eat foods that inhibit abnormal angiogenesis (i.e. anti-angiogenetic foods).
Here are the five foods that will effectively target the blood supplies of fat cells:
Curcumin is the ingredient that gives curry its yellowish hue, but this is far from its only property. Curcumin is a potent polyphenol, and proliferating scientific research continues to reiterate its cancer-fighting properties. Recently, supplemental research has attributed these properties to the compound’s anti-angiogenetic properties.
In one 2009 study, scientists at Tufts University concluded: “The curcumin suppression of angiogenesis…with its effect on lipid (fat) metabolism…may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain. Our findings suggest that dietary curcumin, present in turmeric, may have a potential benefit in preventing obesity.”
Ajoene is a sulfuric compound found in garlic, which gives the food its fat-reduction properties. At the genetic level, ajoene activates hydrogen peroxide, initiating a process resulting in fat cell death (i.e. apoptosis). In conjunction with its anti-angiogenetic properties, garlic is considered one of the most potent fat-burning foods in existence.
Aside from its fat-burning properties, garlic is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there and is linked to no less than eleven proven health benefits.
In his TED talk, Dr. Li presents a PowerPoint slide ranking 27 pharmaceutical drugs and dietary factors by their anti-angiogenesis properties. In the first spot is Vitamin E. “Vitamin E outperforms the greatest drugs on earth…(they) blow away any man-made attempt to kill tumors,” said Li.
As almonds contain the highest levels of vitamin E (7.3 mg per 1 ounce serving), they are probably the most potent fat-burning food in existence. Additionally, almonds contain high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
We should include some leafy greens on this list, both for their fat-burning properties and their cumulative health benefits. Using this barometer, spinach far outperforms any other vegetable – and 99 percent of other foods and food types.
Getting back to Vitamin E, spinach contains the second-highest level of any food (6.9 mg per serving.) Of course, they’re exceptionally nutrient-dense; rich in antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. Dr. Josh Axe elaborates on some other benefits:
“as a natural source of glucosinolates, they (leafy vegetables) contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, inactive carcinogens, help reprogram cancer cells to die off, and prevent tumor formation and metastasis.
5. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, particularly oranges and tangerines, are among the strongest fat-burning foods out there.
In an article titled “Citrus Fruits shown to be Antiangiogenic and Reduce Risk for some Cancers,” the author cites several studies naming the anti-angiogenetic properties of citrus fruits. Citrus possesses an abundance of two flavonoids – nobiletin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) – both proven to be anti-angiogenic.
The article also cites a link between citrus fruit consumption and reduced instances of certain cancers, “including lung cancer and colorectal cancer, among people who consume large amounts of citrus on a regular basis.”
Axe, J., M.D. (2015, August 11). Top 12 Cancer-Fighting Foods. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://draxe.com/cancer-fighting-foods/
Ejaz, A., Wu, D., Kwan, P., & Meydani, M. (2009). Curcumin Inhibits Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and Angiogenesis and Obesity in C57/BL Mice. Journal of Nutrition, 139(5), 919-925. doi:10.3945/jn.108.100966
Gaynor, M., M.D. (2016, October 13). 9 Genechanging Things That You Can Do To Starve Fat Cells. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://genechanger.com/9-genechanging-things-that-you-can-do-to-starve-fat-cells/
Li, W., M.D. (2010, February). Can we eat to starve cancer? Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li
Mercola, J., M.D. (2010, June 8). New Natural Way to Starve Cancer and Obesity. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/08/dramatically-effective-new-natural-way-to-starve-cancer-and-obesity.aspx
Smith, R., M.S. (2015). Citrus Fruits shown to be Antiangiogenic and Reduce Risk for some Cancers. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://www.eattobeat.org/evidence/224/citrus-fruits-shown-to-be-antiangiogenic-and-reduce-risk-for-some-cancers.html
Welch, I. (2013, July 26). 8 Plants That Starve Fat & Tumor Cells. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://wholefed.org/2013/07/26/8-plants-that-starve-fat-cells/
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