Anyone read "Anticancer"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2010 at 3:43 AM

I just watched http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li.html which talks about antiangiogenesis as a cancer treatment.

The comments recommend Anticancer, by David Servan-Schreiber.

Has anybody out there read it? What did you think?

I wonder what that community thinks of the anti-inflammatory Paleo approach. Adding antiangiogenic agents to your diet is well and good, but what about getting the same effects through subtraction? Medical researchers are smarter than they used to be, so I'm sure they've thought of that ...



on January 09, 2011
at 11:19 AM

Dave, thank you very much for the link. Dr. Eades' blog post is well worth reading.

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on May 24, 2010
at 02:51 PM

Having read the book "Anticancer: A New Way of Life" I will give my brief two cents: It is wonderful that this book is available at retail outlets such as Walmart and Target which are full of obese mainstream Americans who would never be exposed antianiogenic research otherwise. The author is an M.D. who survived cancer and who seems careful to me not to stray too far outside the box. What I especially like was his advice that cancer isn't solely a physical condition and that one's interior world needs to be attended to as well.

That being said, I think this book offers little for those of us in the Paleo Universe.


on May 23, 2010
at 11:06 PM

I just watched the video. He had me until he mentioned Dean Ornish. I do like the idea of adding more antiangiogenic foods to my diet (turns out I eat a lot of them anyway), but hopefully the science will also catch up with the idea of subtracting of carbs and frankenfats.

This is the list of the antianiogenic foods being tested by William Li: Green Tea, Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, Apples, Pineapple, Cherries, Red Grapes, Red wine, Bok Choy, Kale, Soy Beans, Ginseng, Maitake Mushroom, Licorice, Turmeric, Nutmeg, Artichokes, Lavender, Pumpkin, Sea Cucumber, Tuna, Parsley, Garlic, Tomato, Olive Oil, Grape seed Oil, and Dark Chocolate.

I don't like seeing soy in there. Though it's hard for marketers to push whole foods, you know that the soy frankenfood people are going to go into overdrive touting their products as cancer preventatives.

I don't think I'll be reading the book: Per the book's website, the steps listed re diet say that meat and fish are optional (and to be used in small amounts if eaten), and recommend whole grains, legumes and canola oil. They do seem to understand about Omega-3s (including Omega-3 butter and grass-fed meat) and of course they recommend eating veggies. Reading the steps further, I see you could do a lot worse than following the recommendations in the book--basically cutting out refined carbs and hydrogenated oils, getting more exercise, reducing stress, balancing Omega-3 and -6, eating clean, living clean, getting enough sunlight (vitamin D), probiotics, prebiotics, etc. All also part of a good Paleo way of life.

Now if only they'd catch on that animal fat is not bad for you!



on August 31, 2010
at 06:49 PM

What absolutely killed me when I read Anticancer: A New Way of Life was that the author explicitly stated how the primary goals are to decrease processed foods, fix the omega 3/6 ratios, and lower insulin levels. And then he recommended 'whole grains.' Why? Because they're the "best" grains that give the lowest insulin response. But you know what gives an even lower insulin response? NO grains.


/end rant

My take on antioxidants and antianiogenic foods is that, so long as our favored carbohydrate levels are maintained, we may as well maximize our intake. In two different ways they serve to decrease the effects of inflammation and dietary mishaps in our bodies. If I accidentally oxidize too much fat in my system, I can correct it with blueberries (or so the theory goes.) And if I've eaten too many omega 6s in my past, perhaps cooked tomatoes will decrease my body's inflammatory response.



on September 03, 2010
at 03:59 PM



on January 09, 2011
at 11:19 AM

Dave, thank you very much for the link. Dr. Eades' blog post is well worth reading.


on May 10, 2011
at 09:23 PM

I've found the book very fascinating, and love how he backs up what he says with scientific research. Yes, his advice on legumes and grains and animal products does not exactly mesh well with Paleo, but you must consider that there are two sides to the coin.

Legumes and grains may have anticancer properties, and it is definitely bad for your (for CHD, cancer, and more) to eat non-grass-fed meat and non-organic meat. However, he does not really consider (and to be fair, there is little, if any, research on this) the notion of eliminating legumes and grains in favor of upping other anticarcinogenic and antiangiogenic foods and consuming strictly grass-fed, organic meat (and probably eliminating poultry).

It is a very resourceful book that can help educate you on a variety of foods' antiangiogenic and anticarcinogenic properties, as well as the crucial importance of properly balancing your Omega-3's and -6's (pastured, grass-fed, organic only).

Edit: Yes I realize this thread is super old.



on May 19, 2010
at 09:47 AM

Fascinating, I've just sent the links to a friend with cancer.The first link was very interesting indeed.

The book I haven't ordered but I did watch the interview with the author on the Amazon page. Seems he doesn't advocate more than 11 oz red meat per week - and he eats bread and lentils. Not quite paleo!

But I do think food is the key to so much - I shall up my intake of berries, garlic, leeks etc as a result of your links. Many thanks!

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