New Dean Ornish MD research shows that improved diet, meditation and other non-medical interventions can actually “turn off” the disease-promoting process in men with prostate cancer.
Your genes are not your destiny. According to a June 17, 2008, Newsweek article, Dr. Ornish and his colleagues published the first study showing that improved nutrition, stress management techniques, walking, and psychosocial support actually changed the expression of over 500 genes in men with early-stage prostate cancer.
The lifestyle changes included a plant-based diet (predominant fruits, vegetables, legumes, soy products, and whole grains low in refined carbohydrates), moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes per day), stress management techniques (yoga-based stretching, breathing techniques, meditation, and guided imagery for one hour per day), and participating in a weekly one-hour support group. The diet was supplemented with soy, fish oil (three grams/day), vitamin E (100 units/day), selenium (200 mg/day), and vitamin C (2 grams/day). These lifestyle changes are described more fully in Dr. Ornish’s book, The Spectrum.
Often, people say, “Oh, I’ve got bad genes, there’s nothing I can do about it”–displaying what I call genetic nihilism. Dr. Ornish’s findings (the first to show the effect of lifestyle changes on any kind of cancer genes) can be an antidote to genetic nihilism and motivate people to begin making their own changes. In most cases, our genes are only a predisposition; they are not written in stone. And if we have a strong family history for diseases such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, or heart disease– “bad genes”– then we may need to make bigger changes in lifestyle in order to help prevent or even reverse chronic diseases. In the centuries-old debate about nature vs. nurture, we are learning that nurture affects nature as much as nature affects nurture. It’s not all in our genes.
My book Becoming Slender For Life and it’s Becoming Slender For Life Audio Reinforcement System have the self-hypnosis tools that you need to make changes in your lifestyle. For information on hypnosis, read Moore On Hypnosis.
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