The Power of Food – Angiogenesis Dr. William Li

As we are already witnessing the effectiveness of low carb eating for diabetes, weight control, epilepsy and some cancers, there are more researchers out there discovering the power of food and its effect on health.

Angiogenesis is the process that our bodies use to control blood vessels. There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human adult and 19 billion capillaries. We get most of these blood vessels when we are growing in the womb.

Image-The Angiogenesis Foundation

There are stimulators of angiogenesis and inhibitors. The stimulators work when there is an injury such as a scab, where new vessels will grow under the scab, and when healing occurs the capillaries are pruned back when they are no longer needed. But in some cases angiogenesis is out of balance, with excessive angiogenesis the results are cancer, blindness, psoriasis, endometriosis, Alzheimer’s, obesity and multiple sclerosis.

If there is insufficient angiogenesis the results are chronic wounds, coronary heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, pre-eclampsia, hair loss, and erectile dysfunction.

All of these conditions, which are treated separately, all have a common denominator which is, unbalanced angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is a hallmark of cancer, all cancer. All cancers start as harmless when they are about to the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen but when fed with blood vessels, they are able to grow, but without a blood supply most of these cancers will never become dangerous. The body’s ability to balance angiogenesis, when it is working properly, prevents blood vessels from feeding cancers. With anti-angiogenic therapy the cancer cells are starved by cutting off the blood supply to the cells.

There are anti- angiogenic pharmaceutical drugs but it has now been found that certain foods can work just as well or better.  So what could we be adding to our diet that is naturally anti-angiogenic and boost the body’s defence system?

Resveratrol, the active ingredient in red grapes and also found in red wine, inhibits normal angiogenesis by 60%. Ellagic acid, found in strawberries, is even more potent and there is a growing list of anti-angiogenic foods:

Green Tea, Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons. Apples, Pineapple, Cherries, Bok Choy, Kale, Ginseng, Mushrooms, Liquorice, Turmeric, Nutmeg, Artichokes, Lavender, Pumpkin, Sea Cucumber, Tuna, Parsley, Garlic, Tomato, Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil and for those really hoping that it will be on the list…yes even (dark) Chocolate!

Certain teas have anti-angiogenic properties: Jasmine, Sencha and Earl Grey, but a blend of Jasmine and Sencha appear to be more potent than individual teas.

In this fascinating presentation (and update) given by Dr. William Li of the Angiogenesis Foundation, covers the research in more depth.

Further reading

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