START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
584,473 people care about Real Food

Can Disease-Fighting Foods Replace Medicine?

Can Disease-Fighting Foods Replace Medicine?

Over 2,000 years ago, the father of Western medicine Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” While his words certainly ring true, was he really predicting we’d actually use food in the same manner as medicine to combat disease? Some people seem to think so.

According to a presentation at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, foods created and marketed for the specific purpose of fighting diseases is the “new frontier.”

The Big Food manufacturers will very soon (if not already) be focusing their efforts on creating foods designed to combat and prevent disease — specifically foods that contain natural inhibitors of the inflammation that damages blood vessels and promotes disease.

Anti-angiogenesis foods

President of the Angiogenesis Foundation Dr. William Li told IFT: “Blood vessels are critical to the health of every cell, every organ and for every function in the body. Research is now showing it’s possible to promote health and wellness using foods and beverages that influence angiogenesis.”

Now foods that have been modified to promote health are not actually a new thing.

Known as “functional foods” they’ve been used to promote public health — and by the food industry as a marketing tool — for some time now. For example, iodised salt is used when baking bread to help address low iodine levels population-wide. Plus there is a clear market for products that provide health benefits beyond their natural nutritional value.

But the “new frontier” – anti-angiogenesis foods – would be designed to go one step further, marketed as health products with the potential to replicate the effects of medicine.

Dr. Li went on to say, “Food is the medicine we consume three times a day. Can we use the same process (to modulate angiogenesis) at an earlier stage in healthy individuals? Can we get away from drugs and medical devices?”

Innovation can be trouble

Another major problem would be the regulation of food safety and marketing of anti-angiogenesis foods. The current regulatory framework doesn’t do a good job in covering the expanding catalogue of health claims by new products. I fear the regulation of food labelling laws would struggle to control and categorize medicinal food claims.

And just imagine how much the supplement industry could milk this.

Perhaps changing our dietary habits – what we eat and how much – is the path we should follow, rather than reliance on eating more food — even if it is a “functional food.”

So, would a food labelled “anti-angiogenic!” convince you to take out your credit card?

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

110 comments

+ add your own
12:14AM PST on Feb 8, 2014

Noted

9:12AM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Not in the near future. We still need our medicines.

5:59PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Thanks. Food safety is a big problem worldwide. Additionally I have read about horrible testing on animals by tea companies that want to label their products as addressing certain health issues.

4:48PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

frequent farmers' markets and you don't need medicine enhanced foods. What an idea if not GMO then supplements in food. What are we doing or better what are 'they' doing to us???

2:23PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Quite obviously! Food is natural...so is your body. Feed it what it IS not something that is going to work against its natural defenses.

10:25AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

of course. Medicine replaced them, but they did fine before that.

8:39AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Yeah, thanks.

3:51AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Organic food is your first line of defense.

7:52PM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Hmm... don't consider this to be a shock, really!

9:08AM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Yes, the body functions on the nutrients found in natural, healthy food. So many illnesses are solely down to nutrient deficiency.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

Would you like them to be able to sit back and put their feet up?! Not exactly punishment!!

Will SOMEONE (Anyone) Please explain when it becomes a baby?? To the young girl telling her new husband…

meet our writers

Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.