Cabernet and chocolate are potent medicine for killing cancer, according to research presented here Wednesday.
Red grapes and dark chocolate join blueberries, garlic, soy, and teas as ingredients that starve cancer while feeding bodies, Angiogenesis Foundation head William Li said at a prestigious TED Conference.
"We are rating foods based on their cancer-fighting qualities," Li said. "What we eat is really our chemotherapy three times a day."
The Massachusetts-based foundation is identifying foods containing chemicals that evidently choke-off blood supplies to tumors, starving them to death.
Li cited a Harvard Medical School study showing that men who ate cooked tomatoes several times weekly were 30 to 50 percent less likely to have prostate cancer.
"There is a medical revolution happening all around us," Li said. "If we're right, it could impact on consumer education, food service, public health, and even insurance agencies."
About a dozen drugs are already in use to deprive tumors of blood supplies in a treatment tactic called "anti-angiogenesis.
The foundation pitted some foods against approved drugs and found that soy, parsley, red grapes, berries and other comestibles were either as effective or more potent in battling cancer cells.
Eaten together, the foods were even more effective in fighting cancer.
"We discovered that Mother Nature laced a large number of foods and herbs with anti-angiogenesis features," Li said.
"For many people around the world, dietary cancer treatment may be the only solution because not everyone can afford cancer drugs."
The foundation also discovered that anti-angiogenesis properties of foods melt away fat, which relies heavily on blood flow to sustain itself.
Tests showed that mice genetically prone to be chubby could be trimmed to average mouse size using the approach.
"It got weight down to a set point for normal mice," Li said. "In other words, we can't create supermodel mice."