Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Nov 1998

Eating to Live vs Living to Eat

Eating to live, versus living to eat. It's your choice.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.

Saul Kent LEF President

You are what you eat has never been a more appropriate saying. Science is increasingly finding that a healthful diet, augmented by the right supplements, can ward off disease and help keep us vital for years. This issue of Life Extension offers testimony to this fact in compelling fashion. The Life Extension Foundation has always believed in a well-rounded approach to longevity. While we wait for breakthroughs from laboratories in extending life span, we can avail ourselves of scientific findings in many other ways.

image Dr. John McDougall is one of today's leading authorities on nutrition. His views on vegetarianism, and low- or no-fat diets, have helped many people toward healthier, happier lives. The fact is, eating right can reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, while the wrong foods increase the odds of dying prematurely. This is incontrovertible. In addition, McDougall's program has enabled his followers to lose fat, as well as ameliorate hypertension, Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent) and heart disease. Along the way, McDougall has not been shy about criticizing the more traditional dietary theories on the national scene. This, has led to attacks in return from the nutritional mainstream. One thing is certain: Dr. McDougall is a man of strong beliefs and principles, with many adherents. We think you'll find this overview of his approach to healthier eating and weight loss useful and thought-provoking.

Equally compelling are stories on soy and perilla oil, both key components of a healthful diet and supplement regiment. We examine in particular soy's role in addressing the problems of osteoporosis and heart disease in post-menopausal women. One solution, estrogen replacement therapy, carries with it an increased risk of promoting breast cancer. But soy is a versatile alternative. The theory is that soy protein protects against estrogen-induced cancers, while providing benefits in the fight against osteoporosis and heart disease. Significantly, with the availability of high-potency soy supplements, you don't have to be chained to elaborate and troublesome menus based on tofu or other soy-based foods.

The findings we present on perilla oil are intriguing. Essential fatty acids must be combined in the diet in the proper proportion, and the oil from the perilla plant seed can provide the right kind of fatty acids for maximum health, without the gastrointestinal side effects associated with omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Perilla oil has been shown to reduce the risk of first and second heart attack and stroke, reduce breast and colon cancer, inhibit the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and atherosclerosis, inhibit cardiac arrhythmia, and maintain cardiac cell energy output. Much is happening on the life-extension, anti-aging front. This issue contains the latest information you can use.

Saul Kent, President
Life Extension Foundation