I began macrobiotics in 1981 when my father was
diagnosed with cancer. In looking for a way to
help him, I found out about macrobiotics and began
an adventure that dramatically changed my life.
the course of investigating and finding out more
about macrobiotics, I got pointed to and attended
a summer conference where I had the chance to
hear and meet with Dr. Anthony Sattilaro, a physician
and hospital president in Philadelphia, who experienced
a miraculous remission of widespread prostate
cancer after beginning a macrobiotic diet.
also met many other individuals who reported similar
stories of recovery or remission. I was simultaneously
absolutely fascinated and skeptical. This was,
after all, big news: A possible natural method
for reversing cancer and other intractable diseases.
changed my diet at that time and noticed many
changes - subtle and not so subtle: weight loss
(without even trying), increased energy, clarity
of thought, clear skin, etc. I also moved into
Murray Snyder's macrobiotic study house in Baltimore
where I took classes and read everything I could
find on macrobiotics.
satisfy my skeptical western mind, however, I
began researching nutrition and macrobiotics in
relation to cancer, scouring the medical library
at Johns Hopkins University. Interestingly, what
I uncovered seemed fully consistent with macrobiotic
recommendations: increase whole grains, vegetable,
and fruits; decrease dairy, meat, and saturated
I began graduate studies, spanning the fields
of Public Health, Nutrition, and Cancer Epidemiology.
I earned a Master' Degree in Public Health at
Tulane University as well as a Ph.D. in Epidemiologic
Science at the University of Michigan. I also
carried out the first (and, to date, only) systematic
research on macrobiotics and cancer - a survival
analysis of patients with pancreatic cancer who
adopted macrobiotic diets. I also carried out
studies on diet as a predictor of breast cancer
recurrence and survival.
certifiable "professional student,"
I then went on to medical school, earning my M.D.
degree at Michigan State University. While in
med school, I started a student organization on
alternative medicine and spent as much time as
I could integrating macrobiotic and western medical
concepts of health and healing. After med school,
I completed an internship in Internal Medicine
and residency in Preventive Medicine (the field
in which I am Board-certified) at the University
of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
in residency training, I carried out one additional
research project, a study of men who had developed
recurrences of prostate cancer in spite of surgery.
We enrolled these men in a four-month diet and
stress-reduction intervention (modeled on macrobiotics)
and observed its impact on the disease. In a small
group of men, we found that the rate of cancer
growth was reduced by 75% !! This was accompanied
by healthy weight loss, improvements in cardiovascular
risk factors, and enhanced quality of life.
am now a faculty member at the University of California,
San Diego School of Medicine where I am carrying
out a sequel study - a larger and longer intervention
that has been funded by the American Cancer Society.
I would also like to participate in other studies
of macrobiotics and would enjoy sharing ideas
with other interested individuals.