Benny Gavi, MD, is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and current clinical assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University. After 16 years of medical practice in Harvard and Stanford hospitals, he expanded to an internal medicine practice in 2012 to focus on personalized healthcare.
Maya Eylon is a Doctor of Medicine candidate at Central Michigan University College of Medicine, pursuing her passion for helping others through holistic health care and preventive medicine.
Together, Benny and Maya have co-authored the book “Preventing Prostate Cancer: Reduce Your Risk With Simple, Proactive Choices.”
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. With impacts ranging from sexual to urinary, it can be empowering to know that this widespread disease is closely linked to lifestyle factors. In this episode, Benny and Maya describe how diet and lifestyle can be used in prostate cancer prevention.
Benny says, “food is a very intimate way by which our ecosystem… interacts with our biology. I mean, there are hundreds of chemicals that are being introduced into our body and are in intimate contact with our cells… and our immune system.”
Benny and Maya break down the biochemistry of specific foods, such as cruciferous vegetables and tomatoes, to explain how these plants provide protection against cancer and other chronic diseases.
As Maya tells us, “For men who are in that stage of active surveillance, who have altered their diet towards more of a whole-plant or vegetable-based diet, they have found that their prostate cancer has regressed… they’ve been able to halt the progression of their prostate cancer.”
Even post-diagnosis, it is not too late to start making lifestyle changes to alter the course of this illness. Listen to the full episode to learn more about which foods can make a difference in prostate cancer prevention.
Here are the details of our conversation:
[00:01:59] Benny’s interest in prostate cancer
[00:05:11] Maya’s work with Benny
[00:05:54] Lifestyle and prostate cancer prevention
[00:07:05] Cruciferous vegetables
[00:08:32] Vegetable serving sizes
[00:08:52] Whole-plant preparation
[00:09:48] Whole foods versus supplementation
[00:11:26] Cooking as a collaborative experience
[00:12:16] Tomatoes and lycopene
[00:14:07] Added benefits of plant-based eating
[00:14:41] Lifestyle and disease prevention statistics
[00:17:31] Green tea recommendations
[00:20:11] Soy and prostate cancer
[00:22:55] Benefits of plant-based salads
[00:23:55] Immediate effects of lifestyle change
[00:25:51] Effects of lifestyle change post-diagnosis
[00:27:39] Using data to understand the importance of lifestyle
Benny Gavi, MD, is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and current clinical assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University. For the first sixteen years of his career, Dr. Gavi practiced medicine in a hospital setting at Harvard and Stanford. In 2012, he expanded to an internal medicine practice to focus on personalized health care. In this position, Dr. Gavi has become a strong advocate for and expert on health improvement and disease prevention through nutrition and other lifestyle factors. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Gavi has spent the past decade sharing his passion for lifestyle choices and disease prevention through nutrition counseling and education.
Maya Eylon is a Doctor of Medicine candidate at Central Michigan University College of Medicine, pursuing her passion for helping others through holistic health care and preventive medicine. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Medicine Studies at Whittier College, and, as a clinical researcher interested in integrative lifestyle medicine, has conducted research with Hadassah Medical Center and Stanford University School of Medicine.
Check out Benny and Maya’s book here.