TEDxDaejeon Salon - Lee Eui Cheol - My prescription, Brown Rice and Plant-based Diet]

Uploaded by TEDxTalks on 22.01.2012

My name is Eui Cheol Lee and I am working at Daejeon Sun Hospital.
I'm also a member of the group 'Vegedoctor' promoting plant-based diet.
I majored in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
There are a lot of people who barely heard about it.
Actually, the reason why I've finally prescribed 'diet' rather than a medicine is related to my major.
Doctors who are specialized in this area work to manage employees' health,
find out the side effect of hazardous factors health in their workplaces or environment,
and seek for the best way to prevent them from the possible risk.
Nowadays, cerebro-cardiovascular diseases are the mostimportant work-related diseases in Korea.
These diseases are marking third prevalent "work-related diseases"  compensated by Workers' compensation
like musculoskeletal disease or poisoning by chemicals(following musculoskeltal disease and chemical intoxications).
And, these diseases take more than 40% of deaths from work-related diseases.
However, considering that the most cases of the hemical intoxications is pneumoconiosis due to the dust exposure in the past,
we can prevent the death in workplaces by paying attention to(prevention of) the cerebro-cardiovascular diseases.
We cannot deal well with the past exposed pneumoconiosis anymore.
On the contrary, we can be prevent possible deaths from cerebro-cardiovascular disease
if we manage current risk factor
Koreans work longer than almost any other countries in the world.
Comparing with the annual working hours among OECD countries,
we work 479 hours more than others per year.
If 479 hours are calculated on 40 hours per a week, it turns out to 3 months.
As a result, one year in Korea is not 12 months but 15 months.
Great amount of people think that they can recover from their disease with a medicine.
But we called high-blood pressure, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cancer as a lifestyle disease.
In other words, the cause of diseases is bad or unhealthy lifestyle
and even if we take medicine regularly, only symptoms can probably be managed,
but fundamental treatment cannot be accomplished unless we improve our lifestyle.
Especially in Korea, it is impossible for people to take care of their health
with doing exercise working every 12 hours day and night.
The reason that these people, working vigorously 8-12 hours a day,
get this kind of lifestyle disease is not a lack of physical activity.
The main problem is in our diet.
It is already well known that drinking, smoking, and lack of physical activity are not good for our body.
So it is not necessary to mention it when I talk with patients.
The truth is that almost all people do not know much
about what we have to eat in order to make our body healthy.
It is impossible to become better as far as we constantly consume animal-based foods like meat, fish, egg, and milk.
Eating is far more important than we've previously thought about.
I've met a lot of people who do not care about the diet and they cannot feel any changes in their body
even if they exercised a lot.
As you can see in this table, animal-based food contains fat and cholesterol far more than plant-based foods.
And animal fat is almost saturated fat.
There are almost equal amount of protein in both animal-based and plant-based foods,
but there are much more vitamin, fiber, mineral, and other antioxidant in plant-based foods.
It shows that if we take enough plant-based foods rather than taking animal-based ones containing a lot of cholesterol and fats,
blood in vessels becomes clear dropping cholesterol level in the blood,
and blood pressure also eventually drops.
This is a picture of an artery.
There are endothelial cells on the internal surface of the artery.
Endothelial cells produce nitric oxide(NO).
if the pressure inside the artery is about to increase and then dilate the artery and prevents the blood pressure from rising.
This endothelial cells' function is paralyzed for about an hour and a half if we smoke.
So blood pressure goes up when we smoke.
But when we eat animal-based food, same paralysis happens.
For 5 hours.
If we eat fatty diet such as sausage or ham, meat, fish, eggs and milk in the morning,
our endothelial function is paralyzed for 5 hours.
What do we do 5 hours after breakfast?
We eat lunch.
What about 5 hours after lunch?
We eat dinner.
5 hours after dinner?
(We sleep.)
Yes, sleeping is the best case scenario.
Sleeping would be better
but people who cannot go to sleep, eat late night snacks.
Chicken, pizza, ramen, glazed pig's feet.
If we eat animal-based food regularly,
endothelial cells do not get a chance to recover.
10 years, 20 years, 30 years later,
the elasticity of arteries decrease and blood becomes sticky
and cholesterol of the blood deposit on the inside of the arteries
and leads to atherosclerosis of the arteries.
When does atherosclerosis begin?
I was very surprised when I saw this picture.
Atherosclerosis begin from the moment we are born.
This means it starts as soon as we start eating animal-based food.
Of course, most of the infants these days start eating animal-based food when they start weaning diet.
And after that, they eat animal-based food regularly.
Because of this, atherosclerosis begin settling down from the 20s
and complications of atherosclerosis begin from the 30s.
Adult diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, hyperlipidemia,
which was named adult disease because it happens to people over 40s,
now are commonly found in 20s and 30s.
In reality, the rate of high blood pressure patients in 20s rose during the past 10 years.
The evidence that atherosclerosis can occur in 20s have a relation with Korea.
It was first known to the world through Korean War.
This research is calledautopsy study of war casualties,
researchers had checked each individual coronary arteries in dead American soldiers and Korean soldiers by cutting them all open.
The average age of American soldiers are 22.1 years.
But within these healthy young American soldiers, 77.3% had atherosclerosis.
In addition, 5.3% of them had luminal narrowing of over 90% in coronary arteries.
On the other hand, Korean soldiers did not have atherosclerosis.
The reason is food.
In the 1950s, the prevalence of atherosclerosis of America was 77.3%.
Now, in 2011, young adults of Korea.
How many of them do you think has atherosclerosis?
I assume over 70%.
70% of the people who are here already has atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries.
Symptoms may not show up at the moment.
What do you think will happen with this atherosclerosis?
According to medical textbooks,
it says that atherosclerosis can not be recovered once it has happened.
And it says that the goal of the treatment is slowing down the progression of the atherosclerosis.
But as you can see here,
atherosclerosis can be restored and fully cured.
This slide here shows coronary angiograms at baseline
and changed angiograms after about 3 to 5 years' plant-based diet.
When we stop eating animal-based food which contains cholesterol and saturated fat,
cholesterol and fat in the blood decrease and that clears blood and reduces the viscosity,
improves the function of the endothelial cells
and will eventually clear away atherosclerosis.
Then blood pressure drops to the optimum level.
Recently, research that followed 200,000 Americans for 20 years was released.
In this research,
it says that if people eat 50 grams of processed meat every day,
the risk of getting diabetes raise by 50%.
And with fresh meat,
100 grams of it every day will raise the risk of getting diabetes by 20%.
And if these red meat gets replaced by plant-based foods like whole grain, or nuts,
the risk of diabetes decreased by 20% to 35%
and if replaced by dairy products or poultry, fish,
it will decrease by 16~29%.
However, the important point here is
that red meat is the riskiest for diabetes,
but compared to plant-based foods,
other animal-based foods aren't really that safe.
Generally, plant-based foods have a higher chance of preventing diabetes compared to animal-based foods
This means other types of animal-based foods are not free from the danger of diabetes.
Because of these reasons,
I think I can partly explain the difference of effects
between plant-based and animal-based foods
by the difference of capacity for insulin secretion.
Casein is the protein that takes up over 80% of milk protein.
And mice were fed with this casein and soy protein,
and then their blood concentration of insulin was measured.
As you can see,
mice fed with milk had insulin concentration up to twice as much than the mice fed with soy protein.
Insulin helps our body absorb blood sugar to cells
and takes the leftover energies to fat.
But if the insulin concentration level rises too much,
fat is accumulated in our body.
This result shows the accumulation of fat on the liver
from mice that had milk protein and soy protein for 140 days.
A is milk, B is soy proteins.
Red part shows the fat.
Mice that had milk proteins show much more fat accumulation.
C and D are the results of additional servings of lard.
It was a high fat diet.
But as you can see,
mice that had soy hardly shows accumulation of fat.
That's photo D.
And mice fed with milk protein still shows high levels of fat accumulation.
That's C.
Mice's 140 days is equal to human's 12 years.
If humans eat 16% to 18% of animal protein from their whole calories for a long period,
same thing may happen.
Fatty liver, too much fat accumulation, insulin resistance and diabetes will happen.
Insulin not only causes diabetes or fat accumulation
but can also increase the risk of getting cancer.
If diabetic patients get insulin treatment,
research shows that that increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
If insulin treatment is continued for more than a year,
the risk of colorectal cancer rises up to 2.1 times
and every each year, the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 21%.
And there is sulfonylurea, which is one of the medicine used for treating diabetes,
increase insulin secretion from the pancreas.
Sulfonylurea monotherapy will increase the risk of all types of cancers up to 36%.
And if insulin is used, the risk rises up to 43%.
Whether it's insulin or sulfonylurea,
if we use treatments to lower the level of blood sugar by increasing the insulin level,
the risk of  colorectal cancer rises up to 69%
and the risk of pancreatic cancer rises up to 4.63 times.
When insulin concentration levels go up,
the risk of getting cancer goes up.
This finding is called 'Insulin Cancer Hypothesis'.
Insulin inside the body reacts with the tumor cell's surface IGF-1(a kind of growth hormone) receptor
and worsens a benign tumor to malignancy,
and makes the malignant cells proliferate.
That is why the risk for cancer rises.
Recently, it was reported in the papers
that if we drink too much fruit juice,
the risk of cancer rises.
This is very shocking news,
while everyone thinks fruit juice is good for health
and so drinks it for their health.
This research was done in Australia.
Researchers announced that if half a cup of fruit juice is drank every day,
the risk of colorectal cancer will rise by 74%.
Instead, if fruit, for example, apples were consumed every day,
the risk of colorectal cancer decreased.
Now what difference is there between apple and apple juice?
When making apple juice, food fiber is taken out from the apple.
And during the process, antioxidants decrease but the sugar levels rise.
So if you drink fruit juice, sugar gets quickly absorbed
and blood sugar level rapidly rises
and because of that, insulin secretion is increased.
And therefore the risk of cancer rises.
On the contrary, fruit has plenty of food fiber, so you can feel the sweetness
but sugar levels rise slowly and the insulin reaction is very low.
So it actually lowers the risk of cancer.
Fruit can be good or bad for you
based on how you eat it and it applies same to carbohydrates.
As you see, the brown one is brown rice and the white one is white rice.
The standards criteria is whether there is husk or not.
Good carbohydrates have husk and bad carbohydrates do not have husk.
In other words, it can be less processed carbohydrates or carbohydrates that are more processed.
Less processed carbohydrates have more fiber
so it slowly increases blood sugar level
and is good for our health.
The difference of brown rice and white rice is not just the color.
There is a significant difference between nutrition too.
Brown rice is rich of food fiber, protein, unsaturated fat and minerals and vitamins.
And what's more is that brown rice contains 7~8% of protein
which is similar to that of human's breast milk.
So it has less pressure on our body.
Wheat, on the other hand, contains 14% of protein
so even if it's whole wheat and has plenty of food fiber,
it has too much protein in it
so it puts too much pressure on our liver and kidneys.
This is why brown rice is the answer.
The basic principles for a brown rice and plant-based diet goes like this.
First, reduce the intake amount of animal-based foods
that contains high amount of saturated fat, cholesterol and protein
such as meat, fish, eggs and milk and other foods made from animals.
Second, also reduce the amount of foods that rapidly increases blood sugar levels
such as processed carbohydrates, white rice, flour and change your rice to 100% brown rice.
Third, minimize the intake amount of cooking oil which is 100% fat.
Cooking oil contains Omega-6 which is not good for our body,
for example, creates an auto-immune reaction to our own body
and causes various types of inflammations occur
and because of its fat, it leads to obesity.
Fourth, after eliminating meat, animal-based foods, processed carbohydrates, cooking oil,
eat plenty amounts plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seaweeds, mushrooms.
If you eat based on these rules,
you can prevent lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cancer.
Also, you can alleviate symptoms of asthma, rhinitis, atopy, psoriasis
and other skin related illnesses, constipation, hemorrhoids, heartburns, gastritis, gastric ulcer
and other illnesses related to the alimentary system.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue may also alleviate.
So that is why I prescribe diet, not medicine.
It's not just for individuals, it also applies same to companies.
Not only Daejeon Sun Hospital, which is my workplace,
but also some of the workplaces that I am managing has accepted my proposal
and now serves 100% brown rice.
When I visit those workplaces,
I made it mandatory that workers with sickness such as high blood pressure, diabetes and hyperlipidemia take brown rice
and avoid meat, fish, eggs and milk among side dishes as they can
and selectively take plant-based side dishes.
Brown rice and plant-based diet is not that hard.
All you need to do is eliminate meat, fish, eggs and milk.
And in addition to that, you just need to eat more vegetables and fruits.
When you start your plant-based diet,
starting with wrapping steamed brown rice with various green leaf vegetables are nice to begin with.
It's also my favorite diet,
I take a spoon of steamed brown rice
and wrap it in 3 sheets of various green leaf vegetables
and when I do this with every spoon,
I get to take in about 50 grams to 100 grams of leaf vegetables.
This is enough for a day.
Personally, I wish that everyone would try out brown rice and plant-based diet.
It would be nice if you would try it thoroughly for 4 weeks.
If a 4 week plan is too long for you, 2 weeks would be enough too.
After experiencing brown rice and plant-based diet,
I would also like you to compare the change of you body that you feel
during 'brown rice and plant-based diet' and the amount of your efforts during that period.
I am sure that everyone will be able to make a smart decision based on this comparison.
Thank you for listening,
this was my prescription,