Searching for the cure—now has a life of its own.

A midnight message from Karen inspires a new look at cancer research.

At 12:08 EDT, while I was sound asleep at my home in Stonington, Connecticut; an email message arrived from a reader in Arizona. A super healthy, bike-racing grandmother of eight—Karen Barnes—wants to know if our T. Colin Campbell Foundation has a plan for telling the world that the cure for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke has already been found.

Karen racing in a 70-mile bike race in Mesa, Arizona—April 2012. Since going plant-based, she shaved a full 30 minutes off her previous best time.

I read that message at 4:50 a.m. EDT and was inspired to answer her question with a simple analogy that may change the world. But, first the message from Karen, a 50-year young entrepreneur who asks some great questions:

Hi Jim,

I scored a 36 on your 4Leaf Survey.  I follow a whole foods, plant-based diet as outlined by The China Study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and the documentary Forks Over Knives.  I started this last September.  I feel so fantastic now!  I feel so good after every meal!  I ride a road bike and I am so much faster riding up hills and riding in races!  I’m a 50 year old grandmother of 8 and everyone tells me how young I look!  I think because I now weigh what I did in high school!  I could never go back to eating the old way.

Jim, how can we educate America?  Do you people at the T. Colin Campbell Foundation have a plan?  I feel so helpless.  I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a huge secret to excellent health and permanent weight loss and hardly anyone is willing to listen.  What can be done?  Do organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation turn a deaf ear when presented with these facts as found in The China Study?  Do the other organizations dealing with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. turn a deaf ear also? 

Why don’t they pounce on this research as the answer that they’ve been looking for?  I mean, are they not truly looking for the cures for these diseases?

Best regards, Karen

My response: 0600 from the Mystic Starbucks—Mystic, CT—May 17

J. Morris Hicks

Dear Karen,

I absolutely love your letter. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your story. The short answer to your question is yes; we do have a plan. But, until sufficient funds are available to go big-time with that plan—we’ll continue with our grassroots revolution that is fueled by the books you mentioned, the Forks Over Knives documentary, this daily blog, and messages like the one you sent me this morning.

While showering, getting dressed and driving from Stonington to Mystic, I was thinking about a simple analogy that might turn into a plan that could go viral—a message that could clarify for all concerned that the answer to our health problems has been right under our noses all along. It’s what we put in our mouths every day.

So why is that simple concept not getting any real traction? Even with a former President of the United States among the converts? And, as you said in your note, “Do organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation turn a deaf ear when presented with these facts as found in The China Study? Why is the truth about nutrition and health not circulating more rapidly?

It’s because Americans, and other consumers of the toxic Western diet are looking for a quick fix for their bad habits. Maybe a simple analogy inspired by your message will go viral and open a few million minds to the potential of what we put at the end of our forks. As we know, most people put far more thought into what kind of fuel they put in their car than what kind of fuel they put in their own bodies.

You ask, “Why don’t people pounce on this powerful information?”

It’s because their light hasn’t come on yet. Like me, I read over forty books in the spring of 2003 before I had my blinding flash of the obvious and concluded, “Oh my God, we’re eating the wrong food.” Maybe this automobile analogy will do the trick for a few people—an absurd example to be sure—but no more absurd than the way we’re eating ourselves to death.

2012 Mercedes SL550 Roadster. Like all automobiles, your brand new Mercedes needs fuel, coolant, motor oil, and air in order to run. The air takes care of itself, but you have to decide how to handle the other three. But, instead of using the kinds of products recommended by the manufacturer, you want to be different.

For fuel. Instead of premium gasoline, you choose a mixture of regular gasoline, kerosene, turpentine and paint thinner.

For coolant. You choose a mixture of Gator Aid and cow’s milk.

For motor oil. Instead of the high tech synthetic recommended by MB, you buy a few cases of 10 w 30 at Sam’s Club and decide that you’ll make it last longer by adding only 4 quarts of it to your engine instead of the recommended five.

How to make your car very sick. You also decide that you don’t have time for routine maintenance and simply proceed to drive the heck out of your new car. After a few weeks, you begin to notice some strange noises, smells and emissions, but you just keep on driving. As 2013 approaches and your new car nears the 30,000 mile mark, you begin to notice some serious problems. Finally, one day, your car simply refuses to start. Not it’s time to “search for the cure.”

“Searching for the cure.” After having it towed to the MB dealer, you ask the service manager about what can be done to fix your automobile. After examining your engine, his service team cannot believe what they’re seeing. Your engine is destroyed—and you are told that there is no way to fix it. You are angry. You want a cure. You ask, “Why isn’t there something you can pour into my engine that will cure it?” The service manager looks at you and says….

Are you crazy? There is no cure, lady. You need a complete new engine.

Similarly, there is no simple cure for cancer—and likely never will be. Unlike automobiles, there is no such thing as a complete new engine for human beings. Our manufacturer decided long ago that the policy would be “only one body per customer.” But there is a natural and simple lifestyle regimen that will give you the very best chance of never developing this horrible disease in the first place—despite how much family history you have.

AND for healthy bones, healthy heart, healthy liver, etc.

What about cures for other chronic diseases? The good news is that there is a simple cure for some 95% of the cases of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many other maladies that are driven by what we eat. And there are even some cancers that can be slowed, stopped in their tracks or even reversed. The primary answer to most of our health issues is simple. The choice is yours.

  • Eat what Nature intended for you to eat (whole plants)
  • Get plenty of exercise, rest, fresh air and sunshine.
  • Find your passion for living and enjoy your time on this planet.

The Bottom Line. This analogy illustrates an incredibly simple point. All we have to do is feed our bodies the right fuel and Nature will take care of the rest. Let’s start by eliminating the leading cause of cancer—not searching for a miracle to “cure” a grossly mistreated body. Some day, doctors of the future may react the same as the MB service manager did, “Are you crazy? There is no cure for what you’ve done to your body and there never will be. Let’s start by showing you how to choose the right food.”

For help with all of this, you might want to spend $36, less than the cost of one dinner for two…

Handy 3-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Another part of our plan. I call it the Harmony Project and it begins with dispelling the “protein myth” that pervades the Western world. With two or three billion dollars, we could make some serious headway in getting this done. And that’s far less than half the net worth of the 20 or 30 wealthiest people in the world. If “the light goes on” for just one of them, we could be well on our way.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

SHARE and rate this post below.

Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to Searching for the cure—now has a life of its own.

  1. John Benjamin Sciarra says:

    Hi Jim, I get info every day at work on cutting egde advances in research. Interestingly, I discovered this article on a “new” discovery about a substance found in PLANTS that is available in theproduce isle of every supermarket.
    John Benjamin Sciarra

    Vegetable Substance Affects Implanted Breast Cancer
    News Posted: May 18, 2012
    Printer Friendly Forward to a Friend Share this

    .Apigenin, a natural substance found in grocery store produce aisles, shows promise as a non-toxic treatment for an aggressive form of human breast cancer, following a new study at the Univ. of Missouri. MU researchers found apigenin shrank a type of breast cancer tumor that is stimulated by progestin.

    Apigenin, a natural substance found in grocery store produce aisles, shows promise as a non-toxic treatment for an aggressive form of human breast cancer, following a new study at the Univ. of Missouri. MU researchers found apigenin shrank a type of breast cancer tumor that is stimulated by progestin, a synthetic hormone given to women to ease symptoms related to menopause.

    “This is the first study to show that apigenin, which can be extracted from celery, parsley and many other natural sources, is effective against human breast cancer cells that had been influenced by a certain chemical used in hormone replacement therapy,” says co-author Salman Hyder, the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.

    In the study, Hyder and his colleagues implanted cells of a deadly, fast-growing human breast cancer, known as BT-474, into a specialized breed of mouse. Some of the mice were then treated with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a type of progestin commonly given to post-menopausal women. A control group did not receive MPA.

    Later one group of MPA-treated mice was treated with apigenin. Cancerous tumors grew rapidly in the mice which did not receive apigenin. In the apigenin-treated mice, breast cancer cell growth dropped to that of the control group, and the tumors shrank.

    “We don’t know exactly how apigenin does this on a chemical level,” Hyder says. “We do know that apigenin slowed the progression of human breast cancer cells in three ways: by inducing cell death, by inhibiting cell proliferation, and by reducing expression of a gene associated with cancer growth. Blood vessels responsible for feeding cancer cells also had smaller diameters in apigenin-treated mice compared to untreated mice. Smaller vessels mean restricted nutrient flow to the tumors and may have served to starve the cancer as well as limiting its ability to spread.”

    The mice in Hyder’s study were injected with apigenin. In the future, apigenin injections could be a safe alternative or supplement to the highly toxic chemotherapy drugs now in use.

    “Chemotherapy drugs cause hair-loss, extreme fatigue and other side effects,” Hyder says. “Apigenin has shown no toxic side-effects even at high dosages. People have eaten it since pre-history in fruits and vegetables.”

    Finding funding for clinical testing of apigenin in humans may be difficult, according to Hyder.

    “Clinical trials of apigenin with humans could start tomorrow, but we have to wait for medical doctors to carry out that next step,” Hyder says. “One problem is, because apigenin doesn’t have a known specific target in the cancer cell, funding agencies have been reticent to support the research. Also, since apigenin is easily extracted from plants, pharmaceutical companies don’t stand to profit from the treatment; hence the industry won’t put money into studying something you can grow in your garden.”

    The research team included Benford Mafuvadze, doctoral student in biomedical sciences; Yanyun Liang, research scientist Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center; Cynthia Besch-Williford, associate professor of veterinary pathobiology; and Xu Zhang, visiting researcher at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.

    The research was published online in the journal Hormones and Cancer.

    Source: Univ. of Missouri

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