Eating well: Delicious cancer prevention through nutrition

SAN ANTONIO (April 5, 2013) – Cancer rates in developing countries are lower than those of westernized economies. Michael Wargovich, Ph.D., of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center believes it’s not because of what we are eating, but what we’ve lost: anti-inflammatory and protective ingredients in traditional foods and medicines like turmeric, chile and neem that help prevent cancer in the first place.

“Our westernized diet is a big contributor to our higher rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Wargovich, who holds the CTRC’s Cancer Center Council Distinguished Chair in Oncology and is a professor of molecular medicine in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “But it is possible to put many of these spices and foods back into our diet without giving up the things we enjoy.”

Flavorful cancer fighters will be the topic of the next CTRC free information series lecture on Thursday, April 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Unlike most lectures in this series, this one will take place at the HEB Partner Center, 4949 Rittiman Rd., San Antonio.

Dr. Wargovich and Chef Iverson Brownell will give a lecture and cooking demonstration on Thursday. They will discuss the health effects of different ingredients while using them to prepare simple dishes, and provide free printed recipes for those foods.

While Dr. Wargovich’s lab will also investigate the curative properties of the African headache plant and other traditional medicines, he said, it’s not necessary to leave Western civilization in order to benefit from this wisdom.

Ginger, cocoa, red grapes and green tea are other foods with anti-inflammatory properties that are easy to find at the neighborhood grocery store. It’s often a matter of incorporating the beneficial foods more regularly into the diet. “You can eat what you want,” Dr. Wargovich said, “but balance it out.”

The lecture is sponsored by H-E-B and the Institute for the Integration of Medicine and Science at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. For more information call 210-450-1152 or go to Photos copyright M.Wargovich 2013.


The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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