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PYP 129: Dr Rekha Chaudhary on Giving Hope to Cancer Patients

rekha-chaudharyDr Rekha Chaudhary is an oncologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  Until a chance viewing of the documentary Forks Over Knives, Dr Chaudhary had never once encountered the concept that diet could affect cancer intiation, progression, or outcome.

Unwilling to shove this new data under the rug, she invited T. Colin Campbell to conduct Grand Rounds at her university, and was amazed at the animal studies showing that environment (specifically, the amount of animal protein in the diet) could turn cancer cells on and off.


Once she dove into the evidence, she became amazed that medical education for oncologists completely ignores the huge body of evidence showing that cancer patients may be able to control over their health outcomes to a greater or lesser extent.

We had a fascinating (at least to me!) discussion about what kinds of evidence are most convincing to us. I discovered that oncologists evaluate various types of evidence differently from me, and differently from cardiologists.


In our conversation, we cover:

  • Dr Chaudhary's anxiety when she started treating brain cancer patients who hadn't “done anything wrong” and were facing a 3% five-year survival rate
  • the Knudson tw0-hit hypothesis taught to oncologists, and how it needs to be applied to diet
  • her take on the recent World Health Organization (WHO) report linking meat to cancer
  • more convincing data from the giant EPIC trial
  • why the link between meat eating and colorectal cancer is seriously underreported
  • the value of retrospective, prospective, and randomized studies
  • the Spanish Mediterranean Diet study that showed at 62% reduction in breast cancer incidence from a short-term, mild dietary improvement
  • why plant-based advocates need to perform more reductionist research
  • her colleague who decided to eat a hot dog “in rebellion” against the WHO report
  • cancer patients and regret – and why they rarely regret their dietary choices
  • how she would spend $100 million on research
  • why research needs to focus on treatment, not prevention, in order to convince the medical profession
  • rebranding the whole food plant-based diet as the “New American Diet”
  • her advice to patients who want to change their diets but don't want to miss out
  • her role in the documentary PlantPure Nation
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Dr Chaudhary's U of Cincinnati page

Chapter 13 of Proteinaholic: Fleshing Out the Cancer Connection – free download

Proteinaholic on amazon (lots of data on the EPIC trials and other studies we discussed)

PlantPure Nation website


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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3 comments on “PYP 129: Dr Rekha Chaudhary on Giving Hope to Cancer Patients

  1. Thank You says:

    We need more doctors like Dr. Chaudhary

  2. Rose says:

    I think that what I would like to see in terms of research on brain tumors is plant based compared to plant base with no onions…….or more precisely alliums. There is some interesting research on green tea creating the same type of brainwaves as meditation. Traditionally alliums have been left out of buddhists diets because of the effect on the brain and I’ve seen some research on opposite happening with onions and garlic. I’m wondering whether Dr Chaudary has seen plant positive to still be talking about ketogenic diets like they are credible. Dr Greger also discusses these types of diets as shortening lifespan. Probably the only ketogenic diet that I perceive as healthy enough to reverse disease is fasting

    1. Howard says:

      Good questions – I’ll share them with Dr. Chaudhary.

      I’m not sure I want to live in a world without onions and garlic 😉

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