YOUR PERSONAL DOCTOR IS IN
--A feature from The Philippine Star
Do you have diabetes, high cholesterol, respiratory disease like asthma, heart disease or any other lifestyle-related disease? What if your chronic condition can be reversed and you can enjoy better health, perhaps for the rest of your life, through a simple change of diet and lifestyle?
That’s what they’ll tell you at the LifeScience Center for Health and Wellness, where you discover how food can be your medicine. Of course, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said it first: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
Here’s a mouthful: You ate your way into this, you can eat your way out of it.
LifeScience, which uses functional medicine, an approach that involves different sciences, has helped patients with stage 2 to 4 cancer.
“Here at LifeScience Center, when a person comes in with a disease, we’re not particular about the disease but what triggered the disease,” asserts Michael Angelo “Mitch” Genato, LifeScience Center Group CEO. “Typical conventional medicine, in our perspective, is more of disease management, it’s very effective in being able to save people’s lives. But we don’t look at it as the complete healthcare proposition. We want to talk about the whole person. We look at a person’s DNA to understand what kind of food he/she should eat. We want to understand how a person is healthy based on two things: the environment and genetics, how our genes respond to our environment. Every person is different.”
Basically, what LifeScience does, says Mitch, is to pick up the best practices from different parts of the world, as originally conceived by the family who started this center for health and wellness, run by a local company.
“A lot of European countries, which are healthy, are the ones going back to the basics,” Mitch observes. “That means eating whole foods and understanding what’s inside the food we eat. If you look at our diet, it’s unhealthy, western food — consumption of sugar, etc. As a human race, we haven’t consumed as much food as we do now.”
According to LifeScience, the food that we eat doesn’t end in your plate, it ends in the toilet. “We have a system we’re helping develop called farm to flush. The absorption of the person of what’s in the plate is very important. Because from the food that we consume to what comes out in the toilet, we get to know how healthy a person is. Or how nutritious is the food that the person is eating.”
The Center works closely with farmers, dieticians/ nutritionists. The whole idea is to be conscious of their inputs in our food.
The food served for that afternoon open house certainly made us conscious of our health. On the menu: grilled vegetable skewers with soy garlic sauce, gluten-free organic brown rice, mushroom balls with marinara sauce, gluten-free lentil chia and basil chips, and for dessert, energy date balls, gluten-free brownies, choco cashew balls, which we washed down with calamansi pandan juice.
“For the last 25 years, we’ve been suffering from cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer,” notes Mitch. “At LifeScience, what we do is let people optimize their health. Some people are complacent because they’re not sick. But disease does not happen overnight. Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”
He can’t stress this enough: “Here at LifeScience, we look at six determinants of health. We talk about sleep, weight, nutrition, food, exercise, stress. It’s not possible to be good in one and not in the others.”
Sadly, Mitch quotes Wendell Berry, American environmental activist, farmer, and novelist who said, “People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”
Call them facilitators, helping people understand better what’s happening inside their systems —whether they’re already sick or wanting to avoid getting sick. Mitch elaborates, “What’s your lifestyle like? What are you doing to your body? Is your body in a perennial process of trying to fend for itself?”
“The gut is the second brain, all disease begins in the gut,” says Dr. Oyie Balburias, functional medicine practitioner.
LifeScience introduces us to this practice called epigenetics — by changing the food we eat, by exercising, etc., we get to change the expression of the genes. So, just because diabetes runs in your family doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have it, too. “We know how to manage disease based on genetics, so you don’t trigger those disease markers.”
There’s a biotechnology company called Nutrigenomix started by the University of Toronto that seeks to empower healthcare professionals and their clients with comprehensive genomic information with the goal of improving health through personalized nutrition.
At LifeScience Center, you’re given a questionnaire that’s all of 17 pages. Mitch explains, “We give you the luxury of having your personal doctor who will understand you inside out.”
There’s a Food Intolerance Test to find out if you’re reacting to the food you eat. Like Mari Jasmine, Australian celebrity blogger, model and TV host, who felt bloated everytime she ate. Growing in a normal, healthy household, she’s tried every diet on earth — vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc. She was desperate for an answer to her problem so she took the test and her bloating considerably lessened and now, she’s no longer in constant pain.
“Patients with migraine have been helped by correcting their diet,” Mitch tells us. “Also, those with psoriasis were relieved when their swelling subsided.”
But as Mitch stresses, “No one diet fits all as every person is unique.”
No worries, because at LifeScience, your personal doctor is always in.
LifeScience Center for Health and Wellness is at the 8th floor, Accra Law Tower, 2nd Ave. corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City with telephone numbers 828 LIFE (5433); www.facebook.com/LifeSciencePhil.
Originally published in the April 4, 2017 issue of The Philippine Star.