Research Study demonstrates that Diet and Food Outperform Pharmaceuticals

A study from December of 2021 out of the University of Sydney in Australia demonstrated that diet and food had a much more profound effect regarding anti-aging and metabolic health than pharmaceuticals.

The study was published in Cell Metabolism and was a complex mouse study comparing 40 different treatment protocols.

The study compared the effect of food and diet compared to 3 drugs for diabetes and antiaging. But the researchers appeared to not only show that food and diet had a much more profound effect against conditions such as diabetes and anti-aging, but they also described the difference in the way that food affected the challenges versus the way the drugs affected the challenges.

Dr. Stephen Simpson, the lead author of this research out of the University of Sidney, stated, “We discovered dietary composition had a far more powerful effect than drugs, which largely dampened responses to diet rather than reshaped them.

In other words, Dr. Simpson appears to be saying that the food affected the root cause of metabolic pathways, helping to move these pathways in the right direction, while the drugs didn’t remodel the metabolic pathway by optimizing or shifting those pathways in the right direction, instead the medications “dampened” the negative response of a poor diet.

Why diet is more effective than drugs

We were created and designed to eat food, so it should be no surprise that it is food that modifies, shapes, and determines the direction of our metabolic pathways.

Years ago, Fritz Albert Popp proved that humans were only designed to consume food that was once living that actually had DNA, ie. plants and animals.

We are far more than the sum of our parts, and that applies to our food as well. Food is not the sum of the chemicals that make it up. Food has all the enzymes necessary to digest it, it has the associated synergists, cofactors and active transporters that allow food to be miraculously transformed into living cells in our body.

A new research study has shown that diet and food are more effective than pharmaceuticals in treating disease. The study found that a plant-based diet can reverse heart disease, while drugs only manage the symptoms. This is because drugs only treat the symptoms of disease, while a healthy diet addresses the root cause. Therefore, it’s important to focus on preventive care by eating a nutritious diet instead of relying on medication. This research is an important step forward in the fight against disease, and its proof that healthy food is the best medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does food affect our health?

Currently there is a huge movement and much research and effort toward the Food is Medicine movement. There is good reason for this because as this study showed, food had a much more profound effect than medications regarding our metabolic health.

At FoodPharmacy™ we believe we are in the forefront of food and wellness. FoodPharmacy™ is a tool to help give the body what it needs to optimize its God-given potential. The idea is not to use food to treat symptoms, but rather to balance and optimize the body.

Let me explain this further. If a food is considered to be anti-inflammatory, it’s not the food that decreases inflammation, it is the body’s mechanisms and anti-inflammatory pathways that now become more optimized. Most often the inflammation is due to an imbalance in the body which results in an inflammatory state.

When the body is balanced and given the foods it needs to supply the necessary nutrients, the body is able to become optimized from a cellular and metabolic perspective. Although we love the statement of Hippocrates, “Let thy food be thy Medicine, and thy medicine be thy Food”, in reality, food is not actually medicine; it supplies the required nutrients to optimize the body, but many of these components do promote the body’s ability to exhibit very powerful actions. Just as in the presence of light, darkness doesn’t exist, in the presence of optimal life and balance in the body, disease doesn’t exist. For disease to exist there must be an imbalance.

The idea of FoodPharmacy™ is to give the body the foods it needs to become balanced and move metabolic pathways toward a more balanced and optimal state.

How can we make sure that we’re getting the nutrients our bodies need from the food we eat?

The best way to make sure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. Another way to ensure you’re getting a full range of nutrients is by eating a variety of colors. For example, include dark leafy greens, bright red tomatoes and orange carrots in your diet.

In addition to eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, you must limit or restrict processed foods and high-sugar items in favor of whole foods such as fresh produce. By following these tips, you can have more confidence that you are getting the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

The challenge is that due to our lifestyles and the way we eat, many times we create imbalances by obtaining adequate amounts of certain nutrients while we have deficiencies of others. This could be either because we are not receiving adequate intake of particular nutrients or because our body has a higher demand for particular nutrients either because of our lifestyle or because of our genetic predisposition.

Are there specific foods that can help improve health challenges or can worsen health challenges?

We at FoodPharmacy™ strongly believe that the best thing that you can do regarding recommendations of specific foods would be to have a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner who understands nutrition and the need for proper nutrition, and FoodPharmacy™ can be a wonderful tool in the hands of a skilled practitioner, for it is well understood that foods that can help one challenge can worsen another challenge.

There are many foods that research studies have demonstrated can improve a health challenge, but there are also studies showing how certain foods can have a detrimental effect. Here are just a few examples:

  • Resveratrol: an antioxidant derived from grapes and found in wine, works to inhibit growth of the bacteria that causes acne.
  • Coffee: Drinking coffee may offer protection against developing both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Pecans: significantly improve total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.
  • Mushrooms: May help lower risk of depression.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a common spice that has many health benefits. It may be used to help relieve nausea, pain, and inflammation.
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as Cabbage, Kale, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts: May help to control non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  • Green Tea Extract: Green Tea extract combined with exercise was demonstrated to reduce fatty liver disease by up to 75% in one study.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a yellow-colored spice that contains curcumin, a compound with powerful properties that studies have linked to supporting many challenges including Alzheimer’s.
  • Foods high in phenylalanine, choline and betaine such as: red meat, egg yolks and high-fat dairy products: were linked with increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Proline: High proline consumption was associated with more severe depression.
  • Liver, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Dairy Products, Hot Chocolate, Cider, Tea and Coffee: These are all known to cause rosacea flare-ups.


Foods can play a major role in shifting metabolic pathways and can be used to support healing and mitigate the challenge or exacerbate the health challenge. Healthcare practitioners are now looking to utilize food more in an effort to optimize health and healing and as stated in the National Institute of Health 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research, “What if each of us had individualized, actionable dietary recommendations that helped us decide what, when, why, and how to eat to optimize our health and quality of life?”


Nutritional reprogramming of mouse liver proteome is dampened by metformin, resveratrol, and rapamycin.

Le Couteur, David G., et al. (2021). Cell Metabolism33(12), 2367-2379.

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