The concept of PhytoDense Foods was created out of my vocation as a practicing medical  oncologist and my interest in cooking healthy and tasteful foods. As an Oncologist, I am confronted with treating a variety of cancers on a daily basis—some of which may be preventable through lifestyle and diet. Although no one knows for certain what role, if any, diet plays in the prevention of cancer, the weight of evidence shows that the incidence of some cancers may be decreased through consumption of a diet rich in plant products. Indeed, many studies have consistently shown that the Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of various cancers, especially digestive tract cancers. Many foods consumed in a typical Mediterranean diet (e.g., vegetables, fruits, seeds, spices, herbs, and nuts) contain numerous and diverse phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-derived compounds that  affect numerous cellular functions involved in cancer formation, growth, and spread. Increasing research is being published which demonstrates that plant-derived phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, phenolic acids, flavonoids and organosulfur compounds, are able to act as antioxidants (compounds that protect the cell from free-radical damage) and block various steps in the biochemical pathways that lead to cancer cell formation, growth, and spread (metastasis). The transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell and the subsequent growth and survival involves numerous complex growth pathways that scientists are only recently beginning to describe and understand.  Indeed, cancer is NOT one disease but a very diverse group of diseases that share a common theme: autonomous growth and evasion of death. Many checks and balances exist in our cells that keep our  organs functioning normally. However, a change in DNA structure or a gene mutation may render the cell immortal, allowing it to grow and spread despite the body’s attempts at stopping it. The growth of a cancer cell is not unlike the falling of a row of dominoes—one falls on another causing it to go from an inactive standing position, to a moving object that triggers other dominoes to fall. This is analogous to growth pathways that lead to many cancers, and why it may be easier to prevent cancer by stopping a pathway (not allowing the initial domino to fall so to speak) as opposed to trying to interrupt a growth pathway once a cancer is growing and spreading. In other words, try not to let that first domino fall! 

My interest in cancer medicine as a vocation and my love of good food, led me into my kitchen to develop healthy and good-tasting products that may decrease cancer risk. Of course, eating a vegetarian burger will not in itself prevent any cancer or any other disease. However, adopting a lifestyle of eating phytonutrient-rich foods daily while avoiding unhealthy habits and getting daily exercise is a starting point for betterment of our health. I hope you will try our products and that they “spark” interest in not only phytonutrients, but also adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Mark A. Marinella, MD, FACP

President/Founder, PhytoDense Foods