Dear Mark: Ornish Strikes Again, Vitamin D from Light Boxes, and Kimchi and Cancer

KimchiAh, it’s good to be back in the saddle again. The challenge was a lot of fun – don’t get me wrong – but ultimately both you guys and I come here for the dispensation of musings and information and writings and discussion on health, fitness, and any other number of lifestyle topics. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Today, we’re doing a roundup of three Dear Mark questions and answers. First, I address the latest insinuation from Dean Ornish that we’re all killing ourselves despite our weight loss, our fitness gains, our prescription reductions, our improved outlooks on life, and our elevated levels of general happiness and satisfaction. Next, I discuss whether or not those light therapy boxes designed to combat seasonal disaffective disorder and reset circadian rhythms will also help us generate vitamin D. And finally, I explore the research linking the intake of pickled vegetables like kimchi to gastric cancer. Let’s go:

Eating for Health, Not Weight

Could you please comment on the article at the link above?

Also, did you have a chance to research overmineralization theory of aging?




This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Ornish. Way back in 2007, I wrote about a study comparing the Ornish diet, the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, and the LEARN diet. I won’t get too deep into his criticisms of low-carb, high-fat (or should I say “high-protein”) diets, because they’re based on the very same studies that have been thoroughly ravaged across this and other blogs for the past few years. Like my piece on the connection between red meat and type 2 diabetes here, and Denise Minger’s piece on the connection between low-carb diets and heart disease in Swedish women here.

Instead, my main focus will be on Ornish’s claim that his diet is optimal, that his magic diet program can reverse atherosclerosis and result in weight loss that obliterates the cheeseburger-and-buttered-bacon-fueled opposition. He makes this claim a lot, and you hear about it all the time from other sources. What’s he talking about? Where is this coming from? Why, he must have an impressive personal archive of statistics from diet study after diet study in which patients were placed on the Ornish plan and didn’t just thrive, but became supernatural beacons of health. Right?

Not really. It all comes from a single study done on 35 people published back in 1998. Twenty people were randomly selected to receive the Ornish diet – a low-fat, vegetarian diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and soybean products. They were also placed on a lifestyle modification program which had them exercise regularly, go to stress management training, stop smoking, and do psychosocial support group meetings. That was the experimental group. The other fifteen – the control group – were not counseled in this manner, instead being told to merely “keep listening to their physicians.” How did this all play out?

The experimental group was exercising five hours a week; the control group was exercising two and a half hours a week.

The experimental group was spending 87 minutes per week performing stress management techniques like meditation; the control group was spending less than five minutes a week doing it.

The experimental group lost almost 24 pounds after a year and managed to keep 12 of them off after five years. The control group lost little to no weight.

Sure enough, by the end of the study, the experimental group had reduced atherosclerosis. After five years, the experimental group had experienced 0.89 cardiac events per patient, while the control group had experienced 2.25 events per patient. Things definitely improved.

So, what was it? Was it the diet alone that improved the experimental group’s health, as Ornish loves to emphasize? Or could it be that the weight loss, the meditation, the stress reduction, the exercise, and the lack of smoking also played a role in improving their heart health?

We already know that weight loss improves health, and a recent study even suggests that the type of diet isn’t very important for improving the function of blood vessels so long as you’re losing belly fat on it. We know that meditation and stress reduction can lower hypertension and reduce mortality from heart disease (and it can even increase telomerase, which Ornish again says his diet is responsible for). We know that regular exercise fights heart disease. And everyone knows that smoking tobacco is a terrible choice (PDF) for patients with heart disease (and anyone else, really).

So why does Ornish feel the need to reduce the benefits of his program to the composition of the diet while deemphasizing and often failing to mention the other aspects of the lifestyle modification program he recommends?

Because if he didn’t, he’d have to acknowledge that other diets can work alongside “lifestyle modification,” even – or especially – diets that include ample amounts of animal fat and protein.

To sum up, Ornish’s program – the diet that leads to weight loss, the exercise, the stress reduction, and the cessation of smoking – clearly seems to work for improving heart health. But he hasn’t proven that the specifics of his vegetarian low-fat diet are the main reason, nor has he shown that a high-fat, low-carb diet would somehow negate the proven benefits of the non-diet lifestyle modifications.

And sorry, haven’t had time to look into the overmineralization theory yet. Thanks for the reminder, though!


Thank you for your website, I am starting out with the program and I have a question about sunlight and “wake lights,” specifically the Philips GoLITE Blu.

I work in theatre, a profession that is known for fast food and no sunlight, and I was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy. I have been using the GoLITE Blu to help try and regulate my sleep cycles and I was curious if you knew to what extent it helps with vitamin D production, particularly for days (or weeks) where I don’t get a lot of sun.



Hey John.

I like the wake lights. They’re great for normalizing your circadian rhythms and getting you more in tune with the ebb and pulse of the day. And while actual natural light is probably best and perhaps irreplaceable, the GoLITE Blu is a fantastic option for when you just can’t get outside to let your eyes perceive the real stuff. However, the wake light unfortunately does not help with vitamin D production. For vitamin D, you absolutely need to expose your skin to UVB rays, the kind generated by the sun.

There is a lamp that generates enough UVB to stimulate vitamin D production, designed by Dr. Holick, author of The Vitamin D Solution. If anything will work, that should. At $425, it’s a little steep, but if you want to generate vitamin D the natural way without sun, that’ll do it.

Let me know how it goes.

Hi Mark!

I love your blog and your book. I learn something new every time I drop by on MDA! Keep up the good work!

Since you promote fermented foods a lot on MDA, I wanted to ask you: is there such a thing as too much fermented food?

When my South Korean friend immigrated to my city, she introduced me to spicy cabbage kimchi. Since I share your love of all things fermented, I liked it from the start, although it was a bit spicy at first. Recently I discovered that it is incredibly delicious when fried in butter as a side dish or as a topping for a good chunk of meat. The butter mellows the spices and rounds out the tangy flavor.

My friend cautioned me, however, to exercise restraint. Apparently it is common knowledge in Korea that while a bit of kimchi every day keeps the doctor away, it is addictive, and too much kimchi increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer. I totally agree that kimchi can be addictive (especially with butter!), but I wonder about the cancer part. Kimchi refers to all fermented vegetables, not just the spicy cabbage westerners are familiar with, so it is not only about the spices. Some kinds of kimchi are traditionally prepared pretty mild, and most kinds of kimchi are prepared with or without spices according to the family tradition. For exemple, in my friend’s family, cabbage, green onion and bitter gourd are prepared spicy, while daikon, pumpkin and cucumber kimchi are prepared mild.

Do you think there is such a thing as too much fermented foods? Should I cut back if I find myself eating something fermented at almost every meal? Are the abundant spices of the Korean cuisine to blame rather than the kimchi? Or do you think this is all Korean Conventional Wisdom, full of good intentions but full of flaws?

Thank you for your insight!


Thanks for the compliments!

It’s true that kimchi has been linked in several observational studies to cancer, but not colorectal cancer. It’s actually stomach, or gastric, cancer that’s primarily associated with kimchi intake. To get an idea of what they’re talking about, take a look at one of the latest of these studies, a 2009 meta-analysis entitled “Fresh and pickled vegetable consumption and gastric cancer in Japanese and Korean populations: A meta-analysis of observational studies.”

I think there are a few possible explanations for this:

  • Note that the highest levels of pickled vegetable intake are associated with stomach cancer, meaning that people who are eating the most kimchi are probably eating less fresh vegetation, simply because they run out of “room” in their diets for the fresh stuff. Furthermore, intake of non-fermented vegetables like cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, garlic, onion, and allium vegetables in general are often inversely associated with stomach cancer, and if you’re eating a bunch of fermented cabbage, you’re probably not going to include a significant amount of non-fermented cabbage and other vegetables, too.
  • Kimchi, even homemade stuff, has been shown to form significant amounts of nitrosamines when subjected to “simulated human stomach conditions.” Dietary nitrosamines have been linked to several cancers, including gastric, but I’m not sure how realistic those simulated stomach conditions actually are.
  • Atrophic gastritis, a type of chronic inflammation of the stomach mucosa, can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer; atrophic gastritis is often caused by a helicobacter pylori infection. The presence of large amounts of salt in the stomach (like from a meal of pickled vegetables) has been linked to an increase in the virulence of h. pylori. Since h. pylori infection is far more common in Korea, perhaps a high intake of salty pickled vegetables makes the already-present h. pylori more virulent, which leads to more atrophic gastritis and, eventually, gastric cancer.

But that’s not the entire picture:

Confusing, huh? If any lesson can be gleaned from this, it’s to treat fermented vegetables, including kimchi, as a condiment. Also, you’ll want to make sure that your fermented vegetable intake does not replace your fresh vegetable intake. Fresh veggies should provide bulk and volume to your meals, while fermented vegetables should act as adornments and meal enhancers. Treat fermented and fresh vegetables like you treat cured meats and fresh meats; as delicious as bacon is, you don’t want it to comprise the majority of your meat intake.

To answer your questions:

  1. There’s probably such a thing as too much fermented food, but I don’t have a hard number for you. It’s “too much” when it begins to crowd out fresh vegetable intake.
  2. Eating something fermented at every meal should be fine so long as it’s – once again – not the only way you’re eating vegetables.
  3. Spices are almost uniformly healthy, especially since these are homemade ferments without added MSG and other junk masquerading as “spices.”
  4. It’s always worth investigating traditional advice about health and nutrition, in my opinion, because there’s often some wisdom lurking there.

Oh, and avoid radish kimchi at all costs or risk certain death!

Just kidding. Thanks for reading, folks.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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55 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Ornish Strikes Again, Vitamin D from Light Boxes, and Kimchi and Cancer”

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      1. Agreed. I liked the refresher of the challenge (although I had just completed my own challenge and didn’t particpate), but I’m happy to be reading a “real” article. Good information, btw!

  1. $425 for a sun lamp? I’d say “a little steep” is an understatement. Sun lamps aren’t new. They’ve been around for at least 50 years, in which case some shopping around might produce a much better price.

  2. I want to chime in and say, for some people, there definitely is such a thing as too much fermented foods. I went way overboard several years ago. I bought Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation and Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and started making my own kraut, pickkes, kimchi, water and dairy kefir drinks. I was probably eating fermented foods at least twice a day, usually more. WIthin six months I developed rosacea and had terrible allergies that spring. My PCP happened to run a blood histamine level and it was sky high. I googled around and discovered fermented foods are high in histamine.

    I cut way back on consumption, no more water kefir drinks, pickled veggies only once a week or so, but still do yogurt 3-5 times a week. No more rosacea and have not had any spring allergies past two seasons. I am sure it is just a quirk of my biochemistry (apparently some folk have lazy enzymatic systems that clear histamine) and other people would have no problem with that level of consumption. But your life is an experiment and you live in your laboratory and my results showed me moderation is best for fermented foods.

    1. The fermented food was an issue for me as well, and I finally realized it must be due to histamine after reading about it. My allergies had gone crazy though had been fine earlier in the year. I never had a blood histamine level done though. I haven’t experimented much again with them, though will once the fall allergy season is over.

    2. Hi,

      I’ve been reading the Nourishing Traditions book, and generally when fermented vegetables are mentioned its in the context of using it as a condiment, an accompaniment to the main meal. I guess if you eat too much, and salt is used in making the fermented food, then perhaps the increase in salt causes problems, especially if its over processed salt.

      That being said, it seems that a number of diet regimes/programs/research points to the health benefits of fermented foods.

      Great site lots of food for thought.

  3. Mark,

    For many people the amount of conflicting information and studies on nutrition stop them from taking action. I imagine researchers are doing there best, but, is there no regulation as to what can be presented as fact by the media? I feel nutritional science is getting as bad as political campaigning. Your likely to believe whatever commercial or article you see when you read things like “this study proved”, “shown by this study”, or “this study linked”. Do you think a disclaimer of sorts required at the bottom of articles describing in layman’s terms how those studies were conducted, whether it was correlation or causation, or that mice were used would would help people sift through it all?

    1. That would definitely help me! I no longer believe statements made based on “this study …” but I don’t always have the time to read through the entire study, even when a link is provided. So a quick synopsis would definitely help me. It’s one of the reason’s I love MDA: he frequently gives that quick synopsis.

      1. Mark’s researched the research, and thanks to his re-research, sums up facts succinctly! It’s why I hit up MDA nearly every day.

        Thanks for doing the boring work Mark!

        Now I’ll do the hard work: I’ll be outside for a short post-lunch run. 🙂

    2. Mark,

      I think the real answer is for people to actually become more science literate so that they can read and understand, and scrutinize the studies for themselves.

      This kind of issue applies to almost every sphere of human life, from nutrition and diet to climate change, embryonic stem cells, nuclear power you name it.

      I’m not suggesting for one minute that people have to become experts but they should strive for an ability to critically evaluate the information in the studies.

  4. I haven’t tried kimchi yet but we do eat homemade sauerkraut. Mmm, so good!

  5. I love kimchi! I can’t get enough of the stuff, unfortunately others in my house can’t stand the smell, so I have to eat it in private!

  6. My response to lukedepron is please don’t tarnish the name of political campaigning by comparing it to nutritional science studies. Tim Ferris has a chapter in his book The 4-Hour Body dedicated to the science of ‘bad’ science. And no scientist will attach a disclaimer to his ‘research’ especially if it is funded by a corporation or he intends to make a profit.
    Having said that, go to and enter “Blue Zones” and see what the elements of a long healthy life are. Your inner Grok will thank you for simplifying good health.

    1. J. Delancy,

      Cool Ted Talk, assuming you were talking about the “How to live to 100”? Sorry If I didn’t make myself clear, I wasn’t referring to nor would I expect the researchers to put a disclaimer. I was speaking about the media. Obviously most of us here enjoy reading through studies but for the average Joe who comes across an article on Yahoo or in Mens Health, some mention of how the study was conducted would probably do some good.

  7. I tried the GoLITE Blu lamp a couple of years ago, and it gave me terrible headaches. (No, I did not stare directly into it.)

    1. Me too. I love bright natural light in the winter, but all of the SAD lights make me nauseous

  8. Was the study on kimchee and pickles conducted with authentic lacto fermented foods? Unfortunately, I have heard that lost of japanese places have begun cutting corners, Western style, and that some of their previously fermented foods are now pickled and pasteurized, commercial style. Would make a huge difference in the results. Thanks alot

  9. Regarding Ornish, I think it’s obvious why he claims that “his diet is optimal, that his magic diet program can reverse atherosclerosis and result in weight loss”…it’s this blurb in the NYT article:

    “For example, Medicare is now covering this program for reversing heart disease.”

    My tax dollars are now contributing to his trickery and pseudo-selective science…

    I agree with other posters, “science” today is nebulous at best…the money involved makes it akin to politics, and we all know how that’s going these days.

    I for one will continue the primal way of life…I’ve dropped 52 lbs since 1 Jan 12 and, like many others, am realizing numerous benefits and health improvements that go beyond simple weight loss…keep up the great work Mark!

  10. Regarding Ornish, I thought that if his experimental folks didn’t eat well at all prior to the testing, that ANY improvement be it vegetarian or paleo would show improved results. But in the long run, vegetarian is not the best diet to live on.

    My sister in law is a ‘vegetarian’ and when I recently saw her; she is at least two dress sizes larger. Oh, well .. I just eat my chicken in silence.

  11. I just looked up pictures of Mr. Ornish.

    Then I looked at pictures of Mark.

    Pictures tell a thousand words. Especially when one picture is flabby.

    1. +1

      welcome back mark!

      “For example, Medicare is now covering this program for reversing heart disease”

      Well that explains a lot, Dr. Ornish.

    2. Mr. Ornish does not look like the picture of health. Steve Jobs was on the Ornish diet. Enough said.

  12. I’ve been lurking here and this post seems like a good time to ask a question I’ve wondered about. What’s Mark’s position on the idea in the Zone Diet about needing to keep Protein to Carb carb ratio less than 1.0 (and above 0.6) to avoid ketogenic state and associated “brain fog,” and other negative metabolic responses.

    Personally, I’ve found this to be true–if I eat too low amount of carbs in a meal, I get a very “rushed” and uncomfortable feeling. Just doesn’t feel healthy or natural.

    So, how do primal followers deal with that?

    1. My experience has been pretty much the opposite, even back when I was going VLC ( < 50g/day ). I'm not sure how to explain it.

    2. Ketosis isn’t bad, but it can take a few weeks to adapt. My calories are around 70% fat, 25-30% protein and <5% carbs, and it's awesome, especially for my brain. Some people say they feel better eating more carbs, so maybe there's some variation there, but a blanket ban on ketosis is definitely wrong.

  13. To be fair – low fat diets such as the one Ornish promotes do produce very low cholesterol levels in some people, and there is at least some evidence to suggest that getting cholesterol levels very low can produce a reduction in plaque in some people.

    Obviously the causes of heart disease are very complex, and I don’t think we are yet at the point of being able to definitively prescribe lifestyle cures that are certain to work for all people.

    1. Sorry Craig, your assumptions about cholesterol are wrong. Cholesterol is one of the most important substances in the body. Yes, truly high levels can be a sign of arterial damage but lowering cholesterol has NEVER reduced plaque. The drug companies have implied it a thousand ways, but just can not prove it.
      pharmacists whose life was ruined by lipitor

  14. i would just die if i had to eat the Ornish diet. the grains alone would do me in, the low fat would make me so depressed i might commit suicide. 1 diet does not fit every human, even my beloved primal diet. i thrive on this primal diet & i love being size 8 (down from size 16).

  15. Wouldn’t cooking kimchi in butter destroy their probiotic properties? I’ve always wondered this whenever I make scrambled eggs and kimchi.

    1. Yes, heat destroys both good & bad bacteria in foods. I would suggest cooking the eggs, then adding them to the kimchi,if you wish. If you’re to gain from eating fermented foods/beverages, never heat them… Freezing does not destroy the bacteria, though they will loose strength after a month or so.


    The possible relationship between preserved foods and prostate cancer was investigated in a case-control study in southeast China during 2001-2002 covering 130 histologically confirmed cases and 274 inpatient controls without malignant disease. The total amount of preserved food consumed was positively associated with cancer risk, the adjusted odds ratio being 7.05 (95% CI: 3.12-15.90) for the highest relative to the lowest quartile of intake. In particular, the consumption of pickled vegetables, fermented soy products, salted fish and preserved meats was associated with a significant increase in prostate cancer risk, all with a significant dose-response relationship.

  17. The (prostate) cancer risk tended to increase with increasing consumption of pickled vegetables, fermented soy products, salted fish and preserved meats, all with significant dose–response relationships. In particular, the effect of pickled vegetables was substantial among the preserved food subgroups.

  18. Vitamin D is no joke. My son started having seizures when he was 8 months old due to low vit D. The doctor said it was hypocalcemia and pre-rickets.

    We live in Chicago and he got the seizures in the middle of winter. Pigmented people are at higher risk of low vitamin D. We started giving him supplements and he got better.

    But I’m especially aware of ANYONE talking about vitamin D these days.

  19. There is a war going on in your gut, and which side you supply food to, will eventually win. If you eat sugar or grains, the bad bacteria will start to overpower the good stuff. The flip side is, if you eat foods rich in soluble fiber, you will be feeding the beneficial bacteria. that’s why it’s tough to take studies into account without knowing the finer details of the experiment/study.

  20. Great info as usual Mark, thank you. As for Dean Ornish…surely he must walk his talk? with his super diet & all. So i just did a search for him, i was looking for maybe a shot of him running, jumping, maybe basking in the sun sporting a six-pack, or at least some impressive biceps. What did i find, hundreds of back slapping type pictures of him suited up! Yourself & mr Ornish are almost the same age?….need i say anymore.

  21. How well do you think those epidemiology studies linking kimchi and cancer were controlled? Could greater prevalence of esophogeal cancers in Korea be from the population’s relative paucity of alcohol dehydrogenase genes?

  22. I meant acetylaldehyde dehydrogenase, not alcohol dehydrogenase.

  23. Mark,

    I have to comment as this has bugged me for a couple of days.

    Mark, I’m surprised you gave the GOLite Blu a passing grade and implied endorsement when some studies indicate that all-blue SAD lights may cause long-term retinal damage. I recommend people avoid all-blue SAD lights when there are better alternatives available, such as the Litebook.

    While we are exposed to blue light waves from the sun, our retinas are closed down from the brightness of the sunlight itself, which protects from damage. The all-blue lights aren’t that bright, so our retinas are open wider, and more prone to damage, is the reasoning.

    To be fair, most of the medical community that treats SAD still favors the standard, fluorescent lights it started treating SAD with 30 years ago and isn’t too open to newer technology. Flourescents work, but are typically big, clunky and require more treatment time. A relative newcomer, the LED Litebook has undergone extensive research at reputable institutions.

    Yes, SAD lights can make you feel nauseous when you first start. That symptom, including headaches, usually goes away over time.

    A proper light-treatment program with the right SAD light can change the world for people with SAD, or people who have jobs that keep them out of natural sunlight.

    Thanks for the info on Vitamin D light.

    Please take a closer look at the GOLite Blu before giving it another implied endorsement.


  24. I have a Sperti UV-D lamp – it’s a few years old, now – that was about a fourth the price, and works very well.

    Naturally, they will promote their newest/greatest model.

    I must say, for someone that lives, as we do, in a place with diminished sunlight for most of the year, a good D lamp makes a huge difference! When I use it in the (dark, winter) mornings, I seem to wake up better, and be more alert all day. It has reduced my husband’s SAD symptoms, too.

  25. Hey Mark, do you have any studies that show Primal eating reverses or even halts heart disease? I haven’t seen any. Even though you criticize them, there are 2 studies, Ornish & Esselstyn, that show low fat(10%) can halt and possibly reverse heart disease. As a Primal eater and masters track athlete with pretty good cholesterol levels, I recently witnessed arterial plaque deposits in my arteries during an arterial ultrasound scan. Apparently my Primal living wasn’t working for my arteries so I have done a 180 and switched to low fat.

    1. Just curious, how long were you eating primal before the ultrasound? And had you seen an ultrasound of your arteries before you started living primal (for comparison sake)? Have you seen a difference since you switched back?

  26. Why is this issue that Cordain addresses about the innuit mummy with poor endothelial health constantly ignored?

    go to about 2 minutes in. Cordain changes his view based on emerging data, he’s not hand picking data that support his love of certain foods.

  27. I’ve been eating sauerkraut and other fermented foods like wildfire lately. But I still make room for my greens on a daily basis and eat plenty of fresh veggies. I also can say that I drink a ton og tea which has been shown to reduce the effects of high salt levels by acting as a diuretic to “flush” a good amount of salt out of the body.

    In addition, one cannot ignore the mounting research on tea consumption being linked to lower rates of cancer. Strangely, the Japanese peoples have twice the rate of smoking as most western nations, and if we add in their high consumption of fermented veggies, we would assume to see higher rates of cancer in Japan. Yet, this is not the case. Their rate of cancer of all types is significantly less than that of most western nations. Tea consumption is one of the most offered explanations as to why this may be the case. It truly is an amazing beverage to which end, I hope more research is done to further elucidate it’s benefits and the role it plays in what I like to call the “Japanese cancer paradox.”

  28. I’ve been eating sauerkraut and other fermented foods like wildfire lately. But I still make room for my greens on a daily basis and eat plenty of fresh veggies. I also can say that I drink a ton og tea which has been shown to reduce the effects of high salt levels by acting as a diuretic to “flush” a good amount of salt out of the body.

    In addition, one cannot ignore the mounting research on tea consumption being linked to lower rates of cancer. Strangely, the Japanese peoples have twice the rate of smoking as most western nations, and if we add in their high consumption of fermented veggies, we would assume to see higher rates of cancer in Japan. Yet, this is not the case. Their rate of cancer of all types is significantly less than that of most western nations. Tea consumption is one of the most offered explanations as to why this may be the case. It truly is an amazing beverage to which end, I hope more research is done to further elucidate it’s benefits and the role it plays in what I like to call the “Japanese cancer paradox.” Of course, there is more at play here than just their consumption of tea, but I think that we have to investigate the situation more closely to find out what may be at play here.