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Barry Sears

Dr. Sears: The endocannabinoid system is interesting because right now the hottest ticket in terms of obesity research is anti-cannabinoids–agents that block the cannabinoid receptor. The cannabinoids tend to give people the munchies. So researchers found out that if you block that receptor you simply don’t get hungry. So I think that a lot of the data about what’s going into the brain is very interesting. That’s why if you see anti-aging reports talking about the cannabinoids being useful, remember that there’s corresponding data that says anti-cannabinoids are also useful because they help basically reduce the hunger, and therefore reduce the amount of calories you consume.

David: What are you currently working on?

Dr. Sears: My focus is primarily on inflammation. Right now I’m looking into doing the clinical studies which will demonstrate that you can intervene with diet in a wide number of different disease states, and show statistically significant changes and reversals in a number of them. I’ve done most of the work to lay the foundation for that. Now it’s time to put the money on the table and learn conclusively to what extent we can use food as a drug. This isn’t to say that food will replace drugs, but rather that it can help make drugs work better–that is, at lower concentrations, and with less side effects.

David: Is there anything that we haven’t spoken about that you would like to add?

Dr: Sears: One last thing is that in America we face a great day of reckoning, which is coming very quickly. That year of reckoning will be the year 2011. That is the year that the first of the Baby Boomers will be able to access Medicare, which is virtually unlimited health care. And as rich as our country is, we do not have the money to pay for the medical liabilities facing us. So we have to either hide our head in the sand  like an ostrich, or face the fact that we’re going to have significant restrictions and a rationing of healthcare.

But we have a way to circumvent that by treating our food like a drug. By doing this we relieve the great coming burden on our healthcare system, because now people can take responsibility for their future. Rather than waiting for some scientist in the basement of Merck, Sharp, and Dohme to make some pill to save them from themselves, the answer lies in their kitchen. So the question is: As a country, do we have the will to use the kitchen as a food pharmacy, an anti-inflammatory pharmacy, or do we want to sit back and wait for the inevitable, which is basically a complete collapse of our healthcare system? I really hope it’s the former and not the later.

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