LOS ANGELES, CA—July, 2023 – The Grace O Foundation and Cedars-Sinai announced the first two of four awardees of funds for research on nutrition and the diseases of aging. The awards are part of a $300,000 research gift that the Grace O Foundation committed to support the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle (CIRCL) at Cedars-Sinai last fall. Cedars-Sinai issued a request for application for studies on inflammation and the diseases of aging, and the role nutrition and lifestyle can play to prevent and/or minimize inflammatory diseases.
One of the studies receiving funds will examine how diet and lifestyle might mitigate the side effects of breast cancer treatments, while the second will study the impact of race and obesity on prostate cancer tumors and the health disparity experienced by Black men, who have a higher prostate cancer death rate than any other racial group in the United States.
Dr. Akil Merchant and Dr. Cecilia Galvan will study the role of race, obesity and lifestyle factors in driving inflammation in prostate tumors in minority communities, particularly Black men. While access to healthcare is a strong contributor to this disparity, previous studies show there are biological differences between prostate cancer tumors from African American and Non-Hispanic white men. Investigators hope to develop novel approaches to blocking inflammation, while simultaneously improving lifestyle interventions for high-risk prostate cancer patients. Results will also be preliminary data for use in larger studies.
Currently, the most effective way of preventing conditions related to chronic inflammation is to adopt a “healthy” lifestyle: maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maximize sleep. As straightforward as this sounds, there is currently little consensus about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and how various lifestyle habits impact inflammation, cancer and other diseases. Some would argue that herbicides, pesticides, fillers, additives, and stabilizers from highly processed foods and meats can all contribute to inflammation in the body and that inflammation is the root cause of many chronic health problems and disease. Others would add that being mindful of food consumption is essential to healing cancer and other chronic health conditions.
More research is needed to understand the association between lifestyle, the mechanisms and processes associated with chronic inflammation, and how/when to best administer meaningful therapies for cancer and other diseases.
By funding these studies, the Grace O Foundation hopes to contribute to this much-needed research.
The Grace O Foundation, started by chef, food and community advocate, Grace O, is dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and honoring diverse cuisine, food as medicine, and the healing foods from around the world through programs that educate, inspire, and have the potential to change and improve lives. Their mission is to research, explore and report on the role of food/nutrients in wellness, aging, and longevity, and to promote healthy, sustainable food and nutrition efforts, as well as supporting nutrition education, culinary training, and food advocacy programs, specifically for an aging population.
Grace O has built an impressive record of business achievement, community building, philanthropy, and community service in California. Guided by her spirit of entrepreneurship and building on a model of generosity learned from her family, Grace has spent a lifetime helping people heal through food and medicine.
In 2011, Grace combined her entrepreneurial skills, her passion for the culinary arts, and her commitment to health by launching a new culinary brand, FoodTrients®, a non-profit website and cookbooks dedicated to the nutrients in foods that help prevent the diseases of aging. Grace is also the author of three award-winning cookbooks all dedicated to anti-aging and disease prevention.
When Grace O moved from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1992, she began her impressive corporate ascent from employee to owner and operator of a number of skilled nursing facilities in California.
In addition to her non-profit website, FoodTrients®, Grace is the author of The Age GRACEfully Cookbook: The Power of FOODTRIENTS to Promote Health and Well-being for a Joyful and Sustainable Life; The Age Beautifully Cookbook: Easy and Exotic Longevity Secrets from Around the World; and her latest cookbook, Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World, recently released by Skyhorse Publishing. All proceeds from her cookbooks go to the Grace O Foundation to fund research and programs. To learn more visit www.FoodTrients.com.