Can Food Reactivate Your Stem Cells? | Dr. William Li

Among the major superpowers of our stem cells is their ability to self renew. Stem cells can also sense damaged cells and tissues and send signals that promote self-healing. In this mini-episode, Dr. Hyman speaks with Dr. William Li about the things that both enhance, and impair, our body’s regenerative abilities, including our diet. Dr. Li shares information on which foods have been scientifically proven to activate our body’s stem cells.

William Li, MD, is a world-renowned physician, scientist, speaker, and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. He is best known for leading the Angiogenesis Foundation. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. His TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has garnered more than 11 million views. An author of over 100 scientific publications in leading journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and more, Dr. Li has served on the faculties of Harvard, Tufts, and Dartmouth Medical School.

Listen to Dr. Hyman’s full-length conversation with Dr. Li:

Dr. Hyman is an 11-time New York Times bestselling author, family physician and international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. His podcast, The Doctor's Farmacy, is a place for deep conversations about the critical issues of our time in the space of health, wellness, food and politics. New episodes are released every Wednesday here on YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Find him and more of his content all over social media:


Dave McKinnon

  • Linda Nyberg says:

    Spirulina is awesome for the eyes. Increases stem cells😇

  • William Henry says:

    There are THOUSANDS of podcasts on stem cells but Dr Mark Hyman & Dr William Li are the ONLY one that give practical advice on how to improve our stem cells

  • Cathy Horn says:

    Thank you for the informative clip!
    Any informative wisdom for me?
    I sustained a critical injury known as brain stem in 2014 in a car accident!
    It’s been 9 years in a wheelchair.
    After doing some intense research I read up that that once you damage your stem cells you are broken for life!
    Drs told me it’s a permanent injury. It has been really difficult accepting this ‘new normal
    I believe you can go for stem cell treatment within 3 months.
    All very out of my reach living in South Africa number 1 and second way too expensive!
    I have definately improved but seem to have reached a plateau..
    Any advice besides drinking hot chocolate?

  • Moonshynegirl says:

    😲 I grew up believing that after a certain age it was hopeless. You just added hope back into my life! Thank you.

  • Raymond says:

    Food that improve stem cells:
    Cocoa (or Dark chocolate in drinks doubles it)
    Green tea
    Black tea (doubles)
    Mediterranean diet

    • Julie Butler says:

      But cocoa and dark chocolate are high in lead and cadmium!

    • Victoria Calvert says:

      @Julie Butler
      Pls Say this isn’t true!!!

    • Allie says:

      @Victoria Calvert is is true, but not because the fruit naturally contains these metals.

      “When the chocolate beans, the cocoa beans, are being processed, one of the steps is for them to be dried, usually out in the open,” Rogers says. “And if you are processing these beans close to an industrial site—a place that is manufacturing lead batteries, for instance—the soil can become contaminated.”

      She is right though, that a lot of companies’ dark chocolates are high in those. Just started making my own at home for this reason

    • Victoria Calvert says:

      @Allie I’ve been making my own for several years now, using dark cocoa powder, but didn’t know about the lead until you mentioned it. Thank you for sharing 💙 and i will be looking for Natural cocoa next time i go shopping

  • Danielle Perry says:

    In my memory, the day that I found Dr Kanayo Peterson’s YouTube channel will always be remembered as the day when my hope of living again was realized as a result of the herbal medicine
    you prescribed for me over a two week period through your YouTube channel.

  • Wohali says:

    I remember when I came across a video of Dr. Li explaining how to recover from Covid back in the early days of the pandemic. He said eat high flavanol foods because it heals the endothelial cells which the spike protein damages. His advice saved me from months of Long Covid. I finally recovered from it yet I know of many Long C sufferers who still have it years later.

  • Qettesh says:

    It’s great to hear that what I’ve been doing for decades has been right!

  • C Sandford says:

    Doctor Li, Thank you for all your hard work.

  • TheTrock121 says:

    Eating healthy fats is critical. One of the best features of the Med Diet is it’s emphasis on healthy fats. Olive Oil is also surprisingly good at treating Dry-Eye Syndrome. I apply it to my eyes before bed and they are much improved.

  • Toby Day says:

    Very interesting & informative episode, definitely thought provoking! Thank you. ,😊

  • Matthew Stolmeier says:

    Cocoa powder, Munk fruit powder, whioe milk, or greak yogurt. Every day. I have a TAA. Doing this has reduced the issue by 2MM. Further, I’ve lost many pounds and gone from diabetic to pre-diabetic.
    I can’t say the cocoa powder was the only thing, but it sure was one of the things.

  • Brad Togni says:

    🎯 Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

    01:22 🧬 Autophagy was defined by Christian De Duve in the 1960s as a process where cells eat themselves by forming membrane-bound structures that contain cell components.
    03:14 🏠 Initially, autophagy was perceived as a pathological process, but later, it was discovered that it is essential for cell survival, especially during nutrient stresses.
    05:31 🦠 Autophagy plays a dual role in cancer cells: some believe shutting down autophagy allows faster growth, while others think autophagy protects the cells and makes them resistant to chemotherapy.
    06:55 ⏳ Regulating autophagy may offer potential benefits in treating diseases, avoiding cancers, and managing aging, but it’s a complex process that requires context-specific activation or inhibition.
    10:30 🧪 Dr. Dunn emphasizes the importance of focusing on autophagy in diseases like bone cancers (e.g., osteosarcomas) and exploring its role in kidney function for disease prevention research.

    Made with HARPA AI

  • Daniel Kosinski says:

    Extensively times that step we are afraid to take might just be the right one.

    I thank you, Dr kanayo Peterson for your inducement and for not allowing me down throughout the whole revolution. Your medication to cure HIV and Cancer is super
    tremendous I am delighted I came across your channel,

  • Hdhd Hdhd says:

    Two extraordinary docs who pivot food and diagnosis for countless many who never had any excellent treatment from their doctors. We certainly do not gave such doc who goes beyond establishment .I am A CHINESE WOMAN OF THE SAME AGE GROUP AD BOTH OF YOU.

  • Lulu says:

    A lot of this nutritional information is actually not new, it’s just that people are starting to learn about it now. ROBIN KEUNEKE in her book TOTAL BREAST HEALTH (which I sent years ago to all of my family members), wrote about many of these things in 1997. I have been studying it as a lay person all these years and I’ve also been a vegetarian and I’m very healthy, look younger than my years.

  • Kenny Ee says:

    can we have a list of foods that will help us to focus on increasing our stems cells?

  • Rosa Goglia says:

    Thank you.. an enjoyable, honest message that is helpful to humankind:)) hopefully it encourages some people today

  • Martha Hernandez says:

    I like the way he uses the word delight!❤


    I actually use dark cocoa with yogurt. I mix it because I add collagen into it and it is the most delicious thing I put one scoop of cocoa in a small cup of yogurt and maybe a sprinkle of honey. It is unbelievable I cannot drink, hot cocoa it messes up everything around but this way I eat the cocoa and it is incredibly delicious.!
    And I must say since I started drinking that cocoa, I have a little bit more energy and I feel so much better for some reason I don’t have any illness he was just general stress and a little bit of fatigue… That thing is gone now! Of course, it might be probably thanks to the Eminem that I’m taking but this

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