My tour guide to the results is George Rodgers, M.D., the company's president and chief medical director. After some small talk about my eating idiosyncrasies, we review the cancer biomarkers. He explains that from PSA (prostate-specific antigen) to CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen), my scores are all within the normal range. I'm relieved, especially when I learn that CEA is a biomarker for colon cancer: The disease killed my grandmother, which makes me 1 1/2 times more likely to grow my own polyps than someone with a clean family history. Several years ago, a gastroenterologist took a look-see in my large intestine, and I received a passing grade. Now that I have this CEA result, I almost start to feel a little cocky.
Dr. Rodgers has the cure for that. He points out that even though I try to compensate with whole grains, the dearth of roughage in my diet could be laying the mutagenic groundwork for future tumors.
"Studies have shown that high-fiber diets are protective with regard to colon cancer," he says. "But even in non-fiber eaters, the cancer doesn't usually appear until the sixth or seventh decade of life."
The remainder of the report seems positive. One by one, Dr. Rodgers checks off "low risk" ratings for dozens of biomarkers representing a variety of categories, including diabetes and inflammation. Then, just as my confidence is climbing again, he brings up my cardiovascular scores.
"The only small issue is an elevation in your LDL," he says. "This is the 'bad' cholesterol. It's best to have an LDL of less than 100. However, at 121, yours isn't too elevated; it's just not optimal."
This bothers me, though it shouldn't. Not only do I avoid fruits and vegetables, but I'm also allergic to exercise, managing to go months at a time without budging my resting heart rate. So, if anything, I should be grateful that the few cardioprotective measures I do employ—monounsaturated fats, fish oil, green tea, a multivitamin—are helping to intercept my invitation to atherosclerosis.
But for how long? Dr. Rodgers offers one final assessment.
"Perhaps your diet is not ideal as a long-term strategy, but you are healthy now," he says. "In fact, I would say that you are as healthy as our vegetarian clients."
I wonder what this says about vegetarians.
If I wasn't overweight I might make this lifestyle change
and I like fruit way to much