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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Aired June 16, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, life-saving medical breakthroughs. A new drug that can help fight diabetes and lower your weight. New vaccines that could prevent cervical cancer and Alzheimer's disease, and more. We'll cover it all with four of America's best-selling health experts. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Nicholas Perricone and Dr. Michael Roizen. Plus CNN's senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and we'll take your calls. And it's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Hello and welcome to the show. We're in New York. The 21st century isn't just a great time to be alive. It's a great time to be alive a lot longer. Recent medical advances could make for a bright future. At the same time there are some growing trouble spots. Childhood obesity, malignant skin cancer. We've gathered the perfect panel to talk about prevention and the latest treatments.
They're Deepak Chopra, the author of "Book of Secrets," the host of Wellness Radio, premiering next month on Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 102. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of the Perricone Weight Loss Diet and many "New York Times" best-sellers. He's a board certified dermatologist. He'll be with us shortly in Cleveland, Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic. In Atlanta is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's senior medical correspondent. And on the phone is Dr. Andrew Weil, physician and best-selling author. His books include "Healthy Aging" and "The Healthy Kitchen."
We'll start with diabetes. There are three drugs, we understand, Dr. Perricone in clinical trials right now and one of them might even help you lose weight. We're talking about Genuvia or (INAUDIBLE). What can you tell us?
DR. NICHOLAS PERRICONE, AUTHOR OF BEST-SELLING DIET, AGING & SKIN CARE BOOKS: Well these are some interesting drugs because what they do is they trigger a normal gene in the body. What this means is that the pancreas can put out insulin and shut down insulin very quickly without having something called glucose neogenesis, which is glucose production in the liver. What this turns out to be is we can lose weight at the same time lower our blood sugar in a very natural way. So I'm very excited about these developments because we need new diabetes drugs.
KING: It's now in the testing stage though right?
PERRICONE: Still in the testing stage but it's looking very positive.
KING: Dr. Weil are we ever going to cure diabetes?
DR. ANDREW WEIL, INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE PIONEER: Well, I think there are two possibilities here. One, for type 1 diabetes there's a lot of research in Finland suggesting that exposure to cow's milk during a critical phase in infancy in genetically susceptible people is a trigger that causes it. So if we can identify those people and keep cow's milk out of their diet for that period they may never get type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, I think we know a lot about prevention, the management, through lifestyle changes, keeping weight normal, exercising, eating low glycemic low carbohydrates, and I think we will have better and better treatments to restore insulin sensitivity.
KING: Dr. Gupta, what can you tell me about this drug Vieta which helped patients lose I understand five pounds in 30 weeks?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know it's a pretty remarkable thing as was mentioned. You know when you think about diabetes, it's one of two problems. Either the body's making too much sugar or not enough insulin. And this medication appears to sort of target both those mechanisms. The liver actually makes sugar so it cuts down on that production. And also stimulates your pancreas to make more insulin. Which incidentally, Larry, you talk about the cure for diabetes. There are some exciting things going on out there. Possibly artificial pancreas, for example. So you actually have -- if your pancreas is failing because of diabetes, could you have an artificial pancreas one day. And there's still this sort of specter of stem cell transplantation and possibly pancreatic islet cells which might also be an answer. So exciting developments possibly down the road.
KING: Deepak, we associate you with mind and body. Are you into diabetes a lot?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, SPIRITUAL ADVISER, MEDICAL DOCTOR: Oh, yeah. I used to be a diabetologist at the Johns (INAUDIBLE) Clinic before I went into mind-body medicine.
KING: What's the biggest puzzle about it?
CHOPRA: Well, as Sanjay said, either there's insulin resistance or there's no insulin. But the fact is that your emotional state can influence both your insulin response and other hormones that influence how you react to these drugs.
KING: Your emotions can affect diabetes?
CHOPRA: Oh absolutely. So if you're literally stressed your cortisol level goes up, your adrenaline level goes up. And these hormones act as insulin antagonists. So your blood sugar will go up. So you know we used to teach patients biofeedback and meditation just so they could lower the insulin dose or the drugs. And also teach them techniques to listen to their body's messages and modify their diet to include bitter, pungent, and astringent foods which again modify insulin response. KING: Dr. Perricone, we have an e-mail question on our Web site from Lenoir, North Carolina. And it says, "The weight loss recommendations listed in your books are similar to the nutrition guidelines offered to diabetic patients. What supplements are suitable for diabetics 1 and 2?"
PERRICONE: Once again, the important thing to understand is that in type 2 diabetics, there's insulin resistance. What we're trying to do is make the cells more sensitive to insulin. I've found that certain supplements like essential fatty acids can actually make the cells more sensitive to insulin. (INAUDIBLE) is another one that sensitizes cells to insulin. We also want to reduce the mass of body fat. Your body fat actually produces prone (INAUDIBLE) chemicals that can interfere with insulin action.
KING: I have type 2 diabetes. That's the lesser of the two. Right? With regard to life span.
PERRICONE: Well yes, it is. But once again, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in children. It used to be called adult onset diabetes. Right now about 10 percent of children in the United States are showing up with type 2 diabetes, (INAUDIBLE) is childhood obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. So we have to look at the quick fix is and very easy to do is change our diet and a little bit more activity, physical activity.
KING: Dr. Weil, is stem cell going to be a key for diabetes?
WEIL: I think it could be absolutely life saving for type 1 diabetes. I think that one of the great promises of embryonic stem cell research is that this could be really used to stimulate new -- make new pancreas tissue that secretes insulin. It could be completely revolutionary.
KING: Dr. Gupta, are you optimistic about diabetes?
GUPTA: Yeah I've got to tell you, you know it's interesting just to hear you talk, Larry. You mentioned you have type 2 diabetes. My dad has type 2 diabetes as well. We talk about this all the time. People who have diabetes, if they're diligent about their care, they can live absolutely normal lives and absolutely normal life spans as well. It's an important message, Larry. A lot of people here someone's a diabetic and they think oh, my gosh, they have this frightening illness. That's just not the case anymore. I am optimistic about if people are diligent about their care they can live very good lives.
KING: My diabetic doctor worries because I'm a heart patient as well that one could trigger the other.
GUPTA: Yeah. There is some correlation between that. Certainly diabetes is associated with certain vascular diseases. But again, it goes back to being diligent about the care, you know managing your blood sugar first through diet and exercise, things that you should be doing anyways. Everyone should be doing. And possibly with some of these medications out later on down the road. But again, the normal life and normal life span is a very, very strong possibility, and I think that's a really important message for people out there.
KING: One of the problems with diabetes, it doesn't give you pain, it doesn't give you any signals. Right, Dr. Gupta? There's no warnings.
GUPTA: That's right. I mean, a lot of -- people call it a silent disease in so many ways. If you have a strong family history, if you're developing to some what might be considered mild symptoms, frequent urination, lots of thirst, those might be things you might otherwise ignore. If you're concerned about diabetes, those might be things that you might otherwise ignore. If you're concerned about diabetes those could be some of the first signs. Get it checked out.
KING: We're going to take a break and when we come back, we're going to talk about advances in Alzheimer's. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRAN DRESCHER, SURVIVING RAPE & CANCER: When the surgeon told me that I would need a radical hysterectomy -- and mind you, this was after I had had a second biopsy done by the surgeon upon my sister's insistence, and even though the surgeon said I'm happy to do it because I know you've been put through the mill, but I know that you have this, this is you, I tested the tissue myself, I'm not just taking your gynecologist's word for it.
When she took the second biopsy, because of my sister's insistence, she called me up and said, am I glad I listened to your sister because apparently the gynecologist's biopsy that was done in her office was too superficial and in that one it was showing cells that were grade 1 and 2. And then when the surgeon did it, it was showing grades 1, 2, 3, and 4.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You never noticed the Alzheimer's coming on.
NANCY REAGAN: No. No. We went to Mayo's in August of that year.
KING: Was it the normal memory slippages that older people have?
REAGAN: Yes. I mean you forget names. I forget names.
KING: I forgot what I had for lunch today.
REAGAN: So no, I didn't notice anything.
KING: And then what happened at Mayo?
REAGAN: Well they diagnosed it as Alzheimer's. KING: How do you react to something like that?
REAGAN: I accepted what they said. But of course, nobody can ever know what it's like till you're there.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Gupta, I understand there's big news here and some experimental drugs showing a lot of progress with regard to getting at Alzheimer's. True?
GUPTA: We're talking about a vaccine potentially, Larry. It's still very early. It's showing some -- they talk about these things called plaques in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's. This vaccine, at least in the very early stages, appears to reduce the number and size of the plaques in mice. Not in humans yet. That's hopefully going to be down the road. There was a vaccine last year, you may remember this, Larry, it was very promising. Then unfortunately it caused brain swelling in some of the humans that it was tested in. So that was scrapped. Now people are sort of banking on this new vaccine. It's still a while down the way, though.
KING: Do you look at this, too, Deepak?
CHOPRA: Yes. I think it's important to realize that a lot of senility in old age is not Alzheimer's. It could be dehydration. It could be malnutrition. It could be vitamin mineral deficiency. It could be overmedication. There are some very interesting studies from the east which say that in populations that consume high amounts of spices like cumin and turmeric and spicy foods, these act as anti- inflammatory drugs almost, these micronutrients. And if you feed cumin into rats you'll see a decrease in amaloid (ph) deposits in the brain, and there's a study that compared Alzheimer's in a suburb of Los Angeles compared it to the suburb of Delhi in India. There's a huge difference. Because people in Los Angeles have a completely different diet than people in poor countries, who have a diet that's reduced in fat intake, meat intake, and high in these spicy substances.
KING: Dr. Weil, I know you're big in supplements. Any supplements treat Alzheimer's?
WEIL: Well, I think that what Deepak just mentioned, turmeric, the yellow spice that makes curry yellow and our mustard yellow, it looks very, very promising. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, may have a specific anti-Alzheimer's effect. You can buy extracts of turmeric in capsules, which might be easier for people in this country to take who aren't familiar with eating it every day. You can drink turmeric tea. That looks very promising to me. Also standard anti- inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen taken on a regular basis have a preventative effect in Alzheimer's disease.
KING: Do you deal with it, Dr. Perricone?
PERRICONE: Yes, now inflammation I think is at the basis of aging and age-related diseases and certainly there's pretty good evidence that there's a lot of underlying inflammation in the Alzheimer's process. So antioxidants act as natural anti- inflammatories. I particularly found that alpha lipoic acid a very powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory. Eating things like blueberries and salmon. Blueberries have anti-(INAUDIBLE), anti- inflammatory and of course salmon contains essential fats which I think are extremely important for the brain.
KING: We have an e-mail question to our Web site in Washington. Cameron in Washington, D.C. wants to know, "Is there a link, Dr. Gupta, between aluminum in the brain and Alzheimer's? And can this be caused by closeness to aluminum cans?"
GUPTA: That's a great question, Cameron. That comes up a lot because the original thinking was that these plaques have a high percentage of aluminum in them. I've read no studies that have actually shown exposure to aluminum cans can actually increase your incidence of Alzheimer's disease. It's really a different mechanism, one versus the other, so probably no risk there from just exposure to aluminum cans themselves.
KING: Will we get a vaccine, Dr. Gupta?
GUPTA: You know I'm really hoping so. I think that this is at the heart of it. You know there's a lot of attention focused on the vaccine and a lot of attention focused on these memory-enhancing medications. You know, the vaccine, at least, again, in mice, looks promising. And a lot of people say that doesn't translate to human beings at all. But a lot of people are placing stock in this because it appears to be effective and it appears to not have the significant side effects that we've seen in some of the other vaccines. It's going to take a while. This isn't going to happen tomorrow by any means. But a lot of people are paying attention to this one, Larry.
KING: We'll take a break, and when we come back we'll talk about cervical cancer. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE with four top figures in the field of medicine. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And the hardest kind of care giving is for an Alzheimer's patient.
LEEZA GIBBONS: Oh, my gosh. With our -- many people say so, and I can say from my own experience, my mom, as you know, is in the very end stages of this cruel disease. Which doesn't just take Larry a diagnosed person, it wants the whole family. And it starts to kind of steal and unravel financially and emotionally and psychologically. You fall apart. So yeah, I think that care giving is -- you know, it's relentless.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: In this segment concerning cervical cancer we'll start with an e-mail question to our Web site from Karen in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Who says, "I've heard that the new vaccine for cervical cancer is still considered an experimental drug, even though the FDA has approved it. With so many FDA approved drugs now being recalled, how can we know that today's women in reality aren't just going to be guinea pigs for the new drug?" Dr. Gupta?
GUPTA: Well, I mean, it's a fair question and we have had some setbacks with regards to FDA-approved drugs, most notably Vioxx and Celebrex. But you know, I mean, this is no longer considered experimental in the sense that the experiments, the clinical trials have been completed. It is FDA approved. You have two types of virus out there that are really strongly associated with cervical cancer. It's a remarkable thing, Larry. Most cancers we don't know what exactly causes them. With cervical cancer we have a pretty good idea at least 70 percent of the time and there is now this vaccine that prevents that virus from actually taking hold. This is a big deal. I mean, this is a big deal in the world of cancer, actually being able to find a cause for cancer and then find a vaccine to treat that cause.
KING: At what age is it given?
GUPTA: Another great question and here's the difficult part of it, Larry. It's supposed to ideally be given to a woman before she ever has sex, before she ever becomes sexually active. At what age is that in this country? At what age is that in other countries is a subject of speculation. I think the FDA has at least recommended that in some cases girls get this as young as 9 years old. And you can imagine that that's caused some controversy.
KING: Dr. Perricone, this is very promising then. This is now out, this vaccine?
PERRICONE: Yes, it is. And it is very promising. Human papilloma virus is responsible for a number of cases of cervical cancer. Now the best way to look for that of course is a pap smear. When you see irregular cells they call it dysplasia and cervical cancer and dysplasia cells are actually caused by human papilloma virus, these two types. Other cases I see in my practice are genital warts from HPV. The nice thing about this vaccination is it will probably eliminate 90 percent of the incidence of genital warts and at the same time be protective against cervical cancer. So I think this is a great breakthrough, and I don't really have many reservations about this vaccine. Also this vaccine does not contain mercury as a preservative, which is also important.
KING: Dr. Weil, are you encouraged?
WEIL: I think this is a great advance. Cervical cancer is highly curable if it's caught in early stages, but we have an unacceptable number of women who die from it every year. I think it's also been very interesting that this vaccine has become available over the objections of the religious right, which sees it as encouraging sexual activity in young women.
KING: Since this is Father's Day weekend, let's also talk about prostate cancer. We have the PSA test. Are you encouraged by the progress, for example, in surgery?
CHOPRA: Yes. There's tremendous progress in surgery and radiation therapy and selective beam therapy. But one of the things that I think people should be aware of, that like (inaudible), which are a micronutrient in tomatoes and tomato-rich foods, have been found to be very effective in lowering the risk of both prostate cancer and also ovarian cancer. So encourage people to take foods that are rich in color, rich in taste. The color in foods, if you have the seven colors of the rainbow in your food, you're getting almost all the micronutrients.
KING: Dr. Gupta, one of the dilemmas in prostate cancer is most people will die with it, not of it. And the odds are always in your kind of favor. So the decision-making to have surgery or not is a dilemma, is it not?
GUPTA: Not any more.
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's interesting. The PSA test, which you mentioned, is a very sensitive test but not very specific in the sense that you could have an abnormal PSA and then the patient is sort of left with this conundrum, should I go ahead and have the biopsy, which is a surgical procedure, and it may end up being not abnormal or do I just sort of wait it out in the likelihood that maybe this is something that will never affect me in my lifetime? I think we need a better screening test. A lot of people have sort of hung their hats on the PSA but it's not the best screening test and I think it leaves people pretty confused.
KING: It's not the best screening test?
GUPTA: No. I mean in the sense it's very sensitive but it's not very specific to prostate cancer. For example, if you just had irritation of your prostate, if you have an infection of your prostate, those could also elevate your PSA level. But if it comes back abnormal, you're sitting in your doctor's office and your doctor says, well, it's high, maybe we need to do a biopsy and you're not sure whether you should go down that road and go down the surgery road or not, so it gets a little bit confusing for patients.
CHOPRA: Sanjay, I mean you and Larry, when you said people won't die from it that's not true. Actually, the younger you are when you get it, it can be a pretty aggressive disease.
KING: I mean but the story about it was you die with it --
CHOPRA: It used to be said that but it's not so true anymore.
KING: Does it mask another thing? In other words, you could have an enlarged prostate, right?
PERRICONE: Certainly underlying inflammation will elevate the PSA and that's what gets confusing. I really do think it's important once again to eat anti-inflammatory foods, certainly tomatoes with lycopene, take supplements, take essential fatty acids but certainly if there's elevated PSA it needs to be checked by your physician. And once again it's a difficult decision, you have an elevated PSA, surgery, no surgery, ultra-sound there are many diagnostic means, but we're still not there.
KING: As long as you have the test, haven't we made great strides Dr. Weil in colon cancer, just do the colonoscopy regularly?
WEIL: Yeah that certainly is helpful and again colon cancer is one that looks as if there's a strong relationship to diet. It's another form of cancer which if caught early is completely curable. I think it's one that we'll make strides with. I think again here is an area where eating properly, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, taking anti-inflammatory herbs, low doses of aspirin, all these are strongly preventive, and that combined with the diagnostic tests should identify early colon cancer in most cases.
KING: Dr. Gupta, almost every subject we mention, diet gets mentioned. Does that surprise you?
GUPTA: No, it doesn't surprise me at all. There's a lot certainly about when it comes to cancer, some of the other things that we've been talking about, that we still haven't completely figured out with regards to the relationship with diet. But you know the turmeric, for example, with Alzheimer's or the high fiber diet with colon cancer, those things are starting to become increasingly well known, and hopefully become increasingly more recommended by doctors. You know doctors still a lot of times focus on the medications and the operations and less so on some of these preventative and easier quite frankly, methods of trying to prevent these things.
KING: Dr. Weil, I had someone tell me once that the -- I don't know if this is still true. The medical situation in schools pays very little attention to nutrition.
WEIL: Well, I mean, you look at what's happened with our schools how many schools have fast food restaurants in them as the food providers. I think we have a long way to go. And also not only do we need to get good nutrition education into schools but we have to equip children to be defended against the commercial pressures to make bad decisions. You know, there's tremendous pressure on kids to choose unhealthy foods which are very cleverly advertised. And we are in great nutritional trouble in this country. The obesity epidemic in kids is one obvious sign of that being followed by an epidemic of type 2 diabetes and then later in life by all these chronic diseases that we're talking about.
KING: When we go to break and when we come back, we will talk about what he just mentioned. Obesity will be our next topic on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We all know the tragic death of your husband, one of the great guys of all time.
KATIE COURIC: Oh, thanks, Larry.
KING: He died of colon cancer. You got very involved. Isn't that a little history? Why do you stay so involved?
COURIC: Well, I'm sort of like a nagging fishwife with the rolling pin.
KING: Here she comes again.
COURIC: Yeah, I know and people are so over me when it comes to this. But I believe so strongly in the importance of early detection because this is one cancer that can be cured. It has a better than 90 percent cure rate, Larry, when it's detected early.
KING: You got me to do it. Your husband's death got me to go and --
COURIC: Well, I think that sort of emphasizing awareness has prompted a lot of people to go get screened.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Why are kids fat?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're exercising less and eating more and the food they're eating has higher sugar and fat content. And it's true in school cafeterias, vending machines. Working people have to eat at more fast food restaurants, and they eat out more. And so what we need to do is not just, we need to change the way we prepare a lot of these meals. We've got to cut down on the fat and sugar content of the food our children are eating and the size of the portions and get them to exercise a little more. We cut down 50, 60 calories a day, they'll lose 20 pounds over a high school career.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our subject tonight is health. Our panelists are Deepak Chopra, the author of "The Book of Secrets," Dr. Nicholas Perricone author of "The Perricone Weight Loss Diet" and many other "New York Times" best-sellers. Joining us in Cleveland, Ohio is Dr. Michael Roizen. He's the Cleveland clinic's chair of the division of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, and comprehensive pain management and co-author of "You, The Owner's Manual." Dr. Sanjay Gupta's in Atlanta, CNN's Senior medical correspondent. And on the phone is Dr. Andrew Weil, physician and best-selling author whose books include "Healthy Aging" and "The Healthy Kitchen." And the topic in this segment is obesity, and we'll start with Dr. Perricone. How serious?
PERRICONE: This is a national emergency. As much an emergency as 9/11 is. We have two thirds of the adult population and children overweight, one third obese, leading to type 2 diabetes and a host of problems. This will destroy the health care system if we don't do something. We have to do something radical. We need basically a cabinet-level position of homeland health to change the curriculum at schools, get into the cafeterias, change the foods. It's that much of a disaster.
KING: Dr. Roizen, how much of it is genetic, how much of it is environmental?
ROIZEN: Well, it's all genetic and it's all environmental. That is, we have evolved to preserve ourselves during famine, so we have developed a gene that lets us put fat on so that we can survive famines. But what that means is that we've got to do environmental things to, in fact, stay thin. And it's not that hard. There are three studies recently that showed that type 2 diabetes, which comes from obesity, and is following it closely can be totally prevented. Not minimally treated, but totally prevented by three things. The gene is still there, but you don't get any of the manifestations. Just a little walking and avoiding, if you will, white food and avoiding saturated and trans-fats and simple carbohydrates.
KING: Now, Dr. Gupta, it would appear that everyone should know that. It's hard to follow, though, isn't it?
GUPTA: It's kind of nuts. I've got to tell you, we talk so much about obesity all the time, and everyone's heard the numbers. Two thirds of the nation's overweight. People come to me all the time and they say how can I become more fit? What they're really asking me and what this nation has become is a nation of shortcuts. What they're really asking me is how do I get there without doing any work?
The United States used to be a country that was robust, fit, vibrant, energetic, healthy, you know, thin and we went from being that country to being one of the most obese nations in the world. It is completely nuts. But the good news in there is that we can go back to what we used to be. It just is going to require some work. And people fundamentally, as you say, Larry, know that.
CHOPRA: I teach my patients to listen to their bodies. You know, put your hand over your stomach and ask yourself, how hungry am I? A zero level is your stomach is totally empty and you're famished. A 10 level is how some people feel after Thanksgiving. So eat when you're a zero, and stop when you're a five. And also pay attention to the different tastes of food. In our country we use mostly sweet, sour, and salt foods. So it's ketchup, French fries, and hamburgers.
Whereas ethnic foods contain the full range of tastes, which give you a feeling of satisfaction or satiety. So bitter foods, particularly things like fenugreek and romain lettuce and green and yellow vegetables. Pungent foods with spice that's speed up your metabolism. Astringent foods, which also speed up your metabolism. This knowledge comes from ancient wisdom, traditions and eating mindfully.
KING: Doesn't sound tasty.
CHOPRA: Oh, my god. It's Chinese food, it's Thai food, it's Italian food, it's Mexican food. It's every food except fast food.
KING: We have an e-mail question which I'll address to Dr. Weil, to our web site. And it's from Jody of West Milford, New Jersey, who'd like to know, do you think there will be a weight loss pill that works coming out within the next five years which will discourage people from going for weight loss surgery? Dr. Weil?
WEIL: You know, when you look at the history of pills, medications that have been proposed to facilitate weight loss, they all have really serious drawbacks, even though those might not have been apparent from the beginning. I'd love to think that one day we will understand the hormonal controls of eating well enough to influence them, but for the moment I'm afraid I'd have to say that I would remain suspicious of any of these drugs that come out until they've really proven their safety and efficacy over a period of time. So I'm not so sure there's going to be an easy solution of that sort in the near future.
KING: Dr. Roizen, do you share Dr. Perricone's, thinks there should be a cabinet-level position, it's that serious, it's as serious as 9/11?
ROIZEN: Well, we already have the Surgeon General, and he's spoken about this. It really is just an individual thing. Do we care enough as individuals about it? And so I think we've got to make it an individual thing. That is, it doesn't take much, if you will. Someone said it in the earlier segment. It's just 100 calories a day is all you need. That's literally 30 minutes or 20 minutes of walking a day is all you need to lose 10 pounds over a year. So just adding that will do it. So it is a hugely serious problem, but I think it's an individual problem.
KING: We'll take a break, and when we come back we'll talk about Melanomas, Malignant Melanomas, and Dr. Perricone's bailiwick. We have an incredible story of a 14-year-old boy with a Malignant Melanoma. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WYNONA JUDD, SINGER: Food to me is what alcohol is to the alcoholic. And the struggles up and down, you know the business, one minute you're number one, the next minute you're number zero. And I had just been using food for every emotion I had. If I was joyful, we'd go out to eat. You know how it is when you have kids. It's all about snacks and food and carrying it with me on the road. And I just, it became too much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: My schpiel is if you're fair- skinned, watch for discolorations. Don't let your kids out in the sun without sunscreen on.
KING: How dangerous was it?
KING: Never -- were you never -- ever in fear for your life?
MCCAIN: Now, there's a time with one of these things where you don't know how far it's gone. And after they started operating, they found that it had not gone far.
Maureen Reagan, who as you know died from a spot on her leg, it had gone into...
MCCAIN: Yes. The stream and then to her spine and then to her brain. That's why it's so dangerous. You've got to get it before it spreads.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're going to talk about malignant melanoma in this segment. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, whose book, by the way, "The Perricone Weight Loss Diet," as you see its cover, has sold over 4 million copies. And we should mention that Dr. Deepak Chopra's newest book is "The Book of Secrets," concerning -- we have a 14-year-old child in Arizona with malignant melanoma. What's going on, Dr. Perricone?
PERRICONE: Melanoma is on the increase in this country, and we don't know why. I think in the past 30 years, the incidence has quadrupled. Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment-producing cells in the body. And the question is what is going on? Now, we know that sun exposure certainly increases risk of melanoma. There are also genetic propensities. Certainly, if a family member has melanoma, you need to be checked. But we have to look at pigmented lesions on the body, and if there's any changes we need to see a trained physician to have a look at it. The sooner we take it out surgically, the better is the prognosis.
KING: Are we saying stay out of the sun?
PERRICONE: Well, certainly we have to have moderation. And certainly we also know that, for example, one or two serious sunburns as a child increases your risk of melanoma as an adult. We also have some other information that kind of confuses us. If someone's out in the sun all the time like a laborer, they actually have a lower incidence of melanoma than someone who has sporadic exposure to the sun. So we don't have all the answers. But certainly it's more than just sun exposure.
Why this tremendous increase in melanoma in this country? It's got to be -- it's multi-factorial. But the point is, we know the sun creates inflammation, which can then cause changes in the cells. We have to be careful about over-exposure to sun. We need to take other measures.
Once again, I look at dietary factors. I think if you have a good diet, high levels of anti-oxidants, it also decreases your risks for certain skin cancers.
CHOPRA: One thing that people should be aware of is that young people who use tanning beds these days, which is becoming very fashionable, almost have a 50 percent more incidence of melanoma than their peers.
KING: Dr. Gupta, teens having skin lesions removed is not necessarily a bad indicator?
GUPTA: Well, I mean, if you have -- I mean, one of the things as far as the numbers going up is that we've gotten better at diagnosing and finding these lesions. There is greater awareness probably of some of these various types of skin cancers, of which melanoma's one of those types. So getting them removed is certainly the right thing to do before they grow, as Senator McCain was just talking about.
The other thing, Larry, is it's sort of interesting, Dr. Perricone was saying the numbers have gone up now. The one thing about skin cancer, and I wonder if he thought about this, is that it's not a static picture. So if people had a lot of -- people used to sunbathe a lot more years ago, I think we've gotten better about that, but now we're starting to see the ramifications of all those people who used to spend a lot of time in the sun 20, 30, 40 years ago.
PERRICONE: Once again, it's very confusing as well. We have people using sunscreen now more than ever, and yet we're seeing even non-melanoma skin cancers on the increase.
KING: Should you stay out of the sun, period?
PERRICONE: I think moderation. You know, we evolved in the sun over the past multi-million years.
KING: You look like you have a healthy tan.
PERRICONE: I think 15 to 20 minutes of exposure without sunscreen is necessary to produce vitamin D, which is a natural anti- inflammatory, natural anti-cancer agent, and will prevent osteoporosis. We should always look at moderation in whatever we do. And I think moderation is the key.
CHOPRA: I think a lot depends on your skin -- natural skin color. If you're white-skinned, you're more sensitive. If you're dark skinned like I am, you're not so sensitive.
KING: Somebody is laughing. Who's laughing?
GUPTA: Well, I just -- it's Sanjay. I just -- you know, it's funny, Dr. Perricone, because a lot of dermatologists will say there's no such thing as a safe tan. And I just think it's kind of interesting you as a dermatologist, you have a sun tan.
PERRICONE: Well, once again, I believe moderation...
KING: So do you, Sanjay.
GUPTA: That's the makeup and the bad lighting, Larry.
CHOPRA: Sanjay and I have a genetic tan.
KING: The two of you have genetic tans.
CHOPRA: Genetic tans, yes.
KING: All right. We'll take a break and come back with more and bring Dr. Roizen in on the other topics as well. Before we go to break, Anderson Cooper is winding up his week-long trek to the West. He is in Seattle. Is it raining, Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It was earlier today, Larry, but it is beautiful now. And you go from two guys with a sun tan to perhaps the palest man in America right here. But it's good to be on the program.
Today we're focusing on the fact that President Bush was here in Seattle earlier today. He was campaigning for a local congressman. He raised some money, but did he raise support? The results of a new CNN poll may not be what the president wants to hear. We'll have that at the top of the hour.
And we're also near the border, the northern border with Canada. We'll be talking about border security. The border here is about 100 miles from Seattle. It is the world's longest unprotected border. In some spots, it is amazing how easy it is to get across. We'll show you all that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.
KING: That's Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360" at the top of the hour, immediately following this program at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.
And when we come back, we'll talk about breastfeeding benefits and some good news maybe about coffee. Don't go away.
KING: Breastfeeding has always been suggested by the public health organizations as the smart way to go. Lately, people have started referring to them as the breast police, the suggesters are. Take a look at this TV spot that the United States Department of Health and Human Services has started running.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Recent studies show babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea.
Babies were born to be breastfed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is that right, Dr. Perricone? Breastfeed -- everyone should be breastfed?
PERRICONE: In an ideal world, yes. Certainly it confers immunity to the child, and actually makes for a smarter baby, healthier in many different ways, and also decreased risk as we get older of disease.
However, I really object to trying to make people feel guilty if they're not breastfeeding. I mean, certainly, we want to let the mother know how important it can be, but I don't think it's productive to say that it's a form of child abuse by not breastfeeding.
KING: Dr. Roizen, I don't know if it's in your purview, but do you have a thought about it?
ROIZEN: It's not in my purview, but I totally agree with what Dr. Perricone said. It is an important thing.
CHOPRA: Well, the very act of breastfeeding, besides all the immunoglobulins and all the good things that Dr. Perricone mentioned, the very act of breastfeeding established an emotional bond between the infant and the mother, and there's a phenomenon that occurs, it's called limbic resonance, which regulates the homeostatic mechanisms of the baby, and that makes the baby much healthier.
KING: All right, Dr. Gupta, is coffee good for you, or only good for alcoholics?
GUPTA: Well, that's a good question. So there was a study that came out talking about people who drink a lot and are at risk of developing cirrhosis or damage of the liver, and they found in a small group of people that people who also drank coffee had somewhat of a protective effect against developing that cirrhosis. So this is sort of a confusing study. The message should not be that coffee is going to fix your liver or prevent you from getting liver failure in the first place. But it was an interesting study for sure, Larry.
KING: We have another e-mail question. This from Barbara of Palm Desert, California. Wants to know, what are new non-drug research and treatments for fibromyalgia? Millions of people need to know safe ways to recover and lead full lives. Anybody -- what can you -- do you know about this, Dr. Roizen?
ROIZEN: The studies on fibromyalgia look at both some of the B vitamins that seem to be positive, and especially exercise. Now, fibromyalgia, it's very tough to exercise with it, because of pain and lack of energy. But in fact, if you do exercise with it, there's a tremendous benefit, in that the amount of exercise you need is very little. It's about 20 minutes of walking a day, makes about a 40 percent difference in the long-term benefits, in the long-term incidence of fibromyalgia.
KING: What is it, Dr. Roizen?
ROIZEN: I think, actually, if one of the other guests, maybe in fact Sanjay may be better able to handle that, but it is a disease of muscle, myalgia, that we don't really know what it is. On pathology, there are some studies that show infection, inclusion bodies in it, environ inclusion bodies. What it makes you feel is painful to move your muscles and a desire not to move your muscles.
KING: Fairly common, Sanjay?
GUPTA: It is fairly common, Larry. And this falls under the sort of category of some of those diseases that are diagnoses of exclusion, meaning that someone comes in with pain, they're having significant muscle pain, you can't really figure out what's going on. They don't appear to have a herniated disc, for example, or something in their back, and fibromyalgia ends up being the thing you call it -- sometimes you call it when you can't figure out what it really is. And that makes it difficult to treat, for obvious reasons.
KING: We have a caller. Longview, Texas. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. Hello. This is for Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I've had a hormone tumor removed. And one of the -- from the inside of my brain. And one of the symptoms was rapid -- rapid weight gain and high blood pressure. And since the surgery, I have not been able to lose the weight. Can you...
GUPTA: Well, yeah...
KING: Dr. Gupta, you got a thought?
GUPTA: Well, let me just say, I think what you're describing is a tumor of the pituitary gland. That's pretty common, and those can secrete certain hormones. Even after you have the humor removed, and I don't know your particular situation, but even after you have the tumor removed, your hormones may still be not quite in order for some time afterwards. You probably should get all your hormone levels checked, and sometimes they need to be replaced by taking pills orally for some time afterwards.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with this outstanding panel. Don't go away.
KING: We have an e-mail from Pratheba (ph), Montreal, Quebec, to our Web site. How significant are emotions, feelings and thoughts in creating disease? Deepak. Creating disease. CHOPRA: Even in creating disease -- well, I'll say the lack of love, the lack of being cared for is associated with a three to five times higher incidence of death from all diseases. In many studies, it has been shown that it's a higher risk factor than smoking, than obesity, than lack of exercise and other habits.
CHOPRA: Yes. Isolation, feeling isolated, feeling lonely, not having the experience of love. Because love causes the secretion of certain hormones that are immunomodulators.
KING: Dr. Roizen, you buy that?
ROIZEN: Absolutely. Stress or the opposite emotion is the greatest ager we have. Makes your real age up to 32 years older. And love and the other feelings and blocking stress actually can block 30 of those aging years. So it really is -- that is the greatest ager we have. Much greater than even hypertension or diabetes.
KING: Wow. Dr. Perricone?
PERRICONE: Stress is at the basis of all the age-related diseases and accelerates the process. Stress is pro-inflammatory. Reduce stress and you'll reduce your incidence of disease and you'll live longer.
KING: So love. More you love, the less the stress. But love can bring stress.
PERRICONE: I've never experienced that, Larry.
CHOPRA: The intoxication of love is the most powerful healing force in the universe.
KING: How about the bad days?
Dr. Gupta, do you share that view?
GUPTA: Larry, I'm just sending some love your way right now. Can you feel it?
KING: I feel it. No, do you buy that?
GUPTA: I do buy it. I mean, we talk about the cortisol levels, the stress hormones in the body. You can directly measure this now scientifically in terms of its effect on the heart, in terms of its increased likelihood of developing heart disease or stroke, osteoporosis, cancers. So you know, if love is sort of the opposite of that, sure, I buy that.
KING: There's the summation of the health show: Love one another.
We thank our guests for being with us tonight. We hope you found it not only entertaining but informative. Tomorrow night, we'll repeat our interview with Mary Kay Letourneau. And Sunday night, with Al Gore.
When we're back live Monday night, Charlie Rose's first interview since his heart surgery in Paris. Charlie Rose on Monday night.
A reminder: My new book, "My Dad and Me," perfect for Father's Day, a heartwarming collection of stories about fathers from a host of famous people like President George H.W. Bush and Bob Costas and Kurt Russell and Ryan Seacrest and a whole bunch of others. Hope you enjoy it.
Right now, send -- let's send love to Anderson Cooper, if that's the answer. "AC 360" is next in Seattle -- Anderson.
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