In some ways it could be a takeoff on the famous ?greed is good? speech from the movie Wall Street: ?Vanity is good. Vanity works.? No, it?s not the newest reality television makeover show, but it is Dr. Nicholas Perricone?s sneaky way to get people thinking about health.
?Over the years, I tried to concern patients with their health and decreasing their risk of heart disease or, say, breast cancer. But that doesn?t really work because those are negative thoughts, and people don?t like to carry negative thoughts around with them,? Perricone says.
?But if we showed them that by eating a particular way they could change their appearance in as short as three days—dramatically—that?s a huge motivator because it?s positive. And so we do use vanity as a motivator. Get people to do the right thing, and then everything else falls into place. They will decrease their risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and all the other problems that we?re seeing. We?re just focusing on the health and beauty aspects because that?s all it takes.?
However, Perricone is very seriously involved in helping people look their best. It?s just that his three-tiered approach includes eating right, taking the right supplements and using the correct topical products to increase health and reduce inflammation.
?Some people, of course, want to enter at different levels. I think a lot of people like using the topicals because it?s just slapping something on, but I think people also realize from reading my books or watching the TV programs that beauty really comes from inside out,? Perricone says. ?People already kind of intuitively understand this, but they need to be reminded that a well-balanced diet is a good thing, that reducing stress is extremely important, that taking supplements actually has some merit.?
Perricone is a board-certified clinical and research dermatologist and the author of three New York Times No. 1 best sellers, The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps (Warner Books, 2004), The Perricone Prescription: A Physician?s 28-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation (HarperCollins, 2002) and The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin (Warner Books, 1998). He is also the focus of a series of award-winning public television specials airing nationally on PBS that have raised more than $16 million during membership drives, placing them in the top three all-time fund-raisers for public television.
Sometimes called the father of the inflammation theory of aging, Perricone puts anti-inflammatory supplements, foods and topicals at the forefront of his program and thinks that inflammation is finally getting the press it deserves. ?The cover of Time magazine a few months ago had inflammation as the basis of most diseases. Of course, when I started talking about this 15 or 18 years ago, there was a lot of resistance, and I think there?s probably a small group of people who don?t believe that inflammation?s at the basis of certain diseases and age-related problems. But I think they?re coming around, and I think the evidence every day points to the fact that that hypothesis is correct, and that we should be looking at therapeutic intervention.?
Perricone, currently an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University?s College of Human Medicine, is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American College of Nutrition, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Society of Investigative Dermatology. He formerly served as assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and as chief of dermatology at the Connecticut Veterans? Hospital. He is a frequent guest on CNN and on television programs including Oprah, Today, and Access Hollywood, and has been featured in The New York Times, Harper?s Bazaar, Forbes and People.
His Expo West keynote address, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 19, will focus on Perricone?s newest book, The Perricone Promise, as well as discuss other aspects of health. ?Essentially I?m going to be giving some background about inflammation aging theory and ? I?ll tie all of that together with various theories of aging,? Perricone says. ?And then I want to talk very specifically about the three-tiered program, what it can mean to patients and people in terms of their health and well-being.?
Although not currently available through naturals retailers, Perricone sells his own personal care and supplements lines through his Web site and department stores, and says that he hopes they will soon make their way to naturals store shelves. But, he says, ?We?ve gotten the word across about the way to eat and the supplements you can take, which means that people can go anywhere to find that aspect of it.? Although, he says, he still likes his personal care line the best.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 3/p. 26, 28