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Lifestyle Medicine Research

The mission of the University of Integrated Health UIH is to improve human health through better nutrition and lifestyle. The Department strives to accomplish this goal through research aimed at an increased understanding of how diet influences health at molecular and population levels, the development of nutritional strategies, informing policy, the education of researchers and practitioners, and the dissemination of nutrition information to health professionals and the public.

What is lifestyle medicine?

Lifestyle medicine is an approach to caring for patients that focuses on changes to lifestyle habits that can prevent, treat and even reverse disease. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with more beneficial ones can help you live a healthier life. Lifestyle medicine providers give you the tools that can help you do just that and take charge of your own health. 


UIH Lifestyle medicine research is a branch of evidence-based integrative healthcare emphasizing disease prevention over curative medicine. We emphasize the use of evidence-based lifestyle as a therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substance use, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse the lifestyle-related, chronic disease that’s all too prevalent”.    


Who can benefit from lifestyle medicine?

The National Institute of Health NIH has shown that about 80 percent of heart disease is preventable. We also know there are ways to lower risk of diabetes or cancer, or even to help protect memory as we age. The way to do that is through lifestyle changes. 

There are several conditions that can improve when you focus on making the right lifestyle choices. Those include:

Lifestyle medicine providers can help you identify habits you can change to give you the most benefit for your body and mind. 

The five pillars of lifestyle medicine

Lifestyle medicine focuses on five key areas. On their own, each has tremendous benefits for your overall wellness. When you address all of them together, imagine how much better you can feel!

The five areas include:

  • Healthful eating 
  • Increased physical activity 
  • Managing stress 
  • Avoiding substance abuse 
  • Improving your sleep 


Why is this important?

Our population has been accumulating more and more chronic diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, depression, heart disease, arthritis, heart burn, lung and kidney diseases, dementia and cancer. All chronic diseases are primarily driven by poor health habits and other environmental causes that can cause inflammation, injury and activate susceptible genes. 90% of healthcare costs, before COVID-19, went to treating chronic diseases. These same chronic diseases increase the risk of severe illness with COVID-19.

Research has shown that keeping a normal weight, exercising 350 minutes a week, not smoking, and eating an unprocessed diet rich in plant foods such as beans, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables and low in animal fat and red meat, refined grains, sugar and other processed foods and meats can practically eliminate diabetes and heart disease and lower cancer risk by one third.


The Researchers at UIH work to advance knowledge in the field of lifestyle medicine. Our areas of focus include:

  • Research on health outcomes with interventions of lifestyle medicine, particularly in the context of disease treatment and reversal.
  • Create a support group for excellence in clinical practice  
  • Development of tools and assessments to aid in clinical practice and research
  • Evidence reviews and consumer-facing resources to support translation and dissemination


The mission of the University of Integrated Health, UIH is to improve human health through better nutrition and lifestyle. With evidence-based nutrition research to promote


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