News + Events
Grace O Foundation Announces Recipients of Funds for Research on Nutrition and the Diseases of Aging
LOS ANGELES, CA—July, 2023 – The Grace O Foundation and Cedars-Sinai announced the first two of four awardees of funds for research on nutrition and the diseases of aging. The awards are part of a $300,000 research gift that the Grace O Foundation committed to support the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle (CIRCL) at Cedars-Sinai last fall. Cedars-Sinai issued a request for application for studies on inflammation and the diseases of aging, and the role nutrition and lifestyle can play to prevent and/or minimize inflammatory diseases.
One of the studies receiving funds will examine how diet and lifestyle might mitigate the side effects of breast cancer treatments, while the second will study the impact of race and obesity on prostate cancer tumors and the health disparity experienced by Black men, who have a higher prostate cancer death rate than any other racial group in the United States.
The two studies receiving funding are the following:
- Alexander Xu and Dr. Philip Chang will study the side effects of breast cancer therapies using aromatase inhibitors, a class of drugs used by over 80% of postmenopausal women diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. A potential side effect of aromatase inhibitor treatment, however, is musculoskeletal symptoms like joint pain and stiffness that can resemble arthritis. Once the mechanisms are better understood, new drugs or lifestyle interventions can be created to target these mechanisms, ultimately reducing side-effects. If successful, the results of this research will be used to apply for a larger grant in the future.
Dr. Akil Merchant and Dr. Cecilia Galvan will study the role of race, obesity and lifestyle factors in driving inflammation in prostate tumors in minority communities, particularly Black men. While access to healthcare is a strong contributor to this disparity, previous studies show there are biological differences between prostate cancer tumors from African American and Non-Hispanic white men. Investigators hope to develop novel approaches to blocking inflammation, while simultaneously improving lifestyle interventions for high-risk prostate cancer patients. Results will also be preliminary data for use in larger studies.
Previous research has shown that chronic inflammation is implicated in cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, in addition to some neurologic and gastrointestinal diseases. Metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that can cause stroke, diabetes, and heart-disease, has increased, but the symptoms (high sugar levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) are not always apparent. Yet, because chronic inflammation can continue for a long time, it’s not easy to know if the chronic inflammation increases the risk of these ailments, or if it is a result of them.
Currently, the most effective way of preventing conditions related to chronic inflammation is to adopt a “healthy” lifestyle: maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maximize sleep. As straightforward as this sounds, there is currently little consensus about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and how various lifestyle habits impact inflammation, cancer and other diseases. Some would argue that herbicides, pesticides, fillers, additives, and stabilizers from highly processed foods and meats can all contribute to inflammation in the body and that inflammation is the root cause of many chronic health problems and disease. Others would add that being mindful of food consumption is essential to healing cancer and other chronic health conditions.
More research is needed to understand the association between lifestyle, the mechanisms and processes associated with chronic inflammation, and how/when to best administer meaningful therapies for cancer and other diseases.
By funding these studies, the Grace O Foundation hopes to contribute to this much-needed research.
ABOUT THE GRACE O FOUNDATION
The Grace O Foundation, started by chef, food and community advocate, Grace O, is dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and honoring diverse cuisine, food as medicine, and the healing foods from around the world through programs that educate, inspire, and have the potential to change and improve lives. Their mission is to research, explore and report on the role of food/nutrients in wellness, aging, and longevity, and to promote healthy, sustainable food and nutrition efforts, as well as supporting nutrition education, culinary training, and food advocacy programs, specifically for an aging population.
Grace O has built an impressive record of business achievement, community building, philanthropy, and community service in California. Guided by her spirit of entrepreneurship and building on a model of generosity learned from her family, Grace has spent a lifetime helping people heal through food and medicine.
In 2011, Grace combined her entrepreneurial skills, her passion for the culinary arts, and her commitment to health by launching a new culinary brand, FoodTrients®, a non-profit website and cookbooks dedicated to the nutrients in foods that help prevent the diseases of aging. Grace is also the author of three award-winning cookbooks all dedicated to anti-aging and disease prevention.
ABOUT GRACE O
When Grace O moved from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1992, she began her impressive corporate ascent from employee to owner and operator of a number of skilled nursing facilities in California.
In addition to her non-profit website, FoodTrients®, Grace is the author of The Age GRACEfully Cookbook: The Power of FOODTRIENTS to Promote Health and Well-being for a Joyful and Sustainable Life; The Age Beautifully Cookbook: Easy and Exotic Longevity Secrets from Around the World; and her latest cookbook, Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World, recently released by Skyhorse Publishing. All proceeds from her cookbooks go to the Grace O Foundation to fund research and programs. To learn more visit www.FoodTrients.com.
cedars-sinai publishes grace o foundation circl Award in newsletter
Grace O Foundation Funds Research at Cedars-Sinai
Donation Will Support Study on Inflammation and the Diseases of Aging
Grace O launched her third cookbook, Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World, in style with an upscale party held at Saks in Beverly Hills. Amidst friends, fans, and designer dresses, Grace signed copies of her book for eager partygoers including NBA star and former Laker Robert Horry and his wife Candice.
TV host and producer Robb Weller announced Grace’s generous donation of a $300,000 research award to support the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle (CIRCL) at Cedars-Sinai. The gift will provide for research on inflammation and the diseases of aging, and the role nutrition and lifestyle can play to prevent and/or minimize inflammatory disease. Laura Asok, Ph.D., Senior Major Gift Officer for Cedars-Sinai and Alex Mack, Program Manager for the CIRCL program at Cedars-Sinai were on hand to receive an oversized check from Grace O.
The research dovetails nicely with Grace’s mission to promote better health through eating nutrient-rich foods. Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World features 250 easy-to-make recipes using everyday favorites, exotic ingredients, and superfoods from around the world. It also includes healthy resources, guides, and tips for improving your lifespan and health span. Grace’s global approach to her age-fighting recipes is to ramp up the flavor profiles of each dish to entice food lovers everywhere.
Some of the delicious anti-aging recipes found in the cookbook were served at the party including Vietnamese Shrimp & Noodle Salad, Aztec Berry Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing, Cuban Black Bean and Corn Salad, Barcelona Flatbread with Grapes & Blue Cheese, Indian Chai Tea & Plum Bread, African Dawadawa Cake, and Moroccan Brownie Bites. Find a few of these recipes and learn more about the book at FoodTrients.com.
All proceeds from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to the Grace O Foundation, wch supports educating the public about nutrition, working with other food-based non-profits, and participating in research that explores food and the diseases of aging, such as with Cedars Sinai. Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.
GRACE O'S NEW COOKBOOK IS HERE!
Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World: Recipes to Boost Immunity, Improve Skin, Promote Longevity, Lower Inflammation and Detoxify
Chef and author Grace O has traveled the world in search of delicious, good-for-you foods. Her passion for discovering food treasures from the Blue Zones and elsewhere, where people live longer, healthier lives, is the driving force behind FoodTrients.com and her new cookbook, Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World: Recipes to Boost Immunity, Improve Skin, Promote Longevity, Lower Inflammation and Detoxify
In her third cookbook, Grace O delivers all the hallmarks of her two previous award-winning cookbooks, and more. In addition to 250 easy-to-make recipes using everyday favorites, exotic ingredients, and superfoods from around the world, Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World includes healthy resources, guides, and tips for improving your lifespan and health-span.
The book also features invaluable guides to:
- Herbs and Spices from Around the Globe
- Top 50 Foods for Longevity
- Alternative Flours and Grains
- The Healthiest Cooking Oils
- Better-for-You Sweeteners
- The Best Anti-Aging Teas
- The ”New” Ancient Grains
And of course, her signature FoodTrients chart that tracks the health benefits of each recipe.
Grace O’s global approach to her age-fighting recipes ramps up the flavor profiles of each dish to entice food lovers everywhere. She takes classic recipes and gives them international twists with a few simple steps, creating very interesting meals. For example, people will love her global take on chicken soup with recipes developed with Asian, French, Greek, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Latin, and Indian variations.
She does the same thing with basic sauces, pestos, main dishes, pastas, bowls, drinks, and more. Her recipes use superfoods and spice profiles from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, Polynesia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, India, Mexico, and the U.S.
If you want to know the top foods for aging better or the difference between prebiotics and probiotics; which cooking oils are best to use; which salts are healthier; the perfect teas to help you calm down, energize, or fight the flu. . .this is the cookbook for you.
All proceeds from this new book will be donated to the Grace O Foundation, which supports educating the public about nutrition, working with other food-based non-profits, and participating in research that explores food and the diseases of aging.
Order now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Grace Ouano Awarded Knighthood by Pope Francis
First Filipino-American Named Dame for Her Generosity and Service to the Catholic Church
Alhambra, CA, August 4, 2022 – On August 4th Grace Mercado Ouano became the first Filipino-American to receive the Order of St. Gregory the Great from the Catholic Church. Monsignor Lawrence J. Spiteri, on behalf of Pope Francis, bestowed the knighthood at St. Therese Roman Catholic Church in Alhambra, California.
The Order is awarded to Catholic men and women in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and to the Roman Catholic Church, through their unusual labors, their support of the Holy See, and their excellent examples set forth in their communities and their countries. Dame Grace Mercado Ouano shares this honor with such great luminaries as G.K. Chesterton, Bob and Dolores Hope, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
The beautiful ceremony took place during a full mass with the Philippine Chamber Singers of Los Angeles and six musicians, including a pipe organist. For the investiture, Monsignor Spiteri changed into his red and white vestments to fulfill his role as the Supreme Justice of the Roman Rota. He pinned the medals onto Dame Grace’s emerald green cape, custom-designed, along with her black dress, by David Tupaz Couture for the occasion. David Tupaz was named International Designer of the Year by Metropolitan Fashion Week in 2015.
Grace acknowledged Msgr. Spiteri’s spiritual guidance as her big brother in her acceptance speech. She also said, “A sincere thank you to my family and friends. I am deeply touched that you are here on one of the most important days of my life. I will always remember this day and that you were all here to celebrate with me.”
Special guests included Los Angeles’ Philippine Consul General Edgar Badajos, La Cañada Flintridge’s Mayor Sonny Santa, and Bellflower’s Mayor Michael Davitt, who were there to support and congratulate Grace. The crowd of nearly 300 family members, friends, colleagues, dignitaries, priests, and nuns filed out of the church into the lovely California sunset, on their way to a celebratory dinner at Capital Seafood in Arcadia where Dame Grace continued her long tradition of generosity.