Can you catch cancer, heart disease, and lung disease?

Did you know that 70 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by just three lifestyle diseases — heart disease, cancer, and lung disease?

Genetics and environmental factors play into these diseases somewhat, but they’re mostly caused by the choices you make… like what you eat, how often you exercise, whether you smoke, whether you drink, how stressful your job is, etc.

But what if lifestyle wasn’t the whole story behind so-called “lifestyle” diseases? What if there was something else causing these diseases… something contagious?

It sounds like the trailer to a medical thriller. But there could be some truth to it. There’s recent evidence that contagious microbes like bacteria, fungi, and viruses could contribute to major lifestyle diseases that we always thought weren’t contagious…

Disease-causing microbes may move from person to person

New research published in the journal Science found evidence that non-contagious diseases — everything from obesity to inflammatory bowel disease to type 2 diabetes to cardiovascular disease — could be caused by microbes that can pass between people.

First, researchers looked at the microbiomes of people with a wide range of non-contagious diseases. They found that these people had unusual microbiomes.

Next, they transplanted microbes from these people’s microbiomes into animals. And guess what happened? The animals got diseases.

These researchers also found evidence that microbes from your microbiome can be passed to people around you. In fact, they found spouses who live together have very similar microbiomes. Their microbiomes are more alike than the microbiomes of twins who don’t live together.

“If our hypothesis is proven correct, it will rewrite the entire book on public health,” says B. Brett Finlay, lead author on this research paper.

These are still the best ways to fend off chronic disease…

This is a fascinating (and alarming) theory. But at this point, that’s all it is — a theory. So, I wouldn’t get too worried about “catching” chronic diseases from your loved ones. Instead, defend yourself from these diseases using rock-solid, scientifically-supported approaches, like these…

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less processed food.
  • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. As a point of reference, gardening and brisk walking are both considered moderate forms of exercise.
  • Limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man. And don’t binge drink often, or ideally, at all. For women, binge drinking is drinking four or more drinks in one sitting. For men, it’s five drinks.
  • Sleep at least seven hours per night. This is one of the simplest ways to lower chronic disease risk that so many people ignore.
  • Learn how to cope with stress better. Potentially stressful situations are part of everyone’s life. But the fact is, everyone responds to these situations differently. One person could be totally stressed out by a situation that doesn’t bother another person. Pay attention to the causes of chronic stress in your life. Eliminate the stressful things that aren’t necessary. For everything else, try cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness or other practices that train your brain to respond to potential stressors differently.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!


  1. Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes may be communicable — MedicalXpress
  2. Are noncommunicable diseases communicable?Science
  3. How You Can Prevent Chronic Diseases — Centers for Disease Prevention and Control
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and