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Local med student wages war on diabetes

Posted: November 28, 2008 9:44 p.m.
Updated: November 29, 2008 4:59 a.m.
A 23-year-old Valencia man who struggled with obesity as a youngster has won a scholarship to continue studies on eliminating obesity and curing type 2 diabetes.

Parents Nick and Lois Brestoff said Friday their son will succeed.

"Jonathan is a go-for-it kind of guy," Lois Brestoff said of her son. "If you don't go for it, you are never going to get it."

This month Jonathan Brestoff won the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, which will allow him to obtain his Master of Public Health degree in Ireland.

Brestoff's synthetic, patent-pending compound may cure both obesity and type 2 diabetes once proper research and documentation is complete, according to those who awarded Brestoff's scholarship.

Brestoff graduated in May from Skidmore College in New York and began an eight-year medical research fellowship at Penn State University this fall. He will take the one-year break offered by the Mitchell Scholarship to study global health care in Europe.

His goal is to study world health policy, then assemble a team of professionals to provide a major impact on health care in the United States.

Motivated by early memories of his own obesity and the relentless teasing he endured, Brestoff first moved into athletics, and then on to the study of nutrition.

Armed with focus and determination to become a medical researcher and leader in the health field, Brestoff and his Skidmore College mentor, Thomas H. Reynolds, conducted a series of experiments that proved the use of the antioxidant MnTBAP enhanced insulin sensitivity and reduced overall weight.

Along with his desire to see the progression of obesity medical research, Brestoff encourages hometown students to dream big and adopt die-hard determination to achieve goals.

Interviewed in his Valencia home Friday, Nick Brestoff said his son will be able to make a difference in the world with his knowledge and passion for nutrition and health care.

"He loves this. He has a passion for it. He speaks biochemistry now and I don't understand him," Nick Brestoff said.

And it all started when Jonathan chose to learn how to deal with his obesity instead of letting his overweight stature rule his future life.

Throughout his education, Jonathan Brestoff won awards and distinctions for his work in the nutrition and medical field.

But he did not receive everything for which he applied.

Brestoff continued to apply for schools and scholarships until he got what he wanted.


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