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Does Animal Protein Increase Cancer Risk? | HealingTalks | Healing Talks

Some Animal Proteins Increase Cancer Risks as Much as Smoking

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 Does Animal Protein Increase Cancer Risk? / HealingTalks

lady smoking cigarette and eating animal protein based foods

(Healingtalks)  Could eating a hamburger with animal-fat-fried fries be as deadly as smoking a cigarette?

YES according to a study to be published March 4 issue of Cell Metabolism. The groundbreaking study was conducted by Valter Longo, Professor of Biogerontology at the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology and director of the University of Southern California Longevity Institute. Examined were 6,318 adults who had an average protein intake of about 16 percent of daily calories,  2/3rds from animal protein sources, following national protein eating levels.  The study sample represented diverse ethnicity, education and health backgrounds.The adults were tracked for two decades and the following was discovered.

Study Findings

  •  Diet with Highest Cancer Risk - Eating high levels of animal proteins during middle ages increases your likelihood of dying from cancer by4x as much compared to someone on a low-protein diet— a mortality increase  comparable to that caused by smoking. Eating moderate levels increased the risk of dying of cancer by 3x as much compared to someone on a low-protein diet.
  • Overall Mortality Risk Higher – Protein-lovers were 74 % more likely to die of any cause within the study period than their more low-protein counterparts.
  • Diabetes Risk – Those studied who ate a high protein diet were also several times more likely to die of diabetes.
  • Which Sources of Protein Implicated - Animal protein sources included milk, meat and cheese.
  • Why Study Is Groundbreaking -   The China Study showed population correlations, citing also animal studies which linked high animal protein diets with cancer and degenerative diseases. But the understanding has since been muddied by claims made by the protein-heavy Paleo and Atkins diets. Before this study, researchers had never shown a definitive and as powerful a correlation between high protein consumption and mortality risk.
  • Least Healthy Diet in Middle Age Group - Protein controls the growth hormone IGF-I, which helps our bodies grow at a younger age but is linked to cancer and diabetes susceptibility in middle age.  Levels of IGF-I drop off  after age 65 and which can lead to  frail bones and muscle loss. The study showed moderate protein intake after age 65 may offset that bone and muscle development.
  • Follow Up on Past Research – The latest paper draws up previous research using an Ecuadorians group who seemed to have little cancer and diabetes due to a genetic mutation that lowered levels of IGF-I; the study group members were also, as a result, less than five-feet tall.The researchers also looked at causality in mice. In a study of tumor progressions among mice, the researchers saw lower cancer rates and 45 percent smaller average tumor sizes  on a low-protein diet than on a high-protein diet.
  • Oil and Carbohydrates  Less Critically Important – Rates of cancer and death were not as affected by  controlling carbs and fat, animal proteins being the main culprit.

Comments on Study

“Almost everyone is going to have a cancer cell or pre-cancer cell in them at some point. The question is: Does it progress?” Longo said. “Turns out one of the major factors in determining if it does is is protein intake.”

Countless statistical studies show that a plant-based diet lowers virtually every chronic illness known to us. See video below for details. Here is a scientific study that helps to support the statistics.

Life Style Changes Suggested

  • Low Plant-Based Protein Diet During Middle Ages - Longo’s findings suggested we daily consume about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight  when we are middle aged. A 130-pound person should eat about 45-50 grams of protein a day   A “moderate” protein diet includes 10-19% of calories from protein, and a “low-protein” diet 10% percent protein. A high protein diet for an athlete would be 20% or greater. Even moderate amounts of protein had detrimental effects during middle age.
  • Small Changes Matter – Even small decreases in protein intake from moderate levels to low levels reduced likelihood of early death by 21 percent.
  • Plant Based Diets Suggested – Diets using plant-based proteins, such as beans and nuts, did not have the same mortality effects as animal proteins.

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Dr. Gregor: Help to Transition toward Plant-Based Diet


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