Animal Protein and Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer accounts for 25% of all cancers. This is the most common cancer in men: after 70 years, up to half of men suffer from prostate cancer or its latent form.
Prostate cancer meets all the criteria of a diet-dependent civilization disease; its ascension depends on the dietary habits of a given region of the world. Most often, it is accompanied by the Western diet (and taking over the western lifestyle by immigrants).
We are dealing here with one of the most cohesive links between nutrition and cancer. This relationship is called:
There is also a correlation between consumption of “dairy and meat” and mortality due to prostate cancer. Men who consume a lot of dairy products have a 2-times greater risk of this type of cancer and a 4-fold higher risk of metastasis and death – compared to those who consume dairy products in small quantities.
Some studies indicate that stimulating the development of prostate cancer by animal foods may be due to its effect on the blood levels of two compounds: IGF-1 and vitamin D.
Animal diet, containing meat and dairy products – increases the blood level of IGF-1 in the blood. (IGFfor Insulin-like Growth Factor”; also called somatomedin C). IGF-1 manages the rate of cell growth: accelerates the formation and growth of new cells and inhibits the removal of old cells.
The second factor is vitamin D. We know that its active form (supercharged) prevents the formation of, among others. prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases (such as type 1 diabetes).
A diet rich in animal protein has a blocking effect on the production of active vitamin D; this leads to a decrease in the level of active vitamin D in the blood.
Another, parallel mechanism results from the high consumption of phosphorus and calcium (milk and its products); high concentrations of calcium create an environment that reduces the amount of active vitamin D in the blood.
The development of prostate cancer would therefore be influenced by these two factors, acting simultaneously:
- lack of protection against cancer (decrease in the concentration of active vitamin D)
- stimulation of tumor growth (increase in blood IGF-1 concentration)
Both factors are derived from eating habits, specifically – the presence of significant amounts of animal products in the diet. When using the PLANT-BASED diet, i.e. one whose core is unprocessed vegetable products – we distance ourselves from the threat of all civilization diseases, including prostate cancer.
This and several other entries in our blog regarding the relationship between health and diet – are based on data disclosed in “The China Study” [T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell, 2004].
The book discusses the results of epidemiological studies on the widest scale in the world on the relationship between diet and the morbidity of various disease entities.
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