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British Researchers: Go Vegan to Beat Breast and Prostate Cancer

06/06/00

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Read More: dairy, IGF-I, prostate cancer, rBGH

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Men eating a vegan diet have lower levels of a protein associated with prostate cancer, British scientists said today.

Saying that while further research was needed, the findings from researchers at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Oxford suggest that a diet without meat or dairy products could reduce the risk of contracting the deadly disease.

The role of IGF-I and Cancer

Previous studies have shown that high blood levels of IGF-I -- an insulin-like growth factor -- appear to play a key role in promoting the growth of prostate cancer.

The study, conducted at Oxford using 696 British men, found IGF-I levels were nine percent lower in vegans than meat-eaters, and seven percent lower than in vegetarians.

Published in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers also reported that previous studies have found prostate cancer rates lower in countries with low consumption of meat and dairy.

In Great Britain, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer, killing approximately 9,500 men with about 21,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
 
IGF-I Also a Factor in Breast Cancer

The findings reinforce a sobering study published in May of 1998 in the medical journal Lancet. This study, conducted by Susan Hankinson, Sc.D., showed a strong relationship between IGF-I levels and breast cancer.

Thousands of women enrolled in the Harvard Nurses' Health Study gave blood samples in 1989 and 1990. In 1998, Dr. Hankinson's team identified 397 of these women who had subsequently developed breast cancer. Tests from the 1989 blood samples then revealed that those women with high IGF-I levels in their blood had up to 5 times the risk of developing breast cancer than those with low IGF-I concentrations.

If consumption of meat and dairy is associated with increased levels of free IGF-I in the bloodstream, as the new Oxford study appears to show, the public now has valuable information for combatting and helping prevent breast and prostate cancer -- eat a vegan diet.

Biotechnology and IGF-I

During the late 20th Century, Monsanto Corporation introduced a substance which can be regularly injected into dairy cows in order to increase milk production. Called Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), it also increases the amount of free IGF-I in milk from treated cows. There is disagreement about whether the consumption by people of IGF-I found in cows' milk, identical to human IGF-I, increases IGF-I levels in people, or whether protein found in cows' milk is responsible.

But dairy product consumption has been shown to increase serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).

Take Home Message

Additional research should be conducted immediately using vegans in the US to compare against meat and dairy consumers. It may be that the differences in IGF-I levels are even higher in the US than the UK, since Europe and Canda and other parts of the world have rejected the rBGH technology widely used in the US and deemed "safe" by FDA regulators using conclusions from Monsanto studies.

Meanwhile, there would appear ample evidence, for those concerned about breast and prostate cancer, to greatly reduce and elmininate meat and dairy products -- no matter what part of the world you live in.

After all, we can hear those ravenous cancer cells begging now to be fed so they can grow and spread, and here's what they're saying:

"Got milk?!"

Additional references:

"Human Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine IGF-I are
identical. Both contain 70 amino acids in the identical sequence."

Judith C. Juskevich and C. Greg Guyer.
SCIENCE, vol. 249. August 24, 1990.
____________________________________________

"IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast
cancer cells."

M. Lippman. J. Natl. Inst. Health Res., 1991, 3.
____________________________________________

"Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would support the
hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function in breast cancer."

A.V. Lee, Mol-Cell- Endocrinol., March, 99(2).
____________________________________________

"IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation
in the human breast carcinoma cell line."

J.C. Chen, J-Cell-Physiol., January, 1994, 158(1)
____________________________________________

"Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast cancer growth."

J.A. Figueroa, J-Cell-Physiol., Nov., 1993, 157(2)
____________________________________________

"IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer cells.
IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular proliferation."

X.S. Li, Exp-Cell-Res., March, 1994, 211(1)
____________________________________________

"IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth."

E.A. Musgrove, Eur-J-Cancer, 29A (16), 1993
____________________________________________

"IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast cancer."

Hankinson. The Lancet, vol. 351. May 9, 1998
____________________________________________

"Serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in milk drinkers, an increase of about 10% above baseline but was unchanged in the control group."

Robert P. Heaney,
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 99,
no. 10. October 1999 Heaney RP, McCarron DA, Dawson-Hughes B, Oparil S, Berga SL, Stern JS, Barr SI, Rosen CJ. Dietary changes favorably affect bone remodeling in older adults. J Am Dietetic Asso 1999;99:1228-33.
____________________________________________

"IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells."

M. Lippman Science, Vol. 259, January 29, 1993
____________________________________________

"Consumption of dairy products increase IGF-I levels."

Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ 1997;315:1255-60. 34.



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