In the previous video, Dr. Michael Greger discussed the scientific evidence for people eating vegan having significantly lower IGF-1 levels and higher IGF binding proteins than those just eating vegetarian. The evidence suggests that the more plant-based a person’s diet becomes, the lower his risk of feeding growth hormone dependent cancer growth.
Am I selling the vegetarian or vegan diet?
No. That’s a personal choice and not an easy one because it involves changing a lifetime of habits. I’m including these videos on IGF-1 by Dr. Greger because his conclusions are based on scientific studies and I believe that some people who are battling metastatic cancer want to know all of their options for tools to fight their illness.
I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I tried going vegetarian and eventually vegan for several months many years ago and I decided not to continue based on how I felt. But my wife’s experience with cancer and the reading I’ve done to help her (Life Over Cancer, Anticancer, etc.) has caused me to significantly lower our meat intake. We’ve virtually eliminated red meat (which has strong links to some cancers) and pork. And we try to eat mostly chicken breast meat and fish (preferably salmon or other cold water fish due to high omega 3 fatty acid content).
Our beef and pork (and frankly poultry) is not our grandparent’s beef, pork and poultry
Another consideration is that the quality of the beef and pork (and poultry frankly) we’re eating today is not the same as what we at decades ago. Beef was grass fed and grass is high in omega 3 fatty acids which doesn’t encourage cancer cell proliferation (source: Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber MD, PhD). Today our beef is injected with various growth hormones and other chemicals to enhance taste and growth speed and is fed a diet of soy meal and corn meal which are both high in omega 6 fatty acids which encourages cancer cell proliferation.
Unintended consequences of the Western diet
Most of the world’s billions of people are poor to very poor and can’t afford a lot of meat in their diet. In large sections of Asia (coincidentally where common Western illnesses such as breast cancer are rare) meat is treated as a condiment to flavor the bulk of meals which is comprised of mostly vegetables. Studies have been done of Asians that have emigrated from areas with such diets new areas where they adopted Western diets (high fat, high refined carbohydrates, high sugar, high red meat, etc.). Within a few years these emigrants started to experience higher rates of typical Western illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cancer, etc.. Probably the best illustration of this dietary and illness contrast (Western vs. Asian) is in the book The China Study in case you want to do some in depth study on the subject (it’s a rather thick book).