The recent dramatic increase of hormone dependent cancers in Japan has been speculatively linked to the steroids in meat. Cancers like breast and prostate are sensitive to growth promoting steroid hormones like estrogen, and one way to decrease levels of steroid hormones in the body is to avoid eating and drinking them in eggs, dairy, and meat. The hormones in meat may also directly affect a woman’s fertility; eating a single serving of meat can increase infertility risk by 30%. And xenoestrogens (industrial pollutants), in addition to the hormones found in animal protein and milk, are thought to be responsible for early onset puberty in girls. Trace amounts of hormones now have even been found in the New York City water supply.

The high rates of acne among milk drinkers are thought to be due to the high hormone levels in milk, which have resulted from the genetic manipulation of cows (see here, here, here, here, here, here).

On the other hand, flax seeds cause women to have fewer periods, which lowers their exposure to estrogen and, thus, may reduce the risk of breast cancer. And mushrooms may help prevent breast cancer by blocking estrogen production, thus effectively cutting off the tumor’s growth self-stimulation. Estrogen is also flushed out through the intestinge. The fact that vegetarians tend to have larger bowel movements has been used to explain their lower breast cancer risk. About half a pound a day is the target fecal output for cancer prevention. In addition, sex hormone binding globulins, which remove excess hormones from our bodies, have been found at higher levels in those eating vegetarian.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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