Doctor's Note

What kind of human health effects? Check out the sequel, my next video: Why Do Vegan Women Have 5x Fewer Twins?

What effects might these female hormones have on men? See Dairy Estrogen and Male Fertility.

The implications of this relatively new practice of milking cows even when they’re pregnant is further explored in:

More on xenoestrogens in:

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  • Kris

    In addition to fish having gender confusion, could estrogens in meat and other foods also lead to more cancer, particularly estrogen sensitive cancers? If so, what can be done to prevent this. I understand that even plastic water bottles contain estrogens. Perhaps we should avoid these.

    • Frannie O’Grady

      Yes. Search Diethylstilbestrol (DES) on the net. You’ll find DES Daughters and DES Sons. It took the former years to get the CDC to admit DES was causing their diseases.

      • waltinseattle

        boy breasts from the gym suppliments? breast cancer in the same setting? ya think a link?

    • Lydia Stok-Appelmans

      Yes and we should also avoid chicken wings, because that’s where the growth hormones are injected, and those cause tumors in the femal organs. Plastic bottles are the cause of infertility and a lower IQ in children.

    • Julot Julott

      or even lead to gender confusion to humans or even homosexuality? taboo taboo….

    • waltinseattle

      estrogen mimicers. estrogen disruptors, not estrogens.

  • Nathan

    The first link in the note is broken

  • jj

    This isn’t exactly on subject but it is about food marketing especially meat. The power of willful ignorance. Just a 7 min. clip.

    http://www.upworthy.com/no-one-applauds-this-woman-because-theyre-too-creeped-out-at-themselves-to-put-their-hands-together?

    • Great script! Loved the secret weapon.

    • Thea

      jj: Powerful talk. Thanks for sharing.

  • Judy Fields Davis

    Thanks so much!

  • SH

    Since I stopped eating dairy last summer my periods have gotten lighter and easier. I am assuming this is related? Anyway the deterioration of our food supply makes me angry, and here is another example. Ugh.

  • Isn’t it sad (and ironic) to see people eating a paleo diet and avoiding soy because of beneficial plant estrogen,but they’ll gladly consume the real stuff?

    Why don’t animal products come with warning labels like you see on the packages of pharmaceutical drugs?

    • unf13

      It’s obvious because the question of their detrimental effects is far from decided.

      Take dairy, for example, you can find studies which say it is bad for you (can promote cancer etc.) And you can find studies which actually say dairy prevents cancer.

      It depends on your bias what to believe.

      • Toxins

        unf, please share these studies linking dairy with decreased cancer rates. I am curious.

        • unf13

          Here are just a few examples

          ‘Kefir extracts suppress in vitro proliferation of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells but not normal mammary epithelial cells.’ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17887934

          ‘Fat from different foods show diverging relations with breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.’ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16573374

          ‘Cultured milk, yogurt, and dairy intake in relation to bladder cancer risk in a prospective study of Swedish women and men.’ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18842797

          ‘Propionibacteria induce apoptosis of colorectal carcinoma cells via short-chain fatty acids acting on mitochondria.’
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11840168

          • Toxins

            The common theme in these studies seems to be when the milk is fermented it shows benefit either by association or in vitro. Perhaps this may be a function of the bacteria rather then the dairy itself being protective. In the abstract of it is stated that “Unfermented milk extracts stimulated proliferation of MCF-7 cells and HMECs ” which leads me to this conclusion. Perhaps the positive change in gut flora may account for these attributions. Short chain fatty acids are already produced by the bacteria in our gut if a healthy flora is present. I would still not count out the effects of saturated fat and trans fat (from kefir) as well as the IGF-1 raising effects of dairy itself. I doubt that the fermentation would negate this. Either way, it is interesting to note the effect of fermentation on foods.

          • unf13

            i think we can at least conclude that the safest dairy products are low-fat fermented ones which have been consumed traditionally in some cultures like kefir. It resembles the situation with soy products where it appears fermented ones like tempeh are safer and better than not fermented.
            Any food has its bad and good sides. I don’t think demonizing any food is a good idea.

          • Toxins

            The difference is, soy is good either way. Food is a package deal, and its important to recognize good components and bad ones and weigh it out. Dairy is overall harmful, and even if fermented, the IGF-1 raising effects of dairy are not negated.
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

            In addition, we really don’t know what the in vivo effects are in terms of xenoestrogens. Perhaps when consumed, digested and absorbed, the xenostregens are more pronounced then when pure Keir is dripped on cells. The studies you provided are extremely limited in scope so extrapolating too much from them is unwise and difficult.

          • unf13

            >soy is good either way

            It is VERY controversial. You can find studies supporting pros and cons about soy.

            A great lot of science backing the videos on the site is based on such ‘in vitro’ studies with a petri dish, you know that. And a lot of respective conclusions are drawn from such studies. So, as I said in the above post it depends on your bias what to believe.

            If we don’t follow any vegan agenda and really want to help people get comprehensive information about health nutrition (not vegan nutrition) then we should at least mention such studies about products we tend to demonize like dairy etc. as well as we ought to provide various views on soy because there are many conflicting study results about it.

          • KarlWheatley

            The negative effects of soy are generally found in studies involving soy isolates / soy protein concentrates, such as hydrolyzed soy protein. This is where the “whole” in “whole-food, plant-based diet” becomes important.

            Women consuming the most soy products have a
            lower risk of breast cancer recurrence, according to a new study published in
            the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

            Kang X, Zhang Q, Wang
            S, Huang X, Jin S. Effect of soy isoflavones on breast cancer recurrence and
            death for patients receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy. CMAJ. Published ahead of print October 18, 2010:
            doi:10.1503/cmaj.091298.

            A study in this
            month’s Journal of the Academy of
            Nutrition and Dietetics shows that soy products have a marked
            anti-inflammatory effect. Researchers examined the diets and measures of
            inflammation in 1,005 middle-aged Chinese women who were part of the Shanghai
            Women’s Health Study.

            The
            more soy products the women consumed, the less inflammation they experienced. Inflammation
            is linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

            Wu SH, Shu XO, Chow
            WH, et al. Soy food intake and circulating levels of inflammatory markers in
            Chinese Women. J Acad Nutr Diet.
            2012;112:996-1004.

            A new study looking
            at more than 1,500 Asian-American women living in California and Hawaii showed
            that those with the highest intake of soy during childhood (younger than 12
            years old) had a 60 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer later in
            life. Regular soy consumption in adolescence (12 to 19 years old) and adulthood
            (20 years old and older) also had a protective effect but with 20 and 25
            percent reductions in risk, respectively.1

            Korde LA, Wu AH, Fears T, et al. Childhood soy
            intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009;18:OF1-OF10.

          • Toxins

            unf, the evidence in regards to soy is complete and coherent. Soy is beneficial. You can find many studies showing this. The controversy lies in the media and misinformed individuals, not the evidence.
            http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=soy
            Also, your response does not address my main point, that being, food is a package deal. There is good and bad, and bad outweighs the good for dairy products due to a variety of reasons. Fermentation from bacteria may be helpful, but it does not negate the negative consequences of consuming this food (i.e. IGF-1)

          • G-man

            Toxins
            you are absolutely right about soy. Controversy created is by the American Dairy Association.
            To me it appears that they have some people like unf to keep controversy going. NIH has study going to see
            if consumption of soy reduces risk of breast cancer while there are blogs talking about estrogenic effects of soy
            may increase the risk.

          • Toxins

            If you haven’t seen them yet, Dr. Greger has shared several studies showing just that.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breast-cancer-survival-and-soy/

            in addition to these

            http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=soy

          • G-man

            Thank you Toxins for providing the links.
            I will save them for some of patients who still believe benefit of Soy are still controversial.

          • unf13

            I think you should check out this link also. Soy is not completely safe even according to Dr. Greger http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/
            There’s a continuing fighting berween soy and dairy corporations. Both parties sponsor studies etc.

          • G-man

            unf13
            thanks for sharing the link.I advise my patients to limit soy servings to 5 per day. that appears safe
            by most studies.

          • Kartoffelmao

            Soy protein increase IGF-1 more than cows milk…
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12629084

          • Toxins

            Soy protein isolate yes, soy in large amounts too. Please see here
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/

          • Darla Eaves

            I am wondering if the IGF-1 in dairy, is the same growth hormone touted in the growth hormones they sell to help you lose weight, gain more muscle, and extend longevity.

          • Ramiclimber

            It likely is, I have seen “human growth hormone” sold as supplements.

          • waltinseattle

            fail. see my intro link above

          • waltinseattle

            wonder no more. related not same. both are catabolic, carbs for energy (as for more muscle, that is the testosterone anabolic steroids, a different class.)
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC300772/

          • waltinseattle

            not long ago soy was for cows not humans. We now know that the “natural estrogens” are not all positive. We also know that unfermented soy has other compounds best avoided. but thats for you to read up, not me to beat my head against you to believe.

            As for your seeming “natural is good” blindness. I got as list for that! 1001 natural poisons, some of them extremely painful but unfortunately slow.

          • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

            Please view the linked videos. Human studies have shown benefit in amounts that are normally consumed (3-5 servings). Please provide studies if you have disagreements with the studies provided.

  • brit

    my problem is getting enough calcium on a vegan diet. I don’t want to eat artificial dairy products or artificial yogurts full of sugar or non dairy milks with horrible ingredients. I know greens are great but there are only so many I can eat in a day :( I do soak almonds and make a glass of almond milk daily and eat a serving of greens daily but otherwise I cannot say my vegan diet is full of calcium :(

    • Thea

      brit: Many tofus are set using calcium. So, tofu can be a great source of calcium. Just another suggestion for you.

      I am guessing that you are concerned about calcium because you are concerned about your bones. There is no doubt that calcium is important. However, by focusing so much on calcium, some cultures have lost the point: that bone health is *far* more complicated than just how much calcium one takes in. Bone health is a matter of how much of all the bone minerals one takes in, plus how much we avoid “calcium thieves” (a term in the book “Becoming Vegan”), and how much weight bearing exercise we get.

      To make sure you balance out the various factors for bone health, I highly recommend one or both of these resources:
      1) Becoming Vegan – Express Edition by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melaina (a great overall reference book)
      and/or
      2) Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis–Without Dairy Foods, Calcium, Estrogen, or Drugs (wonderful book focusing solely on bone health)

      If you are interested, here are the links to buy the books:

      http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Vegan-Express-Plant-based-Nutrition/dp/1570672954/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419465869&sr=1-1&keywords=becoming+vegan+brenda+davis

      http://www.amazon.com/Building-Bone-Vitality-Revolutionary-Osteoporosis–Without/dp/0071600191/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419465810&sr=1-1&keywords=building+bone+vitality

      I hope that helps and good luck!

      • Richard

        Personally, I rather survive on 300mg of calcium rather than consume tofu or dairy…
        Better to take plant calcium supplements if you are worried about more calcium but I suggest also considering
        other items like D3,K2,zinc,B12 and iodine if you consume little salt.

        • Thea

          Richard: Personally, I wasn’t much of a tofu fan myself when I first started trying to eat healthy. But I’ve come to like it a lot in many dishes.

          re: dairy – I certainly wasn’t recommending that!

          • Richard

            I did not say anything about the taste of tofu….sugar taste great to most people also, should we all eat more of it? I ate loads of tofu in Japan and China but in the US I would stick to fermented soy…

      • waltinseattle

        excessive calcium in the diet (suppliment pills) reported by Dr Weil in a book to have caused a chemical psychosis, woman would have been put on pharma but they cut the suppliment and she remitted.

    • Toxins

      Calcium needs for humans are not as high as the DRI may recommend, and if we consumed a low sodium diet low in animal protein, our calcium needs can be as low as 450 mg per day as discussed more extensively in this article from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. As represented in the figure below, and citing from the article “In a western-style diet, absorbed calcium matches urinary and skin calcium at an intake of 840 mg as in Figure 14. Reducing animal protein intakes by 40 g reduces the intercept [calcium balance] value and requirement to 600 mg. Reducing both sodium and protein reduces the intercept value to 450 mg.”

      http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/Y2809E/y2809e0h.htm#bm17

      Eating beans, greens, veggies, and tubers can provide quite a bit of calcium!

      • Julot Julott

        Some fruits contains a lot of calcium also, citrus, figs and more~

      • Daniel Wagle

        Don’t forget Blackstrap molasses, which has 20% of the RDI for calcium in just one tablespoon.

        • Toxins

          I still need to buy it Daniel, I remember you telling us about that a while ago.

    • unf13

      Sesame and poppy seeds have probably the highest calcium amount. But it also depends on what RDI you believe is right. The official 1000 mg or the possible 450 mg as Toxins pointed out.
      450 mg looks achievable to me. Otherwise a supplement is a way to go.
      Unless you a chimp eating all day long it’s highly doubtful that you can get a 1000 mg from greens.

    • waltinseattle

      you get but dont metabolize enough kali. check vit D levels. i use 5000i.u. daily for osteoporosis (medically induced btw) maybe even some o.t.c. vit K but DO NOT use the HUGE dose prescription pills. they will set your bllod to concrete. they are special situation use for hemop[hiliacs.

  • Julot Julott

    No more subtitles on the videos or is it temporary? i had to go on youtube to have them~

    • Tommasina

      @julotjulott:disqus, we’re working to get the subtitles back on as quickly as we can. I’m glad you realized you can still see them on our Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/NutritionFactsOrg). Thanks for your patience!

  • KathyKale

    What about animal manure put onto fields, and then organic produce grown in that soil? Do the plants absorb the hormones?

    • waltinseattle

      they get into raptor birds far far from civilization, along with our phamaceuticals… somewhere down the food chain from the hawk and eagle theres a plant…

  • Darla Eaves

    So I eat, drink low fat dairy for calcium, and I love cheese. Had my hormones checked and I am normal/low estrogen, low testosterone. What’s up?

    • Dr.Driver

      If you’re concerned about the “low normal” levels, a healthy exercise program can help increase levels of certain reproductive hormones. If you’re wondering why your levels aren’t higher than normal given your diet, this could be simply because our bodies have regulatory systems in place to keep hormone levels within a specific range. If your consuming a significant amount of a hormone your body’s own production of that hormone may decrease as a result.

      • waltinseattle

        my traditional chineese doc laughs when I mention “normal” levels. I learned to laugh a bit too after discussing other peoples levels well into normal to admirable but still sick as a dog regarding hepatitis. liver tests fine, liver dying.

    • Darla Eaves

      Also, I had total hysterectomy including ovaries 12yrs. ago, I am 56 now.

  • KShankar

    I have a question. Do these animal estrogens and hormones in Milk get converted to simpler compounds when you make yogurt at home from organic milk?

  • shayna

    can going vegan mess with your hormones? there are a lot of hormones in the meat, dairy, and eggs I ate and now I no longer eat them. I’ve been vegan since august 2014. My skin is breaking out horribly on my back chest and face and I’m having hot flashes. I was on Byaz birth control and now I’m on Camres but things seem to be getting worse. All my doctor wants to do is keep trying new birth controls and of course is trying to give me the “vegan is bad” talk every time I see her. I refuse to quit my vegan diet, but I do not know what to do about my crazy hormones. advice?

    • Joseph Gonzales, R.D.

      Hi shayna, Thanks for your question. it is hard to say how your new diet is impacting hormone levels. A whole foods plant-based diet certainly has lots of fiber, which can modulate hormones. Generally, this is a good thing and women eating fiber-rich diets tend to have several health benefits. Is the main concern is dealing with the hot flashes and acne? Was this not a concern before August 2014? I am afraid I have more questions than answers, I’m sorry. Are their specific reasons why your doctor is saying the a vegan diet is bad? That is a very general statement. I feel all diets have the potential to be “bad”. I’ll check with one of our star volunteer doctor’s to see if she has further input. Maybe some of these videos can help in the meantime on hot flashes and acne.

      Best regards,
      Joseph

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi shayna, Thanks for your question. it is hard to say how your new diet is impacting hormone levels. A whole foods plant-based diet certainly has lots of fiber, which can modulate hormones. Generally, this is a good thing and women eating fiber-rich diets tend to have several health benefits. Is the main concern is dealing with the hot flashes and acne? Was this not a concern before August 2014? I am afraid I have more questions than answers, I’m sorry. Are their specific reasons why your doctor is saying the a vegan diet is bad? That is a very general statement. I feel all diets have the potential to be “bad”. I’ll check with one of our star volunteer doctor’s to see if she has further input. Maybe some of these videos can help in the meantime on hot flashes and acne.

      Best regards,
      Joseph

    • waltinseattle

      B vits? p.h. change of skin?

  • Moxxy

    Today I learned: Farmers feed chicken manuer to animals to save money on animal feed. #ew

    • waltinseattle

      cows are fed zinc and chickens are fed arsenic. look thqat up while your steaming over industrial food. And then realize where all the phosphate fertilizer to mine vegies (even organic asllows rock phosphate) comes from. Its all radioactive because when those phosphorous containing organisms were laying it down, the natural radioactives fit well in the latice. I learned this from conversing with someone who just happened to be setting next to me and we started a discussion wherein I learned a bit of what a crystalographer knows about other things. coral also…go organic if you care to be clean ethically morally and bodily. but puleeeeze dont fall for tghe newage stupid that all “natural” is benisn. Cyanide from apples can kill you. dont eat a potato leaf, and ouch if you eat the eyes! mother nature can be a bitch. Ask Kali!

  • EviReed

    Could you please talk about the effects on the health of women taking birth control pills? I would appreciate some insight!

  • MidgardMortal

    Go Vegan. Better for you, better for the planet, and more importantly, better for the animals.

  • Mayouri

    Hi, I want to know the relationship between PCOS and meat+dairy. Plz do a video specifically for PCOS doc!

  • Karolina

    Does fish and sea food also contain estrogen?