Health Topics

  1. #
  2. A
  3. B
  4. C
  5. D
  6. E
  7. F
  8. G
  9. H
  10. I
  11. J
  12. K
  13. L
  14. M
  15. N
  16. O
  17. P
  18. Q
  19. R
  20. S
  21. T
  22. U
  23. V
  24. W
  25. X
  26. Y
  27. Z
Browse All Topics

Industrial Carcinogens in Animal Fat

The buildup of industrial toxins in the meat and dairy supply may in part account for the relationship between animal fat consumption and disease.

August 19, 2007 |
GD Star Rating


Supplementary Info

Sources Cited

D. S. Michaud, C. N. Holick, E. Giovannucci, and M. J. Stampfer. Meat intake and blad- der cancer risk in 2 prospective cohort studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84(5):1177, 2006.

Li D, Day RS, Bondy ML, Sinha R, Nguyen NT, Evans DB, Abbruzzese JL, Hassan MM. Dietary Mutagen exposure and risk of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Apr;16(4):655-61.

S. E. Steck, M. M. Gaudet, S. M. Eng, J. A. Britton, S. L. Teitelbaum, A. I. Neugut, R. M. Santella, and M. D. Gammon. Cooked meat and risk of breast cancer-lifetime versus recent dietary intake. Epidemiology, 18(3):373{382, 2007.

W. H. Xu, Q. Dai, Y. B. Xiang, G. M. Zhao, W. Zheng, Y. T. Gao, Z. X. Ruan, J. R. Cheng, and X. O. Shu. Animal food intake and cooking methods in relation to endometrial cancer risk in shanghai. Br. J. Cancer, 95(11):1586{1592, 2006.

E. F. Taylor, V. J. Burley, D. C. Greenwood, and J. E. Cade. Meat consumption and risk of breast cancer in the uk women's cohort study. Br. J. Cancer, 96(7):1139{1146, 2007.

Q. Sun, J. Ma, H. Campos, and F. B. Hu. Plasma and erythrocyte biomarkers of dairy fat intake and risk of ischemic heart disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(4):929, 2007.

J. C. van der Pols, C. Bain, D. Gunnell, G. D. Smith, C. Frobisher, and R. M. Martin. Childhood dairy intake and adult cancer risk: 65-y follow-up of the boyd orr cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(6):1722, 2007.

P. N. Mitrou, D. Albanes, S. J. Weinstein, P. Pietinen, P. R. Taylor, J. Virtamo, and M. F. Leitzmann. A prospective study of dietary calcium, dairy products and prostate cancer risk (finland). Int. J. Cancer, 120(11):2466{2473, 2007.

A. Stang, W. Ahrens, C. Baumgardt-Elms, C. Stegmaier, H. Merzenich, M. de Vrese, J. Schrezenmeir, and K. H. Jockel. Adolescent milk fat and galactose consumption and testicular germ cell cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev., 15(11):2189{2195, 2006.

H. Chen, E. O'Reilly, M. L. McCullough, C. Rodriguez, M. A. Schwarzschild, E. E. Calle, M. J. Thun, and A. Ascherio. Consumption of dairy products and risk of parkinson's disease. Am. J. Epidemiol., 165(9):998{1006, 2007.


Image thanks to theirhistory.


Two Harvard studies rolled into one--over 100,000 people studied. Bacon and chicken may double your the risk of bladder cancer. Same with pancreatic cancer—you do not, want to die, of pancreatic cancer. Long Island women eating lots of barbeque up to 74% greater risk of getting breast cancer. Title? “Cooked meat and risk of breast cancer.” What do you get from raw meat? I don’t even want to know. No, what they mean is they thought it was grilling, the frying that really cancers up the meat, but this study a few months earlier found that for endometrial cancer, at least, it didn’t matter how the women cooked it, And didn’t matter if it was red meat or white meat—in fact those eating poultry and fish had the highest risk for cancer. The only healthy fish in the world would be ones made out of dark green leafy vegetables. Another 35,000 women studied “Conclusion: Women, both pre- and postmenopausal, who consumed the most meat had the highest risk of breast cancer.” Quote unquote It’s funny, if you look at the acknowledgements for the study you see that an earlier analysis of the study was funded by the Meat and Livestock Commission, but evidently when they found out the results, they weren’t quite as enthusiastic. More dairy, more prostate cancer. More dairy more testicular cancer. More dairy more parkinson’s disease—all within the last 12 months. And this is no fluke Every single study looking at Parkinsons in history found the more dairy you consume the higher your risk of getting Parkinsons. OK, but why? Why more cancer? Why more disease? What’s it in animal products that’s so toxic it may cause enough brain damage to trigger Parkinsons? Well, one can start with the industrial carcinogens that build up in animal fat. Just how are dioxin levels affected by a “vegetarian regime”? Vegetarians had significantly lower levels in their blood. In fact that’s how scientists study the dangers of living near something like a trash incinerators— you study vegetarians. If you really want to know how much toxic waste you’re exposing a community to you study the vegetarians there, because the meateaters are buying dioxins it at the grocery store and bringing it back home. What about PCBs? Another nasty carcinogen. Looked at the diets of vegans versus meateaters and even measure PCB concentrations in fecal samples. I know you’re all suckers for poop studies. What’d they find? You guessed it. Meateaters flush more toxic waste through their systems.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on animal products. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Harvard’s Meat and Mortality StudiesBreast Cancer and Diet Pollutants in Californian Breast Tissue, and Avoiding Dairy to Prevent Parkinson's

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on animal products. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • wickedchicken

    HOW do national guidelines not take these facts into account, considering that the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland etc all reccomend meat and dairy with no mention of a possible side effect??? I wonder if they talk about studies like this at their review boards? Strange that these findings get little attention from HCPs. There’s a lot of paranoid members of the public out there, who think the government is out to GET them, and the big industries are out to get us all….but it can’t be the case.

    I’m just saying, what is the greater context of the studies?? Is it just one study showing this? [or the few you mentioned]. Are there other studies showing opposite results? It’s hard to believe, if evidence is all pointing in the direction you have highlighted, that this could slip through the cracks for health and nutrition recommendations.

    VERY interesting and informative videos I must say; gets people thinking, in a good way! I find journals hard to read and digest, and way too vast, so I am finding your videos just wonderful. Many thanks.

  • DrDons

    The key studies that Dr. Greger and others such as Dr. McDougall point out are contained within the over 10,000 articles per week that are added to the medical literature. Dr. Greger reviews between 6 -7000 articles annually on human nutrition alone. The literature shows that protocols and guidelines developed by “expert consensus” are usually not based on the best science or valid statistical methods. The other issue is the influence of food and pharmaceutical industries. You can read Marion Nestles “Food Politics” to get a sense for how bad it is. Ernie Bodai MD who was the physician who conceived and championed the breast cancer stamp relates that he was surprised by the opposition of breast cancer research groups who feared it would take funding away from them. I know of no studies that support the consumption of meat, dairy and eggs unless in the face of starvation. I guess the short answer is that the important studies don’t even make it to the cracks to slip through! fills an important void in that it sifts through all the studies and gives the rest of us the “executive summary”… so keep tuned as the science adds to our understanding every month.

    • martintaylor67

      I had to read rightto the bottom of this comment before I could tell it was a positive comment. I thought you were slating Dr. Greger. Thank goodness you are not.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please check out my associated blog post Harvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies!

  • DanielFaster

    Wow, this kicks back the clock. Is this like the oldest, firstest — and BESTEST!!! – video ever on

    • Thea

      DanielFaster: :-) Fun comment.

      I don’t know about bestest since there are just so many good ones. But I totally agree this is a really, really, really good one.

      • DanielFaster

        At 1500 we’re approaching the point where it may be impossible for someone with a job at least to watch them all in one lifetime lol. As far as I can see this one has no previous video tab. It might be interesting to have a date-title index, perhaps a project for a volunteer. :-)

  • Alexis Stinton

    History shows that meat was extremely important for people that lived in colder climates. Grains were harvested for human consumption while grasses, alfalfa and cornstalks (foods not digestible by humans) were fed to the ruminant animals. There was not the competition for grain that there is now; feeding grain to animals for marbling is a relatively new phenomenon. People would feed the animal through the winter and use the dairy which is a complete protein. Sheep and goats were perfect because they are easier to keep rather then the less efficient cattle we consume today. When grasses ran out for the animals and grains for the people, the animals were then consumed. Today it is too easy to get a quick meat meal from a burger joint. Meat is processed from the feed lots to the packing plants neatly packaged product. We are a spoiled nation that wastes 40% of the food that is produced and have a craving for anything sweet and processed. In my opinion, the best diet is one that is balanced with no artificial preservatives, sweeteners or refined products. I see nothing wrong with grass fed meats and veggies grown from animal “out puts”.

    • Toxins

      Moderation is a tricky philosophy because people do not really understands what moderation is nor do they know how to moderate themselves. As shared by Jeff Novick:
      The items we know that are causing harm to Americans right now are the excess consumption of added sugars, refined grains, sodium, fat, and saturated fat. How much of these items are Americans consuming?

      Added Sugars – 242% over the recommended upper limit.

      Refined Grains – 200% over the recommended upper limit.

      Sodium – 229% over the recommended upper limit.

      Saturated fats – 158% over the recommended upper limit.

      Solid fats – 281% over the recommended upper limit.

      These are things we can no longer consume in “moderation”, because clearly their currently level of of consumption is above and beyond the upper limits. What we need is a dramatic reduction in these foods to get back to safe levels. On the other side of it, there are healthy foods that are truly eaten in only moderation

      Fruits – only 42% of the recommended minimum intake.

      Vegetables – only 59% of the recommended minimum intake.

      Whole Grains – only 15% of the recommended minimum intake.

      Fiber – only 40% of the recommended minimum intake.

      These are foods we need to dramatically increase the consumption of.

      • VegAtHeart

        That’s a great point! For those interested, it is also possible to easily compare the foods eaten in the US to other countries using the food balance tables, which is accessible under the browse data tab.