Doctor's Note

I touched previously on the prostate cancer data in one of my oldest videos, Slowing the Growth of Cancer. Other factors may play into the link between cancer and dairy consumption including industrial pollutants (Industrial Carcinogens in Animal Fat) and IGF-1 (How Plant-Based to Lower IGF-1?), but for more on the hormones in dairy see:

What about all the studies suggesting milk “does a body good”? See my video Food Industry “Funding Effect”.

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  • tedster

    Dr. Greger-
    Thanks for the excellent synopsis explaining the differences between retrospective/case-control, prospective/cohort, and meta-analysis type studies. Perhaps those who follow your videos will someday qualify for an honorary degree in nutritional epidemiology. ;)

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      So glad to help!

    • DC

      Or..maybe we’ll just be healthy and understand why:)

  • DGH

    Dr. Greger,
    That was an excellent video that you made. More reason than ever to not consume animal products. My father had prostate cancer at age 64. He was vegetarian for 30 or 40 years, only consuming fish and copious amounts of low fat dairy (which he concentrated into homemade yogurt) as his animal protein sources. I doubt very much he had access to dairy as a teenager, as he grew up in a refugee camp in the newly founded state of Israel, and due to harsh economic conditions at that time, there was likely very little population-wide access to dairy … that was not how they were making the desert bloom. Of course the plural of anecdote is not data.

    Neat epidemiology graphic explaining the difference between cohort and case-control studies.

    Now my guess is that big pharma will make anti-estrogenic drugs to prevent prostate cancer in milk-consumers, rather than anyone actually promoting, at a governmental level, a dairy-free diet. Oh wait. I think that’s already been done — finasteride (Proscar), dulasteride (Avodart), and the big-time orchidectomizing chemotherapeutics are already here. Trust big pharma to cover us….

  • Spe Matt Spewak

    I find it interesting that so many guys are worried about consuming soy (and soy milk) over concerns of getting estrogen, yet they give no second thoughts to consuming cow’s milk. Why not play it safe and just drink almond, hemp or other non-dairy milk?? I think the dairy industry has done an excellent job brainwashing us to think that milk does a body good.

  • Annette

    I just love all these vídeos!!!!!

  • Darryl

    It isn’t just the hormones. Almond milk has markedly lower protein content than dairy milk, including some amino acids central to growth signalling, epigenetic programming, and cell proliferation (eg 11 mg vs 183 mg methionine, per cup of almond and dairy milk).

    • ohneclue@yahoo.com

      Then eat 100 grams of black walnuts and you’ll get 467 mg. methionine throughout the day added to each meal or a small snack between meals. Or, cut that down to .50 grams and get 234 mg. Or, 100 g of pecans and get the same 183 mg. It all depends on why you drink almond milk besides methionine. For example, almost NO sugar vs 12 grams in cow’s milk and plenty of Ca which is difficult without the dairy group because of the oxalates in leafy greens that bind the Ca.

      • Darryl

        I can’t say I understand your point.

        Adequate protein has a good side, excess protein has a bad side, and in both systemic (IGF-I etc) or cellular (mTOR etc) growth signalling plays a role in both. Current syntheses accounting for the chronic diseases (including cancer) of aging are now pointing directly at excess growth signalling as a, if not the, major culprit.

        High dietary oxalate does increase kidney stone risk by about 30% in men and post-menopausal women, but as little oxalate is absorbed, the major source of urinary oxalate is metabolism of glycine, glycolate, hydroxyproline, and vitamin C. To my knowledge, the one study on kidney stones in vegetarians found they had 40-60% lower incidence, despite higher dietary preformed oxalate.

        • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

          Daryl,
          On a side note, would eating foods high in phytate along with those high oxalate greens bind the oxalates?

          • Darryl

            Even if they don’t bind in the intestine,

            phytate can interfere with formation of calculi (crystals) of calcium oxalate and phosphate

            Section 7.9 in this review.

        • ohneclue@yahoo.com

          I”m sorry I did’t do better at explaining my point.

          I assume you are also aware that not all calcium oxalate gets stuck in the kidneys as large stones unable to pass. The vast majority flows right out with the rest of the trash.

          ANY oxalate will bind the Calcium whether it is high or low. That was reported in an Asian journal of nutrition some time back and they found that adding milk to green tea rendered some if not all the Calcium unavailable because it was also bound by the oxalates in the green tea. So high oxalate takes out more calcium and low takes out less calcium. The point is that ANY oxalate binds the Calcium. In the low oxalate greens that will be less Calcium but the calcium oxalate binding still occurs in direct proportion to the high or low oxalate content. And, since we never analyse our foods for current, individual amount on our plate prior to eating, I think it is much better to not make such a big push for greens eating based on their Calcium level, If someone gets another 50-100 mg Ca that remains available, great.

          Greens eating for the wide variety of nutrients and excellent nutritional value is great. But getting people to even THINK the Calcium is completely available to their body is not accurate so I don’t think it should be promoted as a significant source especially since the nut milks have good amounts of free unbound bioavailable Calcium in them, even better than the milk per 8 ounce serving size.

          I was also pointing out, at least I thought I was, that nuts in general have better methionine content than even cow’s milk. The amount of almonds has a direct bearing on this amino content so some brands will potentially have more and other brands less. But I don’t think this is a reason to downplay the nutritional advantage nut or coconut milks have over cow, goat, buffalo milk for a lot of people. The biggest difference to me for which I recommend it to my clients is the lack of sugars that are present in varying concentrates by species as “Mother’s Mammalian Milk” always is. While I know the individual milk for newborns of all mammalian background is extremely important, I believe that fades with age and therefore a switch to a better long term choice as we age and come up against other considerations for our maximum health, nut milks fill an important role in that transition while they may pail in comparisons based on a single amino comparison.

          While looking for various nutrients and their concentration is extremely interesting to me, I try not to do single nutrient analysis and base my recommendations on that single nutrient, If I did, my clients would go crazy trying to “Eat by the Nutrient” so I try to be more general than that. I just think nuts give a good run against mammalian milk on the whole and not based on the single amino. But it’s just a different opinion, NBD.

          I will try to explain better in the future. I have undergone a brief self-inflicted chastisement exercise on your behalf. :)

          • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

            You have an incredible breadth of understanding!

            Two questions about your comment:

            1/How do we know that the calcium in nut milk is bioavailable? I was just getting ready to ask Silk how they come up with that high calcium figure on their delicious almond milk, but maybe you know. Do they measure unbound calcium in the milk–or extrapolate based on nut content?

            2/ To what degree does phytate bind the calcium and methionine in almonds?

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            The Blue Diamond product supplement is calcium carbonate. This supplement has more bioavailability than calcium citrate so the supplemental Ca in Blue Diamond unsweetened almond milk is generally recognized as 100% available.

            The calcium carbonate is the 2nd ingredient in
            this product. Therefore, the majority of the calcium in this particular almond milk is primarily due to the supplement. But almonds, when eaten as a nut, do have significant nutrition to them such as Ca, K and are very low in sugar. Less than half of the CHO in 23 almonds is not available because these nuts are high in fiber (resistant starch). Almonds put whole wheat items in the shade for their fiber. This fiber keeps the majority of the CHO being utilized in the large intestine that doesn’t raise the blood sugar. That is a significantly better choice for the vast majority of older people who may be battling diabetes and overweight conditions.

            Plus the calorie count in almond 8 oz is only 20% that of whole milk (149 vs 30), 25% that of 2% milk (120 vs 30), and only about 30% that of 1% milk (102 vs 30). Calorie for calorie almond milk is much better than animal milk of any kind that all have sugars and fats because their original use and design criteria was and remains to feed a newborn mammal. The fact that we can also use it for cheese is great.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            I am not aware of any “phytate” binding of either calcium or methionine in almonds.

            The big binder of Ca is oxalate and that is NOT in almonds unless, possibly, you eat the leaves off the trees. :)

          • Adam Hefner

            They add calcium carbonate

          • Timar

            Why would 5% lactose in cows’ milk be any problem, except for those being lactose intolerant?

            Lactose is a slow-release sugar. Milk has an extremely low glycemic load of 5 per cup* and, of course, contains no “evil fructose”. So where’s the problem with that sugar?

            *Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            5% is a relative term. Depends on whether you are a 35 year old male, 70 year old female or a 12 year old or a 3 year old. The total calories and carbs are totally different.

            For diabetics and others who are carb sensitive as well, even a slowly metabolized carb such as lactose can be a problem. In 8 oz milk, there are 12.32 g lactose Source: USDA NDB: 01077

            LDL b the artery hardening plaque is made from the “evil fructose” you seem to find so amusing. Guess you think still the “evil cholesterol” in human breast milk is still the bad guy in heart disease and not so much the high fructose sugars.in infant formula that way too many infants get fed who are now obese and diabetic at early ages.

          • Timar

            Yes, 5% is a relative term, relative to what is 100%. The carbs in cow’s milk are always about 5%, regardless of the age of the person who drinks it…

            There are no poeple who are “carb sensitive”. There are people who are lactose or fructose intolerant, but there doesn’t exist anything like “carb sensitivity”.

            After all, we have evolved to feed on starchy vegetables and some sweet fruits. They always consituted a major part of the human diet. Hence, even poeple wo are fructose intolerant usually tolerate small amounts of fructose from fruits.

            You don’t seem to understand the concept of a dose-response-relationship. It’s the dose that makes the poison. Large amounts of fast-absorbed fructose from soft drinks are bad for you, small amounts from fruits are perfectly healthy.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            I guess your solar powered calculator needs some sun time. The lactose content in 8 ounces whole milk is 12.32 grams and that X 4 cal per gram is 50 calories. Divided into 149 = 33% of the calories in a serving of milk is 33% milk sugar and not 5%.

            If you want to take it by the ounce, there’s 19 calories per ounce, 1.54 g lactose per ounce x 4 = 6 calories and 6/19 = 31% of the calories per ounce of milk is milk sugar. Still not 5% my friend. So it would seem you don’t understand dose-response at all when you don’t even have the dose calculated correctly.

            Diabetes is a carb sensitive condition in case you haven’t figured that one out. Many diabetics are able to manage their health very nicely by cutting back on carbs because they are SENSITIVE TO THEM. There’s also Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) that fructose sends their liver into a tail spin because fructose wrecks the liver for a LOT of people who don’t drink at all, metabolic syndrome is another carb sensitive condition.

            Fructose is fructose is fructose whether it comes from corn syrup or mangoes or orange juice or oranges or bananas — it ALL goes through the liver. Only about 16% of the fruits are fiber while almost half of the fruit sugar is fructose so the math seems to say that 16% fiber is a pretty leaky condom to protect the liver against an overload of fructose in case that will be your next argument as to how safe the fructose in fruit is for us.

            The veggies are far safer because they not only have lower levels of fructose they have a better fructose/fiber ratio to not overwork the liver nearly as much as fruits. Plus they have far better mineral numbers like potassium, calcium with and magnesium than any fruit ever hoped for. It’s just that bananas and oranges hired the press agents before zucchini, tomatoes, black eyed peas and cabbage did.

          • Timar

            1. I never talked about calories but about the glycemic load. You obviously don’t even know the definition of glycemic load.
            2. Your argument is utterly absurd: most plant foods, including vegetables, have more than 70% carbs by calories.

            I don’t think it makes sense to continue this discussion.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            The glycemic load is NEVER expressed as percentage of anything. It is just represented and expressed as a number without any %. So the 5 should just be expressed as a 5 and not “5%” because it does NOT represent 5% at all. It is a stand alone number or value on a sliding scale that compares the value based on a slice of bread’s ability to raise blood glucose to 100. See how well that worked on real live people when Dr. Davis demonstrated that on real live people vs. a large Snickers bar for how truly irrelevant that scale is out of the lab on PATIENTS. Talk about who doesn’t know or understand the definition of the glycemic load.

            Vegetables are carbs but they don’t have so much of their carbs invested in fructose type sugar carbs but a better balance of carbs than fruits do.

            Take zucchini, please. 100 grams has 17 calories and 5 calories ( 30%) protein, 2.11 net carbs 8 calories (47%) divided 1/3 glucose 1/3 fiber and 1/3 fructose. Much healthier than any fruit alive or harvested. That’s why most of the newer research and healthier, more successful diet recommendations now have almost unrestricted non starchy veggies, limited, occasional lactose dairy, limited carbs and extremely limited sugars.

            Feel free to ignore anything I say. So far you’ve been doing a good job of it.

          • Timar

            Now this is really my last reply:

            I have never said that the GL is 5%. I said that milk contains 5% of lactose (by weight, obviously) – to which you responded with some incoherent drivel about age and relativity – and that milk has an GL of 5. And I also explained that the slowly digested lactose (as evident by the GL) is entirely metabolized to glucose, which makes the rest of what you wrote just as inept as the first part of your response.

        • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

          Could you explain the difference between systemic and cellular growth signalling?

          • Darryl

            Global regulation of cell activity occurs through a complex network of protein binding, protein alteration, DNA transcription, post-transcriptional alterations etc. Its far too complex to be encompassed in any textbook (or any expert), but some signalling pathways have more far reaching effects than others, and include signal integration hubs, which are attractive targets for dietary and pharmaceutical interventions. A main pathway for growth signalling is insulin/IGF/mTOR:

            insulin & IGF-1 (whole body serum)

            IR/IGFR (at cell membrane)

            IRS

            PI3K

            AKT → glucose uptake, ⊣ FoxO

            TSC2

            RHEB

            mTOR
            4E-BP (protein synthesis)
            S6K1 (protein synthesis)
            Foxa
            autophagy (cell “recycling day”)

          • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

            Darryl,

            Are you interested in a small contract editing a simple e-book for lay folks? If so, please just leave a reply on my website, http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/about/. Thanks for all your helpful explanations.

          • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

            Darryl,
            Interested in some simple contract work? I need to hire an informed editor for a short book I’m writing directed at layfolks.

            hsugarmill@sympatico.ca, if you want to discuss.

    • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

      German dermatologist Dr. Bodo Melnik has published lots of work on the connection between dairy and abnormal signalling. He thinks that the amino acid leucine is also an important culprit, setting off a chain of reactions that leads to higher insulin and IGF-1. He also says cow’s milk can cause acne because leucine activates sebaceous glands. Here’s one short article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856498/

      • Darryl

        In my original comment, I also singled out leucine (a cup of dairy milk has 647 mg, vs 41 mg in almond milk). There’s a reason bodybuilders supplement with branched chain amino acids: the major BCAA, leucine, independent of IGF-1, stimulates a protein complex called mTOR for both good and bad. In the hypothalamus, this appears to be the main mechanism for increased satiety with high-protein diets, but mTOR activation’s main function is to shift cellular balances towards anabolism and away from catabolism. Unfortunately, stimulating protein synthesis and inhibiting proteolytic activity through mTOR also increases the proliferation of cancer cells. And some catabolic processes like autophagy are vital to clearing misfolded and aggregated proteins believed to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Joe V

    I’ve recently, a few months now, switched away from any dairy, fish or meat and have been eating TJ’s plain coconut milk with my oatmeal every morning. I get the feeling I should give up the coconut milk also. I’ve watched many of your videos and I recall you saying there is a problem with the saturated fat content. Is that to much fat for when fighting prostrate and any other cancers? Also my red blood cell count is below normal now, could that be related to the vegan diet?

    • guest

      great questions, joe v.

      i hope dr. greger can answer these.

    • charles grashow

      “Also my red blood cell count is below normal now, could that be related to the vegan diet?”

      Did you have the levels checked before you switched?

    • Kitsy Hahn

      Not that carrageenan is necessarily related to prostate cancer, but I’m pretty sure there are no brands of coconut milk that do not contain carrageenan. So Delicious claims they’re working on a new recipe (sans the carrageenan), but so far, they’re the only ones I’m aware of who’s bothering to do so. There’s been a lot of bad press over the past few years about carrageenan in foods — although it’s said to be the “good” kind.

      • adam

        I believe Silk doesnt have carrageenan

      • Jolice

        I make all of my nuts and seeds milk….even coconut milk, from scratch. I never I have to buy milk…except for soy, but I buy the NON-GMO and organic.

    • Way
  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    Milk is the most bizarre food humans ingest – made for baby cows (the purpose is to make a calf into a cow in one year), containing growth factors, disease promoting proteins, pus cells and it is heavily polluted (rocket fuel has been found – and my guess is that the upper safe level is zero – flame retardants, antibiotics, and of course pesticides). Milk is linked to disease, allergies, and obesity – not health.

    • charles grashow

      I drink raw GOAT milk not cow milk. Now tell me how bad goat milk is.

      • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

        Charles,
        I`m not familiar with any studies on goat milk, but my best guess is that goat milk is for baby goats. Regarding your PSA – thats great. Studies are on risk factors, not guarantees to get sick. Some people smoke, drink, eat meat, drink milk and never get sick, but for most people this behaviour increase the risk for disease.

        • marty1234

          …Your not familiar…but your guess is…..
          You do far far more harm than good. I suggest you do a little research before guessing and giving advice…
          Raw got milk and cows milk are the healthiest things one can ingest..
          Buy the way you can live solely on raw milk and nothing else and live a long healthy life, it’s been documented after throat injuries.
          FYI…raw milk is so similar to the make up of human blood it was referred to as White Blood throughout Europe and America..

          • Norman Levine

            wow—Marty, this comment is something out of the twilight zone.

    • dar

      nice list,Doc…but let’s not forget Radiation c/o FukUshima:

      Dairy and meat. The higher on the food chain, the higher the concentration of radioactive materials may be. Dairy products in particular may be the most contaminated item, because the living creature has eaten the contaminated grass, other foods and water (from contaminated rain that forms from the Pacific and atmospheric particles); the radiation from which is stored it in its body and passed on to whoever eats it. After the Chernobyl disaster there were numerous cases of children becoming severely ill from drinking cow’s milk. – See more at:
      http://ultraculture.org/blog/2013/09/05/foods-naturally-protect-fukushima-radiation/#sthash.zzbcofH7.dpuf
      AND
      Radiation levels in US food seem to rising gradually ever since 3/11/2011. “New EPA milk samples in Hawaii show radiation in milk at up to 800% above limits for C-134, 633% above limits for C-137 and 600% above EPA maximum for I-131 for a total of 2033%, or 20.33 times, above the federal drinking water limits. These levels have been rising ever since the Fukushima accident, and show no signs of stopping. ..
      http://agreenroad.blogspot.ca/2012/04/fukushima-hawaii-arizona-dairy-milk.html

    • marty1234

      Such a fool….
      Check out the 10,000 documented cases by dr crewe, founder of the mayo clinic.
      A massive resurgence of raw milk throughout Europe.
      A recent 3 nation study to determine why today’s youth are so sickly determined the Amish youth in Pennsylvania are so healthy as a direct result of raw milk. They all agreed the Amish were to be studied because of there amazing health..
      I could go on and on but anyone can search the Internet.
      On a personal note at 62 I had a laminectomy, spine surgery, C-3,4,5,6,7. All 3 pre op doctors couldn’t believe the shape I’m in. They were all about my age yet seemed much older. After I informed them of the benefits of raw milk 2 are now drinking raw milk. My surgeon was at a loss as a result of my rapid recovery. Performing 6 to 8 spinal operations a week out of saint Johns in Santa Monica he simply does not see people heal or rebound from such a surgery in a matter of week…
      I’ve been drinking one quart of raw milk a day since 1976 have educated many doctors ect..t

      • Tommasina

        Please no ad hominem attacks. We’re all for a vigorous debate (even vehement disagreement!), but no name-calling, please.

  • charles grashow

    I drink raw goat milk that my wife an I purchase directly from the farm. I also consume full fat goat milk yogurt and full fat goat milk kefir.

    My PSA test levels have NEVER exceeded 0.5.

    These are the ingredients in unsweetened Almond Breeze Pure Almond Milk

    INGREDIENTS: ALMONDMILK (FILTERED WATER, ALMONDS),
    CALCIUM CARBONATE, SEA SALT, POTASSIUM CITRATE, CARRAGEENAN, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D2 AND D-ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (NATURAL VITAMIN E).

    Silk Pure Almond Milk Unsweetened

    INGREDIENTS: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum.
    VITAMINS & MINERALS: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2.

    SO – Dr Greger – are these really “healthy”

    Vitamin D2?? Really

    Every commercially available Almond milk contains Vitamin D2!!

    • Darryl

      I personally would prefer almond milk without the added chalk and riboflavin. Alas, commerce is driven to emulate dairy milk. There are hundreds of guides online for homemade almond milk. They’re all more or less the same as that for amygdalate in the late 13th century Le Viandier de Taillevent.

      D2 is simply the plant sourced vitamin D, and is fully bioequivalent.

      • charles grashow

        “Vitamin D2, which comes from the UV irradiation of ergosterol obtained from yeast,”

        I’ll pass.

        • Darryl

          Leave mushrooms outside on a sunny day, preferably gill-side up, and they’ll produce more than enough D, though those living at lower latitudes would get more by sunning themselves.

          • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

            You mean mushrooms can make vitamin D even at higher latitudes ? I’ve read that the angle of the winter sun at latitudes above the 35th parallel prevents people from making D. Are ‘shrooms different?

          • Darryl

            It’s the same reaction to produce vitamin D from precursors in our skin and in mushrooms, so no, mushrooms won’t produce very much active vitamin D at high latitudes during winter. Any UVB or UVC source (like germicidal sterilizing lamps) would work, and I’ve seen some reasonably priced sterilizing drawers for salon tools that might work (alternatively, a UVB tube in an old desk lamp under a foil tent). it might pay off after a few years compared to vegan D supplements (fungal D2 or lichen D3).

      • guest

        yes exactly! Your point of how even the health food makers feel they have to copy what junk food makers do to keep even marginal profits is so accurate! I have seen this first hand in planning meetings.

        I personaly wish I could find one with no viamin additives AND no cargeenan, as that gives me very bad internal inflammation. As of now I’m stuck with west soy organic soy and no almond milk product, so maybe I’ll give the homemade version you mentioned a shot. They can’t taste any worse than plain water.

      • DGH

        I have seen organic almond milk available in the grocery store with no additives. But why would anyone drink it, because it lacks enrichment with calcium. And I have not heard of any problems with excess riboflavin, only with too little riboflavin (poor mucosal healing and hyper-homocysteinemia). As a water-soluble vitamin with no fat or hepatic storage, it should be readily excreted.

        • Darryl

          With the calcium fortification you either get a chalky flavor when added to soups (calcium carbonate) or substantial phosphate (tricalcium phosphate). The riboflavin is probably harmless, but this paper made me wary of excess (to be fair, it may be high consumption of enriched white flour products that accounts for those results).

          • DGH

            I am concerned about these biomarker data because of the B complex I consume, on top of about a cup of fortified almond milk per day.

            However, in the Physicians Health Study II, which used Centrum 50 Plus, there was a statistically significant reduction in cancers and fatal myocardial infarction in the group allocated to receive multivitamin. Surely that multivitamin has plenty of the B series of vitamins.

            As a vegan, I realized my diet is already quite low in some of the B vitamins (riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenate), and, as you have noted before, deficiency states are much more likely to lead to malignancies than excess states. In fact, on occasion, since becoming vegan, I have suffered from angular stomatitis, which is a painful cracking of the corner of the lips and relates to impaired mucosal healing, largely from deficiencies of B vitamins (but zinc, iron and possibly vitamin A deficiency can also lead to this condition).

            Do you think the consumption of enriched white flour products is harmful because of the high glycemic index (essentially simple starch and therefore sugar-insulin spiking?), or is it the addition of B series vitamins to the flour that concerns you?

          • DGH

            I’ve just read the paper in Carcinogenesis. I am not sure how applicable these results are to vegans, since they measure retinol-genome damage associations, and vegans should have zero intake of retinol. Hence, the data for riboflavin may not apply to vegans, as this is clearly a different population. That and the fact they are using a mechanistic biomarker rather than clinically relevant outcomes makes me wonder about the applicability of this research to the issue of whether or not a 25% RDA for riboflavin added to a cup of almond milk causes long-term clinically important harms.

          • Darryl

            I, too, struggle with why those 3 B-vitamins were problematic in the Fenech study, as deficiencies of B2 and biotin are definitely associated with DNA damage. It may reflect other components of foods particularly high in B2, B5, and biotin (liver, kidney, eggs, or yeast).

            And perhaps with supplemental-scale doses, transient levels can be harmful. B2 is a potent photosensitizer, as also discussed in this more general audience editorial. Fenech also goes into more detail about the complicated interaction of MTHFR polymorphisms, folate, and riboflavin in this paper – with low folate intake, both riboflavin deficiency and high riboflavin could plausibly increase DNA damage.

            I’m not aware of potentially genotoxic mechanisms for excess B5 or biotin.

          • DGH

            Many papers have shown that there are associations between low levels or intakes of folic acid and B6, for example, and colon and lung cancer. However, when the definitive randomized trials were done, there was absolutely no evidence of benefit, and possibly evidence of harm. Thus I think these associative studies are actually not a useful source of information on which supplements to take. It is possible that low levels or intakes of B vitamins may be socioeconomically confounded, or perhaps other, more important molecules found in B-vitamin rich foodstuffs are really causal – hence the need for whole foods and not just supplements.

        • guest

          I ask….”why would anyone drink something that contains synthetic vitamins?”

      • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

        Any idea whether the phytates in almond milk bind all that calcium? Yes, phytates do bind calcium, but I’m not sure how phytate levels in the nut milk compare to phytate levels in the nut. Do you have any idea?

    • Robert Haile

      I just make my own, water, the minerals in water, almonds. Soak almonds in water in the fridge overnight, rinse, 3 cups tap water to 1 cup almonds, blend 5 minutes, strain through cheesecloth. Add 1 Tsp vanilla if desired. Keeps 4-5 days in the refrigerator. It is 4 times more concentrated than store-bought. Overall a very simple process.

  • 7in1

    What’s really saddening is the hottest topic of today the safety of eating GMO plant foods is not fully covered here yet!(((

  • Scott

    You’re educating your viewers on how to compare studies. That’s wonderful!

  • Régis Camargo

    What about yogurt? And goat milk/yogurt? Do they contribute to the same
    risk factors, or are processed in a way that eliminates the presence of
    the hormones in question? I’d love to research more about it.

  • bobluhrs

    In the Japan experience study, I don’t see any reference to the nuclear radiation. I would have thought this would have been a factor to at least rule out? Has anyone seen any data about this, versus the increased dairy, etc? Without any mention of it, I would think it hard to pin this on dairy.

    • Darryl

      I suspect it would have a negligible effect on cancer measures in the general population. In 86,572 A-bomb survivors, 440 (5%) of solid cancer deaths 1950–1997 are estimated to result from radiation exposure. Only 17,464 had higher doses ( > 0.1 Sv) significantly associated with solid cancer mortality, while the 37,458 with the lowest exposure ( < 0.005 Sv) actually had an insignificant reduction in risk compared to non-exposed Japanese. Considering Japan's crude cancer mortality (almost all solid cancer) and population growth, I estimate that about 87 million Japanese have died from cancer from 1950-1997. The excess attributable to the A-bomb radiation would be somewhere around 0.0051%.

  • http://blessedveganlife.blogspot.com BlessedMama

    Thanks for this. My husband was sitting right behind me while I was watching this, and we are so glad we are not consumers of dairy milk.

  • Robert Haile

    Dear Dr Gregor, I had Gleason 8, invasive, node positive prostate cancer 15 years ago with my mortality curve showing me dead 5 years ago. I have closely followed dietary management including lots of onion/garlic, berries, cruciferous foods, no meat, and home made almond milk on my oatmeal. My PSA is undetectable, and, as an MD, I know a study of one is meaningless but I will keep on following your advice and will be interested to see if big agribusiness ever allows a USA “China Study” which desperately needs to be done. I have advised patients, friends, and family to follow you as well. Thank you.

    • sally

      Robert, could you tell me if you had any treatments or did you just change your diet? My husband has a elevated PSA and is in the process of having a biopsy in the next few weeks (also family history). He has changed to a vegan diet (with a little fish) but so far it hasn’t brought the PSA down. thank you for any info.

      • Robert Haile

        Surgery initially and 4 years of hormone suppression. John Hopkins is the best for surgery and Dana Farber in Boston for medical treatment. I think having a good oncologist is the very first step and that diet maximizes ability to respond to mainstream treatments. I would not underestimate love, family support, and spirituality. Try to enjoy life. Bob

    • Thea

      Robert: Thank you for sharing your story! What a great outcome. And thank you for being one of the good-guy MDs. Everyone who helps spread the word gets us a bit closer to that tipping point where the idea will (hopefully) take root in our culture. We need more MDs like you.

  • betty

    hmmmm – don’t suppose the radiation from
    WWII bombs would affect their cancer rate much?

  • GoPlants

    Excellent video!
    Sorry if this has been discussed in the thread but while scanning through the comments I could not see a satisfactory answer to this: how does the consumption of soy milk relate to this prostate cancer risk? Are there any studies similar to the ones discussed in the video comparing soy milk with cow’s milk and other milk alternatives such as almond, hemp, oat, etc. I try to limit soy if possible but I would like to know whether there are any guidelines regarding safe levels of soy consumption with respect to the xenoestrogens in soy?

  • Kush Patel

    If we consume milk after boiling milk, does effect of hormones on body. Since the hormones are bio-molecules, do these molecules denatured ?

  • ZZ

    The petri dish experiment was interesting, but was there any test done on healthy cells? The almond milk caused a decrease in the growth of the cancer cells, which is good, but does it have that same effect on healthy cells? And if so, isn’t that a bad thing?

  • Gus Gaspar

    THE TRUTH ABOUT CANCER
    Cancer- You have read about it – You hear about it -You see it on TV – But there is one thing you are never told – the TRUTH.
    You are never told the truth about the incidence of cancer. It is growing by leaps and bounds. In 1960 1 out of 4 people had cancer. Today it is 1 out of 3. Soon it will be 1 out of 2. In just the last 30 years the incidence of cancer has gone up a shocking 40%. This year, well over 1,250,000 Americans will get cancer. And all of this while Americans are spending mega billions of dollars on cancer treatment and research.
    You are never told the truth about cancer death. Death from cancer is on a rapid rise. It has now overtaken heart disease as America’s # 1 killer. This year, over 650,000 Americans will die with cancer in spite of the best therapy that conventional medicine has to offer.
    info@valueplusplus.com

  • Darryl
  • uma

    what about yogurt doc? please help

    • Thea

      uma, Unless you are talking about a non-dairy yogurt, yogurt is just concentrated dairy. So, this video applies. Here are some other videos on the topic of dairy:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=dairy

      Bottom Line: Not good for you.

  • Helen

    Dr. Greger,

    I have a question about store bought almond milk vs. homemade almond milk. I have read that conflicting information about this. One says that store bought almond milk is better as it has vitamin D which assist in calcium absorption as well as other added vitamins which are beneficial, whereas homemade almond milk does not have these vitamins and on it’s own has very little calcium. The other information which I have read which conflicts with this says that the store bought milk are full of additives like synthetic vitamins and emulsifiers which is damaging to health as it stresses the immune system and contributes to chronic disease.

    I am somewhat left feeling very confused and want to make the right choice, especially as I have a toddler and I myself am pregnant so need to know what is the best route to getting enough calcium through almond milk.

    Looking forward to your response.

    • Jolice

      I make my own almond milk plus other milk. However, I eat enough whole foods to make for calcium, I take vitamin D3 in a vegan firm…I eat a lot of mushrooms as well. I make up with other whole foods to make up for what’s in the store bought milk. I eat lots if green leafy veggies, lots of figs, which I try on my dehydrator.

  • Dany

    thank you very much. (: it really helps me deal with my health issues.

  • mb

    Look at it this way… no matter what you do, we are all going to die at some point in time.

    • Thea

      mb:
      Yes, we are all going to die. But some of us will die peacefully in our
      sleep at the end of a very long and healthy life. On the other hand, some
      of us will experience years of physical pain and suffering before dying a
      difficult, unnaturally early death. Those who want to maximize their
      choices for the first option are interested in the information on this site.

      • http://SmartDreams.net Gayle Delaney PhD

        GO THEA!

  • cranberries_2

    Could the fat content in almond milk cause any problems? The total fat content in some brands are higher than the total of light cow’s milk, although the amount saturated fat is very low.

  • TJ

    Which is healthier: unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened fax milk which contains flax oil, tapioca starch, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum xanthum gum, etc? I love all the videos. Thanks in advance.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hey TJ. Good question. I think the less additives the better. Here is a link about xanthan gum. It doesn’t appear harmful so both seem like a fine option.

  • Andrea Gagna

    In the recent meta-analysis (goo.gl/GPPljG, cited in a recent post on G+ by NuttritionFacts) we can read:

    “In conclusion, we showed increased risk of prostate cancer
    with intakes of total dairy, milk, cheese, low fat and skim milk
    combined, total calcium, dietary calcium, and dairy calcium but
    no association with supplemental calcium or nondairy calcium
    and an inverse association for whole milk.”

    This is very curious! It seems to me that the advantages of drinking whole milk (within the suggested portions) overwhelms the disadvantages.

  • Donna Flores

    Dr. Greger,
    I would like to echo tedster’s sentiments, thank you for not only explaining the differences the the types of studies, but the open and honest way you present the research. I like the new format where it is easy to access the citations for the video’s. I find web sites such as http://authoritynutrition.com/top-5-reasons-why-vegan-diets-are-a-terrible-idea/ that are so biased that they present one side, and their citations are only available for purchase. As I move from finishing my BSN and I am about to begin my MSN I have learned to value accessing the “research” so that I can review the study for validity. I take very little at face value at this point. Especially on the web. Thank you for your transparency.

    Donna Flores. BSN

  • LenS

    Except for a 3 tablespoons of half & half in my coffee, my main source of dairy is Greek yogurt( Fage) & kefir. Does the consumption of dairy in these yogurt forms decrease the risk of prostate cancer as compared to whole milk? Are non-fat versions of these yogurt products less cancer-promoting than the 2% fat versions?

  • matt4lock@hotmail.com

    Have there been any studies of the effects of almond milk production from the effects of watering with cleaned hydraulic fracking water! I have heard that California farmers have been using this water source for many years now!

  • Natalia

    Good day. I was wondering if organic turkey and chicken and wild caught salmon and organic eggs are safer to eat comparing to conventionally grown? Thank you so much!

    • Thea

      Natalia: If you research the topic of poultry and fish and eggs on this site, you will see that most of the major problems with those foods exist regardless of whether the animals are organic or not or wild or not.

      I like to use the example of candy bars. America has two well known candy bars that are very similar: Snickers and Milky Way. The main difference is that Snickers have peanuts in them and Milky Way does not. These are both candy bars, and terrible ones health-wise. Full of empty fat, sugar, and chemicals. Yet I once (if I remember correctly) heard about a study somewhere that found some minor health benefit (or probably some minor improvement in a health indicator) to eating the Snickers. The presumption was that the diets of the people studied were so horrible that the few peanuts in the Snickers bar provided some small benefit.

      But no one actually thinks that Snickers are healthy. Snicker might be marginally better than Milky Way, but they are both health destroyers in the big picture. Sure, you could eat trivial amounts of a candy bar in the context of a healthy diet and be just fine. But no one should kid themselves that the candy bars are healthy. The same is true for say organic turkey vs conventional. You might be able to find some trivial way in which organic is presumably better. But it is the same difference as between Snickers and Milky Way.

      That’s just my way of explaining it. I hope this helps. And I would encourage you to spend some time researching those topics on this site if you would like to learn more.

  • Donna Smith

    I’d love to know if it is safe for women to eat soy products.

    • Thea

      Donna Smith: This site has many videos covering the topic of soy. I invite you investigate those videos either by using the search box at the top of the page or the topic page (Health Topics) for soy. But here’s the bottom line as I saw it from all those videos: Baring some special condition (like allergies to soy), everyone can safely and healthfully! consume 3 to 5 servings of traditional soy products a day. Traditional soy products include tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and edamame. Traditional soy products help both prevent breast cancer and can help prevent recurrence of breast cancer. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/soy/

  • Donna Smith

    What are your thoughts about soy products and their effect on women? Safe or stay away?9″

  • Chris Hunter

    Dr. Greger:
    Thanks so much for all your research. My family and I are pretty big on cold cereals as a quick and easy breakfast or snack. We had (until reading How Not To Die) been drinking cow’s milk. My boys and I like both almond milk and rice milk. Soy and coconut, not as much. I have recently tested too high iron levels, and have some liver disease, so I’m trying to cut back on many nuts and high iron vegetables. I’d like to know what milk substitute you think is best, both overall and for my liver in particular. And I guess I should include grass-fed cow’s milk as an option, but I doubt you’re going to suggest it.

  • Healthy Hunter

    Dr. Greger-

    Thanks for all your research and time putting the information out there for us. I’d like to know what product, if one has to have one, you consider to be the healthiest of the milk substitutes? Rice milk, Soy milk, Coconut milk, Hempseed milk, Almond milk, or is grass-fed organic cow’s milk my least harmful option?

    • Thea

      Healthy Hunter: Dr. Greger would definitely not recommend cow’s milk of any kind. You can see just some of the harm caused by diary products (regardless of how the cow is fed) by going through the following topic page: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy

      I think any of the non-diary milks would make a reasonable choice, but there are some additional factors you could consider. For example, coconuts have some of the highest saturated fat content in the plant kingdom. Dr. Greger covers coconuts in several videos: http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=coconut. I”m not sure the amount of saturated fat in coconut milk is worth worrying about or not. But it may be wise not to make coconut milk a daily food.

      Another consideration is that soy products have a lot of studies backing their health. http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=soy And you can buy soy milk in the store which has nothing in it other than soy and water. (Just look at the ingredients list.) That’s a pretty clean product in my opinion. And if GMO bothers you, just get organic.

      On the other hand, if you are like me, you may like soy milk in savory sauces, but not for sweet dishes or by itself (say on oatmeal) where you can actually taste it. In those cases, another non-dairy milk would be called for, preferably one that has no added sweetener. I find that unsweetened almond milk is a really good all-around non-dairy milk. Though I keep some of the pure soy milk around also for those situations where soy milk shines.

      Does that help?