Meat Industry Reaction to New Cancer Guidelines

Meat Industry Reaction to New Cancer Guidelines
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What was the meat industry’s response to the recommendation of leading cancer charities to stop eating processed meat—like bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausage, and lunchmeat?

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What was the meat industry’s response to the leading cancer charities’ recommendation to stop eating processed meat—like bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausage, and lunchmeat? They acknowledged that the most recent international cancer prevention guidelines now urge people to avoid processed meat.

It is evident that such a statement represents “a clear and present danger” for the meat industry, reads one response in the journal Meat Science. Processed meat, they say, is a social necessity. How could anyone live without bologna? The challenge for the meat industry is to find a way to maintain the consumption of these convenience products while somehow not damaging public health.

We’re still not sure what it is in processed meat that’s so carcinogenic, but the most probable educated guess for explaining the damaging effect of processed meats involves heme compounds, along with nitrosamine and free radical formation, resulting ultimately in carcinogenic DNA damage. To reduce the nitrosamines, they could remove the nitrites—something that the industry has been considering for decades, because of the long known toxic effects they cause. The industry adds them to keep the meat pink. There are, evidently, other coloring additives available. Nevertheless, it’s going to be hard to get their industry to change, in view of the positive effects of these substances as preservatives, and desirable flavor and red color-developing ingredients. No one wants green eggs and ham.

It’s like salt reduction in meat products. They’d like to, but one of the biggest barriers to salt replacement within the meat industry is cost, as salt is one of the cheapest food ingredients available. Now, there are a number of taste enhancers they can inject into the meat that can help compensate for the salt reduction, but some leave a bitter aftertaste. So, they can also just inject a patented bitter-blocking chemical that can prevent taste nerve stimulation at the same time—the first of what may become a stream of products that are produced due to the convergence of food technology and biotech.

Or, they could always try adding non-meat materials to the meat. You could add fiber, or resistant starch from beans, that have protective effects against cancer. After all, in the United States, dietary fiber is under-consumed by most adults, indicating that fiber fortification in meat products could have health benefits—failing to note, of course, that their products are one of the reasons the American diet is so deficient in fiber in the first place.

The industry is all in favor of reformulating their products to cause less cancer, but obviously any such optimization has to achieve a healthier product without affecting the hedonic aspects. It is important to realize that nutritional and technological quality in the meat industry are inversely related. An improvement in one will lead to deterioration of the other. They know that consumption of lard is not the best thing in the world—heart disease, being our number one killer and all. However, those downsides are in sharp contrast to the technological qualities of saturated fat, which makes it indispensable in the manufacture of meat products. Otherwise, you just don’t get the same lard consistency. The pigs’ fat doesn’t get hard enough, and, as a result, a fatty smear upon cutting or slicing can be observed on the cutting surface of the knife.

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 Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to JD Hancock via Flickr

What was the meat industry’s response to the leading cancer charities’ recommendation to stop eating processed meat—like bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausage, and lunchmeat? They acknowledged that the most recent international cancer prevention guidelines now urge people to avoid processed meat.

It is evident that such a statement represents “a clear and present danger” for the meat industry, reads one response in the journal Meat Science. Processed meat, they say, is a social necessity. How could anyone live without bologna? The challenge for the meat industry is to find a way to maintain the consumption of these convenience products while somehow not damaging public health.

We’re still not sure what it is in processed meat that’s so carcinogenic, but the most probable educated guess for explaining the damaging effect of processed meats involves heme compounds, along with nitrosamine and free radical formation, resulting ultimately in carcinogenic DNA damage. To reduce the nitrosamines, they could remove the nitrites—something that the industry has been considering for decades, because of the long known toxic effects they cause. The industry adds them to keep the meat pink. There are, evidently, other coloring additives available. Nevertheless, it’s going to be hard to get their industry to change, in view of the positive effects of these substances as preservatives, and desirable flavor and red color-developing ingredients. No one wants green eggs and ham.

It’s like salt reduction in meat products. They’d like to, but one of the biggest barriers to salt replacement within the meat industry is cost, as salt is one of the cheapest food ingredients available. Now, there are a number of taste enhancers they can inject into the meat that can help compensate for the salt reduction, but some leave a bitter aftertaste. So, they can also just inject a patented bitter-blocking chemical that can prevent taste nerve stimulation at the same time—the first of what may become a stream of products that are produced due to the convergence of food technology and biotech.

Or, they could always try adding non-meat materials to the meat. You could add fiber, or resistant starch from beans, that have protective effects against cancer. After all, in the United States, dietary fiber is under-consumed by most adults, indicating that fiber fortification in meat products could have health benefits—failing to note, of course, that their products are one of the reasons the American diet is so deficient in fiber in the first place.

The industry is all in favor of reformulating their products to cause less cancer, but obviously any such optimization has to achieve a healthier product without affecting the hedonic aspects. It is important to realize that nutritional and technological quality in the meat industry are inversely related. An improvement in one will lead to deterioration of the other. They know that consumption of lard is not the best thing in the world—heart disease, being our number one killer and all. However, those downsides are in sharp contrast to the technological qualities of saturated fat, which makes it indispensable in the manufacture of meat products. Otherwise, you just don’t get the same lard consistency. The pigs’ fat doesn’t get hard enough, and, as a result, a fatty smear upon cutting or slicing can be observed on the cutting surface of the knife.

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 Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to JD Hancock via Flickr

Doctor's Note

According to the World Health Organization’s IARC, processed meat is now a Group 1 carcinogen—the highest designation. How is it that schools still feed it to our children?

How Much Cancer Does Lunch Meat Cause? Click the video and find out!

Some of the meat industry’s finagling reminds me of tobacco industry tactics. See, for example, Big Food Using the Tobacco Industry Playbook, and The Healthy Food Movement: Strength in Unity.

If you’re skeptical about the danger of excessive sodium intake, check out The Evidence That Salt Raises Blood Pressure. And if you’re still not convinced, see Sprinkling Doubt: Taking Sodium Skeptics with a Pinch of Salt, and Sodium Skeptics Try to Shake Up the Salt Debate.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

124 responses to “Meat Industry Reaction to New Cancer Guidelines

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  1. The meat industry says that processed meat is a social necessity. Wow, I got a good laugh out of that. They sure are getting creative…hopefully out of desperation.




    1
    1. Very true! Animal abuse. Environmental offenses. Unsafe working conditions. Food safety violations. These happen every day on factory farms, and the meat and egg industries don’t want you to know about it. But instead of cleaning up their act, agribusiness would rather just make it illegal to expose these problems. That’s why they’re pushing “ag-gag” bills across the country.

      Ag-Gag Laws Keep Animal Cruelty Behind Closed Doors




      1
      1. I’m finding myself unable to use the word farm in conjunction with industrial meat producers. Does anybody have a short, graphic phrase to replace “factory farms”? Until something better comes along from a clever wordsmith I’m calling them industrial meat producers.




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          1. You have a clever way with words, but I’m looking for a term that doesn’t include the word farm at all and doesn’t have to be seen in print to be appreciated. Something that tells the tale of toxic meat and animal cruelty in a few words. Graphic, punchy, explicit and brief.




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          1. Too euphemistic for me. I think either flesh factories or meat factories or egg factories more accurately tells the story.




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    2. Pretty scary huh!

      Similar to the cigarette one a few videos back on Parkinsons and nicotine… where the positive effect found was ‘increased mood’… sighhhh




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    1. I don’t think it qualifies as sarcasm if you consider the people we know post 40 that still sit down and eat a tray of ribs. Seems to be about the point (that age) where ‘you are what you eat’ really expresses itself and the greasy chin at the ‘heart attack grill’ goes to the check box in the ‘pro’ column along with your spare tire and puffed pipes.




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      1. Tell me about it! We just had a house full of relatives over for Mother’s Day. Homemade pinto beans, rice, salsa, (two different kinds) guacamole, corn tortillas. All made from scratch. The first thing said was, “where’s the meat!” Really! And the following day the complaints about gas Etc because their normal diet is so low in fiber. It’s too funny! They were seriously put-out.

        And the worse part is they are all suffering with some stage of heart disease or pre-diabetes.




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        1. this seems so funny , i feel sorry for these folks on so many levels, maybe someday they will appreciate your efforts




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          1. Well I guess I use the word “funny” in place of “are you kidding me!” They know better. They all have their copies of “How Not To Die.” (Christmas presents) not much more I can do. I forward interesting videos Etc. It’s a tough one.




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        2. I don’t miss meat, but I am struggling with gas from a WFPB diet in ways that I can’t describe. Have had to switch to white bread and pasta and rice just so I can have a social life. Frustrating. I can’t do beans because of FODMAP sensitivities, as well as a host of other foods which are tremendously healthy. Also trying to build muscle. It’s such a chess game to find foods that I can eat which are healthy, low FODMAP, but get enough calories to actually build muscle and mass. It was actually easier when I ate meat because it never caused me digestive distress. Sometimes I still eat meat just because I know I won’t have to deal with the gas later on. So….while it might seem funny…..trust me, it just isn’t so easy for everyone!




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          1. Hi, 5 years on WFPB and the first 2 years WOW I was noisy!!!! But if you can hold out your guts get in line and I don’t ever have problems. I do have gas every now and then but not WOW and the don’t smell so I can just leak them out!!




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          2. You need a very high quantity (billions), quality (refrigerated), and over 14-strain probiotic supplement to adjust the gut to eating healthy foods again. And it usually takes 8-12 weeks to re-seed the whole gut. This begins reducing gas output within days. If you don’t see a real difference within 6 weeks, you may have different guy problems and should see a gastroenterologist.




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          3. Try adding to the following to the seasoning, that you use to prepare the food: some fennel seeds mixed with caraway seeds in equal amounts, or perhaps asafoetida (hing), ajwain, epazote (lambs quarter) or a mixture of these. All of these work well for helping to acclimate a person to ingesting new vegetable sources of nourishment. It takes time to re-acclimate, each time a new gas producing food is added to one’s diet, because you have to grow a crop of bacteria that is partial to this food and who wants to live in your intestines and help you to digest it properly. It takes time to advertise, recruit them, and get them acclimated to their new home. Then you change your diet again and they have to move out.




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      2. I met a 45 y/o man who said more of his peers were dying from bicycle accidents then anything else—denial is a safe bet—He was dusting off his 30 y/o bike in an attempt to ride off his high blood pressure. good on him. why are people over 40 shocked when one of their friends die of a disease. when do people think they can start taking care of them selves? media blinding for life.




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  2. I bet that there is some sound marketing behind separating processed meat and meat. With some good spin doctoring, Meat looks pretty good next to processed meat although both are carcinogens. but i think even meat is treated with chemicals to keep it pink in a lot of butcheries, no?




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    1. Many years ago I got ground “beef” at a local butcher. Looked really good with little fat. Made burgers out of it and they ended up 1/3 the size they started out as and the flavor was awful. I’m sure a lot of places pull that one. Now I get grass fed from a local whom I know




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      1. Just as an FYI… grass fed still contains much of the same animal protein and saturated fat, cholesterol, contamination/concentration of toxins, and natural hormones found in conventional products… better? Highly likely….but enough to make it healthy? Not much evidence towards that…

        Just a few components that would not be influenced by grass fed status-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-is-meat-a-risk-factor-for-diabetes/

        Choline, carnitine and TMAO-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/carnitine-choline-cancer-and-cholesterol-the-tmao-connection/

        Weight gain-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/thousands-of-vegans-studied/

        Heterocyclic amines and oestrogens (not added)-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/estrogenic-cooked-meat-carcinogens/

        Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/meat-fumes-dietary-secondhand-smoke/

        Cancer risks-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/meat-multiple-myeloma/

        Environmental impact-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/diet-and-climate-change-cooking-up-a-storm/

        Infertility-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/meat-hormones-female-infertility/




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        1. I recently watched a ‘Nature of Things’ documentary suggesting the putrefaction of animal products in our gut as the main cause of many of the problems associated with cholesterol. This would explain healthy individuals whose own bodies run with a high cholesterol level but don’t show the arterial schlerosis typical for a middle aged human omnivore. Has Nutrition Facts seen the research suggesting its the combination of known negative impact on the gut flora of meat consumption and cholesterol that cause the host of cholesterol attributed diseases? The documentary didn’t have much nice to say about statins as well although you could tell they were trying to be ‘balanced’. They also didn’t breach the subject of diets that don’t include animal products.




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          1. I think this website has always had the same message, it is the whole package that matters. Cholesterol and all the other blood test results are just indicators, we know as some of these indicators increase disease risk as they increase as well, but most of the mechanisms inside our bodies are just theories; we are too complex to simplify any one disease to one or two biomarkers. The guy flora change from meat consumption is just one more thing in that line, another flag, another biomarker, another theory, the gut biome research is just too young right now for solid statements to be made. To say it isn’t the cholesterol but the impact on our gut flora is quite unscientific at this point




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            1. Yes, everything I’ve seen about gut flora is presented as theory but that doesn’t make it unscientific, just in the query stage of the investigation. For my wife and myself, targeting a cholesterol free diet seems to hit all the right buttons so that in our early 50’s, within 4 months we are off all our meds and a host of other improvements in biological function. We originally thought we’d eat the odd meal with fish or high quality steak, but don’t miss it … I guess we’ll find out the exact mechanism for the changes in time.




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                1. Thanks, and one of the many minor benefits is my joints have recovered enough to run again! I had given up 10 years ago due to pain and now am ready to book a half marathon the end of August, 10k is starting to feel good after cracking 55 minutes so I am starting to think I’m safe to do it. Have yet to try it first though. I didn’t expect the plaque scrubbing from going Whole Food Plant Based to clean up my lower back and joint circulation this quickly but hey, I’ll take it.




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              1. I suspect that it wasn’t the cholesterol in your diet that was the problem, but some other aspects of the some of the foods that you traded in which allowed your body to not reabsorb the cholesterol that you were supposed to excrete. Anyway, good job!




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            2. SOMEBODY HELP ME. I am going “nuts” with opposing information. I have been a vegan for 4 months. I believe everything Dr. Greger, Dr. Ornish, Dr. McDougall, and Dr. Ellestyn have said about cholesterol. I just googled the keywords “people with high cholesterol live longer than people with low cholesterol”. And, what did I find? A bunch of websites that QUOTE scientific studies that supposedly prove that people who do have high cholesterol live longer than people with low cholesterol. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Has the science community gone mad? It’s hard enough flying through all the flak coming from traditional doctors against the vegan diet and dodging all the ideas of Paleo diet people, Atkins diet people, low carb people, and a gillion other diets. And now we have an entire brigade of people and doctors saying that high cholesterol people live longer than low cholesterol people. They even claim that low cholesterol causes cancer. Does anyone have a counter argument to this concept? This entire thing is really starting to make me angry. Since I have started a vegan diet and lifestyle my cholesterol in 4 months has dropped from 255 down to 153. My body weight has dropped from 205 down to 175. I have more strength at the gym. I super set curls like I have never done before. And now, someone on my FaceBook tells me that people with high cholesterol live longer than people with low cholesterol. My goal is to get my cholesterol down to 70 or maybe 100. But, is this a wise thing to do?




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              1. John Axsom: I agree that it is very confusing and I’m glad you asked this question. The studies you are referring to are what is known as reverse causation. In other words, lay people looking at those studies might think, “Uh oh, low cholesterol causes disease.” But what is really going on is, “Disease causes low cholesterol.” For example it is well known that following getting cancer, cholesterol levels drop. And people who have cancer, die sooner than those who don’t… But people who have low levels of cholesterol and who maintain those low levels through life have much greater chances of living a long and healthy life. Here is a more detailed answer that I recently gave someone else:

                ——————————-
                .
                The studies you are talking about involve something known as reverse causation. This means that disease caused low cholesterol, not that low cholesterol caused disease and higher mortality. Pointing to studies which measure reverse caution is a well known trick used by cholesterol deniers. Tom Goff recently did an excellent post on this topic. (And I finally found his post!): http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/04/28/egg-consumption-and-ldl-cholesterol-size/#comment-2648441956 The article that Tom linked to includes this quote:
                .
                “Among nearly 6000 healthy Japanese-American men enrolled in the Honolulu Heart Study, they measured total serum cholesterol at two time points, with mortality follow-up extending for up to 16 years. Results showed the expected association of elevated cholesterol with coronary disease. In addition, falling levels of cholesterol were linked to an excess risk of hepatic disease and cancer in particular, whereas low (<4.7 mmol/L, <180 mg/dL) but stable levels over time were not associated with excess risk. Their findings provide evidence that the association previously reported between low cholesterol and noncoronary mortality probably reflected the cholesterol-lowering metabolic consequences of long-term subclinical disease rather than a hazard associated with low cholesterol per se."
                .
                Hope that helps to clear up your confusion. The bottom line to understand is that: When people maintain the cholesterol levels they are born with (total 150 or below and LDL 70 or below), they do not get heart disease. (There is at least one NutritionFacts video on this topic, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/optimal-cholesterol-level/. I believe there is another also, but I can't find it right now. Hopefully you can find it if you are interested.) But if people eat significant amounts of meat, dairy and eggs and thus allow their cholesterol levels to go above the safe levels, they incur the risk of dying from the number one cause of death in America.
                ————————-
                .
                Taking advantage of reverse causation is just one of the tricks used by cholesterol deniers. Dr. Greger has highlighted some of the other tricks. If you are interested, you can learn more here:

                http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/10/29/why-some-dietary-cholesterol-studies-fail-to-show-harm/
                http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/08/14/how-the-meat-industry-designed-a-highly-misleading-study/
                http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/
                http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-and-cholesterol-patently-false-and-misleading-claims/
                http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-the-egg-board-designs-misleading-studies/
                http://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-says-eggs-arent-healthy-or-safe/

                I hope that helps!




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                1. Thank you Thea. I never heard of reverse causation. This idea helps me to make meaning of all of this information. Thank you again. John




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                2. Holocaust deniers and cholesterol deniers share an attitude of vested interest over common good and sense. I’m almost certain that all but the blithering idiots know their position is wrong, but choose to sew confusion to aid their cause.




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              2. There is a massive amount of disinformation out there, most of it is garbage, but to the believers it is their gospel. So the strategy you need to figure things out for yourself needs to be what you are capable of understanding, but understand for the vocal pro-meat people out there, it is a belief and you won’t change their mind any more than their religion.
                1. Look at the source, if its a low carb pro information it is likely some low quality blog, article or webpage. To the crowd you are dealing with, webpages are facts.
                2. Dig deeper into the page and find the references, are there good studies referenced? Can you access the studies? Did they link them? (Usually not, they know the sheep won’t check) So if you are capable, you can look up the study, read it, see if it says what they say it says, see if it means what they think it means. I’ll be honest.. I’ve done this a lot, the studies are almost always suspicious, usually funded with an agenda, usually very poor controls, and very often their summary and the data just don’t match.
                If you aren’t capable of reading the studies you should do a search for them and find someone else’s opinion on them. There is an absolutely brilliant youtube channel PlantPositive, it takes most of the low carber’s studies and destroys there.

                In the case of high cholesterol lives longer, this is generally a very extrapolated viewpoint from the real science. In the general population (of the Western world) people’s health fail at older ages, they get sick, their cholesterol drops and they die. Now if you take someone who didn’t get sick and died, they would have high cholesterol, and the one that did get sick had a low end of life cholesterol (despite high levels their whole life that may have gotten them sick) So when you look at it from that view point, does low cholesterol mean you’ll die sooner?

                If you did this study in China (and they have) the people there don’t have a end of life cholesterol drop, the data when you don’t eat a SAD doesn’t apply and the bad logic doesn’t match up.

                Low carb science is full of half truths, the key is to locate the half they won’t admit to.




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              3. Getting on a proper diet that allows your cholesterol to drop naturally to where it should be is different than taking drugs, inappropriate supplements or even making inappropriate dietary changes to artificially lower cholesterol without addressing the problem of why one’s cholesterol was elevated to start with. Get healthy by exercising and adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet. What the studies don’t tell you is who is being compared to who. Health is not defined as low cholesterol. It has to do with how much vitality is really in you body. If you live a lifestyle that permits your body to have naturally low cholesterol that’s one thing. If you artificially force your cholesterol down at the expense of stressing other parts of your body, that an entirely different matter. In the first scenario, low cholesterol may be both low and healthy. In the second, low cholesterol may be fatal.




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            3. It never was a problem with dietary cholesterol. High cholesterol is just an indication that something might be wrong somewhere. It’s the somewhere that needs to be treated, not necessarily the cholesterol.




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          2. From what I have seen, it’s less about what level of cholesterol made intrinsically by the liver (when not consuming animal products/oils and other cholesterol promoting agents), but the health of ones arteries (assessed by say a HS-CRP test or carotid/aortic USS). High cholesterol in context of a health whole-food plant-based diet is totally different. Cholesterol levels are a snap shot in time too, for example often increased during weight loss as fat stores mobilise. B12 levels also important for chemical reactions with homocysteine.

            For more-
            http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers09/
            http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers22/
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/vitamin-b12-necessary-for-arterial-health/

            In addition to what you are saying though, I believe one of the differences also as to why we develop high cholesterol/arterial damage Vs say a carnivore is due to the gut length- ours is significantly longer allowing far more time for fat and cholesterol absorption. Or perhaps simply the wrong diet for the species-

            For example-

            “William C. Roberts MD has five decades of experience in the field of cardiology, written over 1300 scientific publications, a dozen cardiology textbooks, and has been editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology for a quarter of a century. He is arguably the most highly regarded cardiologist in the world today.

            In his 2008 editorial “The Cause of Atherosclerosis”, published in the peer reviewed journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Roberts states that there is a single, sole cause to heart disease: cholesterol. If your total cholesterol is below 150 and LDL is below 70, you are essentially heart attack proof. What is the cause of high cholesterol? Saturated fat and animal products:

            Atherosclerosis is easily produced in nonhuman herbivores (eg, rabbits, monkeys) by feeding them a high cholesterol (eg, egg yolks) or high saturated fat (eg, animal fat) diet… And atherosclerosis was not produced in a minority of rats fed these diets, it was produced in 100% of the animals! Indeed, atherosclerosis is one of the easiest diseases to produce experimentally, but the experimental animal must be an herbivore. It is not possible to produce atherosclerosis in a carnivore…”

            He elaborates in an earlier editorial:

            It is virtually impossible, for example, to produce atherosclerosis in a dog even when 100 grams of cholesterol and 120 grams of butter fat are added to its meat ration. (This amount of cholesterol is approximately 200 times the average amount that human beings in the USA eat each day!). (The American Journal of Cardiology, 1990, vol. 66,896.)”




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          3. I believe that is partly due to longer digestive tracts designed to extract nutrients in those designed for plant based diets (such a humans) Vs carnivores, whereby the meat passes through the colon and is eliminated before much of the food-sourced fat is absorbed or digested. It also has to do less with cholesterol numbers Vs how healthy your arteries are. Dr Klaper has a lot on this- if the cholesterol is produced by the liver and not from the diet, and is not bombarded with toxic junk it does not become oxidised thereby not creating the inflammatory response and free radical release that damages the endothelial cells and arteries. So rather than stressing absolute numbers of cholesterol, refer instead to health of arteries, via tests such as fundoscopy of retinal arteries, carotid or abdominal aortic duplex, HS-CRP and/or endoPAT testing.




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      2. Good luck with that.

        In Uruguay, all cattle are grass fed and open range. In addition, no growth hormones or antibiotics are administered and there no animal protein is allowed in animal feed. Uruguayan beef truly is grass fed.
        http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2007-1/foodchains/2007-1-03.htm

        However, a large case-controlled study study in Uruguay found:
        “There was a statistically significant increase in the odds of cancers of the mouth and pharynx (OR=1.63), esophagus (OR=3.30), larynx (OR=1.85), stomach (OR=4.02), colorectum (OR=1.78), lung (OR=1.59), sarcomas (OR=2.27), prostate (OR=1.58), bladder (OR=1.68), kidney (OR=1.96), nervous system (OR=3.12), thyroid (OR=2.38) and of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (OR=1.79), myeloma (OR=3.28) and all cancer sites combined (OR=1.61) with high intake of total meat and similar findings were found with red meat, beef and lamb.”
        http://www.helhet.no/wp-content/uploads/Aune-D-Meat-consumption-and-cancer-risk-a-multisite-case-control-study-in-Uruguay.pdf

        The idea that grass-fed beef is harmless or even healthy is just one of those internet myths – or at least wishful thinking that is given wide currency simply by the large number of people who, for their own reasons, claim this.




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        1. Tom, I definitely agree. I’ve been an informal nutrition student since the early 1960s, but didn’t get the message until two years of eating grass fed beef, using raw milk from well raised cows and organic veggies. That was when the big lump appeared in my breast that has not been detectable a year earlier. I was aware that some people were curing cancers using natural methods, so I began reading on that subject. What I found was that most people who cured cancers using only natural foods were almost all vegan or close to vegan, and many were nutritionally flooding their bodies with freshly made vegetable juices and other plant based organic foods.

          That was six years ago and now there is so much more good information available than even that recently. But you still have to sift through it, since there is the group that believes you can cure cancer with a ketogenic diet or mostly fat, some animal protein and low carb veggies. Since animal protein stimulates both IFG1 and TOR, both of which cause cancers to grow, I don’t understand their reasoning, but meat lovers find it appealing.




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    2. Yes it is a fact about the red pink color, in fact they add a mixture of 0.4 percent carbon monoxide, 30 percent carbon dioxide and 69.6 percent nitrogen. in 2004, a new three-gas mixture used for packaging of red meat cuts and ground beef products was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is gaining in popularity. They called this “modified atmosphere packaging” (MAP) When meat is exposed to carbon monoxide, it reacts with the myoglobin in the blood giving the meat a bright red color. Fresh beef is naturally red, and as it ages, it becomes brown or grey. The carbon monoxide keeps it looking artificially fresh for up to a full year by restricting the growth of bacteria that proliferate from the increased heat of supermarket meat display cases.

      Explain It To Me: Is packaged meat preserved with carbon monoxide safe?</a




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      1. Thanks, now I “know the rest of the story” (I miss Paul Harvey!)

        How can carbon monoxide be used in food legally? and we carp about the chinese!

        This reminds me of the report some months/years ago about roundup in food. Monsanto’s resistant strains mean that the farmer has a $ incentive to apply it directly onto food plants. Result…well you know the result.

        Fight the Machine!




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        1. When purchased by the consumer the carbon monoxide is already bound to the heme in the meat and so doesn’t represent a hazard. In fact it is the fact that free carbon monoxide binding to the heme iron in our blood so that it can’t carry oxygen that is the health risk. So it is only free carbon monoxide that is hazardous.

          Of course the workers who might be exposed to a background of carbon monoxide day in and day out could be a very different story. I wouldn’t think it would be that hard to make sure that workers are not exposed to any carbon monoxide, but that would likely take additional equipment and slower processing times. Since we know what the meat industry tends to choose when given a choice between health/safety and cost/profit, I don’t have much confidence about the industry looking out for worker health.




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    3. Hey Rhombopterix- agreed (see my comment above!)- it makes it much more acceptable I believe by attacking additives or processing method rather than the product itself! Small steps ;)




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  3. Sarcasm? Too subtle, I’m afraid. Your point is that very few of those ‘considerations’ are considerations for an person actually choosing something to eat!




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  4. It’s not just the nitrates in meat that cause cancer. Read the research in The China Study. Meat itself becomes a carcinogen when it reaches the colon, transforms carnitine into trimethalmine oxide which is toxic to the whole system over the long term. My belief is that scientists are dishing out the information slowly, first the processed meats, then one animal flesh or by-product at a time, until everyone finally gets the message. Meat and cheese may be as bad as smoking, finds a twenty-year study done at USC issued in 2014. (https://news.usc.edu/59199/meat-and-cheese-may-be-as-bad-for-you-as-smoking/)




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    1. To see the USC study, I think the parentheses must be removed for the link to work. Interesting article … thanks for sharing.




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    2. At least it’s a step! And it’s probably more acceptable firstly that it’s an additive in meat… rather than having to accept it’s the meat itself! Also avoids too much industry controversy.. as they can remove the nitrates… so it’s not (yet) a direct criticism of their product… small steps hopefully will add up!




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  5. “How could anyone live without bologna?” “No one wants green eggs & ham.” “Heart disease being our #1 killer and all.” “Gotta weigh the pros & cons” … I love it. Dr. G’s sarcasm at its finest!
    It reminds me of an earlier video that mentioned how hot dog consumers were complaining about seeing flecks of chia seeds or flax seeds added to their hot dogs to make them healthier. And Dr. G said something to effect of: You know how picky hot dog consumers are about what they eat. Chia seeds? No way! But pig anus? Just fine.




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  6. What is the bottom line anyway? Would I enjoy watching my grandchildren, and great grandchildren, grow and enjoy their lives while I set a good example with my dietary habits and by continuing to surf, play tennis, hike, etc. in my 70’s, or even older? Or should I eat hot dogs, bacon, etc. enjoying all the fake flavourings, fat, nitrates,etc and show them how to do it? I could be long dead while they suffer the agonies of cancer, stroke, heart disease from hot dogs, bacon, and the like. This is a hard choice; not really.




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    1. It doesn’t seem to matter what we do. They will do as they please unfortunately for them and our grandchildren.




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    2. Well said and living by example often helps at least decrease some of the so-called ‘genetic/environmental’ influences on health. Unfortunately many seem to prefer to ‘live to eat’ rather than ‘eat to live’ as you seem to be!
      Great reply to complaints that ‘life is too short not to eat XXX’… no no… eating XXX is what is going to make your life short!

      Your comment reminds me so much of this video-

      http://www.healthpromoting.com/learning-center/truenorth-tv/make-health-last




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    1. As Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers minister of propaganda stated that if you tell a lie long enough the people will believe it.. Truth is the enemy of the lie… If the Fox noise and the meat industry keeps telling the same lies people will believe it.. uffda..




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      1. Interestingly, it’s said that Goebbels kept near him an annotated copy of Propaganda, by Edward Bernays, Freud’s nephew and a pioneer in American advertising. Uffda indeed.




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  7. I love the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil pictures. So perfect. Is it just me or have fast food places ramped up their processed meat products since this report came out? Whopper hot dogs? Bacon and cheese in the pizza crust? The saddest thing about hot dogs is it is considered a kid’s food and is often fed to them. Many children are at St. Jude’s and like places due to this.




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    1. Quite possibly seeking new ways to tempt people who are on the fence of hearing the message but also struggling with ‘everything in moderation’…

      Industry also knows if you ‘hook them young’.. you have customers for life :(




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  8. Is there anyway to direct the information of the benefits of a whole plant food diet to the politicians. Bill Clinton got the message from Ornish and Esselstyn, and then Clinton went on to give a lot of interviews on TV on how the whole plant food diet saved his life and helped him to lose weight. How can we educate the leaders at the top of our food chain. Trump looks like he needs to go on a whole plant food diet, and also Chris Christie. Bernie Sanders sounds like the kind of guy that would be open to this message. Here’s the bottom line. If everyone in the nation went on a whole plant food diet, our nation would be out of debt over night. Just think of the huge reduction of medical bills, and maybe even the reduction of health insurance. The list could go on how the absence of raising animals for consumption would help the economy. However, in reality, the only time politicians get on board for a whole plant food diet is when they themselves face a health crisis like Bill Clinton did.

    On the other hand, meat, sugar, and junk food is addictive. Asking meat junkies to stop eating meat is like asking a heroin addict to stop shooting up heroin because it might harm their health. In reality, the only thing that is going to change the direction of nations around the world to stop consuming meat is a huge global crisis. During world war 2 the people of the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea stopped consuming meat because it was just unavailable. This food crisis forced the people to eat a plant based diet and they improved in their overall health. Likewise, if a huge solar flare took down the world wide electrical grid that also became unrepairable, you would see an instant change over to a plant based diet, but only after all available meat was consumed. But, eventually, just like the people of Crete, as things became better the nations would once again return to meat consumption. This is an everlasting struggle between people who want to change the eating habits of the nation away from meat and those who are addicted to meat.




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      1. WOW !!! I read the newspaper article that you linked in your post. What an eye opener that was. The last sentence in the article quoted the American Meat Association, AMA, ( just a coincidence or is it ) that they warned the President Of The United States Of America not to give any hints or suggestions that he supported a vegetarian diet. How do you get away at intimidating the president of the United States? How do you do that unless you have some kind of power in itself. I remember when the cattlemen’s association took Oprah Winfrey to court over some opinion she gave on her show concerning madcow disease. These people must have some serious political power. I saw on YouTube a week ago, where Dr. Greger’s YouTube videos were pulled from YouTube for a brief period of time. I wonder who made that happen. Fortunately, they are back up now, and have been for a good while. I wonder if these “people” monitor this DISQUS forum?




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    1. I think a lot of people are hoping humanity will just one day wake up, see how things really are,start eating properly ,reverse global warming,etc… become part of the solution instead of at least part of the problem. I can recall J.I. Rodale saying that there was a rule called 15 70 15 rule, about 15 % of the people will see the truth, wake up each day and try to not only follow a saner way of life but try to influence other people to do the same, most people on here most likely fall into that camp, then the opposite 15% will never listen to anything to do with health or enviroment. That leaves 70% somewhere between the two extremes.
      Meat and dairy consumption will never end, however if 15% were on a whole food diet, it would make a real difference to this planet




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  9. I have been Cancer free now for 3 years and the first thing my doctor said was to give up meat. I have become vegetarian and will never touch ,eat again. Meat has hormones and antibiotics and who knows what else. You will be cancer free if you give up meat. Its not hard.




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    1. You say vegetarian rather than vegan or plant based. So if this means that you are still consuming dairy and eggs, I strongly encourage you to take the next step and give those up as well. All animal based foods are similar to each other in their negative impacts on health. They are the primary source of saturated fats and only source of dietary cholesterol. Even more important animal proteins have a super abundance of leucine and methionine amino acids. Leucine, which is the master cell growth and proliferation/ and methionine, which stimulates the production of IGF-1 and reduction of IGF-1 binding protein. Both play a key role in cell aging and cancer. Both leucine and methionine are essential amino acids, so you have to have some, but the amounts in animal foods is far in excess of what is required. So cutting out flesh is certainly a good start, it doesn’t completely address the root cause many if not most chronic diseases that haunt the western world, and that is animal protein compounded by the health degrading effects of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.




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  10. Can be replied to in two of my favourite quotes-
    “Everything is moderation… even moderate disease”
    and
    “People love to hear good things about their bad habits”

    I always tell people… if you want to get healthy, don’t take health advice from the mass media!




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    1. That’s my policy: never take nutrition or health advice seriously if the magazine, newspaper, or website advertises for Big Food or Big Pharma.

      Beginning in the 1960s, when I first started reading about nutrition, I noticed that it took about 20 years for information to filter down to any sort of mass media. Now, of course, news travels much, much faster with the internet, but media sources have become quite adept at remodeling the message so that it appears to be about health and nutrition, but it is not offensive to those big advertisers. As always, follow the money.




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      1. “never take nutrition or health advice seriously if the magazine, newspaper, or website advertises for Big Food or Big Pharma…” That just about covers ALL of the for profit media doesn’t it. Then of course, as you say, advertises, which means accepts money for a service. Wouldn’t that then include our government?




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  11. I see that you have a lot of videos on bacon. Do you have any that address the health differences between mass-produced, handmade, and nitrate-free bacon?




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    1. No because meat itself is the real problem. It’s not healthy for us, at all, no matter the “purity” of the form. Processing in various ways only compounds that issue with other health threats, but one cannot make meat healthy by feeding or processing it differently. I still eat some now an then, and did survive 48 years eating it pretty much like anyone else in the US. Luckily I came to my senses before big health issues surfaced.

      I may have had bacon three or four times in the last 14 months. Used to keep it in the fridge (big thick slices, jowl too). But I’m much healthier and happier and feel better all the time now.




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  12. A vegan diet can treat almost any disease. There are superstar foods among the plants. Americans are deficient in fiber and other key phytonutrients. Food from ancestral farms was probably far more valuable in terms of nutrition. There is an explosion among children in terms of mood disorders. Could this be related to poor nutrition? A Vitamin D deficiency? Lower quality food? I like the idea of you sharing your message with children, given that children with ADHD seems to be very common now. Pumpkin seeds, filled with phosphorus, could be very good for children. I am sure children love plants and would love to hear about plants as a primary source of our food. I am sure children would love to know what plants are and eat more plants. Is it possible the plants are sick from soil depletion? Our food seems damaged and supplementation programs are reaching less.




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    1. There is a great book called ThecCrazy Makers by Carol Simontacchi which discusses artificial preservatives and colors and affects on behavior. Very interesting!! Good read!




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  13. When I watched this Nutrition Facts video on Cancer risk due to processesed meat it was followed by an offered video of some girl with long hair and glasses insisting that meat doesn’t cause cancer! It was called “Unnatural Vegetarian”.




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    1. Unnatural Vegan, she is terrible. Hypocrisy central right there.
      She appeals to moderates of veganism because she takes the opposite stance from most people, proves it with science but always leaves out the half she doesn’t agree with.. hence why her meat doesn’t cause cancer video might make sense if you forget she didn’t include anything that disproved her points.




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        1. That is just one statement, but there are dozens of examples. The fact is she says eating a whole food plant based diet isn’t enough, then all her what I eat in a day videos are full of fake meats and total garbage, its massive hypocrisy




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  14. This video irresponsibly ignores an important aspect of American economic life.
    If we quit eating carcinogens (and thereby quit getting all that cancer) we’ll deprive the meat industry of money.
    If we quit getting cancer we’ll deprive hospitals, doctors and Big Pharma major sources of money.
    If we quit getting and dying of cancer we’ll be depriving the Funeral industry all that money.

    What’s a good citizen to do??




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    1. For a good citizen of a capitalist country like the US, your course of action is clear. The very bible of capitalism, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations spells it out:
      “”[E]very individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”

      In other words, you must resolutely pursue your own interest (rather than the perceived public interest). Courtesy of the invisible hand, you will in fact ultimately be promoting the public interest.

      i hope that this allows you to sleep better at night even though you are selfishly thinking only of yourself and avoiding unhealthy foods.




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      1. Tom, the reasoning’s easier to grasp if we recall that he was the Reverend Adam Smith; all was for the best in capitalism because it was providentially arranged. (Pay no attention to biblical condemnations of selfishness, parishioners.)
        I used to read a monthly tract put out free by the Freeman Foundation (a pro-capitalism entity named for its founder), which currently supports BBC World News America, so it’s not the usual nonsense. One month there was a fine article that reasoned, quite against Rev. Smith,. that good morals and honest dealings were essential to a real vibrant capitalism.
        I mentally agreed, and saw further how such morals and dealings were also essential to a real, vibrant Soviet Union or a real, vibrant Social Democracy, or a real, vibrant Communal Anarchy…
        But one difference is, that Rev. Smith’s unseen hand is more likely to pick one’s pocket than the others, which fail, when they do, in spite of their moral stances, not because of them.




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          1. …as we all should try to do, as opportunity arises…
            another way to phrase our problem is, If Profit is the Bottom Line, all other values must serve it.
            Marxism-Leninism has/had a like though lesser problem, tying morals to the prevailing system, though Mao Thought somewhat reduced the otherwise arbitrary power of the Vanguard– but that’s farther in left field, right?




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            1. Yes but, IMHO, it is not so much “profit” as personal interest or gain that we serve.

              I do not see that this is or should be limited to matters of financial gain. Power, vanity, status, survival and hedonic benefits can all be something we pursue or seek to gain. That is one of the problems with Marxism-Leninism: its analytic and explicatory capabilities are largely based on materialism.




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              1. yes, no need to limit what people may limit themselves to seeking, though money has in this era a special charm, noted by Hilaire Belloc: “I’m tired of love, I’m still more tired of rhyme…
                but money gives me pleasure all the time!”




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    1. On the right of the video box there is a tab labelled ‘Sources Cited’. Click it and a list of references will appear below the video box. You can click on each one and it will link you to the National Library of Medicine’s database entry. Sometimes the article is an open access article so you will be able to read the whole article online. For many, though, you will hit a ‘pay wall’; for these you will only be able to see the abstract and sometimes the figures. If you want the full article you can either go to a medical library and ask for assistance in retrieving it or you can go to your local public library and ask them if they can get a copy for you through interlibrary loan.




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  15. Good day Michael and team! I have a question. I don’t drink milk or eat meat, but i do drink matzoon which is armenian version of kefir or other type of fermented milk. Online it says that it is safe to drink it because its not milk but the fermented version of it. So my question is – does casein disappear once it transferred into a different bacteria like kefir or matzoon. Here’ s a link what it is and how to make it to understand better what i mean. Thank you so much for everything you do in this world, this blog and for every and each of us! And it was awesome to listen you speak during Vegetarian food fest in NYC!!! Thank you for my signed book!




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    1. I don’t have the answer, but suspect casein remains. My own homemade kefir is formed from dry skim milk, so the cholesterol’s mostly gone (though what remains is likely oxidized), and the lactose has been digested by the varied organisms, but I’m equally interested in the answers about digestion of milk proteins, to the extent that this has been studied.
      If harm remains, unchanged by the perhaps two dozen hard-working organisms after 1-2 days, out goes my last, cheapest, dairy.




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      1. Some time ago, before I stopped all dairy, I read about the process of making dry milk powder and swore off ever consuming it again. Now I can’t remember what the process does, but it degrades the protein in some way, if I recall correctly.

        It was milk protein (casein) that Colin Campbell used for many years in his research rats, where he discovered he could turn cancer off, stopping its growth by withholding the animal protein, and start the cancer growing again by then feeding with casein.




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        1. Rebecca, there are different methods to make powder, one cooking the milk. The instant skim sort is blown in dry air and falls as a powder, hence more easily dissolved in water.
          On examining Campbell’s work, I noted that the tendency to cancer occurred when casein was fed above the rat optimum of 10-12% of calories, similar to human needs, says TCC. (Plant protein sources tested didn’t show the effect.)

          Dry skim milk is 35% protein (~80% caseins), and ¾cup or so is 168 Calories, well under 10%, and that counts the lactose eaten by kefir organisms.
          There are also complications with A1 (later) and A2 (earlier cattle, now mostly Guernseys and Jerseys) casein.
          But Natalia and Nikita wanted to know if the many kefir organisms digest casein (into peptides and/or amino acids?), and I haven’t a clue.




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          1. Thanks for the info. I try as much as possible to avoid processed foods and dairy so as not to reawaken any stray cancer cells.




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    2. Hi Natalia, thanks for your interesting question and support of Dr Greger and NF, it is not a topic that I know a lot about. I am not sure how the fermentation process involving kefir grains acts on whole milk proteins. However, milk based kefir is a good source of some of the amino acids that Dr Greger mentioned in a few of his videos that are associated with cancer, cancer growth and aging such as methionine and leucine. I have included the link below. It was interesting when I was looking up kefir, that kefir grains can be used to ferment cow milk alternatives such as soy or rice milk. I don’t know if these products exist on the North American market or one would have to try and make it.

      Protein




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  16. The Monsters that support underground US Concentration torture factories, butchering 10,000 million innocent animal/kids per year, deserve to die of cancer and burn alive in eternal pain. The Monsters have earned it.




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  17. ALERT! PLEASE FIX—The last frame of this video, after watching it to the end, contains vulgar images that look like ads—possibly somehow appended there by someone trying to discredit the message and messenger?




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  18. 80 billions dollars to brainwash the masses into thinking they need to eat meat eggs dairy
    Its all a LIE you do not need to eat dead animals to live quite the contrary.




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  19. Meat industries are sounding more and more ridiculous in their attempts to save their income. Only idiots can believe in what they say.




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  20. Here in Norway health authorities are saying that this classification as a number 1 carcinogen is not about how carcinogenic the meat is (number 1 being very carcinogenic), but about how SURE researchers are that it IS a carcinogen, albeit a very mild one. Is this true?




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  21. This is probably going to be an unpopular post so please bear with /forgive me. One of my many concerns after going vegan was that I would look like the stereotypical vegan (thin and haggard). I was particularly concerned with where I would get retinoids and collagen . Granted I eat more carotenoid containing vegetables but I wonder if I still have as much retinoids circulating in my body as I had during my meat eating days !




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  22. Knowing the positive benefits of a whole food plant based diet and how it can reverse and cure heart disease and cancer are MD’s prevented from prescribing a whole food plant based diet as the primary course of treatment for these conditions? If so what would have to change, if not, why not?




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