Protein & Puberty

Protein & Puberty
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The type of protein young children eat at a critical age may affect when they start puberty.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What’s the big deal about what kids eat? Well for one thing, the type of protein children eat, particularly at preschool age (five to six years old, the critical window), appears to determine when they start puberty.

Kids eating lots of animal protein at that age—meat, eggs, and dairy—prematurely start puberty a year earlier than those eating lots of plant protein. An entire year earlier.

Why do we care? Cancer and mortality. Earlier puberty means, on average, a shorter lifespan.

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Image thanks to Herald Post via Flickr.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What’s the big deal about what kids eat? Well for one thing, the type of protein children eat, particularly at preschool age (five to six years old, the critical window), appears to determine when they start puberty.

Kids eating lots of animal protein at that age—meat, eggs, and dairy—prematurely start puberty a year earlier than those eating lots of plant protein. An entire year earlier.

Why do we care? Cancer and mortality. Earlier puberty means, on average, a shorter lifespan.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Herald Post via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

For more on animal protein and health during adolescence, check out these videos:
Saving Lives By Treating Acne With Diet
Protein, Puberty, and Pollutants
Formula for Childhood Obesity

And check out my other videos on puberty

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Eating To Extend Our LifespanWhy Are Children Starting Puberty Earlier? and Cow’s Milk Casomorphin, Crib Death, and Autism.

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

11 responses to “Protein & Puberty

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    1. Hi Dr Greger

      Eating eggs, I understand is not good for adults as it can cause heart disease and various other disease. Is it not, however, good for children with its rich protein source? Would the cholestrol harm them if they’re young? My children are VERY lean and we follow a plant based wholefoods diet but I was wondering about including eggs for their growth? Also how much ground flaxseed should they consume in a day to get adequate fat for their brain? What other fats should they be eating?

      Your feedback would be greatly appreciated
      Thank you for all your hard work…you are saving so many lives!

      Kind regards
      Taryn




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      1. Children can start clogging their arteries with cholesterol just like adults which sets the stage for future atherosclerosis, so eggs should be avoided by all.

        Human protein requirements are minimal. Infants are the fastest growth stage of human development, but they can only drink mother’s milk, yet human milk is only 5% protein. A WFPB varied diet will be much higher than 5% protein. Keep in mind that spinach, kale and chard are all 50% of calories from protein. If there are concerns about your kids being underweight, then you can increase calorie density of the food they eat: try beans, corn, avocados and nuts. Beans are both calorie dense and high in protein.

        Dr. Ben




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    2. Hi Dr Ben

      Thank you for your very prompt feedback.

      Could you also please shed some light on fats for the growing child’s brain.

      We consume: ground flaxseed, ground nuts and olives, nut butters and avocado

      How much of these good foods should children be consuming daily for adequate growth and development of their brains?

      Furthermore, how much should adults be consuming on a daily basis of these good fats to avoid Alzheimer’s or dementia?

      I’m sure you are very busy but I would appreciate your comments.

      Thanks in advance




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      1. Hi Taryn:

        I’m not a pediatrician and don’t follow the pediatric research, but available peer-reviewed evidence that I’ve seen shows that while mother’s milk is critical for the first few years of life, after that a varied plant based diet provides optimal nutrition for a growing child. I’m not a proponent of nut butters though since only weak evidence exists for its benefit and it could cause harm as they contain free fat which is not beneficial as far as we can tell. Whole unsalted nut consumption is associated with reduced rates of many diseases. The key seems to be if the child is eating enough as deficiencies only seem to occur if inadequate calorie intake is taking place. Empirically, a wide variety of fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables would be best. If you’re concerned about inadequate food intake, stick with calorie dense items like nuts, avocados and beans/legumes/pulses.

        New research points to Alzheimer’s disease as being “Type 3 Diabetes”
        caused by insulin resistance in the central nervous system. This should not occur on an unprocessed plant based diet. Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels need to be avoided as well.

        Dr. Ben

        Virus-free.
        http://www.avg.com




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  1. What do you think about this comment on Facebook?

    “Only time a vegan or vegetarian diet is at all beneficial is when you compare it to people that eat like shit and even then you are still risking you’re health for no reason… Vegan = gullible idiot”




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    1. have you actually met anyone who grew up raw/vegan and whose health is approved by their doctor? someone in obyious perfect health?




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    2. There’s no health risk in veganism unless you eat loads of sugar etc like any other diet. All groups of people living the longest lives avoid meat so that makes them healthier than trim meat eaters. Cholesterol is the biggest clue there.
      Sinyx where’d you get your ideas from? If it was advertising then you are the gullible idiot.




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  2. My son is 12yr 10mos and is only 4’9 but weighs 125. At his last phyiscal for football the dr said no signs of puberty and that his max height at this rate was 5’11 which was down from his projected height of 6’1 they year prior. Since he was 5 he has played basketball & football and loves both sports however this year was the beginning of school ball. He made both teams but his size is hurting him bad. Is there anything you would suggest we do at this point besides wait it out? It is starting to have an impact on his psyche so any safe suggestions would be welcomed.




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    1. well, i know a kid who was chubby little and thinned out after puberty. but if he watches what TYPE of protein he consumes, then he will probably develop more muscle weight and less weight from chub.




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