Tuesday, January 04, 2011

T. Colin Campbell: "Let There Be No Doubt: Cows Milk Protein Is An Exceptionally Potent Cancer Promoter"

When T. Colin Campbell wrote in his book The China Study:
"... we were finding that high protein intake, in excess of the amount needed for growth, promotes cancer. Like flipping a light switch on and off, we could control cancer promotion merely by changing levels of protein..
...
The effects of protein feeding on tumor development were nothing less than spectacular. ... [In one experiment] all animals that were administered [the carcinogen] aflatoxin and fed the regular 20% levels of casein [a cow's milk protein] either were dead or near death from liver tumors at 100 weeks. All animals administered the same level of aflatoxin but fed the low 5% protein diet were alive, active and thrifty, with sleek hair coats at 100 weeks. This was a virtual 100 to 0 score, something almost never seen in research."
...
I would never have dreamed that our results up to this point would be so incredibly consistent, biologically plausible and statistically significant.
...
Let there be no doubt: cows milk protein is an exceptionally potent cancer promoter."
He was criticized for not discussing aspects of cow's milk and other animal foods which could confound the relationship between animal protein and cancer. I recently saw an article by Campbell addressing this concern:
"The adverse effects of animal protein, as illustrated in our laboratory by the effects of casein, are related to their amino acid composition, not to the effects of pasteurization, homogenization, or of the presence of hormones, pesticides, etc. Even though pasteurization and homogenization may cause slight changes in the physical characteristics of proteins, I know of no evidence where amino acid contents are altered by these treatments. This is important because it shows that there will be no difference in the biological effects of animal based protein from grass-fed or feed lot fed animals. Moreover, the casein that we used in our extensive experiments was before hormones were introduced and before factory farming became the norm, thus it mostly represented animals that were grass fed."
- Grass-Fed Animal Agriculture, T. Colin Campbell Foundation
Here's Campbell talking about protein, why we associate protein with animal foods, and the danger of consuming too much:



A problem with eating a low-carb diet is that, by default, it has you eating more fat and protein. As we saw in my previous post, dietary fat can predispose someone to insulin resistance and diabetes. Here we see that animal protein can predispose one to cancer.

The alternative to eating a low-carb diet is eating a relatively high-carb diet ... but have those carbs be minimally processed, plant-derived, with very little added fat.
________

15 comments:

caulfieldkid said...

Pass the beans please.

shaun

Bix said...

shaun, you couldn't have convinced me 5 years ago I'd be eating beans every day. Oh ... how things change. Canned, dried, peas, lentils, anything I can get my hands on.

Dr. Mel said...

Beans are where it's at. Think I'll make some hummus. I cannot go the rest of my life w/o cheese, but moderate the intake at least. Interesting re organic vs industrial and grass-fed vs feed-lot.

Dr. Mel said...

Two things: first, I don't understand what he's saying about wheat protein. I understand that it's incomplete, but I don't understand what he means when he says "Wheat and soy proteins for example did not stimulate cancer development and when wheat protein, which is deficient in the amino acid lysine, was replenished with lysine, it acted just like casein." Does he mean that the wheat protein becomes carcinogenic like casein?

I also wish Campbell had footnoted his response to Mercola and WAPF. Would like to see specific instances of commercial compromise on the part of grass-fed promoters, as in this comment: "...I have often wondered about the motivations of those people who promote grass-fed animal agriculture. When I look a little more closely, I can find either commercially compromised interests and/or a deep and very personal reluctance to find fault with animal based food products."

It's hard for me to agree w/ that last (which itself seems somewhat subjective on Campbell's part) w/o seeing specifics.

But it's still a very interesting essay--thanks for posting!

Bix said...

Yes, Melinda, Campbell found that a high protein intake, in excess of that needed for growth, promotes cancer.

You may find these helpful:

http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/animal-protein-as-a-carcinogen/

http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/campbell_china_response.htm

virginia said...

You convinced me that beans were simple to prepare, and I eat them nearly every day.

I've missed my beans this week - too many crazy events in my life right now, but I skipped yoga so I could put some on the stove. Yum.

Dr. Mel said...

Thanks for the resources, Bix!

Dr. Mel said...

Both of those essays are very interesting. I can see the points he's making about possible industry connections of WAPF, for instance. Given the success of his book, I don't see why he even bothers to refute such critics--I agree that Sally Fallon is not a very good nutritionist, and I'd be a little leery of following some of the recipes in her book.

But what these essays did not answer was my specific question about what he meant in his comment about wheat and lysine ("Wheat and soy proteins for example did not stimulate cancer development and when wheat protein, which is deficient in the amino acid lysine, was replenished with lysine, it acted just like casein."). I understand that most vegetable sources are not complete proteins, and I understand that you can supplement them (or eat them w/ a "complementary protein") in such a way that the combination becomes a complete protein (like beans and rice, if I remember correctly). So is he saying that ANY complete protein--even one that is vegetable rather than animal in origin, like wheat--causes cancer? If so, would we would have to be very careful, even as vegans, how we combine foods in our meals? Would we have to avoid non-animal sources of complete protein like quinoa? I'm asking this in all seriousness, as it seems to be what he is suggesting when he says that adding lysine to lysine-deficient wheat makes it "act just like casein."

Bix said...

Campbell found that a high protein intake promotes cancer. Animal foods are rich in protein. Plants foods while they contain protein are not as rich as animal foods:

3 ounces of tuna have about 20 grams of protein.
3 ounces of cheddar 21g.
3 ounces of beef tenderloin 24g.

3 ounces of kidney beans 4g.
1 cup of rice 4g.
1 cup of spaghetti 8g.
1 cup of quinoa 8g.

All of the above contain the amino acid lysine.

The issue is the quantity of protein. Eating a diet of minimally-processed plant foods, however you mix and match them, will generally provide less protein than a diet that contains animal foods.

Dr. Mel said...

That's great to know--thanks Bix! Whew, I'm relieved.

Dr. Mel said...

If this were Facebook, I would "like" your comment!

Dr. Mel said...

Just saw an article in Consumer Reports calling Dr. Mercola a fraud.

Bix said...

No way. I'll have to look that up. I don't really know much about Mercola except whenever you try to read his articles there's a sign-up flash screen in the way.

Crystena said...

Hi,

The statement:
"Wheat and soy proteins for example did not stimulate cancer development and when wheat protein, which is deficient in the amino acid lysine, was replenished with lysine, it acted just like casein."

Does this mean that if I'm on a whole food, plant based vegan diet and I supplement with Lysine that it would promote cancer?

Supplementing with Lysine may not be a part of a true whole food philosophy but I would appreciate your view on if taking lysine would promote cancer on this diet.

Thanks
- Crystena

Crystena said...

Hi,

The statement:
"Wheat and soy proteins for example did not stimulate cancer development and when wheat protein, which is deficient in the amino acid lysine, was replenished with lysine, it acted just like casein."

Does this mean that if I'm on a whole food, plant based vegan diet and I supplement with Lysine that it would promote cancer?

Supplementing with Lysine may not be a part of a true whole food philosophy but I would appreciate anyone's view on if taking lysine would promote cancer on this diet.

Is the statement above referring to supplemental lysine in addition to wheat or did they artificially somehow increase the lysine amino acid in the wheat protein molecule?? And so, therefore, different than a diet with supplemental lysine?

- Crystena