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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (June 27, 2015)
SIUSLAW NEWS ❚ SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2015
J OEL F UHRMAN , MD
Animal protein, IGF-1 and cancer
Most people are aware of the
connections between red and
processed meats and cancer-
that there is convincing evi-
dence that these dangerous
foods are a cause of colon can-
In addition, cooking any
meat at high temperatures (for
example, grilled or fried chick-
en) forms carcinogenic com-
pounds such as heterocyclic
amines, which contribute to
However, animal foods such
as non-fat dairy products, egg
whites, and fish are considered
healthful by most people. It not
yet widely recognized that
foods such as these, since they
are so high in animal protein,
may also contribute to
increased cancer risk.
When we consume too much
animal protein, the body
increases its production of a
(insulin-like growth factor 1).
IGF-1 is one of the body’s
important growth promoters
during fetal and childhood
growth, but later in life IGF-1
promotes the aging process.
Reduced IGF-1 signaling in
adulthood is associated with
reduced oxidative stress,
enhanced insulin sensitivity
and longer lifespan.
In contrast, IGF-1 has been
shown to promote the growth,
proliferation and spread of can-
cer cells, and elevated IGF-1
levels are linked to increased
risk of several cancers. Several
observational studies have sug-
gested that high circulating
IGF-1 may translate into pro-
motion of tumor growth in
colon, prostate and breast tis-
Which foods raise IGF-1?
Since the primary dietary
factor that determines IGF-1
levels is animal protein, the
excessive meat, fowl, seafood,
and dairy intake common in
our society elevates circulating
Refined carbohydrates, like
white flour, white rice, and sug-
ars can also raise IGF-1 levels,
because they cause rapid
increases in insulin levels, lead-
ing to increases in IGF-1 sig-
naling. In fact, IGF-1 signaling
is thought to be a major factor
in the connection between dia-
betes and cancer.
It is the amino acid distribu-
tion of animal protein that
sparks IGF-1 production.
For this reason, isolated soy
protein, found in protein pow-
ders and meat substitutes, may
also be problematic because the
protein is unnaturally concen-
trated and its amino acid profile
is very similar to that of animal
How can we keep IGF-1 in a
Reducing IGF-1 levels by
dietary methods is now consid-
ered by many scientists to be an
effective cancer prevention
measure. Minimizing or avoid-
ing animal protein, isolated soy
protein and refined carbohy-
drates can help to keep our
IGF-1 levels in a safe range.
Green vegetables, beans and
other legumes, and seeds are
rich in plant protein and they
have cancer-preventive, not
For optimal cancer protec-
tion, vegetables, beans, fruits,
nuts and seeds should comprise
the vast majority of our calo-
Dr. Fuhrman is a New York
Times best-selling author and
board certified family physician
specializing in lifestyle and nutri-
Visit his website at Dr
Fuhrman.com, or submit questions
and comments to news ques-
Welcome to 80 Years of Excellence!
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Art, music to benefit Real Food today
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