Is This ‘Nature’s Perfect Food’ or a Banquet for Hormone-Related Cancers?
April 15th, 2015 by Holly Cornish
The cancer returned for the fifth time.
After radical mastectomy, thirty-five doses of radiotherapy and twelve chemotherapy sessions, the battle was lost as far as her oncologist was concerned. 42-year-old scientist Jane Plant was given only three months to live.
That was 28 years ago. Today Janet, professor of geochemistry at Imperial College London, is free of cancer.
As she states in her book Your Life in Your Hands, “having no alternative but to die or find a way out myself, I decided to find a way out. I determined to take control of my situation using my training as a natural scientist.”
This was her way out. . .
Feeling Off? “Fire Foods” Can Be to Blame
Did you know that over 80% of your entire immune system is found inside your gut? It’s shocking to discover that just one particular food you are eating can totally wreck your immune system?
Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby calls this phenomenon “fire in the belly.” It’s when your gut is so out of whack it becomes completely inflamed.
And when that inflammation spreads… it can create serious health problems for you. The good news is: it’s easily reversible.
There is absolutely no reason why you need to suffer from “fire in your belly.” You can instead experience vibrant health and well-being. It’s time for you to fight back…find out how, right here.
The clue comes from China
After looking at a range of factors that included genetic predisposition, estrogen, fat intake, stress, and personality type — and ruling them out of the equation — she finally hit on a clue as to why she came down breast cancer and what she could do about it.
At one time she had worked with Chinese scientists and they had given her a book called The Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the People’s Republic of China.
She was struck by the low rates of breast and prostate cancer among the Chinese. Americans were eight times more likely to contract breast cancer and two hundred times more likely to develop prostate cancer than people living in rural China.
When the Chinese adopt a Western lifestyle, as they might do if they live in Hong Kong or move to a Western country, over time their cancer rates become similar to those found in their adopted homes.
So Professor Plant reasoned there must be some environmental factor at work, but what could it be?
Then it hit her.
The native Chinese don’t eat dairy products – and she was a big eater of such foods.
She immediately stopped consuming milk, butter, cream, cheese and any foods containing them. This included commercial soups, biscuits, cakes, sunflower or olive oil spreads and soya margarine. It’s surprising how many food products contain dairy.
Within days a secondary tumor on the back of her neck started to shrink. Six weeks later it was gone.
“None of my doctors….had expected someone with my type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread to the lymph system) to have survived, let alone be so hale and hearty.”
Americans are big consumers of dairy foods
Americans consume 614 pounds of cows’ milk products per year (USDA, 2012). This works out to 1.68 pounds per person per day. That’s a huge amount — for a food that was only designed for babies.
But that in itself does not mean milk can’t be good nutrition for adults. What evidence is there that it could be a risk factor for cancer?
According to Professor Plant, the hormones and growth factors in milk increase your risk for all hormone-related cancers – breast, prostate, ovary and testicular.
From a young age we no longer need the hormones and growth factors found in milk because the body produces and regulates its own requirements.
The concern is that ingesting additional quantities of these highly bioactive chemicals designed to stimulate cell growth in the young could result in unwanted growth and differentiation of adult tissues – in other words, cancer.
And there are lots of hormones in milk. At least 35 different kinds — plus 11 growth factors. Many of these have been linked to cancer.
For instance, excessive amounts of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) stimulates the secretion of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone which have been implicated in testicular, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Prolactin and epidermal growth factor have been shown to enhance breast and prostate cancer.
Testosterone and other androgens have been linked with increased prostate cancer risk.
Of particular concern is insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).
IGF-1 stimulates cancer growth
Stanford University researchers reported in 1990 that IGF-1 promotes prostate cancer cell growth. Five years later the National Institutes of Health reported that IGF-1 plays an important role in some children’s cancers as well as in prostate, breast, pancreas, small cell lung and melanoma cancers. Other researchers in the 1990s found that the growth factor was linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers.
In 1998, researchers from Harvard found men under 60 with the highest IGF-1 concentrations in the blood were four times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest levels. And for those over 60 the risk was eight times as high.
IGF-1 has growth-promoting effects in concentrations as low as 1 ng/ml, and yet milk contains 30 times as much. (1 ng is a billionth of a gram.) Three percent of the IGF-1 in cow’s milk is also in a form that’s ten times as potent.
Although the dairy industry claims that this growth factor doesn’t get absorbed into the body, research says otherwise.
A number of studies have found that the amount of milk a person consumes correlates with the amount of IGF-1 in the blood. For instance vegans who don’t eat any animal or dairy products had levels that were 9 – 13% lower than meat eaters and vegetarians and a 2005 study found “milk consumption was significantly positively related to IGF-1 levels.”
Also, the actions of IGF-1 are modulated by protective binding proteins which control their effects. However these are considerably lower in vegetarians compared to those on a vegan diet. They are therefore not only at higher levels but are more potent in dairy consumers.
Reviewing the research, Hans Larsen, M.Sc., Ch.E., said, “The evidence of a strong link between cancer risk and a high level of IGF-1 is now indisputable.”
This view has been echoed by other researchers who state that IGF-1 not only stimulates cancer cell growth but enhances metastasis and prevents apoptosis (natural cancer cell death). A European Union scientific committee concluded that this growth factor poses an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer.
Having reviewed the studies, Professor Plant states in her book Prostate Cancer that “the evidence suggests that the association between IGF-1 and cancer incidence complies with many of the accepted criteria for causality: the association is strong and specific, it demonstrates the correct temporal sequence, it is dose responsive, it has biological plausibility, and it has coherence with other documented associations.”
rBGH and VEGF – growth factors to avoid
In spite of this evidence, in 1993 the FDA approved the use of a genetically engineered growth hormone called recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase milk production. If you’re a longtime reader of this newsletter, you’re familiar with it.
It’s known that rBGH boosts the average concentration of IGF-1 by up to five-fold.
The European Union and many other countries do not permit the use of rBGH, but the FDA seems to have no concerns about its safety.
Could it get any worse? I’m afraid it does.
rBGH vastly increases udder infections called mastitis. The disease can affect almost half of all dairy cows in any one year. To fight the infection, cows produce Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Unfortunately this also promotes the development and spread of cancer. Some classes of cancer drugs are specifically designed to block VEGF.
Soaring estrogen levels in modern milk
On top of all this, modern high production methods require cows to be milked while pregnant, which is most of the year. When pregnant they are producing vastly more estrogen and progesterone than they otherwise would.
This point was emphasized by Ganmaa Davaasambuu, M.D., Ph.D., research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her findings comparing rates of cancer in 42 countries showed a strong association between milk and cheese consumption and hormone-related cancers.
She believes natural estrogens found in milk — which are already 100,000 times more potent than their environmental equivalent — are up to 33 times greater in milk produced from cows in the late stages of pregnancy.
As she puts it, “Today’s milk is vastly different from the milk your ancestors consumed 80 years ago.”
She advises us to cut down on dairy products.
Professor Plant gives the same advice, even more so since 2011. Following a hectic work schedule, she relaxed her no-dairy policy and went back to eating some milk products. The result was a lump under her collarbone and tumors in her lungs.
As well as taking a drug to suppress estrogen, she returned to her strict dairy-free diet. Several months later she was in remission for the sixth time. And this time she intends to stay cancer free.
While it may be considered to be un-American to advise against drinking milk, the milk produced by modern high-intensive farming methods should be avoided. Milk that’s produced this way cannot be described as nature’s perfect food.
If you can find raw, organic milk from grass-fed cows not milked during pregnancy it would be a vast improvement. However, if you are at known risk or want to reduce your risk of hormone-related cancers, then it’s best to keep dairy consumption to a minimum..
Professor Plant, Your Life In Your Hands
Professor Plant, Prostate Cancer
Plant and Djamgoz, Beat Cancer