The Archive – Nutrition

Nutrition. It’s a factual battleground, with many people quoting different and opposing facts about health and food, which is strange because surely, as humans, one of the first things we’d have got down was how we work? That’s just basic, right?

Well, unfortunately there are massive multi-million-insert-domestic-currency-here-industries that make a lot of money while you stay confused. That’s why here in the Nutrition Archive, you’ll find annotated sources from around the world concerning human nutrition, and what the facts say. 

To make things easier, I have listed a bunch of quotes from these sources, and some I’ve highlighted like this so you can pick them out quickly.

There are times where I excise or alter punctuation, and remove hazard ratios and references to studies in the quotes below. The purpose of this is to make the information down below easier to read. I don’t take anything out of context or change the meaning of the text, but if you want to check or you want the full reference, you can just copy a chunk of the quote, and then ‘Ctrl-F’ on the actual source, linked above. 

If you feel a quote is unrepresentative of the source, please get in touch.

Section 1 – Statistics and Articles

‘Somatic Cell Count‘, by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board


This page from the AHDB website looks at what is deemed an acceptable level of somatic cells in milk. Eugh.

“The Somatic Cell Count (SCC) is a main indicator of milk quality. The majority of somatic cells are leukocytes (white blood cells) – which become present in increasing numbers in milk usually as an immune response to a mastitis-causing pathogen – and a small number of epithelial cells, which are milk-producing cells shed from inside of the udder when an infection occurs”

“The SCC is quantified as the number of cells per ml of milk. In general terms: an individual cow SCC of 100,000 or less indicates an ‘uninfected’ cow, where there are no significant production losses due to subclinical mastitis. A threshold SCC of 200,000 would determine whether a cow is infected with mastitis. Cows with a result of greater than 200,000 are highly likely to be infected on at least one quarter. Cows infected with significant pathogens have an SCC of 300,000 or greater.”

“Milk with an SCC of more than 400,000 is deemed unfit for human consumption by the European Union”

Should You Worry About How Much Protein You Eat?‘, by BBC iWonder

BBC iWonder

This article from the BBC grossly under-reports the cancer risk associated with high protein (one study from California? Really?) but has some interesting stats on the UK’s protein habit. 

“In the UK alone, 37% of people believe protein helps with weight loss, and 43% of women eat more to prevent weight gain.”

“Men and women in the UK eat about 45-55% more protein than they need each day”

‘It’s not all white: The cocktail of up to 20 chemicals in a glass of milk’, by David Derbyshire

Daily Mail Online, 2011

This article looks at a Spanish-Morocan team’s work on analyzing what is actually in milk. Just a head’s-up – in the article graphic they list diclofenac twice. More like Daily Fail, amiright?

‘The tested samples of milk contained: niflumic acid, mefenamic acids, ketoprofen, diclofenac, phenyllbuazone, florfenicol, estrone, 17β-estradiol, 17a-ethinylestradiol, naproxen, flunixin, pyrimethamine and triclosan”

Milk Composition‘, by Milk Facts

This article called ‘Milk Composition’ lists the composition of milk. Come on people, it’s not that hard. 

“The gross composition of cow’s milk in the U.S. is 87.7% water, 4.9% lactose (carbohydrate), 3.4% fat, 3.3% protein, and 0.7% minerals (referred to as ash)”

‘The composition of human milk’ by Jenness R


This quick article lists the contents of human breast milk. 

“Mature human milk contains 3%–5% fat, 0.8%–0.9% protein, 6.9%–7.2% carbohydrate calculated as lactose, and 0.2% mineral constituents expressed as ash”

“Its energy content is 60–75 kcal/100 ml”

“The principal proteins of human milk are a casein homologous to bovine beta-casein, alpha-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, immunoglobulin IgA, lysozyme, and serum albumin. Many enzymes and several “minor” proteins also occur”

“The principal sugar of human milk is lactose but 30 or more oligosaccharides, all containing terminal Gal-(beta 1,4)-Glc and ranging from 3–14 saccharide units per molecule are also present. These may amount in the aggregate to as much as 1 g/100 ml in mature milk and 2.5 g/100 ml in colostrum. Some of them may function to control intestinal flora because of their ability to promote growth of certain strains of lactobacilli”

“Human milk fat is characterized by high contents of palmitic and oleic acids”

“The principal mineral constituents of human milk are Na, K, Ca, Mg, P, and Cl. Calcium concentrations reported in various studies vary from 25–35 mg/100 ml. Phosphorus at 13–16 mg/100 ml is much more constant but is lower in proportion to casein and calcium than in milks of most other species. Iron, copper, and zinc contents of human milk vary considerably”

‘Cow’s Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product’, by PETA

PETA’s summary of why you shouldn’t drink milk is quite good, although I can’t find a few of the sources they quote, so use wisely. They also do the whole white blood cells = pus thing, which is not true, because- you know what, this isn’t the place for that. 

“Cows have a natural lifespan of about 20 years and can produce milk for eight or nine years”

“The stress caused by the conditions on factory farms leads to disease, lameness, and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time that they’re 4 or 5 years old, at which time they are sent to be slaughtered”

“Milk with a maximum BTSCC of 750,000 cells per milliliter can be sold. A BTSCC of 700,000 or more generally indicates that two-thirds of the cows in the herd are suffering from udder infections”

“Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they are 2 years old”

“Cow’s milk is the number one cause of food allergies among infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association”

‘GLOBAL REPORT ON DIABETES’ by World Health Organisation

World Health Organisation, 2016

This report from the WHO summarizes the present situation with diabetes’ global spread.

“Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980”

“Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. Forty-three percent of these 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70 years”

“Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood glucose), or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces (1). Raised blood glucose, a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes, may, over time, lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves”

“More than 400 million people live with diabetes”

“When diabetes is not well managed, complications develop that threaten health and endanger life. Acute complications are a significant contributor to mortality, costs and poor quality of life. Abnormally high blood glucose can have a life-threatening impact if it triggers conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in types 1 and 2, and hyperosmolar coma in type 2. Abnormally low blood glucose can occur in all types of diabetes and may result in seizures or loss of consciousness. It may happen after skipping a meal or exercising more than usual, or if the dosage of anti-diabetic medication is too high”

“Over time diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Such damage can result in reduced blood flow, which – combined with nerve damage (neuropathy) in the feet – increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and the eventual need for limb amputation. Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness and occurs as a result of longterm accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure”

“Diabetic retinopathy caused 1.9% of moderate or severe visual impairment globally and 2.6% of blindness in 2010 (20). Studies suggest that prevalence of any retinopathy in persons with diabetes is 35% while proliferative (vision-threatening) retinopathy is 7% (21). However, retinopathy rates are higher among: people with type 1 diabetes; people with longer duration of diabetes; Caucasian populations; and possibly among people of lower socioeconomic status”

“Pooled data from 54 countries show that at least 80% of cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are caused by diabetes, hypertension or a combination of the two (18). The proportion of ESRD attributable to diabetes alone ranges from 12–55%. The incidence of ESRD is up to 10 times as high in adults with diabetes as those without. The prevalence of ESRD is heavily dependent on access to dialysis and renal replacement therapy – both of which are highly variable between (and in some cases within) countries”

“Adults with diabetes historically have a two or three times higher rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than adults without diabetes (22). The risk of cardiovascular disease increases continuously with rising fasting plasma glucose levels, even before reaching levels sufficient for a diabetes diagnosis (2, 3). The few countries in north America, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland that have studied time trends in the incidence of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke or CVD mortality) report large reductions over the past 20 years among people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (23), although less than the reduction in the nondiabetic population. This decrease has been attributed to reduction in the prevalence of smoking and better management of diabetes and associated CVD risk factors”

“Diabetes appears to dramatically increase the risk of lower extremity amputation because of infected, non-healing foot ulcers (19). Rates of amputation in populations with diagnosed diabetes are typically 10 to 20 times those of nondiabetic populations, and over the past decade have ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 events per 1000 persons per Lower limb amputation rates are 10 to 20 times higher among people with diabetes Global burden of diabetes 31 year in populations with diagnosed diabetes. Encouragingly several studies show a 40% to 60% reduction in rates of amputations among adults with diabetes during the past 10–15 years in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, the United States of America and Australia (19). No such data estimates exist for lowor middle-income countries”

‘IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat’ by International Agency for Research on Cancer

World Health Organisation, 2015

This is the IARC (WHO) report on their findings concerning cancer and red and processed meat.

“After thoroughly reviewing the accumulated scientific literature, a Working Group of 22 experts from 10 countries convened by the IARC Monographs Programme classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect”

“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”

“The experts concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%”

“Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood. Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces”

‘Statistics for Different Types of Cancer’ by Centre for Disease Control, 2016

Just some stats about cancer coverage in the US from the CDC.

“Every year, cancer claims the lives of more than half a million Americans”

“Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease”

“One of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer”

‘Overweight & Obesity Statistics’ by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2012

This NIDDKD webpage looks at the statistics for people who are overweight, obese and extremely obese, including children.

“Overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat, and water. Obesity refers to an excess amount of body fat”

“More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese”

“More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese”

“More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity”

“About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese”

“More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese”

“Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity; type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (excess fat and inflammation in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol), osteoarthritis (a health problem causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints), some types of cancer: breast, colon, endometrial (related to the uterine lining), and kidney and stroke”

“More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese”

“More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity”

“Among young people ages 2 to 19: about 31.8 percent are considered to be either overweight or obese, and 16.9 percent are considered to be obese”

‘Diabetes Prevalence’ by

This page lists the stats for sufferers of diabetes in the UK.

“Including the number of undiagnosed people, there is estimated to be over 4 million people living with diabetes in the UK at present”

‘6% of the UK population has diabetes’

‘1 in 16 people in the UK has diabetes’

“In the UK, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of all diabetes cases and type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 10%”

“Around 1 in 8 people between 20 and 79 years old have their death attributed to diabetes”

“The life expectancy on average now is reduced by:

  • More than 20 years for people with Type 1 diabetes
  • Up to 10 years for people with Type 2 diabetes”

“It is currently estimated that around 10% of the NHS yearly budget is contributed to the treatment of diabetes. This equates to nine billion a year or rather, £173 million a week”

‘WHO Press Release N° 240’ by IARC

WHO, 2015

This is the WHO’s press release concerning the IARC’s report.

“After thoroughly reviewing the accumulated scientific literature, a Working Group of 22 experts from 10 countries convened by the IARC Monographs Programme classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect”

“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”

“The experts concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%”

‘Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat’ by WHO

WHO, 2015

This Q&A answers some common questions about the IARC’s red and processed meat study. 

“Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood. Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces”

“According to the most recent estimates by the Global Burden of Disease Project, an independent academic research organization, about 34 000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are attributable to diets high in processed meat”

“Eating red meat has not yet been established as a cause of cancer. However, if the reported associations were proven to be causal, the Global Burden of Disease Project has estimated that diets high in red meat could be responsible for 50 000 cancer deaths per year worldwide”

“”hese numbers contrast with about 1 million cancer deaths per year globally due to tobacco smoking, 600 000 per year due to alcohol consumption, and more than 200 000 per year due to air pollution”

“An analysis of data from 10 studies estimated that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18%”

“The IARC Working Group considered more than 800 different studies on cancer in humans (some studies provided data on both types of meat; in total more than 700 epidemiological studies provided data on red meat and more than 400 epidemiological studies provided data on processed meat)”

‘Determining U.S. Milk Quality Using Bulk-Tank Somatic Cell Counts, 2013’ by Veterinary Services Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health

USDA, 2014

Here, the USDA lists the upper limits on SSCs in milk. Milk for human consumption.

“In the United States, the legal maximum BTSCC for Grade A milk shipments is 750,000 cells/mL”

“Maximum BTSCC levels for other countries include 400,000 cells/mL in the European Union (EU),  Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The maximum BTSCC level in Brazil is 1,000,000 cells/mL”

Section 2 – Studies

‘Cow’s-milk–induced Infant Apnoea With Increased Serum Content of Bovine b-Casomorphin-5’, by Jolanta Wasilewska, Maciej Kaczmarski, Elzbieta Kostyra, and Malgorzata Iwan

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 2011

This case report, based on a limited data set (and therefore in need of expanding upon) looks at the case of an infant male who underwent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome events following the consumption of cow’s milk, via his mothers breast milk. 

“An opioid activity that may have a depressive effect on the respiratory centre in the central nervous system and induce a phenomenon called milk apnoea”

“A full-term male infant from a rural family, age 7 weeks, was referred to a macroregional SIDS prevention centre to diagnose the cause of his recurrent ALTE. Apnoea had been occurring since the child was 3 weeks old and its clinical course kept getting more serious. The infant’s mother noticed that those events occurred only after her consumption of cow’s milk, particularly when she had consumed large amounts of it (up to 2 L/d). Before and during her pregnancy, the mother drank milk with no adverse effects. The boy’s ALTE occurred during breast-feeding or directly after that, and was manifested as sudden, 20-, 30-, or 40-second-long apnoea with generally lowered muscle tone. Most of the episodes required resuscitating the child”

“BCMs are peptides rich in proline, and thus they are resistant to most proteases with wide specificities. Therefore, those peptides may reach the intestine in their nonaltered forms and have physiological effects”

“Just after birth, the infant’s digestive system is not colonized by microflora, which is connected with weakened stomach acidity, immature mucous membranes, and a decreased exertion of gastric juice, and it is the immature immune system that makes the infant’s intestine more permeable for proteins and for low-molecular-mass molecules”

“Exogenous opioid peptides are attributed to a share in the infant’s adaptation to the external environment after the birth—they decrease postnatal stress and ease pain. Some researchers suggest that they may also play an important role in functional development and regulation of the infant’s digestive system”

“In newborn mammals, the existence of BCM precursors has been demonstrated not only in their digestive systems but also in their blood sera (16). Moreover, the abilities of both bovine and human BCM-5 and BCM-7 to permeate through the human intestinal epithelium have been shown in model experiments in vitro with the Caco-2 cell line”

“In our infant with ALTE, a highly increased level of BCM-5 in serum was the only observed aberration. It significantly exceeded the mean for the blood sera of healthy infants in the control group. That result and multiple time relations of apnoea seizures with his mother’s consumption of cow’s milk (a positive result of the oral provocation) and a total stoppage of the seizures after removing milk from the infant’s mother’s diet (a positive result of the elimination attempt) suggest the relation between the opioid actions of milk-released peptides and the pathomechanism of the apnoea seizures and atony”

“We are convinced that such a clinical situation occurs rarely; however, it is accompanied by a real threat to the infant’s life that can be avoided when applying a simple and not costly dietetic intervention”

‘Milk Intake in Early Life and Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer’, by Johanna E. Torfadottir, Laufey Steingrimsdottir, Lorelei Mucci, Thor Aspelund, Julie L. Kasperzyk, Orn Olafsson, Katja Fall, Laufey Tryggvadottir, Tamara B. Harris,
Lenore Launer, Eirikur Jonsson, Hrafn Tulinius, Meir Stampfer, Hans-Olov Adami, Vilmundur Gudnason, and Unnur A. Valdimarsdottir

American Journal of Epidemiology, 2011

This study took groups of men from across Iceland at a time when people were geographically centered in specific areas, limiting their diet, with an aim to establish a link between consumption of cow’s milk at an early age, and prostate cancer development. Though limited in its range, there are some interesting associations shown. 

“Most but not all epidemiologic studies have found milk intake during adult life to be associated with an elevated risk”

“Men with a high milk intake (at least once a day) in early life were more likely to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer”

“High milk intake in adolescence was associated with over a 3-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer”

“High milk intake in early life is associated with increased risk of advanced prostate cancer”

‘Consumption of Cow’s Milk and Possible Risk of Breast Cancer’, by Volker Hanf and Wolfgang Körner

Karger, 2010

This is an interesting one. This source aggregates a number of studies into breast cancer and milk drinking, and comes to the conclusion that there is no strong link between drinking milk as an adult and developing breast cancer specifically, although it is worth noting that many of these experiments focus on self-reporting of the subjects, which should always been carefully considered.

“Increased levels of estrogen metabolites (EM) are associated with cancers of the reproductive system. One potential dietary source of EM is milk. In this study, the absolute quantities of unconjugated (free) and unconjugated plus conjugated (total) EM were measured in a variety of commercial milks (whole, 2%, skim, and buttermilk). The results show that the milk products tested contain considerable levels of EM; however, the levels of unconjugated EM in skim milk were substantially lower than that observed in whole milk, 2% milk, and buttermilk. Whole milk contained the lowest overall levels of EM while buttermilk contained the highest”

“Milk consumption is a source of EM and their ingestion may have a dietary influence on cancer risk.”

“Modern genetically improved dairy cows continue to lactate throughout almost the entire pregnancy. Therefore, recent commercial cow’s milk contains large amounts of estrogens and progesterone”

“Evidence for an increase in risk for breast cancer through consumption of cow’s milk and dairy products is blurry and partially contradictory and equivocal. One important reason for this situation might be found in exposure timing: exposure during childhood has to be differentiated from intake in adult life when breast tissue has finally differentiated after successful pregnancy”

‘Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer: meta-analysis of case-control studies’, by Qin LQ, Xu JY, Wang PY, Kaneko T, Hoshi K, Sato A, 2004

This meta-analysis sets out to establish a likelihood of developing prostate cancer based on previous studies. [Abstract only source]

“[This study] found a positive association between milk consumption and prostate cancer”

‘Opioid activities of β-casomorphins’, by Victor Brantl, Hansjörg Teschemacher, Julia Bläsig, Agnes Henschen, Friedrich Lottspeich

Life Sciences, 1981

This study from the 1980s looks at the effects of beta-casomorphines on various (bits of various) animals. This article was used by an article you can find in the Bad Sources page as evidence that casomorphines don’t affect animals. In my opinion, it seems that the writer of this article in question picked out the only sentence they understood and used it out of context.  [Abstract only source]

“Each of the four peptides displayed opioid activity in an opiate receptor binding assay, the isolated mouse vas deferens (MVD), the guinea-pig ileum longitudinal muscle myenteric plexus preparation (GPI) and produced naloxone-reversible analgesia after intracerebroventricular injection into rats”

“None of the peptides displayed opioid activity in the isolated rat vas deferens preparation (RVD)”

“Each β-casomorphin was more potent on the GPI than on the MVD”

“β-casomorphins probably represent μ-type opiate receptor agonists”

‘Milk is not just food but most likely a genetic transfection system activating mTORC1 signaling for postnatal growth’, by Bodo C Melnik, Swen Malte John and Gerd Schmitz

Nutrition Journal, 2013

This study looks at mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (I know, right), or mTORC1, and how it affects growth in the human body after consuming milk. I love science. 

“The crucial function of milk of all mammals is to promote postnatal growth and to assure appropriate species-specific postnatal metabolic programming. On the molecular level, cell growth, cell proliferation, protein- and lipid synthesis, anabolic metabolic processes, and inhibition of autophagy are mediated by the nutrient-sensitive kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) ”

“mTORC1 is activated by branched-chain amino acids, especially leucine, the most abundant amino acid of whey proteins, growth factors like insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and sufficient cellular energy sensed by AMP-activated kinase (AMPK)”

“Milk provides substantial amounts of tryptophan easily hydrolyzed from α-lactalbumin in milk´s whey protein fraction. Tryptophan promotes pituitary serotonin synthesis [7], which increases growth hormone (GH) secretion”

“Casein proteins are rich sources of tryptophan, too. Casein in comparison to whey protein has been shown to differentially increase hepatic IGF-1 synthesis”

“Milk consumption efficiently elevates IGF-1 plasma levels by 20 to 30% in comparison to non-dairy consumers”

“Water soluble, easily hydrolysable whey proteins in comparison to all other animal-derived structural muscle proteins provide highest amounts of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine, which raise postprandial insulin plasma levels within minutes”

“Tryptophan deficiency has profound inhibitory effects on protein synthesis, RNA translation and growth”

“Milk consumption of children increased serum GH and IGF-1 levels”

“Persistent milk consumption and dairy-enriched Western diet thus represents a fundamental stimulus for continued mTORC1 activation with all its adverse consequences in adolescence and adulthood”

“Cow´s milk-derived miRs affect distant regulatory networks and organs of the milk recipient. A systemic transfer of milk-derived miRs to the neonate or the persistent milk consumer may augment mTORC1-mediated growth signaling, which is a physiologically required process for postnatal growth and development but not for humans after the lactation period”

“In fact, miR-21 has been shown to contribute to renal cancer cell proliferation and migration via activation of mTORC1”

“There is accumulating evidence that chronic diseases of civilization are associated with increased mTORC1 signaling, like acne, obesity, type 2-diabetes, arterial hypertension [84], Alzheimer´s disease, cancer, especially prostate cancer”

“Milk consumption in children, adolescents and adults increases body mass index (BMI) and induces insulin resistance in children”

“Beef has an insulinemic index of 51, whereas insulin scores for milk and milk products range from 89 to 115”

“The most striking difference between milk and muscle or plant proteins is the high amount of specific exosomal miRs, like miR-21 and miR-103, that may play an important role as an additional layer of metabolic regulation”

“Milk miR-155 intake may attenuate thermogenesis of BAT, an unfavorable condition promoting lipid and energy storage in WAT promoting obesity”

‘High compliance with dietary recommendations in a cohort of meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians, and vegans: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Oxford study’, by Jakub G. Sobieckia, Paul N. Applebya, Kathryn E. Bradburya and Timothy J. Keya

Elsevier, 2016

This study of over 60,000 people looked at the dietary intake for several groups of people, including meat eaters and vegans, and analysed their nutrient totals.

“Vegans had the highest intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamins C and E, folate, magnesium, iron, and copper”

“Meat eaters had the highest intake of saturated fatty acids, protein, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, and iodine”

“Fish eaters had the highest intakes of calcium and selenium”

“According to a joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) expert consultation from the year 2004, “households across all regions should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods. The evidence that such diets will prevent or delay a significant proportion of non-communicable chronic diseases is consistent””

“Meat eaters were the only group not to meet the goal of 23 g/d of fiber and to exceed the recommended maximum of less than 10% of energy from SFA”

“Vitamin E was the only nutrient for which it was estimated that there was a high (ie, >50%) prevalence of inadequate intakes in meat eaters”

“High intake of magnesium and low or null intake of heme iron—as also observed in vegetarians and vegans in the current analysis—are in turn associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes ”

‘β-Casomorphins Stimulate and Enterostatin Inhibits the Intake of Dietary Fat in Rats’, by L Lin, M Umahara, D.York and G.A Bray

Elsevier, 1998

This study focuses on the effects peptides like casomorphines have on the diet of rats. 

“The structurally similar β-CM1–7 and β-CM1–5, but not β-CM1–4, stimulated HF intake and that this effect was inhibited by enterostatin”

“There is substantial evidence for a role of opioid peptides in feeding behavior. The use of opioid agonists and antagonists has shown that opioids of the mu and kappa subtypes in particular will stimulate feeding”

“Recently, using more selective kappa agonists and antagonists, we 2 ; 3have shown that the kappa-opioid agonist U50,488 will selectively stimulate fat intake whereas the kappa-opioid inhibitor nor-BNI selectively inhibits fat intake”

“The β-CM1–7 effects on food intake were diet-dependent, stimulating HF intake but inhibiting HC intake”

‘The exogenous opioid peptides and DPPIV serum activity in infants with apnoea expressed as apparent life threatening events (ALTE)’, by Jolanta Wasilewska, Edyta Sienkiewicz-Szłapka, Ewa Kuźbida, Beata Jarmołowska, Maciej Kaczmarski, Elżbieta Kostyra and Elżbieta Kostyra

Neuropeptides Journal, 2011

This study looks at a number of infants hospitalized with ALTE (SIDS events), and examines the content of casomorphine in their blood sera, as well as the potentially casomorphine-fighting DPPIV. 

“β-Casomorphins (BCMs) are opioid-like peptides (the chain length of 4–11 amino acids) released from β-casein of bovine or human milk during technological processes and/or enzymatic digestion in the intestine”

“BCMs are biologically active towards μ-opioid (MOP) receptor agonist with effects similar to that of morphine. MOP receptors are found primarily in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract and play an important role in responding to stress and pain, as well as in controlling food intakes”

“A high-proline structure of bovine β-casomorphins makes them resistant to proteolytic enzymes (Kreil et al., 1983). However, their inactivation may be rapidly accomplished by the use of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV, EC”

“DPPIV is a highly specialized membranous aminopeptidase that releases dipeptides from N-terminus of peptides with proline or alanine (rarely) in the penultimate position. It also performs functions of a receptor and a co-stimulatory protein, as well as is involved in the processing of adhesion and apoptosis”

“Approximately 50% of hospitalized ALTE infants have various gastrointestinal disorders recognized (Kahn, 2004). Those disorders may predispose the infants to adverse reactions to foreign proteins”

“The presence of β-casomorphin-7 has been detected in the blood sera of the 73% healthy infants and in 88% of infants after an apnoea episode. The average content of β-casomorphin-7 in the blood sera of the healthy children was 2 pmol/mL and was significantly lower (p < 0.001) from the average content of that peptide in the blood sera of the ALTE group infants (6 pmol/mL) ”

“Species-specific β-casomorphins (hBCMs) have been identified in women’s milk as well as in infant blood sera (Jarmolowska et al., 2007b, Kost et al., 2009). Their significantly higher contents in colostrum than in mature milk of healthy children’s mothers may indicate their crucial significance in infants’ postnatal adaptation. Their presence in the mother’s milk seems also to be indispensable for shaping a bond between the mother and the child (Dubynin et al., 2005, Dubynin et al., 2007) as well as in proper development of neurological, gastroenterological, immune, and cardiovascular functions in the infant (”

“On the other hand, excessive amounts of that peptide in the organism of a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mother are suspected to contribute to development of depressions and postnatal psychosis”

“What we have measured in the infants’ blood sera were the contents of bovine β-casomorphin-7 (bBCM-7) – a peptide homological to human BCM-7 (hBCM-7) that differs in two amino acids within its chain sequence (YPFPGPI and YPFVEPI, respectively). Those changes in its structure may imply differences in its strength and affinity of binding with MOP receptors, as well as be of some influence on the durability and working time of that peptide in the organism ”

“Despite a common conviction that the intestinal mucous membranes of an adult does not have any ability to permeate indigested nutrients, such a possibility is suggested by results of some in vitro and in vivo examinations”

“The situation is different in infants where a physiologically higher permeability of the intestine is observed. It is a consequence of a lower acidity in the stomach, a shortage of proteolytic enzymes, immaturity of the mucous membrane and on-going shaping of the intestinal flora ”

“What makes a direct result of the bBCM-7 actions is increasing the reactivity threshold of the receptors for carbon dioxide, which results in lowering the frequency and decreasing the respiratory capacity of the organism. It has been shown that this reaction is dose-dependent and naloxone-reversible, and the peptide is close to morphine in its activity strength”

“It can be said that the so-called milk-apnoea effect may consist of several components: an opioid-induced respiration depression, an opioid-induced histamine-related respiratory response, an influence on the serotoninergic system in the peripheral nervous system, a cow’s milk-induced reflux, and aspiration-induced apnoea”

“A significantly lover activity of the enzyme, however, has been indentified in all the ALTE infants (57 U/L on average). Yet, basing on the collected data, we are unable of proving whether it is a primal feature, belonging to the group of apnoea risk factors, or a secondary one, resulting from an ALTE episode. The origin of a soluble form of DPPIV in the blood serum still remains unknown.”

“We have noticed that in the group of healthy children as the amount of that peptide increases in the blood also the activity of the enzyme that degrades it intensifies. However, such a dependency has not been shown in the children of the SIDS-risk group. It may suggest occurrence of a disorder in those children that regulates the activity of some of the biologically active peptides”

‘Beta-casein proteins and infant growth and development’, by Michele J. Sadler and Nicholas Smith

infant, 2013

This report on how dangerous casomorphines are for you was funded by the dairy. Wait, what? Well, the A2 Corporation in New Zealand, who sell milk that supposedly doesn’t contain casomorphines. Still a bunch of other shit in there though.

“Breast milk is whey dominant, with approximate casein to whey ratio of 40:60, ranging from 10:90 in early lactation to 50:50 in late lactation. In contrast, cows’ milk and infant formula have casein to whey ratios as high as 80:20”

“A1 β-casein contains a histidine residue at Beta-casein proteins and infant growth and development Milk formula is usually based on cows’ milk with the addition of essential nutrients and vitamins. A major protein component of cows’ milk is β-casein of which there are two primary variants, A1 and A2. Studies have linked a digestive product of A1, but not A2, to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in some infants, adverse immune responses, digestive disorders and respiratory dysfunction. The A2 protein is more comparable to human β-casein protein. Formula based on the A2 protein, excluding A1 protein, may more closely mimic breast milk and may help to maintain optimal growth and development in the infant. A1 β-casein contains a histidine residue at position 67, which allows cleavage of the preceding seven amino acid residues, generating the peptide β-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7). A2 β-casein contains a proline residue at position 67, which prevents cleavage of this peptide. The protein structure of β-casein in breast milk is similar to that of A2 β-casein in cows’ milk (FIGURE 2) and hence human β-casein is not susceptible to this mode of cleavage”

“The digestive tract of infants is very immature, particularly in terms of enzyme expression profiles and commensal bacteria, and undergoes continual development from birth to weaning. Because proteins are principally digested in the intestinal tract in infants, rather than in the stomach as in adults, the likelihood of incomplete digestion of β-casein to amino acids is much greater in infants”

“The neonatal gut is designed to absorb relatively large macromolecules, particularly lactoglobulin (the main whey protein) from breast milk. A consequence of these essential features of the infant gut may include increased generation and uptake of BCM-7, which may adversely affect the functions of the digestive tract by slowing gastrointestinal transit, altering mucus secretion and facilitating the development of anal fistulas”

“Clinically, BCM-7 may induce allergic reactions by stimulating excessive histamine release, which may lead to localised ‘pseudoallergic’ skin reactions or airway inflammation. Impaired immune function may also increase susceptibility to infection and other potentially severe diseases, as has been reported for morphine”

“A link to type 1 diabetes in humans was first reported in 1990. A subsequent study proposed that early exposure to cows’ milk may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes by approximately 1.5 times. Since then, several published studies have supported this association, although other studies have found no association between antibodies to cows’ milk and the risk of type 1 diabetes”

“These observational data suggest that avoiding the consumption of A1 β-casein during infancy and early childhood may reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in adolescence.”

‘An Assessment of the Addiction Potential of the Opioid Associated with Milk’, by Larry D. Reid and Christopher L. Hubbell

Elsevier, 1994

This place preference test from the mid-90s was also used as evidence of casomorphines not being an issue in the ZME article (see Bad Sources Archive). Incidentally, although the test didn’t show BCMs as instigating a place preference, there is very little information in the abstract as to the specifics of the test (method of substance introduction for example). [Abstract only source]

“No evidence emerged indicating that injections of β-casomorphin conditioned a place preference, but evidence indicated that morphine conditioned a place preference”

‘Pathological Milk Drinking’, by Hema Tharoor, Ashutosh Chauhan, Podila Satya Venkata Narasimha Sharma

German Journal of Psychiatry, 2006

The third source quoted by the maligned ZME article as proof that casomorphines are not an addictive substance with an effect on humans. It is in fact a single case report on one person who was drinking high amounts of milk after her doctor told her to. It’s not really proof of anything, and the writer does actually pose the question ‘Do we need to include substances like milk into our classificatory systems?’

“Mrs. V, a 46 year old married lady was brought to the clinic with complaints of increased milk consumption. This started ten years ago when she had undergone tubectomy and a treating physician had advised her to consume nutritious food like milk. After that she started drinking one liter of milk everyday and gradually in next three years it increased to four to five liters per day. She would consume 600 ml of milk during breakfast and 400 ml prior to lunch. She would demand for an additional 500 ml of milk during each meal. The patient would then insist on taking (600 ml) during snacks and dinner. She would do all the household work if the milk intake was not restricted by family. Otherwise she would complain of weakness and lie in bed throughout the entire day. She would report improvement in weakness an hour after drinking milk. This pattern of drinking continues and she takes a major share of the total milk acquired by the family. Family members do not consume milk like her but she advises them to drink more milk. Her maximum milk free period is three days in last ten years”

“Milk drinking in this patient did not have the characteristic physiological, behavioral and cognitive phenomena associated with dependence and nondependence producing substances. Patient did not report of craving for milk when milk was denied to her”

‘Review of the potential health impact of β-casomorphins
and related peptides’, by Ivano De Noni, Richard J. FitzGerald, Hannu J. T. Korhonen, Yves Le Roux, Chris T.
Livesey, Inga Thorsdottir, Daniel Tomé, Renger Witkamp

European Food Safety Authority, 2009

This report was written up in response the many claims that casomorphines could lead to multiple health problems. I’m not going to bother quoting anything from this source, as the entire document, which is a summation of existing research, reads as such; ‘it has been claimed that BCM7 is dangerous, but there isn’t enough data to prove it, and there was a study that contradicted this, but those results weren’t conclusive either.’ In fact, I will quote something. Here;

“Based on the present review of available scientific literature, a cause-effect relationship between the oral intake of BCM7 or related peptides and aetiology or course of any suggested non-communicable diseases cannot be established. Consequently, a formal EFSA risk assessment of food-derived peptides is not recommended”

See that? We couldn’t see any evidence, so we don’t recommend looking into it anymore. Pfft. 

‘Origin of atherosclerosis in childhood and adolescence’ by Henry C McGill Jr, C Alex McMahan, Edward E Herderick, Gray T Malcom, Richard E Tracy, Jack P Strong, and the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) Research Group

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000

This report documents an in-depth study into the causation of childhood atherosclerosis, as connected to fatty streaks in the blood vessels. 

“Atherosclerosis begins in childhood as deposits of cholesterol and its esters, referred to as fatty streaks, in the intima of large muscular arteries. In some persons and at certain arterial sites, more lipid accumulates and is covered by a fibromuscular cap to form a fibrous plaque. Further changes in fibrous plaques render them vulnerable to rupture, an event that precipitates occlusive thrombosis and clinically manifest disease (sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or peripheral arterial disease)”

“CAD events become frequent in a population when the average extent of coronary artery raised lesions in middle-aged persons approaches ≈30% of the coronary intimal surface; individuals with CAD have on average ≈60% of the coronary intimal surface involved with raised lesions”

“Almost every North American child over the age of 3 y has some degree of aortic fatty streaks”

“Fatty streaks begin to appear in the coronary arteries 5–10 y later than in the aorta”

“Chemical, physicochemical, histologic, and electron microscopic studies of fatty steaks and raised lesions of both the coronary arteries and the aorta showed that both fatty streaks and raised lesions (as defined by gross criteria) contain free and esterified cholesterol, isotropic and anisotropic crystals, extracellular and intracellular lipid, collagen, and macrophages, and differ only in the proportions of each component. These observations suggest that there is a continuous spectrum of lesions ranging from those composed predominantly of lipid-filled macrophages (foam cells) in a relatively normal intima (the fatty streak) to those containing predominantly extracellular lipid and cholesterol ester crystals with a collagenous and muscular cap (the fibrous plaque). Between these 2 extremes of the fatty streak and the fibrous plaque, transitional stages of atherosclerosis exist that are not identifiable by gross examination alone”

“These transitional stages were related to age by histologic examination of a standard site in the left coronary arteries of >500 persons from birth to 29 y of age. About one-third of children under 9 y of age had simple intimal fatty streaks composed exclusively of macrophage foam cells. By the age of puberty, more than one-half of the children had larger accumulations of macrophage foam cells, extracellular lipid, and lipid in smooth muscle cells. A small percentage of these children had large accumulations of extracellular lipid. By the late 20s, about one-third of the young adults had well-developed raised lesions with large extracellular lipid cores and thick fibromuscular caps…Thus, there seems little doubt that in the coronary arteries the juvenile fatty streak—an apparently innocuous cluster of macrophage foam cells in the arterial intima—can, in some individuals, progress to advanced atherosclerotic lesions within a few decades”

“The origin of the ubiquitous juvenile fatty streak has long been an enigma, but now we have a plausible molecular and cellular mechanism for its origin and its transformation into a fibrous plaque. The discovery of oxidized LDL and its uptake by the macrophage receptor for acetylated LDL led to the identification of a family of macrophage receptors, commonly known as scavenger receptors, that bind a wide range of ligands and probably are also involved in host defense mechanisms. One scavenger receptor that has a high affinity for oxidized LDL also recognizes apoptotic cells and facilitates their phagocytosis. The common denominator of oxidized LDL and apoptotic cells is probably a modified phospholipid”

“A combination of a few of the factors favoring LDL oxidation and macrophage lipid accumulation and retention, even with a normal plasma LDL concentration, might explain the initial cluster of macrophage foam cells. If the process is accelerated by an elevated plasma LDL concentration, and overloaded foam cells die to form a pool of extracellular lipid, the transitional lesion forms. Macrophages stimulate adjacent smooth muscle cells to accumulate lipid. Inflammatory cytokines are generated, attract more macrophages, and autocatalyze the chronic inflammatory process. Thus, plausible molecular and cellular mechanisms can now explain the origin of the fatty streak as a physiologic process that can transform the fatty streak into a pathologic lesion under certain conditions. The risk factors for adult CAD augment the process of transforming the fatty streak into a lesion that causes arterial occlusion”

“Early attempts to relate these risk factors to atherosclerotic lesions yielded negative results, and these reports are frequently cited by skeptics of the hypothesis that serum cholesterol is an important intervening variable in the etiology of atherosclerosis. However, positive results began to emerge when better methods of quantifying atherosclerosis were developed, when antemortem risk factor measurements became available, and when investigators began to examine subjects dying as a result of accidents and other external causes rather than elderly persons dying of chronic diseases. The cumulative evidence is now overwhelming that the major risk factors for clinically manifest CAD (elevated serum cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, and diabetes) are strongly associated with atherosclerosis in the aorta and coronary arteries of adults older than ≈35 y of age. A few studies have extended the associations to 25 y of age”

“By 15–19 y of age, fatty streaks occupied ≈25% of the aortic intima in both the thoracic and abdominal aortas. In subsequent age groups, fatty streaks remained constant in the thoracic aorta, but increased to occupy ≈40% of the abdominal aorta by the age of 30–34 y. By the age of 30–34 y, raised lesions occupied <0.5% of the thoracic aorta, but occupied ≈5% of the abdominal aortic surface. In the abdominal aorta, fatty streaks were more extensive in women than in men, but the extent of raised lesions did not differ significantly between men and women” “In the right coronary artery, fatty streaks increased in extent from ≈2% of the intimal surface at the age of 15–19 y to ≈8% at the age of 30–34 y and were equal in men and women. Raised lesions increased from ≈0.5% at the age of 15–19 y to >2% at the age of 30–34 y in men, but women had about one-half the extent of raised lesions at all ages. These results are consistent with results from many previous studies showing that the thoracic aorta is highly susceptible to fatty streaks, but not to raised lesions; that the abdominal aortas of women have more extensive fatty streaks than the abdominal aortas of men but an equal extent of raised lesions; and that the coronary arteries of women and men have an equal extent of fatty streaks, but that women have less extensive raised lesions”

“Non-HDL-cholesterol concentrations were positively associated with both fatty streaks and raised lesions in both the aorta and the right coronary artery; the opposite was true of HDL-cholesterol concentrations”

“The BMI was associated with more extensive fatty streaks and raised lesions in the right coronary arteries of men but not of women”

“An elevated glycosylated hemoglobin concentration (≥0.08), which corresponds to an average blood glucose concentration of ≥8.3 mmol/L (150 mg/dL) for the previous 2 or 3 mo, was associated with increased fatty streaks and raised lesions of the right coronary artery and with raised lesions of the abdominal aorta”

“In the abdominal aorta, smoking was associated with more extensive fatty streaks in the 15–24-y age group and with 3-fold more extensive raised lesions in the aorta in the 25–34-y age group. Smoking was also associated with a greater population of macrophage foam cells in atherosclerotic lesions”

“Hypertension (mean arterial pressure ≥110 mm Hg) was associated with more extensive raised lesions in the right coronary artery and abdominal aorta, but did not affect fatty streaks”

“The extent of raised lesions followed that of fatty streaks by ≈5 y and the topographic distributions of fatty streaks and raised lesions were similar in all age groups. These results are consistent with those derived from a different population and suggest that local factors in the artery wall affect fatty streaks and raised lesions similarly”

“Morphologic observations show a continuous progression from uncomplicated juvenile fatty streaks to raised lesions. The associations of risk factors with fatty streaks and raised lesions are similar and the topographic distributions of fatty streaks and raised lesions are similar in the coronary arteries and the abdominal aorta. The juvenile fatty streak, defined grossly, varies widely in characteristics. Under certain conditions and at certain anatomic sites, it is converted into a fibrous plaque and eventually undergoes other changes that directly cause arterial occlusion. Although harmless if it remains a fatty streak, the fatty streak nevertheless appears to be the initial lesion of atherosclerosis”

“The associations of CAD risk factors with fatty streaks and raised lesions in young adults are consistent with the cellular and molecular mechanisms derived from emerging knowledge of oxidized LDL, macrophages, and scavenger receptors. An elevated LDL concentration is the most common determinant of progression. HDL has antioxidant properties and provides reverse cholesterol transport. Smoking has many effects, including increasing oxidative stress. Estrogen also has many effects, including antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. Hyperglycemia increases the formation of advanced glycosylation end products, which are ingested by scavenger receptors and further damage macrophages”

“We now have evidence that serum lipoprotein concentrations, smoking, obesity, and hyperglycemia are closely associated with fatty streaks in the second decade of life. The same risk factors, along with hypertension, are associated with raised lesions in the third decade of life. These results indicate that the long-range prevention of CAD should begin in childhood with control of the risk factors for CAD to limit the extent of juvenile fatty streaks and, more critically, to prevent or retard their progression to raised lesions”

‘The most common vices of men can damage fertility and the health of the next generation’ by Fullston T, McPherson NO, Zander-Fox D, Lane M, 2017

This study looks at a number of factors (including advanced age, smoking, stress, trauma, under-nutrition, infection, toxin exposure, and obesity) and how they affect the offspring of men when one of these conditions is present. [Abstract-only source]

“Paternal obesity alters the molecular composition of sperm, alters the developmental trajectory of resultant embryos, and increase the incidence of obesity and metabolic disorders in offspring. Mechanistic candidates of paternal programming include changes to the sperm epigenome (eg DNA methylation, histone/protamine modifications, and sperm borne small non-coding RNAs), increased sperm DNA damage, aberrant sperm DNA chromatin structure, and components of seminal plasma”

‘Personal Variation in Preference for Sweetness: Effects of Age and Obesity’ by Bobowski N, Mennella JA, 2017

This study sought to collect data on children’s hedonic responses to Non-Nutritive Sweeteners, and how these responses differ to those of adults. [Abstract-only source]

“Most preferred levels of sucrose and the NNS sucralose were determined via a forced-choice tracking procedure in 48 children, 7-14 years (mean = 10 years), and 34 adults”

“More children than adults liked higher concentrations of sucrose, sucralose, and aspartame, and the tracking procedure showed that children most preferred higher concentrations of sucrose and sucralose than adults”

“Sweet preference did not differ between obese and nonobese participants and showed no association with motives for eating palatable foods”

“Children’s body mass index z-scores were positively associated with social and conformity motive scores for eating palatable foods”

‘Dietary Cholesterol and Blood Cholesterol Concentrations’ by Susan Levin, Cameron Wells and Neal Barnard

JAMA Network, 2015

In this response to a 2015 study, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine argues that an incorrect assertion was made.

“A 2015 meta-analysis by Berger et al2 found that when study participants increased their dietary cholesterol by up to 650 mg per day, their total cholesterol increased an average of 12.1 mg/dL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increased an average of 16.7 mg/dL compared with those who consumed less (to convert total and LDL cholesterol from mg/dL to mmol/L, multiply by 0.0529)”

“A 2002 publication on dietary reference intakes by the Institute of Medicine concluded that dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels”

“The US Food and Drug Administration arrived at the same conclusion in its decision to report cholesterol content on food labels”

“The extent to which cholesterol in foods contributes to blood cholesterol levels may have more theoretical importance than practical importance because most cholesterol-containing foods also contain substantial quantities of saturated fat; both tend to raise LDL cholesterol concentrations”

“By dismissing the risks of dietary cholesterol, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee further confused an already bewildered public, many of whom do not differentiate dietary cholesterol from blood cholesterol, or cholesterol from saturated fat”

‘A systematic review and meta-analysis of changes in body weight in clinical trials of vegetarian diets’ by Barnard ND, Levin SM, Yokoyama Y., 2015

In this study, the authors sought to quantify the the effects of a vegetarian (vegan) diet on patients, with a focus on their mean body weight. [Abstract-only source]

“The prescription of vegetarian diets reduces mean body weight, suggesting potential value for prevention and management of weight-related conditions”

‘Nutrition intervention for migraine: a randomized crossover trial’ by Bunner AE, Agarwal U, Gonzales JF, Valente F, Barnard ND, 2014

This study looked at diet as a possible prevention/treatment for migraine headaches. [Abstract-only source]

“A nutritional approach may be a useful part of migraine treatment”

“Methodologic issues necessitate further research”

‘Saturated and trans fats and dementia: a systematic review’ by Neal D. Barnard, Anne E. Bunner, Ulka Agarwal

elsevier, 2014

This study looks at the relationship between fat and dementia.

“Dementia is a devastating condition, and means of prevention are urgently needed. Its most common form, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), affected an estimated 4.7 million Americans aged 65 years and older in 2010, a figure expected to reach 13.8 million by 2050”

“The Chicago Health and Aging Project, which studied a group of 815 individuals aged 65 years and older at baseline, identified positive associations between saturated and trans fat intake and risk of developing AD”

“Studies in New York and Finland also showed increased dementia risk with increased saturated fat intake”

“A report from the Rotterdam Study showing increased dementia risk with increasing saturated fat intake after 2.1 years of follow-up (Kalmijn et al., 1997) was contradicted by a report from the same cohort after 6 years of follow-up”

“Studies have also investigated dietary factors related to risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that has been codified relatively recently…In a Finnish study, saturated fat intake was associated with increased risk (Eskelinen et al., 2008), whereas studies in Italy (Solfrizzi et al., 2006a), Australia (Cherbuin and Anstey, 2012), and the United States (US) (Roberts et al., 2012) showed no such association”

“Several, although not all, prospective studies indicate relationships between saturated and trans fat intake and risk of cognitive problem”

‘Applying the precautionary principle to nutrition and cancer’ by Gonzales JF, Barnard ND, Jenkins DJ, Lanou AJ, Davis B, Saxe G, Levin S., 2014

This article summarizes the known relationships between nutrition and disease that have substantive evidence. 

“Suggested dietary guidance where evidence is sufficiently compelling include (1) limiting or avoiding dairy products to reduce the risk of prostate cancer; (2) limiting or avoiding alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, and breast; (3) avoiding red and processed meat to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum; (4) avoiding grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas; (5) consumption of soy products during adolescence to reduce the risk of breast cancer in adulthood and to reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality for women previously treated for breast cancer; and (6) emphasizing fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several common forms of cancer”

‘A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of a Nutrition Intervention Program in a Multiethnic Adult Population in the Corporate Setting Reduces Depression and Anxiety and Improves Quality of Life: The GEICO Study’ by Ulka Agarwal, MD, Suruchi Mishra, PhD, Jia Xu, PhD, Susan Levin, MS, RD, Joseph Gonzales, RD, Neal D. Barnard, MD


This catchy-titled study took 10 office sites for a major US insurance broker, and with just under 300 participants with a high BMI and/or Type 2 diabetes, and put some of them on a vegan diet. Those on the plant-based diet improved depression, anxiety and productivity. [Abstract-only source]

‘Diet, Lifestyle, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women’ by Frank B. Hu, M.D., JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Graham Colditz, M.D., Simin Liu, M.D., Caren G. Solomon, M.D., and Walter C. Willett, M.D.

The New England Journal of Medicine, 2001

This study followed a group of female nurses, charting the relationship correlations between their diet, smoking habits and exercise and diabetes. 

“The most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes was the body-mass index; the relative risk of diabetes was 38.8 for women with a body-mass index of 35.0 or higher and 20.1 for women with a body-mass index of 30.0 to 34.9, as compared with women who had a body-mass index of less than 23.0”

“Even a body-mass index at the high end of the normal range (23.0 to 24.9) was associated with a substantially higher risk than a body-mass index of less than 23.0 (relative risk, 2.67)”

“In this population, 61 percent of the cases of type 2 diabetes (95 percent confidence interval, 58 to 64 percent) could be attributed to overweight (defined as a body-mass index of 25 or higher)”

“Excess body fat is the single most important determinant of type 2 diabetes”

“The public generally does not recognize the connection between overweight or obesity and diabetes. Thus, greater efforts at education are needed”

“In conclusion, our findings suggest that the majority of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by weight loss, regular exercise, modification of diet, abstinence from smoking, and the consumption of limited amounts of alcohol. Weight control would appear to offer the greatest benefit”

‘Whole Grain, Bran, and Germ Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study and Systematic Review’ by Jeroen S. L de Munter, Frank B Hu, Donna Spiegelman, Mary Franz, Rob M van Dam

Public Library of Science, 2007

Another study looking at nurses (poor nurses), with a focus on how whole grain carbohydrates affect type 2 diabetes.

“Higher intakes of whole grain were associated with higher physical activity, a lower BMI, a lower likelihood of smoking, and a lower consumption of alcohol, soft drinks, and processed meats”

“Whole grain intake was inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes”

“Findings from prospective cohort studies consistently indicate that higher consumption of whole grains can contribute to the prevention of type 2 diabetes”

“These data provide further support for recommendations to increase consumption of whole grains including whole wheat, whole oats, oatmeal, whole grain corn and popcorn, brown and wild rice, whole rye, whole grain barley, buckwheat, triticale, bulgur, millet, quinoa, and sorghum”

“Increased consumption has the potential to contribute substantially to reducing risk of type 2 diabetes”

‘Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study’ by Arash Etemadi, Rashmi Sinha, Mary H Ward, Barry I Graubard, Maki Inoue-Choi, Sanford M Dawsey and Christian C Abnet

British Medical Journal, 2017

This study looks at red meat vs white meat as a cause of disease.

“Our results show an increased risk of all cause mortality and death due to nine different causes associated with both processed and unprocessed red meat”

“Heme iron from both processed and unprocessed red meat, and particularly the nitrate/nitrite content of processed meat, accounted for a large proportion of this increased mortality risk”

“Both heme iron and nitrate/nitrite are pro-oxidants and can promote oxidative damage and inflammation in different organs. Heme iron has been shown to be associated with many health outcomes such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatal coronary heart disease, and cancer. Dietary heme iron can induce oxidative stress biomarkers and lipid peroxidation. It is also closely related to the metabolism of nitrate/nitrite and the formation of N-nitroso compounds. N-nitroso compounds have been shown to increase the risk of insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, and cancer in several studies. N-nitrosohemaoglobin and N-nitrosomyoglobin are formed as a result of the reaction of nitrite with hemoglobin and myoglobin, and nitric oxide can react directly with these heme proteins to form N-nitroso compounds. This chemical catalysis involving nitrates and nitrites on one hand and heme on the other can explain the independent effects of these compounds on mortality risk and their role in mediating effects of red meat”

“Cooked red meat contains many known mutagens, including heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the levels of which depend on the cooking method”

‘Is Saturated Fat Good or Bad for You?’ by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

This page on the PCRM website lists a quick overview on saturated fats, as well as linking to some recipes.

“This type of fat is marbled throughout all meat and poultry, so the only way to avoid it is to avoid meat altogether. Even chicken and turkey breasts cooked without the skin have significant amounts of saturated fat; about 20 percent of the calories still come from the animal fat lurking in the muscle. And about 15 percent to 30 percent of the fat in fish is saturated fat”

“According to a study published by the American Diabetes Association, people who eat high amounts of animal protein—which is high in saturated fat—are 22 percent more likely to develop diabetes”

“Saturated fat has even been linked to breast cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline. Fortunately, there are many plant-based protein sources that are low in saturated fat and won’t send your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels through the roof”

‘Dietary Behaviors in Psoriasis: Patient-Reported Outcomes from a U.S. National Survey’ by Ladan Afifi, Melissa J. Danesh, Kristina M. Lee, Kevin Beroukhim, Benjamin Farahnik, Richard S. Ahn, Di Yan, Rasnik K. Singh, Mio Nakamura, John Koo and Wilson Liao

Springer Link, 2017

This study of psoriasis sufferers in the States looks at the role of diet in the severity of the condition. 

“Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease affecting 3–4% of the world population. The innate and adaptive immune systems are thought to be responsible for psoriasis pathogenesis, while well-recognized environmental factors like smoking and emotional stress can modify disease severity”

“The most common dietary reductions associated with patient-reported positive skin response were alcohol (53.8%), gluten (53.4%), nightshades (52.1%), junk foods (50%), and white flour products (49.9%)”

“A positive skin response was also reported by respondents when adding fish oil/omega-3 (44.6%), vegetables (42.5%), oral vitamin D (41%), probiotics (40.6%), organic foods (38.4%), and fruits (34.6%)”

“481 respondents (40%) reported trying a special diet for their psoriasis, the most common being gluten-free (35.6%), low carbohydrate–high protein (16.6%), and Paleolithic (11.6%) diets. The three diets with the highest patient-reported positive response were the Pagano, vegan, and Paleolithic diets”

‘5.4% of subjects tried a vegan diet, and 70% reported an improvement in their condition’

‘Occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes in the Faecal DNA of healthy omnivores, Ovo-Lacto vegetarians and vegans’ by Vesna Milanović, Andrea Osimani, Lucia Aquilanti, Stefano Tavoletti, Cristiana Garofalo, Serena Polverigiani, Alice Litta-Mulondo, Luca Cocolin, Ilario Ferrocino, Raffaella Di Cagno, Silvia Turroni, Camilla Lazzi, Nicoletta Pellegrini and Francesca Clementi

Wiley Online Library, 2017;jsessionid=07CFF59DB4D60F678869D1EC2FEB0E22.f02t01

This study from Italy looks at the relationship between diet, sex, age and location and the presence of 12 antibiotic-resistant genes. Although the conclusion rather abruptly states that the impact is related to location and not dietary-factors, there are correlations observed with food (not to mention that there is likely much more to the story) This is only an abstract, and I will keep looking for the full article. [Abstract-only source]

“A low effect from the diet on the AR gene distribution emerged, with tet(K) and vanB occurring at a lower and higher frequency in vegans and omnivores, respectively”

“A correlation of the intake of eggs, milk from animal source and cheese with an increased occurrence of tet(K) was observed, together with a higher incidence of vanB in consumers of eggs, poultry meat, fish and seafood”

‘Cystic echinococcosis in cattle dairy farms: spatial distribution and epidemiological dynamics’ by Scala A, Bosco A, Pipia AP, Tamponi C, Musella V, Costanzo N, Testoni F, Montisci A, Mocci G, Longhi A, Tilocca L, Rinaldi L, Cringoli G and Varcasia A

pubmed, 2017

This Italian study looks at cystic echinococcosis in cattle, a horrible parasitic disease. Not a lot of data here, it just outlines another brutal condition farm animals have to put up with, living in cramped and unclean conditions. By the way, I’m including this in the Nutrition archive instead of the Welfare one due to the potential for cross-species contamination. [Abstract-only source]

“CE was found in 21.9% (35/160) of the surveyed farms”

‘The Therapeutic Efficacy of Allyl Isothiocyanate in Cows with Bovine Digital Dermatitis’ by Kanako CHIBA, Tamako MIYAZAKI, Yasushi SEKIYAMA, Masao MIYAZAKI and Keiji OKADA

Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 2017

‘Intermuscular Adipose Tissue Content and Intramyocellular Lipid Fatty Acid Saturation Are Associated with Glucose Homeostasis in Middle-Aged and Older Adults’ by Kim JE, Dunville K, Li J, Cheng JX, Conley TB, Couture CS and Campbell WW

Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2017

This is a weird one; this study serves to underline the relationship between intramyocellular lipids and intermuscular adipose tissue and blood glucose levels – high cell fat being related to T2 diabetes. The wrinkle? This study was financed by the American Egg Board and the Dairy Council. Odd, right?

“The prevalence of overweight and obesity gradually increases with aging and the prevalence of overweight and obesity in United States adults who are 60 years old and older is approximately 71.6%”

“Higher amounts of whole body and abdominal body fat in older adults contribute to an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)”

“IMAT, a small fat compartment that surrounds muscle fiber bundles, may induce local inflammation by producing proinflammatory cytokines, impair blood flow, and increase the concentrations of fatty acids in muscle, resulting in impaired glucose control and insulin resistance”

“Observations at the cellular level in skeletal muscle suggest that excess IMCL accumulation and an increased SFA content in IMCL relate to insulin resistance. This occurs, in part due to the production of lipotoxic intermediates, including ceramides and diacylglycerols, that inhibit the insulin signaling pathway”

“Two cross-sectional human studies also assessed FA composition of IMCL using gas-liquid chromatography in 30 adults with normal-weight status or obesity and 59 adults with obesity, respectively and observed positive correlations between higher SFA contents in IMCL with higher fasting glucose concentration and insulin resistance”

“It is well known that insulin resistance is promoted by the accumulation of visceral AT more so than SAT”

“Association between higher IMAT content and IMCL saturation in this study indicate that the centralization of AT in the appendicular region of the body may promote insulin resistance”

‘Intake of dairy foods and risk of Parkinson disease’ by Hughes KC, Gao X, Kim IY, Wang M, Weisskopf MG, Schwarzschild MA and Ascherio A

Neurology, 2017

This study took the data from the Nurse’ Health and Health Professionals Follow-up Studies and analysed the relationship between dairy consumption and Parkinson’s Disease. They found that low-fat dairy foods (skim and low-fat milk) drove an increase in PD risk. They also completed a meta-analysis pooling data from other studies.

“Intake of low-fat dairy foods was associated with PD risk”

“The pooled, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) comparing people who consumed at least 3 servings of low-fat dairy per day to those who consumed none was 1.34”

“In the meta-analysis, the pooled relative risk comparing extreme categories of total milk intake was 1.56 (95% CI 1.30-1.88), and the association between total dairy and PD became significant (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.04-1.55)”

“Frequent consumption of dairy products appears to be associated with a modest increased risk of PD in women and men”

‘A Western Diet Pattern Is Associated with Higher Concentrations of Blood and Bone Lead among Middle-Aged and Elderly Men’ by Wang X, Ding N, Tucker KL, Weisskopf MG, Sparrow D, Hu H and Park SK

Pubmed, 2017

This study took the data from the Veterans Affaris Normative Aging Study and looked at diet and body lead content. They found that the Western diet lead to more…well, lead.

“Two major dietary patterns were identified: a prudent dietary pattern, characterized by high intakes of fruit, legumes, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and seafood; and a Western dietary pattern, characterized by high intakes of processed meat, red meat, refined grains, high-fat dairy products, French fries, butter, and eggs”

“Men in the highest tertile of the Western pattern score (compared with the lowest) had 0.91 μg/dL (95% CI: 0.41, 1.42 μg/dL) higher blood lead, 5.96 μg/g (95% CI: 1.76, 10.16 μg/g) higher patella lead, and 3.83 μg/g (95% CI: 0.97, 6.70 μg/g) higher tibia lead”

“The Western diet is associated with a greater lead body burden among the middle-aged-to-elderly men”

Association between dairy intake, lipids and vascular structure and function in diabetes’ by Kristina S Petersen, Jennifer B Keogh, Natalie Lister, Jacquelyn M Weir, Peter J Meikle and Peter M Clifton

Pubmed, 2017

This study aims to identify the specific lipid (fat) species that are associated with dairy, and their effects on both T1 and T2 diabetes.

“By 2030 it is projected that 7.7% of the world’s population will have diabetes, which is an increase of 54% since 2010”

“Individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two-to-three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with the general population”

“These analyses show that a change in the concentration of a number of serum lipid species (LPC 14:0, LPC 15:0, LPC 16:1, PC 29:0 PC 30:0, PC 31:0, CE 14:0), previously shown to be correlated with dairy consumption, were associated with a change in full fat dairy consumption in the present study. One or more of these lipid species were positively associated with the 3-mo change in central blood pressure and 12-mo change in CCA-IMT in this cohort with type 1 and type 2 diabetes”

“This study shows that when dairy associated serum lipids species were reduced at 3-mo there was a reduction in central blood pressure and CCA-IMT. Conversely when there was an increase in these serum lipid species central blood pressure increased”

“LPCs act on endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, monocytes, macrophages and T-cells in a number of ways to inhibit endothelial relaxation and up-regulate production of inflammatory and adhesion molecules. Inflammation, measured by CRP, has been positively associated with blood pressure and development of hypertension”

“In conclusion, in this cohort with type 1 and type 2 diabetes a number of serum lipid species that were associated with a change in full fat dairy consumption were also correlated with the 3-mo change in central blood pressure and 12-mo change in CCA-IMT”

‘Predicting and Modelling the Growth of Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria in Coalho Cheese’ by de Araújo VG, de Oliveira Arruda MD, Dantas Duarte FN, de Sousa JMB, da Costa Lima M, da Conceição ML, Schaffner DW and de Souza EL

pubmed, 2017

This study looks at Coalho, a specific type of cheese from Brazil, and why its pH and storage temperature makes it a breeding ground for infections.

“Coalho cheese has pH and aw characteristics that allow the growth of E. coli, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella, and S. aureus. These cheeses are typically stored at temperatures that do not prevent the growth of these bacteria”

‘Vegan Diets and Hypothyroidism’ by Serena Tonstad, Edward Nathan, Keiji Oda and Gary Fraser

MDPI, 2013

Looking at the Adventists (nutritional study involving the Adventists – surely not?), this paper examines the incidence rate of hyperthyroidism in vegetarians and vegans. Contrary to common belief, the vegan diet seemed to be protective against the disease.

“The most common cause of acquired hypothyroidism is autoimmune thyroiditis. In almost all cases, anti-thyroid antibodies are identified. The incidence is increased in women, with increasing age and is less common in Blacks. While hypothyroidism may cause obesity, obesity may result in raised thyrotropin-stimulating hormone levels, partly due to a proinflammatory milieu and other endocrine derangements”

“Our main finding was that following a vegan diet tended to be associated with protection against hypothyroidism in the incidence and prevalence studies, though statistical significance was not attained. While vegan diets are associated with lower body weight, which may protect against hypothyroidism, the lower risk among vegans existed even after controlling for BMI and potential demographic confounders”

“Following a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet was associated with increased prevalent hypothyroidism but not incident hypothyroidism”

“We do not have a ready explanation for the findings related to the lacto-ovo dietary group, though several components of the vegetarian diet have been associated with increased risk of thyroid disease including soy products, cruciferous vegetables and low iodine intakes. However, if these foods were causative of impaired thyroid function, one may expect the vegan group to carry as high risk as the lacto-ovo vegetarian group”

“The relation between obesity and hypothyroidism appears to have several explanations. Persons with obesity are prone to develop autoimmune hypothyroidism, and even mild thyroid failure contributes to the progressive increase in body weight, which ultimately results in overt obesity. Furthermore, obese patients exhibit elevated thyrotropin-stimulating hormone levels, which may be the consequence, rather than the cause of obesity”

‘Prevalence of hyperthyroidism according to type of vegetarian diet’ by Serena Tonstad, Edward Nathan, Keiji Oda and Gary E Fraser

NCBI, 2015

This is a more detailed write-up of the previous study.

“Our findings indicate that participants consuming a vegan diet had 52 % lower odds of prevalent hyperthyroidism compared with omnivores”

“Lacto-ovo vegetarians and pesco vegetarians also carried lower odds of hyperthyroidism, but the reduction appeared smaller than that in the vegan group”

“Semi-vegetarian diets were not protective against hyperthyroidism”

“Obesity is associated with autoimmune disease and studies have linked elevated leptin concentrations to autoimmunity. Vegetarian diets have been linked to lower body weight and BMI specifically in this cohort. Other suggestions include the hypothesis that vegan diets may downregulate systemic insulin-like growth factor-1 activity, a modulator of lymphocyte proliferation and apoptosis. Polyphenolic phytochemicals such as flavonoids found in plant foods are thought to protect cells against autoimmune processes. Could type of diet or environmental toxins in food affect the microbiome or directly trigger autoimmune disease? Some data support this notion”

“It has been speculated that the rise in autoimmune diseases in recent years may be linked to environmental oestrogens, found in a variety of foods, but particularly in meat, eggs and dairy products given exogenous hormones”

‘Plant-Based Diets in Crohn’s Disease’ by Mitsuro Chiba, MD, Hideo Ohno, MD, Hajime Ishii, MD, and Masafumi Komatsu, MD

The Permanente Journal, 2014

In this letter response from Japan, doctors from Akita City talk about their experience treating Crohn’s Disease with a semi-vegetarian diet. The evidence is very limited, but worth mentioning regardless.

“Symptoms of CD subside easily with total parenteral nutrition or total enteral nutrition. But CD is well known to flare up after the resumption of meals. Therefore, meals per se are thought to cause gut inflammation”

“We regard CD as a lifestyle-related disease mainly mediated by Westernized diets, which tend to cause dysbiosis in gut microflora. Namely, the greatest environmental factor in CD is diet-associated gut microflora”

“A design for increasing beneficial bacteria led us to a semivegetarian diet (SVD): lactoovo-vegetarian with fish once a week and meat once every two weeks. SVD and infliximab induction therapy were initiated simultaneously. Patients were admitted until completion of standard induction therapy of infliximab. Patients were advised to continue the SVD after discharge. Relapse rates at 1 year and 2 years were 0% and 8% in patients on SVD and 33% and 75% in patients on an omnivorous diet”

“Evidence level of our study is not enough to make gastroenterologists appreciate the efficacy of a plant-based diet in IBD. Clinical studies providing high levels of evidence showing the efficacy of a plant-based diet in IBD is eagerly awaited”

‘Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk’ by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

This summative article from the PCRM sums up some of the more outstanding cancer risks associated with consuming meat, including how you cook it.

“HCAs, a family of mutagenic compounds, are produced during the cooking process of many animal products, including chicken, beef, pork, and fish. Even meat that is cooked under normal grilling, frying, or oven-broiling may contain significant quantities of these mutagens. The longer and hotter the meat is cooked, the more these compounds form”

“The major classes of heterocyclic amines include amino-imidazo-quinolines, or amino-imidazo-quinoxalines (collectively called IQ-type compounds), and amino-imidazo-pyridines such as PhIP. IQ-type compounds and PhIP are formed from creatine or creatinine, specific amino acids, and sugars”

“All meats (including fish) are high in creatine, and HCA formation is greatest when cooking meat at high temperatures, as is most common with grilling or frying. Consumption of well-done meat and PhIP has been associated with increased risk of breast cancer and colon cancer, as discussed in greater detail below. A recent case-control study at the University of Utah that included 952 subjects with rectal cancer and 1205 controls found that men and women with the highest consumption of processed or well-cooked meat had an increased risk of rectal cancer”

“Grilling or broiling meat over a direct flame results in fat dropping on the hot fire and the production of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-containing flames. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) adhere to the surface of food, and the more intense the heat, the more PAHs are present.5 They are widely believed to play a significant role in human cancers.12 A fairly consistent association between grilled or broiled, but not fried, meat consumption and stomach cancer implies that dietary exposure to PAHs may play a role in the development of stomach cancer in humans”

“Countries with a higher intake of fat, especially fat from animal products, such as meat and dairy products, have a higher incidence of breast cancer”

“In Japan, for example, the traditional diet is much lower in fat, especially animal fat, than the typical western diet, and breast cancer rates are low. In the late 1940s, when breast cancer was particularly rare in Japan, less than 10 percent of the calories in the Japanese diet came from fat”

“The American diet is centered on animal products, which tend to be high in fat and low in other important nutrients, with 30 to 35 percent of calories coming from fat”

“Even within Japan, affluent women who eat meat daily have an 8.5 times higher risk of breast cancer than poorer women who rarely or never eat meat”

“One of the proposed reasons is that fatty foods boost the hormones that promote cancer”

“According to new findings from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, soy food intake provides protection against premenopausal breast cancer when consumed during adolescence and as an adult”

“Those with the highest intake of soy protein or isoflavone versus those with the lowest had about half the risk of premenopausal breast cancer regardless of age at time of consumption. No significant association with soy foods was found for postmenopausal breast cancer”

“The consumption of high-fat foods such as meat, dairy products, fried foods, and even vegetable oils causes a woman’s body to make more estrogens, which encourage cancer cell growth in the breast and other organs that are sensitive to female sex hormones”

“A 2003 study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that when girls ages eight to ten reduced the amount of fat in their diet—even very slightly—their estrogen levels were held at a lower and safer level during the next several years. By increasing vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans, and reducing animal-derived foods, the amount of estradiol (a principal estrogen) in their blood dropped by 30 percent, compared to a group of girls who did not change their diets”

“Harvard researchers recently conducted a prospective analysis of 90,655 premenopausal women, ages 26 to 46, enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II and determined that intake of animal fat, especially from red meat and high-fat dairy products, during premenopausal years is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Increased risk was not associated with vegetable fats”

“Researchers at the Ontario Cancer Institute conducted a meta-analysis of all the case-control and cohort studies published up to July 2003 that studied dietary fat, fat-containing foods, and breast cancer risk. Case-control and cohort study analyses yielded similar risk results, with a high total fat intake associated with increased breast cancer risk. Significant relative risks for meat and saturated fat intake also emerged, with high meat intake increasing cancer risk by 17 percent and high saturated fat intake increasing cancer risk by 19 percent”

“Meat becomes a source of carcinogens and/or mutagens, such as HCAs, that are formed while cooking meat at high temperatures. A review of HCAs showed that certain HCAs are distributed to the mammary gland and that humans can activate HCAs metabolically. As a consequence, frequent meat consumption may be a risk factor for breast cancer”

“Total fat and saturated fat, which tend to be substantially higher in animal products than in plant-derived foods, and refined sugar, all heighten colon cancer risks”

“At Harvard University, researchers zeroed in on red meat, finding that individuals eating beef, pork, or lamb daily have approximately three times the colon cancer risk, compared to people who generally avoid these products”

“A review of 32 case-control and 13 cohort studies concluded that meat consumption is associated with an increase in colorectal cancer risk, with the association being more consistently found with red meat and processed meat”

“In the recently published Cancer Prevention Study II, involving 148,610 adults followed since 1982, the group with the highest red meat and processed meat intakes had approximately 30 to 40 percent and 50 percent higher colon cancer risk, respectively, compared to those with lower intakes. In this study, high red meat intake was defined as 3 ounces of beef, lamb, or pork for men and 2 ounces for women daily, the amount in a typical hamburger. High processed meat intake (ham, cold cuts, hot dogs, bacon, sausage) was defined as 1 ounce eaten 5 or 6 times a week for men, and 2 or 3 times a week for women—the amount in one slice of ham. In addition, earlier studies have also indicated that those consuming white meat, particularly chicken, have approximately a threefold higher colon cancer risk, compared to vegetarians”

“In order to absorb fat, the liver makes bile, which it stores in the gallbladder. After a meal, the gallbladder sends bile acids into the intestine, where they chemically modify the fats eaten so they can be absorbed. Unfortunately, bacteria in the intestine turn these bile acids into cancer-promoting substances called secondary bile acids. Meats not only contain a substantial amount of fat; they also foster the growth of bacteria that cause carcinogenic secondary bile acids to form”

“A case-control study in North Carolina that analyzed meat intake by level of doneness, cooking method, and estimated intake of HCAs in 620 colon cancer patients and 1038 controls, found that not only was red meat intake positively associated with colon cancer risk, but also pan-frying was the riskiest way to prepare meat due to high HCA formation. Confirmation of the link between frying and colorectal cancer risk was adduced in the review mentioned above, where high frying temperature was found to increase colon cancer risk almost twofold, and rectal cancer risk by 60 percent”

“As with breast cancer risk, a man’s intake of dietary fat, which is abundant in meat and other animal products, increases testosterone production, which in turn increases prostate cancer risk”

“One of the largest nested case-control studies, which showed a positive association between prostate cancer incidence and red meat consumption, was done at Harvard University in an analysis of almost 15,000 male physicians in the Physicians’ Health Study.Although this study primarily analyzed plasma fatty acids and prostate cancer risk, the authors found that men who consumed red meat at least five times per week had a relative risk of 2.5 for developing prostate cancer compared to men who ate red meat less than once per week”

“The most comprehensive dietary cohort study on diet and prostate cancer risk reported on nearly 52,000 health professionals in Harvard’s Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which completed food frequency questionnaires in 1986. The report, based on 3 to 4 years of follow-up data, found a statistically significant relationship between higher red meat intake and the risk of prostate cancer, with red meat as the food group with the strongest positive association with advanced prostate cancer. These and other study findings suggest that reducing or eliminating meat from the diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer”

“Three of eight case-control studies examining the relationship between renal cell carcinoma and meat consumption found a statistically significant increase in risk with a high consumption of meat”

“A prospective study in Japan found that people consuming meat daily had higher death rates from kidney cancer than those eating meat less frequently”

“Red meat and high glycemic index foods could be risk factors for kidney cancer, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  Researchers studied food questionnaires for 335 people with renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, and 337 healthy controls. They found that men and women who ate red meat five or more times a week were more than four times as likely to develop the disease, compared to those who consumed red meat less than once a week.  The study also found that white bread, white potatoes, and other high glycemic index foods increased the cancer risk threefold. High glycemic index foods affect insulin-like growth factors, which impact tumor development”

“Pancreatic cancer is relatively uncommon, yet it is frequently fatal, with fewer than 20 percent of cases surviving for one full year. Daily meat intake has been shown to be associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk in a number of prospective, cohort, and case-control studies. Some of these studies have singled out beef and pork consumption and have concluded there is a higher risk for pancreatic cancer with a higher intake of these foods”

“According to a new study, fat from red meat and dairy products is associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer. As part of the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, researchers followed and analyzed the diets of more than 525,000 participants to determine whether there is an association between dietary fat and pancreatic cancer. This same study found no association between plant-food fat and pancreatic cancer”

“A recent study in the British Journal of Cancer found that vegetarians are 12 percent less likely to develop cancer than meat-eaters.  After following 61,000 meat-eaters and vegetarians for over 12 years, researchers also discovered that cancers of the blood—such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma—were drastically reduced by as much as 45 percent for those following a vegetarian diet.  Although this study points to an overall reduced risk, this may well be an underestimate of the benefit of a vegetarian diet. Previous studies have shown as much as a 40 percent reduced risk for all cancers”

“Two themes consistently emerge from studies of cancer from many sites: vegetables and fruits help to reduce risk, while meat, animal products, and other fatty foods are frequently found to increase risk. Consumption of dietary fat drives production of hormones, which, in turn, promotes growth of cancer cells in hormone-sensitive organs such as the breast and prostate. Meat is devoid of the protective effects of fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other helpful nutrients, and it contains high concentrations of saturated fat and potentially carcinogenic compounds, which may increase one’s risk of developing many different kinds of cancer”

“Vegetarian diets and diets rich in high-fiber plant foods such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits offer a measure of protection”

“Vegetarians are at the lowest risk for cancer and have a significantly reduced risk compared to meat-eaters”

‘Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat’ by Véronique Bouvarda, Dana Loomis, Kathryn Z Guytona, Yann Grosse, Fatiha El Ghissassi, Lamia Benbrahim-Tallaa, Neela Guha, Heidi Mattock and Kurt Straif

The Lancet, 2015

This is the WHO’s IARC’s report on red and processed meat. 

“Red meat refers to unprocessed mammalian muscle meat—for example, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, or goat meat—including minced or frozen meat; it is usually consumed cooked”

“Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but might also contain other red meats, poultry, offal (eg, liver), or meat byproducts such as blood”

“Meat processing, such as curing and smoking, can result in formation of carcinogenic chemicals, including N-nitroso-compounds (NOC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Cooking improves the digestibility and palatability of meat, but can also produce known or suspected carcinogens, including heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA) and PAH. High-temperature cooking by pan-frying, grilling, or barbecuing generally produces the highest amounts of these chemicals”

“The largest body of epidemiological data concerned colorectal cancer. Data on the association of red meat consumption with colorectal cancer were available from 14 cohort studies. Positive associations were seen with high versus low consumption of red meat in half of those studies, including a cohort from ten European countries spanning a wide range of meat consumption and other large cohorts in Sweden and Australia. Of the 15 informative case-control studies considered, seven reported positive associations of colorectal cancer with high versus low consumption of red meat. Positive associations of colorectal cancer with consumption of processed meat were reported in 12 of the 18 cohort studies that provided relevant data, including studies in Europe, Japan, and the USA. Supporting evidence came from six of nine informative case-control studies. A meta-analysis of colorectal cancer in ten cohort studies reported a statistically significant dose–response relationship, with a 17% increased risk (95% CI 1·05–1·31) per 100 g per day of red meat and an 18% increase (95% CI 1·10–1·28) per 50 g per day of processed meat”

“Data were also available for more than 15 other types of cancer. Positive associations were seen in cohort studies and population-based case-control studies between consumption of red meat and cancers of the pancreas and the prostate (mainly advanced prostate cancer), and between consumption of processed meat and cancer of the stomach”

“The mechanistic evidence for carcinogenicity was assessed as strong for red meat and moderate for processed meat. Mechanistic evidence is mainly available for the digestive tract. A meta-analysis published in 2013 reported a modest but statistically significant association between consumption of red or processed meat and adenomas (preneoplastic lesions) of the colorectum that was consistent across studies. For genotoxicity and oxidative stress, evidence was moderate for the consumption of red or processed meat. In human beings, observational data showed slight but statistically significant associations with APC gene mutation or promoter methylation that were identified in 75 (43%) and 41 (23%) of 185 archival colorectal cancer samples, respectively. Consuming well done cooked red meat increases the bacterial mutagenicity of human urine. In three intervention studies in human beings, changes in oxidative stress markers (either in urine, faeces, or blood) were associated with consumption of red meat or processed meat. Red and processed meat intake increased lipid oxidation products in rodent faeces”

“Substantial supporting mechanistic evidence was available for multiple meat components (NOC, haem iron, and HAA). Consumption of red meat and processed meat by man induces NOC formation in the colon. High red meat consumption (300 or 420 g/day) increased levels of DNA adducts putatively derived from NOC in exfoliated colonocytes or rectal biopsies in two intervention studies. Few human data, especially from intervention studies, were available for processed meat. Haem iron mediates formation of NOC, and of lipid oxidation products in the digestive tract of human beings and rodents. Haem iron effects can be experimentally suppressed by calcium, supporting its contribution to carcinogenic mechanisms. Meat heated at a high temperature contains HAA. HAA are genotoxic, and the extent of conversion of HAA to genotoxic metabolites is greater in man than in rodents. Meat smoked or cooked over a heated surface or open flame contains PAH. These chemicals cause DNA damage, but little direct evidence exists that this occurs following meat consumption”

“The Working Group classified consumption of processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer. Additionally, a positive association with the consumption of processed meat was found for stomach cancer”

“The Working Group classified consumption of red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A). In making this evaluation, the Working Group took into consideration all the relevant data, including the substantial epidemiological data showing a positive association between consumption of red meat and colorectal cancer and the strong mechanistic evidence”

“Consumption of red meat was also positively associated with pancreatic and with prostate cancer”

‘A1 beta-casein milk protein and other environmental pre-disposing factors for type 1 diabetes‘ by J S J Chia, J L McRae, S Kukuljan, K Woodford, R B Elliott, B Swinburn and K M Dwyer

Nutrition and Diabetes, 2017

In this study, the full relationship between beta-casomorphines and T1 diabetes. Interestingly, this study was funded by the New Zealand A2 group (A2 milk doesn’t allow for the formation of casomorphines. Unfortunately, that doesn’t affect the other stuff in milk, like the hormones or the pus)

“Type 1 diabetes, one of the most common chronic diseases among children,1 is characterised by the selective loss of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells in genetically susceptible individuals, but a trigger from the environment is generally needed”

“The incidence of type 1 diabetes in Iceland is less than half that in Norway, but this difference cannot be explained by known genetic factors because the distributions and frequencies of the known human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II genes, which affect incidence, are similar in both countries”

“Data from 20 registers in 17 European countries showed a mean increase in children aged <15 years of 3.9% per annum between 1989 and 2003”

“The annual rates of increase were generally higher in Eastern European countries (Poland 9.3%, Romania 8.7%, Czech Republic 6.7%) than in western European countries (Spain [Catalonia] 0.6%, Finland 2.4%, Germany [Dusseldorf] 4.7%)”

“preliminary evidence from Sweden shows that since 2000, the incidence rate has peaked and started to decline among children aged <15 years”

“Recent evidence points to a remarkable increase in China. In Shanghai, the incidence among children aged less than or equal to15 years increased at a rate of 14.2% per year between 1997 and 2011, from a low baseline of 1.5 per 100 000 in 1997–2001 to 5.5 per 100 000 in 2007–2011”

“In Zhejiang, a major city south of Shanghai at an earlier stage of economic development, the mean incidence in adolescents aged less than or equal to19 years increased at a rate of 12.0% per year, from 1.22 per 100 000 in 2007 (age standardised) to 2.48 per 100 000 in 2013.11 The greatest increase in Zhejiang was in children aged <5 years with a rate of 33.61% per year. It is notable that the increasing incidence of type 1 diabetes in China in recent years is mirrored by an increase in per capita dairy product consumption among urban residents of 12 kg from nearly 6 kg in 1992 to 18 kg by 2006”

“If infant age at the introduction to cows’ milk protein is considered together with breastfeeding duration, introducing cows’ milk to infants before 2 months old, compared with 4 months or older is a strong influencing environmental factor for type 1 diabetes ”

“This was demonstrated in a nationwide Finnish case–control study of 690 children with type 1 diabetes (<15 years old), in which univariate analysis showed that type 1 diabetes risk was doubled by the introduction of bovine dairy proteins before 2 months of age”

“Cows’ milk contains two major β-casein variants, known as the A1 and A2 types.44 These variants differ by a single amino acid at position 67, with a histidine amino acid at this position in the A1 β-casein type and proline in the A2 β-casein type. The histidine residue in A1 β-casein allows cleavage of the preceding seven amino acids, yielding the exogenous peptide β-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7)”

“Notably, human breast milk β-casein contains a proline in the homologous position as bovine A2 β-casein protein, so human β-casein is of the A2 type.50 Thus, breastfeeding during early infancy eliminates early exposure to A1 β-casein, although BCM-7 derived from dietary bovine A1 β-casein may be transferred to the infant via human breast milk”

“Strong correlations were identified between the consumption of A1 β-casein, but not A2 β-casein, and the incidence of type 1 diabetes”

“Birgisdottir et al.4 reported similarly strong correlations between lower A1 β-casein consumption and the incidence of type 1 diabetes in Iceland versus four other Scandinavian countries in 2-year-old children, despite all countries sharing similar latitudes, which is relevant to population vitamin D status”

“The diabetogenic effects of milk protein were demonstrated in an early study in BioBreeding (BB) rats,52 an animal model of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes. Here 50% of rats developed autoimmune diabetes when fed a standard laboratory diet (background rate), which decreased to 15% in rats fed a basic, semi-synthetic diet.52 However, when the basic, semi-synthetic diet was supplemented with milk, 52% of rats developed autoimmune diabetes. This rate was 35% in rats fed the gluten-supplemented basic die”

“In the first of these, non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice were fed a basal diet supplemented with either A1 or A2 β-casein.54 While no mice fed the A2 β-casein diet developed autoimmune diabetes, 47% of those fed the A1 β-casein diet developed autoimmune diabetes. Co-administration of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone attenuated the effects of the A1 β-casein diet, suggesting the diabetogenic effects of the A1 β-casein diet were at least partly mediated via opioid receptors”

“Monetini et al.59 have shown that T-cell lines specific to bovine β-casein can be isolated from the peripheral blood of patients with type 1 diabetes and that these cell lines react with multiple and different sequences of β-casein, particularly towards the C-terminal portion”

“The same researchers also detected significantly higher levels of antibodies to β-casein in formula-fed infants (n=12) under 4 months of age compared with exclusively breastfed infants (n=16) (P<0.001) and in prepubertal children with type 1 diabetes (n=37) compared with age-matched controls (n=31) (P=0.03)”

“Previously, two potential pathways have been suggested as being involved in the link between type 1 diabetes and A1 β-casein: (i) the opioid activity of BCM-7;54 and (ii) the similar structures of β-casein and an epitope of the glucose transporter 2 (GLUT-2) expressed on β-cells (that is, immunological cross-reactivity or molecular mimicry)”

“In the former pathway, opioids like BCM-7 may interfere with metabolic processes, including the regulation of glucose levels and insulin production and these effects are partly prevented by opiate receptor inhibitors such as naloxone.54, 62 Such effects may hasten or worsen progression to diabetes”

“In the second pathway, exposure to A1 β-casein may promote the development of autoantibodies that ultimately contribute to the cascade of events culminating in the development of type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies to GLUT-2 have been detected in most patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes63 and reactivity of β-casein T-cell lines to human insulinoma extracts and GLUT-2 peptide has been reported”

‘The role of respiratory disorders caused by congenital disorders in the central nervous system and the action of β-kazomorfin in the pathogenesis of sudden infant death syndrome’ by Barbara Sumińska-Ziemann, Tomasz Gos and Zbigniew Jankowski

Archives of Forensic Medicine and Criminology, 2015

This study looks at the link between casomorphines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most common causes of death in infants below one year of age, and a major diagnostic problem in forensic medicine”

“SIDS is diagnosed when the circumstances of death, a thorough examination of the scene and a complete autopsy (external and internal examination of the body and complementary post-mortem histological and chemical-toxicological analyses) fail to provide grounds for establishing the cause and manner of an infant’s sudden death. Sudden infant death syndrome is thus a diagnosis made by exclusion”

“There are several known risk factors for SIDS: male sex; young age of the mother; having many children; maternal smoking during pregnancy or exposure to tobacco smoke after birth; use of intoxicating substances (including opiates) during pregnancy; low socioeconomic status; overheating; heavy wrapping; putting the baby to sleep on the stomach; bed sharing with an adult”

“Casein is the main protein contained in cow’s milk, making up around 70–80% of the total milk protein content. Casein is also present, though in a considerably smaller amount, in human milk (the main protein components of human milk are whey proteins, with casein accounting for just 20–30% of the total protein content) and in infant milk formulas for artificial feeding which are produced on the basis of humanized cow’s milk [23]. The main source of β-casomorphins is thus cow’s milk and its fermentation products (cheese, milk kefir, buttermilk, yoghurt)”

“β-casomorphins are short (containing 4–11 amino acids) peptide chains. They are ligands and agonists of opioid receptors (µ, δ, κ), and demonstrate a special affinity to µ-opioid receptors, similarly to morphine and its derivatives. As in the case of morphine, their activity is reversible by the administration of naloxone”

“β-casomorphins display a broad spectrum of activity, e.g. in the CNS and the circulatory and gastrointestinal systems. They have an antidiarrhoeal effect (by increasing the intestinal resorption of electrolytes and water, and slowing down gastrointestinal motility), increase the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, enhance the body’s immune response by stimulating macrophage phagocytosis, and proliferation and maturation of lymphocytes. They have a sedating and antianxiety activity on the CNS, and affect adrenergic and cholinergic transmission. Also, they are agonists of 5-HT2 serotonergic receptors. β-casomorphins may cause pseudoallergic reactions secondary to the release of histamine from mast cells and an increase in tryptase concentration in the blood serum”

“β-casomorphins are degraded in the body by the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV). DPP IV is responsible for the modification and inactivation of various protein substances (hormones, cytokines, chemokines, neuropeptides, growth factors). It is found, among others, in the epithelium of the small intestine, and in the kidneys, liver, endocrine glands, T cells, urine, semen, amniotic fluid and meconium”

“On the one hand, β-casomorphins have been shown to have a beneficial effect on the neonatal adaptation to extrauterine life, and on the correct development of the nervous, circulatory, gastrointestinal and immune systems, and on the formation of a specific strong bond between the infant and the mother. In addition to their analgesic and anxiolytic effects, β-casomorphins also exhibit hypotensive and cardiotropic activity, and contribute to the processes of learning and remembering”

“Low concentrations of these peptides have been detected in children diagnosed with delayed psychomotor development and low muscle tone [27]. However, some studies point to the negative health effects of β-casomorphins and their link to the development of diabetes mellitus type 1, circulatory diseases including atheromatosis (potential atherogenic effect) and some mental diseases (autism, schizophrenia). Elevated concentrations of β-casomorphins have been demonstrated in the blood of lactating mothers diagnosed with depression or postpartum psychosis, compared to healthy mothers”

“β-casomorphins are thought to potentially play a role in the pathogenesis of SIDS due to their opioid activity on the respiratory centre in the brain stem. For β-casomorphins to act centrally, they must be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the circulation, and then pass through the blood-brain barrier”

“The intestinal epithelium is practically impermeable to peptides consisting of more than three amino acids. Also the blood-brain barrier prevents the penetration into the CNS of the majority of hydrophilic substances having high molecular weight. The absorption of large molecules, including casomorphins, into the circulation is facilitated by the permeability of intestinal epithelium caused by its immaturity in newborns and young infants (e.g. allowing the absorption of gamma globulins contained in mother’s milk) as well as pathological lesions in the intestines, particularly those of infectious aetiology, involving mucosal damage. β-casomorphins penetration into the brain is facilitated by the immaturity of the nervous system in infants and the associated increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier. It must also be noted that the chemoreceptor centres in the brain do not have an impermeable blood-brain barrier (due to their special function), which is why the concentration of exogenous substances within these areas of the brain can be substantially higher”

“In infants, low molecular weight derivatives of β-casein after being absorbed into the circulation easily pass the blood-brain barrier into the CNS. Once there, by affecting µ-opioid receptors, they can inhibit the correct response of the brain stem respiratory centre to hypercapnia, causing a prolonged apnoea and, ultimately, death. Evidence for this pathomechanism of SIDS has been provided by studies demonstrating a positive immunohistochemical response to casomorphins in the brain stem of dead infants diagnosed with SIDS”

“Studies conducted in the Olsztyn research centre have detected β-casomorphin 7 in the blood of children receiving mother’s milk, cow’s milk and milk formulas (artificially fed). The concentration of β-casomorphin 7 in the blood serum of healthy children was significantly lower than in children with clinically diagnosed apnoeic episodes classified as ALTE (apparent life threatening episodes, so-called “near SIDS”). The concentrations of DPP IV – the enzyme breaking down β-casomorphins – in the blood serum were also higher in the blood serum of healthy children than children diagnosed with ALTE”

‘The effect of personal, familial, and enviroinmental characteristics on acne vulgaris: a prospective, multicenter, case controlled study from Turkey’ by Ayşe S. KARADAĞ, İlknur BALTA, Hayriye SARICAOĞLU, Selim KILIÇ, Kıymet H. KELEKÇI, Mehmet YILDIRIM, Deniz A. ARICA, Savaş ÖZTÜRK, Göksun KARAMAN, Aslı A. ÇERMAN, Serap G. BILGILI, Enver TURAN, Mustafa M. DEMIRCI, Tuğba K. UZUNÇAKMAK, Serdar C. GÜVENÇ, Arzu ATASEVEN, Ayten FERAHBAŞ, Berna AKSOY, Emine ÇÖLGEÇEN, Özlem EKIZ, Filiz TOPALOĞLU DEMIR, Özlem BILGIÇ, Seray ÇAKMAK, Derya UÇMAK, Pınar ÖZUĞUZ, Yeşim KAYMAK KONKURALP, Aylin T. ERMERTCAN, Gonca GÖKDEMIR, Emel BÜLBÜL BAŞKAN, Gökçen ALYAMAÇ and Hatice ŞANLI

Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia, 2017

This study from Turkey analyzes the geographical and environmental factors affecting people with acne, including diet. Sure enough, milk was high on the list of possible triggers. [Abstract-only source]

“The most common triggering factor was psychological stress”

“We found a positive correlation with chocolate, bread, green tea, milk, white sugar, ripe banana, ice cream, apple, orange, and red meat consumption”

“There was statistically significant relationship as we compare acne severity and dietary factors such as chocolate, dairy products such as milk, sunflower seed consumption within the geographical regions”

‘Dietary Patterns Characterized by High Meat Consumption Are Associated with Other Unhealthy Life Styles and Depression Symptoms’ by Maria João Gregório, Ana M. Rodrigues, Mónica Eusébio, Rute Dinis Sousa, Sara Dias, Beate André, Kjersti Grønning, Pedro S. Coelho, Jorge M. Mendes, Pedro Graça, Geir A. Espnes, Jaime C. Branco and Helena Canhão

Frontiers for Nutrition, 2017

“In terms of dietary behaviors, an excessive consumption of energy, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar and salt and low consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are pointed to as the most important factors related to these leading causes of death, disease, and disability”

“The “unhealthy” DP (“meat dietary pattern”) is independently associated with younger age, lower years of education, male sex, unemployment, part-time employment and domestic working”

“Our study showed that unhealthy DPs, physical inactivity behaviors, smoking, and daily intake of alcohol coexist in the same individuals”

“Individuals with the “meat dietary pattern” reported depression symptoms more often”

“There is some evidence suggesting that a healthy DP, with high intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, may reduce the depression risk. On the other hand, there is also evidence from observational studies that unhealthy diets, namely those with high contents of saturated fat and refined carbohydrates are identified as risk factors for depression”

“Unhealthy DPs are associated with other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, such as physical inactivity, smoking, and alcoholic habits, which reinforces the idea that behavioral changes interventions should target more than one lifestyle domain (eat habits, physical exercise, alcohol, and smoking habits)”

‘Dietary Patterns after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis in Relation to Disease-Specific and Total Mortality’ by Meng Yang, Stacey A. Kenfield, Erin L. Van Blarigan, Julie L. Batista, Howard D. Sesso, Jing Ma, Meir J. Stampfer and Jorge E. Chavarro

Cancer Prevention Research, 2015

This study looks at the Western diet and a ‘Prudent’ diet, and their effects on prostate cancer. 

“Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and second most lethal cancer for men in the United States, resulting in nearly 3 million U.S. men currently living with prostate cancer”

“Most studies evaluating prostate cancer survival have focused on a single or a group of nutrients or foods without considering dietary patterns”

“We identified 333 deaths, 56 (17%) due to prostate cancer, during 8,093 person-years of follow-up among 926 men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Two dietary patterns were identified. The Prudent pattern was characterized by higher intake of legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, garlic, soy products, fish, and oil and vinegar dressing. The Western pattern was characterized by higher intake of processed and red meats, eggs, potatoes, high-fat dairy products, butter, refined grains, snacks, sweets, and desserts. Men with higher Prudent pattern score were more likely to be never smokers and consume less fat from animal sources and alcohol. Men with higher Western pattern scores were older at prostate cancer diagnosis and more likely to be Caucasian and smokers. They had higher intake of animal fats and lower intake of calcium and vitamin D”

“Men in the highest quartile of the Western pattern had a 2.5-fold higher risk of prostate cancer–specific death compared with men in the lowest quartile”

“The Prudent pattern score was inversely associated with all-cause mortality. Men in the highest quartile of this pattern had a 36% lower risk of death compared with men in the lowest quartile. Conversely, greater adherence to the Western pattern was associated with a 67% higher risk of overall mortality after full adjustment of potential confounders”

“The positive association between the Western pattern and greater risk of prostate cancer–specific mortality in our study is consistent with previous studies that indicated that higher intake of saturated fat, primarily from animal sources, may be related to disease progression. Strom and colleagues documented a 2-fold greater risk of biochemical failure with high saturated fat intake in a cohort of 390 Caucasian men with localized prostate cancer treated with prostatectomy. Meyer and colleagues found a 3-fold greater risk of prostate cancer–specific death among Canadian men in the upper tertile of saturated fat intake than those in the lowest tertile, and Epstein and colleagues reported that Swedish men in the highest quartile of myristic acid and short-chain saturated fatty acids had more than 2-fold higher risk of disease-specific death than those in the lowest quartile”

“These findings suggest that modifications to diet after prostate cancer diagnosis may influence survival and have a direct clinical translation”

‘Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians’ by Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, Qiu W, Mucci L, Sesso HD, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Pollak M, Liu S, Ma J.

The Journal of Nutrition, 2013

This study again looked at prostate cancer (PCa), with a closer look on whole vs skim milk.

“Men who consumed more dairy products tended to be older, smoked less, drank less alcohol, exercised more, and were more likely to be Caucasian and diabetic”

“Total dairy food intake was marginally associated with overall PCa risk. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of total dairy foods had a 12% higher risk to develop PCa than men in the lowest intake category”

“Higher intake of skim/low-fat milk was mainly associated with a higher risk of low-grade, early-stage, and screen-detected disease”

“For risk of fatal PCa, whole milk was the only dairy food that had a positive association. This association was independent of age, cigarette smoking status, BMI, alcohol intake, vigorous physical activity, diabetes status, red meat consumption, and total energy intake from recorded food items”

“High intake of whole milk was significantly associated with risk of progression to fatal PCa in both old and young age groups”

“Skim/low-fat milk is the major source of dairy calcium and higher intake might lower intra-cellular 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol concentrations and induce prostate carcinogenesis”

“The association could be mediated via phytanic acid, which may upregulate expression of α-methylacyl-CoA racemase”

“The relation could be through the effect of phosphate. Newmark et al suggested that the high dietary phosphate content of dairy products might explain the risk of PCa induced by dairy products, because the plasma phosphate concentration can appreciably influence 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol concentrations”
“the ability of dairy products to raise concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 have also been suggested as a possible explanation for the association”

‘Consumption of dairy products and risk of Parkinson’s disease’ by Chen H, O’Reilly E, McCullough ML, Rodriguez C, Schwarzschild MA, Calle EE, Thun MJ, Ascherio A

American Journal of Epidemiology, 2007

Here, protein and calcium from dairy is found to play a role in Parkinson’s, but not from non-dairy sources.

“Total intakes of calcium and protein (from all sources) were associated with a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease, but these associations were stronger for calcium and protein from dairy sources than from nondairy sources”

“Only nutrients from dairy products, except for dairy fat, tended to be positively associated with Parkinson’s disease risk”

“The findings of the present study are consistent with those from two previous prospective investigations. In the first study, men in the highest category of dairy consumption had an 80 percent higher risk than men in the lowest category; among women, the results showed a slightly inverse U-shaped association, with higher risk among women with moderate dairy consumption. In the second study, a study of Japanese-American men in Honolulu, Hawaii, men who consumed more than 16 ounces (0.5 liters) of milk per day had a 130 percent higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than men who did not drink milk”

‘Dairy, calcium, vitamin D and ovarian cancer risk in African–American women’ by Bo Qin, Patricia G Moorman, Anthony J Alberg, Jill S Barnholtz-Sloan, Melissa Bondy, Michele L Cote, Ellen Funkhouser, Edward S Peters, Ann G Schwartz, Paul Terry, Joellen M Schildkraut and Elisa V Bandera

British Journal of Cancer, 2016

“Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the US, of which nearly 90% are epithelial ovarian carcinomas”

“Because currently there is no reliable screening available for ovarian cancer and early-stage ovarian cancer often has no symptoms, most cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, with a poor prognosis ”

“The positive correlation between per capita milk consumption, lactase persistence (the ability to digest lactose), and ovarian cancer incidence has led to the hypothesis that the lactose component of dairy – a disaccharide of galactose and glucose, may increase the risk of ovarian cancer through galactose’s direct toxicity on oocytes”

“In this population-based ovarian cancer study of AA women, the positive association between the total dairy intake and ovarian cancer risk seemed to be attributable to the consumption of whole milk”

“Calcium intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, whereas lactose intake was associated with an increased risk”

“Sun exposure during the summer was found to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, but total or dietary vitamin D intake was not”

“High-lactose dairy foods may raise the risk of ovarian cancer. Both whole milk and low-fat/skim milk, contain on average 12 g per serving of lactose, much higher than cheese and yogurt (e.g., one serving cheddar cheese contains 0.05 g lactose and 0.04 g galactose), although one serving of these dairy products all contain ~300 mg of calcium. It is possible that the influence of lactose and potentially fat content in whole milk outweighs the benefits of rich calcium, leading to an increased risk of ovarian cancer risk”

‘Dairy intake after prostate cancer diagnosis in relation to disease-specific and total mortality’ by Meng Yang, Stacey A. Kenfield, Erin L. Van Blarigan,
Kathryn M. Wilson, Julie L. Batista, Howard D. Sesso, Jing Ma, Meir J. Stampfer, Jorge E. Chavarro

International Journal of Cancer, 2015

“Men with higher total dairy consumption were more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at an older age. Compared to men who consumed dairy less often, they were also more likely to consume less vegetable fat, and more animal fat, calcium and vitamin D”

“Total dairy food intake after diagnosis was associated with higher risks of prostate cancer-specific and all-cause mortality among men diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer after adjusting for potential confounders”

“Total dairy intake was also significantly associated with higher mortality from other causes, which was mainly driven by cardiovascular disease death”

“High-fat dairy consumption appeared to be associated with higher risk of fatal outcomes than low-fat dairy intake. Specifically, one serving increase of high-fat dairy was associated with 22% higher risk of total mortality and 30% increased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality; and 1 serving increase of low-fat dairy was associated with 17 and 16% increased risks of these two outcomes”

“In the-fully adjusted models, men consuming three or more servings of total dairy per day had a 136% increased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality than those consuming less than one serving”

“Mechanisms linking nutrients in dairy foods to prostate cancer progression have been proposed for calcium, phosphate, insulin-like growth factors, estrogenic hormones and saturated fat”

‘Lactose intolerance and risk of lung, breast and ovarian cancers: aetiological clues from a population-based study in Sweden’ by J Ji, J Sundquist and K Sundquist

British Journal of Cancer, 2014

“Lactose intolerance is a pathological condition characterised by abdominal symptoms caused by lactase deficiency”

“During the 484 572 person-years of follow-up, the risks of lung, breast, and ovarian cancers were statistically significantly decreased”

“The risks of lung, breast, and ovarian cancers were significantly decreased among individuals with lactose intolerance, whereas the incidences in their siblings and parents were similar compared with the general population”

“The significantly decreased risk of lung, breast, and ovarian cancers in lactose-intolerant individuals suggests that these associations could be due to the low consumption of lactose or lactose-containing products”

“Milk and other dairy products can contain high amounts of fats, particularly saturated fat, and some growth factors, such as insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), and these dietary components have been suggested to be associated with the development of various types of cancers”

“Insulin-like growth factor I can promote tumour cell growth through low apoptosis, high cell proliferation, and angiogenesis, and it was reported that high concentrations of IGF-I are associated with a greater risk of breast cancer”

“However, we cannot exclude the protective effects on the development of cancers of other dietary patters, such as a consumption of plant milk, including soy and rice milks, which are often consumed by individuals with lactose intolerance”

‘Exposure to Bovine Leukemia Virus Is Associated with Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study’ by Gertrude Case Buehring , Hua Min Shen, Hanne M. Jensen, Diana L. Jin, Mark Hudes, Gladys Block

Public Library of Science, 2015

“Breast cancer begins as a change within mammary epithelial cells that starts them on an estimated 20–30 year course through stages of early precancerous changes, carcinoma in situ, and ultimately invasive cancer”

“Hereditary (familial) breast cancer accounts for fewer than 10% of cases. Although risk factors for the remaining 90% of cases have been identified, including age, reproductive history, exogenous hormones, diet, exercise, alcohol consumption and other lifestyle factors, the exact agents responsible for the initial cellular/molecular changes are not fully understood. Ionizing radiation accounts for <1% of non-hereditary (sporadic) breast cancers, leaving the initiating agent for at least 90% of breast cancer cases unaccounted for”

“Oncogenic viruses are implicated in at least 6 types of human cancer, the most established of which are hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatitis B and C viruses), carcinoma of the uterine cervix (oncogenic human papillomavirus [HPV] types), Burkitt’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (Epstein-Barr virus), adult T-cell leukemia (human T-cell leukemia virus [HTLV-1]), and Kaposi’s sarcoma (human herpes virus 8)”

“The most prevalent oncogenic virus of cattle is bovine leukemia virus (BLV), a deltaretrovirus closely related to HTLV-1. BLV causes bovine leukosis (leukemia/lymphoma) of B cells. Approximately 38% of beef herds, 84% of dairy herds, and 100% of large-scale dairy operation herds in the USA are infected with BLV. Fewer than 5% of these cattle develop clinical leukosis, a condition that mandates exclusion from the US market”

“In a previous study we have shown that BLV DNA and protein were present in some humans, and were localized primarily to mammary epithelium, the cell type from which most breast malignancies arise”

“Presence of BLV-related DNA in breast tissue specimens was strongly associated with breast cancer”

“BLV was detected in the mammary epithelium of 59% of women diagnosed with breast cancer versus 29% of those with no history of breast cancer. BLV frequency in breast epithelium of women with premalignant changes was 38%, intermediate between the frequency in breast cancer cases and normal breast cancer-free controls”

“The finding of BLV-related DNA in breast tissues from 29% of normal women is not surprising considering the long latency period of breast cancer, an estimated 20–30 years from the initiating carcinogenic event(s) to appearance of a clinically detectable tumor, and the life cycle of deltaretroviruses (human, simian, and bovine leukemia viruses)”

“Although pasteurization renders the virus non-infectious and presumably thorough cooking of beef also does, many people have drunk raw milk and/or eaten raw or undercooked beef at some point in their life. Breast cancer incidence is markedly higher in countries with high milk consumption ”

‘Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption, and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women’ by Diane Feskanich, Walter C Willett, and Graham A Colditz

American Society for Clinical Nutrition, 2003

This study looks at the Nurse’s Study Data whilst examining calcium, vitamin D and osteoporosis. 

“At low-to-moderate calcium intakes, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, yet vitamin D insufficiency is common among older adults”

“Milk is a primary source of calcium and vitamin D and therefore might be expected to decrease osteoporotic bone loss and fracture risk, yet research has not generally supported this assumption. Evidence from clinical trials and case-control studies has been mixed, and several observational studies found no decrease in risk of bone fracture with higher consumption of milk and dairy foods ”

“Calcium supplements contributed 27% of the total calcium intake and multivitamins contributed 37% of the total vitamin D intake”

“Women with the lowest milk consumption and the lowest dietary calcium and vitamin D intakes were more likely to smoke and consume alcohol”

“A dietary calcium intake of ≥ 900 mg/d was still not associated with any reduction in fracture risk”

“Milk is a major food source of calcium and vitamin D, contributing ≈36% of the dietary calcium and 42% of the dietary vitamin D in this population. It also contributed significant amounts of retinol (≈19%), which was previously associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in this cohort”

“Adequate vitamin D is important in the prevention of postmenopausal bone loss. At low-to-moderate intakes, calcium absorption is largely dependent on the action of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D for active transport. Insufficient vitamin D leads to reduced calcium absorption, elevated blood concentrations of parathyroid hormone, and increased rates of bone resorption, which over time may lead to bone fracture”

“Case-control studies showed that older people who experience a hip fracture have lower serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than do those without a fracture ”

“Longitudinal studies have not generally supported the clinical research on calcium intake. Most found no significant association with bone loss or fracture risk. One major difference between these 2 types of research is the length of study. Over the 1 or 2 y of most clinical trials, the bone remodeling space can assimilate the additional calcium, thereby slightly increasing measured bone density, typically by ≈2%. However, density does not continue to increase greatly once this space is filled, and gains in bone density are lost when the calcium supplementation ends”

‘Conservatism predicts lapses from vegetarian/vegan diets to meat consumption (through lower social justice concerns and social support)’ by Gordon Hodson and Megan Earle

Appetite, 2018

Okay, so you know – I like the weird ones. This study seeks to underline the ideological motivations and associated social attitudes, and use that data to understand people lapsing from ‘v*gan’ diets (vegan and vegetarian shortened throughout)

“In the “What’s Hot in 2011” poll by the (US) National Restaurant Association, the majority of 1500 chefs earmarked vegan food a hot trend”

“Asking people to eat meat (vs. nuts) lowers their moral concern for consumed animals, and lowers the perception of mental states in such animals”

“Large-scale nationally representative data indicate that women (vs. men) are more likely to be vegetarian”

“Eating meat is frequently associated with masculinity, leading some feminist theorists to draw direct links between animal exploitation and sexism”

“Those with more education or with higher IQ scores are more likely to become veg*n later in life”

“Those on the right (vs. left) are significantly more likely to consume meat and/or support other forms of animal exploitation”

“In two relatively large Belgian community samples, Dhont and Hodson (2014) also isolated two key mechanisms responsible for explaining the left-right divide in animal consumption: Those on the right were more likely to consider vegetarianism a threat to culture/society, and were more likely to endorse human supremacy over animals. These relations held even after statistically controlling for the liking of meat; left-right differences in meat consumption were not simply due to differences in the hedonistic value in meat eating, but rather are relevant to dominance and superiority beliefs”

“Adopting a veg*n diet requires the development of new habits, learning of new skills (e.g., food preparation), the curbing of cravings for meat, and navigating new and awkward social interactions (e.g., being presented with a meat-based meal in a social setting)”

“Consider an unpublished study of former vegetarians, most of whom (57%) had become vegetarian for reasons of animal ethics, with others doing so for health (15%) or environmental (15%) reasons. Among the reasons listed for returning to meat consumption were social awkwardness, stigma, inconvenience, and meat cravings”

“Those higher (vs. lower) in conservatism were at significantly greater odds of having lapsed from a veg*n diet to meat consumption, as expected, with an effect size in the small-to-moderate range. Moreover, the relation remains significant after statistically controlling for age, education, and sex, themselves potential correlates of both conservatism and meat consumption”

“A greater odds of returning to meat consumption was predicted by ideology because those higher (vs. lower) in conservatism reported fewer justice reasons for attempting veg*n practice in the first place, and because they reported feeling socially unsupported in their non-meat consumption endeavors”

“The indirect effect through justice concerns was almost four times the magnitude of that through social support, offering important insights into intervention planning. Attempts to boost concerns about justice (for animals, for the planet, for poor people) represents a particularly strong starting point in light of the present findings. Indeed, a lower justice motivation for veg*nism predicted lapsing even beyond basic and visceral meat craving. Attempts to highlight the associations between eating animals and harming others  might prove beneficial in future studies. For example, exposure to documentaries or books on the impact of meat consumption on animals and the environment could help those who striving to achieve a veg*n diet as their own personal goal. Moreover, when meat-avoidance is characterized by a moral dimension, people tend to bolster their resistance to meat consumption”

“Framing meat consumption as a moral issue can therefore help personal resolve. Given that those on the right generally consider themselves good and moral people, making these links salient offers promise in the present context”

“Targeting insufficient social support, both actual and perceived, might prove a particularly practical first step. Social psychologists have at their disposal an arsenal of tools in this regard, including the manipulation of social norms. For instance, field experiments have found that exposure to descriptive norms informing hotel guests that most other guests reuse their towels reduces new towel requests (and thus conserves the environment). Similar interventions that stress how others are reducing their meat consumption, or that people support those who do, offer promise as interventions. With vegetarian and vegan diets becoming increasingly popular, social support will become more salient and presumably weaken the left-right divide in lapsing. Overall, such interventions offer promising avenues for helping people to attain their own goals of reducing meat consumption”

‘Eating and health behaviors in vegans compared to omnivores: Dispelling common myths’ by Sydney Heiss, Jaime A. Coffino and Julia M. Hormes

Appetite, 2017

This study seeks to validate the claims that vegan diets are related to unhealthy eating habits/attitudes.

“It has been posited that meat avoidance and eating disorders are linked, such that greater avoidance of animal products is associated with more disordered eating behaviors…This hypothesized association has typically been examined in cross-sectional studies of eating disorder populations. Findings from these studies generally suggest that compared to the general population, individuals who exhibit pathological eating behaviors are more likely to adhere to a vegetarian diet, though the adoption of meat-free diets may not cause, but instead serve to “camouflage” existing eating disorder symptomology”

“Results from research examining pathological eating behaviors among vegetarians are largely mixed. Some researchers have found that vegetarians score higher on measures of disordered eating, while others report no significant group differences. Several studies have also examined dietary restraint in meat avoiders as an indicator of restrictive eating practices and a proxy for pathological eating behaviors. These studies have also produced mixed results, with some showing vegetarians having higher levels of restraint, some finding no group differences, and others suggesting that vegetarians exhibit lower levels of restraint compared to omnivores ”

“There are three factors that likely account for inconsistencies in this literature: first, a lack of uniformity in the operational definition of vegetarianism, second, differences in the way in which disordered eating is measured, and third, small sample sizes”

“Gaining a better understanding of eating behaviors in vegans is of particular importance for two reasons. First, veganism has become more mainstream in the past 15 years, with a larger proportion of the American population adhering to the diet than ever before. Second, a vegan diet has been increasingly implicated in beneficial health outcomes, such as lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and type II diabetes. The relative dearth of information focused specifically on eating attitudes and behaviors of vegans is thus remarkable and a driving force behind the present investigation”

“Of our vegan sample, 68.6% (n = 245) were “ideological” vegans, 19.9% (n = 71) were “health” vegans, 11.2% (n = 40) were “other” vegans, and 0.3% (n = 1) did not respond to the question about primary initial motivation (i.e., health vs. ideological) for adopting a diet free of meat and other animal products”

“In sum, while we found evidence for minor differences between vegans and omnivores, such that vegans on average endorsed healthier eating attitudes and behaviors, effect sizes were relatively small. Findings thus do not necessarily signify that vegans are healthier than omnivores, but rather confirm that they do not experience greater eating-related pathology than their omnivorous counterparts. In practice, clinicians have previously been told to assess for eating pathology in patients who present adhering to a meat-free diet. This study provides preliminary evidence that specifically regarding veganism, these concerns may be largely unfounded”

‘Cardio-Metabolic Benefits of Plant-Based Diets’ by Hana Kahleova, Susan Levin and Neal Barnard

Nutrients, 2017

This report outlines the health benefits of a plant-based diet.

“Cardio-metabolic disease, namely ischemic heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, represent substantial health and economic burdens”

“Suboptimal nutrition is a leading contributor to chronic disease and premature death in the United States and worldwide”

“According to a recent analysis, certain dietary factors, including high intakes of sodium and processed meat products and low intakes of fruits and vegetables, were associated with 45.5% of cardio-metabolic deaths in the United States ”

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality, accounting for one in four deaths worldwide. The high prevalence of heart disease has been linked to lifestyle factors, namely smoking, the adoption of diets high in animal fat and refined foods, and a lack of exercise”

“A low-fat, vegetarian diet is the only dietary pattern to have shown cessation and reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in clinical trials, when combined with exercise and stress management”

“Vegetarian diets are associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease in general, including a reduced risk for ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. Risk factors associated with heart disease are also less frequent among those following vegetarian diets”

“In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, compared with non-vegetarians”

“In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8 prospective studies among Seventh-day Adventists, vegetarian diets were associated with a 40% reduced risk of coronary heart disease events and a 29% reduction in cerebral vascular disease events, compared with non-vegetarians”

“A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of 86 cross-sectional and 10 cohort prospective studies reported a significant protective effect of a vegetarian diet against the incidence and/or mortality from ischemic heart disease. The observed risk reduction, compared with non-vegetarian dietary patterns, was 25%”

“The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.3 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and a further 600 million are obese”

“Vegetarians typically have lower BMI (body mass index) values, compared with non-vegetarians. BMI values tend to increase with increasing frequency of animal product consumption. In the Adventist Health Study-2, BMIs were lowest among vegans (23.6 kg/m2), higher in lacto-ovo-vegetarians (25.7 kg/m2), and highest in nonvegetarians (28.8 kg/m2)”

“Vegetarian diets seem to increase resting energy expenditure, which may be partly responsible for the lower BMI values in vegetarians”

“A recent study showed a mean BMI reduction of 4.4 kg/m2 with a 6-month, whole-food, plant-based diet with no energy restrictions, compared with usual care (0.4 kg/m2), in overweight or obese subjects”

“In a meta-analysis of randomized trials by Huang et al., plant-based diets were associated with a mean weight reduction of −2.02 kg (95% confidence intervals (CI), −2.8 to −1.23 kg). A vegan diet had a more pronounced effect (−2.52 kg; 95% CI, −3.02 to −1.98 kg) than a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (−1.48 kg; 95% CI, −3.43 to 0.47 kg). Similarly, a meta-analysis of 15 clinical trials using vegetarian or vegan diets showed an average weight loss range of 4.6 kg among study completers”

“The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been increasing worldwide. An estimated 382 million adults worldwide had diabetes in 2013; this number is expected to rise to 592 million by 2035”

“Diabetes prevalence has been found to be the lowest among vegans (Odds ratio (OR) 0.51; 95% CI 0.40–0.66) and lacto-ovo-vegetarians (OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.49–0.60), compared with non-vegetarians. Diabetes incidence has also been observed to be the lowest in vegans (OR 0.381; 95% CI 0.236–0.617), lacto-ovo vegetarians (OR 0.618; 95% CI 0.503–0.760) and semi-vegetarians (OR 0.486, 95% CI 0.312–0.755). They all had a lower risk of diabetes than non-vegetarians”

“Even without exercise, beneficial effects of vegetarian diets included reduced body weight, better glycemic control, and lower blood lipids, compared with more conventional diets in treatment of type 2 diabetes—vegetarian diets being almost twice as effective”

“Patients with HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) concentrations of 6.0–6.9% had 20% lower relative risk of fatal/nonfatal coronary heart disease than patients with HbA1c concentrations of 7.0–7.9%. Limited data from four large, randomized, controlled trials and their follow-ups also suggest that chronic hyperglycemia is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. Meta-analyses of these trials demonstrated significantly reduced risks of fatal/nonfatal myocardial infarction (15%) and cardiovascular disease (11–15%) with HbA1c reductions of approximately 1 absolute percentage point”

“A recent meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials showed that consumption of vegetarian diets was associated with a significant reduction in HbA1c by 0.4 absolute percentage points, compared with conventional diets in patients with type 2 diabetes. This reduction in HbA1c alone (i.e., independently from improvements in body weight, blood lipids, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and other variables) would be expected to decrease risks of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease by about 6% and 4.4–6%, respectively, based on estimates drawn from large prospective studies. Other healthful lifestyle factors add further reduction in risk”

“It has been estimated that 874 million adults worldwide have a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher. In an analysis of data from 844 population-based studies in 154 countries between 1990 and 2015, 14% of all deaths and 143 million life-years of disability were attributable to hypertension”

“Each 20 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure or each 10 mm Hg increase in diastolic blood pressure more than doubles the risk of death from stroke. Conversely, a reduction of 5 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure leads to a 7 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality, a 9 percent reduced risk of heart disease, and a 14 percent reduced risk of stroke”

“A meta-analysis of 7 randomized controlled trials and 32 observational studies found that vegetarian diets lower blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic), compared with omnivorous diets. In observational studies, vegetarian diets were associated with blood pressure readings that were, on average, 6.9 mm Hg and 4.7 mm Hg lower for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively. In randomized controlled trials, vegetarian diets decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 4.8 and 2.2 mm Hg, respectively. The blood pressure reduction was independent of salt intake, overweight, and exercise levels”

“Epidemiological studies have shown a high prevalence of hypercholesterolemia in Western countries (more than 50% adults have total cholesterol serum levels higher than 5 mmol/L), along with the high incidence of cardiovascular disease and related deaths ”

“Data from clinical studies indicate that for every 1% reduction in LDL-cholesterol, the risk for a major cardiac event, including heart attack and stroke, is reduced by approximately 1%”

“Saturated fat increases plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations. According to a report published by the American Heart Association, replacing saturated fat in the diet and replacing it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30%, similar to the effect of statins. The authors concluded that the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) would decrease with such a dietary shift”

“Enhanced platelet adhesion, activation, and aggregation increase the risk of ischemic stroke. In addition, insulin resistance plays a role in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke by encouraging atherosclerotic changes”

“Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce insulin resistance, as well as to reduce platelet aggregation and thus reduce cardiovascular risk. Plant foods with low glycemic index like whole grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes, garlic, ginger, onion, purple grape juice, tomatoes, berries, and dark chocolate, are particularly efficient in reducing platelet aggregation”

“Fiber contributes to bulk in the diet without adding digestible calories, thus leading to satiety and weight loss. Additionally, soluble fiber binds with bile acids in the small intestines, increasing fecal bile salt excretion and thus reducing cholesterol, and reduces blood lipids and blood glucose. High fiber consumption has been linked to reduced body weight, lower blood pressure and blood lipids, reduced plaque formation and cardiovascular risk, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes”

“Plant-based diets are also lower in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat has been shown to decrease insulin sensitivity and reduce cardio-metabolic risk, independent of changes in body weight ”

“Vegetable proteins reduce the concentrations of blood lipids, reduce the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. High intake of antioxidants and micronutrients from whole plant foods represents another potential cardio-metabolic beneficial mechanism. Plant sterols that have a structure similar to that of cholesterol reduce the cardiovascular risk and mortality, have anti-inflammatory effects, and positively affect coagulation, platelet function, and endothelial function, as well as glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes”

Section 3 – Lectures and Films

‘What the Dairy Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know’ by Neal Barnard MD

Vegsource, 2017

Dr Barnard talks in depth about dairy, and its profound (negative) effects on the human body.

‘1g of sugar has 4 calories, 1g of fat has 9 calories’

‘Lean beef is 29% fat, skinless chicken breast is 23% fat, sea trout is 32% fat, white tuna is 16% fat, broccoli is 8% fat, beans are 4% fat, rice is 15% fat and sweet potato is 1% fat. Cheese is 70% fat’

‘Fat in foods adds easily to your body fat. If you ate too much bread, any excess carbs left over after the body has been fully powered, is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. To make fat from carbs is very hard – the body will consume around 20% of calories trying to store it. On the other hand, cheese goes very readily into fat as it already is fat. Once eaten, it enters your bloodstream ready to be stored.’

‘Fat slows your metabolism; inside your muscle cells are mitochondria (calorie burners) as well as intramyocellular lipid (fat) and if you eat too much fat, the fat builds up inside the cell. When this happens, the cell says ‘fantastic, I’ve got some fat I can store up in case of food shortage’. The mitochondria, however, will attempt to burn the fat as fuel, so the cell slows mitochondria production and your metabolism slows down to help preserve the fat.’

‘Cheese does not have fiber; (baked beans (1/2 cup) have 5g, apple has 4g, banana has 3g, cup of brown rice has 4g, but animal products have none.’

‘Cheese has a lot of sodium; (orange has 1mg, apple has 2mg, brown rice(cup) has 20mg, potato has 13mg, potato chips(2oz) have 330mg, cheddar (2oz) has 350mg, edam is 500mg and velveeta 800mg’

‘In an Adventist health study with over 60,000 participants, of five groups (meat eaters, semi-vegetarian, pescovegetarian, lactoovovegetarian and vegan), only the vegan group was in the healthy BMI range.’

‘Most rennet used in coagulating fermenting milk into cheese is a genetically modifed product as real rennet is expensive.’

‘Casomorphines are in the same class as heroin, morphine and demerol – an opioid’

‘Nature doesn’t leave anything to chance – when the body makes milk, it adds in Casomorphines to bring children back to nursing. All mammals are weaned, so they won’t need to nurse beyond infancy. Casomorphine has 1/10 the power of pure morphine.’

“Working with the US Government, the dairy industry has decided to get people hooked on cheese…fast food chains make decisions form their central headquarters, so in the year 2000 the USG made a deal with Wendy’s to market the Wendy’s Cheese Lovers Bacon Cheeseburger as a government programme, and it sold 2.25 million pounds of cheese during the promotion. They then did similar projects with Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King and Taco Bell’

‘Something that is just fattening isn’t enough – lard is fattening but no one craves it. Addicting isn’t enough, coffee and tea are addictive. But something that is both is a major contributor to obesity’

‘Endometriosis- makes your stomach hurt, goes with your period. The cells from the lining of your uterus leak out and are elsewhere in the abdomen, and are swelling and contracting, and can lead to infertility. A patient was told she couldn’t have kids, and she would need a hysterectomy. Because cows are pregnant nearly all the time, most milk on the shelves comes from pregnant cows, and these pregnancy hormones are in the milk. She gave up dairy, and her endometriosis disappeared, and she has two kids’

‘Men were interviewed and the people who avoid cheese have better sperm counts and those that eat a lot have low counts.’

‘Ex-American football-playing patient couldn’t shift his 300lb weight, and had erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is not caused by performance anxiety, is a sign of narrowing arteries. All that Viagra does is try to force open narrowed arteries.’

‘Patient had diabetes – you have glucose in your blood trying to get into a cell. To get glucose into a cell you need insulin which is a key hormone made in the pancreas, which arrives at the cell and attaches to the outside. Type 2 is where there is too much intramyocellular lipid in the cell, blocking the receptors to let the glucose in. The key is fine, there’s something stuck in the lock. Diabetes treatments ignore this, but on a PB diet this fat diminishes in the cell and the signal start working again.’

‘Asthma – patient had asthma, was unable to play sports and he was allergic to everything. At 18 he was challenged could it be dairy? He gave it up, and within 3 months his asthma was completely gone, and so were his allergies. He now has a dog.

‘National Asthma Council Australia, claims that dairy is not a cause of asthma, and there is no evidence. NACA is sponsored by 1 dairy company and 5 drug companies. The three sources quoted are not good enough’

‘Migraine headaches – patient has migraines starting at 23 yrs old, vision narrowed and intense sledgehammer feeling, nauseated and vomiting. She has family who have the same ‘condition’. Comes from the Greek hemikrania, meaning half of the head/brain, because its usually one sided. Long-lasting and aggravated by movement, light and sound. Can last days. Tyrosine is in the ‘trigger foods’ like fermented food, which converts to tyramine which tightens your brain. However, a lot of people are triggered by other things too. Test in London in 80s, they took 88 kids with severe migraines and placed them on a dairy elimination diet, 78 were headache free, 4 had partial. In adults, success rates is up to around 50%. There are other triggers, but dairy is the most reported’

‘Rheumatoid arthritis – if you look into joints, the joints are inflamed because it is being attacked by the immune system. The proteins in the virus cause an immune response. Researchers looked into dairy protein as a cause. One case saw a child told to steer clear of dairy, she went to visit grandparent and she gave her milk chocolate candy. She got worse, then she got off dairy and got better. Her paediatrician said she needs dairy for calcium, and so she got worse again. Went back and forth, and the findings got published. Triggers have been found in 20-60% of studies. In Oslo, they put people off dairy and got better after only a month. Dr John McDougall found a month was long enough to turn around others, especially newly diagnosed’

‘Prostate cancer – is one of the most common forms of cancer. Long time established relationship with milk, at Harvard a study across 20885 physicians saw a 2.5 serving of dairy products per day led to a 35% increase in prostate cancer. Another study, 47781 physicians, found 2 servings led to 60% increase. Hormones from milk trigger the initiation of the aggressive growth of cancer during promotion’

‘Alzheimer’s – Chicago Health and Ageing Project brought in hundreds of men and women and studied what they ate. The foods identified the number one source was dairy, and meat was number two. Saturated fat was found to have a massive increase in likelihood of Alzheimer’s, same as heart disease. Transfats were the same’

‘Most disease genes are not dictators, they are suggesters’

The Latest Scams from the Diabetic Industry‘, by John McDougall

John McDougall, 2017

Source address

In this presentation, Dr McDougall talks through the facts of what diabetes is, and how it’s making bank for the medical industry. 

‘We used to call type 2 diabetes adult type diabetes, but because so many kids now have it we can’t do that any more’

‘Diabetes is the cash cow for the medical business, the doctor industry, the drug industry, the hospital industry because diabetics generate so much income – $13700 per year per patient (2.3x as much as the average person)’

‘Diabetes must be thought of as completely different diseases. Type 1 has been treated with insulin since the 20s. Prior to that, patients would go to diabetic wards to die’

‘T2Ds produce as much as, and even twice as much insulin as nonT2Ds. The I just doesn’t work at the peripheral tissue level. The I doesn’t let sugar into enter the cells or the fat into the fat cells due to insulin resistance.’

‘There is one level between the two = type 1.5 diabetes. T1.5s produce enough I to avoid death by ketoacidosis, but they don’t produce enough to cover all the body’s needs. How do you diagnose – time. Minimise the insulin medication and wait.’

‘Destruction of the pancreas is most commonly caused by an autoimmune response to proteins from dairy called molecular mimicry. This is how you get type 1’

‘The body requires 40 units of insulin’

‘Type 2 diabetes is caused by getting fat. The fatter you are, the more likely you are to have it. It’s the way its supposed to be – survival. The human body is designed to survive. In a good summer, the body will prepare for winter by adding some fat. Once it adds too much fat, the body develops insulin resistance to stop the body putting fat into fat cells. It is an adaptation. Your blood sugar goes up, because the sugar, like the fat, is stuck in the blood’

‘How do you cure type 2? One of the most popular is bariatric surgery – surgical malabsoprtion. Rearrange the intestines, to make the person lose weight. The cure rate is 80%. In that same vein, dentists can cure diabetes by wiring your jaw shut. Chemotherapists can cure diabetes 2 by making you sick with chemo. Neurosurgeons can cure type 2, they just do a full frontal lobotomy. The most efficient way is to do bilateral amputations. That way you can’t get to the fridge’

‘Type 2 is 100% curable’

‘All you have to do to be able to treat diabetes is show that your drug can lower blood sugar. You don’t have to prove that it doesn’t kill your patients. It’s recommended that the patient lives longer and healthier, but its only a recommendation’

‘Sulfonylureas is 30% of sales, 2nd line therapy. Used as an herbicide, since 1972 its been used to treat diabetes and there has been a warning until recently saying on an increased risk of cardiovascular death. 2.5x more likely to be killed by heart problems on sulfonylureas’

‘Avandia is very popular, didn’t have the reputation of sulfonylureas so sold very well, it lowered blood sugar but increased heart attacks by 66%, 39% more strokes and 20% more deaths form cardiovascular failure. Cause 10000 heart problems for seniors; they paid a fine of $3bn and there are 50000 lawsuits against the manufacturer. (still on the market in US) Warning of congestive heart failure and heart attacks is in the physicians desk reference’

‘Metformin is the drug of choice, the idea that metformin prevents heart death comes from a very small testing group, PLOS reviewed the data and it shows that its benefit risk ratio remains uncertain, ‘we cannot exclude a 25% reduction or a 31% increase in al-cause mortality, we cannot exclude a 33% reduction or a 64% increase in cardiovascular mortality”

‘A number of studies show that being aggressively treated for diabetes leads to death. The Accord study was stopped a year and half early because people were dying. All seven studies on aggressive diabetes treatment shows increased weight gain and death, every time’

‘Faith based medicine – doctors who believe we must reduce the possibility of microvascular diseases, in spite of macrovascular. In fact, there is no benefit to microvascular health on diabetes medicine’

‘Treatment for T2 is take the medication and lose weight, but the weight stays because of the drugs. More weight is added, so more drugs are added to lose weight and lower blood sugar. It is a vicious cycle’

‘Sugar makes diabetes better, from tests back in the 40s. Sugar makes insulin work more efficiently. Sugar does not cause diabetes. Fat does.’

‘One test fed fat to T1s, the fat paralysed the insulin and then they needed to take more insulin to survive’

‘Nearly 90% of nearly 1000 people eating high carb diet in 7 days reduced or stopped their meds’

3 Facts About Cheese‘, by Neal Barnard

Neal Barnard, 2017

In this quick video, Dr Barnard says some really gross facts about cheese. Like, really gross. 

‘The smell of unwashed feet comes from brevibacteria; the same bacteria used to create the ‘stinky cheeses”

‘Bacteria in your digestive tract makes butyric acid, which is the same thing used in cheesemaking. This is why proper parmesan smells like sick’

‘Pecorino cheese, when made in Sardinia, is filled with fly eggs that, when they hatch, the maggots started digesting the cheese into a glop called casu marzu. The maggots will jump at you as you eat the cheese, so you hold a piece of card below your nose to prevent getting maggot in the eye’

Food, Sex and Attractiveness‘, by John McDougall

John McDougall, 2016

In this lecture, Dr McDougall talks through nutritional contributors that affect a person’s attractiveness.

‘We are attracted to healthy people, because of reproduction. We want to share material with the healthiest people and therefore the most attractive’

‘Unhealthy foods reduce male potency and fertility. Testosterone in vegans is 13% higher than non vegans’

‘Men who consume meat and dairy suffer from erectile dysfunction due to disruption to the blood vessels, both through blood and nerve damage’

‘Women who are underweight or overweight lose fertility A change of protein from 5% animal to 5% plant increased pregnancy chances by 2x’

‘Eskimos have the highest level of toxic chemical pollutants of any group, their breast milk has 5-10x more pesticide in it. The pesticides are so heavy that Eskimo tissue and milk is considered a toxic waste hazard’

‘If you eat low on the food chain, you get the lowest exposure chances, as you move up the food chain, pollutants are fat soluble, they are attracted to fat, they accumulate and at the end of the food chain, a human baby suckles from mum. A woman loses half her pesticide load over 6 months of breastfeeding.’

‘Toxic chemicals cause birth defects, interfere with testosterone, decease ejaculate volume, low sperm count, shortened sperm life, poor sperm motility, genetic damage and infertility.’

‘Environmental chemicals have oestrogen like effects, in a male baby in utero this can increase the chance of smaller penis and testicles, urine opening displaced (hypospadia) and descended testicles (cryptochism)’

‘Plants decrease the risk of birth defects’

‘No restriction on the amount of food you can eat, eating a high carb diet sees a drop in weight, blood pressure and cholesterol’

‘As blood transfers from artery to vein through capillaries, the capillaries take up oxygen. When you look at complexions, someone who is grey or blue will have poor circulation. Adding fat to a diet the blood cells become coated in fat, they can no longer repel each other, they stick together. The blood gets so thick 4 hrs after eating we get rows of blood cells sticking together, and doesn’t clear up until 10 hours. Oxygen content of blood drops by 20% after a fatty meal’

‘Acne – 80% of teens get acne, 1968 study proving no link to diet, 30 adolescents with severe acne in two groups, kept them on their diet. Sponsored by the chocolate manufacturers association, they made up two candy bars, high fat and high fat without chocolate, counted the pimples and found they stayed the same. They did notice that adding the candy bar made their skin more oily. This is the only study published on diet and acne. Acne and oil are connected, a pore with a hair coming out of it with the sebaceous gland alongside it, which collects fat. More fat in the glands, fat clogs the pores, the bacteria causes the pustule’

‘The fat you eat is the fat you wear’

‘How to avoid acne, avoid oil (including nuts and seeds)’

‘Halitosis, body odour and farts – multi-billion dollar industry that makes money from covering up smells, not removing them. If you are unhealthy, you smell unhealthy. The nose brain connection, connected through some fibres that go up to the brain in the limbic system, the emotion centre. The most offensive smell we come in contact with is sulphur – rotten eggs. Sulphur is what you are trying to eliminate. If you go to the dentist with halitosis, he will do a test where you blow into a straw. Sulphur is an element, it cannot be created or destroyed, it must be removed. It comes from proteins in animal foods, sulphur containing amino acids, beef has 4x the sulphur of pinto beans, eggs have 4x corn, cheddar has 5x white potato, chicken has 7x rice and tuna has 12x sweet potatoes. Going high carb for a week drops sulphur content by 50%. When you eat the sulphur, it goes into your gut, through the wall into the blood, and into circulation. It ends up in the lungs and is exhaled through the lungs. Circulation of sulphur also goes to your skin and bowel gas as well. 17 male donors were tested on various diets, and armpit wipes were done from each male, and the women smell the armpits of meat and non-meat diets. Non-meat were significantly more attractive’

‘Vegan farts smell better’

‘Chronic constipation – very little fibre in the western diet, and so with no fibre you make rock hard faecal marble poop. When you strain to poop you are taking blood from the venus system to push, and that flush making your face red causes damage, like to your haemorrhoidal veins, which causes them to hang out. The back pressure from straining to poop causes veins in the legs, due to the pressure of getting blood to the heart from the feet, as you walk the muscle contract and push the blood up, stopped from falling back down with valves in your legs, when you strain you damage the vales, and then the blood pools and the veins dilate, causing varicose veins.’

Power Foods for the Brain‘, by Neal Barnard

TEDx Talks, 2016

Dr Barnard talks through the effect what you eat has on your brain function, with a focus on Alzheimer’s.

‘Between the brain cells are beta amyloid protein, comes out of the cells and forms meatball like structures. This disease affects 50% of Americans by their mid 80s. Doctors will say its genetics’

‘If you have the Alzheimer’s gene from one parent, your risk is tripled, from both is 10 to 15 times more likely’

‘Chicago Health and Aging Project – charted what people were eating, to see how they got sick’

‘The number one source of saturated fat is dairy’

‘Mild cognitive impairment – you are still you, but you have minor lapses in memory. Study in Finland found same pattern as Chicago – brain health is affected by sat fat. They reran the test with only people with the gene, and found the same’

‘In the plaques, there is also iron and copper in the formations. Copper and iron oxidise in your body, and as they do they produce free radicals. They get into your brain and act like sparks to singe the connections between cells. Iron and copper comes from pipes and pans, if you’re a meat eater, there’s iron and copper in those as well. You need a little, but too much is toxic. Vitamin manufacturers add in loads in without considering diet. Saturated fat and free radicals are causing Alzheimer’s. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and knocks out free radicals. Chicago showed people eating 8mg of vit E cut their Alz risk by half’

‘There are 8 forms of vit E, which is in food. Vit E in supplements only use one type, and eating too much of one reduces your ability to absorb all types’

‘Blueberries are a bright colour thanks for anthocyanins. they brought in a bunch of older people with memory problems, and made them drink grape juice every day. After 3 months, all of them had better recall and memory. Same thing with blueberry juice’

‘Colourful foods, from a way off your retina can pick up on and identify the different vits and antioxidants. They are attractive and drawn to them’

‘120 adults were tested, brisk walk 3x per week, after a year they scanned the hippocampus, brain shrinkage reversed’

Debunking the Paleo Diet‘, by Christina Warinner

TEDx Talks, 2013 Warinner, an archaeological scientist, presents a talk debunking the ‘paleo’ diet, using facts and figures from our ancestors and a little common sense. 

‘Started in the 1970s as the stone age diet’

‘Diet is primarily targeted at men, with virile primal images’

‘This diet has no basis in archaeology reality’

“Humans have no known chemical, physiological or genetic adaptations to meat consumption”

‘Vit C – carnivores can make their own vit C, but we can’t. Digestive tract is longer than carnivores. We have molars for shredding fibrous plant tissue, we do actually have some mutations to milk, not meat. These arose in Africa and Europe.’

‘Anything a palaeolithic person would have eaten would be lean and thin, as well as the marrow and organs, not fattened cattle’

‘In the Arctic, there were long periods with no plant matter, and these communities would have eaten meat’

‘The inherent bias in archaeological record, bone is 80% mineral so it will preserve much better than delicate plant, early bone biochemistry test on Neanderthals (nitrogen stable isotope analysis, you are what you eat, there is nitrogen15 and 14, heavy and light, and we consume it in our food. The difference, each step up the tropic hierarchy, the heavier the nitrogen. Not all ecosystems conform to this model – East Africa animals vs ancient humans show humans as higher than lions, as well as an herbivore, but it’s not just diet but water access. In the ancient Maya, humans line up with jaguars, but their diet was mostly corn. Likely from how they fertilised their crops and irrigation. Mammoths sits across all levels, mammoths are eating lichens and bark, given them strange values. Ancient humans plot the same as jaguars – without a control its hard to ascertain’

‘Myth 2 – no wholegrains or legumes. We have stone tool evidence from 30000 years ago, 20000 years before agriculture was invented. People using stone tools like mortars and pestles to grind up seeds and grains. Dental calculus is fossilized plaque, we can recover microfossils from the teeth. Still in early days, but there is an abundance in the dental calculus of grains and barley, tubers.’

‘Myth 3 – every food pictured is domesticated agriculture, from the neolithic transition.’

‘Bananas, we have bred out their ability to make seeds, so every banana is grown from cuttings, they’re all clones. Wild bananas are so full of seeds most wouldn’t recognise them.’

‘Salads – radically changed the ingredients. Wild lettuce contains a load of latex, the leaves are tough and spiney. We’ve changed them; tomatoes have had the toxins taken out; oil olive oil is the only oil that can be harvested without chemicals, but they require kit that farmers need, it’s too high tech; model diet looks good, but blueberries come from New England, avocados are from Mexico and eggs are from China’

‘Domestic blueberries are twice the size they used to be, avocados are massively bigger, chickens don’t lay year round and the eggs are very small in the wild’

‘Broccoli didn’t exist in the palaeolithic period, wild broccoli is also cauliflower, kale, and sprouts, different cultivars, the same species picked for us to reflect what we want; broccoli is flowers; it blooms’

‘Carrots, wild carrots are bitter and have natural pesticides, they are also much bigger and have vitamins’

‘Almonds and apricots are close relatives of the same prune. We bred out the cyanide in almonds and selected for bigger fruits in apricots, very clearly human inventions’

‘Real paleo diets – there is no paleo diet. There was too much food across the entire world to say everyone ate the same thing; 7000 years back in Mexico, earliest sites in Mexico, September will have been high tide for people to populate, lots of agaves, beans and squashes, in April very little edible food, they would have moved on to other locations’

‘Paleo diets are regionally different’

‘Plants grow on a seasonal cycle, as do animals – so people had to move’

‘Food would have been tough, woody and fibrous. Eating meat would have used all parts. Plants contained toxins and benefits’

‘We evolved to eat whole foods, with the roughage and vitamins’

The Surprisingly Dramatic Role of Nutrition in Mental Health‘, by Julia Rucklidge

TEDx Talks, 2014

Julia Rucklidge talks through her work on nutrients and mental health.

‘Poor nutrition is a significant and modifiable risk factor for mental illness. the rates of psychiatric illness in children has increased; ADHD 3fold, 20fold autism, 40fold bipolar; internationally’

‘If the treatment is effective, shouldn’t the rates of illness be going down?’

‘Kids with depression who are given antidepressants are 3x more likely to convert to bipolar than kids never given them; people made to stay on their anti-psychotics are less likely to recover from schizophrenia in the long term than those who had doses reduced or removed’

‘Family with psychosis and bipolar treated themselves with nutrition, and getting better’

‘Placebo trial with ADHD adults, in 8 weeks twice as many people responded in the micro-nutrients group than the placebo group, twice as many went into remission of their depression in the micro group, hyperactivity reduced to normal non clinical range, more likely to report ADHD was less impairing and intrusive. 1 year on, those people who remained got better and better, those who quit or went to drugs got worse’

‘Over 20 papers showing the benefits of micro-nutrients on mental health; depression, PTSD’

‘Well nourished brain is better equipped to cope with stresses, and reduction in addictions’

‘Reduced aggression in prisoners, reduced dementia in the elderly, reduced depression, anxiety, stress, autism, ADHD, all randomized control trials’

‘Also works to prevent illness, 80% reduction in converting to psychosis’

‘Facts – What The Health’, by What The Health, 2017

What The Health is the latest film from the guys behind Cowspiracy. Although the film mostly covers the information already in this archive, it is in a format perfect for sharing with friends/family. 

‘350m people worldwide have diabetes’

‘1/10 healthcare dollars are spent on diabetes (US)’

‘Most kids before the age of 10 have fatty streaks in their blood vessels (US)’

‘2/3 Americans are overweight or obese’

‘Diabetes is never caused by eating carbohydrates or sugar’

‘1 serving of processed meat per day increases the chances of diabetes by 51%’

‘Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death around the world – equivalent to 4x jumbo jet aircraft crashing every single hour’

‘Poultry is the leading source of sodium, where salt water is added to the carcasses’

‘Every chicken sample from every major fast food chain tested contained carcinogen’

‘Salmon has more cholesterol than a pork chop’

‘93% of dioxin exposure comes from eating meat’

‘Human milk contains 2.7g of casein per litre, whereas cow’s milk contains 26g’

‘American Diabetes Association is sponsored by Dannone, Kraft and Bumblebee Foods; American Cancer Society is sponsored by Tyson and Yum; American Heart Foundation is sponsored by the Beef Councils of Texas, South Dakota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho as well as Cargill, Tyson, Unilever, Dairy Max, White Wave, Subway, Dominos Pizza, Conagra Foods, Farmland, General Mills, Nestle, Mars, Kraft, Kelloggs, Pepsico – all of these are excluding pharmaceutical companies’

‘USDA says that eggs cannot be legally described as nutritious, healthy, low fat, good for you, healthful or SAFE’

‘88% of pork chops are contaminated with faecal matter, as well as 90% of beef mince and 95% of chicken’

‘The animals often get lesions and sores; workers will pop these with knives to let the pus drain out during processing’

‘High animal protein diets results in trimethylamine forming in your gut, which the liver then turns into trimethylamine oxide, which forces cholesterol into the walls of blood vessels’

‘Human’s closest relative, the chimp, eats 97% of calories from plants, and 3% from insects’

‘Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?’ by Milton Mills

John McDougall, 2016

In this fascinating talk at Dr McDougall’s Advanced Study Weekend, Dr Mills talks through the scientific facts behind the carnivore, the herbivore and the human. As with all my usual lecture write-ups, the notes are a bit choppy and brief, but I absolutely recommend checking the video out for yourself. 

‘In nature, if you expend more energy in securing food than you get from it, you don’t survive’

‘It requires so much energy hunting animals that we would always be in energy deficit, and we wouldn’t survive’

‘Animals who eat plants are designed to forage – cover wide areas of space with a very low energy cost’

‘Animals designed to eat other animals are designed to run very fast, to be able to tackle other animals and kill them without injuring themselves’

‘Carnivores do not go out and look for the strongest and most robust antelope as it is more likely to outrun or injure them’

‘Carnivores look for the most defective food, but herbivores don’t want the defective food, they seek out the healthiest and biggest’

‘We are driving animals towards extinction as where carnivores pick out the weakest animals to eat, humans going hunting pick out the biggest and the strongest, weakening the gene pool of that species. This is the ‘beauty paradigm’ – carnivores want ugly food, they don’t waste time chasing the fittest or healthiest’

‘Carnivores also seek out food already dead, as their digestive systems are designed to cope with this. The energy content of an already dead animal is the same as a killed one’

‘Herbivores eating the healthiest plants are helping the species – take the healthiest and biggest plants, and then when we poop out the seeds, we spread the species’

‘There are three classes of animal to discuss – carnivores, vulnerable herbivores and invulnerable herbivores’

‘Carnivores, like wolves have a streamlined shape so they can run fast, they have an armored front- their chest and shoulders are very strong, padded shoulders to protect from back kicks, vulnerable parts are the bits at the back, thick muscular neck, forward-deployed weapons, top speed of about 35 miles per hour, they have a digitigrade stance – permanently on their toes, heels are off the ground, always ready to run straight away, joints flexed, and lengthens legs to increase speed. Nails are sharp claws – helps with attack and grabbing ground, means they must use energy to resist gravity’

‘In humans, squatting down takes more energy than standing. Digitigrade animals are always in a squat; this is why dogs and wolves will lie down when they are not chasing prey, so as to preserve energy. They have lightweight limbs and smaller feet to reduce the energy cost of running’

‘Wolves have super acute hearing so as to hear animals moving, ears swivel to localize prey,
eyesight is optimized for night vision and optimized to follow movement – binocular vision gives you depth perception which carnivores need, in a human being, at the back of the retina is a pit called the phobia, and there are cones that give you precise colour vision, carnivores have a linear streak and this is where the highest concentration of photo-sensors are located, permanent night vision but low res, most hunting is done at night, because sneaking up on a sleeping animal costs less energy than chasing an awake one’

‘Sense of smell is 100000 times more powerful than a humans, can also detect prey with cancers, infections and metabolic disorders – 80% of animals hunted by wolves in a Canadian study were sick, they can smell which are sick because they’re easier to catch, heel is third way up the leg, permanent crouch’

‘Vulnerable herbivores – designed for foraging, straight limbs so they can stand and walk long distances at a low energy cost, their skeleton resists gravity, not their muscles, they tend not to be active throughout the day to avoid predators, live in large multi-family social groups, limbs are lengthened and lightweight, healthy animals will always outrun their predator’

‘Vulnerable herbivores have a unguligrade stance – constantly on the tips of their toes, with even smaller feet and most only have 2 toes, nails are flat and blunt to help dig and forage, multicolored vision and top speed of 45/50mph,’

‘Invulnerable herbivores – so large and powerful they are rarely predated upon, very slow, no need to run, very large, diurnal foragers, heavy, straight pillar like legs, largely hairless skin, nails are flat and blunt, large heavy feet may have plantigrade stance – flat foot stance, long lived social mammals that live in family groups, herbivorous mammals tend to live much longer than carnivores – diets are heavy in antioxidants, protein comes from plants, all the largest strongest animals are herbivores, all protein is made by plants, no animal can take nitrogen out of the air and incorporate it into an amino acid’

‘When you plot movement over energy expenditure, in animals it’s a straight line, but in humans there is a curve where we use less energy than would be predicted for an animal our size, our upright stance makes us the most efficient foragers’

‘Every time a quadruped needs to move, it has to lift its center of gravity up to shift forward. When a human moves forward, we remove our leg and our center of gravity is driven forward by gravity, so gravity is doing part of the work, our walking is a finely tuned ballet’

‘Humans – designed for walking whilst foraging, widest part of our body faces forward into the wind, most vulnerable parts are right up front, we are not designed to chase things down, little flexible neck, long pillar like legs, large heavy flexible feet, when we run we have to lift them and carry them, hairless skin, nails are flat and blunt, lifestyle factors like social groups and active during the day means we avoid predation. We have a slow speed (20 mph which can only be kept up for 150m at most) which shows that we can’t chase stuff down, but we can outrun bees and wasps which only chase for a 200m radius around their nets, so we steal honey and run; looking at women, a pregnant woman can’t hunt – the female of every species is able to feed herself during pregnancy, there is no species on earth where the female is unable to secure the diet she needs to feed her young, long gestation period is a sign of large herbivores, babies are large relative to mother, eyes are open – a sign of brain development, single birth per gestation’

‘Carnivores have a wide gape and jaw muscle is massive, teeth designed for tearing and cutting, they don’t chew their food, jaw has minimal side to side motion and doesn’t move forward, saliva has no enzymes, jaw joint in carnivores is on the same plane as the teeth so that jaws function as sheers, molars are blade shaped, teeth slide past each other, very strong bite force (dogs can do 350psi, wolves 500psi, jaguar 700psi, lion/tiger 800-900psi, hyena 1000psi, human 135-150psi)’

‘Herbivores have well developed facial muscles, small opening, jaw is above the plane of the cheek teeth which allows lower jaw to grind and move, can move back and forward, some have saliva enzymes, cheek teeth are designed for grinding, and slide across each other in a horizontal motion, we can create a vacuum so we can suck up water, whereas carnivores have to lap water up, esophagus in carnivores is wide and distensable, swallow chunks of meat and bones without choking or lacerations, in herbivores it is narrow and muscular, most swallow small bolus of soft food’

‘90% of people who choke to death every year, do so on meat, mostly hot dogs’

‘Upper gastrointestinal tract – in animal tissues there is no fiber, just animal tissues which are very quickly and easily digested, mainly proteins and fat, no cell wall, most carnivores don’t require a long gi tract, stomach has ph1 acid for dissolving bones, hooves and tough connective tissue, extremely large stomach – holds 60/70% of total gut capacity, enables animal to consume 20/30% of body weight in one meal, designed for intermittent feeding, hunting isn’t efficient, and a kill is made once every 7 to 10 days, despite attempting every day, they need to be able to replenish energy spent in taking that kill, and the previous week’s failed attempts, and if they can guard the carcass, they can feed from the rotting meat to replenish more energy from that one kill, small intestines is very short, usually only 3-4 times body length, mostly for digesting proteins and fats, poor ability to digest a largely carbohydrate meal, plants don’t have bones and so use fiber to resist gravity and stiffen tissues, so all plants have membrane and cell walls made of fiber, so a longer gi tract is necessary, cellulose can be digested 2 ways – ruminants have four stomachs, and they have bacteria that produce enzymes that can break down cellulose, so they eat, coat the food in the enzymes, and then bringing it back up to chew again – chewing is the process of mixing enzymes in saliva with food’

‘Herbivore stomachs are about 30% of total gut capacity, mild to moderate ph at 4/5, cannot hold enough calories to last a single day, herbs must eat several times per day, small intestine is very long, 10/12 times body length, fiber slows digestion so longer intestines allow extra time and surface area to increase digestion, adjustable mix of carbs, fat and protein-digesting enzymes’

‘Lower gi tract – in carnivores it is very short, food has to be removed much faster as it will rot and leave toxins. In herbivores – much longer large intestines because there is lots of fiber left over, so intestines will keep working on the fiber to get nutrients, vitamins, fatty acids, water absorption and enhances immune function’

‘Humans -blunt flat incisors for grinding fruit, canines are reduced in size and act like accessory incisors rather than for killing anything, jaw is above the plane of the teeth and is l-shaped, typical jaw structure of a herbivore, even horses have canines, well developed facial muscles, small mouth opening, walled in oral cavity, create a vacuum, muscular lips for puling food into mouth, cheek muscles aid in chewing, salivary enzymes produced in our saliva, most carbs are digested using salivary enzymes, tongue is muscular to help eat, structure of mouth gives us better scope of taste, can only handle small amounts of soft food at once, GERD is often caused in high fat high meat diets, which can lead to esophageal cancer, stomach holds about 25% of gut capacity, designed for batch feeding, ph of 4/5, if we spent ages chasing an animal, we couldn’t get enough calories out of that one meal to replenish the energy lost in catching it, and we cant eat carrion’

”We ran animals to exhaustion’ – stupidest theory in existence, no carnivores run an animal into exhaustion as you’ll lose all your energy and won’t catch it, or regain it from meal, hunting was not efficient in temperate areas,  in cold areas where refrigeration was possible it happened, but plant eating locusts was a plague, not a food source’

‘Human intestines are 25/30 feet long, body length is head to tail bone, not head to toe, mucosa compressed like an accordion, surface area increased with vili and microvilli, total surface area equals the size of a singles tennis court, colon – very long, pouch structure found in herbivores, appendix isn’t vestigial, its a part of the immune system, only herbs have an appendix, in the colon we break down fiber of ferment it, gives us energy and produces vitamins, food spends more time in colon that anywhere else, food retention time is the time food spends in the body typically 16 hours, most of that in the colon, butreate is the preferred food for colonic cells, colon prefers fuel from tract rather than blood, also created is propreonate, which goes to the liver and inhibits production of hmac reductase – the enzyme that statin drugs inhibit to prevent cholesterol, as well as lowers livers production of glucose, acetate is used by your body instead of glucose which increases time before hunger, activation of lignans and phytoestrogens – reduce breast cancer risk by 22%, wholegrain rye lowers PSA by 14% in men with prostate cancer, consumption of soy phytoestrogens reduces risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer in a dose dependent fashion (body releases sex hormone binding enzymes when it see soy PE, and lower amounts of unbound estrogen and testosterone lower cancer risk, metabolism of PEs by specific bacterial strains can make PEs more bio-available, strains most effective are associated with plants, low fiber diet means that bacteria can get into the blood steam much easier – called leaky gut syndrome – causes inflammation and depression, cooing meat doesn’t destroy endotoxins’

‘In countries where meat consumption is highest, Alzheimer’s is also highest, as is inflammation and dementia’

‘Human digestion tract is designed to ferment bacteria and is essential – colon is not a storage container for stool, but a major organ’

‘Dogs and carnivores don’t develop gall stones or cholesterol due to their bile, carnivores can detoxify premade vitamin a, make their own vit c, can produce urine up to 2.5x more concentrated to prevent dehydration, can metabolize excess animal protein, without damaging their bones’

‘Herbivores have enzymes in saliva that dissolve carbs, unlimited carb capacity, have an appendix, cannot detoxify premade vit a, but we can take beta-carotene and make it into vit a as necessary, excess is stored in skin which acts as a natural sunscreen, we can detoxify plant’s alkaloids, may require a dietary source of vit c, cannot eat rotting flesh, easily develop heart disease with high fat and cholesterol’

‘Calcium – cows don’t drink milk, they get it from green leafy plant foods, adult moose antlers weigh 95 lbs of bone, grows them in a few months eating only plant foods, 6ft man has a skeleton of about 35lbs, grown over several decades, moose grows 85lbs of bone in a few months’

‘Epigenetics – means above the genome, part of the DNA previously known as junk DNA is actually regulatory sections of DNA, plants foods modify the proteins around our DNA and turn off cancer causing genes and turn on protective genes. Your diet helps control your DNA, you pass these effects on to your kids and grand-kids, diet changes gene transcription rates, DNA is hardware, epigenetic changes are software’

‘We have abdicated our responsibility over our health to profit’

‘Chronic diseases didn’t fall from the sky, we are born without choices, everything we like, we had to learn to like it, you can learn to live something else’

‘Healthy Approaches to Weight Control, Reversing Diabetes and the Best of Health’ by Dr Neal Barnard

chhsweb, 2014

Dr Neal Barnard lectures a group of students on the effects of nutrition on health. 

‘Look at Japan – historically the longest living and healthiest culture on the planet, before the 1980s diabetes was very uncommon and the primary ingredient in their diet was rice (carbs) Around 1980, fast food began to take off, and the fat content of the Japanese diet rose (from 20g/day to nearly 60g/day) and the carb content fell (over 400g/day to around 300g/day). Before 1980, diabetes affected 1-5% of the population, by 1990 it was 11-12%’

‘Rice does not cause diabetes’

‘Diabetes is not primarily a genetic disease – genes don’t change over time, the environment does’

‘In 1909 the USDA began tracking what Americans ate. Primarily a meat-based diet, in 1909 the average American ate 123.9 lbs of meat per year. By 2004 the peak had been reached at 201.5 lbs per year’

‘Back a century ago, the US was not a cheese-eating country, only eating 3.8 lbs per year. In the 1960s, fast food chains began adding cheese to everything. The US is now eating around 33.5 lbs of cheese per year’

‘Cheese is 70% fat, mostly saturated fat. It is also very high in sodium and cholesterol’

‘A meaty, cheesy diet is escorting diabetes into our diet’

‘Seventh Day Adventists are supposed to avoid tobacco, caffeine, alcohol and meat. The latter is not always followed. A test of 61,000 Adventists showed that only the vegans were in the middle of their BMI range. In the same study, the vegans had the lowest diabetes, the meat and dairy eaters had the most’

‘In a weight loss study with 64 overweight female subjects who had never tried a vegan diet before, there were two rules; no animal products and reduce oil. No calorie restrictions, no portion restrictions – they could eat as much as they wanted, with no changes to exercise routine. At 14 weeks, the subjects has lost 13 lbs on average, with a 2-inch drop in waist measurement and increased insulin sensitivity’

‘1g of fat has 9 calories’

‘1g of carbohydrate has 4 calories’

‘Fibre has effectively no calories, fills you up and holds a little water’

‘After eating there is a thermic effect, or an after-meal burn. The calorie burning speed ramps up after eating as your body processes the food; this lasts for a few hours after eating. On a vegan diet, the subjects had a 16% higher thermic effect, after every meal’

‘Vegans are skinny because they are satisfied after fewer calories and they have a metabolic edge that meat-eaters don’t have’

‘If I eat white bread, the blood sugar rises. If I eat rye bread, the effect is lower. Pumpernickel lower still. Anything that spikes the blood sugar, is high-gi’

‘Doing the same test with a low glycemic index diet – we tested hemoglobin A1C. Measuring blood glucose will show glycemic index but changes every hour. A1C is more stable and signifies the past 3 months. The standard ADA group dropped a little way after 11 weeks, but the vegans dropped further, by an amount greater than any diabetic drug can produce’

‘Standard ADA diet restricts your calories (indefinitely) and restricts carbs due to link to sugar’

‘Rheumatoid arthritis – the synovial membrane looks ugly, it is inflamed. There are antibodies that cause it, it is an autoimmune disease, triggered by foreign proteins, like dairy. On a vegan diet – no dairy, no arthritis. Dairy is not always the cause, but it’s a common one’

‘Diabetes can improve, but it won’t if we say the problem is the bread’

‘How Our Gut Bacteria Can Use Eggs to Accelerate Cancer’ by Dr Michael Gregor

Nutrition Facts, 2017

In one of his updates on current medical studies, Dr Gregor talks about the association between eggs and cancer growth.

‘10% of the DNA within our bodies is human’

‘If we eat a lot of meat and dairy, we can foster the bacteria that will convert the choline and carnitine in these foods into trimethylamine (TMA) which can be oxidized into TMAO which wreak havoc on our arteries and heart. These methylamines can produce nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic’

‘Choline can mostly be found in meat, dairy, eggs and refined grains’

‘By the 1990s 15 studies had been published, 10 showing egg consumption as having a direct effect on causing cancer, and 5 showing no association. Dozens more have been done since that further show the fact’