Monday, April 20, 2009

Dairy- IGF-1 Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1

Cancer and the dairy connection. There are many reasons why dairy is more and more closely linked to cancer. The one I'll discuss here is IGF-1, or Insulin-Like Growth Hormone 1.  There are many articles on-line about this hormone so I'll just give a fairly simple explanation of what it is and what it does.  IGF-1 is a hormone produced by mammals in the liver and body tissues. It's main function is to promote cell growth and cell development.  IGF-1 levels increase dramatically with the addition of  recombinant bovine somatotrophin (rBST)...the controversial ingredient that is injected into cows to increase milk production.  But keep in mind that all  milk from cows has IGF-1, whether treated or not with rBST.  The levels of IGF-1 in humans are shown to increase as the amounts of dairy in our diets increase. Articles have been written stating that even very small increases in levels of IGF-1 in humans are linked to an increase in many types of cancers, most notably breast and prostate cancer.  In 1998, a study at the Harvard Medical School showed conclusively that IGF-1 was a major factor in prostate cancer.  Other tests done around that time concluded showed evidence of IGF-1 and it's link to breast and colon cancer.

Countries that consume the most milk are showing statistically that they have the highest rates of  breast and prostate cancer (and very high rates of colon cancer )  The more IGF-1 in the bloodstream, (due to rBST), the higher the incidences of cancer.  It's in the farmers' best interests to have each cow produce the maximum possible amount of milk.  Some countries have banned the use of rBST to increase production, but once again , please remember that all milk, even organic milk , had IGF-1 in it. It's part of the structure of milk, not an additive. If you drink milk, or consume dairy products, you will elevate the levels of IGF-1 in your body and you will be increasing the risks of many types of cancer.  There is absolutely no reason to use dairy products. They do more harm than good. Most people in the world do NOT consume dairy ( humans are lactose intolerant, some civilizations  more than others) We get all the calcium we need from plants and have no need of calcium from milk. As I explained in an earlier blog, Osteoporosis is a not a disease of lack of calcium but a disease of excess protein (the cause of so much disease in the US..excess protein, specifically animal protein as opposed to plant protein)


  1. It's unfortunate that most people can't see the benefit of a dairy free diet, until they have experienced the disease that dairy can cause.

  2. Sorry I missed seeing this comment. Thank you for writing and expressing this opinion. I agree 100%.


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