DIET AND DISEASES
LIMIT ANIMAL PROTEIN: DISEASES FROM HEAD TO TOE
DISEASES RELATED TO DIET
Industrial Western Diet
The popular ("Western" or "Industrial") diet in North America today is based on meat, sugar, dairy, fats (saturated, Omega 6, and trans fats) and refined carbohydrates. The “Basic Rules” are to avoid these in your diet. Omega 6 fatty acids originate in the seed oils of safflower, sunflower, coconut, corn, soy and peanuts. They are also found in animal meats from the animals that are fed the grains of corn, soy, wheat and barley. Refined carbohydrates are mainly flours from corn, soy, and wheat.
LIMIT ANIMAL PROTEIN: DISEASES FROM HEAD TO TOE
20 Grams: Maximum Animal Protein Per Day
People, by design, must rely on a plant based diet to remain healthy. The daily protein requirement is 4% of one’s diet. For a person using 2000 calories per day, this is 80 calories or 20 grams of protein. The ideal is 20 grams or less. This amount is about 2 level tablespoons. The average daily protein intake is over 100 grams (3.5 ounces) per day and many people eat as much as 256 grams (9 ounces or 200 lbs. per year). What happens to our body when we eat over excessive animal protein?
The leading causes of death in the U.S. and Canada are: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. If the number of deaths are counted from all causes, the third would be death caused by the administration of pharmaceuticals either properly or improperly dosed.
Americans and Canadian consume the most animal based food on earth. The population is sick. Lawyers, doctors, and accountants get rich dealing with the diseases and death caused by people eating animal based diets. Here are the facts:
- 82% of adults have at least 1 risk factor for heart disease
- 81% take at least 1 medication during any given week
- 50% take at least one prescription during any given week
- 65% are overweight
- 31% are obese
- 1 in 3 youths are overweight or at risk of overweight
- About 105 million Americans have dangerously high levels of cholesterol (200 mg/dl or higher)
- 63 million have lower back pain (related to overweight and poor circulation both influenced by diet and lack of activity)
during any 3 month period
- Over 33 million have a migraine or severe headache during any given 3 month period
- 23 million Americans had heart disease in 2001
- At least 16 million Americans have diabetes
- Over 700,000 Americans died from heart disease in 2000
- Over 550,000 Americans died from cancer in 2000
- Over 280,000 Americans died from cerebro-vascula diseases (stroke), diabetes, or Alzheimer’s in 2000
There is now a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole foods, plant based diet is best for the heart, kidneys, bones, and brain, and the prevention of diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
The following is a description of diseases where excess animal protein is demonstrated, documented, and /or proven as a major cause (2).
Bacterial Infections and Antibiotic Resistance
Approximately 70% of the antibiotics produced in the U.S end up in animal feed to enable growth in cattle, hogs and poultry, and to combat diseases caused by inadequate feed and crowding in feed lots. This practice inadvertently promotes the reproduction of antibiotic-resistant strains, which reaches humans through air and soil, but most often through eating the food animals which were treated with antibiotics.
According to panelists (1), there are currently more deaths resulting from antibiotic resistant bacterial infections in people than from HIV-AIDS. Of the 2 million Americans who contract bacterial infections which are antibiotic resistant, 90,000 will die annually. The panelists also discussed simple actions animal producers could take, such as better ventilation, the sanitizing of animal houses, and better animal husbandry, which could reduce or eliminate the need for antibiotics.
(1) Policy Briefing on Antibiotic Resistance: The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future sponsored a Capitol Hill briefing on antibiotic resistance last Wednesday, December 2, 2009.
Bone Disease: Osteoporosis
Animal protein, unlike plant protein, increases the acid load in the body through the addition of amino acids in protein. An increased acid load means that our blood and tissues become more acidic. The body functions best in an alkaline environment and fights the acidity. In order to neutralize the acid, the body uses calcium, which acts as an effective base that neutralizes the acid. The calcium is excreted in the urine. Doubling protein intake (mostly animal protein) from 35 to 78 g / day causes an alarming 50% increase in urinary calcium. The average American intake is 70-100 g / day. This calcium is sourced from our bones and the calcium loss weakens them, and putting them at risk for fracture. There has been evidence for over 100 years that animal protein decreases bone health. It was first suggested in the 1880’s and documented in the 1920’s. It has also been known that animal protein is more effective than plant protein at increasing the acid load in the body.
Women who consume a diet rich in animal based foods, with a reduced amount of whole, plant based foods, reach puberty earlier and menopause later, thus extending their reproductive lives. They also have higher levels of female hormones throughout their lifespan. According to the China Study data (1), lifetime exposure to estrogen is at least 2.5 -3 times higher among Western women when compared to rural Chinese women. To use the words of one of the leading breast cancer research groups in the world, “there is overwhelming evidence that estrogen levels are a critical determinant of breast cancer risk”. Estrogen participates directly in the cancer process. Increased levels of estrogen and related hormones are a result of the consumption of typical Western diets, high in fat and animal protein and low in dietary fiber.
(1) China Study, T.Colin Campbell
In the U.S. the chances of a male getting cancer are 47%, and females 38%: common cancers are breast, prostate, and large bowel (colon and rectal).
A high protein diet increases the development phase of cancer. Investigations found that Initial cancer development was almost entirely dependent on how much animal protein was consumed. Nutrients from animal based foods increased tumor development while nutrients from plant based nutrients decreased tumor development. In these experiments plant protein did not promote cancer growths, even at high levels of intake.
The results of many studies show that nutrition to be a more important in controlling cancer promotion than the dose of the initiating carcinogen. The ancestral diet develops and effective immune system and effective immune systems control cancers.
As intakes of meat, milk, eggs, cheese, fish, fat and other animal protein goes up, blood cholesterol goes up. As intakes of plant based foods and nutrients (including plant protein and dietary fiber) goes up, blood cholesterol goes down.
Lower blood cholesterol levels are linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and other Western diseases, even at levels far below those considered “safe” in the West.
High fiber intake was consistently associated with lower levels of cancers of the rectum and colon, and lower rates of blood cholesterol. High fiber consumption reflected high plant based food consumption; foods such as beans, leafy vegetables, and whole grains which are high in fiber.
Cataracts and macular degeneration afflict millions of older people. Macular degeneration is the destruction of the macula which is the biochemical intersection of the eye, where light energy is transformed into nerve energy. Around the macula there are fatty acids that can react with incoming light to produce a low level of highly reactive free radicals. These free radicals (see section) can destroy or degenerate neighboring tissue, including the macula. But the formation of free radicals can be suppressed due to the antioxidants in vegetables and fruits. Carotenoids are especially important. Cataract formation involves the clouding of the eye lens. Corrective surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.
These two conditions can be prevented by consuming adequate amounts of antioxidants found in colored, and green leafy vegetables. In both cases, excess free radicals, increased by animal based foods and decreased by plant based food, are likely to be responsible for these conditions.
Ongoing research has shown that:
1. Excess fat and cholesterol consumption caused atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries and formation of plaque) in experimental animals.
2. Eating cholesterol in food (milk, eggs, meat, fish, cheese, saturated fat, other animal proteins) causes a rise in cholesterol in the blood
3. High blood cholesterol might predict and/or cause heart disease
4. Most of the world’s population does not have heart disease and disease free populations have radically different dietary patterns wherein they consume less fat and cholesterol
5. Heart disease can be prevented and even reversed by a healthy diet.
6. Lowering the risk of blood cholesterol and blood pressure and you lower the risk of heart disease
Kidney stones(renal colic or pain that starts and stops abruptly) are probably one of the worst pains a person can experience (another is trigeminal neuralgia – another suspected autoimmune disease). Unfortunately up to 15% of Americans, more men than women, will be diagnosed with having a kidney stone in their lifetime. It may cause the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, restlessness (trying to find a comfortable position), dull pain (ill defined, lumbar, abdominal, intermittent pain), urgency (to empty bladder), frequency (frequent urination), bloody urine with pain (gross hematuria), fever (when complicated with infection), acute renal colic (severe colic in the colon or parts adjacent – flank pain radiating to groin, scrotum, labia).
There is a stunning relationship between kidney stones and animal protein consumption. Formation starts at consumption levels above 20 g / day. It has been shown that when people had recurrent kidney stones, the problem was resolved by shifting away from animal protein foods.
Gout is a common type of arthritis caused by an increased concentration of uric acid in body fluids. Uric acid is the final breakdown product of purine metabolism. Purines are made in the body and are also ingested in foods. In gout, uric acid crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, kidneys, and other tissues, where they cause considerable inflammation, damage, and pain. Often the first joints to exhibit gout are big toes and knees. They swell, redden, and cause excruciating pain when moved or touched. It is serious because it can cause immobility, and when you try to move, the pain is unbearable.
Meats (especially organ meats) are high purine foods, while alcohol inhibits uric acid secretion by the kidneys. Gout is primarily a disease of adult men; over 95% of gout sufferers are men over the age of 30. The incidence of gout is approximately 3 adults in 1,000, although as much as 10-20% of the adult population may have elevated uric acid levels in the blood.
Several dietary factors are known to cause gout: consumption of alcohol, high purine containing foods (organ meats, meat, yeast, poultry), fats, beans, refined carbohydrates (junk foods), and over eating. The dietary treatment of gout involves the following guidelines: 1) elimination of alcohol intake, 2) low purine diet, 3) achievement of ideal body weight, 4) diet high in vegetables, 5) low animal protein intake, 6) liberal fluid intake. Various anti inflammatory drugs (Indocid for one) are available for short term relief, but the long term solution is diet control.
Large Bowel Cancer
Because colon and rectal cancers are both cancers of the large bowel, and because of other similarities, they often are grouped together under the term colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide, in terms of overall mortality. It is the second and most common in the U.S., with 6% of Americans getting the cancer during their lifetime. Some even claim that, by age 70, one half of the population of “Westernized” countries will develop a tumor in the large bowel and 10% of these cases will progress to malignancy.
Fiber containing diets prevent colorectal cancer and this is due to the aggregate effects of all fiber types. The data clearly show that a whole foods, plant based diet can dramatically lower colorectal cancer rates. We don’t need to know which fiber is responsible, what mechanism is involved, or even how much of the effect is independently due to fiber. Our small intestines are 26’ long and designed for digesting foods containing fiber. There is no fiber in animal based foods.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are tragic, imposing almost impossibly heavy burdens on victims and their loved ones. Alzheimer’s disease is also related to diet and often found in conjunction with heart disease, which suggests they share the same causes. Experiments on animals have shown that a high cholesterol diet will promote the production of beta-amyloid which results in neural tangles in the brain common to Alzheimer’s. In confirming these experimental animal results, a study of more than 5,000 people found that greater dietary fat and cholesterol intake tended to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease specifically, and all dementia in general. In another study, it was shown that the combination of a diet high in animal based foods and low in plants based foods raises the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Prostate Cancer and Enlargement
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among men in the U.S. representing about 25% of tumors. As many as half of all men over 70 years old have latent prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is not only extremely prevalent but extremely slow growing. Dairy intake is one of the most consistent dietary predictors for prostate cancer in the published literature and those who consume the most dairy have double to quadruple the risk. An enormous body of evidence shows that animal based foods are associated with prostate cancer. In the case of dairy, the high intake of calcium and phosphorous, and the protein casein also could be partly responsible for this effect.
Zinc is critical for healthy male sex hormone and prostate function. Widespread zinc deficiency may contribute to the high rate of prostate enlargement in North America. It is estimated that 50-60% of men between the ages of 40 to 59 years have prostate enlargement. Zinc supplementation has been shown to reduce the size of the prostate and associated symptoms. Male infertility may be caused by a zinc deficiency that leads to a decreased sperm count.
DISEASES RELATED TO DIET
With autoimmune diseases, the body systematically attacks itself. Some people put the total number of sufferers at 10-12 million people in the U.S. Women are 2.7 times more likely to be affected than men. The afflicted patient is almost guaranteed to lose. An overactive immune system can cause chronic inflammation diseases. Autoimmune diseases happen when immune system cells attack your own tissues. Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases include: asthma, atherosclerosis, allergies, Alzheimers, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney inflammation, type 1 diabetes, bronchitis, bursitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dermatitis, gingivitis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, neuritis (ex. trigeminal neuralgia), shingles, ulcerative colitis, and vasculitis.
Foreign invaders are protein molecules called antigens, which can be a bacterium or virus. It’s the job of the immune system to destroy them. Each of the foreign antigens has a separate identity which is the sequence of amino acids that comprises its proteins. Our immune system must customize its defense to each attack. It does this by creating a mirror image or “mold” protein for each attacker and proceeds to manufacture antibodies. The mirror image of the antibody fits into the protein of the antigen and destroys it. The mold may be in the form of a B cell antibody or a T cell receptor protein.
Antigens that trick our body into attacking itself may be in food. During the process of digestion, some proteins slip into our bloodstream from the intestine without being fully broken down into amino acids. These bits of undigested protein are treated as foreign invaders by our immune system, which starts making molds for antibodies to destroy them. The trouble starts when the proteins mimic our own body tissues. These tissues can be any site in the body and this is why the symptoms are varied and puzzling. But the cause is the same.
One of the foods that supply many of the foreign proteins that mimic our own body protein is cow’s milk. Casein is a major constituent of milk and this is a protein. The immune system uses a delicate process to decide which proteins to attack and which to leave alone. Sometimes the immune system loses its ability to distinguish between foreign antigens and the body’s cells.
For example, Type 1 diabetes is where the immune system attacks the pancreas cells responsible for producing insulin. The ability of cow’s milk to initiate Type 1 diabetes is well documented. The initiation starts with undigested cow’s milk. Small amino acid chains or fragments of the original protein remain in the intestine and are absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. The immune system starts to destroy them, but unfortunately these fragments look exactly like the cells of the pancreas that make insulin. The immune system destroys them both. If this is happens to an infant, the infant remains a Type 1 diabetic for the rest of its life. This is one of the most contentious nutritional issues today.
Multiple sclerosis is a particularly difficult autoimmune disease, both for those who have it, and for those who care for its victims. The “multiple” symptoms of MS represent a nervous system in chaos. The electrical signals carrying messages to and from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and out through the peripheral nervous system to the rest of the body are not well coordinated and controlled. This is because the insulating cover or sheath of the nerve fibers, the myelin, is being destroyed by an autoimmune reaction. Wayward signals may destroy cells and “burn” patches of neighbouring tissue, leaving little scars or bits of sclerotic tissue. These “burns” can become serious and ultimately destroy the body.
It is a lifelong battle involving a variety of unpredictable and serious disabilities. MS sufferers often pass through episodes of acute attacks while gradually losing their ability to walk or to see. After 10 to 15 years they are often confined to a wheelchair, and then to a bed for the rest of their lives. About 400,000 people in the U.S. alone have the disease. It is diagnosed between 20-40 years of age and strikes women about 3 times more often than men.
Multiple studies over 40 years confirm that saturated fat, animal protein, and especially milk, is strongly associated with MS. It has been demonstrated the progression of the disease was greatly reduced even for people who had initially advanced conditions when diets changed.
Arachadonic acid is a highly inflammatory, toxic and cancer promoting. It is formed from from animal food sources (meat and fat) and creates hyper immune reactions and often autoimmune diseases
- when sugar was first introduced to England in the 1500’s, it was considered a poison
- a remarkable increase in diabetes from 1900 to 1920 corresponded with an increase in sugar consumption
- the hunt for sugar fields drove exploration in the New World
- 1/3 of adults worldwide have high blood pressure, when in 1900 it was only 5% - sugar is responsible
- 153 million people in 1980 had diabetes, and now its 347 million – sugar is responsible
- people with diabetes have sweet smelling urine
- high amounts of sugar in the diet leads to high levels of fat and insulin in the blood
- sugar is acid forming in the blood thus leading to depressed oxygen conditions favorable for cancer
- by 2026 it is estimated that sugar related diseases will consume the entire health budget
Glucose, Fructose and Sucrose
- a simple sugar, or monosaccharide
- a simple sugar, or monosaccharide contained in all fruits in small amounts; extracted from corn,
- fructose in excess is a health hazard; we evolved to use tiny amounts found in fruits and vegetables
- fructose is processed in the liver into fats, or triglycerides which can build up there, and enter the blood. Triglycerides also form cholesterol. The resulting risks are hypertension (high blood pressure, obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
- 36% of sugar consumed is fructose
- high fructose corn syrup is usually sweeter that sucrose made from cane or beets; there is little biological difference
- consists of 50% sucrose and 50% fructose
- 51% of sugar consumed is sucrose
- everyone would be better off with less sugar.
- sugar is not only empty calories, its toxic, and is a poison by itself when consumed in large quantities, and addictive
- the world is flooded with fructose, in the form of high fructose corn syrup, thanks to corn subsidies but our bodies have evolved to get along with tiny amounts
- Americans consume 95 grams a day or 22.7 teaspoons; this is 34.7 kg or 76 lbs. per year per person
People eat too much and exercise too little because they are addicted to sugar which not only makes them fatter, but after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy and puts them on the couch. They have no energy to exercise because they are eating too much sugar. When people cut back, many of the ill effects disappear.
How sugar is processed in the body
Glucose is metabolized all through the body
Fructose in processed primarily in the liver and if too much is eaten, the liver turns it into triglycerides or saturated fats.
Fructose can stay in the liver and turn it fatty, whereas most of it is pushed into the bloodstream. Over time, blood pressure goes up, tissues become progressively more resistant to insulin because insulin opens the cell “doors” to the absorption of sugar. The pancreas responds by pouring more insulin into the bloodstream to keep things in check. Eventually obesity, especially around the waist, high blood pressure, and other changes can lead to type 2 diabetes with a heightened threat of heart disease. It is also called Syndrome X.
Syndrome X is characterized by: diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease, high triglycerides (bloodstream fats), high LDL (bad) cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and obesity. These can lead to more serious conditions such as stroke and heart attack.
Cholesterol is made from sugar and carbohydrates and the liver produces more than the body ingests. Because North Americans consume too much processed food plus sugar (227 g or ½ lb. per day) the breakdown of this much refined carbohydrate and sugar creates acetate fragments and acetic acid. Much of this is converted into cholesterol.
Acetate fragments are burned by everyday activities and they are the building blocks of saturated fatty acids (SFA’s) and cholesterol. If acetate fragments are made faster than they are burned, the body makes SFA’s and cholesterol. This reduces the metabolic problems caused by excess acetate which manifests as acidic blood (protein does this as well).
When allowed to accumulate in our systems, excess acetate becomes more toxic than excess fat and cholesterol. By making saturated fatty acids and cholesterol with the acetate, the body reduces the acidic load from metabolizing too much refined carbohydrates and sugar. This eases the strain on the heart, and an acid heart is ripe for a heart attack.
Sugar and acetate fragments thicken the blood, sometimes into sludge. This weakens the immune system in its response to infections. Thickened blood has difficulty in flowing into fine capillary networks such as the inner ear (ear infection), retina (macular degeneration, cataracts) lower back (lower back pain), and distant capillaries in fingertips and toes (amputation);
Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment, because an acid environment lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood, and cancer cells thrive without oxygen. Eating sugar, meat, and refined carbohydrates creates an acid blood.
Sugar (1) > acetate > SFA’s (2) + glycerol (3) > triglycerides = body fat
Syndrome X which includes diabetes
> cholesterol = atherosclerosis or artery clogging
(1) And refined carbohydrates (ex. white flour) and alcohol
(2) Short chain fatty acids
(3) Also glycerin which is a sugar alcohol