Eating predominantly plants sure has a lot to recommend it these days. Here’s a study that found women who ate a lot of animal food (protein), and a lot of dairy protein, had higher levels of a molecule called insulin-like growth factor-1 or IGF-1 for short. High levels of IGF-1 increase the risk for breast cancer (and other cancers too):
The Association Of Plasma IGF-1 With Dietary, Lifestyle, Anthropometric, And Early Life Factors In Postmenopausal Women, Growth Hormone & IGF Research, April 2015.
OBJECTIVE: Higher circulating concentrations of insulin like growth factor (IGF-I) are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
DESIGN: An analysis of plasma IGF-I concentrations (measured by immunoassay) in 1883 postmenopausal women. Multivariate analysis was used to examine correlates of plasma IGF-I concentrations.
RESULTS: Women in the highest quintile of total protein and dairy protein intakes had, respectively, 7.6% and 5.5% higher plasma IGF-I concentrations than women in the lowest quintile (p trend <0.05 for both).
CONCLUSIONS: This study in post-menopausal women identified several potentially modifiable determinants of circulating IGF-I concentrations. There is now strong evidence from this and other studies that IGF-I concentrations are associated with dietary protein intakes.
Maybe this is why a Harvard publication said, “the strongest and most consistent dietary factor linked with prostate cancer was high consumption of milk or dairy products.”
The fact that dairy food is not the healthiest food isn’t a secret. But you see people, women especially, gobbling it up. Why? I think it’s a feat of marketing.
I’m in that age category and do not eat much dairy except organic Bulgarian yogurt at least once a day. I clicked on the link you provided, but did not see a breakdown as to individual dairy. It has been my understanding yogurt (NOT the sweetened variety) is more of a probiotic food than other dairy and is therefore suitable to be included in the diet. Is that your understanding as well?
Thanks for posting this Bix. Will read with interest. We are vegan with the exception of cheese, but not much of it & not every day. When I was a kid, my Mom gave us three glasses of dairy milk a day! Don’t care for it now.
It used to be my understanding. But I’ve read enough studies over the years to convince me that the less animal food I eat, the better. I ate a lot of yogurt and buttermilk even after I gave up most meat because I believed it was doing my bones and my body good. I ate it every day, several times a day. I regret that. I no longer think dairy food is good food. Nutrients like calcium and protein I work at getting from greens, beans, and other plants. Maybe I will discover I’m missing something, but, as long as I’m giving my testimonial here, let me say .. I feel absolutely fine.
Regarding gut bacteria … I think it is more important to feed and support the beneficial bacteria that already live there than to inject or introduce colonies, or try to. Eating plant food has been shown to support beneficial colonies.
It is hard to make a blanket statement because… what if, say, someone was eating what I call a junk food vegetarian diet: lots of soda and cookies, not many vegetables, not many beans and whole grains and nuts and seeds etc., but ate yogurt. In their case the yogurt might be supplying nutrients they aren’t getting elsewhere. The benefits for that person might outweigh the costs.
Yes, the more plant foods the better and I try to eat that way now. Grew up, of course, with meat, sugar, all that and now over quite a few years have been eating more healthfully. Thanks for your response to my question and it makes very good sense. My yogurt eating which is limited to once per day and sometimes not even that is not a large intake. It’s mainly due to the probiotic aspect of it I guess and after reading somewhere that a banana is a good pre-biotic followed by the yogurt makes it beneficial decided to try it. Will give it more thought.
Someone mentioned Spam the other day. My cells are made of it! I can’t believe I survived childhood and adolescence eating what I did.