Saturday, August 27, 2016
Does Meat Cause Cancer? Revisiting the Meat, IGF-1, and Cancer Connection | Sara Gottfried MD
IGF-1 is one of our body's most important anabolic hormones. Anabolic hormones are in charge of growth, and growth can be both good or bad depending on context.
Animal protein raises IGF-1 more than other foods, but this doesn't mean meat is bad for you, or is "as bad as smoking cigarettes" as some headlines have proclaimed.
When IGF-1 levels are too high, some forms of cancer grow more easily (mainly prostate and breast). However, when IGF-1 levels are low, risks of cardiovascular disease, dementia, Alzheimer's, and sarcopenia are all much higher. In fact, death to cancer is also much more common with low IGF-1 too, possibly due to increased risk of cachexia (muscle wasting).
While diseases associated with high IGF-1 levels are scary, the truth is that low IGF-1 levels are more likely to be of concern for many people. If you are worried about IGF-1 levels, perhaps the best action you can take is to exercise frequently. Frequent exercise cuts the risk of cancers associated with IGF-1 to a much greater extent than cutting animal protein does, and also doesn't predispose you to the diseases associated with low IGF-1. In fact, the risk of all of the diseases associated with low IGF-1 are also reduced when you exercise frequently.
We encourage you to read the entire article below. It's long, but you'll get loads of great information about exactly what IGF-1 does, how it affects our health, and how we can be sure do IGF-1 "the right way"–the way where we live a long, strong, disease-free life!