Countless scientists and charities as well as government agencies spend hundreds of hours a week analyzing cancer research, and now dairy products have come under the microscope. The latest research from the United States reveals that the hormones cows secrete into milk are suppressing genes that usually detect and kill cancer cells as they develop and increasing the receptors on cells that promote cancerous mutations.
The aim of this article is to bring the proven research to your attention and describe in better detail the mechanism of how dairy actually alters your own genetic cellular makeup, thereby allowing cancerous cells to develop. I will also discuss the reversibility of this epigenetic mutation by eliminating dairy consumption and increasing intake of certain other nutrients that protect these cells.
Hormones in Cow’s Milk
Grosvenor et al describes that a cow secretes hormones into its milk to allow the young underdeveloped calf to grow. The same hormone and substance content can be found in human breast milk. If you know your anatomy and physiology, a human infant or young calf has a poorly developed endocrine (hormonal) system. Thus, it would only be wise for nature to elect one parent to carry a mechanism to transport not only nutrients but hormones to their young. However, for us humans, most products we consume orally eventually enter our bloodstream via the stomach or the intestines. So if cows naturally secrete hormones into their milk, we are practically ingesting animal hormones straight into our bodies. Knowing this, it should be easy to understand that current dairy products are harmful. It is easy to draw parallels to the damage caused by injecting or orally administering the use of anabolic steroids. Essentially with dairy products, you are orally ingesting ANIMAL hormones into your bloodstream, hormones composed of mainly estrogen as well. Once in the blood stream (as these hormones survive digestion in the stomach), they then have access to the whole human body and combine at certain receptor sites, where they exhibit their effects.
To appreciate the real damage milk and related products such as cheese and those ever-more-popular whey protein shakes can do, let’s analyze the contents of cow’s milk. The following are some of the compounds found naturally in cow’s milk:
- Estrogens (Female Hormones)
- Androgens (Male Hormones)
- IGF-1 (Insulin like growth factor-1)
- Epidermal and transforming growth factors
Of all these ingredients, it’s the IGF-1 that appears to be the main culprit for increasing the development of cancerous tumours. The full mechanism can be read in Dr. Bibb’s book, “Deadly Dairy Deception,” but essentially, IGF-1 exerts a powerful effect on the p53 gene at the receptor known as IGF-R1 (type 1 insulin growth factor receptor). At this receptor, a number of cellular responses occur, including proliferation and the protection of cells from programmed cell death (apoptosis). This results in the effect seen in Figure 1 below, where cells with a mutation inside divide uncontrollably as apoptosis of abnormal cells is suppressed.
Figure 1 - Abnormal apoptosis, causing a cancerous colony to develop
The turning off of a gene is better known as hypermethylation or epigenetic mutation. This epigenetic mutation has been proven in the laboratory to be “heritable” and thus passed onto your children. This is due to the hypermethylated cells leaving “molecular footprints” that can be used as markers for constructing new cells of this nature, which means your children probably aren’t safe from your current dairy intake either. One study has shown that prenatal nutritional and metabolic events are memorized or “imprinted” by the developing organism that may result in the development of diseases in adult life.
In healthy cell division, the p53 gene should cause natural cell death in either aged or defective cells as illustrated in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2 - Natural cell death or apoptosis, where an abnormal cell is programmed to die
It isn’t just the IGF-1 molecules that are dangerous in milk and similar products. It is also the estrogens that are consumed. The full mechanism of the estrogen in prostate cancer and hormone-sensitive breast cancer is also complex and can be further understood in Bibb’s aforementioned book. Essentially, these estrogens bind to cells via estrogen receptor alpha and over stimulate the development of cancerous cells. This enhances the effect of IGF-1, which suppresses the p53 gene and which would normally perform apoptosis and program these cells for elimination. In effect, what you have is one protein hormone (IGF-1) that suppresses your cell defence and another steroid hormone (estrogens) that simultaneously stimulates cancerous mutations. Together, you have a very dangerous cocktail. That’s how cells seen in Figure A develop so easily, especially as these compounds are hormones. Being a hormone, it exerts powerful effects on its receptor cell. Thus, estrogens and IGF-1 work very well together at producing the exact same effect but via different receptors, making them excellent accomplices in this cancer debacle. This means children and adults are consuming a dangerous concoction of hormones and protein hormones in staple foods such as macaroni and cheese, milkshakes, yoghurt, pizza, protein bars, protein shakes and cheese burgers. A full list of foods to avoid can be found below:
- All Milk: Skimmed, non fat, 2%, half & half, evaporated, etc
- All Cheeses: Cottage, vegetarian, organic, light, cream cheese, etc
- Milk Protein Concentrates: Whey protein, whey protein isolates, casein
- All Cream: Light and heavy whipped, sour cream, etc
- All Caseins: Hydrolysates, calcium caseinate, magnesium, caseinate, etc
- Milk Powders: Whole, non-fat milk
- All Ice Cream
- All Yoghurts
Hormones and the Cancer Link
Cancer is a group of cells that have been modified so that they do not die! According to Bibb, if a gene that causes a cell to die becomes defective or conversely, a gene that keeps a cell from dying becomes defective, then a cell can become “immortal” and pass this gift onto its daughter cells when it divides. This gift is then passed on down the generations of cell division, and soon you will have developed a group of cells that do not die. This is what is known as a cancer. This is how it is with prostrate cancer, for example. The p53 gene causes cells to die and has been found to be defective in prostrate and in many other cancers. In the lab, prostate and estrogen receptor positive breast cancer tissue behave similarly. Therefore, it is likely that what is said about one is true of another.
It is through this combined effect that a tumour develops as the cells divide and reproduce defectively, which is why all cancers get worse or grow over time. These cancer cells are going through natural cell division (mitosis) and passing on their cancerous information onto future daughter cells. The prostate gland, as with other glands, is stimulated by many types of hormones and proteins. These hormones and proteins produce their effect by attaching to the numerous receptors that have thus far been identified. It is these receptors that play an important role in determining the health of a gland and whether the individual will develop cancer from abnormal stimulation of these receptors.
Is Dairy Ever Safe?
If the dairy is treated like it was in the late 1920s when milk was first introduced, it would then be safe for consumption. A brief history lesson tells us that vitamin D is not a natural ingredient of milk. In the early 1900s, Ricketts was a disease of epidemic proportion due to a diet lacking in vitamin D. This discovery was made by one very clever biochemist, Dr Harry Steenbock at the University of Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Steenbock exposed cow’s milk to ultra violet light and found that a compound called “ergosterol” would immediately convert to vitamin D upon exposure to certain wave lengths of UV light. Steenbock even won a patent for his work at curing Rickets by his process of UV exposure to milk in its manufacturing process. According to Bibb, Steenbock also inadvertently helped prevent people of his time from developing prostate and breast cancer in a way he can never appreciate. We now know his method also denatures the dangerous IGF-1 molecule and the estrogens by breaking down the disulphide bonds that keep IGF-1 active and that bind to estrogens in the milk. This process of ultra violet light exposure was used until the mid 1940s, where it became more economical to synthetically manufacture vitamin D and add it to the milk later.
An Increase of Prostate and Breast Cancer
Discussed earlier was the concept of epigenetic mutation, which is the “heritable” capacity of turning your genes off by leaving molecular footprints in your DNA. Thus, only now are we experiencing the unfortunate side effects of the evolution of the dairy foods process. This means the children from the 1940s are more prone to prostate and breast cancer as their gene protection systems are becoming weaker and weaker with time. This is due to each generation exposing themselves to IGF-1 and estrogens, except each parent weakens their p53 gene number, leaving their children with less unharmed p53 genes and so on, until now we really start to notice when we receive reports of teenagers with breast cancer and young men with prostate cancer. Until milk is treated again with UV light, we are going to continue to see young females looking like adult women and younger ages of people with prostate and breast cancer. The signs are all around us. Who else can explain why Western school girls are so more mature for their age compared to Asian, Japanese or other Eastern societies that do not consume large amounts of dairy? Scientists have noticed these trends by looking at dietary practices from 1986 to the present day, specifically noting the relationship between increased dairy consumption and increased risk of prostate cancer. This trend is even more evident in the black community.
The Role of Race in Prostate Cancer Incidence
The incidence of prostate cancer has been found to be significantly higher in black men than white men in certain regions of the world including the United States, the United Kingdom and in the African Caribbean (see Figure 3 below).
Figure 3 - Prostate cancer incidence 1975-1994 for black men vs white men. Top line represents black men.
The reasons why black men are more prone to prostate cancer are researched and available, but the largest reason is the fact that they are born with higher levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). This antigen is responsible for releasing more free IGF-1 into the body as it digests a binding protein called “IGF-1 binding protein-3.” To make matters worse, Tricoli et al and Winter et al concluded studies that found black men with age matched controls have lower levels of IGF-1 binding protein-3, which means they have a natural ability to free IGF-1 than white men, but they already have more IGF-1 circulating as well! Therefore, black men (and women) really do not need dairy products to increase their IGF-1 levels any further, as this can increase their incidence of cancer considerably. The table below details the massive change in prostate cancer incidence in black men in the US versus black men from Africa:
| U.S. (State)
||Prostate Cancer Incidence
||Prostate Cancer Incidence
| New York
|| Mali, Bamako
From the research data, a trend toward higher incidences of prostate cancer in colder climates versus warmer climates in black men was also noted. This can largely be attributed to the vitamin D effect discussed earlier, which naturally occurs in skin exposed to UV light. In the same study, the authors concluded that dietary supplementation of vitamin D could reduce the risk of prostate and several other types of cancers they researched (the daily dose would be a range of 1200-2000 iu per day).
Alternatives to Dairy
Now that you have a greater understanding of the dangers of dairy, it is time to discuss what alternatives can be used instead to lower your risk of prostate and breast cancer. Listed below are some alternatives to milk from a protein as well as calcium perspective:
Bee Pollen Granules
Nutritional Benefits: Bee pollen contains around 50 percent protein, much of which is in the form of free amino acids. It is also high in the B complex vitamins and enzymes.
Nutritional Benefits: Gelatin (Gelatine) is made from the collagen protein found in bone, skin and cartilage. When beef or pork are boiled, the collagen is extracted and changes into gelatin. Our gelatin is an excellent source of protein containing over 85 percent protein. Typical usage is four teaspoons per day. Gelatin may be mixed in non carbonated juices or with foods.
Brown Rice/Rice Protein
Nutritional Benefits: Brown Rice/Rice Protein contains 80 percent protein. Rice Protein Concentrate is made from Non GMO Sprouted Brown Rice Grains. The amino acid profile is approximately 98 percent similar to mother's milk. A vegan hypo-allergenic natural grain protein concentrate, brown rice/rice protein has a strong flavor profile as some of the protein is in free amino acids.
Organic Hemp Protein Powder
Nutritional Benefits: An organic food with 37 percent protein, 10 percent beneficial fats, 43 percent fiber (90% soluble, 10% insoluble), chlorophyll, magnesium, zinc and iron. Hempseed is one of nature's most perfect superfoods. One serving provides 11 grams of raw organic protein and a whopping 14 grams of fiber (54% of the RDI). Hemp contains all eight essential amino acids with the bonus of essential fatty acids.
Organic Blue-Green Algae Powder
Nutritional Benefits: This rare superfood is a protein powerhouse. It provides a highly bioavailable protein that is 80 percent assimilated in our bodies (compared to meat protein, which is 20% assimilated), and its amino acid profile is optimal for humans. Klamath Lake algae is also the world's most concentrated source of chlorophyll, a valuable phytonutrient considered by many to be one of nature's most cleansing and regenerating substances.
Nutritional Benefits: Xtend is a precise, scientific blend of Energy Aminos consisting of the proven 2:1:1 ratio of Branched Chain Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine), Glutamine, Citrulline Malate, and Vitamin B6 that will give you the energy you need to maximize your training while enhancing recovery at the same time.
Egg Protein, Egg White and Egg Protein Powder
Nutritional Benefits: Egg protein is commonly referred to as the "perfect protein," and it is the common reference to which other proteins are compared. Two values are commonly used to evaluate protein quality: protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAA) and biological value (BV). BV measures the amount of protein retained from the absorbed protein. Egg protein scores 100 percent on the BV, meaning all protein ingested from the egg is used by the body. Egg protein contains all eight essential amino acids required by the body.
Alternative Protein Sources
||Calcium Content (Mg)
|Cooked collards-one cup
|Canned spinach-one cup
|Cooked soybeans-one cup
|Cooked Turnip greens
|Bread crumbs-one cup
|Cooked white beans-one cup
|Canned Salmon-3 oz
|Cooked beet greens
|Slice of corn bread
|Tomato soup-one cup
|Egg & sausage biscuit
|Tofu one serving
|Milk reduced fat (+ Vit D added)
|Milk Whole 3.25% fat
The biggest opposing factor I have seen when approaching people about this life saving issue is not that they don’t believe me or the research, it’s that they are extremely habitual dairy users. People like the taste of dairy in their diets and have a well established habit of dairy consumption. The best we can do to combat resistance is offer strong, healthy alternatives to dairy right off the bat. Educate your clients on the pasteurization process used on milk, which is an archaic method to prevent harmful bacteria entering our bodies. As pasteurization involves subjecting milk to high temperatures of heat treatment, this also kills good bacteria (as heat is a non selective procedure) and denatures much of the protein contained in the product. Also, as we age, we lose the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase, which allows us to process lactose. This is why many people have stomach bloating or uncomfortable reactions to dairy products or products containing dairy. These are just a few of the effective arguments you can present to your clients when educating them on the dangers of some dairy products and suggesting they find alternative sources of protein.
- Bibb, R.D. Deadly Dairy Deception. Self Publication. Available from www.deadlydairydeception.com 2008
- Grosvenor, C.E. et al: Hormones and Growth Factors in Milk. Endocrine reviews. 1992; 14:710-727
- Adams, T.E. et al. Structure and function of the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Jul; 57(7):1050-93
- Nephew K.P. et al: Epigenetic silencing in cancer initiation and progression. Cancer Letters. 190 (2): 125
- Sander, O. Perinatal imprinting by estrogen and adult prostate disease. Available at www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas. 0409703102. Ibid
- Vardhman, K. et al: Transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic states at the murine Axin allele occurs after maternal and paternal transmission. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003 March 4; 100(5): 2538-2542
- E. Garner et al: Cells with Defective p53-p21-pRb Pathway Are Susceptible to Apoptosis Induced by p84N5 via Caspase-6. 2007; Cancer Res( 67):7631-7637
- Steenbock, H. United States Patent Office Database: Patented Aug. 14, 1928 (1,680,818)
- Personal communication with Dr. Lyndom Larcom, Clemson University; Jan 6th, 2004: As quoted in Dr. Bibb’s Book – Deadly Dairy Deception
- Talamini, R. et al. Nutrition, social factors and prostatic cancer in a Northern Italian population. Br J Cancer. 1986 Jun;53(6):817-21
- Chan, J.M. et al. Dairy products, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D and risk of prostate cancer (Sweden). Cancer Causes Control. 1998 Dec;9(6):559-566
- Rohrman, S. et al. Meat and dairy consumption and subsequent risk of prostate cancer in a US cohort study. Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Feb;18(1):41-50
- Kurahashi, N. et al. Dairy product, saturated fatty acid and calcium intake and prostate cancer in a prospective cohort of Japanese Men. CancerEpidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Apr;17(4):930-7
- Rajbahu, K. et al. Racial origin is associated with poor awareness of prostate cancer in UK men, but can be increased by simple information. Prostate Cancer. 2007;(10):256-60
- Henderson, R.J. et al. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PSA density: racial differences in men without prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Institute. 1997 15;89(2):134-8
- Tricoli, J.V. et al. Racial differences in insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 in men at increased risk of prostate cancer. Urology. 1999 Jul;54(1):178-82
- Winter, D.L. et al. Plasma levels of IGF-1, IGF-2 and IGFBP-3 in white and African-American men at increased risk of prostate cancer. Urology. 2001 Oct;58(4):614-8
- Parkin, D.M. et al. Cancer incidence in five continents Vol 8. IARC Scientific Publication. 155(p633)
- Garland, C.F. et al. The role of Vitamin D in cancer prevention. Am J Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):252-61
- Chek, P. "How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!" California: C.H.E.K Institute, 2004.