by Dr Paul Palmer, Plant-Based Nutrition Expert – Sustainable Self
Following the announcement by the World Health Organisation, it is important for people to understand what cancer actually is. Cancer occurs when your own cells have mutated and start to divide at an unnatural rate and begin to occupy space that was previously required for normal body function.
Cancer tumours need to reach a certain size before they will affect health, and we now know that animal foods play a huge role in increasing the growth rate of tumours in humans. There are various mechanisms behind this phenomenon including the role of the hormone IGF1 and the amino acid called methionine in growing tumours. This announcement about processed meats is just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg so to speak. I believe these announcements against animal foods will continue. This will increase in the near future as medical science actually starts to play a role in the worlds’ nutritional recommendations.
The science itself is clear about this when the entire body of evidence is taken into consideration. It shows that animal foods as a food group promote cancer and plant foods have been proven to protect against and fight cancer. When choosing meat alternatives a major concern for most is the role of soya in cancer development. However, studies conducted as far back as the ’90s have directly compared animal protein against soya (and wheat) protein in cancer development.
Animal protein was the only protein that caused tumour development and soya actually had a protective role. The more the public understands how animal foods cause cancer growth, the more effectively we can tackle the cancer issue. A new paradigm is upon us where the factors that grow cancer will be more important than the factors that initiate the onset of cancer.
Dr Paul Palmer is a Chiropractor and the leading plant-based nutritionist in South Africa. He strives to educate all his patients about the importance of a healthy lifestyle incorporating chiropractic, plant-based nutrition and exercise.
Read More on the health benefits of plant-based diets:
- Vegetarian diet linked to lower colon cancer risk, Harvard Medical School
- The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Vegetarian Diets and the Incidence of Cancer in a Low-risk Population, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
- CANSA dietary guidelines, Cancer Association of South Africa