Animal proteins – Increases the risk of cancer, diabetes and kidney stones
A study conducted by the researchers at Harvard University on 45,000 people showed that those who consumed large quantities of animal proteins increase the risk of gallstones by 33%. According to this research, daily intake of more than 61 g of protein increase the risk of kidney stones.
From this research also results that the increased potassium intake, coming from fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of gallstones.
If somehow you already had a urinary calculus, there are all chances that another one to appear if you eat a lot of animal proteins. The safest route to diminish the risk of kidney stones is to have a total vegetarian diet, which naturally contains little protein and more potassium.
But the animal protein excess is accompanied by other troubles too. Comparing to different countries, it was seen that where the animal protein consumption is high, the frequency of malignant lymphomas is higher. Malignant lymphomas are a form of lymph nodes cancer. Some forms have a particularly serious evolving since occur in young people.
United States, with the highest consumption of milk proteins and beef, show the highest number of malignant lymphomas. Other researches has found that high intake of animal protein sources increases the risk of breast, colon, prostate, kidney and endometrium cancer.
Vegetable products also contains a number of nutrients that prevent the appearance and development of tumors. The large amount of antioxidants of soy may be the main reason for the anticancer action of this vegetable.
Researchers at Cornell University in New York have found striking evidence on the relationship between animal protein consumption and liver cancer. In humans, two major causes of liver cancer are the genetic alterations induced by the virus hepatitis B and aflatoxin B1 exposure. Aflatoxins are a group of substances produced by some fungi that can contaminate some foods, such as peanuts. Researchers at the University Cornell showed that the importance of these two major causes may be minimized through a diet low in animal protein.
The risk of liver cancer on the mice that were receiving aflatoxin or show genetic changes due to hepatitis B can be greatly diminished by a low animals protein diet.
In China, the exposure to aflatoxin doesn’t seem to increase the risk of liver cancer, due to diets with a low content of animal protein.
There are several mechanisms by which animal proteins grow cancer risk. First, animal protein increase the level of hormones that stimulate tumor development.
Another important mechanism is the influence of these proteins to the immune system. Consumption of large amounts of protein, especially animal, decrease the number of so-called “killer cells” (natural killer cells), which are designed to destroy foreign body cells, including cancerous ones.
Another study showed that dietary restriction of two amino acids, phenylalanine and tyrosine can improve activity of the immune system by increasing the number of killer cells and other two important cell groups which prevent the emergence of cancer:
T helper cells (“helper cell”) and T cytotoxic cells (“cytotoxic cells “).
Referring to the list of phenylalanine and tyrosine content in the various foods, we see that the fruits have the smallest quantities, about 6 to 14 mg per cup, while eggs and milk contain 100 mg per 100 g; fish, 8-900 mg per 100 g, and beef and poultry contain 1000-1150 mg per 100 g.
When metastatic melanoma mice received a diet low in phenylalanine and tyrosine, the tumors stopped growing. Instead, mice who had a “normal” diet died quickly, due to rapid tumor growth.
Finally, a word about rich protein diet and renal function. It is known that some diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, can destroy the microscopic functional units of kidneys called nephrons.
Every third diabetic on insulin will reach renal failure requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant.