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08:55 AM on 09/28/2009
there may be a link to cow's milk and diabetes mellitus. i think this link has been given short coverage in the news media. unfortunately vegetarians die from cancer all the time. heart disease also.
but you will not find any MD who will argue that sunlight exercise clean air and water keeping normal body weight and even being a vegetarian will not make you live longer. i would guess about 2 to 4 years longer.
10:39 AM on 09/28/2009
Studies have been done comparing seventh day adventists to the general population - SDA's are vegetarians, don't smoke, don't drink alcohol...and live an average of 10 years longer than the general population. Since there is a defined link between smoking/alcohol and cancer/heart disease this is no suprise. How much increased longevity their vege diet alone promotes is a guess...but given the cardiovascular disease/saturated fat link we should see lower heart disease "numbers" in the active vegetarian population...again, there are genetic factors in heart disease..so no matter what the diet...!
The Inuit population had a more omnivorous diet than you would assume, including nuts/seeds, seaweed, and plants..mixed in with shellfish, fish, mammal. Their ave. lifespan (60), runs about 8 yrs. less than the Canadian average...but again, their diet today is nothing like it was 100 years ago. Today they have a tremendous cavity rate! Diabetes, etc...
Several people have commented that "every vegetarian I know is sick or has some health problem"..I wouldn't say that being a vege is a cure-all...but I know plenty of very healthy lacto- ovo- vegetarians....physically active, cardiovascular "numbers" that are impressive, no sign of greater susceptibility to disease than their meat eating counterparts.
02:18 PM on 09/28/2009
Just out of idle curiosity - what do they do with that extra ten years?
01:22 AM on 09/28/2009
I am 60 (male), feel like 30 and I enjoy perfect health. I stay away from doctors and I have never taken any prescription or OTC medicine, except fish oil capsules No vitamins or pain relievers. (If you were experiencing stomach ache, would you rather quit ingesting rubbish or ask your doctor to get hooked on pills for life?) OK, I get the flu once a year, like everybody else, but this year I caved in and got a flu shot – and the flu. I was nearsighted and using glasses for 25 years. Five years ago, I ditched the glasses for good. I exercise little: an occasional walk in the park. Six hours of sleep, no nightmares. Last time in hospital was in 1971, car accident. I don’t even eat organic. I plan to keep working (real estate) for at least 20 more years. The key to our problems is simply nutrition. Big truism on this blog, I presume! My point is that proper nutrition is enough. Neither a rabid vegan nor a fanatic meat eater, I am omnivorous. I don’t belong to any chapel. I don’t eat junk food - obviously. For the same reason I would not eat rat poison. My food can be raw or cooked, occasional steak, fish, beans, vegetables, nuts, wine, chocolate, coffee (strong espresso), etc. but as little processed as possible. Please don’t "enrich" my food (I love the irony!). I read your theories with a lot of interest. Keep duking it out!
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Mort
Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
09:05 PM on 09/27/2009
If this were true, then the vegans I know should be healthier than the rest of us. Yet they suffer from the same ailments and die of the same causes. I don't think there can be a universal diet that works for everyone. Nor would everyone want to abide by one if it doesn't include foods they like. I'm all for moderation and balance. An occasional tenderloin on the grill is great for protein and makes me feel real good. Don't approve? Don't have one!
09:59 PM on 09/27/2009
Having been a professional researcher in nutrition for the past 40 years, I'm always amazed at the ignorance of what has been scientifically proven; the most religious advocates of a high-protein, high-meat diet ignore decades of indicators that the typical American diet is a major instigator of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, etc. And, yes, vegans and vegetarians do have much better health records as a rule. There are, of course, vegetarians who eat junk food--and, since someone mentioned it, the rural poor of So. India eat white rice and sugar and get inadequate calories, so they don't compare well with some in the No. who eat more meat--but the Indian diet is not at all like the high-protein one advocated by some here. Read John Robbins' The Food Revolution for other reasons to cut down on meat--including the contamination by chemicals and by animal diseases and the ecological implications (you can do more to help global warming by eating less meat than anything else an individual can do).
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Mort
Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
10:35 PM on 09/27/2009
I don't feel the need to cut down on meat, especially when I already eat it sparingly. And contamination-wise, veggies have had a huge share of that, especially this last year.

What I'm saying is the vegans I know are no more healthy than the omnivores, so in my experience a blanket statement has some holes in it. Every study that comes out has pros and cons, and contradicts other studies that were supposedly the absolute truth. There are so many factors that affect our lives and health, many have nothing to do with what we eat.

If a vegan lifestyle works for you, fine. It's not for me, and ignorance has nothing to do with it.
12:04 AM on 09/29/2009
I think the Inuit prove that a high meat, high protein diet CAN work. That said, I don`t think it`s meat or protein that are the problem. Our bodies are designed to metabolise them. It is eating TOO MUCH of them that seems to be the problem. Just like too many carbs are bad for you. No need to attack people who eat a balanced diet in your sweeping statement.
07:44 PM on 09/27/2009
The FDA, and the entire drug delivery process is designed to only reward the creation of novel molecules for disease treatment. Since nobody can get patent protection for a prescription of spinach salad, there is relatively little research effort put into nutritional effects on health.

But the militant vegetarians need to back the f/uck off my T-Bone steaks. Seriously.
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sixchair
Always left, usually right
06:03 PM on 09/27/2009
What everyone is missing here is the importance of anti-oxidants: pomegranate, blueberries, cranberries, chocolate, red wine, goji berries, etc. These are the proven real miracles in cancelling the cancer-producing activities of free radicals.

I am 6 months out of prostate surgery with an aggressive tc3 gleason 9 cancer. I load anti-oxidants all day, limit red meat, eat fish and chicken (skinless), cruciferous veggies like broccoli and ingest spices like turmeric and capsaicin ( http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/full/66/6/3222 ).

My surgeon, perhaps the world's best, is amazed that my psa shows no cancer at this point. Plus, I've frankly never felt better!
12:22 AM on 09/28/2009
I am curious about the link with prostate use (Intimate or lack of Intimacy) and its correlation with prostate cancer. What was your experience with that and do you think it could be a linkable cause.

There has also been a link between this and sugar also with claims of sugar being fuel for cancer cells?

I think the acidity has been linked the most with various protein intakes and its link to cancer. I personally was vegetarian for years and lack of protein during workouts lead to none strength increases and I stopped and felt better when in-taking lean proteins (Fish, Poultry). Also Soy proteins can cause increased estrogen's in Male consumers.

So I think there has to be a balance, we do need animal proteins, but I think vegetables and fruits need to be key in our diets.
Weehawk
Flying without a kite string
02:09 PM on 09/28/2009
Free-range protein is also better for you, in terms of Omega 3 fatty acids, etc. than factory grown.
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c2morow
Insight, not incite...
05:35 PM on 09/27/2009
Darn! I was really hoping that tomatoes was the cure. I could eat them all day in a variety of ways, from raw to stewed, etc. Best thing that ever came out of the ground in my opinion. However, back OT, this article is interesting. It has definately piqued my curiosity about the meat vs. veggie diet and its impact on disease.
05:32 PM on 09/27/2009
In order for there to be cancer, there must necessarily be lipid peroxidation, which only occurs with polyunsaturated fats. Look it up.
05:29 PM on 09/27/2009
Two words: Linda McCartney.
04:38 PM on 09/27/2009
I agree! It's basic logic that G-d's food is what we're meant to eat. Food from the earth. That is the
best healthcare prescription. We need a pre-emptive strike on disease before it strikes us. We all know this deep down, but the gov't has no place mandating it.
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tbone99
cruisin' duality
03:43 PM on 09/27/2009
You can imagine that the beef industry will attack or cover up this news.

Meat is not good for people or the planet.
The production of meat deprives millions of plants that go to beef production instead.
Most people in the U.S do not see a meal as anything but meat .
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quindy
If repubs don't drive you crazy you are not normal
02:23 PM on 09/27/2009
For environmental reasons we should all eat plant based diet. Population is growing and there will be not enough land to ranch and feed animals. Diet based on grains and plants can sustain the growing population better.
08:44 PM on 09/27/2009
Or we could just back off on the excess population. Of all the arguments that tick me off, the "we are going to have too many people, we don't have room to raise animals" is the worst. Seriously, I would much rather live next to a pasture full of cattle than a huge housing project with people packed in like sardines. Just because the planet has a maximum carrying capacity doesn't mean we have to reach it. As a quality of life issue, I think most people would rather see a planet with sustainable farms that produce both plants and animals than an overcrowded planet with the animals forced out of the picture.
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joyfulworld
Happy Progressive
02:20 PM on 09/27/2009
Medical doctors get what? A whopping hour of nutritional study during their 12 years of pharmaceutical-based med school? And you actually expect them to have even the tiniest grasp of nutrition? Find a good naturopath or study nutrition yourself if you want to be healthy and not just attack symptoms.
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tbone99
cruisin' duality
03:52 PM on 09/27/2009
I can't help but wonder how much dementia and Alzheimers is really mad cow disease ?
the U.S does a very shoddy job of overseeing the cow industry due to their powerful lobbyists.
04:03 PM on 09/27/2009
Exactly.
07:32 PM on 09/27/2009
Mad cow, or Creutzfeld-Jakob is quite different from Alzheimers and they are not the same thing.
01:50 PM on 09/27/2009
Article seems like pseudo-science to me. A lot of obesity may be caused by high fructose corn syrup. Many people who consume lots of meat and dairy products live long lives without cancer. There isn't one diet that is right for everyone. That is the greatest fallacy promoted by the people who push one diet or who condemn one type of food.
12:54 PM on 09/27/2009
I can't help noting that many of the comments challenging the heathfulness of a plant-based diet are quite strident, defensive, even sarcastic; while almost none of the comments recommending that kind of diet are. I don't think there's a movement afoot to force meat eaters to go vegan at the point of a gun. But I do think that one of the biggest obstacles keeping people from switching from an animal-based to a plant-based diet is taste. Yet the vegans clearly find animal matter every bit as distasteful as meat eaters do plant matter; and they offer any number of vegan dishes as tasty alternatives. So how do the vegans account for the easy transition of essentially plant-based societies (such as Japan) to a more "western" diet? Shouldn't they have as much trouble switching to meat as we have switching to plants? You almost have to conclude that the animal-based diet has greater universal appeal to the human palate. Besides which, where did this naively quaint notion that nature wants us to live long, happy lives come from? Does anyone see any evidence in the natural world that nature gives a damn what happens to any of its creatures once they've reproduced? Maybe that's why we're drawn to the very food which is the very worst for us: it gives us the most youthful energy to reproduce, then it kills us. Cut down in our prime by a beefsteak.
07:49 PM on 09/27/2009
With regards to switching diets your example of Japan is not entirely correct as they eat a lot of fish (so not necessarily a 'plant-based diet'). I do agree taste has a bit to do with resistance to change though, but also think that some people find it easier to switch diets than others. I grew up on a fish and soy based diet and find it difficult to eat red meat and some dairy products - on the other hand my sister seems to tolerate those foods just fine.
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Nelson Montana
Artist, Author, Composer
09:50 AM on 09/27/2009
Although I'm sure the intent of the article was genuine and it was well written, the information could not be more inaccurate.

I've been involved in the field of health and fitness for over 20 years and I can tell you, for every theory, there's an opposing theory with equally valid evidence. This professor receives grants to prove a point. Well, what a surprise that the point gets proven!

Statistics can be massaged any way you want them to go and you can show the ones that support a point and ignore those that don't. Just to give an example, one of the cultures with the lowest cancer rate is the Eskimos and they eat an almost all-meat diet. Humans are natural omnivores and have been so for 5000 years. Putting a sudden stop to that is a very UNNATURAL act.

Meat doesn't cause obesity. Eating too much causes obesity.

The comment about casein is just nonsense.

There is a higher incidence of cancer in industrialized countries and urban areas but that can be attributed to pollution, increased radioactivity, stress, a lack of fresh food and a lack of sleep. Still, there are plenty of people living into their 80's and 90's and eating hamburgers along the way. Meanwhile, every vegitarian I know has some health problem.

But beyond all that, genetics i still the biggest factor. Anyone with any real credence will agree. That doctor is an idiot.
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10:02 AM on 09/27/2009
Nelson, you said it better than me without my cynicism. Thank you.
As a vegetarian for forty years AND cancer survivor for sixteen, I can attest to this: it's all a genetic crapshoot.
05:32 AM on 09/28/2009
Actually, it's not. Genes are malleable and can be turned on and off. Witness identical twins - sometimes they look very different. You should read about "gene expression" and how it is influenced by foods. Try Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey M. Smith.

A step further, whether genetics is "the biggest factor" is hyperbolic. If a group of people was fumigated with tobacco smoke, would "genetics" determine who gets cancer? Once you admit that anyone *can* get cancer, genetics no longer can be the main reason...because some chemicals will give cancer to *everybody.*
10:06 AM on 09/27/2009
But.. but.. but... pollution is not made an issue, because it is not politically correct to discuss.

As a semi-vegetarian, I agree.