Latest Stories

Plant-based diets help prevent cancer


Last week, Inquirer Science/Health revealed studies that showed diets rich in animal products have been linked to cancer. This week, Science/Health will point to studies that show the risks of cancer minimized with plant-based diets.

Scientist Jane A. Plant, PhD, author of the book “The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program (How one scientist’s discovery helped her defeat her cancer),” was quoted as saying: “Undoubtedly, the best anti-cancer diet would be completely vegan (a diet that forgoes animal protein entirely: no poultry, beef, pork, seafood, egg, cow’s milk or cheese).

“If you want to reduce your risk of breast (or prostate) cancer, become a vegan, but on no account become a dairy-eating vegetarian. If any anti-cancer diet includes any kind of dairy products, ignore it,” Plant added.

Scientists also confirmed findings that showed a 50-percent decline in premenopausal breast cancer among women who ate a vegetarian diet.

This was cited in “The Breast Cancer Prevention Program,” authored by Samuel S. Epstein, MD, professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health who specializes in toxicology, and David Steinman (author of “Diet for a Poisoned Planet”) with Suzanne Levert, who cited the following:

“More support comes from a recent study that shows that vegetarian premenopausal women have lower serum estrogen levels than nonvegetarians—and more of the estrogen they had was ‘good estrogen,’ that is less carcinogenic.”

Epstein suggested that people should choose crops, fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides, or produce that does not contain mineral waxes, preservatives or fungicides—which means that immediate refrigeration and careful handling are necessary to avoid spoilage and bruising.

Protective vs breast cancer

Low amounts of chemical contamination, less fat and an abundance of vitamins and minerals make vegetarian diets more protective against breast cancer.

Safer nonorganic produce include avocados, bananas, dates, figs, guava, lemons, tangerines, tangelos and watermelon for fruits; and artichokes, bean curd, corn, eggplant, escarole, garbanzo beans, green beans, kidney beans, kohlrabi, lima beans, mushrooms, navy beans, okra, peas (dried), pinto beans, red beans, rhubarb, scallions (green onions), Swiss chard, turnips, watercress and yams for vegetables.

The Epstein book also urged individuals to request a water quality report from their municipalities or local suppliers to make sure they are not exposed to water-borne contaminants.

Cancer-causing foods

The following paragraph is an excerpt from “The China Study” authored by T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of nutrition biochemistry at Cornell University, and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD:

“In 1970, when an article in the prestigious journal Nature concluded that nitrites (a meat preservative and color and flavor enhancer used in bacon, hotdogs, processed meats) help form nitrosamines (chemicals that are human carcinogens) in the body, thereby implying that they help cause cancer, people became alarmed. Here was the official line: ‘Reduction of human exposure to nitrites and certain secondary amines, particularly in foods, may result in a decrease in the incidence of human cancer.’”

The book also cited an emerging pattern in several studies using several different nutrients: Nutrients from animal-based foods (including cow’s milk) increased tumor development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumor development.

Campbell also suggested the link between dairy consumption and prostate cancer: Animal protein causes the body to produce more IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1), which in turn throws cell growth and removal out of whack, stimulating cancer development.

IGF-1, a growth hormone, is turning out to be a predictor of cancer just as cholesterol (which is also found in animal products) has become a predictor of heart disease.

Campbell also noted: “Animal protein increases the levels of a hormone, IGF-1, which is a risk factor for cancer, and high casein (the main protein of cow’s milk) diets allow more carcinogens into cells, which allow more dangerous carcinogen products to bind to DNA, which allow more mutagenic reactions that give rise to cancer cells, which allow more rapid growth of tumors once they are initially formed.”

In the book “The Gerson Therapy: The proven nutritional program for cancer and other illnesses,” 200 patients whose spontaneous cancer regression were monitored and analyzed by Dr. Harold D. Foster, PhD, showed that, among other findings, 88 percent of patients incorporated vegetarianism as their daily eating program.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: animal products , Breast Cancer , cancer , Carcinogenic , Diet , Health Science , prostate cancer , Science & Health

  • WeAry_Bat

    In any food label, either sodium nitrate or its’ secondary product, sodium nitrite. What kills germs and pesticides which kills insects, are man’s link to cancer.

    Unfortunately, milk substitutes for infants and toddlers don’t seem to be as good to the taste of my baby girl.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Art, music, book sale mark Earth Day at Arroceros park
  • Sports

  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Zaragosa, Park forge PH match play duel
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Marketplace