Animal Protein, IGF-1 and Colon Cancer
We are aware of the connection between red and processed meats and cancer. Furthermor cooking meat at high temperatures, grilled or fried chicken, forms carcinogenic compounds such as heterocyclic amines, which contribute to cancer risk. However, animal foods such as non-fat dairy products, egg whites and fish, are considered healthful. It is not yet widely recognized that foods such as these, since they are also high in animal protein, can also contribute increasing cancer risk.
In eating animal protein, our body increases the production of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). IGF-1 is one of the important growth promoters in our body during fetal and childhood growth. But later in life IGF-1 promotes the aging process. Reduced IGF-1 signaling in adulthood is associated with reduced oxidative stress, decreased inflammation, enhanced insulin sensitivity and longer lifespan. Contrarily IGF-1 has indicated promoting the growth, proliferation and spread of cancer cells. Elevated IGF-1 levels are linked to the increased risk of several cancers, including colon cancer. Several studies have proved that high circulating IGF-1 may translate into promotion of tumor growth in the colon. One study in men and another in women found that those with higher levels of IGF-1 had double the risk of colorectal cancers compared to those with lower levels.
What Is The Colon Cancer Food Connection?