High-Protein Diets Associated With Increased Cancer Risk

The Physicians Committee

High-Protein Diets Associated With Increased Cancer Risk

January 2, 2007

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high protein intakes are associated with an increased cancer risk. Washington University researchers evaluated the relationship between diet and certain plasma growth factors and hormones that are linked to cancer. The study's “low-protein” group, who consumed the recommended amount of protein from plant sources (approximately 10 percent of calories), had significantly lower blood levels of IGF-1 (hormone substances associated with premenopausal breast and prostate cancer) than two high-protein groups consuming 17 percent of calories as protein from mostly meat and dairy products.

Fontana L, Klein S, Holloszy JO. Long-term low-protein, low-calorie diet and endurance exercise modulate metabolic factors associated with cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84:1456-1462.

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