Most of your readers will read only the newspaper version of the article, and never know all that was said in the study [“Eating well can help to ward off cancer”, November 29–December 6]. Fortunately, I read the article online, and was able to access the link to the study on which it was based. This contained the following crucial information:
“In humans, most epidemiologic studies examining high protein diets and cancer progression have been confounded by not taking into account protein source, fat content, and red meat consumption. This is important because high fat increases cancer risk (56) and plant protein seems to decrease whereas animal protein increases cancer mortality (57). Interestingly, colonic cancer-inducing damage caused by red meats may be avoided with high amylose, low CHO diets (58). These studies suggest that macronutrient sources and combinations are very important and that testing them through highly controlled studies, such as those achieved with mice, represents a powerful approach to this question.”
Why was the fact that plant protein seems to decrease cancer mortality—whereas animal protein increases it—not mentioned in the article? As it stands, this article will lead many people to adopt a diet dangerously high in animal protein.
As a counterbalance to this article, please urge your readers to see the 2011 film Forks Over Knives, where the subject is discussed convincingly.
> Layne Powell / Vancouver