Plant based diets

World Farmers Organisation Scientific Council report

[ 22/November/22 ]

When I read the paper it sounded convincing right up until I read this paragraph:
“With regards to red meat consumption, no widely recognized scientific investigation could so far establish a convincing causal mechanism, i.e., the biochemical pathway through which red meat would cause damage in a normally healthy body and thus cause negative health effects.”

A lot of potential to create false impressions in that.

I completed my undergrad biochem in 1974, and have maintained an interest since.

12 years ago I was diagnosed “Terminal cancer, palliative care only” and told i had a “2% chance of living 2 years”. That got my full attention. I read a lot, thousands of abstracts, hundreds of papers. At the end of that the evidence was sufficiently strong for me to give up eating animal products, go strict refined sugar free vegan, and take on a high dose vitamin C regime (which I continue, 2 x 8g doses per day).

There is a very well established mechanism through which animal products can reduce the ability of the immune system to deal with cancer. During digestion protease enzymes cut up long chain proteins. Smaller fragments can be direct absorbed into the blood stream (probability reducing as size increases). One of the functions of the immune system is to “mop up” these short chain fragments. If the immune system needs to detect small changes in protein expression due to cancer (cells non-cooperatively replicating) activity, then those two functions can interfere with each other. To minimise the probability of interference, one needs to eat proteins as far removed as possible on the evolutionary tree (as different as possible). That translates to a plant based diet. Seems to have worked for me, and everyone else I know who has tried it.

For 55 years I derived most of my protein from animal sources, and for 12 years I have had as close to all of it as possible from vegetable sources (nematodes are in everything {as one example}, so some animal based protein is inevitable, and it can be kept to very low percentages).

So while that paragraph can be true in a sense; it can also create entirely the wrong impression.

I haven’t had a sick day in 12 years.

That wasn’t true at any stage of my life prior to going on the regime I am now on.

Small sample set, but it is really hard to find people willing and able to change diet consistently, no exceptions.

Statistics can be very misleading.

Almost everything biological is deeply complex.

Correlation does not mean causation, and it is usually a good place to start looking for actual mechanisms.

So, I don’t place a lot of weight on this study – it just hasn’t gone deep enough.

There are many studies out there showing high correlation between plant based diet and longevity; and there are all manner of complicating factors. Vegans need to watch some things in particular B12 and omega 3 ratios are the two highest. If on high dose vit C, then you need to supplement with minerals, because ascorbic acid acts as a mild chelating agent. And provided one does these basic things, it really does seem to be the safest thing, most likely to lead to living a long time.

And note – it is produced by the World Farmers Organisation Scientific Council.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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