The Danger Of High Protein Diets-Dr T Colin Campbell

Towards the beginning of Dr T. Colin Campbell’s
career he was working on a PhD in biomedical research by researching ways to improve the
supply of high quality protein by growing cows and sheep more efficiently. Later on He was then hired by MIT and went
on to coordinate a research project in the Philippines looking at aflatoxin a carcinogen
and liver cancer. He initially went with the aim of trying to
raise the people’s intake of protein however through a series of events Dr Campbell was
eventually made aware of a study done in India that had fed rats equal amounts of aflatoxin,
one group was then fed a diet containing 20 percent protein, while the other group was
fed a diet of 5 percent protein. By the end of the test, every single rat in
the 20 percent group had liver cancer or its pre-cursor lesions. None of the rats eating the 5 percent protein
diet had developed liver cancer! Dr Campbell then repeated these experiments. What he and his team found out, turned everything
he had believed about protein, on it’s head. Dr. Campbell’s group used the protein casein
found in cow’s milk but they went a step further and also soy and wheat protein Next
they replicated all the 5 percent-20 percent tests with all these types of protein
What resulted was to shock them all! The rats being fed the animal protein casein
diets in the 10-20 percent ranges all developed liver cancer or the beginning stages of increased
foci development. However none of the rats in the 10-20 percent plant based protein diet groups developed
increased foci production or tumors, even when given increased aflatoxin doses! You see the thing is when we’re exposed
to a carcinogen our DNA is damaged however this can be naturally repaired by our immune
system, but if our cells multiply BEFORE the damaged DNA is repaired then it becomes a cancerous cell. That is the initiation process of cancer. Anybody who’s been exposed to a carcinogen
has cells that have gone through this primary initiation process but it’s the promotion
process that decides how many cancerous cells form detectable tumors. For cancer cells to grow they need something
called promoters. What’s so cool is the promotion stage is
completely reversible! So what do high animal protein diets have
to do with the promotion of cancer well let’s hear as Dr T Colin Campbell explains more. The audio isn’t great so there are subtitles
available…… What we did of course is we could turn on
cancer by feeding them [the rats] more casein which is the main protein in cow’s milk. We didn’t see that with soy protein or wheat
protein and that was consistent with some other ideas about animal protein in general. I repeated what some workers in India had
done years before, it was very dramatic effect, so then I wanted to know, I’m still being
a sceptic, you know, for a little while because it was so striking. I wanted to know, how does this work at the
biochemical level? We always want to know, what is the mechanism? So we worked, I had a lot of students, you
know graduate students especially working on this question. One mechanism, one way we measured more or
less the extent to which the carcinogen gets into the cell. We found out that the high protein diet affects
that. After the carcinogen gets into the cell, these
chemicals if you will they are metabolised into products that are even more reactive,
then they themselves are and those reactive metabolites in turn are so reactive they bind
to DNA and if that’s not repaired and there’s way the body repairs them, if they’re not
repaired and then the cell divides at the time they’re damaged, that incorporates
the damage and subsequent cell degeneration which is mutation, that’s the way cancer
starts. So we looked at things like this enzyme that’s
activated by the carcinogen, does protein turn that on? Yes it does, it does it two different ways,
it’s amazing, its a very complicated enzyme. And then our mechanism we normally have to
keep all that stuff under control you know like repairing the damage to DNA for example
or cleaning out the cells that might have become cancerous we have mechanisms to do
that. The higher protein diet actually compromises
those mechanisms

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Reader Comments

  1. Sam Mcwindy

    Glad I'm not a rat or I might come down with cancer! As for humans, I'll wait until I get a study on them before I stop eating meat!

  2. Derek Johnson

    I once had a fatty liver. The Dr. asked me if I was a heavy drinker and I said "no". I then went alcohol free for 10months and still had a fatty liver, and my numbers went up.

    The next meeting with the Dr. he told me to cut out all animal products for the next three months and go whole food plant based. After those three months my fatty liver was gone and my numbers went way down to almost normal.

  3. Tim Ratdog

    I see a lot of comments by meat eaters. Which seems like a strange place to post such comments? But maybe you'd all like to know what is healthy and what is not – if we generalize. I posted this in reply to someone else and decided to put it here on the top level replies in case it helps anyone.
    Check out the Loma Linda studies. As a lot of people are saying, it is not easy to perform the exact same tests on humans. But we can see from population studies that diet will make a difference in chronic diseases. The easiest to beileve are the Adventist Health Studies. I find them very creditable where they compare specific parts of the population with another based on diet. This way they are not comparing two different populations with different ways of life – they are comparing a very homogenous populaton normalized for only diet differences. Check it out if you are really interested. Just google for it and you'll find all kinds of data at
    On a side note, I'd recommend you check out the microbiome talks on youtube by the Sonnenburgs and others. Personally speaking my microbes are voting for more fiber and not more bile to break down into bile acids to cause leaky gut, autoimmune disorders, and a lifetime of repeated colonoscopies. Just sayin.

  4. Alchemist-A

    The question is: Is this phenomenon limited to aflatoxin-induced cancer? Has any one repeated the experiment with aflatoxin? How about with other carcinogens?

  5. Are You Saved?

    Soy makes fat plus messed up my hormones before birth (also the child had 3 fractures before being 3 years old). Didn’t do soy with other pregnancies and no problems!

  6. Are You Saved?

    Soy makes fat plus messed up my hormones before birth (also the child had 3 fractures before being 3 years old). Didn’t do soy with other pregnancies and no problems!

  7. CT Zeez

    The science here is horrific. IGF-1 is not bad. IGF-1 is bad if you are already sick and unhealthy. It's gas for the fire not the cause of the fire. IGF-1 isn't bad, bodybuilders purposefully try to increase it because if you're healthy and active it builds muscle. Muscle mass is one of the most important factors to healthy aging.

    If you aren't an active person, eat a moderate amount of protein. Too much does nothing for you. If you are healthy and active try to get about .8 grams per pound of lean body mass. If you want to build muscle, aim for 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass.

    The best proteins are: Whey, Casein, and Animal Meat followed by Pea and Soy.

    Protein isn't a Carcinogen. Saying Protein is bad is extremely deceptive and bad science.

  8. Johny40Se7en

    This makes no mention of a wholefoods plant based diet and how it's so much better for people, the animals and the Planet, it stops cancer growth in Humans because there's no carcinogens and dodgy hormones and all the other crap that comes from meat and dairy. I learned recently that the Human intestine is that of a herbivore, it's very long so when people eat things like meat, it takes a long time for meat to pass through it and because there's loads of bad cholesterol in it, all that cholesterol leaches out into the body and causes all types of cancers.

    People need to wake up from all the lies of the awful meat and dairy industry. So much injustice and cruelty just to have a bit of taste. I wasn't always vegan, I used to consume so much meat, eggs and dairy before I woke up and changed, nothing justifies so much horrific torture and slaughter of innocent beings that just want to live. They're not products, they're life and all life matters.

    There's loads of great documentaries about all this if anyone's interested, I've linked them below.
    What The Health is mainly about the ethics and the least graphic, Land Of Hope And Glory is the most graphic and true to what really happens. These are the things that the disgusting meat and dairy industry don't want people to see.

    What The Health –

    Cowspiracy –

    Land Of Hope And Glory –

    If you want help to start being vegan and are not sure where to start, there's something free called 'Challenge22' where you just try lovely plant based recipes for 22 days, it's tailored to everyone as an individual –

    Go vegan =)

  9. RapidFire RN4L

    Rats are often used in laboratory experiments. The Office of Technology Assessment estimates that between 3.4 and 3.7 million rats are killed annually in research laboratories, and estimates from other sources range as high as 23.6 million every year.1 Rats differ markedly from humans in many respects, making rat experiments difficult to extrapolate to humans. Heart disease is the leading killer of American adults. But rats are very different from humans in the ways their bodies process fat and cholesterol.

    For example, rats have a much higher activity of the liver enzyme 5-desaturase, which is used in the body to change the chemical structure of fats.2 This enzyme is found in various tissues in the body, including platelets, the liver, the adrenal glands, the kidneys, and fat. The result is that “the rat is not an appropriate human model for studies involving lipids,”3 according to a researcher at Boston’s Tufts University. Another researcher wrote, “It is not possible to extrapolate directly from rat to human studies because of differences in plasma lipoprotein [cholesterol and triglycerides] metabolism between the species.”4 n humans, bile acids are formed from cholesterol in the liver, then excreted into the gallbladder and from there into the intestine. Rats do not have a gallbladder,5 so their bile acids are secreted directly into the intestine. Rats manufacture a bile acid called muricholic acid, which is not made by humans.6 Researchers believe that muricholic acid is responsible for the rat’s ability to quickly eliminate cholesterol from the body.7

    The results of these differences are that, unlike humans, rats are very resistant to changes in serum cholesterol, and are also resistant to diet-induced plaques in the arteries. To produce these lesions in rats, they must be fed a combination of cholesterol, thiouracil (an anti-thyroid drug), casein, and cholic acid (a bile acid).8 Humans need only add fat to their diet to show such lesions.

    Rats have much higher levels of the enzyme ATPase in the heart, which is important in energy metabolism, so they are very resistant to digitalis drugs used in humans for heart failure.9 They also have differing anatomy in the cardiovascular system,9 and their normal heart rate is 300-500 beats per minute. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. Yet rats differ from humans in many ways that have major effects on cancer research. Beta-carotene and related compounds, called carotenoids, are central to cancer and nutrition research, yet rats handle beta-carotene differently from people. Rats split carotenoids within the cells lining their intestinal walls using a specific enzyme, thus forming vitamin A. Rats convert most or all dietary carotene to vitamin A. Humans, in contrast, absorb substantial amounts of unchanged carotenoids, and store approximately 15 percent of it in the body.10 On a normal mixed diet, humans store a total of 100-200 mg of carotenoids in their fatty tissue (80 percent), livers (10 percent), blood (1 percent), and other tissues.11 The rat does not store beta-carotene in the fatty tissue at all, and small amounts are found in their livers only if they are supplemented with large amounts of beta-carotene, etc etc so there’s no way these tests are accurate.

  10. Teo_live

    Interesting study but it would have been nice if they tested meat protein as well. So far all we got out of this is both milk AND plant-based protein are potentially carcinogenic (plant protein to a lesser degree).

    Regardless the benefits of high protein diet still seems superior to a low protein diet which is only really suitable for couch potatoes.

  11. Hisham Aziz

    Doesn't this study mean that we should not be here right now… because all those primitive cavemen (and their children) would have all developed cancer and died ages ago? I mean if this is in fact true, then theoretically, that is what should have happened… the human race should have stopped existing a long time ago because of wide spread cancer.

  12. Carl Harverson

    Whilst rats are not people you should know that a) virtually ALL medical research uses rats and mice as the mammalnproxy for people, and b) the cancer results in Campbell's study are reflected empirically in epidemiological/ empirical observations across many human demographics (for example see China Study and nutrition


    It's time to stop using animals in researches that are meant to benefit humans. Why not make it on humans and pay them for that… and of course take care of them when things go south? There has to be better human studies! Ethical and Effective ones! In humans. Two thumbs down from Brazil :o(((((((((((((((((((((9

  14. Nmethyltransferase

    Actually, in order to benefit from T. Colin Campbell's research, being plant-based isn't enough. You need to make sure that your diet eliminates either grains or legumes. Or, in any case, it must be deficient in one of the essential amino acids. That way, you can be cancer-proof by dying prematurely.

  15. Selma Cat

    I sincerely worry for all the high protein gym junkies out there. They think they are super healthy and doing the best for their body, but it's going to come back and bite them on those buns of steal.

  16. Lars Sundström

    In the northern countries of Europe 80-90 % of all food was animal fat and protein prior to 500 cenetry. After that and until 1950-is, about 70-80% the same kind of food. Still cancer was not a common illness until Keyes idiotic ideas based on falsarium emerged. All those ideas having us eat plants will kill us and the planet we live on.

  17. HempSmoke

    The less plant protein I consume the better I feel. The more fruits and veggies the better I keep getting. I'm doing what my body is telling me to do and its working till this point. I'm currently on a low protein high fiber/carb diet and I feel absolutely amazing. Oh and I also consume lots and lots of bananas.

  18. Cosmic Othniel

    Wait ✋🏾… @ 2:01 they put UV sun rays in the same category as pesticides ,aerosols and vehicle emissions… wrong !!
    Sunrays are natural and supports life pesticides, aerosols and vehicle emissions are made by men and destroys life.

  19. Michael Stanwyck

    Question regarding initial rat aflatoxin experiment. All rats fed 20% protein had liver cancer or pre-cancerous lesions. But did the 5% rats who didn't get cancer live? Or did they die from something else?


    WOW now things are starting to fall into place. I did not know that about the promotion stage that is so important as it can be reversed or promoted just depending on whether you eat animal or plant protein. What a bight man he was during his career. Rats have a similar requirement to humans so it is still valid in my humble opinion.

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