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Bill: Looking for a quick dietary tip to reduce your risk of cancer? Here's Doctor David Leonardi.
David: Most people are convinced that protein is a critical part of our nutrition, and the consumption of plenty of animal protein is pretty standard in the Western Diet. But, we've long known from published studies, that high protein diets on a bio-chemical level, are actually deleterious. So, recently, a study published in 2014 finally looked at the relationship between protein intake and mortality In people aged 50-65, the intake of animal protein, in this study, correlated directly with mortality. Now, when I say animal protein, almost everybody thinks of red meat, but I'm talking about animal protein in general. So, this includes all meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. So the intake of animal protein correlated directly with mortality in people aged 50-65, but when they looked at plants as the source of protein, the relationship with mortality was nearly abolished. And there's several reasons for this, number one: animal protein contains higher levels of an amino acid called methionine, and cancer cells thrive on methionine. Secondly, Bill, how do we usually cook animal protein? Meat or fish, we usually grill it or broil it. These very hot or very dry cooking processes form carcinogens on the surface of the meat or fish called heterocyclic amines, and they create inflammatory molecules within the meat or fish. All these create a bio-chemical environment that promotes the risk of a mutation to cancer, and also more rapid growth of that cancer.
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