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 Breast Health Tip #5: Fats to Avoid 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Dr. Christine Horner's Natural Secrets for Breast Health by . View all columns in series

There’s another reason why organically raised animals may contain toxins. Harmful chemicals are generally very persistent in our environment. That means that they don’t break down easily. For a farm to become certified organic, no synthetic or questionably safe chemicals may have been used on the land for a minimum of three years. But some of these toxins persist in the soil for much longer than three years. In fact, it’s not unusual for them to last twenty years or more.

IGF-1: A Top Breast-Health Enemy

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) is a huge promoter of breast cancer, as well as prostate and colon cancers. In fact, scientists have found that there’s nothing we know of that stimulates breast cancer or prostate cancer more than IGF-1! This growth factor is like throwing rocket fuel onto the flames of cancer.

You can avoid inundating your body with excessive amounts of IGF-1 by steering clear of conventional dairy products. In the United States, cows are routinely injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone called "recombinant bovine growth hormone." When rBGH is injected into a cow, it causes a natural growth factor, IGF-1, to be released into the body of the cow. Cows injected with rBGH have been found to have unusually high levels of IGF-1 in their fat and milk. When you consume IGF-1 in animal products, it normally breaks down in your stomach and causes no harm. But when IGF-1 is consumed in milk, it doesn’t break down. The protein in milk, called casein, prevents IGF-1 from breaking down, so it's all absorbed into your body.

A study published in the British journal The Lancet in 1998 documented the enormous risk associated with IGF-1. The risk of breast cancer among pre-menopausal women younger than fifty-one who had the highest levels of IGF-1 in their blood was found to be 700 percent higher than the average.

The reason that the IGF-1 bite is so venomous is because there are IGF-1 receptors on breast cells, just as there are estrogen receptors. Research has found that IGF-1 and estrogen interact. According to a study from Georgetown University published in 2002, estradiol and IGF-1, through a complex "cross-talk" mechanism, stimulate normal breast cells to start dividing.

In summery, when you eat the non-organic saturated animal fats found in meat and dairy products, your risk of breast cancer escalates from a triple threat:

  1. High insulin levels (as a response to the saturated fats),
  2. High IGF-1 levels (from rBGH-injected cows), and
  3. Toxic estrogenic hormones and chemicals (either injected into or fed to the cows).

This is why you should avoid non-organic red meats and dairy as much as possible. If you love dairy products, you can minimize your risk by eating only that which has been organically produced and is low in fat.

Trans fats: Another Top Breast-Health Enemy

Of all the fats you can eat, trans fats are the most dangerous. Trans fats are man-made. They are natural fats that have been chemically altered by adding extra hydrogen atoms. That’s why they are also called “hydrogenated” or "partially hydrogenated" fats. Chemical engineers created these fats in an effort to make processed foods taste better and to increase their shelf-life. They were successful. Hydrogenated fats make foods such as potato chips crispier, and they increase the shelf-life of processed foods such as crackers, chips, cookies, and baked goods. But what they didn’t know was that the fats they created also promote serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

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 About The Author
Christine Horner, MD is a board certified and nationally recognized surgeon, author, professional speaker and a relentless champion for women's health. She spearheaded legislation in the......moreChristine Horner MD, FACS
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