Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index
All Proteins are Not Created Equal

"Spurred by trainers, diet gurus and weight-loss plans,
Americans are seeking more-- and more unique -- sources
of protein, from almonds ground into milk and soy
reshaped as pasta, to peas and whey turned into powders
and shakes. And food producers are happy to oblige."
- Chicago Sun Times, Monday, June 11, 2012

Sometime after midnight, desiring to review and learn
the latest science in the field of protein research, I
accessed Medline and using a search parameter of studies
published from June 1, 2012 through June 11, 2012, typed
in the keyword "protein". I had an "oy" moment after
coming up with over 5,885 new publications.

Twenty minutes spent with each study would take me
2-3 months, and then there would be 20,000 to
30,000 new studies. So many new clues, and so many
so-called experts ignoring the old clues. Ignoring
the basics. Eating the wrong proteins. Creating
"dirty blood" while feeding the body's engine
filthy fuel.

Why do nations with the highest rates of bone
disease also have the highest milk consumption
rates? The highest rates of osteoporosis are to
be found in Denmark, Holland, Norway, and Sweden.

We are told to consume 1000 milligrams per day of
calcium. Inuit Eskimos consume 3500 milligrams of
calcium each day, and by age 40 are crippled.

The Key to Osteoporosis

It's not how much calcium you eat. It's how much
calcium you prevent from leaving your bones.

Why Does Calcium Exit Bones??

There are 28 amino acids in nature. The human body
can manufacture 19 of them. The other nine are
called "essential." We must get them from the foods
we eat.

One of those "essential" aminos is methionine.

One needs methionine for many human metabolic
functions including digestion, detoxification of
heavy metals, and muscle metabolism. However, an
excess of methionine can be toxic.

Methionine = C-5 @ H-11 @ NO @ S

Methionine is a good source for sulfur. That's the
problem. Eat foods containing too much methionine,
and your blood will become acidic. The sulfur converts
to sulfates and weak forms of sulfuric acid. In order
to neutralize the acid, in its wisdom, the body leaches
calcium from bones.

"Dietary protein increases production of acid in the blood
which can be neutralized by calcium mobilized from the
skeleton." {American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995; 61,4}

Animal proteins contain more methionine than plant
proteins. Let's compare cow's milk to soymilk:

Methionine in 100 grams of soymilk: .040 grams
Methionine in 100 grams of whole milk: .083 grams
Methionine in 100 grams of skim milk: .099 grams

Now, let's compare 100 gram portions of tofu to meat:
(All of the meat products are lean and without skin)

Silken soft tofu: .074 grams
Hamburger: .282 grams
Hard boiled egg: .392 grams
Roast ham: .535 grams
Baked codfish: .679 grams
Swiss cheese .784 grams
Roast chicken: .801 grams

In 1988, N.A. Breslau and colleagues identified the
relationship between protein-rich diets and calcium
metabolism, noting that protein consumption caused
calcium loss. His work was published in the Journal
of Clinical Endocrinology (1988;66:140-6).

A 1994 study published in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition (Remer T, Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:1356-61)
determined that the consumption of animal proteins caused
calcium to be leached from bones and excreted in the urine.

Additional Supporting Evidence:

"Osteoporosis is caused by a number of things, one
of the most important being too much dietary protein."
{Science 1986;233, 4763}

"Even when eating 1,400 mg of calcium daily, one can lose
up to 4% of his or her bone mass each year while consuming
a high-protein diet." {American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

"Increasing one's protein intake by 100% may cause calcium
loss to double." {Journal of Nutrition, 1981; 111, 3}

"The average man in the US eats 175% more protein than the
recommended daily allowance and the average woman eats
144% more." {Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and
Health, 1988}

"Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years,
were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures...
metabolism of dietary protein causes increased urinary
excretion of calcium." {American Journal of Epidemiology

Can it get worse? Absolutely.

The Framingham Heart Study is the largest and most
exciting heart study in the history of mankind. Some
of the highlights of this exhaustive 50 year study:

In 1960, Cigarette smoking was found to increase the risk
of heart disease.

In 1970, high blood pressure was found to increase the risk
of stroke.

During the 1980's, high levels of HDL cholesterol were found
to reduce risk of death from heart disease.

In the 1990's, homocysteines were identified as key factors
in heart attack deaths.

Homocysteines are normal breakdown products of
METHIONINE and are believed to exert a number of
toxic effects in the body. I recently spoke with the senior
investigator of the Framingham heart study, William
Castelli, M.D. (E-mail:
Dr. Castelli has suggested that an elevated homocysteine
level is a risk factor for heart disease. The first evidence
of this was published in the American Journal of
Cardiology (Glueck, 1995;75:132-6).

Two recent publications resulting from Framingham data
indicate a positive correlation between cardiovascular disease
mortality and blood serum levels of homocysteine.

Bostom AG, et. al, Nonfasting plasma total homocysteine
levels and all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality in
elderly Framingham men and women. Arch Intern Med
1999; 159:1077-1080.

Bostom A.G., et. al, Nonfasting plasma total homocysteine
levels and stroke incidence in elderly persons: the
Framingham Study. Ann Intern Med 131[5], 352-355, 1999.

Robert Cohen

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