Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index
Phytanic Acid in Dairy & Red Meat & Prostate Cancer

Phytanic Acid in Dairy & Red Meat & Prostate Cancer

"I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food: fear of eggs, say, or fear of butter. Most doctors feel that you can have a little bit of everything." - Julia Child

"More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette, according to nationwide surveys of 113,597 doctors from every branch of medicine conducted by three leading independent research organizations." - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, 1946 - 1951

The September 15, 2012 issue of the International Journal of Cancer (2012 Sep 15;131(6):1396-4060) contains a study which evaluates the consumption of saturated fatty acids from dairy products and red meat and concludes that consumption of phytanic acid by those males eating a diet rich in meat and dairy have a propensity for being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The study consisted of a tiny sample size of only 27,111 males between the ages of 50 and 69. Researchers at the Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, concluded that the phytanic acid consumption and subsequent prostate cancer diagnosis were significantly correlated, and reported:

"This association appeared to be driven predominantly by phytanic acid obtained from dairy products (particularly butter). Our study indicates that phytanic acid may contribute to previously observed associations between high-fat animal foods (particularly dairy products) and prostate cancer risk although some caution is warranted as it may be acting as a surrogate marker of dairy fat."

Expected Comments to Today's Notmilk Column:

Animal Rights Vegans: "I knew that!" Carnivores: "Please pass the butter for my pork chops." Undertakers: "Indeed, please pass them the butter!" Doctors: "I need a cigarette."

"I will never use a substitute for butter. Margarine is one molecule away from eating plastic. If I'm going to eat that type of food, it's going to be the real deal." - Paula Deen

Does Paula Deen have a prostate gland? Actually, she does. The female equivalent of the prostate is called a skeen gland, and women do get prostate cancer.

Robert Cohen

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,