This article debunks the idea presented in a pair of studies that a “high protein diet” — in particular protein from animal sources — would cause cancer.
- â€œDoes exercise exert a protective effect?â€ – this study did not measure exercise.
- â€œWhat about sources of protein?â€ – this study did not measure anything beyond whether it came from an animal or plant. Chicken breast is not comparable to processed bologna meat.
- â€œDo these results apply to persons younger than 50?â€ – we donâ€™t know
- â€œWhat about eating your veggies and fruits?â€ – vegetable and fruit servings were not counted, just carbohydrates and fats.
- â€œWhat did they eat in place of protein in the low protein group?â€ – protein as a percent of caloric intake was assessed, but not levels of carbs or fats (beyond group averages before division into thirds for analysis), so we donâ€™t know if the macronutrient used to replace protein had a protective effect or not.
- â€œFast food versus home cooked?â€ – not measured.
- â€œCould a healthy lifestyle completely circumvent these effects?â€ – perhaps, but the study never looked into â€˜a healthy lifestyleâ€™ beyond macronutrients
- â€œWhat about weight loss?â€ – the study controlled for â€˜attempted weight lossâ€™, so it would be prudent to assume that no significant weight loss occurred in most subjects. Due to this, any questions pertaining to whether weight loss exerted a protective effect (usually does in other studies, if the weight loss occurs in obese persons) cannot be answered by this study.