Protein and IGF1

by (4176) Updated September 03, 2013 at 2:05 PM Created August 19, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I'm watching the documentary someone else posted on here about fasting and it says that eating fair amounts of protein is like driving your car with your foot on the peddle; it causes your body to go into 'go go' mode which makes you more susceptible to some cancers and diabetes because 'you're cells are growing too fast for damage to be efficiently repaired'

The show says that you should fast but also restrict your intake of protein replacing it with 'more plant based food.' I thought protein was the good guy?? Their not talking about loads of protein either, they're saying you shouldn't eat much of it but what about body composition etc? Does anyone fast for this reason or restrict their protein?


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6 Replies

415 · August 19, 2012 at 8:53 PM

It depends on the context of the diet. If you're eating low protein, adding protein will increase serum IGF-1 levels. If you're low carb, adding carbs will raise it. The The nice thing about low carb is your serum IGF-1 will be low but your muscle cells will start to produce their own IGF-1.

This article explains the study in more detail. http://www.ergo-log.com/lowcarbwithouttraining.html

10 · December 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

They ignore that fact that carbohydratges promote IGF-1 the most...replacing protein with more carbs makes no sesnse. THe best way to lower IGF is actually lowering both protein and carbs and increasing fat consumption.

77348 · August 21, 2012 at 2:12 PM

You've raised an important point that is very relevant to paleo - feeding frequency.

Intermittent fasting is consistent with what would occur in ancestral dietary practices.

Modern diet IGF-1 levels are abnormally high.

Protein should not be a concern provided you practice intermittent fasting as per the BBC Horizon program you watched.

14507 · August 19, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I have read conflicting reports on protein and IGF-1 elevation. Plus, IGF-1 is not really the demon it is made out to be either. In fact, if you google "IGF-1 health benefits performance," you'll find a lot of interesting links.

"According to researchers, IGF-1 increases lean body mass, reduces fat, builds bone, muscle, and nerves. By taking it directly you bypass the pituitary gland which may be burnt out by the aging process."

When they say "by taking it" they're referring to a deer antler, which contains large amounts of it. From what I recall, deer antler is a historical delicacy.

Sounds good to me.

0 · September 03, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Marcus can you post the link for info regarding carbs and IGF-1 promotion. It's exactly what I am searching for.

0 · April 24, 2013 at 11:21 AM

HI there, I'm in Australia and just saw the documentary 'Eat, Fast and Live Longer' as was struck too by the comment by the researcher about the association between IGF1 and cancer and that protein stimulates IGF1 levels. I'd never even seen IGF1 mentioned much in my readings about Paleo or low-carb. I partially understand your explanation Rawnut but am still wondering if a higher protein diet will raise the IGF1 levels and a low carb diet will not reduce the level. If the body produces its own IGF1 does that still increase cancer risks. It would be great to see some discussion of this issue in the many low carb or Paleo blogs. Has anyone seen any more discussion since the original question was posted above. Thanks all.

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