Carnivore Diet

Red Meat, IGF-1 and Cancer: What the Science Actually Shows

by Mike Mutzel


There’s a lot of controversy around protein consumption, IGF-1 and cancer. In this video we review the most recent science surrounding protein intake, IGF-1, cancer and mortality.



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Links to studies and videos mentioned:



Levine, M. E., Suarez, J. A., & Brandhorst, S. (2014). Low Protein Intake is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population. Cell Metabolism, 19(3), 407–417.
Rahmani, J., Montesanto, A., Giovannucci, E., Zand, H., Barati, M., Kopchick, J. J., et al. (2022). Association between IGF-1 levels ranges and all-cause mortality: A meta-analysis. Aging Cell, 21(2), e13540.

Obradovic, M., Zafirovic, S., Soskic, S., Stanimirovic, J., Trpkovic, A., Jevremovic, D., & Isenovic, E. R. (2019). Effects of IGF-1 on the Cardiovascular System. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 25(35), 3715–3725.

Pollak, M. N., Schernhammer, E. S., & Hankinson, S. E. (2004). Insulin-like growth factors and neoplasia. Nature Reviews Cancer, 4(7), 505–518.

Episode Time Stamps:


0:20 IGF-1 is insulin-like growth factor 1.

0:45 The paper states that low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF1, cancer and overall mortality in ages 65 and younger.

1:43 The data set for the study is small, making relative risk appear to be worse.

2:20 Low levels of IGF-1 are as bad as having chronically elevated levels of IGF-1.

3:00 IGF-1 increases as much as 20-fold during exercise.

8:15 IGF-1 is increases are triggered by the brain.

8:45 If testing IGF-1, you may also want to test the relationship with binding protein.

10:50 Low levels of IGF-1 correlate with chronic disease.

12:30 IGF-1 is neuroprotective, through repair processes and preventing chronic neuroinflammatory processes.

12:56 IGF-1 mediates the expression and release of the protective molecule, nitric oxide.

14:30 Your protein intake should match your activity levels.

15:20 Make exercise the foundation of your life.

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