Disadvantages Of Animal Protein – Is It Making You Sick?

The protein debate rumbles on like a slow train, pitting vegan against meat-eater. Body builders flip-flopping between plant-based and full on carnivore … they just don’t seem to be able to make up their minds! But what are the disadvantages of animal protein and why should you take notice?

Why Is Animal Protein Bad For You?

Image of a steam train crossing a bridge.Consuming animal protein has many negative health problems including:

  • Increased IGF-1 levels, raising malignancy and cancer risk. [1]
  • Increased risk of heart attack, sudden death and heart failure. [2]
  • Blood vessel damage and cholesterol plaque formation. [3]
  • Cancer risks associated with excessive heme iron intake. [4]
  • Dietary fibre deficiencies (second order). [5]
  • Acidosis of the body: bone calcium loss causing fractures and osteoporosis. [6]

Quite a list, I’m sure you’ll agree.

The calcium issue is one worth investigating more thoroughly as it is a good example of how the meat and dairy industry have latched on to a specific element of our diet and twisted the facts to benefit their bottom line.

Worse still, this misinformation has resulted in millions of people who consume a ‘Western diet’ suffering horrible negative health outcomes as a direct result of the stuff they’re putting in their body!

Most of us in the West have grown up assuming cow’s milk is needed to grow and maintain strong bones. The messaging was everywhere when I was a young lad coming up!

Now, we know more about the effect of animal protein on the body and in particular how high-sulphur amino acids can cause our bones to leach calcium. [6]

The more meat and dairy we consume the more pronounced the effect.

The links are now very clear with multiple studies concluding the same thing.

This leaching effect almost certainly explains why Western societies have a far higher rate of bone fractures and osteo-related problems [7] compared to, mostly Eastern societies, who have consumed far less animal protein traditionally.

Granted, milk and dairy is high in calcium but is only around 30% bio available [8] and we now know animal protein causes acidosis which is commonly thought to be one of the major contributors to bone degradation in Western societies.

But the meat and dairy barons don’t like this inconvenient truth and continually ramp up their efforts to maintain the levels of misinformation which have made them fabulously wealthy!

Image of two kids in a Spiderman and Captain America costume

1 in 3 American Kids Are Obese!

Could it be any clearer? They can’t all be ‘big-boned’.

Some of the stats published recently make very grim reading. Here’s a few highlights from recent US datasets: [9]

  • 42% of adults are obese (9% are severely obese).
  • 30% of children are obese.
  • 15% of adults have diabetes.
  • 45% of adults suffer hypertension.
  • 14% of adults experience complete tooth loss.

I could go on but I think you get the picture. Something is very wrong with the Western diet and we need to fix it for the sake of our kids!

How have we let it get so bad?

Why are we poisoning our kids with junk food which has almost no nutritional value in it? That one is a rhetorical question!

Interestingly, in the report from which the above facts are drawn, a direct correlation was found between income and health outcomes, particularly obesity.

The junk food industry has relentlessly pushed cheap, unhealthy food onto the market. McDonalds being the pinnacle of this poisoning enterprise, in my opinion.

We pump our kids full of empty calories, devoid of nutrition while letting them sit in front of a screen all day and we wonder why they’re so unhealthy!

It’s time to get real … we owe it to our children!

The Answer: a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet

Image of fresh vegetables

If you are into cold hard facts, an excellent read is “The China Study” by acclaimed author T. Colin Campbell, PhD.

Written with his son, Thomas, this detailed book is often cited as the #1 authority on nutrition and the health outcomes of plant-based vs animal-based.

… and with good reason. It is the largest and most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and compares the Western diet of high salt, fat, sugar and UPF with the Eastern diet of more grains, pulses, fresh fruit and vegetables.

The overwhelming conclusion is that an ‘Eastern’ diet results in far less obesity and far fewer of the diseases we commonly associate with the developed world.

Often referred to as ‘Diseases of Affluence’.

The irony is palpable. As we lurch into the abyss of climate change, we revel in our magnificence. Celebrating how we have conquered the planet with our belching industries!

Consuming vast resources and farming animal protein on an obscene scale!

All for what?

So a few people can become fantastically wealthy!

I don’t want to go all ‘doom and gloom’ on you though. Believe it or not, I’m an optimist and I do have hope that the human race will wake up in time.

We need to hurry up though … the planet is sending us warning signs!

Are There Any Disadvantages of Plant Protein?

Close up image of hazlenuts

Anyway, back to the matter in hand.

Many people ask this question and it is a perfectly valid one. We’ve all been told it’s important to consume meat and dairy for our health. But now we know this isn’t true.

If we’re switching to plant-based, we need to know that plant protein is safe and how to ensure we get enough of all nine essential amino acids the body needs to function properly.

Is plant protein complete? This is another common question. Vegans need to be aware there are only a few plants which contain all 9 essential amino acids so it’s very important we eat a wide variety of plants to cover all bases!

Apart from that, there are no disadvantages to plant proteins and the health benefits of consuming plant protein far outweigh this minor niggle.

Your body doesn’t care where the essential amino acids come from, just that it gets them all.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine …

The human body is a truly amazing feat of evolution and it has the power to heal itself. But you have to give it a chance!

Image of fresh tomatoes, garlic and rosemary

We can abuse our resilient body for so long and it will adapt to what we subject it to but there comes a time when your body will just say, “right, that’s enough” … that’s when you get sick.

Why risk putting yourself through the pain and trauma of ‘diseases of affluence’ where you may suffer years of ill health and the need to take prescription drugs?

A whole foods, plant-based diet is the way to go. It will give your body the best chance of surviving the 100+ years it is capable of!

Going vegan was by far the best decision I ever made for my health. I’ve never felt better!

I lost weight, have way more energy, my skin improved and I noticed a mental clarity which I didn’t possess before I was vegan … that’s just to name a few benefits!

I would just like to finish by mentioning T. Colin Campbell’s book again. “The China Study” is well worth a read if you have any doubts about the benefits of a plant-based diet.

This authority on nutrition makes some very clear conclusions based on the largest ever study of its kind in the world. Dr Campbell, the son of a dairy farmer no less, puts it very well …

“The science is clear. The results are unmistakable. Change your diet and drastically reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity”

Is it time for you to cut the animal protein from your life?


I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Hopefully you know more now than when you started. My goal is simply to provide you with the truth. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything in this piece is based on scientific fact; proven and peer reviewed. Sources are provided.

If you’ve found this article useful, please share with your friends. Spread the word!

Thanks for reading!




[1] – T Colin Campbell, Dietary protein, growth factors, and cancer, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 6, June 2007, Page 1667, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/85.6.1667

[2] – Glosse, P., Fajol, A., Hirche, F. et al. A high-fat diet stimulates fibroblast growth factor 23 formation in mice through TNFa upregulation. Nutr & Diabetes 8, 36 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41387-018-0037-x

[3] – Koeth RA, Wang Z, Levison BS, Buffa JA, Org E, Sheehy BT, Britt EB, Fu X, Wu Y, Li L, Smith JD, DiDonato JA, Chen J, Li H, Wu GD, Lewis JD, Warrier M, Brown JM, Krauss RM, Tang WH, Bushman FD, Lusis AJ, Hazen SL. Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis. Nat Med. 2013 May;19(5):576-85. doi: 10.1038/nm.3145. Epub 2013 Apr 7. PMID: 23563705; PMCID: PMC3650111. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3650111/

[4] – Hooda J, Shah A, Zhang L. Heme, an essential nutrient from dietary proteins, critically impacts diverse physiological and pathological processes. Nutrients. 2014 Mar 13;6(3):1080-102. doi: 10.3390/nu6031080. PMID: 24633395; PMCID: PMC3967179. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967179/

[5] – Rizzo NS, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Sabate J, Fraser GE. Nutrient profiles of vegetarian and nonvegetarian dietary patterns. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Dec;113(12):1610-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.06.349. Epub 2013 Aug 27. PMID: 23988511; PMCID: PMC4081456. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23988511/

[6] – Pizzorno J. Acidosis: An Old Idea Validated by New Research. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Feb;14(1):8-12. PMID: 26770125; PMCID: PMC4566456. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566456/

[7] – Dhanwal DK, Cooper C, Dennison EM. Geographic variation in osteoporotic hip fracture incidence: the growing importance of asian influences in coming decades. J Osteoporos. 2010 Aug 2;2010:757102. doi: 10.4061/2010/757102. PMID: 20981334; PMCID: PMC2957223. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957223/

[8] – Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health – The Nutrition Source – Calcium. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium/

[9] – National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017–March 2020 Prepandemic Data Files – Development of Files and Prevalence Estimates for Selected Health Outcomes Bryan Stierman, M.D., M.P.H.; Joseph Afful, M.S.; Margaret D. Carroll, M.S.P.H.; Te-Ching Chen, Ph.D.; Orlando Davy, M.P.H.; Steven Fink, M.A.; Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H.; Qiuping Gu, Ph.D.; Craig M. Hales, M.D., M.P.H.; Jeffery P. Hughes, M.P.H.; Yechiam Ostchega, Ph.D., R.N.; Renee J. Storandt, M.T.(A.S.C.P.), M.S.P.H.; and Lara J. Akinbami, M.D. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr158-508.pdf




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