Vegetarians, carnivores and multiple myeloma

A myeloma list friend (thanks!) sent me the link to an interesting BBC article (see: on the possible connection between meat-eating and some forms of cancer, such as stomach cancer. But, my oh my, read this: In the case of multiple myeloma, a relatively rare cancer of the bone marrow, vegetarians were 75% less likely to develop the disease than meat-eaters. The reduction was less notable for fish-eaters with these cancers. The reasons, researchers said, were unclear, but potential mechanisms could include viruses and mutation-causing compounds in meat – or alternatively that vegetables confer special protection. By the way, this was based on a study involving 61,566 British men and women…

Well, well…well. I don’t really know what to think about all this…except now I guess I won’t be packing a hamburger or a steak in my suitcase…!


  1. ciao Margaret,
    well…I have been eating really little meat since I was in my 20 or so, almost never pork, and other meat not more than 3 times a week, even less, lots of vegetable, fruits, never overweight, moderate physical activity, never had health problems of other kind, no exposure to critical substances, only “excess” could had been, on the road driving the car a lot, exposure to monitor rays due to my office job, some stress and usually I slept 5-6 hours a day, not enough… so external factors might contributed, but a lot of truth were in the words of a lady doctor (!), you know who, she said, in the end it might turn out there was a “mistake” in the “construction process” of my body and it revealed itself in my late 40s.

  2. My spouse “introduced” me to fresh vegetables, from broccoli to turnips, when we were dating in the early 1970s. We live in Iowa, famous for corn, but also for pork and beef production, but we’ve been eating maybe 90 percent vegetarian for all these years. He roasts vegetables two or three times a week as a main dish, we make soups, salads, and sandwiches with vegetables. He has myeloma, I don’t, and about the closest I came to vegetables growing up was French fries..
    He grew up in a small farm town, so I suppose there was exposure to farm chemicals, but if that was all it took his age-mates would all have mm too. We’ve been wracking our brains for chemical exposure, the only vague possibility is that his father worked at a cooperative creamery and perhaps the chemicals used to clean the vats and equipment had something bad in it. Then again, his two siblings (10 & 12 years older) don’t seem to have mm or any other cancer (at 71 and 73).

  3. For some reason I cannot locate any of my studies pertaining to amino acids. And I have so much on my plate of a personal nature- I don’t know if I have the mental energy to search this week or even next.

    If you google two thing….
    Cancer Phenylalanine tyrosine
    also: separately Cancer methionine.

    What I understand is that cancer CANNOT survive without methionine – an amino acid always found in in complete proteins be it meat, fish or vegetarian.

    Also it seems that tyrosine and phenylalanine are sometimes promoters of cancer – and/ but also cancer CANNOT survive without these amino acids. The catch 22 is that we need amino acids for survival- for many many reasons. In studies done- “they” found that for lengthy periods of time – the human body can live okay without methionine but not for very long without phenylalanine and tyrosine. Now I may be mistaken – and again- I cannot find my “notes” but I think at least a couple of studies were done on human subjects but please don’t hold me to this- as it was a year ago I found this information and again – can’t “reach” it at the moment.

    Soooooo-back when I read these studies (and maybe I can conjure up some links if I can re-find what I had found before- HOPEFULLY ) I had considered taking taking amino acids by tablets excluding methionine since is seems less deleterious to go that route – avoiding THAT amino acid rather than the other two.

    But then it just seemed like too much work because I had too much on my plate but that does not mean I will not revisit the idea.

    So in the meanwhile I follow a protocol of foods and supplements- that undermines cancer in as many ways as possible- like with the curcumin (apoptosis, etc), green tea extract (angiostatin), high dose CoQ10, lupeol (mango, olives, figs, strawberries), squalene (LOADS OF olive oil) – etc etc…….

  4. Thanks Beve, for the practical info. Although my husband loves olive oil and Greek olives, that is a relatively recent (20-15 years ago?) addition to his favorites, as is green tea. Maybe it slowed down the silent progression of his disease already.

  5. I have been eating a diet called 80/20…80% raw foods and 20% cooked. Fruit for breakfast and vegetables for lunch and dinner. No animal products…no dairy. I’m smoldering now …have been since first bout with MM in Oct. 2006 – June 2007 when I took Decadron and Thalidomide. My Igg keeps creeping up but the CRAB symptoms are good. I take many supplements….including curcumin.

    We live on Lake Michigan and three of my neighbors have MM…one has died and am very concerned about the other’s prognosis. Our town has many chemical contamination issues. I also sprayed oour house with pesticides for years to kill off spiders….Makes me wonder.

  6. My wife and I took a radical shift towards veganism, which turned into vegetarianism after my wife got pregnant with our son and started craving dairy. That was roughly 4 years ago. Just this past week we spent a week down in Little Rock, AR at UMAS to get more evaluation after one year since my diagnosis of MM (Smoldering).

    The irony is that over the last 4 years I have been very aware of the environment and our human impact, just to few years into this journey to end up with a cancer diagnosis. The real kicker (not speaking about my last minute kick in the Big House in 2002: is that I was born and raised in Midland, Michigan, home of Dow Chemical.

    Needless to say I am moving away from our man-maid synthetic world and try to engage in the creation that God made in the beginning, with the hopes that we will one day return to the garden, as it was and meant to be!

    Blessings to all and keeping ask the most important question: Why?

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