Nutrient in meat, dairy found to fight cancer – just make sure it comes from clean animals
By Ethan Huff // Dec 11, 2023

New research out of The University of Chicago has found that meat and dairy are much more nutritious than many people think.

Rich in a nutrient called trans-vaccenic acid, or TVA, meat and dairy products can actually be beneficial for cancer patients because of TVA's anti-cancer properties.

According to the findings, TVA infiltrates tumors and kills cancer cells. Cancer patients with high levels of TVA in their blood were found to respond much better to treatment than cancer patients without it.

Vegans and vegetarians consume very little TVA, which makes these diets not as effective, at least in this particular sense.

Interestingly, fattier cuts of beef and lamb were found to contain much higher levels of TVA than lean cuts, suggesting that the anti-cancer power of meat and dairy is found in their saturated fat, which has been demonized by the government for decades.

"The anti-cancer power of the dairy-derived fatty acid comes from its ability to turbocharge certain immune cells known as T cells, which recognize foreign invaders and prompt the immune system to kill them," a report about the study explains.

"Researchers said that eating foods rich in this compound or giving it to cancer patients as a supplement could have measurable benefits in decreasing the size of tumors."

(Related: Check out these 14 American cities that are planning to ban meat and dairy by the year 2030.)

Just make sure your meat and dairy is clean and unprocessed

Commenting on the findings, study author Dr. Jing Chen noted that she and her team combed through a database of around 700 different meat and dairy metabolites – these are the substances the body produces when breaking down food. They then compiled a library of "blood nutrient" compounds consisting of 235 different molecules derived from food nutrients.

Chen et al. then analyzed each one of these blood nutrient compounds to identify its ability to influence the activation of CD8+ T cells, narrowing it down to just six candidates in both human and mouse cells showing that TVA is the most effective at giving a jumpstart to immune cells.

After zeroing in on TVA, Chen et al. fed test mice a diet rich in the compound. They discovered afterwards that TVA helped reduce the potential for melanoma and colon cancer in the rodents compared to mice fed a control diet.

"By focusing on nutrients that can activate T cell responses, we found one that actually enhances anti-tumor immunity by activating an important immune pathway," Dr. Chen said.

To learn how TVA does all this, the team conducted a series of tests using a new genetic sequencing technique. This test showed that TVA can deactivate a receptor on the surface of a cell called GPR43.

"GPR43 is activated by short-chain fatty acids that are produced by bacteria in the gut when fiber is fermented in the colon," reports explain.

"TVA was able to inactivate GPR43 and instead activate the CREB pathway which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including cell growth and the function of different genes."

In addition to TVA, meat and dairy are loaded with many other nutrients such as complete protein, choline, creatine, taurine and various other vitamins and minerals that are not easily obtained, if at all, from "plant-based" foods.

Just remember that the best meat and dairy comes from animals that roam on clean pasture lands and that are not fed genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or given vaccines. When consuming dairy, it is also best to have it raw if milk or cream, or cultured like yoghurt and kefir from an organic source.

More related news about the healing properties of food can be found at

Sources for this article include:

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