T Nation


I was wondering what the thoughts of this community is on Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), its effects on IFG-1, and if it really is safe to eat (per the US FDA) or if it contributes to genetic mutations , modifications, and other nasty side effects (per PETA and other similar organizations).

If you are not familiar with rBGH, it is given to cattle in the US so they grow larger, produce more milk, etc. It also increases IGF-1 (insulin-like Growth factor-1) production, which is passed into the milk.

IGF-1 occurs naturally in both humans and cows. It also regulates cell growth, and since cancer is defined as uncontrollable cell growth, the theory is more IGF-1 = faster cell division = accelerated tumor growth.

I have researched the hell out of this topic online, and cannot find independant studies. The government’s data is mainly based on studies done by Monsanto (who makes Posilac, the brand name for rBGH). The anti-rBGH research all seems to be done by various vegan related groups.

What do you all think?

I ask, because my one year old daughter was recently diagnosed with accelerated breast tissue growth - she’s been to three doctors, had blood tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, and all the doctors say yep, those are breast buds, something you’d see on a girl in the first stages of puberty.

The surgeon’s first suggestion was to give her only organic dairy and meats for 6 weeks, then do a recheck. He specifically mentioned the hormones in the cattle as a possible cause.

This type of condition doesn’t run in the family, so I wonder if anyone has any scientific explantions to add.

Thanks. This little experience has scared the shit out of me.

BTW, from what I’ve read online, both Canada and the EU have banned rBGH usage in livestock.

I can’t add anything that you haven’t already mentioned other then that it is scary what big business (I’m sure Monsanto is only one of many) will do for the sake of making a dollar.

This is just my opinion and I am not an expert, but I would get on with the organic meat and vegetables. Both products were meant to be eaten that way by us, and factory farms aren’t exactly helping. I would try to eliminate all sources of soy protein( I realize she is one, but was she given formula?It often contains soy products). Also, consider no milk for her at all. I know that is blasphemous to some people, but most of the world doesn’t feed their babies milk from other animals. We were meant to be breastfed from humans not animals in my opinion(before anyone flames me) and although as an adult I am an avid cheese, yoghurt, etc. eater but I just think that really young children should be given only ‘natural’ food, thats the time for their bodies to really react to things. There must be a souce of estrogens in her environment and I would completely start over with whatever food and drink she is consuming. Believe me, I am no vegan, save the world kind of guy, but Monsanto is evil. They are destroying healthy farming all over North America. Hopefully one of the nutritional experts here at T-Nation will chime in with a lot more knowledge than I. Just my 2 cents.

BradS, that was a GREAT post!!!

I’ve been studying Holistic Nutrition for years now, hopefully getting a MA soon, and Brad is right on. Check out the Hawthorn Institute (.org). You (we) have got to get away from commercialized food of all sorts.

Besides the rBGH, the USDA mandates many meats to be irradated (zapped with a nuclear isotope) to help squash any chance of a bacterial breakout (this damages the food and can increase risk of cancers).

Grain finished cattle have a very poor omega 3:6 ratio.

Almost all commercial fluids (tomato juice, apple juice, milk) is pasterized - this kills healthy bacteria, riuns enzymes, and causes a loss on phytonutrients which are vital to proper immune function.

In a study of half a million children under 10, a signicant portion had 10 TIMES the FDA maximum for pesticides in their blood from produce! I would use “Fit” to wash your produce or buy non-commercial (grociery store organic still has pesticides on it, sorry).

28% of ALL intestinal cancers are directly attributed to chlorinated/flourinated tap water consumption!

And, as brad said, infant human biochemistry is designed for human breastmilk, not animal milk. A cow produces milk for… its own calfs, where did we get the idea that infants should be consuming it?! I’ll tell you, the same people that pushed soy as a healthy alternative - farmers. If soy animal feed is causing mutated sex organs what is it going to do to humans?!

Being somewhat cost/convenience prohibitive, I would HIGHLY recommend you find an organic meat/poulty/veggie source. I grew up on Amish veggies and farm fresh eggs and besides them tasting better, they are 1000% better than anything store bought. I know this isn’t as easy done than said, but pick your battles and do the best you can… after all, it’s “only” your health.


I am glad to see that someone agrees! Topsirloin has the knowledge. I live in Toronto and recently we have acquired a Whole Foods store(which I know is American) so perhaps ffg you have a store near you? Not perfect but probably better than most. Most of the veg and I believe all the meat is organic there. Otherwise, farmer’s markets increasingly have organic farmers. Consider organic yoghurt as an alternative as well, if you are reluctant to give up milk for her. It has the same nutrients really and the bonus of beneficial bacteria. Perhaps Topsirloin would know, but I have heard that certain foods can help the body get rid of estrogens? In any case, good luck and don’t let anyone tell you that commerical milk, etc. is ‘great’ for children.


Sounds like a cool store, but watch the pesticides. Organic farmers have more of your interest at heart, but still will use pesticides (they have to make money to provide these foods).

As far as removing estrogens, I think it’s best to just get the body back to baseline by consuming the proper mix of nutrients (breastmilk for infants, even kids 1-2 years old) and keeping phytoestrogens (like soy) out of the body. This will allow the body to take on its natural hormonal ratios. If this doesn’t work, than you need to see an endocrinologist to get the person/baby back in line.


There is a farmers market sort of near by, and I have made a resolution to start shopping there whenever possible. The bad thing is they are are only open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday during the winter.

Luckily, my local grocery store does carry organic milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt - so she’s eating those foods now.

I’m also in the process of finding local sources for fresh beef and poultry. It used to be easy, but it seems like every local farm has been turned into a subdivision or strip mall in the past ten years.

I did buy some amish chicken last week, that’s supposedly free of hormones, pesticides, etc - and it sure it look, smell, and taste different from what I’m used too. it was great. Like many of you, I eat a TON of chicken breasts, and this was the best chicken I’ve had in quite a while.

And yes, my poor daughter did have some soy formula in the early part of her life. She was having digestive problems, to the point her nickname was baby barf-a-lot. She was able to keep the soy down - but I got her off that as quick as I could.

I’d say get her off the milk simply because of the pasteurization.
About the growth hormone, I’ve read that, yes, a small amount is passed on into the milk. But I’ve also read that what they don’t tell you is that the same amount is passed into the milk from regular cows.