Vegan Health ArticlesDairy, Diet and Early Puberty in Girls
A Vegan Health Article from

These vegan health articles are presented to assist you in taking a pro-active part in your own health.

See Health Position and Disclaimer


A new study recently published in the journal, Pediatrics, finds that girls in the U.S. are developing breasts at earlier ages than ever before. (Read the August 9 article about this study in the New York Times, "First Signs of Puberty Seen in Younger Girls.") Early puberty is a concern because the longer a girl is exposed to the hormones responsible for creating breast tissue (estrogen, progesterone.) the stronger her risk of breast cancer.

So what are the causes of this early development and what does this have to do with diet? A major cause of early puberty is childhood obesity. Fat deposits produce sex hormones, which trigger early sexual development, such as the increase of breast tissue. There is another important factor that should be considered: the amount and quality of dairy and meat products in their diets.

For starters, conventional dairy and meat products are often laced with Bovine Growth Hormones (rBGH.) These growth hormones are given to the animals themselves, in order to make them grow faster and bigger. Consequentially, the hormones are simply passed on through the food chain to the humans who consume them. As a result, some people have chosen to buy non-conventional, or organic dairy and meat products as a way to curb these extra hormones from entering their system.

It should be noted, however, that dairy, by its very nature, contains extra loads of estrogen. Harvard News published an article titled, “Hormones in milk can be dangerous,” which discusses this topic. An example:

Milk from a cow in the late stage of pregnancy contains up to 33 times as much of a signature estrogen compound (estrone sulfate) than milk from a non-pregnant cow.

In addition, dairy products include something called IGF-1 ((Insulin-like Growth factor 1) which encourages the growth of tissues inside the body; from normal tissue, like bones, to abnormal tissue, like cancer. Watch Dr. McDougall’s talk on IGF-1. As he tells us, the connection between IGF-1 and cancer is “one of the hottest topics” in the cancer research world.

There are many reasons why people curb or completely stop their consumption of dairy or meat products. These are but some of those reasons. For more information, please go to our page, Why Veg?

Return to Vegan Health Articles
Visit Food Hazards in Animal Flesh and By-products Health Position and Disclaimer

We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.