Justine Butler

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Dr. Justine Butler is the senior health researcher and writer at Viva! She joined as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. She also holds a BSc in biochemistry, and a Diploma in nutrition.

Justine's scientific training has helped her research and write numerous scientific reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelled out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. Viva! were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

Justine has also had an extensive list of articles published in health and trade journals, as well as national and regional newspapers.


  •  crimbo crumble

    We appear to be witnessing an exponential growth in the availability of vegan options in cafes, restaurants and coffee shops across the country!

    As a vegan I have low expectations of finding anything to eat in high street coffee shops except possibly a small bag of crisps or nuts

  • Red meat lined up on surfaces

     

    Last month the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages, do cause bowel cancer and that red meats such as beef, pork and lamb, probably do too... no real surprises there!

  • It’s natural for us to eat meat – we’re designed for it, aren’t we? Or is this just used as an excuse to justify the killing of animals for food? The answer lies in our past – what did our ancient ancestors eat and what types of food are we best suited to?

  • Lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy often get mixed up. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of an enzyme that helps you to digest the sugar in milk. Cow’s milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to proteins found in milk. They are completely unrelated conditions except that they share a common cause – cow’s milk and dairy products.

  • It’s a myth that you need meat to get enough iron – a varied vegan diet contains plenty!                                                                                                                                        

  • Antioxidants protect our health but you don’t have to spend lots of money on expensive supplements or exotic fruit extracts as there’s a plentiful supply – and powerful ones at that – hiding in a fruit and veg shop near you.

  • Vitamin B3 was the third B vitamin to be discovered – hence the name! It is also known as niacin and there are two forms: nicotinic acid and nicotinamide and both are found in food.

  • A surprising number of people still think you need to combine different types of protein-rich plant foods to get a ‘complete’ protein. Allegations that vegans are therefore missing out are seriously outdated but what does the science say? 

  • Scientists are convinced we have little more than 10 years to get climate change under control! The government have been advised to aim for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But what can you do as an individual? What if there was one simple change you could make that would be more effective then never flying, buying an electric car and switching to a green energy supplier. Well, there is!  

  • Coconut oil is everywhere these days, used in baking, smoothies and beauty treatments. Enthusiasts claim it can help you lose weight and fight all manner of illnesses. But is it really a panacea for good health or is it just the best of a bad bunch?

  • Vegans don't need to combine different types of protein-rich plant foods to get a ‘complete’ protein, that type of thinking is considered outdated. A varied vegan diet provides plenty of healthy plant protein, the type we need! 

  • The pro-fat lobby are determined get butter, cheese and beef back on the menu. Bad science, poor journalism and commercial interests are at the heart of this issue which has left many people confused.   

  • Cow’s milk is promoted as natural, wholesome and healthy it is none of these things! The saturated fat, animal protein, cholesterol, hormones and growth factors it contains are linked to a wide range of illnesses and disease. Aggressive marketing of milk and dairy products has resulted in confusion – people simply don’t know who to believe.

  • Getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health. It can reduce the risk of many common diseases, keep the brain and digestive system healthy and boost the immune system. However, around a third of us are falling short – so what can you do to get a better night’s sleep? Can any foods offer help? 

  • It’s that tired old chestnut asked by those who think meat, fish, eggs and dairy are the only proper sources of protein. The glib answer is to ask where gorillas, elephants, horses and rhinos get theirs! Some human populations have been thriving on plant-based protein for thousands of years and if you eat enough calories in a varied, vegan diet, it is very difficult to go short. Deficiency is rare in Western societies and is usually the result of disease or ageing rather than diet.   

  • Coconut oil is everywhere these days; used as a butter substitute, in baking, smoothies and in beauty treatments for moisturising skin and hair and improving oral health via oil pulling (a folk remedy where oil is swished around the mouth).

  • Dr Justine Butler explains why fish oils are not the best choice.                                                                                                                                                                      

  • It’s ubiquitous and sold as the next best thing to mother’s love and apple pie. But just what’s in your daily pinta? Dr Justine Butler investigates

  • Heart disease affects almost 2.6 million people in the UK and kills over 100,000 of them every year – it is our biggest killer.                                                                                                                   

  • If strength, stamina and muscles are your priority then veggie is the way to go, says Dr Justine Butler.

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