While foods such as fruits and vegetables are linked to lower instances of cancer, others – such as red meats – are known to increase the risk. Where does milk fall in terms of cancer? Will drinking milk increase or lower your cancer risk? Here are some of the things that you should know about milk’s link to cancer or cancer prevention.
Milk May Lower the Risk of Some Cancers
Drinking milk and consuming other dairy products is thought to lower the risk of certain types of cancers. Research has shown that consuming milk and other dairy products, which are high in calcium, can help reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Some professionals also believe that milk consumption can help lower the risk of breast cancer.
Milk May Increase the Risk of Some Cancers
According to the Cancer Project, which is supported by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, studies have shown that milk can increase the risk of prostate cancer mortality. A survey showed that countries which had the highest milk consumption also had the highest deaths due to prostate cancer. Another study showed that men who drank the most milk were also most likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Ovarian cancer is also thought to be linked to milk consumption. Despite the fact that some medical professionals believe that breast cancer can be prevented by drinking milk, there is another theory which says that breast cancer is caused by the fats or contaminants in milk and other dairy products. There also some who believe that the fats derived from dairy can increase the risk of colon cancer.
While milk may increase the risk of some types of cancer, it can decrease the risk of others. That said, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of research still needs to be done in regards to milk’s link to cancer. There are ongoing studies on this issue.
As of right now, milk and dairy consumption are still recommended due to the benefits associated with a diet that is high in calcium. Not only does calcium help prevent osteoporosis, but some studies have also linked it to lower body weight. It is best to choose reduced fat milk and dairy products, however. Low-fat dairy product consumption will help prevent weight gain. It may also help reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer, which are thought to be linked to the fats in dairy. Including fruits and vegetables which are high in both fiber and antioxidants can also help prevent cancer.
Cancer Research UK, “Does milk cause cancer?”
The Cancer Project, “Milk consumption and prostate cancer.”