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More Data Links Prostate Cancer With Dairy Consumption

February 11, 2013 -- Prior studies have shown that higher overall milk intake is associated with a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Now a study in the Journal of Nutrition gives nuance to those findings, showing that the type and amount of dairy consumed not only may affect incidence of prostate cancer but a man’s odd of survival once disease is diagnosed. In a prospective study of 21,660 physicians who were followed for 28 years from baseline entry into the study, doctors who consumed more than 2.5 servings per day of dairy had a 12 percent greater risk of developing prostate cancer than doctors who had half a serving or less per day. And while all milk types were associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, only whole milk consumption was associated with progression to fatal disease. The authors write: “These findings add further evidence to suggest the potential role of dairy products in the development and prognosis of prostate cancer.” An unproven theory for this association is that low levels of estrogen found in milk may fuel prostate cancer in some men.

PCF-funded researchers Drs. Lorelei Mucci, Meir J. Stampfer, Edward Giovannucci, Michael Pollak, and Jing Ma were authors on the Journal of Nutrition study.

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