“The dairy story can be confusing,” says June Chan, professor of epidemiology & biostatistics and urology at the University of California, San Francisco.
She and others followed nearly 4,000 health professionals with localized prostate cancer for eight years to see which men were more likely to “progress.”
“Men who drank whole milk more than four times a week had about twice the risk of lethal prostate cancer compared to men who rarely or never drank whole milk,” says Chan. “But there was a suggestion of a reduced risk for low-fat dairy intake.”
Similarly, when researchers tracked nearly 22,000 physicians—including 2,800 who were diagnosed with prostate cancer—for 28 years, “they saw an elevated risk for prostate cancer death with whole milk intake,” notes Chan.
Although something else about men who drink whole milk may explain the link, there’s good reason to avoid it.
“We don’t recommend whole milk because of the cardiovascular risks associated with a high saturated-fat intake,” says Chan.
Sources: Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 21: 428, 2012; J. Nutr. 2012. doi:10.3945/jn.112.168484.
Other relevant links:
- Cruciferous vegetables may reduce risk of recurring prostate cancer. See: Cruciferous Vegetables and Prostate Cancer
- Too much from supplements may increase your risk of dying from prostate cancer. See: Calcium and Prostate Cancer
- Overweight men are more at risk for an enlarged prostate. See: Excess Weight and an Enlarged Prostate