Prostate Cancer and Milk

By Blake Graham
Copyright 2001

The overwhelming majority of research suggests strongly that increased milk consumption is associated with increased risk for prostate cancer. Below are just some of the studies on this subject. For more information read: An Ecologic Study of Dietary Links to Prostate Cancer

"For prostate cancer, epidemiologic studies consistently show a positive association with high consumption of milk, dairy products, and meats."

Giovannucci E., 'Nutritional factors in human cancers.', Adv Exp Med Biol 1999;472:29-42

 "Cases also reported more frequent consumption of milk and other dairy products and meat, but no significant difference was noted for vegetable intake."

Talamini R, La Vecchia C, Decarli A, Negri E, Franceschi, 'Nutrition, social factors and prostatic cancer in a Northern Italian population.', S.Br J Cancer 1986 Jun;53(6):817-21

"Higher intake of meat and dairy products has been associated with greater risk of prostate cancer, which may be related to their saturated fat content."

Willett WC, 'Nutrition and cancer.', Salud Publica Mex 1997 Jul-Aug;39(4):298-309

"Positive correlations between foods and cancer mortality rates were particularly strong in the case of meats and milk for breast cancer, milk for prostate and ovarian cancer, and meats for colon cancer."

Rose DP, Boyar AP, Wynder EL., 'International comparisons of mortality rates for cancer of the breast, ovary, prostate, and colon, and per capita food consumption.' ,Cancer 1986 Dec 1;58(11):2363-71

"Diet appears to be a major determinant in the incidence of prostate cancer. In a case-control study conducted in Athens, Greece, we found that dairy products, butter and seed oils were positively associated with risk of prostate cancer, whereas cooked and raw tomatoes were inversely associated."

Bosetti C, Tzonou A, Lagiou P, Negri E, Trichopoulos D, Hsieh CC., 'Fraction of prostate cancer incidence attributed to diet in Athens, Greece.', Eur J Cancer Prev 2000 Apr;9(2):119-23

"Diets high in dairy products and meats are related to higher risk of prostate cancer incidence or mortality in most ecologic, case-control, and prospective studies. "

Giovannucci E., 'Dietary influences of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D in relation to prostate cancer: a hypothesis.', Cancer Causes Control 1998 Dec;9(6):567-82

"A significantly increased risk of prostate cancer was associated with skim milk as compared to whole milk."

Veierod MB, Laake P, Thelle DS., 'Dietary fat intake and risk of prostate cancer: a prospective study of 25,708 Norwegian men.', Int J Cancer 1997 Nov 27;73(5):634-8

"No significant associations were found with frequency of consumption of meats, dairy products, fruits, or vegetables."

Hsing AW, McLaughlin JK, Schuman LM, Bjelke E, Gridley G, Wacholder S, Chien HT, Blot WJ., 'Diet, tobacco use, and fatal prostate cancer: results from the Lutheran Brotherhood Cohort Study.', Cancer Res 1990 Nov 1;50(21):6836-40

"Suggestive positive associations were also seen between fatal prostate cancer and the consumption of milk, cheese, eggs, and meat."

Snowdon DA, Phillips RL, Choi W., 'Diet, obesity, and risk of fatal prostate cancer.', Am J Epidemiol 1984 Aug;120(2):244-50

"The strongest and most consistent effects are positive associations with animal products such as red meats, eggs and dairy foods, and possibly by implication, fat."

Giles G, Ireland P., 'Diet, nutrition and prostate cancer.', Int J Cancer 1997;Suppl 10:13-7

"Among major food groups, milk and dairy products as well as added lipids were marginally positively associated with risk for prostate cancer."

Tzonou A, Signorello LB, Lagiou P, Wuu J, Trichopoulos D, Trichopoulou A., 'Diet and cancer of the prostate: a case-control study in Greece.', Int J Cancer 1999 Mar 1;80(5):704-8

"Dairy products consistently have been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, yet the mechanism of this relationship remains unknown. "

"High consumption of dairy products was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. "

Chan JM, Giovannucci E, Andersson SO, Yuen J, Adami HO, Wolk A., 'Dairy products, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D, and risk of prostate cancer (Sweden)', Cancer Causes Control 1998 Dec;9(6):559-66

"There was a significant trend in risk as regards frequency of milk consumption: compared with nondrinkers or occasional milk drinkers, the relative risk (RR) was 1.2 (95% confidence interval, Cl, 0.7-1.9) for 1 or 2 glasses per day and 5.0 (95% Cl 1.5-16.6) for 2 or more glasses per day."

La Vecchia C, Negri E, D'Avanzo B, Franceschi S, Boyle P., 'Dairy products and the risk of prostatic cancer.', Oncology 1991;48(5):406-10

"Higher consumption of calcium was related to advanced prostate cancer [multivariate relative risk (RR), 2.97; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.61-5.50 for intakes > or = 2000 mg/day versus < 500 mg/day; P, trend, 0.002] and metastatic prostate cancer (RR, 4.57; CI, 1.88-11.1; P, trend, <0.001)."

Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Wolk A, Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC., 'Calcium and fructose intake in relation to risk of prostate cancer.' ,Cancer Res 1998 Feb 1;58(3):442-7

"However, the reported usual consumption of high-fat milk was associated with increased risk (RR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.05 to 3.50). A greater reported frequency of whole milk intake was similarly associated with increased risk. Men who reported drinking three or more glasses of whole milk daily had an RR of 2.49 (95% CI, 1.27 to 4.87), compared with men who reported never drinking whole milk. "

Mettlin C, Selenskas S, Natarajan N, Huben R., 'Beta-carotene and animal fats and their relationship to prostate cancer risk. A case-control study.', Cancer 1989 Aug 1;64(3):605-12

"Positive trends in risk were found for consumption of cured meat and milk products (P-values 0.04 and 0.02 respectively). "

Schuurman AG, van den Brandt PA, Dorant E, Goldbohm RA., 'Animal products, calcium and protein and prostate cancer risk in The Netherlands Cohort Study.', Br J Cancer 1999 Jun;80(7):1107-13

"Milk consumption was positively associated with only prostate cancer mortality, and cheese consumption did not have a clear relationship with any cause of death. "

Snowdon DA., 'Animal product consumption and mortality because of all causes combined, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer in Seventh-day Adventists.', Am J Clin Nutr 1988 Sep;48(3 Suppl):739-48

"Relative risks (RRs) for prostate cancer computed by proportional hazards regression were elevated for intake of beef [RR for highest to lowest tertile of intake = 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-2.4] and milk (RR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.0-2.1), and for a summary variable for intake of high-fat animal products (RR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.0-2.4)."

Le Marchand L, Kolonel LN, Wilkens LR, Myers BC, Hirohata T., 'Animal fat consumption and prostate cancer: a prospective study in Hawaii.', Epidemiology 1994 May;5(3):276-82

"For 28 countries with more than five Kcal/day of tomatoes in the consumer supply, a linear combination of non-fat milk (risk factor) and tomatoes (risk reduction factor) was found to have the highest statistical association with prostate cancer mortality rates for men over the age of 35, with the Pearson regression coefficient (R2) for those aged 65-74 years = 0.67 and p < 0.001. For the 13 countries with fewer than six Kcal/day of tomatoes, non-fat milk had the highest association (R2 = 0.92, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). For 41 countries combined, the non-fat portion of milk had the highest association with prostate cancer mortality rates (R2 = 0.73, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). "

"These results support the results of several cohort studies which found the non-fat portion of milk to have the highest association with prostate cancer, likely due to the calcium, and tomatoes to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, most likely due to lycopene."

Grant WB., 'An ecologic study of dietary links to prostate cancer.', Altern Med Rev 1999 Jun;4(3):162-9

"Biomarkers, including testosterone and insulin-like growth factor, and nutritional factors, especially meat, fat, and dairy intake, have been linked to greater risk of disease. "

Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL., 'What causes prostate cancer? A brief summary of the epidemiology.' Semin Cancer Biol 1998 Aug;8(4):263-73

"The results showed increased risks of prostate cancer associated with beer drinking, meat, milk and fruit consumption, after adjusting for major confounders."

De Stefani E, Fierro L, Barrios E, Ronco A., 'Tobacco, alcohol, diet and risk of prostate cancer.', Tumori 1995 Sep-Oct;81(5):315-20

Chet's Comments
I stopped drinking milk many years ago when I realized that it was the major cause of hemorrhoid problems that plagued me as a young man in my late 20's. Since that time, my beverage of choice has been pure water. I drank distilled water for many years but then changed to a good filtered water when I began to have concerns about the long-term benefits of distilled.

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