Consuming dairy is probably linked to breast cancer, so say many renowned researchers and studies, including a 2009 paper available in the National Institutes of Health library.
Free From Harm compiled a collection of information from experts about the connection between dairy and breast cancer. Some highlights:
Some nutritionists confirm the doctors’ findings. One of them, Phil Richards, writes that “the connection between casein and cancer was so profound [in experiments on rats] that the scientists could literally turn cancer growth on and off in the laboratory animals, like a light switch, simply by altering the level of casein protein in their diets.” Specifically, “[c]onsuming dairy products is linked to an increased risk for breast cancer as dairy products are high in fat, animal protein, and hormones, each of which increases cancer risk. Since the 1980′s, study after study has linked dairy consumption to a high incidence of breast and other cancers.”
Part of the problem with dairy is the things that come out of cows because of the way factory farmers treat them, as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition quote above suggests. Dairy producers inject cows with a growth hormone to increase their milk production by a factor of ten. That milk then contains pus, bacteria, and blood because of the infections cows are prone to from their living conditions and from producing far more milk than they are meant to. Obviously these are not healthy things for us to drink.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure sounds a more conservative note than the researchers cited above: “data from the Nurses’ Health Study II found women who ate a lot of high-fat dairy products (like whole milk or butter) were at higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer,” it admits, but nevertheless asserts that “[m]ost studies have found no link between consuming dairy products and breast cancer in premenopausal women.” The site also claims that studies “have found no link between dairy product intake…and postmenopausal breast cancer risk.”
Another article went further, claiming that “dairy products may” make postmenopausal women “less likely to develop breast cancer.”
At most, as Cancer Research UK states, “[s]tudies investigating a link between cancer and dairy products have not given clear results…[W]e need further research to find out more about the links between dairy products and cancer risk.” Perhaps the safest course is to follow Jane Plant’s advice to replace dairy products with soy, which, as Care2 has reported, has a protective effect against breast cancer.
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