Study Finds Dairy Consumption Associated with Higher Risk of Breast Cancer in Women

Dairy consumption, even if you’re doing it moderately, may elevate the risk of breast cancer in women, says a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology

According to the research team, they analyzed the intake of dairy among 52,795 women from North America and concluded that those women who consumed more dairy milk had a higher risk of breast cancer.

They were closely followed for 7.9 years and they were all free of cancer in the beginning. But, at the end of the study, there were 1057 cases of breast cancer in different follow-ups.

Dairy Milk Linked with Higher Risk of Breast Cancer

According to the researchers, they didn’t found any link between soy products and breast cancer or any important links between this type of cancer and yogurt and cheese.

Dairy milk, especially the reduced and full fat versions were the only ones linked with breast cancer. The head of the study, Gary E. Fraser explains that drinking as little as ¼ to 1/3 cup of dairy milk on a daily was linked with a higher risk of breast cancer of 30 percent.

By consuming up to a cup on a daily basis, the risk went up to 50 percent whereas up to 70 and 80 percent in those who consumed 2 to 3 cups on a daily basis.

According to the current US Dietary guidelines, adults should consume no more than 3 cups of milk on the daily and Fraser claims that the study’s findings suggest that this should be a recommendation that we need to look at cautiously.

Why Does Dairy Milk Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?

According to Fraser, the association between dairy and breast cancer is a result of the hormone presence in dairy milk.

Since cows are lactating during the production of milk and breast cancer being a cancer that’s responsive to hormones, increased intake of animal proteins such as milk leads to higher levels of hormones linked with some types of cancer.