The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Dairy Foods and Cancer Prevention

Dairy foods and cancer prevention

The link between diet and cancer is complex. This review presents a framework for critically judging the strength of current evidence that describes possible links between dairy intake and cancer. According to this framework a cause-effect relationship should be inferred only if dairy intake is consistently linked to cancer by different types of well-designed study. Findings from several comprehensive systematic reviews and meta-analyses into the role of dairy consumption and the development of 13 different cancers show that there are currently no definitive and simple answers to this complex question. However, dairy intake may be associated with a reduced risk for common and serious colorectal cancers and possibly breast cancer among women. In men, milk and dairy consumption may protect against colorectal cancers, which may outweigh a potentially increased risk for prostate cancer associated with dairy intake. Experts agree that in a holistic approach to health, dietary recommendations cannot omit dairy.

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