Dairy Intake and Links to Prostate Cancer

Dairy and Prostate

J Nat Cancer Inst, 97: 1768-1777, 2005

Men who live long enough will develop prostate cancer, but they'll probably die from something else first. Nevertheless, it's the second leading cancer-related cause of death in men. Diet plays an important role in preventing the disease.

A Tufts University study found men who consume large amounts of calcium and dairy products, such as milk and cheese, have a slightly elevated risk of getting prostate cancer. High dairy intake increased prostate cancer risk by 11 percent, while high calcium intake boosted the risk by 39 percent. The study was a combined analysis (meta-analysis) of 12 studies conducted between 1966 and 2005 that examined the relationship between dairy and calcium intake and prostate cancer.

The authors were critical of the new USDA dietary recommendations that all adults eat three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products a day.

Dairy foods are high in calcium and eight essential vitamins and minerals, so moderate consumption is still important- even for aging men. The benefits of consuming dairy foods exceed the small, increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

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