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DAIRY PRODUCTS AND RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER

Overall, 12 (1-12) of the 14 case-control studies (1-14) and seven (15-19, 21, 23) of the nine cohort studies (15-23) observed
a positive association for some measure of dairy products and prostate cancer; this is one of the most consistent dietary
predictors for prostate cancer in the published literature. In these studies, men with the highest dairy intakes had
approximately double the risk of total prostate cancer, and up to a fourfold increase in risk of metastatic or fatal
prostate cancer relative to low consumers (17, 24). It remains unknown which compounds in dairy products
might be responsible for this association; however, several recent studies which have been able to investigate nutrients
more thoroughly suggest that calcium, and perhaps phosphorous, may play important roles.
Originally, it was speculated that the fat content in milk may affect risk of prostate cancer. However, a few of the
more recent studies with comprehensive dietary assessments present evidence to the contrary).

Most recently, in the Physicians' Health Study, fat and protein from dairy products were not risk factors for prostate cancer,
and in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Physicians' Health Study, skim and low-fat milk were positively
associated with prostate cancer risk (17, 19). Higher low-fat milk intake has been linked to higher levels of circulating
insulin-like growth factor 1 (25), and plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 has been positively associated
with elevated prostate cancer risk (26-28). Thus, the positive association between dairy/milk intake and prostate
cancer risk may be partially due to increased levels of insulin-like growth factor 1; this hypothesis is speculative
and requires further study.    

The strongest evidence for an association between calcium intake and risk of prostate cancer comes from the
Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which had a comprehensive dietary assessment of calcium from food as well as
multivitamins, calcium supplements, and other sources (e.g., antacids—TUMS® (SmithKline Beecham, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania)) (17). In this study, men who consumed more than 2,000 mg of calcium daily had a multivariate relative
risk of 4.6 (95 percent confidence interval: 1.9, 11.1) for metastatic and fatal prostate cancer compared with men consuming
less than 500 mg of calcium daily

Although this study did not have complete dietary assessment, we were able to demonstrate that calcium from dairy products, rather than fat or protein from dairy products, was positively associated with prostate cancer risk. Additionally,
skim milk calcium appeared to be the single dairy item linked to prostate cancer as well as to lower levels of 1,25 D
(whole milk, cheese, and ice cream, or calcium from these sources, were not associated with prostate cancer risk when
examined individually
 
 
 
Additionally, there were suggestive
inverse associations for phosphorous intake; however, the
results were not consistently statistically significant (6, 17,
23).”
 

Effect of Dairy products in prostate cancer

 Many studies that include statistics of how consumption of certain food ingredients contribute either possitively or negatively in generating or preventing cancer, normally fail to isolate the factor studied.  In this case where prostate cancer is related in men to a higher consumption of dairy products, the following observations are very relevant: Fluid milk wheteher UHT or pasteurized could have different effects, Cheese wheteher blue or cottage could totally differ as factors, comparing a high consumer of blue cheese with a high consumer of UHT Fluid milk could totally alterate results and last but not least mentioning other food consumed as part of the diet of the studied group could be more meningful.  Is the mediterranean diet good because of the olives or because of the lamb? Is the mediteranean way of life or attitude in life more important than the food consumed?

The proliferation of studies that claim results and blame agents to be responsible for so many health issues have the responsibility to generate a false or unfounded knowledge among the population and that  is sequentially denied and  proved several times generating uncertainty and loss of credibility.

Submitted by Ysaac Akinin on 8 Sep, 2011