Cancer-preventing effects of dairy consumption ‘outweigh’ harmful impact – scientific review

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Dairy product

Cancer-preventing effects of dairy ‘outweigh’ harmful impact
Evidence supporting the preventative effect of milk and milk product consumption on cancer is “considerably greater” than the evidence that supports its harmful impact, Iranian researchers have claimed.

In their scientific review, Effects of Milk and Milk Products Consumption on Cancer​, the researchers examined the potential of milk and milk products consumption to prevent different cancer risks.

They also reviewed previous studies that suggested dairy products are “responsible agents for causing cancer.”

In terms of cancer risk, dairy products have been reported as both protective and harmful.

But according to the review, which was published in the Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety journal, the proven health benefits of dairy products “greatly outweigh the unproven harm.”

“Both beneficial and adverse effects”

“Milk and dairy products may have both beneficial and adverse effects with regard to the risk of different cancers,”​ said the review.

“The evidence indicating healthful effects of milk and milk product consumption on prevention of cancer is considerably greater than those representing harmful impacts.”

“In fact, there is certainly no evidence that milk consumption might increase death from any condition.”

“The occasional reports about the probable causative effect of milk or milk product consumption on some types of cancer, such as prostate cancer, that there is ample convincing evidence through thousands of years of consumption that shows their definitely impact on health, health maintenance, survival, and longevity,” ​the report added.

The researchers added that any harmful cancer-related effect of dairy product consumption is “dose dependent.”

Exogenous milk compound cancer impact?

The research team was made up of individuals from the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, and the Islamic Azad University in Varamin.

They examined the preventative and causative effect of milk product consumption on different types of cancer including colorectal, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate.

They also looked at the effect that exogenous milk compounds – including pesticides, veterinary drugs, melamine, mycotoxins, and food additives - have on the prevention and induction of cancer

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