Risk of Prostate Cancer from Dairy Consumption Overshadows Alleged Diabetes Prevention
Doctors Analyze New Study on Dairy and Diabetes
WASHINGTON—The alleged link between dairy consumption and diabetes prevention is tenuous and not worth the risk of prostate cancer and other well-established dairy dangers, say doctors and nutrition scientists at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). PCRM is responding to a new study by Choi et al., “Dairy Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Men,” appearing this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The increased risk of prostate cancer associated with dairy intake is highlighted in the editorial published alongside the new study.
“Few men will leap at the chance of possibly preventing diabetes if it means taking on the risk of prostate cancer,” says Tim Radak, R.D., Dr.P.H., nutrition director for PCRM. Milk often contains estrogens and it increases levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor I, both of which may stimulate cancer cells in the prostate and other areas. High-fiber foods are the true key to preventing diabetes and overweight. The lowest rates of type 2 diabetes occur in Asian countries where traditional diets are rich in high-fiber foods and dairy products are uncommon.
Three of the researchers on the current study previously published an article on the same group of subjects, the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and they found there is a 60 percent greater risk of prostate cancer for men who drink more than two glasses of milk per day, compared to none at all. In a related study, the Harvard Physicians’ Health Study, researchers also concluded that dairy products and calcium are associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.
Jeanne S. McVey
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