Two Studies Show Low-Fat and Fat-Free Milk Linked to Prostate Cancer

The Physicians Committee

Two Studies Show Low-Fat and Fat-Free Milk Linked to Prostate Cancer

January 9, 2008

Two new studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed a positive correlation between low-fat and nonfat milk consumption and the risk of prostate cancer.

One study looked at questionnaires by 82,483 men in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, 4,404 of whom developed prostate cancer over a mean follow-up of eight years. Whether in the form of food or supplements, there was no association between calcium and vitamin D intake and prostate cancer risk. However, consuming 1 cup or more per day of low-fat or nonfat milk showed a positive association for developing prostate cancer, while whole milk consumption showed a decreased risk for total prostate cancer (includes nonadvanced, advanced, and fatal cases).

The other study assessed food frequency questionnaires among 293,888 participants of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study, 10,180 of whom were total prostate cancer cases. Skim milk consumption at two or more servings per day was positively associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Park S, Murphy SP, Wilkens LR, et al. Calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product intake and prostate cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Am J Epid. 2007;166:1259-1269.

Park Y, Mitrou PN, Kipnis V, et al. Calcium, dairy foods, and risk of incident and fatal prostate cancer: the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Epid. 2007;166:1270-1279.

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