Another study has shown that consuming milk and other dairy products increases the risk for prostate cancer. Among the more than 26,000 participants in the Japan Collaborative Cohort study, those who consumed the most milk had a 37% higher risk for developing cancer than those who consumed less milk, according to research published online in Cancer Medicine. Yogurt consumption was also associated with an increased risk.
Previous studies, including two large Harvard studies, have shown similar increases in prostate cancer risk among milk-drinking men. A 2016 meta-analysis combining the results of 11 prior studies reported that men consuming the most milk products had a 43% higher risk of dying of prostate cancer, compared with men who generally avoided dairy products.
Possible mechanisms behind the increased risk include increased insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), as well as depressed vitamin D activation caused by dairy calcium.
- Mikami K, Ozasa K, Miki T, et al. Dairy products and the risk of developing prostate cancer: A large-scale cohort study (JACC Study) in Japan. Cancer Med. Published online October 4, 2021. doi: 10.1002/cam4.4233
- Lu W, Chen H, Niu Y, Wu H, Xia D, Wu Y. Dairy products intake and cancer mortality risk: a meta-analysis of 11 population-based cohort studies. Nutrition Journal. 2016;15(1):91-102. doi: 10.1186/s12937-016-0210-9