"" Ralph Moss—Cancer Consultant: Does Milk Cause or Promote Prostate Cancer?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Does Milk Cause or Promote Prostate Cancer?

[caption id="attachment_100" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Debate rages over health effects of milk"]Debate rages over health effects of milk[/caption]

Few issues are as contentious as the relationship between milk or dairy products and cancer. There are two vociferous camps claiming, alternately, that milk products are harmful and should therefore generally be avoided, or that dairy (and by extension, other animal-derived foods) are salutary and may actually prevent cancer and other diseases.

Now a new study in the journal The Prostate lends further evidence for the “anti-milk” view. Scientists at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, and the Université de Montréal, compared 197 prostate cancer (PC) patients with an equal number of men who did not have PC. The participants filled out a food frequency questionnaire, recording their consumption of over 200 food items. There turned out to be a more than twofold increase in the risk of prostate cancer associated with an increased intake of dairy products. At the same time, there was a significant trend toward decreased prostate cancer risk associated in those who reported a higher than average intake of legumes, nuts, both fin- and shellfish and vitamin E (alpha tocopherol).

Interestingly, milk was the only dairy product that was significantly associated with increased prostate cancer risk. Also, the study did not address the issue of grass vs. grain fed cattle, or the problem of pesticide or hormone contamination of milk. But whatever in milk was increasing the PC trend it was not mainly calcium (a theory floated in the past). Calcium showed only a borderline association with PC risk, with only a slightly higher risk with increased calcium consumption.

This study supports the theory that dairy products, and especially standard commercial milk, are involved in the causation of prostate cancer. However, the researchers caution that the mechanisms by which the various nutrients in dairy and in the total diet may interact to influence this risk remain unknown.


Raimondi S, Mabrouk JB, Shatenstein B, Maisonneuve P, Ghadirian P. Diet and prostate cancer risk with specific focus on dairy products and dietary calcium: a case-control study. Prostate. 2010;70(10):1054-1065.


  1. I suspect they used pasteurized milk in the study, and I'd be willing to bet raw milk would not give the same prostate cancer increase results. See Dr. Mercola's comments about just this topic.

  2. We can never rule out the fact that milk, no matter how long used by adults, is the food of infants in the mammal world. Cows milk is for calves and mothers milk for infants. However, the comments about commercially handled milk make this even more of a standout so there is lots to this besides the fact this was a rather small study. We shall await the often occurring counter study.

  3. I am nearly 75 but have had no prostate problems.
    I limit my dairy to one cup of milk per week...helps the ceral go down better. My Dr is amazed at how healthy Iam.

  4. This finding is consistent with that of Colin Campbell in his book The China Study. He found a high correlation between animal protein intake and cancer growth in world populations. He then confirmed that carcinogens did not necessarily lead to tumour growth unless there was sufficient intake of animal protein. The animal protein increased the activity of a particular enzyme allowing carcinogens to bind to DNA. It affected the process during initiation, promotion and progression. The animal protein used in his animal experiments was casein which makes up 87 percent of cow's milk protein. He found casein to be an exceptionally potent cancer promoter.

  5. I too have often wondered why it is that we are the only mammals who insist on consuming milk as adults. Perhaps the animal world provides us with guidance and wisdom on this matter: what cow do we know of that naturally seeks out milk as part of its daily diet? Once a calf has been weaned, that's it for milk...It is really very simple:just stop forcing this whole issue and eat as is natural and not as is dictated to us through foodpyramids, fda, etc.

  6. When I drank pasteurized milk I had all kinds of problems such as lower backache, prostrate enlargement, logy feeling, fatigue, bloating, gas, etc etc. I was able to tolerate it if I brought it to a boil and added ginger and turmeric.

    The problem is that modern processing (pasteurization) destroys the enzymes which are necessary for digestion. Homogenization also messes with the chemistry to make it truly impossible to digest. Read "The Untold Story Of Milk" by Ron Schmid for a complete picture.

    Since I started with raw - milk/cheese/butter I do not have these problems.

    Drinking cold milk is a bad idea because it is not overly easy to digest. Unfortunately it is the way most people drink it.

  7. The first two responses from Dani and Carolynn hit the nail on the head. If people only could get their hands on raw milk. Then the levels of fat mean nothing.

  8. Mothers milk is the only milk you should drink and than only to a certain age.

  9. I think carolyn is right. Plus there's a huge difference between NO dairy and some dairy. the recent study is bogus. Even a slight dairy intolerance affects the body if you consume ANY dairy. No doubt it was research funded by dairy lobbyests.

  10. I'm sorry to hear of your husband's brainstem tumor. I went to the Burzynski clinic and I felt the sodiumphenyl-- drug didn't help my lymphoma at all. I recommend NO dairy - see Lorraine Day on line, no meat, no dairy, no sugar, lots of juiced carrots and other vegetables etc. I know there are so many opinions.

  11. We and cats!
    DO cats develop prostate cancer?

  12. At the same time, there was a significant trend toward decreased prostate cancer risk associated in those who reported a higher than average intake of legumes, nuts, both fin- and shellfish and vitamin E (alpha tocopherol). https://www.rx247.net