A new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at Loma Linda College in the United States suggests that milk intake is associated with a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The study assessed the dietary intake of nearly 53,000 healthy North American women and followed them for nearly eight years. Dietary intake is calculated through the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) assessment, which collects questions about demographics, family history of breast cancer, physical activity, alcohol consumption, hormone and other drug use, breast cancer screening, and reproductive and gynaecological history.
By the end of the study, there were 1,057 new cases of breast cancer during the follow-up period. The researchers found no significant link between soy products and breast cancer. Eating more milk calories and milk increases the risk of breast cancer than eating less or less milk.
Even a relatively modest amount of milk can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Depending on the intake, the proportion can be as high as 80%. In addition, there was no significant difference in the risk of breast cancer when the intake of whole milk and skimmed milk was compared.
The researchers said that drinking between one quarter and one third of a cup of milk a day increased the risk of breast cancer by 30 percent, the risk of drinking one cup a day increased to 50 percent, and if you drink two to three glasses a day, the risk increased further to 70 to 80 percent.
Dr Gary E. Fraser, of Loma Linda College, said: “This observational study provides quite strong evidence that milk or other dairy products are one of the causes of breast cancer in women. But soy milk is not significantly related, so you can replace it with soy milk. “
The researchers say the link between breast cancer and milk may be due to the amount of sex hormones in milk. Because milk is usually produced while cows are breastfeeding, breast cancer is a hormone-sensitive cancer.
In addition, studies have suggested that intake of dairy products and other animal proteins is also associated with an increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels in the blood, a hormone that causes certain cancers.