Doctor's Note

More videos on the connection between animal products and breast cancer include:
Cholesterol Feeds Breast Cancer Cells
Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens
Which Dietary Factors Affect Breast Cancer Most?
Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, and Chicken

And check out my other videos on melatonin

For more context, see my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer and DietMushrooms for Breast Cancer Prevention; and Breast Cancer & Alcohol: How Much Is Safe?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

To post comments or questions into our discussion board, first log into Disqus with your account or with one of the accepted social media logins. Click on Login to choose a login method. Click here for help.

  • VegeMarian

    I wonder whether the data show any correlation between meat and dairy intake at other times of life (not just adolescence) and breast cancer risk.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      We know, based on studies of breast cancer risk due to exposure to ionizing radiation, for example, that since invasive breast tumors may take decades to manifest, dietary exposures during adolescence may be particularly important.

  • AllVegan

    There are many links between meat and dairy consumption and breast cancer. However I think the most compelling is the link between dairy and breast cancer. In studying the geographical occurance of breast cancer, researchers have found that in places where dairy is not part of the average diet like Japan the incidence of breast cancer is very low. However they have also found that when Japanese women migrate to high dairy consumption countries like the US and adopt the countries diet their breast cancer risk becomes the same as the average population. The link can not be clearer. Do not put bovine breast milk into your body and reduce your breast cancer risk.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      I agree that we were designed to be weaned from milk as toddlers (and stick to breasts of our own species) but the latest meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies did not find a convincing relationship between cow’s milk consumption and breast cancer:Forest plot of prospective cohort studies looking at milk consumption and breast cancer risk

      • mamiof3

        this has been updated right? isn’t there a link between cow’s milk and breast cancer?

  • AllVegan

    I find that interesting, do you think that study is reliable? The study differentiates between dairy products and milk suggesting that dairy products, reduce breast cancer risk but Milk does not.

    I know of several studies including the Harvard nurses study which show a link between meat and dairy consumption and breast and bowel cancers. Two areas of the body which are affected by hormones, which high fat diets seem to increase in women. As well as the hormones in cows milk itself.

    There is also the research done by Dr T. Colin Campbell. Where he could turn on and off the cancer in rats by regulating the amount of casein in their diet.

    It seems odd based on the number of studies I have seen sited that show a correlation that this study should find none.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      It isn’t “a” study, but a meta-analysis, meaning it’s an attempt to pool the results of multiple studies together, in this case (as you can see in the above graphic) more than a dozen. After pooling the results from these studies they did not find that milk intake was significantly associated with breast cancer risk (in humans).

  • kerleyc

    Does melatonin have an important interaction with other human diseases?

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Breast Cancer and Diet!

    • Jackie

       Dr. Gregor – the colon is missing in the above link, creating a broken link ;)

      • Michael Greger M.D.

        Thank you so much for pointing that out! Should be working now

  • Krystle

    Are melatonin supplements safe? I take 5mg at night to help with falling asleep. Do you know of any studies showing risk factors there?

    • dmtaub

      melatonin should be taken when needing to reset schedule from jetlag or some assistance falling asleep as we get older.
      A reasonable does of melatonin is less than a milligram, 300-500 micrograms is best. If you’re taking 5mg, try to ramp down. our bodies only use approximately 300 micrograms to help us fall asleep, and supplement companies are selling much higher doses to avoid paying patent licensing fees, when it is in fact way too much.

  • Julie Arkinson

    In which plant food can we find melotanine?
    Are supplements safe?

    • Sebastian Tristan

      Raspberries. Dr. Gregger has a link for this information.

    • Joe

      Tart cherries have a high amount. But the best way to boost it is to get into a good sleep rhythm and to make sure your room is black when you sleep. Between 10pm and 2am is when the body produces a lot, so the earlier to bed, the better.

      (Right now its midnight! What with electricity. computers and the internet, and a job that finished late, its hard to stick to early nights!!)

      EMFs are also said to interrupt melatonin production, so if that were the case, it would be good to turn everything off and put cell phones in airplane mode.

  • Night nurse

    I’ve been a full time night nurse for more than twenty years of my career. I am obese and I can’t help but notice that some of the others nurses are too. Until they realize my contribution to the team, the day staff think I (we) are fat because we must be lazy but I know I am definitely NOT lazy. I am awake during my nights off even if I am awake all day. I am close to retirement. I know there is a link between obesity and breast cancer (as well as ther types of cancer). What can I expect for my retirement in terms of sleep pattern changing back to the ‘norm’ and breast cancer risk?

  • Night nurse

    There seems to be a link between night shift workers and obesity……AND a link between obesity and breast cancer…

  • Night nurse

    How does melatonin factor in?

  • Concernedwoman

    Unfortunately, many of us ate the meat and dairy our parents fed us as adolescents. I am 39 and eating a whole foods plant based diet. But I know that my risk of breast and other cancers are still elevated. Are there any other protective measures that you recommend?

  • Humzee

    The only significant association was the lower morning melatonin levels found in red meat consumers. Dairy did not show a significant effect although dairy cream consumed by women subjects showed a minor association. Fish and poultry did not seem to have a lowering effect on the melatonin levels in the study. Very interesting study. I hope more are done on this interesting subject. The book, “Lights Out,” contains lots of information about lights at night effects on melatonin production for readers interested in this topic.

  • Curtis

    Can you make a video that discusses fluoride and its affect on the body, more specifically the pineal gland. I’ve heard the pineal gland referred to as the “third eye” and that it plays a huge role in our spiritual experiences. I was really hoping to hear your scientific reasoning on whether or not the pineal gland truly is as sacred as its been said to be. Also would like to know if fluoride in water, tooth paste, processed foods, etc causes calcification of the gland. If so, how do you prevent this, and what foods can de-calcify.

    Please and Thank you

  • Vanadain

    Whats with pineal gland and fluoride? Is fluoride harmfull melatonin and DMT production? I discovered that when I relax my body in meditation, esspecially in forehead region not only pain is going away, but experience itself is beeing altered plesantly. As Yogis say it is supposed to be an effect of DMT produced by pineal gland. Do You have some data about DMT production in our bodies? Have you been interested in meditation and it’s effects? Do You have some scientific data?