In the population study “Milk Intake and Risk of Mortality and Fractures in Women and Men,” researchers following more than 100,000 men and women in Sweden for about 20 years found significantly higher rates of bone and hip fractures, heart disease, cancer, and premature death in general for women who drank more milk. Three glasses a day was associated with nearly twice the risk of dying early. Men with higher milk consumption were also recorded having a higher risk of premature death. A meta-analysis of all such cohort studies, however, failed to find a significant relationship between milk and mortality. Findings of a 2015 meta-analysis found that men with high intakes of dairy products—milk, low-fat milk, and cheese, but not nondairy sources of calcium—did appear to increase total prostate cancer risk.
All animal-based foods contain sex steroid hormones, such as estrogen. These hormones naturally found even in organic cow’s milk may play a role in the various associations identified between dairy products and hormone-related conditions, including acne, diminished male reproductive potential, and premature puberty. The hormone content in milk may explain why women who drink it appear to have five times the rate of twin births compared with women who do not drink milk.
When it comes to cancer, leading experts have expressed concern that the hormones in dairy and other growth factors could potentially stimulate the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors. Experimental evidence also suggests that dairy may also promote the conversion of precancerous lesions or mutated cells into invasive cancers in vitro.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Popular Videos for Dairy
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Animal Protein vs. Plant-Based Protein
I discuss a public health case for modernizing the definition of protein quality.
Saturated Fat Causes Artery and Lung Inflammation
What happens within hours of eating a high-fat meal?
Pesticides (DDT) and Alzheimer’s Disease
How can we avoid the breakdown product of pesticides that may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as much as if you carried APOE e4, the so-called Alzheimer’s gene?
Why Don’t People Eat Healthier?
The so-called optimism bias may get in the way of a healthy lifestyle.
Breast Cancer and the Bovine Leukemia Virus in Meat and Dairy
Exposure to the bovine leukemia virus from meat and dairy (or a blood transfusion from those who eat meat or dairy) is a risk factor for cancer.
Bovine Leukemia Virus as a Cause of Breast Cancer
As many as 37 percent of breast cancer cases may be attributable to exposure to bovine leukemia virus.
Do Potatoes Increase the Risk of High Blood Pressure and Death?
Do potato eaters live longer or shorter lives than non-potato eaters?
Do Potatoes Increase the Risk of Diabetes?
Does the link between white potatoes and diabetes extend to non-fried potatoes without butter or sour cream?
Which Foods Are Anti-Inflammatory?
Foods that reduce inflammation. What does an anti-inflammatory diet look like?
Foods That Cause Inflammation
Inflammatory markers can double within six hours of eating a pro-inflammatory meal. Which foods are the worst?