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.
Image Credit: Amanda Rae. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Dairy
All Videos for Dairy
What Not to Eat for Stroke Prevention
What is the relationship between stroke risk and dairy, eggs, meat, and soda?
How to Prevent the Next Pandemic
We need to reform the food system before it’s too late.
Stainless Steel or Cast Iron: Which Cookware Is Best? Is Teflon Safe?
What’s the best type of pots and pans to use?
Are Aluminum Pots, Bottles, and Foil Safe?
DNA damage is assessed in users of aluminum cookware.
How to Lower Lp(a) with Diet
What to eat and what to avoid to lower the cardiovascular disease risk factor lipoprotein(a).
The Role of Taxpayer Subsidies in the Obesity Epidemic
Why are U.S. taxpayers giving billions to support the likes of the sugar and livestock industries?
Cut the Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods
We have an uncanny ability to pick out the subtle distinctions in calorie density of foods, but only within the natural range.
The Role of Genes in the Obesity Epidemic
The big fat “fat gene” accounts for less than 1% of the differences in size between people.
What Are the Best Foods?
A review of reviews on the health effects of animal foods versus plant foods.
What Are the Best Beverages?
A review of reviews on the health effects of tea, coffee, milk, wine, and soda.
Foods that Help Headache & Migraine Relief
Plant-based diets are put to the test for treating migraine headaches.
The Recommended Daily Added Sugar Intake
Public health authorities continue to drop the upper tolerable limit of daily added sugar intake.