Ah, milk. That clean white nurturing substance that we have become ingrained to believe is good for us. Not so fast. Evidence has been mounting for years about the negative effects of dairy products on our health and, messages from the dairy industry aside, we can ignore it no longer.
In this article I will be focusing on the increased risk for men developing prostate cancer, but stay tuned for more data, including women and breast cancer and children and colon cancer.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers word-wide – 400,000 men will be diagnosed with a new case annually. Studies have been done on a national and international basis showing an increased incidence of death associated with milk or dairy product consumption. A dose-response relationship was noted, meaning that the more dairy products were consumed, the higher the risk.
Frequent intake of dairy products is known to increase a pro-cancer substance in the body called insulin-like growth factor, which is found in the blood. There is also a concern of the high-calcium content of dairy products having a negative effect on Vitamin D concentration. Vitamin D is a protector against cancer.
Avoiding Milk May Be the Smart Choice
Conversely, international studies of men who avoid dairy products are found to be at a lower risk for contracting prostate cancer as well as dying from it.
The question of whether the evidence is profound enough to recommend that men decrease or eliminate dairy products altogether appears to be answered conclusively, for many, in the fact that across diverse populations around the world, the findings remain consistent with no other plausible reason to be found.
Not all studies show this correlation. Many that don’t have been found to be funded or supported by doctors or researchers closely aligned with the dairy industry. Obviously a conflict of interest, that while not unusual in medical research unfortunately, and reason to throw out the findings.
What About Calcium?
It was felt that men choosing to avoid dairy products would improve their health in other ways in addition to decreasing their risk for prostate cancer. A reduction of saturated fat and cholesterol intake would go along with a lower consumption of dairy products, something that most American men could benefit from.
And if you’re worried about calcium consumption, don’t be. According to research there is no apparent risk to moderate reductions in calcium intake and little evidence to suggest that a high intake of calcium from dairy or other sources reduces the risk of osteoporosis or osteoporotic fractures in men. As a matter of fact, much research points out that the countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products have the lowest risk of osteoporosis – the opposite of what we’ve been ‘taught’ by the milk and dairy council.
Personally I would like to add that decreased exposure to the estrogen hormones found in dairy products are also likely an important step to take for bettered health. I have found it increasingly interesting to note that men in the US have more fertility and libido issues than were ever present 75 years ago. Male obesity, especially in the belly and ‘breast’ regions, have also greatly increased in prevalence.
Here at HealthNOW Medical Center our clinical nutrition department prescribes a blood test for men who are suffering from hormonal imbalance-type symptoms. This test measures their level of sex hormones. The number of men who have high estrogen levels and low testosterone levels (the opposite of normal) exceeds what we used to see even 20 years ago. We believe this could be a strong component in ‘low T (testosterone)’ and erectile dysfunction, not to mention decreased libido.
A Cow’s Life is not a Good One
I am not surprised to learn that dairy consumption risk is considered to be dose-related. I feel that as our dairy consumption has risen and our cows have become more tainted with hormones and drugs, a correlation of increased risk of disease is not surprising.
I won’t say that it’s easy to eliminate dairy products from your diet. Personally I was a huge fan of dairy and used to enjoy my butter, cheese and ice cream quite a lot. But I will tell you that eliminating dairy products has, in the vast majority of our patients, made a tremendous impact on their health. Patients are sometimes annoyed that dairy elimination is so impactful to their health, simply because they miss eating it. The passage of time however is an interesting thing, the longer you stay away from dairy products the less you miss them and the healthier your body becomes.
Give ‘Dairy Free’ a Try
Patients also report that after they have avoided dairy products for several months, ‘cheating’ with dairy causes them to feel ill to such a degree that their ‘romance’ with it wanes considerably.
In conclusion, mounting evidence supports that reducing or eliminating your intake of dairy products is the best way to ‘Do a Body Good’.
I am including a long list of scientific references below. Most of you won’t be interested in them, but their volume proves the point that evidence against dairy is robust and it’s time that we start to pay attention. The dairy industry has noticed the impact of this research because they are currently spending millions of dollars to try to ‘make fun of’ parents who feed their children alternative milks. Believe me, they wouldn’t do this if they weren’t noticing a trend.
I hope you found this helpful. Please let me know of any questions you have. I’m here to help you, your family and friends. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. You are invited to receive a free health analysis if you need assistance. Simply call us at 408-733-0400.
To your good health,
Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Dr Vikki Petersen & HealthNOW Medical Center and a clickable link back to this page. Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN is founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and the author of “The Gluten Effect” and eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you”. She has been featured in national magazines, international medical journals and is a frequent headlined speaker.
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