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Study says drinking dairy milk may increase risk of breast cancer

Study says drinking dairy milk may increase risk of breast cancer

New research out of the Loma Linda University Health Centre, has found the intake of dairy milk associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women.

Study says drinking dairy milk may increase risk of breast cancer

The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found that consuming moderate amounts of dairy milk may increase women’s risk of breast cancer. The scientists say the increase can be up to 80%.

The study looked at nearly 53,000 cases of US women, all who were free of cancer at the beginning and followed for almost eight years.

Their milk consumption was tracked through food frequency questionnaires, while a baseline questionnaire noted demographics, family history, physical activity, alcohol consumption, hormonal and other medication use, breast cancer screening and reproductive and gynecological history.

After the eight years, researchers noted 1,057 new cases of breast cancer. When compared to low or no milk consumption, higher intakes of dairy milk were found to be associated with greater risk of breast cancer.

“Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30%,” says lead author Gary E. Fraser.

For people that drank up to one cup per day, the associated risk of breast cancer increased up to 50%, and increased further to 70% and 80% for those drinking two to three cups a day, respectively.

While current US dietary guidelines recommend three cups of milk per day, the study suggests people should take that recommendation “with caution”.

The researchers suggest the possibility of milk alternatives to lower the risk. “The data predicted a marked reduction in risk associated with substituting soymilk for dairy milk. This raises the possibility that dairy-alternate milks may be an optimal choice,” says Fraser.

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