You may have read an article in the Daily Mail about a new study suggesting drinking lots of milk increases risk of prostate cancer.
Here’s the interpretation of Dr Rachel Thompson, Deputy Head of Science for World Cancer Research Fund:
“This study has relied on people remembering how much milk they drank over a long period of time, so we cannot be sure how reliable this is. It is also worth pointing out that when it refers to a doubling of prostate cancer risk, that is in people who drank almost one-and-a-half pints of milk a day, which is quite a lot.
“It does, though, fit in with other studies that have found that milk increases risk of prostate cancer. In fact, the Report we published in 2007, the most comprehensive ever review of the evidence, found that diets high in calcium probably increase risk of prostate cancer.
“But we not yet understand the effect of milk and other dairy products on overall risk of cancer. This is because while a diet high in calcium probably increase risk of prostate cancer, the evidence shows that drinking lots of milk probably reduces risk of bowel cancer.
“So more research is needed before we have a clear idea of whether milk and other dairy products are good or bad for overall cancer risk. This is why we do not have a recommendation for milk and dairy products.”