Milk could increase risk of breast cancer

In a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers concluded that drinking milk increases the risk of developing breast cancer. But this finding comes from an observational study, and there may be confounding factors that are not accounted for, says an expert not involved with the study.

See here the study, and here for a summary of the study in Medscape Oncology.

The latest research was based on data from the long-running larger study called Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), which is looking at diet and health among Seventh Day Adventists in North America. Past results from this study have suggested that Seventh Day Adventists have longer life spans and lower rates of some cancers, perhaps because of healthier lifestyles.

The latest analysis suggests that milk raises breast cancer risk, and the more you drink the higher your risk may be.

“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%,” first author Gary E. Fraser, MBChB, PhD, said in a press statement. Fraser is affiliated with the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, California.

“By drinking up to 1 cup per day, the associated risk went up to 50%, and for those drinking 2 to 3 cups per day, the risk increased further to 70% to 80%,”