Oct. 21 (UPI) — High consumption of dairy appears linked to higher prostate cancer risk, a new study said.
Mayo Clinic researchers report in a new study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, that prior research has shown prostate cancer risk is higher in Western countries which rely on dairy as the main source of calcium compared to Asian countries.
Instead of dairy products, Asian countries rely on higher amounts of plant-based foods, which have previously been associated with decreased prostate cancer risk, researchers say.
The new study is the latest to suggest dairy consumption has an affect on cancer risk, following a call from a doctors group earlier this month to add warnings to cheese because of research suggesting it can increase breast cancer risk.
“Our review highlighted a cause for concern with high consumption of dairy products,” said Dr. John Shin, a Mayo Clinic oncologist and lead author on this study, said in a press release. “The findings also support a growing body of evidence on the potential benefits of plant-based diets.”
Researchers reviewed 47 studies published between 2006 and 2017 for the study that comprised more than 1 million participants.
While Shin said his research team’s findings require further study — the nature and strength of the association needs to be better understood — his is not the only recent study to suggest a link between dairy and cancer.
Earlier this month a group representing over 12,000 doctors across the United States said “reproductive hormones” in dairy cheese “may increase breast cancer mortality risk.”
The message came in a petition from the group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine submitted to the Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 3 urging the Commissioner of the FDA to put warning labels about the hormones on such cheese products.
The nonprofit group cited studies that show an association between dairy cheese and increased breast cancer risk, including one that found those who ate the most American, cheddar and cream cheeses had a 53 percent increased risk for breast cancer.