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Giving teens milk could increase cancer risk later

Milk: It does a prostate bad

We’ve had the message crammed down our throats for years, with celebrities sporting milk mustaches and chirping, “It does a body good!”

Kids need milk for strong bones! They need milk to grow up to be astronauts and athletes. They need milk for their future!

Well, it looks like the only future we’re securing for our kids with milk could be a future marred with cancer. Prostate cancer, specifically.

That’s right–the healthy, all-American beverage long celebrated as essential to a growing boy’s health could be the very thing that destroys it. Of course, regular e-Tip readers already know about the many, many problems associated with milk and dairy consumption. But this one really takes the cake (without a glass of milk to go with it, thanks).

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, drinking large quantities of milk in adolescence could raise the risk of prostate cancer later in life.

The study followed 8,894 men from Iceland who were born between 1907 and 1935. The men were followed for 24 years by researchers, who found that men who consumed regular amounts of milk while growing up were at much greater risk of developing prostate cancer–risk up to 64 percent higher than that of men who lived in areas where milk was more scarce.

Before someone points out that this study is observational and doesn’t necessarily indicate a direct link between drinking milk and ending up with prostate cancer, let me point out that this study comes on the backs of two others that do show a link.

One, published in BMJ Open, links the estrogen in cow’s milk to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Another, published just this past November in Nutrition and Cancer, showed that milk boosted the growth of prostate cancer cells by 30 percent.

When you think about how much milk is consumed here in the United States, is it really such a surprise that the risk of prostate cancer is so much higher than it is in other parts of the world?

Don’t be fooled by the milk myth. Even the researchers who uncovered this worrying link say it’s not enough to prompt cutting down on milk consumption–too many benefits to weigh against the risks, they say.

Yeah, right. Those so-called benefits are iffy at best. As the risks continue to stack up, I think we’ll see which column will weigh more. But will it ever be enough to bring down milk?

P.S. Keep reading for natural treatments for ulcerative colitis.

Sources:
“Milk consumption in adolescence may increase prostate cancer risk,” Medical Xpress (medicalxpress.com)