Drinking dairy milk ‘can increase risk of breast cancer by up to 80%’

A worrying new study has warned that drinking dairy milk can increase your risk of breast cancer by up to 80%.

Researchers from Loma Linda University looked at the effect of drinking different types of milk on women’s breast cancer risk.

Their findings suggest that even relatively moderate amounts of dairy milk can increase women’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Dr Gary Fraser, who led the study, said: “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%.

“By drinking up to one cup per day, the associated risk went up to 50%, and for those drinking two to three cups per day, the risk increased further to 70% to 80%."

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In the study, the researchers analysed the diets of nearly 53,000 women in the US, all of who were initially cancer free, and were followed for nearly eight years.

At the end of the eight years, 1,057 women had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

An analysis of their diets revealed no clear link between soy products and breast cancer.

However, the researchers were surprised to discover a strong link between the disease and milk consumption – whether it was full fat or nonfat milks.

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Dr Fraser said: “Dairy foods, especially milk, were associated with increased risk, and 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.”

While the reason for this link remains unclear, the researchers suggest that it may be due to the presence of sex hormones in dairy milk.

However, the NHS has previously warned that there is currently no evidence of a clear link between dairy and cancer.

It explained: “First things first, currently there is NO evidence of any clear link between dairy and cancer.

“There has been lots of conversation around milk and dairy intake increasing levels of certain growth factors in our blood that can be linked to tumour growth.

“If you’ve ever googled ‘dairy and cancer’ you’ll have seen this. Many research studies have explored this and found no ‘cause and effect’ between eating dairy and increasing risk of cancer.

“In fact, some studies actually show increased rates of cancer in those with a lower intake of dairy foods.”

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