Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women with 1 in 8 women in the United States getting it.
A startling new study has been published by Loma Linda Universal Health related to this topic. Loma Linda Universal Health is an academic center in Loma Linda, CA (one of the world’s Blue Zones where more people live to be 100 and beyond than other geographic regions). The study followed 53,000 North American women with a median age of 57 (who started the study with no cancer) for 8 years. The study accounted for factors such as alcohol consumption, physical activity, hormones, and reproductive history. During the course of the study, 2% of the women developed breast cancer.
The study compared the women who drank no dairy to women who drank full fat, low fat and fat free dairy and concluded the following:
Women who drank ¼-1/3 cup of dairy had 50% risk of developing breast cancer
Women who drank 2-3 cups of dairy had a 70-80% risk of developing breast cancer (Interesting to note that the US Dietary Guidelines for dairy is 3 Cups/day)
There was no correlation between eating yogurt or cheese with breast cancer risk
The breast cancer risk remained the same regardless of whether a woman drank full fat (whole), reduced fat, or fat free milk
75% of the cows that produce milk are pregnant and secrete a sex hormone into the milk that is responsive to creating cancer. There is also an insulin like, growth factor called IGF-1 in the milk that is believed to cause cancer to grow.
Now Loma Linda Universal Health is not the only organization who has studied the ill effects of drinking milk. The International Journal of Epidemiology’s (the study and analysis of determinants of diseases) study linked dairy to an 80% increased risk of breast cancer, depending upon the amount consumed.
Given these two studies, it’s also important to remember that cancer is a complex beast. Other factors that contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer include the following lifestyle habits:
Family history of breast cancer
Not exercising enough
Not eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans
Excess sugar intake
Eating too much red meat or processed meats
Having said that, it’s those studies that caused me to give up milk in favor of plant-based milk-think oats or almonds and enjoy!