High Fat Dairy Diet Related To Breast Cancer Deaths

Fascinating study from WDDTY ENews this morning. Basically, researchers here found a correlation with more women dying from breast cancer after continuing to eat high fat dairy (ie. cheese, cream, icecream, full fat milk and yogurt, butter) after their diagnosis of early stage cancer:

A high-fat diet from dairy products encourages the development of breast cancer.   Women who continue eating dairy after their cancer has been diagnosed are 64 per cent more likely to die than women who cut the food out of their diet.

Women who continue eating dairy after diagnosis are 49 per cent more likely to die from the cancer, and 69 per cent more likely to die from any cause, within 12 years.

That is shocking.

Dairy is a source of oestrogens in the diet (thanks to hormones given to cows, hormones in the water supply etc etc) and we tend to hold oestrogens in fatty tissue, so it would make sense to me that consuming fatty stuff from cows could give us an unhealthy dosage of the very hormones that trigger oestrogen-sensitive cancers like breast. I wonder if they would find the same with other hormone cancers like ovarian or prostate if they looked..?

Interestingly, there was no correlation seen with overall dairy or low-fat dairy; just high fat dairy.

You can read the report here and the abstract for the study here.

Interestingly, there is also a perceived link between later development of breast cancer and high fat dairy diet in puberty (see the MedicalNews story below where I read that).

The moral of the story seems to be to avoid high fat dairy as a potential source of excess oestrogens, especially if you have a family history of oestrogenic cancers or if you have been diagnosed with one.


(Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 14, 2013; doi: 10.1093/jncl/djt027).

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