US researchers claim to have furthered the existing positive association between the development of “advanced or fatal” prostate cancer (PCa) and the consumption of whole-fat dairy products.
According to the study, Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among US male physicians, previous studies have established a link between higher milk intake and greater incidence of PCa.
“Little data” is available, however, regarding milk types and the relation between milk intake and risk of fatal PCa, said the report.
The researchers - from the Fielding School of Public Health, the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of California, and McGill University in Quebec – claim to have extended this existing positive association.
The team collected information on dairy products consumption at the baseline, and confirmed PCa cases and deaths during a 28-year follow-up period.
PCa is one of the most common cancers among elderly men. According to the American Cancer Society, about one man in every six will be diagnosed with PCa during his lifetime.
“Higher risk of fatal PCa”
“In summary, the results from the present study confirm a potential role of dairy products in PCa risk and survival,” said the study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition.
“In this study, we confirmed and extended our previous findings that total dairy product intake and calcium from dairy foods were positively associated with overall risk of PCa,” said the report.
“We found that skim/low-fat milk intake were related to a higher risk of non-aggressive disease (low-grade, early stage, and screen-detected cases), whereas whole milk intake was associated with a higher risk of fatal PCa and, among all the cases, with a higher risk of progression to fatal PCa.”
Based on the findings, “minimal intake” of whole-fat dairy products may be beneficial for elderly men and PCa survivors, the study said.
It added that further research will be required to investigate the correlation between skimmed and low-fat dairy products and the higher risk of non-aggressive disease.
“Skim/low-fat milk dairy products have been suggested as being beneficial for several disease outcomes, including colorectal cancer; so future research is warranted to investigate the optimal intake of skim/low-fat dairy products.”
Further confirmation required…
The study added, however, that these results may still need to be confirmed in other male populations.
“We confirmed 2,806 incident cases of PCa diagnosed among 21,660 men in 470,612 person-years through 2010,” said the study.
“When stratified by type of milk, the data showed that men who consumed more skim/low-fat milk tended to smoke less, drink less alcohol, and exercise more and were more likely to be Caucasian, whereas men who consumed more whole milk tended to be current smokers, exercise less, and less likely to be Caucasian.”
“However, these results still need to be confirmed in other male populations,” it added.