Friday, October 06, 2006

Milk Linked to Ovarian Cancer

Milk Linked to Ovarian Cancer:
U.S. Experts Issue Recommendation Based on New Swedish Study

WASHINGTON-Nutrition experts with the Physicians Committee for
Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are available to comment on a new study
reaffirming the association between milk consumption and ovarian
cancer. Conducted by researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute,
the new meta-analysis found that the strongest evidence of the milk-
cancer association came from three prospective studies. Every 10
grams of lactose (the amount in one glass of milk) ingested on a
daily basis increased ovarian cancer risk by 13 percent. Case-
control studies, a weaker line of evidence, produced conflicting
results. The study, authored by Susanna Larsson and colleagues,
appears this month in the International Journal of Cancer.

"For more than ten years, researchers have reported on the
association between milk consumption and ovarian cancer risk," says
Neal D. Barnard, M.D., nutrition researcher and president of
PCRM. "There is now sufficient evidence to recommend that women
avoid dairy products in order to avoid this potentially lethal

In Harvard's Nurses' Health Study of over 80,000 participants,
researchers found that each daily glass of low-fat or skim milk was
associated with a 20 percent increase in serous ovarian cancers (Int
J Cancer 2004). Researchers hypothesize that galactose, a component
of the milk sugar lactose, may damage ovarian cells, making them
more susceptible to cancer. The Iowa Women's Health Study of more
than 29,000 postmenopausal women showed that the highest consumers
of lactose (milk sugar) had a 60 percent increased risk of ovarian
cancer as compared to those who consumed the least lactose (Am J
Epidemiol 1999).

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