According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente health care company, women with early stage breast cancer who eat full-fat dairy products are more likely to die from the disease than women who consume low-fat dairy products after diagnosis.
Breast cell growth is stimulated by the estrogen hormone, and this goes for the hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells as well. Estrogen is produced and stored in fat cells, and many experts suggest that dairy products consumed in the USA and other countries have a high level of estrogen and progesterone hormones due to the milk being produced by pregnant cows. Knowing this, it might be possible that low-fat dairy products contain less of these hormones as most of their fat has been reduced. This also suggests that low-fat milk and milk products may be better for consumption in women diagnosed with breast cancer.
The study examined if consumption of full-fat dairy products increased the risk of breast cancer and also looked at the mortality rates in these cases. The full-fat dairy products examined in the study were:
- Whole milk
- Condensed milk
The study lasted for 12 years, and it revealed that women who consumed one or more servings of full-fat dairy products had a 64% higher chances of dying and 49% higher chances of developing breast cancer than women who consumed low-fat dairy products. And, while the results of the study are staggering, there are a couple more things to consider.
Although the study shows a clear relation between full-fat dairy products and breast cancer, it doesn’t prove that dairy products are causing the disease. Furthermore, more research is needed to show a strong link between the full-fat products and breast cancer.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with the disease you should try to minimize the risk of breast cancer recurrence by:
- Eating a healthy diet and less processed foods and sugar;
- Maintaining a stable weight;
- Exercising regularly;
- Quitting smoking;
- Avoiding alcohol;
- Taking medications that should lower the risk of recurrence.