Consumption of dairy products and the risk of breast cancer

A review of the literature

Patricia G. Moorman, Paul Terry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Differences in eating patterns and breast cancer rates across countries suggest that several dietary components, including dairy products, could affect breast cancer risk. However, dairy products are a diverse food group in terms of the factors that could potentially influence risk. Some dairy products, such as whole milk and many types of cheese, have a relatively high saturated fat content, which may increase risk. Moreover, milk products may contain contaminants such as pesticides, which have carcinogenic potential, and growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor I, which have been shown to promote breast cancer cell growth. In contrast, the calcium and vitamin D contents of dairy products have been hypothesized to reduce breast cancer risk. We reviewed the current epidemiologic literature on the relation between dairy product intakes and breast cancer risk, focusing primarily on the results of cohort and case-control studies. Most of the studies reviewed showed no consistent pattern of increased or decreased breast cancer risk with a high consumption of dairy products as a whole or when broken down into high-fat and low-fat dairy products, milk, cheese, or butter. Measurement error may have attenuated any modest association with dairy products. The available epidemiologic evidence does not support a strong association between the consumption of milk or other dairy products and breast cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume80
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dairy Products
breast neoplasms
dairy products
Breast Neoplasms
Milk
Fats
Cheese
low fat dairy products
dairy consumption
buttermilk
cheese milk
milk consumption
whole milk
Butter
food groups
insulin-like growth factor I
vitamin D
case-control studies
eating habits
growth factors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Consumption of dairy products and the risk of breast cancer : A review of the literature. / Moorman, Patricia G.; Terry, Paul.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 1, 07.2004, p. 5-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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