On cow's milk and the cancer connection (I)

by copyright Healing Cancer Naturally, © 2004 & 2018

On cow's milk and general health

First and likely most important of all, we need to be aware that there are huge differences in the quality of milk.

While organic raw milk from grass-fed (pastured) cows (and other mammals) has many ardent promoters and appears to be health-promoting (such as by providing an excellent source of bioavailable minerals and trace elements[1][2]), the ubiquitous pasteurized/homogenised/antibiotics-and-chemicals-laced cows' milk variety may well actually be deleterious to the human body.

Among a number of reasons, the calcium contained in pasteurized milk is difficult to absorb[5] — it may not be a coincidence that the countries with the highest pasteurized dairy consumption have the highest incidence of osteoporosis.

Is there any link of cow's milk to cancer?

While various research reports have linked cow's milk to breast and ovarian cancer as well as to prostate and colon cancer, a recent large-scale study published in Nutrition Journal in October 2016[3]) found a valid association only for prostate cancer.

Analyzing the records of more than three quarters of a million patients, the only significant association found was between whole milk consumption and prostate cancer mortality[4].

While (overall) dairy intake showed no significant impact on elevated cancer mortality risk, low dairy intake did reduce the risk "based on the non-linear model".

More on cow's milk link to cancer: cows treated with synthetic hormones (recombinant bovine growth hormone leading to increased levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 [IGF-1])

In partial contradiction of the findings of the above meta-analysis, other researchers found that ”IGF-1 is known to stimulate the growth of both normal and cancerous cells.

In 1990 researchers at Stanford University reported that IGF-1 promotes the growth of prostate cells. This was followed by the discovery that IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells.

In 1995 researchers at the National Institutes of Health reported that IGF-1 plays a central role in the progression of many childhood cancers and in the growth of tumours in breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and cancers of the pancreas and prostate.

In September 1997 an international team of researchers reported the first epidemiological evidence that high IGF-1 concentrations are closely linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Other researchers provided evidence of IGF-1's link to breast and colon cancers.”
More at Milk and the cancer connection II and .

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1 See for instance Raw organic milk — an excellent source of bioavailable tooth-friendly minerals such as calcium etc.?.

2 For more details on why choosing organic dairy is a must for health-conscious persons, see Why Organic Milk?.

3 Dairy products intake and cancer mortality risk: a meta-analysis of 11 population-based cohort studies

4 Compare Prostate Cancer & Health.

5 In fact, according to various authors and theories, calcium from pasteurised (heat-treated) dairy products is either difficult to absorb, i.e. hardly bioavailable, and/or used up for "neutralizing" the excess phosphorus in (or acidity created by) pasteurised milk in the first place. So the only non-human milk of value for human calcium nutrition would be raw organic milk. This actually seems to be borne out in practice.

For a more or less biased (but in my view very much worth a visit) presentation of the health-related drawbacks of milk, see and .

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