High-intake of dairy ‘associated’ with prostate cancer in recent study

Prostate cancer: Doctor outlines symptoms you might experience

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Dairy is an important part of a healthy balanced diet. But a new study published by The British Journal of Nutrition suggests that excessive amounts of dairy could increase men’s risk of prostate cancer.

About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, according to the charity Prostate Cancer UK.

But there are certain things – such as smoking and obesity – that make it more likely that you’ll be one of the unlucky ones.

The research suggests that “high-intake” of dairy “may” be a risk factor as well – although the topic remains medically controversial.

It was a meta-review, meaning that the study looked at dozens of major studies – 33 in total – that measured the link between dairy consumption and prostate cancer.

The authors of the study found that overall the risk of prostate cancer was higher for people who consumed 400 grams of dairy products per day, although the types of dairy seemed to make a difference.

The authors wrote: “We showed an increased risk of prostate cancer with consumption of total dairy products, milk, cheese, and butter but an inverse association for whole milk and no association with skim/low-fat milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cream.”

It added: “Additional studies need to further explore the association between dairy product consumption and different subtypes of prostate cancer.”

The study was merely observational and didn’t espouse an explanation for the trend.

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According to the charity Prostate Cancer UK: “We don’t know why this is but it might be because of the calcium in them.”

The charity recommends consuming three portions of dairy per day.

It added: “Dairy alternatives with added calcium, such as soya yoghurt or soya milk, also count as dairy foods.

“A portion is one small pot of yoghurt, a glass of milk or a small piece of cheese (matchbox-sized or 30g). Choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options when you can.”

However, It’s important to remember that not consuming enough dairy – which contains lots of calcium – can risk other conditions such as heart disease.

Restricting your dairy may lead to osteoporosis – a bone disease that is caused when your bones don’t create enough bone or too much, meaning that they easily break.

Prostate Cancer UK explained: “You do need about 700mg a day to keep your bones healthy. You can get this from a balanced diet.

“For example, a 200ml glass of milk contains 240mg of calcium and a small yoghurt contains about 200mg. You can also get small amounts of calcium from meat, fish, nuts, pulses, fruit and vegetables.”

Symptoms of prostate cancer

Although other signs might be a sign of later-stage prostate cancer, they are still worth knowing, just in case.

The NHS states the following symptoms on its website:

  • Having to urinate more frequently, often during the night
  • Having to rush to the toilet at night
  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • weak flow
  • feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • Visible blood in urine or blood in semen.

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