If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, then you already know how I feel about milk: I have never been a fan.
The simple fact is, milk is loaded with sugar. And sugar kills—whether it comes from a candy shop or a cow.
So it’s no surprise that plenty of scientific research shows that milk doesn’t do a body good. In fact, according to a new study, this is especially true for women…
Raising risk with every glass
This recent analysis suggests that for women, milk consumption increases breast cancer risk—and the more you drink, the higher your risk may be.
Researchers found that drinking as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of milk per day was enough to raise breast cancer risk by 30 percent. At one cup daily, breast cancer risk increased 50 percent. And when subjects drank two to three cups of milk per day? Well, then their breast cancer risk rose by as much as 80 percent!
Of course, this was an observational study—which means it only proves correlation, not causation. It’s also worth noting that the results were only significant among postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive cancers.
Still, it makes perfect sense when you break it down. If you’re drinking milk (which is already packed with sugar) from conventional dairy cows that are pumped full of grain, antibiotics, and hormones—all of which are either estrogenic or carcinogenic—it’s only natural that your risk for breast cancer would increase.
Not to mention, cows are now bred to have higher levels of insulin-like growth factor—which boosts milk production, but also has some links to cancer.
Plus, a good 75 percent of dairy cows are pregnant—so their milk naturally contains higher levels of progestins and estrogens. And these sex hormones could definitely play a role in hormone-responsive breast cancer.
Find an alternative
To the researchers’ credit, they do mention these issues in their study.
And it’s worth noting that previous studies have linked full-fat dairy to a lower risk for breast cancer.
So, clearly the jury is still out.
Still, I’d say there’s more than enough on the table to warrant a serious discussion about what a lot of people still consider to be a healthy part of their diet.
I mean… even the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s updated dietary guidelines still recommend that adults and children nine years and older drink three 8-ounce glasses of milk every day (or the equivalent in yogurt, cheese, or other dairy).
And to say that’s annoying would be an understatement. Because there is practically zero scientific justification for recommending three servings of milk every single day.
Sure, milk contains nutrients like calcium. But despite being touted as good for your bones, there’s actually no current evidence showing that drinking a lot of it will prevent fractures. In fact, pasteurized, homogenized milk also contains high levels of phosphorus, which actually interferes with calcium absorption.
And milk isn’t an especially good source of vitamin D, either.
If anything, this new study reminds us that milk consumption could actually do harm. After all, cow’s milk has links to prostate and endometrial cancers, too. And needless to say, there are a lot of ways to get the same supposed “health benefits” of milk without these risks.
In the end, with all of the dairy alternatives on the market, it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t choose something else to put in their coffee. In fact, non-dairy milk sales have skyrocketed by 60 percent in the past five years.
Of course, not all of these alternatives are improvements over cow’s milk. And some are actually even worse for you. That’s why I took a closer look at what’s out there in the June 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“BUYER BEWARE: Food manufacturers ‘milking’ the dairy-free trend”). Subscribers can download this article from the archives by logging in to my website (www.DrPescatore.com) with their username and password.
Not yet a subscriber? Well, now is the perfect time to become one.
P.S. Even though I don’t eat much cheese myself these days, it has always gotten my stamp of approval when it comes to a healthy diet. While that might seem like a contradiction, it’s important to realize that the fermentation process used to produce cheese drastically reduces the sugar content of the dairy. And it’s worth noting that in the study I discussed above, the researchers didn’t find any significant links between cheese consumption and breast cancer risk. So my advice? Skip the milk and stick to cheese. And look for organic, free-range, grass-fed varieties whenever possible.
“New study associates intake of dairy milk with greater risk of breast cancer: Evidence suggests consistently drinking as little as one cup per day may increase rate of breast cancer up to 50%.” Science Daily, 02/25/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200225101323.htm)