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What's in your milk?

What's in your milk? The hypothesis: Hormones and growth factors in dairy increase cancer risk. By Ivan Oransky Related Articles Slideshow: From feed to bottle Milk: It's electric The cow whisperer Dairy economics: Milking blood from a stone Milk and human health: What's the state of the evidence linking milk to human disease? Infographic: What's in your milk? A selected list of hormones, growth factors and other substances found in an 8-ounce glass of milk.

By | February 1, 2007

What's in your milk?

The hypothesis: Hormones and growth factors in dairy increase cancer risk.

By Ivan Oransky

Kris Demko didn't grow up on a dairy farm, but as a child, she was a self-described "milkaholic."" For her parents - her mother is a striking former model - it was very important that their children be tall. That meant drinking lots of milk. Things were different for her husband, who she met at age 11 when he moved into her parent's Irish Catholic neighborhood. "My husband Joe's grandmother was Sicilian," says Demko. "I would almost always ask for a glass of milk. She was just agog. In Joe's house, nobody drank milk."

Demko was 39 when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer, and she's convinced that all the milk she drank played a part. "I'm not saying my history of breast cancer is related solely to dairy intake, but it's probably a contributing factor," says Demko. The potential link between cancer and birth control pills also scares her. Now, at age 50, there's no milk in her San Francisco refrigerator.

Demko is also watching out for her college-aged daughter, whom she's enlisted in her efforts to organize scientists and learn as much as possible about the potential link between milk and cancer. One summer, her daughter did an independent research project with a scientist at University of California, San Francisco, measuring insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in dairy products. IGF-1 has been associated in some studies with increased height as well as cancer.

In October, Demko, a former corporate banker, helped raise funds to bring together about three dozen dairy researchers, from nutritional epidemiologists to dairy scientists, at a McGill and Harvard-sponsored conference. It was the first time such a diverse group of milk researchers had been brought together under one roof. Practically everyone in the room could agree on several things. First, cow's milk contains steroid hormones such as estradiol and testosterone, and peptide hormones such as IGF-1. Second, drinking milk has been shown to boost serum levels of certain hormones, particularly IGF-1, in humans. Third, high levels of certain hormones, particularly IGF-1, have been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers.

Some epidemiologists have connected those three dots and have suggested that cow's milk increases the risk of cancer. For example, large epidemiologic studies have appeared in major journals, reporting that prostate cancer - particularly aggressive forms - seem to be associated with dairy intake, and perhaps more strongly with total calcium intake. Such intake may double or triple the risk of aggressive prostate cancers, which kill about 2-3% of men.

The three days of presentations led Harvard epidemiologist Walter Willett to conclude that current US dietary guidelines, updated in 2005, were too bullish on milk. "I think it's not wise to recommend three [8-ounce] glasses per day for adults. Probably, a serving a day is OK; I don't see much reason that would be harmful. I'm concerned about two glasses a day, and three has a strong potential for harm."

Willett wasn't a member of the committee that created the 2005 guidelines, and two of those nutritionists who were - Pennsylvania State University's Penny Kris-Etherton and Purdue's Connie Weaver - say the committee reviewed the benefits, as well as questions of food safety, carefully. Willett's comments were, however, consistent with his previous statements on the subject, and were met with nods and agreement by many of the conference participants.

Whether you can connect the dots between milk consumption, IGF-1, and prostate cancer, however, as Willett did at the conference, is hardly an area of consensus.

"I think it's not wise to recommend three [8-ounce] glasses per day for adults. Probably, a serving a day is OK; I don't see much reason that would be harmful. I'm concerned about two glasses a day, and three has a strong potential for harm." -Walter Willett

Craig Baumrucker didn't grow up on a dairy farm. He's now a dairy scientist at Penn State, and he's exasperated by some of the claims being made against milk. Baumrucker, who attended the October conference and some of whose research is funded by dairy industry groups, doesn't connect epidemiologic associations, IGF-1, and cancer. "That mother's milk sustains and provides most needs for infants is without question," he says. "While it is known that milk's unique nutrition, such as special proteins and fats, [is] contributing some or all of this unique capacity, the suspected 'other factors such as hormones' are not clearly defined as contributing to these properties. Unless these known effects are controlled, evaluation of 'other factors' remains confounded."

IGF-1 is clearly on the list of "other factors" by those who say milk is harmful (see infographic). As its name suggests, it's known to promote growth, and some studies have linked high levels of it to cancer and even to higher rates of twins. While no one really disagrees that drinking milk is associated with higher serum levels of IGF-1, the mechanism is the subject of debate.

"It is very clear that it does seem, in multiple international studies, by independent people, with independent biases, that consumption of milk does raise your IGF-1 levels," says Michael Pollak, an oncologist who studies cancer risk and IGF-1 at McGill University and who was one of the organizers of the conference. When it comes to the mechanism, "historically, there have been two camps," says Pollak. "One says that all the IGF-1 is fully digested, so the hypothesis that you can absorb IGF-1 is kind of preposterous." More recently, there has been "controversial but serious evidence," says Pollak, that rather than existing only as free protein in the whey fraction of milk, IGF-1 is also intimately bound to casein and may therefore survive the gut intact.

"I think that well-meaning objective scientists can agree to disagree there," says Pollak. "But there is another game in town, which is the idea that milk consumption could increase IGF-1, but not through absorption. Rather, now there is the plausible hypothesis that IGF-1 may not be absorbed, but the milk may still raise the IGF-1 because it includes a growth hormone secretagogue." Pollak speculates that the secretagogue could be a GHRH-like substance, or ghrelin, or simply the presence of optimal amino acids, which would easily make it through the gut. He notes that one of the tests endocrinologists use to determine whether the pituitary is active is to inject arginine into the bloodstream, suggesting a role for such amino acids: "It could be that milk evolved not only to increase growth, but to stimulate growth factor production. It's still an unproven concept."

Loren Cordain, a professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, says it's an insulinogenic effect rather than due to IGF-1 being absorbed. Baumrucker says he just doesn't know the mechanism and would like to see proper studies. "How do you account for nutritional status versus hormones?" he asks. He says one way to do that would be blinded studies that compare outcomes of people who drink normally constituted milk with those who drink milk from which IGF-1 or other proteins have been removed.

In the absence of such research, he's fairly unimpressed with the idea that absorption of IGF-1 plays a key role. "We're secreting these things all the time," he says of growth factors and steroids, at higher levels than milk could ever provide. Pasteurization reduces protein hormones by 10% to 15%, he points out, and ultrahigh-temperature processing, which makes it possible to keep milk unrefrigerated and is gaining ground in Europe, removes even more.

Ultimately, it may not matter for human health as to which mechanism is at work. "It's almost immaterial whether the strategy that nature devised was to absorb a hormone or to find a way to stimulate hormone production," says Pollak, who also isn't sure IGF-1 can be blamed for increased cancer risk. Whatever effect IGF-1 consumption is having, "it remains a very minor component of interpersonal differences," he says. The genetic component is quite strong, he notes. "You could have a non-milk drinker with an IGF-1 level of 200, and a milk drinker with an IGF-1 level of 120. But the reason you cannot connect the dots is that while milk raises IGF-1 levels, there are so many other factors that are raising levels."

Edward Giovannucci, who has studied milk consumption and prostate cancer as part of Willett's group, says the magnitude of the effect is relatively modest compared to the difference in prostate cancer risk. "Perhaps 2-3 glasses of milk per day may increase IGF-1 levels by 10%," he says. "Whereas in our data, we see a relative risk of fatal prostate cancer of 2-3. I think it could be part of the explanation, but it doesn't seem to account for the whole difference."

"Just because it's in milk, is there a biological effect? Show me a phenotype," says Baumrucker. "There's something about milk, but what the hell is it?"

If you ask Baumrucker's colleague, Ron Kensinger, that "something about milk" isn't estradiol, either. Kensinger, another dairy scientist at Penn State, has measured estradiol levels in the milk of the 206 cows in the Penn State dairy research herd. The highest -17B levels, in cows that are late in pregnancy (greater than 141 days) was 3 picograms per milliliter. The test, he says, is highly sensitive, with a limit of detection of 0.7 pg/ml. Translated to a glass of raw whole milk - in other words, ignoring the effects of pasteurization and homogenization - that's 330 picograms. Drinking the US recommended dietary allowance of three glasses would add up to one nanogram per day. Compare that, says Kensinger, with the approximately 14 micrograms per day a prepubertal male produces, or the 24 micrograms per day a woman in the late stages of pregnancy produces. "So it's 1/1000th of the amount," he says.

Measurement of hormones, however, is not fool-proof. Saskia Sterk, of the EU Community Reference Laboratory in Brussels, said at the conference that current methods may be missing a decent percentage of many hormones, and her lab is working on better methods. Moreover, if IGF-1 really were getting stuck in the casein fragment, it wouldn't be measured by traditional methods, which look only at milk's whey fraction.

Even if the measurements are low, Kensinger isn't convinced that much of the hormones or growth factors in milk are bioactive in humans anyway. "Look at the data on birth-control pills," he says. "Only 30 to 50% of the steroid hormones in those pills crosses the gut to get to the bloodstream." Oral delivery just isn't very efficient, he says, and anything that does get to the bloodstream after passing through the gut hits the liver's first-pass metabolism, which decreases bioavailability by as much as 80%.

His data agree with epidemiologic studies of breast cancer and milk consumption. Scientists had hypothesized that the two would be related, either because of IGF-1 or estradiol in milk and the hormonal sensitivity of many breast cancers. Despite Demko's belief that milk has something to do with her breast cancer, however, epidemiologic studies have shown no relationship between the two, according to Pollak and Jianjun Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who has published on prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer, and milk. "I'm not willing to accept that hormones in milk are a bad thing," says Kensinger, "and maybe the opposite is true."

Connie Weaver lived on a small farm with "a diverse portfolio of activities: primarily chickens, but some dairy cows," until she was 8 years old. The Purdue University nutritionist, who was part of the committee that created the 2005 nutrition guidelines, is more worried about osteoporosis, and the calcium in milk that could prevent it, than she is about hormones. "Usually when you consume a protein, it's degraded in the digestive tract, so the chances that it's going to be absorbed intact isn't likely," she says. "That doesn't mean we shouldn't research the area and check out all the possible risks, but I don't think there's much evidence of harm at this point."

"There's no question that people have grossly overstated hormones in food as being related to earlier menstruation. A higher standard of living means more high-nutrition-density foods. Mother Nature has thought all of this out. If people don't want their children to go through precocious puberty, then don't give them as much to eat." - Ron Kensinger

To her, that means the benefits of consuming milk far outweigh the risks. Multiple studies of osteoporosis and consumption of milk and calcium have shown a protective effect. Cohort studies also have shown a weak protective effect from milk against colorectal cancer, about a 15% reduced risk. A randomized, controlled trial of dairy products supports that idea, although case control studies have not confirmed the results. "We went through all this literature evidence, and the studies were, on a lot of levels, showing up to three servings of dairy a day were associated with better bones, and decreased risk of fracture, insulin resistance, and stroke. The only randomized controlled trial of calcium supplementation, she says, actually found a protective effect.

"I think most people agree, calcium intake is important," she says. "It's confusing to me why it's so controversial about the source. It has become a political football instead of looking at the science somehow. If you could provide all the nutrients in milk some other way, I don't have a problem with that." She just doesn't know how realistic that is.

For Pollak, the most fascinating part of the story is figuring out what has happened to dairy cows over the past century. On average, cows are producing six times the milk they did in 1900. There have been changes to what cows are fed; Monsanto has introduced recombinant bovine somatotropin (see "Dairy Economics,"); and there is some question as to whether cows are being milked longer into their pregnancies, which could alter milk hormone levels, although the data are controversial. Most of the increased milk production has been due to selective breeding. Today, most of the nine million dairy cows in the United States were sired by just a handful of bulls. "In the guided natural selection that has occurred in the dairy industry, classic animal husbandry has led to a huge increase in the milk production per animal," says Pollak. "It's very, very impressive. The fascinating gap in knowledge for me is that we don't really understand which genes were selected for."

"We speculate that the milk production is regulated hormonally," he says. "So it leaves open the possibility that the selection was for endocrine variants." It's very likely that levels of lactose and other major constituents of milk would be similar over the years. But, says Pollak, "that leaves open the question, have any of the hormonal microconstituents in milk been affected?"

When he first started looking into the issue, Pollak figured he could just pick up a 1982 textbook on the subject, then a 1992 textbook, and then a 2002 textbook to determine what had happened to these microconstituents. He soon found out that wasn't the case. The issues with hormonal assays decades ago were even worse than Sterk's evidence for how bad they are now, so the data are either useless or nonexistent.

Milk researchers would love to have an analog to the blood banks that have allowed infectious disease researchers to trace the presence and mutation history of various viruses. Such resources are very limited, however, says Pollak. So, they've turned to places where unchanged herds of cow-like animals live, such as Mongolia. There's also a herd of dairy cattle in Minnesota, which has been left to breed without selective pressure from humans. Getting access to their milk is difficult, says Willett, who has requested and been denied samples in the past.

Willett didn't grow up on a dairy farm, but his father was a physiologist who did the first transplant of a fertilized ovum in a dairy cow. Willett is quite concerned about the studies showing an increased risk of prostate cancer among those who drink milk.

Zhang, however, says those studies have a major limitation: The cohorts are physicians and nurses, two highly educated populations. That could mean that what people read about milk and cancer could affect their responses to surveys. "People should be very cautious about extrapolating the results," he says. "It would be more meaningful to have some results from the general population. They've made a big contribution to the scientific literature, but we need to recognize the limitations."

"One of the complexities of making dietary recommendations is that you have to eat something, and you're always replacing something," says Giovannucci. "Part of the issue is, what are you going to drink instead of the milk? Two glasses of milk are likely to be better than two glasses of Coca-Cola. In that context, milk is probably healthful."

"Even doing research in this area, I'm trying to be cautious about what recommendations to make, and about how concerned people should be," says Giovannucci. "I think certainly calcium should be much less of a concern than obesity and smoking and lack of exercise. We do need to find out whether, at least for some men, recommending calcium is doing more harm than good." He says that for men, 700-1000 mg of calcium per day is probably reasonable.

How the evidence is presented can be confusing to the public, says Clement Adebamowo, who studies milk consumption and acne (see "Milk and Human Health) in Nigeria. "I think it's important that we don't oversell the evidence or the story. At best, it is an evolving story."

"People shouldn't throw out all their milk," says Adebamowo. "Certainly they should continue to take dairy and milk, but in moderate quantities, not more than three glasses as some ads say. One family I visited with, the wrestling coach at their son's school, recommended intake of 100% milk protein - whey - formula. It's those kinds of things that are bothersome. We really don't know the long-term implications of those kinds of diets."

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Comments

Avatar of: James Shapiro

James Shapiro

Posts: 2

February 1, 2007

Excellent. Full of useful information and links. Makes the issues clear. More detailed than other articles -- that's good.
Avatar of: Jacob Silver

Jacob Silver

Posts: 3

February 1, 2007

This is a very good report, which covers many relevant factors relating to milk and cancer. A rather thourough job, well done.
Avatar of: Dr Sam Peterson

Dr Sam Peterson

Posts: 4

February 2, 2007

It is time these points were raised in a more public forum then sceintific conferences. Here in New Zealand, use of bST is banned but progesterone-impregnated vaginal devices (CIDRs) are used to synchronise estrus in dairy cows. I teach my female students that the milk they drink contains a low-dose contraceptive, and my male students, that they may develop breasts. Of course it is a joke, but there is an underlying truth. We ban steroid use in sports but allow it in our milk!
Avatar of: Dr. Kalyan

Dr. Kalyan

Posts: 4

February 2, 2007

The article did a commendable job in attempting to stay objective, but there should be a more direct look at the Dairy industry, its practices, and power (in regards to implementing policies which may not have the best interest of consumers at heart). There was one quote from a "exercise physiologist" who claimed that pasteurization reduces IGF-1 - when the opposite has been found in studies (Epstein SS, 1996, Unlabeled milk from cows treated with biosynthetic growth hormones: a case of regulatory abdication.) Grass fed, roaming cows without hormone supplementation would obviously be the safer bet. Anything less is something I wouldn't risk my health with - as a little hormone goes a long way.
Avatar of: Shanthi Raam

Shanthi Raam

Posts: 43

February 2, 2007

An important issue. Has any researcher measured the amount of intact milk proteins/ peptide fragments in the lumen of diffeent parts of the human gut as the milk taken in is processed through the gut? This type of study even done in animals should shed light on this subject.\n

February 2, 2007

Dr. Kalyan response to the article suggests a need for objectivity - yet suggesting that IGF-I increases in pasturized milk is incorrect. Furthermore, when did food consumption become related to bets? Analysis and scientific evaluation is the proven foundation for food production, human consumption and health. We in the agricultural community take our responsibilities seriously. The reality is that humans' secrete endogenous IGF-I in their GI tract in large mass relative to the potential milk source. Drinking 3 glasses of milk per day would equate to <3% of endogenous secretions into the GI tract.

February 2, 2007

It appears that some individuals responding to this article did not understand the basis behind points being made concerning the complexity of endocrinology. Dr. Peterson?s criticism of New Zealand Dairy farmers using progesterone-impregnated vaginal devices (CIDRs) for estrous synchronization fails to point out the fact that the device contains natural form of progesterone, and results in circulating levels of progesterone that are not different from those that occur naturally during the cycle, but are less than those that occur during pregnancy. If instructors want to make an issue over the use of progesterone-impregnated vaginal devices, it would be best that they also point out that contraceptive properties of milk would be much greater when derived from a pregnant animal, whether related as a joke or factual information. The statement concerning the banning of steroid use in athletes, but acceptance in animals fails to acknowledge the numerous accepted uses of steroids in human medicine and the widespread use of oral contraceptives. The comment by Dr. Kaylan concerning safer milk from grass fed, free roaming cows fails to acknowledge that these free roaming cows may be ingesting plants that contain harmful substances, including high levels of phytoestrogens which have been shown to interrupt the reproductive cycles of animals. Production of milk may actually be decreased in a free roaming scenario, resulting in a concentration of many of the milk constituents, including endogenous hormones. Thus the statement that milk from free roaming animals would be healthier is unsubstantiated. The issue is not black and white, and needs to be addressed with unbiased objective information, as was provided in the article.
Avatar of: Dr. Kalyan

Dr. Kalyan

Posts: 4

February 2, 2007

There is obviously a difficulty in differentiating between exogenous sources of hormones and their respective effects on susceptible individuals and that which is carefully regulated by one's own neuro-endocrine system. Baurucker asserts that ingested hormones from cows that hade been "pumped up" for the market is minimal compared to that people produce. There is a huge difference in the ability of the body to regulate and down-regulate endogenous chemical signals - and that which is foreign. There is a chronic and cumulative effect on growth hormone signalling and a threshhold level that is differentially set for different people. Hormones - by virtue of their purpose - have large effects in small quantities - and sometimes it is the smaller quantities that have a greater influence due to the lack of negative-feedback they'd produce.\nIn regards to Dr. Roberts speculation that "organic" farming practices may be more adverse then the factory industrialization of drugged animals - I wish he'd provide some stronger evidence to back up his claims as there is overwhelming evidence that the contrary is true - even from an observational view of the world when one considers the rates of cancer, CVD, and diabetes in areas where food production has become an unregulated "unnatural" disaster - and where the meat industry has yet to become an industry - so to speak. "Phytoestrogens" actually have shown to inhibit the effects of endogenous estrogen (which is why asians - who have the highest intake of such) have the lowest rates of estrogen-dependent cancers. Please do not confuse with "xenoestrogens" which are industrial by-products which our bodies don't have the capacity to breakdown.
Avatar of: Frank Camacho

Frank Camacho

Posts: 1

February 2, 2007

IF HUMANS ARE SO INTELLIGENT, WHY THEY STILL DRINK THE MILK FROM ANOTHER ANIMAL?!

February 3, 2007

What is this "pumped up" slang that Kalyan uses - lets keep the diaglog absent of suggestive terminology that has negative meanings.\nSecond - foreign chemical does not fit in the IGF-I concept because cow and human sequences are idential.\nThird, bulk has nothing to do with the concept - milk IGF-I provides a very small mass to gut secreted IGF-I. Survival studies of dietary IGF-I stems from suckling rodents where digestive capacity is limited. Furthermore, there is little or poor evidence that gut (endogenous secreted or diet) enters the circulation once gut closure has occurred.
Avatar of: T Colin Campbell

T Colin Campbell

Posts: 1

February 5, 2007

I do not support the general tone of this article or of the conference.\n\nIt focuses far too much on specific factors in milk--like IGF--as a possible explanation for a link between milk consumption and breast cancer. Even more specifically, it focuses on the exogenous IGF content of cow's milk instead of the endogenous IGF synthesized when diets high in animal based protein are consumed. And even here, this explanation is far, far too restrictive, too reductionist.\n\nMy laboratory has investigated the question of dairy protein and experimental cancer development since the 1960s and we have shown, in dozens of publications in top journals, that reductionist research findings are more than likely to be very misleading. It is virtually useless to search for single factors as causes of complex diseases or to ascribe cause-effect relationships by simple, isolated, biochemical mechanisms. For example, we showed in extensive studies that casein, the main protein of cow's milk, increases cancer development by an entire spectrum of 'explanatory mechanisms'--increased cell replication in the target tissue harboring the cancer, increased formation of chemical carcinogen-DNA adducts, increased cellular uptake by carcinogens, repressed formation of cancer inhibiting natural killer cell activity, increased endogenous formation of IGF, increased expression of oncogenic genes, increased formation of circulating estrogen, etc., etc. Moreover, we could reverse cancer development?forwards or backwards?by intervention with modest changes in casein intake. And finally, the cancer inducing effect of casein was attributed to its amino acid composition, suggesting that related proteins with similar amino acid composition, would have the same effect. This research was published in the very best science journals and was supported almost entirely by NIH funding.\n\nBut, even here, a word of caution is needed. Namely, however broad-ranging this biological effect (of a single protein) appears to be, it still represents only a window into a far more spacious world of food, nutrition and health relationships. An entirely new paradigm of biological research is essential if we are ever to fully comprehend the priorities of biomedical research! We must move beyond the superficial treatment of questions like that posed here, if the public is to be served. A far more convincing and revealing argument can be made for a causal link between breast cancer and dairy consumption if such a paradigm is employed. \n\nA far more expansive review of the research supporting this idea is available in a 2005 book that I published with my son, Thomas, titled "The China Study. Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health", now a national best seller.\n\nAnd, by the way, I was raised on a dairy farm, milking cows, until graduate school when I did doctoral research that was intended to promote the production of cows in order to consume MORE animal-based protein.\n
Avatar of: Caroline Jonsson

Caroline Jonsson

Posts: 1

February 8, 2007

It isn't clear to me as to whether or not the SF woman was drinking raw milk or pasteurized milk. Were the cows receiving antibiotics? Were they grass fed cows or grain fed (which typically includes soy a fabulous estrogen mimic...) too many dots that need to be filled in\n\nfor facts please visit: www.raw-milk-facts.com
Avatar of: Kate Drummond

Kate Drummond

Posts: 1

March 7, 2007

I note with interest that no-one has responded one way or the other to my question regarding the objectivity (or otherwise) of "scientific" studies, given that they have to be funded by somebody and that that somebody most likely has an axe to grind. \n\nHas no-one acknowledged my question because I confessed to being merely a breast cancer sufferer, not a scientist? Probably. I am not old - I am 44. I shouldn't have cancer - something went wrong and I would like to know what. I wish I felt confident that my children's future healthcare was in the hands of objective scientists rather than vested interests.
Avatar of: Philip dziuk

Philip dziuk

Posts: 1

January 16, 2008

Dear Mr. Oransky, \nThis in response to your assessment and implied condemnation of milk in the Scientist for February 2007.The simplistic and anecdotal treatment of a subject of such universal importance and potential effect does not seem consistent with a magazine with a title "The Scientist" There is a book entitled "Handbook of Dairy Foods and Nutrition" authored by Jarvis, McBean and Miller that has a more scientific and believable evaluation of milk in the diet. The relationship between consumption of dairy products and obesity is especially noteworthy and was not discussed. Have you ever seen rickets? I have. Have you ever seen osteoporosis? We don?t need to be scaring our young and elderly women from one of the best sources of calcium. Progesterone is one of the main steroids in milk and was not mentioned. I have calculated that if progesterone in dairy products as part of my diet were separated and weighed it would exceed my total body weight. Anyone else with a similar background would also have a similar experience. Nearly every food has hormones of some kind in them. Steroids are readily metabolized and protein hormones are digested by the intestinal lining. It would be possible to take any food out of context and find it to be potentially harmful. Soy products have been touted to be beneficial but they contain phytoestrogens such as genestein and isoflavones that are harmful. There must be at least 100 dietary products with a far greater potential to cause harm than milk. \n- Philip Dziuk Ph.D. \n
Avatar of: ALAn Drake

ALAn Drake

Posts: 4

December 30, 2008

Virtually isolated genetically since 1000 AD, they could be a source of unaltered milk for the comparison sought.\n\nQuite productive of milk (and secondarily meat), the milk does have (IMO) a distinctive taste.\n\nThe Icelandic population has good public health statistics (and deCode has links of genetics to diseases). This may be an overlooked avenue of research.\n\nBest Hopes,\n\nAlan Drake
Avatar of: ALAn Drake

ALAn Drake

Posts: 4

December 30, 2008

Low levels of Beta-casein are suggested as the reason.\n\nhttp://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/106/4/719
Avatar of: PATRICK FINN

PATRICK FINN

Posts: 1

January 5, 2009

Has there been any studies into the risks of breast cancer/prostate cancer in the lactose intolerant/Milk Allergy population compared to milk consumers? I realize that there are a number of lactose free alternatives that people could consume, but is there a trend to suggest this population has lower risks for some of the conditions listed in this report as they would be more likely to avoid milk products than the average person.

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