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Dairy increases breast cancer risk
The billboards said ‘dairy increases breast cancer risk’ Credit: PCRM

Dairy consumption can increase the risk of breast cancer, say billboards that traveled through Washington, D.C earlier this month.

The boards, created by pro-plant-based non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) hit the city on October 12.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three servings of dairy a day. But PCRM wants it to drop these recommendations in light of evidence showing dairy is unhealthy.

Research has particularly linked the high fat content and hormones in dairy products to breast cancer, says PCRM.

‘Dairy is unnecessary’

The boards are part of a message from PCRM is to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

It specifically wants them to indicate that dairy is unnecessary in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These are expected to be released by the end of this year.

‘At risk for breast cancer’

Susan Levin, MS, RD, is director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. She said: “The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three cups of dairy daily and that clearly puts Americans at risk for breast cancer.

“But the USDA and HHS still have time to help protect Americans from the disease by indicating that dairy is unnecessary in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines that will be released later this year.”

Dairy products

PCRM cites a 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute. It basically compared the diets of women diagnosed with breast cancer to those without it.

Subsequently, it found that ‘those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53 percent higher risk for breast cancer’.

Breast cancer

In addition, another piece of research PCRM cites is The Life After Cancer Epidemiology study.

This found that ‘among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, those consuming one or more servings of high-fat dairy products (e.g., cheese, ice cream, whole milk) daily had a 49 percent higher breast cancer mortality, compared with those consuming less than one-half serving daily’.

Maria Chiorando

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.