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Study Questions Milk Drinking, Renal Cell Carcinoma Link

Researchers find no genetic evidence that milk drinking increases cancer risk

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to the findings of previous research, the suggested link between milk drinking and an increased risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may be unwarranted, according to research published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Nicholas J. Timpson, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a large, hospital-based, case-control study to determine whether the genetic variant at the gene MCM6, which is associated with lactose intolerance, can be used as a non-confounded and unbiased marker for a link between milk consumption and risk of developing RCC.

The researchers found people who drank milk in adulthood to have an approximately 35 percent higher risk of RCC; however, when they examined the relationship between milk drinking and RCC using genetic data, they found no such association.

"We found evidence for the often-questioned relationship between milk consumption and cancer, yet when we used genotypes to verify this relationship, there was no corroboratory evidence," Timpson said in a statement. "This does suggest that the basic findings may be subject to the kinds of biases and inaccuracies that often upset epidemiological research, but that this study would need to be undertaken on a much larger scale in order to verify these initial findings."

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