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High Dairy Intake Associated With Prostate Cancer Risk

Researchers recommend caution in advising men to increase dairy consumption


FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A high intake of dairy products and calcium is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., of Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 12 studies that used total, advanced or fatal prostate cancer as end points and reported associations as relative risks by category of dairy product or calcium intake.

The researchers found that men with the highest intake of dairy products had 1.11 relative risk and those with the highest calcium intake had a 1.39 relative risk of developing prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest intakes. "The pooled relative risks of advanced prostate cancer were 1.33 for the highest versus lowest intake categories of dairy products and 1.46 for the highest versus lowest intake categories of calcium," the authors write.

"Given the high prevalence of prostate cancer in American men, [the findings] suggest caution before one embraces the new recommendations to increase dairy intake, especially among older men," the authors conclude. "More research, both population based and mechanistic, is needed to carefully examine both the potential benefits and risks of increasing intakes of dairy foods."

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