• Breast cancer rates are not consistently higher in countries with high dairy consumption
  • There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that dairy causes breast cancer
  • Dairy products are a major source of saturated fat and vitamin D in the diet and should not be avoided for cancer concerns

Some people might want to know if consuming dairy causes breast cancer because they drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of cheese. They might be worried that all that dairy is making them sick. However, there is no need to worry.

There is no consistent evidence that milk or any other dairy products will increase breast cancer risk.

Why do some people think that dairy might cause breast cancer? There is a lot of saturated fat found in milk and other dairy products, and there have been conflicting studies on the impact of dairy on our health – including breast cancer.

So, what does all this research mean? It’s hard to say. More studies are needed to understand the possible link between dairy and breast cancer. Until then, the best advice is to eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods from all food groups.

Does Dairy Consumption Cause Breast Cancer

There is no consistent evidence that milk and dairy products can cause breast cancer. In fact, some studies have found that dairy consumption may be linked with a reduced risk of bowel cancer [1].

While this is interesting, bowel cancer is the only one that has seen this definitive link to dairy. Other forms of cancer have not had conclusive results and need more extensive forms of research for these same conclusions to be drawn.

The link between breast cancer and dairy has been extensively studied. However, the findings have been inconclusive. Some studies suggest that there is a link between dairy consumption and breast cancer, while other studies find no association.

It is possible that the link between dairy and breast cancer may vary depending on the type of dairy product consumed.

For example, one study found that women who consumed more high-fat dairy products had a higher risk of breast cancer than women who consumed low-fat dairy products  [2].

Does Whole Fat or Low Fat Milk Matter?

Interestingly, the study we previously mentioned actually showed the risk for low-fat and whole-fat milk to be the same. Therefore, it won’t make any difference to the potential of breast cancer if you drink creamy full-fat or skim milk.

Furthermore, it should also be noted that the aforementioned study is the first to determine any link between dairy and breast cancer. As a result, it should be taken with a grain of salt, and there is no need to cut dairy out of your life just yet.

Expert Tip: If you’re consuming dairy products, make sure to choose those that are lower in fat and sugar.

What Does Cancer Research Say About Milk Consumption?

In the USA, the UK, and the rest of the world, dairy is under investigation through the World Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research is the leading voice in declaring that milk drinkers are safe and dairy foods carry no increased risk.

In addition to breast cancer, the link between prostate cancer and milk consumption is also being investigated – especially since colorectal cancer has seen such promising results.

Expert Tip: If you want to reduce your risk of cancer, make sure to eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods from all food groups.

How Much Dairy Should You Eat or Drink?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that adults consume 2-3 servings of dairy per day [3]. A serving of dairy is equivalent to 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, or 1.5 ounces of cheese.

Expert Tip: Soy milk is also acceptable, although you will need to watch your soy intake as the calories can be higher than dairy milk.

The ACS also recommends that people consume mostly low-fat or fat-free dairy products to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

If you are worried about the potential risks, this is the best advice to follow. However, it is also important to remember that whole-fat milk is often the best option for preventing high blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (as per our other article).

What are the Benefits of Consuming Dairy?

There are many benefits to having dairy as part of a balanced diet. Dairy products are a good source of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. Dairy consumption has been linked with a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease [4].

Studies have even shown that consuming dairy can be linked to a decreased risk of high blood pressure and hypertension [5].

So, while the link between dairy and breast cancer is inconclusive, there are many other health benefits associated with dairy consumption (As always, moderation is key – too much of anything can be bad for you.

Research Results of Dairy’s Impact on Breast Cancer

The link between breast cancer and dairy consumption is still not fully understood. More research is needed to determine if the two have a causal relationship.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about your breast cancer risk, you may want to limit your dairy intake or choose low-fat dairy products. However, it is important to remember that dairy products are a good source of nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D.

Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian if you have questions about how dairy may affect your breast cancer risk.