Got Milk? Milk Drinkers Have Lower Colon Cancer Risk

WESTPORT, Conn-A new report from the University of Kuopio in Finland suggests people who drink milk may be at a lower risk of developing colon cancer.

The Finish study examined nearly 10,000 individuals who were 15 years old or older during a 24-year period.

They found those who drank the most milk were less likely to develop colon cancer. However, they did point out several gaps in the research that could leave the door open to other influential risk factors.

Dietary habits may have been changed during the study, and interviews at the beginning of the study did not cover potential variables such as aspirin use, alcohol consumption, and exercise habits. Keeping these potential variables in mind, the study still found that people who consumed the most milk were 54% less likely to develop colon cancer. However, the research also showed that those who ate the most cheese and buttemilk were more likely to become sick with colon cancer. The reason why one would prevent cancer while the other would promote it isn't clear, although researchers theorize heavy consumption of cheese and buttermilk may add a food compound that contributes to the development of such cancers.

On the other hand, the researchers think milk, lactose specifically, may be responsible for the protective effect against such cancers and increase cancer-inhibiting bacteria.

The study, to be published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests more research should be funded to further examine the relationship between high milk consumption and colorectal cancers.

Information from, Reuters Health