Eating Lots of Dairy May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk, But Plant-Based Diets Reduce It, Study Finds
Dairy products are usually the leading source of calcium in Western countries. fcafotodigital / E+ / Getty Images
In a new study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Mayo Clinic researchers found that eating a lot of dairy products was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. And though the association between eating other animal products and prostate cancer wasn't as clear — meat diets showed both increased and unchanged risks — plant-based diets appeared to actually decrease that risk.
"Our review highlighted a cause for concern with high consumption of dairy products," lead author John Shin, a Mayo Clinic oncologist, said in a press release. "The findings also support a growing body of evidence on the potential benefits of plant-based diets."
Around one in every nine American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, making it one of the most common cancers in the U.S. Prostate cancer also has the second-highest mortality rate out of all cancers for men in the U.S., leading to 31,620 deaths annually.
Analyzing previous studies, the researchers found that dairy products are usually the leading source of calcium in Western countries, which have higher rates of prostate cancer compared to Asian countries, where dairy products aren't consumed as much.
It's thought that increased calcium levels are associated with prostate cancer, as the calcium can halt the formation of a type of vitamin D called calcitriol, which could otherwise prevent the proliferation and spread of prostate cancer cells. The study did not identify how much dairy per person was associated with the increased risk, the Daily Mail reported.
For the report, the researchers examined 550 scholarly references sourced from three databases. After excluding articles that did not investigate the link between diet and prostate cancer, as well as letters, editorials and case reports, the researchers found 47 usable studies published in scientific journals between 2006 and February 2017, which involved more than 1 million participants in total, Newsweek reported. These included cohort studies ranging in size from small to very large, case-control studies, meta-analyses and a population study.
But the researchers acknowledged this range was also a weakness because of the differing methods employed by the studies. Future research, they said, should have standardized methods for collecting data to better account for non-dietary factors and include randomized controlled trials.
Experts not involved in the study agreed. David Montgomery, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said that the findings could not yet replace weight, age and ethnicity as primary factors driving prostate cancer risk.
"The previous studies are of variable quality and have not consistently taken account of other factors beyond diet that could impact the results," Montgomery told FoodNavigator. "We would not encourage anyone to avoid or increase intake of certain foods as a result of this study."
Still, the association between plant-based foods and prostate cancer continues to grow. Another recent study this month found that eating at least three servings of mushrooms each week was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
- Prostate Cancer and Milk: Is There a Connection? ›
- Diet as Cancer Treatment: You Can't 'Starve' Cancer - The Atlantic ›
- Calories, Carbs, Fat, Fiber: Unraveling The Links Between Breast ... ›
- Prostate Cancer Prevention with Proper Nutrition ›
- Prostate cancer prevention: Ways to reduce your risk - Mayo Clinic ›
- Thom Yorke of Radiohead Releases Song With Greenpeace to Help ... ›
- Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, Flea and More Featured on Just Released ... ›
- Musicians and Activists Unite at 'Pathway to Paris' - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A national park in Thailand has come up with an innovative way to make sure guests clean up their own trash: mail it back to them.
- Supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam Swap Plastic Packaging for ... ›
- Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It ... ›
- Thailand Begins the New Year With Plastic Bag Ban - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Worsens Thailand's Plastic Waste Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Marium, Thailand's Beloved Baby Dugong, Is the Latest Victim of ... ›
By Ilana Cohen
Four years ago, Jacob Abel cast his first presidential vote for Donald Trump. As a young conservative from Concord, North Carolina, the choice felt natural.
But this November, he plans to cast a "protest vote" for a write-in candidate or abstain from casting a ballot for president. A determining factor in his 180-degree turn? Climate change.
Fractures Among Young Climate Conservatives<p>While young conservatives have united around the urgency of climate change, they remain divided over how to bring their concerns to the ballot box. Some embrace right-wing <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-attacks-republican-convention/2020/08/24/434e5b46-e66d-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html" target="_blank">attacks</a> painting Biden as a "tool of the left" and find his climate agenda "radical." Others can't find a way to justify voting for Trump, even if it means breaking with their party.</p><p>Patrick Mann from Orange County, California, voted for Trump in 2016. But today, he's leading Aggies for Joe at Texas A&M University and is co-founder of Texas Students for Biden. </p><p>Mann grew up watching wildfires ravage his home state, nearly forcing his family to evacuate in 2017. The GOP is failing to "meet the moment" for climate action, Mann said. He's hoping Biden will deliver on a promise to "<a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/caucus/2020/01/06/joe-biden-democrat-president-iowa-caucus-restore-soul-our-nation/2806422001/" target="_blank">restore the soul of our nation</a>." </p><p>Taylor Walker from Pensacola, Florida, is also determined to make her voice heard on climate, including by casting her first-ever vote for president—but not for Biden.</p>
A False Equivalency<p>Young climate conservatives may fear climate denial and delayed climate action, but more than that, they fear the growing political momentum around the Green New Deal, the massive spending it entails and <a href="https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/" target="_blank">Biden's citing of it</a> as a "crucial framing for meeting the climate challenges we face."</p><p>Many don't want to split with their party to support a Democrat whose <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757220130/joe-biden-on-bipartisanship-gun-control-and-regrets-over-inaction-after-a-traged" target="_blank">allegedly bipartisan intentions</a> they doubt. If stymieing what they consider a radical green agenda means re-electing a climate change denying president, so be it. </p><p>"I'm scared of climate change, but I'm also scared of the Green New Deal and what it means for America," said Ben Mutolo, a republicEN spokesperson and junior at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. </p><p>Mutolo felt encouraged by former Ohio Governor John Kasich's <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/17/kasich-speech-to-democratic-convention-follows-years-of-building-conservative-credentials/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">appearance</a> at the Democratic National Convention, but he still struggles to see himself voting for Biden. Though the candidate paints himself as a <a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-08-12/harris-biden-different-generation-similar-political-instinct" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">centrist,</a> Mutolo believes he's "cozying up to the ultra-progressive left." </p><p>Mutolo, who wants to see market-based climate solutions like a carbon tax, feels torn between a candidate whose climate plan relies on taking an "<a href="https://joebiden.com/environmental-justice-plan/#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">All-of-Government approach</a>," and one with no efforts to reign in global warming at all. <span></span></p><p>Leiserowitz said he appreciated how a conservative might feel Biden's climate plan "doesn't jive with their limited government, free-market approach."</p><p>But he sees a strong distinction between voting for a presidential candidate with a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/biden-climate-plan.html" target="_blank">$2 trillion climate plan</a> that includes large renewable energy investments, which have <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/politics-global-warming-april-2020/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bipartisan support</a>, and a candidate trying "to take the country in the opposite direction, towards more fossil fuels."</p>
- 7 Republicans Joined Senate Democrats in Vote to Fight Climate ... ›
- Climate Change Acknowledged by Increasing Number of ... ›
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that 64 high-income nations have joined an effort to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine fairly, prioritizing the most vulnerable citizens, as Science reported. The program is called the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or Covax, and it is a joint effort led by the WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
- Trump Denies CDC Director's 2021 Timeline for Coronavirus Vaccine ›
- CDC Tells States to Prepare for a Vaccine Before November Election ›
- Fauci Warns Pre-Pandemic Normalcy Not Likely Until Late 2021 ... ›
By Gloria Oladipo
In the face of dangerous heat waves this summer, Americans have taken shelter in air conditioned cooling centers. Normally, that would be a wise choice, but during a pandemic, indoor shelters present new risks. The same air conditioning systems that keep us cool recirculate air around us, potentially spreading the coronavirus.