A recent study has found that eating dairy products has been linked to a higher chance of developing prostate cancer, and a plant-based diet appears to cut the risk.
In the past, some studies have found a link between consuming dairy products; such as milk and cheese; and prostate cancer. The disease is more prevalent in Western countries with the biggest consumption of calcium. The researchers in the study cited that prostate cancer is less common in Asian countries where such foods are consumed much less.
The team of Mayo Clinic researchers examined more than 47 existing scientific journal articles published between 2006 and February 2017, and involved more than 1 million participants in total.
The study results linked plant-based diets, such as vegetarian and vegan diets with a lower or unchanged risk of developing prostate cancer from the baseline.
Eating animal products, and dairy in particular, was associated with an increased or unchanged risk of being diagnosed with the disease.
Each year, approximately 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed, making it the most prevalent form of the disease among men other than skin cancer.
The disease is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. after lung cancer, and kills around 31,620 people annually.
The study highlighted a cause for concern with high consumption of dairy products and the findings also support a growing body of evidence on the potential benefits of plant-based diets.
However, the study was limited because it included a range of different papers with varying methods. The researchers said that future research could test the validity of the findings by carrying out randomized control trials. Researchers would also like to look at the effects of other lifestyle factors like smoking and exercise.