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Dairy and Prostate Cancer: Is Milk a 4-Letter Word?

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Since my diagnosis two weeks ago today, I've been doing a considerable amount of research as many posters on here do as well. One thing that really strikes me is the disparity in the PCa density among American and European men as compared to Asians of all age groups. Men in North America have prostate cancer at the rate of about 136 per 100,000 versus 2.8 per 100,000 in China. African-American men (as opposed to African men) have the highest rates of all approaching 170 per 100,000. Genetic factors aside, it seems that diet, lifestyle, and socio-economic status plays a significant role in the incidence of PCa. The biggest difference between Western and Asian diets is the use of dairy products. The Chinese simply don't use dairy at all. In America, about 40% of our diet is now from dairy products. Asian men who immigrate to Western nations contract PCa at close to the same rates as those of European heritage within a generation as their diet changes. In urbanized areas of China that are become more Westernized, the rate of PCa is increasing among men of all ages as imported dairy products are substituted for traditional diets.

One of the books I read was Jane Plant's Prostate Cancer where she builds a strong case that several of the characteristics of bovine milk appear to act like candy to breast and prostate cancer. I actually met and had lunch with Professor Plant several years ago in London shortly after she wrote a book titled Your Life in Your Hands which documented her defeat of metatastic breast cancer after being given only a few months to live through the elimination dairy products based on studies she had done on the Chinese diet. After my own diagnosis, I began to do additonal research.

Bovine milk has several ingredients that accelerate cancer growth in the laboratory. Some of these chemicals include IGF (Insulin Growth Factors), EGF (Epidermal growth factor), Prolactin, and others. Modern dairy cattle are also given growth hormones that increase milk yeild and have been shown to accelerate cancer cell growth in laboratory studies.

Several studies have shown a strong, positive relationship between the consumption of animal fat from red meat and dairy products on prostate cancer.

Some would say that Asians have other types of cancer, particularly those related to gastro-intestinal functions but many scientists who have studied those believe these are most likely caused by poor food preservation techniques and lack of refrigeration in rural areas. Chinese do eat pork, chicken, and duck but not in the amounts that we eat red meat. (Interestingly, cattle was not one of the animals that was ever domesticated in China...cattle were domesticated in the Indus Valley and spread westward into Europe about 8,000 years ago).

Some will also say that some studies have shown a relationship between certain intake levels of soy and prostate cancer but given all the millions of Chinese who regularly eat soy instead of dairy I'm not sure those aruguments make sense. Soy also has small amounts of estrogen in it but it doesn't appear to have dampened the potency of the Asians who use it instead of dairy.

In the past week I made a decision to replace all of my dairy intake with soy, eliminate red meat from my diet, cut down on all meat in general, and avoid alcohol consumption except for an occasional glass of red wine in the evening. So far, the result has been the loss of 9 pounds.

I wonder if others have made dietary changes in conjunction with their diagnosis and how that is working for them.

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

I have not used milk except in baking or cooking for years. I can't remember the last glass of milk that passed my lips- maybe more than 30 years ago. I use cheese in moderation, and seldom eat cottage cheese, or ice cream, I use rice or soy milk on my cereal. I am a low dairy person, and have been for dozens of years. And I got hit rahter hard by this PC thing. My dad also had PC and he is a very heavy dairy user but I don't think my PC can belinked to his use of dairy products.

Chasing links to PC is what we who had it do, though. Reminds me of a dog chasing his tail, I suppose, but someday, maybe, a link to something we eat will be identified. Until then, well, I guess it is too late for some of us.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Trew, good points all. Personally, I was a high dairy user as well as red meat, martinis, smoking, and all the other things we're not supposed to do when we still think we're going to live forever. But given the long term prognosis for this disease I think it makes sense to adjust our diets and lifestyle to minimize the potential for recurrence.

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

For almost 40 years I have been a veggetarian, too. I am about 10- 15 lbs overweight- but for 61 not too bad. I have backpacked literally thousands of miles and was in pretty good condition up until surgery.

It is absolutely true some of the things you use, Kongo, are linked to cancer, but with prostate cancer I have yet to see anything that is directly linked to PC like smoking is linked to lung and throat cancer.

For a long time I beat myself almost daily trying to figure out what I did wrong but my good wife just plain outright told me to stop it- we live in a sick world and in a sick world people just get sick- sometimes there is no other reason than that. I always knew that about other people, but I somehow thought I was immune to this sickness- that it may hit others but it wouldn't get me.

I have lived a good clean life since I was born, practically. Never used alcohol, tobacco, drugs, lots of exercise, long distance runner, backpacker, outdoors type, and now this. yep, it really messes with my mind.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

I have altered my diet. I have eliminated Red meats for right at 1 year now. I do not smoke or drink so that was not a factor. Have added vitamins (the usual stuff pomegranite, acai berry, green tea, etc). Also never used much milk accept in what was used in cooking though I love cheese and icecream. Eating more brocoli and tofu.

Result - Have lost 50 pounds since being diagnosed 1 year ago (have gained 10 back of the 50).
Work out 2-3 times a week and have been pulling 0 on my PSA inspite of a positive margin.

Figure it can't hurt so doing what I think is right for me.

Larry

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

I can't remember the reason, but at Loma Linda while on radiation, they wanted me to get more protein. I think that may also be because I am getting the hormone shot that also weakens bones and lowers hemogolbin. I am anemic right now. Anyway, the nuturiionist at LLU wanted me to eat more dairy, cheese, cottage cheese. Those foods were suppose to be easy on the lower GI and the protein effect would help... I can't remember everything.

All this is enough to make a grown man sick!

;)

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1283
Joined: Apr 2009

we all hear about the benefits of RED wine, however, this is hype according to Mark Moyad, MD of Mich., nutritionist type for prostate cancer..........he says all liquor is the same, white wine, red wine, beer and hard liquor as far as benefit.

His recommended daily amount for women is one drink a day, and for men the usual one case a day.

Ira

steckley
Posts: 100
Joined: Aug 2009

Kongo,

Your thinking goes right along with that presented in Mike Milken's Cook Books for Prostate Cancer ... use a lot of soy (milk, protein, etc.) and cut out dairy and meat.

Some think that the relatively high incidence of PCa in africa-americans has to due with the lack of Vitamin D .... the bodies inability to manufacture vitamin D if the skin is darkly pigmented. On page 10 of Milken's cookbook ("The Taste for Living"):
"Another benefit of the beach, I learned, was sunlight. Studies supported by CaP CURE show that sunlight and vitamin D help reduce the growth of prostate cancer. The studies also found a higher incidence of hormone-related cancers in northern Europe and the northern U.S. than in southern continents. I thought back on all those long days in my windowless Wall Street office, and all those winter days I set off for work in darkness and returned in darkness. I had no more daylight than a hibernating bear."

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Haven't read the cookbook but I'll look for it.

The statistics I looked at indicated only Afro-American men had a very high incidence of PCa. Men from East and West Africa had very low incidence of PCa making me think it was more diet and than Vitamin D. Men from Finland and Sweden were up there but actually Australia was just behind the US.

steckley
Posts: 100
Joined: Aug 2009

I think you'll like the cook books ... I did ... especially the intros

I assumed Afro-American males' diets were more like non-Afro-Americans males (white American males)than they were to East or West Africans .... therefore, if they had a higher incidence of PCa (than non-Afro-Americans) it was not due to diet and likely due to some other factor.

How long do East and West Africans live?

Southern Australia?

erisian's picture
erisian
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2008

Everybody is down on red meat and dairy, but then they tell you to get more calcium and protein, and by the way, you're borderline anemic. If you ate nothing that somebody said causes or aggravates cancer, you would starve.

Soy, for example.I have read from several sources that unfermented soy is not good. It contains "antinutrients" which interfere with the absorption of various important nutrients in the gut. Fermented soy products are OK, because the antinutrients are broken down by the fermentation process. Miso tamari, and tempeh are examples of fermented soy products. Tofu and soy milk are not fermented.

I have been a milk drinker all my life, and I don't plan to stop eating dairy foods. What I look for now is organic raw milk. I can usually find it, from local farms. It is a very different product than the regular processed milk.

Even the Budwig diet, which otherwise bans dairy foods, is based on a concoction that is mostly cottage cheese. So that's OK but cheese is not???

Most of the dietary studies have been about cancer rates in various populations. Conclusions like the dairy-PCa link are tenuous, based on asking what the dietary differences are between the two populations. As far as I know, there is no specific evidence that dairy is the difference. The only thing that is known is that the Chinese have a much lower PCa rate than the US. Why is another question.

Is there something missing from the Chinese diet? Dairy is on that list, but so are many other things, like hydrogenated fats and high-fructose corn syrup. On the other hand, is there something in the Chinese diet that is missing from the American diet? Sure, lots of things. What makes the difference in the PCa rates? Nobody knows. Maybe it's Traditional Chinese Medicine.

My feeling is that the difference is probably due to a number of factors, including the grain and vegetable base of the Chinese diet.

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