Best Kept Secret: Cows' Milk increases risk for breast cancer

May 25, 2009

\In my May 29th Honest Health column on the need to ban rBGH and other growth hormones from our food supply  I describe known links between drinking milk from cows treated with rBGH and eating meat and poultry containing added growth hormones with the increased risk of developing breast, prostate and other hormonal cancers.


What I don’t say is that cows milk by itself, is considered to be a major risk factor in breast and ovarian cancer. It appears that when individuals do not have the correct enzymes to metabolize many of the hormones naturally found in any type of cow’s milk., a glass of milk can flood the body with excess estrogen. This raises the risk of developing or accelerating the growth of existing breast cancer.


Jane Plant, a British geologist, describes saving her own life twenty years ago after facing metastatic breast cancer. An estrogen positive tumor, growing in her neck, disappeared in six weeks once Plant , currently a professor at the University of Nottingham,  began a  dairy-free lifestyle. She has continued to follow a dairy free lifestyle since that time and has remained cancer free to this day.


Plant’s book,  The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program,

 also published under the title, Your Life in Your Own Hands: Understanding. Preventing and Overcoming Breast Cancer,   are both available from Amazon and other booksellers.


One  possible reason most people have not read much about the connections between dairy products and an increased risk of breast cancer may be because the U.S. Dairy Lobby is formidable. The industry  is able to maintain federal milk subsidies in spite of the fact that this policy artificially raises  milk prices for  U.S. consumers, tot the  benefit of milk producers.


The Industry’s popular Got Milk? Campaign reflects a motherhood and apple pie feeling by including former federal cabinet members (Donna Shlala) , movie starts (Jennifer Aniston) and sport heroes. (Muhammad Ali).  No wonder it is difficult to believe the research that shows how milk can increase breast cancer rates and accelerate breast cancer growth in a huge group of women.


See Andrew Weil’s comments on the strong links between dairy and hormonal cancers.


For additional studies linking cows’ milk to breast cancer risk factors in humans, see:;   and