Dairy has been linked with prostate cancer. Seniors must take extra care in the kinds of diet that they adopt
By Dawn Flemming
About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lives. The average time of diagnosis for prostate cancer is 65+. Many studies have shown a strong link between diet and prostate cancer. One of the major suspected culprits is dairy.
Since the 1970s many major studies have shown a link between dairy (milk) and prostate cancer. They have suggested an increased risk of the disease with higher consumption of dairy, or more specifically milk. In one study by Harvard’s Physicians’ Health Study, almost 21, 000 men were followed for over 10 years and they found that consuming 2 ½ dairy servings a day increased their chances of prostate cancer by 34% compared to people who had less than ½ a serving a day.
We are not too sure as to why this happens. But one theory suggests that milk affects a man’s hormones by increasing the amount of IGF-I (insulin-like growth factor) in the body. IGF-I in turn may promote cancerous cell growth as studies suggest, including prostate and breast cancers. Furthermore, meat and other foods containing lots of fat are also associated with an increased risk of cancer while vegetables and fruits may reduce the risk.
Remember that veganism also comes with risks. Vegans are more likely to be vitamin B12 deficient, a vitamin that is important for overall neurological health. Like people who commit to traditional diets, nutritional deficiencies are always possible. Please consult with your doctor and see if a plant-based diet can work for you. If your doctor oks it with you, it may be a good idea to consult with a proper nutritionist in order to make sure that you are getting all of your essential nutrients.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.