Food for Thought
A study published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that milk may have a protective effect against colorectal cancer, most likely due to the milk’s rich calcium content. The researchers pooled the results from 10 cohort studies conducted in five different countries using food frequency questionnaires from a total of 534,536 people. Those who consumed about two 8-ounce glasses of milk each day had a 15% lower incidence of colorectal cancer. Daily calcium supplementation was also effective in reducing the risk. However, drinking less milk than two 8-ounce glasses each day or eating other dairy products did not produce the same benefit.
One theory why milk may be effective in reducing colorectal cancer risk is that it is usually fortified with vitamin D, which may contribute to its cancer-fighting ability. Another theory is that calcium in milk may inhibit cell proliferation, preventing the development of precancerous polyps.