By: H. Davoodi S. Esmaeili A.M. Mortazavian
First published: 08 April 2013
Milk is considered to be the only foodstuff that contains approximately all different substances known to be essential for human nutrition. In terms of cancer risk, dairy foods have been reported as both protective and occasionally as harmful. The evidence that dairy foods can protect against cancer, or increase the risk of cancer is not conclusive. Overall, the proven health benefits of dairy foods greatly outweigh the unproven harm. Dairy foods should be encouraged as part of a varied and nutritious diet as they are essential to maintain good bone and dental health, to prevent osteoporosis, major cardiovascular disease risk factors, hypertension, type‐2 diabetes, metabolic syndromes, as well as some cancers. The Cancer Council and USDA recommend 3 servings of milk and milk products daily. This article reviews the potential of milk and milk products (its indigenous or exogenous compounds) to inhibit different cancer risks. Also reviewed are the reports over the years that have suggested milk and the dairy industry as responsible agents for causing cancer.