Risk of some cancers lower among lactose intolerant people

Milk, dairy

A new Swedish study is drawing a link between lactose intolerance and cancer risk. More specifically, people who are lactose intolerant might be less likely to develop lung, breast and ovarian cancers. Researchers say that low dairy consumption appeared to reduce the risk in lactose intolerant people. However, there weren’t any protective effects observed in their family members. This leads researchers to believe that individual diet may be the most significant factor. But researchers warn that the findings aren’t enough to label milk as a risk factor for these cancers. “We must interpret these results with caution because the association we found is insufficient to conclude a causative effect,” researcher Jianguang Ji, an associate professor at Lund University, said in a statement. For the study, the research team examined nationwide data from two Swedish registers. From there, they focused on over 22,000 lactose intolerant people, and analyzed their risk of developing lung, breast and ovarian cancers. When compared to people who weren’t lactose intolerant, people who were exhibited a significantly lower overall risk of suffering from these types of cancers. The study isn’t the first to associate dairy consumption with cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, high-fat dairy may increase the risk of breast cancer death. One 2013 study found that cancer patients who ate a daily serving of high-fat dairy (like full-fat ice cream, cheese or milk) were more likely to die from their disease. This particular study included nearly 1,900 women with early-stage invasive breast cancer. Rumors of a connection between dairy and cancer have been swirling for years. However, the results have been mixed and inconsistent, to say the least. On the plus side, a lactose-free diet may come with some health benefits. A reported advantage for some includes gastrointestinal relief. There’s also a lot of buzz surrounding the “autism diet.” The idea is to eliminate gluten as well as casein (a protein found in milk and dairy products). While the results and research are mixed, many parents claim that following the diet reduces autism symptoms in children.

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