Dairy Consumption Linked
To Breast, Prostate Cancer
A South Carolina doctor claims that consumption of dairy
products can increase your risk of acquiring breast and prostate
cancer. Dr. Robert Bibb of Myrtle Beach is working on a book,
Death by Dairy, about the dangers of a dairy-consuming
According to Bibb, a growing body of evidence supports his
contention that the hormones found in dairy products increase
the body's risk of cancer. "There's an association between
dairy [consumption] and hormonally sensitive cancers," he
said. "I looked, but I can't find any other factors that fit
After 1948, Bibb says, rates of breast and prostate cancer
in the United States began to rise sharply. Bibb attributes
this to a change in the way that milk was enriched with vitamin
D: From 1928 to 1948, milk was irradiated with ultraviolet
rays in order to stimulate vitamin D production; after 1948,
powdered vitamin D was added instead.
"My working hypothesis is that ultraviolet light incidentally
inactivated the hormones and proteins in dairy - and we proved
this at Clemson [University]," Bibb said.
He also notes that countries with low dairy consumption have
much lower risks of the cancers in question.
Another potential culprit for the connection, according to
Bibb, is recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), a genetically
engineered version of a natural hormone that farmers inject
into dairy cows to make them produce more. Studies have shown
that in addition to containing the engineered hormone, milk
from rBST-treated cows contains higher concentrations of insulin
growth factor 1 (IGF-1).
Studies have found a correlation between elevated IGF-1 levels
in humans and a higher risk of breast, colorectal and prostate
cancer. In animal studies, elevated levels of the hormone
have been associated with shorter lifespans and a higher risk
Bibb is only one of a number of scientists who are currently
investigating a possible link between dairy products and cancer
-- a link that has been suspected for more than 30 years.
Dr. Sam Epstein, author of "What's In Your Milk"
also covers the story on rBGH in great detail, revealing astonishing
scientific facts about the health effects of milk produced
with genetically modified hormones.
"A groundswell is building on this thing," Bibb said.