Dairy may be protective against colorectal cancer
Consuming high amounts of dairy may be beneficial, leading to a lower incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and related mortality, according to a study.
The study was based on a comprehensive analysis of prospective studies evaluating intake of total and different types of dairy products in relation to CRC incidence and death. The meta-analysis included 31 studies, which involved 24,964 CRC patients and 2,302 cases of CRC deaths.
Follow-up duration ranged from 5 to 31.1 years (mean, 12.8 years), and all participants were aged >15 years at baseline. Analyses were controlled for age across all included studies, while most adjusted for body mass index, smoking, physical activity, socioeconomic status, and total energy intake. Quality of the studies was high, with a mean score of 10.7 out of a possible 13; all studies had a score of >9.
Pooled data obtained using a random effects model showed that the highest versus lowest categories of total dairy consumption was associated with about a 20-percent increase in the risk of developing CRC (relative risk [RR], 0.79, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.74–0.85).
There was also a similar association observed for milk consumption (highest vs lowest intake categories: RR, 0.81, 95 percent CI, 0.76–0.86).
On the other hand, cheese and fermented milk consumption had no association with CRC. However, studies conducted in Europe showed a significant inverse association for both (RR, 0.87, 95 percent CI, 0.78–0.97 and RR, 0.91, 95 percent CI, 0.85–0.98, respectively).
For CRC mortality, there was a 29-percent risk reduction among patients with high versus low dairy product consumption (RR, 0.71, 95 percent CI, 0.54–0.93). There were no significant associations observed for each type of dairy consumption.