Milk Abstracts 1 - Hormones

© 2012

Quantitative measurement of endogenous estrogen metabolites, risk-factors for development of breast cancer, in commercial milk products by LC-MS/MS

            (Farlow, Xu et al. 2009) Download

Increased levels of estrogen metabolites (EM) are associated with cancers of the reproductive system. One potential dietary source of EM is milk. In this study, the absolute quantities of unconjugated (free) and unconjugated plus conjugated (total) EM were measured in a variety of commercial milks (whole, 2%, skim, and buttermilk). The results show that the milk products tested contain considerable levels of EM; however, the levels of unconjugated EM in skim milk were substantially lower than that observed in whole milk, 2% milk, and buttermilk. Whole milk contained the lowest overall levels of EM while buttermilk contained the highest. As anticipated, soy milk did not contain the mammalian EM measured using this method. The relatively high levels of catechol estrogens detected in milk products support the theory that milk consumption is a source of EM and their ingestion may have a dietary influence on cancer risk.

Consumption of Cow's Milk and Possible Risk of Breast Cancer

            (2010) Download

Milk, dairy products and cancer risk (Italy)

            (Gallus, Bravi et al. 2006) Download

BACKGROUND: Inconclusive information is available on the potential role of milk and dairy products on the risk of cancer at several sites. METHODS: We analyzed data from a large and integrated network of hospital-based case-control studies in Italy on cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx (598 cases, 1491 controls), oesophagus (304 cases, 743 controls), colorectum (1953 cases, 4154 controls), larynx (460 cases, 1088 controls), breast (2569 cases, 2588 controls), ovary (1031 cases, 2411 controls) and prostate (1294 cases, 1451 controls). RESULTS: Multivariate odds ratio (OR) for the highest consumption level of any type of milk was 0.94 (95% confidence interval, CI: 0.61-1.33) for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, 1.20 (95% CI: 0.76-1.90) for oesophageal, 0.77 (95% CI: 0.62-0.96) for colon, 0.80 (95% CI: 0.60-1.05) for rectal, 0.83 (95% CI: 0.56-1.21) for laryngeal, 0.91 (95% CI: 0.76-1.10) for breast, 0.89 (95% CI: 0.68-1.15) for ovarian and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.84-1.37) for prostate cancer. A significant trend in risk was found for colon cancer only. Inverse associations were observed between consumption of skim milk and cancers of colon (OR=0.84; 95% CI: 0.73-0.97), rectum (OR=0.76; 95% CI: 0.64-0.91), breast (OR=0.87; 95% CI: 0.77-0.98) and ovary (OR=0.77; 95% CI: 0.66-0.91). Conversely, whole milk consumption was directly associated with cancer of the rectum (OR=1.22; 95% CI: 1.03-1.44) and ovary (OR=1.25; 95% CI: 1.07-1.46). High consumption of cheese was inversely related to colon cancer risk (OR=0.80; 95% CI: 0.67-0.95). CONCLUSIONS: There was a modest direct association between milk and dairy products and prostate cancer, and a moderate inverse one for colorectal cancer. However, our findings indicate that milk and dairy products are not strong risk indicators for any of the cancers considered.

Is milk responsible for male reproductive disorders?

            (Ganmaa, Wang et al. 2001) Download

The role of environmental compounds with estrogenic activity in the development of male reproductive disorders has been a source of great concern. Among the routes of human exposure to estrogens, we are particularly concerned about cows' milk, which contains considerable amounts of estrogens. The major sources of animal-derived estrogens in the human diet are milk and dairy products, which account for 60-70% of the estrogens consumed. Humans consume milk obtained from heifers in the latter half of pregnancy, when the estrogen levels in cows are markedly elevated. The milk that we now consume may be quite unlike that consumed 100 years ago. Modern genetically-improved dairy cows, such as the Holstein, are usually fed a combination of grass and concentrates (grain/protein mixes and various by-products), allowing them to lactate during the latter half of pregnancy, even at 220 days of gestation. We hypothesize that milk is responsible, at least in part, for some male reproductive disorders.

The possible role of female sex hormones in milk from pregnant cows in the development of breast, ovarian and corpus uteri cancers

            (Ganmaa and Sato 2005) Download

The continued increase in incidence of some hormone-related cancers worldwide is of great concern. Although estrogen-like substances in the environment were blamed for this increase, the possible role of endogenous estrogens from food has not been widely discussed. We are particularly concerned about cows' milk, which contains a considerable quantity of estrogens. When we name cows' milk as one of the important routes of human exposure to estrogens, the general response of Western people is that "man has been drinking cows' milk for around 2000 years without apparent harm." However, the milk that we are now consuming is quite different from that consumed 100 years ago. Unlike their pasture-fed counterparts of 100 years ago, modern dairy cows are usually pregnant and continue to lactate during the latter half of pregnancy, when the concentration of estrogens in blood, and hence in milk, increases. The correlation of incidence and mortality rates with environmental variables in worldwide countries provides useful clues to the etiology of cancer. In this study, we correlated incidence rates for breast, ovarian, and corpus uteri cancers (1993-97 from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents) with food intake (1961-97 from FAOSTAT) in 40 countries. Meat was most closely correlated with the breast cancer incidence (r=0.827), followed by milk (0.817) and cheese (0.751). Stepwise multiple-regression analysis (SMRA) identified meat as the factor contributing most greatly to the incidence of breast cancer ([R]=0.862). Milk was most closely correlated with the incidence of ovarian cancer (r=0.779), followed by animal fats (0.717) and cheese (0.697). SMRA revealed that milk plus cheese make the greatest contribution to the incidence of ovarian cancer ([R]=0.767). Milk was most closely correlated with corpus uteri cancer (r=0.814), followed by cheese (0.787). SMRA revealed that milk plus cheese make the most significant contribution to the incidence of corpus uteri cancer ([R]=0.861). In conclusion, increased consumption of animal-derived food may have adverse effects on the development of hormone-dependent cancers. Among dietary risk factors, we are most concerned with milk and dairy products, because the milk we drink today is produced from pregnant cows, in which estrogen and progesterone levels are markedly elevated.

Childhood and adult milk consumption and risk of premenopausal breast cancer in a cohort of 48,844 women - the Norwegian women and cancer study

            (Hjartaker, Laake et al. 2001) Download

Analyses of dairy consumption and breast cancer incidence have yielded conflicting results. In this prospective cohort study of 48,844 premenopausal Norwegian women, we examined the relationship between childhood and adult milk consumption and breast cancer incidence. During a mean follow-up time of 6.2 years, 317 incident cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. Information on childhood and adult milk consumption was obtained from frequency questions mailed to the participants in 1991-92. Milk consumption as a child was negatively associated with subsequent breast cancer among the youngest women (34-39 years) (p for trend = 0.001), but not among older ones (40-49 years). Adult milk consumption tended to be negatively related to breast cancer incidence (p for trend = 0.12) after adjustment for age, reproductive and hormonal factors, body mass index, education, physical activity, and alcohol consumption. Women drinking more than 3 glasses of milk per day had an incidence rate ratio of breast cancer of 0.56 (95% confidence interval 0.31-1.01) compared with women not drinking milk. Analyses according to type of milk consumed and milk fat consumption did not reveal any clear associations. A combination of childhood and adult milk consumption produced a clear negative trend in breast cancer incidence rate ratios with increasing milk consumption (p = 0.03).

Dairy consumption and calcium intake and risk of breast cancer in a prospective cohort: the Norwegian Women and Cancer study

            (Hjartaker, Thoresen et al. 2010) Download

OBJECTIVE: To study the association between consumption of dairy products and calcium intake and risk of breast cancer risk according to menopausal status. METHODS: In a population-based prospective cohort study of 64,904 Norwegian women followed from 1996/1999 through 2006, we examined total dairy consumption and consumption of various dairy products in relation to pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer risk. We also examined breast cancer in relation to calcium intake and to milk consumption during childhood and performed additional analyses corrected for measurement errors in the dietary data. In total, 218 premenopausal and 1,189 postmenopausal incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed during follow-up. RESULTS: Total dairy, adult, and childhood milk consumption was not associated with either pre- or postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Premenopausal women with the highest consumption of white cheese had half the risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest consumption (hazard rate ratio in the 4th quartile vs. the 1st quartile 0.50, 95% confidence interval 0.29-0.87). Total calcium intake tended to be inversely related to premenopausal (hazard rate ratio in the 4th quartile vs. the 1st quartile 0.65, 95% confidence interval 0.39-1.08) and postmenopausal breast cancer (hazard rate ratio in the 4th quartile vs. the 1st quartile 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.70-1.04). Correcting for measurement errors did not alter the results substantially, nor did exclusion of early cancer cases. CONCLUSION: Dairy consumption is not strongly related to breast cancer risk in this prospective study. A non-significant negative association between calcium intake and breast cancer risk was seen, particularly among premenopausal women.


Exposure to exogenous estrogen through intake of commercial milk produced from pregnant cows

            (Maruyama, Oshima et al. 2010) Download

BACKGROUND: Modern genetically improved dairy cows continue to lactate throughout almost the entire pregnancy. Therefore, recent commercial cow's milk contains large amounts of estrogens and progesterone. With regard to the exposure of prepubertal children to exogenous estrogens, the authors are particularly concerned about commercial milk produced from pregnant cows. The purpose of the present study was therefore to examine concentrations of serum and urine sex hormones after the intake of cow milk. METHODS: Subjects were seven men, six prepubertal children, and five women. The men and children drank 600 mL/m(2) of cow milk. Urine samples were collected 1 h before the milk intake and four times every hour after intake. In men the serum samples were obtained before and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min after milk intake. Women drank 500 mL of cow's milk every night for 21 days beginning on the first day of the second menstruation. In three successive menstrual cycles, the day of ovulation was examined using an ovulation checker. RESULTS: After the intake of cow milk, serum estrone (E1) and progesterone concentrations significantly increased, and serum luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone significantly decreased in men. Urine concentrations of E1, estradiol, estriol and pregnanediol significantly increased in all adults and children. In four out of five women, ovulation occurred during the milk intake, and the timing of ovulation was similar among the three menstrual cycles. CONCLUSIONS: The present data on men and children indicate that estrogens in milk were absorbed, and gonadotropin secretion was suppressed, followed by a decrease in testosterone secretion. Sexual maturation of prepubertal children could be affected by the ordinary intake of cow milk.

Consumption of dairy products and the risk of breast cancer: a review of the literature

            (Moorman and Terry 2004) Download

Differences in eating patterns and breast cancer rates across countries suggest that several dietary components, including dairy products, could affect breast cancer risk. However, dairy products are a diverse food group in terms of the factors that could potentially influence risk. Some dairy products, such as whole milk and many types of cheese, have a relatively high saturated fat content, which may increase risk. Moreover, milk products may contain contaminants such as pesticides, which have carcinogenic potential, and growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor I, which have been shown to promote breast cancer cell growth. In contrast, the calcium and vitamin D contents of dairy products have been hypothesized to reduce breast cancer risk. We reviewed the current epidemiologic literature on the relation between dairy product intakes and breast cancer risk, focusing primarily on the results of cohort and case-control studies. Most of the studies reviewed showed no consistent pattern of increased or decreased breast cancer risk with a high consumption of dairy products as a whole or when broken down into high-fat and low-fat dairy products, milk, cheese, or butter. Measurement error may have attenuated any modest association with dairy products. The available epidemiologic evidence does not support a strong association between the consumption of milk or other dairy products and breast cancer risk.

High milk consumers have an increased risk of folate receptor blocking autoantibody production but this does not affect folate status in Spanish men and women

(Berrocal-Zaragoza, Murphy et al. 2009) Dowload

Folate receptor (FR)-blocking autoantibodies (FR-autoantibodies) have been reported in women with neural tube defect-affected pregnancies and subfertility and in children with progressive neurodevelopment disorders. We investigated their prevalence and association with folate status and milk intake in adults unexposed to folic acid fortification. A cross-sectional study of a randomly selected representative sample of a Spanish population (aged 18-75 y) stratified by age and gender was performed. Plasma and red cell folate, plasma cobalamin, fasting plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentration, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism, and FR-autoantibody titer were determined in blood samples from 787 fasting participants. Lifestyle data were collected and milk intake estimated from a 3-d dietary record. FR-autoantibody prevalence was 7.2% [0.30 +/- 0.27 nmol (mean +/- SD) FR blocked/L], equally affecting men and women of all ages. Plasma and red cell folate and tHcy did not differ between carriers and noncarriers of FR-autoantibodies. Milk intake was higher in carriers (225 +/- 199 g/d) than in noncarriers (199 +/- 147 g/d) (P < 0.01). The risk of having FR-autoantibodies increased progressively with increasing quintile of milk intake and was significant in the highest quintile (> or =307 g/d) compared with the lowest (< or =67 g/d) [odds ratio (OR), 2.41 [95% CI: 1.02, 5.69]; P < 0.05; linear trend, P = 0.02]. We concluded that FR-autoantibodies occur in men and women of all ages and do not affect indicators of folate status such as plasma and red cell folate and tHcy. Higher milk intake is associated with increased risk of having FR-autoantibodies.


References

(2010). "Consumption of Cow's Milk and Possible Risk of Breast Cancer." Breast Care (Basel) 5(1): 44-46.

Berrocal-Zaragoza, M. I., M. M. Murphy, et al. (2009). "High milk consumers have an increased risk of folate receptor blocking autoantibody production but this does not affect folate status in Spanish men and women." J Nutr 139(5): 1037-41.

Farlow, D. W., X. Xu, et al. (2009). "Quantitative measurement of endogenous estrogen metabolites, risk-factors for development of breast cancer, in commercial milk products by LC-MS/MS." J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 877(13): 1327-34.

Gallus, S., F. Bravi, et al. (2006). "Milk, dairy products and cancer risk (Italy)." Cancer Causes Control 17(4): 429-37.

Ganmaa, D. and A. Sato (2005). "The possible role of female sex hormones in milk from pregnant cows in the development of breast, ovarian and corpus uteri cancers." Med Hypotheses 65(6): 1028-37.

Ganmaa, D., P. Y. Wang, et al. (2001). "Is milk responsible for male reproductive disorders?" Med Hypotheses 57(4): 510-4.

Hjartaker, A., P. Laake, et al. (2001). "Childhood and adult milk consumption and risk of premenopausal breast cancer in a cohort of 48,844 women - the Norwegian women and cancer study." Int J Cancer 93(6): 888-93.

Hjartaker, A., M. Thoresen, et al. (2010). "Dairy consumption and calcium intake and risk of breast cancer in a prospective cohort: the Norwegian Women and Cancer study." Cancer Causes Control 21(11): 1875-85.

Maruyama, K., T. Oshima, et al. (2010). "Exposure to exogenous estrogen through intake of commercial milk produced from pregnant cows." Pediatr Int 52(1): 33-8.

Moorman, P. G. and P. D. Terry (2004). "Consumption of dairy products and the risk of breast cancer: a review of the literature." Am J Clin Nutr 80(1): 5-14.