Prostate Cancer Risk May Increase When You Eat More Cheese-Filled Pizza

Cheese makes things exciting and fun to eat. But not for men who want to stay healthy and to maintain their fertility.

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, found that high consumption of dairy products, including cheese, could increase the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers analyzed data from 47 earlier studies that focused on the diet of more than one million men.

The men who regularly consumed cheese, milk, butter and yoghurt in the studies appeared 76 percent more likely to develop the disease. Researchers said dairy increases the risk as it raises levels of a growth hormone and calcium, which have been linked to prostate tumors, The Sun reported Monday.

"Our review highlighted a cause for concern with high consumption of dairy products," John Shin, lead researcher from Mayo Clinic, said. "Since dairy products are rich in calcium, this raises the possibility of calcium playing an important role in the link between dairy and prostate cancer."

The study suggests that men should take calcium lowering drugs to reduce their prostate cancer risk. It also highlights the health benefits of plant-based diets. 

Researchers found that those who followed a vegan diet or included more fruits and vegetables in their daily meals had 19 percent to 59 percent lower risk of having the disease. 

"Most studies showed that plant-based foods are associated with either decreased or unchanged risk of prostate cancer, whereas animal-based foods, particularly dairy products, are associated with either increased or unchanged risk of prostate cancer," Shin said. 

However, he noted more studies are needed to understand how cheese and other dairy products directly contribute to prostate cancer. The study did not determine "a clear association” between the food and the development of tumors in men.

Experts also noted it is too early to stop eating pizza and other cheesy foods. The researchers did not justify “the strong conclusions” and that there are factors that they should have considered in the study, according to Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London.

He said excess fat and height could also contribute to the development of prostate cancer.

pizza Researchers found that regular consumption of cheese and other dairy products could increase the risk of having prostate cancer by 76 percent. Pixabay