posion_statement_dairyfood - POSITION STATEMENT Dairy...

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May 2007 1 POSITION STATEMENT Dairy Foods, Calcium and Cancer Prevention Key Messages Calcium is an important nutrient for bone and dental health, with dairy foods being the major source of dietary calcium in Australia. Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are good sources of calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B 12 , magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. In terms of cancer risk, dairy foods and calcium have shown both protective and harmful effects. Overall the proven health benefits of dairy foods outweigh the unproven harms. The evidence suggests that dairy foods and calcium have a protective role in the prevention of colorectal cancer. There appears to be no significant association between the consumption of dairy products and the risk of breast or ovarian cancer. There is some evidence to suggest that a high consumption of dairy foods increases the risk of prostate cancer, but this is not conclusive. However this is not the case for calcium supplementation. Calcium supplementation may protect against prostate and colorectal cancer. However there is still insufficient evidence to recommend the general use of calcium supplements for cancer prevention. Dairy foods should be encouraged as part of a varied and nutritious diet as they are essential to maintain good bone and dental health. The Cancer Council supports the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which encourage people to eat at least three serves of dairy foods (milk, cheese and yoghurt) each day. The Cancer Council encourages people to choose reduced fat varieties of dairy foods where appropriate. Rationale Dairy foods provide the richest source of dietary calcium. 1 Dairy foods contain a high calcium content per serve and this calcium is well absorbed by the body. 1 Calcium from non-dairy sources is less concentrated, and therefore more of the food needs to be consumed to meet recommended levels. 2;3 Dairy foods also provide significant amounts of other nutrients including protein, vitamin A, vitamin B 12 , magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. In addition, dairy products contain conjugated linoleic acid, butyric acid, sphingolipids and 13-methyl tetradecanoic acid which may have anti-cancer properties. 4
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May 2007 2 The role of dairy foods in bone health is well established. In addition to playing an important role in the prevention of osteoporosis, dairy foods are essential for good dental health. There is also some evidence that dairy foods may play a role in weight regulation, 5 prevention of cardiovascular disease and in management of hypertension. 6 Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation regarding the relationship between dairy foods and cancer risk. It is important for The Cancer Council to evaluate the association between dairy foods, calcium and cancer risk in order to develop clear messages and recommendations. Evidence for the role of dairy foods in cancer mostly relates to prostate, colorectal and breast cancers, the most prevalent cancers
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posion_statement_dairyfood - POSITION STATEMENT Dairy...

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