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Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

79 REPLIES 79
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

What about a Mediterranean food. Cancer is very low over there.

Rose x

Lemongrove
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Found this old thread while reading about the possible links between dairy and Breast Cancer, and decided to resurrect it, as it's very interesting.
Having read through the posts I tend to agree with MS Molly. As far as I'm aware, the link between milk consumption and breast cancer is unproven, so nobody really knows whether dairy should be included or excluded from the diet. But the problem with Plant's book is that it could lead some people to believe there are scientific grounds for excluding dairy products, as it presents itself in a quasi-scientific way (some say psuedo-scientific way). As a result, this could lead people to make drastic dietary changes that may have no benefit at all on the basis of one persons unproven theory.
Personally, I tend to be very cynical about dietary advice, because there is so much vested interest out there. The vegetarian/animal rights lobby have been very successful at getting their message out (especially on the internet). Likewise, the food and farming industry have enormous power, because of their importance to the economy, and well honed political lobby. If they didn't the high sugar/fat/chemical ladden foods they peddle would have been outlawed years ago. I disagree with MS Molly in her assertion that the food industry does not have this power. The point she made about the Government allowing Cadbury to be taken over, does not prove that the food industry is weak - in fact, it suggests quite the reverse. Allowing Cadbury to be taken over by an American company simply showed how impotent the Government was in protecting our domestic econonomy from global capitalism.
So, is there any benefit to going dairy free? Answer = Don't know.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hi,

I have been dairy free for over a year now and couldn't go back to eating it if I wanted to. The reason is that milk/dairy products really smell bad to me. It's a bit like smokers who don't appreciate how much their cigarette smoke stinks. It is only when people give them up that they appreciate this. So be warned, if you do decide to give dairy free a try there may be no going back.....

Snoogle
x

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

If it was as simple as going Dairy Free or anything else free, why don't the hospitals/ GPs just hand out a diet sheet. If you feel better by going on any "diet" as long as it is giving you all the nurtitional things you need then why not. But until there is conclusive evidence that going on a "diet" will definately help then I will eat as I do now. That is I am trying to eat more fruit and veg and less fats, more to lose some weight.

I know lots on here are quoting Jane Plant, I have not read this book, or any other "cut this out and you will be better" book. These fads tend to come and go (remember the Atkins diet, cambridge diet).

I prefer to put my trust in the tried and tested hands of my oncologist who knows more about cancer than I do and has seen more cancer than I ever want to.

Marian

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I've not read Ms Plant's book, but frankly it strikes me that the difference between western diets and Chinese are more than just dairy. For a start off they don't have ovens,so nothing baked or roasted, and what about all the rice they eat! Still given the pollution levels in that country it does make you think.

I'm a great believer in an everything in moderation approach. Having said that, I've been a vegetarian for 20+ years and do eat a lot of cheese, so this is what I've decided to do

1. Switch to eating more organic diary
2. Change from my daily cheese sandwich for lunch to a more varied choice
3. Continue not to eat soya as I can't stand the stuff
4. Continue to add a tablespoon of linseeds to my home made bread
5. Grow my own fruit and veg in the garden
6. Try to lose the 1/2 stone I've put on during treatment
7. Continue to enjoy the odd glass of wine
8. Not to stress too much about any of it!

Lemongrove
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Of course, it's a case of each to their own. But my Doctors have told me that it makes no difference what you eat - and frankly, as a stage 4 person, I don't want to spend my last few years depriving myself of food that I enjoy.

elinda45
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Thanks very much Linda for the clarification and the list. I am definitely not going to reduce my intake of any of those though - they are all things I regularly eat and to me are preferable to other less healthy options I might choose. I've already cut out sugar, coffee, alcohol, dairy and red meat and I can't cut out any more.

One thing all this debate has done is galvanised me to get out the juicer again. Had broccoli, celery, carrot, melon and apple juice yesterday. Looked terrible but tasted nice.

Elinda x

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

so... all the stuff we're generally told is incredibly good for us???
yeesh, you just can't win, can you?

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hi Elinda,
There are quite a few foods that contain some phytoestrogens , but there are some foods that have a much, much higher content than others , (soya is known to have very high amounts) ive copied below a list of the foods which have the highest content, it would be almost impossible to eliminate all foods that have phytoestrogens in them but for me i try to limit my intake as much as i possibly can .
The changes ive made in my life is a personal decision on how i feel about the oestrogen/ chemical overload in our world today, and i understand that not everyone will feel the same on these issues,we all have our own views, i just dont feel comfortable adding more oestrogens to my diet than nessessary when i am trying to limit the amount in my body.

Table 1. Foods high in phytoestrogen content.
Phytoestrogen food sources Phytoestrogen content (µg/100g)
Flax seed
379380
Soy beans
103920
Tofu
27150.1
Soy yogurt
10275
Sesame seed
8008.1
Flax bread
7540
Multigrain bread
4798.7
Soy milk
2957.2
Hummus
993
Garlic
603.6
Mung bean sprouts
495.1
Dried apricots
444.5
Alfalfa sprouts
441.4
Dried dates
329.5
Sunflower seed
216
Chestnuts
210.2
Olive oil
180.7
Almonds
131.1
Green bean
105.8
Peanuts
34.5
Onion
32
Blueberry
17.5
Corn
9
Coffee, regular
6.3
Watermelon
2.9
Milk, cow
1.2

all the best to all
Linda

elinda45
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Thanks for the links to the recipe sites - they are excellent and some more interesting recipes there.

I've decided to continue with soya if no other reason than it stops me eating fat laden foods like cheese, chocolate, lattes etc. I totally agree with having things in moderation but having very little willpower it is better for me (and my husband) if we cut things out.
(Jansman - that was the link thank you)

Linda I think you make a good point about what we know and what we do. None of us wants to hear that things we like aren't good for us. It makes me feel quite angry sometimes as I feel it's bad enough for example having been diagnosed with cancer then to be told that drinking alcohol is associated with increased risk.

Having the cancer diagnosis has really opened my eyes to what I was eating. I never had a terrible diet but I used to think someday I must improve what I eat. The diagnosis has made me look at everything differently and with regard to food for the better. We keep saying why didn't we change our diet years ago.

We don't have a huge garden but we're growing some of our own veg and have just bought miniature apple trees that we're growing in containers. We're even trying to track down an allotment space. Having had lots of home grown tomatoes last year it was a revelation - they were delicious and so much better than from the supermarket. So much of what we're offered by supermarkets has little taste or good texture that it's not surprising that many of us are topping up with the addictive combinations of fat, salts and sugars.

I'd like to ask a question. I thought that many foods contained phytooestrogens such as cereals, nuts etc or have I got that wrong? Also very many processed products contain soy.

Elinda

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hello
this is a really interesting thread. I was sorry it got a bit 'testy' at one point, but I guess that's just a reflection of the strength of feeling about the subject.
For me, the problem is living day to day, week in, week out, with the implications of my own bc, and making sense of it and how I deal with it.
I don't see myself as an academic, although I have a somewhat academic background, and my take on 'scientific facts' is that a 'fact' is valid until it is disproved by a new 'scientific fact', which for me invalidates, to a degree, the whole notion of scientific validity. Its why, having read Jane Plant and David Servan Shrieber, I still hark back to what Susan Love puts forward - we don't actually know what causes bc or what can cure or prevent it.
I don't go for the dairy free hypothesis because I see it as flawed science, in that its too tightly focussed and doesn't take into account the wider picture. Just prior to my first diagnosis there was a piece on local news about all the fish in the upper Tees becoming female, due to the amount of oestrogen in the river. The supposition was that the amount of oestrogen was due to female hormones entering the water system directly from women on the pill and those using tampons. That kind of stuck with me, and a few months later when I was diagnosed (March 1997) I talked about it a bit until I realised that people weren't taking me seriously, and shut up!
The point I'm making is that theories come and go and we are stuck in the position of having to live with this disease and find a way to move forward .
Lots of us are in very different positions, from those of us newly diagnosed to those of us with extensive secondaries, and each will have a different perspective, and we need to respect that and hopefully value it.
I did a fairly lighthearted posting a few pages ago about 'moderation in all things' but actually, its a serious point - we don't know what complex series of events has caused our own personal cancer stories, so I don't know how we can make a scientific judgment about how to avoid further disease, or promote any kind of 'cure'. I think, in the 21st century, we are uncomfortable with the notion that we don't yet understand causation and therefore cure/prevention, but thats where we are right now.
For me, personally, its a case of looking at my own situation (recurrence after 12 years, mutated from grade 1 to 3, always been ER+++ - I know that it is likely to recur again or metastasise within the next few years) and deciding what I need to take me forward. So I'm having every treatment available to me, and then I'm returning to an adaptation of the lifestyle I have had, the adaptation being a reduction of work and an increase of play, so that I have the best chance of a good life. I'll eat and drink what I feel like eating and drinking, and what I feel keeps me healthy, but I'm not obsessing about it or getting hung up on specific issues until there's evidence that convinces me.
I hope everyone finds their own route through all this and isn't troubled or concerned about the routes others put forward. Every cancer, every body, and every person's context IS different. We need to all respect that and focus on supporting each other.
sorry, this has been a long posting
monica xx

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hello,

For those who prefer to read about diets and cancer from writers with a medical/scientific background, I would like to recommend the book Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life by Dr David Servan Schreiber. He is a French/American neurologist who had surgery, radiation and chemo for a brain tumour, and again for a recurrence seven years later. When the recurrence happened, he decided to look beyond the usual western protocols for answers. I trust him because he definitely has an agenda: he is a cancer patient, and he wants to live as long as he can in good health. He is also a western-trained doctor, with a keen bullsh*t meter.

He writes about diet and our western environment, about the industrialisation of food production in the last six decades, the massive increase in use of pesticides and fungicides in the food chain which coincides with western increases in cancers of all types. He does not pretend to have all the answers, but he has pulled together into one book all the case studies, lab experiments and population studies about foods and environmental toxins that he could find. And he's written about the tested benefits of excercise and mental/emotional training to reduce stress on the body's immune system.

Another subject I would recommend people look into is salvestrols, one of which is resveratrol, the substance in grape skins that is considered to be anti-cancer. The scientists researching salvestrols believe that these are the vital components of a plant's immune system, which enable it to fight off disease, and from which humans benefit when we eat them. The theory behind the development of salvestrols for cancer is linked again to industrialised farming, and the belief that because of widespread and longtime use of pesticides and fungicides, the plants grown for food no longer need to fight diseases themselves, so the plants' immune systems have gone to sleep. So, even if we eat lots of vegetables, humans may no longer be getting the immune benefit from these plants that our grandparents' generations did. This may apply even to organically grown vegetables today, if they are strains that have been heavily industrially farmed over recent decades.

The scientists working on the salvestrols theory are growing older varieties of fruits and vegetables (organically), these are varieties which have never been industrially farmed, and therefore retain their immune properties to recognise and kill off diseased cells. I started taking salvestrols soon after my diagnosis 4 years ago, and I will not stop, because the theory makes sense to me.

For those who insist on controlled scientific studies for solid proof before you will believe ideas about the relationships between foods and cancers, well I think you will never get the proofs you want. This is because nature cannot be patented, so the companies that could afford to run the necessary research trials cannot be bothered to do so, because they cannot profit from the results.

The hard truth for patients to hear is that pharmaceutical companies profit from selling drugs that, in many cases, try to mimic nature. If they find a substance from nature that seems effective to fight some disease or other, they invest a lot of lab time and money into developing a synthetic version of that substance, making enough changes to the molecules here and there, so their new lab-created subtances can be patented - because they are not natural. And that is what makes them profits.

Dr Schreiber's advice seems the most balanced and sensible to me: do the surgery, do the radiation and do the chemo, but do more than these: consider also the contributions that diet, excercise and mental attitude can contribute to ongoing wellness.

Best wishes,
Buckwheat

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Be kind to each other ladies, topics quite often get heated on here with different opinions but all members views should be respected .

This topic has been discussed many times before on the forums, and quite rightly people will have very different views on many subjects, it is good that we can all put our points of view accross as it gives different perspectives on issues that are of interest us.
I think we should all remember that none of us here are experts, we research, discuss ,toss ideas about, and come to our own conclusions on what we feel we believe to be the right path for us as indivuals.
Im personaly not convinced on the non diary issue, so i will continue to use dairy albeit organic , untill such times that there is concrete evidence that it is a contributing factor in occurance of BC.
It does puzzle me though that on the PROVEN, risk factors that we are not always so quick to alter our lifestyles, How many of us have given up drinking? im not saying that anyone should , but we know this to be a definate risk factor, and yet a lot of us continue to do it, so are we just picking and choosing what we alter? thinking that we are helping ourselves anyway.I wonder how many people who have given up dairy still continue to drink? im just trying to make a point and not preaching honestly.
At the end of the day for me like others im a firm believer in moderation in all things.

Cancer sadly is on the increase and is expected to rise by 30% in the next 10-20yrs though survial rates are getting better, but why is this ? its not good enough ,if we look back 50 yrs most people didnt know anyone who had cancer, people were poorer but healthier, people had allotments grew there own veg, ate apples off the trees ect . Today our apples are waxed to be shiny on super market shelves, you can buy bread that lasts 2 weeks, canned goods that have a 3yr shelf life, our crops are all sprayed with pestisides ,is it just a coincidence that farmers have a high rate of cancer? its not natural is it? on top of this chemicals in everything we use, so called safe products (of course they are it is the 21st centery after all), but still many many products that we use daily have been found to contain known carcinogics. another good book to read is "Not Just A Pretty Face" if anyone is interested.
For me Dairy if anything would have a very minimal impact if any at all on cancer development,we shouldnt forget that milk has always been considered a important part of our diet, should we not feed our babies milk ?because if its not safe for us then it surely isnt for our babies.
We cant all go live on a desert island and be self sufficiant so whatever we all decide to change is up to each of us, but life is too enjoy and i intend too.
As for soya, personaly i wouldnt touch it with a barge pole,( ive read the studies for and against) and for me anything that contains high amounts of phytoestrogens is not something that i want to eat, yes the east has lower cancer rates than the west but again many of their lifestyle/genetic factors are different to ours ,not just soya consumption.
Its great to hear everyones views on here, whatever side of the fence your comeing from.
All the best
Linda

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Thanks for a great discussion. Have been reading a couple of these books and it's good to get other opinions.

I do think my diet will be changed for good after this. Very emotive subject.

LOL Jayne xx

katinthemiddle
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Thanks for the recipes Scaryfox
x

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hi Elinda,

Thanks for reminding me about the earlier post. It was this one: http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=24726&p=383854

The thing is that, despite that study, we are still nervous about it. Perhaps that's just an irrational fear; I think I need to look into that one more deeply. There is of course the issue that the study was on Chinese women, who may have some relevant genetic differences compared to Europeans.

Also, thanks for the other link. (I think it may relate to the same study in fact.)

Edit: Goodness, my memory is rubbish. Now it is all coming back to me. Thanks Elinda for putting me back on track; this is important!

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Definately looks like one for the wishlist, lots of excellent reviews on Amazon (co.uk and com) - thanks!

Also wanted to thank Elwood for the recipe site http://www.garlicandginger.net - hoping to try some of these out soon!

Here's also another one I use - most recipes are dairy-free:
http://www.naturalrecipes.co.uk/search_for_recipes.html

SF

katinthemiddle
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hope you don't mind me jumping in here but thought I would mention a very interesting read called "Cancer - Step Outside The Box" by Ty Bollinger.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Bit afraid to post on here again after the ticking off from the BCC moderator!

Finty, Annys, nice to hear I'm not the only cynical one when it comes to government info.

Wanted to second (or third) the recommendations made for David Servan-Schreiber's Anti Cancer book - I thought it was excellent. Reading that led me to The China Study and also Foods to Fight Cancer by Richard Béliveau - all three were fascinating, and gave me hope, not that I could cure my cancer totally with diet (too late for that I fear) but that I could at least improve my chances a little bit. Perhaps I'll give Jane Plant another look... it's been a while since I read that one.

Read quite a few other books too - many seem to think soy is safe - but that it's the derivative/supplements that can be risky.

* Disclaimer: All comments made within this posting concern Scaryfox's own personal opinions/experience/musings and are no substitute for professional expert advice 😉

SFx

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Thannks Elinda

that's the first time I've read that and it's good news. I think their qualification at the bottom about other contributory factors is also very valid. There is no one thing at play here, and taking loads of soy is not a single cure for all breast cancer.

I'll be continuing to eat my tofu curries, soya yogurts and porridge made with soya milk. Still eating small amounts of cheese and milk in tea and coffee though.

Helen.

elinda45
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Here is a link on soy and BC and also discusses tamoxifen:
http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/new_research/20091208.jsp

I found this quite reassuring and use soya daily.
Elinda x

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Gosh, this got a bit heated didn't it?

I've skim read Jane Plant's book and found it worrying, but came to the conclusion that the only way to follow her recommendations is to set up camp on a dessert island and have no interaction with anyone or anything modern. Perhaps there is something or more likely somethings in our modern life which is causing this epidemic of cell failure, not limited to breast cancer. But here we are and here we stay and have to get on with some sort of quality of life in the 21st century.

I'd rather not spend my life worrying about everything I do or everything I put in my mouth but it is always a good idea to be sensible about it. I've never eaten junk food, and if you ever really look at the garbage ingredients of all these ready meals, it's shocking. I'm finding it more and more difficult to get food without hidden additives - I even found so called organic peanut butter in my health food shop which contained palm oil - not only is this bad for us, is ecologically wrong too.

My onc and breast surgeon both said the only clinically proven links for breast cancer are:
obesity
alcohol
high fat foods (this might include high fat dairy products)
early menarche (periods)
no children nor breastfeeding
late menopause.

I'm not saying that nothing else is responsible, just that it's all conjecture at the moment.

I've cut down on dairy products, mostly because I don't think it's generally healthy to eat too much and I'm trying to lose weight. And I've increased soya products because I think it's healthy generally and has benefits. My bc is the highest positive for oestrogen that you can get, but I still think the soya is worth it (and soya yogurts are better than milk ones!). I would never take phytoestrogen supplements, though.

Helen.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I have been reading this thread with great interest because I have just finished Plant’s book, after reading it twice. I read it twice because I wanted to really understand all her assertions. Finty really has expressed everything I feel beautifully. I have cut back on dairy, no milk, butter or cheese, unless it can’t be helped when eating out. What Plant says, backed up by peer-reviewed scientists from establishments such as Oxford and Harvard, is persuasive. I have never been a milk drinker, having been revolted at seeing a cow being milked on my grandmother’s farm when I was four. The smell and seeing where the milk came from seemed to my little mind totally revolting. (With hindsight how sensible I seem!) My parents were frantic to get me to drink milk and eat cheese to no avail, until I discovered milky coffee as a young adult. I resisted cheese and yogurt for many years until about 5 years ago. Since then I have scoffed them, especially cheese, until my dx last Dec. I have gone back to my former ways of no yogs, cheese as a topping in cooking once in a blue moon and no milky coffees. I had started drinking soy milky coffees, which are delicious, but am now worried about nullifying the effects of tamoxifen. However, my hospital dietician said one glass a day would have no effect…but still. As far as calcium is concerned, loads of green veg contain calcium and Plant does stress it’s important to prevent calcium loss in the form of exercise and eating foods that retain calcium in the diet in the fight against osteoporosis.
Finty and Scaryfox are quite right about the powerful effects of the food industry on gov decisions. I remember Edwina Currie telling the nation the truth about the state of egg production in this country and the absolute furore that arose as people stopped buying eggs. She was sacked for telling the truth because the egg industry slated the gov and I have never believed gov statistics since that and BSE, when a gov minister force fed a burger to his child in an effort to persuade us that eating British beef was safe.
The problem I feel is that our food has become industrialised. Our grandparents drank full fat milk with few effects because cows were allowed to eat grass unpolluted with pesticides, and had no insulin growth factors running through the milk produced as an effect of over milking pregnant cows. I want to make a change in my diet and eating more plants can’t be unhealthy. It makes me feel as if I am controlling my cancer and not allowing it to control me. I listened to that clip from the BBC link in an earlier post and found it so depressing that the only reason the expert could say why I had cancer was because I was statistically unlucky. If I allowed myself to believe that I had my cancer because I was unlucky I’d probably give up all hope and fade away. Reading Plant’s book and the excellent David Schreiber-Seven’s anti cancer diet book have given me hope that I can control my cancer not recurring – by eating healthily. We evolved to eat a diet mainly based on plants, with a small amount of meat. Dairy consumption has only been around since farming was invented, not that long ago in the evolution of human beings.
Sorry for the long post but it’s such an interesting topic!! Good luck to everyone on their own particular diets.
Annys

elinda45
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Thanks for the links Jansman, they are very interesting. I was surprised about your thoughts on soya as I thought it was you who posted the research on that recently (?) which was positive about soya intake.

I think this site is absolutely about discussing these issues, sharing ideas and evidence (if we have any). I have read postings on this site that have been inaccurate about a number of things. That's how it is when most of us are not experts on issues. I for one would hate it if women felt that they needed to be academics to post. Let's continue to share ideas please.
elinda x

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hi,

Geochemist's are goelogist's.They analyse soil,rock to monitor developments in the earths composition and get information about age,nature and structure of locations.Nothing to do with medical science.Everything in moderation,that's what I keep telling myself,then the cheese calls me to the fridge.Oh well tomorrow's another day 😉

Best wishes Mel xx

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I haven't read all this thread, but just to say i haven't eaten dairy for about 5 years and still i find myself here...so i would say that there is 'no' beneftit in not eating dairy!

HC xx

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Some academic research references:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19491385 in 2009, reports no observable link between dairy intake and breast cancer in a study of 319,826 women.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15213021 in 2004, reports a meta-study and concludes that there is no evidence of a link between dairy and BC, though it suggests there may be a link between fat intake and BC.

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=585636 studied 521,468 men and women regarding nutritional links to cancer, and mentions that a daily fat intake of 35g may double the risk of breast cancer compared to women with daily intake of 10g or less. It does not mention a link specifically with dairy products, but I don't think they were looking at that.

We have considered dietary changes, but are not happy about switching to soy products (which could possibly have a role to play in the low incidence in China) as my wife's BC was ER positive and there are of course concerns about phyto-oestrogens.

It is all so damn complicated.

belinda
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Jane Plant threads are always lively... lolly73..yes I agree with you...absolutely.
Enjoy your lunch ladies...whatever you're eating..and drinking..xx

lolly73
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

If we listened to everything we were told not to eat and drink because it gives us cancer etc, then we would never eat or drink anything. It seems that everything is bad for us these days, but the important factor is that in moderation everything is fine.

finty
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

scaryfox - I completely agree with you. Expecting the government to make any sort of comment about the safety of dairy products is ridiculous - remember Edwina Currie and the egg fiasco? Never going to happen - and most cancer charities just follow the same guidelines, with no original research. Govt guidelines will always be to eat a varied balanced diet - just like I have done all my life, and here I am with bc. This will always be a very minority health issue, and I doubt there will be any change in our life time. I don't expect a link with bc to get any traction outside the bc community - it will always be something those with bc will need to decide for themselves, although I am aware of oncs now that do subscribe to the theory and recommend going dairy free - although I don't credit them with having any more specific knowledge than a well informed patient on the issue.

I do however think dismissing the link as junk science is irrational. There is never going to be a double blind trial that proves the link - it can't happen. Even if it were possible, it would immediately be a lightning rod for every commercial interest it would damage. So what are we left with? Just as the links with obesity and alcohol - well accepted here, probably quite correctly - are based on correlations, so is the dairy link - it's just that the correlations are significantly more marked with dairy. They may be just that - a correlation with no causation, we currently have no way of knowing for certain. But I do find Prof Plant's presentation of many highly respected, peer-reviewed research projects that she meticulously documents in her book - she is a geochemist by the way, not a geologist - is a starting point. She identifies possible culprits - specifically Insulin Like Growth Factors - that have been shown in laboratory trials to cause cell malfunction. It's a long way to proving a link, but as I don't ever expect to get that proof, for me personally, the circumstantial evidence is strong enough to make a diet change a reasonable choice. Even if the chance of her being right is only 1 in 10, that amounts to the choice most people make in regards to smoking - a no-brainer for many people.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Personally, I believe it more than likely that it was being on HRT for many years, combined with a great deal of stress, which caused my bc, not dairy or anything else in my diet. I have changed to organic milk/yoghurt (because of growth hormones) but apart from that, I am going to carry on with dairy, as to eliminate it from my diet would cause me more stress. I enjoy it! I tried eliminating it some years ago, when on a detox diet and ended up with a stomach upset.

If I knew then what I know now about taking HRT for many years, I would not have done so. I was told it was ok by my GP and didn't really bother to check it out. I knew there was a slight risk but have since read that it doubles the chances. That I did not know!

Ann x

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Ladies,

As this thread is becoming somewhat heated could I please remind you of our Community Guidelines:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/forum/community-guidelines-please-read-t25601.html

In particular points 1 and 2: 1) Be kind to each other and 2)Celebrate difference and disagree respectfully.

Debate is good but not when it starts to become personal.

Jo, Facilitator

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I have read David Sevan Screiber. A lady at the yoga group at the local cancer support centre recommended the book. I found it compelling reading. He was a very lucky man that his cancer was found at the stage it was and in the way it was.

Its been a while since I've read either Jane Plant or Screiber's books. I may give them both a re-read.

Take care all,

Snoogle
x

marial
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Hi, it seems to be getting a bit personal now. A shame.

I read Jane Plant in 2003, but found it too difficult to follow her plan, now I am back.....
Has anyone read David Sevan Screiber ?
http://www.anticancerbook.com/story.html

We are all here together fighting the same thing, each one of us does what she (or he) thinks is best.
Be gentle, be kind
Love to all
Maria

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I'm posting on a forum, not writing a research paper! Neither have I ever claimed to be an expert, simply posting readily available (wikipedia!) links for DISCUSSION - not insisting they are FACT!

I'm not claiming anything, or misleading anyone - I'm asking questions ???? and trying to start a discussion, because I'm interested in what others think about the subject, and finding out if anyone else has the same fears/opinions as I do. Maybe not, as unfortunately it seems to be mostly you (msmolly) and I posting now!

Women use this site for information - well there are sections of the site containing information yes, produced by BCC. But this part is a forum, which I thought were for discussion, exchange of ideas, making friends, chat, support. I thought we were free to express our opinions, not worry that thousands of women might believe a random forum poster might be some kind of authority on a subject!

I don't spend time worrying about conspiracy theories. All I'm saying is I don't believe everything I read (including Jane Plant, incidently) - my masters course taught me to question, look for bias, etc, though it's true, I haven't time or energy to scour all the citations of that wikipedia article right now. (But anyone I might be 'misleading' is free to do so and draw their own conclusions.) I just (personally) believe that profit comes before safety/health of individuals for most organisations. Sorry if that upsets anyone with a more rosy view of the world - I'll shut up now. Just call me cynical, and be happy 🙂

finty
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

The evidence may not be to your satisfaction, and I wonder what your credentials are, but there is evidence connecting high IGF-I levels and breast cancer.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

How peculiar. I am not having a heart attack at all.

I dislike misinformation and unsupported claims. I don't like people being led up the garden path with bogus cherry picked statistics.
If people supported their claims with any kind of decent evidence then it might be worth debating them. But as always happens with this discussion we encounter conspiracy theories and pseudo-science and misquoted statistics.

This site is used by thousands of women for information.
Scaryfox you may not feel it is important to ensure that your claims are accurate - but I do.

You cited a study in support of your argument but the study DIDN'T support your argument. You misread the stat and the evidence.
It is obvious you didn't bother to read my post in its entirety - if you did you would have seen that only 5% of Northern Europeans are lactose intolerant - so yes, in response to your comment, only a tiny minority of us ARE lactose intolerant.

And degree of intolerance is crucially important - saying it isn't is like saying a mild headache is the same as a crippling migraine or indigestion is the same as chronic acid reflux.

You used the Eatwell photo to make a claim about - well, I am not entirely sure what. But then you won't bother to look at the website and see what the FSA are ACTUALLY saying about diet and health and nutrition. Why ever not?

As I have said a couple of times already on this thread I really don't care what people eat or don't eat. If people feel that controlling their diet empowers them in regard to this disease then fabulous - do whatever you have to do.
But when people are told that being dairy free will cure cancer (Jane Plant) it makes me sick. When women with cancer feel guilty because they fancy some red meat or an ice cream that makes me angry because they have got enough to deal with already.

There is plenty of evidence about alcohol and breast cancer. There is plenty of evidence about obesity and breast cancer.
But dairy? Nope.

I wish everyone luck with their treatments.

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

This was always going to be a controversial topic with ladies on both sides of the fence.
I have read Jane Plants book & found it very interesting, but I think (for me) it would be almost impossible to follow her Plan. Cutting Dairy out is only a small part of her advice, with there being 10 lifestyles factors to follow in all (if memory serves). For example - I can't imagine being able to do a family shop avoiding all plastic packaging! It's on everything!

I have, however, cut out most dairy. Not necessarily because of what I read in the book, but I was put off milk after reading various info on what's in it! I'm not a cheese, chocolate or yoghurt lover, so milk & marg are all the changes I've really made. I don't stress too much about it tho...if I fancy a latte I have one & if I'm out for a meal I don't go looking for the dairy free option.

Hxx

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Steady on - don't give yourself a heart attack!

I'm not even going to bother looking at the rest of the eatwell site after seeing the food/pie chart. But I do envy your confidence that large governments/organisations actually care about us as individuals.

I'm too tired to argue more about lactose intolerance - it's late. What does it matter to what degree they are intolerant? If humans were evolved to eat it then only a tiny minority would have any problems at all.

Anyway we all seem to be in agreement about one thing on this thread, that dairy is likely only one of a multitude of things which might affect cancer risk/growth, so if you love it that much, enjoy.

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Scaryfox - have you read ANY of the information on the Eatwell site? http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/
If you did bother to read all of it you would see that the FSA goes to great pains to encourage people to limit their fat, sugar and salt intake.
The site also has a section on cancer and it highlights the importance of increased consumption of brown rice and vegetables etc. Does this mean that the evil Government is in league with the fruit and veg "industry" to con us into eating more veg?!

The only people who regard dairy products as some kind of evil toxin are people like yourself who subscribe to a position established by Jane Plant, T Colin Campbell etc. And, with respect, you are in a minority. Most people regard dairy as a nutritious food stuff that plays a hugely valuable role in a well balanced diet.
So do nutritionists recommend it? Yes of course they do.

I was being facetious about the shady thing - but ok. If you want to believe that money-grubbing sweetie manufacturers are conspiring with Government to make us all ill then there probably isn't much more that could be said on the subject.
This Govt wouldn't bail out Cadbury's when it was being sold off to the Americans - yet you still believe that the confectionary industry and the Govt are in cahoots? This is the same Govt that runs the NHS and would actually prefer us all to be healthy and cancer free. It is spending millions of £££ trying to stop the nation from turning into fat blimps. And yet you think that there is some conspiracy at work which favours the food industry over human health?

Incidentally, I hope that the 75% lactose intolerance thing is now clear to you so we can limit the perpetuation of misinformation.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Re the shady stuff - it's not that simple. Money is far more important to companies/organisations than the health of individuals, surely?

And who are these FSA nutritionists? I've never met or heard of a nutritionist who advises that amount of sweets/dairy. And the chart clearly says "should" and not that it's just for treats.

Don't get me wrong, I eat chocolate (vegan) and the odd gluten free cake 😉 And I don't beat myself up about it because I'm not perfect. But if I consult a nutritionist (which I do, frequently!) I expect to be told which foods will BENEFIT my health, and which won't. Whether I follow that advice to the tee is up to me.

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

"Approximately 75% of the world's population loses the ability to completely digest a physiological dose of lactose after infancy".

This does not say that 75% of adults are lactose intolerant. The study cited suggests that 75% of the world's population, once they reach adulthood, are not as capable of digesting lactose as effectively as they did when they were children.
This is not the same as full on lactose intolerance. In fact in Northern Europe they say it is only 5% because we have historically developed the ability to digest milk as we have come from pastoral communities.

"However, certain human populations have a mutation on chromosome 2 which eliminates the shutdown in lactase production, making it possible for members of these populations to continue consumption of fresh milk and other dairy products throughout their lives without difficulty. This appears to be an evolutionarily recent adaptation to dairy consumption, and has occurred independently in both northern Europe and east Africa in populations with a historically pastoral lifestyle."

So basically 95% of Northern Europeans have no problem digesting dairy whatsoever because we have a gut that over 1000s of years adjusted itself to accommodate it in adulthood. Isn't the human body amazing?

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

They aren't recommending we eat junk at all - they are saying that there is still room for treats within a well-balanced healthy diet so that we don't all have to live like buddhist monks.

How is this keeping "industry" happy? Do you honestly believe that there is some evil cabal of sweetie manufacturers in league with shady elements of the government plotting to give us all cancer by promoting naughty foods?
The FSA works to monitor and prevent additives in our food etc. They are not the enemy.

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Lactose intolerance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance

Appreciate that wikipedia might not be the most reliable source there is, but have come across similar statistics all over the place. Know plenty of people personally who have problems digesting it, so I don't find it that hard to believe! I'm no expert though so if anyone else has evidence that this is a load of b*ll then please post!

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Sweeties = no health benefit, so why is it recommended we eat them at all? Fair enough, we all do stuff that isn't good for us, like smoke/drink, but that's at our own risk. But this (government approved) chart tells us we 'should' eat a certain amount of junk. Can't think of any other reason but to keep the food industries happy... as we certainly don't NEED junk in our diet, tasty as it is.

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

That looks like a proportionally well balanced diet to me.

The Eatwell chart has been developed by FSA nutritionists to advise a nation that is plummeting into gross obesity and it does the job quite effectively I think.

"The Food Standards Agency is an independent Government department set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food."
So where exactly does "industry" come into this? It is the complete antithesis of industry!

Incidentally obesity - unlike dairy products - has a proven link to breast cancer risk.

Who on earth is claiming that 75% of people are lactose intolerant? That has to be the single most bogus statistic I have ever heard.

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

In case some haven't read The China Study and become as cynical as me 😉

The Food Standards Agency 'eatwell' plate:
http://www.food.gov.uk/images/pagefurniture/ewplatelargefeb10.jpg

Look how much sugar and dairy we 'should' be eating. Whereas I thought refined sugar had no nutritional value whatsoever? And plenty of cultures around the world do just fine without ANY dairy! (Around 75% are thought to be lactose intolerant). Are these proportions optimal for our health, or for industry do you reckon?

moser
Member

Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I certainly don't see going dairy free as a miracle cure (or prevention) I also think that if i took action to avoid everything that is identified as likely to be associated with Bc then I would never eat anything and be miserable. But after a regional recurrence in 2008, 4 years after dx and mx and anc this time with + nodes in pectoral muscle and her2+, I decided, after reading Plant's book and thinking carefully about it, that even if there was no guarantee, I owed it to myself to go as dairy free as i could if there was even a chance that it might help. I had lived for cheese and lattes for years! I now eat as little dairy as possible, but don't stress if it is impossible (e.g. on holiday in Moscow where i had no idea what contained dairy and what did not) and I do have some soya products (but not loads). I prefer soya milk in my tea and coffee now! I don't know whether going dairy free has helped or not, will never know. But it just feels "right" to me, so i will do it.And in the end that's all we can do - what feels right for us.

Guest user
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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

I read the J Plant Book, I remain unconvinced that one single cause could be responsible for my BC.
Overall, I lead a "healthy" lifestyle, don't drink, don't smoke, not obese etc. I wouldn't dream of feeling guilty for getting BC because I consumed dairy. However, I would like to see more independent research, but fear the pharmaceutical and food giants have a strong hold on what data we have access to. xxxTina

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Re: Is there a benefit in going DAIRY FREE?

Plant's scentific credentials in the field of medicine are not impressive at all. In fact she has none. She is a geologist.

I have a perfectly open mind Finty - I am just not impressed by bad science. And this is really bad science. The one thing I have learned since being diagnosed with this disease is that every charlatan and quack out there is trying to peddle some idea that will cure cancer.
I want facts from well researched extensive peer-reviewed studies.
I would rather listen to the considered, informed advice of Cancer Research and Breakthrough Breast Cancer than the anecdote of a geologist.

Breast cancer is not one disease it is many. Not all conventional treatments work on all cancers and yet we are supposed to believe that excluding dairy products alone will have some impact on ALL types of cancer regardless of individual pathology?
That is what Plant is claiming. It is ridiculous.

Plant is NOT simply putting forward a hypothesis - she has published books claiming to prevent both breast cancer and prostate cancer. The "No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program" is not a hypothesis. She is making very serious claims here. Life and death ones. And if you are going to make those claims then (especially if you are a scientist) you had better back them up with some hard core evidence.

How come Plant is now suddenly such an expert on prostate cancer? Depression? Osteoporosis? And all these other books she has suddenly authored. She is not a doctor. She is not a medical researcher. Why should I listen to her any more than I should be impressed by the anecdote from my neighbour that 40 fags a day keep her healthy?

I have never understood this idea that milk is not designed for adult human consumption. We as a species make use of all manner of things on this planet for our survival. You might as well say that we shouldn't eat seafood. Or legumes. Or nuts. Or rabbits. Or anything!
My grandmother's generation drank loads and loads of full fat unpasteurised milk, ate loads of butter and cheese.
And they had lower rates of breast cancer than we do.
So how does that figure in Plant's theories?

What people include or exclude in their diet is entirely their look out - but I do take exception to women being made to feel "guilty" for wanting to eat cheese in case they do the "wrong thing". I feel for them because there is NO evidence that dairy and cancer are linked at all and they are putting themselves under unnecessary pressure and denying themselves pleasures at a time in their life when they should just be enjoying food and enjoying life.

(Yes Elwood - veggy all my life and then vegan for 9 years. Now veggy again with occasional fish.)