Dr. Weil explains if women with breast cancer should avoid dairy products.
Very good question--dairy is probably not the best thing for breast cancer patients. First of all, many dairy products are high in fat and high-fat diets are associated with breast cancer and accelerated growth of breast cancer.
Dairy products, as they are produced here, are likely to have high levels of estrogenic hormones as a result of keeping cows in almost constant states of pregnancy and lactation, which is not a natural practice, but it’s the way that dairying is done in North America. And residues of those hormones are in the dairy products and might accelerate growth of tumors.
Non-organic milk here is likely the result of cows that have been treated with bovine growth hormone. Bovine growth hormone increases production in cows of another hormone called IGF-1, which is a tumor promoter, and residues of that get in the milk. So for all those reasons, I would say that breast cancer patients should probably minimize or avoid consumption of cow’s milk.
About Dr. Weil, M.D.:
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., was born in Philadelphia in 1942, received an A.B. degree in biology (botany) from Harvard in 1964 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health before writing his first book, The Natural Mind. From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease. From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants.