Subject: Milk and Ovarian Cancer


>there is no particular advantage to milk, and there are several clear





>Carl V. Phillips, PhD

>University of Michigan School of Public Health



There is a higher risk of ovarian cancer in women who consume more lactose

and who have less of an enzyme to eliminate the galactose component of

lactose. There is good evidence that galactose is toxic to certain cells in

the ovary, called germ cells. Ovarian cancer is more common in northern

Europe than in Asian populations, and the consumption of milk products may

be the reason why.


When infants are breast feeding, they have a very high level of an enzyme

that breaks down galactose. But those enzymes drop to much lower levels

after the age of weaning. Lactose intolerance --- the loss of the ability

to digest lactose --- is probably protective in mammals because if lactose

is not digested it will not release galactose. Lactose in tolerance is

normal for mammals, including humans, and is not meant to be bypassed by the

use of artificial enzymes.


Women might want to consider getting their calcium from broccoli and beans,

rather than dairy products.


(excerpts from an interview with Daniel Cramer, MD, a researcher at Boston's

Brigham and Women's Hospital. These findings are from a 1989 study. New

evidence linking dairy products to endometriosis will be reported in a

journal called "Human Molecular Reproduction".)