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Is there a link between dairy and pancreatic cancer?

Posted by: Comms 3 June 2014

Research study suggests no increased risk of pancreatic cancer from moderate consumption of dairy products, calcium and vitamin D

Links between food and cancer often make the headlines. But we recently spotted a research study on dairy products and pancreatic cancer risk we thought was interesting, showing dairy consumption in moderation causes no increased risk of pancreatic cancer. The study was conducted by an international group of researchers using data from 'The Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer' and was published in the June edition of the Annals of Oncology Journal.

The researchers looked at data from 14 prospective cohort studies, which are studies that follow people over a period of time. The studies used in this analysis looked at people's dietary intake and had recorded any cases of pancreatic cancer that developed as part of the study. The analysis included data from 862,680 individuals, among which there were 2212 cases of pancreatic cancer.

In previous research the association between consumption of dairy products and pancreatic cancer has been inconsistent. This pooled analysis found that moderate intake of dairy products, calcium and vitamin D during adulthood were not associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

As a charity we believe it is important to find out as much as possible about the causes of pancreatic cancer, and any ways to reduce the risk of people developing the disease. This study helps us learn more about the dietary links to pancreatic cancer and demonstrates that there does not appear to be an association between dairy intake and risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

We have more information about the risk factors for pancreatic cancer on our website here, but if you're worried about your risk of developing pancreatic cancer do contact our excellent Support line on 020 3535 7099 or by emailing support@pancreaticcancer.org.uk.