Ovarian Cancer Risk and Your Food Choices

A diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and reduced amounts of meat and other animal products helps protect against many cancers, including ovarian. Try to find organic or unsprayed produce to avoid pesticides, many of which are carcinogenic.

Researchers at Harvard University found that women who eat the most dairy products, including yogurt and skim milk, are most likely to develop Ovarian Cancer. (Lancet volume 2, pages 66-71.)

For each serving of dairy products, especially low fat and fat-free ones, which a woman consumes on average each day, her risk of getting the most common, and most deadly, form of ovarian cancer (serous) goes up by 20%. Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. International Journal of Cancer (June 2004; volume110 (2): pages 271-7)

A study of more than 60,000 women in Holland found that those women who drink two or more glasses of milk each day have double the incidence of serous ovarian cancer compared to women who drink little or no milk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004.

Milk from animals has factors in it - lactose and growth hormones (some added, some natural) - that seem to stimulate growth in human tissues of the ovaries, breast, and prostate. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Instead of animal milks, use plant-based milks such as rice, oat, soy or almond milk. You can also get your calcium from fortified orange juice or leafy green vegetables like broccoli or kale. Osteoporosis (thin bones) risk is also lowered through regular exercise and a lifestyle and diet that avoids excessive amounts of alcohol, aspirin, caffeine, soft drinks, protein, and highly-salted foods. .

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