Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Big Milk - Fastest Spin Doctors in the West

That sure didn't take much time.

Just last week a study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that looked at vitamin D and calcium supplementation and risk of cancer. The study was fairly short at 4 years and somewhat small with only 1,179 total subjects. Subjects were randomized to receive either a calcium supplement or a calcium supplement plus vitamin D or a placebo. The results suggested that calcium and vitamin D supplementation in post menopausal women slightly lowered the incidence of cancer.

So fantastic let's all drink milk right?

But wait a second here, the study didn't look at milk did it? This small, short study looked at vitamin D and calcium supplementation.

And wait another second, weren't there in fact studies that looked specifically at dairy consumption and cancer risk (rather than calcium and vitamin d supplementation and cancer risk)?

If I remember correctly, didn't those studies actually show increased risk of cancer development with increased dairy consumption? There was the meta-analysis that suggested higher dairy consumption was actually associated with increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer and another showing that consuming the equivalent of 3 glasses of milk daily led to a 25% increase in the risk of ovarian cancer.

Did that stop the Big Milk spin machine? Absolutely not.

Yesterday there was a Big Milk press release that originated from the global PR firm Weber Shandwick. In it their press release entitled, "Boosting key milk nutrients may protect against cancer" Big Milk suggests, guess what, that you should drink more milk to get more vitamin D to prevent cancer.

The press release explicitly recommends that you drink 3 cups daily which even if it were skim milk would provide you with 24lbs worth of skim milk Calories a year and lead you to consume a beverage linked to prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and if you remember from a recent post, Parkinson's disease.

Don't you think it might be smarter to just take a zero calorie 1000IU Vitamin D supplement instead?

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