A health expert has issued an alarming warning about a possible link between one particular common drink and cancer. Speaking to podcast host Steven Bartlett on a recent episode of Diary Of A CEO, Dr Mark Hyman claims some studies show a potential link between milk and prostate cancer.

Dr Mark Hyman is a practising family doctor, the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center, as well as the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is a fifteen-time New York Times best-selling author and the host of the health podcast, ’The Doctor’s Farmacy’.

Explaining what some studies about milk have shown, Dr Mark Hyman claimed: "Milk can cause prostate cancer." In a 2022 study, researchers found: "Men with higher intake of dairy foods, but not non-dairy calcium, had a higher risk of prostate cancer compared with men having lower intakes."

Meroë Morse, M.D., ABOIM, who works with patients in MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine Center says: "One possible reason consuming dairy may increase prostate cancer risk is because dairy increases circulating levels of IGF-1, a hormone known to promote prostate cancer growth."

Another study said: "Clinicians may recommend to the patients who are at higher risk of prostate cancer development to eliminate or reduce the consumption of milk or milk products, especially those with high-fat content."

However, other studies suggest: "Dairy product consumption was not associated with prostate cancer overall, which does not support the harmful impact of dairy products on prostate cancer reported in previous studies."

Cancer Research UK states: "Research has not proven whether dairy or calcium has a direct effect on prostate cancer risk. There are some studies that have found an increased risk in people who have large amounts of dairy. But there’s not enough good evidence for this.

"It’s hard to measure how much dairy people eat over a long period of time. And there could be other factors that are different in people who eat and drink a lot of dairy. It is unclear whether it’s dairy increasing the risk of prostate cancer in current studies."

Dr Mark Hyman also claimed: "Skimmed milk causes weight gain because it doesn't satisfy your appetite." He went on to argue: "It also creates a lot of digestive issues for people. It can cause common allergies or food sensitivities that people get."

At the end of the segment, the expert concluded: "Milk is not nature's perfect food. It's only nature's perfect food if you're a calf." When asked by Steven if there are any health benefits to drinking milk, the health expert said it largely depends on what kind of milk you're drinking.

He explained milk that is made with a protein called A2 casein is best, as it is less likely to cause gut issues and inflammation and is "less problematic for the body". Dr Mark Hyman said sheep and goat milk have A2 casein, as well as certain cows, like Jersey or Guernsey cows.

Meanwhile, regular milk is more likely to contain A1 casein, which could be associated as a risk factor for type-1 diabetes, coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis.

Symptoms of prostate cancer

According to the NHS, prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).

When this happens, you may notice things like:

  • an increased need to pee
  • straining while you pee
  • a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied

These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer. It's more likely they're caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.