Letters: Anna Reeves, October 23, 2015

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While I would agree with a number of points made by Professor Mohammed Keshtgar in his article “Eating through breast cancer” (October 13), I would strongly dispute his contention that dairy products do not cause or promote breast cancer.

Cows’ milk is intended to help a calf gain extremely rapidly, reaching 47-63 stone (300-400kg) within a year whereas humans take about 18 years to reach adult weight. Consequently, it contains a cocktail of hormones which includes insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), oestrogen and progesterone. IGF-1 survives pasteurisation, can cross the intestinal walls and enter the blood.

Even small increases of IGF-1 can intensify the risk of several common cancers, including breast, prostate, lung and colon.

Cows’ milk also contains up to 400 million pus cells per litre which are legally permitted to find their way into the milk via mastitis infections – all too common in dairy cows.

Whilst Prof Keshtgar is correct in recognising the importance of calcium, he fails to mention that copious scientific studies show that there is a strong correlation between the consumption of foods high in dairy products and animal products and bone deterioration.

Much of the calcium in dairy cannot be used or stored so is quickly lost in the urine. When we eat plant foods high in calcium, such as curly kale, broccoli, lentils, wholemeal and soya products, however, our bodies are not overwhelmed but receive a steady supply throughout the day. In view of the findings which I have mentioned and which are supported by a plethora of research worldwide, the best way to avoid breast cancer is to steer clear of animal products and eat a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, seeds, nuts, wholegrain and pulses and take regular exercise.

Further information and advice can be obtained from Viva, by emailing info@viva.org.uk

Anna Reeves