Members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are once again sounding the alarm bell warning the FDA to label cheese (similar to the warnings found on a pack of cigarettes), that cheese raises the risk of several types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Physicians suggest labeling a warning stating “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.”
The warning is in reaction to several studies done beginning in 2003 to 2014 examining data from the Roswell Park Data Bank and BioRepository in which 1,941 women with breast cancer and 1,237 women without breast cancer were surveyed.
Both sets of participants completed a questionnaire that detailed how much of each dairy product and how many dairy products total they consumed each month.
After the results were adjusted to account for extraneous factors, researches discovered a lower risk of breast cancer was linked to a high daily intake of dairy, most notably in woman who consumed a lot of yogurts; Researches discovered woman who ate at least several cups of yogurt daily had a 39% lower risk factor of developing breast cancer.
Moreover, women who had a high degree of cheese within their diet, especially cheddar and cream cheese, increased their risk factor of breast cancer by a stunning 53%.
Dr. Maurice Scott, a clinical instructor at the UC School of Medicine, however, cautioned that a woman would have to eat a ton of cheese to actually see experience any risk.
The good doctor predicts that an individual would need to eat or drink about 10 cups of milk or 10 ounces of cheese daily.
Adding, “It can be quite a bit of dairy before you see any significant difference in risk.”
However, in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month PCRM has petitioned the FDA to add breast cancer warning labels on all cheese products.
This group of doctors has been advocating for preventative medicine. Their request was only submitted earlier in the month. If the FDA approves it, all cheese manufacturers would be required to include the label on its dairy cheese products.
Americans are eating more cheese than ever before. In 2015 Americans consumed over 34 pounds per person annually.
Leslie Butler, an agricultural and resource economics lecturer at the University of California, Davis said at the time “Cheese consumption has been continuously going up for the last 20 years, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping.”
Considering that the art of cheese-making began at least 8,000 years ago around the time when sheep were first domesticated, as a way to keep dairy edible for longer periods of time.
Aside from the risks associated with breast cancer – consuming too many rich saturated fats is associated with cardiovascular diseases.
The overconsumption of cheese has been associated with other health risks.
According to the American Heart Association, you should limit calories from saturated fat to no more than 7% of your total calories. However, a single slice of cheddar cheese has about 6 grams of saturated fat. This means an individual consuming about 2,000 calories daily would ideally get no more than 14 grams of saturated fat a day. A single slice of cheddar cheese has almost half that amount.
Although cheese is high in calories, the good news is it’s also high in muscle-building protein. Cheese is also a good source of a fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). In addition, the calcium in cheese makes it a natural for preserving bone health.
The key, of course, is moderation, cheese is a good source of protein and it doesn’t appear that cheese raises cholesterol levels.