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How are milk products consumption related to gastric cancer?


A large meta-analysis reports an association that has been found in cohort studies between the consumption of dairy, including yogurt, and a lower risk of gastric cancer.

So far, the research on the consumption of dairy products and stomach cancer have provided inconsistent results, hence the interest of this meta-analysis conducted by a research team in Wuhan, China. Using a systematic review of the literature, they selected 17 case-control and 6 cohort studies, which comply the inclusion criteria.

Relevant for the United States and Europe, but not in Asia

Whereas nothing significant was found in the case-control studies, the analysis of cohort studies indicates that the consumption of total dairy products including yogurt is associated with a 24% lower risk of gastric cancer. This association was significant for the subgroups Europe (-27%) and USA (- 22%), but not for Asia (which may be due to a lower presence of lactase in Asians). Note that milk consumption does not show any association with gastric cancer risk, regardless of the population, suggesting a protective effect for dairy products other than milk.

Source: Guo Y et al. Nutrition and Cancer 2015, Volume 67, Issue 4, pages 555-568.

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