Estrogen: one of the risk factors in milk for prostate cancer

Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(1):133-42. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(03)00295-0.


Studies to elucidate the cause of prostate cancer have met with little success to date. Epidemiological studies suggested that milk consumption is probably as one of the risk factors for prostate cancer. The studies thus focused on the fat and calcium in milk, but reached no definitive conclusion. According to the measurements of estrogen levels in milk by different studies, it was suggested that estrogen in milk was a possible risk to cause prostate cancer. One reason supporting this hypothesis is that Western diet (characterized by milk/dairy products and meat) causes a trend of increasing levels of estrogens, and Western males show a higher incidence rate of prostate cancer than Asia males. Estrogen levels in prostate fluid are also correlated very well with the prostate cancer. During several decades, estrogens, together with testosterone, was commonly used to induce the rodent model of prostate cancer. Our hypothesis also was supported by the presence of estrogen receptors in the prostate gland and the genotoxic role of estrogens on the prostate gland, as possible mechanisms. Therefore, if modern milk consumption does expose consumers to high levels of estrogen and plays an adverse role in prostate cancer, action should be taken to produce the noncontaminant milk.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Body Fluids / chemistry
  • Cattle
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Estrogens / blood*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Food Contamination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / statistics & numerical data*
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Western World


  • Estrogens