Studies suggest that the circulating insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) level is positively associated with the prostate cancer risk. The association of milk consumption and circulating IGF-I level has been examined in epidemiological studies with inconsistent results. We conducted a systematic literature review to summarize and quantify the current evidence for milk or dairy product consumption and the circulating IGF-I level. We searched relevant papers published in English up to March 2009 in various databases. Fifteen cross-sectional studies and eight randomized controlled trials were finally identified. Ten cross-sectional studies showed statistically positive correlation between milk consumption and the circulating IGF-I level. Randomized controlled trials indicated that the circulating IGF-I level was significantly higher in the milk intervention group. After meta-analysis, the weighted mean difference of the circulating IGF-I level was 13.8 ng/ml (95% confidence interval: 6.1-21.5 ng/ml) comparing the intervention group with the control group. The current evidence suggests that milk consumption may increase the circulating IGF-I level.