Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health - A Narrative Review Article

Iran J Public Health. 2015 Jun;44(6):742-58.


Background: The presence of hormones in milk and dairy foods was discussed decades ago but rather more concerns attended to that with respect to finding hormones as biomarkers in milk for diseases and pregnancy diagnosis. Moreover, considerable amount of studies demonstrated that existing of hormones in humans and animals milk are essential for infants growing and immunity. During the last couple of years, increasing body of evidence are indicating another property of hormones in dairy products as possible impact on human health including the role of some estrogens and insulin-like growth factor-1 in initiation and provoking of breast, prostate and endometrial tumours.

Methods: Data was gathered from the published articles in database such as MEDLINE, science direct, Google scholar and web of science. We put no limitation on date of published date. Moreover, our own published and conducted methods and results also are presented. In this review we concentrated on several aspects of presence of hormones in dairy foods with especial emphasize on cow's milk as a major source of consuming milk for humans especially for children.

Results: The collected data from other researchers and our own data are indicating that the presence of steroid hormones in dairy products could be counted as an important risk factor for various cancers in humans.

Conclusion: Our gathered data in this review paper may suggest more sophisticate analytical detection methods for oestrogens determination and also could be considered as a remarkable concern for consumers, producers and public health authorities.

Keywords: Cancer; Dairy foods; Hormones.

Publication types

  • Review