Fermented dairy foods intake and risk of cancer

Int J Cancer. 2019 May 1;144(9):2099-2108. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31959. Epub 2018 Dec 3.


Fermented dairy foods are known to be nutrient-rich and probiotic content, which gather optimism due to their potential in prevention and management of cancer. We searched the PubMed, Embase and CNKI databases for all available studies through July 2018 on the association between fermented dairy foods intake and cancer risk. The odds ratio (OR) corresponding to the 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was used to assess the association using a random-effect meta-analysis. Finally, 61 studies met the inclusion criteria for our study, with 1,962,774 participants and 38,358 cancer cases. Overall, statistical evidence of significantly decreased cancer risk was found to be associated with fermented dairy foods intake (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.80-0.92) in cohort studies. Yogurt consumption was significantly with decreased cancer risk in the overall comparison (OR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.80-0.95) and in the cohort studies (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.74-0.88). In terms of subgroup analyses by cancer type, fermented dairy foods intake significantly decreased bladder cancer, colorectal cancer and esophageal cancer risk. In stratified analyses, significantly decreased colorectal cancer risk was found to be associated with cheese intake. Yogurt consumption was significantly decreased bladder cancer and colorectal cancer risk. Our meta-analysis indicated that fermented dairy foods intake was associated with an overall decrease in cancer risk.

Keywords: cancer; fermented dairy foods; meta-analysis; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / physiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Cultured Milk Products*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / physiology
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Risk
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / prevention & control*