It may seem unlikely that those slices of commercial cheddar on your sandwich every day may be contributing to your risk of certain kinds of cancer. Sadly, however, if you live in the United States, it may be true. This is because of the many toxins found in American commercial animal products, especially in dairy.
The Link Between Breast Cancer and Dioxins
Dioxins are chemicals used in agriculture and in the bleaching process. There are over 30 different types of dioxins. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 90% of human exposure to them comes through animal products. And because the most common dioxins– PCDDs (polychlorinated dibenzo para dioxins), PCDFs (polychlorinated dibenzofurans) and dioxin-like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)– hide out in fat cells, the majority of the dioxins in animal products are in commercial dairy.
The list of health problems that can occur with dioxins is long, but the most relevant to breast health is that it can interfere with hormonal signaling at the genetic level. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2012 found that certain kinds of dioxins can cause mutations in BRCA gene coding. Counter to the misinformation that many conventional media outlets put out about BRCA and Breast Cancer, the BRCA gene does not cause breast cancer. In fact, BRCA actually protects from breast cancer! When these genes are mutated, however, DNA strands break and these codes cannot protect.
Other Connections Between Commercial Dairy and Cancer
Dioxin isn’t the only thing to worry about when it comes to commercial dairy. A new study conducted by Harvard University found that milk that came from factory farms contained “extremely high” levels of the estrogen compound estrone sulfate which have been linked to reproductive cancers in both men (prostate and testicular) and women (breast). Sadly, one of the reasons for this is that commercial cows are milked the majority of the year, even when they are pregnant. In the investigations, commercial pasteurized milk was compared to raw milk. There was 30 times more estrone sulfate in the pasteurized milk than the raw milk, which is usually only produced during the first 6 months after a cow gives birth.
How To Go Organic with Dairy
Approximately 30 million to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. This traditionally has been caused by a lack of certain enzymes which helps to break down the fats in dairy. Be sure to check to see if you are sensitive to dairy and consider taking a break from hard cheeses and milk for a little while if you are. Gas, bloat and diarrhea shortly after dairy consumption are three tell-tale indications that you may be sensitive to dairy.
If you don’t have intolerance and want to continue eating dairy, choose only organic, non-GMO, preferably locally-produced dairy products. And don’t dismiss organic regionally-produced products such as soft cheese and yoghurt that come from goat and sheep. These animal products tend to be milder on the digestive system.
Keep in mind that, besides gluten in wheat products, dairy is the category of food that the highest number of individuals in the United States are intolerant to. Sensitivity to food can lead to inflammation, poor digestive health and lower immune function. That being said, there are some benefits of eating dairy, especially organic, raw yoghurts and cottage cheese, because of the healthy bacteria in them as well as natural calcium.
If you eat dairy, choose to do so safely without a risk of breast and other kinds of cancer. If you buy regional animal products, you will be supporting organic farmers and ranchers in your area as well!