Diet and prostate cancer risk with specific focus on dairy products and dietary calcium: A case-control study

Sara Raimondi, Jihène Ben Mabrouk, Bryna Shatenstein, Patrick Maisonneuve, Parviz Ghadirian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Despite the prevalence of prostate cancer worldwide, only a few risk factors have been well-established. The role of diet, especially of dairy products, in the etiology of prostate cancer is still controversial. METHODS. This study assessed the association of dietary components, particularly dairy products and dietary calcium, on prostate cancer risk in a case-control study of 197 cases and an equal number of individually matched controls recruited in Montreal, Canada. A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered in which the usual consumption frequency and amounts consumed of more than 200 food items were recorded. RESULTS. We found a twofold increased risk of prostate cancer associated with an increased intake of dairy products {Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.19; 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) 1.22-3.94}. A significant trend of decreasing prostate cancer risk with higher intake was found for legumes, nuts, finfish/shellfish and for a-tocopherol after adjustment for calcium intake. Milk was the only dairy product significantly associated with prostate cancer risk, with OR = 2.27; 95% CI (1.25-4.09) for the highest versus lowest quartiles of consumption. Calcium, the main micronutrient contained in dairy products, showed only a borderline association with prostate cancer risk (P = 0.09), with slightly higher risk for higher calcium intake. In conclusion, this study supports the hypothesis that dairy products, especially milk, are involved in the etiology of prostate cancer. However, the mechanisms by which the various nutrients in dairy products and total diet may interact to influence this risk remain unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1065
Number of pages12
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Calcium
  • Case-control
  • Dairy products
  • Diet
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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