Recently the Journal of Epidemiology came out with a study that showed that non-fat milk, but not whole milk was related to the progression of advanced prostate cancer. Remember how a few months ago we talked about Vitamin D, sunshine and cancer rates? Well, here is another example of how important it is to consume a food as close to nature as possible. Whole milk contains a number of vitamins, particularly fat soluble vitamins including Vitamins A, D, E and K not found in fat free milk. Now, I'm not saying that adults should drink a lot of milk in general but if you do choose to drink milk choosing to drink whole milk has health benefits not immediately obvious to the waistline.
The press on fat generally is that the lower the fat content, the better it is for your waistline, cholesterol and heart disease. However, we must look at these recommendations judiciously. When you are consuming a lot of fat free or low fat products you are also filtering out (often unnaturally) the fat soluble vitamins in the food. The best choice in this matter is to ensure that you eat the whole foods in moderation. For adults I don't recommend drinking large amounts of milk due to the hormones, fats and allergenic reasons. But the milk you do choose to drink should be whole milk with all the associated vitamins that came with the milk. It is more and more difficult to get raw milk which has all the nutrients and enzymes in the milk. Raw milk does NOT contain the betacellulin which is a fraction of the milk protein in pasteurized milk often related to stimulation of cancer cells. California is one of about 3 states where it is still legal to purchase raw milk in stores and this may change in the next few months.
Overall, to reduce prostate cancer risk men should increase their exposure to sunshine (approximately 5-20 minutes per day depending on where you live and what time of year it is), drink green tea, and if you drink milk, make sure it is organic whole milk. Whole milk needs to be organic because the organic milk does not have growth hormones fed to the cows which are linked to the development and progression of prostate cancer. For you women out there whole milk is better for you than fat free milk due to the vitamin D, if you drink milk. Just because you don't have a prostate does not mean that you can't benefit from reduced cancer risks associated with avoiding fat free milk.