Milk Could Play Vital Role in Preventing Cancer

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 30 2008 1:25 PM

Milk may help fight cancer, according to a group of researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide.

The researchers are currently exploring the role of cow's milk in preventing bowel cancer through a research.

The university has said it is expecting to have clear evidence by the end of the year on the role milk could play in boosting the anti-cancer properties of a natural trace element, selenium.

In a human trial, the cancer expert Graeme Young is testing the benefit of selenium when delivered through cow's milk compared with other forms of the dietary supplement.

Previous trials had confirmed that selenium in milk could lift levels of selenium in the blood.

Professor Young said the chemical and yeast-based forms of selenium available over-the-counter had varying degrees of absorption and effect on the body.

"So those forms of selenium will differ in their capacity to change someone's antioxidant status and capacity to prevent cancer," Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.

"It just so happens that when you feed selenium to cows and they produce selenium-enriched milk, the selenium seems to be in a chemical form that is both highly absorbable into the body and also more effective in terms of preventing cancer," he added.

The study involves 20 people. Researchers are comparing the milk form of selenium with a yeast form and looking at how readily they are absorbed.