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Milk everyday 'keeps cancer at bay'

world Updated: Feb 06, 2011 11:58 IST

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Children, please note -- drinking milk everyday can keep bowel cancer at bay, says a new study.

Researchers in New Zealand have carried out the study and found that children who drink half-a-pint of milk daily are 40% less likely to suffer bowel cancer as adults, the 'American Journal of Epidemiology' reported.

According to them, milk has a powerful protective effect against cancer and the key to its anti-cancer effects lies in daily consumption over long periods.

"Our results suggest daily consumption of milk in childhood may reduce bowel cancer incidence, possibly by the action of calcium," the 'Sunday Express' quoted Prof Brian Cox, who led the study, as saying.

In fact, in their study, involving a group of students, the researchers discovered that the subjects were 40 per cent less likely to suffer a tumour later in life if they had milk every day for six years or more.

The findings support previous evidence from the World Cancer Research Fund that milk protects against cancer.

Campaigners said the research highlighted the benefits of school milk.

Dr Judith Bryans, director of the Dairy Council, said: "School milk is hugely important because it ensures children have an adequate supply of nutrients. One glass of milk has the same amount of calcium as a kilogramme of spinach."

However, a spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK said: "The best ways to reduce bowel cancer risk are to keep a healthy weight, drink less alcohol and be physically active."