When you were younger you had rippling muscles. You felt as if you were brimming with testosterone, the true epitome of the macho man, but now that you are older, your muscles don’t seem quite as strong. They appear miniscule, weak and feminine. Your perceived (and actual) levels of testosterone are waning. You want to rectify this undoing, and so you turn to protein, in the form of lean meat and nonfat/low-fat dairy. Both have proven to maximize the amount of testosterone present after strength training, which in turn builds muscle mass. You have been happy so far. Your muscles are looking much as they used to, and you feel stronger. But, there is one problem: your glass of milk or low-fat slice of cheese, your muscle maker, may be giving you prostate cancer.
Two separate studies recently linked nonfat/low-fat dairy products to prostate cancer. In the first, researchers examined the diets of 82,483 men, 4,404 of whom developed prostate cancer. They found that nonfat/low-fat dairy products heightened the risk of localized and non-aggressive tumors, while whole milk decreased the risk. In the second study, 293,888 men found that skim milk increased the risk of advanced prostate cancer, even as it decreased the risk of non-advanced prostate cancer. So what should you do? Do you really have to choose between cancer and weakness?
First, you should note that the leaders of the prostate-cancer studies did not end their reports with a suggestion to abandon dairy. Instead, they concluded that more in depth research needed to be conducted to fully understand the analyses’ results. Furthermore, there is never a situation in which you should abandon a product without looking back (unless, of course, we’re talking about something completely unnecessary). It’s not as if you are drinking gallons of skim milk a day (if you are, you are taking the protein recommendations to a frightening place). If you keep everything within the prescribed guidelines (protein, calcium, etc.), you should be able to strengthen your muscles without weakening your health.�
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