Yogurt lowers the risk of breast cancer

Inflammation caused by bacteria has a significant impact on breast cancer risk, according to a recent study. However, the daily consumption of natural yogurt has a preventive effect and, according to the researchers, is an easy-to-use means of reducing the risk of breast cancer.

The British research team led by Dr. Rachael Rigby of Lancester University has used existing studies to evaluate whether inflammation caused by bacteria is linked to the risk of breast cancer. The researchers also checked possible preventive effects of yoghurt consumption. Their results were published in the specialist magazine “Medical Hypotheses”.

Bacterial inflammation

“One of the causes of breast cancer can be inflammation caused by harmful bacteria,” Dr. Rigby and colleagues. The hypothesis is not yet clearly verifiable, but it is supported by the scientific data available to date.

Protective microflora for breastfeeding

Today, it is known that breast milk is not sterile and that lactation (milk production) changes the microflora of the breast, explains the research team. “Lactose-fermenting bacteria are common in milk and are likely to occupy women’s breast passages during lactation and for an unknown period after lactation,” said Dr. Rigby continues. These bacteria are believed to have a protective effect against breast cancer, since it is known that each year of natural breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer by 4.3 percent.

Spread of harmful bacteria

In the absence of the lactose-fermenting bacteria, harmful bacteria can spread, leading to inflammation and an increased risk of breast cancer, the research team considered. There are “about ten billion bacterial cells in the human body, and while most of them are harmless, some bacteria produce toxins that cause inflammation in the body,” explains Dr. Rigby and colleagues.

Inflammation affects the risk of cancer

Chronic inflammation, in which the body tries to remove the harmful germs, also damages the body’s own cells. One of the most common inflammatory diseases – periodontitis (bacterial inflammation of the tooth structure) – is also associated with, for example, cancer of the mouth, esophagus, colon, pancreas, prostate and breast, explains Dr. Rigby.

Yogurt well suited for prevention

However, the research team also has a positive message: “There is a simple, inexpensive, potential preventative for women, namely the daily consumption of natural yogurt.” The meta-analysis of epidemiological studies has shown that the consumption of yoghurt is associated with a reduction in the risk of breast cancer stands.

Displacement of harmful bacteria

The cause of the preventive effect are useful lactose fermentation bacteria contained in yogurt, similar to the bacteria or the microflora in the breasts of nursing mothers, Dr. Rigby. The reduction in breast cancer risk from daily yoghurt consumption could be due to the displacement of harmful bacteria by beneficial bacteria.

Yogurt has many positive health effects

In any case, yogurt offers an easy-to-use preventive that also has many other positive effects on health. For example, researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville recently found in a study that yogurt significantly reduced the risk of lung cancer. (Fp)


Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • A. K. Marwaha, J.A. Morris, R.J. Rigby: Hypothesis: Bacterial induced inflammation disrupts the orderly progression of the stem cell hierarchy and has a role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer; in: Medical Hypotheses, Volume 136, March 2020, sciencedirect.com
  • Lancester University: Why eating yoghurt may help read the risk of breast cancer (published 24/01/2020), lancaster.ac.uk

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.


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