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School milk may lower colorectal cancer risk

A recent New Zealand study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests historical milk-in-schools programmes may have played a role in preventing colon cancer.

The research suggests the risk of bowel cancer was 30 per cent lower in people who drank school milk daily — and the reduction in risk was greatest for those who drank 1200 or more of the half-pint (300ml) bottles of milk in their school years. Although research in the UK has linked childhood dairy intake with an increased incidence of colon cancer in Britain, the Kiwi researchers suggest that the inverse may be true in New Zealand due to lower levels of calcium in our water. They speculate that the extra calcium provided to children through school milk may have played a role in mitigating cancer development among New Zealanders.

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