Monday, September 12, 2016

FDA Guidelines May Increase Rate of Prostate Cancer in Black Males

Prostate Cancer Risk for Black Males
African-American males have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. The "why" of it may not be all that hard to fathom.  But first let me say that West Africans, the genetic ancestors of black males, have an exceedingly low incidence of this disease.  So, the problem appears to be some aspect of life in America that is altering this picture so drastically.  

Recent studies have targeted an over-consumption of calcium as increasing the risk of prostate cancer in men.  But why might this factor play a far more devastating role for black men as opposed to their white counterparts?  The answer appears to lie in the fact that blacks process calcium more efficiently than do other groups.  It is for this reason that African-Americans drink little milk, because of lactose intolerance, and yet have the strongest bone mineral density and lowest rate of osteoporosis of any ethnicity living in the United States.  What this biological factor also means is that an over-consumption of calcium will occur in most black males at a lower intake of the mineral than would be the case with men of Northern European ancestry.  But herein lies the problem.

Medical researchers in America have universalized the biology of Northern Europeans.  That is, they use the needs and requirements of this one population group as a standard by which the nutritional needs of all other ethnicities will be measured.  Whites suffer from osteoporosis, which is a calcium-deficiency disease. Blacks are at low risk of the disease, and yet the Food and Drug Administration sets the daily calcium requirement at the level considered most healthful for Whites.  Not only will Blacks be over-consuming calcium if they follow these nutritional guidelines, but there is an even greater problem.  Medical researchers have falsely concluded that blacks are calcium-deficient.  Thus the message conveyed by the federal government and public health institutions is that African-Americans should force themselves to consume more dairy products, even when it makes them sick (on account of lactose intolerance).  

Clearly blacks are not calcium-deficient. But the pressure placed on them to consume more calcium now appears to be having a serious adverse effect.  Their rate of prostate cancer is skyrocketing.  So, why isn't anything being done about this?   

Medical journals do not publish research that identify the deleterious effects of dairy calcium on lactose intolerant ethnic groups.  It is not altogether their fault. There is no clinical research being conducted on this vital issue.  As for why that is, it would be career suicide for researchers to pursue this kind of research.  The funding agencies for medical research in this country have already determined that blacks are calcium-deficient.  Why antagonize the goose that lays the golden egg?

Prostate cancer in Black males is really just a form of collateral damage caused by the dairy industry's control of federal nutritional guidelines.  The popular "Got Milk" commercials in which celebrities were shown with milk mustaches was paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a means of bolstering waning levels of milk consumption in America.  The fact that a majority of Blacks, Native Americans, Ashkenazic Jews, and Latinos were lactose intolerant was ignored.  Actually, the fact that their bodies do not require the high calcium intake of Northern Europeans has simply been labeled "a genetic defect."  

Who then speaks for the health of blacks and other ethnic minorities in regard to these kinds of issues? The answer is no one. Even the national organization of black physicians who once warned about these problems, now proclaims (with the help of dairy industry support),  that blacks are indeed calcium deficient and should be drinking more milk! 

I wish I had an easy answer for a problem that is killing our fathers, brothers, husbands and  loved ones. But folks I am just one person trying to convey a message that both contradicts the federal government and threatens to shame the multi-billion dollar medical and public health establishment for putting out dangerously false nutritional advice to minorities. 

If you have any suggestions, I'm ready to listen.

For more detailed information you might be interested in reading the following report, which I have prepared:  African-American Males, Dairy Calcium & Prostate Cancer: Critical Findings Report #2

RELATED POST:   Is an Unacknowledged Eurocentric Paradigm Widening Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care: Critical Findings Report #1