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May 21, 2010

Scientific Evidence Confirms the Influence of Diet on Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers have compared multiple studies analyzing the effects of diet and lifestyle on the risk on breast cancer. While most previous studies have focused on single nutrients and their effects on cancer rates, a recent analysis of diet patterns has resulted in a clearer association of reduced risks with healthier diets. There is an approximate 7% risk reduction with healthy diet patterns consisting of high quantities of fruit, vegetables, poultry, fish, low-fat diary, and whole grains. This is in contrast to the Western/unhealthy diet consisting of high quantities of red and processed meats, refined grains, potatoes, sweets, and high-fat diary. The most conclusive evidence in the report is the connection between alcohol consumption and cancer risk above and beyond underlying diet. Greater than 2 drinks daily is thought to raise estrogen levels because of decreased hepatic clearance, increasing cellular susceptibility to carcinogens and to impair DNA repair enzymes.
Reference: “Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk: a systemic review and meta-analysis.” Am J Clin Nut. 2010.

Kerry Ferguson, ND