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January 24, 2007

Fiber 'lowers breast cancer risk'

Topics: Health Issues

wholemeal brown breaed.jpg(Image: in order to have the proper amount of fiber in one's daily diet, a person should eat a high-fibre cereal for breakfast, switch from white or brown bread to wholemeal and ensure they have five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.)

Fiber is known to affect the way the body processes and regulates the female hormone estrogen. In previous studies, supplementary dietary wheat bran has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of N-nitrosomethylurea (NMU) induced mammary tumors in rats fed a high fat diet and reduced to a lesser extent the incidence in rats fed a low fat diet compared to their unsupplemented controls. Now a UK study has shown that pre-menopausal women who eat large amounts of fiber could halve their breast cancer risk:

[...] The University of Leeds researchers, who studied 35,000 women, found those who ate 30g of fibre a day had half the risk of those who ate less than 20g.

[... ] A team from the University of Leeds Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics have been monitoring the eating habits and health of more than 35,000 women for seven years.

They were aged 35 to 69 at the beginning of the study.

Diet was assessed using a 217-item food questionnaire.

Unlike other studies looking at fibre intake and breast cancer risk, the women studied had a range of diets including groups who were wholly vegetarian or who did not eat red meat.

Just under 16,000 women were pre-menopausal when they entered the study, with 18,000 post-menopausal.

257 pre-menopausal women developed breast cancer during the study, which was initially funded by the World Cancer Research Fund.

They were found to be women who had a greater percentage of energy derived from protein, and lower intakes of dietary fibre and vitamin C, compared to women who did not develop cancer.

However, the effect was not seen in the post-menopausal group, in which 350 developed breast cancer.

... The researchers say this may be because fibre affects the way the body processes and regulates the female hormone oestrogen.

... Levels of the hormone are higher in pre-menopausal women.

... no protective effect in the older group (was found).

The study further highlights the importance of eating a healthy diet for reducing the risk of cancer.

Related reading:
Estrogen Dominance Syndrome
High fiber intake reduces estrogen levels in Latina women

Cross posted from New Hope Blog

Posted by Richard at January 24, 2007 10:41 AM



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