Using fibre in the fight against breast cancer

New research from the University of Leeds has shown how eating more fibre – particularly cereal fibre – reduces the risk of developing breast cancer among pre-menopausal women.

Researchers at the University’s Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics have been tracking the eating habits and health of more than 35,000 women for the past seven years, and their latest findings are published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Their figures suggest that among the pre-menopausal women, those who have the greatest intake of fibre have cut their risk of breast cancer in half.

The research is led by Professor Janet Cade, who explained: “Previous research hasn’t shown a convincing link between increased dietary fibre and a lower risk of breast cancer. But earlier studies didn’t draw any distinction between pre- and post-menopausal women. Our study found no protective effect in the older group, but significant evidence of a link in the pre-menopausal women.”

Of the huge group, 257pre-menopausal women have developed breast cancer during the study. These were shown to be women who had a greater percentage of energy derived from protein, and lower intakes of dietary fibre and vitamin C, compared to the cancer-free women.

The research, which received initial funding from the World Cancer Research Fund, suggests several possible reasons for this effect:

1. High fibre foods are rich in vitamins, zinc and other micro-nutrients which have protective anti-oxidant properties;

2. Fibre can smooth out the peaks and troughs in insulin levels in the body. High levels of insulin may be one possible cause of cancer;

3. There is a known link between breast cancer and the female hormone oestrogen, and dietary fibre has been demonstrated to regulate oestrogen levels in the body. This effect would be especially relevant to the pre-menopausal group who naturally have far higher levels of the hormone.

Said Professor Cade: “Also, we don’t yet know at which point in life dietary habits impact on a woman’s susceptibility to breast cancer. The relevant exposure may be earlier in life, explaining why the protective effect was not shown in the post-menopausal group.”

Whatever the precise cause, or combination of causes, the study does show a statistically significant effect – and supports the message of eating well to stay healthy. Professor Cade added: “It goes along with the general healthy eating advice to make sure that you are getting plenty of fibre in your diet through breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, fruit and vegetables.”

Media Contact

Simon Jenkins alfa

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.leeds.ac.uk

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Key breakthrough towards on-site cancer diagnosis

No stain? No sweat: Terahertz waves can image early-stage breast cancer without staining. A team of researchers at Osaka University, in collaboration with the University of Bordeaux and the Bergonié…

A CNIO team describes how a virus can cause diabetes

It has recently been described that infection by some enteroviruses – a genus of viruses that commonly cause diseases of varying severity – could potentially trigger diabetes, although its direct…

Targeting the shell of the Ebola virus

UD research team looking at ways to destabilize virus, knock it out with antivirals. As the world grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, another virus has been raging again in…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close