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.”
Simon Jenkins | alfa
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy