Healthy diet cuts risk of dying from breast cancer

Healthy diet cuts risk of dying from breast cancer

Large US study shows women on a low-fat diet had a 21% lower risk of death 29th May 2019 By Reuters Health0 Comments

A low-fat, fruit and vegetable-rich diet significantly lowers the risk of older women dying from breast cancer, according to long-term data from a US clinical trial.


Nearly 49,000 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 with no previous breast cancer and with dietary fat accounting for at least 32% of total daily calories were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial.

From 1993-98, the women were randomly allocated to a usual-diet comparison group or a dietary intervention group that aimed to reduce fat intake to 20% of daily calories and increase consumption of vegetables, fruit and grains.

Women stuck to the diet for roughly 8.5 years. The majority increased their intake of fruits, vegetables and grains, and cut their daily fat intake to 25% or less, although most did not reach the 20% goal.

The research team was able to track half of the women for nearly 20 years, according to the results presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Women on the low-fat diet had a 21% lower risk of death from breast cancer and a 15% lower risk of death from any cause during follow-up.

“Ours is the first randomised controlled trial to prove that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of death from breast cancer,” said lead investigator Dr Rowan Chlebowski, from Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre in California, US.

“The balanced diet we designed is one of moderation, and after nearly 20 years of follow-up, the health benefits are still accruing.”

More than 3300 of the women developed breast cancer between 1993 and 2013.

The low-fat diet did not significantly reduce women’s risk of developing breast cancer, but women in the dietary intervention group experienced a range of short- and long-term health benefits compared with women in the normal diet group, Dr Chlebowski noted.

Postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome were particularly likely to benefit from the dietary intervention.

Commenting on the findings during the briefing, Dr Lidia Schapira from Stanford Cancer Institute in California said the study was “very important”.

“It helps us understand that what we put on the plate matters, and it is worth coaching and pushing our patients to put fruits, vegetables and grains on their plate.”

About Dr Colin Holloway

Gp interested in natural hormone treatment for men and women of all ages

Posted on August 30, 2020, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Healthy diet cuts risk of dying from breast cancer.

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