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A High Fiber Diet Can Slash the Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

According to a new study by Leeds University that was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, a high fiber diet can slash the risk of breast cancer among young women in half. Among the most effective was cereal fiber, which can be found in whole bread and cereals.

Ed Yong, information officer for Cancer Research UK, says “This study further highlights the importance of eating a healthy diet for reducing the risk of cancer”.

On the breast cancer risk of post-menopausal women however, no significant effect was reported by the researchers. The study was led by Janet Cade, who points out the reason why the effects of fiber on breast cancer were never noticed because all previous tests never deciphered between pre & post-menopausal women.

“Previous research hasn’t shown a convincing link between increased dietary fiber and the lower risk of breast cancer,” Cade said. “But earlier studies didn’t draw any distinction between pre- and post-menopausal women.”

The study’s authors say there are three possible reasons why a high fiber diet may have anti-cancer effects: First, fiber has a stabilizing effect on the insulin levels in the body. Risk of cancer becomes increased when insulin levels become increased.

Second, foods rich in fiber also tend to be rich in other essential nutrients, some of which have antioxidant properties.

The third reason, which may be the most relevant, is that levels of estrogen in the body – which has been linked to risk of breast cancer – are reduced with dietary fiber. These estrogen levels are higher in younger women, which may account for the age split discovered by the researchers.

To reduce cancer risk, pre-menopausal women should eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day according to the study. Conversely, the American Dietetic Association recommends a minimum of 25 grams per day for a 2,000-calorie diet.

Second to lung cancer, breast cancer is most fatal cancer among women. Statistics show that an estimated one in 13 and one in nine women will contract it at some point in their lives.

Frank Mangano’s commentary:

While whole grain cereals are certainly a better choice than processed grains, be sure to read labels carefully as many of these cereals may still contain refined sugars and artificial ingredients.

When it comes to fiber, as always make sure you’re getting it from a good source. Always shoot for “whole grains” which contain vitamin E, potassium and trace minerals.

Obtain fiber through your diet. Some healthy sources include oatmeal, oatbran, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, peas, flaxseeds and fresh raw veggies. When consuming organic produce, be sure to leave the skin on apples and potatoes.

Stay away from “enriched grains”. While they have a few nutrients such as niacin, iron, thiamin added back, at the end of the day they are still refined.

Related Posts

  1. Low Fat Diet Reduces Breast Cancer Relapse in Women, Study Suggests
  2. Mammograms Offer No Protection Against Breast Cancer, Study Finds
  3. Diets High in Healthy Fats and Proteins Slash Heart Disease Risk in Women, Harvard Study Indicates
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cut Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men, Study Finds
  5. Intake of Prenatal Vitamins Drastically Reduces Children’s Cancer Risk, Study Finds

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Comment from julie fernandez
Time May 24, 2007 at 7:48 pm

my mother died of breast cancer, and what she gone through is really painful.. when she was diagnosed, we did everything to save her but its too late.. lessons learned, i think cancer won’t even exist if you have a good and healthy lifestyle.. Prevention is indeed better that cure… We should always stay fit and eat healthy to prevent the invasion of the dreadful desease.

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