In a new study from the Catalan Institute of Oncology, researchers found that women with diets incorporating more foods that increase inflammation in the body had a 12% increase in their risk of breast cancer.
They found that moving from a more anti-inflammatory diet toward one that increases inflammation upped breast cancer risk in an almost linear manner.
Foods that increase inflammation include red and processed meat; high-fat foods such as butter, margarines and frying fats; and sweets including sugar, honey and foods high in sugar.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, tea and coffee all have potentially anti-inflammatory properties.
Most studies examining diet and breast cancer risk have focused on single nutrients or foods rather than the whole diet.
In the study, the team examined more than 350,000 women. The study included more than 13,000 breast cancer diagnoses during approximately 15 years of follow-up.
The typical diet for participants was measured for a year using food frequency or diet history questionnaires.
The researchers used this information to calculate an inflammatory score for each study participant based on their intake of 27 foods.
They examined dietary patterns linked with inflammation because long-term, low-grade inflammation has been linked with the development of breast cancer.
The team found that the increase in breast cancer risk due to pro-inflammatory diets appears to be more pronounced among premenopausal women.
They also found that the association did not vary by breast cancer hormone receptor subtypes.
These results add more evidence of the role that dietary patterns play in the prevention of breast cancer.
With further confirmation, these findings could help inform dietary recommendations aimed at lowering cancer risk.
As a next step, the researchers plan to evaluate the association of the inflammatory potential of diet and other dietary patterns with breast cancer survival.
If you care about breast cancer, please read studies about drug metformin can affect breast cancer risk in women with diabetes and findings of widely used blood pressure drugs may increase death risk in breast cancer.
For more information about breast cancer and treatment, please see recent studies about what women need to know about breast cancer and heart disease and results showing a major cause of deadly breast cancer.
The study was presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE. One author of the study is Carlota Castro-Espin.
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