A low-fat diet may help women avoid breast cancer

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In a recent study from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, researchers found that staying on a low-fat diet could reduce the risk of breast cancer.

The link between dietary fat and breast cancer was suggested nearly a half-century ago, but research findings haven’t been clear.

In the current study, researchers examined the impact of a low-fat diet on breast cancer risk in 48,835 older women.

These women were aged 50-79, had no prior breast cancer, and had normal mammograms and normal dietary fat intake.

Among the women, 19,541 women were put on a low-fat diet with nutritionist-led group sessions. The sessions sought to reduce fat intake reduction to 20% of energy and increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and grain.

The other 29,294 women in the study followed their usual diets.

The team found after about 8 years of remaining on the low-fat diet, 1,767 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

They found breast cancer survival from diagnosis was higher in the dietary group: 82% versus 78%. They suggest this reduction is due, in part, to better survival following a breast cancer diagnosis.

The findings showed that a sustained low-fat diet increased the survival rates among older women after a breast cancer diagnosis.

The study also suggests that women would need to remain on low-fat diets to maintain the health benefits.

The study also found that most breast cancer characteristics — including size, nodal status, and distribution of poor prognosis, triple negative cancers and HER2 positive cancers — were similar between the two groups of women.

But there were fewer progesterone receptor-negative cancers in the dietary group (28.4% versus 33%). In addition, researchers noted lower cardiovascular disease mortality in the dietary group.

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The study was conducted by Rowan Chlebowski et al and published in JAMA Oncology.

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