Researchers collaborating with The North American Menopause Society have found that diets high in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may help decrease the risk of breast cancer.
Moreover, it was determined that fish, vegetable oil, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables are excellent sources of n-3 PUFAs.
NAMS PresidentDr Chrisandra Shufelt said:
This study highlights the effect of lifestyle habits and, specifically, dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids on breast cancer risk. Lifestyle (or diet) is known to contribute to up to one-third of the risk for breast cancer. Women can affect their risk of developing breast cancer by making dietary changes to include fruits and vegetables, fibre, and whole grains and avoiding high-fat animal and dairy products.
As per the published study, a hospital-based case-control study including 1,589 cases and 1,621 age-frequency-matched controls was conducted. Dietary data were assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were obtained using multiple unconditional logistic regression models after controlling for potential confounders.
The study concluded that a higher intake of fatty acids was linked with a lower risk of breast cancer. Further, overweight or obese women who increased their fatty acid intake also saw a lower breast cancer risk.
‘A decreased risk of breast cancer was significantly associated with increasing n-3 PUFA intake in obese/overweight women, but not in women of normal weight. There was a significant interaction between linoleic acid and marine n-3 PUFAs.’
According to statistics from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 264,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and approximately 42,000 women die from the disease yearly.
The Chinese team also examined whether the association was modified by menopause status, hormone-receptor status, or linoleic acid intake.
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