diet is an important factor that affects our health. Researchers now found out that food taken in our youth can have a major impact on later health. Teenagers who consume high levels of saturated fats or low levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
Young girls need to be extra careful about what they eat in their teenage years. Incorrect diet can have dangerous consequences. Researchers from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine have now discovered in one study that consuming larger amounts of saturated fats may make it easier for adult women to develop breast cancer. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &Prevention ".
Women with higher breast density are at greater risk of developing breast cancer
A recent study found that polyunsaturated fatty acid intake may result in denser breast tissue in female teenagers. A higher breast density also increases the risk of developing breast cancer at the same time, explain the authors. Researchers found that ingesting a lot of "normal" fat does not cause a major change in breast density. The difference in breast density was extremely modest, explains lead author Professor Joanne Dorgan of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Apparently, different fats play different roles in the formation of breast tissue, speculate the doctors. Our time as a teenager is a critical time for breast development, the authors add.
study examines 600 subjects over several years
The research team analyzed the data from more than 600 children for the study, all subjects were between the ages of eight and ten years. More than 300 of the participants were girls, say the authors. The subjects reported several times on the details of their diet during the study period. Later, MRI scans were used in a follow-up study to measure the breast density of female participants, the physicians explain. The women were already at the age of 25 to 29 at the follow-up visit. It was recognized that higher intakes of unhealthy fats and low intakes of healthy fats may increase the likelihood of denser breast tissue formation, the experts explain.
Which foods contain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids?
A healthy diet should contain about five percent of saturated fat, advise the doctors. Beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, butter, cream and cheese contain, for example, so-called saturated fats. Fatty fish, avocados, nuts, olives and liquid vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, the researchers explain. Women who consumed the most saturated fat during adolescence consumed about 13 percent of total saturated calorie calories, say the physicians. These women had an average breast tissue density of 21.5 percent. Women who ate the least saturated fat in the study accounted for about eight percent of total calories from fat, the authors said. Such participants had a breast density of 16.4 percent.
When women in their teens consumed very low levels of healthy fats, the breast tissue thickened. However, it is not known if the measured increased breast density in women 25-29 years old persists even at the age of 40 or 50 years. At that age, the risk of breast cancer usually begins to increase, the researchers add.(as)