Investigation: Mediterranean diet reduces breast cancer risk by 40 percent

The scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands have found in their current research that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of a dangerous form of breast cancer by 40 percent. The physicians published the results of their study in the medical journal "International Journal of Cancer".

Not only is a Mediterranean diet extremely palatable, but it can also protect women from the disease with certain subtypes of breast cancer.(Picture: katrinshine / fotolia.com)

participants undergo medical surveillance for 20 years
For their investigation, the experts monitored more than 62,000 women over a twenty-year period. To determine how nutrition affects the risk of developing breast cancer.

Mediterranean diet protects against hard-to-treat breast cancer
When subjects ingested a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetable protein, fish and olive oil, they reduced the likelihood of developing ER-negative breast cancer by 40 percent, the researchers said. This form of cancer is stimulated by the sex hormone estrogen and is considered to be more deadly and more difficult to treat than so-called hormone-sensitive cancer.

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death toll from breast cancer in the UK
breast cancer poses in women nowadaysIn the United Kingdom, for example, more than 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.30 percent of those affected have so-called ER-negative cancer, and in the UK about 11,400 women die from breast cancer each year.

What foods does a Mediterranean diet include?
Many affected women may find it helpful to eat a typical Mediterranean diet. This includes a high intake of vegetable proteins from nuts, lentils, beans and whole grains. In addition, women should consume a lot of fish and simple unsaturated fats( for example from olive oil).In addition, in such a form of nutrition, the intake of white bread, white rice, red meat and sweets is reduced to a minimum, explain the doctors.

Nutritional Patterns Affect Cancer Risk
Our research can help show the public how nutritional patterns can influence our cancer risk, says author Professor Piet van den Brandt of Maastricht University. We found a strong link between the Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in postmenopausal women, adds the Dutch expert. This form of breast cancer usually has a worse prognosis than other types of breast cancer.

Women Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol
It is also important that women avoid taking alcohol. Alcohol is usually part of a traditional Mediterranean diet. However, there is a known link between breast cancer and alcohol, scientists say. Previous findings have already shown that nearly 12,000 cases of breast cancer in the UK could be prevented each year if women ceased their alcohol intake.

Prevention is Key to Breast Cancer Treatment
The recent study shows that a Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially for subtypes of the disease with a generally poor prognosis. Breast cancer is so prevalent that prevention seems to be the key in reducing the number of women with this condition. However, more research is needed to better understand the risk factors for different forms of breast cancer subtypes, researchers say.

Women Need to Recognize Signs of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a complex disease. Not all types of the disease have the same triggers. A Mediterranean diet can play an important role in reducing the risk of this disease, say the experts. While a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce cancer risk, it does not guarantee prevention. For this reason, it is crucial that women know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, the physicians add. In case of suspicion, sufferers should urgently contact a doctor immediately.(as)

Physicians Investigate Effects of a Mediterranean Diet
A healthy diet and adequate exercise are important to human health. Researchers have now found that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of one of the deadliest forms of breast cancer by as much as 40 percent.

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