Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October is not about pink ribbons. It's a time to remember how diet has an impact.

1. Broccoli for Healthy Breasts 
Research from the University of Leicester suggests that a specific compound in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc.) may assist in inhibiting breast cancer development. Earlier studies have shown that foods rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C) may destroy cancer cells be reducing the expression of the 'epidermal growth factor receptor', which protects cancer cells. This study found that indole-3-carbinol helped reduce these receptors in 3 of 4 different types of breast cancer cells. Consider consuming more cruciferous vegetables for breast health.  

Reference: Carcinogenesis, February 2007
Image: livelovefruit.com

2. Pay Attention to Protein
A study found that elevated insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels were positively correlated with the consumption of protein - mainly from animal proteins - including milk. Inverse associations were found between IGF-1 levels and the intake of vegetables and beta-carotene (think orange-colored fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens). Previous studies have shown elevated IGF-1 levels are associated with various cancers including prostate, colorectal, and pre-menopausal breast cancer.

Reference: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2007

Image: poorexcuses.com

3. Fiber Lowers Breast Cancer Risk
A U.K. Women's Cohort Study involving over 35,000 women found that pre-menopausal women who consumed 30 grams of fiber a day had HALF the risk of breast cancer compared to those who ate less than 20 grams per day. Researchers suggest that, because estrogen levels are higher in pre-menopausal women, dietary fiber intake earlier in life may be important in regulating hormones and lowering the risk for breast cancer. Fiber's role in the body includes removing excess hormones, carcinogens, and cholesterol. Foods with higher fiber include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit.

 Image: hsph.harvard.edu

Bonus: Additional study findings showed that high protein consumption and low vitamin C intake were associated with increased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.

Reference: Epidemiology, January 2007

Learn more at The Cancer Project.org

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