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Published On: Sun, Apr 20th, 2014

High fat diet increases risk of most common type of breast cancer

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Following a high fat diet like Atkins or LCHF increases the risk of the most common form of breast cancer by more than a fifth, research has found.

By increasing saturated fat in food and consuming fatty products was found to raise the risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer by 28 per cent.

Fatty diets also made it more likely for a woman to develop breast cancer marked by a defective HER2 gene.

A majority of breast cancers are driven by the female hormone oestrogen, and of these most are also sensitive to the hormone progesterone.

Scientists who studied data on 10,000 patients found an association between fat consumption and breast cancer in these women.

The same link was not seen in women whose cancers were neither hormone-sensitive nor HER2-positive.

The findings, from the Epic breast cancer study involving more than 300,000 women in 10 European countries, are reported in the Journal Of The National Cancer Institute.

‘The results of this prospective study on a large heterogeneous population of European women indicate that a high-fat diet increases breast cancer risk,’ The authors, led by Dr Sabina Sieri from the National Tumour Institute in Milan, Italy, wrote.

‘And, most conspicuously, that high saturated fat intake increases risk of receptor-positive disease, suggesting saturated fat involvement in the etiology (causes) of receptor-positive breast cancer.’

High fat diets have previously been under fire for cancer risks as it often sees carbohydrates replaced with high-fat animal proteins.

A British study from 2013 found that fatty snacks and fast food increased the risk for bowel cancer, the deadliest cancer form apart from lung cancer.

It also raises the level of cholesterol in the blood and although not a direct link to cancer, high cholesterol could lead to heart disease and a by-product of cholesterol can fuel the deadly growth and spread of breast cancer, it was reported last year.

Earlies this year Scientists at the University of Southampton found that the offspring of mice who were fed a high-fat diet were more likely to experience impaired blood flow in the brain, a symptom that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.


A high fat diet in the mother meant that the offspring were less able to rid themselves of harmful sticky beta amyloid proteins, the accumulation of which is a key feature of Alzheimer’s.



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