Adhering to a nutritious plant-based diet may lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, according to a recent study presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting.
About the Study
Sanam Shah, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., from Paris-Saclay University, and his colleagues explored the link between long-term adherence to a plant-based diet and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.
The study followed 65,574 women from the E3N cohort (average age 52.8 years) from 1993 to 2014.
The team used self-reported dietary intake at baseline and during the follow-up to develop scores for healthful (hPDI) and unhealthful (uPDI) plant-based diets.
Healthful Plant-Based Diets and Reduced Breast Cancer Risk
The researchers identified 3,968 new cases of breast cancer during an average follow-up of 21 years.
A strong adherence to a healthful plant-based diet was linked with a reduced risk of breast cancer. The risk reduction rate was 14% for the highest quintile compared to the lowest.
Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and Breast Cancer Risk
Interestingly, increased estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and lobular carcinoma were associated with adherence to an unhealthful plant-based diet.
The hazard ratios per one standard deviation increase were 1.05 and 1.12, respectively.
Implications of the Study
These findings emphasize the potential benefits of increasing the consumption of healthful plant foods and decreasing the consumption of less healthy plant foods and animal foods in preventing all types of breast cancer, according to Shah.
This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the potential health benefits of a plant-based diet.
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