Trans fats linked to breast cancer

April 15, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Trans fats linked to breast cancer

Trans fats, which are known for being bad for heart health, may also raise the risk of developing breast cancer, say European researchers.

In this study, the researchers looked at the blood levels of fats from more than 25,000 women who had reported on their eating and lifestyle habits between 1995 and 1998. The women were followed for several years to see if they developed breast cancer.

During the study period, 363 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Their blood levels of fats were compared with those of healthy women.

Women with the highest evels of trans fats had double the risk of developing breast cancer compared to their peers with the lowest levels of these unhealthy fats.

The higher the level of trans fats, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer, according to this research findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, are made during the process of hydrogenation which makes vegetable oils into artificially hardened fat. They're added to baked goods - cakes, cookies and pastries - and other processed foods to improve the taste and texture of these treats.

The trans fat content of these foods can be found on the Nutrition Facts label. Nutrition experts recommend using food labels to help limit  consumption of trans fats.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among Canadian women, with an estimated 22,400 new cases this year.  

For more information on how you can prevent breast cancer with nutrition strategies, check out Leslie Beck's Nutrition Guide for Women.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.