Meat and dairy may boost risk of breast cancer

October 21, 2009 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Meat and dairy may boost risk of breast cancer

Cutting down on processed meats and red meat cooked at high temperatures as well as high-fat diary products may help reduce a woman's risk of risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In this study, the researchers looked at 367,993 women from 10 different European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. During follow-up, which averaged about nine years, 7,119 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women who consumed the most processed meat had 10 percent increased risk, while high butter consumption boosted risk by 28 percent, but only in premenopausal women.

Countries where cooking red meat at high temperatures was more popular also had higher risk of breast cancer.

It's thought that high saturated fat intake is the underlying nutritional risk factor associated with greater breast cancer risk.

Keeping consumption of red meat, butter, cheese and other high-fat dairy foods low will likely help reduce risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as breast cancer, write this study's authors.

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