Diet rich in fatty acids can lower risk of breast cancer

A representational image pink ribbon used as a symbol to create awareness for breast cancer. — Reuters/File

Researchers collaborating with The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found that diets high in fatty acids may help lower the risk of breast cancer.

Fatty acids include fish and vegetable oil. Nuts, flax seeds and leafy vegetables. These foods are also essential because the human body cannot naturally produce fatty acids.

NAMS President Dr Chrisandra Shufelt said: “This study highlights the effect of lifestyle habits and, specifically, dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids on breast cancer risk. Lifestyle (or diet) is known to contribute to up to one-third of the risk for breast cancer.

“Women can affect their risk of developing breast cancer by making dietary changes to include fruits and vegetables, fibre, and whole grains and avoiding high-fat animal and dairy products.”

To conduct the study, researchers analysed nearly 1,600 cases of breast cancer, the patient’s intake of fatty acids in general with breast cancer, and the effect of individual fatty acids.

The study concluded that a higher intake of fatty acids was linked with a lower risk of breast cancer. Further, overweight or obese women who increased their fatty acid intake also saw a lower breast cancer risk.

According to statistics from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 264,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and approximately 42,000 women die from the disease yearly.

The study is published in The journal Menopause.

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