Women who eat more high-fibre foods during adolescence and young adulthood – especially lots of fruits and vegetables – may have significantly lower breast cancer risk in later life.
According to a new large-scale study involving 90,534 women, led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, breast cancer risk was up to 19 per cent lower among women who included more dietary fibre in their diets in early adulthood.
For each additional 10 grams of fiber intake daily (about one apple and two slices of whole wheat bread, or half a cup each of cooked kidney beans and cooked cauliflower or squash) during early adulthood, breast cancer risk dropped by 13 per cent.
High fibre intake during adolescence was also associated with 16 per cent lower risk of overall breast cancer and 24 per cent lower risk of breast cancer before menopause.
The authors speculated that eating more fibre-rich foods may lessen breast cancer risk partly by helping to reduce high estrogen levels in the blood, which are strongly linked with breast cancer development.