Eating More Fiber When Younger May Help Reduce Future Breast Cancer Risk

Women who eat more high-fiber roods during adolescence and young adulthood, especially lots of fruits and vegetables, may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less fiber when young, according to a recent Harvard University study.

“This work on the role of nutrition in early life and breast cancer incidence suggests one of the very few potentially modifiable risk factors for premenopausal breast cancer,” said Maryam Farvid, lead author of the study.

In 1991, the researchers began studying 90,534 women ages 27 to 44. The women filled out questionnaires about their food intake every four years. They also completed a questionnaire about their diet during high school.

Breast cancer risk was 12 to 19% lower among women who ate more dietary fiber in early adulthood, depending on how much more they ate. High intake of fiber during adolescence as also associated with 16% lower risk of overall breast cancer and 24% lower risk of breast cancer before menopause. Among all the women, there was a strong inverse association between fiber intake and breast cancer incidence.

Sourse: T.H. Chan School of Public Healt at Harvard University