Tuesday, 21 April 2015

10. Blood Sugar Levels and Breast Cancer


Photo Dennis Dean Aphrodite Cinefest

      Not only what you eat but when you eat it can help to prevent breast cancer.
     A study by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has shown that eating dinner or a snack late at night could raise a woman's risk of breast cancer, the most common cancer in women worldwide.
     Spokesperson Dr Ruth Patterson commented on the findings: 'The dietary advice for cancer prevention usually focuses on limiting consumption of red meat, alcohol and refined grains while increasing plant-based foods.
'New evidence suggests that when and how often people eat can also play a role in cancer risk.'
     This has to do with control of blood sugar levels. Previous studies have shown that women with higher blood sugar levels are more likely to develop cancer, even if they don’t have diabetes.
     The San Diego study reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention showed that women who fasted for longer overnight had significantly better control over their blood sugar levels. Each three hour increase in night-time fasting was associated with a four per cent lower glucose level when tested after a meal, regardless of how much women ate,
     Researchers found that eating meals at set times and eating dinner early to leave a longer time between the last meal and breakfast reduced the risk developing breast cancer.
     In the study, women reported eating five times per day and fasted overnight an average of 12 hours.
Those who reported fasting for longer also indicated the bonus that they consumed fewer calories per day, ate fewer calories after 10 pm and had fewer periods of eating.
     Increasing the amount of time women fast overnight – by eating dinner earlier – could be a new strategy to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
     Catherine Marinac of the University of California said: 'This is a simple dietary change that we believe most women can understand and adopt. 
'It may have a big impact on public health without requiring complicated counting of calories or nutrients.'
     Further large scale clinical trials are needed to confirm the study findings that night-time fasting results in better blood sugar control and a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. However, as with other nutrition studies relating to cancer prevention, such clinical trials are unlikely to happen because of the expense and lack of interest in such research by the drug companies.  
     Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women in UK, affecting 1 in 8 women at sometime during their lifetime.  Alarmingly, breast cancer rates have increased by 90% since records began in 1970, according to the Charity Breast Cancer UK.  I strongly recommend you to their website below.  Their concerns about lack of regulation on hazardous cancer producing chemicals in food and drinks, packaging and household cleaners  need your support and action.  

Further Reading

Breast Cancer UK