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A Plant-based Diet is Beneficial in the Fight Against Aggressive Breast Cancer

According to a recent study, women who eat a healthy plant-based diet have a lower risk of acquiring breast cancer, particularly aggressive tumors.

A Plant-based Diet is Beneficial in the Fight Against Aggressive Breast Cancer
Photo: Plant-based Diet | InStyleHealth

76,690 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS, 1984–2016) and 93,295 women from the NHSII (1991–2017) were tracked in the study. Researchers employed previously created indices to assess adherence to an overall plant-based diet index (PDI), a healthy plant-based diet index (hPDI), and an unhealthy plant-based diet index (hPDI) (uPDI).

A total of 12,482 incident cases of invasive breast cancer were documented throughout 4,841,083 person-years of follow-up.

Greater adherence to PDI was related with a small reduction in the risk of breast cancer (quartile 5 vs 1: hazard ratio [HR], 0.89, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.84–0.95), according to multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. The same was seen for the hPDI (HR, 0.89, 95 percent CI, 0.83–0.94) (quartile 5 vs 1: HR, 0.89, 95 percent CI, 0.83–0.94).

By estrogen receptor (ER) status, there was a considerable disparity. For ER-negative tumors, the protective impact of hPDI on breast cancer risk was very high (HR, 0.77, 95 percent CI, 0.65–0.90; ptrend0.01). ER-negative breast cancer was similarly linked to extreme quintiles of nutritious plant foods (HR, 0.74, 95 percent CI, 0.61–0.88; ptrend0.01).

Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other cardiometabolic risk factors are all known to be helped by plant-based diets. The current findings show a link between hPDI and breast cancer risk, both overall and by subtype.

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021;doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0352

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