Tags: poor | diet | breast | cancer

Study Links Early Diet, Breast Cancer

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 10:52 AM

New research suggests a poor diet early in life may boost the risk for breast cancer later, regardless of the body's production of the hormone estrogen.
The finding, reported by a team of researchers at the University of California-Davis, provides new insights into the factors and processes that regulate normal breast development, which can affect the risk of developing cancer later in life.
"It's long been assumed that circulating estrogens from the ovaries, which underlie normal female reproductive development, were crucial for the onset of breast growth and development," said Russ Hovey, a UC Davis associate professor who led the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Our findings, however, suggest that diet and shifts in body metabolism that parallel changes seen during obesity and type 2 diabetes can also stimulate breast growth entirely independent of estrogen's effects."
The researchers’ conclusions are based on a study of mice fed a diet supplemented with a fatty acid that causes a condition comparable to metabolic syndrome in humans, linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The results showed the supplement stimulated the mammary ducts to grow, despite the fact that the mice lacked estrogen, and resulted in diet-induced breast development that increased the formation of tumors in some mice.
Researchers also found the mice responded differently to the dietary supplement, suggesting that there may be a genetic component for how diet and related metabolic changes affect breast cancer risk in different populations, Hovey said.
"The findings of this study are particularly important when we superimpose them on data showing that girls are experiencing breast development at earlier ages, coincident with a growing epidemic of childhood obesity," Hovey said.

© HealthDay

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A poor diet early in life may boost the risk for breast cancer later, regardless of a woman's estrogen levels.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 10:52 AM
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