What You Eat, Including Fish, Impacts Your Breast Cancer Risk – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 195
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Today, we’re going to discuss clinical studies that reported on the effects of fish on your risk of breast cancer. For many decades, we’ve known that lifestyle and eating habits can affect your risk of developing cancer. A good diet and exercise decrease the risk and a poor diet and obesity increase the risk. So what about breast cancer? There’s a lot of data showing that what you eat can affect the risk.
One 2015 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the effect of food on breast cancer. The researchers worked with over 4000 overweight women with an average age of 67 years old. These women were at risk for having heart disease. The researchers followed this group of women for nearly 5 years and they found that if they followed a Mediterranean-type diet that was rich in extra virgin olive oil, there was a 68% lowered risk of malignant breast cancer. That’s unbelievably powerful. A Mediterranean diet has very little red meat, but has a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and, in this case, extra virgin olive oil. They also tend to eat some poultry and fish.
There’s been a lot of evidence that oil from fish lowers the risk of many things, such as sudden cardiac death, massive heart attacks, shrinkage of the brain and dementia, and breast cancer. A 2010 study done by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention adds to the evidence that fish and its oil lowers the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at over 35,000 postmenopausal women who did not have a history of breast cancer. They gave each woman a 24-page questionnaire to specifically look at their use of non-vitamin, non-mineral supplements, like herbs, green tea and fish oils. Over the course of 6 years, the researchers found 880 cases of breast cancer and noticed that women who took fish oil supplements long term had a 32% reduced risk of developing breast cancer. That is powerful. Reducing the risk of 32% will reduce the risk for tens of thousands of women.†
For all studies mentioned in this episode, make sure to tune into the full podcast episode by clicking PLAY above.
In 2019, the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition published an updated meta-analysis looking at 22 studies with thousands and thousands of women. They found that women with the highest intake of fish oils lowered their relative risk by 16% minimally. The sum of the evidence shows that fish oils and fish have a huge ability to reduce the risk of breast cancer. What it seems to be, if you really look at the data, is that there’s about a 24% lower risk of ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common and invasive form of breast cancer. A 24% reduced risk would protect tens of thousands of women in America each year.†
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