High fibre diet reduces risk of breast cancer in later life

15 February 2017  |  Editor


Girls and young women who eat a higher fibre diet cut their risk of developing breast cancer by up to 24%, results of a new study show.

Researchers at Harvard looked at data on over 90,000 women taking part in a womens health study that began in 1991.  Dietary surveys were used as part of the study and were completed and updated once every 4 years.

The results showed that for each additional 10 grams of fibre included in the womens’ diets there was a 13% decrease in the risk of developing breast cancer.  Ten grams of fibre equates to roughly 1 cup of fresh raspberries and 23 whole almonds: an amount of food that could easily be incorporated into a meal or snack.

Commenting on the results, lead author Maryam Farvid said: “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.”

Many children do not receive enough fibre in their diets due to the prevalence of refined foods marketed heavily at parents and children such as breakfast cereals, white bread, dairy based snacks and processed meat products.  The acidifying nature and high sugar content of many of these foods also contributes towards chronic health conditions.

Including more unprocessed wholegrains, beans, nuts, seeds and a range of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables can dramatically increase the fibre content of the diet as well as providing a wide range of antioxidant phytonutrients designed to protect cells from carcinogenic changes.

Further Reading:

“High fibre diet ‘can cut risk of developing breast cancer’” The Independent 7th March 2016 

Surviving the British Diet