Risk Of Breast Cancer Reduced With The Mediterranean Diet
Written by: Kirsten Cowart
In a study done on women in Spain by JAMA Internal Medicine, it was found that eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil was linked with a lower risk of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is a commonly diagnosed disease in women that is also their leading cause of death. With that being known, it is important to take steps early in life to make sure that your lifestyle will reduce your risks and keep you healthy.
The Mediterranean Diet
Diet has been a big area of study when it comes to risk factors associated with developing breast cancer. For the most part, the study of diets being linked to the cause of breast cancer have been inconsistent.
The Mediterranean diet has an abundance of fish, plant foods and olive oil. Miguel A. Martínez-González, M.D. from the University of Navarra in Pamplona and his coauthor, Ciberorn from Madrid, Spain, analysed the effects of adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or nuts compared to women who followed a low-fat diet.
Those women who were part of the study were given one liter of EVOO for them and their families or mixed nuts (30 grams a day: 15 grams of walnuts, 7.5 grams of hazelnuts and 7.5 grams of almonds).
The study was originally conducted to see the effects of the Mediterranean diet on the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
What They Discovered Instead
During the years of 2003 to 2009, 4,282 women who were between the ages of 60 and 80 were part of the study. These women were at a high risk of getting cardiovascular disease. The women were randomly assigned to a control diet of low-fat or to the Mediterranean diet plus EVOO or nuts.
The average age of the participants was 67.7 years old and they had an average BMI of 30.4. Most of these women had already experienced menopause before the age of 55 and less than 3% of the women were on hormone therapy.
Halfway through the study of nearly 5 years, the researchers found 35 new cases of malignant breast cancer. When you compare this number to the average population, it is significantly less.
This lead the researchers to report that women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with Extra Virgin Olive Oil had a 68% lower risk of malignant breast cancer compared to their subjects who were on a control low-fat diet.
The authors were not focused on breast cancer for their studies, so they feel that additional data is needed to prove this as a fact for all women, however, the results are significant enough, that they are worth looking into.
“The results of the PREDIMED trial suggest a beneficial effect of a MeDiet [Mediterranean diet] supplemented with EVOO in the primary prevention of breast cancer. Preventive strategies represent the most sensible approach against cancer.
The intervention paradigm implemented in the PREDIMED trial provides a useful scenario for breast cancer prevention, because it is conducted in primary health care centers and also offers beneficial effects on a wide variety of health outcomes. Nevertheless, these results need confirmation by long-term studies with a higher number of incident cases,” the authors concluded.
Perhaps you have heard of other studies that suggest that high alkaline diets also reduce the growth of cancerous cells. Since most green leafy plants are alkaline based, this would lead us to suspect that the heavy plant-based Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle change that would help women to stay healthy going into their later years.
Have you tried the Mediterranean diet? Let us know how you felt and what your experiences were in the comments below.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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