High fruit intake during adolescence linked with lower breast cancer risk

ScienceDaily. Published online: 11 May 2016.

Baby's HealthcareTwo linked papers in The BMJ this week shed new light on the relation of alcohol and diet with breast cancer and heart disease.

The first study reports that high fruit consumption during adolescence may be associated with lower breast cancer risk, while the second study finds that increasing alcohol intake in later life is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Fruit and vegetables are thought to protect against breast cancer, but the evidence is conflicting. Most studies have assessed intakes during midlife and later, which may be after the period when breast tissue is most vulnerable to carcinogenic influences.

So a team of US researchers wanted to see whether fruit and vegetable consumption might affect subsequent breast cancer risk. They followed 90,000 nurses for over 20 years who reported their diet in early adulthood, of whom half also recalled their usual diet during adolescence.

They found that high fruit consumption during adolescence (2.9 v 0.5 servings per day) was associated with a roughly 25% lower risk of breast cancer diagnosed in middle age.

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research articles here and here

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