Teens Who Eat More Fruits And Vegetables Have Reduced Risk Of Breast Cancer Later On

By Diane Palmer, Parent Herald May 16, 05:00 am

Consuming fruits and vegetables during adolescence can lead to a decreased risk for breast cancer later on. Increased alcohol intake, on the other hand, may increase that risk, according to two separate studies.

A study followed 90,000 nurses based in the U.S. for 20 years to gather information regarding their diet during early adulthood. About 50 percent of the nurses also provided information regarding their typical diet during adolescent years.

The study found a link between high fruit consumption and reduced risk of breast cancer diagnoses during midlife by 25 percent, according to Daily Times. High consumption was defined as nurses who ate nearly three servings of fruit a day on average.

Eating apples, oranges, grapes, bananas and kale were associated with the greatest reduction in risk. The mentioned fruits and vegetables contain fiber and flavonoids, which could help to lower the cancer risk by combatting damage to the cells that can trigger abnormal growth. However, drinking fruit juice did not appear to affect the risk of the disease.

Previous studies have shown that the benefit of consuming fruits and vegetables in midlife but the study has shown the benefit of consuming them early on to prevent cancer. It is becoming clear that many drivers of cancer start early in life, due to genes and childhood exposure to potential carcinogens, according to Health.

Also published in the journal BMJ, another study analyzed the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer. The study followed 2,000 post-menopausal women from Denmark and found that women who drank more than two alcoholic drinks per day over five years had an increased risk of breast cancer by 30 percent.

The study also significantly noted that despite decreasing their alcohol intake over the period of five years, a decreased risk of breast cancer was not noticed. While there may be benefits to low and moderate consumption of alcohol, the benefits could be outweighed by the increased risk of breast cancer, according to the study authors.

Lifestyle choices such as drinking alcohol, being overweight or obese, taking birth control, not having children and not exercising may increase the risk of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Both studies highlight the importance of establishing healthy habits from a young age since many diseases get rooted early in life.

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