A low-fat diet may contribute to a lowered risk of ovarian cancer in post-menopausal women, according to new research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI). The findings square with previous research linking a healthy diet to a reduced risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer in women of the same age group.
The study was comprised of nearly 50,000 postmenopausal women. Approximately 20,000 were assigned to a group which was assisted in reducing its fat intake by 20%, and coached to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables, and six serving of whole grains daily. The remaining 30,000 women did not modify their diets. Study participants were followed for an average of 8 years. In the first four years, the incidence of ovarian cancer in the two groups was similar, but by the fifth year, the diet modification group exhibited a lowered incidence of ovarian cancer. Those women who had the highest fat intake prior to modifying their diets showed the greatest risk reduction.
Researchers speculate that higher fat intake increases the amount of estrogen in the blood, which may over-stimulate sensitive ovaries.
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