Breast cancer prevention efforts and awareness can help you reduce your risk
of breast cancer.
Steps such as self-tests, routine check-ups and adjusting your lifestyle can
make a difference. For example, increasing your fiber intake may do more than
just support intestinal health; it may also decrease your risk of breast cancer.
A recent report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows
that increased dietary fiber consumption protects against the risk of breast
cancer. Women who consumed the most fiber averaged an 11 percent lower risk of
breast cancer compared to those who ate the least.
The reviewers evaluated data from 10 published studies of breast cancer risk
and dietary fiber intake. More than 700,000 study participants were involved,
and the studies looked at women’s diets and cancer risks from a period of 7 to
Overall, the report found an 11 percent reduced risk of breast cancer for the
highest compared to the lowest intake of dietary fiber. Variables such as
alcohol use, hormone replacement therapy, body weight and family history of
breast cancer were taken into account. The report also showed that for each 10
grams of additional fiber a woman eats daily, her risk of breast cancer drops by
approximately 7 percent.
The researchers concluded that, “This meta-analysis provides evidence of a
significant inverse dose-response association between dietary fiber intake and
breast cancer risk,” suggesting that a healthy, daily dose of
supplements could support breast cancer prevention efforts.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines
for Americans, most Americans don’t get enough fiber.
The guideline states that dietary fiber is a nutrient of public health
concern in American diets and suggests choosing foods that provide more fiber.
The guidelines recommend that women eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day and
men eat at least 38 grams, but the usual intake is only 15 grams per day.
High-fiber supplements can help meet optimal daily fiber amounts.
Dong JY, He K, Wang P, Qin LQ. Dietary fiber intake and risk of breast
cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition. 2011 September;94(3):900-5. Epub 2011 July 20.
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC:
U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.
by Sarah Eliason
Health Sciences & Educational Services Dept.