This week’s blog is about breast cancer awareness and prevention. This ties in with the walk the walk challenge in which participants are invited to go for a walk to raise money for breast cancer charities. The walk can be around your home, garden, park or anywhere you fancy and can be 5k, 10k, a half marathon (13.1 miles or 21k) or, for a real challenge, 100k! The walks are to take place between 31st July and 8th August 2021. See https://walkthewalk.org/ for more information.
Whether you decide to sign up to do a walk or not it’s worth being aware of what you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide and the most commonly occurring cancer in women. There is growing evidence that lifestyle factors, including diet, body weight and physical activity, may impact the risk of developing breast cancer. Recent reports estimate that lifestyle changes could prevent 25% to 30% of breast cancer cases (1). The World Cancer Research Fund recommends:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- undertaking at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. This works out at 30 minutes exercise 5 days each week.
- limiting alcohol consumption
- eating a plant-based diet
- not smoking
Dietary Patterns to Prevent Breast Cancer
A healthy dietary pattern characterised by a high intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts and olive oil, and limited consumption of saturated fatty acids and red meat, may lower the risk of breast cancer and improve overall survival from breast cancer (2). Other studies confirm this trend by showing an inverse relationship between the incidence of some types of breast cancer and a Mediterranean Diet, particularly higher consumption of fish and olive oil (3).
Whole Grains and Breast Cancer
Several epidemiological studies have indicated that there is an inverse correlation between the intake of whole grains and the incidence of breast cancer. Whole grains are one of the most important sources of phytochemicals which have protective effects against breast cancer (4).
Protein and Breast Cancer
A meta-analysis into the effects of different types of dietary protein on breast cancer risk found that higher red meat consumption, including both fresh meat and processed meat, may be risk factors for breast cancer. On the other hand higher intake of soy foods may reduce the risk of breast cancer in some women (5).
Vitamin C and Breast Cancer
A meta-analysis into the effects of vitamin C on breast cancer found that taking vitamin C following a diagnosis of breast cancer may reduce the risk of mortality from breast cancer or other causes (6). Tom Oliver’s vitamin C contains 500mg vitamin C per capsule.
Vitamin D and Breast Cancer
An analysis of 68 studies into the effects of vitamin D on breast cancer between 1998-2018 found a protective relationship between circulating vitamin D levels and breast cancer development in premenopausal women (7).
Other evidence suggests that higher circulating vitamin D levels may be associated with lower risk of breast cancer particularly in post-menopausal women (8). However, vitamin D may have varying effects depending on dosage, age and hormonal status of the individual.
Tom Oliver’s D+K2 contains vitamin D3 which is the most beneficial form of vitamin D along with vitamin K2 for added benefits.
Zinc and Breast Cancer
A meta-analysis found that there is a significant relationship between lower serum zinc concentrations and risk of breast cancer onset or recurrences in women (9). Tom Oliver’s zinc contains 15mg of zinc picolinate per capsule.
Fish Oils and Breast Cancer
Women with high ratios of fish oils (EPA and DHA) relative to arachidonic acid have been found to have a reduced risk of breast cancer compared with those with low ratios (10). Studies investigating nutritional interventions during breast cancer treatment have shown that nutritional education and supplementation with nutrients, such as EPA and DHA, might be useful in limiting the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as in enhancing therapeutic efficacy (11). Tom Oliver’s Omega 3 Herring Caviar capsules contain EPA, DHA and choline which is beneficial for cell membranes and liver health.