High–fat Diet During Puberty Raises Chances of Breast Cancer

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

High–Fat, High–Risk

Findings by the researchers from the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Program at Michigan State University have shown that consumption of a high–fat diet during puberty raises the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, the diet also produces a distinct gene signature in tumours that is consistent with a subset of basal–like breast cancers that can carry a worse prognosis.

Scientists for the experiment fed mice with a high–fat diet and found that after 3 weeks, much before the appearance of any tumour, changes in the breast were visible that included an increased cell growth and alterations in immune cells. These changes can continue till adulthood and lead to rapid development of precancerous lesions and eventually breast cancer, scientists suggest.

Researchers also noted that the experiment did not involve any weight gain from the high–fat diet suggesting that these findings are relevant to a much larger segment of the population which consumes such a diet but aren’t necessarily overweight. It also suggests that the main culprit is fat and not weight gain.

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