1 in 8 women falls victim to breast cancer in the United States, it being the second most common cancer in females.
The rates of cancer can differ greatly depending on many factors. These include environment, lifestyle, or in this case, nutrition. Understanding these factors aids scientists in bringing down the risk of developing breast cancer.
The International Journal of Cancer recently published a study in which researchers found that replacing beef with chicken in the diets of women can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
A direct connection between meat and breast cancer?
Researchers conducting this study tried to narrow down the exact effects of all types of meat on the body. Cooking methods were also looked at to try and determine the results.
Data from a similar study which looked at 42,012 women from Puerto Rico and the United States aged 35-74 was used. The participants were studied for 7.6 years on average. During this time, there were 1,536 cases of breast cancer.
These women were asked how they prepared their meat, average intake, and size of portions.
Analysis by scientists found that a 23% higher risk of developing the cancer was found in the women who had high amounts of red meat in their diet. This is compared to women who had less or minimal amounts.
Alternatively, this study is in contradiction with previous studies. They found no connection or only a weak link between red meat consumption and disease.
Scientists also tracked the rates of poultry consumption in the same women. This yielded very interesting results.
Surprisingly, women who consumed the highest levels of poultry had a 15% lower risk of getting breast cancer. This was compared to women who had minimum poultry in their diets.
These results were yielded after scientists took various kinds of information about the women into account. This includes race, rate of physical activity, body mass index (BMI), medical history, vegetable and dairy consumption, use of birth control, and alcohol consumption. The results remained the same.
Furthermore, Dale P. Sandler, one of the senior authors of the study, said that if a person who consumes high levels of red meat switches over to consuming high levels of poultry instead, it decreases the risk of developing the cancer. The mechanism through which this happens is not clearly understood.
More results about the effects of poultry
Scientists have been studying the link between poultry and breast cancer for some time. While this study says that poultry can significantly affect the development of the disease, another study found that the two have no connection.
Another study says that poultry offers serious protection against the disease. Another earlier study finds that fried chicken consumed with its skin increases the risk of the disease.
Some scientists say that the method of preparation of meat has no link to breast cancer.
These conflicting studies show us that scientists must conduct more research in order to determine the nature of the relationship between these meats and breast cancer.