A Breast Cancer Risk Factor May be a Diet High in Fat and Cholesterol.


In a recent study publishes in the American Journal of Pathology researchers concluded that high levels of fat and cholesterol in the typical American diet is a risk factor in the growth and development of breast cancer. Using a mouse model with subjects and a controls predisposed to develop mammary tumors those fed a Western diet high in fat developed larger tumors that were faster growing and metastasized more easily than the mice eating a control diet. Although dietary fat and cholesterol have been shown to be a risk factor in tumor development and progression the results of diet-based studies in humans have been contradictory. Consequently; the researchers used animal models of human cancer to evaluate a link between cholesterol, diet and cancer.

All mice predisposed to breast tumors were placed on a diet containing 21.2 percent fat and 0.2 percent cholesterol that is reflective of a typical Western diet (subjects) or a diet of 4.5 percent fat and minimal cholesterol (control group). Tumors began to grow quickly in the research subjects and were double in number and 50 percent larger than those in the control group. There was also a trend toward an increased number of lung metastasis in the subjects. Biomarkers of tumor progression also confirmed more advanced cancer stage in the subjects compared to the controls.

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