Is there a Link between Cadmium in Food and Breat Cancer?

A new study published in Cancer Research concluded that dietary cadmium may lead to an increase risk of breast cancer. Cadmium, a toxic metal, occurs at low concentrations in plants because of contamination of farmlands primarily due to atmospheric deposits and the use of fertilizers.  The main sources of cadmium are found in bread, cereals, potatoes, other root crops and vegetables., foods, that otherwise, are considered healthy.

In this study, the researchers observed 55,987 women for more than 12 years and estimated their dietary cadmium exposure using a food frequency questionnaire.  Two thousand one hundred twelve incidents of breast cancer was observed in the group that included 1,626 estrogen receptor-positive and 290 estrogen receptor negative cases.  Cadmium consumption was divided into 3 groups with the highest compared to the lowest level of exposure.  Overall, a higher exposure to cadmium  was linked with a 21 percent increase in breast cancer and among lean and normal weight women the increase was 27 percent. Both the estrogen receptor-positive and negative tumors had the same risk increase at about 23 percent and those eating a higher amount of whole grain and vegetables had a lower risk of breast cancer  than those eating other foods. The researcher said “it is possible that this healthy diet to some extent can counteract the negative effect of cadimium, but our findings need to be confirmed with further studies.”

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