Latest scientific news 15 December 2016

High fiber intake can ease breast cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption

The results of the large prospective EPIC study suggest that dietary fiber can modulate the risk of breast cancer for women who consume alcoholic beverages moderately.

Alcohol intake has been related to an increased risk of breast cancer (BC) while a diet rich in dietary fiber has the opposite effect. To investigate the role of dietary fiber as a modifying factor of the association between alcohol intake and BC, data from the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) were analysed. It included 334,850 women aged 35-70 years at baseline and an average follow up time of 11.0 years. The results suggested that in women with low fiber intake (<18.5 g/day), the risk of BC per 10 g/day of alcohol intake increased significantly by 6 % while among women with a high intake of fiber (>24.2 g/day), the risk of BC only increased non-significantly by 2 %. Consequently women with the highest intake of alcoholic beverages and the lowest fiber intake (<18.5 g/day) had the highest risk for BC. The results of this study indicate that dietary fiber intake, especially from vegetable sources may modulate the adverse effect of alcohol consumption on the the risk of BC. The authors conclude that the observed beneficial effects need to be further investigated to better assess the mechanisms and specific protective effect of fiber sources on tumour types.

Romieu I, Ferrari P, Chajès V, et al. Fiber intake modulates the association of alcohol intake with breast cancer. Int J Cancer. 2017;140(2):316-321. 

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.